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Archive for January, 2014

Five on Friday

ONE. This week has kicked my butt. Between food poisoning early this week, disagreements with the nurse at my doc’s office, a fight with my mom (that is now resolved), and more stress than usual at work, I could not be happier that it’s finally Friday. I’m looking forward to a night at home with the family, eating BLTs for dinner, and vegging out on the couch.

TWO. One good thing that happened this week: Our nursery furniture arrived! Once again, we went with a Walmart.com purchase (the Graco Hayden crib set, since the Delta set we bought for D’s room has been discontinued. Boo!). Even though they’re different sets, they’re similar in style and both convert to toddler beds. So if we ever decide to make the boys share a room, their furniture will sort of go together.

I’ve been really happy with Walmart.com for big purchases like this because a) cheap and b) free shipping directly to our house. We’re only purchasing a crib and small changing table this time around, and moving the glider into the new baby’s room since I rarely use it with D anymore. Can’t wait for the hubs to assemble everything, hopefully this weekend, so that I can start envisioning wall shelves and rug options. This baby’s room is considerably smaller than D’s room so we have far less space to work with.

GracoHayden

THREE: Were you a NKOTB fan? Did you love Marky Mark back in the 90s? I wasn’t a fan of either way back when, but I’m really digging this new show on A&E called The Wahlburgers. It’s centered around Donnie and Mark’s mom and brother Paul, who’s a chef with a burger joint in Boston, but the more famous brothers make frequent appearances and it’s hilarious to see them all interact and talk about their childhoods growing up. Just a bunch (NINE) of poor Boston kids eating “macaroni and welfare cheese”, as Donnie said, and look at them now.

How cute are these kids?

How cute are these kids? Paul on the top left, Donnie in the middle, Mark is the baby

FOUR: Another piece of good news is that my friend Sara is expecting a baby GIRL this summer! I love the way she announced both the pregnancy and the gender with a cute graphic. Getting and staying pregnant hasn’t been easy for her in the past so I’m super excited to hear this news and can’t wait to follow her pregnancy journey. This will be baby #2 for her and I just know her little boy Mac is going to be the best big brother!

FIVE: Speaking of pregnancy and second babies, I’ve now started my twice-weekly fetal monitoring appointments. My first one was yesterday so I had a full ultrasound done to take baby’s measurements. He’s been growing like a weed since my ultrasound two weeks ago and is up from 3lbs 7oz to roughly 4lbs 11oz. In just two weeks he’s gained more than a pound! He’s also long and lean, with LOTS of hair already. The tech tried to get a decent 3D shot for me, but the little stinker had his arm over his face. His other hand was busy pulling the umbilical cord to his mouth, trying to suck on it. And when he wasn’t doing that, he was grabbing his toes. (It was a long ultrasound.) His head and general length is measuring about a week ahead, but he’s still on the skinny side, which is good because it means I’m managing my gestational diabetes well so far. (Babies of gestational diabetic mothers tend to have really round stomachs, which D did toward the end of my pregnancy with him.) My fluid levels were also well within range (another risk of GD is that they could get too high), and everything else checked out great, so I was instructed to just keep doing what I’m doing. Phew! While I’ll have ultrasounds twice a week from here on out, I won’t have another in-depth one like that to check baby’s size for a month, so it was nice to see everything and be reassured that everything is looking fantastic!

Before I left the house that morning, the hubs said I looked like I was getting ready to head to the boardwalk so I figured I’d take a pic of me and my coastal-looking outfit. Make this my…third belly pic in 32 weeks? I’m terrible at these things. For the curious: pants, striped tank top and jean jacket are all from Old Navy Maternity, with the pants and jacket “recycled” from my first pregnancy.

photo

32.5 weeks

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In our bloggy-Pinterest world of tips and tricks, I always find myself searching for the perfect solution(s) to make this whole parenting thing easier. And most of the time, I’ll even click on an article promising me the “Perfect toy storage solution!” only to realize their “perfect solution” is a bunch of baskets.

So I decided to come up with my own list of tips of tricks. Things that are PROVEN to work! You can thank me later.

Problem: Toys all over the place.

Solution: Pick them up. Every night. And toss them in a fancy, schmancy toy storage solution called a BASKET. Or a BOX. Or any container of your choosing. The possibilities are endless.

Problem: Toddler throws his food on the floor.

Solution: Get a dog.

Problem: Baby likes to grab and pull your hair.

Solution: Wear a ponytail. Or shave your head. Again, you have options.

Problem: Your baby or toddler hates riding in the car and will scream and cry the entire way to your destination

Solution: Toys and books. If that doesn’t work, turn up the radio.

