Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Last night's good night

As I put Annika to bed last night, I covered her up, kissed her, and said, "Good night, Sweet Pea." Our very adorable girl's response wasn't, "Good night, Mama." It was, "Good night, Sweet Pea." The fact that she called me by her nickname gave me a good giggle. Just had to share.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tender Moment

On Saturday, we brought dinner over to our friends' house and spent some time catching up. This dinner was supposed to happen before the holidays, but illness and out-of-town family bumped the plans until last weekend. As I was prepping dinner, I looked over to see the two daddies, Annika, and baby Anne on the floor in the front room. Annika was singing songs to Anne. It melted my heart to hear her little voice sing out all for Anne's entertainment/enjoyment. It is those moments that really make the soul feel good. (Of course, Annika's rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" ended in an enthusiastic "YEAH!!!!" for herself!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Preschool Registration - Done!

I can't believe it - I just filled out the application for Annika to enroll in preschool. She won't start until September, but the registration paperwork is now complete and the check for the registration fee is written. All I need to do is drop it in the mail and we're off and running. It is so hard to believe that Annika is old enough to be preparing for preschool. Before we know it, she's going to be off to school in her little plaid uniform and getting ready for big kid school!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Update on Baby Boy Olson

I had another ultrasound and OB appointment today and walked away from both appointments with plenty to be happy about. The baby is doing very well and, according to the ultrasound, weighs 2 pounds, 10 ounces. He's in the 50th percentile for size - way to be average, little guy!! The baby was doing his normal aerobics workout during the ultrasound and even bumped the transducer off of my belly at one point. Our friend, Nicole, was the sonographer and she had a priceless look of surprise on her face when that happened. The part of the ultrasound that got both of us really laughing was when she realized the baby was licking the placenta. Her comment was, "well, that's a boy for you!" Great - this kid will probably be the one with his tongue frozen to a flag pole in 10 years time. Lovely.

Cute little foot with 5 little toes

Licking the placenta


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just a few pictures to share

Playing with her new bead set

Cute girl!

Modeling Mr. Potatohead's glasses

Silly girl!

The quilt I'm making for Baby Boy Olson

Monday, January 11, 2010

Low carbin' it

For those who don't know, gestational diabetes = VERY restricted intake of carbohydrates. That means limited fruit intake, lots of protein, and basically no sugar, pasta, potatoes, yummy white breads, etc.

Last night, we experimented with two new low-carb recipes. The first was a lime/garlic chicken that turned out quite nicely. It was flavorful and very easy to make - two big pluses in my book. I also attempted a low-carb cheesecake recipe; that turned out OK at best. It was somewhat grainy and I don't know if that's because I used my hand mixer instead of my handy-dandy Kitchen Aid stand mixer or because of the baking Splenda that was used instead of sugar. It got a "meh" rating from Eric and me; it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't a "gotta have more of this" dessert either.

A few nights ago, I whipped up some rather tasty parfaits using sugar-free chocolate pudding and whipping cream (again, no sugar - just a splash of vanilla extract); those bad boys definitely got a better rating than the cheesecake and were MUCH easier and faster to put together. The bonus to the parfaits was they led to an evening of Shrek quotes!

I've started a list of no-no foods that I'd like to indulge in after the baby is born. Currently, the list consists of lots of fresh fruit, creme brulee (Eric's specialty), a root beer float, and the very yummy bread served at JAK's Grill.

This weekend, I decided to look at me having gestational diabetes as an extended Lenten resolution of healthy eating. The baby is due on Easter Monday, so this year's Lent (for me) just began in Advent instead of 40 days before Easter and I don't get to use the "except for Sundays" get out of jail free card.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How did anyone know who was being referred to?

I've been nosing around various websites in hopes of finding some sort of inspiration for a baby name. Apparently, only 5-6 names were given to males in Ireland in the 1800s: Patrick, Michael, James, William, John, and Joseph. Seriously, in the small towns of the time and all of the males basically having one of these names (with a few exceptions to the rules, of course), how on earth did people know who someone was referring to?

"Why, hello, Mrs. Fitzgerald."
"Hello, Mrs. Carroll. How are you?"
"I'm well, thank you. I just was in the market and saw William and John. They looked to be in perfect health."

If I'm not mistaken, that type of comment could refer to about 1/3 of the town's male population!!

Just a thought....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The funny things we teach our kids

About a week ago, I was peeling a mandarin orange for Annika and made sure to get all of the little strings. Eric gave me a hard time that I was going to turn her into an orange string-a-phobic. If I leave strings by accident or if Eric is the one who peels her oranges, Annika inevitably runs up to us asking for "no strings please."

That got me thinking about the little quirks parents instill in their kids. I know my sister's kids (and husband, for that matter) have learned to remove that little white membrane thingy from eggs and that completely comes from my sister's dislike of that white gunk.

Makes me wonder what other funny things kids pick up on from their parents without even realizing it or the lesson being intentional.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What a time for goofy electronics!

