Friday, August 30, 2013

Seven Quick Takes (11)

1. I am writing this post in a new (to me) blogging software called Windows Live Writer, thanks to a recommendation from Sheena. (Sorry for those of you who encountered a weird “test post” from me in your feeds … my husband accused me of spamming him. :-P) While so far it doesn’t strike me as amazingly better than writing the posts straight in Blogger (except for being more in control of the photos, which is a big deal!), I am glad to have a way to compose posts offline that doesn’t interact in weird ways with Blogger’s formatting. (That I know of  yet, at least. :) ) 

2. I missed the yarn along because I spent Wednesday out. It feels weird not to post about my knitting and reading! Bairn is finished except for … well, the finishing (weaving in ends, sewing the pieces together, adding the buttons). I also finished Sanditon last night—it was a quick read, since Jane Austen only wrote up to chapter 12 before she died.
IMG_8249 
3. Normally I wouldn’t write much about the whole Miley Cyrus thing, but I have two thoughts. 1) You could have turned off the television. In fact, you really should have. But there is a sort of deliciousness to being disgusted, isn’t there? I watched ten seconds total of her “We Can’t Stop” music video a few months ago to see what the fuss was about, and you know what? That was stupid. So I’ve been avoiding that this time around, but I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been tempted to ask people/Google, so what all EXACTLY HAPPENED???? It is so easy to condemn her. But we are the consumers of her actions. 2) What about the grown man who participated in this? Why is no one making a fuss about him? It reminds me of all the posts about modesty that inevitably crop up every summer and yes, women, we are responsible for how we dress; but men, YOU are the ones responsible for how you think about women, and ONLY YOU. (Not what you see of women—that can’t be helped sometimes, and I am sorry—but how you respond. And I am not talking about walking around with your eyes on the ground so you don’t catch a glimpse of cleavage, but rather looking on all women as made in the image of God.)

4. Tonight we went to dinner at P.F. Chang’s and then spent a little time in Barnes & Noble. Michael LOVES that store. He waves his hand around expansively and declares “Gook!” (book). And they have a table for trains in the kids’ section. We hung out there for a bit and found this:


I only flipped through it briefly, so I can’t speak to quality of the story itself, but seriously. Downton Abbey + knitted mice? It’s almost as good as the needle-felted Pride and Prejudice characters! I would buy the book just to admire their clothes. I love creativity like this; it always inspires a mixture of admiration and jealousy in me.

5. The reason we went to P.F. Chang’s was because we had a gift card. I know that gift cards often get a bad rap as less personal gifts, but they’ve been a real blessing to us lately. Because of gift cards from various people, we were able to buy birthday presents for a friend (Barnes & Noble), a MUCH needed maternity belt plus some clothes for Michael and the twins this winter (Babies’R’Us), lunch at Panera for Michael and I on the trip to Babies’R’Us, and some clothes for Keith and (again, much needed) new pajamas for me.

6. Ah yes, the maternity belt. I bought it last week, and just in time; it’s this week I’ve found myself really needing it. As I near the end of the 2nd trimester (27 weeks today), my hips have started hurting, and this belly is simply getting ridiculously heavy. I really can’t imagine what it will be like in another few weeks. I wore the belt today when we went out to dinner, and took it off in the car before we decided to walk to Barnes & Noble, and oh man, could I feel the difference.

7. Last but not least … you are reading the blog of a new assistant editor at Dappled Things! I am beyond excited about this! For a lot of reasons. I love the magazine as a reader, a writer, and someone who cares about Catholicism and the arts; working with them has been a hope of mine for a while. And I have been itching to get involved in the literary community again. It is on all accounts wonderful, and I am very grateful.

(Ok, that last take was typed in the brief moments I managed to get anything done between instances where Michael came and shut my laptop and shouted “CLOSED!” so I think it’s time to finish up.)
Visit Jen for more Quick Takes!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Pantry Meals

Because we're buying a house and still renting for September, lately we've been trying to eat from what's already in our cupboards as much as possible. Especially since we live within walking distance of a grocery store, it's been really easy for us (okay, me) to fall into lazy habits when it comes to meal-planning and thus over-spending on food.

