Friday, October 29, 2010

Cook, Laugh, Love, Live

I grew up in the house that I live in now. Not exactly the floor plan I would choose but I do love the sentimental value of the house and have made it my own. I thought it would be weird and always feel like my mother’s house but it doesn’t. At all. When I visit her in her adorable farm house in the mountains, that’s her house.

When I was young though, my sister and I spent many days alone when she was a teenager and I was middle school age in my mom’s kitchen (which is now mine). The product of working parents, we had great imagination. We turned our kitchen and dining room into a restaurant called Old Timer’s every day for lunch. We served up meals to each other with flair from the humblest grilled cheese and soup to a can of chef boy r Dee garnished with parmesan from a can.

It was a production from beginning to end, greeting each other at the front door and seating them at the choicest table, playing chef, plating the food, playing waitress, busboy and dishwasher (which often included acting a dishwashing soap commercial but that was more of a ploy for her to pretend to film while I got stuck doing all the dishes…I was very much a drama queen even then.)

We used to talk about actually opening Old Timer’s when we grew up. I can only think that the famed Cracker Barrel was our inspiration for Restaurant Design. I’ve held onto that dream though. The dream has changed over the years and morphed from being a bakery/café, to sometimes a bed and breakfast, and sometimes even a full out restaurant.

Tonight, my sister is coming over to help me in the kitchen. We are whipping up giant pots of chili and chicken stew, veggie and cheese platters, and a cake for my Halloween Party tomorrow. It’s going to be like Old Timer’s is open again twenty years later.

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that you look back on with fond memories but I have noticed that the majority of the family’s greatest memories center around the kitchen. The kitchen is truly the heart of the home and I’m looking forward to making memories for my own children: giggles and smiles over cupcake frosting, smells of cookies baking on Christmas Eve, mini aprons enveloping wiggly bodies with chocolate smears on the nose, beaters to be licked, family dinners, etc.

Despite all the work I have to do, I’m looking forward to taking this sweet trip down memory lane tonight. Laughing, arguing, getting in each other’s way, making a mess and above all spending quality time with my sister is a great way to spend a Holiday whether its Halloween or Christmas. Sisters, who for many years were each other’s arch nemesis and saving grace. We are siblings, friends, families who cook, laugh, love and live.

I think they need to adjust those popular phrases for the wall art: COOK, Laugh, Love, Live. I like it.

Happy Anniversary to Us.

Yesterday was our Anniversary.

FOUR YEARS of marriage. Six years together. It’s almost hard to believe that I’ve been with him that long and at the same time it still feels new and exciting sometimes, like we’ve just moved in and are still newly weds.

Our life has changed quite a bit for this year though. Last year at this time we were suffering the physical and emotional effects of the miscarriage, clinging together, blocking out the world.

This year, we are celebrating my expanding waist line, struggling with exhaustion of his hectic schedule being in school and working full time, trying to get through and live life. We are doing our Annual Halloween Party this year that we cancelled last year. DH has been sick and exhausted, I’ve had the severe back pain this week etc.

So on our actual anniversary, we spend a giftless quiet night laying together on our sofa watching Halloween Sitcoms and eating a quick easy dinner of beef and cheese burritos (homemade of course) and Halloween mini chocolates.

It was quiet and humble and sweet. As much as I’m looking forward to cooking the party foods with my sister’s help tonight, and having people come and enjoy a fire, food and fun tomorrow, DH and I are in agreement that we are looking forward to a quiet relaxing Sunday doing NOTHING.

A day together, watching DVR’d tv shows and movies, munching on leftovers and candy in our pajamas.

The older we get, the crazier our life gets, the more we appreciate those rare days when we don’t have to think about yard work, house chores, budgets, commitments and errands. We get to cuddle, veg and look forward to getting through one more week of voting, chiro appts, and daily life before the BIG Ultra Sound. It’s SO CLOSE!

Through everything we’ve been through in the past 4 years: home, job layoffs, pay cuts, IF, miscarriage etc. I can honestly say that our relationship has stayed strong and grown. We are solid. We are still in love and looking forward to our family with our whole hearts. I still look forward to seeing him at the end of each day, a kiss on the top of my head still makes my knees week, he still makes me laugh, he’s still the man I want to spend the rest of my life with and grow old with. He’s still the man I want to present HLB to, and say “Look at what we did. Look at the perfection our love created.”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Being Self-aware and Self-centered

I may not be a smug pregnant woman, because I appreciate every moment I am pregnant (despite the occasional complaint about the cramps, back pain and sleeplessness LOL) but I can honestly say I am a self-centered one.

I think everyone needs to be honest with themselves and other’s and I am self-centered right now. I think, in a way, its justified. Pregnant women (and not just IFers and loss sufferers but pregnant women as a whole group) should be more aware of their bodies during this time. (Charters, IF sufferers, and Loss sufferers tend to be more aware than most people even before pregnancy and become hyper aware afterwards). Our bodies are these amazing natural machines that go through all these organic changes that can seem really crazy sometimes.

Not to mention we want and should keep our bodies absolutely healthy as possible, be even more conscious of what we put in our mouths, exercise, injury etc. because its no longer just us that we are screwing over, there’s another being in there dependent on our bodies. (Like a parasite, isn’t that a lovely thought?)

I’ve had my share of junk food. I’ve never done drugs nor been a heavy drinker but I have had my share of rough and tumble party nights and I was a smoker for 15 years. (a few off years here and there but most of that decade and a half I smoked.) I haven’t maintained a healthy lifestyle my whole life though is the point.

In the past few years, I have become a more self conscious person when it comes to how I live. I’ve been a non smoker for almost two years (yes, I know if you do the math, that means I smoked during the first year of TTC with the intentions of quitting the moment I found out…it was stupid of me.) I’ve made so many changes to my diet and lifestyle as I’ve actually discovered things about myself (my mortality, my allergies, my PCOS etc.) and have become a much healthier (and smaller!) version of me.

Now that I have finally made it some distance on a long awaited journey of actually bringing a child into the world, I am even more self centered. Everything we do, every place we go, everything we eat is first weighed and thought about in terms of “what about me and my baby?” Do I want to try a new restaurant that DH wants to go to and risk an allergy attack since I’m pregnant? Do I really want to get up early and go shopping all day and if I do are their baby stores nearby? Etc. etc. etc.

Do I want to go to the in-laws at Christmas when I am 7 months pregnant? (that would be a hell no by the way). I am completely absorbed by myself and this child. I day dream about cribs and bedding during work. I mark the passage of time by counting down days to my next events which bring me closer to the next baby appt.

I’ve let certain aspects of my life outside the home slide because I just don’t feel like putting in the effort anymore and that’s probably a little self centered too. But hey, at least I’m honest and I don’t act or pretend like the world revolves around me nor do I ask to be waited on hand and foot or be focused on at family events etc. But in my own head? Yea, I’m totally focused on me and my little family. I admit it freely.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week 18

How far along?18 weeks
Total weight gain: 2 pounds (I lost two more pounds last week)
Maternity clothes? No. I have the one pair of pants and one top. I haven't worn them since I bought them though. I'm still wearing all my regular clothes. Even my "skinny jeans" don't feel that tight anymore now that some of the bloat has gone down, but they are low rise so they fit below this expanding waist of mine.
Sleep: What's that? I haven't had but a few hours total in the past three days. I'm a zombie.
Best moment this week: An unexpected visit to the Dr.'s allowed me to hear HLB's heartbeat again and reassure me.
Gender: I'm 51/49 Girl/boy.
Craving: Water. (i'm a little dehydrated) and pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks (decaff ofcourse).
Movement: not since last week thus the excitement to hear the heartbeat again.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? Still In.
What I miss: Energy and sleep.
What I am looking forward to: The Halloween party this weekend. Puts me one step closer to the anatomy scan.
Milestones: We definately settled on the crib which we will be purchasing right after the anatomy scan. Davinci Kalani.

