Monday, April 15, 2013

That's Not Me in the Milk



I wonder if busy weekends is just a phase, like black lipstick or rubber bracelets. Once baby shows up and we're out of the state, are we going to be the sort of people who sit around the house on Saturdays and Sundays, watching netflix and being boring? Or will we still be exciting and do stuff on the weekends? I mean, babies like doing things, right? They like milk, for sure. Maybe we could go to a dairy for a tour? And babies like sleeping... Maybe a mattress factory? IDK. What do you people do with your babies on the weekend?

Here are some of my current ideas for keeping the weekends alive with a baby in California.

1. DISNEYLAND!

2. Hiking.

3. Go to a mall and buy stuff.

4. Better yet, go to a Target and buy stuff.

5. Swimming!

6. Swimming in milk! (see note above about babies liking milk).

7. Go to the beach.

8. Go to San Francisco.

9. Go to a Stanford Football game.

10. Drive to Arizona.

11. Find someplace new to eat.

12. Bake something delicious.

13. Make friends  and hang out with them?

14. Explore the neighborhood on foot.

15. Go to a farmer's market.

Aaaaand that's all I've got right now.

In other news, apartment hunting from hundreds of miles away is kind of terrible, in case you didn't know. Its like, does that place really have a nice pool area, or did they get that picture off of google? And when the cost of housing is nearly double what you currently pay, how can you be sure you're getting a good deal? It's ohsovery stressful.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Apologies to L's Palate

I'm pretty unimaginative when it comes to meal planning. I tend to think inside of the box for the most part. For me a typical dinner looks like this: Lightly seasoned, probably baked fish, chicken or pork. Steamed or sautéed vegetables. White rice or mashed sweet potatoes. It's a simple, quick and healthy formula I can get behind... but to be honest its gotten sort of boring. I mean, last night we had some really simple chicken tacos with fresh pinto beans and Leighton was ecstatic, that's gotta say something about how often I branch out. Poor man. 

Given the really sad state of my culinary repertoire, I've decided it needs expanding, and I'm going to start tonight. Yes my easy go to meal will still be the veggie/meat/rice route, but I'm going to commit to making something new (or that I haven't made in a while) at least twice a week. 

And I'm starting with this. To be honest, I'm ridiculously excited about this meal for two reasons. One: I've been wanting to make soups lately because they're healthy and filling and awesome. And two: I think sausage is the best thing to ever happen to soup. 

So in case you don't want to click through the the original link where I'm getting this recipe, here it is, copied and pasted below. Enjoy! 

SWEET POTATO & SAUSAGE SOUP

serves 6
recipe from Everyday Food Magazine

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 sweet potatoes (1 pound total), peeled & diced medium
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup small pasta shells
  • 6 cups chopped mixed greens (I used half spinach half kale)
  • grated Parmesan for serving
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes; season with salt & pepper. Add sausage and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, broth, and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cool 3 minutes less than package suggests. Reduce to a simmer, add greens and cook until pasta is tender and greens are wilted, about 4 minutes. Serve with Parmesan.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lidia, meet Future.

From our honeymoon in San Francisco


So the HubSand got a job, and I couldn't be more proud. It means all the worrying he's been doing over the last few months about where we will live and whether he'll be able to find employment are at an end. We have the answers now, and they're equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking. Somehow, I didn't think the end of his job search would mean more stress, but I guess it just goes to show that stress is a part of life and that what matters is how you choose to face it. 

So here's my game plan to kick anxiety's butt in the next couple of months. 

1. Leighton and I will move to the San Jose, CA area in a month. Sure, this means we'll be moving ten to eleven hours away from everyone in the whole wide world that we know... but its the price we pay for employment and security I suppose, and we can handle it. After all, its not like San Jose doesn't have internet or cell phone service. We can call, text, chat, Skype, and e-mail our family and friends until our hearts are content. And ten hours is a day drive and two full tanks of gas. No big. 

