Wednesday, May 30, 2012

37 Weeks - Full Term

Before you go any further, let me warn you that this might not be the most positive post. I'm in a sour mood and on the verge of tears, so I'm not going to try to cover that up during this update. And so help me, if you tell me to just relax  - I'll punch you in the face. Or whatever the virtual version of face-punching is. 

I'll try to start with some positives. I hit 15K blog views last night so that's fun. We had a delicious meal with good friends, and a wonderful weekend in the sun, and I got Starbucks this morning. Um ... yeah. That's about it for now. I'm sure I'll think of something else. Or I might not today, whatever.

Before I get any more negative, let's get to the update, shall we?
  1. How far along? 37 weeks 1 day - officially full term.
  2. How big is baby? According to What to Expect, she's still the size of a watermelon, she's still anywhere from 19-22 inches long, and she's still about 6.5 lbs. She's measuring at 36 weeks, instead of 37, but she's been measuring a little bit behind for several weeks now and the doctors aren't worried. It may mean she's going to be late or that she's going to be small or that she's in a weird position. Or it may mean nothing, because that's pretty much the gist of their "guesses" these days.
    This is exactly what I needed to see right now
    Nobody puts London in a corner
  3. Weight gain? 19 lbs. I'm not excited to have gained 3lbs in two weeks but, let's be honest, I'm not going to change anything about my eating habits either. 
  4. Stretch marks? None. I did, however, notice a slight "linea negra" for the first time this wknd when I *gasp* put on a bikini. It's not that noticeable and it's mostly under my belly so other people probably didn't even really see it. And really, I just don't care at this point.
  5. Maternity Clothes? Today, wearing my regular leggings (from Express - they have a wide waist band, which is a Godsend in pregnancy!, and have been my staple throughout the whole thing) and a tunic-style blouse from H&M that I bought several months ago. It's getting questionably short in the front to be worn with leggings but - again - I just don't care (are you noticing a theme yet?).
  6. Sleep? I have finally entered the phase of waking up every night / morning to pee. I can no longer avoid it no matter how hard I try. And sometimes I get up so suddenly that it startles Ben into thinking something is wrong / has happened, which of course it hasn't. Luckily, he can fall right back asleep. I am not so lucky. I'm alternating between sleeping sitting straight up and sleeping like a normal person, depending on how bad the heartburn is.
  7. Best moment of last week? This weekend was pretty nice and relaxing, honestly. We did a lot - not in a sense of getting things done, but in a sense of just going and doing what sounded fun. The highlight for me was going to the zoo Sunday, just the two of us. The NC Zoo is pretty awesome, if you haven't checked it out.
    Baby chimpanzees at the zoo - so cute!
  8. Food cravings? Finally indulged my Indian food craving last night - it was spicy deliciousness and it absolutely hit the spot. Unfortunately it did nothing to progress the labor process, as the old wives tales say, but it was delightful and I imagine it will be for lunch today as well.
  9. Symptoms? Everything has been happening for so long at this point, I can't remember what's normal and what's because of the pregnancy. But I have a bacterial infection that I learned about this morning, which I'll be taking antibiotics for, so that's really fun.
  10. Exercise? In addition to my weekly yoga, I walked five miles on Sunday. FIVE. Without resting. Yeah, I was impressed, too. And then I was too tired to be impressed, because HELLO I'm a full-term pregnant woman who just walked five miles in the heat. Also spent some time in the pool this weekend but I don't know if that's really exercise so much as it was just waddling around.
    Jesse's pregnant, too!
  11. Movement? No changes here. We know now that she is, in fact, head down and the doctor is not at all concerned about her flipping breech so that's a good sign. Still lots of pressure in the ribs, and her body parts are becoming more difficult to identify. Heart rate has slowed to 140 and may go as low as 120 by the time she's ready to come out!
  12. Belly button? Ben is somewhat preoccupied with it. I just hate it. I also have giant blue veins along either side of my stomach (and my boobs) that I'm sure were a bit scary to those that had to witness what 9 months pregnant in a bikini looks like this weekend. I'll blame all the stares I got on those veins, and not on the fact that I'm huge and disgusting.
    If you look closely, you can see the external belly button
  13. What I miss? Today, being in check with my emotions. In general, everything.
  14. Labor signs? No sense in mentioning anything I've had to this point because it obviously means nothing. I am not even remotely dilated and my cervix is still very posterior, so if I'm having anything that I think is a contraction, it's pointless as of yet. And she's certainly not dropping.
  15. What I'm looking forward to? One less week until we meet her. Five weeks at the very most that I have to be pregnant. 
My eyes look sleepier and sleepier each week
Might as well get used to it, I guess
And then, amid my self-pity and disappointment in my current circumstances, my anxiety about the impending birth of my first born and my impatient desire to meet her, a dear friend sends a devotional that is chock-full of wonderful verses and advice, but especially this:

2 Corinthians 3:4-5, "Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God."

Praise God that He's getting me through this, His will is greater than my own, He knows the desires of my heart. Praise Him that He has given us this child, that He has chosen her and chosen us. I pray some variation of these things approximately 40 times a day but it's never enough. Praise Him for gentle reminders, just when we need them most.

