December 30, 2013

Holiday Entertaining

I finally got to host my first Christmas party! I always wanted to attempt this sort of entertaining, but never felt I could pull it off. Well, I mustered up the courage to do it, and well, I did it! Have you ever wanted to entertain? Try it, it's fun (with some exceptions!) Here are some photos from the event!

Setting it all up!

Reaching for a quick snack

Here is the appetizer spread. We had eggnog, fried wontons, jalapeno poppers, spanokopita, and fruit skewers.

A closer look!


December 11, 2013

You can eat anything you want!

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me I could eat anything whilst being pregnant, I would have like a million dollars. Well, maybe more like seventeen dollars. But, still, it didn't take much convincing to get sucked into the eat as much as you can, as fast as you can vortex. I ate, and I ate, and I ate until I had ballooned into an edemic mess. 

By week 34 of my pregnancy, I weighed fifty pounds more than I had started! Aside from my feet having edema, somehow, my face had it too. It had become puffy, and sallow. Luckily, I had just started my maternity leave, so I was able to lounge around all day in my pajamas. I wouldn't have to lug myself around work all day. I spent the rest of my days watching Netflix, and eating Swiss rolls on my sofa. I certainly had lost that pregnancy glow, and had turned it to pregnancy slow. 

 At this point, I had no idea of the amount of calories I was consuming. I figured, I can eat anything I want since I am pregnant.

I was so wrong. 

All this statement provides is a sense of false entitlement. It says I can throw my understanding of nutrition, health, and caloric consumption out the window. I can eat with wild abandon. I thought there was a direct correlation between food consumption and baby birth weight.  I justified my actions by telling myself that my baby would grow more if I grew more. My doctor even clarified, that we only need to consume anywhere from 150-500 calories extra per day throughout the pregnancy. If I was to guess, I think I was taking in an extra 1,000 calories a day. Now, I am talking about myself here, so ask your doctor about your caloric needs during pregnancy. Heck, you might need a 1,000 extra calories depending on your current health. 

I have since given birth, and can now postulate the reasons for my digressions. I think I can understand what happened.  I was trekking through unknown territory. I had first time mom anxiety. I don't know if there is such a thing, but I had it. I was worried about the baby, about my health, labor, about whether or not I would be good parent. Just everything. I used food as comfort. I would feel better after some gooey, fudgey brownies, or some delicious rocky road ice cream. 

I can tell you from experience, it all works it self out. 

Ultimately, it's about balance. 
I think we should shy away from encouraging pregnant women to just eat, but rather, focus on healthy weight gain. Gaining sustenance from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables rather than hot cheetos, twinkies, and fries. Maybe, not all moms-to-be approach their pregnancy this way, but for me, it was an excuse; to eat what I wanted. It took me a while to get back on track with exercising regularly, and eating right. I'll share with you how.I have since lost most of the weight I put on, I am just seven pounds away from my starting weight. I am hoping this time around I can eat for health, and not for comfort. I'll keep you updated...

I would love to hear your stories about pregnancy weight gain

August 28, 2013

Just nod and smile!

Dealing with pregnancy for the first time in your life is very unique experience. There is nothing quite like it. The mystery, and intrigue is beguiling. Questions begin to swirl in your head from the onset. What does an ultrasound feel like? What will a baby kicking feel like? What will labor feel like?  It can all be overwhelming.

 This was certainly the case with me.

To make it worse, I am the type of person that has to know things in advance. I must plan, schedule, and determine to the best of my ability ahead of time. It is important to be prepared, so that the best plan can be executed and surprises can be minimized.  It may sound slightly neurotic, but it helps give me a sense of control. So, naturally, silly ol' me, tried to plan out how everything would go with my birth.  I must have watched at least six documentaries on child-birth. I took every single class that Kaiser offers for pregnancy and child birth. Ordered some books online from Amazon. I joined birth clubs online (I really like Babycenter). I wrote out my birth plan. Basically, I did everything in my power to make this a successful journey. 


Imagine my surprise when my water broke two weeks early, my baby ruptured her sack, my dreams of a natural birth were thrown out the window, and my mom wasn't present for the birth!  Things didn't go the way I planned it. Initially, I was mad. But, then I realized I couldn't be mad at circumstances.  Just accept that there might be some changes along the way. C'est la vie.

Here is what I learned:

Sometimes, you just can't plan these things out. Well, to clarify, you can iron out the details as long as there is wiggle room. I say this because you can't pin down pregnancy. Not when, where, or even the time. So, when pregnancy stresses you out- Just nod and smile! We acknowledge it's an unpaved road, but we smile because we know what the destination is. 


I have only yet journeyed through one full-length pregnancy thus far so I won't say its the case for every pregnancy. I am on round 2, and am already doing things differently. I am not planning ahead, just taking it day by day. I am not too far along, but I will keep you updated if my theory continues to prevail.