Friday, January 30, 2009

So what's the big secret? day several weeks ago, Shooter and I walk into the office of the other doctor (the perinatologist) who's watching over me during this pregnancy. I remember being so irritated that day...there was a lady in there with her husband and her best friend and her mother and they were so darned cheerful and talking up a storm. I remember being a bit stressed because Shooter and I were there for the first round of a prenatal scan to determine if we were looking at having a child with chromosome problems. I was anxious and not sure what to expect and those cheery people were not helping me goshdarnit!!!!

Anyway....we're escorted back to this HUGE room which is a combo exam room and ultrasound room. Definitely WAY bigger than anything at my regular OBs office and way swankier. ;-) Anywhoo...I am hop up on the table with a bladder more full than any pregnant woman has a right to have and wait for them to do their thing.

Luckily I'm finally at the point where they can do the belly ultrasounds and I don't have to get completely undressed.

Well, the tech gets the lil peanut up on the screen and starts laughing. Well, I can immediately tell that we're looking at the twerp head on and he's waving at us. I already know that this isn't good for the kind of measurements they need to take. We hang out a little longer and watch the baby move around and try coaxing it to move in other directions but it's not listening to us.

I should say here that this doctor's office has a separate monitor straight ahead of the table so that you don't have to twist your neck to look at the ultrasound monitor screen. It's VERRY nice....hehehe.

I have to now disrobe for the ultra weird "other kind"of ultrasound. The tech is so weird about it and tells me I have to do the "finding" myself. What is this...some kind of perverted sex show? Anyway....we get our cooperative patient up on the monitor again and it's moved...again. Now it's twisted it's torso so it's still looking at us. Whatever!!! I end up having to lift my butt up off the table and slam it back down trying to get the stubborn spawn to move. Finally it does and we get the two measurements we need. HOWEVER, the twerp won't move it's head the right way so that we could verify a nasal bone.

While we're waiting again, to see if it'll move, I ask the doctor, rather innocently, whether or not we could tell whether we were having a boy or a girl. She said that we might be able to, just depended on the baby. I said, "Heck, it's been so cooperative so far why not try!" She zooms in and immediately gets this funny expression on her face.

She says, "Hmmm...yup....(tilts her head to look at the screen) looks pretty obvious to me....that's a boy, folks!" She then looks at the tech....
Tech says, "Yup, no arguing with you there, doctor."
I say, "Well, it's early, I won't go decorating in blue just yet. hehehe"
Dr. then says, "Honey, I don't think that's going to fall off. I think you're having a boy."

To this annoucement, Shooter is dancing around the room - doing his "my swimmers are the most awesome swimmers on the planet" dance. It was so funny. He then calls his dad, while I'm still up on the table being probed, to tell him he's having a grandson. Talk about awkward! Geesh! now the secret is out....we're having a Lil Shooter!!!! ;-)


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shrimp and Pasta to knock your socks off

My mother shakes her head at me when I talk about how I come up with some of my recipes. To be honest, I hate following recipes. I like looking at a recipe and seeing where I can tweak it to make it more tasty or more my style. Take for instance this Shrimp Scampi recipe that I found at It's a good recipe in theory. But it's missing something in my opinion. So I played with it and this is what I came up with.

Laura's Shrimp and Pasta

1 pound of linguine
6 tablespoons butter
2 tsp minced garlic (again, I use the jar kind)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed
juice of one lemon

Put your linguine on to boil, cook for 8-10 min until al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, melt your butter over low heat with the garlic. Once the butter is melted, turn up the heat to medium and add the red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper and italian seasoning. Stir constantly so that flavors infuse the butter.

Add in shrimp and cook until just curled and pink. Stir in the lemon juice and then remove the shrimp from the pan. Add in your pasta and stir until all the pasta is coated with the sauce then plate. Add shrimp to each serving.

If I had any one wish, it would be for people to not be intimidated by recipes. Cooking is one of those things that just takes practice and after a while you just get a sense for ingredients that go together.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Times they are a changing......or maybe not!

Wow...can I tell you how much I've been loving this second trimester. I've got more energy and I'm just feeling so much better.

HOWEVER....there are things that haven't changed.....

* Like how I fall asleep on the couch at 9pm
* Like how I can't take my medications without gagging
* Like how I gag on my medications and ultimately spew them into the toilet
* Like how my bewbs have grown to mammoth proportions
* Like how my bewbs KEEP GROWING despite my protestations
* Like how I have to go and take a nap after lunch
* Like how I wake up every morning completely amazed that there is a little being growing inside me
* Like how I will bust out crying for absolutely no reason
* Like how it seems like I'm eating constantly
* Like how I have this constant congestion
* Like how this constant congestion isn't going away anytime soon

It sounds like I'm complaining but honestly I'm not. I'm truly enjoying being preggers and some of it might be because Shooter is being so gosh darn awesome about the whole thing. I can't even begin to tell you how lucky I am to have such a wonderful man like him.

