Sunday, March 21, 2010

Zoo

I told Scouty on Friday that we could go to the zoo. Then we got caught up in all kinds of errands and sewing and other time consuming activities. By the time we left for the zoo, it was already past 1 o'clock. And then we hit the traffic on Rte 88. Oh my gosh, what a mess. After sitting still for 20 minutes, I decided that I was no longer in the mood for the zoo and that we should do something closer by. I was feeling grumpy and uncomfortable and pregnant and hungry and I had no tolerance for continuing the car ride. Plus, nap time is daily at 3 o'clock, and I could feel it rapidly approaching, sure to pass us by and leave me with a weirdly energized but sensitive child.

So, guess what terrible thing I did?

While sitting at a standstill, bumper to bumper, I pretended like my phone was ringing. I said, "Oh! It's the zoo calling!" I then acted like I was talking to somebody at the zoo, hung up with them and sadly announced that they were closing the zoo early today, oh no! I apologized to Scouty and suggested that we go to the playground instead.

Her little eyes welled up with tears and her little chin started to quiver as she asked me, "They're closin' the zoo?"

"We can get ice cream, too!" I tried. "With a million sprinkles!"

She burst into tears. The worst part was that she was trying to be so brave. She said, "That's okay, mommy... but I just feel SO SAD!!!"

I felt like the meanest jerk of a mom in the entire world.

Suddenly, my phone started ringing again. It was the zoo calling back! "Uh huh, oh really, okay!" I said to the imaginary zoo worker. I hung up and announced, "They made a mistake! The zoo is going to stay open! We can still go!"

So, about 45 minutes and another traffic jam on Rte 28 later, we made it to the zoo. I was starving and exhausted before we even set off on foot to traverse the ridiculous parking lot and then the ridiculous hill that leads to the animals. The train and the carousel were still closed for the season, we ate the world's most disgusting "pizza" for lunch, and we missed nap time, but Baby B was SO HAPPY. She kept saying, "The zoo is open! They just made a mistake!" And so, I was really happy to be there, too.


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She even made a new best friend.

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And kissed him!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Sun Love...

More reasons we're loving springtime...

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Coffee Outside with Daddy on his lunch break.


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Making "pancakes" out of melting snow.


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Listening to music with Baby Ouisa.


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Finally being able to hang laundry outside!



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Look who popped out to say Hi yesterday for the first time! We were so excited to see them that we danced around and ran through the house looking for a camera to take their pictures.

Yesterday evening, daddy pushed Scouty in the stroller and I lugged my big round belly to the park where we played until it started to get dark. When we got back home, Scouty said, "Daddy! I need to show you something! It's a pretty surprise and it's yellow..." but when we got to the flower bed, the flowers had already closed up for the night. We quietly tip-toed inside to make sure we didn't wake them.


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This is Scouty's baby, Pinky Twisty. We have been practicing being a big sister with Pinky Twisty. Lately, our most fun game to play with her is to push her stroller to the top of our yard and let her roll roll roll down to the bottom, where she usually tips over and lands in the dirt. Kurt is convinced that this is inappropriate Big Sister Training, but Pinky Twisty swears it's the funnest thing ever.




I am also thrilled with our upcoming schedule over the next few weeks. Instead of a steady block of story times and trips to the mall play area, we're booked for Egg Hunts, a luau in Peters Township, a puppet show tomorrow, and Scouty's birthday party is even next month. I am going to rent the visitor's center at Round Hill Farm. Scouty has already suggested that we all dress like farmers.

There are also about 11 weeks until our wedding.
I still have no idea how to go about beginning to plan for this event.
I don't have a dress. I don't have any decor. All we have is a venue and a bunch of jumbled up ideas and inspiration. Rustic, handmade, homemade, low key, smart and put together. Where should I start?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Springtime...

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We made it!

I feel like it's been a very long time since March has been a full fledged springtime month in Pittsburgh.

Feather and Eliot came over this week and we had a real picnic and the kids spent hours playing in the dying snow.

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Kurt and I met with the man who is going to be officiating our wedding ceremony, and we've decided on Mt Washington as a location.

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Cell phone picture from last weekend.

We took Scout up on the mountain via the incline, and she loved it. She keeps asking if we can ride the roller coaster again.

There are so many reasons why the top of a mountain overlooking the city is the perfect place to get married, but mostly, think of how gorgeous the pictures will be! We don't have to worry about lighting or decorating. We'll be outside, on the top of the world on a sunny, early summer day.

