Tag Archives: passover

Full term

As of this past weekend, I am full term at 37 weeks!

We started off the day with another cherry blossom mini session :) This time, it took place in Besthesda in the Kenwood neighborhood where the streets are lined with cherry blossoms. There was rain this week so a lot of the blossoms were lost, but there were still a few trees still with their flowers. Hopefully the photos came out ok!

The weekend before was peak bloom at the Tidal Basin. We all got up before the sun was up to try and beat the traffic into DC since it was a weekend and the last day of the cherry blossom festival. Caleb was a big GRUMP so there had to be bribing with candy. We found free parking (woot) that was close to the Tidal Basin, but was just under a mile from the meeting spot with our first photographer. So, we basically had to BOOK IT.

After our photo session, I tried to take some photos during our walk back, but Steve wanted to get home and Caleb was tired so I didn’t take very many photos. But, I did take a few because we were there. And the scaffolding is finally gone from the Washington Monument so I needed a pic of that!

Steve & Caleb at the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument, me & Caleb at the Jefferson Memorial

Steve & Caleb at the Tidal Basin, the Washington Monument, me & Caleb at the Jefferson Memorial

We got home and attempted to nap, but Caleb’s short nap in the car left him WIRED so no one got rest. I changed into a maternity dress for my baby shower hosted by my mother-in-law, Barbara, and Roxie! I must have pushed myself too much that morning at the Tidal Basin because my back completely gave out. I had to sit and if I tried to stand up and walk, shooting pains occurred in my lower back.

The shower was lovely! Jenna got a lot of gifts even though we told people we didn’t need gifts. And there was a lot of food. We are certainly very lucky and they always go above and beyond for us.

Steve stopped to buy me some Bengay patches for my lower back. They were a godsend and I felt SO much better the next day. Which was good because I was cooking an entire Passover spread that was paleo-friendly! I made Pioneer Woman’s brisket, roasted a chicken, roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar, roasted butternut squash with sage, made chicken broth for the matzo ball soup with both traditional matzo balls and paleo one made from almond flour, and made Steve’s nana’s fruit salad. We also had gefilte fish, pickled herring and I made charoset. For dessert, I made a coconut cake with cream cheese frosting. Nom nom nom. I spent 4 1/2 hours straight on my feet in the kitchen.

Steve’s mom bought new haggadahs for us that had a lot of pictures so it made the Sedar easier to follow especially for Caleb. I couldn’t believe it was already Caleb’s 4th Sedar!

Caleb with his yarmulke, new kid-friendly Haggadahs, paleo matzo ball soup made with almond flour, Steve and our Sedar plate

Caleb with his yarmulke, new kid-friendly Haggadahs, paleo matzo ball soup made with almond flour, Steve and our Sedar plate

The next day, we went to the synagogue for their community Sedar. Steve’s mom helped cook for the 100+ people that showed up and poor thing did not get to sit down to eat a hot meal! I told her next year to sit out on the cooking and enjoy it. Caleb could not get enough matzo.

Then this past weekend was Easter! We went over to Crina and Mounir’s house for an Easter lunch and the kids did a small Easter egg hunt. Caleb was all over that! There was sooo much food and everyone ended up falling asleep (myself included) before dessert…lol.

When we got home, I got into nesting mode and decided to clean all the bathrooms with bleach and scrub everything on my hands and knees. Steve saw me and said, “this is why we hire someone!” Ah well. I feel better now that the bathrooms are clean. The next thing on my agenda is moving some of Caleb’s toys from the main family room down to the basement playroom so I can bring some more baby items up like the swing.

I already shampooed the carpets and have the bassinet set up in our room. I still need to pack the hospital bag, but I have a mental list of items I need to pack. Sometimes I feel like I have no time and that this baby could come next week (same gestation as Caleb) and other days, I feel like I have plenty of time and I should just do one thing a day. Argh!

Happy Easter & Happy Passover

Greetings everyone! Hopefully, you’re all having a nice holiday weekend :o) We didn’t do anything for Easter (not that we would really since I’m the only one that’s not Jewish in the family), but we did go out for lunch. We hosted a late Passover sedar on Saturday since Steve was not able to come up on either Monday or Tuesday from school for the actual days you’re supposed to have the sedar since it’s the last week of the semester and he was super busy.

