Thursday, December 31, 2015

happy new year!!!

wishing you a very happy new year filled with love, health, happiness and success!!!

erin, jarad, wilfred & baby berk

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

family time...

lately we have been doing long walks on the beach on the weekends.  they usually end up being about 5 miles and i sleep really well that night (as does wilfred).  i love being outside and enjoying our last few weekends by the beach.  and wilfred is in heaven!  love this family time together while we taken in the last few months of just being a couple.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

26 weeks!!!

i said it last week and i will say it once more, but being 7 months pregnant during the holidays is taking its toll on me.  the parties, dinners, shopping, cooking, cleaning and entertaining (on top of thinking about our move) has just been TOO much!  as fun as christmas was, i am so happy it is over!  we will be spending a few days in vegas next week with family friends, possibly staying for new years eve, but that should be fun and relaxing.  we do this every year, and i enjoy some post holiday sales shopping, gambling and of course eating!  we will bring wilfred and my parents will also be there!

my acid reflux is back and i have been experiencing it most days.  per my doctors suggestion, i went out and got myself zantac, which has been working wonders for me!  lately i have been getting it even when i haven't eaten or especially when laying flat on my back.  i have also noticed that i can no longer sit comfortably in a sofa.  when i sit, there is a gap between the back of the sofa and my lower back, causing me to slump, which causes back pain.  sometimes putting a pillow behind my back can help, but i find i am better off in a straight back chair or if we are watching TV then laying down is better for me.  and i have been dealing with insomnia the last couple of weeks.  i know i have a lot on my mind, but i am having a hard time staying asleep, not to mention i get up anywhere from 3-7 times a night to pee.  i hear that around this time in pregnancy insomnia is common, it is your body's way of preparing you for your sleepless nights with a newborn.  i also got good news that i passed my glucose test with flying colors and am also not anemic (something else they test for when they do the glucose blood work). 

i feel like this post is full of complaints, but as i get further along my pregnancy symptoms are becoming more pronounced.  none of them are unbearable or painful, just inconvenient and uncomfortable.  and i am still learning how to manage them and some of them i can take a more proactive approach so i don't run into them at all.  but complaining aside, i am so excited and overjoyed that our baby girl is healthy and growing and we are almost exactly 3 months away from meeting her and instantly falling in love (although we already are).  i find myself day dreaming about what she will look like and what features she will take from us all.  and what kind of personality will she have?  who will she take after and will her and wilfred be best buds (i sure hope so!!!).  we got some super sweet christmas gifts for her and i cannot wait to take pictures of her in the clothes people got her and send it to them.

weight gain this week = 1.5 pounds
total weight gain = 10.5 pounds

weekly growth milestones...

~baby is stealing my antibodies to build her immune system in preparation for the outside world
~baby is practicing taking breaths (of amniotic fluid)
~baby's eyelashes are formed
~baby's brain is going through a growth spurt and over 50% of baby's energy will be used for this purpose
~most of baby's bodily systems and functions are intact and most of the remaining development will revolve around putting on height and weight
~baby is over 14-15 inches tall and weighs more than 2 pounds

baby is the size of a head of lettuce!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

looking back...

i made a private board on pinterest that i labeled "2015 dream board".  i went back to look at the images i pinned and wanted to see what my goals were and where i am now.  a lot of my goals revolved around...

~having a family
~getting in good shape (physically, mentally and spiritually) and clean eating
~becoming a home owner
~finding a work/life balance and being happy at work

i was surprised to see that many of my goals have come true or are in the works!  i am a firm believer that if you ask the universe for something or put that energy out there, things will start to happen to make your dreams come true.  so let me run through each of the goals i listed and where i am at...

~having a family:  well after 2 long years of trying with 2 miscarriages, my lifelong dream of having my own family is coming true!  the funny part is that it happened when i least expected it and when i took all of my energy off trying to conceive.  we are now 7 months pregnant and about to enter our 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  our healthy baby girl is due at the end of march and we are so excited! 

~getting in good shape: i started working out with jarad and changing up my work out routine.  over the course of about 4-5 months my body transformed.  i lost about 12 pounds and gained a lot of muscle.  at my best i was bench pressing 95 pounds and ran a 10k marathon.  pairing this with eating clean (think a lot of protein and veggies, minimal carbs) and i was feeling on top of the world.  now that i am pregnant, i am unable to do some of the exercises i once was able to do, but i continue to stay active and i know this has helped me to have an easy pregnancy.

