Monday, April 26, 2010

14 weeks

Here is what is going on with our baby this week according to;

This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.  Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.

Welcome to your second trimester! Your energy is likely returning, your breasts may be feeling less tender, and your queasiness may have completely abated by now. If not, hang on — chances are good it will soon be behind you (although an unlucky few will still feel nauseated months from now).  The top of your uterus is a bit above your pubic bone, which may be enough to push your tummy out a tad. Starting to show can be quite a thrill, giving you and your partner visible evidence of the baby you've been waiting for. Take some time to plan, daydream, and enjoy this amazing time. It's normal to worry a bit now and then, but try to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby, and having faith that you're well equipped for what's ahead.
As for me, my belly is poking out more than a tad!  It's getting hard to hide, even in my baggier men's tshirts it's still sort of obvious.  Some people may still question whether I am pregnant or bloated upon first glance, but there is definitely a protruding tummy visible.  My tummy has gotten firm all over now also, rather than just feeling like extra pudge a few weeks ago.  I'm still feeling well most of the time, with an hour of nausea here and there.  I'm still craving lots of fruits and veggies and made another boiled cabbage this past weekend.  I'm still LOVING sushi and the Edy's strawberry fruit bars.  I've been craving a hot dog for several weeks, and when there were some being served at Jeremy's company picnic on Sunday I was THRILLED.  I had the dog, bun, chopped onions, relish, ketchup, and mustard and thought it was the best thing that I have ever eaten.  If I didn't have self-control I would have had two, maybe three.  I think I will definitely be picking up some turkey dogs this week and enjoying these at home more often.  I've been craving a Taco Salad (homemade, not from The Bell) for a few weeks now, and I'm hoping to get around to making that sometime soon also.    My skin on my belly has been itching like crazy (I'm assuming from my skin stretching), so I've resorted to lathering it with lotion each evening.  There have been nights where we have both lost sleep because I couldn't stay still and stop scratching it, and let's just say that Jeremy isn't too thrilled with me constantly shaking the bed with my scratching shenanigans.  Everything is great in prego-ville, so far the second trimester seems to be much kinder to me than the first trimester and I'm actually starting to enjoy being pregnant.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

baby stuff

this morning i ventured out with jeremy's mom to load up on baby stuff.  we went and picked up a crib that i had found on craigslist, and stopped by the home of a friend of a friend where i was able to score tons of baby stuff for next to nothing.  now we've gotten almost all of our major purchase baby items out of the way (for next to nothing) and just have cloth diapers and a breast pump as our remaining larger expenses.  i've so much enjoyed the thrill of the hunt and the bargain that i'm a little sad that we have most of the baby stuff that we need now.

i had never even heard of peg perego strollers before, i think they tend to be a good amount most expensive than the brands and models that i had been researching.  from what i have looked up now, they seem to be the cadillac of strollers, to be super top of the line, light weight for their size, and have all the bells and whistles.  this stroller was $70, and the infant carrier/ car seat (which snaps into the stroller for a travel system) was $50.  i think i could have found a lesser brand stroller and infant carrier used for a little cheaper, but i really love these two, and love their dark, gender neutral colors (as i'm sure jeremy loves the fact that they aren't too baby-ish so he can keep his masculinity in tact while pushing it around)

this changing pad was $3.  the lamp and baby monitor on this dresser had been picked up over a month ago from a different yard sale.  the basket i just had lying around, and inside the basket is an ear thermometer that was free, that the friend of a friend just tossed in with the rest of the stuff that i got.  the dresser was free (to us).  it was an old dresser that jeremy's parents were getting rid of, the original color wasn't our taste, but jeremy's mom sanded it for us, and painted it with paint (sort of a pea greenish) that she had already had on hand in her garage from a prior project that she decided not to do.

