Oct 31, 2011

Bad Betty

So I struggled into some panty hose, used a bottle of industrial strength hairspray and clipped on my earrings. Insert drink and cigarette (not shown here, but an integral part of the costume) and I became Betty Draper.  26 weeks pregnant, strutting (well, limping by the end of the night) around with a cigarette in my hand. . .it was a huge party and I got some confused looks.  My obstetrician was there and thought it was hilarious, however. 

When I got home, I tried to get a better picture of my dress- I think I will have it altered and sport it regularly once this bun is out of its oven.  The coat had to stay on all night as during said struggle with panty hose, I bent over and heard the splitting of a already broken vintage zipper.  Stiff tailored brocade dresses from the mid-sixties plus 6.5 month pregnant belly- not the best match.  Who'd of thunk it?

So, I got safety pinned up, threw on a coat, and rolled with it.

I really wanted a drink though.
I hope y'all have a lovely Halloween, and eat massive amounts of candy!  Fill me in on costumes please. Note- I am afraid I did not push mine far enough, as when I sent the top picture to Mama- she thought I was just going out on the town, and did not realize I was in costume.  Hmmmpphh.

Oct 27, 2011

Comfort on Tap

I recently read that the consumption of dark chocolate helps counteract the negative effects of stress on a fetus.  So, I began this morning with a big plate of fluffy buttery scrambled eggs, a cup of dark hot chocolate, and a cheesy mystery novel.  Breakfast was eaten in bed, and the baby kicked with delight.

Tuesday night worries were soothed with a warm bath and the new issue of Southern Living.  It is amazing how the simplest pleasures give such relief.

However, I have saved the biggest cheer-me-up/stress relief for last.  While perusing Target's aisles with Hubs, we happened upon dog costumes.  Hubs laughed as my eyes grew wide with excitement as I flipped through the racks- envisioning Buddy chasing his backyard squirrels while wearing a squirrel costume! I mean, that would be probably one of the most delightful things to witness ever.  Unfortunately, the costume selection for golden retrievers (70 pounds=XXL) ran woefully slim.

My little pumpkin!  Putting this hat on was a two person operation.  My role was petting Buddy (and trying not to wet my pants, as I was laughing so hard), while Hubs manfully struggled a squirming dog into a pumpkin hat.

The next step was the pumpkin collar.  I had to wait until Buddy's valiant efforts to remove the hat subsided- then I attacked him with a velcro mess of tulle and fleecy material.  He protested that he is a boy, but it was to no avail.  Finally he acquiesced, but wouldn't look at me for the rest of the night.

"When the hell is that baby going to get here, so I no longer have to suffer this type of indignity?"

So, in summary, when I need a pick me up and can't guzzle down some wine- hide all dog costumes.  Buddy begs you!

Oct 26, 2011

When Okay is Wonderful

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of support! After a three (!) hour appointment at the high-risk doctor, the outcome was what I predicted.  "Baby is small, but normal.  We have to be really careful with the bicornuate uterus and two vessel cord, and we will monitor the baby's growth and the amount of blood flow every two weeks."

So. . . the status quo! Best news ever!  Baby will still likely be early, but hopefully reasonably early.  I will keep going to the doctor for an ultrasound every two weeks.  I'm sure I will have a mild panic attack in the hours leading up to each appointment, but am peaceful and relieved for now.  Basically, I have two obstacles in our way- wonky uterus and wonky umbilical cord.  The baby and I can hurdle over those.  Just a cautious hurdling, where we don't get out of breath or travel. . .

Oct 25, 2011

Giving Up Your Worry

So, I had grand plans of sharing with y'all a delicious meatloaf recipe that involves three (!) types of pig, but my mind is so full right now with another matter, that comfort food will have to wait.

Yesterday, I went in for my 25 week ultrasound.  Remember that I have been having scans every two weeks, due to the heart-shaped uterus.  This week, the doctor became a trifle concerned about the baby's growth.  The problem is not that I have a small baby (genetically, I will have a small baby- I was teeny, and am not a very big person now), but that the baby's growth has been dropping percentiles over the past couple of months.  Then the doctor noticed that my umbilical cord has two vessels instead of three.  In itself, this can be fairly common, and is not a huge cause for concern.  However, combined with the growth dropping, and my wonky uterus, well. . .I'm heading to the high risk doctors (who I had to see about cerclage possibility in the first trimester) tomorrow.

