February, 2009

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Our Little Peanut at 18 1/2 Weeks

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Well, here he/she is!  Approximately 10 ounces and looking pretty good, from what the perinatologist was able to tell.  The heart was beating 138x/min, which is also pretty great.  Baby was moving around so much that the ultrasound tech had to chase him/her all over the place.  According to my mother, I was also rather active while in the womb.  So those folks that think they can guess boy or girl by movement amounts might be in error.  This kiddo is keeping us guessing all the way!

I’m only still occasionally feeling the baby move.  But we’re heading now into week 20 (half-way point) and movement I can feel regularly should start picking up quickly.  Baby is making me soooooooo hungry at times now.  I wake up in the middle of the night barely able to resist the urge to go downstairs for food.

I bought a baby boy and a baby girl outfit to take with us to the hospital to use as “coming home” outfits.  They are so cute.  The girl outfit is a little summer dress with short sleeves and a cute little matching bloomer.  The boy outfit is a polo onsies and overall shorts with a little embroidered frog on the pant leg.

Next Monday I have the 20 week appointment with my midwife!  Hard to believe we are to the half-way point.

On My Mind

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the passing of a dear friend’s sister.  So all day yesterday and today I’ve been thinking about and praying for my friend and her family.

God, please bless all those who knew and loved Jennifer with your peace this week as they look back on her life and memory.

Busy Errand Day

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Today I have tons of running around to do.  Dave & I have our “level 2” ultrasound today at 10:45.  “Level 2” ultrasound is just a fancy term for a more detailed ultrasound they like to do on pregnant gals over 35..  We’ll get to see just how this little babe of ours is doing today, which will be just cool beans.  We aren’t going to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl though.  Hopefully, we’ll have a better picture than we did from the 8 week ultrasound where babe just looked like a little gummie bear.

After the ultrasound, I’m going to lunch with Dave.  Then I have to go to Tractor Supply for all these giant containers we’ve ordered to hold maple sap at different locations until it can be collected and boiled.  And of course, since it’s Thursday I’ve got my usual grocery store and butcher shop runs to do.

This week when I came up with the menu I have two meals, meatloaf & chili, which I’m doubling so the extra can go in the freezer for future use.  I want to have maybe 3 weeks of dinners packed away in the freezer before the baby is born.  That’s only 21 meals so that is very do-able.

Going to Try Making Soft Pretzels

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Later this week, Wednesday specifically, I am going to make my first batch of homemade soft pretzels.  The Food Netwrok’s Alton Brown made soft pretzels on one of his shows so I found that recipe and plan to give it a try.  One difficulty I have during winter is making bread because you have to have a warm area to let bread dough rise.  Well, Dave & I keep our home pretty chilly during the winter and finding a warm location for rising bread dough can be hard.  But I’m going to give pretzels a try!

Nothing Much Going On

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I haven’t written for a while, but there is nothing going on.  Our weekends are filled with all things maple syrup and my weekdays have been pretty slow.  This weekend Dave tapped all the maples at his parent’s house and one other location we’re using.  The sap won’t begin to flow though until Thursday when it warms up.  We won’t be boiling sap this weekend yet, but the next we certainly will.  This coming weekend we’ll probably tap the trees at the other 2 locations we are using.

Today I’m hanging out here at the house doing some cleaning and laundry.

So like I said, nothing much going on.  Which is actually pretty okay with me!

Thursday-Wednesday Menu

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

My favorite local grocery store’s sales start on Thursdays.  So I’ve started shopping on Thursdays because sale items tend to run low if I wait for another day.  Thus the reason my menu planning goes from Thursday through to the next Wednesday evening. I also like to have a baked good on hand for snacking and this week I’m going to make zucchini bread.

Breakfast Mondays – Thursdays is generally cold or hot cereal, milk and  OJ or other 100% juice.  Occasionally, I will make scrambled eggs or some other hot breakfast.  Fridays we go to McDonald’s drive-thru because we both go into Springfield early for the day.  Dave to go to work and me to hang out with my sister-in-law so I can help her.  Saturdays & Sundays I make a hot breakfast.

Lunches Mondays-Thursday for Dave I make a PB& J sandwich, pack a little bag of chips/pretzels, some baked yummy of some sort, carrot and/or small fruit.  I just make due for lunch with whatever we have for leftovers or maybe canned soup.  Saturdays & Sundays we don’t generally eat lunch because we’ve had a big breakfast.

So dinners are the only thing I’ve really got to plan.  Below is this week’s dinner menu.

Tonight:  pork chops, spinach artichoke dip spread on toasted French Bread (new recipe…will post if it tastes good), small salad.

Friday:  Spaghetti with Italian sausage & mushrooms, small salad and any leftover spinach artichoke dip

Saturday:  baked potatoes with fixins’ (broccoli, diced ham, sour cream, grated cheese, butter)

Sunday:  baked chicken, chicken flavored rice, broccoli or corn (a veggie from the freezer)

Monday:  Tacos with fixins’ (sour cream, cheese, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes)

Tuesday:  Clam chowder and grilled cheese (this is using Snow’s canned clam chowder, homemade chowder is nice, but costs a small fortune to make).

