I was hoping this day wouldn't come, but I've had an alarming discovery tonight. I believe my ankles have disappeared. Seriously. I'm sitting on the couch, looking at my legs and the place where my ankles should be, and for the life of me, I can't find them! It appears to me that they have surrendered the fight and given up. They no longer exist. Now this is alarming for a number of reasons. For one thing, I honestly thought I was going to escape this 3rd trimester phenomenon. In fact, I was praying that I would. The squishy ankle thing always grossed me out. But alas, I should have known better. Pride does indeed come before a fall. Or a loss of ankles. It's kind of shocking to stare at a leg, that no longer looks like the leg I once knew. What kills me, is that this discovery seems to have cropped up over night! I swear I could still find my ankles yesterday. But, today, no longer. The crowning blow was when I managed to reach down, a fete in itself, to press my finger into the side of my missing ankle and much to my horror, I left a total indentation. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was as if I'm made of play dough. And then Travis tried it and again, had the same results. He got a good laugh out of it and I sunk a little lower in the couch. He told me not to worry about it and I tried not to. But seriously people, losing your ankles is a depressing low. So, I did the only thing I knew to do, I ate a bowl of ice-cream and covered my legs up with a blanket! That will fix it, right?
Moving on, day two of my maternity leave was another pleasant day :) I had a 4 1/2 hour coffee date with a great girlfriend this morning, what a treat! It was just the respite I needed from being cooped up in the house. After that, I met Travis for my weekly OB appointment. I learned that my suspicions were correct, she has dropped! Her head is very low now, right where we want it to be. I am not dilated yet, but am "very soft." Yay!! I'm still praying for my water to break or contractions to come on, I don't want be induced at all if I can't help it. But, at least she's progressing in the right direction (south) and the end seems to be nearer and nearer! My doctor also estimated that she's around 7 lbs now...one more reason for me to pray that this doesn't drag on and on!! I don't want to deliver a 9lb baby if I have a choice :) We're very grateful for good news though and a healthy report. I'll take her anytime she wants to come, no matter how big or small she is!
Finally, I am going to leave you with a new recipe that I've tweaked and come up with. We had it tonight and it's become one of our new favorites. It originated from a recipe that I found for baked ziti and peppers and after making it the first time, I adapted it after Trav's favorite meal at California Pizza Kitchen, the Sausage Pepper Penne dish. It's a hearty one-dish meal that is easy and very yummy. It's perfect for a crowd and would freeze well I think. We like it because like most pasta, it seems to get better by the day. It's a great leftover option that doesn't disappoint. Anyway, here's the recipe...
1 red, yellow, and green pepper; 1 small onion; 1 box of penne pasta (I used the mini penne for the first time and liked the smaller size better); 2 Cups of shredded mozzarella cheese; 2 jars of pasta sauce (I like a sweet sauce for this, like a 3 cheese or tomato basil); 1 pkg. of smoked sausage; 1 lb of hamburger; a dash of oregano.
Brown your hamburger and the peppers and onions until soft.
We grilled the smoked sausage, but you could also cook it in a skillet. Slice it thinly when done.
Cook your box of pasta and drain, and then add the hamburger, peppers, onion, sausage, 1 tsp. of oregano, 1 cup of cheese, and sauce. The recipe calls for 1 jar or sauce, which is pictured in the mixture below. Personally, I thought it was a little too dry with just one jar, so I added 2 this time.
Here is what it looks like with the second jar added. I think "saucier" is better. That's what I also tell Travis when he thinks I'm being a little opinionated about something :)
Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray and then pour the mixture in the pan. It will be very full.
Add the remaining cup of cheese on top and then bake, uncovered, at 375 for about 20-25 minutes. Just long enough for the cheese to melt and the pasta to be bubbly hot.
Here is what it looks like when it's done. We love it because it's a good compromise for both of us. It's very meaty, which Travis loves and it's nice and sweet from the onions and peppers, which I love. The smoked sausage is something I decided to add and we really liked that addition. It gave a good flavor to the dish.
Anyway, if you like pasta dishes I think you would love this one! Let me know if you do decide to try it, I'd love to hear what you think. If sweet is not your thing, you could choose a spicy sauce and add some spicy sausage. If I wasn't so prone to heartburn and indigestion right now, we'd probably try that version too! But for now, sweet beats spicy any day :) Except when it comes to giving my opinion!!