Eva – 2 Years & 3 Months Old

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I love this sweet little girl so much! She has become a blabbermouth and talks all the time! Just a few months ago I was wondering if/when she was going to start having actual conversations and now I can’t remember when she didn’t talk so much. She is learning new words and sentences almost every day it seems. She loves to talk about people in her family: Mommy, Daddy, Poppa (Grandpa), Mum (Grandma), Baba, Vladi. She can’t say Grandma or Grandpa, so Poppa and Mum are what they are called now. She also can’t say Diado who is her other Grandpa, so when she talks about Baba, Vladi and Diado she usually thinks about it and just says Poppa again. She says her own name, which sounds a little like “Eeba!” She asks others to “Play with Eeba” all the time. She loves going to “Poppa i Mum’s house” and she’ll then say “My house!” because she has a small play house in their back yard that she loves.

She loves to dance and asks for music to be put on all the time so we can dance together. I’m excited for her to start singing songs with me. She will sing in a melody of sorts, but doesn’t quite say words to a melody yet. She loves to be outside! It is finally warmer here, so we take walks every day and she loves running after the birds. We usually see a rabbit or squirrel as well when we are out, so she will run after them too.

I’ve been talking about her baby sister all the time and we pray together before she goes to sleep and we pray for baby sister, so she talks about her too and I talk about all the things they will do together and how Eva will be a big sister and can teach her baby sister so many things and they will be good friends, etc., so I think she is sorta excited about that idea.

We still go to music class every Friday but we will have a break for the summer and we might do some swim lessons for just a month or so during that break and before baby sister comes. I love doing new things with her as she is always so excited about life and play and being alive. She is an inspiration to be with!

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23 Weeks, Pregnancy Questionnaire & Belly Shot

I found this pregnancy questionnaire online that I thought would be a fun way to keep track of every week by answering the same questions. I’ve been having trouble updating each week so I’ll use this whenever I get around to my updates:

How far along: I will be 23 weeks on Sunday.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: I’ve gained about 5 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight. 

Maternity clothes: I have been wearing black maternity yoga-type pants every since I was pregnant with Eva. They are so comfortable and stretch to fit well whatever size I am, so I’ve been wearing them off and on ever since. But, I did realize this week I cannot wear my regular fitted pants any longer.

Stretch marks: I got some stretch marks the last week of Eva’s pregnancy, maybe because she went 10 days overdue and was big, and I was so devastated because I had gone through the whole pregnancy without any stretchmarks, but then got them right at the end. But, I could care less now. I don’t have any new yet with this pregnancy but my belly isn’t that big yet :)

Sleep: Yes, I love to sleep as much as possible.

Best moment last week: Umm, I don’t remember. Yes, memory loss is definitely happening in my motherhood/pregnancy brain.

Movement: Baby girl moves so much! She started moving really early, like 12 weeks and I feel her many times a day. I never had so much movement with Eva because Eva’s placenta was right in the front and probably covered up her movements, but this baby girl’s placenta is in the back, so I’ve felt everything. Also, she is the 2nd baby so naturally you feel more with subsequent pregnancies.

Food cravings: I was craving steak and shrimp a few weeks ago. Not so much anymore, this week I just want to eat a lot of oranges and grapefruit.

Gender: Girl

Labor signs: No

What I miss: Having more energy. 

What I am looking forward to: I am so excited for Eva to have a baby sister! I can’t wait to see them interact and play together.

Milestones: I’m doing a much more hands-off approach with prenatal care and less frequent appointments with a midwife this time. I’ve only gone to 2 prenatal appointments plus the 20 week ultrasound. So, that was the biggest milestone, to have the ultrasound and see that everything looked good. I’m so thankful for a healthy baby so far and just have to take care of myself and let her grow.

First Belly Shots! I’m not very good at taking pictures with my camera’s remote, so these are totally not focused correctly, but it’s the best I could do.

