Friday, March 30, 2012

Sometimes being nice sucks

Do you ever get that overwhelming urge to just say what is on your mind?  The urge to go off on somebody who has done something to piss you off?  The urge to just yell and get it all out?  I have that urge often but rarely do it.  Some days, like today, I hate being a nice person.

I'm not going to get into what the current thing is that pissed me off today. I don't know who all reads this blog although the person who pissed me off, I highly doubt they do.

The thing is, what pisses me off is something that they refuse to do for me right now...really almost the entire time I've been pregnant.  However it's something that I would do for them in a heart beat if the roles were reversed.  It's something I have done for others without thinking twice.  It's something I would do for friendship.

Perhaps I shouldn't say I'm pissed off, I'm hurt.  That's it. I'm incredibly hurt.

That leaves me to really think about my relationship with this person and if the friendship is worth it.  Some people, it's all about them.  They are very selfish and can't see past what works for them.  Do I need that in my life?  No, not really.  However do I look forward to losing a friend over it?  No.  It's a war of emotions right now. A war I would rather not deal with.

If I could just yell at this person and tell them how I feel, I would feel better.  It feels good to get it all out.  However, the problem is then they would probably feel like crap.  Which would in turn make me feel like crap. So in the end I don't say anything because I would rather just be upset by what they did to piss me off instead of being upset because I made them feel bad.  Sometimes being a nice person really sucks.  Sometimes being nice is overrated.

I can't be alone in this?  Do you guys ever have these types of issues?  I hope so.  Not that I want you to feel like crap, I just want to know that I'm not alone.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vegetable Garden and Baby Food

It's that time of year, the time to start planning what to plant and actually do something about it.   Last year I attempted to grow lettuce and tomatoes.  The lettuce I started from seed and not much happened, totally flop.  The tomatoes I bought plants from a local store and those worked out really well.  I didn't have a vegetable garden at that point and since this was my first attempt I just put the plants in pots and put them on my back deck.  This was due to the large deer and rabbit problem we have.  I kept up with taking care of them all summer, Husband loved having fresh tomatoes to snack on and I liked all the BLT's he made for dinner.  Success!

Blackberry bush from last Spring..it's even bigger this year!
Last fall we cleared an area in our yard in preparation for a vegetable garden this year.   Wish us luck!  Ok, wish me luck as this is my project and not Husbands.   We're already talking about what to plant and that's where the humor comes in.  We were walking the dog and discussing what to try.  We know we want tomatoes again.  I want lettuce..but I'll start from a plant and not seeds.   Then Husband says to plant a blueberry bush. I just looked at him and said "You don't eat blueberries."  He said yeah but they are healthy. I again repeated that he never eats them.  Then he said "But they are healthy and you could use them to make baby food for baby girl."

Did your heart just flutter a bit?  Mine did.  See, from the start I told him I wanted to make baby food instead of buy it.  There are a lot of chemicals in baby food that I don't feel she should be eating.  I also feel it would save money and peace of mind knowing exactly what was in the food.  He's been somewhat against this the whole time because he just sees all the work involved.    I figured the extra work was worth it.  I told him that I wanted to at least try it and if it didn't work, I was ok buying baby food but to keep in mind it would be organic.  So when he mentioned planting blueberry bushes because it's healthy for the baby and I could use it for baby food, that just made my heart flutter.  He's actually been thinking about it and thinking of ways to make this work.  He came up with a couple of vegetables that we could plant and he followed each suggestion up with "You could use it to make baby food."  I just love that.

I'm not sure exactly what is going to end up in our vegetable garden yet.  I don't know how easy it will be for me to keep it up but I'm looking forward to the effort.  We aren't going to plan to much this year, just enough to get into a routine and test out this adventure.

As for the blueberry bush, we decided to get a couple of them.  I've been wanting to add a raspberry busy to the mix so we're looking into that as well.  For those of you who have followed this blog for awhile, you might remember that we already have a blackberry bush.  It did so well last year that I'm still using frozen berries from it in my smoothies.  The blackberry bush grows along the fence that is around our pool and we plan to put the raspberry bush on the other side.  Eventually I imagine they'll connect.  Of course, we might decide to put the blueberry bushes in the middle. That will be interesting.  Either way, I can't wait to get the plants and put them in the ground. I imagine it'll be a couple years before the new ones start to give us a decent crop but I'm willing to wait it out.  Just keep your fingers crossed the deer decide not to eat the fruit. They leave the blackberries alone so let's hope they leave the others alone too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Triathlons

Last year I got it stuck in my head that I wanted to enter the world of triathlons. This was before I could do the swimming and before I owned a bike. I'm not exactly sure why I decided I could do it or wanted to do it.  Husband didn't think I could do the swimming part of it, as we have a pool that I never swim in (it's for relaxing..how did he not know that?).   He made a deal with me that if I could prove the swimming part I could get a bike.  Well..I've proven I can do the swimming and now I'm waiting on a bike. 

Since I don't have a bike yet I knew the only way to compete in one would be to do an indoor triathlon.  When I found out I was pregnant I figured it would be even longer before I could do a triathlon.  However, I was given the ok to add swimming back to my routine and due to feeling pretty good most days I was able to remain active.

Run portion at the 3rd triathlon I completed
Husband was ok with me competing in a couple of sprint triathlons during this time as he knew it kept me motivated to be healthy and it helped my depression.   You already know about the first sprint triathlon I did, I blogged about it  in this post.    I recently completed two more, three days apart.  One was an event my work held. It wasn't open to people outside of the University, instead it was just a way to try and get people active.  The other one was held at my gym and was open to gym members and non-members.

The first sprint triathlon I competed in was at 26 weeks pregnant.  I came in 91 out of 108 total.  I was 11 out of 15 in my age group. 

The second sprint triathlon I competed in was the one at my work and I was 30 weeks pregnant.  I came in 10 out of 15 in the novice division.  

The third sprint triathlon I competed in was at my gym, also while I was 30 weeks pregnant.  I came in 55 out of 63.

While normally I wouldn't be happy with my placement for any of these events I'm actually really happy with my performance for all.  I have to watch my heart rate so I can't put as much effort into each leg of the race as I would normally be able to do.   So to not finish last or even second to last and knowing I could have gone faster is huge.   The swimming and the bike portions are the hardest for me.  Once I hit the run portion though, my legs ease up and I've felt awesome and ready to go.  

I'm actually somewhat glad I attempted my first triathlons while pregnant.  Knowing I couldn't actually race them meant that I went into each race just focusing on finishing and not on hitting a certain time/mileage or placement.  Sure I went in to each knowing I didn't want to be last but also not dwelling on it since there was  nothing I could do about it.  I was nervous, this is a new sport for me, but not as nervous as I would be otherwise.  

I've fallen in love with triathlons.  It gives me something to work towards, something that is different from just going out for a running and building up mileage and speed. Running is still my love and what I prefer to do. Triathlons just add another dimension and help me get in cross-training and feel like a more powerful athlete overall.  I love the challenge.   I hope to get a bike later this year.  If so that means I can start to do some outdoor triathlons next year.  I do want to compete in all three of these same triathlons next year when I'm not pregnant and don't have to watch my HR.  It will be fun to compare my results.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler Recipe


I love blackberries, to the point that we have a blackberry bush in our yard so I can eat fresh blackberries during the summer and freeze for the winter.  I've tried several blackberry cobbler recipes and this is by far my absolute favorite and the only one I make now.  My family also agree's that this is the best one they've had.

Blackberry Cobbler
c. Television Food Network, G.P.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups blackberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped, sweetened

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Into a buttered shallow baking dish place blackberries. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup sugar.

In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse to create lumpy mixture. Add cream and pulse until dough forms. Dough will be soft.

Spoon dough over blackberries.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and drizzle over mounds of dough.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup sugar.

Bake about 30 to 40 minutes or until dough and fruit are cooked through and dough is lightly browned.

Serve with whipped sweetened cream.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Never too early

Baby girl was given her very first running outfit this past weekend!  It's 12m size, so she won't be able to wear it for
a long time but it's still exciting.  The outfit is so stinking cute. I'm going to try to be patient but, seriously, I can't
wait to put her in it.


More Wordless Wednesday can be found here. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Neil's Pancakes - recipe

Or as I would rather call these pancakes..the best fing pancakes I've ever had.  Does that give you an idea of how wonderful these are?

This is yet another wonderful recipe from the Clinton St. Baking company cookbook. I really need to start cooking from other cookbooks and online to give you guys variety.  At least this recipe isn't a dessert.

I love pancakes and tend to make them on the weekend, then freeze all the ones I don't eat so I can have a quick breakfast either during the week or future weekends.  This recipe makes a ton of pancakes.  The recipe also has a lot of steps and there's a lot more to it than just making pancakes from a box (which I never do) or the easy recipe I normally use to make them from scratch.  However because it makes so many it's not something you would be making every weekend. Plus, as you've noticed by now, I love recipes that require a bit more than just throwing the ingredients in a bowl and mixing.

Sorry..no photo of these. I really need to start taking photo's don't I?

Neil's Pancakes

Ingredients
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, plus 1 teaspoon
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, separated
3 cups whole milk (I didn't use whole milk as I don't keep it in the house)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Measure and sift all the dry ingredients into a large (preferably stainless steel) mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, sugar, salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the yolks, milk, melted butter, and vanilla until combined.  Whisk the wet mixture into the dry mixture. The result should be slightly lumpy, yet combined to form a batter.

Whip the egg whites in a medium bowl until they reach medium peaks (soft in the middle). You can either whip them by hand with a whisk or put them in the bowl of an electric mixer to whip.  Be careful, you don't want to overwhip the egg whites.

Gently mix half of the whipped whites into the batter with a large rubber spatula.  Then gently fold the remaining half into the batter.  Remember: this batter should be slightly lumpy and have large parts of egg whites not fully incorporated; it should look like whitecaps in the ocean with foam on top. (The batter will last a few hours in the fridge without deflating too much.)

Heat a griddle - either an electric griddle, a stovetop griddle, or a big flat pan to 350 to 375 d. F.  Grease the hot griddle with some butter.  Drop 1/4 cup (approximately 4 tablespoons) of pancake batter on the griddle and cook to set.    When you see bubbles start to form on top, lift the pancake halfway to see if it's golden brown and crispy on the edges. If ready, flip the pancake.