Week 20: Halfway there!

Halfway!! Most of the sites say that baby is the size of a banana this week, which is totally weird. No one wants a banana-shaped baby! (I realize that the measurement is based on length, but still.) And no, the baby did not grow several inches in one week. Apparently the baby is measured from head to rump until week 20, when the measurements switch to head to toe. This is because the baby’s legs are curled up during those first 20 weeks and are hard to measure.

Baby Bump (Week 19)I cannot believe I’m already halfway through this pregnancy. It still doesn’t seem real sometimes, but then the little one will give me a nice kick to show me that yes, it is most definitely real. The baby bump is also a good reality check. Here’s a photo of me from the 4th of July barbecue our friends hosted. I am clearly not on top of things with these bump photos, sorry.

Only one more week until we find out the gender! I’m debating about doing a mini gender reveal with our friends just for fun (nothing crazy). We’re going on a camping trip soon so I might tie something into that. Any ideas would be appreciated!

How did you reveal your little one’s gender/are you planning on doing anything fun? Or did you wait to find out until they arrived?

This week according to What to Expect:

Boy or girl? You can find out this week through a routine ultrasound!

Your Baby in Week 20 of Pregnancy

Curious about whether that melon-sized belly contains a boy or a girl? Now’s your chance to take a peek! Your second trimester ultrasound, scheduled for anytime between 18 and 22 weeks, gives your practitioner a chance to see how things are going in there. And, wow, are they going! If you’re having a girl, her uterus is now fully formed and her ovaries are holding about seven million primitive eggs. If you’re having a boy, his testicles have begun their descent from the abdomen to their ultimate destination — the scrotum. And while your baby is definitely getting bigger (weighing in at about ten ounces and measuring six and a half inches), there’s still plenty of growing room in there, which allows him to twist and turn (and allows you to feel his acrobatics!).

Your Body in Week 20 of Pregnancy

Now that you’re at the midpoint of your pregnancy (20 weeks down, 20 more to go!), that little cantaloupe (aka baby) you have in your belly is becoming more of a reality as you feel his movements and draw smiles from passersby who see your baby bump. You might also be noticing that your nails are stronger (though they could also turn dry and brittle) and your hair is thicker and fuller than usual — all thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased circulation, which furnish extra nutrients to hair and nail cells.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Summer Tomatoes, Corn, Crab and Avocado Salad

Courtesy of Gina at SkinnyTaste.com

This is a fresh, easy “salad” that doesn’t require much prep. I used imitation crab meat and only one jalapeño, but I could’ve definitely added the second one in and it would have been fine. We also just bought a bag of frozen corn and “roasted” it in a dry pan – definitely makes a big difference (if you don’t want to do it yourself, Gina says Trader Joe’s sells roasted corn). It says the recipe serves 7, but between me, Geoff and my sister we polished off the whole batch. Other ideas from Gina: Serve over mixed greens or tostadas as a main dish or you can put this in martini glasses as a fancy appetizer.

Ingredients
12 oz lump crab meat
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 hass avocado, diced
2 hot peppers such as serrano or jalapeños, diced fine (seeds removed for mild)
1 1/2 cups roasted corn kernels
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 limes, juice of (or more to taste)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Instructions
Step 1: In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine chopped crab meat, avocado, tomatoes, hot pepper and corn.
Step 3: Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Servings: 7 • Serving Size: 1 cup
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3 pts
Calories: 130.8 • Fat: 6.1 g • Protein: 8.8 g • Carb: 11.7 g • Fiber: 4.0 g • Sugar: 2.6

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Week 19: Mini Summer Vacation

I’m on vacation this week! Geoff and I headed up to Minnesota to visit my family at the lake, and I gotta tell you, it doesn’t get more relaxing than this. Reading on the porch, “putt-putt” tours of the lake on the boat, catching a few fish off the dock, riding along while everyone surfs behind the boat (so fun, but preggies have to opt-out).

