Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Meatless Tuesday: Fettucine Al Marco

Every January, it seems we have an obsession with starting over: eating healthy, exercising, losing weight, etc.  Since I’m supposed to be gaining weight right now, I certainly can’t join the weight loss club.  But I can join the eating healthy and exercising club (er, maybe I should say maintain my membership in the eating healthy and exercising club?)

Here’s a fantastic recipe that I found in Diet for a Small Planet.  I love this recipe!  I’ve made it several times and each time it comes out tasting great!  It’s delicious, simple and fast.  Which is code for “even a working mom can make it on a weeknight.” 

*Please note: even though I found the original recipe in Diet for a Small Planet, I am writing it down as I make it, which has slightly different proportions/directions.

-       1 lb fettucine noodles (either plain or spinach noodles
-       2 cups spinach leaves
-       1 ½ cups cottage cheese
-       ½ cup yogurt (plain)
-       ¼ cup parmesan cheese
-       ½ cup parsley, chopped
-       1 small can sliced olives
-       Salt & pepper to taste

1.              Cook the pasta.
2.              While the pasta is cooking, combine all other ingredients, except olives, in a food processor or blender.  (I’ve done it in a blender every time I’ve made it, but I think it would be easier to do in a large food processor.)  Blend until the mixture is very smooth.  It will be a light green color.
3.              When the pasta is done, drain and then toss with the sauce and add olives.
4.              Serve immediately. (Makes about 6 servings)

Here’s the cost breakdown:

Fettucine Al Marco
1 lb fettuccine
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup parsely
2 cups spinach
1 small can olives
6 servings:

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

22 Weeks (Part Deux)

I am now 22 weeks.  This baby is now the size of a spaghetti squash according to Baby Center.  So far I’m feeling pretty good!  I’m trying to stay as active as possible.  I even made it to the gym a couple times last week!  This week I got up early to go to the gym, but the beach was calling my name.  So I went for a sunrise walk on the beach instead.  It was gorgeous! 
View from the Santa Monica Pier at sunrise.

Santa Monica Pier in the early morning.

I’ve been attempting to do a ten-minute walk or so after lunch during the week.  Plus, I’m still going to ballet class when I can.  Today I took a Pilates class instead.  I loved it!  Every time I take Pilates, I really enjoy it.  Not sure why I never started going regularly – oh wait, now I remember, Pilates tends to be more expensive than yoga or ballet and I am a cheapskate (Aaron takes issue when I call myself a cheapskate.  He says I am “frugal” not a cheapskate.)

We haven’t really done much to prep for the new baby’s arrival.  The nice thing about #2 is that we won’t need very much new stuff.  Really we just need a new car seat, crib (or get a toddler bed for G and let new baby have G’s crib – haven’t decided on that yet), and a double stroller.  I’ve already done a bunch of research on double strollers, but it’s so overwhelming!  Do we want side-by-side?  Do we want tandem?  Does it allow for infant seats to be attached?  Does it convert to a hop on/hop off type ride for the older kid?  Does it convert back to a single stroller if we want?  If you have any advice on double strollers, please feel free to share!

Update on Guinevere: she had her 18-month check up this week.  She now weighs 19 lbs. 1oz, and is 2 ½ feet tall.  The doctor told us that puts her around 10th percentile, but when I looked it up on the internet, I think the doctor was rounding up.  The Internet says those measurements are closer to 3rd percentile.  Regardless, she’s tiny, but she’s growing at her own pace.  Each time we go to the doctor, she’s grown right on track within her range.  Besides, I’m little and always have been, so it’s not really surprising that my daughter is little.  I wonder how big the next one will be.  It would be kind of amusing if the next one is huge. (Please let it not be huge until AFTER it’s born!)

G now says about 20 – 25 words, which the doctor said was really good.  Her new favorite word is “me.”  She’s also started saying “bye bye” very clearly and usually accompanies it with a wave and blowing a kiss.  So cute!  G likes to try to say her “A, B, C’s” – though she usually ends up saying, “A, B, O, P, A, B, D . . .” She can use a spoon and fork (sort of – soften she ends up flinging the food, but she really does try to get it in her mouth most of the time).  She’s now not only walking, but also running.  She loves to dance and sing.  The other day, I decided to watch “Lion King” with her and she started singing along to “The Circle of Life” – it was hilarious!  Her singing is really more like an off key extended note, but that’s ok.  It’s adorable anyway. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

21 Weeks (Second Time Around)

Wow – this pregnancy is going fast!  I’m already over halfway through!  If you’re a mom of two, did your second pregnancy seem to go super quickly too?

I realize I haven’t done much blogging about this pregnancy yet, so I’ll give you a brief rundown of the similarities between this time and last:

My size: I double-checked my blog from last time, and I had gained exactly the same amount of weight at this point as I have now (8 pounds).  I also have finally started showing to the point where the rest of the world can tell that I’m pregnant and not just think I ate a little too much over the holidays.

Exhaustion:  Oh man, am I tired ALL the time!  I’m even more exhausted this time around, but I’m pretty sure that’s bc I’m chasing a 1 ½ year old around.  Last time, when I was tired, I could just take a nap.  This time, little Miss G will come over and grab my hand and insist I come with her wherever she wants me to go.