Also, I had a dr. appointment today where I learned that my blood pressure is still awesome and I actually LOST two pounds from my appointment three weeks ago! Now, I started out this journey overweight so losing some weight during the pregnancy isn't such a big deal for me. And losing this weight came about while I have been eating constantly!!! Albeit, I have felt so much better in the last three weeks and have been eating so much healthier, so maybe that has something to do with it. Well, eating healthy if you don't count the amazing desire I have for either McDonalds or Krystal hamburgers. ;-) I said I'm doing pretty well, not perfect!

Oh...and we were finally able to hear the baby's heartbeat today with the handheld doppler in the dr. office. My doctor and I were so happy and had huge grins on our faces. We'd been trying since 10 weeks to hear the little booger and it finally made itself known today. I had been feeling a lot of round ligament pain, so I was hoping that the baby had moved up enough that we'd be able to find it.

Well, there's my update...hope everyone else is doing fabulously!!!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lunchtime (or anytime) deliciousness!

Yummmm.....Okay....I just have to share another recipe that I found and then tweaked to make my own this weekend. I have been looking for "salad" type recipes that I can take to work and easily make into a mini meal. This one fits the bill perfectly!!!! It's easy to make and it's absolutely delicious too.

Mediterranean Chick Pea Salad

2 16 oz cans of chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 English cucumber (the long seedless guys), chopped
1 small sweet onion, minced
2 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of minced garlic (or 1 tsp of the jarred garlic, which is what I use)
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Juice of two lemons
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste (I probably used 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper)
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tablespoons olive oil

Mix everything together and then let it sit in the fridge until it's well chilled and the flavors have come together.

This week it's not only a salad for lunch but it's also going to be served with some baked tilapia for dinner. :-)

Later lovelies!


Monday, January 26, 2009


Okay....Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich showed up on The View this morning....what an idiot. I'm sorry if you're from Illinois and voted for him - but he's an A #1 idiot. Here's his interview on The View this morning....

Oh...and at the 7 minute mark I learn all over again why I despise Joy Behar....

Things you didn't wanna know about Grandma... I came across this story today on

Besides the fact that I'm sitting here, huddled in the corner, as close as my preggo body can get to the fetal position, I'm really just trying to keep my breakfast down.

I mean seriously....gonorrhea, syphillis, herpes? In a retirement community????

Apparently what happens to you as you age is that around 50 you start regressing in maturity. It appears that by the time you're in your 60's and 70's it's like you're in your 20's again....

Personally, I'm not real sure I want to relive my 20's....I'm just saying....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weird pregnancy dreams I'm the kind of person who doesn't really remember her dreams at night. I've been told that when you don't remember that it's a good thing, because you're getting really good sleep.

Anyway, last night I had the weirdest dream ever!!!!!

I dreamed that I was carjacked by these three very large women and made to drive around town all afternoon. I kept trying to get out of the car and they would scream at me to keep driving. (You have to understand that I despise driving around and not knowing where I'm going. If someone else is navigating I need to know where my turns are well in advance.) I know I kept calling them names and hitting them but they wouldn't hit me because I was pregnant. Finally I begged them to let me pull over to a gas station so I could pee and I tried texting Shooter to tell him where I was. On my way to the bathroom, I saw one of my good friend's husband and I flagged him down and got him to help me.

Then I woke up.

It was beyond weird.

Pregnancy does strange things to a woman.....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blue or Pink?

The ultimate surprise in life is whether your child is a boy or a girl. I have had many people ask me if Shooter and I were going to find out what we were having. I immediately say, "Of course we're finding out!" I occasionally get some incredulous looks that accusingly say, how could you! It's life's greatest surprise! Yea, yea, whatever is what I say.

I look at it this way....I'm 36 years old. I've waited a long time for this baby to come along. I want to be able to buy frilly girlie clothes in pinks and purples or to be able to buy cute little boy clothes with trucks and cars on them. I don't want to be showered with a bunch of nondescript white, yellow and green onesies at my baby showers. I don't want to have to try to come up with a gender neutral nursery.

Also, I'm thinking of my family mother has waited forever for a grandchild and who am I to deprive her of the opportunity to buy the little one bunches of cute clothes and towels and bibs and onesies and such? I'm only thinking of her after all!

Long story short is yes, we're going to be finding out what the gender of our baby is.

As a matter of fact, we already know the gender of the baby.....

But that is for another post.....


Later lovelies!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Okay...I have no pictures of this cause I wasn't quite myself yet when I made this and didn't snap pics like I said I would. I know I will make this again, though, and I will definitely take pics.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans of whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained
1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
2 serrano peppers, ribs and seeds removed, diced finely
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
juice from 3 medium limes

Mix everything together and let chill. It's great with tortilla chips or served over burritos. I personally like to eat it straight up. Any way you eat it, you'll love it!

Later lovelies!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Because I'm pregnant....

I was laughing with some folks today about how I can make all kinds of excuses because "I'm pregnant." For kicks and giggles I made a list of things that I can now say because "I'm pregnant...".

For instance:

"I'm going to complain about this bus driver because he never lowers the bus for us to exit. You know, I'm pregnant and I shouldn't have to worry about falling every time I get off the bus."

"I can finally use those parking spaces for expectant and young mothers, because, you know, I'm pregnant."

"Oh, yea it's me eating the soup you smell at 10:30 in the morning - I'm pregnant after all and I have to yield to my cravings!"

"Oh, that memo that was supposed to go out yesterday? I completely forgot! I'm pregnant after all and am fighting pregnancy brain drain! So sorry!"

"Oh, it's not you I'm mad at - it's just that I'm pregnant and ya know, the hormones and everything."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stir Fried Vegetables - So yummy for your tummy!

So, I made a stir fry again tonight for supper - we had the same one last week and it was so good Shooter requested it again. I, of course, obliged because it's super easy and super healthy for us.

I first started out by cutting up an onion into big chunks.

Then I cut up my bell pepppers. Shooter and I are not big fans of green bell peppers so I use red and yellow ones. I prefer their flavor but they also lend a good bit of color to the dish. I slice them up into pieces.

Then I clean and set aside the snow peas and mushrooms.

We also love soybean sprouts. I prefer them to water chestnuts, but you could easily substitute water chestnuts if you prefer. They give the same kind of crunchiness to the dish.

Now, I get my "wok" ready - I heat it on high heat with about a tablespoon of oil in the pan. I use vegetable oil for this dish.

Once the pan is hot, I add in the onions and let them cook for about 3-4 minutes. They go in first because I want them cooked through a little more than the rest of the veggies.

Now I add in the peppers and the snow peas. They take a little longer to cook than the mushrooms and the sprouts so they go in first. I let them cook for about 3 minutes.

Now I add in the mushrooms and the sprouts. At this point I also add in about a tablespoon of Ponzu sauce. Ponzu sauce is like soy sauce but it tastes fruitier - more citrusy. :-D I'm making this all up ya know. hehehe!

After about a minute I add in about two tablespoons of a stir fry sauce I bought at the grocery. It's random - I usually buy whatever looks good to me that day. This one is kinda spicy and we like it lots. I let it go for another minute and if the sauce is still kinda loose (i.e. runny) then I'll mix a tablespoon of flour with a tablespoon of Ponzu and add that to the pan. That will help thicken it up for us.

Also, I added chicken into the stir fry this time....I don't always do this. Before I started the veggies I browned the chicken and the set it off to the side to hang out until the veggies were ready. Then I added the chicken back in to warm through.

In the meantime, I usually make up a pot of Jasmine rice. Oh lover of my soul...I adore Jasmine rice!!!!! I prepare it according to the package directions but add a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar to the water. It adds a little zing that I like with my stir fry. This time, however, I forgot to get it started and we ate the stir fry riceless. It was good, but I recommend rice.

Now...this is all for me....and only me....excuse me.....

*burp* Wow that was good!!

I hope you try this me, it's easy, it's fast, it's delicious and most of all it's good for you!
Later lovelies!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It is a BEAUTIFUL thing!

Oh my....suddenly clouds have lifted! Sun shines! I feel like skipping down the street! I suddenly feel like taking photos and blogging about my cooking antics! I feel like I'm back to myself again!!!!!!!

Yes chickadees - I have hit the second trimester of my pregnancy and IT IS A BEAUTIFUL THING!!!!!!!!!

Everything everyone has said to me has turned out to be true. The last week has seen me feeling better and better each day. I cooked for us three nights last week - this is a feat because I went approximately 2.5 months without cooking a single meal after work. Suddenly I have the energy to come home from work and cook dinner and blog and do laundry and not fall asleep before 8pm. Again, it's a beautiful thing!

I look forward to connecting with everyone's been a long time and we're now entering the fun stage of this pregnancy. I'm so excited and feel great!

Later lovelies!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

Saturday morning/afternoon I was lazily doing laundry - watching my fave Food Network shows and also my fave PBS cooking shows. Around 12pm Everyday Food comes on PBS and normally I don't watch it, but there was nothing else good on. They showcased some easy and fast dishes for weeknight meals.

One that stood out to me was one called Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta. One of Shooter's favorite dishes is from a restaurant here in Atlanta called Kyma. It's a greek restaurant that features whole shrimp baked in a savory tomato sauce and sprinkled with crumbled feta. He adores that dish! In an effort to cook healthier and also get my seafood requirements in, I thought I'd try it out.

