Monday, May 31, 2010

All American Apple Pie

With my father-in-law's Birthday approaching, I asked him what he'd like for his Birthday dessert, and his answer was apple pie. I used Paula Deen's apple pie filling recipe filled with tart Granny Smith's. He loves sailing, so I opted to give this pie a nautical twist by simply rolling out the excess dough and using an cookie cutter to cut the anchor shape out. A quick egg wash and into the oven, and voila! A Sailoriffic pie for my one-and-only father-in-law.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thick skinned

Some people have been asking me how "things" are going with our journey to parenthood...and if you ask me, you will get a long docudrama-esque explanation, along with re-enactments if you hit me on a good day..Ask my husband and he keeps it short and sweet.

I envy this about him. I look up to him for his ability to keep things sane, straight and moving forward. Just enough information to answer a question, but not so much that others feel free to ask him twenty questions, thus limiting the akward situation-ness from his daily exchanges.

I, myself, have yet to master that quality. As my mama and my old gymnastics coaches always said, I am an open book. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and it's usually fairly easy for people to know when something is bothering me. Instead of mulling over things, and figuring out the consequences of what may come out of my mouth, I say things, and then later kick myself for letting other people into my world..but, I have no one to blame but myself for putting TMI out there.
It is getting to the point that I don't want people to know so much about my private life, and the road we are travelling in the world of babyloss and infertility issues. Not because I don't want to share with those who are also going through the same thing as us, but because of those who DO NOT KNOW what it's like from first hand experience. Those who say that they KNOW what we're going through, and spew out well intended cliches, or those who feel the need to tell us that they have a friend who lost five babies before they brought home a live one...Does that person really think that makes me feel better? Absolutely not.
However, I try to remind myself, that I wouldn't have to deal with words that hurt my feelings, if I never would have told anyone in the first place. The further we get into this whole journey, the more I am appreciating my husband's approach, and the more I am mad at myself for opening up to the real-world ( not the babyloss world, because so many of you have really really touched my heart and made me feel so not alone).

I made my blog private a couple weeks ago, but then realized that many other babyloss parents who are new to life-after-loss, would miss out on reading about the ups and downs I have gone through in trying to reclaim myself from the hole that was left in my heart on May 18, 2009. I wish there was a way to weed out readers, but there isn't...and so, I guess, I just need to get a thicker skin, or not say anything at all.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


A few weeks back, I tagged along with NZ as he went searching for surfable waves. I played with my camera and love these two shots. Someone recently asked me how I get the "effects" on my photos, and I have to credit Picnik for their free photo editing website. My favorite effects are "vignette" which makes the black around the edges, and "cross process" which ages the photos a bit.
No fancy camera required, just my CanonPowerShot SD880 IS which easily fits into a pocket or a purse for those Kodak moments. I think next Christmas, I will ask Santa for a "real" camera, particularly a Canon Rebel EOS model...or start saving my money to buy it myself, which may come sooner than Santa. Either way, taking pictures at the beach always puts a smile on my face. We live in paradise, and I feel so fortunate and grateful to call Southern California my home.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dumpster Diver

Feedz me, I'z hungry!

You'd think we don't feed him or something..what's not in this photograph however, is his bowl full of food just on the other side of the cabinets..Suppose whatever we discarded sounded better than Nutros. Ahhhh, love my kitty even if he's a dumpster diver.

While you were away...

It's been a year, today, since our daughter was born. THREE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE DAYS...and we made it..still alive, although there have been days, hours and glimpses of grief that have washed over me in which I thought I might die of heartache. As all those wise ones ahead of us have claimed, it has gotten a little bit easier with the passing of time. To acknowledge my first year without her, I wrote a short little letter..It's not meant to be sad, because I am not sad today. I am okay. I have accepted our fate, but I do want to acknowledge the dreams and hopes I had for her..and what I wish she had been around for in her first year away. Here goes..

In your first year away from us, I have to tell missed out on some really good times...

Last June, just 2 weeks after you were born, we visited your grandpa Ramjet at his "pad" in Northern California. We rode quads and fished and lived life in the slow lane for a few days. It was the nicest weather!

Throughout the summer, we went to a bunch of Dodger games..I even had a girlie Dodger onesie for you..I'm sure you would have slept through the games, but maybe I'd wake you up for a kiss in an attempt to get on the kiss-cam which is shown on the megatron screen for the stadium to see.Your mom changed her hair color and dad grew a 'stache..It was quite impressive, but he shaved it off after just a few months..Totally grab worthy. You could have gotten a good handful and done some damage to it.

You missed welcoming family friend, Karsyn into the world. She was born just weeks after you were due. Her mom & dad have been like family to me for a long long time, and I was excited for you two to meet. Shortly after Karsyn was born, your cousin Gianna was welcomed into the Zentil family..

For Christmas, your aunt Charlee organized a family photo on the beach..they turned out awesome, but I sure wish I had you to hold & show off. You missed your first overnights with Aunt Steph...Your dad and I went to Monterey with a bunch of friends to some really loud car races..Not sure you would have liked it at all, and knowing that your aunt would spoil you rotten, I would have felt confident leaving you with her for a weekend away while we went and listened to loud cars race around the track.

