Friday, July 30, 2010

I miss Ktiker's Blog!

she's having technical difficulties. but I miss it nonetheless.

let me break it down for you...

I had my first pregnancy visit to my new ob/gyn practice, and I got to ask my burning question about this second pregnancy (well, actually, the first burning question is: is the fetus healthy? that's another reason NOT to get pregnant - the chance of bearing a deformed fetus weighs heavily on the mind and there's no way to get a real read on what's going on in there until you can get an amniocentesis, or other such genetic test (chorionic villus sample) accomplished. they're scary, and it feels like ages before the results come back, hm, can you tell I'm thinking about this right now?).

the questions was, how much weight should I gain?

with the first pregnancy I knew the answer: somewhere between 25 and 35. I went for 25, and that's about what I gained (27). the problem this time is that I'm 30lbs OVER what I weighed at the time I conceived the FIRST time! I figured that the doctor would say, well, watch what you eat and excercise and try not to gain much more weight. no, the answer turned out to be, "you can go ahead and gain another 25 pounds."


I'm trying to wrap my head around that one. I'm so heavy right now that I don't even look like myself to me in photos and sometimes not even in the mirror. what will happen if I gain another 25 pounds? I'm already 7 pounds heavier than I was 12 weeks ago...yipes!

I know one thing: I'm going to have to really get serious about weight loss after this one is out in the world.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

sugar baby

one more thing. I can't stop eating watermelon. it's so good. I am eating about 1 per week. I'm on my second one right now. I cut the melon up into bite-sized pieces and store it in a giant tupperware, in the refrigerator (we just got a new one, our old one didn't stay shut! not so convenient in the summertime). I bring some to work every day, eat some every morning, and every night. it sure is better than shoveling jelly beans, swedish fish, ice pops, and other sweets into my maw. no, actually, I've gotten past the sugar sugar more sugar phase of my pregnancy! I've also gotten past the I'll eat everything in sight phase too. I'm back to normally sized portions and just above my average level of sugar intake.


wow! a photo of my lunch, I can't even remember the last time I managed this kind of post.

so...I'm nearly out of my first trimeseter of pregnancy, and I'm not feeling nauseated all the time. I'm still sleepy most of the time, but that definitely beats feeling like I'm about to vomit (all the time - morning sickness is a misnomer).

I should have known back when I created the burrito post that I was pregnant, but instead I just thought I'd never really appreciated HOW good burritos are. anyway, I've gotten over that craving, and have moved on to craving home cooked Chinese food. oh, and Chinese dim sum foods. well, maybe not all dim sum, but specifically radish cake (lo boa gao).

I think it means that I've been missing my mom & dad more than ever (pregnancy will do that to you). thank goodness I took the time to learn about 1/100 of my mom's repertoire of dishes. I really wish I'd learned more, but I suppose a handful of dishes is better than none at all.

last night I worked up the courage to steam a chicken. steamed chicken probably sounds crazy to most people, but Chinese people love a good steamed chicken. the biggest bonus, aside from how tender and fresh it tastes, is how easy it is to prepare. I'd never done it before, but then I've always had it whenever I saw my mom. plus, for some reason I was scared to use my steamer as anything other than a rice cooker. I watched my mom use hers for all sorts of things, but I never ventured beyond rice.

all I had to do to prepare the chicken was wash it, pat it dry, and salt it. then, I put the chicken into my steamer with some sliced ginger and scallion. an hour & fifteen minutes later, I had a delicious, steamed chicken in my kitchen.

my steamer is white, not red, but otherwise it looks like the one in the photo, above.

the traditional dipping sauce for the chicken is where everything gets all umami. I grated a big chunk of ginger, minced about 3/4 of a good-sized scallion, and mixed them together in a small stoneware bowl with some msg and salt. YES! MSG! (Jeffrey Steingarten has a great article on the much maligned additive, titled something like, "Does Everyone in China Have a Headache All the Time?" it's in his book, The Man Who Ate Everything). my mom was always giving me little bags of MSG from Taiwan but I'd never used any. I grew up with it in her cooking, and never felt sick. like I said, I'd never used it in my own cooking, but I did yesterday, and it was awesome. ok, getting back to the dipping sauce: to finish it, I heated a couple of tablespoons of oil in a small, thick-bottomed pot until it was smoking, then poured it over the spice mixture (hence the stoneware bowl). it sizzled and cooked the ginger/scallion combo and became really yummy. it's like chinese pesto! you can see little flecks of ginger and scallion in the photo at the top of this post.

for lunch today, I also had a little bit of okonomiyaki with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. it wasn't as umami as my chinese fare because I didn't have Kewpi brand mayo (I used Hellman's), but it was pretty darned good. okonomiyaki is, for the most part, a cabbage pancake. the one I had for lunch was topped with thinly sliced beef, but I like it better with seafood (John hates fishy things, so I don't add anything fishy to them when I make them at home). the other night at dinner, I topped mine with bonito flakes and seaweed, but I was too lazy to arrange all that this morning.

tonight I'm going to cook bitter melon with fermented black beans, ma po tofu (John's favorite), and baby bok choy (with ginger and salt - maybe I'll include a little MSG!). plus, I'm going to eat more of my steamed chicken!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

crazy end of quarter reports day requires extra lavish office treats

when quarter end data arrives, things get a bit crazy for me. there are a billion things to update and send out. most of them go to executives that have to make coherent statements about product and corporate performance to wall street. numbers are unforgiving in all ways: errors are ERRORS and can become fodder for all sorts of fall out. so what's the solution? MAKE SURE THE NUMBERS ARE CORRECT. ugh, if you are any kind of obsessive-complusive, then you can relate to the thorough checkings that tend to happen on days like today.

being pregnant, and in the first trimester sucks for these types of activities. but there were two things that made my day much better.

(1) for Kermit the Blog

I almost never drink the candybar confections available to us at our local kitchenette Flavia machine, but today I couldn't resist. I'd been bringing coffee in from home for a while, so I hadn't noticed that someone had stocked our break room with these chocolate treats. we usually only have coffee and tea. I went looking for my usual English Breakfast, but that was gone - seemingly replaced by Milky Way and Dove. so, whatever, I combined these three packets into my Dunder Mifflin mug. oh, it was good.

(2) this is all I have to say: 250 delicious calories, mmmmmmmmmmmm.

I'm on my way to the gym. I'm really getting into the treadmill/walking thing. I still use my nike+ sportsband pedometer thing, and I really like it. it's fairly accurate for me, and I like to see the mileage build up. I worked out at the end of my day yesterday too. I prefer to do it at lunchtime, but c'est la vie.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

give me some SUGAR!

I'm getting to the point where all I want to eat is cake. that's not a good place to be. so far this morning, I've eaten one bagel with a schmear of cream cheese, and three ounces of raspeberries. the bagel was my concession to eating something totally carbariffic. you can't get much carbier than a bagel...unless you eat a frosted piece of CAKE! I wonder how I'd feel if I had a cupcake for each meal?

I'm looking forward to walking again today. I think it's beginning to be the only time I'm not nauseated. ugh, I can't wait for the first trimester to end. it stinks! add that to the list of reasons to not get pregnant.

Monday, July 12, 2010

try try again

I've finally gotten back to the gym. mornings don't work for me anymore - there is no way I will be dragging my sleepy butt out of bed any earlier than 6am these days. so, lunchtime treadmill it is. I've decided to just walk (yes, that silly fast walk). even though I ran until I was 5 months pregnant last time, I've been so inactive since then that I don't want to shake my body up too much by trying to do too much while it's attempting to make a baby. so, 45 minutes, walking at 4.5 mph, cooling down at a 4.0 & 3.5 mph pace. it's hard to walk fast!

oh, and by the way, I did some serious eating today: small apple, large bagel, tiny bit cream cheese, half an Almond Joy bar (it was SO good!), innards of a steak wrap (mushrooms & steak), & some green salad. all this by lunchtime!

Friday, July 9, 2010

ask and ye shall receive (sometimes)

so, ktiker wants to know, just how much can a person eat in one evening?!

let me set up the situation: breakfast and lunch were very reasonably sized portions of normal food (e.g. two pieces of lightly buttered toast for breakfast, an egg salad sandwich for lunch).

John was not home for dinner, so I decided that Henry and I would eat something that required no cooking. we went to Whole Foods after work and I picked up: a baguette, a piece of Brie, an apple, one almond croissant, and one large chocolate chip cookie.

I cut up a piece of chicken for Henry, gave him a piece of the baguette, a good portion of apple, two stalks of roasted asparagus, and free range over the chocolate chip cookie.

I ate about half+ of the baguette, half a piece of brie, the rest of the apple, some asparagus, a glass of orange juice, and the entire almond croissant. to put that into perspective, it was like eating a 10-inch hoagie filled with cheese! Maybe a 12-inch hoagie! I couldn't stop eating the bread! then to follow that up with a croissant? what am I doing?! OK, so based on what my weight should be, then adding about 25lbs, figuring that for what I should gain in terms of baby weight - I should only let myself gain like 5 more pounds during this pregnancy. someone muzzle me before I hurt myself.

by the way, Henry ate very little of his dinner and only one bite of that cookie! John ate the rest of the cookie for breakfast.

the big flop

that's how I'm thinking of the whole "what I didn't eat" thing, since my worklife got really crazy as soon as I thought I'd worked that addition to the blog out, and I couldn't keep up with anything.

anyway, I'm thinking that a more appropriate log would now be called, "what didn't I eat?" my pregnancy exhaustion and nausea seem to be mostly OK during the day, but in the evenings, they both get fairly bad. the only thing that seems to help is eating...

yeah. you can just imagine.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

to hell and nearly back

aaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiyyyyyyyyyyyyiiiiiiii! that's a scream, in case you weren't sure how to interpret it.

people, if there are ANY out there still - I have been gone on a long long trip to an ugly place. I'm on my way back, but just BARELY.

first it was work. a certain person who has a great deal of influence in my worklife went INSANE. yes. I say this absolutely. for weeks, my worklife was in the crapper. I was working long hours without breaks, and dealing with razor-sharp emotions that I had no way of relating to, or anticipating. thus, I danced the wondrous balancing act of tip-toeing on eggshells around lunatics. seriously, if the economy weren't so bad (and I wasn't so lazy about shopping the 'ole resume around), I would have bailed. BUT, I made it through the long tunnel of despair, back into the light of my cube. rumor has it this person has gone all nice because of a certain amount of fear in respects to job-security.

I'd been looking forward to vacation for a half-year! many of my high school friends turned (or are turning) 40 this year (not me! next year...), so we decided to all get together at the Clemuel Ricketts Mansion of Lake Ganoga.

the day had finally come, John and I packed everyone up into our little car (Henry, Gummi, Gary) with all of our stuff for a week, dropped the doggies off with Grandma and Grandpa, then headed north for fun!

there was only one little issue - my face was all itchy and pulsating, and just slightly puffy. we suspected poison ivy, but weren't sure what it really was. the day before, I'd been out with the hedge trimmers (men hired to do our hedge trimming); I was explaining to them how everything should look, but I wasn't really touching much of anything, so you know, didn't think about contracting a rash from my gesticulations. but alas, there my face was, pulsating. John and I stopped to buy some benadryl on the way to our vacation destination, and I didn't think any more about it. I got a little weirded out by the fact that my sunglasses left little blisters on my nose, but I was ready to have a great time, and didn't want to get all negative about a couple of little, slightly oozy, blisters on my face.

we were stunned by the beauty of the house and grounds, had a great time greeting our friends, watching the kids interact, etc. I stayed up late, took two benadrly before bed, and figured I'd wake up all normal and ready for more vacation. you know that feeling you get when you regain consciousness and you can tell something just isn't right? that's how I felt when I woke up, and I was bracing myself for something on the way to the mirror, but I wasn't sure what to expect. I got situated in front of the looking glass and rubbed my sleepy eyes to find that my face had sort of inflated on the right and left lower sides. after a brief discussion, John and I decided to leave Henry at the house and go in search of a clinic. we ended up at the Wilkes Barre General Hospital. they gave me a dose of prednisone and sent me on my way.

I still managed to have fun that day - we took Henry to the lake, went to the beach, played ball, croquet, lunch, dinner, etc. and again, I turned in late, took two benadryl before I hit the sack, and hoped for a great morning. hahaha, cruel fates! when I woke up, my right eye had swollen shut and my entire face had puffed up like a big poori. with practically no discussion, John began throwing stuff back into bags and single handedly packed me and Henry off home. I ended up at the Abington Emergency Room (after dropping Henry off with Grandma and Grandpa), where I learned that there isn't much that can be done for poison ivy, and that it gets worse and worse before it gets any better. I got a way higher dose of prednisone, but was told to go home to wait it out. I spent days in a haze of benadryl, and I'm back at work now, but my arms, neck, waist, and legs are covered in a seriously ugly (and itchy) rash. it's been over a week since my initial exposure, and there are few signs that anything is really getting better.

oh poison ivy, I'm not sure how I managed to avoid you through 8 or so years of field work, but I would like to never incur your wrath again! no more hedge anything for me!

btw, is prednisone and high doses of benadryl really safe for developing fetuses? the doctor said, "well, it's not optimal, but..." is that supposed to inspire confidence? of course it didn't.