Friday, October 29, 2010

Recipe Review - Yummy stuff other people created

I haven't been experimenting much with new recipes of my own design lately, but I have been trying out a number of recipes I found online. Here are a few that I particularly enjoyed over the last couple of weeks.

First off we have Pesto Hummus from Debbi Does Dinner... Healthy and Low Calorie

I know what you're probably thinking. Pesto AND Hummus?! If it sounds like a winning formula for

Yum + Yum = Super Yum

you are absolutely right. I left the consistency kind of thick, more like a sandwich spread than a creamy dip. I never made it to the sandwich though. Once I tried it with a couple of crackers I couldn't stop eating it long enough to bother with the rest of the sandwich fixings.

Next, there was Golden Gazpacho by Real Simple Recipes.

I know it's not really the season for cold soups any more, but there have still been lots of heirloom tomatoes in my local store begging to be used up so I couldn't resist. This was one simple, quick and easy recipe. SchmoopyBoy was happy to help out with this recipe. (Well, he enjoys helping with any recipe that involves the blender, but I digress.) My only modifications were leaving out the feta and prosciutto or salami to make it vegan-friendly for the hubs. I actually would have been happy to add feta to my bowl, but I didn't have any, and I honestly thought it was good enough without it. Look how beautiful it turned out.


Last but not least, dessert! Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by Happy Herbivore.

You wouldn't think that chocolate ad zucchini would go so well together, but they totally do! I've been itching to try my hand at some chocolate zucchini muffins since a friend of mine in California sent some to me after my dad died. I don't think this is the recipe she used, but this recipe sounded so good I had to try it. It did not disappoint. It was also a fun (albeit messy) project to do with SchmoopyBoy. I was very glad I remembered to put newspaper on the floor before starting. Made clean-up fast and easy. For modifications, I used 3/4 cups sugar instead of the whole cup. In the chef's notes, it says you can reduce it even more to just 1/2 cup. Here's a shot of the muffins cooling, just out of the oven. You can see a certain someone's aim was not always quite on target when spooning the batter into the tins.
These muffins were very moist. I had to bake them for the full 25 minutes and probably could have baked them a couple minutes longer without causing any damage. This was likely due to having a huge banana and a little extra zucchini that I added. I will admit that I hand-shredded the zucchini with a peeler out of laziness and not wanting to bother with washing my food processor, but I think it would have been better to go ahead and get the zucchini more finely shredded. Next time I will break out the food processor for that part of the preparation.

Good eats.

This post is linked up with Vegetarian Foodie Fridays!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mini-Man

As much as I dislike gender stereotypes and try to resist them to extent possible, I had to laugh and grab my phone to take pictures when I walked in on this scene.

My son, sans pants, leaves his toys all over the floor and decides its time to recline in his favorite chair with a book.


Whoops! He leaned too far back and fell over. That was fun, he spent the next 10 minutes repeating that performance.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sometimes my job is too cool

Most of the time I sit in front of a computer. Occasionally I sit in meetings with various stakeholders and other big wigs. And on a very rare occurrence, I get to see stuff like this.



This is Parker Dam, which creates Lake Havasu, the last major storage reservoir on the Colorado River. Here is the view looking downstream of the dam.


It was a gorgeous day - a perfect day for being on the river. However, the coolest thing was not even being at the river by the dam. It was this:


This is me, in full nerd regalia, inside one the four penstocks. Allow me to repeat myself. I am INSIDE A PENSTOCK! The place where I am standing is about 20 feet in diameter and is usually filled with water moving at about 5 feet per second. When the water moves through the penstock, it spins this turbine:



I may be a serious nerd, but seriously, how many times in my career am I going to get the opportunity to stand inside a penstock and look at a turbine that up close and personal? Pretty darn cool if you ask me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Picture Thursday

This post is long overdue. I meant to post these pictures as a sort of weekend wrap up on Sunday or Monday, and here it is Thursday, almost to the next weekend! Anyway, I'm calling the theme of this weekend Circle of Life - Remembrance and Renewal.

First, Remembrance- My balloon from the Walk to Remember, with the dates I said good-bye to my babies:


And now, Renewal - The first limes from the lime tree in my back yard:


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This post is part of a series I am writing for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month that I am calling PILAM 2010. I will be writing about pregnancy loss periodically throughout the month of October. As posts are added to the series I will add the links on all applicable posts.


My intro to PILAM 2010 is October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and includes resources in the Las Vegas area.

