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Archive for June, 2010

Its 4am, but given that I have found no time to say hi at any other time of day, I am logging in bright and early.  I am always up this early Monday through Thursday, when I have class.  But usually, I like to ease my way into the day by just reading the news, checking Babycenter updates, and reading some of your posts.  Its early to write coherently!  But its been a week since I have posted anything and I don’t want anyone to think I have abandoned blogging with no explanation.  I have simply been living chemistry from morning to night!

My finish line is in sight….. tomorrow is my final (I am so nervous!), and then this weekend, we move!  I have another course that has just started, but it is on-line and will be much less demanding.  So by this time next week, I will be in full nesting mode, trying to unpack and settle into our new home.

Last weekend I spent 8 hours each day working on chemistry labs and assignments.  In 4 years of college and 3 years of graduate school, this has been, by far, the most stressful course I have ever taken.  Being pregnant, in a hot lab for 3 hour stretches twice a week has not been fun at all!  Planning for a baby and buying/moving into a new house on top of it, has had me in quite the frenzy. And those hormones coursing through me don’t help matters!

Fortunately, I have amazing, supportive people around me.  Dave has been packing bit by bit every weekend. And then last weekend, while I studied, my mom came up and packed up my entire kitchen!  On Saturday, they both carried (I’m estimating here) 30-40 boxes up a flight of stairs from our apartment to their cars, and brought a total of 4 carloads over to the new house.  That will make this weekend’s furniture move easier to manage.  I can’t do any heavy lifting anyway right now.  But I literally did not lift a finger the entire weekend.  I studied while they passed by with boxes, sweating in the 85 degrees and humidity. This weekend, we’ll even have the support (and the muscles) of my brother to help in the heavy lifting!  I am so thankful to him for taking this time, as he has just started a new graduate program this week!

I cannot even put into words how  grateful I am to Dave and to my mom.  I love you both so much and I thank you for supporting me, loving me, and (particularly Dave) putting up with my emotions and general grumpiness.  This class is almost over, and without the intense stress, I think I can get a handle on the hormones!  🙂

I will try to post again on Friday, before I lose internet for the weekend.  I owe you all (or at least my family) some belly pictures!  Hopefully, Comcast will get everything up and running right away after the long weekend, and I will be back to blogging more consistently on Tuesday.

Forgive me for mot commenting too much.  I miss knowing what is going on in all of your lives and I am looking forward to catching up next week.  Thank you for all of the kind comments and emails.  I have a wonderful family, and a great community of bloggers getting me through this!

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Today was the day!  We did it!  We are homeowners!

We signed the papers today.  But it doesn’t totally feel real yet because we aren’t moving in for a couple of weeks.  This weekend my mom is coming to help pack (while I study 😦 )  and Dave will take some car loads over to the new house.  Then the following weekend, we’ll rent the truck and move the real furniture.  I should say Dave will move the real furniture.  We are hiring my brother and a couple of of friends to help in the lifting since I am pretty useless in that regard.  I can watch and direct traffic!  🙂

Why am I useless?!  Well, I am getting bigger by the day!  Dave says I’m still small, but I feel ginormous!!  This pictures doesn’t adequately show how huge my belly is my the end of the day.  My belly button is going to go any week now!  By evening, my innie is flat….and its only a matter of time before it goes from being flat to being an outie!

For all of you pregnant bloggers out there (and there are a lot of us now!), you have to check out the ipad app from pampers.com!  It is the coolest thing ever!  You select what week you are in your pregnancy and it shows you what your baby looks like.  But that’s not the cool part….the cool part is that when you tap the screen, it shows you the size of your baby.  (So a 17 week fetus fits just fine on the ipad screen.  But my 25 week baby is falling off the screen!

That’s a sizable baby in there!  It makes the strength of all those kicks and jabs much more understandable!

Dave is obviously home now, since we closed on the house today.  But he was gone the last couple of days…. I ate the same thing for dinner both nights and I have a new favorite!

I told you how I am incorporating some gluten back into my life for things I just haven’t found substitutes for.  Well, one of those things is bread…specifically, Joseph’s flax and oat Lavash bread.

