Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Curry Chicken Skewers

This is another winner from Suzanne Somers and comes from her Slim and Sexy Forever cookbook.  We're getting more grilling weather lately, and the next time you fire up your "barbie" you have to give this one a try.  Matt and I recently went to Ravish (the restaurant that catered our wedding) and had some chicken skewers, and he said these were better!  I can definitely say they were easier to remove from the skewers than Ravish's :)  I cooked up three chicken breasts because that's how many were in my package, so I doubled the marinade.  It gave us plenty of dipping sauce and just a couple leftover skewers.  So, keep this in mind if cooking for more than two people, or you want more leftovers.  I'm also going to try this as a freezer meal for when Baby Lucy is here!

What You Need:
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste (sold in small jars in the ethnic aisle of the grocery store)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (from the can, not the kind you would use in your cereal)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into lengthwise into 4 pieces
What You Do:
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the curry paste, coconut milk, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Add the chicken and coat well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Heat the grill.  Remove chicken from marinade and skewer with either presoaked wooden skewers or metal skewers. 
  4. On a hot grill, cook until done, about 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Meanwhile, to make a dipping sauce, bring some leftover marinade to a boil on the stove, then cool slightly and blend in a couple of tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter (I used creamy). 
Happy Grilling!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tarragon Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups

Carbs have not been my best friend with this Gestational Diabetes, but oh how I miss them!  I have been getting by with a couple of cookbooks I have never used until now.  This recipe comes from Suzanne Somers' Eat Great, Lose Weight.  I now wonder why I've waited so long to use her cookbooks, because every single meal I've made from them has been so delicious; Matt says some of his favorites yet!  This chicken salad was not only amazingly mouth-watering, but so easy to make too.  I cooked chicken up especially for this salad, but it would be a great meal to make using leftover chicken from a previous night's dinner.  If you're not being forced to restrict your carb intake, this would make a delicious sandwich!

What You Need:
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (be sure to season well with salt and pepper before cooking)
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (there's also a recipe for homemade mayo in this cookbook)
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/4 sweet onion (Maui or Vidalia), finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped (I had green, so that's what I used)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Sprigs of fresh tarragon for garnish, optional.
What You Do:
  1. Place all ingredients for chicken salad (first 7 ingredients) in a bowl and mix until well combined.  Adjust seasonings to your liking. 
  2. Place a large dollop of chicken salad in each lettuce leaf.  Garnish with green onions and tarragon.  Then fold it up like a taco and enjoy.
Makes 4-6 lettuce cups.  I think Matt and I got a little more than that out of it and had just a little left over.  So, it may be a good idea to double the recipe if cooking for four people, etc...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Week 34 Prego Points

Gestational Diabetes:  Although frustrating at times when all I want is a brownie, I've found some good sweet-tooth alternatives that don't spike my blood sugar and the diabetes is really easy to keep under control.  I haven't had another ultrasound yet, but I'm going to ask about that today when I call my numbers in.  I'll have to share some recipes we've been enjoying lately.  They are great for my diabetes, and have also been some of Matt's favorites!

Fundal Height Measurement:  My belly measurement at 33 weeks was 34 cm.  Still on track, but it's the first time the measurement has been one centimeter over my week.  Slow down Lucy :)

Weight Gain:  As of last Thursday, my total weight gain was 24 pounds.  So my last Prego Points update was incorrect. 

Sleep:  I'm thankful to still be sleeping well!  No more leg cramps since that one a few weeks ago.  I have started to get up around 1:00-2:00 a.m. to empty my bladder, but not every night.

