Wednesday, November 26, 2008

LAST night's supper! And the belly button story...


I have been making wonderful suppers, but keep forgetting to take pictures and / or to post here, so here, to make up for it, is last night's wonderful supper...OK, it doesn't look so wonderful. First, in the pan and then, on the plate.

Tuesday Supper:

Shepherd's Pie - turkey / apple / squash (I toss in a jar of babyfood squash)... I also added a tin of white kidney beans to "stretch" the meat and make it more fibrous and filling. The topping is organic red potatoes, mashed with the skins and with roasted garlic because with the skins is my new favourite way to do it. And, of course, now that I'm so hyper-aware of potato issues, the only way I will eat the skin is if it's organic. Though thinking about the range of potato products that we buy ready-made (like instant mash and the low-fat "puffed" chips I'm so fond of these days!) and with Chanukah coming up, well, we'll see... One day at a time for that particular resolution.
I checked the fridge (this is still yesterday, stay with me) and saw that there were "no" veggies, so I took one sad-looking red pepper and fried it in a pan with a couple of celery sticks (why haven't we eaten celery as a veg course before now? - it's yummy!) and a getting-sad-looking package of mushrooms... well, the "no" veggies situation turned out to be quite veggie-rich, especially if you count the corn in the shepherd's pie (most of which was left over from Shabbos). I added some balsamic vinegar and chicken soup mix to the veggies.So there it is. Delicious.
Oh, I have started to worry, though, about the quantity of soup mix I use in cooking... I mean, it's in almost everything - the base of most of my dairy soups, etc. If only I had the energy to prep and boil the ton of veg it would take to craft a meatless broth... but then it would only last one meal and wouldn't be nearly as handy as the powdered stuff. Sheesh.
These weeks are going by so fast. Tonight's Naomi & Gavriel's last swimming lesson. Not that that is any indication of how fast things are going, because they missed the first four classes out of 9 due to yamim tovim.
Everybody is reacting in horror to news of my impending surgery - December 8th, so a week and a half away. I haven't found a nice way to break it to people - "minor procedure" is fine, but then they want details and I'm like "well, the muscles tore open..." I wish there was some less gory way to say it.
Basically, my bellybutton never went in after Elisheva, and then when I was pregnant with Naomi Rivka, my abdomen started to hurt, all over the place, all the time. Sharp, sharp pain. I was worried about the pregnancy, but when the pain didn't change or get worse, and she continued to do okay, I stopped worrying and figured it would go away. But it never did, and when I was pregnant with Gavriel Zev it got so bad that I couldn't even stand up and fold laundry or do around-the-house type things... basically, I had to stay lying down or it would hurt.
Over those three or four years, I went to my family Dr a few times, like maybe 3 times, asking what it could be. But because a) the pain was intermittent - it could stick around for four days and then totally vanish - and b) it was not constantly in the same place but was "referring" all over my abdomen, there were several red herrings. In fact, when I suspected it was an ovary problem at one point very early in my pregnancy after Naomi Rivka, it was that ultrasound - checking out my ovaries - that found that the baby had died.
SO it was all on my lonesome that one day I put two and two together - massively protruding bellybutton, massive pain - to discover it was a hernia. Which kills me, because duh... by that point, you could make out loops of intestine sticking out. But because it was referred, and because I was pregnant, I guess nobody looked at my belly button.
My doctor confirmed it and said she could refer me, but I had just finished reading about the Shouldice Hospital and wanted to have it done there - it's the best in the world, apparently. And they said they couldn't do it until at least one year postpartum. So in August, I headed up there (Bayview and John) and waited, and waited and waited... finally, after having only some preparatory stuff done, I had to leave because Ted had to go to work and go back the next day when he was off. At which point, I waited and waited and waited some more, but FINALLY got in to see a Dr.
He checked me over and said I could come in December 8th... but also that I had to lose 15 pounds, of which I've lost ten, with five to go...
The good bit about having confirmed that it's a hernia is that I've been able to wear a "binder" - basically a massive strip of white bandage-looking velcro that you wrap around your middle. That wouldn't do much good except that my family Dr also showed me how I can push in the loop of intestines when it "pops" out through the hernia, which she estimated to be about 3cm (but feels much bigger now, if you ask me).
So that's the state of my guts. Most days, they don't hurt, and in fact, as I'm doing more ab exercises, things really have gotten better. But some days - exacerbated by coughing, sneezing, laughing or the alignment of the planets - something "pops" and then I'll stand up to find I'm in pain. Anywhere from mild ache to sharp can't-stand-up-straight pain. As if I've been eviscerated. Ha ha.
If it's bad enough, and there's time and the kids aren't running around bugging me (ha!), I go to the bedroom and lie down, find the "stuck" loop poking out of my belly button (it's not really stuck, as that is a grave medical condition called incarcerated bowel - in case you REALLY wanted to know), gently, gently (and yes, squeamishly), push it back through the hole. At first, it feels like it's not going to go... it's a big thick, slippery loop and the hole really is pretty small. Eventually, part of it literally slithers through, and then the rest usually follows quickly. There is kind of a "slurp" feeling that always makes me shudder and feel ill.
Once I've done that, it's a simple matter to pull the velcro binder around my middle and do it up (still lying down, the the kishkes can't fall out again), and then I can stand up and take care of the many many things that have gone wrong while I was having my little "lie down."
And I am SO looking forward to putting that whole chapter behind me. Hopefully permanently, though hernias have been known to recur. Shouldice apparently has the best recurrence rate in the world, though.
Elisheva has gone completely mad. A month and a half early if it's her teenage years hitting. I got a phone call from her French teacher that she wasn't paying attention in class and wasn't doing well on tests. Well, trying to discuss that prompted a full-on screaming fit... needless to say, I'm on top of her agenda and stuff now, which only makes her more angry. Last night wasn't bad, so I hope this won't be an every day thing. Oy.
Had a nice outing last week motzaei Shabbos, I took YM & the littles to Yorkdale because YM had a gift certificate from Sears. Oh - bloody cheesy! He got an iTunes gift card from my sister for his birthday and we all figured he could buy stuff for his iPod with it, but stupid apple - I hate apple! - decided otherwise.
Apparently, the credit can only be used for movies and music... not for the applications (games and stuff) that he wants to download for it. And we don't let him listen to the music or watch the movies. In other words, it's completely bloody useless. Makes me so angry... did I mention, I hate apple? I hate iTunes, too, and anything apple has had a hand in.
Anyway, he had a Sears gift card from Ted's parents and planned to use it on dress shirts. It went very well. He found a "value" package with two white shirts, but also a spiffy black shirt. He couldn't decide, so I said since the white were for school, I'd buy them, along with some mitts. It turned out the value pack was on sale for $12-something, so I got away cheap - that's basically what I'd pay for them used at Value Village, if I could find them... boy's dress shirts in white, size 14, with no Catholic-school logo, can be extremely hard to come by. It was a pleasure going with him; he's usually the one that stays home, but of course, he was getting something out of this trip, so he came along.
I got a ROM pass last week, so this weekend we're planning on heading down on Sunday to see the diamonds exhibit. Ted has to work, so I hope Abigail can come with (she said she would; we'll see).
Must run and make supper or take care of my home or something...

Oh - tonight's supper!

Wednesday
BBQ wings (yes, this week's theme is meat, meat, MEAT!)
Rice
Hmm... something with broccoli, haven't quite decided how to stretch a single head just yet...
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