Friday, April 27, 2012

A List: Awesome Things for Pregnancy

This is one of those "only gonna wanna read it if you're supremely bored or expecting a baby" kind of posts, so don't tell me I didn't warn you! Flee from this site if there is nothing less in the world you would rather read about. FLEE!

Every woman is going to have their own "must haves," but sometimes it's nice to hear about what's been helpful to others. Mainly, I'm blathering on hoping that the things that have been helpful to me may be helpful to you.


I've talked about this nonstop in the last couple weeks, but I feel I must emphasize how much I've come to love drinking agua. Yesterday, I calculated my daily water intake to be 1-1.25 gallons a day (mind you, I'm talking about just water- this does not include any other beverages or the natural water I'm getting from the food I eat). A gallon a day! Can you believe it? My current relationship with the stuff is summed up pretty well right here:

Ooooh, yeah, water! Truth be told, I feel thirsty ALL THE TIME. It's less about drinking it for health reasons and more about just feeling parched non-stop, but as I've mentioned, water has been a lifesaver in a few ways (and I say this while knocking on wood because I know in throwing it out into the universe, I am tempting fate). One, I'm a regular girl. Yup. Pretty gross, but if we could all just be adults for a moment, doesn't being constipated, like, totally fucking suck? The answer is yes, friends. Two, I have yet to swell up like a crazy balloon (ask me how well this is going in a month when I'm in my third trimester. Again, I am just rolling the dice with fate). And finally, in a baby related way, the more water you drink, the more you pee, thus the more toxins you flush from your body and away from your baby. It's a science lesson I'm not willing to go into, but trust me, water is GOOD.

Kick Ass Nalgene Bottle

A quick side note about Nalgene bottles before I rave about the one I own. These became all the rage when I was in college and I loved the idea of not wasting tons of plastic because of the water I was drinking, so I got a sporty hot pink one. Within a few uses, my water tasted like plastic ALL THE TIME because they hadn't yet figured out that BPA leaches into the drink it's carrying. This has been corrected friends. It's safe to use a Nalgene again!

Does it make me 5 years old for giggling at the fact that it's their "wide mouth" bottle?

Anywho, my friends Sally and Fiona got me an awesome one from Best Friends Animal Society a couple months ago (I would have linked up to the exact bottle, but they don't sell it on their site). It has been a lifesaver because I can tote my huge bottle of water with me wherever I go. I own a couple Sigg bottles, but they just don't hold as much.

L'Occitane Almond Supple Skin Oil

Warning: I am actually a non-believer when it comes to avoiding stretch marks by using lotions or creams. It's comparable to my disbelief that vitamin C can have any positive effects on my health if I'm sick. I'm of the opinion that if you're gonna get stretch marks, you're gonna get stretch marks no matter how many voodoo curses you send their way. Having said that, when your skin is as tight as a drum and comparable to these images, I feel it necessary to point out how damn itchy it gets:

Oh, St. Nick, how do you do it? My friend Jenny gave me this oil from L'Occitane in a "New Mama" basket she sweetly made for me, and while it may or may not tend to any stretch marks I might get, it does help with my seriously itching skin. And I smell like a dream afterward. No joke! 

The Snoogle

You've heard me rave about it, so I'm sure it's no surprise that I am wholeheartedly endorsing The Snoogle. In the vein of things that are great but have horrible names, this full body pillow is certainly a part of those ranks.

I had a near nervous breakdown about a month ago because of my inability to sleep for three days straight. My stomach has gotten too big to comfortably (or safely) sleep on my back and my hips hurt when I lay on my side... tack on peeing at least 3 times a night from all the damn water I drink (see above) and it was exhaustion just waiting to happen. While I still get up a few times a night, The Snoogle has certainly made life easier.

Gap Maternity

It's true. I am straight up sold on Gap Maternity One, they have a plethora of online sales, which helps because while their stuff isn't horribly expensive, I certainly wouldn't call it cheap. Two, they have MANY great basics, including their leggings, their tanks, and dark wash skinny jeans.

