Friday, July 29, 2011

Last day of work!

Being pregnant leads to so many awkward conversations! Some I walk away from thinking they're just funny (like explaining to an insistent programmer the biological and medical reasons why it's not possible to get pregnant a week after I have the baby), to the retarded questions, and all the way to the ones I tell the co-workers I'm not comfortable discussing.

This week the HR ladies approached me about finding a room to pump in when I get back. Recently some law was passed that requires them to provide a room with a lock that isn't a bathroom for pumping milk. So they let me know they had been thinking about it and had decided the Safe would be the best place (our office used to be a bank, so think old school walk in safe with counting tables). I would head in, have someone outside lock the door for me, and call them when I wanted out!

Because I'm totally concerned that I'm just going to go stir crazy while pumping and require someone to make sure I'm locked away safe... So I told them I wasn't comfortable being locked in from the outside and just trusting that nobody would come see why the safe was locked. Besides, there's a peep hole. Kinda creepy if you ask me!

Second try, the server room! I would have to walk through the programmer's space every three hours to pump and they would have to put a lock on the door so none of the programmers needing to access the servers would accidentally walk in. I conceded that it would probably work, but wasn't too excited about the idea.

Finally they came back saying they talked to our building manager, and there's already a designated office space in the basement for nursing. It has a lock, no windows and a couch. Perfect. Good thing they talked with the office manager, because I'm liking this option!

In all honesty, I wasn't really pushing for this. I was fine with going down to the basement bathroom where nobody ever goes, or even into my car back seat in the parking garage with a nursing shield, but it's nice that they're watching out for me.

There are so many things to think about with this little guy joining us soon that I never considered before (like using disposable diapers until the belly button scab falls off). I'm sure there will be a million more to figure out before we're done, but for now I'm taking it as it comes! I'm just excited that today is my last day of work and I can now focus on getting ready!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Broccoli Beef in a half hour

I've been so exhausted, but still feel the intense need to eat healthy. This has been a major challenge since preparing healthy foods usually takes time. So I've enlisted Dave's help! Every other Thursday night we browse that weeks sales papers to decide on our menu for the next two weeks. Last week we did this Wednesday before our trip to St George, and it went something like this:

Amy - Ooh, cherries are on sale at Sunflower Market! We'll have to get a few pounds of those!
Dave - And look, broccoli is on sale there too! I love fresh broccoli!
Amy - (silence)

Now being my mother's daughter, I couldn't figure out what we would DO with 2 lbs of fresh broccoli. I didn't have any plans to  bring a veggie tray to an event, so why in the world would we buy it?!? But my silence did nothing to curb Dave's enthusiasm.

Dave - We could make Broccoli Beef! I love that dish
Amy - I guess I can look for a recipe online. But if it's too complex, it's not making next week's menu

So I started digging. I went through probably 7 different online recipes from the painfully simple but not tasty sounding, to the ones with gorgeous pictures and 200 ingredients that I would never use on any other recipe. Eventually I decided to combine an easy one with some of the more simple ingredients of a more involved one (ie. what we already had on hand).

Before purchasing the broccoli, I stepped back and had Dave commit to help me with the prep work. We'd need to slice and marinate the beef the night before, as well as for ease of cooking the day of, chop up the broccoli. He agreed, and we have now discovered one of our new favorite dishes! And because we prepped the day before, it only took a half hour to actually prepare the day of. Not too shabby.

I didn't take a picture, because I wasn't expecting much from this meal, but here's the recipe:

Broccoli Beef

1/4 c soy sauce
2 t oil
1/3 c white grape juice
1 t sugar
2 t cornstarch
¾ lb beef round steak (cut 1/8 inch thick)

3 T oil
1 slice ginger root (or caramelized ginger from the spice isle)
1 garlic clove (diced)
1 - 2 lb broccoli (cut into florets)

Whisk together soy sauce, oil, grape juice, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Stir until dissolved. Place steak pieces into a shallow bowl, pour the mixture over the meat and stir to coat well. Marinate 30 minutes to overnight.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok over medium high heat, and stir in the ginger and garlic. Let them sizzle in the hot oil for about 1 minute to flavor the oil, then remove and discard. Stir the broccoli, and toss and stir in the hot oil until bright green and almost tender (7 minutes). Remove the broccoli from the wok. Set aside.

Pour a little more oil in the wok. Stir and toss the beef with the marinade until the sauce thickens, and the meat is no linger pink (about 5 minutes). If the sauce doesn't thicken, add more cornstarch. Return the cooked broccoli to the wok, and stir until the meat and broccoli are heated through (3 minutes).

Serve over rice or noodles.

We ate this over ramen last night (actually better than it sounds), and are planning to eat the leftovers over rice tonight. It made 4 servings for us. It's a winner, as is prepping the meal the night before! I usually get home exhausted, cook dinner, Dave gets home, we eat, Dave cleans up while I relax a little, and now we've started prepping the next day's dinner together. Then we can relax by reading (if I want to put Dave to sleep), or by watching a movie (if I want to fall asleep). Pretty laid back, but it's what we need right now!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wedding and Work!

It felt like the beginning of this pregnancy went so slow, but now that I'm down to my last 3 weeks time is just flying by! I've got way too many unfinished projects! I have too much cleaning to do! I just can't get caught up! And it doesn't help that by the time I make it home at night, I'm so exhausted I don't feel like doing anything more than eating and watching a movie (or just going to sleep for the night).

But the end is in sight! I've told work I need to start Maternity leave on August 1st, so two more weeks of work. If the baby cooperates, maybe he'll decide not to make his appearance until I get caught up on a few things. I'm not asking for much, just a week to clean and catch up. And if it's healthy for him, I'd give him a little longer!

Part of the problem stems from how busy we've been lately. We haven't had a weekend to stop and work for a while now. Something always seems to be going on! Last weekend we were in St George for Dave's brother Jon's wedding. It was great to be down there with all the family, but now I'm trying to play catchup on everything! I didn't get our grocery shopping done, so we'll have to do that tonight (if we want to eat for the next two weeks).

The wedding went well. It was in the St George Temple, so we stayed at the cabin with a few of Dave's siblings (Blane & Angela, Lucinda & Aaron, and Tim). Friday the gang went to hike Kanarriville falls, and I hung out at Grandma & Grandpa Yoders. They had tons of fun, even made it to the rock water slide and took full advantage of that! Saturday was all things wedding (family breakfast, sealing at noon, and reception at 7). We were able to squeeze in some swimming between the sealing and reception! It was great since it was so hot outside. 

So this week it will be back to the grind. I'll be trying to get the house cleaned, finish up stuff for Heather's baby shower (next Saturday), trying to find a place that can deliver a load of dirt for the front flower bed, and trying to convince myself I want to clean out the root cellar. Maybe I can convince Dave he wants to head up the last one at least! It's the only one that's actually labor intensive, and I could use a break from that.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July and catching up!

Life has been so busy lately! I swear I don’t know where the summer has gone. We’ve been busy with yard work and baby preparation. The yard work is never ending (Dave’s project), but I’m at the point this summer where I can’t help with much of it any more.

Our garden is doing well, we get a little bowl full of strawberries about every other day, we have some green tomatoes growing, killer onions, a few peppers and some green raspberries that are going to be so tasty! Our strawberries are small, but so tasty!

Dave decided several months ago what our front yard really needed was a raised flower bed in the front, so we’ve been slowly putting that in. The structure is put together, now all it needs is to be filled with dirt and for us to replant our daffodil bulbs in it (waiting for the fall to tackle that project). It looks good so far, but will look even better when we get something flowering in there.

We’ve now got most of the baby prep done (my project). We bought a curtain rod a few weeks ago while on an Ikea shopping trip with my Aunt Kathryn ($15). She was visiting from North Carolina while dropping her son Emil off at college, and of course that warranted a trip to the big blue store! So now I just need to get the curtains and put them on the rod, and everything is pretty much done in there.

This weekend we took a trip down to the Cabin for the 4th of July. It was relaxing and fun, although the drive was killer! And I want to do this again in 2 weeks?  We did a little hiking, searched for petrified wood (got a huge piece for the front yard), visited with my mom’s side of the family (Sunday BBQ with the uncles, aunts, and grandparents), and generally relaxed.

We went down to Kanarriville Falls and got to go see the waterfall and slot canyon. It was our first time going, and it’s definitely a hike we’ll want to do again when I’m not pregnant. We hiked up to the first falls, and even trekked up the make shift ladder to the second falls, but didn’t complete the 3 total miles of the trail (it was 104 out and by that point were in serious need of some Dairy Queen). 

Also, we had my niece Andrea with us, and although she loved the water, she had a harder time with the heat and the hike, so we didn’t want to stay too long!

So things have been pretty crazy for us! Work’s been pretty rough for me lately, which consumes a lot of my time and energy, but in 4 – 5 weeks I’ll get a long break from that. So I’m just hanging in there for now. I can survive another month! Crazy that we’ll have a baby in about a month!