Friday, March 23, 2012

27 Weeks: Welcome to the Third Trimester!

Monday at around 12:02am I was checking my WTE app and announced to Ben that I was now in the third trimester. His response was "what does that mean?" - excellent question. I'm not totally sure. But I'm there. Here's what it means for me (and L) so far:

  1. How far along?: 27 weeks 3 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she is now the size of a head of cauliflower - which for some reason is hilarious to me. She is approximately 16 inches long (head to feet) and weighs about 2.5 lbs. A friend from college had her baby this past week at 30 weeks and she weighed 3 lbs 4 oz. Not that I think (or hope!) our little girl comes that early, but it's nice to know that if she does, she'd probably be ok. In the mean time, I'm sure Nicole would love your prayers for baby McKenzie!
  3. Weight gain?: I'm not going to weigh myself at home, so I'll continue to naively assume it's the same from my last doctor's appt which is ... *gasp* 14 lbs. I honestly can't believe it. And then I look at my giant belly and can't deny it either. It makes me so so depressed that I try not to think about it. But don't worry, it hasn't kept me from eating everything.
  4. Stretch marks?: I think my belly button is getting a stretch mark. Or at least some weird red lines. But hopefully that's it!
  5. Maternity clothes?: I bought two pairs of shorts and two tops from a great consignment place, 9 in Style, last weekend. If you're in Raleigh, this gal and her sister started a little business out of her house and they have adorable, nice maternity gear for much less than what you'd pay in stores. I also had a sweet friend loan me two pairs of shorts that are SO comfortable.
  6. Sleep?: Still awful. But now I think it's more baby's fault than the sickness. I am finally feeling mostly better, still coughing occasionally at night but nothing too bad. However, I find myself waking up at around 5am most mornings to pee. Thanks a lot, kid. And to all of you who have said "get used to it" - I know, I know. But I'd much rather listen to all the women who have said "sleep while you can!". Because I do looooove sleep.
  7. Best moment last week?: Non-baby related: date night with Ben. We hadn't had an intentional date night in so long, and the weather was so nice, so we left work a little early (5:00, haha), went shopping and then tried out a new place by our house, which we really enjoyed. Baby related: getting the crib put together!!! So excited. And my sweet mother-in-law bought us a crib mattress, and waterproof sheet. I bought some Dreft baby laundry detergent (Ben's response: Baby's need their own detergent?) so I can wash her sheets this weekend and have one thing checked off my list. One thing out of 100.
  8. Food cravings?: No real changes here. Even though nothing jumps out at me, it doesn't stop me from eating all. the. time.
  9. Symptoms?: It's hard / painful to bend over now. And the iron pills (oh yes, despite not having gestational diabetes, I do have low iron) are making me slightly constipated, so that's not awesome. I've been having bouts of light-headedness in the mornings this week which makes me think my sugar may be a little low as well.
  10. Exercise?: Our yoga session ends next week, and I am really hoping to be able to sign up for a few more classes. Our co-ed soccer team started up this week and I am really sad to not be playing.
  11. Gender?: Can I just take this one out?
  12. Movement?: Sporadic during the day, active at night and becoming more active in the early mornings. The other night, we had a horrible thunderstorm and it woke me up at 5 (that, and the little one dancing on my bladder). She was going NUTS. I kept saying "surely she can't hear this thunder" but maybe she could feel the vibrations? Or someone else suggested that perhaps my heart rate was increased and she was responding to that? Also, I noticed last night that it's no longer a situation of "she's on this side" or "she's up here" - that girl is all over the place! She's getting so big, I'll feel a tap on my left and then feel a tap on my right moments later. And I felt a foot (in my ribs, nonetheless) for the first time! It was so weird.
  13. Belly button?: As I mentioned, getting some weird stretch-mark / vein type things, but still in. Do all belly buttons pop out? I'm really hoping I'm one of the lucky ones whose stays in, if that even exists.
  14. What I miss?: This nice weather is making me miss drinking bad. I just want to sit on a porch and have a beer! I did have a tiny glass of champagne yesterday at Pub Thursday, and felt my face get flushed. It's not OK to feel tipsy while you're pregnant, right?
  15. Labor signs?: No, thank goodness! Here's hoping those stay away for awhile. I had a conversation with a coworker this week about her labor / delivery experience, and she verbalized some fears I had been internalizing - what if I don't know I'm in labor? It's weird to think about, but I do!
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: Non-baby related: NC State plays Kansas in the Sweet 16 tonight! It's so late, so hopefully I'll be able to power through and not fall asleep at the sports bar. Something about 100 drunk fans makes me think that won't be a problem. Baby related: looking for a dresser this weekend. My mom ordered us a dresser from and it showed up cracked. Word to the wise, don't buy furniture from them. We're having the worst time trying to return it!
I made Ben take this one at a slightly different angle
I was tired of feeling like I was looking down
But the belly's still big, so not much changed