Friday, May 25, 2012

36 Weeks: 9 Months?!

It's come to my attention that the way you count the length of your pregnancy is quite a hot topic among mamas-in-progress. As most people know, pregnancy is (typically) 40 weeks long. Interesting notes for non-pregnant women: Those 40 weeks start before conception occurs, so at any given time a woman could technically be "2 weeks pregnant"; Most, however, don't find out they're pregnant until around 4-5 weeks along. Anyway, I've been measuring my pregnancy pretty much the same way we measure age. For example, when you celebrate your 5th birthday, you've been alive for five full years, and you're beginning your sixth year. Not everyone equates it this way, but it makes more sense to me. 

Long story short, I have been pregnant for 36 weeks and I'm beginning my 9th month of pregnancy. Or something like that. Whatever, no matter how you slice it, it's a long freakin' time. But, as everyone keeps telling me, we're in the home stretch. At most, I'll be pregnant for another 40 days. At the very very most.

So what does it mean to be 36 weeks pregnant (AKA Huge!)?
  1. How far along? 36 weeks 3 days
  2. How big is baby? According to What to Expect, she's the size of a watermelon! HOLY COW! I definitely feel like I'm carrying around a watermelon in my abdomen these days. She's anywhere from 19-22 inches long (she has most likely reached her full birth length and is just putting on fat - hooray for chubby cheeks!) and weighs about 6.5lbs.

    What I feel like
      Slightly more accurate 
  3. Weight gain? I'm going to assume 17lbs because I haven't weighed myself or been to the doctor this week.
  4. Stretch marks? None
  5. Maternity clothes? A girl at work just asked if this was a maternity shirt because it fit so well across my belly. What's funny to me, is that Mom bought me this shirt the weekend we found out we were having a girl, and I wore it with leggings (see below). Now, I have to wear a tank underneath to make sure my belly isn't showing! But to answer the question, it's not a maternity shirt, but it's soft and cozy and pink so I love it. I am wearing maternity jeans today, these Gap jeans have done me so well.
  6. Sleep? Oh man, today is NOT the day to ask me that. I woke up at 3am because Ben was not in the bed. Wandered downstairs, no husband. Wandered back upstairs, poor thing was sick in the bathroom. And let me just tell you, I could NOT get back into good sleep. Left side, stomach gurgling. Right side, coughing from reflux. Sitting straight up, hips aching. I am exhausted today.
  7. Best moment of last week? A sales rep took us for a spa day and I got a prenatal hot stone massage on Monday - holy moly that was amazing. 
  8. Food cravings? The weird thing is, I never really know what I want. But I still eat, even if I'm not hungry, and then I end up too full and having my typical horrible heartburn. 
  9. Symptoms? I had an awful calf cramp this morning, not sure if that counts. On a recommendation from a co-worker, I started seeing a chiropractor this week to try to help with the rib pain. Turns out, my hips were out of line, so hopefully the adjustment will help make sure everything is in optimal position to let this kid out. Go towards the light, London!
  10. Exercise? We had a substitute teacher in yoga this week and she kicked my butt a bit. She kept thinking I was only in my second trimester for some reason, and gave me (and the other 36-weekers) a high-five when we told her how far along we were. Killing it with the wall sits and squats! I'm also trying to walk more, and doing stretches in the evenings if I start to get uncomfortable on the couch.
  11. Movement? I've heard that baby's movement typically slows when you get close to delivery, and if that's true, we are no where close. Lately, I can tell she's getting really cramped in there because the stretching and rolling movements, while not sharp, are painful. My stomach has been really tight, with more braxton hicks contractions. Not exactly fun.
  12. Belly button? It's just so weird. It's not completely protruding, it just seems to have given up hope. I really really hate seeing it through my shirts.
  13. What I miss? This list is too long. I'm just ready for this monster to be here!
  14. Labor signs? I have been having pains every so often that I think are maybe contractions but nothing regular or significant. 
  15. What I'm looking forward to? The long weekend! Hoping to get in some pool time, a cookout with friends, and I'm really trying to convince Ben that we should go to the zoo.
21 weeks - I miss that tiny belly!
36 weeks - Getting huge

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Letters to London: The Art of Negotiation

"Some teachers are trying to low-ball me, Daddy. And I know how you say, 'Never accept a first offer,' so I figure these grades are just a jumping off point to start negotiations." 
-Cher, Clueless*
Baby Girl,

I want to be your friend, and I would love to, someday, be considered your best friend, but first and foremost, I want to be your mother. Sometimes that will mean I say or do things you don't like - I guaran-damn-tee you'll do or say things I don't like, too. Sometimes you will think (or even say!) that you hate me. That will be awful for me, but it is part of life. However, as your mother, I do not want to get into the habit of negotiations. What I say goes, and I plan to use - often - "Because I said so!" as rationale for any decisions I make.

But just this one time, I'd like to make a deal with you.
Because desperate times call for desperate measures and I just cannot be pregnant until July.

If you come on time, I will:
  • Eat wherever you want for dinner on your birthday each year
  • Take you on vacations
  • Do your hair
  • Schedule regular doctor and dentist appointments for you
  • Get pony rides for your first birthday party
  • Pierce your ears when you ask
  • Hold you until you fall asleep if you're sick or have a bad dream
  • Allow whatever color rubber bands you want on your braces
  • Regret making silly promises to a little girl who's not even here yet
  • Love you forever
Please. For the love of all things holy. Even if it's just this one time in your life ... do your mama a kindness and be on time?

And not just because I don't want to be pregnant until July.
But because your Daddy and I just cannot wait to meet you.

All my love,
Your Mom

*PS: I cannot wait until you are old enough to watch Clueless. It's pretty much the greatest movie of all time. When my friends and I were younger, we used to have sleepovers and crimp each other's hair (long after it was cool) and watch it. We all know, pretty much, the entire script. I once had an Easter outfit - that I made! - inspired by Cher. Yeah, it's that good.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipe: Penne Rosa with Shrimp

After several failed recipes recently, this one was a big win. Pretty easy, and makes a ton of food - so I froze the leftovers to have after baby comes and I don't feel like cooking! Trying to do more of that, and not doing the greatest job so far... You could easily halve the recipe if you're only cooking for two people / don't want leftovers.


  • 1 box penne pasta (most likely 16 oz)
  • 1 bag medium raw shrimp, thawed and peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (or more, if you like spicy! a little goes a long way)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup alfredo sauce
  • Parmesan cheese to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Cook and drain the pasta according to the box
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat
  3. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to skillet; cook for about 2 minutes (until garlic begins to soften, but not brown!)
  4. Add in tomatoes, salt and pepper; cook for about 5 minutes (until tomatoes release juices)
  5. Turn up heat to medium-high and add shrimp; cook for 2 minutes (until shrimp are pink and opaque)
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Rip spinach leaves from stems and add to skillet; cover and let steam for 2 minutes (until spinach is wilted)
  8. Place skillet back over low heat; add pasta, tomato sauce and alfredo sauce and stir until everything is coated and heated through
  9. Serve and top with parmesan cheese

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Recipe: Key Lime Ice Cream Sandwiches

I'm torn on these. I liked them, but I'm not sure many people would. You have to really be in the mood for lime. But if you're craving something sweet and don't want the calories, they will hit the spot. The original recipe is for just two, but I made a ton for a cookout - I think I multiplied everything by 6?


  • 3 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 9 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp rose's sweetened lime juice (you can find it near the soft drinks, but regular lime juice will do the trick if you have it already!)
  • 1 box graham crackers

  1. Mix the yogurt, sugar and lime juice in a bowl until smooth
    This isn't exactly smooth
    Maybe if you use a hand mixer?
  2. Freeze for approximately 1 hour or until taking a more solid consistency (but not frozen solid!)
  3. Place half the graham crackers on a tray or cookie sheet, cinnamon side down
  4. Scoop a hearty spoonful of the yogurt mixture onto each cracker (about 1/8 - 1/4 cup each)
  5. Cover each with another cracker, smooshing slightly to even out the yogurt mixture
  6. Return to freezer for at least 1 hour or until frozen through

It's that easy!

PS - I didn't really take any pictures while I was making this one, so here's a photo from the original recipe

Monday, May 21, 2012

Maternity Photos

which could also be called we are so blessed to have such talented friends

A few weeks ago, our good friend Emily did a maternity photo session for us. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and we wandered around Fletcher Park and laughed and were silly and had a great time.

Emily is a phenomenal photographer - she also did our Christmas card picture when we announced the pregnancy! And she is doing a newborn session for us after L is born as our baby gift - seriously, could she be any more awesome / generous?

But back to the maternity photos. She was wonderful, and it was so nice to just be comfortable with her and not feel stiff or posed the whole time. She took my ideas (most of which I've gotten from Pinterest, of course) and had plenty of her own, and I think we came out with some great results. Here were our favorites (apologies to those of you who have already seen them on Facebook):

Friday, May 18, 2012

Recipe: Birds Nests / Breakfast Cups

Which could also be called "preggers still cooks occasionally"

I've had these pinned for a long time and a farewell celebration for our dear friend Kim seemed like a good excuse to try them out. Kim is the queen of breakfast casserole, and I equated these to be somewhat of a mini-casserole, so it works. They got rave reviews at our get-together and 22 of the 24 were eaten, so I'd say they were a success. Also, thinking ahead, this will be a great tailgate alternative to the traditional breakfast casserole, as you don't need silverware!

