Thursday, December 17, 2009

The First 3 Weeks of Motherhood

I am still up as I am waiting for my son to go to sleep. Tonight is the first time since he was days old that he won't sleep and won't stop crying. I brought him into our bed and he was asleep in minutes but when I put him in his crib, he was wide awake and crying. After letting him cry for 30 minutes, I realized he wouldn't stop so tried feeding him again and he was out. Hopefully he will stay asleep. I think maybe he knows it's his 3 week birthday since I mentioned it all day long ad he doesn't want to be alone in his crib on such a big day. :) Likely not, but it's a nice thought.
I have absolutely enjoyed motherhood, even more than I ever dreamed I would. Superman and I have settled into so easily and little A is such a great baby that he makes it easier. We sleep 3-4 hour stretches between feedings at night and he sleeps a lot during the day as well. It is so amazing to watch him with his little expressions. Most of the time he looks serious, surprised or worried. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if he is already aware of the world's problems and is worried. Maybe he is calculating solutions and will someday be the U.S. president. It could also be gas.
His baby sounds melt my heart into pieces. When he sleeps, he has this adorable wheezing sound that makes me think he is attempting to snore. At least this sound is far more adorable than Superman's snoring. A's little coos and sighs and lip smacking are more than I can take.
Each day goes by and I watch him grow bigger and bigger, and I get sad since he started out big. He was 8 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches. The doctor told me babies don't get bigger than 21 inches, which made me proud. I birthed the biggest baby in the hospital the day he was born, and I am proud of those bragging rights. Since this was my first child, I was even more proud.
The labor was so much easier than I ever thought it would be. I was a tad nervous since I was induced and had heard it was so much more painful than going into labor naturally. I was able to convince my doctor to induce me 5 days past my due date, as he was going to induce me at 7 days past anyways. 24 hours after the induction started, A was born, one and a half hours before Thanksgiving Day.
When they placed A o my chest just after he was born, I was so overcome with emotion and happiness. I realized at that exact moment there is no greater feeling than greeting your child when they have entered this world. Seeing him so blue and tiny (I thought at the moment) and helpless made my heart overflow with love. He was looking around from the moment he was born and is still very alert to this day. While my labor was not particularly painful thanks to the epidural, I forgot about everything the moment I laid eyes on him. I remember looking at Superman so I could see him looking at our son for the first time as well. I was crying and he was too and so was little A. We were a family of crybabies at that moment, and I sure do strongly dislike crying. It's right up there with vomiting. The two are neck and neck for one of the top spots of my dislike. But little A's birth was worth all the tears and more.
I wrote a four page letter to A when he was a week old. I wanted to tell him all of the things that I felt when I saw him and I wanted to tell him alll about his birth and the emotions his daddy and I felt before I forgot most of them. I wanted him to know that his daddy was by my side the entire time, anxiously awaiting his arrival. I wanted him to know how happy he has made us and how much more in love his father and I are. We have found such a deep love and respect for each other on a level I never knew existed. I wanted A to know how we felt when we first saw him. Mostly I wanted to remind my son how much we loved him right from the start.
I look forward to all of the firsts that will be to come with A. I look forward to bringing siblings for him to grow up with. I am excited about teaching him about God and giving him a religious background. I anticipate celebrating milestones with him every step of his life. Mostly I can't wait to embrace the person he will become and watch him leave his mark on this world, no matter how big or small that mark is.
I love you A more than you will ever know.

