Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dear Alex,

I think of you 
all day, 
in every moment.
And I know that now,
this is how my thoughts
will always be, 
with you
as the center.
I laugh when you push 
my belly and when you 
wake me in the night,
dancing on my ribs.
I imagine you smiling 
in your little home
inside of me, as you 
listen to music 
on the outside.
And I cannot wait to
meet you because 
I already 
love you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Baking adventures...

What do you get when you combine: Me + Lots of spare time?

Baked goods. That's what you get. :)

Today I created a recipe for cookies that might just be my best work yet.
They are made with Nutella, which used to be an indulgence from my childhood, but now is readily available in most grocery stores. Nutella has the same consistency as peanut butter, but is made with hazelnuts and milk chocolate instead of peanuts. It is as common as peanut butter in Europe, and because my mom is French, she used to bring it back or have it shipped to us by relatives in France. If you haven't tried it, it is a must-try.
Rich had never tried it before we met, but was an instant fan at first bite.

So today, I used Nutella to make some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  They are DELICIOUS!

For any bakers out there, here is the recipe, which I created by editing and adding to a few other cookie recipes:

Nutella Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Nutella (or other hazelnut chocolate spread)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (but if I had hazelnuts, they would have been even better)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.
2.  Cream together butter with both sugars until smooth.  Stir in the Nutella, vanilla and egg until well blended.  Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened.  Mix in the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts until evenly distributed.  Drop by tablespoonfuls on to cookie sheets.
3.  Bake for 9-10 minutes in preheated oven until done.  Makes 2 dozen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Maternity Leave

Today was my last day of work, making my official Maternity Leave start NOW! I am so fortunate to work for a company that lets us take off 3 weeks before our due date. Wow, I'm lucky!

And because I don't have anything else exciting to write for now, I'll close with a lovely exchange between myself and Rich.

I had fixed my plate of dinner, and as I was eating I said, "I'm full. My eyes were bigger than my belly when I fixed this."

Silently, he looked over at me, raised his eyebrows and pointedly looked down at my belly, as if to say "I find that hard to believe."

I'm not sure if he meant, 'Wow, it would be impossible for anything to be bigger than that belly'. Or maybe, 'I'm shocked that you can't finish your plate when your belly looks plenty large enough to hold that dinner and maybe the next few dinners comfortably.'

Either way, no words were exchanged. Just that meaningful look.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Something funny is going on around here...

It started with the shutters.  We have been wanting to get them since we moved into the house almost 2 years ago, but didn't want to spend the money.  Then tax refunds came this year, and we decided to splurge a little bit.

Innocent enough, right?

Then I finished the baby's room...we hung some curtains (courtesy of my mom's sewing skills, btw), sorted the clothes into different sizes, put up a few decorations, etc...

Then I knew that we were going to need some more space in our bedroom for the baby's bassinett, so I asked Rich to re-arrange. (Have I mentioned how much I love my husband? Just making sure.) But after we re-arranged, I grew frustrated with the bedspread that had endured Sadie's early teething stages and was now tattered with holes. So that needed to be replaced.

And then we had this television that had been sitting on the dresser for the last year, despite the fact that it was originally purchased with the intent of hanging it on the wall. It was important to get that thing on the wall, NOW! (See earlier note about me loving my husband.)

But that still left the garage. What a mess! I tripped over my last piece of junk about a week ago, and decided that was it--we needed to get it organized. NOW! (Nevermind that it had been pretty messy for the last two summers.)

Then I looked out across my backyard and began to get really frustrated that some of my plants had died due to the nonfunctioning sprinkler/drip system. The same drip system that had not worked since October, 2007. Suddenly, it was imperative that we fix it NOW! So we had a sprinkler repairman come out. Here is a dead tree that is now getting water. (New item on the list: replace the tree!)

And after all of this work, it was important to stay nourished, so I baked some cookies. Peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip, toffee cookies to be exact. Disregard the 4 missing cookies. I ate them about 2 minutes after they came out of the oven gave them to the sprinkler repairman.

I'm not going to photograph the medicine cabinet, pantry, or bathroom cabinets that are now perfectly organized. That might make me look a little crazy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Maternity photos

Here are our favorite pics from our Maternity session....