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Epic Fail: Sourdough Starter

February 11, 2013

Precursor to the Sourdough Story, and a word about swearing: in Anthony Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential,” and in the television show by the same name, there is an incredibly creepy, drugged-out, almost zombie-like character named “Adam-Last-Name-Unknown,” who bakes the most amazing naturally leavened breads, from a starter he fairly misogynistically refers to as “The [Word that starts with B and rhymes with Mitch].”

The character in the book is described in such a funny way that he’s stayed with Matt and I since reading and watching the show, so every time we refer to the starter in our household, it’s in the creepy tone of voice we associate with “Adam-Last-Name-Unknown,” pitched low, and it’s always the same sentence: “Feed the Mitch.” Because we’re trying to stay a family blog here, I’m going to stick with Mitch, so you don’t have to edit it, and so you’ll have a funny image of the red-headed character from Modern Family sitting on top of our fridge for a week. You can edit out the explanation when you read this to you your kids, by firelight, sipping cocoa, as I imagine in my head you all do with every single one of my posts.

Just kidding. But anyways, back to the story.

– Cupcake

Did you ever have one of those flashes of brilliance, where you suddenly think to yourself “You know, I’ve been doing XYZ thing for a while now…I think I know how this works well enough to operate sans instructions…”

In my experience, this usually happens with men, and usually in one of two arenas: automobiles, and electronics.

It never ends well.

So, completely shockingly to me, after last week’s not-quite-terrible but not-quite-awesome experience with the breadmaker, I decided that based my vast knowledge of sourdough starters (I’ve made one in my life) and bread (I’ve baked bread fewer times than you can count on two hands and two feet), I could just “wing it” with my newest idea for sourdough bread, and it would turn out edible.

I had visions, I’ll admit, of being somewhat of a sourdough savant, able to churn crunchy, well-risen and nutty breads to sustain my family and friends out from the mere building blocks of life: flour and water.

Nay nay, Cupcake. Nay nay.

Nay nay, Cupcake. Nay nay.

CATASTROPHIC, EPIC FAIL! I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how awful it was!

Read more…

Some French remembrances…and mechanized bread? Yes please!

February 4, 2013

One of my fondest memories of my summer in France, spending an all-to-brief month living with a French host family, is sitting over breakfast with my host parents and assorted brothers and sisters, nibbling fresh tartines in our bathrobes.

Tartine

Tartine

The image I have is incredibly clear: the soft-spoken maman, sipping a tisane (herbal tea). The easy-going papa, drinking a café. The kids, straggling in sleepy-eyed, sipping jus d’orange and eating toast. And me. This being my first real experience with home cooking in France, I pretty much ate double-helpings of everything. Which meant a cup (or really, a bowl) of chocolate chaud, and two tartines, each spread with a generous helping of butter and homemade fruit preserves. It should shock no one that despite walking literally everywhere, I gained 10 pounds. 🙂

One of the most awesome features of the specific host family I landed with was an inherent appreciation, through frugality and old-fashioned French values, for home-made everything. I realize how idyllic this sounds, but my host mother made fresh bread several days a week, home-made yogurt (served for dessert, with rhubarb compôte), and she preserved her own fruit spreads. Among many other incredibly delicious things.

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Double Chocolate Layer Cake – Adventures in Married Photography

January 21, 2013

So, with all the hoopla surrounding the big event in our lives, Matt and I sometimes forget to take time to focus on just the two of us. I’m not going to act all fancypants and say it was on purpose, but this weekend we had an excellent opportunity to play around with something purely relationship-based: Married Couple Blogging.

I had a HUGE craving (not a preggo-craving, just a regular one) for chocolate cake last week, and it occurred to me that I’ve never made a chocolate layer cake from scratch (or any other way). I’ve made countless cupcakes, cookies, and pies, but never a from-scratch layer cake. So, I googled a few recipes, and settled on this sumptuous looking recipe from Smitten.

The cake was an unqualified success. The photography? Not quite an unqualified failure, but certainly leaves room for improvement.

