Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This and That

I think I need to come to terms with the fact that this blog is just going to be about my baby for awhile.  I spend lots of time on the internet looking at beautiful fashion and glorious food, but for right now the only thing I want to blog about is Ori...I am 24/7 baby for right now...it may change later on, but for now I'm just going to surrender...

So,  speaking of the little devil himself..here's a few new shots from this weeks adventures..we've started some post-natal mama & bebe yoga and it's got everyone in a good mood these days..

Friday, November 18, 2011

Your Story

 Dearest Ori,

You are 8 weeks old today, oh my, how fast time goes.  You are already SO big!  You are almost the length of the bathtub and changing mat we've been using..if this growth rate keeps up, soon you won't fit in the bed!  Our miniature Barcelona apt is bursting at the seams.  Everyday I stare at you and it's hard to believe with all that you've grown you actually came out of me.  But you did, and this is your story..

The only thing I knew for certain about labor was that there was no way to know what was to come until it came.  During my pregnancy I talked to you, tried to prepare both of us for what was to come.  I told you not to be afraid, that we would do it together, and the quicker the better- boy did you listen!

I woke up on Thursday morning feeling pretty good.  I was a little crampy, but with no signs that this was happening anytime soon.  We were waiting, patiently.  My mucous plug had come out over the previous couple of days and I had a little bit of bloody show as well, so I knew things were starting, but there were no contractions and I felt more or less the same as I had over the last few weeks-- tired, huge and overheated! I had let my midwife know the day before that there were some early signs of things getting going, but that there was nothing else of interest happening.  On that Thursday morning our obstetrician, Arianna, called to let us know that our midwife was at another birth so we should called her directly in the event that things were to get going that day.  I laughed her off, telling her that I felt fine, a little of this and that, but without any serious action. 

"The Plan" was to labor at home as much as possible once labor started and then go to the hospital once labor had advanced enough, but not too much since I'd had a positive strep B culture and would need to get IV antibiotics at least 4 hours before you were born.  The antibiotics were by far my least favorite part of your birth, but it was either take them or risk having you picked at and poked once you were out which wasn't my second choice either.

 My mom came over from the apartment that she was staying in and and we all had lunch together.  We ate salad and Andrea made toast. I was feeling more crampy, and looking back on it now, I was having a few sporadic contractions.  All the books say that labor often starts and stops for first timers, so I didn't say anything to anyone, I just breathed and kept eating my salad.  If only I had known what was to come, I may have chosen a more labor appropriate meal.

I was still snacking post lunch...sneaking a  few little bites of ice cream from the freezer.. and your dad and I were casually chatting about some things we needed around the house so we decided that we would take a trip to the hardware store that afternoon.  Everybody says that walking helps along labor, so we thought it would be a good way to encourage things to get going.  But as I was setting up the first parts of the crib (still in the box!), I started not to feel so good.  More cramps and some tightening in my belly.  Your Nana and auntie Drea had gone to the beach to soak up the last few rays of September sun, and your dad was finishing the last few articles for the newspaper he was working for.  One too many bites of ice cream I thought, so I decided to lay down for a bit to rest before going out to run errands. 

