I’ve started running lately. My husband got an awesome Cricket smartphone for $20 (we don’t have it activated, we just want to use the wifi) and so I installed this great app by RunDouble for their Couch to 5K program. I’ve been running for 6 weeks now and I’ve decreased my mile time from around 14 minutes per mile to 12 minutes per mile. I have also lost 15 pounds. Of course, I also have been calorie counting using MyFitnessPal. Technology is awesome!

In other news, I had another baby in November, so I figured it was time to drop the weight. I am 7 pounds away from being at my lowest weight ever since being married and only 45 pounds away from being a normal weight. I am shooting to lose 55 pounds total though. I WILL DO THIS THING. I’m also trying to run a 5k in September (this from a girl who has never run a whole entire mile in her lifetime. Mostly because of asthma, but also because I am lazy.) Fitness feels great and I’ve discovered that when I run, my stress goes out that way and I don’t feel the need to stress eat. Stress eating has been my biggest downfall and I didn’t realize that running would solve that problem, so that has been a pleasant surprise. 🙂

Anyway, I will maybe update a little in the future. In the meantime NO MORE FAT WOMAN. I’m almost down to being just overweight and not obese. Yeeeaaahh!


Eating Vegetarian

I’m a vegetarian for these few short reasons:

1) The Word of Wisdom.

2) Because it’s cheap.

3) Because I hate preparing meat.

4) Because it’s healthier.

I’ve moved from an every day meat eater to a maybe once a month meat eater. I try to keep it simple, so this means I am not one of those people who buys and sprouts grains and then mixes flaxseed into my mostly raw foods diet.

I have young three kids and not enough time to sit there all day and do those sort of things. Also, I do not have large amounts of money to buy these things with and I live pretty far away from stores that have raw foods and I don’t like wasting more gas going to the store than I have to.  So I keep it simple and use normal food for the most part. I do enjoy quinoa though, so that is one slightly more expensive thing that I buy in bulk from Costco or Winco occasionally.

I have amassed quite a few recipes that my kids love. Last night we had simple baked potatoes, which they devour. Vegetarian meals can be really easy. 🙂 Most of the recipes listed below can be served without cheese as well, if they include cheese.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite recipes.

Taco Rice and Beans

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cup water
1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own, you need about 1/4 cup)
1 can black beans (or if you cook your own, like I do, you need about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup Thick and Chunky Salsa

Put the oil in a medium size skillet and heat it on medium until it’s hot. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add water and the taco seasoning. Cook and stir until mixed well and it’s slightly thick. Stir in the remaining ingredients (beans, rice and salsa). Five more minutes of cooking and you’re done!

We like to put these in whole wheat tortillas or you can do taco shells if you’d prefer. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, olives and whatever else you like in a taco. My kids love these!

Quinoa and Roasted Corn

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups corn (frozen, fresh or canned)
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil, divided
1 cup chopped green onions, divided
1 tsp coarse salt
1 cup quartered grape tomatoes or chopped roma tomatoes, drained (put them in a strainer for 10-15 minutes)
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp grated lime peel
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper

1) Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under cold water. Put in a medium saucepan, add the water and 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is gone and the quinoa is soft. Put the quinoa in a large bowl.

2) While the quinoa cooks, Heat 1/4 cup oil on a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn. Cook around 10 minutes or until light brown, stirring it occasionally. Stir in 2/3 cup green onions and the 1 tbsp coarse salt. Cook for 2 more minutes while stirring. Put the corn mixture in the bowl with the quinoa. Add the tomatoes and black beans, stirring gently.

3) Combine the lime peel, lime juice, sugar, cumin and black pepper in a small container. Whisk in 1 tbsp oil until mixed well. Pour over the quinoa mixture and toss lightly. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup green onions. Can be eaten warm or chilled.

That one is a little more in depth, but it’s quite delicious. 🙂

Vegetarian Pizza

A variety of your favorite toppings can be added to the basic cheese pizza. For each 12 inch pizza, try one or more of the following: 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, pitted ripe olives, chopped onions, or chopped bell pepper.

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water in medium bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat vigorously 20 strokes. Let rest 5 minutes.

Crust (above)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 cups shredded mozzarella or Fontina cheese (12 oz) – I use mozzarella
1 small onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place oven rack in lowest position. Grease 2 cookie sheets or 12-inch pizza pans. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare crust. Mix tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 11-inch circle on cookie sheet with floured fingers. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Spoon tomato sauce mixture over cheese. Top with onion and Parmesan cheese. Bake one pizza at a time 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Some others we like:

Fiesta Taco Salad and Beans

Quick Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce and Spaghetti


Skillet Lasagna

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Minestrone Soup

Black Bean Burgers

Stir Fry

Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

Pueblo Style Calabacitas

Easy Vegetarian Chili

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas

Spinach Pasta with Vegetables

Brown Rice with Peppers and Zucchini

Noodles in the Wok

Birth #3, Natural Birth #1

So here’s my birth story for all who have an interest in birth stories.

First of all, I was 2 days overdue and went in to the doctor for my checkup – quite sick of being pregnant. It’s hard to deal with being overdue when your first two were early birds – S was 6 days early and W was 3 days early. Also when every night for the past week you’ve woken up with false, painful labor contractions that go on for several hours and then disappear an hour before your children get up in the morning. I was becoming quite the grumpy mother.

When the doctor checked me, he said I was dilated to a 4, pretty much completely effaced and he wasn’t sure why I wasn’t already in labor. I had him strip my membranes, which a friend suggested I have done, and he said it was generally pretty effective for starting labor when you are as ready as I was.

Well, several hours came and went and I wasn’t feeling anything at all. I had lost a lot of my mucus plug, but I was sure I still wasn’t going into labor… then around 6ish, I started having very very far apart contractions. I was sure they were just more braxton hicks. But then by 7, they were coming more regularly and were fairly painful and by 8:30 they were coming about 4 minutes apart and I was having trouble reading the kids bedtime stories. At 9:30, they were 3 minutes apart and too painful to talk through, so I sent for my sister to stay the night with the kids and sent for Andrew (who was at work).

I was really hesitant to send for them, because I’d had so much false labor. I kept expecting to stand up and have the contractions disappear, but they kept coming. Andrew got home, we packed everything into the car and we arrived at the hospital and were admitted at 11.

For the first bit I had to sit in the bed while they monitored me and put the heplock in, which was not very comfortable. The nurse said I was dilated to a six at that point, so they were going to keep me. Andrew was doing great at putting counter-pressure on my back and that helped a lot. Then they suggested I could sit on a birthing ball… so I did that for a little while while they finished up monitoring me. I liked the birthing ball pretty well actually. It was much more comfortable than the bed and I could lean over on the bed while Andrew put pressure on my back.

After 40 minutes of that, my doctor arrived, checked me, and I was dilated to an 8 already. The nurse asked if he thought it was ok for me to labor in the shower/bath and he said that was fine. As long as my water hadn’t broken, I was allowed to walk around and do what I wanted, basically. By this time with S and W, my water had broken, so I was glad that it hadn’t yet. I went and climbed in the shower. It felt nice to be in the warm water, but I don’t think it helped my contractions be less painful really at all. It may have been more helpful to be laying in the jetted tub, but I have a phobia of laying tubs. I cannot take baths. It is a really weird fear, I know, but it just grosses me out too much and I can’t make myself do it – even when I’m in a lot of pain apparently!

I labored in the shower for 30 minutes, and then they had to monitor my contractions and the heart rate some more, so I got out, wrapped myself up in my fancy hospital hown and waddled over to the birthing ball again. Contractions were getting really intense now and as they monitored me I was starting to feel some pressure. Not quite to the point of needing to push, but it felt like things were getting close. Contractions were occurring every minute about now and I was just telling Andrew that I was starting to almost get to the point of “I can’t do this any more”. I told the nurse that I was starting to feel like I needed to push and so she asked if I wanted to be checked and I said yes.

My water still hadn’t broken, so I wasn’t sure that I was close to being able to push and also, it had only been an hour and fifteen minutes since I’d gotten there and five and a half since I’d started labor. My labor with S was a thirty-six hours long and with W it was twelve. I got up on the bed and immediately started feeling like I was going to need to push very soon.

The nurse checked me and said I was dilated to a nine and a half. By that time I was really feeling like I needed to push, but I was in an awkward position on the bed and it was just hurting instead. The nurse told me not to push, that she needed to get the doctor and to do Hee Hee Ho breathing while she went to get him (which was something I had not practiced and so I was confused). The nurse demonstrated how to do it through a contraction and then she ran to get my doctor. I was able to breathe through one more contraction while they were coming, with Andrew’s help, because I was starting to lose my focus on what was going on – it was SO painful trying not to push and sitting in this weird half-upright position so that I would feel less like pushing and so it was hard to focus on breathing instead and mostly I was just yelling “OOOWWW! OH CRAP! OH CRAP!”

Ok, this is where it gets kinda graphic, so if you don’t like TMI, you might want to stop here. 😀

The doctor came in and as soon as I saw him, I told him “I need to PUSH!” and so he said “Ok, go ahead and let’s see what happens. What position would you like to be in?” and I said squatting. So they got out the squat bar and put it on quickly just before the next contraction started. At this point, the doctor had not even gotten his gloves on and was just kind of hovering near me. Well, I started to push when he told me to, and I felt the placenta pop out… the doctor and the nurse both yelled “Ok! Stop!” (The doctor tells me that right after he said that he knew I couldn’t stop and that he shouldn’t have said that). It was like trying to stop a freight train, so I was half crying and yelling “I CAN’T! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!” because this is where the water burst everywhere and Thomas came right out of me. I hadn’t even finished the first contraction and with half a push, he was out. There was not a chance for me to do breathing exercises to control the pain at all, so I just screamed instead.

The doctor didn’t have his gloves on yet, so he had to grab the sterile sheet off the gurney thing near my bed, flip it to the sterile side and he and the nurse barely got to me in time to catch the baby with the sheet. Meanwhile, I was standing in this huge puddle of placenta water and blood (normally your water breaks before you push or the baby comes out, so it gets cleaned up); my feet and legs were soaked and I was not sure what was happening any more. Since most women have to push for at least several minutes before their babies come out and experience this sort of gradual stretching and pressure, they have time for their nether regions to get accustomed to the fact that here comes a baby… well, I was feeling pretty traumatized down there, as no part of me had had time to really get ready for the passage of this giant baby and the pain that should have been stretched over several minutes had all just occurred in ten seconds time.

Well, Andrew pulled me back so I could lay down (I was feeling kind of confused and didn’t know what to do anymore) and they handed me the baby and gave me a shot of pitocin in my leg, which I didn’t feel at all (I was bracing for the more pain this would cause, I was pretty well done with being in pain by then). I was then busy helping rub down my little guy as I easily got rid of the placenta (as you can imagine, that took hardly any time at all). I got to cut the cord, which I’d never done before. Pretty cool. The doctor told me I just had tiny little tears, but nothing big enough to stitch. He said it would just sting for a little while, but they’d heal over pretty quickly.

Well, then they took little Thomas over and got him all cleaned up and suctioned out his lungs and whatnot. I asked how big they thought he was, and they all were saying “Oh, probably around eight pounds or so”. I was sure he was larger than that, but since they see a lot more babies than I do, I thought maybe I was wrong. They asked for guesses on the weight and so I guessed eight-six, in line with what they were saying… then they put him on the scale and it flashed “10 lbs 2 oz”.

Yes indeed. 10 lbs of baby just literally fell out of my body. The nurses and everyone were very impressed and I was a celebrity in the hospital for the rest of my stay. “How did you do that?” asked the nurses in the Mother/Baby unit. “You’re amazing!” I guess my body was just built to have big babies because they just fall out of me and do hardly damage (both S and W were almost 9 lbs and took hardly any time to push out as well – around three minutes of pushing for each). I feel like I didn’t really do anything, actually, except for bear the pain – which all natural birthing mothers do. I didn’t have to strain really at all to get him out – mothers who push for hours on end with seven pounders do more work than I did. People who tear hurt a lot more than I did too.