Problem: Your kid poops in the tub.

Solution: Pick up your kid and throw a towel over him. Pick up the poop and throw it in the toilet. Sterilize toys.  If you’re looking for a shortcut to this, then you can do what I did last night and ask your husband to deal with it while you carry off the little poop machine and get him ready for bed.

Hey, maybe there are some shortcuts after all!

 

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It’s been a few weeks since I had to make some major diet changes to help manage my gestational diabetes and I think I’m FINALLY starting to get the hang of it.

While gestational diabetes only affects a small percentage of pregnant women, I’m sure I can speak for most expectant ladies when I say that many of us want to have the healthiest pregnancy possible while also minimizing the weight gain we’ll need to lose once the baby is born. So I wanted to share this low-carb recipe that has become a fast favorite in my household that anyone wanting to watch their carbs can appreciate. This is also a great recipe for #MeatlessMondays, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

I’m a huge fan of pasta. Ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, you name it. If it’s noodles, cheese, and a delicious sauce – red, white, I’m not picky – I’ll devour it. Now that I have gestational diabetes, pasta is off the table, quite literally. Sure, there are lower-carb versions, but the serving sizes allowed to still stay within my recommended limits are just SO SMALL. It’s not worth it. Instead, I turn to my beloved spaghetti squash to help me get my pasta fix.

Here’s what I do:

First, prepare the squash. There are a few different ways you can do this, which you’re free to Google, but here’s how I do it:

Preheat the oven to 375.  Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. (I’m a weakling so if the hubs is around, I have him do the cutting.) Rub a little olive oil over the insides and place the cut sides face down on a baking sheet. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the flesh of the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Once it’s done, scoop out the squash with a fork or large spoon (it’ll look like a little like spaghetti), season with garlic salt and pepper and set aside.

Don’t turn off the oven. You’ll use it again in a minute.

In another bowl, I mix together a 1:1 ratio of ricotta cheese and cottage cheese. I don’t really measure it, but I eyeball about half a container of each so that in about a week I can use the rest of both containers for another batch or a different recipe.

In a baking dish, I put half the squash on the bottom, cover with half the ricotta/cottage cheese mixture, pour a thin layer of spaghetti sauce, sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella, and repeat – squash, ricotta/cottage cheese, sauce, mozzarella. And then I top it all off with some parmesan. Yes, I realize that’s a lot of dairy/cheese, but if you use mostly low-fat products and keep the layers thin, it’s not bad.

Pop the baking dish back in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and almost turning brown. If your dish is really deep, better to cover it with aluminum foil and let it bake for closer to 25 minutes to make sure the middle gets nice and warm to melt the cheese.

The result:

lasagna

It’s so good you won’t even miss real pasta noodles.

Just as a recap, here’s your ingredient list:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 container Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 container cottage cheese
  • 1 pkg mozzarella (I use about 1/2-3/4 of the entire package)
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Parmesan
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper

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Five on Friday

Thank goodness for these Five on Friday posts or else I might not be blogging much at all these days.

ONE: Last weekend was a lovely three-day weekend for me. We took Sunday to drive 5 hours round-trip to visit my grandparents, who I haven’t seen since JUNE. (Bad granddaughter.) We had planned to go before the holidays but I was struck down with THE SICK and then we spent half of the month out of town so it just didn’t happen. But we had a nice visit, enjoyed a lunch of KFC, and watched D chase their cocker spaniel around for a couple of hours. We won’t be able to celebrate my grandma’s 92nd birthday with her this year since I’ll be just a few days away from having a baby, but hopefully we’ll get to introduce her to the new baby this summer.

TWO: The hubs and I are still hating winter, but we’ve found a new show on HGTV called Hawaii Life that we’re now obsessed with. It’s basically House Hunters but just for the Hawaiian Islands. We may or may not have perused property in Hawaii for about an hour one night. (If you have U-verse, you can see a couple of episodes On Demand. New episodes are on Sunday nights.)

 HawaiiLife

THREE: Slowly but surely, we’re making progress on Project Nursery. Want just a taste of the disaster we’re dealing with?

Office2 Office1

Please ignore the crazy toddler photobombing my shot.

It was actually way worse before I thought to take a picture. Piles of stuff on the floor all along the wall. That cabinet and the desk are both FILLED with things and there’s a small file cabinet and closet which you can’t see that are also full of stuff. All I can think of when I see these pics are “WE HAVE SO MUCH STUFF!” Hoping to make more progress this weekend by getting rid of that giant desk and hopefully within the next week, we will finally decide on and buy a crib! The hubs is mourning the loss of his Cardinals-themed office (if you can really call it that) but we’re slowly going to turn D’s room into a more baseball/Cardinals-themed room so that should make him feel better.