~becoming a home owner: at some point during summer, jarad and i came to the realization that living in southern california will never satisfy our goals as a family.  we really want to own some land, spread out and live a simple and less stressful lifestyle.  unfortunately those things don't go hand and hand living in los angles, so we starting talking about where we could relocate that would be ideal for our family.  jarad being from new england would love to go back east, but being the west coast girl that i am, i don't think i could deal with snow.  we both love the outdoors and i want to stay on the west coast, so we decided that we would be happy living in the pacific north west and decided on washington state!  then as we started talking it over we got excited about this and then started telling family and friends.  although this has been the hardest decision to make, it was received with support and excitement.  then came the job hunt, house hunt and we will be moving in january 2016.  while we have not found the perfect home for us yet, we are excited that we can afford a large house with lots of land without breaking the bank.  so when we move up there, it will be my job to house hunt and learn all there is to know about washington.  i wish we could take everyone with us, but i know this will be what is best for our family.  it will also be a major lifestyle change.  i hope that our friends and family will fall in love with it too and visit often or even decide that they too chose to get out of the LA craziness. 

~work/life balance: i have struggled with this during most of my career at my current job, but the last few years, i have started to figure it out.  i no longer take work home with me or allow it to consume me emotionally.  of course i have days of frustration, but i have to let it roll off my shoulders.  my dream job has always been to be a "mom."  and now that is happening!  another key factor when deciding about our move was finding a place we could live comfortably and within our means and me being able to stay at home with the kids.  i am leaving my job in the new year and my replacement is trained and ready to take over.  and i feel nothing but love towards my coworkers and am thrilled for my new job title!

~traveling:  we went to mexico this year, in fact to where we honeymooned and i am so happy that my sister and brother in law joined us!  of course we did the normal traveling back east to boston, new hampshire and vermont.  we also went to sedona and loved it!  our traveling situation is about to change real soon with a baby, but that is okay, i wouldn't change it for the world.  we will always find time to explore and go on new adventures. 

i would say that my dream board was fulfilled for 2015 and now it is time to start making a new one for 2016!  my goal was to create a life that i didn't need a vacation from, and although i didn't know how or what that meant, i think our move is part of making that goal come true.  i hope 2016 has lots of good stuff in store for us.  i know this move will be filled with growing pains and separation anxiety (it already has), but i hope that it will also bring us all a new perspective, reconnect us with nature and bring us all back to the simple stuff in life (family, friends, love, nature, good food and adventures)

Friday, December 25, 2015

merry christmas!

wishing all my friends and family a very merry christmas, filled with love, laughs and gratitude.  we had a great day doing our traditional christmas breakfast and present opening with the family and then a quiet dinner at home with my parents.  jarad made an incredible roast, and i made scalloped potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie.  we finished up the night with our favorite holiday movie "just friends."  it was a perfect day and now i am ready to put my feet up and do nothing for the next 24 hours!

Monday, December 21, 2015

25 weeks!!!

some people say it is good that i won't be pregnant during the summer months, so i won't be uncomfortable with the heat.   but i am finding it hard to be pregnant during the holidays with all the parties and good food!  the other night i ate 7 potato pancakes at a hanukkah party!!!  i joke that our baby will be a potato pancake!  i am doing my best to eat well and not over indulge, but my appetite has increased tremendously.  trying to make sure my office and home are filled with healthy snacks like almonds, apples, oranges, cheese and yogurt.  the good news is my indigestion has calmed down a bit this week! 

the stress of the holidays is also starting to kick in.  last weekend was filled with several parties (one of which we hosted), which means lots of cooking and of course last minute gift shopping.  as our last guest left around 6pm on sunday, i realized how tired i was.  i made jarad take me to in n out, cause i didn't want to cook and was craving a burger, and then was in bed by 7:30pm!  i am really looking forward to the time off between christmas and new years so we can relax, hang out with family and friends and prepare for our move.

this week i had my monthly prenatal check up and everything is looking great!  my tummy is measuring 26 cm, which is right on track.  i learned at my last visit that anything + or - 3 of your week of pregnancy is considered normal.  and the baby's heart beat was right around 150 beats per minute, and the doctor told me i can take zantac for my indigestion.    before i could start to feel her move and kick i was always anxious to make sure she was still in there, so i was always excited for an ultrasound.  but these days, her movement is a constant reminder of the life growing inside me and i am confident that she is growing appropriately and healthy!  she is active (still mostly at night) but i feel her throughout the day, i have read that their activity level can start to decrease around this time because she is getting bigger which means less room for her to move around in.

