Treats in the hizzy

Hizzy is outdated slang for “house”, Dad.

With trying to keep my blood sugars low, I’ve been looking for treats to satisfy my sweet tooth that won’t send my sugars skyrocketing upward.  The first thing I tried were these toasted coconut butter treats.  They sounded like they would hit the spot so I attempted to make them.  I didn’t have stevia, so I used a little blob of honey in the mix.  I should definitely have used more.  And I think maybe I toasted the coconut a wee bit too much.  Sad to say, I found these very gross, but Ezra seems to like them.  They turned out kind of grainy and no hint of sweetness.

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I remembered there were these coconut oil treats that I’d always wanted to try, but I couldn’t find the blogs for the recipes when I was at home, so I found a different recipe: 1C. coconut oil, 1 C. cocoa powder, and 1/2 C. raw (unprocessed) honey.  You melt the oil and cocoa powder slowly in a double boiler and then add the raw honey.  You want to make sure the oil/cocoa mix is under 180 when you put in the honey because you don’t want to kill the beneficial properties of the honey.  Honey and oil typically don’t mix, so you’ll want to use an immersion stick blender to mix it all together.  I ended up adding a little vanilla as well, and then poured into the molds.

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These things are awesome!  Super rich, melt in your mouth (and Ezra’s hands and face), and satisfy that sweet craving.  I think it ended up making about 45 treats, so I’m not too worried about the amount of honey used.  I used silicon ice cube trays from Ikea, they worked really well.  I’m still going to try and find the recipes for those other coconut oil treats, but these are very tasty.

Speaking of very tasty, Jesse has gotten really good at smoking cornish game hens in our smoker, and yesterday he did a regular chicken; it was awesome!  I wish I had gotten a photo of the whole bird after it came out, but this will have to suffice:

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The skin was crisp, the flesh was super juicy and tender, and I made stellar asparagus to go with it.  Per pound, chicken is cheaper than cornish game hens, so we’ll probably go this direction again in the future.

Sunday was also my first night of taking Glyburide, a diabetes medication.  My OB thought my fasting numbers and dinner numbers were too high, so she wants me to take this pill before dinner.  It’s supposed to help the body absorb the insulin available (which will lower blood sugar) as well as lessen the ability of the liver to release glucose.  I will say it gave me great numbers for after dinner, but I felt like crap.  I don’t know if it was a one-off thing or if there were other issues at play, but I did NOT feel well.  I’ll see how it goes tonight.  My morning fasting numbers were better as well, though still not where they should be.  Apparently fasting numbers have to do with hormones, and the placenta is making my hormones all crazy, so I cannot really control that aspect with diet for now.

I’ve gotten in touch with a dog behaviorist; we’re just waiting to set up a time for her to come over.  Fingers crossed she gives us solid information that we will actually be able to implement.

Benny’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

They say you should always supervise children and dogs when they are together in the same room.  We don’t really follow that too closely, especially since our dogs have grown up with Ezra since they were puppies.  However, we have always known that Benny is a bit of a resource guarder when it comes to food, so I’m always reminding Ezra to back up, not get in the dogs’ space when eating meals or treats.  But that’s been about the extent of it, I haven’t physically gone over and removed him from the area.

Yesterday, I had given the dogs a dried trachea treat because they had been good pups and Luca took his over to the computer desk behind the couch where he could eat in peace.  Benny dragged his over a couple feet and that’s where Ezra found him.  I did tell Ez to be careful and not try to take it from Benny and really I think what happened was Ezra likes to get down to floor level to watch the animals eat and I think Benny felt Ezra’s face was too near the treat, and bit.  Ezra immediately started screaming and crying and my pulse shot through the roof because I knew Benny must have connected.

I went to pick up Ezra and got him to show me the bite and I saw the one on his chin but it wasn’t bleeding so I was like, Ok, I’ve got this, and carried Ez into the bathroom to wash out the wound.  When I finally got him to put his hands down completely there was BLOOD EVERYWHERE.  Benny had also got Ezra right under his lip and in the time it took to carry Ez to the bathroom the wound on his chin had started bleeding, too.