We've continued to buy fresh fruit two or three times a week, and we've been alternating between fresh produce and veggies from our freezer. (And this week we'll be getting a ton of fresh green beans from my dad's garden--yay!!) But it happens that pantry meals are rich in vegetarian sources of protein, so we've been spending much less on meat than usual the past week or two. Also, it's kind of crazy the food you find, forgotten, in the back of the cupboard when you force yourself to plan meals around what you already have. Like several pounds of lentils. (Why do I keep buying MORE lentils? My mother-in-law also bought a pound of them when she was here. So many lentils.) Luckily, since we are trying to eat that food, we won't have to move it all with us. :)

Here are some of our favorite pantry meals:

Mujadara. Oh so delicious. I discovered this recipe through Like Mother, Like Daughter and made it a few times during Lent. It is an amazing meal to make during the colder months, but it tastes good in summer too, and it only uses the stovetop so it's good hot weather cooking. It only has four ingredients but the flavor from the carmelized onions is just incredible. I can't recommend it enough. (I use brown rice for this and all other rice recipes, since it's what we keep in the house. I just added the rice in to pre-boil with the lentils and itcooked well and tasted great.)

It may not look like much, but trust me, it's delicious.

... and if you can't take my word for it, trust Michael.
Fried rice. I tried this for the first time two weeks ago and it turned out great! For the veggies I used a frozen bag of mixed (no scallions 'round here), and I used powdered ginger rather than fresh because that was what we had. If you want you can add chicken or shrimp, but you don't have to. I added an extra egg because it felt right.


Rice and beans. Unless we have tortillas, avocados, and salsa around for tacos, I think of this as more of a lunch meal, but with some shredded cheese and sour cream it is filling and tasty.


Quiche. I try to make this only on cooler days since it uses the oven, but it is tasty and easy to make. I use homemade pie crust which is cheaper than ready-made and, frankly, tastes a LOT better. (I was spoiled growing up by my mom's homemade pies; I actually don't like store-bought pies because the crust is so disgusting!) The recipe I linked to uses Swiss cheese, but I generally use cheddar. I add cream or half and half when I have it, but when I don't I just use whole milk.


Pizza. Actually, a friend brought us some homemade pizza a few days ago--I haven't made it lately myself. But pizza crust is easy to make, and it's easy to use whatever toppings you have on hand. Our friend used pepperoni, peppers, and broccoli, and it was delicious.


Pasta and meat sauce. We always have some sort of pasta in the cupboard and a jar or two of sauce, and it's easy to add a package of ground beef to the mix.


Vegetable Korma. This isn't necessarily the best summer food, because it involves standing over the stove and cooking. (In fact, when I think of this dish, I associate it strongly with autumn. But if you have the right spices stocked, it's a good dish to make with whatever vegetables you have on hand or that are on sale.

Meanwhile, this guy would be content to live on lemons.

Do you have any favorite recipes for pantry meals (or meals that are otherwise healthy but inexpensive)? I'm always looking for new ones!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Waiting to meet you

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) recently wrote a post about how some people are superstitious about knitting for babies before they're born, as though it would "jinx" a pregnancy or tempt fate. She sees it instead as a sort of optimism, making it clear that this baby is expected and paving the way for it to arrive.

Her post spoke to some things I've been mulling over lately, as someone who's been spending a lot of time either preparing or thinking about preparing for the arrival of two little ones.

Since this picture I've finished the back and started on the sleeves!
I have often thought about how people are basically programmed to respond to babies and very young children with love. They are cute, most people smile at them, some stop to gush over how adorable they are. All human beings are meant to be loved, and loved unconditionally, their whole lives; but how important in those first years, when their sense of who they are and the world they exist in is just forming, that they hear this message:

Welcome. We're glad you're here. Your life is a gift. You are worthy of love.

