32 Weeks (8 Months!)

Do we remember our French lesson from the other day? Jamais deux sans trois. Never two without a third. When it rains, it pours.

Ok, so last week’s biophysical profile showed a baby with decreased fetal movement. Un.

The tech also did an anatomy scan which revealed that the baby is smaller than average. Deux.

The OB didn’t say anything about that to me so I wasn’t worried about it, but she did refer me to a high risk specialist who I saw today for an additional biophysical profile and non-stress test. My OB had hoped this new OB would shed light on what is going on. In her words, my medical history is nothing to write home about. Still, she wanted me to start taking a betamethasone steroid to help the fetal lung development should the little one need to come out sooner.

Well, during today’s non-stress test (where the baby’s heart rate is monitored as well as any contractions I may be having) there was a little issue with her heart rate. Trois.

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31 Weeks

On Monday I wanted to write a post about “jamais deux sans trois.” It was an expression my host family used for me when I broke my arm roller skating for the second time, and it’s just kind of stuck around. It translates literally as “never two without a third.” The closest idiom we have for it in English is “when it rains, it pours.” However, it’s not really about negative things happening.

So on Monday, there were three good things to report:

1. In the morning, my OB called to say that I had passed the second test for gestational diabetes, and I told her how excited I was to have cheesecake on my upcoming birthday.

2. Later in the morning, I received word via my husband that my health insurance company admitted that they made a mistake. They should have covered the cost of the Rhogam shot and not denied the mail-order pharmacy that they had referred me to. So we have submitted the receipt for reimbursement.

3. In the evening, I didn’t die. As I was leaving the neighborhood, a car ran a red light and literally stopped a foot from my driver’s side door. Continue reading

I made that! (Fleece Rag Quilt Bag Edition)

It’s no secret that I’m crafty, so I usually end up with odds and ends from other people.  My friend Jenna gave me some leftover squares from a fleece blanket she made for her nieces.  She figured I could probably make something out of those 28 squares.

I started to sew those squares together.  Wrong side together.  Piece by piece.   Eventually I made rows of three squares.  Then I twice made a square of nine squares.  I didn’t know what I was going to make, but I just wanted to clear my mind by crafting something.  It started to take shape.  Was it meant to be a box?

My mother-in-law gave me some cotton fabric that she had intended to turn into a rag quilt, but she never got around to it.  I realized that my “box” needed more structure, so I took the pink fabric with green polka dots and ironed on some fusible interfacing to make a sturdy lining.  Once I got the lining inserted, I realized that the box was too narrow.  Was it meant to be a purse? Continue reading

I made that! (Malong Edition)

I’m hoping that the nesting energy I’ve heard about comes soon because there is so much to be done before little Chickadee (yup, that’s her nickname!) comes.  We’ve started to clear out the guest room, and we’re in the final stages of picking out the room’s color.

I started to knit a nursing shawl while we were at the beach.  Even though I’m three balls in, there isn’t much to show off yet.  So, I did what I do when I get frustrated with how slowly I knit.  I took out the sewing machine.

While at the beach, I was introduced to a malong.  A malong is a basically a tubular piece of fabric that is multi-functional.  It’s primarily used in the Philippines although I think different cultures have their own version.  It is a piece of clothing, functions as a bag, can be used as a changing room, etc.  It is also used to carry newborns and toddlers.  I think it would also make a nice nursing cover for the newborn.

Malong

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Chicken “Muffin Pan” Pie

The child is napping.  And all through the house there was much rejoicing.

It’s been a rough month of teething.  It seems that all of her remaining teeth want to come in, at once.  This negatively affects sleeping.  This leads to unpredictable meltdowns at home and in public.

But I think we’re seeing improvement because her appetite is back, which leads me to what I want to write about:  my newest fascination with muffin pan cooking.  I can’t believe I haven’t written about it yet.

To me, muffin pan cooking is like food deconstruction.  You know, you take a basic concept like lasagna and identify all of the pieces that make it a lasagna.  The noodles, the sauce, the ricotta cheese, the protein, etc.  A fancy chef would then reconstruct those ingredients into a main dish that looks nothing like lasagna but pays homage to its roots.  

