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bobSo today I dragged David to USA Baby to see if we could get a stuff-for-your-kid 101 course. The amount of crap it is possible to buy is more than a little intimidating. Chuck, the owner, was really helpful. I now feel well-armed to make decisions about some of the more essential items. The stroller you see pictured is called the Bob. It’s way cool. We do a lot of walking with the dogs in the neighborhood, and that won’t change any time soon, so this puppy will get a lot of use. It’s pricey, but well worth it. We’re going to get a Graco infant car seat and regular stroller as well. We looked at a bunch of gliders, and are probably going to get one that’s kind of a modern take on the wood glider (I usually hate those). This one is fairly interesting looking and has some great fabrics to choose from. Unless I find something good on Craigslist that’s CHEAP.

Chilean SeabassIn news of the weird, Tiny Josephine seems to not like fish any more. I made some stew with the red fish David caught last weekend on Tuesday and all was well. But last night David grilled some more, and I couldn’t eat it. And then, and this is really strange, we went for dim sum at Chinatown today and ordered a plate of sea bass.  Chilean sea bass is one of the tastiest things on the planet – and I couldn’t eat it! David sure didn’t mind, but what gives? I had no problem with the shrimp, but the bass just tasted off to me. David assured me it was most certainly not. I know I’m only supposed to have seafood twice a week, and I over did it a bit this week, but most weeks I have little to none. Pregnant bodies are just strange is all.

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woman-cookingI’m happy to report that the long cooking drought is over. We even made fish stew last night, and the lingering smell in the kitchen doesn’t make me want to hurl! During the first oh, 13 weeks of pregnancy I cooked maybe once a week. And I had this bad habit of forgetting key ingredients like oil or leavening.

While I haven’t missed the cleanup work entailed in cooking, I’ve gotten mighty sick of eating restaurant and previously frozen foods. And nobody’s happier than David, he loves him some home cooking. Here are some recipes I’ve made recently:

Emeril Lagasse’s Fish Stew
I don’t cook Emeril’s recipes that often because 1) they’re usually wicked complicated and 2) they’re usually very, very high in fat. However, nobody does it like Emeril. I always turn to him for special occasion and comfort food recipes. This one is relatively easy (meaning it’s not four recipes in one) and while not low in fat (there’s a roux) it’s not too bad since none of the other ingredients have much in the way of fat. We used 2 lbs of the redfish David caught last weekend in it and it was DELISH!

Butternut Squash Soup
I’m mostly avoiding cooking meat at home, the after-cooking smell really bothers me. We also have sorely neglected our CSA (farm membership) so a lot of veggies have been given out to friends or languished. But winter squashes are pretty hardy, and I finally used one of my butternut squash to make this. It’s a great recipe, really easy. It has a lovely texture and the flavor is quite sweet. For that reason, I like to swirl some yogurt in it (tip via Emily) or some low fat sour cream. It’s really good served at lunch with some cheese toast. I added a little ginger paste to the recipe, because I almost always do.

Gingered Pumpkin Pie
In addition to the butternut, we get some other green and orange, pumpkin like squash from the CSA. I baked up two of them and scooped them out to freeze and use later. But first, I made this recipe. You would never know it’s lightened! Maybe because of all the sugar… Still, you use nonfat evaporated milk instead of sweetened-condensed and it comes out really nice.

Stove-Top Mac and Cheese
I am not the only currently pregnant lady with a wicked mac and cheese craving. And not the only one to suffer from the curse of the lumpy white sauce. Unless there’s butter involved, starting with the flour and gradually adding milk always leads to disaster for me. I usually heat the milk and then gradually sift in the flour. Takes more time, but not if you count how may times I’ve had to re-do lumpy white sauce. Anyway, this recipe avoids that problem all together. Be warned, it’s wicked rich. Normally I might say “bring it on!” but in my current state, overly rich food makes me very ill. So I reduced the fat a bit by using non-fat evaporated milk. Next time I’ll probably also combo some lower fat cheese in with whatever else I use. Maybe gorgonzola? Yum.

