Wells Family Fun Zone!

Well, I knew it had been a while since I posted last, but I was surprised to see my last entry as May of this year. When I started this blog I intended for it to be a place to note exciting changes in regard to my family, post prayer requests, and educate others about fibroids through my experience. My surgery came and went and then I stopped posting. Heh. Much has happened since then… I’ll start with a couple of highlights from this summer… πŸ™‚

  • Aaron graduated in May, passed his board exam, and started working at Mercy in June. I am so very proud of him.
  • We didn’t go on any camping or fishing trips like we thought, but we spent a lot of time with friends and family. This summer was so enjoyable. We did make it down to the Ozarks with Aaron’s ma and SO Gary. I LOVE water so this was the perfect getaway for me.
  • I taught my first crochet class this summer. It was so much fun!! I have taught a few more since then and plan to offer more in January through my lys, Knitted Together
  • My mom had a scare with breast cancer, but it turned out to be a non-cancerous growth. Whew. How scary, though!
  • Lots of rain, wind, and hail killed off most of our peas, but we ended up with TONS of green beans and quite a supply of tomatoes, too. Though we didn’t get many until after dad’s dog Pepe off’d the ground squirrel that was eating all of our tomatoes as they turned red.

The next big event happened a mere three days before my birthday (September 5th). I stopped taking BC in May thinking it would take my body a while to “figure itself out”. This seemed perfect for us since we wanted to start trying for a baby in January 2012. Well, God blessed us a bit sooner than expected (which is fine with me!!) and I got a positive pregnancy test on September 2nd. Boy, that sure was exciting!

So here it is December and I am 18 weeks along. We’ve heard baby’s heartbeat, seen him (or her) flutter around on the ultrasound, and will find out if “it” is a he or she on Wednesday. It has been such a crazy, fun time. I read about all the changes that would occur, but man…. until something actually happens to you… reading just does pregnancy stuff injustice.

The coolest thing recently is feeling baby wiggle around. I thought I felt something once in my 15th week when I woke up in the middle of the night. However, I decided maybe I was just dreaming…. Now that I’m almost positive I am feeling baby move I think I might have felt him that one time early on… I’d say the first time for sure was on the 28th of November. It is such a beautiful, indescribable feeling.

Oh, and I’m starting to get big. I was “chunky” looking around 11 weeks, but baby is starting to look like a baby instead of just bloat!! (Though I still look like a chunky monkey in the evening as I get bloated and full of food! lol)

Anyway, the last item of excitement is the “babymoon” we just got back from on Friday. Before baby came around I was planning on Florida with my mom (and possibly my great friend) in February. But… that was quickly squashed when I found out I would be toting around 6 months worth of baby. Sad (though worth it). I’ve been wanting to play in the ocean for a while now. Oh, how I love the ocean! Anyway, Aaron wanted to bring me to the ocean now for our babymoon, but it’s not warm enough to swim anywhere in the States. We decided to instead go to a quaint yarn shop/bed and breakfast in Mt. Vernon, Iowa; to Madison, WI; to the wonderful parks in Door County, WI; and then end our vacation in Chicago, IL at the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.

It was a nice, relaxing vacation. We drove so there was a lot of time to enjoy some time together just doing nothing. We also got some great deals in Door Co since it is their off season. We got a really great hotel with a fire place and jacuzzi tub for cheap. It also came with two $25 gift certificates to shops and restaurants in Door Co, cherry juice (freaking delicious), choco covered cherries, coffee, two hot chocolates, and a $50 gift certificate to this super fancy restaurant. (It was amazing, by the way.)

What can I say… it was just really nice to spend so much time with Aaron. He really is a swell guy. πŸ™‚

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. I’ll have to make another post on Wednesday with the gender of our little baby. How exciting!!

