Sunday, February 23, 2014

3 Hour Glucose Test

Here I sit at Kaiser during the first of 3 one-hour sessions this morning.  I failed my 1-hour glucose test by 7 points, which means I now have to do the 3-hour test.  For those of you who don’t know, some people develop diabetes during pregnancy, so doctors test all pregnant women for gestational diabetes.  Gestational diabetes can cause babies to grow too much in the womb and have a high birth weight, it can also lead to risk factors for childhood obesity and breathing problems.

The initial test is only an hour and relatively easy.  You drink a super sugary drink and then they draw blood an hour later to see how well the body handles the sugar.  You can go down to the lab after a regular check up, the drink tastes a bit like orange Gatorade, wait an hour and get your blood drawn.  The three-hour test is a lot more involved and a lot more annoying.  It requires fasting prior to taking the test (so I have not had anything to eat since 9pm last night), then you have to drink a drink that is twice as sweet as the Gatorade flavored one and it’s fruit punch flavored.  I HATE fruit punch.  Then they draw your blood every hour for 3 hours to see if your body can handle it.  So by the time this test is done, I will have not eaten anything except that ridiculously sweet beverage from 9pm last night until noon today.  I don’t know about you, but I consider that cruel and unusual punishment to make a pregnant lady not eat for that long!  And to top it all off, I’m here on a Saturday.  Pro: I don’t have to take half a day off work to get this test done.  Con: I have waste a quarter of my weekend on it. (Which is especially annoying since I am hosting a bridal shower for one of my dear friends tomorrow and would much rather be spending this time shopping, cleaning the house and prepping food for tomorrow.)

I really hope I don’t actually have gestational diabetes and that this failed 1-hour test was just a fluke.  I’m certainly not in a high-risk category: I’m still active, I eat mostly healthy, my starting weight was healthy and I haven’t gained an inordinate amount of weight.  I guess it’s not the end of the world if I do – they’ll just give me a modified diet and tell me to get more exercise . . . right?  Avoiding refined sugars would be easy for me (though I would miss the occasional cookie or ice cream).  It’s watching for natural sugars that would be a pain.  Having to be careful about eating apples or bananas would be super annoying.

I’ll check in between each blood draw and let you know how I’m feeling and how that sickly sweet drink is affecting me.

First Hour:
I’m hungry & nauseous.  That drink is waaay too sweet.  If only I could have a sandwich . . . ah well, better not fantasize about food too much since I have 3 hours left of this thing.  Ugh.  Good thing I brought both my laptop and a book.

Second Hour:
Still hungry, but almost feel like I’m at that “beyond the point of hunger” point.  That is, until I start thinking about food.  Bonus: Kaiser has wi-fi so I can surf the internet during this ordeal.  Glad I brought my laptop.  Honestly, as annoying as this is, I guess I can look on the bright side: I have 3 hours to myself to read or write or do whatever . . . except eat, that is.

3rd Hour:
I will not puke, I will no puke, I will not puke . . .
If you puke, they make you do the whole thing all over again.  I will not be that person.  So glad I packed a sandwich that is waiting for me in the car.  Not sure it would be safe for me to drive without putting something in my belly first.  This is mean and cruel . . . but there’s only an hour left and then I can eat and get on with my day.

I will update with my results when & if I’m ready to share them.

On the plus side, Aaron sent me this adorable video of Guinevere.  I must have watched it at least 15 times during my 3 hour wait at Kaiser.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ode to My Crockpot

Dear Crockpot:

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways...
  1. You have dinner ready and waiting for me when I get home from work, allowing us have family dinner together ... even on a weeknight.
  2. You help me have dinner with a clean kitchen since I can do all washing up well before dinner is ready.
  3. You help me create a healthy dinner for my family.
  4. So versatile, you will cook meats, vegetarian dishes, soups, stews, even whole chickens with equal panache.
  5. You make enough food that there are always leftovers for lunches for the rest of the week.
  6. You do not heat up the kitchen like the oven does.
  7. I can toss a bunch of ingredients into you in the morning and walk away while you spend all day slaving in the kitchen preparing dinner for me.
  8. You have yet to burn or overcook anything (though if you did, it's ok, I would take the blame for you).
  9. Whether a recipe is simple or complicated, it almost always seems to come out delicious!
  10. The house always smells amazing when you do your thang!

Seriously, I super love my crockpot.  I own these two crockpot cookbooks and love them both and highly recommend them:

(disclosure: the pictures above are affiliate links to amazon.  If you make a purchase on amazon immediately after clicking on these links, I will get a small percentage)

Do you have a crockpot?  What's your favorite crockpot recipe?

Monday, February 17, 2014

G's First Time in a Dance Studio

The other day, I took G over to Reach Dance Academy in Burbank.  Reach is owned by my friend, Raquel Cordova, and is the studio where we rehearsed for the show I danced in last November.  I’ve also substitute taught ballet for Raquel.  (It was so much fun!  Raquel, if you’re reading this, I would love to sub for you any time!)  Reach recently opened and they were having an open house.  I wanted to take G over so she could meet my dancer friends and see where mommy likes to spend her time.  Unfortunately, due to obligations earlier in the day, we got there right as the open house ended.  Fortunately, Raquel likes me and let G run around in the studio as much as she wanted.

Once in the studio, G had a blast!  I never thought about it before, but toddlers and dance studios are the perfect combination – a big open space with nothing but kid friendly emptiness!  G ran back and forth over and over again.  Eventually we tried to teach her some dance moves.  I showed her a pirouette and then she ran around herself in a circle.  I attempted to teach her tendus, which resulted in her kicking her feet out and then running some more.  We even taught her to chasse – and she actually picked that move up!

