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Friday Update: Week 40

At 40 weeks, baby is said to be about 20 inches long, the average length of a newborn. It is difficult to find 20″ objects that aren’t tires, computer monitors or TVs. So this week I settled on something way more glamorous: a piece of 20-inch carry-on luggage, which apparently is pretty standard but these little bags can go up to 22 inches. Watch out for that.

What a different kind of week it has been! I have been out on “maternity” leave since Monday. I use the quotes because it hardly feels like there’s much maternity-ing going on, as there is still no baby to care for.

I started the week by finishing a project, then lapsing into complete and total impatience and frustration, only to end with the resolve to come to terms with the wait and just be patient. Yes, I’m only 40 weeks but given Kiddo1’s early appearance at 38 weeks (ish) and the fact that everyone has been telling me about how quick the second one comes, making it to 40 weeks has been quite surprising.

I’ve been feeling much better the past couple days. Yesterday was another good day. We went out to get our car tire fixed – it has had a nail in it for the past, I don’t know, couple months, and we finally decided it’d be safe to just fix it already. It was no trip to a museum or anything, but we did get out and had a nice walk to lunch while the work was being done. Later we ran some errands, got some dinner and generally had a nice day as a happy family.

Also, Kiddo1 gave me a great project to start working on. He’s a big fan of the Titanic and a couple weeks ago he suckered us into chipping in money for him to buy some Titanic coins and memorabilia. It all arrived yesterday after a little over a week of torturous waiting (we were waiting buddies, but his package arrived before mine!). We put all the items out on the floor and decided we should frame it all. We’ve been talking about redoing the wall art in his room anyway.

So now I have a fun framing project to get started on! After we fixed the tire yesterday we went to the art supply store to get the mats. We picked up a frame just before dinner, too. Tonight I’ll lay some stuff out as ideas for him to decide on tomorrow. This is a great distraction for me, I don’t think he even realizes it.

I also need to work on finding something to wear to my friend’s wedding tomorrow which I’m super excited to be attending (yay!!) but attending pregnant (boo). Being pregnant for it isn’t a problem in-and-of-itself, I just so thought I’d be bringing a baby along to this event! I had an outfit planned for it and everything! Now it’s back to the drawing board with only a day to figure it out! Eeek!

Some standard stuff:

  • Total weight gain: 35 pounds, I think. I haven’t been as diligent with weighing in this week. But, given the next bullet point, I’d say two pounds gained this week is fair.
  • Cravings: Anything. Everything? It all sounds good and I want to eat it. I don’t feel physically restricted about the amount of food I can consume anymore. Perhaps that means she really has dropped? I have no idea…
  • Coolest symptom: Just a general physical well-being, I suppose. Other than struggling for the first time with sleep, I physically feel fantastic. My mind is starting to feel fantastic again after a rough couple days, and it is getting better the more I have other things to focus on (besides the fact that we’re at D day and still no baby!).
  • Lamest symptom: Teenage boy farts are back big time. Mr. Handsome and Kiddo1 don’t know what the hell is going on. And if we’re out I can’t blame it on the dog! (Just kidding Max! I always fess up.) At the science museum the other day, Mr. Handsome says, “Someone in here in dropping more bombs than the Air Force!” while looking at me accusingly.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes 180 minutes): I got in a session of water aerobics and two 45-minute yoga sessions. Score! With the hours and hours of walking added to that I’d say the goal has been met. Oh and all the vacuuming and cleaning counts for cardio too, right?

Baby2, where are you? Here’s what she’s up to, courtesy babycenter.com:

It’s hard to say for sure how big your baby will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7 1/2 pounds (a small pumpkin) and is about 20 inches long. His or her skull bones are not yet fused, which allows them to overlap a bit if it’s a snug fit through the birth canal during labor. This so-called “molding” is the reason your baby’s noggin may look a little conehead-ish after birth. Rest assured – it’s normal and temporary.

Friday Update: Week 39

39 weeks! We’ve made it this far!

This week, it looks like summer may have officially hit the Pacific NW, after lots of teasing – going back and forth between 80/sunny and 60/rainy. Very weird spring/early summer weather this year, but now that the sun is here (to stay?) I can’t complain. I’m very excited to walk about with Baby2 in the sun, strapped to my chest and shaded, of course.

With the heat coming it’s time to break out the 20″ box fan to keep cool in our non-air-conditioned house (we don’t really need the A/C anyway, we have a basement. Sure, sometimes we sleep in the basement, but we save a whole bunch on our utility bill!).

