Thursday, February 25, 2010

Swimming, second attempt

Swimming was much more enjoyable this week. For a start, the pool was cold. It took me at least 10 lengths to get comfortably warm. But I felt like I had a good workout and will be aiming to go every Wednesday. Its better for the bones and joints!

Good news on the sock; I have made especially good progress on the sock this week in Danny's absence. Bad news on the sock; I have run out of yarn with just an inch or so to go! I am going to contact the store today, see if they have the same dye lot still, fingers crossed!

There is not a cloud in the sky here in Ox-patch, MS, contributing to the 18F (-8C) this morning!

Danny comes home tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breakfast Muffins

These are so easy to make (if you have a food processor!) and such a great mid-morning snack! So tasty!

Breakfast Muffins

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two muffin pans (spray oil works wonders).

Mix the following together:
1 c Wholewheat flour
1 c Spelt Flour
1/2 c ground flax
1c Sugar (I used raw, you could use honey)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt

Stir in:
2 c shredded carrots (2-4 medium carrots)
1 apple, core removed, shredded
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c sunflower seeds

In a separate bowl, mix together:
3 eggs
1/3 c canola oil
2/3 c apple sauce
2 tsp vanilla extract

Stir egg mixture into carrot/flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Use ice cream scoop to place mix into muffin pans. It made 16 for me. I also sprinkled a little mix of cinnamon, brown sugar and flour over the top for a crunchy topping.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. I also broiled/grilled on high for 2 minutes to make the top crunchy, but kept a close eye on it. Use toothpick to check they are fully cooked.

Original recipe from all recipes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I had lots of crazy pregnancy dreams in the first trimester, but they have dwindle somewhat and I just sleep really really hard when Im asleep, or I lay in bed awake with sore hips.

Sunday night I dreamt about eating at Subway, you know, the sandwich place. I didn't dream about any particular sandwich, as Im not prone to eating at Subway, but I dreamt about being in a Subway store and someone making me a sandwich. It really made me laugh when I woke up because I have never dreamed about food before! Ive woken up in the night hungry, Ive even woken up in the night and sent Danny to the kitchen to get me some food, but I havent dreamed about it, especially something so specific and that I dont usually eat. Maybe I should go get a sandwich!?

Four daffodils are now in bloom.

I feel like death today.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Does this mean its Spring?

Does it mean its officially Spring if my first daffodil has bloomed?

I would take a picture of the cute little fellow (I think it might be stunted by the cold weather) but I have temporarily misplaced my mini-camera and the photographer is in Sacramento. My Hellebore (Lenton Rose) is also looking most beautiful. It makes me sad that is off in one corner of the garden, so I think I shall have to get some more. hmmmm. Perhaps a trip to the garden center friday?

I spent a busy Sunday raking leaves and mulching flower beds, only to go inside and sweep, vacuum and do laundry. Still managed to sit down with my knitting by 4pm and eat the most incredible dinner ever. I just love Spaghetti squash! Its the easiest dinner ever!

Baked spaghetti squash

(2-3 servings)

Spaghetti squash
Lemon juice

Marinara sauce
Chopped olives
Frozen spinach

Cut squash in half length ways, scrape out seeds and innards. Set on baking dish cut side up. Pour in some lemon juice, water (so liquid is about a centimeter deep in center of squash), a knob of butter and season heavily (ie. salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley etc). Bake at about 400F for approximately 1 hour. Stab with knife to see if its cooked (soft).

Leave squash to cool briefly. While squash is cooling, in a small bowl place sufficient marinara and frozen spinach for two. Microwave 4 minutes. Mix marinara, spinach, pesto and olives together.

Shred squash flesh from the outside in. Mix with sauce and enjoy the healthiest dinner you could create with almost no effort!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Bump

There isnt too much to show for 20 weeks of gestation, I promise it looks bigger in person!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Special Treat!

I had the best breakfast ever today, I felt like I was in a posh restaurant but I wasn't paying through the roof for it and I was still in my pjs! If you want to treat yourself to a special breakfast, I seriously suggest you make crepes.

I got in the mood Tuesday, when it was Pancake Day in England. I had four crepes after my chicken noodle soup dinner! Totally made my evening after such a lame dinner. I just had a taste for them after that. I never make them because they seem like so much work, but I was reminded this week, just how easy they are to make!

