December 17, 2008

Necessity = Mother of Invention

I've discovered a dual purpose for an old standard.

The other night, as we were getting ready for bed, I put on a pair of red satin pajamas that I a) love and b) am getting too paunchy for. Ted watched me, got a sly grin on his face, and asked, "Baby, are you feeling sassy tonight?" And with a completely straight face, I looked at him and replied, "I can't get comfortable when I sleep anymore. I toss from one side to the other at least 18 times per night. These pajamas reduce friction so I can swing my belly around easier." Ted's response: "Oh."

See, according to the equation F=M/a where "F" represents the net force of an object's motion, "M" represents the mass of the object, and "a" represents its acceleration, the relationship between mass and force is directly proportional. Therefore, if mass (my large fanny and larger tum-tum) increases, so must the force required to move that mass. If the force is a large one, acceleration is small (meaning the movement happens slowly - a fact all late-term preggers women know). That force/acceleration relationship is an inversely proportional one.

So to increase acceleration for the same amount of mass (because I'm only going to be getting bigger), I'd have to reduce the force. And since friction is the force that acts in direct opposition to the force of motion (think of sliding a heavy box across a carpet vs. putting it on a dolly), that's what I had to focus on reducing - hence the miracle of THE SATIN JAMMIES.

I should use this example during our force unit next year...

December 15, 2008

Giving thanks

I heard someone mention somewhere that "even though" Christmas is not Thanksgiving, we should still give thanks. I thought about that a while and wondered why we need a holiday of slaving away and pigging out just to say "thank you" to the Person who matters most. Shouldn't it be a daily event anyway? It was drilled into me many years ago that the Lord will not answer the prayers of an ingrate, and if you think about general parenting, I would hold that premise to be true. Who wants to keep giving and giving to a child who can't seem to muster up a simple "thanks"? What happens when we turn into that kind of spoiled brat?

Sometimes I find myself saying prayers and focusing a lot on asking, and that's when I have to pause and change my tune. By focusing on the thanking, I feel the Spirit deeper and I often forget what I was asking for in the first place because put in perspective, those things almost seem trite. If I'm able to see how much I've already been blessed, why pester The Man with more requests?! Let His ears wander to someone's prayers who's REALLY in need (and then help me find out what I can do in my human form to help that person - that's the "asking" part I should really be concerned with).

So in the spirit of giving thanks no matter how long it has taken me to write about Thanksgiving, here's a list (by no means definitive nor exhaustive) of things I was thankful for during that particular holiday.

I'm grateful for a husband who, since day one, has had an affinity for children. You can't tell here, but during the whole week, the kiddies flocked to and couldn't get enough of "Unkoe Teddy Beaw".

I'm grateful to have brothers who have proven to be such great dads. This one actually made Leah laugh, something Ted was UNable to do in the previous picture.

I'm grateful for the talents I've been given regarding all things sweet. It really comes in handy around the holidays.

I'm grateful for dang good-looking parents after raising 10 unruly children. My dad's health continues to amaze me. And I hope it's true what they say about growing up and looking like your mom. She's a knockout.

I'm grateful that our Thanksgiving has turned into a potluck of ALL the best things that people make. The O-mazing POtatOes and the biggest container of pumpkin cookies I've ever seen came from Sacramento, the salad (with BACON!) and cutest redheads came from Arizona, non-stop entertainment came last-minute from the booming metropolis of Tooele, I did the desserts and caramelized butternut squash (thank you, Ina), and my little sister did her VERY FIRST turkey. We were so proud. Here's the spread with Shannon taking credit for the whole thing.

My favorite is the random cans of cranberry relish. Hey, only the insane go ALL scratch on Thanksgiving. And I know who you are.

Next, I'm grateful that despite how much I keep growing, my cute Mr. Smooches wants to hug and cuddle me all the time anyway. Seriously, ALL THE TIME. I think it's because I keep feeding him. It sure isn't my cleaning skills..

I'm grateful that despite how much I keep growing, there's another Syphus who's growing more. Keep it up, Noah!! You make me look good, you little chubbo! This little porker is only 6 months old.

