Archive for October, 2011

October 24, 2011

Week Twenty One.

Busy, busy, busy….that’s what this week was.  Not necessarily with baby-related things, but more so with home-related things that tangentially relate to baby.  The reader’s digest version is that we found out a week ago on Saturday during our annual furnace check up that we needed a new furnace.  Cut to: me picturing the furnace going out with a week-old baby in the house at the end of February.  So, we scrambled around and made appointments with three different companies, all of whom told us different things about what was wrong and what we needed to do.  Fun times. 

We finally decided on one of them and it was installed on Friday…just in time for us to schedule having new windows and doors installed this coming Tuesday.   We’ve really “been making it rain” in the From Scratch household lately.  Contractors love us right now.  But I’m choosing to focus not on how much money we’re bleeding and on how this is making our house more attractive/better in the long run.   Right.  That’s the ticket.

In other news, we’ve finally decided on a paint color for the baby’s room (a harder task than you might imagine) and hopefully we’ll be getting it painted in the next few weeks.  We’re planning on picking up the crib sometime after Thanksgiving (hoping for a pre-Christmas sale, but not holding our breath) and then we can finally start getting the nursery set up! 

I’ve been in serious nesting mode lately – I meticulously wiped down the drawers in the baby’s dresser, let them air dry, and then lined them with shelf-liner paper.  I organized our magazines by title and category, and threw out old issues that we no longer need.  I *finally* bought curtains and curtain rods for our 2nd spare bedroom (something I’ve been meaning to do for, oh, 2 years).  I bought a new shower curtain liner because ours was slightly dingy.  I baked apple cinnamon muffins from scratch because I felt the urge to bake something – and yes, I felt better afterward…although that might have been because I ate several of them warm from the oven. 

_  _  _  _

How far along?:  21 weeks 

Total weight gain/loss:  Around 10 pounds. 

The Bump: Still, around the same as it was last week.  Although, I can feel the baby kicking higher in my body – the other night, she was karate-chopping my hip bone with reckless abandon.

What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Having all of our “house-stuff” settled so we can be ready for this winter.  (Speaking of which…I was reminded on Twitter this morning that Christmas is two months away.  Craziness.)

Maternity Clothes:  A few weeks ago I posted about how I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for a winter coat.  I refuse to simply buy a larger size because, frankly, that makes me look gigantic and man-ish, and telling me to “use what you already have!” isn’t really an option when I wear my winter coats on the fitted side and can barely button them at 21 weeks.  Oh, and let’s not forget that I live in Wisconsin and it gets down below zero here.   Now, that doesn’t mean that I have$800 to spend on a maternity coat that I’ll wear for around 5 months.

Long story short, I looked around online and didn’t find anything that I was crazy about.  Luckily, while perusing the aisles of my local Target the other day, I found this coat:

I held my breath as I tried it on, as I have ridiculously long monkey arms and a three-quarter sleeve winter jacket is not a good look.  It was long enough in the arms!  And it fit in the stomach and there was ROOM for my stomach to get bigger!  And it was cute!Fantastic.  Sold.  Cross it off the list of things to worry about. 

Symptoms:  Well……this week brought about a little phenomenon called Braxton Hicks contractions, something not typically seen in pregnant women until the 3rd trimester.  Fantastic.  I was getting them with quite a bit of regularity – usually first thing in the morning and when we’d be watching tv at night.  They didn’t hurt, but they were uncomfortable…and they were a bit disconcerting.  So, I called my doctor and he said that I need to double the amount of water I drink every day (I was drinking at least 50-60 ounces of fluid daily) and I need to not exercise and refrain from “strenuous housework.”  So, I’m not really sure what the housework thing means…can I still vacuum?  (I did.)  I did make an attempt to increase my water intake, though, and they went away!  So, yay for water and no more BH contractions, but boo for having to go to the bathroom 592 times per day.

Belly Button in or out?:  In. 

Food Cravings/Aversions: Craving: chocolate chip cookies.  Chocolate in very small doses = okay, but still no bueno in larger amounts.

What I miss:  Sleeping on my stomach. 

Milestones:  Hmm…not sure what milestones I reached this week.  I’m pretty sure another week is sufficient!

_  _  _  _

Sorry for the grainy picture - we’re losing daylight quickly these days!

 

October 21, 2011

Wedding Napkin Quilt – Part II

What’s that?  You don’t remember Part I?  Well, that’s probably because I posted it all the way back in January.  For those of you who don’t want to go back and read the original post, here’s a quick refresher for you:

  1. All the way back in my wedding-planning days, I posted how I thought it would be awesome to make cloth napkins for our wedding, with the intent that after the wedding I’d make them into a quilt.   (Insert general schmoopiness and Barbara Streisand singing “The Way We Were” here.)
  2. My mom had to help me finish this little pre-wedding project, as I was low on time and high on stress (and not the best seamstress at that time).
  3. The napkins turned out great!  Everyone loved them!  Some people stole them, even when they were told that I would be using them after the wedding!  Skittles!
  4. I started making the quilt, got as far as finishing all of my quilt blocks, and then…just kind of stopped.  Quelle surprise.  It sat for 4-5 months in this state in my closet.

So, it turns out that when you have a pregnancy photo shoot coming up and are thinking of things that could be used as “props” in the shoot, your mind might wander to the unfinished quilt that you have taking up space in your spare bedroom’s closet.  You decide that it would be neat to include it in some way…you know, with all of the “continuity” that the quilt represents and the “Circle of Life” thing and whatnot.  Insert Rafiki saying “It is time!” here.

You realize that you have less than a week until your scheduled shoot, and if you’re going to get it done, it’s going to be right about now.  (Your mind might flit briefly to the thought that there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of you getting it done after the baby arrives.  This solidifies your drive to get the quilt done – for real – this time.)

That’s what got me to JoAnn Fabrics at around 10:00 last Saturday morning, looking for quilt batting and backing.  It’s also what kept me in what will soon become our baby’s room for the remainder of the day, sewing up a storm and draining my iPhone battery whilst listening to the Adele station on Pandora.

I tried to take pictures of the process, but my inner monologue of “must get it done” got the better of me.  But, let’s recap what the quilt top looked like, shall we?   Here’s a picture from my original quilt post:

Ahhh, yes.  That caption at the top of the photo must have really spoken to me…considering I “basked” in the feeling of the quilt top for months upon months.  MOVING ON.

So, at this point I had my blocks assembled.  I proceeded to mark them in rows – A1 through A7 across the top, then B1 through B7 for the 2nd row, and so on.  Like this:

Then, I sewed my rows together: A1 to A2, etc., all the way over to A7.   Then, once all of my rows were complete, I sewed row A to row B, then what was now rows A & B to row C.  Pretty easy, but definitely time-consuming.   And, for those of you keeping track at home …that’s 49 quilt blocks, total.  GAH.  Someone go back to me when I was starting this quilt and tell me that “less is more.”

So, with my quilt top assembled, I had to admit…I was feeling pretty badass.  Well, as “badass” as a novice quilter can feel, I suppose.  I couldn’t revel very long, though – I still had to finish this thing.  I picked out my batting and my backing fabric based on my measurements I had taken, and realized that I needed batting and backing muslin that was at least 90″ wide in order to not have to piece things together.  Luckily, I found both at the store and was able to get home to make my quilt sandwich.

A quick note here: I considered using bias tape and edging the quilt that way (aka the traditional way) but because I was short on time, I didn’t want to mess with all of the pinning that required.  So, I Googled “quick way to finish a quilt” and decided on a “pillowcase binding.”  Basically, I cut my batting and my backing fabric slightly larger than my quilt top (to allow for error, which was inevitable on my part).  I hesitate to show you this picture because it’s when I was cutting everything aka NOT IN THE RIGHT ORDER, but it’s the only picture I took of this step.

Then, put my quilt top and my backing fabric right-sides together on top of my batting – so in the picture above, the batting and the backing fabric were switched in order.  I pinned it around all of the edges, and then sewed it on three of the sides, leaving one side open (it looked like a big duvet cover).  Then across the 4th side, I took the backing fabric and the quilt top and sandwiched them together by hand, making the 4th side match the other three.

Then, I topstitched the entire quilt along all 4 sides, and then quilted around each of the blocks, working in rows and columns.  I briefly considered quilting each individual block, realized that it would take me around 50 years, and thought better of it.

When I was finished, I had this:

 

 

 

And let me tell you…it feels so good to be done.  This was, by far, the biggest and most complicated sewing project I have ever been crazy enough to take on.  It represents countless hours of cutting, piecing, and sewing back together, and even though it’s not perfect (far from it!) I’m pretty proud of it.  Out of curiosity, I looked back to when I originally posted the idea for making the cloth napkins for my wedding -    it was two years ago yesterday.  I couldn’t help but think about how much my life has changed over the past two years…much like the fabric in this quilt.  How much sweeter my life is, and how happy I am.  (And then my pregnancy hormones kicked in and I started tearing up.)

So!  The big question remains: would I do it again?  Yes, I would.  Knowing how much work it entails, I hesitate to say “in a heartbeat!” but when I think about how amazing it is to have a memento like this from our wedding…and then when I think about my baby girl crawling around on it in a few short months?  Well, let’s just say that I can’t completely blame the pregnancy hormones on the tears I get in my eyes.

October 17, 2011

Week Twenty.

Whoaaaaaaaa, we’re halfway there…..  (Somehow I feel like I’m not the first blogger to channel her inner Bon Jovi for her 20 week pregnancy post.)  20 weeks!  I can hardly believe that I’m halfway through my pregnancy.  After all, the nursery is still a big, white box, my tummy is still relatively small (although don’t talk to me about the struggle I had this morning buttoning up my winter jacket), and it feels like just yesterday I was shakily handing over a positive pregnancy test to hubs for him to inspect.

On the other hand…when I think back and realize that I was pregnant for pretty much the entire summer, or think about how long I felt sick for in my first trimester, or how long it’s been since I’ve had a glass of red wine (all the way back on our anniversary!) it seems like I’ve been pregnant a long time. 

So, that’s how I spent most of week 20 – vacillating between “zomg I can’t believe that we only have 20 more weeks to get everything ready for the baby!” and “I still have 20 more weeks before we can meet the baby?”   Still, I’m thankful that I’m solidly in my 2nd tri and that I’ve been feeling relatively good most of the time.  Except for my stupid tailbone.

You see, my tailbone story starts allllll the way back in the summer of 2010, when I was frantically trying to get our “thank yous” sent out for the wedding gifts we received.  On my way out the door one morning, I realized that I forgot a stack of notes that I had completed the previous evening.  In my hurry to grab them and get out the door, I crouched down to retrieve them from their spot on our bookshelf in our dining room.  (It should be noted that our bookshelf that is relatively close to our dining room table.)  Mid-crouch, I heard a “thump” and felt a searing pain in my tailbone – I had hit my tailbone - hard - on the edge of our dining room table.  Excellent.  I chalked it up to a bruised tailbone and went about my day. 

 The pain got better over the coming days…but never really went away.   Days turned into weeks, and I thought that I probably cracked my tailbone…but figured that it woudn’t do much good to go get an x-ray, since they couldn’t really do much about it anyway.  So, over last fall / winter, I dealt with tailbone pain on and off.  Some days it barely hurt…other days it hurt so badly I could barely get up off the couch.  Stretching/working out/yoga never helped, unfortunately. 

This past June, I was fed up and was ready to make an appointment with the doctor.  But then… I got pregnant!  I realized that if I went to the doctor, they’d probably want to do an x-ray.  I didn’t want them to do an x-ray at all being pregnant, much less in my 1st tri.  So, here we are.   Add to my already injured tailbone the fact that lots of pregnant women deal with tailbone pain during their pregnancy as an additional symptom…and I’ve been pretty uncomfortable at times.   I plan on asking my doctor if there’s anything I can do about it now, or if I’ll just have to deal until after I have the baby.  This weekend, I went out and purchased a donut pillow to sit on (slightly embarrassing, yes) and that’s given me some relief.  So yes…feeling good, except for my tailbone.  It could be (much) worse, but it’s still annoying!  

(I just realized I wrote 3 whole paragraphs about my tailbone.  I apologize.)

This week we did schedule something that we’re really looking forward to – a maternity shoot with our wedding photographer, Molly of M Three Studio!  Before I got pregnant, hubs and I had agreed that a maternity shoot would be something that we’d like to do when the time came.  So, once I got pregnant, we immediately thought of Molly to do our shoot.   She’s super talented, and I can’t wait to see what we come up with!  I have some ideas for props for the shoot, including using a quilt I threw together using our wedding napkins.  (Please note that I am using the term “threw together” quite liberally here…that quilt was a labor of love.)  Yep – it’s true…I finished our wedding napkin quilt this weekend!   It’s HUGE and was a lot of work, but I think it looks pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself.  (Separate post to come about the quilt.)   Cross your fingers for good weather for us!

_  _  _  _

How far along?:  20 weeks 

Total weight gain/loss:  Around 10 pounds. 

The Bump: I think it looks around the same as it did last week.

What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Our maternity shoot on Wednesday!

Maternity Clothes:  The maternity pants I ordered from Gap came on Friday – and….they fit!  Yessss!  I will have to make a few slight alterations to them – for some reason, a 34″ inseam varied by about 1.5″ from one pair to the other, but luckily I can let out the hem on one of the pants to make them the appropriate length for me to wear with flats.  And speaking of flats…I purchased a pair to wear to work, since my heels have been killing my back lately.  Although flats wouldn’t usually be considered “maternity clothes,” I don’t think I’ve ever worn flats to work other than on jeans day in the past.  So for me, work flats fit solidly in the “maternity clothes” category.

Symptoms: Tailbone pain, as hashed out in great detail above.  Also, I’ve had some pretty weird pregnancy dreams lately – I know that people telling their dreams to other people is akin to sitting through someone’s 1,000 vacation photos, so suffice to say that one that involved my future daughter drinking & smoking at 4 years old, and another involved me meeting the Pioneer Woman and us becoming best friends.  Hormones are crazy things.  

Belly Button in or out?:  In. 

Food Cravings/Aversions: Craving: fast food, aka things that are bad for me that I really shouldn’t be eating.  Why couldn’t I crave salads or carrot sticks or fresh fruit?  I guess that’s not how I operate. 

What I miss:  Being able to button my winter coat without any problems.

Milestones:  20 weeks!

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October 11, 2011

Week Nineteen.

First off, thanks for everyone’s sweet comments on our baby girl!  :)  We’re so excited and can’t wait until we meet her in February.

This week I focused on getting things crossed off our to-do list.  We scheduled getting our carpets cleaned (a must-do, especially in baby girl’s room), worked on ideas for what color to paint the nursery, and finally, finally decided on a crib/changing table/rocking chair combo.

You see, I spent hours upon hours looking for cribs and changing tables and rocking chairs online.  HOURS.  I pored through online reviews, questioned some people’s insanity at spending upward of $1k on a crib, debated between white wood and espresso wood, and fretted about just how sturdy some of the cribs really were. 

Saturday, hubs and I stopped at Babies ‘R Us to check out their furniture selection.  Big mistake.  We walked to the back of the store where the furniture was, and it appeared that some sort of tornado had been through the department – it was a mess.  There were no sales associates to be found (even though we were right next to their “Registry” department) and when we finally found the prices for the furniture…I was slightly shocked.  Granted, it was solid furniture …but seriously?  Way too expensive for our budget.  It didn’t help that they had some sort of terrible Muzak blasting at FULL VOLUME so that I couldn’t form a cohesive thought, either.  It just wasn’t a good shopping experience.

We then stopped by Target for some random stuff, and cruised through the baby section.  And it was there that I found our crib, our changing table, and our rocking chair.  All three.  In about 10 minutes.  Evidently, I’m the type of person who needs to see something in person to make a decision.  Novel concept.  I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders – hallelujah, and thank goodness for Target! 

Delta Bentley Crib

_  _  _  _

How far along?:  19 weeks 

Total weight gain/loss:  Around 8-ish pounds. 

The Bump: Definitely there, although everyone at work keeps telling me how “tiny” I am and claim that I will be throughout my entire pregnancy.  I like the faith that they have in me, but…believe me, I don’t feel very tiny.

What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Finally deciding on furniture!  Seriously…I was obsessed with this, and I’m so glad the decision has been made.

Maternity Clothes: I ordered two pairs of maternity work pants from Gap the other day – they haven’t arrived yet, but I’m hoping they’ll fit decently.  If not, I’m going to alter those suckers so that they do fit, because there are about 10 total options for pregnant women for work pants, and about 1 potential option for tall pregnant women.  Fingers crossed.

Symptoms:  My back has been hurting more lately, probably because I’m walking differently.  Also, why didn’t anyone warn me about the freakish hair growth that  I would see on my arms and my stomach?  I’ve heard all about how your hair gets thicker during pregancy (which, if I may add, I still have not seen the benefits of this supposed “thicker head of hair” stuff…mine is just as fine and thin as always)  but the only place I’ve seen it is on my stomach and my forearms.  Not to get gross or anything, but I had a few arm hairs that were over an inch long.  An inch doesn’t seem very long, but let me assure you that when it’s an inch of hair on your forearm?  You feel like you might as well call it a day and join the circus.  Luckily, we’re almost to long-sleeved weather 24/7 around here.

Belly Button in or out?:  In. 

Food Cravings/Aversions:  I still can’t handle the thought of yogurt.  The only craving that I can think of lately is pumpkin flavored things – pumpkin cookies, pumpkin milkshakes, and pumpkin bars sound delish to me.  But really, that’s pretty much every fall, not just since I’ve been pregnant.  Also, I still could eat a ham sandwich every single day.  Yum.

What I miss:  Still, I’m missing being able to sleep on my stomach.  It’s getting kind of old sleeping on my side. 

Milestones:  I’m almost halfway through my pregnancy!

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October 8, 2011

Pinterest – My New Cookbook.

So far, every meal I’ve made from a Pinterest pin has been amazing. Not just “kind of good” or “pretty good” but amazing.  Blame this on the pregnancy hormones if you wish, but even hubs has admitted that the recipes I’ve made from Pinterest have been home runs. 

In the spirit of sharing my culinary discoveries with you, I could just direct you all to my Pinterest page and to the recipes that I’ve made that are “winners.”  But I know you’re busy people, and that’s not a very productive use of your time.  So, I’m going to re-post the recipes here (with a few tweaks made by yours truly) and urge you to make them tonight. 

Well, don’t make all three of them tonight…you might want to space them out a bit.  Enjoy!

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Ham & Cheese Sliders, originally posted by The Girl Who Ate Everything, who adapted it slightly from the Recipe Club.

