Monday, April 14, 2014

Eating for two

I'll admit it: although I am not, nor have I ever really been, 100% happy with my body - I honestly don't give it too much thought. I've never had to work out, eat what I want, and can always find clothes that fit (even if I'm not totally thrilled with what size). My height works to my advantage, so 5lbs here or there doesn't even register. I don't get on the scale at home, so pregnancy is the only time I am acutely aware of changes (read: increases) in my weight. And it. is. hard. 

I know I'm growing a human. I know the old adage "eating for two". I know the baby weight fell off after London was born, due largely to breastfeeding. But I can't help but freak out a little as the numbers on the scale continue to creep up. Maybe creep is not the right word ... JUMP might be more appropriate for the rate which they are climbing. 

They say no two pregnancies are the same, but as a second time mom, I expected to know what I was getting into. And gaining almost as much as I did during the whole 40 weeks with London, with 13 weeks to go, is not what I expected. Especially after starting out 10+ pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with L. Especially after an emergency room visit, a hyperemesis diagnosis, and a very concerned conversation with my obstetrician about my weight loss at my 16 week appointment. Not what I expected at all. But then again, I didn't expect the placenta previa thing either. This little boy is keeping me on my toes, that's for sure. 

I've learned, and it has become more apparent during this pregnancy, that I am an emotional eater. I eat when I'm upset, bored, sad, angry, not feeling well. Pretty much all the time. And while I'm not always making unhealthy choices (I've been drinking tons of water and eating lots of fruits and veggies this pregnancy, plus fixing plenty of healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner - a luxury I didn't have with the last pregnancy), sweets are my weakness. So, if nothing else, I'm making a concession to this kid (and my doctor) and saying goodbye to my nightly bowl of ice cream. Not to say I won't still have some now & again, but three scoops a night is helping no one. 

Farewell dear friend, we had a good run. 

That, and I'm really hoping the placenta previa will be cleared at next week's ultrasound so I can at least walk or something for exercise. I mean, I've never exercised regularly before, but I'm sure I can figure it out, right?

Friday, April 4, 2014

25 weeks

How far along?: 25 weeks
How big is baby?: the size of an eggplant: 1.7lbs and 9in long
Weight gain?: I don't really feel like we need to discuss that. Ha, let's just say it's coming on fast!
Stretch marks?: none, thankfully
Maternity clothes?: went an bought a few things at Walmart of all places (not maternity) to help stretch my current wardrobe a little longer. The biggest problem is finding shirts long enough!
Sleep?: wake up around 6:45 or 7 bc of the sun coming in. Maybe someday my husband will put up our curtains!
Best moment last week?: sweet friends of ours surprised us with a membership to the local kids museum. Such a generous and thoughtful gift, and one we will certainly put to good use!
Food cravings?: egg salad (finally made some!) and chicken salad
Symptoms?: a little bit of spotting (normal, according to the ob) and I've recently been having these horrible sharp shooting pains down low! Hoping they don't stick around for too long. And the heartburn. Good Lord, the heartburn. I'm taking Pepcid in the morning and sometimes again at night, plus tums. Good news, ice cream helps! I do think my skin is a lot better this time than it was London - maybe the old wives tale is true and girls do steal your beauty!
Exercise?: starting my yoga class Monday! London and I have been to the park a few times and went swimming earlier this week, which she loved.
Movement?: he moves the most when I'm relaxing, so mornings and nights are fun. Nothing too painful or waking me up yet. I do think I felt hiccups for the first time. 
Belly button?: getting shallower by the day! Won't be long before I have an alien belly. 
What I miss?: sleeping on my right side 
What I'm looking forward to?: my best friend / London's godmother is coming to visit this wknd! Looking forward to some girl time with her. 
This is actually 24w but close enough. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A possum held me hostage once

I always said that would be the name of my autobiography. Not that my life is interesting enough to warrant an entire book. Just a self-absorbed, stream of consciousness, random-ass blog ... Right?

Anyway, it's true. A possum held me hostage once. My college boyfriend ended up in the ER late night, which was basically my fault. I came back to his then-empty fraternity house to get his wallet (the doctors wouldn't release him without an insurance card) and when I tried to leave, there it was. A possum. Sitting on the front porch. Staring me down. Refusing to let me leave. Threatening my life. My arch nemesis, my biggest fear, looking me right in the eye. 

Ok, that story isn't really exciting. The headline is much better, I'll keep working on the autobiography. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Recipe: Four Bean Salad

This was 100% thrown together but a big hit with everyone, even London. I guarantee you can easily adapt it to your tastes / what's in your fridge and it still works! It's certainly a summery side dish but I was serving sloppy joes and I think it worked out, even in 30 degree sleet. 

