Week 26 + 30 Easy Meals – 300 Calories Or Less!

Week 26

lettuceLettuce. Really? I’ve got to admit, I’m definitely confused by the idea that my baby is the size of a head of iceburg lettuce.  I mean, the graphic straight up says the kid is 13.6 – 14.8 inches long.  Your average head of lettuce isn’t more than 6 or 7, tops.  Maybe they did the circumference… and if so, that’s really not indicative of the size of the creature inside of me. A better gauge would be, “Your baby is about as long as the average laptop screen is wide (not the diagonal).  HEY, FREE SERVICES THAT HELP US ESTIMATE: DO BETTER. 🙂

It’s been a good week.  Baby’s still moving a bunch, and I’ve been feeling well, aside from heartburn. Only 2 weeks until our next ultrasound. 🙂  I’m looking forward to seeing him again.

I also read a blog post last night that made me laugh so hard that I was crying and almost peed a little. (What? I’m pregnant! It happens.) I figured I should share the love with you readers. Normally, I try to shy away from Mommy blogs because some of them can be really stress-filled and judgmental, but Beth’s humility and sense of humor really won me over.

On a less humorous note, I got the results of the gestational diabetes test on Wednesday, and the verdict is in — I’m not diabetic! (Thank the Lord.) No need for insulin, no need to cut carbs, which is pretty great.  They did find, however that my metabolism’s not optimal, so I’ve been instructed to eat small meals every 2-3 hours. It’s supposed to help with the damn-near constant heartburn and help regulate my blood sugar.

This way of eating is completely contrary to everything I’ve done my whole life. The biggest change in my life when I was 8 and in Weight Watchers was learning not to snack throughout the day. Apparently, the science behind that way of thinking has changed over the last 25 years. Because of that, I felt like I needed to do some research to find some easy, delicious meals that I could eat.

My requirements for recipes that made the cut were simple:

  1. No specialty ingredients. Gotta be able to buy everything at the grocery store across the street.
  2. It must be easy to make. I am too tired for anything that requires real effort.
  3. It must look, based on my food knowledge, like it’d actually taste good.
  4. It must be filling. There’s no point in making something that doesn’t fill me up.

This is what I found.

30+ meals that are 300 calories or less per serving

I love me a green smoothie.

I love me a green smoothie.

  1. A green smoothie
  2. 1 light multigrain English muffin (or whole wheat bagel-thin) w/ 1 tbsp cream cheese & 1 tbsp fruit spread
  3. A cup of Greek yogurt w/ fruit & or honey (I’m currently in love with coffee flavored Fruyo.)
  4. Apple w/ 1 tbsp. of nut butter (peanut, cashew, or almond)
  5. A cup of oatmeal w/ fruit (Like Kathleen’s Quick Oats. Persian flavor is the best!)
  6. 1 serving of whole wheat crackers w/ 1-2 oz of cheese
  7. 1 pita w/ 2 tbsp of hummus (So yummy.)
  8. A hot dog
  9. 2 scrambled eggs w/ 2 slices of bacon
  10. A can of soup. (Any flavor by Amy’s fits the bill.)
  11. A grilled cheese sandwich: whole wheat bread, a little butter, & two 2% American cheese slices
  12. A bowl of cereal and milk

    crunchy_black_bean_tacos_3

    Yeah, I could eat this…

  13. Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
  14. Skinny Broccoli Cheese Soup
  15. Broccolini and Chicken Sausage over Polenta
  16. Chicken Tamale Pie
  17. Creamy Chicken Quinoa Broccoli Casserole
  18. Mustard & Herb Panko-Crusted Chicken Breasts
  19. Red Velvet Crepes w/ Sweet Cream Cheese Filling
  20. Baked Spicy Fries with Garlic Cheese Sauce
  21. Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo
  22. Skinny Lasagna Rolls
  23. Philly Cheese Turkey Sloppy Joes
  24. Chicken Thighs with Mustard Citrus Sauce
  25. Slow Cooker Pepperoni & Chicken
  26. Black Bean Cakes
  27. Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
  28. Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
  29. White Chicken Chili
  30. Creamy Thai Sweet Potatoes & Lentils
  31. Skinny Veggie Lasagna
  32. Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
  33. Seveche-style Shrimp & Avocado Tacos
  34. and then there’s this entire collection on AllRecipes.
Um, yes, please.

Um, yes, please.

I think I’ll be able to survive. 🙂 I hope that these recipes are helpful for you too!

Daily Cute

And, because we all can use a good giggle, here is some Cute.

Exercising My Right To Abstain.

iabstain

Today’s the mid-term election in America. Damn near every post on my Facebook feed is the same digital sticker saying “I voted.” that is otherwise completely devoid of content. For everyone who is proud of themselves for participating, I say, “Good for you!”  I, for one, will be abstaining.

Why?  Because of 3 reasons:

The first is logistical: I can’t get to the polling place.  When we moved to the Chicagoland area, we moved in to my brother-in-law’s house in Romeoville (a town that’s an hour away from where we live now). That’s where my ID says I still live, and hence is where I’m registered to vote.  Yes. I know that I need to get that ID updated. Adam and I have delayed that process because we thought we were going to be getting a house somewhere, and that it would be a lot of unnecessary waiting in line and filling out of paperwork. We expected to live in this apartment for maybe a year.  It’s been almost 3 now. So, we will be remedying that soon. Strictly logistically speaking, thanks to my seizure disorder, I lack the ability to drive way the fuck out there while Adam is at work. So, there’s no way for me to voice my opinion, if I even had one.

The second is practical.  I am not remotely invested in this community, and I am not educated on any of the races. Other than not wanting Bruce Rauner to be governor because his family gave $700,000 to the lobbying groups behind the terribly flawed SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision, I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever on anything that’s being voted on.

Honestly, I am just starting to accept that Chicago is going to be my permanent home, and that I don’t have any say in the matter. I absolutely hated this city before being forced to make the best of being here.   I wanted to live in Los Angeles.  I still do, but I know it will never happen again. I did all the hard work necessary to get out there… but disability completely stripped me of my autonomy. I couldn’t support myself anymore, and when Adam couldn’t get a job there for over 2 years, we had to choose between going to a homeless shelter or moving in with family. Not a tough choice, especially considering that Adam had a job here within a week of our arrival — but it has been a long, difficult adjustment for me.  These days, I look hard to see what’s good about Chicago… (and there’s a lot!) but I still don’t feel like a Chicagoan. I don’t know if I ever will. I feel like the people who live here and love this place should have a louder voice than me when it comes to their local politics.

The third reason is intellectual honesty. I factually know that my vote wouldn’t matter anyway. I would only be playing my part in a nation-wide charade. We are no longer living in a representative democracy. We are living in a society where the only people who make it to the ballot are there because they have the financial support of oligarchs. We are living in a society where votes are lost all the time by malfunctioning hardware, where the Republican party actively works to stop poor people from voting and miraculously has the SCOTUS’s aid in doing so, where the only real votes we have are with our dollars.  You know, because money is speech now. Voting gives us the ability to PRETEND that we have any say in what goes on here. It gives us the ability to PRETEND that we’re not succumbing to neo-feudalism. This pageant gets played out because people buy in to partisan marketing messages and can’t be convinced of truth afterward.  I have had to accept that very, very rich people are the only ones whose voices will actually be heard by our government, and that those people, by and large lack empathy and are out of touch with the needs of the common person.

Personally, I don’t like participating in a farce, even if it’s the “American” thing to do.

Chasing the American Dream

Remember how I said we had a contract on a house? (This would be the 7th house we bid on in the last 6 months…)  Well, we don’t anymore. We had a housing inspector out on Saturday and found out that the property we were slated to buy had all sorts of interesting problems.

Electrical issues! There was no electricity to the kitchen, wiring to the main breaker using wires that aren’t even available in this country, and all of the electricity to the garage was not grounded, and was therefore a fire hazard. Also, the connection to the city’s power was not up to code, and there were wires just randomly sticking out of the ground that could hurt people!

Plumbing issues! All of the spigots on the outside of the house were leaky. None of the showers or tubs drain properly. The sump pumps were both homemade, rigged incorrectly, and non-functional. The whirlpool tub was non-functional. The hot water heater needed to be replaced.

