Monday, October 29, 2007

tick tock

i actually managed to take it easy this weekend. it was very hard, but i made it.

friday after lunch, i had started to get a headache and was feeling pretty weary, and ended up leaving work early. i headed home and did my cleaning. after dinner, my head continued to get worse, so i took a tylenol and a warm bath. my head felt better for about an hour, but then continued to get worse. after watching a little tv, i decided to take a benedryl and head to bed, thinking it was my sinuses (which have been bothering me a little lately). well, my head continued to get worse and worse, and i felt nauseous and just horrible. i ended up being up all night sick. bryan and i decided it was probably food poisoning. i had eaten lunch at the cafeteria in my building, so it was probably the salad dressing. luckily (ha!) the most common type of food poisoning is botulism, which is too big to be passed on to the baby. so he probably didn't have such a hellish night, just a bit noisy. i felt like i wasn't going to make it, but bryan was super sweet and took care of me all night. once i finally got it out of my system i immediately began to feel better.

saturday morning, i had a bit of a lingering headache, but staying in bed until 10am helped ease that some! we did wake up earlier, and i got up a few times to shower and start laundry BUT! we didn't officially get up until 10. we laid around and watched some tv until i couldn't just lay around anymore. we headed to target to exchange a baby toy, which ended up taking pretty much all morning. the first target we went to didn't have any items to exchange it with (that worked), and the lady had already rung through the exchange. so she had to cancel it out so we could take the item to another target to exchange it. since it had been bought of our gift registry, it made more sense to exchange rather than return it since they don't always give you 100% of the price because they can't see the price on the registry/gift receipt. so we headed on to the second target, where they did have a valid exchange. however, when the clerk tried to ring through the exchange, the system wouldn't let her, telling her the item had already been exchanged. so she had to call their main line to get a code to let her do it. after nearly 15 minutes being on and off hold with what must have been the slowest foreign call rep ever, who couldn't see to understand the problem, the rep told her "thanks for calling target, have a nice day" and hung up on her, having done nothing. the clerk was like WTF. she called back and got someone smart and had it taken care of in a heartbeat. it was slightly amusing. the clerk was very apologetic, and gave us some target coupons. all in all, it was worth it - i get $6 off my next target purchase! ;)

i spent the rest of the day saturday watching tv, playing video games, and napping on the couch (it was a GREAT nap). and doing laundry, but that was easy. we went to mom and dad's for chili and cornbread for dinner, which was deeeeelicious.

sunday we decided to skip church in order to continue our resting. we didn't even leave the house, it was great. i watched the jane austen bookclub, which was really cute. i didn't get a chance to nap, since during my naptime it turned out to also be trick or treating in our neighborhood. it was a lot of fun seeing all the cute little kids dressed up. there were some really good costumes and some not so great ones. folded the laundry, had some dinner, played some video games, went to bed. it was pretty difficult being so lazy all weekend BUT it was very nice too.

no baby, though. we're still waiting on that. we keep telling him he can come whenever, but apparently he's heard my manager and is listening to her (who is sure he will either come late or never come at all... she is in denial and knows it). ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

waiting game

well, had another doctor's appointment this morning, and no major changes. i'm still pretty happy though, since things ARE moving, even if it's really slow and not anything too advanced yet. it's still way better than nothing. the doc did say he is going to the badgers game on saturday, so that would not be a good day to go into labor. ;)

we went and visited maggie last night to see the updates to her super cute new house. we had fun sitting around and chatting, which i must say mags and i are pretty good at. :)

folks here at work threw a mini baby shower for me today, which was surprising and very sweet. they bought a cake and some presents for me, including a really neat mirror that sings, talks, and you can even plug your mp3 player into. everyone keeps coming by to squeeze the various parts. everyone will either really know their colors or be very annoyed by the end of the day.

that's it. baby watch 2007 continues!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

dinners are DONE

i got the last few planned meals in the freezer last night - 2 pans of enchiladas, using bryan's superb chile sauce. i still need to make some pie dough for chicken pot pie toppers, but that is IT. so we're pretty set for ahile. now we just need the baby! :)

i did realize on the way home, however, that we will be needing lunches for the 4 - 6 weeks that i will be home from work . . . but the DINNERS are done! ;)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

weekened madness

well, once again i managed to take it not quite easy.

friday after work, i treated myself by not cleaning the house in my "every nook and cranny" way as normal, and instead did the basics. if everything goes right, next friday will be my last chance before oliver arrives, so i'll be doing an extra super cleaning then. bryan and i watched license to wed, which was [expectedly] stupid, but had some funny lines, and was perfect to lay on the couch and zone out to.

saturday morning, i had a hair appointment... finally!! i had needed a haircut since... umm... the beginning of march... so it was nice to finally get around to it (we've had a busy year, that's all i can say - plus my stylist in atlanta was a genius so i was afraid to try someone new). i saw my sister shannon's stylist at vici capelli, and she did a great job. my hair looks super cute, and will be ultra low maintenance when ollie is born.

i hit the walgreens for some vitamins, and kohls for a tablerunner, where i got distracted by the latest sale (i swear 80% of their merchandise is always 50 - 75% off), and picked up a few extras. i ran home to grab bryan, and we headed out to sams club, where it turns out you can't leave for under $100 because everything costs at least $10. we grabbed a few items from the grocery store, and headed home to start some cooking.

while i was at the salon, bryan had made some pizza dough to freeze. while he generally avoids flour (i.e. baking) like the plague, his pizza dough is other worldly, and thus falls under his domain. he worked on a chile paste, which involves roasting dried chiles, reconstituting them, and running them through a food mill. he made a GIANT batch, and used about 1/3 of it to make a chile sauce for my enchiladas and we froze the other 5 cups. meanwhile, i played a new puzzle game he had downloaded to the xbox for me. once the kitchen was a little clearer, i made a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough to freeze. mmmmmmmhmmmmmmmmm.

bryan carted up a bunch of rubbermaid bins from the basement to the bedroom for me, so i could switch out our clothes for cold weather clothes. turns out, of the 8 or so bins, only one contained his clothes. he already had most of his clothes in his dresser/closet, and i just needed to unpack his sweaters. i, on the other hand, had pretty much NONE of my clothes unpacked, since none of them have fit since, oh, may. so i spent a few hours unpacking, organizing, and packing up non-winter clothes. that may not sound like fun to you, but i enjoyed it very much, and it really made me look forward to my future project of creating a storage and organization system in the basement for this type of stuff. i am TOTALLY buying a labeler (oh the excitement!)!

bryan and i had a lovely romantic dinner at chez jacques, downtown. our "secret date place" in atlanta was a little french place, so we had been on the lookout for something similar. i had heard a lot of good things about chez jacques, so we decided it was the perfect spot to have one final date before we become parents. :) we started with the Bouchee D’escargots (puffed pastry with french snails), since i am an escargot lover. these were quite good, although we did find them a little oversalted to our tastes, and the garlic had not been cooked down and was cut rather large... and there was a lot of it. the flavor was good, if a little over the top, and i felt like a fire breathing dragon for a little while. the snails themselves were very tender. we also had the mussel special, which were steamed mussels in a white wine cream sauce. they were good, although they seemed a little more seafood-y to me than normal. bryan assured me that they were fine, and it was just my overly sensitive taste buds. :) for dinner, i ordered the Croque-Monsieur Frites. i love a good croque monsieur, but was disappointed to find this was hardly what i was expecting, and that mine are far better. i use a the recipe from the jacques and julia cookbook, and it is so over the top and fairly messy (cheese, meat, cheese, mustard, mayo, and toasted in no small amount of butter). this croque had NO mustard or mayo, just ham and cheese, and didn't seem to have been toasted in butter at all. so overall, it was pretty bland and unimpressive. i had the waitress bring me some mustard, which helped, but i brought half of it home. the frites were quite good, however, and bryan and i were able to discern that they were hand cut (which is what i expect without thinking about it, but it's always nice to have that dream come true). bryan had the Coquille Saint-Jacques (sea scallop with vermouth sauce), which he enjoyed. the scallops were just barely this side of done, and he found his overseasoned a bit to his tastes, but since we don't use a ton of salt i think we tend to notice it a bit more. for dessert, we shared an order of chocolate mousse, as well as the dessert special, chocolate terrine. the terrine was sooooooo chocolaty and dense, it made the mousse hardly seem chocolaty at all. almost ridiculous if it wasn't so good. all in all, we enjoyed the experience, and plan on taking a lunch trip back there next month so we can try the crepes (i've got my eye on the roast beef with mushrooms one).

sunday after church, bryan dropped me off at target to get a few last minute baby things while he grabbed a few items at home depot. i'm pretty sure we're totally prepared at this point, if not over prepared. ;) we need to stop thinking about it, in any case, since every time we do we think of something else to buy. dad came over for lunch and computer fun with bryan, while i made a batch of oatmeal cookie dough and parkerhouse rolls for freezing. unfortunately, we don't have enough corn tortillas so i wasn't able to get to the enchiladas. monday night!! i played my new game for some time while bryan and dad talked computers. after dad left, we installed the car seat bases in our cars and made sure we knew how to get the seat in and out. :) it was much easier than i thought! the seat is an even tighter fit in bryan's back seat than we thought it would be, but that's the reason he's getting a new car. i went to take a nap, and unfortunately bryan woke me up. an hour and a half later, but still. the weather was SO gorgeous here all weekend, and i had opened the windows in the bedroom and had such a lovely breeze. a lovely breeze is the perfect place to take a nap. i folded laundry, which is completely abnormal for me (i get it all done over the weekend and then usually wait until the following friday to fold and put it away, because i need the baskets to do laundry again... i know, i am a slacker). we watched some season 3 office episodes, ordered in chinese, and that's about it.

i'm making the final checks off my hospital packing list. the baby's bag has been packed for some time, and now i think i've gotten mine and bryan's bags all set as well. there will be quite a few things to bring to the hospital. :P if my calendar is right, it will be next weekend!!!!!! otherwise, the following week. either way, we're almost there! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

more food holiday goodness

side note - it is also National Pickled Peppers Month (October 1-31). and wouldn't you know it, i started some bread and butter jalapeƱo pepper pickles this week! :)

happy national chocolate cupcake day!

happy national chocolate cupcake day everyone. if you haven't already, go ahead and get yourself a chocolate cupcake. if you already have, go ahead and have another one - it is national chocolate cupcake day, after all. i made 2 dozen to bring into work today and am looking forward to tucking into one! if you're in atlanta and are cupcake-less, i recommend star provisions. you should grab yourself a sandwich for lunch while you're there. you won't be disappointed.

last night, i made a tex-mex casserole to pop into the freezer. it involves 2 kinds of beef and a whole lot of cheese. it's like an american version of chilaquiles. it probably won't suck. i also prepped beef for chili, which is currently simmering in the slow cooker. should be all ready for freezing tonight. i'm making mac n cheese tonight, as well as some garlic breads, to toss into the freezer as well. bryan has promised me pizza dough and chile paste. i'll be using the chile paste to make an enchilada sauce for stacks of frozen enchiladas this weekend. then i swear i am done with freezer foods. although i was thinking freezing cookie dough might be smart too. THEN, i swear, i am done. contrary to popular belief (bryan), i can stop whenever i want. ;)

the massive storm they've been talking about has started to roll through here. we got some wind and rain last night, and the morning started out very windy and a bit rainy. no super thunder and lightening storms though, which is the fun part. the sun is out now, which we haven't seen in a few days. it doesn't really look like we'll be getting anything too exciting. i am holding out hope that the change in barometric pressure will move things along a little bit for oliver. at the doctor's this morning, the doctor confirmed that ollie has dropped and is very, very low (which i had suspected this morning but didn't want to jinx by saying out loud). no dilation yet, BUT things are moving along! he suspects we're on target for the due date or even a week early! :) very exciting news.

last night for dinner bryan braised some pork short ribs. mmmmm they were SO good. he did a basic sauce with tomatoes and brown sugar. they came out SO tender and delicious! perfect fall weather food. we gave the dogs the bones. ally had a medium size one and it took her a few minutes to finish. moose, on the other hand, had a tiny little piece and he SWALLOWED IT WHOLE. i've never seem him do that, and was worried he would get sick since he has such a sensitive stomach and always seems to puke when he over does it. but he managed to hold onto it. he's growing up! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

feeling thankful today

things i am thankful for:

- having had the willpower this morning to not eat candy for breakfast. the woman in the cube next to me brought in halloween candy, and managed to get all my favorites save one (she is forgiven). it's sometimes hard to concentrate on working with a bowl of two-bite baby ruths sitting 3 feet from you.

- knowing that the financial "squeeze" i feel shortly after pay day is due to the fact that after i've paid the bills, bought food and other needed household goods (and perhaps a few extras), i've overpaid our credit cards and made a noticeable deposit into the savings account, not because i don't have enough to cover the bills. it's easy to forget that when we are too tired to cook and want to eat out, or there's a new video game bryan wants, or i find a fantastic deal on a designer wool coat, and i look at our checking account and don't feel comfortable spending the money on said item.