Hump Day Melancholy

So my whiny mood on Monday? Turned into an emotional breakdown by Tuesday. The knot in my shoulder and headache got worse. On Tuesday morning I got out of bed (after very little sleep from the pain) to half my face being numb, blurred vision in that eye, numb arm and leg with horrible pain. I called the Dr. to get a recommendation on seeing a masseuse or a chiropractor and they wanted me to come in immediately.

I did not know this but there is a thing called “pregnancy induced Bells Palsy.” That’s pretty scary, but I don’t have it. I have a hormone induced muscle knot that I get to look forward to dealing with on and off through my entire pregnancy. Yay me.

I did end up seeing a chiropractor yesterday who adjusted me and worked on that knot and put me on a gentle setting roller bed. I felt great for about 10 minutes….till I went home and everything tightened back up. I did catch a few cat naps during my imposed bed rest though. My OB felt that I should stay out of work and do nothing because my blood pressure and heart rate were a little elevated. Not high, but higher than my norm most likely due to the pain and stress of it (aka lack of sleep). So I managed to take a few short naps on the sofa but I had to get in just the right positions to prop my shoulder on pillows a certain way to find any comfort.

Last night, I would have slept a little better had it not been for the combined pain and tornadoes. None of the bad weather came directly near me but was in the same county so my weather radio kept going off and I kept waking up to watch the radar. I get to look forward to more of that tonight.

To say I’m pretty miserable is probably an understatement though I know many that are far more miserable than I so I feel guilty for complaining too much. What really got me going was the new car finance company. I had a set to with one of their non English speaking lying customer service reps at near 9pm last night. I eventually had to hang up the phone because I was so upset with them I could feel my Blood pressure rising. My first payment isn’t due till November 28th. I haven’t even gotten any paperwork from them on how to pay them (since Carmax doesn’t provide that) and they have an automated phone system dialing my CELL phone multiple times a day and hanging up on me. According to call center bitch, their records only indicate one phone call to my home number to welcome me and they left a message on my answering machine. WRONG. My home number doesn’t have an answering machine you lying twatwaffle and I have a record of the multiple calls and times on my cell phone. When I hit callback, guess what? I GOT YOU fucker. It was bad. I lost it and she wouldn’t transfer me to a manager. I eventually said something extremely not nice and hung up and ended up sobbing in my husbands arms in the middle of my kitchen because I was so stressed out over everything: car, pain, upcoming party, trying to get dinner done, bad weather etc.

Carmax and this new finance company will be getting very explosive letters from me to say the least and I damn well hope they recorded that phone call. I have been with Ford Credit through three cars in the past 10 years. Needless to say, I will be going BACK to Ford and their lovely finance company when we trade DH’s vehicle. Carmax has officially lost my business after this and the DMV license plate fiasco. Two weeks I’ve had my car, and it’s been nothing but a hassle for stupid reasons. Reasons an emotional pregnant women should not have to deal with.

Sometimes I wish my husband was one of those guys who handled the money and investments and dealing with stuff like that, but in our household, I’m the one. I handle the money better and pay all the bills, and plan the expenditures and deal with insurance problems etc. etc. He isn’t very good about that kind of thing so it makes our life smoother, but sometimes, like yesterday, I wish I didn’t have to do it all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rainy day whining

It's one of those know where the weather is cool and dreary, a pressure system is moving through and your head is pounding so you lament about all the bad things? That would be today. What am I lamenting about?

The fact that sometimes my stomach is hard as a rock and other times it goes soft like my ute disappeared all together. How I haven't felt the baby move lately and its probably my fault because I had too much caffiene and not enough water so something terrible has happened.

How my nips are turning dark, almost scabby at the tips and sore. Did I mention they are huge? WTF? I can barely stand to look at them much less touch them. A casual playful grab from DH sends me into a cowering screaming puddle of boob grasping teeth baring frenzy. I feel like a tazmanian devil where my boobs are concerned.

His flippant "welcome to pregnany honey" comments don't help. AS IF YOU EFFING KNOW WHAT ITS LIKE ARSEHOLE! STFU.

See? I'm an irrational complaining raging bitch today. I should have stayed in bed.

Pumpkin Dip

For a Mary Kay Facial Party I threw Friday night, which was very relaxing and a fun giggling time with the girls, one of the new items I tested was Pumpkin Dip. I’m a huge pumpkin fan: pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread and pumpkin spice lattes but there are certain mixtures with pumpkin and cream cheese I don’t do well. It’s the combination of flavor and texture. Among them: pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheesing icing and now, pumpkin dip. Everyone else in the known world loves it though. I’m the weird one. I served this recipe with Gingersnaps and it was tasty, I was just able to stop after two cookies, so maybe my slight aversion is a good thing.

Pumpkin dip

1 can Pumpkin Puree
1 package cream cheese (8 ounces, room temp, lightly beaten or whipped)
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
Dash vanilla

Mix everything, cover and chill. (We actually served it fresh which I liked better than chilled but most recipes call for you to chill pumpkin dip).

Menu Monday-Halloween

Beef and Cheese Burritos

Salad with Perogies

Scalloped Potatoes, Roast Chicken, Turnip Greens

Beef and hash brown Casserole

Chicken Something

Chili and chicken Stew for Halloween Party plus veggie tray, pumpkin pie and possibly a cake.

I actually can’t remember what is on the menu this week. I got a new cook book all about freezer meals and I’m trying some recipes out from it. They are simple and hardy and if they are tasty will come in handy for neighbors, new moms, etc. not to mention ME!

I’ll post the recipes as I try them. I’m testing two of them this week along with some simple tried and true recipes as I prepare for our annual Halloween shindig.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Time is Slow but it flies by

One year ago today, I was sitting at home grieving, wondering what I should do. Not ready to let go even though everything was already gone. Not wanting to take that final step that would say Goodbye.

I just realized what today is. October 22nd. Which means I completely forgot about the 19th. It slipped past me and I was so consumed with the cramps and feeling off, worrying about HLB that I didn’t even make the connection that that was the day I found out we had lost Bumblebee.
I know that’s not the day Bumblebee died, but its still a day of the pain. I was so consumed with what was going on now, that I didn’t even think of it and now I feel like a horrible person for forgetting my 1st baby.
What kind of mother am I going to be? I have a horrible memory for dates. Maybe I should reconsider having two children.
I’ve been living in this world of progression. Trying to get through each slow week to get to the next thing, the next marker of time that brings me closer to knowing my baby on a more intimate level: knowing sex, feeling more of a bump, feeling kicks, DH feeling kicks, picking a name, buying something just for him/her.
Am I losing part of my past, part of what makes me who I am, and the love I’ve felt because I’m living for tomorrow? How do I slow myself down before I regret what I’ve missed trying to get THERE?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Week 17

How far along?17 weeks
Total weight gain: 4 pounds (I lost two of those pesky pounds from last week..can we say BLOAT!)
Maternity clothes? Yes. I bought my first outfit over the weekend. The pants won't stay up though.
Sleep: What's that?
Best moment this week: Buying a mommy car and maternity clothes.
Gender: I'm 51/49 Girl/boy.
Craving: Salad
Movement: Light occasional flutters...especially at 3am.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? Still In.
What I miss: Energy and sleep.
What I am looking forward to: A weekend of relaxation with nothing pressing to do.
Milestones: Moving towards mommymode materially? Is that considered a milestone (come one..atleast for a fast sports car driving vain clothes whore?)

