How did another month slip away? What a difference a few weeks makes!

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We saw some significant changes over the past 4 weeks. She’s such a little lady!

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Shortly after I published my Month One post, things started to get a bit easier. I’m not sure if we’re just getting used to being parents or if Noe getting even a day older makes a difference but I definitely feel like we’ve hit a more manageable stride in the past couple of weeks.

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Somewhere around 6.5 weeks we thought we were going to lose are minds. Noe was crying every night for hours and nothing seemed to calm her. Our doctor thinks she may have been dealing with some colic, which tends to peak between 6 and 8 weeks before beginning to dissipate. Every night around 5pm she would begin fussing and wouldn’t stop until we got her to bed and by fussing I mean blood curdling screams that can seriously unnerve you.

We decided to give her a pacifier around this time, seeing as we were at our wits end and were willing to try anything. Let me tell you, it made all the difference in those early days. It was a great self soothing tool. When she was overly tired it allowed for some calming which sometimes led to the rare nap. I know there’s a lot of controversy around pacifiers but for us it was incredibly helpful and seeing as she was already a very well established breast feeder, the pros outweighed the cons. She’s not crazy attached to it and can go without it for the majority of the day but it’s a godsend when she’s so tired that she can’t figure out what to do with herself.

I also began pumping this month and a new routine began that has helped our evenings immensely. Around 7pm one of us gives Noe a bath. She continues to absolutely love the water and would probably spend hours in the tub if she could.

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After her bath it’s daddy baby time.

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Michael is bottle feeding her dinner. It’s a really special thing to watch the two of them together. She takes anywhere between 3-5 ounces and then we try to put her down. Sometimes this happens right away, sometimes there’s some walking and rocking involved, sometimes there’s a small feeding by me if she just doesn’t seem satiated enough. Then it’s off to bed. For the past few weeks she’s been going down around 8:30 or 9 and sleeping until somewhere between 4:30 and 6:30. It’s been amazing! There have also been two nights where she’s slept through the night but those were after the 8 week mark.

She continues to love any type of movement, be it the stroller, the ergo, the exercise ball or the car. She tends to sleep in any of the aforementioned places which are our go-to when we can’t get her to rest.

This month also brought her first smiles, coo-ing and what I can only take to assume as a massive improvement in her eye sight. She now looks at everything and follows me with her eyes when she’s in her swing. She’s discovered her hands and puts them in her mouth when she can’t find her binky. It’s probably only a matter of time before she discovers her feet.

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We saw lots of family and friends this month as well.

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And we celebrated her first Easter.

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I’m loving how interactive she’s becoming and look forward to more of her adorable smiles.

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Personally I am feeling so much more like myself. My hormones have completely leveled out and I feel pretty much back to normal. I am working out 5-6 times a week, alternating between yoga and running. I went back to hot yoga which feels amazing. I’m getting into the swing of running with the stroller…hello arm workout…and with the stroller and the dog! It’s a lot to coordinate but we’re getting the hang of it.

Overall I’m loving watching Noe grow and explore the world around her. The first newborn weeks were tough but everyday is more fun than the last. She’s like a different baby everyday.

Month Two Highlights:

Weight: 10lbs 12 ounces

Likes: being held (no change here), bath time, bouncing on the exercise ball, she also doesn’t mind being changed nearly as much as she used to and doesn’t wail when a shirt goes over her head

Dislikes: nap time (but this is getting better), going back to bed after she wakes up in the morning, daddy’s scratchy face kisses

Can’t live without: her binky, zip up onesies

Favorite Noe-ism: how she opens her mouth whenever we bring a stuffed animal toward her faces for kisses

Exercise: running and yoga

Looking forward to: laughter, more smiles

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Cute little baby feet.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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In the middle of the night when I’m half awake in the rocker, in the corner of the nursery, I count up the hours of sleep I’ve gotten. 10:30pm to 1:15am …1:50am-4:25am…and so it goes. Doing that kind of math in my head, reminds me of my calorie counting days: one yogurt 150, an apple 120 calories. The whole memory of calorie counting, which I did from the middle of high school through college, makes me rather agitated to look back on. It reminds me of such a restrictive and obsessive way of living and honestly, in my case, I think it was more harmful than helpful.

