Sunday, February 26, 2017

16 weeks

How big is baby? At the start of week 16, baby was the size of an avocado. As of today, he or she is as big as a chipmunk!

Due date: August 6. Noah was 1.5 weeks early, so since I'm expecting that this time, I'm sure I'll go to 41.5 weeks or something ridiculous like that!

How far along: 17 weeks today

Next appointment: Ummm... 2 weeks-ish?

Gender: Won't know until the very end of March!

Total weight gain/loss: Gained a whopping 1 pound in the first trimester, but I've finally been ravenous and super thirsty this week, so I expect that to change significantly at my next appointment!

Exercise: When the nausea and fatigue hit at week 6, it floored me. I didn't work out once from weeks 6 through 15! Combined with a toddler sleep regression, never-ending viral illnesses (cold, norovirus, and flu), and cold, gray weather, I don't think I've ever been as sedentary in my entire life as I have been this winter. I miss endorphins. But good news! My energy started coming back around week 14, and my nausea mostly subsided by the end of week 15, so this week I finally took one good walk and did two short workouts: a Piyo lower body video, and a 21 Day Fix upper body video.

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

Swelling: In unmentionable places. Thank you, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. I knew it would come back, and it has with a vengeance. I'm glad I have better ways to manage it and cope this time, but it's still pretty discouraging to know that if I literally just stand for more than 2 minutes without any support garments on, it's going to feel like someone kicked me.

Maternity clothes: Maternity pants since week 5, and maternity shirts since I "popped" around week 10.

Belly button: It's been on the verge of outie-dom since 9-10 weeks. It seems to be holding its own a little better this time around, so thank you physical therapy!

Sleep: Well, it was pretty decent (aka fitful, lots of vivid dreams, and lots of potty breaks, but otherwise sleeping through the night) until I tried to wean off of Unisom (the medication I was taking for nausea). Now I am awake from 2am-4 or 5am most nights. Super fun.

Food cravings: Still lots of aversions, and no consistent cravings.

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 (see above). Biggest symptom is swelling and pelvic pain this week.

Movement: Yes! Feeling something at least once a day. The best part by far.

Labor signs: Painful cramps 1-2 times a day, but they aren't signs of actual labor.... just annoying.

What I miss: Nothing, really. I'm not gonna lie... I ate some sushi last week (made sure to add lots of wasabi and ginger for antibacterial properties). It was so yummy!

What I'm loving: Noah gives the baby hugs and kisses and yesterday he tried to share a little book with it. He held the book up to my belly button and said, "where are the baby's hands?" He's so excited and so sweet.

What I'm looking forward to: Feeling the big kicks and rolls, and finding out if it's a boy or a girl!

Best moment this week: Gosh Noah has been so sweet this week. In general, but also in talking about and trying to share with the baby. He's figured out that baby brothers are little boys, and baby sisters are little girls. He has been giving my belly lots of hugs and kisses. Apparently baby can start to hear things this week, so I just love that it hears its big brother's voice all day every day!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice

I'm slowly making my way through the list of to-try recipes I accumulated in my first trimester. We made this dish this week, and everyone loved it! 100% recipe credit goes to A Healthy Slice of Life. The only modification I would make next time (as reflected in the recipe here) is less lemon zest. The original recipe calls for the zest of two lemons, but that was super lemony to us, so next time we will just do the zest from one lemon, and save the second one for garnish as needed.

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (roughly 1 cup)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2¼ cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • parsley (for garnish)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop all ingredients.
  2. In a large pot like a Dutch oven, heat the 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute 2-3 minutes until onions start to become translucent.
  3. Into the same pot, add rice, broth, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest of one lemon, oregano, feta (if using), sun-dried tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and add chicken to pot. Cover and place in oven.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and rice is fluffy.
  6. Plate and garnish with chopped parsley and additional lemon zest, as desired.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weeks 14 and 15: An Ode to the Boys I Live With


Once again, thanks for putting up with bland/minimal food for so long. This was so much worse than the last time, wasn't it?! But you never once complained, and thankfully your work cafeteria actually seems to have some pretty great food, so you get one good meal each day.

Thanks for giving me weekends "off." I'm so bummed I spent so many Saturdays off of work AND sick in bed. You know that's not how I like to take advantage of being off of work. We both know this is a season, but it's still been harder than we expected. I'm thankful it seems to be winding down!



You have such a sweet heart. You're so concerned when I'm sick (either from hormones or from germs). Your big hugs always make me feel better, and when you run up to me and hug my legs, it melts my heart. I know you're still a bit confused about this supposed baby that you can neither see nor hold right now, but I'm praying that you are the best of buddies soon enough! In the meantime, I'm soaking up all my time with YOU! You're growing so rapidly, and I love learning more about who you are. We talk all day long, and sometimes I forget you're just two!


The first trimester coincided with a really crazy season of life for us, and I didn't expect to be out of commission for so long. I feel like I'm finally getting some energy back, and now the nausea only pops up if I get too hungry, which is so nice. I still have a lot of food aversions, but even those are a million times better than it was. No consistent cravings yet, aside from BLT sandwiches in week 14, and yogurt, Cheerio, chocolate chip, and walnut bowls in week 15!

Now I just feel like I have so much to catch up on, after being in survival mode for 3 months.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Chicken Enchiladas

This is a meal I often make to take to new moms, and it's nice that it automatically makes dinner for us, too. We used to love using Old El Paso's hot enchilada sauce, but these days we stick with mild or medium because... toddler. I also don't want to shock anyone's tastebuds if they dislike spicy food. You can always add some pickled jalepenos or your own hot sauce to the finished product to spice it up!

Chicken Enchiladas
makes two pans of approximately 6-8 enchiladas each

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (a combo of breast/thigh meat works well, but all breast is fine, too)
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 20oz can enchilada sauce
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
1 10oz can Rotel-style diced tomatoes and chiles
1.5 cups Mexican-style shredded cheese (optional)
12-16 6- or 8-inch tortillas, depending on what size baking dish you're using
sliced olives, avocado, green onions, and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Put the chicken in the crockpot and layer the diced onion and the tomato and chile mixture on top of it. Then add the larger can of enchilada sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the chicken is easily shreddable.

When the chicken is done, preheat the oven to 375. Pour half of the smaller can of enchilada sauce into a shallow pie pan. Take one tortilla, dip it in the sauce, fill it with roughly 1/4 cup shredded chicken, and wrap. Place in the pan seam-side-down. Repeat until the pans are full of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce (in the can and in the crockpot) on top of the enchiladas. Then top with cheese and olives (if using).

Bake for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh toppings and dig in!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recipes I Want to Make: Late Winter/Early Spring Edition

It's no secret that my appetite has been less than stellar for the past few months. It's coming back in bits and pieces, but not as fast as I would hope. In the meantime, I have a bajillion recipes open in my phone browser, just waiting for me to feel like getting back in the kitchen on a consistent basis.

Here they are, all in one place, with notes after trying (a few will need modifications to be gluten/dairy free):

Dinner Ideas

Taco Torte (Meh. I didn't follow directions exactly, but I wasn't crazy about this. Not crazy about Mexican spices in general right now, though.)

Pineapple Chicken Fajitas (Same as above.)

Vegan Chili Cheese Nachos

Turmeric Chicken Pasta

Simple Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches

Gyro Burgers

Sweet Potato and Cashew Dip

Hobo Roasts!

Early Spring Market Meatloaf

Garlic Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Chimichurri

Honey Dijon Skillet Chicken

Southwestern Sausage and Vegetable Brown Rice Casserole

Marinated Flank Steak with Caprese Salsa

Sweet Chili Salmon Skewers

Asparagus Potato Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Greek Shrimp Pasta

One Pot Greek Chicken with Lemon Rice (So easy and good! I'm going to give it its own post.)

Lemon Chicken Risotto

Grain, Green, and Bean Skillet with Yum Sauce (Love the concept, didn't love the mustard-y sauce. Next time I'll use Mmmm sauce. So good!)

Cajun Baked Tofu with Collards and Grits

Gluten-free Ravioli

Salmon Quinoa Burgers

Sheet Pan Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans 

Green Goddess Club Sandwich (vegan)

Bang Bang Shrimp with Napa Cabbage Slaw

Crunchy Taco Kale Salad (I LOVED the dressing in particular, but Ross thought it was too tart. I'd probably make it again, though.)

Thai Crunch Chicken Salad

Shrimp Po' Boy Panzanella

Coconut Milk Ranch Dressing

(All the Whole 30 homemade dressings and sauces, really)

Slow Cooker Creamy Southwest Chicken

Slow Cooker French Onion Pot Roast over Polenta

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (So good it's going to get its own post.)

Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

Vegan Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Gnocchi and Chicken Sausage Soup (Not as amazing as I'd hoped. Might try again with spicy sausage to see if that helps.)

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Corn and Black Bean Party Dip

Breads and Breakfasts

Spinach and Red Pepper Bacon Wrapped Eggs

Revolutionary Pancakes (Sadly, we were underwhelmed. Not sure if I made them wrong, or what. A little thinner and they'd made a nice crepe! But we just weren't huge fans of them as pancakes.)

Tater Tot Breakfast Skillet (it's not as fun when it's cheese free, but Ross still loved it and said he'd eat it weekly!)

Gluten-free Sourdough Bread

Life-Changing Loaf of Bread

Savory Oat Crackers

Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies

Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Loaf

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins

Paleo Blender Muffins

Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Muffins (I actually did make these last weekend, and plan to make them again ASAP! Delicious.)

Superhero Muffins

One-Bowl Pumpkin Bread

Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars

Poppy Seed Fruit Salad


Paleo Thin Mints

Chocolate Coconut Milkshakes

Bliss Bites

3-Ingredient Flourless Chocolate Cake

Pretzel Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Bark

Coconut Custard Pie

Peanut Butter Fudge

Healthier Strawberry Shortcake (would need GF substitution)

Vegan Chocolate Pie

Vegan Lemon Bars

Coconut Obsessed Pie

No Bake Lemon Fruit Tart

Coconut Oil Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Tomato and Sausage Risotto

I can't think of the last time I felt like cooking dinner, but now I'm in the second trimester and this was a great recipe to get back in the kitchen to! Recipe via Smitten Kitchen. It was the first time I have made risotto since going dairy-free. I left the cheese out, but it was still so flavorful we didn't miss it!

Tomato and Sausage Risotto
Serves 4-6

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 small onion, finely chopped
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch spinach (10 to 14 ounces), washed well, and chopped (about 7 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons butter 
  1. In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes (with their juice) and 3 cups water. Bring just to a simmer; keep warm over low heat.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add sausage and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until sausage is opaque and onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Add rice; cook, stirring until well coated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute. 
  4. Add about 2 cups hot tomato mixture to rice; simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes. Continue adding tomato mixture, 1 cup at a time, waiting for one cup to be absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally, until rice is creamy and just tender, about 25 minutes total (you may not have to use all the liquid). 
  5. Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, Parmesan (if using), and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately (risotto will thicken as it cools), and sprinkle with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Week 13

I feel like my "pregnancy" updates have just been infectious disease updates from an immunocompromised preggo who lives with a toddler. The great news is that my pregnancy nausea was vastly improved this week! That bad news is, I got another terrible respiratory bug. We are talking meds, inhalers, 3 boxes of kleenex, gagging on mucous, unable to breathe when you lay down kind of sick. So gross. I had to call in sick to work this weekend because I lost my voice toward the end of the illness, which was fun. Thankfully (again) Ross let me take it easy this weekend. It's IMPOSSIBLE to rest your voice when you have a toddler!

I'm writing this update all by itself in the hopes that my next few updates will be pregnancy-only!