Third Trimester part II

It’s been a few months since the last posting but I have a few thoughts to add to the third trimester experience.

It gets tough. Really really tough. Almost impossible to sleep. I crocheted a ton of stuff to try and keep myself relaxed and occupied. I felt restless. I felt useless because my belly seemed to get in the way of everything (try washing dishes with that thing!) I prayed for the baby to come out early. I walked, did squats and lunges, climbed countless amounts of stairs (God bless my hubby for walking around town on that particular adventure), bounced on the exercise ball. I experienced false labor and went to the hospital where they took a look at how cheery I was and sent me home. Yes, I found TV shows to watch and watched episode after episode (while bouncing or walking in place). Being impatient and not knowing what to expect is quite the interesting combination.

Overall I gained right about 20 lbs. Baby ended up coming on the exact day the Doc estimated. My water broke in the middle of the night and so there were no guessing games after that. It took many hours of labor, getting induced with Pitocin, and baby still wasn’t coming out. The pain became so bad that I requested an epidural which helped tremendously. Turns out baby was positioned awkwardly, where her head was tilted and body wasn’t aligned correctly with the pelvic bone. Good thing the nurse on duty was able to realize that, manually correct it, and within hours the baby popped out. Before the pushing part was a horrible few minutes where I thought I was dying: cannot breathe, too hot, cannot move, oxygen mask didn’t help. The solution to it? Baby must come out (haha). I closed my eyes and focused all my energy on normalizing my breathing and right after that I was pushing the baby out! The most incredible amazing moment is being handed the baby to hold. I really cannot describe the feeling; emotions I didn’t even realize existed flooded my being. Gotta go through it to know what I’m talking about ūüėČ

Since that concludes the actual trimester, I’ll have another post about having the baby be part of daily life!

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Banana Nut Muffins

I ran into a tasty-looking banana pecan muffin recipe online:

http://verascooking.com/2014/03/02/banana-pecan-muffins/

Lo and behold, I had some extra bananas so I made them, only with gluten-free flour.

  • 1 c. flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 c. toasted pecans
  • 2 bananas
  • 5 Tbs milk
  • 2 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • (I didn’t use vanilla or flax seeds since I had neither)

Mix dry ingredients, wet ingredients, combine, bake at 375 for 20-25 mins. I made 6 large muffins & 6 mini muffins. Without liners there is more crunch which I enjoy more ūüôā

Purchased at Costco

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Third Trimester

OK here we go with some updates for me to remember regarding this pregnancy. They say every pregnancy is different so apparently it might not work for the next time around.

Here are a few of my favorite pregnancy cartoons that end up capturing exactly what I feel.

cartoon41Same questions over and over, which I’m OK with. People telling me that because it’s my first then my due date will be way late, like two weeks late. And saying it with pity. Which I’m not sure how to take, I suppose I ignore it mostly because from what I hear the baby comes when it’s ready.
What I’m not OK with is people who keep rubbing my belly! If it’s family or close friends I don’t mind it AS MUCH, (but still, they never touched my stomach before!) yet it is definitely a little bit awkward. The people who I’m acquainted with but aren’t close friends – that I don’t understand. It’s like a protruding belly means permission for everybody to start rubbing circles all over it. Super annoying.

prego01Most definitely! I thought first trimester was bad! Now it’s just ridiculous: I need to plan out my fluid consumption in advance, especially if I’m going to church, teaching (which I’m not anymore), driving somewhere, etc. It’s worst at night when I have to wake up again and again. It’s still a challenge to figure out how to fit in all the required fluids before evening time; my stomach isn’t that large! So this is something I am working on and hoping it’ll result in fewer trips to the loo at night.

 

c34This one was just funny. I try to take regular walks ranging from 1-5 miles a day and it makes me feel better overall: fresh air, exercise, admire the autumn beauty, and hope for better sleep at night.

 

MATH-for-pregnant-women-sleep-1

 

This one is particularly painful. If my sleep problem consisted mostly of just waking up at night to use the restroom, it wouldn’t be too bad. I cannot sleep. My legs get restless. I’ve tried numerous attempts at solving the problem and some of them seem to help… for a while only! Hit or miss. If I walk a lot, my leg muscles get tired and there’s a better chance of sleeping. Bananas and magnesium supplements became part of my daily diet because being deficient in that vitamin tends to cause restless leg syndrome. My husband massaged my feet. I soaked them in Epsom salts. Pillows were stuffed under my legs to elevate them. My body pillow helped out at times as well. All in all, after reading up on it, this insomnia during pregnancy seems to be an ironic way of preparing for motherhood and having nightly feedings for baby. This last night I got no sleep at all. I finally dozed off after my husband left for work and am trying to survive on those few hours. This sleeping issue was the reason I stopped substitute teaching. I truly am grateful that I have the opportunity to stay at home at this time and take it easy. The women who are working all the way until their delivery dates have my utmost admiration and respect (and condolences).

