Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh, Target.

It's no secret that I love Target. When I lived in San Leandro I spent more than 3 hours a week at Target. Thankfully, I have gotten quite a few Target gift cards for the baby and have been quite content ordering Cooper's things online. There's nothing better than having your goods shipped to you in three days and avoiding long lines during the Holiday Season.

The boy (who doesn't understand the need for women to nest) thinks that most of the things I'm buying are pointless. I disagree. Here are some examples of things Cooper needed, that I got from Target:

This bin-set is not only cute, it's completely functional. I'm sorry, but you can never have too much storage in your nursery. I ran out of storage room weeks before the baby shower invites were even out. Now we have a nice shelf and storage bins are the way to go:

Last time I checked, babies like to chew on things. I know he won't be teething at birth but it can't hurt to have more distractions around. Although I admit this is a little premature, they were on sale:

Everyone likes a clean baby. Since no one got the grooming kit off my registry, I decided to get one:

The Boy thinks this next one is completely unnecessary. WRONG. Babies need stimulation. And I don't want my poor son staring at the ceiling when he's laying on the ground. I want him interested and engaged with the things around him:

Yes, we got a ton of clothes for Cooper. But the one area we happened to miss out on was 6-9 month onesies. So I just got a three pack:

And last but BEST, the crib set! Cooper won't be in his crib for quite a few months, but why not get it now? Before it's unavailable online again for another 5 months?

And that is it for my Thanksgiving weekend shopping. Not half bad. I didn't buy a single thing for myself (can you believe it?) and got a lot taken care of from Now I can focus on Christmas shopping (gross).

Friday, November 26, 2010

DIY Friday

When The Boy and I moved into our place, the "needs to be repaired" list was more than two pages long. The owners of our 3 bedroom rental really didn't give a shit about out quality of living and we realized early on that we'd have to take most repairs and fix-up into our own hands. We were lucky to get new carpet (which may I add was replaced weeks after we were completely moved in) after I emailed the property management company multiple times, complaining that the cigarette burns were gross and old-cat residue was making me wheeze and the frequency of needing to use my inhaler wasn't good for my unborn child. In this case, using the pregnancy card was completely necessary.

The knobs in our kitchen were different colors and some of them were broken or missing. When we asked the repair man to replace them he brought white knobs to add to the blue ones, thus making our kitchen look even worse that it did before. Jory went to the local hardware store and purchased brand new wooden knobs and painted them himself (and then glazed). He used the paint we used on our walls, "Butter and Beans", which was color coordinated with the art hanging in the kitchen. Now all the knobs match and we are one step closer to having a pretty kitchen.



While The Boy was busy making the house pretty, I headed to our local used bookstore and purchased a used book that was my absolute favorite as a child, "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think" by Dr. Seuss. The book was on sale for $1.50 and I left very happy. When I got home I ordered another copy off (for under $3.00), so I could rip apart the used copy and frame the pictures.

Book: $1.50 Frames: Under $10

Finished product:

In all we've had a pretty successful DIY weekend. Tomorrow I plan to hunt for more DIY opportunities. I have less than a few months to get the room together and have everything settled for when Baby Cooper arrives (or before I get to uncomfortable to do this stuff).

I Heart Lemons

I offered to do dessert this Thanksgiving, even though I get tremendous anxiety when I commit to bringing dishes. I always have this huge fear of messing it up and then leaving everyone without whatever I said I'd bring. In this case, it was lemon curd marbled cheesecake.

Perhaps it's my fear of failure that makes me reluctant... but in any case, I went for it. I found a recipe on that looked easy enough for me to tackle and I went for it. Since I have had a huge lemon craving through out this whole pregnancy, I thought lemon would be good. And it gave me lots of pretty yellows to shoot with my camera.

I have decided that I love making lemon curd. It might be my favorite thing to consume. It really was incredible. Here I am making lemon curd:

The finished product:

It wasn't bad. The edges weren't beautiful but the cheesecake was pretty damn tasty. Somehow, I ended up with the leftovers. That could be bad.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Where the hell am I going to fit 3 more months of baby growing?


