Tuesday, September 16, 2008


My family had been planning a trip to Disneyland for a few months. On Sunday, September 7, we went to my parents' for a visit before they took off for their vacation on Tuesday, September 9. Well, while there, I somehow came to the conclusion that Pear and I just had to join them. We weren't planning on vacationing with them for a couple of reasons: Stephen cannot take vacation at this time, I am 32 weeks pregnant, Pear is only 18 months old and cannot participate in most of the rides and we are trying to put our spare change towards remodeling our house. Great reasons, right? Yeah, but my dad managed to get me an airline ticket by redeeming miles, they already had a hotel room that could squeeze Pear and myself in, I would be staying home that week with nothing planned anyways so why not go to Disneyland! We booked the ticket and took off on Tuesday morning!

It was a lot of fun! A lot of work, but a lot of fun. Pear didn't like ANY of the rides. She started crying and requesting to get off any time we got on. However, she thought they looked like a lot of fun and she would express with excitement that she wanted to ride but as soon as we got close, she would change her mind. Her favorite thing about the trip was getting to meet the characters which she adamantly wanted to give high-fives and then she also loved the parades. I got to go on a couple of rides. I love rides and would have loved to do more but they recommend expectant mothers to not do many of them. My time will come again!

To view more pictures of our fun vacation, click on this link.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What's in a bun?

Stephen and I have been on a quest to eat as little processed foods as possible. We try to eat as fresh of produce and meat as possible and do our own cooking and baking. While in Bellingham we thoroughly enjoyed Avenue Bread products which include fresh made, preservative free breads. Their english muffins made the best sandwiches and hamburger buns. Since moving to the Olympia area, we have been forced to find an alternative. I have baked many different breads but have never attempted a hamburger bun. So, I decided to set out and see just how hard it would be and what my alternatives were. Though convenient, the generic hamburger bun's bland taste, the ingredients and preservatives you swallow, remain nothing to be desired.

The average fast-food hamburger bun includes the following ingredients: Enriched bleached wheat flour, water, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, yeast, monoglycerides, salt, wheat gluten, yeast nutrients, calcium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium propionate (preservative), sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium carbonate, enzyme, sesame seeds, potassium bromate,. May contain casein, soy lecithin, disodium phosphate, carageenan, and beta carotene,

The generic hamburger bun found at the grocery store contains: Enriched Wheat Flour, Water, Sweetener (High Fructose Corn Syrup, sugar), Yeast, Soybean Oil, Contains 2% or Less of Wheat Gluten, salt, Calcium Sulfate, Dough Conditioners (May Contain Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ethoxylated Mono and Diglycerides, Datem, Dicalcium Phosphate, Mono and Diglycerides, Calcium Dioxide, and/or Sorbic Acid), Vinegar, Soy Flour, Yeast Nutrients (May Contain Ammonium Chloride, Ammonium Phosphate, Diammonium Phosphate, Ammonium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or calcium carbonate), Cornstarch, Wheat Starch, enzymes, Calcium Propionate (To Retain Freshness), soy lecithin. If Topped, Also Contains Sesame Seeds, or Corn Meal.

My trial hamburger bun recipe contains the following:
Russet potato, water, buttermilk, yeast, all purpose flour, sugar, salt and butter.

I started preparing the dough around 10:00 am. My hamburger buns came out of the oven looking plump and delicious around 12:00 pm. This recipe was simple, economical and rather quick. It took about 30 minutes of hands on work and the rest was in waiting for the dough to rise and bake. I am convinced that I probably will not be purchasing hamburger buns from the market any time soon. Here are pictures of my results:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A girl with a curl...

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you haven't noticed, Pear was blessed with a beautiful curl right in the middle of her forehead. We noticed it when she was six weeks old, it began as a tidal wave and every one thought that I fixed her hair daily. I actually did nothing to her hair, she simply woke every morning with her lovely curl. I thought I would post pictures of the evolution of Pear's curl which is now pulled back daily in order to keep it out of her eyes.

Now, as far as the little rhyme, which has been recited to us more times than I can count by anyone and everyone we meet, it does seem to ring true however I would never say that my little Pear is horrid. But, when she's having a bad day, it is a bad day indeed. And, when she is good, she is very good indeed.

Monday, September 1, 2008

30 weeks and no itching!

...or at least only minimal itching. For those of you who don't know, while pregnant with Pear I was itching 24/7 by 30 weeks, losing sleep, losing appetite and becoming extremely anxious for Pear to arrive in this world, all due to Cholestasis of Pregnancy. This time around I have been proactive about the situation and have been on a no-fat diet since 12 weeks into my pregnancy. I have also been taking milk thistle and SAMe supplements to support my liver and have been trying to eat vegetables that encourage a healthy liver. So far, so good. I will admit that I do itch a little here and there but it's nothing to complain about nor is it keeping me up at night. Who knows, the itching I'm experiencing this time might even be normal itching in pregnancy. I am very positive and feel that I can make it another 10 weeks no problem! I wouldn't mind though if Jovie decided to come a little early, say 37 or 38 weeks.

At 30 weeks, Jovie is growing like a weed inside of me. She weighs about 3 lbs and is approximately 15 inches long. Her brain is developing and she opens and shuts her eyes. Her little toenails and fingernails are complete. Her lungs are developed and are now maturing. She would be able to breathe on her own if she were to enter this world today! We are so excited to meet her! We can't wait to have a new baby in the house.

Pear is officially ready to be a big sister. She is doing well in her "big girl bed," is weaned from her binky, and is in full board little mommy stage. She carries her baby doll around everywhere and is sure to put her to sleep when needed and give her "dwinks" from her baby bottle when needed. I can't wait to see her holding a real little baby.