But anyway, I did like having a natural birth. After thinking it over, I realized that most of the unbearable kind of part was just because I was trying to keep from pushing and I was sitting in an awkward position to try to keep from pushing and that wasn’t something I was prepared to handle. Trying to stop your body from pushing a ten pound baby out when it’s ready and sitting in a position that blocks the progress is going to hurt a lot, of course. That wasn’t really anyone’s fault though – I progressed a lot more rapidly than with my other labors as well as quicker than is usual and I had asked that they try not to check me too often, so that was all as it should be.

The rest of the labor was not unbearable though and I was able to breath through most of the contractions. I loved being able to walk around and do what I wanted while I was in labor and then getting up and walking after delivering and being able to feel my body and not having my lungs seize up on me like last time. Thomas was much better at nursing and latching than my other two babies were and he was much more alert and aware. Also, it’s about $500-$600 cheaper to not get an epidural, so there’s that, and I am not a fan of IVs or giant needles being stuck into my spine.

Would I do it again? I think so, though I will definitely have them check me for dilation more often in the future. I think that would have helped a lot to have been able to push right when I was ready.

Anyway, babies are fun and I love my little T! I’m so glad he’s here and I feel quite accomplished having given birth naturally. 🙂 Yay for babies!

My Wonderful Mother

Since it’s Mother’s Day and I’m not all that creative, I thought it would be a great time to write a post about my mom, just like everyone else. But really, it’s because I love bragging about my mother. She has accomplished some absolutely incredible things in her life and come through so much tribulation to be the wonderful person she is today.

Let me start by telling you the incredible obstacles that she has overcome:

My mother grew up as the oldest child of six. Her mother was bi-polar. Back then, they really didn’t have effective ways to treat this, so life growing up was a bit… rough at times. Needless to say, she didn’t have a whole lot of good mothering role models.

At age 18, a few months after graduating high school, she eloped to Las Vegas and married my father – a man 11 years her senior (they will not tell us any information about this wedding. I think they eloped because both of their families were opposed to them getting married). Nine and a half months later, I was born and a little over a year after they were married in Vegas they were sealed in the Los Angeles California temple.

After that, babies came quickly. My mom had three more kids by the time I was barely five, and by the time I was six (almost seven), she had also given birth to my twin sisters. So for a couple months, she had six kids under the age of six (with twin cabooses). She nursed all of us for at least a year. Including my twin sisters. Yeah, that in and of itself is incredible at a time when bottle feeding was all the rage.

Oh, did I forget to mention that my mom was also a stepmother to my dad’s children from a former marriage? Two of the boys lived with us for various amounts of time while I was growing up. And you know how stepfamily relationships are. So by the time my mother was 25 (which is how old I am now), she effectively had eight children. Also, my dad traveled for his job a lot.

Sometime before my mom gave birth to the twins, my grandmother committed suicide, leaving her with no support on that end, along with a heart-breaking tragedy to deal with.

Additionally, after the twins were born, my mother had to have a hip replacement, because when she was a baby she had an infection in a hip and it had deteriorated so much they had to replace it. At age 26. This is a lot harder on your body than you might think and is pretty crippling.

When we were a little older, my mom was also diagnosed bi-polar (luckily they had better medicines by then). 🙂

Oh yes, and one of my brothers is ADHD. Another is autistic, ADD and bipolar. I and a sister were diagnosed with depression.

So where do I start honoring someone who endured so much to raise me and my siblings? She took us to church every Sunday, taught us the gospel, got us all to school, fed us, clothed us, had family home evening, read scriptures with us. She has incredible perseverance and a determination that just boggles the mind. She would and will do anything for her children.

Despite having children with some very tough mental and behavioral issues, she didn’t kill any of us! And she somehow dealt with the sometimes very cruel judgmental/hostile attitudes that were much more prevalent then than now about kids with those sort of problems.

Her three boys got their eagles and her three girls got their young women’s medallions. Five of us graduated high school, most of us with honors. She home-schooled my autistic brother and he acheived his GED. Two of the boys have gone on missions. She completed her Associates degree this year, which is awesome after not having really attended school for 24 years. And I hear she got really good grades… at the very least straight As one semester. She has been married for 26 years, has two grandkids (mine) and became a grandmother at the young age of 37.

Her love for her children and grandchildren is second-to-none and she is always aware and worried about everyone else’s welfare. She has sacrificed so much for her children and received little thanks from us and no worldly fame. Her faith in Christ and in the gospel has never seemed to waver.

She is incredible, amazing, beautiful, wonderful. I’m so glad that she’s my mother. She often tells me how impressed she is by my determination and willingness to get things done, but you know – I learned it from her.

Thanks mom, for being there for me always and for raising me. I love you. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day.

Possibly Boring Churchy-Type Post

Arwen Winning Best of Breed

Arwen Winning Best of Breed

Ok, so since it’s Sunday and I try my best to be spiritual today (semi-successfully), I decided I’m going to write down a spiritual experience. You might or might not be interested. This might be a boring feature, but that’s ok ’cause it’s really just something I want to remember and I kind of suck at journaling (my hand cramps up.)

Last Sunday we had Stake Conference and a member of the Quorum of the Seventy came to speak at church and he mentioned that we should try to keep a record of things like this and so that’s what kind of spurred me onto it too.

So after Andrew and I got married and before we had any babies, we got a dog. A Rhodesian Ridgeback named Arwen. We still have her and she is really an awesome dog, going on five years old. Now, we got her for the purpose of not only companionship, but also to show her and to do a thing called Lure Coursing (which is fun) so that we could get her championship and breed her. Well, one thing you should know about these events is that they occur on Saturdays and Sundays (usually) and only very rarely (twice a year) in Utah.

So, well, we rationalized that these couple of Sundays a year, we would participate in these events. We rationalized that it was ok because it was very rarely occurring and you know, it was a fun family event. (Which, yes, I know, is a stupid rationalization and I knew better.) Several years passed with some wins, but we were unable to get the last win that we needed to have Arwen be a champion.

One day, when I was sitting looking at the entry forms for a BIG Lure Coursing event, I felt like we really should stop attending the Sunday events to keep the Sabbath day holy. I brought it up to Andrew and we discussed it and agreed. In this case, the event was Sunday – Monday, so we entered only Monday’s event. I worried about it the several weeks up to the event, worrying that we would just be wasting our money and we would not be able to EVER finish Arwen’s championship at this rate.

Well, the big day came and I prepared Arwen and packed up the babies and my sister to drive up to this event, which was about a two hour drive. Andrew had to work, so that’s why I had my sister along. Well, we got there and the entry was HUGE. There were FIFTEEN other Rhodesian Ridgebacks to beat, which is a giant number. There were several really good dogs there that had quite the reputation (dogs that are taken out every weekend to practice and they win a lot, while most weekends Arwen sits at home sleeping on the couch and sometimes going to practice). And here I was dragging along my two babies and my insane little Ridgeback (she is five times more insane than any other dog on the field and DRAGS me around.)  We have no hope, I’m thinking, but I’ve been praying for like five days that we’ll do well and I’m praying the whole time we’re there. Please please please. But I don’t have much hope because it’s been several events since we’ve won anything.

Also, the judge is supposedly a cranky old lady.

So the first run, we get a high score (three way tied with several other dogs). Second run we get an ok score and my heart sinks. No way we’ll make it, we’re in third place. Third run we get another high score. We’re tied for first place with one other dog, Sugar. At this point, waiting for the runoff with our tie, I’m crying, because even if we get second place, we have the points we need to have Arwen’s championship. I couldn’t believe it… against the highest amount of Rhodesians I have ever seen at a meet, I’m tied for first somehow. Totally improbable. Arwen was running her heart out for me.

