Monday, April 30, 2012

What's for dinner: Saucy Asian Meatballs

Being pregnant I have been SO hungry but haven't had a taste for any of the usual food. So I've been looking for new and different recopies to try on Pinterest.  These Saucy Asian Meatballs turned out really good. I actually premade them yesterday and planned on baking them for dinner but we were busy getting things done in the kids room I did a simple dinner instead. These are definitely worth giving a try, you definitely need to love   sesame oil, garlic and Hoisin sauce to enjoy this.  I made my meatballs about 1 1/2" so they took about 15 minutes to cook.  These would be perfect for appetizers at a party if you make them smaller and put toothpicks in them.

Saucy Asian Meatballs Recipe
Meatball Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. ground pork or ground beef
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil 
  • 1 cup Panko or breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup thinly-sliced green onions
  • optional garnish: toasted sesame seeds, sliced scallions
Asian Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, mix together meatball ingredients until well-combined.  

Shape into balls (I made mine about 1.5 inches, which yielded about 28 meatballs, but 1 inch is probably standard), and place on a greased baking sheet or in a 9×13 baking dish.  

Bake for 15 minutes, (~12 mins for 1" meatballs) or until meatballs are golden on the outside and no longer pink on the inside.

While the meatballs are baking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients until blended. 
Once meatballs have finished cooking, you can either dip each meatball individually in the sauce mixture Or you can pour the sauce over the meatballs laid out on a plate.

Serve warm, and sprinkle with additional garnish if desired.
You can also keep these warm (after cooking) in the crock pot on a low setting!
I also made some teriyaki zucchini to go with the meatballs. Brayden has always loved it and he literally ate a whole zucchini to himself.  I just sliced the zucchini (on med heat) and cooked it on my pancake flat pan with teriyaki sauce till it was tender. Make sure to flip the zucchini half way through so both sides cook in the sauce. I usually have to add a little more teriyaki half way through cooking . It's so simple and so good!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's for dinner: Sesame Chicken

A few days late posting but I tried  recipe on Pinterest (of course) on Friday for Sesame Chicken and it turned out great. It tasted almost better than the general tso/sesame chicken you get for take out at the Chinese Restaurant. The chicken was nice and juicy and tender and the white jasmine rice it was served over complimented it perfectly! I garnished with a lot of scallions since I really love them. This is a must try!! Enjoy!

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1-2 tablespoon sesame oil (to personal taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 dash red chili pepper flakes
2 teaspoons cornstarch (or more is you want a thicker sauce)

4 chicken breasts(about 2lbs), cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sherry wine
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (optional)  
2 drops sesame oil
1/2 cup cornstarch, to coat chicken 
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil (for frying)
Sesame Seed (to garnish)
Sliced Green Onion (to garnish)
Prepared Rice, to serve. (i prefer Jasmine Rice)

Even Brayden like it!

 1. Combine chicken ingredients except cornstarch and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.
2. Remove chicken from marinade and toss in cornstarch then cook chicken in hot oil on the stove or deep fryer until cooked thru.
3. Remove from pan and keep warm in oven while making the sauce.
4. Combine all sauce ingredients EXCEPT cornstarch in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over med. heat.

5. Mix cornstarch with a little water (about 1/4 cup) in a cup until dissolved- then slowly add to the sauce mixture on the stove and heat until thickened to the consistency of gravy.
6. Add the chicken into the sauce. Heat thoroughly.
7. Serve over hot rice.
8. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Happy 18 months Brayden!

Okay so Brayden turned 18 months last week (the 20th) but I was waiting for his pedes appointment today, so I could post his stats! I seriously can't believe that he is 18 months! I feel like we JUST celebrated his birthday and that was six months ago!

Brayden is doing well aside from his fever shenanigans and seriously amazed me on a daily basis on how much he understands even if he can't fully communicate verbally. He is so smart and I'm really proud of him. At this point he can say over 30 words, a bunch of two word phrases and an follow simple 2 step commands.  Regressing to my previous post on his fever issues, it seems like during and after each episode it makes him take a step back after he took two steps forward in between. In other words he knows, can use and say a lot but he stops wanting to use his words and starts grunting and making other noises instead. It breaks my heart but I know (and the pedes confirmed) that the fevers aren't physiologically harming him it's just him reverting to baby talk after feeling like hell for 7 days every 4 weeks. I do count my blessing that he is doing so well otherwise,so if he doesn't say all of the words he knows all the time I am fine with that. The doctor told me that they usually like to see them using 10 words at this point and the fact that he can say 3x that as well as do two word phrases ext means he's functioning at a 2 yr level. Again i am so proud but I'm a little surprised b/c I know of some children who blow him away, so those kids must be SUPER advanced.  The appointment also covered his Autism Screen, more or less it's a questionnaire I had to fill out about his behavior, habits, attention ext. He passed with a 100% score, which I was never worried about but it's good to hear.
The 10 seconds he SAT while waiting for the pedes

