i regret nothing

A tradition my family has is a new year's eve fondue. I've rarely heard about the same kind of fondue, because it's not your typical chocolate or cheese fondue. My parents were nice enough to have a version of the festivities while we were there.

The fondue is basically a bunch of meat fondued in oil! I realize that may sound kind of gross/weird? But we've done it forever and you know what? Meat fried in oil is delicious. Especially dipped in butter/other sauces after.

So you know, it's a once-a-year thing (maybe twice) and it's a fun tradition. We have a great spread, including little smokies (and Katie, what kind of party is it without little smokies?), homemade fries, spinach/artichoke dip and plenty of other deliciousness.

And then we all eat! This year my stomach is much smaller/more squished than usual. I knew this going in and tried to adjust my intake accordingly. It did not work. My brother-in-law, Colby, didn't try to adjust at all and then we both ended up curled up on the couch, groaning.

However, I still managed to eat some cherry pie for dessert a while later.

What do you think? How does that sound?

let's start with the pies.

We are back from our trip to Utah and we had such a good time. We really enjoyed seeing family and friends and eating so much good food. We had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom's family and then drove up to spend the night at my dad's parent's house. We skipped the black friday shopping (dave and I, much to his delight) but met everyone for lunch. We also had about three more Thanksgiving dinners with the leftovers and, you know, yum. 

My parents asked if I'd make a banana cream pie and I was excited to try this recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers. I made one from crisco last year and it was really good. But...I can't resist Mel's recipes. They are both delicious vanilla custard over bananas so you can't really go wrong. I did love Mel's crust though, a graham cracker/traditional pie crust hybrid. Dave made the crust and we were all super impressed! His first time making a pie crust from scratch was a total success. (I'm jealous)

I'd say it was a hit, but almost no one in my family likes bananas. My dad (the requester of banana cream pie), Dave, my grandpa and I all enjoyed it though. Definitely a recipe to keep! There were plenty of pies to choose from and it was a delicious dinner too. My dad got a new smoker grill and that turkey was excellent. We also had fresh turkey at my grandparent's house and that turkey (seriously, just days old) was sooo good. We also made some orange rolls and I can't believe I haven't shared that recipe yet because they are delicious and anxiously awaited each year :)

I also brought along some treats I grabbed from Trader Joe's (their Christmas treat aisle is too much. can't wait to go back). The peppermint joe-joe's were definitely a hit.

Well anyway, this isn't a food journal so I'll end my talkings about food. We hope you all had a delicious Thanksgiving. Try anything really good you'd like to share?

life is too short for margarine.

This weekend was pretty low-key and filled with some of our favorite foods. cookies (again) and breadsticks. The breadsticks were good but I wish I had put more butter on the pan. (Meaning I put less on than called for in the first place) Oh well, we ate the whole pan in record time anyway.

Sunday night we were hanging out...Dave playing star wars angry birds and I was clicking through a few pins on pinterest like "what to pack in your hospital bag" and blah blah blah and then I was reading some funny posts on alphamom about weeks 31-40 (not like I don't already know all of this/have read it before/why is there so much information out there??) and then I was like, "Dave, we are having a baby in two months."

"like, TWO MONTHS." And he was like, "yeah, I was thinking about that last night."

Usually it's like yay! two months! can't wait! baby!


Okay, so it wasn't quite as dramatic as all caps makes it seem but still, I think it's the first time we thought "woah. this is totally happening." And we have definite plans for baby saturday, as we like to call the first of December, which is only two weeks away. And then we'll be more officially prepared and such.

Two months is both a long time and a short time and I think with the holidays it will seem to go by as fast as we'd like it to.


So anyway, there you go. We aren't as crazy as you may think. happy monday!

30 weeks

And crazy, only 10 weeks left! And for all we know, it could be even less than that (but we hope not). But it seems we just need to make it until Christmas and then it will be so close we can't even believe it. Sometimes we can't believe it and are so excited and grateful for this rumbly little baby (that is how I can think to describe his activities these days).

These are a bit blurry (well the second one is something we'll consider "artsy") but oh well. 

and p.s. lest you too sweetly think the lighting is alll glow...I'm pretty sure it's just the reflection of a cloudy day. ha!

dave kind of rocked it on saturday.

saturday afternoon looked like this: 
yes, that is cereal on the window sill. 

We recently rearranged our room only to find that as the weather grew colder, water would form on our windows while we showered. One of our windows was blocked and we thought that we could get by with just the one window cracked to dry it out but...no. So we (and when I say we, I mean Dave), once again, moved everything around for our final arrangement. And it's our favorite out of all of our arrangements, so that is good because we have no other options! It makes our room more roomy (ha) and anyway, now we can not have moldy windows. 

So you know how there are all those "baking rules"? I've seen some blog posts on all the correct techniques and I do try to remember them. Dave wanted some plain old chocolate cookies on Saturday and so he whipped some up. The funny part was he didn't follow a single baking rule. cold butter and eggs. whipped the batter within an inch of its life. didn't add any other type of chips than milk chocolate (I requested some white chocolate and got completely shot down). scooped the flour. and they were delicious, fluffy and tasted perfect. so, go figure. and maybe go easy on all the rules sometimes? 

I shouldn't be surprised though as Dave has always impressed me with his baking

Oh, and remember how I tried those crazy date/nut bars? I tried a few more recipes over the last two weeks and they were even better than the first. thin mint, chocolate cookie dough and peanut butter dough. And I kid you not, the thin mint ones tasted completely like minty fudge (I added, without thinking about 1/2 tsp mint!). And the dough ones really seem like you're eating cookie dough. Weird but awesome. Dave even took a bite of the thin mint ones and didn't hate them. ha! 

and last but not least, thanks for all your comments on my dressing kids post! It was fun to read them and I just have to clear up that I do the cute carter jammies with animals on the bum/feet. I mean, who doesn't like those??

speaking of dressing kids...

I've been thinking about this for a while as I've been looking at little boy clothes that I love. I might end up dressing our kid like a hipster/trendster/a grown up? Here's the thing: Dave and I are not hipsters. Dave especially. So why would we dress our kid in clothes that we (especially Dave) wouldn't necessarily wear?

I have no reason except "because it's cute". I am not the biggest fan of traditional baby clothes with cheesy sayings ("daddy's little man") and cartoon pictures and such. I like simple (like stripes) and good colors. So...enter in clothes that make you look like you're dressing your kid like a grown hipster or something. I've read some funny things around the web making fun of parents who do that (or you know, honest toddler on twitter). And while I see why it's funny, I just think the clothes are so cute that I just want to do it anyway, just not go overboard. Plus the kid will live in portland, so it won't be like he's totally out of place....

1, 2, 3 (h&m, no longer available), 4, 5

And isn't that part of the fun of having a baby? You get to dress them for a few years? Why not pick clothes you like? (or, if we were having a girl, all the clothes I wish I had??) Even though Dave would never wear colored jeans...I still love these little mustard jeans on one of our favorite babies, Noah (and, hello, how gorgeous is Amy??). So I don't try to dress Dave but...hopefully we can come to agreement on dressing our baby. I mean, basically, I would pick clothes that I would wear (that sounds weird, since I'm not a boy) or that I would like to see on Dave, even if he wouldn't wear it. Ha. What's wrong with a classy-dressed baby? 

Oh well. Last month I accidentally bought us matching clothes. I wouldn't have us wear matching clothes on purpose, but I can't guarantee that wouldn't happen. 

what are your thoughts on dressing babies? is there a difference in dressing kids and adults? 

and how cute is this romper? and where did the word "romper" come from??

p.s. don't think our baby still won't be wearing things like this

dye all the things!

The other day I mentioned attempting a project with no previous experience. We needed a new shower curtain and I wanted to get a nice striped one (of course). I love this one, but I didn't want to pay $40. So, enter the possibility of making my own striped one and meh, seemed too much trouble. Then I thought about an ombre one. And hey, I could just dye a white fabric shower curtain. I planned out how I would tape off our tub, use our big trash can, and somehow dye like four yards of fabric with no problem, blah blah. Then I got to Target and this one (can't find online) was just $5 more than the white one and when I factored in the dye and time and almost guaranteed disaster, I just bought it (after of course, spending 20 minutes wishing I had 16 showers for all their pretty curtains. oh boy). It's striped, ombre-ish, and gray. win. 

But I still wanted to try some fabric dyeing. I bought some cream gauze/musliny fabric (for a swaddle blanket) a few months ago and haven't gotten around to dyeing it. So I bought some teal dye and spent a few hours dying things. 

I think the dye made this gorgeous blue and I love how most of the things turned out (at the end, I didn't want to "waste" the bucket of dye so I tried to two-tone dye a white hanes tshirt and a white apron. They both turned out one shade of blah blue (not pictured)). BUT, here is what did turn out: 

ombre gauze blanket (top)
ombre flour sack towel (bottom left)
ombre onesie (obviously)
an attempt at a two-toned towel, but just is one color (right)

so that is a lot of ombre no? I love the trend (what can I say? I don't like all trends but I do enjoy following a few of them, ha). Also, it's like a bonus. You get to see a few different shades on just one thing. It just seems more fun.

I'm not sure why the two-toned didn't work out. For the ombre, I would dunk the whole thing in the dye for a little bit (a minute or two), and then pull out a bit, leave the rest in for longer (15-20 minutes, maybe?) swishing it around, and then continue until it was all dyed. I used these tips and they worked great. And I believe nothing ended up unintentionally blue. 