I will say, full disclosure, that I'm a bit peeved at them with how quickly things in my size fly out the window right off the bat. Cute dresses and some tops have been just within my reach and then snatched away at a moment's notice. Free shipping on orders over $50 and an easy return policy still make them my go-to shop for clothing that actually fits me.


If you read my bumpdates, you've probably already seen me recommend these, but why not put them in one place where I'm actually recommending things?

About Pregnancy:
Pregnant Chicken (do yourself a favor and read it now)
Baby Center (if you're feeling like a risk taker, go ahead and watch their "real birth" videos. Makes it's VERY real, let me tell you).
Lucie's List (to assuage any baby registry stress... helped me loads!)

Nursery Decor:
Lay Baby Lay (I've actually found a few nifty bits via the inspiration boards here)
Design for MiniKind (launched this week; written by the same gal behind Design for Mankind!
Pinterest (obviously, people, c'mon, get your act together!)

Mom Blogs:
Design Mom
Motherhood Mondays on A Cup of Jo
MomFilter (full disclosure, recently found this, but like what I see so far!)

And I think that's all I got for you folks. Folks? Anyone there?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 24

I feel I should say something about 24, as it is, in fact, my favorite number. It's always brought me luck you see, and so I feel it only fate that the 24th week of my pregnancy would happen the same week as my birthday (on April 24, no less!). If you'll remember back to week 18 when I was taking bets on the sex/birth date of Baby Boy, I chose August 24. However, I think I am going to lose... I have a feeling it's going to be the high teens. We shall see...

Onto the photos!

Musings on weekly photo: I feel I need to point out that photos #3 and #4 are meant to represent my relationship with the mirror these days. Sometimes (especially in dark, monotone clothing), I will look at myself and completely forget I'm pregnant. Until I turn to the side. And then it all comes flooding back. I am constantly shocked by how I look. It doesn't become a familiar sight, even as time passes.

Size of baby: It's all guessing at this point, however, FACT: he's putting on around 4 ounces a week now. That's a pound a month, which is crazy. What's even scarier is that I'll reach a point where he'll pack on a pound a week, which is a lot of stretchy skin, let me tell you.

Movement:  Here's another little unknown fact (ok, maybe this falls into the "things Elizabeth doesn't know that the rest of the world does" category): babies in utero can be startled. A sudden, loud sound can actually make them react. I pointed this out to Kyle last night while we were reading in bed, and he gave a half-hearted attempt to see if he'd kick by shouting "HellO!" Our experiment failed, but it was cute to see Kyle struggle with his inner troublemaker and soon-to-be father role.

Cravings: I don't know if I'd call this a craving, but coconut water and pregnancy are a must! Did I tell you last week I've been going to prenatal yoga? Anyway, one of the ladies in my class was talking about how she's been having horrible leg cramps, and one of the women suggested she drink some coconut water. Ummm, sheer brilliance! Three times the potassium of a banana without the uh, err, plugging up effects? I went and stocked up on this at Costco and it has been a true delight.

Annoyance: DAMN YOU, pregnancy induced acne! I tell ya, I am strict about washing and moisturizing my face. I've decided, however, my hormones find this to be a quaint habit. I feel they almost take my attempts at keeping my skin clear to be a challenge. "OH! So she wants less zits, does she. She wants NO zits?! We'll show her. Yup, you clog her nose. You're in charge of the chin, and please make sure to manifest a monstrosity right around her left eyebrow."

Highlight of the week:  There were quite a few highlights this week. My girls weekend with Ginny and Brittany was off the chain in that it was relaxing, filled with good laughs and delicious food. I cherish those gals and my time with them. Yesterday, I turned 28 and was non-wined and dined by my handsome hubs. I even busted out a somewhat sexy dress, and we got a kick out of watching people look at my bare, long legs than seeing my stomach and watching their eyes bulge out of their heads. It's in the little things, folks.