You should too! It's easy and oh so delicious!

After prepping everything you saute the garlic, oregano, scallions and tomatoes until soft and the liquid has evaporated. It makes it all sooooo yummy!

The recipe called for serving the dish with orzo and green beans but I thought serving it with couscous would be authentically Mediterranean. It was delicious and soaked up the yummy broth created when the shrimp and tomatoes baked.

Here is the baking dish with everything assembled...looks good enough to eat already, eh?

Oh, come to me lover of my is the final product fresh from the oven. The cheese is all melty and browned. It's all bubbly and luscious.

And here's my was soooo tasty...*burp*
And now, here's the recipe:
Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta
Courtesy of Everyday Food

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 thinly sliced scallions
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large frozen shrimp, thawed, tails removed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh fresh mint, plus more for garnish
4 ounces feta cheese

Preheat oven to 475 degrees with rack set in upper third. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add scallions, garlic, and oregano; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add tomatoes. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until no liquid remains in skillet, 10 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add shrimp and mint to skillet. Stir to combine; transfer to an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish. Crumble feta over top.
Bake until liquid is bubbling, cheese is beginning to brown, and shrimp in center of dish are opaque, 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Healthy Schmelthy

Ha! I went out and grocery shopped this afternoon. I mean REALLY went grocery shopping. Today was the first time in WEEKS that I have been able to go into the grocery store and not gag at least 2 or 3 times.

Shooter and I went to this fabulous market near out house called the Super H Mart. It's really an Asian market but it also carries a good amount of American and Spanish products as well. they also have a HUGE HUGE HUGE produce section and it's amazingly well priced too.

I had in mind that I wanted to make a couple of "dips" that would make good snacks for me to take to work this week. Plus I had some meals in mind for the week too.

I picked up four bunches of cilantro, two red onions, 6 serrano peppers and eight limes - going into a black bean and corn salsa (I'll post some pics and the recipe this week) and also a pineapple and mango salsa. Also for the pineapple and mango salsa I picked up a pineapple and two mangoes.

I also got a couple of 8oz containers of baby spinach that I wanted to put with some canned cannelini beans for a dip I'd seen Giada De Laurentiis make on Saturday. I have already made it and let me tell you, it is AMAZING!!!! I'll post some pictures and the recipe this week.

I also wanted to make a really fresh chicken stir fry so I poked around and found some fresh snow peas, bean sprouts, a red and a yellow bell pepper, and cremini mushrooms. I have some carrotts here at the house that I'll throw in with that as well.

I also got a couple of heads of leaf lettuce for side salads and lunches this week. I got a couple of quarts of strawberries that smell amazing...haven't tried them yet so we'll see. They'll likely go on a salad this week. They also had the most luscious, huge, crisp seedless green grapes and we picked up a couple of bags of bag is almost gone. ha!

I mention all these items because we walked out paying less than $40 for all that produce. Now that I am finally starting to get some energy back I am looking forward to doing more cooking and posting that for you guys!

Later lovelies!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Whew - are the holidays really over?

Wow, I sit here on my couch on January 3rd and wonder where time has gone. I just realized that the last time I posted anything was one month ago on December 3rd.

Well, I am now almost 13 weeks pregnant and officially "out" to the world. I go on Tuesday for my perinatologist appoinment for the more involved ultrasound where they do measurements and such looking for possible defects such as Down's Syndrome or Spina Bifida. We're praying for a good appointment and that we will possibly find out whether we're having a boy or a girl. Well, we may not know for sure but we may come away with a good idea of the gender. :-) I am hoping that I am getting ready to turn the corner into the second trimester feeling pretty good.

Now that we're getting into the New Year we have to really start working on clearing out Shooter's man cave - yes, unfortunately he's having to give up the man cave so that the baby can have a room. He's actually being really good about it and has been working for weeks on clearing out all his shooting gear and consolidating all his stuff.

I did have an amazing appointment in December with a clinical psychiatrist and obstetrician (Dr. Newport at Emory University in Atlanta) in regards to my depression issues and current medication. (Refer to this post regarding my struggles: Luckily the news from the specialist was that we are no more at risk for birth defects than we would be if I were not on the medication. Also, he said that it would be better for me and the baby to stay on my current med than to come off or to switch meds. He also told me that there would be no problem with breastfeeding once the baby is born. Needless to say it was one of the most enlightening and uplifting doctor's appointments that I have had in a loooooooong time. I look back and now thank my OB for sending me over to see him.

One thing that I have been concerned about since finding out about this pregnancy is whether or not I will suffer post-partum depression. Dr. Newport told me that, unfortunately, I am 100% likely to suffer from PPD. At least we know this going in and can adjust medication appropriately so that I can be completely in the moment with my new baby once we come home.

Well, I can't wait to see what the next week brings!

Happy New Year everyone!!!