I work in an office with few other people so besides the “good morning” when I come in it’s pretty quiet. As such, my supervisor thought I might like this comic…

Dilbert.com

Last Friday I found a podcast titled, “What’s This Food?” by a guy named Daniel Delaney. It is pretty great. Every day this guy picks an “odd” food, gives it’s history and origin, talks about some great ways to eat it, and gives a recipe. Sometimes he also includes the vitamins in the food as well. His voice is easy on the ears and listeners can suggest foods for him to research on via iTunes, youtube, facebook, or email. If you like to cook I definitely recommend this short podcast. (It’s only 3-5 minutes!)

Anyway, today I listened to a podcast from April 3rd. It was on a Latin American dish called arepas. His recipe sounded pretty tasty so I decided to try it out. The video with the original recipe can be found here. Annnnd you will find my recipe below.

Tasha’s Arepas (makes 6 “patties”)

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup milk
  • little butter
  • little lemon
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • jalapenos, to taste
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 roma tomato
  • sour cream, to taste
  • honey, to taste

In a bowl mix the cornmeal, corn, cilantro, jalapeno, and spinach. In a regular frying pan heat the milk on medium heat. Once it starts to steam dump the cornmeal mixture into the milk and remove the pan from the heat. Stir it up and put the mixture back in the bowl. Next, put a little butter and some lemon in the frying pan and put it on medium low heat and scoop some of the cornmeal mixture into the pan. You can fit about four in a typical pan at once. I made mine the size of hamburger patties. (They don’t really shrink much.) Cook one side for approximately four minutes and then flip them to cook the other side for approximately two minutes. I cooked mine so they were lightly browned on both sides.

Once cooked I placed them on a plate and spread sour cream over the top. I then put a layer of sliced tomato and a layer of avocado on each arepa. Last, I drizzled honey over the top!

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I was very excited to bring this dinner up to Aaron. I am so happy to have a husband that likes tasty foods like avocado and all kinds of veggies. Anyway, I brought it up and he took a bite…. and he loved it! I mean, I’m pretty sure this is going to be one of my new favorite things to make for dinner.

Ahhh… how I love cooking! What are your favorite recipes and where do you find them??

I am so happy spring is finally here. I am most excited about my garden. And the fact that Aaron is graduating in almost a month. Oh, and the fact that this will be my first full summer in Iowa in two years! I plan on having some summer fun! Anyway, back to my garden… I asked dad (since it’s his house AND he has the tools) about tilling up a small plot of land for a garden. He was all for it so the three of us picked a spot and when I came home last Thursday he was tilling away!

dad tilling

The trampoline has since been sold to the neighbors and Aaron and I have finalized our choice of vegetables. Oh, and I told dad he needs to make the plot a bit larger. πŸ™‚ Here are the seeds I purchased last weekend…

  • spinach
  • mesclun salad mix
  • sugar snap pea
  • lettuce looseleaf blend
  • chives
  • mesclun spicy mix
  • lemon balm
  • cilantro
  • cat grass
  • dill
  • mammoth sunflower
  • green onion

We also plan to purchase tomatoes, broccoli, and peppers. When I was at WalMart I was tempted to purchase the entire garden section. They had strawberry plants with little strawberries growing and ditto tomatoes. Anyway, Aaron’s mom said she will help me with when to plant everything and the details of the garden. I think this is going to be a lot of hard work, but pretty awesome in the end. πŸ™‚

So what is in your garden? Is there anything tasty I left out??

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So what else is great about this time of year? Well, this last weekend was the perfct example. I helped my dad in the yard a bit and then went on an hour and 15 minute walk with my best bud Erin. It was a lot of fun… great weather, good talking, and a little exercise to boot. I also went for a smiliar walk with my ma on Sunday. We took a walk to WalMart and then walked back with groceries. I brought Aaron’s backpack, but they were still a tad heavy… lol Anway, I hope to do more of this with her and other friends over the nice months. πŸ™‚