Saturday, November 20, 2010


How can one little guy be so damn cute?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lovely Letters from Old Friends

My dear friend Kelly Cunningham sent me an email today that made me tear up. It was very special and I thought I would share.


Just wanted to add that I am really so happy for you. I know how much you wanted to be a Mom and now you are. The 3rd trimester is when you get to love your body most. It does things that don't seems possible. And while you waited to see any signs of pregnancy during the 1st trimester, the 3rd gives you the pay off for all that waiting. Motherhood is truely life awakening in every way. It calms you down, makes you more vulnerable but at the same time you balance that out by becoming stronger, stronger in the feminine sense; intune with the body, more connected to the spirit, stronger in the mind. Enjoy this time, be positive about your birth,prepare for the tiredness and fatigue of having a newborn, and get ready to be someone new, and better, because there is nothing else in the world like this.


Tonight has been pretty awesome and this email just topped the cake. I had a great dinner with my friend Candice, was greeted by my sweet boyfriend with fresh baked cookies, had new Mrs. Meyers cleaning products from Tara waiting in my clean kitchen, had a reduced car insurance bill waiting for me, I'm LOVING the rain, had my kitchen plumbing fixed while I was at work (hot water in the kitchen now!), Cooper is kicking up a frenzy and I got an awesome email from an awesome friend. Nights like this make me love life even more. Now I'm going to snuggle up with my boys.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I need someone to take portraits of me. Real portraits, before Cooper is born.

I would be ever-so-grateful and show my appreciation by taking portraits of you.

I am looking for a photographer, not a friend with a point-and-shoot (sorry if that sounds snotty).


Reality Check

For the last few mornings I've been waking up in the middle of the night (for various reasons) and have noticed that my right hand is throbbing and stiff. I am able to fall back asleep, yet the pain is still there when I wake up. It seems to be worse first thing in the morning, it's literally painful to open it up. This is the same hand that I broke in a car accident, the same hand I type on a 10-key with for hours on end every day, so I attribute it to a mild form of arthritis. It may be a self diagnosis, but I'm not sure what else if could be, especially with the stiffening of the joints. I figured I was a little young to be having arthritis issues and decided to try not to think about it.

A few minutes after exiting the warm bed I stumbled to the upstairs bathroom to tame my tumbleweed-like hair. As I started to part the mess of hair, I involuntarily let out a "nooooooooo!" at what I saw; my first grey hair. It was plain as day, and it wasn't just a little grey, it was plain-as-day bright grey.

By this time Jory has made his way to the base of the stairs, asking me if I was alright. The only thing I could think to say in my hormone induced frustration was "I'm falling apart. I'm an old lady at 27".

Then reality hit me. I'm not a young little spring chicken anymore. Granted, I'm not old and I'm completely active with many years of fun ahead of me... but I now am starting to realize that this is when you have to start taking care of your body, that the days of body abuse with quick recoveries are over. My body will probably not bounce back after the baby is born, it will take work now. If I'm going to stay lean I have to work with my new metabolism, which is not eat-whatever-you-want-and-remain-30-pounds, anymore. It takes exercise and discipline to stay in shape and it takes patience. Just because Jack-in-the-Box has "free taco night" doesn't mean I should take part in it. Part of me likes it and part of me wonders how the hell we become adults so fast. I feel like I was dancing until sunrise with Maggie only a couple months ago, when it reality it was 10 years ago.

After this baby is born I fully intend to jump back into my normal routine. I hope to be back in spin, walking multiple time a week and hiking as much as possible.

And I'm keeping that first gray hair to remind myself that it's important to take care of myself.

Oh, life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

920 Centennial Avenue

Tonight my Mom moved out of her house. It was the house I grew up in, moving in at around a year-and-a-half old. All of my childhood memories were created in this house. It just hit me about 20 minutes ago; I'll never be able to go in that house again. Mix in some hormones and you have a very sad Alison.

I decided to post a few memories from 920 Centennial Avenue. There are thousands of memories from this house and I will never, ever forget it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Staying Away from the Bad Stuff

I have about 3 months to go (I know!) and I've already gained a lot of weight with this pregnancy. Although the doctor didn't say I'm fat, she did suggest that I exercise more and watch my calorie intake.