FOUR: As of this weekend I’ll be 32 weeks! And as of Wednesday the countdown was at just 60 days! And do you know why you should care? Because my due date is also the first day of spring, so we now have less than 60 days until the first day of spring. Hallelujah! On the downside, I will now have to start twice-weekly appointments to make sure everything is a-okay. While I love the extra attention for this pregnancy, it’s also a major pain in the butt to run around to various doctors’ offices and appointments.

FIVE: If you ever spend any amount of time on conference calls, watch this video and have a good laugh. I can relate to all of this.

Happy Friday!

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Five on Friday

1. This week was my first full week back in the office without any doctor’s appointments or offsite meetings and let me tell you, it’s been a LOOOOONG week. Every day has felt like Groundhog Day. Get up, shower, make breakfast, pack my lunch, go to work, eat lunch at my desk (part diet, part budgeting reasons), work some more, go home, play with D and catch up with the husband, cook dinner, eat dinner, give D a bath and do his bedtime routine, clean up after dinner, and crash on the couch for about an hour before heading to bed. It’s a never-ending cycle and I go to bed each night feeling like we merely survived the day. I guess that’s just life, right?

2. Coconut Oil. A few weeks ago I asked Twitter for help in combating dry skin and several people recommended coconut oil. I ordered some online and I’ve been using it fairly regularly for the last few weeks and I must say, Twitter is a smart group of people. I’m hooked on the stuff! It probably helps that coconut is one of my favorite scents, so I don’t mind lathering myself up with it. I can’t say it’s really helped D’s eczema since we still have to use Aquaphor for that, but for me, I’m ready to toss all of my lotions.

3. I’m looking forward to my three-day weekend. It’ll be a busy one, but I’m looking forward to spending time with my boys. After spending close to 3 weeks with them, I got pretty spoiled. Now that I only get to see D for about 2.5 hours a night again, I’m missing my family time.

4. Call me crazy but I’ve already started thinking about D’s 2nd birthday party. Initially, I had zero intentions of having another party, but the husband’s family may be coming to see the new baby in May, so the timing would work out perfectly to celebrate D’s second birthday while everyone is in town.

5. 2014 has not gotten off to a great start for a lot of folks I know, and we’re only half way through January. Dear rest of January through December – Please be kind.

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30 Weeks – Bumpdate

How Big is Baby:  At last week’s ultrasound, the tech estimated 3lbs 7oz, which puts baby boy in the 60th percentile for size at the moment.

Big Developments: BabyCenter just says his eyesight is improving. Nothing substantial. I’ve noticed almost daily hiccups though. Just like his brother.
Baby developments aside, we’ve finally started tackling the disaster that is our house. We took a car load of stuff to Goodwill on Saturday and got rid of two big bags of trash. We still need to do some organizing in the basement to make room for some of the stuff from the office. Then we can work on cleaning out the office entirely. Hoping to make more progress this weekend.
Also, the hubs felt the baby move for the first time this week! Pretty sure this happened way earlier the first time around, but as second-timers, having him feel the baby move hasn’t been a huge deal. But last night baby boy was having a dance party crazy enough that you could watch it from the outside. Seeing my belly move like that was a little freaky the first time, but the second time, it’s really quite cool.
Food Cravings:  Well, considering I have to stick to a low-carb diet now, my biggest cravings have to do with sugar. I’d love nothing more than to have a giant, warm, chocolate chip cookie and chase it with a Coke. Aside from that, I’ve had cravings for sushi lately. Fortunately, cooked sushi exists, so I satisfied this craving on Saturday AND Sunday. So good! And maybe I’m just thirsty but I could drink an entire gallon of milk in a day, if I was allowed. Sadly, milk has carbs.
Food Aversions:  Still want nothing to do with fast food.
Other Symptoms: I’ve been feeling increased pressure deep in my pelvic area for quite awhile now, particularly at night while sleeping. This baby is getting HEAVY. And big, because at times I’ve felt like he’s up near my lungs, making it harder to breathe. All typical stuff though. I’ve noticed some slight swelling in my ankles at night, but nothing like last time (yet) so I’m trying to get up and walk around during the day to avoid it.
Sleep:  Varies. Some nights I’ll be up past 11pm and not really feel all that tired. Other nights I’m passing out on the couch at 9:30pm. I get up to pee about 4 times per night, on average, and this massive belly is making it harder to flip from side to side. We’ve also had a few nights of co-sleeping with D, so that hasn’t helped matters much. Must fix this before the baby arrives.
Maternity Clothes:  Nothing new. I thought about buying one more pair of full panel maternity jeans but I may just hold off. I’ve only got 9 weeks left.
Speaking of maternity clothes, I was at Target last night with my boys, all bundled up in my maternity peacoat. A woman with two littles stopped me in the shoe aisle and asked, “How far apart will they be?” It caught me off guard since I haven’t really had any strangers comment on my pregnancy this time around. And I was fully covered in a coat. I told the hubs I thought it was a little risky for her to ask that, not that I was offended or anything, but then he reminded me that I’m more than just showing. I’m huge. (Thanks honey!) So we’re at that stage now. I should expect more stranger comments over these next 9 weeks.
What I’m Looking Forward To:  SPRING! (Because the first day of spring is my due date.) It’s funny how the first time around, I still had baby showers to look forward to. This time, I have almost everything I need, including plenty of clothes, so there really isn’t much else to get excited about. I’ll be glad when the nursery is done, but I’m definitely not looking forward to the process.
Thoughts: I’m going to use this for a gestational diabetes update, for anyone who cares. So far, the diet has been manageable. I’m not starving, and I’ve found a low-sugar ice cream made with coconut milk that fits within my diet plan, so I’m not completely deprived of sweets. Still, changing my diet alone wasn’t enough and my fasting numbers were still too high, so I had to start taking Glyburide. Just one pill at night. My fasting numbers dropped a little, but still not enough, so on Monday the nurse called to tell me to up my dosage to two pills at night. So far, that seems to be working, though we’re only a couple of days in and my body’s need for insulin will only continue to increase as my pregnancy progresses, which means I could still end up taking insulin shots before this pregnancy is over. Hoping that’s not the case, but it’s still a strong possibility.
I’m still learning what foods affect my sugar levels, and it’s a trial-and-error process. If I eat too much at one time, even if all of the foods are low-carb or no-carb, my levels will be high. So learning portion control and eating smaller meals/snacks throughout the day has worked best, though it’s the hardest to do. Beans, it turns out, also keep my levels high for longer stretches of time. And if I don’t get at least 20 minutes of walking in a day, I can see it in my numbers. You would think walking for 20-30 minutes a day wouldn’t be so difficult, but when you sit at a desk all day, and it’s WINTER, and you have to make dinner and take care of a toddler at night, it’s much harder than it seems. So I’ve been making excuses to go to the store in the evenings or to walk to the post-office during work hours to try and fit it all in. Some days it just doesn’t happen though.
Some friends on Twitter asked for a belly pic. If you haven’t noticed, I’m REALLY BAD at taking regular belly pics, but I’m not one to disappoint my friends so here you go.

20140115-113008.jpg

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Five on Friday

It’s been a pretty craptastic week, so pardon this post as it’s a bit on the negative side.

1. The Weather. Yes I know EVERYONE is talking about it, but I seriously hate winter. I’ve been holed up in my house for the better part of a week now and when I did venture out to go to my many doctor’s appointments, the roads were so terrible I wished I’d never left. Fortunately I have a job that allows me the ability to work from home when absolutely necessary, and it was totally necessary this week.

2. Speaking of my doctor’s appointments, I had 3 this week. One with my OB, one with my gestational diabetes doc, and one at the hospital to get an extensive ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that everything is perfect. Hooray! However, my blood sugars are still higher than they should be when I first wake up in the morning, so I’ve had to start taking medication. Boo! What’s worse is that the smallest dose isn’t working so I’ll likely have to up my dosage and if that doesn’t help, I’ll need to start taking insulin shots. (Hold me.)

3. One problem I had during my first pregnancy was an almost weekly battle with constipation. I’ve been better about my diet this time around and was very happy that this hadn’t been an issue at all…until this week. I guess the extreme diet change for the gestational diabetes plan didn’t agree with my digestive system. So that’s been rather unpleasant.

4. Since D will only be 22 months old when baby #2 comes along, we need to buy another crib. I really wanted to buy the same crib again, just in case we decide to one day put the boys in the same room, their beds will match. Well guess what? The crib we bought for D has been discontinued and I can’t find it anywhere. Nor can I find anything that’s a super close match, so I’ll have to buy something entirely different. Not happy about this.

5. Before we can buy a crib, we have SO MUCH work to do to turn our office into a nursery. And nowhere to put all the office stuff. Part of me is looking forward to the major purging that is about to happen, but part of me is dreading it because I know we’ll end up with a ton of stuff we absolutely need to keep with no good “home” for it.

Hoping for a better week next week, with more positive posts.

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