Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

7 Quick Takes: June 1

Once again, I am doing the Friday Quick Takes link up with Conversion Diary on a Saturday. Because I am totally in control of my own life. Ha. Ha ha.

1. I didn’t do a blog post yesterday because we were really busy getting today’s garage sale together. We spent a large portion of the day rooting through the basement for boxes of shtuff, organizing said shtuff in the garage, setting up tables, drawing signs and figuring out prices, going to the bank to change $20’s for dollar bills and quarter rolls. Oh, wait, the bank doesn’t have rolls of quarters today? Well…uhh…I really kind of needed the quarters…fine just give me more ones. Grr.

2. At least our lack of quarters wasn’t a big deal, because we had a total of maybe twelve customers all day. We made $54 in profits. That includes the sale of a $20 sofa. What a bust. I think it was a combination of factors, not least of which is the more-or-less country location of my parent’s neighborhood. Another factor was probably that we didn’t put an ad in the local paper, relying instead on a Craigslist ad and street signs. Another factor was probably that we were trying to sell a ton of junk. But it wasn’t a wasted effort because that stuff needed to leave the house anyway. We were prepared to just donate it all to the Goodwill in the first place, so any money we make selling items really is a bonus. We are just thrilled someone bought that sofa. That in itself was totally worth all the effort we put into the garage sale project.

3. I’m still pregnant! This is a big deal for me because I’ve already been mentally and emotionally prepared to give birth on three separate occasions. Hopefully Agnes can hang on for another week or two. On the other hand, I had no idea how exhausting it would be for me to live like this, thinking I can be sent to labor and delivery at any moment. I almost want to just get it over with already; at least that we can be finished with the not-knowing-what-to-expect part and move on to the finding-out-answers-and-dealing-with-things part of raising a baby with medical problems.

4. Speaking of still being pregnant, I just have to share this even though I risk veering into the TMI department. Two nights ago I woke up at 1:20am like “Oh my gosh, Jeremy wake up. I think my water just broke.” I was not thrilled to say the least. So I grabbed some fresh p.j.’s and hobbled down the hall to the bathroom, and it turns out my only issue was related to that huge glass of water I drank right before going to bed, if you catch my meaning. I stood around and walked a bit just to make sure I wasn’t leaking amniotic fluid after all, then I went back to bed. So on the one hand, super glad we didn’t have to book it to the hospital in the middle of the night again (like with Stephen’s birth). But on the other hand, embarrassed about reliving early childhood night time bladder problems. I know these things happen when you’re pregnant, especially when you already have an adorable tot to thank for even weaker bladder control. But. Still. Embarrassed.

5. I’ve been baking like a fiend again. I usually do this when I’m feeling stressed about life. I finally baked those peanut butter bars I posted about last week, I did chocolate gelato earlier this week, and I made scones for breakfast yesterday. Tonight still I’m going to bake a pound cake. I don’t necessarily see this habit of mine as a bad thing, but it does tend to fill up the kitchen with more bakery than I should really be eating. It’s a good thing I’m “eating for two” and that I live with my parents, and Jeremy, and a toddler whose fledgling vocabulary does include the remarkably well-pronounced “coo-kie” and “cake.”

6. I’m baking the pound cake for myself because tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 29. Both Jeremy and my mom have said, “Don’t you want someone to make something for you on your birthday? Why are you baking your own cake?” I am baking my own cake because then I can pick what flavor I want, and I know it will taste awesome. Because I bake a mean cake. My family can cook dinner for me or something on my birthday, but I want to do my own cake. It’s going to be Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake with a Lemon Syrup brushed on the cake to soak in. My birthday is going to be amazing.

7. Jeremy and I met with Fr. Sal about Agnes’ baptism, which I am really excited about. The Eastern Catholics do baptism, chrismation, and holy communion all at once for babies, so Agnes will be able to receive Eucharist at Divine Liturgy! The theology behind this practice is we know Eucharist is wonderful and good for people to have. We don’t want to withhold that goodness from children. It’s like a mother feeding her newborn; the newborn doesn’t have to understand how and why her mother is feeding her in order to benefit and grow and be nourished. It’s the same with us and the Eucharist. It is a holy mystery and even adults can’t fully understand the miracle. The Eastern Catholic tradition emphasizes a child’s first confession as the milestone sacrament, whereas the Latin Rite emphasizes first holy communion. It’s a difference, and one that I am excited about embracing. Since babies do receive all three sacraments in one shot, so to speak, there is the possibility we can get Stephen caught up as well! Fr. Sal is going to check for us what we would have to do or if Stephen can even go ahead and receive chrismation and start receiving communion. He’s right on the edge, though, and he might be old enough now that he would have to wait until “age of reason,” but I don’t know what the custom is for Eastern Catholic. I’m anxious to hear what Fr. Sal finds out!

