progress & countdown: 24 weeks down & 112 days to go.
baby size: as long as an ear of corn.
food & drink: welp, we are becoming pretty much paleo around these parts. eggs and chicken and fish and grass-fed beef with piles of veggies and plenty of fruit. dairy and sugar and carb-y stuff leaves me feeling kind of heavy and blah so, here we are. you gotta give the little man what he wants! a typical breakfast is some kind of smoothie or coconut yogurt with fruit and nuts and coconut meat and lunch is usually eggs or turkey or chicken or fish with a pile of veg in raw/salad form. dinner looks a lot like lunch but with more pizzaz and roasted veg. hey, go with it, right? i may be stepping up the meat intake but at least i am not binging on ice cream pints and all the cheese and bread as i have been known to do during pregnancy…so, you know.
bump stuff: the bump is super obvious now. it is bigger each morning (or so it seems) and morphs into crazy shapes throughout the day. things have been pretty pleasant and smooth around here. so much so that there are moments when i almost forget that i am pregnant…brief moments. and then, i move in a funny way and there is a bump in the way! or i am sitting still and get punched and kicked from within. riiiight…there is a foot-long person in there. gotcha. and p.s. why does foot-long sound so incredibly huge? craziness. if he is anything like elinor (who knows) then we have about 7 inches to go and about 5 more pounds to gain. yikes. we’ll see! i have a feeling that this little fella will be a bit bigger than his sister…
highs: a busy and productive and fun weekend with our family and more. checking stuff off the list and enjoying this season of life.
lows: nothing really.
new developments: baby is growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. and yes, i feel that growth. that puts him at just over a pound! baby is also almost a foot long. long and lean these days, but the body will start to really fill out and plump up from this point on. yay for baby chubs! his brain is growing quickly now and taste buds are continuing to develop. baby’s lungs are developing branches of the respiratory tree as well as cells that product surfactant, a substance that will help air sacs in the lungs inflate once he hits the outside world. his skin is still thin and translucent but that will start to change soon. busy, busy boy!
meaningful moments & hormones & feelings: i am feeling eager. ready to get closer to june. ready to meet ridley. i am so ready to have a newborn in the house again. i am looking forward to experiencing those magical days with a new little life. it is such a wild but wonderful time and i am excited for it to be here. i know the next few months will fly by (um, it is already MARCH after all) and i am trying to pace myself with projects and such, but i want june to be here! yay for a new baby!
superficial stuff: trying to keep up the belly butter to keep those stretch marks away. and i am forcing myself to plan little moments of respite or pampering for myself so that i can recharge. simple things like a face mask or getting a pedicure or enjoying some restorative outdoor yoga or listening to music. just moments that are carved out so that i can feel rejuvenated and tip-top. it is a challenge for me but i am working on it.
looking forward to: meeting with our midwife this week. it is always fun to talk baby and hear that heartbeat. plus, i only have one more 4 week appointment after this before we move to the 2 week schedule! that means that things are getting real, people. and i am only three weeks away from the THIRD TRIMESTER!
last thursday evening, our little crew popped in the wagon and went for some dinner at liberty market. the days had been long and since i was actually making an effort to do some serious meal planning AND cook dinner at home every night, it was time for a night off. plus, friday was month end for ben which means that he gets a later start to the work day buuuuut has to stay way late into the evening to “close” and finalize numbers and whatever else those trade people do. so thursday was a perfect evening for a family date night.
i really wanted the tastes and feelings of comfort food with the goodness of a homecooked meal but minus all the time and dishes, ya know? and for that, liberty market is the spot. you know you are getting fresh and local ingredients that are lovingly and exquisitely prepared without a bunch of junk. it is a meal that i would create in my own kitchen, elevated to amazing levels.
we grabbed a table in the back and ordered up some baked “fries” to start. a major crowd-pleaser. please see below…that would be elinor’s hand reaching in to pull “her” plate of fries toward her within two seconds of the plate being set on the table. this girl and her food, i tell ya.
ben got a fancy sparkling water and i sipped on the yummiest coffee. freshly brewed decaf stumptown coffee with “market-made” almond milk. woah. i would sure love one of those every morning from here on out. looks like i need to get my juicer cranking and make some of fresh almond milk for my chicory coffee. i can see that being the new go-to for spring/summer, for sure.
for the main event, we enjoyed apricot chicken with whipped sweet potatoes and broccolini + green chili pork with roasted veg and homemade tortillas + tomato cheese pizza for miss elinor. we shared bites (well, ben and i did. elinor kept her food all to herself and then got in on some of mama and papa’s…um, growth spurt?)
after dinner, we strolled about gilbert to people watch and enjoy the cool air and setting sun. it was a delightful night. the perfect mix of arizona winter meets the hope of spring. the sun was warm and the sky was clear. the air was crisp and moving easily through the trees, just enough to stir up some good ol’ desert pollen. these are the days.
three cheers for pancakes! as a lead in to the lenten season, we like to celebrate shrove tuesday the old fashioned way…with pancakes. you might think that sounds strange but it is actually a thing. the tuesday before ash wednesday is also known as pancake day or pancake tuesday. yes to that.