2. I'm going to have a baby in two months (no really, my due date is in exactly two months). I'm going to find a new doctor and a hospital to deliver at in California, and then I'm going to find a pediatrician and maybe take a child-birth class if they offer any that late in the game. And then, then I'm going to push a baby out of my body and take her home to love on with my HubSand and hopefully the grandparents who will be able to make the trek out to visit us for the birth of their first grand child. 

3. I'm going to enjoy living someplace new. I'm going to get out and walk around my neighborhood and find good places to eat and all the places to run errands within walking distance. I'm going to not burn to a crisp in the summer, and I'm going to immerse myself in new things. I'm going to get out of my comfort zone and be healthy and productive with my time. I'm going to be inspired and write and raise babies, and it's going to be magical. Magical

4. And I am not going to freak out. 

5. I promise. 



Monday, April 8, 2013

Baby Shower Goodness

Hey Guys, I had a baby shower the weekend before last, and it was magical. Giant, humongous thanks to my sister in law, Brittany and everyone who helped her throw such a magnificent event. I had an amazing time and loved every single person who came to support us and who gave us something for baby girl in the oven.

Thank you!

Now look at the fabulous!












Wednesday, March 27, 2013

About Feet and Pregnancy Brain

I sure hope you don't have a foot phobia (or fetish for that matter), because this post contains a graphic image and subject matter if you do. Be warned.

The other day was a Sunday. The HubSand and I were almost on our way to meet his family for church and  were finishing up some chores around the house before hoping in the car. Finally, we were done. L locked the door of the apartment behind us and we headed down the stairs, he with a laundry basket in his arms and I with a broken picture frame for the dumpster. Thanks kitty. I threw the frame away while L stored the hamper and then smiled all enchanting like as he opened the passengers side door for me. Chivalry makes me swoon a little.

So there we are, about to pull onto the drive and hit the road, when I realize I must have forgotten my cell phone upstairs. It isn't in my purse, and I need it later in the day to get directions to a party we've been invited to.

Out comes the chivalry again and L hikes the stairs to the apartment, unlocks the door, and disappears within in search of Eugenia the iPhone. Two minutes later he's still in there and I re-check my purse just in case. Nope, not there. Of course it isn't there, think I, you remember bringing it down with you. It was underneath the picture frame you threw away. You had it when you walked away from the dumpster, and-- crap. You didn't have it when you walked away from the dumpster. You checked your purse right after that. Which means...

"Crap."

I sprint to the dumpster. I lean in the open side and barely manage to reach the edge of the picture frame  which I then manage to shift to the side. Sure enough, there is Eugenia, nestled between two big, smelly trash bags. Thankfully it doesn't look like she's landed in anything sticky. I try to lean forward and grab her, but it's a no go. My pregnant belly won't let me hop up and teeter the way I would need to, and besides, I'm still about two whole feet from my poor phone. Good thing theres a really heavy couch someone left by the dumpster.

I start huffing and puffing and pushing and pulling the couch to the side of the dumpster. Some guy walking his dogs stares at me awkwardly as he passes by and then watches as I slip and fall onto my good knee (the one I didn't land on in the bathroom a week ago), scrapping the heck out of the top of my sandal clad left foot in the process. I grin at him awkwardly and get back up.

Finally, the couch is where it needs to me. I stand on the arm and lean through the dumpster's side door.  And lean, and lean... and balance on my belly for about two seconds as I rock forward, finally get  a hand on my precious phone, and then rock back, victorious.

I don't notice how much my foot stings or that there's blood until I'm walking back to the car... and then up to the apartment to tell Leighton what I did and neosporin the heck out of my scrapes... which then begin to burn with an unholy fire and make me whimper like a little girl. I have never before experienced such a painful, throbbing scrape. Even now, three whole days later, the affected toes are stiff and the slightest brush against them makes me wince.

Below I have included a picture of said foot as proof. Yes, the scrapes look little, but they are evil, so don't underestimate them. Also, please ignore my ankle. It's not really that big, I swear. It's just the angle.