Non-Highlight of the week: There are a couple non-highlights I feel I must divulge. Firstly, the dreaded glucose test was disgusting, but bearable. Imagine drinking the Sprite syrup that they pump into fountain machines minus any watering down with sparkling seltzer. Oh, and belching it up for 3 hours is a lemon lime dream, let me tell you. Secondly, I sat next to a hardcore smoker in yoga yesterday. PRENATAL yoga. As my friend Matt pointed out, maybe she was taking the yoga to counterbalance the effects of smoking? I wanted to snatch the woman's purse and throw out the carton of cigs I know she had stashed in there, but then I realized I don't make a getaway quite as fast as I used to and ummm, who am I to judge her decisions as a pregnant woman...? Seriously though, I hope she's able to kick the habit soon for the sake of her baby (and her own health).

Fears: I am saying it here and then I am throwing out good vibes into the universe: I fear that Moe's leg issues are not the end of his health problems for the next, oh, 10 years. He is MORE than worth the cost, but I'm hoping the cells that make up his body take a break on him and our bank accounts while we do this whole "becoming parents thing." It would be awesome, Moe's Body. Seriously awesome.

Nursery: I have been nesting up a storm, y'all! Honestly, I have to put a little time in each day or I start to freak out a bit, but it has been so nice to find places for things and figure out what we're going to need to get rid of. Speaking of which, anyone want a white Pottery Barn style desk in the San Diego area? I give it to you real cheap, promise.

Additional Notes: Believe the rumors: pregnancy brain is real. In fact, I may have already mentioned this, but since I can remember jack-shit these days, I'll go ahead and write about it like I haven't. Thoughts fly out of my head the second I have them. Forget about making a cohesive argument; I normally forget what we're arguing about a minute or two in.

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day everyone!

(The crib just came! The crib just came! It appears I've turned into one of "those" people, but I don't give a damn. I'm excited! For the record, Moe did in fact scare the crap out of the delivery men, poor old lugs)

Monday, April 23, 2012

27: A Year in Review

Today is my last day of being 27. As of tomorrow, I take on 28 with a bright, welcoming and hesitant hug.

Not to sound like a total cliche, but I feel each age has something you can take away from it. Not every year is going to bring huge life changing moments or eclipses of insight;  some are more eventful than others, what can I say?

When I think back to where I was last year on this exact day, 26 and about to turn 27, I don't think I could have imagined how much evolution this age had in store for me. Unemployment. Moving. Personal struggles and triumphs. Africa. Pregnancy. Yowza, what a year.

I decided it might be good to give a quick summation of the things I learned, as well as a few things I'm looking forward to educating myself on, at 28.

What I've learned:

Don't ever settle for unhappiness. Even when things seem desperate, they will get better. On this day last year, I was miserable with my life. I hated my job, more so than I even realized, but put up with the misery because the money I was making was good. Also, I think I was so entrenched in my daily reality that it was difficult for me to take a step back and look at how anxiety ridden I had become. It was incredibly unhealthy.

Your self-respect is worth more than ANY paycheck can provide you. I finally found the balls to leave my job after a situation forced me to examine what I had come to accept as my day-to-day reality. If you hate what you're doing or hate the person you're working for, figure out the next step and quit. It's scary and uncomfortable, but good things can only come from following your heart and listening to your gut.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. Experiences, love, laughter... these are the things you will think about when you are close to death. Wow, that took a sudden morbid turn, didn't it?  I am trying, in my pregnant brain stupor, to explain that I have been trying to soak up the goodness in every opportunity life provides me. While some of those experiences couldn't be bottled up and paid for, there are others I will NEVER regret splurging on because adventure, taste, landscapes and moments are memories. And memories (AND LOVE) will keep you company in your old age.

Love is hard work. Ok, so I didn't necessarily learn this lesson this year; it's more of an ongoing bit of discourse. Some days I am loveable. Some days, I am not loveable at all. We all must face the fact that we cannot be loveable all the time!!! So when you find yourself driven to the point of insanity by the person you're with, take a step back and remind yourself of why you fell in love in the first place. And then remind yourself that they too have to take a step back and remind themselves of why they love you.

You are most likely the person who is hardest on yourself. And you should give yourself a break. Try to remember these lovely words from Roald Dahl: “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

What I Think I Might Learn:

How to change a diaper.

