Update

We had another ultrasound yesterday and it was a bit disappointing. The girls are doing well, but Christine’s cervix has shortened back to what it was two weeks ago. ūüôĀ

On the other hand, Christine’s mom visited us for a few days and got to see the girls for the first time.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers please.

Half-bushel something #1: apple sauce

I may have purchased too many apples.

Christine and I were at an orchard recently and I realized that a peck (a reasonable amount) was only a couple dollars less than a half-bushel (a huge amount). Obviously, I went with the savings and got the half-bushel. In order to not waste these delicious McIntosh apples, I need to do something, or a few somethings, with them. This is the first something: apple sauce.

Homemade apple sauce is cheap, easy, and delicious.

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I’m going to use about twenty apples, because that’s how many I can fit in the pot I want to use. If you have a smaller pot, feel free to use fewer apples. If you have a larger pot, use more.

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Peel. For 20 apples, this took about 10 minutes.
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Dice. This took me another 10ish minutes.

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Add to a large pot with a bit of water to prevent the apples from sticking before they break down and get all juicy.

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Turn your put onto medium heat and cook until the apples have totally broken down (about an hour), stirring occasionally.

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Blend or leave chunky. I chose to blend because I own an immersion blender, which I don’t use often enough.
I don’t add anything to my apple sauce, as you can always add it right before eating. Also, apples sauce is a great substitute for eggs in making, so it’s prudent to keep the sauce plain in case cinnamon would negatively affect the flavor of the baked good.
You can add sugar, honey, cinnamon, berries, or whatever else you might like right before eating.

Well sealed, applesauce will keep in the fridge for about three weeks.

Added benefit: this tasty treat is accidentally vegan!

Ultrasound update

So, we got some not great news at the ultrasound appointment referenced in the last post. Christine’s cervical shortening continued and she was given a prescription and placed on bed rest. This was a bit demoralizing – one more thing to worry about on top of everything else that is worrisome about monoamniotic twins.

Bed rest is also not as much fun as it might seem. A few hours of vegging out on the couch is nice every now and then, but when it’s all day for the foreseeable future, its side-effects include irritability, cabin fever, and addiction to River Monsters on Netflix. For me, Christine’s bed rest has meant taking care of all household chores and doing all the dog-walking on top of work. The toughest of these is walking the dog. I leave for work before 9 and don’t get home until after 6, so that’s a long time for poor Rae to be inside. Luckily, my commute is only 14 minutes (come on, you know the exact number of minutes your commute takes too, don’t you?), so I’ve been able to come home during my lunch break to give the dog a quick walk, check in on Christine, and get back to work. But some days are very tiring. I suppose this is good practice.

So that was what happened last week. It was hard for Christine to be on bed rest, tiring for me to take on all the chores, and nerve-wracking for both of us to wait 7 days to find out if the treatment would improve the cervical shortening. If the shortening continued, we could have a real problem on our hands.

However, we had another ultrasound on Tuesday and got good news. Christine’s cervix hasn’t gotten worse since last week and has even gotten a bit longer. It looks like her cervix may be dynamic – that is, it changes length. She’s still on bed rest and will be until after the twins arrive, but it’s a big relief.

Not only that, we’re past (as of 20 weeks) the most dangerous part of the pregnancy in terms of cord entanglement and the twins’ cords are looking great! No issues at all! And they’re both about 1 pound now, which is pretty good for twins, so good news all around!

Ultrasound Nerves

We have another ultrasound today (we’re getting them weekly now), and I am nervous. We’re past the most dangerous part of the mono mono pregnancy, so I should really try to relax, but it’s not happening. Every time we go in, I worry we’ll get terrible news and have to say goodbye to the girls. I haven’t officially met the girls yet, but I’m already pretty fond of the little squirts, so the idea of saying goodbye is dreadful.

Last week, we discovered that we’re having cervical shortening, which is pretty normal, but not this early. As is the theme of this pregnancy, there’s nothing we can do, but we did Google it. That’s usually not a great idea (but with two librarians as the parents, it’s going to happen), but it was actually reassuring this time. We found posts from a few mono mono moms who reported having cervical shortening early and who still had successful pregnancies. I think one or two even made it to 32 weeks, which is our goal.

But I’m worried that we’ll get bad cervical news. Hopefully we get good news.

Think good thoughts, please! Well update on the ultrasound later.

Banana Bread with Raisins and Walnuts

I love to cook and bake and am planning to add a recipe or kitchen-related post weekly. Today, I made banana bread with raisins and walnuts.

Banana bread is a “quick bread.” The ‘quick’ part of the phrase refers to the fact that it doesn’t use yeast as a rising agent (typically, quick breads use baking powder, baking soda, or a combination of the two). ‘Quick’ definitely doesn’t refer to baking time; quick breads take about an hour to bake. The ‘bread’ part is kind of misleading: the quick bread I made today happens to be bread-shaped, but it doesn’t have to be. Muffins and a lot of cakes (carrot cake, for example), are really just quick breads.

This is a particularly easy recipe that takes about 10 minutes to put together, unless you’re being all fancy and taking photos to put on your blog. Then it takes like 45 minutes.

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Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

1. Set your oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan.

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2. Peel, chop, and mash bananas.

3. Mix eggs and bananas. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

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4. Crush walnuts like a cave man. Fold them gently into your quick bread like a gentleman.

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5. On a whim, add another 1/2 cup of walnuts and a 1/2 cup of raisins.

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6. Mix to combine and pour into prepared loaf pan.

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7. Place on middle rack and bake for an hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Realize that you need to clean your oven. While the loaf bakes, clean your kitchen and begin to upload photos to your blog.

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8. Allow loaf to cool for about 15 minutes before removing from pan. Slice and serve!

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Wrap what you don’t immediately eat in tinfoil; it will keep at room temperature for 2-3 damonths wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag, and freeze for up to three months. For easier thawing, slice the banana bread and wrap separately in plastic wrap before freezing all the slices together in one freezer bag.

Book review: From Dude to Dad

Title: From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy
Authors: Chris Pegula and Frank Meyer
My favorite line:¬†“You need to start tending to her, bro” (p43).
Rating: 2/5

pregnancy books
Seriously, there are a lot of pregnancy books.

There are a lot of pregnancy books out there, but most of them are for women. Men need information about pregnancy and birth too, but how do you make a book about pregnancy appealing to men? I know! Throw the word ‘dude’ around! What a unique and clever idea.

Here are three other books that have the same goal and pretty much the same title as From Dude to Dad, by Chris Pegula and Frank Meyer.

This book isn’t unique, but it has a worthy goal, and makes some good points. Pegula and Meyer’s best points are that (1)¬†it’s okay to be scared, (2) everything is (probably) going to be okay, and, (3) although it’s not about you anymore, (4) it’s okay to maintain your personality and sense of self. If only that was all they wrote.

These a bros. Image source: http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2665
These are bros. Image source: http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2665

Reading this book is like talking to a ‘bro’. ¬†It’s obnoxious. Pegula and Meyer use the word “dude” 62 times (or ¬†once every 4 pages). They refer to the reader as ‘my friend’, ‘my man’, ‘buddy’, ‘brother’, and ‘bro’. They suggest you don’t mention your wife’s “rad new set of jugs” (p62) and, on the topic of having sex during the pregnancy, tell you not to worry about hurting your baby as “your wang ain’t gonna get near the kid” (p38).

I think Pegula and Meyer set out to do what they meant to do – write a book about pregnancy for bros. I’m just not a bro.

20 weeks!

We just hit 20 weeks, a big milestone. According to some sources, our girls’ chances just got a lot better. What this means for me is that I’m confident enough to tell my co-workers that I’m going to be a daddad.

I haven’t blogged about the pregnancy since the beginning of September, and I haven’t told anyone about it since then either. It’s been tough to keep the secret, especially since it’s such a stressful secret.

Telling people that I’m going to be a daddad¬†is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever gotten to do. It usually goes like this:

Me: “I’m going to be a dad.”
Them: “Oh my gosh! Congratulations!”
Me: “Of identical twin girls.”
Them: “WHOOOOOOOOOAAAA!”

It’s great. I recommend it highly.

Getting to tell about 20 coworkers over multiple days has made this week pretty terrific.

Think good thoughts for the next 20!