Saturday, January 31, 2009

Feeling Hippy.

I bought a prenatal yoga dvd last week. Like walking and swimming I was amazed at how soon I got puffed. Doc says it's normal to start puffing sooner when pregnant due to an increased respiration rate. (More blood in body means need to breathe faster to help pump it all around.) Normal it may be, but it's friggin' annoying! What's even more annoying is that, even though I love it, I've only been able to do it once this week.

One of the other common complaints in pregnancy is aches and pains in your joints. The major problem I'm having is with my right hand side sacroiliac joint. Luckily, I have a friend who is a physiotherapist. {waves. Hiya, Gryph!} She helped to give me some coping strategies: No slouching on chairs/sofas; no sitting with my legs curled up beside me on the couch; no standing hipshot. Plus, I've started using my yoga ball as my dining table chair. And also sitting on it whenever I feel an ache coming on.

All of this has made such a huge difference. Also, thinking that perhaps the weight of my belly--which the baby bump plus my normal fat is about as big as a thinner woman would be when closer to 7-8 months pregnant--could be contributing to the pain, I went and bought a bella band. It feels like I'm wearing a crotchless girdle or bike shorts over my clothes. LOL Again this has helped, but during my night time trips to the bathroom and of a morning when I get up, I'm hobbling like an old lady.

Figuring out how long it's been since we turned the mattress also made me wonder if THAT was part of the problem too. So three nights ago we turned it. Doing so, plus using some thicker pillows under my knees, tummy and a smaller one I could snuggle like a teddy bear, helped. Two nights ago, the pain was worse. Last night, last night was horrendous.

Ever been camping without even a thin rubber mattress? Or had to sleep on the floor several nights in a row? If so, I'm guessing you've experienced that awful burning pain on your shoulders, sides of your hips or lower back. I tried several different pillows over the past 3 weeks trying to stop the sore shoulders, but nothing worked. So I gave that up as something I'd just have to suffer through until baby is born. The hips. They're another matter altogether.

As has happened a few times recently, when I got out of bed to go to the bathroom last night I found that I limp my way to the toilet. Oddly enough, the first trip was my left hip giving me problems. When I stood up from the toilet...huge effort required...all I could do was stand there with all my weight on my right leg hoping the left hip would decide to stay in its socket. About ten very long seconds later it stayed put and I could make my way back to bed.

My second trip four hours later was a nightmare. It was the right hip this time. Same procedure as before, but I forgot to wash my hands this time. I paused int eh doorway to the bedroom and those four extra steps I'd need to go wash my hands and return to my current position were unthinkable.

I burst into tears. Turning around was agony. Leaning over to wash my hands, indescribable. By the time I made it back to bed I was sobbing. Sobbing so hard that I woke Alaskaboy up, despite his earplugs. (Apparently, about a month ago I started snoring really badly. The only other times I snore like this is when I'm drunk. Drunken snoring every night. Poor bugger.)

As I was laying there sobbing and he's rubbing my hip muscles trying to ease the ache it suddenly occurred to me, it had happened before we left but it never happened while we were at my Mom- and Dad-in-law's house, and it's reoccurred since we've come back home. Sure I had a different kind of sore back because a) we were sleeping in a double bed, b) the double bed had been mostly used by single people which meant c) we were sleeping uphill trying not to roll into the divot in the centre and d) the mattress was too soft. Once Dad and Alaskaboy stuck a board under the bed, it was great. Soft but firm.

Coincidentally the last time I'd sobbed about my hips aching was also 5:30am, but at Alaskagirl's house. They have a sofa bed that has a thinner foam mattress with a board underneath. Hmmm...what do sleeping on a floor and sleeping on a thin mattress covered board have in common with our new mattress? If you guessed too hard, then you'd be correct. The bloody mattress is too hard, and when we turned it around, thinking to improve the situation, we actually worsened it by removing the hip divot I'd dug for myself in the time we've had it.

BLOODY HELL! No wonder I'd go to bed feeling only a little achy and with my hips all nicely in position...and wake up in agony. My brain supplied a solution, and knowing Alaskaboy wouldn't be able to sleep on an airbed for the next five months, it only made me cry harder. I LIKE sleeping in the same bed as him, I don't want to have to sleep in another room. (Pretty ironic since one of the bloggers I read would love to have separate rooms from her hubby due to sensory issues.)

