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Week 16

Week 16 has been a very exciting week. I haven’t had any nausea or vomiting this week, which is really exciting. I’ve been feeling a good increase in energy, and been trying really hard to feel our baby boy move– No dice just yet! 😦 So far I haven’t gained any weight– I’m still losing actually. I’m not sure why, but if my midwife isn’t concerned– I’m not either. I am a little irritated that I’m started to get some stretch marks, when I’m losing weight– but what can you do? Stretch marks are partially genetically linked, and knowing that my mom got them made me feel pretty confident I would get some(more).

On a different note I came back and spend the week in our central Ky home because I needed a really good nights sleep! I’m starting to get to the pillow fort stage of the pregnancy. It’s really helping my lower back pain, and to help me sleep more through the night. Pregnancy insomnia is trying to ruin my sleep, and comfortable pillows is helping a little bit. The other night I woke up for my normal 1-2am restroom break, and usually I’m up for about an hour afterwards, but that night I was up for 6 hours! I was so tired the next day.

My midwife recommended I try a regular body pillow before I spend the crazy amount of money on a pregnancy pillow– and so far it’s working I don’t know if it will work long term, but for now I’m enjoying the 90 dollars I saved.

Now some of the exciting things that happened this week:

I officially have my NCLEX test date! July 21st and 8am. It’s a little farther away than I wanted, but at least it’s not in august. We even have plans to spend a great first wedding anniversary that week afterwards, and then spending the weekend with some friends in Ohio after that. It’ll be a great way to wind down after the stress of the BIGGEST exam I’ve taken in my entire career as a student.

I also bought some maternity clothes. My best friend and I went shopping (something I can not do on my own)– and she helped me get myself a great wardrobe that is comfortable. I first went to OldNavy and I was very disappointed with there limited selection in store. They have a large selection online, and I don’t feel comfortable buying clothes without trying them on. I did manage to find two excellent t-shirts. They fit wonderfully, and are good for summer– but will be easy to layer for the fall.

Then we went to the mall and there was a maternity store. It was expensive, but they were having a sale and they had a pretty impressive clearance rack. I managed to get two pairs of the more comfortable maternity jeans, two dresses, a sweater, and a jacket. It was awesome. I now have clothes that are comfortable, and help me look pregnant (and not just extra fluffy).

I hope that this is at least 90% of the clothes I’m going to need to buy.

Something else exciting is C purchased a truck. We never thought we would be truck people, but this move changed things. I’m still driving our very dependable VW Jetta Sedan, with plans to buy a Honda CRV postponed until I start working after the baby is born, but he as driving his dad’s 97′ Ranger and it was dying! So after weeks we finally made the plunge. He got a great deal on a 2005 Honda Frontier with a crew cab (so it was four doors). I know it won’t be our primary family car, but it’s good to have four doors because at some point I’m sure we’ll all be inside of it. It’s pretty, and runs like a champ. CarMax made buying the truck a great experience.

The cherry to the perfect week was my birthday! At first I thought C forgot about my birthday, but in fact he surprised me by taking me to the zoo! I loooove the zoo, and it was a great day. Afterwards we went to the Cheescake Factory! I’ve never been before, and it was awesome! The cheesecake (that I had to get to-go, because I was stuffed to the gills) was amazing. We got an early start so it didn’t get too hot before we were done, and C made sure that I took breaks in the shade frequently– even when I felt perfectly fine. It was a great birthday!

Quick update on the house: The electrical is almost completely updated, all of the windows are installed, the closet in the master is studded, and drywall is being hung! C tells me it was a very busy week!– Which is why he can only stay two nights with me here and he’s back to eastern Ky. We’ve got our fingers crossed that we can be move in ready by September 1st!

