Come on, teeth!

So Simon still has just his two front bottom teeth, and they are still pretty crooked, but cute. I read a lot of mommy blogs, and this one has me excited for when Simon has teeth and I can start being a little more inventive with his packed lunches.

Right now a “typical” packed lunch will include some of the following, all cut up into tiny tiny itty bitty pieces:

  • All beef, no nitrate super expensive hot dog
  • canned no salt added organic green beans
  • unsweetened applesauce

OR

  • Jenni-O turkey hot dogs (also expensive)
  • canned no salt added organic carrots
  • Dora the Explora “Half the Sugar!” yogurt
  • cut up grapes

OR

  • Cut up lunch meat of some sort
  • cut up “natural” milk cheese cubes (these are gross and soft and nasty but he loves them)
  • spinach and cheese raviolis – expensive “Toddler graduate” crap
  • blueberries

OR

  • half a veggie burger
  • cheese cubes

OR

  • Easy mac and broccoli

OR (on particularly lazy days)

  • container of some “natural” “no preservatives added” (how is that possible?) babyfood
  • cheesy preservative crap filled goldfish

There are all of these blogs and websites dedicated to feeding your kid all natural stuff and man, it is so appealing. Hormones in milk and dairy products, nitrates in hotdogs, BPA in canned veggies- it all kind of freaks me out. Then I think about how many hot dogs I ate as a kid, and how many packages of macaroni and cheese we went through and assume it’s all fine and dandy. For the first 4 months that Simon was eating food, I made all of it. My hands hurt just thinking about the apples I peeled, cooked and made into apple sauce before realizing they sold unsweetened applesauce at the store (duh) for like $2.00 (same as a bag of organic apples). But all of this takes so much TIME. And I like to think that if I stayed home with him all day, he would be eating all natural fresh everything, hell maybe even still be nursing, and we’d be all crunchy granola and whatnot.

But instead, I work, Gabe works, and we do what’s convenient and I try not to beat myself up too much over all the processed food he eats. After all, most nights while he’s eating his healthy and well balanced meal of semi-natural fruits veggies and meats….

I eat a handful of marshmallows, trailmix and maybe some toast and that’s my dinner. So I guess he’s better off than I am. I suppose I should probably take a vitamin. I swore them off after I stopped nursing because– well vitamins suck and are expensive. Plus the idea of taking a prenatal vitamin when not attempting to be “natal” kind of scares me (illogically, I realize). But I know as long as there are hot dogs in the fridge, we’re good to go. Gabe is happy, Simon’s happy, and I don’t have to worry about either of them going hungry.

But I secretly can’t wait to make pretend healthy sushi and other fun things that the Cooking with my Kid blog dreams up for lunches. I hope I have enough energy, time and imagination when Simon’s teeth come in and he can finally chew big boy foods.

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Research

We are participating in a research project that Ohio State is doing. It’s called the New Parents Project. I saw something about it in the newspaper, and then heard about it on the local news. I called them and we fit their criteria for New Parents who will both be returning to work after the baby. So far, we had to fill out a long survey online about parenting- our expectations. There were also some weird questions that I think were trying to determine whether or not we were sexist people. We also had to answer questions about our relationship and whatnot. We weren’t supposed to discuss our answers (Gabe and I filled out the surveys separately). We also had to log Time Diaries: one for a “work day” and one for a “non-work day”. For the time diaries we had to write down all the stuff we did in a given day. I laughed when Gabe was going to fill his out on his “non-work day” because I figured it would read a lot like this:

8:30am: woke up

8:35am: bathroom

8:40am: played videogames

6:30pm: said hello to girlfriend

6:45pm: played videogames

3:30am: went to bed

BUT INSTEAD on the day he filled out his Time Diary, he did all sorts of things like swept the upstairs, put together a baby swing, etc. It was probably the most productive day he’s had in a long time. I was kind of pissed because that’s definitely not “typical” but I didn’t want to complain about all the chores he did that day. It was nice to have all that help! At least I know he’s aware of what he SHOULD be doing to help out, and instead he chooses to play videogames….most of the time.

Anyways, today the OSU people are coming to the house to interview us and observe us in our natural habitat. I’m wondering what they’ll ask us or what they will think. Gabe thinks they asked us all those questions about each other so we could see how incredibly wrong our expectations were later on. haha! He might be right, I don’t know.

After they (researchers) leave, we’re going to go to target to buy an extension cord. Woo hoo! Other than that I haven’t really gotten much planned.

I think the baby gains all of his muscle mass and weight overnight because each morning it’s getting harder to get out of bed- and I mean remarkably harder. Last night we went out to “fancy dinner” because I was in the mood for GOOD food- namely fish. People were staring at me at the restaurant and it was embarrassing. I think it was because I’m ginormous and Gabe thinks it’s because my shirley temple looked a lot like a mixed-vodka-drink (don’t I wish). Either way, I had an awesome dinner of Parmesan crusted tilapia with zuchini and strawberry shortcake for dessert. It seems to me that the Fish Market has actually lowered their prices. They always offer three different options for a “special dish” that has a salad, meal and then a dessert for only $19.95 which is always delicious. So I had that and Gabe had the shrimp…it was awesome. Gabe ate two loaves of their sour dough bread and is still full today. haha.