Muffin pan cooking is supposed to be simple.  Most muffin pan recipes I’ve come across though manipulate the recipe somewhat.  So instead of lasagna noodles, they might request wonton wrappers.

Other muffin pan recipes also call for shortcuts.

I don’t like shortcuts.

Often times, shortcuts involve pre-manufactured food.  These processed foods usually have a ton of sodium in them, not to mention a list of preservative ingredients which I can hardly pronounce let alone identify.  If you were to take a peek into my cupboards, you wouldn’t find any cans of Campbell soup.  If you looked in my fridge, you wouldn’t find any store-bought cookie dough.

(You would notice that I have at least two types of shortening in my fridge and at least eight types of sugar stored away.)

Nope, I like to make things from scratch.  No shortcuts for me.

So when I come across a muffin pan recipe that interests me, I must fiddle with it.

For example, I spotted this mini chicken pot pie recipe on Pinterest last night and just had to make it.   (Thanks, Katie!) Though I don’t have Pillsbury biscuits in the fridge or cream of chicken soup, I did one better and made my biscuits from scratch (rolled to 1/4″ high).  I also made the chicken pot pie filling from scratch.

If you are going to repeat this success story, make sure to double the biscuit recipe.   (This will then serve 24.)  There was twice as much chicken pot pie filling than biscuits.  This isn’t a problem because tonight’s dinner is going to be chicken pot pie deconstructed.  You see, I’m going to make proper biscuits and then ladle the remaining warm chicken pot pie filling on top (like a Southern biscuits and gravy breakfast).

I should have totally taken pictures last night of the muffin pan version.  They were so purdy.  Alas, we devoured them all.  Even my little girl went back for more.

That’s another problem about muffin pan cooking, the serving sizes appear so small that you end up eating more than you should.  But no one really complains about that.

30 Weeks

While on vacation, I crossed into the third trimester.  As on cue, my feet started to swell and my back started to ache.  Since returning home, I’ve returned to a healthier diet and minimized the edema.  Sleeping on my own mattress has helped the back pain lessen, but it’s still there.

I’m now 30 weeks pregnant, and I’ve gotten the Rhogam shot.  I’m still trying to figure out why my health insurance denied my claim for it, but I digress.  After I got the shot in my arm, my sweet Wren leaned in and gave me a kiss on my forehead.  She’s going to be a great big sister!

I also took my gestational diabetes test last week, and I went over with the results with the doctor today.  I failed it by two points.  It’s not all doom and gloom, yet.  She wants me to get additional blood work done tomorrow morning after a long period of fasting.  Needless to say, I scheduled the blood draw for the first available appointment!  I’m hopeful that I will pass, as I have returned to my normal diet.  But even if I fail, I’ll just have to manage for about 10 weeks or so.

The baby’s heartbeat was good and strong.  Even though I’m very anxious to meet her, I’m not ready.  I need someone to slow down time for me!  Please!

In other health news, I’m not where my primary doctor wants me to be on the asthma plan.  He wanted me to be off the inhalers and Claritin by now, but that’s not happening.  The few times I’ve eliminated the Flovent, I started coughing again.  I’m also increasingly short of breath, but who knows how much of that is asthma or being pregnant. I’m at a loss, so I hope meeting with him again soon will give me some encouragement.

All in all, life is good right now.  Except for the health insurance company denying a vital drug, I can’t complain.

… Ten more weeks, eek!

Nags Head (aka Beach #2)

The second week of our vacation was planned last minute to accommodate my brother who now lives on the other side of the world and to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (which actually isn’t until October).  He was able to return home for a few weeks, and amazingly we were able to find an available, large beach house during a holiday week.

Family members staggered in throughout the week, and by Wednesday evening all of us* were accounted for.   This was the first time we had all been together since my wedding in 2004.  Even more remarkable, this was the first family vacation since 1985. Continue reading