Archive for May 2010

Q and A

I’ve gotten some questions regarding baby No.3 from friends and I thought I’d just answer them here for my own record and to help you procrastinate if you have a moment to spare!

Q: How are you feeling?

A: I’m feeling Ok. I felt impossibly tired during the first trimester, and queasy a lot of the time (nothing horrible like the nausea I had with immi). Generally I feel pretty good during the day, and worse in the evening. But these symptoms have gotten much much better over past few weeks. Aside from these, I get heartburn, back pain, occasional migraine, cramps (which I’m told is normal for subsequent pregnancies, I had it with Ashland and I’m starting to get it now), dizziness, and sense of confusion (like the ones you might get when you take cold medicine). Todd claims that I have mood swings (I have no idea what he’s talking about :D). I try not to complain about pregnancy symptoms at loud because I know that there are many people who suffer from actual illness or would give anything to have a chance to experience pregnancy — it just feels ungrateful for me to complain about something perfectly heathy.

Q: Any cravings?

A: I seem to develop aversion to food more than cravings during pregnancies. I haven’t been able to drink that much coffee/tea (which is really sad!) — it just doesn’t sound all that appetizing to me now. I don’t want much ice cream either. I also don’t want mushrooms or sun-dried tomatoes or cheese that’s not melted. I don’t really have any specific cravings, although Chicken Tikka Masala sounded like a good idea a few times when nothing else seemed appetizing.

Q: What do  you think about age differences between Immi & Ashland (about 2.5 years apart) and Ashland & baby No.3 (will be about 16 months apart) who will be closer together in age?

A: Of course we are happy for exactly the way it turned out, but we had meant to have Immi and No.2 closer together in age — it just didn’t work out that way for various reasons. Immi loves Ashland but she treats him like a “baby” which is what she thinks he is. Immi likes to help me take care of Ashland, but she isn’t interested in actually playing with him. Ashland on the other hand really wants to play with immi but she is really too independent at this point. We are hoping that having a younger sibling (closer to his age) will get him the playmate he wants.

Q: How many kids will you have?

A: I’ve heard people say that you will know when your family is complete. I guess I can go along with this saying. When we were having Ashland, we though we might be done with 2 (after all, 2 is a really practical number of kids) but somehow it didn’t really seem right (for one, practicality doesn’t exactly sum up our personalities!). We are quite sure that 3 sounds like a good number though. Anyway, we had imagined that we’d have two girls (it’s not that we wished for two girls, we just assumed that’s what we were getting) but we ended up with a girl and a boy…so what the heck, we need a tie breaker don’t you think?

Q: There’s population problem in the world already, why have more kids at all?

A: When I was a teenager, I actually thought that when it came time for me to have kids, I’d definitely consider adoption. But you know, I think that I was naive. Most practically, in today’s world, adoption is actually a really difficult process (both time & cost). I also think that going through pregnancy and birthing is one of the most beautiful experience in life. Todd and I agree that while we loved our wedding, Immi’s birthday was definitely more special in many ways. And lastly, I believe that our world is in very sad state right now (environmentally, economically, spiritually) and we need new kind of leaders. It’s not my aspiration to raise politicians at all, but I hope that our kids — who were very much wanted from the moment of conception, and are loved exactly for what they are and what they aren’t — will grow up to be creative persons who will have positive impact in our world.

What can I say, we are doing our part in Keeping Porland Weird, and even better…making it weirder by +1!

And since that was lot of text, here’s a photo of very happy Immi & Ashland.

The Other Coffee

Here’s the other coffee that I see around Portland a lot: Caffe D’arte. It appears to be based in Seattle. After having Caffe D’arte coffee and Stumptown both at various coffee houses, I definitely prefer Stumptown by far. Lucky me for choosing Portland over Seattle, since we did consider moving to Seattle as well. To be fair, I’ve met people who swear by this brand.

…And since I don’t want to be lying to you, the content of the cup is actually Earl Grey tea, not coffee. I just saw an episode of Bones (It’s instant on Netflix!) in which Agent Seeley Booth and Dr. Temperance Brennan goes to England where Booth says (…as he takes a sip of tea) — “This is the weakest coffee I’ve ever had.” 😀 We are totally enjoying this TV series (though frankly all that mangled body has made me nearly vegetarian for now) we’ll have to resist the temptation to name our 3rd baby Seeley (if it’s a boy) or Temperance (if it’s a girl).

Announcing…

We are very happy to announce that we are expecting baby No.3 due on November 26! We couldn’t just have almost exactly 2.1 kids like the perfect *american* family now could we? I’m currently 14 weeks along today and we don’t know yet if it’s a boy or girl. We are guessing girl, but we’ve been wrong once before. Of course it doesn’t matter to us which — at this point it makes little difference. Here’s the sonogram at 12 weeks.

