Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm 5 Months Pregnant!

Hey there, week 22! I have officially made it to five months. Hallelujah. I can't wait for this kid to be here already. We found out last week that we're having a boy. We weren't at all surprised. It felt like one of those things that we'd always known. But since now we had medical confirmation of our hunch we went and registered for some baby stuff.

OMG everyone... Babies R Us will suck your soul dry. I'm warning you now. Of course I had been to a Toys R Us before, but not a Babies R Us. (Commonly referred to as BRU by moms in the know.) That store is aisle after aisle of pastel colored baby garbage. I turned to Matt and asked, "This stuff is gross. Where's the hipster baby aisle?" After a few minutes of stunned, overwhelmed wandering he finally pointed out that we're registering for things for a baby, not ourselves. The baby isn't going to care what his crib sheets look like. Yes. Point taken. Still though, we registered for the tuxedo bib and the peace sign sleep sack. The baby might not care, but I still have to be the one seen in public with him. I don't want him embarrassing me with his lack of style.

And then we have to deal with the nursery... It started to get cleaned out, then it filled back up with random furniture and junk. So, we've made pretty much no progress on it. Our initial goal was to have it empty and ready for decorating by Memorial Day. Now our goal is 4th of July weekend. And if that doesn't happen, then our next goal is early August when we have a shower at our house.

And if that doesn't happen, my parents will be finishing the nursery while I'm delivering at the hospital.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sushi Night!

We had our sushi trial run with friends last night and it was awesome! My expectations weren't too high for our first attempt but it was surprisingly easy.

First up, we had to locate a bunch of Asian cooking items. We were thinking about taking our chances at a regular grocery store but then I found an Asian market literally a few blocks from our house. The market was... an experience? It smelled like poo inside the store and the lady at the front counter was eating food and licking her fingers. I kept repeating to myself, "It's all prepackaged. It's all prepackaged. It's all prepackaged." A few minutes and a few squirts of hand sanitizer later, we were ready to rock. While it was a completely disgusting place to shop, it was worth the trip. We spent $13 and got:

2 packs of seaweed wrappers
Rice paper
Rice vermicelli noodles
Rice vinegar
chop sticks
2 sushi rollers

First up, we made shrimp spring rolls.

We made ours with rice noodles, carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro and shrimp. Pile all of your ingredients up and roll the rice paper like a little tiny burrito. I also made a peanut sauce for dipping these. Without the sauce they might have been a little boring but these were one of my favorite things we made.

Next we started the sushi rolls. Sushi rice is really, really sticky. It was strange stuff. Also, you don't realize how much rice goes on a roll until you make it yourself. We used close to a cup of rice for every roll. So word to the wise for everyone: Make lots of rice. Lots. We ended up making a second batch and used over 6 cups of cooked rice. (Hope no one has to weigh in today!)

Here are our first two: shrimp rolls and veggie rolls.

The veggie rolls have spicey mayo (mayo and Sriracha sauce), carrots, avocado, bean sprouts and cilantro. The shrimp rolls have spicey mayo, shrimp, avocado and green onions. I suppose these were *close* to real sushi. They tasted like real sushi anyway.

We also made a shredded BBQ pork and coleslaw roll that was just stupid it was so good. I somehow didn't end up with a picture of that one. I also tried an orange chicken roll but it failed. Matt then one upped me with a chicken bacon roll. I didn't try that one but I hear it was good. I was seriously riced out at the end of the night. I hit my limit. But that doesn't mean there wasn't room for...

Crab rangoon rolls!

Dude. Crab rangoon stuffing, smeared on seaweed, and dipped in tempura batter. And then fried. It was so good. No need to say anymore.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Sushi Experiment

Earlier this year, Matt and I went to California with some friends for a little vacation before the guys went on a tour. We were in the throws of our experimental vegetarian period so a trip to San Francisco and outlying cities was perfect. Everything restaurant had vegetarian items on the menu - and not just "vegetarian" items like spaghetti hold the meatballs. We're talkin real California hippy vegetarian cuisine.

We ended up in Sacramento one night to meet up with a group flying in from Omaha. We were in town so we stopped at Guy Fieri's restaurant, Tex Wasabi. Tex Wasabi is a sushi/BBQ fusion weirdo restaurant. If you've ever watched a show starring Guy Fieri you probably know that the dude is not a fan of vegetarian food. But I thought, it's a sushi joint (kind of) so we should be okay.

I was only kind of wrong.

The thing that Tex Wasabi is known for is it's really strange sushi rolls. Like, BBQ beef and french fries shoved in a roll. Everyone at the table ordered these kinds of rolls and ended up saying it was one of the best meals they had on the trip. I ordered an Asian slaw appetizer thing and a veggie roll. They. Were. Both. Terrible. My only regret from that trip is that I didn't eat meat at that dinner.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when we went to a party and the host made a platter of sushi for everyone. It was kind of late, maybe 11:00, so everyone but me was a wee bit on the drunk side. I sat in front of Keith (host) and watched him make sushi for probably close to an hour. He explained everything to me and made it sound relatively simple. I tried a few bites (Yes, I'm pregnant and I ate 2 bites of raw fish. Someone call social services.) and it tasted better than the run of the mill sushi restaurants dotted here and there all over Omaha. Which isn't saying a whole lot, really. In my opinion there's only one really good sushi place in Omaha that's worth dropping $75 at. Aside from special recipe items that most other places have, it is all the same. And it's all overpriced. But I digress.

The point here is that I got to thinking about my cooking lesson and Tex Wasabi and I'm pretty sure I can do this at home. Matt and I are going to make our own faux sushi dinner Friday night. No raw fish consumption this time though. I'll wait until I'm not pregnant to give myself food poisoning. Here's the proposed menu:

shrimp spring rolls
crab rangoon rolls
spicy veggie rolls
BBQ pork and slaw rolls
orange chicken teriyaki rolls

I'm guessing there's going to be a lot of leftovers...