FYI: This recipe makes 24 cups ... because that's all I had baking tins for. Also, silicone muffin pans worked WAY better than metal ones.


  • 15 oz frozen shredded hashbrowns
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (separated into 2 1/3 cup portions)
  • 8 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 14-16 Eggs, slightly scrambled

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease muffin tins with cooking spray
  2. Mix hashbrowns with salt, pepper, olive oil and 1/3 cup cheese in a large bowl
  3. Divide hashbrowns evenly among muffin tins, pressing slightly into bottom of cup
  4. Bake 18 minutes
  5. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees
  6. Divide eggs evenly among muffin tins, making sure there is enough to cover hashbrowns
  7. Divide bacon, then additional shredded cheese, evenly among muffin tins to top eggs
  8. Bake 16 minutes
  9. Let cool slightly and use a knife to slide around before removing from muffin pan - this is where the silicone baking pan comes in handy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

35 week: addendum

I feel like everything that happened after my blog post yesterday warrants an additional update. Sorry for the boring baby posts lately, but I have been pretty unimpressed with my most recent new recipe adventures, so they're not going up on the blog. And the crafting has been seriously lacking - I'm the worst mom ever.

Anyway, a few highlights:

Follow-up Doctor Appointment
I had a check-up at my doctor's office yesterday as a follow-up to the hospital visit on Friday. Not sure why, because all they really told me is, "it's normal," (every pregnant woman's favorite phrase). But, since I was already in the office, the nurse checked my hemoglobin levels (They're only up from 11.3 to 11.5! I have to double my iron pills, boo!) and Dr. Munro did my Strep B test - which involves a long cotton swab in the hoohah and one in the butthole. Super fun. I mean, whatever, it's not the most uncomfortable thing that's happened to me since being pregnant, but it's ... uninvited ... to say the least. I guess they'll call me with the results or let me know at my next appointment, but if it's positive they'll run an antibiotic through my IV during delivery. As many as 1 in 4 women test positively for Strep B - typically, as carriers, adults exhibit no symptoms but it can be dangerous for the baby - so it's good that they're testing! Dr. Munro measured my fundal height, which they've done every appointment since we hit 30 weeks I think. Per usual, I'm sure I'm overreacting, but little London has me a little worried. Here's my concern:
Week   Measurement
30               31
32               32
 34             33'4
35               34
They normally don't get concerned as long as the measurement is within 2-3 cm of the gestational age, which she is, but the growth appears to be slowing. Dr. Munro acknowledged my concerns and said that if she's not continuing on-pace at the next appointment, she'll do an ultrasound - I love doctors who don't treat me like I'm crazy. I appreciate your prayers that our next appointment will reveal the monster is growing like she should be so mama can stop worrying about our peanut. She was a little concerned that the baby was transverse (meaning across my belly instead of head down like she should be) so she did a quick vaginal check - again, super fun. Like there's not enough going on in there! Good news is, London has remained head down, and my cervix is very soft. No dilation, no effacement, and the cervix is still posterior - so we are not worried about her coming any time soon! All in all, it was a fine appointment; though I'm a little disappointed that we don't go back for two more weeks, I guess it makes sense since there is no reason to worry about her coming early. Dr. Munro's only suggestion for my chest pressure / shortness of breath / other fun symptoms is to sleep sitting up. I tried propping my pillows up last night but didn't feel like it made a real difference.

End of Baby Classes
I could write a whole blog just about our birthing class, but I won't. Let me just say, if you are a first time parent, take the class. It covered everything from early labor symptoms to c-sections to bathing your baby and pretty much everything in between. I enjoyed most of the people in our class, and loved our teacher, and I am really really glad we took them. We're now totally qualified to have a baby! (kidding). Between those classes and the hospital visit, I think Ben & I are both way more prepared. I mean, as prepared as we can be, right? I think the biggest thing I took away from the class, aside from just overall education about the process, is the knowledge of our options and alternatives to help cope with labor pains. It's allowed us to have some difficult conversations and identify priorities, fears, preferences, etc. Three months ago, I would've asked for the epidural as soon as I walked in the door, but now I really feel like I know all the benefits and risks that come with a procedure of that nature and hopefully I'll be in a state of mind where I can make the best decision for me and London. I'm also asking for prayers about our whole birth process, that Ben & I will be able to work with the hospital staff to make informed decisions that will give us the best experience possible and - most importantly - result in a healthy baby and healthy mama.