446-pregnant-woman-cartoonThen there are those days where I feel great! Actually most days are great, it’s the lack of sleep at night that affect the daytime mood. Some friends who are or were pregnant go into these great details of painful and uncomfortable symptoms they’ve experienced. I’m thanking God I’ve been spared most of those symptoms they speak of and try to use those stories to put my restless leg syndrome and insomnia into perspective. It ain’t so bad after that.

 

insure-17_0Heartburn for me was a matter of managing. I read up on it, discovered that certain foods cause it, sleeping on the right side aggravates it, and laying down too quickly after meals brings it on as well. Since I don’t eat too many spicy or greasy foods, I don’t experience this problem too often, and when I do, well that’s what TUMS are for. Or apples. Eating apples helps reduce the severity of it too.

cow-cartoonCalcium is good for you and all, but after becoming pregnant, some forms of milk products stopped sitting with me so well. This meant that the ice-cream I “craved” would make me nauseous. The milk chocolate I would justify eating several pieces of would make me regret it completely. Drinking milk was out of the question. Yogurts and cheeses were acceptable. After trial and error, I realized that I could still have very small amounts of chocolate or ice-cream without suffering. Overall, it ends up working to my advantage because now I can’t pig out on stuff I normally would (like Haagen Dazs milk chocolate vanilla ice-cream with almonds).

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At 30 weeks of pregnancy, I have gained about 15 pounds. I really didn’t start showing until maybe month 6 or so. Hopefully at this rate when the baby comes all I’ll have gained is just baby weight. Being gluten-free is now obviously a blessing in disguise because it prevents me from eating all that bready/starchy/pasta/desserts that I was so obsessed about.

I suppose that’s it for now, if I think of some more details to add I’ll just create another posting!

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Acting Entitled

The word “entitled” as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: to give a right to.

The word “entitled” as defined by Urban Dictionary:¬†¬†An attitude, demeanor, or air of rudeness, ingraciousness, or combativeness, especially when making excessive demands for service (usually used following the word “acted”)

My husband and I recently returned from a trip to the other coast with our friends. Besides the trip being an overall positive experience, there were several examples that really made me think. Specifically about how I will be raising my child.

People are rude. Not everyone, but some. Very rude, obnoxious, acting entitled and not even thinking about others around them.

Example: waiting for a shuttle to take people from hotel to the train station. First come, first serve basis. The shuttle isn’t very big. Unfortunately, there were a bit too much people than the amount of seats, and the first ones who jumped on laid out their purses and bags on other seats to say they were “claimed” for their friends who are coming in (later in line). A screaming match almost ensued about how that isn’t fair and the first come first serve rule should be applicable. Nope, no can do. Then children start piling in. Instead of being flexible and having people sit in laps, particularly the smaller ones, such as children, they all spread out on their own seats. All previous days there was always at least one person who had to sit on a lap, which is uncomfortable but about a five minute ride so not a big deal. It really made me think. How do I want to raise my child? I want her to be aware of others, of being sensitive and flexible and caring, not being a jerk.

This was just a specific example that really stood out. I had been noticing for a while that there are so many kids growing up acting entitled. They think they don’t need to stand and wait in line, the concept of sharing doesn’t apply to them, whatever they want- they get, no matter what the circumstance seems to be, whatever their opinion is, that’s exactly what is true and correct. I don’t understand it. When kids are raised like that, they can’t easily change when they get older. It is that much more difficult to become flexible and adapt to a situation (workplace, classroom, family life, etc.).

I think the purpose of me writing this down is to always keep in mind that behaviors are taught, mostly by their parents. I just pray to God I will have the wisdom to be a good parent and make sure the kids turn out to be successful and helpful additions to society.

 

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Brazilian Cheese Bread

So far the only food I’ve been “craving” is Brazilian Cheese Bread. I was first introduced to this deliciousness at a Brazilian restaurant. They brought a little tray of fluffy, light, breaded goodness, that I WAS ALLOWED TO HAVE! Instead of wheat flour, it was made with tapioca flour.

