Thursday, March 31, 2011

march food

Whelp, this month was still relatively productive, despite the baby being born. I had absolutely no idea that the recovery process from delivery can be so... awful? Draining? I just was not expecting all of that. It was SO NICE having my mom here for a while to help me and hold the baby. And to be my birthing coach. She was a lifesaver. And we made a couple of things together too. So, on to food.

Chicken in a Blanket
This is your chicken and cream cheese mixture wrapped up in a crescent roll. It was pretty good, Matthew even liked it despite the cream cheese. It's not so good as leftovers though, at least not to me.
Source: Recipe from a friend

Kozhi Chicken Curry
This Indian-ish dish was good, although the flavors were definitely not something we have very often. I think the best part of it was buying the spices in very small amounts from the bulk spice section at Sunflower Market. Love that place. Anyway, although it was good, it was a little bit too different to be something that I'd make again soon.
Source: Worldwide Ward Cookbook

Oven Omelets
There was just something fun about making this. Maybe it was that there were potatoes in the omelet, or that you baked it in the oven. Or that you have one omelet for two people. Or that it was something a little different with eggs. I think variations on eggs will be appearing frequently here. This is definitely something we'd do again.
Source: The food network

Red Chili Chicken with Rice and Black Beans
This dish was super simple to make, and is just another variation on Mexican and chicken, but I really loved it, and Matthew actually said while eating the leftovers that "you know, this IS really good!" The recipe suggests serving with salsa... I mixed some salsa into the actual dish so everything was warm, which I thought made it even that much better.
Source: Annie Eats blog

Spicy Corn Chowder
This soup had corn (obviously), potatoes, bacon, bell peppers, if you're in to that sort of thing you'd probably really like it as much as I did. I'll probably make it again in a few months.
Source: The food network

Nutella Cupcakes
This was such a disappointing recipe. Sure, the cupcakes tasted good, but I was so excited for them to taste  super nutella-y, and they ended up just tasting chocolate-y. Oh well. Maybe I just needed to put in more nutella than what the recipe called for or something.
Source: Tartelette food blog

Chicken Normandy
Probably my favorite dish of the month. It was chicken and apples cooked on the stove, (I swear, most of the things I make are variations on chicken), and then simmered in a creamy apple cider-y sauce. I made it with my mom a day or two before having the baby, and both of us really loved it. It also wasn't too labor or time intensive. This is definitely something that will be added to my regular meal-making repertoire. (If you decide to make this, and I would highly recommend it, I substituted chicken broth for the brandy)
Source: Simply Recipes blog

Southwest Stuffed Peppers
I've been wanting to make some stuffed peppers for a while, but none of the stuffing recipes or combinations I've come across have really piqued my taste buds too much. This particular recipe, however, had me convinced, and it turned out really well. The stuffing part was fantastic (we put in some steak instead of so many beans--it was a good choice). We were thinking that the stuffing part would also be really good in a corn tortilla, or in a casserole dish as more of a dip.
Source: Our Best Bites food blog

Chocolate and Caramel Cookies
Oh snap, these were good. It's a chocolate cookie dough (with chopped chocolate chips mixed in) that is wrapped around a Kraft caramel. I love caramel, and so I realllllly liked these cookies. The only thing to be aware of is that you really should underbake them, because they set up a lot afterward. On the same note, when they cool off the caramel tends to get a little harder, but its nothing that 9 seconds in the microwave won't fix (and I'm sure if I had underbaked them a little more it would have helped that too).
Source: Crepes of Wrath food blog

 Ok, obviously I've taken a lot of recipes from online sources. Finding and reading food blogs is one of my guilty pleasures, I think. But having a link just makes it that much easier to go look at something and see a picture of it, eh?  Peace!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

princess party

So the other day we had a Welcome Home Princess Party for Natalie with some of my littler cousins. It may sound cheesy, but hey we had a good time doing it, and there were some pretty hilarious parts. Five of my cousins (and two of my aunts) came over, dressed up, and we gave them wands/swords, wings/capes, and headband thingys, and decorated some stuff with glitter and whatnot. They were all so cute :)

We did this little coronation thing, which Matthew said just made official what was already the case: Natalie rules the house. 
 Come on, how can a party not be fantastic when glasses like these are involved? And even Matthew had a cape. We just don't mess around.
 Our little princess. haha.
 A little Lion King anyone?

