Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Birthday DH!

So I originally thought it would be really cool to have the baby on DH's birthday. I wouldn't have to buy a present, it would be a memorable 30th for him, but now we are going out to dinner tonight to........CHI-CHIS!!!

They just opened up one here in Aarhus so we are going tonight for some hopefully "Authentic Mexican Chain Restaurant Food".

I grew up eating at one in Evansville, Indiana. (Mama Myers, correct me if I am wrong.) We loved it! I am not sure if it was simply the chips and salsa that kept us entertained or the "adult soft taco" I used to order, but there was something about the food and atmosphere that kept our family coming back.

It is really an unfortunate incident that happened to them with the green onions + Hepatitis A = No more Chi-Chis in the States. : (

I have high hopes that the new one is going to meet and exceed my expectations tonight. Plus, they say that spicy food can trigger labor. Pass me that bowl of hot salsa, please!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is someone missing a bowling ball? HDBD!

So here I am at almost 38 weeks pregnant. I started my maternity leave this week, and am having a little trouble trying to figure out what to do with myself besides taking long walks and eating lots of pineapple (both can help start labor). I know I should be enjoying this time off, but I kind of feel like a waste of space. I hope Baby Weeks decides to join the party soon!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Chillin and Grillin

This pretty much sums up the past 4 days for DH and me. We had a awesome time in Skagen and ate some really good, fresh seafood.

Yesterday we decided to make use of our season passes to Tivoli and went out there to enjoy dinner on the grill. Tivoli is an small amusement park near the Queen's Summer House in Aarhus. It is very similar to Coney Island in Cincinnati.

They have these nice Weber gas grills that are free to use.

Here is what was in our picnic basket (First time the thing was used and we got it as a wedding gift almost 5 years ago!):

salmon with a spice rub
sweet potatoes
fruit salad

We threw everything but the fruit salad on the grill, and it turned out so yummy.

Who else has dusted off the grill, and what is your favorite thing to throw on it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Hump Day is here again, even though it feels like Friday! DH and I have Thursday, Friday, and Monday off for the Easter holiday, so we are taking a last little getaway trip to the northern most part of Denmark. There is a little town called Skagen we are going to visit. DH will turn part of the journey into training, so he will bike some of the way there, and I will stop and pick him up and we drive together the rest of the way. I can't wait to sink my toes into the sand, and feel the ocean breeze.

I was not feeling very PHAT the other day, so I got DH to paint my toenails. Aren't they pretty! : )

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday = Question and a recipe

I have 3 more days of work until I start my maternity leave. I do plan to go in one day after the Easter holiday, to have a couple of handover meetings on my projects, and to bring in a cake. So the question for today is....

Question: What are you going to do in the upcoming weeks (or week) while you are not working?
Answer: I have these big plans to get caught up on thank you notes, take long walks, and try to enjoy this last part where it will be just me and DH. I have the baby's room ready, bag for the hospital packed, and pretty much everything on my list taken care of. I am slightly addicted to this game on my Iphone called Word With Friends which is like scrabble that I play with Crystal and Mama Myers. I will probably be nagging them to play with me a lot!

Recipe: What DH and I Eat For Breakfast Everyday

1 banana, chopped
3 strawberries
handful of frozen berries or fruit
palmful of seeds, nuts, and flaxseed
handful of oatmeal
yogurt, any flavor

Combine all of this in a bowl, and mush around. This complete breakfast will fill you up and give you lots of energy. Enjoy!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fitness Friday Again!

I went to a pregnancy fitness class this past Monday night and really enjoyed it! I now am wondering why I waited 36 weeks to attend. I guess, and don't flame me for this, but I thought that I was "fit" enough that I didn't need a special class. I could just do yoga, spinning, step, BodyAttack, and make some minor modifications due to being preggers. This was working out good until last week, when I realized just how hard it is to carry around a 3kg baby and keep up with these young 20 year olds in the gym. (My competitive nature will never go away.)