Then my husband discovered a Brazilian cafe a few miles away, so whenever the opportunity presents itself, off we go to get me some Brazilian cheese bread.

After googling for recipes, I discovered they are also called Pão de Queijo, or Brazilian cheese balls, or puffs. I found a recipe here, and this is the recipe I followed:

 

1 egg, room temp

1/3 cup olive oil

2/3 cup milk

1 1/2 cup tapioca flour (bought at Safeway)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put all ingredients in blender, blend. Generously grease muffin pan and pour in batter. Bake 15-20 mins.

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Very runny batter.

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Nicely rising halfway through.

 

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Completely puffed up! (Yes they are hollow inside because of this)

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The final product. I cannot explain how tasty this is: it’s cheesy, light, and the perfect amount of parmesan flavor. The amount of batter I had was enough for at least 2 batches of mini cupcake forms.

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Pregnancy News

So the major update on this blog is that I am expecting a baby girl at the end of the year! Few things that I experienced and learned (so far):

  • Mentality and everyday things change, perspectives are different, start to think ahead about how I would handle certain situations.
  • First trimester is tough: feeling nauseous, extreme food aversions, ridiculously tired. All of this without really telling anybody until I’m in the “safe zone”. I could not drink coffee, at all. My addiction just miraculously ended, only to return during the second trimester, but only for small amounts. Anything coconut makes me gag, which is sad because I need to use coconut oil for my hair every few days… What a nightmare at nights when I use it. My sense of smell is super strong even now, at 20 weeks. During the 1st trimester I took it easy with subbing, slept A LOT, and didn’t do any exercise at all. Walking around the house was almost too much to handle. First trimester weight gain, hmm about zero.
  • During the 2nd trimester, my energy returned, I began exercising. I do some Jullian Michaels videos and go walking in the park and do lots of squats. Total weight gain so far: hm about 5 lbs. Belly is finally slightly visible.
  • Food-wise: I am not sure what it means to really crave something so much that you just need to wake up in the middle of the night for it. I “craved” Hagen Dazs vanilla ice cream bars with chocolate and almonds, but when I would eat one, I would get nauseous for a few hours. So that quickly got eliminated. I craved something greater, like pursuing music again. So got an electronic upright piano which I am practicing on almost daily. Something I also really enjoy is Brazilian cheese bread, so whenever I have a chance to drive by their cafe, I stop by and get some. Perhaps that is a craving?
  • Immune system is totally weakened. I got sick with a cold: coughing, sneezing, congestion, etc. It took me about 2 weeks to get over it. I was nervous and thought I might have bronchitis (judging from the amount of coughing that was taking place) and so I called the nurse who told me to take some Robitussin. Didn’t help, and what finally helped was a few home remedies. The first was brewing a large cup of herbal tea and breathing in the steam through the nose and mouth. The second one was a lot messier (and stinky!): put organic honey on heated up cabbage leaves, place on chest/throat area, cover up with a towel, wear a tight shirt on top to hold it all in place, and go to sleep. Very unpleasant way to sleep but the results were amazing!
  • People want to give you all sorts of advice. Some of it directly contradicts what I’ve been reading, so I’ve been learning to accept it “graciously” and being thankful for the “help” I’m getting.
  • Vitamins: I take prenatal gummy vitamins because I don’t like how the other ones taste. The gummy ones don’t have any iron, so I make sure to eat meat during the week. Apparently it works wonders, because my blood test showed high levels of iron (which apparently most women have low amounts of especially during pregnancy). I’ve spoken to a few people about it and they say they had prenatal vitamins with iron, and ate lots of cereal (which is fortified with iron) yet their levels were still low. This made me question the whole concept of how meals are influenced by the culture. Absorption of iron is best when taken with Vitamin C. Calcium inhibits iron absorption. Yet here most people are encouraged to eat low fat milk with whole grain cereal. The calcium in the milk inhibits the iron that’s in the cereal and no benefit at all is taken from that meal. This confirms how my iron levels were high: most of the meat I eat is with veggies, which is full of Vitamin C, so it helps absorb the iron. And also, I cannot prove this, but read somewhere that grains inhibit absorption of most vitamins as well, so it’s almost like we aren’t even supposed to be eating grains with anything, except maybe by themselves? Go figure. I don’t care to make a conclusion on that just yet.
  • Vitamin D: super low levels. My prenatal vitamin provided 100% (400 IU). Doc told me to start taking 5000 IU per day! I went and bought some that same day and then proceeded to research about Vitamin D deficiencies, especially during pregnancy, etc. The shocking information I found was that women who were deficient in Vitamin D had a much higher risk of having babies born with autism or muscular dystrophy (and a few other conditions, but that’s what I remembered). Something about the fact Vitamin D helps the immune system and with making other vitamins “work”. Best way to get Vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight. After more research, I was able to determine that the benefits of sunlight far outweigh any risks associated with sunlight exposure.
  • And last but not least, another one of my conclusions: being gluten-free for a while is what helped me with conception, otherwise I don’t know how much longer I would have had to try or give up. My sensitivity seems to have increased during pregnancy: before I was able to consume very small amounts (example: 1 tsp soy sauce, or chocolate containing wheat [not the crisp or crunch, but inside chocolate itself]) but not so now. I ate a few bites of chocolate which had wheat, and was fine for a few hours. And then the itching on my stomach and back began, and it was just so intense! The “scabs” occurred because of that itching and took over a week to only begin fading. I need to come up with another way of avoiding potential glutenous items at people’s houses. Most of our friends are aware of my condition and serve options I can eat, but not everyone knows to what extend most food has wheat as an ingredient. I am working on thinking up some “diet” where I don’t eat after 6, or whatever a particular circumstance may require. Eh.

