Tuesday, January 31, 2012

20 Weeks, Hooray!

To quote the great John Bon Jovi:

"We've got each other, and that's a lot for love. We'll give it a shot"
Oh, we're halfway there. Oh, livin' on a prayer.
Take my hand and we'll make it I swear..."

PS: for that little Tuesday pick-me-up, you're welcome. And if Bon Jovi doesn't pick you up, we're probably not friends.

But forreal, think about those words. Especially if you are, or ever have been, pregnant. Two people, trying to figure it out as they go... And that's enough. Enough to create life. Enough to RAISE A CHILD. It's insane, but incredibly awesome. I might get a little pregnancy-hormone-crazy on him once in awhile everyday but I could not imagine going through this journey / adventure / INSANE live change without my husband. And our sweet Lord who has been so good to us thus far, especially since embarking on this chapter of our lives together. He is so good, Amen?
Why are pictures of people holding bananas so phallic?
Am I just a 12-year old?

Anyway, onto the deets...

  1. How far along?: 20 weeks, y'all! Hallelujah I am half-way through with cooking this kid.
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she'll be a banana tomorrow (I don't know why they start the new fruit on Xweeks and 1day). She's approximately 7 inches long and weighs 11 ounces. Wow, that is nuts. 
  3. Weight gain?: Ben bought a scale for the house, the purchase of which I was adamantly opposed to, but it's made me obsessive about checking my weight. And guess what - I'm holding strong at 0lbs gained. Awesome! And wearing pre-pregnancy Hudson jeans today.
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see! I'm scared to look too hard
  5. Maternity clothes?: I have a few staples but mostly I'm wearing normal stuff, just lots of leggings. I need to get my maternity jeans hemmed so I can start rocking those more because gosh! they're comfy.
  6. Sleep?: Still haven't invested in a pregnancy pillow (boo!) but I've found I've been sleeping a little bit better the past few days. I've just given into the fact that I'm going to wake up on my right side. The early mornings have become a very fun time, because she tends to visibly gravitate to my right side (even if I'm sleeping on my left side) and I've been able to coax a little reaction out of her. It's our quiet time together.
  7. Best moment last week?: Finding out my dear friend who's due the day after me is (still) having a boy. They told her at 12 weeks it was a "he" but they confirmed and they even announced his name. So excited my little sweetheart has her first boyfriend!
  8. Food cravings?: Sweets. I actually want chocolate, which I haven't really craved the whole pregnancy. I had a huge heated up brownie with ice cream & chocolate syrup at the bar last night. I'm sorry, if you all get to have your delicious beers, I'm having a brownie ... and I'm NOT sharing.
  9. Symptoms?: I was sick all day Sunday - yuck. But feeling fine since then. I also think I'm having some drainage in the back of my throat, but it's probably unrelated to pregnancy.
  10. Exercise?: I feel an extreme sense of accomplishment in going to yoga each week, until I see the girls in my class who are 36 weeks along and killin' it. Then I feel like a loser ... but I keep going and I'm enjoying it. Baby is too!
  11. Gender?: Hopefully still a girl, haha.
  12. Movement?: A little bit of faint movement both internally and externally. Of course, I'm just guessing on this, but how does anyone really know what a baby moving inside you feels like?! 
  13. Belly button?: Definitely getting noticeably (to me) shallower.
  14. What I miss?: I get this weird taste in my mouth that lingers with me after I eat anything sweet ... I miss not having that. And also, winter beers.
  15. Labor signs?: Nope
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: My mom & her friend are coming down this wknd to paint her nursery! I'm so excited to pick out the paint and see the room begin to transform to being her space. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