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20 Weeks Pregnant: Eva’s Little Sister

We had our ultrasound yesterday! It showed a perfect little girl who was yawning and sticking her tongue out. I had the same situation with this ultrasound as with Eva’s ultrasound in that she did not want to move in the position they wanted for a profile image. So, we didn’t get any of those cute shots that everyone tries to get with a nice profile of the baby. But, that’s okay. The doctor got all the measurements and saw all the organs and bones and said everything looked perfect. I did find out that my placenta is posterior (in the back) so that is most definitely why I’ve felt this little girl moving so much earlier than I ever felt Eva. It is so amazing to feel her move, because I hardly even have a belly yet, so I can’t imagine how much I’ll feel her when she gets bigger.

Here’s a cute little foot and a face shot that just looks like a skeleton.

Baby #2 Foot

Baby #2 Face

Coconut-Rolled Bananas

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I’ve been experimenting with healthier sweet snacks and this one was so simple to make.

One serving:

  • 1 sliced banana
  • coconut oil
  • sprinkle of nuts/seeds (anything would work, I used walnuts and sunflower seeds)
  • raw honey
  • shredded coconut
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Melt coconut oil in pan on top of stove. Throw in sliced banana. Drizzle honey over banana. Sprinkle nuts and seeds and spices. Sprinkle coconut at the end and stir until coated for about 1 minute. Simple and sweet.

Garbanzo Bean Chili

This is another thrown together meal that turned out good. I wasn’t able to look up a recipe because we had an installer here installing a fan and dimmer lights, so he had turned off the power to the part of the condo where my computer was, so I couldn’t look anything up. I knew I had to cook chili with soaked beans a long time, so couldn’t wait until he was finished. But, this turned out really good, so had to share.

  • 1 lb garbanzo beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 lb northern beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic head, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 2 c water
  • 1/4-1/2 c chili powder
  • cumin (I’m not sure measurements of all spices, just shake in some, then taste)
  • garlic powder
  • salt/pepper
  • cinnamon
  • turmeric (I threw this in just because it’s good for you, I couldn’t taste it at all)
  • 2 tbsp cacao power
  • few squirts of honey

I used this dutch oven again on top of the stove. I cooked this for a long time, 6 or more hours. I started at 11am and sauteed the onions, garlic, peppers and celery in coconut oil until soft. Then added ground beef and browned it. Then added tomato paste and water (you can use beef broth instead, but I didn’t have any) and all spices. After stirring well, I added all the beans, they just fit. This simmered all afternoon on low heat and I randomly checked on it, stirred and added more spices along the way.

I liked the spicy and sweet combination. I made some black rice, but didn’t even eat any, since the chili was so good by itself. I garnished with some cheddar and avocado. Eva loved the black rice, so at least someone ate it. She also liked the chili, but liked the rice more.

I know I could have made this in my slow cooker, but I haven’t had success with meals in the crock pot. The 3 meals I’ve done in there have turned out very bland and just wet tasting, so I must not be adding enough spices or I just don’t know how to use a slow cooker.

Chili (2)

 

Chili (1)

New Fan

We had a fan installed in the living room where there previously was just a light bulb sticking out of the ceiling. We also had dimmer switches put into the 2 bedrooms and above the dining table. The fan is really nice and I’m glad we got it done before summer, so we can be prepared to have more air movement when it’s hot!

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new fan (1)

Diet & Exercise During Pregnancy

I wrote before that I was trying to eat more of a Paleo type diet, especially during pregnancy. I’ve done pretty well mostly eliminating grains. I still am eating some rice every once in a while, like tonight I’m making chili so I will eat some rice with it. I’ll try to eventually stop them all, but I need a transition period. I haven’t been eating pasta or bread or any of those processed grains. (Oh, I also ate some popcorn the other day and corn is technically a grain, not a vegetable.) I am not going to completely give up dairy right now, which some Paleo diets require, because I feel like I need it. I think if you follow more of a “primal” diet, they allow raw, whole, organic dairy, so that’s sorta what I’m doing. I’m not drinking cow’s milk, and have mostly switched to coconut milk for making kefir which I use for smoothies, and I don’t really need “milk” for anything else. I’m still sometimes eating yogurt and cheese, which I feel okay on, so I’ll stick with that for a while unless I feel it’s too much. It’s important to listen to your body and how it feels after eating certain foods and decide what is best for your body type. If you read Dr. Mercola’s “Total Health Program“, he talks about being a “protein type” or “carb type” or somewhere in the middle, and I am definitely a protein type and do better with higher protein and less carbs.

One healthy snack I forgot that I really liked was red peppers with cream cheese.

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We bought this cool looking cream cheese made in Norway that was on sale at Whole Foods and I love it on sweet peppers with a little sea salt. Salt can be a very healthy food, if you buy unprocessed sea salt, which is full of minerals. Eva also loves red peppers, which is great, I give her a whole one and she just eats it like an apple.

Buying high quality meat is expensive. I have been craving steak a lot during this pregnancy and grass-fed beef is the most nutritious but also the most expensive. We can usually get organic chicken for a little more than conventional, but I’m waiting to find a grass-fed beef sale to stock up. We also try to eat wild caught shrimp and salmon every once in a while.

I have been doing much better with exercise this past week. I’ve been doing the workouts from this prenatal exercise DVD that I bought used somewhere. There are multiple workouts for each part of pregnancy. They are short, so I can do 1 or 2 depending on how I feel. Eva sometimes tries to do them with me, or she just sits on my belly and laughs if I lift my legs or something. It’s quite an experience trying to exercise with a 2-year old around. During college, I used to work out every day for an hour or more, I was crazy! Life is so different now that being able to get even a 15 minute short workout in does wonders for my energy and well-being.

Regarding my supplements during pregnancy, I am taking this prenatal vitamin . The regular dose is 4 capsules a day, but I’m only taking 2 because my midwife said my iron was so high that I probably didn’t need a prenatal. (This could be because of the red meat I’m eating, or because I cook in a cast iron pan, which adds iron to your food.) But, I thought I’d keep taking it and just take less. I also am taking fermented cod liver oil, which is an amazing superfood and quite necessary especially during winter months when you cannot get outside in the sun for adequate vitamin D. It also of course supplies DHA and EFA, which are vital for baby’s brain development. I was taking a probiotic and a calcium supplement, but I won’t need those anymore since I am making kefir again with coconut milk. I had stopped making kefir for a while, so wanted the extra probiotics.

Feeling Baby Move

I’ll be 19 weeks on Sunday and I think I have already started to feel baby move! I have felt bubble-like sensations in my lower abdomen almost every day, especially after lunch and that’s probably what it is. I never felt Eva this early during her pregnancy, and they told me it was probably because with her my placenta was attached right across the front of my belly, so it might have masked any movements. So, I wonder if it is the opposite with this baby, if his/her placenta is attached in the more common area, on the back of the uterine wall. I’ll be curious to find that out at our ultrasound next Thursday, can’t wait!

Condo Tour Part 2!

I finally got around to doing another video tour showing our place with some life in it. There are 4 separate clips. Please ignore my dumb face in the beginning of the first clip, I’m new at this :)

Ginger, Peach & Kefir Smoothie

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I just started making kefir again, after a long break. Kefir is a probiotic rich drink that surpasses any probiotic supplement that you could take. You can make it with raw organic cow’s milk or coconut milk, as I just discovered. Since I no longer am buying organic raw milk from the local farmer here, I’m switching over to coconut milk kefir. You can buy kefir grains from somewhere like here. You only have to buy them once because you use them over and over again and they even regenerate and increase in size, and then you can give them away to your friends when yours grow too much for your own use.

Anyway, I don’t really enjoy the sour taste of plain homemade kefir. It doesn’t taste anything like the kefir you buy in the store which is filled with sugar and other additives. So, I like to add it to smoothies. I experimented today and came up with this smoothie that was surprisingly really good and filled with superfoods.

  • 1 c kefir
  • 1 c spinach
  • 1 c frozen peaches
  • 1 inch nub of frozen whole ginger (I suggest cutting your fresh ginger into 1 inch pieces, then freezing. Trying to cut while frozen is really hard!)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 c coffee (I only added this because it helps with the migraines I’ve been getting during this pregnancy. You can’t even taste it and it’s not necessary if not wanted.)
  • 2 squirts of vanilla stevia

Use a high powered blender to blend. Any regular blender will not be able to blend all the frozen items consistently, as I’ve experienced :) I think that’s why I was never into smoothies until I got a better machine.

The predominate flavor was the peaches and ginger, which was a little sweet and a tiny bit spicy, so I loved it. I think it might be great with some mint added, so might try that next time.