It’s been a great week, and I’m even more excited for the weeks to come. 🙂

 

 

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Chicken Cordon Blu Casserole

I found this recipe on pinterest and I follow it almost exactly! I just made the addition of adding cheese into the sauce, and holding back on the salt– because that was the way my dad always did it. It’s delicious! This week I’ve been on a BIG cooking kick! While I stay with C we don’t have a kitchen, we have a grill and a mini fridge– So I get really starved for a good hearty home cooked meal! Hopefully you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I have!

 

Chicken Cordon Blu Casserole!

Ingredients:

♥ 2 pounds of chicken; cooked and chopped (Or a rotisserie chicken pulled apart works great!)
♥ 8 slices of black forest ham
♥ 8oz of swiss cheese; sliced thin
♥ 1 cup parmesan; shredded (and separated!)
♥ 1 1/4 cups italian style bread crumbs
♥ 8 tablespoons of butter/margarine; separated
♥ 4 tablespoons of flour
♥ 3 cups of milk
♥ 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
♥ 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
♥ 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
♥ 1/2 teaspoon of coarse ground pepper

Directions:

♣ Preheat oven to 350
♣ Spray a 9×11 pan with non-stick spray, and layer chicken, then ham, and then swiss cheese.
♣ For the sauce in a sauce pan on medium-low heat melt 4 tablespoons of butter (only half of the butter of the whole recipe!). Once melted, add in 4 tablespoons of flour– Whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes, until flour browns slightly.
♣ Once the rue is browned, continue to whisk while slowly pouring in milk (I recommend adding the first cup or so, getting all of the clumps out, and then slowly stirring in the remaining 2 cups). Bring heat up to medium high to bring it to a simmer and let it thicken.
♣ Once thickened, turn off and add in the: lemon juice, dijion mustard, paprika, pepper, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, and 2-3 slices of swiss cheese. (The heat will melt the cheeses)
♣ Pour the sauce over the chicken/ham/swiss cheese, and use a fork to maneuver the meat around a little to let the sauce sink throughout the layers and fill the pan.
♣ In the microwave melt 4 tablespoons of butter, and to that add the remaining parmesan cheese (1/2 cup) and the italian bread crumbs. Add this topping to the casserole.
♣ Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is brown and the casserole is bubbly.

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Week 15

Week 15
*this is a long post!

Woozah! This week has been exciting. Well, I should amend that and say that the end of this week has been the most exciting. We had our gender reveal scan at 15 weeks and 5 days. I was so excited and nervous that I couldn’t sleep the night before. I just knew that our baby was a girl, but about a week or two ago I started having gender specific dreams and in every dream I had a boy.

The morning of our scan my best friend (K) met up with us so she could follow us to our appointment. The hospital is under a lot of construction and unless you’ve been there once or twice it can be very confusing! I knew I wanted to share this moment with her, and she was so excited to be there too. She even surprised me when she got out of her car because she had a big bouquet of ‘gender neutral’ flowers. My appointment was at 830, but we got there at 810, and lucky enough we got called back at 820.

The ultrasound technician was the same lady who did our first scan (the one when I bawled like a baby), and I reassured her I wouldn’t cry this time– tearing up doesn’t count. Haha. She put some warm jelly on my stomach and right away I could see our baby– laying transverse across my uterus. She took the heart rate and it was down to 146– about 10 beats lower than usual. C said that maybe baby was a boy after all!

I was so sure baby was a girl, so it was still a huge (very good) surprise when she told us that we were having a BOY! It was a great ultrasound because baby was moving all over the place, flexing his arms and legs, and kicking. It made C tear up a bit. We got some great pictures, and there is no doubt that we’ve got a boy. He gave us quite the money shot! Haha

After this we went to BabiesRUs to celebrate. I had no ideas for a nursery theme for a boy so we wandered around the bed sets for a bit until we saw one we loved! Peek-A-Boo Monsters! All of the stuff was on clearance because they were phasing it out so we went ahead and bought the bed set, lamp, and mobile. Then we scoured the racks for baby boy clothes!

