Sunday, February 19, 2012

21 Week Prego Points

Milestone:  The biggest milestone to report is Baby B's first kick!  Friday night while lying on the couch I felt a very distinct baby movement to the right of my belly button, and I continued to lay with my hands on my belly for almost an hour talking to Baby and feeling Baby move.  Ahhh-mazing!  I wish Matt would have been with me in that moment, but he arrived home shortly after from his business trip and while laying in bed that night, he was able to feel his Baby for the first time.  First, a very distinct kick square in the palm of Matt's hand, with each movement getting softer as Baby settled down for the night.  What a memory maker moment! 

Photo courtesy terra-yoga.com

Prenatal Yoga:  Today was my first Prenatal Yoga class at Terra Yoga in Issaquah and I LOVED it; I'll be trying to go once a week from now on.  There were 10 of us in the class, ranging from myself at 21 weeks to one woman who is 38 weeks pregnant.  I've really enjoyed yoga for about 10 years now but haven't done any yoga at all during the pregnancy so far.  Our gym changed its class schedule and the only yoga class that works with my schedule now is hot yoga, and that's not recommended for the pregos because it raises the body's core temp too much.  Prenatal yoga is different from regular yoga because there are poses you want to focus on while pregnant, and some poses/movements to avoid while pregnant.  We did a mild back bend pose using a block to raise our hips, and this is not only a great stretch during pregnancy, but is excellent in late pregnancy to promote baby to get into the correct head-down position.  During this pose I started to feel Baby B moving around, so Baby either really likes yoga, or really hates it!  Haha :)  I was happily surprised I've maintained my flexibility and am hoping the yoga with help me gain even more strength and flexibility in preparation for labor and delivery.  We did a lot of hip openers and squatting to help strengthen the legs and stretch the hips.  Squatting opens up the pelvis by 28%, so I hope to use this to my advantage on D-Day! 

Mornings:  I just started a new book titled Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars by Marilynn Chadwick.  It's about strengthening prayer time and listening for the voice of God.  I have been horrible about making time for devotion and prayer and, as many of you know, have failed at making time in the mornings for this.  One line from the first chapter has me excited to keep trying..."I may be barely alive at five, but I'll be great by eight".  Marilynn made herself become a morning person and although she really struggled with it at first, has come to love the time she has in the mornings.  Another reason I want to try again is to get to the gym.  I've been walking about 1.5 miles a few times a week, but some weeks it's never because I either have something going on after work, am too hungry, or too tired.  My gym opens at 5:00, and I'm going to try to get my walking in before work! 

Project Nursery:  After doing some price-comparisons on closet organization systems, I've finally decided to go with the Martha Stewart system.  I feel we're getting the best for our buck, as it ended up being the least expensive for the configuration I liked best.  It should arrive this week, and then Project Nursery shall commence!  This Thursday we get to find out the sex of Baby B!  So not only will we be able to narrow down names, but Project Nursery can really get under way.  I have ideas for a boy and for a girl and am just waiting for the green light. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Breakfast Sandwiches

I've been avoiding Pintrest, and for good reason...until now.  I knew it would be just another time waster so I held off as long as I could, but I knew it would only be a matter of time until I caved and signed up.  Time waster? Yes.  Addicting?  A bit.  Worth it? I think so!  I love the concept and how I can keep all these great ideas I'm coming across so well organized. 

One of my first "pins" was a recipe for breakfast sandwiches from Macheesmo.  Blog creator Nick made a deal with his wife:  if she wanted something from McDonald's, he would figure out how to make it instead.  Great idea! 

I usually don't wake up early enough to eat breakfast before I leave the house for work.  Who am I kidding?!  I never wake up early enough to eat breakfast before I leave for work (although I still plan to keep trying).  I usually make/take something I can eat on my 20-30 minute commute and thought these would be perfect, and have been wanting to do something just like this for a while now.  These are so easy to make, and even easier to heat up for a quick breakfast on the go.  This recipe makes up 12 sandwiches that store in the freezer, so you just heat and eat!  Thank you Macheesmo Nick for the recipe!

Click on Macheesmo's link above for the original recipe.  I added Canadian bacon and some seasoning to the sandwiches I made, and I'm so happy with how they turned out!  The Canadian bacon I used seemed huge for the sandwich, but when I heated it up it shrunk up to fit the muffin perfectly. 

What You Need: 
  • 12 English muffins (whole wheat for a good dose of fiber)
  • 12 large eggs
  • Grated cheddar cheese (about 10 ounces), or your favorite cheese.
  • Canadian bacon
  • Garlic & onion seasoning (or whatever you want to season your eggs)
  • Butter or olive oil cooking spray
What You Do: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease muffin tin.
  2. Crack an egg into each muffin tin area, season, and bake 15-20 minutes.
  3. Slice English muffins open on a cookie sheet, spread with a little butter (olive oil cooking spray is easiest and quickest) and brown under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Place one piece of Canadian bacon on each muffin bottom, pile on some cheese, top with a cooked egg, and cover with English muffin top. 
  5. Place breakfast sandwiches on a cookie sheet, unwrapped and uncovered, and place in freezer for about 1 hour (no more).
  6. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or foil, place in a freezer Ziploc bag (I needed two), and store in the freezer.  Will keep for a few weeks.
  7. When ready to eat, Macheesmo recommends heating in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes to avoid sogginess.  Below is what I did and it worked perfectly!


To Heat When Ready to Eat:
  • Wrap in paper towel and heat in microwave for 30 seconds.  Flip over and heat for another 45 seconds.  You may need to increase time if heating more than one.  Let stand 1 minute in microwave, and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fleeing From Fear

As I pass the halfway mark of my pregnancy and near the delivery of our precious baby, I am dealing with the emotions that are to be expected.  I'm mostly excited and anxious to meet Baby B, but I'm constantly suppressing feelings of fear about the delivery.  I'll be giving birth at Lakeside Birth Center, not in a hospital, with my midwife Nancy.  I feel completely confident in her care and expertise, and am more than happy about our decision to bring our baby into the world this way, but I'm trying not to let fear get the best of me (which would be trying to take over my mind even if I were delivering in a hospital).

I'm resting in my faith in God's Word knowing that He is perfect love and casts out all fear.  2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."  I'm praying now for increased faith, peace, and trust for the labor and delivery.  I refuse to let my heart be troubled or afraid.  Matt and I have decided to focus on these scripture verses every day so we'll have them stored up in our "brain box" for when fear starts to creep in...especially on "D-Day"!

Dwell on these scriptures if there's a circumstance in your life plaguing you with fear and trust that God can give you the peace you need to make it through.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
- Proverbs 18:21

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
– 1 John 5:14, 15

“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
– Mark 11:23

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go"
– Joshua 1:8,9

“I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame.”
– Psalm 138:2

“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.”
– Proverbs 4:20-22

"What do you mean, 'If I can'?" Jesus asked. "Anything is possible if a person believes."
- Mathew 9:23

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” 
- Philippians 4:33

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:19

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.”
- Hebrews 10:13

"I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears."
- Psalm 34:4

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” 
- Luke 1:37

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” 
- Romans 10:10

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
- Psalm 34:4

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
- Hebrews 4:16

"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid."
- John 14:27

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
- Psalm 37:4

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Be a Blessing


This week I heard an interview on the radio that caught my attention as it's something I think about often.  When 30-year-old Ryan Garcia of Chicago became a father for the first time, he wanted to become "a better person" and help make the world a better place for his daughter, so he started the blog project/New Year Resolution 366 Random Acts of Kindness (2012 is a leap year).  The title is pretty self-explanatory, but he has set out to complete a random act of kindness every day and is hoping that others are inspired to do the same. 

What struck me is what Ryan said has surprised him in pursuing this project so far, "It's kind of disheartening to see that people would be so surprised that another person wants to do something nice for them, so that's why I'm hoping that this catches on."  A self-proclaimed cynic, he states "I wouldn't say I was ever mean, but it's not like I was trying to be overwhelmingly nice."  I agree with Ryan.  The world would be a much better place if more people went out of their way to be "overwhelmingly nice".  As Matt and I prepare to welcome our Baby into the world and are faced with the blessing and responsibility of raising a human, I wish everyone felt the same. 

