Monday, November 30, 2009

Who's that baby in my Tipi?

It's me! It's me!

Looong weekend came to an end- and it only reinforced that I don't want to work...in the traditional sense of the word, at least.

Let's see, this weekend was filled with the Dewetzel nups, another baby check up, White Christmas at the Academy and...putting up the tree.

1. Baby check up went like this: Me: Why do I keep getting headaches? Gazelle (the midwife, another reason why I want to name my kid something awesome) You've doubled the amount of blood in your body so it's pretty common. G: lay down, let's check out the baby. (pulls out Doppler) Fancy: beat, beat, beat, beat (muffled wrestling) beat, beat, beat) G: Oh, did you hear that, that was a kick!Todd: (raised eye brow) hi-ya!

It was neat- last time they tried to listen to Fancy, they had to PRESS the Doppler really hard into my pelvis...one month later, the little bugger was found by my belly button. S/he's moved about 5 inches up in a month. Someone told me this month (and I can't remember who) that if babies continue to grow at the rate they do in utero, they'd be the size of the sun by the time they're 2ish. Crazy.

2. Dewetzel nups- the reception was in a very Dewee-esque joint- converted farm house. It was rustic and pretty and simple- but cool- and very Andy and Katie. Congrats to the Dewetzels. Card's in the mail, btw (because OF COURSE, I bought it that morning and forgot it at home.) Very me.

3. Christmas'd the house up. Todd had basketball practice on Saturday- I dug out our decos- and found two bags that Todd hadn't unpacked from our move in JULY 2008. Yup. I was dreading getting the Christmas ornaments out for about a month. I thought the nook under our stairs in the bottom floor was STUFFed with crap we've accumulated. As it turns out, although it's sort of true, the two bags got washed quickly, half the junk tossed and I was able to see the bottom of the floor in seconds. I got out the musty old tree and had it up  and the living room dusted and cleaned in about an hour and a half. It's a table top tree so the cats aren't too interested in it.

4. White Christmas. Saw it in the city. It was fine. If you can get cheap/free tickets, go. Otherwise, just about every seat in the Academy has an obstructed view so don't pay full price. I had a bar in front of my face for the whole show... this would be acceptable, of course, if it were a bar with drinks...or a chocolate bar...or a gold bar. Nope. It was a "don't fall from the third balcony bar." Boo.

5. What's this Google wave business? I'm kurpels@googlewave.com if you have one too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ohm.


After bitching and moaning to my poor husband all day that we don't make "enough" money I dragged my feet to Juvenile Detention yoga where I had a tremendous session. Two residents and three guards participated. I discovered that people of the African American flavor do yoga the same way they do horror flicks: by hootin' and hollering throughout the whole damn thing.


I think I mentioned last week that the female residents talked through the whole session- the males residents were quiet...but the guards couldn't hold it together. It was fun. And funny. And upon conclusion of the hour said hootin' and hollering guard said, "Uh, I think I need to show my wife that downward facing dog." I love it. La-la-la-love it.


I brought up to James that I'm not going to be able to do much more charity work after my four weeks is completed so he asked me to put together a proposal to submit to his boss with a salary request. I'm in. But how much is one hour a week worth? Help a sister out and offer suggestions, will ya?


The detention center is conveniently located right next to the Granite Run Mall- I was able to skip over to Payless only to find out they don't have the Christian Sirianos in store. Makes. Me. Want. Them. More. To cap off the feeling-sorry-for-myself afternoon, a 20 minute massage was just what the doctor ordered at the mall...before heading home to watch the DVR'd Wendy Williams. Now I'm about to teach two more FREE yoga classes.


I think I have a New Year's resolution brewing...to start charging people for my services.




Devil's playground aka I'm a grump.

It's starting to hit me (and in turn, Todd.) I'm starting to freak out a little that in a few short months, we'll be parents. That's not necessarily the bad part. In fact, I'm pretty excited about the rocking to sleep, seeing how I handle midnight feedings, the trials and tribulations of an infant growing into a toddler. Bring that stuff on!

The problem is more along the lines of having champagne tastes on a beer budget. I'm meeting with my HR rep next week to discuss my maternity benefits. I'm a little nervous about what's going to happen financially during the four-ish weeks where I'm sort of, but not really sure if I get a pay check or not. It's a little unnerving. Especially with that pesky mortgage hanging over our heads.

I've spend all day looking over plans and details about starting a yoga class- do I start my own at a local library? Teach at someone else's studio? What about insurance, renting space, and marketing for my classes? And how about teaching yoga eight moths pregnant...that's gonna be a real sight.