I had a few more contractions and started to think that maybe we should be timing these, nah, it's early I said to myself.  I still didn't think that this was it.  My mom called to check in and we talked for a bit until I had the biggest contraction yet and had to hang up.  This was at about 5pm at which point I felt the urge to use the bathroom.  I sat down and proceeded to have 2 or 3 more intense contractions one right after another.  I told your dad to hand me my phone to time them.  They started coming stronger and faster and with more intensity.  1, 2, 3...10 contractions. Lasting each a minute, with about 2-3 minutes between them.  But aren't they supposed to come every 5 minutes before things get real? This is going to stop and start I thought.  I was seriously uncomfortable at this point. Your dad called Arianna and she told us to call back in an hour to see how things were progressing.  Somewhere in the middle of all these contractions my mom and sister returned from the beach, your nana took one look at me and said, you need to go to the hospital, now! I wasn't thinking rationally at that point, the pain was so intense and it was all happening so fast that I didn't know what I needed.  All I could do was sit on the toilet, clutching a roll of toilet paper in one hand and a plastic tub in the other. About 40 minutes went by and Lorenzo called the Arianna again, at which point we all realized that "the Plan" to labor at home had already happend and now it was time to go to the hospital...Nana went downstairs and in her broken spanglish tried to stop at least one taxi with people riding in it, they looked at her like she was crazy and kept on going.  She did managed to hail two cabs though and I waited for the last contraction to pass before attempting to make it down the stairs.  Your dad and I rode in one cab and your auntie and nana in another. I needed space, so I rode alone in the back with your dad in the front passenger seat.  I sat there, with my roll of toilet paper holding my head up and the plastic tub breathing through the contractions as best I could.  I have no idea what it must have looked like, at rush hour, desperately clutching a roll of toilet paper next to my face...The exhaust fumes from all the motos on Avenida Diagonal almost killed me, but I still remember how wonderful the wind felt on my face.  The car ride was pretty much unbearable with all the start and stop through traffic, I just concentrated on breathing and somehow we arrived...at the front visitors entrance.  The thought of getting back in the cab to go around the block was too much to take so we decided to unload there.  Your dad opened the door for me and I looked at him like, do you really think I am going to WALK? "Wheelchair, please". Once inside  I asked for water, but the nurses on call wouldn't give me any.  They were talking about epidurals etc.  I begged, "please I don't want an epidural, I want water!". After awhile they relented and gave me water. The nurse on call was having trouble getting the IV in place for the antibiotic, but after a few tries she got it. I felt a rush of heat when the drip started and I went and sat on the toilet again.  When I dreamt of this moment I had imagined showers and massages to get through the pain, but in the end I didn't want to be touched, the only thing I wanted was to sit on the toilet holding my roll of toilet paper.

I started to make sounds with each contraction, I felt like an animal.  Making this sound was the only way to deal with the pain. Your dad was nervous, I could tell, but he kept it together and did exactly what I asked him to do...not to touch me or tell me how great I was doing, just to be there, to lean on and silently support me. Since we were doing things a little differently than most births at this hospital, they moved us to a more private room.  Although from what my mom said afterward, she and my sister and the entire nursing staff were with us during the birth.  I was so loud nobody on the floor could have ignored me.  Arianna checked me and said I was at 3 or 4cm dilated and 100% effaced.  From what I had read I knew that meant it if I relaxed this could all happen very fast.

The room lights were dimmed and I moved from the toilet to a low stool by the side of the bed.  I held on to the bedside railing for the next few hours.  The next day I realized I had bruises on my forearms from how tightly I had hung on to that thing.  At some point not long after moving from the bathroom to the stool I started to push, almost involuntarily.  It wasn't that I had a huge urge, it was just my body that started encouraging me to do so.  Arianna checked me and I was at 9,5cm. 

I pushed and pushed and we could see a little patch of blond, but that was the only thing we saw for a good while..you were stuck and wouldn't budge.  Your heartbeat stayed strong though so I kept on pushing.  At one point we tried to hear your heartbeat and couldn't and everyone in the room got really quiet and scared, your dad especially, but once I changed positions there you were again.  I got up on the bed and at that point everybody started to cheer me on, and I pushed and I roared and I pushed some more, I turned onto my side and all of a sudden your little head slid out.  Your dad was really excited, babbling all sorts of hoorahs and I felt huge relief.  One more push and out you slid with a gush of liquid.  You came out pooping! They lifted you into my arms and you looked at me with those huge blue eyes of yours.  You were gurgling from all the amnoitic fluid still in your lungs and looking a little bewildered.  It was a moment unlike any other.  Your dad hugged Arianna and came over to meet you.  I held you.  Seeing your face for the first time all sweet and wide eyed was probably the most vivid moment I've ever lived.  You took your time, but finally let out a yelp and proceeded to cry and cry and cry for the next hour.  Your hand had been up by your head when you came out and we're pretty sure the shock sent you reeling...but you settled down after that and took to nursing like a champ.

You were born on Sept 22, 2011 at 23:48, weighing in at 3kg 927grms (8lbs, 7oz).   I fell in love with you the instant I saw you and everyday I fall a little more..



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oricito! Welcome to the world!

Since almost a month has past since I last posted here, it can only be logical to assume that the impending arrival, arrived! Welcome to the world Ori, you are glorious and precious and so overwhelmingly adored already.  You came into the world weighing a whopping 8lb, 7oz.  Your birth was fast and furious and the most amazing thing I've ever done....you are just 1 day shy of 4 weeks and you are already starting to coo, oh! what fun...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baby Shower

My mums and sister arrived last week and not only did they bring a ton of stuff, they also brought a ton of energy.  Together with Lorenzo they organized an impromtu surprise baby shower for me...it was SO wonderful...mostly because of all the people who came.  It was so nice to have one last night out with friends and family before Ori arrives, and I was truly touched by all the love.  We ate little tapas and toasted with champagne....well, I drank water, but that's beside the point...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I may not be the best at keeping up with my belly shots, but I've definitely been busy with other things.  I saw these the other day and they made swoon...in that baby shower sort of 'ohhhh so cute' sort of way so I decided to make some too.  They were a little more work than I planned since I didn't have a whole punch and used a traditional leather maker's tool to make the holes to thread the upper, but it was worth it...I just hope they fit..for at least a few weeks!

40 weeks

I'm not sure if it's because September feels more like August this year or what, but I've been lacksidasical about pretty much everything lately...the heat and the end of days pregnancy exhaustion has pretty much overtaken me..the seasons are changing though and the hot and humid nights are turning crisper and cooler.  I am starting to feel tightening in my belly, which can only mean a certain someone is pondering his debut.  I wish we had been more strict with our weekly photography, but alas we weren't...we didn't want to miss this week though as we are now officially 40 weeks in and wondering when the show will finally begin!

We're pretty much all belly here....papa included, although his sympathy belly is not really looking so sympathetic...


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Textiles, Oh My!

I've been collecting things over the last few months.  A lot stuff I've bought online in the States, and I'm waiting for my mums to arrive with my sister to see it all in person...and some other stuff I've had sent directly to Barcelona, or we've bought it here in Europe.  Everything is so much more expensive here it seems so we've taken advantage of the fact that I have family coming over for the birth (we hope they make it! Ori, no suprises--please!)..which is ominously approaching!  We are T-minus 19 days to expected D-date....cannot believe it, am so not ready, and so ready all at once.  My back is hurting in more places than before, my ankles get sore when I walk, and I have an old injury in my foot which has gotten inflamed for no apparent reason...I know, some whine with my cheese-please!  It's simply become apparent that although my body has been a superstar throughout these last almost 9 months, it is starting to wear a little thin...it is ever so subtle, but I feel my body saying ok, we're getting ready for a new era here...hold onto your hats! I think I will go have another cup of that rasberry leaf tea right about now... 

SO the idea is to make some sheets with these babies, although I am also considering a crib bumber as well...the issue is principally the crib...it's been a bit of a hassle (read:nightmare) since we wanted a very specific make and model which we ended up ordering from Germany...we wanted to cosleep, but since Lorenzo and I already fight for space in our tiny double bed, we decided that a sidecar crib was the way to go, and they are not so common in Spain.  We are still waiting for it to arrive and thus with it's odd shape, I didn't dare cut the above adorable fabric until I have a chance to make a pattern of the shape...it's just that, I fear we may have a baby before the crib and then who knows about those sheets...alas, I am practicing acceptance of the things I cannot control at this point.

I am super excited however about another little gem that did arrive, also from Germany, the other day..

our Didymos carrier that I've been pining over for the last 9 months...I hemmed and hawed about whether to buy it our not since they are so pricey...but then I realized I couldn't get it off my mind, so I ordered it from their factory seconds...in theory it has minor defects, but I honesty haven't noticed anything wrong with it so far...

And then there's this little guy...we bought one of these rattles for Lor's niece when she was born a few years back and she absolutely loved it.  It has the nicest soothing sound and the designs are hilarious... The above rooster came in a care package from my mum along with a bunch of fuzzibunz diapers--ay! cloth diapering..perhaps that deserves its own post all together....in a land of line drying and hard water we are simply hoping for the best...

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Portland Collection from Pendelton

There is some amazing textiles coming from the Portland Collection by Pendelton...I am so in love with their modern take on ethnic design...amazing, great, amazing!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Upside Down Plum Cake

I've been craving cakes...all kinds...anything bready and on the sweet side...So I made this the other day..

...Although maybe not the prettiest, it was a pretty perfect cake..you could add more sugar than I did if you like your cakes on the sweeter side...this recipe had more of a subtle sweetness and tart thing going for it..it was buttery and moist and paired perfectly with a little bit of greek yogurt at breakfast.  Or you could just eat a little slice everytime you pass by the kitchen..yum!