What my mom went through to give me life.

How to bake a loaf of bread from scratch (full disclosure: I technically already know how to do this. But I haven't done it on my own yet. So there in lies the challenge/lesson).

How to be a successful freelancer AND stay-at-home mom concurrently. This may be the hardest lesson of all.

Ok, 28... I think I'm ready for you. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 23

There's only one thing that should be going through your head this week as you look at the latest bump pics. And that's Justin Timberlake's SexyBack.

The fun just never stops here, does it folks?

Musings on weekly photo: Oh hey... where did your outrageously bad roots go, Elizabeth?! No biggie, got that taken care of last Friday at Morrison in Laguna Beach (thank goodness for early birthday presents! Thanks, Dad: children no longer scream and run from me when they see my hair). I cannot say enough about how fabulous this salon is, so if you live in Orange County and need some hairapy, try them out! Also, I am really loving the see-through shirt and black leggings combo. Again, I'm bringing sexy back. There's just no denying it.

Size of baby: Well, length wise, I don't think much has changed, but he's around 18-20 ounces. Things'll get REALLY interesting once he makes it to the size of a Mickey's.

Movement:  I read somewhere (somehow) that babies in utero need up to about 14 hours of sleep in the womb (which is about what our dog, Moe, gets). I think this little guy enjoys waking up in the morning and partying down at night, because during the day, there isn't much activity. But once the sun sets, HO, watch out, party people!

Cravings: Nothing new to report on this front except that I still love water with a passion.

Annoyance: One, I need to tell you that the Snoogle Total Body Pillow, which I spoke of last week, seriously changed my life. If you're pregnant and weren't a side sleeper before you got knocked up, I cannot recommend this enough. Yes, it's pricey for a pillow, but when you do a cost/benefit analysis of how much a mental breakdown is going to cost you due to lack of sleep, it is wholeheartedly worth it in the long run. Having said that, my annoyance this week is that spring has officially sprung and my allergies are REALLY ready to make my life a living hell. I broke down on Sunday and got myself an allergy pill, and while I haven't needed one since, it was bliss to not have a stuffy nose. For the record, in case you're wondering if it's safe, yes, it is. I've just been trying to abstain from anything that isn't 100% necessary for me to go on with life.

Highlight of the week:  Hanging out with my sister and getting my hair did. It really was a special Friday afternoon. OH! And finding out that she and my mom surprised me with a ridiculously sweet crib for Baby Boy and his future sibling(s). It arrives tomorrow and I can't wait to feast my eyes on it in person!

Non-Highlight of the week: Taking Moe in for his third surgery yesterday (I'm picking him up in less than an hour)! The poor guy. I swear, he's getting all his health issues out now so that he'll be the easiest member of our family once August rolls around. And the least expensive. Because currently, he's the most.

Fears: I've been wracked with anxiety all week, and some of it's explainable, but some of it is just there and I don't know why. I've been trying to deal with it the way I would tackle anxiety before I got pregnant which ultimately leads to me cooking. Sunday night, I whipped up oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, granola and a tortellini salad with lemon dressing, asparagus, artichoke hearts and Parmesan. I've been feasting on the fruit of my labor all week, so I guess that's one less thing to worry about.

Nursery: It's official. With the crib on its way, we moved our bedroom into what was my office, so this finds me typing away at my kitchen table. The anxiety I previously mentioned is mainly due to the havoc that is my brain in trying to figure out where all our shit will go (our house has no closets... who builds a house with no closets?!).

Additional Notes: Pregnancy dream update: I had a dream on Monday night that I birthed a black baby and had to convince Kyle that it was actually his. Not that there's anything wrong with black babies, but it's a major problem when your husband is most definitely as white as they come.

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day everyone!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Monday!

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
— Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 22

I'm going to apologize in advance for what is sure to be incoherent string of ramblings today. A dramatically lower IQ due to pregnancy paired with exhaustion from three straight nights of horrible sleeping does not an interesting read make. I do, however, promise to include a few great links for those of you who are expecting/curious about the excitement/horror that is pregnancy.

