Saturday, March 31, 2012

Behind Closed Doors

Andrew suggested we spend the afternoon lounging at home with the windows open so we could listen to the rainstorm. I was thankful he did. We napped and ignored our phones and took random photos and ate chocolate covered almonds.

We talked about the baby. Will he have Andrew's feet? My eyes? Satchel's obsession with peanut butter? Will he be healthy?

We talked about the pregnancy and our doctor and how we were rushed out of our appointment on Thursday. How frustrated I was. How nervous I was. What will happen if Aston is still breech. What will happen if he isn't.

We talked about how we should call Andrew's parents. Give them an update. Tell them not to worry. That everything is fine. That their grandson is fine. That we got his sister's wedding invitation. That we've meant to call more lately. That we're sorry.

We talked about our tenants. One who we should sue. One who we should call. Two who we're surprised we haven't heard from. We talked about the one who is getting hit by her boyfriend and the five who we hope will renew their leases. We talked about the kids of the one we might have to evict.

We talked about how much I hate talking about that.

We talked about the sprinkler system not turning on and the nice neighbor who came over to help us with it.

We talked about the neighbors. How they're no longer moving, but they're sending their son to boarding school in the Northeast. Which Andrew and I should consider talking about. Apparently.

We talked about talking about boarding schools.

We talked about how mental we'd have to be to be talking about talking about boarding schools because who will mow our lawn then?

Then we talked some more about the boy who will mow our lawn.

Will he have Andrew's feet? My eyes? Will he be healthy?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I made this the other night. It's exceptionally basic.

But so so so so so good.

It took about ten minutes to throw together. Incredibly simple. Nothing special.

But sooooooooo good.

Rotini + Sausage

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 package Jimmy Dean’s Reduced Fat Pork Sausage
sea salt and black pepper
5 ounces frozen peas, defrosted
1 package Barilla Plus Multigrain Rotini
1/2 cup grated reduced fat Monterrey Jack

Boil salted water in a large pot. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan over high heat. Add sausage and sauté, breaking until brown and crumbly. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Add two more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Add the peas and sauté for three minutes. Return the meat to the pan and cook for another three minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain pasta. Return pasta to the pot and add the meat mixture. Combine thoroughly and add cheese. Gently cook over medium heat for six minutes. Drizzle in remaining olive oil. Turn off the heat and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and serve.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Put Me In, Coach

This is pretty much what I've lived in the entire pregnancy. Old sports bras. Running pants. A decent pair of New Balance.

Over the last several months I've logged hundreds of miles and spent countless hours in the gym. Running. Lifting. Visualizing. Stretching. Pushing. I've considered myself in training. For the baby's delivery.

It hasn't been easy considering how sick I've been. I'm still incredibly nauseous on a daily basis, and I've been having contractions for over a month. I'm anemic. I blacked out several times in the second trimester. I'm in constant severe pain.

(I know I sound like an asshole for complaining, and in a way I am, considering that we've escaped a lot of complications. But I don't want to pretend like this pregnancy has been a cakewalk.)

I stay this active because it makes me feel relatively better and reminds me of myself, of my own strength. And I think it will be important to be physically strong for before and after the birth.

Andrew and I refer to what's coming as The Baby Olympics or The Big Show. Even though I've intentionally avoided birthing classes and prenatal yoga and reading the labor parts of my baby books (which probably explains why I didn't fully understand the risks of carrying a breech or why we had to rush to the hospital the other night which, by the way, totally interrupted our March Madness plans), I've been actively mentally and physically preparing myself for the day. Sort of in the same way I did when I ran track in college.

(Before you say anything, yes, I realize that pushing a refrigerator out of my jayjay is drastically different than racing a 5k, for example, I'm fairly certain you don't wear Lycra and spikes in the delivery room. But I'd probably know for sure if I was actually down with the baby lit.)

The longer that Aston remains parked with his brain in my ribs, the more I wonder how likely it is that I'll even get the chance to try a vaginal delivery. Which is very discouraging. It's not that I'm some granola muncher who needs to experience natural childbirth, it's more that I've been preparing myself and working towards something that might not have the finish line that I was looking forward to. The thought of a caesarean recovery intimidates me, but it pales in comparison to the risks that Aston would face if I had a spontaneous breech birth.

So. I'm crossing all of my fingers and toes and choosing to have an open mind. No matter how the end of this pregnancy happens, I have to believe that it's really only the beginning.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

House Tour: The Lake House

You can find in depth Before + Afters of The Lake House here:
The Office
The Studio Slash Playroom
The Nursery
The Nursery Closet
The Guest Bedroom




Studio Slash Playroom

Guest Bedroom

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Chinese Indonesian Father Used To Make This Mean Fried Rice

Days before I found out that I was pregnant I had a dream that I was at a cocktail party at a mansion in Palm Beach. It was so vivid. I can recall exactly what the marble floors looked like, the classic millwork on the fireplaces, the faces of the overworked staff peddling picked over hors d'oeuvres.

I also remember that there were rats.

Thousands of them, all white and milling around the feet of the guests. As if that wasn't strange enough, as gross as it seems, they somehow did not frighten me. (Remind me about that the next time that I hide six rooms away from a spider.)

Not long after I had that dream, I learned that certain Eastern cultures believe that white rats symbolize prosperity and protection. And get this. Many also think that they predict the birth of a son. Particularly the Chinese.

Or at least the Chinese teller who works at my bank.

Who also insisted that this is the luckiest year to give birth (The Year Of The Dragon).

She told me this after letting me know (quite loudly in front of a long line of other customers) that all of the girls at the bank were relieved to hear that I was pregnant because, "We think maybe she just getting fat? But, no, you have bay bay. So it good for you. And lucky!"

Chinese Fried Rice

1/2 pound shrimp
2 cups brown rice
15 strips low sodium reduced fat bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 eggs + 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt + pepper

Prepare rice.

Throw the shrimp in a pan over medium heat with teensy bit of butter. Turn after a minute. Remove when they begin to turn pink. Drain and set aside.

At the same time, cook the bacon over medium heat in a separate pan, turning occasionally until crisp. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Return the skillet used for the bacon to the stove and turn the heat to medium high. Add two tablespoons of the oil and three quarters of the scallions and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, one tablespoon of the oil and the cooked rice and stir to coat. Add the peas and stir again. Make a big well in the middle of the rice and add the last two tablesoons of the oil and the eggs. Let them sit for a minute, then scramble with a fork and cook for two minutes more. Stir the eggs into the rice, breaking them into little pieces. Turn off the heat. Add the bacon, the rest of the scallions, the shrimp, and the sesame oil. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.

p.s. Off subject, I swear we're almost done with Aston's closet. Here is a peek at his tiny wardrobe.

I realized that I may have gone a tad overboard when I found myself purchasing a Baby Gap peacoat the other day after remembering, um, WE LIVE IN FLORIDA. But for some reason I'm learning that miniature clothes are insanely gratifying to purchase. (Seriously, try to stop yourself from picking up a pair of Chucks in a size two. It's impossible.) Who knew.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chasing The Headstand


So (thanks to your suggestions) we spent this weekend trying everything imaginable to coax this kid into position, including...

1. flashing a light near my hooha
2. the Webster technique
3. putting ice on my ribs
4. changing positions
5. begging
6. pleading
7. warm baths
8. begging
9. pleading
10. tunage near my nether regions

If anyone is curious what playlist will not work on a breech baby, here is a sampling...

1. Just Like Heaven, The Cure
2. Skinny Love, Bon Iver
3. Like A G6, Far East Movement
4. True Colors, Eva Cassidy
5. Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison
6. Scarlet Begonias, Grateful Dead
7. Isn't She Lovely, Stevie Wonder
8. Feels Like Home, Chantal Kreviuk
9. Don't You Remember, Adele
10. In My Life, The Beatles

I could tell he liked the music, but apparently Adele and Stevie Wonder do not inspire my little man to stand on his head. (Which, really, why would this shock me?) I should try Madonna's early stuff perhaps. Fairly proven, I'd guess.

p.s. I have not been able to get this sofa out of my head for The Office. But where to find a quality one in navy that doesn't cost a billion dollars??? Will keep you posted.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Baking Upside Down

Normally I'd be out on my morning run around this time, but not today. The notsosmall reason why is sitting with his head in my ribs.

I'd never given much thought to the possibility of him camping out in the breech position, because apparently it's pretty uncommon.

Which, um, hello?

Is exactly why I should have assumed it would happen to me.

Lately we've had the most beautiful weather and I've been outside a lot, walking and running and blasting the Ipod to National Public Radio.

You know. Happy stuff.

But other stuff, too.

Like contractions. Loads of contractions.

I pretty much do my best to ignore and run through them, because I so prefer a pretty day out and about to (yet another) private pukefest, and moving seems to limit the nausea.

Not only that, but I figured if I somehow threw myself into early labor whilst listening to Diane Rehm, well, then that would be a bonus.

Can you believe I just wrote that out loud?

What kind of heinous mother am I???

More shocking, though, is that my sixty inch frame has not spontaneously burst into a ball of flames or split right down the middle like a cracking egg. I don't expect you to understand how tight things are getting around here, but torso real estate has been extremely limited for months now, which explains why my stomach has recently reached the far Western regions of the Pacific Standard Time Zone.


On the flip side, after discovering the whole breech thing the other day, I found myself thanking my lucky stars that these have only been practice rounds and not The Big Show. The doctor explained all of the risks and concerns and percentages of carrying breech at this point ...yada, yada, yada... which I hadn't even bothered reading about in the baby books, because the chances of it happening to us were, like, nil. Basically, we won the lotto. If the lotto was an upside down cake in the form of a fetus. With man parts. Anyway. He told me that this is a game changer, and that should I go into labor, I need to ixnay my original plan of watching Jersey Shore reruns for six or seven hours before going to the hospital. Not even six or seven minutes, not even the opening where JWoww talks about ripping heads off of the men that she sleeps with.

Hospital. Pronto. Period.

I'm still processing what this means, but it's put the scare in me. I mean, I'm continuing to live my life, working out full speed ahead and moving forward with plans to The Lake House, but I'm much more cautious, and more than a little nervous. Andrew is too, and he now insists on being by my side for ev.e.ry.thing. from running to taking out the garbage to Ohmygod, that was a contraction wasn't it? Are you okay? Can you hear me? Is there a foot hanging out?!

No, honey, I just had to burp.

Pregnancy is beautiful.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Apartment Therapy

Spotted here.

In other news, Aston spent all weekend throwing pump fake contractions my direction, which is why Andrew is trying to finish sanding his closet today. At least the rest of The Nursery is (pretty much) ready. I think.

I should probably pack a hospital bag. Suggestions on what to toss in?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Here With You

From the beginning of our relationship, Andrew and I fell into a pattern of unfiltered honesty with one another, a raw directness that far surpasses polite censorship but falls a safe distance short of straight cruelty. I find it reassuring.

It's good to have someone like that by your side when you vomit on yourself and you look like a house and you raise your voice because the ice cubes were not crushed into small enough chunks.

He's the man who holds my hair back and insists that I'm beautiful and yet reminds me that I'm being a punk about the ice chips.

But then he still gets me the smaller ones, anyway.