The only think I'll have to be concerned about is finding a reasonable dress for an 8 month pregnant lady. It's a little over 2 months away, but I can't bring myself to commit to a dress because I feel like I'm going to get so much bigger before then. It's crazy that our wedding is in 2 months, and then we have a baby coming a few weeks after that.

Anyway, Scouty's been a little city traveler, lately. On Saturday, she and daddy took a train downtown to watch the St. Patty's Day Parade.

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I was a little nervous about them making such a big trip by themselves, and kept having images of drunk St. Patrick's Day-ers sweeping Scouty up on to their shoulders and carrying her away from Kurt or something. I was up early and packed a back of snacks and lectured Kurt about the importance of hand sanitizer on public transportation and gave him a run down of the necessity of regular potty breaks. What do you know, they made it there and back safely and nobody died of starvation, germ inhalation or peed themselves.

Something that helped with my nervousness was that I went to the spa to collect my Valentine's Day present and got a 90 minute pregnancy massage. I left feeling like I had just had a few margaritas or something. It was AMAZING.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Thank goodness for sunny March days.

We have been buried under feet of snow for literally weeks. Maybe even months. Every February is bad, but this one was particularly incapacitating. But, there are always people who talk about you should be grateful for the bad because without it, we wouldn't recognize good. Can't have light without darkness, whatever. Really, though? If you're a person who lives through a cold, dark winter... the first days of sunlight as spring approaches really make you feel like a new person. Like maybe you don't want to shut yourself in a closet and die rather than run to the grocery store in 11 degree weather and 2 feet of snow. That maybe life isn't even so bad. While I would GLADLY give it up in a heartbeat, I think that I wouldn't be so appreciative of sunny days if it weren't for the fact that I go through a debilitating winter.

It was in the high 40's today and sunny sunny sunny.

Scouty and I ran to Joann Fabrics, and it wasn't even annoying because on the way to a from the car, we took our time and soaked up some warmth. We weren't even wearing coats and scarves and hoods tied around our chins. We volunteered to leave the house early, even, so that we could make the most of our day outside. That NEVER happens on those dark, windy, buried under feet of snow days.

Then we went to Target and bought Aunt Audra a birthday present and got a bag of peanut butter candy eggs with the little shells that you can crack with your teeth, leaving the egg intact. In the parking lot, we stopped and watched a train go by, squealing and carrying coal and it was nice. It wasn't a winter moment where Scouty wants to see the train and I'm shivering and hustle, hustle, hustling her to the car while she cranes her neck to watch the freight cars go by.

Best of all, we got to go to the farm.

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Sweet little cows. There are signs up in the barn reminding everybody to "Treat all animals with kindness." It kind of gets to me, and I always try to be extra kind, which usually means asking Scout not to touch anything in a softer voice than what's required.

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Scouty exclaiming that, "This horse is as BIG as a man!"

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My little pea.

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New friends.

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We did have some sad moments, but we always do.

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They don't last.

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Failed attempt at a picture of the two of us. Instead, you get a picture of the two of my girls. 21 weeks pregnant.

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So, there's still plenty of snow, but it's disappearing! And, just let me remind you that we didn't have to wear coats today!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pregnancy hormones and storytime...

Yesterday, Scouty and I went to story time at Brentwood Library. All day long I had been feeling a weird mixture of unattached bliss verging on about to burst into tears sadness. Does that ever happen to you? I think it's mostly a pregnancy thing, but it happens sometimes when I'm not pregnant, too. I just get weird little bursts of feeling, and I'm sure they're good, like... maybe for a second, I feel so happy I could just die, but then, I also think I'm going to cry, so maybe I'm really actually sad, but it's not really sadness. It's a sprinkling of dust up my spine and a little shiver and it only comes for a second and then disappears. Anyway, I had been feeling weird like that all day.

At story time, Ms. Dolores played a song about riding in an airplane and the kids were fly-fly-flying all around the room. I watched Scouty with her little arms out to her sides and a HUGE smile on her face, big, funny, crooked glorious teeth and cheeks for days. Then, they landed their planes and danced around to the music. She looked up at the teacher and she grabbed Scouty's hand and spun her around. Scouty put both of her little chubby hands up to her mouth and kind of scrunched down and laughed because being spun by Ms. Dolores made her so happy and kind of embarrassed her. Then she jumped into the air and my heart honestly broke, right there in the middle of a noisy room filled with squiggling toddlers and their bored parents.

