Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let's go to the movies!

After four years of waiting, my town finally has a movie theater again! The original Globe Theater downtown was built in 1917, but burned down in 2005. Ever since we moved here in April of 2006, we've felt the deep deprivation of not being close to a cinema. Chad and I love watching movies, and although our home DVD collection is quite impressive, there's nothing like watching films on the big screen (not to mention that I crave that movie-theater popcorn). Hollis Cinema 4 (with the restored original marquee) opened last Friday night, and I got in line on Saturday to buy my ticket to see New Moon ($8.50, which is at least a dollar cheaper than in the valley). Unfortunately, it was sold out, so I had to wait until yesterday to see it.

I cannot express my excitement! Yes, I was excited to see the second Twilight film installment, which was much better than the first (a fact I attribute to Robert Pattison's absence for half the movie; sorry, but he bugs me). But the anticipation for New Moon's release paled in comparison to the thrill I felt at being able to drive two minutes to the our new theater only 10 blocks from my house. I parked on our main downtown street, took a few steps to the front door, and went inside to find a seat. The inside of the building was clean and new-smelling (not a common phenomenon in this town). The seats were pristine, the floors not sticky, and the arm rests were stiff as I moved them into place. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie all by myself, even if the other patrons in Theater #2 were a little more comment-happy than I would have liked. I almost forgot I was in Globe, and when I stepped out onto the dark sidewalk to get in my car, the thrill washed over me again and I couldn't help but grin as I drove the two minutes back home. I love our theater.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

False Alarms

Yes, I did have a false alarm Tuesday morning. I was awake half the night timing contractions, unable to sleep because they were painful, but perplexed because they weren't increasing in intensity even though they were five minutes apart the whole time! So I got out of bed, grateful that I had started packing my hospital bag that very day. And we had dragged the car seat out from under our house and washed the fabric cushions but not the actual car seat, which had all kinds of funky mold all over it from not being washed properly before storage. So there I was at 3:00am, spraying the whole thing down with 409. Then I had a little snack, and got back in bed to time contractions some more. They must have stopped/slowed around 5:00, because I fell back asleep, and awoke to the alarm with a quiet uterus.

I had my OB appointment that day, and Chad and I dropped the kids with a sitter so we could spend a fun day in town for our birthdays. Needless to say I was groggy and exhausted after being up half the night. My doctor said I'm two centimeters dilated, but that could mean anything. I am having intermittent contractions every day, so things could be moving along down there. It's frustrating. I know women go through this all the time, but my last two labors had obvious/abrupt beginnings when there was no question that it was time to go to the hospital (and when the hospital is over an hour away, you REALLY don't want to drive all the way there only to be sent home again!). Anyway, we're prepared for anything, but we'd really prefer the baby to wait at least another week. Preferably until after Thanksgiving. But saying that will probably jinx us and guarantee that he'll come tomorrow!

Incidentally, we still haven't decided on a name. I'm pretty stressed about it. We might be deciding in the hospital after we meet him. Our list includes: Riley, Preston, Grady, Ryder, and Grander. But we're open to anything if something else strikes us. We want something more unique than the top 20, but nothing super-weird. Why does naming a kid have to be so hard?

Monday, November 16, 2009

She's alive!

I think I'm almost 100% better. I had a nasty cold that knocked me out for a good week and a half. I'm just glad it wasn't the swine flu. But I'm finally feeling up to doing stuff again. Of course, the fact that I'm 36 weeks pregnant hinders my energy and mobility. I don't remember being this uncomfortable with Bree or Mason. I just feel huge. By the end of the day the skin on my belly aches constantly from the strain of supporting this baby when I'm in the vertical position. (I've almost gotten to the point where I'm ready to go into labor, except my parents are in London, so we'd have to make other arrangements for the kids, and I wouldn't want Chad, me, and the new baby to all have birthdays in the same week. So I guess I'll wait another week or two.)

But I have re-entered the land of the living: hosting preschool, attending voice lessons, and trying a couple new dinner recipes. And tomorrow Chad and I are spending the day in town without the kids to celebrate our birthdays this week (and go to my weekly OB appointment). We're going to do some shopping with the birthday money from our parents, and see the new Christmas Carol movie.

