Friday, December 14, 2012

Weeks 32-34 bump watch

For some reason I feel like my bump looks pretty weird in clothes. It's hard to tell if I am seeing a difference between weeks, but maybe 33 looks pretty large? Something looks different about 32 weeks compared to the other two. Oh well.


32 weeks
33 weeks
34 weeks
And for your enjoyment, some bare bellies! I didn't like taking the bare belly shots at first but now I kind of like them; they make me look less like a uni-boob connected to my tummy.


I guess with these pictures you can kind of see something different going on. 32 weeks looks round and straight out. 33 weeks looks like bigger and starting to lean downward. 34 weeks looks like it's starting to drop a teeny bit more. Perhaps I am in a gradually dropping phase as I get closer to my due date (which is in almost 5 weeks, wow!)

The baby's room is pretty much finished now, and we had a fuzzy critter test things out to make sure they were comfy.



I guess we need to rewash the bedding already :) He loves the baby's comforter. I only plan on using it for the baby to lay on the floor with perhaps (since he won't actually use it in the crib), but a part of me kind of wants to make a kitty bed out of it. I think I just love my kitty too much.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

33 weeks - appointment & ultrasound


33 weeks has been quite the week so far! I had a regular appointment on Monday which went fairly well I suppose. My weight had jumped up more quickly then usual, and my doctor confirmed that it could be because I am dealing with some swelling now. My blood pressure was looking good though so he said there isn't anything to be concerned about with swelling alone.

Baby's heart rate was 144, and I had asked the doctor while he was doing my fundal measurement if he could figure out how the baby was laying in there. He was laying oblique, or on an angle, with his head up near my right ribs and his feet near my left hip. Eeek! He told me there is nothing to be concerned about and that we'd be more interested in his position at my 35 week appointment. At the end of the appointment he decided to order an ultrasound to measure growth and fluid levels. I didn't think much of it at first but after talking to my husband I started getting a little panicky. Why did we need an ultrasound?

Thankfully we didn't have to wait too long for the answer. We had our ultrasound today, and the sonographer explained that my fundal height was measuring on the smaller side. Last appointment it was 30 cm for 31 weeks, this time it was 31 cm for 33 weeks. This is very interesting to me because I guess laying down and measuring my uterus is nothing like how I'm actually carrying - I feel like I am so huge! It's almost humorous to hear that I am measuring on the smaller side.

Proflie
Squished-Creepy-Eyed Face

The ultrasound went really well. The baby looks worlds away from how he did at the 18 week scan. In fact some of the pictures were getting semi-creepy. I can't wait to see what he really looks like when he is born! All of his measurements were perfectly average, and his estimated weight is 4 pounds 13 ounces right now.

He had his hands up near his face at first, and then he had grabbed both of his little feet and had one in each hand by the end. The sonographer said that he has some hair too, but no telling how thin or thick it is. His butt is what is stuck in my rib cage now - I guess he must enjoy having random body parts stuffed in there. And he's still a boy - haha. No going back now!

Here are the 3D shots. So chubby! The other thing that you can see below his face is his arm.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Classic Meatloaf

Meatloaf has been a favorite meal of mine since I was a kid. I know a lot of kids hate meatloaf, but I've always loved it. I am thinking it's probably because for the most part it is a huge chunk of hamburger with ketchup baked on top and then dipped in even more ketchup. Sounds like a kid's dream to me!

I have made two varieties of meatloaf, but this one is the classic version that my mom gave to me when I first moved out on my own. She didn't really give me a recipe exactly - just a general idea of how to mix it together and I've added some things on my own too. I'm always attempt to tweak it with different measurements of spices and seasonings, and I hope you will too! Meatloaf is such a blank slate kind of meal that you can certainly tweak it to whatever your tastes are. Not to mention it is super easy. Enjoy!

Classic Meatloaf (original recipe)

Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
Ketchup, for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil, parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray (I use a 9x9 inch baking pan). In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients gently with your hands. Form the meat mixture into a rectangular shape and place in the center of the pan. Add ketchup to the top of the loaf and spread evenly, as much or as little as you'd like. Cook for 40-45 minutes.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weeks 29-31 and Appointment Update

31 weeks
29 weeks
30 weeks
I had my 31 week appointment on Tuesday this week and everything is going swimmingly! Baby's heart rate was 144, pretty consistent with his usual 140. My blood pressure was 120/68 which is really great - looks like maybe my high blood pressure back around 25 weeks was just a fluke! Weight gain is going well, as my doctor says I've been gaining the "textbook" amount as I am up 2 pound at each biweekly appointment.

This appointment was the first time I actually asked about my fundal height measurement and what it means. The doctor explained that measurements of the uterus in centimeters should line up with how many weeks pregnant you are, plus or minus 2 weeks. I was measuring 30 centimeters, so 30 weeks, which is just one week behind. I also talked to my doctor about Braxton Hicks and didn't learn anything stunning, just that he seemed to be unconcerned that I had more at night, especially because sitting or laying will always diminish them.

My next appointment is at 33 weeks and will be much of the same. I was warned that starting at 35 weeks I'll be getting internal checks - gulp! Seems hard to believe that we are almost to that point. I am starting to wonder more and more when this kid will decide when he wants to come out and meet us. I am still betting on sometime at the beginning of week 39 - but we shall see!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Joys of 3rd Trimester

I would like to take a moment to say that I am SO thrilled to be pregnant and to have a little boy on the way to join our family in a couple of months. That being said, 3rd trimester is kind of awful. I'm not even quite 8 months pregnant yet and I'm dreading the rest of this experience. But I'd like to share some of what I've come across now that we're in the home stretch of pregnancy. These are just a few examples, I might have another post on this as 3rd trimester progresses.

THE GOOD:

Increased Movement 
This kid moves A LOT. Not to say that he didn't move during second trimester, as he did of course, but  it took a while for me to feel and see some of those really big movements people talk about. He always seems to hang out with his arms and legs on the right side of my body. My right ribs have taken the most beating of all since his feet are stuck up in there pretty often. My little boy also gets the hiccups A LOT - at least once a day, but I think the most I've counted was either 4 or 5 times in one day.

The bigger movement is super cool though. I spend a lot of time when I'm relaxing on the couch or in bed just massaging (what I think is) his little back and booty on the left side of my body and jabbering about what a strong little boy he is. I love when my husband can spend time laying with us and feeling the kicks and punches too. It's like a family bonding time and it makes us even more excited to meet him and get to know his personality even more.

THE BAD:

Hunger/Fullness Cycle
3rd trimester is a time for baby to start bulk up his fat layers for when he enters the outside world. This generally seems to mean that mommy is extra hungry ALL the time. Except when mommy decides to eat a normal sized to large meal, because she feels so hungry and definitely feels like she could eat all of it and lick the plate clean at the time, she then realizes that her stomach is compressed up in her lungs somewhere and can't hold as much food as she thought. Super uncomfortable fullness sets in, which on top of already feeling uncomfortable is nearly unbearable. I feel like I need to be rolled from room to room after this happens.

Even though when hunger strikes and I KNOW I should just eat a small meal, my brain does not process this as quickly as it should. My eyes are much MUCH bigger than my stomach and the urge to eat something delicious has been winning. And then I pay for it later.

THE UGLY:

Bladder Problems
It was almost like clockwork one day. Like I woke up one morning and the baby was huge, and since I believe he is still head down (from what I last heard) he has a nice little pillow to rest his head...ie MY BLADDER. I can't even explain to you how much toilet paper we go through these days. My hands are dry and cracked and bleeding from the combination of dry air and washing them 40 times a day because I am in and out of the bathroom so often. The urge comes at the most random, inopportune times. If I ignore it, I'm okay while sitting down, but when I stand up to finally get to the bathroom it's like the worst waddle-jog you have ever seen because my bladder feels like it is in PAIN.

Head butts to the bladder are also unpleasant, and kind of hurt. But those urges are even worse because when you actually sit down to go, about 2 and a half trickles escape and that was it! No urine to be found. And I just went out of my way to get out of my comfy chair and sit on the cold toilet seat for that? I didn't experience much in the way of frequent urination at all during this pregnancy so maybe I'm not used to it, but using the bathroom 10-15 times a day and getting up 2-4 times in the middle of the night? I don't think anyone can "get used to" that.

Oh and I have one more word to add to this problem area: "snissing." You can find the definition in urban dictionary if you need.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

28 weeks




How far along? 28 weeks 1 day

Baby's size? HUGE. just kidding, but he's getting big. Around 2 1/4 pounds and nearly 15 inches long.

Weight Gain? 20 pounds! No wonder my legs feel tired after a long day.

Maternity clothes? Yep - got some new ones this weekend! Some of my t-shirts are starting to look a little short these days already...

Stretch marks? still staying clear of my belly. breasts & hips have been the hardest hit areas.

Belly button in or out? out, and reverts back in when I lay down

Sleep? I am always up between 3:30 and 4 feeling very uncomfortable, and baby feels like he's having a party in there. Then I wake up just about every hour until my alarm goes off for the day or I just give up.

Foods I am loving? milk, pop, tortilla-cheese roll-ups, hot dogs, reese's cups, junk food in general

Foods I am hating? nothing, I got kind of sick of orange juice

Best moment this week? having some days off

Movement? lots and lots. Depending on the day he seems to be more or less active.

Symptoms? Trouble sleeping, back pain, hip pain, shortness of breath, legs feel sore after a long day, and I think some braxton hicks

Gender? we're having a boy :)

What I miss? being smaller

What I'm looking forward to? this weekend we are taking maternity pictures and next weekend is baby shower number 1

Weekly Wisdom: if you have to go up more than one flight of stairs, take the elevator. that way you won't be breathing embarrassingly hard when you walk into a classroom/office

Milestone: 3rd trimester

Emotions: excited and nervous. I can't believe we are getting so close and yet I keep feeling like this pregnancy has been dragging on forever.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recently I bought a LOT of bananas. Too many bananas for two people to eat before they turned ripe. They were 33 cents a pound and it felt like a marvelous idea to me to buy a ton of them. Usually with leftover bananas about to become tomorrow's trash, I'll make some banana bread and call it a day. In fact, given the vast banana-haul we were dealing with, I made two loaves, which we ate up within a week. But there were still a few bananas lounging around and I figured I'd try something new.

Enter these banana cookies. There is a lot going on with these cookies - from walnuts to chocolate to oatmeal. I think the layered flavors are what make them especially good. If you have some bananas lying around and are tired of the same old banana bread, or if you're just looking to spice up some chocolate chip cookies with a new flavor, I'd recommend trying out this recipe.



Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 2-3 dozen

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup mashed ripened banana (about 1-2 bananas)
1 cup quick or rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray baking sheets with cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.

In a standing mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer) beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add egg and vanilla extract. Next, add mashed banana, also until just combined. Finally, add dry ingredients until just combined. Remove mixer and fold in oatmeal, walnuts, and chocolate chips.

Spoon about 1 1/2 inch scoops of dough on cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space in between. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Cool about 5 minutes on pan before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Sloppy Joes and Baked Oven Fries

Another Martha Stewart recipe? Say it ain't so! This recipe requires some prepping of vegetables, so obviously it isn't going to be as simple as opening up a can of Manwich. But you can feel good about making something homemade and cutting down on your sodium and processed food intake - that makes this recipe all the worth it. To be honest, my husband and I didn't taste a huge difference between this recipe and classic Manwich. If I chopped up my veggies a bit smaller I may have been able to trick him into thinking the mixture was from a can (although I let him in out it before we even began).

We served this meal with baked oven fries and some frozen corn. But as with any sloppy joe, you can serve it with even simpler sides and you'll do just fine. More on the baked oven fries later - they are my new go-to recipe because they always turn out crispy. And if you couldn't tell by the pictures, I may have gotten carried away with the crispy. Although they look a little burnt, they were still delicious and we ate every last one.

I followed these recipes exactly, so I'll include the links below. My only question is regarding the sloppy joes, and that is that I'm not sure if I should have attempted to drain the meat and veggie mixture before adding the sauce. It seemed awfully greasy not draining, but the directions didn't indicate in any plain language that I should. Maybe it was assumed? When I make this again, I will drain the meat mixture and see if that makes a difference. It was still delicious nonetheless.



Sloppy Joes; source - Martha Stewart
Baked Oven Fries; source - Annie's Eats

27 weeks


27 weeks - and kitty wanted to be in the picture today

Wow! I am 27 weeks pregnant today. By some sources, this means I am entering my third trimester and my 7th month of pregnancy! Hard to believe that in as little as 10 weeks we could be meeting our little guy. It feels like there is still so much to do.

Thankfully, my schedule has slowed down a lot this week and last, and we've had more time to concentrate on baby prep and spending time with family. My first baby shower with Mark's side of the family is all scheduled for November 10, just a few short weeks away. Our baby registries are nearly complete aside from narrowing our high chair choice. 

Yesterday we went out to Carter's and bought a couple of items for our little boy, one of which being his coming home outfit. It's technically an outdoor snowsuit type outfit, and I'm not 100% sure what he'll wear underneath it, but I'm excited nonetheless. (Picture from carters.com)

I can't wait to bundle him up in this! It's so fuzzy and soft. We bought the 3 month size and I'm crossing my fingers that he'll be able to wear it for the remainder of winter. The newborn size looked just a wee bit concerning that he might outgrow it before winter ends.

We've also chosen our travel system, and either my parents are going to buy it for us as a gift or we are going to split the cost somehow. Either way, as much as we were planning on going with something a little cheaper, after checking them out and test driving some less pricey options side by side you could certainly tell the difference. We thought it was worth it to go with something of better quality, even if it was more expensive.
(Picture from buybuybaby.com)
This is the Chicco Keyfit 30 Travel System in Romantic. It looks like it is a lavender color of some kind, but it is actually just gray. Mark and I are big fans of blacks and grays and we figured that it is pretty gender neutral to use for future babies. I've noticed a big trend in car seats and strollers with shades of brown and tan and I'm really not into it. Not that looks mean everything, but if given the option I would rather have black or gray as a base.

On Friday I went for my 1 hour glucose tolerance test and I was pretty worried about feeling horrible after it, but it really wasn't bad at all. I'm not sure where I heard that hype from but the drink tasted delicious, almost exactly like Hawaiian Punch, and apart from having a little headache and feeling tired the rest of the day, I was golden. Mark came with me and we got lunch afterwards, so it ended up being a nice little day off anyway. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and hopefully I'll find out that I've passed. I have already started on appointments every 2 weeks because my last appointment indicated some possible high blood pressure issues. I borrowed a cuff from Mark's mom and have taken my blood pressure occasionally since then and it's been fine, but better safe than sorry is the motto when it comes to anything related to pregnancy or the baby.

I think that about wraps up the 27 weeks summary! For fun, let's do a belly shot comparison.
From left to right, 21 weeks, 25 weeks, and 27 weeks. I can even see a slight difference between 25 and 27, but wow...I can't believe how much I've grown since 21weeks!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekly Menu 10/21-10/27

Yes, I know. All I'm good for is posting meal plans occasionally. I promise I will be better at remember to take pictures of my cooking - possibly. In fact I could take a picture of some banana nut bread I made  yesterday and share the recipe with you all. Yes! Perfect. I will do that.

But anyway, here is what's on the menu this week!

Sunday: Sloppy Joes, Baked Oven Fries, frozen veggies

Monday: Slow Cooker Beer & Cheese Potato Chowder

Tuesday: bacon, mushroom, and onion frittata

Wednesday: panko-crusted fish, frozen veggies, garlic bread

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Lentil Soup, salad and bread

Saturday: Pepperoni Pizza BurgersPotato Skins

We aren't being super healthy this week it seems. Some days are better than others, ha!

What's on your menu this week?




Saturday, September 29, 2012

23 weeks

Hi everyone! I haven't had a lot of time to update lately with a very busy schedule on my hands. I have some downtime right now so I figure why not update on what has been going on with pregnancy lately!
23 weeks 2 days belly shot

How far along? 23 weeks 5 days

Baby's size? about 11 inches long and just over a pound, comparable to a large mango

Weight Gain? about 15 pounds...wow!

Maternity clothes? oh yes, although I'm liking the fall weather because a lot more of my longer normal t-shirts still fit

Stretch marks? not on my belly, at least! but they've been popping up in other places for a while now

Belly button in or out? almost 100% out

Sleep? depends on the day. getting more and more uncomfortable

Foods I am loving? sweets, chocolate candy, milk, cheese, junk food of all sorts

Foods I am hating? I don't hate anything, but I prefer beef over chicken lately

Best moment this week? getting to spend at least a few nice moments with my husband this week

Movement? feeling a lot more lately! lots of kicks, sometimes it feels like he's facing backwards or downwards, and sometimes he's kicked hard enough to see my belly moving

Symptoms? started having some random pains in and around my belly button. also just tired at times, which I blame on being too busy and pregnant at the same time. emotional breakdowns have happened occasionally.

Gender? we're having a boy :)

What I miss? not being so tired and easily emotional

What I'm looking forward to? trying to book a maternity picture section with a friend of mine soon. I'm really looking forward to my last day waitressing next Saturday most of all. I can't wait to lessen my burdens.

Weekly Wisdom: do what you have to do to be comfortable. waiting too long to go to the bathroom is a big no no - I almost felt like I was getting cramps the other night from waiting too long while I was in class. if you need to stretch and walk, or sit down after standing - just do it. don't feel bad and don't worry about it. it's important to take care of yourself.

Milestone: nearing viability day!

Emotions: stressed, and guilty for feeling stressed. I don't want to inflict stress hormones on the innocent little guy. When I'm feeling him kick though, it's so exciting. He's turning into such a mover and a shaker.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekly Menu 9/23-9/29/12

Hello all! Miss me? I think it is time to get back to blogging about food again. Blogging and reading food blogs really helped motivate me to be excited about cooking dinner and to feel inspired to find the best meals possible for my family - whether budget friendly, quick cooking, good for picky eaters, or healthy twists.

I've been a very busy bee lately and so I need to get more organized about planning budget friendly meals and grocery shopping. This week I'm going to explore a little bit about prep-ahead dinners and I hope I'll keep up with this blog to show you how it turns out. Here is our meal plan for this week:

Sunday: panko-crusted fish fry with baked oven fries and frozen veggies

Monday: half-hour chicken gumbo (save leftovers for lunches) with cornbread

Tuesday: chicken enchiladas

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: chicken pot pie

Friday: patty melts with pickled onion salad

Saturday: leftovers

Yum! 3 out of the 5 recipes listed here are brand new to me so I hope they are delicious! What's on your menu this week?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

InSaNiTy

This is my last week before the newest semester of school starts and I'm SCARED.

Last semester I did really well! I can't believe how awesome my GPA is in graduate school as compared to undergrad. Undergrad was good, but it wasn't as great as I'm doing now. I will say that I feel like I'm putting a lot more effort into my classes and I am enjoying them a lot too, which certainly helps.

Woo hoo! I'm inching toward a 3.9! And that's 32 completed credits of the 48 needed to graduate. Plus I will be taking additional specialization credits. If you can't tell, I am pretty proud of myself.

This semester scares me to death though, as I stated above. My schedule is making me VERY worried.


This doesn't even include that I work Sundays waitressing either 8-3 or 3-7:30. And the fact that I will also be scheduling therapy sessions with clients, probably on Tuesday or Thursday nights. I am trying to leave my Fridays totally empty if possible, but there is bound to be some homework involved in there.

The plus side is that the 2 specialization classes listed end in the middle of October. Whew. At least that will take some stress off of me. And since I'm pregnant, I'm waiting for my body to let me know when I've had enough of waitressing, so I don't imagine I'll be going all the way through December keeping that job either.

I just have to somehow stay sane for now. Breathe. I can do it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's a...

We are having a baby BOY!

We found out last week. It was an incredible moment to experience. My husband's face and reaction was priceless and adorable. He is so excited to be a daddy with a son.

I am 19 weeks this week, which means baby is the size of a mango. 8 and something odd ounces (pictures courtesy of thebump.com).
The past three days or so I've been feeling a lot more flutters and bubbles from my little wiggle worm. Mark even felt one the other night which was really cool! According to our ultrasound, baby is really measuring 5 days ahead, so maybe that's why I am feeling him better - he's probably bigger than a mango by now!

Friday, August 17, 2012

17 weeks

On Monday, I reached 17 weeks pregnant! 17 weeks feels like such a big number to me. Every week that passes by I keep thinking to myself - "WOW, I am getting so far along/getting so big/baby is getting so big. I can't imagine getting any bigger/baby getting bigger than this!" And every week we do grow more.

This week, baby is estimated to be the size of an onion!
If you think about those massive onions at the grocery store, that's pretty big. So you'd think that since I felt some movement last week I'd be feeling even more now...but I'm not. I've felt a bubble or two here and there but it isn't very definable. 

Yesterday I went to the OB's office for my monthly appointment. The baby's heart-rate was another 150 beats per minute. It was 150 at my last monthly appointment and 155 at our 12 week ultrasound. Pretty consistent, baby!

My weight jumped up quite a lot in this last month. According to the doctor's scale, I had gained 3 pounds in the first trimester. This month alone I've apparently gained 7! Now, I did just eat McDonald's for lunch before I showed up at the doctor. And all of my other appointments had been in the morning while this one was in the afternoon. But either way, the doctor told me it's okay to have a growth spurt around this time pregnancy. HOWEVER, you certainly wouldn't want to be putting on 7 pounds every month from now until delivery. I like this doctor. He's real with me. I've read a lot of things about doctor's not discussing weight with patients at all and I don't really agree with that. I think it's a discussion that needs to be had at appointments.

Here is the 16 week bump vs. the 17 week bump. I think I can see the growth spurt, for real!


After my doctor's appointment yesterday I headed to the dentist, where I discovered the meaning of pregnancy gingivitis. Let me tell you...it's no joke. My gums have never looked so torn up after leaving the dentist before. Thankfully though it didn't seem to hurt all that much more than previous trips to the dentist. 

This whole week has been all about the anticipation for next week, because on Monday we are heading to our anatomy scan - it's the ultrasound that will tell us the sex of our baby! (HOPEFULLY, if baby cooperates and all). 3 more days and I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Amazement

I really thought that I would be better about updating this blog more often now that I have a good reason - to document what is going on in my pregnancy. But instead, I have been a slacker as always.

Pregnancy started off pretty miserable, I have to say. First trimester is no joke. Nausea got the best of me 90% of the day and thankfully I wasn't a puke monster too often or else I don't know how I would have been able to function. I've had some really awful headaches as well. The best part of this trimester was seeing our little one on an ultrasound at 12 weeks.


I love this alien faced picture best. It's so cool how you can basically see all of the facial bones and the two hemispheres of the brain. I also think it was pretty funny that the baby turned and when it was on the screen it was like it did it on purpose so that we could clearly see his/her face.

Now that I'm into the second trimester, I must say that I've been feeling better (minus throwing up once this week) and getting more and more excited. What I've been most anxious about is feeling the baby move for the first time. I've been just DYING to feel something; I'd lay in bed and speak in a very stern whisper to him/her to please just wave a hand or jab a knee into my spleen or do something exciting! Alas, he/she would never listen to me. Kids these days.

On Monday though (when I turned 16 weeks), as I was minding my own business eating dinner, I felt a sudden vibration-like sensation in my way way lower tummy (almost down to my pubic bone). It sort of reminded me of a mini drum roll. I only felt it for a second or two and then it was gone. Could this be baby? IS HE/SHE FINALLY MAKING HIM/HERSELF KNOWN?

My hopes were shot down as I went through the rest of the night and all of the next day with not a feeling to be had. All day today was much of the same. I was starting to think that maybe that other movement really wasn't from the baby after all.

