“Do you hear my words?”

I love some of the things that come out of Lucy’s mouth these days. I’d write them all down if I was more diligent, but here are a couple gems from recent days:

-A couple nights ago, Lucy was upstairs in bed, though not yet asleep. She had been calling to G to come up to her but we had been ignoring the initial requests. Finally, she got more insistent and repeated “Daddy! Daddy! Do you hear my words, Daddy?”

-One morning last week, Lucy came into bed with us around 7 am to snuggle. She put her face right up to mine and whispered, “Are you awake, Mommy?” “Yes,” I replied, “you see how my eyes are open? That means I’m awake.” After thinking for a moment, she demanded, “Wake up your body!”

New Baby

From a conversation between me and Lucy last night:

D: Are you going to be a good helper when the new baby comes?

L: Yes, I’m going to carry it because it’s my friend.

D: Do you think it’s going to be a baby girl or a baby boy?

L: Um, only just a baby.

3rd trimester!

As of last Thursday, I am FINALLY in the 3rd trimester. At present, I have just over 11 weeks until my due date (11/5.) For some reason, it feels like this pregnancy has lasted forever! The good news is, we’re less than 3 months away and I am still feeling great. I really have nothing earth-shattering to report. I’m still walking a fair bit and have started swimming laps 2-3 times/week. That’s doing wonders for my mental health and my fitness level, which is well below what I’m comfortable with. No insomnia as yet (unlike last time), although the heartburn has come on with a vengeance in the past few weeks. I’ve been chewing papaya enzyme tablets like crazy!

My belly feels HUGE (and no, I’m not planning on posting any pictures of it anytime soon!), although weight gain seems to have slowed down a bit. That’s a relief- I was beginning to think I’d pack on 60 pounds during this pregnancy. I’m eating pretty much like I normally do, with a slight increase in cheese/bread intake and a lot more fruit. Luckily for me, this year we’ve had a bumper crop of all sorts of great, local fruit- from cherries to blueberries- so it’s been easy for me to get my fix.

In a few weeks, I’ll get another ultrasound to determine if that pesky placenta has moved out of the way. Otherwise, I am definitely starting to nest. Cooking like crazy, organizing random areas of the house, and actually doing some reading about childbirth/labor. Now we just need to decide on a couple minor things- like where we’re having the baby and what to name him/her. Better get on that!

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger

I’ve been fairly remiss in blogging once more. It’s been a lazy couple of weeks around here and I am more than OK with that. Surprisingly enough, I’ve actually found myself in the kitchen a fair bit. This summer’s crazy heat has resulted in an abundance of cheap, delicious berries and I have been doing my best to put all that fruit to good use! I’ve made pies and crisps and bars and cookies. I’ve also worked my way through a few of the recipes in Molly Wizenberg’s “A Homemade Life”. Excellent book, by the way and there are a number of good recipes. So far, my favorites are the banana bread and the bread salad with cherries, arugula and goat cheese. I’ve made the banana bread 2 or 3 times now and it’s been quite a hit in our house. One time I was out of yogurt and used plain (full fat) sour cream instead. But it’s a great variation on the classic. And as Molly recommends, it is actually quite good to eat a slice straight from the freezer. Yum.

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
Adapted from “A Homemade Life”
Makes 1 loaf or 1 8-inch round cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan or an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray or butter.

2. Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.

5. Bake into the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.

6. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing. The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn.