Mom-To Be Mondays: 10 Weeks

10weeks 2 days

Thank you all for your lovely comments & tweets.  They made my day :-) Even though I’m still keeping up with meatless Mondays as best as possible (tonight we had spinach &black bean enchiladas…yum!), I’ve decided to dub Mondays, “Mom to Be” Mondays as just a way to share some highlights of my pregnancy and also to share any helpful tidbits for other moms to be (or soon moms to be) out there.

Let me rewind a bit and just share when I found out and the whole history of this little miracle.  Hubs and I got married in July 2011.  Shortly after I decided to go off of birth control, not because we wanted to start trying right away, but because I had been on it for over 10 years and I didn’t love the way it made me feel.  One month after being off of it, I felt like a whole new person.  It’s kind of hard to explain, but I felt alive again.  I was more in control of my emotions as well as other things.  I had heard a lot about the Fertility Awareness Method.  I ordered the book from Amazon and read what I needed to read within a week.  One month after charting, I realized that my luteal phase (the time from ovulation to my next period) was very short (about 9 days).  Not a big deal at the time, but could potentially be a problem when we wanted to start having kids.  I waited to see if it would straighten itself out as the cycles went on, but it didn’t.  In November I decided to start taking Vitamin B6 because I hear that this is supposed to help.  Although we weren’t trying to have a baby, I just wanted my cycle to be normal.  The week I left for Texas to get my sister, my period was supposed to start.  When it was a day late, I thought to myself, “Well maybe the vitamin B6 is working.”  A few more days passed and I knew something was up.  When I flew into Texas on Friday, my sister wanted to go out and celebrate being done with tech school, and rightfully so.  But I didn’t feel right drinking so I had to let her know what was up.  She totally understood and was very supportive.  Next I called hubs to let him know what was going on.  I didn’t just want to come home that following Wednesday and say, “Honey you’re going to be a dad!”.  He was actually excited.  I was scared shitless.  I finally took a HPT a week and a half after my period was due.  I think that was the most patient I’ve ever been in my life (it was also the longest week of my life).  It told me what I had suspected all along.  I was pregnant.  After the initial shock/worry/shock wore off, I started to feel really excited and happy.  I was going to be a mom :-)  No, we didn’t plan for this to happen and no it’s not the most ideal time for us but we couldn’t be happier for our “Christmas Surprise”.  We found out right before Christmas and the message in church that day was Christmas surprises…very fitting :-)

I’m not at all discounting or going to talk bad about the Fertility Awareness Method.  It worked well for us until, well it didn’t.  If it is a method of birth control you’re thinking of, just make sure you’re in a relationship/situation where if you do get pregnant it won’t be the end of the world.  Had I not been charting, I would’ve never known I was having minor problems within my cycle because they came regularly.

Now that that’s all out in the open let’s talk about baby :-) I’m 10 weeks and 2 days today.  And little peanut is set to arrive on August 25th.  We decided that we’re not going to find out the sex of the baby until the little one arrives.  ‘Team Green’ all the way.  I want to be surprised in the delivery room…I keep telling myself it will make the labor process easier :-)

Little Bambino 
 Baby is 1.2 inches…about the size of a prune (and is growing over my bladder).  He/She has also graduated from embryo to fetus.   The baby’s skin is touch sensitive all over-any type of touch causes the baby to move.  Baby is growing tiny nails on the fingers and toes as well as tiny buds for teeth.  I learned that if your baby’s not getting enough calcium, it will start to take it from you and your bones!  I can’t help but think of Bella being pregnant in Breaking Dawn.  Needless to say, I’ve been drinking milk every day.
 

Mama
The nausea is finally starting to subside.  I’m just very tired all the time.  The only thing that helps with fatigue is exercise, which is a catch 22 because on most days exercise is the furthest thing from my mind.  But I force myself to do something, whether it is a short walk outside or Zumba, physical activity always gives me energy.  I’ve also been very emotional.  I wouldn’t say that I cry all the time, but I’m pretty sensitive right now…and moody (sorry hubs).  My sense of smell is definitely heightened and things like the smell of coffee (a smell I used to like) and alcohol make me sick to my stomach.  And last but definitely not least, my ta-ta’s are killing me and I’ve gone up a full bra size (cup & band). 

Cravings: Fruit!!  chips, GF frozen waffles & bagels.  Anything cold (smoothies, ice water etc)
Aversions: Raw Vegetables-I was in love with salads in the beginning. Now? not so much. I get my veggies either cooked or in juice/smoothie form.  Chicken-I’ll force myself to eat it because of the protein factor, but I could do without it.
Weight gain: 1.1 lbs but it feels more like 20, and I’ve had to bust out the belly band on more than one occasion.  How I’ve only gained that little so far I’m not really sure. My dr. said a healthy weight gain for me would be between 25-30lbs but she doesn’t care if I’m over or under just as long as the baby & I are healthy.       