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“Chocolate Gelato Saved My Marriage!”

HAhahahaha, have you ever seen this before?

This is kind of an inside, running joke between me and Jeremy. This ad is so ridiculous. Ha ha. Ha. Okay.

Anyway.

Mmmm….

chocolate gelato close up

The gelato was so good. So so good. I cooked the custard yesterday and this afternoon Jeremy was kind enough to give it a spin in the ice cream maker for me. After a couple hours to ripen in the freezer, it was delish after dinner tonight.

chocolate gelato

When I did kick counting this afternoon, Agnes must have been asleep or something because I only counted 6 kicks for the 30 minute time frame. Agnes has never given me a count in the single digits, so I was a little worried. Especially since I took my hands and jiggled her around a couple times to wake her up. When I finally decided to throw in the towel and give up counting, she started moving right away. The little stinker. Here I was wondering if I should call the doctor even though the count was technically higher than 4, though much much lower than I usually get. And she was just being ornery.

On top of that little scare, I also felt icky today, like one giant contraction was gripping my uterus most of the day. I couldn’t even try to keep track of how often I was feeling contractions, because I never really noticed that I wasn’t having one, which seems to me to be a prerequisite for noticing when a new one begins. Whatevs. I know I’m not in labor, just feeling icky. The discomfort level is relatively minor, plus all day the intensity of contraction never increased. Plus I have none of the other usual signs of impending labor. Diagnosis: indigestion with a side of big fat pregnant body.

But now I feel amazing, because chocolate gelato came into my life. This stuff was so chocolatey: for one half gallon the recipe has 1 cup of cocoa powder plus 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. I can’t believe that much chocolate even fit. It was a miracle of cooking chemistry. And speaking of cooking chemistry miracles, have you ever whisked egg yolks with granulated sugar? They get so thick! You could spread that stuff on toast! How does that even happen?

Anyway, I plan to be enjoying the rest of my chocolate gelato in the next few days as preparation for Agnes’ arrival. My unofficial prediction is that the NST on Thursday will precipitate her debut, but of course I hope I am wrong. If she can at least make it to Monday, she’ll be 35 weeks and everyone would be much less anxious should she make an appearance outside her womb. Plus if she stays cozy for a few more days, she gets to enjoy chocolate gelato-flavored amniotic fluid! Yummy!

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One More Day of Freedom

I was totally prepared to meet my baby today, but fortunately it was not to be.

I went to Akron General Hospital this morning for an NST (non-stress test) to check on Agnes. Her last couple NST’s have been borderline at best, so I wasn’t too hopeful about this one. We packed my hospital suitcase in the car just in case, left Stephen with my parents, and didn’t make any Memorial Day plans if you take my meaning.

As predicted, the NST was not stellar. Not terrible, but not really great either. At the Maternal Fetal Medicine clinic where I usually go to do the NST’s, they have this little buzzer wand they use to zap lazy babies to get them to move around. They can use it “up to three times” at the MFM clinic, and make a note on Agnes’ print out when they use the zapper. At the hospital, they have a zapper, too. And they’re not afraid to use it. I don’t know if the rules are just different down in OB E.R. Triage, or if the nurses just really really didn’t want to attend my labor and delivery on Memorial Day, or what, but those ladies just went nuts with the zapper. They were buzzing Agnes all over. And of course she moved; she was super pissed off. But still her heart rate readings weren’t perfect, mostly because she moved so much the monitor lost track of her heart and nothing was recorded.

So they did a Bio-physical profile (BPP) ultrasound. This is the one where they watch for fetal breathing, movement, amniotic fluid, and the like. Agnes has always done great at this test so I wasn’t too worried about it.

