Thursday, July 20, 2017

Home Tour: Entryway

I hope you'll join me over the next several weeks as I showcase our current apartment.  It's pretty bittersweet, as we'll be moving on in less than a month.  You may remember, we moved to Baltimore in July of last year, and in August we'll find our way to Columbus, Ohio.  I've always regretted not taking the time to showcase each of our current spaces-yes, each...there have been seven in almost ten years!  While I don't consider myself a decorator by any means, I've always fallen in love with the spaces I've created. We've only rented, so you have to make do with what you have, and part of that is budgeting too!  All things considered, I think I've done really well making it stylish, functional, and meaningful.  My "houses" (and currently apartment) have always been homes, and for that I'm so thankful.  

Without further ado...c'mon in

Entryway mats had always been a dilemma to me: function, yet stylish-only to wasn't until I thought to find a doorway mat that was cheeky and just me...this makes me smile every time.  This was bought on Etsy, but you can find several on Amazon.  

And chances are, you can usually find me at home with donuts.  
Is it a real baby, or a donut baby? 

Since we're moving to Columbus, where there isn't a kosher Dunkin' Donuts, you will find me like this for the next few weeks...

A common theme you will notice throughout the apartment, is maximizing walls and corners.  That chalk board wall is really blocking a door into the kitchen. But, just to left of the bikes is the dining room with an entry into the kitchen as well.  Two entries into the kitchen within a matter of steps was just not necessary.  When we moved here, we lost our garage, so bikes and strollers now had to be stored inside the apartment, in addition to lacking space in general. So, we made this a little entryway nook.  It looks tight, but there is plenty of room, even with the bikes hanging on the wall.  And they aren't too terrible to get down and put back, I just try to avoid it.  

The board was painted with chalk board paint and again, to maximize space, it provides my kids another area to play.  

But it also provides me with another nook on the other side, plus I can use the other door for door storage, and hanging laundry space-to be showcased later!

This is about as good of a command center I pulled off this year, and it was really a life saver.  The bins on top were bought from Amazon. During the year, it stored papers that were necessary to be saved, or time sensitive items that needed to be taken to school.  Now, it stores their summer packets.  

The hooks are from Anthropologie, they were a little pricey, but it gives such charm to this space.  I love personalization, and I especially love this industrial look-it just ties in the bikes and the chalk board.  

I appreciate any way that clutter is organized and off the floor-so this was the perfect solution since we don't have a mudroom or adequate closet storage.  It also gave the kids the opportunity to be responsible with their bags-emptying and hanging.  

Thanks for joining, and week I'll show you our living/family room.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

First Trimester Screen Blood Results

A week and a half ago I got the call that my blood work came back with good numbers-meaning the ultrasound combined with the blood work indicates a low possibility this baby has trisomy 18 or trisomy 21.  I am to repeat blood work between now and 21 weeks with results that are 90% accurate.  
I am presently 15 weeks 2 days.  I was supposed to be in New York this past weekend, and I managed to get squeezed into my OB that Friday for a check with the doppler.  However, Dovy and I got sick en route,  so we turned around and I was forced to forfeit the appointment.  I have been trying my best to think positive and just hang in until my regularly scheduled appointment which is in a week from now, Tuesday July 25th.  I have had a very hard time connecting to this pregnancy beyond the here and now-which is why there has yet to be a bumpdate.  It saddens me because I have 6 week belly pictures from every other pregnancy, and I just can't overcome my fear and get that done.  But, I will have to, because I'll regret it. And just to clarify, this has nothing to do with a "4th baby" or "too busy" none of that, "youngest child" syndrome-this is pure anxiety getting in my way, which I hope to address here soon!

Typically, I will feel daily movement, but it is still early that it's faint and can easily be confused with any other bodily function we commonly feel.  So, the movements are not always reassuring-because it's easy to question them, it provides me little relief.  I know that statistically, things are ok in there, and I am just trying to be reassured by that.  

Check back Thursday as I'll have a pretty cool, new to me, type of update on the blog!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Munchies...

Just popping in...again #inserteyeroll 
It's Monday Munchies!!!!! But once again, we have to go with a stock photo because this recipe was used during a fabulous Shabbos lunch! 

"Strawberry watermelon soup"   This soup makes a refreshing first course for a summertime meal.

This recipe got several compliments-it's light, tasty, not overly sweetened with sugar, contains no dairy, and is so refreshing! 

2-1/2 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed, drained, and hulled
1/3 cup sugar 2-1/2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into chunksJuice of 1 lemonJuice of 1 orangeSprigs of fresh mint or lemon thyme

Slice one pint of the berries into a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Set aside for 15 min. Transfer the sliced berries and their juice to the bowl of a food processor. Add the watermelon, the lemon juice, and the orange juice and process to a smooth purée. Transfer the purée to a bowl and refrigerate for 30 to 60 min., until cold.

When you are ready to serve the soup, evenly divide the “broth” among 4 dessert bowls; glass is nice. Slice the remaining strawberries thin, and add some slices to each bowl. Garnish with sprigs of mint or lemon thyme, and serve at once. 

4 servings

I tripled this could definitely get away with cutting the sugar.  I would also recommend using orange juice if you're making such a large batch-and maybe even adding more than the recommended amount to make up for cut sugar, and/or changing the flavor a bit.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Munchies... glad I get to welcome you back here! I have so many new summer recipes to share with you! 
A week and a half ago, my wonderful doctor husband finished his medical training-10 years in the making!  I felt like I had to do something to recognize this momentous occasion, but being in a new city for only 11 months, we don't have too many friends, and money and time were both limited! So, I decided to throw together a Shabbos afternoon kiddish (aka a light lunch).  But, I spent Monday and Thursday in New York, so prep was fast, and most of it required fresh fruit and veggies, and minimal heating-which are all fabulous requirements for being amazing summer recipes.  Everything got rave reviews, seriously, so just follow the links, you surely wont be disappointed!

Image result for fruit skewers
This is a stock picture, follow this link to see what I followed. Although they took some time, they look so pretty standing in a vase.  My advice is to prepare all the fruit so you can easily assemble. 

Cucumber Basil and Watermelon Salad |
This salad screams summer-if you're lacking time, just cube the watermelon.  It does not last because of the liquid from the watermelon.

Green Goddess Veggie Dip Cups --- a fun, healthy, portable appetizer --- keep them in the fridge for quick healthy snacks, too/
This was such a fabulous way to get veggies in without adding a boring salad.  This is especially kid friendly! I used two different pre-made salad dressings: a Caesar and a basil vinaigrette.  

A fresh and easy Greek Pasta Salad just in time for summer! This crowd-pleasing side dish is tasty with grilled meats and at all your backyard barbecues.
This was such a crowd pleaser I've made this two weekends in a row! It's so light and filling-and kalamata olives give it such an awesome kick, what could be better! I left out the cheese because both of these meals involved meat, but it was totally fabulous! Definitely try to get pitted olives-so you're salad isn't a choking hazard,but also so you don't have to slave away pitting the olives.

Strawberry Shortcake Trifle... A light and delicious trifle layered with strawberry sauce, angel food cake and whipped cream! This will be a hit wherever it is served!
This is like summer comfort food! My friend insisted I pass on some of the food obligations to her, so I gave her this.  It doesn't seem too hard to make, but I will say we needed more whipped cream and although the cake and strawberry amounts were fine, I definitely feel like I had to stretch it. So I would probably at least add another half of the recipe.

Dana's Crispy Coconut Chicken
I made this crispy coconut chicken in nugget form.  This was one of two hot meat dishes I made. I wanted simple, yummy, appetizers.  I put this out on a platter and it was delicious!

Barbecue Pineapple Meatballs - just 3 ingredients - barbecue sauce, frozen meatballs, and crushed pineapple and perfect as an appetizer recipe for parties and get togethers!
I was so intrigued by these meatballs-it's a twist on both typical versions: the regular meatball, and the sweet and sour.  I'm really all for cutting corners, but I was not able to find kosher pre-made meatballs, so I had to make my own.  I quadrupled the meat, and ended up using most of it with only doubled sauce.  It's a little overwhelming at first to deal with the uncooked meatballs in a sauce, but it all worked out.  I initially attempted to plate like this, but it just didn't work-they were too soft, and I was short on time, so we just served them from a bowl.  Not one single meatball was left!

If you're searching for a new summer recipe, I guarantee one of these will be perfect for you! 

Monday, July 3, 2017

First Trimester Screen

On Thursday I made my way back to NY for my last blood test at Dr. B's, and then my first trimester screening ultrasound and blood work.  I have heard that over the past few years there were new blood tests available as a screening tool, such as Harmony.  I did not receive that, rather I did the traditional blood tests, with some new ones as of four years ago-think 13 vials, and the nuchal translucency screening ultrasound.  

