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.

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)

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.

Bring on the baby weight

I mentioned awhile ago that I needed to go in and get re-measured for my bridesmaid dress for my sister-in-law’s wedding in September. By then, I’ll be 28 weeks pregnant, which means I need to plan to get a larger dress size to accomodate for my soon-t0-be-huge bump.

I had planned to get measured last weekend, but they told me I could wait another week (like that will make a difference) before we would really be pushing the deadline for rush orders, so I waited. I making the trek to Sheboygan where we purchased the dresses with my other sister-in-law (the maid of honor), who was picking up her dress since it had already arrived.

I was completely shocked to learn that I have gained an INCH around my bust, waist and hips since the first time I was measured (in March). I’ve only gained five or six pounds, so I didn’t think it would be so much! It freaked me out. So I did some research, and found out that weight-wise I’m right on track to where I should be (according to every site and app I could get my hands on).

They they dropped this bomb on me: I had to order a size 18W.

I’m not even sure what to say about that except that it is my worst nightmare coming true. I totally understand the reasoning behind it – making room for the bump in the underlining, which is the skinniest part, raising the waist line to go over the bump, etc. – but COME ON. From size 8 to 18W in 28 weeks? Talk about hitting me where it hurts. Oh, and by the way, you have to pay extra when they add that nice little “W” on the end of the size for all the extra fabric they have to use to make the dress. They say it means “women’s” but in my mind it means “wide.”

I know, I know, I shouldn’t worry about gaining weight while I’m pregnant, the size shouldn’t matter because they are going to alter it… but UGH. Just go along with me here for a second and feel my pain.

My totally rational response to the size 18W news: eat better and exercise more so that when that size 18W dress comes in they will RUE THE DAY they told me to get a size that large.

I think I’m doing pretty good on the fruit front, but salads will help me get some more veggies. I also have work on getting some more protein in my diet, but I figure that will pick up with grilling season. All in all, I think I’m doing pretty well so far.

I currently only have four doctor-approved methods of exercising (walking, biking, swimming and prenatal yoga), so I decided I have to get out and do one of those things everyday. Geoff and I try and go for walks, but it has been incredibly rainy here, so I need a backup. Swimming for exercise is my least favorite thing ever, so that’s out. I’m seriously looking into prenatal yoga, but I’ve never done yoga before so I’m nervous to just show up to a class. And (until this weekend) I didn’t have a bike.

Solution: Buy a bike. I came straight home from my measurement appointment, grabbed Geoff and told him we were going to buy me a bike. He was a little confused since it was so out of the blue, but went along with it, and we came home with this cute little cruiser!

I’m not a big bike person, but you cannot keep me off this thing! It is so comfortable (“a little too comfortable,” according to Geoff), and makes me feel like a kid again. It is a fixed gear, and you have to push back on the pedals to brake, but the best part is that it doesn’t feel like exercising to ride it. Now I just have to get a wicker basket for the front and I’ll be all set to bike to and fro around the neighborhood, to the beach, mall, etc.

Back to healthy eating for a second. I wanted to share two Weight Watchers recipes that I’ve continued to make since I left the program because they are incredibly easy and super delicious. I did make a few adjustments for personal taste, so follow the link to the recipe if you want the exact points+ values. Let me know what you think if you try them!

WW Spinach, Tomato and Feta Pizzas

4  focaccia flatbreads (found in the deli section)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 large fresh tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp oregano

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Arrange pitas on a large baking sheet.
Combine ricotta and garlic powder in a bowl; spread mixture over pitas.
Top with spinach, tomato and feta. Sprinkle with oregano.
Bake until edges of pitas are golden, about 12 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

WW Tomato, Basil and Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad

1 lb fusilli, or other spiral pasta
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 package mozzarella pearls
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Add vinegar, oil and oregano; toss to coat.
Fold in tomatoes, basil and mozzarella; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve warm or chilled. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

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!