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recipe: Skinny Cheese Fries

When I saw this on last night, I knew I had to have it. Right then and there. It was love and first sight (and at first bite!). The post was originally blogged by Gina at Skinny Taste but, as always, I made some modifications to our liking. The sky's the limit with cheese fries - you could serve them with ketchup or sour cream instead of ranch to dip, you can top them with green onions, white onions, jalapenos, or just cheese and bacon. You could put chili on them if you're feeling really saucy! But the best part about these is that they're baked with just a tiny bit of olive oil, not deep fried, which means they work out to be around 300 calories per serving. Amazing!

This recipe is for two servings (we had it for dinner!), but you could easily multiply it for a crowd.


  • 2 medium-to-large russet potatoes, washed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 slices turkey bacon (only 25 calories each!)
  • 1/4 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • Optional: jarred jalapeno slices; 1/4 white onion, finely chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cover baking sheet with foil (for easy clean-up!) and spray lightly with cooking spray
  3. After washing your potatoes, slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices, then slice those into 1/4 inch strips
  4. In a medium bowl, coat potato strips in olive oil. Add spices, making sure to evenly coat the "fries" in oil and spices.
  5. Bake "fries" on lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes, flipping once half-way through
  6. While the fries are baking, cook and chop bacon. Prepare any other toppings you might like (ie: chop the onions or scallions)
  7. Once fries are done baking, I recommend broiling (on High) for a minute or two to make them a little bit crispier. You could flip to make sure both sides are getting broiled.
  8. Remove fries from baking pan into a small baking dish (I used an 8"x8" glass pan that worked fine but you could even do something smaller). Layer cheese, bacon and other toppings over each thin layer of fries to make sure they're all covered and smothered!
  9. Place topped fries back in the oven to broil (on High) for a few minutes. Broilers are tricky, so you'll need to check every minute or so and pull out as soon as the cheese starts bubbling.
  10. Serve with your choice of fat-free ranch or fat-free sour cream.
    I put jalapenos on my half and onions on B's half
    Because I'm sweet like that.


Friday, March 16, 2012

26 weeks, I think?

These past few weeks have been so crazy, I really had to think (and then check my app) about how many weeks we are now. The time is flying by, and the amount of work we have left to do before she gets here is not dwindling at all. You hear that, Ben? WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME! I know, I know, we have three months left but my anxiety keeps me up at night some times. Everything from matching fabric swatches to repainting the nursery to Godparents to daycare options. My husband 100% thinks I'm crazy and he's most likely at least 90% right. I really thought I would be more organized about pregnancy and the baby coming and everything, but alas, as with everything else in pregnancy, I have to give up control!
So phallic ...