Unfortunately my recipe is British, so you will have to work out your own conversions.


4 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
300 ml milk
oil for frying (spray oil is super easy)

That's it! That's all you need!

Whisk the salt into the flour. Whisk the egg into the flour. Whisk the milk into the flour. Leave for 30 minutes. Whisk batter again, should be the consistency of cream. Heat up pan to just warmer than medium heat, spray with oil, pour in batter, roll it around base of frying pan cook about 45 seconds on each side.

Spray pan before cooking each new crepe. I dont know if it is safe, but I keep the batter in the fridge if I dont finish it all. Just whisk it up and it makes great crepes the next day.

For my delicious breakfast I made four (probably a little greedy!), folded them in half and stacked them across my plate. I doused them in lemon juice and poured over some microwaved summer fruits (I had stored since the summer in the freezer - peaches, blackberries and blueberries). I sprinkled a teaspoon of raw sugar over and topped with three dollops of vanilla yoghurt (Stoneyfield Farms Organic Fat-Free, my favourite!).

With a glass of pineapple juice, who can think of anything more decadent to start the day!

Im sure if you were so inclined you could have warmed banana with chocolate sauce and whipping cream, but I don't like chocolate and I dont buy bananas, so that wasn't my cup of tea.

Please please make this for your loved one tomorrow! They will definitely have a smile on their face for the rest of the day!

Not sure that I want to wander out into the cold with my full tummy to rake yet more leaves for the day now! Needs must, I suppose.

I wish I could have shared my delicious breakfast with my most handsome husband, who is working himself half to death in California as we speak.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I apologise in advance, but I am going to have a little moan here;

I woke up in the middle of the night, sometime around 3-4am just so uncomfortable, I could not sleep. That was it, no more sleep for me. I guess I had been spoiled recently by sleeping all night long. Ugh. So then when my alarm eventually went off (even though I was already awake) I then nodded off, helpful. I am almost catatonic today. Useless heap of skin.

Other news;

I tried swimming last night, and lets just say, it was not the freeing experience I had thought it would be. All you read, all everyone talks about, is how in water you don’t notice all the extra weight and its so comfortable and lovely. Well, let me tell you, I hated it last night. My new bathing suit fits fine, so that was a plus. I managed to swim 38 laps in sets of ten, so I suppose I got some exercise in. On a day to day basis, I feel no pressure on my stomach or hips and I don’t yet feel super heavy. I have started getting some minor lower back aches, bit its not such a big deal right now. But no pain or pressure anywhere at any time. So I get into the pool, push off and there is this incredible pressure/pain on my lower abdomen. Almost either like I had to pee desperately (which I didnt) or like I was wearing really tight clothing (which I wasn’t). It was so uncomfortable. Anyways, I powered through.

Why did I do an odd 38 laps if I was swimming sets of 10? Suddenly I had to vomit. Vomit. I haven’t puked once in this pregnancy. So I flopped onto my back and floated back to my drink and shoes. I had some cold water and just stood in the pool. Eventually managed to heave my massive self out of the water and had to just sit there on the side of the pool until the room stopped spinning. Standing up and putting on my shoes was also a slow experience as I was worried about falling over. I asked the life guard girly if it was always this hot in the water and she said they don’t know what happened that day but it was 91F! No wonder I almost passed out. Anyways, I have to wash my hair mid-week generally so Im going to give it another few shots in the up coming weeks, see if cooler water is any better, but I have to say, I enjoyed the gym (which I hate) a whole lot more than swimming and felt like I got more of a work out.

Munch had an active night partying. I made some good progress on the sock, read a little and went to bed at a reasonable time. Just wish Id gotten more sleep!

Sorry for the moan!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

20 weeks pregnant!

20 weeks.

5 months.


Its hard to imagine I am already half-way through the pregnancy of our first child, and that it seems like Ive been pregnant forever!

Ive learned a few things recently.

I finally look pregnant! But Ive learned that in order for other people to realise that Im pregnant and dont just have a beer-belly, I have to dress in a certain way. I was wearing baggy, loose clothing, but this just makes me look short and fat. I guess I am these things, but Im fat for a reason; a reason Im proud of. Ive discovered that if you wear a tighter top, but Im not talking lycra, skin-tight, stretching at the seams tight, just form fitting, or tie looser sweaters under the boobs or wear empire waists, it actually makes you look pregnant when you want to.