You may remember that I was having camera issues earlier this week. They have not gone away, unfortunately, but I have used the few brain cells I have to rub together in order to come up with the following (I had completely forgotten we have a back up camera!):

Dazzling, huh?

Musings on weekly photo: Enjoy these specially grown roots for the last time. This Friday they are disappearing, though certainly not for good. I'm not a magician, people. Also, HELLO swollen, makeup-less face! Have you ever seen anything that stunning? It just stops you on the spot. And to think Kyle gets to wake up to this every. single. morning.

Size of baby: Senor Sutherland is now over a foot long and well over a pound... wait... so you're saying he's not already 15 pounds? Does this mean I've... gained it on my own?!?!

Movement:  Ricky Martin in the making. He is shaking his bonbon, bonbon.

Cravings: Water. And burgers. Delicious, scrumptious burgers. (A quick side-note on water drinking that may gross a few of you out; if you are a male friend, please just go on to the next bullet point. The problem with pregnancy is it's all subjective. No woman is going to experience it exactly like another. Having said this, I've heard that not being able to crap is an issue for many, but it has not been one for me. You know why? I suck down water like a camel. This bump in front might as well be on my back because there is nothing that can keep me from my agua. If you are pregnant and not a huge fan of water, force yourself to become one now! You will (hopefully and subjectively) not regret it)

Annoyance: Unfortunately, the sleeping issue has gotten worse. I swore to myself I was not going to cave and buy one of those "pregnancy body pillows," but you know what I'm doing today, folks? Caving and buying one of them. I have high hopes for this product in particular... Please don't let me down, Snoogle Total Body Pillow! (Additional side note: who names these products? Snoogle? Seriously?! I genuinely envision a board meeting of Smurfs or gnomes all clad in their little business suits, whiling away the hours as they try to figure out what to name the maternity body pillow they've masterfully crafted with their tiny hands).

Highlight of the week:  Attempting a Yoga Fusion class without reading what Yoga Fusion is. If only you could have heard my laughter (in a room full of people who were there to "seriously workout") when the instructor said we were now moving on to "ab work." Even better, I wish you could have seen the look on the guy's face next to me when I rolled over on to my side, not far from a come hither pose, while everyone else did said ab work. I was thiiiis close to saying, "Hey. What's up? You come here often?"

Non-Highlight of the week: The walk home after Yoga Fusion. Ten minutes of sheer hell (I will save you from the details as to why).
Oh, and the following conversation took place:
Me: Babe, does my ass look bigger to you?
Kyle: No, looks the same to me. 
(10 minutes later, after putting on a pair of what used to be great fitting underwear only to find it barely covered any part of both ass cheeks)
Me: Yup, my ass is bigger. <deflated sigh>

Fears: Full disclosure: the whole "babies are really fucking expensive" thing has been making me anxious. I work from home and not making nearly as much as I'd like to be. In addition, as much as I try beating down the doors of any company's marketing department, I realize that the closer I get to having this baby, the less likely people are going to want to work with me as a consultant. I'm trying to stay positive about it. I also appreciate any leads!

Baby Blog Love: My fellow preggo friend Tav is the master at finding awesome pregnancy blogs, sites and posts. Some have helped me laugh through the scary shit, like registering for baby gear and what not. So here are a few I am currently loving (I have mentioned a few in the past, so sue me):

Alpha Mom's Pregnancy Calendar
Lucie's List
Pregnant Chicken
Lay Baby Lay

Additional Notes: The pregnancy dreams get more and more weird by the day. This week, I have been harassed on a bus filled with ghetto high school kids, who then proceeded to chase me through said ghetto. One night I was married to Tom Arnold, who'd left Hollywood to become a local high school history teacher. I also toured about the Vancouver set of Titanic by Leonardo DiCaprio himself.

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day, everyone!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Green Gazpacho and a Fabulous Weekend

This past weekend was a total success. Friday night, we snagged a bunch of trashed wood from the alley near our house and took it down to the beach. Helllllo, bonfire and burritos! Saturday was a day of enjoyment in La Jolla on the deck of this restaurant, followed by some delicious cooking via me and a bad movie from the 90's (which, sadly, I remember loving when it first came out). Sunday was an Easter brunch and some good laughs with Kyle's family to round it out.