I had several people texting me asking what the gender was, but I wanted to make the big public reveal first. So we found some super cute outfits, and took our picture with them. I uploaded the picture, and then texted everyone right away. Everyone is so thrilled! We were really hoping for a boy, and everyone was happy we were having one.

The rest of the week was busy for the house. We demoed the master bedroom, picked up our windows, scheduled the electrician to come work, and I took a closer look at the soon to be nursery. We’ve decided to build a huge walk in closet in the master, and a nice 65″ by 30″ closet in the nursery. The house is nearly 80 years old so working within the small spaces is a must! The more I thought about not having a closet, the more I knew I had to have one.

On a pregnancy side of things– I was down another 3 pounds at this appointment, but my midwife didn’t seem concerned. I was a little shocked to be down some more. I’ve been getting sick less often, and eating more than before. It’ll catch up with me soon! I also learned that my midwife is leaving for maternity leave soon, but she should be back before we have the baby!

I did take this time to ask her about my labor and birth. I was very happy with her answers. She has had many clients succeed with a natural labor, so she will support me in this to the best of her ability. I do have to have an IV, but I can maintain my fluids orally. I can have intermittent monitoring of baby’s heart rate so I can walk around with my contractions. I can push in whatever position I feel best in– she said she has delivered babies every way: hands and knees, squatting, etc. She was thrilled when I said I want immediate kangaroo care, and delayed cord clamping. I forgot to ask about water birth, but that will have as much to do with hospital policy as it will with her. ** unfortunately I have to say ‘can’– because a lot of hospitals bully women into treating birth like a medical procedure, rather than a natural act. I love having a midwife understands and wants to help me have the birth I want.

While she is away I’ll be with another midwife in the practice. I’ve never met her before and I’m a bit nervous, but I’m sure it’ll be okay. Next visit we are doing the big anatomy scan! She told us it is very in depth and they look at everything. I’m excited to get to see my baby boy so soon again. I’m even more excited to make my 3D/4D scan appointment at a BellySpa! That won’t be till around 28-32 weeks, but still!

This week (according to the apps) baby can hear my heartbeat and maybe even my voice. So I’m taking my time to speak to him and give him a familiar voice to attach to. I still am not feeling movement, but hopefully soon! Baby is growing from a navel orange in size to an avocado!

I’m looking forward to growing a more noticeable bump, some boob growth ( don’t judge!), and feeling my baby boy move! I feel really bonded to our son, and it can’t wait to experience all of the things pregnancy has to offer (even the not to pretty parts).

I’m just filled to the brim with bliss and happiness. 🙂

 

 

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Old Wives Tales!

Our gender reveal scan is in the morning, so before we go I looked into some of the old wives tales! If we were more settled we might have opted to a gender reveal party, but we couldn’t really wait! I think my 830am ultrasound is late enough! haha. My best friend is coming with us, and I am so glad to share this moment with her. Before I share what Sea Monkey is tomorrow, here are what some of the old wives tales said!

1.Heart rate: Girl (~150 bpm)
2. Carrying high or wide: Girl! (Wide)
3. Acne: Boy (no more acne than usual)
4. Cravings: Boy (I really like salty/sour vs. sweet)
5. Moody or Happy: Boy (Happy for the most part, even C agrees!)
6. Chinese Gender Chart: Girl
7. Dreams are the opposite: Girl (I’ve been dreaming boy, despite feeling like it’s a girl)
8. Graceful or Clumsy: Boy (Super clumsy!)
9. Dad’s weight gain: Boy (Not really gaining any weight)
10. Intuition: Girl (I just have feeling)
11. Areola: Boy (I noticed it was darker awhile back)
12. Dry skin or normal: Boy (Defiantly noticed a major increase in dryness. Lotion is my new BFF)
13. Headaches: Boy (Oy! They have been killer headaches)
14. Pee Color: Boy (Bright yellow!)
15. Baking soda test: Girl (No fizzing)
16. Morning Sickness: Girl (Zofran became my best friend!)
17. Leg hair (ew): Girl (Not growing any faster that I can tell)

Total Tally:
Girl: 8
Boy: 9

Almost Split 50/50…. What will our baby be?
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More renovation updates!