I'm not sure if its the lighting or my camera (as outdoor pics are great on it) but as of right now, blurry work bathroom pics are the only option. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Family that plays together...

When I was young, I never needed anyone…oh wait, no, that was Celine Dion. Never mind. Seriously, family has always been important to me. Even when I was going through my college rebellious independent phase, I still had and relied on a strong family support system.
My family is amazing. We have our issues, like I can’t stand to be in the room with my mother and sister for more than 30 minutes without wanting to strangle someone, but each by themselves is totally okay. My mother and sister live beside each other and are together ALL the time. They have this unique bickering/nagging thing that is like the Gilmore Girls but more annoying and not half as cute. They don’t even notice but it drives the rest of us up the wall. I still love them immensely. My husband swears that my sister and I are equally as annoying as we have our own way of communicating that is half mind meld, half finished sentences, private smirks and shrill laughter. Oh and when we are all together, we get LOUD. Not just the immediate family but EVERYONE. The hazards of not only growing up on open land and yelling between the houses but of bad hearing, old age and trying to talk over each other results in loud conversations and voices. My poor husband escapes whenever possible. (Don’t feel too sorry for him though, because his family has equally annoying quirks that he just doesn’t pay attention to as much that drive me apeshitbatty.)

For my precious Dad’s 60th birthday, we through a surprise party for him at my house with a 1950’s sock hop theme (the year he was born). We invited his family and extended family over and had an old fashioned barbeque. We (and I mean my darling brother-in-law) literally fired the pig up at 5am in my backyard and smelled up the neighborhood all day long. Our neighbors woke up drooling all over their pillows with scented smoke drifting around their homes. They kept doing drive bys and walk by’s like swarming flies ready to pounce on us. LOL

Here are a few pictures (taken by Mrs.Beth who also made the awesome cake) of the party full of my family and friends who are always there to celebrate, to lift you up, and to help you out if you ever need it. I am so blessed to be bringing a child into such a strong family that knows how to be together and to show an abundance of strength, character and love. I grew up strong, safe and secure. I was taught love, understanding, and courage from these amazing people and I’m ready to pass that along to a new generation.

My Dad's Sister Sue came complete with homemade poodle skirt!

My sister and I

BIL and His Dad cooking up some amazing Barbeque in my backyard.

Birthday Bash-Happy 60th Daddy!

One of the things that has kept me busy of late was throwing my Dad’s 60th Surprise Birthday party on September 25th. We had an amazing time with good food, beautiful weather and an amazing group of family and friends.

I’ve always loved to hostess a party and am usually OCD about making EVERYTHING, doing EVERYTHING and basically a control freak. (I admit it freely.) This time though, I eased back, let other’s do things, paid to have things done and only stressed about cleaning the house and getting the flower beds pretty. LOL

My brother-in-law borrowed a giant barbeque cooker from his uncle who caters and was up at 5am in my backyard putting the pigs on. (I think he did 4 shoulders). He made Barbeque (and me some chicken as I’m allergic to pork), beans, slaw, and potatoes. MrsBeth made a fabulous Chocolate Orange Cake with Butter cream icing decorated in fondant. I provided hors d’ouvres: Veggie tray with my homemade Ranch dip, Cheese platter, and fruit platter. My sister’s Mother-in-law (did you follow that?) made her awesome homemade ice creams: Cherry almond and vanilla.

This was truly a joint effort and my Dad had an awesome time. It’s taught me a lesson as well. I can let go. Just because I don’t make everything, doesn’t mean it won’t be fabulous or that people will think I’ve slacked. Delegation is not a bad thing. I’m totally following this same route with my Halloween Party and for once, I’m not stressed at all. Living up to my own ideas of Perfection are much harder than living up to other people’s expectations. I’m harder on myself than anyone else. So I’m lightening up and it is fabulous! Enjoy a few food pics from the party!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menage a Trois

I'm barely feeling the baby but last night I had the wierdest experience. The baby got active while I was laying in bed with my husband trying to get our groove on.

The baby sensations aren't strong yet, just ripples like waves internally, taps of vibration, barely there thumps that feel like your pulse (heartbeats) when you put your fingers to your neck. It's not like I'm feeling full on kicks nor am I feeling it on a regular basis. It's usually only when I'm laying down and have been still and quiet for awhile.

Despite the "barely" there movement. I can tell when my baby is really active. I jokingly call it "playtime." It struck me last night though because playtime started while it was adult time. I had to really wrap my brain around the two being simultaneous and if I was okay with that. I'm not sure I am!

What happens when I can really feel baby moving and kicking while ummm...yea.

I may have grown-up a lot this weekend with buying maternity clothes and a mommymobile but I'm not sure my mommy brain is ready to ponder the oddities of baby playing while having sex.

::chews lip in thought::

Menu Monday

Our menu plan got blown out of the water this weekend because we were running around taking care of everything so we ate out- a lot. (Pizza Hut veggie pizza, Wendy's, and Panera Bread)

So our menu has some of the same items from last week that I didn't get to fix.

Fried Chicken Salad with French Onion soup

Chicken Pot pie

BBQ Chicken


Friday I am hosting a Mary Kay party. Menu: Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches, Pumpkin Dip with Ginger Snaps, Homemade Ranch Dip with veggies, Cheese and Turkey Bacon Tart, Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day

I wasn't sure I would write about today. I've done my best to actually avoid thinking too much about what today is and how much it hurts. Last year at this time I was mourning the babies that have been lost and all the beautiful and strong mother's who were not holding their precious babes. I didn't know that my own precious baby was already dead. Last year, I was still living in my wonderful world of innocence and bliss about my own pregnancy.

October 19th is the day my world officially fell apart when we found the missed miscarriage. All I have to do is close my eyes and it all comes rushing back as if I were there again, the smells, the dr's office, the feeling of my heart being torn in two. This year, on this day, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day means so much more to me. I never gave birth. I never saw my baby or even knew what the sex was but it doesn't matter. Bumblebee was my baby and I mourned and I still grieve and think of what would be had things not happened the way it did.

Today, I think of all those other mothers who I can't even bear to name because the tears are already splashing on my keyboard. My heart aches for them.

Even looking forward to holding HLB in my arms, it doesn't diminish the pain of losing Bumblebee. Today, I grieve and I dread the 19th. Today, I send hope out into the world for the others like me who have known loss and pain. Today, I pray that our angels are high in the clouds frolicking in joy and peace having never known the sorrow of this world.

Being an Obese Mom

It’s hard to look at oneself honestly and even harder to admit to the world at large our major flaws but in the spirit of full disclosure (and the fact that ya’ll have seen my pictures) I am not only a woman living with PCOS but also obesity (partly stemming from the PCOS). I have not lived the healthiest of lifestyles. Not to cast blame but before I knew about the PCOS I would try diets and exercise routines and I would get extremely frustrated at the lack of losing weight so I would give up. I’ve been fighting my weight for years. I basically do not know how to live without fighting my weight.