For reasons on why I am writing about pregnancy loss, see Why I write about miscarriage.

For ideas on ways to commemorate Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day, see What Can You Do.

A poem commemorating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is posted for October 15, 2010

My post-October 15th weekend wrap-up is at Picture Thursday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy Blogiversary to me!

Today marks one year since I started blogging!

Wow, how this blog has changed over the year, and will likely continue to evolve. It's been a fun learning experience. Sharing my life with you has been at times fun, at times healing, at times rewarding. Here's to another year of improving my writing skills (no small feat for a math/science nerd), enjoying SchmoopyBoy as he grows and develops, and tracking the activity (or lack thereof) of my reproductive system. ;)

Friday, October 15, 2010

PILAM 2010: A poem for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

This poem came in the packet given to me at the Resolve Through Sharing group. I thought this day would be appropriate to post it.

To The Child In My Heart
Author-unknown

Precious, tiny sweet little one
You will always be to me
So perfect, pure and innocent
Just as you were meant to be

We dreamed of you and your life
And all that it would be
We waited and longed for you to come
And join our family.

We never had a chance to play,
To laugh, to rock, to wiggle.
We long to hold you, touch you now
And listen to you giggle.

I'll always be your mother.
He'll always be your dad.
You will always be our child,
the child we wish we had.

But now you are gone... but yet you're here
We will sense you everywhere.
You are our sorrow and our joy,
There's love in every tear.

Just know our love goes deep and strong
We'll forget you never
The child we had, but never had,
And yet will have forever.


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This post is part of a series I am writing for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month that I am calling PILAM 2010. I will be writing about pregnancy loss periodically throughout the month of October. As posts are added to the series I will add the links on all applicable posts.


My intro to PILAM 2010 is October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and includes resources in the Las Vegas area.

For reasons on why I am writing about pregnancy loss, see Why I write about miscarriage.

For ideas on ways to commemorate Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day, see What Can You Do.

A poem commemorating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is posted for October 15, 2010

My post October 15th weekend wrap-up is at Picture Thursday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to keep a toddler in one place long enough for a breathing treatment

Alternate between short stroller rides around the couch as far as the tube will allow, and take goofy portraits with your bad quality phone camera, showing said toddler each picture you take.



Seeing him with a nebulizer is actually really disturbing for me. It reminds me entirely too much of my father's last few months.

These pictures were taken late last week. He is doing much better now. Nasty cough is almost completely gone. Plus he got a cute haircut on Monday - bonus.

Edit 10/14 - I originally loaded a what I thought was a silly self portrait, but my husband told me it looked more creepy than funny, so I deleted it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

PILAM 2010: What can you do?

I recently discovered the I Am The Face campaign, which is doing something pretty cool for National Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day this year. Their stated goal is "to raise $2000 for the 2000 women who lose a baby each day, and to 'put a face' pm the taboo issue of pregnancy and infant loss." They are trying to get 2000 women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss to post pictures of their faces by October 15th. Donations will fo to Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope, which is "a nonprofit organization with a mission of providing support and resources for parents who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss and to spread awareness of pregnancy and infant loss throughout the greater community." To post a picture of yourself, click this link here.

Some other things you can do to mark October 15th are:
1. Light a candle for your child(ren)
2. Do a balloon release with your family and/or friends - you can attach a note to the balloon or write the child's name on it before releasing
3. Plant a tree in honor of your child(ren)
4. Attend a local event in your area
5. Write a poem or note and post it on your own blog, or ask to guest post on someone else's blog if you don't have one.

May you all find healing and warmth on October 15th.

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This post is part of a series I am writing for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month that I am calling PILAM 2010. I will be writing about pregnancy loss periodically throughout the month of October. As posts are added to the series I will add the links on all applicable posts.


My intro to PILAM 2010 is October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and includes resources in the Las Vegas area.

For reasons on why I am writing about pregnancy loss, see Why I write about miscarriage.

For ideas on ways to commemorate Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day, see What Can You Do.

A poem commemorating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is posted for October 15, 2010

My post October 15th weekend wrap-up is at Picture Thursday.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

PILAM 2010: Why I write about miscarriage

Why the heck do I write so much about pregnancy loss? I mean, gosh, I have a gorgeous child already, why don’t I quit being such a downer and stick to poo-poo jokes and cute pictures?

Well, for starters and the most obvious reason – writing is therapeutic. My own losses are still fresh enough (can you believe my hCG levels are STILL not back to normal yet?!) that I do get relief from spilling my guts from time to time.

