Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Better late than never

I don't have my 24 week post ready for you yet, so I decided to post some videos that should've been posted awhile ago. These are both from our anatomy ultrasound on January 13. Pretty vulnerable stuff here, bloggies - baby girl's most intimate parts and me, blubbering like an idiot. Enjoy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

My baby is really cute

SERIOUSLY? Seriously? Have you ever seen anything cuter?

Gosh I love this kid so much.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

23 Week Update

  1. How far along?: 23 weeks 2 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she is the size of an ear of corn - now, that doesn't make any sense to me! She went from spaghetti squash, to papaya, to corn? Doesn't corn seem smaller? Anyway, L is approximately 8.5 inches long and weighs 1.5 lbs.
  3. Weight gain?: I haven't weight myself this week, why bring that negativity upon myself?!
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see! 
  5. Maternity clothes?: Ordered a few more items (two shirts and a pair of RED pants!) from Old Navy this week - really hoping they come in today or tomorrow. Otherwise, I might be wearing yoga pants to my shower.
  6. Sleep?: Never enough! I've been getting to work early this week because we're so busy, and neither one of us likes getting up early.
  7. Best moment last week?: SHE IS MOVING! She is bouncing around like the little cheerleader she's destined to be. I have finally started feeling her move forreal, consistently, and Ben got to feel her, too. So freaking cool. It's a little uncomfortable at first, I thought maybe it was gas bubbles, but nope! It's definitely her. We went to a show last night and she was going nuts from the vibration of the music.
  8. Food cravings?: Just eating a lot, still. Nothing really in particular. I had McDonald's over the weekend and it was just so-so, so that's disappointing but good be a positive thing ;)
  9. Symptoms?: Pepcid AC is definitely helping the heartburn - Praise the Lord! 
  10. Exercise?: I had to skip yoga this week because of the show we went to last night - boo. 
  11. Gender?: Hyper little girl
  12. Movement?: ALL OVER THE PLACE. And I'm so excited, because hopefully my girlfriends will get to feel her at my shower this weekend.
  13. Belly button?: Much much shallower. I supposed it's only a matter of time now ... so long, sweet innie.
  14. What I miss?: Hot tubbing without any care! I got in for a few minutes this weekend (BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH, MY DOCTOR SAID IT WAS FINE!) - just 10 minutes at a time, allowing myself to completely cool down before getting back in, and only from the butt / hips down. It was so nice, but it was hard to completely relax thanks to all the unsolicited "advice" from everyone beforehand.
  15. Labor signs?: Gosh no. BUT, I read that, if she were to be born next week, she'd have a 50% chance of survival. That is so amazing!
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: MY BABY SHOWER! It's Saturday, and I am so so so excited to see my friends & family and all the hard work my girlfriends have put into planning it. L & I are so blessed with such wonderful friends and family to love on us.
These pictures always seems to make me look much smaller than I feel!
Not complaining, just saying...
Also, mama looks tired because it was 7am - boo!

Friday, February 17, 2012

22 week update

  1. How far along?: 22 weeks 3 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she is the size of a papaya - yum! L is approximately 8 inches long and weighs 1.2lbs. My countdown screen also reminded me that there are only 17 weeks 4 days to go - that seems like nothing. I totally freaked out when I read that!
  3. Weight gain?: Oh boy, 4 lbs as of Monday. I'm officially joining the ranks of "a pound a week" but the doctor seemed fine with that. Made the mistake of getting on the scale last night, after dinner and with all my clothes & shoes on. Won't do that again, scary stuff! I warned Ben that VERY soon, I'm going to weigh more than he does.
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see! 
  5. Maternity clothes?: I went shopping last weekend and bought a pair of black maternity pants (I think that means I now have three pairs total), a few tops and a dress, so I'm feeling much better about my wardrobe this week. Still have "nothing to wear" for my shower!
  6. Sleep?: Not enough, that's for sure.
  7. Best moment last week?: Honestly, this might sound weird, but I really love going to the doctor. There is no better sound than hearing that quick little heartbeat. She's still hovering in the 150s. I also met with a new doctor (new to me) for the first time and I LOVED him. He was so nice, and took so much time to answer all my questions.
  8. Food cravings?: I made chili last weekend and went to Bull McCabe's for lunch Wednesday so I took care of both of those cravings (although I could always go for more fries). Currently craving warm brownies and milk mmmmmmm.
  9. Symptoms?: The butt / hip pain is still giving me issues. Dr. Segal told me I could take Pepcid AC for my terrible heartburn so hopefully that starts to help!
  10. Exercise?: Yoga makes me so happy, even though I had to limit a few of my stretches because of the hip / butt pain. We did 90 second squats on Wednesday and I felt like a badass.
  11. Gender?: Hoping there has been no change.
  12. Movement?: Still really faint.
  13. Belly button?: Definitely getting noticeably (to me) shallower, but still in. The hole where I had my belly button pierced (7+ years ago) is getting a little ... weird.
  14. What I miss?: A more comprehensive wardrobe.
  15. Labor signs?: Nope.
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: We have a fetal echocardiogram a week from today, and I'm looking forward to that piece of mind, and hopefully (selfishly) getting a glimpse of her sweet little face. Also looking forward to spending the weekend in the mountains and getting a prenatal massage on Sunday.
Big change from last week, huh?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pregnancy Confessions: Volume Six