Wednesday:  quiche (eggs, diced ham or sausage, minced broccoli, cheese…this stuff is really yummy)

Now, I’m hoping to get all the ingredients I need and stock pile a few boxes of cereal which is on sale (and I have a coupon) for $60-$65.  I have to go to two grocery stores and the butcher shop to do this…I’ll post my success or failure when I get back.

Fantastic New Recipe in Our House

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

While searching the Internet yesterday for a good muffin recipe I came across a recipe called “easy fruit coffee cake” at Tammy’s Recipes.  I wanted to see if it could be a dessert cake and possibly a breakfast treat cake so I made it last night.   We ate it last night for dessert and this morning for breakfast, it was that yummy.   This first time, I tried making it with some fresh blueberries I’d frozen late last summer.  But we both decided it would be fantastic with raspberries, strawberries and especially apples.  Dave liked it so much he wants me to make it for his co-workers for their weekly meeting next week.

I’m going to post the recipe as I made it.  Tammy’s recipe was slightly different and if you want her original just click on Tammy’s Recipes in the paragraph above.

FRUIT COFFEE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I used a plain old cast iron skillet with cooking spray, but a greased 8 or 9 inch baking pan is in the original recipe.

BATTER:

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 eggs

14/ cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of fruit (like I said blueberries worked great, raspberries, strawberries and apples would also probably be yummy)

TOPPING:

1/3 cup of all purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened (I used room temperature butter)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and the salt.

2.  In a little bowl using an electric mixer beat the eggs for about 2-3 minutes making them frothy.

3.  Pour the eggs, oil,  milk & vanilla on top of dry mixture and stir until combined.  Fold in fruit.

4.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan.

5.  For the topping, mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon then drop in butter slices.  I used a pastry cutter to mix everything together, but two knives to cut in the butter would work just as well.  You want the topping to have small crumbles of butter throughout.  Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the batter.

6.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Mine was done at 50 minutes.  At 40 minutes, I covered the cake with foil because the topping was getting pretty brown.

7.  I served it warm for dessert and cold for breakfast.  Might be really tasty with vanilla ice cream when serves as dessert.

After the cake had cooled in the pan for about 30 minutes and because I used a round cast iron skillet, I was able to put the foil back over the top, flip the cake out upside down and place it right side up on a cake pedestal.  It made a pretty presentation.

Death By Thyme!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

I love vegetable beef soup (homemade).  So all day I’ve been tinkering with a lovely crock-pot full of vegetable beef soup.  It was a tad bland so I decided to add some herbs.  And I had a little accident with the jar of thyme right over the crock-pot.   I didn’t dump the whole jar in, but let’s estimate it at about 2 heaping tablespoons.  Arf!  I took a sip almost two hours ago and it tasted horribly thymee (new word).  I’m going to go “doctor” on it, but we might just have to suffer through eating a huge pot of really strongly favored soup.   Major bummer!

The Kiddo Has a Heartbeat!!!!

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

!6 weeks and finally I got to hear the heartbeat!!!!!!!!!  At 12 weeks the midwife couldn’t hear a heartbeat so we had to do another ultrasound so I got to see the little peanut, but still hadn’t heard anything from him/her.  This appointment was pretty standard.  Just listened to the heartbeat and checked weight.  My blood pressure is still fantastic (yeah).  But I’m sweating the upcoming 28 week blood glucose test.  I’m so freaked out about the potential of developing gestational diabetes.  Not that I have any signs of anything right now, this is just one of those things I don’t want (not that anyone does).

So on Feb 26th, I have a “level 2 ultrasound due to advanced maternal age”.  Translation: Andrea is “old” for having a kid.  They’ll check to make sure all the baby’s organs are in place and functioning and make a rudimentary check for Down’s Syndrome.   They do this for all over-35 pregnant gals.  And don’t you just love the “advanced maternal age” thing.

Hearing the heartbeat was pretty awesome!

Hungry All The Time

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Okay, I have an appointment with my midwife here in like 1.5 hours.  I’m actually concerned that I gained maybe up to 4 pounds this month.  Why is this bothering me?  This might sound stupid, but I didn’t want to gain any weight while pregnant because I’m already overweight.  And 4 pounds is totally normal to have gained by 16 weeks, but I’m still wigging out.   I’ve been starving almost continuously for about 3 weeks now so some weight gain is to be expected, I suppose.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not thinking about this from a vanity point of view, but more a safety point of view because I don’t want to complicate delivery or increase my chances of developing gestational diabetes due to weight gain.  I just need to be more careful about food choices, but man when I get hungry taking the time to peel a carrot sounds like an eternity versus opening the cheese and cutting off a hunk.

When I get hungry these days, I have visions of the baby floating around yanking on the umbilical cord with an annoyed look because I’m taking to long to get food down there.

So I’ll know here in a short while if I gained any weight according to the midwife’s scale…