These babies are huge, soft and doughy, and you can fit lots of goodies inside.  I also love the nutritional stats.  100 calories for the whole wrap (which I love because I’d rather have 100 calories worth of bread with lots packed inside, than a 300 calories bagel).  10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber round it out for me.  Not bad in my book!

The sodium is a bit high, but I don’t eat a lot of salt or processed food, so I don’t worry about it too much.

Going so long without gluten, I could eat this bread alone and be happy!  But its the filling that pushed this off the charts…

That’s peanut butter, banana, and strawberries!  It would have been good rolled up just like that.  But I put it in the panini maker.  The peanut butter melts and the banana almost liquifies in the heat!

Oooey, gooey deliciousness!

I am a happy girl tonight….I am a new homeowner and my hubby is home again!  How will we celebrate???  I believe we have Monday’s episode of the Bachelorette waiting on the DVR!  🙂

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What Weekend?!

Did we have a weekend?  I don’t remember it.  Actually, it was a beautiful weekend here.  Unfortunately, I put in about 8 hours of studying each day.  This course is more intense than I ever imagined!  But its over in another week and a half, so I just have to plow through.

I did get to take one fun break over the weekend to meat up with Heather and her husband, Matt.  Heather and I have met a couple of times and have had so much fun getting to know one another.  It was fun to turn this meeting into a double date!  🙂  Dave and I met Heather and Matt at Legacy Place in Dedham.  It was a beautiful night out, so we all chose different dinner options and met back at an outdoor table to eat.

Legacy Place is home to a giant Whole Foods that opened just this past year.  Even with so many food choices at this outdoor mall, I can’t be in the proximity of a Whole Foods and not take advantage of their salad bars!  This place is so impressive…it has a couple of salad bars, a hot bar, and a dessert bar.  They even have an antipasto bar in another section of the store.  I was so excited for my packed salad (and hungry too!) that I forgot to snap a picture until I was well into it!

I love that they have grilled vegetables as well that you can add to your salad.  It adds a whole different flavor!

I wish I had more exciting weekend stories to share, but I highly doubt anyone wants to hear about nucleophilic substitution reactions or calculating the Hydrogen Deficiency Index of a compound!  I have a take home exam that will be posted on-line any minute so its time to get my notes in order.  A fun afternoon ahead!

I hope everyone has a great start to the week!

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What a Week!

I don’t know what happened to the week!  I feel like I have my head buried in the sand (or my organic chemistry notes!) and time is just passing me by!  This class is so much harder than I anticipated…..and I knew it would be hard.  I haven’t taken one day off since it began and I am really feeling it.

The only thing unrelated to chemistry that I can report on this past week is baby news.  Here am I am 24 weeks!  🙂

My jeans still fit.  I just have to wear them low (thanks goodness for low-rise).  Shirts are becoming an issue.  I need to get a couple of longer tops so that they don’t ride up on my belly.  Sometimes my belly doesn’t look too round, but by the end of the day, my belly is much bigger than in the above pictures.  I can already see my bellybutton wanting to flip by the end of the day!

Monday was also  my 24 week doctor’s appointment.  It was just the monthly checkin with the doctor, but it ended up being a bit more involved.    At 24 weeks, the doctor thought I was measuring a little small, so she ordered an ultrasound.  You don’t really want to hear anything other than “everything is perfect!”  But a part of me was excited to be able to get a bonus ultrasound.  That glimmer of excitement was short-lived when we found out that the ultrasound tech was done for the day at that point, so I had to make an appointment for the next day.

A whole night of worrying about what it means to be measuring small!  Dave wasn’t worried.  His mom wasn’t worried.  My mom wasn’t worried.  Me???  I didn’t sleep!  And then I had to get through 4 hours of chemistry lecture and lab before being able to duck out for the ultrasound.  Its a good thing I didn’t blow anything up in the lab….I was a little bit distracted!  🙂

I met Dave at 1:30 for the ultrasound and they took us right in.  The tech said she sees many people who measure small and who are just fine.  She was very nice and tried to put me at ease.  As soon as she put the wand on my belly we could see him moving around.  It never fails to bring tears to my eyes.  The tech started taking measurements and within minutes she was able to say that he was measuring just right.  As soon as I heard that, I really enjoyed the ultrasound and was so grateful to get to see him again.  She measured his head, abdomen, legs, arms….  Everything was just right.  He is in the 56th percentile and weighs 1 pound, 8 ounces.  I might be small but he’s not.  He’s just right!

