Hello, Third Trimester

How far along? 28 weeks 5 days

How many days to go? Around 79 days

Baby Size? 14.8 inches and 2.2 lbs; the size of a large eggplant

Total weight gain? About 20 lbs (wow that seems like a lot when typing it but it’s apparently on target!

Maternity clothes?  Definitely. I can’t really fit into many of my normal clothes anymore. Maternity clothes are pretty comfy though so it’s not the worst thing!

Stretch marks? Not on my tummy so far, thank goodness, but I know most of the growth is yet to happen so we’ll see.

Sleep?  Sleeping relatively well. I kicked the Snoogle out a few weeks ago for more bed space and have just been sleeping with a regular pillow between my knees. I am now feeling the extra weight when I roll from side to side…

Best moment this week?  Had a monthly checkup so it’s always great to hear her little heartbeat and know she’s growing well. We’ve started to see her moving now too!

Have you told family and friends? This is a silly question now, if we hadn’t my protruding belly would make it pretty obvious at this point! We have, however, told people her name!

Miss anything?  Not feeling awkward when I have to put shoes on that require tying or a buckle lol.

Movement? All. The. Time. It’s pretty crazy to know her little hands and feet are kicking around. I also feel when she’s rolling around or has the hiccups. We see her kicking sometimes too which is unreal!

Food cravings? Not really still. Maybe cookies and coffee.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope.

Labor signs? Thankfully, no! She’s still got a little baking to do I hope!

Belly button in or out? In. But it is starting to get a little more shallow then it was!

Wedding rings on or off? On and not tight, luckily.

Happy or moody most of the time? Still very happy! I have days where I think “Holy moly we aren’t ready for this yet” or that I feel a little overwhelmed but the majority of the days I’m really excited to be getting closer and closer to meeting her! Also, I think the fall season makes me extra happy/excited!

Looking forward to? My baby shower next month! I know my friends and family have been putting a lot of effort into it and I can’t wait to get the things we need for her. I’m also anxious to get the room organized and decorated, it’s just a bunch of furniture now.

Houston Restaurant Week, Literally

For foodies and Houston explorers the month of August is pretty much the second best thing to Christmas. Houston Restaurant Weeks, or HRW, is a month long opportunity to check out some of the best restaurants in our food-filled city at a much more affordable price than normal, plus some of the proceeds benefit the Houston Food Bank.

This year I visited two spots in one week and another by happenstance. My pregnant belly was very satisfied. Hopefully I’m teaching baby girl to appreciate good food while she’s still in utero, hah! So here’s a recap of what I thought was the best of HRW.

First up – Caracol

This was the one that I didn’t plan but was pleasantly surprised when they handed me the HRW menu for my mom’s birthday dinner. I was preoccupied that week and had hardly realized it was August already! I was the only one who chose the coursed meal and it was so worth it! Side note, Caracol is awesome any time of the year and you should go.

Coconut Gazpacho

The coconut gazpacho was my least favorite course but not bad – not sure I got the coconut flavor and I love everything coconut.

Tamale de Langosta – corn and lobster infused tamale, sauteed lobster, lobster sauce

The. Lobster. Tamale. I mean, do I need to say anything else about this? I could eat this all day, it was absolutely delicious. I convinced my BFF to go just for this course haha.

Bistec – wood-grilled ribeye, Texas blueberry mole, garlic sauteed kale, spice rubbed potatoes

The meat was nicely cooked and very flavorful. I enjoy a fattier piece of steak every now and then and the mole paired well. A generous portion and I finished every bite.

Tarta de Queso y Coco – coconut cheesecake, passion fruit sauce, pineapple compote, graham crust, coconut cream

Lastly, the coconut/passion fruit cheesecake. Passion fruit is another flavor I love for its sweet and sour taste. This dessert wasn’t overly dense and the passion fruit and pineapple flavors complemented the coconut perfectly. It was a tasty finish to a very savory meal.

Next up – Americas

This is a Houston classic in my opinion. The aesthetic of this restaurant is so unique and their food is top notch.

Plantain chips with dipping sauces

Everyone knows Texans love their chips and salsa, but plantains are way more up my taste alley. I enjoy munching on these while I catch up with my dinner company.

This tuna ceviche had a Latin spin that left me wanting more. The tuna was tender and the other elements gave a nice crunch to the dish.

