Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marcie's Cowboy Caviar

Today, Marcie and Evelyn hosted a baby shower for us at Marcie's home. It was a GREAT time - blog post with pics coming soon. There was lots of yummy food and this was definitely one of the favorites. You need to try this - it is so good!


1 15 oz can corn, drained, or 1 ½ cups frozen corn, defrosted
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2/3 cup green onion, chopped
2 large avocados, chopped (don't get ones that are overly ripe)
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Tortilla chips

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 t salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp chipotle chili powder, or to taste

In a colander, drain and rinse the corn and beans. In a separate colander, drain the tomatoes. Chop the cilantro and the green onions. Peel and chop the avocado. For the dressing, mince the garlic. In a small bowl, pour the olive oil and red wine vinegar - whisk to combine. Add to the dressing the minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and chipotle chili powder. Whisk to combine. Into a large bowl combine the corn, beans, cilantro, green onions, avocados and tomato. Gently toss with a large spatula. Pour the dressing over the caviar mixture and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and chill until serving time. Can be made several hours in advance. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Makes 6-8 cups.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 33: Belly!

Week 33: Baby is the size of a PINEAPPLE! (haha, hehe, inside joke).

This week, Baby D should weigh about five pounds. These days, it’s possible to observe a well-placed kick just by watching my belly. Although they’re getting stronger, my bigger-by-the-day baby is losing space to move around, so the actual rate of movement will drop off in the last few weeks, despite that powerful drop-kick she's been working on. According to my last appointment, she's head down. I can definitely feel her bottom wedged in the right side of my ribcage, just so I don't forget about her!

Things have been better lately. I'm doing alright with the gestational diabetes diagnosis. My blood sugar has  been great and my appointment at the diabetes center Friday went fantastic. They even up'd my carb intake - yahoo. The nightly walks my doctor recommended has helped my round ligament pain tremendously. I'm getting around much better - for now anyway.

I am having foot pain and I was so sad when I left my new, super comfortable, work-appropriate sandals at Tom and Molli's cabin a couple of weeks ago (about three hours away). Bill offered to drive over to get them this weekend when I was showing him my poor feet indented by my shoes from today at work. But, we caved in - and I just ordered a new pair. Hallelujah. Seriously, why am I such a cheapskate? I really should have done that right away and saved myself the suffering!

My cousin, RaeAnna, due just five weeks before me, had her baby Saturday. Warren Ames is just beautiful. Can't believe - I'M NEXT! It felt so strange holding that brand new baby knowing ours will be here soon.

I am actually feeling brave and posting a bare belly shot. I may regret this, but I figure if I change my mind later, I can always remove it. Prepare yourself for my veiny belly, but at least there are no stretch marks (yet). OK, here goes nothing. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nothing Less

Nothing Less... Cure ALS.

Our awesome team: Jody, Jessica and Bill.

This was the weekend of the tenth annual ALS Doubleday Bike Ride - a two-day, 85-mile bike ride in Mount Vernon. We tripled our team size. Last year, "Kathy's Crew" was just Bill and this year, we had Jessica (whom we met at last year's ride) and my sister-in-law, Jody. This is such an important event. We ride in memory of my Mom as well as those currently facing ALS, like Anthony. Anthony left this comment on my Mom's site just this last week:


I really don't know where to begin, other than by saying thank you. You see, unlike the others who have responded I was diagnosed 7 years ago this week, with symptoms a year prior. I am 39 years old with a caring wife and beautiful 2 year old daughter. Not to make myself sound naive or in denial, but I can count on one hand the number of times I've gone on line to look up anything to do with ALS, and definitely first time looking up a blog, which is how I found the touching story of your mom, your family and friends. You see from day one I told my wife (we were just married 2 months), my family, and friends, that I didn't want this to consume them everyday because I wouldn't, we have to live our lives. Everybody has obstacles in life and this is mine. Well its not just mine, and I didn't realize that for a long time. I guess what I am trying to say is from this side, I know my support group is unbelievable, as you were and still are. Not that I ever doubted for one second my support group, but when you see in writing your experience I truly see that no matter what I say, or how I try to protect them, it will consume them no matter what. I don't know if what I am writing makes sense because I never write, but in life we should touch the lives of as many people as possible and you have touched mine and so many others, so thank you.

