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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Food Find of the Day

When Mavis went to the farmers' market today, I had him ask our friendly pork dude about leaf lard or leaf fat, thinking he would make himself a note and bring some for me next week. Instead, he reached back and pulled out a 17-lb box containing the leaf fat of 25 hogs, for which he charged us 20 bucks. Oh me oh my. I'll still need to render it, but I think my holiday pie-making needs will be fully met and then some.

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Ready for Her Closeup

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting to Know You

So this week we've been doing some (but not nearly enough) resting and recovering, playing lots of games with family, and starting to get to know the new member of our family. Mavis's sister Auntie K left yesterday evening, and my parents left this morning. We've got another week until the last visitor (Mavis's dad) leaves, and hopefully this week will have enough resting and recovering, along with the other stuff.

The wee girl (haven't come up with a great blog name for her yet--she doesn't look anything like an Ingeborg, and I'd really rather avoid just calling her Number Three) developed jaundice, so we didn't get lots of wonderful pictures of her this week. Besides making her yellow, the jaundice has also made her very very sleepy. We're hoping for less yellow and less sleepy this week. I did get a couple of detail shots, though.

Both boys were born with Mavis's feet--flat, zero arch, long and skinny and rather shovel-like. This baby's feet are lovely, with high arches and long, practically-prehensile toes. Her baby toe, in particular, is long and stretchy. I couldn't get her to stretch it all the way out, but this picture gives you some idea:



Then, at the beginning of the week, with her sleeping on my lap, I thought she had some lint caught behind her ear. Turns out she has a tuft of hair growing out of the top of each ear. The head hair may or may not fall out, but I'm pretty sure this will, so I was glad to capture it with the camera. This picture also shows one of the little ear holes (right in front of the top of her ear) she inherited from my mother. Her oldest brother has one on one side, and my niece has them. My sister says she has them, too.



To treat her jaundice, the doctor prescribed a phototherapy blanket. It's not really a blanket per se, but a flexible pad with UV light conveyed through fiber optics. It's very bright light, and even wrapped in a blanket some bleeds through. We called her Glow Baby or Glow Bug all week (phototherapy went M-F, and she had blood tests to check her bilirubin levels M-Sat and a final check on Monday--not fun).



Number Two loves to see pictures on the camera, but if there aren't any on there you have to take some first:





On Saturday, J of J&J threw a very nice brunch in honor of the bebe. Those in attendance included McOllie and TiF, who looked as if they color-coordinated their outfits that day.



Brunch also provided a chance for some girly-cousin bonding.





Saturday evening, Mavis's parents took us all to Meriwether's, where we had previously gone with family to celebrate each child's birth (well, for Number One it was a different restaurant, l'Auberge, in the same location). Number Two was his usual sweet adorable self, and an elderly woman came over towards the end of our meal to say she'd been observing him the whole time and thought he was beautiful and remarkably well-behaved. He also did not really like his chicken strips (though he did enjoy dipping his fries in the ketchup), preferring instead Mavis's pappardelle with duck ragú.





Sunday we had a big family dinner chez nous at mid-day. We ate Surf and Trough: Roast Pork Sirloin with either rhubarb-ginger chutney or Cuban mojo sauce (hooray for vinegar and things that never go bad!), roast Columbia River fall Chinook salmon (the other half of the fish my dad caught) with Fish Sauce, Orange and Green Mashed Potatoes, steamed broccoli, and crusty bread. For dessert we had apple crisp (made with apples from our tree, Winesaps) with vanilla ice cream.

At church, the bebe had her diva moment. For the actual blessing (on which Mavis did a lovely job), she wore her great-grandfather's blessing gown, now 100 years old and very fragile. In all likelihood, she will be the last child blessed in it. For transport to and from church (the gown being more than slightly incompatible with modern carseats), she wore the dress I was blessed in 40 years ago (pictured at bottom), a sweet little pale pink smocked eyelet number with matching panties. I wasn't blessed in Grandpa's gown because its existence was not discovered until my brother J was born the following year. Whereabouts of my little pink dress were of late unknown until my nieces and nephews left some toys out after the last family gathering at my parents' house, two weeks ago, when it was discovered among the doll dressups. Amazingly, the plastic lining of the panties is still flexible, and the elastic is still stretchy.





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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yet One More Surprise

Well, Surprise Baby had one more shocker in store for us: a full head of DARK hair. Given what I understand about how dominant and recessive genetic traits work, I don't think there's more than a minuscule chance of her keeping it for long, but for now our family has one brunette member.