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Dinnerware Wish List

Am I allowed to add new dinnerware to the baby registry? What if the baby wants to throw a dinner party?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Patio Spaces and Home Buying

It's been exceptionally nice out lately and I'm itching to spend more time outside. However, our bare concrete patio and rickety deck/lawsuit-in-the-making are less than inviting on a sunny Saturday afternoon. My dissatisfaction with our outdoor living area is only compounded when I find dozens of photos like these in my blog reader:

Don't you want to be wherever it is that patio exists?

And speaking of patios, check out this article about the cost of outdoor space in New York City. Yowza!

Prior to buying our house I couldn't have cared less about finding a home with outdoor living space. But now? After living in this house longer than I've lived anywhere other than my parent's place, I can't stop thinking, What were we thinking buying a house without a covered patio space! What fools we are!

It's so funny that owning a house makes me want to own a better house. It's beyond counterintuitive. Matt and I bust our asses to be able to pay the mortgage every month, but for some reason this house just isn't good enough. I want more. I want a better house with a higher mortgage! I want something in excess of what I need simply because I want it! I'm such a... what's the word... Oh, right. I'm such an American.

Way back in good old 2007, Matt and I were living in a crap hole rental with two other guys. (Only one of the four of us ever cleaned. I'll let you guess who that was.) We ended up engaged and really wanted to put our renting days behind us. We lived in mid-town and had high hopes of staying in the area. Little did we realize that our budget would only afford us a different crap hole if we stayed in the neighborhood. These houses we looked at were bad. The decent looking ones were tiny, and the sizable ones were just all around icky. Since we were already at the top of our budget, there was no money left for renovations if we bought one of the baddies. We found one that we liked that was cheaper than cheap at $95K. It was really cute, but it was parked right next to four shady apartment buildings. Bummer.

(Keep in mind all this was happening about six months prior to the bottom falling out of the housing market. If we'd held off for a year we could have bought a nice house in the neighborhood for less than our budget.)

After about 30 houses we ended up looking at places out of our desired area, gradually easing our way west until we hit 90th street. One day I just happened to see a house posted that was within our budget and that was newly remodeled on the inside. At this point our list of priorities was:

1. Three bedrooms
2. Clean and updated
3. No large brick buildings next door
4. Will we be able to resell it

We bought it and we love it. Not very many people make their first home their "forever home" and we daydream about what we want next time around. The list is extensive. And it keeps getting longer. In the last six months we've gone from family of two to family of three, plus an in-home studio for work. "More than enough space," has been reduced to "Adequate for the next three or four years." It's kind of scary that life is happening this fast.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Maternity Swimsuits

As if swimsuit shopping wasn't horrible enough already, I have now entered the world of maternity swimwear. And maternity swimwear is hilariously bad. It's either just a basic bikini or a giant spandex monstrosity. You get the option of letting it all hang out (and pray you don't get stretch marks) -or- cover it up with some sort of black old-timey bathing suit like your grandma wore in 1930. You know, because black is slimming when you're packing an extra 35 pounds.

And then I found this:

I am a huge fan of this swimsuit. It's really just a big giant top that looks like a dress with some bikini bottoms hidden underneath, but it covers some key areas of concern for me:

-Won't make me look like I'm 45
-Will cover my tummy
-Will cover my non-tannable, chubby "with child" bottom from public view

I just need to order this, do about 10,000 lunges and then I'll be all set for summer.

Week 18

Week 18 is here. My list of pregnancy complaints has been whittled down to one large and serious complaint:

Three day holiday weekends without booze are boring. (Although the lack of hangovers is kind of nice.)

But on the upside, this last week I discovered a really awesome pregnancy perk. Everyone I know has been telling me how cute I look pregnant! I don't think it's so much a reflection of the way I really look, because I'm dressing myself and doing my hair and makeup the same way I always do. (Which is sloppy and in a constant rush.) I think it's more of a reflection of the way people view pregnant women. Like, "OMG you're not fat and sloppy! You look SO GOOD!"

I went to a small party Friday night and a friend I don't see too often was essentially saying that he thinks it's great that I'm not "letting myself go" during pregnancy. He didn't use those exact words, he's much more tactful than that. But that was the paraphrased version of the compliment. Someone else said that I'm taking a very "European" approach to pregnancy. Chic dresses, heels, going out at night.

WTF are these people talking about?

I'm putting approximately 2% more effort into getting ready everyday. That's it. I'm not following some magical pregnant lady routine to keep myself fresh and cheery while carrying around a fetus. This is essentially the way I always look (minus pants because I can't fit into any of mine), however, never before have I received so many compliments. This leads me to the conclusion that the effort I put into my pre-knockedup appearance is considered subpar for a non-pregnant woman and is thus completely unremarkable.

Thanks, society.

I'm hoping that the transition from "pregnant" to "new mom" garners me as many compliments. In theory, it should. If the bar is lowered from non-pregnant to pregnant, then it should be lowered to the floor for new moms. If I can slap on some mascara and put on a bra every morning it will hopefully blow peoples' minds into telling me how amazing I look for just having a baby. If all goes well, I can hopefully ride that wave of illusion into age 30, at which point people will be astounded that I'm the mother of a toddler.

Can I keep this going until my child is in high school? Maybe even for the rest of my life?

But what if the reverse happens and my normal sloppy morning routine is now seen as an indication that I completely lost my shit as a mother? Instead of "OMG, SO GOOD!" will I now look like a haggard soccer mom? Crap. I'm going to have to get extensions and start hitting up the MAC counter, aren't I?