They ended up letting me go home because her NST results weren’t actually alarming, just not perfect, plus Agnes totally passed the BPP. Whew. So Agnes gets to stay put in her hot tub for a few more days at least. Let me just say at this juncture that a Flying Novena really works. This is a prayer trick Blessed Mother Theresa used when she had an emergency need. She would pray nine “Memorare” prayers in a row. I did this while I was lying there for the BPP, and now we’re at home with Agnes still cozy in her womb. Behold the power of prayer.

To celebrate my day of freedom, I came home and finished the laundry that’s been waiting. I’m glad I got to it because now all the cute newborn girl baby clothes I just bought with my mom are clean and ready. I also spent a good portion of the afternoon organizing the “guest room” to make way for baby care. I’ll be doing diaper changes in there during the nights, and Agnes will probably take naps in that room. She’ll be in a bassinet in my room at night for a few months at least, but I’ll probably nap her in the guest room. I feel a lot more prepared for her arrival now that I’ve had these past couple days to get organized. I even unearthed my breast pump. Grr. But I’ll probably need it, especially if she’s born really early and has to incubate in the NICU for a while.

Also to celebrate my day of freedom, I finally made gelato. At least, the first step. I cooked the custard and now it’s cooling in the fridge. All it needs is a spin in the ice cream machine tomorrow and it will be ready! I’m so stoked! And also as a side note, now that I’ve cooked my own gelato I will never begrudge the $5.00 price tag on a dish at a gelato store. It was hard to do just because you have to stand there stirring it almost constantly while it cooks up to 185 degrees. That process took nearly an hour. Sheesh, and now my back is killing me. I hope none of my doctors read my blog.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully it will be another day of smooth sailing!

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7 Quick Takes: May 18

1. I’m linking up with Jen Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary for the weekly Friday quick takes. Even though today is Saturday. Because I keep forgetting to do the quick takes link up and this week I decided, “better late than never.” Which is not ever the way I think in real life, but when it comes to blog posting, why the heck not? And yes, I did use this as one of my takes. neener, neener.

May 18 2013 0022. I baked a chocolate cake today. I was super excited to bake this cake because I got a cool cookbook at the public library called Vintage Cakes and it is just full of awesome cakes like ladies used to make in days gone by. This cake is called “Grammy Cake” because the author’s grandmother used to bake it all the time. It sounded really awesome. See, my cake probably tastes really awesome, but it looks really dumpy because I didn’t sufficiently grease the flutes of my fluted tube pan. I think all cookbooks should be updated so that where they currently say, “grease a 10-cup fluted tube pan,” it would be updated to say, “grease the buh-jeezus out of a 10-cup fluted tube pan.”

May 18 2013 0043. We have a couple rooms more or less finished. The family room on the lower level is all tricked out with our brown sofa to replace the 80’s upholstery sectional that was in there before. We also moved the daybed in and set up some of our attractive matching bookcases. See the vintage 1960’s wood paneling? Classic.

4. I picked up a gelato cookbook at the public library the other day, too. I’m totally going to make some gelato with my counter-top ice cream maker machine. I need to go buy the rest of the ingredients but I’ll probably make some gelato next week. I can not wait. I think I’ll make chocolate flavored gelato. I’m so excited!

5. This past week I’ve been scoping out area rugs at the local discount groceries-and-more store. The rugs were really cheap and if you decided you could go home with one of the limited selection of patterns, you could snag a super deal. I actually tried to purchase one of the remaining rugs yesterday, but apparently the store only takes cash or Discover Card, and I didn’t have quite enough moolah in my wallet. So I had to leave it behind. I went back today, and just as I had feared might happen, all the rugs are sold out, except for one natty looking brown rug that might actually be too big for my needs anyway. Double bummer. So it’s back to the brainstorm. We need a rug for the office, and we don’t want to spend a lot of money…

6. Baby girl hasn’t been quite so active today during my official kick-counting time blocks. Each time has been fewer than 35 kicks. But that’s still more than 4 kicks, which I guess is the magic number for the okay/not okay changeover.

7. We went to the local Farmer’s Market today and it was extra special neato. I even got to buy some tokens with my EBT food assistance card which meant I didn’t have to shell out actual cash for anything we bought! We bought a bunch of kale, some beets, a loaf of artisan bread, a dozen multicolored eggs, and some tomato plant starters. I’m really excited about the market; there is a great variety of merchants and the offerings are only going to become more prolific as the season continues.

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