First of all, our kitchen is absolutely tiny. It’s galley-style, and just wide enough for two people to pass one another, navel to navel. (We’re talking “I can smell what you had for lunch” navel-to-navel).

Second of all, there’s limited counterspace, which means while I’m using the Kitchen-Aid, there’s a refrigerator on my left, and I’m right-handed, which means my very own paparazzo can only stand to my right, where his camera is blocked completely by my enormous elbow.

And, finally, I was hit with a big ol’ case of “Lazy” yesterday, which meant I was still in my crummy pajamas, hair in a bun, looking angry for most of the photoshoot.

All that being said, marital crises were averted, puppies in the kitchen were duly spoiled, and delicious, delicious cake was had by all. We even had a chance to share it with the in-laws, since we spent the day in Crockett taking care of Daisy’s annual puppydog shots (she did not get cake, though she definitely deserved it, and hasn’t quite forgiven us yet).

Without further ado, I give you: The MoorQuatt’s first attempt at couples’ foodblogging.

Notes to the reader:

1. Chocolate is NOT GOOD for dogs. Our puppydogs are always around the kitchen, ready to lend a helping hand (or tongue) when we have spills or mishaps. For the most part, we’re OK with this. With things like chocolate cake batter, it’s a constant battle to keep an eye on what they’ve been eating. There are a couple of shots of the dogs sneaking a quick nip of cake batter, but I don’t want any of you to worry: we monitor our babies VERY closely, and they were not allowed to ingest enough of anything to hurt them. So don’t worry.

2. Once upon a time, a friend of mine (Melissa!) called me out for not including my failures as well as my successes. The cake in these pictures was delicious, but not perfect – the frosting wasn’t perfect, and our timing with the photography is definitely in need of some work. That being said, I’m sharing it with you because I’m excited about the fun we’re having! So enjoy it!

3. And finally: the Me in these pictures. I’ve made it a point in my life to try to be more “authentic” (buzzword, anyone?). But I struggled a bunch with this on today’s post. Part of me shudders at the fact that I’m wearing my straight-up home-alone PJs (they are not attractive), and I am sans makeup, sans hairwashing, and immediately post-nap. But in the interest of being exactly who I am, and doing what I can to put a stop to the fakery and self-comparison so rampant in today’s blogworld (the whole “comparing your every day life to someone else’s Photoshopped, edited highlights reel” thing), I’m socking it to you in un-edited format. So, if you’re scared by what a real woman looks like when she’s baking, this post is not for you. But in case you’ve always been wondering what Cupcake looks like when she’s baking, this is a pretty accurate representation. 🙂

Chocolate melting into delicious coffee...delicious!

Chocolate melting into delicious coffee…delicious!

It is nice to have someone else taking the action shots, but we're still working on our coordination. (I.e. "Hey Lisa, hold still for a minute while I refocus the camera on your teaspoon, instead of the salt box.")

It is nice to have someone else taking the action shots, but we’re still working on our coordination. (I.e. “Hey Lisa, hold still for a minute while I refocus the camera on your teaspoon, instead of the salt box.”)

It pours LIKE BUTTAH...milk.

It pours LIKE BUTTAH…milk.

Yup. Barefoot and pregnant. That's me.

Yup. Barefoot and pregnant. That’s me.

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These are a few of my favorite things…

December 6, 2012
This is why it's hard for me to post these days.

This is why it’s hard for me to post these days.

So one of my favorite things about being pregnant so far has been watching Matt transition from “should we have a kid?” to “Holy Toledo, Batman! We’re having a kid!”

Matt has always been a very pro-family person. It’s one of the first things that drew me to him – we both want a big family. (Though our definition of “big” may change based on what’s coming down the pike…) And we both think family comes ahead of everything else in life.

So I was pretty solid on how I expected him to react upon actually becoming parents-to-be. What I was unprepared for was how hilarious his reaction will be, and how gradual. He’s like a time-release tablet of sudden parental planning.

