Category Archives: The Girls

Ways Wolfies is Really A Wolfie

  • He drools all over the place
  • Sometimes he spits up on his toys then sucks off the spit up. Gross
  • The cat is kind-of scared of him
  • People tell him he is “such a good boy”
  • We are teaching him how to roll over

Oh boy. Things are moving fast. Wolfi is starting to be a little more FUN. Less dangling of toys and more efforts from his part. He was trying really hard to grab things and put them in his mouth, but his eye hand coordination wasn’t the greatest. But my sister suggested I buy a play mat at a second hand consignment shop. Luckily I found this cute space themed one, and after setting it up, almost immediately Wolfie started to reach for the dangling toys.

Most of his time is spent trying to shove things in his mouth. Yup, we are in the early stages of teething. There are rings of spit around his neck, and his gums were red and sore. He didn’t want to eat and could barely sleep. It was sooo awful. One night I didn’t sleep longer than 2 hours at a time. The pressure on his teeth has curbed a little, but we still don’t see any teeth yet.

Aunt Justine watched Gavin one night so Jon and I could have a “date night.” He slept like a lil angel for her.

Even though he was having a hard time sleeping, he is now sleeps for most of the night. We are ranging from seven hours all the way to eleven and half hours! Whoo! Mama’s getting almost eight hours of a sleep consistently. Hell, one night I got NINE hours of sleep. It was glorious. Even his daytime naps have been better as well. Most of the time little Wolfie is sleeping 30 minutes, but one week he consistently slept 30 minutes then a longer nap later. Do we have days where he gets no sleep? You bet.

Some good news for my buff new mom arms- Wolfie weighted 15lbs, 10oz, putting him in the 50th percentile. Which means his growth is overall slowing down! Horray! He was starting to get a little hard to manage, but if he growing slower I am sure it will be easier over time.

This month has been both exciting and uneventful all at the same time. Although Wolfie is growing and learning, it is hard to pin-point his skills outside of “better.” He can grab things more tactfully, he can babbles more frequently, etc. But I do have one very interesting story.

See my husband almost always had a little help from me in the mornings. So when Wolfie was first born he had to do everything himself so I could feed him or sleep. He got the hang of it all but still couldn’t make the time for shaving. So he just grew a beard. No biggie. It was winter and it was cold. Now he thought that spring is coming and we have a better handle on things- it was time to shave.

In the middle of his shave job I had to do something (use the bathroom? eat? I don’t know anymore) so I asked if he could hold the lil Wolf for a second. Next thing I know he comes out of the bathroom with a 70’s stache. Holy cow did Wolfie hate it! He gave his Daddy a look and burst into tears. Clearly were were evil parents and torchered him long enough to capture the moment. Don’t worry, Jon shaved the rest of the hair and Wolfie recognized his Daddy again.


Man, what a month this has been. It feels like it flew by but I think it’s mostly because I wrote his “2 month” post pretty late, so it FEELS like the month was just between baby posts. I said it once and I’ll say it again, each day he becomes more and more human like and more and more massive. 

Wolfie is now becoming an infant- not a newborn, but a full blown functioning baby. It’s pretty exciting! The crying is much less, he tries to talk, grabs things, and is drooling…a lot. The scary thing is how fast he is growing. I think I can say he is growing at a not-so-normal pace. He is now wearing 6-9 month clothing…. at 3 months! I could kind-of wrap my head around him wearing 3-6 month clothing at 2 months. I mean that isn’t too far away, right!? It was just a few weeks early! Today I grabbed a footsie jammie that was warmer but larger in size since it has been pretty cold. I figured it would be baggy on him, but it actually fit really nicely. At this rate he will be a full grown adult by the end of the year.

It is too early to be happy about booze.

All of his rapid growing has actually taken a toll on me. I guess little Wolfie is growing so fast that he has been waking up after only 4 hours of sleep for midnight feedings. This led to me being sleep-deprived, and a sleep-deprived me leads to crying me. At one point I went out for grocery shopping, and it was just a bad day. I was expecting a day off from watching Wolfie, but my Mom cancelled. I didn’t get any continuous sleep like I normally get. And it was incredibly windy so that Wolfie was constantly crying inbetween the car and the stores. It became clear that he wasn’t going to stop freaking out, and I started to get upset that I couldn’t even go grocery shopping. I had lots of produce and bagels, and couldn’t put them back so I went to pay for them. The cashier asked how I was doing, and I just lost it. I started crying, and the poor guy had to deal with a crying baby and a crying Mom. I feel as though I must not be the only Mom to have a meltdown, which helped me to feel better again. I figured I would try and make the trip again for the rest of the groceries, and it was MUCH more succesful.

Wolfie has discovered the joys of shoving things into his mouth. Too bad he isn’t very good at holding things and putting them into it.