Moral of the story: If you ever throw your phone in the dumpster and you're almost seven months pregnant... wait for your big strong husband to come and retrieve it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Look At The Tiny Clothes!

Did you know babies are expensive? I thought I did before we got pregnant, but the farther along I get the more I realize, "Hey, this kid is going to cost way more than she should if I'm not careful." It's easy to get wrapped up in the cuteness of all the teensy weensy baby clothes and toys and gear. I mean have you seen some of the outfits they make for baby girls lately? Look at them. Just look!

 

Too cute, right? I could literally spend a fortune buying stuff like that. Useless but adorable little outfits the baby will wear once and outgrow in a week but that will live forever in the thousands of photos I'm sure I'll take of her sporting them. And that's just the clothes!

Given the chance (and a credit card sans limits), I could so go for a brand new Bugaboo stroller (thats like, $800-$1000, folks), or a $2000 nursery set. But alas, my credit card has a limit, and so do my sensibilities, thank goodness.

Practically since conception (okay fine, since before conception), I've been putting together lists and researching the gear we'll need once baby girl is here. And I do mean the things we'll need, not the nice to haves that might make things teensy bit easier but would ultimately take up space we don't really have and complicate the whole baby raising thing. So diligent have I been that I think we can swing the baby furnishing business for under $1000, which would include the clothes, diapers, nursing equipment, swaddle wraps, stroller, car seat, crib, etc, etc. Really all the big things baby would need for the first couple of years and all of the little things she'll need in those first few months. And some of the things are actually the versions I've been lusting over!

Like this thing: The City Micro. Isn't it pretty?


And this Pack N Play.

And this crib with a dust ruffle I'll make myself.


So to summarize, I feel like I am prepared for this baby business. I think I can handle the wilds of the Target baby section without emptying the contents of our bank account...while still getting the (comparatively) few things we need in the styles we want.

Gosh, I should have been a boy scout.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Anxiety/Stress/Worry Wart

So you know the name of this blog? Anxiousosity? Life has been sort of like that lately.

It's not that things aren't going well lately, because really they're going splendidly. Here's a list of amazing things to illustrate my point.

1. I've hit the third trimester of the pregnancy, which means baby is two thirds of the way cooked and getting bigger by the minute. In 12 short weeks (give or take) she will be here and we will be a family of three instead of a family of two. We're sort of ridiculously ecstatic about it.

2. We've sort of revolutionized the way we operate at home, in that we've managed to make scripture study and prayer a focus of ours. It has made such a difference in our stress levels, being able to center ourselves in that way and acknowledge that, "Hey, things will work out the way the Lord wants them to work out, so its all good. He has a plan for us."

3. Leighton has had a ton of interviews lately with several different companies, a couple of which have expressed interest in him for multiple positions.

4. I've been feeling a ton better towards the end of the pregnancy than I did at the beginning, so I've been baking/walking/blogging more than I have in a while.

So there's that. But still, despite all of the awesome in our lives lately, I can't stop myself from worrying.

What if the baby comes early and we're not ready? What if she comes late and I'm too ready? What if I suck at giving birth? What if I suck at breast feeding? What if I suck at momming (yeah, I just made that word up)?

And then there's the job hunt stress. I've never been so anxious about any job of my own as I am about Leighton's future career, and I think a lot of the stress simply stems from not knowing what the heck is going to happen. Is he going to get a job locally? In a different state? Not at all? Is he going to have multiple offers? Are we going to have to move before the baby is born? Am I going to have to give birth in a strange city with a strange doctor? If Leighton does get a job before the baby is born, will his insurance kick in in time to cover her hospital expenses? Where should I start looking at housing? Will we be in a house or an apartment? Will we be able to afford a second car or will we be a one Honda Civic family with a teensy baby to shuttle to and from appointments? Is my head going to explode from not being about to plan out every little detail about our future? Probably yes.

The job questions have been over-whelming us lately as we wait to hear back from various potentials and to interview for positions Leighton has been contacted about. We were hoping to have things figured out by the end of March, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. So in the meantime, I'm going to continue trying to focus on number 2 above. Having hope and faith that things will work out, even if its not in a way that we expected. And patience. I'll practice lots and lots of patience.

