Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here She Is

The rough draft of my book, all 402 single-sided, double-spaced pages of it!

May the revisions begin…

Vielen Dank family-in-law, dass ich eure Drucker benutzen könnte!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Due Date!

Today is our official due date. We've been pregnant for 40 weeks (10 months!) and little guy really should be coming any day. To "celebrate" I spend the afternoon at a local pool. No pictures, but it looked something like this just with a bigger (whiter) belly and bikini bottoms.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Cornflake Cordon Bleu

Surprise, surprise another food entry by the impatient pregnant lady (should I rename my blog?).

This is my family’s favorite brunch/breakfast dish called Bitner’s Eggs. It’s a yummy casserole made of layers of eggs, ham, cheese, and white bread, with a cornflake topping. Growing up I remember trying to get the biggest piece possible in the first serving because there was never a second serving. I have a clear memory of my two uncles, who were both in their teens at the time, holding back my aunt who is just a few years older than I am, while they emptied out the last scraps of food from the dish and into their mouths.

Yeah, its that yummy.

Every once in a while I pull out the recipe. With the exception of one memorable brunch – turns out the majority of the people were vegetarians and another large percentage of them were lactose intolerant – almost everyone has enjoyed the dish. It usually starts with:

“Cornflakes on top of soaked bread with eggs and ham? Um, I’ll start with a little piece.”

Followed by:

“This is actually good. I’ll have another piece.”

I don’t know why the dish is called Bitner’s eggs and it turns out to be relatively difficult to remember. Yesterday I brought the dish to a friend’s birthday. We went through the usual ritual of a small piece followed by another piece, although this time people thought it was a cream-based almond cake (not sure where that came from). Almost everyone asked me for the name and the ingredients of the dish and although I repeated “Bitner’s Eggs” a million times almost everyone missed it, misunderstood it, or forgot it.

So I started to tell people the name the Mr. gave the dish in a moment of genius. Its something easy to remember: Cornflake Cordon Bleu. He has a point. Chicken Cordon Bleu is a dish of chicken stuffed with ham and cheese with a crunchy covering. It’s fatty, filling, and super yummy - just like Cornflake Cordon Bleu.

Cornflake Cordon Bleu is it!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Moment of Beauty

It isn’t much of a secret that I’m (a little more than) ready for the Worm to arrive and the heartburn; cactus-y attitude; extra pillows; random, unnecessary projects; mobility issues; and vegetarian sushi to disappear. These past two weeks have been particularly annoying with bouts of nausea and cramping; lack of sleep; and a cactus-y attitude that has turned into a pissy one.

Earlier this week I was having a particularly tough moment and a colleague-friend stumbled into my mood. Her reaction? Here's a hint: it wasn’t snippiness or avoidance or offense.

Answer: it was flowers. Beautiful, beautiful flowers.

Thank you, Ms. Toes, thank you.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

40th Week

Today starts our 40th week; 7 more days until the due date. According to the doctor, Worm is healthy and doing well.

Can that belly get any bigger?


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Know What Would Be Awesome?

If this was my last vegetarian sushi platter for a while.

Happy Father's Day!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Killin‘ Time

As the Mr. pointed out last night, our little guy will be with us in an absolute maximum of 21 days. The due date is in 11 days; my doctor won’t allow us to go more than 10 days overdue. Then today I was reminded by my Twitter world that I should be concentrating on enjoying these days because they will never come again. It will never be this quiet or this unstructured or this babysitter-free again, or at least not for a double-digit number of years.

That requires quite the attitude change in yours truly. I need to move from “Come out today already!!!” to “I’m treasuring these days and this special time.” By the time I master that change, the little guy will be here, screaming, pooping, cooing, and not sleeping, which makes the whole thing rather amusing (when I chose to see it from a positive angle).

Until then, I’ll focus on finding more projects, driving the Mr. crazy (also called spending quality time together), and hanging out with others. If the weather is really good to me, I’ll spend some of that time at the pool, weightless in cool water.

The projects from the past few days included hand sewing baby wipes, hanging up pictures of family in the little guy’s room, and setting up a shelf for the baby changing station. Enjoy the view:

The baby wipes

The baby’s room


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

14 Days – But Who’s Counting?

Oh, right: me. That’s who’s counting.

It’s not that I’m not having a good time, although I wouldn’t say this is the most comfortable I’ve ever been in my life. It is true that I’m not sleeping well or long; that I have some, um, mobility issues turning over in bed or bending over or getting up from the couch and chairs; and I’m cursing my strong organizational skills because I have to be relatively creative to find new projects to complete. But the reality is that the worm and I are both healthy; friends are entertaining me in good style; I just got a delivery of new books to read; and the Mr. is doing a great job of keeping me well-fed and entertained.

Speaking of which, ever heard of grilled watermelon? A while ago (like two years ago) the Mr. saw someone grilling watermelon on TV. Last night he gave it a shot and it was excellent. Yummy, yummy, yummy and it looked easy to make. Two thumbs up:

AND – as if grilled watermelon wasn’t highlight enough – the e. coli scare in Germany has calmed down and we are now free to eat most fresh vegetables and fruits. So for the first time in weeks a salad graced our table. A salad!