Another one from the vault. This one slightly less whiny / bitchy.

I don't remember ever seeing my parents kiss. They were together for the first 9 years of my life, and at least 4-5 of those years I have pretty vivid memories of, and I don't remember any affection between them. I remember the first time I heard one of them say a cuss word, and the first time I realized one of them was drunk, and even the first time one of them lied to me. But I don't remember a kiss or a hug or even holding hands. Granted, they later separated and eventually divorced, but that is a noticeable absence in my memories.

I pray that my daughter never has that absence.

I pray that she always knows her parents love her more than anything, except for how much they love the Lord and love each other. I pray that she sees the wonderful man her father is and never settles for anything less than that in a significant other. I pray that she sees her mama as a strong woman who has her own identity that is still magically and romantically intertwined with her one true love. I pray she's the daddy's girl I never was.

But I think one of my strongest desires is for her to always ALWAYS know that her parents are deeply in love, more that day than the day before, and more that year than we were the year we met. And I need to use this desire as motivation to speak a little more kindly, and say "I love you" a little bit more, and kiss a few more times, and just do a better job of taking care of him. Because pretty soon, she's going to see how we treat each other everyday, and I want that to be a good example for the many relationships she's going to have.

Ugh. Some day, someone's going to want to date my daughter.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pregnancy Confessions: Volume Five

I need to preface this by saying I started it a week ago, and am now coming back in a calmer, clearer, less hormonal state of mind. So it might be slightly watered down from its original form, but the sentiment is the same. And I think the sentiment, in general, could best be described with this:
I need to get this off my chest. And dammit, it's my blog, so I'm going to. And if you're offended, tough luck, don't read it. And if you make a comment on this post  that I don't like, I might just delete it. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT KIND OF MOOD I'M IN!

By the way, I do not need you to remind me that I'm only feeling this way because of the unGodly amount of hormones coursing through my body. I'm well-aware the effects that pregnancy is having on every. single. aspect. of my life.

Maybe this isn't so much a confession as it is a rant. But if I start a blog series of pregnancy rants, I might come across bitchy and unreasonable, which is not the sweet, life-supporting vision that people like to have in their mind of pregnant women. So I'm going to keep calling it a confession, because I'm confessing that I'm just about fed up.

What am I fed up with, you may ask? Oh, you must not have seen my Facebook or Twitter posts recently. That's ok, here's the abridged version:

Ben & I are going to the mountains of MD with my cousins and some of their friends next weekend, a trip we planned before we knew I was pregnant. The weekend will include skiing and/or snowboarding, drinking, eating, hot tubbing, spa visits, and who knows what else ... or any combination thereof, for any given attendee. We have a few unexpected openings in the house and my cousin asked me to see if any of our friends were interested, so I posted it on facebook.

big. freakin. mistake.

Within an hour, there were ten comments nay-saying questioning my ability to do any of the aforementioned activities. I know these comments are made by friends and family members who love me and are concerned for my well-being and that of the baby - I get it, I do. But here's how it comes across, at first glance, to a hormonal mom-to-be: you're insinuating that I don't know what I can and cannot do, just because I'm a first-time mom, and you're questioning my judgement or ability to research the exact same articles you've found, and you're basically telling me that I have no clue what I'm doing. That's how it comes across, that's all I'm saying.