Eventually I calmed down enough and Alaskaboy helped me claw my way down the hallway. (Narrow hallways are good for supporting walking!) Then I sat on the yoga ball for twenty minutes. I would have sat longer but I was starving after my sob fest, and because dinner last night had been smallish. So I made some eggs on toast and chatted with Alaskaboy as I sat on the ball some more.

We were both up for the day as we'd gone to bed by 10:30 last night. Well, it ended up HE was up for the day. Once the eggies settled into my tummy, my eyelids kept sinking lower and lower, and blinking slower and slower. So as a test run he set the airbed up in the loungeroom and once I snuggled up with my army of pillows I was out like a light.

For FOUR hours!

I slept so deeply I woke up with a fuzzy muddled feeling in my head. And my hip? it hurt a little, but I could walk, no problems at all. If the problem comes back then I'll probably have to buy one of those belts that support the SI joint. So I'm really hoping that the airbed is soft enough yet also has enough support that I don't have to go through that again or buy yet another gizmo. (Maternity clothes etc are expensive enough, thankee koindly!)

And ya know what? The hip feels up to doing yoga this evening. Hooray!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kiddy Foods

Other than sitting around reading, (trying to get my brain back into writing mode by reading in the genre I'm currently writing) and wishing the weather would bring winter back, I've found I have a renewed interest in food. Particularly foods from my childhood. When not making particular favourites, I'm talking about other foods we ate, or asking everyone else what they remember eating as a kid. Or wanting to know what rules were involved in the eating of food. Did you have to finish all on your plate before dessert? Was a good effort enough to allow dessert? Was dessert even an option or more of a special type of thing for birthdays or holidays? Did you go through phases of avid likes and dislikes? etc etc.

After months of being disappointed by the lack of vegetarian or beef options found in the freezer aisle of our local asian grocery stores, I decided to give in and make some of my own. Make something I've always been afraid to cook because of how fiddly they are. Score 1 point. Receive a "secret" family recipe I've lusted after for years now. Score another point. And coincidentally, talk to a friend about her childhood memories of making them. Another point! Satisfy my craving for soup now the weather had cooled a little? Score! Also, be able to spend quality time with my husband while he's on vacation. Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!

First up we made Wontons! Just enough to make our soup for dinner and after we'd eaten we used up the remaining wrappers then froze them.




With some mixture remaining of both the beef and chicken fillings we made, we elected to try the trickier option. Gyoza! Alaskaboy even made the dough for them.

Here's me making my second ever gyoza...again, we won't talk about how much better Alaskaboy's turned out than mine. Harumph! (Let's just say he made potstickers and I made potsuckers!)



If you look closely enough, top left, you might be able to make out the frozen chicken sitting on the far left hand side of the deep freezer. With it, Alaskaboy and I had fun, again, making something we'd never made before.




Fried Chicken! Must say, I'm not a huge fan of the stuff in general, (only ever found one commercial variety I'll eat and loathe KFC, always have) but this I could stand to put on the menu occasionally. Home made fried chicken is pretty damn tasty. We used Alton Brown's Pan Fried Chicken recipe. We did accidentally put in 2 Tbs in stead of 2 tsp of garlic...so we'll just adjust that down a little next time. LOL

Speaking of childhood foods. Walking through the cheese aisle on the way to the checkout earlier this week, I was struck by a sudden and intense craving. I'd guess this was one of my, admittedly few so far, True Pregnancy Cravings. Completely out of the blue my body demanded Cocoa Krispies / Coco Pops...for lunch. Yes people, I had to go via the cereal aisle, pick up a box of chocolatey sugary cereal and then when I got home eat the biggest bloody bowl of them you could believe. I swear it was easily three cups that I ate. Other than the occasional chocolate crackle, I reckon I haven't had Coco Pops in twenty years! Yes, pregnancy does odd things to you indeed.


(p.s. new writing blog post here.)

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Reminiscing In The Court Of King Caractacus.

For aaaaages I've been trying to explain to Alaskaboy about this really great childhood song. I could never remember the words other than "they're just passing by". And of course, looking up fragments of a tune doesn't help at ALL.

I've remembered more bits and pieces over the years, like that it was sung by Rolf Harris, but I could never find a good version of the song. Well, yes, okay the SONG I found a good version of a couple years ago, but never the motions.

FINALLY, I've found it.

