Monday, April 10, 2017

Weeks 21 and 22

Time is FLYING. I'm sitting here well into week 23, feeling baby move daily, and losing track of how far along I am! I'm so so so thankful that the nausea is still 90% gone and, knock on wood, I've been healthy for a month straight!!! It makes a huge difference.

How big is baby? At our ultrasound at 21 weeks, baby's estimated weight was 1 lb 0 oz, the head circumference was 18.61 cm, and the abdomen was 17.05 cm around. It blows my mind how much growth happens in the second half of pregnancy! I know that technically the rate of growth actually slows down, compared to the first trimester. Yet, growing from a 1 lb baby to a (hopefully) 7 lb baby feels a whole lot more physically impactful than growing from the size of two cells to the size of a blueberry! This past weekend, Ross and I went to a homeschooling conference. There was a pro-life booth in the vendor hall with little models of babies at certain gestational ages. It was kind of cool to be 23 weeks pregnant and holding the 24 week model. There's a BABY in there!

Sex: It's a GIRL! With Noah, our guess was girl, and he's all boy. With this one, our guess was boy, and the ultrasound technician put the probe on my belly and said, "you're wrong again!" (I think Noah was kind of upset she said it that way, and he took it personally.) So once more, we were in shock. It took a few days to adjust to the idea, but we are so excited. We asked Noah what her name should be, and he said "Red." We'll work on that. But in the meantime, it's so fun to have a pronoun to use. My friend Rachel bought us our very first GIRLY cloth diaper a few days later, and it was so cute! And made everything feel even more real. 

Total weight gain/loss: I think at 21 weeks I was up 10 pounds? Feeling bigger every day now!

Exercise: Oh boy. I was really happy to be getting into a routine of Barre3 twice a week and walking once a week, greatly anticipating the walks increasing as the weather improved. But last week, we walked to BSF and it killed my hips. I'm definitely struggling with this. Walks with Noah are my very favorite part of our summer routine, and I'm so so sad that they might not happen this summer. 

Stretch marks: None yet, knock on wood. I somehow didn't get them with Noah?! But I haven't been as vigilant with almond oil this time, so we will see.

Swelling: Just yes. It's really uncomfortable. Not sure what I'm going to do when it's too hot for compression hose! Getting a massage next week, so I really hope that helps for a bit.

Maternity clothes: Exclusively. I even had to switch to a maternity tank for pajamas since my belly was getting cold in my old PJ shirts!

Sleep: It's fairly decent (aka fitful, lots of vivid dreams, and lots of potty breaks, but otherwise sleeping through the night). About every other night, I'll have a bout of insomnia after waking up to pee, either around 2am or 5am. This lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, but it could be so much worse. I'm SO GLAD I'm not working night shift this pregnancy!

Food cravings: This is so bizarre to me. I remember last time, when food sounded good, it sounded REALLY good! This time, food still mostly just sounds tolerable, or most definitively not at all. Onions, cooked or raw, have become a definitive no right now. They do not sit well. If I'm craving anything, it's slightly tart tropical fruit like pineapple and mango. And also the gluten free lemon bars at Dolce. A few weeks ago, baby must've had a growth spurt because I was craving chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. But nothing too intense, random, or consistent. 

Symptoms: Enjoying a bit of a sweet spot at the moment. I only get nauseated if I get too hungry, and my fatigue is okay as long as I'm not awake for the day at 2am. Biggest symptom is still swelling and pelvic pain this week, and I'm fighting a lot of discouragement on that front, along with sorrow that my "last summer with Noah" won't look quite like I'd hoped.

Movement: Yes! Consistently in the morning and evening, and sometimes more often. The other night, Noah got to feel a few kicks during bedtime stories. The look on his face was sheer delight!

What I'm loving: I love looking pregnant and feeling the baby move. Pregnancy is such a unique season of life and growth, and I do want to soak it up. Even though I know I don't know what life is going to look like in a few months when our family totally changes, I do know everyone says your heart just expands to make room for the next baby. So much love.

What I'm looking forward to: Feeling more big kicks and rolls! And having my gestational diabetes test behind me.

Best moment this week: Seeing baby on ultrasound two weeks ago was really sweet. We got to see her little profile and her little hands and feet and it all just feels so much more real. It's also cute to hear Noah use his "baby sister" voice, and to hear him start to include her in things already. And he notices babies everywhere. I'm so excited for these two to meet!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Easy Stovetop Granola

Why have I never made stovetop granola before? It's seriously SO easy!

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 Tbs butter on medium heat and stir in 2 Tbs maple syrup, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

Add 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, and 1/4 cup walnut pieces.

Cook on medium low for about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Then, remove from the burner and let it cool in the pan, stirring occasionally.

So easy!

Monday, March 27, 2017

The BEST Gluten Free Pancakes

I've tried A LOT of gluten-free pancakes over the past 5-6 years. A lot. Some are decent. Some are awful. Most are mediocre. Some taste decent, but the texture is way too starchy. Some (like my favorite buckwheat pancakes) have a good texture, but don't taste like the quintessential pancake. Sometimes you just want a stack of pancakes.

This weekend, I mashed a few recipes together and totally lucked out. These were so good. Like, Ross took a bite and asked, "are you sure these are gluten free?" So. Good.

Gluten-Free "Buttermilk" Pancakes
makes 15 pancakes

2 cups almond milk
3-4 Tbs lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
4 Tbs butter, melted
2 Tbs sugar
2 1/3 cups Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Mix (do NOT substitute other flour blends here)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1. Add the lemon juice or vinegar to the almond milk and mix. Let sit for 5 minutes to curdle. This is your dairy-free "buttermilk."

2. Whisk the eggs, butter, and "buttermilk."

3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Batter will be slightly lumpy.

4. Let batter sit for 5 minutes.

5. Scoop 1/4 cup of pancake batter at a time onto a hot skillet. Cook until the first side just starts to bubble, and then flip and cook until both sides are very light golden brown.

6. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

THIS is a recipe you can serve to your gluten-free and gluten-loving friends alike. That's always my barometer of whether a recipe is worth posting or making again.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

19 and 20 weeks

Week 19 was full of lots of baby kicks, many of which could be felt from the outside! It's so cool to be able to feel exactly where the baby is in there, instead of just having a general sense that my uterus is getting bigger.

Week 20 has been AMAZING. Very little nausea despite weaning off of Unisom, very few food aversions, and so much more energy, at last! It's corresponded with the beginning of spring, and I couldn't have planned it better if I tried. I'm SO grateful we are leaving winter behind us. It was a rough one!

We still haven't had our big ultrasound yet, but I looked back at my 20 week post with Noah, and thought it'd be fun to amend this list of old wives' tales, since all anyone seems to ask is if it's a boy or girl. I have no idea, honestly. Noah thinks it's a boy, and often refers to the baby as "he," so that's been skewing my perception a little bit in the past week. 

As an aside, the other day Noah said, "I'm RILLY full! My tummy is bumpy! I have my baby sister in they-ah." So cute, right?! I asked if I was carrying the baby brother, and he said, "no I have baby sister, you have THE BABY." I just love hearing how his mind works.

Anyway, here are the predictions and the answers based on this pregnancy. We will find out next week if the majority answer wins or not! We don't have a preference, but we sure are excited to know more about this baby.

A few of the less ridiculous old wives' tales, and our corresponding answers:

-If you're carrying high and round, it's a girl. If you're carrying low and pointy, it's a boy. (BOY)

-If baby's heart rate is above 140 it's a girl, if it's below 140 it's a boy. (GIRL)

-If your hair becomes thinner, it's a girl. If it becomes thicker, it's a boy. (BOY)

-If you're craving sweets, it's a girl. If you're craving salty or sour foods, it's a boy. (BOY)

-If you have morning sickness, it's a girl. If you don't, it's a boy. (UNDECIDED. This time, the nausea was worse and longer-lasting than it was with Noah, but I wasn't vomiting unless I had norovirus, so I'm not sure it counts.)

-If you break out more, it's a girl. If you don't, it's a boy. (BOY)

-The Chinese Gender Predictor lets your plug in a few calendar dates and predicts what you'll have. (GIRL)

-Mayans supposedly determined a baby's sex by looking at the mother's age at conception and the year of conception. If both are even or odd, it's a girl. If one's even and one's odd, it's a boy. (BOY)

-If Dad gains sympathy weight, it's a girl. If his weight stays the same, it's a boy. (GIRL)

-If you're moody, you're having a girl. If you're happy, you're having a boy. (BOY-- much less moody this time around, but I was super emotional with Noah, and he's all boy, so I don't put much stock in this!)

-If your legs stay the same size during pregnancy, it's a girl. If they get bigger, it's a boy. (GIRL. Not 100% sure, but I think they're smaller this time?)

-If you have a dream about having a girl, you'll have a boy. And vice versa. (Very very early on, I had a dream it was a girl, more recently I dreamed it was a boy. So I've got nothing.)

-If you're graceful, it's a girl. If you're more clumsy, it's a boy. (BOY)

-If you can only agree on a name for a boy or a girl, you're having the gender you agree on a name for. (I refuse to discuss names until we know! haha)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Flourless Peanut Butter Muffins

We've made this muffins a few times, and they couldn't be easier. I love that they barely have any added sugar, and they don't require having gluten-free flour on hand. We buy the Trader Joe's organic creamy peanut butter, and it works great with this recipe. These muffins are ready in 30 minutes from start to finish! (FYI the banana flavor is not pronounced at all... you mostly just taste peanut butter.)

Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
makes 12 muffins


1 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 ripe bananas (about 1 cup, mashed)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup fresh raspberries or strawberries (for a PBJ muffin), or 1 sliced banana.


1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a muffin tin with 12 liners

2. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients until smooth (you can also do this in a food processor). Once the batter is smooth, you can fold in one of the optional add-ins if using.

3. Divide the batter between 12 muffin liners and bake for 15 minutes.

4. The muffins should be firm and lightly golden on top. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

5. Serve immediately, or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, or in a sealed bag in the freezer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Basically, this is a super easy recipe and it's delicious. Based off of this cookie cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup gluten and dairy free chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and great a 9 inch cake pan.
2. Combine eggs, sugar, oil/butter, and vanilla and beat until quite smooth.
3. Add almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, and salt, and mis well until a sticky dough forms.
4. Then fold in the chocolate chips, and transfer the mixture to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until set.

So simple. So good!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

17 and 18 weeks

Week 17 was blessedly normal. I was ravenously hungry, most food sounded palatable, and baby started moving up a storm! I started feeling kicks and rolls 2-3 times a day. At the end of the week, Ross even felt one from the outside.

Week 18, I got sick. AGAIN. With another lovely respiratory infection. And I'm always hungry, but nothing sounds good. So not much to say about this week, except the fact that you can truly feel a BABY in there and not just a stomach pooch. It's so fun and bizarre. My favorite thing. The baby was the size of a croissant this week, and one evening I was poking around and felt its back and legs, and IT'S ALL HAPPENING! I'm so excited. I also gained 4 pounds in the last 4 weeks (as expected, but this was after not gaining anything for weeks on end) and I'm feeling large and in charge, even though strangers don't seem to notice a baby belly yet.

Noah has been so loving and so good at sharing the past few weeks. He wants to give toys, books, and food to the baby, and he loves giving it kisses and hugs. This morning, he wanted to kiss the baby before I left for work, and for some reason I asked, "Noah, what's the baby's name?" He thought for half a second and then tilted his head and said, "His name is Mark!" So matter-of-factly. It was hilarious, especially because I'm not sure Noah knows a single person named Mark!

When I got home from work, Noah was trying to give something to the baby and kept referring to the baby as "him," per usual. I said, "Noah, the baby might be a girl. Did you know that? We don't know yet!" He just looked at me and said, "It is a boy!" Not in a demanding or petulant way, just like, duh, mom. Time will tell. I know we will be happy no matter what!