I should go now since the researchers will be here any moment. 🙂

Father’s Day Weekend

So this weekend was Father’s Day and I finally got to see my dad for the first time since March. Obviously I’ve grown since then. Mom and Dad came down to visit, and Brett (bro) came up to visit and we spent a nice Saturday having lunch up at Polaris, then milling around Grandview on a walk, then dinner at the new Third and Hollywood restaurant that’s opened up in the spot formerly known as E.J.’s Canyon Cafe. It was really nice to show Dad our new place, and also just have a day to talk and hang out with some of my family. 

On Saturday BEFORE their visit, I managed to get my “chores” done- including dropping off my laptop to a friend at work who is graciously helping me fix the DVD player in it. So I’ve been computer-less for two days and it’s been tough. I’ve convince G to let me “borrow” his WoW machine but he sees my need to check email and desire to update Facebook as “obsessive” which I find hilarious as I have to interrupt his Ickykaka character from WoW to stop “smelting ore” in order to check my email for a few minutes. G is destined to become one of those people that are on the far far end of technology advances. And I suppose that’s okay.

Mom got me some nursing tops. I never really understood the necessity of nursing tops until becoming pregnant and realizing just how often I will be feeding a mini-person with my breasts. The design of these clothes is just not particularly appealing in general. You’d think something that has openings for breasts to fall through might have some sort of sensual/attractive spin to them but nope…they are definitely just ho-hum clothes with slots for your boobs to fall through. Function will far outweigh the aesthetics of the outfits I’m sure.  She also got me a super cute new dress (mumu) and gave me a gift card for purchasing my own “cute jammies” for the hospital stay. Unfortunately they only had sizes Small and 2XL at the store we went to, and I am neither of those sizes.  So I get to go pajama shopping the next time they get a shipment into the maternity clothes store. Thanks mom!!

Yesterday (Sunday) my parents had to leave super early because my dad was on-call so we were up and at ’em with MORE than enough time to beat the church crowd to breakfast. After a nice breakfast we went and shopped around for a lighter bedspread (ours’ was UNBEARABLY too thick for summer) and I wanted a quilt of some sort. After three trips and one return I settled on a Down Blanket from Target that is thin and just tan. We have a multi-colored rug in our bedroom that just doesn’t match with many things that are out right now so I had to settle on one plain color. Someday I’ll get around to getting that beautiful lavender and green quilt I want. Someday.

I also got to give G his very first father’s day present which was the eleventh season of The Simpson’s on DVD (blech) which he wanted really badly. When he opened it he said, “Oh, wow I thought this was going to be a book on how to be a dad or something, but it’s this!!” And he was really excited. So I guess I picked the right thing.

Then I went to the grocery store and bought SO. MUCH. FRUIT.

mmmmm fruit
mmmmm fruit

I then made myself sick on it while I cut up the watermelon and washed the berries.  For every handful of blueberries I had a handful of peanut butter m&m’s and I totally ruined my dinner, which was to be hamburgers I bought from behind the meat counter at Giant Eagle. They make these special kinds that are SO GOOD! But of course I was too full of berries and chocolate.

G enjoyed his burgers though!

G enjoyed his burgers though!

The rest of the afternoon included a nap, finishing up the move Valkyrie and then an impromptu picnic down to Schiller Park for the Actor’s Theatre production of The Three Musketeers.

Schiller Park stage
Schiller Park stage

Knowing that I can’t really sit on the ground for too long, we knew we probably wouldn’t be there for too long. We managed to stay until Intermission.

But the most important part was that

 Sun setting behind the trees as the show starts
Sun setting behind the trees as the show starts

we got to lay on a blanket, eat great picnic food and enjoy the surroundings.

I heart picnics!
I heart picnics!

cravings

I wanted to record what my “cravings” have been throughout this pregnancy, mainly because if I should ever find myself in this situation again, I’d like to remember whether or not they were similar:

First Trimester:

  • NOTHING sweet, ONLY salty things sounded good, though
  • I didn’t really eat much of anything, lost 10 pounds
  • tried toast/crackers/pretzels to keep something in stomach
  • only drank lemonade or water for about 10 weeks
  • got turned onto guacamole towards the end of first trimester

*At some point during the first trimester I was also really craving vodka and cigarettes, but I think that was something besides hormones at work.*

Second trimester:

  • Ice Cream
  • Pancakes
  • Minitature caramel twix bars
  • cookies
  • bread in general
  • chocolate milk, regular milk, milk milk milk
  • still guacamole/mexican food in general
  • bananas and oranges

Third trimester:

  • watermelon
  • fruit in general
  • cereal
  • hot dogs/corndogs
  • chocolate milk (still)
  • blended root beer floats from Sonic
  • sushi rolls (only the kind with shrimp and crab, not the real raw stuff)
  • ice cream (still)- though not as often as before.

latest craving

I probably should do a whole posting on the different cravings I’ve had throughout this pregnancy. The most remarkable thing about them is that I want them nonstop and then suddenly they are not appealing anymore. The latest thing I can’t get enough of????

Watermelon. I could (and probably have) eaten an entire watermelon in less than two days. It’s crazy. That being said, I’m thinking about trying out this recipe for Watermelon Lemonade if I could find a strainer thin enough to get the stringy watermelon goo to not go through the cracks. Hmmm..

sidetracked by boob talk yesterday

I forgot to mention some of the other things I did yesterday that I either have NEVER done or don’t normally do:

I got my haircut at a MasterCuts in a mall. They didn’t wash it- they sprayed it with a spray bottle and went to it with scissors. It took about 15 minutes, more importantly it only cost $16.75. I don’t think this is something I can do regularly though-because as much as I think it is a damned CRIME to pay $60+ for a haircut, I have nice hair and I think I deserve to have good haircuts. I don’t buy fancy shoes or clothes, so it’s the one thing I usually splurge on. I like to feel HOT when I walk out of a salon. Usually I do feel hot after a cute new haircut (I also usually feel broke). But nowadays, G would probably strangle me if I spent that much money on my hair. So I got my haircut by Kathy and her spray bottle at Mastercuts. It looks so-so, okay, whatever, it looks fine. $16 Haircuts are exactly that- you get what you pay for.

I made a delicious zuchini bread- and ate half of it. I’m not kidding. I don’t feel THAT bad about eating it though because it’s mostly healthy…it was from Cooking Light magazine. And it was my first zuchini bread, and it was from scratch AND it made my house smell delicious.

Cooking Light’s “Garden Harvest Cake” or Zuchini Bread 

Yields: 9 servings (serving size: 1 slice) –YEA RIGHT. Or, two servings, half the loaf for prego lady and half for the baby daddy.

Ingredients: (I didn’t use walnuts because G has an aversion to nuts in his food- likes to eat them separately.)

  • 4.5  ounces  all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  cup  grated peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  grated carrot (about 1 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  shredded zucchini
  • 1/4  cup  chopped walnuts, toasted 
  • 1/4  cup  canola oil
  • 1/4  cup  nonfat buttermilk
  • 2  large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add grated apple, grated carrot, shredded zucchini, and walnuts to flour mixture; toss well. Combine canola oil, buttermilk, and eggs in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Spoon batter into an 8 x 4–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove cake from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

Nutritional Information
Calories:223
Fat:9.7g (sat 1g,mono 4.4g,poly 3.6g)
Protein:3.8g
Carbohydrate:31.4g
Fiber:1.3g
Cholesterol:47mg
Iron:1.2mg
Sodium:233mg
Calcium:30mg

More on food.

Last night I FINALLY made the Turkey Taco Meatloaf I’d been meaning to make for three days. It was easy, delicious and nutritious. I checked out this book at the library: Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-free Eating in the Real World. In it, I found several recipes I’m going to try, including frying chicken with Fiber cereal instead of bread crumbs, several healthier recipes for desserts that I normally devour like: “Dirt Cake” and “Banana Pudding/Vanilla Wafer deliciousness” (not the real name of the dessert). But the Turkey Taco Meatloaf was delicious and I highly recommend it. G had several helpings. We paired it with some spicy Spanish rice, G’s famous (delicious) beans and chiles, and I made steamed broccoli. Mmmmmm.

Turkey Taco Meatloaf

  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 1 can of corn (the tiny can)
  • ÂĽ cup of green bell pepper (chopped)
  • ÂĽ cup of onion (chopped)
  • 1 pkg of taco seasoning
  • ½ cup of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices of low fat cheddar cheese
  • ½ a cup of salsa
  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Sautee onion and green pepper for 3-4 minutes with non-fat cooking spray (I added a tiny bit of olive oil so they wouldn’t stick)
  3. Add can of corn (drained), onion & pepper, taco seasoning to turkey. Mix well in a big bowl.
  4. Lay half of this mixture down into loaf pan.
  5. Put two slices of cheddar cheese in the middle (think layering like lasagna) and try to make sure you don’t have the cheese touching the edge of the loaf pan.
  6. Put the remaining meat mixture on top.
  7. Drizzle salsa on top of that. (I didn’t put all of it on there, just some)
  8. Cook for 30 minutes.
  9. Pull out of oven, put remaining salsa on top. (I drained some of the juices out at 30 minutes because the turkey tends to shrink up a bit.)
  10. Cook for another 15 minutes.
  11. Pull out of oven and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Let sit for a few minutes so it melts while the meatloaf cools.
  12. Try not to eat it all in one sitting so you have leftovers.