I'm grateful to have other wonderful women who are pregnant at the same time so I can swap stories and groin complaints without feeling guilty. Pictured here is Stacey, but huge thanks to Shannon, Christy, Melanie, Doris, Kerri, Sarah, Sherice, Natasha, Sachia, Niki, and now Rachel. I also have to thank my own mother profusely. The woman had 10 children, and NEVER ONCE has she said anything like, "Oh, you have no idea what it's really like," or "How can you even complain? You big wimp!" She very easily could, but instead she sympathizes whole-heartedly, offers suggestions on what might work, leaves lotion on my doorstep after I complained about itchy boobies, and then says things like "Ugh, I could never do what you're doing." Yeah, right! You only did this times 10, you crazy woman! I love you!

And finally, I am grateful for my dad's splendid gold robe that he only pulls out for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It wouldn't be the holidays without it.

December 12, 2008

End of a Long Journey

After two and a half years of taking night classes to be a teacher while I was simultaneously teaching as a teacher, I am now officially a teacher.


Thanks, state of California! You sure know how to make someone's day.

December 9, 2008

Crossing a Great Divide

I have been a bit off the radar lately, so I thought I would share with you part of what has been occupying most of my time.

It's not the baby (that comes later, as Cari keeps telling me).
It's not Ted (though that would be a wonderful alternative).
It's not even my night classes (though you'd think they would be a gimme).

My students take up most of my brainpower these days. If I'm not teaching them, I'm planning for them or grading work they've completed. I find myself making the day's plans while showering, driving, or even sleeping. Ted can testify to the number of dreams I had regarding "Density and Buoyancy" when we were covering that unit.

My job is all-consuming, and though I complain about the daily grind of it all and the politics surrounding the classroom (any classroom), I really enjoy what I do. I feel a great responsibility for these young, budding minds who may not have the opportunity anywhere else to get a quality education from a few teachers who REALLY care about their welfare. So now that my stack of grading has gone from 12" high down to 9", I found some time to report on my most recent activities.

Our latest unit was on Forces. You know, gravity, friction, pushing and pulling, etc. Any 13-yr old can think this subject is pretty dry. I'm well aware of that, so to spice it up, we began it with dropping raw eggs off a balcony to see if they would break. Each student had a chance to pack one egg in a milk carton with any packing material they wanted and predicted if theirs would break or remain intact. For our first round, without knowing much about what forces were acting on the eggs, we had a 21% survival rate. (We repeated this exercise after our study on forces came to a close, and our percentage of survival almost doubled - pretty exciting!)

Then we moved on to bridges. I LOVE BRIDGES. Pictures of them are great, yes, but DRIVING across them gives me thrills I "can't express in mere words" (a famous Dad line). In preparation for driving across particularly exciting ones (Golden Gate, Coronado Bay, that floating one in Seattle), I've even been known to pull over beforehand and select an appropriate bit of music to have blaring as I travel across - something that blows my skirt up as much as the drive across does.

In lieu of a unit test, I had my students research and explain the forces acting on the three major types of bridges: Beam (including covered and truss bridges), Arch, and Suspension. They came back from Thanksgiving weekend with models they'd built, and were totally excited about some of the bridges they looked up. I loved that they got into the project, and I hope that at least some of them will view these incredible homages to engineering as marvelous and awe-inspiring whenever they come across one in the future. I've shown some of my favorites below.

This one we saw, travelled across, and photographed during our trip through Oregon last summer. Oregon is chock full of cool bridges - one reason I'd move there. The plethora of Dairy Queen stops would be another.

The famous Tower Bridge in London. I travelled across it at night and loved it. How could you not??

The rest I've never seen in person but want to. This one is in Singapore, called Henderson Waves. I love it when designers put something snazzy in there.

The Seven-Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys. See, it's named "Seven Mile Bridge" because, well, it's 18 miles long.

A gorgeous arch bridge in the south of France, called the Pont du Gard.

If Ted ever whisks us away to Boston, I want to go across the Taxpayers' Bridge, named for...well...the people who paid for it. Thanks, people!