Wait? 20″? Well, that’s the approximate length of Baby2 this week!

And speaking of summer, after today summer vacation (aka maternity leave) officially begins. I put one of these on my office email today:

See you office homies in 10 weeks, yo!

Like a lot of things lately, I am both excited for and nervous about maternity leave. Excited because, duh, I don’t have to work. Nervous because, well, I like to work! I like the routine, I like the sense of accomplishment, I like getting out of the house and being independent. What if I miss important changes at the office (our company is changing all the time; things are very fast-paced, especially in my wing of the building), what if I miss opportunities? Urg, the uncertainty!

Luckily, I will have the sweetest distraction that ever could be: my super awesome, amazing family, complete with brand-new Baby2. Not such a bad trade-off, I suppose. Besides, work will be there for me when I return (September 17th, I’d better not start the countdown already!). And by then, I’m sure I’ll be ready for it.

But… while I feel ready for leave and ready for this baby to make her appearance, I’m not so sure if I’m ready for not being pregnant anymore! These last few weeks have been especially excellent, despite having to roll myself off the couch at this point. I know this is the last time in my life I’ll be this way, and it’s kind of depressing me all of a sudden.

I will really miss this time so I want to make the most of it – but what can I do? Other than trying to not rush myself or be impatient, I don’t know how best to take advantage of it. I’m taking pictures to look back on, of course. I’m journaling, blogging, all that good stuff. I guess just living in the moment is the best thing for me, being grateful for all that I have right now.

Anyway, before the weekly standards, a few updates about our latest midwife appointment. First, she says Baby2’s head is super duper low in my pelvis – so low she could barely feel it! Baby2 is faced toward my back and her back is centered in my uterus (ie she’s not favoring one side or the other, although I think I feel her move to my right side sometimes). She’s in the perfect position for birth! My fundal height was only about 37 cm, but I was having a contraction while she measured (she actually pointed out the contraction!) so I could be more like 38 cm. Either way, our midwife was not at all concerned – she estimates baby will be about 7 pounds or so (Kiddo1 is concerned that she’ll be bigger than he was at birth!). We talked a little about Group B Strep (half of us in the centering group tested positive!) and she didn’t say anything that I haven’t already heard (call if your water breaks, call earlier than you think you should, you need antibiotics 4 hours before birth, another dose after 4 hours would be best, etc, etc). Another great appointment, hopefully the last one! The next one is scheduled for four days after my due date.

On to the regular updates:

  • Total weight gain: 33 pounds. I thought I’d break down the typical weight gain for myself, just so I can see that the number really isn’t so bad (in fact, it’s great according to my midwife!). This is according to the American Pregnancy Association:
    • Baby: 7-8 pounds
    • Placenta: 1-2 pounds
    • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds
    • Uterus: 2 pounds
    • Maternal breast tissue: 2 pounds (at least! ha!)
    • Maternal blood: 4 pounds
    • Fluids in maternal tissue: 4 pounds
    • Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds
  • Cravings: Spicy foods, like my extra spicy ginger cookies. Perhaps this craving will help entice our little one to make her way into the outside world?
  • Coolest symptom: More defined limbs are sticking out the sides of my belly. I’m pretty sure I grabbed a foot the other day. I like to tickle her little feet, then she pulls it back in. It’s a fun little interaction that I know won’t last too long. But soon I’ll tickle her actual feet, so that’ll be cool!
  • Lamest symptom: I’ve got this strange muscle-tightening thing going on sporadically in my right groin muscle. It’s weird. It only lasts for a moment but stops me in my tracks. Not really painful but I can’t walk through it either. Also, my wedding rings are getting a little tight. I still wear them, but I hope it doesn’t get any worse!
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes 180 minutes): I missed water aerobics entirely this week. It’s only offered three times a week this summer – I missed Saturday because I was lazy, Monday because I had too much other stuff to do and then I realized too late that Wednesday is a holiday so they weren’t offering a session. Lame! I did do 75 minutes of yoga though, so all was not lost, plus about 60 minutes of biking over the 4th. Oh! And about an hour of walking around town with the fam over the weekend. So I guess that puts me at goal after all!

