Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year = New You????

(ok, so it's not a NY photo, but it's awesome and a fairly accurate portrayal of our relationship. Also I really like my hair here.)

So it's that time of the year: Top Ten lists, recaps, resolutions. The yule log embers are still glowing, but everyone has moved on.

According to these are the most popular New Year's Resolutions:

Now, I have no idea about that last one, but the first 12 seem to be believable. A few of them are even on my list of things I just want to do: save more money. Take a trip. Volunteer more. But these all feel like no-brainers.

I would like to live a better, longer, healthier, more fulfilling life.

Way to be vague.

I prefer to look at resolutions as a giant to-do list. Major projects that take more than a weekend or two to master. Things that I can look back at at the end of the year and say "I did that."

So here they are, in no particular order:

1) Give birth.
2) Return my body to pre-baby status. This includes (but is not limited to): losing the weight I've put on. Regaining the tone in my arms that comes from climbing and goes when you lay on the couch and eat milkshakes for the better part of nine months. Regain six-pack. (My boobs are another matter. They'll be in use. I hope.)

3) Re-learn how to shoot manually. And by shoot I mean with this:

That "F" up there by the number 75....that stands for FILM. That's right bitches. I am not part of the DSLR elite. I have a PhD (Push here, dummy) and an SLR. It is the latter which has been neglected. I have the knowledge. I've taken the classes. It's all locked in there somewhere. And I've got an infant coming. Who better to use as a test subject for the learning curve? I'm even tempted to make it a weekly-ish posting here. For the rest of the Luddites.

4) Garden. I got a nice start last spring and then I got knocked up and it all went to hell. I have a diagram of our (rental) property as it exists:

Michael Pollan I am not. But I have aspirations. That's not to scale, by the way. I'm not good with scale.

5) Cook more. From scratch. Learn how to make the things we use daily/weekly from scratch: chicken stock, bread, vinegar.  I also want to allow myself to be more creative in the kitchen. We have all of this bounty and I did not take advantage of it this year. (Morning sickness isn't just for the morning, you know.)

6) Blog more regularly. Here and on my Book Review Blog. After all - what good is a consolidation if you still neglect the blog?

7) Climb. Climb. Climb. Climb. What do I miss the most about being pregnant? Not booze. Not sushi. Not soft cheese or lunch meat. Climbing. Cllllliiiiimmmmmmbbbbbbbiiiiiiinnnnnnngggggg.

Castle rock. That's not even real climbing. I'm in hiking shoes for cripe's sake. But it was fun. And it must happen again. Also, those are my ass jeans. I'll fit into those day....

8) Take Advantage of living in California. Mountains. Beach. Napa. Gold Country. We're here. We should make an effort. The state's motto is EUREKA! I feel that's trying to tell us something.

9) Most dauntingly - especially with the baby: finish the novel. It got shelved when I hit the bed in late May and I never returned to it. Rewrite. Edit. Revise. Submit. In that order. That's an ORDER!

10) Figure out the Gregory line. In the ancestry project. It's the one I don't have. Once I have that I can put the family tree in order. Also - edit all of those photos. I have dozens of family photos and they need editing.

(my great-grandfather is all the way on the right)

So there you have it. My personal Top Ten.

Maybe somewhere in there I'll be able to fit in "take over the world" and "cure cancer" but those might just have to wait until next year...

Monday, December 28, 2009

So now that we're ready...

Bunny is behaving as though he's nice and cozy and happy to stay inside where it's warm for two more weeks, thank you very much.

Christmas came and went with a bang (a little one that was overshadowed by the OMFGWE'REHAVINGAKIDINTWOWEEKS anticipation coronary) and we spent the long weekend being lazy together.

We did set up the crib. Lots of people are confused by this, so I'm going to just spell it out.

A) we do not have a lot of room. We have more than we did, but that guest room is going to remain a guest room for the foreseeable future.

B) I'm ok with Bunny sleeping in our room for many reasons, but the two tied for number one are SIDS and Night Feedings. I'm one of those people who greets being woken up before I'm ready with a sneer and a string of curse words. Then I'm grouchy until I have least. So being able to roll over and snuggle Bunny up to boob him without my feet having to hit the (cold) floor is a HUGE bonus. And then Wonderful Morning Person Husband can get up and do his morning thing while Bunny and I sleepily snuggle and boob and then he can come back and take Bunny for a fresh diaper and some Man Time (apparently man time will involve porn, big blocks of cheese, and meat products. Lucky Bunny) while Mama gets twenty more minutes of sleep. How can you argue with that?

