Friday, December 31, 2010

Note to the furry babies...

I love you dearly. I love the softness of your fur. I love the delicious smell you generate after a nap. I love how you are both always so giving of your bellies and heads for a good rubbing. I love how we cuddle on the couch and in the bed. I love how you are always supportive of taking a nap. I love the way you greet me when I return home or even just return to the room.

But this is MY heating pad.

Not yours.

I am the one growing life and therefore will be using the wondrous, warmth-generating device to soothe tight muscles.

Your muscles cannot possibly be in need of the heating pad. You don't work for a living, you don't have to do chores. You sleep most of the day. On the couch, on our bed, on one of the two lambskin beds available to you, on one of three blankets you have claimed for your own.

So I feel comfortable saying - again - that the heating pad is mine.

Just to reiterate, these are the ground rules as they pertain to the heating pad:
  • You may not evict me from the heating pad just because you think it's your turn to lay on it.
  • Getting up to go to the bathroom or refilling my drink does not mean I have forfeited my right to the heating pad.
  • Briefly sitting at the edge of the couch, and therefore slightly away from the heating pad, does not mean you should insert yourself between me and the heating pad.
  • You may not wrestle one another for use of the heating pad.
  • Groaning as I pull the heating pad out from under you is just bad form. As is sulking because I reclaimed the heating pad.
Concerns or objections about the heating pad policy should be directed to your union representative. I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Thank you,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sewing for bebbies

Ta da! One set of burp clothes. I made these out of very cute gear flannel that Sean and I found on our recent outing to the fabric store. The back is solid red flannel - not too exciting, but it does the job.

Still two more sets to go before I can check that item off our list of stuff to get before Little One arrives. Those will have to come on another weekend. I still have bread and cookies to bake.

And just so you don't think the Little One is the only beneficiary of the sewing projects:

A new bandanna for Dottie. Isn't she cute?

I hope your bonus hour from daylight savings has been equally as productive as mine.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The slightly anemic white woman's huevos rancheros

Today's breakfast - scrambled eggs with red kidney beans and a little Rotel to give the dish a slight, heartburn-free kick: the slightly anemic white woman's huevos rancheros.

Paul, please don't tell your mother. I am sure she makes something that is far more delightful.

At my prenatal appointment last week, we learned that my iron levels were a little below normal, making me slightly anemic. This makes sense if I think about how tired and sluggish I've felt lately. I really haven't experienced the return of normal energy that many women talk about in the second trimester. Now I know why.

Our midwife warned me that I may have to start taking iron supplements if my iron levels continue to drop (which apparently is often the case for many women during pregnancy). I guess I made a pretty disagreeable face at this idea. Could you blame me? Iron supplements are famous for causing nausea and vomiting and a host of gastrointestinal side effects. No thank you. I just left those days and am NOT eager to return.

So our lovely midwife allowed me to try to correct the situation through diet before going down the supplement road. It has been a wonderful eating week - except for one day early in the week when I had a meltdown about not being hungry and wanting to go straight to bed without dinner (low iron AND pregnancy hormones do not mix). Poor Sean. Love, I am still sorry, but I appreciate you taking such good care of me even when I wasn't on my best behavior.

This week, we've eaten meatloaf a couple of times, steak twice (lean!), eggs and lots of greens veggies. I've also had a lot of oatmeal (as an aside - I think it's best with banana and a small drizzle of honey, in case you were wondering), shrimp, clam chowder and hummus (yeah for chickpeas AND tahini).

Tonight, I am hoping for mussels! I do love mussels and it's been such a long time since we've had them. Especially with yummy bread to soak up the cooking liquid. Mmmm.... I'll have to post pictures.

Overall, I think the iron-rich diet seems to be working. I noticed yesterday on my way from work to the bus stop that I was feeling much less drained than I had on previous nights. I actually enjoyed the mile+ walk, in spite of the drizzle and dankness of the evening.

