Wednesday, November 19, 2014

28 1/2 week belly and Surviving

I realized this morning that I hadn't taken a belly pic and that in a couple of days I would be 29 weeks, and therefore throwing off my schedule. (I have always tried to take pics every two weeks with both boys...not always successful, but try my best!)

But this oh man.  Both boys have been sick, Cole wound up with a nasty case of croup and had such difficulty breathing that I nearly rushed him to the ER in the middle of the night. Kyle convinced me to wait and take him to his doctor, and I am so glad I did. The poor kiddo was soooo miserable. Everyone that took one look at him commented on how sad he looked. The doctor didn't even have to take out her stethoscope to hear the stridor in his breathing, so he had to get two doses of steroids to help open his airways. I think it was the most traumatic experience he has ever had at the doctor's before, I actually had tears along with his as I watched him struggling. he is finally feeling back to his normal self, has the spark back in his eyes,  and has been running around trying to get a rise out of his brother.

Yesterday I needed to go to the grocery store.....I had put it off long enough. Plus, I was kind of a little eager to get out of the house, and so were the boys. We were getting a serious case of cabin fever. So our morning went relatively well, we got out...the boys did well and it kept us all sane...and that, may have been the only sane part of the day.

So in true celebratory fashion, I decided to set up the old tripod and snap some pics since I was wearing more than a 4 day old shirt and sweats that I have had since college.

Just for fun, here are some comparison pictures of both my previous pregnancies around the same time.

The above was when I was almost 28 weeks with Cole....and a heck of a lot tanner than I am now!

And below is while I was 28 weeks pregnant with Bennett, I'm still blown away with how much smaller I was with him....

And then here I am now with our 3rd little muscle man.

Now onto the not so fun part.....

Just as days sometimes seem to go with little ones. They both woke up from naps on the completely wrong side of bed. The whole day went down hill at a rapid speed. And I tried, oh how I tried to remedy it the best I could. I thought LUNCH, it's always a good way to beat the blues. So I whipped together some leftovers, and looked over to see Cole spitting it out all down the front of his sweater, his jeans, the floor.....and then refused to take another bite. Fine, I suggested we all make "cookies" in their play kitchen. There were bowls flying, mouths a yelling, "food" being fought over, hit over, and held hostage. Bennett bit Cole, Cole screamed (can't say I blamed him, there were teeth marks).  Timeouts. So I made a tent/fort.....this created a war zone covered by a blanket...and static, lots and lots of annoying static. We attempted crafts, which resulted in Cole poking me, yelling at me, and back talking me. More timeouts. Then I attempted to make dinner...and forgot how stupidly long it takes to caramelize onions. Bennett hung on my leg screaming mad because I wouldn't let him eat a whole bag of chips before dinner, he carried on the whole stinkin time I stood there stirring those blasted onions. Then my mind wandered to a blog post I had read where a fresh, new mother basically condemned any mother who ever uttered the words "being a mom is hard", and then I thought about laughing hysterically....because really!?! I almost crawled myself over to the nearest corner, waved a little white flag, and cried in a ball. But those onions needed stirring, so I cried in my onions instead. And then finally just gave up and tossed the un-caramelized onions into the dish...because in my heart, I knew they weren't going to eat it anyways. And you know what? I was right. They didn't eat dinner. They even made Kyle a little crazy by the time bath time was in the foreseeable future. You know it's been a day when daddy feels it too...because he's usually the calm, cool and collected one. And then I layed awake at night listening for he developed croup and ended up being up for the majority of the night. So I'm going to say it, I'm going to be honest and real.....being a mama, one who cares, who loves deeper than ever imagined, who wants give her children everything, and raise them's hard. It is. There are moments we may need to wave those little white flags,  and that's ok. It doesn't make us weak or wrong or unfit mothers. It makes us human, it makes us made of flesh, it makes us authentic and real and worn.

And that's ok.

And it's even ok that maybe I thanked God that this little bean was still in my tummy and not amongst the chaos when yesterday went down.

And today, I'm focusing on taking deep breaths, and being thankful for each of my boys and every teachable moment. And now, with a clearer head I can pat my tummy and smile, and say I'm still excited, still anticipating the chaos this little boy will add.

So here is the update with my littlest man.

How far along:

28 weeks and 4 days.

weight gain: 

Honestly, I have no clue! I go in on Friday.....and I'm pretty sure we are going to see a big jump in numbers. Not only do I feel like this belly has grown tremendously, I have also been indulging in numerous turkey dinners. And when I say numerous, I mean at least one a day since Saturday. And when I say turkey dinner, I mean the whole shebang.....I always tell myself I will just have a little turkey with some cranberry sauce, or make myself a turkey salad. But somehow my plate always winds up with a generous serving of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy......slathered in cranberry sauce. You see, I have been craving the Thanksgiving dinner since, like..... I stopped puking every day. And then we decided to celebrate both Thanksgiving and my Father in Law's birthday since he will be having surgery the day before. Plus, I wanted leftovers....lots and lots of leftovers. Perhaps, I should have shared more. (by the way, I am going to share with you the recipes that will make your Thanksgiving stress-free and yummy.....stay tuned for that later this week, as long as I don't wind up having to give my youngest steam showers and steroids....)

So, with that said, my craving has been satisfied.....this baby has been well fed and spoiled. And that scale may get a work out this coming Friday. I'm soooo not sorry for it though.


I have never ever....EVER been a good sleeper. But this pregnancy I have slept more than I think I ever have. I still have my nights, but I am going to just soak up the good nights and be thankful for the sleep while I have it!

Best moment this week:

Um, turkey. Turkey. And more turkey. I think I'm obsessed.

Bennett, finding a bottle, sticking it in my belly button and announcing that he was feeding "the baby".  Oh, and Bennett looking down my shirt, announcing that he wanted to nurse, and  then making sure everyone knew that they are his nurses and not baby's.....I am anticipating loads of fun in this department when baby gets here..... ;) Also, my most favorite activity is plopping my bum down on the couch at night, pulling up my shirt and watching my tummy roll in waves as this little guy moves all about.

Food cravings:

Really. Do we even need to go there again? Turkey......

I'm still on a twizzler kick, my older sister brought over a huge stash of them (thanks sister!) So I have been a happy camper ( I even ditched out on my licorice and go straight for the twizzler wax) Also, I can't seem to get enough oranges. I want to eat them all the time, every day. I have been eating a square of Lindt's,  "A hint of salt"  dark chocolate every day with my morning latte. I ate dark chocolate every day while pregnant with Cole and he came out as the calmest baby ever. I didn't like dark chocolate as much with Bennett, and he came out as...well, a loud bundle of personality! This is a test, we will see if the chocolate has anything to do with it. Hey, any way to give me more reasons to eat it!


Yes, the soup I made the other night. I thought it was all going to come back up. And I had to hold my nose while feeding it to the boys at lunch.

Labor signs:

Just the norm, nothing new.


Yes, he moves a lot. And he is starting to get the hiccups often, not as much as Bennett, but still a lot. I can tell he is growing and getting bigger, because he doesn't seem to have enough room to give me the big jabs any more. They are now more the rolling, tumbling, stretching kind of movements...which happen to be my favorite. Every once in a while I catch a foot or a knee, and will stop to either pat or tickle it. He seems to respond a lot to both boys when they are near and talking to him or pushing on him....they have a way of waking him up from his peaceful slumber.

How are you feeling:

Holy Heartburn! It's finally arrived and makes its appearance daily. I think Mr baby is growing bigger and pushing everything up. However, I still think I am carrying this little dude the lowest of any of the 3. But despite that, I'm feeling really well other than battling a constant, lingering cough. I still get ragged and sometimes feel like an 80 year old lady at the end of the day. Some days are better than others. But I'm truly loving this stage of pregnancy.

I'm especially loving that we are in week 28 and still have nothing but good news for the little guy.

It seems like just yesterday that I went in for a routine visit while pregnant with Bennett, was rushed in for an emergency ultrasound, and left with a cloud of sadness as we were told that our baby wasn't growing and possibly had enlarged ventricles in his brain. I can still remember the confusion, the hot tears, the worry as we packed my bags and I headed home to Oregon for extra help while on bed rest.

Week 28, will always have a special place in my heart. One where I find myself saying extra prayers and thanksgivings, times of reminiscing and looking at how good and faithful God was and is to us, how He taught us through turmoil, to trust. And now we can look back and see His provision, His guidance, His caring hands at work. Even after days like yesterday, when nothing seems to go right.

Yet I can still rejoice in the babies He has graciously given to me, and the one that will be here before we know it. How we can't wait to meet him, our baby....our last. Come, come little one and join our chaos.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cold Weather Kind of Food

In honor of the cold front that has swept through much of the state, and because I have had many intentions of posting some new recipes. I thought I would do one big post compiling some of my favorite cold weather meals, that have satisfied this belly.....along with 3 other boys.

Yes, these little cutie pies often help me determine what we will have for dinner. 

And while, not all dinner are successful in the Cole department, he has expanded his horizon past macaroni and cheese and included gnocchi...or "yokey" as he likes to call it.

And this is what we had last night.

Chicken and Gnocchi Soup: (to find the recipe click on the name and it will link you directly to the page) The best part about this soup is you can customize it to your liking. I have never ever used half n half, in fact last night I used NF milk, and it turned out really really creamy. I also always add more veggies, and additional seasonings. It tastes similar to chicken and dumplings, and both boys devoured the fluffy little gnocchi wonders.

And while we are on the topic of Gnocchi, this next one is a gem. Because not only does it taste good, it takes no more than 5 seconds to dump together. you better believe I have it filed away in my baby brain, for when this baby is actually here and I have no more than 5 minutes to get dinner in the oven......and a toddler (ahem, Bennett) hanging off my leg screaming to be held, and another toddler running around poking said screaming toddler with whatever poker object he can find....and I'm sure there will be one more little screamer in there demanding to be fed, changed, or held (deep breaths, deep breaths) So yes, I think this recipe will come quite useful in the many months to come.

Full disclaimer....I have accepted the fact that I will probably never be a food photographer...

Baked Gnocchi with Ricotta:

The only thing I did differently was threw in some remaining spinach that needed to be used up, and quite possibly added a little more parmesan and ricotta cheese ( which I was also trying to use up as I had it left over from this meatless meal Spaghetti Squash Lasagna).  Also, make sure you use a good quality marinara sauce, since it is a main ingredient and will definitely affect the flavor of the dish.

This next meal is A-mazing! And a totally different flavor from what I usually make. I also poached my chicken separately because for some reason chicken always feels a little dry when cooked in the crock pot.

Slow Cooker Creole Chicken and Sausage:

I also got a really good and really needed laugh while cooking this one up. Cole always likes to be in the know of what is going on, what we are going to do, and what I'm making for dinner. (For some reason I kept calling this gumbo...which it is fairly close to being) While I was busily throwing stuff in the crock pot, he wandered over and asked,

Cole: "Watcha making for dinner mom?"
Me: "A big pot of gumbo"
Cole (eyes wide and in a frantic little voice) "Dumbo?!?!"

So no, this is not Dumbo or even gumbo, but it is delish, and kind of spicy...don't go throwing in extra creole seasoning until you taste it first. Also, I used some chicken and artichoke sausages that I had in my freezer from Costco, and they tasted just fine in the dish.

White Bean and Pasta Soup:

This one was tasty and very budget friendly. I even followed the directions for the dried beans, and LOVED how they came out. I also added rosemary, thyme and some garlic to the mix. And since I didn't have a tomato on hand I used a can of diced organic tomatoes and really liked it.