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby’s waiting to greet the world! He or she may measure about 20 inches and weigh a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) Your baby continues to build a layer of fat to help control body temperature after birth, and the outer layers of skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

Labor Foods

Happy Independence Day! Since Bany2’s own independence (from being physically attached to me) is imminent, and someone in my moms group recently mentioned labor cookies, I figured I’d make some yummy cookies and post about them. The midwife is okay with “getting things moving,” if you will, since really anything we try will only “ripen the cervix” rather than induce actual labor. I think she’s soclose but not quite ready yet!

Anyway, cookies!

There’s this site, JustMommies.com, that has all sorts of recipes for labor-inducing foods. They list obvious ones, like hot wings, but also labor pizza and a pineapple smoothie! I’m itching to try all these, but first and foremost are the cookies. The link above will take you to the original recipe, but below you’ll find my version after making a couple half-batches with my own special tweaks.

I first made these on Sunday and they were tasty! I doubled the amount of cayenne pepper from the original recipe, so they were extra spicy too (but really not too spicy, I could eat them without needing water). I made a batch with the regular amount of cayenne for a work potluck yesterday and they went over well.

On Sunday I felt like the BHCs (Braxton Hicks contractions) got a little stronger about two hours after I ate a couple cookies. No big changes. On Monday afternoon I felt contractions that seemed a little more real (pressure near the bottom of my uterus, rising to the top, constricting, very tight-feeling belly, etc). They were about 12-13 minutes apart for five hours or so, then fizzled in the evening.

On Tuesday I stopped paying attention, mostly because I’m straining to feel every sensation that I possibly can and it’s starting to stress me out. I need to relax and just let things happen. Of course, I’ll try to pitch in with a little help from labor foods and, you know, other fun things that Mr. Handsome can help with. But I doubt any kind of stress is going to move anything along very quickly.

On to the cookie recipe!

Labor Inducing Gingersnap Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper*
8 tablespoons (or 1 stick) butter*
3/4 cup granulated sugar (will also need extra sugar to roll cookie dough in)*
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup molasses
2 egg whites

* = things I changed from the original recipe

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and cayenne pepper in small mixing bowl. Set dry ingredients aside.

Then blend butter in large mixing bowl. Stir in brown sugar and granulated sugar slowly. Add the molasses, then the egg whites. Finally, add the dry ingredients to your mix.

Roll dough into ¾ inch balls. Roll cookie balls in sugar to lightly coat each cookie. Place balls on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

Yum! I’m also going to try the Pineapple Smoothie today. Bring it, labor!

Friday Update: Week 38

Holy shit, week 38. That means, in approximately two weeks time, our little family of three will be four. We’ll have a little baby to hold and feed and love (and clean up after!). We’ll have evened out the girl-boy ratio in our house! Well, as long as you don’t count our boy dog (who am I kidding, the boys are totally counting him so they can continue to have the majority).

At 38 weeks, baby is said to be about 19-1/2 inches long (although Kiddo1 was 19-1/2 inches at birth so we’ll see what Baby2 ends up being!). 19-1/2 inches is the approximate height of my 5-gallon glass carboy, in which I brew beer. Mmmm, beer. I haven’t brewed in about a year but I really need to get on it now. I’d love to have a delicious home brew as one of the first back-to-alcohol drinks I allow myself!

But before the drinks can flow, the baby needs to arrive. Why am I starting to get nervous about when that will be? I’m not very nervous about the event itself, but OMG WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN? I’m looking at my calendar and realizing I not only have work things tightly scheduled for the next week but my personal calendar is full of events as well. What if she’s more than a week early? I hate missing things.

After the due date I have a wedding I’d really like to attend. Then my parents show up on the 18th. What if she’s late? I would really like a few days to myself (and my immediately family, of course!) to relax and bond and, most importantly, recover. The best time for her to arrive would be the evening of Tuesday, July 10th (are you listening baby?!).

I know it’s pointless to worry about this and it’s something that I just can’t schedule (honestly, I know I wouldn’t want to). I have to relax, go with the flow, and know that whatever happens, I’ll drop anything, anything at all, and focus on this birth when the time comes. Stressing is pointless (and I’ll keep telling myself that!).