I think that's all for now. Oh, two quick pregnancy confessions: I burned this in the crock pot last night and had a ham sandwich for lunch. Gigantic fail x2.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

35 weeks

Well, little miss gave us quite a scare on Friday. Ben stayed home with a cough that he picked up in San Diego, so I drove into work by myself, feeling fine. Within a half hour, I was noticing some shortness of breath, blurred vision, dizziness, etc. I was in a meeting, trying to look down at my phone to text Ben about how I was feeling, and couldn't focus on the buttons - everything was spinning. I left the meeting to get a glass of ice water and leave a message with the nurse line, expecting them to give me the typical, "it's normal, drink water and rest," song and dance, but instead the nurse sounded concerned and asked me to come in. So, I grabbed my things, told my boss I'd probably be back within an hour or two, and headed to my appointment - still feeling pretty awful. The non-stress test revealed that baby was fine, but I had now progressed to vomiting from the pressure and headache from the dizziness, so the doctor felt like it was necessary for me to be checked out at the hospital. Ben met me there, and they quickly got me back into a bed, hooked up to fetal monitoring, contraction monitoring and blood pressure monitoring, gave me an IV and did some blood work. Dr. Segal was on-call, whom I love, and he started throwing around words like "pre-eclampsia" and "pulmonary embolism". As scary as it was, it was honestly reassuring to know he was being as thorough as possible and not just waving me off with normal pregnancy wear and tear. Needless to say, we were there for 13+ hours before finally being told that the culprit is most likely the baby putting pressure on my diaphragm and I'm probably just going to have to deal with these symptoms for the coming weeks. Awesome. But the silver lining was that the whole ordeal gave us a taste of what the hospital experience is going to be like, and it kicked us into gear to get things done to prepare for whenever she does come. And of course, the only thing that matters is that she is fine (heart rate never dipped below 150) and I am - seemingly - fine as well. No high blood pressure, my cervix isn't dilated, everything appears normal. I have a follow-up appointment this afternoon but I'm not sure how much they can actually tell me or do for me at this point.

Whew, that was long. Onto our 35 week recap!
  1. How far along? 35 weeks today!
  2. How big is baby? According to What to Expect, she's still the size of a large cantaloupe and still 19-22 inches long, but now weighs as much as 6lbs. These next few weeks, she'll be packing on the pounds - and it shows, my belly is getting huge! I have a feeling she's pretty long because Dr. Segal did a vaginal exam on Friday and could feel her head, while I'm still feeling feet pushing on my ribs (hence the shortness of breath). 
    luckily it's just one cantaloupe in my belly!
  3. Weight gain? As of Friday, still 16 lbs. Judging by how my belly looks this week, I feel like that's going to go up today. The nurse did comment on some swelling in my legs (even though I can't tell by looking at them), so I've started taking my rings off at night just in case.
  4. Stretch marks? None, but I did find a gross, dark spider vein on the back of my knee. The kind that fat people have. I'm officially fat.
  5. Maternity clothes? Today is a regular-clothes kinda day - linen pants (with an elastic waist!) and a v-neck t-shirt from target. I even wore my favorite pre-pregnancy jeans on Friday - buttoned, zipped and comfortable. I know, I was as shocked as you are.
  6. Sleep? Well, last night was terrible. I've been so blessed to still be able to sleep 5-6 hours at a time without having to get out of bed, but last night I had horrible heartburn, Ben was snoring, and I was tossing and turning until 4am, pleading with God to please, just let me rest and I promise not to ask for anything else this week. Lesson learned: no more chili cheese fries for me.
  7. Best moment last week? I had such a sweet mother's day weekend, Ben really went overboard on spoiling me. He detailed my car and installed the car seat on Saturday, then Sunday I woke up to breakfast in bed and some pool-related gifts for me and the girl (did I mention we're joining a pool for the summer?! so excited!), and the sweetest hand-written card that made me cry. We had lunch with his family, and they brought over a huge bag of gifts - including news that our stroller has been ordered! I feel so great about having pretty much everything we need for her arrival. Ben & his dad installed a new ceiling fan and the Ben made dinner for me Sunday night - it was such a great weekend of being taken care of, I'm such a lucky gal.
    so weird to see this every time I look in my rear view mirror
  8. Food cravings? Still wanting spicy, Indian food but I'm holding out until 37 weeks - I know it's an old wive's tale, but you never know!
  9. Symptoms? Still lactating (so weird) but not enough to worry about during the day. Slight leg swelling / cramping at night. The past few days I've had some pretty rough butt, hip and lower back pain, which has been no fun. 
  10. Exercise? Really looking forward to yoga this week, to hopefully help with the butt pain. Need to start walking in the evenings to get this little girl down and away from my ribs!
  11. Movement? No real changes here.
  12. Belly button? About the same. I'm still trying to wear tanks under everything so you can't see it through my shirt.
  13. What I miss? Sleep, being comfortable, bending over, normal life.
  14. Labor signs? I was having contractions Friday - ones that I could feel and showed up on the monitor! I panicked a little but Dr. Segal said it's nothing to worry about as long as they're not coming with any kind of regularity, which they weren't. The vaginal check revealed that her head is down, cervix is soft but still closed.
  15. What I'm looking forward to? Hmm... we don't really have anything planned for the remaining weeks! Which is awesome, so hopefully I'm looking forward to sleep, resting with my feet up, etc. I painted the letters to hang above her crib, so I think this weekend I'm looking forward to hanging up those and some framed prints on her walls - getting the nursery to a point that I can post pictures for all of you :) Oh, and finishing packing all our bags and installing the other base in Ben's car. I'm not letting it be put in until his vehicle is clean as well - sorry Lucy, no more car rides for you, little lady.  Speaking of Lucy, I think she knows something is up. She has been getting on the furniture lately, which she's NEVER been allowed to do at our house. Not sure if it's just in follow-up to staying with Ashleigh and Scott for a few days, but it's driving us crazy. 