Now for the fun stuff. Bray is measuring 34 3/4 inches tall (97%), off the charts as usual and he now weighs 23lb 15oz (24%). He has gained 1lb 4oz since his 15 month appointment so for him that's good for three months. There were a few months when he was barely gaining ounces per month, despite being a great eater. At least he jumped from the 19% to 24%. I'm glad he's thriving, he had a big growth spurt last month so I was curious how tall he had gotten!

You can't make an 18 month old wait for the dr too long or he goes nuts! lol He was banging the wall b/c he heard people on the other side.. lol only my kid! 

As far as every day life things are good! He still is waking 1x a night crying but we are hoping and praying we can get him sleeping straight through by the time Bella arrives.  Wishful thinking. I'm sure if you've seen my FB pictures you can tell he LOVES food. The "fancier" the better. lol I'm so lucky he is a great eater. Don't get me wrong he still is picky about certain things. Like he doesn't like a lot of breakfast foods and sometimes trying to find new lunches seems impossible. But he does love home cooked or restaurant quality food. Of course! He's still obsessed with fruit and veggies and loves "dipping" sauces. Dipping sauce can be anything from ketchup, yogurt and his recent favorite sweet and sour sauces. lol

The things he can't live with out are his binky, cuddly (aka his blanket) and bunny. I know, I know i hate that he loves his binky so much but when he has his fever episodes I'll give him anything to soothe him or feel better. The kid needs something to get him through them. Honestly that's the least of my worries in the long run, I'm sure it'll be a nightmare to break him of it but it is what it is. So of course after an episode he wants is a LOT. We try and let him have it for sleeping/naps only but it's been a HUGE struggle. Again, I'm picking my battles. Cuddly and bunny are also his security things. He LOVES to cuddle with his blanket, it's seriously the cutest thing. He rubs the silky edges on his face, arms ext. Which is not at all odd if you know Brayden. He loves to be hugged, have his head rubbed, massages ext. Bunny is his favorite stuffed animal for cuddling and sleeping with. I love watching him on the monitor at night curled around his bunny. It seriously melts my heart!

Cuddly is in the box of course, but you can see it lol 

His temperament is still the same. He has always been really independent. He loves when you play with him but is more than content playing himself. He's definitely going through a hard core "testing" phase. He thinks he can have what he wants when he wants it and throws some epic tantrums that are just crazy and violent. As much as it KILLS me I have had to learn to walk away and "ignore" him when he gets in to these tangents. Any form of attention, good or bad during the tantrums would actually exacerbate them so this is how they have to be handled. They have been slowly getting better so I know i'm doing the right thing. He is really too smart for his own good, he will do things that he knows he is not suppose to do and laugh or smile as he does them.  Little stinker. Despite his rough moments, he Brayden is the most amazing kid.  His smile laugh and excitement are so contagious and he has such a big heart. He will run up to you with the biggest smiles and open arms and give you the best hugs. He still gives big open mouth kisses and waves and blows kisses when he's leaving or going to bed.  Life doesn't get any better than your own child CHOOSING to give you hugs and kisses.

Brayden is a lot of fun! He never sits still. He loves to go to the park, play with kids, and run and climb on anything that looks dangerous and adventurous. His current loves include firetrucks, cars (anything with wheels), helicopters, cooking with mommy , Elmo, Calliou, any outdoor activity, chasing and watching birds and animals, playing "soccer" and throwing balls, coloring/painting, anything water oriented and figuring out how things work.

This boy LOVES his firetruck!


Telling me what a firetruck says! lol

We have been talking to Brayden a lot about becoming a big brother. Obviously he is still too young to really understand but I'm hoping the conversations about his baby sister in the belly and feeling her move and kick will at least help a tiny bit. He is really going to have a hard time when Bella does arrive. He's very much a mommy's boy since we spend all the time together and especially with him having the recurrent fever episodes he REALLY relies on me to make everything better. I love that he wants mommy but at the same time I know he's going to be mad when he's not the only one anymore. We try and get him to want/need other people for things but it's hard for an 18 month old to "get it".  Need less to say I'm really nervous about that transition, i see a lot of tears on his and my behalf after his sister arrives. But he is such a good big helper so I know he's going to make an amazing big brother. I guess it's better the change happens now while he's younger.

