Thursday, August 28, 2014


Yesterday's Workout:
3 mile run
1 mile walk
Chest/Shoulder circuit

I am SO excited for the long weekend ahead. I plan on doing lots of reading, relaxing in my hammock, and organizing the nursery. We've got lots of baby laundry to do! I'm officially allowing myself to enter nesting mode. In the meantime, here's a photo recap of what we've been up to lately:

Jasper and his buddy, Kian, on the lake for 4th of July

Tomatoes from our garden...we're harvesting about 400 cherry tomatoes a week. Any takers??

Summer Risotto at 29 Subury

Chocolate torte at 29 Sudbury

Jasper trying to get this poor frog to play the pounce game. No frogs were injured during the taking of this photograph.

Love my garden roses!

Something good must have been on TV this night.

My new favorite place to run during pregnancy - much more comfortable than the road or treadmill! 

Georgia peach dessert at Sprigs

I need this glass. 

Brent is practicing for when baby comes...Jasper is the ever willing assistant.

Preparing the centerpieces for my baby shower!

Catching up on his beauty rest. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

31 Weeks

Yesterday's Workout:
2 mile run
90 min yoga

Last night's yoga class was MUCH needed and may have been the best one yet. We did a lot of hip openers and pelvic stretches, which felt amazing after my short run before class. I like to do a little cardio before yoga to help warm my muscles and get my heart rate up before an hour and a half of intense stretching. I like to think of it as the yin and yang of exercise...gotta keep things balanced, you know? Also, frog pose - where have you been all my (pregnant) life?

I hit the 31 week mark yesterday. We're down to single digits now, baby! I almost can't believe what a difference just a month has made...Baby Mo is growing like a weed!

I can't wait to see what next month's growth spurt will look like! I'm taking bets on how much longer I'll be able to look down and see my feet.

Also, I had my baby shower this weekend, and it was seriously one of the best days of my life spent with family and friends at my home - it couldn't have been more perfect! I can't wait to share some of the photos!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

30 Weeks

Yesterday's Workout:
2 mile walk
90 min prenatal yoga

So people aren't kidding about the third trimester when they say you will wake up and wonder how you got so big all of a sudden. I feel a bit like humpty dumpty these days. Baby Mo is growing exponentially. His feet are permanently set under my ribs, and his head feels very low in my abdomen, as indicated by his frequent hiccup spells - I still giggle every time he gets them. He is quite the wiggle monster, which has actually become somewhat uncomfortable at times. He did not cooperate at all during yoga last night, and I had a few close calls when he decided he was going to start playing whack-a-mole with my bladder. Thank god I've been practicing my kegels! This has been making running (and even walking) more difficult lately. I'm no longer ashamed to stop mid-stride to squeeze my legs together and pray he finds something more intriguing than my bladder.

So yeah, shit sort of got real this week. I feel like up until this point, it has been all fun and games in my mind, imagining what my new life as a mother will be like but knowing it was still pretty far off and that I had plenty of time to go until then to sit back and dream about it. And then 30 weeks greets you with a giant slap of reality. And you realize you have a mere 2 months to go. Then suddenly, panic sets in that you haven't done enough to prepare. The nursery is not ready. We still have furniture to buy. But it's best to wait until after the shower this weekend. And then there's the hospital bag. Nursing bras, nursing pads, and feminine pads are all on the suggested list of things to pack. Feminine pads? My god, I haven't had to wear those since I was 16! And then Google becomes everything.

And then I find myself laughing at how ridiculous I get when my mind wonders, and I finally find my way back to happy reality.

In all seriousness, I have a pretty exciting week ahead of me. I've reached the 4th quarter in my pregnancy - hey, it's football season now, so don't judge; I turn 28 tomorrow - not a big deal, other than it's the last birthday I have as a non-parent; and the one I'm most excited baby shower is this weekend! I can't wait to see all my family and friends to celebrate Baby Mo!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Yesterday's Workout:
3 mile run
1 mile walk

Making sure you get enough calcium in pregnancy is ridiculously important for you and your growing baby, especially in the third trimester when baby is growing at an exponential rate and the bones are beginning to harden and store iron, phosphorus, and calcium. If your calcium intake is too low, your baby will leach it from your bones, which can cause serious damage down the road to your body. My maternal grandmother battled osteoporosis in her life, so I like to err on the side of caution.

