Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 2010

*No stencils or kits were used in the making of these pumpkins

So I would not have normally carved 5 pumpkins, but we are having a big Halloween party for Milo's birthday at my parents and my mom wanted jack-o-lanterns for all the pillars going up the stairs. With all the interruptions from Milo it took 6 1/2 hours, but I finally finished them. I googled design ideas and free handed all of these. I used an ice cream scoop to de-gut which I hadn't done before. Totally brilliant, much easier than a spoon.

Before the masacre.


Scoopin.


Evil accomplice.


9:30pm... Done.


Ooooooo...


Milo rather eat them than look at them.


& does not want his pumpkin chunk taken away.


The end... I can't wait to get these lit up tomorrow night, I hope it doesn't rain!

Baby II Week 18: Me VS My Cardiovascular System

As of today I'm 18 weeks, I got a little behind in my preggo posts, but now I'm caught up! I'll try to keep it that way.

I took a poll and everyone I talked to agrees that you count the number of official pregnancy pounds gained starting at your pre-pregnancy weight, so as of now I have gained 0 pounds. I like that number much better than 5!

Not much movement yet. I felt Milo at 18 weeks, and I have felt this little one a couple times over the last few weeks, but nothing consistent yet. I'm so excited to feel all that movement again, even the dreaded hiccups that became so annoying! It makes it all so real, like there's a real baby curled up in there!

I'm SO glad that I decided to start running more and doing fewer cardio classes! The classes are great, I love the music and the company, but I don't feel they put enough stress on my cardiovascular system. Even turbo kickboxing only has a few minutes where your heart really gets pumping. Even working out 4 days a week, I was really disappointed that my blood pressure was still high: 140's/90's the last 3 months. Though sculpted calves and arms with minimal squish are important to me, a healthy heart is at the top of my list. So, the last few weeks I've been running 2-3 miles 2-3 times a week, plus weights and maybe a class... and yesterday my blood pressure was 122/65! Much better! I think that my whole body just needs extra punishment to respond to my hard work. It's stubborn. I know that there are other explanations, but I'm going to tell myself it's the running and keep with it.


So, I told Eric I want to do a race. Today I technically ran a little longer than a 5k so I want to do a 5k. Of course because I'm the type of person who decides to do something, then must do it immediately, I wanted to do one in Seaside tomorrow. Eric said no, it was too expensive, so we are looking at races for that are on my birthday! There is a very good chance he will be working (he's taking a job that is 7days a week, 12 hour days!) so if anyone wants to do a 5k with me at the end of November, please let me know! I won't do it alone!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Year Ago Right Now...

A year ago right now I was surrounded by Asian nurses yelling at me to "push like bowel movement" as Eric and I were trying to experience the miracle of birth. My miracle was stuck until 3:37am (over 10 pounds of baby will sometimes do that) but he was worth every stitch he left behind. We love you Milo!

Yes I intend to give this speech every year on his birthday, perhaps just before he blows out the candles, until the day I die or he moves and changes his name.



You can read Milo's birth story and see more pictures here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Under One Roof

So the other night I had a panic attack while thinking about what if MySpace shuts down. Let's be honest, does ANYONE use it? Please shout out if you do so I can put you in a museum, I mean friend you (lies, museum). I was flipping out because I have over four years of blogging on there, and I would hate to lose four years of my thoughts, because I sure as hell didn't store them in my head. Ask me what happened in 2005, I have no idea. So I decided to lose an entire weekend of my life and transfer every one of those blogs (82 in all) to blogger, which I think has more of a future. This would have been much easier if I hadn't decided that it was really cool to not use capitalization for like three years. I think it did go with me, my writing style, and my love affair with stream of consciousness writing at the time (you be the judge), but it drove some people (Amy) crazy. So I went through each one and corrected them.

It was really interesting to read through my progress from newlywed, to divorcée, to party girl, to falling in love with and marrying Eric and now babies. I am so glad for it, even if sometimes I look back and think I was totally off or crazy.

I also gave my blog a face lift. Six hours of html hell, but I finally got it all the way I wanted it. I love it and best of all, now all of my blogs from 2005-2008 are here for you all to see, and protected from the unstable has-been: MySpace.

Monday, October 25, 2010

If You Give a Cori a Cookie

This post is heavy on the pics, so be ye warned! :)

So the house remodel that was supposed to last a year, tops, is now in year three. I'm sure many of you were snickering quietly as I went down my extensive list of changes that we planned to make to the house, and our insane timeline, and I guess now I get the joke!

The hardest part of remodeling a house is the red light, green light stops and go's depending on how much time and money we have. When we have time (when Eric is laid off from his construction job) is when we don't have money, and when we have money he's too busy with work. Then once we finish something, it looks so beautiful, I cringe at the unfinished project beside it. So when the new windows went up, the walls had to be refinished and painted, which just didn't look right until the crown molding went up! The gorgeous new fireplace could not be surrounded by that nasty carpet (which I ripped out by myself in one day!) New doors in the whole house meant new trim and new base boards (which we still don't have) which leads to my next want: A new front door. If you give a Cori a cookie...

I am certainly not unsatisfied with what we have accomplished! As each project is "finished" (they are rarely finished, most are woven into the next) it is such a relief, and the results are rarely (if ever!) a disappointment, I just always want more! Here is my original photo blog from when we first purchased the house in January of 2008. It has pictures of all the rooms before we got our hands on them.

The room I am most proud of is our living room. In case you did not feel like following the link above, this is what it looked like when we purchased it:


Green Light!

Fireplace and ugly wood paneling: Outa Here!




Out with the oddly placed sliding door and in with new windows and French doors.




We took the bricks from the planter box to make the hearth, and used rock from the pond to fill it in. Recycle! Re-use! Save Money!


Red Light!

Do it yourself blunder! When Eric pulled out the old fireplace he removed something that was essential to the structure of the chimney so the gas fireplace company kept going back and forth which kind of fireplace insert we could have (new construction or an insert). After 6 months of being jerked around we found a structural engineer who could give us an answer: new construction.

Green Light!

Fireplace in, hearth in, fan up, walls up... slap some paint on it and order the mantel!

Red Light!

Paint fiasco! The Ace guy suggested the wrong type of primer so when Eric sprayed the paint over it ran! Tons of money and time wasted. Eric was covered in paint, and pissed, and they didn't even give us our money back for the paint/primer. Ace is NOT the helpful place!



Green Light!

New paint, new hearth, carpet out... money out!

We decide the living room is good enough and leave it be until we can afford the crown moulding. We have Milo, holidays happened, we get pregnant again and I decide I can't look at the uneven seams where the ceiling paint and wall paint collide (we were not careful, since the crown moulding would cover them).

Crown molding up! Other than the base boards, this room is done!



We have also finished the dining room, for now, when the kitchen goes in we will remove the wall on the right and put in a bar...



The nursery...





The Office (it's a mess, and needs molding/base boards)...



Our bedroom (needs molding/base boards)...


... which was supposed to be the guest bedroom but we turned our future master bedroom (was the previous owner's den) into the playroom. Here's the playroom...



So... now I want a new front door.


The paint is peeling around this one and if we get a new front door then we can finally put trim up and cover the edges of this paint. I know as soon as Milo discovers it, he will start ripping at it. One of the twins I care for already did, while she was in time out. Who knows what a new door will lead to, but I'm ok with finding out :)

Picture Day! Nevermind... Bag on Head Day!

I'm always waiting for Milo to do something ridiculous, because A. he's a boy, B. he's a baby, and C. because it's always entertaining even if it's inconvenient.

So, we had planned to get some professional pictures of Milo for his first birthday and right one cue, Milo does something ridiculous... and of course his face is involved.