But back to the cooking I did Saturday night. Shock of all shocks, I made enough for plenty of leftovers and thought it would be great to share the meal with you today. So, I set up my little photo shoot during lunch, with my green gazpacho poised near the window for optimal light and a cute little bowl filled with my homemade hummus. I even threw some of Trader Joe's Garlic Naan in the oven to add to the full effect.

I whipped out our camera (because really, what's the point of sharing recipes if there are no photos to entice you?) and tried to snap a few shots. Focus, focus, focus, nothing. Somewhat frustrated, I played around with it a bit, but still: nothing! I figured I was going to have to resort to some shots via my phone, but as luck would have it, my SD card is not registering. This means NO PHOTOS!

I'm not sure how this will effect Hump Day, Bump Day...

Arrrgh. It nearly pissed me off enough to forgo this post all together, but what kind of friend would I be to deny you green gazpacho and homemade hummus due to a little hiccup?

Here is the photo AND recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty for green gazpacho that I snagged via this blog. If you are looking for a book that has delicious vegetarian fare that is made from things you would normally have in your fridge, I cannot recommend it more highly.

Proof that pregnancy brain actually exists: I just remembered I already posted about homemade hummus. On THIS BLOG of all things! Holy cow, taking an IQ test right now would be Bad News Bears for all involved.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Making My Week

A few things have been making my week. They are as follows:

Rifle Paper Co. has teamed up with Villa Romo to create UPHOLSTERY FABRIC.

Ummm, Mom, I think I'm gonna need Grammy's ugly gold chair back. I have officially figured out what to cover it in.

Some pretty damn stylish maternity gear that I've been drooling over since Lovely Morning brought my attention to it on Monday. This being one of my faves:

My sister-in-law shared this Pinterest image with me and without even having met him, my son has his first Halloween costume!

And finally, I know I should probably not laugh so heartily at this, but I can't help myself.

How's your week been?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hump Day, Bump Day: Week 21

This morning I imagined one of the old school Chutes and Ladders boards and Kyle and I are certainly on the down slide. Probably the one that takes you from 86 to 14 in a matter of seconds. August seems so far away and so very close. The fact that we've passed the halfway point and are inching minute by minute to D-Day is exciting! And frightening! And surreal.

Pretty much all the buzz words I've used to describe pregnancy in general.

Onward tally ho to the photos!

Musings on weekly photo: Drew Barrymore's incredible roots are making me feel better about what I've got going on top of my head. It turns out I have ombré hair... who knew? Luckily, April happens to be the month of my birth and I am sending out good hair fairy vibes into the universe. Also, remember when I used to do my hair and put on nice clothes for these shots? Those days are clearly long gone, my friends. We're really getting to know each other, aren't we?

Size of baby: I think we're nearing the pound mark if we haven't already reached it. One book compared it to holding a one pound box of sugar, and the baby is apparently close to the size and weight of it. And yes, I may have just spoiled the baking section of grocery store for myself in conjunction with the produce department..

Movement: Baby Boy Sutherland is going to be a dancer. Or a martial arts fanatic. A football kicker maybe? Perhaps the next Billy Blanks. What I'm trying to say is he is a mover and a shaker and I can only hope all the 80's hits I subject him to during the day are helping him with his dance rhythm. We's gonna have ourselves some dance parties when he makes his debut and anyone's welcome to join!

Cravings: Week 2 without juice has proved less difficult than week 1; I feel like an addict weaning myself. One more day! Just one more day, man! I did pick up some whole grain crackers and Saint Andre cheese over the weekend and they have been the perfect midday snack.

Annoyance: I've come to face the fact that the days of sleeping on my back are over until August. However, sleeping on my side has not been easy; it turns out I do not snooze comfortably and have had fitful nights because of it. It's frustrating when you already feel sleep deprived and know that the REAL sleep deprivation is on its way. Baby Sutherland laughs that I am complaining about a lack of sleep ("I'll show you what sleep deprivation is, just you wait. MUAHAHAHA!" Apparently my baby is also an evil genius?)