Safety issues!  The door to the basement opened over the stairs. The outside stairs, both in the front and back were irregular in size and could cause people to fall. There were cracks in the foundation.

For these reasons and more, we decided to step away from the property.  At this point, I’m completely over the idea of owning a house. Other than wanting to be closer to family and friends, I don’t see a benefit. Our 2 bed/2 bath apartment has good access to public transportation and damn near everything you could want in walking distance, for a good price.  If Adam finds a place he wants me to check out, I’ll give it a look, but I’m absolutely done spending time on Zillow and RedFin for the time being.

Pregnancy Update

It’s been over a week now since I last worshiped at the porcelain altar! Morning sickness has been replaced with extreme crankiness and bacne.

Tomorrow, we enter week 14. The traditional “size” this week is “lemon.”  I much preferred this graphic, however.

Our next OB appointment isn’t for another 2 weeks, so there really isn’t much to report. Things are just rockin’ along.  I have, however, come to a very important conclusion – and that is that I don’t need to participate in The Bump’s May 2015 mommy board anymore.

Why I left TheBump: Somebody asked about whether or not it’s ok to host your own baby shower, and she got mercilessly flamed. She was told, “If no one throws one for you, you don’t get one.” I jumped in to say that I vehemently disagree, and that Emily Post and Dear Abby’s opinions should never mean more than your personal experience and your genuine relationships with the people in your life. I said that folks are going to be giving their unkind, unwanted opinions regarding motherhood for the rest of time, so she should start getting in good practice on telling people where they can shove those unwanted opinions, and that she should do whatever makes her happy. At that point, I became the target for the catty, hormonal bitches, and decided that if I actually stood by my opinion, the correct next move was to completely ignore theirs.

I have found it interesting, however, that when I’m super cranky, I have an unreasonable desire to click back on that thread and see the mean things that these women have said and get upset and fight.  Resisting that urge has been a big deal for me.

3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Started a new 21-day meditation challenge by Oprah & Deepak Chopra. I always enjoy those.
  2. I was taking the bus home from my chiropractor appointment, and on the second leg of it, when I tapped my Ventra card, it said “insufficient funds.” I started to look for the money, and a total stranger offered her card. She said, “Happened to me just last week, and somebody took care of me. I’m just payin it forward.”
  3. Was an effective housewife – got dinner on the table, did the shopping, did the laundry.

smallactofkindness

Daily Cute

Everyday Earbug

And now, it’s time for me to go do all the things! You know, things like actually eating breakfast… 🙂

Peachy!

peach

Everything All At Once

It wouldn’t be my life if things weren’t quiet and calm for a long time and then suddenly changing all at once.

So yeah, there’s the baby, and that whole situation rocks. But there’s also the house. We’ve got a signed contract on a property right now! We’re scheduled for inspection and appraisal on Saturday. Tonight, I spent over an hour going over mortgage paperwork. And crying… for no real reason at all, thanks to hormones.

I just kept thinking things like, “We’ll never live in this apartment again!” and, “I’ll miss the view and the super-short walks to Walgreens and the grocery store!” and “Why are we even moving?! IT’S SO MUCH WORK.” And then the cars outside started honking incessantly, there were sirens, and the dog wanted to go down… forcing me to get dressed and experience the cold that has taken over our city.

So, other than just being homeowners, there will be other important benefits, like sleeping through the night without being woken 3-4 times by emergency vehicles, having the ability to just let the dog out into the yard when he needs to pee, and having a neighborhood that’s safe enough to go on long walks after dark.
awesome1

3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Lots of cooked roll sushi for dinner.
  2. Two naps!
  3. Adam had to go in to work early, which mean he got home early!

Daily Cute

DOUBLE CUTE FOR NATIONAL CAT DAY!!!!

Everyday Earbug

Finally!

I’ve been keeping a secret.

For the last 2 months, I’ve had a secret to keep. It actually made it really tough to blog because the only thing I really wanted to talk about was something I needed to keep “hush, hush.” Well, it’s finally time to announce…

We’re expecting a baby!