It was ridiculously adorable!  I can’t wait until she’s old enough for me to enroll her in an actual class.  I would love to take a mommy & me class with her, too, but it seems like all the mommy & me classes are geared toward the stay at home mom crew.  I have yet to find one offered on the weekend.  Maybe during maternity leave I can find one and enroll short term . . . you know, when I’m not dealing with sleep deprivation and spit up.

Looks like she's doing a saute.

Trying to chasse.
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Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Activity: Edible Finger Paint

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I know some people get negative and cynical about Valentine’s Day, but I’ve always liked it.  I enjoy an excuse to show my loved ones how much I care.  Hopefully you show your loved ones that you care every day, but it’s nice to have a day where you know (er, hope) everyone is showing the love.

Valentine’s Day is even more fun when you have kids!  G is finally getting old enough for arts & crafts type activities and I couldn’t be more excited!  I decided that I wanted G to make a Valentine’s card for Aaron to tell him what an amazing dad he is.  What better way for a 1 1/2 year old to make a card than with finger-paints?  And with a child who still puts everything in her mouth, I knew we needed to do edible finger paint.

I’ve been pinning edible finger paint recipes on Pinterest for a while and was finally able to try them out.  (Doesn't it feel good when you actually put those pins to use?) There are gazillions of finger paint recipes out there in internet-land!   I decided I wanted something super simple.  Fortunately, I found this blog that gave a bunch of different recipes all in one place.  I chose to try two different recipes.  Each had 3 ingredients: 1) flour, water, food coloring, 2) cornstarch, water, food coloring.

I noticed none of the recipes really gave instructions on the ratio.  Then I discovered why . . . you just kind of mix the water and either flour or cornstarch together until you get the consistency you want and then add the food coloring.  I started with equal proportions of water & cornstarch/flour and then went from there.  The flour mixture definitely required more water than the cornstarch version.  After I mixed up each version of the recipe, I divided it into a muffin tin and added food coloring until I got the color I wanted.
Left: Flour mixture, Right: Cornstarch mixture

Once the paint was mixed up, I stripped G down to her diaper and put her in her high chair.  I taped a piece of construction paper down to the tray of her high chair so that she wouldn’t be tempted to pick it up.  I wanted to test out each type of paint to see which we liked best, so first I let G play with the cornstarch recipe and then we used the flour.  It took me showing her what to do before she really got into it.  But once she realized she was supposed to put her hands in the paint, she had a blast!  She did taste the paint, but very quickly determined she didn’t like it, which was fine with me!

Painting with cornstarch mixture.

Flour finger painting (the sun is mine)

This activity is G approved!

Bottom line on the recipes:
  • The cornstarch paint was fun to play with, but a pain to try to actually paint with.  If we do it again, it will be solely for sensory play, and not to try to create any art.
  • The flour paint was much better to attempt to paint with.  We were actually able to get a couple of symbols onto the page.  If we attempt edible finger paints again, I will definitely be using flour instead of cornstarch.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I Want to Punch My Pregnant Hormones in the Face

I have now reached the super hormonal part of my pregnancy.  Sure, the entire 9 months is a hormonal roller coaster, but for me, the hormones seem to really kick in about halfway through. (See my post from last time about hormones).  I don’t remember being a super hormonal teenager – though that’s probably just because I was in it and didn’t know any better.  But with pregnancy hormones, it’s like the entirety of puberty all condensed into 9 (relatively short) months.  I simultaneously want to cry, laugh, and scream.

The other day Aaron and I were talking about living wills and advanced directives (spurred by the pregnant woman who was forced to stay on life support even though she was brain dead because the hospital thought it was mandated by law to grow a fetus inside a corpse . . . but that’s a whole different can of worms). Anyway, we were talking about end of life decisions, which is a very important discussion to have, and a topic we have discussed before on many occasions.  However, this time, mid-conversation, I immediately burst into tears.  Couldn’t help it, didn’t really see it coming, just BOOM: bawling mess of tears.  I had to tell Aaron through my sobs, “I’m sorry, but I think I’m a bit too hormonal to have this conversation right now.”  Then I got angry with myself about it because I tend to be a very logical, rational person when it comes to topics like that.

Then the other day, I got a work email that made me want to cry.  I don’t like crying at the office.  It makes me feel like a silly woman (not that being a woman is inherently silly, but it makes me feel like there is reason for the stereotype of the “silly woman” . . . which there is not).  And this particular email was not personal.  The person wasn’t being mean or rude at all.  It was just me, taking things way too personally, which is what pregnant hormones do apparently.

One place I have always been emotional, however, is watching entertainment.  (I’m the girl who still can’t get through “All Dogs Go to Heaven” without a box of Kleenex nearby.) However it’s even worse now!  Pretty much anytime there’s a Cheerios commercial on TV, I have to leave the room or risk tears instantly streaming down my face.  Have you seen this commercial? 

Or this one?

Darn you Cheerios!  They get me very time I see them (just re-watching them to link them in my blog has now made me a blubbering mess)! 

What’s the toll of all this hyper-emotional sensitivity? It makes me angry that I’m being emotional at all, which makes me want to scream and punch something.  Since I can’t punch people a) because that would get me in trouble, b) because I’m not really the punching people type person and c) because it’s completely irrational to punch someone else when I’m the one taking things too personally.  So instead, I want to punch my hormones.  I want to punch my pregnant hormones in the face!  (That is, if they had faces.) Ah well, I guess it will all be over in a couple months . . . then I’ll get to deal with new mom/sleep deprivation hormones . . . Yay!
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