Friday, June 25, 2010

thump, thump, skip

Hello, readers!  Hello from week 21 of pregnancy, big bellied, hungry appetite again with more energy than first trimester but much less strength and coordination.  I had the 20 week ultrasound on Wednesday.  The good news is that Wrigley is growing perfectly, moving a LOT (to the point of the ultrasound taking extra time because he wouldn't hold still.)  The bad news is that his arrhythmia has come back.  His heart is intermittently skipping beats again, as it did at the 8 week ultrasound.  The heart structure and blood flow appeared fine on the ultrasound, so I am being sent to a pediatric cardiologist to pinpoint why this is happening.

I've also been transferred from the nurse-midwives back to the care of the high-risk OB/GYN, which I don't mind because I really like her a lot.  I feel better having a doctor monitor the pregnancy than the nurse-midwives, if there is something atypical going on.  I like being at UCLA where all the of the specialists I need are nearby.

From what we have ascertained through reading medical journals and googling, it seems that this problem is fairly common in 14% of pregnancies and might resolve itself (we thought it did, though, when the beat was regular at the 10 week ultrasound) or worst case, I might have to be admitted to the hospital and administered IV drugs and closely monitored to regulate the heart, and/or Wrigley might need to take heart medication the first few months of his life.  I don't know when this would happen.  Well, certainly not until after July 6, when my first appointment for the fetal echocardiogram is scheduled.

It's scary but also quite powerful to know that if he does have a heart problem, it could be fixed at such an early age, and I feel very fortunate to be at one of the best hospitals in the country and to have this diagnosis now.  Imagine that this might prevent him from having a heart attack when he's 40, if we can get his heart in tip-top shape now. 

In the midst of all this, I'm doing an interesting project at work, requiring some focus and concentration, and that nesting instinct is kicking in at home, requiring me to clean out Lauren's old baby clothes and make space for Wrigley's.  But it's been a lot to deal with all at once, and that, my friends, is the reason I haven't been very social this past week, and you may see even less of me in the coming weeks.  Invite me out, still, but understand if I'm not jumping to the phone when you call.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Farmers' Market Sweet Peas

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

The one sweet dessert food I've discovered I can eat!  Strawberry rhubarb pie!  Mmmm....I finally FINALLY found rhubarb for sale in Los Angeles.  The Albertsons on Sepulveda & Palms has it for $2.99/pound (I did get some last summer at Whole Foods, organic, for $8.99/pound so that in the end, the pie would have been much cheaper to buy and have shipped!)  You will need to buy about 2 pounds of rhubarb for this recipe, depending on how much of the stems you have to cut off.  And of course, strawberries are in season right now at farmers' markets.  Just buy a ton and you'll be sure to have 3 cups with leftovers! :)

My grandma's pie crust recipe:

4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups Crisco
1 tsp. salt

Chop all up with large serving fork.

1 egg
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup cold water

Mix together, blend and chill for 15 minutes.
Don't handle pie dough too much, and it will be nice & flakey.

Pie filling:

3cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
3 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut RIPE strawberries (in larger pieces)
1 cup sugar (if the strawberries are not ripe you can do 1/4- 1/2 cup more to taste)
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix filling ingredients in large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Brush edges of pie crust with some of mixture of 1 egg white mixed with 1 tsp water. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with rest of egg white wash and sprinkle some sugar on top. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling.  Don't forget to put a pan under the pie dish to catch the drippings! (I did and the whole house filled with smoke!)

The pie dough recipe is enough for two pies so you can double the filling and make two, or you can do what my grandma always did for me and what I did for Lauren and give the rest of the dough to a little kid to make tarts with.  Make little filled tarts with strawberry/sugar inside and bake in the 375 oven with the pie for the last 20 minutes or so, until they're browned.  Could also put jam in the tarts or whatever you feel like!

19 week Musings on Kid #2

This is likely to be my last pregnancy.  Between the 12 pound weight loss, nausea and food aversions making these 9 months feel like 9 years, and the lack of space and money for a 3rd kid, yup, we're pretty sure this is it.  I feel bad for Lauren that she's not going to get a sister but it could be worse, I could go and have her another little brother after this!

With Lauren, things in that pregnancy seemed magical that now seem annoying.  Little baby kicks were cute and now they feel like...interuptions.  I'll be almost asleep and if Wrigley doesn't like the way I'm positioned, he will "urge" me to flip sides.  It's hard to get used to not sleeping on my back, it feels the most natural thing to go to bed that way, but if I do, he won't rest until I'm on my side.  The other day, I went to pick up Lauren and carry her on my belly and that was NOT okay with him, he gave a big giant kick that actually made me put her down right away.

The food aversions are the weirdest part, though, because I didn't have them so strongly with Lauren.  With her, I couldn't eat onions and lots of garlic and the smells of them cooking made me gag.  With Wrigley, I can't have ANY dairy-milk, cheese, butter, etc.  If I do, I will feel okay while eating it but later will get sick.  So I've gone mostly vegan, but eggs are just fine.  As long as I'm not the one cooking them, and if I am, they're repulsive.  I also can't eat any citrus foods such as OJ, tomatoes, etc.  and no sweet food or chocolate.  I like how it smells, though!  Walking into a bakery is fun, not repulsive, I just don't enjoy it when it's in my mouth, it's as if someone screwed up the recipe and put vinegar in it or something.

But back to the 12 pounds, I don't know where it came off because I now have the big belly, which 2 weeks ago was measuring the size of a 21 week pregnancy.  The nurse-midwive said she wasn't worried because it was not my first pregnancy.   They still sent me to a nutritionist who told me I need to be getting an additional 500 calories or so per day, take a calcium supplement, and to gain 1 pound per week from now on.  I certainly don't look thinner elsewhere, I feel about the same, not more fit or anything, but I must have had a really fat big toe or something which dropped 12 pounds!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Termite Vacation Recap

We're settling in and unpacking still, from the termite vacation.  Had a nice time at my parents' place.  Here's a Lauren quote:
L:"I have a nice life"
Me: "Aw, I am so glad you think so, I think your life is nice, too!"
L: "No, Mom, you didn't let me finish!  I have a nice LIFEGUARD chair for you!  Right here!  Sit by the pool!"

So besides lots of lounging, here's what else we did:

Tuesday: Trip to Julian to get apple pie and old time candy sticks.

Wednesday: Morning visit to Vickie Lavanty to get mommy-daughter haircuts (not the same style!)  Afternoon visit to our alma mater, UCSD.  Ate lunch at the new remodeled Price Center (remodeled a few years back but it'd been awhile, so new to us!).  The place is *huge*, about 4 times as big as before, at least the food court area is.  And parking seems so cheap compared to UCLA.  $2 bought us 2 hours at a meter.  More than enough time to show Lauren Warren college where we met,  the Old Student Center,  the (sadly, put away for the season) Dr. Seuss illustration collection at the Geisel Library and the Snake Path:

 Thursday: Ryan & I had a lunch date at Spice & Rice where I of course, had their Pud See Ew, and then we walked around downtown La Jolla while Lauren went to the Nature Center in Chula Vista with her Nonna.

Friday: We bought Zoological Society Memberships  to the Wild Animal Park and San Diego Zoo.  We used the code "Join8" to get $10 off the dual membership (if you want to get one, just google "discount code San Diego zoo membership" to see the latest codes), so for $89 total for me and Ryan and $29 for Lauren, we can all go all year, which means it paid for itself if we just go to each place once.  That day, we went to the zoo, where Lauren's favorite parts were the moveable walkway and the flamingos ("my favorite color!") and I liked seeing the koals, and Ryan enjoyed the pandas. Lauren napped in the car on the way home, which gave her extra energy in the evening.  So we went to the 9:00 show of Legend of Nightfire at Viejas Outlets, which Lauren liked a lot and wanted to go back and see again the next night, but she was too tired.

Saturday: Lauren & I spent 5 hours shopping, again at Viejas Outlets, where she got me to buy her 5 outfits at OshKosh B'Gosh, shoes at Famous Footwear, and a "ponies shirt" and beach towel with "Lauren" on it at the Ralph Lauren store.  We also ate at Rubios and visited the fountain.  I was going to let her run in the fountain but she wanted to take off all of her clothes and streak through it, which wasn't exactly what I had in mind.  After we got back, she did a fashion show for Poppy and D-Daddio and declared "I just love shopping!  It's so RELAXING!"  (Yes, darling, especially when it's  someone else's money!)

Sunday: We went strawberry picking with Poppy (who doesn't like/is possibly even allergic to? strawberries) at the farm stand across the freeway from Viejas, and then made a strawberry lemonade stand (per Lauren's begging) which turned into Lauren "selling" the lemonade to Poppy, and Bob and Trudy, the next door neighbors, for fifty cents a glass, and attempting to sell it to Nonna for fourteen dollars!  Then, we packed and drove home, where Lauren kept me entertained on the 2 1/2 hour ride, until 9:30 on the dot, when she promptly conked out exactly at bedtime. 

At the end of the trip, Lauren confided to me that she hoped the termites would eat our whole condo, so we could keep living at Nonna and Poppy's, all together in one house.