Until just an hour or so ago, I was reclining on the couch watching TV and sneezed really loudly and violent. And suddenly - BABY EXPLOSION. It was like fireworks in my belly. Like jiffy pop over an open flame. Like an Olympic swimming fetus flailing across the finish line. It was SO CRAZY. It lasted for maybe 30 seconds to a minute at most and died down to a stop. I don't know if I scared the kid into convulsions, or it leaps for joy at the sound of sneezes, or what. But I wish I could have captured that moment and relived it again and again. There was no mistaking it for anything else other than full fledged ninja warrior child.

My day is officially brightened.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Back to Blogging...with big news!

Yes, I took quite a long hiatus here. I mostly was running out of things to talk about other than my obsession with babies and how long it was going to be until I was finally a mommy. Until that fateful day, when I took a pregnancy test and 2 lines appeared.

It was May 16, 2012. A Wednesday morning, and I was up bright and early to use the bathroom. This was not intentional of course, but I know enough in the crazy amounts of research that I've done that the first pee of the day is the most concentrated and the best to use when taking a pregnancy test (my first words of wisdom for future mommies out there).

A minute or two later the test showed two perfectly dark lines. No squinting required - it was very evident to me that 2 lines is...wait WHAT? 2 lines? Are we sure 2 lines means pregnant? *Rereads directions* Yes. Okay. So that's it then? I'm just pregnant???? I'm taking another test.
(Another word of wisdom - if you are a crazy like me who might plan to take multiple tests, peeing in a cup is essential)

Another test showed the same result. Cue the bug eyes and drool rolling from the side of my mouth. Wow. This is deep. It's 6 AM but I need to wake up my husband. How will I ever sleep after this!!??

I went into the bedroom and quietly got into bed, trying to come up with my best strategy to break the news. In this moment I couldn't come up with anything clever. I sat up and slowly poked him in the back a few times. Obviously this was neither gentle, nor loving. Oh well.

After the first annoyed "what?" I proceeded to explain that he should come to the bathroom for a moment. He should see something. Very indiscreet of me to say. I mean the poor man was just woken up by a violent poking at 6 AM and all I say is "come to the bathroom?" So yes, it did take a moment for this request to be processed.

And then came the same wide eyes and open mouthed look that I was sporting just a few minutes earlier. He's figured it out.

Yep. We're having a baby!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Busy Summer!

Hey all! I've been super busy these last few weeks starting up summer classes and a new schedule at work. My schedule right now is quite similar to how it was in the fall, except for some unfortunate time slots that result in some really long days. I am taking 12 credits this summer, and once I complete the semester I'll have 32 of 48 credits needed to graduate! My classes are pretty intense and I'll have a lot of homework to do. I am taking Techniques of Counseling, Group Counseling, and two-2 credit courses on Introduction to School Counseling and Consultation Theory and Practice. Whew!

As far as the remainder of my classes and a graduation date, things are up in the air. I'm trying to figure out how I want to work it since I plan on specializing in two different areas. Each specialization is 12 credits, so I'll be taking quite a bit more than necessary but I think it is the right choice for me. I have applied and been accepted to both, too! This whole grad school thing is flying by.

On the job front - I'm going to begin applying for jobs over the next week or two since my internship at the court house is almost complete. I think right now I've finished about 915 out of the 1000 hours I've signed on for.  If for whatever reason I can't find another (acceptable) job, I'm probably going to just sign on for another year. I have a few places and job openings that I have my eye on though (some that are full time!) so that's an exciting concept. The potential for a full-time job would also change my class schedule and whatnot but we'll cross that bridge if we get there soon.

Waitressing is still happening but assuming I get a new job this summer I'll definitely be on my way out. It's been a year and a half now and I'm totally done with it. The money is great of course, but the exhaustion and stress...blah. I'm over it. There have been a lot of annoying policy changes at our restaurant as well which have really rubbed me the wrong way and have motivated me even more to get out of there asap.

I DO have pictures of our Seattle trip, and I will give a recap on that hopefully this weekend.

Also - I have a new car! Almost. My dad has decided to sell us his 2005 Ford Escape to replace my other Escape that has well over 200,000 miles. We should be finalizing the loan on Friday, although I've already been driving it for a couple of weeks now. It's been very well taken care of and is practically like new.

If you have a wild and crazy schedule, how do you manage your time and make room for fun and socialization? Even the husband and I have had a hard time hanging out lately because I get home so late and go to bed an hour or two later. Any ideas?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Weekly Menu 5/4/12-5/10/12

Check this out! I am in love with ziplist.com for my recipe searching, saving, and grocery list making needs. And now they have the option to meal plan too? I could faint in excitement! And now I get to include a nice little picture of my meal plan instead of just typing it all out plainly.

I included the rest of the weekend on this meal plan, since next weekend with Mother's Day festivities we won't be doing any cooking. I hope to be able to update you all on how these recipes turn out too, since I don't believe I've blogged any of them before (and the last 2 days of meals will be new to me too).

What's on your menu this week? Are you an obvious chicken addict like we are? :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Easy Cheesy Meatballs & Spaghetti


This was a ridiculous day to cook spaghetti and meatballs.

It's early May, but I think it might be the hottest day of spring we've had in a while (since that weird warm weather in March). One ceiling fan in the living room is just not doing much for air circulation. I'm pretty sure I've worked up a major sweat from cooking this meal!

I had to do it though, because I've been cooking this version of spaghetti and meatballs for a while, and just had to share. The first few times I cooked these meatballs, I couldn't quite pinpoint why I liked them so much. Then one day, when I actually followed the recipe exactly and used grated parmesan cheese, it hit me - cheesy goodness! I had been using shredded parmesan the whole time and it gave the meatballs such an awesome flavor. It's by no means extreme, considering my husband likes these and doesn't really like much cheese. It's just enough to give it a little oomph.

This time, I decided to add even MORE cheese. You can't have enough cheese EVER. Of this I am certain.

As I've said in previous posts, the sauce you choose is up to you. The recipe just calls for some canned tomato, while I just revert to the trusty old jar (Market Pantry's Three Cheese Variety is a favorite lately). I've also found that with the jarred sauce, if you add it right to the pan with the meatballs it often gets a little too oily. I prefer to use more oil than is called for when frying these puppies, which is probably why the excess oil remains in the bottom of the pan. To combat this, I keep a separate pan on the side and layer up 1/2 jar of sauce, layer of meatballs, and the remaining sauce. Then I just do a switch-a-roo of the pans using the same burner and wash the frying pan out while the meatballs simmer in the sauce.