This next one is the longest suspension bridge in the world, connecting Kobe to Awaji Island in Japan. Imagine being on this bridge for 2.5 miles! My mom couldn't handle it. She gasps with fear when we go over the 105 to 110 North freeway overpass (and I love it! Wheeeee!!!) This bridge has the added feature of being built to withstand 180-mph gusts and earthquakes of Richter Scale 8.5 - that's pretty intense.

This bridge, called Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel (or MMMBT for short), is a 4.6-mile long combination bridge-tunnel system connecting two Virginia communities across the mouth of the James River. So cool - just drive into the water!

I'm grateful to be married to a man who is filled with current event and general trivia knowledge. The other day he came home and told me about Dubai - how it is running out of its usual exportable goods and therefore coming up with alternate forms of money-making ventures. At the top of the list: tourism. This is the proposed mile-long bridge that would run through the city. I love the design on this one.

This last one is something I would never want to be on. It's a video of the Tacoma Narrows bridge (the first one), aka "Gallopin' Gertie" in Washington State. My students had to look up a failed/collapsed bridge in addition to their other research, and several found this one. Take a few minutes to watch it. This footage is shown in introductory physics courses in college as what NOT to do.

The wind that caused the collapse was only going about 40 mph, but the wind's resonance matched the natural resonance of the structure, causing solid concrete and steel to move with a periodic motion - hence the "galloping". We watched the video as a class, and aside from the typical pre-teen responses, most students were in awe that wind could do something like that. I agree!

I realize this is a bit off my normal type of post, but I hope you at least enjoyed some pictures. Contrary to what some students might believe, a little education never hurt anyone.

November 24, 2008

The Verdict

I visited the ol' DTD last Friday ("Down There Doctor" for anyone who doesn't read that one hysterical blog) and the ulrasound showed a child that was more me this time than Ted. Read: not demure nor modest in actions.

For the poetic:

For the science nerds:

For those who love Aerosmith as much as I:

I got a full frontal from this girl. I have a feeling this will be the first time of many I'll be telling our daughter to close her legs. My mom had to tell me all the time.

November 12, 2008

Celebration of Womanhood

I'm not a morning person. I have to force myself to get up between 5 and 5:30am (depending on that day's level of hair cleanliness) so I can catch the train to get to work with a little breathing time before the kids start marching through the door. Therefore, my face remains pretty stoic (and usually unmoisturized - crap! forgot again...) until someone in my first period cracks a joke or I get into entertainment mode.

So imagine my surprise when on my drive down to the train station, I spotted a car with this on the bumper:

Not only did I get a giggle just looking at this new variation on breast cancer awareness, but I kept a smile on my face from then until work started, remembering all the nicknames that my thesaurus-esque husband has just for women's breasts. I've written down a list that is by NO MEANS exclusive. I welcome any additions.

YA-YAS: a close relative to the ta-tas, but with an added component of ability to be "covered up" when overheard making comments. Example:
Man to male friend: And then the global economy is just going to skyrocket!
Male friend: Ya. Ya.
Man: (whispering) Where?

And don't think I didn't giggle (and still do) when the Ya-Ya Sisterhood movie came out. Hello!

HOOTERS: Made popular by that chicken-wing restaurant.

BOCCE BALLS: A new entry, inspired by the woman in this post

MELONS: And all variations on the fruit theme - casabas, cantaloupes, mangos, coconuts, pineapple (hey, I've heard it), peaches, apples, lemons, pears (shape matters), etc.

CANS: The non-recyclable kind. But VERY earth-friendly nonetheless.

CHESTICLES: For those with a particular kind of envy.

HEADLIGHTS: Still trying to figure out where the switch is.

BAZONGAS: Or bajongas. Or bongos.

MAMMARIES: The list wouldn't be complete without the anatomical name. For that matter,

TEATS/UDDERS: Utterly appropriate for nursing days. Also recently heard: "milk machines." I have creative friends.

THE TWINS: Closely related are "the sisters" and "the girls".

JUGS: Usually reserved for a large set, or in reference to a new mom whose milk "just came in" (the letdown reflex), resulting in porn-star boobs.

FRONTS: Ted's personal favorite.

CHI-CHIS: This is really the only foreign language one I know. I like the name, but these aren't the kind I have, unfortunately.

LOVELIES: Nor these.

PILLOWS: This is more my style. Especially lately.

TUNE IN TOKYO: No explanation will be given here.

FUNBAGS: No explanation necessary.

MOSQUITO BITES: All apologies to my small-breasted friends and family. Solution: get pregnant and keep nursing until you die. And...

RACK: You didn't think our blog name was in reference to baked goods, did you? hehehehehehehe

Ladies, be proud of your sets, whatever ya ya got.

October 31, 2008

Hallowe'en II

Ted forgot to mention a few things about our Halloween experience last year. He was absolutely right about the candy, (VERY important to have enough so we don't run out), but he doesn't remember the horrors I had to face from the frightful "holiday".

We tried to take it pretty easy last year - rented a movie, left lights on to attract trick-or-treaters, and Ted picked up food from one of our favorite places so I wouldn't have to cook:

We love their BBQ chicken pizza, and I'm always a fan of all things Asian, so he also got one of their Thai Crunch salads - mmmmm:

We haven't eaten there since.

Because this was me just a few hours later (minus the uber-hairy legs):

The yakking continued all through the night, but I went to work the next morning because I didn't have a scrap of lesson plans ready for the day. I made the 45-minute drive without puking in the car or out the window, but warned my principal that it was imminent and if I didn't start feeling better, I was going home. He didn't have to ask why - I looked awful.

As it turned out, I was able to hold in the vomit all through our 65-min first period, but soon after had to let loose in the nearest toilet as the principal was en route to check up on me. He heard the heaves two hallways away and ordered me home, where my sister came to tend to my every need. They weren't many, since even the tiniest sip of water sent me racing to the toilet.

Did I mention that food poisoning doesn't know the difference between the entry and the exit? It's all the same to those little bacteria - just get everything the hell out of there, doesn't matter how.

Ugh. Stupid Halloween.

A week or so later, when I went to visit Laura in the hospital during her eternal prenatal stay, I told that story and she said her husband had been even more sick from the SAME SALAD at CPK, different (but nearby) location. Something was rotten in the state of California!

Overall, I lost about 9 lbs from the experience. My GI tract was completely cleaned out, and I never wanted to wipe my bum again.

This year, I'm just eating candy for dinner. It's much safer.

October 24, 2008


Last year we got into Halloween in a big way.  We thought, "we're in a house, we're going to get all sorts of trick-or-treaters!"  So we went to the local pumpkin patch, aka the parking lot of CVS/pharmacy, to pick up the perfect orange gourd.  It came replete with a petting zoo and a little false advertising.  See the sign below.  There weren't any horses, golden retrievers, squirrels, pigs, great blue herons or velociraptors to be found.  Try goats and chickens.  Later it was pointed out to me that it isn't actually a velociraptor on the far right.  It's a monkey (there weren't any monkeys to pet either), but I could have sworn that it was the infamous flesh-eating dinosaur.  To me the tail and the branch are the dino's neck and head respectively, the monkey's legs are the raptor's scrawny forearms, the monkey's head is its tail and the monkey's forearms are the legs.  I had all these horrible images of a Jurassic Park style meltdown in the drug store parking lot.  Alas, the biggest risk was a case of avian flu.

You know what though?  We didn't get even one measly trick-or-treater.  We had to eat all those yummy Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Almond Joys, Hershey's Minis and Peanut M&Ms by ourselves.  I blame our neighborhood for any and all weight gain we may have experienced.  I can't imagine why we got completely ignored.  Look at our lovely initial emblazoned jack-o'-lantern (no double entendre intended)!  I'll admit I was a tad bit suspicious that we were going to have some extra candy on our hands though when I didn't see a single little ghost or ghoul in our neighborhood on the way home.  Things could be different though this year, right?  We better start stocking up on candy right now.  We'd hate to run out.

October 22, 2008

An Anatomy Observation

I find it absolutely hilarious that people rub my tummy. I'm almost 6 months pregnant, and I'm surprised I haven't popped out more, but there's definitely a bump there, and of course my boobs are massive.

Twice today, students have greeted me in the hall with "Hi Allison!" and then immediately look down, reach their hand out, touch the tum, and say, "Hi Baby!" It's very cute and endearing and I don't mind it in the least.

