Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The breads were good. I made 6 loaves, all (nearly) 100% whole wheat sourdough:
raspberry-filled-chocolate bits (SNG's idea)
plain (2 loaves)
SNG's parents and aunt and uncle had a nice visit with e-baby. She was a little sleepy, but not too grouchy for a Sunday.

In other news, SNG is sick this week. It seems like he caught a flu of some kind- sore throat, feverish, headache... He is quarantined to the guest room and forbidden from touching me or e-baby until he's well since e and I are headed to Seattle next week, and everything about that trip means we cannot be sick: 8 hours in airplanes to get there, PIC's tiny baby waiting for us at the other end, 3 hours time differnce (which is always hard on me), and far, far away from e's doctor. Is it possible to bathe SNG in clorox without making him feel worse? PIC- if we're sick and contagious, we'll stay at a hotel.

There's this funny thing going on right now, and maybe writing about it will help me figure out the puzzle. Ever since my mom went home after e-baby was born, I've had the hardest time losing my pregnancy weight. I blame it largely on the fact that when mom was here, I could get exercise most days. I got back to within 5 pounds of my pre-pr weight in 4 weeks.After she left, winter came on and I wasn't able to get much exercise because it would mean taking e-baby with me jogging, and she shouldn't be out in cold weather so, meh, not much exercise. Once I got back to work full-time, it was even worse because our day-care is only open 9-5, so there's no time to hit the gym over a long lunch hour like I used to do in cruddy weather.

Long story short: I gained back about 6 pounds after mom left. Grrrr.

And then something weird happened. My prenatal vitamin prescription ran out. No, that's not the weird part. That was supposed to happen four months after the baby was born (you know, nursing nutrients and all that). What's weird is that ever since I switched back to regular old Centrum, my weight has been slooowwwlly coming back down. In spite of the sourdough bread and the girl scout cookies.

I'm still 7 pounds up from before I got pregnant, but at least things are heading in the right direction. And with Spring right around the corner, e-baby and I will be jogger-commuting soon.

But why the heck would prenatal vitamins make it hard to lose weight?

Friday, February 23, 2007

This week I was teaching a class at a local customer site, which meant that I had to commute every day. Class was from 8:45-5, so I had to get there by about 8 each morning. Commute! I don't like to commute, especially if it means leaving the house at 7:30 in the morning. Poor e-baby didn't get "2nd breakfast" those 3 days, and just had to have an extra bottle packed off to school with her. She eats hobbit-style meals: breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, dinner, supper. Plus a late-evening nightcap. But I was gone meals 2-4 the last 3 days and missing my little hairy hobbit like crazy.

On the upside, since SNG was on day-care drop off duty, I got to commute in MY car!! :-D The heavens smiled on me this week giving 70-degree afternoons perfect for riding with the top down. If I'm going to have to commute, I may as well do it in style.

This weekend I'm continuing to work on Chuck. SNG's parents, aunt and uncle will be dropping by on Sunday. It'll be a good excuse to make an extra loaf of raisin bread to share. Yum. Happy weekend!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Not to leave you in the lurch about the teeth-- they're still just swollen nubs on the gumline, but she still acts like she's teething so I know they're coming soon. Maybe a week or 2 more? I don't know anything about these baby things.

Today was supposed to be an 8 on the fitness weather forecast, but we were shortchanged by about thirty degrees. It never got above 45. Dianaverse, Daisy, e-baby and I braved the arctic winds and went hiking anyway.

Really, we had no choice but to hike. You see, last week I decided to revive Chuck, my pet sourdough and this week I've been refining my whole wheat sourdough bread recipe, so Dianaverse and I had to sample all the variations, fresh out of the oven, with melty butter. The hike was necessary to burn off some small portion of those calories. Poor SNG was at work all day today and had to eat cold bread when he got home. But tomorrow I will make 2 more loaves and he will be home to enjoy them.

The w.w. sourdough bread recipe is still in its refinement stages, but I got a real boost yesterday-- MyLittlePony told me about using the Kitchen Aid for kneading the dough, and oh yeah that works! I was able to make the dough with a lot less flour, and it made all the difference. Light, crusty outside, soft inside, mellow flavor and pungent-sour aroma. The only thing I'd like to improve is the size of the holes (you know, the bubbles). I'd like to get them bigger. Maybe I need to change Chuck's diet. I don't know anything about these sourdough things. But my pet sourdough is from San Francisco and allegedly dates back to the 1800's sometime and it makes nice, sour bread if you use white flour. I've been trying to train Chuck to make whole wheat bread for the last 6 years, and only just now is he starting to listen to me. The Kitchen Aid thing was brilliant.

