The Journey Begins…

Based on the consult I had back at the end of 2015, the specialist from the U of M OB’s and my autoimmune specialist said that I would be considered a high risk pregnancy because the baby is at risk for congenital heart block due to my positive SSA/SSB antibodies. During a certain timeframe during pregnancy baby would be at the highest risk for me to pass those antibodies; so he needs to be watched carefully. My care team consists of the OB’s from the U of M, the Pediatric Cardiologist team from Children’s and then my high-risk OB at my clinic. The U of M team and the Pediatric Cardiologist team are who set the plan for baby’s care.

My plan consists of the following:

  1. Weekly doptones to assess fetal heart rate starting at 16 weeks to 32 weeks
  2. Fetal Echocardiograms every 2 weeks from 19 weeks to 28 weeks- this recommendation had just been increased by the pediatric cardiologist board. So in the off weeks I would have to go in to do the doptone testing
  3. Fetal growth ultrasounds every 4 weeks starting at 23 weeks
  4. Weekly Biophysical profile ultrasounds starting at 28 weeks
  5. 2x weekly Biophysical profiles ultrasounds starting at 30 weeks

Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time at the doctors office. We are very fortunate that they are watching baby very closely. It does seem that when someone new looks at my chart and the recommendations, they are surprised at how often I am in the office. Since 16 weeks, baby has seen a doctor at least once a week and I have seen baby on an ultrasound.

I have conflicted feelings about the frequency of the appointments- yes, we are grateful and it’s exciting, but every appointment I walk in to, I still hold my breath and hope everything is ok and have to wait for the doctors to tell us so. It makes me anxious, it is stressful and exciting all at the same time. There were times we would have to wait at minimum for an hour during an echocardiogram so they could get the right angle of baby’s heart to get the picture they want. It’s a little intense!

This is quite the journey that we are embarking on.

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Here are a couple of photos from our fetal growth ultrasounds. It is pretty crazy the technology they have so you can see babies!



New Recipes

Here are a few new recipes that we have tried and were good. Good enough to blog about! 🙂

What I look for in a recipe: flavor within ingredients, variety, color, easy and cook time

And gluten free and healthy

IMG_1565 This is lemon dill chicken.

The recipe was from Eating Well. Lemon & Dill Chicken Recipe Click link to see recipe.

I liked this recipe because it was easy and had lots of flavor. Carl really liked the dill. I wish I would have made it with the asparagus not green beans.

And yes, I like my divided plate. 🙂

The next recipe is one my sister made. When she came to help us move she brought a quinoa salad.  I wasn’t sure about quinoa and what do you eat with it. The salad my sister made was delicious and it has totally changed my feelings and taste buds. I set out to find a similar recipe and did a good job. I love all the flavors, colors and that it lasts about a week. It was a great lunch for me for a week.

IMG_1582 Black Bean and Quinoa

I found this recipe off of Pinterest- Superfood Black Bean & Quinoa Salad Recipe 

What I did differently, I added red onion, feta and grape tomatoes.

This was awesome and so fresh. It would be hearty with adding chicken, I will do that next time.

I definitely recommend either of these recipes and the best thing is that they are both gluten free.




One Pot Pasta

A while back, I found a blog on Pinterest that was a budget friendly food site. The blogger breaks cost of meals down by meal, individual serving and ingredient price. The blog is Budget Bytes. I love the descriptions and the step by step photos.

The last month, we have been beyond busy with packing and moving but I made a point to make sure we got a good meal in between all the chaos.

IMG_1444 This is the photo of our dish.

I added mushrooms, rotisserie chicken, white wine, lemon and red pepper flakes. I also used gluten free noodles so it is a gluten free dish. It was easy to make. Carl gave it a 8 or 9 out of 10 for taste.

Here is the link to look it up.

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Happy Cooking Friends!


Gobble Gobble Until You Wobble…

Happy Thanksgiving 2015! Man, where has the year gone already. I am sure many of you are happy the year has gone by quick and then there are those who are sad that it has flown by. It was another great dinner at my parents house; lots of laughs, good food and as always ate way to much.

Here are some fun photos from the day!

We had a fun time at home. On Friday, as we head back home we always stop to hang out with Carl’s parents. His dad- Papa M. had to work this time but we made sure to pay him a visit, Arie too! I dropped our rings off so they could be cleaned up, checked out and we wanted to get Carl’s buffed. When we got them back, they looked brand new, thanks Papa M.!!! We had a wonderful lunch with Carl’s mom and got to meet one of her jam session members, which was nice. We left his parents with an apple pie, some mulled wine, amish pocket pies and farm fresh eggs! It almost felt like Christmas!

Then home james as my Pa says.

Happy Thanksgiving- but remember to be thankful every day not just REALLY thankful one day out of the year!


Cooking with Pioneer Woman… I Wish…

I was so excited to open my birthday gifts from Carl! I got a new tea pot and the Pioneer Woman’s cookbook! I made her Chicken Milanese and Buttery Lemon Parsley Noodles! Holy Moly, the chicken turned out amazing! I used gluten free four and a gluten free seasoning- Hodgson Mill which turned out well with the whole milk and eggs. Carl couldn’t believe the flavor that the chicken had.