I’m 12 weeks and 2 days pregnant. 🙂  Here’s our first picture from the beginning of week 8.

HushPuppy1-sm-redacted

So far, pregnancy has been pretty good. Sure, there’s been morning sickness, but I’ve had fewer seizures in the last 5 weeks than I have had at any time since I was diagnosed with seizure disorder back in 2008. It’s a trade-off I’d be happy to take for the rest of my life, if it were at all possible.

In many ways, MS prepared me for the first trimester of pregnancy. I mean, there are really a ton of ways that the symptoms of the first trimester of pregnancy looks just like having multiple sclerosis. You get intensely tired in waves without warning. You have to pee damn near all the time. You forget random things and are a bit doofy. You have random, intense mood swings. You get painful leg cramps. If it weren’t for the nausea and vomiting, I honestly wouldn’t even know that there was anything different going on. 🙂

I actually have been feeling better, health-wise, for the last 3 days than I have since 2005. If this is the beginning of what it’s like to have the neuroprotective effects of pregnancy (which happen to ladies with MS during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters), I will very seriously be considering remaining pregnant until they cure MS. 😉

awesome8

3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Adam and I heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. 🙂
  2. My brother, who I haven’t seen in over a year, was in town for business, and I got to spend more than half of the day with him!
  3. When the sellers of the house we bid on at the beginning of the month came back to us with a counter-offer and a ton of addendums, my brother (who just so happens to be both a broker and attorney) helped us get through all the paperwork and feel confident that we understand our risks and obligations.

Daily Cute


In honor of my brother’s pug, Maggie. 🙂

Everyday Earbug


I have had this song stuck in my head for a week straight. No exaggerating. Looking very forward to rocking this someday at karaoke.

coolweekend

Big Day

Well, today’s a big day for me. I have a very important doctor’s appointment this morning, and by some beautiful twist of fate, my brother happens to be in town today! Sure, I’m gonna see him for Thanksgiving in about a month, but I haven’t seen him in over a year – so I’m excited.

Sorry for missing 2 days in a row. I’m really trying to get better at the daily thing.

Yesterday was great. Perfect weather (mostly sunny, in the low 60s), and I had the kind of experience with public transportation in Chicago that is the stuff of legend. I actually walked out of my apartment building, crossed the street, and the bus immediately appeared. When I got off at the stop for the connecting bus, I walked to the vestibule and the next bus immediately appeared. I actually got to my chiropractor appointment 10 minutes early… and after my appointment, I walked back to the stop and the same thing repeated itself. It was just as good as if I had driven myself. If only it could be like that every time!

I also was very excited to have energy, which I haven’t had for a while. I worked on a graphic design project for a new client, which was pretty awesome, since I haven’t advertised or had any clients for well over a year. I also was able to walk to and from the grocery store to get ingredients for dinner, some sushi for lunch, and the few things I needed for making Adam some of the world’s best oatmeal raisin cookies, since he gave blood yesterday. To make things even better, I was able to get some cleaning done around the house and actually bake the cookies. They were ready when Adam walked through the door from work. I was very proud of my wife-y-ness. 🙂

awesome7

3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Perfect transportation experience.
  2. Had fun baking cookies.
  3. Actually made a little bit of money using my skills.

What made YOUR Wednesday wonderful?

 

Daily Cute


This guy needs a dance track. So, I’m gonna put some dance music in EE.

Everyday Earbug

greatday

I’m so doofy, I forgot to title this post for several hours.

Priorities.

I just finished reading a great article on “debugging” our brains. As I was reading it, I came across this gem: facebookforever

Every morning, I wake up, feed the dog, text my husband, and immediately check both my email and Facebook notifications. This sometimes leads me to forgetting to eat breakfast until nearly noon. All I could think was, “How does he know?!”  Rather quickly, I realized, “I’m not the only one.”

Fortunately, the article lead to me getting off the computer (for at least a few minutes) and eating breakfast. I quickly followed that up with starting this entry, lest I forget to blog today.