Dave thinks that the onsie is too girly, mostly, I think, because of the gradient (but not the blanket, interestingly). I'm not totally sure I agree, but I just love the onesie. For the record though, I don't believe (and I don't think Dave does either) that boys wearing more girly colors, you know, makes a boy any less a boy or something*. However, neither of us would necessarily choose to dress a boy in girly colors (but if our four-year-old kid like loves pink or something...who cares?). It's an interesting culture thing and I'm not trying to say any one thing about it...just that it's interesting to think about cultural labels and whether or not they make sense, but then observing that you/others follow them because, well, that is culture.

Ok, random tangent aside, fabric dyeing is fun and you should try it. 

*in a women's health class, my teacher used an example of a dad who wouldn't dress his boy in a pink onesie because it would (I can't remember the exact phrasing) like decrease his masculinity/power/something and she was like...so you would dress your daughter in something that can decrease power/something? I am not saying you need to dress boys in pink, but I think you shouldn't not do it because it's inferior or something. And ok, I don't really know what I'm trying to say. I have no extreme views on this. it is just interesting. 

a classy knock off?

On Monday we went to a little burger place on 23rd (the cool street in Portland, if you remember) called Little Big Burger. Basically, it's Portland's somewhat classier (but less classic?) version of In-n-Out, complete with red/white decor. 

We liked that we got to choose from a cheese list (goat cheese on a hamburger = yum) but missed in-n-outs better burger toppings. lbb truffle fries though, they beat the pants off in-n-out's (dave loved the chili powder ketchup and I loved the pre-made fry sauce!). Overall though, they are about equal as far as price, quality and taste. We'd eat at either place in a heartbeat. 

Then we walked a half a block down to salt & straw and split some salted caramel ice cream. I really wanted to try the apple cider ice cream, but we missed it by...3 days. sad. Then I remembered that I have an ice cream maker and so I will be attempting that soon. 

little hoodie

We don't have any of the big baby stuff yet (crib, stroller, car seat) but we (ok, I) do love our growing pile of baby clothes. so cute. Anyway, we decided we can wait to see what black friday/cyber monday has to offer us and then the weekend after thanksgiving is d-day. And by d-day I mean the day that we get everything we have left on our list. 

I have a few projects that I want to do and realized that hey, I'd better get a move on. Two and a half months is a longish time, but at the rate I finish things/do them correctly...better safe than sorry. And by sorry I mean it's not done before baby arrives and you know, oh well. 

But yesterday I made this little sweatshirt and I can't believe it actually turned out. I am still figuring out my serger but I used it to finish most of the seams. It's not perfect, but I enjoyed making it. it seemed daunting (most complex thing I've made) but it was so small that it seemed more manageable.

One of my favorite sewing blogs is MADE. I love her attitude for sewing and try to remember that, as she says, "What’s the worse than can happen?  Your machine munches it up into a bazillion ruffles and you have to toss it in the can?  Yea, that kind of sucks.  But really it’s just fabric." (source--and great post on sewing with knits) I do hate when things don't work, but hey, it's all worth something even it ends up being practice.

I definitely need to remember this more since my attitude with projects is to pick something I want to do and do it, regardless of previous experience/practice. Most things I attempt without any foundation of skills. Headboard, wall canvas, embroidery...I figure why waste my time practicing when I just want to end up with one specific results?

Which explains what I'll be doing this afternoon, as I attempt another one of those "maybe I just should start smaller" projects. stay tuned.


i think what best explains our somewhat decreasing worry as the weeks go on is that 1. each week means better statistics if something were to happen and 2. as my high-risk doctor said, "babies just don't fall out at 28 weeks." Perhaps a sort of irreverent humor, but really, it is reassuring that we would definitely know if something was up, as opposed to 10 weeks ago. 

Which of course is weird because last year we definitely had things to worry about, but we didn't know (and the doctors didn't either) that it was actually going to lead to delivery. So now, it would take longer (or maybe not) but we'd catch it right away. Eh, we're of course just hoping that we don't find ourselves in that situation.

the things of november.

I was preregistering for the hospital last week and I used their little month calendar to find my due date, I only had to go through two months to get there. Granted, I'm due at the end of January, but still...only two full months left! Ideally. Two more months and the year will be over while we're at it, which, thank goodness. While a few good things have happened over the last two years, they just have not been my favorite and I'm ready for 2013.