After being diagnosed with PCOS, I started reading, researching and learning. Combined with my recently developed food allergies, I lost almost 46 pounds before getting pregnant again. Even though my Dr. told me he was not too concerned with my weight because of how my body carried it etc. something in me (that little fat girl that has been mocked and pushed down for years) blamed me for my miscarriage. The one thing I have also been labeled and had other’s (and myself) blame me for was being fat so naturally I blame myself and my weight for losing the one thing I wanted most. My Dr. tells me its not true and statistics tell me its not true, but I can’t help but wonder. So I worked really hard and before this pregnancy lost the weight. Is it healthy that I’m so obsessed DURING my pregnancy with my weight creeping up? Probably not. But I take the high risk specialist’s advice seriously when he recommended I don’t gain ANYTHING! I’ve been trying I swear. I did really well until week 14 when the weight started piling on. I’ve gained 6 pounds in the past two weeks without changing my eating habits…which means, I have to change my eating habits to counter act the baby growing. (Baby is already helping in this area by turning me into a vegetarian me thinks. Baby must have been listening to that conversation! LOL)

If you read WTEWYE, it makes fat people out to be monsters if they choose to get pregnant before being “ideal weight.” What they don’t mention is that sometimes you take the risk because if you wait till you have lost all the weight, then you are a lot older and your fertility issues are even further along so you reduce your change of conception and increase your chance of other baby related issues. It’s like being forced to choose between two evils and either way you go you are chancing the health of your baby (and yourself). It’s not a fun place to be and if I think too hard about it, panic and fear sets in at the chance I made the wrong choice and am a horrible person for choosing to bring a baby into this world as a fat mom. I wish I had been diagnosed in my early 20’s and had a longer time frame for counteracting this and my choices may have been different but I didn’t have that choice or time frame to work with.

I found an article that brings up the weight issues in Health magazine (May 2009) called FAT by Ginny Graves. I’m not going to review the article because basically any article talking about obesity in women is a fear mongering article but mostly, they should be. People are more scared of cigarettes than fast food and in today’s society, they probably should be about equal (slight exaggeration but it’s not all together false. A burger may not kill you but a lifestyle of fast food surely will). Here are some facts, quotes etc. from the article that really stand out to me though:

“An astounding two-thirds of American adults, including 65 million women, are overweight or obese- a rise of 10 percent in just a decade. According to a new study, all adults in the United States will be overweight or obese in 40 years” at that rate.

“In fact, an ADA survey recently suggested that people are more afraid of shark attacks and snake bites than diabetes, even though diabetes contributes to more than 230,000 deaths every year-compared with 5-10 a year from sharks and snakes!”

“Being obese can lop as many as 20 years off your life.”

“1 Fat Ratchets up your risk for cancer.
2. Fat can make cancer treatment and recovery difficult.
3. It’s hard on your heart.
4. It makes exercise unappealing.
5. Fat is bad for your brain (more likely to have dementia in later life)
6. It doesn’t do much for your mood (no shit Sherlock)
7. Fat takes a toll on joints.
8. It puts pressure on your bladder.
9. It isn’t good for your other organs.
10. Fat may produce a backlash in the bedroom (low sex drive, performance issues, lack of enjoyment.)
11. It makes some medical tests tricky.
12. It may affect your medical care.
Some Doctors associate obesity with unpleasant character traits, like hostility, dishonesty, and poor hygiene, research has shown. In fact, in a survey of nearly 2,500 overweight and obese women, 69% said they’d been on the receiving end of a doctor’s bias. The result, according to a 2008 report from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, is that doctors spend less time with overweight patients and are even reluctant to perform preventive screenings and exams. (I have definitely been the victim of weight bias by a Dr. and it was an awful experience).
13. It can interfere with your fertility.
Obesity accounts for 6 percent of infertility cases in women. Too much body fat may produce too much estrogen, which can suppress ovulation. In one study, the probability of getting pregnant declined in women with BMIs higher than 29-and for every one-point increase in BMI, there was a 4 percent lower pregnancy rate. In other research, obese women had high levels of fats and inflammation in the fluid surrounding their eggs, an environment that could affect an egg’s developmental potential. Even a 5-10 percent weight loss may dramatically improve pregnancy rates, but it’s important to establish and maintain a healthy weight before trying to conceive.
14. It makes pregnancy riskier.
Overweight and obese women are more likely to have GD, Pre-E, and cesarean sections-all of which pose risks to mom and baby. They’re also 67 percent more likely to have a miscarriage than normal-weight women, researchers in the UK say. (sigh)
15. It may even affect your baby’s health.
In a study of nearly 15,000 mothers, more than 10,000 of whom had babies with birth defects, it was found that obesity was associated with seven birth defects, including spina bifida, heart defects, shortened limbs, and hernias. (::chews nails in terror::)
16. It may make asthma harder to treat.
17 It keeps you up at night.
18. It makes you less likely to be hired.
19. It can affect your bottom line. (earn less in jobs than normal-weight people).

That’s some pretty scary and powerful stuff. My advice to anyone who is overweight (whether extremely or not) is that you have to make the decisions based on all the factors not just weight but do whatever you can to lose weight before pregnancy and maintain a healthy low-gain DURING pregnancy. It’s not just a physical thing, it’s an emotional thing as well, and I question myself all the time if I can handle what happens should something be wrong with my baby because of what I CHOSE to do. Good luck to anyone with these decisions to make and anyone who is going down this same road. It’s not an easy journey no matter what choices you make.

I’m a 32 year old Obese woman with PCOS and Infertility who chose to get pregnant without losing as much weight as I probably should have versus waiting till I was possibly older with increased issues due to age and PCOS/IF and it haunts me even while I’m ecstatic to be carrying this precious child that I pray every day is healthy and not suffering from my choices.

Simple Corn Chowder

Many people use bacon and bacon grease as a flavoring for corn chowder, but as I am currently not stomaching meat well (including my turkey bacon) I decided to go with a more vegetarian option.

Corn chowder is a simple hearty soup that is great for a cool fall day. I served it up with a fresh crisp iceberg salad with my Ranch Style Dressing. An excellent easy meal for a week day with plenty of leftovers.

Simple Corn Chowder
4 TBS Butter
7-8 Red potatoes (washed, peeled and cubed)
1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)
2 cups water
2 cans Creamed corn (if using homemade its 3 cups)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cups heavy whipping cream (or half and half)

In a large stock pot over medium heat, sauté your onion and potatoes in the butter for 4-5 minutes. Stir in water and corn. Add your salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for approx 25-30 minutes stirring 3-4 times during cooking time.

Warm the cream (I popped it in the microwave for 2 minutes) and add to the chowder about 3-4 minutes before serving.

Ranch Style Dressing/ Dip mix

So why do I call it Ranch Style? Because its not true ranch. If you been reading this blog long, you know I tend to steer clear of spices, peppers and pork due to past allergy experiences (beginning of the year).

One of the things I’ve been missing most this year is Ranch dressing. I LOVE ranch. Cucumbers and carrots and wedges of lettuce dipped in creamy ranch. Ranch on spaghetti, chicken tenders in ranch. If you can dip it, I like it in ranch.

