Saturday, November 29, 2008

progress and process

I continue to become more and more at peace with our house/space situation. At one point I felt like all my interests and art supplies were going to be boxed up and put in the attic and forgotten. But I feel like I turned a corner at some point this week and things have really been on the upswing.

Some things that are helping:
-Tackling one thing at a time. I think it had been so overwhelming to me that I kind of shut down and just assumed the worst. I'm finding that if I clean one shelf or reorganize one cabinet at a time, it all seems manageable. Plus we have way more room in my house than I realize, if only things are organized in a more functional way.

-Getting rid of stuff I truly don't need. How many books are on my shelves that I will never have an interest in reading again? How many tiny scraps of paper have I been holding onto because they might be perfect for some theoretical future project? It's best to put it all in a goodwill box or the recycling and just move along.

-Embracing the change. The more I work on reorganizing, the more I feel like I'm making tangible strides towards Making Room in our Lives for the Baby. And then I'm happier about everything.

clean bookshelf, with my vintage books for clipping at the top. I know it's not lifestyle photography at it's finest, but it's prettier than it was before, that's for sure.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Thanks for all the thoughtful comments on my last post. It really is nice to be able to share something on a blog and feel like I'm receiving something good in return. I'm definitely less stressed now that I've made a list, and also given myself a reality check.

I have to say, I think Harriet might be on to something. . . maybe I really am more anxious about the baby than I'm willing to admit, but it's easy to transfer the worries to the furniture, to something tangible. So I have been turning those thoughts over in my mind and trying to make some peace about all of it.

And now, some happier, more Thanksgiving-ier news! I have been baking every night this week, which is so satisfying to me. Even when I'm doing two loads of dishes every night and not sitting down until 9 PM. We're having Thanksgiving at my parents tomorrow, so I really don't need to do or make too much, but I still like to bring something. This year it's two pies and some cinnamon rolls for Friday breakfast.

I'm super excited about this pie recipe from Martha Stewart Living, I think the November issue. Triple Chocolate Pumpkin pie! How can you go wrong?

(obviously not my photo! thank you amazing MSL food stylists!)

My other pie is pretty classic, the "Perfect Pumpkin Pie." I've made this one before. It really is foolproof, and takes almost no time if you opt to use a premade pie shell.

I'm so happy for this four day weekend and for all the things I have to be thankful for. I hope you have a great holiday, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008


As I posted on twitter today, I'm starting to get a little hyperventilate-y about having a child in less than two months.

It's not labor I'm concerned about, or my life changing, or really the actual kid at all. I'm worried about STUFF.

I think it would be helpful for me to not listen to other people, ever. Throughout this pregnancy, the only time I have ever been nervous/anxious/scared is when I take people's questions and comments and turn them into something to fret about. People keep asking me, "oh, is your nursery all decorated?" And the answer is a big no. No crib, no changing table, no cute arrangement of books and toys on a cute shelf.

For the most part, I'm not super concerned about this. It'll get done, and if it doesn't, oh well, we'll figure it out once we get there. But the more people ask, the more I think about it. And freak out.

We still have to figure out how to rearrange our house. I feel like I'm putting together a Rubik's cube here. The guest bedroom will become the baby's room, and the office will become a combination office/guest bedroom. The issue is, what to do with our two giant desks, two computer workstations, my ginormous mountain of art supplies, etc. etc. And it kills me to say it. . . I feel like the art supplies will be the first thing to go. I have enough concerns about that to merit it's own blog post, so I'll just leave it at that. But otherwise. . . there are questions of storage, questions of furniture, questions of how is this all going to happen with a kid on the way, and during the busiest season of the year.

I think it's time to write a detailed to do list. Just to maintain some control over the whole ordeal.

and I know this is one of my rambliest blog posts ever, but it's just all on my mind and I thought I might as well share.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have a confession to make. I read. . . . and enjoyed. . . the Twilight books. You know, the cheesy teenage vampire series that's getting all the hoopla right now. Now, when I say "enjoy," that doesn't mean I think they're great works of literature. The writing actually kinda sucks. And most of the characters are weak and sort of annoying. BUT, it is super fun escapist reading. And it brought back a lot of forgotten teenage memories and feelings that I haven't indulged in a while.

So, tonight my book club and I are going to see the movie. I'm pretty excited for some frivolous girly fun.

oh, teenage vampire love!

If you're interested (no matter whether you've read it or not), here's a hilarious (but spoiler-filled) comparison of the book and movie from

Thursday, November 20, 2008

32 week photos

I've had a few requests for some bump photos, so here you go! These are from this week. I have been trying to take pictures somewhat consistently, at least one every week or so. It's one of those important "for posterity" things. I know that I would love to see photos of my mom when she was carrying me.

Things are still going amazingly well. I get tired when I try to do too much, and just physically getting out of bed can be a challenge, but I haven't run into any other problems. Though I still have two months, and I honestly can't imagine how much more I'm going to grow in that time span. . . so we'll see how much more challenging pregnancy can be.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


i have real content brewing but for right now, just this.

i often save things onto my desktop at home, or my pictures folder at work. I really need to start writing down where these things are from, because most of the time, i rediscover them months later and am curious about their origins. aren't these old jungly animal photos great? you know I love old photos, but old exotic photos are even better.

and. it's interesting that I found these photos saved from just around seven months ago. Lately I have been thinking about buying myself a baby gift. . . you know, not for the baby, but for me. I have a habit of buying a pair of shoes anytime something important happens in my life: new job, promotion, whatever. So it's not surprising that I'm thinking about really splurging for this really important event. I've been wishing for a pair of Frye boots or shoes for a super long time. . . here are some favorites:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ensuring our child's imminent nerdiness

I'm nearly 31 weeks pregnant now, only a little more than two months to my due date. Since I'm due around January 17, I have a pretty convenient countdown of the days: whatever anyone says on the news is the amount of time until we have a new president. It's a good estimate for me. I think yesterday it was 68 days. Whoa.