Your Mommy

Monday, November 16, 2009

FInal Days of Pregnancy

As my pregnancy is winding down to the final days, 4 more days until my due date, I am anticipating the arrival of our son. Superman and I are excitedly anticipating our new roles as a mom and dad and look forward to greeting all of the challenges and rewards with open arms. It is strange how the pregnancy has made me feel more grown up and responsible over these last 9 months. It is also interesting to see how pregnancy affects the way men and women look at parenthood. I suppose that I feel more protective since I feel my son moving inside of me and can feel his liveliness. I know that my husband will understand how I feel when he finally gets to hold our son for the first time. I can't even begin to imagine what that moment will feel like and I hope that I can soak in every sight, sound and smell so that I can never forget it. I plan to etch that moment so deep in my mind that when I am old, I still can remember.
It has also been a struggle for me to accept the fact that I have no choice to go back to work instead of staying home to raise our child. In these economic times, we have no choice and it is a difficult struggle for me. I am so thankful and grateful for my family that will help out with childcare. As I begin to realize how expensive childcare is, I wonder how in the world people can afford childcare, although I know they just do. Some days I wish we lived in the old times, when villages helped to raise children and times were simpler. There weren't the evils of consumerism and the need for instant gratification that drives many people today. As terrible as the economy is, I am glad that it has forced many to change the way they spend money and puts some of the power back into the hands of consumers.
In the end, I know that when the time comes we will do what is in the best interest of our child. I am so grateful for my amazing husband who does everything he can think of to help make sure we have money to pay our bills, food on the table, clothes on us and a place we can call home. We have realized we will not be able to realize our dream of being homeowners anytime soon, but we also know that it is love that makes a house a home, and we have made a wonderful home in which to raise our soon to be son.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pregnancy and Life

I have finally hit 7 months of pregnancy. I can't believe how quickly the time has flown. I feel like time is running out, but I cannot wait to meet our little one. He is growing stronger each day, though he becomes less active. I know that this is because he is starting to run out of room. I have started to treasure the little bouts of movement that I feel all that much more. Except for when he runs over my bladder, or kicks so hard that I feel like his feet are going to stick out of me. I don't care too much for that part.
This week has been so busy. I had my weekly Mary Kay meeting, a two hour training session for my volunteer work as a CASA, and a smugmug meeting tonight. I volunteered to make 100 cupcakes for this meeting. My husband and I took 6 hours to make and frost the cupcakes last night and it was nice to bake together. We have been so busy since we have gotten married, and I have hardly been home this week. He is working so hard that he is exhausted by the time he gets home. I know that we are both looking forward to some time relaxing.
I have enjoyed all of the meetings that i have attended this week. i love to be around new people and it is helping me to overcome my shyness. I met a few new great people tonight and it is nice to meet other people who are in photography. I have a lot to learn as i am just getting into it, and it is so wonderful to know that there are other people out there that are willing to give tips and advice and just be helpful. I am looking forward to more meetings to continue to get to meet new people.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Loss of a Friendship

I will never forget her phone number, her laugh, her caring ways and the 10 years of amazing friendship that we shared. Maybe I have changed so much that our friendship couldn't withstand it. Maybe she has changed and is no longer tolerant of the errors that I make. Either way, the fault was placed with me for the change she felt towards our friendship and I will accept responsibility for it 100%. It was my decision after all to no longer agree to have any communication with her; it just kills me inside and I can't have my wounds reopened time and time again when she attempts to contact me. And when she told me that she can't change what I have done or what has taken place, I know how she feels, as I feel the exact same way. Two peas in a pod. But I made a decision that I felt was right for me and my life at the time, and I wouldn't undo what I had done.
I suppose the hardest thing for me with this loss is that in 10 years, we never really had any problems, and we were both Leo's. Then one day, all that changed. The problem was between myself and another one of her friends when I asked the person to move out in writing instead of telling her in person. I felt that as the "landlord" I had to put aside personal feelings and act from a business standpoint. It really was nothing personal nor a negative reflection of this person; we were just not compatible as roommates. I don't place any blame or resentment with her for defending her other friend that I had hurt. I suppose I might react the same way as well. But I would hope more that I would also be willing to listen to both sides and hopefully maintain a level of indifference and not let others problems ruin my friendship with either person. You never know how you would respond until you are in the same situation.
It is so hard to have a friendship taken from you after an act of humanness. I suppose in the end, the 10 years of friendship and good times and good acts can't undo one bad act. So our decisions have been made and life will move on. A little emptier and lonelier, but for the best at the end of the day. I hope that writing these feelings out will allow me to be able to put everything behind me and move forward. I will always hold a very special place in my heart for her as noone can replace her. I will always wonder how her health is, how her business is doing, how her relationship is doing. Maybe someday in the distant future we will cross paths, both of us more mature and forgiving. Maybe we will greet each other like the long lost friends we will be and trade life updates. Or maybe we will walk past each other like strangers that we have become to each other. No matter what, I wish her all the happiness, success and health one can have in life. Thank you for showing me what true friendship is and can be.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July Daring Bakers Challenge

