Tuesday, February 17, 2009

30 weeks down . . . 8, 10, or 12 to go

This picture is mostly so my family can see my pregnancy progress. I'm not a big fan of taking pictures of me during this time of my life.
Mom and baby are doing well. The doctor said my glucose test results were excellent and the baby is growing well. I've gained almost as much weight during the first 30 weeks of this pregnancy as I did during the 38 weeks of Grant's pregnancy! Any suggestions for not eating everything in sight during the last two months of pregnancy?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Here are a few of our fun Valentine activities.
(F.Y.I. I still can't find my camera battery charger, so I had to take these pictures with my old digital camera. The quality isn't the greatest, but I really wanted to capture the memories.)

Cute Hanging Hearts
Super Valentine Presents
Nathaniel gave me flowers and Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones, a super cute book with lots of baby projects. I can't decide which project to work on first: crib set, booties, snuggle blanket, or stuffed cat.
I gave Nathaniel a cute coupon book with rides to campus, sleep-in Saturdays, guilt-free game play, and a gift card to our favorite grocery store. He loves to buy super expensive food (which usually doesn't fit in our budget) to make exquisite meals.

Romantic Dinner and DessertThe meal consisted of pan-cooked chicken in a white wine (alcohol removed) mushroom sauce, mashed potatoes, rolls, and asparagus. I used the little bits left in the chicken pan to make a quick gravy. I used romaine lettuce in the salad and added cranberries, almonds, goat cheese, and mandarin oranges. I combined lemon juice and olive oil for the dressing. The meal was yummy and Grant-free (who now asks to go to bed between 6:45 and 7 at night).
For dessert we enjoyed Warmed Chocolate Cake. I got to enjoy leftover cake on Sunday . . . Nat got to enjoy a bite of my leftover cake on Sunday.

Here's the recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart (I think).

Serves 6 (I halved the recipe and served it in two ramekins.)
4 ounces 60 - 75% dark chocolate bar, chopped
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for baking dishes
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
¾ cup granulated sugar, plus more for baking dishes
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
confectioners’ sugar, for serving

In a medium heatproof bowl, set over (but not touching) simmering water melt together the chocolate and butter. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together cornstarch and granulated sugar. In another medium bowl whisk together eggs and egg yolks Remove chocolate from heat and whisk in cornstarch mixture, then whisk in egg mixture until well combined. Transfer to a refrigerator until chilled, up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter six 6-ounce ramekins and coat the insides with granulated sugar, shaking out any excess. Divide chilled batter evenly between ramekins and place ramekins on a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until cakes are just set (they may still be a little liquid), 12 – 16 minutes (mine took about 20 minutes). You can tell that they are done when they puff up and look dry around the edges, a bit of cracking on the top.

Dust cakes with confectioners’ sugar---serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Finding Joy Now

Sorry for the lack of pictures . . . Grant hid my camera battery charger.

Last week one of my not-so-pleasant pregnancy symptoms (nasal congestion) mutated into a man-eating monster---attacking my nose, throat, ears, and eyes. This physical unpleasantness combined with my oppressive guilt over having to ignore my precious and loving son left me extremely discouraged. While in the throws of not-so-endless torment, I found myself reflecting on the Young Women lesson I missed last Sunday and wondering, "How am I suppose to find joy in this?"

And so I have compiled a list of things to smile about (see An Invitation to Young Women). One for each day I've been sick, so far . . .

1. Interesting Typos
A yummy recipe suggests: "Stop by your favorite Chinese food restaurant as a time saver and purchase a cartoon of sticky rice." I think I need to find a new favorite Chinese food restaurant because mine doesn't sell cartoons of sticky rice.

A clip-art CD advertises: "thousands of color-and-black and white images". Personally, I prefer the color-and-black images best; I have a hard time seeing the while images.

2. Baby Giggles
I find that I am willing to try just about anything when I am sick and pregnant (e.g., visit the doctor). Saturday's natural remedy consisted of gargling salt water to relieve my burning throat. Grant thought the gargling noise was hilarious. We both laughed and laughed as I gargled the disgusting salt water.

3. Valentine Candy
Of all the artificial candy holidays, Valentine's Day is definitely my favorite.
Conversation hearts: not as yummy, but definitely funny
Sweet-tart hearts: the sour taste forces you to pucker-up
Cinnamon hearts: the best of all worlds (cinnamon flavor, chewy texture, romantic shape)

4. Free craft patterns on AllPeopleQuilt.com
One of my favorite craft magazines is distributed by Better Homes and Gardens Creative Collection, and I have been frantically searching for one of their back issues. Luckily, last week I happened upon this amazing website that has many of the patterns available as free downloads. Here are some I can't wait to try.
Soft Baby Blocks
Covered Journals
Messenger Bags

5. An eternal student for a husband
Although I would love a bulkier paycheck and a house, the flexible student schedule has come in handy this week. It has been very nice to be able to have Nathaniel help out a little more while I have been under the weather. He has cooked, run errands, picked up toys, and even washed dishes a few times. He has taken such good care of me that I barely miss my mom who has been diligently taking care of Candace.