This last weekend was also cool because I got a new mate for my little male gold breasted waxbill. His female buddy died a couple of years ago after a 2-hour car ride. 😦 Ever since then the poor lil guy has cheeped for a new mate every morning. Well I finally found a breeder with gold breasted waxbills and she agreed to meet me on Sunday. I purchased from this breeder before so I didn’t quarantine my new birdy like I should have… anyway, the first thing the little male did when I put the little female in was try to uh…. mate with her. Oh dear. lol He then proceeded to peck at her, chase her off her perch, and attack her when she went to eat. I was a little nervous that the new arrangement wasn’t going to work, but the very next day they were cuddled together and it now seems as though they have always been a pair. It’s very cute. Below is a picture of my male cordon bleu waxbill. I was trying to get a picture of my new baby, but I like how this one turned out better… πŸ™‚ Oh, and she’s the tiny one in the background.

cordon bleu waxbill

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Last night Aaron and I decided to go to Miyabi 9 here in Des Moines for our date night. I’ve heard nothing but good things and was not disappointed!! Their prices are a tad high, but the sushi rolls were delicious and the shrimp dumplings we ordered were just amazing.

I really need to learn how to make sushi…

Anyway, we then went to Dairy Queen and got two quarts (vanilla and chocolate) of their ice cream. I’m sure it’s more than the stuff in the store, but it’s about the same price as two Blizzards and you know what? I love DQ ice cream. We brought it home and watched 127 Hours. The movie was pretty slow at first, but it was intriguing. I google’d the end when I first found out it was a true story, but it was neat to see how everything came together. I think I’d give it 3.5 to 4 stars overall.

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So I guess that brings me to today… halfway through the week! The weather has been pretty nice and I took a walk yesterday during my lunch break. I work in the prettiest part of downtown Des Moines, I think. The library is right across the street, there is a field out my window, and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park is across the street on the other side. There is lovely green grass and flowers everywhere. I have always found downtown beautiful. πŸ™‚

But beautiful as it is…. I am still ready for the weekend!

This weekend Aaron and I are going to host Magic. I’ve invited all of the usuals plus a friend of mine who is learning to knit. I thought maybe she would like to hang out with Carrie and I to get some knitting tips and meet some new people. I also hope the “isolated thunderstorms” hold off so we can play a game or two of ladder golf. Haven’t heard of it??? It’s awesome fun! Aaron’s mom Nancy got us the game for Christmas. We also have the typical frisbees and footballs to throw around. It should be a great weekend.

So what are your weekend plans? Hope you all have a good one!

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And finally, a recipe for you all who read to the bottom. πŸ™‚ It’s a pretty simple fruit salad…

  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • some honey
  • 1 can pineapple
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • some poppy seeds
  • some lemon juice

Just mix everything together. I use a liberal amount of honey and lemon juice. I also think grapes or apples would be a delicious addition. Like I said… nice and simple…

Gas

I hate to complain, but man is gas expensive! I knew it had gone up, but because of surgery I haven’t personally been at a gas station since the end of January. It cost $41 to fill my tiny Ford Focus. Granted my poor car was running on fumes… but still!

Not long ago I heard someone say that the government needs to step up now and do something about the rising prices of gas. If not, then our economy is going to crash even more. It makes sense… there will be very little travel, be it for vacation or for a trip to the mall, this summer if gas goes up to $4+ like predicted. What do you think about the prices? Will you have to make cuts somewhere? Who’s going to start riding their bike to work!?! I am sure thinking about it…

Food

A couple of days ago I made up a new pork chop recipe. And it was made in a crock pot so it’s nice and easy!

  • 2 $1.00 (on sale) Hy-Vee pork chops
  • one can cream of celery
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • red potatos
  • carrots
  • garlic powder

I mixed the cream of celery, applesauce, water, and garlic powder in the crock pot. I then chopped and added the veggies and mixed them in the sauce. Last I browned the pork chops and then put them on top of the mixture. (I spooned a little on top of the chops as well.) Mine cooked on low for about 6 hours. Aaron and I really enjoyed our tasty chops! I only wish I had made more.

And speaking of yummy… I have now made hummus from my garbanzo bean flour three times. The first time was okay, the second time was kinda weird, and the last time was excellent. The taste was almost the same throughout; it was the texture that changed. I would give you all the recipe, but I believe it is copyrighted. The main ingredients are garganzo bean flour, water, chicken broth, garlic, cumin, red pepper, lemon, tahini, and olive oil. The olive oil made all the difference to the texture, FYI! It helps thicken the hummus.