I’m not ready to go back to reality yet, but I figured I should at least post my weekly update since we’re now at 19 weeks! Basically, I feel like I’m not pregnant except the baby is moving around a lot more (at least once a day), I have had a few really awful leg cramps, and people are definitely noticing the bump.

I really can’t believe that I’m only one week away to being at the halfway point in my pregnancy, and we only have two weeks left until we can find out the gender! Have you voted in the sidebar poll yet? Since my last post the “boy” votes have taken the lead… I guess we’ll see!

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby’s skin now has a protective coating, while you might be hoping for something to protect you from painful leg cramps.

Your Baby in Week 19 of Pregnancy

Have you ever seen a mango dipped in cheese? Well, that’s what your baby looks like this week due to a little growth spurt (she’s about a half pound in weight and six inches long) and a substance called vernix caseosa. This greasy white stuff covers your baby’s skin, protecting it from the surrounding amniotic fluid. (Without it, she’d look totally wrinkled as she entered the world.) The vernix sheds as delivery approaches, though some babies still sport a bit of the coating at birth.

Your Body in Week 19 of Pregnancy

One minute you’re lying peacefully in bed and the next your calf muscle feels like it’s about to explode. Leg cramps during pregnancy are pretty common (no one knows exactly what causes them, but muscle fatigue or compressed blood vessels are the likeliest culprits) and tend to strike at night. You might also be wondering about tingling and numbness in your fingers and toes about now. It’s a weird sensation but totally normal, probably a result of your body’s swelling tissues pressing on nerves.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Courtesy of Monica at The Yummy Life

This is a yummy overnight oatmeal that you can make in your crockpot. My mom made it for us while we were visiting, so I’m including her variations here. I like my oatmeal a little sweeter, so I added a tiny bit of maple syrup to it and it was delicious!

Ingredients
2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk (or substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (we used chia seeds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter

Instructions
Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Nutritional Info (per 3/4 cup serving): 149 calories, 3.6g fat, 27.3g carbs, 3.9g fiber, 4.9g protein; Weight Watchers Points+: 4 

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.

Ingredients
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

Instructions
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 17: Feeling Baby Move, Baby Bachelor and Gourmet Grilled Cheese

To celebrate hitting the 17-week mark, I signed Geoff and I up for some classes at the hospital where we are planning to have the baby. We signed up for “Labor, Birth and Beyond,” “Bringing Baby Home,” “Breastfeeding Your Baby – The Basics” and “Breastfeeding Your Baby – Beyond the Basics.” The only one I wanted to take but couldn’t get into was the Infant CPR and Safety class (it was full). Hopefully they will add more dates soon. The classes are spread out in August, September and October, so I’ll post about each one as we go.

I forgot to mention in my last post that when we listened to the heartbeat at the doctor’s office it was in the upper 150s, which (if you believe in these things) means that the baby might be a girl! Four weeks until we can find out for sure, so don’t forget to let us know which one you think it will be using the poll in the sidebar!

I am also very excited to announce that I definitely felt the baby move (and yes, that was it moving around last time)! We went to a choir concert and I was so tired out that I basically sank into the chair and let my entire body relax to the music… and all of a sudden I realized I could feel the baby. It moved around quite a bit for the first half of the concert, but after I got up and walked around during intermission I didn’t feel it again. I think the key for me to feel him/her is to be completely and totally relaxed. It is also very light/faint right now, but I’m assuming that will get stronger as the baby grows.

For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that one of my guilty pleasures is watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Every week my sister and I will make dinner and watch the show together and we have so much fun together. I’m calling it right now – Brooks is totally going be the last man standing.

Apparently this has been around for awhile, but I had to share it since it is so adorable and awesome: Baby Bachelor. You can’t help but smile watching it! What do you think – will Wesley choose Jessi or Gabrielle?

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby is practicing sucking and swallowing as she gets ready for the real thing: a breast or bottle! As for Mom, you may be warding off some unwanted belly touching.

