Posts Tagged 'Miscellaneous'

Motherhood – A Crash Course

She’s here! Our baby daughter arrived mid-September and our lives have been changed forever. Motherhood has so far been exhausting and scary because I felt like I had no clue what I was doing, but after almost two months I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

The first few days were especially hard – I was a wreck from sleep deprivation and a hormonal mess, and frantically just trying to keep her alive. Was she getting enough breastmilk?, I worried sleeplessly. Nobody tells you breastfeeding can be so hard! Some mothers and babies are lucky and are just “in sync” from the start, but for many others, there are a million possible obstacles to this most natural method of nourishment and sustenance. I could write pages about this experience alone, but we’ll save that for another time.

Baby is now on a combination of breastmilk and formula, and she’s healthy and happy as a peach. Her life consists of eating, pooping, sleeping, and repeat.¬†As she’s fast growing and becoming her own person with a unique personality, it’s hard to believe that just weeks ago this beautiful creature was inside my belly. Yes, parenthood comes with all the sleepless nights, never-ending diaper changes, and bouts of fussiness, but all those hardships are nothing compared to the joy I feel when I look into her adorable eyes. I’m in love like I’ve never been in love before…

Lastly, here’s the memorable breakfast I had in the hospital just before I gave birth.

The Second Trimester – A Look Back

I’ve been waking up with a healthy appetite. Today’s breakfast: one egg omelette with tomato and Swiss, sausage, toast, fresh picked mango:

Two trimesters down, one more to go! Despite a complication scare, on the whole I felt good and had enough energy to move around during the second trimester. A look back on eating during the past three months can be summarized as: the battle of appetite vs. weight. In one corner of the ring: 1) a voracious appetite, especially for sweets, 2) the false sense of security in thinking I could consume extra calories “for the baby”, and 3) the feeling that somehow, as a pregnant woman I deserved to indulge in whatever I wanted to eat. In the opposite corner, 1) the responsibility of eating a healthy diet 2) the alarming rate at which the number on the weight scale was climbing, 3) fear of complications such as gestational diabetes, and 4) a desire to stay in shape to look and feel good and to make it easier to shed the weight after giving birth. The winner in the second trimester: it was a close fight, but I’d have to say appetite won this one.

Baby is very active and kicks and twirls around all day long, but especially during meals.

As the third trimester approached, heartburn suddenly became a constant companion due to all those internal organs being smushed by the baby. I have a feeling the theme for the next three months will be “I really wanna eat this but it will probably come right back up my throat…”

Let’s get back to happy thoughts. I know, I’ll memo a list of foods I can’t wait to eat, so I can efficiently tackle everything after giving birth. A to-do list if you will:

Undercooked eggs category:
– loco moco
– eggs benedict
– natto soba with soft poached egg from Matsugen
– soondubu chige with raw egg

Raw fish/meat category:
– sashimi, sushi, sashimi, sushi!!!!
– ahi poke from Tanioka’s
– maguro eggs benedict from Cream Pot
– salmon sashimi
– oysters on the half shell
– Korean Yukke with raw egg
– any kind of carpaccio and ceviche

Charcuterie/soft cheese category:
– prosciutto, sopressata, and all other paper-thin, salty cured deliciousness
– smoked salmon
– lots of soft, stinky cheeses
– I’m thinking a trip to Salt in Kaimuki or Whole Foods

SIGH.

But in all seriousness, I am ever aware that giving up these pleasures temporarily is such a small sacrifice in comparison to what will come at the end of this. Hubby and I marvel at baby’s growth and movements every day and give thanks for the miracle that is growing inside.

Pregnancy and Food

One of the reasons I write this blog is that it’s a great place I can keep all my memories to read back and enjoy. True, I only write about food, but when I think about it, food is such an integral part of my life. Almost every memory, life event,and relationship can be told through food, and this is one such life event I want to be sure to keep a record of. So this is more of a journal entry for myself.

Hubby and I are expecting our first baby this fall! And pregnancy has changed my relationship with food, at least temporarily I hope. In short, first trimester pregnancy + food = a hate relationship. I was too exhausted to cook, nothing tasted good, and everything I ate gave me heartburn. Yet as soon as my stomach was empty I felt sick, so I spent the past 2 months shoving food in my mouth every hour just to sooth the nausea, only to get heartburn. The only foods I actually enjoyed were tart, refreshing flavors like chilled grapefruit, lemon, and tomatoes. I’m supposed to be staying away from raw fish, raw eggs, soft imported cheeses, all my usual favorites. For the first time in my life food became a source of misery, not joy for me. I didn’t expect to be spending so much of my time thinking about food – what to eat and not to eat, how and when to secure my next meal, but I did.

My palate became naturally more sensitive to the over-salted and MSG flavors of take-out and fast food. My brain became more conscious of what I was eating and providing to this little person growing inside of me, and I started looking into organic and natural alternatives wherever possible.

I think the process of how a baby grows inside a mother can only be described as a miracle. It’s strange to think I directly supply the feeding tube that nourishes this baby – what a huge responsibility! A most welcome and wonderful responsibility, but at the same time I can’t wait till I can eat sushi and gooey eggs benedict again. I’m told that the second trimester will bring on a hearty appetite and that things will start tasting better, so I’m looking forward to enjoying eating again, while keeping track not to gain too much weight.

The Garden Lately

Cherry Tomatoes are in full swing! They grow in clusters of 5 or 6 and veeerrrry slooowly ripen into a bright red color. Nature’s rainbow:

Fresh picked Manoa lettuce and tomatoes will garnish a potato salad tonight.

The basil… has… won. No amount of caprese salad or pesto sauce can help me now. I… give… up.

Picnic Lunch

We’ve been doing a lot of picnics lately. Dining outdoors makes everything taste better! Even if it’s just getting McDonald’s drive-thru and taking it to the park, it’s just so much better.

The other day Hubby and I packed an ordinary sandwich lunch and jazzed it up with a side order of: ocean breezes.

Somewhere we hadn’t gone in a while – Kakaako Waterfront Park. If you have kids, or the heart of a child, BYOCB to this lovely park. That’s Bring-Your-Own-Cardboard-Box, because there’s some seriously sled-worthy hills here. Like black diamond kind. Ooh, if only it snowed here in Hawaii…

Beach Picnic

Living in Hawaii means you’re never more than a short walk or drive away from gorgeous sandy beaches and blue waters. That equals loads of fun on the cheap on the weekends.

This past weekend hubby and I spent the day at San Souci Beach with SIL 2 and the kids. After a picnic lunch of musubis and fried chicken, we swam in the ocean and got gunned down by our nephew armed with a water gun. Repeatedly.

Then, SIL2 and I spent the rest of the time critiquing impressive beach bodies and spotting cellulite and fake boobs. What? You know you do it too.

I made shiso and takana musubis, shoyu hot dogs, potato mac salad, and watermelon. SIL2 brought inari sushi, fried chicken, and lumpia from Tanioka’s.

Housewarming Wishes

For me, there’s nothing that stirs up the joy of cooking more than having an assortment of fresh picked herbs in my kitchen. I made a mini herb garden as my housewarming gift for a couple of friends who just moved into their custom-built dream home. Putting it together is as easy as can be, and the total cost is under $20!

Basil, Parsley, and Mint

Planted together in a plastic pot, loosely, so the homeowners can transplant them into their garden if they’d like. Set in a rustic galvanized bucket with a handmade card.


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