Week 27: Vacation makes me lazy

Sorry, guys. I totally dropped the ball on getting this post out on time! I was on a lovely week long vacation at my parent’s house on the lake, and I was too lazy and relaxed to post anything last week.

Now I’m back in business, so I figured I should get this out before I run into week 28!

My vacation was perfect. I had super hot weather, which was great for the lake, and when it was too hot to be outside (the humidity was pretty bad) I went shopping with my mom at the MOA. I got a cute little maternity tube dress that I love, plus some fall essentials like sweaters and jeans. Geoff was there with me for the first few days, and we went out on the boat a lot and even managed to squeeze in a trip to the famous Nelson’s Ice Cream shop in my hometown, where a “child size” ice cream is bigger than my head.

Here are a few photos from my trip:

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby moves on to a whole new growth chart this week, while your swollen feet and ankles may need a growth chart of their own!

Your Baby in Week 27 of Pregnancy

For a baby, it’s time to trade in the old crown-to-rump measurement for a new head-to-toe standard. So what are your baby’s stats this week (which, coincidentally, is the end of the second trimester)? Fifteen inches — more than a foot long — and triple (or even quadruple) what it was in week 12. His weight is creeping up the charts as well, coming in at just over two pounds. More big news: Your baby may recognize your voice by now, so feel free to serenade your belly (start learning those lullabies!).

Your Body in Week 27 of Pregnancy

Puffy? That’s to be expected — about 75 percent of soon-to-be moms experience edema (mild swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles) around this point in pregnancy. That’s because fluids build up in your body tissues thanks (or no thanks) to increased blood flow and uterine pressure on the vena cava (the large vein that cycles blood from your lower limbs to your heart). So while you may have a hard time squeezing into shoes or getting your rings on (or off), keep in mind that the puff factor is completely normal and temporary.

Week 22: Belly buttons, camping and mid-pregnancy weight gain

My little papaya is a squirmy one! He is definitely moving around in there, especially when I sit down to relax after work or lay in bed before I go to sleep. I love watching my belly move as he kicks, and it has been really fun to have Geoff feel the baby move more often. The baby even kicked for my mom while she was in town for the weekend, so it was nice to be able to share that with her.

While my feet are still normal-size (knock on wood), my belly button looks like it is about to pop. I’ve been in denial about this happening, but I think I’ve finally come to terms with the inevitable. I removed my belly button ring a few weeks ago, and I’m pretty sure that helped speed the process along. UGH. Stupid belly button.

Other than that I’m just trying to catch up on sleep from camping all weekend. I slept pretty well since we planned ahead and I didn’t have to sleep on the ground. We had cots topped with ground pads, plus sleeping bags and liners, comfy pillows, a nice new tent and a tent fan in case it was too hot. Luckily, our 95+ degree days melted away into some beautiful weather, and we spent all day Saturday at the beach, then snuggled up around the fire at night as the temperature dipped closer to 60. We had such a great time – I wish all camping trips were as smooth, comfy and fun as that one!

We had another doctor appointment on Monday, which was the same as all the others, but when I stepped on the scale I realized I was over the “normal weight gain” by a few pounds. I should point out that the range I’m referring to is according to the books and websites I have read, and that my doctor just said, “good” when she saw my weight. Maybe I’m just worrying for nothing, but as long as I’m gaining enough to keep baby healthy I’d like to keep it on the minimal end so I don’t have to work as hard to lose it after he is born. I’m hoping that this particular surge in weight gain was just due to all the junk we ate while we were camping (hello, Goober and jumbo marshmallow pudgie pies). I’ve actually lost a few pounds since the appointment, though not on purpose, and I’m now back in the normal range, so yay! I just have to watch what I’m eating a little better from here on out so when junk food weekends happen it won’t throw me completely off track.

This week according to What to Expect:

These days, the only things growing more rapidly than your baby’s senses may be her mommy’s feet!

Your Baby in Week 22 of Pregnancy

This week, your baby weighs in at a whopping pound and measures nearly eight inches, about the size of a small doll. But your little doll (who now has eyebrows, eyelashes, and maybe even some hair on that little head) is a living one who can now perceive light and dark. She can also hear your voice, your heartbeat, your gurgling stomach, and the whoosh-whoosh of blood circulating through your body. And as her brain and nerve endings develop, she may reach for her face (or whatever she can reach) just to experiment with her newfound sense of touch.

Your Body in Week 22 of Pregnancy

As if an ever-expanding belly wasn’t enough — now your feet are getting in on the act! That’s because the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens your pelvic ligaments when you’re expecting, loosens every other ligament too — including the ones in your tootsies. In turn, the bones beneath those ligaments spread slightly, which results, for many women, in a half or whole shoe-size increase. So if you haven’t already stashed away your stilettos, now’s the time to bid them farewell — at least for a while. Besides, you need sensible shoes to help you balance that big belly and your changing center of gravity.

WIAW Weekly Recipe: Oriental Cole Slaw

This one comes from my mom, and is one of my favorite summertime salads. It’s sweet with a bit of saltiness, is great as leftovers and is super easy to make. The amounts listed below could feed a small army, so if you’re just cooking for two or three I recommend halving the recipe.

Dressing
3/4 c. vegetable/canola oil
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
2 pkgs seasoning from Chicken Ramen Noodles

Salad
2 pkgs Broccoli Slaw
2 bunches green onions with greens
2 pkgs uncooked Chicken Ramen Noodles, broken up
1 c. chopped celery (I leave this out)
1 c. toasted almonds
1 c. salted sunflower seeds

Directions
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Toss salad ingredients together in a salad bowl. Top salad with dressing just before serving.

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

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.