as i write this post, i am getting ready to do my glucose test.  i woke up this morning and was instructed to eat breakfast at 7:30am.  i was told to eat a piece of dry toast with eggs.  since i don't like eggs by themselves, i did a hollowed out half of bagel with three pieces of turkey.  then an hour later, you have 5 minutest to chug this sugary drink and then an hour later you have your blood work done.  i am a little nervous about this test, and also nervous to drink this fruit punch, which i hear is awful.  to my surprise, it isn't that bad.  it tastes like an overly sweet, slightly thicker, flat fruit punch.  i also had the option to chose between orange and grape. but if you do fail it, then they retest you again, over a longer period of time (fingers crossed today goes well!)  i am also excited that yesterday, we hit double digit numbers for our due date!  if she comes on time, then as of today we are 98 days away from meeting our baby girl!

weight gain this week = 1 pound
total weight gain = 9 pounds

growth milestones this week...

~baby's primitive memory is starting to develop
~baby's spine has 1,000 ligaments, 150 joints and 33 vertebrae
~blood vessels are developing in the lungs and nostrils are starting to open
~baby's skin is more opaque in color
~the cerebral cortex part of the brain (emotions, reasoning, planning and problem solving) is hte most prominent part of the brain at this point
~baby's hair is thickening and probably has a color by now
~with baby's new sense of balance, she may start to rotate towards the position she will be at birth (head down, feet up)
~she should weigh close to 2 pounds at this point

baby is the size of a head of cauliflower!

Monday, December 14, 2015

24 weeks!!!

at this point i am definitely looking and feeling pregnant!  i still get a lot of comments from people who think i look "small," but it sure doesn't feel that way anymore.  my new wardrobe consists of leggings or yoga pants, a maternity tank top with a warm sweater cover up on top, and of course boots for winter!  i no longer care what i look like as long as i am warm and comfortable.

i had my first experience of heartburn the day after thanksgiving and since then it has been a regular occurrence.  i am finding that certain things trigger it, like spicy foods, big meals and the position that i sleep.  i am still trying to learn how to manage it better, and things like tums and apple cider vinegar can be helpful.  my mom also suggested i eat celery, which she learned from a family friend.  so i have also been eating a lot of celery, it helps soothe and calm my throat and stomach while eating it, but does not have a lasting effect for me.  jarad has read that mustard is also effective with acid reflux, but i have yet to try this one.  the thought of a tablespoon of mustard isn't so appetizing.  but even though it is annoying, nothing i have experienced this far is painful or too uncomfortable, i am lucky to continue to have an easy pregnancy!!!

we are still also moving forward with our washington plans, which is exciting and scary and emotional!  but we now have our move date and i am beginning to look for doctors and hospitals in our new city so i can continue my prenatal care without disruption.  i love my doctor here, so i hope i can find a new one that is as wonderful as she is.  i am also starting to think about the warm clothes i will need up there!  and build on wilfred's sweater collection as well.

unfortunately jarad has been sick for the last two weeks, we thought we was getting better, but then he relapsed.  finally he got on antibiotics and is feeling much better.  because of this, i took advantage of staying in bed late in the mornings and not going to the gym, since he couldn't go.  but now, i am back at it and continuing my workouts while i can! i still enjoy walking the most, it is low impact and wilfred also gets his exercise this way too.

i was hoping that my massive weight gain from last week would not be accurate, but unfortunately to my surprise it has not fluctuated.  i know the upcoming weeks are a big growth spurt for the baby and she is continuing to pack on the pounds.  my appetite has increased and i am trying to make sure the extra calories i am eating are healthy ones packed with lots of protein and nutrients for the baby.  i notice that the baby moves a lot after i eat or drink and she is constantly active.  i had a new first, it was 3am and she started kicking so hard that it woke me up and it lasted for a 1/2 hour.  it is as if she is having a dance party in my tummy. 

weight gain this week = 0 pounds
total weight gain = 8 pounds

growth milestones for the week...

~baby's hair is starting to change color to what it will be at birth
~baby's weight will double in the next 4 weeks
~lungs are developing and preparing to take their first breaths
~baby weighs about 1.5 pounds
~baby has more regular sleep patterns, and regular movements will rock the baby to sleep, that is why they are more active when you are inactive
~baby may already have a preference for being left or right handed
~uterus is the size of a soccer ball

baby is the size of a cantelope!

