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coming to terms with surprise

April 7, 2011
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This is a step away from the regular old food blog and a bit of baby for you. I, of course the blogger that I am, am documenting this pregnancy on another blog, and this is a post I wrote on Wednesday when we tried to find out baby’s gender (key word: tried). I am trying to stay away from too much of baby on this blog, but wanted to give you a little insight into the latest news. If you’re interested in always knowing the latest on baby, feel free to check out: My Little Love.

I also wanted to say thank you for all the kind thoughts and words of encouragement that so many of you have left me. I appreciate every single one, and take your words to heart. I’m also happy to report that with the return of the sun and beautiful spring weather we are experiencing, my energy seems to be coming back as well, and I’m feeling so much more like myself. Such a relief!

Dear little Monkey,

I am not a HUGE fan of anticipation. I like surprises, but I only want to wait for a surprise, oh say, a maximum of one week. The anticipation just kills me. So yesterday when we went in for our ultrasound to see you, I had had quite enough of the wondering. I was done with the big surprise and was 100% convinced that we would leave knowing whether or not to call you “he” or “she” for the next 4.5 months (the rest of our lives actually).

Ummmm. Thanks a lot. I love you little baby boo, but seriously? You had your very cute little back turned to us, and on top of that, you had your hands over your little face the entire time! So not only could the tech not tell us if we should call you Sally or Joe, she wasn’t able to get us a very good picture of you at all. We came home with a blurry side profile face pic and a very cute picture of your little feet. You have 5 toes on each foot. Check! I actually watched you kick me (but didn’t feel anything….your kicks are wimpy). YOU ARE A MONKEY! A sweet sweet monkey.

A lot of people have different views on this whole “finding out” issue. I get it. I had previously maintained that I would not find out what we were having. I imagined this whole dramatic scene where the doctor lifted our newborn baby in the air (think Lion King), announcing “It’s a _____!!!!” to a room of cheering professionals (there will not be ANY extra, unnecessary people in that room thank you very much. Kevin will be lucky if I let him in there). (Ok, I’m not that dramatic). Yeah. That all changed the moment I found out we were having you. I have to know. I will absolutely die if I don’t know. I’m surprised I haven’t died already.

I get that it will be so exciting to wonder and wonder and WONDER about you for the next few months, and that moment when you are born will be so wonderful. Our friend KA described it as “the most memorable moment of my life” – and I know it will be the same way for us. You are a surprise worth waiting for. Even though surprises are completely exhausting.

So I suppose I will spend the next 4.5 months buying gender neutral onesies, light brown, green and yellow nursery decor and hold off on all the extremely cute summer dresses that I would be all over (buying them in size “1 year” of course). I figure we’ll save a little bit of money, since you probably would have been born with a wardrobe for an entire year had we known.

So little love, that’s that for now. You decided for us, and I just have to live with it. And hopefully learn to love the idea. But you can’t be mad if you’re born a boy and I couldn’t resist the pink frilly curtains or if you’re a girl and your nursery is decorated with lions and tigers and bears. I actually have a vision of the baby’s room and it’s pretty gender neutral… I’ll write all about it here soon. And I would never EVER give you frilly curtains. Ugh. Frills, ribbons and lace? No thank you. Well, maybe a little bit of lace. In moderation. Provided you’re a girl.

Come to think of it, Auntie Jenna and I shared a room for many many years, and we lived in white canopy beds with pink bedding and lots of lace and swooshy material. I hated it at the time, but it’s pretty cute thinking back. Those canopy beds were like princess beds. Adorable.

Anyway, I’m back to calling you “baby, she, he, it” and am going to decide to be excited with the surprise. Here’s to hoping.

You little stinker.

By the way, I’ve now changed my mind – you are obviously a girl. With an attitude like that, you are definitely a girl, and you are definitely mine. And I love you.

18 Weeks

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What’s for Lunch

April 4, 2011
I had two leftover options for lunch today:Meatballs and Rice
Creole Chicken with Shrimp and Scallops (from The Keg)

I chose the meatballs. The thought of the chicken just grossed me right out this morning.

I have now taken two bites out of the meatballs, and I feel like puking. This is ridiculous. Weird what pregnancy hormones will do to you! I can’t seem to go wrong with a deli sandwich (despite all the controversy over eating deli meat)… where is Subway when I need it?

Last night at 10 pm I also ate two delicious pieces of cold Ham and Pineapple pizza. It was a beautiful moment in my day.

That is all.

Oh wait. You want a meal plan. Okay. Ummmm. Tonight – Big Cook meal (Spicy Peanut Chicken over noodles)…. and that’s about as far as I got this week 🙂
That is really all!

delishplan week 60

March 27, 2011

Well here we are – Baby and me at 17 weeks. Growing, growing, growing (a little too fast for my liking).