Nothing but good times here!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm so gangsta

i found my feet!

And I found my ankles! And my legs too!

So after delivering a baby I was totally expecting the swelling in my feet to go away right away. False. It actually got a ton worse (and they didn't even pump a ton of IV fluids in me in the hospital). My feet and ankles looked like this:

I know right?

Anyway, this morning I looked down and suddenly realized my normal looking feet, ankles, and legs are back! There is just the tiniest bit of swollenness left, but for the most part its gone.

To quantify a little bit how swollen everything was, in the last three days (the period during which the swelling subsided) I lost 13 pounds, and all of that was fluid. I'm not trying to be all like "look at how awesome I am dropping 13 lbs in 3 days" because I promise you there is still plenty of extra flesh and fat on me, I'm just amazed that there was basically a gallon and a half of water spread throughout my body.

Anyway, I'm glad my feet are back to normal size. Now I can wear shoes again!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Animal farm

Today during the wee hours of the morning feeding Natalie (She's doing this thing where she'll take comatose-like naps all by herself during the day but NEEDS to be held to sleep at night...) I heard a rooster crowing. I'm pretty sure I've never heard that rooster until the last couple of days. What the heck is a rooster doing in the middle of the suburbs? But then, come to think of it, there are random animals all over the place in Utah.

1. At our old apartment our neighbors two houses to the north had a full on chicken coop. Huh?

2. On the way to Walmart we drive by a llama farm...

3. And there are horses corralled in people's backyards everywhere!

Seriously Utah... what is this place??

Thursday, March 24, 2011

dream epiphany

You all know about how much I love my chapstick, as described here, and how Matthew bought me a whole ton of chapsticks so we don't have I-lost-my-chapstick crisis all the time, and I bet that not a few people thought that I was a little obsessed.

But the other night I had this dream where there was a shortage of chapsticks at the stores, and there wasn't enough for everyone. It was crazy, there were people in lines at the store trying to get chapstick, but no one could get any more and people were really freaking out. However, I still had all 45 sticks of chapstick, and so not only did I have enough for myself, I started selling my sticks of chapstick to people for a huge profit. I was rolling in a ton of money, but then I had to start fighting off all sorts of desperate people who were trying to get at my chapsticks. It was intense.

Moral of the story is to always keep plenty of chapsticks in your storage, because you never know when a crisis may hit. Its not obsession, its emergency preparedness!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The beginning.

Hey we have a baby! It is absolutely amazing. I still can't believe she's actually here when she was in me not long ago. So, in this post we'll give a quick recap of labor/delivery, if anyone is interested, and show some pictures!

As mentioned previously, I came in on Saturday afternoon at 2pm for the induction. As also mentioned previously, I'd been fairly nervous about getting induced because I'd heard some horror stories about getting induced and the woman's body not being ready at all and it was just an awful experience.

However, I actually had the most fantastic labor experience you could hope for. By the time we got to the hospital, got the IV in, signed stuff, got all the directions, got the doctors orders, broke my water, blah blah blah, it was really closer to 4:30 by the time they started the pitocin. And, amazingly, I was already at 2.5 to 3cm and 80% when they started. The contractions started off not too bad, and so we watched a lot of basketball without too much distraction, but when halftime of the BYU game came around, the contractions quickly became quite strong and very painful. Needless to say, I didn't really pay a lot of attention to the second half of the game, and by almost the end of the game the anesthesiologist was giving me the blessed epidural. Oh my heavens I could have kissed him it was such an incredible relief. I was at 6cm and 90% when the epidural was given at about 8pm.