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She choseChocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

I took some time off as I found out I am pregnant and got married. Now that that craziness is behind me, I plan to post my challenge completions regularly. I love learning new things to bake. It's helping to improve my culinary skills.
This month's challenge was to make Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies. Everything was made from scratch, even the marshmallow. I cut the cookies into heart shaped cookies and they were quite adorable. This was my first time making marshmallows and luckily I found it to be quite easy. In the end, the cookies were quite yummy. The chocolate covering did not work so well as the heat wouldn't allow the chocolate to finish setting. But they were eaten so quickly that it didn't really matter. I have to say that I would make these cookies again. I didn't get pictures from this month's challenge as they melted and didn't look appealing enough to photograph.

Below is the recipe:

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

Monday, April 27, 2009

April Daring Baker's Challenge

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. This was so much fun to make and we were allowed a lot of room for creativity. Since I am still new to cooking and baking, I decided to not venture too far from the given recipe. I used the basic recipe and decided to incorporate chocolate into the cheesecake. I also decided to make cupcake sized cheesecakes instead of one large cheesecake.

I made the cheesecake crust from chocolate teddy grahams, poured the plain cheesecake batter and then swirled in some chocolate in an attempt for a marbled effect.
I had so much batter left over that I added the chocolate into the batter and mixed it together to get a semi chocolate tasting cheesecake.

The cheesecakes came out yummylicious. Luckily we had some friends over since we had gone to the Norco rodeo and everyone was more than happy to help eat the cheesecakes. I will definitely make these again in the future.
Here is the recipe for the cheesecakes:
Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
crust:2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar1 tsp. vanilla extract
cheesecake:3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature1 cup / 210 g sugar3 large eggs1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream1 tbsp. lemon juice1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake
DIRECTIONS:1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March Daring Bakers Challenge

The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

So this month, we were required to make a spinach dough for lasagna noodles, as well as a white bechamel sauce and a homemade ragu sauce. Unfortunately, I failed miseraby at this month's challenge and therefore have no pictures or review to make. I am hoping to be able to make up for this next month.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Carpeting and Pool Table

So Superman and I are getting a pool table on Monday. I have yet to see but am told that it is a very nice, rather expensive table. I have always wanted a pool table, so when the opportunity came about to own this one, I jumped at it. Is it practical or even in the budget, no. But what we are paying compared to it's worth, I couldn't resist.
 We are currently renting a house and there is a back building/room/office that we were not sure what to do with. I decided that it would be great to put the pool table there and then make it into a lounge area that we can have BBQ's and hang out in when the weather allows. There is a patio so the space seemed perfect. Below is a photo of the building pre update:

I decided that we would be irresponsible pool table owners if we simply put the table on the concrete floor that had been painted over. So the quest began for suitable flooring for such a magnificent piece of furniture. Options considered:

