Thursday, August 30, 2007

Elise and other people

Sunday we had my dad, step-mom Liz, and lil' sister Elise over for brunch. They hadn't seen our apartment so this was their first time visiting us while we live in a real apartment, not a little hobbit hole.

Tripp was the chef. He whipped up his world-famous grits (famous in our world at least) along with some yummy sausage and some of my left over sweet potato cornbread and bosc pears. Tripp's grits include sauteed onion and garlic and I don't know what else. We have this unspoke rule that whenever one of us is cooking, the other must remain far, far away from the kitchen. We both think we're right about everything and that our way of doing things is better. This can become problematic, so I'm not exactly sure what all he does to his grits, but he makes them awesome. Plus you sprinkle on some Monterrey jack cheese......the memory is so good, I shiver when I think about it.

Safe to say Elise, being 3, was very entertaining and way cooler than the rest of us.

Here Elise shows us just how awesome our floors are - you can easily glide across the floor by holding onto the pant leg of any unsuspecting adult.

After stuffing our faces we made our way to our local playground so we could work off some of the extra grits we ate.

The reason Elise is so f'ing cute is because she took after me, her big sister. I mean, it's obvious. We even have the same eyeballs!!

Here's one more just cause her face makes me want to eat her up with frosting on her!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Don't mess with pregnant women, they will kill you.

Okay, so my ultrasound was scheduled for Tuesday (yesterday) morning at 8:15. Monday morning the receptionist from the doctor's office left me a voicemail saying that they had to cancel my appointment because the doctor wouldn't be in.

Umm, hello? I scheduled this appointment over a month ago! What the F do you mean the doctor won't be in?! Now, some of you may not realize why it is sooooo wrong, and fairly dangerous, to cancel this appointment on a pregnant woman: the ultrasound in the second trimester is the "BIG" ultrasound, the most important one of all 9 months, the one everyone waits for! For most people this is when they find out the sex of the baby. Despite not wanting to know the sex of the baby, I still want to see the baby (everyone minute of every hour of every...) so these mother fer's must be out of their mother f'ing minds to cancel the day before. Seriously. I almost committed acts of violence.

This is not my regular midwife, I go to another doctor in the city for my ultrasounds so Tripp can be there. This is some fancy pants doctor uptown. AND at my last ultrasound there was no doctor! There was just a technician, so who the hell cares if my doctor wants to go play golf somewhere, give me a god damned technician and show me the baby! Hormones people, don't forget about the hormones. Steam was coming out of every orifice on my head for about 45 minutes. Then I was finally able to reach the evil hag receptionist and reschedule for this Friday at 10. After the phone call my hormones made a left turn somewhere and I had to go to the bathroom three times because I was on the verge of hysterical crying.

By 3pm I was so emotionally drained and tired I could barely keep my head up straight. I'll have baby pictures to post on Friday - lucky for that receptionist I didn't take matters into my own hands and pay her a special visit on Monday that would not have ended well. There would have been yelling, and crying, and probably breaking of things.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dinner party!

Claudia finally ended months of boyfriend secrecy and brought Jude around for dinner at our new place. She was really afraid that Jude would be so utterly terrified of Tripp and I (we are rather frightening, aren't we?) that he would run away and never call her again. Finally I told her that if she didn't bring him around I would stalk him at work and introduce myself, which would be scarier. So I, along with my lovely assistant Claudia, whipped up some Southern style Man Food, Not really manly but good.

Le Menu:

Sweet Potato Corn Bread

A lot of servings (recipe works well if you half the ingredients, too)

2 cups flour
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar (add a bit more if you like sweeter corn bread)
7 tsp. baking powder (I use 6 because I can sometimes taste the baking powder when I use 7)
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups of cooked, mashed sweet potato

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl combine eggs, milk, oil, and sweet potato. Pour wet mixture into the flour mixture. Combine until moist. Pour into a greased pan (13x9). Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Broccoli with Lemon Butter Sauce
4 servings

16 oz. package frozen broccoli
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan (optional)

Bring frozen broccoli to a quick boil then let simmer until tender. Heat butter/margarine, water, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and let simmer. When broccoli is finished pour sauce over broccoli, sprinkle with Parmesan over broccoli before serving.

Southern Red Rice
6 servings

1 cup white rice
1 16 0z. can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 lb. Jimmy Dean spicy breakfast sausage (the kind in a tube)
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Melt butter in 2 quart sauce pan, add onion and sausage, cook until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, stirring. Turn heat to low, simmer, covered until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (about 25 minutes).

Herbal Chicken

4 servings

1 tbsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil to coat chicken
6 chicken cutlets

Combine all spices. Coat chicken cutlets with olive oil, rub with minced garlic and herb mixture. Let sit for about 20 minutes (longer if you can). Saute until lightly browned and no longer pink inside (5-7 minutes on each side).


1lb Mascarpone cheese (if you are cooking for a pregnant lady Bellagioso makes pasteurised cheese)
6 eggs (pasteurised if you like your friends)
3 tbsp. sugar
20 lady fingers
8oz. espresso
3 oz. brandy
cocoa powder or grated semi-sweet chocolate - garnish

**Using pasteurised eggs reduce the risk of food poisoning because eggs are raw!

In a shallow dish combine espresso and two shots of brandy (you can add a tsp of sugar if you like)
Separate egg whites and yolks.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
In a large bowl whip eggs, sugar until white and fluffy. Add mascarpone and shot of brandy. Mix until combined and fluffy.

Dip lady finger (carefully) in espresso. Lay a layer of lady finger at the bottom of dish. Cover with 1/2 mascarpone mixture. Lay another layer of lady finger (dipped in espresso) cover with remaining cheese mixture. Sprinkle powder chocolate or grated chocolate to cover entire surface. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (Kept covered and refrigerated will be good for 5 to 7 days).

We are all fat and happy. The men folk are drinking beer and watching football, yeah, as if football is half as interesting as Claudia and I. I mean, really. And Claudia brought me my own special pregnant lady six, of orange and pineapple soda. Mmmmm.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

18 1/2 weeks!!!

For all you baby-free people, that means 4 1/2 months pregnant. That's, like, half way done! Which is crazy, I can't believe that after this point it's nearly over. I don't even look pregnant yet!

Here's the latest visual:

There isn't a huge difference between week 14 and week 18, but there's definitely a little somethin'. My mom said she popped at 5 months, so I'm hoping that in the next two weeks there will be definite baby stomach visibility. This is definitely the only time in my life that I've been hoping and looking for a bigger belly. But I mean, geez, who wants to be pregnant without the belly? The only way anyone knows I'm pregnant is if I point it out! That's no fun. I want "Oohs" and "Aahs" and smiles from old ladies. Is that too much to ask?

There has also been a noticeable rounding of other areas that I'm not very pleased about, see exhibit C:

I'm pretty sure the baby is nowhere near this part of my anatomy, so why the rounding? It's probably the ramen noodles. Lots of them. Just sitting there on my legs. Damn it.

We go for the big ultrasound on Tuesday morning at 8:15. Hopefully the technician will make sure we don't see the little wee parts between the baby's legs, cause that would totally piss me off! I need to not know the sex of the baby, it's going to be the thing that spurs me on through labor - I'm impatient so I know I'll get that kid out fast to find out what we're having. If we know the sex of the baby, well then all I'll think about is how scary it is to push 6-8lbs of human through such a small space and I'll just try to avoid labor. It's just best for all parties if we don't know. Which is totally driving my mother insane.

First she thought it was a boy because the heartbeat was sort of calm at our first visit. Then at the next visit the baby's heartbeat was really fast and frantic sounding, so she was sure it was a girl. So I might be having both...oy.

I'll have new ultrasound pics either way on Tuesday, yay baby!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tan boobies

We came home from St. Martin yesterday evening. I have to say, it suited me just fine to have no access to a cell phone or computer for an entire week. Though when I checked my email last night it took me an hour and a half to sort through everything. That's the bad part about vacations.

This vacation was the first and last of its kind - Tripp and I, plus my mom, Cathy, Phyliss, and two family friends. Spending 8 days with your family members, even if it's on a beautiful tropical island, is just not fun. By day 5 everyone was ready to go home. It wasn't all bad though. From now on we'll stick to a friends only policy.

Tripp and I visited 5 different beaches, Dawn Beach, Baie Rouge, Orient Baie, Friar's Bay, and Pinel Island. Orient Baie, Baie Rouge, and Pinel Island were amazing! Really good snorkeling at Baie Rouge, and the water is gorgeous. Well, all of the water on the island is gorgeous. . . Orient Baie is the ritzy frou frou beach, lots of naked boobies and extremely tan old French guys in very little bikinis. Pinel Island requires a ten minute ferry ride and it is definitely worth the $6 round trip. The beach on the island is somewhat small, you can rent chairs and umbrellas, there's a restaurant and a bar on the island, no other trappings of the land locked world though - not even electricity. The water on the beach is completely still, no waves, and doesn't get more than waist deep. The main recreation on the beach is to buy a large alcoholic beverage, sit in the shallow water, and get drunk and tan. Very nice.