Needless to say, I was a very happy big belly woman.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Yummy, Yummy Eggplant Parmesan

There are a number of recommendations in books and on the Internet about how to encourage a healthy, natural delivery. Some of them are supported by the medical community (like walking, stretching/sweeping membranes, and proactively managing stress), others won’t do any harm (like drinking raspberry tea, going swimming, and doing the ‘dance of love') and others could hurt (like drinking castor oil and doing hours of stair climbing).

One of the numerous under “won’t do any harm” is a dish called eggplant parmesan. After reading a number of people online rave about the dish based on both its support helping a healthy delivery and its taste, I decided to give it a shot.

It isn't the easiest thing to make but man - what a wonderful dish!! And we have plenty of leftovers. I used this recipe, with a few changes: made my own breading, fried the eggplant with fresh garlic in the oil, patted the eggplant down carefully with towels (there was an incredible amount of oil), and used fresh mozzarella and simple, canned tomato sauce. I suggest half the cheese unless you really like cheese.



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Big Belly Date Night

Experts from all over the place recommend married couples have date nights. The idea is that the couple regularly set aside one evening to spend time together doing something that both enjoy. While, the Mr. and I haven’t needed to commit ourselves to something like that (yet?), we have been making a conscious effort to clean-up and enjoy quality time, particularly now in the last few weeks before the worm makes his grand effort. Well, at least on those evenings when I’m not nauseous or glued to the couch by 5pm.

Thankfully yesterday was one of those evenings and we enjoyed a relaxed, yummy Indian dinner. I even threw on a dressy shirt. I had one of my favorites, Bindi Gosht, and it was so worth the heartburn. The little worm seemed to enjoy it too, at least he danced all evening.

Happy Birthday Little One!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sleeping at 9 Months

This is what sleeping at nine months looks like:

I usually sleep with one, rather hard, contoured pillow. It’s still there, underneath the 3 other pillows I’m using for my head, neck and upper back and between the small blue one for my back and the long cream one for my belly and legs. Some day – soon I hope! – I’ll be sleeping with that one and only that one again.

Until then, blessings for stuffed cotton!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

This past weekend was Rock am Ring, a four day rock concert about two hours away from our home. It’s a yearly adventure for the Mr and a number of his friends; remember last year? Since the worm could come any day – and lets be honest, is welcome to come any day, really. Anyday. – the Mr. cut his trip short, drove alone, stayed sober, and arranged a babysitter for me.

Yup, you read that correctly: he arranged a babysitter for me. And it totally worked in my favor:

1. I got to stay up as late as I wanted.

2. I got to eat as much pizza as I wanted.

3. I got to pick the movie (it was an absolute chick flick).

4. She brought sweets with her (fresh picked cherries from a private garden).

5. She was totally hot.

It was even more fun than a normal Saturday evening at home. Good thing the Mr is such a hottie and I kinda missed him anyways.


p.s. The countdown continues – three more weeks!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Worm’s First Concert

I’m not much of a concert goer, the Mr. is more of the live music kinda person. It’s not that I don’t like concerts, it’s just that I started pretty late, tickets are wildly expensive, and I got trampled at a weekend concert a few years ago. So it takes quite the concert for me to book an evening and drop one hundred euros, and then only if I have an assigned seat.

Last night was one of those rare nights: Roger Water’s The Wall.

It really isn’t enough to write that the concert was the best I have ever seen by miles and miles and miles. The Wall is a mix of amazing and timeless music; clever and up-to-date political protest of everything from Hilter to out-of-control capitalism; and a cutting-edge and exhilarating theater production.

Throughout the first part of the concert a wall is slowly built across the stage until the band is hidden behind the wall. Sounds strange? It feels even stranger; it is uncomfortable, almost painful. The picture stinks, but you can get a feel for what the wall looked like:

Just as the wall is finished, then the intermission offers an opportunity to remember a number of people who died in conflicts all over the world, none of them terrorists but many of them civilians. Their pictures are displayed across the wall with short specs of their life and death.

In the second half of the concert, well, words rarely fail but this time you’ve just gotta get a ticket and see it for yourself. Or patiently search through for enough amateur videos to watch the concert from your couch. Or, if you don’t trust me, check out this review with pictures and videos from someone far more qualified than I am.

Long story, short: totally worth suffering through heartburn, back pain, swelling feet, and a little worm that is either the biggest Pink Floyd fan ever or was really pissed off at the noise. Don’t worry, I was a responsible mommy-to-be: doctor gave me the go ahead and I took a cushion along.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Life Goal Reached

This morning at 5:15am I did something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. I typed the words “THE END.” The rough draft of the first novel I’ve ever tried to write is finished.

There is so much more to say about this but words fail me. Wow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What the Mr. Learned in Birth-Prep Class

We finished our birth-prep class last week. Breaking with tradition and unlike 95% of men over here, the Mr. attended the course with me every single night that we were able to go. We covered all sorts of topics like how a natural birth happens, partner massage, various pain options, c-sections, breastfeeding, etc. The midwife did a good job trying to include the very few men that attended the course and the Mr. did his absolute best to pay attention. His massage skills improved greatly over the seven week course.

I’m sure he learned a lot but I think what stuck with him the most is how huge my butt has gotten. To ensure I shared his lesson, he kindly (and secretly) took a photo of me from behind. What a guy!

Exactly four more weeks to go!

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