Little One

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If you're friends with me on Facebook, then you already know the news...

I am pregnant! The little one is the size of a lime at 11 weeks. I am due in late August.

Sorry for the iPhone photo. I look very washed out, with creepy ghost feet, but we took this after my second midwife appointment today on a drizzly day with gray skies. Plus, I'm very pale anyway.

I'm borrowing some of these questions from

How far along? A little over 11 weeks.
Total weight gain? A whopping 2 pounds. The weight must be migrating towards my belly area.
Maternity clothes? I have a few things, but mostly rocking some looser clothes, sweatpants, and the larger sizes from my weight gain days on the Bipolar meds. And who said that BPD would be all bad? Extra sizes work out well here!
Sleep? Other than waking up to relieve my bladder, good. Creep-tastic dreams though.
Best day this week? Hearing my sweet babe's heartbeat today! It was like trying to hear underwater, but we eventually found him/her (right in the middle of my belly) rocking 160 bpm (that's a great heartbeat). And getting to tell everyone.
Miss anything? I don't drink much normally, but craved a margarita the other night- perhaps I'll just eat the lime in the picture with salt. I wish I could have deli meat too. Buying Boar's Head for Thomas is giving me cravings!
Movement? I wish! That's going to be awesome.
Food cravings? Cheese. More cheese. But my midwife gave me the green light on soft cheese as long as its pasteurized, so eating some brie, bacon, and fig jam grilled cheese. I could eat a hamburger a day, too.
Aversions? No Chinese. The smell, talking about it, anything makes me disgusted.
Have you started to show? It more feels like a food baby than anything else! I'm guessing that I will start showing within the next few weeks.
Happy or moody? Freaking ecstatic. My psychiatrist was right- the hormones that can throw neurotypical people out of whack can set me straight. How cool is that?
Looking forward to? Movement.
Have you told? Yes, I think this blog and Facebook indicate that.
Doctor/midwife? Decided on a midwife and I am loving my choice. Certified Nurse Practitioner and midwife in one. She's very relaxed and calming. Also, it's a fully staffed OB office- if there are any complications that require an OB, I am covered there. Thomas and I are both happy.
Ultrasound? Had one at 7.5 weeks to confirm the pregnancy (I have pictures, but it doesn't look like much), and I'm expecting my next around 20 weeks.

I am still deciding about how much of this blog will be pregnancy (then parenting) related, or if I'll start something separate or not. For now, I will try for a weekly update or so, and try to be honest as always about how this effects my Bipolar Disorder and my faith. If you have questions relating to that, email or comment and I'll do my best to answer them. I'm not terribly shy and have found out there aren't a lot of resources for Bipolar mammas.

Some things we have decided.
-Not to share the names we have chosen. It's hard, but people make all kinds of weird faces and comments when you share your names that you worked so hard to agree on! However, when a cute little wrinkly baby comes out attached to that name, most people are a bit more hesitant to share anything other than kind words.
-Not to give out the final due date to too many people. This is my first child, and first kids almost always come late. It will be hard enough waiting without people asking if it's happened yet! It is in late August. Trust me, you will know soon after it happens!

Quick meal ideas for busy people

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'm still a little stuck with ideas for posts, but I'm committing to posting regularly anyway. I've had lots of people ask me about meal ideas - especially the cheap and super fast ones. Pinterest can be amazing, but a little daunting too, so here are some tried and true we-make-it-all-the-time options. Hopefully you'll find some stuff you can work into your meal rotations. I didn't want to make this endlessly long, but here are 5 quick dinners, one make ahead breakfast; one longer dinner; and 2 if you've really got time and want to knock it out of the park. Links included.

Brie, Bacon & Fig Jam Grilled Cheese
from Sweet Sugar Bean
This will knock your socks off. The first time I made it, Thomas was speechless for the whole meal. I just asked him, "Thomas, are you having a relationship with your sandwich right now?" He just nodded yes with big puppy dog eyes. Our tips: cut your bacon strips in half (good, thick bacon) before cooking; get the wedge of brie, not the round; the fig jam (don't skip it) can be found in your grocery store near the pb&j; we use good, thick Pepperidge Farmhouse Sourdough; butter the outside of the sandwich on both sides. This wins no awards for healthy eating. But it takes the cake in melt-in-your-mouth amazingness and it's very fast.

Savory Breakfast Muffins
from My Bizzy Kitchen
Not a dinner idea, but these are great for making ahead and freezing. I had to play around with it a bit to get the results I wanted, but by adding a little more buttermilk to the too-dry dough, skipping the roasted red pepper, and adding cheddar cheese, they worked out great. I'm due to make another batch soon. The nutrition facts are listed under the recipe.

Roman Holiday Pasta
from Faith and Macaroni
This quickly became one of the most visited places on my blog. Several friends have made it now and they agree- it's as good as I say it is. This is quick and can easily serve 1 person or 10. Adding veggies or chicken would be very easy to do and could easily put this in the one-dish meal category.