Case in point, a few weeks ago, we drove to Monroe, Louisiana for a weekend trip (a story for another time). We spent the whole weekend doing things other than baby-planning – watching movies, visiting a church, hanging out around town, eating great food. After spending a wonderful weekend hanging out together, we were halfway through the 5 hour drive home, listening to a Pandora comedy station, when suddenly Matt turned off the radio, a very concerned look on his face, and said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Can you just…can you just Google how much a breast pump costs?”

Me: “Um…ok? Is this relevant to your driving right now?”

Matt, visibly thinking about something serious: “No, just…just look it up.”

…a few minutes research on iPhone later…

Me: “Looks like they vary between $150 and $300?”

Matt: “OK thanks. Now can you look up how much a Diaper Genie costs?”

Me: “WHAT?”

Giggle, giggle, giggle. Non sequitur aside, what Matt’s really doing is nesting. He’s trying to get a handle on what kind of money we need to be saving for this tiny person. I suppose it’s the paternal “we must provide!!” gene coming out, but my brain is SO not there. I’m worried about “how many vegetables did I eat today? Crap! Did I forget my prenatal vitamins?? (Note: No. Well, once. But that’s it.)”

So it’s hilarious to me that suddenly, in the midst of a totally different activity, his mind springs toward the baby. I’m so lucky that I have a practical “the baby will cost this much so we need to save that much” sidekick.

On the subject of finances, I kindof want to share something that has been near and dear to both our non-stress hearts, and that will very much contribute to our non-stress with the baby.

When Matt and I made the decision to get married, one of the first things we had to decide was how to approach our finances. Since money is one of the top causes of divorce in our country, it was important to both of us to figure out exactly what we wanted in our future.

The commitment we made to ourselves was to live a credit-free lifestyle: we share one bank account, have no separate accounts, no credit card debt, and have snipped up all our credit cards from before we got together.

Now: we have only been married for 11 months, but so far I can tell you: it’s literally the best decision we’ve ever made. There are no surprises, no secrets, and by definition we have to discuss major purchases in advance, because it’s obvious when we make one (the small ones are obvious too).

The other thing we’ve done since we’ve both had an income is immediately transfer 15% of our income directly into a savings account. As and when appropriate, like on the weeks between rent payments, we try to put a huge chunk of our disposable income into the same savings account. It’s a little easier given that there are 2 of us bringing money home, and living in a small Texas town where there are no super-appetizing restaurants or gourmet food locations (which is where I spent all my money in DC). And we have been very fortunate to have extremely generous parents who have helped set us up for this type of lifestyle.

But, in general, I honestly cannot recommend a credit-free lifestyle enough. We have enough money saved to cover a major emergency, random baby costs, and then some, so there’s less stress about “how are we going to pay for XYZ.” Instead, we both have a really fulfilling sense of accomplishment when we look at our little savings egg, to be used toward our growing family’s future.

And I don’t even want to THINK about what a great position we’d be in if we had been doing this when we were both still single…

So, moral of the story is, being the amazing father that he is, Matt’s adorably concerned about paying for baby Q. Knowing what I do about his saving habits and our conservative spending, I think we’ll survive. At first, at least. I’m not even thinking of college yet.

Matt probably is.

Y’all don’t mind if I just skip showers til the second trimester, right?

December 5, 2012

First of all, I should address the fact that this blog, while originally intended as a recipe and useful-tip sharing tool, has morphed into a gigantic stream of consciousness for me. I’m a little torn about this, because the blogs I’ve loved the most over the years have maintained at the very least a specific topic stream or style, and I’m afraid that allowing this blog to morph at will is going to confuse readers.