I don’t talk much about weight here and I’ve gone back and forth about whether to mention it at all in this space. You see, like so many others I’ve had my fair share of guilt when it comes to eating and the morphed sense of body image that often accompanies that guilt. So I thought I’d touch briefly on my experience, partly having recently gone through some body changes but also because I’m now the mother of a little girl and I don’t want her to grow up concerned about weight or scales or calories. My wish for her is that she never once thinks to herself, “I’m fat” or “I weight too much”. I will do my damndest not to perpetuate that kind of thinking as she gets older and a big part of that is balancing my own relationship with weight and food.

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My primary demon has always been the scale. From an early age I paid way too much attention to it, always aware of the number, getting wrapped up in whether that number was too high, allowing it to effect my day, my mood. I can remember so many scales, from the digital one in my parent’s bathroom to the antiquated hand-me-down in college to the scale my sister and I decided lives in its own reality, always 5-10 lbs heavier than all the other scales. Right before I met Michael my “weighing in” became more obsessive. I’d weigh myself at the gym in the morning, then in the evening at my apartment. I could justify weighing myself once a day, kind of, but twice was overkill.

As luck would have it, I met Michael that spring. As new romances are apt to go, I spent a lot of time at his place in those first few months, which was conveniently lacking in a scale. This might not seem like that big a deal but to someone who was so used to the daily weigh in, there was something so freeing, liberating about waking up in the morning untied from this habit. I didn’t realize the shift at first but as the months went by I found myself less attached to that “number”. I found myself enjoying food more, enjoying exercise more and being less prone to arbitrary “bad” days. The freedom from the scale allowed me to be become more attune to my body’s cues, what I was actually feeling, craving, wanting, as opposed to what the scale told me I should be feeling, craving, wanting.

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Maybe it was coincidence, but it was also around this time that I started reading blogs, primarily vegetarian and vegan blogs focused on whole foods. I became crazy about blogs, and began the annoying habit of leading into a conversation with, “so, I was reading on this blog…”. I was already eating mainly vegetarian by this point, so it wasn’t so much the veggie part I was drawn to, as the idea of whole foods and seasonal eating. I loved the notion of making my own salad dressings, granola bars and juices, exploring new ways of cooking like soaking nuts to make sauces and experimenting with overnight oats, or trying new ingredients like tahini, miso, parsnips, even kale. It was as if a new world had suddenly opened up to me when I let go of the restraints and set my limited view on food free. This freedom was contagious and delicious, adding flavor, spice, joy and a new found balance to my world. This balance made the need to weigh myself everyday less important. I felt better than ever and there was no need for the validation the number led me toward. I simply didn’t care anymore.

And it’s this huge, delicious, guilt free world of food and cooking that I so look forward to sharing with Noe as she gets older. My hope is that through the exploration of different ingredients, cuisines and tastes she learns not put labels on foods as good or bad but instead embraces everything with a sense of experimentation and exploration.

I plan to teach her what I have now found works best for me…moderation. I want her to enjoy that piece of pizza with as much gusto and excitement as she may have for blueberries or broccoli or buckwheat. I know it won’t be an easy feat (and there are so many other factors involved: the media, peers, parts of her own being that I’ll never be able control) but I feel grateful that I’ve been able to restore my own sense of balance so that I can teach her from a place of freedom, not fear.

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As a side, this is not to say that I never buy pre-pacakaged versions of food anymore. I still eat Clif Bars and boxed cereal and have recently become reacquainted with my old friend Hidden Valley Ranch, it’s just not realistic for me to make everything, especially now. Again, it’s all about balance.