So, I am sitting there with Hubs, trying not to freak out, a strained smile on my face as I ask what this means.  I'm a lawyer- I need to know ramifications, people!  If the bean is having trouble growing inside of me, they will likely pump me full of steroids to speed its lung development, and I will give birth around 34 weeks- a Christmas baby! (note, get cracking on the nursery ASAP).

Now, the reason I hesitated to post any of this is that we don't know much right now.  We could check everything out tomorrow on the high-risk doc's super-duper ultrasound machine, and the baby could have completely different measurements.  Especially since it's a wiggler, the measurements can be imprecise.  Or, the doctor could have something completely different to say.

So, after my slight breakdown yesterday (which I am allowed, hormones and mama instincts call for tears), I feel positive!  I am so blessed that I live in a city where I can go up a floor from my doctor to see the high risk doctors.  If the baby has a hard time after it is born, they just whisk it under the street via a direct tunnel to Children's Hospital.  Also, it's a good thing that I have the previous complications leading to all these scans- otherwise we would likely not know about any of this.  So, although I did sleep a restless dream-filled slumber last night, I gave up my worry to God.  I am trying to release it to him every time I feel it creeping back into my thoughts.  It's difficult for sure.  I want to dwell, and dissect, and scare myself with various outcomes.  However, beyond knowing that it's not going to do me any good, I know it's not going to do the baby any good.  Law, I think I'm becoming a mama already.

I will be sure to let y'all know what the doctors say tomorrow.  Now, to end on a cheerful note, here's a picture of me holding one of Peg's triplets after their baptism Sunday (hopefully that baby's adorable smile will distract ya'll from my terrible hair)!

Oct 18, 2011

Milk and Cookies

Today I was awake for far too many hours, waking up early to straighten up my wreck of a house, dealing with the guys here for new gutters, a busy day at work, a meeting with the curtain lady to measure for the nursery (the reason for the early morning frantic cleaning, an opera meeting which fell by the wayside, and a Junior League committee meeting. 

All these mundane events and errands were punctuated by me driving over a curb at lunch, resulting in a packed patio of people (some of whom I know) staring at me in my convertible as it made that excruciatingly loud crunching sound as my front wheels, then the back wheels, went over said curb.  Thank the Lord and Jackie O. for big sunglasses. 

Combined with the realization that I am beginning to waddle, it was a crawl right into bed when you get home 12 hours after you left it kind of day.  Bed accompanied with my laptop to pen this post, and a tray laden with milk and cookies.

And not just any cookie.  Homemade carrot cake cookies.  I can't stop making them.  Easy and delicious, they are laden with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice- the perfect fall nibble.  So the recipe before I fall out-

1 box yellow cake mix
1 scant cup shredded carrot (I bought baby carrots to use rest of the bag for healthy snack.  This means it takes forever and a day to shred)
1 cups chopped pecans
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Mix together the first five ingredients in a large mixing bowl
Combine the eggs and oil in another bowl
Dump into the dry mixture and stir to combine well
Refrigerate for an hour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper droop hefty spoonfuls of the dough about 1-2 inches apart
Bake for about 15 minutes
Cool for a couple minutes
Transfer to a wire rack for further cooling down

These were a huge hit at the UT-UGA tailgate.  I made the next batch intending to give them away, but. . .

Note- the original recipe (from Southern Lady magazine, honey-chile) called for 1/2 cup of carrot and walnuts.  I like both, so those got doubled.  The spices were woefully underrepresented, so 1/2 a teaspoon of each got moved up to a whopping tablespoon.  If you don't like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, you can decrease the amount of deliciousness to 1/2 teaspoon.   I will shun you though.

Hope you Tuesdays were full of joy and required no need for cookies.  However, Thursday might, or Saturday, so get thee to the grocery store immediately.

Oct 17, 2011

The Help- My Thoughts

So I finally got around to seeing The Help with Mama on Friday.  I know I am woefully behind on this viewing, but I was overwhelmed by hype and reviews for the movie, so I held off for a bit.

Anyway, it's time for a glaringly obvious statement.

I am so thankful  that the Jim Crow era has passed, and segregation is not a part of our laws.

I'm sure you are thinking, "Why in the world am I wasting my time reading this inanity? Unless one is a Ku Klux Klan member, you are obviously grateful that segregation is gone.  What an idiot."

I tend to romanticize the early sixties a good deal.  The clothes!  The music! Gloves and hats! The cars! The lack of reality television!  Yep, I really missed my era.

Now, Mad Men has done an incredible job exploring the dark underbelly of the time, especially sexism.  However, I normally brush off any Mad Men induced qualms about my missed era.  After all, they would not apply to me.  I don't live in NYC.  Hubs isn't a womanizer (he would travel eras with me as well in my imagination).  I live in a small Southern city.  Being a stay at home mom, homemaking and volunteering would be fulfilling- no need for affairs with older politicians.  Hubs doesn't have a secret life.  Idyllic!

Except not.

So much of the movie felt eerily familar to me.  Certainly times have changed, but so many social interactions have not- from the young wives squealing at an old friend's arrival to baby fever sweeping  said group of young wives.  And we all know the domineering Hildy, whom it seems is present in every group of girls.

So I could relate. And mourn the instituationalized racism that pervaded the era- whether blatant like Southern cities, or more subtle as demonstrated on Mad Men. So I bid adieu to dreams of shirtdresses and kid gloves, woody station wagons sans car seats, and children safely playing all through the neighborhood until called in for supper.

I'm still dressing as pregnant Betty Draper for Halloween though.  Complete with glass of scotch and a cigarette.  Hope people get it- otherwise it's going to be a long, judgey night!

Oct 16, 2011

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

Buddy and I listened to the Tennessee- LSU game on the radio, while bidding an official adieu to summer.

Goodbye wild and crazy zinnias.

Hello Mums and Pansies! 

I dug the scraggly half-dead geraniums out of the window boxes, and planted Plenti-fall Pansies instead.  Have any of y'all tried these before?  They are allegedly going to start trailing soon.  However, I suspect that an important  component of the promised growth will be steady and frequent watering of said flower boxes.  I have written myself imploring notes from the pansies to encourage watering and posted said notes in strategic locations to discourage their demise.  We'll see if it works.
It was a sweaty and satisfying first half (well, in the yard more than on the field). 

Do y'all prefer listening to the game on the radio, or watching on the TV?  I'm a radio girl myself- it's actually easier for me to concentrate on the play action that way.  This is probably my favorite way to spend a sunny fall afternoon- elbow deep in dirt, listening to a good game with my favorite furry companion.

Of course, this might be due the fact that tailgating ain't quite as much fun as it was six months ago- amazing what a cold beer or two does for your tailgating experience!

Oct 12, 2011

Bumping It Up

So after a discussion about bellies "popping" yesterday evening, I was thinking that I have probably popped.  This morning I looked in the mirror, and thought, "Hmmm, well, I don't look all that pregnant."  (rather smugly thought this, I must add)
Then I turned to the side.

Hahahahah, I guess I do in fact look quite pregnant!  Also, excuse my jerry curl hair in these pictures.  It's raining, and I am too tired to tame the curls.

So, almost 24 weeks (please compare to just 2 weeks ago, in almost the exact same outfit, egads).

Sex of baby: We are holding fast in not finding out.  I think it is a girl.
Size of baby: A spaghetti squash/ear of corn/foot long hot dog.  These all seem vastly different sizes to me. .
Total Weight Gained:  15 pounds.  Dear Lord.
Maternity Clothes: Pants and skirts. I am loving that elastic waist. All my normal flowy dresses and tops are still in use.

Movement: Baby does not stop! 
Sleep:  I still can't get enough.

What I miss: My energy!
Cravings: Honeycrisp apples and soup- same things I would normally be craving this time of year.

Aversions: Still can't handle chicken.  We had chicken pot pie for dinner Sunday, and I could not do it!
Symptoms:  My back hurts all the time, I'm even more clumsy than normal, and soooo sleepy.
Best Moment this week: Check out the fortune that Hubs received with his fortune cookie on Monday-
So January 10th- will that be the Bean's birthday?  Pretty weird, huh?

Oct 10, 2011

A Last Taste of Summer for Fall

There are the last gasp tomatoes floating through your local stores right now (well, at least in the South).  Pick up as many as you can lay your hands on, and make this soup. 

Roasted Tomato Bisque (adapted from The Best of Southern Living cookbook):

3 pounds of tomatoes, cut in half and seeded
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small head fennel
3 tablespoon butter
5 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
3 cups chicken broth, divided
7 fresh tarragon sprigs
7 sprigs Italian flat leaf parsley
1 cups whipping cream
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

  • Brush the tomato halves with Olive oil, and place cut side down in an aluminum foil covered baking dish.  Baked at 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Cool to the touch, and remove the skins
  • coarsely chop the fennel bulb
  • melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
  • add the fennel, shallot and carrot, cook about 15 minutes until the veggies are tender
  • add the 2 cups of chicken broth, tarragon and parsley
  • reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about thirty minutes
  • discard herb sprigs (if you are a tarragon lover like mean, you might want to leave some of the leaves behind)
  • Add tomato halves, and puree with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender if immersion blender is not available)
  • process until smooth
  • stir in whipping cream
  • bring to just a simmer, and stir in the remaining cup of chicken broth salt and pepper
As a grownup twist on mater soup and grilled cheese, serve this with Barefoot Contessa's baked fontina for a perfect causual fall supper with friends gathered around the kitchen table.  Don't fuss with flowers, just set the cast ion skillet of bubbling cheese down in the center of the table, and everyone can dip their hunks of French bread in, amid bites of hot creamy soup.  That's a dinner party invitation one doesn't turn down!

Cozy Fall Supper-
Spiked Apple Cider
Spiced Pecans
Roasted Tomato Bisque
Baked Fontina
French Bread
Brer Rabbit Cookies

For a change from the normal chili, this would make a fun game watching menu- serving the soup in mugs, and the cheese on the coffee table.  Enjoy!

Oct 5, 2011


1.  I really don't like Coldplay.  I think all of their songs sound the exact same.  Not a Pink Floyd fan either.

2.  In the embarrassingly bad television category, I really dig this Hart of Dixie show.  Especially shameful since one of the character wore a little straw hat with some flowers on it inside last episode, like it was 1961.  Attention non-Southerners, we do not dress like the movie The Help! And, I still like the show.  Sigh.

3.  I have long conversations with Buddy, replete with me answering myself in Buddy's "voice".  This is either  a sign of 1) Hubs is out of town for work too much, 2) I am losing my mind or, the option which I am leaning toward, 3) I have telepathic powers when it comes to this furry creature.

Happy Wednesday!

Oct 3, 2011

Broken Planes, Skeeters and No-see-ums

I got eaten up down in Amelia Island this weekend for this lovely lady's wedding-
(Juhi, I ganked some pictures from your FB, as I was typically too busy yakking to take any!).  Annie and Blanton's wedding was beautiful, relaxed, and a wonderful time.  I got a last gasp of summer sunshine and bugs, and was delighted to visit with college friends and law school friends all in one place.
Shelley has her eyes closed in this one, but it highlights my difficulty dressing my growing midsection.  I was a greeter, and was hopeful that all the guests realized that I am not terrible at dressing my figure, but instead knocked up.

The rehearsal dinner was one of the first times during my nine months of sobriety that I honestly wanted to dive into an entire bottle of wine.  This is Delta's fault, not the bride or groom's.

We arose at the crack of dawn Friday morning to make a 7:30 flight, which took us to Atlanta, then Jacksonville, then a shuttle to Amelia.  I dressed carefully, as I planned on getting dropped off at the bridesmaid's luncheon, while Hubs took our bags on the hotel.

This did not occur.

After sitting on the runway for about an hour, it became clear we would not be making our flight to Jacksonville. I let the bride know I would not be attending the luncheon, but was still hopeful about a little time to walk on the beach and relax.

That did not occur either.

Our plane was unable to be fixed, and they finally let us off the malfunctioning aircraft.  There was a mad rush to the help counters resulting in more waiting around.  Our town has a small airport.  We fly to Atlanta to go anywhere.  This is a Friday on a weekend with a minor football game.  As you might guess, there are absolutely no seats to Atlanta on any airlines.  At this point, I am starting to get a bit nervous, and there is talk about getting us to Jacksonville on Saturday, just in time for the wedding. 

Then, a new idea was presented!  Riding to Atlanta on a shuttle provided by Delta!


Shuttle= cab= rattly mini-van.

I am still in shock that I took a cab the three and a half hours from the Knoxville airport to Atlanta airport.  Hubs shouldered the brunt of urging out driver, Skip, who was great, to step on it, while I napped.  We rushed through the airport at 2:30 to make the 3:00 flight.

I might have looked rather rough, but we were only about an hour late to the rehearsal dinner, simply missing the cocktail hour.  A cocktail would have been quite delightful, but some deep breathing, old friends, and delicious food helped ease my stress level.

The wedding was such a joyous occasion, and the happiness of seeing these two friends tie the knot was well worth any crazy cab rides and a host of mosquito bites!  Congratulations Blannie!  Love you much!