Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veteran’s Day to my favorite vet. My best friend, the love of my life, the greatest guy ever. ♡

Thanks to my wonderful father-in-law for booking a weekend mini-getaway for the family. We are up in the beautiful Smokey Mountains, in Tennessee, people! I’ve never been to the mountains before, it is beautiful and very scenic.

The Dr. rented a chalet for our family for the weekend. It is the most beautiful holiday cabin I’ve ever been in (it’s the only one I’ve ever been in, ha!). There’s three floors, a balcony deck overlooking the mountains, a full-size pool table in the downstairs game room, an enclosed separate sunroom, a beautiful full-size fireplace, hardwood flooring, beautiful bear murals throughout the chalet… it’s absolutely gorgeous. I want to live here!

The best part, I haven’t gotten sick at all! I ate dinner and didn’t vomit. I am so blessed. ♡

My hubby loved it, it’s the Eagle Scout in him… he even got to chop up wood for the fireplace, so he’s very happy.


That Life… of a Military Wife

My hubby is in the field for a week.

I realized how much I missed him today… and how spoiled I am.

He picks up our daughter when he can in the afternoons, which is a great relief to me since I am so sick, and it’s a one hour drive round trip each time to get her.

He usually picks up food or goes grocery shopping, does the laundry, take out the garbage (I can’t because I’m so sensitive to smells now, and everything just smells so awful)… mostly, I just miss him being here. I feel kind of lonesome without him.

I mean, I hardly even talk to him when he’s around here because I’m just so sick and miserable that I’m popping like 4 different meds that they gave me, so most of the time I’m sleeping… It’s going to be a long pregnancy, about 7 more months to go. I feel like death.

It was pouring this morning, how fitting. Before he left for the field, he said to me, I love you babe, don’t die while I’m gone.

I’m on a B6 and Unisom combo to help with nausea and vomiting… it makes me drowsy and sweaty in my sleep, and then it feels like I’m retaining my pee or something. I was also given this heavy-duty suppository (you’re literally supposed to stick it up your ass for it to work), but I haven’t used it yet because it’s very strong stuff, and there are risks to the baby (they sometimes give it as a sedative for surgery, so you know it’s heavy stuff)… I’m saving it for when I absolutely can’t deal with the pregnancy sickness, right now the B6 and Unisom are helping.

The doctor also gave me a referral to see an at-risk pregnancy ob/gyn, which are called perinatologist. I lost 3 pounds in one week since the last time he saw me, and I just have all sorts of miseries going on… plus, as I’ve already stated, they’ve got me on like 4 different meds so I won’t be hospitalized for dying. (I actually wouldn’t mind being hooked to an IV for some fluids and nutrients, I feel very blah at the moment.)

I’m at the end of month two: I’m basically bed-ridden. Everything smells awful. I have pains that I think are my kidneys, and usually my right kidney. I have to pee all the time. I feel very thirsty and dehydrated all the time. I’ve also got a terrible cause of pregnancy acne — I think the baby is a boy because I never had any pregnancy acne with my daughter, and also because I didn’t really get sick with my daughter either (although I did get light-headed and pass out occasionally). My hair also feels very flat and stringy… this pregnancy is very similar to my pregnancy with my son.

I was very sick with my son, but he was a super easy birth, and the next day it was as if I was never even pregnant at all. I literally woke up the next morning with my face cleared, energetic, great hair, and feeling fine. So that’s why I think it’s a boy… (old wives tales and such, you know).

I’m not comfortable sleeping on my back, so I’ve been sleeping on my left side with a pillow between my legs. My teeth and tongue also have this constant gritty feeling to it… I’m not sure if it’s from all that puking up or what. I also have a constant cough that produces nothing, and seems as if I’m congested. It could just be this awful Georgia air… but I can’t be certain — I’m always blowing my nose, it seems.

I’m also super gassy… and most of the time constipated, but sometimes diarrhea too (like today, when I had some nasty tea that I got at a gas station). I can’t tell if it was something I ate/drank, or the meds, or a combination of both.

I can hold down a bagel with cream cheese… which I have to go a mile out of my way to the nearest Dunkin Donuts to get. I’ve also had a few weird, trippy dreams… one which involved a bright green lizard.

I still say, I’m dying!!!, every day — just in case anyone forgets that I’m dying (but also because I like to remind my husband that he’s the reason I’m dying and to guilt him into doing everything while I try to sleep the remaining months away).

