Friday, August 28, 2009

29th week update

Exactly a week ago today, I woke up with spotting which anxiously prompted us to have an emergency visit to the OB clinic. I was given a vaginal exam and boy I just screamed and called on the "Lord's name" due to unbearable sharp pain it caused me. I was not dilated but was found out to have a yeast infection. I was also given a non-stress test. Everything was fine but was told to return Monday. So far, everything was fine. My husband and I also had a heated argument this week which really made me worried to death that it affected my baby. But so far, he is still kicking and my husband really feels badly about that silly argument.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On "Julie &Julia " book

I, finally, finished the book Julie & Julia (actually about 2 weeks ago). I should say that the Julie Powell who wrote the book and the "Julie Powell" in the movie are completely different people. Okay, yeah, they are both secretaries and Democrats but the author or should I say the real one is quite a bit edgier. She's kind of funny and annoying at the same time. It is probably the "hormone" thing I should say. The "obsession" to follow through her project is palpable and quite stressing, if not relate-able. Her adventure in cooking those daunting French recipes is such a plot that a novice-wanna-be chef like me should learn from. There are times that you want to scream and just tell her to STOP her insanity and give herself and her poor husband a break. Anyway, it paid off for her. Now, she is a celebrated author with a blockbuster movie based on her life.

It is a fun read but also a look at the thought of a young woman at a crossroad in her life. Turning 30 and feeling inadequate and lost with a grim diagnosis of PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), Powell decided to do something that is meaningful to her. The only person who supported her all the way through is her husband, Eric. To be able to cook those complicated recipes from Julia Child's cookbook in a small kitchen with all the "worst-thing-that-could-happen" happens is such an accomplishment. It also affirms that I made the right decision not to buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Who needs the stress when Julie did it all for you?

Okay, Julie Powell has a wide vocabulary as well as imagination and can find the right words to express the situation and feeling. But she also has a "sailor's mouth". Who can blame her using those curse words while following a 40-plus-year-old cookbook? Anyway, this book is not only about cooking but also finding one's self amidst the chaos of the everyday grind.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie and Julia

Once the baby arrives, watching a grown-up movie in theatre will be a luxury. So, off we went to watch the movie Julie and Julia. I have the book (bought for $2 in Half-Price Bookstore's sale shelf) for couple of years now. I attempted several times to get into it but just can't (stuck at page 45). I don't know the particular reason. I love Julia Child (I still watch Baking with Julia in PBS). I love good food. I love anything French (I think). Perhaps, the author of the book, Julie Powell, reminded me of myself -- PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which is not mentioned in the movie; too grim, perhaps), in her 30's but still lost, etc. etc. However, I probably envy her for her courage to do something outside the box -- to sign on for deranged (as she called it) assignment to cook the 524 recipes from Julia Child's classic book Mastering the Art of French Cooking (published in 1961) for a year and blog about it. I saw the aforementioned cookbook and the recipes are daunting for me, who could really use tons of palate and cooking skill polishing. If we win the lotto, the first thing I would do is enroll in Le Cordon Bleu (like Julia). The closest here is in Minneapolis but hell (excuse my French), I'll go to Paris for that (if money is not an issue).

The movie goes back and forth between the life of middle-aged Julia Child (Meryl Streep) in 1949 in Paris and the 2002 (post 9/11 era) existence of just-turned-30-year-old, government worker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) who lives in Queens, NY. It shows how these women's lives were parallel despite the generational gap. Both were trying to find their calling in life. Both found their voices and emotional satisfactions in the kitchen. It tells the story on how the middle-aged Julia Child, exposed by her husband's (Paul) sophisticated palate, became interested with French cooking after moving to post-war Paris in 1949 due to her husband's employment with the Department of Justice. In Paris, she tried to occupy her time by enrolling in Le Cordon Bleu and teaching American women expats on French cooking. Captivated by the French cuisine, she looked for French Cookbook in English. One of the funniest scenes in the movie is when her husband Paul gave her a famous French cookbook, Larousse Gastronomique, and she and Paul were trying to translate one recipe in English. Unable to find one, she, along with co-authors, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, collaborated on a French cookbook for American housewives. Initially, signed on to be published by Houghton Mifflin, the manuscript was rejected due to being too much like an encyclopedia. After a decade of writing and perfecting recipes for the manuscript and several moves later, Paul and Julia settled in Cambridge, MA . There, in 1961, the cookbook was finally published by Alfred A. Knopf after an editor tried her Boef Burguignon recipe and was impressed.

On the other hand, living in modern day and feeling unsuccessful, Julie Powell (who was an unpublished writer then) was drawn to get into the assignment and write the experience in her blog. It was 2002 and blog was then a relatively recent concept. She then became one of the most famous bloggers in the web that followers sent her food stuffs. Cooking recipes from the cookbook had it's ups and downs. She wrote everything in her blog -- successes and mishaps--as well as new discoveries on how to cook properly. In the process, she also found herself. She then got an interview from NY Times and became quite well-known that several publishers became interested on her. She found out, however, that Julia Child was not happy with her.

In general, the movie is light-hearted, maybe too feminine to some. It gave you an insight to Julia Child's life -- her struggles, humor, marriage, silent heartaches for being childless and successes despite finding her calling in her 40's (never too late, huh?). For people who love good food and humor (okay, add to that France), this movie is a real stimulant to the senses. Meryl Streep played the Julia Child role so exceptionally -- from the voice to mannerism. Only 5'6" in height (compared to Child's 6'2" frame), Streep is mesmerizing and larger-than-life in this role. I could never imagine anyone else playing Julia Child. Amy Adams is quite adorable as Julie Powell. This movie left me wanting to know more Julia.

Watching the movie will make you salivate for good, real food, which is not easy when you are trying to control your Gestational Diabetes. French food requires the use of real butter -- and lots of it! I felt my stomach gurgled several times and my husband moaned "hmmm... hmmmm" few times. If not in my current predicament, I would probably make Boef Burguignnon as soon as I got home. For now, however, this movie is a guilt-free, satisfying treat for me. The goal now is to finish the book...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


How can I get rid of this anxiety? It's eating me and driving me crazy. I know about Faith and the power of positive thinking. However, this pesky doubt and fear overwhelm my psyche, at times. Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gestational Diabetes

It is official. I am one of the 7 percent who was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. I failed 1 out of 4 blood tests of my 3 hours glucose tolerance test, but still the doctor diagnosed me with GD due to my bad 1 hour glucose test and 1 so-so result.

So, I went through rigorous dietary and glucometer education in the hospital last Wednesday. The first 2 days of following the diet was not too bad but at the 3rd day, it was tough. I was hungry all the time and I was awake all night long due to hunger. The dietitian recommended not to have snack during sleeping time. I just cannot follow it. I feel like I am making my baby hungry. Anyway, now, I think, I figure out what works for me. I kind of put a little bit of Asian spin to the American plan they gave me. It is not fun to be put on a diet you're not used to when you are pregnant. Also, no fun to be a human pin cushion as I have to check my blood sugar at least 4x per day. However, I found out that light exercise or moving around (such as cleaning and shopping) makes my blood sugar normal.

Another story....
Well, in my attempt to eat healthier, I ordered a salad in a restaurant 2 weeks ago. I did not realized until the last 2 or 3 bites that there was a sprinkle of Gorgonzola cheese on it. Anyway, to make long story short, I contacted the manager and asked her to check if the Gorgonzola they use is pasteurized. Well, thank God, it is. But this incident convicted me to rent a Doppler monitor. So, now, we could check the baby's heartbeat everyday. Some days, though, it is difficult to locate when he is moving a lot.

Just my update... I promise to post some pics next time. I am just too lazy to download the software for my camera right now. But here's the peek of my belly at 26 weeks: