Pregnancy Update: Week 30

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30 Weeks! 75% complete! In 10 weeks I’ll hit my due date, and who knows, maybe babykins will shows up before then? Eek! 10 weeks ago was the end of June and that doesn’t seem like it was that far away. This last chunk of time is going to FLY.

Baby size: A head of lettuce. Because a head of lettuce isn’t the same size as cabbage or cauliflower? Where do these people buy their groceries?
Weight gain: Holding steady at 15lbs.
Measurements: waist 34.5″, belly 41″. No change. Again, baby must have had a growth spurt last week.
How are you feeling?: Pooped. Some of the exhaustion from the first trimester is creeping back in and I find myself more tired than I have been. A bit of a bummer. I just overall feel heavy. It’s a combination of feeling super stuffed after a thanksgiving meal and your stomach is super distended combined with the feeling of  having someone lay on you and you can’t really take a deep breath because your lungs can’t expand properly. I can just imagine the baby in there, stretching out her little legs and kicking my organs out of her way so she has more room to relax. What a little jerk
Belly button: No change
Sleep: I have no trouble falling asleep, both initially and after late night pee breaks. I do find however that I’m starting to feel more tired earlier in the evening. Like, dozing on the couch by 9. Not quite as bad as 1st trimester where I’d be out by 7, but still. Mad props to the women who maintain their full time 9-5 jobs while preggo…
Food cravings/aversions: Still very thirsty.
Baby items purchased: Baby items continue to trickle in. Got a play mat and baby carrier this week. And the nursery was finally replastered and painted – yay!
Exercise: Newly added, because this is something that I need to focus more on. I’m trying to make it to at least one yoga class a week and one more intense cardio session, in addition to the days I work and any walking/general putzing around the house. This week I did some walking on Saturday (went to a museum), nothing Sunday, light walking monday (about a mile), yoga on Tuesday, worked Wednesday, and swam Thursday. I hoping I can get in a cardio session tomorrow before a long weekend of laying around on a beach reading.
Looking forward to: After my last prenatal appt and on the recommendation of one of my midwives, I went ahead and ordered the hypnobabies self study kit. I mentioned I was really worried/anxious about the whole labor/getting split in half piece of this puzzle and that was the program she recommended to help get your head in the right place. I was debating getting it beforehand her rec really sold me on it. It shipped out this week so I’m looking forward to starting that and calming some of the crazy fear-mongering voices in my head.

I Poo’d Myself

And then I let someone else poo me.

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Remember these pictures? Taken way back when in July, shortly after I decided to stop shampooing my hair. I was tired of buying shampoo, but more than that, I think I was just tired of my hair. Every year it gets to the length where it’s just no fun anymore. The ends are dry and probably split. The weight of the hair becomes heavy which makes the top of my head look more flat. I mean really, my hair just looks like gnarled straw here. Even my bangs were in a sad state of affair. But getting a haircut to me always seems like such an ordeal. I don’t have a dedicated person since I’m new to the area, and I don’t want to have to pay $100 to get my ends trimmed. It didn’t help that the subtle highlights I got back in January has grown out leaving my natural ashy blonde (blah) hair to show. Going ‘no poo’ I think was my way of saying, SCREW YOU HAIR! I DON’T FEEL LIKE DEALING WITH YOU!

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Until today. Well, yesterday. Yesterday I broke and washed my hair. With shampoo. Because I was tired of always throwing it in a bun and for my hair to have that heavy, slick feeling. It didn’t look uber greasy like one might think, but it didn’t feel nice. It wasn’t soft and touchable. You didn’t want to run your fingers through it. That’s what I was yearning for. I missed that feeling after a good haircut where you feel like a new person. Suddenly you feel super attractive, and like everyone is staring at you saying wow! I wish I had hair like hers! Totally narcissistic to think, but that’s how I can feel sometimes post magic-haircut. I wanted that light springy feeling again. So I booked a hair appointment and I am STOKED with the results. Maybe having long thick hair just makes a haircut that much more trans-formative feeling. I didn’t even get it colored yet it looks lighter and peppier. I can’t stop playing with the ends, running my fingers through it. Yay haircut! The one downside was that my hair dresser (sorry, designer) mentioned that it was a bit of a mom hairstyle – but in a good way? I mean, I AM going to be a mom soon..

Anyway. To the ‘No Poo’ fans, I’m sorry but, I’ve given in and given up. Turns out what I really needed was just a new ‘do. (Although…now that my crusty dead ends have been lopped off, it WOULD be interesting to see what my hair would look like now during a No Poo…)

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

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It’s growing…..GROWING!!! 29 Weeks along…Almost 3/4 of the way to the due date. And I’m just now starting to feel pregnant. As in, I sort of have the waddle going. There’s almost always something that somewhat aches. I even had my first jab to the rib. Hooray! I guess from here on out it’s only going to get more difficult :(
Baby size: A butternut squash. Yay! We’re back to a squash. That’s my favorite I think. I like to think of baby as our little squash. It sounds cute. Baby girl squash is 15.5in long and about 3lbs. I think she must have had a growth spurt based on my own stats…
Weight gain: I checked last night and it said 15lbs. Which to me can’t be right, because 5lbs in a week?? I chock it up more to not having an empty stomach. It’s probably closer to 12lbs. Maybe?
Measurements: waist 34.5″, belly 41″. So my waist is starting to disappear. As in, I can’t even find a good place to measure anymore. My boobs are almsot to the point where they can just sit on my stomach. No waist in the middle. :\ Belly is up one full inch.
IMG_4053How are you feeling?: PREGNANT. My thighs rub together which is uncomfortable. Sitting up from a lying down position is uncomfortable. Climbing upstairs is uncomfortable. Walking around is kind of uncomfortable. Heartburn is uncomfortable. In other words, just about everything is uncomfortable. Now don’t get me wrong – we’re not talking painful, just mild discomfort. You know what position IS comfortable? Horizontal. Preferably propped up on some pillows.
Belly button: No change
Sleep: I’ve been sleeping GREAT. I have my sleep system DOWN.
Food cravings/aversions: No aversions, but just craving water. Like my thirst is way higher than normal which drives some of my food preferences.
Baby items purchased: Received a HUGE box today from sis-in-law FULL of baby clothes. I may try some of them on my cat…
Looking forward to: Had some freak outs this week about labor. I’ve finished one of my birth books (Birthing from Within) and had to order a bunch more to help calm down my inner crazy person and convince myself that birthing a baby is in fact within the scope of physical abilities. Looking forward to reading them and finding some useful nuggets.

 

Baking Project (TWD): Baking Powder Biscuits

20140819-155832-57512417.jpgThis morning, I had zero intentions of baking today. Not in the sense that I was adamant about not baking, just that I had no plans to bake something up. But it happened anyway, as things often do.

I was sitting at my desk, still trying to process some painfully annoying future schedule disruptions, when I thought I could take my mind off of things by finishing up a post. It’s Tuesday, on Tuesdays I write about things I’ve baked. I made myself some crepe last week I still needed post, so that was initially going to be today’s post. Crepes. But then, since it is Tuesday, I thought, hmm, I wonder what the Tuesday with Dorie Bakers are doing this week. It’s probably an off-week since they just did that poppy seed torte (which I missed), but let me just double check. Biscuits. Biscuits, eh? Well they sound pretty involved, I’m not sure I want to do a whole lot of kneading and letting things rise and all that jazz. Let me at least check out how involved this recipe is. Hmm. One bowl. Stir briefly. Ten kneads. That’s it? But it calls for crisco, I probably don’t even HAVE crisco. Hmm. I do. Butter-flavored even. No other bizarre ingredients.. I guess I have no excuse now.

20140819-155828-57508359.jpgMaybe 15 minutes later and I’m back at my desk, my biscuits in the oven. Talk about painless prep!  Stir flour, salt and baking powder together with a fork. Mush in crisco with fingers. Add milk and stir with fork again. Knead ten times and pat into a circle. That’s it. My only comment on the recipe was that it claimed to make 12 biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. 2 inches?? That’s so small! I ended up using a flipped over glass which was prob closer to 4inches so I only ended up with 6 biscuits. But they were large Pilsbury Grande size. Now we’ll have to see what they taste like. It should be noted that I don’t think I’ve ever actually made biscuits before. I’ve made shortcakes. And muffins. And biscuit-like things. But not like the roll out, use a biscuit-cutter just like on the Hardees commercials kind of biscuits. I’m kind of curious how they’ll turn out.

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A few minutes later…

Well they smell amazing. Of course, most bread products smell amazing as they come out of the oven. It’s very rare that bread products smell bad while still warm and piping hot. But the question is, how do they taste? What’s the texture? Did they rise in puffy, flaky glory? Or is it like bread-flavored brick.

The overall rise for the biscuits was modest. Maybe an inch extra. Popped open, the insides were pillowy soft, though not particularly flaky. The flavor was…buscuit-like. I ended up smearing strawberry jam all over mine and it was tasty enough for me to want a second. Tasty enough for me to want to make again and again? Maybe not. But if I ever need biscuits, I won’t hesitate to reuse this recipe.

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No Poo – 30 days later

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So I’m still trucking away at the no poo/sham-free challenge, although to be honest, my motivation and desire to continue trucking has definitely waned. The novelty has warn off of this practice. I appreciate my super short showers during much of the week, but have grown weary of the showers where I do have to “wash” my hair”. Part of me actually wishes it will fail miserably and I’ll have horribly oily hair so I can have an excuse to go back to my old ways. I miss having my hair smell like flowers and apples and coconut rain falls. Not that my hair smells bad now, it just doesn’t smell like anything. It doesn’t have a lot of oomph to it at all, although I wonder if part of that problem is my lack of hair cut in…6+ months.

Anyway. The results thus far. All pictures are from this morning (Monday). I last “washed” my hair on Saturday afternoon. So things to note. The roots around my temples/bangs area look pretty decent. They don’t have the characteristic stringy look of someone who desperately needs a shower. My hair in general, whether pulled up or left down, doesn’t really look any worse for wear. One slight change that I’ve noticed is that it is holding it’s wave a bit stronger. In the past if I washed my hair and let it air dry I’d get little ripples through the body of the hair. 20140818-081228-29548073.jpgThey’d eventually go away after a lot of brushing, blow-drying, or just normal daily activities. There’s still usually a slight wave to my hair but never isolate wiggles like in the second picture. Those ripples stayed there despite frequently brushing, being thrown up in a pony tail for most of the day, and being brushed out for dinner. I suppose one of these days I should test what it does under blow-dried conditions. Now I’m still not completely in the green yet. My hair often feels oily. It doesn’t feel soft and silky like what you might think of post normal shampoo/conditioner/dry. Instead it feels like it has a coating, almost a waxy coating on it, which obviously is just the oil doing it’s job. This is particularly true in the back of my head where it still looks pretty stringy. I imagine some of this problem is that it’s just really hard to both brush and scrub that spot of my head. As mentioned before, my hair is super thick, so my bristle brush can’t penetrate to that specific spot very well. I’ve swapped to dunking my wet fingers into baking soda and then trying to scrub that into my scalp but even that tends to be tricky. I feel like half the stuff falls off my fingers or gets caught on upper level hairs before I can manage to reach my scalp. It’s pretty annoying actually. I miss that about shampoo lather. You know if you’ve missed a spot because that spot doesn’t have any suds. This method – you just root around and hope you got everything. And if not, oh well.

So bottom line, I’m still going with it, but not with my vigor. I do look forward to the days where I can just stop washing my hair altogether. Maybe that combined with a nice haircut will give my hair a little bit of the oomph it’s lost over the past few months. If it doesn’t though…I’m getting antsy to jump ship. My Dove shampoo is calling my name…

 

 

Pregnancy Update: Week 28

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28 Weeks. I feel like I’m at mile 16 in a marathon. I’ve gone sooo far but there’s still a ton left to go.
Baby size: A head of lettuce? I think these apps are just making things up as they go. She’s over two lbs and something like 15in long. Ok, so those measurements weren’t really making any meaning for me until I happened to pull out a measuring tape that was sitting on my desk. 15 inches is LONG!! It’s the length of my forearm – from elbow to finger tip. And a thing that long is inside of me?? and is getting bigger?! Good thing lil girl knows how to fold herself in half…
Weight gain: Still around 10lbs
Measurements: waist 33″, belly 40″. No change.
How are you feeling?: Not too shabby. I have started having some mild heart burn. So that’s awesome.
Movement: Lots of wiggles. I’ve taken to trying to film my stomach during a spurt of activity but she’s a shy one. Stops moving as soon as the camera is rolling.
Belly button: No change
Sleep: I’ve been sleeping GREAT. Through the night even.
Food cravings/aversions: Nothing new. Though I did have some pickles the other day. First time this pregnancy I think.
Baby items purchased: Our shower invites have been delivered and as a result some of the baby gifts are starting to roll in. Shit’s gettin real!
Looking forward to: No gestational diabetes! Hooray! I celebrated by eating some  brownie batter. That’s normal, right? I’m starting to freak out about the actual labor part of pregnancy. Our classes don’t start for another two weeks so I really hope they can calm some of my fears!

Baking Project (TWD Rewind): Crunchy and Creamy Peach tart

I SO wish I had some more food porn-worthy shots of this dessert, because man o man was is tasty! I mentioned last week my search for peach recipes as a result of recently coming into possession of a bunch of them…peaches I mean. When I flipped through Dorie’s Baking book I found three recipes that had potential. This was the second recipe I tried. Having already found great success with the peach upside down cake, I didn’t feel much pressure to have a knock out success with this tart. It’s simple enough. A tart crust +peaches+some sort of custardy filling topped with a streusel-ly top. It was the custard layer that concerned me. For some reason when I think tart I think sour, so I was imagining the custard level as more of a yogurt flavored layer. Thankfully, that is not at all what this was.

So let’s delve in. First. You make the tart dough. I’m a big fan of hand making dough because 1) I’ve been burned too many times with crappy tasty store bought dough and 2) if you have a food process, it’s soooooooo easy. Seriously. Toss your  dry ingredients in. PULSE. Toss in your butter cubes. PULSE. PULSE. PULSE. PULSE. Is it crumbly looking? Good. You’re done. Now press it into your pan and you’re good to go. This crust required a little pre-bake which wasn’t anything exciting. Just sat in the oven by itself for a bit before I loaded it with toppings.

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And there the tart is with the three magical fillings. First the peaches arrayed in a fancy flowery looking design, though that really didn’t matter with this tart. Then the custard which was just cream, egg, sugar and vanilla. Then the streusel, which was butter, flour, sugar and a little almond flour. I made extra of the streusel because I know me, and end up eating some of it raw because it tasted good. Basically like a cookie dough. Nom. Once all the fillings were in, back into the oven the tart went. Soon the kitchen was smelling of sweet, fruity deliciousness.

I remember back when I was planning my wedding, I got into a debate about the best types of desserts with a friend. She was a pie-person and thus was having pie at her wedding and was sick of the cupcake obsessions that’s been floating around for the past few years. I partially concurred with her distaste of the cupcake obsession (even though I do enjoy cake/cupcakes), but did not agree that pie was the winner of the desserts. But if not cake, and not pie then what? At the time I decided it was cookies. Because I LOVE me some cookies. But I’ve since refined that. It’s not cookies. It’s the often neglected PASTRY.  Croissants, palmiers, kouign amman, tarts, etc. Now granted, the difference between a a pie and a pastry-based tart is a pretty fine, but there is a line. And for me, tarts win. Maybe there’s extra butter in the crust?

20140804-162425-59065833.jpgRegardless. This dessert was clearly in the tart category. The crust was rich and buttery, like a delicious shortbread cookie. It didn’t need the filling to taste good amazing, which is where I think pies and tarts truly differ. The filling was a combination of sweet, creamy custard, interspersed with chunks of ripe, tart peaches. And then sprinkled on top – the crunchy, sweet and spicy streusel melded everything together perfectly. On their own, each layer was good. But together, it was like a magical symphony of flavors and textures in my mouth. YUMMMMM. I want to eat it every day. I only wish that I had pictures that really did this tart justice. But I don’t. Because pictures at night just look yellowy and gross and that’s when my husband and I dug in and ate about half of it (yes, it was that good – although he said preferred the upside down cake to this). I think I may have served this with ice cream but it definitely didn’t need anything. Just itself in all of it’s yummy glory.