More about the fitness class this past Monday. First, the class was full! It was nice to see so many woman there on the same adventure as me. There were also two staff members in the class that I knew, and enjoyed speaking to. We started the class with going around and saying our name and what week we are in. I then noticed, that I was definitely the most pregnant woman there. Most were in the 20th weeks, one was a 30, and then you get to me. Um, 36? Big smile from the instructør, which made me feel welcome.

We started with a basic step class for about 30 minutes. After that we switched and got a bar and did some toning work. The next part was the hardest. We had to sit on these squishy balls, and practicing squeezing our kegel muscles, and holding for 10 seconds. It is a good thing it looks like we are all just sitting there because I was 1, 2, 3, ok need a break. I have a lot of work to do if I need to be able to hold it to 10. What are these muscles good for? From what I have heard, having strong muscles here will help us not pee in our pants after pregnancy. Yes, I do what to take up running again one day. The class ended with doing some core work on our hands and knees, and finally stretching and a cooldown. The 75 minute class seemed to fly by! I especially loved our "tisser pause" in the middle of the class. This is a 5 minute bathroom break. : )

So, I am going to go back next week, I think and do it again. I advise those who are thinking of attending to just go and give it a chance. I wish I had looking back now!

Have a fit, phat, and fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hump Day, Bump Day - WK 36

Oh dear, I am running out of things to wear for these pictures! I can't let yall know that I have only about 3 outfits that I wear over and over again!: )

I had an appointment with the midwife yesterday, and everything is fine with me and the baby. She poked, pushed, and prodded on my belly for awhile to estimate the size, and said that he is definitely bigger than 2.5 kg, and close to 3 kg. For you Americans, that is about a 6.5 lb baby! Is it time to countdown and take bets on when he will be here? I am crossing my fingers for April 29th (DH's birthday) so I can just give him a baby for his birthday and not worry about a gift.

3 days to the weekend! Let's hope for warm spring weather.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Question and a Recipe

Question: Does the baby kick a lot?
Answer: Right now, I am getting less kicks and more stretching, rolling and "pushes". I believe that the bigger he gets, the less room he has, and therefore can't karate chop me. I do have a game I play with him, where he will push out, and I will push back in. Then he does it again! I could look and stare at my belly for hours. SO entertaining.

Recipe Time:
DH and I went to the farmers market on Saturday. We picked up some peppers, apples, sweet potatoes, a seed/nut mix to put on our morning yogurt, AND.......halibut!

We love fresh fish, but are kind of boring when we cook it. We have some spice rubs we use on chicken, beef, pork, and fish. They are wonderful and make every meal quick and easy, but I wanted to do something different.

I emailed Mama Myers and this was how she told me to cook it (copied directly from the email):

"Just don't over cook it. Pan sear in a very hot oven safe skillet and then place in a hot oven for about 5 minute more or less. Remove fish and cover with foil to keep warm. Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce. Then swirl in a couple Tbs of cold butter cut into pieces and pour over the fish. Yum-O."

Yes, mom was alright. (Aren't they usually?) This was a great way to cook the halibut and still keep it light and fresh without losing the flavor of the fish.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Book Review: Clean

Well, I can't really give a fair book review yet since I am only 30% finished with it, but let me back up and start with why I am reading this book.

If you know me well, you know I own a Kindle. Since I was in University, I have made it a habit to read everyday. I really enjoy it right before bedtime, since it helps me wind down, take my mind off the day, and help me relax.

A few times I have read some book about various diets. A few years ago, DH and I were doing the Paleo Diet for Athletes. In principle, the rules for this diet are, you eat like a caveman. Nothing processed, no grains, no diary, no flour, etc. We ate lots of meat (I even made rabbit one time) salad, fruits, nuts, and interesting things made with almond flour (bleh). That was fun for awhile, but really hard to maintain.

The second book I read was Skinny Bitch. I hated the tone of this book. Its purpose was to convince you to stop eating meat, dairy, eggs, and basically become a vegan. While I think that this approach is ok for some people, I disagreed with a lot of what the book was saying mainly because of the condescending tone. Of course, I would NEVER give up dairy since #1 I enjoy it so much, and #2 I work for a dairy company! This book was blah.