October was great for a lot of reasons, but one of my favorites is during the first week, my good friend Heather was up (or down?) from another part of Oregon for the afternoon for her internship. We live in a pretty convenient part of town and she came over and we walked down to a thai place a few blocks away (celebrating that my activity ban had been lifted) and had lunch. And oh, man, was it good to see her! We had such a good time talking and eating delicious food and I am so glad she took some time to have lunch with me. I realized after the fact that besides family (which of course are my friends...), hers was the first truly friendly face I had seen since April. Don't get me wrong, people in our ward are friendly and nice and whatever, but goodness. I miss my friends! The ones with history and memories and people who know me...I don't know why it seems to be so much harder to make friends when you get older, or if it's just me (or the fact that I haven't been to relief society for 2 months because of the whole bed rest thing (though the four months before that didn't do much)) or what. And it's not that bad because Dave is fun to be around (good thing, eh?) and I'm glad that his awesome family lives close. But these past few months would have been so much nicer with some friendly faces. So, friendly faces, when will you be moving to portland?

We are going to Utah over Thanksgiving (save any unexpected complications) and I can't wait! I feel like it will sustain another 6 months of no friends. haha, joking. Though I'm excited to have a baby because, while at first they are you know, pretty selfish as far as friends go, baby will be a constant friend. Hmm, I wonder if that sounds more or less pathetic than the previous paragraph...

Anyway, I miss writing essay-style blog posts but these days I feel like I only have one subject to write on and I feel that it would get old fast. I do have some thoughts on pregnancy and such, but part of me feels like what I could say would just be another cliche, trite post that you could read on any other pregnant person's blog, and I don't want to come off that way. But I haven't posted that much about things lately, so here's a little bit on what is going on these days and I hope it isn't too cliche/trite for you:

I'm almost 29 weeks which is so exciting. Every week is a little victory for us. Last week I had what is hopefully (and I say hopefully because while we love ultrasounds, they wouldn't do another one unless it was because I had worrisome symptoms, which we hope to avoid) my last ultrasound. It's a little sad, because we've definitely gotten used to seeing our baby every 1-2 weeks for the last...3.5 months. It's been so nice to have that reassurance. Though our bank account will probably be glad we are done with that part of my medical care! We will miss it though, and our growing collection of random body part pictures. As he gets bigger/more stubborn, they can't always get a good picture but they try to find something...last week we got a picture of his quite impressive bicep. The tech tried to get him to change positions and he started kicking her and it was pretty funny. Once week we saw him yawn which was really cute. But the data collected from the ultrasounds have been mostly positive. Even when there are changes, they haven't been enough to worry the doctors about, so, we just try to ignore it.

We feel like we've been waiting 10 years to get out of the 20s. And we're almost there! We know that life brings its own set of risks and complications, but man. We really hate that unless someone has an ultrasound wand on my stomach it's hard to know that things are really okay. And we just like to know. We're just dying for him to be here, full-term, already. And what expecting parents aren't, we know. But really.

And I mean, besides the whole risk of pre-term labor thing and the often constant worry about the state of things, things are great! (haha) I've had a great pregnancy otherwise. If you pick up any book on pregnancy, you'll read how there are like 1559 new symptoms each month that could happen to any given pregnant lady and it just gets ridiculous. Lucky for me, I've avoided most of them so far. There are a few things that are different but meh, I just don't care.

I feel like I'm in a weird place. After 20 weeks, I felt like this was my first pregnancy, but before that it was my second. Medically speaking of course, it's my second but everything past 20 weeks is new to me (save the end of pregnancy, I totally know what happens there) and I know it sounds silly, but I welcome this half with welcome arms. It's also weird because I feel like it's deja vu a little bit. I'm way further along than last year, but the time I remember most about last pregnancy was oct-dec. So it's like the same but very different, and a little sad.

I loved October because it was when I went from "that is probably a baby bump with the right shirt" to a real little bump. Even some weird group of kids at target pointed not as conspicuously as they though and whispered, not as quiet as they thought, "awe, she's pregnant! she's gonna have a baby"...which we just smirked at and hoped they weren't on anything because they were probably like 15. BUT anyway.

We've also loved how October was full of increasing amounts of baby kicks and movements. It's our favorite part. In the last two or three weeks we love to feel a joint (never can tell what body part it actually is) and follow him as he moves it around. He never leaves it against me for very long. He doesn't like to share his (my) space OR he gets freaked about by these weird people always trying to touch him. ha.

I get up to go the bathroom once or three times a night and baby is quiet. I get back into bed and it's always like 3...2...1...baby dance party! No matter the time, I love it and can't not stay awake for it (and sometimes you just can't sleep with that going on). It's something we've looked forward to for a long time and an experience we cherish (can't think of a less cheesy word??)

So there you go. 11 weeks and 3 days left! And we honestly hope he takes every single one of them. (we just also wish that time would speed up while he's at it). Thanks for all the support and love over the last few months (and year). thanks for reading!