19 weeks and counting

She's definitely longer than this mango

  1. How far along?: 19 weeks 3 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, still a mango (6.5 inches long, 10 oz in weight - baby girl is getting BIG!)
  3. Weight gain?: as far as I know, still 0 lbs! So excited to be back even with my pregnancy weight and not gaining anything yet. Wearing my pre-preg skinny jeans today. However, my boobs are ginormous and I learned the hard way that there are a few tops no longer appropriate to be worn in public.
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see! I'm scared to look too hard
  5. Maternity clothes?: I'm wearing one of my Gap maternity t-shirts today since the aforementioned incident with a button down this morning. I have a few staples but mostly I'm wearing normal stuff, just lots of leggings.
  6. Sleep?: I fall asleep on the couch almost every night between 9:30 - 10:30, and sleep there for a few hours until Ben is ready for bed. I'm unable to sleep straight through from 1-7 anymore because I get uncomfortable and/or roll around ... seriously thinking about investing in a pregnancy pillow. Thoughts? Suggestions?
  7. Best moment last week?: Buttoning my skinny jeans this morning. Also, everyone who tells me I'm still tiny - God bless you!
  8. Food cravings?: McDonald's cheeseburger, fries - both dipped in sweet and sour sauce - and a Hi-C orange. Oh, and any kind of ice cream!
  9. Symptoms?: Sorry if this is TMI - wait, no I'm not, this is my blog, if it's TMI then you can leave. My nipples are SO swollen and tender. Like, puffy. It's gross and awful and painful all at the same time. And the discharge ... really? REALLY?!
  10. Exercise?: Taking a prenatal yoga class once a week still - mamaste!
  11. Gender?: Baby L is a sweet little girl and we have the pictures (and pint-sized wardrobe) to prove it!
  12. Movement?: This week in yoga, during our 10 minutes of savasana, I was "visualizing my baby" (as our instructor says in a soothing voice) and holding my belly, and I swear I felt her move - like, actually, with my hands felt it. Nuts!
  13. Belly button?: Still in, but not as deep. It's like, shallow, but then the bottom part is elongating. Pregnancy is so weird.
  14. What I miss?: Sleeping through the night
  15. Labor signs?: Nope
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: Officially being half-way through on Tuesday! It feels very monumental to me, I don't know why.
Not my cutest, but you get the drift.
Not much has changed!
I should mention, we got L's crib AND infant carseat last weekend. It was a huge accomplishment, because, even if we don't get her anything else, we can bring her home and we can put her to sleep in her bed! OK, so we probably have to get a mattress and sheets, but you know what I mean. The crib was a find from the Kids Exchange consignment expo at the fairgrounds. Talk about overwhelming! But it was one I had been eyeing from Babies R Us and was half the price of buying it new. So Ben will be giving it a good bleaching and a new coat of paint, and voila! She has a bed. It's exciting, even though it's still in pieces in my car. The other big purchase, her infant carseat, was from Buy Buy Baby. We were registering (oh my gosh, what an exhausting process!) and had decided on the Graco Snugride but were having a hard time deciding which colors. Going back and forth between red & gray, we went over to the pack & plays and there on the clearance rack was the exact same red carrier we'd been looking at - for way less! It was an "open box" special but was brand new and came with a base. They even let us use a 20% off coupon, so we walked away with our brand new Graco infant carrier for less than $100. Awesome productive weekend.

Oh yeah, and we did at least start the registering process. And what a process it is! We decided to go with Buy Buy Baby because it's so close to us, and Pottery Barn Kids because I just love their bedding. If you see anything we're missing, let me know!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recipe: Garlic Shrimp Bake

Another Pinterest find - you know you love it. I should note, in case I haven't already, that I have a phobia of under-cooked poultry and other proteins. Don't get me wrong, I love(d) a good medium rare filet, and I cannot wait for a seared ahi tuna steak (#pregnancyprobz) but when it comes to chicken, and apparently shrimp, I err on the side of paranoid over-cooking. I think this has rubbed off on Ben, judging by the "Are you sure those are done?" comments I normally get. Really boy? Have I ever served you even remotely under-cooked chicken? ;)

We had some shrimp in the freezer from God-knows-when and I thawed it Sunday thinking I would make it for dinner. Then woke up in a panic at 4am when I realized it was still sitting in the sink ... luckily, still partially frozen. So, into the fridge it went and then into our bellies it went last night.

