Friday, August 28, 2009

Product Review: Larabar

One of my biggest struggles being pregnant is satisfying my frighteningly-large appetite in a healthy way while on the go. While I've had many cookie/cake/McDonald's feasts over the past few months, it doesn't mean I haven't been on the lookout for something healthy and delicious that I can eat in a pinch.

Well, I think I've found my answer. I have eaten three Larabars in the past 15 hours and I am not ashamed. These bars are not only good, they're good for you at about 200 calories each and made entirely of fruit and nuts. They have no added sugar, are raw, unprocessed, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and kosher. But, who cares... most important of all, they are YUMMY!

Larabars come in flavors like Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Cookie, Cinnamon Roll and Coconut Cream Pie (oh my!) Each of the flavors I have tried are sweet and delicious and I love the bar's dense texture. They're totally filling and they don't taste like those fake power bars (because they are not).

I stumbled upon Larabars while on a ravenous bender in Whole Foods in Manhattan's Union Square ($1.89 a bar), but they're available for us Queens mamas at Trader Joes at 90-30 Metropolitan Avenue. You can also order bars online at the Larabar Store linked HERE. They are $2 a bar or $27 ($1.69 a bar) for a box of 16.

I'm thinking I'll need to buy myself the $27 variety pack with all 16 flavors. Luckily, my husband doesn't like the bars (too healthy?) so I will get to have them all to myself!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More Dr. Austin Chen Problems

Ugh. The best decision I could have made was switching from Dr. Chen to Dr. Charnes, but that doesn't mean that I'm not still dealing with lingering Dr. Chen grief!

About two weeks ago, I filled out the required record transfer forms and faxed the request over to Dr. Chen, but her receptionist (the office consists of only Dr. Chen and the receptionist) soon after left me a phone message questioning the forms.

I tried calling her back for over a week, but, because the receptionist went on vacation, nobody was answering Dr. Chen's phones. Now, my situation wasn't dire (even though Dr. Chen never gave me the results of my NT scan--lame of her--and Dr. Charnes needs it ASAP), but can you imagine if you were having a medical emergency and couldn't reach your doctor because she had no backup for her phones? Dr. Chen wasn't even answering her "super convenient" email address.

In any case, I finally got in touch with the receptionist and she told me that she can give me my records, but only if I come into the office to pick them up. But, what pregnant woman wants to haul her ass down to Chambers Street on a hot day to pick up medical records? Sucks.

Ladies, if you're thinking of using Dr. Chen, I highly advise you to interview her first and trust any bad vibes you're getting. Maybe you'll find out that you like her free-spiritedness, but don't wait as long as I did to figure out that you don't.

Birth Preparation Classes at Long Island Jewish Hospital

So, I really need to get on the ball and register for a birth preparation class! I'm 21 weeks pregnant on Friday and I really wasn't thinking about signing up for a class until my first appointment with Dr. Charnes a couple weeks ago. My previous doctor didn't even talk about childbirth classes (see below posts for my previous doctor horror story), but Dr. Charnes actually gave me the class registration form at my appointment!

If you need to sign up for classes at Long Island Jewish, you can also visit their website HERE. Clicking on "register" on the right-hand side will bring up a form for you to print and fill out.

I really am looking forward to the classes and the hospital tour! With the baby kicking up a storm now, my stomach getting bigger, and classes in the near future, everything is becoming more of a reality. My husband even said yesterday "I want to sign up for a class to be a good dad." I don't think he'll need to be taught that, but it is incredibly sweet of him to think of it. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My First Appt with Dr. Stacey Charnes in Forest Hills

I am so extremely pleased after my first appointment with Dr. Stacey Charnes! She was thorough and kind and I found her office staff to be stellar. Unlike my former OB/GYN in Manhattan, Dr. Charnes made sure I was up to date on all my bloodwork and ultrasounds, had me fill out a form to preregister at Long Island Jewish Hospital, and gave me the right due date (apparently my previous doctor had miscalculated by a week!) Dr. Charnes' staff also provided me with information on birth classes and cord blood banking. I left the office with a folder of information--and how very nice it was to finally feel informed!

If you search the internet, you might find some reviews of Dr. Charnes which say she has poor bedside manner. While I didn't experience this with her at all, if you are looking for a doctor who is more c'est la vie about the birth process (meaning, they don't put too much stock in food/drink restrictions, they calm your concerns with lots of "don't worries" rather than facts, etc.), she may not be the doctor for you. While I don't think I will follow all of the food restrictions, I feel most at ease when I am well-informed, so Dr. Charnes feels like a great match.

I'll of course update you if she ever forgets what she is talking about mid-sentence or leaves a tourniquet on my arm for ten minutes because she forgot where the needles are (like my old doctor did multiple times!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

My Ode to the Rockland County Day-Trip (Also, Sunburnt Mama)

I spent this weekend at my parents' house in Rockland County, NY. If you haven't been to Rockland, its only a short car or train/ferry ride from Queens, and there's lots to do with kids or someone special. I suggest a visit to Bear Mountain State Park, to fish or hang out around the lake or ride the carousel, or a visit to one of the beaches at Harriman State Park.

The pool at Rockland Lake is super-crowded with both city and Rockland folk and, according to MetroParent, one of the pools is closed due to budget cuts this year. If you like crowded public pools, you might as well go to the pool at nearby Astoria Park instead. That way, if you get too aggravated, you're closer to home!

Save your time in Rockland County for exploring the gorgeous, tree-filled scenery and views of the Hudson River. And don't forget to stop by Hoyers' on Route 9W in West Haverstraw for some of the most delicious soft-serve in the state. This throwback to sweeter, simpler times has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. The place has almost 3,000 fans on Facebook right now, so you can bet its others' favorite too.

I left Rockland a much calmer person after sitting by the pool all day and taking in the view of the Hudson and the mountains beyond. I also left Rockland a much redder person--perhaps my underground commute has made my skin more sensitive to the sun! In any case, sunburn is not known to have a negative effect on a pregnant woman's unborn child, but I've learned my lesson (as I seem to learn at least once every year.) Despite how tan you were when you were a kid on summer break, pregnant and non-pregnant mammas alike, I beg you to wear sunscreen! It is not comfortable and it is not good for YOUR health in the long run.

PSA over.