And what better way to welcome a baby than with warmth that is literal as well as metaphorical? I firmly believe that all babies deserve handknits, to be wrapped up in love in a physical, woolly way. So I try to knit for babies as they're born, although sometimes I have too much on my plate. (Alas, some babies in my life have been left knitless; and then they become toddlers and things take more than one skein of yarn and more time and measurements and ... well, it just doesn't happen.)

But it is most beautiful to me, especially as I knit for my own babies, that through knitting you are able to nurture, care for, and love them--before they're even on the outside. Knitting for babies in the womb affirms their lives as something beautiful; it says "You exist, and you are loved, and I cannot wait to meet you."

Still doesn't have a second sleeve ...
Some of the commenters on Stephanie's post said they couldn't imagine what it would be like to have those knits if something bad happened--like coming home to a fully decorated nursery that will remain empty. But I noticed that most of the people who actually experienced loss, even while they acknowledged the hardship of those baby knits going unworn, also wrote of the meaningfulness of being able to pull those things out of the drawer now and then, a tangible reminder of the life that was, the love that was given to it.

There is a group on Ravelry called Elephant Tears that donates baby blankets as part of bereavement packages for families who lost a child due to premature birth. I missed the most recent deadline because of knitting for my own babies, but I really hope to participate in the future.

As for my own babies ... Praise God, I have not known that kind of loss. But even if I knew that one or or both of them would be diagnosed tomorrow with a fatal disease or disability and that I would never meet them in this life ... I would keep knitting. It would give me a way to still nurture them, to affirm their lives as beautiful, no matter how short. A tangible way to still say: "You exist, and you are loved, and I cannot wait to meet you." Even if that meeting isn't in this life.


 I hope this post doesn't sound depressing, because it isn't meant to! I've just been doing a lot of preparing and planning for babies lately, and pondering over the meaning of these things. There is something to them that goes beyond the merely practical.

Anyway, I think I've posted pics of these outfits before, but I wanted to share them again--do you like how they sort of match the sweaters? Happy coincidence! I have my eye on some Malabrigo in Cumparsita for the second blanket, which happens to fit the color scheme too ... might as well embrace it, right?

And then there's these guys just 'cause they're cute.


I bought some more newborn onesies today and a maternity belt (yay!), and then I had to walk out of the store because if I'd stayed any longer I would have spent ALL the money. Babies'R'Us/Toys'R'Us could be a problem for me come Christmastime. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bairn


Yesterday my mom brought me to the yarn store and bought me this beautiful yarn for a baby sweater. I love it. The pattern is Bairn, which is a sort of companion sweater to Hatchling (same designer, similar construction), so that makes me happy. The twins will have sweaters that "go together" without being matchy-matchy. The yarn is (of course) Tosh and the color is Worn Denim. I had been eyeballing skeins of this stuff before we found out the genders and hoping that at least one of them was a boy so I could but it.

Keith got me A Handful of Dust last Christmas and I am enjoying it quite a bit. It's a quick read, very bright and British, although of course the characters are misbehaving and making themselves unhappy, as Waugh's characters tend to do. (I'm not really sure why there's a maid bringing in tea on the cover? I suppose because the characters are somewhat upper crust. It could be worse.)

I brought both book and knitting with me to get my glucose test this morning. I didn't read very much because the TV in the waiting room was blaring "The Price is Right," but as I knit I watched an elderly couple come in to get the man's blood drawn. Afterwards his wife helped him button up his sleeve, and held his cane while she helped him get his jacket back on. When she glanced at the TV she exclaimed, "Hey look! They're advertising Ensure! Look at that!" And he, patting down his pockets, said, "I can't look, I'm busy looking for my keys." They were making their way out the door when she realized she was still holding his cane, and turned with a laugh to give it to him, and he smiled. Their sense of humor and the fact they still enjoyed each other's company was so clear. It made me smile. I hope and pray that Keith and I are given the opportunity to grow old together, and that we do it as gracefully as that couple.

Linking up once more with Ginny.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Recuperating

I have very little voice today. As in sometimes I talk and there are holes in my sentences from where my vocal chords just go, "Nope, we aren't saying that word right now." That's what comes from too much coughing, I guess. Luckily one doesn't need vocal chords to blog, so ...!


1. Happy Feast of the Assumption! (Yesterday, that is--I'm assuming y'all went to Mass, right? ;) ) We went to Mass with my parents at the Oratory. It had been a while since I'd been to daily Mass there; it was so peaceful, and I was glad. Then my parents came over and we had pizza for dinner. I made tiramisu for dessert, for no particular reason except that I had a container of mascarpone in the fridge and Caitlin posted a recipe on her blog, so it seemed meant to be. I'd been meaning to try my hand at it for a while. I didn't use proper ladyfingers, but these margherite cookies, since that was what our grocery store had, and the internet said they were an appropriate substitute. But they didn't soak in the coffee well enough, which made for a weird texture. It tasted good though!  


2. Christine hosted an Assumption playdate at her house, but Michael and I didn't go because we were(/are) sick. (My definition of what a sick day entails is very different than Michael's. Sigh.) It looks like it was beautiful and a lot of fun, so I'm pretty disappointed we weren't there. But I think the other moms wouldn't have appreciated us hacking up a lung around their kids ...


3. My friend Lucas has just launched his new website, Catholicism Has the Answer. It is a great resource and I highly encourage you to check it out! Lucas is one of the most knowledgeable people about the faith that I know; he's the one I email when faced with a thorny, confusing, or otherwise difficult question about liturgy or Tradition or Church history. And he has an intense love for Our Lord and and His Mother. So ... check out his site. :)


4. Colleen at Modern Catholic Momnma was super sweet and passed on a Liebster award for my little blog. That was almost two weeks ago ... and I still haven't posted for it! That post is coming up this weekend. Promise. Thank you Colleen!


5. I mentioned my trip to L&D in my last post. Yesterday I had a follow-up appointment with my OB and everything is okay with the twins. No signs of "irritable uterus" or anything like that. Good to know!


6. Things are moving apace on the house-buying front. Which means slowly. But still, moving. In the meantime we've been researching about our future neighborhood and finding out its history and interesting quirks. For example, when you call the borough for pest management, someone can come and shoot that rabid raccoon with a gun ... or, if you prefer, they will show up with a bow and arrow. Your choice.


7. After hearing several friends talk highly of it for a while now, Jen's post about Breaking Bad has finally pushed me over the edge. I started watching yesterday when I was feeling tired and congested and wanted to do nothing but lay around on the couch. And that's probably what I'll keep doing once I finish this blog post, since Michael is kindly napping and I feel icky and I really would rather not face the mountain of yesterday's dishes in the sink just yet.

For more quick takes, check out Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happy

I know that autumn is still a ways off ... but this morning feels and almost smells of fall. I love it. Love love love love. Some of my friends tell me that once my kids get a bit older, I will love summer most and be sad when it ends, because when the weather gets colder the children get pent up inside and have less ways to burn their energy.

But you know what? I am deeply, irrationally, twirl-around-the-house-and-make-spontaneous-pancakes happy right now, and it is because it feels like fall. Summer will never be my favorite season. Autumn lives somewhere deep in my being and it will never go away.

I had to get up and out of the house with my family by 8:30 this morning (this is highly unusual for the Callenberg clan) and I threw on a blue wrap and it wasn't quite warm enough, but that is okay. I love few things more than walking in sunny and slightly chilly weather. We had to be back home by 10:30 and when I took Michael out of his stroller to put him in the carseat, he protested. I know, I told him--I felt the same way. We just wanted to stay outside and soak it in.

