Update on Rosie

Less than two months left to go, and I can't wait! I want this baby out of me, and I think she wants out, too--she's constantly kicking and punching me, as if to say, "Hey! Let me out! It's getting crowded in here!" (It really is.) I'm looking forward to being able to hold her in my arms... and I suspect I may even sleep better after she's born, given how much her kicks keep me awake.

Yesterday we went for a growth ultrasound and non-stress test--both went very well indeed. Rosie was quiet enough for the ultrasound (though even when she's barely moving the techs always seem to think she's being unusually wriggly) and we got to see a lovely picture of... her foot. She's face-down and kind of squished in there, in the same position as last time (when we also got a nice foot view), so it's likely there will be no more cute pictures until after she's born. We did get to see her exercising her lungs, though, which was quite interesting.

The non-stress test was especially interesting, as it was the first one we'd done, and I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. The rooms they normally use for it were all full, so since the test was done on the Labor & Delivery floor we got to use one of the regular rooms, which was very nice and now I have a better idea of what to expect when Rosie's born. For the test, they had me lie down on the bed and strapped two monitors to my belly, one to listen for the baby's heartbeat, and one to measure any contractions I might have. The test was to last 20 minutes, and they wanted to see two accelerations (Rosie's heart rate going up from her usual 130ish to 150 or so) in that time... I was warned that for some people it could take up to a couple hours to get enough accelerations.

Well, Rosie is not 'some people'! By the end of the 20 minutes, there had been 9 accelerations recorded... and no one was quite sure whether I'd had any mild contractions or not, since she was kicking the monitors the whole time, so hard that we could see them moving up and down. (It didn't help that I was laughing a bit... she's feisty, and very protective of her space it seems.) So, it seems our little girl is doing very well indeed. :)


The mystery of the pancake cookies

Apparently I'm not the only one who's had problems with the basic cookie recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag--I really should have done my research before I started last night, but I wanted something soft and chewy that would work well with nuts, and I thought that it couldn't get any simpler. Well, I was wrong... I ended up with 32 thin and lumpy chocolate-chip pancakes that refused to come off of the pans (and yes, the recipe does say to use an ungreased baking sheet!) While this could have been averted by not following the recipe (using shortening instead of butter) or simply chilling the dough first, I seem to have come up with a rather unorthodox solution.

You see, I have this pan.

It's a dark pan, so I never ever use it for baking. It has raised edges, making it absolutely wonderful for when I want to bake potato wedges, heat up breakfast sausages and toast, make chicken nuggets, bake ribs, etc. I love this pan.

So last night when I had used the last of my nice light-colored insulated cookie sheets I sighed, got out my favorite pan for the last dozen cookies, and hoped they wouldn't come out too burnt.

They were perfect.

Love conquers all? ;)


"Fast" Food

I decided to go for a different sort of theme with Jon's lunch today...it didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped (we didn't have any ketchup packets, and I think Jon might have been disappointed at the lack of a cool toy) but for the most part I'm pretty happy with it:

Chicken patty on a bun with lettuce and mayo, another hippo cookie, potato wedges, blood orange slices, green grapes, and cherry tomatoes.

I still feel like I'm over-using the cherry tomatoes, but they're just so handy...and I already had a cup of grapes, it would have looked weird to use those instead. One potato's worth of fries wasn't quite enough to fill to the top of the box, I should have baked another half potato or so, and the blood orange slices ended up not looking too exciting. I still have a couple left, so for next time I will look for ideas to make it really stand out--maybe peeling and segmenting the fruit instead of slicing it?

I'm not sure yet what Jon's lunch is going to look like tomorrow, but I did practice a fun kiwi cut on my lunch today, so that may play a role...maybe some banana, too. Maybe I'll make a big pot of rice tonight to last us the rest of the week in lunches, that keeps things fairly simple!


Bento + Bonus Baby Belly

I don't always do fancy, pretty lunches for Jon...those are just the ones I like to show off. Here's his lunch for today--much simpler than the other ones I've posted! (It's a little sad that my fridge has better lighting than my kitchen, don't you think?)

Baby carrots, sliced pickle, peach with yogurt and brown sugar, cold cheese sandwich, and a chocolate hippo cookie--simple and super fast, I was done in under 10 minutes. (And yes, that's homemade bread--I love my bread machine!)

Anyway, I have been scolded for not putting up pictures to show just how large I'm getting, so here I am, posing for the camera:

All right, so I'm not really a whale, but I'm certainly starting to feel like one! Even most of my maternity clothes are too small...and the ones that still fit are a little tight. Thank goodness Jon has plenty of comfy shorts and t-shirts for me to borrow!

Here's a real picture of me--my dad sent the awesome shirt, I love it. :D It's only been a week and I already think my belly's gotten bigger...

And here's a bird's-eye view, proving conclusively that I no longer have feet:

I want it to be April already! =p


This is becoming a habit

but I don't think Jon minds. ;)

Pickle springs (I got the idea while flipping through this book at the mall, though it uses cucumbers), more of that ranch chicken (Jon loves it!), cherry tomatoes, pasta sauce in the heart-shaped container, a big slice of apple, spaghetti, and some little hearts made from mozzarella cheese and red pepper.

I've noticed that a lot of my lunches tend to lean toward a red and white color scheme, when really there should be a bit more variety. I think part of that can be blamed on a lot of my accessories being red, but then again, I do pack Jon an awful lot of tomatoes and apples. I think next time we buy fruits and veggies I'm going to make more of an effort to get some other colors, too--maybe some broccoli, kiwi fruit, and pineapple. I also need to get some sauce containers that aren't red!


More bento fun :)

Jon's lunch on Friday...after he'd eaten part of it, there were more carrot sticks and cheese pieces to begin with. Bagel quarters with spinach-artichoke cream cheese, heart-shaped carrot sticks, apple heart slices with banana, cherry tomatoes, and heart-shaped cheese pieces. The heart box holds three raspberry Hugs--yum!

I did a lot of things the hard way here. Instead of slicing the apple and then using my large heart cutter, I tried to cut the whole apple at once...it worked, but it took a while. The carrot sticks were also problematic, as the cutter wasn't really the right size anyway, and I should have just used a knife to begin with. The banana and cheese were easy, though I probably should have just had cheese slices to fill the apple instead of using banana, it would have been prettier. Still, Jon liked it, and I got to try out a bunch of my new cutters.

This was Jon's lunch today, his second one in the new box (I really am in love with it). On the left we have rice with flowers made from celery and colored peppers. The brown at the bottom is a soy sauce packet, and makes a pretty good mound of soil--a very nice coincidence! On the right are celery sticks, a flower-shaped cup with peaches (I tried to arrange the slices in a petal pattern), and leftover ranch chicken with a decorative pick. I wish I'd had a flower-themed pick (maybe next time) and I could have added some cherry tomatoes to fill in the gaps a little tighter, but overall I'm thrilled with how it turned out. Definitely my favorite so far!