This has been an exciting few weeks at our new home! Our contractor finished the roof, gutters, soffits, and facial boards. Now the outside of our house looks brand new! Our windows are finally finished being constructed and we just picked them up today– so tomorrow the contractor will start putting them in and building windowsills. Talk about some amazing before and after shots to come!

On top of all of that our appliances we purchased on Memorial Day weekend (thanks to a huge sale) were just delivered. Now– the kitchen doesn’t even look like a kitchen right now; the floor has to be replaced, the walls aren’t ready to be painted, and the electrical hasn’t been updated yet. So we had the men place them in the dining room so that when the time came to move them we wouldn’t have to move them far. We are also going to go ahead and start using the fridge since we’ve been using one that is more suitable for a dorm room.

I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen. I can not wait to cook a meal in my new kitchen in a few weeks!

In other news the master bedroom had some major renovation mayhem happen. We tore out the old closet, and the partial wall. We needed more room for our bedroom suite with that king bed and bedside tables, and I wanted a walk-in closet! So now I will have a huge walk-in closet with a wall of shoe storage. Heck yes!

We are also considering building a closet in the nursery rather than buying two dressers. The room is already really small, but I know in a few years a closet is going to be important to a growing kid. I haven’t measured to figure out the exact figures of it yet, but I will be soon.

As for the next big projects to come, we have a few:
1. Central heat and air installation and duct work.
2. The entire kitchen, master, and some more work in the nursery.
3. Fencing in some of the back yard for our indoor westie.
4. Electrical updating.
5. Setting up my grandmas home out back. (Septic tank, running water, running electrical, etc.)

It’s a daunting list, but some of these projects can be worked on simultaneously. C is hoping to be move in ready by Labor Day. We’ve all got our fingers and toes crossed!

 

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Week 14

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Today I am 14 weeks and 4 days, I’ve been pregnant for over 100 days– squee!! This week started off rough. I seem to go through these periods of time where I’m nauseous and sick all the time and I don’t feel like eating anything, then I have periods of time where I feel fine on that front and I’m hungry every 3 hours or so. Each phase seems to last about 4-6 days, and I always come out of the first phase down a pound or two. The beginning of this week I was feeling really sick and could not bring myself to eat anything despite having unlimited possibilities (because I’ve been in central Kentucky this past week). Once I started to feel better I started to really notice that increase in energy level that everyone talks about in the second trimester.

I noticed something cool this week: a slight baby bump. At first I thought I was crazy because I’m a pudgy girl and didn’t expect to see anything noticeable until closer to 16 weeks, but when I lifted my shirt and looked in the mirror I noticed the change. It isn’t enough for someone who didn’t know I was pregnant to notice– I just look like I’m gaining some extra weight in my mid-section, but trust me. It’s awesome timing because when my best friend K and I went to Babies-R-Us to start the registry she talked me into buying some belly stickers. Now like any girl I’m a self conscious of my belly– maybe once it starts to look like a real pregnancy bump I’ll have some more confidence. In the meantime I’m going to take pictures with the stickers on a balloon or something.

The last symptom I want to talk about is my trouble sleeping. I’m already having a really hard time getting comfortable in my dream bed. (We just bought this hybrid gel mattress a month ago, and up until now it has always been the most comfortable bed in the world). I think my pillows are just too flat, and I’m waking up with headaches. So I’ve been researching pregnancy pillows. The one I really wanted is close to 100$ because it is shaped like a U, but I found one for a lot cheaper and the reviews paint a pretty decent picture of the durability of the product. So I think I’m about to bite the bullet and buy the pillow.