So I finally broke down, researched what is in Ranch and created my Ranch Style safe version. What I love about this is it is a dry mix that can be stored for months in a dry place or the freezer and you can whip up a dip or dressing in the blink of an eye. It has gone over big time at my parties and I’ve already given the recipe out to half a dozen people they loved it so much. So I am going to share it with you! (Don’t you feel special?)

Krista’s Ranch Style Dressing/Dip Mix
8 tsp minced onion
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp garlic powder

Dump all ingredients into a small Tupperware container. Place the lid on and shake well. Store in a dry dark place or the freezer until ready to use. Shake Well before each use.

For DIP:
1 Cup Mayo
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 ¼ TBS Ranch Mix

For Dressing:
1 cup Mayo
1 cup Buttermilk
1 ¼ TBS Ranch Mix

For either one, add all ingredients in a bowl and whisk till blended and smooth. Chill.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Undiagnosed PCOS

I am a woman living with PCOS. To be exact, I am the one in ten women living with PCOS. PCOS is the leading hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age and the main cause of infertility. I recently stumbled across an article in Health magazine (October 2009 by Harriet Brown and Kimberly Holland) that actually speaks frankly about it as one of the top 7 women’s issues that Doctors still miss today.

PCOS is most simply a woman having an imbalance in insulin (which regulates blood sugar) and causes the typical male hormones to have too high of levels (all women have them but in a woman with PCOS, they are higher). The abnormally high levels of insulin also “bombard the ovaries, causing them to produce too much testosterone and develop cysts. Half of all women with PCOS end up with pre-diabetes or diabetes.”

Symptoms include:
Irregular periods or none at all (check)
More hair on face, chest, back, and limbs (check)
Acne (check)
Baldness (thank goodness that’s not a check for me)
Rapid, substantial weight gain that seems impossible to control(triple check and check some more)

There is no conclusive test for this disorder but several small tests plus your symptoms can help a Dr. determine a diagnosis. “Check your reproductive organs for signs of masses or growths using a pelvic or vaginal ultrasound and physical exam. Blood tests are used to measure levels of glucose and several hormones; they also can exclude abnormalities, like hypothyroidism, that mimic PCOS.”

Unfortunately, there is no fix for PCOS. There are treatments that focus on the symptoms and help with fertility issues, limiting risk of diabetes and heart disease. “Birth Control pills help regulate menstrual cycles, lower androgen levels, reduce hair growth, and clear up acne. Metformin, which controls blood glucose and lowers testosterone production, can help you lose weight.”

Birth control has its own set of side effects and risks though especially after 35 years of age.

I have dealt with PCOS since puberty even before I knew I had it. Had I been properly diagnosed back then, I may have avoided some of the things I have been through in my life and been properly prepared for the fertility issues I faced. PCOS is very real and very painful (emotionally). PCOS can also trigger other issues like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to the hormonal imbalance. Being diagnosed with PCOS does not provide an instant remedy or even a totally confined diagnosis/path.

What really hit home about the article is that “More than 40% of women who are eventually diagnosed…have basically been told that they’re just too concerned with their health or they’re a hypochondriac.” What it forgot to say is that we’ve also been told “there is no reason, you are just fat because you eat too much. Quit putting food in your mouth and get off your lazy arse.” Yea, because in a body conscious society when you are trying every diet known to man and nothing is working, a comment like that is going to help.

We have been stigmatized, made fun of, struggled and defined by something most of us didn’t even know we had. I’ve become a stronger person since being diagnosed. I know more about my body then I ever hoped to (with much more to learn) and I have found a passion to share my knowledge with others and teach my children so they do not suffer from ignorance.

Knowing is half the battle. Arm yourselves with knowledge and help others get the tools to fight. Through information, proper diet, modern medicine etc. we can help ourselves and others to be prepared and live with a brighter future. Pregnancy does not fix PCOS and nothing I do will ever make it go away.

My Gourmet Life

I have tried to maintain this blog as I would a business. Strictly to the point of food with snippits of commentary about my life to “spice” it up. My readers come for the food, not for me but my personality and life flavor my food. If you have been a follower for long, you can detect a pattern but may not know what is triggering the recipes. I’ve been very honest about my recent trial with food allergies and the less flavorful and more natural recipes reflect that as I tried to reset my body and figure out what the allergy triggers were.

(Now here is where I come clean.) What you may not have known, is that last fall when I was posting so much and really focused on my blog, what was going on. I love this blog but I don’t try new recipes ALL the time or cook hearty comfort foods EVERY DAY. I’m a busy person (as evidenced by the lack of posts every summer when my garden, pool and yard are in full swing on top of a full time job). I don’t have time to cook, photograph and experiment EVERY night. Last fall however, was full of colorful posts, new recipes, and rich comfort foods. Last fall, after 2 ½ years of Infertility and drugs, we lost our first child via a very emotionally traumatic and physically painful miscarriage. I threw myself into this blog with a passion to escape myself.

I’m not sorry I did so. It was therapy for me. Cooking is therapy. Depending on what kind of emotional state I am in depends on what I make. If I’m focusing on being a better me, the recipes go healthy, natural. If I need comforting they go hearty and rich. If I’m crunching a budget, they reflect that too. If I’m happy, I bake. I’m a southern gal and our kitchens are the heart of the home. We spend our lives there out of responsibility but also out of love.

I used to think that I had to be a perfect hostess and wife. I was raised with the values of home coming first and a happy family revolved around great food. Holidays revolved around family coming together over great food. I had to maintain a spotless house, cook everything, bake like a professional, decorate to the 9’s. I have pushed myself over the years to achieve perfection in my home. For what? A family I don’t have. It becomes not so important when you are only cooking for the two of you. Especially when you’re married to one of the most Non-foodie people you will ever meet. A can of cold Chef Boy R Dee is fine with my husband, but I want my family to have more than that.

I have reprioritized. I will always be a cook. It is who I am. I love it, but I’ve realized that I don’t have to be perfect or do it all. I can throw a party and delegate dishes (or the whole darn thing, hello catering), I can release myself of the responsibility of doing it all. And if by chance, a partier finds that one illusive dust bunny that escaped me, so be it. Dust happens.

I’m trying to find my balance. I love to blog. I have a million ideas in my head for posts, projects, etc for this blog. I love to share my recipes as much as I love making them. I just need to find my voice and relate more to my blog with my life than being a food reporter. This isn’t a business, this is my love of food and all things to do with it, not just recipes.

So my dear readers, my original intention of this blog was food. It worked for me for years as that is where I was in my life. I new wife, a new home owner, a new everything in my own kitchen for the first time armed with only the skills I learned at the elbows of my mother and grandmother (and they were great skills-I was well armed). I have a passion for cooking and gardening and I showcased that here, but I also have a passion for family, those suffering from infertility, and other aspects of my life. I’ve kept them separate (on separate blogs and never the two shall meet) but I’m not sure that I should anymore.

