Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Books

Kami Gray - The Denim Diet: 16 Simple Habits To Get You Into Your Dream Pair of Jeans

Michael Ruhlman - The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection

Beth Moore - Get Out of that Pit: Straight Talk about God’s Deliverance

Regina Leeds - The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Decluttering

Lennard Bickel - Mawson's Will: The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written

Cindy Glovinsky - Making Peace with the Things in Your Life

Lisa Whelchel - Taking Care of the Me in Mommy: Realistic Tips for Becoming a Better Mom - Spirit, Body & Soul

Michael Ruhlman - The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America

Val Frankel - Thin is the New Happy: A Memoir

Jan Burke - Flight

I. J. Parker - The Dragon Scroll

Peter Robinson - Friend of the Devil

Peter Tremayne - Absolution by Murder

Rennie Airth - River of Darkness

Jennifer Block - Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care

Robert Jordan - Knife of Dreams

Peter Heller - Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet’s Tsangpo River

Jan Wong - A Comrade Lost and Found: A Beijing Story

Regina Leeds - One Year to an Organized Work Life: From Your Desks to Your Deadlines, the Week-by-Week Guide to Eliminating Office Stress for Good

Laura Lippman - Baltimore Blues

Richard J. Foster - Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation

Judith S. Beck - The Complete Beck Diet for Life: The 5-Stage Program for Permanent Weight Loss

Patricia Reilly Giff - Willow Run

Jim Fay & Charles Fay - Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years

Robert Jordan - Crossroads of Twilight

Marq De Villiers and Sheila Hirtle - Sable Island: The Strange Origins and Curious History of a Dune Adrift in the Atlantic

Thelma A. Meyer - Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home: No-Nonsense Advice That Will Inspire You to Clean Like the Dickens

Jan Burke - Bones

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Memory Verse

Matthew 4:19, English Standard Version

And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Week Twenty-Nine & Thirty

Combining into one post since I was out of town last week & didn't get to post anything.

We had a huge 8-day road trip over these weeks and I discovered that my stamina is definitely not what it usually is. I would CRASH in the evening and fall asleep very quickly. That actually was kind of nice; usually I have trouble falling asleep but most nights I was lucky if I could make it past 10:00.

I tried to be very careful and not overdo it, but a couple of the days I could tell that I probably had. By the time I'd get to the hotel room in the evening I was having lots of pain & even some contractions. Resting on the bed & drinking lots of water seemed to be all I needed however.

I must be looking significantly more pregnant now too, because I had lots of comments during the trip. I'm not quite used to it! And it felt weird being offered some special privileges on one of our tours but by the end of the tour I was glad I'd said yes. I climbed up the 54 stairs at the first tour stop, but took the elevator down and used the elevator on the other stop. There were only a few of us allowed to use the elevator, but I'm glad I could (and I probably shouldn't have climbed them the first time; it wore me out and I had a heck of a time catching my breath!)

It was also somewhat strange to do so much less than normal when it came to loading & unloading the truck when we left & when we'd stop for each day/start up again in the morning. L has a really bad back so usually I try to not leave him with too much stuff, but this time he did most of it. And yes, when we road trip it we don't travel especially light. We each bring a pillow (makes it so much nicer when I have my favorite pillow), I always have a sack full of books to read, he's got his laptop, etc. etc. etc.

One thing I noticed and was slightly concerned about was that I had a number of occasions of feeling really light-headed, almost to the point where I thought I'd faint. I discussed it with my doctor after my return and she said it could have been my blood sugar if I hadn't had enough protein at my last meal. Considering how difficult it was for me to get protein at every meal (carbs are so much more easily accessible, especially for breakfast and snacks), that sounded very likely to me to be the cause, and it reinforced for me how much I need to concentrate on getting enough protein. For someone like me who dislikes many sources of protein, this can be a challenge. I should have brought a jar of peanut butter with me on the trip; I've done it in the past and it would have been a great idea. I also don't know why I didn't think of packing some almonds or walnuts or something similar - they would have been another easily transportable choice.

