Archive for March, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts, its been very busy around here. We have begun online apartment hunting in Baltimore and I officially put in my resignation at work since I will not be coming back after maternity leave.  As Phil alluded to in his job posting – since we are now moving in July, we will not be utilizing the original nursery plan.  That room now looks like this:

Im going to try to take down the mural and reuse it in our new place, but we’ll see how well it travels.  We also really like a space/solar system theme .  So maybe we’ll go in a whole new direction.  Right now it looks like the baby will enjoy a ‘moving boxes’ theme for the first 3 weeks of life.

Speaking of baby, we got another sneak peek of him on Friday:

Hes estimated at 1 lb, 15 oz, which puts him in the 65 percentile [still no name, we’re working on it.]  and everything is looking great.  Im approaching the 3rd trimester and feeling wonderful.  Phil and I are gearing up for the 12 hour drive back to Indiana this Friday!!  Wendy will be in town from California and is hosting a shower for us at my parents brand new house!  The brothers are heading down as well.  Its pretty rare to get the whole Watkins clan in the same place at the same time, so Im really pumped.

Here I am enjoying a popsicle that Barney thinks is for him:

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I had remembered hearing about a study that concluded infants remembered or responded to books read to them in the womb.  Whenever I was trying to find that study online, I came across a similar study done regarding melodies heard in the womb.   Here is the link for those who are interested:


It has inspired me to rev up my playing in the last trimester in hope that I can somehow calm our baby by merely playing the same songs he heard in his previous womb life.  Ill be a mix of the dog whisperer and the pied piper (whoa, I did NOT know the whole story of the pied piper! I will not being harming any children with my magical piano playing).

Anyway.  Playing piano in the evening is more stimulating than reading myself children’s book.  So hopefully the kid likes it.

Brahms Walt in A-flat Major:

Mendelssohn Venetian Boat Song No 2:

Chopin Prelude in C-Minor:

Most of these songs are slow and relaxing.  I also occasionally play more upbeat pieces, but I dont foresee playing these pieces in order to calm a fussy baby.  This doesnt exactly make you want to go to sleep, right?

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New Trick by Phil

Look what Barney learned to do.

Brought to you by my Droid X

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Well Celia finally made it to the dirty jerz on Friday afternoon/evening.  Since the day was pretty much shot, we decided to head back to Asbury and ‘do’ the city on Sunday instead.  So we had the pleasure of experiencing NYC rush hour! and made it back to the shore around 7:00pm.  We hung out and caught up that evening and then headed down to Seaside Heights on Saturday morning!!

Yes, THAT Seaside Heights. They have a big St. Patty’s Day parade every year, so we checked out the town along with all the Jersey Shore action.  We saw the house, the t-shirt shop, and Karma.  The parade was tons of fun and there was definitely some great people watching.

Saturday night we hung out in Asbury and looked through old high school photos.  Luckily, those are not in digital form or I would be posting those, too.  Sunday we woke up and made our way to NYC!!  We walked everyyyyyywhere!!  But saw so much!!  Here is a map of our travels:

I couldnt embed the mapmyrun map.  But here it is:  http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/29730028 if you want a closer look.  We walked the whole thing, except one subway ride from the line between Soho and Grand Central Station.  We saw ground zero, wall street, the stock exchange, charging bull, china town, little italy.  Then grand central station, 5th avenue, st. patricks, 30 rock, radio city music hall, christie’s auction house, trump tower, the plaza, central park, broadway, letterman studios, hello deli, times square, madison square garden,  and you can basically see the empire state building from anywhere.  Phew!  Im tired just typing all that.  Here are some highlights:

And my absolute fav:

I had such a blast, Celia!  Thank you sooooo much for coming!!!! See you in a few weeks!!

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Celia has the worst luck with travel ever!!!! She was supposed to be in the air on her way to the dirty jerz right now, but instead is at home before her possible 1:30 flight.  With any luck she will be here before night fall.  Fingers crossed!!!!

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Pizza Dough

We loves us some pizza in woznation.  We use to use boboli crust, then this adorable gay couple started selling pre-made raw dough at the farmers market in memphis.  But unfortunately they never made a whole wheat variety and I started looking into making it at home.  Too bad for them, because they were charging us $5 a pop for each pre-made dough – but as soon as I looked into making it at home, I realized they were robbing us blind.  Homemade pizza dough is so easy and cheap!

Here is my go to recipe:

I use a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose flour.  Then some water, yeast, salt, sugar and oil.  Now I normally do not include salt and oil in the list of ingredients since they are used according to each individual’s personal taste.  But in this case, I measured them out since we are more-or-less ‘baking’ (vs. cooking).  And I never guess with baking.

So first mix 2.25 teaspoons of yeast into 1 cup of warm water (ive heard water temperatures ranging from 85 – 115 degrees.  Warm enough to ‘wake up’ the yeast, but not hot enough to kill it.  I go by my own personal ‘bath water’ gauge.)  So mix those two together and let sit while you assemble the other ingredients.

I use 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, .75 tsp salt, 1.5 tsp sugar, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

If you dont like whole wheat, you could use all regular flour, but you might want to lower your water liquid to .75 cups.  From what I have read, the whole wheat flour sucks up more water, so that is why I use a bit more than what some other recipes call for.  So far it was worked for me.  After you have assembled your dry ingredients + oil, your yeast and water have probably mixed to a nice frothy consistency.

You can mix your water+yeast with your dry + oil now.  I use a spatula to get it to come together some and then dump to a floured  board to finish the job.  You’ll probably use .25 cups (or less?) of extra all-purpose flour for kneading.

Then you’ll knead the bread, sprinkling in the extra flour, as needed, so that the dough doesnt stick to your hands.  Knead for 3-4 minutes.  If you have a stand mixer with all the fancy attachments, that would work great, too.  The dough will quickly come together.

Then youll want to put it in a clean, pam-sprayed bowl to rise for an hour. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap.

After an hour it will have doubled in size:

Then is my favorite part – punching it down!  And you’re ready to make your pizza.  I preheat my oven to about 415 and I use parchment paper and cornmeal to prevent the pizza dough from sticking onto my pan.

Then just spread it all out and you’re ready to go!

After I add the sauce, cheese and topping – it generally bakes for 15 – 18 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.

Next monday is PI DAY so make sure you celebrate accordingly!!!! We will for sure be making a pizza piiiiiiiii!

Here is an easy copy/paste version of the recipe:


1 cup warm water

2.25 teaspoons (1 packet) of yeast

1 cup plus .25 cups of all-purpose flour

1 cup wheat flour

.75 teaspoons of salt

1.5 teaspoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Mix together yeast and warm water; set aside.  Add 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup wheat flour, .75 tsp salt and 1.5 tsp sugar mix together, then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add water+yeast mixture to flour mixture and mix together.  Dump dough onto floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to your hands.  Then transfer to a pam-sprayed bowl.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  Punch down and make your pizza!!

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22 weeks gestation

So its only been 2 weeks since I have last posted a picture, but I definitely did some poppin’ – as my yoga girls put it.

It may or may not have something to do with this:

7 boxes of girl scout cookies.  They were selling them at Lowes today as we were leaving.  and Phil goes up to the table and asks for ‘1 of everything except whatever that berry one is on the end’.  The girls were in a frenzy, we were their biggest purchase of the day so far.

This is actually my biggest concern:

Do you see the line that I have added?!  My belly has officially broken the niplar plane.  It protrudes past my chest.  I was going to title this post ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ but, dear god, I hope there is a point of return.  In that same vien, my toes are officially on notice.  I can still see them but I know its only a matter of time.

Baby (no name yet!) is definitely kicking a lot harder these days.  He catches me off guard at work – I honestly jump a little sometimes when he does it! But its very cool.

Ok – thats all for now.  I’m off to eat some cookies.

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Big Boy Pants by Phil

If anyone saw the nursery pictures Amy posted a few weeks ago you may be unhappy to learn that it will not be properly utilized. This is because our move date for Baltimore has (finally) been set for the end of July. This seems like a good date since we probably wont be busy with anything else at that time. The move date has been set because I just accepted a new position within the Department of Defense / US Army hierarchy. My new (ridiculous) full title is Chief Engineer to Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices Electronic Warfare (CREW). Or, more simply put – Chief Engineer, PM CREW. This is a pretty serious promotion which comes with something of a raise and also requires me to leave my contracting company and work directly for the DOD/Army. Don’t worry Char and Nancy, I am still a civilian, they can’t actually send me to war. Overall, we are very happy with this and I just hope I don’t fuck anything up too badly. As ‘proof’ of my promotion I offer the nameplate to my new office (yes akers I said office… with two windows).

Probably dont know what I am getting myself into

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