I don’t know what’s going to happen from here to be honest. I don’t know if I will maintain the two or if I will combine them here or there or somewhere completely new. I’m not sure how open I’m ready to be to readers who came for the food or how receptive my readers of my most intimate yearnings will be of food recipes. I don’t want to keep up a farce of maintaining a food blog when my focus isn’t necessarily here but I also see myself returning to food again and again so its not really a farce. Holidays are coming up, I’m going to be in the kitchen a lot. In the future, I will want to share my experiments with homemade baby food when the time comes (because it will.) I still want to try out a food related project to share with you. I just have to figure out the timeline, the how, and do it. I’m not saying good bye. I’m just saying, “hello” from the real gardener, the real gourmet, the person behind the words that puts the love into the food.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How far along? 16 weeks
Total weight gain: 6 pounds (Houston we may have a weight gain problem even though the Dr's said it was fine).
Maternity clothes? No, but it this rate it won't be long.
Sleep: Last night was decent, I'm just not getting ENOUGH sleep.
Best moment this week: Knowing Exactly where my baby was and feeling the first flutters.
Gender: I'm 50/50 on the fence.
Craving: Apples
Movement: First FLUTTER!
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? Still In.
What I miss: My energy.I have way more now than in 1st Tri but it's still not what I used to have.
What I am looking forward to: Car shopping with DH for a mom mobile this weekend (I'm trying to avoid the minivan route though...sorry...just can't do it.)
Weekly Wisdom: Trust yourself.
Milestones: First Flutters and hearing the heartbeat on a doppler.

And sorry for the blurry pic. I didn't realize it was blurred till after I uploaded it and I'm way too lazy (and busy) to go take another one. LOL

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mama Knows Best

and Mama would be ME! (and I say that extremely smugly).

I went to the Dr. today. Everything was good. It took them awhile to find the heartbeat though, which started making me nervous. As much as I love seeing my baby on a sonogram, HAVING to have one always makes me apprehensive. So right before they were about to give up with the Doppler, I told them they should look right below my belly button where my stomach is hard because that's where I felt the kick.

They denied that baby would be up that far yet but as soon as they put the Doppler down where I pointed, there was the heartbeat. Beating beautiful and strong. I just smiled. They were impressed and confirmed that if baby had progressed to there I most certainly felt a kick and should start to feel them more regularly and stronger soon. Yea, I'm a little smug that I knew where my baby was. It made me feel like I was tuned in to my child after all and may not turn out to be such a bad mom after all.

Colopscopy came back okay too. No cells they are worried about biopsy etc. Will follow up with a pap after birth so I'm glad that is over. More importantly is that my Anatomy scan is in FOUR WEEKS! (I could have had it in two but would still have to come back for a regular appt in 4 and I don't need to miss more work than I have to so we are going to do it all at once). October 9th SQUEEEE. So excited.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The First Flutters? HLB is that you?

I think I may have felt HLB last night. I’ve been waking up consistently between 3 and 4am and having trouble getting back to sleep. Often times my abdomen will be very sore during this time or I will wake up absolutely starving, ready to gnaw my own arm off.

I’ve started joking that it must be the baby’s active time because there really is no explanation for this pattern. Last night, I woke up, and it felt like my stomach had been used as a trampoline it was so sore (which is not out of the realm of possibility as my 17 lb cat likes to climb up on me and snuggle during the night). I put my hands over my stomach and I felt the slightest ripple of vibration from the inside.

I could not feel it through my hands or skin, but it was an internal feeling. It was something different that I haven’t felt before, not like gas bubbles. The best way I can describe it is a ripple of vibration feather light inside. I lay there for a long time trying to feel it again before I finally managed to drift off to sleep.

This morning, while I was sitting on the bed eating cereal and watching the morning news with my dog curled up beside me listening to Steve curse at the TV over some political story (which is hilarious), I thought I felt it again. I stopped moving and sat very still, but no repeat performance.

It’s exhilarating to think that it may just well be my child! I thought I would be a little wierded out when I started feeling him/her but its so exciting I want to burst with joy. I may change my mind about that when I’m getting kicked in the ribs though.

After eating decently all weekend and working hard yesterday outside, I was very disappointed in myself when the scales were way up this morning. A total of 5 lbs up (which is 3 lbs since Friday). I know it may be bloat but I’m afraid of the dr. tomorrow. I don’t want to be yelled at since they don’t want me gaining hardly anything! LOL.

Menu Monday

I'm definately feeling the Fall season despite the fact that our weather seems to not have gotten the memo. What is with the high 80's? jeesh. In celebration of getting our pool closed this weekend, reducing the time we have to spend on outdoor work, I'm planning a menu that requires a bit of fuss this week.

Fried Chicken Tender Salad and French Onion Soup

Chicken Pot Pie

Filet Mignon with Salad and corn Chowder

Soft Taco's

Barbeque chicken with Scalloped Potatoes and Limas.

Most of this is already on my blog so not many recipes to update but I am on the hunt for a good homemade BBQ recipe so I may have atleast that to share! Don't worry though, my big baking and cooking season is upon us!

Friday, October 8, 2010

An extra Belly Pip this week

I took another pip today because I lost 2 pounds since Wednesday's pip AND my stomach looks smaller...I must have been bloated the past few weeks. It's still hard under my belly button and the waist of my pants are getting tight but I'm not pooching as much as I was. OH well. Bloat comes and goes right? Am I just carrying really low or as I finally start really showing a bump will it fill out above my belly button too?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

15 Week update and Belly Pic

How far along? 15 weeks
Total weight gain: 4 pounds (in one week...yikes! WTF happened? I've been eating great!)
Maternity clothes? No, though another pair of pants (my jean capri's are getting tight in the waste).
Sleep: Not good. I keep waking up at 3am and having trouble getting back to sleep. I can't get comfortable anymore.
Best moment this week: ummmmm.....I don't think this week has had anything special about it.
Gender: leaning more towards boy now.
Craving: Apples
Movement: No.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In but slightly more shallow.
What I miss: SLEEP!
What I am looking forward to: Spending time with my girls this weekend.
Weekly Wisdom: Spreading the chores out and keeping the house clean has worked wonders for my stress and energy levels.
Milestones: Is gaining weight a milestone? LOL

Friendships in my Life

It’s hard letting friends pull away and have their space, even when they need it. I’ve had many friendships in my life and I’ve lost very few. I’m one of those rare people who hold onto a friendship truly through thick and thin. I have had three best friends through most of my life. After college two of those moved away and for years we continued the friendships through email, occasional visits etc. One of them drifted and now we get the occasional email once a year when we one of us is thinking of the other but for the most part we don’t really know anything about the other’s life. She’s never met my husband and I don’t know if she has children.

The other friend moved back and we recently went through a very tough patch while I was dealing with the loss of my child and she was dealing with undiagnosed Post Partum Depression. Individually we moved on but the friendship is in a weird place right now but there have been tentative feelers thrown out from each party to see if the other is receptive. We are working on it.

When I married, I made a new friend and for years she was one of my rocks as I was hers, but through a bitter separation and even odder reunification within her own marriage, the friendship between us became forced and uneasy and we both let it become a casual comment on Facebook and a hug when we run into each other thing.

I’ve developed fabulous e-ships and a network of amazing women that share both online and offline moments with me. Babyshowers, tacky sweater parties, etc. Sometimes those friendships too hit a rocky place though. It’s very difficult when you share for so long a struggle with someone, a trait that binds you even in the most horrible circumstances, and then one of you “moves on.” I’ve watched and supported many women moving on and it was one of the most difficult things I had to do. I mourned the loss of my child every day that I saw the other girls progress in their pregnancies. I cried tears of happiness and mourning when another’s child was born when our due dates had been shared. I’ve watched these precious little beings grow and everyday it’s a reminder of what Bumblebee would be doing now, the milestones he/she would have passed. Even being pregnant and looking forward to this new life, it doesn’t take the pain away from what once was my future.