Oi Vey.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Too Much Information

This pregnant body of mine is odd. Of course there is the obvious bulging belly and discomfort that comes with that, but there are also other things I never really thought about (but probably should have).

Like did you know that when you're pregnant, you'll probably have to pee every three-five minutes between when you lay down for bed and when you finally fall asleep half an hour late? Thats about six trips to the bathroom in a very short time, and each and every trip means you have to roll over and heft yourself out of the bed, stumble through the darkness to the toilet, and sit in whichever position best empties your bladder before finishing up and returning to bed. And it's not like it's a teensy trickle every time I go. Nope, it's a solid stream, even if I haven't had water for hours. What is with that?

Also, when you're pregnant you lose a lot of weight randomly in the night. When I was losing weight on purpose my average loss between the end of the day and the next morning was 2 pounds. Last night I dropped over four. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I pee all night long. And sweat a lot at night. Pity my husband who has to sleep in the same bed as me.

Other odd things about pregnancy include but are not limited to:

Huge boobs that produce colostrum.

A sharp pain on the left hand side of your lower back that cripples you when it acts up, making you hobble like an old woman.

Gas.

Watching your stomach jump every time the baby decides to move.

Braxton Hicks Contractions (they don't hurt, but your stomach gets all tight and hard and it's super odd).

New stretch marks.

Teary eyes (possibly related to the sweating and peeing?)

The throbbing in your belly when you walk too much and your uterus bounces all over.

Zero change in my skin. I thought pregnancy was supposed to clear up my spots or make them worse! Nope. Unchanged.

And for now, that's all I can think of. So here's a picture of 28 weeks pregnant me to reward you for reading through all this nonsense.

Yeah. it was taken early morning. That's why my pregnancy glow is out of control. ;)

Friday, March 15, 2013

And Maybe I'll Join the PTA.

I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to be the parent all my kids teachers hate, and I'm okay with that. I mean really, isn't it the job of a parent to advocate for their child when the child can't advocate for itself? Shouldn't we want to teach our children that just because someone is an adult doesn't mean they have a right to do whatever they want? Of course I want to teach my children to respect others and do their homework and do the right thing... but that doesn't mean letting someone walk all over them.

Take Cedric, for example. Sweetest hufflepuff puppy on the planet. He is excitable, and we're working on getting him to be more sedate when he meets new people, but I recognize that it's a work in progress  and that because he weighs fifty pounds, the same behavior someone wouldn't complain about in a smaller dog (jumping, running into you, wanting to cuddle) might be more irritating or unacceptable from Cedric. Still, the only thing stopping me from going down stairs to ream the person who stood by as their much larger dog  attacked our excited, friendly puppy, was the fact that I was in pajamas and too occupied with cleaning the scratches on my baby's forehead to care whether these people took another breath.

I think it's the same with children. Yes, your child may have copped an attitude with a teacher, and you should discuss that the way they chose to address the issue was inappropriate, and so on and so forth... but that doesn't change the fact that the teacher was attempting to belittle your child over a non class related issue and then lost his temper and lifted and slammed a desk onto the ground while screaming... Not that this ever happened to me in a freshman algebra class at Florence High School. I feel like in a situation like this, I would have a duty to defend my child, to make sure the teacher and the school knew that his actions were unacceptable.

Sometimes kids act up, and I get that parents should be working to help their children become thoughtful, respectful adults and supporting teachers in trying to educate them... but at school, the parent is their child's only advocate, and when an authority figure steps out of line, goes on a power trip, is unreasonable (it does happen; educators --while amazing-- are not always perfect)... if you don't stand up for your kid, no one else is going to. You have to be in their corner. That doesn't mean you support them in behaving poorly or performing below their level... it means you stand up for them when they are in the right, and even sometimes when they are in the wrong but the school is too. And you help your child learn to stand up for themselves in a respectful way, teach them how to be their own advocates when they're older.

Yup. My kids teachers are going to love me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Self Discovery Calling

Yesterday I got a call from one of my dearest friends, Olivia McQueen. It started out as most conversations do. "Hey, how are you? Remember that one time?" But quickly it evolved (as our conversations always do) into so much more. I came away from it an hour later much wiser than I had been before about myself and what exactly I want out of life. That's what's amazing about best friends. You can go months without speaking and then one of you picks up the phone and its all self discovery and laughter.

This time, we talked a lot about food and about our relationships to it --I won't go into too much detail because I'm pretty sure I've discussed it before on this blog in depth-- and about how hard it is to change the way we think about food. From a young age we are taught that food is not only a physical need, but an emotional one. Think about the times your parents offered you a cookie for cleaning your room, or promised McDonalds if you would behave in the grocery store. They turned food into a happy reward rather than a physical need and taught us that it doesn't come with rules. Food is a pacifier and a bribe and so much more than just something to enjoy a few times a day. That's not to say our parents were bad parents, because I think we all know that is far from the truth. No, it just means that as a culture we view food as more flexible than perhaps it should be, more emotional than is strictly healthy. I know I have had this issue for a very long time and its something that I am still working on changing.

Ideally, I'd like to enjoy food (cooking, eating, sharing), but with limits and rules. I want to look forward to my meals because they are a filling, delicious constant... not grab a Honey-Bun (oh delicious pastry!) because I'm a bit hungry and there's still an hour until lunch. I want to do away with snacking and instead put more effort and substance into my meals and creating a ritual around them that is pleasing to the eye and to the stomach. And yes, getting to that point is going to be oh-so-very hard for me and for my family when food is so flexible all around us. I'm sure my children are going to wonder why the other kids in sacrament meeting are chowing down on cheerios and they're waiting until lunchtime to eat... but I think in the long run it will be worth it to be able to teach them that food is something to be enjoyed, but not something that should rule us or something we should turn to when we're bored or unhappy or happy or sad or any number of emotions. Of course wanting structure surrounding food in my home doesn't mean I don't want to ever  be flexible about food. I think it's definitely still appropriate to go out for ice cream with your children or gorge yourself on sweets at a birthday party, but I want my children to recognize these events as exceptions rather than the rule, and be able to enjoy things in moderation and on a schedule for the most part.

Really what I want is happy, well rounded children who love God, love others, and love themselves. I think if I can teach them those three things, I'll have been a success as a parent, and all the rest will be gravy (food pun intended).

As long as we're confessing our deepest desires though, I do want all of the gravy as well. I want to be a stay at home mother who keeps a clean, beautiful home, throws elegant parties, cooks delicious and diverse meals, manages to do her makeup in the morning, plays with her children, loves her husband, is involved in the community, and still manages to find some sort of professional fulfillment. I want it all, and to me that's everything. I don't care if it makes me seem backward or if you think choosing to stay at home and find enjoyment in caring for a family and making a house beautiful is somehow wasting my education. I know the truth, and so does my husband. I am intelligent. I am strong willed. I am creative. I am passionate. I am a partner in my marriage, not a subject. And I have always known that what I desire above all else is a happy family I can devote myself to enriching. No matter how many women find a majority of their fulfillment in their careers, I know that could never be me. I enjoy cooking. I like to create beautiful things. Planning events  thrills me. This is my bliss. And yes, there has to be a balance between the me who works at what I love within the home, and the me who wants to be recognized publicly for her creativity --and I am working on figuring that out-- but as a wise friend told me yesterday, "homemaking is an art," and I am an artist, and I want this to be my medium. It's a choice, not something I have been relegated to. I have made a conscious decision to focus my energies in this direction and my husband recognizes and appreciates that, just as he would recognize and appreciate my desire to work outside of the home if I found that this really wasn't my bliss after all.

I think that's the beauty of feminism in this day and age. I may choose to stay home with children and cook and clean and do all manner of house-wifely things... but its a choice, and no one should doubt that I am capable of whatever I set my mind to.