I'm sure everyone has the same worries that I'm having- there's never enough money in the world to have it all and certainly not with a kid on the way. There isn't enough to do at work this week to keep my mind from drifting back to the thoughts over and over again and what's worse...I'm always hungry.

Oh well, I have to go get ready to teach three free yoga classes today. This seems counterproductive.

Monday, November 23, 2009

And I need them.

Please, please look at these.

Ok, after yesterday's little excursion to Target where I spent way too much money on things that don't fit in my house (apparently I have a realllly tall toilet and a very uneven floor) or cleaning supplies that I promised myself I'd use, I didn't think I'd find anything else I'd want to buy. Yesterday was one of those days where I had a BAD case of buyers remorse. Bad. As it turns out, the steam cleaner really, REALLY works- so I feel better today. The only downside is only two cleaning pads are provided...so I need to wash them in between each use...which is fine since I don't like to clean for long periods of time anyway. It's a win-win.

And now, since I obviously made the right choice on the steamer (I'm thinking about going home and use it again today after yoga class) I think I'll make the right call on these shoes. I just need a snazzy little scarf to dress up an all black outfit to wear on turkey day. (Please note: pants worn on T-Day will be a spandex blend as will the over sized sweater...I plan to maximize the potential of my stuffing exposure.)

Augutsten Burroughs' new Christmas compilation is out (also found at Target 30% off) and is a nice little first-person pessimistic warm-up for the Season. I'm half way through it already and he's discussed his adolescent confusion between Santa and Jesus, waking up in bed with a department store Santa (he's gay for all of you who aren't familiar), a touching(/hysterical/eerie reminder of what it's like to be a dysfunctional/functional drunk) living the life as a bum for two days (blacked out) prior to Christmas and various other little Christmas gems. Go get it- you'll finish it in a day or two as I'm about to.

What else...oh yea, Todd and I finally got a chance to check out Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts. On Friday I saw an ad for 50% off tickets on facebook (it's usually $38.50 for one which includes the price of admission for whichever museum the hunt is held) so we got a good little deal. We showed up late so they finished giving the three groups their instructions before Todd and I were sent on our way- and given a time extension...but the competitive nature in both of us shined right through and we finished in record time.

There were 24 questions to answer with maps and "clues" all over the museum. Some of the clues were more of a seek and find (clue provided, once the painting/sculpture was found you use the description to fill in the blanks) but some had patterns (using the Chinese calendar.) We got stuck on one for about twenty minutes only to find out that it was eliminated (that's what we get for being late) but it still didn't matter...because we won! Our prize was free admission into a hunt in the next 90 days (there's one at the Franklin Institute that looks dope or one at the Reading Terminal Market) so we really paid $38.50 for four hunts. We're so thrifty.

...still doesn't make up for the steamer.


I started practicing the guitar again this weekend. My fingers are a little sore. I read somewhere that the baby can hear sound at this point so I'm hoping that after months of playing tunes if the little bugger gets restless in his/her crib, I can whip out the axe and soothe his/her tired eyes...with the whole experience being so easy so far I'm just thinking that this HAS to be the quiet before the storm. If not and my kid continues to be awesome, at least I'll be able to wail.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I did it again.

I cleared my schedule for tomorrow to complete one of the many items on the to do list:

1. clean our drawers and make a donation to the goodwill
2. finish project for last grad class (which is just busy work, btw. A compilation of a paper from each of the classes inculding an introduction and a conclusion regarding my growth as a leader throughout the process.)
3. clean the house
4. rake the lawn
5. anything productive around the house
6. read

Instead, an hour ago, I got (and paid for tickets to) a facebook wall post:

Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts Philly: Get 1/2 off tickets for tomorrow's Murder at the Philadelphia Museum Scavenger Hunt! A murdered curator has left a trail of clues connected with secrets in works of art. Can your team of sleuths crack the code and find out who dunnit? To receive your 50% discount, click on the link below and enter "YoAdrian" at ...checkout. This offer is good on the next 10 tickets sold and can only be used on the November 21 Murder at the Philadelphia Museum Scavenger Hunt.


I just saw Yes Man this Sunday and I don't want to pass up a fun opportunity. Who wants to clean my house?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yoga in Detention

Through my YogaFit training, it's required that we complete eight hours of community service. Although I'm teaching an intramural at Neumann on Mondays for an hour and a half for FREE, my athletic director took a call a few months back from an alum who is the activities director at the Juvenile Detention Center at Lima. They're always looking for people to volunteer their time to spend with the residents- so I said, "Sure! I'm three months pregnant! What the heck- let's do this!"