[If you're not at all interested in the details of delivery, you can skip the next two paragraphs.] As I mentioned previously, contractions started Wednesday morning, then let up in the afternoon, and restarted Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon I decided that, since she was likely coming, I would just as soon she hurried up, so we took some steps to encourage things to move in that direction, including a visit to my acupuncturist. Contractions gradually picked up through the afternoon and evening, and we started making arrangements for someone to spend the night with the boys so we could go to the hospital when the time came. McOllie came over and watched Survivor, 30 Rock and The Daily Show with me, then crashed on the couch while Mavis and I headed to the hospital around midnight.

At the hospital, a check showed that the baby was "high and floaty," and my cervix really hadn't dilated at all to speak of. We called sil J, giving her the option of coming then or waiting a few hours, and she opted to come and join us in walking around the perimeter of the Wilcox Women's Pavilion from just after 1 am to almost 3 am. At that point, the contractions were coming quite closely together and were pretty intense, but the baby was still high and my cervix not dilating much. I sat on the birthing ball and listened to my hypnobirthing recording for about 20 minutes, and then my water broke as I sat up for the nurse to check my vitals. I started shaking and showing signs of going into transition, so I got into the jacuzzi to help me relax through the next hard contractions. After two hours, though I still wasn't ready to start pushing (so much for each baby coming faster than the previous one!), I got out of the tub for a change of position. After just a few more contractions, things started feeling a little more pushy, so I got on the bed and pushed her out in about 20-25 minutes--short compared to most babies, but a seeming eternity after the 10 minutes it took for Number Two.

[Start again here if you skipped the gory details.] So, she was born at 6:27 am, Friday, October 12. Her Aunt J, faithful birth attendant, got to cut the cord. She weighed 7 lbs 15 oz and was 21 inches long. She spent most of her first day sleeping and looking cute, for which I was very grateful. Well, the cute part was sort of expected, but the sleeping wasn't!



First-day visitors included her big brothers, wonderful friend M, who took over care of the boys in the morning so McOllie could go to work, and my mother, who arrived in the early afternoon after being picked up at the airport by Uncle J.










We came home Saturday evening to a delicious dinner provided by friend Mabel, and are trying to settle into something of a routine. Mavis's parents fly in tomorrow, his sister Tuesday, and my dad next weekend for the blessing.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Baby, Oh, Baby

No, she's not here yet. Been having lots of contractions (not Braxton-Hicks) today, though. My mom is making preparations to come, and the inlaws are coming Monday (the actual due date).



Here's a great fast-and-easy recipe we had last week.
Red Lentil Dal

1 onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
1 large rib celery, chopped
1 T olive oil
1-1.5 t curry powder
1-1.5 t coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 can coconut milk
8-12 oz red lentils
vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces (remember that yellow zeppelin? Cauliflower also works very well here. For that huge squash, I used 12 oz. lentils for a pleasing proportion)
1-2 C chicken stock

Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering, then sauté mirepoix (onion/carrot/celery) with some salt and pepper until softened and starting to brown. Add spices and stir until veggies are coated and spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds (I used fresh-ground coriander, and it was awesome--hooray for the dedicated spice grinder!). Add 1 C of stock and deglaze pan, then add lentils, veggies, coconut milk, and additional stock to just cover solids if necessary. Cover with lid and bring to a simmer until lentils are broken down and veggies are soft, 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve over steamed basmati rice.

Other recent meals have included the Moroccan Couscous (I brown chicken thighs in the pot before the onions and spices, and let them stew in the liquid for a few minutes before adding the other veggies), and I have the ingredients to make Sausage with Pearl Couscous and the 3S Strata, but those might end up being made by someone else at the rate I'm going. Maybe I'll get that pre-delivery burst of energy and make a couple more fabulous meals before I become the mom of 3.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Fun with Family History

So, one of the things I've done in my name-searching is go through our combined PAF file to see if any ancestral names jump out at me. Not much progress on names I would actually want to use, but the following names did appear way back when:

Obedience
Submit
Hopestill
Hopewell
Wait
Mindwell
Thankful
Desire
Silence
Living
Comfort
Relief
Deliverance
Record
Temperance

And those are all for girls! And there are multiple Silences and Submits (there were lots of Prudences and Patiences, too, but those seemed more common and expected). Some of the names make me wonder if they had older children who were terribly misbehaved, and they were trying to send subliminal messages to their later offspring. Why else would you name a kid Silence?

I was only looking for girl names, but one boy name did jump out at me: Remnant.

There were a couple of interesting non-Puritan names, too. Anyone know the origin of the name Cypian? There was also a Frenes, but I'm thinking that might be a misspelling of Frances.