This was a super simple recipe that I paired with some steamed french-cut green beans (Gosh I'm so glad I can eat vegetables again, thank you L for not making me throw them all up anymore) and mashed potatoes. Let me just tell you about these potatoes. I LOVE some good homemade mashed potatoes but really, who has time for that on a week night? Not this girl, that's for sure. So I resort to the box of instant fun - don't judge me.
a) I made them stove top, not in the microwave
b) I used heavy cream instead of milk and garlic salt instead of table salt
c) I added a pack of Papa John's garlic butter

Ahem, DID YOU HEAR ME BLOGGIES? Papa John's garlic butter. Is there anything better on Earth than that greasy butter garlicy goodness? Methinks not.

So whatever, here's the shrimp recipe:


  • 1 lb raw shrimp, deveined and peeled and whatnot
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • Salt & Pepper to tast
  • 1/4 cup (4tbsp) melted butter
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (you can use Panko but I never have those, so I used regular ones)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Half a lemon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, garlic & wine and stir
  3. Pour evenly into a baking dish (I used a 9x9 glass dish) and season with salt & pepper
  4. You can use the same bowl to mix the melted butter, bread crumbs & parsley.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the shrimp in the baking dish
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

18 weeks

Did I really just skip 17 weeks altogether? Because I was too busy complaining about pregnancy or perhaps obsessing over the gender of our babe? My deepest apologies to you, bloggies, and to Baby L with whom I will one day share these weekly updates.
  1. How far along?: 18 weeks 1 day
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, a mango (6 inches long, 8 oz in weight - holy cow, half a pound?!)
  3. Weight gain?: 0 lbs! So excited to be back even with my pregnancy weight and not gaining anything yet. Also, my skinny jeans still fit!
  4. Stretch marks?: None. Using Body Butter religiously after showers
  5. Maternity clothes?: I'm actually wearing maternity jeans for the first time today. Not because I need them, because I wanted to try them out. You should ALL invest in a pair. I returned my $200 designer ones (couldn't deal with the guilt, and there was a rivet digging into my hip) and got some from Gap on sale for $50 - awesome. Full panel is key, that's the stretchy part that comes all the way up to your boobs.
  6. Sleep?: I fall asleep on the couch almost every night between 9:30 - 10:30, and sleep there for a few hours until Ben is ready for bed. It works out, because my bladder can hold it from 12:30 / 1am until 6:30 am so I'm not waking up in the middle of the night just to pee.
  7. Best moment last week?: Finding out our sweet little one is a GIRL! And naming her :)
  8. Food cravings?: McDonald's cheeseburgers (I know, awful). And popcorn! I've never cared for popcorn but the past two times someone's had it out, I can't stop eating it! I think I'm moving away from the fruits / sweets and into the salty cravings. Oh helloooooo water retention!
  9. Symptoms?: Hips are killing me! I got a prenatal massage on Monday thanks to my amazing sister, and it helped some. The heartburn is still awful.
  10. Exercise?: Taking a prenatal yoga class once a week and it's AWESOME.
  11. Gender?: IT'S A GIRL! In case you missed that blog post. I'm so so so excited to be having a daughter. And by the way, it's so much weirder to say "I'm having a daughter" than "I'm having a baby".
  12. Movement?: I'm pretty sure I've only felt her twice - once, laying flat on my back, and another time in church while I was singing. Other times I think I feel the "flutters" / rolling movement they talk about, but it's so faint I can't be sure.
  13. Belly button?: Still in, but not as deep.
  14. What I miss?: Sushi in general, especially tuna. Occasionally I miss coffee.
  15. Labor signs?: Better not have these yet.
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: Picking out her nursery bedding! And there's a huge consignment event at the fairgrounds next weekend that we're going to check out, so I am excited to possibly pick out some furniture.
Not a great one, but I took it just for the blog.
The belly is definitely getting rounder / more extended!
Y'all, Friday was awesome. I can't express to you just how awesome, but man ... it will go down in history as one of my favorite days. I couldn't sleep, it was like Christmas morning! Ben had an early doctor's appointment before our ultrasound, so we were both up and excited for the day. We arrived at the doctor's office at 9:15 and sat in the waiting room until almost 10:00 - agonizing! But Ben was playing with the camera, taking silly pics & video taping my thoughts (which, BTW, were boy. Ben thought girl). Finally we got called back, and the u/s tech (who is SO nice) did all the anatomy stuff first - kidneys, bladder, brain, heart, etc. Amazing to see all these working organs on our little one! Baby was standing on her head the whole time, not willing to move, so things took a little longer than expected but no complaints from me! Finally the u/s tech told us to get out the camera, and asked if we were ready - oh man, were we! Even though she was uncooperative about the overall anatomy scan, she had no problem showing us her girly parts, putting her butt right on the screen. 