I didn't know what to expect.
If you've never been to Lima, it basically looks like any other government-run office building (blue walls, 70's yellowish counter tops and beige everywhere else) except this place also has doors you have to be buzzed into and lock behind you- places to sign in and out and guards and other workers everywhere.

I was escorted to this room:


With this view:




Six girls were brought to participate in the session yesterday. It reminded me of my WORST classes when I taught at BH. The difference here- I didn't HAVE to get anything done- also, I was the fun teacher that day. I was the reason they were able to get out of class or not be trapped in their rooms. I went through and easy/beginner session, working on breathing and focus. If you've ever been to a yoga class, you know that quiet is the norm but if I expected and demanded that yesterday, I was going to be disappointed. We laughed the whole time, the girls asked why some poses were named after animals and some weren't and otherwise, they seems to appreciate the time to talk about focus and appreciating the light that's inside others (the meaning of the word we say to each other at the end of class: namaste.)

I'm going back for three more sessions- all Tuesdays from 3-4. Next week, I think if we have the space, I'll try a head stand or a shoulder stand with them. When you teach yoga to adults, they don't always have the sense of wonder- and they aren't as willing to try some of the inversions or poses that take them out of their comfort zones...but kids are invincible.

I had a funny moment at the end of class- I usually thank people for coming and tell them that I look forward to helping them on their journey and through their practice but in this case- I hope I don't see these girls again. Once they're on good behavior or serve their time, they go home. I was reminded by the director that these kids have seen it all and been through it all- stuff that you or I would think only happens to people movies. I got a taste of that when I worked with a few of my students at BH with just one of my classes but let's face it- I have no idea what they deal with. I'm a white girl from Drexel Hill and now I'm a married white woman who owns a house and can pay for (albeit on credit) yoga teacher trainings.

I hope they had fun yesterday. I did and I'm looking forward to going back next week.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ultrasound results are in! Todd and I are having a....

BABY!

Fancy Pants, 14 weeks, 5 days.

Our midwife Jamesina wanted to see if the due date was correct (I suppose my year long record of my cycle wasn't enough for them...) and low and behold- it was! Fancy is moving right along.

It's pretty awesome too. I get daily emails showing how far along the little peanut is and some are alien-esque at best. But in some of these shots, I could see a little arm, little legs (our kid's gonna be able to dunk) and a big old head! Also, as Tursi pointed out, I'm pretty sure we have a thumb sucker on our hands- I was a thumb sucker until I was about seven so why shouldn't Fancy?

Our poor kid- I've gotta post some pics of both Todd and I as youngins'. Thank goodness we both grew into our teeth. Buck teeth or not, I'm sure Fancy will be a looker.

So on to non-baby related items. I'd like to talk about Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme. After T-bone and I went to Hawaii for the h-moon, I became obsessed with all things coconut. I still have my Beachcomber Bud's Tanning Oil. I have to sit it in front of the heater in the winter because it congeals at around 70 degrees. Neat. Congeals is a good word. I was at Walgreens this morning picking up a few migraine reliefs items (Hershey Kisses, ginger ale, ActivOn) and I saw Burt's foot creme. I've never been one to use products directly as the label suggests to obviously I'm going to use this stuff and hand an face creme. Sure, it's a little gooier than most face/hand cremes (that's how it's spelled on the bottle) but it smells like Hawaii. And what better way to relieve a migraine than to take a mini vacation right in the comfort of my own office.

Right now, I'm reading Timothy Ferris' The Four Hour Work Week. I'm convinced there's something more for us all out there (ie working less and playing more.) If it's in this book, I'll pass the word along.

Now's the time on Sprockets when we dance.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rising Dragon Fist.

Let's go:

http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=DELCO&curKey1=Aston%20Public%20Library&curKey2=Teens%27%20Programs&setRef=new

Shoryuken!

Lean Cuisine Queen


BF (before Fancy) I used to be a Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine Queen. Giant would always have one or the other on sale for $2 each or 6 for $10 so it made PERFECT sense to grab a few to keep lunches-a-flowing in the Kurpel house. It works mostly because when it comes to getting ready in the morning, both my husband and I are minimalists: we only do the bare necessities when it comes to grooming and getting out of the house so we can fully maximize our time spent sleeping.

If you recall, although I haven't had any real nausea or food aversions due to Fancy, I have had little cravings and noticed that somethings make me feel better than others when I eat them- for example sugary or fried items- no good. Home cooked meals such as stuffed shells or scrambled eggs? Awesome. In the quck category fell my frozen lunches. I can't say it's a bad thing- stuff that isn't good for me isn't tasting as good as it used to- so Fancy, thanks! Although it puts a few extra minutes in my morning routine, but for you, Little Baby, I'm in.
I was running out of things to bring for lunch this week (and just about tired of eaing PB&Js) so I decided that it was time for an egg salad sammy. I put the two little eggies in the pot, watched it come to a boil (those jerks are liars, by the way, watched pots DO boil) set the egg timer for twelve minutes and ran upstairs to finish getting ready for work.
While making the rest of breakfast (Fancy and I share a love affair with breakfast meats), I removed the pot from the heat and dumped a cup of ice in to start the cooling process. I notoriously crack open the eggs WAY too early and they're still a little soggy in the mid so I decided to put them in a tup container as is (with two pickles) and bring them to work with the mayo/mustard/salt/pepper mixture in another.
In the recipe I found on my cell the chick suggested putting both salt and vinegar in the water while boiling the eggs. I put the salt in the water which is supposed to fix any cracks while boiling (no problems there) and figured the two pickles in the egg container would have enough vinegar- it's supposed to help the shell slide of easier. It did.

So there it is. Egg salad by computer light. I wasn't as easy as taking the cardboard box out of the freezer and pushing 5 buttons on the microwave but it was easy enough, I suppose, and Fancy likes it WAY better.

Todd and I get to meet Fancy face to face tonight. Well, face to screen, at least with our first ultrasound. Hopefully we'll have our first Fancy pics tonight. Hella excited. I hope s/he's waving or giving the finger or has a mohawk or something.

Our kid's gonna be awesome.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ralph's.


After our loss on Saturday (which I'm a little bit more over now) I turned to Todd and said, "You're taking me out for dinner. I want to go to Ralph's."

We didn't go because he fell asleep on the floor and I fell asleep with Pickles (Cookie) resting on my chest. She's cute.

I was getting ready to plan for dinner yesterday afternoon and I still was craving either Chicken or Veal Mozzarella from Ralph's. If you've never been to Ralph's, please go. Now. I've been making trips so Ralph's since 2003 when we used to go just about Saturday night. It's one of those places in the city who still only accepts cash and to be a server there you have to be related or know someone...I'm not convinced that the servers (all men) aren't using it for a cover for something else- similar to the title of waste management if you get what I'm saying. Wink, wink.

Around the time when I made these weekly trips to Ralph's I bought the official Ralph's cook book to tried and make a few of the dishes myself. While trying to recreate my favorite dishes I had a good laugh (and made a HUGE mess) since each of the recipes in the book have ingredient lists that would be suitable for making banquet size portions. I quickly gave up on that dream and left it up to the pros. I like going out for dinner anyway.

So last night I decided that it was time to give it a shot again. I Googled Ralph's Veal Mozzarella and it came right up! Just like the cookbook, the Food Network also indicated that the ingredient list for the roux was for a banquet size proportion but after a few years of cooking experimentation, I was able to make a small batch- otherwise, the recipe worked out spectacularly as is (minus 20 slices of mozzarella.)

I made one change- I didn't want to buy veal at a grocery store so I stuck with the pork medallions I already had at home.

Side note- I had a funny little interaction in the liquor store when I bought the Sherry. I asked the lady behind the counter (HUGE gold earrings with a name plates, HUGE hair and a lip ring) about her experience with cooking with Sherry and she gave me the look I used to give to Sister Gertrude in Trig. I thought I'd try.

I've decided that even though I didn't try, you CAN'T make this dish without the Sherry. As soon as I poured the sherry into the pan of melting butter, that familiar aroma filled the kitchen and I my mouth WATERED. Whenever I make a recipe for the first time, I'm ALWAYS disappointed but the cooking gods were with me last night and dinner was a hit but then again, whenever I've used and ENTIRE stick of butter I've never been wronged either.

I'm going to give this dish a whirl again since I have plenty of bouillon on hand and a whole bottle of Sherry but next time I think I'll try it with Chicken and maybe margarine to make it a little friendlier on the waistline.

Oh yea, and if anyone wants to buy me a Christmas gift, I'd like a meat tenderizer. As it goes, although using a hammer to pound away at the meat isn't the worst idea I've ever had, it sure isn't the easiest way to work on a piece of meat.


Ingredients

  • 12 (2-ounce) medallions milk-fed veal, pounded thin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 2 tablespoons roux, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 24 slices mozzarella, sliced thin

Directions

Dredge veal in flour. Saute veal in oil for 2 minutes on each side. When done, drain oil, add butter, roux and sherry. Bring to a boil lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

At this point, layer 2 mozzarella slices on each piece of veal. Put pan under broiler to melt cheese.

Serve 3 pieces of veal on each plate, spoon sauce over all.

Roux:

  • 16 ounces chicken broth
  • 6 rounded tablespoons flour
  • 4 ounces water

In mixing bowl, add flour to water while whisking. Mixture must be smooth, with no lumps. Bring chicken broth to a boil. When boiling, whisk in flour mixture, again making sure there are no lumps. Allow to cool,then store, covered, in the refrigerator, until needed.



pot o' spaget.


Fresh mozzarella.

Beautiful little pork babies.

Unreal.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kicked in the Stomach



Losing stinks. We lost in the conference championship this weekend and I'm stuck feeling pissed that the refs BLEW countless calls in the circle and handed the win to our opponents and also that we didn't score enough goals. Thems the breaks. It's why we do it, I suppose. But it makes me feel like this:
And I can't do a damn thing about it.

I was feeling pretty crappy about it all yesterday so Todd tried to help occupy my time with a BEEEEE-UTIFUL day out in our fair city (even though I should've been in Annapolis.) We hit up the PhillyFunGuide and found that there was a Lithuanian Festival in Port Richmond that had "The Worlds Greatest" potato pancakes. Please note the quotation marks. It's a self-proclamation. Although the potato Ps were good, Fancy isn't keen on a lot of grease so I didn't feel great for the next two hours. The kielbasa sammies, on the other hand, where DELICIOUS. We listened to a little folk music nearly bought some art made my a seven year old and bounced to Olde City to catch a movie at the Ritz.

The Men who Stare at Goats is funny. Another Jeff Bridges gem. It makes me want to spruce up my Bridges DVD collection.

Walking around the city reinforces the love affair that I have with the place. I live on a street with NO SIDEWALKS. We drive everywhere. On a beautiful day like today where I should be outside going for a walk, I trekked to the gym to hop on a treadmill to watch TV when I should've been outside enjoying the fresh air. Jackie said she's give me her zoomer stroller when we have Fancy but again, no sidewalks, I'll have to pack him/her up in the car to take him/her for a walk. Pffft.

Sure the grass is always greener. But being in Port Richmond and then Olde City made us want to live in the city. I think we might have to revisit the idea after we're done paying FHA insurance.

Back to work.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Good News...

...The Harriet Carter weekly email just got in.

After my work with ProCaulk, I'm ready to hop on the As Seen on TV site again to try and tackle the cat hair. Here's the problem with it all- I'm lazy. I put off doing laundry for as long as I can by hitting Old Navy or Target for a few more pairs of pants, socks or underoos. I avoid the grocery store like the plague and make a few extra trips to Wawa because "I deserve a treat in the morning." (PS- I was at the grocery store last night and made the nice man look in the back for Cheese Wiz because the squeeze bottle they had out on the shelf is too hard to use. I told him I'm particular about my imitation cheese spread. He didn't see the humor that I did and he sure can't see Fancy's silhouette so I just looked like a crazy lady.) Whatever. If he doesn't have a sense of humor, he can go scratch.

So anyway, I was mesmerized by the Shark Portable Cleaner. Reminder- four cats = cat hair tumbleweeds every three days. They send two sets of removable, laundry safe pads for the system which reminded me of my laundry issues...will I have to buy more pads because the other two sets are in wash? But, if I don't use the vacuum or broom that I have, what makes me think I'll use the Shark? You have to fill that think with water before use. Another step I'll probably avoid. It takes my memory to another place...

It used to drive me BONKERS that on the way out of the house in the morning when my mom and I headed off to school that she always had a wet paper towel in her hands wiping dust or cat hair off one surface or the other (we had three cats growing up.) There was never a cleaning day or chore list which is probably the reason why I don't have a routine now. But at least she was consistent with that five cent wet paper towel (I guess the poor version of the Shark similar to Kelly's and Katie's popsicle treats?)
So I suppose the moral of the story is that I'm at odds with my house and am looking for suggestions for doing a better job keeping it clean (short of calling Merry Maids three times a year.) Maybe I need to host more parties...