Enjoy! I know I am.

P.S. For readers of my other blog, please excuse the cross-post.

659402I’ve been trying not to stress about my upcoming amnio, but I’ve been having creepy dreams about it. Hey subconscious: Not. Helping.

We are excited to learn what flavor of kid we’re going to have, however. Let the decorating begin! We’re going to re-carpet and paint the room for starters. I have two different themes in mind depending on the outcome, which I will reveal in the near future. The room will not, however, be themey. Meaning it will not resemble a Disneyland ride or a catalog. Things will not match, they will go. Important distinction.

I’ve had some fatigue the last couple of days, I think Tiny Quimby is growing, and therefor I needs must sleep. My most annoying symptom these days is eye strain headaches, which I get a lot. I wear my glasses almost all the time now, but I still end up with ugly pain around my eye sockets. Anyone had this one? It’s driving me nuts, as my pastime of choice (other than sleeping) is reading.

I’ve had pretty much no weight gain since this whole thing started, despite the growing belly. Not complaining, but I wonder when and how it will happen. I’m eating as much as I’m capable of – small meals or snacks, 5-6 times a day. And I eat what I can tolerate, which is some fruit and veg, a lot of carbs and protein.  I can’t seem to eat much more or less than what I already am, and I have a low tolerance for super rich food (hello indigestion!) so I hope it’s enough for the kid. I feel like the whole thing is out of my hands, my body is dictating what, how much, and how often I eat without any input from me. Even though the pervasive nausea is gone, it shows up to tell me when I need to eat, and when I’ve eaten the wrong thing or too much. Food is definitely not as much fun as it was, but it some ways it’s nice not to obsess about how much and what I should eat. Someone else is calling the shots.

I’m doing better with the nausea these days. Don’t seem to need the medication any more. I still have bouts of it, but they’re mercifully brief. My energy level is still pretty variable. Last week I was pretty energetic, this week not so much. But energy or no, I’m starting to get busy. I avoided most work during the weeks where I was feeling like death. The last few weeks have brought me several new potential clients, so I’m the proposal-negotiation phase which is always tricky. Still, it would be great to have some work. Even conservative estimates on what this whole baby thing is going to cost on the front end are fairly intimidating.

You can find almost anything on Craigslist, but most sources say the major stuff (crib, car seat, stroller) need to be new for safety. I got a subscription to Consumer Reports since they seem to have a good process for safety testing.

Mostly I feel like I’m holding my breath until the amnio is over and the results are back. Hopefully all will be well and we can relax a bit after that. There’s just such a seemingly infinite amount of stuff to worry about, plan, and anticipate, it’s hard to find the mental space to relax. I hope it will gradually all fall into place.

Food and I are still not great friends. I get so tired of having to eat every couple of hours. When I worked in food service somehow seeing and smelling food all the time made me feel as if I’d been eating all day, and I lost my appetite. I feel similarly now. Cooking is wholly unappealing. The idea of preparing, eating, and cleaning up food is pretty yuck, since I get to start all over an hour or two later. But I’m also really sick of prepared and restaurant food. I’ve been experimenting with low prep food like crepes. My major craving last week was re-fried beans. Do not ask me why, as I have no idea. I was having practically erotic feelings towards them, and that’s just weird. It seems to have passed.

That’s the latest news on the grumpy pregnant lady front.

SMARTFOOD_White_Cheddar_Cheese_Flavored_PopcornThe nausea continues to abate. Still a bit in the evenings and if I forget to eat EVERY FIVE MINUTES. Okay, maybe not quite that often, but pretty dang often. It’s all about Smartfood and Pop Tarts. I did make hatch mac and cheese this week. That’s right, I cooked! It was pretty good.

I went to the chiropractor today and got that injury worked on, so I’m hoping it will heal up faster now. It also seems marginally cooler now, I’m hoping to start walking in the mornings a bit. While I’m not exercising nearly as much as before I got pregnant, I’ve got to give myself props for keeping up regular (5-6 days a week) exercise of some kind. I pretty much start to go crazy if I don’t do anything.

So now that I don’t want to sleep all the time, I’m starting to think about all the stuff we’re supposed to accumulate before the big event. I’m trying to find lightweight, non-bulky gear. I hate carrying around tons of crap. When I go on vacation, I pack and repack for weeks in advance because I HATE bringing stuff I don’t use.

Also, finding stuff for babies that doesn’t look absurd is somewhat challenging. For example, bassinets. There’s this:

pTRU1-3860606reg

Does this make anyone else want to hurl?

or this:

pTRU1-2999382reg-1

Much better.

I am not a big fan of excessive frills. I’m also in favor of the second one because it doubles as a co-sleeper. And you know what that means? More sleep for me.

Theoretically.

I thought maybe the nausea was getting better, but late Thursday afternoon through bedtime last night was HELL. Worst I’ve had in weeks, possibly the worst so far. And let me say, my mental hygiene deteriorates rapidly when I feel like that much ass. I thought maybe it was my fault for cutting back on the Zofran, but my boobs got sorer, so  I think it was more like a mighty hormone surge.

It turns out nobody really knows what causes the nausea that often occurs with pregnancy. 80% of women have it to some degree. As long as it’s not the really bad kind (where you can’t keep water or food down for the whole pregnancy) it correlates with a safer pregnancy. Curses! Some research shows it’s related to progesterone levels and the subsequent slowing of the digestive system.  One study decided it was the result of “hysteria.” You’ve got to love the medical industry. That one couldn’t be reproduced, btw.

Anyway, I’m back on the Zofran until further notice. Hopefully it will take the edge off. Hopefully that last surge of ick is my body’s final hurrah before the blessedness that is supposed to be the second trimester kicks in.

I’m not eating enough vegetables these days. I’m pretty much living on frozen meals – Amy’s Organics and Lean Cuisine. They’re both relatively healthy brands and the portion size is just right – enough to eat but not too much. If I go out I’ll often eat a little more than I need resulting in, you guessed it, more nausea. Exercise has been challenging, but we’re mostly keeping up the walking in the evenings. I’ve laid off the yoga a bit as it keeps re-inflaming that injury I can’t shake. Belly dance seems to be okay, as long as I don’t exceed my one-hour limit. When I do, things go south rapidly.

So far this morning I feel reasonably okay. Fingers crossed I don’t have another day like yesterday. Amen.

img_8033-copyNot much has changed in the last couple of days. I’m 12 weeks today. Woo! But I’m not going to make a public (re: facebook) announcement until after we get the amnio results. Which will be sometime the week of Sept 21, a long damn way off, it feels like.

I’m telling myself the nausea is getting better, but I don’t really know. Yesterday the bouts were shorter and further between. Today I felt fine until about 3 pm, and then all hell broke loose. I think that overall it’s happening a bit less, but still too much for my taste. I’m starting to wonder if I’m not eating enough. I snacked a lot more yesterday. But I would prefer to not start packing on the weight for a bit longer. Still, lots of growth happens to the kid in the second trimester, so I probably need to feed it better. I dedicate this pop tart to the cause! (Hey, it’s organic…)

My belly is bigger. I’ve been searching in vain for tops that will see me through the next couple of months. NOTHING FITS. Maternity tops are so insanely long, I wonder if they will ever fit me in my shortness. Normal clothes seem to be cut really long and close to the body this season. So I’m living in the same 4 shirts. And I’m tired of them. Also, they’re wearing out.

In spite of the fact that the nausea has not left the building, the weepiness is setting in. I cry when I hear sad songs. I cry over text messages. I hear it only gets worse. Still, it’s better than nausea, so if I have the opportunity to trade them out, I will.

no coffeeYesterday I had a delicious Chocolate Chipotle Chai at The Steeping Room, one of my favorite places in town. It was very tasty. And one of the stupidest things I’ve done in a long time.

I quit caffeine about a month before I got pregnant, because I realized I had to quit Xanax pronto. It’s a class D drug which means BAD for the fetus. So to control my anxiety I quite caffeine and exercised more. It was a rough transition, but it really did work. I had no idea how much the caffeine was contributing to my anxiety, insomnia, and general freakiness. I’d forgotten how much anxiety I had in the evenings (which is what habituated me to the Xanax).  I think the pattern started when I was in grad school and working full time. Have to be alert and functional, have to sleep. But I’m seriously glad I stopped both of them. Seriously.

So yesterday I have this chai, thinking no big deal. I’d had a cafe au lait in New Orleans to no ill effect (but I’d walked a lot after, so I think I must have burned it off). This time was NOT GOOD. Stomachache, anxiety, increased nausea, and about 5.5 hours of sleep choc filled with anxiety dreams about miscarriage, amnios, and breastfeeding in New York City with no burp cloth. Don’t ask, I have no idea what that was about. It’s the second dream I’ve had where the baby suddenly arrives and I have no idea what to do – I haven’t taken any classes yet on breastfeeding or changing diapers or WHAT THE FUCK DO I DO WITH THIS TINY NONVERBAL CREATURE. Am I worried about being under prepared? Maybe a bit.

No more caffiene for me. That stuff is whack. I hope I can stay off it post-birth, because I really think it’s bad for me.

bbandIn other news, this rocks. I can pull out my pants and jeans again and probably wear them for a couple more months. Yay! The one I got is called a Be Band and is available at Target. There’s a more expensive version by the same brand, and about a thousand other versions out there. Very useful, very economical.

ep_layer1There’s a new post up on my main blog, wherein I make eggplant parmesan, complete with photos and a recipe. It’s my first attempt at real food blogging. I left out some important details though, like the reason why I forgot to get provolone cheese at the grocery store: PREGNANCY BRAIN. I remembered to get more string cheese (a nice in-between-meals protein snack) but forgot one of the main ingredients. Hence the strange shapes you see above. Duh.

Also, I don’t like cooking meat at home right now. It smells good until after dinner, and then I can’t stand the smell of the kitchen until it dissipates (and with pregnancy smell, that’s like a week). So while I’m eating meat when we go out, I’m cooking veggie at home right now. I’m also eating a lot of Lean Cuisine and Amy’s vegetarian frozen meals at lunch. I should be eating more stuff from the CSA, but I still can’t bring myself to cook all the time. Anyone want potatoes and onions? I have a ton.

But since I’m not sharing my delicate condition with the world at large yet, I’ll just have to vent here.

Another example: my yoga teacher today told me that she had a recommendation for a prenatal massage therapist who will get in and work my muscles. Yay! I forgot to get her info. Doh.

Other than the reduced brain power, I’m having more heartburn. I hear that gets wicked bad third trimester. Also, a bunch of the third trimester ladies at yoga were talking about carpal tunnel in their fingers! What’s up with that? I’ll enjoy the use of my fingers while I can, I guess. I’ll have to audio blog if my fingers freeze up…

bellyI think I’m officially showing. While of the round persuasion, I tend to carry my weight in back. Until I got pregnant — and all those bellydancing abdominal muscles didn’t go in anymore, they went out. But I didn’t look pregnant, I just looked like I’d been eating a lot of donuts (when in reality I’d been eating as little as possible). As of yesterday, I think I look a teensy bit pregnant.

I’m stuck in the no-woman’s land between not-maternity and maternity clothes. I definitely live in my Motherhood maternity jeans. I still fit in my old jeans fine, but I can’t stand any pressure on my waist when I sit down, so they’re in the “don’t open until Easter” box. But maternity blouses are insanely long, it’s waaaay to early for those. Luckily, I have enough blousey shirts to get me through the next couple of months.

Nausea seems to be better in the morning, gets worse in the afternoon. But when I think back to how bad it was a few weeks ago – damn. I ate actual Indian food last night! Three weeks ago I could barely stomach rice. This is an improvement.Odd aches and pains come and go, I’ve decided to just ignore them mostly. I think if I try to stretch them out too much I’ll do more damage than good.

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