Monday, March 30, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 30 Weeks

It's beginning to get real people. Only 10 weeks to go!  Thatboy and I realized this weekend that we should probably get moving with the things we want to get done on the nursery, since right now it's a mostly a storage area for "stuff."  I'm hitting the "huge" stage of pregnancy.  Huge in that I can no longer paint my own toenails.  Huge in that I can't reach into the cabinets to get or put dishes away.  Huge in that when I drop things on the floor, I have to really think about whether it's worth it to pick it up.

I'm realistic about this whole adventure.  I know I'm only going to get bigger and more awkward. And I also know that it's not going to last too much longer.  Which is both comforting and terrifying.  I feel like there's so much to do in the next 10 weeks, and of course, I'm too ridiculously busy to do it.  I've been starting to delegate things to Thatboy, who has magnanimously stepped up to fill whatever duties we I'm failing at.

Total weight gain/loss: +18

Next Appointment: April 10
Maternity clothes? Depended on what I was doing.  For court, I put on my maternity finest.  Days in the office were non-maternity - either skirts with elastic waistbands that sit below my bump, or pants with a bella band.
Stretch marks: nada.
Sleep: In addition to the regular poor sleep, this week I'm especially lacking in sleep due to staying up late and waking early for work.
Best moment this week: This week has been a rough one.  I don't know that I have a best moment.  It's all just one crazy blur.
Movement: Yup.  I feel bad saying this, but I'm starting to get annoyed.  I wish this kid were a little bit quieter.  Not substantially, but it just seems like I don't have a moment with crazy nonstop movement or hiccups.
Food cravings: Nothing
Food aversions: Nothing
Gender: Not finding out
Belly Button in or out: In.  But it never popped last time, so I'm not expecting it to this time.
What I miss: I would kill for a nice glass of red wine or something along those lines.
What I am looking forward to:  Next weekend.
Contractions: None this week
- Baby has clear rhythm of sleeping and waking.
- Baby's red blood cell production switches from the liver to the to the bone marrow.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Runday: Good and Bad Influences

Work has been crazy lately.  Long days that continue well into the night when I get home and on the weekends. 

Which means my weekday running has been virtually non-existent.  There's no way I can even sneak in a quick 30 minute run with my current schedule.    I've gotten in a couple "after work" runs with Thatkid if I manage to get out of work by 5, but they're incredibly short due to time, heat and the fact that it is incredibly difficult to push Thatkid in a stroller up very steep hills in our neighborhood.

And so, to Thatboy's chagrin, I've been getting up around 5:45am on Saturdays so I can get in at least one run for the week.  Why so early?  Because it means I can meet up with friends at 6:30, and running with people is always a great motivator.  Sometimes too much so!

I tend to be fairly good at pushing myself and keeping pace, but also monitoring how I feel and knowing when I need to drop back.  A couple weeks ago I met up with some friends who claimed they were running 11:30-12 minute miles.  Which sounded like a good starting point for me.  And it was, I kept up with them for 3 miles, but was worried if I pushed it for much more I might be sorry the next day.  And so I waved them on and slowed myself down.  Turns out, we were going faster than they had planned, so those first 3 miles were actually under 11 minute miles.  Last week I was more successful in taking it easy.  This time my group was planning on 12:30-13 minute miles.  And we stuck with it!  For 6 miles. 

Yesterday I was pushed again.  I was planning on going out with a bigger group, but it ended up just being my friend NeighborRunner and I.  NeighborRunner is much, much, much faster than I am.  So before we started I told her to just take off, and I would meet her back at her car.  I didn't want to slow her down.  She told me she'd do the first 2 miles with me, and then finish her remaining 6 on her own.  I could really feel those first 2 miles.  Without knowing how close we were, I decided to tell her to go on without me when we hit the next stop light, which was coincidentally right when my 2 mile alert beeped.  I continued on for another mile before turning back the way we came.  Those first 2 miles? We'd done them in around 10:30/mile.  Yeah, that's why I was feeling them.  Part of me is proud of myself for still being able to hang for a bit, and part of me thinks "Hey stupid - you're pregnant, slow it down!"  Peer pressure is a powerful thing.

The reason NeighborRunner planned this little run yesterday was so she could hit up the warehouse sale at Running Skirts.  NeighborRunner is a huge fan of Running Skirts.  I think their clothes might make up most of her running wardrobe.  I tend to stick to just their skirts, but I am definitely a fan of those.  Nevertheless, I wasn't really planning on buying anything at their sale, because I doubted they would have their maternity line and it will still be a couple months before I'll be back in regular running clothes. 

I should have known better.

It started innocently enough, I can definitely use a new sports bra.  My old ones aren't as comfortable right now, since they have hook enclosures that chafe a bit.  So finding an over-the head one for the next couple months, for less than $20?  Into the bag it went.

Then all the shirts were only $10.  So even though I won't be able to wear this tank for a bit, it's a good investment, right?

