Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yummy recipes

Ask my sister and she will tell you how much I love making up recipies and trying new food combinations. Sometimes they are a hit, sometimes they are not. Here are three recipes that I think are pretty good. (And Micah has asked for them to be made again, so you know they can't be all that bad.)

Cranberry Walnut Chicken with Buttered Noodles

1 can of whole cranberry sauce
8oz French dressing (or one small bottle)
1 packet of dried onion soup mix
1 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 to 1 1/2 Lbs of skinless chicken breasts. (I prefer thin-cut chicken breasts because it cooks faster. You can also use chicken tenders.)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Wide egg noodles
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cranberry sauce, dressing, dried onion soup mix and mustard in a large mixing bowl until combined. (You can also combine these ingredients in a small sauce pot and heat over medium heat until the cranberry sauce melts. Let the mixture cool a little before pouring over chicken.)

Add chicken and let marinated for 20-30 minutes (if time allows). Pour chicken and sauce into casserole dish. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. (Adjust time if using thicker chicken breasts.) While chicken is cooking, cook noodles in quart size pot until tender. Drain, add butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Place the noodles and chicken on large serving tray. Spoon on extra sauce over the chicken. Complete the dish by sprinkling the chopped walnuts. Serve while hot.

Beefy Mexican Roll-ups

1 lb. ground beef
1 can cheese soup
1 small can of green chilies, diced
3/4 cup instant rice prepared
1 T cumin
1 -2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
2T chili powder
8-10 small torillas
2/3 cup shredded cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef over medium/high heat. Once browned, add cumin, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, chili powder. (You can play with these spices to customize your taste. Also, if you don't have all of these spices on hand, you could use a packet of taco seasoning.)

Add the rice and cheese soup to the beef mixture, stir until combined. (You may need to add a touch of milk to thin out the soup.)

Spoon the mixture into the a tortilla and roll up. Repeat with the remaining torillas and put into a large cassarole dish. Spoon salsa over the roll-ups and sprinkle the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy with additional salsa and sour cream.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

This recipe is SUPER easy!

1 bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 family size frozen Green Giant broccoli and cheese - seperate the broccoli from the cheese cubes. Save the cheese cubes for later.
1 box container of vegatable or chicken broth (about 2.5 C)
3/4 - 1C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add the broth and broccoli and bring to a rapid boil. Continue to boil until broccoli starts to get mushy. Once the broccoli starts to breakdown, remove from heat and puree the mixture. (I have an immersion blender, but a regular blender or food processor would work well.)

Once mixture is smooth, add cheese cubes, shredded cheese, milk and salt and pepper. Stir and enjoy!!
**I've also had this without the cheese and milk and it is still good and low in fat.**

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tummy Time and Other Updates...

Abby has been spending some time on her tummy. Look at how well she can hold up her head. She is so advanced!! (I'm sure every mom says that.) For the most part she doesn't mind it, however, she doesn't like to do it more than for about 10 minutes and then just starts to scream to picked up.

As you can tell in the last picture, she loves to hold her head up while you hold her. I don't know how much she can see, but she looks all around when we walk around the house. She is very curious to see what is going on in the house.

In other updates, because I'm the best wife ever, Micah is heading to Tampa this weekend to attend the SuperBowl. ( Yes, you read that correctly, Micah is going away to leave me alone with our six week old daughter AND he is missing my birthday.) Since he is going away, I'm going to Michigan for the weekend. I've heard that babies travel well at this age, so wish me luck as I nagivate the airport with a newborn. I'm sure I'll have lots to update.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Four hours...

I know I'm tempting fate by writing this, but Abby slept in four hour increments last night. We put her to bed at 8ish last night, like we always do after our bath and bottle. She didn't wake up until midnight. After eating nearly four ounces and a quick diaper change, she went back to sleep and didn't wake up until nearly 4:30 am. I was so excited!!!

As I've mentioned before Abby sometimes doesn't like to sleep during the day. Yesterday she was awake from 7:30 am until 5pm. She might have slept 20 minutes here and there. She slept great last night and has only been today to eat. I think she hates to nap because she thinks she is going to miss something. She than gets overtired and spends the next day sleeping. (case in point today). Let's just hopes she sleeps well tonight.


A friend recently told me that she and her husband are expecting. They had been trying for a couple of months and were starting to get worried that something was wrong. I told Micah the good news. He was excited for them and asked how long they had been trying. I said I think six months or so. His comment, "Oh, that is nothing."

His response took me a little by surprise. I knew that our struggles with infertlity affected both of us, but Micah never really expressed out he felt. After his comment, it made me realize that every month that we didn't get pregnant effected him just as much as it effected me. I just expressed the disappointment more. And for those of you who read this blog and have struggled with infertlity longer that we did, please do not take Micah's comment as an offense. I'm sharing this because I never really thought about how the experience affected him, but focused more on my own disappointment and anger. While I wished I'd never had to go through what we went through, I think it made us a stronger couple.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We Can and We Did

Yesterday was an amazing day for America. I would have loved to be one of the nearly 2 million people on the Mall to watch the swearing in of America's first African-American president, but it was just a little too cold for Abby (and for me). So I watched from the comfort of my living room, along with my mother-in-law who came down to help me out for the couple of days while Micah was in DC doing inauguration coverage.

I got chills as I watched the then President-elect Obama walk out from the shadows of the Capital's hallways into the sun-drenched balcony to take the oath of office. My mother-in-law and I both got tears as we watch Aretha Franklin sing My Country Tis of Thee and were in awe when the Reverend said the shema (one of the holiest Hebrew phrases) during his invocation. And as the cameras panned back, and the sea of people stretching all the way to the Washington Monument was revealed, we were just amazed to be witness to the exciting, historical moment.

I can't wait to see what the next four/eight years has in store.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More pictures...

Are you sick of seeing pictures yet?? Here are some more. I even took a video, but Micah has to edit it because the files is huge.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Surviving our First Day Alone

Abby and I survived our first day alone yesterday and I even got to take a shower. We are slowly getting into a groove. I wouldn't say that we have a routine per say. Abby still makes her own schedule and she is still sleeping a lot. It is odd, she tends to sleep longer stretches and can go nearly four hours between feedings during the day. Not so much at night. Last night she was up every 2 hours on the dot. Which really means that I get about an hour and half of sleep at a time.

Right now she is sleeping in her Boppy on the coach. She ate last at 9:30 am (it is 1:07pm) so I'm just biding my time until she wakes up screaming.

The two pictures below are from this morning. I love that she is more aware of her surroundings each day!

A friend of our lent us her swing, which Abby loves, more so a different times of the day than others. Any whoo, she has recently discovered the bear mobile and spends most of her time looking up at them. I would think that it would hurt her neck, but she doesn't seem to mind.

Laws of Poop

Over the past four weeks, I've learned somethings about poop.

1. A poopy diaper will almost happen when you least prepared to handle it, like say in the middle of a conference call. This happened to Micah last week. I was in the shower and he said it was the loudest thing he had ever heard. He had to make sure that people on the call knew it was Abby and then quickly excused himself to take care of a situation.

2. A clean diaper is always more fun to poop in than a wet one. I swear that Abby holds out until after I've changed her diaper. It happens at least once a day. As soon as I change her, we sit down and then I hear the unmistakable sounds of a juicy poop. And I look at hr and she just smiles, like she knows what she has just done.

3. When checking to see if your daughter has a poopy diaper, you will inevitably put your hand in it. Does this really need further explanation?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Freezer meals

I think I mentioned this really cool place, Let's Dish, in an early post. I had won a gift certificate in a fish bowl raffle earlier this year before I found out I was pregnant. The concept behind Let's Dish is to make meals that are freezeable, so you don't have to worry about making meals during a busy day. I decided to wait and use the certificate until closer to my due date. So two or three weeks before Abby arrived I made four meals (that I actually split into two meals each because each meal serves 6-8 people so I had 8 meals that were easy to make.) The entire time I was at the store, I kept thinking, "I can do this without paying someone else to purchase the food for me."

So today that is exactly what I did. I made a menu of 5-6 meals that I could prep today and freeze. I did a lot of the prep work so for the most part, all I have to do is cook them. I chose recipes that were easy to freeze, meatloaf, calazones, stuffed chicken, fajitas, cranberry chicken and mac and cheese. Most of the meals I was able to breakdown into two different servings, so I actually almost doubled the number of meals. (Of course this only works if you feed 2-3 people, but can only seem to make family quanity recipes.) If everything works out and tastes good, I'll post the recipies.

I'm hoping doing about three hours of work this afternoon, will help reduce some of the stress that will come when Micah goes back to work on Monday. At least I don't have to worry about what we will have for dinner. (And if I'm really tired, Micah could make one of the meals - with a lot of direction by me, but at least he doesn't have to do all the prep work.)

