Tuesday, April 26, 2016

36 weeks! Playtime and Poll Time

Happy week! I'm 36 weeks! Bada-bing, bada-bam.

36 weeks, 2 days
I can honestly hardly believe it... this bebe's trimesters are flying by; and I would like to thank him sincerely for not giving me the worst nausea (cough, ladies). I cannot comment of various aches, pains and spasms... but no nausea! Huzzah! I am officially into the weekly doctor visits. Oh my gosh. 

I am entering into a severe nesting phase, which has included finding un-mailed thank you notes, birth announcements, Christmas cards, birthday cards, etc. So, if you receive any later-than-usual cards from me, this is why. 

This is also why I decided to get us a new toy storage unit in hopes to simplify and teach the girls more about organization/ nightly clean up.

So, already successful.

It's been another long month of MICU, and we're finally into the last week. I cannot WAIT for this rotation to be over. The hours are long, the patient cases are tough, and Will has had two days off total. (No, I do not count the time in-between the overnights. It's not a "day off"!) And even though I've started many blog posts this month, most of them end up being rants, so I delete and consider them stress-reducing therapy.

So back to the happy times:

36 weeks, 6 days.
I am have a lot of pains and twinges; no actual progress, according to my PA. Buuuut some people say boys come early? I think I am just wishful thinking at this point. Let's take a poll anyways: when is Bebe Baldwin going to come?!?

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

I am on my way

Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways 
Lord have mercy on my rough and rowdy ways
--"Down in the Valley", The Head and the Heart

"Ithaka" by C.P. Cavafy
Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard 

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

When You Have 6lbs of Beef Chuck: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

After my in-laws left us, Will and I realized we had 6.5 pounds of beef chuck... and how do you cook that much meat? Our slow cooker, son.

Most recipes call for less meat... I sort of followed The Pioneer Woman's "Perfect Pot Roast" and Food Network's "Slow Cooker Pot Roast" - and used what was in my kitchen. 

Will and I have never cooked pot roast before, so I was a little apprehensive. Spoiler alert: this is delicious and super simple.

  • 6.5 beef chuck
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 lb of carrots 
  • 2.5 cups of celery
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 32 oz of diced tomatoes
Also: olive oil, salt, pepper, 12-inch pan, slow cooker 

I started by caramelizing those onion slices. Oh yes. 

Ree (the Pioneer Woman/ chef extraordinaire) said to generously salt and pepper both sides of the beef before searing both sides. Brown it, baby, brown it.

Oh, and caramelize those carrots too! Just a minute or so before plopping the beef in after adding a little extra olive oil.

Everybody clap your hands! Everything in the pot. As an after thought, I added the diced tomatoes... I added so many because that was the only size can I have... a smaller can works too.

We cooked it on low for 10-12 hours.

Will's on MICU for the next month, so this is a perfect filling meal to send with him to the hospital! We currently have a lot of spaghetti, so we're pairing it with noodles for now. This would go great with mashed potatoes, stuffing, egg noodles...

Bon appetit!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Triduum 2016

On Holy Saturday, my SIL, Will and I took the girls to our local park while the in-laws took well-deserved naps. It was sunny and beautiful, and extra special since Aunt E has not seen Laura walk around the park yet.

Grace's favorite part? Swings with Dad.

On Easter morning, Grace went right for her basket and made her mama proud by going straight for the Peeps.

After breakfast, I handed Laura her basket. New jammies!

Hooray! Easter grass! Everywhere!

After mass - Will worked later in the day, so no bleary-eyed smiles after a night shift this year! 

Another one with my sweet in-laws!

The rest of the day was very low-key. Will went to work. Grace was not feeling well, and the Easter egg hunt lasted... 5-10 minutes. Grace found a few and was satisfied; Laura found a few, and then a few more in Grace's basket. 

I was in total denial about going back to work the next day and ate a box of peeps.

Happy Easter, indeed. Here's to new life!

From Catholic Online:

"In his Epistle to the Colossians, St. Paul says 'If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth'". However, Benedict XVI emphasized, the apostle "is far from inviting Christians, any of us, to shun the world in which God has placed us. It is true that we are citizens of another 'city', our true home, but the path toward this goal must be traversed every day in this land. To participate, from this moment, in the life of the resurrected Christ, we must live as new men and women in this world, at the heart of this earthly city." 
"This is the path to transform not only ourselves but also to transform the world, to give the city a new face that favors the development of humankind and society within the logic of solidarity, goodness, and profound respect for the dignity proper to each ... Easter offers the newness of a profound and complete passage from a life subject to the slavery of sin to a life of freedom, inspired by love, the force that breaks down barriers and builds new harmony in our hearts and in our relationships with others and with things." 
Every Christian, just as every community, "that lives the experience of this passage to the Resurrection, cannot help but be new leaven in the world giving themselves without reserve to the most urgent and just causes, as seen by the witness of the saints in every age and place. The expectations of our time are also great: believing firmly that the resurrection of Christ has renewed humankind without separating it from the world in which it builds its history, we Christians must be the radiant witnesses of Easter's new path". 
"Easter is, therefore, a gift that must be welcomed in faith more deeply each time, to work in any situation with the grace of Christ, according to the logic of God, the logic of love". --Pope Benedict XVI, Easter 2011

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Friday, March 25, 2016

They Call Today "Good"

Every Triduum, starting with Maundy Thursday through Easter Sunday, I re-read T.S. Eliot’s “The Four Quartets”. It is four of his best poems, and for anyone who only knows his poetry ala in “The Hollow Man” or “The Wasteland” (critiques of modernity, not praise), his words may be surprising.

For instance, it is in “East Coker”, the second of the quartet, in which Eliot wrote,
The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood—
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

How can this Friday be good? Today Jesus was denied, whipped, humiliated, crucified. And why? In today’s gospel, John remind us that all this happens to fulfill the Scriptures. Jesus accepted the cup his father passed him – he accepted, fully, what must happen. Did he have the power to prove himself, as Satan tempted him to in the desert? Of course. But the hardness of the high priests should not be softened by might, but by truth.

What is truth? asked Pilate; a question so modern still that audiences cannot help but relate. Good Friday is the day when Jesus seems the most human. He is condemned and he dies. We are reminded in the second reading that “we do not have a high priest/ who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,/ but one who has similarly been tested in every way,/ yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

Indeed, as the reading continues (Heb 5:7-9):
In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

The goodness of this day lies in Jesus’ very passion for us all; a love to conquer death, a truth that “I AM” is a witness as well as a declaration. Today, the veil has been torn and we enter Golgotha, the place of skulls. The King of the Jews is dead, and so Eliot finishes his poem: “In the end is my beginning.”

Today was hard. Today was terrible. Today was good. We wait. The tomb is close by…

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