{My Pregnancy Journal} 33 & 34 Weeks

unnamed (1)Well, as you may have noticed, I missed my 33 week update! All week long I kept thinking, “I should have Andrew take a picture of me” but it always sounded like too much work to get up from wherever I was and walk to the wall for a photo. I guess that tells you a little bit about my energy level these days! =) So here’s a picture that was still technically 33 weeks, and a 34 week photo the day after. ;)

Weeks 32 and 33 were uneventful, wonderful, and uncomfortable. Our baby continues to kick and squirm with seemingly endless energy. One night he played for almost two solid hours. Andrew spent much of that time with his hand on my tummy following Caleb’s feet around as they wiggled away. The next morning Caleb didn’t make a peep until about 11:00 AM. =)

Getting out of bed or off the couch is more difficult by the day it seems! If Andrew is nearby or awake I always recruit his help and he never complains. I am pretty sure I’m just days away from crawling to the bathroom at night instead of walking. I can barely make it there, between the extremely strong Braxton Hicks I always get, mild sciatica, and very unstable/painful joints. I don’t know what it is about the middle of the night, but it’s like my body falls apart. By morning I’m back to normal. Weird. I also have to get up 3-4 times now which is a little annoying. I love it when baby stirs while I am falling back asleep. It reminds me that these tiny annoyances are soooo worth the gift I am carrying around with me!

unnamed (2)My Braxton Hicks seemed to be getting stronger and more consistent week before last, and my doctor was a little concerned. Turns out the heat wave (in the 100’s) probably led me to mild dehydration which can cause stronger contractions, so I’ve been making sure I drink lots of water and they’ve stayed at safe levels/frequency since then. I am so thankful that everything is looking on track and there is no cause for alarm. God is gracious!

This Friday is our 34 week and final ultrasound! We are only 3 weeks away from full term today, and 6 weeks away from our due date! Caleb’s arrival feels just around the corner!

I would appreciate prayer that apartment work would slow down (it looks like it should, our last of eight vacancies is just about rented) so that I have time and energy left over to get some things together before labor! Lately the job has been sucking most of my time and when I’m done with it, I just don’t have the energy or motivation to work on the projects I’m so much wanting to. Thank you, friends! =)

{Recipe} Homemade Bean, Rice, & Cheese Freezer Burritos

dsc_0099This is a repost of a “recipe” I make for Andrew with some changes I implemented this past time.

Andrew loves frozen bean and cheese burritos. He could eat them pretty much every day for lunch. So a couple of years ago, I decided to try making them myself to save money and add some nutrition.

Each time I’ve made them I’ve tried revisions. This weekend, I cooked a bunch of pinto beans and black beans on high in a crock pot for about six hours until soft through. Without rinsing or draining them, I used a slotted spoon to add them and some of the liquid to my Ninja Professional Blender. I threw in a bunch of Pace Picante Sauce (any salsa will do) from Costco. Then I dumped in a generous portion of salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and crushed red pepper flakes and blended. Wa-la. Refried beans that taste awesome and are actually good for you!

The amounts of all the spices and salsa are entirely to-taste. You can’t really go wrong. These were the most flavorful refried beans I’ve made yet and I loved the pinto/black bean combination.

I slather the beans onto large tortillas, add handfuls of cooked brown rice, top it all off with grated Mexican blend cheese, and roll them up. They’re all happily packaged in foil and stacked in ziplock freezer bags ready for consumption. Hooray!

 

As a recap, here’s what you’ll need: 

  • A bunch of pinto and/or black beans that are cooked until they’re soft
  • Any kind(s) of salsa you like
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Chili powder
  • Cooked white or brown rice
  • Grated cheese
  • A blender
  • Tortillas
  • Tin foil
  • Ziplock bags

{My Pregnancy Journal} 32 Weeks

10407645_10152799805448109_6979953161873937340_nIt was an adventurous week with new changes and many special memories! My mom came for the weekend to spend time with me, help me with some freezer meals and baby clothes sorting, and to enjoy the beautiful shower that my friends Julia and Jenny threw for me. I felt so very loved and supported by the church and seminary family I have here in LA and I came home with loads of adorable baby boy clothes! I think I am completely set clothes-wise for the first 6 months! It was really special to hang out with my mom, and we talked baby stuff a lot of the weekend. She has just a little bit of experience in that department. ;)

As to new pregnancy experiences, Caleb gave me a good hard bruise last week that is still quite painful now. I felt a jabbing pain in the bottom of my rib cage one day, and from then on that area was incredibly tender, so much that it kept me up a lot one night and hurts like crazy when I’m changing positions during the night. I called and described the sensation to my doctor, who assured me that it sounded like bruising and was nothing to worry about. It should have healed by now, but he keeps bumping/kicking it. I am thankful that I have a baby who is strong and growing…bruises are a small price to pay for a healthy little boy!

10635971_10152798006288109_3822903380426430666_nMy fatigue feels like it increases by the day. I’ve made it for over a week without a nap but I think I may buckle in the next day or two. =) The hiccups continue, usually 3-4 times a day. And the braxton hicks have been more frequent as well. I learned that my doctor will be out of town from the day before my due date to a week after, which was really disappointing. Makes me want Caleb to come early all the more!

Another highlight of the week was meeting with my doula. Andrew and I talked with her for two hours and she took notes so that she can write our birth plan. We are both confident that she is just the right fit for us and our labor, and I am so thankful that God provided her! I am getting really excited for the day we have to call her!

{My Pregnancy Journal} 31 Weeks

DSC_0135 3-002Just six weeks from full term. I’m having fun counting to 37 weeks instead of 40, it makes Yaff’s arrival seem sooner. =) I know in reality I will probably have him late, but that’s okay.

Things are going great! I go to bed thinking about a nap and wake up thinking about a nap. I’m trying to limit myself to just one nap a week, on Sunday afternoons, but I fell asleep kind of by accident yesterday afternoon when I took a short “break”. And yes, on Sunday I slept through what may have been the most intense Seahawks game of the year. I drifted off at half time and woke up when Andrew was whooping at the end of overtime. Whoops. Part of the problem is poor sleep at night, so I don’t generally wake up feeling rested. I’ve been doing a lot more sleep walking recently and my back hurts when I’m lying down. I’m thankful that it generally doesn’t bother me during the day right now though!

Yaff thinks it’s great to get the hiccups all the time. That little twitch just drives me crazy but it’s so cute at the same time! His activity is still at a high level, with kicks and summersaults all day long. He typically wakes up a few minutes after I do in the morning, plays for a little bit, and then sleeps until about lunch time.

I’ve started working on my “spring (fall) cleaning” to-do list and my generic stock-up list. Our first box of diapers is here and ready to be unpacked into the changing table!

photo (5)I also finished Baby Wise this week. I was pleasantly surprised to find it very balanced and helpful, and more scientific/medical than philosophical. I know it has been updated with several editions, so maybe this most recent one is less controversial than the original. Either way, I am very glad I read it and look forward to drawing from many of its principles during the early months of parenting.

The best thing about this week is MY MOM IS COMING!!!! And she will be here for a baby shower that friends of mine have poured so much energy and love into planning. I am really excited! =)

Natural Beauty & Hygiene Products for Pregnancy

TeaTreeOilConcealerWhen I learned I was pregnant, I immediately stopped using a lot of mainstream products and replacing them with organic or more natural alternatives. In my mind, due to hormone imbalances and some small but present health concerns, I was a pretty good candidate for problems. If simple lifestyle adjustments had even the slightest chance of helping our baby’s wellbeing, I wanted to make them!

I usually only wear mascara, but I cut that completely for the first trimester. I have stayed 100% pain-med or other medication-free for the duration of pregnancy thus far, and replaced all moisturizers with coconut oil or Booda Butter. I thought I’d share three affordable products that I’ve discovered and been pleased with.

Note: be sure to do your own research to decide what ingredients, etc. you are comfortable using during pregnancy. 

NaturOli Shampoo - This shampoo has been wonderful! I don’t use any conditioner with it and I have far less frizz than I’ve ever had in my life, without a straightener or product. It doesn’t have any scent, which I miss, but it does the job and I can go 2-3 days without washing my hair if I want to. I’m about halfway through the bottle after almost six months, so it’s not as expensive as it seems.

Body Shop Tea Tree Concealer - When I finally resigned myself to the fact that acne would be my friend at least until baby arrives, I set out to find a harmless, natural concealer for my poor chin. This stuff is amazing! It goes on really well, especially with a light coconut oil base, and stays all day, and best of all, many of the ingredients are also recommended remedies for acne, so I don’t feel like I’m exacerbating the issue by using this. Multiple shades available!

Organic Island Deodorant - For being organic and harmless, this stuff works really well, and that’s coming from someone with a huge perspiration issue. Because of the coconut oil, I often have to run hot water over this for a few seconds to soften before applying. If I’m going to wear a black or sleeveless top, I try to let it “set” before I put on the shirt, as it does tend to rub off onto my clothes. (Comes out easily with a wet cloth though.) I have to apply it twice a day for it to stay effective, but I had to do that with other deodorants, too, and it is definitely better than nothing and so much safer than all the aluminum and chemical-filled options out there!

{My Pregnancy Journal} 30 Weeks

photo (12)30 weeks! This week I officially started feeling very large. Something like a beached whale when I’m lying down, in fact. Getting out of bed or off the couch is considerably more difficult. My legs and feet ache like crazy a lot of the time and I just don’t move very fast. I am always tired. I guess these things mean I am heading toward the home stretch! =)

Oh, and scratch what I said about the acne getting better. That was a few wonderful and short-lived days. I think acne is just something I have to deal with when I’m expecting, and like I said before, it’s a lot better than other symptoms I could be experiencing!

My favorite thing these days is also my least favorite thing: baby’s hiccups. It’s absolutely the cutest thing in the world, but it is really annoying at the same time because it feels like an uncontrollable muscle twitch and I start to go a bit crazy from it after about five minutes. Andrew has tried a little “boo” to scare the hiccups away, but Yaff keeps right on hiccuping. =)

I just realized that what I have been able to feel on the inside, Andrew has been able to feel from the outside immediately. The first day I felt movement for long enough to “catch” (i.e. more than the one little series of three “thumps” I’d felt the week before), Andrew was able to feel him too. The first day Yaff had the hiccups, Andrew could feel them. This is different from what I had read, and very special! =) Makes me feel like Andrew isn’t missing out on anything I’m getting to enjoy.

I’m now visiting the doctor every two weeks. Everything seems to be right on track and I’m hoping that sooner or later I’ll hear, “He looks like he might be getting ready to come a week or two early.” Wishful thinking…but one can dream. =)

{My Pregnancy Journal} 29 Weeks

How is it possible to be this in love with our little man when we haven’t even met him yet? I love to talk to him and “listen” to his kicks and wiggles. This week was really special, as both my parents, my mother-in-law, and my dear friend Brittney got to feel Yaff10665715_10152757687118109_7275319311239455925_n kicking and/or hiccuping. And yes, the hiccups continue! I feel them almost every day, and sometimes multiple times in a day. Sometimes they are a few seconds apart, other times they are one right after the other. Andrew likes to pat my tummy and say, “Just swallow a little amniotic fluid, buddy.”

For close to a year now, at home Andrew has exclusively called me “Bluebird” or “Blue”. I can’t remember the last time he called me anything else when we were alone. So now we refer to our little one as “the Baby Bluebird”. I don’t know if that will stick, but I really like it during this pregnancy. =)

As of this week I am having days when I feel very pregnant. It’s a lot harder to bring myself up off the couch, walk through small spaces, and just move in general after a meal. It scares me to think about continuing to grow for 2.5 more months! =) I am so grateful to not have experienced any heartburn and hope that continues!

This little guy is a joy to  our hearts! God is so good!