Now I know this is a touchy subject and everyone is on their own journey with weight, diet, body image and self acceptance but I wanted to share what has worked so well for me. I do still own a scale, or more accurately, I never threw out the one I had. However, I only weight myself on occasion, not every day. During my pregnancy I decided to only get weighed at my appointments and now that I’m in my postpartum months I’m also only weighing in here and there because I’m very well aware of what a slippery slope it can become. And I rather like being free of that morning “gut check”. I’d rather enjoy my food, respect my body for all it’s done and does for me and not worry about some silly number that has no bearing on who I am.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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Over the last few weeks my sweet tooth has gotten a little out of hand. I blame it on the royal dark mini Cadbury eggs. I’m such a sucker for dark chocolate. Surround it in a hard candy shell and I’m a goner. Easter candy aside I’ve also eaten my fair share of peanut butter cups, chocolate chips and oatmeal cookies lately. I’ve heard other moms mention their love of sweets while breastfeeding so I’ve sort of let it slide but after a few weeks of dessert after lunch and dinner I started to feel kind of icky.

The best way for me to push the reset button has never been to deprive myself of certain foods but to simply add more healthy foods in. I find that I’m less apt to crave sweets after a healthy, satisfying lunch. So, the other day I made this big grain and veggie bowl for lunch, but I was tired of my usual dressings.

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With a freshly purchased jar of tahini in the fridge, it just made good sense to try a dressing using it. While searching the pantry I also spied my balsamic dressing peeking out from behind the olive oil and decided to combine the two flavors. And thus this tahini balsamic salad dressing was born.

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I used honey to counterbalance the bitterness of the tahini and some lemon for a little acid. To be fair, I think a bit of the bitterness lingers but I rather like it, especially on this salad.

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This grain and vegetable bowl was a mix of what I had on hand. It included red lentils, cabbage, sweet potato, asparagus, parsnips, carrots, roasted butternut squash and apple. The perfect salad to reset my sugar loving tastebuds but you can add this to any salad you wish.

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Tahini Balsamic Salad Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
A smooth, rich and tangy salad dressing for your grain and veggie bowls
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ warm water
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except water in a small bowl and combine.
  2. Slowly add the water last to thin out the dressing.
  3. Mix until smooth.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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Just popping in for a little update. Firstly, thank you for all the comments and words of encouragement from my Month One post. It was so nice to hear from all of you and know that I’m not alone in these first hard weeks.

Every day continues to be an adventure with our little Noe. She definitely has a mind of her own and continues to remind us that she’s in charge. She’s grown so much over the past few weeks, everyone said it would happen but I still can’t believe it. She’s pretty much outgrown all of her newborn clothes, including the onesie we brought her home in, sigh. We still have some newborn diapers hanging around, which she’s also all but grown out of but, man, those things are expensive, so we’re trying to use up each and every one before we really can’t use them anymore.

We’re also waiting on smiles. She’s on the verge and gives a cute little grin when she’s about to fall asleep, kind of like this.

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We’re still struggling with naps. She just won’t nap unless she’s in the stroller, the ergo or on top of one of us. By far, her favorite place to sleep is on top of one of us. Case and point…

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I’m rarely able to put her in the swing or crib during the day. My body is definitely feeling the effects with soreness in my back and right side.

I love holding her but it makes for days where very little, besides reading, gets done. That’s also why it’s been so quiet around here, it’s hard to blog with one hand and cooking has been nearly impossible. I hate to admit this but dinners have been really sub par lately. By the time we actually get her down, it’s usually fairly late. The minute we close her bedroom door there’s the mad scramble to feed ourselves. Dinners have been a lot of steamed veggies with baked sweet potatoes, frozen entrees, sandwiches, cereal (it didn’t stop after pregnancy), and more pizza then I care to admit.

The other thing that happened for the first time earlier this week…we just didn’t eat dinner! Our neighbors, who also have a new baby, invited us over for a glass of wine the other night. By the time we got home and did the evening routine, it was 9:45. We both looked at one another, asked what was for dinner, shrugged and then cuddled up together on the couch and promptly fell asleep. By the time we woke up in the middle of the night, confused and exhausted, we just gave up. Sleep officially won out over food! I think that’s the first time ever. We’ve both vowed not to let it happen again though.

I did manage to make one amazing dinner last week, cauliflower chickpea korma. It was SO good, recipe coming soon.

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I’ve also made this vegan caesar salad from Oh She Glows about ten times now. It’s delicious.

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As for me, I feel better and better each day. I am feeling much more emotionally stable, that sounds bad, but my hormones have definitely leveled out in the last two weeks and dealing with the chaos of a newborn feels more manageable now that I’m not a wreck and on the verge of tears every two seconds. There are still moments but not nearly as bad as before.