the crib mattress was $15 from the friend of a friend.  the crib was $40 from craigslist.  it's probably not the exact crib that i would have picked out if i was getting something new (i probably would have gotten a 4 in 1 convertible), but for $40 i feel like it was a great deal!  it met my criteria of matching the rocker that we had gotten from a previous yard sale, and it is also a 2 in 1 convertible crib to toddler bed, which is something that i was looking for.  (this crib isn't fully assembled yet... i battled with it for an hour and then got frustrated and decided to leave it for jeremy)

not pictured:  on friday i had a little time to kill before jeremy got off of work, so i stopped by a second hand childrens store and got a baby bjorn infant carrier for $13.  saturday i also got a matt to put under the infant car seat for $3, which protects the seat of the car from scrathches, spills and scrapes from car seats.  i also got an eddie bauer childs car seat that i can use once our little one outgrows the infant car seat.  i also got a handful of onesies/ jammies for $1 each.  one of them happens to be a while sleeper with red crawfish all over... perfect for our little new orleanean baby! 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

weekly verse: Philippians 1:18

Now that I've finished memorizing Genesis 12:2-3 from last week I'm ready to move on.  And yes, I still remember Philippians 1:21 from the week prior.

I actually read this passage of Scripture two weeks ago while doing my ladies Bible study homework.  It didn't really convict me at the time, but within the last week my mind keeps drifting back there and I realized that I needed to give in and spend some time back in it. 

Philippians 1:18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,

To really understand it you definitely need to at least absorb the context of Philippians 1:15-17 also.

Philippians 1:15-17 Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.

Once you have the context it's easy to understand that Paul is saying that whether people are preaching out of the correct or incorrect motivation is irrelevant, but that Christ is being preached, and in this he (Paul) will rejoice.

Lately (upon many occasions) I've found myself quick to judge, criticize, or be negative of other believers (churches, ministries, famous Pastors, people etc.) who don't approach ministry/ theology the same way that I do.  I've found myself evaluating them, as if I was perfect, and have it all figured out (yeah right!).  I'm so ashamed of this critical part of my heart.  I seek to be unified with and find the good in my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. 

Philippians 1:27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

I'm going to spend the next week studying these verses and memorizing verse 18 while I seek Christ to conform me more to His image, and make my heart more like His.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

13 weeks

Here is what is going on with our baby this week, according to;

Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.

This is the last week of your first trimester, and your risk of miscarriage is now much lower than earlier in pregnancy. Next week marks the beginning of your second trimester, a time of relative comfort for many women who see early pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and fatigue subside.

As for me, I'm feeling pretty good overall, a tiny bit of nausea here and there, but no more than an hour or two at a time, a couple days a week.  My crazy mood swings and short fuse seem to have tapered off, but I am still extremely emotional and cried at a herd of little kids running a race on Sunday at the park.  My belly is continuing to stick out a little more each week, but I'm managing to cover it up with baggy clothes still.  I'm still fighting off the bellaband and maternity clothes, although out of comfort I'm sure I'll be wearing them very shortly, maybe by the end of the week.  I'm down to only 1 pair of jeans that is really comfortable to wear as is still.  At my doctor's appointment last Wednesday I got to hear the heart beat, and my doctor said that it is strong and healthy.  Apparently we're not going to be able to find out the gender until 20 weeks, so still 7 weeks to go on that.  I'm still eating whatever I want whenever, but I'm still drifting more towards savory foods than sweet ones.  I crave sushi every. single. day.  (but I don't give in because our budget can't afford it).  I'm still wanting and eating lots of fruits and veggies.  Anything meaty and cheesy is tempting.  I haven't eaten a hot dog in more years than I can remember, but I keep smelling them grilling when Jeremy and I walk around the park and the smell is pure torture... I. WANT. ONE.  My newest love of the week is Edy's Fruit Bars.  I have a box of lime at work and a box of strawberry at home and they are AMAZING, that's the closest to dessert that really sounds good to me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sweet and Sour Boiled Cabbage

Because I've been craving lots of veggies, because cabbage was on sale last week, and because despite how gross it smells while cooking and how many people may hate it, I just love me some boiled cabbage!  My husband on the other hand HATES boiled cabbage, although he hasn't tried it this way yet.  When I first met him he swore that he hated all cabbage, cole slaw, etc.  Since then I've gotten him to try (and enjoy) sauteed red cabbage, and an Asian cole slaw.  Somehow he mentally can't get over the hump yet to try boiled cabbage though, maybe one day, and until then no problem, because there is more left for me, and I can seriously eat an entire head of boiled cabbage in a day, I love it that much!

This is seriously delicious!  It would be great with either red or green cabbage, in fact, I tend to like the red cabbage better because the bowl doesn't look so bleh with the pretty bright purple colored cabbage.  Adding bacon, ham, or butter while boiling the cabbage would add even more flavor, but honestly this is great without it, so I save the calories where I can.

Sweet and Sour Boiled Cabbage

-1 head cabbage, quartered, cored, and then quarters cut again into large chunks
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 tsp carraway seeds
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup white vinegar

Place cabbage in the bottom of a large pot, cover with water.  Season with salt, pepper, and carraway.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes (or until cabbage reaches desired tenderness).  Remove from heat.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Stir in sugar and vinegar. 


Thursday, April 15, 2010

weekly verse: Genesis 12:2-3

I've already managed to memorize Philippians 1:21 (it was quite a short and easy verse) so it's time to move on. 

The Lord has been doing a lot in my heart lately, to show me that I don't have the same heart for the nations that I once did.  Back when we lived in Myrtle Beach we took a few missions classes, and were discipled by a couple who have an amazing heart for and focus on the nations.  At that time we became very burdened for the unreached people groups, and peoples of all countries.  We were constantly talking about other nations, praying for other nations, and evaluating how we fit in to that greater picture of what God is doing.  Lately my focus seems to have gotten more stuck on my specific area, New Orleans.  Which is perhaps easy to do, when faced with constant devastation here.  Just last weekend 8 people were all shot in 1 incident.  The murder rate has seemed increased as of late, and there have been many heart breaking murders that involved small children.  This all breaks my heart.  But it shouldn't take my focus off the rest of the world.  I'm still called to be a witness in my Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). 

Sometimes I think that for the most part, Americans have had a chance to hear the Gospel, and those who don't believe have just chosen to reject it, and that it is so much more important to focus on those who have not had a chance to hear yet (the unreached people groups).  And then other times I feel that Americans have only heard a watered down version of the Gospel, and that they need to hear the real Truth.  I don't have the answer, this is just the questions that I struggle with, the sides that I'm torn between.  However, in this I am confident... that as of now, God has me placed in New Orleans.  For exactly how long, for exactly what purpose... I don't know, but this is where He has me. 

All that said, I've been trying to nurture my heart for the nations.  This week I'm finding God drawing me to Genesis 12, to His promise to Abram (which is later repeated again and again)...

Genesis 12:2-3 (I know, I made it harder on myself this week with 2 verses, but there are key points that I want to focus on in each)  "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

First point:  Abram was blessed to be a blessing to others
Second point:  All people on earth will be blessed through Abram

Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, died, or rose again God was already promising to reach all of the peoples (or families, or nations... depending on your translation) through Abram.  Long before Jesus was rejected by his own people, before the Gentiles were grafted in, God's heart for all peoples was clear.  God's heart hasn't changed, He is still at working, drawing peoples of all nations to Himself, so that at the throne, every tribe, tongue and nation will be present (Revelation 7:9).  God's job (His work using us) isn't done until all of these people have had a chance to hear (Matthew 24:14) the Gospel.

Lord, make my heart more like yours... give me joy in what you delight in, give me sadness in what saddens you.  Help me to see your big picture, use me for your big picture.  Lord, I thank you that you are so big, that you have always been, will always be, and control all things... that you have been at work, since the beginning of time, weaving this great story to which we already know the ending of, and I just thank you for including me in that.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Portobello Parmesan

As I mentioned in a previous post I've been craving lots of veggies lately.  Portobello mushrooms were on sale at the grocery store last week, so I took advantage of that to whip up this vegetarian version of Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan.

This isn't actually a very authentic version of a Chicken Parm knock-off, because I didn't fry anything, and I didn't use any actual parmesan cheese (because I didn't have any on hand).  You could easily mix some parmesan in with the mozzarella on top for a slightly different flavor.  If you notice in the above picture, two of the mushroom caps (lower center, and upper right) appear slightly more greasy and green-ish.  That is because I had a little pesto sauce in the fridge that needed to be used, so I stuffed those two portobellos with pesto (rather than marinara) prior to covering with cheese.  Pesto/ mozzarella portobellos are something that I love to serve as an appetizer or side dish, and when I do so I don't usually serve them with marinara sauce, although the combo did work well with these.  You could also add a little more flavor to the mushrooms by drizzling them with olive oil and/ or balsamic vinegar prior to topping with sauce and baking (but they are fine as is).

Portobello Parmesan (well really mozzarella in this case)

-6 portobello mushrooms, cleaned
-full recipe of marinara sauce below (or use your favorite jarred variety
-salt and pepper
-2 cups mozzarella cheese

Cover bottom of 13x9 dish with half of sauce.  Place mushrooms (gill side up) in dish.  Sprinkle mushrooms with salt and pepper.  Cover mushrooms with remaining marinara sauce.  Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle cheese over mushrooms and bake 5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Marinara Sauce

This sauce can be used for spaghetti, manicotti, zitti, lasagna, chicken parmesan or your favorite Italian dish.
-1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
-1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tablespoon white sugar
-1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
-2 teaspoons dried oregano
-1 pinch red pepper flakes
-2 teaspoons dried basil (or if I have fresh on hand I snip it and stir it in at the last minute instead)

In a large pot combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, sugar, vinegar, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Stir all together and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.


weekly verse: Philippians 1:21

I've got this idea that I'd like to post a verse each week, that has been most meaningful to me that week, and then reflect back on it each day that week, and make an effort to memorize it.  Over the past year I have made absolutely no effort to memorize any verses other than the ones that I already know, and I would like to be more diligent with this once again, creating the habit of memorizing Scripture and guarding my heart with Truth.  God uses the verses that I already do have memorized to speak to me quite often, to encourage, comfort, and challenge me as needed (or for me to do so for others).  I'm going to start off with the verse that the Lord has most used to challenge me from last week, and I'll continue to memorize and meditate on this verse until He brings me to something else.  So I'm hoping that this will become a regular habit, and you should hold me accountable to that!

For this week it will be Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

As I mentioned in a previous post I have recently joined a ladies Bible study that is covering the book of Philippians.  We are actually going through the Elizabeth George study guide for this book.  We do one lesson each week, and each lesson covers  from 4-10 verses.  God used Phil 1:21 to speak to me from the lesson last week, and to continue to convict me so much that I have no choice other than to focus on it.

Our lesson this week focused a lot on how Paul wasn't scared of death, because he knew and understood the truth that to die and be absent from the world is to be in the presence of Christ.  Paul longed for this, just as he longed to glorify Christ in all that he did in this world.  This wasn't the focus of what God has been showing me this week though.  Rather than dealing with me on death and being present with Christ God has been dealing with me on my life.  He's been showing me of how completely Paul's life was surrendered to, and centered on Christ.  That life is all and only about Christ, knowing Him, serving Him, and making Him known.  Oh how I wish that I could say that my life is a good example of that, but I fear that it's not.  So often my life seems to be about things of this world, with a side of Christ thrown in.  Oh how I long to really understand and live in a way of making my life all about Christ.  Oh how I long to follow Christ so fully that all others I come in contact with could see Him.

Lord, thank you for Paul, for his example, for your Word, for your death, and for your resurrection.  Lord, weed out the things in my life that are taking over, and pushing you out.  Take my life Lord, and use it for your glory.  May I not hold anything back from you, may I understand truly that my life is all about you and bringing you glory.  May you use something as small as myself for your purposes.

One of my favorite Christian songs ever is Center, our church worshipped with this song yesterday, and I believe it was just one more way of God continuing to speak to me and center me on him...

"You’re the center of the universe

Everything was made in You Jesus
Breath of every living thing
Everyone was made for You

You hold everything together
You hold everything together

Christ be the center of our lives
Be the place we fix our eyes
Be the center of our lives

We lift our eyes to heaven
We wrap our lives around your life
We lift our eyes to heaven, to You"


Sunday, April 11, 2010

12 weeks

Here is what is going on with our baby this week according to;

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.  Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.  Your uterus has grown to the point where your healthcare provider can now feel the top of it (the fundus) low in your abdomen, just above your pubic bone. You may already be into maternity clothes, especially if this isn't your first pregnancy. If you're still fairly small and not yet ready for maternity clothes, you've no doubt noticed that your waist is thickening and that you're more comfortable in loose, less restrictive clothing.  You may begin to feel heartburn (also called acid indigestion), a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone to your lower throat. Many women get heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, and those who've previously had bouts of heartburn may find that it gets worse. During pregnancy, the placenta produces a lot of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Particularly when you're lying down, gastric acid can seep back up the pipe, which causes the uncomfortable burning sensation. For many women the problem doesn't begin (or get worse) until later in pregnancy, when your growing uterus starts to push up on your stomach. The discomfort may range from mildly annoying to intense and distracting.

As for me, the past week has been the best  yet.  I felt pretty good overall, maybe with an hour of nausea here and there.  I have been the most active yet and managed to go to the gym 3 days, and still walk around the park 2 additional days.  I've eaten whatever I wanted and not had any trouble with it.  I have definitely started craving fruits and vegetables way more than greasy stuff, and have been eating two salads a day most days, and lots of extra raw and cooked fruits and veggies for snacks.  It's nice to know that I'm finally getting good nutrition.  My belly is continuing to stick out more and more, although since it doesn't really look like a baby belly yet I'm still trying to cover it up with baggy shirts.  I've had my first few official belly pokes, prods, and rubs, all from friends (and my husband).  I don't think it's obvious enough yet for strangers to start walking up and touching me, and the longer that takes the better!  I'm sure before long people will want to poke at me like I'm the Pillsbury dough boy.  I have a doctor's appointment this Wednesday. 


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Curried Chicken Salad

Curried Chicken Salad

This is one of our favorites.  It's great on sandwiches, lettuce wraps, pita chips or even tossed with some cooked pasta.  To whip this up super quick and easy you can use a rotisserie chicken or canned chicken.  Sometimes, if I have it lying around, I'll throw in some chopped cilantro also, this salad is equally good with or without it. 

-2 c cooked chicken, shredded or diced
-1/3 c mayo or yogurt
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1 Tbsp curry powder
-1 Tbsp sugar or honey
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/8 tsp cayenne
-1/2 c dried cranberries or diced red grapes
-2 stalks celery, diced
-1/4 c diced red onion or sliced scallions
-(optional) 1/4 c sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans
-(optional) 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Whisk together mayo/ yogurt with lemon juice, curry powder, sugar/ honey, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Toss dressing with chicken and remaining ingredients.  Chill at least 1 hour prior to serving.

Fruit Salad

This morning was my first morning of participating in a women's Bible study covering the book of Philippians.  I volunteered to bring breakfast for the study and toted along this fruit salad and some baked oatmeal.  It was a delightful time of encouragement, Truth, and sharing.  I'm looking forward to many more weeks of diving into the Word with these ladies.

I have been making this recipe for 10 years and love it.  I'm posting the recipe as I normally make it, but the picture is a slightly different assortment of fruits (strawberries, mango, peach, red grapes and green grapes).  I just used what was easy and on sale, but the posted recipe is my favorite combination of fruits in this dish.  I love taking this to brunches and/ or potlucks.

Fruit Salad

-1/3 cup gingerale
-1 Tbsp honey
-zest and juice of 1 lime
-2 cups green grapes, halved
-2 cups red grapes, halved
-2 fresh peaches, sliced (or 1 bag of frozen peaches, thawed)
-1 cup blackberries
-1 cup raspberries

Whisk together gingerale, honey, lime juice and lime zest in medium bowl.  Stir in fruit.  Chill until serving.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sesame-Honey Roasted Veggies and Tofu

After finding this recipe for Sesame-Honey Tofu on a blog today I knew that I HAD to have it for dinner!!!!  Have I mentioned that I've gone from craving all things cheesy, greasy and junk food to craving all things fruit, vegetable, and healthy?  Well I have.  Today I over did it at the grocery store on fresh veggies and fruit, there were so many great sales, and it all looked good.

Back to the recipe... I combined 1 cup soy sauce, 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 Tbsp sesame oil for my marinade.  I chopped the extra firm tofu into cubes and marinated it for about 5 minutes prior to baking at 400 for 30 minutes.  Then I chopped 2 squash and 2 yellow zucchini, marinated them for 5 minutes, and baked them at 400 for 20 minutes.  It was all DECLICIOUS!!!!  This is my favorite way that I've ever cooked tofu... and so easy!  I love how it gets more chewy by baking at at a high temperature.  Next time I might even bake it an extra 5-10 minutes to let it get a little more chewy.  It's all about the method, this same technique would be great on tofu with BBQ sauce, teryaki sauce, or really any sauce that you can think of.  My husband (who doesn't like tofu) ate almost half the pan standing over the stove, after already having eaten a turkey burger and 2 bowls of cereal.  He's still not a tofu lover, but I think it's HUGE progress that he continued to eat it, especially at a time when he was already satisfied and not starving for whatever he could find.  And the vegetables, they were even better after I took them out of the oven and let them sit on the pan for 15 minutes.  The sauce cooled and thickened and soaked into them even more... yum!  This would have been delicious with some brown rice, but I wasn't patient enough to wait the 45 minutes it takes my rice cooker to cook brown rice.

For those of you who are skeptical of tofu, I urge you to try this recipe.  Tofu is a great meat replacement.  It's not only cheaper than meat, it has a longer shelf life in the fridge, and since it doesn't have bacteria like meat does you don't have to be obsessive about washing your knife, counters, hands, etc. after chopping and cooking it.

I will definitely be cooking tofu this way again!

Are you a tofu lover or hater?


Monday, April 5, 2010

11 weeks

Here's what is going on this week, according to;

Your baby, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.  She's already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won't feel your baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.

If you're like most women, you're feeling a bit more energetic now and your nausea may be starting to wane. Unfortunately, you may also be suffering from constipation (caused by hormonal changes, which can slow digestion) and heartburn (hormones again, relaxing the valve between your stomach and esophagus). Just remember, all this discomfort is for a good cause.  Don't worry if nausea has made it impossible for you to eat a wide variety of healthy foods or if you haven't put on much weight yet. Your appetite will likely return soon, and you'll start to gain about a pound a week.

As for me, I feel like I'm over the hump (or I at least hope so!).  The past week has been my best week yet, with a little bit of nausea here and there, but definitely nothing lasting all day long anymore.  I've been eating pretty much anything I want now, and my stomach seems to be doing okay with all of that.  My favorite foods that I ate this week were devilled eggs, egg salad, shrimp creole, BBQ chicken pizza, and potato salad.  I've taken a bite of some sweets here and there and done okay with them, but I'm still not really craving sweets and would much prefer cheesy, salty, and meaty foods.  I've also started craving vegetables a lot and have been sure that I get at least a serving with dinner every night.  The salad that I've been eating has been very satisfying, but most of all I'm craving my mother-in-law's squash, potatoes, and onions (she just pan frys them in some olive oil, but they turn out SOOOOOO good!!!!!).  My belly is still growing and sticking out more and more, although I still look more bloated than pregnant.  I'm still squeezing into my looser jeans, but know that won't be lasting much longer (at least with them buttoned), they just aren't comfy on my tummy.  A lot of my tshirts are also starting to look frumpy since I'm not as thin as I used to be.  I'm mostly wearing empire waist shirts, or small men's tshirts/ undershirts that I have.  I'm not being as fashionable as I'd like, but you do what you have to do to get by, and I refuse to buy new clothes just for my in between stage, when I will be in maternity clothes before I know it.  Overall I'm feeling well and have been able to exercise fairly regularly again.  I got to sleep in a bit 3 days in a row for our 3 day weekend, and that was the glorious recharge that I needed.  I've been surfing the web and starting to order some maternity clothes since I think I'll be wearing them before too much longer.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

In general, most balsamic vinaigrette dressings will consist of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil.  Since I try to keep our food lighter and healthier I prefer dressings anywhere from 1 part vinegar to 1 part oil, to 2 parts vinegar to 1 part oil.  You really can vary the proportions based on your preference.  We were given a container of salad greens by Jeremy's parents who will be leaving town and won't be able to eat them before they go bad.  To use up the greens I threw together this salad of mixed greens, feta cheese, toasted walnuts, and chopped apples from what I already had on hand.  Dried cranberries, spinach, pears, blue cheese, any type of nut, scallions, strawberries, mushrooms, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, sliced red onion, or cucumbers would all be delicious with this dressing also.  Or you could even drizzle this over some sort of caprese salad of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomatoes, and maybe some sliced red onion.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
-1/2 olive oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-fresh ground black pepper
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 Tbsp sugar
-1 tsp dijon mustard
-1 tsp dried oregano (thyme, or Italian seasoning would also work well here)

Either whisk together all ingredients, or place in a container with lid and shake until well combined.  Serve over your favorite salad fixins.

What are your favorite salad ingredients?

I tend to be partial to hearts of palm or artichoke hearts.  Jeremy hates them both though, so I tend to not use them, and stick to a combination of some type of cheese, fruit, and nut mixture.  I also love any salad with avocado, mango, or if it has both then that's just pure bliss!