Plus, I find myself looking forward to the weekend for reasons other than sleeping late and lounging about all day (although I do plan to do my fair share of this, too). I hope to do more simple sewing projects. More on that later.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Almost Halloween

You've probably already seen Sean's awesome Jack-0-lantern on his blog, but in case you missed it, I wanted to re post a picture here. Isn't it just wonderful? It's completely dark by 6 p.m. now, so it has been fun to have this glowing in our living room. I think it's his best pumpkin yet.

We had an appointment with the midwife yesterday, and things are continuing to go well. This is 16 weeks for anyone trying to keep track. I have gained almost two pounds since last month and almost four pounds overall. Both the midwife and I were quite pleased. Sean thinks I shouldn't worry about such things, but he was happy because I was happy. He's a good boy that way. :)

My blood pressure continues to be very good and within my normal range: 100/60. Woo hoo! I was a bit surprised, actually, because this week at work was stressful with many last minute projects. Thank goodness for yoga. It has been such a great tool for stress management, and now I am glad to be able to stick with it in a prenatal yoga class. And thank goodness for Sean, who always makes sure I GO to yoga, even on the days when I talk try to talk myself into coming home and being a slug on the couch instead.

Little One's heartbeat was between 160 and 165 beats per minute, another completely normal reading. He or she is getting quite jumpy in there. Little One was moving around so much (causing the Doppler to sound like a needle sliding across the surface of a record) that it was a challenge for the med student to get a reading. Luckily our midwife has such an experienced hand.

Unfortunately, I cannot feel these movements just yet. The midwife says probably not for another month or so. Bummer.

Our next appointment is set for the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It's a big one - the anatomy scan. The health-care professionals look for lots of important medical-related stuff so it's a very serious test. But, Sean and I are giddy with excitement because we might be able to find out if Little One is a boy or girl.

This information is highly dependent on whether Little One cooperates. He or she seems to have a bit of a stubborn streak (hmmm... wonder where THAT could have come from...) so we are trying to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might have to wait until delivery date to find out. Oh, how technology has spoiled us. :) Keep your fingers crossed!

And thank you for all your wonderful comments on the blanket I made last weekend. I think there are more projects on the horizon so I'll be posting pics of those as soon as they are ready.

In terms of themes for the nursery (in our case, nursery is kind of a generous term. Little One will be sharing our room for a while so it's more like the baby corner.), we are leaning toward some something on the sciences and/or technology front - two of our favorite subjects. We haven't completely decided on how to execute this yet so stay tuned for more.

Nerdy? Yes, probably so. But the baby corner is more for us at this age anyway. I am sure Little One will begin to exert his or her tastes soon enough.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I guess the nesting phase has begun. Sean and I found this super cute whale fabric a couple of weekends ago. We thought it might become a crib sheet, but I decided today to make it into a lovey blanket instead.

So, on our errand adventures today, we went to the fabric store and bought some amazingly soft faux mink-type orange fabric for the back and coordinating ribbon to make tags all around the edges. I hear tags and textures are really popular among Little Ones so hopefully these features will be a hit with our kid, too.

I want to do a little quilting hand work, but it's mostly done. What do you think?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A new adventure

It's been pretty hard to find motivation to blog the last few months. There's really not been a lot of exciting things to say... until now. As I think almost everyone knows, Sean and I are expecting!

We had a prenatal appointment yesterday and our first sonogram. It was very exciting to see the Little One. He or she is about three inches now. We could see a nose, eye sockets, a mouth, fingers, toes, legs, arms, heart (all four chambers!), brain, spine. We could even tell (OK, mostly the sonographer could tell, but she was really good at explaining what we were all seeing) that the stomach and bladder have formed, and the baby had a working diaphragm and at least one working kidney. Yeah, kidneys!

We could see him or her jumping around, but the baby spent most of the show with ankles crossed and arms behind his head like he was hanging out in the La-Z-boy. Funny. It was really quite amazing. Thankfully, everything looked completely normal.

