Monday, October 30, 2006

Get Some Rest

I’ve survived the first week—actually, the first ten days. So far, this mom thing is a piece of cake. Maybe I have an exceptionally good baby. Little Ivy sleeps at four hour increments at night, waking only once for a short feeding and then it’s back to bed for all of us. It doesn’t make sense to me for Nick to get up with her. He can’t feed her (not yet anyway) so why should we both be awake? He’s the one who has to go to work the next day, so I take on all of the nightly responsibilities.

Labor was easier than I thought too. After nine hours of pitocin induced contractions, I caved and asked for an epidural. Three hours later, I pushed for half an hour and out she came. The worst part of giving birth was the stupid blood pressure monitor! Mine was high, so they took my vitals every fifteen minutes. That sucker clamped onto my arm so tight I thought it would pop off!

Hospitals are horrible places. This was the first time I’d ever been admitted to a hospital. Sure, I’d been to the emergency room dozens of times for car accidents, broken arms, sprained ankles and various other self-inflicted childhood injuries, but all of that was in and out. Ivy was born early in the morning, so Nick and I were pretty much up all night. Once there was a regular room available, we were moved from a labor room to a recovery room. I had yet to sleep a wink, so by the time I was given all of the instructions on how to care for myself during my stay I was ready to pass out. No sooner had I fallen asleep than a horrible woman came in with her torture devices—another blood pressure monitor. Fine, fine. Get it over with so I can sleep. She took my vitals, told me to get some rest, and left. As soon as she leaves, a candy striper brings me breakfast that wasn’t worth eating. I was too tired anyway.

“I’ll be back for your tray in a while. Try to get some rest.”

Rest. Right. That’s what I needed.

A few minutes later, Ivy’s doctor comes in to tell me that she’s doing fine. He’d be back tomorrow. In the mean time, I should get some rest.

I was certainly trying.

Next came my doctor. She poked and prodded, told me I’m fine, but should try to get some rest.

Yes, I’d LOVE to.

The candy striper returns for my tray and wants my lunch request.

The blood pressure lady comes back.

The lactation consultants want to know how breastfeeding is going.

All of them have the same parting words—“Try to get some rest.”

If you people would stop coming in here, maybe I COULD get some rest! But that’s how it went for the next two days. Hospitals are the worst place to get any rest. I can’t even blame visitors—I didn’t have any! It was all hospital people. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was more than ready to go home, have a decent meal and a nice long nap.

Being in the hospital was supposed to be the best part, everyone said. Take advantage of the nursery—no one else will take the baby for so long and you’ll need your rest. Well, home sweet home was the best thing for me. A side trip to Taco Bell for some veggie chalupas and then we hit the hay. I got more rest in that single afternoon than I did during my entire hospital stay. I was so rested, in fact, that we all got up and went to church the next morning. I haven’t needed a nap since I’ve been home. I have tons of energy, but not enough arms. Now that Nick is back at work, I’ve resumed my household duties and Ivy and I are keeping things under control. We’ve been shopping, baking, vacuuming, hanging out laundry—you name it. Next week, I’ll resume my workout. Bathing suit season, here I come!

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm Being Published!

Yes, that’s right, someone out there thinks I can write! Ha ha! Fooled them! No, really. My obsession with nutrition is paying off. After sending numerous versions out to numerous magazines, The San Diego Family Magazine is publishing my article on cardiovascular fitness. Whoo hoo! I’m expecting it to show up in the November issue. If it doesn’t make it there, the January issue is all about health and fitness, so it should be in that one. Either way, I don’t care. I think they’re paying me for it and I’m expecting all of about $5. (Do I have to declare that on my taxes?) So, if anyone out there in America’s Finest City is reading my crap, the SDFM is a free publication, available in most grocery stores. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Wonderful World of Meat Substitutes

I didn’t become a vegetarian until a little over two years ago. I used to think it would be absolutely impossible for me to do—I’m in love with chicken! Can’t give that up. No way. Well, clearly, I did give it up (although so many non-vegetarians say things to me like “you eat chicken, right? Chicken’s a vegetable.” Um, no.). I often encounter someone that is unaware of my food lifestyle and after the initial shock wears off, they want to know if I miss meat. The answer is a resounding no. I hardly notice it at all. I won’t go into why I don’t eat meat (not now anyway). There are different types of vegetarians. I am what is known as a lacto-ovo vegetarian—I eat eggs and diary but nothing that used to crawl, swim, walk or fly. No chicken, no cow, no pig, no lamb, no fish. (Nick and I went to a restaurant today that basically wanted to know how you want your beef cooked, but did include two of what they called “Meatless sandwiches”. They included fried fish and baked fish. I suppose if you’re Catholic and its Friday, this counts.)

How is this possible, people want to know. How can you just not eat meat? Well, the first thing that a lot of vegetarian how-to books will tell you is to simply eliminate the meat. Try your favorite meals without them. Spaghetti and meatballs becomes spaghetti and marinara. Chicken Alfredo becomes simply fettuccini Alfredo. Burritos are made with beans and eggs benedict is made without the Canadian bacon. That sounds simple enough, but some things just aren’t quite the same. Meatloaf without the meat is just a gooey mess of eggs, ketchup and breadcrumbs. Not the same at all. Enter the meat substitute.

There are wide varieties of edible substances that simply fill in. Vegetarian burgers, meatballs, hot dogs, sausage, bacon (not my favorite, but ok), the list goes on and on. I’ve tried a lot of them and for the most part, they are undetectable to my carnivorous friends and family. So far, most of the vegetarian cookbooks I’ve bought don’t include the meat substitute, so I’m writing my own. I’ve developed a meat-free version of some of my favorite dishes that were previously off-limits to a vegetarian. Maybe someday it will make it to bookstore shelves. Maybe it will just sit on my bookshelf and be an instructional tool for my children. Who knows? At least it’s gotten me to try a LOT of new dishes and experiment with a lot of new foods. I’d never had a turnip or quiona before I became a vegetarian and they’re fabulous! That being said, I cannot master eggplant. Every time I make it, it’s awful. I always pre-empt every new meal with a simple statement: If this is terrible, we’re going out. Sometimes, we go out.