"It's a girl!" - commence to bawling. I cried for probably 15 minutes, I absolutely couldn't believe we're going to have a little girl. Still can't, I woke up Saturday thinking I had dreamed the whole thing. We spent the rest of the day Friday shopping, picking out her name, and getting ready for the "big reveal" with our families. What a blessed day to help us celebrate the arrival of our sweet little girl!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

TAG! You're it!

Sweet Fran over at The Jenkins Family tagged me in this fun post, so what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than telling you a little more about me? Especially now that there are actually a few "virtual strangers" that have started following my blog since the pregnancy. So thanks, Fran!

First Things First, The Rules:
  • You must post the rules.
  • Post eleven fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
  • Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you've tagged.
  • Tag eleven people and link them on your post
  • Let them know you've tagged them!

Eleven Fun Facts About Me:
  1. I was born with a dislocated hip and a dislocated elbow, so poor little baby Aubrey had to have a brace and a cast. To this day, I have a gigantic scar on my arm from the surgery that the elbow condition eventually resulted in, and if I'm sleepy or drunk my left foot turns in pigeon-footed from the hip thing. I'm going to demand that they check my baby girl for both of these when she's born.
  2. I AM HAVING A BABY GIRL. In June. I don't know if I've ever been more excited about anything than being a mommy to a sweet baby girl.
  3. My husband Ben & I are taking said baby girl to London next summer to go to the Olympics. We had already planned the trip with friends, and going to the Olympics is definitely on our bucket lists, so when we found out we were pregnant we decided that we'd try to make it work so as to not miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Hopefully it works out!
  4. If I had been a boy, I would've been named Frank Edward Harris, Jr. YIKES! But my mom wanted to call me Teddy, I guess it could be worse. They had the same boy name picked out for my sister.
  5. I had a lot of "best friends" at various points of my childhood, but I met my lifelong best friend (besides, of course, my husband. and then my sister) when I was 14. We became especially close when I got mono from sharing her Chapstick.
  6. My favorite color has been pink since I was old enough to talk. I am the ultimate of girly girls, and baby will be too (at least until she's old enough to protest it, but I hope that never happens).
  7. The one food I will not touch is sweet potatoes. My uncle made me eat them when I was four and I vomited all over the Thanksgiving table. Ben also cannot stand sweet potatoes - that's how I knew we were perfect for each other. The bad news? Baby is currently the size of a sweet potato. The good news? At least we know I won't eat her...
  8. I can always always find something to buy in the Yankee Candle store. I love candles and am terrified of my house smelling bad / weird.
  9. I'm a sympathetic vomiter. As is my best friend. This has made for some horribly painful hungover mornings for us.
  10. I was proposed to in front of nearly 60,000 people. My husband is amazing.
  11. I love falling asleep on the couch. I think our couches are so comfortable, even though I hate that they have couch covers on them (because they're from the Goodwill). I'm not sure if we'll ever find couches we love as much as these ... we've been looking, but so far, no dice.
Fran's Questions For Me
  1. Favorite Blog you follow? Momastery - Glennon is amazing.