That being said, it’s also intended as a tool of expression, and for me, I express when I feel moved by something. Something humorous, touching, kind, sad, or tasty. So, I am coming to terms with the fact that this blog may no longer fit into a category, or mold, aside from “Narcissistic ramblings of a self-centered cupcake fiend.” (Hopefully not quite that bad, but I’ve seen a lot of writing on the subject of social media and narcissism and it’s got me a little scared)

The other side of this particular coin is the volume of people I know personally who do read this blog who view Mommy-blogs in a certain…shall we say, unflattering light. I have been blessed with the opportunity to know and befriend people from literally all walks of life. I currently have on my mental Rolodex (yes, Children of the 2000s, once upon a time people kept these on their desks) men and women with jobs that vary from sales associate to web designer to law enforcement officer to gut-puller (relic of the chicken industry – don’t ask). People with kids, people without kids who want them, and people without kids who literally despise any ounce of mommy-ness with every fiber of their beings. (Luckily I don’t think I know anyone with kids who falls into this last category…though maybe you’re out there.)

It is this last category of person that I’m concerned with today…my life has changed, forever, with the news that I’m pregnant. Before, I was a little skeptical, and dare I say…critical…gulp…of people who went “all baby, all the time.” From the outside, you really don’t understand how suddenly literally everything becomes about the alien growing in your uterus. (HA! I just said uterus. I think I’ve lost half of you now.)

Better writers than I have tried to bridge the gap between the baby-centric and the baby-phobic, and if I’m being honest, I’ve fallen on both sides of the fence at different stages in my life. All I can say to my friends and readers who are not in the baby-centric stage is that at this moment in my life, everything I do, everything I say, directly relates to my impending motherhood. I fully understand how it feels to be totally uninterested in anything baby-related, and while I respect your right to feel that way, I am, from now until this ride finishes, changed.

Which means that the theme of the blog is going to change. I hope I can keep you interested with my voice, and humor. If I can’t, I understand. No hard feelings here. Obviously I won’t do anything so trite as to say my pregnancy is the most special thing in the whole wide world (not that I can think of anything even REMOTELY as interesting…), and when the time comes, I won’t be that mom who says her kid is the best/brightest/most adorable (but let’s be honest – my baby will win).

All I can say is, this gift of life has thrown me for a loop, and I ask patience and positivity while I learn and explore such a crazy curveball of love and life. And if you get bored with the mommy talk, feel free to visit one of my fave bloggers, TheBloggess. She’s a mom too, but her posts are more riddled with…booze slushies. 🙂 Also cursing – be careful at work.

In any case, I am so lucky to be able to share all this with you – you guys make a huge difference to me, and I love and appreciate every baby-centric, baby-phobic, and baby-neutral one of you. Muah.

And now back to the title of this post…I have discovered that my morning sickness is directly correlated with when (and if) I shower. I mean, it happens at other times also, but I have noticed that 9 times out of 10, if I’m feeling medium-to-OK, taking a shower or bath, with a water temp of anything but lukewarm to cold, will catapult me into retching and running to the bathroom. So, I’m just going to quit showering altogether. It’s December, that’s cool, right? Right.

2 more weeks til the end of the first trimester. 2 more weeks til the end of the first trimester. 2 more weeks til the end of the first trimester…

 

Hormones. Or, “Don’t Poke the Mama Bear.”

November 24, 2012

Editor’s Note: There are some beautiful pictures of our Thanksgiving meal, and some not-so-great ones of the chef(s), that will eventually be posted here. I had to work yesterday and today so instead of waiting to post when I’m falling asleep on the couch after work, I’m posting this now, and will post pictures tonight or tomorrow.                                                                                                                                                

– Cupcake

 Well, it’s post-Turkey Day, and while our family Thanksgiving went off without a hitch (despite one hefty conversation pitting the crazy liberal against the staunch conservatives, no names, no names), and the MoorQuatt families melded well. That hefty conversation, however, has highlighted to me the influence of my new best friends, estrogen and progesterone.

To those of you who have never been pregnant, or who have never had a spouse or partner experience nature’s joy, pregnant women can occasionally seem like whiney babies. They blame everything on the kid, from weight gain to snapping at their bosses, to sobbing at the drop of a hat. It can seem unreal, and lends itself to a little bit of judgment (like, “is it really that bad? Or is she just looking for attention?”).