Best Hubby Medal

My hubby gets the medal for Best Husband.

He has a four-day weekend, so on Friday he took our daughter to school (30 minutes one way, an hour round-trip), and picked her up (two hours total). Last Monday was basically my last day of work because I am now very sick with nausea and vomiting. The high school principal in Missouri that I had subbed for a few times called me to offer me a position.

I was very flattered that he thought of me, but I told him I moved to Georgia. (It’s definitely nice when principals reach out to you themselves to offer an availability; I’ve always wondered what kind of teacher I am.) I’ve been basically spending all day in bed sleeping.

My hubby has been changing the bags in my puke bucket every time I throw up… and he tried to make some white-boy version of congee for me. ♡ I love him so much, he is the best husband and father to us; and the greatest provider for our family. He works so hard, and I’m so grateful that we are able to still be comfortable in an one-income household, especially in today’s economy. (I definitely know what it’s like having to work while pregnant, and worry about finances, as I’ve experienced that anxiety before; so it’s definitely nice being taken care of.)

I kind of felt bad that I threw up dinner though, because it cost a lot — I wouldn’t have felt as bad if we had ordered from McDonald’s! (I actually had McDonald’s the other day, and surprisingly, I was able to hold down the fish filet sandwich really good.) I was very happy when he came home with it, because I had never told him what to get (especially since people that knows me, knows I usually don’t eat that stuff); but he knows me so well because that’s actually the only thing I’ll eat from McDonald’s.

We are so blessed to have him. ♡

I’m dying!!! …

I’m dying!!! …

Okay, those that know me, know that I say that statement just about every day — my hubby said I’ve been dying since the day he’s met me.

I have a kidney infection, people!

It started as an untreated UTI because I thought my symptoms were all just pregnancy related; when my infection was finally diagnosed through a urine culture after at least a month of having the urinary symptoms, the doctor probably assumed it was an uncomplicated lower urinary tract infection (in the bladder). He prescribed me a week of Macrobid, which would have treated it effectively if it was still a UTI, but the bacteria has had enough time to spread to the kidney(s).

The doctor wasn’t available to see me, and instead I saw a midwife. The more I tried to explain my symptoms, the more it seemed as if she was trying to tell me otherwise — so I pulled out the my-father-in-law-is-a-doctor card (ha!). I told her that the Dr. had said that my symptoms are a kidney infection and that Macrobid wouldn’t work for it. (The Dr. and Mrs. are actually out of the country on their annual spiritual vacation… but the “card” worked.)

I think sometimes people in the medical field are a bit condescending because they believe what they think is right as opposed to actually listening to the patient… (I could have said I wanted to see a real doctor instead of a midwife or nurse practitioner, but it’s like telling a security guard or meter-maid that they’re just wanna-be cops).

Well, after I dropped that card, she seemed more susceptible to what I was telling her about my symptoms. So I got a shot of Rocephin in my left butt cheek (which is a very strong antibiotic)… I’m starting to get paranoid about the baby, but Google is a nightmare when you are medically concerned — you start looking things up, and then you’re convinced you have penile cancer even though you’re a woman.

Afterwards, she prescribed me 270 pills of cephalexin (500mg)… seriously, 270 pills of it! I guess I’m covered for UTI infections for a while, so I’m not complaining — but I am concerned about the antibiotics and the baby though.

On a happy note, I saw the baby today! ♡

It wasn’t an official prenatal exam, but since my symptoms consisted of lower back pains, chills and shaking, and all that other I’m dying!!! symptoms; she wanted to do a vital exam on the baby. I had a vaginal ultrasound done… I saw my little jellybean and heard the heartbeat. Right now the baby looks like an ink blot. ♡

First month: nauseous, vomiting, everything has a stinky smell to it (the kitchen is the worse, it always smells so bad to me, even foods that I used to love now smells awful); sleepy, moody, cranky, do NOT want sex (shop is closed for business — my poor hubby); constant thirsty feeling, yucky feeling in my mouth.

My other symptoms are in conjunction with my kidney infection: cloudy, dark urine (it also had a terribly strong odor), lower back pain (specific to my kidney area), frequent urination and feeling of incomplete bladder emptying; sporadic chills and shaking, especially at night.

