Let’s get this potty started!

OhCrapPottyTrainingDisclaimer: I am not an expert on potty training in any way, shape or form. This is simply the way I went about training my firstborn using the “two-day” method.

Well, we did it. We started potty training Henry. I have been debating when to make the jump for a few months now, and have been reading Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki (self-proclaimed “Pied Piper of Poop”). It basically condenses a year’s worth of traditional potty training WAY down. Here’s the general idea behind the book/theory:

Your child is probably ready to be potty trained EARLIER than you think (ideally, between 20–30 months), and it can be done FASTER than you expect (most kids get the basics in a few days—but Jamie’s got you covered even if it takes a little longer).

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Week 18: New wardrobe, showing off the bump and pizzas on the grill

This week’s fruit/veggie is not very fun… Can’t they think of something better than a sweet potato? Anyway, I tried to find the most attractive photo I could for this week’s cover photo.

There are only THREE WEEKS remaining until we can find out the gender of the baby!! Get your votes in using the poll in the sidebar before our big reveal (current results show that most of you think it will be a girl)!

If you have been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that I went on a crazy shopping spree this weekend, and basically bought myself a whole new wardrobe of maternity clothes. I wore one of my new dresses to Wicked for our two-year anniversary (the blue one in the photo), but I also got tank tops, camis, work shirts and pants, shorts, jeans and a few more dresses. I’ll try and post photos every time I wear a new outfit. And look for a bump photo this week too – I am seriously slacking in that area.

I also inherited some new books from one of Geoff’s cousins (From the Hips, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy and Eating Well When You’re Expecting), and I can’t wait until I have some free time to sit down and really read them. I’ve actually contemplated buying each one of them at one point or another. Have you read them? Did you find them worthwhile?

This week according to What to Expect:

You might start to feel your baby moving around anytime now, which is a great way to take your mind off your bothersome back.

Your Baby in Week of 18 of Pregnancy

Your pregnancy back pain may have you tied up in knots (see below), but your baby’s getting ready to bust a move. At five and a half inches long and five ounces in weight, he now may be large enough for you to feel him twisting, rolling, kicking, and punching his way around the womb. Plus, he’s developing yawning and hiccupping skills (you may feel those soon, too!) and his own unique set of toe and fingerprints.

Your Body in Week 18 of Pregnancy

Oh, my aching back! If you’ve uttered those words more than once this week, here’s why: Your uterus, now about the size of a cantaloupe, is causing your body’s center of gravity to shift, pulling the lower back forward and pushing the abdomen out (so now everyone can see that you’re pregnant!). On top of all that, joint-loosening pregnancy hormones are wreaking havoc on your muscles and ligaments, adding up to one big ouch!

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Grilled Pizza with Sausage, Onions and Peppers

Courtesy of Weight Watchers (6 Points+)

This is a great version of a healthy pizza that you can make on the grill (or on a panini press), so it’s perfect for the summer! Feel free to swap out the toppings if you prefer other veggies or meat, but keep in mind that it will change the Points+ value if you are doing Weight Watchers.

6 oz cooked chicken sausage(s), about 2 links, halved and thinly sliced
1 small uncooked red onion, cut into thin slivers
1 small yellow pepper, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup store-bought pizza sauce
4 medium whole-wheat tortillas
1 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Step 1: Preheat an outdoor grill to medium (or a grill pan over medium-high heat). Place sausage, onion and pepper on grill in a grill basket; cook, flipping once, until sausage is golden and vegetables start to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside until ready to use.
Step 2: To prepare pizzas, spread 2 tablespoons of sauce on each tortilla. Sprinkle each with 1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano and then top each with 1/4 of sausage-vegetable mixture; top each with 3 tablespoons of cheese.
Step 3: Place pizzas on grill (or as many as will fit on grill pan at one time) and cook until edges begin to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes; rotate pizzas. Continue cooking until cheese is bubbly, about 2 to 4 minutes more. Yields 1 pizza per serving.

Week 15 Update: WIAW and a Cheesy Quinoa

WOO! Made it to Week 15! Only six more weeks until we find out if we are having a little Geoff or a little Jenny!! If you haven’t already, take the poll to make your predictions.

