Expecting our Little Brother in November!

pregnancy calendar

Thursday, July 29, 2010

First Stranger Comment!

So James and I are still walking every day after dinner, and sometimes we go to UConn to walk since the campus is so big and nice to walk on. Typically while we are there, I have to go into a building to pee since my bladder is minuscule.

So today I was peeing in the School of Ed (LOL) and this girl went into the bathroom at the same time I did. And when she saw me she squealed and was like "Oooo how exciting!! Do you know if it is a boy or a girl yet?" And I smiled and said it was a boy and she congratulated me.

Hehe. So I guess I'm officially pregnant now if random strangers are commenting.

Comparison Pictures

So, I guess I was pretty skinny before, and sometimes when I look at my belly I feel like it isn't that big. But I was looking at belly pictures yesterday from all the way back to when I first got pregnant, and it is quite the comparison . . .

Here I am at 6 weeks (1.5 months) pregnant, in the middle of March:

And here I am at 23 weeks (5.5 months) pregnant, last week, in the middle of July:

Baby Laundry

So a while back I bought a few baby clothes from Salvation Army (can't beat 99 cents apiece)! And so the things ended up in the laundry and got buried. I washed the load yesterday, hurriedly throwing things in the wash--and today I was folding.

I was standing there over my dryer, pulling out James' T-shirts and shorts, my tank tops, underwear, and suddenly, something so small--and I looked down to realize that it was one of the baby things I had bought a few weeks ago. The reality of the situation seemed to rush at me from all sides, as I stared at this tiny garment that will dress our child in just a few short months. "Wow--I thought, we're having a baby. His clothes are here, mixed in with ours." And . . . it just seemed so real, all of a sudden, as I rested the little onesie against my belly to fold it . . .

This little encounter motivated me to organize the rest of the clothes. Of course I had organized them once already, according to the size listed on the tag--but I had begun to look at these tags and then back at the clothes with much skepticism, as one brand seems to be quite different from another. I have heard too many stories of people pulling out their "3-6 month" clothes at 3 months only to find that half of the things are too small, and I didn't want to take any chances. Afterall, I think it is a necessity that I photograph James in every one of these little outfits during his first few months of life.

So today I got out the measuring tape and measured from neck to crotch, each of the little outfits and onesies, and I put them in piles according to how long they were, and then sealed each pile in a plastic zip bag. And now these clean and protected clothes sit in the drawer, just awaiting the birth of the wee one. I feel the same way!!

Only 3 weeks until the third trimester. :-)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Veins, Stretch Marks, and Peeing

I thought it was time for a new "symptoms" post. I haven't posted much about symptoms because I've been feeling really good since the pulled muscle incident. I now sleep with about 30 pillows (okay, three really--the wedge pillow under my belly, one between my legs, and one under my head), but as long as I am good with the pillows, my back and stomach seem to be in pretty good shape.

But finally I think my huge boobs, belly, body, and the increased blood circulating all around has caused some changes. First, I look like a road map. There is a highway going down my chest to each breast and a series of roads all over my boobs. Additionally, there is a thoroughfare down each side of my body spreading its little tributaries all over my stomach.

So, sometimes when I look in the mirror, I think I might have gotten some stretch marks on my boobs and under my stomach. But then, I'm not sure, and think maybe it is just the veins. The jury is still out on that one.

But peeing is a definite. I had a little break from peeing frequency for a month or two, but now it is back to full force. I'm back to getting up at least once a night to pee. When I was driving back from Whitney's (a 90-min drive), I had to pull over to pee in the woods and felt as if I was going to explode if I tried to go any farther without going. Sometimes I go, and then LITERALLY five minutes later, I will feel as if I have to go again. Sometimes this second trip produces mere teaspoons of pee, but other times my bladder has miraculously filled in five minutes and I have a full other batch of pee in there . . . it's true, pregnancy is a miracle!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Week at Whitney's

So I had a really great time at Whitney's house with the kids. I was nervous before I went, and wondered how it would be taking care of five kids. But it was . . . not really easy--I mean, it was a lot of work--but besides how much work it was, it was sort of easy! I felt like it was challenging to keep up with making meals, cleaning up after them, keeping them busy and entertained--but challenging in the kind of way where you feel good because you are working hard and succeeding . . . and in a funny way, it made me a lot more confident in being a mother to Little James (and his future siblings). I have no doubts now that I want to have a big family of my own--maybe even more than five!