My ultrasound measurements looked great, but they aren't able to give a statistic until the combine the pictures with the blood results-which I should have later this week.  Then, they now recommend more blood work in the second trimester between 15-21 weeks where all of these results  combined, will give them a 90% likelihood of detection.  The more invasive option, but also more definite of an answer as oppose to a "prediction" is either the CVS testing or the Amnioentesis.  At this point, the blood work combined with ultrasound should be all I need G-d willing, but if the results come back concerning, we'll probably move forward with a test that can give us a more definitive answer.  

For now, things look good; baby movements are very reassuring, except for when I convince myself I'm making it up in my head, and then it's not reassuring!  I'm going to most likely schedule a quick heartbeat check for July 14 when I think I'll be in NY, and then about two weeks later I'll return for a routine OB appointment.   

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

First OB appointment

I drove into NY Monday-really for my first OB appointment, but since I was going, I also had my regular blood test by Dr. B first.  I took a goodbye cookie set, but I didn't say goodbye. I don't do goodbyes, and they all know I'll be back.  

Then I headed to my OB.  He's located in a new outdoor mall, so it's always fun to have an excuse to do some shopping.  It's known that afternoon appointments usually come with longer than normal wait times, and this was no exception.  I was particularly anxious because I'm not used to waiting so long into the day. I waited for about an hour and a half before they called me.  He joked I'd be in my third trimester before they saw me, but he had two emergencies earlier in the day!  We caught up, went over some records, and discussed my plan of care.  I am having my first trimester screening tomorrow (that was not without drama of course) and because of that, it wasn't necessary to do an ultrasound this appointment.  I did freak out that, "you're going to make sure it's alive today though, right?" Of course! We did my annual exam first, and then the nurse brought in the doppler.  When I went for my first appointment with Moshe, we couldn't hear the heartbeat via the doppler, so they rushed me for an ultrasound.  When it happened this time, the panic quickly set in.  The nurse just picked a random spot to start searching for the heartbeat, but it wasn't in the spot.  Thankfully, I feel the baby move, so I motioned for her to move to my left side, and right away we heart the heartbeat of 163.  "You know where that baby is!" she said.  

My ultrasound is tomorrow at 1:45 back in NY.  The ultrasound takes about 30-45 minutes, but they also told me to expect a wait since they're squeezing me in.  I will go in the morning for blood work, officially my last appointment with Dr. B, then run some errands, and then go to my appointment.  

I'm feeling consistent movement, plus having just heard the heartbeat I know this baby is alive.  However, this is a big appointment tomorrow-this is the first time we'll have the opportunity to look closely at the development and hopefully we'll have good results and all will be well.     

Taken last week at 11w0d

Sunday, June 25, 2017

3rd Ultrasound...

I'm sorry this post is so long overdue; the commute really tires me out, and because I miss an entire day of life, I often times don't have time to update the blog here as quickly as I'd like.  However, I do update Facebook and Instagram after each appointment, follow along there!  

For some reason I was much more nervous going into this ultrasound.  I would think the second ultrasound would be much more nerve wracking, but considering I had two really good ultrasounds-statistically, things were going to be good.  When Dr. B walked in, he congratulated me on this being my last ultrasound with him before releasing me to the OB, so of course, I muttered under my breath as I was leaning back, if it's alive.  And almost, without missing a beat, he responded with
Oh it's very much alive! 

Supposedly it was jumping, so much Dr. B and the tech gasped! But, as soon as he turned the screen to me-it stopped moving...

At the first ultrasound I measured four days behind, and then two weeks later I measured three days behind.  I was expecting to measure 10 weeks 3 days, but instead I actually measured 11 weeks! Tomorrow I go back to Dr. B for blood, and then at 11:45 I have my first OB appointment where I'm sure we'll nail down a proper measurement and a due date!  
If it's still alive...
Of course I know, having only been five days, it's most likely alive and well in there. In fact, I have started to feel it move-I thought I was crazy, but I knew for sure what it wasn't. And then when Dr. B saw all the movement, he confirmed I should definitely be feeling it! So I don't feel so crazy.  It's usually reassuring, but then at the same time the movements are so subtle now that I start thinking that I'm probably just making it up-which then makes me nervous because how do I know if I've felt it or not?
One thing's for sure, I'll definitely know more tomorrow!

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