Steve’s mom was going to bring food, but I volunteered instead. I figured I’d make it simple and have a meat dish and a few side items. I wasn’t going to go crazy since it was only going to be the 4 of us and Caleb. I made brisket in the crock pot (I need to do this more often–tasty, moist, tender and DELICIOUS), new potatoes, sauteed spinach, matzo ball soup (w/ real chicken stock–I dont buy the stuff in the cartons anymore), apple cinnamon kugel, matzo chocolate almond bark and coconut macaroons. Everything was a hit!

Other than that, things have been going well :o) There is a local farmer’s market every week that’s a mile away so we’ve started going. Last week, I decided to take Caleb there in the jogging stroller, but I went the back way that cuts through a VERY hilly park because I didn’t want to push the stroller on the shoulder of a busy street. So, it was 5 miles instead of 1 and we were out for 3 hours! Caleb slept for the entire trek there and while I was at the market sampling food, buying soaps and scrubs, eating tiramasu gelato, drinking pineapple coconut tea and purchasing my dinner that night. He started to wake up on the way back so while we were at the park, I sat in the shade of an empty pavilion to nurse him and then ventured home. My feet and body hurt so much that night–I guess it was too much, too soon. The following week, we just drove there instead and I wore Caleb in the wrap instead.

Speaking of babywearing, I’ve gotten a lot of comments while wearing him out nowadays…all really positive! One pregnant lady was asking how Caleb stayed in the wrap and where I got mine. I also ran into a doula while grocery shopping who commended me for babywearing. And in general for quick in & out trips, it’s just easier to wear him and let him sleep while I do what I gotta do. The only time I don’t is when we go out to eat because I tend to get sauces and crumbs otherwise…haha!

Anyway, I went to the outlets to buy a crossbody purse since currently, I keep my purse separate from the diaper bag. I don’t always leave the house with Caleb so I don’t like using the diaper bag as my purse (even though I love big bags). I generally leave the diaper bag in my car since I have a tendency to forget it otherwise. And having both my purse and a diaper bag on the same shoulder was a bit much.

So, I went to the Coach outlet since I got a 30% off coupon which they were also passing out in the store. I got a pretty decent sized purse for $100 and now I can be hands free without worrying about any slippage since I have pretty steep shoulders. It’s kind of tricky to wear it while I’m wearing Caleb, but it works as long as the strap goes under his bum.

Guess who’s going to be 2 months old tomorrow? I can’t believe it’s been that long already! He’s getting so big and chunky…he’s developing those fat folds on his arms and legs. His 2 month check up is on Tuesday so I’m anxious to see how much he weighs, how long he is and how he stacks up. He hasn’t been there since his 2 week check up so it’s been a while.

laughing w/ my boy
one of my fav pics with Caleb

Lately, I’ve been having issues with Flickr. It won’t let me upload any pictures! It keeps telling me the shockwave plug in isn’t responding so if I want to upload a picture (like the one above), I do this roundabout way by emailing it to myself, opening it on my phone and then uploading it to Flickr that way. It works for now, but not for big, batch uploads.

Only a few more weeks until my trip to MA! I’m excited for my mom to see how big Caleb’s gotten and also for the rest of my family and friends to see him :o) Also bittersweet because I know when I return from MA, I return back to work the day after. It’s going to be hard leaving my baby boy, but I know he will be in good hands. My freezer stash is up to almost 100 oz! I’m not sure what we’re going to do when we move because I’m not sure they’ll last during the transport to DC so I might donate them. I plan on pumping at work so whatever is used will be replenished. Caleb rarely gets a bottle these days so…what to do?

Project Grow Veggies hits its first bump in the road & Passover approved goodies

Steve and I slept in on Sunday since we were out running around all day Saturday between the hunt for bluebonnet patches and then a BBQ. Steve went off to play softball and when I attempted to go grocery shopping at HEB, they were closed! I resorted to going to Walmart which was busy, of course, but I got everything we needed–all was well. When I got home, I attempted to screw the lumber pieces that would frame out my vegetable garden. Steve came home and helped me finish it off, dig up weeds and turn over the soil.