I have to say though, Wolfie is a champion sleeper at night, just a crummy napper (10 hours and 20 minutes of solid sleep!). In fact the napping gets worse everyday. I rock him for 30 minutes, and he only sleeps 30 minutes. And it is just getting to the point of him getting too big to hold for long periods of time. Worse yet, he is such a light sleeper that transferring him from my arms to the bed usually wakes him up. So I have been trying to get him to cry it out to help him learn how to fall asleep on his own.

Let me tell you guys… it sucks!!!

Wolfie is getting really good at holding things. He also likes to munch on the dino horn.

I know most doctors say it doesn’t hurt the baby. Many people compare it to driving around in a car. You don’t stop the car, and hold your baby till he stops crying. You keep going until you get what you need done. But there is something awful of just sitting around waiting for him to stop crying. In fact this is the first time I waited long enough for him to fall asleep. It felt awful. I hope his crying lessens and lessens ’till I can just put him down. He would be such a happy baby if he just naps for an hour twice a day. YOU HEAR THAT WOLFIE?! THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO DO!

Overall I am feeling much better. Maybe it is medication, maybe it is the therapy, or just getting more sleep. I am getting all those squishy baby feels, and I am not getting all excited about seeing other people’s babies (who am I?) The other day I caught myself just walking around with Wolfie for an hour and enjoying it. I think it helps that I am getting out more.

This photo was taken the day after Alexa visited. This lil man is pissed that she’s gone.

Oh and Wolfie (finally) got to meet his Aunt Alexa! I think he was thrown off by her pink hair XD. The visit was great for me, since it has been forever that I’ve hung out with people my age, well, I’ve been hanging with my friend Justine a few times. We tried out a restaurant that will hopefully get posted. Also Alexa will be proofing my posts since I am too tired to notice run-on sentences and misspelled words. 

*Editor’s Note (aka Alexa’s note): Guys I am SO IN LOVE with Jen’s lil’ Wolfie. He’s so lucky to have such a great mama and dad on his life and I hope I get to squish his baby face again soon!!!*


Gosh, I am finally getting around to taking these photos. I actually had to “tidy” up the nursery a little. It is definitely more messy that what the photos show at any given point. Which I was a little surprised, I mean it is a baby, right? He can’t even lift his head up let alone leave things on the floor?! Well, turns out that I always have some food and water left out, and extra clothes laying around, or things fall down and I don’t pick them up since I have a baby in my hands.

But now I have photos, and I am happy to talk about some of the fun projects we did for the room. Let me start with basics. We painted the walls recently, and it took forever. We live in a row home in a housing development, which kind-of means the construction was a little half assed. The house isn’t falling apart, but when it comes to small details, the workers were more focused on speed not precision. So Jon had to a lot of work of the walls before we could actually paint it. Then we had to paint the ceiling all over again because the previous owners did a patch up and never painted it. *sigh*

We were pretty lucky that my sister never throws anything out. I am pretty much the opposite. If I am done using something I give it away. Rarely do I hold on to something until someone I know needs it (anyone in South Jersey need a window air conditioning unit? I got one!) But my sister kept her crib, changing table, rocking chair, and matching toy box. Even better- I looked it up and the crib wasn’t discontinued, though the company looks like they went out of business. We also got a lot of other goodies from her like toys, and books. So it has been very helpful, especially since I don’t like the idea of buying things for the baby when they will grow out of it.

Once the painting was done, and Jon and I started to set up the nursery we quickly realized we needed something put our lamp on. There was a lot of fights over this. I wanted to use an old bookshelf that I had from my parents house. My husband wanted nothing to do with it. But after checking the ReStore we kept striking out on a second hand side table, and buying a new one was too expensive. So we sanded and painted the bookshelf I originally wanted.

I really like it, and I think it grew on Jon once we finished the project. Oddly we aren’t using it for the lamp/side table for the rocking chair. I am actually using the toy chest, since Wolfie is too young for toys- at least for the toys we are keeping in the chest. That is fine since we seem to keep getting books from people and needed more space on the shelf. Which is nice, but I don’t want to get too many. If I remember with my nieces, kids really like hearing the same stories over and over again.

Since Jon wasn’t thrilled about the original bookshelf, he told his parents about our conundrum. We needed storage, but couldn’t afford anything that lives up to our personal quality standards. They suggested a certain shelf from The Container Store. They were going to surprise us with the shelf for Christmas, but when they saw the shelving units in person, Jon’s Father wasn’t thrilled about the quality. So he just built us a totally new one.

It has been really helpful, storing various goods in the drawers, and it also is home for the books that I read while breastfeeding or trying to rock the Nugget to sleep.

Speaking of rocking a nugget to sleep- let me talk about the rocking chair.

If you follow me on Instagram you might of seen this photo of Toulouse sleeping on the rocking chair. There is a cute fox pillow sitting next to her. It ain’t so cute anymore. It is now covered in lots of breastmilk and has been crushed into a rectangle. I tried looking to see if you could wash the pillow but it looks like it is only spot wash only. It will probably find it’s way into the wash anyways out of desperation. My kid is a messy eater, and it isn’t fun since 90% of the mess lands on my boobs, arms, and clothing. 

