Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Come on! Come on! Baby, Don't You Want to Go?

Cloud Gate image via here

As if I needed to get psyched up any more, here's my Chicago playlist. Something to inspire me in my packing.

(I will confess that I came this close to putting Cartman's version of "In the Ghetto" (you know, when he goes to visit Kenny's house) on there instead of Elvis.)

Create a MySpace Playlist at MixPod.com

Week 15

Wee Woo is about as long as an avocado (5 inches or so).

Week 14

From head to rump, Wee Woo is as about as long as a navel orange (about 4.5 inches).

Friday, August 27, 2010


From Sunday Supper

It's Friday! Let's Play!

Elliot Erwin 1986 (Found on Slate)

3 Best (and Worst)

1. Hearing our baby's burly heartbeat yesterday at our midwife appointment. If it was a "wooshwooshwoosh" last time, it was "BoomBoomBoom" this time. Go Wee Woo. He/she should be about 5" from head to rump by now. That's big time. And we get our sonogram (AND TO FIND OUT THE SEX) at our next appointment.

2. Mudpuppy's hanging air plants in his Etsy shop (Found via Inspired to Share)

The Lovely Leaves wallpaper from Hygge & West is pretty amazing. (Found via Inspired to Share)

P.S. My 3 Worst

1. Dropping off our computer at the Apple store to see what irreparable problems lurk in its guts
2. Calling our insurance company to sort out some dental coverage junk
3. The thought of my upcoming dentist appointment after five years (!) of not having my teeth cleaned

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Okay, Exhale...

After a long and valiant effort, I've finally raised the white flag. I'm sitting at my office desk with my pant button brazenly unbuttoned. Thankfully, my tank and cardi are yanked down enough to disguise the surrender. The zipper, although strained, is still holding strong, but that button just wasn't happening.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Parenting List!

Motherhood Uncensored has a Be a Better Parent Challenge going on, and for one who feels a little nervous and clueless about the whole parenting scene (and also one who loves a list), it's been enlightening to mull over her strategies.

  • Be present.
  • Punish without anger.
  • No more "good job!" Be specific with praise.
  • Take a break from your kid.
  • Know your triggers and try to avoid them.
  • Be the fun one.
  • You're not perfect. Acknowledge it with them, and move on.
  • Play what they want to play.
  • Instead of "in a minute" give an actual measurable time and stick to it.
  • Catch them being good and give positive reinforcement.
  • Start a weekly family tradition.
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Don't ask. Tell.
  • Get happy!
  • Let the other parent parent.
  • Keep a parenting journal.
  • Control your temper. High emotion begets high emotion.
  • Have dates with your kid.
  • Give them choices--two, highly-regulated, clear choices.
  • Label their choices as good or bad, not the kids as good or bad.
Okay, this list doesn't address what I'm most nervous about: an unreasonable, inconsolable, floppy mass of newborn baby. I still don't know about that, but it's pretty encouraging to think that so many of these were strategies I used in teaching. Um, hello, positive reinforcement and giving choices and disengaging my anger. Those three things transformed my classroom. I mean, come on, we've even seen the power of positive reinforcement (and failure of negative) in housebreaking Lu! Okay, I'm starting to feel better.

Now, I just need to crack open my Happiest Baby on the Block and Babywise.


I did not grow up eating chicken pot pie. The only version I remember even seeing was a frozen dinner type variety. I always thought it was sorta suspicious looking. What was even under that crust, swimming in that creamy sauce? The crust looked good, but I was sure that it was there just to hide some kind of vegetal nastiness. It seemed like a trick to me.

But I'm coming around. I've been curious about chicken pot pie, and yesterday I saw the Barefoot Contessa episode where she makes a lobster pot pie. Now, seeing that we do not live in East Hampton and are not millionaires, we will be sticking to chicken, but I liked what I saw in her method.

This is how I'm going to approach it:

1. Saute leeks, carrots, and celery in absurd amount of butter for 10 minutes or so.
2. Add flour to make a roux of sorts and cook off the raw flour taste.
3. Add chicken broth, white wine, and s&p and simmer down for 5 minutes. Add cream.
4. Mix in frozen peas, roasted chicken breast chunks, thyme, and parsley.
5. Pour into receptacle(s), top with pastry dough that's been egg washed and coarse salted, cook on 375 for an hour or so.

