CSA box #3

This week: carrots, kale, fennel, potatoes, green tomatoes, basil, summer squash, mint, onions, cucumbers and beets. Ugh, this fennel is killing me. I hope fennel season is over soon. Anyway, the rest I was excited about.

Simple supper first: roasted summer squash with whole grain pasta and lemon basil pesto.

Seriously good.

The green tomatoes were a new one for me, and all I knew to do with them was the classic fried green tomatoes. So I found a simple recipe and gave it a shot.

This was grilling night, and Brett did hot dogs and our CSA potatoes (white and purple!). We also tried some “alcohol-removed” wine. Not a winner.

Another meal this week was a steak and mushroom stir-fry with a ginger soy sauce. Just used onions from our CSA box, but I had to take this picture of Hannah helping me cook. She helped me wipe off the mushrooms, then I set her up with this little cutting board and a plastic knife. It wasn’t sharp enough to actually cut anything, but she loved this!

The beets – I roasted them the last two times so I wanted to do something different this week. I roasted them whole, pureed them, and did a beet risotto. I’m finding risotto is like stir-fry or quesadillas – you can throw anything random in it.

It definitely wins the colorful award for the week. I topped it with some baked kale chips (a whole-family favorite). There were some leftovers which I served with some roasted chicken the next night. Really good together.

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Doula

One of the advantages to starting this pregnancy thing a little later in the game (wow, 29!) is that I’ve gotten to see most of my friends go through this process two or three times already. I’m fortunate to have several friends with similar birth philosophies who pursued natural deliveries, and I get to learn from them.

Several of these friends credited doulas with their positive natural birth experiences. Some of my readers may not know what a doula is, and a few years ago I didn’t either. After talking to a lot of people, Brett and I have decided to have a doula at this baby’s birth. So I wanted to share what we’ve been learning.

Doula comes from the Greek word meaning “helper” or “a woman who serves.” Now, it is the term for a woman who is experienced and trained in providing emotional and physical support during pregnancy and birth. Women who use doulas statistically require fewer interventions during birth and report greater satisfaction of their birth experiences.

Today, natural births are a small minority in the US. Hospitals are not used to supporting women who desire to have a natural birth and generally push medical interventions that are now deemed standard. I’m a big fan of medical intervention when there’s some sort of actual medical emergency, but I don’t think those things should be standard for a normal, healthy pregnancy and delivery. A doula is an extra support person, someone else on your team with your husband to provide knowledge, encouragement and experience to help you labor according to your birth plan.

A doula is not a substitute for the husband or a medical professional. She will not be delivering the baby. She might help with labor positions, provide massages, create a calming environment, and possibly keep you from killing your husband. ;) Or so I’ve heard.

With my obstetrics group, I know the doctors and midwives we will be working with are very supportive of pursuing a natural birth, but we thought it would be helpful to also have someone who would be in the room with us for the entire labor process. Our doula’s name is Lindsey, and her website is very informative. She is a certified doula who has attended over 50 births, and we are excited to work with her. We’re learning as we go, and I’ll be sharing along the way.

Halfway through

20 weeks! Woohoo! We had an appointment and ultrasound this week. They said everything looked good. Here are a few shots.

This is looking “up” at the underside of her arm and hand. Her belly is on the left, and you might be able to see her chin and nose to the right of that.

When the technician was trying to look at her face, Baby Girl pulled this move:

Yep, those are her arms up in front of her face. I guess she was being camera-shy, silly alien skeleton baby. :) Both the ultrasound tech and the midwife commented on her great fingers.

Here’s a baby bump pic for your curiosity. It was taken right after I got home from ballet class, so that’s why I look tired and am dressed weird.

Definitely looking and feeling pregnant now. And this Baby Girl seems to like to move a lot. Her feet are already an inch and a half long, and I’m feeling them. :)

20 weeks to go!

CSA box #2

This week we got beets, carrots, fennel, kohlrabi, onions, basil, kale, chard and a salad mix. Two of these were completely new to me: fennel and kohlrabi. I’ve heard fennel tastes like licorice, and I’m not a licorice fan, so I was not optimistic. And kohlrabi? What the heck?

Luckily, our CSA provider posts a lot of recipes for the weekly ingredients, and I found one for Roasted Root Veggies that used the beets, carrots, fennel, kohlrabi and onions. I modified it slightly and ended up burning the beets. Oooops. Anyway, the finished product was pretty tasty (once you took all the beets out).

Someone snuck her finger in the picture, silly girl. I’m not sure how I feel about kohlrabi. It’s rather bland-tasting, but some of the pieces had a very woody texture that was inedible. I’m not sure if we got a weird one or if some are just like that. The fennel was not as bad as I expected; with the other vegetables it added some good flavor. Hannah just picked out the carrots and declared they were tasty.

The chard went into a Crustless Chard Quiche (sans bacon). I served it with the salad mix. This was probably Brett’s favorite of the week, and I’ll definitely be making it again! Hannah ate a few bites.

Also on the menu this week was a creamy basil-tomato soup (made-up recipe). Neither Brett nor I really like tomato soup, but we liked this!

Immersion blender = love! I used the basil in this obviously and also snuck in some kale for a nutrition boost. Hannah liked this, too.

Some CSA onions and carrots went into this Crockpot Coconut Chicken Curry. I followed the advise of another blogger and only used half the chicken and subbed potatoes and carrots to up the veggie factor – more economical and actually more authentic. I didn’t get a picture of this, but it was really tasty. The adventures continue!

Worry deadline, or not

There are a lot of things to freak out about when you’re pregnant. I personally understand the uncertainty of the first trimester, and enough Googling can send anyone into a panic attack for the entire 40 weeks. But I had to laugh a bit when I recently read a first-time-mom write, “I can’t wait until the baby is born – I can finally stop worrying!”

I know there are a couple expecting first-time-moms who read this blog, so I wanted to do some myth-busting:

The worry doesn’t actually stop when the baby is born.

At my own parenting stage, I am regularly jolted with the unpredictability of a two-year-old. Lately, she has run in the street (in front of a car), stuck a screwdriver into an electrical outlet, licked a trashcan at Costco, laid down on a public restroom floor, and attempted to eat raw chicken off the counter. Worry done? Yeah, right.

Worrying comes from the fear of lack of control. But it doesn’t make sense because we’re not in control to begin with. We can certainly attempt to create a safe environment for our children and teach them appropriate behavior. But control is really an illusion, therefore the fear of lack of control is worthless.

In short, this sucks.

The pregnancy worries may end, but the mommy worries are just beginning. The countdown til your due date is not the countdown to peace and tranquility. It’s only a countdown to the time your mind is opened to all the truly dreadful things that could happen to your child now that they’re exposed to the big scary world full of germs, sex offenders and non-organic produce.

The solution to worry? Unfortunately, I don’t have that. I just trust God and give myself regular reality checks. All you other mommas out there – please leave a comment with your best worry-busting tips!