After about 1 1/2 hours, my garden was done! Steve brought over the bags of garden soil and I planted my vegetables :o)

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my garden–it’s 5×8 and Steve mowed the lawn today

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I also transplanted the bigger seedlings in bigger pots–these are the ones I am giving away


While I was at work today, I got a disturbing text from Steve, who had the day off. He said both Salado and Coco were LAYING in my vegetable garden….NOOOOOOOOOO! He said he was going to try and save what he could. I was sooo mad! Then, he said they were laying next to each other…I pictured them snuggling and I couldn’t stay mad any longer. When I came home, I assessed the damage which wasn’t TOO bad, but still they damaged (or ate) my broccoli, brussell sprouts, dill & cherry tomato seedlings. Luckily, I had so many leftover so I swapped some over and hope I can revive the eaten ones. Steve had yelled at them and since then, they haven’t gone into the garden, but I’m still keeping a watchful eye on them. They’ve left my seedlings in the containers alone at least.

Steve is almost done with his restrictive food for Passover–no pasta, no bread, no corn, no legumes, no peas. For the Red Sox opener, he wanted some buffalo chicken so I compromised and made boneless buffalo chicken with matzo meal coating. It was tasty and kosher so he was one happy camper :o) I also surprised him with some brownies. As of now, they are gone.

boneless buffalo chicken that is kosher for Passover
yummers!

Steve happy w/ buffalo chicken & watching the Red Sox game
a happy Jew during Passover

kosher chocolate cream cheese brownies
I also made a kosher for Passover chocolate cream cheese brownie w/ potato starch and matzo meal–it was actually pretty good & really moist


Anyway, tomorrow is the last day of Passover so I see a Melting Pot visit in our future, especially since they changed their Big Night Out featured menu!

a roller derby reunion w/ crazy growing seedlings and a Passover seder

This weekend, a friend of mine from high school, Jen, who I hadn’t seen in nearly 10 years was in Austin visiting her old college roomie, but we got together at the TX Lonestar roller derby. It was my first time there, but I kind of knew the rules since I had seen the movie Whip It. It was the Rhinestone Cowgirls vs the Hellcats.

There was lots of falling, fighting and someone almost went over the railing…very entertaining! Some of them had great names like “Decepticonnie” or “Dill Dozer” haha! After the show, we went to a bar called the Mean Eyed Cat to play some Penthouse Photo Match (you dont even notice the boobs) before making our way to Magnolia Cafe for some late night munchies. It was really great to catch up and I’ll be seeing her again at our 10 year reunion which is happening later this year.


not an action-packed video of a round–but, there are a few falls

some more pics

Passover weekend and then some

Friday April 18: Since Steve’s been home, I’ve gone to Melting Pot quite a few times without him and since they just came out with a new Caribbean menu for the quarter, we went there for dinner along with Ken and Veronica, since Veronica has gone a few times without the company of her hubby also. You should have seen the JOY in my face when I saw that they were seating us four at a table with 2 burners (usually, you have to share 1)!!! But we ended up both getting the same cheese and the same cooking styles, but we did get 2 kinds of chocolate for dessert. It was so wonderful!

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The Melting Pot = <33 P1000071
Stephan our waiter was awesome for my pictures! Plus he was super nice. He’s African, but lived in Paris (hence the French accent) and is also 1/4 Vietnamese. Who knew?

After dinner, we went back to Ken and Veronia’s house to play Nertz! It got quite hectic at times, but its just so much fun! Before we knew it, it was past midnight so Steve and I headed home.

Saturday April 19: Steve and I met up with Lisa lkf03 for lunch at Trudy’s! After that, I parted ways with the hubby since he had a flag football game to play and Lisa and I had a mission to buy some birthday presents! We headed to the South Congress Ave area where we explored the neat shops on the street–varying from antiques to handblown glass (which by the way, I want to take a glass blowing class at UT). Afterwards, we headed to Hobby Lobby, Bed Bath & Beyond before making a stop at Barnes & Noble for a drink. In the meantime, I taught Lisa how to play Nertz so now she is hooked :o)

Lisa dropped me off at home literally a min before Steve came home (you guys probably drove by one another in the subdivision). Steve took a quick shower and we headed over to his parents’ house for the first Passover Sedar. There were a few other people there, some old, some new, so we helped prep and then settle down for dinner. Overall, it went well, the food was decent and then we were off especially since we still had to grocery shop for our own Passover Sedar the next day.

We got to HEB at 11pm and finished shopping right before the stroke of midnight (which is a good thing because you cant buy alcohol after that and we needed some kosher wine). My plan was to make some of the dishes that night, but I was so tired…we opted to just start the next day.

Sunday April 20: I woke up at 9am and immediately went into the kitchen to start my prepping while Steve tidied up the house and vacuumed the living room area. I baked chocolate macaroons and roasted brussel sprouts in the oven first since I would need it all morning and afternoon for the 15 lb turkey we got. I made stuffing with matzo, onions, carrots and celery, stuffed the turkey, seasoned it and stuck it in the oven.

Veronica luckily came over at 2pm to help me with the other cooking duties since Steve had a softball meet up to attend to. I mixed everything together for matzo balls and she’d form and drop them into the soup broth. We made a quick stop to the grocery store before I set to make 2 sets of stuffed cabbage–one with ground beef and one with ground turkey–using matzo instead of rice. Steve’s mom was going to bring the charoset and gefilte fish (everyone’s favorite!!).

Then I made wild mushroom and leek kugel also with matzo, had mashed pototes and Veronica steamed broccoli for me. Around 6ish, our guests started to trickle over to our house and our own Passover Sedar started at 6:30. The only Jews we had were Steve and his mom, but I’m glad our friends Misti concertina_40, Angela canadagirl, Sabrina brinaann and her husband Chuck came to learn about what Passover is all about and to experience the Jew food! And of course I’m very greatful for Veronica for helping me out :o)

We went through the Sedar and then it was time to carve the turkey! I was really nervous that it would be dry (everyone’s fear with turkey), but it was actually moist and tasty! I basted that thing like no tomorrow so I was glad it came out great along with all the other dishes. Steve said it was the best Passover food he had ever had–that made me happy and made me less nervous to take out cooking big dinners. That was my first time and it was a success!

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Almost ready to sit down and start the sedar

Monday April 21: Today was my lil’ brother, Leon’s, 23rd birthday! I was dead tired at work since Steve and I were up late cleaning up the kitchen after dinner despite people helping us out! lol. But I made it through and we also had our tennis lesson. We finally got our own rackets so now we can play on days other than when we have lessons :o) Next week is our last lesson, but we might sign on again for next month–I like our instructor and it’s fun!

Tuesday April 22: Well, I woke up to Coco crying in her crate because she had vomited twice and had diarrhea in the corner. I called Steve to ask him if he had noticed it when he woke up earlier this AM, but he said no and then said, “ahh, maybe that’s why she didnt want to go back into her crate–not even for a cookie!” OI, MEN! So, I had fun cleaning that up and arrived at work later than anticipated…

I was supposed to hitch a ride with Misti to Angela’s book club, but she had a doc’s appt. I still had plans on going down myself, but when I came home and found Coco’s crate with diarrhea again, I had to call Angela and tell her that I also wasnt going to make it :o( I threw everything in the wash, cleaned the entire area by the crate and gave Coco a bath from head to toe. How come Steve’s never around for all of this fun stuff??

Anyway, we got to watch Kyle and Alaina’s pooches, Jonesy the pug and Nieve the chihuahua, for a few days again. We’re back to having 5 dogs again :o)

Wednesday April 23: It was a co-workers last day so we had plans for a food day. I made Angela’s mom’s broccoli salad and what did I do this morning? FORGET IT IN THE FRIDGE! So, I took a long lunch to go back to the house to grab that, let the dogs out for potty breaks and grab Angela’s birthday gift (Lisa and I were going to celebrate Angela’s birthday early after work while she’s still in town).

