Wednesday, July 29, 2009

30 weeks: simple summer salads

Actually a few days late, as I'm not at 31 weeks, but this photo was taken at 30 weeks.

The bump has definitely gotten bigger. These past couple of weeks we've been making lots of summer salads. Two weekends ago we went to Camp Taiwan, courtesy of our friend Jenn, who is a counselor there.

While there, the hubs and I made a broccoli slaw that was really well-received: lightly steamed broccoli and red cabbage tossed in a vinaigrette of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and finely diced onion (salad inspired by Leanne Ely).

Unlike last year, I didn't climb, and all of us did not hike, river trace, or use the zip line. We mostly lounged around, napped, had many interesting conversations, and enjoyed nature.

This past weekend we went to the beach house and were in charge of the vegetables - a perfect opportunity to try the salads Mark Bittman mentioned in his timely article, "101 Simple Salads for the Season." We made #1, #3, and #30, all vegan, and all delicious.

Everyone raved about #3, the watermelon, tomato, and basil salad. I went all 70s and used the melon baller to scoop out the watermelon, and then made a watermelon bowl to serve the salad in. Of course, I didn't remember to take a photo until the salad was gone.

The potato salad (#30) is basically the same as the one listed in his cookbook, How to Cook Everything, but with the addition of capers. The capers are key. We'd made the same salad minus the capers the week before at Camp Taiwan, and the revised version is much, much better.

I also baked a Chocolate Stout Cake for the hub's birthday, except I baked it in a 12-cup bundt pan and was absolutely thrilled that it came out of the pan neatly - my first success with a bundt pan! It's definitely a special-occasion cake, as its very dense and rich.

Monday, July 13, 2009

28 weeks: swelling

The biggest change this week was swelling. I first noticed my swollen feet last Saturday night but chalked it up to sitting and eating for several hours at my cousin's wedding dinner. After we went back to our hotel room, I put my feet up and the hubs rubbed my feet and it was a lot better. The swelling came back a little the next day, but I attributed that to flying back to Taipei.

The, Monday after lunch I looked down, and woah! Cankles! I put on my compression leg warmers (or footless stockings) and it helped a bit. But being the vain person that I am, I only put them on in the afternoon since they didn't "go" with my outfit. Besides the swelling my feet felt like they were burning.

By Thursday night, I was determined to spend at least an hour in the pool. That helped a lot! Apparently being in the pool is like wearing a giant full body compression stocking. The water pressure of the pool pushes the water from your extremities to your core and then your kidneys, which you then pee out. According to one of my pregnancy books, 1 hour in the pool can provide 48 hours of relief.

On Friday, I put my vanity aside and wore the compression stockings all day. I didn't wear them at all this weekend, but since I was at home, I figured being active (instead of sitting at my desk) would help with the circulation. Saturday evening, as I went to get a foot massage, the masseuse even said, "wow, your feet aren't swollen at all!" I am so going to be living in the pool!

Foot soak prior to foot massage.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cultural differences

I bumped into my saleslady tonight at the gym. She congratulated me in my obviously pregnant state and reminded me to make an appointment with her soon to put my membership on hold since I wouldn't want to be working out late in my pregnancy.

Actually, I told her, in my current swollen state and facing an already sweltering Taiwan summer with my own personal heater residing in my bump, the thought of bouncing around in a cool swimming pool every day sounds mighty appealing.

Is he kicking, she asked? He's very active, I replied. Oh, you must tell him to be a good boy and not bother you while you're doing stuff like getting ready for work, she said. That way he'll be well-behaved after he's born. I do talk to him every day, I told her, except that the hubs and I say things like, "Mommy and Daddy love you very much," and encourage him when he's active because we take it as a sign that he's healthy.

"Don't bother your mommy and be a good boy!" she called out as I got my locker key and headed into the gym. O_o