    Well this was a long post! I think I covered most of what I was trying to say.

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Best Truffles

I was commissioned to make some truffles for a bake sale. Normally I’m not a fan of truffles because they are too sweet or too buttery or too… something. But since these tasted so good, they earned a right to be mentioned.

Recipe is from Kraft Foods.

  • 1¬†pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3¬†cups powdered sugar
  • 3¬†pkg (4 oz. each)¬†BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted
  • 1.5¬†tsp ¬†vanilla

Beat cream cheese, slowly add powdered sugar, add melted chocolate and vanilla. Blend well, refrigerate for at least an hour. Shape into balls, roll in whatever goodness you have in your kitchen, place into mini cupcake liners, and store in the fridge.

 

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Avocado Eggs

Something weird I noticed after eating avocados for a week. The dry skin I have in certain areas went away! Maybe I needed fats and moisturizer from the inside as opposed to the outside?
Anyways, I normally don’t eat deviled eggs because they have mayo in them, and I am picky to the degree where I will not eat mayo. So here’s my version of deviled eggs, WITHOUT mayo!

Cook eggs, cool them, shell, cut in half. Put yolks into dish, add as much soft avocado as you want, season with salt and pepper. Place in piping bag and fill in the whites! Viola! Deliciousness!

 

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Carrot Cupcakes (GF)

We had an enormous bag of carrots that was having difficulty being emptied. After eating shredded carrots with sugar, putting plenty of carrots into chicken noodle soup, and eating plain carrots as a snack, I wanted something more. I found a recipe here which I slightly improvised and made into cupcakes.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup sweetened toasted coconut
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the sugar & eggs, add oil. Mix the dry ingredients and add to the first mixture. Then add nuts, carrots, coconut and raisins. Grease mini cupcake pans and fill 3/4 full.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, depending on how dark you want them. Insert toothpick in center to ensure doneness.

I enjoyed eating them just like this, without frosting. Later I used the Betty Crocker can of cream cheese frosting, whipped it up, and decorated the top.

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Baked Sweet Rice Casserole

Today I craved a sweet rice dish that my friend’s mom used to make. It was a golden rice dish, right out of the oven, and it was so incredibly delicious that I would ignore my stomach’s full warnings and keep on eating it.
So after Googling a few key words, I realized that there is a plethora of sweet rice dishes. There was one way to solve that problem: talk to my friend’s mom! She gave me a recipe, and no they were not in exact measurements, just what the ingredients were, and approximately how to throw it all together. That’s OK; I was happy. Here is my attempt at making this amazing dish.

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cups milk

Bring this to a boil, and then simmer, for a total of 20 minutes. Add:

  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 1 egg + 1 Tbs sugar, beaten

Mix all this together, transfer to a glass dish, and place into a 350 degree oven. Bake until golden. I wanted to add some raisins because I remember those used to be in the original dish, but since I didn’t have any, I added dried blueberries (nope, not the same thing). After tasting this dish, I decided I probably needed to add another 1/2 cup of ¬†milk, to make it more creamy, and perhaps more honey, because it didn’t turn out quite as golden as how I remember it. Nevertheless, the taste is incredible ūüôā
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