Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Baby's Room

My parents came to town over the weekend and a whirlwind of projects ensued. For one, The Baby's room is done! My dad and I executed my closet sketch plan, we picked up the dresser and put together the crib (both gifts from The Husband's parents), they edged the front yard, and we organized baby stuff. Here are some pictures.

Before work began

My dad and I putting the crib together. My mom eventually joined in - there were some difficult aspects of the design, but it all seems put together and sturdy.

Hammering nails into the wall and trimming clothesline to hang the ABC cards that Katie from work gave us. They have animals on them and we hung them by clothespins.

Mom and I with the crib together and the decorations up! (Wow, my hair looks bad)

The rocking chair cushions and curtains I sewed. The curtains still need to be hemmed, but you get the general idea.

The new dresser and the little lion bank that Courtney and Scott gave us. It's going up on a shelf that will be above the dresser.

The ABC cards all up. My dad had to respace them 4 or 5 times as we realized more needed to drop to the bottom string. He was very patient. :)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Outside Sounds

I've started to notice unusual sounds at night. We've always had noise from I-44 and freight trains, which have become like soothing auditory blankets at night. We've even acclimated to nightly police, fire and ambulance sirens speeding down Watson or Hampton - plus the occasional police helicopter. In the last few years, the macaw across the street has joined in at intervals CAW! CAW! CAW!

A couple new ones have begun mingling with the usual. Are they new or am I just noticing them more? Is it that I awaken every three hours to go to the bathroom? One is a church bell on the hour. How did I not notice this before? It's undoubtedly been there the entire 8 years I've been in this house.

And then there's the rooster. Yes, the other noises, such as the highway, trains, and sirens imply we are in fact in an urban area. And we are. The City of St. Louis allows up to three chickens per yard. I think their flexibility is terrific, and it's extra considerate when you acknowledge how many immigrants and refugees live in the city. Many of these populations have come from countries where it's quite common to have farm animals in their yards.

So now we regularly year the crow of a rooster from about a block away. I feel like I'm getting used to it. But did you know that roosters don't just crow in the morning? No, they pretty much do it at all hours.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Anybody Got Some Ideas for MORE Projects I Could Do?

I really hate our hall closet. Actually, I've hated it for the last 5 years, I've just never done anything about it. So, with a little over 7 weeks left in my pregnancy I've decided to redesign it. Oh yeah, and I'm also sewing curtains and rocking chair cushion covers for The Baby's room. But back to the closet...

The closet currently has 2 shelves at the top and a coat bar underneath. Under the coats is a plastic drawer, metal rack, and general pandemonium. I pulled everything out and realized we'd just kept buying soap, toothpaste, and saline because we didn't know what we already had. And so the sketch was done. The new design allows us to organize all our bathroom/kitchen linens, bathroom items, yoga mats, weights, and vacuum. Additionally, there's tons of space for little storage cubes to keep everything organized. Another plus is that I've found reusable materials in our chaotic basement and will only need to buy one peice of wood for shelf supports. We already had shelving. I love that.

I did the sketch while The Husband was at work on Saturday. It's glorious. He didn't find it so glorious. Even though I'd been talking about it for months, the appearance of the pencil sketch set off his "change alarm" and he went into partial panic mode. Where will the coats go? What all will be in there? Why is this happening?!?! After a little time, we discussed his concerns and he's on board now. He even made a helpful offer: If I make lines with Sharpie where I want the wood cut, and even mark where the nail holes should go, he would cut and hammer them. Very helpful.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Too Fat

Had a doctor's appointment today and the nurse said I would be in big trouble for being too fat (she didn't say it in those words, but that was the gist). She may have actually said, "Dr. B may yell at you for the number on the scale".

Indeed, he was less than thrilled that I'd gained 16 pounds in 5 weeks. Um, I'm eating for two y'all! Although I'll be honest, I'm pretty much eating for six, and perhaps lounging on the couch for twelve. I'm just really tired and hungry, and more tired and more hungry. I don't think my calories are truly out of control, but the lack of exercise is.

I immediately called The Husband and told him the awesome feedback. He agreed to be motivating and go walking with me. At this point, motivation may mean using one of those nursing home strappy crane things for getting people out of bed.
The picture is of me and my Mom last week in Colorado. See, big, yes?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cheesey Goodness

I'm VERY impressionable right now when it comes to food. Maybe it's pregnancy, maybe it's my perception that I can eat whatever I want because I'm pregnant. And despite the fact that other people say I look great pregnant, I've of course decided that I'm way too big for where I'm at. Really? How would I know? I just feel big and can't imagine that I have three more months to get bigger.

But I digress...we're on the topic of food. One of the case managers from work had macaroni and cheese for lunch the other day (I feel it only fair to say that she's pregnant also), and I just had to have it. I went online to my favorite recipe site, cooks.com, and perused their offerings for mac n' cheese. I found one that looked delicious, and which may also be written by someone who's British (measurements are in pints and grams. I had my dad convert the pint measurement and used our kitchen scale which measures in both grams and ounces. Many items have grams on the packaging and you just need to estimate - which is fine for something like this). I went to the grocery store on my way home and got all the fixins'. I made it immediately, and I have to tell you, it's some of the best mac n' cheese I've ever had. So good that I felt the need to share the recipe. I'm also adding a couple notes on changes I made. If you make it, good luck (although you won't need it, it's super easy).

Simple Macaroni Cheese
Printed from COOKS.COM

1 pt milk (16 oz, I used 2%)
50 g butter (I used Smart Balance)
50 g plain flour
200 g Macaroni pasta
150 g Cheddar cheese (I shredded it to make it melt easier)
50 g Red Leicester cheese to top (it's an Irish cheese in the "fine" cheese section. You could probably use a sharp cheddar)

Boil water and add pasta when boilt. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan, add flour to stir to a roux (paste). Take the roux off the heat and gradually add milk, stirring all the time so as not to get lumpy. Put pan back on a high heat and stir until sauce has thickened. Remove once again from heat and add Cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese has melted. Drain macaroni and put into casserole dish. Pour the cheese sauce on top and sprinkle with Red Leicester cheese (I stirred the macaroni a bit to make sure the sauce made it to the bottom of the dish). Place under a hot grill (I put it in our oven broiler) and wait until the cheese has turned brown. Remove and eat when slightly cooled.

I highly recommend it with cut up tomatoes on the side, or a leafy salad with tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar/olive oil. I had planned a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad but didn't feel like I needed more cheese. I would have taken a picture if we hadn't eaten it all so quickly.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tums Are My Hero

I've grown to love the cool minty smoothness of off-brand Tums. Strangely, my third trimester started on Saturday, and I've had horrible heartburn approximately every 4-6 hours since then. I even woke up at 5 am this morning (mostly from the sound of something the cats had knocked over) and asked The Husband to get me some Tums. I think it's fair to mention that he was already up looking around to see what had been knocked over. I didn't just randomly ask a peacefully sleeping insomniac to get up to do a task for me.

I'm tellin' ya, they work every time I take them. I'm just a little curious on how many I'm allowed to take per day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Name's Carolyn, and I'm a Snow Cone Addict

Let me start out by saying that Murray's Shaved Ice is the devil. Less than 1/2 mile from our house is a seemingly innocuous looking shed. Inside that shed are surly teens who peddle snow cones in about a million different flavors. I'd not paid too much attention to the situation until the recent heat wave. The Husband and I had gone to dinner at Stelina (a delicious little organic place on Watson Rd.) and I wanted something sweet. Ted Drew's Custard, which is less than a mile away? No, we decided on the snow cone shed place across the street from Stelina.

Decisions, decisions. We both got mediums because it seemed like the conservative thing to do - he black cherry and I cherry-cola. They were HUGE! Not only were the cups the size of big gulps, but they also made these huge domes of shaved ice on the top. How were we to get all that in our mouths before the heat wave tumbled them down the fronts of our shirts? We sat on a bench and began working away at them. I finished mine, he put half in the freezer...because he apparently has way more self control than I.

The next day he got his out to finish...and I didn't have one. And so I left the house in 100 degree heat and drove back to Murray's. Now, I'm the type of person that gets the same kind of something every time I go. I know what I like and rarely deviate from said liked item. To be adventurous, and because there were so many flavors to choose from, I decided that I have to get a different flavor every time - or at least until I get down to the gross flavors like birthday cake and banana. This time I got a small in strawberry lemonade - and it was HUGE! Still a big cup and still a massive dome. Incidentally, I ran into K from work and was horrified that she was going to walk around the corner with 2 larges...domes and all! No free hand to wave erratically, just two full hands of massive snow cones.

Oh yeah, the next day I went down to a kiddie, which was completely manageable and got pink lemonade. I think it's worth saying, the smaller you go, the less cost efficient it becomes. A kiddie is $1.50, small is $1.75, medium $2.00...with GIGANTIC size differences. I need to develop my self-control and rotate them in the freezer.

(The picture above is an actual photo from the shed on Watson Road)