As the baby gets bigger I'm definitely thinking about it as more of it's own person. It seems like it's a constant companion. The baby goes to stupid work meetings with me, cooks dinner with me, listens to NPR in the car with me, that kind of thing. It's really comforting. I feel like I will miss it slightly once he or she is actually out in the world.

Lately Mike and I have been talking about how we should read to the kid. Usually when we say this, we're sitting on the couch, and the reading materials at hand tend to be J. Crew catalogs or Newsweek. I'm pretty sure "Lightweight wool. Dry clean. Sizes 0-12" is not exactly a riveting bedtime story, though we did get some appreciative kicks after an article about the demise of the GOP in Florida.

Last night Mike was a little more determined and we got out a few of the board books we've received so far, and some of the poetry anthologies I've collected over the years. It made me so happy and emotional to have Mike reading to our baby. Except that he kept cracking up at how cheesy Robert Frost can be. And the Dylan Thomas choice was a little more depressing than something you'd normally read a kid. But we had a nice time.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

three or four days

here are a few the things that have happened since I last blogged:

1. I got sick. Thursday I stayed home from work, watched terrible TV, made chicken stock, and laid around blowing my nose all day.
sick day breakfast: tea, orange juice, cinnamon toast.

2. I learned an important lesson: don't drop your iPod on the garage floor. After the fall, I tried to turn it on, heard the worst noise and saw the sad ipod face:
It is totally broken. Sad times.

3. Mike and I actually went to a movie together. We saw Role Models on saturday afternoon. Recommended! Not the best ever, but still a nice time. Mostly it was great because we rarely venture out together, just the two of us, and I think we're both realizing the time for leisurely saturday matinees will be coming to a close in the next few months.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

election day 2008, part 2

as american as. . . , originally uploaded by katie-oltremare.

I figured today is a fitting day to post something as patriotic as an apple pie. I made this on Sunday, and I think this was by far the prettiest pie I've ever baked. It was tasty, too, as evidenced by the fact that most of it was eaten before I even had a chance to take a photo.

I cast my ballot this morning, and I have to say I did get a little misty-eyed in the voting booth. I feel pretty proud today.

It was crazy at work, almost felt like a holiday. Just kind of a heightened sense of . . . something. Though that could have also been a heightened sense of worry about traffic. With the big Obama rally downtown lots of my coworkers were leaving early to avoid any big jams. It's kind of fun to live so close to all the action.

election day 2008

i had to share this: new york times election day "word train."

Users enter a word that describes their emotion and the site live updates. there are categories for everyone, mccain supporters, and obama supporters. here are some screen shots:


yay for typography and feelings and politics.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

weekend bits

my pumpkin. It's supposed to say "i (heart) (narwhal)", but it actually just looks like a weird face to me.

Friday night we went to a pumpkin carving party, hosted by some of my friends from college that I hadn't seen in forever, which was nice. I have to say, I am glad that most of my social group has moved on from the "let's all get together and then drink way too much" era of socializing. Not only is it a plus for me to be pregnant and still have fun, it's so much nicer to be able to do something creative together, have interesting conversations about real topics, and get home at a decent hour. Yet another step forward into real adulthood.

Today was long (we forgot about switching the clocks last night) but I got a lot done and it's been a pleasant sunday. Made chili and baked a pie; cleaned a lot. All good things.

my lunch from today. leftover winter squash soup, triscuits and cheese, and v8. vegetable-y!

so, two blogs in two days. the momentum has started. [i meant to post this on sunday, that still counts, right?]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

it's a delicious soup

Today was the last farmer's market of the year, and I'm so glad I went. The chilly weather seemed to turn most people away and it wasn't as crowded as it is normally. Today's goods: "Pumpkin Pecan" granola (yummy!), acorn squash and butternut squash to make this soup, Jonathan and Granny Smith apples for a pie, a few sweet potatoes to bake for side dishes this week, and a baguette from the nun's bakery. I thought it was funny that the lady who sold me all the produce said, "these will all keep for at least three months," I laughed and said it would probably all be eaten within the next four days. Seasonal fall foods are the best.

When I got home from the market I started roasting the squashes for tonight's soup, and listened to a Fresh Air interview with Michael Pollan. I don't know what I would do without Fresh Air podcasts. It's part of my Saturday domestic routine, cleaning or cooking while listening to Terry Gross interview fascinating people. I tend to get a little superstitious about things, either that or I'm just a huge creature of habit. I feel like I can't work in the kitchen without it.

So hey, it's National Blog Posting Month!I believe I have tried and failed to do this every year, and I'm sure this year will be no different. At least it makes me more aware of my sporadic blogging. I do have a lot to share and I also want to keep better track of what is happening in my life right now. . . my last few months before the baby. It would be nice to have a happy record of that.