Wrinkly Red Banana Baby, Sacrificial Choco-bunny, and the Pesach Party:

Halfway through the gestational gallivant(!!), Baby Fonzarelli McButternut Banana sprouted cheese and started eavesdropping on her madly moving parents. House deals closed with a clatter of tinkling jade and moving boxes. Mombossas convalesced with aching gums, while the DINKS-to-soon-not-be said goodbye to two blissful years of newlywededness and ascended to old-married right before the baby baccharole. 

In Week 21, the ovens rumble and the heat get high. Moving madness mixes with holidaze happies, as family traditions are swapped and banquests burble. Red-wrinkly skinned banana babies get their first taste of bitter herb and charoset with a heart L'chaim! Bunnies are laid in their peepy supulchres for rebirth to once more yield hearty meals and sadly stunted appetites. Amid the joy and jubilation, little troubles stir. But are they gas, baby kicks, or a bad case of the G(ee)-I(-hate-this-rampager) virus?

New Home Hippety Hop Hurrahs And the inevitably post-move lurgies

We have spent over 24 hours living in our very own (W)right Family Castle/Condo! Two nights! Two breakfasts! One full day and a couple of evenings on either side. I christened the place thoroughly yesterday with a new dish strainer, some shower curtains and a whole lot of vegetables. The new place is now comfortably padded with Adella-aura!

I was pretty excited to be able to stop by Trader Joe's on the way home. Between our new location and the decline of the Canadian dollar, that's actually not a bad option anymore. I got slightly cheaper eggs and kefir (recently tried it for the first time and find it oddly addicting after the initial "what the heck is this?"), and can see buying some of their frozen foods over other brands. It won't be my only go-to store, but finally being able to shop at a Bellingham TJ's was an untold and surprising treat. As was coming home and chop chop chopping all my beautiful fresh produce! 

We are not, of course, fully situated. We've unpacked almost entirely, but there remains to be some serious figuring out of feng shui and fandangos when it comes to some of our rooms. Andrew still has the floor project in the bike dungeon and until that floor is handled, he can't move all the stuff intended for that area from the other basement room where things are staged. By staged I mean "haphazardly piled in a potpourri of furniture and untold objects." There may be an ancient Egyptian tomb down there, we're not positive yet. 

We haven't quite decided on the orientation of the couch in our ground level non-dining-non-kitchen space of the mostly open floor plan. We have a sofa, but it's not how it will ultimately be oriented. And our upstairs library/media room currently has a couch diagonally strewn across its middle with a coffee table and a laptop serving as our multimedia center. Since we don't have internet (story to ensue), we've taken a break from the Angel/Buffy spree and have been watching the commentary on my Firefly DVDs. It's in theme. And very entertaining. 

So, internet... we might. Just might (but probably not) break free of the Comcast tyranny. Fingers crossed. We tried to work with them. For several hours. They were going to charge us fifty dollars to "move" our service. Which is stupid. And they were purportedly - after much conversation - going to keep us on the same plan. But apparently they changed their borg-like-corpo-mind between Andrew's first conversation with them and the confirmation email that we received about the "install" appointment. I guess our "promotional period" was up (uh huh), so they decided to upgrade us for an "internet enhancement" charge or something asinine. 

When Andrew called a second time, they verified that we could change our plan back to a less expensive lower speed one, BUT we had to have the "install"  happen first. Meaning we'd be all set up and committed and out fifty bucks and then we would probably (this being Comcast) be informed that we couldn't actually switch and we were now signed up for the hyperspeed XFINITY PLUSAROOupgrade for $400 a month! Bundled. With phones we have to use every day or we'll be fined. Something like that. 

So we cancelled. 

We might have to open a new account with them*. Apparently this would be the only way to sign up for the cheaper/slower service initially. But we might also have a lead on a service the maybe just maybe would be our NOT-COMCAST shining light. It's equivalent to the slightly slower package from Comcast, with cheaper installation, and not Comcast

I told Andrew I'm pretty well ready to give up netflix and streaming radio and whatever else needs actually functioning internet to never deal with those jerks again. I really am happy with a radio, my phone, and my dvds.

Fingers crossed!

*Update from the future: Comcast came crawling back and just like the stereotype goes, we took 'em. Somehow, we now had a $6 install fee and a grossly cheaper "lower speed" package that seems to work just as well as what we had previously except we don't need to keep a comcast tv box in our living room as some kind of token symbol of the amazing DEAL we never wanted but had to take to keep our internet previously. 