Project Nursery:  We have new blinds installed, the trim cut and painted, and we have the first coat of white on all the door frames. I will get the second coat of paint on the door frames tonight as Matt installs the trim!  Matt should also have the closet organization system installed by this weekend and then we get the dresser put together and Lucy's items can start going in her room instead of taking over our office.  Several items have been ordered and are on their way to nursery land!  I know we (hopefully) have 6 more weeks to go, but I really feel like we're behind.  I would love if the room was ready by now.  Click HERE for pictures of the nursery update. 
Upstairs is a mess right now!
Nesting:  Not really "nesting" yet, but I know it doesn't always happen for everyone and it can also manifest in different ways for every momma-to-be.  I have had bursts of energy and have done some organizing, but nothing out of the ordinary for me anyway.  I welcome the crazy nesting to begin any time now :)

Home Birth Kit:  My birth kit arrived!  Click HERE to watch the video.

Labor Bag:  Now that I have my birth kit, I'm starting to put together "Labor Bags" for myself and Matt.  For Matt, I want to be sure he doesn't forget his swim shorts in case I want him in the water with me.  He might not want to strip down to his underwear to do so :)  When the bags are packed and ready, I'll do a video for that so you can see what we're taking.  I did buy some aromatherapy oil to add to my bag .  Peppermint helps with nausea, and lemon is renewing and I just love the way it smells!!  We are practicing using all of my senses during labor.

Birth Preparation Workshop:  Our birth workshop was last weekend, and what an amazing experience!  If you live in the Seattle area, we HIGHLY recommend Patti Ramos!  She is a doula and birth educator, and even if you plan on giving birth in the hospital with a doctor, take this class!  She showed us many techniques to help baby turn and get into the proper position.  One of which has been named "The Ramos" and 90% of the time allows the momma to avoid a c-section by getting the baby to rotate into position.  Matt calls it the "Cirque du Soleil" because it is...somewhat acrobatic and works best with two people assisting.  Matt was happy to learn that our 2-day workshop had been condensed to one day since one mommy-to-be was in labor, one was on bed-rest, and a couple other had to cancel.  Since there were only four couples total, we were able to complete the workshop in one day.  Many of my fears were laid to rest, and all of my questions were answered.  Everyone in the class cried, more than once, and it was definitely more emotional than we were expecting.  At times it was like a marriage retreat and Matt and I feel so much closer and connected, and are even more excited for the birth experience.  The Ice Journey is something I don't even know how to explain, and if you plan on taking Patti's class I'm sworn to secrecy.  Patti wants couples coming in to have no expectations in order to get the most out of, not only the workshop, but the birth simulation as well.  Let me tell you, you won't be disappointed working with Patti!  Sure, there are birth classes at hospitals all over the place, but I really feel like this is unique.

Overall, I'm starting to feel tired and easily out of breath, and have also had moments of dizziness.  While cooking dinner last night after work, I had to pull a chair over to the counter because I had to keep sitting down to rest.  It's frustrating, but understandable, as all my organs are being squished as baby grows...most notably, my lungs.  I've put a hold on my gym membership and am sticking to walking now.  I'm definitely moving slower at work, which puts me behind by 10 minutes all day long at times.  I have mixed feelings about work being a little slow right now.  I welcome the shorter days and work weeks at times, but also know my paychecks are about to come to a halt for a while and would really like them in full for now. 

Thanks for checking in and for all the sweet comments.  We are getting so excited to meet our sweet girl!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Project Nursery: Paint and Trim

The nursery is painted, the new blinds are installed, and this afternoon we worked on the trim (for the nursery as well as the hallway).  This week on Matt's agenda is to install the trim and get the closet organization system installed.  I've been searching for the perfect curtain rod and having a difficult time, so that remains on my agenda  Seems like a simple project, but I haven't found a white curtain rod yet.  I thought I could just paint the previous curtain rod in the room white and buy new ends, but that's proving to be difficult as well and Home Depot doesn't have a white rod nor the ends I want.  The search continues.  After this weekend, we will buy the dresser we have picked out from IKEA and get that put together and then Lucy's items received at her baby showers can be put in her room!
Cutting trim
Making sure everything fits before painting.
Painting trim (with no VOC paint, window open, and fan on :)
Painting the door frame (new white doors coming at some point).
Dry time!

Friday, May 18, 2012

What Comes in a Home Birth Kit? (My video debut!)

Have you ever wondered what comes in a home birth kit?

Me too!

Let's find out together as I open up my kit in my very first video...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Week 31 Prego Points

Gestational Diabetes:  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and have to test my blood sugar levels four times a day:  first thing in the morning, then one hour after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I then call my numbers in every Monday.  As long as I watch my carbohydrate and sugar intake, my blood sugar levels stay very stable and I do not have to take insulin.  If I did have to take insulin, my pregnancy would be determined to be high risk and I would no longer be able to work with our Midwife.  I'm missing my bagels in the morning and ice cream after dinner, but I can sacrifice some carbs if it means keeping myself and baby Lucy healthy.  There is definitely a silver lining:  Knowing, means I can keep myself and Lucy healthy, and greatly reduce my risk for developing Type II diabetes in the future.  My midwife, Nancy, said that in her 30 years she has never had a clients' blood sugar levels so high!

Leg Cramps:  I woke up in pain this morning about 5:00 a.m. with my first leg cramp.  Not a pleasant pregnancy milestone.  Because of the Gestational Diabetes, I cannot each much fruit (such a bummer) so bananas, cantaloupe, and even potatoes are not allowed to help with my potassium intake.  I already drink nothing but water, all day long.  My midwife suggested a warm bath with Epsom salts before bed because the Magnesium Sulfate will help

Nursery: After four different paint samples, we finally chose a color for Lucy's nursery walls! We chose Behr's Ice Folly.  A nice blue that's not TOO blue and I think it will look lovely with the white furniture.  Matt has also ripped out all the baseboard and door trim in not only the nursery, but in the hallway upstairs as well, so he can replace it with white baseboards to match the downstairs.  He's totally nesting right now :)

Fundal Height Measurement:  At 31 weeks, my belly measurement is right on track at 30 cm.

Weight Gain:  I gained another 4 pounds this month, which brings my total weight gain to about 24 pounds.  I can't really remember exactly after today's appointment for some reason.

Blood Pressure:  Nice and low at 100/60

Lucy's Heart Rate:  Strong and healthy at 140 bpm.  I love that sound!

Fetal Kicks:  Lucy has been moving and kicking like crazy!  I told Matt it's so amazing and creepy at the same time...but mostly amazing.  She is head-down, which makes momma happy.  My midwife told me that if she's head-down, she'll stay head-down.  It's so crazy seeing my belly jumping around and seeing what I think is a knee move across my tummy.  She also likes to stick her bum out on the right side and make my belly go completely lopsided.

Sleep:  I'm still sleeping really well, other than that leg cramp this morning :) 

Home Birth Kit:  It's time to order our home birth kit!  No, I'm not planning on giving birth at home, but I'll need it to give birth at Nancy's birth center, and we simply take it with us on D-day.  I can't believe we're close enough to be needing to order this!  I'll share the contents once I receive it.

What if I need to transfer to the hospital?  I get this question often from those concerned that I'm not giving birth in a hospital.  Our midwife, Nancy has delivered over 4,000 babies in homes and her birth center and has a transfer rate of only 4-5%.  This is lower that many midwives, who have transfer rates of 15-18%.  Most of her transfer rates are due to mothers asking for pain relief (epidural) after a long labor, and not due to an actual "emergency".  She said that if we do need to transfer, it's very easy and we won't have to worry about a thing.  Nancy handles everything and will have a hospital staff waiting for us when we arrive to the hospital if need be.  I'm not worried and I know we are in very knowledgeable and capable hands with Nancy. 

It's time for my appointments to be scheduled every 2 weeks instead of once a month.  I'll also be going in for more ultrasounds due the gestational diabetes; they'll want to take more measurements of Lucy to make sure she doesn't get too big.  We get to see more of her!!!