We'll see how it goes.

Celebration Dinner

We took advantage of Restaurant Week by eating at Nick & Sam's this weekend. My favorite part? When they brought the champagne toast in honor of the birthday girl and were thoughtful enough to bring sparkling cider for those of us who aren't allowed to drink right now. The food was great and the company even better.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I want to see Howl really badly, but I'm nervous about some of these characters. I like James Franco, but he's too good looking to play Allen Ginsberg. We've been watching a few episodes of Freaks and Geeks lately, and Franco is great at playing slimy, caddish goof offs, but he doesn't seem quite right for Ginsberg to me. I don't know how to pinpoint it, but he's not serious enough or willing to be really ugly, where I think Ginsberg was all about delving into the dark parts. Franco is mischievous, but not really bad; rebel, but not raw or tortured. Even when he was center stage, I always thought Ginsberg had the nature of a hanger-on, an observer, rather than a charismatic hero. But I like Franco, so we'll see.

It's 10:30 in the morning

and I want potatoes au gratin, like, now.

from The Dinner Files

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Can't Stop!

This is the last animal video for today. They're calling these guys French Bulldogs, but clearly, they are Boston Terriers. Just the chubby variety.

Thirsty French Bulldog brought to you by VideoBash.com


Okay, after that disturbing article on chicken slaughter, I need to watch a cute animal living with loving owners. (Found via i suwannee)

Killing Dinner

Sometimes I can't help but think about these things again.

Francis Lam has an interesting story on becoming closer to his food. I have to admit that the only way I can eat chicken is by having a wide emotional distance from acknowledging how it got into my refrigerator.

Fish is something of a different story.

You Don't Care, But...

I'm sharing more nursery fabrics...

Diamond texture

Heavier matelasse (Did I misspell that?)

Small print weave


Reading Eudora Welty's Biography

Eudora's mother said, "But sometimes we less articulate folks, who can neither paint pictures nor write poems, yet feel the need of expressing ourselves, find a garden a very happy medium." Indeed.

All images from the suziebeezie archives. I'm obsessed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Her Name Is Miss Bumbles.

Are you kidding me with the cuteness of this? The suziebeezie archives are killing me.

Belated Father's Day Photo

Pictured left to right: Carter's grandfather, aunt, and grandmother; my dad with hand on my shoulder; my sister's husband with her son; my sis in blue and my mom in pink; my (also expecting) sister-in-law; Carter's dad, mom, and bro seated; and Carter standing behind

I should have posted this a long time ago, but here's our family the night of the debut of Wee Woo's existence. Carter presented Clay a father-to-be gift, and then to everyone's (sort of) surprise, I presented Carter a father-to-be gift. Ta dah! I was so on edge that evening that I could hardly cut the lemon pie.

Nursery Fabrics?

I saw these at Joanne's the other day. I like the blues, aquas, and grays, and I'm seriously considering the stripe for when we reupholster our chair and ottoman for the nursery. I obviously wouldn't integrate the floral pattern if it's a boy. I also think polka dots are really cute for babies, too... maybe for sheets for something.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh, Martha...

The woman (and her staff) know how to arrange a drawer. To me, it is beautiful.

Am I Ready?

Last night, I thought back to when we decided to make this leap, and I had to recall how quickly we changed our minds on the issue. In a matter of days, we went from no-way-we're havin'-fun-and-we-like-to-go-out-and-I-like-quiet to we're-so-ready-let's-totally-have-the-best-baby-eva. We shocked me.

Sometimes we turn to one another and ask, "What did we do?"

Sometimes I think there is no way I'm ready to be a mom. NO WAY. I'm just driving around, laying on the couch, bathing Lu, cooking the salmon, playing Mah Jong, flipping through my new Martha Stewart, and doing what I do, and then I realize with panic that NOTHING WILL BE THE SAME IN SIX MONTHS. Six months is nothing. Do you even hear me? It is no time.

I really can't visualize what life will be like, but I know that it will not be like this. And I think, "You need to wake up, dummy." I'm acting so casual and normal. Then every once in awhile I get this revelation. I feel like I need to realize to seriousness of the situation and start learning to be more mom-esque. I'VE GOT TO GET MY ACT TOGETHER! I should be cleaning or organizing or stretching or something.

I don't have natural mom impulses like everyone else. I'll tell you right now that I'm not sympathetic or gentle or patient or those other things. Sometimes babies annoy me and make me uncomfortable and nervous. Sometimes other moms or moms-to-be say things that have never once occurred to me. And I shake my head, so I look like I know what I'm doing, and on the inside I'm trying really hard to file away this mom information and commit it to memory so I don't ruin my baby. I'm panting right now. This could go very badly. So badly. For sure, I'm going to raise an emotion mutant. Watch out. He might eat your baby's face off.

Monday, August 16, 2010

3 Best

1. This exact muted color of gray blue aqua for the nursery. Regardless of the sex. What do you think? If it's a girl, could I spin it to read feminine? (Image via Griege)

What if I used a hand-painted cherry blossom pillow? Of course, if it's a boy, there's no need for blossoms, cherry or otherwise.

2. The thought that it could be just like this: Mother and daughter strolling and cooking.

3. I went to a birthday party on Saturday night. One of the guests told me a story about a recent wedding several of my friends had attended. You must know that, by and large, this is not a wild crowd, but e'ry once in awhile a few of them go buck wild (or get jiggy with it as the saying goes). And, without divulging too many incriminating details, this wedding sounds like it was one of those times...

Friend told me that a few days after the fun of the wedding, she saw someone limbo-ing (on TV?), and she realized with mild horror that she had limbo-ed that night and gracefully fallen to the ground in the process, a memory she had somehow (?) forgotten until that moment. She asked a couple other wedding attendees about it, and they promptly told her there was no limbo-ing at the reception, that she was crazy, but she knew. She knew.

Weeks pass. She found a photo on Facebook of the reception with limbo-ing in progress, and her own woo hoo-ing, high fiving image waiting to be next in line. Proof!

This is how it went down:

"You know what we need to do right now?"

"What? Have another Long Island Iced Tea?"

"No, fool! Limbo!"

"But how? We have no pole."

"Umm... Here's my tie!"

"Let's do it! Gather all the participants who want to get jiggy."

"Me! Me! I want to get jiggy! I'm raising my hand/high-fiving/raising the roof to show my excitement and willingness! Surely I won't fall down on my first turn..."

I didn't even ask anyone's permission to tell this story or include this picture.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Week 13

Week 13--Wee Woo is the size of a lemon... which doesn't make much sense to me since an average-sized peach is bigger than an average-sized lemon, but whatever.

(I have to confess that I procrastinated Week 12 so long that both these pictures were taken this morning--one before my shower, one after. Just keeping it real.)

Week 12

Week 12--Wee Woo is the size of a peach!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chi Town!

We have a family vacation to Chicago planned in a few weeks. Our loose plans are along these lines:

Thursday: Arrive in a blaze of glory that morning; boat tour around town (motorized not paddle as someone suggested); dinner at Frontera Grill

Rick Bayless

Friday: Girls shop Michigan Avenue and have tea at The Drake; boys commit random acts of mayhem as well as possibly visiting The Publican and Hot Doug's; dinner at the home of some friends/associates of my in-laws (I think the term "associates" smacks of mob affiliation. It is Chicago after all.)

Tony waits for his Hot Doug

Getting fancy at The Drake

Saturday: Museums and/or Aquarium plus Frank Lloyd Wright ogling; dinner at Graham Elliot (who, appropriately enough, has Sufjan's Come On! Feel the Illinois! playing on his website)



Van Rijn

Shedd Aquarium gets cute

Graham Elliot Bowles is my age... except he's done something with his life.

Sunday: Wrigleyville wandering; Cubs Game; pizza at Gino's East (?) for dinner; partying with Vince Vaughn

Bar in Wrigleyville where I'll be swilling O'Doule's. Sad face.

Go Cubbies.

That pizza don't play. (Image from Passionate Eater)

Monday: Gettin' jiggy wit it. (My primary goal for fall is to bring back "gettin jiggy.")