We had a blast this evening, first of all trying to get the lyrics in order, and THEN putting the motions along with the lyrics. Bloody hell! It's not easy!

(Sorry, embedding was disallowed, have to click through to YouTube.)


Lyrics to Court Of King Caractacus by Rolf Harris:

Now the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.
All together, now the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.
Now the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.
Now the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.

Now the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Crtactacus, were just passing by.
All together, now the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.
Now the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.
Now the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.

Now the boys who put the powder on the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.
[Repeat 3 more times]

Now the fascinating witches who put the scintillating stitches in the britches of the boys who put the powder on the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus, were just passing by.
[Repeat 3 more times]

Now if you want to take some pictures of the fascinating witches who put the scintillating stitches in the britches of the boys who put the powder on the noses on the faces of the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus...

...you're too late! Because they've just... passed... by!




Also found a version online with kids doing the motions. NOW I know why my parents cracked up whenever my brother and I would do this.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Yucken McFingers.

Seeing Alaskaboy pull out the bag of fish fingers (aka fish sticks) from the freezer, I had the sudden urge to make some a chicken schnitzel to go along with my share of the chippies. After calculating how long it'd take to cook, I changed my mind to chicken fingers.

I defrosted the chicken breast in the microwave, sliced it into strips, double crumbed them and then tossed them into a heated skillet. Only problem? The chicken was still partially frozen, and the pan was too hot. Both batches ended up charcoal on the outside...





...and half raw on the inside. Luckily I sliced one to check doneness before removing it from the pan.

So yeah, burnt crust chicken fingers that were then microwaved to ensure cooked innards. Crunchy and rubbery at the same time = worst chicken fingers I've ever tasted! EVER! And that's saying something. And I made them. LOL See, chefs screw things up royally too. And yes, I have been known to boil dry a boiled egg on at least two occasions.

Even smothered in tomato sauce/ketchup these fingers weren't edible, but I ate them anyway...saving my chips for last.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Physics Made Fun

Have had a blast playing with this today.

http://www.crayonphysics.com/

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Attention To Detail.

This trip to visit my in-laws has been different to trips of the past. Alaskaboy and I made a conscious effort to treat our vacation as what it was; time spent with family. Previous years we've enjoyed sight-seeing and taking day trips, this time we simply wanted to wind down and enjoy the company of our relatives. So we have.

Reacquainting ourselves with our nieces is always partly nerve wracking as they're a little shy around us. Understandable since we don't see them very often, but funnily enough, this year Alaskaboy has been their absolute delight. Often he's the one who's a little stiff and/or standoffish, only because he's unsure when dealing with little ones due to lack of experience. This year he was much more relaxed, it was me that was holding myself a little removed this time around. Most of the reasons came back around to the fact of my pregnancy: I didn't feel comfortable hoisting them around in the rough and tumble games we usually play; I was tireder and grumpier more often; Alaskagirl and I were sorting baby clothes while Alaskaboy kept the girls occupied etc etc.

And typing that paragraph out I've realised in the past I probably was having so much fun with them that Alaskaboy hardly got a look in: Important lesson learned for in the future, both with DuoLoq and Browneyedgirl, and our own kids. Let them have our individual attention once in awhile.

We've enjoyed cooking and eating, as we always do. Surprisingly, with the amount of holiday fare we've eaten, neither of us have put on any weight. Guess our eating is now completely intuitive for both of us. I am pretty sure I shocked my mother-in-law with how often I was eating and with the occasional sip I had from each new kind of wine Alaskaboy tried. (She doesn't like the taste of alcohol and is completely against any alcoholic drinking at all while pregnant.) I wish I could have had more of my brother-in-law's home made mead and ginger beer, but I only had the little sips. Doctor says it's okay to have the occasional drink, however I must admit I really only wanted those sips. (Literally sips, not sips as in a small glass.) Just enough to get the flavour on my taste buds, to savour each sip and then I was satisfied. With that, plus finding all of the organic foods I needed to eat and substitutes for dishes that I couldn't, my fear of feeling deprived melted away faster than powdery snow on a hot windshield. (Which the pregnancy Don'ts plus my allergy Don'ts combined had me very fearful about being deprived.)

I've been very grateful for our welcome gift of Get-A-Grip Ice Walkers. Well, I've been grateful for Alaskaboy's pair. He is used to walking on ice, so let me have his when my pair turned out to be far too small. Such little spikes, but they sure made the difference keeping me and Junior upright. Will have to make sure we get some for my parents and family friend when they come on our next trip.