I offered to forfeit to Sugar, because all I needed was 3 points for Arwen’s championship (or second place) and Sugar needed 5 (or first place) for hers. But the rules had just changed so you couldn’t do that anymore. So we go to runoff and I’m just happy to take whatever I get. I cheer for Sugar to go, but she stops at the first turn. Arwen runs her heart out for the fourth time that day (800 yards each time) and takes first in her bracket. We have to run off against the winners from the other brackets (the dogs who are already champions, basically). Arwen runs for the fifth time that day against two champions with a reputation who have run two times less than she that day. She wins, hands down against what you might consider infamous and “professional” lure coursing dogs. The judge comes and tells me personally and several other people how awesome my bitch is and congratulates me on the Best of Breed win. She tells my family to get in the picture with me.

I am praying my heart out while we take the winning picture, thanking God for blessing me, tears in my eyes because I still can’t believe it. The Spirit was so strong on that field that day and I knew that I had made the right choice to listen to that prompting many weeks before.

And that’s how my dog built my faith in keeping the Sabbath day holy. Maybe silly, but it was one of the strongest feelings that I’ve had that I knew God cared about me and was just waiting ’til I started doing things right to bless me. It was beautiful and wonderful and so insanely improbable that it really couldn’t have been anything else.

I’m so glad that God gives me these experiences. It helps center me in this wildly chaotic world that we live in and builds my faith in Him. I feel so anchored, knowing that there is a God and He knows what we need to do to be successful and that He’ll tell us if we only will listen. He loves each of His children so much and is waiting to provide miracles if we’ll only have faith. I’m so grateful for that ever-present love and of course for the Atonement of Christ so that I can repent for being stupid about not keeping the Sabbath day holy in the first place. 🙂

And also, if you’re still with me, I heart this song: The Whole Armor of God

The Big Announcement

#3 is on the way!

Are you ready for it?

I’m pregnant.

I know, I’m insane. I swore up and down as Willow was growing that I would not have another child for two years because babies are a lot of work and I was going a little crazy. But then the nudges started when Willow hit 14 months. Baby time. Baby time.

I hate the nudges sometimes. The baby ones are the hardest to ignore for some reason, perhaps because families are so vital right now. Because strong, valiant babies raised in righteous families are needed more than ever. And also because my little darlings are just so absolutely adorable that I can’t help but want another one, though my timing might be a little more spaced out than Heavenly Father’s.

I really wanted it to not be an actual nudge and rather just some crazy fantasy brought about by sleep deprivation and too much candy. Andrew and I didn’t discuss it past the last time I mentioned something when Willow was 10 months about waiting to have another one ’til Willow was potty trained and we both nodded in agreement, sure that that was exactly what we should do. But then one day as Andrew and I were sitting on the couch, each of us getting things done on our separate computers (Andrew homework, me doing something like staring vacantly at Facebook) and not even talking about anything, I hear the words pop out of my mouth.

“I think it’s time to have another baby.”
Pause as we look at each other.
“Yeah, I’ve been thinking that too.”

It had been confirmed. There wasn’t much we could do now, it was pretty obvious what time it was. Besides, I would have more space in between my kids than the pioneer women had or some of my friends have had… I won’t have three under three like my mother did when my little brother, Bobby, was born two months before my third birthday (She then continued the trend to end up with six kids under six – with a set of twins at the end – by the age of 25. She also had two older step-kids living with us, who weren’t so fond of her. She is Superwoman. She even exclusively breastfed all six of us for a year each, including the twins.) I can deal with this, right? I am a Strong Woman too.

Continuing the trend of super impregnability that runs in my family, I got pregnant the very month (February) we started trying. No waiting period (which I secretly hoped for). I took the pregnancy test from the dollar store almost a week before my period was due and there was a VERY obvious line. Already. And then I got sick the next day, just lightly and faintly though.

Jalapenos: They do a baby good (I hope)

But that nauseousness has increased and increased and is now, at 8 weeks, about twice as bad as my pregnancy with Willow. Even on 4 mg of Zofran (and taking a unisom and B6), I’m still vomiting and feel as bad as I did when I was pregnant with Sylvia and wasn’t even taking Zofran because I didn’t know it existed. I just lie around all day now, pretty much, feeling sick to my stomach and craving things strongly. Really strongly. I wasn’t so bad with Sylvia and Willow, just a craving maybe once a week, but this pregnancy I want lots of things, every day and it’s totally insane. One day I want hot and sour soup, the next I want a jalapeño burger with lots of fries from Carl’s Junior, and then I want a salad with lots of ranch dressing and all the trimmings and then I want jalapeño poppers and chocolate and sushi and tofu and Cafe Rio. I think the only common thread in my cravings is that I really want jalapeños all the time. I’m not sure what to make of that.

Oddly, whenever I’m pregnant, I can NOT be around peanut butter. The mere smell of it makes me gag. Every pregnancy so far has been this way. This time though, I also cannot eat healthy food. I don’t know why, but things like broccoli and whole wheat bread and shredded wheat and oatmeal make me gag too. This makes me feel really guilty, because I want to eat healthy, but my cravings and aversions are so INSANELY strong, I cannot ignore them. They cry for meat too, which makes me feel even more guilty because I am a vegetarian for many reasons – like hormones, animal cruelty, health and the word of wisdom – all of which make me feel bad because I desperately want to eat fatty red meat (chicken still makes me want to gag) about half the time I’m awake. Just like I feel bad about downing the white bread and chocolate and Marshmallow Mateys (luckily the chocolate is what usually comes back up, so that helps me feel a little better).

Anyway, I’m going on tangents. I just have one last thing to mention, and that is that I had the most lovely dream about giving birth to another beautiful baby girl last night. I still have this glowing memory of it that makes me feel very attached to the little blueberry that looks nothing like a baby in my uterus right now. I really can’t wait for the next seven months to pass so I can meet this new adorable little person that I am building right now. And trusting my dreams of gender to always be wrong (I dreamed about baby boys with both Sylvia and Willow), I’ll just be guessing that this is our little Thomas Andrew, as excited as we are to have him join our little family in November. What a wonderful blessing babies are, even if they do cause me to be sicker than a dog.

They are so worth it.

The Luck o’ the Irish

I totally love St. Patrick’s Day. Mostly because it’s a silly holiday. I feel that way about it because I really think the idea of Patron Saints is one of the silliest ideas  invented by the Catholic church and so I feel ok about celebrating it as a secular, fun, silly holiday. Leprechauns and dying food green is just a lot of fun for me and the kids. And also I love corned beef and cabbage. Yum!

I do not feel this way about Christmas and Easter. And just straight up, I do not tell my children there is a Santa Claus or an Easter Bunny. Although we give a few presents at Christmastime, we tell the kids exactly where they came from and tell them that it’s representative of the gifts given at Christ’s birth and some other religious stuff, etc. At Easter, we do an Easter Egg hunt, but we do it separately from the holiday if we aren’t visiting with family. I might consider doing Sankt Nicklaustag like the Germans do, maybe though, since that’s pretty much on par with St. Patrick’s Day to me. I dunno, maybe I am just a Grinch who doesn’t like the commercialization of Christ’s birth and resurrection much. I’m all for donating toys to kids that don’t have them and volunteering and things like that that really are celebratory of Christ’s birth instead. And also emphasizing the importance of Christ over Santa and the Easter Bunny.

But anyway, back to St. Patty’s Day. I love it. Also, it’s nice to be reminded of my heritage. My great grandmother on my mother’s side was full Irish as her parents both immigrated from Ireland. I like to be reminded of the sacrifices my ancestors made to get over here, and it’s also a good reminder of the kind of stereotyping and stuff they had to endure (like the drunkard thing and several other nasty ideas the Americans had about the Irish at the time – some of which have endured, unfortunately). I’m proud to be part Irish and I’m glad I have this day to celebrate it and tell my kids about their great-great-great-grandparents, and also because then I realize that I should probably work on my genealogy.

But anywho, if you needed more proof that I’m totally insane, there you go. I have somewhat weird reasoning about holidays that I celebrate. Now I’m off to make these delicious concoctions for dinner:

Lucky Leprechan Lime Drink

Corned Beef, Cabbage and Red Potatoes