- that due to this, our savings account is growing again, surely and slowly. priority driven budgeting has served us well. we have aways to go (and i'm sure it will always feel that way), and i know there are lots of big ticket expenses coming up (including but not limited to a child, a car, and a new kitchen), but seeing our progress makes me know we can do it.

- experiencing such an easy and perfect pregnancy thus far. for any of the discomfort, in all reality, i have had it very good. so few symptons and no actual problems (knock on wood). i know plenty of women have it a lot harder. i've "hit the wall" and i'm ready to it to be over, but i've loved the experience and hope that in the future i have the opportunity again, and that it's just as delightful.

- being both happy and challenged in my job. part of the happiness comes from the challenge. i've been challenged, and happy, in my employment in recent years, but it's been a long time since it's been both. and everyone here seems to be impressed and thrilled with my work, which is a good feeling.

- having access to my parents. it's been so nice to be near them again, to spend time with them, have the ability to just drop in, and be able to share the excitement of this year with them in such close proximity.
- finding the house we did, in the neighborhood we did, for the price we did. i feel truly blessed about this. i absolutely love *our* home. i enjoy all the improvements we've made, and am excited to continue to do so for years to come. i've been looking forward to owning our own home together for years, and i'm still taken aback at how it all came together so seamlessly for us. bryan kept telling me to be patient, but that's not one of my strong suits. he was right once again, and everything has come out better than we had even hoped to plan for in that arena.

- being one of the few lucky ones to have a loving, attentive, and totally devoted significant other. i can't begin to explain how helpful and supportive bryan has been, even when i am cranky for no reason other than having a 30 pound wiggling bowling ball in my tummy, or too tired to do anything (even talk) other than lay on the couch. he hasn't complained once, and in fact is always there insisting i relax while he takes care of whatever needs taking care of at that moment. in my increasingly weak moments when i can't help but complain about how i am feeling, he smiles and tells me he loves me and how excited he is for this new chapter in our life.

i'm a pretty lucky girl.

Monday, October 15, 2007

just lots of eating

well, my plans to do nothing all weekend did not go quite as planned. still, all in all i don't think i did too bad of a job.

friday night we stayed in. bryan braised beef shanks for dinner, and served that with a wonderful mash and some peas. he also reduced the braising liquid to serve as our sauce. super deliciousness. we stayed up late watching something, though i can't for the life of me remember what. i blame my memory issues the baby and him taking all my blood.

saturday morning, i stayed in bed until 8! i was pretty proud of myself. bryan and i ran out to the grocery store. i know i said i wasn't going to run any errands, but we were pretty much out of vegetables so it was a necessity. we were exploring a store close to my parents, so we stopped in at their house to say hi. mom was home but dad was out getting his tattoo ("26.2" on his left arm). once we got home, i got the laundry going and bryan needed to get some brush to the municipal yard. i took the opportunity to take a nice nap. that evening, bryan made some fantastic grilled porterhouse chops and a butternut squash puree. i made a maple and cider sauce for the pork, and forced bryan to put brown sugar on the squash (i'm not much of a squash person). the pork was fantastic. those bad boys weren't joking around - check out that heft!

we watched 3:10 to yuma and we both enjoyed it immensely. christian bale is one of my favorite actors; he may be a little weird but all his dedication to his roles really reflects in his acting.

i spent sunday afternoon shopping with mom. we had a lot of fun at the mall. got a few cute things, including a zip up hoodie for bryan (which he can never have enough of) and a really cute fleece outfit for ollie (one i had been eyeing and it was finally on sale!), as well as some holiday decorations to hang in the front hall (there's a narrow awkward space that needed *something*). also a few more frames, in my ever present mission to replace all the frames in the house with nicer ones, and yet another christmas gift for hannah (bryan and i have already though of so many things for her we've started her birthday gift list - for APRIL!). we really enjoyed our shopping trip together (even if mom bought stuff for shannon, who wasn't even there... spoiled little princess!! ;) and found some really awesome deals. my legs are still store from walking for 3 hours though. counting down the minutes until i can get home and into an epsom salt jacuzzi (i apologize in advance to oliver for the loud underwater noises).

mom and dad came over for dinner, and bryan made pollo verde. it was soooooooooo good. we had whole chicken legs, which he halved, and braised in beer and chicken stock along with some of his homemade tomatillo sauce. the skin crisped up so nicely, and all the liquids cooked into quite a few of the "good bits" on the bottom of the pan (have i ever mentioned how much we *LOVE* our cast iron?). he served that with some additional tomatillo sauce, and some rice with saffron, peas, and tomatoes. it was incredibly delicious and i wish we had leftover chicken but we scarfed it all down (see photo evidence below). mom and i had picked up some caramel cashew custard from kopps on the way home, and served that along with a sugar cookie for dessert. positively delightful.

so, i didn't exactly stay at home on the couch, BUT i didn't accomplish much of anything either. so i'll still claim it as a win. :)

bryan and i are going to make one final effort this week to pack up some more freezer meals, and i'm also going to work on finishing packing my hospital bag. only 3 more weeks to go!! :) i plan on making another effort to relax next weekend. i'll get it right one of these days.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

lessons from a homeowner

i think i've become more laid back as a homeowner. not willingly, mind you, but i've learned a lot through this process.

first and foremost, it can't all get done. it simply can't. before we moved in, i had a list of things i wanted to have done before the end of the year. however, once we started doing projects, i was smacked with the reality stick big time. everything takes more time and effort than you think it will (when you're doing the work yourself).

and part of the time involved is "tired time." after spending all day stripping wallpaper, painting, doing yard work, moving boxes, and running 572 errands (or some combination thereof), you simply are too tired to do anything more. not all hours of the day are as usable as you thought they'd be.

also, everything costs more than you thought it would. always. everything. there's always 10 more things you have to buy to complete a project that you didn't think of initially. or the one and only thing you actually need costs twice as much as you thought it would because you couldn't go with the cheaper version for one reason or another.

because of all this, some work just isn't as important as you thought it was. that dated floral wallpaper in the downstairs bath? totally staying until next summer. the even uglier wallpaper in the stairwell? not going anywhere. all the hideously outdated light fixtures i thought just had to be replaced before we moved in? not only are they still there but i'm not even searching for replacements. finishing the basement before the baby comes? only in my dreams.

that and the list never ends. it just keeps getting bigger. the more projects you do, the more projects you think of to do. some of them are required (like patching the master bedroom wall that got scraped up while moving furniture to re-work wiring), and some just sound like a good idea (wouldn't it be nice if the 2.5 car garage were BIGGER??).

and to think we bought a house that didn't NEED any work.

don't get me wrong - i LOVE our house. the layout is perfect for us, it's a great size, the yard is great, the neighborhood is great. it's not at all like i pictured it would be (i love old houses with beautiful woodwork; i ended up with what was once a 60s brick ranch - which i hate - with a second story added in the 70s), but in the end, it is more than we had hoped for. we were so lucky to find it (4 days on the market), lucky to have such hassle free negotiations (our original offer was accepted less than 24 hours after we submitted it, and our request to have $7200 worth of work done in the basement was agreed to immediately), not to mention lucky to get it for the price we did (we got a good deal). the home has been meticulously cared for (we are only the 3rd owners) and did not need a single bit of work in order for us to move in. not that that stopped us from stripping wallpaper, painting, putting up a fence, pulling out kitchen cabinets and the countertop stovetop (and rerouting a gas line) to make way for a new oven, running a new water line for a new fridge, and buying a few new light fixtures (that was all me) - before we even moved in. we've since completed painting, tore out 90% of the pre-existing bushes, planted 13 rose bushes and over 100 tulip bulbs, installed a doggie dooley (that was all bryan), to name a few. and we still want to finish the basement, remodel the kitchen, pull out some carpeting and refinish the wood floor underneath - before next summer (i have some other projects planned for the summer).

i guess i've just come to realize that all those things we always said "well if it were OUR house" to while renting, now we have made into real live projects, since it is our house. :)

and i couldn't be happier, exhaustion, money, and endless lists and all!!! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


mom and dad came over for dinner last night. bryan made his famous chicken wings (with his homemade hot sauce), and then they played some wii. i think dad is in love. :) mom had fun too. i see a wii in their future!!

it rained some so it has finally cooled down here. let's hope it stays that way!!