Right now he is napping. After he wakes up I think we will go out again, if it isn't raining.

Michael's favorite word right now is "happy" and I have no idea if he knows what it means. But he'll be playing with his toys and suddenly he just starts repeating it over and over. Happy, happy, happy. And when I look at him he grins.

On to yarn.


Still working on the blanket. I will be finished by the weekend, most likely. And then ... I don't know what I'll do with myself, since I have to wait for more yarn and fabric and other nesting supplies until September 1st. I guess I'll sew that poor, lonely sleeve that's patiently been waiting to join its sweater.

I finished A Dance with Dragons (FINALLY) although somehow I managed to skip a good five chapters in the middle and had to go back and read them. I was getting really angry because as I neared the end of the book it was clear something IMPORTANT had happened and was being referred to, and I was like, "What the HECK George RR Martin, why didn't we get to see that?!" Except it was in the chapters I skipped. Whoops. I blame it on reading at 2am while sitting in L&D at the hospital. (Yes, I took a trip to the hospital last weekend. The babies and I are all fine; it was one of those "better safe than sorry" things. I'm hoping not to make a habit of this in the next few months.)

Now I am reading The Art of the Visit by Kathy Bertone. It is a good book. But I am not sure if I'll finish it, because it touches on some things I am struggling with right now. We'll see!

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Making and waiting, coffee and rain. (Seven Quick Takes (9))

1. God is already using these twins to make me grow and stretch as a person. I am super unorganized and I procrastinate horribly, and unless I get things done right away they can take me forever. Things like setting up doctor's appointments. And what do you have with a twin pregnancy? TONS of doctor's appointments, that's what. That need to be coordinated with tons of ultrasounds and earlier-than-average glucose tests and etc, not to mention trying to get medical records to transfer smoothly from one office to another and ... wowza. But God is good, and despite the fact I waited a week to try and call and make an ultrasound appointment that needs to be the same day that I visit the OB, it all worked out, and I got a very friendly and helpful receptionist to help me through it.


2. I made a thing.



In case you need help identifying it, that's a floor cushion, made from this tutorial. With awesome elephant fabric. Michael loves it, and he loves the elephants. He points at them and says "doo doo doo!" Which is his rendition of this song. I have no idea how other people on the internet have stuffed this with polyfill and had it come out looking so awesome and not-lumpy, though. I stuffed and stuffed until I couldn't fit any more in and still it has saggy spots. Am I missing something? Can anyone give me tips?


3. A friend recommended to me that I start out sewing things that only had straight lines. Obviously I ignored her advice, because I like to dive into the deep end when it comes to crafts. I think my lack of circular-sewing-skills shows, but. :-P I am looking forward to more sewing for the twins' room ... except that my nesting has to be put on hold until September 1, when I can start buying yarn and fabric again. SO FRUSTRATING. But I am pretty much set on a "theme" for the nursery, and it involves foxes and other woodsy creatures.

Modern Scattered Creatures on White

Seriously, how cute is that fabric?! And I love the colors.


4. Another way that God has been stretching me via this pregnancy? I don't even have the illusion of control over so many things. Their birth and when and how it happens; the amount of time I have to prepare for them (I am pretending that they are arriving at 36 weeks; everything must be ready by then!); the inability to even start preparing in some ways, since we are moving in a little more than a month, but in the meantime all I can do is sit and wait ... I can't even start packing. I am in a space of waiting, and I can't even fill that space with anything right now ... except trust.


5. It is rainy today and I love it. But it does effect my energy levels. All I want to do is curl up with a cup of coffee and look out the window and watch the rain falling. And maybe knit.


6. Yep, that does it, I am making myself a second cup of coffee. How decadent, right?


7. Speaking of decadence, I am going to be making a trip to Anthropologie with a friend this evening and I am so. excited. I could furnish my house and wardrobe from that store if I were a little richer. And yes, I can't spend money there right now anymore than I can spend it on yarn and fabric ... but you know ... that might be for the best. ;)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Smooth Sailing

Still working on the Smooth Sailing blanket. According to the pattern I am almost halfway through, but I will probably add another repeat or two since I have enough yarn, and I like baby blankets that are big enough to wrap them up in and continue to use once they're toddlers. I'm wishing now that I had made it a bit wider for that reason. Ah well. 


I do like the way it bunches up and looks all squishy and textured right now. But of course I will be blocking it once it's finished; you can see what the lace pattern will look like. 


None of these pictures does justice to this shade of blue, especially on a rainy day like today. But Malabrigo has a pretty good picture on their site, a touch greener than in reality.

Still reading all the same books, mostly A Dance with Dragons. It is good but I will be glad when it's over. I feel that George RR Martin is a very self-indulgent writer. There is no reason that this book needs to be so long. Why do fantasy writers do that so often? I once "met" (via NaNoWriMo forums) a writer who was baffled that anyone would write a fantasy short story--how could you build a world in so small a space?

The same way you build any world as a writer, fantasy or realism or any other sort. The world is created by the story itself, and anything that doesn't touch the story somehow--its plot, its characters--doesn't belong there. But I think that gets at one reason why fantasy can tend towards being so overblown; authors get lost in their own worlds at the expense of the story. I suppose it's understandable; world-building is heady stuff, and it's easy to get drunk on as a writer. But again ... self-indulgence. Well-written self-indulgence, but that doesn't change that there's so much in this book that should have been cut before it was published. A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons were originally one book that got too bloated and had to be split in two, if I understand correctly. They could have been trimmed and stayed one.

All in my humble opinion. ;) If you are reading/have read this series I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts!

(As for Hatchling, it is still minus a sleeve. Clearly I hate sewing up sweater parts. But I bought some buttons!)

Linking up with Ginny's yarn along.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Things I am excited about.

(Organized from most to least geeky. The best is last, so feel free to skip the geeky parts if you're not into them. ;) )

First of all, this guy.



Oh, I will sorely, sorely miss Matt Smith, whom I think made a better Doctor than David Tennant. But I am glad that we're seeing someone in the role who's over 50. It's about time. Although I like all the individual actors who have played it in the new series, I haven't liked the trend of the Doctor being played by younger and younger men. Our culture's need for actors and stars to be young and attractive all the time is immature and problematic; and while I've loved the whole 900 years old/young element that Matt Smith brought to the role ... I'm looking forward to seeing what an older actor like Peter Cafaldi can do with it.

Apparently he has played a minor role in the show before, and has also been in Torchwood. The latter fact I couldn't care less about. I hate Torchwood. I hate Russell T. Davies's writing. I hate Jack Harkness when he's not in Doctor Who. So whatever. But I'm looking forward to seeing what Peter Capaldi has in store for us as the Doctor.



Second of all, Bernie Su and Hank Green (of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries) have announced their next adaptation:


I am so flipping excited. I love Emma. I love Mr. Knightley. To be frank, everyone always gushes over Darcy, and with good reason, but I have always thought Knightley was better husband-material. (Although perhaps not for Lizzie. I will grant you that. Lizzie and Darcy are particularly suited to each other.) I also think this novel is particularly well-suited to adaptation as a vlog-style webseries, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they do with it. I already like what they're doing with this logo--it captures Emma's personality and well-intentioned meddling so perfectly! I have high hopes.



Third of all, as you can see, this kitchen has ugly pink and yellow tile and matching cabinets. Even the chandelier is pink.


What you can't see is that there's a big hole in the wall behind that cabinet where the insulation is now hanging out. (At least it's pink?)

But it has tons of cabinets and counter space, two ovens, a dishwasher, natural light ... and God willing, if things go smoothly with the inspection, mortgage, and whatnot ... this incredibly awesome and hideously decorated kitchen will be ours.

YAY!

