Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday Munchies...err make that Tuesday...

I love routine.  I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch-every.single.day.  And I don't mind.
But if my schedule gets off course by a minute-oh man, watch out!
It took everything I had to go to sleep at 12:30 am and NOT post what I had scheduled-on two separate lists mind you!

Onto the food...I love food, all days, but especially now that I have an excuse to be gaining weight...I'll regret it later, I know, please don't remind me.  

I like to cook, and I'm pretty good at it. But I don't like to try new things.  
So, I rarely work with meat...
But I recently realized how cheap pepper steak can be, so I figured, why not?!?
I searched for recipes, found one that sounded good, looked easy and didn't require a lot of time...

We didn't really like the pepper steak, but the marinade and the method of cooking are perfect for chicken!
And it's incredibly adaptable to whatever veggies you love!
Personally, I like my chicken with colored peppers and broccoli.  
I've also used snap peas and mushrooms, but those aren't my go to faves.

Maria's Pepper Steak (Click to go to original recipe, I'm using my adaptations)
2/3 cup soy sauce 
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup red wine vinegar 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks 
Veggies-peppers, broccoli-whatever floats your boat, or flies your airplane as one of my former teachers used to say :) 

I use a large skillet-heat up marinade, add chicken.  Cover and heat, stirring occasionally.  Add your contents based on how well done you like them.  I like my broccoli well marinaded and mushy, but my peppers crunchy.  So on days I use broccoli I will marinade that first in the sauce until it's well cooked.  Then I transfer it out to a separate bowl.  I will then cook the chicken, and after about 10-15 minutes the chicken is cooked, I'll add in the peppers for a few minutes, just to give them some flavor of the marinade.  Then I'll add the broccoli back in just to heat.  

I serve it on a bed of whole wheat rice and add la choy noodles on top!  

I find this type of stir fry recipe much easier than the traditional wok recipe...enjoy!

*For some reason my picture are not uploading....oh, no biggie, I'll just add it to my list of things to do tomorrow ;)

Friday, April 26, 2013

National Infertility Awareness Week...
I couldn't let this week go by without mentioning NIAW.
I have to admit, it's a little strange to be speaking about infertility, given my current state-and how I found myself here.  
I've mentioned before that I feel like my place in the infertility community is kind of uh...tarnished??? 
Maybe I'm not really infertile...
Or not as infertile...
But then again, we all know its not about comparing battle wounds, it's about supporting each other and creating a community where we can rely on each other when we're down...and that's what I love about the infertility community, but especially in the blogging infertility community.  This is where I found support (unbeknownst to so many of you...) when my journey started.  
The one thing I will comment on, because I'm feeling now, although it applies to a different, yet similar situation now with the complications that have arisen-
Infertility isn't about accepting 
Infertility isn't about seeing the bigger picture
Infertility isn't about being happy with what you have
Infertility isn't about only being given what you can handle
And maybe I'll get into deeper feelings another time, but those same messages are being thrown at me now with the potentially devastating diagnosis of this baby, or just the fact that things may not possibly end up the way I had envisioned.  

Is it so wrong to grieve?  
Is it so wrong to worry?
Is it so wrong to cry?  
  Is it so wrong to want to be "normal?" 
Is it so wrong to be angry?
Is it so wrong to want things to be different? 
Infertility robs you, infertility changes you...
Not everything is sunshine and unicorns.
Yes, one day, you'll see the light, and be thankful...
But until then...

Photo: National Infertility Awareness month! Share, re-post, spread the word about -Infertility Awareness-

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Today's Ultrasound...

After Monday's ultrasound I was certain today's was only for peace of mind...certainty...
You would think I would have learned...like one of those life lessons kinda things: when things can go bad they will, or expect the worst but hope for the best...

Anyway, turns out, Monday's ultrasound gave us a little bit of false security.  
I want to make sure I'm clear: the doctor who found the supposed cyst was a perinatologist, not my OB, Dr. Wonderful.  The perinatologist herself thought things looked fishy and immediately wanted another set of eyes on it.  There was some confusion which is why this ultrasound, today, took place now as oppose to three weeks ago...

The specialist I'm now seeing, is the head of maternal fetal medicine and specializes in genetics.  