As a reward, if you finished reading this entire post, here are pictures of Abby. (I think my life would have been threatened if I wrote another post without pictures.)

Hanging out on my playmat

Snuggling with Dad

Sleeping in the swing

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

3 Weeks Old

I can't believe that Abigail is 3 weeks old today. Seems like just yesterday she was born. I'm sure time only goes faster from here. Abby went to the doctor today for a check up. She is perfect, according to the doctor, but we already knew that. She gained 12 oz and I missed how long she was. She is sleeping great, for the most part. We still have our moments, mostly during the day. She fights going to sleep, like she might miss something.

Micah is home for the rest of the week and I'm afraid of Monday morning when I'll be here alone. I know I can do it, but it is still scary. Hopefully, the weather will warm up a little bit and we can go for a walk or two each day. She doesn't mind the stroller and I could use the exercise.

I'll keep you all updated on how the two of us manage... I also have more pictures, I promise I'll post soon.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Saying good-bye 2008

I should have really written this yesterday, but I everytime I thought I would have 20 minutes or so to blog, someone would start to cry and want to be held. as it is I'm typing one-handed at the moment because Abby loves to be held when she sleeps.

While I was up last night feeding Abby, I thought about all that happened in 2008. There was quite a few big occasions. I thought I'd rank the top seven moments of the past year for the Gelman.

7. The 2008 Summer Olympics - Micah had the amazing opportunity to attend the Olympics in Beijing, China. He was there for an entire month. It was a long time for him to be gone, but a GREAT experience for him career wise. He was there producing coverage for the Associated Press and while he spent most of his time in the newsroom, he was able to sneak out and see a few events including one of Michael Phelps historical wins at the Water Cube. He has already been to Vancouver for a site visit for the 2010 Winter Olympics - Abby and I hope to make the trip with him at least for a week.

6. Getting a new job - This was a total surprise. I wasn't looking for a new job, I actually was really getting into the grove at my job at LifeBridge and gad just received a great review. Of course this is when someone from The Living Legacy came calling. It was a hard decision to make, but I'm glad that I decided to take the job. It has been a great opportunity for me to grow as a manager and expand my marketing/community outreach experience.

5. Taking a ride in the pace car at NHIS - This June, I was able to take Micah to his first NASCAR race in NH. He was able to score infield hot passes for us because of a partnership NASCAR has with the AP. The passes came with a personally tour from one of the greatest personalities behind the sport, Herbert. He took us everyone where on the track, including getting us a ride in the pace car with Brett Bodine. I've never gone so fast in a car in my entire life!!! It was so much fun.

4. Meeting Janet Evanovich - Thanks to our buddy Herbert (see previous post), he was able to introduce us to author Janet Evanovich at the NASCAR race in June. I'm not sure if Micah was more excited to ride in the pace car or to meet Janet. We've read everyone of her books in the Stephanie Plum serious. I was also excited to learn that she is a huge NASCAR fan as well. She was very cool and down to earth. She even signed a copy of her latest book for me. So cool!

3. Voting for a winning president - I've been of voting age for almost ten years now and voted in two presidential elections prior to this year. Every single time, my vote never went for the winning candidate. This year, one top of being one of the most interesting presidential races (thank you Sarah Palin), but my vote was cast for first time for the winning candidate. I'm so excited to see what the new administration will bring and even more excited to be a part of the historic election that put the first African-American president in office. Hopefully this opens the door for the first women president and first Jewish president... Yes we can!

2. Getting pregnant - Many of you know that Micah and I struggled to get pregnant for well over a year with little success. After 10 months of trying on our own with no success, we finally saw a specialist in November 2007. After several months of tests, it was discovered that I had low progesterone (a hormone needed in women to help them stay pregnant) and possible scar tissue due to a previous surgery related to the Crohn's disease. Micah and I had decided to move to invitro fertilization in March 2008, after what we though where three unsuccessful months on progesterone supplements. On April 9, I attended a three hour injection class to learn how to give myself the shots for the IVF treatment. Later that night, I had to take a pregnancy test to stop taking the progesterone supplements. I got a huge surprise when the test came out positive. It was honestly one of the best days of my life! After so many months of disappointments, I was excited beyond belief to finally become a mom.

1. Welcoming Abigail Mira into our family - On December 17, 2008, Micah and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into our lives. It was a very long labor and we had a few bumps in the road, but the end result was so worth it. Abigail is the love of our lives.

I can't wait to see what 2009 brings us!