You truly are an inspiration, as is your Mom.



That - that right there is what this is all about. The Doubleday is a tough event. Whether the walk in the fall or this bike event, you don't get to see many of those battling ALS. And, if you do, you often don't get to see them at subsequent events as many progress quickly through this horrendous disease. It is extremely sad; I know my Mom would have LOVED being at even one of these events. She really enjoyed the one Walk she participated in.

We did get to see Sonja. Sonja was our advocate from the ALS Evergreen Chapter. She was at my Mom's doctor's appointments, got my Mom lended equipment, led the family support groups and was our lifeline for the multitude of questions. She is a literal Godsend and I was so happy to see her today. She rubbed my belly and said she had thought of me many times and wondered how we were doing. She was a trooper today on the ride - so proud of her!

Having fun getting ready the first day.

Coming into the first rest stop.

Jessica never stopped smiling!

Jody - big smiles too!

Bro and sis.

Marilyn's Army was the largest team - so big it split into two last year. Sadly, Marilyn lost her battle with ALS just last year.

300+ total riders this year.

Still smiling on the second day - only about 8+ miles to go.

Clear Lake rest stop.

Jess and Bill crossing the finish line - 35 minutes earlier than last year. Woohoo! Jody was just about 25 minutes behind them, but she did the extra ten mile loop on her own. Way to go, team!

Enjoying "Banditos Burritos" post-ride. Jessica and Jason.

Thanks to all of our supporters. We appreciate the contributions to this extremely important cause. Thanks to our small team and to our little cheering squad who made the drive up in support. Great weekend. Good job, everyone! Love you, Mom! I know you were right there with us!

Lastly, here's a video from our local news about the event.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Showered in Pink

I had already mentioned that I had a baby shower last week at work and this last weekend we had another at my house with family and friends. It is an odd combination of feelings for me - a little uncomfortable (I can get embarrassed), but also incredibly meaningful. Deana, or Grandma Deanie, as we decided her new name to be, was the hostess and she took care of every last detail. She served the punch in a beautiful decanter with berries floating on top. She made tortilla wraps and pasta salad from scratch that were delectable and had everyone asking for the recipe (coming soon to Jahjong). She even made beautiful frosted cupcakes in pastel colors with little raspberries on top.

Here is a quilt made by my cousin, Velvet. The center quilt block was made by my Grannie who passed away in 1993. Velvet even used buttons of Grannie's. So sweet, very special.

Here's a sweet pic of my cousin, RaeAnna, and Velvet's sweet little girl, Haley.

Here is one of me and my cousin, RaeAnna. RaeAnna is due about a month before me. We went to hug each other goodbye and bumped bellies - we were laughing away. Everyone insisted we get a belly-to-belly shot.

I took the liberty of taking some pictures tonight of some of the things from the shower, since I didn't get many pictures of people at the party (sad).

Diaper cake.

Apron for Baby D so she can cook/bake right along with us!

Super, super cute outfit from Grandma Betty. Check out the little ears on the hood!

This was a crowd favorite.

This was from our neighbor, Kim. Yes, I choked up when I read it aloud to everyone.

Knitted blanket made by a family friend who passed away a few years ago and saved by Francie for a future granddaughter. Yes, there were misty eyes with this one too.

Made by my neighbor, Kim. LOVE, LOVE!

This clock is from Deana. Probably doesn't mean anything to most, but Marcie, can you believe this? Marcie and I were eyeing a clock just like this for the baby's room. It is like Deana read our minds! Love it! I have a feeling Bill and I will be eyeing this baby during late night feedings!

Obviously, this is only a highlight of the special gifts we received. Here is a some of the "loot" from the last two showers. Wow, this little girl is spoiled. She will definitely be well-dressed.


Last, but not least... My niece Maggie was SO EXCITED to give me their present at Tanner's birthday party (they couldn't make it to the shower). She rushed past me without saying hello to run into the house to get the gift. Molli said she had unwrapped the gift about ten times throughout the day. Here it is.