Monday, December 7, 2015

23 weeks pregnant!!!

thank god this week my hormones have evened out a bit, but watch out, that could change at any given moment.  unfortunately jarad and i have both caught a cold, although he has it worse than i do.  but let me tell you, it sucks to be pregnant and sick or hurt.  you can not take ANYTHING!  i also slept weird this week and tweaked my neck, i was unable to even put topical creams on for relief.  i ended up using those pillows that are filled with rice and beans that you heat up in the microwave, it helped a little.  but sure did miss advil and sudafed this week!  aside from that, i have also experienced some mild heart burn this week and round ligament pain.  again, nothing too bad, but i am definately feeling and looking bigger!

i am not huge, but this week i started to notice that my belly is in the way when i go to tie my shoe or bend down.  i can only imagine this will get worse, haha!  the baby has been very active and i feel her more and more throughout the day.  her most active time is at my bedtime, and it is fun to watch my tummy twitch and move.  i haven't had any food cravings or aversions during my pregnancy, but often times i will see a food and get it stuck in my head.  i will obsess about  it until i have it, then it goes away and a i find another food item to dream about.  so while grocery shopping this weekend, one of those items was honey nut cheerios and ingredients to make taco salad (random - i know!).  another one that has been big for me and is still on my weekly shopping list is english muffins.  there is something about those "nooks and crannies" that taste so good toasted with butter!  i was shocked when i weighed myself this week, the scale showed i gained 5 pounds!  but i have been super bloated this week on top of a cold and not working out regularly.  although my eating habits have not changed at all, i am noticing that a big meal will make feel super full for a very long time and give me indigestion as my uterus continues to grow upwards and push on my stomach.  so this week i will be focusing on eating smaller more frequent meals, trying some remedies for heart burn (apple cider vinegar and celery) and getting back on track with work outs (at least walking).  i truly think my weight will even out a bit in the upcoming week, but i also know this is a huge growing spurt for the baby as she is gaining weight and fat.  but whoa, slow down there, at this rate and with the holidays coming up i will have to pace myself!

weight gain this week = 5 pounds
total weight gain =  8 pounds

we are also starting to think about and plan 2 baby showers in the month of january.  my best and oldest friend is hosting one for my family and my parents will be throwing us a combo baby shower/going away party.  i must admit this has been a bit overwhelming for me to think about, dealing with all the emotions of the move, so it all feels bitter sweet.   but we have been receiving gifts for little baby berk and i also got caught up on all my thank you cards this week!

growth milestones...

~eyelashes are fairly well developed and hair is growing on baby's head
~baby's movements are becoming more restricted as there is less room in the uterus as she grows bigger
~vital organs are quite mature, but lungs are not yet fully formed
~baby may have facial expressions such as frowning & squinting and is becoming more aware of outside world through noises and lights and can become startled
~uterus reaches about 1.5 - 2 inches above belly button
~baby is forming nipples
~baby should weigh in at a little over 1 pound
~if the baby were born early, it would have a 50/50 chance of survival
~the next 5 weeks the baby will go through a big growth spurt
~the part of the brain that is responsible for memory, intellect and motor skills is preparing to conduct communication between cells
~REM (rapid eye movements) are occurring in baby's sleep

baby is the size of a grapefruit!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

persimmon pudding cobbler...

my favorite holiday dessert is my grandmother's apple pudding pie, and my mom has taken over making it.  it is apples, white bread, butter, cinnamon and sugar with a homemade crust on top.  this may sound strange, but the best part of a pie to me is the filling, i don't like crust.  i had some persimmons that needed to be eaten and some leftover white bread from turkey day sandwiches, so i decided to see if i could recreate the apple pudding pie with persimmons and make it crust less.  the finished product was exactly what i wanted and super delicious.  i made a small version of it (enough for 2) to see how it would come out, but you can defiantly make a larger one (i think the proportion would be 2 persimmons to one piece of white bread).


4 persimmons (peeled and cut into one inch chunks)
2 pieces white bread (cubed into one inch pieces)
1 T sugar
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
2 T butter
1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice (you can also use water)

how to:

in a bowl combine persimmons, bread, sugar and pumpkin pie spice until well combined.  then place into a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  put dabs of butter on top and then drizzle apple cider over everything.  bake at 350 degrees until bubble and persimmon is tender (about 45 minutes).  you can also make this into a cobber by adding the topping before baking or a crust on top (like my grandmothers apple pudding pie).  this time i am eating it by itself or maybe with a sprinkling of granola on top.  this is a new favorite fall treat!  my favorite part is how the bread soaks up all the juices and becomes like a bread pudding...YUM!!!