Monthly Archives: November 2010

Catching My Breath

I’m feeling cautiously optimistic.  I don’t have time to go into details right now, but stay tuned.  For now, here’s some cute baby pictures:

Birthday Bonanza!

Hey, did you know that Lorelei turned one last week?  Oh, you say I’ve mentioned it about a thousand times?  I promise think accept the possibility that this is the last time.

Monday, November 8th at 2:24 am, little lady bug turned one.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t really celebrate since the husband has class Monday nights.  Just because we weren’t having a big celebration on the actual birthday doesn’t mean that we couldn’t open at least one present!

Presents are hard work and, just like her mommy, Lorelei needs to stick her tongue out while she attempts to open them!  Let’s not even get started on how hard greeting cards are…

Bows are lots of fun though…

And then there was the present itself (clothes from Aunt Tamara!)

The big event didn’t happen until Saturday.  I don’t think I’ve worked this hard on a birthday party ever.  A theme!  Favors!  What?  I ordered cookies from the Cakery in the shapes of lady bugs and the number one:

Oh yeah!  I also made “confetti” by stamping a lady bug on red paper and using a leaf shaped hole punch.  Dork.

And then there were presents!

And (cup)cake!

I baked some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  And displayed them like Martha Freakin’ Stewart on a cupcake tree that I borrowed from my friend Meredith

Phew.  Exhausting weekend, but you only get one first birthday party!

Lady Bug

Lorelei celebrated her birthday in style with a Lady Bug Bash!  Her first cake?  Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  It was an exhausting yet perfect day.

Apple Cider Cake

Fall means apples.  Lots and lots of apples.  If you go into my neighborhood farmer’s market/grocery store, the tables and bins and baskets of apples practically smack you in the face when you walk in the door.  Want a half peck of apples?  It’ll cost you next to nothing.

I like apples well enough, but I’m not a big fan of eating them raw (plain? unsliced?).  I have, on occasion, munched on an apple but I’ve always been an apple slices and peanut butter kind of girl.  Or apple pie.  Or apple muffins.  Or…you get the idea.  Lucky for me, my go-to recipe inspiration gal AndreAnna came up with a recipe for Grain-Free Flourless Apple Spice Bread about a month ago.  It sounded perfect.

Last week, I was all set to make it and had, in fact, started cooking the apples, when my internet went out.  I couldn’t get to the recipe – I hadn’t left my browser open – and I didn’t want to wait for my service to maybe possibly in three days be restored.  So, I winged it.  And then this week, I decided to try it a little differently again.  Check out what I came up with:

What you need: Cloves, nutmeg, maple syrup, apple juice, baking soda, baking powder, nut butter (I used almond this time, but if you want sweeter go with peanut butter), cinnamon, one egg, two apples.

Peel those apples

Core the apples and then cut them into chunks (it doesn’t have to be too small).  Place them in a small sacuepan

Time to make cider!  Add apple juice, cinnamon and whole cloves to the saucepan.  Stir, making sure the apples are well coated with spices.  Heat on low until they are nice and soft.

While the apples are getting mushy, it’s time to get everything else together!  Dump a whole 16 ounce jar nut butter of your choice into a mixer.  Beat until smooth

Time for the egg!  Beat that until it’s combined with the nut butter.

Add the maple syrup, baking soda, baking powder, more cinnamon and nutmeg.  You know what to do, beat that stuff together too!

Those apples should be done cooking by now, so drain them but reserve the cooking liquid.  Also, fish out the whole cloves since you don’t need those anymore.

Mash ’em up.  Once they’ve cooled a bit – you don’t want to scramble that egg – stir the mashed apples into the rest of your mixture.

Almost done now.  Take a tablespoon of the reserved (also cooled) cooking liquid and add that.  I highly recommend drinking the rest, YUM.

Put your batter into a greased pan and bake at 325 on the bottom rack for 30-35 minutes.  It’ll go in looking like this…

…and come out looking like this.

It’s done when a toothpick – or a dried spaghetti noodle – inserted into the center comes out clean.

It’s pretty much perfect on it’s own with maybe a pat of butter.  If you used the almond butter and it’s not quite sweet enough for your taste (it wasn’t for me), go back to this recipe and use that frosting.  Delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • a few whole cloves
  • 2 cups nut butter (almond or peanut)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  In a saucepan, combine apples, apple juice, cloves and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Make sure the apples are coated with the spices.  Cook on low heat until soft and mushy.  Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, remove the cloves and mash the apples.

In a mixer, beat the nut butter until smooth.  Beat in the egg.  Add the remaining ingredients, the cooled apples and 1 tablespoon of reserved apple cooking liquid.  Stir until well combined.

Pour into a greased pan (confession: not sure what size mine was, but I would guess it was an 8×12) and bake on the bottom rack for 30-35 minutes.  Adjust your time depending on the size of your pan.  It’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Serve with butter or frosting of your choice.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thankful Thursday: Annoying Neighbors Edition

Dear Downstairs Neighbors,

Thank you for blasting your terrible techno music for most of the afternoon.  It was the kick in the butt that I needed to call up a friend just to hang out.  I got to spend three-ish hours with some good friends.  I got to have someone else entertain Lorelei and feed her dinner.  I got to watch a terrible movie.*  Thanks for being annoying, now please stop.

Love,

Me

*It was New Moon, in case you were wondering, and it was awesome in its terribleness.

What to Say?

I want to write something.  I want to be able to share what has been going on today.  But I can’t.

I want to.  I want to tell you that I’m mad.  I want to tell you that I wanted to yell and throw things and punch holes in the wall.