  1. How far along?: 26 weeks 3 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she is 15 inches long (they're now measuring head to feet!), weighs 2.2lbs, and is the size of a cucumber. Our friend Rob has been looking forward to the vegetable change and I have to imagine he'll be as disappointed with this week's choice as I am. A cucumber? That is in no way bigger than an eggplant. I went to the grocery store and held one, they are not 15 inches long, nor are they 2 lbs in weight.
  3. Weight gain?: Holy Lord. I am embarrassed at how much I've gained and how fast. My doctor said I'm fine based on how far along in the pregnancy I am, but I am gaining in fast and furious and I am so nervous about it. Seriously, I cried a little bit. And no, I'm not telling y'all how much it is.
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see!
  5. Maternity clothes?: I need shorts! The ones I'm wearing today are hanging on by a thread (or in this case, a rubber band) and it was 88 degrees yesterday SO I'm gonna have to do something. Leggings & Jeans are not gonna cut it for this fatty.
  6. Sleep?: Awful. Mostly due to the coughing / sickness I've been fighting for over a week. I'm waking up several times a night and have even slept on the couch a few times this week.
  7. Best moment last week?: Finding out I do NOT have gestational diabetes. What a relief!
  8. Food cravings?: Since I've been sick, nothing really tastes good. That being said, I made Ben get me Chili's takeout earlier this week and I ate the chicken enchilada soup today for lunch. Oh my goodness, I could eat 6 bowls of that. Also, Reese's Peanut Butter Ice Cream treats. DELISH!
  9. Symptoms?: All the symptoms are being masked by this stupid cold. 
  10. Exercise?: Yoga-ing. Our session ends at the end of the month so I'm going to sign up for a partial session through June
  11. Gender?: Sweet little girly girl
  12. Movement?: Baby girl loves some spicy food! I don't care if they say the baby doesn't get your food until 2 hours later, as soon as I start eating spicy foods she starts going nuts. Also, she is a total daddy's girl already. She can be perfectly still and Ben will put his hand on my stomach and BAM! Hey Dad!
  13. Belly button?: Still in! I am really hoping it stays that way, honestly. I can deal with shallow, but not an outtie. 
  14. What I miss?: Cocktails. I made virgin pina coladas the other night. Not the same.
  15. Labor signs?: I thought I might be having a contraction last week, because I had a horrible debilitating pain that stopped me in my tracks, but that was it - just once. And the doctor said, as with everything I ask him about, "It's normal"
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: I feel like I say this every week, but doing more work on the nursery. We still have so much to do, and each week we put it off for something else.
You can probably see I'm sick by how swollen my eyes are.
Let's blame the sickness for how swollen my belly is, too, shall we?
For your viewing pleasure (mostly for my curiosity), I did a side by side comparison. *sigh* I think I'm getting fat-face. Here's hoping it's just the cold!

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Oh my gosh, you're getting so BIG!"

... and other stupid things you should never say to a pregnant woman

Look, I get it. Maybe you've never had a human being living inside your abdomen. Or perhaps you have, but it's been 25+ years and you've forgotten how hard it is to grapple with the increasing numbers on the scale every week. When you become pregnant, it's like everyone forgets that they can talk to you about other things besides your impending arrival. Or that you're an actual human being and not just an incubator. I'm sure I've made some of the cardinal pregnancy mistakes myself, but guess what - you don't have to! Here's a list of things you should refrain from saying to a pregnant woman, whether she's a stranger at the supermarket, a co-worker, a member of your church, or your cousin / sister-in-law / friend.

(Disclaimer: Don't worry, I'm not mad at anyone in particular. The comments are just so baffling sometimes that I had to share)

