strawberry scones

I can’t remember the last time we baked. Since there is not a lot of self control in our home when it comes to sweets, we try to avoid bringing them in the house in general. So sad, right? But of course, it is important to constantly remind myself that I need to watch the intake, keep sugars to a minimum, and eat meaningful calories. Nevertheless, looking through our pantry,  it became apparent that we had just the right ingredients to bake scones. Even though energy is a major commodity these days for me, I decided to expend a little in order to later enjoy a delicious scone while sitting with my feet propped up. The recipe from Eat, Live, Run was simple to follow and my first batch of strawberry scones were quite successful!  Every morning since, I have been very thankful to my former self for making these delicious treats that my current self can enjoy. Besides, it is made with whole grain and strawberries so it can’t be too “bad” for me, right?

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spicy sausage & arugala naan pizza

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10 weeks.  That’s all that is possibly left until we meet out little guy.  In some ways, 10 weeks still feels luxurious and distant and in other instances it feels like a blink away. Of course we are excited for the day to come but there is always so much on the “to-do” list.  Regardless of our planning though, I am sure he will come whenever he is ready to grace us with his presence! This week, 30 weeks pregnant, marked a change in my energy level.  My second trimester energy high is starting to wane a bit and I am curious if the crushing first trimester exhaustion that I have had an extended reprieve from is returning. Getting through the day isn’t too challenging but I definitely feel the day on my bones when I ride home and in my muscles when I finally collapse on the couch. Quick and easy dinners are therefore a major necessity now. This latest naan pizza was so simple that it might become my next obsession.

Ingredients

4 Naan

tomato paste

ricotta cheese

1 Spicy Sausage

1 red onion

parmesan cheese

red pepper flakes, salt, pepper

olive oil

arugula

Preheat the oven to 425.  On a baking sheet lay out the 4 naan.  Mix 4 tablespoons of tomato paste with 4 tablespoons of water. Spread this mixture over the naan, leaving a little room at the edges for “crust.” Lay some thin slices of red onion on top of the sauce, crumple the ricotta cheese and scatter over sauce, sprinkle parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Remove sausage from casing and crumble and distribute over the 4 naan. Drizzle olive oil on each naan. Bake in the over for 16 minutes. Once the time is up, top each pizza with arugula, serve, and enjoy!

childbirth class

Ten couples sit in a semi-circle in the basement room of the hospital.  We are there to learn about the natural process of childbirth. Sitting there, David and I cannot stop laughing at the humor of this setting. We are all educated adults and yet this natural human act of giving birth to a child is so mystifying that we have all registered for a four week course. The room is quiet when we first arrive as couples check in and get their name tags. I can not help but glance around at all the bumps I am surrounded by.  This was the first time I was in the room with so many fellow pregnant ladies and honestly it felt great. It felt like I was among “my people.” Our instructor is super nice and introduced herself as a mother, nurse, and educator. And with that we began our natural childbirth class.

I am hoping that in the end of these four weeks, I will have a clearer understanding of what “textbook” delivery looks like. When everything goes according to plan: What is happening to one’s body? What is happening to the baby? How can you tell when it is time to go to the hospital? What pain management options are available?  How can you unpack your delivery wishlist? How can I have the delivery I imagine for myself and my baby? It feels like I should somehow know the answers to these questions already. Since I am pregnant shouldn’t my primal pregnant brain take over and just somehow know? Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that and I am hoping that David and I not only answer these questions but actually feel prepared for this journey soon.

Scanning the room it was clear that each one of us was having a very different pregnancy experience. Age is not the only indicator, but as we warm up and start to share stories about our baby bellies, it becomes apparent that our symptoms of pregnancy run the gamut. I will definitely admit that having the latest estimated due date in the group leaves me with a little bump envy. I couldn’t help but ask David if we were in the right place and if we were really pregnant?  He laughed and just said our guy is little but yes you are most definitely pregnant! The first night was all about getting to the basics of human anatomy during childbirth and giving an overview of the courses topics. I am currently a little intimidated by all of the reading we have to do.  The cute purple folders passed out contained dozens and dozens of handouts and recommended reading lists.  And, for someone who is SO type A like myself, these “suggested” materials immediately get put under the “mandatory” category in my eyes. Yes, I know every woman’s experience will be different and that there is not “test” I am studying for, but somehow being as informed as I can be gives me comfort (perhaps that is the historian in me).

The best part of the birth class was the last fifteen minutes. Spread out in our couplings, we laid down on yoga mats with pillows, closed our eyes and were led through a relaxation exercise. AH!  It was divine.  At first, I felt so tense on the mat and my mind kept wandering off to my to-do list, but I gently tugged it back a few times and by the end of the exercise, I truly felt like I relaxed. Even the little guy who was poking my ribs and bobbing around in my tummy when I first laid down went completely still by the end. It was actually quite a cool experience. Our only  real homework from class is to practice these relaxation techniques and David is super cute and excited to help guide me through them.  I think these next four weeks will end up being quite insightful, fun, and will allow us to hopefully make friends with other couples in the area who share our June arrival month.

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third trimester “to do list”

Whenever I get nervous or overwhelmed my go to is to create a “to-do list.” I know that it is a little weird but it just helps me to organize the chaos around me and helps me feel productive.  With the list in hand, I can believe that one by one it will all get done.  Yesterday, was an overwhelming day as I watched my April calendar go from manageable to overcrowded. Taking a few minutes to myself, I decided it would probably be a good idea to think about creating a third trimester to do list. The school year will inevitable throw me a curve ball as the final months wind down, but somehow this seems natural and non-intimidating. However, this baby business is just so new to David and I and, even though many of our loved ones have given us great advice, until we walk through this experience we just won’t really understand how dramatic the change will be. Fingers are crossed that this “to do for the countdown to baby” helps us stay focused and as stress-free as possible as we inch ever closer to his arrival.

Third Trimester: To Do

Finances & Paperwork:

  • Continue to budget for Baby

  • Life insurance/Create a Will

  • Put money aside for Hospital Bill

  • Update 401K plans

  • Put baby on Healthcare

Preparation:

Getting Close:

  • Create Birth Plan/Birth Preferences

  • Get Breast Pump prescription

  • Install Car Seat

  • Pack Hospital Bag:

    • Insurance information, hospital forms, birth plan, picture ids

    • 2 pairs of socks

    • robe and loose pajamas (2)

    • Underwear and maxi pads

    • flip flops

    • sweater/sweatshirt

    • Extra towel

    • Pillow

    • Tennis balls (2)

    • Snacks

    • Bathing suits

    • Comfortable shoes (slippers?)

    • Maternity bras & nursing pads

    • Lip balm

    • Toiletries: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair brushes, shampoo/conditioner, soap

    • Eye glasses and contacts

    • Cell phone and charge

    • Camera

    • Sugar free sucking candies

    • Small bag of change of clothes for David

    • Comfortable going home outfit

    • Nursing pillow

    • Coming home outfit for baby

    • diapers, diaper cream, wipes

    • Blanket

    • Pacifier

    • Hat

    • Scratch mittens

Sheesh this is a long to do list but somehow getting it down makes it seem more manageable even though it takes a few scrolls to see the list in all of its beauty.  Can I ask if I am missing anything?  What did you or would you include for a hospital bag?  Any additions I should make?  Let me know what your experiences with the third trimester have been like because I am SO open to suggestions!

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