Nausea: Fortunately, now that I’m well into 2nd trimester, the nausea seems to have subsided.  I definitely had a lot more nausea this time around than I did last time.  When I was pregnant with G, it seemed that any nausea was really triggered by hunger.  So I could just eat something (anything) and the nausea would go away.  That was definitely not the case this time.  When I was nauseous, I would eat to try to make it go away, but it would persist and then I would just be nauseous and full.

Food:  I am hungry ALL the time.  Just like last time.  However, I don’t seem to like the same foods as much.  Last time around, I could eat mac n cheese every day and not get bored of it.  I think I did eat a green apple every day – usually with some cheese & crackers.  I still like those foods, but they’re just ok, not something I necessarily prefer over all other foods.  This time, I seem to like beef a lot better than chicken.  I am craving fruit more than usual.  Last time, the weird food that I all of a sudden liked (which I had always hated) was mustard.  This time it’s salt & vinegar potato chips.  I usually detest salt & vinegar potato chips!  Don’t ask me why, but for some weird reason, they all of a sudden taste good to me!   It’s so weird!

Baby movement:  This baby has definitely started kicking!  And, looking back at my blog, it seems like I started feeling the movement on pretty much the same schedule as last time.  I just was able to recognize the feeling as soon as it started.  This baby (so far) seems to be on more of a schedule than G was.  There are certain times of day when I’m almost guaranteed to feel it kick, whereas with G, I never knew when she would be active.  We’ll see if that continues or not.  But it’s an interesting observation.  I’m also curious to see if this one gets hiccups as much as G did – though I won’t be able to feel that for a while longer.

Aches & Pains:  I have started to feel some of the back pain that I experienced last time.  I’m hoping to stay even more active this time than last time, which will (hopefully) help with the back pain, even though I know there’s only so much one can do to prevent it.  Last night I got my first foot cramp of this pregnancy.  I remember getting foot cramps and Charlie horses throughout the last pregnancy and had kind of been wondering when they would start this time.  Guess I better start eating some more bananas!

The bump at Disneyland.

Obligatory bathroom selfie of the bump.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

Maybe I’m a bit late for my New Year post, but since this is my first post of 2014, I hereby deem the timing appropriate.  Everything this year (er, last year?) has been a little delayed.  We will be sending out New Years cards instead of Christmas cards this year . . . mostly because I just didn’t have time to do any holiday prep prior to the holidays.  I’m lucky I got my Christmas shopping done on time – thank you Amazon! Being a working (and pregnant) parent is time consuming/hard/exhausting!  (I have a feeling that will be a theme to most of my posts for the next several months . . .)

I am very fortunate that my office closes during the week between Christmas and New Years.  Due to G’s daycare schedule, I took an extra couple days and had two full weeks off of work!  I haven’t had that much consecutive time off since maternity leave!  Bonus: we didn’t have to travel this year.  The furthest we went was down to San Diego to do Christmas Eve with my parents.  Aaron’s mom came up to us for Christmas Day. 

Our staycation meant I finally had time to accomplish things around the house that I have been meaning to do for MONTHS!  Seriously, it took the entire two weeks to finally get caught up on laundry! (Why do we have so many clothes?!)  I finally got around to breaking out my maternity clothes and packing away the clothes that no longer fit. (I still have a couple pairs of non-maternity pants/shorts that fit!)  I cleaned out G’s drawers of the clothes she’s outgrown and re-organized her closet.

One of my favorite things this break was that I hired a cleaning team to come in and clean the entire house – it was my anniversary present to Aaron (ok, it was really more a gift to the both of us).  When I was a kid, I never understood the “cleaning before the cleaning person coms” thing – but now that I’m a grown up, I totally get it!  We had to clear all the surfaces and make sure the clothes were picked up off the floor (even more motivation to get the laundry all done!) so that the cleaning people could actually clean.  I got a great deal from Homejoy.  Overall their services were good – I only asked for general cleaning, not a deep clean.  We had 2 people for 3 hours and they managed to get to (almost) everything that I asked them to do.  My one complaint is that they didn’t put everything back in their places.  I had to rearrange all the items on the surfaces they dusted to get them back to where I wanted them.  But really, if that’s my only complaint, it must mean they did a decent job – right?

In addition to getting the house more organized, we took advantage of the beautiful Southern California weather and went out and about a bunch!  We took G on her first trip to the Zoo and went to Lake Balboa almost every other day!  I had originally thought that I might take G up to the mountains so she could see snow for the first time.  But the weather here, near the coast, was so gorgeous that I was afraid we would make a 2-hour drive for nothing, so that will have to wait.  I’m sure there will be more opportunities later this winter to take her to see snow. 

Aaron and I went to Disneyland and had an anniversary dinner at the Blue Bayou.  We got to see “snow” at Disneyland as part of their light show, so I guess that’s something.  Having grown up in San Diego, I always kind of wished that it would snow just for Christmas so that I could experience a “White Christmas” like you see in the movies and on TV.  But then when I’m wearing tanks tops and shorts on New Years Day and my sister texts me the forecast of 0 degrees Fahrenheit from where she is in New York, I am very grateful that snow is only a 2 hour drive away.

And now a photo dump of some of our activities during the winter break:

At the Blue Bayou celebrating our anniversary.

G all dressed up and ready for Xmas Eve.

This is the face of someone who is very tired and needs some rest before Santa comes!

G with her gift from Santa (her very own "laptop" - maybe now she won't always try to play with Mommy & Daddy's?

G was enthralled by the gorillas at the Zoo!