Monday, March 30, 2009

Beginnings of Baby Takeover

I have a feeling this blog is soon going to become much less about plants and yummy foods, and much more about a certain little baby whose things are already becoming quite a presence in our house. It's amazing someone could have so many things and not even be born yet...



My very good friend Fran (who has a very adorable baby boy) sent us home from Flagstaff with an entire car load of baby things. Last night I sat on the bedroom floor and tried to sort through the piles of clothes we've already been given by so many generous people. I got as far as sorting by type, but then there was size...

We found a changing table on Craig's list today, just what we were looking for, especially since it was super cheap, only $25. We realized when we got home that it matches our little dresser exactly. It's starting to look like we have a "nursery theme" after all.





Chris hung up our leaf canopy over the changing table, and a really cool mobile that Tasha got for us (I mean for Sesame). This is what the view from the table might look like.



I will try to start posting a little more often. If you scroll down to the very bottom of this page you'll see that I added a little "ticker" so that if you are interested in exactly how long until the baby is due, it will tell you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Backyard Spring Equinox



It's been too long since I wandered around our yard taking pictures. Since today is the Spring equinox I thought I would post some of the pretty blossoms that are starting to show up, and some of the other things that make it feel like spring here today. It was kind of grey and breezy, which we appreciate since the sun is already blazing most days.



The orange and lemon blossoms (the white one above) smell so wonderful. My sense of smell is super acute right now, and I'm definitely enjoying the sweet smell whenever I walk out the door.





We would probably never have a garden if it weren't for Steve's amazing skill (and proliferation) at starting plants (he sprouts many more plants than his yard has room for). We are often the lucky recipients of plants like these tomatoes, all ready for us to pretend that we are excellent gardeners, when actually all our attempts at starting plants from seed have ended rather comically in dried up failure.





The pepper plant is also from Steve, last fall. He gave us a couple of pepper plants and about a dozen or more basil plants to enjoy, which we definitely did (and still are, since there's lots of pesto in the freezer).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yetman Trail Hike



Bigger and bigger. Every time I see a photo of myself lately I gasp. Seriously?! Does it look that big? This is seven months. In the mirror it doesn't look so big (I also wear a lot of black, even though I always have this red shirt on in photos), and it certainly doesn't feel that big. But, there are photos to prove it.



We went with Steve and Tasha this afternoon to another hike that was about a five minute drive from our house but felt like the middle of nowhere. The funny thing was that they'd been here, and we'd been to another place sort of nearby, and we were sure we were talking about the same place. As Tasha said, good thing we didn't meet at the trailhead!
This trail went out to the old Yetman house, which is a really beautiful old stone house skeleton with windows all the way around that make great scenic benches.



Just before leaving (part of the reason we left when we did) was that Chris discovered a rather large Diamondback rattlesnake relaxing in a hole in the floor where the old stove used to be. We were wondering who lived there...
On the hike back down we heard an owl echoing through across the high walls of the little canyon. From down below the sound reverberated so strongly that we wondered if Sesame could hear it too. We'll have to ask him in a couple of months.

Homemade Belly Butter



One of my good childhood friends from Flagstaff is here in Tucson for the spring, taking a break from her really neat life in British Columbia where, she tells me, you can have lots of different types of berries out in your yard and an incredible garden in the summer. Right now though, I think it's around -20 or something like that. You can see the Appeal of Tucson this time of year then.
Anyway, she came over yesterday and brought me this homemade belly butter and face cream, her own special formulas. I was especially excited about the belly butter, and used a ton of it last night. It's a lot of shea butter, which is great since my aunt Deborah gave me a little jar of shea butter cream that I've covetted and not wanted to run out of, but now I have plenty! Thanks Robin!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring cleaning... or maybe a little nesting?

We finally moved back into our room (and promptly threw our clothes all over the place, so I couldn't take a picture). But here is what the carpet looks like. It doesn't look as yellow as in the photos. That's because I was using the flash.



I think its exactly the same as the sample I put up a couple of weeks ago.



You really have to walk into the room to appreciate just how much of a difference it makes, but hopefully you can imagine.
Our house is starting to seem a little bit more organized in general too. My mom and Ron came down over the weekend to help us paint the kitchen. I had our little guest room all set up for them. I hated this quilt that Chris' grandmother made for a long time, but lately I have really grown to love it. It has a fun colorful style, especially against another tapestry.



We're really lucky to have so many generous parents that come help with the house and do so many things for us. I haven't really taken a good picture of that yet either... I guess I need to catch up:) Sadly, the back room has suffered as we've had to move things out of other rooms and then they look so clean that it's hard to want to move them all back...



While they were working I made some prickly pear lemonade with another container of the frozen juice we had packed away from harvesting last summer. I juiced more of the lemons that are still hanging on the tree out front, even though the tree is also already covered with delicious smelling white blossoms.



The other day when Chris came home from work he brought in a couple of the little flowers that are blooming out in the yard (for those of you who don't live in Tucson, it's sort of almost the end of spring here, and it will be summer within the next couple of weeks. Before you feel any envy though, just remember that summer for us means staying couped up inside most of the time like winter everywhere else).



Chris also said that day that he had the best and worst day of work ever. The best day with the kids, and the worst day because he ripped his favorite shirt all the way down the back :(



But, my mom is planning to make a tummy time quilt for the baby, and Chris sent the shirt along with her so we may still get some enjoyment out of it after all. We had to take all my bottles down from above the cabinets, and they looked so pretty catching the sunlight. Someday I'll have a nice window shelf where I can put them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Second Ultrasound



We had our much dreaded second ultrasound on Monday. It was not nearly as bad as the first one. We told the woman what had happened the first time, and she actually seemed irritated that the other people were giving all ultrasound technicians a bad name. She was incredibly nice and respectful, told us that everything looked perfect, and gave us a few more "photos". These are much less clear than the earlier ones. I guess he has less room to move around now, which means it's less easy to see the outline of him. I put them on the fridge, which helps me eat really healthy I hope. Also, we're getting just a little but antsy to have him around here, so it seems like another step maybe. Sorry I didn't take the time to scan the image this time. If you look very closely you can make out the profile of a little baby head with a hand in front of it.



It was a huge relief to hear that the placenta had moved up, well out of the way (the reason we had to go back in). Only about two more months!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Peppersauce Campout

Over the weekend we went camping with a group of friends at Peppersauce campground, a little ways outside of Tucson. The campground is beautiful, surrounded by huge Sycamore trees. I was a little nervous about camping, considering how many pillows I've been needing to sleep with, but we loaded our air matress up (which we had to put into the tent before we blew it up), and it was surprisingly comfortable. The problem with air matresses usually is that you sink in too much, but if you're forced to be on your side the sinking in actually turns out to be an advantage.
Something I was very excited about (besides just the fact that we got to camp with a very adorable little baby)
was that my friend Kristin's baby was wearing some of the cloth diapers that I've been talking so much about. She raved about them, and it was definitely encouraging to see the cloth diapers on a pretty young baby out in the woods!


Chris definitely enjoyed the trip. Especially playing ball with the two little two year-old boys that were having a blast running all around our camp.
We also got to play "all terrain Bocce ball" for the first time, which was a lot more fun than I expected. You just throw a little ball out into the rocks/grass/ravine/trees/etc. and then everyone else throws their ball (kind of like a large croquet ball) and whoever lands closest gets a point. It's more difficult than it sounds though with the terrain because you don't really know which direction, or how far, the ball with roll. I think Chris won with four points. I amazingly actually did get one point, although I think it was luck considering my ridiculous aim.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Diaper Shipment



My cloth diapers arrived in the mail the other day. I knew I was ordering quite a few of them, but was still happily surprised to see the great big package waiting when I got home.
I'm probably overly excited about them. They're just diapers after all. But still, I love them. I especially want to say how much I love them right now because I know in a few months when they are covered with you-know-what and waiting for me to wash them I may need to refer back to this post and say, "Oh yeah... I love these..."



Another thing that I really love is when Sesame has the hiccups (yes, we do still call him Sesame). It's the funniest little movement and it just warms my heart every time I feel it. Especially when I'm sitting at work and I can feel this tiny baby in there hiccuping. Amazing.

Our new carpet was installed this afternoon. It's too dark to take a picture of it right now, and we still have to put some trim around the edges just for looks, and then you'll see what it looks like. It's so soft I just want to roll around on it, but I'm waiting because of the glue smell.

Oatmeal Cookies



These oatmeal cookies from a recipe in the Joy of Cooking have been kind of a staple for me lately. Terrible sweet cravings and a desire to stay away from sugar as much as possible have been forcing me to make batch after batch of these cookies, which have a lot more rolled oats than they do sugar. I especially like them with coconut chips, walnuts, almonds and dried cranberries in them.

Preheat to 350 degrees

Combine:
2 sticks butter (or a couple of scoups of smart balance)
1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/4 C sugar
2 lg eggs (once I added about 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup apple juice instead, and they were very good)
2 1/2 tsp vanilla

In another bowl mix:
1 3/4 C Flour (I use whole wheat)
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Mix those two bowls together, and then add 3 1/2 C old-fashioned rolled oats and whatever nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, cranberries, raisins, etc. that you like. They usually need to bake about ten minutes or so. If you wait until they look done, they're overdone. The trick is to take them out before they're brown, and when they still look like they might need a couple of minutes. Gently press on the top and you'll be able to tell if they're done. The instructions in the cookbook (pg 822) are much more detailed, but this is what I do :)



Sunday, March 1, 2009

Taking advantage of nice weather



Yesterday evening we tried another new trail, which we went back to this morning because it was so nice, and because Chris really really wanted to ride his bike around at least once this weekend.
These photos are from the evening hike, when, as you can see, the lighting on the cacti was beautiful. The view of the city was great from up here too, but I couldn't quite capture it well enough to do it justice.



Chris' red Nalgene bottle was really pretty in the sunlight too!







Here is another one of me looking much bigger than I actually feel :)