I felt so happy for Baby B, how big and smart and happy she is, and how she was having SO much fun being there and being alive and being who she is. I also got a whoosh of... I don't know what it was. Reflectiveness? Pride? I don't know, but it was the happiest and saddest feeling ever, and, "oh no!" I thought and my lungs filled with water and I started crying, sitting on the floor in the middle of the crowd of dancing, laughing toddlers! I couldn't help it and there wasn't anything to stop it from continuing. Scouty ran up to me and climbed into my lap to get ready for the next story and I squeezed myself with all my might thinking, "What are you doing? Stop this." In the end, it took five whole minutes of red faced tear blinking and avoiding eye contact, trying not to think about how cute and perfect my daughter is, before I finally got it together.

I thought about the Olympics and how stupid they are for making me miss good shows on tv. I thought about diapers I might like to buy. I thought about things I need to sew and bored the feeling right out of me, but it was hard.


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How am I supposed to not love her so much that it makes me cry and embarrass myself in public?


In Louise-ier news,
The baby has been moving around all day and night inside of me.
I even got a swift jab to the cervix last night that made me jump and say, "ooh!"
I have been sleeping perfectly, comfortably, like I'm not even a big round ball of a woman with a squirming, tiny person inside of me.
I have also been eating everything in sight and cursing my husband for leaving chocolate cupcakes on the kitchen table. I actually fight with them, the cupcakes, I mean. All day long, yesterday, I kept telling them out loud, "You ruin people's lives and give people diabetes! How disgusting you are!"
But then I caved in the evening and Kurt chinged his cupcake up against mine like they were glasses of champagne and we ate them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mom's Birthday

I made dinner for my mom's birthday last night.

Baked Tofu and Broccoli with Garlic Ginger Sauce over Brown Rice.

Cut tofu into squares and bake for 1hr at 350.
Chop an onion and squish/dice 3-4 cloves of Garlic and saute them in olive oil until the onion is caramelized.
Add a bunch of broccoli and 2T powdered ginger (or grate some fresh ginger) to pan and cook until broccoli is done.
Mix 2-3T of cornstarch, .25 cup of soy sauce (or tamari) and 1.25 cups of water. Stir until smooth and add sauce mixture to the pan.
Cook everything until sauce thickens.
Add a few splashes of Orange Juice at the end, if you want to.
Serve over brown rice.

It was delicious. I love how baked tofu is crunchy/chewy on the outside and soft on the inside and ginger is my pal. Scouty B even ate a big girl portion.


As for desert... were you aware that we're experiencing a pumpkin shortage? I planned to make a healthy pumpkin dessert instead of a cake. I bought most of the ingredients, but there wasn't any canned pumpkin at the first store we checked. Or the second. Or the third. I sent Kurt on a mission to find some during his lunch break at work, and he reported that there was only an empty shelf where the pumpkin should be. I even called 2 more stores, and they didn't have any. A guy at the last store I called told me that there is a national pumpkin shortage. All of the crops got ruined a little before Thanksgiving. He told me that it was "all over the news" during the holidays. Extra, extra! This might be the first time in my life that I actually wished that I had seen the news.

So, for my poor mother's birthday dessert, I made instant pudding. It was all I had in the house that qualified. I did make little frozen graham cracker and whipped cream sandwiches and sprinkle the whole thing with cinnamon, so it didn't end up looking as pathetic as it was.

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The sign we colored for Grammy. Scouty pretended she was writing on it and made little scribbles while she slowly read her own writing. "Dear Grammy, Happy Birthday forever and ever, on summer days with sun and on rainy days, I love you."

Scout has a thing with the phrase "on summer days." I'm not sure why or where it came from, but when she makes up a song, she always sings something like, "I love mommom on summer days," or "I'm perfect and wonderful on summer days." Maybe winter is making her crazy, too.


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Unfortunately, the only party hats we could find had spongebob on them.

I asked Scouty what we should get for Grammy's party, and she said, "Balloons, party hats, Pirate Booty... Ooh! and Lettuce!"


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I'm never in pictures. It always looks like we had a party and I just didn't show up, so Kurt snapped one of me as proof.


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Spotty n' Dotty eating his tofu and broccoli. I could never remember if this doggie was named Spotty or Dotty, and Scouty told me... no, his name is Spotty AND Dotty. And it is, too. Spotty n' Dotty is a must have guest at any makeshift party.


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And Purple Panda and Mr. Moosey.