Luckily, I just had my 6-month dentist appointment and I’m not experiencing any of the dental pregnancy symptoms mentioned below in the What to Expect section. Other than feeling a little larger than usual I feel basically normal. I have regained a lot of the energy I lost in the first trimester (I can stay up past 9:00 now!) and I hardly ever feel queasy. I’ve had a little lower back pain, so I’m going to ask my doctor about it at the next appointment, but it seems like it is pretty normal.Fit Pregnancy Magazine

I recently picked up an issue of Fit Pregnancy, and I actually really like it. I’m sure all the information in it can be found online, but then I’d have to search around for it. I like having it all in one place. Plus, all the information is really helpful! I actually read it from cover to cover (which I never do with magazines). It also has info for preconception and after the birth, so I will probably continue reading it.

On the exercise front, I have been going on tiny bike rides (usually just around the block since it has been so cold/rainy) and I’m planning on checking out a prenatal yoga class tonight. I’m pretty nervous about it since I’ve never done yoga in my life, but everyone I’ve talked to has said it is amazing and that they would highly recommend it. So wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m going to start doing a new thing that a lot of other blogs already do: WIAW. This stands for “What I Ate Wednesday,” and (for me at least) it will be a weekly recipe and possibly some other food-related stuff.

And so, without further ado, here’s my first WIAW:

Pretty much every lunch since that fateful day (when I had to order a bridesmaid dress in a size 18W) I have eaten a simple salad for lunch. That includes a bowlful of fresh spinach leaves, half of a tomato and some of my favorite Greek vinaigrette dressing (seriously, it is so good). Since I’m lucky enough to be able to have a mini fridge in my office, I’m able to bring a container of spinach leaves with me to the office and just leave it there so I don’t have to pack a lunch every morning. In my opinion, the best containers for storing any type of veggie are Tupperware’s FridgeSmart containers. There are two vents that allow airflow to whatever is stored inside, and there is a chart on the side of the container that tells you to keep both vents closed, open, or one open and one closed to keep your food fresh longer.

I know I should have some protein along with my spinach salad, but I am never in the mood for chicken/other meat at lunch. I usually opt for a Greek yogurt instead. These little babies are so good, and I love the Yoplait kind that have fruit on the bottom and granola on top.

I have a fruitbowl at my office that I’m able to keep fully stocked thanks to our subscription to Fruitshare, so I usually grab some type of fruit to have along with my salad and yogurt. I also have fruit for my two daily snacks, sometimes along with a granola bar, or something similar.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Parmesan Garlic Quinoa

Courtesy of Laura at Beauty & The Beard

This was a really delicious, filing dish. I’m not sure I’m going to give up Mac & Cheese like Laura claims in her recipe, but I will definitely make this again! Both Geoff and my sister really liked it too, but we were all surprised at how spicy it was! I’d recommend only putting in half the amount of red pepper flakes and adding a bit more cheese. For those who are interested, my sister added this to the Weight Watchers recipe builder and found out that it is 7 points+ for about a third of the recipe.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion (cut in 1.5 inch strips)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I recommend half this amount)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I put in more)

Step 1: Rinse quinoa in cold water.
Step 2: Heat up your olive oil in a large sauce pan and saute your onions for 4-5 minutes. Throw in your garlic for a minute, stirring so it doesn’t burn.
Step 3: Add in your water and quinoa and cover the pot, bringing the water to a boil.
Step 4: Bring down to low and allow to simmer. Quinoa should take about 15 minutes to cook or so – but you’ll know when there is a ring around the outside and the center is clear – plus about all of your water should be absorbed.
Step 5: Mix in your salt, basil, black & red pepper, and 1/3 cup of your cheese.
Step 6: Dish it up while hot and sprinkle with pepper and cheese for garnish!

This week according to What to Expect:

You might not yet be feeling it, but your baby is kicking those little legs and flexing those elbows, while — higher up — you may be coping with some dental weirdness.

Your Baby in Week 15 of Pregnancy

One way to deal with the havoc of pregnancy hormones: Focus on how much is happening with your baby. She’s about the size of an orange this week, her ears have migrated to the sides of her head, and her eyes are moving to the front of her face. Plus, your little smarty-pants can now wiggle her fingers and toes and make breathing movements in preparation for life outside the womb.

Your Body in Week 15 of Pregnancy

Pregnancy hormones are pretty rough on your body, especially the teeth and gums, causing inflammation and making them more susceptible to plaque and bacteria. Your formerly healthy gums may have become super-sensitive and prone to bleeding. In addition, you might be coping with a chronic stuffy nose or even nosebleeds during pregnancy, also brought on by progesterone surging through your system. Fear not — it’ll all pass.

100 Healthy Foods to Eat During Pregnancy

As I’ve said before, I am very conscious about what I eat. Weight Watchers trained me to pay attention to what and how much food I eat. Since I’ve had to entirely change my eating habits since learning I was pregnant, I purchased some books that will hopefully help guide me toward good pregnancy foods during this process.

The first book I bought is called, “The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About Foods You Should Be Eating During Pregnancy But Probably Aren’t.

Sounds pretty straightforward, and it is. It starts with some basic information about certain nutrients you especially need to make sure you are getting while pregnant (iron, calcium, Vitamin D, folate, etc.) and explains why you need them.

The rest of the book basically breaks your pregnancy down into trimesters, then tells you which foods are best for you during each trimester and why you should be eating them (how they benefit you and baby). The one thing I found a little silly with this book was a couple foods were a little ridiculous. I mean, I understand that many people in their first trimester (including myself) suffer from morning sickness, but seriously? Ice chips made the first trimester list? Come on, people. Ice chips are water, not food.

The book also contains information about what to eat while you are breastfeeding, as well as foods that can help with postpartum depression, but I have not yet read those chapters as they don’t currently apply to me.

This is the first of the four book reviews I’ll be doing (at least in regards to nutrition). Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I mention and if you found them useful, or if you have other nutrition resources you think I should check out.

Recipe: Chocolate-y Vegan Overnight Oats with Chocolate Banana Softserve Topping

Courtesy of Liz at www.iheartvegetables.com

This is one of the best breakfast recipes I have found so far, and the best part is that it is incredibly easy! The hard part for me is making everything the night before because I tend to forget about it, but believe me, this recipe is worth trying (even my husband loves it). Plus, most of the ingredients (oats, chia seeds, bananas) are found in the Top 100 Foods book, so you know baby will like it too.

Overnight Oats Ingredients
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup soymilk (I used vanilla almond milk)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp cocoa powder
6 drops vanilla stevia (I used half a packet of stevia)

Topping ingredients
1/2 frozen banana
4 cubes frozen soymilk + splash of non-frozen soymilk
2 packets of Truvia (I used my remaining stevia from the oats)
1 tbsp cocoa

Whisk all oats ingredients together and put in the fridge (covered) overnight. In the morning, blend the topping ingredients together in your blender or food processor until smooth. Pour on top of your oats and enjoy the chocolate-y deliciousness!

New “diet”

For the past year I have been doing Weight Watchers, and I ended up losing about 30 lbs just by changing my diet around (I’m not big into exercising, though I do play non-competitive beach volleyball twice a week). Here’s my before and after shot (both photos are from New Year’s Eve, exactly one year apart.

Before and After Weight Watchers

I was about 7 lbs short of my goal weight when I found out I was pregnant. Now, you obviously don’t want to lose weight during pregnancy, and unfortunately there is no program (at least none that I could find) for healthy eating while pregnant, so you are kind of on your own. I want to make sure I’m eating right, but I feel kind of lost.

When I started WW I changed everything I was eating, and a lot of it happened to be diet, non-fat or sugar-free food. I learned to make all my recipes with those ingredients and it worked – I lost the weight. But now I want to focus on health instead of weight loss, and I feel like everything I learned on WW has to be thrown out the window.

I wanted to find a book or two that could point me in the right direction, so I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven. It seemed to be written in an easy-to-read, funny style, which is what I was looking for. I went home and immediately started reading. And what I read totally freaked me out.

Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven

Yes, the book was written in a funny way (they call soda “liquid Lucifer”), but if they hadn’t included the humor to lighten it up it would literally have been the most doom-and-gloom book I’ve ever read! It may contain some good information, but it was a little extreme for me. Plus, it seemed to only focus on the things you can’t have while pregnant, instead of what you can enjoy.

Has anyone else read this book? Did you enjoy it or did you find it extreme?

I decided to return that book, and now I’m back to square one. The hubby is all excited because we’ve been eating things I haven’t allowed in the house for a year: frozen pizza, Qdoba burritos, Chinese food, etc. And I know that those are not the things I should be eating, but I just can’t find a good resource to tell me what I should/can eat! It is very frustrating.

So today I went on Amazon and did a lot of searches and read a lot of reviews. I think I found some really good resources and cookbooks that will tell me the yummy and delicious things I should be focusing on enjoying, rather than the negative, “AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS” tone. Here’s what I picked out:

I’m pretty pumped for them to come in the mail! I’ll review them when they come in and let you know what I think. 

Have you read/would you recommend any of these books specifically? Are there any other pregnancy and nutrition resources out there that you really liked?