Easy Cheesy Meatballs & Spaghetti (adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
Yields 4 servings (4 meatballs per person)

Ingredients:
1 pound of ground chuck
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup italian style breadcrumbs
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
28 oz jar of sauce of your choice
3/4 pound spaghetti
Drizzle of olive or canola oil

Start a pot of water on the stove to boil. In a large boil, combine ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and egg. Mix well with hands and form into approximately 16 balls.

Heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Cook meatballs until browned on all edges, but not cooked through. Meanwhile, pour 1/2 of the jar into a separate large pan and set aside.

Once meatballs are browned, remove using tongs and place in a single layer on top of the sauce in the other pan. Add the remainder of the sauce and switch out pans, turning the burner to medium/medium-low. Cover loosely and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Cook spaghetti in boiling water until desired. Serve meatballs and sauce over spaghetti, seasoning with extra salt and pepper if desired. Classic salads and garlic bread go great with this meal!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Stuffed Cabbage Casserole


Have you heard about Skinnytaste? It's only one of my favorite new food blogs ever. I'm not personally on Weight Watchers, but I'm all about finding healthier options for dinner and this site does just that! If you are involved with Weight Watchers, each recipe will include calorie information and points breakdown. Pretty awesome!

I've had really great luck with the few Skinnytaste recipes I've tried out. I started with the Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup, which was also my first crockpot experience and it turned out really well (except that my husband turned up his nose to it). Then I moved onto the Skinny Chicken Enchiladas which were FABULOUS. I really meant to devote a separate post to those tasty enchiladas but I totally forgot to take a picture while I was busy scarfing them down. Honestly - best enchilada sauce ever. I loved it. Someday I will make them again.

This time, I decided on a recipe entitled "Kalyn's Stuffed Cabbage Casserole" which, if you couldn't tell by the title, is an adaptation from another blog that I am less familiar with called Kalyn's Kitchen. I jumped back and forth between recipes when making my own, so I figured it would be useful to link both variations for you all. I chose this recipe because my mom's stuffed cabbage is TO DIE FOR, by far my favorite home-cooked meal. When I saw these recipes online, I knew I just had to try it.

I had brain fart after brain fart trying to make this recipe - I have no idea why! I forgot to cook rice in advance, I layered the casserole backwards and just disposed of half of my cabbage just to be safe...I was apparently a mess in the kitchen today. Don't make those mistakes like me and make sure that you read your instructions carefully! I plan to freeze half of this because it makes a rather large casserole.

Stuffed Cabbage Casserole (adapted from sources linked above in text)
Yield: 8 servings

You will need:
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground thyme
15 oz can diced tomatoes (in juice)
15 oz can tomato sauce
2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
2 cups reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown beef in a large skillet with 1 tsp olive oil, breaking apart the meat until no longer pink.

Once browned, transfer beef to a separate bowl. Add more olive oil if needed, and sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic, paprika, and thyme, cooking for 1-2 minutes more. Stir in the tomato sauce, canned diced tomatoes, and a 1/4 cup of water. Let simmer until sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté cabbage in 1 tsp olive oil until slightly wilted, turning frequently to ensure it is cooked on both sides. It doesn't need to be 100% cooked at this point, and if you need to you can cook this in batches (I didn't have anymore skillets that were large enough).

Lightly coat a casserole dish with cooking spray and layer in first 1/2 of the cabbage, then 1/2 of the meat, and repeat with the remainder of the cabbage and remainder of meat. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 35-40 minutes.

Remove dish from the oven and top with cheese, baking uncovered another 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browning.

Monday, April 9, 2012

MIA

Wow! I've really let this blog go, haven't I? My marvelous idea to blog about getting healthy related stuff was just not going to work out, so here I am again with nothing to say. But in case anyone is wondering what's going on with my life, I'd be happy to give some updates.

This past month has been pretty average as far as life goes, but we had some amazingly warm weather for March which was great!

I'm nearing the end of my second semester of graduate school now. My last class was tonight, and I have one more project to complete and turn in, and one exam next Monday.

In more exciting news, Mark and I are going on a trip to Seattle in a couple of weeks with his mom, dad, and grandma! I've never been anywhere on the west coast so it should be really fun. I'll be sure to update more on that after we get back.

Summer should be busy. I'm taking three classes from May to end of August. Mark is taking an accelerated class from July to the end of August. My internship is technically ending soon, so I'll need to decide if I want to sign on for longer or find a new job (leaning toward the latter). Hopefully I'll actually have some exciting things to share with you all soon, but to be honest, life has been awfully hum-drum lately.

PS - Can you believe it's nearly our first anniversary? Holy cow, has time flown! I can't believe at this time last year I was anxiously awaiting my first bridal shower in the next week, and about to graduate with my bachelor's degree. My how times have changed. I do kind of miss all of that excitement.

Weekly Menu 4/9-4/15

Yikes! Looks like I haven't been around in a while! This was not for a lack of cooking or baking, just a lack of me remembering to document new recipes and for some big challenges in the kitchen not panning out as I'd hope. I've been cooking up an idea to challenge myself with some cooking and baking projects this summer, so I expect that I'll be around much more soon!

At the very least, I'll let you in on my menu for this week!

Monday: Pizza OR leftover turkey from Easter

Tuesday: Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

Wednesday: Chicken Parmesan

Thursday: Out to dinner

Friday: Sesame Chicken

Saturday-Sunday: Leftovers!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

 It's a two post kind of day, since I am on mid-winter break from school right now and it was my last day off before heading to work tomorrow. And what a surprise, another recipe from good ol' Martha Stewart.  I have been dying to make something with my muffin/cupcake pan I bought around Christmas time and finally decided on these muffins. I figured since lately I've been having trouble forcing myself to get up and make breakfast before work, these would be prefer to grab on the go this week. One thing I noticed about this recipe is that I had some batter left over that I just couldn't squeeze in anywhere - it was probably one or two muffins worth. I'm not sure what I would change to prevent that from happening, but just be aware that you might not be able to cram all of your batter into your muffin tins.

