Monday, July 25, 2011

Heartburn in Pregnancy and What To Do About It

I have had some pregnancies with no relief from heartburn and at least one in which it was hardly an issue.  So, what's the diference?  Some will tell you it is how much hair your baby has.  And after Kynzie was born with a very full head of hair, I thought it might be true!  But since then, I've started to have my doubts.

I have had plenty of time to experiment with various remedies.  I thought I would list some of my findings here.

Some of the obvious, easy ones are drinking enough water and eating small meals at regular and more frequent intervals, preferably with plenty of protein.  Another given - some regular exercise.  Walking, swimming, etc.  Some regular movement. 

Also, the method of treating your heartburn depends on why you have it... are you not producing enough acids, or are you producing too many?  I have not learned really how to tell the difference, so it has been by trial and error finding relief.

1) Chewing on some gum... I reccomend xylitol gum.  There used to be a heartburn gum on the market when I was pregnant with Kynzie (over seven years ago) that I used with great success.  Two years later when I was pregnant with Max, they didn't sell that gum anymore.  So, I started to experiment with other chewing gums.  I guess the premise is that it helps stimulate acids to help break down the food.  Pregnancy often slows down digestion.

2) Paypaya or other enzyme tablets - these have been life savers for me at some points.  I buy the chewable, but as with any chewable tablet, there is always a sweetner, so watch out for corn syrups as well as artificial sweetners. 

3) I have used milk or yogurt successfully as well as...

4) Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's).  Two seemingly opposite ends of the specturm, milk and vinegar, but again maybe it is due to my heartburn being caused by different problems at different times?

5) Lastly, I have a theory.  I believe that if you become constipated (which also seems to plague many pregnant women), you will have more hearburn.  I have used psyllium husk for this with great success.  Some have told me psyllium husks cause them to have stomach cramps.  I am not sure, but possibly this is a sign it is doing what it is supposed to??  Not sure, though, as it doesn't give me cramps. 

I have heard some use slippery elm bark instead of psyllium husks.

This last point is also helped by regular exercise and a healthy food plan (Bradley or better!) and plenty of water.  Eliminate white sugar and flour, and add fiber where you can!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Peanut Chicken Recipe and Menu Plan

Originally, I had been looking for a copy-cat recipe of Cheesecake Factory's Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp (minus the shrimp for me) to make at home when I came across this recipe.  It was actually a recipe someone on the Menus 4 Moms boards shared.  I have tweaked it to our family's liking. 

I have since found copy-cat recipes for the Bang Bang Chicken, and I am anxious to give that a try.  But we will likely keep this favorite on our menu rotation for now. 

Oh, something else about my cooking... I don't measure most of the time.  I also don't remember from one time to the next how I have tweaked a recipe and whether we liked it better or not.  It drives my family mad.  But it is all part of the creative process for me!  I am trying to make notes here and there because I do want to pass the recipes on to my kids as well. 

Someday, I hope to even add pictures!  Ooohhh!

Peanut Chicken
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy seems to be best
1/2 cup vinegar, we typically use Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's Liquid Amino's
1/4 cup brown sugar or Sucanat
1/2 - 1 tsp ginger, ground
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, more if you like more heat
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
2.5 cups chicken, cooked and diced
1.5 cups rice, quinoa, etc. or a blend (you may want to use additional coconut milk and/or broth in place of the water to cook the rice for flavor)
2 T coconut oil
Carrots, julienned
Zucchini (or Cucumber), julienned
Shredded coconut
Chopped peanuts
Green onions, sliced

Put rice on to cook.

Heat first eight ingredients in heavy saucepan until mixed and bubbly; stirring frequently.  Then add chicken.

While sauce heats, slice green onions, carrots and zucchini or cucumber. These are best ice cold.

To serve, scoop rice onto each plate and top with chicken and sauce. Top liberally with onions, cucumbers, carrots, coconut and peanuts. 

Notes: for presentation, it works nicely to scoop rice into a small bowl, packed tightly.  Place the plate on top of the bowl upside down.  Flip bowl and plate together, then lift the bowl, leaving the rice in a nice rounded mound.  Then spoon chicken and sauce over and around rice.  Then top with the carrots, coconut, peanuts, etc. 

Also, we double the sauce for our family. 

We often serve this with a stir-fry veggie medley (broccoli, carrots, sugar snap peas, maybe squash or peppers, and onions, chopped and 'wokked' in a little butter and lemon juice, please!).  When we have dessert on Peanut Chicken night, I like the Mandarin Napoleons from Robin Miller.  Yum!  (We double this recipe as well.  The sugared, baked won tons are so yummy all by themselves as well!)

Monday, May 09, 2011

I Love That Boy!

Tomorrow, my oldest son will be five years old.  I love to remember his birth story.  It was the first and only birth where no other friends or family were present except Scott.  It was fast, and for a harrowing few moments, we thought it was going to be grave.  But, thankfully, God had a different plan for Max.  As the story goes, Max made his appearance as Mommy was beginning to be wheeled to surgery for an emergency cesarean.  I am not sure the nurses believed me at first when I said "he's coming!"  But after a quick peek under the blankets, they put my bed back in its place in the labor room and began calling for the doctor to head back to our room!  Max was born within minutes.  Such joy and relief! 

Max has requested candy cereal for his breakfast in bed tomorrow, pancakes for lunch, and Cheeseburger Casserole for dinner.  He doesn't really care for sweets, so I couldn't really get him to pinpoint a dessert.  He likes Popsicles, though.  Maybe I'll surprise him with Popsicles.  Hmmm, can't really stick a candle in one of those, can ya?  Well, maybe his candles will go in his casserole!

He is such a loving little boy.  He is always excited for the new baby (ies) when I am pregnant, and this time is no different.  He hugs and kisses the baby (aka my belly) and talks to his sibling.  It is precious.  He wants to be brave and courageous.  He has a heart to be a warrior and a protector.  I love these things about him.  I know God put these things in him to be used in marvelous ways as he grows older.  I pray God teaches Scott and I how to nurture the good and weed out the bad in his life.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God the Creator... of YOU!

Did you know Earth Day is coming up? If you turned your TV on at all today you do. Even PBS is having some special day of Earth friendly cartoons or something that day. I am all for being good stewards of planet Earth. I believe we have God-given responsibilities to do so, in fact. However, I have a problem when we start to worship the creation and not the Creator.

There are so many little things in creation that point to an amazing creator. Just watch any of the "Wonders of God's Creation" DVD series. The intricate details of nature boast of the glory of God.

Interestingly enough, my devotional for today is entitled "God as Creator". Seeing God as the Creator means that there is purpose for your life. He created you. You didn't just happen. He planned your hair color, your eye color, height, bone structure, and so much more. Isn't that good news? I was created with a plan and a purpose!

Also, as a being created with a plan and purpose in mind by a Creator, I have inherited, if you will, the Father's creativity in some way. Now, I used to believe that I was the least creative person on Earth. I don't have a penchant for anything to do with art or scrapbooking or decorating or hairdos. But, I know that He imparted some sort of creativity in me because we are created in His likeness.

So, what floats my boat? What is it that energizes me? What activities allow me to feel God's pleasure? Eric Liddell, Olympic Gold Medalist, said he felt God's pleasure when he ran. He believed that to be a gift God gave him. What about me, then? Maybe unconventional creativity, but I love to plan, organize, be resourceful, give things to people who need them, and have social activities. When I have had time, I also have enjoyed writing, photography, cake decorating, and putting floral arrangements together.

When I think of these talents as God-created, I am more thankful for these natural bents. What are yours? What about your kids'?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

FINALLY! Another big announcement!

Molly Kay is here! She was born on Friday, February 12th at 6:40 pm here at home via waterbirth. She weighed in at 10 lbs, 9 oz and measured 22.5 inches long. Her dark, soft hair is less than Kynzie had but more than any of the boys had. It is hard to believe she has already been with us more than a week. Time has gone by too fast already. I would love to take the time to recount my birth story, but we'll see if that happens. I am just sneaking a moment to get this typed in. There are lots of things to tell about her and how the other kids have taken to her, but that will all have to wait, too. I don't want to miss any more minutes snuggling with my new, sweet baby than I have to!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Finally! The Big Announcement...

I think it is safe to put it on my blog now. I am pretty sure we have told the people we need to tell. This time around, we didn't think of kitchy ways to spill the beans. We just said it. So that is what I'll do here, too.

WE'RE HAVING ANOTHER BABY!!! Yes, I am very excited. Kynzie had been praying for another baby for quite some time. We have yet to find out whether it will be the girl she's been reequesting. We are only about 9 weeks along. No, I am not as sick as I was with the twins. Probably means there is only one... or I am just better adjusted this time???

I love to be pregnant. I love it even more when I don't feel sick anymore. I am going back to all my favorite pregnancy books and websites, refreshing my memory for this season in my life. It seems like it will take forever at the beginning, but then 9 months goes quickly.

Thank you, Lord, for this new life you have blessed us with...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Branson Vacation, Day whatever (Friday)

So, I realize I have been so delinquent in updating this blog that no one really cares about our last day in Branson over a month ago. But I am still going to post it. It just doesn't seem like I can allow myself to post other things till I finish what I started.

After staying up a little later on Thursday evening, preparing the condo for our check out in the morning, we woke up Friday morning to tornado possibilities. We kept one eye on the weather stations while trying to make breakfast, eat it, feed it to children, clean it up, and finish packing.

There were a couple of fairly frigtening moments, but it seemed that all the worst went on by. Now, would the rain, rain go away long enough to allow us to enjoy some time at Silver Dollar City? We packed all our stuff, loaded the kids in the van, checked out, and decided to take our chances.

We rode the train, and the kids enjoyed that, but the babies didn't care much for the train robbing show they put on; they felt it was too long. But it was hilarious because all the actors were baffled when one of the audience participators didn't answer a question as they expected.

Kynzie rode her first roller coaster, adn she's hooked. I knew she would be - after her mother's own roller coaster-ridin' heart. Max wasn't quite as brave this time around, which we also expected. But he did enjoy some of the more mild rides.

It rained off and on most of the day, mostly a sprinkling rain. We had umbrellas and a waterproof blanket I threw over the strollers while we waited at rides and such. We had a good time all-in-all. Two of the grown-up roller coasters were closed, one due to an unfortunate vomitting situation and the other due to rain. Delainey was only able to ride a few of the other grown-up rides, but, as usual, she was a great sport.

Scott took both girls on Fire in the Hole... I think Kynzie was a little unsure about how she felt on that one... Here they are right after that one.

Here are the boys having a little snack in the strollers underneath the waterproof blanket.