Here are some things I’m not stressing about, though:

  • Total weight gain: 32 pounds. Still on track! I’m very proud of my body for keeping the third tri gain to a pound a week (on average). I haven’t done much to help out, what with my ice cream habit and dropping my exercise goal, so thanks, body. I heart you.
  • Cravings: Perhaps I’ve had my fill of ice cream? I’m not ravenous for it this week (although I still indulged a couple times). I’m loving my daily breakfast sandwich and daily spinach salad for lunch, plus I’m crazy thirsty lately.
  • Coolest symptom: The “contractions” continue, although not at all consistent (definitely some Braxton-Hicks action going on). “Cervix pinches” also continue. I’m dying to know if I’ve made any progress but, with the Group B Strep positive test I fear the risk of potential infection so I won’t ask to be checked at Tuesday’s midwife appointment. All in all I feel pretty damn fantastic still!
  • Lamest symptom: Still fighting the waddle (and, come evening, giving in most of the time) and still peeing a whole lot.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes 180 minutes): 120 minutes of water aerobics (yeah, I went twice!), 75 minutes of yoga for a total of 195 minutes. Woot! I’ve found the yoga feels more “productive” lately, like with each lunge and squat baby settles down into position a little more.

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby has really plumped up. He or she weighs about 6.8 pounds and is over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). Your baby has a firm grasp, which you’ll soon be able to test when you hold his or her hand for the first time! His or her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb. Wondering what color your baby’s eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If your baby is born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. If he or she is born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time your baby is 9 months old. That’s because a child’s irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after birth, but they usually won’t get “lighter” or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

Friday Update: Week 37

37 weeks! That’s term time! I’m feeling pretty darn good about that. As of today, I can have my waterbirth, I won’t have any restrictions if I go into labor now and the “preterm” risk factor for baby has been eliminated. Super sweet.

Speaking of baby, she’s supposedly about 19 inches long this week. Apparently a lot of things are 19 inches long but they’re all like TVs and car tires: boring. In keeping with the spirit of the (now concluded) NBA finals, I discovered this foam finger we obtained at a Phoenix Suns game is exactly 19 inches long! (We moved to the PacNW from Phoenix four years ago. We’re so lucky to live here now!)

Speaking of luck, this week I’m reflecting on how incredibly lucky I am. A year ago at this time I was frustrated with myself for not being pregnant yet. Now, I’m wrapping up my second super awesome pregnancy and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m lucky because pregnancy is fairly easy for me. I don’t intend to brag with this at all, I merley want to list all this lucky stuff for myself so when I look back I can thoroughly remember that I did have it good and I should not complain! Why complain about something we tried so hard to achieve? I mean, here I am, 37 weeks, and I’m still riding my bike around the neighborhood (not too far from home, just in case!), touching my toes during yoga, doing the downward dog, literally running across the street, getting myself out of bed on my own and driving myself to work every day. My wedding rings still fit and I can still wear some non-maternity clothes. I haven’t been sick, I haven’t felt gross, in fact I’ve felt pretty darn amazing this whole time. I sleep using only one pillow, for my head, and I sleep very well (almost too well becMy weight gain has been great, my tests have come back normal, my midwife is happy with my progress and I’ve only gone to see her once a month (next visit is in two weeks, but that should be the last one!). Overall, nothing to complain about.

Some more lucky stuff:

  • Total weight gain: 31 pounds. Three weeks to go. I totally got this.
  • Cravings: Still sweet things. Every day for lunch I eat a spinach salad (I crave those a little bit now!) but I’ve started to add a couple chocolate chip cookies to my lunch, too. Since I haven’t been eating my daily dose of Dove dark chocolates, I have to get my chocolate fix somehow. I only had one snickers blizzard this week! Major accomplishment in my self-control there.
  • Coolest symptom: This week I suddenly realized I’m having contractions (probably Braxton-Hicks, but whatever). On Tuesday I was driving in to work and noticed what I still think is baby’s head rotating a bit – it’s very low. Then my whole belly got super duper hard. I noticed it happening all day Tuesday and each day since. They don’t hurt at all, I barely notice them. I told the midwife at Tuesday’s appointment – I actually had one while we were talking. She touched my belly and said, “Yep, that’s a contraction.” Of course I didn’t have the sense to ask if she thought they were Braxton-Hicks or not, but sometimes they are accompanied by the “cervix pinches” I mentioned last week. Only thing to do is wait and see I suppose!
  • Lamest symptom: I fight the waddle so hard right now. Other than that, I’m not noticing anything in particular that is too lame this week.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes 180 minutes): 60 minutes of water aerobics, 120 of yoga. Just barely made it! I’m going to start doing water aerobics twice a week next week. I’d like to think that will increase my exercise time but we’ll see…

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby is now considered full term, even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, your baby’s lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you’re planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there’s a medical reason to intervene earlier.) Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by an Elvis look-alike. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

Friday Update: Week 36

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppThey say baby is about 18-1/2 inches long this week – the width of the lid on my washing machine!