The heart beat seemed so fast - between 163 and 175 beats per minute - but it also was completely normal. We even found out that the little one is measuring about a week ahead of his or her gestational age: so 13 weeks. We have an overachiever from the start! The midwife didn't think this was significant enough to warrant a change in due dates, though. We are still expecting the Little One in April (hopefully while the cherry blossoms are still in bloom - fingers crossed!).

We also have a stubborn little bugger, too (not that we were expecting less - Sean and I have to be the two most stubborn people on the planet). He or she absolutely refused to position himself in the proper way for the sonographer to get an important measurement. Finally, Little One cooperated, but it took 45 minutes.

I am doing well - the worst of morning sickness is behind me, I think. I am able to eat peanut butter again (thank goodness), and I am hopeful that we will be able to have fish again, soon. Poor Sean is going through withdrawal. We ate fish probably three times a week before I got pregnant, but I couldn't stomach even the thought of fish during the first trimester.

I have more energy and am actually looking forward to a bike ride and yoga this week. Two areas in which Sean has also been suffering, either directly (in the case of the bike rides) or indirectly (in the case of yoga). I am so lucky to have a completely amazing and wonderful partner and husband, who is supportive beyond my wildest imagination. Little One, your Dad has been taking very good care of us these last three months.

I have gained 2 pounds so far, which is absolutely perfect. And, as Sean put it, I have the blood pressure of an Olympic athlete. It's always been safely in the "good" category, but it was really good yesterday. Woo hoo!

Overall, the second trimester is looking sunny in the Siem household.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Strawberry mosaic birthday cake

I had a wonderful day, yesterday. After my salon visit, Sean took me to the Pacific Science Center where we visited the Butterfly House (of course) and saw Roving Mars. Wonderful film, terrible auditorium.

Then, Sean took me to eat sushi, and we capped off the evening with birthday cake: angel food cake, strawberries and homemade whipped cream. It was wonderful, and I am embarrassed to admit that I've enjoyed leftover cake on more than one occasion today.

Thank you, Lover. You did such a great job.

Friday, April 2, 2010


...degrees. Not years, thank goodness. I think this might be the coldest birthday I have ever celebrated.

Just as a reminder that it is indeed spring, I snapped a quick photo of the daffodils outside this morning when I was walking Dottie. They've been in bloom for several weeks now and won't be around much longer.

Well, this photo is not my best work. It is raining and Dottie was NOT happy about standing in the cold and wet waiting for me to finish taking photos. I even got the growly, chatty pre-bark as a warning. Funny.

Anyhoo, gotta get ready to head out. I am having brunch with my wonderful friend, Kate, who happens to be on vacation this week. Then, I am off to the salon for a haircut. The day is off to a good start.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

30 miler

On Saturday, Sean and I took our longest bike ride to date: 30 miles. It was the first rain-free day we'd had in a week. And, if we are EVER going to pull off the Seattle to Portland ride, we need to start building mileage soon.

So we set out on the fabulous Burke-Gilman Trail, starting from Matthews Beach a couple of miles from home (we drove there - no need to be overachievers, after all), rode north around Lake Washington to the Sammamish River Trail and headed south along the river to almost Redmond before turning around.

We did pretty well, even if we were a little slow. And, of course, there were learning experiences to be had. Namely, bring snacks! I am usually pretty snack driven but didn't even think about on Saturday. Needless to say, we were famished by the end of the ride.

