23 Weeks

How far along? 23 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 14 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? Still mix and match. The clothes I’m wearing here are all my regular clothes. I’m using the rubber band trick.
Sleep: Like a rock. I sleep so hard that I wake up with a stiff neck and Stew has to rub my shoulders!
Best moment this week: Getting my energy back and seeing Turner move around from outside my belly! Stew and I were watching TV, and I noticed that I could see him kick. Then we couldn’t stop watching… so entertaining!
Miss Anything? Other than coffee, not really. But I’m over the summer. I’m ready for it to cool off and for the fall season. It’s my favorite. In fact, I made pumpkin spice pancakes this weekend!
Movement: Yes! His movements are getting more powerful too. Sometimes they take me off guard and I jump!
Food cravings: I’m ready for fall foods. I’ve been wanting thinks like cinnamon and pumpkin spice. I know it’s 100 degrees here, but I can’t help it! I get like this every summer!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Have you started to show yet: I’d say so!
Gender: BOY!!!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: Going to see my midwife today. It’s one place where you feel like your baby is the only one on the planet! Also, I can’t wait to get my glider for the nursery! It’s an early shower gift from my dad.

Donuts…

Stew and I worked in the nursery on Saturday. We painted the crown moulding and the window trim. It looks so good! Now all I need is my glider and I’ll have all the furniture! This glider may not look like much, but it’s the most comfortable seat you will park your buns on! The back rest ends at the perfect spot for your head to rest without leaning back. I could easily sleep in this and probably will! 

So once we were done in the nursery, we went downtown for a delicious treat… Glazed! It’s a gourmet doughnut shop… JUST DOUGHNUTS! They have all sorts of flavors like sweet potato, maple bacon, and raspberry glazed…but I went for the tried and true chocolate frosted. Yummm 

After some doughnuts, we took a walk to the market and got some yummy produce. It was such a fun and relaxing way to spend the afternoon!

Vegan Queso and Bean Dip

This reminds me of my days in the raw food world. You can definitely make this non-vegan by adding regular milk, butter, and cheese. But here is the version I made. I actually made this for my brother’s birthday party. My entire family devoured it (none of whom are vegan) and LOVED it! Little did they know what was in it… mwahaha! I used a vitamix for the cashews and milk because it definitely made it silky smooth. I’m not positive that a food processor would work as well. So don’t yell at me if yours is chunky. Now, I’m not telling you to go out and buy a $600 blender…buuuuut it’s worth it when you have some spare change. This is an incredible appetizer (or entree if you’re me and Stew) for your next party, and it’s so delicious and good for you (I won’t tell if you don’t)! Enjoy.

Vegan Queso and Bean DipServes 8-10

1 cup raw cashews

1-1/3 cup plus 1-3/4 cups unsweetened almond milk

3 tablespoons vegan margarine

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 16-ounce can pinto beans

1 jalapeño, finely diced

1 tomato, seeded and diced

1/3 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese

1 bag corn tortilla chips, for serving

Directions:

1. In a high-powered blender or food processor, blend cashews and 1-1/3 cup almond milk. Set aside.

2. Over medium heat in a large pot, heat margarine and flour to make a roux. Add onion and garlic, coat well, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add cashew mixture, nutritional yeast, remaining 1-3/4 cups almond milk, lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, cumin, pinto beans, jalapeño, and tomato and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until thick.

Add shredded vegan cheese. Cook for an additional minute, or until smooth. Remove from heat and serve with tortilla chips.

Registry Must Haves

Lucky for me, one of my good (gorgeous and beautiful too) friends, Zhenya, owns the CUTEST baby  children’s boutique in downtown Charleston on King Street called Sugar Snap Pea. She knows the ins and outs of all things baby! How convenient for me! So I will go into her store from time to time to peruse and get the lowdown from her. I’ve learned a lot over the past few months! I have some photos of the must have items I’m registered for. I also linked everything so you can go straight to the website and check them out!

Sophie the Giraffe Teether I am absolutely obsessed with Sophie the Giraffe. This little animal has been in France for over 50 years and was just recently brought to us. It appeals to all of a baby’s senses which helps with their development. They start to identify the spots on her, she squeaks, her long neck gets Baby’s molars, and she naturally tastes and smells like vanilla because of the natural rubber used. They’re still hand made in France so no two are the same.
Chewbeads Hudson Necklace in Turquoise These are another genius invention. You know when you hold a baby and they want to grab at you and chew on you and pull your hair? Well, let them chew on these! They’re similar to the pacifier material, bpa free, and dishwasher safe. They even help Baby focus while nursing!
Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack This is just an adorable dry rack for anything from bottles, to nipples, to the squirt spoon, etc. Very useful and so cute! I’m planning on getting two so I have one downstairs and one upstairs.
Boon Squirt Baby Food Spoon This is something I have never heard of until last night actually. Zhenya and my other friend, Emily, were conspiring and showed up at dinner with some gifts for me (since Emily’s moving to CA tomorrow and will miss everything my baby shower). Among them was this spoon. You can fill it with food and squeeze it into Baby’s mouth. How fun!! It’s also useful for traveling because the food can already be stored in your spoon.
Aden + Anais SwaddleThese are so soft and lightweight. They’re bigger than other blankets so they can double as other things as well. People use them as stroller covers, nursing covers, crib sheets, tummy time blankets, you name it! They’re well worth the investment!

Weekend-O-Fun

This was quite a baby centered weekend! Saturday, I had a date with my friends Missy and Annie to go register at Babies-R-Us. They both have 2 little boys (we are planning on starting our own baseball team). Let me tell you, it was a good thing they were with me. That place is like WalMart for babies! We had a lot of fun though. Walking through there made me want Turner now! I even got choked up when they showed me this mirror where he can look at himself, and I have a little remote to play music. I just pictured us driving along together singing along to whatever tune is playing!  We finished our day with a stop at Chick-Fil-A. I already ate lunch before we met up, so I got a chocolate milkshake to top me off. It was the perfect day spent with friends! I even got a goodie bag to take home with me : )

22 Weeks

How far along? 22 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 13 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? Some days I do, but I can still wear my dresses and some shorts.
Sleep: Still good. In fact, yesterday afternoon I laid on our coffee table/leather ottoman (which is big enough to fit a person) and fell asleep. One second Stew and I were talking, and the next I was out! Stew brought me upstairs and I slept for another hour.
Best moment this week: Registering at Babies R Us. I can’t wait to meet my little man!!
Miss Anything? Having a lot of energy, my intense sweaty workouts (too tired!), and coffee! (I had a warmed turkey sandwich yesterday so that satisfied my craving at least for now!)
Movement: I didn’t feel him the other day and started getting nervous! But my mom said that’s normal. Then he started up again at night, so he’s still in there!
Food cravings: Not really. I eat pretty much the same as I always did. I haven’t really been more hungry either! I just have little meals throughout the day instead of big meals. It seems to work!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Have you started to show yet: Absolutely! Although, I was at a restaurant last night with Stew and my sister-in-law, Suzy, and they both got a blue moon (add that to my “miss anything” list) and the waitress said, “do you want one too?” So I guess I can still hide it when I wear sundresses! Oh, and NO I didn’t get one!
Gender: BOY!!!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: We just got the crown moulding up in the nursery. So we can finally start pulling it all together! Probably next weekend. I can’t wait!

Sesame Ginger Quinoa Spring Rolls

In my never-ending quest to find fun, healthy, and delicious meals, I came across this gem. I adore quinoa but get bored with the “pile of quinoa on the side of my plate” deal. When I read this I thought, “hmmm this can’t be good, but I’ll try it anyway.” It turns out, I was more than wrong! These rolls are so delicious! I made some changes (of course) and turned it into my own. My husband and I ate it for supper the other night and his exact words were, “I could eat quinoa like this five nights a week”… SCORE! Hopefully our little man on the way will be as easily tricked into eating healthy foods… I digress.

There are definitely a few ingredients you may not have on hand like the rice paper, chili garlic sauce , and Mae Ploy Sweet Chili dipping sauce. But they’re not expensive and literally last for months in the fridge. I use them in stir-frys and sushi a ton. You can actually get them at World Market and I’m sure Whole Foods (although they might be twice the price). They’re just good to have on hand.

So, it is a bit time consuming but worth it, especially if you have a helper who cleans up after you. I actually made the quinoa in advance, so all I had to do was mix it up when I was ready to rock and roll (literally).

Start with mixing all of the ingredients into a bowl, then mix in the dressing.

Lay out a clean dish towel so you can blot your hands if you need to between rolls. Then, fill a large dish with sides (I used a pyrex pan) with hot tap water. Let one rice paper soak at a time until it gets soft. This just takes a few seconds. Then place the paper onto your cutting board and fill with about 1/3 cup of the mixture. Fold both sides over and then, starting at one end, tightly roll it up.

Once you roll them, slice them on a diagonal and arrange them on a plate. Serve with the dipping sauce. These could definitely be served as an appetizer, but we ate the whole plate for supper. Once you taste them you won’t blame us!

Sesame Ginger Quinoa Spring Rolls-serves 4

Adapted from Fit Pregnancy

  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • 3∕4  cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2  cups arugula
  • 1  large carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1  green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4  cup olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2  tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1  tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 2  teaspoons sesame oil
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lime
  • 1  teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 20  rice paper wrappers
  • Mae Ploy Sweet Chili dipping sauce

1. In a medium saucepan bring water, stock, salt, and pepper to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer covered until liquid has absorbed, about 20 minutes.

3. Fluff cooked quinoa with a fork and combine in a large bowl with arugula, carrot and green pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, lime juice and chili garlic sauce; stir into quinoa mixture.

4. Fill a shallow pan large enough to set the rice papers in with hot water and soak one rice paper until softened, about 15 seconds. Remove and place 1 ⁄3 cup of the quinoa filling down the center of the paper. Fold the sides over the mixture, then start to tightly roll one of the remaining sides over the top. Slice on the diagonal and continue with remaining papers and quinoa filling.

5. In a small bowl, pour Mae Ploy Sweet Chili dipping sauce.

Homemade Belly Butter for Stretch Marks!

I know I’ve been posting like mad lately, but my lovely friend Allison sent me this link, and I had to share! She too is on this transformational journey! This is apparently the ultimate stretch mark preventer according to Molly Sims, and you know what, I’ll believe her! She suggests you put this on BEFORE there’s a bun in the oven. But I say, better late than never! So ladies, get your pots and pans ready! You’ve got some body butter to boil!
Breggy’s Belly Butter

Ingredients:
1 jar of organic coconut oil 
1 container of organic cocoa butter 
1 container of organic Shea butter 
1 small bottle of 400 IU of Vitamin E  

Directions:
Place all ingredients except for the Vitamin E in a pot of boiling water in their separate containers, letting them melt (the cocoa butter will take the longest). After everything is melted, pour into a large bowl and mix together with the Vitamin E. Put the mixture in a glass container and store in the refrigerator or another cool place.

To Apply:
Pregnancy is such a miraculous time, but many women don’t take the time to connect with their bodies and babies these days, and before they know it they missed out on this whole special time. You can use the time you take to rub your belly butter on yourself to stop and connect with your growing baby. When applying, simply close your eyes, place your hands on your belly and begin to rub the belly butter all around while feeling your belly and your baby inside. You can talk to your baby or just simply send them loving feelings. It has been proven that babies in the womb sense and feel everything; your voice carries energy as well as your thoughts. Use the butter sparingly on belly, breasts, hips and buttocks.

 

http://mollysims.com/blog/post/baby-beauty-homemade-butter-for-stretch-marks

This Month’s Must Haves

I have linked to a few things in my weekly posts. But I thought I’d make a quick photo collage of my survival items over the past few weeks! I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones that stuck out. The T-shirts from A Pea in the Pod were buy one get one free (I think they still are). I think I got 6 or 8 of them. I am obsessed. They’re so comfy and flattering! I feel like I didn’t look pregnant until I wore these. The shorts from Target are a MUST for summer pregnancy! They’re not maternity but have an elastic waist so I am still wearing them! I got 3 different pairs. They’re MUCH cheaper than buying maternity clothes. I was saying to my husband how unfair it is that all the cute maternity clothes are a billion dollars because we have no choice as we grow but to buy them! But with these shirts and shorts, I’ve gotten away with not buying a whole new wardrobe! The drinks and yogurt, well, just taste refreshing!

21 Weeks

How far along? 21 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: 12 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes? I’m starting to mix them in. The good thing about summer is I can wear dresses!
Sleep: So far so good!
Best moment this week: Having supper club with our friends (who have all little boys) and watching Stew playing with them in the ocean :0)
Miss Anything? Having a lot of energy!
Movement: Yes! Especially when I lay down at night or for a nap. It feels like he moves over to the side I’m laying on and starts wiggling around there.
Food cravings: Nope. Just eating what I enjoy. Although I do love Passion Iced Tea and the Moroccan Mint Green Honest Tea at Whole Foods!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Have you started to show yet: Yes.
Gender: BOY!!!
Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: Decorating the nursery and registering for my shower!

Classic Baked Beans

The past three family gatherings I’ve been to, I’ve been elected to bring baked beans… is my family trying to tell me something? My mom was always the baked bean queen, and it seems that the torch has been passed to me! Although, I can’t say I mind. Baked beans, between me and you, are the easiest thing on the planet to make! And they get better as they sit, so you can make them days in advance, pop them in the fridge, and then heat them up at 350 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes when you’re ready to serve! You must make these for your next BBQ (or just because you want some baked beans)! I promise that you and your guests will love them!

Classic Baked Beans-serves 8-10

2 28 oz. cans vegetarian style Bush’s Baked Beans

1/4 cup molassas

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 yellow onion diced

1/2 cup bacon bits (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well and pour into a 9×11 baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour until beans are bubbling. The beans will set even more as they cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.