So I’m kind of freaking out now, getting Ezra cleaned up, trying to decide if I needed to take him to emergent care or not.  I had Ez holding a tissue to his chin to stop the bleeding and soon enough the bleeding stopped.  When everything was finally cleaned up I decided to take a wait-and-see approach because the bite didn’t look deep enough to need stitches and they weren’t ripped or jagged.

the bite, right after cleaning up

the bite, right after cleaning up

I put some antibiotic ointment on some bandaids and put those on Ezra (Ezra, incidentally, has just found out about bandages.  He loves them.)

the bite, all bandaged

the bite, all bandaged

In the meantime I was on my dog training forums, trying to get some advice because now I was freaked out that if Benny bit once, he may be more inclined to bite again for a lesser-value reason than food.  The general consensus was that he shouldn’t be more inclined to just bite randomly, but also that I should get a behaviorist out here to learn some management tips.

As much as I know Benny (and probably Luca to a certain extent) needs more training with regard to resource guarding, I also recognize this whole thing was on me as a parent.  I should have been monitoring the situation more closely, and I should have physically removed Ezra from the area.  I can’t really blame Benny, he’s a dog who thought someone else was trying to steal his shit.  And he did only bite the one time, he didn’t keep biting, which I really think is a good sign.

However, the rest of the day I was all paranoid about Ezra playing with the dogs, which I haven’t worried too much about in the past.

the offender

the offender

I’m more calm today, and I have a plan.  We are going to bring up the crates from downstairs.  This will serve a couple purposes.  For one, when we are eating and we don’t want the dogs in the kitchen, I’ve been trying to teach “Out” where they will leave the room.  The problem here is, they do leave, and then about two minutes later come back in.  With the crates upstairs, I can tell them to kennel, then shut them in for the duration of our meal.  Granted, this is going to involve training as Luca doesn’t care much for the kennel, but at least they will be upstairs with us and maybe that will help.  Hopefully, eventually, it will get to the point where we will tell them “Kennel” and they will just go relax until we give them a verbal release.

Another reason to have the crates upstairs is for giving treats that take longer to work through.  This way Ezra cannot get too close to the dogs, and also should help calm the dogs themselves if they know the other dog cannot come over and swipe the treat.  Benny frequently jacks Luca’s treat and now he won’t be able to.

And lastly, when I do my training, it’s a pain in the ass trying to train two dogs at once.  Before when we had to work one-on-one, we’d have to take the other dog downstairs to be crated and in Luca’s case he would just howl and scratch to get out.  Hopefully this way I can work with Benny when it’s his turn, and also treat Luca for remaining calm in his crate (and vice versa).

In any event, the wounds look like they are already sealed up, so I don’t think I’ll need any medical interventions there.

the bite, the next day

the bite, the next day

On a lighter note, have you all heard of the 1,000 Treat Challenge?  It’s been around for a while but it’s new to me and I’m totally going to try it.  The gist is you take 1k treats (small sized, should be able to fit them all in a quart-sized Ziploc bag) and dole them out over two weeks to train one particular skill.  It sounds like a lot of treats but they aren’t big so don’t really add too much to their overall daily caloric intake.  I’m not sure what skill I want to work on first.  Honestly it should probably be something like resource guarding for Benny, and something to do with harnesses or leashes for Luca, but what I’d really like to work on would be ignoring the cats.

These dogs go batshit crazy when the cats are around.  Mister is a pretty good sport about it, he lets the dogs paw him and smell him, but Jojo just RUNS.  And of course the dogs love that.  The problem is, I’m not sure how to go about training this.  I’ll have to look into it.  I’ll probably have to start with the dog on a harness and have the cat on the floor and try to get the dog’s attention when the cat starts moving around.  When the dog looks to me, I’ll click and treat.  Eventually I’ll ask for a longer duration of focus on me before click/treating and hopefully it’ll get to the point where when the dogs see a cat they will look to me first instead of chasing the cat.  That might work.  Hmm.

Day of one million doctors

Ok, so not really one million doctors, but I did have three doctor appointments yesterday.  The first one was with my chiropractor.  I’m trying to make sure I’m as aligned as possible for when Leo makes his appearance.  Apparently my tailbone keeps swinging off to the right, which is why my left ass cheek always hurts.  Seriously.  Even right now while I type this.  Pain.  Pregnancy, it’s a joy I tell you.

My second appointment was for a non-stress test (NST) for the baby.  Apparently when you have gestational diabetes, you must get weekly NSTs to ensure the baby’s heartbeat rate is where it’s supposed to be.  Apparently with GD your placenta can get “older” faster?  And helps the baby out less.  This appointment went fine; all his markers checked out and he’s hale and hearty.

My third appointment was with a diabetic dietician, and all I can say is it went about like how I thought it would.  I disagreed with a lot of the food choices offered up.  The main premise is that you’re supposed to have a 9-inch plate, and one half should be filled with vegetables, one quarter with meat, and one quarter with starches, with maybe a little fruit thrown in.  My whole question was, why include the starches at all?  Nobody needs a roll, or helping of rice or pasta, or potatoes, etc.  Why not just use up the carb allotment with veggies and fruit?  Unless the dietician is so sure people cannot live without those things, and that’s why they teach the amount you can have?  And another thing was the carb requirement.  They want me to get 180g of carbs daily.  Now, my blood glucose numbers have been great, and most likely that can be attributed to eating low carb.

When I mentioned that 180g seemed like a lot, she said, “Oh no, it’s probably much less than you’re currently eating.”  I don’t think so, lady.  When questioned why I *needed* to get 180g, she said less than that would put me into producing ketones, which leads to ketoacidosis, which can harm the baby.  Back when I did my research into Atkins some years ago, I learned that dietary ketones are not the same as diabetic ketoacidosis and that one doesn’t need to lead to the other.  I asked about folks who did Paleo eating; they aren’t eating grains and most likely get far less than 180g of carbs daily.  I can’t recall what she said but I think it was something along the lines about how that’s not healthy and they need more carbs.

Really?

Really?

Her examples of breakfast were I could do something like a piece of toast with butter, an egg, and milk.  Well, why would I do the toast?  To keep an even blood glucose level seems to make more sense to do a couple eggs and maybe a slice of bacon, with a glass of milk.

She said we could have dessert, but it would need to be sugar-free because, “You can have a half-cup of sugar-free pudding or ice cream, but only a fourth-cup of the real sugar ice cream.”  Woman, why are you advocating desserts?  Why not something like, have some raspberries with a little heavy cream poured on top?

Also, we can have pancakes and French toast, just make sure to use the sugar-free variety of maple syrup instead of the real stuff (Mrs. Butterworth makes a good one, she says)!  Seriously.  A dietician is telling me to eat this crap.  She gave us boxes of breakfast/granola bars as a “healthy” choice for a snack and said we needed to make sure to read the labels.  Well, while she was referring to the carb count (minus dietary fiber) per serving, I was looking over the actual ingredient list, and it was filled with junk.

Pretty much the only thing I came away with was that I should be starting my testing time right after I begin to eat instead of waiting to set the two-hour timer until after I have finished the meal.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a doctor, a nurse, or anything having to do with the medical field, but sometimes the advice given just seems completely counter to what I feel to be the best course of action.  I mean, I don’t want to harm Leopold in any way, but I cannot see that eating whole veggies and fruit, meat, and dairy is going to hurt him.  I think I’ll just keep on the way I have been and call it good.

Damn you, blood sugars!

It’s official.  I have gestational diabetes (GD)…and I am PISSED.  Granted, I started out about 30 lbs heavier than with Ezra and I have not been stellar about food choices this pregnancy, but STILL!

I have to take some class next week and I do not have high hopes about the information they will present.  I have a feeling it’ll be all about low-fat foods, and “healthy” grains, and maybe counting calories (which I disagree with).  I guess I’ll find out when I go next week.

In the meantime I’ve been set up with a glucose tester and I’m supposed to test four times a day and keep track of my numbers and also what I’ve been eating.  This sounds like it can quickly get expensive.  Yesterday was my first full day of tracking and I didn’t change my eating habits one bit in order to have some kind of baseline.  Today I’m going a bit more low carb and we’ll see how much that affects it.

I made a crustless quiche today and while tasty wasn’t the same as our regular quiche (you know, the one with the flaky, buttery crust).

crustless quiche

crustless quiche

I made mushroom soup a few days ago and it was great!  It could have used a soft pretzel or something to go with it, but it was gooood.

mushroom soup

mushroom soup

We also made that island lime shrimp recipe I mentioned a couple days ago.  It was flavorful but not nearly close enough to the original recipe.  It was too much orange flavoring, needed to be more lime/cilantro.  Back to the drawing board on that one.

island lime shrimp

island lime shrimp

We bought the dogs a bed at Costco because they’ve been using our chair and looking fairly uncomfortable about it the larger they get.  We’ve tried out mats/beds before but they always destroy them quickly.

new dog bed

new dog bed

With this bed, they did chew some holes in it already and chewed off some binding, but it’s held up for the most part.  I think what helps is that there is a pillow inside instead of stuffing, so not quite as much fun for them since there isn’t anything to pull out.  They can both fit on this one, but depending on how much they like it (or how little they both demolish it) we may pick up another one so they each have one.  Then again, they’d probably just end up curling up together anyway, so who knows.

And here is your weekly dose of cuteness:

ezra

ezra

Exhausting week

I had a prenatal growth ultrasound the other day and my 30-week baby is measuring in at 35 weeks, and they estimate he is already five lbs.  Good times, right?  I know that ultrasounds can be fairly inaccurate but he feels huge already and with Ezra being over 11 lbs at birth, it would not surprise me in the least if this one is as large.

I had the glucose screening test that day, too, and figured all was well because they didn’t call me the next day to say I had gestational diabetes.  Well, the clinic called yesterday to say my levels were a little high so they want me to come back in and do the three-hour test.  Which I now get to do on Monday.  That’s right, folks.  I get to take the day off work to get blood drawn repeatedly.  Sounds like a dream come true, right?!  Fingers crossed I don’t actually have GD, because that would suck.  Jesse has pointed out it wouldn’t be overly surprising since I haven’t been eating the best (Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream, anyone?) for the entirety of this pregnancy.  I guess we’ll see.

The dogs have generally been driving us nuts, so that’s business as usual.  Potty-training Ezra is going nowhere, also business as usual.

I’ve been having very good luck with the kombucha and water kefir.  I finally turned on the seed starter mat which has really sped up the fermenting process.  I’m not sure why I waited to long this year to turn on the mat.  I’ve also started keeping the milk kefir in that cupboard on the heated mat as well, so we’ve been enjoying kefir smoothies on an almost daily basis.  I opened a half-filled water kefir drink last night and it had so much carbonation that the liquid geysered up, all over me and onto the floor.

it was a little like this

it was a little like this

I guess half-filled bottles should be removed from the heated mat and placed in the fridge sooner rather than later.

Have you guys ever had Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Island Lime Shrimp frozen meal?

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It is AWESOME and I haven’t had it in years, so I went online to find a recipe, and this one seems pretty close to what I imagine was in the original.  I am lacking the liquor, but it might turn out just fine without it.  Hopefully I’ll attempt it in a couple days and I’ll try to remember to take photos and let you know how it was.

We are still trying to figure out what to do with the garden this year.  We kind of want to move the strawberry plants out of their current bed and move the chicken coop to that area of the yard and fence it off so the dogs cannot get to the chickens but the chickens will still have room to roam a bit.  Then we’re thinking of sodding half the yard, and the other half will be gardening space.  We’re getting a tax return back this year so we might be able to scrounge the money to do that, but on the other hand I only get paid for six weeks maternity which means we’ll need to save up for the remaining six weeks that aren’t paid…so who knows.  We may just need to save our coins and put it all off for another year.

We made the first quiche of the year a couple nights ago, and it was DELICIOUS!  We seriously have this quiche thing down.  We make two of them when baking because then I have extra I can take to work.  Reheated quiche isn’t *quite* as good as straight from the over, but it’s still darn tasty.

Here is to spring being just around the corner!  Huzzah!