This week we’ve really been cleaning up on the to-do list and I’m starting to feel ready. I’ve crossed a whole bunch of items off my to-do list (which I’ll post tomorrow). The nursery is all finished, although my mind is still obsessing over ways to improve my giant mobile (I’m sure some things will happen to it with it in the next couple weeks. I can’t let this stuff go!).

We have acquired all the essential baby gear: the car seat and a Moby wrap carrier from my transportation gear post, a breast pump and pillow from my feeding gear post and a crib, dresser, play mat and some blankets from my home gear post.

We’ve taken our waterbirth class, taken a tour of the hospital birth center (enlightening! The recovery rooms are so much bigger than they were nine years ago!), I’ve read seven books about birth and I’ve written down a bunch of birth plan thoughts that Mr. Handsome and I will go over this weekend. We’ve talked about it on and off but it’s time to really get down to business about it!

Despite all this work that has been done and as ready things seem, every time I look at the calendar and realize how close we are I am both excited and freaked out at the same time. I’m pretty sure Mr. Handsome feels the same way. When I remind him how many weeks are left he just kind of repeats the number I quoted and gets quiet. It’s just like, whoa! We’re super close to being a family of four instead of three! Three is all we’ve known for nine whole years!

Still super excited more than freaked out, though. I’ve started to think about upcoming events with this new little one in mind. We’ll have a little bundle in tow everywhere we go! So awesome to think about!

Other awesomeness of the week:

  • Total weight gain: 30 pounds. An unfortunate combination of not meeting my exercise goals (for several weeks in a row), relaxing my diet (damn you Snickers Blizzards!) and Baby2’s own half-pound-per-week gain is wreaking havoc on my pound-a-week goal! The pregnant part of my brain is totally okay with this but the non-pregnant part is a little in shock when the number comes up on the scale.
  • Cravings: A whole bunch of sweet stuff that I’m trying not to pay attention to. I’ve been sticking to my daily salad but ice cream is just so fantasically amazing. It’s not fair that there are so many forms of chocolate in the world.
  • Coolest symptom: She’s moving around super low and I can feel her push against my cervix, especially when I’m walking around. I remember these senstations becoming more and more frequent leading up to the day Kiddo1 was born. Although this “pinching” of my cervix is slightly uncomfortable, it makes me feel like things are starting to happen. I can’t get too ahead of myself though! She hasn’t dropped or anything, though. Her kicks still push up my boobs when I’m sitting!
  • Lamest symptom: A byproduct of the super low movement is that I have to pee all the time. ALL the time. At work, I swear I’m in the bathroom 20 times a day at least. At night I’m up three or four times at least. I am trying to stay extra hydrated lately so I’m sure that doesn’t help but STILL. It’s a lot of bathroom time.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes 180 minutes): I’m dropping the goal down a bit since I suppose I should be taking it easy — no, that’s just a excuse to drop my goal because I haven’t made it the last four or five weeks so might as well right?! This week I did pretty well but mostly because we were out and about around town most of Sunday. I’m going to count 60 minutes of walking for that (even though we did way more, but it was intermittent). Plus 60 minutes of water aerobics and 75 of yoga means I made the goal this week with 195 minutes!

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby is still packing on the pounds – at the rate of about an ounce a day. He or she now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. Your baby is shedding most of the downy hair that covered his or her body, as well as the vernix caseosa – a waxy substance that protects the skin during its nine-month bath in amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows these substances, along with other secretions, and they form a tar-like black substance called meconium which your baby passes in his or her first bowel movements. At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full term. (Full term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are preterm and those born after 42 are post term.) Most likely he or she is in a head-down position. But if not, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version. (This is a fancy way of saying that your caregiver will try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating him or her from the outside of your belly.)

Friday Update: Week 34

dustbusterAt 34 baby is just about 17-1/2 inches long – our Dust Buster is approximately that same length. We’ve been using our Dust Buster a good bit this week to clean up after the projects I’ve been finishing up. I’ve procrastinated on my sewing but I’ve got new mirrors hung and all wall hangings up!