The reason for thinking this is funny more than anything else is that as a former student (and T.A.) of anatomy, I know exactly what they're rubbing, and it ain't no baby. Behold, the anatomy of the adult abdomen.

Now, many have seen a picture like this, but few realize the ramifications of it when a fetus is thrown into the mix. You ladies out there who have ever had one growing in you know exactly where the movements manifest themselves. For those who haven't (yet), it's right where all the monthly cramping goes on that drives you nuts. For all you men, here's a picture.

When a baby is growing in there, it stays low while EVERYTHING else gets pushed upward to make room for it. So for the past week, as students have been having their way with my pooch, I giggle inside thinking "Thank you for the well wishes to my liver and intestines. You're SO sweet." Of course, I'd rather have them touch my body up there instead of where the baby actually is, the little perverts.

October 15, 2008


Ted and I tapped into our inner Mediterraneans and hit the St. Anthony's Greek Fest a while back. Well, we saw an advertisement for it a couple months ago and when it approached, I asked, "So are we still going to the Greek Fest?" His reply: "Well, I'm going. I don't know what YOU'RE doing." If there's anything Ted loves, it's going like a lamb-eater to the slaughter.

We invited the illustrious Mike and Lilian to join us since it's been so long and we haven't been hitting the karaoke stage like we should. They were totally game, so we met up and we hustled our hummuses over there.

Who should we see in the food line but Jean, Tim, and their wee one. What an added treat! Well, it was two treats since we caught them snarfing down these little numbers. Behold, the Greek Donut. Christy, don't drool on your computer.

To know that Tim & Jean were eating dessert before dinner (and were planning to finish off a few pastries afterwards, too), cemented their good reputation in my mind, so the six adults, one baby, one fetus, and one bared hooter (won't say whose) sat down to a VERY yummy dinner of kebabs, shrimp, moussaka, rice and authentic salad. We were stuffed so of course, it was time to find some baklava. Oh yeah, and watch all those sweaty, hairy Athenians dance a little jig.

The pastry table was our first visit because we all figured we'd need to come back after we made our rounds to the other booths. Now, I love baklava as much as the next phyllophile, but frankly, I make a mean batch myself. Instead, I made a beeline to the apricot filled shortbread and the custard-phyllo creation, and we were not disappointed with our choices. But our trip around the converted parking lot was not without its own visual delights. First, the triplets being pushed around by grandpa.

Don't you just want to eat them up?? If they'd been wrapped in phyllo and dipped in syrup, Ted would have had a go at them. What he did appreciate though, was this: lamb on a spit. The side dish? Fries!

We turned a corner to check out the carnival-type booths they had going for kids, and I laughed out loud when I saw what they were using for the "Throw the ring around the bottle" game. I guess in some cultures, it's never too young to start.

I snapped this picture of a dude who was obviously at the wrong party.

And I've saved the best for last. During our wanderings, we ran into my former boss and his wife - co-owners of the mortuary where I worked a few years ago. We were delighted to see each other (Mary and I became good friends hanging out among the dead together), and what do you do when two people are so happy to see each other?? That's right! They hug!!

Well, in the time since I left that job to pursue my teaching career, Mary left the upper half of her wardrobe to pursue what she missed out on in heaven when she was standing in line (twice) for perverseness: boobies. I'm no small fry myself, but I swear, I hugged that woman and those things felt like two bocce balls on a board. I pulled back from her and exclaimed two words, "Whoa! Boobs!", then turned to Ted and asked "Have you hugged her yet? Here, hug her!" She laughed the whole time and then bragged she wasn't even wearing a bra... SO unfair. If I don't wear a bra, my belly button's got neighbors.

So Mary, here's my tribute to you:


October 3, 2008

Like mother, like son

Last night was the ol' annual Back to School night for our small Social Justice charter school heavily populated by families who will most likely never taste the likes of any sort of justice, social or otherwise. Ah, irony.

The parents of my "advisory" (homeroom) students were to come to my room first so I could give them their child's schedule for the night. I also introduced them to the night and told them about the purpose of advisory (which I'm still figuring out. I admit I'm not the biggest advocate of tacking on an extra 45 useless minutes to my day). How many of the parents in that advisory group spoke passable English? None!