Anyway, we are going camping this weekend, so I have a ton to get ready before then--including starting to clean up for when my sisters come to visit me (a couple days after we get back from camping). SO I MIGHT NOT UPDATE MUCH, MARE. But hopefully I will pop in, soon. ;-)

Happy Viability Day!

Today is James' birthday--we actually just had a really nice dinner with Roger, Tim, and Karl to celebrate.

But it is also little James' official viability day--he is 24 weeks today, which means he has a better than 50% chance of survival outside the womb! For someone who has been pregnant as many times as me, this is an exciting landmark. I'm thinking/hoping he will stay put for quite a while longer still, though--he still needs to get quite a bit fatter before it is time to be born!

In order to celebrate his viability, I started him a facebook page today. :-) I know I am weird--but it is also for me. I see other people with kids, and the activities and pictures of their kids just take over their facebook page . . . and hey, I get it! That would happen with me, too! So instead, I gave him his own facebook page--so if I am writing about something he did, or posting pictures of him, I can do it on his own page instead of on mine. Just an attempt to maintain my identity a bit. And hey, now I can tag him in my belly! How fun is that?!

In other news, my uterus has been on a "growing wider" kick the last couple weeks. I'm thinking that is why it measured three weeks ahead at my last appointment. I wouldn't be surprised if, at my next appointment, it appears to have barely grown any taller, since it has gotten so much wider!! This growing wider has also succeeded in making my belly look super pregnant.

Only 16 weeks to go now! It is pretty crazy! I will be in the third trimester in just three weeks. :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Off to Whitney's!

Me and James are spending the week at his sister Whitney's house, watching her five kids while she is off on a vaca to Alaska. I'm excited but of course it is quarter to five, I should have GOTTEN there 2 hours ago (it is a 2 hour drive), and I still have to pack clothes for me and James and go food shopping.

I blame it all on Dexter.

But my kitchen is clean, the food we are taking with us is packed, my fridge is completely cleaned out, the cats are all set for the week, and the plants are watered, so I'm not a TOTAL loser. Well, I still sort of am.

Okay Adrienne. Go pack and then leave. STOP ACTING LIKE A FREAKING PSYCHO.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tomato Basil Tofu

Okay, time for another recipe post.

The rain caused a bunch of our tomatoes to burst into ripeness, so since we are going to our friend Erik's 30th Birthday today I was inspired to use them in a recipe. But what recipe? I decided I didn't want to cook them since they are so fresh and so clean clean . . . I thought of making salsa--but I think it's too blasé for my fresh tomatoes. Then I thought of bruschetta--but people (like me) like to eat that with bread and since I'm mostly a bread-free gal nowadays I wanted to come up with something else.

So I decided to make tomato basil tofu! The vegan version of tomato basil mozzeralla, where these three ingredients are stacked together for a simple and fabulous taste-sation.

Anyway, right now I am marinating the tofu.

Marinade ingredients:
a few tablespoons of soy sauce (wheat free)
splash of apple cider vinegar
nice squirt of raw agave nectar
two shakes of Texas Pete hot sauce
a tablespoon or so of nutritional yeast
and last but most importantly: a liberal amount (several tablespoons) of olive oil

We still have to shop for the basil--mine is rather water deprived at the moment (whoops), but then I will put a slice of just-picked-off-of-the-vine tomato, then on top of that, a fresh basil leaf, and finally a thin slice of marinated tofu.

And I'm pretty sure it will be amazingly delicious and so perfect for a hot summer day like today. Whooop.

P.S. It was BANGING!! Here's a pic.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm not reading, but you should!!

I've been off the blogroll for awhile now. I have about 20 blogs that I supposedly follow but how closely I read is pretty dependent on how much time I have. Right now I'm addicted to Dexter, so I haven't been reading too much . . . but I still love you! And one day when I find myself eager to avoid housework, I will sit and catch up on all that I'm missing right now.

Since I'm not reading your blog, though, I'll give friends a chance to! I've been meaning for awhile to share some of my favorite blogs, so here they are:

Pretty All True -- Hilarious blog of mothering from an HONEST (and often downright (hilariously) INDECENT) perspective. ;-)

Whiteboard Unicorns -- Follow the antics of the unicorns in their whiteboard meadow. There's no more to it and there doesn't need to be.

Hyperbole and a Half -- Holy crap this blog is hilarious. Cartoons accompany and magnify hilarity to the n'th degree. Check out the "Best of" along the right side first, and you won't be disappointed.

And last but not least . . .

Enjoying the Small Things -- (On a more serious note) This beautiful mothering blog uses stunning photography to document the lives of the beautiful Hampton Family. First read the birth story of Nella as a background . . .

So, these are probably my four favorite blogs, and all for very different reasons! Check them out and laugh and cry and follow. ;-)

P.S. Okay okay, I used the word hilarious like six times in this post. But it's pretty all true ;-) so deal with it!!

Hungry Much?

So, in the first trimester I gained a whopping three pounds--and I'm willing to bet I've already gained ten or so this trimester . . .

Honestly I don't care at all because I was getting a bit worried about gaining almost nothing the first trimester (and I didn't even have morning sickness!).

Anyway, I think Jay-Jay and me are both packing on the pounds right now--it is ridiculous how much and how strong he can kick--last night he was moving the laptop with his kicking and even managed to HOLD IT up in the air for a second. Meanwhile some other friends of mine due in November haven't even felt A kick yet. Have some of mine, ladies, because sometimes it gets exhausting to feel him kicking ALL the time. Like right when I first wake up in the morning and I want to go back to sleep.

Anyway, I think he is having a growth spurt right now--not only have I been sleeping 13 hours some nights, but I swear I've been eating like 6 meals a day. Last night I had three dinners--a bean/veggie stirfry around 4:30, a tofu salad sandwich (with tomato and Chinese cabbage)--and let me tell you, that was some damn good homemade tofu salad (tofu, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, celery, canned asparagus, vegan mayo--YUMMMM)--anyway, I ate the tofu salad sandwich around 7:30, and then I had a yuba wrap (soybean wrap with millet, rice and veggies) from the coop right before bed, at like 10:30 . . . oh yeah and somewhere in there I also had an apple with lemon juice on it and a coconut milk ice cream bar. I was confident I would wake up this morning and still be full.

But no. I woke up STARVING. It's 1:15 pm now and I've already had (in this order), a nectarine, oatmeal with raisins and applesauce, a plum, and tofu salad with tomato on a cabbage leaf (sandwich sans bread), and some salted chocolate. Alright, when I put it like that it sounds like breakfast and lunch, but keep in mind I didn't even get out of bed until like 10am, so it's all been eaten in the last three hours. Plus I'm not normally even a breakfast eater! I can usually go until this time of day only eating a piece of fruit or two! I basically have been eating/cooking nonstop since I got up. LOL.

Anyway, I think we are both growing--but that is what we're supposed to do--so, it's on! Luckily, we can afford to buy enough fruit that I'm eating five pieces a day, and enough veggies, grains, and beans for me to have 5-6 full meals a day. I figure as long as I'm not going overboard with sweets (and despite my addition to salted chocolate I am actually pretty good on sweets) and other empty calories, I will probably be okay.

I've been operating under the assumption that it is pretty difficult to eat a lot of junk food when you are vegan and gluten free, and so far it seems to be true! Okay, there have been a few occasions when I've eaten super fried things--but I have REGRETTED IT soon after. Believe it or not, cutting out wheat also cuts out most fried things (since most things are breaded before being fried), so I've (apparently) developed a pretty low tolerance for deep frying. The last two times I ate fried stuff I got a serious stomach-ache later that day and continuing into the next . . .


I am on an eating frenzy, but since it's all healthy food--who cares? Grow little James, grow! (But stop growing if you get to 9 pounds or so and you find yourself still in Mommy.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So my sister yelled at me for not updating my blog, so here we go.


A few days ago I was telling James how good I feel and that I think James has more room in there now, and he is comfy and I am comfy and we are all good together . . . sounds like a Beatle song.

So as recommended I've been sleeping on my side--one or the other. Typically in the middle of the night I will wake up and turn over, and it will always feel like a huge effort--that the baby has settled DEEP into the side of my uterus and I am flipping him over like a pancake off of a grill, LOL.

So the night before last I had this same feeling, and I got out of bed to go to the bathroom, and found that my side was pretty freaking painful. I "ouched" my way to the bathroom and back, and assumed when I woke up for my day all would be well.

Well, it hasn't been!! The pain continues!! All day yesterday, and today to a lesser extent, the only thing that is remotely comfortable is sitting up. If I am laying on either side, my muscle is pulling, and walking around hurts a ton. Additionally I just plain haven't felt good--overheated, low energy, etc--my house is once again in a shambles and I have no motivation to accomplish anything.

It is possible that this is round ligament pain, or alternatively, I might have actually pulled a muscle . . . either way, I am using this as an excuse to kick WAAAY back and watch a lot of Dexter.

I'm toying with the idea of calling my midwife, but I don't think she could do much either way It just hurts so much and for so long now, especially if the baby is in a moving and stretching mood. OWWWWWWW.

I have had pulling pains before but they've never lasted this long or been this bad. :-( So there's a nice fun "update" for you. LOL

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baby Kicks

I know this is like one of my favorite topics now, but . . .

I feel like my uterus grew or I got more fluid in there because suddenly it seems like he has more room in there. I still feel him kicking all the time, but now sometimes I notice him in different positions (like my stomach is bulging out on the right, and then later on, on the left), so I feel like he is able to move around better and I less often have the feeling like he is hanging out in the very bottom of my uterus--it is less uncomfortable to bend over or move around. So yay for him having more room.

Another thing I wanted to say is how nice and relaxing this part of pregnancy is. My fear of miscarriage is gone, especially now as the baby is practically viable outside the uterus (I am 21 weeks today and I have heard of babies surviving who were born that early), and I just don't feel like he is going to come more than 2 weeks early . . .

And now I can feel him kicking every day all the time. So it is SO reassuring to know that everything is good in there with him.

And I just plain feel good. I feel like being pregnant really stabilizes my hormones--making me less likely to feel depressed or amotivated--I feel like it makes me really healthy--I'm not overeating because the baby is using everything--I just feel good and happy. :-)

4th of July Weekend

James and I went to Cape Cod this weekend--his Aunt has a house there and she also has a beach cottage that she rents out. But this week, James' cousin Kelley and her husband Jim had the house and a TON of their friends (many with kids) were there. James' other cousin Doug was also there with several of his friends and his girlfriend Lauren.

James' Mom was also there, but she was sleeping/staying in his Aunt's house (the cabin was jam-packed).

So we got there late Sat night, and set up a bed in the back of our car--I have a Volvo station wagon so we put the back down and set up a full bed back there--it was pretty fun to get looked in on by the morning walkers, hehehe.

Then we went to his Aunt's house for breakfast and to see the town parade--but it was boiling hot and as soon as possible we went back to the cabin and went swimming at the beach. Then we just hung out on the beach most of the day with everyone--tanning, swimming, drinking (for everyone except me, LOL), eating, etc. It was super fun. I even dug holes in the sand and laid on my stomach for the first time in forever. I fell asleep like that, hehe.

Right at sunset, people started setting off fireworks all up and down the entire cape, and we could see them ALL! The town beach was just a short way away from us, and they had a whole display, and then the people on the other side of us had a whole huge display as well. And we had a couple of our own, LOL. It was awesome, it was like two solid hours of fireworks as far as the eye can see.

Finally, me and James set up our tent on the beach, hung out with everyone for awhile longer, and finally crashed. The next morning (Monday) we basically got up and took off early, though we stopped at James' Dad's house to see him since we haven't seen him in like almost a year (yikes we suck).

And that was our weekend! Oh, but our car A/C broke on the way down there and the ride home was nearly unbearable. It helped that we stopped at James' Dad's house--he has A/C and we had some cool drinks and I put our metal water bottle in the freezer and then kept it on my wrists when we continued the drive to keep my body temp down.

We barely made it to Diana's pool before I would have seriously overheated. And then we took a dip there before driving the last 15 mins home. It was crazy. I am getting hot just talking about it. So that's it for now!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

It's Confirmed. He's a huge baby.

So I had my midwife appointment today and my uterus is measuring 23 1/2 weeks!!! That is 3 weeks ahead of where I actually am. So I guess I was right. He's just freaking huge.

I would love, though, little James, if you decided to slow down at some point and NOT be 12 pounds at birth. Thanks so much. Love, your Momma.

I guess vegans DO make big babies! Who would have thunk it?

I think I have a huge baby. Or something.

So, when I read about other's pregnancy experiences, I'm starting to think that I am pregnant with some enormous crazy baby. My friend who is a week behind me said that she JUST started to feel the baby move from the outside . . . I guess it did happen really quickly that I started to feel the baby move, and then James started to feel the baby move, and then you could actually SEE the baby move from the outside. Like, I started to feel it at 17 weeks, James started to feel it at 18 weeks, and by 20 weeks you could see it from the outside. So I guess I'm not THAT different from my friend.

But it's more than that--sometimes when I move a certain way (like especially turning over for the first time when I wake up in the morning), I wonder how the HELL this baby is going to fit inside me for 4 more months. Maybe even 4 1/2 more months (hell, maybe even 5 more months). He seems really huge and already kicking me pretty hard throughout the whole entire day.

I was sharing these sentiments with Amy yesterday and she reminded me that my belly will get bigger, so he will have more room, but it is all still happening INSIDE MY BODY. I can't believe I am feeling/thinking this way already at only 20 weeks. I thought I would be at least 30 weeks before I started feeling uncomfortable with the amount of "baby" I was carrying around--and really, most of the hours of every day I feel totally and completely fine, but I am DEFINITELY aware that there is this whole other person here with me. He is moving and shaking ALL the time.

Maybe this was kind of a random rant about nothing . . . I am just surprised how fast everything is happening, and I hope the baby doesn't end up being like 12 pounds. :-/

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Checklist Update

So I had written before about my checklist that was working for me really well. Well I am happy to report, 2 weeks since that writing, that it is STILL working really well.

Now, we WERE on vacation for one of those weeks, but amazingly, some of the lessons involved actually stuck with me. Most notably, I was much better about cleaning up after dinner, and generally helping to keep the kitchen tidy--normally while on vacation with my Mom and Grandma, they would just do that stuff.

And now that I'm home I am once again excited to do the checklist every day. I have even added a few things to it. Most notably: The last couple days I have been evolving a list of chores that need to be done weekly (instead of daily) such as vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, etc, and last night I broke all of these chores down and assigned one or two to each day of the week, and then I added "weekly chores" to the checklist. I can check off each weekly chore on a separate part of the list, and if I do them all, I can check them off on the main list.

I am pretty excited for next week, which will be the first official run of the weekly chores part of the list.

Another good thing is that James and I have continued to take a walk each night after dinner. This has been SO good for both of us and really changes the tone of our evening. Yay!!

Maybe this isn't interesting to anyone but me, but I have always struggled to be motivated to accomplish basic tasks on a daily basis, so it is pretty exciting to find something that is working well. :-)

Okay, off to do some stuff now!
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