Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Month to Go - Childbirth Preparation Class - Month 9

week 35

Holy cats!! Let the countdown begin. Karl's birthday is this week and we said once we hit that, we'd have ONE whole month left. That's like four weeks until Baby Koester's arrival. YIKES!!!
I'm just starting to feel the baby drop!

My belly is for sure getting bigger (as you can see). I noticed the heaviness last night too. It's much harder to move around, but I am thankful I do get to move around. I still feel good. Karl and I have enjoyed feeling Baby Koester's feet and butt move along my stomach. We try to reach and grab them. It's the craziest feeling ever on the inside and from the outside feeling in!

Friday night and Saturday (all day...and yes, on a 65 degree day)  Karl and I took a Childbirth preparation (Weekend Express) class at St. Francis. I'm really glad we took this class. Yes, we had to watch some more videos (yes, I cried again - I can't help it...all that work and then poof, baby is out. Such a miracle beyond words.). It was nice to see three different stories of women - all who were "planners" and not one baby plan worked out the way they had hoped. It reminded me to keep an open mind through this whole adventure and know that I can't predict anything. Every birthing story is different but I did pick up a lot of tools that will help me.

What I loved about the class was a pediatrician was brought in to share a lot of insight into those first two years of childhood. It was nice to ask questions and have him provide us with a ton of info. Like I wanted to know just in case we have a boy, how to care for our peanut's little "peanut" once it's circumcised. And Karl had questions about temperatures and when to bring baby in. And we learned all about day care snot'll be continuous for two years. Nice.

The second thing I loved was a Speech Language Pathologist came in (feeling really lucky right now that my sister-in-law is one) and talked about the importance of Tummy Time. Seems with all the toys out there these days, parents are more willing to lie their kids down and leave them on their backs all hours of the day, which creates muscle and skull issues and lots of development issues. It was crazy to see the difference between a child who received no tummy time and one who did from the time they were born to 6 months. Their heads were even shaped differently! We for sure will be doing lots of tummy time.

We also were able to tour the birthing center, which we both loved! I can't believe I'm going to be staying in a hospital...overnight too. Maybe longer. I don't really know what that's like, but the rooms look somewhat comfortable. We met a couple in our class who are expecting twins on the same day we are...and also have our doctor! Guess we'll be fighting for attention if we both are on schedule.
Karl checking out the room

We also had to watch a video on Shaken Baby Syndrome which broke my heart into a million pieces. I couldn't help but think of my BFF whose son was shaken at 6 months. The man in the video lost his son because of it, and I kept thinking over and over and over, My BFF is so lucky her son survived. But it still SUCKS. Why, oh, why did this have to happen?????

All and all I'm feeling a little more prepared with things and can't believe baby's arrival is almost here! Don't forget to place your guesses for Baby Koester's gender and when he/she will arrive into this world on Baby Hunch! No password needed!

Tex-Mex Chicken Enchiladas

Tex-Mex Chicken Enchiladas
serves 4 to 6
recipe found on
These were delicious!

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
1/2 cup sour cream 
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas 
Vegetable cooking spray 
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream 
1 (8-ounce) bottle green taco sauce
Toppings: diced tomato, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, sliced ripe olives, chopped cilantro

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Coat tortillas with vegetable cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Stir together sour cream and taco sauce. Spoon over hot enchiladas, and sprinkle with toppings.

Karl's reaction: "These are good! I'd order these off a fresco menu at a restaurant!"

My take: Loved these. Mad that I made them with fat free sour cream, but those labels can be deceiving sometimes! Still tasted good. Will make again.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Quick and easy!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
serves 4
recipe found on Six Sisters' Stuff blog
I had to add veggies to it!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would be fine too)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (could also use olive oil or canola oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - doesn't really add heat, just adds more flavor)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
Sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.

*You can also sprinkle more red pepper flakes on top if you want more heat.

Karl's reaction: "This is really good! I'm going to get me some more of this!"

My take: I'm glad I added veggies because I can see this being too salty with just chicken. It was nice to have crunchy veggies in there.