I’ve been craving dried fish with peanut congee (unfortunately the closest legit Chinese restaurant is in Atlanta, so I’ll have to wait until I go home for it), and of course dim sum (specifically steamed shrimp dumplings, shrimp noodle rolls, and sticky fried rice… omg, I’m salivating — I miss home so much!).

Well, that’s what I’m craving, but what I’m eating (and able to hold down) is lemonade, lemon water, pretzel, jello, yogurt, and fruit bowls. My poor baby.

Our First Football Game

My mini-me and I had our first football game experience. We had 3 tickets, but the mister was having a hissy fit (maybe on his man-period???), so we decided to have a mother-daughter day instead.

We drove an hour to Auburn, Alabama for the game — it was packed! (I didn’t realize that we had went to their homecoming game.) Thanks to three ladies (who were actually sisters) we had a GREAT time.

I’ve finally experienced that “southern hospitality” that I’ve been hearing about. I had never been to a football game, and I also never been to that stadium before — I got lost and ended up in Section 2 (right above the press and the home team sideline); our real seats were actually in the nose-bleed section (102), but when I had asked one of the ladies behind me if I was in the right place, she said, Oh, no baby, y’all all the way over there. (She was basically pointing to the sky.)

I started to get up and took my daughter’s hands, and she says, Y’all can stay, it’s not a sold-out game. These seats aren’t taken. (I really loved her southern twang, I love their accents, and especially the way they say “baby”.) I was skeptical, because the stadium really was packed, and it was their home game; but we actually ended up with these fantastic seats for our first football experience!

(My hubby said later on, that the ladies were probably season-ticket holders and most season holders know one another, so that’s probably how they knew the seats we were in were going to be empty.) We ended up sitting in seats that probably cost at least $350 each, and it only cost the mister about $45 for all three tickets instead. (I told him if he had came with us, we probably wouldn’t have been able to sit at those awesome seats, so we’re happy he stayed home, ha!)

They also had their homecoming queen announced during half-time; and one of the ladies gave my daughter Auburn Tiger pompoms. It was really hot at the game; I didn’t bring any sunscreen, visors, hats, or sunglasses. (I got so tanned, I started peeling on my arm, and my forehead is super dry!)

But I couldn’t believe the amazing experience, because we also lucked out finding a parking spot; I found street parking, and it’s because I have a compact car, so I can fit it in just about anywhere (perfect for city parking). It was only about 2 blocks away from the stadium.

Oh, and Auburn won, 24-10!

[Book Review] Megan’s Munchkins

Today I received an email to review a new children’s book series Megan’s Munchkins, by Pamela Foland.

It is the first book in a series of thirteen year-old Megan, who lives in Texas. The book starts off with Megan finding a box of stray kittens. She manages to hide her kittens in her room for five weeks, without her parents knowing. The book ends with her coming clean to her parents after she comes home during the day to realize her mom and sister-in-law are at the home too; her parents decide to let her keep her kittens.

Reading it as an adult, it was hard for me to be excited about it (even as a teacher, I am NOT an elementary teacher); however, it reminded me of book series that I read as a kid in like sixth grade — books like Sweet Valley Twins, The Baby-Sitters Club, etc. The book is corny as an adult, but cute as a kid’s book… but I wouldn’t put it in the same category as Judy Blume though, or other classics like the Betsy-Tacy series (or my favorite classics like Little Women or Charlotte’s Web).

I felt the whole bit of calling the kittens “munchkins” was a bit cheesy. It reminded me of my high school students going around calling their friends “babe” in the hallway between classes. I also found it too convenient and unrealistic that Meg’s parents were oblivious to cats living in their home for over a month — I had a cat that I loved very much, and he was just one cat… there’s no way of disguising the smell of a litter box.

However, I am sure there will be middle school kids out there that will enjoy. I appreciate Ms. Foland for the opportunity to read and review her new book, and I wish her success with her series.

Hello, Autumn!

It’s September!

I love fall. Although it never gets cold enough in Georgia, and I will really miss the snow during the holidays. When I lived in North Carolina, Christmas just didn’t feel right without snow — and there’s nothing in the world like Christmas in New York City anyway.

I got completely wasted at Red Lobster for dinner, ha!

My wonderful hubby has a long weekend for Labor Day, so he drove and picked up our daughter from school (it’s a two hour drive each day), lucky me because I got to sleep in today. The alarm went off at 6:30AM, our daughter woke up right away to get dress, and I literally pushed my husband off our bed with my right foot, ha!