Your Baby in Week 17 of Pregnancy

My how your baby has grown! She’s about the size of your palm, weighs about five ounces, and is developing some body fat (join the club, baby!). Her heart is now regulated by her brain (no more random beats) to beat 140 to 150 times per minute — about twice as fast as yours! What else is up? She’s practicing the survival skills she’ll need at birth — like sucking and swallowing.

Your Body in Week 17 of Pregnancy

Now that you’re starting to show, chances are that friends, coworkers, and even strangers may feel the urge to reach out and touch your belly. If you don’t mind, that’s fine. But if you do, speak up kindly but firmly. More new developments with your body: a greater sensitivity to allergens these days and the appetite of a truck driver now that the queasy feeling is (probably) gone.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Grilled Ham and Havarti Sandwiches

Courtesy of Weight Watchers Online

This is a super easy grilled cheese sandwich that tastes gourmet! So delicious, but we have made a few variations since the first time we made these: I don’t care for mustard, so I leave that off, but Geoff loves it on his. We also swap the rye bread for whatever looks the best at the bakery (usually some sort of french or focaccia bread). The onion really adds to the overall flavor of the sandwich, but if you do one or two thin slices it helps to not overpower it.

Ingredients
4 tsp stone ground mustard
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 slices reduced-calorie rye bread
8 oz cooked lean ham, sliced
2 oz Havarti cheese (4 slices)
4 slices fresh tomatoes, 1/2 inch thick
4 thick slices uncooked red onion
Cooking spray

Instructions
Step 1: Combine stone-ground and Dijon mustards. Spread mustard mixture evenly onto each of 4 bread slices. Top each evenly with ham, cheese, tomato and red onion. Cover with remaining 4 bread slices.
Step 2: Place a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 2 sandwiches to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich).

Week 16: Singing to Baby, a Little Pampering and Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Hello, week 16! Time sure is flying. I’m pretty pumped about the idea that baby can hear me this week! I’ll have to come up with a good lullaby to sing to my belly every night since the little one will recognize it once it is born. Any suggestions on songs would be great!

I had some trouble sleeping the other night so I was just laying still in my bed with my eyes closed and I swear I felt the baby move. Since I don’t know what it feels like it is hard to say, but it was very light and I almost convinced myself that I imagined it (which is a real possibility). It hasn’t happened since, but when it does happen I’ll know for sure if it was real or just wishful thinking.

I’ve also started having baby dreams. They are all just normal things happening after the baby is born, like me holding the baby, or Geoff putting the baby in the carseat. It makes me want to keep dreaming, so I’m sort of disappointed when I wake up, but I’m getting so excited for when she/he finally arrives!

In non-baby related news, I got a finally got a haircut! If you don’t already know, I haven’t had the best luck with salons in the past few visits, so I put the appointment off as long as possible (if you can tell by my last bump photo I could barely see through my bangs when Geoff took the photo). Anyway, I just got a trim, but I changed up my color. And before you get all judgmental on me, I got the all-clear from my doctor to go ahead and color away.

I  had ombré in my hair for almost a year, and the last time I had it touched up the hairdresser totally messed it up (completely uneven color, way too blond/orange looking for my hair color). I actually had to go back in a few days later to get it “fixed,” though it was still extremely blonde on the ends compared to the rest of my hair.

I put up with that look for awhile since I didn’t want to damage my hair anymore than it already was, but I thought it was time for a change, color-wise. I went a shade lighter and a lot richer for the main color and I kept a tiny bit of the ombré in the ends, though it is so subtle it is hard to see unless you’re looking for it. Here’s a before and after for comparison. What do you think of my new ‘do?

I also got a mani-pedi this week, which felt amazing. I go to Polished Nail Bar which I love because it is well ventilated (no nail polish smell), and they have so many gel colors! Plus they always do an awesome job and don’t charge you extra for fancy stuff (like what you see on Pinterest). What I didn’t realize was how much more I would love letting my feet soak in bubble bath since I’m preggo – super nice for swollen tootsies! Anyway, I went with a standard red for my toes, and an off-white for my fingers (actual name: “My Vampire is Buff”).

