Monday, November 30, 2009

Double Digits and a "Big" Lil Lady!

WOW ... CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE LESS THAN 100 DAYS UNTIL THE BIG EVENT ... THE ARRIVAL OF MY DAUGHTER!!!!!! I can't believe it ... where has the time gone! I'm so beyond excited!

  • How far along?: I'm 26 weeks ... can't believe it!!!
  • Total weight gain: 15 pounds ... well that was the last word ...
  • Maternity clothes?: I'm comfortably wearing maternity clothes ... it's great!
  • How big is baby?: can you believe it ... she's about 14 inches in length! Momma's baby girl!
  • Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
  • Sleep?: Not too bad once I fall asleep ... it's forcing myself to go to bed that's still the challenge
  • Best moment this week?: Honestly, the baby's play time ... but I have to include figuring out ... for the most part what cloth diapers to purchase ... overwhelming process
  • Movement?: As usual, she's all over the place ... can't wait to share this with my husband and family in Houston ...
  • Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
  • Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good
  • Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
  • What I miss: being able to comfortably zip up my winter coats ... a little snug and I look like I've tried to stash a basketball under there ...
  • What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave!
  • Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How your baby's growing:

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

How your life's changing:

Are you rushing around trying to get to childbirth classes and prepare your baby's room while still taking care of all your other daily tasks? Make sure that you also continue to eat well and get plenty of rest. Around this time, your blood pressure may be increasing slightly, although it's probably still lower than it was before you got pregnant. (Typically, blood pressure falls toward the end of the first trimester, and it tends to reach a low at about 22 to 24 weeks.)

Preeclampsia — a serious disorder characterized by high blood pressure and protein in your urine — most often shows up after 37 weeks, but it can happen earlier so it's important to be aware of the warning signs of this condition. Call your caregiver if you have swelling in your face or puffiness around your eyes, more than slight swelling of your hands, excessive or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, or rapid weight gain (more than 4 pounds in a week). With more severe preeclampsia, you may experience other symptoms. Let your caregiver know immediately if you have a severe or persistent headache, vision changes (including double or blurred vision, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light, or temporary loss of vision), intense pain or tenderness in your upper abdomen, or vomiting.

If your lower back seems a little achy lately, you can thank both your growing uterus — which shifts your center of gravity, stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, and may be pressing on a nerve — as well as hormonal changes that loosen your joints and ligaments. Plus, the extra weight you're carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why you may feel worse at the end of the day. Walking, standing, or sitting for long periods, as well as bending and lifting can all put a strain on your back. A warm bath or hot compress might bring relief. (Some women, though, find cool compresses more comforting.) Try to maintain good posture during the day, avoid activities that require bending and twisting at the same time, take frequent breaks when sitting or standing, and sleep on your side with one or both knees bent with a pillow between your legs, using another pillow (or wedge) to support your abdomen.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Too Cute ... and Breastfeeding ...

So, I'm getting pretty nervous about this breastfeeding thing ... whenever I tell other mommies about my desire to breastfeed ... it's almost as if, "there's no guarantee that you'll be able to so don't set yourself up for disappointment in the event that you're unable." I hear this a lot but honestly, as a first time mom 2b ... I have absolutely no idea of what that really means (kinda like the whole epidural thing ... which I'll talk about at a later time) ... I guess breastfeeding isn't simply a matter of:
  1. making sure baby doesn't fall asleep (tickle tickle)
  2. pulling down baby's chin until I see "duck lips (got that from a baby story on TLC)" so that baby is ready to latch on
  3. baby latches on
  4. the action begins ...
Again ... you'll have to excuse my ignorance ... I have no idea of what I'm getting myself into ... but I will say that I love this website ... http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/learning/ ... lots of helpful information ...

I guess we'll see what happens but my goal is definitely to breastfeed ... after all ... there are unparalleled benefits (provides substantial health, nutrition, and emotional benefits to mother and child alike) ... regardless of what happens, I'll definitely pump ... I plan on sharing the responsibility of feeding time with others ...

Oh ... that reminds me ... last weekend, I purchased my breastpump ... BabyDepot at Burlington Coat Factory is having a 25% off sale on all Medela items including breastpumps ... score ... the pump is actually a gift from my mom ... unfortunately I don't know how long the sale will last ... I also found a place (Cutie Poops and Bottoms - http://www.cutiepoopsandbottoms.com/) in Orland Park (right outside of Chicago) that just opened a couple of days ago ... anything and everything cloth diaper as well as other stuff like clothing, natural skin care, shoes, toys, baby accessories, diaper bags, changing pads, baby carriers, breastfeeding care, belly casting, books/DVDs, and even classes ... oh and "interesting stuff" like, "mama jewels" ... uh ... what the heck is a "mama jewel" you ask? Well, apparently "you need" them because of the following:
  • Breastfeeding reminder for the first 8-12 weeks of breastfeeding
  • Promotes nursing evenly to reduce discomfort, maximize milk production, and improve success
  • Portion of sales donated to breast cancer research (well now I have to admit that you can't beat that)
NOTE: on the other hand, not sure why you couldn't just use a safety pin and make a donation to breast cancer research ...



Again, I digress ... I will say that Cutie Poops and Bottoms is pretty expensive ... fortunately, I had already purchased the bulk of my cloth diaper stash - both new and used (SUPER SCORE) but this was done primarily through research online - different to see everything in person ... and the owner Sherri is AMAZINGLY KNOWLEDGEABLE and BEYOND HELPFUL ... talk about customer service ... I was there for like an hour and a half and received excellent advice ... we went through everything and she even quizzed me before we moved on to another something or the other ... she's going to begin buying back used pumps for those of you who are interested.
While at cutie poops and bottoms, I found this adorable long sleeve shirt and beanie that I plan on having my little lady wear at the hospital ... couldn't help myself, I had to get it ...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Honor of a New Orleans Tradition ...

So, this morning instead of Creme Brulee French Toast ... a little bit of a deviation ... Bananas Foster French Toast in honor of the place where bananas foster was developed ... Brennans in New Orleans http://www.brennansneworleans.com/, LA ... now that's a New Orleans Tradition ... the recipe ... thanx Paula Dean :D

Ingredients

* 4 large eggs
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 8 tablespoons butter, divided
* 8 large croissants, halved
* 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
* 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 1 cup maple syrup
* 1 cup chopped pecans
* 6 ripe bananas, halved crosswise and lengthwise
* 1 teaspoon rum extract

In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs, cream, and cinnamon. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Dip 4 croissant halves in egg mixture to coat both sides. Using a fork, remove croissants from egg mixture, letting excess mixture drip off. Place croissant halves in hot skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and croissant halves. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large skillet, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup and pecans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add banana halves and rum extract. Coat with the syrup mixture, and simmer 1 minute. Spoon over French toast. Serve immediately.

How'd it taste you ask? Delicious ...

Fatherhood ... Thanksgiving ...

Saw this on one of my favorite blogs (www.makesmewannaholler.com) ... an ad from the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and I had to share ... love this one ...



I adore this commercial! Reminds me of my dad ... My dad use to let me apply makeup, put earrings in his ears, and adorn his hair with ribbons and barrettes while he read the Houston Chronicle and sat in his favorite chair. He was fabulous ... between his loving kisses and hugs, our "dates" on the weekends to visit family across town, to movies followed by Coney Island Hotdogs, exploring the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, playing basketball at our neighborhood basketball court, helping me practice my "windup pitch" when I was into softball, to waiting hot chocolate when I got home from school, banana splits that only a once 16 year old devoted soda fountain worker could make, to his "signature" dinner (fried pork chops, baked beans, french fries, and a salad doused with Ranch dressing), to my waking every morning to the smell of french toast, bacon and eggs (he'd rise earlier than necessary for work to make sure I had a great breakfast before school while letting mom and I sleep in ... he'd wake me up just before he'd leave for work), cutting my toenails even when I was a teenager, to his clapping during my "fashion shows" where I'd showoff my new school digs in the living room to music after a school clothes shopping trip with mom ... my dad epitomized the word "father" ... I miss him ...

On this Thanksgiving ... I have much to be thankful for ... God, my amazingly supportive, loyal, and loving family, my husband and new baby on the way ... friends, my health, the health of loved ones ... and this Thanksgiving ... I'm particularly thankful for the beautiful memories of my father ... though he's not here ... I know that he sees me, loves me from above, keeps me safe, and is proud that his granddaughter will know him through me and the many who loved him ...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tickle, Tickle ... My Baby the Octopus ...



So, the other day, I actually laughed out loud ... I couldn't help it ... my little momma tickled me ... I imagine her tiny fingers tickling me down low and up high ... it was the strangest feeling ... it really brought home how big she's gotten ... simultaneous movement in completely different areas of my stomach ... and the low movement really made me laugh ... tickle, tickle ... she's so funny :D

25 weeks and counting!


  • How far along?: I'm 25 weeks ... can't believe it!!!
  • Total weight gain: 15 pounds. It's official ... I'm back to feeling like a heifer ... but I will say, the nurse practitioner said that I'm fine ... not to worry ... "keep eating healthful foods" ... huhm
  • Maternity clothes?: I'm comfortably wearing maternity clothes ... it's great!
  • How big is baby?: can you believe it ... she's about 13 1/2 inches in length! Momma's baby girl!
  • Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
  • Sleep?: I'm actually sleeping better ... the problem is that I pass out on the couch and then I wake up around 2 or 3 am and I'm too lazy to go to bed ... bummer ... that's no way to sleep well
  • Best moment this week?: tiny fingers (I imagine) tickling me down low ... I had to giggle ... her movement has never actually tickled before until the other day ... :D
  • Movement?: Watching my little baby during "play time" ... my shirts bouncing up and down ... its adorable
  • Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
  • Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good
  • Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
  • What I miss: actually feeling more in control of my eating ... in a strange way ... like if I want something ... I don't have the luxury of going for a "diet" option ... either I eat it or I don't eat it ...
  • What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave!
  • Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How your baby's growing

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

How your life's changing

Your baby's not the only one with more hair — your locks may look more full and lustrous than ever. It's not that you're growing more hair, but thanks to hormonal changes, the hair that you'd normally shed is sticking around longer than usual. Enjoy the fullness while you can — the extra hair will fall out after you give birth.

You may also notice that you can't move around as gracefully as before. Unless your caregiver has advised you otherwise, it's fine to continue to exercise, but follow a few safety rules: Don't work out when you're feeling overly tired and stop if you feel any pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Don't lie flat on your back and avoid contact sports as well as any exercise where you're apt to lose your balance. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and make time for both warm-up and cool-down periods.

When you have your glucose-screening test at 24 to 28 weeks, a second tube of blood may be taken at the same time to check for anemia. If blood tests show that you have iron-deficiency anemia (the most common type of anemia), your caregiver will probably recommend that you take an iron supplement.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Gotta Have It!

I was doing my usual browsing of some of my favorite websites and I found this adorable onsie! I gotta have it ... hoping my little ladybug will love her brother and sister (cats) as much as her father and I do ... http://www.fawnandforest.com/categories/37-clothing/products/1168-fauna-collection-cat-one-piece


And what about these maryjanes ... AHHHH!!!!!

And the Headband!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What I Really Want for Christmas ...

It seems that these days I absolutely want nothing for me ... all for my little lady ... whenever I'm asked what I want or need, it's always about my baby ... so, what do I want for Christmas? A new camera, camcorder, a glider, and a personalized cherry wood toy box with a ceder insert that I found online ... this would be the one (http://www.woodtoybox.com/cherrytoybox.htm) :D


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

somethin' cute!

Crystal mobiles ... I love these from etsy seller pink perch (http://www.etsy.com/shop/PinkPerch)


Happy V-Day to the Little Lady ...

Actually, I'm a little late ... v-day (viability day) was actually on Monday when I officially began my 24with week ... what is v-day? Well, essentially, it's the stage of pregnancy in which the baby is officially considered viable ... the baby may well be able to survive outside of the womb. 36% of babies can survive premature birth at 24 weeks - However, serious complications are still possible. That's all well and good but I'd much rather my wiggle worm stay all snug as a bug inside of my belly :D But ... definitely a milestone to celebrate ...
That's mommy view ... yep ... my feet are down there somewhere

What better to celebrate than with a few bites of flan! Yep ... an old love revisited ... I've never actually tasted flan that you find in your refrigerator section of your grocery store but I was making my WholeFoods round this past Sunday and thought to myself, "why not." Not too bad ... I'd definitely buy it again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nuh Uh ... 24 Weeks?!!!!!


  • How far along?: Yep ... that's right folks, I'm 24 weeks!!!
  • Total weight gain: 13 pounds. Yuck! That was at my last visit though ... almost 3 weeks ago ... my next visit will be on the 19th ... this Thursday before my graduate faculty meeting ... we'll see where I stand then. I think its gonna be bad ... I'm not gonna lie ... "I don't miss no meals."
  • Maternity clothes?: Happily wearing maternity shirts and jeans ... I feel attractive in them ... Not as much like a heifer ...
  • How big is baby?: she's more than one pound (1.3 pounds) and is about 11.8 inches long! What a big girl!
  • Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
  • Sleep?: A little better ... but good sleep is a thing of the past ...
  • Best moment this week?: Walking in Target last week and she moved so strongly that it stopped me in my tracks ... it wasn't painful but definitely a "show stopper" ... I couldn't help but smile ...
  • Movement?: Yep ... she's a wiggle worm ... she moves around all over the place ... definitely active
  • Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
  • Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good
  • Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
  • What I miss: Mojitos ... I don't even drink ... not really ... before I became pregnant ... maybe I'd have a cocktail at dinner once a month ... if that ... now, I'd kill for a mojito ...
  • What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave!
  • Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How Big is the Baby at 24 Weeks Pregnant?
During pregnancy week 24 your baby is now more than one pound (1.3 pounds) and is about 11.8 inches long! As you track your pregnancy week by week from this point out your baby will resemble a tiny albeit complete little human being!

Your Baby's Growth and Development
Your baby continues to grow more proportional each and every day. During pregnancy week 24 her organ systems continue to mature as do the central nervous system, digestive system and even reproductive and circulatory systems. During a pregnancy at 24 weeks your baby's lungs are also starting to form little branches and will eventually start producing a substance called surfactant which happens closer to the time your baby's lungs start maturing.

The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby begins to increase in volume after about pregnancy 24 weeks. This continues until delivery when your uterus will hold up to 2 pints of amniotic fluid.

Your Growth and Development
Your uterus continues to grow at pregnancy 24 weeks, now between 1 ½ and 2 inches above your belly button. Many women are surprised that people want to start rubbing their bellies as they start to show during pregnancy at 24 weeks and beyond. While some women don't mind, others feel uncomfortable. It isn't uncommon for perfect strangers to come up to you and rub your belly.

If it really bothers you, you can always tell them you are ticklish. Or head them off by patting your own belly that way your hand is in the way and may prevent them from reaching out to touch your belly without an invitation. Remember that babies tend to fill the world with joy, that's why so many people are fond of rubbing a pregnant woman's belly. Others believe there is luck to be had by rubbing a pregnant woman's belly... while this has yet to be 'proven' it certainly can't hurt!

Changes in You

Your baby has less and less room to move in your womb after you are about 24 weeks pregnant. You should be feeling strong kicks by 24 weeks pregnant, but gradually your baby's movements will start to seem slower and more rhythmic rather than all over the place. This is perfectly normal.

Though your baby’s first kicks and movements will seem random, gradually your baby will be kicking regularly. You should notice patterns of wakefulness and sleeping throughout the day. Enjoy each and every moment you have to enjoy your baby's gymnastics. It may seem hard to believe but you will miss the feeling of your baby moving around inside of you once you give birth.

I Got Felt "Around" ...

for the first time... I've heard about it happening but up until this afternoon, it's never happened to me ... I've been felt "around" by folks that I don't necessarily want to be felt "around" by but at least I know them.

I was doing a little shopping yesterday afternoon and two women "from out of town" approached me to ask if I knew of some great restaurants in the area ... while I spoke to one woman (giving her directions), the other woman interrupted her and asked how far along I was, I told her and her response was, "AHHH!" as she promptly began to rub my stomach Indifferent.

Then the perpetrator had the nerve to kinda stare at me ... sort of checking for a reaction ... as if she was wondering whether or not I was offended ... when she touched me, I didn't really respond (no facial expression, etc.) ... which I guess in and of itself was a response ... I just kept talking ... strange ... I just can't imagine walking up to some stranger and touching them like that ...

Touching pregnant women's bellies has always been somewhat of a taboo subject, but it seems like people just can't help themselves! But there's just nothing okay in my opinion about some random person rubbing my stomach. My family, close friends and husband of course would be fine but a total stranger, no way. Perhaps the next time, I won't be so stunned ... so shocked that I won't be able to respond ... I mean my head was spinning ... "is she actually rubbing my stomach ... this person that I met on the street 3 minutes ago?" Maybe the next time ... hopefully there won't be a next time but if there is, I'll smack their hand away ... or maybe "return the favor" and rub their stomach ... or at least that's my fantasy ...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Picky Sticky ...

So adorable ... I've been looking for a few fun ways of capturing the monthly growth of our little lady once she gets here ... I found "picky sticky" http://www.pickysticky.com/index.php ... essentially, each month you STICK a Picky Sticky decal to your baby's onesie and then you take picture! They offer lots of bright and fun designs to match your style. Each sticker is 4" in diameter and is made of transparent sticky paper. When applied it LOOKS like an iron-on transfer. For best results use white or light, solid-colored shirts to bring out the best colors in each sticker.

They also offer Belly Stickers t0 moms ... you can document your belly's weekly growth by sticking the 4" diameter stickers onto your shirt ... take a pick and there you have it ... so cute ...