Well, I’ve been on both sides now. And folks: let me tell you. It. Is. That. Bad.

People who are not accustomed to pregnancy don’t seem to understand what’s going on. It’s nothing “special” as such, and I’m definitely not saying pregnant women deserve a separate code of conduct. It’s been happening for thousands of years, obviously, but when it’s hitting you for the first time, it really is dramatic.

The best way I can describe the truck-to-the-face that is Lisa’s pregnancy hormones is to ask you to imagine your worst day in high school:

The day you got furious at your mother for saying the wrong thing about your jeans, angry with your father for just not understanding the importance of a specific social event (or TV show, or computer game). The day none of your best friends seemed like they were even on the same planet, your face was breaking out, you got a bad grade on a test you tried really hard on, and you spilled something obvious on your shirt.

It’s like the feeling at the end of that day, when you’re almost out of class, and you turn to the person sitting next to you simply to ask what page your homework assignment is on, and the teacher catches you, shames you in front of the class despite your weak explanation that it was homework-related, and then gives you all a pop quiz “because of all the chit-chat.” It’s like that day. All the time.

A case study: Shortly after we found out we were pregnant (and yes, I’ll have an entire post on the subject of “we” being pregnant at a later date), I had a long day at work, nothing particularly terrible, no morning sickness yet, just … exhausting. And something came up at the very last minute that meant we had to stay after work for about 20 minutes making emergency phone calls. All I wanted was to get home, take a hot bath, and sip something cool to drink.

Unfortunately, by the time I got home, the water in our building was in the process of being turned off to handle some sort of plumbing emergency. I raced through the house, trying to get to the tub in time to fill it up before we lost all water. I got about 2 inches of water in the tub before the gush turned to a trickle.

Meanwhile, I stripped off my boots and socks, and was starting to get undressed WHEN…I stepped. In. Dog poop. Daisy had pooped in the bedroom. On my side of the bed.

At this point, I was so furious I could barely see straight. I ran to the bathroom to try to wash off my foot, and get a piece of toilet paper to start cleaning up the mess, meanwhile SCREAMING at the top of my lungs to my husband (playing video games in the living room with his headphones on) “DAISY $#*@ IN THE BEDROOM”, when I realized that I needed to pee.

The lid was up.

I’ll save you the gory details, but about 5 minutes later, Matt found me standing in the bedroom, tissues in hand, wailing in a pitiful, muffled voice “The lid was up. THE LID WAS UP. I have to WALK there! [explanation: on the side of the bed Daisy pooped on. Coherency is not super-relevant at these melt-down moments.]”

Bewildered, and if I’m being honest, slightly horrified, Matt put on his brave face and stood there hugging me, softly saying “I’m sorry,” until the wailing stopped.

The next day I praised him endlessly for having the foresight to buy orange juice, which I had forgotten I had included on the grocery list I forced into his hand as he was walking out the door.

All this is to say, cut to the hefty conversation at Thanksgiving, where the crazy liberal was forced to defend her ideals against a room full of people who had no inkling of the hormone storm they were inflicting upon themselves, and…let’s just say, I haven’t gotten that heated over a political discussion since some very poignant moments in my formative years as a lone liberal undergrad at a majority conservative institution.

The family eventually backed off, partly because we changed the subject, but mainly because they could see I was visibly shaking and turning red, and I think the in-laws were a little worried I might explode.

Moral of the story: Don’t. Poke. The Mama. Bear. Leave her alone, until she’s ready to snuggle. At least, that’s  the phrase we live by at the MoorQuatt household. For the next 9 months at least. (Er…7….eek!)

Emotions: varied, but deadly.

Symptoms: NAUSEA. Oh Lord, the nausea. And extreme fatigue.

 

Poppyseeds and Pumpkins

November 20, 2012
Editor’s Note: I wrote this post the day after we found out we’re expecting our first baby (!!!). I immediately wanted to share the news with EVERYONE, but our culture has us programmed to restrict information until we’re ABSOLUTELY SURE. One thing life has taught me is that nothing is ABSOLUTELY SURE, but when we saw our little one’s heart thump-thumping on the ultrasound yesterday, neither one of us could keep our big mouths shut. SO, yeah. There’s a bun in the Cupcake oven, here’s hoping to a delicious result! 🙂
Read 'em and weep. I did.

Read ’em and weep. I did. And yes, there’s a reason there are 4.

October 25, 2012
We’re not ready to share the news yet, partly because it’s the prudent thing to do, partly because I still don’t quite believe there’s a baby in there, but mainly because we want some time to adjust to this new way of thinking. “I” becomes “we” in a different way than marriage. “We” becomes “Our family.” “Our puppies” become “future siblings.” Etc. (Yes, I did say to Daisy “You better say “hi” to the little poppyseed in there! SAY HI.” I imagine this works better with humans.)

I’m so distracted by today that I can’t even focus on what’s in front of me: a mountain of work and stress related to our never-ending job search (hopefully by the time this goes public my husband has found something suitable for a going-to-be-daddy). Instead of worrying, all I can do is feel excited!

It’s totally surreal, like it’s happening to someone else. And I’m definitely having flashes of “OH CRAP WHAT THE HELL ARE WE DOING,” e.g. when I look at the list of things I must avoid (Wine. Brie. Wine. Camembert. Sushi. The will to live.), and interestingly when I look at baby booties. Normally, I see a pair of baby booties and think “Ermahgerd, these are SO CUTE! I can’t WAIT to have babies!” Now, I think “Ermahgerd, these are SO CUTE! OHHOLYCRAP WHAT?! I HAVE A REASON TO BUY THEM?!? RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I think these feelings of extreme euphoria combined with a sense of being chained to a rock are probably normal…but just in case, I reserve the right to edit this section before you get to see it. 🙂

On another note, I think the following story is pretty funny, and sortof exactly how I always pictured it would be, while at the same time not being anything like I had daydreamed:

The day we found out about The Poppyseed (hopefully by the time I’m releasing this we will have progressed from Poppyseed to like, I dunno, apple, or grapefruit, or something EDITOR’S NOTE: 1.22 centimeters long, so basically a grain of rice, as of 11/20 :)), started out like any other day. Called by a general obsession of mine to test periodically for pregnancy (yes, I’m neurotic. Deal with it), I visited the Dollar Tree where I had heard rumors of $1 pregnancy tests.

For the uninitiated, pregnancy tests run anywhere from $4 per to like $18 per, so finding $1 tests seemed too good to be true. I bought seven. And took them home, and promptly decided to try one, just to “get the technique down.” Basically, I just wanted to see how the test worked, so that the next time I was curious, I wouldn’t have to read the instructions. (I’m an obsessive instructions-reader. I am the one person in the world who will actually read every line they include in a pill packet, prescription, or box. Seriously. Including the Customer Hotline number. That’s me.)

So, I popped the sucker open, [procedure removed for general gross-out-ability, suffice it to say both the words “pee” and “receptacle” were involved] and set it on the counter top while I went and helped Matt get our pumpkins ready for carving. (It is Halloween, after all, or it will be soon…)

A few minutes later, I go back to check on the test. Nothing. But I think I see maybe a shadow of a line on the “you’re preggers” portion of the test. Hm. I leave it for a few more minutes. Then I come back again, and this time I’m certain: there is a TINY, MICROSCOPIC, NOT VISIBLE TO THE NAKED EYE impression of the slightest bit of pink on the line. “MATT. Does this look like a line to you? It’s basically invisible.”

Matt looks at it. I look again. We concur that there is an impression of the shadow of an inkling of a line. But probably the test is just defective. It only costs $1 after all. Surely it’s defective.