French Dip Crescents
from Mama Loves Food!
Fast and cheap and delicious. Our changes: using the large size crescent rolls; only using half the recipe (it's usually just me and Thomas); using whatever roast beef is on sale- prepackaged or deli counter; Provolone cheese sliced or grated (whatever we have on hand); and extra horseradish sauce instead of the au jus. Out of these recipes, you need to try this. It's about 5 minutes of prep and then the rest is short baking time. Pared with a salad and some fruit, this is a family favorite. Lots of good recipes on her site.

Chicken gyros
This took a whopping 2 minutes to put together. Inspired by the Chicken Gyros at a favorite local restaurant (the Mustard Seed), these are so fast. I'm going to give you the absolute quickest way to put these together. To lower the cost, you can make some things on your own. Ingredients: Crumbled feta; small & thick pitas; washed Romaine lettuce; pre-made tzatziki sauce (got mine at Trader Joe's for $3); pre-grilled chicken (can also be found at Trader Joe's, or cook ahead yourself). Place a pita (or half of one) on your plate. Top with Romaine. In a separate bowl mix the hot, cooked chicken (I like mine cubed, strips work) and the tzatziki sauce so the chicken is thoroughly coated. Put on top of your pita. Top with crumbled feta. It doesn't get much simpler. Can also add tomatoes or cucumber too. Another thing that's easy for one person or a crowd. Sorry I don't have pictures.

Fish tacos
Oh this really isn't a recipe. It's just letting you know that there's an update to taco night. We buy the large bags of frozen tilapia fillets and use them up this way. Get a package of the Kraft Fresh Take Chili Lime & Panko breadcrumb mix (refrigerated section). Prepare and cook the thawed fish according to the Kraft directions. Slice the fish and use that for your tacos instead of ground beef. In addition to the traditional route of lettuce, cheese, salsa, etc, we also love the Kraft Sandwich shop Chipotle Mayo. It's not too spicy, but adds a nice kick. Again, very fast.

If you have a little more time and really want to impress...
Bang Bang Chicken (or Shrimp) - one of Thomas's all-time favorites
Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo -a much requested meal. Easy, but time-intensive.
Ina Garten's Shrimp Scampi (doesn't take that much longer)

*Kraft didn't pay me to say those things, just sharing some products that we honestly use and love. Trader Joe's likewise did not compensate me for promoting them. I just get lots of "where'd you get that?" questions and I thought I'd share.

Music to get you through the rest of the week

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" -Stevie Wonder. I watched You've Got Mail. You can't tell me that you don't want to dance. Sing. Look like a fool.

2. "Bossa Nova Baby" -Elvis Presley. You know kids, let's just keep on dancing today.

3. "Feeling Alright" -Joe Cocker. Please tell me you're feeling groovier after checking out his shirt- and the sideburns.

4. "Lonely Boy" -The Black Keys. I love this man and his dance moves. Watch it all the way to the end- it just keeps getting better.

5. "50 Ways to Say Goodbye" -Train. Because it's funny and stuck in my head often.

6. "More Than a Feeling" -Boston. This one is for my husband. But before you ask, I love you sweetie, but you would look ridiculous with a mustache like that.

It's been a while

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's been a while since I've written. As in, let's not even count how many weeks have gone by. But just like my mother said, the longer you wait to do something, the harder it gets to accomplish it. So I'm diving in.

I make my epic return to tell you about how much I don't want to go to the grocery store. Normally, I love the grocery store. It is my weekly ritual. On Tuesdays, I drive to Publix. I endeavor to spend as little as possible, but feeding yourself is not cheap. If it gets much more expensive, Thomas and I will go back to processed food. We'll eat store-brand Spaghettio's daily. Maybe some soup. Canned milk. Canned fruit. As it stands, we are doing quite well in our quest for healthy food and shopping the perimeter of the grocery store. However, relying on fresh stuff does not give us a fighting chance should the zombie apocalypse happen. You really have to pick your battles. If you'll check the calendar, you'll notice it's Friday. I still haven't gone this week. I just want to take a nap. Forget food.

Let's also speak for a minute on snow. While it seems like everyone north of the South Carolina/North Carolina boarder was getting snow, Charleston experienced some balmy weather, to the extent of 79 or 80 degrees some days. Perfect weather in my mind. It's back to this 55 degree nonsense and I have to put on a coat when I go outside. All I have to say is that when it comes time for Thomas to get his next orders, we better be going to Georgia, because if we get sent to Groton, you'll find my cold, dead, frozen, Southern carcass in the Connecticut street with the snow slush. I don't know that I would make it out of there alive. Maybe I'll just need new clothes. I probably don't even know what a real winter coat looks like. Do people really wear long johns outside of Little House in the Big Woods?

But, at the very least, my mother taught me (along with every other good Southern mother, I'm sure), that despite living near the beach, we do not go out in public dressed in our bathing suits. Swim suits are not clothing, despite what the Yankees wear in our grocery stores and in Target. An XXL t-shirt covering your tiny bikini doesn't make it better. WEAR PANTS. We are buying food for our tables, to feed to our families- we don't want to see that.

So don't worry, Mom. I'm going to the grocery store ( some point today), fully clothed. With dry hair. I'm even wearing shoes that require socks. And I'm wearing the socks.