Yesterday I was going to say that I’m not sure how a whole Dust Buster would fit in my belly, folded up or not. However today I can totally see it! She’s stretching herself out big time today – there are frequent movements super, super low in my abdomen and high enough that when I’m sitting (and perhaps slouching a bit), she hits my boobs at the same time. She can kick at my hips, she stretches from side to side, she’s everywhere! And her kicks aren’t so much quick movements as longer, sustained pushes of her body. She’s literally stretching as much as she can as she begins to slowly run out of space.

Anyway… 34 weeks?! Halfway through the third trimester! How did this happen? It seems like time is just flying by at this point. Six more weeks to go – seems like no time at all! Enough time to finish my sewing, I’m sure (at least I keep telling myself that!), but still, it’s right around the corner!

I’m getting more feelings of excitement for things to come in less than two months. When Baby2 pushes her little feet out my side and I give her a little foot rub, I imagine rubbing her little feet without layers of skin, muscle and uterus in between us. I’m having more daydreams of just hanging out with Baby2: snuggling with her while reading with Kiddo1, taking everyone to the park to sprawl in the sun, playing in the kiddy pool in the backyard, all that good, wholesome stuff!

Here’s some non-imaginary stuff that happened this week:

  • Total weight gain: The scale has been messing with me. It is all over the place. I’m going to say 27 pounds because I said 26-27 last week and I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment next week (but I think I’m still at 26 pounds. Shhh – don’t tell myself). I’m very happy with my weight gain thus far, though. Six weeks to go and if I can stay in the most healthy 35 pound range I will be a happy camper!
  • Cravings: I can’t get enough of snickers blizzards from DQ. I’ve had two this week alone! I can count that as calcium though, right? I’d better be careful with this craving in order to meet my weight goals! Luckily I’ve also been craving salads for lunch for the past three weeks or so, so they totally balance each other out… I’m sure of it.
  • Coolest symptom: I’ve noticed in the past week or two that Baby2 has started having brief hiccup sessions. They don’t last long and I really don’t notice them unless I’m laying down and still. I’m glad they aren’t as annoying as I’ve heard them described (and I hope that doesn’t change!).
  • Lamest symptom: I’m having a hard time with decision-making lately. I really don’t like to be bothered with any sort of decisions. I’ve been getting really frustrated feelings when I have to decide certain things. My mind doesn’t want to be bothered with real-life stuff, it would rather daydream I suppose!
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): I did better this week than the past two weeks, which were major fails. I still didn’t hit the goal but I did manage 75 minutes of yoga, 60 minutes of water aerobics (yes I made it this week!) and I’m marking down 20 minutes of miscellaneous cardio for playing basketball and walking to the park with the fam. That’s 155 minutes – not too shabby.

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Fat layers – which will help regulate your baby’s body temperature after birth – are filling your baby out, making him or her rounder. Your baby’s skin is also smoother than ever. The central nervous system is maturing, and your baby’s lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Scones and Dresser

In Friday’s update post I promised to post about some scones I made, so I’m finally getting to that now! It’s been a busy weekend… but, first – the scones!

I found this receipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog and I have reposted it here. It is mostly a verbatim repost but I did modify it slightly after perusing the comments.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones

1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/2 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar*
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cup (136 grams or 4 3/4 ounces) fresh raspberries
3/4 cup (189 grams) greek yogurt (6 oz)*
1/3 cup (79 ml) heavy cream

* parts that I changed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together.

With a pastry blender: Add the butter (no need to chop it first) and use the blender to both cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Toss in raspberries and use the blender again to break them into halves and quarter berry sized chunks.

Without a pastry blender: Cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Roughly chop the raspberries on a cutting board and stir them into the butter-flour mixture. (Mine turned very pink by adding the raspberries this early. In my next batch I’ll probably add them later so the dough is more marbley like the photos on Smitten Kitchen’s post.)

Both methods: Add the ricotta and heavy cream together and stir them in to form a dough with a flexible spatula. Using your hands, gently knead dough into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t fret if the raspberries get muddled and smudge up the dough. This is a pretty thing.

With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter, flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1-inch tall. With a large knife, divide the dough into 9 even squares. Transfer the scones to prepared baking sheet with a spatula. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. It’s best to cool them about halfway before eating them, so they can set a bit more. I know, way to be a big meanie, right?

Do ahead (I took this route so they could be fresh-baked in the morning): Scones are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the frozen, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.

