Thursday, January 29, 2015

Recent Reads

Having a new baby has definitely changed our lives (for the better!), and one of the great things that I have had time to do is read.  I have always enjoyed reading, but sometime it is hard to make that happen when you have a to-do list that is 3 miles long, but with the great excuse of nursing, I have had several hours every day (and during the night) to read (or check social media... I have never been so up-to-date on blogs, instagram, twitter and pinterest)!  Here are a few of the things I have been reading lately!
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking -- Absolutely fascinating!  The more I read it, the more I see the introvert that I am.  Especially post-baby.  The first week we were home, I only stepped foot out of our apartment once, and saw 2 or 3 people the whole week besides Adam and Fox, and I found myself completely okay with that. Classic introvert. As far as the book goes, she had a lot of interesting data and examples of introversion and why it can be a positive attribute. I also liked that she said lots of good things about extroverts. She was definitely showing how introversion can be a really good thing, but mostly because introversion is often seen as a negative character trait in our society, but I didn't feel like she was trying to say that extroversion is a terrible thing and that we should all be introverts.

The Handmade Marketplace -- This looked like it would be a great read, and if I was just starting my Etsy shop or blog, I think it would be really helpful, however most of the things she talked about, I have already tried or already know after a year and half of trial and error with my shop, so it wasn't very helpful.  

Think Like a Freak -- I have just started this one, so I can't say much, but Adam finished it a few weeks ago and said it was really interesting.  I am excited to read more!

The Man Who Ate the World in Search of the Perfect Dinner --   I would recommend this one with reservations... There is some material in here that could potentially be considered 'adult'.  Besides that, I have really enjoyed this book!  Basically Rayner travels to different cities and tries their top restaurants to find the perfect meal. He has some interesting and amusing experiences along the way, and eats lots of sea urchin! I found myself googling some of the cities while reading it to learn more about their history, realizing that I didn't know much about a few of them. Also, Rayner is funny!  It is still no Garlic and Saphirres, but definitely a fun read!

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up --   I have read and heard RAVE reviews about this book and how it will change your life... I am not very far in yet, and my life has not yet been changed, but I will keep you posted.

Breakfast at Sotheby's --   After 3 years of studying Costume Design in college, I took 2 art history classes to fulfill some last requirements to graduate.  I found myself completely loving art history and contemplated switching my major or getting a Masters/PhD in Museum Studies so I could be a historic costume curator at a museum... That didn't happen, but I have had lovely feelings towards art and art museums since then.  This book is sort of a dictionary of art, artists and the author's experiences working at Sotheby's, one of the art auction houses in Britain. I have found it to be extremely interesting and amusing.  But I love art.  If you don't like reading about art and crazy artists, this book is not for you.

What have you been reading?  I am always looking for good recommendations and would love to what you have enjoyed!



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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Baby's Birth

Prepare yourself, this is a PHOTO-HEAVY POST!!!  Because babies are fabulous to take photos of.  Especially when it is your own baby and you are obsessed with him and think he is the most darling human on the planet...

So we were really hoping that our baby would come before Christmas.  See, Adam is off of school for several weeks, and we wanted to maximize our time getting used to and enjoying our baby, so we were really rooting for baby to come the week prior to Christmas.  Regrettably, he decided that that wasn't an option, and continued to stay comfy and cozy in the womb until after Christmas, despite all the walking that we did.  So, I got induced on Sunday the 4th.

This is me on Sunday Night, prior to getting induced.  I was pretty nervous... Having an actual date for your baby to come makes it feel very real. Probably because it is...

We went to the hospital at 8PM on Sunday night, and they gave me a tablet that usually helps you go into labor, or at least prepares you to start labor.  I think it can break your water, but it didn't break mine.  I had to give it 12 hours to work and then, if it hadn't sent me into labor they would put me on an IV with pitocin.  

I hardly slept at all that night, because I went into early labor about 12AM and my back was killing me.  Plus the nurse kept coming in to take my temperature and blood pressure.  Poor Adam was on the skinniest couch you have ever seen (also the hardest), and I am pretty sure he got about 45 minutes of sleep that night, too.  Monday morning, I had definitely gone into labor, but it wasn't progressing, so they gave me pitocin, and then we waited.  My water hadn't broken on its own, so my doctor came in and did that as well.  

I got an epidural as things got more painful (around 10:30AM).  But at 11:30AM, I was only at dilated to a 4 and told Adam that he should go home, eat some lunch and shower, because the nurse said that people usually dilate about 1 centimeter an hour.  So, he left and my nurse came in at about 12:15PM to check me and said that I was dilated to an 8 1/2 (AHHH!!!  COME BACK, ADAM!)  and that she was amazed that I progressed so quickly!  So, I started frantically texting Adam to have him come back, and was kind of freaking out that he wouldn't make it in time.   The nurse came in again about 20 minutes later with the doctor, and she said that I was at a 9 1/2 and probably would be ready to start pushing soon.  

Adam arrived at the hospital just in the nick of time and then I pushed for about 40 minutes.  I have heard that people push forever with their first baby, but our baby had dropped so low that my doctor had been able to feel his head for my last 3 or so appointments, so pushing was frustrating (mostly because his head was quite large), but really didn't take that long! It was amusing to me that in between each contraction, the nurses, doctor and Adam all stood around me and we chatted about places to eat, and babies, and it all felt very casual, considering the fact that I was just a few pushes away from delivering a baby!  Forty or so minutes later, and a few successful pushes later, baby entered the world!  

I don't quite know how to explain it, but it was completely magical (especially with an epidural)! You have been waiting, and wanting your baby to come for so long and then suddenly, there he is.   All the discomfort and frustrations of pregnancy melt away and it is just you and your spouse and your sweet baby. He is so perfect and so sweet and he is yours!   He cried a little when they sucked amniotic fluid out of his mouth and nose, but once I got to hold him, he just sat there staring up at Adam and me, and then it was my turn to cry a little.  It was so perfect.  

We love him and are so happy to be a little family of three! So, please welcome 'Fox' to the blog!  We may share his real name in the future, but for now, we are going to call him Fox.   

About 10 minutes after he was born:





Sleepy perfection!

Chubby cheeks and neck rolls



Hooray for being born!! 
Thank you for all your lovely comments here and on instagram and your patience with my getting back to blogging!  I have some big changes planned that will hopefully come in the next few weeks as I figure out how to be a mommy and a blogger!  

Friday, January 9, 2015

I am sorry for the long silence these last few weeks.  I have been a bit preoccupied with this darling face!  

Seriously, isn't he the cutest?  I say yes, and we will keep him!  
I have posted a few other photos (and will probably continue to post loads of photos) of this photogenic face in Instagram, if you want to see a few more like this!  

Friday, December 26, 2014

My Pregnancy Essentials

My pregnancy has really been pretty great!  First trimester I was pretty naseated a lot of the time, and I couldn't eat grilled chicken EVER (I really enjoyed deep fried chicken, though), and decided that cooking was overrated because food didn't sound super great.  Second trimester I felt pretty good, but thought I had developed a diary allergy, only to find out that it was actually heart burn.  Third trimester has been filled with tums and no late night snacking(sadly...), but overall, has been fine.  I feel sort of huge, but recognize that that is just part of pregnancy... That being said, here are a few things that I have relied on during my pregnancy.  Laugh, if you must.  But seriously folks, these were important.




1.  Bubba Water Bottle - My in-laws gave me this for Christmas last year, and even though it looks like I am drinking coffee all the time, I almost always have water in it, and try to drink a few of these everyday.  Some days are much more successful than others.
2. Ice Cream (specifically peanut butter and peppermint) - I love ice cream and almost never wanted to eat it during my second trimester, but now I can't get enough of it!  Baby is probably going to be obsessed with ice cream, if pregnancy is any indication of future food likes and dislikes.
3.  Almond Oil - I read in Bringing Up Bebe, by Pamela Druckerman, that she used sweet almond oil and didn't get any stretch marks with her first pregnancy (she had twins the second time around, and stretch marks were not avoided), so I decided to try it out.  I still have a possible week of baby growing, but so far so good!
4. Old Navy Maternity Pants/Leggings - I start getting ready for bed about 6:30PM these days because these Old Navy pants that Janssen sent me are so dang comfy!  I wear leggings to bed just about every night, because my whole body temperature has sky rocketed with a baby and I usually get really hot during the night.  Leggings are cooler than the flannel pj's that I keep in the closet.
5. Tums - An absolute necessity for me, especially before going to bed.  Plus, the yellow ones taste pretty great!


I probably should have added beef jerky to this list, because I have eaten SO much beef jerky this pregnancy... I guess I am protein deficient or something, because the amount of meat that I crave is unbelievable.  I used to be mostly vegetarian, but pregnancy has made meat much more necessary.  I don't think Adam minds too much either.
I am curious what cravings and needs you had during pregnancy?  Anything crazy or weird?



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Flourless Chocolate Cake

A few days ago, we went spent the evening with some friends playing games and eating dessert.  Prior to going over, I mentioned to them that we wanted to bring a dessert and wanted to make sure they didn't have any diet restrictions that I should know about.  She mentioned that she was trying to avoid gluten.  I have never thought much about a gluten-free diet, so I was slightly stumped about what we should make.  Then I was looking up cakes on Martha Stewart, and lo and behold, they had a flourless chocolate cake recipe!  I have seen a few of these popping up around the internet, but never had a reason to try them.  Not the prettiest cake I have ever made, but really quite delicious!  It has a nice fudgy consistency, and was sweet without being too sugary. And would be easy to make at a moment's notice as long as you have eggs and chocolate on hand.  
It would be perfect if you are still struggling to find a Christmas Eve dessert! 

Flourless Chocolate Cake:  
slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

6 Tbs unsalted butter (plus more for buttering the pan)
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips)
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Optional: Cocoa powder for the pan

Preheat your oven to 275°.  Butter a 9-inch round spring-form pan and then dust it with cocoa (this step is optional, but should allow the cake to release more easily if you don't want to serve it in the pan.)

Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and heat, stirring every 30 seconds or so until chocolate and butter are melted smoothly together.  Cool slightly then add eggs yolks.  Combine until smooth.

In a Kitchen-Aid Mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the sugar and continue to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites and combine.

Pour into a prepared pan and cook for 45-50 minutes.  The sides will start to pull away slightly from the pan and the middle should be set.  Cool for 15 minutes or so.  The top of the cake will most likely fall, so to make it look more lovely, dust with powdered sugar.


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