Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Magical Minnaert Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch

When Gary's parents were around the other weekend we made an old family tradition for dessert, my Grandma Minnaert' Rhubarb Crunch.

We had gotten a pile of strawberries in our CSA and this was a fitting use of them. It turned out great.

The recipe is as follows.

3/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup flour
4 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 box strawberry jello powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put mixed rhubarb and strawberries into a 9 x 9 inch greased pan. Cover with rhubarb. Cook sugar, water, cornstarch, vanilla and jello until thick and clear. Pour over rhubarb and strawberries. Mix oatmeal, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour until crumbly. Pour over top. Cook for 1 hour.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Private photos on Flickr

All of the photos of Claire we post on Flickr will be "private". This means that in order to view the images, you will need to have a Flickr user id and become our "contact" or "friend" of ours.. Flickr is free to join and it should just take a couple minutes to sign up.

Our username is Minnaert, and the link below is to our photostream. we will periodically add photos of young Claire as albums.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

3 weeks old & some new photos

We posted a set of young Claire's first 3 weeks on Flickr yesterday. Enjoy.

I like the one where she has a finger pointing to her eye.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Riding to Glendale for Bike to Work Week

For Bike to Work Week, I commuted to Glendale twice, on Tuesday & Friday. I take the less busy city streets from West Hollywood to Glendale for the 9 mile trip each way. There is a bit of a hill through Los Feliz, but overall, it is a pretty flat route. I ride it in about 40 minutes to go each way, if i drive, it takes about 30 minutes, and then I have to pay for parking and gas & all that junk.

Since I will be working in Glendale while Sarah is home with Claire on maternity leave, i plan on biking here regularly. I'm a member of 24 Hour Fitness, which has a club in the building where I work, so i can store my biking stuff in a locker during the day & take a shower once I get here, which I am sure my fellow cubicle dwellers appreciate.

I'm a member of the League of American Bicyclists, who promotes Bike to work week. They are also a good organization which advocates for cyclists and promotes responsible bicycling & commuting.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The final results are in

The final results are in from the big baby guess contest.

The overall winner of the Baby arrival date guessing game was Paul Welka (Gary's IBM colleague). He almost ran the table, getting nearly everything correct or very close.

The complete 'correct' info was:
Claire Abigail, girl, born April 29th, 2009 at 1:31pm, 7 lbs 6 ounces

Overall Winner:
Paul Welka
Girl, 4/29/2009, 10:00 am, 7 lbs 8 ounces

Day & Date winner (missing by 1 hour, 19 minutes):
Matt Novak (Gary's IBM colleague)
April 29, 2009, 12:12 pm

Weight winners (all guessing 7lbs 6 ounces):
Arno Huang (Gary's IBM colleague)
Kristina Huthmacher (Sarah's cousin in law)
Cody Schaff (Gary's IBM colleague)

Gender guesses favored a girl, 19 to 17. It seems like people had an accurate sense on this.

It looks like Claire came in a bit bigger than most people thought. The average guess was 7 lbs, 3 ounces, she came in at 7 lbs 6 ounces.

The majority of the guesses were expecting a late arrival for little Claire, but she showed up right on time, on her April 29th due date.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dear Claire

Dear Claire,
This is the story about the day (or days) you were born.

Your due date was Wednesday, April 29th. Lots of friends and relatives guessed on when you were going to arrive. We knew if you were going to be a boy or a girl, but we didn't tell anyone else, you were a big mystery.

On Monday April 28th, at 2am. your mommy had some contractions, but these were very infrequent, off and on throughout the middle of the night. The following afternoon mommy and daddy went for a walk to try and move things along, but you stayed put.

On Tuesday April 29th your mommy's water broke about 5:30am. Daddy had gone to the gym shortly before that. When he came home, we waited around the house for the contractions to get stronger, watching Good Day LA on t.v.

We went to the hospital at about 11am. We got checked in and met our first nurse Lelah. The doctors were not sure that the waters had broken. The doctors checked and saw your mommy was 2 cm dilated. Mommy had lots of contractions, each 5 minutes apart. At 5pm the doctors checked and mommy was still 2 cm dilated. Mommy was exhausted and the doctors gave her an epidural to help with the pain.

At about 7:30pm we moved to a much fancier delivery room with a big view of the Hollywood Hills. Our second nurse, Sparky, took over. We watched the Dodgers beat the Giants 5 - 3 on t.v. as we wondered what was taking such a long time, but the doctors and nurses all said that this was normal and we should just try and get some sleep. Both your mommy and daddy tried, but didn't sleep much.

Oh La La (Francine, Sarah's mom, prefers Oh La La to 'grandma') drove up from great grandpa's house in Torrance at 12 noon and dutifully stayed in the hospital waiting room. She finished your baby quilt while she waited. She also ate lunch with daddy and gave mommy some crystals for good luck.

At about 2am the water finally fully broke, much more than it had before. The nurse checked and mommy was 5 cm dilated, showing things were moving along. Your mommy felt cold late at night and shook some times also.

Throughout the night lots of friends and relatives all sent their best wishes. saying how excited they were to meet you.

The entire time at the hospital we could monitor the contractions and your little heart beat. At about 4am your heart rate became elevated for a couple hours. The doctors thought that there may be an infection and gave you & mommy Tylenol other antibiotics and put ice packs on your mommy's belly to bring down her temperature, and therefore your temperature & heart rate. At about 4:30am the doctors were thinking you might be getting too tired and we talked about maybe having to do a c-section. We waited 30 minutes and see if you got better. By 5am your heart rate came down and things were all looking pretty good.

Your mommy liked the nurse Sparky a lot. She did a great job of making her feel comfortable in the middle of the night when she was scared and uncomfortable. At about 7:30am we got our 3rd nurse, Dawn. Both mommy and daddy took little cat naps before Sparky & Dawn switched.

At about 8am Dawn had mommy turn on her side to hopefully get you to speed up. At about 9:30am Dawn checked and found mommy was 10cm dilated, meaning you were ready, hurray! Mommy turned on her other side to try and speed things up more. At about 11am mommy started to push. You were ready to come and meet us!

We pushed for about 2 hours. Your mommy was getting pretty tired, everyone was wondering if you were really going to show up or not. Dr. Lee realized that you were a "Cephalic Presentation", or going to be delivered face first, or "sunny side up". This was probably one of the reasons you took so long. During the pushing your mommy's temperature rose to 103 and your heart beat went up, higher than what the doctors thought might be good.

Dr. Lee and nurse Dawn really started to encourage your mommy to push hard & she did. Your little head started to show and then a couple really big pushes later your head & shoulders came out all of a sudden.

There were 2 pediatricians waiting to check you out right away since your heart beat was high. Dr Lee also noticed that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid (you had pooped inside before you were born) and that you needed to be cleaned up quick and have your lungs cleared out, which the pediatricians did. After you were weighed & measured, your daddy followed you to the observation room where they bathed you, lowering your high temperature, drew some blood, gave you an IV line and a shot of antibiotics. 1 hour after you were born you, daddy and mommy were all back in the same room together.

Oh La La visited you after we moved to the post partem room, which was much less fancy than the delivery room; there was a view of the other building, not the nice hills.

We couldn't believe how happy we were once you arrived Claire Abigail. You were all we ever wished for. We will remember this day better than any day before.