Monday, August 30, 2010

Dreaming Of Sleeping

On the IPOD "Shine On" By: Ryan Cabrera

Do you ever feel like you can't wait to get into bed... I mean not a normal "Oh I'm so tired", but more like a "you're the best bed I've ever had in my life and my pillows are my new best friends!" Yeah it sounds bad but if you are or have been pregnant I'm guessing you know exactly where I'm coming from... Unfortunately waking up at 3 am with killer heartburn was not part of the plan...

This week is another crazy work week, it's part two of the back to school rush. Tomorrow's menu includes:

Beef and Barley Soup
Pan-seared Filet Mignon
with Roasted Asparagus
Lemon Sole Picatta
with Oven Baked Potato Wedges
Grilled Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Creamy Tuna Salad
Chicken Salad
Beef Soft Tacos
Honey Baked Ham
with Sauteed Green beans

After work I'm heading to Nia and then taking it easy before a huge cook day for clients in Fort Worth on Wednesday. I am getting a little bit nervous about working so much while in the last half of this pregnancy but I guess I'm just going to take it one day at a time and see how it goes...

I'm going to make myself fall back asleep, hopefully...

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When A Craving Goes Bad!

On the IPOD "Please Speak Well Of Me" By: The Weepies

So yesterday I was watching a little "Everybody loves Raymond" and in walks Marie with a two layer cross cake...well that got me thinking about a two layer white cake with buttercream frosting for dinner and to tell you the truth the one I wanted was the said cross cake. Unfortunately a Jewish girl doesn't really know where to by a cross cake! So let's just say it ended with me driving to the store and buying a white cake with buttercream frosting and eating it with a plastic fork from the deli in the store parking lot. (And yes I wish I'd worn my "I'm Pregnant" t-shirt so that I didn't feel so bad walking out of the store with a cake and a plastic fork!) My thought was that I would buy just one piece so that I could take care of the craving and then I wouldn't have any leftovers but as you can see from the picture above the smallest one they had was a single layer 8x8 and yes I did bring it home and yes I just recently took a couple more bites. So yes that is two days worth of cake eating... (Notice the scraped off icing that I thought was saving me some calories!)

Although I don't want to make this a habit... So far weight gain has not been an issue, I actually lost weight over the weekend which nobody is really thrilled about. I think it is due to the fact that I just keep getting sick for one, second is that I'm really trying to eat every two hours which I'm starting to think really could help me lose weight after the pregnancy and that maybe at 5 months pregnant I just don't have the room to consume enough calories to gain weight. I'm not complaining, although I do feel like at some point I'm sure it will catch up with me. Besides the cake other current favorites are watered down apple juice with lots and lots of crushed ice and thin spaghetti with turkey meatballs and arrabbiata sauce.

Work has been good and bad this week. I love being extra busy but the baby doesn't love it so much... The baby is ready for a nap at 2 in the afternoon and lately that's been impossible. With school starting and everybody getting back into the swing of things...and my need to please everyone...Baby and I have been working 12 hour days everyday this week and we are so ready for the weekend!

So I hope my honest portrayal of a pregnancy craving gone bad at least made you laugh because when I was sitting in the car in the grocery store parking lot with an entire cake on my lap and a black plastic fork, I even started to laugh!

xoxo chef a

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Calm Before The Storm

On the IPOD "Lift Me Up" By: Christina Aguilera

Well I just got home from Austin, we stayed with my brother Andrew, at his new house which is awesome and had a really nice time. I have to say that the news from Friday was a tad bit shocking especially since it was a last minute decision to go in to get a special sonogram to check the babies organs on our way out of town. I had scheduled the visit a long time ago before I knew that I was going to get a sono at my doctors last week... When I got there the baby was not cooperating and I was going from side to side just to see if we could get a glimpse. The tech finally saw what she thought are boy parts but could not give me a definite answer just saying that if I were to ask her she would say a boy. I think I left more confused than anything else. It really took me the weekend to wrap my brain around calling him a he instead of a she. Sunday night my doctor looked at the sonogram and told me that he felt it was a tad bit inconclusive since I came in so early at 18 weeks 6 days and that he really wanted to scan me again in two weeks to make sure that what they saw wasn't a shadow since the baby had his knees locked... I'm going with a boy though, it is what I have felt from the beginning and it just feels right, but I guess this is what I get for being in such a rush to find out and for trying to control the situation!

Of course we are thrilled either way and although little girls are really fun to dress there is nothing like a sweet little boy especially the only little boy in an Italian family that will carry on the family name! For everything that we have been through to get here I'm just over the moon that it is a healthy baby!

Austin was great with the exception of Sunday morning when I had a bout with the morning sickness fairy. Who knows why, I haven't been sick in a couple of weeks but obviously something didn't agree with me and I was extremely tired and hot... We headed home soon after that and I took a much needed nap the whole way home.

This week is insane, everybody is home from vacation and all the kids are starting school which means that my days of hanging out in the afternoons are over for the most part. Before I know it there will be holiday music in all of the stores and parties on every weekend. I have to admit that I love it though... I love being busy and it is actually easier for me to focus on work when I have more of it, if you know what I mean!

Thank you all for your sweet calls, emails, and messages about the boy news. We are really excited either way and although lots of you commented on twins...let's not get ahead of ourselves! I will let you know when I know or maybe it will just be a surprise in January, I guess I will just have to let the control go for awhile and just enjoy the fact that there is a tiny miracle growing inside of me.

xoxo chef a

Friday, August 20, 2010

Surprise Surprise

So I don't even have time to look for a song to list but I have some news....

I should've listened to my dad...never get news on Friday the 13th!

I went back in today for my 20th week sonogram and low and behold there was a penis and testicles.

We are having a BOY!

I think my jaw hit the floor when they told me but we are thrilled!

The baby looks healthy and perfect in every way!

And the name hunt starts all over again...

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Credit Cards and Mommy Friends

On the IPOD "Straighten Up And Fly Right" By: Natalie Cole

Yesterday could have possibly been the worst really started the night before.

On Monday we went to Buy Buy Baby to pick up the stroller I decided on and I was thrilled when I took it out of the box and took it for a spin, but then when it came to closing it up and then unloading it at my house let's just say it was a shame nobody was filming me. There were wheels going in every direction and handles hitting the floor and after a really frustrating walk into the building I was ready to take the stroller back. So I had a tiny emotional breakdown and then went to bed.

I knew going into Tuesday that it was going to be a hard day... I had two clients with extremely big menus and one of them has possibly the hardest kitchen floor ever invented! When I got to the first grocery store I rushed through to pick up all the items I needed only to find at the checkout line that I had lost my credit card... Luckily I had a check book, but it didn't take care of that sinking feeling of not having the card. As soon as I left the store I started calling Mike and my Mom to search for the card, Of course nobody could find it. I spent a good solid hour calling every store I had been to the day before, but didn't have any luck. By 9 am the card was cancelled and they were over nighting me a new one...

The first house I cooked at had 6 kids and 3 nannies in total playing within 20 feet of the kitchen. Between lunch and literally 8 snack times I have to admit that I questioned my ability to handle motherhood at least twice. By two o'clock my feet looked more like little sausages and less like feet... But I kept on to the next house... By 5:30 pm I was just wrapping everything up... It could not have been a longer day.

After realizing that there was no way I was going to make it to Nia, I decided to call my friend Lauren to see if I could bring the new stroller by to get her opinion... If there is anything I have learned from this experience it is that you should keep a mommy friend in your back pocket at all times... She showed me all kinds of good things about it that I couldn't even see because I was so overwhelmed with the mechanics. By the time I left I felt confident that the stroller was indeed for me. I think in general all strollers have their issues and with use most of them are fine it just might take a little time to get adjusted to them... Now I'm super excited about my stroller and I cant wait to get to use it!

Anyways to make a long story a little shorter...I ended up finding the card although it was useless since I had cancelled it... Oh well at least some creep doesn't have it. I had a feeling I would find it but you just can't take any chances. Oh well, thank goodness today is a new day!

xoxo chef a

Monday, August 16, 2010

What's in a name?

On the IPOD "More Than A Feeling" By: Boston

So Mike and I have been putting off the name game until after we found out the sex...not that names were not discussed but there was no pressure. Now, there is a tad bit of pressure... I'm pretty sure we have narrowed it down, but then again I could be wrong. Mike could possibly be at his breaking point where he just says, "Whatever you want..." but that's just not as fun... I am starting to understand the whole philosophy of not telling anyone because as much as I love everyone around is hard enough for Mike and I to agree let alone both of us and the rest of the world... I think when most people tell you the names they are thinking about what they want to hear is, "Oh I love it...It's beautiful!" All I can say is that we are doing our best to pick a name that is not too different but different enough...whatever that means!

We finally bought our changing table... it is the only piece of furniture that we bought from a real store and not from craig's list and I have to say that it is very disappointing that we have to wait 8-12 weeks for it, but once we do get it I will post some pics of the baby's room. I am in the process of starting to register is there any must have baby products??? I would love to hear from you about anything from swaddling blankets to swings...

As far as my weight is going...I feel really good I didn't weigh at the doctor on Friday, but by the home scale I think I've gained about 3 pounds so far. I'm finding out that so far this is the hardest part for me eating wise. Mainly because most of the time I've starving and protein in general is still really hard for me to eat which leaves most of the bad stuff... I finding out that I really have to do a better job of eating small meals and not waiting till I want to eat my hand off!

Well today is that last shorter Monday of work before school starts for most of the families I work for. I'm most likely going to enjoy the last half of the day by the pool... and think about names of course!

And again please help me with baby products... What do I need???

xoxo chef a

Friday, August 13, 2010

Drumroll Please....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------It's a GIRL!

No name yet but we are working on it...

Just wanted to let you all know!

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Baby Gear Drama

On the IPOD "Sundrenched World" By: Joshua Radin

For those of you who have never been pregnant, I feel like the best way to describe it is to say that every feeling is to the extreme. It is sort of like your body is on strike! I actually don't understand girls who don't know that they are pregnant...I'm even going to say that they must be in denial because I don't think it is possible not to know!

Tuesday morning was like any other day... I woke up and got ready, ate an apple with some peanut butter and then headed for the grocery store. For some reason on the way there I started to have a weird craving for enchiladas, but I pushed it away and kept on shopping. After the third store I was on my way to my clients. At the first stop light I realized that I was starving, and not just any kind of starving but baby starving which by the way is completely different than regular hunger...I actually caught myself about to rip open a package of whole wheat hamburger buns until I gave it a second thought and realized I would much rather spend the calories on the string cheese that was with the cold food in the way back of the car.... So yes you guessed it...I jumped out of the car, ran to the back, opened up the cooler and grabbed the freaking cheese. I'm sure the car behind me was less than thrilled but I was back in before the light even changed so they can just chill out. Never get between a pregnant girl and a hungry baby!

The rest of the day went smoothly until I decided to take yet another trip to the baby store, this time I was by myself. I think it was worse... Have you ever had an anxiety attack over a breast pump or a swing? Well if not then you have not been pregnant in the 21st century, because let me assure you there are just two many choices... I mean do you know what it is like to have your husband ask you, "Are you really sure a hands free breast pump is made for your size boobs???" After my silent response I got a, "Well I mean that in a good way..." Anyways although he is so sweet to pick out the swings, bouncy seats and stollers he likes online to give me direction...I feel like when I'm in the store they are all different and huge and it sort of feels like I'm making a life or death decision, which with all of the recalls lately I am! We tried to go to the store together once but I think it just made me more overwhelmed.

I hope that all of this at least makes you laugh... The best decision I made was yesterday afternoon when I was with my mom and my aunt and we had about an hour of free time and I asked if they were interested to go into buy buy baby and check it out. They both were totally on board...My mom had been once before but for my aunt it was all new. I think she was pretty shocked by all the choices, but for her it was just pure excitement which I have to say changed the vibe of the experience... I actually picked out a stoller and carseat which by the way was in a completely different direction than where I was orignally going, but it has in a way changed my whole outlook and I have been able to really focus on what I want and was finally able to be excited about it instead of being scared... which is a feat in itself.

xoxo chef a

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hot Hot Hot

On the IPOD "Like a Star(Live)" By: Corinne Bailey Rae

It is so Hot! To tell you the truth it is difficult to go the grocery store and to cook in this heat. The air-conditioning in the car can not even keep up...I find myself hitting the button a million times to make it cooler and it just won't move. To those of you reading this who are 8 or 9 months preggers...I don't know how you are doing it!

My menu for today:

Summer Chopped Salad
Truffled Mac and Cheese
Shrimp Quesadillas with Fresh Pico de Gallo and Guacamole
Creamy Chicken Spaghetti
Peppered Beef Sliders
Fiesta Lime Chicken with Mexican Salad
Beef and Barley Soup

While writing this I'm trying to ignore the fact that my allergies are out of control... isn't is too hot for things to grow???

Anyways I scheduled my next sonogram and I've decided that I'm not going to leave the doctor's office until I know what I'm having...My friend Jessica thinks this is hysterical by the way... She says she would never find out what she is having and she just thinks it's soooo funny that I want to know so badly but that my child won't cooperate.

How do people think that this guessing game is fun???? Just tell me already!

xoxo chef a

Friday, August 6, 2010

And then there were two of us

On the IPOD "Turn on the Radio" By: Reba McEntire


I have reached the point where I finally feel like there is someone else with me all of the time. What works for me is no longer what's important... my diet has turned into what works for you know who, because it really only takes that first night when you have downed a half a bottle of tums and you still feel like your chest is going to explode before you realize that whatever it was is just not worth it!

I have gained about a pound so far which my doctor seems pleased about. Although that is less than most at this stage it makes sense for me since I went into pregnancy still overweight. I'm still fighting with my normal response to stress which includes heading to the closest processed food available... While shopping at Buy Buy Baby yesterday I suddenly felt a tad bit overwhelmed and tore open a box of100 calorie bags of M&Ms devouring 2 bags within 15 minutes. Oddly enough it did make me feel better!

Lately my cravings have included broccoli salad, spaghetti and turkey meatballs with arrabbiata sauce, fruit of all kinds, and I keep having dreams about eating some amazing piece of cake but when I try to nail down the flavor I'm hoping for my mind just goes blank so I guess I will just have to keep dreaming about it...

The other weird thing is that the baby is now able to hear our voices and music so I definitely think more about the music I play in the car. You all know how important music is to me and was to my dad so I feel like it is my duty to expose this kid to the best of the best at the very youngest age. I also make Mike talk to my stomach because since he is at work so much I want the baby to get to know his voice as often as possible. I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm crazy...

And now on Saturday morning I'm watching "Raise Your Voice" in tears (gotta love hormones) before I head to my redo birthday Nia Class (power went out last week.) I'm really looking forward to getting back into the swing of Nia and working out in general, I have really been missing it. I never thought it would be such a challenge to get my body ready to work out again but 3 months of throwing up can really take a toll.

Broccoli Salad Recipe (This recipe is not low fat but it's southern and really good and you can add extra veggies and substitute light mayo to make it a better choice)

•5 cups fresh broccoli florets
•1/2 cup craisins
•1/2 cup sunflower seeds
•1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (Optional, don't use if you want it to be lower calorie)
•1/4 cup of red onion, chopped
•1 cup mayonnaise (you can easily use light mayo and use a tad less sugar)
•2 tablespoons vinegar
•1/2 cup sugar
Combine broccoli florets, craisins, sunflower seeds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl or large cup, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well; chill thoroughly before serving.
I sometimes add cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, carrot slices, and/or celery

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Mile High

On the IPOD "Everybody" By: Ingrid Michaelson

So before I get to the conference discussion, Yesterday we had our monthly appointment at the OB and once again this kid is killing me! Still breech legs crossed at the knees and no clear view of any girl or boy parts. It's almost a joke at this point, I moved around, we tried every angle, every pose but nothing except a healthy, stubborn, baby who was squirming around in there. I have planned another quick visit at the end of the month to try one more time before giving up and just taking the blood test!

So the highlights of the conference were of course being with close chef friends who I talk to throughout the year but hardly ever get to see, our Friday night tasting dinner at "TAG" in Denver, Saturday night at "Marco's Coal Fire Pizzeria", and then to top it off lunch with my camp friend Amy on Sunday.

The conference it self was great! My class went incredibly well and the room was packed. And the classes I attended were all so interesting and informative, but I would be lying if I didnt say that I really go for the food and friends.

My friend Annise had set up a tasting menu at a local restaurant TAG. I would describe it as upscale fusion food meant for sharing, a think the chef's description is actually continental social food but whatever. So anyways the chef had set up a tasting menu for us but unfortunately for us he had another engagement and wouldn't be in the restaurant. The unforunate lesson that we all learned is that when the cat's away the mice will play. The food was great with the exception of one dessert the wasn't made properly (we knew this because on Saturaday the same chef did a demo at conference and the dessert tasted incredibly better the second go around) but the service was an entirely different situation... our server was terrible...he was flirting with a couple of regulars at the bar and at one point when one of the chef's at my table asked what was in one of the dishes his responce was, "I don't know I just bring the food to the table!" UM WRONG ANSWER! Anyways the evening ended with us taking a peditaxi back to the hotel with a driver who could have a day job as a plumber with the crack he was sporting! It at least gave us all a good laugh.

Saturday dinner was incredible! Pizza is my thing and I can say that the last time I had pizza this good was at Joe's Pizza in the village in New York. The owner ships in most of his ingredients from Italy and the pizza is cooked in an old coal fire oven! OMG it was just what the baby wanted! The server was great and happy to be there for a change and the casual company of friends made the night unforgetable!

On Sunday morning I slept in a little bit and then headed to my last class, packed up and said my goodbyes to the chefs! My camp friend Amy Ladin picked me up from the hotel and took me to what is going to be her new neighborhood in Denver. We grabbed some salads and then walked up and down the neigborhood farmers market. I tried to buy some baby stuff but without knowing the sex it made it just too hard! I had a wonderful time catching up and talking about our futures and before I knew it it was time to head back to the hotel for my shuttle pick up.

Well after waiting an hour for Big Sky Shuttles to pick me up...the group of us waiting caught another shuttle and thank goodness made it to the airport in time for my flight. Believe me they got an earfull and I cancelled the credit card charge for the round trip ticket! I don't play around! I really don't think they cared which made me even more angry.

All in all it was a great memorable trip!

xoxo chef a