Pastor Troy's message at church last Sunday was about being generous to others. "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share" 1 Timothy 6:18.  I think many people get caught up with the word generous and think, "I'm barely able to pay my bills".  Generous does not pertain only to monetary deeds, but to being kind and giving time.  You don't need a lot of time or money to be generous to others.
  • Hold a door open for someone, no matter your age or gender. 
  • Put your shopping cart away in the designated area instead of leaving it to block a walkway or parking space.  Better yet, offer to take someone's cart back for them.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery or department store.  Perhaps an elderly individual or a parent with a young child/children.
  • Smile at a stranger as you pass them rather than avoiding eye contact.  It may be the only smile they see that day.
  • Donate old/unused clothes or household items to a local non-profit such as a transitional housing facility for homeless individuals.
  • Give up one Saturday a month to volunteer at your local food or clothing bank or soup kitchen.
I thank my parents for teaching me the importance of be generous and kind to others.  My Dad never met someone he didn't like or couldn't talk to.  If he didn't like someone, I never heard about, because he isn't one to talk ill of others.  My Mom took me with her to volunteer sorting clothes in the clothing bank in the small town we grew up in and I also remember volunteering at the food bank. My Mom also set an example for standing up for those others make fun of.  There was a boy in my fourth grade class that was ridiculed and beat up on a daily basis not only at school, but as he walked to and from school.  I'm pretty sure his home life didn't offer much relief either.  My Mom decided she could not just sit by and watch and would offer him rides to and from school, we even went to the police station to report what was going on.  I remember being embarrassed about it at the time, but can now thank my Mom for standing up and being kind to someone who desperately needed it. 

You know the feeling you get when you're around people who make you feel loved?  Why wouldn't you want everyone else to feel this also?!  What a wonderful world this would be if instead of gossiping and bringing other down, we all set out to build others up!  I challenge you to find ways each day to be a blessing to others, to those you know and to complete strangers.  You can even follow Ryan Garcia's journey on 366randomacts.org for ideas.  Matt and I thank Ryan and all of you for helping make this world a better place not only for our unborn child, but for us all. 

How can you be a blessing today?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

19 Week Prego Points

Ultrasound:  We had our fourth appointment with our midwife, Nancy, today and everything is moving along great. Our diagnostic ultrasound is in two weeks and we are very excited to find out if Baby B is a prince or princess!  Nancy usually does a quick ultrasound at each appointment, but we decided against it today.  Well, Matt talked me out of it because I really just wanted to see Baby B, but we don't want to speculate what we might have seen (or not seen) in the "nether region" and leave the surprise for our diagnostic. 

Blood Type:  We found out today that Matt is A+, and because I am O- (shout out to all the other universal donors!) Baby B has a 50/50 chance of either.  I will get to receive an injection of RhoGAM in my 3rd trimester, and Baby's blood will be determined after birth.  If Baby B is also Rh-, then there is nothing else to be done, but if Baby gets Matt's blood I will need another dose of RhoGAM after delivery to protect my blood from being attacked from Baby's positive blood.  It's kind of like I'm Bella Swan in Breaking Dawn.  Ok, not really.

Heart Rate:  Baby B's heart rate was a healthy 150 bpm today.  I love that our midwife has been doing this so long she can tell the heart rate just by listening.  There is the Old Wives' Tale that claims that if the fetal heart rate is above 140 bpm it's a baby girl, and below 140 bpm it's a boy.  Of course, this is just a theory but we'll have a clear answer soon! And as I've said before, I'll be happy either way.  I just want a healthy baby; the baby God wants us to have. 

Baby Belly Measurement: I had my first Fundal Height Measurement today (or as Matt likes to call it, the Baby Belly Measurement).  This is a measurement taken in centimeters from the top of the pubic bone to the top of the uterus and helps assess fetal growth and development.  I measured 19 cm today, and I am 19 weeks pregnant, so it seems Baby B is growing right on schedule, as the measurement should match the baby's gestational age.

Weight:  I have gained 8.5 pounds so far.  I can still wear my pre-pregnancy clothes...with some slight tweaks.  Pants fit, but can't be buttoned without becoming painful, so I've been using the rubber band trick.  I also bought a BellaBand, but haven't used it yet.  Most of my pre-pregnancy shirts are fine as long as they're long enough (especially because I have to keep the blue produce rubber band covered up). I do have a few maternity shirts that I like, but it's difficult finding cute + inexpensive maternity shirts.  I'm just so glad I wear scrubs for work!

Cravings:  I'm still loving fruit; nectarines, mangoes, and kiwis specifically.  I have also been enjoying fudge pops!  Most food aversions are gone, but certain smells definitely still get to me. 

Overall, I'm feeling great, but today I could not find my energy.  I had a great energy span there for a while, though.  The other day I dusted the entire house, including around the ceilings and light fixtures, and then cleaned all the windows.  I not only cleaned the glass, but I took a toothbrush and bleach to the crevices where the window slides open.  Today...different story.  My energy was nowhere to be found after we got home from our appointment. I took a lengthy nap (ok, naps), made chicken stir fry for dinner, and that brings us to the present as I type this and watch 30 Rock...feeling ready for a fudge pop and bed.  Rough Day.