Third and Final Trimester

I have finally made it to the 8th month of pregnancy which means we get to meet baby Logan next month! It has been quite a journey to say the least. I remember feeling like it was never going to come to and end during the first trimester, like the finish line was just way too far to see. Now I’m a little more than 6 weeks from my due date and although that’s still a good little chunk of time, it’s nothing compared to the past 7.5 months.

The third trimester comes with lot’s of new feelings, including an occasional kick to the ribs. If you’ve read my previous pregnancy-related posts, you know that it took me a long time to actually feel pregnant. Well, after about 25 weeks, my belly grew a lot each following week and baby’s movements grew much stronger. It’s pretty fascinating to watch her little body jerk my belly around and even though I’m more used to it now, it still freaks me out.

I’m starting to mentally prepare myself for labor and delivery and trying to get things ready to go. I have to pack a hospital bag, install a carseat and learn as much as I can about giving birth so that I am prepared when the time comes. I’ve learned a lot already and heard tons of wonderful birthing stories from other moms. It’s definitely scary but it helps to hear about other peoples experiences, because no matter how different their stories are they all have the same ending. They all end with a baby in their arms. Labor and pregnancy in general are different for everyone and even change depending on the child. Each of us has our own path to take but in the end, we reach the same destination- motherhood.

I will have spent 9 out of 12 months this year focusing on bringing new life into the world and now I’m only six sweet weeks away from indulging in some delicious raw fish. Seriously though, not being able to eat sushi has been so difficult but I’m pretty proud of myself for being able to change my lifestyle somewhat drastically so that my baby is healthy. It’s obviously a small price to pay but considering that this pregnancy was somewhat surprising, I never really got the chance to mentally prepare myself for the changes I had to make.

I can’t believe that I’m going to be a mom next month… it’s all very surreal. My life is about to change even more drastically and I know it will be really difficult at times. But from what I hear, it’s totally worth it. Wish me luck 🙂

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Cheesy Chicken and Spinach Puffs

I’ve been on a mission to find new recipes lately, it all started because I’ve been having the hardest time cooking for just myself. I’m so used to cooking for two or more and even then I usually have leftovers. I’m coming to the conclusion that cooking for one is nearly impossible, I tried cutting this recipe in half and it was still too much for one person.

These cheesy chicken and spinach puffs are sooo yummy and would be the perfect thing to bring to a potluck!

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 50 Minutes

Yields: 2 Dozen

Heres what you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2′ cubes (I used Trader Joes already cooked “just grilled chicken” and it made the process so much easier)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter/ soft
  • 3 8oz cans refrigerated crescent rolls

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, cook onion and garlic stirring about 3 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add chicken and cook – if you’re not using Trader Joes already cooked chicken, cook thoroughly (5 mins or so) and then add spinach. Cook, stirring until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to colander and drain, then transfer to a large bowl and add ricotta, parmesan and butter, stirring until creamy.
  5. Unroll dough, add 1 tablespoon of filling into each triangle. Roll up and bake until filling ins heated through and dough is golden brown 9-12 minutes.
  6. Cool on rack and serve at room temperature.

I don’t have a great picture of how mine turned out because I was way too anxious to eat them. But here’s what I’ve got.

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DIY Floral Mobile

I am a huge lover of the website Etsy, I really like supporting small businesses and finding unique things. However, I sometimes can’t help but think ” I could totally make that myself”. Well, while I was looking for alternatives to the average baby mobile I came across a pretty floral one similar to what’s in the picture. I knew I could make one myself so I decided to take on the challenge. I’ll let you know right away that this was not a cheap project….. It definitely could be, but since I preferred to use a higher quality of faux flower, it added up quickly. I decided to buy the flowers in increments and took my time finishing this project.

Here’s what you’ll need if you’d like to make one too:

  • A 12″ foam floral wreath
  • Some type of ribbon or string
  • A hot glue gun & glue
  • Wire cutting scissors
  • LOTS and LOTS of flowers

 

Start by cutting the ribbon into three pieces of equal lengths, based on how far you want the mobile to hang down.

Mark three spots on the inner ring of the foam wreath of equal distance from each other.