See, it is a blankie just like hers - just a darker pink. Maggie has loved on that blanket since she was a baby and she was so excited for Baby D to have one like hers. She even showed me how the baby needs to hold it between her fingers. I told her she'd have to show baby how to do that herself. She was so excited and everywhere I went she'd remind me, "Don't forget the blanket!!"

Thanks so much, everyone for loving on Bill, me and our little girl. We appreciate all the kindness. Thank you to each and every lady who came - I appreciate all of you! And, Deana - THANK YOU. You did an amazing job - I know it was a lot of work. We appreciate it so much!

PS: This baby is now officially wedged into the right side of my ribcage. Just thought I'd share that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gestational Diabetes Update

I had my first appointment at the diabetes clinic for my recent gestational diabetes (GD) diagnosis. Not surprisingly, learning more about this diagnosis has been somewhat of a relief. Information is always better than lack thereof.

Please note, this is my own interpretation of what I heard today. I am in no way a medical professional and apologize in advance if I do not describe things accurately!

First, I learned that GD is different from normal diabetes in terms of it being directly related to hormones. The nurse explained that people don't understand why some are affected by diabetes and some are not. The same explanation can be given as to why only some expectant mothers suffer from morning sickness (another issue connected to the surge of hormones). Basically, I must have more hormone issues than most - not to my dear husband's surprise!

I also asked questions about why I was told that I would only be diagnosed if I failed two of the four blood tests during my three-hour glucose (I only failed one). The nurse explained that I have the most conservative doctor's office in town and my numbers would not have resulted in a gestational diabetes diagnosis elsewhere. She explained that is not necessarily bad news. These doctors are just careful and want what is best for this pregnancy adding, "That is likely why you chose them." She's right!

She asked me what I had heard in terms of how GD could affect my baby. I told her I had heard that it can lead to bigger babies. She said that is true, but there are other impacts. She said a baby whose mother hasn't been controlling their blood sugar is used to receiving a high-level of glucose. When the baby is born and the cord is cut, the baby's blood sugar can sharply drop and this can be very dangerous. She explained that while controlling gestational diabetes is important for me, it is most critical for the health of my daughter. She said sometimes that helps when patients are enticed by that piece of cake, to think about how it could potentially harm their little one. (Did I mention my hormones? I had to work to not tear up when she said this!).

She showed me the testing kit and I warned her how I'm not so good with needles and discussions of blood. I am so happy to tell you, the blood testing is a cinch! I test once when I wake up (fasting blood sugar), once after breakfast, once after lunch and again after dinner. I don't have to "poke" the needle in myself, it goes in super fast and I can hardly feel it! I actually poke it in fatty part of my palm (it hurts less there!). I did, however, make the mistake of showing someone in the office later and accidentally had the guard off and poked myself pretty good (yes, that did hurt).

We then discussed nutrition. I learned that diabetes is not about controlling sugar, but about controlling carbs. I CAN have a piece of cake at a baby shower if I want, but it does mean I'd likely not be able to have any other carbs (probably not going to happen). It is a lot like my days of following the Atkins Diet, but actually a little easier. I told the nurse I have a lot of off-site meetings right now and often we don't get much time for lunch so we run to fast food. We discussed several fast food restaurants and my options. I was shocked to find out I could have a quarter pounder with cheese for lunch (just no fries)! Guess where I went after my appointment? She was right, my blood sugar came out just fine. Crazy! I did learn some disappointing things. For instance, I thought with agave nectar being low-glycemic, I was OK eating that. Not true! I can  have it, but it has the same carbs as regular sugar. DARN!

In summary, I wanted to share something more positive about this diagnosis. It still isn't the best news, but it is definitely manageable and actually very interesting information. I can definitely do this - for me and Baby D! Plus, if my blood sugar remains stable, they will likely add in more carbs and cut back on my blood testing. Something to hope for!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baby: 31 Weeks

Week 31: Baby is the size of a squash.

This week, Baby D measures over 16 inches long. She weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn her head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin. She's probably moving a lot, too. I will likely continue to have trouble sleeping because baby's kicks and somersaults keep will keep me up. I can find this comforting however; all this moving is a sign that baby is active and healthy.

My friend Marcie has this thing about 10:11. Whether it be the date, October 11 or the time 10:11 - it is not her favorite. It doesn't exactly have any negative associations for me, but when I looked at my phone Friday and saw I had a new voicemail from my OB/GYN at 10:11 a.m., I just knew it wasn't great news - and I was right. They were calling to say I have officially been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It isn't that I can't survive eating low sugar/carbs, but it is just different when you are pregnant. I am not doing this by choice, I don't get to see the benefits of weight loss and I still struggle with morning sickness from time to time when all I find comforting are carbs like crackers or frozen smoothies. Plus, I am a WIMP when it comes to blood. Pricking my finger multiple times a day? I have been known to pass out at the sight of needles (I said I was a wimp!!). This ought to be interesting, fortunately I don't have long left in this pregnancy.

Good timing, I had one of these yummy owl-themed brownies at my shower the day before my diagnosis. Mmmm!

This was a shower at work - it was very fun even though I was a bit embarrassed. I look at the pics though and I think - wow, I'm getting big. Oh my.

The afternoon of my shower, I left for a meeting and started having some discomfort in my lower abdomen. My friend, Sara, came over that night to help me work on a new project for the nursery (an owl mobile - pics to come soon). I was really having a hard time by this point. We wondered if it was Braxton Hicks or if I had just overdone it that day. I went to bed thinking I'd feel better in the morning. I did NOT wake up feeling better; the pain continued through the night. I had sharp pain in my stomach and it was starting to worry me. I called the doctor's office and they said it was round ligament pain from my uterus stretching and confirmed it could be incredibly painful. They recommended rest (yeah, right), extra water due to the heat and Tylenol every four hours. I was working and couldn't go home, but I did take some Tylenol and get in some extra fluids. That really helped!!

Bill picked me up that night to head over to his brother and sister-in-law's cabin in Leavenworth. I wondered if I was making a mistake considering how I'd been feeling, but fortunately I felt much better and I got lots of rest during our getaway. It was very peaceful with the cool mountain breezes coming through our bedroom window. Thanks, Tom and Molli!

Baby D is still doing great herself. She is kicking away and doesn't mind at all that her Mama couldn't have ice cream cones in Leavenworth (although I did find one flavor of sugar-free gelato) or be doubled over in pain. These issues don't affect baby at all. In terms of the gestational diabetes, controlling my diet will help her to not get too big (a common problem), because I certainly don't need that.

And, not related to anything, but it is just funny. Look who had to check out our borrowed bassinet? I didn't think he'd want in there - there aren't any sheets in it!

Hope you are all having a good week!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth Holiday Highlights

Finished RaeAnna's burp cloths.

Libby napped.

Took a picture of my new shirt I got to wear to Twilight: Eclipse Saturday night. So silly, I know! Oops - the mirror. You can't read it.

Here's what it says (for those who have read/seen Twilight, you'll understand what it means).

The 30 weeks belly.

Saturday baby shower! RaeAnna liked her stuff!

She was very excited we got her the diaper genie!

Loved Eclipse - very fun.

We went to a parade on the morning of the fourth. (no pics.)

Fireworks on the night of the Fourth with Corey, Keri, Carson, Sue and Scott. I really need to take a class to learn how to use my camera.

Monday, Marcie and I made sugar-free strawberry freezer jam with agave nectar.

Very easy and fun.

Love these little jars.

And labels just make me happy!

Evelyn worked on adding some "flair" to baby's curtains. She didn't want her picture taken.

Seriously, look how cute these curtains are! They were cute to begin with, but Evelyn added some more of the fabric from the baby quilt to the top.

Here's a closer look. Love it! Thank you, Thank you, Evelyn!

Preparing for the baby shower at our house in a couple of weeks, Bill power-washed the back patio and furniture Bob and Marcie gave us. It went from this...

To this... after some washing, priming and paint. LOVE. Can't wait until the cushions come in the mail.

Have a great week!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

My Blog List

Who's Visiting Today?