Archive for September, 2008

Umpqua Weekend


Asian pears, right before picking

This weekend David and I drove the 3 hours south to Kevin & Jerry’s farmhouse near Roseburg, where we met up with our friends and the two Austrians who were visiting them. It was a wonderful two days – swimming in the river, eating delicious meals together al fresco, enjoyable conversation, munching fresh fruit off the trees, the peace and quiet, leisurely reading and finishing a knit hat for baby. Several times I found myself pausing to marvel at how completely content I felt. It is rare for me to really be ‘in the moment,’ but there I was, basking in all the happiness I felt, hoping I’d be able to recall it later. I’d say a little prayer of thanks for such a wonderful place and wonderful people. It was a beautiful feeling, and good to be reminded how blessed I am.

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Diaper Bag Surprise

Look what David surprised me with when he came home from work – a new diaper bag! Isn’t it cool!? It’s a Dash Deluxe Edition Diaper Bag in “pink links” by Skip Hop. Here I was, thinking I’d just get a plain black version so that he wouldn’t mind carrying it around without me, and he goes off and chooses something much cooler than I ever would have. The bag is a great size with roomy pockets and a removable cushioned changing pad. Best of all, the straps can convert from a shoulder bag to a stroller bag. And after the baby outgrows diaper changes, the bag will still be a stylin’ laptop/messenger bag. Neat!

Self-Portrait, 28 weeks

Here’s what I’m looking like this week. ‘Whoa, Baby!’ comes to mind, doesn’t it?

Went in for my regular prenatal check-up this morning. Good to hear that baby seems to be growing normally. I’ve recently started to feel her kick out of both sides at once, instead of the simple, one-sided pokes. I didn’t mention it before (was more worried about the fetal heart at the time), but we found out during our perinatologist visit that I have what is called a velamentous insertion of the umbilical cord. We’ve been told that it shouldn’t cause much of a complication as long as the ob/midwife doesn’t use any traction on the cord to aid the delivery of the placenta. So much to remember, which is why I’ve started to write out our birth plan to share with our doula and the other delivery staff.

Other hightlights so far this week – we attended our first child-birth education class last night. Lots of good information to be learned during the next five classes. Also, yesterday, we were surprised by a special delivery, our very first baby shower gift! Some lovely outfits and supplies to add to our growing nest.

Sahalie Falls & Fishing


Sahalie Falls, McKenzie River, Oregon

This is one of two breathtaking waterfalls we saw this weekend. I only got a couple shots before my camera died, and I didn’t have a spare battery with me. The other falls, not far down, was called Koosah Falls. We were in the area so David could do some fly fishing on the McKenzie, which is 2+ hours south of Portland. If my camera had been working, I would have taken some great shots of David reeling in his catch. I’ve been trying to convince him lately that we should start keeping the big ones for dinner (instead of always releasing). He came so close this time, but in the end the beauty of the fish overwhelmed him and he had to let it go. That’s okay, honey, maybe next time.

Postscript: David just showed me this video on how to clean and cook river side trout “McKenzie Style.”

Recipes I’m loving… too much


Easy Apple Crisp (see below for recipe)

Okay, truly, this week I vow to try and start eating healthier and to stop gaining so much weight. Although I’m not technically “overweight” (yet often feel that way), I have definitely gained on the higher end of the recommended amount. And I certainly do not want to birth a ginormous baby. You know what I’m saying? I just want to plateau on all this weight from here on out. (Special thanks to everyone who left a comment on this post. I’ve heard that breastfeeding helps to melt off those post-partum pounds, but at this point, I’m nervous about relying on something I’ve never done before 🙂 )

That said, I’ve realized a big part of my problem is an abundance of ripe, luscious summer fruit, particularly berries, apples, and peaches. So of course I was making all kinds of delectable goodies. Just for fun, here are three recipes that we’ve really been loving:

Blueberry Lemon Sour Cream Cake. This was by far the best tasting cake I’ve made all year. I used the Sour Cream Lemon Cake recipe, but added slightly less white sugar and a cup of blueberries. Then I followed the directions for the lemon butter glaze. Every bite was divine, and we were seriously sad when it was all gone.

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. I’ve tried before to make a creamy egg-based vanilla, but it was time consuming, frustrating and didn’t turn out well. Now I mostly just stick to making simple fruit sorbets. This recipe, however, didn’t call for any eggs or cooking, just creams, peppermint extract, chopped or mini-chocolate chips, and a can of sweetened condensed milk (I LOVE this stuff. I can eat it straight out of the can with a spoon). This recipe made more than my cuisinart ice cream maker could handle, so I’ll be halving it next time. And I’m sure there will be a next time.

Easy Fruit Crisp (see below). This is my tried and true recipe for any fruit we happen to have. It is quick, easy, and uncomplicated (no fancy crust to worry about). I’ve had success using both fresh and frozen mixed berries, fresh apples, blueberries, and peaches. With really juicy/wet fruit like peaches, it is a good idea to stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour, so you don’t end up with soup. It also doesn’t matter how much fruit you use, except that the ratio of topping to filling changes. David and I love extra topping, so I usually double that part of the recipe.

Filling:
Up to 5 cups of fresh or frozen fruit
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar

Topping:

1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1) Thaw fruit, if frozen, and then place in a baking dish. Stir in 2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar to taste (optional).

2) For crisp topping, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts (optional). Sprinkle topping over filling.

3) Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until fruit is tender and
topping is golden. Serve warm with ice cream or light cream. Serves 6.

Love this image

There is just something about this image that makes me smile. I wish I could find it again, so I could give the artist credit. I think it is a screenshot originally from threadless.com, and I just thought I’d share it.

Resin Jewelry Video Tutorial


Resin and Silver-Plated Rings and Pewter Pendants by John W. Golden

I have always wanted to try making resin jewelry. It seems like it could be such a unique and versatile medium, but every time I try and search for the supplies, like the pendant casings, I never seem to have much luck. I’ve also searched many times for a resin jewelry class here in Portland, but either it my usually superb google skills let me down, or classes like this just aren’t offered in my area. Has anyone else had any luck? Anyway, my interest has once again been renewed by this 3-part Resin Jewelry Making Video Tutorial. It is a little drawn out, but the artist does a great job explaining his processs. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 found on craftstylish.com.