As someone who isn't much of a chug-a-glass-of-milk kind of girl, I've been experimenting with other ways to reach my daily calcium intake: yogurt, cheese sticks, almond milk in vitamin-fortified cereal, and cottage cheese have been my go-to's. Every now and then when I have a sweet tooth and want to indulge, Brent will whisk me away to the local ice cream place down the street. Most of the time, I opt for frozen yogurt - it still has all the calcium benefits as ice cream but with much less fat - but sometimes, nothing beats the real thing. We even dug out our ice cream maker a few times at home to experiment with different recipes this summer. Last month, we made this amazing coconut milk ice cream - I highly recommend!

One of my all-time favorite flavors is chocolate peanut butter cup, so last week I took it to the kitchen to experiment. The result was the most amazingly smooth, creamy, delicious chocolatey-peanut-buttery treat. For mix-ins, we added chocolate chunks and pretzel bits, and I imagine chopped up peanut butter cups would be pretty phenomenal as well.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream 

4 egg yolks
2 C heavy cream
1 C whole milk
3/4 C sugar
1/3 C cocoa powder
1/2 C creamy peanut butter
Sea salt, pinch
Optional add-ins:
1 C chopped pretzels (frozen overnight before adding to keep them crunchy)
1/3 C chocolate chunks
1/3 C peanut butter cups, chopped

  • In medium bowl, whisk egg yolks together and set aside.
  • In large sauce pan, heat cream, milk, sugar, cocoa, and pinch of sea salt over low heat until simmering. 
  • Slowly ladle 1/2 of the mixture, 1 cup at a time, into the egg yolks, whisking continuously to temper the yolks. Add peanut butter and whisk until melted and combined. Transfer back into the pan and return to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, about 5-10 minutes over low heat, whisking continuously until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Transfer into a large bowl and chill in the refrigerator completely, 4 hours or overnight. 
  • Freeze cooled mixture in an ice cream maker following the unit's instructions. Mix add-ins before completely frozen. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sugar high

Yesterday's Workout:
2.5 mile walk
1 mile run
Bicep/Tricep Circuit:
1 x 12 hammer curls
1 x 12 alternating hammer curls, each arm
1 x 12 bicep curls
1 x 12 alternating bicep curls, each arm
1 x 12 tricep dips
1 x 12 tricep overhead extension
1 x 12 tricep kickbacks
1 x 12 skull crushers
*Repeat circuit 2x

I've been tapering down on the running miles the past two weeks. I'm still managing 15-20 miles a week, but I'd say almost 50% of those miles are now walking. My body has felt MUCH better since making this change. Prenatal yoga has been a godsend. My absolute FAVORITE stretch is the standing version of cat/cow pose, where you stand with your feet hip-distance apart, knees bent, hands on quads, and back parallel to the ground; on the inhale, you look up, curving your spine such that your tailbone points up and back; and on the exhale, you point your tailbone down and bring your pelvis inward, curving your spine into an upside down "U". I do this stretch multiple times a day now for a few minutes. It completely relieves all of the tension from my lower back and massages the spine. It's magic, really.

In other exciting news, I got my 1-hour glucose tolerance test out of the way yesterday. For those unfamiliar, it's step 1 of determining whether you're at risk for gestational diabetes. How it works is you chug a 10 ounce bottle of sugar-water containing 50 grams of glucose (they come in a variety of flavors - I got stuck with lemon/lime, which tastes like flat, double-sweetened Sprite), and after 1 hour, your blood is taken to test the glucose levels. If your blood glucose level is too high, then you have to return to take a 3-hour test. From what I read online, I was anticipating nasty side effects from the glucose drink - nausea, lightheadedness, sweating - but I actually felt totally fine. They recommend eating normally beforehand, so I had a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter before chugging the glucose drink, so that may have helped. A few hours after taking the test, I felt tired, but refueling on Greek yogurt with berries and taking a quick power nap did the trick. I'm hoping that's a good sign. I won't actually know unless I failed it, so I'm going to hope that no news is good news. The 3-hour test sounds like hell, so I'm crossing my fingers the results came back normal for this one.

And then I got to spend the rest of the day hanging out with this dude while I worked from home. He's kind of my favorite.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pregnancy Favorites Part II

1) Pink Blush Dresses | I have two of these short dresses, and I wish I could live in them for the next few months, they are so comfortable and flattering. You can't go wrong with empire waists! The dress is also meant as a nursing dress - the fabric on the top section is completely elastic and can be moved to the side very easily for breastfeeding. It's quite likely I'll be wearing this home from the hospital.

2) Old Navy Maxi Skirt | This skirt is great for the third trimester now that my bump has taken over. It has a fold over waist and a modest side slit on one side which makes it nice and breathable.

3) Old Navy Maxi Dress | I've been wearing this for months now, way before I started showing, and even now in my third trimester, it fits great with plenty of room to grow. Like I mentioned above, by going with an empire waist dress, it makes it suitable for non-maternity wear as well. I'm hoping it'll still fit, just a little more flowy, post-pregnancy.

4) Running For Two Tank Top | These tank tops are normally ridiculously expensive, but I was able to get it 40% off during one of Zulily's fabulous sales. This shirt is my favorite to run in - the material is comfortable, breathable, stretchy - and it's cute to boot! By the way, if you're pregnant and looking for good deals on maternity clothes, go sign up for Zulily - I've bought pretty much 75% of my maternity clothes from sales on that site and have loved everything.

5) Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter | My friend, Lauren, sent this to me as a gift when I announced I was pregnant, and I hoarded it until I started showing. I use it on my bump and hips every morning and every night when I get out of the shower. It's like silk, and I'm hoping it will help keep away stretch marks!

6) Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Coconut Milk | This stuff is incredible. I've used it in smoothies, and I love pouring it over a bowl of cereal. Babies drain you of calcium, so it's a great source to replenish your body!

7) Leachco Snoogle Body Pillow | I'm a stomach sleeper, which is frowned down on while pregnant, so this pillow has been a life-saver to keep me on my side all night. It takes up a lot of space and can get a little warm, so I don't use it every night; but when I'm feeling a little sore in my hips or low back, I find it gives me a great night's sleep and eases any discomfort. I was gifted it by a friend, so if you don't feel like spending a fortune on it, a regular pillow in between your knees works fine.

8) Gilligan O'Malley No Show Hipster | This underwear is like wearing an invisible cloud. They are super soft and stretchy - I love to wear them with my skirts and dresses since they are seamless. They contour completely to your body, and I find I'm not constantly having to adjust them like I do underwear that have the elastic band at the waist - you can imagine that gets pretty uncomfortably with a growing belly!

Monday, August 4, 2014

You know you're in your third trimester when...

Bending over to pick up the weights has become part of the workout. It's pretty comical actually. I laugh at myself more than I should these days, but I still haven't quite gotten used to the growing volleyball attached to my belly, and I find it hilarious. I've been taking weekly pictures - that is, when I can remember to - and I still can't believe the changes that happen over the course of a month.

Unfortunately, the third tri has also brought along some painful side effects: the dreaded pelvic pain everyone speaks of. I began noticing it last week during recovery after running. After a run, once I sit down for more than 15 mins at a time post-workout, my pelvic floor muscles feel tightened and sore. I began reading about it online and became aware it's due to the growing baby/uterus pushing down on these muscles. Baby Mo is over 2 pounds at this point, not just a teeny tiny dude any more, so it makes sense that he's adding more pressure now than he did in prior weeks. I'm also 15 extra pounds of woman these days, and the added weight probably isn't helping the matter. I've been successful in making a few changes to help ease my comfort during post-run recovery:

- Run slower: I've decreased down to a 10:00 mile and this seems to help a bit - I notice I'm more inclined to get shin splints this way, so I've been maxing out at 3 miles.
- Mix running with walking: I did a combo of 1 min run/1 min walk last night on the treadmill for 30 minutes and was much more comfortable after.
- Running on the track: I noticed the recovery pain is worse when I run on the treadmill or road than when I run on the cushioned outdoor track. Guess it's time to start moving my workouts to the track more often!
- Not running more than 2 consecutive days: I really need that third day for recovery and stick to walking instead.

One thing I saw recommended on a few of the "running while pregnant" message boards is the Gabrialla belt. I did notice a lot of the reviews seemed to be coming from people in their second trimesters looking to relieve severe back pain, which really doesn't include me (yet?), and those reviewers that are in their third trimester seem to still endure pain though the belt alleviates some of the discomfort, making it possible for them to complete household chores, work, etc. Since I really only have discomfort during post-run recovery, I'm hesitant to spend the money on something that I'd only use for another 2 months and may or may not actually help my issue. For me, I think my best option is to start cutting back my running miles and transitioning to a less impact form of cardio.

It's been my goal to be able to run as long as I comfortably could through the pregnancy. Ideally, I was hoping to reach the 7 month point, which is only 3 weeks away, and I think it's possible as long as I make the changes that I mentioned above and continue to be smart about it. I'm going to talk to my doctor about it next week to see if she has any other recommendations. Wish me luck!