Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lightning Can Totally Hit The Same Place Twice

You might want to look around for any oncoming storms before standing next to me these days. Because who wants to get struck by lightning around the holidays? In other words, I have not had the greatest of luck these days.

It all started Thursday evening when I managed to sprain my ankle by walking around my car. No obstacles in my way. I wasn't carrying anything. Just walking. And as I was laying on the pavement I had three thoughts, in this order: 1) I can feel my ankle swelling under my hand. This is not going to be good; 2) Come on, endorphins! Kick in!; 3) I can't even take any ibuprofen. Damn. Once the endorphins kicked in I was able to hobble inside and grab a bag of ice, which did not do much to decrease the swelling. My ankle looked like a flesh-colored orange. Eewww. So I had to stay home from work the next day because, you know, a nurse in a wheelchair doesn't inspire much confidence.

Then Sunday morning I was gently awakened by my son yakking all over me. My thoughts: 1) Oh great, now we have a stomach bug in our house; 2) Poor little guy; 3) Why does it always have to be all over me? I'm all for saving the furniture, but seriously. So I tempted fate by taking Cormac in the bathtub with me, but all that happened was that he felt better, and I smelled better. Success. And although he was low energy, he didn't yak for the rest of the day so I figured we were in the clear. And by Sunday night my ankle was feeling fairly OK, in that I could walk on it and a sock fit over it, so I figured no problem for going to work the next day. Hah.

I woke up Monday morning feeling rather nauseous, and I was like, really? Because I'm totally in my third trimester and this should be loooong gone by now. And then the diarrhea hit. You probably didn't want to know that, but we are all about full disclosure at this blog. It was way too late to call in at work, and after I yakked I felt a lot better, so I went on my way. At work I drank some water, and while I didn't feel top notch, I figured I could rally and maybe eat a granola bar or something. I went and saw my patient (don't worry, I am neurotic about washing my hands at work) and got the day going. But then that water started to feel not-so-good in my stomach.

And then I was back in the bathroom hugging the toilet. It's never fun to yak, but especially not so when it's not your own bathroom. Although to be honest with you, the bathroom at work is probably way cleaner than my bathroom anyway. Again, you probably didn't want to know that.

That's when the contractions started. Every three minutes. I didn't say anything about them at first, but when you work in Labor & Delivery people are very attuned to these sorts of things. They peer-pressured me into going down the the OB Screening Room to get it checked out. Honestly, it's probably good that they did, because I'm terrible about going to the doctor appropriately. Example: I was pretty sure Cormac had an ear infection, but I decided to wait a couple days to see if it would get better on its own. It didn't. He ended up on antibiotics anyway. (In my defense, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that antibiotics not be prescribed right away because the majority of ear infections clear up on their own).

Anyway, I hadn't been able to keep anything down for about 12 hours, so I figured I was just dehydrated and that if I could just get some IV fluids in me, the contractions would stop. So I went down to the screening room where they hooked me up to the monitors (to watch baby and contractions) and started an IV. It was the first time I had ever been hooked up to the fetal monitors, and let me just say that I cannot imagine laboring while hooked up to those; they are majorly uncomfortable. I'm really glad I'm having a home birth. Plus the beds were more like dentist chairs, so trying to get comfortable was impossible.

After the first liter of saline went in, the contractions were still coming every three minutes. And as much as I didn't want to have any medicine, 32 weeks was waaaay to early for this baby to be coming so I got some terbutaline. It's really effective at stopping contractions, but it also makes you feel like you just snorted three lines of cocaine. Not that I would know, I just assume. So the contractions petered out while I got another liter of fluid and felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest, and baby had a dance party.

My cervix wasn't dilated at all, so I was sent home with strict instructions to come back if I had any more contractions. And I haven't for the past 24 hours. Recently I've even been able to keep down some Gatorade, two pieces of toast, and some chicken broth with noodles. Rock on. Heck, maybe this will slow down the ridiculous weight gain.

So both my stomach and ankle are on the mend, and I'm hoping I've used up any bad Karma for the next few months. But really, as long as Baby Fozzy is OK, I'm a happy Momma.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cookie Monsters

Every year around this time, we get together with my family and spend a day making a massive amount of cookies. Then we split them up between all of us and enjoy them the rest of the holiday season. Depending on how fast you eat them. And being pregnant this year might have a serious effect on the cookie disappearance rate.

Cormac had fun cutting out cookies in the shape of Christmas trees, stars, and Santas, and just dropping random lumps of dough on the cookie sheet. Because as long as it tastes good, who cares what it looks like, right? Especially if you're gonna put frosting on them anyway.

My favorite cookies are are the Coconut-Cranberry Chews. They are little balls of cranberry-orange-coconut-butter deliciousness. The recipe is from Sunset magazine. I usually double the recipe because I don't mess around when it comes to these cookies. The resulting dough barely fit in my professional grade Kitchenaide mixer, but that actually turned out to be a good thing because then I got to thoroughly sample the dough. And there are no eggs in this recipe, so thorough sampling is actually encouraged.

Coconut-Cranberry Chews


  • About 1 1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) butter or margarine, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked dried coconut


1. In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1 1/2 cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth.

2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Mix in cranberries and coconut.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

4. Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until cookie edges just begin to brown, 8 to 11 minutes (shorter baking time will yield a chewier cookie; longer baking time will yield a crispier cookie). If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely

The well-meaning people at Sunset included the nutritional information for each cookie, which I have chosen not to publish here for obvious reasons. Just enjoy the cookies.

Here is a photo of our work (notice Cormac in the background):