I'm sure you missed out on a bunch more, but to be honest, I did too. Out of all the dreams I had for you, I miss not being able to watch you grow up the most. If there is a Heaven out there, I hope you're in it, and I hope you're being good. Instead of a cake, your aunt and great grandma laid flowers at your great grandpa's grave in honor of your 1st Birthday. It's not what I had envisioned, but it's okay. Life is good, and even though you're away...the memory of you is always in my heart. And even though I am not so sad anymore, I still miss you every single day.

Love, Mom

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hey good lookin..whatcha got cookin?

I must confess, I am not the only one in the house that knows my way around the kitchen. Last week, my sunshine and I veered off course from our normal weeknight meals of you guessed it...Chicken, rice and veggies. I love the fact that my husband likes to cook as much as I do, if not more..He is a bit more adventurous than I am.

Monday night, we worked together with some bagged broccoli slaw ( on sale for 99 cents), some precooked chicken breasts, rice vinegar, soy sauce and a package of egg roll wrappers ( $1.79) to make chicken spring rolls. Yes, they were lightly fried, but oh so good! The broccoli slaw & chicken were sauteed in a rice vinegar and soy sauce mixture, and we loaded each egg roll wrapper chock full with chicken and veggies. Delish!

We rounded out our week with a semi-homemade pizza ala Sandra Lee. I normally make my own pizza dough, but in a pinch for a quick supper, I found myself at Fresh & Easy picking up some premade dough and pesto sauce. So, basically, we assembled this one and baked it. No culinary greatness on display but OH was it ever good!

Now this week, it's back to the old standby's while we think of what to make next...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Walkin' for babies

2010 March of Dimes [Walk for Babies]
May 15, 2010
Team ZentilOur shirts..Thanks to sissy for using her cricut machine to cut out the letters

Me, my soon-to-be sister in law, my sissy, my mah & my sunshine

My little "in memory of" for our daughter and my childhood friend's daughter, stillborn within weeks of one another

me & my sunshine
A special thank you to my friends and family who contributed towards the March of Dimes Walk for Babies. I have been searching for something that I can do for babies and families in memory of my little girl..I did the blanket drive for micro-preemie blankets last fall, and just recently shipped a box to my college roomie's Mom's club to be donated to a county hospital near Spring, TX.
I somehow stumbled upon the March of Dimes Walk for Babies ( probably on one of the babyloss blogs I read) and decided that THIS IS FOR ME.
I would commit to walking and raising money for research so that fewer babies die of preterm birth and other prenatal disorders. Although it won't change MY situation, it could help other families in similar situations.
Joining me on the walk were a few people I have leaned on, cried with and shared stories with over the past year. All of them have been my rocks.
Today's walk was 5.5 miles. That is a heck of a lot further than I walk on a day to day basis and I am happy to report that all of us finished it in less than TWO hours.
To top it off....TEAM ZENTIL raised $1, 275
My heart feels good.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

wake up call

I'm a morning person. Thankfully, I married a morning person.

I don't think that I am a morning person by choice. I believe it has something to do with my upbringing and namely, my poppy's inclination to turn the stereo on at 7:00 a.m. every weekend. I hated it. H-A-T-E-D it..But, it was his house, and if he wanted to rock out and drum on the dining room table while eating breakfast and reading the paper, then so be it..The rest of us were at his mercy.

Looking back now, it's one of my favorite memories.

Poppy always listened to cool music. I hear songs come on the radio now, and there are sooo many that make me think of him, and his drumming on the table. We're talking Red Hot Chili Peppers.. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young...Bob Marley... Tom Petty..and the list goes on..Occassionally a song will come on the radio and it will take a minute for me to place the song, and it almost always takes me back to Pop & his early morning jam sesh's at the table.

Imagine my surprise as I logged some early morning mileage on our treadmill last week..and heard a "Poppy Song" that I had loooong forgotten...only, it was some new guy ( Jerrod Niemann) singing it. I couldn't remember the name of the group that sang it originally, but thanks to YouTube, I've managed to find the video of Sonia Dada..and in my head, I couldn't help but smile thinking of Pop rocking out to it. I am my father's daughter.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shoeless in the city

I've been really making an effort to enjoy this "time" of freedom, without kids or pregnancy for the past few months. Most days, I don't enjoy the so called "freedom" because the "freedom" I stumbled upon has not been by choice. If we had our way, we'd be chasing our own genetic spawn around...I'd be free of the " I wonder what they'd be doing now" thoughts about our babies that infiltrate my brain umpteem times a day..Enjoying the "freedom" is definitely easier said than done, but with the help of our friends, we've had some rockin' good times since the new year rolled around.

Last night was one of them.

And as expected, the night ended shoeless for one of my besties and me, reminicent of the many nights we walked home from the bars during college...only this time we were spoiled by the BHE ( best.husband.ever) for being our escort and D.D., and by J&J for joining in the dance floor fun.

Awesome weekend.