Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

trick or treat?

we were at a party last weekend, and the host had an unusual treat on the counter.  it was a bowl of dry roasted peanuts mixed in with candy corns.  i've never seen this before, but she told me it is a very popular mid-west fall treat.  i looked it up online, and sure enough there are many versions of it that include all kinds of goodies such as pretzels, broken pieces of oreos, reeses pieces and popcorn.  so i thought it would be a fun party mix to package in mason jars and pass out this weekend to friends and family.  i was told the "proper way" to eat this snack mix is 3 peanuts to one candy corn and the combination tastes very similar to a baby ruth candy bar!  i decided to add in m&m's to my mix for some chocolate, but i don't think you can go wrong any which way you go...


1 part peanuts
1 part candy corn
1/2 part m&m's

how to:

mix all ingredients up in a bowl and serve or package in mason jars as gifts!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

make your own soda...

i am pretty sure that seltzer or soda water is a staple for any pregnant lady, but jarad also enjoys it as a substitute for soda.  it is just carbonated water, which satisfies the craving for a bubbly drink without the sugar of a soda and without the artificial sweetener and chemicals of a diet drink.  my mom has been really into these flavored gourmet olive oils and balsamic vinegars, and i have a good collection of them going at home now, but you can use the balsamic vinegars in your bubbly water for an interesting home made "soda."

just fill your glass with ice and soda water and a splash of your favorite vinegar flavor.  i have a few to try including lemongrass mint (a white balsamic), honey ginger and blackberry ginger (the one i tried today and loved!).  they make a great "mocktail" for this pregnant lady and you could always add in some vodka or your favorite alcohol for a refreshing cocktail.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ham and cheese impossible breakfast bake...

i never ate ham growing up and it is something that i don't buy or eat  normally, but i think this may be a pregnancy craving for me?  i bought the most delicious ham, cheese and caramelized onion flatbread pizza from trader joes and i saw this recipe on a "americas test kitchen" the other night and i had to make it for breakfast over the weekend.  so here it is, i had to go off memory and i made a few adjustments, but here it is...


2 T parmesain cheese
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced cooked ham
4 scallions chopped
4 eggs
2 T cream
1/2 cup bisquick mix
salt and pepper to taste

how to:

in a greased pie pan take the 2 T of parmesain cheese and coat pan evenly, this forms a "crust."  mix the cheese, ham and scallions in a bowl and then place into pie pan.

mix the eggs, cream,  bisquick (and salt and pepper to taste) until combined and pour mixture over the cheese and ham. 

bake at 375 for approximately 25-30 minutes or until set and golden brown.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


i buy these big jars of sea salt and peppercorns from bed bath and beyond and i saved the bottles when i am done with them.  i wasn't sure what to do with them, but i knew i had to add them to my craft box for something cool.  it came to me the other day, i should use them to hold/display bathroom items like qtips or cotton balls.  so i soaked them and scrubbed the label off with some help of goo be gone and them ran them through the dishwasher.  i filled them and think they will look cute in a bathroom.  they could also easily store bobby pins, bath salts, hair ties or act as a sweet little vase, i'm glad i didn't throw them out.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


recently my mom has discovered how easy and versatile shortbread can be.  she makes delicious versions of it with candied ginger or even rosemary.  you probably have all the ingredients already and the dough will freeze well or if you bake them up, the shortbread will last about 3 weeks if properly stored in an air tight container.

i always make friends a sweet treat on their birthday and yesterday we went to a couples joint birthday party at a couple of local breweries.  i thought this would be a good chance to try out a shortbread recipe.  this is adapted from martha stewarts recipe, and you can add all kinds of things to make it your own, for this one i am using dark chocolate covered espresso beans!


2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped chocolate covered espresso beans

how to:

in a large bowl beat sugar, vanilla and butter together with a hand mixer until light in color and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  then add in flour, salt and espresso beans and mix until the dough comes together.  in a buttered cake or pie pan press dough until evenly distributed and poke with fork.  bake at 325 degrees for approximately 50 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  allow to cool and cut into wedges.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

17 weeks!!!

this week is a bit more exciting, i had a check up with my doctor on thursday.  she measured my stomach which is 17 cm and listened to the baby's heartbeat (151 beats per minute).  she was happy with the way my pregnancy is progressing and i will see her again in another month.  she said the couple of pounds i lost during my first trimester have returned and this week i am back to my original pre-pregnancy weight.  she wasn't concerned at all as the baby seems to be growing appropriately.

baby is the size of an onion!

also as i approach the end of my 17th week of pregnancy, i am starting to experience "round ligament pain."  i did some research on and here is some info on it:

what is it?

"round ligament pain" is a sharp pain or jabbing feeling often felt in the lower belly or groin area on one or both sides. it is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy and is considered a normal part of pregnancy. it is most often felt during the second trimester"

what causes it?

"several thick ligaments surround and support your womb (uterus) as it grows during pregnancy. one of them is called the round ligament.

the round ligament connects the front part of the womb to your groin, the area where your legs attach to your pelvis. the round ligament normally tightens and relaxes slowly.

as your baby and womb grow, the round ligament stretches. that makes it more likely to become strained.

sudden movements can cause the ligament to tighten quickly, like a rubber band snapping. this causes a sudden and quick jabbing feeling."

symptoms of round ligament pain?

"round ligament pain can be concerning and uncomfortable. but it is considered normal as your body changes during pregnancy.

the symptoms of round ligament pain include a sharp, sudden spasm in the belly. it usually affects the right side, but it may happen on both sides. the pain only lasts a few seconds."

growth milestones this week:

~baby is practicing breathing by gulping amniotic fluid into its lungs, which helps the lungs to develop so they will function at birth
~baby may be sucking its thumb
~sweat glands are developing
~baby is becoming more sensitive to the outside world and can detect light and sound
~cartilage is now turning into bone
~baby is putting some meat on those bones and is putting on some fat
~baby can start to distinguish flavors through taste buds
~baby's brain is communicating constantly with the nervous system
~uterus is size of a small melon!

while waiting to see the doctor i came across an interesting article about the top twelve grandparent names.  my in laws have decided to be called "mimi & papa" and my dad jokes about the baby calling them "mammy & pappy", but this list had some cute ideas...


~pop pop

Friday, October 23, 2015

cold asain noodle salad...

girls wine night is a feast of delicious food, gossip and of course wine (or bubbly water for me).  this week i decided to bring a cold asain noodle salad.  i could make it the night before and it is easy and good for a light meal on a warm night...


1 pound linguini pasta
1 package of broccoli slaw from trader joes
1/2 onion finely sliced
5 scallions chopped
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
1 T sesame oil
1 package of "just chicken" from trader joes (or feel free to cook up your own chicken)

dressing ingredients:

1/2 peanut butter
2 T sesame oil
1/4 cup trader joes soyaki marinade
3 T rice wine vinegar
1 T sriracha chili paste

how to:

cook pasta and saute veggies.  i cook the pasta until al dente and then rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process.  once cooked and cooled combine  pasta and veggies and use 1 T sesame oil to make sure pasta does not stick.  allow to finish cooling off to the side while you make the dressing.  in a blender combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth.  this dressing is something i adjust until it tastes the way i like it.  you can add soy sauce for more salt or water to adjust the consistency.  once the dressing is done, i use about 1/3 - 1/2 of it to dress the pasta and then allow it to finish cooling in the fridge.  when you get ready to serve, you will top the pasta with extra dressing, toasted almonds and scallions and chicken breast.  i forgot to take a pic of the dish at wine night, but here it is on day 2 for a great lunch...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

wilfred at girls wine night...

tuesday night was "wine night" (more like bubbly water night for me).   it's always fun to catch up with good company over good food and wine (or bubby water).  even wilfred enjoys hanging out with the girls...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

baby registry!

so last weekend, i went with my mom and my sister to buy buy baby to get a jump start on my baby registry!  it was fun but also overwhelming.  prior to going my mom and i did a lot of research on big ticket baby items and were left feeling really confused!  my best resource was asking my sister in law and good friend (both first time moms to 2 month old babies) what they suggested and their favs.  so i thought i would share the email from my sister in law that gave me so much good info and a great starting place for our registry...

"Hey love!
So I literally just went through everything in Ariannas room to see what was a MUST and what wasn't!
You will definitely want:
-Rock and play
-Avent soothie pacifiers (these are the ones the hospital gives you, but you'll want some in each area of the house...Arianna hasn't taken to any other kind of pacifier BUT these ones).
-gripe water (I know that Arianna is just a gassy baby, but anytime the baby has the hiccups, or an upset tummy you can have this on deck!)
-two different kinds of bottles, even through you're trying to breastfeed. Whether you pump, or if you switch to formula it will be best to have two kinds of bottles on hand, you can return them if you don't use them! I started out with tommy tippee bottles, and now I swear by dr. Brown (because of how gassy she is!) so maybe register one set of each.
-figure out what kind of wipes/diapers you like. I hate huggies because of the articles I read about little bits of glass found in the wipes and they fall apart so don't want that with a bombed out diaper!!! Haha I know you mentioned honest diapers so I would just stick to those!! Make sure you have a variety of sizes, Arianna is already in size 2!!!!
-lots of onesies!!! I wouldn't go too crazy with zippers or buttons because it's not the easiest to change, especially at night time!
-we love our britax b-safe car seat! the only thing that sucks is its a pretty heavy car seat as is, then with Arianna who is a little pork chop in it, makes it really heavy to carry. So maybe explore different seats that you like the style and keep an eye on the weight of the seat...make sure it's practical for you!
-I use the pack and play for the changing table the new house you would probably like the same thing so you don't have to run all the way to her bedroom for diapers or anything!
-lots of muslin swaddle blankets. Even if you don't swaddle her, they're great blankets!! Not too hot, breathable material.
-boppy for sure!
-baby carrier!!! I have the "happy" wrap like you saw when you were here. I love that for around the house. But I just bought a "Tula" that I'm obsessed with! I never thought I'd be into baby carrying, but this is how I food shop, shop for anything, and just get things done when she wont let me put her down.
-stroller. They're are SO many kinds of strollers it's unbelievable! Pick what works best for you! All I can say just like I was saying about the car for the weight of the stroller. Some of them can be super heavy and that's not practical! I can't say enough good things about the stroller I picked "city select baby jogger" !! It's easy to fold, it's not TOO heavy, it comes with a big storage compartment on the bottom, it's good for streets AND jogging. The best part is it comes with two seats. So when you guys have a second, you don't have to buy a new stroller to fit both kids!! Chrissy's stroller was a gracco click connect and although she loved it, she had to buy a different one once she had Maci! She has the bob doubler stroller now, which is awesome but it was way too big for me!! I would bump into everything with that and it's kinda overkill to have that big of stroller until you do have two kids.
-bumbo seat! Anthony used it all the time, Maci is just now starting to use it. It goes everywhere!!!
-activity mat for tummy time
-I forgot to register for a high chair, but wish I did!
-sound machine!!! White noise is a beautiful thing at night haha. It drowns out any small grunts or noises she will make, and they love the noise! Win win for everyone :)

Things I don't think I needed:

-a bassinet! Arianna sleeps in the rock and play that you bought her, and that's it!! They grow out of bassinets so quickly too.
-I thought baby laundry detergent was a bust! It didn't smell great and it didn't get any formula stains out of her clothes so I stopped using it. I use it on small loads of her bedding just to get rid of it...But that's up to you!
-infant/baby tub. As much as they're adorable and may work for some people...nothing was as good as the kitchen sink!! I have a small pink tub for when she gets a little older and doesn't fit in the sink. But infant tubs don't fill with a lot of water and so she would get cold, and start screaming. But in the kitchen sink she is submerged in water and LOVES her baths!!
-momma roo. She hates it, but every baby is different!"

my friend kate had some similar suggestions, her favs were:

-ergo baby carrier
-chicco bravo trio travel system (car seat and stroller)
-"swaddle me" swaddle blankets
-"joovy boob" bottles
-k'tan baby carrier
-baby swing
-pack and play
-rocker bassinet
-madela brand breast feeding products
-petunia pickle bottom diaper bag
-fisher price 4 in 1 seat bath tub

i ended up registering at buy buy baby because they have the great 20% coupons in the mail and you can also use the bed bath and beyond ones there as well!  i did one of my wedding registries at bed bath and beyond and they have such a great return policy that i am hoping buy buy baby will be just as good (being a sister company).  i did find that there were a few products that i was interested in that they did not carry, but i was able to find at target.  i don't think i will register at target, but another option is also amazon!  either way, after 4 long hours of looking at baby stuff, we left exhausted but had a great time doing it! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

16 weeks!!!

i can hardly believe i am over a third of the way cooked and in a few short weeks i will be to the half way point!!!  there were so many times when we were trying to get pregnant that i never thought i would see myself here, i feel so happy and grateful that we have a healthy baby girl on the way!  again this is another uneventful week with no appointments and i am feeling great!  jarad is gone for a long weekend, which means my mom and sister and i will work on the baby registry at buy buy baby, woohoo!!!  and look at this adorable sweater that a dear family friend knitted...i can't wait for our baby girl to wear this!

this week, i can really feel and see my stomach growing!  it is still itchy and tingly and definitely bigger!  maternity clothes are my new best friend, especially the dresses (super comfy).  i am still waiting for my belly to POP, but i know i must be getting close.  vivid dreams are a symptom of pregnancy, and boy am i having some unusual ones, as well as a lot of talking in my sleep.  other than that, i have noticed my energy level after 9pm is non-existent. which after a long day at work, a long commute, exercising and making dinner (some nights) isn't so bad?!?!  i normally go to bed on the early side, but i always stay awake to watch my favorite cooking show at 9pm, these days i am asleep before the 30 minute episode is finished.  the most common question i get is if i am craving anything funny?  my answer is still "not really."  this week i am really craving pasta, this is probably after seeing my sister's blog post on her homemade pasta, YUM!  i heard that in the next few weeks i should start to feel baby kick!  but in the meantime i may feel "flutters" or "quickening" which is movement from the baby.  at my last ultrasound i learned that i have an anterior placenta which means that the placenta is in front, almost acting as if the baby were kicking a pillow, which could mean it might take longer for me to feel the kicks?  we will see, but i am so excited for that moment and to be able to share it with jarad and family. and this may be the start of my weight gain, i think this week i have gained my first pound (which still puts me 1 pound under my pre-pregnancy weight)...i think i better get used to this.

growth milestones this week...

~baby now weighs more than surrounding placenta and positioned halfway between pubic bone and navel
~baby is beginning to store fat which is important for metabolism and heat production
~baby can hear my voice because of the tiny bones forming in the ears
~taste buds are forming
~heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day
~baby's flexible thumbs are able to grasp

baby is the size of an avocado!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

pregnancy ramble of the day...

while walking wilfred today i had all these thoughts racing through my head and i had to get them out.  as i am enjoying the "cool" weather i am reflecting back on the last two years of our journey to conceive and feeling extremely grateful for my pregnant belly.

for those of you who know us, know that we didn't have it easy when we started trying to get pregnant.  unfortunately the first year was a waste due to the fact that i had a terrible doctor who thought putting me on hormones might help, and she mis-prescribed them only for them to act as a contraceptive.  this did not become apparent to us until i started going to acupuncture and my acupuncturist asked for a list of any medications i was on.  thank goodness she was knowledgeable enough to quickly realize this red flag and get me off of them immediately, as well as switch doctors!

i had so many tests done and all of which came back as "normal."  so this puts you in a very mysterious category of "unexplained infertility."  in my mind i always saw myself getting pregnant the old fashioned way, but i continued to explore natural and organic ways to improve my fertility. in this time i realized that i was not alone in this struggle.  i would see and hear stories on social media from other women about their experiences with IVF, IUI's, and adoption.   and because of their willingness to share, we were able to form a community of support for one another.  it is a club no one chooses to be in, but it brought me closer to friends and reconnected me with old ones.  you become a cheerleader for them, you cry together, you ask them questions and become a resource of information for others. 

often times you are so caught up in the moment with frustration and fear that you can hardly imagine being on the other side of it all.  but when you do, there becomes feelings of guilt for those that can no longer relate to you. 

for my friends that are still writing their fertility story, i want you to know, i will always understand the feelings of loneliness,  emptiness, anxiety and sadness.  i know how hard it is to feel emotions that are not typical of ourselves, like anger and resentment and jealousy.  and i experienced 2 miscarriages and am no stranger to the feelings of loss and anger.  i will always be your cheerleader there to support you through this and hold tight to hope, faith and positive thinking.  miracles happen everyday. 

when we open up to people about our experiences the usual reaction is "i know", "i understand", "don't worry, everything will be okay."  but these responses diminish our feelings and i truly believe that no one understands what it feels like unless you have lived it.  you develop the most intense love/hate relationship with your own body, feeling betrayed month after month after month. 

on the flip side of it, i know everyone wants to put their 2 cents in about parenthood and how to raise a child.  it's a learning and growing experience i am excited to share with my husband.  my sister in law is coming upon the end of her maternity leave, and i can only imagine the mixed feelings she is going through right now, but honestly i am not in her shoes and i don't know how it feels.  so the best answer i could give her was "i know this will be a transition period for all of you, i am always here if you need to chat or vent." 

my long winded point is that if you have always dreamed of having your own family, it does not matter how you get to that point, whether it be fertility treatments or adoption or something else.  don't forget your story of how you got there and be willing to share with others who are in the same position as you, your support means more than you know!  and sometimes listening to feelings without judgement and advice is the best thing you can provide for others. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

pumpkin muffins...

i am one of those people that get excited for fall for the weather, boots and sweaters and of course all things pumpkin!  with the heat wave we are having it is hard to enjoy the fall flavors with summer like temps.  this weekend we are having some gloomy weather and it is not 90 degrees, so i thought this is my chance to bake!

i got my favorite pumpkin muffin mix at trader joes and made it my own!


1 box of trader joes pumpkin muffin and bread mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 mashed bananas

how to:

i follow the box instructions for the mix, however i cut the fat in half by substituting apple sauce.  of course this is optional, you can certainly follow the instructions on box and use the full 1/2 cup of vegetable oil it calls for.  but i think you will find the apple sauce and bananas keep the batter light and moist, you probably won't even know the difference.  mix all ingredients either by hand or with a hand mixer.  this can either be baked in a loaf pan or cupcake tin.  bake at 350 for approximately 20-24 minutes, makes 16 muffins.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

beat the heat...

all i can say is i am over the hot weather.  it is the middle of october and we are experiencing 95+ degree weather by the beach.  we only have one AC room in the house, so i look forward to coming to work so i can be in my nice cool office.  it is definitely cooler outside than it is inside our house, so last night we hung out at the park to cool off.  wilfred LOVES to run around in the grass, jarad got to fly his helicopter and i got to relax and watch my boys play. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

15 weeks!!!

looking back at all my weekly belly pics, i feel like some weeks it looks bigger and other weeks it looks smaller.  i try to take the pics in the morning before i eat, because if i were to take one after a big meal, you would definitely be seeing a "food baby"  haha!  but i am still waiting for my belly to pop.  but i can tell it is definitely growing and stretching, because my stomach itches and gets a tingly feeling.  i have been using burts bees belly cream nightly, so i hope that will help with stretch marks.  i found this interesting chart that gives a quick look into each month of pregnancy, i am currently in the 4th month.

this is kind of an uneventful week, no doctors appointments and i am feeling good!  my job is calming down a bit, so that is helpful. i still haven't gained any weight this week.  but trust me i am eating well! 

i am trying to be good about my food choices, and be prepared with healthy snack options.  i find that i need to eat more often and my blood sugars can drop suddenly.  some of my favs have been fruit, string cheese, trail mix, dried fruit and i am excited to bring back one of my fav recipes today that i know will be perfect for me, my energy bites (check out old blog post).  i can keep them in the freezer and eat them on the go or even keep them at my office.  i am also starting to try to eat more protein.  i feel like during my first trimester the foods that sounded best to me were high in carbs, so i am trying to eat a more balanced diet and get a lot of good fats and proteins in there.

growth milestones this week:

~limbs and joints can all move
~legs out measure arm length
~bones have enough calcium to show up on x-ray
~baby can hold head erect
~can also make faces with the slightly developed facial muscles, will practice squinting, frowning and opening and closing mouth, rub it's eyes, yawn and maybe even blink.
~baby's hairline is forming and hair is starting to grow on head, as well as eyelashes and eyebrows

baby is the size of a navel orange!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

strawberry and cream cake...

even though i am too tired to make dinner during the week, i am never too tired to make a dessert for a good party!  and this party was the celebration of LOVE between two dear friends of ours!  they had a courthouse wedding with family and will have a destination wedding to follow in 2016! so naturally i wanted to bring an extra special dessert.  so here is my strawberry and cream cake!