The only reason that this is making me nervous is because when I stay with C in eastern Ky we have been staying in our home. Obviously the place is still under major renovations so we have been staying upstairs in the room that will be C’s man-cave. It is super tiny and we are staying on a bed that is bigger than a twin and smaller than a full. I just don’t think that I’m going to be able to sleep there comfortably much longer. It also stinks that the bathroom is downstairs– so that means that the 4 times minimum I wake up in the middle of the night to pee I have to wake C up so I can get past him, make me way slowly downstairs, crawl back into the tiny bed, and try to get comfortable agin. I hate to think that pretty soon I won’t be able to stay with him. We are still at least 2 months away from being ready to move.

Besides symptoms everything else on the pregnancy front has been awesome. Nothing has happened necessarily, I’ve just been organizing and planning and that gives me a real sense of security. It seems crazy to me because I feel like I’m fighting the urge to nest. From what I’ve read women don’t really start nesting until the third trimester, so maybe I’ll get to that point and look back on when I thought I was nesting during the second trimester and laugh– but right now the urge to work on the nursery, go shopping, and clean is nearly overwhelming.

I am desperately wanting to get to Ikea. Unfortunately for us– the nearest Ikea is in West Chester, OH. It’s about 2 hours away from our central Kentucky location. My list of things to buy at Ikea is growing, and I would just go and get the stuff– but C brings up a very good point: We shouldn’t buy furniture before we have a place to put it. Ugh! How dare he make sense! for the nursery I need to get two dressers, a night stand, a bookcase, and then for the living room I need the entertainment stand. Of course I have a few other smaller things on my list too.

Hopefully once we hear the gender (next Thursday!) I will be able to pick a nursery paint color and we can start to get to get it ready. The room has been ready to paint, but I didn’t want to pick a paint color without a gender. Then technically that room will be ready so I might be able to talk C into going to Ikea. 😉

Anyway! Just a week away until we know the gender! I have this feeling Sea Monkey is a girl– I’ve only been looking at girl clothes, and crib bedding sets. I don’t know why I feel this way, but if it is a girl I think I’ve got a ‘theme’ picked out.

Until next week!

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My Pre-Baby Book

I am a compulsive organizer and list maker. I always have been. When I feel overwhelmed or anxious– I make a list and it instantly soothes me. Obviously everything about being pregnant, and preparing for our first child is overwhelming. I have already eluded in pervious posts that I have been planning and organizing. So this post I’m going to talk about how I organize all of that research.

I bought a 1-inch 3-ring binder, and some dividers to break up the certain areas that I’ve been researching. Currently I have 5 sections: Prenatal, hospital, registry, nursery, and birthing classes. I’ll let you know what I keep in each section.

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Prenatal

I have receipts from my appointments and from my payments plan. I also have a payment schedule for my payment plan to pay off our deductible by the time our baby is here– that way after all we have to worry about is the hospital bill. I also have ‘recap’ sheets, and the information that my midwife has given me at my appointments. Essentially this section has everything to do with my prenatal care.

Hospital

Currently this section is blank, but as it gets closer to the due date I do plan on pre-registering for our stay in the hospital, so in this section of my binder I will hold a copy of that paperwork. I will have some page protectors to hold all of the information we get about the birth certificate, social security card, and upcoming well baby visits. I’ll also have a few copies of my flexible birth plan.

Registry

All information related to baby purchases and the registry will be here. I have a huge master list that I’ve complied from looking at several different ‘registry lists’ on the internet, and as I register for an item I cross it off the large list and write down which store I registered for it at. Then after that I have each store’s specific list. Once we are done I will include a printed copy of the registries from the stores.

 

Nursery

The two most important things I have in this section are the to-scale nursery drawing with the large items of furniture placed where I want them, and the list of the big ticket furniture items I need to purchase from Ikea. This section will also include nursery inspiration as I start to design a nursery. This is my favorite section.