1-Tile floor-that wasn't more than a second long thought.
2-Wood flooring (or honestly faux wood florring aka pergo)-hey it's a rental house. But the decision was that if a ball landed on a hard flooring it would dent the wood, or more importantly the prized pool balls. And this would defeat the purpose of putting flooring over the existing concrete floor.
3-carpet or rug-the room is a 10 X 13. So we decided we would look for a cheap carpet or rug solution. I preferred a rug for the fact that we can take it with us when we move. However, a rug was not likely to cover the entire floor and I was worried that I would be overwhelmed by all of the clashing color schemes. So I went to many carpet stores and found the prefect carpet. The color was blue, but the room is painted plain, sterile white and we can't change any paint colors on the property. I decided the carpet would look good in there, but I will have to see how it looks with the table. The felt is magenta and the wood is golden oak, so I've been told.
 We brought the carpet home and installed it last night. We did not get padding since we were attempting to keep our costs low. The carpet sales person recommended a double faced tape which would keep the carpet secure. (Disclaimer: this tape is serious stuff. Do not attempt to stick tape to your significant other's arm where hair exists. Apparently there is serious pain in removing the tape by ripping if off the skin. Superman has confirmed this theory). 
 First step was to remove all the base in the room. Then we cleaned the floor where we would be laying the tape. We laid the tape and rolled the carpet onto the tape, section by section. The carpet was a 12 X 12 piece of remnant so we had to trim it to fit the room. It was too wide and too short. After we laid the carpet and trimmed to fit width wise, we filled in the shortened length. Below are the pictures:

This morning we went and put the base back on. It looks so much better than it did before. Now we can't wait to get the pool table in. The little strip at the end is where we had to patch the short piece. It looks a little odd, but much better than if we left it bare.
 So total cost to upgrade the flooring for the back room:

Carpet remnant (plush type)-12 x 12 piece-$60
Double faced Tap$7

After Sales tax-$72.50

Not too bad.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the pool table. I can't wait!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

January 2009 Daring Baker's Challenge

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruenhren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angelique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

This month's challenge was to use on of the batters we were given (sweet, gluten-free, or savory) and shape it before or after baking. We then had to pair the tuile with something light. I selected the sweet option and made a chocolate tuile and paired it with a raspberry mousse. I had never made either item prior to today so this was a challenge for me. However, I found both to be quite easy to make. Karen of Bake My Day made her tuiles in the shape of butterflies which were so cute, but I opted to take the plain route as I am just starting. I was happy with the way my challenge came out, and my boyfriend (Superman) enjoyed the tuiles as well. I have quite a bit of work to do in appearance and presentation however. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year and New Start

So it's 2009. What does this mean? Another new "start" to another year in life. I have chosen 2009 to be a year for many starts, we'll see how it all turns out in 12 months.
 First new start, I ended a less than ideal roommate situation this past month. After one of the ex roomies tried to skip out on a week and a half worth of rent and attempted to get me into trouble with my landlord, it would be not too unreasonable to say that I am far from enthusiastic about the thought of another roommate. However, life is all about adapting and overcoming, and this I plan to do. I look forward to another household adventure. I welcome it, I embrace it, I....well whatever.
 Second new start, I have joined a group known as the Daring Baker's. I am very excited about this as I hope that it will push my culinary prowess to new limits. Ok, so confession. I have really only been seriously cooking for about a couple of months, so I really don't have much prowess. But a woman can sure hope, can't she? The fact that I don't burn/ruin most meals should count for some credit, right? Anywho, I look forward to upcoming challenges and adventures in cooking.
 The third and final new start is, drumroll please........this blog. I have not been a good journaler or diary keeper, or well, any record keeper of life really. So, I'm not so why I have this sudden urge to have a blog. I think I thought the blog bandwagon needed another member, so I hopped on. Mainly, I hoped to have a place to display my culinary accomplishments/disasters and a place to track my life. All open for public scrutiny. Sweet.
 Now for an explanation for my blog title, warmfuzziesandhistrionics. Warm fuzzies should be quite obvious. Histrionics might need some explaining. Basically, in olden days, a medical term was invented to explain the behavior of women that differed from men. Mainly that women tend to have more emotional outbursts (umm, PMS anyone?) or to be hysterical (not in the funny, you-made-me-laugh-so-hard-I-peed-my-pants hysterical). Thus the term histrionics was coined. I thought this term was quite suiting since I tend to fall into the category of giving warm fuzzies and to be histrionic, sometimes all at once. Plus, I love the word. I also love the words conundrum, booterbaugh (actually a last name but I love the sound of the word), helter skelter, hodge podge or words that make people look at me like I sprouted a second head at that exact moment. Plus my boyfriend suggested it and I like to let him think that he really has a voice in our relationship.