Feeds 2 people

Sliders
6 good white dinner rolls  (I used egg dinner rolls from my grocery store’s bakery)
1/2 pound deli honey ham
3 slices Swiss cheese, cut in half
equal parts mayonnaise & miracle whip (I’d be lying if I said I measured)Topping/Sauce (originally this called for poppyseed sauce, but I’m not a huge fan of poppyseeds)

1 1/2 T yellow mustard (again, I didn’t measure…I just eyeballed it)
1/4 stick butter, melted
1 T minced onion (I used Mrs. Dash’s Onion & herb blend)
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (again, no measuring for me)In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.  (I used an 8×8 square baking dish and it worked perfectly.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the topping/sauce ingredients. Using a pastry brush, brush topping onto tops of buns. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes. Serve warm.

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Feed 4-6 people, or 2 people with lots of leftovers.  (Also: it freezes/re-heats well!)3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
2-3 jalapeno peppers, minced – more if you want more spice
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
16 oz pepperjack/Mexican blend cheese

1 cup cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chipsIn a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add chicken stock and heat over medium heat. Add chicken breasts, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add tomatoes, jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pot. Simmer 20-30 minutes, covered until tomatoes have begun to break down. Add black beans, corn, and tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Add half of the pepperjack cheese and stir to melt. Return chicken to soup and cook 10- 20 more minutes until desired consistency. 

Add cilantro, reserving some to top individual bowls. Ladle into serving bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, reserved cheese and cilantro if desired.
_  _  _  _ 

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches, originally posted by The Country Cook
 
Feeds 4 people, or 2 people with leftovers.
 
3 lb. Beef Round Steak (I used a 3 pound beef roast)
1 packet Onion Soup Mix
1 packet Au Jus Seasoning
1 (15 oz) can of Beef Broth or Stock (I used a carton of beef stock and had leftovers)
½ cup water
4 slices mozzarella cheese
4 Sub rolls (I used sub rolls from my grocery store’s bakery)
Butter

Put beef roast in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine Beef broth, Onion soup mix, Au Jus seasoning and water and stir until combined. Pour mixture over beef, put cover on slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, shred meat with two forks or take it out and slice thinly (mine was too well-done to slice thinly, so I shredded it).  Place shredded meat back in the slow cooker for another hour.

When ready to serve, butter both sides of your sub roll.  Using tongs, pile beef on one side of roll, adding sliced mozzarella cheese on top.  Leave the sub roll open so it can get nice & toasty on the other side.  Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted/bubbly.  Serve sandwich with a bit of Au Jus from the slow cooker (you may want to strain it first). If you need more Au Jus, add a bit more beef stock. 
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Have you seen any good recipes lately on Pinterest?  If so, what are your favorites?

October 6, 2011

Snips and Snails…or Sugar and Spice?

So, I already gushed about how amazing our anatomy scan was and how in love with our baby we are.  But the truth is, I was holding out on you with a teensy, tiny bit of information. 

Like…that we may have found out the sex of our baby at the ultrasound.

I know. 

I KNOW! 

Originally, we weren’t going to find out the sex of our future bambino.  It was going to be a surprise!   We were going to be strong!  But then hubs started making thinly veiled requests at the 11th hour … saying things like “I think we should find out.” 

Hmm.

I guess that’s not really a “thinly veiled request.”  That’s pretty much putting it out there, isn’t it? 

Anyway.

I pretty much caved that second - suddenly, the idea of not finding out worked about as well as me saying, “m’eh, I’m good” to someone asking me if I want a Taco Bell Chalupa. 

Or a basket of buffalo wings. 

Or a Chipotle burrito.

Or a ham & cheese sandwich.  

Speaking of which….mmm…ham.  I know I talked about this before, but I used to hate ham.  What’s up with that, bambino? 

Oh, that’s right.  The point of this post is that we found out sex of the bambino…not for me to wax poetic about my newest food obsessions. 

Moving on.

During our ultrasound, we found out that we can start buying cute little things like this:

 


PiccadillyCottage on Etsy 

 

We’re having a girl! 

 

October 4, 2011

Week Eighteen.