Blueberry Muffins (from Martha Stewart)
Yields 12 muffins

You will need:

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 3 cups + 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 egg and 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1/2%)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and butter your muffin pan (I used a 12 tin, although recipe states you could also use a 6-tin pan for large muffins). Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium until smooth and fluffy. Add in vanilla, egg and egg yolks, beating well to combine. Turning your mixer down to the low setting, and alternate adding flour mixture and milk to the bowl. Be sure to start and end with the flour mixture. Finally, remove bowl from the mixer and gently fold in blueberries by hand. Distribute the batter to your muffin tins - we found it a bit easier to use an ice cream scoop to do this evenly. Each tin holds about 2 scoops worth of batter. Sprinkle the tops of muffins generously with additional sugar.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until edges are browned (and blueberries oozing!). Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy your delicious (although a bit unhealthy) breakfast for the next week - I know I will!


Dinner Tonight: Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps

I had tried a new recipe recently and it did NOT turn out well. But this one turned out on the first try and it was super simple! I think I set a record in the kitchen for quickest turn around time for a new recipe today. This couldn't have taken me more than 20-25 minutes including all of the prep. I think that this recipe would also be a fun one to play around with because it is so simple. You could probably add a multitude of different types of stir-fryable veggies, and you could easily sub tofu, pork, or thinly sliced flank steak perhaps?

Once again, I am still a newbie in the kitchen and so I use a lot of short cuts and eliminate things that I am not familiar with. This recipe calls for grated fresh ginger, and I considered trying to figure out how much ground ginger I could use instead, but in the end I opted to leave it out. I also cheated and used my trusty jarred minced garlic instead of fresh cloves. It's another Martha Stewart recipe - I am kind of obsessed, I'll admit it. I've been collecting recipes from her site for about two years now and I still have loads to test out!

Chicken Stir-Fry Wraps (slightly adapted from Martha Stewart)
Serves 3-4

You will need:

  • 3-4 chicken breasts, halved horizontally and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, rib and seeds removed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp jarred minced garlic 
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • 2-4 tbsp oil
  • salt & pepper
  • iceberg lettuce leaves, (or rice) for serving
Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat, add chicken breast slices to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Stirring constantly, cook until chicken is golden brown on edges and opaque in the center. Remove to a plate.

Add remaining oil to the pan along with red pepper and onion. Cook, stirring constantly, until onion is golden brown and soft. Reduce heat to medium, and add garlic and red pepper flakes, heating until just fragrant (about a minute). Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, and cornstarch-water mixture; stir to combine until sauce starts to thicken. Finally, add chicken and any juices back to the pan, and stir to completely coat. 

Serve this meal in lettuce wraps (how I ate it), or overtop of rice (how the husband ate it). We also had some pineapple on the side and the flavors actually complemented each other well!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Chicken Parmesan

Here is another SUPER easy recipe that I would consider a go-to for the husband and I. It is especially good for those of you that are in need of a low-budget meal. I almost always have all of the ingredients I need on hand. If you want to be really fancy, you could of course make your own sauce - but jarred sauce is what we always use and I have never looked back. Maybe someday I'll be more daring and make my own.

Bear with me on the measurements for this recipe - I eyeball everything typically and add more or less if it seems like it needs it. So these are just rough estimates of what I *think* I use...feel free to experiment!

You will need:
  • 2-4 chicken breasts cutlets
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (I usually prefer shredded, but grated works just as well)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 jar of pasta sauce
  • A few ounces of spaghetti or other type of pasta - as much as your heart desires!
  • Extra Parmesan cheese, for topping

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, and put a pot of water on to boil. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray (for easy clean-up). Divide flour, egg, and breadcrumbs into three separate bowls. Add Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs and stir. Wash and trim chicken breasts, then dip first in flour, then egg, and finally coat with the breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Place the chicken on the baking sheet, and repeat with each chicken breast. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, boil your pasta and warm your jarred pasta sauce. When everything is ready, layer pasta, chicken, and then sauce, and top with extra Parmesan cheese. Serve with a salad or mixed veggies, maybe even some garlic toast or breadsticks. And done! Dinner in less than 30 minutes and all with ingredients you already have on hand. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Lighter Sesame Chicken


Ah, the elusive sesame seeds. Traditionally, you would expect sesame seeds to be involved with sesame chicken, but for whatever reason I just haven't been able to find them at the grocery store. Granted, I only tried to look once and then never again, but even so this recipe has never disappointed. Another staple at our house, the sauce is what really makes this recipe phenomenal. Add to that the lightly breaded, tender chicken chunks, crisp broccoli, and steaming rice and you've got a Chinese take-out style meal that is much healthier for you!

This recipe, slightly adapted from Martha Stewart, claims to serve 4, but typically the husband and I cut out one chicken breast and devour all of it ourselves! If you tend to show bit more restraint, you could possibly stretch this to 3 servings. Another note is that this recipe calls for scallions, which I omitted this time around (by accident).  The recipe is still great either way, and since the ingredients in general are typically easy to find in your cupboard, I wouldn't run out and buy scallions just for this recipe. It will taste great either way!

You will need:
  • 2-3 small chicken breasts (or 4-5 chicken breast tenderloin)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed (or 1/2 tsp jarred minced garlic)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1-2 bunches of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3/4 cup of rice (preferably brown, but I only had white on hand)
  • sesame seeds and chopped scallions, if desired
Start out by cooking your rice according to the instructions on the package. I decided to make a full cup of rice just to ensure my measurements according to the package were correct and then save the leftovers for another meal.

Chop broccoli into florets, set aside. Chop chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, about 2-inches.
In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes, set that aside.
In another small-medium sized bowl, combine cornstarch and egg white, drop chicken chunks into the bowl, and mix so that the chicken is covered in batter.

