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Posts Tagged ‘stress’

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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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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Just Checking in!

I don’t want you all to forget me so I am checking in with a pretty blah post.  I wish I had more time to be interesting, but lately it’s been all school, all the time!

I have never really thought of myself a being really good at any one thing…. But back when I was in school (the first time!), I was a good student.  I was really good at being a student.  It was one of the reasons I chose to go right to grad school after college….I didn’t know what else to do, and I knew I would do well in school….so I stayed in school for another 3 years and 2 masters degrees.  Just as an aside, this is the wrong reason to go to grad school!  It turned out alright in the end, but because I didn’t really have enough life experience at the time to really know what I wanted to do, I didn’t end up doing what I really wanted to.  Now, having figured out what I really want to do, I am back in school and back to being a student.

Because I was always good at being a student I think people look at me as a bit of an over-achiever.  A bit of a perfectionist.  In the last week I have gotten myself really worked up as finals approach.  I have done well all semester, and I am still terrified of not doing well.  But I insist to people that I am not just an over-achiever or a perfectionist.  Sure, I am sometimes.  But the reason I am so nervous this time around is that I have taken such a leap of faith in making this career change.  We lost my salary so that I can take these prerequisites….all in the hopes that my grades will be good enough to get me into the dietetics program I want.  I need to do well because if I don’t get into this very competative program at the end of all this, these 4 semesters of prerequisites will be all for nothing!  I am trying not to think about that, but I still feel a lot of pressure.  A lot more than I ever did the first time around.

Fortunately, this time around, I not only have most supportive mom in the world, I also have an equally supportive husband.  Between my mom and Dave, I have been put back together and I am going into the next 7 intense days feeling calmer than I have in the last week.  I just have to keep breathing and not look too far into the future. I have finished all of my pre-finals work and I have completed my Medical Terminolgy final, so I am in good shape.

Still to go:

  • Wednesday: Chemistry Final Part 1 Wed.
  • Friday: Stats
  • Saturday: Biology Final is due
  • Monday: Chemistry Final Part 3 and the take home portion (part 2) is due

Sandwiched in between biology and chem part 3 is a blogger meetup on Saturday and Dave’s birthday on Sunday!  Oy! Looks like I am going to have to miss another blogger gathering.  Even Dave’s birthday is being postponed a day until my last final is over.  (He has no problem putting off 33 for one more day!)

I have managed to get in some good exercise and eat breaks in all of this craziness.  Yesterday was a great 10.3 mile run, and today, I did some easy ellipticating.  I would lose it completely if I didn’t have exercise as an outlet for stress.

Dinner last night was one of my favorites!  Spaghetti squash with chickpeas, marinara sauce and artichoke hearts.  Such a great combinations.  Speghetti squash is so pretty!

All pretty!

And all mixed together!

Dave now accepts that he loves butternut squash.  But spaghetti squah….not so much.  So he made his own dinner.  Granted, he just made a Trader Joe’s bagged meal.  But he made it all by himself while I studied and he didn’t ask a single question!  He even made his own soda in the Soda Stream!

I know I have been a sporadic and not-so-exciting blogger lately.  But I plan to spend some time in between semesters trying to become a little more creative.  And definitely playing more in the kitchen!

And to get you coming back this week…. Dave will be writing his very first guest post in the next couple of days.  I have no idea what he wants to write about, but he’s a great writer, with one book already under his belt.  Stay tuned…..

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A big thank you to everyone who sent me support and pep talks after last night’s post.  I had just reached my limit in terms of trying to take in new information.  I needed a break, so I turned off the computer and watched Sunday’s “Desperate Housewives” while comfort eating more ice cream than I needed.  Waking up to so many supportive comments really helped me to take a fresh look at everything.

I got a lot accomplished.  I tidied up my chem. lab report, studied my medical terminology, and spent 5 hours on statistics. And somewhere in there, I vacuumed the apartment!

Lunch was well earned and very yummy!  In a brown rice tortilla, I put Laughing Cow cheese, a scrambled egg, tomato, and lettuce.  Then I put it in the panini maker.  I am getting used to the brown rice tortillas.  They are definitely a different texture, but actually quite good in their own way.

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While I was working hard all afternoon, Jack did this:

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He followed the sun as it moved across the floor.  It’s a rough life he leads!

After four hours of stats practice, I felt confident enough to take this week’s quiz.  While taking my the test,  I was hopping up to the kitchen and back to monitor my vegetables in the oven.  Thankfully, my test didn’t suffer from being slightly distracted…I got a 94%!  I rock!

I had a lot of veggies to cook up, so I made a huge pan of roasted vegetables to use throughout the week.  I also made my version of egg plant parmesan.  Because I am still finding success in abstaining from gluten, I dipped my agg plant slices in egg and then in ground flax seed (instead of bread crumbs).  It was healthier, and I think I liked the crispiness of the flaxseed crust better.  I served my eggplant with shiritaki noodles and marinara sauce mixed with a scoop of the roasted vegetables.

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I stacked the egg plant slices, after they had baked, and sandwiched ricotta cheese in the middle before putting back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.  It was a yummy addition!

For Dave, my gluten-loving hubby, I roasted some potatoes with salt and pepper (at the same time as the veggies), cooked up some corn from the farmers market, and topped some chicken (that I had cooked the other night) with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.  There may have been a couple of crescent rolls as well…

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Right now, I am baking another apple.  I think I have it down now.  I’ll take a picture and post it tomorrow.

I have a couple other things I want to make this week.  After reading about Melissa’s stuffed peppers, I know what my remaining pepper is destined for!  I also want to try this again:

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When my brother was visiting, the boys got Chinese food.  So I mad myself some spring rolls.  I was so impressed, I can’t wait to make them again.  I shredded some carrot, summer squash,and zucchini, added some tomato and tuna, and heated it all up with some Asian spices sprinkled in.  Then I stuffed for rice wrappers with the mixture.  Dipped in some gluten-free Tamari soy sauce, they were amazing!

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I love days like this where I actually feel like I got somewhere in chipping away at my to-do list.  It’s a good feeling!  Thank you again to all of you and to my wonderful husband for helping me to make a fresh start today!

What do you do when you need to recharge?  Anything in particular that helps you destress? Exercise is a biggie for me.  Good tv, snuggled with my honey, is also at the top of my list!  (Then there is the excessive consumption of ice cream that occurs from time to time!)

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