Wednesday, April 21, 2010

23 1/2 weeks

If anyone has any suggestions for how you are supposed to stand when
posing for pregnancy pictures, please let me know.
I wanted to wear the same outfit and stand in the same spot
as my last photo to really see the progress,
but I thought outside would be prettier.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Breakfast Story

Breakfast is tricky business at our place. Bill has an egg intolerance and gets severe stomach aches after he eats them. But he loves eggs so this is sad. I don't care for eggs unless they are hard boiled, though I'll eat them fried with the yolks broken on untoasted bread. Very few breakfast dishes are eggless and if they are, they are either meat-laden (yay for Bill, boo for me) or sweet sweet and covered in syrup and butter. So at our house, we eat a lot of cereal and toast.

But this morning I had a hankering for pancakes. I'd gotten up early and had some tea and kept arguing with myself about whether I should make some. Bill make eggless French toast last weekend, so it seemed fair that I make some pancakes and bacon. Decision made, I started cooking.

Mishap #1: We only had 3 strips of bacon. Everyone knows that is hardly a sharing amount, and Bill told me I could have them. We are a sharing family, though, so I figured Bill could have 2 strips and I'd have one, so I started cooking the bacon.

Mishap #2: Pancake mix must be 2 years old with no visible expiration date on package. Not too comfortable with that, so I found a recipe online and trudged on. Bacon is about a third of the way cooked.

Mishap #3: Recipe called for 8 servings which is a lot of pancakes. Luckily the website I get my recipes from has a feature where you can reset the servings and it recalculates the recipe.

Mishap #4: Halfway through preparing the batter I realized that by recalculating the recipe, it now called for half an egg. Being a college educated individual, I decided to beat the egg and spoon out half (2 tablespoons) into the batter. Problem is, beaten egg doesn't really spoon since it oozes off the spoon after you dip it in, making the measurement highly inaccurate. But I guesstimated and moved on.

Mishap #5: Being a college educated individual, I am able to read. Being a pregnant individual, processing is a little iffy. Recalculated recipe called for 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk. I carefully measured one cup plus 2 tablespoons milk into the batter. Batter is now soup.

Update on the bacon: 2 slices are slightly over crisp, but all are removed from pan and draining on paper towels.

Update on pancake batter: Even a college educated individual could figure out to double the other ingredients to repair the "pancake soup" but the pregnant individual could see no real purpose in going to the trouble so poured soup down the drain and offered Bill bacon and toast.

Update on Bill: Bill was watching TV in the other room and helpfully asked how I was doing throughout the whole process. Upon hearing the batter was now in the drain he offered to take me out to breakfast. Absolutely the right move, Babe. Frugal, college educated, pregnant individual could have been easily pushed to go out to eat but convinced self and totally agreeable Bill that bacon and toast were fine. Two pieces of toast went into the toaster for Bill.

Mishap #6: I'd carefully poured the bacon grease out of the cast iron skillet which was still extremely hot. No sense wasting a perfectly hot skillet, so I decided to fry an egg to accompany my toast and bacon.

Update on bacon: My slice of bacon had now been reduced to half a slice of bacon since I had been nibbling throughout the pancake charade.

I-saw-this-coming-and-went-ahead-anyway-Event #1: The cast iron skillet was VERY hot still and had a nice coating of bacon grease still in it. I never fry my eggs in this pan. I always fry my eggs in a non-stick egg pan. I never fry my eggs in bacon grease. I always fry my eggs with a drop of olive oil. Yet for some reason I did it differently. Even though I thought to myself, "Self. You should pull out the other pan. If you use that pan you're going to ruin the eggs." EVEN then, I put a touch of butter in the skillet and proceeded to crack the eggs.

Mishap #7: Duh. The pan was too hot and too large. The eggs popped and screamed and spread out to super-thin puddles of brown whites with bright yellow balls of yolk hanging on for dear life. I broke the yolks and for some reason, even though I could see this wasn't going to work, sprinkled pepper on top. I was in some sort of hazy denial.

Update on Bill: By this time, I'd removed Bill's toast and buttered it and delivered it with two strips of bacon.

Update on bacon: I think I had about a quarter of a strip of bacon left at this point.

I-saw-this-coming-and-went-ahead-anyway-Event #2: With the eggs in a very precarious position in the pan, I may have still been able to salvage them if I hadn't make the next error. I used the plastic spatula to turn the eggs. It is heat resistant, so that wasn't the problem. But the extreme heat of the pan and the insufficient grease to accommodate the eggs and the surface area the eggs now covered really required my metal spatula. It would have given me the ability to scrape underneath the eggs and still have the rigidity to actually get under them. But, I used the plastic one. And proceeded to smear the eggs all over the pan.

Update on the eggs: Eggs now look like scrambled yolks mixed with brown, crispy whites. Half went into a cup to cool off for Master Teddy, rest when into the garbage.

Update on bacon: Completely gone. Teddy got the last bite.

Update on my breakfast: After cleaning the whole mess up, I fixed myself a bowl of cereal.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today during class one of my students raised his hand and asked, "Mrs. Burel, was your baby a mistake?"

Oh right. THAT's why people wince when I mention I teach middle school.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ba Bum, in Miniature

Baby Girl Burel and Mom both had echocardiograms today. It was a very long day for all of us up at OHSU with a lovely break in the middle for some lunch with good friends from Texas. Bill and I were prepared for a very long day and OHSU did not disappoint. Baby Girl's echo was the last thing at 3:30pm and the grueling day was so worth it when the doctor finally came in at 5pm and spent the next half hour saying, "Looks nice." "Looks good." "Looks perfect." My three new favorite phrases!

I've had 27 thousand echos and I really have no idea what I'm looking at most of the time. I think I could pick out the aortic root and valve since that has been the main focus of everyone's attention each time. During Baby Girl's echo, the doctor pointed out the aortic valve, the mitral valve, the tricuspid valve and the pulmonary valve. Like most of what they show us, Bill and I just take their word for it! But I could make out her entire aortic because it looks exactly like a candy cane. Towards the end of the echo the doctor listened to the heartbeat while watching the blood flow through each individual valve. I found myself closing my eyes just listening to her heartbeat and started getting emotional with something other than fear for the first time. When Baby Girl sleeps right now, she can hear the sound of my heartbeat, and I wonder if she knows just how much we love her? I know that while listening to her heart's steady rhythm, I was overcome with love and could imagine nothing more wonderful than falling asleep to that sound.