Another thing I was extremely grateful for was pants. So grateful in fact that when we found them in the store I threw my hands up in triumph and gave such an exultant yell that the whole store heard me, "Pants! They have pants! And they're in MY size!" From the Motherhood Maternity salesgirl's response, I gathered she hears something along those lines quite often. LOL But yes, they did have one pair in my size in a style that suited me well. They had another in a size that fit me perfectly right now, but there was no room for my baby bump to grow, so sadly they went back on the shelf. But PANTS! I have a pair of pants! And now that I know my size, I can shop online. PPPFFFTTHHTTFFFFF to all my local stores who don't carry any plus size maternity clothes! My exuberance at finding the mother lode (sorry, couldn't help the pun) was due to finding even less maternity wear out here than I had found back home. Some department stores didn't even have a maternity section AT ALL! Surely the market can't be THAT small? Has the minor detail that there's always pregnant women around escaped their notice?

Something that I wish would escape my attention/notice is a sound that keeps replaying in my head. It happened nearly a week ago, but I keep hearing the awful hollow thud that DuoLoq's nose made when it hit the wooden floorboards after she misjudged her jump off the couch. . .right in the middle of book club. Poor little thing had to go back to the first day of school with a bruised nose, and it's now flowering into quite a good bruise, but no black eyes. :) I'd feared a smashed nose or cheekbone from that horrific thud. Thankfully, the noise was mostly the floorboards and she suffered no broken bones.

I also avoided any broken bones for me and DuoLoq at one point. One particular night, DuoLoq wanted to be my leaning post to help me down the front steps. I nearly gave in when I saw how disappointed she was at being unable to help me and Baby Cousin out to the car. Baby Cousin, as she's nicknamed bubba, is also featuring large in her world at the moment. It makes sense since she's old enough to truly understand the concept of pregnancy this time around, unlike when her sister was born three years ago. And of course, being a cousin, s/he's no rival for Mama and Papa's affections. ;) It was awfully cute when Dad-in-law had to step on the brakes a little harder than usual on the way out to dinner one night and she yelled from the back seat, "Don't hurt my Baby Cousin!"

Wait, where was I? Sorry, got sidetracked there. This particular night I saw that the steps looked clear and almost gave in to let her help me out to the car. (In fact..it was the journey out to the car for the same trip in which the hard braking occurred.) But then I had to explain to her that if I fell, I could end up hurting myself, her and Baby Cousin all at once. And I'm so glad that I did, because if I hadn't had hold of Dad's arm and the stair rail, I would have gone Arse Over Baby Bump. A fine mist had fallen since we'd arrived and had frozen into a very thin, very see through and VERY slick sheet of ice on the steps. I put my coat down on the front step sat on it and got my Get-A-Grips on as fast as Dad could put them on with DuoLoq's "help".

The detail that most of them had noticed, having grown up with snowy winters, and I had failed to understand the significance of was the moist step. To me it looked like there was just moisture on it. But moisture plus sub-freezing temps equals ice! Sometimes it's the little details that get ya. The other contributing factors were pregnancy brain...and heading out to eat. Moisture on step = bah! Possibly overcrowded restaurant leading to extended waiting = get out to car as fast as possible, ignoring the Get-A-Grips. Won't make THAT mistake ever again!

Another mistake I won't make is assuming I can learn on the same size yarn/cotton as my mother-in-law did years ago. I had been taught several years ago by a friend to crochet, but due to lack of practice the few lessons we managed over a five day vacation didn't stick. Having prior experience I assumed I'd be fine to re-learn on the size 10 crochet thread and a number 3 hook. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

(To be fair to me it didn't help that Mom teaches in the exact same way Alaskaboy does..uses the terms without actually explaining which bits they're referring to! AIYEEEE!)

I made a hopeless tangle of the thread...and Alaskaboy, the shithead, who'd never picked up a crochet hook in his life did just fine after a few false starts. He really is his mother's son in so many ways, but particularly in his attention to detail and cleaning abilities. I switched up to a larger wool and hook, but the wool/yarn kept separating. I finally settled on a worsted weight yarn/wool and a size H hook.

Just to show you the difference in size that we were able to learn with here's an example of our work:



That explains SO much! I may have better vision than him but in many ways he sees micro details and I see macro. LOL

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