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[Comments] (1) Pear Walnut Muffins:

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1 egg 
1/2 cup cooking oil 
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1 pear, cored and finely chopped 
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts 
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions
1. In a mixing bowl stir together flour, the 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In a bowl beat egg; stir in oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Add all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in pear.

2. Lightly grease twelve muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; fill two-thirds full. For topping, combine walnuts and the 2 tablespoons brown sugar; sprinkle onto batter in cups. Bake in a 400 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

A friend at work gave me one of the muffins. I really like it so I tried making them at home, and they were a hit!

: Yesterday when I got home from work Jellybean wasn't there to greet me, which was a bit weird coming from such an attention-starved cat. I started cleaning up in the kitchen, and then heard a very loud meowing. It sounded like it was coming from very near, but I didn't see her, so I started opening the cupboards. Then I realized she was standing at the front door - outside!

I called John to see if he had let her out - nope. She must have jumped from our balcony to the one below and spent the day playing with kitty friends. At least now I know she can find her way home.

: Happy Anti-Labor Day weekend! I'm so excited for the day off, and my work week is ending on a good, and thankfully organized, note. Enjoy!

: Yesterday my awesome husband took me to the LA Zoo! Even though it was really hot, we had a fun time walking around and seeing all the animals. We got to see a baby giraffe (a real baby one, not just small) who was shorter than me. We had a personal visit with the jaguar and watched the elephant take a bath. One thing I was sad about was the koala house was closed, and they just had a couple out hiding in the shade. Also the penguins and polar bears were gone.

After the zoo, we went to Souplantation, where I ate as much as I possibly could. Then I took a nap and we went swimming. It sure was nice to have a day off, even though it means you have to go back to work.

[Comments] (6) Announcement: We're having a baby!

I'm 15 weeks pregnant and we're expecting a little one on February 28th (in reality we're not expecting him/her until March). But that's the news! Maybe now I'll have some exciting things to say again.

And yes, if you've been holding this news in, you can tell whoever you want now. Unless it's someone I work with. We're still pretending I'll be in my new position before anyone figures it out.

[Comments] (2) Happy Times: I must say that being pregnant hasn't been too bad. For the first while I felt a little sick pretty much all the time, but I only threw up once and I clearly lived through it. There were a few bad days (Disneyland with Tyler - everything smelled nasty, and flying home from Utah at 5:00 AM). Then I woke up feeling great a couple weeks ago. I've been really lucky. I asked Mom is she was sick when pregnant with us and she said it wasn't too bad. (Of course, this came from a woman who had thrown up all food for the past 3 years of her life.) Still, hopefully that's something Rachel will inherit also. I am still really tired, but right now I think it's more my busy schedule than my busy baby.

With Jamie in Canada and all the Heritage Creations stuff being shipped to our place, there's been a lot of heavy lifting for me to avoid. If John's home, he has been a good husband about bringing stuff in, but the office closes at 6, so I think I need a little cart.

Jellybean, of course, is no help at all. Doesn't lift a toe, that girl. Lately, her favorite place to sleep is on John's pillow. Can you say "Spoiled"?

Ok, I have a TON to accomplish at work today, so I'd best get back at it.

[Comments] (2) Beet: We have given our baby the nickname "Beet". This originally came from a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon we saw on our cruise to the Mexican Riviera. It was a retelling of Cinderella; the evil stepsisters had awful names like Frunella and Griseldahide; Cinderella was called Beet and she was completely adorable.

If we find out we are having a boy, Beet will get a new nickname. If it's a girl, it'll probably stick forever (much to the dismay of my mother-in-law). Rachel has survived 20 years of being the Woot; I think our baby can withstand being Beet.

[Comments] (4) Rise and Shine: Working at 7 AM is starting to get annoying. I can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning. It's not a very good reason to have a baby, but I'm really looking forward to 3 months off work.

Things have been crazy around here. We are doing so much hiring to staff our new projects. It seems like I am always doing training, preparing new hire paperwork/files, or booking travel for interviews or new hires. It makes me feel like I haven't done any of my actual "work" in weeks.

In the meantime (before my 3 months off), I get Monday off for my birthday. We are going to Bakersfield this weekend to see Rachel. We're also having dinner at Pat's with the Richardsons on Sunday. This will actually be my first time in Bakersfield since May.

Progress: Ok, I'm maybe halfway through with the training materials I'm determined to complete today. 2 hours left. I can do it!

My tailbone hurts.

[Comments] (2) : Two things I'd really like for my birthday that I won't buy myself (yet): A box of milk chocolate-covered caramels from See's and a car wash.

[Comments] (1) Birthday Weekend: I had a wonderful weekend with John and Rachel. We went up with Jellybean Saturday morning, woke Rachel up and did the same two things I always do once I get to Bakersfield: bought real food for the house, and vaccuumed the spiders.

We went to church, met with a realtor to get the house-selling started, and had dinner at Pat's with a bunch of relatives. I got a cake with candles and "Happy Birthday" sung with the lights out and everything! We get our birthdays as holidays at work, so we stayed until Monday morning, doing some more cleanup around the house. On the way home, John and I stopped at the packing shed to get some more fruit. I brought a ton to work for Noelle and Efrain and to share.

Now it's back to busy busy busy work. Training days always drive me crazy. The good news is we had an HR assistant start yesterday who actually showed up. Apparently, responsible people still exist.

Work - TGIF: Last night I finished up scrapbooking kits for October and made six trips to the car to take it all out myself. I've been SO busy at my real job too. I've worked late every day this week. Too bad I'm Exempt.

I would have been late to work today, but thankfully I hit every green light. I was so exhausted getting up, tried on four pairs of jeans to find one that (I thought) fit, and then had to go back to the apartment to get my all-important lunch/snacks.

[Comments] (1) You Won't Believe This: I have actually moved into my new position. Actually. New cubicle. New title. New job duties. New computer. Actually. I hope you are appreciating the shock value.

: Sick. Bleh. I must have caught what the receptionist went home sick with on Friday. Boo to shared work spaces.

[Comments] (1) : Still sick. I am feeling 10 times better than yesterday. Functional at least, so I'm at work. I stayed home from work yesterday and wallowed in my flu. I pretty much lay in bed all day until John came home to take me to the doctor. After that I managed a short walk at the beach, and was rewarded with an Orange Berry Blitz jamba juice. My sweet husband also snuck a jamba juice gift card into my purse - Beet's first baby present!

: Poor John had to work very late last night and was gone again when I got up. Everyone send good wishes his way. He's such a hard worker and they just don't appreciate him enough over there.

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