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Weekly Update: 35 Weeks

25 Feb

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Date: February 19

How far along: 35 Weeks

Baby’s size: Honeydew Melon
Baby girl should be over 18 inches long and tipping the scales at 5 1/4 pounds, according to my baby books.

Symptoms: Noticeably more bursts of energy and exhaustion; some heartburn; very new dull, aching lower back pain; and lower abdomen pain, cramping and tightness. It feel like everything has dropped a bit and my belly feels SO tight. I joked last week that the baby was punching me in the cervix a lot, but the cervical pressure is real. If I lay too flat on my back, I have trouble catching my breath, too.

Sleep: Had been great until this week. I’d been regularly waking early at 4:30 or so from baby girl’s kicks and jabs or from anxiety over all the to do’s and preparations for Baby Girl’s arrival, but lately, the weight of her in my belly as I lay on my side hurts my hip joints SO much that I end up waking every time I need to turn. Brian has been great, helping me roll and always giving me a hand when I can’t quite get out of bed on my own!

Wearing: yoga pants and my pre-pregnancy long sleeve tops (which barely clear the bottom of my belly now!) over long maternity tanks.

Loving: Cheerios with strawberries and bananas

Hating: It is such a challenge to put on socks or winter boots, bend over to pick anything up, sit comfortably upright in a chair instead of slightly angled or reclined back, or stand or walk for any extended period of time. I’m so adapted to these physical limitations at this point that I almost can’t even imagine how my body used to be able to bend and twist!

Missing: Feeling comfortable when I’m not laying down. Walking and sitting for any extended period of time really weighs on my joints. Everything feels like it’s preparing for delivery!

Movement: Baby girl is definitely running out of space. I feel less “kicking/punching” and more whole body rolling and shifting. Hiccups at night are common still, too. Feeling her moving has been especially awesome lately, maybe because I know that it’s coming to an end soon and I’ll really miss her wiggles and squirms. Sometimes I’ll lay down for 10 minutes in the middle of the day just so I can focus on feeling her moving around in there. It’s so fun to gently nudge back when she’s rolling around and hilarious when she nudges back. I play music for her a lot too, especially at night before bed. She’s always very active as soon as I get into bed which is fun for Brian and I, but probably doesn’t bode well for her sleep schedule in the future.

Labor Signs: The aching lower back and lower abdominal cramping I’ve been experiencing this week are all signs that things are progressing as they should according to my doctor.

Health + Wellness: Just taking my vitamins and trying to keep myself moving around as much as possible, if at a slower pace.

What I’m looking forward to:
We are both just so excited. I want the next few weeks to pass as quickly as possible because I can’t wait to finally meet her. I know I’m in the homestretch and am trying to enjoy it, napping or meeting up with friends for brunch when I can, but the excitement is overwhelming. I still need to finish the nursery and get her clothes organized and put away, but it’s all coming along.

Best moments this week:
Our sonogram last Friday was awesome. It was a relief to see baby girl on-screen and hear that she is growing and developing perfectly and that my uterus and placenta all look great. She’s head down, her heartbeat is strong, and she has a ton of hair! In the sonogram pictures we were given, she looks a LOT like Brian when he was a baby! We definitely see a resemblance through the eyes, nose and forehead. We know we’re just going off a sonogram and she has more developing to do, but it was so crazy that it was so pronounced. To my relief, we were told that the two random bleeding episodes I had in late December and late January don’t appear related to any issues with the pregnancy and were likely popped blood vessels outside the cervix — phew. I feel like I can relax a tiny bit finally.

Triple Berry Muffins

24 Feb

1/12/15 — Out of nowhere, I got the most random craving for triple berry muffins. I’ve been on a major fruit smoothie and Greek yogurt kick lately, so I was excited to try a few healthier swaps in this recipe with the flour and butter. The result is a slightly denser muffin, which was perfect on such a dreary, rainy day. They were so good I ate two four, searing hot, straight from the muffin tin!

Triple Berry Muffins

Yield: 18 muffins

Healthier Version: Sub 1/2 flour for whole wheat, sub butter with 3/4 cup applesauce + ¼ cup oil or ½ cup smart balance and ½ cup Greek yogurt; reduce sugar to 1 cup

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries*
1/2 cup fresh raspberry*
1/2 cup chopped fresh strawberries*

*Can substitute berries for 2 cups frozen (leave frozen)

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.
2. In another bowl beat the eggs,milk and butter, stir into the dry ingredients,just until moist and fold in berries.
3. Fill greased or paper lined muffin pans 3/4 full.
4. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
5. Cool for 5 minutes.
6. Remove from Pan to a wire rack.
7. Dust with powdered sugar

How To Extend the Life of a Bouquet

19 Feb

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I love receiving flowers as much as any girl, but making them last is always a challenge. My husband surprised me with these a few days before Valentine’s Day and they still look amazing a week later. The sweet gesture reminded me of when we first started dating and he’d bring me the same number of blooms as the number date we were on. Aww, right? Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks that help extend the life of my bouquets and thought I’d share.

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How to extend the life of a bouquet in 5 easy steps

1. Prepare your vase
I own an embarrassing amount of vases according to my husband. I tend to favor very simple, low-profile, short types but there is a style for everyone. I choose my vase based on the types of blooms, usually. Tulips are top-heavy and tend to require some support, so a taller vase is usually a good choice, but my general rule for estimating my vase height is the arrangement itself. I like to pull out my favorite vases onto a counter and hold the arrangement near the counter edge, so I can visualize how much chopping-off of the stems I’ll have to do for each. Once I’ve estimated which best suits the bouquet, I mix the floral food packet with cold water, filling the vase a little under 1/2 to 2/3 full. You should NOT fill the vase with water.

2. Trim stems
Next, I unwrap the entire arrangement, taking care not to muss it too much if I like how it’s arranged. I like to unwrap on a large flat surface, leaving the paper right underneath as a work-space. Next, I’ll grab one stem and hold it up next to the vase as I did in step 1, and trim the bottom on an angle with sharp scissors to the desired height that best suits the vase. This stem will guide me as I trim the rest of the bouquet. Placing the stem back onto the arrangement, with the head of the flower aligned with the rest, work stem by stem, trimming each.

3. De-leaf to the waterline and a bit above
A lot of people don’t know to do this. The less bacteria you introduce from murky bouquet water up into the blooms themselves, the better, so I like the remove a good portion of any remaining leaves on my flower stems. I like a little green up at the top, but removing excess leaves helps encourage airflow among the blooms at the top. Remember, these aren’t growing plants anymore, so you’re trying to preserve and extend their luster.

4. Keep them cold
There is a reason why floral cases are refrigerated. Cold extends the life of cut flowers. At night, I’ll sometimes pop an arrangement into the fridge or the coldest part of the kitchen instead of keeping them in the bedroom where we blast the space heater in the winter.

5. Maintain
To really extend the life of a bouquet, change the water every three days, re-trim the edges, and immediately remove any dead or dying blooms. They release a gas once they’re on their way out that will quickly cause the rest of the bouquet to die, so as soon as you see one start to go, toss it.

I hope some of these tips help you to extend the life of your bouquets as they have mine. I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you have!

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