  • "You're finally starting to show!" or some other less polite way of saying you now look pregnant, instead of just fat. God only knows what they were saying before this point!
  • "Are you scared about the delivery?" I'm sorry, are there people who are totally comfortable with pushing an 8 lb human out of any of the holes in their body? It's gotta come out some how!
  • "Are you / your husband so excited?" If we weren't, do you think that's something we would be forthcoming about? Of course we're excited, but also scared shitless. And I think that's par for the course!
  • "WOW" or any other exclamation that is noticeably in response to your exponentially-increasing-waistline. My thoughts exactly, every time I see my reflection, thanks for reminding me.
  • "Be careful, because my friend had (insert horrible medical disaster) happen to her" As if you don't already have enough worry running through your mind every minute of every day. I'm really sorry that happened to your friend, but there's a 0.3% chance of it happening to me so I'd rather not dwell on the possibility.
  • "Enjoy it now" whether in reference to sleep, eating out, going to the movies, frivolous spending, vacations, etc. because your life will come to a screeching halt once the baby comes. And when you try to say otherwise, their knowing "we'll see" comments with a smirk - just adorable.
  • "I did that 20 years ago with my kids and they turned out fine" I am thrilled that your children didn't suffer any long-term damage (or worse) from a drop-side crib, being covered with a quilt, sleeping in your bed, sleeping on their stomach, etc. but infant fatality rates have dropped significantly since then and I'd like to keep it that way
  • "You can't eat that / do that / go there - it's bad for the baby!" It's amazing how many of your friends and family members come out of the woodwork with their medical degree once you're expecting. You're right, I should definitely trust you instead of my obstetrician!

Mommies-in-progress / current Mommies, please share some of the gems you've heard over the years!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Recipe: Lasagna Roll-Ups

Like the good Italian girl I am (what, like you haven't noticed my incredible hair olive-toned arms?), I LOVE pasta. Penne or fettuccine, cream sauce or tomato, with meat or with vegetables - doesn't matter. I am always in the mood for pasta. It's in my blood. When we went to Italy, all my sister wanted from the trip was to walk into a restaurant and have them bring us food until we could eat no more (hint: check out Acqua al due if you're ever in Florence, and get the "assagio" - sampler). And my mother ... well, she doesn't cook much, but she makes the most wonderful lasagna ever. It's my great grandfather's recipe and she only ever makes it on New Year's Day - pans and pans of it, for anyone who wants to come, eat, and enjoy. I've only taken on this recipe once or twice, because it is quite the undertaking, and it takes two people a very long time to eat a whole pan of lasagna, so I was thrilled with this recipe. The best part of it is that you can make as much or as little as you want! Just keep in mind that this recipe makes 8 roll-ups, which was enough for a dinner and a lunch for both of us.
  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 T fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup (approx) of tomato sauce*
*The original recipe didn't call for tomato sauce, but I feel like it would've been very dry without it. This is especially good for reheating!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat a large pot of boiling water over high heat and salt generously.
  3. When it reaches a rolling boil, boil the lasagna noodles according to the directions on the box. What's that- there's no directions? Yeah, I had the same problem. For 8 noodles, 10 minutes seemed to work. You'll want them to cook to the point of al dente, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Drain the noodles whenever the appear to be maleable.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil.
  6. Add garlic and onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add turkey and cook until almost completely brown.
  8. Add tomatoes, 1/2 the basil, oregano & crushed red pepper flakes, and reduce heat to medium low.  If you don't like spicy, be very cautious with the red pepper - a little bit goes a long way! If you want to add sauce, this is the time to do it. Then, simmer for about 15 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile (now you're multi-tasking!), beat egg in a small bowl.
  10. Add ricotta, parmesan and remaining basil & oregano, mixing all ingredients together well.
  11. Spray a glass pan with cooking spray (I used an 11x7 baking dish).
  12. Add enough of the meat mixture to lightly cover the bottom of the pain.
  13. To assemble a roll, place one generous spoonful of ricotta mixture and an even-more-generous spoonful of meat mixture on top of a drained noodle.
  14. Roll up, and place seem side down in pan. Repeat 7 more times, or however many noodles you have.
  15. Top the rolls with the remaining meat sauce, mozzarella cheese and remaining crushed red pepper.
  16. Bake 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  17. Serve with some yummy, buttery garlic bread (OK, fine, this part is optional, too. But who doesn't like garlic bread?!)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recipe: Crispy Chocolate Bars

I was stuck at home this weekend (having car trouble + a husband who's working 80 hour weeks is not a good combination) and had the urge to bake, but my ingredients were limited. Hence, this delightful EASY recipe was born and ohmygosh what a treat. So easy, so quick, and so yummy. It's like the evil twin of the rice crispy treat.
Yes, I found this "recipe" on the side of the cereal box.
Don't you come to my blog and judge me!


  • 5 cups corn flakes
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Optional: Shaved Coconut*

*Tips: The recipe called for 1 cup butterscotch chips instead of white chocolate, but I didn't have those. I'm sure they would be even more delicious. The recipe did NOT call for coconut, but my tummy did, so I put shavings on top of half the bars, because Ben doesn't like coconut. That man is crazy.

  1. Melt peanut butter and all the chocolate chips in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously and being sure not to cook too long, as it'll get all crusty.
  2. Combine corn flakes into pan - I recommend doing this in smaller portions to make stirring / combining the mixture a little bit easier
  3. Once the corn flakes are totally coated in the pb/chocolate mixture, pour all of it into a greased baking pan. You could probably use an 8x8 square glass pan or a small rectangular pan, but a 9x13 is probably going to make them too thin.
  4. If you want to add the coconut, top the bars with it now.
  5. Press down with a sheet of wax or parchment paper to condense, and leave to cool.
  6. Once completely cooled, cut into bars, and eat 17 of them with a glass of milk. It's cool, the milk makes it a healthy snack.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

25 weeks already?!

Repeat pic - it's not my fault they didn't change it!
  1. How far along?: 25 weeks exactly
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she is still the size of an eggplant. The app says she is now 9.2 inches long and 2 lbs, getting big!
  3. Weight gain?: I'm going to naively assume I haven't gained any more weight since last week, ha ha ha.
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see! Of course "as far as I can see" is getting smaller by the day.
  5. Maternity clothes?: We had a clothes swap last night and I picked up at least one new top (that I'm wearing today) that can be worn with my belly & leggings. Hooray!
  6. Sleep?: I'm able to function off less and less, but certainly made up for it this weekend. Thank you, L, for letting me sleep until almost 10 (off and on, of course).
  7. Best moment last week?: Hmm, this is tough. No real highlights. I'm continuing to struggle with our bedding options, having now ordered 3 sets that ended up a completely different color than they were online, so the best moment this week will be if / when I finally decide on something. But best moment of the past week has probably been dinner at Kanki Friday night for a good friend's birthday, I ate so much and it was amazing. Also, my mom ordered the dresser for the nursery and it should be here next week!
  8. Food cravings?: No changes on this one. A little bit of everything. Or a lot of bit - yikes! Also milkshakes, but those have been pretty consistent through the whole pregnancy.
  9. Symptoms?: My soreness down there? It was a small infection due to a cut from shaving. Ouch! So ... be careful, mamas. Just sayin'. It's becoming more painful to cross my legs, especially for long periods of time. Also, I sneezed a couple days ago and peed a little - I know, I know, I need to do more kegels. Luckily I was at home, but I was still embarrassed. Getting increasingly harder to bend over, so fat
  10. Exercise?: Yoga-ing. I'm debating about asking my doctor if I can play soccer, at least for the beginning of the season.
  11. Gender?: Judging by the tulle crib skirt I'm about to buy her, still a girl.
  12. Movement?: She is maintaining her schedule - sleep till 11am, party at 11pm. The movement seems to be less frequent or strong, maybe I'm just getting used to it.
  13. Belly button?: Shallower by the day.
  14. What I miss?: A good ol' sandwich!
  15. Labor signs?: Nope.
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: Doing some more work on her room this wknd. The closet is officially cleaned out, so hoping we can get a second bar put in there soon.
Holy belly, batman!

Friday, March 2, 2012

24 weeks

I was going to make this a two-fer, and include a recap from my baby shower over the wknd, but since my craftiness / recipeness is at a minimum these days, I need to save all the posts I can. Besides, the baby shower was too much goodness to share with a weekly update!
  1. How far along?: 24 weeks 3 days
  2. How big is baby?: According to What to Expect, she is the size of an eggplant. The app says she is 9 inches long and 1.7 lbs, which makes perfect sense because on Friday they told us she weighed 1.6 lbs. Sweet girl is measuring just a few days ahead (so pretty much right on track) except for her big head (Ben says it's for her big brain) and she's in the 54th percentile - could she be more perfect?
  3. Weight gain?: UGH 8 lbs. in 6 weeks. The doctor says it's fine but ... it's still hard to swallow (obviously not hard to swallow anything else, I'm eating everything in sight!)
  4. Stretch marks?: None, as far as I can see! I'm starting to lose sight of certain areas, so Ben will have to be the new stretch mark watch dog. I was in such a rush this morning to get read for work that I didn't do my cocoa butter ritual, so I'm certain they'll be everywhere when I get home (just kidding)
  5. Maternity clothes?: Bought even more. This really has to stop. But I've been purging old clothes, so that helps, right? Still loving (regular) leggings, but I bought some adorable red maternity jeggings - be on the lookout for those on the regular. And some more cute tops from Old Navy - ON Maternity FTW!
  6. Sleep?: Not enough, that's for sure. Work is rough, but it's good to know I still have the ability to work until 1am and function off 4 hours of sleep. 
  7. Best moment last week?: The past week was amazing (minus 60+ hours of work), so this is a tough one. L has been kicking like crazy, and Ben gets to feel her pretty much every night before bed. We had our first baby shower and got to visit with all my girlfriends from HS. And we got to have an hour long ultrasound on Friday as part of the fetal echocardiogram. So much fun to just "hang out" with our girl for so long! They measured everything and said she is absolutely perfect (we already knew that)! They did a few shots with the 3D ultrasound machine and it was amazing to see that level of detail - I think she looks like Ben! Probably my absolute favorite moment was when the u/s tech tried to poke her to get her to move (she was sleeping, per usual) and she yawned and then snuggled up on her side. Cutest thing ever. I love that baby so much I can't stand it!
  8. Food cravings?: Nothing in particular, but if I have something salty, I have to have something sweet to follow, and vise versa. Which basically means I'm eating a ton.
  9. Symptoms?: My gums bleed at the slightest thing! It's so annoying / painful. And I've been having some tooth pain that they think may need a root canal :( Cross your fingers it's not that (I have a dentist appt Thursday). Not sure if I've mentioned this, but (sorry for TMI) my nipples get so swollen. Visibly swollen. It's awful. Aaaaand I have this weird pain / tenderness / swollen area down there that apparently came from a cut. So that's really fun.
  10. Exercise?: Had to miss yoga again last week, this time to go see Portlandia (fun!) but I went this week and it was wonderful. We were never on our feet! Worked the arms and core the whole time, it was called "restorative yoga" and it was so relaxing.
  11. Gender?: They reconfirmed for us on Friday - no question about it, she is very much a girl.
    Good thing she's still a girl, we got so many cute girly outfits at the shower!
    These are a few of my favorites (from my mom)
  12. Movement?: All the time! She sleeps in until about 11, and is normally not too crazy during the day. She likes (or hates?) ice cold water and sugar. But she really gets going in the evenings, sometimes as late as 11pm. Girlfriend is not a morning person and that is all right with me.
  13. Belly button?: Oh buddy, shallower by the day.
  14. What I miss?: Kicking back with a beer. Bending over normally (and without pain).
  15. Labor signs?: Nope.
  16. What I'm looking forward to?: Doing some work on her room this wknd. My nesting has kicked in, I think, and the lack of organization in her room is making me crazy. We've just been dumping all her stuff in there and it's a DISASTER.
The second picture here is really embarrassing ...
but the first one is misleading, since the tank is not tight under my (giant) boobs
So you get both, so you have an idea of how big I really am!
No making fun ...