Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm in love... with a cookie!

Sometimes, you just need a good chocolate chip cookie.  I've been craving them for weeks, but have been too tired to actually make them.  Tonight, Paul wanted to cook dinner (which was fabulous, by the way- Thanks, Love!), so I decided it was time to make some cookies for dessert. 

In the past month, I've pinned about 10 different chocolate chip cookies on Pinterest so I had plenty of options for tonight's baking challenge.  When I was sifting through the recipes today, I disregarded any that seemed too complicated or called for a million ingredients.  I just wanted a cookie that didn't flatten into a puddle of buttery mush in the oven.  These cookies did not disappoint.  They were chewy and fluffy and pretty darn near perfect.  I think that the cornstarch is the key to this awesome recipe.  A huge thank you to Kelsey at Apple A Day for blogging about these little bites of deliciousness! 

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
barely adapted from Anna Olson, Food Network Canada
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened 
3/4 c. brown sugar 
1/4 c. granulated sugar 
1 egg 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cornstarch 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
4.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)
5.  Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.  Makes approximately 3 dozen.  Try not to eat them all.

First, We Need a Shed

Last summer, I posted about our dire need for a storage shed.  It took us 9 months, we finally got off our lazy butts and decided to build one.  15 minutes after we started unpacking the boxes, it started raining.  Most people would have called it quits, realizing that it's not easy, comfortable or smart to build something while soaking wet.  We are NOT most people.  We pushed through and finished the shed in just under 7 drizzly hours.  What can I say... we like a challenge!  I am beyond excited that it's done, because it means that we are finally inching closer to getting the nursery ready.  Trust me- there is a connection between a backyard storage building and our future children's room.

Currently, we call the nursery an "office".  In reality, it's my craft/junk room and happens to house our printer and internet hub.  The junk/craft supplies need to live in our hall closet, so things in the closet needed a new home.  Among the closet dwellers was our ShopVac, because the garage was full of lawn equipment and there is absolutely no room for a portly vacuum.  So, it was imperative to build a shed for the ShopVac (and the lawnmower, etc) so that we could start cleaning out the office!  Make sense?  Probably not, but it seemed necessary to get the shed built before anything else could happen. 

If you were able to follow any of that, congratulations.  I live here, and it's hard for me to make sense of it.  The whole point is that we are actually making progress on the one thing that is causing 99% of the stress/panic in my life right now.  And that makes me one very happy pregnant lady.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stop Trying To Fix Things

The Cake Catalyst

Because I am my mother's child,  I have a natural desire to make sure everything is copacetic.  I am a Fixer by nature.  When something is wrong,  I want to make it better.  Apparently, this drives Paul completely insane.  At least once day, I hear the words "Stop trying to fix things!".  Usually, this is followed by some form of the phrase "You're just like your mother!".   He means it in the nicest way possible, I assure you, because he does love my mom.

I don't know how to change this behavior.  I cannot see a need or want and not address it, no matter how mundane it may be.  For example- Today, I forgot to add a piece of chocolate cake to our To-Go order from Newk's.  When Paul got home, he noticed that it was missing.  He was completely fine without it but I went into overdrive mode, insisting that I go back out and get the cake while Paul is threatening my life if I drag my sickly butt anywhere but the couch.  Of course, this all happens while I'm on the phone with my mom, and she decides that she will pick up the cake and bring it to our house.  Because she is the original Fixer.

Of course, Paul was eternally grateful for the dessert intervention, but I'm sure it won't stop him from uttering that dreaded phrase at some point tomorrow...  Stop trying to FIX things!

Monday, April 16, 2012

22 Weeks!

Week 22

Weight Gained: 24 lbs.  I'm just waiting for one of my doctors to say something (anything) about my weight gain, because I have no idea whether I'm on target or not!

Cravings:  I think I might turn into a McDonald's cheeseburger with extra pickles.  So good. 

Food Aversions: Nothing sounds particularly bad anymore!  Some things definitely sound better than others, but nothing sounds terrible anymore.  It's about time!

Symptoms: We're adding back pain into the mix.  Combined with round ligament pain and swollen ankles, I'm like a bonafide pregnant woman!  I've adopted a kind of baby waddle when I walk, and I love it!

How I'm Feeling: Right this minute, I feel crummy.  For the past week, I've been at war with this horrible chest cold.  It's been going something like this:

**Coughing fit --> Contractions --> Robitussin/Benadryl --> Sleep for 1 hour --> Coughing fit**

Pretty miserable stuff, but at least it's predictable, right?  Once a day, I can take Unisom, which usually lets me get a good 3-4 hours stretch of sleep without coughing.  Taking so much medicine kind of makes me panic, but my OB has ok'd this combo and without it, I cannot breathe.  In this case, the benefits completely outweigh the risk.  It's got to get better soon, because I am good for nothing right now and there is so much to do. 

Exciting Stuff: Molly and Jack's movements are strong enough now that you can see my belly move .  It's such a strange thing to watch!  It makes for good entertainment while I'm sitting in bed trying to recuperate.  I keep trying to catch it on video, but apparently these babies are camera shy.

Weekly Worries:  I'm completely overwhelmed with all of the things that must get done before the twins arrive.  I have this huge list of things to do, but I really don't even know where to start.  On my days off, all I want to do is rest because I am so exhausted.  My MFM ordered 4 hours/day of bed rest because of the swelling in my legs, so that also cuts into my potential productive time.  Time just needs to slow down!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Yucks

Hello out there!  I just wanted to check in and reassure you guys that I am very much alive and the babies are just fine.  A horrible bronchitis-y chest cold has taken hold of me (again) and refuses to let go, so I haven't had any energy to blog.  Let's be honest, I'm feeling puny and whiny, and you probably wouldn't want to read what's running through my mind anyway!  Hopefully I will get a chance this weekend to catch up on your blogs and post a 22 week update.  Have a wonderful Friday, fellow bloggers/readers!

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's halftime, babies!

Before I launch into the goings-on of Week 20, I wanted to ask for a little bloggy love for a fellow IVF-er, who is also 20 weeks pregnant with twins.  Rebecca over at Our Roller Coaster Through IVF... was just put on strict bedrest due to a shortened cervix.  If you have a second, head over and let her know that you're rooting for those babies!

Now, it's update time!

Week 20- We've made it halfway!

Weight Gained: I managed to hit the 20 lb mark right at 20 weeks.  It's like it was meant to be!

Cravings:  Japanese Steakhouse fare- filet mignon, fried rice and veggies straight from the hibachi grill.  It helps that I can order Avocado & Cucumber rolls from the sushi bar, too.  Amazing, yes, but completely terrible for both my swollen ankles and our budget!  Pickles and Salt & Vinegar chips are also way up there on my list awesome deliciousness.  I'm starting to see a trend here, and it's all about the salt.  I need to get that under control ASAP.

Food Aversions: Nothing specific, but I am getting more picky about what sounds good.  My dining preferences are literally minute to minute.

Symptoms:  Insomnia.  It's not a lack of comfort, thanks to my amazing new body pillow (AKA- The Baby Nest), but I just can't stay asleep.  Still rocking the cankles, and I have a feeling that they are here to stay- dang salt cravings!

How I'm Feeling: At ease.  Right now, things are calm and I'm appreciating the lull. I'm definitely having physically uncomfortable moments, though.  I feel like a beach ball trying to roll out of bed, and I'm starting to underestimate the size of my belly and bump into stuff!  Every day, I am amazed at what my body is doing.  It is definitely a miracle.

Exciting Stuff: I've started on Jack's blanket, and I love the pattern.  Just simple shells, but it's sort of sentimental.  I'll have to devote a post to it soon.  Paul got to feel the babies kick this week, too!  It's still hit or miss whether their movement is strong enough for him to feel, but the look on his face is priceless when one of their little jabs hits home.

Weekly Worries:  My no-worry strategy worked so well last week that I've decided to carry it forward.  I didn't have an ultrasound at my OB appointment on Thursday and a little bit of panic set in, but I realized how silly I was being and let it go.  Overall, I am really lucky to see them once a month at my MFM appointment!