Heat a large saucepan with 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Drop chicken chunks an inch or two apart, turning occasionally until the outside is golden brown and inside is opaque. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to work in batches. Once the chicken is golden brown, transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add broccoli to pan, (add a bit more oil if needed) and cook about 1-2 minutes, stirring. (Conversely, you can steam the broccoli as indicated by the actual recipe via the link above)

Return chicken to pan, pour sauce over chicken and broccoli mixture, add scallions if desired. Let chicken and sauces meld together on medium-low for about 3-4 minutes. Serve over rice.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dinner Tonight: Grilled Lemon Chicken with Oven Fries

This meal is a staple in our household - I began cooking it long ago and it still graces our table at least 1-2 times per month. We have had a variety of different sides with this chicken, including baked potatoes or rice. The chicken itself is very quick. Highly recommend if you are looking for an easy weeknight meal. (And please excuse the dreadful phone picture.)

For the chicken you will need...

  • 2-4 chicken breasts (depending on how many people you are feeding or if you want leftovers)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp jarred minced garlic)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
Whisk together all ingredients into a marinade, add the chicken breasts, and let soak for 20 minutes-1 hour. We grill our chicken breasts on a George Foreman grill, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't use a grill pan or bake them. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally, and voila! Quick and painless dinner.

We had them with these oven fries (adapted from Martha Stewart)
  • 3-4 russet potatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste
Wash and scrub potatoes, then cut into thick wedges and place in a bowl of cold water while oven preheats to 425. Once preheated, drain water and pat potatoes dry with paper towels. I also dry the bowl off and add the olive oil and seasoning to the bottom. In small quantities, add potatoes to bowl, toss in oil & spices, and then transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes until desired crispiness, turning occasionally.

We added a side salad, but this meal would also go great with some breadsticks or rolls. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl/Madonna

I have a few thoughts on the Madonna half-time show.

First, I am not a fan of Madonna.

Second, there were a lot of performers on that stage that I actually would have liked to see in their own element separate from her.

Third, the acrobats/dancers appeared to be more talented than her lip-syncing self. It wasn't like she was doing so much dancing that she couldn't save enough air to actually sing the songs.

Fourth, dancing with LMFAO...I felt like I was watching my mom doing embarrassing karaoke! That was just dreadful. I was sort of wondering if it was supposed to be funny? She just seemed very out of place in that moment.

Sixth, her voice is so average! Like if she went and tried out for American Idol tomorrow as a no-name I don't think she would make it. I'm so confused by this - I know back in the 80s she was uber popular as far as being a performer goes but on voice talent I'm just not hearing it.

Finally, I'm noticing a trend in which one person complains about the annoyance that was her half-time performance with the comeback - "yeah but she's like 53 and she looks amazing and I wish I looked that great go Madonna!"

...???!!!

What does that have to do with performing at the Superbowl? That's wonderful that she looks so young at 53. Just fantastic. I'm glad she's kept in such amazing shape. However, that is something totally different. I didn't like her voice, or her songs, or her dance numbers. Period.

And I never liked them, so I guess it should be no surprise that I wasn't impressed by this half-time show.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Weekly Menu

Hey all! I kind of went a little wild with menu planning today (why do I love it so?) and decided to challenge myself to trying out an abundance of new recipes in the coming months. This week's meal plan is nothing new at all since I've already done the grocery shopping for it, but next week I will be ready to expand my newfound hobby.

You may notice that some of these recipes are awfully familiar...that is because the husband and I are bad, bad people who sometimes just say "whatever, I'm not cooking" and pretty much eat out the entire week. Or have sandwiches and eggo waffles instead of cooking. So, if you page down a little ways you will find that the menu plan is pretty much identical to last week's. Sigh. But here they are:

Su: lighter sesame chicken, extra rice and broccoli

M: crockpot beef stew (I froze 1/2 of the recipe I made earlier last month) over egg noodles

T: DIY/Take-out night

W: sausage with garlic lentils, salad

Th: chicken parmesan with pasta and salad

F: eating at my parents' house for my brother's birthday (which is actually today!)

Sa: leftovers

Hope you all have a great week full of lots of yummy food, too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

poor puppy

Gosh, I feel like I'm just full of happy things to say lately. Here is a lovely story for you about my drive in to work today.

I was nearly to work, driving on a four lane road that was about 45 mph (everyone was going more like 50 though) when I see a tiny little golden brown dog start bounding across the street. I'm not sure if he was a Yorkie or not, but he was about that size. The other side of the road was clear of cars, but the side that I was on had a grouping of cars coming just up the way. I slammed on the brakes and luckily missed the car. The car next to me wasn't so quick though - in fact, they didn't even attempt to stop! I watched in horror as the car continued on at the same speed, running over the poor puppy with both front and rear left side tires. The puppy was literally spinning around rapidly on the spot, just like a car spinning out on ice.

I was initially in shock, watching the poor dog laying still and incredibly worried that it was gone. I pulled over into the center lane, and glancing in my rearview mirror noticed that another couple of cars had also pulled over to help. As soon as I got out of the car and looked over to the dog, I saw him bounding back across the street, yelping and crying REALLY loudly. The guy behind me said "well, I guess that's that!" and got back into his car. My heart sank though - there is no way this dog wasn't injured. I'm shocked that he was able to not only get up, but run just as rapidly as he was before the accident down a side street. The sound of his yelping pretty much solidified my feelings that this dog was hurt.

At this point, I got back into my car and didn't know what to do next. I started back on the drive to work and called the first place I could think of - a nearby animal rescue. I didn't know the exact side street's name, but I knew the general area and figured they could hopefully send someone out to look for him. I had no clue how far he might get. The number rang...and rang...and rang...until an answering service mentioned the hours of 10:45 to 4. No option to leave a message. It was 8:30 AM when this poor dog was hit! Who knows where he might be 3 hours later!

So I gave up. I didn't know what else to do apart from calling 911 (is that legit? to call 911 on a dog accident?) or going to find him myself. I feel really guilty, like I should have done more or should have gone after him. I mostly feel angry that the car who hit him didn't even ATTEMPT to slow down. And supposing they didn't see the dog, they certainly would have felt the impact. No slowing, no stopping, no  nothing.

That poor dog. I hope he's okay. I hope he's found his way home...although I'm seriously doubtful that this dog even has a home.