Clearly it's not bothering him! What he did was bite the side of the baby gate and run his mouth back and forth. I watched him do it, it was hysterical, but I never imagined it would leave marks like that. Oh and he's such a drool moster that the area is having a hard time drying and scabbing. It's really wonderful. For a moment I considered doing the pictures and using a little make-up, but then I realized that my husband would never stand for it, Milo would probably drool it off, and I may not be able to respect myself as a mother if I put foundation on my baby.

I guess it is festive, he does make a cute little vampire!

Baby II Week 17: Drama Bean

AH! Ok so I have somehow gained 5 pounds. I'm eating pretty healthy (cake did happened last night, and Starbucks happened on Saturday) but I'm working out and doing my part to be healthy. So, I'm now back to my start weight... wait, so does that mean I've gained 5 pounds or 0? Do you all count the weight you gain back that you lost in your first trimester as apart of your total weight gain? Let me know, because I would like my number to currently be 0 because I would love to gain closer to 25 pounds, definitely not another 40!

Our little bean has been causing quite the ruckus this week. After over a month of feeling amazing, suddenly this week I was experiencing a lot of nausea. I was so sick one night that I couldn't get to sleep until 2:30am, which is pretty rough when you have to get up at 5:30 to work!

My digestive system has also been all over the place. I'm constipated, then I can't get myself out of the bathroom, then constipated again. Perhaps someone is bouncing up and down on my colon or something.

I was reading through my Milo pregnancy blogs and I would definitely say I'm feeling much better this time around. Eric said I'm a lot less whiny, so that's good! I just hope we can keep the all night nausea to a minimum... "Hear that in there?" *pokes belly*

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cori Montage

This is a blog I wrote in 2007, two months after my divorce and two months before Eric and I became engaged. Eric and I (with Milo) recently ran into the man this blog is about in the grocery store. He's now married with a daughter. It was a very full circle moment.

April 3, 2007
There's this guy who comes into the tanning salon about oooh every 3-6 months. He comes in and we sit and talk about our lives for like an hour, then he tans, and leaves. I think he likes to patronize me a little, because he is 32 and I am 22, but I think he is a little intrigued with me as well. He has seen me at a few stages in life, and at each stage I am wholly confidant that I am right where I am supposed to be. It must be interesting to know me in such intense snippets.

At 19, I was engaged and completely rational about my decision, and adamant about hiding any sign of being in love, which wasn't difficult. I talked of making a commitment to be apart of a union that was essential to society, and how marriage organized a secure environment in which to raise children and fostered economic stability and companionship for two people... and I believed that love would just come with time. My friend nodded and applauded my objectivity, knowing I was unmovable in my decision. He tanned, and left.

At 20, I was trying hard to feign that newlywed glow that comes from too much sex and too much happiness, having neither. I was secretly concerned with my position but happiness to me was not rational and therefore I was better without it. I talked of the honeymoon, equal division of gender roles in marriage and society, and my plans to transfer schools soon. My friend nodded and applauded my objectivity, knowing I was unmovable in my position. He tanned, and left.

At 21, I was licking my wounds like a dirty stray cat in an alley that's too proud to know when she's beat. I was alone but completely self-righteous about it. I talked of commitment even in abandonment, pitying those with less self discipline and intelligence and my newly evaluated stance on female submission. My friend nodded and applauded my objectivity, knowing I was unmovable in my condition. He tanned, and left.

At 22, I was and flexing my newly unbridled muscles. I was the wild child college student I was expected to be. I talked of broadening horizons, meaningless sex, and studying abroad. I was young, boys were toys, and "the world was mine oyster, which I with sword will open." My friend nodded and applauded my activity, encouraging the progression of my transition. He tanned, and left.

Today, at 22 and 5 months, I was relaxing in the stillness of genuine happiness. I was void of great philosophies or isms to inflict on those around me. I talked, less... because I had nothing to prove. I had hope in love and a plan. I didn't notice if he nodded or applauded, because I was completely content in my cognition. He tanned and before he left he asked:

"What of love? How can you still believe in it? Doesn't that make you feel foolish?"

