Thursday, September 26, 2013

17 weeks

How far along: 17 weeks - 3 more weeks until halfway!

How big is baby: 5 inches and almost 6 ounces - beefing up!

Weight gained: At the doctor on Tuesday it was 1.5 pounds, but it was a different office so I think their scales differ. At home it's about 3 pounds.

Maternity clothes: Well, I officially couldn't fit into a pair of pants (they were my moms pants so maybe they never fit?) I was subbing so wanted to wear khakis and can't find the pair of mine that I liked. I wore a belly band, and it worked. I think I look bigger in maternity clothes because I don't feel compelled to hold it all in. My friend Leah who is about 2 months ahead of me in her pregnancy told me that around this time she just kept telling everyone it was bloat, and one day she couldn't hold it in! I'm hoping that happens soon because I have never had a loose belly and I don't care if it's big, I just want it to stop jiggling.

Stretch marks: Just a very faint linea negra below my belly button.

Miss anything?: Two nights ago I was exhausted but stressed and a drink would have been nice. I'm actually not opposed to having one glass once a week, but I think I'll save that for the third trimester, if I decide to do it.

Movement: Nope, hopefully in the next couple weeks!

Cravings: Still crackers (currently on rosemary triscuits). The other night I craved a california roll or japanese lasagna - "fake" sushi. I am usually a raw tuna kinda gal, but blach (see below). 

Aversions:  Raw sushi. There was an event at my synagogue last week for Sukkot called "sushi and sake in the sukkah" and I thought I would have a roll since it was made fresh by sushi chefs they brought in (doc said sushi once a week is okay if it's reputable). I stood in line and when I got into the sukkah (it's like a little hut that you decorate and eat in), the smell was overwhelming and I had to leave. So sad! I better get my love of sushi back after bubba makes his great escape. Also, our fridge/freezer broke so I cooked like a million pounds of chicken in the crockpot before I left in the morning to sub, and when I came home the smell was very overwhelming. Not nauseating or anything, but just not pleasant to me. I still ate it and it tasted yummy, but the smell was tough.

Other symptoms: Head rushes haven't gone away, but maybe getting better? Also I had a couple days of mild queasiness - not nausea, but still not feeling as great as I was. Stuffy nose (this is common in pregnancy but it could be allergies?). Having to pee all the time (already?). And most notably, I am getting full very fast so I can only eat a little at a time, but then I am starving shortly after. Prego problems.

Most looking forward to: Going to LA today to visit Rose, and go to Emily's baby "sprinkle" on Saturday! Also, it's officially boots weather here!!!! Reference belly pic :-)

Life catchup!

I used to take so many more pictures, and then I sort of fell out of the blogging routine, and stopped taking all the pictures. But, I still blogged about the random stuff I did that nobody found amusing except maybe like 4 friends (including my mom) who were procrastinating doing things that were much more important. To you four readers - enjoy! I've found a few random pictures that have reminded me of things to write about!

Also, I really miss Charlie. Last night I just wanted him in bed next to me to cuddle. He told me to use pillows and I said I needed his nightly face stubble and hairy legs to warm up my feet, haha. I think we're almost at the 8 week mark - 2 months - of him being gone.  Same thing happened last time - this is when it gets tricky and I REALLY start to miss him. Not that I didn't before, but this is when it gets a bit harder. I am so grateful his deployments average 4.5 months. I know he goes more frequently than the guys who have to go for 9 months to a year (seriously can't fathom him being gone that long, those families are heroes). Even if he has to go more often, I'll take it. The broken up time makes it doable.

I've been enjoying learning my new sewing machine and am loving it. I have always been crafty and good with my hands, and even though most of the work is on the computer, I definitely have to cut things etc. I told Jaren I would open an Etsy shop called "Aggie-zines" and give Clara a penny for each sale for her college fund since she named me Aggie.

Today I made this Turkey with a monogram for a friend.

Charlie said it looked better and I asked him if he could even notice or was just being nice, and he told me that the lines looked straighter, etc. Husband passed the test :-)

I still have a lot to fix - for example the pattern I picked for the body of the turkey doesn't fit for the front pattern, the design on the fabric is too big (I completely overestimated how big this design was). Also, I would have probably done a darker pink outline for the middle. You live you learn! I've told my sister in law a million times I wish she was here to teach me in person, but she has seriously been the best "online teacher" in the world, and is constantly answering my questions and giving me advice. (Kind of like Stacy, my pastry chef friend, who gets asked a million baking questions - how long does yeast live, etc etc). I have good friends.

Even though she's only been my sister a short time, I have learned a lot from Sarah.  One thing (besides how to monogram and appliqué, ha!) is about communication without your own agenda. She is so good at listening to me and being kind about her response. Maybe it's a southern thing, maybe it's a classy thing, but I think it's an intelligence thing too. She has a way of giving answers/feedback that even if she disagrees with you, she would never directly say it. She sort of leads you to your own answer, and really wants it to be what you want, without pushing an agenda. I feel like most people give advice based on their own agenda. Sarah - I don't know if you even know that you do this, but I've noticed it about you and keep meaning to tell you, so here is a very public way of saying that I learned a great value from you in this!!!

Let's back a up a bit from the sunshine and ponies sap before this prego starts crying alone in her bed writing her blog. We had a very rainy August. And September. Usually July is just hot and August is ridiculously hot but this summer we had an outrageous July, and then tons of rain in August and September - more than usual!
Taking that picture was totally safe..... (no really actually I pulled my phone up to get the directions to where I was going and snapped it accidentally haha).

But we also had a few rainbows, including one that was HUGE. It seriously was over the entire city, from beyond one side of the mountains to the other. The cell phone picture does it no justice at all.

My friend from high school Rachel and I have lunch almost every Friday and a couple weeks ago our friend who graduated with us was actually able to join us!!! It was SO nice to have three of us there together.
Me, Sara, and Rachel.  And of course my water bottle makes a cameo :-)

I've found a new favorite food category - crackers! Love love love. I think it's because for so long it was all I could keep down. My new favorites - rosemary and olive oil triscuits:

I am subbing at an elementary school and they have snacks for everyone in their teacher room. I found out today that I am NOT a fan of the sun dried tomato triscuits. I seriously had to contain myself from spitting it out, and seriously considered doing that! I've also learned that I could never be a teacher for any grade lower than like 3rd grade. One on one or in small groups, I love em. Hell, I used to work with 2 year old special needs kids and not only was I really good at it, I LOVED it! But it was 1-1. Big difference.

Speaking of little kiddos, I miss my little Clara. Jaren, are you reading this? I miss you guys!!! Please text me 374534 times today to make up for the last week of missed texts. Thanks iPhone upgrade. Actually, I don't mind the changes in the upgrade, I just don't like that texts and emails and calls aren't working properly without wifi at all times.

I made a list today, and including me, there are 14 pregnant women I know, (including two of my sisters in law), due between next month and the beginning of May!!!! Crazy. I may even be forgetting some. Love having people to share the experience with :-) Girls - if you're reading this - let me know if I can practice my sewing for the little ones!

One more pic because little Lee is just the sweetest little cotton fluff marshmallow snow puff puppy:

See you all tomorrow for the weekly belly pic and update - 17 weeks yesterday, post comes on Friday :-)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - beginning sewing projects








Monday, September 23, 2013

Shrimp Risotto with Strawberries

When Charlie was in Italy they went to a restaurant (before I came) and he had the "risotto du jour". He LOVED it and wrote it down (with the restaurant name) and somehow my brilliant husband didn't realize that it meant "of the day". Oh Charlie. Well, I had him describe it and had never heard of anything like it, so I tried to copy it anyway!

His description was risotto with tiny shrimp (I used regular sized) and strawberries. Sounded weird, but my husband who would never have eaten fish while growing up or taste anything "weird" LOVED this dish - must be a winner.

I decided to go for it. I love making risotto. It's not hard and you get such a creamy yummy dish with no cream. The key is to get short grain arborio rice and stir, stir, stir. The starches of the rice rubbing against each other get released (according to Alton Brown) and it creates the creamy texture.



I don't know why there are raspberries in that pictures - I didn't put them in the risotto. Maybe it was a snack during cooking?

Have one saucepan with chicken broth simmering, and one for your risotto:


-1 cup of arborio rice
-1 quart of chicken stock
-2 tbs butter
-1 tbs olive oil
-1 small chopped onion
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1 pound of baby shrimp, raw
-2 cups of chopped strawberries

1. Melt your butter and oil until they are hot, and then add the onion. Cook the onion for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add in your arborio rice and stir, so that the rice "browns" a bit.
2. While your onion was cooking, heat a saucepan with your chicken broth. When it is simmering, reduce the heat to keep the simmer.
3. Add your wine to the rice, and stir until it dissolves, and then begin adding simmering broth, one ladle at a time. After each ladle, stir stir stir, until the stock dissolves.
4. Keep the heat on medium or medium-low, and keep stirring, adding in more broth as it gets absorbed, until you've added almost all of it in.
5. When you have about 1/2-1 cup left of broth left, add in your strawberries and shrimp. Serve immediately.

You can top it with parmesan cheese if you want!

Okay so here was my mistake, in retrospect, but I gave you the corrected recipe up there. I broiled my shrimp, because I wanted them to have that charred taste. But, I should have known - shrimp cook REALLY fast so then they almost overcooked when I added them into the risotto (I did this at the VERY end), but still. Next time, I'm going to go buy those teeny shrimp, and add them in with 5 minutes left of cooking time. Or, use regular size shrimp, but chop them up, and add them into the risotto raw with 5 minutes left of cooking.

I added salt, pepper, and basil to the shrimp, sprayed with pam, and broiled them:


Joanna and oscar had a snack of the broiled shrimp until it was ready:


Three plates with it and some corn, and hot dogs for Aubrey, who I was watching for Victor and Katy that night. Kinda funny how its a similar color to the risotto!

Charlie liked it!

Aubrey was more interested in Maya:

And taking care of the baby:

Okay - that's the sweetest thing ever. She is a little mama already.


Wait actually maybe that is the sweetest thing ever.
Whoops I digressed from shrimp. Enjoy the risotto!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So you found a 2.5 pound bag of spinach in your fridge that's about to expire....don't fret!

Whoopsies! I meant to post this yesterday through the blogger app but it just saved as a draft.

Have you ever bought a bunch of produce, and a week later realized you have exactly 1.4 days left of use out of it? If you haven't, stop being my friend. Just stop, you are too perfect. 

I REALLLLLLLY try to make an effort to eat what I have and buy what I need, but every once in a while, I get super excited at the 13 pounds of snap peas and mushrooms at costco and what can I say? I go a little overboard. 

I have a green smoothie for lunch just about every day.
This was the first thing I did when I got back from Italy. Charlie promptly responded with "sweetie if you want I can just cut the grass and you can have it for free". Whatever, I love them, and I think they taste fruity and delicious.

Anyway, this week, I may or may not have found 2.5 pound bag of spinach in my fridge. Unopened. Expiring relatively soon. Two Point Five Pounds. Is this real?

Well, I can't have enough green smoothies to finish that off, so I decided to make "sag aloo" - an Indian dish for spinach and potatoes. Except I didn't use potatoes. So I made sag. I think. Or aloo. Whichever one means spinach.

Our players:

I sauteed a small/medium onion in some olive oil and salt, added the ginger, a teaspoon of each spice, and then about a pound of the spinach in batches. I didn't measure, but it was about half the bag, or less than half the bag. A lot of spinach - use your judgement, and if you don't want to, use a pound. As I added in the spinach I stirred it to get it "wet" with the oil, and then used my immersion blender to chop it up.

Add in more spinach, and do it again.

My pound of spinach significantly shrunk down to a size I could fathom a family of 4 eating.

Funny side story about my ginger:

I buy a hand of ginger, and I chop it up like shown above, and keep it in the freezer. I mostly use it in my smoothies but sometimes add it to whatever. Well, a couple of weekends ago I was sewing a valance for upstairs at my parents' house and my mom decided to make a smoothie. Unfrotunately, she thought my ginger was bananas, and had a not-so-great experience with ginger. Was pretty funny though.

My version of "sag aloo' minus the "aloo" is great alone, with rice, topped over salmon, or even used as a "relish" for burgers.

-1 chopped onion, sauteed in olive oil
-1/2 inch of minced fresh ginger
-1 pound of spinach
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 teaspoon garam masala
-1/2 teaspoon coriander

You can also add a can of chopped tomatoes to this, or some red kidney beans, or lentils. Yummmmm. You can also toss some chicken in it if you wanna please your man (well my man, who thinks no meal is complete without chicken).

Anyway, I am off to get an easy night. Charlie is finally off midnight shift and I get to watch tv in bed with him. A perfect Friday night!

Shabbat Shalom Y'all!

PS - the challah was so good tonight! Recipe soon.

16 weeks

How far along: 16 weeks
How big is baby: 4.6 inches (length of an avocado) and 3.5 ounces.
Weight gained: If I remember my starting weight correctly, 3 pounds. But it seems like 5 pounds because I lost 2 and kept it off for a while when I was sick. I know I'm gonna gain a lot more but I was enjoying being 2 pounds lighter haha!
Maternity clothes: eh, dabbling, but not necessary. I'm definitely enjoying looser shirts just because I don't look pregnant but I do look pudgy. I read something on pinterest a while ago that you want to wear lose clothes in the 1st trimester and then tighter in the second to accent your bump, but i have no significant bump! (When I'm not sucking out). So Maybe I"ll just move that advice several weeks forward.
Stretch marks: No
Miss anything?: Now that nausea is totally gone, I kinda miss a beer. 
Movement: nope, but apparently right about now I could start feeling flutters or bubbles. But nothing at all that I'm aware of.
Cravings: Not really. I have been hungrier lately though, but get full really fast, so I feel like I'm constantly eating, even if it's only a tiny bit at a time.
Aversions: Still am not excited at the thought of sushi - so unusual for me.
Other symptoms: Headache and tired, and the head rushes were bad this week. No gym like I had thought.
Most looking forward to: My sister comes into town on Monday and will come to my to my appointment the next day. Can't wait to see what baby is measuring!

Just for fun, here is a picture of me sucking out. It's not accurate at all but it's fine cause I look pregnant :-)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Flourless fudge cookies (gluten free)

One of our good friends, Hila, has Celiac's, so I am always looking for gf recipes for her. (the "our" in this is actually me and my mom - she works with my mom but is closer to my age and has two little ones). Okay moving on. It was her birthday and my mom asked if I could make her something. I told her that I can't really imitate any regular recipe to make it gf - it just wouldn't work right (like a bread or my cookies). I could either buy a mix or find something flour-less. Flour-less does not necessarily mean gluten free, but generally other ingredients are safe. I think that there may be like, certain vanilla extracts with gluten, but I don't think the organic one I buy has it.

The cookie were super yummy! I ended up making another batch for my friend Sara's birthday, even though she's not gf at all!

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs whites

Preheat oven to 350.
1. Stir until combined - order doesn't matter. 
2. Use a tbs scoop and space them on greased sheets. They'll spread so make sure there's enough space between them.
3. Bake for 8 min (I always rotate halfway).

They'll get kinda glossy and crack a little.

I didn't take pictures during the process, but my friend Ali who also has celiac's decided to make them, so I asked her to take a pic for the blog.

Unfortunately, they spread kinda funky due to the use of spoon. I HIGHLY recommend using this scoop - I have it in 3 sizes and it's amazing. It's my go to gift for a baking-savvy friend.

The one I use most frequently is the yellow one. I use it alllll the time. I would actually grease it before serving because this batter is so sticky. 

The final product. 


Wordless Wednesday


Monday, September 16, 2013

Lucky charms, Lucky me!!!! (Written on Saturday, 8/24)

So yesterday, I woke up craving lucky charms. Not a prego "I have to have this NOW craving", but "that sounds like a good breakfast". Have I mentioned that I HAVE to eat breakfast these days? Super weird because normally I don't get hungry til 2-3 pm. Yes I know, it's the most important meal of the day, but I've gone 20 something years (why dont we go woth 24 😉) without it and I am very healthy and survived.

Anyway, since about week 8-9, it's the only meal that I could handle when I was throwing up 283473847 times a day. I mean, I still threw it up half the time, but at least I could stomach the thought of it. Week 7-8, all I could handle was popsicles. Wow I am glad that's over. By the way, I am getting a bit better - only getting sick every 2nd or 3rd day, and nausea is not nonstop. I am only taking one or two zofran a day :-)

Well, I keep cheerios and special k red berries for breakfast, but yesterday I woke up and wanted Lucky Charms. I texted Jaren:

She didn't really respond to the Lucky Charms post but I didn't think anything of it. Most of my friends and I have about 8 thoughts going on during one text message or conversation. I think it's just the way girls work. I love the meme/ecard that says:

It's not only accurate, but hilarious. And as the meme suggests, I digress. But back to the meme again, before moving on. I think I should have a post of funnies I've found on pinterest. Okay, done, promise.

What was I talking about?

Ummmm.....Oh Lucky Charms. Okay, so I went on with my day, and we went to my friend Hila (and my mom's friend/coworker's) house for Shabbat dinner. I brought Challah, it was gone in a second. Ugh, it's so good (I promise I'll post that recipe). Jaren was texting me and asking where I was and what I was doing. Then later she asked if I was home yet. I honestly didn't think anything of it. Thought she was just being nosy! Lol. Should give you some insight into our conversations/relationship.

Well, when I got home I saw this in the driveway:

I got out of the car and saw this:


SWEETEST THING EVER! Best deployment husband I could have asked for. Yes I made up that term. But honestly, this hormonal prego couldn't handle the sweetest gesture. I have the most amazing friend in you, Jaren!!!!


The next morning: Heaven!
Mmmmm, I want some now.

Love you Jaren, thanks again!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Crockpot Whole Chicken

It's silly to call this a recipe because it's not really, it's so freaking easy too!

I saw this dish on pinterest a while ago and started making it a few months ago. It's SOOOO easy. To be honest, it's not cheaper than buying a rotisserie - I don't know how on earth Costco gets that price down, but I think it tastes better and I love knowing exactly what is going in this.

1 whole chicken (cheapest to buy the two whole chickens at costco)
any seasoning salt mix (or make your own)
either tinfoil or potatoes to make a "rack" in crockpot

That's it!

If you're using tinfoil, make about 4 big balls and set at the bottom of the crockpot. As the chicken cooks, it releases a lot of liquid, so this prevents the liquid from making the chicken soggy.


You can also use potatoes as your rack, just rest the chicken on top and the liquid that drips out will cook the potatoes with a yummy flavor.


Take your whole chicken and generously sprinkle with your seasoning mix on the inside and out. Make sure to get on the underside of the wings and legs.


Stuff with an onion.


Place on your rack and cook on high for 4 hours.


Halfway through cooking, flip the chicken, and re-season it (generously again).

You can leave the crockpot on warm for 2 hours after the 4 hours high cooking.

This comes out with a crispy skin like a rotisserie and a very tender/juicy meat!

Of course I don't have a picture of the finished product, but imagine a rotisserie. The closest thing I have is it sliced in a tin that you can't really see during dinner - it's the one closest to me:

You like our candid expressions?
Aw I miss you Charlie!