Today I had a fetal echocardiagram mixed in with some regular anatomy, as well as lots of looks at the brain.  The diagnosis from today is that this is a blood clot, not a cyst.  Blood clots have a cycle-blood, clot, reabsorb (as long as it's within the ventricles, which it is, and not in brain tissue, it won't, say cause a stroke or brain damage.)

So, the baby has a blood clot-why?
Most likely answer is-pregnancy related.  So I have to be checked for antibodies, and honestly not sure what else so see if it's something from me causing this.  
If it is, I don't know what we do, if it isn't, I don't know the answer to that either.  

I do know that there are a couple more questions: will the blood stay in the ventricle?  Will there be another bleed?  If there is another bleed, will the blood go into the tissue?  If the blood makes it into the tissue, now or later, will there be any problems?
We don't know...

This is the 'to do' list:
Blood work- tomorrow
Follow up next Friday with Dr. High Risk-he wants to see the baby's head through transvaginal ultrasound because that way, he can see much closer.  However, the baby needs to be head down at the time, he will not move the baby because of the bleed-so it's possible I'll go on Friday and we won't accomplish anything.  He will be looking closely for proper head formation.  
Monthly monitoring with ultrasound to monitor current bleed and watch for new ones-it will have to be determined how this baby is being delivered-at this point we're not talking when, just how...
I'm thankful that at my next ultrasound I'll be 24 weeks, viability...

Overall the prognosis is good, he said that most babies do exceptionally well with this.  For now, there are questions and unknowns that we need to try our best to answer and move forward from there.  
It wasn't the news I was hoping for, and I don't think it was what anyone expected, but I'm trying to stay positive. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I dropped it like it's hot...

My money that is...surprise, surprise.  
I'd say yesterday's appointment was cause for celebration, and Dr. Wonderful's office is located in a new outdoor mall, so what else is a girl supposed to do?!? 

In all fairness, I shopped the sales for the kids, and I finally paid my visit to Sephora.  

I need to publicly exclaim my love for Sephora.  
Why you may ask? 
Because I love that I can go in there and not only do I have access to tons of products, I have someone working with me who has knowledge about all of these products and can hand select what's best for me.  
I truly feel that if I went to a makeup counter at the mall, they would sell me some of their product, knowing full well it might not be what's best for me.  

For instance, I came in with a few makeup ideas in mind, ones that had come highly recommended.  
InStyle just released their recommended beauty products for all the different areas: foundation and cover-up, cheeks (there were probably more, but I only saved what I was interested in).
For reference on what is worth the splurge, according to Real Simple, check here.

Anyway, a few of the products I have been interested in for awhile now, were featured in InStyle as being top picks.

Make me beautiful 

At first I was a little taken aback by the fact that my Sephora assistant was a male...but we quickly got down to business.  I spoke with him at length regarding each of these products and it's funny to say, I didn't walk away with any of them! 

After finding out a little bit about what I want, he explained that some products aim to achieve a dewy look, and others create a matte finish.  I do not want dewy!!! So he did not think a BB cream was something I would be happy with, and I need heavy duty coverage so he did not think Laura Mercier would give me good enough coverage.  We both agreed that this blush was not for me based on my makeup expertise...I need something easy to apply, no guesswork, foolproof!

For starters, he explained to me that without a proper skin care routine, it won't matter what makeup I put on-the skin cannot accept it and will not function at it's best.  

Do I moisturize?  Yes...
Do I exfoliate? Not so much...
Do I have a microdermabrasion wash? Yes...
Do I use it? No...and I even have a clarisonic!  
What cleanser do I use? Depends, sometimes exfoliate, sometimes calming, sometimes delicate...

This is the routine that was suggested to me...

  Make me Glow   

 I will cleanse with this NU Nude Purify Wash, twice daily
It's not tested on animals and does not contain any chemicals, but it does contain the n probiotic, cinnimon, and omega oils...all natural...
I will use my Clarisonic with it at night
I will use the Clarins toner twice daily
I will use the Oil of Olay during the day and Vaseline at night
 People, he was not taken aback by that, at all...So that's my #1 beauty secret-moisturize at night with vaseline-cheap, no scent or harsh chemicals.
Twice weekly I will use the Mary Kay microdermabrasion

And I'm pleased to welcome my new beauty products

My new fave beauty products 

Obviously I will see over time how I feel about these products, but I can tell you that Day 1 was a success!  I received comments about how nice I looked, and how much pregnancy agrees with me!  

I was also told that I am wider than I am tall...but hey, can't win 'em all!  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Munchies...

I'm always searching for recipes that are not only a crowd pleaser-but also budget friendly, which is quite the challenge!  Steak is good, but so not budget friendly...

Our Costco bag of individually frozen salmon pieces had run dry, and I really was not in the mood to fork over $20 so I could have some salmon.  So I thought of other ways to provide the awesome Omega-3s.  And I remembered a somewhat regular meal from my childhood-salmon patties...with crunchy fish bones...

I did some quick research and came up with two recipes-both pretty much the same, although one suggested whole wheat bread crumbs vs. the regular, and the latter called for butter.  Knowing I was not going out of my way to make or buy whole wheat breadcrumbs, and then reading on and realizing the butter was solely for cooking purposes, I decided on the following recipe. 

Link included, just click :)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) salmon
  • 1 small onion, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups fine dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter

First I want to say WHOA to opening that can of salmon!  I was expecting something canned-tuna like...boy was I in for a surprise! All it was missing was it's head!

Yes, I used the skin, bones and the canned liquid...more flavor!
I hated the crunchy fish bones as a kid (which are totally safe to eat by the way).  So I opened up my utensil drawer and was excited to use my potato masher to mash the bones and skin, and I'm pleased to report that it was successful.  I did not taste any bones!!!

After you mash the salmon, add in the grated onion, minced parsley and pepper.  I attempted grating the onion, but all I ended up with was onion juice, so I just chopped as small as I could.  
The eggs are supposed to be added at the end, but I actually mashed everything together-because I don't have the patience to read directions.

The original recipe calls for reserving 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs for rolling the formed patties in before cooking.  However, I attempted this at first, but didn't really see the point, so I stopped.  The original recipe also says to use butter to fry the patties.  I just sprayed my skillet with non-stick spray and for some of them I sprayed the exposed side pre-flippage to help it get a nice cooked look.  Either way works...

These don't need to cook long-just enough to help the eggs cook and hold their final shape-because hey, another awesome thing about this recipe is that almost everything is pre-cooked!!!  

We served our salmon patties on a whole wheat bun with sliced avocado dressed with lemon juice and salt and pepper.

On another note, I want to thank those of you that thought of us, prayed for us, texted us and supported us as we went through our follow up ultra sound. I am pleased to report that Thank G-d, although the cyst is still present, and in a location unseen to the perinatologist, it appears to be a regular choroid plexus cyst.  It is measuring smaller, there is no blood flow to it, the surrounding tissues appear normal, all four ventricles of the brain appear to be developing as normal, as does the other anatomy.  What remains much less worrisome is the location.  Therefore, it is still recommended that I receive a neuro ultrasound so another set of eyes can take a look at this, just to be sure.  Although we can't say 100% that this is a normal cyst, we are much more confident that this is nothing to worry about.  My follow up ultrasound will be this Thursday.  Hopefully we will receive more good news then, and we will determine at that time if additional monitoring is required.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

  22 weeks...Onto Month 6
Total weight gain/loss: My scale at home, which I trust more than the Dr. W reads the same number that it did at his office 3 weeks ago, so I think I'm up about 22-25 lbs.  But I'm more ok with it now than I was then considering I'm 22 weeks!

Maternity clothes?Mainly stretchy skirts during the day, but some maternity bottoms (I really don't have that many) and It's still a mix between loose tunic tops and maternity tops.  The maternity tops fit than tunics even because of the length and they're wider so my rolls are more hidden and they don't hit awkwardly at the waist.

Sleep: Sleep has been pretty good!  I'm better able to function on much less sleep, which unfortunately is what I need to do in order to complete my day-to-day activities.  I wish I could log 8-9 hours of sleep though.  I still don't usually have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, but I'm waking up 45 minutes before my alarm needing to go, which is super annoying! 

Best moment this month: The best moment was also the worst moment-the anatomy scan revealed a potential issue.  You can read about that here.  I have a follow up scan Monday.  My husband and I were also able to accomplish  A TON of necessary house hold tasks-like organizing our garage and the dining room.  Still a few more to go, but I can't wait until I have only enjoyable tasks to be taken care of!

Movement: Houston, we have movement! At exactly 20 weeks I saw my belly move from the outside and from then on I've been able to feel it from the outside too.  My husband has even been able to feel it!  I feel movement at consistent times, every day.  So yay for that comfort and peace of mind of an alive baby!  (Yes, I still am worried about a dead baby...)

Exercise: Thankfully I have found a walking partner and have been walking 3-4 miles, with the stroller, most days the past few weeks.  I still have not attempted the DVD but really do want to implement that soon.  We've finished up a lot of house hold organizing and tasks, so once those big To Do items are off the list, I'll have a lot more time and energy to focus on the day to day activities. 

Gender: We know but are keeping it a secret, the best we can anyway.  And no, we have not slipped...yet.

Labor Signs: Nope! 

Belly Button in or out? Usually the top sticks out.

What I miss:running and having self-control over my diet...must.get.better! I also would like to stop peeing my pants whenever I sneeze or cough.  But that won't go away any time soon.

What I am looking forward to:OB appointment 4/22!  I also have a few Stella & Dot shows coming.  Really hoping to amp that up in the next few weeks!  I must have popped because upon my return from Spring vacation I got a lot of comments from co-workers on how I've grown.  For example, this is what one of my male co-workers said to me, "Wow, you are going to be a house!"  Another example, "You are exploding!"  Ahh...men.  I did tell them that as long as they don't make comments  when I have 30 lbs to lose, we're all good! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Just Keep on Swimming...

 No pun intended...

But that's how I feel these days.  

Try to remain calm amidst the unknown...

I'm sure a lot of this is stemming from the fact that my follow up ultrasound is Monday at 1:45.  I was actually tempted to call them yesterday to see if I could move the appointment up to today or tomorrow, but never got around to it. I'm actually really surprised at how I've handled the past two weeks. It will be two and a half weeks by the time the appointment rolls around.  Most of the time I'm fairly calm and certain all is well.  But then...doubt creeps in.  
Monday I'll hopefully have a more definitive answer.  Obviously we won't know anything 100%, but if the area looks smaller, we're relatively in the clear....if it's not smaller, or larger, well I don't know what the next steps are, but I can imagine it won't be good.  

And then of course Monday was Tax Day!  We're still waiting to hear the final word on if we even get a return, hopefully we don't owe money! And that is also adding to my anxiety. 
Money is such a HUGE stresser for me.  
No way to control it...no realistic options for making more money...
I'm terrible at cutting back on my spending; I can justify everything...
We need a money bush, or to win the lottery.     

There's just a lot of unknowns right now, although I know things will work out, it's just hard to remain calm when the puzzle's incomplete...

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with more happy thoughts :)


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When something catches your eye...

Does it ever happen to you-when you are perfectly content (with whatever it may be) and then you see it?  Now, all of a sudden, you are re-thinking everything?  You're now on a wild goose chase to figure it all out?
What's this it I'm speaking of?
Well, last week it was to make my boys more fashionable and try to find a few staples that will transform their look and give me versatility, and not break the bank!

Today, well, last week, technically speaking...
it was this Pin where it all began...

And then I clicked...

And it got me thinking...
about the storage in my bathroom...
exciting right? 
NY houses are typically older, with very limited storage! The only storage I have on my first floor is a semi-walk in pantry!  Upstairs each room has a closet (mine has two, but it's minimal) and a tiny linen closet.  So any way I can clear up some space, I'll take it!  I thought creating some shelving on the open wall in my bathroom would be a genius idea!  

So my wild goose chase began, and this is what I found

I learned all about floating shelves, got some fancy bins at Home Goods, cleaned out my linen closet and discovered I had bought new, matching towels at some point, and found all my coordinating hand towels!  All I'm waiting for is my father in law to hang the shelves and I'll get right to putting my toilet paper in a cutesy basket!
Every domesticated woman's dream...toilet paper in a fancy basket! 
It's the little things people...

There are a few decorative items I'm still on the search for, but I can't wait to reveal to you my new, more storage efficient bathroom! 
Especially since I love my shower curtain, is that weird?  I have an obsession with my shower curtain...

What projects are you hoping to complete in the near future?    

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Munchies...

I'm sure many of you can relate to the dinner debacle:  wanting to make something good and healthy- yet satisfying to the pallets of babes.  
It's a challenge....
But with this recipe, everyone wins!
And I know I've won because Moshe thanked me for giving this to him for lunch today! 

What I love about this recipe is that there is minimal prep work which means not so many dishes, and not so much time spent actually working in the kitchen.  I don't really take into account the cooking time (which is about 45 minutes) because I can multi-task!

I definitely want to disclose that I found this recipe somewhere, some time ago, but I never wrote it down.  For some reason, the measurements were just that easy that I could remember it on a whim.  
I'm probably missing an ingredient or two...but who cares?!? As my Grandfather says, "it eats!" And eat it does!  We are known to demolish a whole pan of this in one sitting!!!! 

Turkey Meat Loaf 
1 lb ground turkey (I use white, lean turkey)
1 egg
1/4 cup of flavored bread crumbs
1 chopped onion 

ketchup and brown sugar for topping-I just eyeball this!

I will at least double this.  If you do 2 lbs in a larger loaf pan, it will be decently thick.  This time, I did 2 lbs in a 9x13 tray and it wasn't as thick, but plenty per serving, and it helped reduce the cooking time! No pink middles!!! 

Place the ground turkey in a bowl and add the chopped onion, egg and breadcrumbs.  Mix to combine-I use my hands.  I don't particularly care for it, but it definitely works out better than using a spoon.  Spray your pan of choice. Once all the ingredients are combined, place the turkey mixture into your pan. 

Create your ketchup and brown sugar mixture.  Pour on top and spread evenly across.  

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  I check after 20 minutes and then every 15 minutes until done.  I did notice this time that it was done when it had shrunk and there was juice/fat at the bottom.  I did not have these same observations when I made this in a loaf pan, so it could be the effect of the pan. 

This is a fabulous dish, that has quickly become a staple! 

What kid-friendly, healthy, and satisfying dinners do you love?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Saying Goodbye...

As all pet owners know, the time will come when you have to say good bye.  It's probably one of the harder decisions one has to make in life-it's a delicate balance.  You don't want to do it too soon because of minor inconveniences like extra medications, maybe some accidents in the house, etc.  But you definitely don't want to wait too long.
My parents got their first dog the year before I was born, a test run we'll call it!  But by the time I was old enough to really appreciate him, he was older and not his spunky puppy self.  At the time of his decline we brought Gracie into our home as a rescue dog.  
She will forever be remembered as my childhood dog. 

Times have changed and I haven't seen her often-in fact, only two times in the past two years!  When we saw her a few weeks ago, we all knew it would be the last.  With her weakened back legs she can barely get around, as well as all the other old lady problems that come along with aging.  Her body is failing her, and it is time to let her go.

I didn't think it would be this hard.  

As I write this, my parents are on their way to put her to sleep, and oh how I wish I was there to give her one last hug and kiss.  

Oh this girl, my childhood companion...

Have a safe journey my sweet girl, and be nice to your new friends...

Thanks for making my childhood brighter...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Paying Tribute...

Sir Robert Edwards, the pioneer behind IVF, passed away yesterday.  In 1968 he created a "ball of cells" which is known as a blastocyst (early stages of an embryo), which grew outside of the, typical, uterine environment.  His scientific breakthroughs have led to 5+ million births!  

Sir Robert Edwards, without you and your scientific discoveries and medical advancements, my family would be incomplete.  

On my way home from work, I reflected on what my life would be like without children.  
For one thing, I would have a lot more money...I kid I kid (sorta :/ ) 

In all honesty, my husband and I have talked about how having kids at such a young, unstable time might not seem the most responsible or logical, but we do not regret it.  Not.one.single.second.  
That's what was best for us.  
I've had, surprisingly, quite a few instances where off the cuff remarks were made to me regarding the obvious relationship between my finances and the choice to have kids.  Although, I'm sure many of us who have gone through treatment will concur that having kids isn't as much of a choice as it is a need, a requirement, it's fulfillment.  
Having kids is not a choice, it is a need.  It is a fundamental aspect of happiness.  Now,  that's not to say that people who choose to not have kids, or end up childless do not lead happy lives-my point is that there is a drive, almost an uncontrollable one to have a child, however that child comes into your life.  

If Sir Robert Edwards had not dedicated his life to medicine and science,
I would not have a little 3 year old boy who crawls into my bed every night
I would not have a 20 month old who asks for his Abba every morning
I would not have an art gallery of adorable, yet almost indistinguishable paintings and drawings
I would not have food splattered and stuck on my wall
I would not have floor to ceiling bins of out-grown clothing to organize before storing
I would not have dried raisins and smushed crackers all over the back seat of my car
I would not have a toy car or a diaper in my purse 
I would show up to work with out stains on my clothes
I wouldn't have stretch marks 
 I would not have two little boys who ask for hugs and kisses every morning on my way out the door

I'm forever grateful for all these things and the joy they've brought to my life
Sir Robert Edwards-I'm forever grateful for you.               

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Boys Fashion...

I have never been one to be up on the fashion trends, and I probably never will.  I'm one of those-the same bottom with the same top, never mix and match!  Which is probably one reason why I have so many clothes because I've never learned the art of actually putting outfits together.  
This problem has seemed to carry on to my boys' fashion-duh, because I buy their clothes and I dress them!  They, of course, also have too many clothes!  I tend to think they look pretty cute, but in all honesty, I fear for them.  They may be destined to a childhood with patterned pants and matching sweater vests.  I love them, of course, but I swoon over the preppy look.  I just have no idea how to put it together!  

I was recently turned on (and I fell hard, let me tell you) to ZARA kids!  I had no idea they even had a kids section!  This might be why my credit card will be taken away.  

What do you think of these outfits?

My Mommy's a Fashionista #1 

My Mommy's a Fashionista #2

My Mommy's a Fashionista #3 

My Mommy's a Fashionista #4
My Mommy's a Fashionista #5 

All of these outfits were created on Polyvore with inspiration from Zara Kids.  I am still trying to figure out Polyvore so I apologize if the product information is not visible.  I am in love with these outfits and plan on creating many more and pinning them so I have a reference for myself!  

I have most of the boys' spring/summer clothing, but I think there are a few staples missing!
Shoes, jackets, shoes and jackets!
My boys are on their way to stylin'

Where do you like to shop for boy clothes?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday Munchies...

So I found out I've gained 25 lbs so far...are your ears bleeding?  Because that was super painful for me to hear!  But, at least I'm now decently motivated to shape up and have a much healthier second half of the pregnancy!  
And with that comes cleaner eating and exercise!  Yes, folks, I finally exercised 2 days in a row!  I walked with friends.  Today, I tried running (so I wouldn't be late meeting up with my walking partner) and I think that ship has sailed my friends.  It has just.been.too.long.  And I was so sad to see a friend run past me-the same path I used to run.  
I used to be able to run 10 miles...
Now I can barely walk up the stairs...

I might start the Cough 2 5k again, because that is how this whole running thing started anyway.  Or, I might just stick with walking.  But I also have the DVD I bought which I would like to begin incorporating into my weekly activities.  
This Sunday my husband and I plan on completing the garage makeover (we have to organize and move things) as well as finally put up all the outgrown baby/kids clothes.  Once these major organization tasks are off my to-do list, I can start putting more time towards the more typical activities.  

Have I mentioned lunches and dinners are a struggle for me?  We always eat the same thing.  Which I guess isn't necessarily bad, but I feel bad for subjecting my family to my boringness.  When I was grocery shopping this weekend I was trying to think of new, healthy lunch ideas.  Then it hit me! 

Israeli salad
whole wheat wrap
feta cheese

Israeli Salad
6 cucumbers diced
4 roma tomatoes seeded and diced 
5 green onions sliced
1 red bell pepper seeded and diced 
1/3 cup chopped garlic
1 cup fresh chopped parsley 
1/2 minced fresh mint leaves 
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

What I love about this recipe is there is room to adapt.  I did not have green onions.  Will it make it or break it?  Nope!  I also did not have any fresh herb, but I had dried (minus the parsley) and that will work just fine!  

I already can't wait for lunch!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The snowball effect...

I'm in a rut. 
I'm Type A, and when one thing is out of my control-it's all out of my control.  

With this recent anatomy scan scare (which I'm still trying to accept, compartmentalize, and move on for the time being), it's got me thinking about everything else I have to worry about.  Because, of course, if one thing is bad, everything else must be going down the tubes too.

This is my current list of worries:
the baby
my job for next year
the increased cost of childcare for next year
a new bedtime routine
a new daytime routine-because I need to start exercising and spending time with Stella & Dot
having my kids spend more time with books instead of the TV
eating healthier 
creating a more versatile lunch and dinner menu
organizing my garage 
organizing the toys/ IKEA expedit unit
figuring out what baby things we need (I know it's baby #3, but....)
getting back on top of a regular cleaning schedule (my husband pointed out how badly the upstairs needed vacuumed-guess sweeping weekly isn't enough...)

Basically, I'm just not able to compartmentalize bad things.  When one bad thing happens, I feel defeated in all aspects of my life.  I know a lot of these daily struggles are things that every parent struggles with.  I also know that with time, these things will get taken care of.  I will have what I need for the baby.  I have no reason to think my job is at all in jeopardy, it's just something I worry about because I have to wait until June to find out if I'm rehired-just like everyone else. 

I know things will work out, but when the going gets tough, I don't want to be tough and get going, I just want to throw in the towel.  

Just keep on keeping on.... 

Friday, April 5, 2013

The best laid plans...

I had planned on posting here yesterday about how great the anatomy scan was.  I had plans of posting here today in celebration of marking the halfway point in this pregnancy.

But John Lennon said it best, "life is what happens while you're busy making other plans..."

Things didn't go as planned yesterday.  

Maybe I should have been suspect considering the bad feelings I've had all along.
Maybe I should have been suspect when a few weeks ago, at the impromptu ultrasound, the tech wasn't very warm and congratulatory.  I asked if there was a brain and I got a reaction I can't quite explain in words.
Maybe I should have been suspect when the ultrasound tech yesterday spent a great amount of time looking at the baby's hands and feet.  

I knew when the perinatologist said, "there is something concerning..."

The baby presents with what appears to be a choroid plexus cyst.  
A choroid plexus cyst is:

Choroid plexus cysts (CPCs) are cysts that occur within choroid plexus of the brain. The brain contains pockets or spaces called ventricles with a spongy layer of cells and blood vessels called the choroid plexus. This is in the middle of the fetal brain. The choroid plexus has the important function of producing a fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid produced by the cells of the choroid plexus fills the ventricles and then flows around the brain and the spinal cord to provide a cushion of fluid around these structures.
CPCs can form within this structure and come from fluid trapped within this spongy layer of cells, much like a soap bubble or a blister. CPCs are often called "soft signs" or fetal ultrasound "markers" because some studies have found a weak association between CPCs and fetal chromosome abnormalities.
It is believed that many adults have one or more tiny CPCs.[1] CPCs have no impact on an individual's health or development or learning. The fetal brain may create these cysts as a normal part of development. They are temporary and usually are gone by the 32nd week of pregnancy.
With atypical anatomy, a choroid plexus cyst can be a potential marker for trisomy 18 or trisomy 21-with typical anatomy, the cyst is totally benign.  In fact, Dr. Wonderful informed me that all 3 of his kids presented with them.  But the perinatologist went on to tell me she had never seen a choroid plexus cyst in the location it's located in the baby. 

The perinatologist ended up sending the image to another doctor who has studied choroid plexus cysts and his read on the scan is that this is a normal presentation.  However, I'm not put at ease because the doctor said she had never seen this presentation before.  Had I never heard those words, I would not.be.freaking.out.  But I feel like I have no choice but to take what they say with a grain of salt.  

All the optimism...I feel like I can't accept it, especially since, after all-I did have a feeling something was wrong.  If I'm so lucky to have this, typical, choroid plexus cyst be what's "wrong," then that will be amazing!  But I can't help but worry...

What if I'm right?  What if it is a trisomy? 
It doesn't quite make sense because there would be physical markers-which this baby presents with none.  But none of this is 100% sure.  

For now, I go back to remeasure the cyst on April 22nd-the cyst will hopefully appear smaller (because the brain has grown appropriately) and I can rest assured that this is most likely a benign cyst.  
We didn't discuss if it doesn't appear smaller? Bigger? 

In the meantime, I'm trying to remain optimistic as the final professional opinion was that there IS nothing to worry about...

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