We got another set of pictures to take with us, but I have to admit, the pictures are just not as clear with the later ultrasounds.  When he was smaller, you could see all of him in the picture and could really tell what you were looking at.  Here’s Baby G at 12 weeks…

You can definitely see his head, body, and hand.  But now, he is so big that only one part of him fits in the picture at one time.  Here’s Baby G at 24 weeks…

Its a profile shot!  Isn’t he cute!  You can even see his clinched hands beneath his chin!  Now that I know everything is fine, I am so happy to have been able to see him again.  I feel him move all the time (he’s really strong!), but its so nice to actually see him.  I wish those 3-4/D ultrasounds weren’t so expensive.  I’d love to get one!

Time to disconnect for the night.  It’s Friday, and I still need to watch the Bachelorette from Monday!  I ‘m so behind!  I’ll try to check in again soon.  I am really looking forward to finishing this class and getting back into the blogging groove!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone and thanks for continuing to read!  🙂

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Whew!  Its Thursday night already!  Where have I been all week, you ask?  Buried under my organic chemistry work!  I have had a lot of school.  4 years of undergraduate schooling, one year of Masters program#1, and two years of Master program#2.  And after all that….this is the hardest class I have ever taken!  I actually think I would be feeling okay about it if it were a regular semester-long class.  But fitting a semester into 6 weeks, this course is kicking my butt!  It moves so fast that my mind just can’t take it all in.

I had a 5 hour lecture today!!  That’s a lot of information to take in, understand, and then retain.  But I will survive it.  And I’ll try to check in when I can to let you know I’m still alive.

As I said earlier in the week, I have been allowing myself a bit of gluten in the form of my favorite panini wrap….Joseph’s Flax and Oat Lavash bread.  100 calories of soft, fiber-ful bread.  I haven’t found anything gluten-free that is like real bread!  Today’s lunch featured another panini….and let me tell you….this little bit of gluten-ful bliss every day or two is making me so happy!

This beauty had: a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, salmon, tomato, cucumber, spinach, artichoke, and a couple squirts of spicy mustard.  It made Alkyl Halides and Carboxylic Acids a little easier to take!  🙂

I have been trying to keep up with all of you, but please forgive me if I am not commenting as much.  Once I get through this class and move into our new house, I will be breathing easier.  July 4th weekend is my finish line.  I will be starting a new Anatomy course as this course ends, but it won’t be nearly as bad.  And after the 4th of July weekend, we will be snug in our new home!

Thanks for hanging in there with me and continuing to read!

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What a weekend!  We had some wild weather here in Boston!  But it made it a little easier to be locked away indoors working on chemistry.  With this course condensed into 6 weeks, there is really no way to get through than to give up your weekends.  But it will be over soon and then I can focus on an easier anatomy course in July and August.

I did get to take a couple of breaks over the weekend….It was my 10 year college reunion (can’t believe it!) and a few friends were in town. It was fun to go to lunch and catch up.  I love how I can see these girls so rarely, and we can fall right back into easy conversation. 

I also got to take a break on Sunday to visit our new house.  There was some work done and we went to check it out.  It looks great and we seem to be on track to close on time!

Laundry to was also on the to-do list over the weekend…  Dave came home last week, after a business trip and side trip to visit our nephews.  His suitcase was full of baby boy clothes that my dear sister-in-law sent us.

I had so much fun looking at all of the itty bitty newborn clothes!  Look at this onesie next to my hand….so tiny!

A big thank you to Lisa for sending us so many clothes!

Unfortunately, Dave packed all of the baby clothes in with his running shoes and workout clothes….so into the wash went all of the clothes!  I didn’t realize how long it takes to fold such tiny pieces of clothing!

Right now, everything is packed in boxes and ready for the move.  I am so happy to have so many newborn clothes to get us started.  But it will be a while until we need them…. 17 more weeks to go!  Here’s a look at the 23 week belly…

So far my 7ish pounds seem to be mostly in my belly.  I have always wanted to be one of those pregnant woman with the cute little basketball belly…. so far, so good.  I would love to keep the butt and legs I worked so hard for!