Sorry my stomach is nasty and pale but I thing it's the sweetest thing that he (on his own) runs, grabs lotion and pulls up my shirt b/c he wasn't to help rub lotion on the baby. Guess I'm going to have another helper to massage bella when we arrives! 

27 weeks!

How far along? 27 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10, gained 15, 
Sleep: tossing and turning, hot flashes and having to pee a lot already lol 
How big is baby? Average size: 13.6-14.8 inches, over 2lbs1oz - Cauliflower
Best moment this week: finding out my cervical length hasn't changed as much as anticipated, sigh of relief
Movement: lots of rolls, kicks, punches, hiccups you name it! 
Symptoms: exhausted, intense cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, tail bone pain, reflux even with meds
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: granola bars and strawberry banana smoothies
Food aversions: none this week, i managed to stomach some chicken for a change
Gender:girl! bella rose!
Labor Signs:  none, but lots of cervical pressure, my cervix is still soft, still 25% effaced
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss:energy, i feel like i'm getting the third tri exhaustion too early 
What I am looking forward to: being in the third trimester next week 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Still waiting and another fever episode

Since Brayden's hospital "adventure" in February he's been "on schedule" with his fever episodes. They usually occur every 3-4 weeks and last the 5-7 days. Fortunately the first episode after the hospital trips was actually pretty moderate. It did last the full 7 days but it was fairly low grade for him keeping around 102.  This last episode was back to its usual. Keeping his temp with meds anywhere from 103 to 105.5 and lasted about 6 days.  sigh :( At this point I don't even really bother calling the pedes unless I REALLY can't keep it under control. Sadly to say "under control" for us is making sure it doesn't hit 106 while we are dosing him with meds every 3 hrs.  I know calling the pedes isn't going to do anything since there is nothing they can do other than run more testing like a urinalysis or checking for ear/throat infections. Since he has no other symptoms I know it's not worth torturing him.

We are still waiting for the genetic testing to come back. The dr said it usually takes up to the full 8 weeks for it to come back.  Which puts us to May 3rd, Jason's birthday. So hopefully not too much longer. Not that I WANT it to definitely be one of genetic forms of Periodic Fever Syndrome but it would be nice to have an official diagnosis and find a way to start treating it. I know I've said it over and over but i REALLY hate dosing him with Tylenol/Advil every 3 hours for 5-7 days at a time every 4 weeks. There is NO way that is good/healthy for his body and it makes me worry about the long term affects. I don't have a choice when it comes down to it b/c if I don't he could have febrile seizures. We have been SO lucky it hasn't come down to that yet, especially when his fever is over 106 AFTER having meds in him.
I am excited for his 18 month pedes appointment this Thursday. I'm dying to know how tall he is an how much he weights. He definitely has FINALLY gained some weight and had a big growth spurt a little bit ago so I'm curious where he is in the stats.  He is due for shots, including the MMR he couldn't have at 15 months because he had an ear infection and you can't get MMR if your sick b/c it's a live virus.  I'm definitely not looking forward to that since he always runs a fever post shots but getting vaccinated is more important.  I do want to talk to the pedes about his language and the fever episodes.  I'm greatful he is really smart and understands SO much. He can do two part commands and knows a lot of words and phrases but I'm finding that after every fever epidose he takes a step back for every two steps forward he makes in speaking. He knows and can say things but refuses to talk or use his words. So by the time we get to the next fever episode it's like we are backtracking. I feel really bad, and i know he understands and CAN say things but I think I just worry about the fevers messing with his brain over the long term. Not sure if that makes sense or I'm being overly protective/worried. I guess it's good he's been ahead of schedule with his language development or I would be extra concerned. But it drives me nuts to know he can say things and reverts to grunting and stuff instead of using his words. I'm sure in a year I won't be able to get him to shut up and will be saying the opposite :)

Apparently baths in he middle of the night for 105+ fevers is fun!  