So here's the crib setup.

The view from the door. Yes there is a towel on the mattress. We have cats who don't understand that all of these great new cozy places aren't actually for them.

The view from the other side.

We literally just didn't attach the one side of the crib. The trick to being able to rig your crib up in this manner is to get one that converts to a toddler bed. The structural integrity is then on the base pieces and not at all on the railing.

You do have to worry about furniture migration - particularly if you have bare wood floors like we do. The solution: bunjees:

That huge gap will be closed with some kind of foam insert. Either I'll be ambitious and measure and cut and insert so it's all perfectly flush and fitted or I'll do what an inspirational friend of mine did and buy a pool noodle and shove that in there. As long as the gap closes...

In that middle picture, you might notice an egg on the bedside table. It's this:

Baby monitor/thermostat. If it's yellow, then the room is comfortable for a baby - between 66 and 74 degrees. Blue is too cold, Red is too warm.
I have discovered (after being greeted with the current temperature every time I open my eyes) that I am really only comfortable at 70-72 degrees. 68 is ok, but 66 makes me shiver. And I'm running hot lately because that's what pregnant people do.

So there you have it. The "nursery" exists purely to store clothes, and the sleeping quarters are mere inches from the breastaurant. It's win win.

And yes, Polly does think this is her new bed:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Is it a gratuitous picture of you if people request it? (And some baking)

So yesterday I saw a picture of a lovely little cupcake and I was inspired. So I chatted with a baker friend of mine and trolled around and cobbled together some recipes (cupcakes here and ganache here...confession: for the Icing I used a pre-made tub of cream cheese icing with a few drops of peppermint extract mixed in.)

And here's what we got:

I had exactly 24 mini cupcake papers (which is convenient because I have exactly one tin with exactly 24 mini-cupcake reservoirs) and the saintly husband stopped at the store on his way home from work (I know which store he stopped at - he is more of a man than I) and picked up a package of white regular sized papers - which produced exactly 24 regular-sized cupcakes (again - convenient because I have exactly 24 regular-sized cupcake reservoirs.)

I baked them last night and this morning I made the ganache and smeared it on top to add to the mocha-ness.  Then I mixed the cream-cheese icing with a few drops of peppermint to make sure it was well balanced (and hopefully not too toothpaste-like) and piped it on top of the ganache...until I ran out. Then I topped all of them with little peppermint pillows, even the ones with just plain ganache:

The result?

Holiday Cheer:

Then I took them to work and husband is unloading them on his co-workers as you read this.

Now - for the gratuitous pictures of my (GPOYF)

These might be the last ones I take of my belly...Bunny is making overtures of being ready to be an outside baby and I'm far enough along that there will be no moving to stop him once he makes up his mind. In fact - it's speculated that January 11, 2010 (when the c-section is scheduled) is now and "outside" date.  This weekend: pack hospital bag. Install Carseat. Erect Crib.

Blame the sun for the look on my face. This is me at 35weeks, 6days. The ticker to the side there counts down to the c-section, not my actual estimated due-date.

From the other side. Because I can. It *is* called GRATUITOUS Picture of You Friday.

One more for good measure. Yes, I have an outie. My little hoodie says "let it show" and has a snowflake. Because we are all "sacred, unique snowflake[s] of special unique specialness."

Happy Weekending!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A little closet DIY

So I feel like I'm up to my eyeballs in things that need to happen before Bunny comes (in five weeks, for those of you keeping track) and one of those tasks is washing and putting away all of his new clothes. This would be made much easier if our dryer hadn't decided to die over the weekend. (For those of you keeping track, that makes the FIFTH electronic device that I've killed in the past couple of months: printer, dvd player, photoshop, mouse.)

I decided that closet dividers would make the clothing task a little more appealing: we all know how organized I like to be. But I couldn't find any on the market that I liked enough to pay for, so I pulled out my craftiness and got to work.

I started by cutting the flaps off of one of the many, many boxes that have been showing up on our porch.

Covered them with vellum and card stock (using double-sided tape.)

Added the size denotations with a stamp set I've had for a few years and some stickers and ribbon.

And hung them in the closet of the guest room/nursery.

Yes. This is a rental. If it weren't, this closet would have already received a *lot* more attention. As it is, now that I'm going to be opening it more frequently than to retrieve wrapping paper...let's just say that the shelf will be getting a new liner.

Right after I figure out this dryer thing.
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