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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

OK Gardeners, diagnose this agapanthus...


I know you come here for the riveting posts..... but today I need your help. As usual.

My parents have had Agapanthus (aka Lily of the Nile or African Lily) in their front yard for as long as I can remember. They've always produced the distinct violet/blue flowers.


This year one of the plants looks like this.

It's very odd.


Have you ever seen this? What does it all mean?!

Things, they are a changin'. What used to be pretty flowers are now little clusters of pokies. Pokies or horns or pods or something.


That same plant has even sprouted one or two flower buds (buds?) but for the most part remains odd little clusters of plant defiance.


Any suggestions or should I just tell my parents that their offerings have angered the gods and that plant is just a hint of what is to come?

I really have nothing to add to this. I have one live plant in the house and it's nearly impossible to kill the thing.

Do you have a green thumb?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Take me out to the ball game


Just before official baseball season started we were invited by our friend Aya to see a Dodgers vs. Angels game and we jumped at the opportunity.


I'd never been to Dodger Stadium before. Actually I only recall going to one baseball game when I was little and I'm pretty sure it was at Angel Stadium.

This time we watched in style from one of the private suites. If it's too hot in the shaded area outside and the padded office style chairs are not quite comfy enough you can always sit inside. There are nice couches, air conditioning and of course, several TV's. TV's are necessary if you don't want to strain your neck by looking out the window.


First on my list of priorities was purchasing a Dodger dog. They are known for the Dodger dogs!

You didn't think this post would actually be about baseball, did you?
I admit that I don't follow sports and B had to explain to me what was going on most of the time. Also, I had no idea how long a baseball game would last. No idea.

B is very patient.

Me: Um... B... when is half time?
B: There is no half time. There's a 7th inning stretch.
Me: That's not even half way thru. That's at the end of the game. Is there an intermission?

I know. It's embarassing.


What do you need to eat with Dodger dogs? Garlic fries!

I will admit that seeing any sport live is pretty exciting and we had a ton of fun at the game.

But since we are being honest here, this was the highlight for me:


The dessert cart! They bring a dessert cart by.

We had no idea and had just eaten a lemon ice and a chocolate malt. I was a little heart broken but the desserts looked amazing! I mean they even have Baileys and Amaretto!


I think Aya was on to something with that chocolate cake.... look how dark it is.

I mean, this really exceeds peanuts and cracker jacks, no?


Are you a baseball fan?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Take a look, it's in a book


Butterfly in the sky
I can go twice as high
Take a look
It's in a book
A Reading Rainbow

Anyone remember that?


My very first purchase for the baby and since then really the only purchases have been books. I hit up our local second hand bookstore during the buy 2 get 1 free sale and snuck away with some good finds. They seem to keep disappearing to my mom's house. In fact, I think she has all the new books I've gotten.

I can go anywhere
Friends to know
And ways to grow
A Reading Rainbow


I'm determined to encourage reading with Peanut. I plan on daily reading sessions and lots of reading fun. Besides, I'll use any excuse to collect more books.

What books did you love reading as a child?

I can be anything
Take a look
It's in a book
A Reading Rainbow
A Reading Rainbow

What books did your children love?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

1 Year Blogoversary!


1 year (and 2 days) ago I started this blog. I wanted it to be a way for me to journal and always remember all the fun and wonderful things that make me burst into spontaneous applause.

The next day I declared it Nose Hair Appreciation Day and wrote an entire post on how I appreciated having nose hair.

I wrote a post about nose hair. Somehow people kept coming by to see me.


I told you the story of how my mom and I used a lint roller to remove some of my hair as it fell out in patches during chemo.

You laghed and cried with me as I told you the story of my cancer diagnosis.


The food... oh the food we have shared! From chocolate covered bacon at the county fair to multi-course meals at fine dining restaurants I've battered you with pictures of my dinner... and breakfast... and lunch... and elevensies... and second breakfast.


I shared pictures of my engagement session and stories of how B spoils me. I'm sure only rolled your eyes at me a time or two.


I showed you pictures of chubby baby thighs and took you to our local county fair.

DawnCraig  0392

And then I got married!! I blogged the entire wedding. You couldn't get away from it. I talked about the craziness that sometimes ensues when planning a wedding and my paranoia about choosing the correct color white. I was ecstatic when you all decided to help me out with my guest books and gave me clever quotes to include in them.

