Feb 012016
 

You know what you really want when you’re 8 months pregnant and getting the nesting urge? For a major appliance to break. On a weekend, of course, when no one is available to come out and take a look at it for four days…

Yep, our fridge broke recently. Woke up one morning to nothing really cold in the fridge and things in the freezer being “sort of” frozen…Luckily we have a second fridge/freezer in the garage that was used solely for giant jars of pickled jalapenos, beer and then frozen meat from Costco. It was Michael’s mom’s old fridge and we happily took it a few years ago. So I moved all the food into that fridge (which is small) in order to save it.

The upside? It was a good opportunity to clean out mysterious things in the freezer!

The repair guy came out. Michael and I had agreed that if it cost under $500 to fix, we’d fix it, if not we were buying a new fridge. Yeah…..$800+ to fix it?? Not happening! To be fair, our fridge was 20 years old. So fridge shopping it was!

While it’s been inconvenient and a pain in the butt, I’m glad it didn’t happen a month from now when I’m about to give birth. But still, not great timing Universe! We went out for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant:

mexicanfood

And then we went to Sears, because the repair guy gave us a coupon for a new fridge. I can’t say I’m happy with how it went at Sears. The guy helping us was kind of a tool and when I asked if there were any downsides to the fridge we were considering he went into a super long spiel about the Sears extended warranty stuff. I get it dude, you probably work on commission, but that’s not what I asked and stop trying to pressure sell us on your dumb warranty. Telling me fridges aren’t built to last more than 5-8 years these days so I should buy your dumb warranty that is 50% of what the fridge costs, is not making me want to buy your fridge. We NEVER had that obnoxious up-selling at Lowe’s when we bought our new dishwasher there. Plus he kept trying to convince us that the double door/french door style of fridge was best–which I repeatedly said I didn’t want. Why aren’t you listening to your customers??

It was 8:30 at night, I was tired after a really long day, having Braxton-Hicks contractions that were really uncomfortable and I was over the salesguy’s attitude. We kept saying no thanks, he wasn’t listening and kept trying to sell us this extended warranty and then trying to convince us to sign up for some Sears monthly payment plan or credit card to pay for the warranty. DUDE! Knock it off. I almost said, “we have the money to pay for the warranty, we just don’t WANT IT.” I finally said to Michael right in front of him, “If this is going to be an issue, let’s just go to Lowe’s.” Funny how the guy shut the eff up right then!

We bought the fridge and it was on a great sale, like $870 off regular price, plus the $100 off coupon. We’re both happy with the selection we made. It was the style we wanted, it was the right size for the space and layout of our kitchen and I think we made the right decision–even if Sears made me never want to buy something from them again…

Our new fridge:

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The fridge is really nice and there’s so much space inside! It’s about an inch taller, wider and deeper than our old fridge and that makes a slight difference even though it doesn’t sound like much. It’s good and it fits, but it feels slightly overpowering in the space. Or maybe it just takes some getting used to.

Moving on!

Life has been CRAZYYYYY lately. If you saw my schedule you’d probably cry a little bit. I’ve been feeling way over-scheduled and overwhelmed and stressed. Between full time work, trying to fit in the gym, trying to stay on top of chores and crap around the house, doctor appointments, trying to finish the nursery, weekly childbirth classes and now trying to fit in daycare tours (which is stressful enough on its own)…I have zero downtime. It’s my fault. I procrastinated on a lot of things (like the daycare tours, which now means we’re getting on waitlists). And then of course things have popped up that we didn’t plan for (like the fridge). [picture me screaming into a pillow right now!!!!]

But…I have been doing some FUN things, too. I’ve been trying to schedule things with friends because I know stuff like that will fall off the priority list once the little guy is here.

  • Michael and I had a lunch date at Ohana Hawaiian Cafe with our friends Sam and John. I got the teriyaki chicken platter, which was fabulous!
  • I met up with my friend Star who recently moved in with her boyfriend (which is fantastic!!). We hung out and drank tea and chatted for a few hours. It was nice to just sit back and catch up. It also came on a day when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and needed that time.
  • I met my friend Robyn at Pho Van for lunch.

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And then last night we went to Michael’s mom’s house for my birthday dinner. She asked what I wanted and I said mashed potatoes. She makes perfect garlic mashed potatoes and I’ve been craving that. So she made a delicious pot roast to go with it. Dinner was fabulous.

roast

Dessert was peppermint ice cream (also my favorite). And I got some new running shoes!

shoes

Don’t those look fabulous? I cannot wait to get back into running. I’ve really, really missed it.

I apologize now that the next few posts will be kind of baby-centric. I have a post about the nursery coming up and I have my baby shower this weekend. :)

What’s going on in your life lately?

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Jan 062016
 

I’ve been lucky to have a fairly smooth pregnancy so far. While the (24/7) morning sickness sucked, I never actually puked so I would say I had it easy compared to a lot of ladies.

One thing that has been a concern is my iron levels. I’ve been anemic twice in my life. When I was a teenager I was anemic and had to take iron. Then during the 10 years I was a vegetarian I was anemic as well. Once I quit being a vegetarian my iron levels were fine and they’ve been fine until recently. So for 10 years or so I didn’t have an issue.

Back in October I was feeling really run down and like I was on the verge of getting sick with something. At my monthly OB appointment my doctor checked my blood and I was slightly anemic. I added a daily supplement and my prenatal vitamin has some iron in it, too. I was feeling a little better, less run down, so I assumed I was better.

Hematocrit

34.5 – 45.0 %
37.7 36.1 34.6 33.9 L 32.4 L 32.3 L
Hemoglobin

12.0 – 16.0 gm/dL
12.9 12.3 12.0 11.6 L 10.7 L 10.8 L

As you can see, my levels have been falling in 2015. The first column is 2012, next was 2014 and the rest were all taken after getting pregnant. I understand the anemia I had this summer because when I was in the thick of the morning sickness and food aversions I stopped eating meat and salad. Both things made me feel sick and just could not stomach eating them. But once I was over that, and eating both again, why didn’t it go back up? I’m not sure.

Symptoms_of_anemia

When I went in for my gestational diabetes test they also tested my iron and I was still low. The doctor said my levels hadn’t had a “significant change” since my last test. Damn!

When you have anemia, your blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues and to your baby.  It’s normal to have mild anemia when you are pregnant. But you may have more severe anemia from low iron or vitamin levels or from other reasons. Anemia can leave you feeling tired and weak. If it is severe but goes untreated, it can increase your risk of serious complications like preterm delivery. [source] SIGNS:

Pale skin, lips, and nails

Feeling tired or weak

Dizziness 

Shortness of breath

Rapid heartbeat

Trouble concentrating

Hmmm…I kind of have all of those symptoms. :( I was a little worried about the effects this could possibly have so I asked my doctor what to do and honestly felt a little disappointed because the foods she suggested I add to my diet are already in my diet! She also said this:

1. Make sure to take Vitamin C (ie, orange juice) with your iron supplement as that will make it be absorbed better by your body
2. Increase your iron supplements to taking 1 pill twice a day (morning and night)
3. Increase your dietary iron by incorporating 3-4 things off the of list below into your daily diet

I would pick 1-2 of the things above to help improve your iron levels. Do what would be easiest for you on a daily basis.

She included a list of foods to eat:

IRON RICH FOODS

Increase Intake of Iron-Rich Foods. Include one or more of these foods with every meal:
Lean red meat, liver*, kidney*, heart*, eggs*, dark meat poultry, oysters, clams, shellfish or fish
Dried beans, dried peas, lentils, nuts, or seeds
Dried fruit
Dark green leafy vegetables
Iron-fortified breads and cereals
Blackstrap molasses
Cooking in cast-iron cookware will increase the iron content of your food.
*These foods re high in cholesterol.

Increase Absorption of Iron-Rich Foods
Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron. Include a vitamin C-rich food or juice with every meal. Vitamin C-rich foods include oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, guavas, cantaloupes, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, chilies, and dark green leafy vegetables. This is especially important if you eat a plant-based diet.
Avoid taking antacids or calcium supplements before eating a meal or with an iron supplement.
Limit coffee and tea with meals.

iron

So looking through that list, I already drink a glass of orange juice with breakfast (perhaps this is why I was craving it throughout my pregnancy??), I eat eggs and fish, lean red meat about once a week, dried fruit on occasion (apricots and prunes) and green leafy veggies. I definitely won’t be eating liver or kidney. But I can add beans and lentils to my diet pretty easily. And I think I need to start eating chicken thighs instead of breasts.

 

What I’m Doing

I already eat eggs almost every day for breakfast. I also pretty much live on Brussels Sprouts and broccoli. That’s a staple in our house. I go through phases where I eat a lot of kale. I buy avocados weekly — mostly for Michael — and I need to be better about eating them. I just forget! Bananas are good but I only eat them once a week or so because the sugar content in them make me crash.

  • I’m starting to do scrambled eggs with sauteed kale or spinach for breakfast.

breakfast1

  • I’ve added beans to dinner a few times a week.
  • Michael bought chicken thighs at Costco recently and I’m eating that instead of chicken breasts.
  • Now that my tooth issues are resolved, I can eat more substantial stuff so we added steak back into our weekly meal rotation. (Seen below, tri-tip steak, blue cheese dressing because pregnant, sauteed brussels sprouts with onions.)

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  • I bought some frozen cod to eat for dinner once a week. We already try and eat salmon once a week.

Here was one dinner I had:

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Jasmine rice, peas and carrots, topped with Trader Joe’s Lentils. Lentils are high in iron and this one also had kidney beans in it.

Another dinner was spinach salad with blue cheese dressing, chicken thighs and beans.

dinner1

I’m doing better incorporating iron-rich foods into my diet but I’m not sure if it’s making a difference. I have an OB appointment in a few weeks and will ask my doctor to test my iron levels again and see if what I’ve been doing has been helping. I’m honestly surprised that with a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins with iron in them AND an iron supplement is still keeping me at anemic levels. It seems weird to me!

What about you? If you fixed your anemia, tell me what worked!

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