Category: erin is …

Decorations, kid-style

I usually decorate the Christmas tree with our hodgepodge of sentimental ornaments and decorative ribbon, trying to make every angle look lovely and put-together. I didn’t last year because i was decidedly lacking in holiday spirit. We got a four foot tree for the kids to decorate and let them have at it. We were leaving for France on Christmas day and i just couldn’t get into Christmas. This year the fancier attempts went out the window too.

We actually let the kids decorate the big tree and their little tree by themselves with the shatterproof and unbreakable ornaments. As the ornaments proved too fascinating for Nora, we moved them around the tree out of her reach. Eventually the novelty wore off, but there’s still a wide swath in the front of the tree that is empty. (The no-color zone front and center, below the bluish globe.)

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They’ve also been creating things on their own to decorate the tree … snowflakes (with assistance from Grandmama), random pieces of art work, random pieces of ribbon, etc. It’s actually pretty cute.

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Then you have these: one of my attempts to have sentimental ornaments on my kids’ future trees, too. I had seen these snowmen handprint ornaments all over Pinterest and wondered if they were really that easy. Unless I forgot some crucial steps, they really are!

I’m amazed at how tiny both of their hands still seem.

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Making Pot Pie Even Better

Last Friday Will and our former neighbor smoked turkeys and pork loins … Delicious. I do love smoked turkey, pork ribs, pork loin, chicken … Well, you get my drift.

I’m not such a fan of turkey, though, that I can just eat it for weeks on end and love every minute of it. Yesterday, in my quest to remain up and active and coax a baby out (didn’t work), I decided I’d make a pot pie from scratch. I searched for a recipe that specifically called for smoked turkey and lucked out with this recipe from Cooking ThreeTimes. I made some modifications and it was absolutely delicious.

The original recipe is Lemony Turkey Pot Pie. I don’t want to take credit away from the original author, so I’ll just mention my modifications below:

  • I can’t eat onions any more and I wanted to include more veggies, so I added two small/medium potatoes (diced) and three medium carrots (chopped) to the celery. Cooked them in the butter, and they were great.
  • Dried herbs instead of fresh. Sorry!
  • Didn’t have any lemons, so I used about 3-4 tablespoons (I think) lemon juice in the sauce.
  • Sriracha chili sauce instead of chipotle tabasco
  • Homemade pie crust instead of puff pastry (a lot of extra cooking time required, but so worth it!)

Holy cow the sriracha chili sauce just made the entire dish pop. It, combined with the lemon juice, was absolutely the best.

There’s another alternative for turkey leftovers, should you do a turkey this Christmas. We’ll definitely be making this one again.

We’re still waiting …

Despite the contractions that started early this morning, we are still without new baby this evening. I hoped this really was going to be it. Not only am I nearing that JUST GET OUT stage of pregnancy, this is the one day in a good stretch that isn’t already a friend or family member’s birthday.

Today was supposed to be my last OB check-up. My OB, bless her, ended up getting called over to the hospital so quickly that she ran out of the office still on the phone, without telling her staff where she was headed. They waited for the text to hear what was going on so they’d know how long the waits would be, but in the meantime they started moving people around as best they could. I know it’s a fact of life that OB/GYN appointments are some of the longest waits ever, but really … when I know that when it really matters my OB will drop everything like that to go take care of one of her patients, that makes me feel pretty good about her attention and care for me as another patient. I can wait.

Today we saw the nurse practitioner, who I also love. Some changes, but not a whole lot of “progress”. There are more and more signs that my body is gearing up for labor, though. She said that everything today could have been signs of very early labor, or it could be a while longer. (Every profession has their own personal version of “It depends.”) “You still okay with waiting it out and being patient?” [i.e., no induction planned when I go post-due date] “Yep, as of this week I’m definitely still good with that.”  I’d just rather not do that again unless (as with Seth) something really necessitates it!

We left with instructions to go walk a lot and some clues about when to actually head to the hospital. And then we walked … and walked … and ate lunch. And walked some more. Still no baby, but lots of discomfort and irregular patterns of contractions. We’ll see what the next few days bring …

Anticipation

We’re in the Baby Watch phase now. Any day could be a leisurely plod toward or beyond my due date (December 26), or it could be THE DAY. We’re not getting very helpful indicators from the baby or me, either. There have been definite signs of readiness, but nothing that has moved us into the full-on “having a baby!” stage.

On Friday night my mother and I went to see Lincoln. Oh wow, was that good. There were parts of the movie I just didn’t feel like my brain was smart enough to understand … I needed a warm-up to be able to follow some of the dialogue. It wasn’t that I felt condescended to or that the movie was trying to be too intellectual; I just felt like my brain wasn’t working as fast as the dialogue was flowing. If I were reading the screenplay, I’d have to go back and re-read a few sections a few times before moving on. I guess that’s sort of a hook for re-watching the movie, right?

So we’re sitting in there, about 40 minutes from the end, and I start having contractions. Suddenly my interest in this movie wanes a bit, and I wonder how serious they are with those threats about being escorted out for looking at my cell phone. I’m not talking about those little squeeze contractions, I’m talking full-on, close your eyes, breathe through it contractions. My impressed-ness with the movie kind of disappeared and it became the LONGEST MOVIE ON EARTH. It was still great and all, but did we need to drag out the ending like that? Okay, maybe I was biased.

Then after the movie? Nothing much. Contractions faded, baby remained in place.

That’s pretty much how the rest of the weekend has gone. I haven’t had the fully intense contractions again, but I’ve had spates of regular ones. I’m awake now, at 4 am, because I woke up so uncomfortable and crampy that I was hopeful of labor starting. Alas, it does not appear to be so …

We have my last prenatal appointment this morning, so we’ll see if there’s any news from that. Other than that, it’s wait and see …  The next guess in our baby pool is December 18, and we’d be good with that. Or, you know, whenever this baby decides to arrive. *sigh*

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