Which is when the thought came to me: why is disappointment expected to lead to disenchantment? I suppose those are synonyms, so what I should say is why does temporary disappointment expected to lead to permanent disenchantment or the permanent abandonment of whatever it was that disappointed? Is that what growing up is? A gradual loss of hope?

I smiled as I turned back to the computer screen. "Not at all."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blog it Out

Here's to most likely ruining my career as a mommy blogger in one fell swoop. Buckle your seat belts for an emotional pregnant woman roller coaster, you must be this tall to ride and no refunds. I am not promising a smooth, or even coherent ride.

I saw Sex And The City 2 opening night with some of my best girlfriends in May; tonight Eric and I watched it again, and again it was great! I loved it... save for the scene where Miranda and Charlotte are confessing how hard it is to be a mother, and how their kids drive them crazy but it's all "worth it." When I brought this up after the premiere my head was nearly bit clear off for being anti Charlotte and her struggles.

Sigh... I never know what to do with these women, the Charlottes that is. I have never once thought "this is so hard, but so worth it," except for maybe after pushing 10 pound Milo out. I know every child is different, and mine must be the easiest that has ever been born because I think every moment with him is a joy and I never need a break. The dishes I need a break from, but never him. I hear parents talk about their difficulties all the time. I've worked for these parents and cared for their children for, well... more hours a day than they spend with them themselves. Those problems don't happen with me, or I see a direct link between the parent's actions and the child's negative behavior so when I watch Charlotte overwhelmed in her pantry, crying and falling to pieces I can't help but think that her fussy, difficult children are the result of her poor (or absent or unrealistic) parenting. Are the calm and happy mothers a product of having miraculously calm and happy babies, or are calm and happy babies the product of calm and happy mothers? Very chicken or the egg, isn't it.

The more I think of it the more sad I am when I see parents so disconnected from their babies. They don't know how to communicate with them, what to do with them, and take every opportunity to escape them. Tonight, by the end of SATC2 I was a sobbing mess because all I could think of was how wonderful Milo is, and how sad I am that he's growing up and I'm so terrified I will forget who he is right now - all the silly little things the camera might miss. It's something I think about so much, and try so hard to ignore. None of it is ever "worth it," as if there is some price to pay for it. As far as I'm concerned, I will never have enough time with him. *more tears, Eric just asked if the cat was "making that noise" as I'm sniffling over the keyboard*

I think we have finally come to the place where my life as a nanny has collided with my life as a mother and has left a conflicted, judgmental mess in its wake. There is so much about my job that I have loved. I have worked for wonderful families that have not only had it together, but that I've been able to learn a lot from. Yet as my last official weeks (weekends, actually) of nannyhood come to a close, forever, it's the "worth it" moms, the moms that have it together just enough for pictures and play dates that I think about. As I (totally irrationally, by the way) cry over Milo and my fear that I will forget how precious he is right now, they are in the back of my head. Do they think the same things as I do or are they just surviving today and praying for tomorrow? I don't know.

Maybe I'm just a spoiled brat with my perfect child, once again, I don't know. I admit that I feel like my job as a nanny makes me feel as if I have had an unique insider view into a handful of other parent-child relationships, maybe I don't. When I started this blog and discussed with other mothers whether I would in fact find nannying and parenting much different I was scoffed at for thinking a nanny could know what it's like to parent. That's pretty obnoxious of me, but somehow I think ended up right.

I'm just blogging this all out, much like crying it out only for a blogger. What I'm feeling most is my fear of forgetting Milo as he grows, and just the simple fact that he will grow, Eric and I will get old, and then we will die and leave him. That's best case scenario and I don't love it. Maybe my Charlotte rant is just a feeble attempt at avoiding having to type that out. Maybe I really needed to get both out to sleep soundly tonight. Probably... well, thanks for the therapy session, add it to my tab.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Boob Man


So today I'm wearing a super cute red lacy bra, with a stretchy black tank and a zip up.