My sister posted this on facebook and I found it very fitting for tonight’s posting:

‘A Nearly 14-pound baby boy born in Des Moines‘.  The mom delivered vaginally and un-medicated.  OUCH!

Complete Randomness

Sunday already? Where does the weekend go? Luckily, I still have one more day in my weekend.

One of my favorite bloggers, Lindsey, tagged in a little fun post that I decided to save for today.  11 Random things.  Here’s the scoop:

The Rules

1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set out for you in the post you were tagged in
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer in a post
5. Tell the people you tagged them on their blog
6. You have to tag 11 people, not just tag the people reading this…

11 Random Things about Me
1. My 1st car was an Eagle Talon and it was a stick shift.
2. Hubs & I have yet to have a whole year where neither of us have been gone b/c of the military
3. I have two step-sisters.  They’re 15 &19
4. As of right now, if we have kids, our child would be born to 5 aunts zero uncles
5. I’m in love with Coconut Bliss Bars
6. I love going to bars where there’s a live band playing
7. My drink of choice is a vodka tonic
8. My favorite red wine is Malbec
9. I’d do anything for a Texas Red Velvet cupcake from Sugar Bliss
10. I learned to play the flute in 4th grade. I stopped in high school.  I was 1st chair and really good.
11. My sister is my best friend in the whole wide world :-)


Lindsey’s Questions

1.  What is your favorite channel to watch? E! Network 
2. If you could have lunch with any celebrity who would it be? Giuliana Rancic
3. What is the most disgusting thing you have ever eaten? I can’t think of anything…I love food!
4. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? London! Such a fun city. 
5. Morning person or night owl? Night Owl. Although my job doesn’t really allow it :-/
6. Where is the weirdest place you have a mole? the bottom of my little pinky toe :-) 
7. Do you have any nicknames? My girlfriends call me Mar
8. What is your favorite smell? Mulled cider candle in the fall 
9. How old were you when you got your first cell phone? 18, we had to be old enough to pay for it 
10. Would you give up peanut butter or chocolate for a entire year? Neither! I love them both together!
11. What is your all time favorite article of clothing? My skinny Express jeans 
My Questions


1. What’s your favorite food?
2. If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?

3. What’s your idea of a perfect weekend?
4. What’s your favorite TV show?
5. What do you like to do most with your free time?
6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, money’s no object, where would it be?
7. Why did you start blogging?
8. Who’s your celebrity crush/idol?
9. What/who inspires you?
10. What’s your favorite all time movie?
11. Mac or PC?

Now I pass this along to
El. Vi @ Life. Wedding. Nonsense
Jenn @ Peas and Crayons
Nina @ Run (dance) love
Linsday @ Running the Windy City
Sarah @ Sarah Learns
Jacqueline @ The Dusty Baker
Diana @ The Chic Life
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats

That’s all I’ve got!  I’m off to do some reading and snuggling with my little fur ball :-) Hubs has to stay late to work tonight so it’s just Oliver and me! Coming up this week…some BIG news on the blog!!

In & Out

Happy Saturday! I hope everyone’s enjoying their weekend.  I sure am, especially after last night’s hellish commute.  I left Milwaukee around 1p.m. yesterday and didn’t get into Chicago until 7:30 p.m.  Normally, the drive takes me 2 hours tops, but we got pounded with a ton of snow.  While I think it’s pretty, I’d rather be inside watching it fall than sitting in traffic for 6 and a half hours.  But I was thankful that I made it home safely.

  

I started my morning off with a bowl of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats, sliced banana, sweetened with honey and brown sugar and topped with chia seeds.  So good and so filling.  It was the perfect breakfast for a cold winter morning.  After breakfast, I Zumba-ed the rest of the morning away.

 After hubs got home from work, we headed to one of my favorite places…IKEA!  It was our shortest Ikea trip to date.  We were in and out of there in a 1/2 hour.  I went with a mission and it was successful.  I saw something that I really liked online and just wanted to see it in person before making any final decisions :-) Our next trip back will not be quite as short.  I saw a lot of stuff that I was anxious to buy.

After Ikea, LC and I headed to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Zapatista.  This place has some of the most authentic-tasting Mexican food in Chicago.  They also offer a gluten-free menu! 

I decided to go with the shrimp tacos.  Normally, I don’t order tacos at a Mexican restaurant.  It’s like ordering spaghetti at an Italian restaurant.  I don’t like to order food that I can make at home, but lately I’ve been craving shrimp tacos every time we go out for Mexican food.  They’re so good!  We also had “made at the table” guacamole.  My favorite.  If you’re ever in Lincoln Park or in the South Loop, you should definitely try this place out.

