Friday, August 14, 2009

Smörgåsbord

Today's post is my blogger version of left overs. I don't have 1 commanding story or montage to share, but a host of little bits and pieces of information due to the fact that I am incapable of keeping up with everything right now. I cannot even think of clever transitions, so expect some abrupt plot turns. Is ADD a pregnancy symptom? I feel like I might be battling some attention problems. Slight exaggeration, but what I am truly curious about is if restless leg syndrome is related to pregnancy. More like restless body syndrome. I don't even have a legit belly and I cannot get comfortable in bed. I toss and turn each night, feeling like instead of my pajamas, I somehow put on a new suit of skin and bones and am awkwardly getting used to my limbs and torso. And then when my body gets in a fit, my mind feels like it is given license to ruminate and obsess about things like--what to write on the weekly menu planner for Miles's lunch on Wednesday...should I actually put make-up on for work?...what questions should I write down for our next pediatrician visit? I may completely corner myself into some sort of pathology, but I was hoping that the fractured sleep wouldn't start happening until late in pregnancy.

I guess since I haven't really had quality sleep in almost 2 years, why start now? And it is not as though the belly below can be a true obstacle.
From Lovely Lady Bumps
From Lovely Lady Bumps
Eric and I realized on the same day that I hadn't taken one picture of my pregnant belly during the 1st trimester. Of course for the 1st pregnancy you pretty much document everything (although, I never did get around to getting Miles a proper scrapbook), and as the babies continue, some of your efforts and intentions get diluted. So, these pictures are about 14.5 weeks (and I do think since then I have even pushed out a little farther), but the good thing is that it really isn't that dramatic (i.e. you all haven't missed much). Just that thickening out phase that I really don't like (especially the chest area--I still don't understand why women want big boobs.)

Abrupt turn 1. Eric's fear of spiders is pretty well documented, but I recently found out he is just as skittish around little, curious, fluffy yard patrons as well. As he was walking by our recycling bin, he freaked out when in the corner of his eyes, saw something foreboding and furry in the corner of the bin. I gave him the camera to take a picture so I could see it and help identify. This is what he shows me
From NANA summer 09
...anyone? The cutest little baby 'possum. From his reaction, I thought it was going to be Big Foot's ferocious spawn. We released the babe and hope it found its family.

Abrupt turn 2. I am certainly not known for my tremendous archives of amazing recipes, but have been asked for a number over the past few weeks and thought I would put them up on the blog. Schlotty has recently done a great service to her blog readers and shared her favorite foodie blogs; I recommend adding some to your reader or favorites. Here are some staples in our house.

Nursing Balls
When I was nursing, I would be up all night either latched to Miles or to a pump. And I was hungry, but never ravished. But at 2am, you don't want to open chips, you don't want to prepare anything that requires utensils (or brain space), so I recalled a yummy treat my mother made for us as kids. We didn't call them nursing balls, but the name was too funny to pass up. They are almost like raw cookie dough balls--how can that be bad? And they can be mixed with all sorts of things like flax and Kashi cereal so that you can control the consistency. What I loved most about them, beside the flavor, is that they popped in the mouth so easily, and satisfied me immediately.

1/2 cup peanut butter (I would use regular, and not organic or natural--purely b/c of consistency)
1/2 honey
1/2 dry milk
1 cup peanuts or raisins or kashi cereal crunched up
1 cup graham crackers crushed.
Sprinkling of flax meal
handful of mini chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into balls. Put in fridge.

Now, these are all estimations. Add and delete as you see fit, until you get a dough firm enough to roll into balls and refrigerate. I actually never really use a recipe, just eye ball everything now.

Raspberry Spinach Bars
This is an adaptation from Jessica Seinfeld's (or as I keep saying to Eric, Jessica Simpson--but what kind of cookbook could she have?) book Deceptively Delicious. As my mom reminds me, this is not a new concept--using veggie and fruit purees for baking and cooking, but JS just gave the concept a face lift. There is some controversy and purist mothers who think it is child abuse for deceiving your children and fooling them into thinking the food is not healthy, but who is to say you cannot tell your kids what is in it? Heck, Miles doesn't even understand what we are saying anyway, so if I can get more healthy stuff into him, rock on!

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I would do 1 cup white and 1/4 wheat)
1/2 sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 t pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter (JS calls for margarine, but even the trans-fat free kind gives me the willies)
1 cup raspberry preserves (or any berry...you can use low sugar if you need)
1/2 cup spinach puree

Preheat oven to 375. Coat 8x8 pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Add butter and cut it quickly into dry ingredients with 2 knives until mixture resembles course meal and is no longer powdery. Do not over mix! Bits of butter still visible is okay. Set aside half of the oat mixture. Press the rest firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at edges (not fully baked), 13-15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in small bowl. Spread berry mixture over partially baked layer, then sprinkle reserved oat mixture. Bake until topping slightly brown, 20-25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely.

Banana "Bread" (I use the quotes because this is more like cake--semi-homemade style. I try to make all of my food from scratch, but this cake is so yummy, freezes great, and is a huge hit in our family. I actually made it for Miles's first b-day cake at his daycare and it got multiple baby thumbs up.)

1 box yellow cake mix
1 package instant banana cream pudding and pie filling (or vanilla, french vanilla...)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2-3 overly ripe bananas
4 eggs (or egg beaters, but eggs are better)
cinnamon sugar

Mix all of the ingredients well. Pour into 2 large loaf pans, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake at 350 for 40-45 min.

Abrupt turn 3. This is kind of related to abrupt turn 2. We are hosting Eric's best friend at our house for a week as he has made the journey down from Cleveland. We have welcomed him with ear plugs (for Miles's wake-ups) and the promise of good food. "Uncle" Jeremy is a chef, and Atlanta has a great many food establishments to choose from. Last night we went to Rathbun's (anyone see him spank Bobby Flay's behind on Iron Chef?) for both some drinks at the adjoining Krog bar (them alcohol, me Coke. Yes, I did take a sip of their wine and yes I did have 1 serving of caffeine. I am an awful preggo.), and then had an amazing dinner. Jeremy asked if he could take the menus from the bar and restaurant as any good chef would do, and not only did they all oblige, but our waitress had Kevin Rathbun himself sign one menu for him! He made a "rare" appearance at the restaurant (all 10 feet 11 inches of him...that dude is huge), and I think it was fate, kismet that we were there that night with Jeremy.

Abrupt turn 4. Miles starts back up at childcare on Monday full-time. I am so nervous and already thinking about what he is going to wear on his first day (usually pondering this earth's mystery at 3:11am in the morning). There will be a bunch of new babies (okay, so only 1 in the beginning, and a few more over the course of the few months), and some new teachers (aka: Marist mothers who volunteer their services to love on babies). I realize that this next year will be so different for Miles compared to the first day...when I dropped him off at the ELC Director's home all by his lonesome for my first day back at work...and then when it was just these 3 little infant boys in the corner of Marist's lower cafeteria while the ELC was being finished, being doted on by tons of students and staff. Now, he is a returning student.

Next thing you know, he is going to be asking me to borrow the car in a crackling, pubescent voice. Until then, let's stick with "asking" permission to go to the park.


From NANA summer 09

1 comment:

  1. Cute little belly! Cuter opossum! I wonder if that's the guy or his mother who knocked over the composting gate that time.
    I am sorry that sleep is so elusive for you. Ask your doctor about it and see if there is help for restless body/mind syndrome. Of course you've been so trained by "Can't sleep Miles" that that doesn't help.
    It sounds like good adventures in cooking with Jeremy!
    Good luck to everyone tomorrow at ELC! I will be thinking of you all. Have fun Miles! Love, Nana

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