Easy Chickpea Curry with Coconut Milk:

I have been trying to cut back our grocery bill each week, and one thing that has helped is to include more meals without meat. This meal was filling and satisfied the ongoing curry craving I seem to always have. I will say, that I felt like it needed a little doctoring up to really taste good to me. I firsted added some chopped up carrots (sweet potato would taste great too!), subbed a regular onion for the leek, added 2 Tbls. Brown Sugar, about a tsp. of Fish sauce, and extra curry paste. But like I always say, make it as it says and then add your own adjustments, most curries are pretty forgiving.

And the last one I've got for you (can you tell I have been in a soup making mood...the cold weather and busy days do that to me!)

Italian Orzo Spinach Soup:

Quick, easy, and a straight forward soup. Perfect with crusty bread. Cole had a bit of a hard time with the orzo.....he can't stand rice (so weird) and for some reason thought the orzo was rice.....but he likes carrots and picked out the tomatoes (apparently those are another no-no). But I liked it all, nothing fancy or frilly about it....just a feel good kind of soup.

I always love getting dinner ideas from friends and family. Especially when I seem to be in a dinner rut, so hopefully these ideas will help someone else out. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

26 weeks Belly Update

Why does it seem that week 26 is always such a milestone week? I think for me, it's when everything starts to get real. I'm not quite to the third trimester, but my body starts to give up its fight to hold it all together.

People are now fully aware of what is going on underneath those tunics and leggings. They feel more comfortable asking about due dates, gender, and giving their random words of advice. And as much as this drives a lot of people crazy, I have to admit, I don't mind it. In fact, I like it when people acknowledge the bump, and to hear what people feel they have the liberty to say. I mean, really no one can beat what a previous coworker once told me while I was pregnant with my first......

"I knew you were pregnant not from your expanding belly but from the fullness ( I think that was the word she used) in your face....." And then when the look of utter shock must have been plastered over my "full" and chubbed up face, she quickly back peddled and started using words like "glowing" and radiant" and how skinny I was prior to being pregnant....yeah, thanks.

Good thing I have a sense of humor, and have learned to accept the fact that yes, my face gets full during pregnancy. But so does my belly, they kind of balance one another out. And that's ok, I still love being pregnant and all that the woman's body does to bring life to the world. I think it's beautiful and wonderful, and such tender work of our Heavenly Father.

And 26 weeks seems to encapsulate it all. It's that fine moment when you really start to feel pregnant, maybe start to waddle a bit (at least I am this time around), your belly seems to get bigger each day, and you realize that in around 3 short months you will be welcoming a sweet little baby into your world.

As scary as it sometimes seems, both realizing I have 3 more months of my belly getting even bigger (at this rate I'm gonna be a house!) and also will be responsible for yet another little human being. I try to let my excitement overcome the fear. Especially after going back and reading a lot of my thoughts and fears prior to my last two births. I realized that fear is just something that comes with the unknown. I have a lot of the same questions and wondering how I'm going to figure it all out. And oddly enough, you do....eventually. You find your own pace and own rhythm to parenting. And I keep trying to convince myself that though life will be more hectic, busy and tears and tantrums will more than likely be a common occurance....through it all, we will find our norm. And hopefully thrive through it all, through all my blundering attempts to do this thing called mothering.

I guess these are all the thoughts that have been screaming through my brain lately. They kind of got triggered when I realized just how close we are getting.

So where exactly are we?

26 weeks.

Total weight gain: About 18 lbs. apparently getting the stomach bug and puking my guts out (literally, I had it coming out my nose TMI, I know...I'm sorry) helps ward off another 7 lb weight gain. I still am not sure what I had or if it was just pregnancy related, because I had to go back on zofran just to ease up the nastiness. And the nausea carried on and off for the remainder of the week. I do remember having something similar happen while pregnant with Bennett. And eventually it tapered off, so I'm hoping that is the case. But I only gained 3 lbs since my last appointment 5 weeks ago. And currently I am about right where I was with both my other pregnancies.

Sleep: Oh sleep, you confuse me. I have nights where I literally pass out and don't move until Mr Cole wanders in with his bed head at 5 in the morning...begging to get up....seriously dude.

And then there are nights where I sleep hard until 2 or 3 and then am up for the rest of the night. Sometimes I manage to sneak in a little bit of sleep after Kyle brings Cole downstairs in the morning, but that only lasts until 7 the latest, when he has to leave for work. I'm also finding it to be more and more painful to get up, lay down, and turn from one side to the other.

Best moment this week: Hands down it was getting my ultra sound done and my OB appointment. I was super nervous going to it, because it seems that bad news always follows when I get ultra sounds done. But I had an awesome tech, and he was so reassuring and even did some 3D pictures for me without even asking. We caught the little stinker with his finger up his nose....definitely all boy.

My OB was just thrilled with how well baby boy is doing and how he looked. He is currently in about the 35th percentile for weight (estimated 1lb 10oz), which is perfect and follows nicely to the size of babies I seem to birth. I left feeling completely relieved to have had such a positive check up, and so happy that our little baby is growing and developing just as he should be.

Food cravings: Two words. Apple. Crisp. And me with a big ole spoon and ice cream melting into the sweet apple and cinnamon heaven....... I guess my aversions to sweets are wearing off. And I'm making up for lost time.

And then there is the licorice. Oh how I denied it for as long as I could. Prior to being pregnant I had pretty much cut out red dye and artificial coloring as much as I could. And it seems that is all I want now. Red licorice, red swedish fish, red sour patch kids.....I even found myself sneaking twizzlers from the boys' Halloween stash. Twizzlers! It's like eating candle wax, but it tasted so good! So I don't know what to tell ya, not a whole lot of healthy cravings going on around here. except for oatmeal.....I've been eating a lot of oatmeal, cooked, baked, raw.....yep, raw. 

And the best craving yet.... COFFEE! Hallelujah!!! every morning right around 7, I want a nice creamy cup of coffee. Lately, I have been using my homemade salted caramel to make myself a latte, thick with foam, and topped with a hefty drizzling of caramel.  Sugar strike is definitely over.

Oh, and totally random.....but several week ago while watching TV at night with Kyle I suddenly got the most intense craving for......Gatorade? The neon beverage is right up there with all the red dye. But when my nausea returned, and I had the whole "out my nose" experience, I was able to convince myself that I needed to satisfy my craving.  And I did, and it was good. I still find myself running to the fridge for a good chug here and there.

Aversions: Still haven't been able to cook with fresh garlic. I'm going to attempt to chop up some cilantro to cook in a dish for we will see how I do. But other than that, my list seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

Labor Signs: Just good ole Braxton Hicks, I had one so painful it woke me up the other night. But then stopped, and I haven't had one like that since.

Movement: My little guy is starting to fall into his own little rhythm. I can pretty much tell you when he will be awake and moving. He usually wakes up with Cole between 4:30-5:30.  And then will do a little dance a few hours later in the morning (usually while I'm enjoying my delightful latte), and always always right around noon time. The afternoon is sporadic, and he comes alive right after I put the boys down for bed. I guess it's party time. The other day I swear he was practicing his touchdown dance, either that or he was throwing one good tantrum. I've never felt so much power come from one little human like that.

How are you feeling: Well, despite my run in with zofran. My nausea seems to have gotten better for the most part. But my body....well, I am feeling very pregnant. The very day I turned 26 weeks it was like my body just gave up! I've been waddling around in pain, and have mentioned numerous times to Kyle that I feel like I'm being split in two. I get random pains, and have random limbs ache unbearably. Like my arm? Kept me up nearly all night. I also have started getting heartburn, nothing a little tums can't handle. But I'm just thankful it held off this long....i feel like I dealt with heartburn my entire pregnancy with Bennett. But other than that I feel pretty good, I lose energy quickly...but honestly, I really can't complain.

Can't believe next week I start walking into the 3rd and final trimester! Unbelievable. We are going to have to up our hustle to get things checked off the "before baby gets here" list. Yikes!