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.