Glue each piece of ribbon to the marked spots in the wreath.

Create a hoop at the top and glue or tie it securely.

Start cutting the flowers, leaving about a half inch of the stem to puncture into the foam.

Place the flowers in the foam where you think they will look best. Once you’ve got a good bunch, begin gluing them in so that they are secure.

Glue some leaves between the flowers for a more natural look.

And that’s it! It takes some time, patience and obviously money, but the satisfaction of doing it yourself is worth it!

Motivation Monday #63

 

It’s Monday yet again and October is among us. The weather is cooling down and the holidays are approaching (yay!). I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-discipline. It’s something that I think a lot of people could focus more on. We need to be able to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. We need to be our own biggest motivators.

Values such as loyalty and respect are of great importance to me. To the people I love, I will always be loyal. My friends, family, husband, they never have to worry that I wouldn’t stick by their side through difficult times. To all others I do my best to be respectful. Regardless of how much I dislike someone or how much I disagree with them, I will approach the situation with a level of respect because we are all human and none of us are perfect. These are just a couple of things that for me personally are very important.

We’re all just imperfect people trying to be strong in the world. Some do better than others, some give up entirely. It takes a little self-discipline to do just about anything that nourishes your life. Whether you’re going to school, trying to lose 10 pounds, keeping a marriage strong or just trying to keep it together without having a mental breakdown. You are the only one who can make the decision to not give up. Although things may happen to you that will break you down, it is up to you to build yourself back up again.

Whenever I feel like I’m losing grasp of a healthy lifestyle, I feel guilty. I’m not a health nut by any means. Even when I’m doing my best, I still enjoy a greasy burger and sweets from time to time. But the guilt that I feel is me holding myself accountable for my actions. Self-discipline is me actually doing something about it. No one can make me unhealthy except myself.

There’s a vast array of things that each of us can work on to be the best version of ourselves. Maybe you have a hard time controlling your anger, maybe you’re too quick to judge others. It’s possible that you feel like giving up on a long term goal or commitment. Maybe you’re sick of being unorganized or you have an addiction. Shoot, maybe you’re just an asshole and you want to change. Our parents did their part in disciplining us as children (some better than others) but now as adults, it’s our job to discipline ourselves.

None of us will ever be perfect but we can sure as hell try to be better. Do it for the people who love you but more importantly, do it for yourself. I know that everyone has something that they can work on and I hope that I’ve motivated you to be better.

Have a happy Monday!

 

Preparing for Parenthood

It’s pretty unbelievable to think that our daughter will be here in only 10 more weeks. The past 7 months have been filled with so many different emotions. It’s kind of overwhelming knowing that I’m bringing another human into the world. I’ll be responsible for keeping her safe and teaching her how to be a good person, but she will be her own personality. Yes, it is my responsibility to bring her into the world- but who she becomes as a person is embedded within her at birth. She will have a personality and sense of humor all her own. She will show interests in certain things and choose other humans to make relationships with. I can guide her along the way and do my best to instill good morals and behaviors into her life but ultimately, she will be who God created her to be.

Being a parent is a big responsibility, it can even be thought of as sort of a job. My job is to love, encourage and believe in my daughter. To be an example of kindness and strength to her and to always be patient when she is learning new things or expressing difficult behavior. I feel the way a lot of people probably feel when they graduate college and start a new career. Going from a life of freedom and fun into a life of bills and 5 day work weeks. I know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s a big life change. It’s no longer just about me, and this is a very permanent situation. It’s something that takes some mental preparation and acceptance. Accepting the fact that my life is going to change drastically once this baby is born has been a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve been babysitting since I was 15 and I know how hard it can be to take care of children. It takes a lot of patience and attention. I worry that I might not do a good job, that I may lose my patience or not give my child enough attention. Realistically, I know this is bound to happen from time to time. I just have to try my best, and that’s all I can do.

I’m terrified that the little baby who’s been growing so comfortably in my belly will soon be ripping my body open to get out. I don’t think about it very often, and I say I’m terrified.. but I’m actually a lot more calm about it than I would have thought I’d be before I got pregnant. Ever since I was a little kid the thought of having to go through that kind of pain really freaked me out. I would cringe at the thought of having to push a little human out of my body. And even as I got older I would joke about just getting a surrogate because the thought of childbirth was scary to me. Yes, it’s still a scary thing but the pain won’t last forever and at this point, I kind of have to do it…. so there’s no point in freaking myself out about it. I like to think that everything will go smoothly and I’ll get to brag about how it was no big deal…. positive thoughts right? I also think that things are more likely to go smoothly if I believe that they will, the mind can play some horrible tricks and I don’t want to spiral down a hill of negative thoughts. All I know is that I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. All women for that matter, are stronger than anyone gives them credit for.

It’s also scary to think that bad things can happen to my little human. She can get hurt or sick or have her heart broken and I may not be able to do anything to help her or relieve her of that pain. My dog gets an eye infection and I’m freaking out trying to figure out what I can do to make her better, I can imagine this worry will only multiply by 10 when it comes to my child. I need to remember that I don’t have control over every situation in life and to trust God. I don’t want to be an overbearing parent who won’t let my kid make her own mistakes. I have to let her fall off a bike so that she can learn how to stay on it. I can do everything in my power to keep her safe and healthy but I know that I don’t have complete control over everything that will happen in life. This is where the positive mindset theory comes back into play. I just have to hope and pray for the best and take things as they come.

I’m unsure how to feel about having my own little baby to take care of. I know I can do it and that I’ll work hard to be really good at it. But I still can’t quite grasp the fact that I’m actually going to be a mom. I think once I see her little face and start to bond with her, then I’ll feel that connection. I keep wondering what she’s going to look like and what her little smile will be like. It took me so long to actually feel connected to this pregnancy, but now that I can feel her moving, it has definitely helped make things more real. It honestly freaks me out. People talk about what an amazing feeling it is… and they’re not wrong, but it’s also so so strange. Being able to look down at my stomach and see her shifting around, wondering whether it’s an arm, a leg or her head that’s making my belly poke out on one side, is the most surreal thing. I don’t always feel pregnant, but when I see or feel her moving, I remember that theres a person growing inside me and it trips me out. This has been my body for my whole life, I’m familiar with most weird feelings I get and how my body looks. But this is a whole new thing that my body has never done before, so unfamiliar and almost unbelievable. These feelings are so foreign and so is the shape of my body.

I’m excited but it’s a different kind of excitement, for it comes with so many fears and other feelings. It’s the kind of excitement one might feel when they get a promotion at work. There are reasons to be happy about it, but the hours are longer and the work is harder. I’m excited to meet our little girl and to watch her grow and find out what kind of parents Blake and I will be. I can’t wait to teach her things and raise her to be a strong, fun, and kind person. I have always wanted to be a mom and I kind of feel like it was one of the things I was born to do. I’ve never really had a passion for anything when it comes to school and “what I want to be when I grow up”. Some people have a passion for a certain career even at a young age. I remember being asked in first grade what I wanted to be when I grew up, I went with teacher… probably because it was a teacher who was asking so that was the first profession that popped into my head. I love a lot of things and it’s hard for me to commit to doing one thing for the rest of my life. I don’t feel that way about becoming a mom though, I feel like it will come naturally to me. Of course it will still be difficult at times but I will treat it as a job and work every day to be the best mom I can be for my child.

I feel very fortunate to have a husband who supports me emotionally and financially so that I can take my time to figure out my own career. Also now, so that I can be home with our daughter to raise her. I know a lot of people don’t always have that option and I’m aware of how lucky I am. Honestly, my life would be so different if it weren’t for Blake. I don’t know if it would be good or bad. All I know is that I love the life we have created together and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m sincerely the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and I know that bringing a child into the mix can sometimes make things difficult. However, I like to think that we’ll make a great parenting team and come to agreements on how to raise our children without it becoming a stressor on our relationship.

Parenthood is rapidly approaching and I feel so many different things. But most of all I feel like I’m ready to take on the challenge and excited to meet the little person who is made up of me and the person I love.