Now then (and this is from the clearer, calmer, less hormonal part of me, a later addition to the earlier-written original post), I really do know that people are just trying to help. I know there is nothing malicious in their intent and that similar advice (whatever was the medical / social standard at the time) was given to them during their pregnancy. I appreciate most of the advice and try to graciously listen to all of it and decide later what I will and will not put to use. I'm not trying to berate anyone or make them feel bad about the things they've said / continue to say to me. All I'm saying is that sometimes, it gets to be a little bit much. I guess this whole post is a confession after all, because here's the thing:

I don't know what I'm doing. 

I research, I ask questions, I call my doctor's office, I read blogs and forums. But I have to figure it out on my own, just like every other first time mom did. I have to figure out what works for me during my pregnancy, and what works for us as a family once she's here. So I'm really trying not to get upset about it, and I'm trying to learn how to appropriately respond. But as much as I have to bear with all the people who feel the need to force feed me unsolicited advice about every topic under the sun, you'll have to bear with me while I find my balance. And for those of you who can do that, I genuinely appreciate you.

And in case you're wondering, you can give me whatever advice you want if you start with telling me how great I look :) Pregnant women eat that shit up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Craft Corner: Easily Changeable Photo Frame

I made this almost two months ago but just saw it on Pinterest again and was reminded I never posted it. So here you have it, a photo frame with an easily changeable picture. I made these for my mom and mother-in-law for Christmas with a picture of baby L's sonogram (at 12 weeks, tiny peanut!), knowing they'd want to update with actual pictures once she's born.

What You'll Need

  • Picture frame (I got mine for $5 at Michael's)
  • Clothespins or Magnetic Clips
  • Paint (depending on what you use as your clip, you'll either want paint that's suitable for wood or metal, like Rust-Oleum)
  • Exacto Knife (Scissors will work if you don't have an exacto knife)
  • Scrapbook Paper and Glue OR Adhesive-backed Fabric Paper*

This might be the coolest thing ever.
I found it by chance at A.C. Moore,
and I'm really hoping it wasn't a one-time thing

What You'll Do

  1. Remove the glass from the frame
  2. If you want to paint the frame, go ahead and do that and paint the clip to match. I used a white frame so I just painted the clothespin white, making sure to squeeze it open before it dried completely shut
  3. Trace the glass onto the scrapbook paper and cut with an exacto knife
  4. If using regular scrapbook paper, use acid-free glue (either spray adhesive or a glue stick would work); If using adhesive-backed paper, peel back off and press to glass
  5. Replace glass in frame once all parts are dry
  6. Measuring the center with a tape measure or ruler, use a hot glue gun (or super glue) to affix the clip to the paper-covered glass. Depending on what size picture you want to use, you can either do this vertically or horizontally, but I recommend doing it close to the top of the frame
  7. Once EVERYTHING is dry and stable, clip in your picture and change it as many times as you want!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recipe: Cheater's Potato Skins

Can you tell I've been lazy lately? Not in the all-I-want-to-do-is-sleep, I'm-too-tired-to-think, someone-please-order-me-a-pizza way (OK, there have been a few of those nights), but more in the I-need-home-cooked-food-but-couldn't-possibly-stand-in-the-kitchen-for-an-hour way. Do you follow?

So, Super Bowl Sunday. I love potato skins, but have you ever tried to make them? They are so hard! I always end up slicing too much off and getting mangled skins, or ending up with really really thick ones, and it's just not worth the effort to me. PROBLEM SOLVED!

So the woman who originally posted the recipe calls them potato rounds, but they're pretty much cheater's 'tater skins to me. And they're really, really yummy. A couple tips:

  • You could cook potatoes this way without all the cheese and bacon, and have a yummy side dish for dinner
  • You should definitely start growing your own green onions. I have, and it's amazing how fast they grow. Next time you buy them, just save the white bulb and put it into a small glass of water in your window sill. You'll have growth in days, and a constant supply of green onions. Ah, nature!
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line cookie sheet(s) with aluminum foil - trust me on this one
  3. Cut potatoes into 1/2 slices
  4. Mix garlic, salt & pepper with melted butter
  5. Brush both sides of each potato slice with butter mixture
  6. Bake 30 minutes, turning once in the middle (make sure the potatoes don't start to brown too much)
  7. Remove from oven, top with bacon, green onion and cheese
  8. Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly
  9. Serve with a side of sour cream for dipping

Friday, February 10, 2012

21 weeks

Despite the fact that I have two blog posts "in waiting" to be posted, I'm starting a third. Don't hate on me, bloggies, I do what I want. Besides, if you've seen any of the bullshit advice all over my facebook wall, you know this is NOT the week to mess with me. That's another story for another day (or possibly another blog post, I haven't decided if I'm going to post it or not), so we'll try to keep this positive, because - guess what y'all! Even if L decides to come at the latest possible moment they'll let her, I am still halfway there. We are just about 4 months away from meeting our little girl, how cool is that?!