Upside-Down Plum Cake
adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes

11 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks aprox) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
8-10 medium plums, halved and pitted (I used a mix of regular and baby plums--the most important thing is that they fill the bottom of the pan)
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg**
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup yogurt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter your pan (I used a basic 9 x 12 cake pan, but most recipes call for a springform pan--I don't have one, but if you do, it will definitely make "the flip" that much easier. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; pour into pan. Using a sieve, sprinkle light-brown sugar evenly over the melted butter. Arrange plum halves cut side down on top of the brown sugar, squeezing in as many plums as possible to allow for shrinkage during baking. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if you have one--you can also do this part by hand like I did!), cream the remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the sugar until light. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half the flour mixture, and beat until combined. Beat in the yogurt. Beat in the remaining flour mixture.

Spoon cake batter on top of plums, spreading evenly with a small spatula. Transfer to the oven, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Remove ring if using a springform pan, or just make ure the edges are loose and separated; invert onto a serving plate. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

35 Weeks..whoa how did that happen?

It's been a hot and sweaty August and my energy level is definitely suffering because of it...Lorenzo tripped over our fan the other day and literally ripped out the electrical connection.  We tried to take it apart and fix it, but there were like 3 wires that had no obvious entry point and we decided that it was probably a good idea to just buy another one...and I'm glad we did, because now we have a super industrial fan that works better than ever!!!!

As this little guy gets bigger, I feel his every jostle, readjustment and hiccup...it's sweet stuff I'm telling you..and I know I must sound like a broken record, but is it really possible that I am going to get BIGGER in the next 5 weeks??? Awestruck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sum sum summer time...

I've been back in my bad habits of procrastinating blog posts...but here's a few photos of what we've been up to the last few weeks...July felt more like April this year, but I can't say I can complain..although August has arrived with a bang and we've already had torrential rain showers, high humidity and LOTS of heat... ufff!

we made it to the beach despite the cool weather..
and I started swimming in the pool at the gym--how did I not discover this earlier in my pregnancy?? So loving it..

and we went out for lunch the other day at a local place next to the house..I wasn't in love with the food, but I do like that clock on the wall...below is the face I am lucky enough to wake up to every morning and kiss goodnight every evening....happiness is most definitely in the little things..

This week I've been craving cornflakes with whole milk and bananas, liquid yogurt and spanish croquetas...this little man in my belly has some pretty particular tastes, but I'm game to try whatever else he may want over the next few weeks...Ori we adore you already..xo

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Work in Progress

It's been awhile since I've posted here...I think I need to work on being a little more disciplined...I thought I would give you a peek at what I've been working on lately...I've actually been making this blanket since we found out we were expecting, but it's been slow going...it has luckily been on the cooler side here, since on really hot days knitting with wool has been a little bit of a torture.  Although time seems suddenly of the essence as I enter into my 32nd week tomorrow...must keep knitting! More belly pics to come...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

And the weeks keep on a comin'...

Where does the time go? Week 29  has already begun...and I am starting to feel the weight creeping down my back and into my legs.  The heat is taking its toll as well...and as far as I keep hearing from everyone, this is just the beginning...it's hard to believe there are 11 weeks to go and thus that much more to grow...both the little squish and me included!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So it's been a few weeks of ups and downs.  We had a little accident the babe and I.  I managed to cut the palm of my hand at work with a pair of scissors while trying to cut a button in half (long story) and ended up with 9 (painful) stitches, unbeknownst to me that when pregnant (at least in Spain) they don't give you any anestesia for these things..in my 31 years, I've never had so much as a broken finger and alas at 7 months pregnant I ended up with my first real gash.  As you can imagine it has been a bit of an upset in the house, since I am the one that usually does a lot of the cooking...but my Lor has been quite a huge help these days, cooking, cleaning, tying plastic bags on my hand so I can shower..
...and then yesterday, despite the bandage and the awkwardness, I broke down and made a banana bread..when desperate: MAKE BANANA BREAD! And apart from remedying my longing for the kitchen, it also came out delicious...though I burned the bottom just a tad...

This bread is great because it combines healthy flours and very little sugar.  It does have butter, but hey, we can't all be saints now can we... I usually substitute flaxmeal for a part of the flour mixure in most recipes and it always comes out great! So I hope you give it a try...the photo is a little bit terrible since it was late and my iphone was all I had handy...

