Friday, April 30, 2010

The Holding Pattern (Project If)

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Unless you've been living under a rock this week (or at least not reading any ALI blogs), you know that in the US it's National Infertility Awareness Week.  Or NIAW for short.  The amazing Mel (also known as the Stirrup Queen), in parntership with Resolve, has instituted Project IF, an opportunity for all of us to have our voices heard by those outside our community.

Because infertility affects all of us in vastly different forms, from poly-cystic ovarian syndrome to male factor, from clotting and immune issues to recurrent pregnancy loss, from situational to primary to secondary to unexplained infertility, we ALL have something to bring to the table.  We all have a story to tell and a need to be heard. 

And we all have our "What IF" questions.  The things that haunt us, that keep us up in the dark hours of the night.  No matter the different roads we travel through this physically and emotionally challenging place, we are linked by these shadows. 

One of these "What IF"s that resonated with me is
What if I never get to do all the things I’ve put on hold in my life for “once I get pregnant…”
I don't know anyone in the ALI (Adoption/Loss/Infertility) community who set out on this journey fully aware of how long it would take.  For some of us it's a matter of months, for others years, and others even longer. 

When my Beloved and I set out on the trying-to-conceive road, we didn't think it would take that long.   There was a long history of fertile-myrtles in both our families.  Mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers who all had unplanned pregnancies, got pregnant 'just by looking' at their significant others.  There were a few miscarraiges along the way, but they were chalked up to unfortunate things that just happen. 

Our journey seemed destined to be a short one, with our first bfp (big fat positive - pregnancy test) coming just six months after we started trying.  Sadly, that pregnancy ended too soon, as did our second that came just a few months later.  Then came the year of testing, procedures, and more waiting.  Finally, fourteen months after our second miscarraige, we are pregnant again.  And this time, so far anyway, all looks good.

But life in the meantime has not been easy.  Living from cycle to cycle, month to month, hoping that the stars will align, and that my body won't fail me again.  In the midst of this, it's far too easy to get tunnel visioned in on the next morning's temperature (bbt - basal body temp), the phantom symptoms that stalk the two week wait (after ovulation, until AF shows up), and ultimately the next cycle. 

And it's easy to let things slide...

Relationships... especially with family and friends who have children.  Anything to avoid the awkward well-intentioned questions (so when are you guys going to have kids?) and the reminders of what you don't have. 

Job opportunities... Do I dare go for that promotion?  What if I get pregnant and have to go on maternity leave?  Will my boss and coworkers resent me?

Intimacy... When the romance is taken out of that aspect of your life, and intimacy becomes something that is timed, a means to an end, and planned down to the hour, you can lose that connection with your partner. 

Other plans... vacations, education, buying a home, even enjoying a glass of wine with friends.  All these things take a back seat while you are waiting.  Even something as simple as making that spare room into something useful, rather than waiting for the mythical baby to fill the some-day nursery. 

And the holding pattern doesn't end when you get pregnant.  Instead you wait for the other shoe to drop, for it to be taken away from you just as quickly as it was given.

But what if I can learn to live in the moment?  If I can see the world outside the little sphere my life has become?  What if I can find joy in the things that make each day worth celebrating?  What if I can learn to take advantage of opportunities that come my way as they come? 

Infertility takes it's toll on millions of people in North America and around the world every day.  And most of those people suffer in silence, too ashamed or embarassed to speak up and ask for support.  They grieve every lost cycle, every failed procedure, every baby that never happens.  Building a family isn't a privilege, it's an innately human need. 

For more information on how you can lend your support or learn more about infertility, check out the Resolve website here and here.

To read more "What IF"s and to add your own, check this out.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: A Blustery Day

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Today was a quiet day at home for me.  Due to some schedule changes this last week, I ended up working six days between days off, so today was a very lazy recovery type of day.  I napped, read a bunch of blogs, and stayed bundled up on the couch.

We had some incredibly beautiful weather a week and a half ago, but since then it's been getting progressively worse.  The prairie wind has returned, as has the chilliness.  It's been drizzling off and on, but today it really started raining.  All I could think of today was that song from the Winnie-the-Pooh movie, "The rain rain rain came down down down..."