the scarf is misleading
the belly is now starting to stick straight out!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Letters to London: Jill of All Trades

Baby Girl,
You should know something about your mom. I am not "good" at a lot of things. I am proficient at quite a few things, but I'm not the expert sewer or crafter or photographer or ... anything really. I'm not great at doing hair or makeup, or picking out stylish outfits. I'm not the resident Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint go-to at work. I don't make gourmet meals or keep an immaculate house or send out thank you notes as quickly as I should. But I'd like to think I'm well-rounded, and I'd like to think you will be too. Between me and your daddy, we have a lot going on that we can pass along to you. And you can be better than either of us at any of these things, which is awesome.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I want you to pave your own way. I want you to be well-rounded and learn a little about a lot of things. I want you to take dance lessons and play on a soccer team and sing in the choir at church. And then, if after a year you decide you don't like any of those things, I want you to try out for basketball and learn how to sew and twirl a baton. I want you to find what works for you, not because your mama or daddy did it or like it or want you to. That can be a lot of things or that can be one thing. But stick with it - don't give up on your violin lessons because you don't get first chair, and don't give up on playing softball because you don't make the team.

Do something because you love it, and eventually you will be good at it. Or not, but hey - you love it, and you're having fun, so what does it matter?

There might be times when you feel like we're pressuring you to keep doing something you don't want to do, and I'm sorry if you ever feel like that, but if there's one thing your dad will not do, it's allow his little girl to be a quitter. So if you come home from cheerleading* practice and you don't want to go anymore because you weren't placed in the front row of the competition routine, tough luck kiddo. You'll go back the next day and the day after that because a) you won't always be the best, and b) you aren't going to let down your team. And then, at the end of the season, if you decide you really want to start learning how to do rhythmic gymnastics or synchronized swimming or something, then we can chat.

This was a bit of a random one, but I love you all the same,

*disclaimer: the jury is still out on whether or not London will be allowed to cheer. I know the evils of competitive cheerleading, and the baby prostitutes it produces, and the injuries that ensue, so I'm going to have to think long and hard about it if that's something she shows an interest in.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

34 weeks - it's go time

Now now, don't get excited. What I mean is that, when we had our 34 week check-up this week (which was actually 33w6d because Ben & I took Monday off to recover from our California trip), the doctor we saw (Dr. Munro, who is back after having her baby just 6 weeks ago, looks amazing, and is awesome - we'd be totally comfortable having her deliver us) said that 34 weeks is the landmark where "they" say it's safer to let labor happen naturally rather than medically intervene to stop it. Babies born at 34 weeks have the same survival rates as those born at 40 weeks, and it's more dangerous for me and the baby to try to stop labor than it would be to let my body do it's thing, so there's no turning back now - whenever she decides she's ready, she's coming! Everyone keeps asking me if that's scary, but it's actually super exciting ... I cannot wait to meet this kid. And selfishly, I can't wait to not be pregnant anymore but that's just a bonus. Anyway, it's not really a huge deal because there is no indication she's coming anytime soon, but just something to think about over the next 6-8 weeks.

So, what does it mean to be 34 weeks?

1. How far along? Well, technically, 34 weeks and 2 days. Just over 85% done.
2. How big is baby? According to What to Expect, she's the size of a large cantaloupe - yum! Baby is anywhere from 19-22 inches long (still thinking she is on the long side of that) and weighs about 5.5 lbs (thinking she's probably on the smaller side of that one). She's like a real baby, y'all!
This is creepy
But it's the best I could find of someone holding a cantaloupe

3. Weight gain? 16 lbs, up one pound since my last appointment two weeks ago (despite the California vacation!). Looks like, pending any ridiculous water retention or extreme last-month-weight-gain, I'll be staying under 25 lbs total and I feel really good about.
4. Stretch marks? Still none that I can tell! Of course my butt and thighs are currently in a state that is less than desirable, but I think it's just cellulite - not actual stretch marks. Heyyyy fattyyyyy.
5. Maternity clothes? Even my maternity pants are starting to get tight! I am wearing a maternity top and skinny jeans from Old Navy today - yesterday I was wearing all "regular" clothes so I decided to balance it out. I think I did surprisingly well making it through all the bridesmaid festivities this past weekend with appropriate attire despite being SO pregnant - everyone loved my maternity bridesmaid dress!
The groomsman I walked with, at the rehearsal
Jenny & all her bridesmaids on the beach

6. Sleep? AWFUL, though not my fault or baby's. Ben came down with a cold on our trip (which he blames on me running the A/C in the hotel room) and he has been coughing all night. In my face. Awesome. I've been begging him to call our doctor because the Nyquil is just not cutting it.
7. Best moment last week? We had a wonderful trip to California, and I was so thrilled and honored to be a part of Jenny's wedding. She was such a lovely, laid-back bride and I had a really nice time being with her and the rest of the bridesmaids. Lots of giggling, girly time, etc. One of my favorite moments was having lunch at George's in La Jolla with the girls I went to high school with - yummy shrimp tacos, sunshine, a beautiful view and girl talk - nothing better! Another great moment - baby related - was getting her bathtub from our good friend Cristian. I've been using the Sprout app and they have a "newborn essentials" checklist - this was one of the things still missing from that list, and if you know me then you know how much I love to check things off a list!
Our view from lunch.
Can you say gorgeous?
Also, can you say sunburn?

8. Food cravings? Candy - chocolate chocolate and more chocolate. I had a peanut butter snickers AND a coconut three musketeers while we were waiting at the airport on Sunday. Ice cream. Cherry coke (finally indulged this morning - yum!). Oh, this is a great - Friday, we were at the grocery store near our hotel, and I was waiting for Ben to get some beer for the room, and then ... I spotted the bakery section. And there was this delicious-looking yellow cake with chocolate icing (my favorite these days). But it was only a half-cake, so that's ok right? Anyway, big surprise, I bought the cake, and I ended up bringing it to the hotel the day of the wedding and the bride had part of it for breakfast - so my pregnancy indulgences worked for good, not evil! Everyone deserves to have cake and champagne for breakfast on their wedding day, right?!
9. Symptoms? OMG y'all. I know I'm well past the point of apologizing for TMI, but ... this is a wild one. I have started lactating. I mean, just a little bit, and mostly just at night, but still. SO WEIRD. In more positive news, I've started using an exercise ball instead of my desk chair and it's making a world of difference for my ribs. Still pain / pressure, but way better than it was. So a big THANK YOU to Jesse for loaning it to me.
10. Exercise? Yoga 1x week. I NEED to start walking more ... and I am, some, but I need to do more. And I've been trying to stand up during meetings to help with the rib pain, so that counts for something, right? I want her to be able to drop into position whenever she's ready, and me sitting in a chair all day isn't going to do her any favors.
11. Movement? Still pretty solid, hiccups are becoming slightly less frequent but I'd say at least every other day. More braxton hicks these days, which aren't uncomfortable - just weird.
12. Belly button? It's disappearing day by day. And I've noticed that it actually shows through my clothes in 3D, so I'm trying to wear a tank or belly band underneath to prevent everyone from being grossed out.
13. What I miss? Sleep. Sushi. All the normal pregnancy stuff. I had a delicious half-glass of sangria at Jenny's wedding so I guess I'm not missing alcohol as much now. I did find out that there are no food restrictions during breast-feeding, so somebody better be bringing mama a big ol' thing of sushi grade tuna to the hospital room. There's a sushi place right next door ... just sayin'.
14. Labor signs? None - minus the fact that she's still head-down. Next appointment they'll do a cervical check hopefully, and let me know if I'm starting to efface or dilate. Not that it necessarily means much if I am, but I'd love to have a little progress.
15. What I'm looking forward to? Getting some of our little last minute details taken care of this weekend. I've been putting off things like getting the car seat installed and packing our hospital bags (mostly out of fear / denial) but it's time. And I'm thrilled to be DONE with traveling - no more out of town trips planned until August!
sleepy eyes - thanks to Ben

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

33 weeks AND My 100th Blog Post!

1. How far along? 33 weeks 1 day
2. How big is baby? According to What to Expect, she is the size of a pineapple (I'm assuming this includes the green top). She's anywhere from 19-22 inches long (probably on the higher side of that if she's like her mama - I was 22.75" when I was born!) and weighs about 4.9 lbs - holy cow, getting so close to 5 lbs!