When we first got to the island I gave Tripp a quota, he could only see 20 sets of boobies, penalty free. That number totally went out the window, especially once we got to Orient Baie. So to make it some what fair I got to go topless too, and give the ladies some time in the sun. They enjoyed it thoroughly. As did Tripp.

Though the island's motto is "The friendly island" the majority of people were not entirely friendly. The island's wildlife, however, is very cordial. While driving down any given road you are likely to be greeted by many friendly goats, lots of cows, some horses, several dogs, a few roosters, and of course, some pigs. They just roam about freely, greeting tourists and happily accepting any leftovers you might be willing to spare. My mom almost came home with a puppy she met in Phillipsburg. Tripp and I almost came home with a baby goat, they are way cute. We were going to name it Boris, but then found out there's a good deal of red tape when it comes to flying live stock on international airlines. Ugh.

Hurricane Dean almost scared us into coming home two days early (not that we minded by that point) but we found out the airlines wouldn't move our tickets forward anyway. So we stuck it out - Dean visited St. Martin on Friday with some showers, many dark, stormy clouds, and big ass frothy waves. We didn't go swimming that day. There was lots of detritus (new big word found on many beach signs on the island!)and yucky stuff washing up on shore. I don't like to swim with yucky stuff. A few crazy surfers did tempt fate and surfed with Dean. That's what happens when there's too much testosterone in your body.

Tripp and I ended up coming home only with a lovely set of tans and some kick ass guavaberry liqueur. If you go to St. Martin, get a guavaberry colada from the guavaberry emporium in Phillipsburg. It will rock your socks off. Seriously.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Weight issues - like, oh my god

So today I'm 15 weeks pregnant - that translates into 3 months and 3 weeks. I'll be four months a week from today, holy crap! It goes by surprisingly fast when you aren't nauseous and asleep by 7:30pm.

Okay recap - the first trimester I was nauseous, a lot, but no actual throwing up took place. There was mandatory napping if I didn't get at least 9-10 hours of sleep per night. Safe to say Tripp and I didn't see each other much, our days went like this:

7pmish: Tripp comes home, "Hey Nicole how was your day?"

Nicole - "Great honey. I'm going to bed in a half hour. As soon as I finish eating this entire gallon of rocky road."

And then I went to sleep. Repeat every night for nearly three months. Also, smells were bad. Most smells. Food of all kinds smelled bad. The gyro guy outside of my office, who I visited at least three times a week pre-baby, yeah, he and I had to end our relationship for the first trimester.

A note to any who may be expecting sometime in the future: ice cream is a wonderful way to deal with heart burn. All that creamy, cold deliciousness just turns that tummy acid right off.

Now I'm in my second trimester and it is waaaaaaaay better. The pregnancy glow doesn't occur in the first trimester, you're usually just green in the face. Now, now there is a glow. The glow is caused by the increased blood production. The increased blood production is also the cause of all of the extra urinating you'll be doing. (For instance, when you now wake up every single morning at 4:30 to use the bathroom - that's the extra blood you're making.) And in the second trimester I'm actually awake. And food smells good. In fact it smells great. Perhaps too good. I like to eat now. A lot.

- Edy's 1/2 Fat Ice Cream (Butter Pecan)
- Pickled Banana Peppers
- Tostitos and salsa.
- Everything Bagels (accounts for 3 out of the 4lbs. I've gained. I should really just tape two bagels to my butt instead of eating the bagels and then take them off once the baby is here.)

In my first trimester I lost a pound. I have since gained 5! So, altogether 4 pounds gained....and counting.

My mom gained 65lbs. when she was pregnant with me(!) and I am determined not to follow in her footsteps. In fact, I'm thinking that 4lbs. is plenty. I mean the baby is only 3 1/2 ounces right now! Those pounds are all in my butt and boobs!!! Okay, having boobs is kind of a perk. But the extra butt weight, that I could do without.

Next appointment is this Monday - hopefully I will manage not to gain 5 more pounds in the mean time.