  2. Favorite Pandora radio station? Wicked, I am a sucker for musicals.
  3. Last thing you ate? A lamb gyro and some potato soup from this adorable little cafe in downtown Cary. It's like 3 minutes from our house and we just discovered it last weekend!
  4. Last thing you bought? A really freaking cute outfit for the baby to wear while we're at the Olympics.
  5. Favorite date spot? Any restaurant that's new to both of us. I love trying out new places and trying to find something delicious on the menu. It's always funny to me how adamant Ben is that we not order the same thing when we go out to dinner, even though normally our first choices are the same. Luckily he normally lets me order first.
  6. Pets?  Do you have any?  If so, what are they? I firmly believe in adopting dogs and cats from the pound. Our sweet pup Lucy, who will be six on Valentine's Day, is a pound puppy that we rescued when she was about 6 weeks old. We named her Lucy because we had seen The Chronicles of Narnia that weekend. We think she's part pit bull and part border collie.
  7. Favorite book you have read? Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood, I think. But I also love Summer Sisters, Fahrenheit 451, The Shack ... most books I've read in adulthood, I love, because if I don't love them after the first few pages I don't continue reading them.
  8. Favorite kid friendly apps {if this applies} or favorite app in general? Not sure yet about kid friendly apps, but the apps I check most frequently are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and What To Expect When You're Expecting.
  9. Who is your favorite actor / actress?  Why? I love Julia Roberts, she's so quirky and cute. I also really love Kristen Bell, but she reminds me of my husband's ex-girlfriend and that's slightly irritating, even though his ex is really sweet.
  10. Favorite baby names? boy & girl? I would love to name a boy Benjamin Colt Eckerson, Jr and call him Colt. I'm not crazy about the idea of a "junior" but I think my husband's name is awesome. And for a girl, my favorite name will be forthcoming in an overly dramatic blog announcement ;) But second favorite is Eisleigh Grace.
  11. Favorite Sunday afternoon activity? Falling asleep on the couch while watching football with Ben.
Who's Next?

My Questions For You
  1. What's your favorite color?
  2. What's your favorite thing about your husband / significant other?
  3. Do you have / want children? How many?
  4. What would you choose as your last meal?
  5. What's your favorite bible verse, if you read the bible?
  6. Where is one place you'd like to visit before you die?
  7. Which room of your house is your favorite and why?
  8. What's your favorite day of the week and why?
  9. Which store can you never go in without buying something?
  10. What is your favorite physical quality about yourself? Emotional quality?
  11. If you could be any animal, what would you choose?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sugar & Spice

Yesterday, I heard some of the sweetest words ever spoken.

"It's a girl!"

I am over the moon to be having a sweet baby girl to spoil, and cannot wait to buy her tutus and headbands and ruffles and bows.

Thank you all for your congratulations and prayers, I'll post more soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Recipe: Zuppa Toscana

I'm just gonna stop telling y'all that I got a recipe from Pinterest and let you assume that's where all my foodie inspiration comes from (hint: it does!).

This is an uncharacteristically involved crock-pot recipe, for me, as most of my selections are of the "dump-and-go" variety. However, I will say that it does make me feel better not to throw raw sausage in the pot.