The weather has been great so we’ve continued to get out for walks, by ourselves or with friends, pretty much every day.

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I’m looking forward to getting back to yoga, hopefully next week, if my doctor gives the okay tomorrow. As much as I love walking and running, it’s time to get back in touch with my core. icon smile Around Here, Lately

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That’s it for now. Noe had a rare nap in the swing while I wrote this and I made the most of it by blogging and cooking up some rice, lentils and roasted butternut squash for easy dinners. I’m going to see if I can’t make a few more things while she’s down…pushing my luck but what can you do?

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Enjoy and Exhale!

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I don’t know if these kinds of posts are of interest to readers, I do see some subscribers unsubscribe with what I’m assuming is disinterest in all this baby talk but this blog has always been an extension of my daily life and I can’t deny that it is all about the baby right now.

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This has been a long and short month. I’m not really sure how exactly to explain it but life has a way of feeling long and short, easy and hard, tiring and exhilarating, all at the same time right now.  I can’t believe the love I feel for this little creature. A lot of hours are lost just staring at her and we spend a lot of time cuddled up together, especially in the late afternoons, while I put my itunes on shuffle and sing her old country songs.

Being home with a newborn has definitely been challenging, especially surrendering to the fact that there is no routine right now. The past two weeks of being on my own with Noe all day have been difficult to say the least. This is the ultimate practice of yoga. Being in the moment, establishing the union of mother and child, shedding old perceptions of myself, letting go of vanity-filled thoughts, practicing selflessness and patience on a whole new level.

I won’t lie, there have been some seriously tough moments these past few weeks. I think everyone in our house is sleep deprived and a bit on edge, including Eli and Guy.

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Noe is a baby that likes to be held. She sleeps okay at night but it’s nearly impossible to get her down for a nap during the day unless she’s on top of me. Maybe I’m being a softie but I really can’t stand listening to her high pitched cries for very long so most of the time I’m holding her. Right now I’m typing this with one hand while cradling her in the other. Needless to say writing this has taken a long time.

Watching Noe change a little bit every day makes me excited for all the things to come. I am clinging to these first few weeks when she’s so little and soft and warm and fits so perfectly in the crook of my neck with her chubby little cheek pressed against my shoulder.

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But I look forward to seeing her smile and really recognizing us. Right now I don’t think she really sees anything except my nipple, haha.

I’ve never felt so raw and emotionally uncovered before. Postpartum hormones are no joke, add the lack of sleep and I feel like a crazy person. Poor Michael has to deal with all my crazy while also working insane hours the past few weeks as he preps for a pitch later this week.

The first night home after the hospital I cried. Big, hot tears rolled down my face as I sat on our couch in our new house with our new baby. I was overwhelmed with the idea of being a mom and also my own recovery. It’s sort of a cruel joke played by the universe. Here you are having gone through one of the most physically grueling things your body will ever be put through (God willing) and instead of getting rest, you’re given sleep deprivation. We had an in-home nurse visit us the day after we came home. After taking a look at Noe she checked me out and asked how I was doing. I said alright but she could see the raw emotions in my eyes and promptly gave me some sound advice to make sure I get outside for at least 5 minutes a day. She told me to put my face up to the sun and soak in a little vitamin D, that it would do wonders and it has.IMG 8559 1024x1024 Month One

Physically I’m feeling more and more like myself every day. The first week I started walking a little bit and have gradually upped the mileage. This week my sister was here and we did a pretty fast 2.5 mile walk. It’s a definite improvement from day 6 when I walked with my mom to Panera’s (about 5 blocks away) and was absolutely spent afterward. I’m so impressed by the body’s way of healing. And I’m very much looking forward to getting back to running again in a few weeks.IMG 8668 1024x1024 Month One

I know I’m rambling, but honestly there so much more I could talk about. Being a mom is legitimately the hardest job I’ve ever had. It’s 24/7. Apologies to all my girlfriends who’ve had kids before me. I didn’t realize how hard things were in those first few weeks. I should have texted more often to check in, or called, or visited to hold your baby for a few minutes while you folded laundry, took an extra long shower or ate lunch with both hands. I had no idea, seriously, none, You’re all bad asses!