And here’s a much more interesting sonogram at the initial appointment at 9 weeks. The doctor got an amazing resolution and we saw the baby wiggling his/her legs and arms about. We were even able to make out the little nose (it’s still tiny but I got the impression that it looks kinda like immi’s and ashland’s). The doctor said that the circular thing on the bottom of the baby is not part of the baby but it’s an egg. This statement really confused me — I though that the egg turns *into* the little person kinda like the chick developing *inside* the egg yolk [in non-technical terms…] in a chicken egg?

I’ve already felt the baby move around a few days ago when I had a lot of chocolate and were laying down sideways in the evening.

Donuts and Coffee

I woke up this morning and found another drizzly day. It’s not that I mind the rain, but I mean…where’s spring? And then I remembered that I have half a donut left over from Todd bringing me home one last night which cheered me up greatly!

And yummy coffee too. It’s from Stumptown, we’ve tried several varieties from them but I finally found my ‘favorite’. It’s Burundi Bwayi. Todd asked them which roast might be good for someone who enjoys Sumatra/Kenyan and they suggested this one. It should have been obvious, but it wasn’t until it was pointed out that I probably like coffee from Africa (rather than say South America). Burundi Bwayi claims that “Violet and raisin aromatics open the flavor gates to perfectly clean notes of plum, black cherry and orange zest that are complimented by a syrupy body.” Whatever. It’s yummy.

I’m thinking of giving cloth napkins another chance, but I don’t know. I bought a few and made a few a while back, but I failed to make the switch back then. I think that this was because we don’t have enough of them, and also because I hate laundry. But seriously, I’m appalled by how much paper napkin/towels we go through!

Books!

Our friends visiting Portland wanted to check out Powell’s book store, so here we are at their main location in Downtown (I’ve been to 2 other locations, but not this one). And when I walked into the store, I was amazed by how HUGE inside of this store was! I’m in the craft section with immi (luckily for me, she is entertained looking at cute stuffed crochet animal book). The entire shelf behind her from top to bottom is just on knitting!

Voodoo

We finally had the chance to visit Portland’s famous tourist attraction: Voodoo Doughnut (This door is actually the back door…).

They are known for wacky looking donuts with creative names, and people seem to LOVE their maple bacon doughnut. (You should totally check out their website, the donuts really are fun to look at).

…But you know, I didn’t really like it all that much. I really wanted to! They didn’t have any French Cruellers left and their glazed donuts was “okay”. I suppose I should have tried one of their fun donuts, but I like my donut kinda plain and and not too sweet. It’s fine though because I count 16 other local donuts shops (on Yelp search) in Portland — surely I’ll find one I like eventually!

Saturday

I had a date with Immi hanging out on Hawthorne Blvd. Immi seems to enjoy outings with just the two of us, and I enjoy it too since she is actually fun to shop with. This is a little nook we found at the back of House Vintage. The old TV is still [sort of] working!

Immi seemed a little tired so instead of walking around much, we sat down for a frozen yogurt. We found a self serve yogurt bar called Swirl where you can build your own with which ever yogurt and toppings (you pay by the oz at the counter). Check out our creation it has: plain frozen yogurt, mochi, lychee, condensed milk, mini M&Ms and sprinkles. It’s totally weird but that’s because immi and I were going to share it.

Strawberries

We got some strawberries at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. They just reopened last week and it’s our first time going there this season. These are very nice strawberries, but honestly, I’m more excited about the beer-brat on a bun with sauerkraut I had at the market:D

Weird Flowers

There are some seriously strange plants in our neighborhood.

And this one:

These are growing on the side of the road near our home. Let me know if you happen to know what these plants are called!

Simmering

Meat sauce (…it has too much tomato to qualify as bolognese, it also won’t have any cream in it) simmering in my *favorite* pan. It’s a 9-in skillet by Griswold from 1930’s. My mom and I found it while antiquing in Portland area.

I’ve been very fond of cast iron cooking since just shortly before it became trendy on cooking shows years back. I found a 6-in skillet manufactured by Lodge in the camping section of a tiny hardware store (now you can buy one at any kitchen shop) while living in NH and I totally fell in love because it was just so cute! I was surprised but very happy when it started popping up in virtually every show on FoodTV (…which I watched religiously back then)  just a few months after I got mine. Since then, I’ve gotten several more Lodge items, and my super nice All-Clad stainless pans remain sadly unused (I still use the pots and saucier…). Honestly, I was never unhappy with quality of Lodge products…until we found this Griswold one. The iron cast is so much smoother which makes it almost comparable in non-stickness as tephlon pans (but with out being TOXIC) and is also a lot prettier to look at.

…I’ll add here that Cast Iron cookware isn’t just cute to look at. I’ve since found them to be durable, easy to use, adds trace amount of iron in your food (helpful if you are a bit anemic like I was) and everything tastes much better cooked in it.