I am trying my damnedest to eat healthy and stay away from the high calorie and no-no foods, such as white flours, high sugar foods and fried foods. I was eating very healthy last week but kept finding myself starving, even after a large meal. There was almost no fat in my diet. Tara suggested I have a little fat in my meals to make me feel full longer.

I decided to start off today with a frittata. I got up early on this beautiful Sunday and started cooking. It worked. I wasn't chomping-at-the-bit 20 minutes after I ate. I had a bunch of energy after eating, thus making it possible to have a productive day. And I made enough to have left-overs for breakfast the next few days.

My fritatta included eggs, chicken apple sausage, zucchini, scallions, a yellow onion, fresh spinach, sea salt, black pepper and a *little* bit of cheese on top.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Things I Need - Part 2

A Hello Kitty sewing machine might just complete my life. Think I'm kidding? Well I'm not. Not even a little.

"Sew Pretty. Sew Perfect".

Oh, Bucko.

Bucko never ceases to amaze us with is funny little ways and it is never a dull moment in our household as long as Bucko is around. For those who haven't met this spastic little guy, he is a lover and probably the cutest little dog you'll ever meet. I'm not just saying this because he's my dog. He truly is one of a kind. I can't imagine our life without this little friend of ours. This dog has more personality than most humans I know.

When The Boy and I first started dating, he hated dogs. I mean... he didn't just dislike them a little, he seriously hated them. He would make comments about dogs when he saw dogs on walks and wouldn't allow his friends to bring their dogs in his house. He made his opinion about dogs very clear when I told him I had a dog and then assured me that no dog would ever win his heart.

Enter Bucko.

The Boy fell head over heels for Bucko almost immediately. On Bucko's first visit to the Boy's house (before I moved in) I was beyond nervous. I kept him on my lap all the time and made him sleep in his kennel the first night. The next day The Boy made Bucko a bed to lay on in the living room. He even told me to let him run around a little. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I took him him off the leash and we all sat around and watched a movie.

The following weekend was our first trip to the Albany Bulb, where The Boy insisted on walking Bucko. "I got it", he'd say. This is where I witnessed The Boy pick up dog shit for the first time; yet another jaw dropping experience. Soon thereafter, their love became a bond and they were inseparable. They would snuggle together and eventually ended up spooning every night, which continues to this day. When I have protested Bucko sleeping in our bed with us I was firmly shot down, for Bucko would be staying right next to his Dad. I started to develop a little resentment towards this relationship between the Boy and the Dog, as I was not included in this special love and after all, it was my friggin' dog. Bucko had clearly decided who his favorite human was and it was no longer me.

After Bucko met the rest of the Alligers, he fell in love with them too and they fell in love with him right back. One mention of the word "Grandma" and Bucko goes into a spinning, barking frenzy. He loves our Monday dinners and I swear he knows when it's Monday; when we get home from work he has an inquisitive look on his face and cant sit still as if he's anticipating something glorious.

Recently we moved back to the street the Boy grew up on and are sharing an adorable little duplex with the Boy's sister Tara and her husband Nino (Hi Tara!). Bucko loves this more than bacon. We share a front porch with two doors, one to each of our units. The only person that can step on this porch without him barking is his Auntie Tara. He actually begins to cry, as if he can't live without her and wants nothing more than to go over to her side and make himself at home. Quite often we will leave the gate that joins our back yards open, so Bucko can roam back and forth as he pleases. After we've retired for the night we have left the gate open once or twice. I have found Bucko on the back porch next door, in the dark, just hoping and praying they will open the door and let him in. It's quite amusing.

Since the Boy and I work together and live about two miles from work, we go home at lunch every day. We let Bucko out in the back yard to run around and get some fresh air. The other day I walked outside mid-lunch and expected to find Bucko eating grass or laying on the lounge chair he loves. He wasn't there. I assumed he was in the house laying around and started to head back inside. When Jory suddenly started laughing and Bucko appeared out of nowhere next to the fence, I realized he had been sneaking into his Auntie Tara's back yard. Probably to lay on her beautiful grass or sit and wait patiently on her back porch. It was so funny I couldn't be angry at him.

Below is Bucko's entrance into the secret garden, Auntie Tara's back yard. Notice that there's only about 3 inches of space. He managed to squeeze his little body through, in the name of love. The Boy has since put a board up so that Bucko does not escape next door and will therefore be forced once again to hang out with the mother he has written off, me.

This photo is of Bucko and Me, before he stopped loving me:

And this one I just threw in because he's effing adorable:

I look forward to sharing more of Bucko's experiences and funny little ways with you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Caffeine

I came to a realization today at lunch. I was driving back to work and realized that my utter exhaustion seemed not-so-bad as soon as I turned the music on my radio. It was like a jolt of energy had hit my body, like the music was my caffeine. Then I really started thinking about it some more.

The one thing that ever got me motivated to exercise is music. When I start my car and head to work the first thing I do to warm up is put on KISS FM and dance in my car to Double Dutch Bus to get my day going. When I'm too exhausted to edit photos, I turn on the iTunes and jump to it. I like absolutely every genre. Every single one (although there are certain examples of each I could do without).

I was passed down the love-for-music gene from my father. I've never met anyone with more of a vast memory, knowledge and diversity of musical interests than him. Every person in my family is a musician, we all play instruments and are vocally gifted (them more than I).

It is my wish that my son have the same love and passion for music as I do. I hope it gets him moving and motivates him the same way it does his family. I don't care if he is a musician so much that I hope he appreciates the music that surrounds him. I hope it has the power to change his moods like it does for me. I will start playing music for him soon after he's born and can't wait to share music with this little guy.

As someone onece said, "a world without music would be a mistake." And it's so true.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Own.

There's a lot of things I'm good at. Few things I'm great at. I have been trying to find something to make my own, something I can focus all my energy on and become amazing at. Make something unique, something that not a lot of people do or create.

It's difficult. I have been racking my brain, asking myself "what can I make awesome? What can I make my own?".

I have yet to find it. I think about it constantly. I do lots of different activities. Photography. Painting. Crocheting. Language. Blogging. Building fish tanks. Gardening. Dancing. Cooking..... but I want to me known for something, be the only person I know to do something specific. "Oh, that's Alie. She makes awesome ________".

I know when I find it, it'll be amazing. And I know it'll take a lot of time and energy, which I realize I will soon not have much time for. But I'm still on a mission to find this hobby or craft to make my own.


I will find it. Eventually.

I found a new band tonight, I am in love with this song. Give it a listen. All the way through. I have their album "Touch Up" and I am hooked.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Don't be a crappy friend.

Just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean I have the plague or that I'm no longer capable of hanging out and maintaining friendships. My level of existence didn't change. I may not be capable of hiking or power walking but I am still able to be a friend. And I still have feelings.

I think that when people have friends that are having children, they think their friends will no longer be interested in being human beings with social lives. This is not the case. I don't want to be left out because I'm pregnant. I don't want to stop being invited out.

I understand that there are some stages in pregnancy that ladies are less likely to be out and about. But that doesn't mean we want to be made to feel like there's something wrong with us. Don't drop out of our lives. Don't stop including us and inviting us. It's nice to be thought about, even if it is unlikely we are able to participate. A friend just invited me to her rollerskating party. She knew I wouldn't be skating. But you know what? It's pretty incredible that she was still thoughtful enough to think about me and include me in her birthday events.

And have some patience, please? For all the time I have listened to my friends talk about their love lives (or lack of), finances, animals, jobs and other random occurrences in their lives, I don't think it's too much to ask that a dear friend listen as I talk about the most important, substantial thing I have ever done in my life. Especially when it's pretty much... a miracle. Support would be appreciated. Don't feel like hearing it? Then you probably shouldn't be a part of my life. Because the most important thing in my life is no longer me.

My friend Stephanie sent me a link to a great article. If you have a friend that plans on having a child soon, it might be beneficial to read this:
Rocking Aunt and Uncle hood.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Let's keep it real here. It's not easy to eat your healthiest while you're pregnant. I will see something I know I shouldn't eat, but end up "needing" it. Like the Skittles I had at around 10:00AM (I must add, they were only a small Halloween fun size). I had barely any issues keeping my food decisions controlled before baby and hope that gift returns after Cooper is born.

One awesome thing about having a sister-in-law with a degree in dietetics, is that there's no shortage of influence when it comes to making amazing, healthy dishes. Even more awesome? Is having her live next door. Tara is one of the best cooks I know and I'm not just saying that because she's family. She constantly keeps me intrigued with food and helps give me new ideas when healthy just sounds... blah. I'm waiting for her to start a food blog. (Do it Tara. Do it.)

After one of our weekly work out groups about 6 months ago (I attended these regularly before becoming impregnated), Tara oh-so-effortlessly threw together a salad that I will never forget. I tried to mimic the salad tonight and although it wasn't as incredible as the original, it was pretty damn delicious. I changed it up a little, as there were a few ingredients I didn't have.

I made a pot of quinoa with fresh zucchini, diced shallots, garlic and onions. After the quinoa was done cooking, I threw in a can of black beans and some sea salt. Quinoa is one of my favorite foods and I can thank my dear friend Elayne for introducing me to it.

Then in a separate bowl I tossed a handful of baby spinach with a very small amount of the best salad dressing EVAR (Newman's Own Light Sun Dried Tomato Dressing). I added a large scoop of the quinoa and topped the heavenly concoction with some unsalted sliced almonds.

Even after 6.5 months, I'm still learning how to fulfill my pregnancy cravings for amazing food while keeping it healthy, so my baby gets as much nutrients as possible. More to come.

Aeroplane Over the Sea

It's not often that I post lyrics... but sometimes a song grabs me and I have to share. This song is in my top 5 all-time favorites. I highly suggest you check this band out if you haven't heard of them. The lyrics very much describe the state of joy I've been in recently. Things are good. Very, very good.

Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
What a beautiful dream
That could flash on the screen
In a blink of an eye and be gone from me
Soft and sweet
Let me hold it close and keep it here with me, me

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me, me

What a curious life we have found here tonight
There is music that sounds from the street
There are lights in the clouds
Anna's ghost all around
Hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me
Soft and sweet
How the notes all bend and reach above the trees, trees

Now how I remember you
How I would push my fingers through
Your mouth to make those muscles move
That made your voice so smooth and sweet
Now we keep where we don't know
All secrets sleep in winter clothes
With one you loved so long ago
Now he don't even know his name

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round' the sun
And when we meet on a cloud
I'll be laughing out loud
I'll be laughing with everyone I see
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

I've got to say, I am very proud of my sweetheart. It's a special day for him, as this is the first time he's ever voted in his 36 years of being alive. He put aside his stubborn ways for one day and actually voted. It may have something to do with the fact that legalizing marijuana was a ballot initiative... but he still voted.

Now we wait and hope.


Belly at 25 weeks.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Fury of a Thousand Ninjas

I'm quite disappointed in myself. These Converse All Star BOOTS have existed without me knowing it for a while now. I'm not sure how long they've been around, but I caught my first glimpse of them yesterday at Doumit on Park Street. I have to say, it was a jaw dropping experience. I couldn't believe how amazing they were and would have purchased them if all my money wasn't being hoarded away for my maternity leave. I have been wanting a pair of wrestling boots, but this far surpasses the amount of "Fucking-Awesome" that wrestling boots possess. AND they zip up the back. Gimme.

That is what has been on my fuzzy mind all morning and my mind has been beyond fuzzy today. We had a new experience last night. Usually I fall asleep with no issues but then end up waking multiple times in the night. Last night however, I was not able to fall asleep until about 1:30 AM.

Cooper was kicking with the fury of a thousand ninjas. I have never felt him as active as he was last night. It was non-stop, for hours on end. When I woke up to pee, I'd get an intense reminder that he was still there and not going anywhere fast. It was entertaining at first but then it just didn't stop. I'm quite happy to know that he is in there, having a good time, albeit his mother's comfort and sleep patterns are severely compromised. Today while at work there's been a pretty busy day in the uterus as well. It almost seems as if the little guy doesn't sleep. It used to be that I could only feel him while sitting at my desk or laying down. Now I can feel him while I'm standing. This kid is going to be a moose.