Second Trimester Wrap Up

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Today marks my FIRST day of my third trimester, so I thought it was only fair to do a quick wrap up of my second trimester. First trimester was rough because my body physically, emotionally and mentally was accepting that pregnancy was really happening. I think it is important for you and your partner to use that time to mentally and physically prepare for this new exciting chapter of your lives.  I have learned that you should share the news when you feel It is deemed appropriate. Most people tend to become public with it during the 12 week mark and it is when it is normally safe. I told my parents around then and told others publicly a month later.  We had a variety of things going on and picked the best time to share with others.But I have  had some great moments just reflecting on my second trimester

 

Now, I can honestly say second trimester is better than the first. Maternity Glow has kicked in!

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Your body has transitioned to being pregnant morning sickness subsides for the most part. It was during my second trimester around my 5th month I actually started to show and at the sixth month when my stomach was truly round and hard ( and it is not abs) lol. I actually had to upgrade to maternity pants around 4 and half months because I couldn’t fit any of my jeans and button them up. I was a bit paranoid of harming the baby so I just bought maternity jeans and rotated between those tights and dresses.

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I would say up till now (knock on wood) I have not really experienced much pain except lower back pain! Oh boy and I do feel it especially as the belly grows it its throwing my spine off and curving it so it makes it feel painful at times. In particular when I sleep I get uncomfortable because starting at 5 months, you have to sleep on your side. Doctors prefer you to sleep on your left side. I am personally a back sleeper so it is uncomfortable to change the way you have been sleeping your whole life.  Honestly, to this day I really struggle with sleeping on my side.Just as the weight continues to grow it can hurt to have all of my weight on one side weighing down. But it is so important to sleep on your side because you could be cutting off  blood circulation to your baby and not sleeping on your side increases the risk of a still birth! So my husband Willie will tap me and keep me accountable in the middle of the night if by some chance I land on my back for a moment so I can readjust myself to sleep on my side. Pregnancy pillows did not work for me but I know it has worked plenty for other moms!

My Husband and I recently did our Baby Registry! Well most people do it around 4-5 months but we waited till the middle-end of my six months.  We wanted to make it simple so we chose Target, Amazon and a small Christian business called The Modern Burlap! It was hard to figure out what to register for and where to start! So here are some essentials and must haves needed for a baby plus extras and good things to have for a registry. It took us a bit longer to figure out so we did our registry when we were ready.

  • Infant car seat
  • Stroller or baby carrier
  • Newborn clothing
  • Crib, mattress, mattress cover and crib sheets
  • Baby monitor
  • Bottles, a breast pump if breastfeeding, formula if not
  • Bibs and burp cloths
  • Newborn-size disposable or cloth diapers and wipes
  • Baby bath tub and toiletries
  • Baby first aid kit, rectal thermometer and nail clippers
  • Baby bouncer

Baby Extras!

  • Clothes
  • Cloth diapers
  • Blankets
  • Glass bottles
  • Cribs
  • Strollers
  • Baby carriers
  • Bouncers
  • Baby monitor
  • Toys

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I have been using quotes and verses as confirmations to help my mind ease during the good and harder moments in pregnancy. The fact I am attempting natural birth, it is know that it has helped so many women in the process but for myself in the past. SO, if you see me posting a bunch of verses and quotes it is for you but it is for me too! I am trying to shift my mentality in order to believe in myself especially during this process. The fact that I have not given birth yet, I am trying to eliminate any fear but know that I am capable and my body was MADE FOR THIS!

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What I have found to really help my back pain is walking! Before pregnancy I would jog at a local path but since I have gotten pregnant and BIGGER it is hard to jog so I walk. That has helped SOOOOO Much to alleviate that back pain and there are so many wins from doing that. I have been able to be physically active and help with my posture. I also do hope and plan to deliver naturally and that is a major way that it is suppose to help! Fingers crossed (Especially during labor.) I will let you know about that part later!

Since I want to do a natural and non medicated  birth, so I have been on YouTube constantly to asking my friends and people I know the answers to questions I may have. I also have been reading and have plenty of books on my MUST read list to prepare for not just birth but Post par tum and this new chapter in our lives, Parenting! My current reading books are Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (Shout out to Yore) and The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy & Childbirth  by Geneviene Howland.

During this time, I really started using my baby apps on my phone! I downloaded The Bump and What To Expect, which I use daily to read articles  and learn more about the stages of pregnancy I am at. I love how I can track and see where my baby’s size and features are at.  So today I am 7 months officially and I entered into the third and final Trimester! Ahhh! I will continue to post updates about my experience!

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2018 is Year of Something New

 

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I have taken a hiatus … a very LONG hiatus. Life just got super busy so just to fast forward over the last year and half. I got married to the love of my life. I am truly blessed to have a husband that support me in my endeavors and dreams that I want to pursue in life. I truly feel like ( and  I have) a partner  in this crazy thing called life.

 

21765042_10210932477123420_8469839614303037617_nHe encourages me and we support each other in our goals that we have for ourselves. Now we are embarking on a new journey to be parents to a baby girl! We are so thrilled to have her join us in April and be apart of our lives forever. God has truly given us a blessing.

 

 

I started my masters program around my last post and just graduated a few weeks ago ( December 2017). It was awesome because on that day we were able to share the joy with our family and close friends in finding out the gender.  (Shoutout to Rediet Solomon for putting my gender reveal and decorating my graduation dinner and gender reveal party so beautifully!)

Now if you asked me that day or anytime before, I swore up and down I was having a boy. This is from majority of people feeling like we are having a boy to having a vivid dream of my son. So, when I saw that we were having a girl…. now that was a shocker. But, I am SO THRILLED! Just the idea of having a mother and daughter  relationship. I got to experience that with my mom and I am so excited to pass that down to my daughter.

 

IMG_3030Check out our Gender Reveal Video here: Gender Reveal Video

Just looking back at my first trimester I really had a quite pleasant experience. I did experience some feelings of nausea  but it wasn’t too bad. During this time, it is soaking in the reality and levels of shock that this pregnancy is happening. I definitely was going through LEVELS of shock. But, just to see the joy on Willie’s face truly made my life. I don’t think I will ever forget that for the rest of my life. It is such a joy going into this journey together. The first trimester you are definitely feeling the transition into pregnancy and honestly the best word I can describe it for me just to be frank is…. UNCOMFORTABLE. Now, don’t get me wrong it is a beautiful thing and I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE THE JOURNEY. Finding out your pregnant and holding it in while people do not know yet is extremely tough. It is like having a secret relationship no one knows about lol. You want to tell everyone but want to wait until it is the right time.  On top of just having so much body changes and not letting everyone in on what is going on with you is so difficult.

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Side note: What my life consists of nowadays111

 

I didn’t really start showing with my bump until about my 5th month and now I am 6 months and 2 weeks. I can’t wait to share my journey and seriously to any moms and dads out there if you have any advice, favorite baby products, books, videos, classes, … whatever I am so open to hearing about them! Willie and I are praying for a great journey that we have ahead of us and If you can put us in your prayers, we appreciate it! But seriously… 2018 will truly be the year of Something New and I can’t wait!

 

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Recipe of the week: Crockpot BBQ Ribs

 

This is one of my favorite recipes to do via crockpot. The crockpot really can do wonders! This recipe is easy and helps you free up your hands, so you can work Its so finger licking good!

Ingredients

    • 4 lbs baby back ribs
    • salt and pepper ( to taste)
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
For the Sauce:
  1. 2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce ( I use sweet baby rays bbq sauce)
  2. 1 cup ketchup
  3. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  5. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  6. 2 teaspoons dried oregano

(optional) dash hot sauce (my bbq sauce was spicy enough already)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place ribs in a shallow baking dish and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn over and bake for 15 more minutes. Drain fat.
  3. In a medium bowl combine BBQ sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, oregano, and liquid smoke and hot sauce if desired.
  4. Place ribs in a large slow cooker (at least 6 quart). I curled mine around but you can cut them in half if you need to. Pour sauce on top and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender.bbq ribs
  5. If you want to carmelize your bbq sauce put them back in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  6. ENJOY!

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Recipe of the Week: Crockpot Beef and Broccoli

I love trying new foods, but I also love attempting trying to make my favorite dishes. I love asian food but I am not gonna lie, I don’t get to eat it all the time. Here is another recipe you can put together in your crockpot book! Its fun, easy and tasty! Can’t wait for YOU to try it!

Ingredients
– 2 pounds beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips, cut across the grain
– 2 cups beef broth
– 2 tablespoons sesame oil
– 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
– ½ teaspoon chili flakes
– 1 cup soy sauce
– ⅔ cup brown sugar, packed
– ⅓ cup cornstarch
– 4 cups broccoli florets, steamed
– White rice or brown rice, cooked

How To

  1. Add the beef broth, sesame oil, garlic, chili flakes, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch to the bowl of a slow cooker. Stir to combine.bb2
  2. Add the sliced beef and mix until completely coated with sauce.bb1
  3. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours – or on low for 5 to 6 hours – until the meat is cooked through and tender. (Remember that slow cooker temperatures vary between each cooker, so cooking times may vary.) Remove the lid aproximately 30 minutes before the meat is done to allow sauce to thicken.bb3
  4. Add the steamed broccoli and serve hot over rice.bb5

Lasagna Skillet

This is a great recipe to try during a busy work week. This recipe will put you at ease and give you leftovers to feed the family.  This recipe is a guarantee game changer!

 

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 c. diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained (I like to use the tomatoes with onion and garlic)
  • 15 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 c. water
  • 10 oz. wide egg noodles
  • 4 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. shredded Italian cheese blend
  • Basil
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium-low heat.las
  2. Drain grease from ground beef, and return it to the skillet.
  3. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and Italian seasoning, and cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and egg noodles.las4
  6. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 10 minutes, or until noodles are al dente.
  7. Stir in ricotta, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove from heat, and top with Italian cheese blend.las5
  9. Let the lasagna sit for about 5 minutes for cheese to melt. If I already have the oven on, I just pop the pan in (make sure it’s oven safe first, though) and let the cheese melt. It takes about 3-4 minutes.
  10. Top with fresh basil just before serving.las6

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Parmesan

When you get home from a long day of work and want to whip up something hearty but fast, this is definitely a recipe to consider! This recipe is great for big groups or if you want leftovers for lunch and the next night’s dinner if you will be too busy to cook! You can’t go wrong with with Chicken Parmesan!

 

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Pour sauce into 13×9-inch baking dish. Stir in 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) Parmesan. Add chicken;chickenparm
  3. Coat the Chicken in egg. Then in a seperate bowl coat it with  turn to evenly coat both sides of each breast with sauce. Cover.
  4. Bake 30 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Meanwhile, cook spaghetti as directed on package, omitting salt.
  5. Top chicken with remaining cheeses; bake, uncovered, 5 min. or until mozzarella is melted.chicken parm
  6. Drain spaghetti. Serve topped with chicken and sauce.chickenparminana

Recipe of the Week: Holiday Cranberry Sauce

imageI may have gotten the love of cranberry from my family! I can never imagine a holiday meal without having cranberry sauce on the table. It has been a tradition for me and personally I love it! I always love making FRESH cranberry sauce because it is SO Easy and is WAY Better than eating the canned version. It is quick, easy and holiday dish favorite that is great to share!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Optional Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.cran

Directions

1 Pour the cranberries in a colander and rinse and clean them.  Go through and throw out any bad cranberries.’

2 Add water and sugar in the pan on high heat and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

3 Add the cranberries to the pot and let them  boil. Reduce  the heat and  let it simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst.cran1

4 Once the cranberries have burst you can leave the cranberry sauce as is, or dress it up with other ingredients. You can add a half a cup of chopped pecans with a few strips of orange zest.

You can also add raisins,currants, blueberries , cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice. I would only add a tiny sprinkle of spice to start and add as you go.

5 Remove  your sauce from heat. Let cool completely and chill. Then place the sauce in the  the refrigerator in a bowl. As it sits in the refrigerator it will thicken and become ready to eat!

 

 

 

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