Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Goodness For Your Salad- A Recipe

Of all recipes to share, a salad dressing one seems slightly ridiculous.  So trust that I wouldn't bother sharing it here if I didn't find it absolutely drool worthy. I originally was searching for a recipe to mimic the type of dressing you often get at a Thai restaurant, and while this dressing is nothing like it, it has all the similar sesame and garlic flavors that I so love.  I have made it three times since my original go at it, so give it a try!  You can find the original recipe here, I'll include the slight changes I made below.

Asian Vinaigrette:
* First off, I already ignored the directions and didn't bother using my food processor, just a whisk to keep it all mixed nicely.

In a bowl or jar, combine:
3T rice vinegar
1T sugar (generally I'd use agave nectar)
3T soy sauce (Bragg's liquid aminos are a great alternative!)
1T ginger (Ok I admit, I never bother with fresh ginger because the smell and taste disgust me, but I used powdered and it was definitely mild enough that I loved it)
1/2 teaspoon garlic (No thank you, I probably quadrupled that suggestion. Garlic makes life better!)

I started whisking at this point, and kept it up as the following oils were slowly added in...

2 (generous, yum!)T sesame oil
1/2c oil of your choice. (I enjoy grapeseed, olive, or a Mediterranean blend)

When it's all nicely mixed, add in 1 Tablespoon of sesame seeds, and chopped green onion.  The recipe called for 1 Tablespoon, but I chopped a few onions, so quite a bit more than 1T. Just do it to taste.  Next time I might add some hot cock (Sriracha) for added kick and goodness. Voila!

This dressing made the most delicious addition to an already awesome meal, on the night a friend and I made homemade sushi with brown rice and smoked salmon that Eric helped smoke in AK!


 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Day!

*this was written yesterday (Sunday)

I haven't started a pregnancy journal this pregnancy, and to be honest, as we are almost half way done I probably won't at this point.  But that doesn't mean I won't document the milestones, and even the little day to day tidbits as this wee one grows.  This will just be the place where it happens, rather than in a half-filled journal.  And so... I'm stopping in quickly today because we hit a milestone indeed.  I felt this little one moving today!!  It has taken much patience, waiting to feel those first little squiggles this time.  You so often hear how you'll feel movements earlier, and show sooner etc. with your second pregnancy.  I have experienced the opposite in all of those areas.  I am 18 weeks and 2 days right now, and at this point I was feeling those little thuds from Henry quite frequently.  5 more days from now and Eric felt his little kicks from the outside as a little farewell gift from H as I prepared to leave Anchorage for a trip back to Iowa.  I keep trying to remind myself to stop comparing every detail of the pregnancies.  Each one is different and differences are not a sign of a problem.  I know that.  But my pregnancy with H is all I know, so I think comparing is natural. I have been fully confident that all is well even though I have not been able to feel this babe up to this point.   But that doesn't make the wait any easier when for weeks you expect to feel them sooner.  Dang anterior placenta, I hate the extra cushion between the baby and myself.  But this morning as I was waking up to a million tiny hugs and kisses from a sweet little boy, there they were.  Those precious little taps, that went on for a full five minutes.  I was on my stomach, which probably made it a bit easier to feel.  (Yes, I still sleep on my stomach, as there's really nothing getting in the way yet.  I stopped at about 14 weeks last time and am loving still sleeping that way)
The relief was enormous, and the excitement was of course huge.  I never tire of those sweet movements, and have so been looking forward to them this time.  They were much lighter than they were with H, I don't think I would have felt them had I not been on my stomach and lying still. But it just shows that we are only a short ways away from this baby being strong enough to really let me have it, and I absolutely cannot wait.  It's a happy day.

I feel like the bump looks bigger here than it really does. 
But Eric tells me that this is, in fact, what I look like. Excuse
the little monkey climbing his way into the shot.
18 weeks with Henry, for comparison. I felt bigger than I do now.


I keep having to remind myself not to slip up on calling this one "he" or "she" here just yet, even though we are fairly certain we know from a peek we got in AK.  The official ultrasound is next week, so I'll fill you all in after that. 




Friday, January 18, 2013

As long as I'm on the topic of cleaning and decluttering..

A couple of days ago I wrote about my growing urge to get things around here clean, and rid our house of the clutter that seems to constantly bog it (and me) down.  I just noticed that I've had a page up on my computer for what seems like ages, a 30 day schedule for cleaning your house by Apartment Therapy. I honestly cannot remember how I stumbled upon it, Pinterest maybe?  But I thought it was perfect for someone like me, who at this very stage has trouble getting past the initial phase of surface cleanup.  I wanted to pass it along in case any of you would find it helpful.  I am feeling extra inspired to follow it, or use it as a guideline at least and make the days productive!  Maybe it's because the sun has been shining, the snow is melting, and I am being fooled into thinking it's time for spring cleaning?  Who knows, but I'm going with it... because the forecast calls for -20 degree temperatures and so soon you may find me right back in the napping chair where I have set up shop for the first three months of this pregnancy.  I really hope not! 
We made it to Friday, so have a truly wonderful weekend!

-V

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Decluttering.

Is it Wednesday already?  I have to say, since we have returned from Alaska just over a week ago, the days have been flying by.  I cannot say the same about the months between our move here and our trip back, but I am ever so thankful for busier days these last few.  However, I'm currently enjoying a quiet moment in our just-cleaned living room.  Every year I think taking down the Christmas tree and holiday decorations will make the living space feel lonely and empty, but I finally got around to it today and I am loving the clean space.  Our tree was cozy this year, and I left it up a few extra weeks since we were gone for two over the holidays, but clutter has been driving me nutty recently.  Which is wonderful in  a way, because since becoming pregnant I have been lacking motivation (as in, non existent) in the cleaning and tidying department.  It feels wonderful to both hate the clutter AND have more energy to deal with it!  My next goal is to pick up where we left off with decorating, and making the place feel like us.  We got it to a comfortable level in the first six months here, and although we won't be in this house that much longer (August) these next months are important ones, that I imagine will leave us with loads of memories and I want them to be in a space that felt like home.  I think back to our first house in Alaska, and that wasn't perfect either but I have so many vivid memories from that house because it is where we spent our pregnancy with Henry, and where we spent our first months together as a family of three.  I hope to look back at our year in this house fondly too, as it is the home in which we will be growing into a family of four.  Decorations and belongings don't mean that much, but feeling good in your space is important.  And since I will be giving birth in this house, I am even more motivated to love it.  Since we are still adjusting to being a one-income household for the time being, and big things are coming up in the near future, there won't be much money to put towards decorations, and like I said I'm not looking for clutter. But luckily, there are lovely crafty people and bloggers out there who have made it easier than ever to find inexpensive but personal small touches for the home, or tutorials on how to make them (thank you, Pinterest).  So if energy sticks with me, and it sure does come and go...I will be spending time in the near future searching for a few things. 
My main goals are to:
-Find a few more prints for our gallery wall, Henry's room, and our bedroom
-Find an old end table and repurpose it
-Do the same with a funky lamp
-Turn the playroom into a brighter, cozier space and tuck away baby toys in place of "big boy" toys
  (Henry has been really eager to learn the abc's and count, so I will be putting some pictures up in the room to help with that!  He makes the cutest attempts, basically jibberish but in the same tone and pattern that I use while counting or singing abc's.)

So that's that, now I've put my intentions out there, hold me to it!
Have you all been over to The Handmade Home?  This site is nothing short of brilliant, and I think I'll spend a lot more time there from here on out!

Enjoy the rest of your week friends.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Baby.

Hi to you all!
I hate coming on here so rarely these days, and spending an entire post apologizing for my absence.  So I am not going to do that, all I can do is say that my intention is to spend more time here in the near future.  I really do love it, but occasionally allow it to make me feel pressured when there is already enough of that.  My attitude towards it is better now though, I just want to come back to this being a fun place to write.  A whole lot has happened in the past few months, and part of me so regrets skipping out on all the opportunities to write it all down.  But it seems like a true break was needed and I will just be starting fresh from here.  If you follow me on facebook or twitter/instagram (@grownorth) then you know what our little family has been up to, but for any of you who don't, here's a quick overview:
We took a wonderful trip to Denver in the fall...
Found out our family is growing by one little person this June (YAY!)
And we just got back two days ago from a two week, much needed trip back to Anchorage.
I will post about our trip soon, and you can be sure you'll be hearing a lot more about the pregnancy from here on out.  I wanted to write sooner, but was waiting until the point where I really had things to say about it and so far, it has been fairly uneventful! 
We are due June 21 which puts me at 16 weeks right now.  Almost half way done already, so I figured it was high time to write about it!
At this point all I can do is compare it to my pregnancy with Henry, but I imagine in the coming weeks I'll have new things to report about this pregnancy alone. 
Similarities so far:
*No morning sickness (Thank you, universe and baby!)
*Vivid, strange dreams that make me feel like I'm awake all night
*Mild insomnia

Differences:
*I had no food aversions this time, which was amazing! I could eat anything I wanted to, but also didn't have any early "cravings".  With Henry I couldn't stand chicken or vegetables, and basically only wanted mac and cheese and turkey dogs (yuck!)  The turkey theme stuck and later on I wanted turkey subs followed by turkey pot pie. This time, nothing stands out as overly fabulous but I hope that comes a bit later on.
*My placenta is anterior this time, rather than posterior like it was with Henry.  It's an odd thing to be disappointed about, but I find it rather frustrating.  It's right in the front between the baby and my belly so I can't feel any movement.  I felt Henry kicking at 17 weeks, and saw it from the outside at 19.  We had hoped to feel a little light movement by now, but nothing because of the placenta.
*I didn't gain any weight with H until 15 weeks, despite a less than ideal diet at the beginning due to aversions.  This time I've eaten my regular diet, but started gaining immediately.
*I was eating Tums like candy by now with H, but only very occasional mild heartburn this time so far.
*My shape is so different.  Which I'm sure is partly because it's just a different baby and pregnancy, and partly because I didn't go back to pre pregnancy shape after Henry.  I was back to my weight, but never quite the same body.  I am stuck in this maybe-she-ate-too-much-holiday-food stage, whereas my bump was really firm and becoming noticeable at this time last pregnancy.  I relied on my belly band to wear my pants with H, but this time I still button all my regular pants.  So strange! We will see how things change soon.
Edit: I keep forgetting things!  Just further proof that I need to be documenting or this entire pregnancy will just whirl right by me without remembering a single detail. So one more large difference:
*Fatigue.  I was far more fatigued during the beginning of this pregnancy.  Requiring daily naps which I never take, and unable to stay awake past 8:30 most nights.  With H I was working full time and while I was tired, I was able to make it through the day without problem.  I remember thinking I wasn't as tired as many said I'd be.  Well it hit this time!
*With that being said, I felt good enough to still exercise early on which I didn't do until second tri last time.
*I've had a few weeks of general lack of motivation. Where doing the dishes, or cleaning, or getting anything done at all just seems like a daunting, miserable task.  Not convenient. Luckily I think I'm past that now.
Overall, I feel generally less pregnant this time around, which is the opposite of what I expected.
We were lucky in Anchorage to sneak a little peek at the peanut in there on ultrasound at work, and got a good idea of whether it's a boy or girl... stay tuned!