Friday, March 29, 2013

Chemical Pregnancy

WARNING: Might be a little too much info for the guys in my life. Read at your own risk!

Since Oct 2011 Thomas and I have embarked on an adventure that many people over the years have experienced in different ways. Creating a child. For some it comes at a surprise and there is no planning involved, for others there is lots and lots of “homework” we will call it and then one day voila, there is a little + on a pregnancy stick. And then, like Thomas and I, there can be quite an adventure of waiting. In my last post, The Hope of Spring, I talked about waiting and hoping. Lately it has been a lot of waiting to see what would happen next, but there has also been hoping.

The first hope happened a year ago April when I realized my cycle was late. So your hopes are up, the waiting begins, lots of sticks are peed on, but still no + sign on any of them. After a week or two, appointments were made, tests and the whole nine yards happened, and then my cycle started.

Confusion…. Definitely confused with what my body just did. Come to find out, I had a chemical pregnancy. This essentially was a miscarriage. I had a baby growing in me, and yet I didn’t know it. How do you mourn with that? I had not even had a chance to get excited yet!

In the past year, with working through all of the emotions of realizing I now have little one in Heaven, I have talked quite quite a few women about chemical pregnancies and miscarriages. I have heard that 50% of women have chemical pregnancies and miscarriages and some don’t even realize that it has happened. Oddly enough, I love that I have experienced this so that I can connect with these 50% and reach out to them in completely understanding with empathy. It is hard, and you are not quite sure how to deal with it. I get it. I only wish that people would talk about it more. It hurts and we need to share.

So over the past year, we have continued with peeing on sticks, taking my temperature every day, and doing our “homework” when we anticipated the optimal time. I had another chemical pregnancy in February and since then we have discovered what we think the problem to be. Hopefully with a little snip here and there, we can fix it and have a child that we get to keep around forever.

Mean while, I have little Rylee and little Camryn waiting for us in heaven. That is how we have worked through it. We have named them and give them an ornament on our Christmas tree. Our Little kiddos. Treasured even though we have not held them in our arms.

So don’t forget that there is hope. And for those of you out there who have experienced the loss of a child in the womb, it hurts. My heart hurts with you.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Diet for Healthy Sake

So Thomas and I started The Makers Diet on February 18th. It definitely is a first for us and I definitely feel the need every time it comes up to clarify that this is not a "lose weight diet', it is a "get healthy and see if there are any allergies" diet. As if that helps. It is still restricting our food intake.

The quick over view of the diet is that we could eat any meat and veggies we wanted, but the carbs and the sugars were cut completely out and then added in slowly to see if there were any allergies. Thus far, none have been identified.

But we have both learned some things about our bodies and what they like and don't like. The best part was the discovery of cooking different things, especially the gluten free cooking we have been doing. So here are a few of the recipes we have tried over the past 4 weeks.

I know there isn't a recipe here for the Zucchini Pasta , but I simply grated the zucchini with my handy dandy food processor, into strips and then sauteed them for about a minute, but not enough to make them squishy!
Resolution 21 of 52. Check.

The mashed cauliflower was amazing and I have actually made it 2 times since!
Resolution 22 of 52. Check.

I needed pumpkin pie spice for the next recipe and decided to make it from scratch. So simple!
Resolution 23 of 52. Check.

Grain Free Pumpkin Bars - I think I have made these a dozen times in the past 3 weeks. It has become our go to dessert that has only honey for sugar in it! And made from almonds!
Resolution 24 of 52. Check.
Grain free Apple Cinnamon Muffins - good, but I have one other recipe I want to try. 
 Resolution 25 of 52. Check.
Grain Free Raspberry Muffins - Another go to for Thomas and I. We leave out the chocolate chips though. And they are still amazing!
Resolution 26 of 52. Check.
The last freezer cooking I did, required taco seasoning and ranch mixes. So I decided to make my own!
Resolution 27 of 52. Check.
And then Thomas made us pitas. And they reminded me more of thick tortillas. So we made chicken with the taco seasoning and fajitas on the pitas! :)
Resolution 28 of 52. Check.
Breakfasts have been the hardest for us on this diet. Because although you can have meat, you cannot have pork, which of course is 90% of breakfast meats. So we have eggs, and we have been making our own chicken sausage. Thanks Dad for the meat grinder for Christmas! Could not have come at a better time for us.
Resolution 29 of 52. Check.

In the weekend I wanted to get a little creative, so I made both waffles and pancakes. Grain free of course. This paleo waffle recipe calls for both coco powder and chocolate chips, but they are still delicious if you follow this recipe, but leave those 2 items out.
Resolution 30 of 52. Check.

As for the pancakes, these pumpkin pancakes were delicious. Although we cannot have maple syrup yet, so I added a few blue berries to the batter and they were still moist and delicious! I think I will add a few more next time though :)
Resolution 31 of 52. Check.

After 2 weeks, we were craving anything sweet! So I found these almond flour sugar cookies. Surprisingly sweet!
Resolution 32 of 52. Check.

