36 Weeks / 9 Months!

Socks and Sophie

Socks and Sophie

We’ve made it to 9 months! Holy moly people, this is getting really real. Part of me thought I’d be pregnant for the rest of my life and the other part is wondering where the last 9 months have gone.

We’re trying to tie up the loose ends around here to feel as prepared as possible. I’m doing what I can while making time to prop up my fat feet (doctor’s orders!) and trying to remember that slowing down is necessary, hard as it may be. I’ve never been much for sitting still, but am trying to embrace it.

Speaking of doctors, yesterday mine looked at me and said, “It looks like you have a good sized baby in there. How tall are you?” I informed her I was 5’6 and she then asked if my husband was a large man. I told her he is 5’8, so not terribly large, and then she changed the subject. Am I crazy or would a little explanation have been nice? It’s not polite to leave a person hanging after insinuating she may be soon giving birth to the next Andre the Giant. And, truth be told, to me she doesn’t feel that big, despite the fact that every person under the sun seems to think otherwise, and isn’t afraid of letting me know. Though, it’s not like I have any idea as to  what’s going on. Maybe she is actually due tomorrow and maybe the doctors and ultrasound tech were wrong and there really are two in there. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. 😉

 

Dear Pregnancy Body

napping for two

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Dear Pregnancy Body,

Please know, first and foremost, I am grateful for you. I’m grateful for your ability to carry and nourish and support this little one, all while knowing what she needs – even when I feel like I don’t. You’ve done a great job of keeping her safe, well-fed, and growing like a weed. So, thank you. However, there are a few things we need to discuss:

  • What have you done with my calves? No, really, the bottom half of my legs can’t possibly belong to me. Truth be told, some most days I feel this way about the entire lower half of my body.
  • Dressing you is becoming a chore. I am uninspired and a few of my maternity options have reached maximum capacity, but heaven help me if you think I am buying anything for you at this stage in the game.
  • I have forgotten what it’s like to put on shoes in silence. Try as I might, I can no longer put on shoes that require tying or zipping without a grunt or an “Oh crap”. Birks with socks has crossed my mind more than once, but lucky for you all, I’m not there yet.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to change sleeping positions is one of my least favorite parts of pregnancy. There are now multiple pillows to rearrange and nothing is simple when you feel as large and graceful as a walrus.
  • Online window shopping for non-maternity summer duds has become my new favorite form of torture. What will you look like a month or two postpartum, Pregnancy Body? I have no idea and part of me is not looking forward to finding out.
  • The discomfort seems to hit all at once and lasts the entire day. Why bother spacing out the back pain, hip pain, and constant need to pee? Are you just trying to see what I’m made of? On the flip side, the days when I am actually comfortable do not go unnoticed, so I beg of you, do not take them away.

But please, Pregnancy Body, do not feel bad for what you’ve put me through. It’s considerably less than most and I figure I have to go through a little (labor not included) before I get handed my mom card.

Additionally, there are some upsides to this pregnancy business (other than the ultimate prize at the end of it all).

  • There is currently little guilt associated with treating myself to ice cream (and pizza) on a more-frequent-than-normal basis. I do try to balance it out with lots of veggies and mixing chia seeds into anything that makes sense, I promise.
  • I get lost watching her kick and shift around, and as much I try to share/document the more noticeable movements, it really seems like she is saving those crazy somersaults and karate kicks just for me.
  • People are pretty nice to pregnant women. Recently I was able to jump two spots ahead at the farmers’ market turkey line… on a Sunday. For those of you who don’t know the DeKalb Farmers’ Market, kindness like this in the meat department is not something to be taken lightly, especially on a weekend.

In conclusion, Pregnancy Body, I guess you and I are still on okay terms. I’ll take the good with the bad because really, we’re in the home stretch now anyway.

xo,
Me (and baby)

34 Weeks

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Here I am, smack in the middle of my 34th week, and look! there’s a picture of me in a public bathroom. Will selfies (bumpies?) ever not feel terribly awkward?

It’s fair to say that the second trimester energy has faded quite a bit and, while I’m still feeling pretty great, there is noticeable discomfort here and there and weekends equal sleeping 10 hours at night and napping after lunch. But hey – no complaints here – I know I’ve had it pretty easy so far. Also, the “It’s time!” dreams are occurring once a week or so and they are nothing short of bizarre. Let’s hope that when this goes down it’s not because a surgeon shows up at my house telling me that baby is getting too much oxygen in her eye sockets and requires an emergency c-section.

