Thursday, January 26, 2012

Vegetable Nachos Grande

Sam and I (well, mostly I) have decided that 2012 should be our healthiest year ever.  There are lots of reasons for this, but the biggest one is right here:

I don't want her to struggle with food / activity like I have, so I've made a commitment to work on both fronts, and hopefully by the time she is old enough to really know what's happening we'll be good role models and can help her lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle from the get go.

That means joining Weight Watchers again and digging out the old cookbooks.  I love that all of the nutritional info I need is there, so I can use the old books with the new plan.  We've already made several great meals, and I thought I'd document them so that when the lingering dumb baby brain strikes while I'm meal planning I'll have a few go-tos already documented.

Note: Those green things are zucchini.  Do not freak out, even Sam thought it was delicious.

Vegetable Nachos Grande
8 Points+
Serving size: 1/6 of casserole

1 (16oz) can fat-free refried beans                        4oz sliced mushrooms (my addition) 
1/2 cup salsa                                                          1/4 cup sliced black olives
2t canola oil                                                           1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican blend cheese
Cooking spray                                                                   (I used fat free cheddar)
2 cups diced zucchini (I used 1.5 small)                 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used way more)
1/2 cup chopped red onion                                     Optional toppings: fat free sour cream, salsa
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup frozen corn (thawed) (I used canned)
1/4 cup water
2T less-sodium taco seasoning
5 cups baked tortilla chips (I used about 3 cups of the scoops, crushed a bit)

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine beans and salsa in a small/medium bowl; set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add zucchini, onion, and garlic; saute 5 minutes until veggies are crisp-tender.  Add corn, water, and taco seasoning; cook until zucchini is tender and water evaporates (about 5 minutes).
  • Coat a 13x9-in baking dish (this seemed too big to me, so I used an 11x7) with cooking spray and layer chips, bean mix and then zucchini mixture.  Top with olives and cheese.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with cilantro and optional toppings if desired and serve immediately.

Notes: You get 1/6 of this bad boy, which is a ton of gooey nacho deliciousness.  And seriously, I love tex-mex more than just about anyone and the zucchini just seems meaty and delicious, not weird at all, which really surprised me.  Also, we saved the leftovers for lunch the next day, and while the chips were a bit soggy, it was still awesome.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Five Months

Well, it's almost a week late, but here we are at your five month post, Averycakes. 

This month has been bananas, what with your first visit to Santa, first Christmas and New Year (which I still need to blog and back-date), first taste of real food, and so much more.  The time flew by.  You are huge.  We have no idea exactly how huge, though, as you didn't have a doctor's appointment this month.  (And yes, everything is fine with your heart, I'll be posting about that at some point, too.)  You are still squeezing into a few of your 3-6 month outfits, but it's mostly 6-9 month stuff now.

You did have your first taste of food not long ago, but your tongue thrust reflex was still pretty strong, and while you are borderline obsessed with any food we are eating, you didn't seem that interested in the oatmeal cereal.  So, we didn't push it, and still offer it to you every couple of days.  Tonight you literally almost ripped the spoon out of my hand trying to shove it in your mouth, so I'd say interest is picking up!

You love the crap out of your bouncer.  When you're in it, you are just so busy that it's fun to watch.  It's also one of your favorite places to demonstrate your newly acquired skill of raspberry blowing.  And mommy can shove a Lean Cuisine in her face prepare and eat a healthy and delicious lunch / dinner while your in it, so win win.

Your 4th month was not a stellar one for sleep. You slept through the night like, never, but that seems to have calmed down now, thank you sweet baby Jesus (and Mary). We're still playing catch up, so you know, there are still Christmas bags lying around, and cats on the dining room table, and well, we're still kind of a disaster, but what are you giong to do?

You also love Daddy Surfing.

And being adorable in general.

You went from being thisclose to rolling from your back to your front, to, "Oh, no big deal, I do this whenev" overnight.  Oh, and yes, you can totally sit up now.  Not for long, and there is always a hand nearby, but you can do it, especially if you're leaning forward a bit or have something to support your hands.