Highlight of the week: Kyle felt BBS kick last night! It was a cool moment for both of us; I won't lie, I may have teared up a little (he definitely did not). I don't think I'll forget the look on his face and I should mention that this does not give free license to other family members to see if they can feel it as well (not now anyhow). He had to leave his hand on my stomach for a prolonged amount of time for some magic to happen. Either way, after it had happened, it made me want to shout "YAY, Sutherland Family!" because it's not just me and the little guy in one corner and Kyle in the other: it's all three of us together. 

Non-Highlight of the week: Kyle's grandma relaying to me that she can tell I've gained weight because my face looks fatter. Yeahhhh... old people say the darndest, sweetest things!

Fears: I shouldn't call this a fear (because it's not), but even though Lucie's List has been a HUGE help in figuring out all this baby gear business, I still have that thought in the back in my head that I am going to choose the wrong stroller or car seat or crib. AHHHHH! And then I start to worry if this is just me being neurotic or if every expectant mother has this anxiety. What's your take? Am I crazy or typical?*

Happy Hump Day, Bump Day, everyone!

* I reread this sentence about 12 hours after I'd first typed it and decided to put on my big girl panties and just make some decisions already (hat tip to Jenny, forever inspiring me to get a hold of myself). So I did! And now I'm strutting around kind of like this gal (at least until she realizes that she must do all... the things?).

Monday, April 2, 2012

Dreaming of Sunday Breakfast

Kyle and I have two different types of weekends: those jam packed with activities and those with nothing at all planned. Usually, we're never satisfied. When we're running around like chickens with our heads cut off, we wish we could just relax and do nothing. When we're sitting at home with no plans we think, "GOD, what is there to DO?"

My go-to, low key weekend activity is often cooking for a few reasons. (1) I actually have the time to take on more intense recipes and (2) if it's just the two of us eating, there are leftovers for the week.

And I love me some leftovers.

Yesterday morning, I whipped up banana pancakes and fresh strawberry syrup. Ooooweee, was it a good way to start our day. I don't buy pancake mix anymore because homemade is way more delicious and easier than you'd expect, if you have standard baking ingredients. We didn't have any maple syrup, but we did have about a pound of strawberries sitting in the fridge; this was simple to whip up as well.

So we feasted. And we may have about 20 pancake leftovers sitting in the fridge, but it was worth it dammit!

Looks like this little lady is having breakfast for dinner.

Banana Pancakes
via Culinary Institute of America Cookbook
Makes 8 servings

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup buttermilk (don't have buttermilk on hand? Make it in 5 minutes!)
4 large eggs
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Cooking spray to coat pan
3 mashed ripe bananas

1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.

 2. In a separate bowl, blend the buttermilk, eggs and butter. Add to the flour mixture and stir by hand just until the batter is evenly moistened. The batter is ready to use or may be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours.
3. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Oil it lightly by spraying with cooking oil. Just before making the pancakes, fold the bananas into the batter.

My father-in-law's method for mashing bananas (and moisturizing one's hands).
4. Drop the pancake batter into the hot pan by 1/4 cup spoonfuls. Leave about 2 inches between the pancakes to allow them to spread and to make turning easier.
5. Cook on the first side until small bubbles appear on the upper surface of the pancake and the edges are set, about 2 minutes. Use an offset spatula or a palette knife to turn the pancakes and finish on the second side, about 2-3 minutes. Adjust the temperature beneath the skillet or griddle to produce a good golden brown color.

6. Serve at once topped with strawberry syrup (recipe below).

Fresh Strawberry Syrup
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
1/2 cup sugar
Zest and juice of one lemon

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Make sure to stir all of it together as the pan is heating up!

Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Liquid will reduce to a syrupy consistency, but will be thinner until it cools a little. Remove from heat and let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving. Make this before you cook up the pancakes (allow it to cool as you're flipping them on the griddle).

Drizzle on top of banana pancakes. Enjoy!

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