Friday, February 22, 2013

San Diego...La Jolla...Escondido...Coronado

Last week we took a short Valentine's Day flight down to San Diego.  Louisa's "motion sickness" that I hoped was a one-time event on Wednesday night turned into a strange every-12-hour stomach bug hanging around until Monday morning. She stayed happy in between episodes, which is what made it so strange. She and Oliver both pleased their fellow airline passengers with some vomit on their separate trips to San Diego. Thankfully Oliver really was just airsick...a one time occurrence.  Well, three times within 2 hours or so. Poor Sarah!

The reason for the trip was a Kettenburg (my mom's dad's mom's maiden name) reunion on Saturday. All of my mom's siblings were there and their kids - my cousins - had a solid representation. We shared meals together and my aunts/mom/grandma even surprised Nate and me with our first baby "sprinkle."  The gifts we received gave Sarah an opportunity to complain about the fact that our baby's gender is still unknown...

Oliver and Louisa got along marvelously and both continued to bond strongly with my parents.  Nate headed back to San Jose early Monday morning to work so Lou and I could stay in SD and play. As Nate would say...."Luckies!" Here are some iPhone photos from our trip:

Lou discovers lever door handles and teaches Oliver how to escape
Poppies smiling at us during a "pull over! she's going to puke!" stop (she didn't)
Further Papa-LouBear bonding
Exploring the shipwreck on Coronado Beach
Oliver's first swim
Tractor pull at my Grandparent's house in Escondido
Mountain-clouds in La Jolla
Barking sea lions of La Jolla 
Lou wore her sunglasses so much, my family wore-out the "drank too much last night" joke

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Louisa wants to know...are you happy?

Louisa has slowly been expanding her vocabulary lately, and one of her favorite new words is "happy." Usually, if we ask her if she's happy, the following dialogue occurs:

Lou: "HAPPY! Mama?"

Mama: "Mama's happy."

Lou: "Daddy?"

Daddy: "Daddy's happy."

Lou: "Ries?"

Mama: "Ries is probably happy."

Lou: "Baby?"

Daddy: "The baby is happy."

It's fun, although like all things repeated over and over and over again by a toddler - just being honest here - it can get a little old. There are worse conversations she could enjoy having though, so I'll try not to complain.

So why are we happy these days? Well, it depends on the day, but recently I would say that Louisa is happy because we're still striving for an-adventure-a-day to tire her out for her afternoon nap. Monday we went to the city and bought a membership at the SF Academy of Sciences - a fun museum in Golden Gate Park.

Checking out the manta rays and nurse sharks at the Academy of Sciences

Nate is happy lately because his job satisfaction is - and I quote - "higher than it's been since my days at Michael's Frozen Custard." And I'm happy because as soon as I admitted that I probably wasn't going to find a job before Baby#2 is born, interesting opportunities have appeared. I turned down a 30-hour/week job on Saturday but have an interview tomorrow for an 8 hour/week job. Regardless of the outcome, it's nice to know that people are considering my applications and that my hard work over the past 6 months is not in vain.

Just so I don't leave you with the impression that life is perfect around here, I'll leave you with a funny/gross story. Some of you heard about Lou's bath poops...I think there have been two or three; one of those I was in the bathtub too. Well, tonight she added to her portfolio. She was perfectly happy, taking a bath with her mama, when she started to cough. Then gag. Out came lunch. Let me tell was much less pure and lovely than her award-winning Whoops! There goes lunch! photo. Immediately after, she seemed to be happy again, so I'm just chalking it up to motion sickness from our pre-bath bike ride.

Fortunately, I don't have a photo of today's cookie tossing

Friday, February 8, 2013

Good Morning, Bun!

You may recall my recent interaction with a glorious morning bun at Starbucks. Well, soon after, I said to Nate, "we should really learn how to make morning buns." Not so we can eat them all the time, but so we (I) can know what's goes into making a morning bun - both the time and the ingredients. Yes, my inner-dietitian is rooted deep inside my soul. I think about cooking/baking/making things that are unhealthy ever since reading one of Michael Pollen's books - I think it was In Defense of Food... or maybe Food Rules. Regardless, he thinks (and I agree) that it's okay to eat things like french fries and morning buns as long as you make them yourself...


From scratch.

Like not just putting frozen french fries in your home fryer or buying frozen chocolate croissants from Trader Joe's and baking them yourself. Okay, you get the point.

So, now that you understand the backstory of my morning bun adventure, onto the adventure.

Nate found this recipe. It's entitled Morning Buns for Slackers. There may be a shortcut, creating cheater croissant dough, but this recipe is not for slackers. Buying morning buns at a bakery is what slackers do.

So I started on Tuesday and let the dough rest until Wednesday.  Here's what it looked like on Wednesday afternoon, after rolling and folding four times:

Even though there's yeast in the dough, I was surprised by how much it grew in the refrigerator that first night. Sorry you can't see that - I forgot to take before and after pictures. So then this folded dough went back into the refrigerator for about six hours, increasing even more in size. On Wednesday night, I  completed the next step - rolling it flat, adding tons of butter and sugar...and then more butter and more sugar, to get to this point:

They needed to rise for 45 minutes in this state before baking for 20 minutes, so I covered them with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge, calculating at what time I would need to wake up in order to: 1) give a fresh bun to Nate before work, and 2) have buns ready to take to my newly founded Apple Moms group. Verdict: 7:15 am. Not bad, as Louisa usually wakes us up between 7:15 and 8 am anyways.

So the rest of the adventure is pretty straightforward:

  • Wake up at 7:15
  • Put the buns on the top of the pre-heating stove with the under-microwave light ON (extra-warmth in our 58 degree house)
  • Go back to sleep, mumbling to Nate, asking him to bake them for 20 minutes while giving Louisa breakfast 
  • Pop them out of the tins and roll them in sugar. 
The result? Very tasty, although I would have skipped the orange zest if I wasn't so trusting of pretty-blog recipes. It was a subtle orange taste, but I have affirmed that I prefer my cinnamon-flavored treats free of citrus notes. I was still able to enjoy them, especially after reflecting on the effort I put forward. Yum:

Next time, I'll roll the dough thinner for a tighter roll

Nate wondered/hoped I would roll them in sugar, admitting that it seemed "extravagant"

No surprise, Louisa approved
The only sad part of this adventure is that you can't just wake up one morning and say, "I feel like morning buns for breakfast" and then make them yourself. You have to decide two days early. But that, from a dietitian's perspective, is what makes it okay to eat things like morning buns. It's hard to eat them too often if they require that much forethought. Happy (occasional) indulging!

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