Ingredients
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 cup cooked green beans, cut into bite size pieces
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped 
1 container feta cheese crumbles
3 tbsp (more or less to taste) balsamic vinaigrette

Directions
Drain & rinse all the canned beans
Cook, cool & cut green beans if using fresh or frozen (if using a can, just drain & rinse) 
Chop all the veggies
Mix all veggies / beans in a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat
Mix in dressing & cheese when ready to eat

Monday, March 17, 2014

Irish Beef Stew

I'm not going to link back to a recipe because I used several as inspiration but really made this one my own, and it was delicious! My first attempt at beef stew from the cow we bought didn't turn out well (totally my fault ... and the fault of all slow cooker recipes that say "cook on low for 8 hours OR high for 4 hours!" ... Liars.) but this one was a hit - London especially liked the meat!

Ingredients
1.5lbs stew beef
4 medium carrots, 
2 medium potatoes
1/2 medium onion
1 can low sodium beef broth
1 (small) can tomato paste
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
3 bay leaves 
1 bottle dark beer (I used People's Porter)
1c water
1tsp minced garlic
Garlic powder, salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Chop beef, carrots, potatoes and onion into bite-size pieces; throw them all in the crockpot
Throw everything else in with it (water can be added or altered based on your discretion as to how much broth you want)
I added more salt than I normally would to help tenderize the beef
Cook on low for 8h. I'm not joking about this!


22 weeks

I was waiting until my drs appt today to see if there were any fun updates. Nope! And I chickened out on asking about my weight gain, so no news there either. 

How far along?: 22w 3d
How big is baby?: the size of a spaghetti squash! Baby is about 8 in long and weights about a pound. 
Weight gain?: ???
Stretch marks?: no
Maternity clothes?: I am actually wearing post-partum jeans today and they're too big. If the pants are still too big at 22w pregnant, that's probably a sign to get rid of them, right?
Sleep?: still waking early, especially with poor London coughing in the early hours of the morning, but sleeping ok
Best moment last week?: we took London to the St. Patricks day parade on Saturday and she LOVED it!
Food cravings?: yesterday it was a burger (mmm MoJoe's!) and I've been enjoying a pepperidge farms coconut cake!
Symptoms?: still getting these sharp, sudden pains which the ob said are uterus growing pains and totally normal, so at least that's good news. She said the pains get worse with subsequent pregnancies; let's hope I don't have to worry about that
Exercise?: signed up for prenatal yoga starting next month!! Although I'm bummed the teacher I love isn't there anymore. 
Movement?: very active but not painful yet. Most active when I'm sitting on the couch to rest, especially at night. 
Belly button?: still in
What I miss?: I'm worried about the placenta issue enough that I feel like I can't walk long distances, which is hard now that the weather is nice. Praying & believing we'll get good news in 6w and I can take London to the zoo!
What I'm looking forward to?: continuing to work on clearing out the nursery so we can eventually paint. We finally decided on colors! Red, navy & aqua with gray undertones and dark furniture. Now if only we could pick a name...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Beef with Broccoli

So, we bought a cow. Well, only a portion, but even a portion of a cow is a lot of freakin' beef. And for someone who didn't do a whole lot of cooking with red meat previously, it's been really eye-opening. I have no idea what to do with a lot of the cuts, and I used to cook chicken 90% of the time. But it's pushed me out of my comfort zone and some of the results have been great, including tonight's attempt at beef & broccoli. 

Recipe inspiration from:
http://rainydaygal.com/2011/02/03/beef-with-broccoli/

Ingredients
1.5lbs beef cube steak (the recipe called for flank steak but I think cube worked fine if that's what you have)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (I ised regular because that's what I had; it was very salty but still good!)
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp red wine
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp canola oil, separated into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp
Half a bag of frozen broccoli

Directions
Whisk marinade ingredients together
Cover steak with marinade in a medium bowl
Cover & refrigerate for at least an hour ( I let it marinade for 4-5hrs since I was using a less tender cut)

When ready to prepare:
Heat 2 tbsp oil on med-high heat
Sauté broccoli until cooked through and tender (about 3-5min); remove from pan
Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, flour, red wine and garlic in a small bowl
Heat 1 tbsp oil on med heat
Add marinaded beef to pan
Cover with half soy sauce mixture
Cook until beef is no longer pink
Add broccoli and remaining sauce; sauté for one more minute, stirring frequently
Serve with white rice