One of the best things about riding - other than being outside in the fresh air and getting a good workout, of course - is the people watching. Here's what I learned from the people and pets on the ride:
  • There is a bike for everyone. We saw lots of recumbent riders, including one guy who rode with what looked like a grill cover draped over him and his bike, leaving only his head sticking out. I am not sure why. It's not like it was cold or raining. Curious...
  • Tandem bikes seem to be quite popular among a certain type of couple... generally the ones who enjoy dressing identically and look so much alike they could be twins. If we were in the south, I might wonder, but that's generally not been something I've noticed in the Pacific Northwest. A note to the middle-aged, overweight couple riding the tandem bike. Lady, it looked like you were steering your part of the bike with your guy's love handles. You might want to consider two bikes.
  • Performance wear comes in a wider selection of sizes than I ever imagined. As a note, if you aren't actually a professional bike-rider, consider buying one size up. Otherwise, you just look like an over-stuffed sausage. And wearing fancy head-to-toe Lycra, an aerodynamic helmet and special clip-on bike shoes does not hide the fact that you are 50 pounds overweight and sweating profusely. You aren't kidding anyone, man.
  • Some kids love the little bike trailers and dig riding with their parents. Some kids absolutely do not like the little trailers and will even try to jump out of said trailer while it and the parent pulling it are zooming downhill.
  • Performance bike jerseys with lots of corporate logos seem to be code for asshole riding a bike. Seriously, jerks, this is the Burke-Gilman, not the Tour de France. You have to share the trail with me and the little kids riding their bikes and the old people walking their scraggly dogs. Deal with it.
  • Basset hounds wearing pink tutus look just as ridiculous as you might imagine.
Overall, a great day. Can't wait to get back out!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

16 percent

We are part of this 16 percent. Are you?

Seriously, fill out your 2010 U.S. Census forms. It's important, it's your civic duty and it takes about five minutes. Go do it now ... I'll wait.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Still here

Yes, I am still here. I just haven't been inspired to blog lately...

It's the same ole, same ole. Our apartment still sucks. We still hate it, and the three-day adventure last week when there was no hot water only strengthened our resolve to move this summer. On the positive side - I was able to re-purpose my canning pot and stock pot to draw baths the old fashioned way. It took bloody forever, but at least I was able to get clean.

We had a perfectly lovely Saturday this weekend - sunny and warm. So we spent part of the day at the beach in Carkeek Park. What a fun day. The picture at left is the ONLY photo we took that day in which my eyes were open. It was so extremely bright compared to the overcast, gray days we have been experiencing, and Sean deserves a medal for taking probably 200 photos until I could keep my eyes open.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday night treat

Homemade banana sorbet made with my new Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment. Yum. It's so very nice to have something new to do with rotten bananas. Hope your Friday night is equally as delightful.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ready for the week

I love when Sunday afternoon rolls around and the laundry is done, grocery shopping for the week is finished, prep work for efficient weeknight dinners are neatly packed in the fridge and lunches are made. It feels good, and I feel like I am ready for the week ahead.

For lunches this week I made a repeat of a dish I invented a couple of months ago: whole wheat pasta, edamame, roasted squash topped with a homemade spinach pesto (minus pine nuts) and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. It's pretty darn yummy and filling and healthy.

I plan to spend the rest of the evening lounging on the couch with a furry bebbie on each hip. Hope your Sunday evening is half as nice.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Why I love Seattle

So here's a bonus post for today... this picture is from a stem cell symposium at work yesterday. I just love it, and I don't think I would ever have seen this in Texas.

Happy New Year

Now that the holidays are behind us, I hope to have more time to devote to blogging. We had a wonderful Christmas season and the New Year is already off to a good start.

Today has been a relatively quiet day - perfect after a busy post-holiday week, the first "real" work week since before Thanksgiving.

Dottie had her annual check-up at the vet today. She is healthy and doing well and received lots and lots of treats from the staff. She knows how to work a crowd, that's for sure.

While I was with Dottie, Sean spent the morning overseeing the door experts (I use the term very loosely) who made their third and hopefully final visit to our apartment to fix our leaky patio door.

Fortunately, you can no longer see daylight around the door and the cold winter air isn't (currently) pouring into our apartment. We should see an incredible improvement in our utility bills. Finally. We've been dealing with this issue for more than three years. I can't believe it might actually be resolved. Let's all do a collective finger cross now.