Lomo y Mar – grilled beef petite filet, anchiote shrimp, castelvetrano olives, marscapone mashed potatoes, stilton bleu cheese sauce

Love a little surf n’ turf. This fillet was flavorful and well paired with the blue cheese sauced mashed potatoes. Shrimp steps up any dish’s game, in my opinion, so a nice added touch there.

Tres Leches

Americas is very well known for its tres leches, and with reason! Normally this dessert wouldn’t be my go-to at any other place but it’s a must here, or their sister restaurant Churasscos. You can see this was a huge portion and I indulged in every last bite.

Last on my HRW visits was Anejo. This was a totally new spot for me so I wasn’t sure what to expect but my overall verdict was I’d go back. Not to mention, this was a four course meal for $35!

 

Tamale de Cochinita Pibil – anchiote-orange braised pork, pickled onions, salsa diabla

Another tasty tamale. By the way, if you live in Houston there is a Tamale Festival happening on December 3rd!

Scallop Ceviche Estilo Agua Chile – Asian pear, avocado, jalapeno-cilantro vinagrette, scallops


If you haven’t noticed, I love seafood and I feel sad for people who don’t. This was a quick course and refreshingly cold before a heavier next dish.

Shrimp and Chorizo Flautas – poblano crema, queso fresco, smoked black bean puree

Flautas are usually top of my list for Mexican dishes. I just love the crunchy exterior! These were the savory highlight of the meal and another generous portion size.

Mango Panna Cotta – mango puree, chamoy, chile-lime salt

I almost dismissed how tasty this mango panna cotta was until I was looking at photos to recap my meals. This had really great consistency and the chile-lime salt cut down just enough on the sweetness of the dessert. I really enjoyed this!

There are a few days left for HRW – it runs through the Labor Day weekend. So if you haven’t gotten out to try any restaurants yet, check any of these three out and you won’t be disappointed. And if you have been participating in HRW, do yourself a favor and sneak in one more indulgent meal before we have to wait another year!

21 Weeks, 21 Questions

How far along? 21 weeks 3 days

How many days to go? 130ish days

Baby Size? 10.5 inches and 12.7oz; the size of a pomegranate

Total weight gain? About 10 pounds

Maternity clothes?  I’m still making use of some of my normal clothes but things are getting more snug. I have a solid maternity wardrobe now that I’m excited about. I’m sure I’ll add a few more pieces as the weather gets colder and I get bigger!

Stretch marks? Someone suggested coconut oil so I’ve been applying that in the shower and I’m still using body lotion so hopefully that continues to do the trick.

Sleep?  One of my mommy friends gave me a pregnancy pillow the other weekend and it’s seriously the best thing ever. It’s huge and pretty much creates a fortress around me in the bed, but I love how supportive it is and how it helps me from tossing and turning so much.

Best moment this week?  We revealed that we are having a BABY GIRL!

Have you told family and friends? Definitely well past this point. Now everyone knows the baby’s sex too!

Miss anything?  Sushi with raw fish! I can’t wait to get a really good sushi/seafood fix after baby comes.

Movement? YES! Just in the last two weeks I started to feel little flutters or thumps every now and then. Having our anatomy scan/ultrasound last week confirmed that I’m definitely feeling baby. Even more exciting is that Chris got to feel her too! I can’t wait to feel her more and more as she grows.

Food cravings? Nothing in particular or really crazy. I eat a lot of sandwiches and subs these days but I also still love a sweet coffee treat pretty often.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not at all, luckily. I think I’m definitely past that point now.

Have you started to show yet? Yes, the baby bump is out there for the world to see now. I appreciate being out of the awkward “is she pregnant or packing on some extra pounds?” stage.

Labor signs? Nope. Not ready to think about labor quite yet.

Belly button in or out? In.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or moody most of the time? The excitement of our baby having a little more of an identity now that we know the sex has me really happy these days!

Looking forward to? Getting the nursery together!

Any projects? Our biggest project was the mudroom and aside from cosmetic things like decor and making it look cute, it’s done. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and am glad to have some extra storage, plus it makes a nice addition to the house. I also had this idea to chalkboard paint one side of the cabinetry and I love it!

  


Question 21 — ASK ME SOMETHING!

 

Heartbeats and House Projects

Week 19 has been long! I haven’t felt 100% for one reason or another and it makes me really appreciate how easy this pregnancy has been the majority of the time.

Jax seems unamused.

I had my monthly check up this week and after 10 minutes of my heart being in my throat because the nurse was having trouble tracking down baby’s heartbeat, I finally heard the sweet relief that there is still a person in there. This has definitely become a pattern so we must have a very active little one!

I am looking forward to the halfway mark and finding out what baby A is next week. After we find out the sex we’ll be able to start putting the details of the nursery together and I’m so excited for that!

We’ve been tackling a “mudroom” project in our house this last week. It was the only room we didn’t touch, not even repaint, when we moved in two years ago. We made do with the space but it was sort of just a landing spot for stuff we didn’t have a proper place for. The “ugly corner” of the house, haha. With baby on the way and the need to clear out the closet in the spare room we decided this was going to be our major project. Originally I wanted to do a custom built-in but that was $$$$!

So Chris did some research and we figured out we could create something useful with pieces from Ikea at a MUCH friendlier budget. I am seriously grateful for a handy man husband, it makes a huge difference when owning a home and just in general. If we have a son he’s going to learn from dad and make some girl very happy one day! (Shoutout to Jeff Anderson for teaching Chris practical skills!)

 

Work in progress shot.

 

We still need to clean, organize and put everything away but we are almost done. Final photos to come soon!

Week 18 Changes

Really bumpin’ this week!

I decided early on to try and completely embrace the changes that would take place throughout our pregnancy. This isn’t to say I haven’t had days where I want to break out in tears as I choose what to wear because my body is in between some of my normal clothes and needing that extra room and comfort of maternity clothes. Or that I don’t have days where I feel anxious because I imagine things being a certain way when the baby comes but know I have nearly zero control of most of the things that have me worried. But generally speaking, this is a time of BIG change, in myself physically and emotionally, as well as in my marriage and relationship with Chris as we prepare to have a family.

We aren’t even halfway through yet and I can honestly say this pregnancy has been more confirmation to what I already knew – Chris is THE best partner. It’s so exciting to see him concerned about my well being in a new way and actively engaged in preparation for this little person. He’s always loved kids but I’ve noticed how patient he is with our nephews when he loses patience more quickly in other situations. And how creative and caring he is with them too. He’s going to be an amazing dad and while I do have my insecurities about all the things to come I have reassurance in knowing he is there to get through all the challenging and rewarding moments with me.

Speaking of changes, more obviously, I chopped off my hair and got purple ink this weekend. I always go through phases with my hair and I figured why not add more change to the mix!

We also painted the nursery this weekend. It feels great to have the space nearly ready for all the small touches that are soon to come once we know the sex of baby A.

Next week we have our monthly checkup and then the following week we go back for the baby’s anatomy scan. I am counting down the days!
Also still awaiting that first movement…!

Week 17

I’m on a plane to Atlanta for a daytrip work meeting so I figured I’d take the disconnected time to write an update. It helps that I’m sitting comfortably in first class – perks of having a boss who flies on the regular!

Not much has changed in the last week so I didn’t want to fill out the same little questionairre as last week. Still haven’t felt any movement and I’m getting anxious to feel something. I feel like either no one really talks about it or I’m overly worrisome on some days. Perhaps it’s because most days I don’t even feel pregnant so sometimes I have to remind myself that there is a little person in my belly squirming around. From the moment you find out you’re pregnant your mindset completely changes, especially in those first few weeks as you wait to see your little one on an ultrasound and when the risk of miscarrying is the highest. So many things run through your mind as you adjust to the idea of motherhood (speaking as a first time mom). Even having been to the Dr. a few times now and everything checking out OK there still is this small bit of worry every now and then between visits in the weeks that you’re still too early to really feel the baby. It’s certainly a season of checking off the weeks and milestones!

In the meantime we’ve begun preparing our spare room to become baby A’s nursery. We’ve sold all of the furniture that was in there and are having our rooms measured for new carpet. We also picked up some paint samples and built the crib on Sunday. We still have a lot to do but I felt like the crib was the first big step in really preparing for baby’s arrival.

It was sort of an emotional feeling; I compared it to the first time I tried on my wedding dress and knew it was the one I’d be saying my vows in. I didn’t truly feel like a bride until that moment. Standing there hugging Chris after we completed the crib was suddenly a feeling of “Wow, in a few short months there will be a tiny human sleeping sweetly in this crib we just built.”

Early next month we find out the sex and I can hardly wait! That news will definitely be a turning point in our pregnancy. Planning has been exciting so far and I know with the knowledge of whether we will have a boy or girl it will get even more real and exciting!

I’ve still been feeling great and pray that I continue to be blessed with an easy experience. We’ve been fairly busy the last couple of weeks so the weeks are flying off the calendar. Before we know it we’ll be at the halfway mark!

Baby A is on the way!

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How far along? 15 Weeks

Baby Size? 4 inches and 2.5oz or the size of a pear

Total weight gain? About 5-7 pounds

Maternity clothes?  I really don’t NEED maternity clothes as I’m just starting to get a little bump. Most of my clothes still fit but it’s some of my pants that can be a bit uncomfortable. Some of my mom friends have passed along their belly bands which are useful! (I swear even non-pregnant women would appreciate this clothing concept/accessory on “fat days” or during that time of the month.) I do have a few maternity pieces I’m loving though. I’m deciding to embrace the belly instead of stuffing myself into clothes that make me feel blah.

Stretch marks? None in sight yet! I’m trying to be diligent about body lotion after every shower.

Sleep?  I’ve been sleeping mostly well, thank goodness! I’ve always been a great sleeper and the thought of that changing is a bit unnerving. My first trimester I was SO sleepy that I had no issues at all. I have noticed myself changing positions more throughout the night now. Savoring the sleep I can get for as long as possible!

Best moment this week?  Any week we have a doctor appointment is an exciting one! It took a little bit for the nurse to find the heartbeat which was a scary feeling but I guess baby was just bouncing around in there, like at our first ultrasound. We also traveled to Montana this week for Chris’ grandparent’s 60th anniversary. It was a fun family gathering with gorgeous surroundings. It kind of has me wanting to move.

Have you told family and friends? Yep! We told parents and immediate family on Mother’s Day at about 8 weeks, close friends around week 12 and announced on Facebook two weeks ago. So it’s safe to say the news is out and things are getting real!

Miss anything?  When we travel Chris always likes to visit the local breweries and I enjoy tagging along to check out their style and taste different craft brews. We went to three breweries while we were in Helena and I only had a tiny taste of a few beers from his flights. I would have loved a pint or two of a crisp wit or a flavorful porter! Also, it was vacation and we were socializing with family in the evenings so a few glasses of wine would have been had otherwise.

Movement? None yet, I don’t think. I was telling Chris the other night that lately I think I MAY feel something but that it’s hard to know if it’s just digestive movement or if it really might be the baby. Apparently it could be any time now, so I’m anxious to feel our little one!

Food cravings? Nothing really. Although, if I bought a Starbuck’s frappé every time I thought about wanting one, I’d probably have gained 10 more pounds by now. I feel like my appetite isn’t as big as I thought it would be, though I’m glad to be done with first trimester “need to have eaten 30 minutes ago” starvation pangs. Hopefully my appetite will grow as it should but for now I’m just eating what I can/feel like. I get a little guilty feeling sometimes but the doctor says follow my gut for now.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Mostly no. Sometimes the thought or sight of chicken makes me immediately lose my appetite but it’s not every chicken dish. Airplane turbulence is also a little more unsettling than before.

Have you started to show yet? Just in the last week or so I feel like I’ve started to show more. I wore a fitted shirt to work a few days ago and several people made comments. I was a little shy about it but it only gets bigger from here…!

Labor signs? Definitely not.

Belly button in or out? In. And I hope it doesn’t pop out too much when the time comes.

Wedding rings on or off? On for sure.

Happy or moody most of the time? Happy. So many more things run through my head on a daily basis now but I’m trying to enjoy each week. Definitely more emotional, and I already was a pretty emotional person.

Looking forward to? Planning our babymoon!

Sometimes it’s hard to believe we’re already a few weeks into our second trimester. I feel really lucky to have had such a smooth pregnancy so far. So many people are shocked that I haven’t been sick at all and have had only a few days or moments of not feeling well. Honestly, some days if I didn’t know I was pregnant I wouldn’t know the difference aside from being a little more round in the front. I’m sure that will change when I start to feel the baby though.

I feel like there are so many things we need to do and plan and that we’ll lose the time to get it all done but I suppose many new moms feel that way. I know everything will come together by December and I’m trying to embrace this season with the knowledge that God has such great things in store for us with this little blessing.