Monday, October 8, 2007


4 weeks and counting! i swear i look bigger in pictures than i do in the mirror, or even how i feel! :)

the weekend was great.

friday, i left work early, as i had finished everything i needed to do and my brain was totally fried from working hard all week. got some cleaning done, and finally committed to hanging pictures on the walls in the hallways. i had bought a ton of nice new frames but just couldn't figure our how i wanted to arrange them on the walls. so they sat on the piano for 3 weeks. now they are finally on the walls and they look great!

we headed out to southridge mall so bryan could return his loaner phone and give them his old phone (his broke so they had sent him a new one). we hit up the disney store, where i got ollie a couple of cute sweaters, and a great christmas gift for hannah. they have the CUTEST halloween costumes too. they're pretty expensive, but they're all exceedingly nice. they all even had cute matching shoes!! my favorite one was the elizabeth swan as pirate captain from pirates of the caribbean: at world's end. too bad hannah won't be with us this halloween. i really enjoy making her a special costume every year, but these were so rockin' i would have totally sunk $100 to see her in one!! yes, she's super spoiled.

we then attempted to go to a nearby sushi place for dinner. there was a small line when we got there, and it became apparent that they were pretty unorganized. there appeared to be 1 waitress and 2 busboys running the front of the house. the waitress was not taking names but rather just asking the assembled group who was next. it didn't take us too long to be seated by one of the busboys, though. however, no one brought us menus, so bryan grabbed some off an uncleared empty table for us. we sat there for 10+ minutes and no one even brought us water. i understand there was 1 waitress and the place was pretty busy, but there were less than 15 tables in the place. someone could have brought us water. after being there for about 20 minutes we decided to leave. way lame. so we walked out and headed to a different sushi and hibachi place, fujiyama. we elected to sit in the sushi room instead of the hibachi room, which turned out to be a good choice. someone was celebrating a birthday at one of the hibachi tables, and there was lots of loud yelling. there also seemed to be something to do with loud music and strobe lights, though we couldn't see what. we assumed karaoke but couldn't see and didn't really hear drunk people singing. bryan ordered a sashimi and sushi plate, and i ordered beef negimi and an asparagus roll (in an attempt to find the asapragus and cream cheese tempura maki that was my favorite at ru san's - it didn't have cream chese but it did have toasted sesame seeds so i was able to get by). overall we enjoyed our dinner very much. i had just been thinking how we needed to find a new sushi place. ta-da!

i had vowed to sleep in saturday morning, and hoped to stay in bed until 8. unfortunately, i woke up around 6:15. i tried to stay in bed but just wasn't going to fall back asleep, so i got up just after 6:30. oh well, i tried. i puttered around the house for a bit, then bryan and i headed out to run errands just after 8.

our first stop was krispy kreme. while we waited to order, one of the girls gave us a free hot glazed donut right off the line. let me tell you, those who don't understand the krispy kreme phenomenon have never had a piping hot, glazed donut fresh out of the fryer. it's like melted butter, vanilla, and sugar. so that was a great way to start out the morning.

we make a quick stop at home depot to get some grass seed, and they were holding one of their workshops. only this one was for kids! the kids were going to build wooden fire trucks, and on our way out we saw some real fire trucks pulling into the parking lot, presumably so the kids could see them. what kid doesn't love a fire truck?? i hadn't known that they held workshops for kids, so we got pretty excited over the though of attending some with oliver. even though that's still a few years away. :)

our next stop was target, and wouldn't you know it, they happened to have one wii in stock!! i figured we should buy it just because, well, there was one, and i knew we'd get one eventually, BUT i put my foot down and said no. however, we were all of 10 steps away from the gaming aisle before bryan managed to convince me we should just go ahead and buy it now. so, we are now the proud owners of a wii (merry christmas, bryan!!!!!). we did some quick grocery shopping and rushed home to set it up.

after a few rounds to familiarize ourselves with the controls (yes, i played, and yes, it was fun), we drove out to sam's club. we thought it would be worthwhile to become members considering the amount of diapers and formula we will be purchasing over the next few years. we are officially middle america. let me tell you, the people who work there are extremely dense. bryan started joking around like he always does and i told him to knock it off because not only did the employees there not get it, but i'm pretty sure they were in danger of hurting themselves by trying (that saying "don't squish the pea" comes to mind). once we got signed up, we wandered around and looked at the giant products. we bought some chicken wings to go with bryan's homemade hot sauce, and bryan found the biggest barrel of cheese puffs you've ever seen. mostly we were excited about the large cuts of meat (whole beef and pork tenderloins, bone-in prime rib, semi trimmed brisket).

then it was back home, where i made a cassoulet to freeze, roasted a chicken for chicken pot pie filling to freeze, and started thawing 2 big beef roasts (one for shepherd's pie and one for irish stew - both for freezing). somewhere in there i also made baked masticcoli with roasted patty pan squash and garlic bread for dinner. once dinner was finished, so was i. cooking all afternoon in the kitchen after shopping all day meant my feet were DONE, plus it was nearly 90 degrees AND humid out (which is totally abnormal for this part of the country this time of the year). i crashed on the couch to watch some of our programs with bryan before bed.

sunday afternoon, we headed down to the lakefront with mom to see dad finish his 14th or so marathon, the lakefront marathon. there was a fantastic breeze coming off the lake and no humidity, so it was a perfect afternoon on the lake (even though i did get a little sunburned). unfortunately for the runners, they didn't get to run along the lake until 6 miles or so left, so the run pretty much sucked a bunch for everyone. apparently the officials were telling everyone to run slow, and lots of people were passing out because of the heat and humidity. around mile 16, dad realized his pace was not quite on target, so he took it easy the rest of the way in. his wasn't happy with his time but knew it was the heat. unfortunately he didn't feel too well the rest of the day because of it as well. as we were sitting around chatting, we saw a big rain cloud coming across the lake from the south towards us, so we headed back to the car so we wouldn't get wet. we got a quick 5 minute downpour soon after we got home, but then it was right back to sun and heat.

i spent the afternoon roasting a lovely beef roast, and making the other roast into the best beef and guinness stew i have ever tasted much less made. i must say, i am pretty proud of the stew. i'm not 100% sure what i did (but i have some guesses and won't be sharing my secrets), but the broth turned out so perfect - silky, rich, and with the most amazing flavor. all bryan could say was wow - i didn't know it could taste so good. i am happy to have that recipe up my sleeve! i packaged the stew in 2 different ways (one dinner in a freezer bag, and the other in a deep aluminum tin), so we'll see which works out better.

after a quick nap, we went to mom and dad's for a steak (bryan's request) and burger (my request) dinner and the packers game. i didn't make it too far into the start of the game before i was dozing on the couch, so we headed home. while i really just wanted to go to bed, i shredded my roast beef, and proceeded to make shepherd's pie. i had made my mashed potatoes earlier in the day (bryan gallantly peeled them after the boiling - fingers are for burning!!). instead of mashing with a masher or a whisk, i put them through the food mill. and mmmm they turned out so light and creamy. so i prepped my veggies, made my sauce, and packaged them up (2 in total). so that was another *5* dinners in the freezer this weekend, and i've still got all the bits to put together for our chicken pot pie filling yet! i've filled up the freezer above the basement fridge and have started to fill up the back half of the chest freezer. thank goodness we have so much freezer room!

after that, i was pretty much cooked. i took a cool shower and crashed in bed. didn't want to get up this morning. probably could have stayed in bed until 8 today, go figure!!

the plan for next weekend? relaxing. taking it easy. no errands. no pushing myself. no, seriously. i'm going to try. i can totally do it... as long as i have enough to keep me busy. ;)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

jumpin jack flash

made it safely back into town from my business trip to illinois. barely, but more on that in a minute.

last saturday, bryan and i ran a few errands before heading to the hospital to tour the birthing center. we bought some chocolate covered caramel corn from the cute boy scouts outside of the ace hardware. we went for the big $15 can since it was chocolate covered, and that beat out caramel corn with pecans in bryan's book. :)

the hospital tour was nice. it looks a lot like a hotel, except with extra wide hallways and hospital beds. overall it looks pretty comfy and nice, though. the birthing suites are private and have a lot of amenities. there is also wireless internet access, which bryan was sure to check out as soon as we were in a room. ;)

we headed over to mom and dad's to meet up for the big pig gig in menomonee falls. talk about LAME. i'm glad we didn't pay admission or else i'd really be mad. there was a string of food vendors, mostly local places, though not all were really serving bbq (mozarella sticks? nachos?). the place with the longest line was not local, but they had lots of banners and trophies from events they had won, so we decided they must be the top choice. we must have stood in line for 35 minutes. as we got closer to the front, we determined it appeared to be because they were very inefficient, a suspiscion that was validated once we got up to order. bryan ordered the ribs ($10) and i ordered the brisket sandwich ($8). the idiot taking orders would then turn around and tell the other 2 guys. one guy was standing by the ribs, so he would slice the ribs. then he and the guy taking orders would stand there and watch the 3rd guy as he plated up my sandwich and the sides. holy freaking moly what a bunch of morons. there really was no way they could have been MORE inefficient. so, bryan and i each get our plates, which included beans and corn. my mom ordered the same sandwich i did, and was handed a foil wrapped sandwich. she was like, wait, my daughter got a plate with sides, what the hell is this (for $8)? the guy taking orders was like, oh you got sides? and then HE TOOK MY PLATE OUT OF MY HANDS AND THREW IT AWAY. i was shocked. everyone in front of us got a plate with sides when ordering a sandwich. at that point my mom and i decided there was no way in hell we were paying $8 for a freaking sandwich like that and demanded our money back. it took everything in my not to jump the counter and strangle the guy. the fact i can no longer jump probably helped. it was so freaking ridiculous i still don't know what to say. not only was the whole thing just plain idiotic, but you NEVER take food away from a hungry pregnant lady. NEVER EVER EVER. so the guy gave us our money back, which was actually tokens. i got extra tokens back, but he didn't count them when he pulled them out of the bucket so it wasn't on purpose. i'm pretty sure he couldn't count anyways. he wasn't counting any of the tokens anyone paid him in the first place. i was so tempted to throw dad and bryan's dirty plates at him when they were done, since he seemed to like throwing things away, but i managed to restrain myself from being a total asshole. it was difficult though.