I want to tell you that I’m sad.  I want to tell you that it feels like my head is about to explode from holding back all the tears so that I didn’t break down in front of Lorelei.  I want to tell you that I did cry and it didn’t help.

But what would that accomplish?  Telling you all these things.  I’m mad and sad and feeling so unbelievably shitty, but I can’t tell you why.  I’m not really shy about sharing personal details here – and on-line is one of the few places that I’m not shy – but it isn’t really about me.  The reason for my mood, the reason I’m mad and sad, has to do with Brian.

And just to be clear, it’s not him.

It’s a little bit him, but mostly in the way he handled the situation.  It is not, however, my place to go into details that he probably doesn’t want people to know.  That’s fine.

I have spent all day in this rage.  I want to talk about it.  I want someone to be able to talk me down from the ledge, but I feel like there is no one.  I can’t call any of my friends up in the middle of the day and have them come over and keep me company and talk about this.  I called my mom, but it didn’t do a whole lot to help (actually made me feel worse, sorry Mom).

Then there’s you, dear Internet.  I come here and share my daily life.  My struggles with depression, my struggles with parenthood.  These are all things that you know.  I want to talk about this.  I want to write it down.  I’m trapped.  The words I need to say, I can’t say.

I’m angry.

I’m so fucking angry.

In one day, I have been made to feel worse than I have in a very long time.  I’m sorry, Internet, I’m in a bad place.  Tomorrow will be better.

As the Apartment Turns…

Very early Sunday morning, probably around 3 am.  Or was it 2 am.  3?  I hate daylight savings.  Also, Sunday was THE!  LONGEST!  DAY!  EVER!  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, really early Sunday morning – at some indeterminate time – I was sitting in the rocking chair in the baby’s room trying to get her to go back to sleep.  I feel like I’m beating a dead horse but WHY WON’T SHE SLEEP?  So, she was having some sort of night terror and would not be calmed down unless I was holding her and then I hear Bmm! Bmm! Bmm! (translation: thumping bass).

The dulcet tones of bad techno are not that rare of an occurrence in our building since we are sandwiched between college students and mid-twenty year olds with no kids.  Most of the time, it doesn’t bother me.  Maybe it’s because it doesn’t sound as if the music is actually coming from somewhere in our apartment.  Maybe it’s because it doesn’t go on for hours and hours ALL DAY LONG!  Mostly, I think it doesn’t bother me because our neighbors are respectful and don’t hassle us if we go downstairs and ask them to turn it down.

Small Side Note: A month or so ago, Brian was out of town and I had just put the baby to bed.  It was a Saturday night and the downstairs neighbors were having a party.  I realized that I had forgotten to get the mail, so I ventured down there in my pajamas to retrieve it.  Little did I know that they were sitting outside on their patio (about 10 people and 2 dogs), drinking and smoking and listening to their music.  I probably had a very shocked face and the first thing they asked was, “Is the music too loud?”  And then they offered me a beer which I declined because I don’t drink Natty Light.  Beer snob.  Anywho, they are usually considerate is what I’m trying to get at.

So, although loud music is not uncommon, it is uncommon very early in the morning.  But it didn’t seem to be bothering Lorelei and I managed to get her back down in the crib.  I dragged myself back to our room and tried to tune it out so I could go back to sleep.  Yeah.  That didn’t work so well.  I had just asked Brian to go down there and say something when the yelling started…

It was really bizarre.  I felt like such a bad person for taking an active interest in what they were arguing about, but if they’re going to be loud enough to hear it’s their own fault.  I think it was about laundry.  I shit you not.  I think Ava* was mad at Mario* because he stayed up late to do laundry and she wanted to go to bed.  Mario goes on a rampage because he was doing the laundry for her and he wasn’t making her stay up.  (I beg to differ, loud music dumbass.)  I could barely hear what she was saying but he kept yelling, “AVA!  AVA!  WHY IS EVERYTHING SUCH A FUCKING ARGUMENT WITH YOU?!?!”   He yelled that probably a dozen times.

There was a lot of door slamming.  The music would be turned on again.  And then back off.  Ava would start yelling at him again.  He would come back with some more dumbass comments.  I think the last bit he said, “How did we end up like this?”  Valid question but seriously Mario, asking it and then going into the other room and turning your music back on is not the way to have an argument.  Just saying.  At some point someone, possibly the older couple who live in the adjoining building, came over and pounded on their door.  The whole thing ended with a door slam so violent that it shook the entire building.

Although I saw Ava’s car and thought I heard her dog barking yesterday, nothing today.  Dog didn’t bark when I went to get the mail and the sign that used to be outside their living room window (A spoiled rotten dog lives here) is gone.  Hmm…

Stay tuned for more on “As the Apartment Turns…”

*Names changed

12 Months

Dear Lorelei,

Congratulations!  You’ve made it through an orbit around the sun!

Twelve months ago, you were barely blinking your eyes open.  You had two states: eating and sleeping.  Oh, and wanting to do one of those two things.  The first couple days in the hospital were so hard that, on days when I feel like I’ve reached the end of my rope, I remind myself that it’s been much worse.

There are some days I wish I could go back in time and enjoy the first few months a bit more instead of being so stressed out; but you are turning into a pretty awesome little girl.  Energetic.  Wiggly.  You love to dance and clap.  You like to bang things against the wall (or coffee table or bathroom floor).  You like to wander around the apartment carrying various items – usually “rescued” from my bag – and chatter at me.  You pull your books off the shelf and flip through the pages.  You talk to the pictures.  I wish I could know what goes on in your head.

I can’t wait to see what the next twelve months will bring!

Love,

Your Mother

One

The last twelve months:

Dreaming

I can’t believe that in less than two days this little girl will be one.  ONE!  I wonder what she’s dreaming…