Saturday, February 26, 2011

Our little blessing at 33 weeks

How far along? 33 weeks

Baby’s size?  The baby weighs about the same as a pineapple, at more than 4 pounds and just over 17 inches long. He’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal.
Sleep? Sleep has been okay for the most part. I’m starting to have restless legs again. And I have to get up several times in the night to use the restroom.

Food cravings?  No real cravings this week. I’ve just been really thirsty so I drink a lot of water and Crystal Lite.

Food aversions? Some broccoli that I steamed this week. Mainly because I oversteamed it because we were talking to our parents on Skype and I was trying to time dinner with when I thought we’d be done and it was overcooked by the time we got off. It smelled like nasty school cafeteria broccoli. I couldn’t eat it.

Symptoms? Extra space in my belly is at a minimum so I get full at dinnertime really quickly. It can get really uncomfortable finding a good position to sit. And my sciatic nerve has been acting up again. My bellybutton is getting even more shallow on the top half which is kind-of strange looking.

Best moment this week? The baby has been moving a lot in the evenings, so watching him roll around and kick has been really fun for us this week. He seems to be especially active while we watch American Idol. 

Movement? Still plenty of movement. His feet are definitely kicking me in the ribs now. And sometimes he presses his little bottom up into my right side ribs. 

What I miss about not being pregnant? Nothing.

What I’m looking forward to?  Our first childbirth class is next week. Depending on how many graphic childbirth videos they make us watch, it could be pretty interesting and fun. We had our rocker/recliner for the nursery delivered this week. It was actually upholstered in the wrong fabric, but we kind-of like it and rather than deal with the hassle of ordering another chair and having to wait weeks and weeks for it, we may just keep it. But getting that in has me excited about the rest of our furniture coming in so we can finishing decorating the baby’s room. As long as it doesn't come in pink. 
From the front...
From the side...
And a close-up!
This is a mommy's-eye view. Notice something missing? That would be my feet. 
If I lean over, I can find them again. But let's just say that shaving my legs and putting on shoes has become an acrobatic feat.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Monday

     Tim bought me the latest issue of Cooking Light magazine, which is really exciting because I found some new recipes to try. The magazine had a huge section of chicken recipes, which is where two of my recipes for this week come from. 

     We’re also grilling a couple times this week because the weather is starting to get a little warmer and Tim hasn’t been able to grill in a while.

Monday: Coconut chicken fingers with pina colada dipping sauce, sweet potato fries and fruit salad. The recipe is from the Jan./Feb. issue of Cooking Light magazine. The dipping sauce is a copy of one made by Red Lobster to go with their Parrot Bay coconut shrimp. I got that recipe from my “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2” book.
Tuesday: Pecan pancakes, eggs, and bacon.
Wednesday: Creamy chicken casserole with steamed broccoli. This recipe is from a book by Southern Living called “Our Best Easy Weeknight Favorites.” It uses cooked chicken, Ritz crackers, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, and poppy seeds.
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Chicken quesadillas with canned corn and guacamole. My mom makes these quesadillas using refried beans, chicken, and cheese and tortillas and guacamole were on sale this week at Albertson’s.
Saturday: Hawaiian chicken. This recipe is also from the Jan./Feb. issue of Cooking Light magazine. It uses a marinade of pineapple juice, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic to season the chicken. We’ll have it with stir-fried vegetables and long grain and wild rice.

Sunday: Hamburgers with roasted red potatoes and green beans.  

If you're curious about how any of the meals turned out or want the recipe, leave a comment and I'll let you know. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our little blessing at 32 weeks

How far along? 32 weeks

Baby’s size? The baby weighs about the same as a jicama root, about 3.75 pounds and about 16.75 inches long. He'll gain a third to half of his birth weight during the next 7 weeks as he fattens up for survival outside the womb. He now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). His skin is becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.
Sleep? I’m still sleeping pretty well. I’m not having too much trouble getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. I do wake up numerous times during the night for bathroom runs.

Food cravings? Still milk and cereal. 

Food aversions? No aversions, though I don't really like coffee anymore. 

Symptoms? My tummy is itchy a lot and my belly button is getting increasingly more shallow (no stretch marks yet, though!) My ankles and hands swelled a ton when I was on the airplane and I’m starting to get full a lot sooner than I normally would. Also, people are starting to ask me when I'm due more which is sometimes annoying when they react like I'm gigantic considering I still have two more months to go. 