It’s a beautiful day outside today in Chicago, so if I don’t get dressed and walk around outside for a while, I know I’ll be sore with myself. For me, weather doesn’t get any better than mostly sunny and in the low 60s. Hoodie-optional weather. It’s the best.  Fortunately, I live very close to both Marshalls and a couple of decent grocery stores.  I think when I’m done with this, I’ll put up some laundry to wash, get dressed, and head out to enjoy the weather and go shopping.

Of course, it’ll be easier to finish this entry if I stop bouncing back and forth between writing this, checking a couple of message boards, and answering email… No! Right! NOW! 🙂

So, what are my priorities for today?

  1. Figure out what on earth to make for dinner, so I can get the ingredients while I’m out.
  2. Do laundry so we have clothes to wear.
  3. Maybe even fold some of it… (Ok, let’s be real. This one belongs dead last on the list.)
  4. Make an appointment for Brisco to get groomed.
  5. Unstack the dishwasher.
  6. Do as many of the dishes that are hanging out in the kitchen waiting to be cleaned as I can before I start feeling punk.
  7. Make the bed and refill the humidifier.
  8. Tidy the living room.
  9. Go to the gym or at least get Adam to go on a walk with you for a half hour at the park.

Any more than that, and I know I am setting myself up for failure… so let’s focus on the good to get my attitude moving in the right direction!

Edit – 2 or 3 hours after I initially posted: I didn’t make it out of the house before storm clouds invaded. I constantly forget that my body is in far more control of the outcome of my day than my intentions. I figured out dinner. Laundry is up, dishes are soaking, lunch is baking… and I’m calling that a win.

awesome6

3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Spent some quality time with the in-laws.
  2. Had brunch with some friends we haven’t seen in a long time who are always great to be around.
  3. I know it’s gonna sound cheesy as hell – but there was a moment yesterday when, out of nowhere, Adam came over to me and said, “You need snuggles.” and proceeded to cuddle with me. That was, without a doubt, the best moment of the entire day. I love that man.

What made YOUR Sunday special?
 

Daily Cute

Please ignore that this is a commercial. Without the branding, it’s adorable.

Everyday Earbug

I can’t even explain why I like this song and particular mix so much, but I really do.
 
monday

To Dickfinity and Beyond!

Seriously, id?

“Id, ego, and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction our mental life is described. According to this model of the psyche, the id is the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends; the super-ego plays the critical and moralizing role; and the ego is the organized, realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego. The super-ego can stop one from doing certain things that one’s id may want to do.” (Thanks Wikipedia.)

I am actually awake 2 hours earlier than I usually wake up because my brain will not stop chewing on my mom’s response to me telling her that the meme she posted was uncool. That’s right. I’m actually losing sleep because my brain won’t let it go.

I genuinely want to drop it. I honestly know that nothing good can come from continuing the discussion, enumerating the ways that a meme that she didn’t write is innately hypocritical, or continuing to shame her for it in a public forum where her friends and coworkers can see it. There is zero benefit there. None! It’s not like she’s going to thank me for enlightening her. The very best case scenario ends in her apologizing and admitting that I’m right, which means she’ll be upset, and I don’t relish the idea of needlessly upsetting my mother.

But my id doesn’t give a single, solitary fuck. It is chewing on it like a dog with a bone and does not want to quit fighting about it until she admits that I’m right and that the meme is stupid.

countfucksgiven

I mean, seriously, it’s one thing for someone on the internet to be wrong. But for my own mother to be the one on the internet that is wrong? *BRAINSPLOSION* 

This comic does a better job of describing the situation than I ever could. I am desperately, intensely striving for Level Two.  I’m already being a dick. My id, however, dwells in Dickfinity.

The Ultimate Flowchart

awesome3

Well, this morning could definitely use some awesome. I gotta turn this trainwreck around.

3 Great Things About Yesterday

  1. Got some new clothes that I feel confident and beautiful in.
  2. Ate way too many pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.
  3. Was surprised to find out that Rush Hour 3 exists, and enjoyed mostly ignoring it while doing other things.

Daily Cute

Everyday Earbug

This band is what would happen if Black Sabbath, Heart, and Jethro Tull had a 3 way gangbang and ended up with a baby. I’m pretty sure Dad will dig their stuff.