It is with great relief and joy that we welcome the newest member to our family. Baby Gideon, a healthy baby boy, was born at 1pm yesterday in Goshen, Indiana. Both mama and baby are doing well now, and sleeping peacefully beside me as I type. Given the complications of the pregnancy, the risks of delivery in Haiti were simply too great; a painful reminder of how so many families lack access to good quality healthcare. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and happiness for our little boy, and all the people who helped he and Rebecca get through a difficult surgery and recovery.
I turned 31 today, ate cookies, watermelon pie, and ribs, and I had to change my clothes three times because our daughter's outdoor play got unusually messy! It was a great birthday. Two years ago on my birthday, Rebecca and I were living and working in Pittsburgh. Last year we were new parents, in a new country, in new jobs. And this year we are expectantly waiting. Rebecca is pregnant, and due to a complication in the pregnancy, we are both working remotely from the US during this last trimester. If all goes as well as it can, our baby will be joining us about a month ahead of schedule towards the end of June.
Simple Rhubarb Danishes
It is high rhubarb season here in Northern Indiana where Rebecca and I are spending these last weeks of her pregnancy. Since rhubarb is something we can't find in Haiti, Rebecca has been doubling down on it while we are here. We eat rhubarb strawberry jam on our toast, in yogurt, and as a topping for ice cream. We make batch upon batch of rhubarb strawberry jam bars, and of course many a rhubarb cream pie. These Simple Rhubarb Danishes are easy (for a pastry), delicious, and elegant -- great for a crowd, or in scaled down version for a weekend breakfast.
Grilled Cheese & More Exciting News!
Rebecca has always had strong food cravings; from adventures across the city to find the most mouth puckering sour candy, to a months long quest to reproduce a Vietnamese street food from our travels. While spousal cravings can get a bad rap, I'm personally a big fan. Spur-of-the moment homemade rice crispy treats, check. Ten versions of fried potatoes in a week, twist my arm. Or, most recently, a grilled cheese to beat all other grilled cheese sandwiches: perfectly crisped bread, an extra creamy cheese mix (including cream cheese), and smokey bacon. Not an everyday meal, but a craving induced celebratory treat. In addition to our upcoming move to Haiti, Rebecca and I are celebrating another exciting life change. Rebecca is just entering her third trimester of pregnancy, and we couldn't be happier! We're expecting our little son or daughter to make an appearance in early February, with a planned delivery in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. And if they come out craving ooey gooey cheese...we'll know why!
Spinach, Strawberry, Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese & Pecans
Thanks for following along with our new adventures! We recently moved from Pittsburgh to Haiti where we are starting a 5 year volunteer assignment with a non-profit relief and development organization. We will be in transition for the next few months as we complete our in-country orientation, language study, spend time living with host families in both the countryside and capital... and lest we forget, have our first baby somewhere in there as well! Please bear with us as we will not have ready access to internet or a kitchen throughout this time. We will continue to share new recipes that we've prepared in advance, and updates on our new life in Haiti as often as we are able.
Even before I became pregnant, I was no stranger to food cravings, but looking back, pregnancy has taken me down some odd paths. There was the stage at the beginning, when in between bouts of vomiting, I madly craved salty, tangy and pickled foods. For a while I ate lentil salad with tangy vinaigrette and feta for breakfast every morning. Luckily, the intensity of my craving passed before I fully pickled our baby. In the second trimester, my cravings swung towards tex-mex, and sour-cream became the condiment of choice on everything. Mid pregnancy was notable for my lack of interest in dessert, with an occasional craving for canned peaches. Thankfully for my health, this third trimester has brought a renewed love of fresh fruits and veggies. So while I recognize that this Spinach, Strawberry & Avocado Salad is in no way seasonal, I have happily scarfed it for lunch and sometimes dinner for the month leading up to our departure to Haiti. I like the contrast of crisp spinach, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado nestled beside tangy goat cheese, toasted pecans, and topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.
We have a daughter! It’s a surreal thing to say. We are blissfully happy to share that after weeks of on-and-off contractions and gestation in three countries, our beautiful baby girl, Madeline, was born at 1 am yesterday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, weighing in at a healthy 7 pounds. Madeline is a lively little newborn, and both she and Rebecca are doing well. It’s hard to put words to the feeling of being parents for just a few short hours; joy, relief, shock and happiness. We have been finding ourselves bursting into giddy (exhausted) laughter quite a bit since little Madeline arrived. We will be taking the next month off from work to get to know our new daughter, and look forward to introducing her to her family (even if virtually in many cases), with her first introduction to both sets of grandparents when they arrive in Haiti in just a few weeks!