This is supposed to be like Olive Garden's soup. Not sure how similar it actually is (or at least, how similar mine was), but it's good nonetheless, and hearty as all get out.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil, whatever you have)
  • 1 lb. ground sausage (I used mild, but I bet hot sausage would be yummy, too!)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of salt (to taste)
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth - low sodium if you can find it
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into one-inch chunks
  • 1/2 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, slivered
  • 1 cup cream
  • scant cup of instant mashed potato flakes (optional - I didn't use these in mine)
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil.
  2. Brown sausage & diced onions until almost cooked through
  3. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes
  4. Add all of the spices / seasonings and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes
  5. Move sausage mixture from skillet to crockpot
  6. Add chicken broth, bouillon cube and cubed potatoes
  7. Cook on low for 4-5 hours (I did low for 8 hrs, because I don't have a crock-pot with a timer)
  8. Add chopped kale & heavy cream (and potatoes, if you wish)
  9. Cook on low for 1 additional hour
*Optional: top with parmesan cheese. Because what doesn't taste better with a little cheese?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pregnancy Confessions: Volume Three

Which could also be called:

Don't make me go all pregnancy-hormones on your ass!

I have had my fair share of crazy hormonal breakdowns (aforementioned screaming at husband for unmatched socks, crying over movie previews, etc), but I think for the most part my crazy has been kept at bay. However, I just received a phone call that almost compromised all that.

Let me back up.

We have our Level Two Ultrasound scheduled for this Friday, January 13. Yes, in less than 4 days we will know the gender of this little lovebug. Not that I'm counting down or anything. So we decided to have a small gathering at the house that evening to tell our family and a few very close friends all at once. My mom is driving down from Virginia for it and my best friend is coming up from South Carolina, bless their hearts. I guess what I'm trying to say is, not only have we been counting down to this day for weeks, but other people are planning their schedules around it as well. Then this morning, I got a phone call from my doctor's office; I assume, it's to confirm my appointment. "We had a doctor quit unexpectedly and we'll need to reschedule your appointment for next week..."

Excuse me, WHAT DID YOU SAY?

This is the part where I almost went all pregnancy-hormones on her ass. But instead, I calmly (half-whining) explained that I had company coming from out of town to hear our big news Friday and could we pleeeeeease do it any other time this week and I would happily make myself available at ANY TIME if we could.

"Let me put you on hold"

Five agonizing minutes later, we will be keeping the appointment on Friday morning. Crisis averted.

For all you mamas, and mamas-in-progress ... am I alone in this? You'd freak out if they rescheduled your level two ultrasound, too ... right?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pregnancy Confessions: Volume Two

Yes, I knoooooow I already posted today, but I can't let this slip by anymore. I need to get it off my chest, and Praise the Lord, Glennon (an amazing blogger I've been following for awhile) gave me the strength to share it with all (25) of you. I have been nervous about sharing these feelings with anyone, for fear of judgement. But you know what? This is my blog. And nobody gets to come to my blog and judge me. I know you're all here because you love me, and my recipes and my crafts and my husband and, most importantly, our sweet babe.

So, if you have the time, read this first. Then continue reading mine.

This is an absolutely amazing time in my life, and in my relationship with my Ben. I recognize that I only get to have these nine months, and then life will be flying by faster than I ever could've imagined. I recognize that the miracle happening inside me right now can only be described as that - a miracle. And that our gracious Father decided WE were fit to raise one of His precious children, and that I am fit to carry that precious child until it's ready for this world.

Psalm 118:23 The LORD has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes

It is so marvelous. This baby, creating a life with my wonderful husband, it's marvelous. But sometimes, I feel slightly less than marvelous, myself. Sometimes, when someone asks me, "Don't you just love being pregnant?!" I politely smile and nod, but inside, I'm thinking "ARE YOU CRAZY?!"

I vomited all day every day for almost three months, I miss sushi and Jersey Mike's, I couldn't partake in the beauty of fall beer season, I'm exhausted and have headaches every day, I don't recognize my own body and ALL I WANT TO DO IS SLEEP FOR EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT. Yes, now that you mention it, I just looooooove being pregnant!

OK, I may be exaggerating slightly on how bad it is and how much fun it is not. And I know there are women who love being pregnant. But, y'all? I am not one of them.

To all you women who legitimately do love being pregnant, I love you for it. I love you for saying how much you love it, because it made me so excited to one day get pregnant and it makes me want to love it now. I don't resent you if you haven't had even a touch of morning sickness, or if your skin is glowing, hair is shiny and nails are strong, or if you somehow still have the strength and energy to run 6 miles, make an organic dinner and have sex with your husband every night. If it wasn't for people like you, and there were only people like me, no one would ever want to get pregnant. I understand they'd do it out of necessity to procreate, but they wouldn't look forward to it like I did. So God Bless You for convincing other women of the world to join this not-so-secret club called motherhood.

Now then, readers, please don't take this the wrong way. I love what God is doing in our lives. I love this little baby more than anyone on this planet besides my husband. And, trust me when I tell you, I want to love being pregnant. But I don't... yet. I keep being told that I'll forget all about being sick, tired and cranky in a few months. I'll forget that my nipples grew to the size of saucers and I cried over movie previews and screamed at my husband for an unmatched sock. I'll hold that precious angel and forget alllllll about the bad, only remembering the blessing that resulted in these 9 hellish months, and immediately want to do it all over again. But until that point, I'm going to remember. And I'm going to continue to smile and nod about how much I love being pregnant, all the while leaking unidentified vaginal fluid and trying to discretely adjust the elastic waist band that is likely digging into my love handles.

And let's be honest, with these hormones? I'll probably post in again in a few weeks, through weepy eyes, telling you all how much I really do love being pregnant.

Recipe: Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

This recipe has been sitting in my Pinterest for awhile, and when I finally clicked through last night, it took me to one of my favorite food blogs. This chick is awesome, and I've gotten many good recipes passed along from her site.

I have to say, I was less than thrilled with a few aspects of this recipe. Mostly the sauce - it's labor-intensive enough that it should be awesome and it wasn't. I could've honestly done without it, and just warmed a mix of worchestershire sauce / dijon mustard in a saucepan for a little flavor (because the chicken itself is kind-of bland).

However, it IS a very easy alternative to normal chicken cordon bleu (having made that before in another life) and you could probably mix it up with lots of different toppings for the chicken if you want to alter the recipe.


  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (half as many as servings you want; I was just cooking for me and Ben so I cut up one large breast to make two servings)
  • Two slices of Deli Ham per serving (again, I was making two servings, so I used 4 slices of ham)
  • Two slices of Swiss Cheese per serving (for me, 4 slices of swiss cheese. actually, it was two slices of swiss and two slices of provolone because ben doesn't like swiss cheese - weirdo)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • Equal parts Worchestershire Sauce and Dijon Mustard (should only need a couple tbsp of each)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Lightly grease glass baking dish (I used a square one for our two breasts and it was perfect!)
  3. Slice chicken breasts length-wise to create two thin breasts
  4. Place breasts in baking dish and top with ham, then cheese, making sure each breast is completely covered (this will help keep the chicken moist!)
  5. Mix breadcrumbs & melted butter (should be crumbly; if it's too "wet", add more breadcrumbs) and sprinkle on top of cheese
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, breadcrumbs are brown and cheese is bubbly (for two breasts, 30 minutes should be plenty)
  7. When chicken is almost finished cooking, mix Worchestershire, Dijon, S&P in a small saucepan over medium heat
  8. Serve sauce on side of chicken

This is a less-than-appetizing picture ... too beige.
But it doesn't taste as "blah" as it looks, promise.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recipe: Cucumbers with Cream Cheese

Ah ha! A post where I DON'T talk about the baby. How does that make you feel, readers?

Well, I can hardly call this a recipe. Also, I forgot to take a picture, so I'm stealing the inspiration picture from Alisa Burke, by way of Pinterest.

Mine didn't exactly look like that, but they were adorably displayed on my favorite Crate & Barrel platter (a wedding gift from my friend Aubrey) and they were delicious ... even for Baby Bacon, who was not really tolerating veggies at the time. I made them for my Girly Christmas Party and they were a hit!


  • 2 Cucumbers
  • 1 8oz pkg of Neufchatel Cheese (low-fat cream cheese)
  • Basil, Sage, Oregano, Chives - or any combination thereof!
  • Dried Dill Weed

Optional: Peel cucumbers in an alternating pattern like the above - this basically just means you peel a strip all the way down, then leave equal amount of green, then peel another strip, and so on. It's so simple and makes it look pretty!

  1. Slice cucumbers into thick slices
  2. Heat cream cheese in microwave to soften
  3. Mix in a variety of herbs to your liking
  4. Scoop dollop of herbed cream cheese onto each cucumber slice
  5. Top with one shake of dill weed

I should mention here that you can (should) refrigerate them right up until the point of serving. Nobody likes a room temperature cuke!

Great party appetizer - bite-size, finger foods, no mess and they're healthy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Catch Up: Almost 16 Weeks

Praise the Lord, my "morning" sickness has vacated the premises! At least I hope so. It's been over a week since I really felt sick (Merry Christmas to me!) and I couldn't be happier about it. Now, of course, my worry is that I'll go in for my 18 week appointment and they'll tell me I've MORE than made up for the weight I lost at 14 weeks ;) What can I say, I'm an over-achiever!

Other new developments in baby-land:
  1. How far along?: 15 weeks 6 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, an avocado (4-5 inches long, 3-5 oz)
  3. Weight gain?: I don't own a scale. Who needs that kind of negativity in their home?! I reserve mine for the doctor's office, so we'll find out on 1/13. But my skinny jeans still fit!
  4. Stretch marks?: None yet. Using Body Butter religiously after showers
  5. Maternity clothes?: I still have no need for maternity clothes yet, but I'm taking advantage of a few cozy tops with my regular leggings ... just because they're comfortable
  6. Sleep?: Can't sleep in late (any time after 8:30) and now I can't really nap anymore :( Why does this baby hate sleep?!
  7. Best moment last week?: We were out to dinner with friends (12/29) and Ben reached over and laid his hand on my stomach, all the while continuing the conversations we were having. So sweet!
  8. Food cravings?: A little bit of everything! But I'm loving spicy foods, despite the horrible heartburn they give me
  9. Symptoms?: My boobs all of a sudden got bigger? Mom bought me two new bras at Victoria's secret last week and I had to get 38D for the cups to be big enough. Oi vey!
  10. Exercise?: none, still. My body didn't get the memo about second trimester energy surges.
  11. Gender?: finding out 1/13, I go back and forth on what I want / think it is.
  12. Movement?: PRETTY sure I felt it for the first time! Laying very still on my back, I felt (what felt like) a kick, and then a somersault. So freaking cool.
  13. Belly button?: Still in, but not as deep.
  14. What I miss?: Ahi tuna
  15. Labor signs?: Better not have these yet.
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: Finding out if it's a HE or a SHE. These two weeks are going to crawl!
The other "Christmas gift" I got from baby was that I'm starting to show. Or something. I'm mostly just starting to look like I ate too many holiday cookies (hint: I did!) but it's fun for the people who know me and are looking for the bump, and it was fun to come back to work today to show off the new bulge. Again, still in my regular clothes, so it's not too out of control yet! I feel fortunate because some of my friends who are due around the same time are already busting out of their normal clothes. I guess this is one of the perks of being a giant? Keep in mind, it gets bigger as the day goes on, so I think it's mostly just all the calories I'm consuming these days. This pic was taken in the evening, so it looks big!
NYE: 15w4d
Anyone else have pictures of themselves at this stage? Would love to compare!

Hope you all had as blessed of a Christmas as we did <3