And as long as we're tossing things into the bag, the running skirts were all 65% off, so it seemed silly not to get one of those too.  And now I have a fun new outfit to look forward to after all this baby nonsense is over!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Some things don't go as planned:Ketchup

Earlier this year we signed Thatkid up for a "preschool pass" at Sea World which gave him a free annual pass.  The only catch was we had to make our first visit before March 27.  No big deal, we had months before March 27!  Except all of a sudden it was the last weekend before March 27 and we hadn't gone yet.  And I was working all day Saturday and we had guests coming over for dinner Sunday night.  Yikes!

I decided we would try to fit in a quick morning trip to Sea World on Sunday, heading home at naptime.  I had the whole day mapped out, we'd get there at opening, spend a couple hours, have lunch and head home.

But like so many things in my life, just because I plan it out, doesn't mean it happens according to plan.  We ended up getting a late start out, which meant we arrived at Sea World long after it opened and just in time to wait in line for around 40 minutes to redeem our pass.  Guess we weren't the only ones with a last minute agenda.  By the time we got in, it was already 11:30!

We spent a majority of our short time there in the Bay of Play where Thatkid rode rides, climbed ropes, and slid down slides.  But we couldn't leave without some animal encounters, so I asked Thatkid to pick out what animal he most wanted to see before we settled down for lunch and head home.  He picked the sharks!

On the way to the sharks, we passed by the sea lions, and we stopped to watch them being fed.  They were crazy active and loud!

Thatkid's favorite part of the shark exhibit was the tunnel of sharks, a moving walkway that went through the aquarium while sharks swam above us and all around of.

Right beside the sharks were the turtles, so we went to visit them before heading out.  Giant turtles.  And tons of them.  I can't remember the last time I saw so many sea turtles in one place!

All in all, my disaster of a plan came together and everyone had a great time.  Sometimes you get lucky like that.  Like with this ketchup.  It seemed like such a good, easy idea - the basic instructions were to put tomatoes in a pot ad cook them.  Easy peasy.  Except for 2 things.  The quantity of the ingredients meant I spent an inordinately long time chopping veggies.  Way longer than I would have expected.  The second problem was that I don't own a food mill and my strainer is tiny.  Do you know how long it takes to strain 10lbs of tomatoes?

But like Sea World, the end result was worth it.  Okay, maybe not worth it, but the ketchup really was a treat! (Nothing is really worth straining 10lbs of tomatoes for hours.)

Ketchup (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
10 lbs tomatoes, peeled and cut up
3 onions, chopped fine
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 inch stick of cinnamon
1 tsp peppercorn
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp celery seed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  1.  Combine the tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and garlic in a pot and cook slowly until soft, at least 30 minutes.
  2. Strain through a food mill or a fine sieve.  Return to the pot and simmer until the mixture is reduced by one half, about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Tie the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, and celery seed in a cheesecloth bag and add along with remaining ingredients to the tomato mixture.
  4. Cook slowly, until the ketchup is very thick, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  5. Remove the bag of spices.  Spoon into small, clean, hot jars, leaving 1/8 inch headspace.  
  6. Close the jars and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Boys, Boats, and Planes: Grape Conserve

We are so lucky to have friends.  For a lot of reasons.  One of the reasons is because friends sometimes come with perks like extra passes to the Midway Museum.  A couple of weeks ago we met the L&Os at the giant ship for a day of fun for the boys.

The USS Midway was an aircraft carrier from 1945 until 1992.  Now it serves as a museum, docked in the San Diego harbor.

Being on the ship is a fascinating experience.  We got to see the living quarters of the naval officers and crewmen, the radio room, and the training rooms.  But for the boys, the highlight was the airplanes.

The boys love airplanes.  I realized that this is the second "airplane museum" they've explored together.  And it's fun to watch the two of them together.  After the Midway, Thatkid professed that Little LO was his best friend.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Do you have a favorite jelly for your peanut butter and jelly?  I tend to like red jams - strawberry and raspberry.  Thatboy prefers grape.  I have some issues with grape jelly because to me, it doesn't really taste like grape.  Just sweet.  Since I've become so adept at jam making, I decided to try making grape jam myself.  I like this so much better than the commercial stuff.  It still tastes more "sweet" than "grape" to me, but I love the addition of walnuts!

Grape Conserve (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
2 1/2 lbs Concord grapes
1/4 orange in thin slivers
1/4 cup walnut pieces

  1.  Wash the grapes, remove the stems, and separate the pulp from the skins (reserving the skins).
  2. Heat the pulp gently to free the seeds, stirring to prevent sticking.
  3. Put through a sieve and discard the seeds.
  4. Add the orange to the grape pulp and skins and measure.
  5.  Add an equal amount of sugar to the grape mixture and cook slowly in a large, flat skillet until the conserve is thick.
  6. Add the walnuts, spoon into hot sterilized jars and seal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Crave Wednesday: Chicago Deep Dish Pizza

You may recall that I started this "Crave" adventure with a Chicago-style deep dish pizza.  This is Cooking Light's version of the same dish.  I'm not going to lie, this one is more complicated and not quite as good.  

Honestly, I would probably like it better if it wasn't quite as labor intensive. There's a lot of steps and waiting.  I have a feeling it would work as well with prepared dough.

Despite my reservations, the rest of the family really enjoyed this.  Thatboy much preferred it to the pepperoni deep dish pizza I felt tasted like cafeteria pizza.  And the chicken sausage was mild enough for Thatkid to enjoy.

This pizza also makes for great leftovers - because the beauty of deep dish pizza is that one slice is really enough!

Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza (From Cooking Light)
2 tsp sugar
1 pkg dry yeast
1 cup warm water
4 tsp olive oil
2 3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
2 precooked mild Italian chicken sausage, casings removed 
1 can whole tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil
2 cups tinly sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in 1 cup warm water in a large bowl and let stand 5 minutes.  
  2. Stir in 1 Tbsp olive oil.
  3. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, cornmeal, and salt in bowl.  Stir flour mixture into yeast mixture until dough forms a ball
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Add enough of the remaining flour to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
  5. Place dough in a large bowl coated in cooking spray.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.  Punch down, cover, and let rest 5 minutes.
  6. Roll dough into a 15x11-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.  Place dough in a 13x9 inch glass dish coated with cooking spray, pressing dough up side of dish.    
  7. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese evenly over dough.
  8. Arrange chopped sausage over cheese.
  9. Preheat oven to 400.  Chop tomatoes and place in a sieve.
  10. Stir in oregano and basil and drain for 10 minutes.
  11. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat.  
  12. Add mushrooms, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Stir in bell peppers and cook 8 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.
  14. Arrange vegetables over sausage.  
  15. Spoon tomatoe mixture evenly over vegetables nad sausage.
  16. Sprinkle easily with 1/2 cup cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Cut pizza into 8 rectangles.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mommy Mondays: 29 weeks

I've started my bi-monthly apointments!  Every 2 weeks I get to see my doctor and check on this kid.   This is both fun in that I don't have to wait as long between appointments, but seriously, it's not really conducive to my work schedule right now.

This week's appointment consisted of a weigh in (lost a pound), blood pressure reading (higher than last time) which are evidence of my higher stress level right now.  Then just going over my test results from the Glucose Tolerance Test.  Next came my fundal height measurement, which is when they measure the uterus to see if it corresponds with the number of weeks pregnant you are.  Mine is always right on track.  Then comes the fun part, the heartbeat.  Sometimes it takes a minute or so to find it, but I'm not as worried at that stage since I can feel this little one moving all over the place.Oppo-baby's heartbeat is always so very fast!  This week it was 160/158!

That's it.  Just a quick little checkup that I get to look forward to twice a month for the next month...then it moves to every week.  EEK!

Total weight gain/loss: +18

Next Appointment: April 10
Maternity clothes? Mixed this week.  I've been in depositions all week, so I have at least a week's work of "court appropriate" clothes that work...this week.
Stretch marks: nada.
Sleep: Still having big problems with sleeping in the morning.  I'm waking several times a night due to kicking.  And I have trouble getting back to sleep.
Best moment this week: Going out with the girls on Thursday night.
Movement: Yes.  Thatboy is starting to get nervous.  He's worried this kid is going to be crazy.  Between the super high heart rate, the constant movement that wakes me up, and the crazy movement that makes my stomach goes in waves, this kid never slows down.
Food cravings: Nothing
Food aversions: Nothing
Gender: Not finding out
Belly Button in or out: In.  But it never popped last time, so I'm not expecting it to this time.
What I miss: sleep - I'm actually really looking forward to having this baby and life being less stressful!
What I am looking forward to:  Next weekend.
Contractions: None this week
- The outer layer of the brain has started developing into six distinct layers.
- Bi-monthly appointments

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Runday: Grunion Run

Earlier this year Thatmom told me she really wanted to run a 5k with me sometime before the baby came.  So I looked over the race schedules in the area and sent her a few options.  She chose one near her that fell on her birthday weekend.  How could I say no?

I drove up Saturday afternoon, picking up our race bibs and gear.  You gotta love a race tee with spawning fish on it.

Sunday morning we got up and headed out to the race.  It's been months since I've done a race, and even then it was just walking a 5k back in December.  I haven't really raced since November and I was itching to get back into it.

This was a small local race, which is always nice.  The field was small and the course was coastal.  Which meant lots of beautiful views.

The course was out and back, through the state park.  In reality we were running through parking lots, but hey, they were parking lots beside the beach!  And once you finished with the first 1.5 miles, you knew exactly what to expect on the way back.

The 3 miles passed quickly as Thatmom and I chatted about life and family.  And it wasn't long before we finished.  Really not long.  In fact, it was a PR for Thatmom!  As for me, no PR, but it was a minute faster than the race I ran when I was pregnant with Thatkid.   37:33! That race made me feel so slow and frustrated.  Since this is my opposite pregnancy, it's not surprising that I felt really good about this race.  I felt good when running it, and I felt good after.  I'm looking forward to my next race next month!