From 8pm to 10pm I went from 6 cm to 9 cm and all the way to 100% effaced. Around 9:45 the contractions got quite painful again so at 10:00 the anesthesiologist gave me another bolus of epidural, which was just in time because at 10:15 I was at a 10 and they had me start pushing, and 30 minutes after that our baby was born! She was born at 10:48 pm on March 19, weighed 7lb 2 oz and was 19 inches long. It was an incredible experience.

But lets talk for a moment about how amazingly ideal labor and delivery was for me. This being my first child, and being induced, everyone totally expected me to be in a long labor for 12-18 hours minimum. I was in active labor for 6 hours, if you count from when they started the pitocin and I could feel contractions. It definitely was very painful, but I got an epidural that was an absolute lifesaver. I have no idea how women can do it without one. And I pushed for just 30 minutes, and out came the most beautiful baby girl in the world. We are so happy.

We are just in awe of her. It's amazing that she's our little girl, and just how tiny and adorable she is. It still feels so surreal.

It took FOREVER for us to decide on a name for her. We had it down to two names, but we just could never decide. We made a final decision about 1/2 hour before leaving the hospital. Our little girl's name is Natalie Michelle. We love her so much!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The end.

So today I go in to be induced. TODAY! I'm super stoked, especially since my feet have, almost overnight, become like this:
Uncomfortable, yes. Hilarious, also yes.

And just for good measure, here's a 37 week, 8-1/2 month belly picture:

And yes, the amniocentesis went just fine, hurt a little bit but not too bad, and the results came back saying the lungs were close enough to mature that, taking everything into consideration, the doctor still wanted to induce me today. So here we go. In four hours I'll be at the hospital!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Kinda crazy to think that three years ago I didn't even really know what March Madness was... but now I love it! Tournaments are just epic, I've decided. I'm hoping my teams don't choke. I'm feeling pretty confident about KU, and while I think BYU can play great, I feel a little more nervous about them.

Anyway, I don't know if anyone else is just having a grand ole time filling out a bracket or two, but I have to say, once you fill out one, you kinda get the itch to do another. Which is why I was not sad at all to see the America's Toughest Weather City Tournament Bracket on (nerd alert?) If anyone else wants to kill 10 or so minutes choosing between cities, here is the link:

You are all very welcome.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Every once in a while someone asks me if I've had weird cravings during pregnancy. I don't really think so? I mean, there was a two week period during the first trimester where all I wanted to eat was a Subway sandwich every day, and then at one point a month or two later when I had a lot of deviled eggs three days in a row. A few times I've craved fries or ice cream or something, you know, in the I-absolutely-MUST-have-this-now sort of way. In general, what I've "craved" isn't anything crazy, usually its that I'll think of something or see a picture of something that looks good and make it that very day. However, I would say by far the "weirdest" pregnancy craving has come in the past few weeks, and it's not even food!

It's ICE!

I'm rapidly becoming addicted to eating ice cubes. I love it. When we've gone anywhere with an ice machine, I've filled up a glass with mostly just ice to eat. I'm freezing water bottles several times a day until they get to the point where its not completely frozen but there are chunks of ice inside that I can eat and chew. Love it. And apparently during labor/delivery all they let you eat is ice chips. It'll be ice heaven! I can't wait!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 days away!

Yes that's right. In 10 days they are going to induce me. In 9 days they are doing an amniocentesis (stick a needle through my stomach into my uterus. Yeah, it doesn't sound fun, but they say it doesn't really hurt. I'm really hoping they're right because I'm actually pretty nervous about that procedure) to check to see if the baby's lungs are mature enough. If they are...Saturday the 19th is our day. If they aren't then we'll wait for another week or so. How crazy is that? It makes the whole baby thing seem so much more real. It's felt very surreal up to this point.

Oh, so the reason that they want to induce me at 37 weeks is, interestingly, not because my blood sugars have been super high, but because they have been low. Yup, low. I've been using a lot less insulin now than I had a couple of weeks ago, and had a lot of low blood sugars. This is concerning because normally you should be increasing, or at least maintaining, the amount of insulin you're using during pregnancy because the placenta is growing, or at least maintaining its size at the end of pregnancy, and the placenta is what makes/secretes the insulin-resistant hormones. Bigger placenta=more insulin resistance. Anyway, so if you see a dramatic decrease in insulin needs, they wonder what is going on with placenta to make that happen.

Apparently there isn't the same correlation between low blood sugars and fetal stillbirth like there is with high blood sugars, but the fact that insulin needs have decreased significantly does make them concerned, even if they don't know specifically what could be causing it. Thus, the scheduled induction is with the thought that "well if she's 37 weeks and the lungs are mature and there is some weird-o stuff with blood sugars which may or may not be indicative of something problematic, the benefits of getting the baby out outweigh risks of inducing a bit early."

Anyway, hopefully the different physiology-themed posts on pregnancy with diabetes aren't too dull, but I think its interesting, and its sure been quite a learning experience for me. And most likely we'll be parents in 10 days! whoaaa!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

a big shoutout!

I'm pretty proud of my stud of a husband, so I'm going to go ahead and unashamedly announce to the world that Matthew got a fancy schmancy award. He is the 2011 Outstanding Teaching Assistant of the Year for Physics at BYU!!! Way to go!!

Unfortunately, no monetary increase comes with the award, but, especially since he wants to be a teacher, it'll sure look great on his resume, eh?!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

technological update

If you recall, back in September we showcased a futuristic picture of myself made possible by Science! 
 Well, we've now arrived at the future and we'd like to show you that picture again, only now taken with just an average camera.
Obviously a few differences between the pictures, but hey its groundbreaking technology, so of course there are a few glitches (apparently the future thought I was carrying twins because I almost look small in the present day picture by comparison. I swear I feel huge). Overall, I'd say they got it pretty close though. Eight months baby!

second half of February

Hopefully these "report" thingys aren't too boring, but hey I'm having a good time with it, so I'll continue. During the last two weeks in February, we made:

Herbed Baked Eggs
These were kinda fun. Some cream and butter were put in muffin tins, put under the broiler, then an egg was cracked in and topped with herbs and parmesan and baked again in the oven. They were kinda a different twist on eggs. Liked ‘em, and will make them again. 4.5 stars
Source: Baking in Paris Cookbook

Strawberry Soup
I was reminded of my dad creating a strawberry soup thing when I was in high school, and lately decided that it sounded delicious and wanted to recreate it. I pureed a bunch of frozen strawberries, then heated it up on the stove with a little bit of lime juice and honey. After a while I added in some half and half and some milk, thickened it up a little with some cornstarch, chilled until cold, and add in some diced strawberries. This might be more of a “summer-y” sort of deliciousness, but all I’m saying is that it is FANTASTICALLY delicious! 5 stars!
Source: My dad and me!

Asian Chicken Mango Salad
Sometimes I think that sometimes its silly to have straight up recipes for salads, I mean, you just throw a bunch of stuff together with dressing right? But I also wouldn’t think of some different combinations without some ideas from recipes. The salad I made here had lettuce/spinach, chicken, mangoes, craisins and yellow peppers with poppyseed dressing. Yummmm. 4.5 stars
Source: Adapted from Worldwide Cookbook

Johnny Cakes Cornbread
These were… alright. Kind of on the dry side, but still fun with chili. Again, not a very “unique” or particularly special recipe, but fun to try out eh? 2 stars
Source: Grains Galore Cookbook

Lemon Meringue Tart
This was way good! A bit time intensive with the three different parts (crust, lemon filling and meringue) but it was fun, tasty and made a good finished product. 5 stars.
Source: Baking in Paris Cookbook

My favorite dish of the half-month: Strawberry Soup! So good!