Best moment this week? Getting to see my parents and have them feel the baby move.

Movement? He moves pretty frequently, particularly after I’ve had something cold to drink and after eating and early in the morning and late at night. His movements are becoming less like punches and kicks, and more just like he's rolling over or trying to move. 

What I miss about not being pregnant? I don’t miss anything right now.

What I’m looking forward to? Working on the nursery some more. And we have our first childbirth class in less than two weeks. 
Here I am at 32 weeks in our backyard.
And a close-up. Can you believe how big my tummy is?!?


     I'm sorry for not updating the blog last week, but my grandmother passed away suddenly on Feb. 11. Though she has had heart problems for years, it was still a shock to lose her so suddenly, particularly after we lost her mother (my great-grandmother) in October. The last time I saw her was in December at my baby shower. We were unable to visit at Christmastime because we were packing and getting ready to move to Washington. 
    I flew to Knoxville  last Saturday to be with my family and to attend the funeral. It was a bittersweet time because although I was there for a sad reason, it was so wonderful to see my parents and my extended family. Being able to have my family get to see me further along in the pregnancy and feel the baby move was really wonderful. But knowing that Mamaw was just two months away from meeting her first great-grandchild was really heartbreaking. She was really excited about having a great-grandson. As a sports-lover, she was probably already picturing pee-wee football games. 
     And I'm pretty certain she was already planning a trip out to see us and, of course, use us as a pit-stop on her way to Alaska. She loved traveling and was also planning a trip with my mom and aunt to Europe this summer. I think that was part of the reason why her death was so shocking. You don't expect someone in poor health to be planning trips out of the country. She will be missed deeply by our family, but I'm sure we will think of her anytime we visit Tennessee or take a long family trip across the country in a mini-van and for me especially, when I eat blueberry yogurt. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Weekend vacation

     This past weekend Tim and I took advantage of his three-day weekend from work to go visit his cousin Katie and her family in Vancouver, WA. (Not Canada). We have been looking forward to getting to see Katie and her husband Ben and their sons Mark, 4, and Sean, 5 months, ever since we found out we'd be moving to Washington. It was great knowing that even though we were moving away from immediate family, we would have some relatives in Washington. It's been about six years or so since Tim saw Katie and Ben last, meaning it was going to be the first time he got to meet her two adorable boys. I had never met any of the Bradley clan before. 
Here's Katie with Mark. 

     We also had a great time on our drive over to Vancouver. We drove west along the Columbia River through north Oregon and really enjoyed getting to see a different area of the Washington/Oregon border. The Tri-Cities where we live is quite desert-like, pretty dry and brown, with tumbleweeds and all that. But as we got closer to Vancouver, the terrain changed to green forests and more rainy weather. Here are some pictures we took on the drive over. 
Here's Tim in front of the Columbia River.
Here's my latest baby belly picture. It was taken at 29 weeks, 6 days. It was majorly windy so forgive the hair. 
The Columbia River Gorge has dozens of wind turbines.

     We spent Friday night through Sunday afternoon with Katie and family. We spent a lot of time chatting  and catching up on Friday. Tim and Mark became immediate friends while playing Star Wars and Legos. Here are some pictures of the two of them. 
Making silly faces...
Building with Legos... 
Is this guy going to be a good daddy or what?
     Overall, we had a great weekend. It was pretty low-key. We ate a big pancake breakfast, took a walk through the neighborhood, played with Legos, snoozed a little, played a role-playing parody game called Munchkin, went to church, and had a good time hanging out with family. 
Baby Sean was such a cutie. Tim was particularly proud when he was able to get Sean to smile and giggle at him (apparently a rarity with strange men). 
While Tim had a little Mark-sized shadow for parts of the weekend, I had this guy following me around-Merlin, the clingiest, most needy cat on the planet. 
In addition to putting up with us all weekend, Katie also presented us a gift for the baby-this painting for the nursery, a cute knit cap, and a soft baby blanket. Isn't the painting sweet?