Still having the heartburn, but the nosebleeds seem to maybe have gotten better. I hope that continues! (I started drafting this email on Thursday evening, and a couple of hours after writing this, I had one of my worst nosebleed ever, since that was the first time I've ever had it where I discovered it by noticing the blood on my shirt. Sheesh, type too soon or something??)

I've been having increasingly bad back pain, and my ob-gyn referred me to a physical therapy clinic. I had an appointment with them this week as well (Wednesday was doctor day for me; I ended up not going in to work at all because of the spacing of my two appointments). Apparently my extremely bad knees (stupid genetics) have led me to have some bad walking/sitting/standing/living practices when it comes to using my leg muscles vs. my back and abdominal muscles. Usually this compensating behavior isn't noticeable for me, but as my abdomen grows bigger and those muscles are otherwise engaged, it's putting more strain on my back & hip muscles which can't handle it. And it's manifesting in severe lower back pain. Or at least that's what I think he was saying. The good news is the doctor was very confident that he could help me, and I'll be visiting him twice a week for four weeks, then probably once a week for another 2 - 3 to learn stretches & exercises I can do, as well as receive treatment. After the baby arrives & I've recovered, I'll probably go back for a few more weeks to work on strengthening some of my underused muscles and stop compensating with some overused muscles. But, it doesn't sound like an unfixable problem or something that would mean never-ending doctor visits. So yay for that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm Looking Forward To...

(because when you can't think of anything else to write, lists are always easy)
  1. This baby arriving!

  2. Baby showers. Believe it or not, I'm having THREE of them! One at work (thanks Jennifer!), one with L's family, and one with L's friends. That makes it sound like I have no friends, doesn't it? Well, I don't really in this state outside of work, and they're already covered. I'm friendly with L's friends, but we're not close. It still kind of amazes me since I had no bridal shower(s). That's what I get for getting engaged immediately after moving to a new state - I had hardly met anyone here so...

  3. Getting the baby's room finished. I must be nesting based on my excitement level over getting furniture arranged & all that.

  4. Shopping for this baby. I've been waiting until the showers are done, so I know what I have & what I'll need but I so want to pick out a homecoming outfit for this little guy.

  5. Telling everyone what his name will be! I know, we've done this to ourselves by deciding not to share before birth, but it's getting harder & harder for me not to share.

  6. My birthday. I need to figure out (i.e. decide) what to ask for it.... Only a few more weeks!

  7. Taking a cake decorating class with my friend Jennifer. How fun does that sound?!? Eventually I'd love to take additional classes from Jo-Ann like knitting, crochet, or sewing.

  8. Getting a fancy manicure/pedicure at a nearby beauty school. Also with Jennifer. We really need to stop talking about it and just schedule it. Although I will admit, they also have a hair & scalp renewal treatment and stress relieving experience that both sound wonderful as well. It might be a tough choice.

  9. Getting haircut. I am way overdue.

  10. Finishing up some projects at work so I can leave with a clean(ish) slate.

  11. Dinner. I'm making pita bread pizza and salad. The whole wheat pitas look delicious, and I've got some great veggies to make it a more interesting salad than just lettuce. Yum!

  12. Strawberry pie. I've got the ingredients, I just have to get the energy to make it (before the strawberries go bad). Probably Saturday morning since it's really doubtful I will after work tomorrow, and I know it won't be tonight.

  13. Summer fruits. I love love LOVE nectarines. I could eat them every day and I don't think I'd ever get tired of them. I certainly don't before their season ends. And the ones that are available the rest of the year don't even compare. And other summer fruits are good too.

  14. Eating here. No plans on when this will happen, but I would love to get there soon. Mmmm, beef. Maybe I can talk Jennifer into going there with me before maternity leave starts. Jennifer??

  15. Making homemade bagels. I'm just not yet sure which ones to try first. Or maybe I should try bialys instead?

  16. Getting a good night's sleep tonight. Last night was not a good night, and I'm exhausted. I hope to sleep well tonight! The bed is already calling to me...

  17. Heaven. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

  • That we're home safely after a nice trip.