I came across a couple of fantastic blog posts this week that were all too relatable and I couldn’t help but share. The first, from Kate Baer – Essays for Motherhood: A Parenting Guide for the Millennial Mom, has made me laugh out loud more than once. I can’t stop reading it. This collection of potential chapter titles needs to be made into a real book and fast. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Dressing Your Bumps: A Buyer’s Guide To Clothing A Large Mammal With Dignity
  • I’d Like To Be Naked, Wearing A Wide Brimmed Hat, Listening To Sufjan, And Immersed In Water: Finding A Birth Plan That Doesn’t Sound Like The Plot To A Psychological Thriller
  • Nobody’s Sleeping, Not Even The Dog: A Comprehensive Guide To Napping While Standing Up

The second post, from Happily Hughes – Why Postpartum Sucks, was as terrifying as it was appreciated. Oh, the things we have to look forward to around here. Fingers crossed that Pal and I will be so in love with our teeny one that we will quickly forget the hormone-filled, physically painful parts of postpartum life. And if not, well, we’ll all survive one way or another. 😉

That’s all there is to report for now. I suppose it’s time I found the energy to dust and vacuum my house. My motivation must be around here somewhere… maybe you’ve seen it?

P.S. – Jamie and Jeff’s birth plan and note to the babysitter may induce cry-laughing.

32 Weeks

32 weeks

32 weeks is, “Are those my feet way down there?”

32 weeks is back to being full-body tired, but also waking up entirely agitated several times a night.

32 weeks is simultaneously wanting to nap and clean my house, but since I’m at work, all I can do is sit here and think about how dirty my floors are and how my fridge could use a good scrubbing. (Hi, nesting hormones! Nice to meet you.)

32 weeks is craving any food anyone has, mentions, or is viewed on Pinterest. (Is there a pregnancy filter available on Pinterest that removes all tempting foods? It’s a new kind of cruelty to see a picture of a cupcake and not be able to make that cupcake materialize.)

For your entertainment, the short list of foods I’ve craved since 10am:

  • watermelon
  • my coworker’s garlic potatoes
  • vanilla cupcake
  • fro-yo
  • another coworker’s turkey/cheese wrap thing
  • bread pudding

32 weeks is no longer being able to see my feet when I walk down stairs, so instead I stare off to the side of my belly to make sure I don’t wipeout.

32 weeks is watching a birthing video and not being terrified, but tearing up because it’s the most insane and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

32 weeks is under two months to the main event. Woohoo!

 

Letters To My Baby: 001

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Dear Harper,

This weekend was a busy one spent getting ready for you. The nursery is looking pretty with its fresh coat of paint (Marshmallow Whip for the walls, and yes, the name swayed me considerably) and squeaky clean carpets – thanks to your Lala and Billy!

While your dad and Billy were working on the carpets, Lala and I went through all your new and new-to-us baby clothes. Laundry has never been this fun… or really fun at all. But, seeing all the teeny tiny outfits that you will soon get to wear (and spit up on), kept me grinning from ear to ear. You are going to be one stylish lady.

Even after our busy afternoon, your dad found the time to put your crib together! Seeing that sweet little crib in your room was the cherry on top of the entire day. It’s really starting to feel like your room now and I can’t wait to walk in there and see you in it. Your nursery has quickly become my favorite room in the house and watching it all come together is pretty magical.

We love you so much, little one. See you in 8 weeks (or so)!

xo,

Mama

Thai Cashew Coconut Rice with Ginger Peanut Sauce {GF} {V}

If you follow me on Instagram (@julie.grubbs if you don’t and would like to), you may have seen my rave review of this rice a few weeks ago. I found the original recipe via Host the Toast and good crap is this dish amazing. Rice cooked in coconut milk! I’m ashamed that this was a new thing for me – It’s actually life-changing.

IMG_8290I made one change from the original recipe and sautéed the veggies in a little bit of coconut oil instead serving them raw. Do whatever suits your fancy, because either way, you’re going to love it.

IMG_8289I found it helpful to chop my veggies the night before so I could toss them in a pan as soon as I got home from work and save 15 minutes or so, which is essential these days. While the veggies were sautéing and the rice was ricing, I whipped up the peanut sauce, which honest to goodness tastes yummy enough to drink by itself. Host the Toast recommends microwaving the peanut butter and honey together to soften them a bit, but since we do not have a microwave, I used my immersion blender to blitz everything into a perfect, saucy consistency.

Once the veggies and rice are finished cooking, combine veggies with cashews and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the rice, combine again, and then add the peanut sauce and combine once more. It’s really that easy… and tastes amazing!

Thai Cashew Coconut Rice {Modified from Host the Toast}

For the Coconut Rice:
  • 1½ cups dry jasmine rice
  • 1 (15 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
For the Veggies:
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (olive oil works well, too)
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 1½ cups shredded carrots
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cashews, finely chopped
For the Ginger Peanut Sauce:
  • ⅓ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Water to thin

Directions:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, mix together the rice, coconut milk, garlic, salt, and water. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the pot reaches a rolling boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, turn off heat and let sit (with lid on) for an additional 10 minutes.
  4. While the rice is cooking, sauté red peppers, cabbage, carrots, and onion in a large pan on med-low heat.
  5. As you wait for the rice and veggies, make the peanut sauce.
  6. In a bowl or measuring cup, combine the peanut butter, honey ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Blend with immersion blender until smooth. Add water to thin (I added 1/4 cup) and blend again.
  7. Fluff the rice and combine it with the chopped vegetables and cashews in a large bowl. Drizzle with the Ginger Peanut Sauce and combine again. Enjoy!

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Glaze {Gluten-Free}

Last week I saw Hey Natalie Jean’s blueberry cake and absolutely had to make it. Hers had a pretty purple huckleberry glaze, but I opted for lemon since I’m not entirely sure where to get my paws on huckleberry syrup at the last minute.

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The cake was an uncomplicated affair, save for the flour/baking powder mixture I had to trash when I swore that twice I saw ‘tbsp’ and not ‘tsp’ … post-nap pregnant me is really something. Luckily I realized this before combining any additional ingredients and saved us all a science experiment of sorts during the baking process.

I threw the lemon glaze together while the cake was baking. A classic Martha Stewart recipe that is fabulous and foolproof.

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Per Natalie’s instruction, I let the cake sit for at least half an hour before pouring on the glaze. Just a little drizzle and smoothing out with a spatula and you’re set. Do make sure that you’re plate has enough of a lip to catch any glaze that might run off the cake.

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The cake reminded me of a blueberry donut and it took whatever willpower I have left to not dig in to a piece for breakfast. And, believe me, willpower feels like a scarce thing at nearly 8 months pregnant.

Blueberry Cake with Lemon Glaze (Inspired by Hey Natalie Jean and Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

Cake:
2 cups rice flour
2 tsps baking powder
dash salt
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups blueberries, lightly coated in flour

Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions:
1. Combine flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and sift to combine.
2. Combine oil, sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk until light and creamy.
3. Combine dry ingredients with wet in three parts. Mix well, then add your blueberries lightly coated in flour.
4. Pour batter into a greased cake pan (mine is 9″) and bake at 325 degrees F for 60-70 minutes.
5. While cake is baking, combine powdered sugar with lemon juice and stir to combine. Glaze should be thick, yet pourable.
6. One cake has cooled, run a knife along edges of the pan and flip over onto a cooling rack or plate. Pour glaze over top of cake and smooth with a spatula.

 

 

 

An Update

We are under the ten-weeks-to-go mark (or so we’re told), and having the weeks in the single digits (plus some days) makes this feel all the more real and crazy and awesome and bonkers. For whatever reason my brain doesn’t always register the big things in life until they’re thisclose, so suffice it to say, I think I needed to reach this milestone in order to let myself kick it into high gear.

Lil Pal

All things baby are happening over here, even a little party for the teeny one this weekend. It’s beyond exciting and most of my thoughts go back to what life will be like once she’s in the world… and just how that day will go that ends with her being in our world/becoming our entire world.

All in all this pregnancy has been kind to me and I hope that trend continues for the next 9 weeks and 6 days (give or take). I feel pretty great, but am very slowly learning that I can’t do all that I did pre-pregnancy. Or rather, in order for my coworkers not to worry for my safety (or that I may never get back up), I should ask for help instead of crawling under my desk to mess with a loosely connected wire. It’s a time for growth – literally and figuratively – and I am somewhat opposed to change/stubborn as hell, but trying to be better.

I hope to bring more updates here soon, but pregnancy has melted my brain, so it’s possible I’ll forget.

Pregnancy (at the moment)…

Pregnancy at the moment is still going well, as for baby girl’s growth and health (i.e., the important things of note), but holy crap the hormones are no joke… today, especially. I’ve laughed, I’ve yelled (in traffic; at the dogs), I’ve felt horribly guilty (for yelling at the dogs), I’ve cried (for yelling at the dogs), and tidied up the house in a grumpy huff (in an effort to help me relax). Needless to say, I can now add tired/full on worn out to my list of feelings for the day.

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Since the grumpy house tidying didn’t calm my nerves, I made myself breakfast for dinner, plugged in the lights on our Christmas tree, lit my pine scented candle, and turned on Gilmore Girls. My eggs tasted like soap, but the rest was delicious, and now I have a pug sleeping on my belly (and she seems to have forgiven me). I think we will  make it to Thursday after all.