They are saying that it's supposed to get cold enough tonight that the rain is going to turn to snow and we could end up with 15-20 cm (almost a foot)!  Yikes!  I refuse to turn the furnace back on, just on principle... it's the end of April for heaven's sake!  (the snow just started... ugh!)

I concede that I was not able to hit Iron Commenter this month.  I was able to visit more than 100 blogs, but I just ran out of time and energy.  So many stories... so many incredible voices.

I made myself my favourite cold weather lunch today... I cooked up some macaroni, then added some canned diced tomatoes, basil, chives, a splash of hot sauce, and some crumbled feta.  Yummy!

My food fixation today:  Chocolate milk.  I actually tried to kill the craving a bit with some chocolate ice cream, but that didn't work.  My Beloved is way too good to me, and went out in the wet weather to get me some chocolate milk.  Have I mentioned that I adore him?

I am reading the BEST book right now... Maze Runner by James Dashner.  It's a teen book and would be awesome for 12-14 year old boys (and 35 year old hobbits).  It's kind of like Hunger Games, a dystopian society, evil controling distant overlords, and only a slim chance of survival.  I really don't want to say more because the set up of the story is complex and I would be giving too much away. 

Prayer Request

Good Morning Humble Readers...

The 14-month-old son of one of my Beloved's coworkers was seriously burned while at daycare two days ago.  He has 3rd degree burns all over his back.  He's been taken to the big children's hospital in Edmonton (2 hours north of here).  The poor little boy is obviously in terrible pain, and if he survives the initial healing process, he has a long road of skin grafts, surgeries, and other treatment. 

Please pray, send good thoughts... whatever. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Wonderful Dr. U

Good morning, Humble Readers!

Well, I just got back from my OB appointment. 

Have I mentioned how much I love my OB?  He never makes me feel like I'm taking up too much of his time, he knows I'm a nervous pregnant woman and he does everything he can to put me at ease.  The fact that he's got a really cool South African accent doesn't hurt either. 

Again, it wasn't a typical prenatal appointment.  No blood pressure, no weigh-in, no peeing in a cup.  Dr. U wants me to get my regular prenatal care with my PCP, Dr.B, at least for now.  Dr. U will oversee the extra stuff. 

So, the extras... I'm going to have the nuchal translucency screening.  To get it done, though, I have to go to Edmonton, to the big fancy-schmancy hospital with the women's care center.  Dr. U has also recommended some form of genetic screening.  I expressed my concern about amnio and cvi, and the potential for m/c, so he's fine with starting with a blood chemistry work up.  If there are any concerns raised from that testing or the nuchal fold screen, then we will discuss futher tests.  I am to be expecting a phone call from the hospital in Edmonton in the next couple of days to set up the screening.   And I am continue taking the prometrium and to go back to see Dr. U in a month.

We also talked about the big GD.  Because of my pre-pregnancy weight issuses, I know I am at much higher risk for gestational diabetes, and potentially type 2 diabetes.  I am to go for two GD tests, one at 20 weeks and another at 28 weeks.  I am to closely monitor my weight gain (like I'm not obsessed about it already) and I am going to work hard on increasing my fiber intake, while trying to cut back on fats and sugars. 

But the best part of the appointment today... we got to see another quick peak of the Halfling.  S/he was floating and waving his/her arms and legs around!  Woohoo!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Week 8

Good Morning Humble Readers!  I hope you all had a great weekend! 

Today marks the beginning of week 9 for me, so I thought I would give you a little recap on the last week. 

Obviously, this has been a pretty darn good week.  Seeing that little blob with the flickering heart is the most perfect moment I have ever experienced.  I can't even begin to describe the feeling of being able to breathe again. 

This week's symptoms have been all over the place.  Off and on all-day nausea, random extreme fatigue, and through the whole week... bloating and constipation.  And I'm sure that if I could just 'go' then I would lose a couple of the pounds I've gone up (I know, a change from last week).  Sleep has been getting better, but it's still a work in progress.  The important thing I've noted is that I have to give in when I feel that wave of tiredness hit at around 10pm.  If I push past it and am still up at 11, then I'm hooped. 

I'm not really craving anything specific, but when I get something in my head it's like I'm fixated.  I can't think of anything else until I eat whatever I'm fixated on.  Two hours later, I'm fixated on something else.  Ribs, then strawberries, then milk. 

My Beloved and I went out on Satuday night, for dinner and a movie.  Ribs for me, salmon for him.  We saw the new JLo movie.  It was funny and cute, and I found it actually handled things like IUI in a tiny bit more realistic manner than other movies (like that Tina Fey movie last year).  The support group for single moms that she joins is a hilarious spoof, and the scene where she witnesses a home birth is priceless.  One thing tho, her love interest is a goat cheese farmer.  As in specialty, unpastuerized goat cheese.  She's never shown eating the cheese... just ironic.

I have an OB appointment tomorrow.  I'm debating about asking about nuchal fold testing.  Any thoughts?

I'm about halfway through this month's ICLW list.  I'm hoping to get back to Iron Commenter.  It's been great to reconnect with a bunch of blogs I only read once or twice a month, and to meet lots of new-to-me blogs. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Sugar Doll Award

Happy Friday, Humble Readers!

(not that Friday means anything in my world... I work all weekend.  *sigh*)

The lovely and very sweet Elana bestowed this honour on me a few weeks ago and I have super deliquent in acknowledging it and passing it along.

So, the rules (and there are ALWAYS rules!):  I have to say 10 things about myself (I'm going to try to make them sweet things in honour of the name of the award) then give this award to 10 fellow bloggers. Hold on to your hats!

10 Things About Me:
  1. My favourite movie theater snack is hot buttered popcorn with m&m peanuts thrown in.
  2. I'm not much of a baker, but I make an incredible cinnamon loaf.  Yum!
  3. Watermelon is my new favourite food.
  4. In my freshman year of college, I wrote a fairy tale starring a group of my friends. 
  5. I not-so-secretly adore boy bands. 
  6. I am currently working on building my library of children's books (the employee discount won't last forever). 
  7. Our nursery is going to be elephant themed, and I have found the most adorable elephant stuffies.
  8. I make a killer bbq sauce.  And don't ask, I will NOT give out the recipe (based on a recipe of my aunt's).  Every cook needs a secret recipe or two.  But let me know when you're coming over, and I'll make you some ribs (or chicken for those who don't eat pork)
  9. My sweetest memory of my grandpa Bob... our last conversation.  It was a goofy conversation about the family's dogs and what their lives would be like if they ran a nightclub.  (Grandpa was a bit odd!)  He was in the hospital, and we were laughing so hard that we got in trouble from the nurses.
  10. When I was a child I had two nicknames... Pickles and Fred. 
Ok, so onto the blogs! 
  1. Minta at Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity
  2. Kelli at No Lingerie Here
  3. Soo See at Holy Moly Toledo(s)
  4. Amy at Canadian Home
  5. Idgie at Long and Winding Road
  6. Alana at Alana-isms
  7. Kristin at Dragondreamer's Lair
  8. Ernie at ErnieGirl
  9. Rain at Raining Raining
  10. Callista at Down the Rabbit Hole
I love all my sweet bloggy friends! 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Who Am I?

Good Afternoon Humble Readers...

Kristin, over at the Dragondreamer's Lair had a wonderful post today about defining who we are outside the tunnel vision of infertility.  I highly recommend you pop over and read her list of who she is... after you are done reading mine of course! ;)

I am:
  • a wife (for 3 years, with my Beloved for 4)
  • a mother-to-be... come November
  • a mother to two angel babies (Emily Hope and Olivia Noelle)
  • a daughter/granddaughter, sister, aunt (in many forms - step, foster, bio, in-law)
  • an infertile
  • a bookseller
  • a book-lover
  • a wanna-be amateur photographer
  • a daydreamer
  • a lousy housekeeper
  • a pretty darn good cook
  • a Believer, of the Lutheran persuasion
  • a junkie
  • a self-proclaimed sci-fi/fantasy geek
  • a fairly decent cross-stitcher (when I focus)
  • a dyslexic
  • an unpublished author
  • a nag (not one of my better traits)
  • a procrastinator
  • an ornithophobe
  • a cry baby (tv, movies, books, sappy commercials)
  • a dog-lover
  • a school-supply addict
  • a friend
Now, who are you?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Houston, We Have A...


171 beats per minute!

I'm exhausted, elated, and actually feeling like I can breathe for the first time in weeks!  That little blob with the flickering heart in the middle was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.

All my other u/s have been done at the hospital or the (evil) fertility clinic in town.  This place was so nice and comfortable and didn't feel clinical.  They made my Beloved wait in the waiting room while I was taken back.  I was directed to sit in a changing room and wait for my technician.  I sat there and prayed and tryed to relax my quaking nerves. 

I heard the girl in the change room next to me get called in to one of the u/s rooms.  Only a moment later she was being escorted out and the tech with her was telling her in a rather grumpy voice that she needed to drink her water down as quick as she could.  I hoped that I wouldn't get the same tech, because I didn't think I could handle a grump today.  Of course it was that same tech who called me less than two minutes later. 

I followed her into the room, and put down my purse and water bottle where she directed.  She asked about my LMP and then about my previous pregnancies.  I laid down on the bed and she didn't say anything as she got started.

Now, there is something particularly challenging and potentially humiliating about an abdominal u/s for a very plus size woman.  Namely the parts of my anatomy that hang over.  When I was being scanned during my first pregnancy the tech was actually pretty mean about it and told me there was too much fat in the way for her to get a clear picture.  So, today, with a grumpy tech I was preparing myself for some form of mean-ness, and I laid there trying to hold my stomach in and out of the way.  But I was pleasantly surprised...

She told me to relax, breathe normally and let her do her thing.  It seemed to take forever as she was taking picture after picture, and pressing that sensor thing into my painfully full bladder.  I was laying there, staring at the ceiling, praying my heart out.  Then she stopped and she smiled at me and said, "Well, it looks like there's a little person in there".  She turned the screen toward me and and showed me the Halfling and the flickering heart.  I started to cry... tears running down the sides of my face and into my ears (remember I'm still laying on my back).  All I could say was "thank you" over and over and over.

She spent some time getting some shots of my ovaries and my kidneys.  Then she suggested that I clean my self up a bit, and go out and get my Beloved while she did her paperwork, and we could introduce him to his little one.  I practically ran out to the waiting room to get him, mostly out of joy and only partly out of need to pee.  We dashed back to the room and my Beloved cried right along with me as she got me situated again, and then showed us a closer shot of the Halfling and his/her heart. 

I'm sorry that this post is so rambling and long, but it feels like the biggest event of my life.  Now I can breathe, allow myself to dream, and get some much needed sleep.  But before I go for a nap, I want to leave you with this... our lovely little blob of a Halfling.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lady Anxiety, Meet Mrs. Nerves

Good Evening Humble Readers...

When has a week ever gone by so slowly? 

Emotionally, I'm feeling more positive these days, as the m/s has re-emerged as my new diet plan.  Not to worry, I haven't lost any significant weight, but considering the crazy bloating, constipation, and water retention, I would think that I would be regaining all that I lost back in February and March.  As of this morning I have only gained a pound and a half.  And given my size, I can fluctuate three times that on any given day.  I guess there's not a lot of calories in crackers and watermelon.

I'm feeling more nervous now, rather than anxious (I know... there's a difference there?).  It's a bit more excited nerves.  But it's still affecting my sleep... I haven't slept a full night in bed in more than two weeks.  I wake up after a few hours to pee, and then my brain kicks in and I can't get back to sleep... so I end up watching NCIS reruns until I fall asleep on the couch.  My poor Beloved feels that I've abandoned him. 

At the suggestion of a lady on one of the message boards I frequent, I watched some 8wk ultrasound videos on YouTube.  I think it helps me to have something to visualize rather than replaying those times with the blank screen. 

I still have to get through Monday and most of Tuesday morning. I have several things on my to do list for tomorrow as distractions... clean the living room and kitchen, reorganize the linen closet (which I was going to do on Friday), and purge my share of the bookshelves.

36 hours and counting.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Truth In Advertising

Good Afternoon Humble Readers...

This post is just a little bit of an irrational gripe. 

Those infomercial hosts/tv huxters just drive me around the bend.  Bi.lly' voice used to be enough to make me leave the room.  That Vince guy with the onion chopper... totally aggravating... And don't get me started on the Sn.uggie.

But today I saw the worst advertisment ever starring one of those huxters.  It's got that guy with the British accent and it's for a drain snake.  Yes, I see the value in having something like that around the house and that at some point in my future I might actually purchase one, but do they need to show the nasty manky clump of gooky hair coming up out of the drain?   Repeatedly?  Just the thought of that makes me want to gag on my best day... but on a day when I'm battling to keep down the crackers and water I'm living on... YUCK!  We all know what clogs drains, and we know what it looks like when it comes out.

Ok, rant over... 

(I think I need to go back and lie down before I use too many more elipsis)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Perchance To Dream

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I have been having a fair number of wacky dreams lately.  I know that's par for the course during pregnancy, but it's still weird.  In all these dreams, I know I am pregnant, but not showing and feeling pretty good. 

First up, there was that one I told you about already, with the baby with the four eyes (very blue eyes).  Creepy to think about now, but in my dream it seemed ok, just different.  I was super happy and optomistic.  There was other stuff going on in that dream... an explosion or fire across the river in Manhattan (my dream took place in New Jersey) and a toxic cloud blowing toward the hospital we were in.  We had to evacuate, I fell on a slippery, newly waxed floor as we were going down the stairs.  But we all got out safely and all ended well.

Second, again I was in the US, I think I was in New York state.  I was wearing a purple dress that I owned many years ago.  The dream began with me in a large office... no cubicles, but a large open working space.  I was saying goodbye to everyone.  I was very happy.  I left the office and loaded up one of those teeny tiny mini motorcycles with my belongings and headed 'home'. 
(image courtesy of Google Images)
The road I was on reminded me of the Connector between Kelowna and the lower mainland in BC.  Winding, fast moving traffic, and instead of the toll booth, there was a border crossing.  I ended up having to walk through customs carrying my teeny tiny motorcycle and all of my belongings but I was happy.  There were also several spots where I found myself looking at my arms, specifically my inner elbow, and I could see where my blood had been drawn. 

Third... this time I was in Canada, in Alberta, in a car, heading south toward the border.  It was a glorious day.  Blue sky, warm breeze, green trees blowing past us (my Beloved was driving).  We weren't in our car (no Petey the PT cruiser), we were in a red sporty car.  The windows were rolled down and my arm was resting on the open window frame.  We were in a great mood.  We just drove and drove until we got to the border, which resembled the Peace Arch crossing near Vancouver.  I can clearly picture the gaurd and the buildings around the border crossing.  I don't know where we were heading, but we were relaxed and happy.

I know that dreams are just our unconcious' way of processing the days events, but these were just sooo vivid.  The colours, the images... the fact that I was travelling in all of them, the border crossings, even the focus on my arms in two of them... all seems like I should be getting something out of them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Long and the Short of My Crazy Family

Happy Thursday Humble Readers!

Mel (the fantabulous Stirrup Queen) has a new little project that she has tied into this month's Virtual Lushary.  Stop by her place, place your drink order and give the group an update of what's going on in your corner of the world.  Then, leave a fascinating little tidbit about yourself... truth or fiction. 

My little tidbit just happens to be true.  My family really is THAT crazy!

My grandmother (foster grandma) is the oldest of 21 children.  Great-grandma and great-grandpa were obviously very fertile.  Grandma used to tell stories about the outhouse, how it had different sized 'seat' holes to accomodate all the different people in the family.  Grandma's youngest sister is actually younger than Grandma's oldest child, my late Uncle J. 

At one point in my life I had six... count 'em up, six parents.  Mother, father, step-dad, step-mom, and my foster parents (who are referred to as Mom and Dad on this blog).

And just to add that Springer-esque flair to my tale... my sister, who is going to be celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary next month, met her wonderful husband at her first wedding (yep, you read that right), where he was the second groomsman. 

I won't go into some of the other wackiness because I don't want to scare you all off. 

I want to say thank you to all of you, Humble Readers, for your kind words and support.  My symptoms did indeed make a resurgance, and I am feeling pregnant again.  Less than five days until we get to see the heartbeat! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Three Years Makes All The Difference

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Today is our third anniversary. 

I can't believe that it's been three years since we said 'I do' and 'till death do us part'.  So much of that day stands out in my mind, and other parts are gone into the abyss of my memory.  I remember standing at the front of the church, hanging on to my Dad's arm, bouncing on my toes (mostly out of excitement, but partly to alleviate the pain my shoes were inflicting).  I remember screwing up the part of the service where the pastor asks what token I had to give to show my commitment.  I kept interupting her, saying "a ring" over and over and over.  I don't remember much of the sermon, but I do know that she based it on "Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten".  I remember freezing my tukus off while we did our picturesin a park, and a perfect stranger coming up to us in the park and reciting a poem for us. 

But mostly I remember my Beloved's face.  He looked so handsome in his suit.  I remember him saying 'I love you' over and over and over throughout the ceremony.  I remember him stepping on my veil repeatedly.  :)

These last three years haven't always been easy, but I can honestly say that I am a much better person for having married him, and I am so thankful for the blessing he is in my life.

My Beloved one... thank you for loving me.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Here Comes The Rain Again

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I don't want this post to sound whiny or attention seeking, but I need to acknowledge what I'm feeling in hopes of getting rid of it.

Humble Readers, today I'm scared. 

My symptoms have been slowly fading over the last couple of days.  Mostly I'm just tired with a bit of sore b00bs and nausea.  I was hardly hungry at all today, not even really bloated.  More like tww symptoms than pregnancy symptoms. 

The pharmacist warned me that the prometrium could affect my mood in a negative way, so maybe that's part of what I'm feeling.  I'm trying to stay objective and rational.

When I read this morning's email from the What To Expect website, about the halfling's development (about developing elbows and knees) it hit me that this is the last development email I read LAST TIME. 

And yes, I'm seeing those words, LAST TIME, in all caps.  It's like those words are floating around behind me, hitting me between the shoulder blades every now and then, just waiting to knock me down. 

One week... seven days... 168-ish hours...

I can do this... right?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Week 6

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Has this ever been a long week!  Nothing terrible or anything, but really long.  I've been so exhausted that it's all I can do to get myself out the door for work each day. 

Perhaps the exhaustion is connected to the crazy insomnia I've had.  I'm totally pooped at night and fall asleep by 10:30, but I wake up around 2am and am awake for anywhere from 45 minutes to a couple of hours.  Of course it could also be connected to the crazy dreams I've been having (the most memorable involved me visiting a 'friend' with a newborn in a hospital in New Jersey.  I have no idea who the friend was, and the baby had four eyes... and I don't mean glasses!).

Red meat is pretty well off the menu for the next while.  And dark green veggies.  And processed cheese.  However, tomatoes totally rock!

I've finally gotten my backside in gear and made a hair appointment.  It shouldn't be something to procrastinate about, right?  Nothing complicated, right?  Well, even after living in this town for almost three years, I still don't have a regular hairdresser.  I'm trying another new salon, in hopes that I might find someone that I feel comfortable with.  I wish I would have done this a month and  half ago... my roots are an absolute nightmare and will have to stay that way until the end of May.  But, I'm getting a haircut... no more bangs in my eyes or split ends.  I'm going to ask about a different shampoo/conditioner.  I've always just used drug store brands, but I'm getting more and more frustrated with the oiliness of my hair (you'd think I was back in highschool). 

After several weeks of absolutely gorgeous spring-like weather, the winter has reared it's ugly head for a final (we hope) blast of snow and wind.  And when I say wind... holy crappola Humble Readers... it's been blowing from the northwest for three days now and people are starting to get a little buggy.  This usually happens once in April and then once in May.  Remind me why I live here again?

My Beloved preached again tonight.  He got a lot of good comments after last time (even though it was a rushed service) and he did a great job again tonight.  There are a few things that he needs to work on, but it looks like he might have a semi regular gig doing this, at least while we are without a pastor.

I hope you are all having a great weekend!  We are off to the MIL's tomorrow afternoon. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kitchen Adventures: An Alternative to Spaghetti

Good Morning Humble Readers...

So, I've been meaning to post this recipe for quite a while, but I'm finally getting around to it today.  I will confess that this is not an original recipe.  It's one I saw on the Rache.l R.ay Show a long time ago.  I've been making it for so long now and have tweaked it enough that I feel like it's my own.

I make this a lot in the fall, when squashes are in season, but occasionally even in the spring I can track down a hot house squash to use.  I hope you enjoy it. 

Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

(all amounts are flexible, depending on how many people you are serving)
1/2 med spaghetti squash per person
olive oil
salt & pepper
parmesean cheese

ground beef or turkey
tomato paste
diced tomatoes
shredded carrots
sliced mushrooms
diced onion
worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise (use a clean dishtowel to hold it in place) and scoop out the seeds and guts.  Drizzle the flesh of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about a half hour. 

In the meantime, brown up your ground meat and drain away any excess fat.  Toss in the onion, shredded carrots, and mushrooms and allow to soften for a few minutes.  Add the tomato paste and stir it through the meat and veggies.  Then add the diced tomatoes and worcestershire sauce (a few dashes), minced or grated garlic, and herbs, and allow to simmer for a while to get the flavours to meld together. 

When the squash is done, remove them from the oven and carefully flip them over onto plates to serve. Then using a fork, shred the flesh of the squash until it looks like spaghetti noodles.  Sprinkle generously with parmesean cheese.  Spoon some of the bolognese sauce into the squash 'boat' and sprinkle with some more parm and some fresh parsley if you have it.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Making Progress

Good Morning Humble Readers...

So, I've done it. 

I've put away the bbt thermometer. 

It was hard, that thermometer has been my first 'to do' every morning for more than a year.  It seems like an obvious step, but it was challenging because it means that I'm accepting that this pregnancy might just be ok. 

All my symptoms have developed into a pretty consistent pattern.  I'm tired almost all day long.  I'm peeing more during the day and a lot at night (every two hours).  The nausea/morning sickness seems to be the worst in the late morning/early afternoon (but peppermint tea seems to help a bit).  My b00bs... oh heavens they hurt (and like I needed them to get bigger...).

All in all, I'm going okay with everything.  It still hasn't really sunk in that this is real.  I'm feeling like I'm still holding my breath a bit and that I won't be able to take a real deep breath until the ultrasound.  13 days! 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He Is Risen... He Is Risen Indeed!

Blessed Easter to you all, Humble Readers...

We have had a beautiful Easter Sunday here on the flatland.  Beautiful sunny day, nice church service, a glorious nap this afternoon... and even a slightly ruined dinner couldn't put a real damper on the day. 

That's right kids... dinner didn't go so well.  The lamb was undercooked (that's saying a lot as I'm a rare meat kinda gal), the oven roasted beans ended up crispy because I was fussing with the lamb, and the gravy didn't want to become gravy.  The only thing that was really good was the potatoes.  Ah well... I'll blame it on solar flares.  (My mini meltdown while I was carving the lamb, I blame on the progesterone)

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend with familiy and friends!

As an aside... m/s kicked my a$$ yesterday.  Seriously!  I thought I was going to die.  Today it hasn't been as bad.  Only handling the raw lamb made me really pukey. 

Things I have learned about m/s this week:
  • I can no longer watch some of my favourite tv shows... CSI, Bones, Mythbusters.  Anything with grodie blood and guts is off limits right now
  • Greasy food is bad
  • Romaine lettuce and other dark green leafy veggies are also very very bad
  • The jar of minced garlic in the fridge... not my friend
  • Throwing up can actually make your whole body hurt, not just your stomach
  • Flat ginger ale is my friend.
Does anyone know... is it okay to take ginger pills (from the healthfood store) during pregnancy?  I take them for motion sickness, and I'm thinking I might be stocking up.  I'd rather not go the dic.lectin route if I don't have to.  I'm tired enough as it is. 

I don't know why, but my Halfling tracker is three days ahead of where I am.  I've gone through and checked my EDD and reformatted the tracker, but it still comes out a few days ahead.  Hmmm...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Week 5

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I hope you are all having a good long weekend.  It's not a long weekend for me, but I do get Sunday off (not usual at all) so I get to spead Easter with my Beloved.

So, last night at work was a bit of a crazy night.  I have to give you a bit of back story.  We have had, for at least two years, issues with pervy guys at our store.  First there was the creepy bike-shorts guy who liked to expose himself.  Yuck!  We finally got rid of him, and had a few quiet, perv-free months, when we started getting complaints of a guy in the ladies washroom.  Twice yesterday we had reports of a man in the ladies room, and I ended up having to confront a guy last night (with the help of a customer).  The whole situation involved the guy getting away, and I had to give a statement to the police.  Really... what is wrong with people?!?!

One of our neighbours is moving out and renting out his unit.  Great... now half the building will be renters.  Blech! (not that I have anything against renters per se, it just makes it more difficult to get things done around the building)

Okay, so I know I haven't updated the menu in the sidebar for ages... but I have to tell you about our dinner tonight.  I haven't been motivated to do a lot of cooking lately.  A lot of evening shifts combined with early pregnancy symptoms makes for a lot of eating out.  Tonight tho, I made pan-fried tilapia and tomato rice.  Last time I went to Costco, I found panko bread crumbs (the Japanese breadcrumbs that they always use on the food network), so I used them on the fish tonight, and OMG... sooooooo good!  Amazingly crunchy and so yummy! 

Easter dinner is coming... roasted leg of lamb, lemon potatoes, and green beans with almonds.  Who's coming over?

Halfling update: It's been a pretty quiet week, after the doctor stress.  Mild nausea pretty much every day, the sore b00bs seem to come and go, my nose is working overtime (what is that smell in the fridge?), and pretty tired all the time.  18 days until the ultrasound.  The only thing I've been craving is cottage cheese.  I've had a few moments of worry, when it feels like my symptoms have vanished, but I'm clinging to the belief that all will be well, and we WILL see a heartbeat.  Monday will bring another bloodtest. 

Pregnancy Books... Picks and Pans - So, I was looking for something kind of funny, so I got "The Unexpected When You're Expecting".  It claims right up front to be a parody of the obvious.  The thing is, I found it very insulting to IFers (one of the games listed in the Baby Shower chapter was 'Guess the Secret Infertile").  Stay away from this book... Run away screaming.  On the other end of the spectrum... "The Gourmet Pregnancy" is THE book for a pregnant foodie!  Filled with incredibly amazing pregnancy-safe, nutritous recipes (watermelon refresher, cherry mint tart with shortbread crust, tempura pickles, and some incredible looking crab cakes!  One particularly groovy feature is the listing of recipes sorted by craving (salt, ice cream, ice, sour, etc). 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Emily Hope

Humble Readers,

I've been sitting here staring at a blank screen for a half hour.  What to say about today? 

If Emily Hope would have been born on her EDD, she would have been a year old today.  The hurt isn't as sharp as it was a year ago, but it's still very much there.  Like being poked in the side with a pool cue rather than a knife.  It's not going to kill me, but...

For whatever reason, I don't have a mental image of her, like I do for Olivia.  Sometimes, I try to think about what she would have looked like, but nothing ever comes to mind.  I don't feel bad about that, but I wish I had an image to hold in my heart. 

I miss my angel girl.