  • That the check engine light didn't come on once during our trip (it's been about a six-week project with L working on it; he'd try one thing and it would seem to work for a few days, then the light would come back. Apparently it's fixed now.)

  • No real issues for me with traveling while 29/30 weeks pregnant. Some family members were shocked that we'd even consider the trip, and didn't seem too appeased to hear that we'd discussed it with my doctor. I'm glad they weren't given a chance to say "told you so."

  • That so far I seem to have avoided the sickness that has had L on the couch all day. Poor guy, he's miserable. Glad he made it home at least before succumbing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

We're Off

To Texas that is. Back next week...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 , English Standard Version

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,

that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Week Twenty-Eight

This feels like a more momentous week than it probably truly is, but now my doctor's appointments shift to every two weeks. For whatever reason, that seems like it means that 28 weeks is a bigger deal than it would otherwise be.

Feeling still much like last week. Still with the back pain, occasional crampiness and contraction, occasional nausea, and continual nosebleeds, and HEARTBURN. Wow, the heartburn.

I had my 28-week labs at my doctor's appointment too - testing my iron levels, glucose tolerance (the one-hour, non-fasting test), and CBC. And I got a shot of rhogam since I'm rh negative, so that felt like a full appointment. The glucose drink was as gross as I feared; nasty sweet orange stuff, so I'm glad that I could drink some water after it to get the taste out of my mouth.

That was all Monday. Wednesday I got my lab results back and I was a big failure. Not completely; my CBC looked good, but I'm somewhat anemic so I have to go on iron pills. And I was at 140 on the glucose tolerance test, and they consider passing to be 130 and below. Which tells me they're hard-core about passing levels. That means I had to return for the three-hour, fasting test, and in order to fit it in before my next doctor's appointment I had to do it Thursday or Friday; otherwise we'll be out of town.

So instead of Friday being a leisurely day of packing and getting ready for vacation, it became a spend-hours-at-the-doctor's-office-day. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything (besides water) after midnight, then I had to show up at the doctor's office at 8:45 where they'd draw an initial blood sample, after which I'd drink twice as much of that nasty orange drink, and then get my blood drawn again at 9:45, 10:45, and 11:45. After that I'd finally be sprung to get some food.

Of course I'm up early so I was desperately wishing my appointment could have been earlier so it would all be done earlier. I easily could have been there for a 7:45 start. Instead they're running behind so I don't get started on the test until 9:05. Another 20 minutes which at that point is just killing me.

I am so glad that I'm not phobic about needles, because 4 sticks in 3 hours would probably be a little hard to handle if I was.

After the 9:45 blood draw (actually drawn at 10:05), I decided to go back to the parking garage and sit in my car and wait until I had to show up for the 10:45 draw (which actually wouldn't be until 11:10). I used my cell phone as an alarm to make sure I started walking back in in time, but the seat in my car is much more comfortable (lumbar support!) than the waiting room seats, and it was quieter which made it easier to lose myself in a book instead of checking the time every 5 minutes. I did the same before the last blood draw (anticipated time when I arrived that morning: 11:45; actual time: 12:15).

Obviously I survived it all and immediately dashed to the nearest restaurant to get some food. I wasn't going home because 1) there wasn't anything fast to eat there as we try and empty the fridge before departure 2) it was quicker to hit a drive through than driving home even if there had been something there (and I guess pb&j would have been quick) 3) if I'd gone home I'd have crashed on the couch and I HAD to try and find some additional maternity shirts, and hopefully some shorts/capris too for our trip.

McD*nalds has never tasted so good.

I spent the next 5 hours hitting various stores in the area looking for clothes. A nearby Goodwill got me 7 tops, 2 pairs of pants and even a skirt (a SKIRT!). L mentioned that he can't remember when I last wore a skirt. Poor man, he's right. My job just isn't conducive to skirt-wearing, but for $3 I'll buy this one and if I only wear it occasionally it's still worth it.

