Friday, April 20, 2012

The Macaron Class

The Macaron. Pronounced: mah-kah,rhon, and if you can manage the French nasally sound at the end, more power to you. Not to be confused with a Macaroon, go ahead and say it like an American and really add emphasis the rooooon. The little French Macaron is ever so popular these days. People swoon over these little almond flavored sandwich cookies. Confession: I'm not really one of them. They are cute, but I'm not sure their cuteness can make up for 1) their lack of deliciousness, and 2) the labor intensive process of making them, and 3) they cost about $4 a pop. Wha???

For my birthday Brook took me to a Macaron class hosted by her cooking group. Kathryn Gordon, New York pastry chef and author of the book Les Petits Macarons was there for an instructional demonstration on making macarons. It was totally awesome to see her at work. But I came away from the night even more intimidated about those little French Confections than ever before. Because as a professional pastry chef, who has literally written the book on macarons, even Kathryn Gordan was able to mess them up right in front of us. She was still trying to tweak her recipes enough for high altitude variations. Golly, for only containing 4 ingredients, there is about 4 thousand ways to royally screw up a macaron. And every pastry chef in the world has an opinion on the right and wrong way to make a macaron. The history is pretty fascinating actually.
Still, it was awesome to meet her and get my book signed. Someday I'm going to attempt them at home. Someday! Thanks Brookie Cookie!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Letter to Baby Bee: 35 Weeks and it's getting hot in here

Dear Baby Bee,
At 35 weeks pregnant, your due date is sneaking up. I can now tell people that I'm having this baby next month. I'm beginning to wonder if sleeping on my stomach was really as amazing as I remember. Walking around with a space heater strapped to my abdomen, I am starting to see why all pregnancies must come to an end. It wasn't that long ago that I would have wanted to stay pregnant forever. But even my most roomy maternity clothes, the ones I thought would never fit, are now even becoming a little snug. It feels like you are growing bigger by the minute, your movements becoming stronger and more deliberate than ever, sometimes they literally take my breath away. All of these are good signs that soon we will meet.

It's best that I concentrate on the meeting you part, rather than the getting you out part. Because, HOOEY! how that is all going to happen is one big giant mystery that I can't yet comprehend. We took a Childhood Preparation class at the hospital. I've been reading all I can about labor and delivery. I've been asking everyone I know to share their own experiences. But even still, I'm not sure there is anything that can really prepare me. It's both terrifying and exciting all at once. We have faith it will work out in the end. Things generally do.

We've been working feverishly on preparing your nursery - with lots of help from Aunt Jen - and making sure it's just right. This is mostly for my benefit rather than for yours, but for some strange reason it feels really really important that it gets done. The room is bright and cheery; it's our favorite place in the house to be. Now, when your dad comes home he knows to find me in the nursery instead of the kitchen or living room. We can hardly walk past your room without stepping into it and running a hand over the crib rail. It sounds silly, but trust me, this is all very exciting for us.

While my nesting instinct keeps getting stronger and stronger, your dad has patiently been working through the endless honey-do lists I make for him. Just when he gets through with one, I've added more things to another. He's adamant that you are able to recognize his voice after you are born, so every night he's been picking out a book or two to read out loud. Lately, it's been all about Dr. Seuss. It's just the two of us in the room but there he is doing all the animal sounds and funny character voices. I'm unbelievably grateful that I have the chance to see this "daddy mode," a side of him I never expected. Everyone says it just keeps getting better. Little girls need great daddies, and while I'm obviously partial to him already, I think  you've got the very best.

Even with 5 weeks (+/-) left to go, there is still plenty that we need to do in preparation for your arrival. We have lots of fun to look forward to as well with upcoming baby showers and hopefully a pedicure or two for mom. The other night we attended the Salt Lake Temple with Grandpa and all of your Duncan aunts and uncles. You were highly active during the whole session - even getting hiccups toward the end - before you must have exhausted yourself completely and dozed off. I kept having the feeling again and again that you are, and will continue to be, the greatest joy of my whole life.


Friday, April 06, 2012

Happiness is...

...washing and folding baby clothes.
Little pink and red onesies and rompers and dresses for a baby girl.
Washing and folding baby girl clothes is decidedly 100% more enjoyable than laundering men's dress shirts or women's under garments.
Today I piddled around my little house, making sure to completely ignore the messes in my kitchen, stopping for little naps or a few Cadbury mini eggs along my way.
It's quiet, no music or TV on today, just me and the baby and our thoughts. She gets the hiccups, which makes me smile, rocking in the new rocker.
I'm making list after list in my head of little things and big things that need to get done before she arrives. Babies need a lot of stuff, I decide.
BD will be home tomorrow and can help with the big things.
I snack on graham crackers dipped in cold milk in the late afternoon and wondered if someday she'll love the same.
Simple joys. I'm feeling like the luckiest momma-to-be in the world today.