Even when Milo was being breastfed, he was not big on grabbing at my shirt and going for the goods on his own. I'm actually quite sure he never did it. He was a pincher though, and would pinch me the whole time he would be nursing. He'd usually have one hand on my side fat and one on my boob, pinching away. Eric said he didn't blame him. LOL... thanks.

Now onto my outfit today. All morning long Milo has been crawling up to me, pulling my tank down under my bra, then crawling away like a little perverted criminal. Sometimes he'll stop long enough to play with the lace, or pinch me (which he just started again yesterday) then makes his escape. It's seriously hysterical, though I hope he out grows it before college.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

One Small Step For Girl.... (or, I'm a Big Brave Dog)


I sincerely hope that I write this blog and hundreds of women come out of the woodwork saying "I've felt the same way!" or "I think that all the time!" Or maybe not, because I'm about to admit how immature I can be and how often I think about what other people are thinking.

I have a stupid girly confession that put together, mature women should not have. Hey, maybe they don't, and that's why I'm me and they are them. For the past four years I have changed my running route so that I don't run past my exhusband's parent's house. I know, it's stupid, like by running by their house they are going to think I'm stalking them and like not over their son or something. I don't even know, I just feel like there is an invisible wall of where Salinas becomes "their space" and where Salinas is "my space." I would feel the same, I'm sure, if my ex still lived in town even though I would have no problem seeing him or his parents, no ill will at all.

However, the problem is that their house is at the corner of my favorite running loop. I will often times stop a few blocks short of their place and turn, but tonight I had just gotten off the phone with a friend who was talking about how she wont even comment on a facebook thread that her ex's wife comments on, and how she will avoid driving by his house when she is in town. They've been split up for 10 years, we both know this behavior is totally irratonal and stupid. We decided that "they" probably don't even think about us and we are not even on their radar.

So, in light of the conversation I had just had, and knowing that the amount of time I've thought about NOT passing their house would probably NEVER amount to the amount of time they would spend on me if they even happen to see me, I decided to be a big girl and complete my run as if I wasn't thinking about whether I was passing their house or not. I know, this is so stupid, I can't even believe I'm admitting this.

I'm deciding all this as I'm running. I'm about 30 minutes into my run with 15 to go and I get to their corner. I'm mature, I don't think about what other people are thinking, I'm not a stalker and I don't care about the fact that I'm red, sweaty, and pregnant. Remember the show Rugrats when Chuckie would chant "I'm a big, brave dog. I'm a big, brave dog" when he was doing something scary? That's basically what I'm doing. I'm about to turn and there is someone knocking on their door. Realizing that they were probably going to come out (oh and of course think I'm stalking them) to greet the person, I decide to turn the other way. About 5 seconds later I realize I can't get home this way and I have to turn around again, just in time for them to be in their front yard. Awesome. I run past, they probably had no idea, and at this point I'm really just trying to not laugh at myself because I know I'm crazy, and because I know I have to call my friend before I even finish my run so we can both relish in how stupid we can be, but how fun it kinda is.

Craigslist Karma

I love craigslist, it is seriously a 1000 times better than ebay. If I find something I want I can call the person up and usually check it out in person that day. It's great for those who need immediate gratification, like myself.

I've been stalking the Baby & Kid Stuff forum for equipment for the daycare. On my wish list I had a playhouse, an easel, a slide, a picnic table, a play kitchen, and books in good condition. The playhouse was one of the first that I had found: a Little Tikes Magic Doorbell Playhouse, which retails for $250. It was located in San Jose, cost only $80, and I was told it was in good condition. The photo looked great, so I sent Eric up to San Jose to pick it up.

Eric picked it up and I called him as soon as I thought he may be home (I was nannying). I asked him if it looked good and he said yes, but it looked like a dog had chewed the door. I asked him how bad and he said there was a hole. I imagine some dents and a puncture. Not this:


I'm pretty sure I could lose a small child down that cavern. Eric has assumed I knew about the hole and was ok with it. Oh and instead of using a screw driver like a normal human being to detach the roof, they just tore it off, ripping the plastic so it won't sit down right. That we can fix, but the door? I did check the Little Tikes website and they don't sell replacement doors.