the tradition of “mardi gras” or “fat tuesday” is that before people abstain from consuming rich and fatty and robust foods for a season of simplicity and fasting and quiet and prayer, they would indulge in a night of feasting. pancakes are associated with this day because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar before lent begins.
around these parts, we love traditions and we love some liturgy and old-school church calendar practices. while we believe that there is freedom through Christ and we live by grace, it is also nice to plan little reminders for ourselves that connect us to tradition. it keeps us grounded and it helps us to refocus. life can be so busy and full and distracting at times – even if they are worthy distractions and fruitful activities. observing this lenten season is such a meaningful way for us to slow down and simplify. we don’t believe in wild binging and then extreme and pious fasting. it doesn’t make sense to abuse our Christian freedom and get wild or gluttonous to then forgo one specific indulgence for 40 days. of what benefit is it to indulge the flesh and engage in sinful practices just so we can repent the next day and show off our ability to abstain? the lenten practice is about examination, repentance, and gratitude. a season of evaluation. removing the clutter and din to pay particular attention to the things above. to make adjustments to our Christian life. to find a renewed sense of our identity in Christ. to rely on His grace alone for provision. this is such a beautiful season and our family is enjoying it together as we look forward to Holy Week.
but, back to pancakes. while we don’t observe shrove tuesday by stuffing our faces and drinking ourselves silly but we do love pancakes. and so, we like to eat a hearty pile of them for dinner as our feast of celebration.
this time, i concocted a recipe that would cover our sweet tooth and feel decadent without giving our bellies that sick and full feeling. they were gluten-free and guilt-free and flavor-full. a major hit. in fact, we might add them to the saturday morning routine. and by the way, elinor was so thrilled that we got to have “cakes” for dinner.
here’s the (rough) recipe for ya:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 tsp celtic salt
2 1/2 cups of pastured, cultured buttermilk (shaken)
3-4 eggs (i started with 2 eggs and then added 2 more to thicken and give me the right batter consistency)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or bourbon if you are feeling saucy)
butter for the skillet and to top
in a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. in a liquid measuring cup, measure out the buttermilk. beat in the eggs and vanilla. all at once, add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. do not over mix, the batter should have some small lumps. let the batter rest and fluff up for about 15-20 minutes and preheat the skillet accordingly. when ready, brush the skillet with butter and spoon out the pancakes using a 1/4 cup. cook for 3-4 minutes until the pancake is firm enough to be flipped. flip the cakes and continue to cook until the cakes rise and are no longer liquidy and squishy to the touch, and until golden brown. keep the pancakes warm in a 250 degree oven while the rest of the batter is cooked. to serve, top with butter and warm maple syrup. ENJOY!
i mean, do i really even need to type any words for this post? those itty-bitty bits of fashion do a whole lot of talking. how cute are those items?
because it is essentially springtime around these parts, i decided that it was time to freshen up miss elinor’s wardrobe. we bought her some fun items for the fall and since she has really grown since last summer, i was thinking that most of her old shirts wouldn’t exactly fit her this year. we stocked up on some warm weather items almost 18 months ago and those pieces have worked for quite a few seasons. we got our money’s worth, for sure. i figured that it was time for some new stuff. plus, elinor is becoming quite the little lady and was ready to take things up a notch. enter, crewcuts.
j.crew had their 50% off final sale (and 25% off new items) a few days ago and i jumped! elinor and i sat down at the computer and selected tons and tons of items. then, we did some shopping cart editing (i don’t know that ben would condone spending over a grand on two-year-old clothes…) and settled on a splendid collection of mix-and-match items for spring/summer. plenty of shorts and skirts and sassy shirts. would you look at those shirts? how stylish and chic are they? if i weren’t working with a growing bump, i would have up-sized and snagged some matchy-matchy goodies for me…
i can’t wait for her clothes to arrive! and what fun for elinor to open the box and find all her new threads. she gets so excited when we receive boxes. and the last thing we received was filled with items for ridley so this will be fun for her to get some outfits that are all for her. it also gave us a nice excuse to clean out her closet and drawers to make room for new things. a little premature spring cleaning with my happy helper. we folded and organized and tried on clothes. we talked about putting away old things and getting excited for new things (a VERY common theme around our home, these days). we made a big mess and then sorted and created “keep” and “give away/store” piles. and by the way…it was kind of sad adding another set of clothes to elinor’s storage bin. i am keeping everything for now but there is a pretty good chance that we won’t use them again. that’s kind of intense. how about we move on…
shoes. let us talk about shoes.
i was totally smart and planned out my seasonal stock-up of freshly picked moccasins to line up with their 25% off, one-day sale! YES. so, elinor’s feetsies are officially all set for the next season too. perfect little moccs to coordinate with her wardrobe.
oh my gosh. amazingness. i have had my eye on all three of those colors in the past few months so i was *blissed out* when i learned they were included in the sale. and speaking of mama and me matchy-matchy-ness…i really really wish that i could size-up in these moccs and rock some along with elinor. those neon green ones? i meeeeeeean…
but since that was a no-go, i snagged some new birks to console me and support my soles. and they are pretty rad. my feet will be comfy and fashiony this summer…two very important things, especially in those final weeks of pregnancy. yes, yes, yes! crunchy granola chic.