23 Weeks

23 Weeks

It’s been a month since I did my last update, so there is lots of little stuff to report.

Appointments I’ve Had:In the past month, we’ve had an ultrasound (at 20 weeks) and a midwife appointment (at 22 weeks). It was fun to watch our “baby movie” (as Jami calls it) and see the little one moving around. We didn’t find out the sex, so it will be another 17 weeks or so before we find out if we have a son or daughter. This was our fourth midwife appointment, and we have now met all the midwives in the practice. The practice we go to delivers at GW Hospital and we will get whichever midwife is on duty when I go into labor, so I’m glad we’ve made it through once (although of course, we have plenty more appointments to go). Even better, I’ve liked all the midwives, so I’ll be happy with whoever is on duty!

How We’re Preparing: This month was spent starting the transition of guest room into baby’s room. We moved out all the furniture and non-baby items, and this week, the contractor came and skimmed the walls (the previous owner had used textured paint and the walls were very rough) and painted. Now the room is looking great and ready for us to start filling up with furniture and other baby stuff. I bought the fabric for the baby’s quilt and cut out the pieces, but haven’t gotten around to sewing it together yet. Still have some time though, thank goodness!

What I’m Wearing: At this point, I’m in maternity clothes almost exclusively (there are few pre-pregnancy skirts, dresses, and tops that still fit). I’m very lucky because my friend and neighbor lent me all of her maternity clothes, so that forms the bulk of my wardrobe. I have bought a few things though – some pants and a little black maternity dress. It’s nice to have clothes that fit and you feel good in.

How I’m Feeling: Awesome. Seriously, I love the second trimester. I have my normal energy back, and while I’m definitely expanding, I’m not uncomfortable yet. I’ll trying to really enjoy this time, since I know the third trimester will be a little harder.

What I’m Eating: Our midwives have a pretty strict (but normal) diet they want you to follow – lots of vegetables (especially greens), beans, eggs, whole grains, etc, and I’m trying to follow that as best I can, but my sweet tooth (which totally disappeared in the first trimester) is definitely back and my love of white carbs (especially pasta and pizza) hasn’t gone anywhere. I’m not denying myself, but I am trying to make sure I’m balancing things out and not only eating treats.

Where I’ve Been: Last weekend, we had our “babymoon” at the Homestead (which is resort in Western Virginia). It was nice to get away and spend a little quality time together, and there was lots to do. In the 3 days we were there we swam in the pool heated by the local mineral springs, got spa treatments (pedicure for me, massage for Jami), went canoeing on the Jackson river, did the history tour of the resort (because we are big dorks like that), and ate a lot of good food. I think my favorite thing was the afternoon tea that they served in the lobby every afternoon. I could definitely get used to that.

What I’m Reading: In addition to the books I was reading before, I started Your Baby and Child by Penelope Leach this month. Our doula recommended a number of books, and she said that one thing that most parents wished they’d done more reading about was babies/early childhood, so I’m trying to make sure I’m prepared not just for the pregnancy, but for what comes after. So far I find the book really helpful. Now I just need to start reading about childbirth (now that I have fewer weeks left to be pregnant than I have been pregnant, it seems like I should start thinking about how this baby is going to get out of here) and breastfeeding.

23 Weeks

Life List #56. Pop Popcorn on the Stove Top.

We don’t have a microwave – I’m happy about this and I really never miss it. The one thing I sometimes wish I had a microwave for is popcorn. Mmm, popcorn, so very tasty. (And a whole grain! I feel totally virtuous when I snack on popcorn!).

Now, I’m not about to go out and buy a microwave just for popcorn, so I figured I should learn how to pop popcorn on the stove top – and I finally did so this weekend. You guys? It is ridiculously easy. Embarrassingly easy. Here is what you do…

Find a big pot, with a lid.

Add popcorn kernels (1/2 cup) and oil (3 tablespoons). Leave lid slightly ajar for steam to escape.

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Turn heat to medium.

Watch the kernels pop like magic and feel like a little kid.

When the popping stops, turn off heat and move the pot to a different burner (so it doesn’t burn).

Top with toppings of your choice (I went with butter and salt this time. I think I’ll try parmesan cheese next time. The possibilities are endless).

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EAT! (This made enough for 3 servings for me – a big one the day I made it, and two baggies for snacks at work).

It was so tasty and easy and better for you than the microwave popcorn with all of its chemicals. Highly recommended.

Life List #56. Pop Popcorn on the Stove Top.

August Round-up

I read 9 books in August, 4 non-fiction, 5 fiction.

Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent by Meredith Small. This book was really fascinating – sort of a combination of looking at evolutionary questions (why do babies cry/wake frequently/eat frequently) and cultural ones (why do parents sleep – or not – with their babies, why do parents encourage independence or dependence). Although it was interesting to read while expecting, it’s really of general interest, I would say. If you liked the documentary, Babies, and are interested in a more in depth exploration of the differences it highlighted, I recommend this book.

One Pair of Hands by Monica Dickens. An amusing memoir of a high class British woman who takes work as a cook to earn some money in the 1930s.

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany. This was my book club’s selection for August, but we didn’t end up meeting because of Hurricane Irene. I am hoping that are able to reschedule because I think it would make for a good discussion. A bestseller in Egypt, the book focuses on the residents of a Cairo apartment building.

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. Miss Marple’s first appearance – entertaining and smart as ever.

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year by Anne Lamott. I have avoided books by Lamott because I think of her as a “religious” writer, and overt religious discussion makes me uncomfortable, but I enjoyed this book. I think I’m going to put Lamott in a box with Kate Braestrup, as a person who writes about faith in a way that I appreciate. (I think mostly because it is clear with both that their faith is so personal, that there is not the expectation that the reader share it – although I imagine you get other things out of the book if you do).

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly. This graphic novel was SO GOOD. I seriously recommend it, even if graphic novels aren’t usually your thing. The main character is a 9-year-old girl, a bunny-ears-wearing, D&D playing, problem student who claims to be a giant killer. It’s clear from the beginning that all is not right at home, but it takes a while to figure out what is going (and I don’t want to give it away). I don’t think a graphic novel has ever made me cry before – very moving, and just plain good.

Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Eric Wight. Frankie Pickle doesn’t want to pick up his room. Ever. After all, it is only going to get dirty again. Finally his mother says he doesn’t have to – but he does have to deal with the consequences. Reminded me of the “Won’t-Pick-Up-Toys Cure” from Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.

Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga. The first volume of a manga series set in Edo era Japan – reimagined as a time when 75% of the men have died and the society is ruled by women. Interesting read and great illustrations.

Best Food Writing 2007 edited by Holly Hughes. I love to read about food and it’s been a while since I’d done so – this collection of essays was a real treat. I’m going to check out the more recent volumes, I think.

August Round-up