In other customer service nightmare sagas, we had a few rematches with the Sears/Sole/Nordictrack/Icon-Fitness hora o' horrors. After about two and a half hours, we established (1) the treadmill is not actually one of the ones contracted out to Icon, despite several misleading insistences that they were from all the other phone centers and Icon itself, (2) Nordictrack is useless, (3) Sole cannot absolutely cannot fix a Sole F-80 if there's a warranty, even if the customer wants to waive that warranty to just get somebody out to look at the damned thing, (4) but turns out that actually according to Sears, there is no warranty so they won't be fixing it and... (5) Sole will be out today. But they're already running late. 

I'm not 100% optimistic, but it does seem like this might be progress. I've already been looking for replacement treadmills. Just in case.*

* Update from the future - a guy showed up, waved a magic treadmill wand over the whole thing, determined that (1) the treadmill needed both a new motor and a new motor controller, (2) despite his complete skepticism the motor is under warranty, (3) the treadmill will purportedly be fixed on April 16th.  

Anyways, Hubba-hubba and I are both feeling the craziness of the move now. I've just been kind of tired and headachey. Andrew was so off last night that he didn't eat his dinner. This is unprecedented. He had stomach ick, tension headache, achey everything... droopy eyes... just not looking well. When I thought maybe he just didn't like the dinner very much (shockingly and accidentally I had oversalted it, for once), I suggested freezing it for future rehab and reheating some pizza. He turned that down too! This morning, he says he feels slightly better, but still hadn't barely touched his (usually gulped) first cup of coffee or his breakfast when I left. 

We'll see about date night tonight. 

It might be a white rice, eggs, and more Firefly kinda evening!

This weekend should be a little wild, with Andrew's mum and Tom2 (the soon to be "my mother-in-law's husband" relation to myself) flying out tomorrow evening. Saturday will be an experience for me: Andrew and Lisa are going to do the Seder dinner for us. I haven't done Seder since I was a little girl in one of my church enrichment classes. I'd love that to be a tradition for our daughter. And of course Easter is the next day and my father and I are putting together a lateish lunch for us, Andrew & his fam, and some family friends. The day after is actually our second (holy crap) wedding anniversary, but we're not going to celebrate until a bit later somehow. Unless collapsing on our weirdly placed diagonal couch counts as feting! 

I am excited, but I wish we could put the holidaze on hold for about two weeks of just staring at walls. Though really, we still have plenty left to do this weekend beyond the celebrating that we'd probably do instead. 

Nonetheless, the big haul has happened. We are on our way to family home settling and awesomeness! Nesting commences SOON!!

Banana-Beastie and the Red-Wrinkled Carrots

Well, I'm over the hump and into the bump and decidedly onto WEEK 21 (drinks are on me!!! Literally, I probably just spilled them on myself, because I am kind of that clumsy these days, and I've finally started sometimes hitting things with my wee little bump-tummy)!!

The produce similes ebb and flow, but this week we're down to two intended to describe something about 11 inches long: baaahnaaaaaaaanaaaaaaaaa!!!(presumably, a slightly larger one than last week), and carrot (which is less fun to say, but always fun to eat). 

As I enjoy both of these items of produce on a quotidian basis, I'm happy with either. As - hopefully - shall be my little Fonzarelli. Because apparently she now tastes what I taste. Well, sort of. My amniotic fluid... the stuff she lives, pees, and bathes in? Well, she also eats it and derives some nutrition from it. And now, poor soul, she's got taste buds. Yep, babies eat pee water! Apparently, my amniotic fluid shifts sapor depending on what I've been eating. I guess there's even a correlation between the taste of amniotic fluid and future food preferences for babies. My little one is going to leap from the womb demanding dark chocolate and peanut butter I think! But possibly also some carrots and a banana (mmm and kale and cabbage and onion and... man I had a tasty salad last night, although the banana was not a part of that salad). 

And all that eating will apparently contribute towards some good old fashioned fattening up. She's a bit of the creepy skinny side right now. Particularly creepy, because her skin is red, translucent and all wrinkled to provide space for the fat to fill out. Adorable, huh? 

Me? Same old, same old. Ruddy skin as well! Lower back, veins any day, stomach ripping as it stretches beyond craziness, edema, allergies etc. etc.  Yawn and yeegah!

I have been advised to keep my activity mild and to continue gaining weight with my little wee one. Oh and to elevate my feet whenever I sit. Preferably on the backs of bowing peons while another few fan me!

But life goes on. Rapidly. And madly. This is truly a month of changes. 

Not only am I bursting a new little alien in my brand new condo, but the office is CHANGING! Hugely! Since my mom-bossa is planning to retire in about a year, she gave the green light to seek out other work for our trusty paralegal/office worker. And boy did she! Leslie sailed through an interview process with a job that just sounds about perfect for her. After some haggling, she got the wage offer up to acceptable and will be leaving here two weeks from today. Surreal. 

Hard to imagine. I of course am mixed between excitement, sadness, panic, and some misplaced nesting instincts in which her office will soon become the new nursery and play room for my shriveled rubicund banana baby. Every office needs a trampoline and a swing, right?

I think I'll deal with all the emotional stuff the last week. Denial is a fun thing. But boy is it going to be different without the Number Two who has been at my mom's side since I was a gross and awkward teenager.

And our crazy weekend of family fun begins this evening. Well, I'll be asleep probably by the time the festivities begin. But Andrew will be picking up his mum and not-exactly-step-dad-to-be at the Seattle airport this evening. We are hoping and praying that Andrew's ailment clears up. He keeps claiming to feel better, but I dunno. He didn't eat dinner at all on Wednesday, didn't eat all of his lunch yesterday, ate his intentionally bland mound of couscous and eggs very slowly last night, and was still pecking at his oatmeal this morning before I finally had to leave. Usually he inhales food at a shocking rate. And, well, he just doesn't look quite recovered and has been sleeping very poorly. 

This would be a real bummer of a time to have a stomach bug. Two major holidays completely centered around communal eating. Back to back! 

Fingers crossed. 

As one might see, April is not going to settle down nearly as much as anticipated. But with a boogeying banana baby slurping up my leftovers, I guess I couldn't really anticipate such things. 

At least there will be fun and family and love all in between!

Happy Easter! 

Quite the busy weekend with the mother in law and future semi-step father in law coming out for a whirlwind holiday tour of the new location with bonus gift tons of holiday groceries, a Seder plate and a meal to feed the twelve tribes of Israel. 

these are just the leftovers

Not to mention preparations for my own family tradition of Easter lunch. I snuck off from one kitchen Bacchanalia to another yesterday. Both with more than their share of food processing favorites and the fresh pique of horseradish. So very much tasty food.

We celebrated Seder last night Gelfand style, which was less formal than the one I've been to before easily more fun. I rather prefer the eggplant and hardboiled egg substitute to actual chopped liver (an Ottolenghi recipe, I am told). I've had some time to reflect and I'm realizing that it's like a really tasty version of an egg salad sandwich - a combination of onion, hard boiled eggs and sauteed eggplant chunks. 

And we went with a roasted beet to a bloody lamb shank to still my quivering vegetarian heart.

The whole affair was quite a blast and hopefully the beginning of an ongoing tradition in some form or other. One with familial character and maybe a little less wine and strange meat. We took turns reading from a haggadah that came from the internets. It was entertaining for featuring modern little takes and twists (like a page devoted to twitter tweets about something or a Guinness Book of World Records entry on the largest Matza ever made). 

Today it's Easter time! The ritual bunny sacrifice had been prepared but there are also five other potential desserts from the sound of it.

In horrible timing-land, Andrew the garbage disposal had seemed to be so sick as to have no appetite all week. He rallied last night though and ate as much as maybe normal people eat, which is light for him, but something. Hoping that's an actual rally and not just holiday stubbornness and full denial.  

Easter Monkeys with the Bunnies? An Easter Monday Recovery Recapish

Whew! That was fun. And exhausting. Andrew's still sick, possibly a bit more so for all the revelries (not that he'd ever own to that, Mr. Stoic "I think I'm getting better" every day). I woke up coughing with a dripping nose and throat more thoroughly grated than all that horseradish root we used up this weekend. And I, for one, am simultaneously ready for a really nice normal week at work (one of our last, as Leslie's last day is next Friday) and ready to go Andrew's route and plead "sick day". 

Yeah, he's definitely staying home today. Thank goodness. He left some ambiguity last night, but it was pretty clear this morning. Really actually clear by the middle of another sleepless and suffering night. I left him some eggs and matza (talk about BRAT friendly food), and trudged off to work. The sleep will probably do him well. I could use a little extra myself. I rarely sleep until the alarm starts up, but I slept quite soundly into that lights and chirping bird this morning. 

But back to the fun part that got us here. My first family Seder on Saturday. I'm overwhelmed at the energy Lisa and Tom put into it and really enjoyed the communal aspect of reading the haggadah explanations and prayers in turns. I really would like to pass this tradition on to our kiddo just as I want to pass our family traditions down to her. So it may be the first of many. 

But tit-for-tat: the Gelfands share a family holiday tradition with me, I get to share one with them! Easter brunch!! WHOOOOOO! And yes, it's always an event for me and my father, even if just the two of us attend. 

This year, I was very pleased to introduce family friends George and Linda to Lisa and Tom. Lisa and Linda just seemed like they really ought to know each other. And they did get along swimmingly. So well that I think they almost forget to keep watch on the time for getting to the airport. 

My traditional role, of course, was hostess and that meant setting up the table, engineering the centerpiece dessert (we didn't eat the bunny effigy, but soon honors students at WWU definitely will set upon it and its peep attendants), and a lot of cooking. My dad and I are very similar in our kitchen approaches: concoct some novel idea for an element of a dish, build up some conceit around that element, totally eyeball it, improvise erratically several times during the process, and wind up with something we mostly actually really like. Express joy and surprise and a little shock. Eat. Repeat.

Our experiments this year were our oh-so-gentle-gentile nods to traditional Seder foods. Mostly horseradish, in the form of a sauce that ended up much more of a sandwich spread in my opinion, and charoset. The horseradish sauce was vegan, since Andrew and his mom are lactose intolerant and I like that kind of thing anyways. Cashews being the main basis for mixing with the horseradish. We were going to drizzle it over steamed broccoli, but we ended up more like clumping it. It was tasty though.

Our charoset (a symbolic paste of fruits and nuts symbolizing mortar used making bricks when the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, and to be eaten in a sandwich with unleavened bread and "bitter herb") was apparently a Sephardic version. 
The night before we had a more genuine Ashkenazi with apples and walnuts and wine. This one was a bunch of dried fruits, pecans, and almonds with ginger, and apple sauce, and cinnamon. It was pretty good. I'd eat that on bread instead of PB&J!

 We did kind of go off script and pair it with sourdough bread from Avenue Bread. Pretty tasty, although it was a lighter sourdough. I'd have prefer really strong sourdough. 

My dad also did something BBQ related with lamb that everyone who eats meat thought was incredible. I could not speak to it, but it was gobbled up! And Linda brought a very tasty asparagus salad that hit the absolute spot for me. And because you can't have easter without plenty of egg dishes, I made a egg cup that consisted of eggs, cottage cheese, mozarella, chives, tarragon, and spinach. I could eat those pretty much any time. 

Dessert ended up being several options: (1) mixed berries (for me, since I don't like added sugars mostly); (2) lactose free vanilla ice cream for the lactose intolerant of our party; (3) regular vanilla, just in case somebody had a problem with delactated ice-cream; (4) a gluten free chocolate something just in case somebody was GF; (5) a gluten free coconut chocolate something just in case somebody was GF and liked coconut?; (6) a gluten heavy, sugary, lactosey yam cake with cream cheese dressing just to balance the rest out. 

The lactose free ice cream actually turned out to be better than the regular. At least in terms of ingredients being fairly unterrifying (the regular featured propylene glycol fairly early on the list, for instance). And pretty much all the desserts were a hit. 

Although Andrew was still notably sick, he ate about as much as a normal person's "a lot." That is almost a diet for him, but I'm glad he got to taste everything anyways. Not so sure his body was thrilled with him afterwards, though. If this keeps up, the poor man is going to turn into a skeleton. At least he's not able to do his crazy workouts right now either. 

Anyways, that's what we ate. Because this is the internet. And that's part of the internet mandate right?? 

Lisa and Tom are back home (we hope, they left last evening) after a whirlwind visit. I'm sure they'll be back somewhat soon if Linda has her way!

And Andrew and I are convalescing in our separate ways. Hopefully his way includes getting non-Comcast internet set up, because I've started edging towards maxing out my abstemious cellular data plan this month!

Happy Easter Monday!

Hope your holidays were wonderful and you have some time to recover now!

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