The Final Stretch

So I hit the 33 week mark in my pregnancy earlier this week. I’m still feeling quite good, aside from the fact that my belly’s in the way nearly all the time. According to babycenter.com, Noodlehead’s now weighing in at over 4 pounds and is 17+ inches long. Wowsa! Last night I visited the midwife for our (currently) bi-weekly checkup. She checked the heart beat (140s, as usual) and confirmed the position of the baby- head down. That’s great news as it most likely won’t shift significantly again.

I now have less than 7 weeks to go. It’s feeling awfully real these days. G and I are planning a big blowout shopping weekend where we FINALLY buy some things for this baby (i.e. clothes! furniture! car seat!). We both have various lists of household chores, things to buy and other items to arrange before the end of December. I’m interviewing for a replacement at work and will soon be training. I’m glad this process takes 9 months, but I’m definitely getting ready for it to be over. Weight gain (last I checked) is about 24 pounds. Food intake has gone down as my appetite has decreased to a more normal level. Activity levels are more or less constant- despite the weather I’m managing an almost daily walk.

I think it hit me last week when I overheard G say to someone that we’re in the last 5-10 weeks. Really, there is an end in sight. And the future, my friends, is BRIGHT.

Comfort Food

G and I have an ongoing conversation about what constitutes comfort food. It’s not a concept he’s familiar with so we often return to what the term actually means. I like wikipedia’s idea of listing comfort foods by culture or region. Among my top comfort foods are pasta, mashed potatoes and ice cream Although I didn’t grow up eating meatloaf, I still think of it as comfort food. I’ve been in the mood for it all week. Along with potatoes, squash, and greens. Good winter food. Last night I made a batch of my favorite meatloaf recipe, which uses ground turkey. I make a few changes to the recipe as stated: 1) I usually make half the recipe and use all ground turkey, 2) I often add dried or fresh thyme for a little more flavor and 3) I brush the top with HP Brown Sauce instead of ketchup.

Skinny Turkey Spinach Meatloaf
Source: Cooking Light March 2004

Cooking spray
1 C finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 C dry bread crumbs
1/2 C fat-free milk
1 TBS. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (I would use more)
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast
1/2 lb ground beef, extra lean
2 (10 oz) pkgs. Frozen leaf spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over med-high heat. Add onion, sauté 4 minutes. Ad garlic, sauté 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Combine onion mix, breadcrumbs, and the next 8 ingredients (breadcrumbs through spinach) stirring well.

Shape mixture into a 12 x 5 inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush ketchup over top of loaf. Bake for 45 minutes or until thermometer registers 160. Let stand 10 min before slicing.

Yield: 8 servings

NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 292 (0% from fat); FAT 9.6g (sat 2.9g, mono 3.7g, poly 1.8g),; PROTEIN 31g; CARB 20.2g; FIBER 3.1g; CHOL 66mg; IRON 4.2mg; SODIUM 765mg; CALC 154mg

“Nightmare Commute”

How bad was it last night? Apparently the commute home was so bad that it was still “rush hour” at midnight! Check out these pictures from the Seattle Times website. And I was complaining about it taking me an hour to get home (versus the usual 20-25 minutes). In contrast, the streets this morning were deserted. I guess people decided it wasn’t worth coming in if they faced another trip like that. Tomorrow’s forecast: another big snowstorm and temps in the teens. Will it ever end?

Inclement

Dictionary.com’s word of the day for yesterday:

Inclement: 1. Rough, harsh; extreme, severe — generally restricted to the elements or weather. 2. Severe, unrelenting; cruel.

I think that accurately describes the weather we came home to this morning. After the balmy temps of Chicago, we faced the wind, cold, snow and freezing rain of Seattle. Yuk! I’m sorry to keep harping on the weather, really I am. I must say it’s affecting me more than I’d like. On the plus side, it gave us a perfect excuse to do nothing for the remainder of the day. Our afternoon has consisted of naps, computer catch-up and laundry. In spite of the weather, I am glad to be home again. And very thankful for all those things that keep me warm- notably mugs of tea and woolen blankets.

And Finally…

Our last day in Illinois dawned like the previous ones- sunny and mild. Much of the crew was already gone and the house felt nearly empty with only 11 remaining! We headed into downtown Chicago to see a matinee performance of “Wicked”. The show was enjoyed by all, despite the fact that we were seated in the last 3 rows of the upper balcony. A leisurely dinner at the Italian Village followed the show. We meandered the streets of downtown and visited the famous Marshall Field’s (now Macy’s) before heading home.

I, for one, am ready to return to my home in Seattle. The weekend has been filled with food, laughter, and belly rubbing. But the “bountiful Bondis” must part ways until next time.

Stuffed

Just a quick post from me tonight. The rest of the house has staggered to bed to leave G and I awake in our PST bodies. It’s been a hectic and family-filled day, successful on all accounts. Our numbers topped 20 and we concluded it was the first time all the Bondis had been together for Thanksgiving since at least 1984! Dinner was delicious, and almost every person made their specialty. While this often meant a congested kitchen, it also equated to some really standout dishes- from Kim’s mac ‘n cheese to Greg’s grilled Ceaser salad we ate like kings. It was a beautiful, mild day in the Chicago area and I managed to sneak out for 3 separate walks during the day. We ate an awful lot of carbs today, but the walks helped me process it a bit better. My objective for tomorrow is to eat more vegetables!

A Welcome Respite

I’m getting ready to head off to my uncle’s place in Illinois for the Thanksgiving holiday. I never thought I’d say it, but the weather in IL will be a welcome change from Seattle. We officially broke the record yesterday for the wettest month EVER and there’s nothing but rain in the forecast. Geneva, IL, on the other hand, looks to be mild and sunny all weekend. It ain’t Mexico, but I’ll take it!