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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Same Old Song

On the eve of my 4 month, 16 week milestone, I think I've come to realize how much miscarriage screws you up mentally.

With the last pregnancy, soon after we found out we were pregnant, I did up a budget for the rest of the pregnancy and my mat leave, so we could see where we were at and make sure we could set aside some money. R is a grad student who doesn't make a lot of $ and I do alright, but when I lose 45% of my income, we have to really make sure we've got all our ducks in a row.

Suffice to say, that when we got pg this time, we hadn't planed anything. Frankly, even up to my 14 wk appt, I was still shocked to find out the baby was still alive! Now, all of a sudden it's hitting me and we're starting to freak out that we're not ready. I know it's normal, but I think having gone through 2 m/cs has really affected how we process everything. I've felt Bean move but I still can't quite connect that motion to the reality of a live baby. It concerns me a little. I want to feel attached, and most of time I do, but the "dead baby thoughts" are always sitting in the farthest reaches of my mind waiting for a bad day to come out and make me worry. For three days I had felt nothing. No tickles. Nothing to reassure me that Bean was still okay. I have to admit to having mild moments of panic.

I wish I could just relax and enjoy this! Sure enough, this morning Bean reminded me that everything was okay. Several times. In fact, very active. Actually, as I typed that last sentence, Bean said hi again.

I don't think pregnancy will ever be "normal" for me. But I guess I can take solace in this tiny creature's presence who already has turned my world upside down. Where before I had sung sad ballads to break a heart, a new tune is being composed, moment by moment.

(cue hormonal tears)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cooking for the Soul: Spring Risotto

Have you ever had a really good risotto? I mean one that’s creamy and slightly chewy and where the flavours mingle perfectly with no one flavour outdoing another?

I love a good risotto. Some people are scared of them because they seem so labour intensive. And I suppose in some ways, they are. But they are truly a labour of love. Yes, you have to stir it constantly, BUT, if you prep all your ingredients first, adding them is a snap and you won’t risk burning your beautiful creation.

Some notes:

-Risotto is a delicate dish. It works best when all the flavours balance each other. You can put almost anything into it but be careful not to go overboard. You want each bite to contain all the flavours you put into it.

-Cooking the rice first allows the rice to absob the liquid properly.

-When buying asparagus, especially for this dish, go for the ones that are thinner. The thicker stalks are older and therefore woodier and tough. Go for the bunch with the fewest thick stems.

-Please, please, please DO NOT substitute margarine for the butter. A quarter cup is not very much when distributed throughout the dish and will add so much flavour that margarine just can’t do.

-For a purely vegetarian dish, omit the shrimp, since the mushrooms will serve as your protein.
For an earthy layer of flavour, try reconstituting wild mushrooms like crimini or porcini and adding them near the beginning. You can substitute the reconstitution liquid for some of the chicken stock.

Okay, let’s begin…


2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup shallots or 1/2 cup onions (shallots are stronger)
½ sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange work best)
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1- 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped into small chunks
200 g (or a little less than 1/2 lb.) cooked baby shrimp
1 tbsp. lemon zest
juice from ½ lemon
¼ cup butter
¼-1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. In a pot, combine stock and wine and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat. Transfer to pourable container (like a glass measuring cup) if desired. You can also use a ladle to add the liquid.

2. Heat olive oil in medium sized pot.

3. Add arborio rice. Stirring constantly, cook until transluscent (about 5 minutes).

4. Add garlic, shallots (or onion) and peppers, stirring constantly. Cook for a couple of minutes and addasparagus, mushrooms and lemon zest.

5. Add some liquid to the pot. 1/2 to 3/4 cup in the first batch will get you started.

6. Stir constantly and slowly until most of the liquid is absorbed.

7. Add more liquid and keep sitrring. Continue to add liquid in batches.

8. Add shrimp near the end, probably when you add the last batch of liquid. The rice will be done when it's slightly chewy but not crunchy!

9. Add lemon juice, butter and parmenson cheese. Serve with a slice of parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves 4.

There are so many ways you can change this up. Have fun, be creative and dig in! Yum!

Don't forget to hop on over the Mel's to see what's cooking up with the rest of the class...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hello, is that you?

I am being tickled from the inside out. It is truly the most bizarre feeling I have ever felt. It's almost like having an itch. I'll go to strach my belly and then realize it not my skin!

Bean just saying hello.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Show and Tell: New Hair

Note: Pregnancy Mentioned (Briefly)

So to celebrate my entry into the "supposedly" glorious second trimester, I decided I really needed to do something to me feel better. The nausea is still around but definitely not as bad. It comes and goes. However, I still need the diclectin. Not planning to try and wean off it again anytime soon.

So, Saturday I went to see my favourite hair stylist, K. She is proabably the best stylist I've ever been to in my life. Srriously! She actually understands and knows how to deal with my fine but thick hair. I trust her to do whatever. In fact I've been known to give her free reign since she understands that it always has to be appropriate for working in a Corporate Office.

I told her I wanted to go red like I have before. We always do demi-permanent dye, so we're not chemically dyeing my hair. It's like a super conditoner with colour! But you can't go light with demi-perm. It actually mixes with your own colour, so adding red to my brown hair creates a rich auburn. So awesome!

Here is the result of mixing two reds: mahogany and copper into my own hair. Also note the fantastic cut she did. I'm growing it out a little and it really needed some style cut into it.

There's nothing better like fantastic new hair to make you feel sexy and beautiful...

Oh, and to those of you who are disappointed because I didn't post a Cooking for the Soul post, I promise, when I have a weekend with some time to do some creative cooking, I will indulge people's need for some "food po.rn".

And be sure to pop over to Mel's to see what the rest of the class is showing...

Saturday, April 18, 2009


was very good. I ate too much and now I'm way too full.

Time for bed. Have to wake up in time to get going for my hair appointment. Getting a trim and some style cut into it (I'm growing it out a bit) and brace yourself, I'm going red again. A vibrant natural looking auburn. I'll try and post a pic and show everyone the new 'do.

Spring Showers Bring May Flowers

The sun is shining this evening. I'm hungry. Just waiting for hubby to come home so we can go grab dinner. I'm craving Indian. Naan, butter chicken, aloo gobi, mutter panneer... yum! Did I mention I'm hungry? My mood is lighter right now but it was as dark as the clouds that dumped rain this morning.

It's funny how one can forget the beauty of simple things. I love the smell and feeling of the air after a good rain. It's like everything bad can be just washed away if you let it. I, however, didn't let it. I allowed the stress to get to me. In my more emotional, hormonal state, it makes me more liable to cry. Not that that is a bad thing. But it is if you are at work.

I've been so overwhelmed and I haven't known what to do about it. We have practicum student in the office right now and I snagged her the moment I heard she was coming. She is helping me out SO MUCH! I can barely explain how much I've needed extra help- and by that I mean competent help. I always joke (only partly though) that I need my own assistant. Wait a minute, doesn't my job title have the word assistant in it? Oh, yeah, funny that.

I'm not sure what the solution is. Less work on my plate would be a start but I can't see that happening anytime soon. But I am so grateful I have a job that can't be downsized and that I make a decent wage for my age.

I would gladly take care of myself and the baby and have less stress in my life (as everyone keeps telling me) but until others step up their game and I can stop babysitting them and/ or someone helps lessen my workload, I don't see where the balance is.

Anyone able to clone me about three times?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

13 weeks, 6 days

At Wise Guy's request, here's a belly photo from today. I'm 1 day shy of 14 weeks. As I've mentioned before, I have no torso, and I'm a little heavier to start, so baby has no where to go but out. A friend at work has a friend who's 5 months right now. Apparently we're about the same size...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So, the Verdict is...

Bean is ALIVE!!

I couldn't believe it. There was still a baby in me with a heart beat! Don't know what the rate was but we heard it on the doppler. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. So amazing.

But we first saw Bean on the ultrasound. S/he was napping in the most peculiar position: Head resting on the placenta with the body dangling off at about a 70 degree angle. lol. So funny. We 'd see an arm or hand move now and again but I guess s/he was just too tired to play with us.

Have another OB appt in 4 weeks and shortly after that will be the anatomy scan, where we will get a photo. I didn't have enough in my bladder to get a really clear image, so no picture today. But the image of Bean facing us is etched in my brain.

I'm on the diclec.tin for awhile longer but my OB said to give it to 16 weeks before worrying about being stuck with nausea the entire pregnancy.

As I look down at my very obvious belly, I feel something I haven't felt in a long time: true, sincere contentment.

And now I want to cry. Damn hormones!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I had two posts I started and planned to publish last week. I obviously never did. I suppose the simple reason is that I've been too tired. Work has been so crazy I had mild breakdown over it last week. Everyone keeps telling me to make sure I don't get stressed and to take care of myself. But there's not a whole lot of people stopping what they're doing to help me with the three jobs-in-one that I do. It'll get better in the next weeks but for now I'm just trying to keep my head above water. Spending most of my time in front of a computer means that I have very little interest in spending my evenings in front of one.

But despite that, I'm doing okay. The nausea which appeared to be letting up a little has decided that it will return even more gung-ho than before! In fact, I threw up today at work. I thought I was long past that, but what the hell do I know. I do have to say that it does make me a little happy because I know Bean is doing alright then. Not having a way to gage things since my last ultrasound, it's hard not to get worried from time to time. That being said, I'd really prefer not to be sick my entire pregnancy.

This last week was also interesting in that now most people at work know. I even told a few people about our losses. Usually it's in response to the "you must be so excited" comments. Of course I'm excited but...

How do you explain to people that your heart is cautious. That although you feel this incredible joy, you secretly are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I sometimes wonder if pregnancy will ever be the full experience that people talk about. Maybe, one day. I keep thinking that I just need to make the next milestone and then all will be well. But there are so many milestones that you could constantly be on hold waiting to be happy. Don't get me wrong I am VERY happy. Some days, I just can't wipe the smirk off my face. Those days of course are the ones where my stomach actually likes food.

I have a feeling that feeling Bean move for the first time will help this feel more real- like it'll actually happen.

Or maybe tomorrow. We have our next OB appointment tomorrow afternoon. We're hoping to hear Bean's heart beat! And maybe if we're lucky, we'll get another ultrasound and maybe a picture?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Show and Tell: Cooking for the Soul: Brunch Edition

So, one of my favourite brunch dishes is Eggs Benedict. Hollandaise, poached eggs, English muffins. I mean, really, how can you go wrong? Last weekend, I had an amazing version at a restaurant, so I wanted to try and do my own version. In a cooking magazine I get, there was a recipe for Hollandaise, so I also decided to try my hand at making it from scratch. It was a so-so effort. It's a little finicky because you have to heat is slowly so it the eggs don't curdle. Mine curdled a little bit and tasted okay but I think it needed more salt to bring out it's flavour. Although I love the stuff from a package, I think I'll give the homemade stuff another try before going back to the other.

So, here you go, Lindsay's Eggs Benedict. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture.

(Serves 2)
Hollandaise sauce
1 ripe avocado, halved, pit removed and mashed in a bowl
1/4 cup chopped red onion
juice from 1/2 lemon
goat cheese (enough to crumble on four English muffin halves)
2 English muffins, split in half
4 eggs, poached to desired doneness
Salt and pepper

1. Add the red onion to the avocado along with the lemon juice.
2. Toast English muffins.
3. Spread a generous amount of the avocado mixture on the English muffin.
4. Crumble goat cheese over the avocado mixture.
5. Position poached eggs on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
6. Spoon Hollandaise on top of the eggs.

Voila! Brunch! I served them with sliced strawberries. You could do endless variations, such as:

-adding a layer of fresh basil leaves between the avocado and goat cheese.
-adding a layer of crab and/ or shrimp
-use ricotta cheese instead of goat cheese
-use Bearnaise instead of Hollandaise (same as Hollandaise but with shallots, tarragon and white wine vinegar)

Really, you could do anything. Go wild!

If I make this again soon, I'll take a picture. Promise!

Now, pop over to Mel's and see what the rest of the class is cookin' up!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Really? Again?

I'm ill again. Despite being on Dic.lectin. At least I'm not throwing up. But I think it's time to up the meds. I was really hoping the supposed magic 12 week mark would pan out for me. But I am not that lucky. At least it reassures me that all is well with Bean. If things weren't okay, I wouldn't be sick again, right?

Ok, time for a nap. I'm wiped after a day of shopping!