I like to say it’s a combination of baby and too many cheese and crackers.

Anyway, you don’t come here for baby bump updates, so let’s get to this week’s menu! So to be honest, this week is attempt #2 of last week’s meal plan… last week we ate a lame-o frozen pizza (lame or lifesaver? hmm?) and two of my Big Cook meals. Today I already took out Big Cook meal #3 (Swiss Chicken Casserole – really good. Will share the recipe this week, fingers crossed!!!) and there’s more than enough for leftovers this week. Here it is, in it’s official form:

Monday: um. Leftovers. Thanks.

Tuesday: These didn’t get made last week, and I really want to try ’em: Chicken Croissants from TWFD.

Wednesday: Seriously. I told you this is a repeat from last week: Homemade pizza (using premade crust – thanks Val for the AWESOME recommendation of Italian Centre Shop! I’ll be stopping there on my way home from work on W!).

Thursday: (hanging head in shame) Meatballs…from last week’s plan. Riiiggghto.

FRIDAY: Oh blessed Friday, I have no idea and I don’t care. Probably something that I pick up on my way home from work, or we’ll go out. Seriously people, I am so tiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrreeeeeedddddddddd!

You all should see my kitchen right now. It’s out.of.control. Must take care of that…..later.

Thank you for your really great “no cook meal” suggestions! I appreciate the ideas so much, and they will be used. Probably more often than they should be 🙂

delishplan week 59

March 20, 2011

I have been inspired to post again, thanks to my favorite Meal Planning blogger, Jane at This Week for Dinner. She announced on her blog today that she is also expecting a baby in September! Annnnnnnnnnd she didn’t abandon her blog just because she is preggo. I am impressed. And feeling a tad guilty!

Dinner in our household has been happening….barely. We have been eating so randomly. Some days all I can manage is toast and cereal, other days I gather enough energy to cook, and some days I bring home take out. Last week was the first time in 3 weeks that I did a real grocery shop (i.e. more than a jug of milk, bread and my current pregnancy craving, Sweet Tarts). It’s been bad, just ask my husband. He is probably hungry. Oddly enough, I don’t have morning sickness to blame. Just a sheer lack of energy (at 16 weeks, I thought I would have the famous 2nd trimester super energy I hear about…. still waiting….. ). I want to curl up in a ball after work and sleep until the baby is born. That doesn’t seem to be happening. Darn alarm clock waking me up every morning at 6:15 am! I am so thankful to have an understanding hubby, who although doesn’t help out too much with the actual cooking (it’s just better that way. For everyone!), he helps out in a gazillion other ways: dishes, vacuuming, laundry, picking up last minute groceries, filling my car up with gas…. nothing he won’t do. Plus he doesn’t complain about another night of toast and eggs. Lucky me!

Anyway, here I am, and will be attempting this week’s plan. The planning is the easy part – let’s hope I can muster up some energy to make it happen! Needless to say, I’m making super easy, barely cook meals, while trying not to trade off the healthy factor (can be difficult!).

Sunday (today): My friends and I did another round of “The Big Cook” yesterday (an all day event but I came home with 20 homemade meals for my freezer!), and I currently have a Mexican Casserole in the oven. And it’s huge, meaning it comes with built-in leftovers. I can smell it now – yummmmm.

Monday: Pizza, using a pre-made crust. I will decide on the toppings tonight when I do my grocery shop.

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Chicken Croissants from Jane at TWFD – these are SO creative and easy!

Thursday: Meatballs with Rice and steamed Green Beans

Friday: Going out. We need a date night!

I think I can handle this week of barely cook meals. As you can see, there is definitely nothing too complicated here. I could use some fresh ideas, so if you have some favorite “no cook” meals – please, do share!

Happy week to everyone!

delishplan week 55

February 21, 2011

Feeling a little bit like I can’t keep up with life lately…  anyone else go through periods like that? Let’s hope this doesn’t last too long! It helped that today was a stat holiday for Albertans. Thank goodness for a Monday off in February!

I still made a plan for this week. It’s ridiculously simple. A 12 year old could make the dinners I am doing this week! None the less, here it is:

Monday: lazy day off… Kevin just ate a leftover Chicken Basil Burger (it’s 3:30 pm), and I just had a grapefruit (I could eat one every day when they are in season!), so I doubt I’ll be making dinner. I also had a late lunch of soup. I have some girlfriends coming over tonight to watch “The Bachelor” (hometown dates!) and have some fruit/dip and homemade banana bread for snacks. Dinner = unnecessary.

Tuesday: Mini Meatloaves

Wednesday:
Pita Pizzas

Thursday: Buttermilk Pancakes (I’m laughing at myself. This week is pathetic!)

