Monday, March 26, 2012

You've Come a Long Way Baby

Me oh my, how the time does fly!  Sometimes I feel like time is traveling so slowly these days, but when in the world did this happen?
I am now one third of the way through this journey.  It happened somewhere around week 13 to now depending on who you ask.  But everyone agrees that we're now past that first stage in week 14!  Woohoo!  It feels like we've already crossed one great mile stone in this long trek to havin a baby.  Oh what will these next months bring?
Everyone also agrees I'm getting bigger.  Thank you.  I wasn't already panicking enough about that everyday last week, but I'm so glad you're noticing too! =)  Let's have a look shall we:
Oh whoops.  You can't see anything?  That's cause all I want to wear these days are things that cover the fact I'm pregnant.  People mean well, but lets face it...not all men women are created equal!  Am I right?  And while some women seem to go from skinny little tight waists to the perfect little bump, I'm thinking maybe, just maybe, they're trying to cover things up somewhere in there too.  There are weeks of pregnancy that rather than looking like you're pregnant, you just look like you don't know how to control yourself at the dinner table.  But ok...I'll show you:
It still looks flat?  And you say I'm exaggerating on my size?  Well that's because I'm standing up as straight as possible and maybe even sucking it in a little.  HA!  And I deleted all of the awful angles and pictures that made me look bad.  

But I guess the part that I like hearing the most, is another thing everyone agrees on; that I have that pregnant glow.  I dunno...can you see it?
We go to the doctor on Wednesday.  It will be our second check-up.  Here's to praying Aqua Baby is growing and developing just fine.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Funny Conversations w/ a Pregnant Woman

Jordan: "Ok I'm running to the mall really quick with Daniel (the intern who's living with us right now).  Do you need anything from the store while I'm there?"

Nikki: "No, I can't think of anything.  I just went to the grocery store yesterday."

Jordan: "Ok.  We'll be back."

Nikki: "Oh wait.  Maybe gummy bears and gummy worms."

Daniel: "Gummy bears, and gummy worms?"

Jordan: "ALREADY!"

Daniel: "Already?  What's that supposed to mean?"

Nikki:  "Um...yeah.  It was like, last week when you bought them."

Jordan: "Oh.  I just didn't expect you to go through them so fast."

Nikki: "..."

They never stood a chance with me...
Once again, my husband comes through!  He really loves me.  =)
I at least waited until after dinner to open them...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I've Created a Monster

Or maybe it's created me!  Regardless I think this baby's gonna have some spunk.
Week 13 and 3 days.  So I'm a little late.  But I feel like nothing's changing.  All the time I look at my pictures from the sonogram, and listen to the heartbeat and think, is that really inside me!?  It still doesn't seem real.
Funny how I go from feeling huge, to wishing I at least had a baby bump so I could see that there's a reason for getting bigger.  But I think there will be plenty of months of that, so I'm working on the patience thing still.
Just waiting...
I'm feeling great and feel like my energy is up more!  Me and the baby are doin just fine.  Maybe more than fine.  Remember when I told you that when they tried to catch it on the sonogram it was all over the place?  Maybe we'll have another runner in the family.  And let's talk about cravings...I want everything hot, hot, hot!
Give me jalapenos, hot sauce, pepperoncinis!  Just give me the heat!  So is it me?  Or do we have a little feisty baby on our hands?  
I guess the good news is he or she will keep me moving! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Health, Nutrition, & Pregnancy

Some honest talk about trying to remain healthy throughout pregnancy.  

I truly believe this statement.  Eating a mostly vegan diet was the best thing I ever did for myself!  And I'm going to continue to believe that even in my current condition, being pregnant, it's the best thing I can presently do.  I'm not gonna lie.  There have been days of struggle and days of feeling like I deserve to eat whatever I want, but I am sticking to my guns and holding on with everything I have to keeping a healthy, and happy pregnancy.  And don't worry...I've done my research,  me and the baby are gonna be a-ok being meat free.  

It's weird first finding out your pregnant.  Unlike some women, my first few weeks were not laden with constant trips to the bathroom getting sick.  No.  It was quite opposite for me.  I was hungry all of the time, and what was not good for me was what sounded oh so delicious.  I struggled with my weight for a few weeks, and got pretty depressed about my sudden weight gain.  No it was not the baby that was the size of a grape causing this stretching in my hips and thighs, it was me.  I needed to get control!

I feel like I'm at a good place now.  Yes my body is adjusting and changing for what's going to be taking place over the next few months, but my weight is good, and my clothes are still fitting.  (Most of them anyway.)  It's a mental battle, and I feel like it was really tough for me initially because of how hard I had worked to lose my excess weight and get in shape. But I feel ready now.  I feel like I can do this.   

And I love that I have a supportive husband who will go maternity clothes shopping with me, and help me find good wholesome restaurants to eat at.  Saturday we had a date day and ate lunch at one of my favorite places so far. 
It was a small quaint little place, with some great atmosphere.  Since it was hot outside and we had been walking around I decided to get the Lemongrass Ginger Cucumber Cooler with my water.
It had some zing to it.  But I loved the burst of ginger!
We glanced over the menu and I saw plenty of delicious choices, but there was one thing in particular that sounded right up my alley!
The squash risotto with toasted pumpkin seeds, vegan sausage, and cashew cheese nuggets.  I couldn't have been happier with my choice!  It was awesome, and Jordan was quite jealous.  He doesn't even like squash!
Jordan decided on the Garden Burger with carrot bacon and chili-garlic sauce.  With french fries on the side.
He enjoyed eating here just as much as I did, and we both agreed we couldn't wait to come back to try more things on the menu!  They even have a fantastic list of vegan desserts, which we will get next time.  We were just too full.  

I'll plan on keeping you posted on what I'm eating and craving along the way.  It's been a funny list so far.  Sometimes Jordan looks at me and replies, "Who are you!?  You really are pregnant!"  More of that in posts to follow.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

There's a Bun in the Oven! Two Actually!

Sorry to lure you to my blog that way...we're talking about bread today!

I absolutely love homemade breads!  And I'm so excited about what's in my kitchen right now!  I can hardly wait for morning to come!  It's like Christmas.  Ok maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration but I am super pumped!  A while back I made this Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Bread.  Only there was one problem...I was loosely following two recipes and didn't write anything down.  It turned out to be my most favorite bread I had ever made!  I could have died!  Why didn't I write it down?  My mission today was to recreate that bread.  I think I did.  But I guess we'll never know.  Anyway here's the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Bread

4 semi-mashed bananas (i like some pieces in there)
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 stp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup peanut butter swirled in
1/2 dark chocolate chips folded in

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, slightly mash your bananas.  Then add the rest of the wet ingredients and stir together.

Next in a large bowl, mix together spelt and wheat flour, baking soda and salt.

Then add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.

The next step is according to your personal preference.  I like to swirl in the peanut butter, so it's ribboned throughout the bread, or if you'd like you can mix it in so it's more combined.

Lastly fold in the chocolate chips, and place in a lightly greased bread pan.  And bake for about 40-45 minutes.  Though mine took about 55.  Be sure to keep a steady watch on it.  


Then I decided while I had the time and the kitchen was already messy, I'd make another.  Adapting a recipe I had found on Pinterest, and adding an additional layer to it.  Here's what I came up with:

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread w/ a Streusel Topping

For the Streusel (adapted from Peas and Thank You)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 TBS. coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

For the Apple Mixture (adapted from Dreena's Vegan Recipes)
1 small apple, peeled and cubed into small pieces
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup unsweetened cinnamon apple sauce
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
dash of cloves, nutmeg, and ginger

For the Batter
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 TBS. coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350.

First combine apple mixture.  Mixing apples in lemon juice, then adding the rest of the ingredients until well combined.  Set aside.

Next mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl, sifting in baking powder and soda. Mix well and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients.

Then add wet mixture to dry mixture, stirring until well combined.

Place batter in a lightly greased bread pan.  Then using a spoon, scoop apple mixture on top and then slightly swirl throughout bread.

Finally crumble streusel on top. And bake for about 40-45 minutes.  Though mine took about 55.  Be sure to keep a steady watch on it.

Jordan and the intern that is living with us, were quite curious as to what I was up to.  The smells drew them in, and they were both lickin their chops.  I don't know if I want to share my bread with them though.  Sorry boys, you don't come between a pregnant lady and her cravings!  
Just kidding...I'll let you each have one slice.  ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Who Wouldn't Love You

I wonder a lot of things about this little person growing inside of me.  Like what I should call it before I know if it's a boy or a girl?  I don't like referring to it, as it.  That just seems so impersonal.  But I haven't come up with anything yet.  Suggestions?

Jordan wants to call it Arthur Curry Jr. aka Aqua Baby, as a place holder until we know what gender the baby is and we can name it.

I also wonder what he or she will look like.  What does a mix of me and Jordan look like?  All I know is, I don't want an ugly baby.  HA!  That sounds so vain writing that out and not just thinking it, but it's true!  And people tell me there are no ugly babies, and because it's mine it will be perfect, but some babies are just not cute.

But seriously.  I know it will be perfect, even in our human imperfection.  I have two apps I follow daily to see what's going on inside and what the baby's doing and how it's growing.  Wow is it amazing!  How does anyone believe there is no God and we happen by chance!  Growing a baby is a miracle!  Even at this point of only being two inches long and 1/2 an oz.  this thing has fingernails!  I feel like that's such a crazy detail, that it already has fingernails!

Back to my curiosity of what our baby will look like, let's get to the source of it all: Me and Jordan when we were babies.
Jordan was quite the precious little model baby wasn't he?  And he would totally agree.  We actually have a framed baby picture of him on our bookshelf.  And when we dug out these pictures, he looked so longingly at himself, mesmerized by his own adorableness.  In fact, I still catch him looking at old pictures of himself.  Let's just say he has a healthy self image.  He tells me it's really because he imagines having a little boy just like that.  Cute and adorable, just like him.  See what I mean...
I on the other hand was one of those babies who were cute in their own way.  My feet were turned in, my hair stood straight up and for a while my eyes were crossed.  Thank goodness it was only a phase.  I did have some cute days at least.
 And I still have this dress.  So if we have a little girl.  She will totally be photographed in it too!
And if our kid looks like Jordan, we'll be totally blessed.  Regardless who wouldn't love either of these two from the start?  Maybe it's true...when it's yours, there are no ugly babies.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Patience from the Start...

I've never been good at being patient.  I've never been good at keeping things secret.  But both were required of me for far too long.  Only...there's still much patience needed.  Another 194 days are so to go, and then a lifetime of it to follow.  But it's all worth it.
This little life will be wroth it.  It's all still so surreal.  But from here on out I think it will start to sink in more.

So how did we find out?

I'll admit.  I had freaked out a few times in the past few years thinking it was a possibility but it always came back negative.  So I made sure this time I gave myself ample time for mother nature to be at work.    Only nothing happened.  I was so nervous going into the drug store to buy the test.  I thought I was crazy for buying it, because it was only going to say no.  But it had been long enough.  I went home and it sat there.  Not for long, but I just wanted to wait to see the, No you're not pregnant sign.   But then when I saw the two lines starring back at me.  I freaked for a second.  And then broke out in hysterical laughter.  NO WAY WAS THIS TRUE!  I tried to compose myself before heading into the living room to tell Jordan, but as soon as I saw him I just started laughing.  He hugged me, with damp eyes, obviously he's better at taking this news than I was, and then we prayed.  I quickly grabbed my computer and wanted to know when this thing was coming!  September 24.  I was already 7 weeks.
We wanted to be cautious in telling people, so we decided to wait.  I only told one person, because I had no clue about when to go to the doctor and everything involved and let's add in that we live in a foreign country, so I needed some help.  And then we waited more.  3 more weeks before we got to hear one of the coolest things.  Although just before this I had to tell my parents, because I couldn't keep it from them any longer!  (You know they're excited!)
And that's Doctor Rivera.  She's awesome and has been delivering babies for a long time.  My favorite thing is one of the first things she said to me was, "Wow you're tall.  But you're not my tallest patient.  I once delivered the baby of a 6'2" Russian woman, so you'll be easy."

I played that sound again and again to remember it was all real.  And sent it to my brothers, who were more than thrilled at the thought of being Uncles.
And hearing it was good.  But what I really wanted was a picture.  I WANTED TO SEE THAT IT WAS REAL!  See - I told you I was bad at being patient.  But that meant waiting two more weeks.
We went in the first chance we got.  And they almost didn't do it, but I think they saw how desperate I was.  I wasn't leaving without a picture!  Besides, they're the ones that told me I could at 12 weeks!  And I was 12 weeks and 1 day!  Though the baby was quite active, and continuously moving and running away from them, they managed to hold it steady long enough to get a picture of the most perfect thing I've ever seen!  Our little sprout!
I think it's more exciting to watch Jordan through all of this.  He checks up on me all of the time, and takes care of every request of I have, and tells our little baby how much he loves us both!  He's such a proud Dad already!
We're so excited for our growing family!  And I can't wait to document everything along the way!  Life is good!