This week according to What to Expect:

Here’s an eye opener for you: While you’re packing on the baby pounds, your baby’s eyesight (and eyelashes!) are developing rapidly.

Your Baby in Week 16 of Pregnancy

yourbaby_week16Tiny bones in your fetus’s ears are in place this week, making it likely that the baby can hear your voice when you’re speaking (or singing in the shower) at 16 weeks pregnant. In fact, studies have found that babies who are sung to while they’re in the womb recognize the same tune when it’s sung to them after they are born (so choose your baby Muzak with that in mind…). And baby’s busily boning up in other ways. For one, the backbone (along with the back muscles) is stronger now — strong enough, in fact, to enable your baby to work on straightening his or her head and neck even more. Baby’s crown-to-rump measurement is between four and five inches in length, and weight is hovering around three to five ounces.

This little one’s a looker — with a face that has both eyebrows and eyelashes — but a skinny looker since there’s no baby fat yet. And here’s the skinny on baby skin: It’s practically translucent now, so if you took a peek inside your uterus, you’d be able to see your baby’s blood vessels under that thin skin. Thanks to his developing facial muscles, your baby is capable of making a few expressive frowns and squints, even at this early stage. (Don’t worry, those frowns have nothing to do with the sound of your voice!) And his eyes are finally working, making small side-to-side movements and perceiving light (although the eyelids are still sealed). Peekaboo!

Your Body in Week 16 of Pregnancy

It’s hard to watch yourself gain weight during pregnancy, even when you know there’s a wonderful reason for it. The challenge, though, is to try to embrace your body’s new shape and think of every pound you put on as a sign of good health for you and your baby. As long as you eat right during pregnancy (minimize junk and maximize nutrient-dense foods) and get regular exercise, you’ll be fine in the long run. Remember, every woman is different and gains (and loses) at her own pace. One way to show your changing shape some love this week and feel better about yourself in the process: Buy a garment (or accessory) that makes you feel pretty at your new size. Another part of you that’s swelling — the membranes in your nose, leading to congestion.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Recipe from: Feed the Belly

This is the easiest chicken pot pie I have ever made, and it was really yummy! I made the mistake of buying the extra large, fluffy crescent rolls. Don’t do that. They won’t cook all the way through and they will leave your pot pie a little gooey and gross. Buy the regular ones for a perfectly cooked, buttery, flakey crust.

Baby Bonus: With 23g protein per serving, this recipe helps form baby’s growing body.

Momma Must-Have: Each serving has 10 percent of your daily iron needs to keep you and baby going strong. When you’re not feeling like eating your veggies, this is a great way to sneak some in.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup diced celery (I left this out)
1 lb organic or natural chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1-lb bag frozen organic mixed vegetables, defrosted and drained
1 1/2 8 oz packages refrigerated, reduced-fat crescent-roll dough (such as Pillsbury)

Instructions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until onion is translucent and slightly golden, about 4 minutes.
Step 3: Turn heat down to medium, add chicken to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, turn the pieces of chicken, then cook for another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Step 4: In the same pan, add the remaining teaspoon of oil and heat over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until pasty, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and stir until mixture becomes smooth. Stir in the nutmeg. Increase heat and bring to a boil; turn down heat and simmer 15 minutes, until mixture thickens.
Step 5: Add the chicken and defrosted mixed vegetables back to the pan and stir until well combined. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish.
Step 6: Lay the crescent-roll dough over the top of the dish in an overlapping pattern until the filling is entirely covered. Put in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden and crisp. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then serve.

Calories 386g; Fat 14.5g (Sat 3g, Mono 3g, Poly 1g); Cholesterol 42mg; Protein 23g; Carbohydrate 38g; Sugars 9g; Fiber 4g; Iron 3mg; Sodium 607mg; Calcium 36mg; Folate 25mcg; Beta-Carotene 160mcg.