I’m off to relax on the couch and watch Our Idiot Brother.  Have a good rest of the weekend!

New Recipe: Cajun Beef Caserole

Happy Monday!  I enjoyed my day off by sleeping in, cleaning, going to a doctor’s appointment and making the first real meal in a very long time.  For Christmas, my grandma gave me a subscription to Taste of Home.  I looked through it over the weekend and found something that caught my eye.  Quick, spicy, & enough leftovers for hubs to eat during the week while I’m gone. 

Although it’s not meatless, it’s still full of vegetables and comes with a cornbread crust :-) Overall, it took about 45 minutes to prepare and cook.  Not too bad for a week night meal.
 

Cajun Beef Casserole

Ingredients:
1 pkg. (8 1/2 oz) corn bread/muffin mix (I used Bob’s redmill GF mix)
1 lb ground beef
2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 can (6 oz. ) tomato paste
1 to 2 tsp. cajun seasoning (I added more for a kick)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:
prepare corn bread batter according to package directions.  Spread into a greased 11×7 in baking dish.  Cook beef in a large skilled over medium heat until meat is no long pink.  Drain if necessary.  I used really lean beef, so there was not much juice left in the pan.  Add tomatoes, vegetables, tomato paste and seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Pour on top of the corn bread crust.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Sprinkle with green onions once the casserole comes out of the oven.

Serve and enjoy!  I’m off to enjoy the rest of my evening and watch the bachelor :-)

Words of wisdom
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King Jr.

My Weekend in Pictures

fondue action at the melting pot

PF Chang’s Gluten-Free Menu

:-)

favorite Disney movie of all time

pumpkin oats

And my weekend’s not over yet.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a new recipe!  Between my appetite being all over the place (last night I ate cereal for dinner) and living part-time in Wisconsin, I haven’t spent much time in my kitchen.   It’s feeling neglected so it’s time to remedy that. I hope everyone’s weekend was wonderful!

Goals for the New Year

Is the first week of January almost gone?  Thankfully, this week is flying right on by.

Happy 2012!  We kept it pretty low key this year.  We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Texas De Brazil and got home just in time to watch the ball drop.  I was content with a full belly & a New Year’s kiss from my love.  We were asleep by 12:30am.  Real party animals over here.

I’m not one to make “resolutions”.  I can’t think of any bad habits that I have that I should quit…I’m sure hubs begs to differ :-)  So this year instead of making a New Year’s Resolution, I set some goals.

1. Go to church more-I set this goal as I was lying in bed on Sunday morning (New Years Day), thinking to myself ‘I should really be in church right now instead of lounging around doing nothing.’  We found a church in Chicago that we both really like, but it’s not super close to our apartment and it involves driving on the express way.  BUT I’m done making excuses.  Going to church on Sundays was something that I grew up doing but shortly stopped after college.  Now that we’re married and we’re planning to have our own family some day, I think having a strong beliefs and morals is very important.  Especially in today’s world.

2. Quality date nights with hubs-I shouldn’t say “quality” but rather “unique”.  We do date nights rather frequently, but they always involve dinner at a restaurant.  This year, I want to branch out and do something different.  One thing I’ve been wanting to do is take a couples cooking class at The Chopping Block.  For the next few months, I will be working in Milwaukee Tuesday-Friday and staying with my parents 3 nights out of the week, (military duty calls!) so I want to make the most out of the time that I do get with LC.

3. Do more “fun runs”.  The last 3 races that I’ve ran, have all been 1/2 marathons.  While they were fun, the training took a toll on my body.  I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to take a break from distance running (no full marathon this year) and sign up for some 5 & 8ks.  I need a little reminder as to why I enjoy running in the first place.

4. More girlfriend time.  Have I told you how much I love my girlfriends?  I’ve had the same group of close friends since middle school.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world and now that I’ll be spending some time in Milwaukee, I’d like to hang out with them more “just because” and not revolving around a special event.  If that means having to watch ‘Teen Mom’ or ‘Jersey Shore’ along side, then that’s a risk I’m willing to take :-)   

5. Be Healthy.  I consider myself somewhat of a healthy eater.  I like to cheat probably more than I should, but I’ve been really consistent with physical activity so I consider this a win.  This year, I’d like to focus on keeping my stress levels to a minimum.  Traveling from Chicago to Milwaukee every week and adding life into there might make this difficult at times, but it’s really important that I de-stress and just take care of my body.  Enter yoga.  I need more yoga in my life.  And maybe some acupuncture since it was the best nap that I’ve ever had.  Also, be more conscious as to what I’m eating and keeping the processed food to a minimum.  Whole, clean food is key.

Do you make New Years resolutions?  Or are you more of a goal setter?