 

 

 

Motivation Monday #62

I know it’s only September, but I’ve decided to get started on my new years resolutions early. One of the things I really want to do is get back on top of my blogging. I know that I don’t have a huge following, it’s mostly friends and family who read my posts. I love doing it though, and appreciate anyone who takes the time to see what I’m writing about. I started losing focus when we moved back to California, in North Carolina I had all the time in the world to come up with different ideas and subjects to write about. Ironically enough, I lost motivation and started mainly only posting these Motivation Monday blogs because it was easier. I just didn’t have the creative energy to think of new recipes or DIY projects.

Well, I have decided to challenge myself to do better. My first resolution is to come up with new writing topics. Because it may not be a new year yet, but it’s never too early to make improvements. Plus I’m sure I’ll have a whole new list of things that I can do better by the end of the year- there’s always something that can use a little improving. I know that if I set my mind to something and hold myself accountable- even if it’s not necessarily something that needs to be done- I will make sure that I do it.

My next goal is to post some dinner ideas on cooking for one. I’ve been struggling with cooking excessive amounts of food and eating out a lot more since I’m all alone now. I know I can’t be the only one who has a hard time with this, so I’ll try to come up with some good recipes to help others while helping myself. Any recommendations or things that you would like to read about- please feel free to send them my way 🙂

I hope you all have some resolutions that you can get started on too. Have a happy Monday and a productive week!

 

 

Second Trimester

I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant and making my way into the third trimester. Now that the second trimester is over I figured I’d share my thoughts. The past three months have flown by compared to the first three months of this pregnancy. And just like that I’ve been pregnant for half a year! I started feeling little flutters around 19 weeks which quickly turned into the big shocking movements that I feel now. I didn’t really start looking pregnant until about two weeks ago but now the baby belly can no longer be confused for a beer belly.

Before I got big and started feeling her movements so distinctly, it was easy to forget that I was pregnant. It’s not like I forgot that I was pregnant and went to grab a drink with some friends, it was more like I just didn’t really feel pregnant. Having surpassed the days of naps and nausea and not yet entering into the days of sore feet and weight gain, I was in what people refer to as “the honeymoon phase” of pregnancy. That is not to say that I didn’t experience any weird pregnancy symptoms. I still had sore gums, some tooth pain and other random/weird symptoms that are pregnancy related. Oh and that whole thing about pregnant women having to pee a lot, yeah that’s true. There have been times when I literally just finish peeing and only minutes later I feel like I need to go again.

I also got to focus on setting up Logan’s nursery which was super fun for me. There were times when I just wanted to sit in there and hang out, is that weird? Probably. I also went on an airplane and was admittedly a little worried about how it would make me feel. But I felt normal, no nausea or weird pains of any kind. And I’ve finally gotten used to the sushi/alcohol deprivation.Being the designated driver is a good feeling and it’s pretty funny to watch everyone else get drunk ( although sometimes I feel like I’m hanging out with toddlers) and ordering only cooked items when we go out for sushi has become a lot easier.

I guess from here on out I get to look forward to three months of trouble sleeping and random aches and pains. Then I get to push a little human out of my body, and yes.. it is terrifying. But obviously doable since, well…. no one would exist if it wasn’t. I just hope it goes smoothly and that she’s healthy.  Since Blake is gone, I think the next three months will probably go by pretty slowly. Even though I know I should try to enjoy my last 12 weeks before the baby comes, I also hope they go by sorta fast because I can’t wait for the moment when I get to see my husband holding our baby in his arms. That’s probably what I’m looking forward to most, I obviously can’t wait to hold her in my own arms but something about seeing him with a baby girl in his arms would just make my heart so full.

Prayers for a healthy baby and a safe husband are always appreciated. Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Motivation Monday #61

It’s the beginning of a new week and time to get motivated.

I must admit, for the past two days I’ve probably been the laziest person on the planet. The good thing is that I can’t stay that way for too long because I start to feel bad about it. So yesterday when I was feeling like a bag of garbage for barely leaving the couch, I decided to make a list of the things that I need to do this week.

It’s weird to go from a house of three to being alone again all of a sudden. I was letting all of my to-do’s pile up until after Blake left. But it still took a couple days for me to actually want to do anything productive.

One of the things on my list is to go grocery shopping, though I knew I definitely had to make a list beforehand because now I’m cooking for one and shouldn’t be buying the amount of food I normally do. So I made a list and noticed that it’s a lot easier to stick to a   healthy meal plan when I look up meal ideas and mark down only what I need to make them. Now that I’m entering my third trimester of pregnancy I want to make sure I don’t pack on too many extra pounds, which means I have to watch what I eat and stay as active as possible. So as long as I stick to my grocery list and actually make the food, all I have to do is force myself to go to the gym (which won’t be easy I assure you).

Another big thing on my list is to complete a school related activity that I need to re-do for the third time. This one has been weighing on me heavily since I thought I was done with it twice already. I don’t even have the motivation to try again because I’m worried that it will be sent back over and over and I’ll probably go insane. But it’s important and I need to get it done in order to pass my class and take my final exams, so I’ve planned to set some time aside each day to work on a part of it. I think if I do it little by little I won’t get so frustrated with it.

On a side note, I have been really feeling the baby moving around lately and it truly is this incredible thing. Although I have to say, it is the freakiest feeling to get used to. It almost feels as though one of my internal organs shifted out of place for a second. But it’s also so reassuring to know that she’s doing okay and being active in there.

Anyway…

I hope everyone has a productive week, and if it’s not productive I hope it’s good in some other way 🙂

Motivation Monday #60

August has always been my favorite month. I love these hot summer days followed by warm summer nights. To me, each month comes with a different type of feeling and August is definitely my favorite. Plus it’s my birthday month and in my family, birthdays are a big deal. As they should be! Life can be so trivial. Your birthday is a day to forget all that and just celebrate your existence and the fact that you’ve made it through another year. 

I usually get really excited about my birthday but this year is different. I almost forgot about it. I have so many other things on my mind with my other half deploying in a few days and our baby girl due to arrive in three months. I guess I just haven’t had the time to get excited about my 25th birthday. I have another list of to-do’s to get done before and after he leaves and it’s been all I can think about. 

I try to stay positive and not get emotional or freak out because with only three days left of quality time, there’s no time for arguing or being sad. It’s all new to me, it can be scary and hard to think about..parenthood, deployment- all of it. People say how strong I am but I just don’t think it’s actually hit me yet. I figure there’s no point in being anything but positive because whatever happens is going to happen anyway and there’s nothing I can do about it.

 Praying helps when I have moments of fear but the thing that has been the most encouraging is knowing that I have a huge group of family and friends supporting me every step of the way. The amount of people who have offered to help if there’s ever anything I need has been overwhelming. I’m surrounded by so many genuinely good people who want to help and I couldn’t be more thankful.

So even though I’m feeling different this year and not so excited about my birthday, I am getting a completely different feeling of happiness from the love and support of others. 

It just goes to show, life can be difficult. But with a good group of people who care- it doesn’t always have to be. 

Have a beautiful Monday and a wonderful week. 

& please keep my little family in your prayers. 

Motivation Monday #59

Is it Monday again already? Time seems to be flying for me lately. Maybe it’s because I’m so focused on baby stuff, I spent a whole day last week rearranging rooms and setting up baby girls nursery. It’s definitely making things feel more real and getting me very excited. My belly is finally starting to look like there actually may be a baby in there so I’m more comfortable wearing tight clothes again which is so nice because picking an outfit had been a major struggle for the last three months. But that’s enough pregnancy talk.

Today I’ll be focusing on getting a project finished for my online class, then I’ll have three finals to take and I’m done with my first semester! I’m really liking this online school thing, it can be pretty challenging at times because I do like to have an actual teacher giving me a lesson. I’ve had to learn to be very self-disciplined and I’ve been pretty successful at it so far. I like that I can take my tests before they’re due and I don’t have super strict deadlines because I can make it work with my schedule. Say I’m going out of town for the weekend and I have a test on Friday, I’ll usually take it on Monday to get it out of the way and not have to worry about it after that.

You may have things to get done today too, try practicing that self-discipline and finish your tasks right away so that you don’t have to worry about doing them later in the day or week. When it comes to school work I have definitely been known to procrastinate in the past, but the feeling of completing something and not having it linger on my mind is a great one!

Have a lovely week and start checking things off of your to-do list, I promise you’ll feel great once you do!