Banana Bread

Yield: 2 medium loaves (or 1 big, 1 small as pictured)

1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

125gr (1 stick + aprox 1 tblspn)  unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed  brown cane sugar (if you like your bread more on the sweet side add another 1/4 cup--I don't think it really needs it with all the banana, but sugar is a personal choice in my book)
2 large eggs

3ripe bananas for batter + 2 or 3 more for layering on top (optional) 

125grms yogurt (about 1/2 cup) + 1/4 cup milk (reg milk/soy etc will all do)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 2 bread pans (I used butter, but to each his own..) In a bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy (I actually don't have a mixer and just do this manually--but of course, if you have a mixer, I highly reccomend using it.) Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork (you should have about 3/4 to 1cup (aprox); stir in milk and vanilla.
With mixer on low (or stirring by hand), alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in walnuts if using.
Divide batter among loaf pans and cut the remaining bananas in half, placing them on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean, 45 minutes (aprox), rotating pan halfway through. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer loaves to a rack to cool at least 10 minutes more.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


This week the heat has started to make its presence known, just in time for the start of my 3rd trimester! I'm starting to feel...really pregnant, and I have this inkling of a feeling that this is only the beginning...bring on summer!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Home Sweet Home

So I'm not from LA, but I think this is probably relevant for some east coast Whole Foods Markets as well...needless to say, this video made me a little bit homesick on this hot and muggy Barcelona afternoon...have a laugh!

(I can't figure out how to make it bigger!!)

first spotted on Lovely Morning

Monday, June 6, 2011

25 weeks!

We are going to try to post a new belly shot every week...but between the rain, life and a bad photo shoot we've been a little behind...But from here on out, we will make sure that this belly gets it's rightful moment in the spotlight---in front of our neighborhood church, the Sagrada Famila, wow right?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Apricot-Peach Tart with Almond Frangipane

We are lucky to live on the same block as a little organic food shop here in Barcelona...these shops are called "herbolarios" and although they are in abundance, not very many of them carry fresh produce...luckily ours does, and lots of it! The other day I was happily surprised to find fresh apricots and peaches! I've never made a fruit tart before...

but it was easy as pie! I burned the tips of the fruit a little, but it was still as delicious as ever...

I just ate the last piece this afternoon..

I'm not sure if it's because I modified the crust recipe and added wheatgerm, or if there was just a lot of butter, but I found that the dough kept getting stuck to the cutting board and was hard to roll out so in the end I just ended up pressing it into the tart pan and it worked perfectly!  On the next try, I might try adding a quarter cup of crushed almonds to the crust recipe...hmmmmm

Plum-Almond Tart
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 1 9-inch tart or 8 4-inch mini-tartlets
For crust:
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tablespoon raw brown canesugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

125grms (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon aprox) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons ice water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For filling:
1/3 cup whole raw almonds (about 2 ounces)

1/4  cup raw brown cane sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 tablespoons cognac

7 small apricots + 1 large peach cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges--you can vary the fruit ratio or even replace either for plums if you prefer)
1/4 cup blueberry jelly

Whipped cream (optional--we ate ours with Vanilla Ice cream! Although I don't think it needed it...)

Make crust: 
Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine first 3 ingredients--cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal (by hand or with an electric mixer). Mix 2 tablespoons ice water and vanilla in small bowl.  Add water mixture to dough and mix until moist clumps form.
Gather dough into ball and roll out as much as best you can on floured surface--if you can go all the way great, if not try pressing the dough into a 9" tart pan as described above. Trim overhang, fold in, and press. Using fork, pierce dough all over. Freeze 15 minutes.

Bake crust until pale golden, about 30 minutes and let cool. Maintain oven temperature.

Make filling:
Finely grind almonds with sugar with handheld mixer. Add egg, butter and 1 tablespoon cognac.  Process until smooth and pour into crust. Arrange peach and nectarine slices atop filling. Bake until the fruit is tender and filling is golden and set, about 1 hour.

Melt jelly with remaining 1/2 tablespoon cognac in small saucepan over medium-low heat. 
Brush jelly mixture over plums.

Cool tart. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream, or ice cream or whatever you like!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

And away we go!

We're a little late on posting these photos.....this blog has been a project that I've had in mind for sometime now...and what was once going to be a food & fashion blog, has now mixed with a new pregnancy so here we go...starting at week 22 (although I'm really 23 wks..so bear with me while I get the hang of all this--more to come!)...I hope you stick around!