And speaking of movies...the Cinema here in Globe is opening this Friday!!! I am super-excited to have a theater that doesn't take over an hour to get to--this one's so close I could walk there! (Not that I would; see paragraph one.) Chad said I could go see New Moon on Saturday for my birthday. So now I get to treat myself to a solo-movie viewing (love going to the theater by myself!), AND my first-ever professional massage this Friday. It's a great year to be turning 28.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Loving Cook's Country

I've gotten hooked on my new magazine subscription to Cook's Country (from America's Test Kitchen). I've heard great things about it from different people, and have had a chance to try several recipes. Chad's very supportive, and although he doesn't like everything I make, he will always give me his honest opinion. And if the meal doesn't turn out perfectly he'll say, "I'm just grateful that you cook for me. I'd rather have you try new things and have them be a little different, than have you not cook at all." So, what have we tried? In order as shown above: Southern-Style Skillet Cornbread (loved the texture and full cornmeal flavor, but unlike Southerners, I like my cornbread to have SOME sugar in it!), Tangy Apple-Cabbage Slaw (sweet, tangy, spicy, and no mayo), Texas Chili Con Carne (I actually added beans to this no-bean chili; amazing flavor), Cider-Braised Pork Chops (I loved this one; great apple flavor, and perfect texture: tender without being too soft), Creole Fried Chicken (reduced the spices by half for the kids and regretted it; fried chicken was a first for me--splattered oil everywhere!), Crispy Parmesan-Pepper Pork Cutlets (really yummy, and the kids gobbled these up, pepper and all!).
It's been really fun trying one or two new recipes a week. I think the best thing about this magazine is that (aside from being ad-free, and featuring"normal" food with accessible ingredients) it teaches you the reasoning behind the recipes' steps/ingredients. And I'm learning a lot about technique, and the purpose of different ingredients, plus there are a lot of neat product reviews in there too (I just stocked up on 99-cent Ghirardelli Chocolate Syrup Brownie Mixes because they got the best know, if you don't want to make brownies from scratch).
I'm really looking forward to trying a couple new twists on our Thanksgiving dinner. And maybe I'll have to try that Hot Fudge Pudding Cake...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another baby shower cake

I think I need to charge more...November 3, 2009


We're a little late starting. It is November after all. But most of Bree's little friends are in organized preschool at the local schools, so I didn't have any mom's to organize trade-off preschool with. Until Calan tested too advanced for his city's free preschool. Yay for being too smart! So now Bree has a preschool buddy, and Amy and I are taking turns teaching the kids on Mondays and Wednesdays for 2 hours. This Monday was our first day, when we learned about cows, A, 1, and squares. We read books about cows, colored pages of A and 1, cut squares out of play dough, and made pictures of cows by pasting white and black squares onto paper. I was impressed by these 3-year-olds' attention spans. They're both still hesitant when it comes to coloring and attempting to trace and write, but that will come with time as their confidence grows. And I'm having fun too! Now when people ask if Bree is in preschool, we can say yes. Bree really does get excited about learning, and loves playing with Calan, so it's a win-win.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Where'd you get their costumes?

Bree wanted to be a "pretty witch" for Halloween, so I figured I would make her costume so it would be exactly what she wanted, with the added bonus of it being sturdy enough to last. So I'm at the fabric store, looking at the costume material, which is all on sale, and I'm thinking I'm going to be a smart frugal mom doing the homemade costume thing. Oh no. I had to pick the most expensive material they had, and didn't realize how the yardage would add up until at the checkout. Oh well. I was really proud of how beautiful it turned out. And holy cow, was that hat difficult to make! On the up side, Mason's costume only cost me about $5, since my mom made the wig out of some craft fur, and I got the old clothes at Salvation Army for less than $1. So everyone loved Bree's beautiful dress, and when they asked me where I got it, I got to smile modestly and say, "I made it." (And hopefully she'll want to wear it again next year; I made it big enough on purpose!) But I have to say, that Mason got the majority of the smiles and laughs and "He is so cute," and "Did you see the little Frankenstein?"
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