3. Weight gain? Assuming I'm at 16 lbs given my recent pound-a-week progress
4. Stretch marks? None - still very thankful for this
5. Maternity clothes? Today I'm wearing a maternity tee from Gap that my mom bought me months ago and some maternity shorts that I got from 9 In Style maternity consignment. But yesterday I was wearing a top and leggings from Express, neither of which is maternity, so I'd say I'm still mixing it up pretty well.
6. Sleep? Still in the ridiculous routine of sleeping on the couch for a few hours, then up for at least 30 minutes whenever Ben wakes me to come to bed, then sleeping until about 7 normally and forcing myself to stay in bed for another 30 minutes. The middle-of-the-night waking actually helps because it means I can go from 1 or 2am to 7am without having to pee - nice work, L.E.
7. Best moment last week? Our wonderful co-ed shower! Our sisters and Ben's mom did such a great job planning it, and we had SO many friends and family come out to celebrate with us. What a huge blessing!! I spent the day with my mom and best friend, who both drove 4 hours to be there, indulging ourselves in massages, coffee (decaf, of course), hair appointments, shopping, lunch and nails. I couldn't have asked for a better day!
8. Food cravings? I was really craving Indian food (there's a place in Morrisville that I'm obsessed with) but settled for Thai and it was delicious (coconut curry FTW). Other than that, nothing really out of the norm... although I did try to dip my chips in mustard and mayo yesterday ... don't worry, I didn't like it.
9. Symptoms? No relief from the rib pain, that now circles all the way around my back. The massage helps some but there's only so much they can do. I am, however, scheduled for two more massages between now and the due date, which is amazing. Also, just this week I've had three different strangers comment on me being pregnant, which really hasn't happened to this point unless I'm holding my belly. Guess there's no turning back now!
10. Exercise? Yoga
11. Movement? She's been more active this week, still pressing her feet up into my ribs (Ben was tickling them last night) but also stretching and kicking around. Nothing painful as long as it's not in my ribs. Still getting the hiccups all the time!
12. Belly Button? Ugh. This is a sad one. My belly button is starting to become external. It's tragic. So tragic that I took photos. WARNING: Not for the faint of heart. Also, do you see how hairy it is?! I didn't get the linea negra but all the fine hairs on my belly stick straight out now.
13. What I miss? Hmm ... nothing that hasn't already been mentioned, I guess! It's been a great week, so I can't complain.
14. Labor Signs? None!
15. What I'm looking forward to? My friend Jenny's wedding this weekend in San Diego! It's the last week I can travel and I am so excited to be a part of the wedding. Taking a copy of my records, of course - just to be safe!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Recipe: Not-Really-Beef Enchiladas

I debated about posting this recipe, because I wasn't crazy about it. However, husband's raves outweighed my hesitation so here it is. Ben said it was one of his favorite dishes that I've ever made - I was shocked, but who am I to argue with a hungry husband? I got the recipe from Recipe Girl, via Pinterest. My biggest suggestion would be to use a bit more seasoning in the ground turkey!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
    (y'all know I don't cook with ground beef, but if that's what you're into... go ahead. have fun draining all that grease)
  • 1.5 cup diced onion
    (I used half a large white onion)
  • 1.5 cups finely diced zucchini (I hate zucchini but you could use green pepper here)
  • 8-12 tortillas
    (I used 8 flour tortillas but the small corn ones would work too, just have 12)
  • 2.5 cups enchilada sauce
    (I've made it from scratch before - not worth it)
  • 3 cups cheddar-jack shredded cheese
  • Desired garnish (shredded lettuce, avocado or guacamole, cilantro, sour cream, etc)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray (I used two smaller pans so I could freeze one - gotta prepare for baby, y'all)
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add turkey, breaking apart while it browns to crumble the meat. Saute on medium heat until almost cooked through (about 5 minutes)
    Ground turkey = no grease to drain
  4. Add 1 tbsp cumin, salt & pepper to taste, and diced onions to meat and continue to cook until the onions begin to soften (about 3 minutes)
  5. Add 1/2 cup sauce to the glass pan, spreading around to coat the bottom
  6. Spoon 1/3 cup meat mixture down the middle of the tortilla, topping with 2 tbsp cheese and 1 tbsp enchilada sauce
    Yes, that's an O'Doul's in the background
    Sometimes mama needs a beer! 
  7. Wrap tortilla tightly around the filling, placing it seam-side down in the pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas, placing side-by-side tightly in pan(s)
  8. Top with half remaining cheese and all of remaining enchilada sauce
    I used one small rectangular pan and an 8x8 square pan
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes
  10. Remove foil. Top with remaining cheese and return to oven until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes)