Archive for July, 2008

Weekend baking

I know, it’s Thursday (night), but I still have some photos to post from last weekend. After my cherry pie failure, I attempted to redeem myself with this recipe for berry cobbler. I used blackberries rather than a mixture of fruit, and I think it turned out pretty well. Bryan was disappointed we left it behind with our friends, and that’s usually a good sign.

On Sunday, Ava and I stirred up the cookie of the month from Martha Stewart Living. It’s a no-bake recipe, which makes it kind of fun (and very yummy).

Overheard

Bry: So you’re basically caging the children now?

Bec: Yeah, pretty much.

Olivia fix

Love vs. Lust

I’ve had a BlackBerry for about three years now. I bought it for work, telling Bryan that it would help me advance my career. Six weeks later, I was promoted to the director of public relations in my organization. If I had been allowed an acceptance speech, I would have thanked my new phone first.

As I became more attached, Bryan’s hatred only grew. (I secretly think he was jealous.) Soon, I was hiding in my nightstand drawer, but more often than not, he would spy the green light when I tried to sneak it out overnight.

I became a pro at typing on the thing–BlackBerry thumb be damned. It was a constant connection to my job, my family, my friends. I’d hide in the bathroom to send messages at home, hoping to avoid the inevitable, “Will you put that thing down?!”

The great thing about a smart phone is that you’re always connected. The downside? You’re always connected. When you have constant access to email, there’s an inexplicable need to respond immediately. And, if the person with whom your communicating is also furiously typing on a tiny keyboard, it just escalates. Then, before you know it, you’re sending emails to coworkers at 4 a.m. From the hospital. Ninety minutes before giving birth.

Still, I haven’t had any desire to part ways with my BlackBerry. Not until recently.

When Apple introduced the new iPhones, I decided I had to have one. Bryan talked me into waiting for the second generation product, which just came out a few weeks ago. Ours have been on order for a week and a half, and we just picked them up today.

But, I’m finding that I’m not completely excited. I will miss my BlackBerry. At the risk of sounding even crazier than I already do, I will tell you that I’m mourning a bit today. I’m terrible at typing on the iPhone’s touch screen. I can already feel my productivity diminishing. And, now instead of enjoying free text messaging to other users over the BlackBerry server, we’ll be back to paying 15 cents for each. My daily communiques with Katie alone might offset the savings of the new monthly package.

I will say, though, the new phone is pretty. And, I’ve always been a Mac girl. I even requested a MacBook Pro as part of my negotiation in my new job. My BlackBerry doesn’t exactly play nicely with it, so I should be thankful to have a phone that will.

Still, I feel a bit adulterous, turning on the one that’s always been there and replacing it with something shiny and new.

Seeing as how I’m publishing this entry from my iPhone, though, I suppose this feeling will pass.

Weekend fun

Ava’s friend Brandon invited us over to play in their pool this weekend. It was a great escape on a 95 degree day.

Even Olivia got in on the action. She happily paddled around the pool on her back.


Who kneads Wheatfields?

Ava and I did a lot of baking this weekend, starting with another no-knead bread recipe. I had no idea you could make bread like this at home–it was really fabulous. I can’t take any credit, though, because I didn’t do much at all.

The only ingredients are flour, a very small amount of yeast, salt, rosemary and lemon zest.

Toss in a bit of water, then set it aside for 12-18 hours. Here’s the result:

Shape the dough into a ball, and let it rest for a couple of hours…

And put it into a pre-heated dutch oven and bake for an hour or so.

That’s it! Couldn’t be easier.

It’s neither cute nor green…

But it does the job. Or at least part of it.

A change of scenery

Olivia’s eight months old today.

She just figured out how to clap yesterday, and she still spends a fair amount of time babbling. She has yet to say “Dada,” but it isn’t because we aren’t trying. (She does say “Mama,” but I think it’s more in reference to need than to me specifically. Need a toy? “Mama!” Need to be picked up? “Mama!” Need a nap? “Mamamama!”)

She’s sporting six teeth (four top, two bottom) and is really mastering solid foods. I don’t think she had anything pureed all weekend–she’s self-feeding most of the time now. She’s weighing in at a healthy 21.5 pounds. Bry called her “Butterball” yesterday, and I would have scolded him had I not referred to her leg as a drumstick early in the day.

Olivia is still a very good natured baby. She takes two long naps a day, and while she wakes up once or twice every night to nurse, she goes back down very quickly. She’s working hard to keep up with Ava, and her knees are rug-burned and red from crawling. She’ll pull herself up on occasion, but I’m not really encouraging that.

Despite my pleas otherwise, she’s determined to move through this short baby phase as quickly as possible.

Because it’s 90 degrees before noon

The little coffee shop down the street makes iced coffee with coffee ice cubes. Simple, smart and easy to do at home–I just freeze the leftovers from the morning pot.

I’ve only been drinking coffee for a few years–I had my first real cup when Ava was five months old. Despite days (months) without much sleep, I felt like a new woman almost immediately. I still can’t believe they don’t hand this stuff out at the hospital when they send you home with a newborn.

I had to quit cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant with Olivia, but now that she’s a bit older I’m back on (back off?) the wagon. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to bother her at all. In fact, the other day I was walking out with two travel mugs, and Bry said, “Wow, thanks for making me a cup!” I said, “Um, that’s my car cup.” Bry: “What’s the other one for?” Me: “The office.”

Perhaps I should think about cutting back just a bit.

Happy birthday!

Today is Katie’s 27th birthday, and I found myself thinking about just how amazing she really is.

One of my favorite stories about Katie involves Teach for America, the endeavor she took on after graduating from college. The first few months were rough to say the least, but Katie’s comment was that “the only thing worse than going back was quitting.” It perfectly illustrated her commitment to finishing everything she starts, not to mention the dedication and hard work she shows for anything that’s remotely important to her.

She’s a fantastic sister and a wonderful aunt to Ava and Olivia.

Do you have a favorite story about Katie? Please share it in the comments section below.