Food day was a huge hit! Lisa came over to marvel at all of the real food people would cook and bring instead of buying a bag of chips or cookies. We had a crock pot station of queso, mac and cheese and seasoned rice. Someone made jerk chicken, another made Chinese spare ribs, we had SO much food that I needed to empty my plate once before going to get more food…lol. Then, when I thought it was over, someone brought ice cream bars…sweet!

After work, I went to the Domain to pick up something and then headed over to Lisa’s where we were all meeting. Once Angela arrived, we went to Bess Bistro (Sandra Bullock’s restaurant) for Angela’s celebratory dinner. As she opened our gifts, I took pictures from my camera and her camera at the same time–must have felt like paparazzi :o) Lisa got her a puzzle picture frame with pictures already cut up and assembled and a self made glass pendent that she got when we were at the glass store. I got Angela 2 Korean infuser cups (Salado had broken one of hers last year), napkins that said “I wasnt meant to work” and some tea from the Steeping Room.

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Happy Birthday!

Angela had ordered a side of mac n cheese since last time she was there, she really liked it. Well, this time it was totally off and after sending it back twice, we didnt have any. Disappointed by that and the lack of an appealing dessert menu, we went to The Daily Grill instead for dessert outside on the patio and gabbing about anything and everything. I’ll surely miss those days once Lisa and eventually Angela leaves!

So, that’s been my weekly wrap up. I was doing so well with updating on a daily basis, but once I get busy, it’s just hard to keep up.

Anyway, this weekend will be no different so hopefully I can keep up! Steve got home a while ago and so we’re going to head out to a Passover friendly restaurant (if one even exists).

new jobs for everyone

Today was an eventful day for several reasons.

First off, Steve ltsteve2005 is officially a company commander for C/115th :o) Send your congrats his way! I hope to get pictures soon of his ceremony and what not. You know, I have pretty much missed every milestone he has with the Army. When he got commissioned to a 2nd LT, he was in DC and I was in MA (he drove up the following day). When he got promoted to 1st LT, I had just flown back to MA after visiting him in TX (right before he deployed the first time). When he got promoted to CPT, he was in OAC at Fort Lee, VA, and I was in TX. So, I guess it’s nothing new that I’m missing yet again a big ordeal…

Second, I started my first day in client services. It’s a LOT of information to take in, but it doesnt seem so bad. My schedule is a lot more rigid–my breaks and lunches are pre-scheduled. The morning commute wasnt so horrible. I had over-anticipated the time needed to get there–I left the house at 6:55am and got there in 25 mins. I was 40 mins. early so I thought I’d drive to Barnes and Noble to get tea and hang out, but found out they opened at 9am! At least driving there and back killed 20 mins…

Third, it’s Passover! Steve’s mom had invited me for dinner at Ft Hood’s community center, but I turned it down. One, I didnt want to be out too late knowing I had to get up early the next day. And second, I went to one with Steve and his family 2 years ago and it was horrible. Steve was leading the sedar and people were carrying on in their own conversations, other people were interrupting–I mean, it was just really disrespectful. It’s better to just have a smaller sedar at home with family and friends…not these rude strangers.

I went grocery shopping after work since I didnt get a chance to this weekend. Among the usual things, I bought myself a celebratory NY strip steak and matzo ball soup for Passover in my own special way. Dinner was also accompanied with sauteed green beans and a skinless baked potato with cheese. I was SO full when I finished…yes, I finished it all :o) *oink*


food porn!

Well, I’m going to relax for a bit, hopefully digest some of this food, before I hit the sack. Early to bed, early to rise–it’s a new thing for me :o)

My hamstrings are quite sore right now :o\ Sunday, Lisa lkf03 and I went down to Killeen with our dogs to walk with Angela canadagirl, Leonie and their pooches for over 5 miles! By the very end, Cody with her lil’ legs got TOO tired and I had to carry her…lol. But it was a good work out and I got some color on my shoulders :o)

And Linkin Park’s new song ROCKS!

Oh, one more thing…Hills Have Eyes 2 had soldiers wearing 1st Cav patches! But, it’s a nasty, nasty movie. Parents, please dont bring you 12 year olds to it–they shouldn’t see things like, oh I dont know, rape. I was VERY shocked to see a father with his young, young son there.

That is all!