The 7 tops is a little misleading; 2 of them are tank tops which I won't wear out of the house, but still. I think I may appreciate them this summer. One of them is a nursing top too, so I definitely think I'll appreciate that during the summer. And another one is long-sleeve so again, it won't get much use now but cool spring weather has held out long enough now that I really can use it.

I got other stuff that may or may not be kept, but I'll get his opinion on the pieces before deciding what I'll keep and what I'll return. It's harder to pay regular prices after the deals I can get at Goodwill. Best of all, there's at least two other Goodwills I can hit that are in nice suburbs near here that may have some good stuff. I'm sort of hoping to make it to one this morning.

Best of all though, I got a voicemail from the doctor's office asking me to call to discuss my lab results, but she also added that everything looked good. I assume that means I passed; the office was closed by the time I got the message so I don't know for sure, but what else would that mean?

So, yeah, my latest week. Not in a nutshell because apparently once I stop typing I can't stop.

Most likely no update next week as we'll be out of town, but I may try and write it up once I get back to my computer.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


We're leaving for vacation in a few days.

No, I'm not trying to be coy and unspecific when I say few days. I'm not sure when we're leaving. Could be Saturday. Or Sunday. Or Monday. Or even Tuesday I suppose. L has been so distracted with his baseball drafts that we haven't made any real plans. I haven't really done any planning either because the enjoyment I used to get out of planning trips has been destroyed by having a job that involves making travel arrangements for people in my department.

I do know that we have tickets to a baseball game for Saturday night (the 18th). So we have one date where we have to be in a specific city by a specific time. Besides that...

We're driving, obviously, because we couldn't be so flaky about it if we had plane tickets or anything. I'm just not sure how much I care about having a real plan or if I am happy to just take off and go & whatever we end up seeing/doing is fine. I usually have an itinerary to follow so we don't miss things I want to see, but now? I'm more worried about finding a couple more shirts and some shorts that will be comfortable. I have to fit some shopping in between now & departure or I'll be shopping while we're traveling with I'm sure would just thrill L to no end.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

  • Vacation in less than a week. So excited.

  • L had an indicator light on in his truck and after some visits to AutoZ*ne he figured out what the problem was, got it fixed, and got the indicator light cleared. Without having to take the truck in to the shop and pay big service fees. He's fairly handy when it comes to basic household repairs & stuff, but he's new to working on vehicles, so I'm extra proud of him.

  • I survived my 28-week doctor's visit with the glucose test and rhogam shot it involved. I was kind of dreading it, so I'm glad to have it behind me (extra joke there for those who've had the shot). Now I just hope that I passed that test & don't have to take the 3-hour one!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Making My Home A Haven

This week Tammy builds on previous weeks routines and adds being loving to your family.

This is something I've always worked hard on; I don't ever want to fall into the trap of treating strangers or acquaintances better than I do my husband; something I've seen with others and which could be easy to do. I'm finding it especially difficult now because I think the pregnancy hormones are making me extra cranky - I can tell that things I would easily ignore irritate me so much more. I have to consciously remind myself that those things are not a big deal and I'm just overreacting.

I think this also makes me think of some of my feelings during my mother-in-law's most recent visit. She messed up my morning routine every day she was here you see, and I had to almost mentally slap myself for getting frustrated that she was trying to - horrors - talk to me while I ate my breakfast and then during what is normally my devotional and Bible reading time. Thinking about the fact that I'm trying to grow spiritually and become more Christ-like made it pretty obvious, even to me in my early morning cranky state, that I needed to close my books and respond to her. No, my morning routine never got completed those days, but it was only three days, and she didn't have to return to her home upset that her daughter-in-law would rather read spiritual materials than speak with her.

Sad that I actually had to point this out to myself, isn't it?

I'm also generally easily irritated by little things and I'm slowly getting better at reminding myself to look at the big picture and that I love my husband, whether or not he closes cabinet doors or whatever else it might be that annoys me. Would I rather have a loving home with the occasional kitchen cabinet left wide open or a husband upset at being nagged to shut the doors. Another one where it's sad how slow I am to get over myself and act with love.

