make ahead meals


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Me, in Greece. Yeah, I really like to eat.

Today marks exactly one month from my due date. Once the little man arrives, all of my focus is going to be on him. However, there is one thing that is creeping in the back of my mind–how am I going to find time to cook and eat? See, I am usually not the type of person that if I am running around busy, I forget to eat. I don’t really understand how that is possible. Instead, I just become really crabby if I don’t eat something when I am hungry so it is best for everyone to feed me. But with a newborn, I am fully aware that my life is going to change dramatically and so is my usual cooking /eating routine.

I keep reading that people bring you meals. While that may be true for some people, Reggie and I do not have any friends up here. Remember we moved, then I found out I was pregnant and not everyone loves hanging out with a prego. So there will be no meal deliveries from friends. Instead, I need to think ahead so that we are not left ordering takeout every night. Since all my food is going to be transferred to my son via breastfeeding, I plan on making these meals as healthy, balanced, and quick as possible. Over the last couple months, I have put together a list of recipes that I plan on making (and freezing) ahead of time and then a list of some quick meals that I can make in a pinch to make sure everyone is fed, happy, and healthy.

Make Ahead

Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake

Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

Chicken Parmesan (with a twist)

In a Pinch

Barbeque Black Bean Pita Pizza

Crunchy Honey Chicken

30 Minute Lemon Brown Sugar ChickenGreen Bean Fries

Whole Wheat Pasta with Arugula, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

Green Goddess Pasta

Any other ideas?


xo

baby name game pt II

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At this point in my pregnancy, I am completely comfortable ignoring people’s negative reactions to the names my husband and I have selected as possibilities for our child. I don’t care what anyone thinks and I am in love with our now (very short) list of names. My favorite has not changed. Nowadays, I am more concerned with picking his middle name. For most people, the middle name is probably optional and not nearly as big of a deal as the first name. For my husband and I, however, the middle name is a very. big. deal.

See, my husband is Native Hawaiian and in our family having a Hawaiian middle name is expected and usually what we “call” him on an everyday basis. Part of that expectation is that the name traditionally comes to the mother one night in a dream called an inoa po (literally night name/dream name). No pressure, right? If I could control my dreams during pregnancy, I most certainly would considering the Freddy Krueger-like nightmares that have been plaguing me each evening. Scary stuff people! So for the last 2 months I have been having mini panic attacks over not having this dream. Reggie (Hawaiian name=Kawale) told me to relax and that we can just pick it out, the dream is not mandatory. So, I relaxed and starting reading my Hawaiian name book in hopes to pick out the perfect name for our son. Then two nights ago…it happened. I was having the most bizarre dream where I was in a car with friends from high school in New Hampshire AND college in Colorado and they asked Reg and I to join them on a vacation to Hawai’i. I told them I would let them know because, afterall, I had a child. And then one of my friends asked me about his name and I just blurted it out, Hawaiian name and all. Immediately upon waking I went and researched the meaning and it is downright magical. How crazy is that? I am still in shock but I cannot stop smiling. ūüôā

4 more weeks until we meet our little man!

xo

my pregnancy essentials

Good morning! I hope you are having a lovely Friday. I hope my last post didn’t come off as too whiny. Everything is actually going great over here. I think it was just a couple “life hiccups” happening at the same time, ya know? My dad is out of the hospital and resting comfortably. Reggie is at the tail end of his project and he is so much less stressed lately. Besides missing him a lot, I hate seeing him so frantic. It is not in his nature to be like that so I know the situation had to be really bad. He may even have the whole weekend off from work. I am really looking forward to finish the nursery with him, touring the birth center (finally), and figuring out how to use some our baby gear like our car seat! Good times! ūüôā

As I am currently in my 36th week, I have definitely started to slow down my normal routine. I am more uncomfortable each day. My¬†workout¬†routine is now down to 3 days a week and much less intense. I am completely happy with how active I have been up until this point and I think listening to my body and resting when needed is exactly what I should be doing. I am now spending my time doing the usual nesting activities of organizing the nursery and washing all of his little baby clothes. Reggie did suggest we hire a cleaning service for next week because I find that keeping up with my usual cleaning routine is pretty much impossible at this point. I can’t wait to have a sparkling house without feeling exhausted.¬†

Lately, I have also been thinking about what has really helped me during this pregnancy. I know I made a list a couple months ago of things I was loving but this is much more accurate. You won’t find things like the overpriced Snoogle on this list. Side note: I swear that pillow made my already mind-numbingly bad sciatica ten times worse. You will however find things that worked¬†for me¬†and helped me mentally and physically throughout the last 9 months.¬†

Comfy Clothes:

 

I am still obsessed with these Gap Maternity leggings. They are so soft, comfortable, and lightweight. Plus, they fit me throughout my entire pregnancy which, I have learned, is very unusual. The same can not be said for most of my maternity jeans.

 

I know that whether or not you have stretch marks is determined more by genetics than fancy lotions but this stuff is amazing. Everyone else in my family has stretch marks from pregnancy and I do not have any on my belly so far. I have some from when I lost weight years ago so I know that my body gets them. So I am attributing my lack of belly stretch marks to using this butter religiously. Plus, it smells dreamy and my hubs loves the scent.


 

I am also still in love with these super soft and extra long maternity¬†tank tops¬†from Old Navy. I have this style in several colors and I wear one almost every day. I bet they will work well post baby as well. Paired with a a lightweight cardigan and my beloved leggings, these have made dressing while pregnant quick and easy. Let’s hope my labor goes the same way. ūüėČ


 

Truthfully, other than the leggings, tank tops, and a couple pair of jeans, I have not bought many actual maternity clothes. I find most of them to be unflattering and overpriced. Once the weather became warm, I have relied heavily on maxi dresses. Sometimes I have to buy them a size larger but I usually just add a belt to give myself a bit more shape. My favorite is the striped maxi seen above. Even though the stripes are horizontal and would usually make me appear larger, this dress is actually quite flattering because of the way the stripes angle down. In fact, my sister bought the dress too for her own non-maternity needs. 

Good Reads:

 

Months ago I asked my doctor whether or not she thought taking a breastfeeding class was worth the time and money. I was surprised when she didn’t recommend taking a class because she felt that those classes are more theory based and breastfeeding is something where you learn the most while “on the job,” not in a classroom. Still, I wanted to find out a little more about something that I was determined to try. My aunt gave me this great¬†book¬†on breastfeeding that proved to be very eye-opening, informative, and easy to understand. I know that I will most likely run into difficulties once my little guy arrives and I feel like I have a great resource on my hands when I run into any problems.


 

Epidural, no epidural? Home or hospital? Childbirth is such a touchy subject in the world of mamas. I tend to avoid these arguments because at the end of the day I think it is good to be informed and choose what works best for you and your baby and no one else. So I wanted to be informed. At first, I was completely overwhelmed by all of the information out there on childbirth. Luckily, my aunt also handed me this book and I absolutely loved it. The author has a great agenda-free perspective and breaks down the pros and cons of every type of birth plan. No pressure, just information. After finishing this book, my husband and I did take a childbirth class where we learned all about natural childbirth and optional interventions. When I do go into labor, I am going in with an open mind and no pressure to have a specific kind of birth. After all, this is my first baby and I have no idea what is going to happen. My goal is to have a healthy baby. Even if that means having a C-section. 



 

Baby Bargains was a pregnancy lifesaver for me. The authors also offer a no nonsense perspective but this time it is on baby gear. I relied heavily on their grading system when selecting our nursery furniture, stroller, car seat, and other essential baby gear. I will be doing a full post in the future reviewing all of the items, but I will wait until the little guy actually arrives. 

Until then, I hope you have a beautiful, relaxing weekend. 


xo

ups & downs

Things in my life have been a bit hectic lately. To begin, my father is back in the hospital. This is nothing new. In fact, if anything, the experience is all too familiar. He has been in and out of the hospital for various surgeries and medical conditions for years. Someday I will write a post on it all and how it has shaped my life, because it certainly has. The good news is that he does not need to have surgery this time, just a serious lifestyle change. Being far away from my family and unable to travel long distances to be with them at this point is upsetting but I am trying to stay focused on the good news. I am so incredibly thankful that he is going to be okay.

I mentioned on Monday that my little family is living in San Francisco for the week. Well, the reason for that is because my husband has been working on a major project for work that now basically requires him to be on the jobsite 18 hours a day (not exaggerating). In the last 3 weeks, I think we have spent a total of 24 hours together while awake. When he is around, he is usually still doing tons of paperwork and more stressed than I have ever seen him. And my husband is a pretty laid back dude. With this baby scheduled to arrive in about 5 weeks, I really want to spend as much time with him as possible before our lives change forever. At this point, we are crossing our fingers that the major part of the project will be over by the end of the week so I can have my husband back. I miss him.

Well, last night I got a little preview of having him back because something came up that actually allowed him to take off for a couple hours and go out to dinner. I declared that I was taking him out on a date and we walked a couple blocks to farmerbown for some soul food. All I want to eat lately is fried chicken and this place has some of the best in the city. Everything was delicious–from the mini jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins with honey butter to the chicken and waffles, to the indulgent and creamy macaroni and cheese. While the food was delicious, the company was even better. It was such a relaxing feeling to sit there and have an extended conversation with my best friend. By the time we were finished, we were positively stuffed and exhausted but those couple hours were definitely the highlight of my week.

The last couple weeks have definitely made me realize even more how incredibly lucky I am to have the people that are in my life. My family–who always come together in times of crisis and somehow returns from crisis even stronger. My husband–who works so incredibly hard to support our family. I feel so lucky that I married him and started a family with him. He is going to be the most amazing father. At the end of the day, even a stressful one, I am grateful.

xo

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hot (pug) child in the city

When Reggie and I were house hunting in San Francisco, we decided not to live in the city for multiple reasons. Beyond the fact that the city is ridiculously expensive to live in, we feared that our pug baby, Crosby, would freak out because of the loud noises and lack of abundant green space. Well it turns out, we were wrong. So wrong.

This week, Reggie, the pug, and myself are living in the city and Crosby is loving every minute of it. In fact, he doesn’t just walk down the street. He has a special little strut going on. Almost everyone stops, squeals, and smiles. In return, he gives them a little wiggle back. He even made a hipster smile. Needless to say, the sound and people has not bothered him at all. He cannot get enough of walking the downtown streets.

And all I can think of while we take our walks is this song playing in the background.

xo

two birthdays

Have I mentioned my son is due the day before my birthday? His due date is July 14th, in case I never mentioned it. The best birthday present ever. Plus, I am excited because we will basically get to celebrate around the same time every year. I just hope if he arrives a day late and we end up sharing a birthday, that it won’t bother him when he gets a little older. If so, I promise he can have the day. It is all his. Then I can just pretend I am 27 for the rest of my life, right? Good. I am glad we have that settled.

Well even though he is due right around my birthday, my very sweet husband will not let me forget that it is still my birthday and insists on celebrating (read: presents). So I told him that I want a whole new wardrobe. In a pregnancy hormone rage I almost threw out all of my clothes because they were “ugly, hideous, and I never want to see them again.” Crazy town has arrived. Kidding!

Instead, I picked out a couple things that I think will be practical, helpful, and fun for my new life as a mama.

Both my husband and I love our TOMS. My dear friend Emma even bought baby boy his own pair. Since these are linen and a little more lightweight, they will be perfect for summer and easy to slip on when I have a newborn baby in my arms. Plus, I am on a major coral kick right now.

I love the color of this drapey top. Plus, with buttons down the front, this blouse is breastfeeding friendly. See, I am being practical!

I love EmersonMade and as soon as I get back into fightin’ shape, you better believe I will be buying a few clothing items on my EM wish list. Until then, I would love this lion charm necklace. I call the baby a little lion (super active baby+too much Mumford & Sons) so the image on the charm makes this gift even more fitting.

Compact, easy way to capture videos of my little man? Yes, please!

xo

PS: Mama’s got a brand new gig. I am blogging for a brand new company that is launching this September-Social Plaza. Check out their blog for more information.

a lesson in patience

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(Source )

Yesterday was one of those days. The kind where nothing goes right and my pregnancy hormones were raging. My husband has been working ridiculous hours and was not able to come with me for the first time to my doctor’s appointment. After waiting a half hour past my scheduled appointment time I was finally ushered into a room. Immediately, I mentioned to her that I was experiencing some slight pain. Nothing crazy just like a strong “zing” that I thought would be better to discuss than ignore. She smiled and said that it was most likely his head pressing on the top of my cervix. Then she laid me on my back and felt around my belly and she said “yes, that is definitely his head…feel this.” Sure enough, it felt like his head was down and I could feel it by touching the bottom of my belly. A surprisingly large round, hard lump. However, she wanted to do an ultrasound just to confirm.

Immediately, I was downright giddy at the prospect of seeing my little man. I had not seen him since our 20 week ultrasound appointment and didn’t anticipate any more ultrasounds. That happiness soon turned to disappointment as his image appeared on the screen and she shouted “it is his butt and he is big!” Seriously? I totally felt like I cursed myself in yesterday’s post where I said he would be a huge baby. Immediately, my mind went from “that is kind of funny that my kid has a J-Lo booty” to feet down=breech=C-Section.

My doctor told me some exercises I could do try flip the baby- downward dog and getting on all fours and rocking front to back. I left the office immediately and then I cried a little on the drive home. Yes, I am completely aware that 34 weeks is still early and he may turn and all of this drama is for nothing. If you haven’t noticed, I am definitely dramatic. But my doctor c also said he doesn’t have a lot of room to move in there. I am “all baby” and shit. I felt like I did something wrong. Have I not been drinking enough water? Am I too anxious thus tightening my abs and that is not allowing him to move? Or is he just procrastinating and I am completely overreacting? I sincerely hope it is the latter. But seeing as 93% of babies have turned by now, I am worried. Thanks Dr. Google!

At the end of the day, the term C-Section frightens me but not having a healthy baby frightens me far more. The health of my baby is my number one priority. My doctor is going to check him again in 2 weeks and then, if he is still breech, we will make a further decision. Pregnancy is tough like that. You give up all of your control beyond what you eat, drink, and occasionally what you do for movement. There is a whole world in there that feels like it has a mind of its own. Patience is key. And now, more than ever, I am learning to be patient with my body and let him do his thing.

Flip, baby, flip.

xo


PS… Any tips on flipping a breech baby other than ECV?