So Matt goes back to his pumpkin, watching The Walking Dead. I, however, have a horrible tendency to want to confirm results. But this time, I brought out the Big Guns: the Digital ClearBlue test. It literally says “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant.” Should be impossible to screw up. So I open it, take the cap off, and realize that I. Can’t. Pee. Not even a drop, which wouldn’t have been enough anyway. I sigh, put the cap back on, set the test in the wrapper, and leave it for later.

About an hour later, we sat, side by side, scooping out pumpkin guts, chasing Daisy away from the pile of seeds. The urge, as nature intended, came upon me, so we were up for round 2 of the Dollar Tree test, and 1 of the ClearBlue. I do both tests, and was just getting ready to set them down to wait, when I noticed the ClearBlue test window no longer had a timer – there were words. Or rather, one word. “Pregnant.” I looked at it again, aghast – surely this was a mistake! I had taken another test on Sunday, and it said what all of them have said since the dawn of Lisa’s taking pregnancy tests: “Not Pregnant.” I looked again. Nope, still a decided lack of the word “Not” and extreme presence of the word “Pregnant.”

I stood, dumbfounded, for a minute, before racing to the door to the living room. Ah, there was Matt, totally engrossed in his pumpkin carving…I walked slowly up to him, he didn’t even notice, then BAM! I slapped him in the face with the test, demanding “and WHAT is the meaning of THIS!?” Not really, but I did shove it right under his nose.

We both sortof stared at each other for a while, totally confused and shocked, not yet ready enough to accept the results to realize what a fantastic night it had just become. I freaked. A lot. Mainly because I read on the instructions (because I’m an obsessive instructions reader) that you are supposed to use the test immediately. And I hadn’t. Which then sent me spiraling into a whirlwind of doubt – what if I had just earned myself TWO false positives? Now I was even more confused than before!

This snowballed into a cyclone of doubt which lead me to google “False positive clearblue” which then convinced me that the whole thing was a sham and a fluke. First lesson learned: when dealing with pregnancy, DO NOT GOOGLE.

To be sure, I pulled out a second ClearBlue test, only I didn’t wait long enough, and had a LOW. READ. ERROR. (I.e. not enough pee on the stick). AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, of course, I forced Matt to drive me to Walmart (are you kidding? I was barely coherent enough to drive the CART when we GOT THERE), at which time we purchase THREE additional brands of test.

We got home, and I waited. Like a tiger. Ready to pounce at the first inclination that maybe possibly I needed to pee. And then it happened.

I had already read all of the instructions cover to cover, so I knew exactly what I was doing. I collected The Sample (grossssssss), and did THREE (count them – THREE) pregnancy tests. Within minutes we had a plus sign (WalMart Brand)…a double line (First Response)…and a tiny, faint whisper of a second line on the fourth (ahem) Dollar Tree test.

I walked to the kitchen. I set them on the counter. I called to Matt, he came in, and it hit me. This is real. I cried. We held each other. I cried some more.

The rest of the night was a blur. We went back to carving pumpkins, finishing some righteous designs (if I do say so myself!) and silly things happened on The Walking Dead. I downloaded the What to Expect app to my iPhone, mainly because there’s a “baby tracker” that shows you your baby’s progress.

I actually messed it up when I first logged into the app, because it asks for your due date (since we just found out, I had to google out how to calculate this) and I accidentally put in July 4 2012 instead of July 4 2013, so when I went to the baby tracker it said “You are at 55 weeks. Your baby is the size of a pumpkin, 8 to 9 pounds.” I was shocked that there was a pumpkin in there, because the only baby showing at the time was a food baby from taco soup night…and then I realized my mistake.

Correct due date in play (such a patriotic baby we have!), our baby is officially the size of a poppyseed, thus the title of this post. It’s going to be a bumpy 9 (er…10?) months, and I am just so excited to play along.

Emotions: mixed, excited, scared, nervous, bubbly, effervescent, SO EXCITED, nervous, scared. Repeat.

Symptoms: none, really, save the obvious missing Aunt Irma and some bodacious improvements in the northern regions. (Dudes, I apologize…there’s just not much more I can say)