Over the past two or so days, I've noticed that my glucose meter's readings have been a bit in the "wonky" category. When I woke up this morning and tested, the reading was WAY higher than it should have been. I've quickly learned that running another test strip with a control solution kind of resets the meter and then I can test again for a more accurate reading. After doing that, my glucose number was 26 points lower than it was 1-2 minutes before. Red flag! While looking on the Bayer website this morning for help, I saw that I could submit a form to get a coupon for a new meter for FREE. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner of an idea. I filled out the form, got the coupon, called my doctor's office to request a Rx be called in to the pharmacy and should be able to get my new meter today or tomorrow. WOO HOO!

Side note: Eric's folks came over for dinner last night (another belated Christmas gathering). We had a wonderful time together, ate a lovely dinner, and even got in a few games of Five Crowns. I was highly entertained by the fact that the dinner was blog inspired. The pork tenderloin came from The Pioneer Woman's blog and the bread (yes, I did make more - how could I not??) came from La Fuju Mama's blog. AND, the ganache for the Bailey's truffles I served for dessert was another recipe I found online. The Internet really is a wonderful tool for us foodies!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Homemade Playdough

Last night, Annika was carrying around the little rolling pin that Santa left in her stocking when she announced that she wanted to play with some playdough. Unfortunately, I didn't know where any was and was quite sure what we did have was long gone thanks to the drying out factor (and the fact that Annika ate some of the blue stuff - ick!). So, I decided we could whip up a batch for her to play with. Annika decided that she wanted pink playdough, so that's what we made. It was a roaring success and a fun project to do together.

We wore gloves while working in the pink food coloring

Annika was a very helpful kneader

After having Mommy roll the playdough into a ball, Annika decided to make it look like a loaf of focaccia bread. (Like how the playdough matches her sweatshirt??)

We used this recipe from the Amazing Moms website:

3 c Flour
1 1/2 c Salt
3 c Water
2 T Vegetable Oil
1 T Cream of tartar
Food coloring

Mix ALL of the ingredients in a large saucepan.
Cook over medium low heat, until the dough comes away from the edges of the pan and it becomes difficult to move the spoon. Remove from heat. Cool until it can be handled.
Place on counter or wax paper knead 3-4 times.
Store in an air tight container.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I cheated

When a woman has gestational diabetes, all of the world's yummy carbs suddenly become a HUGE no-no. For the most part, I'm quite militant about my dietary habits while in the throws of gestational diabetes, but this weekend I succumbed to the need to bake (gasp) bread. I found a recipe that was too good to pass up. It's called Simple One-Hour Homemade Bread and I found the recipe on La Fuji Mama's blog. She really wasn't kidding when she called it one-hour bread. From the time I poured the first ingredients into my Kitchen Aid mixer's bowl to the time I pulled the mound of delectible bread out of our oven, it was one hour flat. I halved the recipe, just in case it was a flop. It definitely wasn't a flop! (It's probably a good thing I didn't make two loaves, I might have been tempted to eat more of it, which isn't conducive to keeping my glucose levels down.)

I did make two changes to the original recipe: (1) I didn't bother with the hand neading; my Kitchen Aid kicks butt in that department and (2) I smeared the bread with some butter about 1/2 way through the baking time to give it a wondefully divine crust and a bit of a deeper flavor. My, oh, my, but was that bread good.

Will definitely keep this gem in my ever-growing collection of recipes! (Can't wait to try it out as a roll recipe). If the bread wasn't already gone, I'd post a picture. Maybe next time... hmmm... the in-laws are coming over for dinner tomorrow... a little bread side as a dish for our pork tenderloin might be just the ticket!

Rounding things out

Over the past couple of weeks, I've really noticed the development of my ever-rounding belly. I think the baby has had a growth spurt (or ten). I've reached the point in pregnancy when my belly actually rests on my lap when I'm seated. It truly is an odd sensation to feel one's belly on one's lap and then feel said belly start moving around all on its own. Last night, I was working on the sweater I'm knitting for Annika and felt my little alien doing his aerobics workout. I put down my knitting needles and just watched my belly jump around. In the middle of the night, this sensation is less awe inspiring, but at 7:00 at night, it was pretty neat to watch.

I love that this baby is completely enveloped by my body; there's a sense of closeness that develops during these months of pregnancy that comes from knowing a baby depends upon its mother for absolutely everything to survive right now. After a baby's birth, lots of people step in to help (much to the mother's relief), but right now, it really is just me doing everything I can to keep this little guy safe, healthy, and growing (just not TOO big). Pretty amazing stuff when you stop and ponder the miracle of gestation.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Our little entertainer

Annika rarely fails to prove that she's quite an entertaining little kid... often without even trying. On January 1st, she and I woke up around 6 AM. Normally, we play and read stories in her room before heading upstairs for breakfast. On the 1st, I asked Annika if she wanted to read stories and she replied, "No, I need coffee." What the? I couldn't keep the laughter inside when I heard those words spill out of her mouth. Is this girl a Seattle native or what?

The rest of the 1st was spent either prepping for our rescheduled family Christmas meal (our original Christmas dinner was derailed with that nasty virus that attacked the Olson house over Christmas) or enjoying a day of family chaos and lots of food. It was fun to spend a good chunk of the day with some of my family and share the beginning of 2010 with them.

Helping Dadddy put the finishing touches on the Christmas tree

Decorating Christmas cookies

Unwrapping a Christmas present (notice the flying paper!)

Fun with playdoh (or "potato", as Annika calls it)