Ive learned that two pillows stuffed behind your back really helps back ache when you sit at a desk all day, and that two pillows between your legs when you sleep stops your hips hurting.

Ive learned that small dinners are the only way forward.

Ive learned that I cannot run more than a mile without crippling my feet. This was an important thing to learn last friday, as I have now had to explore other forms of exercise.

Which leads to learning that even if I had wanted to still be riding my bike to work and around town, I would not be able to. I worked out on a stationary bike at the gym, which was really fun, but I tried to lean foward to grab the other handle bars and I couldnt reach because I would squish my belly. So unless I bought a cruiser bike, I cant ride any of my current bikes, and Im just not ready to spend money on a bike I dont really want for a few months of use.

I have learned that baby doesnt like mummy to have quiet time, but at least I learned this lesson early! When ever I sit down to relax is when Munch decides it wants to party. Its fun and I love it, Im not complaining at all, I just realised last night in a yoga class that it was rather perfectly timed. We sat down cross-legged and closed our eyes to get in the right place for the class and Munch was playing football with something down there. Then in the resting pose at the end, during which I almost fell asleep, Munch was turning somersaults! Both instances made me smile and definitely lightened my mood, so I guess helped me relax after all!

I have learned how much is too much for my shared body and how insanely important drinking water is. Sunday we went shopping in Memphis and since we were just wandering round, I forgot to drink. Then I just collapsed onto a bench and made Danny go get some water which I downed in seconds, before feeling much better! And Monday I had to take a break and get a snack after cleaning all morning, ending with mopping the kitchen floor.

Ive learned that ridiculous things make me cry and I cant stop until Danny cuddles me. Such as finding that he had left one sock out of the laundry basket on the floor at the weekend, only to realise that I had washed the darks without that one sock and now had an odd sock. Well that and the fact that Danny joked that it was my fault that the sock wasnt in the laundry. After some hysterical fits of tears, I managed to explain that I already feel inadequate, not being able to do all of the things I have always done and that being reminded of that, even in jest, just makes me feel more inadequate and useless. So hopefully jokes like this wont be made again!

I have learned that afternoon naps will change your world!

I have learned that there is masses and masses of baby crap out there that you have to filter through and determine what you actually need. And that still baby stuff is just so expensive. But that making registries is really fun! I have made one at Target and Amazon, with a little tiny list at Babies R Us.

Oh, so I have also learned that Babies R Us is about 30% more expensive than anywhere else you can buy baby stuff.

Ive learned that my dogs most definitely know there is something different about me. Tux, my large Rottweiller type dog used to paw at my stomach before I was pregnant, but now he will only paw my shoulder or my thigh (when Im sitting down - he isnt that big!). Mojo, my smaller, fluffier dog doesnt usually jump up at people, but often has these hyper-excited episodes where he runs circles around the house barking in his play tone. The other day he did go to jump on me and before Danny could even yell at him, he spread his legs out and kinda splatted into me with the side of his face because after he started to jump, he realised he couldnt hit me! So cute! How do they know these things.

During the 21st week of pregnancy the baby is producing blood cells through its own bone marrow and practicing eating amniotic fluid, from which it can even digest sugars (tasty!). I can look forward to varicose veins and urinary tract infections. Speaking of, I have also learned that if you lean forward after you think you are done peeing, more pee comes out, helping to prevent that lovely UTI!

At this stage of pregnancy I feel great! Exercising is fun, though requires longer recovery time and more stretching afterwards. If I stay up a little later than I want to, I sleep much better throughout the night.

oh and as far as pictures of the bump go, I should be able to post one tomorrow. We took some pictures in a hurry Tuesday lunchtime so Im just waiting for him to send one to me! I must warn you though, there isnt too much to see right now! Perhaps Munch is shy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have had to officially give up running longer distances, my feet just hurt too much. I think its a combination of the extra weight Im carrying around and the hormone relaxin which, funny enough, relaxes all of your joints and ligaments. This is causing my foot to splay more. After a long 6 mile jog/walk with the dogs at the trails on a beautiful Friday afternoon of sunshine and 50F (funny in itself since it snowed all day monday!), I actually couldnt walk into the kitchen from the couch to get a drink. Well that was the last straw.

So last night I had to venture into the gym, my nemesis place. ugh. Its so surreal in a gym, especially if your music has the right beat. There was one song I was listening to last night, during which everyone in the room seemed to be bopping and bouncing to the music in my head. I still ran a mile on the track to warm up and just get it out of my system, but that was definitely my limit, and even that caused my feet some pain. I tried three different aerobic machines, I have no idea what any of them are called. I did not enjoy the stair climbing one at all and will attempt a different one as my third machine next time. An hour of more relaxed aerobic activity is, I suppose, better than crippling my feet.

I also have purchased a maternity tankini from Target for $11 (steal!) which should do me for some time. Going to test the waters tomorrow.

Im all alone in the world for the next two weeks as that husband of mine is in sunny Sacramento, CA. Believe it or not, there is a hole in the runway at Atlanta airport and they got stuck there overnight, but finally made it to Sac this morning, tired and weary. Ive a busy week though, so that should make time fly!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


- Ayn Rand

Last week I read Athem, by Ayn Rand. I have to say, and I hate that this seems to be my theme lately, I was a little disappointed. After absolutely loving Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, which I read in a frenzy last summer, devouring each page quicker than I could turn it, I had seriously high hopes for this short story.

Its theme runs true to all of the other books Ayn Rand seems to write; individualism is quashed by society, one person breaks free from the regime and sees the light, as it were.

I cant tell you about the story line, in case you read it, but there is a turning point in the book, after which it does become especially exciting and I couldn't put it down to go to sleep and stayed up way past my bed time. But that point was about two thirds the way through. I also thought it was especially convenient that the house that the breakaway individual finds, is stocked with intellectually stimulating books of history and science, not trashy novels or fictional books. Then, perhaps, his opinion of the Unmentionable Times would have been a completely different one!

It is interesting to read her opinions and worries, but I fear that having to continually read them, may get a little tiresome and repetitive. If you just read one Ayn Rand book, please make sure it is Atlas Shrugged, but if you have a spare weekend, or even afternoon, Anthem is a quick read and you can happily borrow my version.

Oh! and incase you were worried about Munch and I, it was just a 24 hour stomach bug last week that lots of ginger tea and a hot water bottle seemed to make more bearable. It seems to be going round Mississippi and there doesnt seem to be much you can do to avoid it. I hope you dont get it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Wonderful thing happened last night...

Please do not be confused. The excruciating pain I was in from my (hopefully) 24 hour stomach virus yesterday afternoon/evening was not the wonderful thing that happened to us last night. It was horrid, in fact. I am, however, hoping it was a stomach bug and not a bladder/kidney infection, only time will tell, I guess.

Don't worry though. I had a very attentive nurse. My lovely husband made me endless cups of fresh ginger lemon tea, brought me a hot water bottle for my back and made me dinner full of ginger. I then sat on the couch all night long. Fingers crossed, that did the trick!

No, the wonderful thing that happened last night was that Danny felt the baby kick and punch! It's a lot earlier than I thought he would feel it! At first, with his hand on my stomach, I would say, 'did you feel that?' and he would just look at me, disappointed. Then the kick was harder and he realised that the little pow pow under his hand wasn't a fart moving around! The baby punched also, I guess evident by where the movement was coming from.

So despite the excruciating abdominal pain, we were not worried about the baby because it was still playing around on its usual schedule! Yeay for the little joys in life!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pictures from within!

On friday we went for our monthly check up. 18 weeks.

At 18 weeks you are able to find out the gender of your kid, but we are keeping it a surprise. Fortunately, we were still given an ultrasound; now Ginger, the ultrasound tech, knows what we are having, other than a baby!

Heartbeat 146 bpm.

Head is by my belly button, butt down by the pubic region.

During the whole thing, Munch was just chillin', then at the end, it raised its hand to its face and the ultrasound tech thinks it started sucking its thumb!

I actually get close to tears just seeing these pictures.

What I find funny is that I can comfortably run 4, 8-minute miles like any other person, but I need help getting out of the car, a boost to get up off the couch and feel like a turtle on its back trying to get out of bed! Whats that all about!?