2 boxes white cake mix (all all the ingredients needed to make them)
2 t almond extract
1 large container whipping cream
1.5 T vanilla extract
3 T sugar
1 cup raspberry jam
2 pounds strawberries

how to:

make the boxed cake according to instructions, but in addition to the ingredients it calls for add 1 t almond extract per box.  bake in 9 inch cake round.  allow to cool completely before assembling cake.   in a large bowl combine whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar and beat with hand mixer until you have whipped cream with firm peaks.  wash and slice strawberries.

using either a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss cut each cake round in half.  place cake round on platter and start assembly.  start with a thin layer of jam followed by whipped cream and strawberries and continue until last layer.

in total you should have three layers of jam, whipped cream and strawberries.  once all layers are completed coat the sides and top of cake with a thick layer of whipped cream and arrange strawberries on top in a pretty pattern.  serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

pesto chicken bake...

cooking dinner at night is something i don't have the energy to do during the weeknights anymore.  jarad was sweet enough to try a new recipe for me last week that looked really good and easy, and it was really tasty!


1 chicken breast per person
1 T pesto per chicken breast
cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup mozzerela per chicken breast

how to:

place defrosted chicken breasts on baking sheet or oven safe dish, and cover with pesto sauce.  then cut cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle over chicken and top with cheese.  bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is bubbly.

serve with spaghetti with either marinara or pesto sauce, raviolis, or roasted potatoes.

Monday, October 5, 2015

14 weeks!!!

welcome to the second trimester and all i can say is "holy hormones!"  definitely feeling extra emotional these days.  luckily still feeling well, but not experiencing the energy people talk about in the second trimester.  i believe it is because i am so busy at work that by the end of the day and with a long commute i am ready to be at home and relax.  also the days are getting shorter and that always throws off my internal clock.  it is pretty much dark when i get home, so i get confused if i want to eat or sleep.  wilfred seems to know somethings up.  he is starting to cuddle me (which he never does - only jarad) and the other day i had someone new in my office and he did not like him getting anywhere near my desk.  i think he is in guard dog mode.  i think its kinda cute. i've also "graduated" from going to my weekly acupuncture sessions. 

i am still exercising and going to the gym, but it is getting harder and harder.  the best exercise for me right now is walking, and i know wilfred enjoys it too, so a win for win for all of us.  i still have not experienced a weight gain, and am in fact still down 1.5 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  but you would never guess that from my growing belly.  they say in the next couple of weeks your belly just pops out of nowhere overnight, i am excited for this moment so i can get out of the chubby, bloated, awkward phase and start to actually look pregnant! i have not had any unusual cravings, but in general mexican food is sounding really good and i am enjoying cookies and cream ice cream (i was never a big ice cream fan).  i find that i will see or hear about a food and then i will crave it until i get it.

baby is the size of a lemon!

here are some 14 week growth milestones...

~baby's bones are hardening
~hair is growing on head and eyebrows and if the baby will have dark hair the follicles will start to generate pigment
~kidneys are making urine and liver and spleen are doing their jobs too
~baby is moving a lot and may even be sucking their thumb
~lungs will continue to develop and baby is practicing breathing with the amniotic fluid on a regular basis
~baby can make faces and reflexes are becoming stronger

it will be a few weeks until our next round of doctors appointments, but we reached the marker this week where you can do an early gender ultrasound, so we went ahead and did it!  it was an awesome experience to get another peek on baby berk and a sweet moment for my parents to get to participate as well.  baby is right on track developmentally and the heartbeat was 163 beats per minute.  it was strange because the baby was upside down, so we didn't really get a good look at baby, but we did leave with some exciting news...