When I went to the store to get whole milk, I had seen this brand online and I thought I should try it. It is called fairlife– unfiltered milk! It is so good. For someone who is lactose intolerant it was nice to have milk that doesn’t give me an upset stomach. I get the fat free milk now.

I also added a picture of a wine that Carl and I really like. It is called The Dreaming Tree by Dave Matthews from DMB. We have had the crush wine- a red blend which is really good, I just saw he has a pinot noir that I would love to try. My sister gave me a new wine opener for my birthday so we had to find a bottle of wine in the wine rack to open so we could test the opener.

Happy Sunday! I am testing a Mulled Wine recipe today for Thanksgiving! I hope it turns out.



FOOD, FooD, Foodie…

I have tried a few new recipes the last few weeks.

I was looking for a recipe to make that was easy for when my in-laws came to visit and my friend sent me this recipe for taco cups (click the link that my friend sent me for the recipe) I used corn tortillas which wasn’t bad and a muffin pan upside down.

The next recipe I tried was oven fajitas!!!! Wow, so easy to make and not a lot of mess or clean up. I found the recipe from this Budget Bytes website. She’s got some awesome recipes and at a good budget.

I had to add the last picture in, That is what I came to a few Mondays ago at work. I think it may have been because I was still undefeated in our fantasy football league.

Happy eating, it’s the weekend!



Wine in the Bluffs

Last weekend we spent the day in the bluffs with a glass of wine in our hand! Carl’s parents came to visit so I planned a fun day for us, it was an early start to my mother-in-laws 60th birthday.

We started in Red Wing at Falconer Vineyards where we did a wine tasting and sat outside and drank a bottle of the one we liked the most. It was a beautiful Saturday.

IMG_0839 What a beautiful day!

IMG_0841Barely a cloud in the sky.

IMG_0843 All gone, time to head to the next place.

Then we made our way across the Mississippi River and went to Vino in the Valley. I had never been there before and it was so cool. It was literally in the middle of nowhere. We got there about 2pm and sat on the outdoor patio until food started at 3pm. We went to stand in front of the hostess stand at like 2:45pm because it was starting to get pack and people were standing in line. Once it hit 3pm it busy with lots of people. The food was great, we had pizza.


FullSizeRender (1) We had fun at Vino in the Valley.

IMG_0845 IMG_0844

There is no photoshop on those photos, it was that blue sky and white fluffy clouds.

IMG_0850  We had a lot of fun with Carl’s parents.

That night when we got home, I made a yummy appetizer that my sisters told me make. So I made roasted tomatoes, with parmesan crisps on crackers. It turned out pretty good.


Tomatoes just have olive oil, salt and pepper


IMG_0855  The finished product was delicious!

I had to add these photos, Arie and I ran to the farmers market to get the tomatoes and flowers.

IMG_0836 In the car, boy does he love his car rides


Then home, I’m going to sleep now. lol



Trying for balance…

The last couple of weeks have been kind of “blah”. I have had two flare ups with my sjogren’s. (click the link to learn what Sjogren’s is) I went on prednisone twice for 5 days. I don’t think I am out of the woods yet, some of the symptoms are still lingering. I have felt a little stressed and overwhelmed because we have started the home buying process. We met with our loan officer and real estate agent last Thursday to figure out what loan we will go with, then on Friday we met with Carl’s financial advisor to make sure we are were we need to be with savings for short and long term.

When I go into a flare up, I get bad chest pains and a horrible dry sore throat. This time I knew it was bad because I broke out in a rash. I see my specialist in two weeks, not soon enough. I do my best to deal with the pain and not take any medicine and find other techniques to deal. I had a nervous break down with all the health and house stuff, we looked at 5 houses with our realtor on Saturday.

A few months back, I had purchased Young Living essential oil roll ons for stress, sleep and pain relief. I am so glad I did that, they have been good to have. They have helped me with balance, stress, pain and sleep.


I know it sounds weird, but having a pet helps too. Arie is a great companion. He got multiple car rides this weekend so we had one happy dog.

Here are some funny photos of Arie

IMG_0792 IMG_0811

I don’t think this bed is big enough for the three of us.





IMG_0815 How close can I get to Papa before he knows I am ready to get up.

IMG_0818 Will someone please help me get the ball?!


IMG_0809We made s’mores last night over the grill! Yum!

It was a good relaxing weekend!

A little this and that…

I am putting up a miss mash of photos from the last few months! 🙂 Sorry I have been slacking a little.

Foodie Alert…

Holy Cow, food overload! Two weeks ago, I stopped at a grocery store by one of my work locations. I love this particular store because they have a great selection of gluten free options, lots of fresh food and variety. I am always looking for new gluten free finds. I found the best gluten free pasta ever and it is flavored. I bought the garlic basil and lemon pepper-brand is Sunrise Creative Gourmet. Also, another perk, they are locally made. So good, did I say that yet. 🙂


This is the photo of the pasta noodles and then my supper for that night. I chopped up mushrooms, red/green peppers, tomatoes and added Italian sausage. I have noticed I am not a fan of white or red pasta sauce as much. I prefer an olive oil herb based sauce. So I used some butter, olive oil and fresh rosemary and thyme for my sauce. It had so much flavor. Yum! It also made a lot so we have had some for leftovers and it re-heats well.

I highly recommend this gf pasta.

Happy Sunday!