However, one of my 6th grade advisees, ill-suitedly named Jesus, told his mom that I was pregnant. She was very excited about this fact, and asked "How many month?" Now, I'm not fluent in Espanol, but since I've lived in L.A. my whole life, I've learned to get by with a few phrases. I've also taken a page out of my mom's book by crossing over what I learned in French and adding an "o" or "a" to everything (Note: "Spaghetti'Os was the originator). But I know my numbers between 0 and 11 and that the booze-guzzling holiday Cinco de Mayo stands for the 5th of May, so I replied "Cinco!" She then spouted off something under her breath, but I managed to catch "solo cinco" and "muy grande".

My first reaction was to think - 'Wait! I'm five months! Didn't I say five?' and then went through all the translations in a split second in my brain: one-uno, two-dos, three-tres, four-quadricep, five-cinco de mayo. I'm right - why is she saying I'm mui grande?? Then I noticed she was skinny. The little....piece of work. I was gonna make her whole boca muy grande if she kept that up...

So what did I learn? These damn parents are just as rude as their damn kids. And I'm not wearing that outfit again until I really am grande.

*Ted's addition after he read this post: "You should have asked her how long she'd been in the US. When she replied cinco yearo, you could have said something like, "You've been here 5 years and you still can't speak any English?!?!?!?!? So stupido!! Your IQ must be cinco too!"

This is only one of the many reasons I love my husband who loves his chubby wife.

September 25, 2008

Studentisms 3.0

Back to school! Back to crazy quips from my crazy kids!

1. We began the unit on graphing motion last week, so I had them begin by just graphing (mapping) their house in relation to the school. We drew the school in the middle of the paper, and then I told them they needed to put it within context of directions, so we added the North/South/East/West on each side. However, it turns out some students learned it clockwise by acronym so they wouldn't mess them up. This is because they're dumb. So one girl yelled "Never Eat Sour Worms!" as I wrote the N at the top. I reported this mnemonic to the other classes, so they thought they'd be cute and think up their own.

Gabby: No-one Eats Sea Weed.
me: Well, except sushi lovers.
Alexis: Never Exaggerate. So Weird!
me: That doesn't even make sense! Unless it's irony.
Alexis: What?
me: Nevermind.
Oscar: Never Ever Smoke Weed!
me: Now that's one I think this class can remember. Nice job. Maybe we should give that advice to the colorful individuals in the back alley outside our room who allow their herbal essence to waft in here every day.

2. I thought I'd told everyone I was pregnant. I'm sure I did, but there are students who are notorious in our school for never paying attention, so I got this one today:
Andy: Hey, Allison. You looked a lot thinner last year. Weren't you thinner?
me: You know I'm pregnant, right?
Andy: Oh, you are? I didn't know.

3. I get frequent visits by several of my students from last year, whom I now miss like crazy. Two girls came by a few weeks ago and I told them I was pregnant.
Marielena: You are??? Oh, that's so great! Congratulations!
Sandra: When I walked in I wondered why your boobs were so big.
me: (Gee whiz) Well, now you know. And yes, they're getting out of control. But don't I look a little pregnant?
Marielena: No, just a little bit fatter.
me: (AAAAARRRRRRRRGH!!!! What is it with 14-yr olds???)

4. I was accosted by a random 6th grader in the halls a few days after I told my own students (all 8th graders) that I was pregnant.
Random 6th grader: Is it true you're going to have a baby?
me: Yup.
Random 6th grader: Do you know if it's a boy or a girl yet?
me: No, not yet.
Random 6th grader whom I don't know and have no connection with whatsoever: OOH! If it's a girl, you should name it Alejandra, and if it's a boy, AlejanDRO.
me: Why would I do that?
Random 6th grader: Because that's MY name!
me: I don't know you, nor do I have any connection with you whatsoever. Why would I name my first-born child after you, or any of my born children, for that matter?
Alejandra: Because it's me!

Upon reflection I realized a couple of things. The first was that although I was a bit annoyed (complete with eye-rolling), this girl was just as forward and petulant as I've been known to be. Go figure.

The second was that I could always save a name like that for kid #3 or 4, kinda like Jose and Lucia Es-smit did with their brood: Alvin, Hyrum, Samuel, William, Joseph, and then BAM! Don Carlos and Sophronia. Finish it off with a Catherine and a Lucy and you've got yourself an inside-out Oreo: whites on the outside, brown in the middle. It could work, especially considering most of my students are convinced I'm at least half-Mexican anyway. But if the kid pops out with Ted's coloring, we'll never get away with it. We'll have to name it Sven.

September 24, 2008

Yum Day 3

It's been a while since we had one of these, but it's also been a while since I cooked anything good for Ted (according to him). Kidding!

Today's entry, Prosciutto-Wrapped Tilapia Filets, comes to us from one of my BFFs (we had to verbally confirm that status recently even though most of our relationship is based solely on food), Christy B. Whilst we visited and cavorted over the summer, she fed us this SCRUMPTIOUS meal, and had it from fridge to table in less than 20 minutes. No joke. I added roasted red potatoes with rosemary last night, so I had to start those first, but it made for a VERY satisfying and visually aesthetic meal. Plus, when you're done, your whole house smells like bacon! Win-win! Pigs are so tasty...


4 tilapia filets, thawed or fresh - choose thick ones
12-16 sage leaves (thanks for planting the fresh sage, MuffinPants!)
3-4 oz prosciutto
salt and pepper
olive oil

Salt and pepper each filet. Place 3-4 sage leaves on top and wrap with 1 or 2 slices of prosciutto, depending on size.

Heat 1-2 Tbsp in large skillet over med-high heat. Place filets in pan and cook 3-4 min on each side (more if the cuts are thicker) or until fish is white (not translucent) throughout. Serve warm with brown rice or Roasted Rosemary Potatoes (below).


One red potato for each person, more if they're small (they go quickly!)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary from your neighbor's garden
Salt and pepper (fresh ground is best)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425. Chop potatoes into thick wedges (about 8 per potato) and arrange on cookie sheet with a lip on all sides. Drizzle (don't drown) with olive oil, ground some sea salt and pepper on those babies, and toss. Sprinkle rosemary on top and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until slightly browned and crispy on the edges. Toss once after 20 minutes and again after 30 for even cooking. Really easy and REALLY good. See?

September 19, 2008


No, that picture isn't of Allison, but we did have an ultrasound at the radiology clinic on Wednesday. This was supposedly "the ultrasound" - you know, the one where you find out if your wee one has 1 or 2 X chromosomes. It all ended up being a tad on the anticlimactic side however. First of all, Allison got to the hospital about 30 minutes early, she signed in at the front desk, and then as she was sitting down, but before her hind end had even touched the chair, they called her back for the appointment. So, when I arrived (15 minutes early mind you) Allison was no where to be seen. After consulting the receptionist, she was finally located, but I still ended up waiting around in the aptly named waiting room for about an hour.

I had expectations of how the appointment was supposed to go, and things weren't going to plan. We'd actually been anticipating this appointment more than a 47 year old bachelor in mustard yellow spandex awaiting the release of the next Star Trek film. I expected that after showing us various images of the developing fetus the ultrasonographer would ask, "do you want to know the sex of the baby?" That didn't happen. In actuality Allison ended up asking her if she could tell the gender and her response was, "it looks pretty girly." Girly? Then Allison asked her how sure she was and she said 70%! We don't really know how to take that. I mean, I could have stared into a crystal ball and told Allison with 50% certainty that it was a girl. What's this 70%? So anyhow, it looks like we are maybe, possibly having a girl. We're hoping that at our doctor's appointment next week the OB might do an ultrasound of her own and give us a slightly more...shall I say...definitive answer.

We named the fetus Sparky weeks ago - it seemed pretty gender neutral. Now that there's a (mostly unscientific) 70% chance that it's a girl we're wondering if we should feminize the name a little and call it Sparkly. That sounds a little too much like the name of some yappy little lap dog that you'd see in the upcoming cinematic abomination Beverly Hills Chihuahua so the jury's still out on that one. Stay tuned for updates. Maybe by next week the odds will have climbed a percentage point or two!

September 15, 2008

Gimme some sugar

A pregnant woman needs food. This is a known fact. When a pregnant woman doesn't have food, several things can happen, none of which are good. Ted has been very patient and understanding through these episodes, even when he had to put his clothes back on in the middle of the night to search for "anything with protein!!" in unknown Medford, Oregon while I wimpered in pain, alone and completely foodless, in our motel room.

Since that time, I have really tried to make sure I have a small 7-11 in my purse at all times. This came in handy last Tuesday when we met at the Hollywood Bowl for Esa Pekka's last bowl performance before leaving the LA Phil later this year. We found our seats, but neither of us had had any time to get food to bring in. Luckily, I had eaten a salad at my desk before I left to meet Ted, but he hadn't had a thing to eat since lunch. So in order for my husband to not cry bitter tears, I reached into my purse/convenience store and shared my wares: a chocolate chip fiber bar, tropical fruit snacks, and a smashed Almond Snickers. Not the most romantic or elaborate dinner I've had at the bowl, but it served its purpose. Though I was willing to share, I had to come to grips with the fact that I married someone who had no problem taking food from a pregnant woman. To make up for it, he tries to remind me to eat something every few hours so we don't have another Medford episode, but sometimes it can't be helped.

Like yesterday. We began choir practice before 11am church, which means I was eating breakfast at 9:30. By the time we left the parking lot at 2:30 (after all the gab sessions), the ol' tummy was rumbling again. Since I hadn't replenished my purse with "healthy" goods, all I had to nibble on were the pieces of See's candy we bought at the mall the night before. Boo hoo hoo. Here are the 4 pieces I had:

By the time we'd finished our See's feast, we were at home again. I got out of the car and walked to our front door when I felt something VERY strange - our baby galloping across my lower abdomen for the first time. It's been moving for weeks (our ultrasound proved), but post-See's was the first time I felt it.

Ted was a little sad he couldn't feel it too, so later that night (after we had a normal dinner: prosciutto-stuffed pork tenderloin, brown rice, and seasoned tomatoes) I had several bites of a gooey, chocolatey, nutty, delicious cake my VT brought over, and just laid down. Sure enough, it started going crazy. Ted put his hand on my belly and felt a couple of swaggles. Immediate response to sugar? Looks like this one is definitely ours.

September 3, 2008

Good for a Giggle

Target was already one of my favorite stores for obvious one-stop-shopping reasons (new reason: cute maternity clothes!). And now I love it for people-watching and overhearing conversations.

You know what I'm talking about: the couples who argue over what toothpaste is better, the Spinal-Tap-esque morons who turn up the volume on the stereos just to see which one is louder, the kids screaming in the toy section. I made a trip there on Labor Day and had two amusing encounters, which I'd love to recount just for fun. The first was in the food section. As I walked down one aisle, I saw a girl bent over to pick up a 12-pack of Diet Coke (aka "Sweet Nectar"). A man I couldn't see was telling her in quite a feminine voice, "Sweetie, ugh. Diet Coke is SO much worse for you than regular Coke. There have been studies, fer sure." She didn't heed this advice (good girl), but as I came around the corner I saw where the comment came from - a dude who looked a lot like this:

Can we say, severe case of pot calling the kettle black? No wonder she disregarded him.

The other instance was in the Health/Beauty section which is right across from the Lingerie section ("Ropa Intima" if you're Spanish-speaking, or Ted). I had just picked up my contact solution when I spotted a distracted mother pushing her toddler daughter in a cart. The toddler saw the display of colored bras and exclaimed, "Mama, look! Covers for the milkies!" Her mom, not even half-listening, responded with "Uh huh..." as I passed with my hand over my mouth in glee.

And speaking of funny things kids say, I have to relate another story that has nothing to do with Target. I called an old mission companion a couple nights ago and we just laughed and laughed for over an hour. She told me a story of her 4-yr-old boy's discovery. As she was cleaning up from dinner one night, he came into the room stark naked, lifted up his "peter" (her term) and exclaimed, "Mom! Under here are my nuts!!" She glared at her husband who was in hysterics. His only defense: "What was I supposed to tell him??" Ah, anatomy.

The Cooling Rack

Baked goods are only half the story...