there also did not seem to be a "competition line" of all the competitors, which was what we were really looking forward to. real bbq competitions are serious business, so we had really wanted to see one in action. we hurried to use up our last tokens and got out of there. it was a totally crappy event.

sunday, i had the house all to myself, as bryan and dad headed out to my dad's friend's house to watch football. i got some housework done, made coffee cake and 2 batches of cookies (chocolate chip, and chocolate with mini reeses peanut butter cups) to take along in the car ride for my work trip on monday, and took a nice long nap. it was a rather enjoyable afternoon.

monday, bryan dropped me off at the park & ride, where my coworkers and i were meeting to head out on our business trip. it was POURING rain, which sucked, but cleared up as we headed south. overall, the trip went as well as we had expected. the group i went with is lots of fun, so we had some laughs outside of the meetings at least. we nearly died about 324 times on the way back, since my manager drives like a total lunatic, but we did eventually make it safely back home last night around 7:30. bryan picked me up, and it sure was nice to be back home. oliver was pretty happy to be back home as well. i think he was missing his dad's voice, and he definitely wasn't thrilled with the change to his schedule. we would meet with the client from 8 - 4, work until dinner, then meet again after dinner until 9 or so. he is used to being home and having the luxury of stretching out as i lay on the couch around 4, so he was pretty upset when i was still sitting in a chair then. tuesday afternoon around 4 he started to throw a bit of a fit, and was jumping all around. it seems he got himself so worked up he then got the hiccups. so i had a jumping baby with hiccups in my belly for about 30 minutes. he finally calmed down once we got in the car to go to the hotel, but was pretty fitful all day yesterday as well until we got into the car to head home. he started jumping around a bit as soon as he heard bryan's voice (i think he was pretty happy to be near dad again), but was back to his normal routine by the time we got home.

i'm also extra glad to be back home and eating REAL FOOD. food on business trips is pretty crappy. the main choices are places like applebees, ruby tuesdays, and chilis (which are all the same). we did eat at flat top grill tuesday night for dinner, which is own of those create your own stir fry places. so that was kind of fun. but by dinner last night my taste buds were totally destroyed, and i didn't even want to eat dinner since IT IS ALL THE SAME CRAP EVERYWHERE. but ollie needs to eat and so i did. i can't wait to taste real vegetables again, and a sauce for my meat which isn't man made.

i also finally got the chance last weekend to take pictures of the nursery, so here they are:

i have a frame for hand and foot prints to hang above the dresser.

i hung the picture hannah painted of winnie the pooh above the changing table.

the corner where the swing is is where my rocker will go. the rocker is currently up in the bedroom, since he'll be sleeping up there in a cradle (the one my dad built for me before i was born) for the first month or two.

you'll notice the super cute curtains mom made here!

just another 4 1/2 weeks until that room is put to use!!! :) i can't believe how fast the time has gone, but we have had an abnormally busy year to keep us distracted. i'm keeping up hope that he'll come a little early, and i think with his love of a good schedule and his apparent dislike of being so cramped (at the moment he is trying to dislocate my left hip and remove my bottom right 2 ribs in his quest for more space) i may have a good chance. :)

i'm still pretty beat from the trip (all the working and car diding really took it out of me). too bad i can't slack since the next 4 days will be spent really drilling out these documents and estimates. i wish it were friday at least. it feels like it should be friday!!!! but before getting back to work... i need to go and check up on my celebrity goss. i haven't had a chance all week!