Month One Highlights:

Weight: not totally sure but guessing around 9lbs

Likes: being held, eating, the stroller, the car, baths (especially getting her hair washed), music

Dislikes: naps, getting changed (especially putting on a new diaper), the noise the dog’s tags make when he shakes his head

Can’t live without: halo swaddles, a million burp clothes, newborn onesies (it was surprisingly hard to find long sleeved newborn onesies, especially with zippers instead of snaps)

Favorite Noe-ism: when she’s sleeping and a noise startles her she throws both hands in the air with her palms toward her face like an old Italian man yelling at a car or unruly teenager

Exercise: Walking every day

Looking forward to: running, warmer days, my morning tea and breakfast, seeing her genuinely smile at us

I guess that’s it. There’s a crying baby that needs attending to now.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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I was about to write that I’m mildly obsessed with oats right now but that would be a gross understatement. After months of eating oat bars every week you would think I’d be sick of them. But, I’m all but dreaming about oats.IMG 8568 1024x768 Apricot Oat Bars

The thing is, breastfeeding all night can make a person (me) ravenous come breakfast. By the time I get Noe fed and myself situated I could quite literally eat my own arm. Before Michael even leaves for work, I’m usually scarfing down something. That something of choice has mainly been oats in one form or another.

I’m eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly oats (I can share the super simple recipe I’m using soon) and the aforementioned oat bars in any number of variations but I thought I’d mix it up and make granola bars one day last week instead. These apricot oat bars are fairly simple to make so long as you don’t go breaking your glass dishware in the process, then try to clean it up before the dog walks over the pieces while the baby wails.IMG 8570 1024x768 Apricot Oat Bars

I used some of my homemade apple sauce in these but if you don’t have applesauce, I very rarely have it on hand, I’m pretty sure a mashed banana would also do the trick. I also used peanut butter but I think almond butter might be better in these with its milder, less distinct flavor.

And lastly, add anything you want to these. I was craving apricots but sub in any dried fruit or nut you prefer. Consider these a blank canvas.

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Apricot Oat Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 bars
 
Gluten-free, vegan apricot oat bars
Ingredients
  • ½ cup nut butter of choice
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ cup applesauce or sub one mashed ripe banana
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ raisins
  • ½ teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 cups oats, gluten-free if needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Grease a glass baking dish.
  3. In your food processor, add dates, nut butter and salt. Process until everything is smooth, about 2 minutes, then add applesauce for another 30 seconds until well combine.
  4. Next add apricots, raisins and chia seeds, pulse mixture a few times until everything is incorporated.
  5. Last pour in oats, don't turn on the processor, just mix the oats into the mixture.
  6. Pour oat mixture into glass baking dish, press and mold mixture so that everything is even.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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This is my first week home with Noe by myself. Michael took the last two weeks off for paternity leave and my mom was here for a week after the baby was born so these are our first few days just the two of us. Like most things, the anticipation of being on our own was much worse than in actuality.IMG 8534 704x1024 Homemade Apple Sauce + the First Days

Noe is what I imagine a typical newborn to be, having not had much experience with newborns in the past, I’m just guessing. She sleeps a lot, fusses a lot, cries when she’s hungry, wet or wants attention. She’s a champ of an eater, luckily we haven’t had any feeding issues thus far. At her 2 week appointment yesterday she had gained almost 1.5 lbs since we left the hospital! She feeds every 2-3 hours for the most part, including at night. I’m usually up with her around 1am, around 4am and then again around 7 or 8am. Funny how your views on a good night’s sleep are adjusted with a newborn. If I can sleep in between her feedings I call it a successful night.

Love waking up to this face!

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I decided that I’m not going to read a bunch of baby books or try to force a plan on the two of us. She’s 2 weeks old, I’m a new mom, we’re just going to wing it until something tells us that what we’re doing is wrong. This whole thing is like one big trial and error session, constantly trying to figure out what works, what doesn’t. One day she liked the Solly wrap, the next she screams her head off in it.

I’m just taking it as it comes and trying hard to savor each moment. Every mom I talk to warns how fast it all goes by. As someone prone to movement and getting things done, I’m trying really hard to slow down and enjoy this time when she’s still so little, stationary and young.

That brings me to this homemade apple sauce. Like most things, the anticipation of making it felt worse than in actuality. I’ve never made homemade apple sauce before. But it’s a synch to make. While my mom was here she and Michael made a run to Costco while I stayed home with the baby, and came home with a 16 pack of apples. I’ve been making my way through the batch but knew I’d never get through all of them before they went bad.

So applesauce it was.

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If you search recipes for homemade apple sauce you’ll find the sugar called for can range from a teaspoon all the way to a 1/4 cup or more. I liked the idea of letting the natural sweetness of the apples come through and only added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar but adjust accordingly to your taste.

I’m sure we’re in for plenty more homemade apple sauce as Noe gets older, glad to start experimenting now.

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Homemade Apple Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A simple homemade apple sauce, gluten-free and vegan.
Ingredients
  • 5 apples, I used fuji apples, cored and peeled
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Peel and core your apples, then chop into small pieces.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium high heat then drop in your apples, water, lemon juice and salt.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle in cinnamon and brown sugar, turn off the heat and mix well.
  5. Using an immersion blender, blend the apples to desired consistency.
  6. I like my apples sauce to have some bite so I left it chunkier but feel free to blend until smooth.

One more of Noe and Dad.
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Enjoy and Exhale!

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It’s a little out of order but I wrote up my Third Trimester Recap as I went along. For those who are interested in how the last few months of pregnancy were for me I decided to post it, even though it’s over.

Week 28:

The start of a new trimester. My friend Lupe mentioned that as soon as she hit 28 weeks the shine of the second trimester honeymoon phase faded. I couldn’t agree more. It was like suddenly everything was harder. I continued to have some of the pelvic pain I was experiencing the weeks prior. I found that I could abate some of the pain with a heating pad and not running two days in a row.

Thanksgiving also fell in week 28. My sister came out to visit and we ran the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day in Wash Park like last year. I was able to run the entire 4 miles without stopping and finished in 36:54 (9:14 pace) not too shabby for 28 weeks.

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[Turkey Belly vs. Baby Belly Staredown]

Week 29:

Not much new to report in this week symptom-wise. I continued running and doing yoga. My love of oatmeal came back from the first trimester so that was breakfast pretty much everyday.

Unfortunately my grandfather passed away on December 1st so late in the week we flew to Chicago for the service. I had a chance to show my Anyu my baby bump though, which was very sweet.

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Week 30:

Hitting the thirties felt like an accomplishment. Only 10 more weeks! Baby B has always been super active and her movements became even stronger and more pronouced this week. She also got a lot of hiccups. Pretty much getting hiccups every day, if not a few times a day. It was around this week that we also decided to add a little bit more to our plate by looking for a new house. We connected with a relator and began house hunting in our current neighborhood.

Week 31:

We took a child birthing class this week. It was a little overwhelming and I had a minor emotional breakdown that night. Michael was very supportive as I laid in bed crying about how I was going to get this child out of my body.

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Week 32:

8 months! Baby B had a serious growth spurt and so did I. My newest symptom was the feeling that my upper abs were tearing apart. It made things like vacuuming and laughing rather painful. We had our 32 week appointment. Everything looked good and both baby and I were measuring right on track.

Christmas was also this week. We stayed local and made a feast on Christmas Eve, watched movies, had a couple of fires and enjoyed our last quiet holiday together just the two of us.

We also found a house we loved and put in an offer which was accepted. We went into contract two days before Christmas.

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Week 33:

Running has become increasingly more difficult. I’m still getting out about 2-3 times a week but with lots more walking intervals. My pelvic pain has subsided but carrying around all the extra weight is having an impact on my lower body. My abs are still giving me some trouble. Yoga has become my best friend.

Eating has continued to be fairly normal, besides the desire to have cereal for dinner at least twice a week. I just can’t help it, sometimes it’s the only thing that sounds good.

Unfortunately this week also brought on my first pregnancy vomit. On new years day I started to feel a little iffy. By the afternoon I knew I was getting sick. By the evening I had the most violent vomit experience of my life. Throwing up 8 months pregnant is no easy feat. The virus took out Michael too and we spent the next 4 days laid up at home. It was an awful way to spend the last of our vacation.

Luckily before we got sick we had a chance to visit with this little munchkin.

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Week 34:

I went to a Sunday yoga class. It felt really nice after being sick for so many days. I also ran two times this week and added in some days of walking. Nothing really new to report beyond more upper ab pain which my MD says is just the stretching of the fascia over my abs.

Week 35: We took our hospital tour and did our pre-registration. They had us fill out as much of baby girl’s birth certificate as we could. We left a nice big blank on her name icon smile The Third Trimester

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She’s become an excellent coffee table.

Week 36: This week happened to coincide with my birthday weekend. I was treated to all sorts of niceties including an amazing pre-natal massage. Oh my GOD! It was amazing I really recommend it, especially this late in the game. She spent a lot of time on my SI joints and I came out of the appointment feeling so much better. Michael also made me a confetti cake which I proceeded to eat for dessert every night for 5 days straight!

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In our 36 week appointment we found out that baby B was still breech. Our MD recommended a procedure called a version at week 37.

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Week 37: Version time. This is where a doctor or in my case 2 doctors try to externally rotate your baby. It’s an intense procedure, they give you a uterine relaxant that made my fingers and lips start buzzing like I’d had 8 shots of espresso. They then try, with a lot of force I might add, to turn the baby. Unfortunately after three tries she still wasn’t budging.

You’re not allowed to eat or drink anything 8 hours before your version and my appointment ended up being pushed 5 hours later than it was scheduled so I went about 18 hours without even water.

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It was awful so after we left the hospital we went to Whole Foods where I drank a huge Vitamin Water and bought an 8 pack of oatmeal raisin cookies. I ate every single cookie over the next 5 days. Suddenly wanting sweets apparently.

I’ve continued running but have cut back on my mileage. For the last two weeks I’ve been able to run about 2-2.75 miles at most 3 times per week. I haven’t been able to get to yoga due to my work schedule but I’ve been trying to do a little home practice. On days I’m not running I try to get out for a walk. What can I say, I’m a sucker for those brown eyes.IMG 8310 1024x1024 The Third Trimester

Week 38:

At the start of week 38 we moved into our new home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, packing is my least favorite thing to do in the whole world, period. You’d think we’d be good at it by now, having moved 6 times since we met!

This move was particularly hard because I couldn’t do any heavy lifting and my energy has been waning, especially in the late afternoon. Sometimes a girl just needs to sit down, so I do, a lot.

I was also highly emotional the past week. My emotions were pretty balanced throughout my pregnancy so being on the edge of crying, laughing or killing someone at any given moment is a new thing. My last day of work and teaching was on the 30th and I think the reality of what’s to come has become a little overwhelming. Suddenly baby B’s arrival feels strikingly close.

At our 38 week appointment we checked again to see if baby had decided to turn on her own over the last week and a half but alas, she remained head up. A c section was scheduled for week 39. I wasn’t thrilled about the c section, I had really wanted to do it naturally but this was the safest option for both of us, making it a no brainer.

Knowing pregnancy was coming to an end made these last few days of awkwardness seem manageable. But, I’m really looking forward to bending forward, twisting and taking in a big breath.

I’ve run a few times this week but it’s been slow and includes a lot of walking. I didn’t expect to still be running a few days out from delivery but I’m proud of sticking with it.

Week 39:

There was only one day in week 39, as the c-section was scheduled for 39 weeks and 1 day. On the Friday before, my sister flew in. That Saturday morning we went on a 2 mile run and a 3 mile walk. We went all over the Highlands and enjoyed unseasonably warm temps. It was so nice to get out knowing that the next few weeks will be running free as I recover from the surgery.

One last photo, in the same old shirt. That poor thing has been put through the ringer.

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And there you have it. 39 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy recapped. Overall, I think I fared pretty well but writing this from the other side, I can say enthusiastically that I’m really happy not to be pregnant anymore icon smile The Third Trimester

Now that pregnancy is over I will likely write up some thoughts on the first few postpartum weeks. As I think this is a time that gets a little forgotten after the big day. I will also be taking some time off work and teaching to care for baby and hope to get back into the kitchen for some recipe creation. Look out for that in the coming weeks.

Enjoy and Exhale!

 

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It took some time to get this post out (life with a newborn) but early on the morning of February 8th, Michael, my sister and I drove to the hospital for a scheduled c-section. Our little girl was still breech and didn’t look to be turning. As is standard with breech babies, our doctor recommended a c-section. So off we drove into the dawning day with our empty car seat in tow.

A few hours later we welcomed Noelle “Noe” Connor Chase into the world. She was born with the umbilical cord wrapped twice around her neck, no wonder she couldn’t turn, and a head full of hair, which surprised everyone.

After a few days in the hospital, we are all now recovering at home and figuring out our new life as a threesome.

Welcome to the world Noe. We love you!

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Enjoy and Exhale!

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This week I officially started maternity leave. I think it’s had the opposite effect on me than is intended by the word leave. The end of working and teaching has brought on a low level of stress and just enough downtime to start really thinking about what’s ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly excited to meet our baby girl but I’m also feeling nervous, emotional and anxious, which I hear is pretty natural at this point in pregnancy. icon smile Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing + end of pregnancy rambles

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To channel my anxiousness I’ve tried to keep busy by organizing the new house, getting outside and pouring over recipes online while envisioning cooking. I can’t seem to get around to the actual cooking of anything right now. My energy, which has been really steady throughout most of my pregnancy, has begun to wane. A trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday left me simultaneously wanting to scream and lie down. Maybe it’s nature’s way of getting me ready for the end of the journey. At 38 weeks and 5 days I’m hitting my limit.

I know I just said my energy is waning but the freedom in my schedule and the unseasonably warm weather we’re having in Colorado right now has made it nearly impossible not to get out for my walk runs. I’ve been out three times this week, once on Sunday (which truthfully was snowy but unbelievably peaceful and white, just look at these photos), once Tuesday and once today.

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I run about 2-2.5 miles each time with lots of walking and stretching in between. I am finding yoga to be rather uncomfortable right now. Forward folds are more like half folds and I just can’t get into anything deep enough to make it feel like I’m reaching anything. There’s a part of me that is also sort of over going to class at studios. Maybe it’s that nothing seems to fit anymore, I wear this poor Athleta running jacket pretty much every day now and even with it’s stretchy fabric it’s having trouble covering my belly.

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So, as mentioned above, when I’m not dealing with my emotional ups and downs or out walk running, I’ve been perusing food sites. Part of me feels like I should cook and freeze some meals for the coming weeks but that sounds like a lot of work and I can’t see us grabbing these freezer meals for dinner. I may live to regret not having done food prep but I just can’t be bothered right now.

What has been catching my eye on the recipe boards though and are easy enough to make right now are salads. So when it came time for this afternoon’s lunch I knew I had to mix up something healthy and green. I wasn’t feeling any of my go-to salad dressing though. That’s when I thought about mixing my ranch dressing with my yet to be shared honey mustard dressing to make a creamy honey mustard. The results were amazing. The tang of the mustard cut through the creaminess of the mayo and the honey made it just a touch sweet.

For the salad, I just threw a bunch of things together that sounded good: brussels sprouts, asparagus, avocado, some leftover red lentils and chopped apple. I loved this salad and will likely make it for Michael when he gets home from work tonight. I also have my eye on a quinoa casserole but we’ll probably end up having salad with grill cheese sandwiches instead. Like I said, the intentions are there but the follow through is lacking.

Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad Dressing
 
Tangy, sweet, gluten-free salad dressing.
Ingredients
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons mayo (I used vegan mayo)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Dash of white pepper
  • Dash of garlic powder
  • Dash of salt
  • For the salad:
  • 2-3 cups of mixed greens
  • ¼ cup diced apple
  • ½ cup steamed brussels sprouts and asparagus
  • ¼ avocado, diced
  • ½ cup red lentils
Instructions
  1. Place dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  2. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl then top with dressing.

Enjoy and Exhale!

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