Friday: Kevin’s parents are coming for the weekend, and they are taking us out Friday night. I will figure out an official “weekend plan” later on this week!

Have a great week everyone!

delishplan week 54

February 13, 2011
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For whatever reason, it took me FOREVER to come up with this week’s meal plan! But as always, I’m so glad I did because it’s a good week of easy cooking, and some of my favorite stand by’s are on it. I’m also excited to try something new: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, inspired by THIS fabulous blogger. I’ll be using an actual butternut squash, since I have one sitting on my kitchen counter waiting to be cooked up into deliciousness.

As you know, we were away this past week, spending 2.5 days in Banff, Alberta, and 2.5 days at the Fairmont Hot Springs, in British Columbia. It was a perfect week and so nice to get away with my sweetheart. I was rather lazy with my picture taking, but I did take a few pics with my iphone… not the best quality pics, but kinda fun.

Banff Ave

View from the Banff Springs Hotel

I did take a few pics with my real camera, which I’ll go through and post this week hopefully. It was a beautiful time away, and I’m home feeling refreshed and relaxed (but still not ready to return to a crazy week of work!). Sigh!

Here’s dinner this week – please share your plans too!

Monday: Valentine’s Day! Since we spent most of the week at our little mountain-lodge getaway, we’re happy to stay in on Monday night. I”ll make a fav meal of Kevin’s – Bacon and Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, using a new recipe I discovered this week. Nothing too tricky, but will make for a happy husband. He doesn’t need fancy to be happy (which is sometimes such a blessing!). We’ll see how this new recipe compares to my faithful Alfredo recipe found HERE.

Tuesday: Kitchen Sink Quesadillas from Jane at This Week for Dinner. An old stand-by. These are so easy and so yum.

Wednesday: Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese – half using Lindsay’s recipe, half made up in my head….

Thursday: Slow Cooker Chicken Stew with Apricots and Couscous – this is so.so.good. I haven’t pulled out my slow cooker much this winter and it’s a shame because some of my favorite meals are slow cooker meals. They are so versatile and make my life so much easier.

Friday: Basil Chicken Burgers with Goat Cheese – I have just been craving these lately!!! They are the best!

Yum!

delishplan week 53 with Ham & Swiss Linguine Casserole

February 6, 2011

Hey! So this week is going to look a little different because we are going away! I am SO excited for a little getaway. We are going to Banff, which is a beautiful little town in the Rockies that I just love. I especially love the fudge shop….. and there is a KILLER “old-fashioned” candy store too… mmmmmm.

picture taken from random google image search...

We’re going with all the staff and their families from Kevin’s work for a conference. It’s going to be awesome. I am most excited to sleep in, eat good food, and hang out with some very special people in my life. It’s also likely that I am going to sample every type of fudge and buy a stupid souvenier.

From there, Kevin and I are headed to Fairmont Hot Springs Resort which is even deeper into the mountains for a two night stay, just for fun. And a little romance. It IS Valentine’s “weekend” you know! I am married to a good, good man, and I am so thankful for him.

Anyway, we leave on Tuesday, so I only have one meal to worry about this week, and it’s leftovers – the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchilada’s from last week (not to be confused with Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili, which is equally as delicious if you’re looking for a new chili recipe!). For some good alteration ideas to the enchilada’s, check out the comment left by littlemrsmosher (who is a real life friend) last week. This is a no-fail meal and I encourage you to give it a try, especially if you’re wary of vegetarian meals – this is an awesome “ease” into it type meal!

It’s been so long since I posted a recipe here, and I’m going to do something a little unconventional… I’m going to post a recipe that I haven’t tried. Food blogger suicide, perhaps. But a friend of mine asked me for an idea for leftover ham, and this is a recipe that I came across recently… maybe one of you will try it before me….I make no promises here! I thought it looked yummy and very easy, and I hope you will think so too.

Ham & Swiss Linguine Casserole
from Taste of Home Healthy Cooking

8 oz uncooked multi-grain linguine, broken in half
2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
1 3/4 cups shredded swiss cheese, divided
1 can reduced fat, reduced sodium, condensed cream of mushroom soup (OR…. if this were me, I might exchange this for a half tub of light cream cheese, veggie flavored perhaps… just sayin’)
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped (me here again – I would probably switch this for peas! I love peas!)

1. Cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ham, 1 1/2 cups of cheese, soup or cream cheese, sour cream, onion and green pepper. Drain pasta; add to ham mixture and stir to coat.

2. Transfer to 9 x 13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

I hope everyone has an excellent week, and I hope to come back next week with beautiful pictures from our trip and a week of inspiration for you!