I woke up around noon, and saw sunflowers on our dining table. My favorite flower — I knew my hubby was the one when we were dating and he got them for me; I’ve had guys spent lots of money on gorgeous expensive bouquets of roses, but he is the only guy to ever get me sunflowers. ♡

Happy fake birthday to me! (From the greatest husband in the world!!! ♡)

My hubby asked me where I wanted to go for dinner. I said Red Lobster — I don’t even know why, because I hate chain restaurants, and as far as a legit seafood restaurant goes, places like Red Lobster is as legit as the Olive Garden for Italian cuisine, or a Chinese takeout restaurant with a Tex-Mex tri-fold menu.

I decided to let my hair down and let loose… I ordered some fruity drink that I can’t even remember, but it came with a cherry and a pineapple slice and tasted very yummy!

Well, I was three sheets to the wind about 15 minutes after I was sipping my fruity rum drink. My husband said my face was as red as the cooked lobster on the menu… and because I started playing footsie with his leg… he practically had to carried me to the car and up the stairs into bed — where I passed out and woke up around midnight.

My Cuisinart and more yarns came also, I have the greatest guy in the world. I love him so much for always spoiling me. Watching all these murder true crime docu-series, I know how lucky I am for such a wonderful husband. He is a great provider for our family, and I’m very fortunate to be able to be a housewife because of him (even if it is dreadfully boring).

[Recipe] Salmon Stuffed Seafood

Dare I try? — Yes, I dared!

I went to Sam’s Club today, I got a free give-away (a pairing knife) for watching a 10 minute demonstration on a kitchen knife set (we already have an excellent culinary knife set)… I just wanted the give-away.

I saw salmon for $20. I was hesitant. My hubby has forbade me to buy expensive ingredients. Last week I bought ribs that were like $30, and because I’ve never cooked ribs before, I ended up burning them in the oven. Thankfully I only cooked half. We’ve decided that my husband is the official meat cooker in the family. (I am looking at gas grills because I hate electric stoves — I can’t wait!)

Salmon Stuffed Seafood… recipe below, people!

I preheated the oven (mine is automatically set at 7 minutes), and I baked at 350° for 20 minutes.

I got thick chunks of skinless salmon fillets, make a slit in the middle length-wise; and you can use different methods of the seafood stuffing: you can make it yourself, buy it already made, or get it in the frozen aisle.

My stuffing (I used whatever was in the fridge that needed to be used before it went bad, so definitely substitute it for whatever you like): crab meat, garlic, scallions, thyme, rosemary, baby spinach, butter, olive oil, cream cheese, salt and pepper — mix it all up in a bowl. Slab a generous portion into each salmon fillet slit. (I had four fillets.)

In a baking dish, (I used aluminium foil, but I guess you can put directly on the dish) put about 2tbsp of water and a drizzle of olive oil — this will keep the salmon from drying out. Bake it for 20 minutes.

I served it with kale and spinach mix. Enjoy!

[Recipes]Stuffed Bell Peppers

It was my first time making it — my mom makes a Chinese version; she uses bitter melons cut lengthwise, and it’s filled with grounded fish instead… you know, I think Chinese people are so smart because of all that omega-3 fatty acids they eat so much of.

Funny, when I was younger, I was always so ashamed that in our fridge we had only boiled water, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and a live fish that was just gutted by the fish mongers — while my friends had Hamburger Helper for dinner. It’s so crazy how ignorant I was to my own culture and the commericalism of this country; all because the TV always made it seem as if making food that came in packets or out of a box was better; meanwhile my mother cooked with fresh ingredients for every meal. — But I digress!

Recipe below, people!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the tops off the peppers. Remove and discard the stems, chop up the tops.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Add onions, garlic, and the chopped pepper tops and continue cooking.

I had a zucchini, like, just one zucchini in the fridge; so I chopped that up and threw it into the skillet too. I browsed my fridge to see what other stuff I had in there that I needed to use before it went bad — I chopped up thyme, scallions, cilantro, green olives with pimento, and roasted red peppers — it all went into the pan.

Fill the peppers with the cooked rice (I had leftover rice from the previous dinner), and top each with a sprinkle of shredded cheese (I had a bag left over from when I made chili). Butter on the bottom of the baking dish, drizzle the peppers with a little olive oil. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes.