Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easy Leftover Waldorf-ish Salad

Today is Saturday and I have nowhere to go!  Yaaaaay!  Ok, I do have to go to the grocery store after I'm done typing this, but I actually don't have any plans today and I love it.  The next few months are crazy busy; all fun and exciting activities, but busy nonetheless.  So I really enjoy these days I get at home.

Matt had a 5K hike/adventure workout with a 60 pound backpack and this preggo opted out.  I'm still a little sore from the pull-ups, renegade push ups and running with 20 pound sandbag on my shoulders on Thursday :)  So, this morning was spent sleeping in, making breakfast, doing laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the floors and now I'm enjoying my lunch. 

I thought I'd share this recipe I threw together using left-over bacon from breakfast, left-over chicken breast from dinner a couple nights ago, and an apple that desperately needed to be eaten.  It's a spin-off of Waldorf salad, but I do not have grapes or celery right now, and I'm pretty sure there is not typically bacon in Waldorf. This was SO easy to throw together and totally hit the spot.  Throw in whatever you have on hand that you think would taste yummy, but here is what I did...

What You Need:
  • 1 apple
  • 2 slices cooked bacon
  • 1 chicken breast (I used leftover thin-slice chicken that was seasoned with salt, pepper and onion and garlic seasoning before cooking on the stove in a skillet).
  • Chopped walnuts, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (I always have some jarred on hand in the fridge).
  • Salt and pepper to taste
What You Do: 
  1. Rough chop apple, bacon, chicken, and walnuts and place in a bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl (I used a coffee mug) combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add dressing to chopped ingredients, mix to combine.
Now I'm off the the grocery store with food in my belly. 
A hungry, pregnant woman in a grocery store is a dangerous thing!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paparadelle with Kale Pesto and Toasted Pine Nuts

Thanks to Pintrest, and, I've found a recipe for Kale that the Mr and I both like!  Seriously, we couldn't even tell we were eating Kale.  I've tried several other recipes and we just couldn't get on the bandwagon, but at least I have this recipe now!  I've been trying to cook with even more leafy greens besides spinach (that's my go-to leafy green), and I've been trying to eat more "verdes" since I've been pregnant so baby Lucy can soak up all those great health benefits.  Kale is "one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet" according to WebMD and provides:
  • 15% of daily recommendation of calcium and vitamin B6
  • 40% of daily recommendation of magnesium
  • 180% of daily recommendation of vitamin A
  • 200% of daily recommendation of vitamin C
  • 1,020% of daily recommendation of vitamin K.
  • Good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus
  • High concentration and excellent source of vitamins A, C and K.  Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.
  • Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits.
  • Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
What You Need:
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and leaves torn
  • 1/4 C pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan, plust more for serving
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 package paparadelle, cooked al dente (you can use any pasta you want, but the pesto sticks to this pasta really well).
What You Do:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Plunge kale leaves in water, then immediately drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain in colander, then lay on paper towels to extract as much water as possible.
  • Place in the bowl of a food processor with garlic, parmesan, and all but 2 Tbs of toasted pine nuts. Add a generous pinch of salt and pulse briefly to combine and chop. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil until you achieve a loose pesto-like consistency with some texture remaining.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, drain & reserve 1 cup of cooking water. Place pasta in a large bowl, add big spoonfuls of pest and some pasta cooking water to loosen it all up. Toss until noodles are coated with pesto, then serve in big warm bowls, topped with additional toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan.
Be healthy, happy, and eat your veggies!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week 25 Prego Points

Month 6 already?!  Month 6 is here and I'm feeling conflicted.  I absolutely love being pregnant, especially after the first few months had passed along with the nausea that came with them, and I don't want it to end.  I feel like this pregnancy is going by too fast and I just want life to slow down a little.  How many times (God willing) in my life will I get to experience this miracle...two or three?  I'm not Michelle Duggar and don't plan on competing with her, so I need to cherish this experience and absorb every minute of it.  However, the inner conflict arises with the fact that I am SO excited to meet Lucy and start the next phase of our lives!  I have a feeling this is a common conflict for expectant mothers.

Nursery  I have made mental progress on the nursery, although there are no visible changes to see yet.  I bought white paint for the closet, and after we get that painted the closet organization system can go in.  I also picked up two paint samples but we have yet to slap them on the wall and finalize our color. Lucy's crib has been selected, but not purchased; along with some other items.  So...we're sort of making progress :) 

Cloth Diapering  This topic deserves a completely separate post, but the short version is we've decided we really want to give CD a go for multiple reasons.  The new dilemma is which brand to use?!  There are SO many different CD systems my mind is becoming so overloaded with options, opinions and reviews; to the point that I almost don't even want to sort through it all and just go with disposables. After much more reading about cloth diapers than I ever wanted to devote time to, I've decided that Bum Genius is the brand we're going to go with. 

Weight Gain  At my last appointment a couple weeks ago I was up 13 pounds.  I don't know that it's weight gain as much as it is water retention, but my boots fit nice and snug now.  I used to often wear two pairs of socks to fill them in!

Sleep  I'm still sleeping well, but find myself waking up at night only because I'm dealing with congestion.  The surge of hormones, dilated capillaries, and enlarged mucous membranes have forced me to breath only through my mouth at night.  This means I wake up at least once with an incredibly dry mouth and dry booger-ridden nose.  The Breathe Right nasal strips have been very helpful, but I find it a bit difficult and time-consuming to remove all the sticky residue from my nose in the morning.  My yoga instructor recommended a Xylitol nose spray at night, so I'm going to give that a try too. 

Cravings  I still like sour/acid foods such as anything with lemon (I'll bite into those puppies like an orange!), but my newest cravings are for sweets.  I've been tyring my best to control my cravings and stick with the fruit, but as I type this I really want a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard from Dairy Queen!

Exercise  I'm still loving my prenatal yoga, but have been a slacker at walking.  I just think walking on a treadmill is really boring, even if I can watch t.v. while doing so. Matt goes to a gym called Ronin, started by a Green Beret.  It's pretty much like a CrossFit gym, but with even more variety.  I've decided to join and I've also decided I'm crazy (If you're familiar with CrossFit, you'll understand why).  I've done some research and Matt has talked with the trainer and many women exercise like this while pregnant, with modifications of course.  I've read mixed reviews on ab work specifically and from what I've found it helps with discomforts of pregnancy, helps with labor and delivery (especially the pushing), and helps that tummy "bounce back" post-pregnancy.  Sounds worth it to me!  The one thing I have to be careful of is a condition called Diastasis Recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles.  It's common during pregnancy but many ab workouts can make it worse and more difficult to "bounce back " post-pregnancy.  I went for the first time today and LOVED it!  It's exactly what I need to stay motivated and see results.  They also offer childcare and yoga, so it'll be perfect post-pregnancy.

Freezer Meals  I've been wanting to start doing this for a while, but being pregnant and often lacking energy after work, along with the reality of the lack of time coming my way once Lucy arrives, I've decided to start freezing away! I made three different freezer-to-crock pot meals last weekend in the hope of getting some tasty go-to meals under my belt (or maybe I should say Bella Band) before they are really needed. 

It's pretty obvious this blog has taken a dramatic turn to everything pregnancy and I've been wrestling with ideas for a new title.  The natural shift has me anticipating this is going to turn into more of a "mommy blog" and a remodel is in order.  I find joy and receive much encouragement and knowledge from other mommies, and my hope is that I can do the same for others.  Ideas for a new blog title are welcomed!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's a Girl!

We found out a few weeks ago we are expecting a healthy baby girl!  That ultrasound appointment was so surreal, and knowing that the life inside of me is a girl makes me feel even more connected to our sweet baby.  Although women are the ones to go through the "bad" bits of pregnancy, we are also so blessed to experience this miracle in such a different way than our husbands.  I feel like Matt is missing out and I wish he could experience this pregnancy in the same way I am. 

We had a family friend make us a cake, and we had family over for the "big reveal".  My mom and Matt's mom each cut a corner of the cake at the same time to reveal the PINK inside.  We are so happy we decided to share the news with our family in this way, and we all had a great time celebrating and spending time together. 

Our baby girl already has a name too!  We had a list of names before I was even pregnant and one just continued to stand out to us and grow on us.  Our girl's name is Lucy Elizabeth :)  Matt's maternal grandmother's name was Lucille and my maternal grandmother's middle name was Elizabeth (which is also my middle name).  Lucy means "Light" and Elizabeth means "Born of God" or "I am God's daughter".  I love that the name has family ties, and I also love the meaning. 

Our prayer is that Lucy will be a beacon of God's light to everyone around her...

That she will love God, and love life and live it to its fullest...

That she will believe in herself and believe in miracles...

That she will respect her family, respect others, and respect herself...

That she will trust in her strength and capabilities, trust God at all times, and trust us to guide her...

That she will be optimistic with both feet firmly planted on the ground...

That she will be full of joy with a smile that will light up a room...

And that she will be filled with discernment and grace.

We love you, Lucy Elizabeth, and are so excited to meet you!  You have an amazing family anxious to meet you and shower you with love. 

"This Little Light of Mine" by Addison Road is my song for my daughter.  My prayer is that I can let my "little light" Lucy shine.  I love the lyrics to this song and sing it to Lucy often.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Week 22 Prego Points

Sick Day:  Today is a sick day for me...again :(  I had Strep throat around Thanksgiving and it feels like I have it again, but I went to my doctor yesterday and it's not Strep.  I just have to rest and wait it out.  Lots of water and soup for this momma.  I don't feel like I can sleep any more at this moment, so I thought it'd be a good time for a prego update.

The Gender Verdict:  Our diagnostic ultrasound was 1 week ago today and we now know if Baby B is a boy or a girl!  Baby B cooperated with us and we could clearly see everything we needed to see.  We aren't announcing the verdict until we tell our family this weekend (hopefully I'm feeling better by then).  A family friend is making a cake for us and we'll have our parents cut into it to reveal a pink or blue cake, and everyone gets to find out together!  The other day, while Matt and I were talking about this weekend, he called it a "sex party".  After we stopped laughing, we decided not to call it that again.

Healthy Baby:  Aside from knowing if we have a prince or a princess, we were thrilled to see that all organs and body parts are looking healthy.  Based on measurements of body parts, it is estimated that Baby B weighs 1 pound and is in the 58th percentile.  When the doctor got to the heart, I loved what he said..."Strong heart, beautiful heart, couldn't ask for a better heart."  That has been my prayer for Baby B and not just in terms of health.  I pray that Baby B has a heart of service, of love, and of justice.  That Baby B is kind and generous and empathetic. 

Active Baby:  I love than I can feel Baby B moving around, and can see my stomach moving as well.  I'm sure I've mentioned it already, but I'm having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the miracle taking place inside me.  There is a human in there!  It's amazing how much more connected I feel to Baby, and enjoy being able to say "there's the head" (lower right).  I wish Matt could experience these feelings the same way I am, but he does enjoy having his hand on my belly whenever he can. 

I love that cute little nose!  What do you think...Boy or Girl?