With already eating everything else weird, we decided to try cauliflower pizza. And to make it more fun, I found purple cauliflower. So we had BBQ chicken pizza. It was good, but definitely cannot replace regular pizza. 
Resolution 33 of 52. Check.
Orange and Red Bell Pepper Salsa on fish tacos. Sadly I cannot find the recipe I used, but it was 1 orange, 1 red bell pepper, 2 Roma tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion powder all pureed. Pretty great!
Resolution 34 of 52. Check.
For snacks, we have also been struggling. So I made corn nuts. The first round,  was horrible. The second round, was tolerable. So we will have to see if we can make it the third round perhaps?
Resolution 35 of 52. Check.

I had made beef jerky a few months ago and it was great pepper spicy beef jerky. It was definitely good, but I don't always like spicy, so I wanted to find another recipe I liked. This paleo, diet friendly beef jerky recipe was amazing! I actually left out the liquid smoke, because I didn't have any and it will still great. And I have also found that a london broil is a great piece of meat to use.
Resolution 36 of 52. Check.

And to celebrate our last phase of our diet, we are now allowed to eat some carbs. Brown rice is one of those carbs and so in our community group we had asian food night and I was able to make a garlic chicken fried brown rice recipe that was pretty great!
Resolution 37 of 52. Check. 

Only 15 items left of my pinterest new years challenge!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Hope of Spring

The thing I love the most about spring is the gentle reminder of hope. Hope to me, comes in the form of crocuses that pop their little heads up and show us the bright purple, white, or yellow faces that face toward the sun. They are such a bright spot after a long grey winter.

I love that no matter the time in my life, whether it is a time of loss, a time of faith, or a time of sitting in the grace of God’s promises that He has us exactly where He wants us. Right now. And in the midst of it all, to be grateful and joyous. Because there is a reason that He has us in this place. Even if that place takes years. And we don't exactly understand why at the time.

Our circumstances do not change our Hope.

God has Thomas and I right here, right now. Loving people, enjoying time with each other, in WA, in Tacoma, at Boeing, just the two of us, for a reason. And He gives us hope. And a reminder that there is a time for everything. My circumstance does not change my hope. My life is amazing. He has truly given us an abundance. And I would not change my life for the world.

I cannot wait to see what else God has planned for our lives together. I love every season of life, we have lived together so far. Although spring with all the beautiful crocuses is still my favorite.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pinterest Success and Fails

So I have discovered a few things about myself on pinterest. When I decide to make a new years resolution about doing 52 things, I discovered I mainly cook. And I bake. And only a few times do I get crafty.

So instead of doing a million and one posts, I am going to do a post to catch myself up. Because that is simplifying my life. Blogging less and living more. And then maybe I will catch you all up on what is happening in the household of the Kucera's.

So here we go.

Granola Bars
Thomas liked it as granola, but for me not so much. Any way shape or form.
Resolution 8 of 52. Check.

Parmesan Rosemary Crackers
Again, the flavor was not the best, but hey they are crackers from scratch. Not something I have mastered just yet.
Resolution 9 of 52. Check.
Flourless Pancakes
Eggs and a banana to make a pancake? Not my fav. A friend swears by it, but I would prefer something else. Like Almond Flour pan cakes. But that is coming in the next post.
Resolution 10 of 52. Check.
Shower Cleaner
Works well so far!
Resolution 11 of 52. Check.
Avocado Chicken Salad
Pretty good, but I will still keep looking for other recipes.
Resolution 12 of 52. Check.

From Scratch Nutella (or hazelnut spread)
Delicious. Although don't forget about the hazelnuts when they are in the oven, because then it has a well done taste.
This is one of my favorite Blogs! All things chocolate, but made from scratch and healthier!Love her!
Resolution 13 of 52. Check.
Microwaved Potato Chips
Amazing! Well, if you are a potato chip nazi maybe not, but I rarely eat them, so they satisfied the crunch I wanted at the time.
Resolution 14 of 52. Check.
Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and a Cranberry Orange Drizzle
Pretty darn good. Although I would skip the frosting and just eat the muffins with the drizzle for breakfast. Much better idea.
Resolution 15 of 52. Check.
Good crockpot apple butter. We don't really eat crockpot butter though, so.... it sits in our fridge. I had made it for a recipe and then forgot what the recipe was. Oops.
Resolution 16 of 52. Check.

Sweet Veggie Muffins
I LOVE these! I actually added zucchini instead of carrots which was awesome. A note, do not switch the regular flour for almond flour. It doesn't work! At least a 1 for 1 switch does not.
Resolution 17 of 52. Check.
Pizza on a Stick!
With the cake pop fad, who doesn't love food on a stick? I used the pre-made pizza crust and they were great! I would add more pepperoni because I love tons of it!

Resolution 18 of 52. Check.
iPad/Kindle Cover
Just a little something to add to my list, that wasn't food! And I made one for an ipad and one for a kindle paper white. Love it!
Resolution 19 of 52. Check. 

Fruit Leathers
Fail. Gonna have to try again.
Resolution 20 of 52. Check.
Its not from pinterest, but... I made cauliflower fritters with fresh herbs! Delicious!