You didn't bat an eye when I explained that I brought my camera around during the day. I documented getting ready and your greatest responses were of the amazing winter wonderland my reception turned out to be. Professional pictures done by Adrienne are here and she is so incredibly fantastic.

Let's not forget the 1001 cranes that some of you helped me fold. I will be forever indebted to you.


I took you with me to New Zealand where we went Black Water Rafting, visited Hobbiton and and went hikiing on the Franz Josef Glacier.

I made you look at all kinds of pictures of food and told you about a very special dinner we had at Le Pot Au Feu in Christchurch.


What seems like only days later I was telling you about my chemofied eggs and announcing my pregnancy. It has been such a complete joy sharing my pregnancy with you. I love the memories you share with me when I talk about the little nudges I'm getting from Peanut.

Tranzalpine-Franz Josef 594
Picture from the Canopy Restaurant which was a really magnificent meal.

This last year has been a really wonderful year and I'm so glad to have shared it with you. You've become my friends and I really, truly treasure that.

Blogging has been an experience all it's own.. from getting started and checking my statcounter and follower count daily to using it just to document and share moments with you. I can hardly believe it when I look back at this past years posts.

You are the bestest friends (who I've never met in real life) a girl could ask for! Here is to another great year!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Welcoming Summer


Happy belated Summer Solstice! Last week (in the last official days of Spring) we headed down to Laguna Beach. If you find a parking spot in the neighborhoods you'll notice every so often there are stairs down to all the little beaches and coves.


I love these because at this point they are a lot more private than some of the bigger beaches.


It was about 1 pm and that little blue blanket over there is ours... in a spot all our own.

Last year we never even went to the beach in the summer. Not once. We only live 10 miles away, although it took us 20 minutes to get there this day.

But right now I have the luxury of being off with B on a weekday when we can sneak away and avoid weekend crowds.


I love this particular area because there is a rocky side where we sat....


and a portion of the beach without rocks for a more family-friendly area.

Can you imagine living in one of these houses?! They all have private stairs that lead down to the sand.


If you walk out on the rocks you can explore the tide pools!


I love this shot of this little boy pointing things out in the water. I remember walking the tide pools when I was little.


There are sea anemones that I always have to poke. Have you ever touched an anemone? The tentacles (are they tentacles?) are a bit sticky and they close up when touched.

Please be gentle though, don't batter the poor things.


I noticed B off to the side playing with a blade of sea grass for a while and realized he was teasing this crab.

That crab has quite a grip for such a little thing.

B and Peanut are going to have a great time exploring.


In the next cove over you can rent a kayak. I wonder why I never thought to do these types of things out here? I would jump at the chance to do these things when vacationing.

Then B reminded me that I was worried about sea monsters when we were kayaking in a lake. you know those evil lake sharks. God only knows what my imagination would find in the ocean.


So instead I walked along the rocks and watched the waves wash over.


Each time the water filled the tide pools, covered the rocks and slid over my feet.

Then I stepped into hole and was thankful that I forgot my camera and was using B's. His is waterproof and crush-proof so it won't damage it I smash it. Not that I would do that. B are you reading this?

All those years of ballet.... and no grace to prove it.


I can't wait to go back.

What do you look forward to doing in the next month?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tantalum Restaurant, Long Beach


On Father's Day my parents and I went to Tantalum Restaurant in Long Beach.


In the corner of the Marina Pacifica center this restaurant is an exotic little getaway. The restaurant has panoramic views of the bay. You can actually dock a boat outside and follow the walkway in.


I love this wall in the entrance.. there is actually water running down the length of it.


Kobe beef sliders, simple burgers done in the cutest way.


Togarashi rubbed chicken lollipops with sweet potato fries. I'm a big fan of chicken lollipops which are typically drumettes that have been cut so the meat is all pushed to the end. B makes these and they are time intensive but nice to serve as hand-passed appetizers.

I have to also say that these sweet potato fries were fantastic with a touch of cinnamon and the perfect crispiness.


Yakiniku calamari topped with toasted cashews and served with smoked shishito aoili. This was my favorite. Tenderized calamari steak cut into strips, battered and fried. They weren't greasy at all and they just melted in your mouth. The aoili was fantastic.