I was definitely upset, but what could I do? I sent the lady a slightly nasty email, I told her I was disappointed with the playhouse and that I felt she purposefully misrepresented the condition. To her defense she did post a picture, but I don't think most people would be able to tell there is a huge hole in the door. I took another picture myself, and I only notice the door because I know about it.


So, put this playhouse up for sale (maybe someone could get creative with the door, or wouldn't care) and started looking for another playhouse. On my first search I found a Little Tikes Log Cabin for $100. It's twice as big as the first playhouse, and retails for $399.99, I've seen it listed for over $500. I offered her $85.

She took it! We picked it up in Carmel Valley that afternoon and had it cleaned up and put together that evening! Immediate Craigslist good karma! It's in nearly perfect condition, there is a small stain on the table inside and it's missing the phone, no biggy. I still love it!


Now to sell that other one... anyone want it?

Baby II Week 16: I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly


How creepy is the cover of this book? Gross. Anyhow, I skipped the fly and just swallowed the spider. Two weeks sooner than with Milo I'm feeling a little spider wriggling around in my tummy, especially at night if I'm laying on my stomach. I know it's gross and weird for me to describe the little baby miraculously growing in me as a spider, but that is exactly what it feels like and I'm not going to tell my child it has to behave a certain way for it to be amazing. Spider or not, it's way cool if you ask me.

Week 16 finds me slow but other than that I'm feeling great. I definitely need my sleep, and if I get less than 8 hours I (and everyone around me) pay for it. I've been a little lazy about the gym, that might be why I gained another pound and a half this week... more than I would have liked. I'm going to start running more. I love bootcamp, but there's a lot of floor work (mountain climbers, burpees, pushups) and those all give me horrible heartburn and make me light headed. I think kickboxing and runs are going to be my best bet, anything where I stay mainly upright.

I took a couple 16 week pictures for you all to marvel at. I probably should have put some makeup on, sorry about that... just don't look above the belly.



Have Your Pie & Eat it Too

I decided this year I would make a pie, something I have never done. Since I've been on a pumpkin kick I decided to go with a pumpkin pie, and hey, why don't we do it completely from scratch... like with a pumpkin and everything.

I had no clue how much pumpkin you actually get out of a pumpkin, so I picked the biggest sugar pie pumpkin I could find, collected my ingredients... and made sure the smoke alarm had batteries.


Then I murdered the pumpkin. At one point my knife got stuck so I slammed the pumpkin on the floor, not thinking about the seed explosion that would likely follow.



Then I steamed the pumpkin in the microwave. I thought baking it would be more festive, but that takes 90 minutes and this took 10.


While the pumpkin steamed I worked on the crust. I'm always surprised by how little water it calls for and I'm always tempted to add more. I resisted.


Steamed pumpkin does not smell amazing. I held my breath, scooped and blended.



I combined my ingredients and poured it into the crust. It was much thinner than I expected, very watery. It sloshed around on the crust. Oh well. Into the oven.



Success! In the future I would use Pillsbury crust though because it tastes amazing and this crust was very meh. I'd be a little more careful about not sloshing the filling around as it burned on the crust, and I would prepare to bake five pies instead of one because that's how much pumpkin glop my pumpkin made.



Recipe:

Filling:
1 pie pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3 cups cooked pumpkin
1.5 cans (12oz each) of evaporated milk

Crust:
1.5 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/6 cup COLD vegetable shortening
1/3 cup COLD butter
1/4 cup cold water

Filling: Cut pumpkin and remove seeds, you can leave the skin on. Cook, scoop, and puree. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Preheat the oven at 425 F.

Crust: Mix the flour, sugar, salt, butter and shortening til they look like peas or little rocks. Sprinkle on the water, chill for 30 minutes or so and then roll out.

Pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then bake at 350 F for 45 to 60 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the pie comes out clean.

Then, eat the whole pie, ours lasted about a day.