I also added the lemon icing for some more sweetness, because even though I doubled the sugar in the original recipe these scones still weren’t sweet enough for me! This is my own recipe:

Lemon Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk

Adjust the milk-to-powdered sugar ratio to achieve the desired consistency. I wanted more of a glaze than a fluffy frosting so I used a teeny bit more milk. Just stir and stir until the lumps smooth out and it is ready to go!

……..

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppIn other news, this dresser that I have been working on forEVER is finally finished! I’ve been sanding this thing sporadically over the last month or so (this picture was taken after I had sanded half of the drawers). My goal was to get it all painted by this weekend because the baby stuff we’re accumulating needs a home!

It took some serious perseverance and carefully watching of the weather but it all got done. The weather this weekend was so unpredictable. It looked like it was going to rain but aside from an intense thunderstorm on Saturday night we stayed mostly dry. I started painting on Saturday around 2 and brought everything in around 7:30, about 30 minutes before the storm started. Whew!

Anyway, here it is! I added some glass-like pulls that I thought we a bit more girly and, as a last-minute addition, I painted the insides of the drawers hot pink. The pink doesn’t really go with the rest of the color scheme but I think it’s a nice surprise when you open the drawers.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppUploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

On Sunday I applied a coat of sealer so the paint won’t scratch too easily and I let it sit outside to air out for awhile. As a result of all that work I rested a ton today, taking a nice long nap on the couch and generally neglecting all my duties and other projects. This week I’ll be sewing so hopefully I’ll have a post in a week about more accomplishments!

Friday Update: Week 33

apple-alu-keyboardBaby is 17 inches long this week! The keyboard that came with my iMac is also 17″ long. I’m currently typing this post on my iMac but I usually use my iBook because, well, I like to sit on the sofa and be comfortable. My iBook won’t turn on and that is upsetting! It’s only five years old! Stay with me buddy. Although I would love a new one of these! (Haha NOT going to happen!)

Another week down, only seven more to go! Seven! But I am focusing more on the weekend ahead. I have so much to accomplish – thank goodness I have three days in which to do it!

  • My number one project is finishing up the dresser that I’m refinishing. I’ve been sanding it all down by hand with little strips of sand paper because I’m too cheap to buy even one of those  sander things. I’ve been trying to wrap that up for days but it keeps raining this week so I’m stuck. I can’t sand inside! Then I need to fill all the scratches and dents with wood putty so it looks all smooth and pretty again (I found this dresser on Craig’s List so it’s a little beat up). Then I will paint the whole thing and attach new drawer pulls that are all pretty and girly. Finally a place to put all the clothes and diapers I’ve been accumulating!
  • I also need to finish the giant mobile I’ve been toiling over for weeks. Most of it is installed on the ceiling, I just need to adjust a few things and decide whether or not to make just one more yellow poof like the one I made over Spring Break (which I will try to do but after I finish a plethora of other projects).
  • Then there’s the sewing. Oh so much sewing. I want to make pillows, a cover for our Boppy pillow, covers for the changing pad and a couple sheets.
  • Finally, I found a cute little lamp at a thrift store for three bucks so I’ve got to fix it up and get it in place. Plus install a couple new mirrors to replace the full-length mirror I had to take down in order to get Baby2’s furniture in the right places. Aaand hopefully take pictures of everything so I can write a post about our finished nursery. Don’t hold your breath, my list is daunting!

Not to mention getting in some quality time with family and friends too! My moms group has an outing to the “What to Expect” movie so fingers crossed that people actually show up!

I’m excited for the weekend but I will look back on this week for just a few things:

  • Total weight gain: 26-27 pounds, the scale moves. Not surprising given the below cravings, (lack of) exercise and baby’s own half-pound gain this week!
  • Cravings: Still smoothies, I love them and it is unfortunate that a Jamba Juice is so close to work, but my old boss kept talking about wanting scones the other day and how I should make some (I’m like the team baker) so I did make some this morning and I wanted to eat all of them. I will post pictures later today (no time now!). I’m trying not to go crazy over carbs since my midwife gave me the okay to eat more of them!
  • Coolest symptom: It’s difficult for me to think of something other than baby kicks because she’s moving ALL THE TIME now. But generally I feel great, physically (so I should be exercising, dang it!). I’m sleeping very well provided I’m not woken by my bladder or other interruptions because I have not been able to return to sleep in those cases. I’ve had some extra early mornings at the office because of this.
  • Lamest symptom: I’m plagued by small, annoying things really. These things don’t really bother me all that much so I must remind myself that things could be a lot (a LOT) worse so be grateful. Grateful I tell ya! Still short on space between my belly and boobs, but I’m either getting used to it or it’s suddenly better. The midwife says I’m carrying really low and I was like. “What the hell are you talking about?!” But after looking at my pictures, I know she’s right, baby is pretty low.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): This week I have nothing, literally no logged exercise time. Total fail two weeks in a row! I spent a lot of the weekend walking around but I’m not counting that. I will be better next week. I WILL!

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He or she is rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look. Your baby’s skeleton is hardening. The bones in the skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap. This makes it easier for your baby to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as your child’s brain and other tissues expand during infancy and childhood.

Friday Update: Week 31

PhotobucketThis week baby is about 16 inches long which is about the length of a typical Milton Bradley (now Hasbro) board game box, like Sorry, Clue or Battleship. Kiddo1 has quite the game collection, built up over many years of me asking our families for toys that don’t have batteries.

Indigestion is still quite a battle this week, but only if I struggle to control myself! As long as I eat small meals I’m okay, but that’s so much harder than it sounds! I’m so hungry! And when the food tastes so good (as most foods are) I just want to eat the whole thing! Plus seconds! Also, eating small meals means I need to eat more often which is good and bad. Good because I get to eat (that’s always good!) but bad because I have to have food with me pretty much all the time because I never know when my stomach will cry for more.

On Monday, the hunger struck while I was leaving work which was most unfortunate because I had to pick up my son and then probably run some errands or something, I don’t remember because all I could think about was the hunger! We arrived home and I quickly scarfed down some cottage cheese and carrots but I still ended up having odd indigestion-like feelings and had to lie down on the sofa for awhile. WTF? How can I feel all indigestion-y if I haven’t eaten anything?!

On Wednesday I had it down, though. I ate my lunch in thirds at 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30. That way when I left at 4:15 I could make it to pick up Kiddo1 and get all the way home. Then I had to have a snack when we got home and had to eat an early dinner. And some more snacking. If I have to start getting up in the middle of the night I’m going to freak out!

One bad thing about all this indigestion (or reverse indigestion?) that actually leads to good discoveries is all the Braxton Hicks contractions that the discomfort brings on. I had been lying down on my side and breathing through them, which does help a little. But on Monday I decided to kneel on the living room floor instead, with my head up on the sofa seat. To my surprise that worked a whole lot better! A few minutes of that position and the contractions were pretty much gone. Maybe all that stuff I learned from Active Birth is sinking in. Hmmm…

Anyway, let’s go through the weekly wrap-up, shall we?

  • Total weight gain: There’s got to be something wrong with my bathroom scale. It says that I’ve actually lost a pound this week. That can’t be true right? Normally I’d be all like, yay! but one is supposed to gain during pregnancy right? Well, I’m calling it even at 24 pounds gained rather than take a pound away. Baby2 gained half a pound this week!
  • Cravings: I suppose salads, I’ve had five or six this week. Good ones with spinach and other dark greens. I’ve tried to be really good about my carbs lately but I have had some moments of weakness. I can’t help myself!
  • Coolest symptom: This week I had the first experience of “escapism” kicks for this pregnancy. These are the kicks during which a body part protrudes slightly from my belly. I’m not sure what it was, a butt maybe, but something round was sticking out my right side and it was weird and funny. I love these kinds of kicks. I just gave her a little pat and a rub and gently pushed her back a bit. She moved around like crazy for awhile! I hope she isn’t running out of room already!
  • Lamest symptom: When I sit down, my boobs sit on my belly. I’ve got a little boob shelf going on. Also, it’s interesting that when I pass women who I don’t know, they stare at my belly. When I pass men they stare at my boobs (regardless of whether or not they know me). Yes, I am growing people, but I still have a face!
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): 215 minutes! I’m super proud of myself because I also fought a cold this week. I think the working out (combined with the six or seven cups of lemon tea for a couple days!) helped me get over the cold quickly. Also, I did a much better job at getting an even split between cardio and yoga (110 of cardio with water aerobics, biking and the elliptical; 105 of yoga) but I still need to work on getting in exercise on the weekends and I’ve neglected to do my arm routine all week. You win some, you lose some I guess.

Baby2, what’s new with you? Here’s an update, courtesy babycenter.com:

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He or she weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. Your baby can turn his or her head from side to side, and his or her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath the skin. Your little one’s kicks and somersaults may be keeping you up at night. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.