Luke, I am your pancake

     So for Christmas, one of my surprise gifts to Tim was a set of Star Wars pancake molds. With them, he can make Yoda, Darth Vader, and Stormtrooper pancakes. When I bought the molds, I knew Tim would get a kick out of making them since he is the official pancake maker at our house. I could also picture him someday making pancakes with our little boy.
Here's Tim testing his Star Wars pancake molds for the first time last Friday.
The pancake molds are a little tricky to work with to pour the batter evenly and dislodging them can be a bit hard even if the molds have been oiled, but Tim quickly got the hang of it, as evidenced by this practically perfect Stormtrooper. 
This is the Heroes & Villains set of Star Wars pancake molds. Williams-Sonoma also makes a Star Wars vehicles set, which includes the Millenium Falcon. 
Here's the master pancake maker at work. Also, a sneak peak at our kitchen/dining room. 
My Stormtrooper was particularly tasty with a glass of milk.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Our little blessing at 30 weeks

How far along? 30 weeks, 2 days

Baby’s size? The baby is the weight of a large cabbage, at about 3 pounds and 15 inches long. A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will decrease as he gets bigger and takes up more room in my uterus. His eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day.
Sleep? Sleep is generally pretty good. Sometimes I wake up with my hips or back hurting, but I sleep pretty deeply. The hard part comes when I try to get out of bed. I’m also having some pretty crazy dreams though I have a hard time remembering them in the morning.

Food cravings? Still craving milk and cereal. 

Food aversions? No real aversions, though I haven’t had a problem with nausea or anything like that during this pregnancy so there hasn't been much that I didn't want to eat. 

Symptoms? Back pain sometimes and a general achiness in my knees and hips, especially if I’ve been sitting in the same position for a while and then try to get up. And I've started having to take naps again occasionally. 

Best moment this week? No specific moments that I can think of, but I am really enjoying feeling the baby moving so often.

Movement?  Plenty of movement. He continues to prefer my right side, which is funny sometimes because it makes my stomach lopsided. His kicks and punches are more defined, but sometimes I just feel what seems like little tickles.

What I miss about not being pregnant? Nothing.

What I’m looking forward to?  Preparing more for the baby. I’m also looking forward (in a weird way) to our childbirth classes, which will start in about three weeks.

Stay tuned for a post about our weekend trip to see the latest picture of my belly. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Our little blessing at 29 weeks

     The pregnancy is progressing as it should according to my doctor's appointment last Wednesday. They weighed and measured me and listened to the baby's heartbeat. It was a strong 148 beats per minute. I met another doctor from the practice and we bonded over our southern roots and our craving for Chick-Fil-A. I also was tested for gestational diabetes. The doctor mailed the results to me and I found out today that I tested within the normal range. So yay, no gestational diabetes for me! Anyway, my next appointment is in mid-February, so I'll have another update then. 

How far along? 29 weeks, 3 days

Baby’s size? The baby is the size of a butternut squash (about 2.5 pounds and 15 inches long). His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, I'll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day. No problem. I have had about a gallon and a half of milk this week, not to mention some yogurt.
Sleep? Sleep is good.

Food cravings? Milk. (We’ve gone through more than two gallons in the week and a few days we’ve been in the new house). Fruit, especially citrus and apples. And perhaps a chili dog from Sonic. Guess which ones are probably what the baby wants and which one is me…

Food aversions? Nothing really.

Symptoms: Mainly just some back pain in the evenings. And I’m starting to get the first trimester fatigue feeling back.

Best moment this week? This was just a funny moment that happened this week. Tim and I had finished eating dinner and were watching TV in the living room. He had his hand resting on my belly in case the baby moved and I was hinting for the tenth time how much I was wanting some ice cream. So I look down at my stomach and ask, “Do you want Daddy to get us some ice cream?” And right after I asked, the baby kicked really hard right under Tim’s hand. Needless to say, somebody made a late night trip to the grocery store. 

Movement?  Lots of movement. Generally in the early morning and late evening. And after I’ve eaten.

What I miss about not being pregnant? Nothing.

What I’m looking forward to? Picking out decorations to complete the baby’s room. We painted the nursery this weekend. It turned out so cute. I peek in there several times a day. We painted the room using Olympic zero-VOC, low-odor paint. The color is called Quaking Grass and matches really well with our Pottery Barn Kids Eli Elephant bedding. 

     We spent last week taping off the doors, window, ceiling, and floorboards and painted the room on Saturday. Tim did a few touch-ups on Sunday and now the room is completely painted and ready for furniture, wall decor, curtains, etc. The furniture is still going to take at least another month to come in (boo!), but once it does come in, we can move it in right away and hopefully get the nursery all set before little mister comes. 
Here are our painting supplies that we picked up from Lowe's the night before. 
My master painter at work. Tim was really gung-ho about painting the nursery. It's really sweet to see him excited about preparing a place for the baby.