This week’s big news was that we had our Anatomy scan on Friday!  Hubs went along for my first ultrasound (at 5-ish weeks) but since there wasn’t much to see at that one, this was the first time he was seeing the baby in person.  He admitted the night before we left that he was very excited – he hadn’t seen an ultrasound “live and in person” before.  I was also ridiculously excited.

The morning of the ultrasound, I drank a lot of water in a little amount of time per my explicit ultrasound instructions, and we grabbed a quick breakfast at McDonald’s (the big breakfast platter for him, breakfast burritos for moi – don’t judge).   Soon after, we headed to the ultrasound.  We checked in, made our way to the imaging center, checked in again, and were told that it would be a few minutes.  I passed the time in the waiting room by playing Bejeweled on my phone – it was the only thing that could focus my attention from the excitement of the ultrasound (and from all of the water in my bladder).  Then finally, we were called back. 

The tech fiddled with a monitor that was mounted on the wall (positioned so that we could see the ultrasound easier) but after about 5 minutes and with my bladder practically exploding, I tried as politely as possible to say “well, that’s okay…we can just watch it on your screen.”  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, hubs and I got to see our baby.

It was even better than I had imagined – the ultrasounds I had previously on the portable machine in my OB’s office were great, but this was amazing.  We saw the head, the feet, the 4-chambered heart, the arms, the legs, and that the baby’s bladder was filling/emptying properly.  To say that we were amazed is an understatement, actually.  I could tell that hubs was soaking it all in, and was astonished at what he was seeing.  It was so, so wonderful.  Afterward, the ultrasound was all we could talk about – I don’t know how we’re going to wait 21 more weeks to meet our baby!

_  _  _  _

How far along?:  18 weeks 

Total weight gain/loss:  Around 8-ish pounds. 

The Bump: Front & center….and seeming to get bigger by the day!

What I’m excited about/looking forward to:  Our ultrasound / anatomy scan!

Maternity Clothes: It’s become evident that my fall jacket is only going to fit me for a few more days – maybe a couple of weeks, if I’m lucky. I have larger winter coats that might fit, so I’m hoping I can make-do with one of those this winter (especially because I’m tall and most likely any maternity coat would be hilariously short in the sleeves for me). 

Symptoms:  Still tired, but that’s usually rectified by taking several naps on the weekends.  Also, I realized this week that I can’t wear my super-high stilettos to work anymore – this probably for the best, since I can tell my balance is changing.  They gave me such a horrible back ache the other day.  So, it’s lower heels (and eventually flats) for me. 

Belly Button in or out?:  In. 

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Aversions:  yogurt.  I typically eat a yogurt every morning, but lately it’s been grossing me out.  Craving: ham.  I know it’s on the “bad” list of foods since it has nitrates in it, but Thursday night I made the most delicious ham & cheese sliders for dinner and I thought I had died and gone to ham & cheese heaven.  It’s weird, because I’ve always hated ham, but now I would eat it every day if I could.  I tried explaining to hubs that pregnancy is weird when it comes to food – things that normally taste really good to me (chocolate) taste not-so-good now, but things that didn’t before (ham) or things that tasted pretty good before (burritos, spicy food, pizza, etc.) taste absolutely amazing now. 

What I miss:  Sleeping on my stomach!  I rolled over the other night and thought “ahhhhhh, it feels so good to sleep on my stomach!” and then about 5 seconds later I thought, “wait! I can’t sleep on my stomach anymore!” and had to roll over.  Once I rolled over and the pressure was off of my stomach, I realized that sleeping on my stomach wasn’t as comfortable as I had thought, anyway.

Milestones:  Our ultrasound/anatomy scan.  I think we’ve both looked at the pictures of our baby roughly 500 times a day since the ultrasound!  If we look at the pictures this much now, we’re going to be staring at our baby 24-7 once it’s here!   We’re so in love.

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