26 Weeks and a trip to L&D

Whew what a week! I know I've mentioned before in my weekly posts that I have been having a LOT of pressure in my cervix since 17/18 weeks. After the LEEP Procedure I had done last summer to remove cancerous cells it ended up weakening my cervix and it's been a little short. So in addition to the normal pressure during pregnancy, the weakening my pelvic wall because Brayden was so big, I have been having added pressure since my cervix is soft and 25% effaced.  They've had me being cautious and making sure I try and have equal time on my feet as well as my feet up. Which has been tough but I have been managing. Otherwise I had no other real restrictions as far as what I was and wasn't allowed to do.

The previous weekend we decided to take advantage of the 80 degree weather and get some stuff done in the yard. Jason had to finish cleaning up the stuff from tearing off the old roof on the back of the house and I wanted to fill in some holes the dog dug up, rake up some odds and ends and wash all of Brayden's toys off since they were covered in pollen. I really did try and be careful with things. Having Jason move anything heavy and help me pick up piles of stuff after raking.  By the end of the day the amount of pressure I was having was unbelievable. It was really making me worry. I hadn't felt anything like this kind of pressure since I was in labor with Brayden so at 25weeks and 2 days I was a little stressed.  The pressure was so intense i was literally crying in the shower b/c it felt like my insides were going to fall out. I wasn't contracting or anything so I laid my self up for the night, started chugging even more water and didn't move. I was hesitant to call the dr since it was the weekend and since I wasn't contracting (thank god) I thought it would be okay till the morning.

When I talked to the nurse in the morning she talked to one of my OB's. I have two drs I see regularly that are familiar with my situation and have been monitoring me.  She told me she felt better having me go up to L&D and get checked out. So Jason came home, I dropped Bray off with my mom (thankfully she just got off of work) and headed down to Cooper Hospital.

L&D did all the usual stuff in triage. Hooked me up to the monitors to keep track of Bella's HB and make sure I was not contracting. I ended up seeing a resident Dr. and not one of the regular drs from my office. When she did my cervical check she said she was only feeling that my cervix was 2cm (50% effaced)(it was previously 3.1) so I was really starting to stress. Fortunately there was no dilation so the ffn and other swabs they did "just in case" weren't necessary.  I was REALLY not happy with her bedside manner. She seemed a little too non-chalant and almost uncaring. Told me there was nothing they could do since I wasn't dilating/contracting to warrant a cerclage and i was good to leave. Needless to say I called my OB in the morning to see if they wanted another cervical u/s done to get an exact measurement, since they weren't able to get one done in the hospital, and see if there were any other restrictions that I should be following since we thought I had made a lot of progress in a week since my last appt.

The dr was able to get me an appt on Friday with the MFM to have another ultrasound and I have a follow up appointment tomorrow in reference to that.  The appt on friday actually went MUCH better than I anticipated. HUGE sigh of relief. I'm not sure what the resident dr was feeling b/c my cervical length hadn't changed from the 3.1 that it previously was. This was a huge weight of my shoulders. I know we still need to be cautious but knowing that I wasn't progressing fast like we though I was at only 25/26 weeks was reassuring.  An extra nice surprise was the u/s tech did a full biophysical profile on Bella since the Ob's ordered weren't very specific, so I got to hang out and see a lot of her.  Despite the issues with my body not wanting to cooperate she is doing WONDERFUL!  Her heart, brain, kidney and all other developmental milestones look absolutely perfect. She's measuring on track on the higher end of the range for 26 weeks at 2lb1oz! I can't wait till our growth scan b/w 32-34 weeks so we can have a better idea of what size she will be, and the dr will then figure out if they want to induce me a little early (prob 39 weeks) to avoid complications like with Brayden. All this saying that my cervix holds out, but knowing my kids, I'm sure all of our worrying will be for nothing and they'll have to pry this little one from me to get her out! lol

Hi mommy! these face on shots always seem a little creepy, but she's still cute! 
"Potty shot" Yup still a girl, arrow point to "girl parts" :)

So the next step is my Ob appt tomorrow. They've had me coming every 3 weeks for checks so this will only be a 2 week appt. I'm wondering if they will keep them that way since we are approaching the third trimester anyway.  Guess we will see. Fortunately Bella has been laying transverse (aka sideways) so the pressure on my cervix isn't AS intense as it is when shes head down, but it's still there. I can manage with the pressure I just want to make sure she stays in for as long as possible before she's born!