You know, speaking of tahini… when I bought the tahini there was an offer on the back of the bottle from the manufacturer. I was to send $2.50 for shipping and I would get a free Greek cook book. I love Greek so I signed right up for that one… hopefully I’ll get my cook book soon!

Update

I went back to work this Monday. The only hard part is that I’m sleepy. But… it’s my own fault. I much prefer knitting and crocheting to my job and now my job is taking up that time. …so I stay up until 11pm. Yikes!

In the end, I probably could have gone back last week. Last week is when I comfortably started wearing jeans and regular underwear. Bye bye, super sexy granny panties! I even did a ton of spring cleaning last week. Our house looked nice! Anyway, at thsi point I feel pretty much normal. Two weeks ago the doc said at 6 weeks the body is back to 70%. I do pretty much everything, feel no swelling or pain, and my incision is becoming a nice little scar. The only funny thing is that it’s still a little hard around the edges. The numbness is mostly gone as well.

Oh, and the bills are rolling in! If you’re curious I’ll put some averages on here in the next couple of days. I’m not going to post any exact amounts or what I actually have to pay, but I will say that insurance saved me on this one. We knew going in that I had good insurance, which is part of why we decided to go ahead with the surgery now.

And here are the answers to the questions I asked at my 5-week appointment.

  • When can I start exercising again? What exercises can I do? Pretty much anything is fine at 6 weeks. He just said to take it slow.
  • Do I have to be careful with ab exercises? If so, when will that be normal? Ditto above.
  • When can I vacuum again? Ditto above.
  • How often do I come back to check for returning fibroids? I don’t need to return unless something seems out of place again.
  • Will you be able to tell during my yearly exam or will an ultrasound have to be done? Ditto above.
  • Can I see the op report? I didn’t ask because Aaron decided he didn’t need/want to see it.

My doc called me normal and said I didn’t have to come back. Woo hoo!

I realized today that I haven’t posted in a while…. and I had a wonderful day so I thought I would share. πŸ™‚

Today I attended my first fiber festival (craft show) as a vendor. I didn’t actually have my own booth, but I shared with a family friend. I only brought a couple of hats and some fridge magnets, but I gave out quite a few business cards and people really seemed to like some of my hats. I think most of the folks at the festival were knitters and crocheters looking for snazzy yarn so it was nice to get a couple of compliments. I considered it a success because it was fun and I was able to do some networking as well. πŸ™‚

After the festival mom and I went to the local (Winterset) fabric store to browse. Want to take a guess what was on sale? Yarn! HA. Apparently they usually don’t sell yarn, but their magazine had leftover kits so they had all kinds of yarn. I think my best deal was Cascade 220 Superwash, which is normally $11, for only $5. After browsing for too long there we went to the local yarn shop, Heartland Fiber. Of course, they had sale yarn there as well – 50% off, too. I sure got some nice deals today… Mirasol Hacho for $4 was another steal…

Of course after all the (trying) to sell and shopping we had to eat! What was the name… I forget the name, but the local cafe next to the yarn shop has very good burgers. We also ordered a tray of onion rings and were accidentally given (in addition to the onion rings) fries with our burgers. No extra charge! It was some great food and since we didn’t order the fries I was able to bring mom’s leftovers home to my hungry husband. (I say hungry because he is always hungry for something good. lol)

So after this fun day of yarn with my mom I returned home. And what do you suppose I returned home to find? My dear husband did all of the dishes, vacuumed, did a load of laundry, and ironed. Holy freaking cow. He is the best. I really do love the man.Β  He even ran 4.5 miles this afternoon.

Overall, it has been a super great day. I had a great time with my mom, enjoyed the festival with Elaine, got some great deals, and have a super sweet husband to come home to after a long day. πŸ™‚ What is the sweetest thing your husband or significant other has done for you? I quite enjoy hearing love stories… πŸ™‚ Feel free to comment with your own.

Gateway Market

I had to drop some stuff off downtown for work on Tuesday so I thought I would stop by the Gateway Market. They have excellent catering and I’ve always wanted to check it out. Besides, my poor Aaron was (and still is) sick so I thought I could pick him up a spritzer. The boy loves spritzers and we could always find them at the Whole Foods Market in Omaha. Anyway, I browsed the entire store and managed to leave with only spending $11.61. Woo hoo! I ended up getting Aaron an organic dark chocolate orange bar and a clementine spritzer. He thoroughly enjoyed them. πŸ™‚

My other purchases were also very exciting. I bought garbanzo bean flour (hummus beans!) and a Cambodian stir fry sauce. Aaron and I love hummus and the bean flour had a recipe on the back. Now, I had all of the ingredients for hummus save one. Tahini a/k/a sesame paste… I found none at the Gateway Market. The next day I went to Hy-Vee to pick up a few small items and went on a hunt for the missing Tahini. I scoured the store and found none so I eventually asked a worker. If you are ever searching for Tahini it is in Hy-Vee by the….. BBQ sauces and such. Anyway, I’ll let you know how it turns out as I’ll be making a batch this afternoon!

garbanzo bean flour

My other awesome purchase was pure awesome: Cambodian Pineapple Lemon Grass Stir Fry Sauce. I picked it up off the shelf thinking of it as a splurge item ($6.39 for a tiny jar) that would last me until November 2011 (expiration date). However, I quickly realized two things. 1) There was a dollar off coupon on the jar that I didn’t see and the clerk used it and it was also marked down $2.10. Woo hoo!! 2) When I got home I read the small print…. “use within 7 days of opening”. Blah. Well, at least it was cheap!

cambodian pineapple lemon grass stir fry

Anyway, I used it the first night with chicken to good results and then again last night with AMAZING results. I used it to stir fry yellow squash, mushrooms, red pepper, and cabbage. I then cooked two salmon fillets in it. Last I made some brown rice with a lot of honey. Have you ever tried rice with honey? It is amazing. The meal consisted of the salmon sitting on a bed of honey rice with the veggies on top. I even cooked some of Aaron’s separate from mine and added dried jalapenos to make it spicy. The sauce itself has tiny chunks of pineapple and a great taste overall. It was perfect with the honey in the rice.

An Update

My last steri strips fell off last Friday. After I gently tugged the last one off I had this odd feeling that I was going to fall apart. lol I knew I wasn’t… it was just weird to have them all finally gone. My incision is turning into a scar. It’s just getting that healed up look to it. And not to be too graphic, but I feel as though once my hair grows back I won’t even see the scar.

For about a week, last weekend-ish, I had some weird breathing issues where I’d take a deep breath and not feel as though it filled my lungs. It would usually take a few deep breaths before I felt full. It’s hard to explain… it was here about 3-4 days and now I feel normal again.

I’ve felt pretty good the last week as well. I drove for the first time to go to church last Sunday. It was slow going, but not too bad. The worst part about being in a car (driving or not) is the seat belt. It sits right in the wrong spot! lol My only real complaint (besides the occasional back ache) is some cramping the last 2-3 days. I’m not due to start my period until Sunday and it’s very regular because of birth control pills. The cramps aren’t bad, but it’s not normal for me to cramp prior to bleeding. Weird.

On Monday I go to the doctor for a check up. I have a few questions for him about the rest of my recovery. I will post them below and will repost them with answers once I get them. πŸ™‚

  • When can I start exercising again? What exercises can I do?
  • Do I have to be careful with ab exercises? If so, when will that be normal?
  • When can I vacuum again? (My house is soooooooooo dirty.)
  • How often do I come back to check for returning fibroids?
  • Will you be able to tell during my yearly exam or will an ultrasound have to be done?
  • Can I see the op report?

Well, I think that’s about it… Happy Friday to you!

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I should also note that my sweet little Birder sat my finger, and then shoulder, while I wrote this post. She is such a good little bird.

Birder, my female parrotlet

So cute!

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