I got rescued from the cold by my good buddy Tasha this week, who donated some beautiful and warm sweaters. Now Im kicking back, all toasty like! Thanks Tash!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Definite no nos

I went jogging at the Turner Center last night, which is the gym on campus. The running track is above the basketball courts, so you can see folks playing basketball.

Don't get me wrong, these are just my opinions...

If you are a guy, and you have to wear a head band to tie your hair back because it is too long, you need a hair cut.

It is not attractive or appealing to play basketball with a bunch of other guys, shirtless. Are you doing it to impress the other guys, or do you think there are women watching? If you absolutely must take of your shirt, please only do so if you have an incredible body and a good tan. But there really is no reason to take off your shirt indoors, to play a sport with a bunch of other guys.

There is a big sign when you get up to the track that says something along the lines of 'Walkers stay to the outside, Joggers on the inside'. Its a college gym so the probability that the people using the gym are at least partially associated with the college, is high. In that case, why do you horrid sorority girls insist on walking on the inside of the track, you must be able to read. To make it worse last night, there was a girl who obviously thought she looked really cute with her little pig tails. She decided to stop walking, on the inside of a bend, to 'stretch' (watch the guys without the shirts playing basketball). I almost bumped into her.

It is a huge confidence boost though, when you feel like you just keep getting bigger and bigger, to still be able to run 4 miles at a comfortable (albeit, much slower than before) 8-10 minute pace, passing all of those un-pregnant little girlies who starve themselves to stay thin, as there is no way they could stay thin just walking like that.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Healthy cravings

Don't get me wrong, Im not talking about crazy so-called pregnancy "cravings" here, no gherkin perched on top of a scoop of ice cream with chocolate sprinkles and nacho cheese, or anything disgusting like that. Pregnant or not pregnant, if you are craving healthy things, I think there is a reason for it.

When I went shopping this week I had to have avocados and walnuts. Being the lazy person I am these days, I bought pre-made guacamole, a bag of walnut halves and a bag of chopped walnuts. The chopped walnuts have been going into my oatmeal and the guacamole is already gone. Apparently at this stage in pregnancy (18 weeks today!) fats are really important. And where would you suppose the best source of healthy fats is, you guessed it, avocados and walnuts! I learnt this information after I had eaten the entire packet of guacamole to myself (over 4 days though!).

I dont really eat that much meat, but on the rare occasions I want beef (perhaps once a month, or these days, maybe twice a month) I have to eat beef. Last week we had a delicious saturday night dinner of pan-fried steaks (from my organic man in Pontotoc, of course), mash swede (rutabega) and carrots, then I had collards and Danny had brocolli (can't get my current baby to eat collards, but at least he will eat a different form of greens).

I have been thinking a lot lately about what flavours of baby food I am going to make, and when is it too early to start making them for the freezer? Any suggestions on delicious sounding blended food combinations? Or how long things can be kept in the freezer? I think the thing that's hard for me to remember right now, is that I may be having a baby in July, but it will not be moving on to even mushed solid food for several months (exact information I have yet to learn on this subject!). So perhaps it is too soon for me to be putting food up in the freezer! Although I am working on emptying the freezer of unnecessary foods that it currently contains.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Her Feaful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry
Audrey Niffeneger

My sister sent me this book last year as I had loved this author's last book, The Time Traveller's Wife. So thoughtful!

I have to say, this book was a complete let down. Stars wise, I wouldn't give it more than 2 out of 5, maybe even 1.5. Such a shame. I don't read much, Im ashamed to say, but I am so busy with so many other hobbies and there is only so much time in the day. But I started reading in bed at night, before I nod off to sleep, so I began to make some progress. Then this weekend I laid in bed in the morning after I woke at 7am, until I got fed up with the snoring and woke Danny up around 10am.

The book rambles on about nothing of much interest for about the first 75% of the book. Something happens, something else happens, book ends. The ending was also a let down, but to be honest, movies and books tend to let me down with their endings as they are often so predictable. There was about one chapter in the whole book where my heart raced and I was really interested to read on to find out what happened. Considering the last couple of books I read had me like that the whole way through, thats not so good.

Sorry Ms Niffeneger, this book was a bust, in my opinion.