So now I am reading a book called Clean by Dr Alejandro Junger. (Does his name rhyme with hunger, I have wondered?) Anyways, I found out about this diet/detox plan from an Outside magazine (January 2011). The article took staff members, and had them test out different diets or lifestyle approaches. The staff member who did the Clean program described it as a cult: you turn you nose up to it, and scorn those who do it, but become a true believer if you do it yourself. The detox lasts for 3 weeks and consists of a smoothie/shake for breakfast and dinner and a solid meal for lunch. There are a lot of things that are on the "no go" list such as caffeine, alcohol, carbs, etc. But for 3 weeks, anyone can do this, right?

The idea is that are bodies have become so toxic from a western diet that includes meat with hormones, fruits and veggies with pesticides, mixed with a good dose of things from our environment that we are being plagued by "non-life threatening" issues. These include things such as arthritis, IBS, low energy, skin problems, etc. Dr. Junger believes that a lot of this is attributed to our toxic levels in our body, and therefore we need to give our digestion processes a rest, and allow them to detox.

Like I said I am only 30% finished, but so far it reads like a biochemistry textbook. I got kind of bored with it, and am ready to find out what the diet include. The first part of the book also gives lots of examples which make you think, hmm, maybe this could work for me?

This is not recommended for pregnant women, so I don't plan to try it anytime soon, but still it is interesting to read about how much of what we consume affects how we feel.

Any other good fitness/diet books out there I need to read?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The view from up here

So I thought it would be fun to take different bump day picture. I had to lean over to get my socks and my friend, the scale, in the picture.

Baby Weeks is the size of a honeydew melon and weighs a little over 5 lbs (2.3 kg). He is fully developed and will spend the next few weeks gaining weight.

Happy Hump Day! The weekend is near!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Monday again? Questions from readers and another recipe!

I had a few more questions from readers this week! Yippee!

1) What is different about having a baby in Denmark than in the States?
Answer: Since this is my first, I can only compare it to what I have heard having a baby in the states is like. Here is what surprises me the most: Since our healthcare is included in our taxes, it is so strange to just go to all of these doctor appointments and not pay anything. There is also a "hotel" at the hospital we can stay at for up to 5 days after the birth where nurses are on call the whole time. 1 year off paid maternity leave in Denmark is also a difference.

2)You were a vegetarian before you got pregnant, are you still one now?
Answer: I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian which means I ate no animal flesh but did eat eggs and dairy. I was doing this for about a year when I got pregnant. After learning I was pregnant, I started thinking that meat smelled really good, and was actually craving a big juicy hamburger. I did some research and it is possible to be pregnant and to remain a vegetarian and still get plenty of nutrients for the baby, BUT it is a lot of work. Truth be told, I was lazy and thought if I am wanting to eat meat, it may mean I am low in iron, and it is easy to fix that with a serving of meat a day. I had no problems introducing meat into my diet again, but only eat maybe 5 servings a week, ensuring a couple of those servings are fish.

Recipe Time! There will usually be a recipe on Mondays because DH and I usually try something new on Sunday night. Here is what we had last night:

Bulgur Salad with Edamame and Cherry Tomatoes

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 cup boiling water
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
1 pound yellow and red cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Combine bulgur and 1 cup boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour or until bulgur is tender.

2. Cook edamame in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Add edamame, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients to bulgur; toss well. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.

Amber and DH's "modifications":

I could not find edamame at the two stores I went to and gave up. I know where to get it in Arhus (Kvickly) but since we also had chicken with the salad, we figured we could do without the extra protein. I also added some feta cheese to it. Otherwise the recipe is a basic, easy way to make a light and fresh salad. One drawback is I have fresh mint, parsley, and dill now, and will probably throw it away later this week unless I find another recipe to use these in.

We had this salad, sauteed chicken, homemade pita chips and hummus for dinner.

Don't forget to share your questions! Post them in the comments or send them to amber[dot]weeks[at]gmail[dot]com