Shishito peppers (you can see one on top of the calamari) are a Japanese pepper are mild and and thin-skinned.


Baby beet salad with goat cheese and a vanilla bean vinaigrette. This salad was good, I mean it has goat cheese, but I feel like it just needed a kick of something. The dressing was a bit mild for me.


The tuna tartare was my moms favorite. It's packed with flavor and the grain mustard is a perfect pairing. I'll be back to eat one of these after the baby is born.


On your way out don't forget to take a picture in one of these! You'll need more willing subjects than my parents though :)

Which one of these dishes would you have tried?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I love being pregnant.


I'm serious. I loooooooove being pregnant. I think it to myself all the time and thought it would be good to put it out there. That way when I'm in my 8th month and feeling swollen and disgusting and it's hotter than heck you can remind me that I wrote this post.

Actually at this point the nausea and total exhaustion of the first trimester is a distant memory. I think selective memory, when it comes to gestation (and LABOR), is a gift from God. Otherwise I'm not sure anyone would ever do it more than once.

I'm loving the second trimester and my expanding belly. I'm at a seriously comfortable weight and I love not having to worry about my poochy in a bikini. Yes, I wear a bikini and I feel completely comfortable. I mean, I walked around the beach the other day in a bikini. I didn't care what I looked like. It was quite liberating. There weren't that many people out but that's completely besides the point.

I'm not particularly fond of the stretch mark factor though. I had a few small stretch marks on my hips from a growth spurt in high school and I've been studying them. I'm 90% sure they may have grown. Maybe. I think. I've been moisturizing like crazy. I'm not sure it helps but it's really more about peace of mind.

I love the squirmy feeling I get as the baby moves. I love the constant bond already formed and increasing daily. I love the way our marriage has grown and changed and expanded in such a short amount of time. B has been adjusting at such a rapid pace I've been shocked.
I really do love being pregnant. It is everything I had hoped it would be.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Dad's Day!


As I lay in bed this morning I thought about this father's day. This was a big year for my dad and I. He gave me away at my wedding and he is watching as I prepare for a child of my own.


This year, like last I'll head over to my parents to take my dad out. But this is the last year of this kind. Next year I'll have a child of my own and B will be a father.

It's hard to imagine!

I hope you all have a wonderful Father's Day! What are your plans?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Temporary Housewife


Perhaps things were just going a little too smoothly for newlyweds. The last few years have been full of only positives. There really hasn't been any drama in the our little bubble. B & I have had it way too easy.

Although I don't really talk about work on this blog, I'll take a moment to let you know why I was missing last week.

I've been laid off. It wasn't really unexpected but that doesn't make the situation any more fun. Actually my last day at work was the day I hit 20 weeks (the half way point) in my pregnancy. Now I'm just trying to figure out what the next step is.

I've never, ever not had a job before. It seems that everything has gone topsy turvy. As the bigger breadwinner in the family I never considered not working for any length of time.

So here I am. I'm 5 months pregnant and wondering who is going to hire someone who needs to take maternity leave in the fall when there are a gazillion other non-pregnant people out there looking for jobs. I can always go back to the restaurant industry. Back to the nights, weekends, holidays, long work days and non-stop running around. Again, I know that I would only really be considered after the baby is here.


In the end though I feel like this will all work out. Doesn't it always? I feel like maybe I'll find a job that more suits me or maybe this will be one whole character building exercise. I mean, aren't newlyweds who are expecting their first child supposed to be broke?

Don't you worry too much, we aren't going to go hungry. Thank God for savings. I wasn't planning on draining it before the baby got here but life rarely goes as planned. At least we have something to fall back on. We also have wonderful family and friends who will never stop helping us however they can.

Depending on the moment I feel anxious, hopeful, relieved, confused, nauseous, stagnant, overwhelmed, prepared, unprepared, cautious, surprised and pregnant. I know that last one is kind of odd but with the baby constantly moving these days I've never been so consistently aware of Peanut. Being pregnant right now is a weird thing. It definitely affects my next move. In all this I'm so totally sure that we're gonna make it and that our best days are ahead of us. I'm just a bit eager to get there. :) One day at a time, one step at a time.

So here I am. The unexpected and hopefully temporary housewife.

I even made dinner Friday. The whole world has gone topsy turvy.
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