How far along? 26 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10, gained 12-13, seems to flucuate
Sleep: tossing and turning, hot flashes and having to pee a lot already lol 
How big is baby? Weighing in at 2lb1oz!  About the size of a head of lettuce 14.5 inches
Best moment this week:getting to see bella again at our cervical u/s
Movement: lots of rolls, kicks, punches, hiccups you name it! 
Symptoms: exhausted, intense cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, tail bone pain, reflux even with meds
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: granola bars 
Food aversions: depends on my mood, still some issues with chicken
Gender:girl! bella rose!
Labor Signs:  none, but lots of cervical pressure, my cervix is still soft, still 25% effaced
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss:sleeping well 
What I am looking forward to: being in the third trimester and in two weeks!  

Saturday, April 14, 2012

25 weeks!


How far along? 25 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10 gained 10
Sleep: sleeping sound when i can actually fall asleep
How big is baby? The size of an eggplant about 14 inches
Best moment this week:getting to hear babes hb at our ob appt again
Movement: lots of rolls, kicks, punches, hiccups you name it! 
Symptoms: exhausted, cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, tail bone pain
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: chocolate milk
Food aversions: still chicken
Gender:girl! bella rose!
Labor Signs:  none, but lots of cervical pressure, my cervix is still soft but is now 1.5 cm short
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss:not having pain in my tailbone
What I am looking forward to: working on the nursery

24 weeks!

How far along? 24 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10 gained 9
Sleep: sleeping sound when i can actually fall asleep
How big is baby? The size of an eggplant
Best moment this week: reaching viability!! 
Movement: Bella loves to kick my cervix/bladder, thanks baby girl
Symptoms: exhausted, cervical pressure, restless legs, vericose vein pain, tail bone pain
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: egg salad, cereal
Food aversions: still chicken
Gender:girl! bella rose!
Labor Signs:  none, but lots of cervical pressure
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss:not having pain in my tailbone
What I am looking forward to:next ob appt, to see how my cervix is doing and hear bellas hb
Milestones: happy Viability this week baby girl!! 

23 weeks!

How far along? 23 weeks 
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10 gained 9
Sleep:restless, but exhauted
How big is baby? The size of pomegranate
Best moment this week: lots of kicks and movement
Movement: bella is a dancing fool!
Symptoms: exhausted, cervical pressure, tail bone pain, restless leg, vericose vein
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: korean beef, honey roasted cashews, egg salad
Food aversions: chicken as usual
Gender: girl! Bella Rose
Labor Signs:  none, but still having lots of cervical pressure, cervix is soft and 1cm short
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss:sleeping on my belly, not that i am a stomach sleeper but now i want to bc i cant lol
What I am looking forward to: next week is viability

22 weeks!

Bella at 21w5d!
How far along? 22 weeks 
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10 gained 7
Sleep: sepends on the night,restless
How big is baby? The size of a papaya
Best moment this week: a few nights of sleeping decent
Movement: she is a mover, borderline violent, i'm in trouble when she is older
Symptoms: exhausted, restless leg pain, cervical pressure, vericose vein is huge and running all the way up my leg
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: korean beef, onions
Food aversions: chicken but getting a little better
Labor Signs:none but lots of cervical pressure, cervix is still soft and 1cm short
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss: energy
What I am looking forward to: next ob appt to hear bellas hb

21 weeks!

How far along? 21 weeks 
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10 gained6
Sleep: depends on the night, sometimes tossing and turning
How big is baby? The size of banana: measuring exactly 13 oz! little chunker about 10.5 inches long
Best moment this week: getting an extra u/s to check my cervix and seeing baby girl
Movement: Bella is a mover and kicker!! she beats me :)
Symptoms: exhausted, leg pain, pain in my tailbone and intense pressure on my cervix
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: carbs, sweets, chocolate milk
Food aversions: chicken but i can eat some kinds
Labor Signs: none, but my cervix is still soft, 1cm short and having a lot of pressure. had a cervical u/s ultrasound length was 3.1, so we are still in the safe zone.  
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss: energy
What I am looking forward to: girl shopping :)

20 weeks! Half way there!!!

How far along? 20 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: lost 10 gained 4
Sleep: depends on the night, sometimes tossing and turning
How big is baby? The size of cantaloupe: about 10.6 oz and 6.5 inches
Best moment this week: making it to the half way mark
Movement: baby has been moving like crazy lots of stronger kicks
Symptoms: exhausted, headaches, vericose vein leg pain
Symptoms I DON'T have: nausea
Food cravings: carbs, sweets
Food aversions: chicken
Gender:ITS A GIRL!
Labor Signs:  none
Belly Button in or out?  in 
What I miss: energy
What I am looking forward to: feeling more movement frequently
Milestones: making it to the half birthday