"Sitting in the Bumbo is for babies!"

Today, though, you literally made me cry.  I really should have blogged on the 12th, because in just the last week you have blossomed.  Your coordination and concentration have seemed to explode and then, all of a sudden you were sitting... assisted by just your hands in front of you.  It was so grown up, and so far from the squishy baby we had with us just a couple of months ago that it literally took my breath away.  Just writing this, I can feel myself tearing up again, and for so many reasons... there is the sadness of course that one stage of your life is so undeniably over, but there is also a measure of pride that we have managed not break you we are doing at least something right as you hit all of these milestones, and mostly a deep deep gratefulness that we have been able to be there for you and soke up these tiny but somehow miraculous moments.  You amaze me every single day (even if sometimes it is by staying awake for seemingly endless hours at 3am) and every gummy smile steals another little piece of my heart.  We love you more than there are stars in the sky, nugget.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

I thought I'd get this down before my brain fails me and I forget the details...

One year and one month ago I went home early from work because I was sure I had a stomach virus.  Yes, I was that dumb girl.  As I was gathering things up to go home, the girl in the cubicle next to me yelled out, "You know you're pregnant, right?"  I laughed her off and went home and to sleep almost immediately.  The next morning I had to stop by Walmart for a few things on my way to work, and found that her comment was kind of haunting me.  So, because I was THAT sure that I was not in fact with child, I decided to grab a test, too.  And then, you know, I needed to use the restroom anyway, so I thought, well, why not, at least it will get that one off my mind.  The little pink plus popped up instantaneously.

People, this only proves that I acquired the "dumb pregnant brain" at the moment of conception.  I couldn't decide what I was more freaked out by: the fact that I was pregnant, or the fact that I found out that I was pregnant in a Walmart bathroom. 

Then I went to work.  (See above statement regarding dumbness).

Finally, around three I couldn't take it any more, and went home to tell Sam.  I bought a few tests on my way home and we ended up both arriving home at about the same time.  He looked obviously confused that I was home so early, and all I could get out was "We need to take a test... do you want it tell you in words or lines?" 

"Words, definitely words"

Again, the result was instantaneous. 

After that we both sat on the couch in dead silence about a foot apart for a good five minutes.   Finally I looked at Sam and said, "You've got to say something, because I am freaking out."

"I mean, I'm just thinking cribs... wood tone or white, I mean, I just don't know."

Clearly some of us are more prepared for life than others.

You see, we were going to plan this.  I was supposed to have time to warm up to the idea, and do research and you know, wrap my mind around everything.  Now, no time!  But we just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  And having a few nervous breakdowns, and maybe one extreme laundry-related fighting incident. 

But, luckily 9 months is a pretty long time.  Turns out, enough time to warm up to the idea, and research, and you know wrap my head around most things.

And now, well, what a difference a year makes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We're Not Brokenhearted

So, I've gotten some flack for posting that Avery was going to the pediatric cardiologist and then not posting the results of that visit.  Sorry!  (But, I'm pretty sure the 2 of you who were asking already knew everything was okay, Mom & Dad...)

So, no, Avery's heart is not actually broken.  See, evidence:

(Note: I made that in Paint because I'm so scared of SOPA/PIPA.  You can steal it if you want. You're welcome, internets.)

Avery went in for her visit and had an EKG and an Echo.  I brought my nurse posse (aka The Grandmas). The results were that she has mild/moderate pulmonary valve stenosis.  That means that the flap is a little bit thicker than it should be, but if any of your valves are going to be thicker, this is the one you want.  The doctor (who was super fabulous and explained everything in tiny words without making me feel like a moron and didn't judge me for bringing my nurse posse) said that he was very confident that the thickening would not progress and that it wouldn't cause any problems for Avery in the future.  They want to check her again in six months or so, but other than that, nada. 

We're so grateful that this turned out to be a non-issue, and have added an extra prayer every night for the babies whose news is not so great.