  1. How far along?: 21 weeks 3 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she is the size of a spaghetti squash (I actually had to google that, because I don't like squash and had no idea what one looked like). L is approximately 8 inches long and weighs 1 POUND! Can you believe that, a whole pound? She's so big now, getting adorable fat on her bones. I can't wait to squeeze her chubby cheeks!
  3. Weight gain?: As of Monday, my doctor said I have gained 2 lbs. I thought I would be upset about finally gaining weight, but then I talk to all these women who have already gained 10 lbs or more and I am feeling ok about it. Just need to make sure it stays slow & steady, to avoid risk of retaining water, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, etc.
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see! I just started using a new body butter from Bath and Body Works and it smells fantastic, I can smell it all day long.
  5. Maternity clothes?: The time has finally come for me to invest in more maternity clothes. My clients were in the office this week so I was trying to a) dress professionally and b) disguise the bump. This task was WAY more difficult than I thought! I went through three pairs of dress pants before I finally rubber-banded the button closed, and the next day I gave up and wore a skirt with a wide belt. A lot of clothes got moved to the post-baby closet this week, so I'm hoping I can pick up a few more things this weekend, especially with my first shower happening in two weeks.
  6. Sleep?: Feeling very grateful for the sleep I do get after talking to other pregnant women! L lets me sleep from about 12 or 1 until about 6 or 7 without any interruptions. Granted, I have to pee so bad when I wake up that it hurts, but I NEED that sleep. Still taking couch naps almost every single night.
  7. Best moment last week?: Getting her nursery painted (thanks mom!)! It's a beautiful steel-gray and I think it's going to be so perfect with all the white furniture. We also got her quilt in the mail last night (thanks mom, again!) and the pink and white is just perfect. We had picked out some separates from Pottery Barn Kids but when we saw it in person, it was more taupe than gray - not what I wanted. So we started over with the bedding and picked a beautiful set from Land of Nod - I'm thrilled with it.
  8. Food cravings?: Chili from Tyler's and fries from Bull McCabe's. Possibly together?
  9. Symptoms?: I got an infection - yuck - but got some meds on Monday and everything appears to be good now. My nipples are still SO sensitive, and huge, and sometimes swollen. My hips / butt have been really bothering me, I've noticed that especially in yoga. I've yet to get that "pregnancy glow" or "second trimester energy" that everyone lies tells you about, but at least it's better than the first trimester!
  10. Exercise?: Yoga makes me so happy.
  11. Gender?: Someone mentioned that "they can make mistakes, you know", in regards to the gender, and Ben responded that - if it is a boy, he's going to have serious issues. Haha, Baby L had no problem showing us her girly parts.
  12. Movement?: Still really faint, but my mom & sister both said they felt her last weekend. Ben hasn't yet :(
  13. Belly button?: Definitely getting noticeably (to me) shallower, but still in.
  14. What I miss?: Not having everyone tell me what I can and cannot do 24/7.
  15. Labor signs?: Nope.
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: Hopefully getting some more maternity clothes this weekend - specifically something to wear to my shower on the 25th. And working on some crafts for my two pregnant friends!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recipe: Tuscan Pasta

This is another "cheater's" recipe, but it was too good not to share. It was actually one of the very first things I pinned, but never got around to making it because Ben doesn't like alfredo sauce. Bad news? Ben played poker last night so I was alone for dinner. Good news? Mama gets alfredo. I only made half the recipe and had half of that portion for dinner and half for lunch.


  • 20 oz package frozen or refrigerated cheese ravioli
  • 16 oz jar alfredo sauce
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • Half-carton of cherry tomatoes, sliced length-wise or 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2(?) tbsp dried basil leaves or 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/3(?) cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Strips of fresh basil or additional dried basil for topping


  1. Boil pasta according to directions on package
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat alfredo sauce and wine until bubbling
  3. Add tomatoes and basil; Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through
  4. Toss with cooked / drained pasta
  5. Serve, topped with parmesan cheese and basil

Makes 4 servings

Monday, February 6, 2012

Recipe: Pigs in a Blanket

This is just silly. But I'm posting it all the same because I am so behind on my recipe posts and because the Super Bowl was yesterday and, let's be honest, you can't have a super bowl party without pigs in a blanket. Have you ever bought them frozen from the store? Because I have, and those suckers are expensive. Why?! I don't get it! It's pastry & hot dog. Anyway, make your own, because they're cheap and because, really, who doesn't love pigs in a blanket?

Disclaimer: I only had one, since I'm not really supposed to have processed meat or whatever. Stupid pregnancy.


  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • 1 pkg cocktail wieners 


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F - just follow the directions on the can of crescent rolls
  2. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray - or, for easy clean-up, line with foil then spray
  3. Roll out pre-cut crescents and cut length-wise so each can makes 16 half-crescents
  4. Don't cut them width-wise or else your blankets will look special, like this

    Don't worry, Ben ate the special ones
  5. Wrap, starting with the wide end, one hot dog in each half-crescent
  6. Line on cookie sheet, like a cute little army of pigs in blankets
  7. Bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown
  8. Serve warm (duh) with ketchup and/or mustard

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pregnancy Confessions: Volume Four

If there's one food that's grossed me out the entire pregnancy, it's avocado. Guacamole is fine, but I can't do the real thing. Of course, I don't publicize this because I don't even want to talk about them. And because I thought morning sickness was behind me.

But I was wrong.

My co-workers and I were talking about grilled cheese sandwiches, because I decided that's what I needed for lunch today. Then one of them starts talking about making a grilled cheese this wknd with ... the "a" word on it. And it was just too much for me. So much so, that I had to RUN to the bathroom, with people darting out of my way in the hallway. Unfortunately I turned the corner just a little too quickly and ran - literally ran - into our COO. And then subsequently fell over. All the while trying not to vomit just yet.

Could I be any more embarrassed?

Don't worry, I didn't throw up anywhere I wasn't supposed to. I apologized to the COO and she thanked me for not doing it on her.

But seriously?

Pregnancy is so weird.

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Soup

I feel bad to even blog about this because I didn't make it, but obviously not bad enough to miss out on sharing this awesome recipe with y'all. 

I was supposed to be at yoga until 7:15 last night, and Ben had left work early (4pm - to give you an idea of the timeline we're working from) so I asked him to start on dinner. I sent a very detailed email that went something like, "Here are things we have that need to go in the crock pot ON HIGH immediately. Here are things you need to get at the store that need to go in the crock pot as soon as you get home. Here are things you need to get at the store and don't do anything with them." 

Pretty simple, right? 

What's that saying, the road to hell is paved with good intentions? 

I'm not saying my husband is going to hell - that's a terrible thing to say and 100% untrue - but I am saying that wherever he's going, he's going there very. very. slowly. God love him, he works off of what we now affectionately refer to as "Eckerson Time." Needless to say when I called him at 6:30 to say that I had been stuck in traffic for an hour and was not going to yoga, he was not yet even checking out from the store. I fell asleep on the couch, partially from exhaustion from the traffic and partially from frustration / hunger ... also, probably at least partially because I'm growing a human, let's be honest ... and when I woke up around 8, dinner was not even close to done. So I did what I normally do when Ben "makes dinner" and that is either instruct him step by step on what to do or just take over and do it myself. He transferred the ingredients to a pot on the stove and cut up the chicken, that was supposed to be shredded from cooking in the crock pot, into not-so-bite-sized pieces. 

Whatever, you know what? It turned out great. Ben's good friend James, who is a chef, came over and even HE liked it.

So here's the recipe, I imagine it'll be even better when the chicken is all deliciously shredded from the crock pot, but ours was great and I'm super proud of the hus.

Ingredients for the crock pot
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8-10 oz), thawed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock or broth (I can never find chicken stock!)
  • 1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Ingredients for toppings
  • Sliced whole wheat baguettes
  • Sliced green onions
  • Crumbled gorgonzola cheese (this made a huge difference in the flavor, love it!)

  1. Put all the crock pot ingredients in the crock pot, on High for 4 hours or on Low for 8 hours
  2. Chicken should be fully cooked and easily shred with a fork once it's done
  3. Serve in bowls, top with green onions & gorgonzola and serve with a side of baguette
I didn't take a picture, so here's this one from Pinterest.Ours were totally that pretty, don't worry.