This might be a little off track of where Tammy was taking her idea, but it's what her post brought to my mind...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Week Twenty-Seven

Pretty similar to last week still, although I did have a few moments of extreme nausea. No vomiting, but I'd managed to not even feel like I might for a while but it came back. Hopefully not to stay. ;)

I think I've been forgetting to mention one thing I've been dealing with from the very start of the pregnancy. Nose bleeds. It's a daily thing, and it's gross. Fortunately they're pretty small, but they last for ages.

I finally had someone ask me if I was pregnant. I had been wondering how long it would take before someone got confident enough to risk being wrong. Then a couple of hours later someone else just asked me when my baby was due, so I must have really looked it that day.

This week I also received a HUGE box of baby stuff from my family. One box of hand-me-downs, and one full of stuff still in packaging. Some really cute stuff in there too! We really need to step up on getting the nursery set up so we can have a better place to store everything that is accumulating. The last couple of week have brought very little progress partially due to a houseguest, but mostly because L has two fantasy baseball drafts this weekend and he's been working on writing a program for the one draft. Plus developing his draft strategy etc, etc. He takes it all very seriously. Hopefully after Sunday night he'll spend some of his time working on his office which is holding up everything else. Of course, we're going on vacation soon after that which still needs to be planned so I don't know when that will fit in.

Finally, I think I had my first contraction. (or did I already mention this? I'm forgetting what I've told L, friends, family, and the blog). I'm just sort of guessing that's what it was, so I responded to it by drinking some more water since I've heard that that can help prevent them. And, if it wasn't, well, it's still not like more water was going to hurt me. :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Banana-Buttermilk Muffins

1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (4 oz) whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup (4 oz) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (8 fl oz) buttermilk
1 cup (8 oz) mashed banana
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (2 oz) chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Spray 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper cups.  

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.

In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, banana, oil, egg, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops evenly with the walnuts.

Bake the muffins until they are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 - 20 minutes.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and let cool completely.

I followed the recipe exactly except I probably used a teaspoon and a half of vanilla, and I omitted the nuts on the tops of the muffins since L doesn't really like them enough to make the calories and expense worth it to use them. And it made 20 muffins for me; my muffin pans must be smaller than standard because I couldn't have filled them more than I did without having overflow.

I really appreciated that the recipe gave measurements in both volume and weight.  I very much prefer to weigh ingredients, especially flour, and love it when recipes provide it already and I don't have to convert cups to ounces.

Once I dig out the reference, I'll update the post to include where I found the recipe.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Books

Jayne Williams - Slow Fat Triathlete: Living Your Athletic Dreams in the Body You Have Now

George M. Taber - To Cork or Not To Cork: Tradition, Romance, Science, and the Battle for the Wine Bottle

Judy Blundell - What I Saw and How I Lied

Catherine Newman - Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family

Robert Jordan - Winter's Heart

Matthew Hart - The Irish Game: A True Story of Crime and Art

M. R. Montgomery - A Cow’s Life: The Surprising History of Cattle and How the Black Angus Came to Be Home on the Range

Laura Lippman - Life Sentences

Steven K. Scott - The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon's Secrets to Success, Wealth, and Happiness

Johanna Reiss - A Hidden Life: A Memoir of August 1969

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - The Lacemaker and the Princess

Henci Goer - The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

Robert Jordan - The Path of Daggers

David Hackett Fischer - Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America

Susan C. Pinsky - Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized

Sue Henry - Degrees of Separation

America's Test Kitchen - 834 Kitchen Quick Tips: Techniques and Shortcuts for the Curious Cook

Sharon Creech - Heartbeat

Jon & Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson - Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets

Robert Jordan - A Crown of Swords

Judith Matloff - Home Girl: Building a Dream Home on a Lawless Block

Ann Rinaldi - Nine Days a Queen: The Short Life and Reign of Lady Jane Grey

Lindsey Crittenden - The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray

Daniel L. Gilbert - Magi

Julie Tupler - Maternal Fitness

Robert Jordan - Lord of Chaos

Thad Carhart - The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier

Jan Burke - Liar

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - Leap of Faith