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Birthing Class

This section currently just has a list of the classes I plan to attend, their date, location, and anything special about the class I need to know. It also has a list of questions I have to ask once I’m in the classes. As I begin attending them if I happen to take any notes– this section will also include my notes.


 

I really enjoy adding stuff to the sections as I have stuff to include. The amount of stuff to do doesn’t feel as overwhelming for me once I’ve got it organized and at my finger tips. I don’t know if this will make anyone else feel better like it does for me– but I figured it can’t do anything but help.

 

 

 

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Chicken and Gnocchi Soup (or in my case: Stew).

One of my favorite soups has to be the chicken and gnocchi soup at Olive Garden– I just always think that they are a little too shy with those delicious potato dumplings. So when I was shopping at mejier a few years ago I saw a huge bag of frozen gnocchi. It was the only time that I ever saw those dumplings in the store. I snatched it up without really knowing what I planned on making with them.

I searched high and low for a recipe that sounded good and after hours on the internet I found a recipe that looked almost perfect. I’ve changed a few things from the original– and I think it steps it up to a whole new level of awesome.

Now– you might be wondering why I call it stew– Well. I tend to like this dish on the thicker side. I add twice as much gnocchi and spinach are even MY own recipe calls for. If you like it thinner just follow the recipe as follows. What doesn’t change is the amazing flavor. I love how creamy it is without having a ton of cream (although 2 cups is a lot– keep in mind this makes a HUGE stock pot full that can easily feed 8 people). I also love to serve it with homemade french bread (and by homemade– I mean I cracked a tube of Pillsbury french bread in my home, and cooked it in the oven.)

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Chicken and Gnocchi Soup!

Ingredients:

♥ 2 pounds of chicken; cooked and chopped
♥ 4 cups of chicken broth
♥ 2 cups of half-and-half
♥ 9oz of frozen spinach; thawed and drained (or doubled it you’re me!)
♥ 4 medium carrots; peeled, washed, and grated
♥ 1 medium onion; chopped fine
♥ 3 cloves of garlic; minced
♥ 2 tablespoons of olive oil
♥ 1 pound of gnocchi (or doubled if you’re me!
♥ Salt and pepper to taste.
♥ Optional: cornstarch and water for thickening.

Directions:

♣ In a large stock pan on medium low heat cook onion, carrots, and garlic until onion is translucent; about 10 minutes.
♣ Add chicken broth, spinach, and chicken back into the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes.
♣ Add half-half, gnocchi, and seasoning to taste. Cover and summer for 25-30 minutes.

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Childbirth Classes

At my last appointment my midwife asked if I had considered attending any childbirth classes. Of course I thought about it, but for some reason I thought I had so much time before I even needed to start considering. She encouraged me to start looking into them because the classes are only held every few weeks and you’d need to plan it out.

Today I went to my facility’s webpage and looked through the classes I was interested in attending and was surprised to see that now may be the time to start planning for these. If we start now we will be attending one class a month until the last class in October. I feel like these will be good classes both because C and I are first time parents, and because I do plan to have a career as a midwife in the future. I’m going to be surrounded by babies for the rest of my life.

So the classes I’m thinking of taking are these:

  • 9 Months in Counting: Questions about being pregnant
  • Great Expectations: What is it going to be like laboring at my facility, their policies, etc.
  • Little Fingers, Little Toes: Teaching you the basics–how to bath, change, swaddle, etc.
  • Art of Breastfeeding: self explanatory.
  • Laboring the Natural Way (to be taken during the 8th month): self explanatory

I’m excited, nervous, and everything in-between. Now… The real question is: how am I going to pry C away from all of his renovation mayhem to travel the 90 miles into town to appease his darling pregnant wife. Oh wait, I’m his darling pregnant wife. I win. Muahahaha.

On another childbirth class note– I need to decide if what natural childbirth method I want– or if I even want one. I’ll start looking into that soon.