But it isn’t just about me and my own healing. I am very fortunate (or unfortunate as the case may be) to have the support of family and friends who have also experienced miscarriage and can relate to my experience. I am additionally fortunate to have a loving and supportive partner who listens to me when I have a particularly bad day. But not all of us are so privileged.

There are a lot of us. I have found statistics that put the rate of miscarriage in the U.S. at anywhere from 25% to 33%. That’s a lot of women losing babies. And pregnancy loss does not discriminate. It affects women who are white and black, rich and poor, highly educated and illiterate. It can affect a childless woman during her first pregnancy and a woman with four children during her fifth pregnancy. (I do not dispute any evidence that pregnancy outcomes are worse for disadvantaged women, my point is that any woman of any race from any walk of life can lose a pregnancy without notice or obvious reason.)

It happens so very frequently and yet is something that, generally speaking, is not openly talked about much. We are not supposed to talk about it. As soon as the bleeding stops or the D&C is done we are expected to forget it ever happened and move on with our lives as though it were just another period or a procedure not much unlike the removal of a wart on the hand.

This is particularly true for women who have living children. Our grief is invalidated. Our cries silenced because “What are you complaining about? You have children. Why don’t you just get over it and focus on that?”

The loss is real. The grief is real. It is lasting. And I will not be silent.

I write to give voice to those who cannot speak without their feelings being invalidated. I write for those who cannot or will not, for whatever reason, write for themselves. I am not so pretentious as to claim to know what all women feel, for we all experience loss differently and process it uniquely in our own due time, but I write to pay homage to all my sisters in pregnancy loss and to honor and validate their experiences.

For if I speak, if I am heard, if I create awareness that this is indeed real, then perhaps any woman who suffers silent grief, whether as a fresh all-consuming wound or as an ever-present ghost in the furthermost crevice of her mind, might raise her voice and say out loud:

I feel sad. I feel lost. I feel hopeless. I feel scared.

My baby would have born this month. My baby would have turned four this month. My baby would have turned 40 this month... And I grieve anew every year at this time.

I mourn the baby I never had the chance to hold and hug, laugh with and delight in. Yes I love the children I have… But I also love the children I didn’t have.


And the people she from whom she most needs support, rather than saying “Get over it” will respond with empathy and love and warmth.

Be aware. Starting this year, this October, this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, try to be sensitive, and just be aware.

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This post is part of a series I am writing for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month that I am calling PILAM 2010. I will be writing about pregnancy loss periodically throughout the month of October. As posts are added to the series I will add the links on all applicable posts.


My intro to PILAM 2010 is October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and includes resources in the Las Vegas area.

For reasons on why I am writing about pregnancy loss, see Why I write about miscarriage.

For ideas on ways to commemorate Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day, see What Can You Do.

A poem commemorating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is posted for October 15, 2010

My post October 15th weekend wrap-up is at Picture Thursday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Did you know that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month? Did you know that October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day?

On September 28, 2006, House Resolution # 222 was passed in the House of Representatives supporting the goals and ideals of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. The entire transcription from the US House of Representatives can be found on the official web site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, http://october15th.com.

This is the time of year when local miscarriage support groups hold their annual Walks to Remember or other awareness activities. The link above contains information for many events around the country, but I noticed the local Walk is missing. So here's the information that I have:

Saturday, October 16
Children's Memorial Park
corner of Gowan and N. Rainbow
12:00 noon to 2:00pm
sponsored by Resolve Through Sharing (RTS)

This is a family event, any living children are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

SchmoopyBoy typically goes down for his nap during the time of the walk (figures) so I'll probably just go the first hour, depending on how he appears to be feeling.

For anyone in the area that is interested, RTS also holds a monthly support group meeting at Sunrise Hospital on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. You can get more information here. I went to the September meeting. I will confess I was unimpressed with the facilitator. I'll probably go one more time to give her another chance, but if I see the same things I saw last time I'm quite sure I will not be returning again. We'll see.

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This post is part of a series I am writing for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month that I am calling PILAM 2010. I will be writing about pregnancy loss periodically throughout the month of October. As posts are added to the series I will add the links on all applicable posts.


My intro to PILAM 2010 is October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and includes resources in the Las Vegas area.

For reasons on why I am writing about pregnancy loss, see Why I write about miscarriage.

For ideas on ways to commemorate Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day, see What Can You Do.

A poem commemorating Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is posted for October 15, 2010

My post October 15th weekend wrap-up is at Picture Thursday.