Saturday, December 24, 2011

23 Weeks Pregnant {Large Mango}

 My Large Mango and I have reached 23 weeks on Friday, December 23rd!
(Average measurements: 11.4 inches, 1 pound)

  • I mentioned in last weeks update that I may have to take off my engagement ring due to chubby sausage's still on. It's snug, but I've managed another week with it :)
  • I'm not sick, but as I've read for pregnant women, I have a chronic stuffy nose!  I breathe louder than normal and have to constantly blow my nose.
  • The time sure does fly when you're on vacation!  I've been off from work for a week already and have only one left...and I'm holding on to it with a tight, clenched fist.
  • Oh my little lucky-charm-baby...Mia has done it again!  I had to call in for jury duty all week and wouldn't you know it, I didn't have to show up at all...AGAIN...for the 2nd year in a row.  Whew!!!
  • 7 times out of 10, when Dominic looks at me he grins or giggles due to my growing belly.  He recently said, "Hun, your belly has officially grown out past your boobs!"  Ahem....that makes 2 of us ;)
  • I baked about 300 holiday treats (cookies and brownies) to deliver to friends and family.
  • Daddy and I have been talking more to Mia, since we've been reading she can hear us more now.

Baby Gaga's Pregnancy Calendar says, "FETAL DEVELOPMENT:  Your little womb hi-jacker is starting to kick their break-dance party up a notch now that his/her ears are registering sounds from the outside world!  The sound of a phone ringing, a thunder clap, or a car honking will actually jar their little ears enough to elicit a kick or violent bout of squirming.  More importantly, this means that their little ears are picking up the sounds of your voice and others around you.  So, if you've been yelling a lot it's time to reign that in and practice a little self restraint for the sake of your little eavesdropper, who is becoming more exquisitely sensitive to all of your behaviors every day.  The equation is simple: happy healthy mama = happy healthy baby.  Stress during pregnancy is quite literally BAD for your baby's developing brain.  Take the time to center and be quiet - to reflect on the growing life inside of you and the future you will share together.

HOW'S MOM DOING?:  If no one's ever warned you about the joys of the pregnancy-sleep-challenge, you're probably starting to discover them yourself.  To reduce undue cankle-age avoid sitting for long periods of time and for the hundredth time:  don't forget to stay active!  The good news: some very thoughtful people invented pillows specifically designed to give a pregnant woman a better chance of sleeping through the night.  The bad news: these magical pillows won't stop you from needing to pee three times every night.  Are you remembering to drink lots of fluids?  Plenty of water keeps your baby in clean amniotic fluid and reduces swelling in your poor ankles and feet.  The oh-so sexy pregnancy-induced swollen cankles are a result of the wight of your baby + uterus + amniotic fluid pressing on your pelvic veins, thereby slowing fluid circulation to the lower half of your body, which causes water retention.  Drinking loads of water is also good for your little swimmer as dehydration is frequently connected with premature birthing.  Yep, it's a lot of responsibility, but you can do it!  You're almost two-thirds of the way there already!  Keep up the good work mom!"

Baked Tradition

Traditions were not something I grew up with, unfortunately.  Maybe that's why I feel so strongly about having them now.  I can't wait to create all kinds of traditions with my new family.  In a world that's constantly changing, it's nice to know that there are some things you can count on year after year, like....annual camping trips, family vacations, painting Easter eggs, family game nights, holiday baking, etc.

One tradition that I started a few years ago is to bake cookies before Christmas for friends and family and then deliver them door to door.  I LOVE to bake and I'm pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.  Every year I keep the few delicious must-have recipes like chocolate chip, peanut butter, and brownies.  Then I find a few brand new recipes to test on my cookie-recipients :)

This year, I spent all day Thursday baking 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies, 2 batches of double chocolate chip & walnut cookies, and 2 batches of sugar cookies cut out like Christmas trees, ornaments and holly.  My mom spent Friday baking 2 batches of peanut butter cookies, a batch of chocolate glazed brownies and a batch of chocolate glazed brownies with walnuts.  Friday night, I put on a festive outfit and Dominic wore a fun holiday sweater, red scarf and a Santa hat before heading out to deliver the treats to 8 different homes.  That's our way of spreading some holiday cheer.
chocolate chip (recipe via Nestle Toll House) & peanut butter (recipe via Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book) cookies

Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies (recipe via Ghirardelli)

Cutout Sugar Cookies with sprinkles (recipe via Better Homes & Gardens 2009 magazine 100 Best Cookies)  *I add fresh squeezed lemon to the powdered sugar frosting*

Chocolate Syrup Brownies (recipe via Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book)

Here are just a few of the many containers we put together.  I signed most of them from Dom, Misty, Mia, and a little paw print (Roxi, the dog).