If all goes well we should be able to move in mid-September. And then I can get all crafty and nesty and it's going to be great. We are excited and nervous as heck. Pray for us!


Oh, and Michael wants you to know that he is excited about his brand new spiky green ball.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Seven Quick Takes (8)

1. I am pleased to announce that I am now the wife of a full-fledged PhD! I am so, so proud of my husband. His defense talk was amazing, and he has worked so hard at this for the past five years--as long as I've known him--and he is so deserving of having that work recognized and praised.



2. Like the bunting I made? Complete with letters that were traced using alphabet magnets from our fridge? ;) I know, I know, I should have taken pictures for a tutorial, including how I couldn't find the T or the E anywhere and had to get creative and flip the L around different directions to make those letters. Hehe. But I like how it turned out. I know it is not centered over the doorway and it drives me a little bonkers, so sorry if it bothers you too! We have SO MUCH cake in the house right now. I baked one (now eaten), and Keith's adviser bought two (one of which is in our freezer). There was a lot of champagne, too ... but that disappeared rather more quickly.

3. Knitting has been slow this week. The first sweater is all but finished--the second sleeve needs to be sewn on (and I might redo the first as I'm not too happy with it), and then it needs buttons, and then it will be done! I have also started a blanket because I spotted some Malabrigo in Azul Profundo, which is one of the most beautiful shades of blue I have ever seen, and there was simply no way not to buy it. It's been growing about two rows a day, a very slow pace for me, but I'm guessing this week I will move a bit faster.



4. Now that Keith has graduated, he no longer has to work the equivalent of two jobs!! We are really looking forward to settling in to the new normal around here ... at least until the twins arrive in a few short months. Of course, we also have to move in the next month and a half or so, which entails buying a house ... but we're hoping that will all be set in motion by the end of next week. Basically it's a huge time of change and readjustment for us. But these are all good things.

5. So, after ten posts in ten days (!!!) I haven't posted in a whole week. Understandable, what with PhD graduations and out of town company and whatnot, but. Posting each and every day is a bit much, but it felt good to blog regularly, and I'm hoping it's a habit I can keep up until the twins arrive. I've also been thinking (with Christine's encouragement) about posting a series about living on a single income as a family. This fascinates me especially as we prepare to move out of the city, because the strategies for living on one salary look so different when you live in the country vs the city vs the suburbs--and even from city to city. I have a lot of friends who own just one car and are able to take advantage of public transportation and/or walk where they need to go. But that isn't going to be an option for us in a few months. (We already own two cars, and are incredibly blessed because we got both of them for free, although they have both cost us money to maintain as they age. Keith's car is older than we are!) So it is something I would like to explore here at some point.

6. As I type this, I am watching the garbage men drive down our alley and pick up all the trash. Today they are not yelling at each other in angry voices. (Maybe they aren't angry. Maybe they're just yelling to be heard above the truck. But most weeks they sound pretty mad.) I really love trash day. Seriously. I love the feeling of purging our home of things that don't need to be there and then these wonderful men come and take them away forever. :-P (Plus, when you think about it, isn't it a blessing that we have people that dispose of our garbage for us? I mean, what would WE do with dirty diapers on our own? Maybe if we were responsible for disposing of our own trash we would make less of it ...) I'm looking forward to moving for the same reason--evaluating the clothes and books and other things that tend to accumulate on our shelves and in our closets and pruning our household of clutter. I already have a small Goodwill pile growing.

7. I am still feeling okay with this pregnancy, although I wake up in the morning and feel like I've been doing crunches all night because my stomach muscles are so tired. I think I need to invest in a maternity belt pretty quickly. Michael has taken to patting my belly at random intervals and saying "beebee," but I'm not sure if he is trying to say belly or affirming that yes, we have told him a hundred times that Mama has two babies in her belly. He also thinks that whenever I open my computer it is for the sole purpose of showing him pictures of beebees. I guess that's a good thing, right?

Head over to Jen's blog to see more Quick Takes!