I’ll leave you with my favorite gluten-ful treat from the weekend.  This eggplant parmesan panini was amazing!  I think I’ll be making the same thing again with my leftovers.  I sliced and baked an eggplant, then put four slices on a Joseph’s Lavash wrap with hummus, mozzarella cheese, artichokes, a tomato slices.  Then I squashed it in the panini press.  With a side of marinara sauce for dipping, this was perfect!

I am going to try to keep up with blogging, but I am likely going to be a little more spotty with my posting as I try to get through this course and pack up our apartment.  Bear with with me!  June and July are going to be two crazy months….but in the end, I will have another course done and a new home to enjoy!

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Things on my mind in the month of June:

  • Learning a semester’s worth of information in Organic Chemistry (The amount of information is unreal!  Shoot me now!)
  • We move in a month!  When are we going to pack???  (see above)
  • Finalizing our baby registry so I don’t have to think about that when we are moving and settling in.
  • Researching treadmills and ellipticals for the new house (no more apartment gym 😦  )
  • Trying to push through the pregnancy aches and pains.  The tummy stretching is crazy.  I am slathering on the Bio Oil to try to defend myself against stretch marks (for whatever good it does!)  I roll over in bed and it feels like a knife in my side.  Round ligament pain sounds like such a nice, friendly term for such an uncomfortable feeling.

This is all very exciting….I’ve wanted to have a baby and own my own home for my entire adult life, so I feel very blessed.  But it’s a little overwhelming too.

They say you shouldn’t comfort yourself with food, but let’s face it….food is comforting!  I’ve been falling off the gluten-free wagon quite a bit lately, giving into my cravings.  There are some things I have found great gluten-free substitutes for…. pasta for example.  As much as I love the real thing, I am satisfied with rice pasta, shirataki noodles and spaghetti squash.  I have also found Chebe to be a great mix for gluten-free pizza dough.  And using polenta as a crust is also very satisfying.

But bread is another story.  And wraps! I miss wraps!  Especially Joseph’s Lavash wraps made into a paninis.  I have found no satisfying substitute.  So this week, I broke down and bought a package.

*If you’re new to my blog, I don’t have Celiac and there is no evidence that I am damaging my intestines by eating gluten(as is the case when a Celiac eats gluten).  My test showed that my intestines are properly absorbing nutrients.  However, the test showed I am gluten intolerant, which to me, means that gluten is a trigger for my IBS, the way many insoluble fiber foods are.  It is best when I avoid it as much as possible.  But frankly, right now, it is hard to tell whether a funky tummy feeling is due to IBS or whether it is due to my intestines being squeezed out of place by a growing uterus!*

My paninis are so good, that right now, its worth it!  I won’t have them all the time, and I won’t have more than one a day, so these have felt like a real treat.  Here’s a sampling:

Hummus, Laughing Cow, Spinach, and Tomato Panini

Melted Peanut Butter and Banana Panini

So incredibly good!

And while on the subject of things that are incredibly good….I have a new summer staple.  And this one is gluten free!  I will preface this by saying that I am on a mission to find ice cream substitutes…  My ice cream consumption has been over the top this summer!  I have no plans to stop eating it, but I do need to curb the daily consumption. (Not because daily ice cream consumption is bad.  If you can have a bowl and be done with it, I think its a healthy treat.  But I have not been able to stop at a bowl.  I think I’ll blame pregnancy! 🙂  )

Enter my new simple concoction!  I brewed some decaf coffee and let it sit in the refrigerator until cold.  Then I added it, along with a scoop of Light Vanilla Muscle Milk protein powder, a dash of xanthan gum, and a large handful of ice to my Magic Bullet.  Magic is right!  It was thick and creamy and very satisfying.  And 100 calories too!

I’ve made one everyday this week and plan to continue!  Next time I will add Chocolate Muscle Milk for a Mocha flavor!  Its like a Frappachino, but healthier!  🙂

Dave is going to be home in just a couple of hours so I am going to cram in a bit of studying and a phone chat with my mom before he arrives.  Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

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