Now, I’m the one who has moved on. Everyday my fear and anxiety are still very real that something is going to go wrong but at the same time I’m also able to laugh about the small things (like craving apples) and enjoy some of these little moments. Some of my girls can’t share that with me and it breaks my heart for them. I have to let them have their space and I know that’s what they need. I’ve been there so I absolutely do not want to be “too much” by checking in too often but at the same time, I’m not always sure when its been too long and I should step in and say “hey, haven’t heard from you” or “you’ve been quiet lately.”

It’s such a fine line to walk between caring and sensitive to being a reminder of what they want. I know that they need their space and my condition can be difficult for them sometimes. Because I’ve been there, and I truly understand what they are going through both on the infertility front and the being left behind front, it plagues me that I can’t BE more support. If I could fix it for you all I would. I love you and empathize with you that much and I am continuing to hold a place on my friends list for you for when you “catch up” because I believe that you all will. Even to those e-friends who aren’t as close or are going through other trials in their life right now and have drifted for the moment, I’m always here to listen, to support and to love you. Whether it is the occasional cup of coffee and chat you need from me, or hours of Facebook conversation to take your mind off of a bad day.

I’m here and I just want to remind each of you (online and off) that I’ll never forget or move on from my past. From the years of struggle and heartache. They are with me forever and no matter where I am in life, I will always understand where you are coming from and love you no matter what. I will always be an advocate for fertility education. The women I have met and bonded with over the past few years will always be a part of me no matter where my journey takes me.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

OWT: Wedding Ring Dousing

Why do I call it dousing or dowsing also known as a form of divinization? Because it is. Dowsing comes down from the German Renaissance practice of searching for water using a diving rod. It was used in other magical practices through the years via a pendulum asking the divine questions and interpreting the pendulum swings.

There are several Old Wives Tales that use this form of traditional magick probably passed down through that ages by “wise women,” the real “midwives” etc. So the next time you perform a Gender prediction “trick”, just know that it stems from a very magickal and humble pagan traditions.

Now that the lesson is over, we tried the wedding ring on a string over the tummy last night. We couldn’t get that sucker to move though. It probably doesn’t help that my Husband with hands as steady as a rock was holding it. You would think having the resident practicing Pagan in the house hold the string would produce more accurate results but NOOOOOOO he had to be difficult.

Don’t worry Jeanna, I’ll get one of my girlfriends to do it this weekend. Nothing like having a Catholic girl or an Agnostic perform a Pagan ritual on a Southern Baptist.


REDBOOK, can we date?

Interestingly enough, after my explosive attack on the Ladies Home Journal yesterday, I went home to pour through more magazines and found yet another article on Birth control in Redbook, August 2010 by Aviva Patz.

Redbook, however, did not propose an article on preventing pregnancy but more on “Birth Control with Benefits.” They actually CITED where their statistics and research came from, talked to Dr.’s and OBGYN’s and highlighted each method they discussed, what other benefits it had for your body, and effectiveness against pregnancy. While they did mention a few cautionary tidbits, they did not highlight the downsides as much as I would have liked and they did not mention Monitoring your fertility at all. I can forgive them for that last though as the aim of this article was to discuss options of birth control that can help with “other” issues such as PPMD, Bloating, Mood swings, heavy flow etc., not necessarily your options for preventing pregnancy.

Quick Highlights:
“Nearly half of the pregnancies in this country are unintended, according to research from the Guttmacher Institute, and MORE than half of pregnancies in women in their 40s are unintended, according to a study in the journal Family Planning Perspectives. ‘If you’re not committed to having a baby right now, you need to find birth control that you’ll use consistently and correctly,” says Anita L. Nelson, M.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles.” Now I don’t know if these statistics are all true but THANK YOU for citing your sources. “Redbook talked to top ob/gyns and contraception experts to find out which method will give you the benefit you need most right now.”

One thing that this article did do was dispel the myth that you actually have a period while on the pill. I think this is a misconception many women have. “The period you have on the Pill isn’t a real period—it’s just bleeding, and it’s not really necessary,” Nelson says. Since the contraceptive hormones suppress ovulation, the lining of the uterus doesn’t thicken and there is no need for your body to slough and expel it with a monthly flow.”

The article highlights the Mirena hormonal IUD, Extended-use oral contraceptives, even a few name brands such as Yaz, yasmin and Ocella, NuvaRing and the ParaGard copper IUD. Each of these were described (and thank you for telling exactly how they are inserted/taken and what they do) in association with what they help: superheavy periods, major pre-period bloat, breakouts, mood swings, vaginal dryness, and options without hormones.

All in all, a very well written article with a point of view. You (and I mean I) can always find something lacking if I look hard enough but if something has a point, is written well and not deceptive, I can give kudos where kudos are due.

REDBOOK, can we give this relationship a trial run? I like your style. (and that goes to show how much I have aged since I used to think of REDBOOK as the “adult” magazine. Crap, when did I become an adult? Must have been when I hit 30).

Monday, October 4, 2010

S/O OWT: Madame Zaritska

After taking a short online quiz my answers were:

Madame Zaritska, using her mystical powers, has the following prediction:

The day you deliver, outside will be hazy. Your baby will arrive in the late evening. After a labor lasting approximately 7 hours, your child, a boy, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 9 pounds, 5 ounces, and will be 17 inches long. This child will have light amber eyes and fluffy black hair.

LMAO. It is genetically improbable that my child will have amber eyes. This is hilarious but I find it more humorous that all the online quizzes, gender charts etc. that I have stumbled on so far have said boy. I'm going to try Jeanna's ring thing tonight. I keep forgetting to have DH do it.

Oh..and if you want to give Madam Zaritska a try, there ya go.

I'm Breaking Up with Ladies Home Journal

My Great-aunt Doris has several women’s magazine prescriptions. After the magazines have made their rounds through the family, they end up coming to me so I can pick through them for recipes etc. Going through a stack of them this weekend I discovered an article in Ladies Home Journal (July 2010) by Catherine Bolgar (who I now believe is a complete idiot) on Birth Control that struck me the wrong way.

In my opinion, there were several misleading statements and an overall underplayed message about women’s fertility. Even our journalism is continuing this cycle of not educating women about their fertility and how their body works. It disturbs me greatly.

The first and second sentence of the article rubbed me the wrong way: “It seems as though every week another celebrity is talking about her quest to have a baby. There’s so much focus on infertility in the media these days that it’s easy to forget you can get pregnant right up until menopause.” WHAT? There is very little TRUE information about infertility in the media. The “celebrities” CHOOSE to have IVF, Multiples etc because they WANT to, not because they HAVE to. Thank you Ladies Home Journal for being so blasé about a very real issue that is certainly NOT discussed as it should be in the media.

Under the category of Single and Dating, one of the methods recommended is an IUD. “is much less trouble and works up to 12 years with lowest failure rates.” No mention of what COULD happen should you get pregnant with an IUD or the increasing frequency of pregnancies, ectopics and miscarriages with the IUD, not to mention that IUD’s can move with as little as a 10 pound weight increase or drop. More and more information is being learned about IUD’s, and info is changing all the time, for them to be so flippant about recommending this to a young woman.

Then there is the contradictory statements: “It can take you as long as a year to get pregnant after stopping Depo shots.” Very next sentence: “Talk to your doctor if you have trouble conceiving six months after suspending birth control.” Well, if it takes you up to a year as a healthy couple or AFTER suspending the shots, shouldn’t you wait 12 months before getting panicky? They go on to say, “the doctor uses the date you last ovulated to calculate your baby’s due date.” Why NO, no they don’t. They use your OVULATION date IF YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS, which the majority of women don’t and thanks to YOUR article probably won’t. They use the first cycle day (day 1 of your last period) and add 14 days to get an ESTIMATED Due date.

By this time I’m getting highly irritated at the complete lack of intelligence in the article but the next paragraph lends a doozy. “You can get pregnant a month after the baby is born, especially if you’re not breast-feeding.” Whoa. 1) I would hope you aren’t having sex in that first month as it is doubtful the doctor will release you for 6 weeks so shouldn’t that be 2 months? 2) The way that sentence is written leads you to believe if you are breast feeding you won’t get pregnant. WRONG.

Not ONE explanation of how your body works, the varying times of ovulation, not relying on the 14 day method etc. At the very end of the article they do a chart of options and the very last option with a blip for explanation: “Monitoring Your Fertility-This method has no hormones and is inexpensive but somewhat complicated. Has a high failure rate of 3-25%.”

O.M.G. No explanation as to WHAT it is, HOW you do it, etc. How fucking complicated is taking your damn temperature every morning and plugging it in to a chart? How hard is it to write a three sentence semi explanation and refer them to books or online resources should they want to investigate this method further. The whole article is promoting the IUD and even talks about sterilization but can’t even mention properly how to monitor your fertility or lack thereof?

This outdated view of requiring medical intervention, procedures or hormone inducing contraceptives pisses me off. We are not TEACHING women about our bodies and how they work and giving them the proper view of responsibility, we are shoving medications down their throats without blinking an eye. What kind of “journalist” and “women’s magazine” promotes that kind of misinformation? Do they really think they are helping women or are the writer’s and editors just that stupid?

The tag line touts “There are lots of choices…Here’s how to decide which method makes the most sense for your body and your life stage.” Yet, they do not give you real information, or an accurate overview. Way to go Ladies Home Journal. I am one of the least “crunchy” people I know, but I do not believe in belittling a woman’s intelligence and giving out such poorly written and researched information. You are officially off my reading list and I will shout it from the highest hills that you are the poorest choice for women’s health issues. You are basically a magazine with fluff ads on surgical weight loss and facelifts but have no care to represent what the majority of women NEED to know. How does it feel to be complete journalistic sell outs to your advertising dollars? You make me sick.

Menu Monday-Kickin' off October

If we thought LAST week’s budget was tight, this week we will be pinching the pennies. Bring on PayDay! Fortunately, we don’t need but a few ingredients to complete our menu list this week, so I should just be able to squeeze out those pool chemicals, dog food, gas and groceries.

Don’t you just hate when you have so many things hit you in one pay period? Of course, I’m one of those that refuse to touch savings for anything other than a major emergency even though that’s what its there for. I just do not consider one tight pay period an emergency. I will live off rice and canned beans if I have to to avoid transferring money over even temporarily. It’s a habit you just don’t want to get into my opinion.

Breakfast for Dinner: Biscuits, eggs, turkey bacon, and diced potatoes.

Fried Chicken Tenders and scalloped Potatoes with Greenbeans

Chicken and Veggie Rice Skillet


Hamburgers with Oven Fries

Fortunately, I do have the ingredients on hand to make an apple pie and/or chocolate chip cookies so this week won’t be a total lesson in tight economics. LOL

Friday, October 1, 2010

Belly Pic Friday

I posted my first belly picture on the BOTB board today. I figured I should post it here. This blog is lacking in pictures anyway. So here it is, in all its grainy dirty work mirror glory!

(and yes, I'm still in regular clothes, I have not gained a pound, everything is just shifting and rounding out and pooching out. If it makes you feel better though, I'm wearing clothes that hung on me because I had lost so much weight.....they aren't hanging on me that badly anymore except in the butt...LOL) Plus, I'm a 6' plus size girl so I'm going to show differently then you tiny little things (coughcoughJeannacoughcough)

Movement or lack thereof

On the 2nd Trimester Message Boards, they talk about feeling flutters, tickles, ghostly pokes, and what is described as a fish flipping over around 14 weeks. My book says nothing about feeling the baby yet, but many I know have mentioned these sensations around 15-16 weeks.

All I feel is pain and soreness, which I investigated via Google. In addition to RLP (round ligament Pain) the other twinges and constant soreness could not be explained until I found some information that said “Women with high hormone levels can experience feelings of soreness in the abdominal area through 18 weeks.” Well, we already know my progesterone level was through the roof (see stats to the left) and I have PCOS which makes my hormones batty anyway.

So am I not feeling the early signs of baby due to the soreness? Is the soreness more powerful than any flutter? Or am I not feeling the baby for some other reason?

I am not thinking there is something wrong, because I feel like my stomach is changing and firming up and rounding out. I wouldn’t be progressing like that if something was wrong. Right?

Last night, I looked in my book to see when it said I would start feeling movement and it actually said that “if you have had a baby before, you may start to feel movement around Week 17.”

So are these girls full of gas or is the Pregnancy Bible outdated and out of touch? All I know is that I can feel/see a difference in my stomach. I still have RLP occasionally, gas all the time, heartburn all the time, and abdominal tenderness/soreness quite frequently.

I think this period of Second Tri is a lull in pregnancy. You start feeling better after the “torture” of first tri ute stabs, puking and exhaustion but you aren’t feeling anything different quite yet.

Given HLB’s name, I’m considering this more of the Calm before the Storm. I have a feeling my little Hurricane is going to be a doozy and pack quite a punch once it becomes active.

Pretzel Chicken with Mustard Cheese Sauce

I came across this recipe while reading blogs, and forgive me but for the life of me I can’t remember who’s it is. I hate when I print things out and it doesn’t have a name on it. It sounded very tasty so I decided to give it a try. I served it up with Broccoli and Rice on the side. I have to admit this chicken is some of the best chicken ever. It was so moist and tender with a lovely crunchy coating. The cheese sauce enhanced the pretzel coating only slightly though and was way too blah in flavor to do anything for the broccoli or rice. In my opinion the cheese sauce was too mild. It had a hint of cheese and a hint of mustard but neither flavor stood out and it was a little too “gooey”. It stuck together in like a cheese SHEET. Now granted I didn’t use sharp cheddar or spicy brown mustard so those two items may make the flavor stronger but I’m thinking it needs a bit more of a softer cheese to act as a complimentary background for the flavors. I’ll work on that because I am definitely making this again. I do not consider it a fail, as it was good with the chicken, just needs a little punching up.

Pretzel Chicken with Mustard Cheese Sauce

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups pretzel sticks
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
¼ inch oil in pan for frying
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
2 cups milk
1 cup mild cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 tbs mustard

Heat the oil over medium to medium high heat. Pound the chickens flat between two sheets of Saran wrap (keeps area clean and no splatters). Grind the pretzels in a mini chopper or food processor until mostly powdered (I left a few small pieces for extra crunch). Place the pretzels on a plate or coating dish with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs in a shallow bowl or large plate.

Dip each piece of chicken in the egg and then in the pretzel mixture to coat. Cook on each side in hot oil about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and is crispy deep golden brown on the outside. Drain on a paper towel.

When chicken is halfway through cooking, melt butter in a sauce pan. Add flour and whisk. Cook for approx one minute. Whisk in milk and brink to a low boil. Take off the heat and add: salt, pepper, mustard and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

Serve hot over poured over chicken.