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Photo Blog with Bite

Sunday morning, e-baby looked like this:

and she was chewing on my face:

And drooling a lot:

(poor little froggie!)

So I took a peek

Swollen nubbies!

They're hard to see in the pictures. But take my word, there are two swollen nubbies in the bottom-front. It's funny- she'll be inconsolable from the pain for a few minutes, and then she's fine for hours. Then she gets upset again for a few minutes, and then she's fine.

I think e-baby is in training for teeth. And just in time, too, because girlfriend keeps trying to steal food off everybody's plates. She finds the act of eating to be hilarious entertainment. But that's another story.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My New (ridiculously impractical) Hobby- A photo blog

While the family were in town, my aunt taught me to crochet. I already knew how to make a chain-stitch (mom taught me when I was about 6) but I didn't know how to do anything else, so by the time I was about 8, I was bored with making snakes, hair ties and dog leashes and gave it up. Last week I learned to single- and double-stitch (are they called stitches in crochet?) and I taught myself to cast off, although I might not be doing it correctly.

I actually wanted to learn to knit, but I thought that any hobby that occupies both hands with long, pointy sticks was not the best thing for a new mom with a curious and wiggly baby around. Crochet still occupies both hands, but there's only one stick, and it isn't pointy like a knitting needle, so while it's still not the best use of my time, at least I can't accidentally poke out both of her eyes at one time. E-baby likes to hold the finished parts for me while I work so she's a big help. The drool lends a sort of fairy-dew quality to my doilies.

So I wanted to show you just a few of the wonderful things I've made.

I made an oatmeal cozy

A squash cozy A skirt for e-baby's teddy bear
(thank you Christa and Volker!)

A hat for the teddy bear
A ceremonial armband

A coaster
And a dog scarf

Impressive, no?

Monday, February 5, 2007

Saturday was e-baby's christening. We did it during mass, and this church does things a little differently than other Catholic churches I grew up in. They do a full immersion in warm water, and there's a tradition of having all the children in church come forward and make a cross on the baby's forehead (some do this with a thumb, some with a forefinger, some with a whole open hand, and some with a booger). E-baby was the picture of poise and grace. Afterwards we had everybody back at the house for dinner and king cake. A good time was had by all. Here are some pictures.

You know from the title of my page that we live in the woods, and that we have the biggest deer on Earth here, so it may come as no surprise to you that, after 3 years living here, we finally hit one. A buck no less, well I guess you could say less, by about 1/2 a rack of antlers. We are pretty sure he survived but all of the other reindeer are gonna laugh and call him names (like Lopsy or 5-point).

I am making jokes but in reality it was pretty frightening. We were on the way home from the church with SNG driving, Dianaverse riding shotgun, e-baby and me in the back, SNG's parents following in their truck, everyone else already at the house. We were going along at about 30mph. Probably 1/2 millisecond before impact, I saw a beige figure approaching the car from the side and wondered why there was a jogger out so late and them WHAM!! It leaped right into the front-passenger-side of the car. SNG's parents saw a doe as well, so all I can figure is he was chasing her through the field right there, and then over the fence and into the Forrester. Oh, yes, it was the new car. It needs body work, but everyone was fine.

For as long as we've lived here I've been concerned about hitting a deer. Now that we've done it, I'm not very upset about the car because everyone was fine. No, listen. This is huge. We were slammed from the side by a love-crazed buck in mating season, and everyone was fine. I'm not saying that I'm going to start hitting deer for fun or driving fast in the woods, but that was such an enormous relief that I'm less afraid of it now.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

My parents and my aunt will be here this evening and Fish will be here Friday for e-baby's baptism Saturday,and it's good timing. e-baby's at a really fun age right now. She smiles and laughs at everything, she loves to play with her feet, and I know there's a consonant sound just around the corner. She has invented a few bvfff sounds, and she gurgles/sings a lot, but we're still waiting for a proper consonant.

She's trying very hard to become mobile. If she's propped up a little bit, she'll pull herself up into a sitting position, only to flop forward under her own weight. So she isn't sitting unassisted, but she's close. It seems to me that she isn't so much trying to sit up as she's trying to go somewhere. It's truly astonishing how quickly babies gain these skills. One day you have no hint what's coming and the next day, Pow! the baby is looking you in the eye intently. Then she's laughing. Then she's fascinated by her hands and the next thing you know, she's interested in computers.

So, OK, not so animated in this one but I think it's hilarious.

There's snow in Charlotte and it just started snowing here, so let's all think warm thoughts for the roads between Atlanta and Raleigh to stay clear for driving, since that's the way mom, dad, and tia are coming.