See that mirror? Yup another hand me down from my sister. I kind-of took it thinking it could go in the hallway and it was just way too big. Then I thought I could use hooks in the nursery. Thank god I thought of that because it has been insanely helpful. It holds all of many hats, booties, and his coat. There are so many little things that babies need that don’t quite store well. 

There were spots for photos in the shelf and I felt weird putting photos in there. Who would get those spots? Us? Grandparents? Photos of our kid? Finally I printed out watercolors of bears in the spots. If we come up with a better plan then they will get switched up. I also love the mirror because I can see myself when I stand around swaying the baby to sleep. It helps me to remember to take a shower from time to time. XD

There is something about babies and everyone making things. My Mom, her friends, Jon’s mother, and relatives are all busy knitting, sewing, and stitching. So we have a bunch of homemade gifts from family. My Mom pulled out old needlework canvases of Beatrix Potter characters since she wrote some of my favorite stories as a child. She had only finished the one of Mrs. Tiggiewinkle, which was my favorite character. Wolfie LOVES that picture. Well.. less of the embroider and more about the frame. Whenever I change him he just stares at the bottom of the frame. He even SMILED at the frame. My Mom also stitched the “napping” sign for our door that is on the top of the post.

Jon’s Aunt surprised us with some hand knitted toys. She gave us two little booties, which have been helpful as they are warm and stay on pretty well. She also made two cute hats (one that looks like a bear and another that looks like a cat) and he will be able to wear them pretty soon. They are smidge too large. She even made some cute little toys. I know Alexa plans on painting something for Wolfie’s room… so get on that gurl!

Finally we have these cute stuffed animals. We have gotten a bunch- but these are the cutest. My Mom found this posh fox toy at the Winterthur gift shop. He is nice a sturdy and will probably last forever and ever. That other posh toy? Well, it is from family friends from Canada er… Mississippi. Okay they are snow birds who go to Mississippi instead of Florida. They bought this cute white bear, with a note that he can be machine washed when Wolfie drags him in the mud. Again, I am so impressed with the quality. I hope he really likes this bear. 

Tip: If you have a friend who is having a baby- DO NOT BUY THEM A STUFFED ANIMAL! I love stuffed animals but geez do we have a ton of them. If you want to buy something cute and squishy, trying getting stuff combo toys. Kids LOVE the stuffed animals that are part blanket.

Well that’s the nursery. Eventually you will see a tour of our office and bedroom. Once we finish up putting up the shelves in the rooms… which might be forever XD


justborn

Here I am, 2 weeks later and just getting around to writing this post. It isn’t that I haven’t had time, but the time has been spent going to various places to visit family for the holidays. And if anyone knows, going anywhere with a baby takes time. So I have been writing this post a little bit here and a little bit there, so I am sorry if it sounds chunky, and is filled with spelling and grammatical errors (I’ve already tried to write fulled and grammerical, so you know.. sleep deprivation)

So I reached week 40 without giving birth. As I mentioned in the past post, I had been getting lots of signs that labor was drawing near. In fact, my patience was getting thin. My back was killing me, which was more or less a new symptom. The worst part were the contractions. I was getting them almost every night but they weren’t consistent, and would go away after an hour or so. So when I went to the doctors for my 40th week visit, they checked me again, and said that I was 5cm dilated and pretty much ready to deliver. I was asked if I would be interested in scheduling an induction, and I said yes, thinking it would be towards the end of the week.

I get a phone call- I would be induced the next day- Tuesday. It suddenly seemed like a bad idea to get an induction. I had a feeling it I wouldn’t need it, that I would magically go into labor that afternoon. The contractions were starting to kind-of be regular. I tried to keep a level head, and go about my business. I told Jon about my suspicion that I might be in real labor, so he naturally starts worry about the mattress. “What if your water breaks? We should put some plastic under the sheets.” Even though we all have seen TV shows where the character has their water break in public and they sopping wet pants. Everything I’ve read reassured that doesn’t happen often so I brushed off Jon’s recommendations as silly. I tossed and turned all night with various pains, when all the sudden I felt something odd, and I knew exactly what it was. I bolted up from the bed scream “MY WATERS BREAKING” trying to make it to the bathroom so I wouldn’t ruin the bed or the carpet (just barely made it guys.) Yup, I had that over the top water breaking moment.

We rushed over to the hospital as soon as we could, and I was nervous about making it in time. Suddenly my contractions were 8-20 minutes apart to a short 3 minutes apart. When we finally make it to our delivery room, I find out that I am 7 cm. So I figured I was in great condition, I was pretty far along, and still handling the pain. What I didn’t take into consideration was how uncomfortable I was. My back pain was unbearable, and laying down on the bed was excruciating. It made breathing very problematic, and I wasn’t so nervous about the pain as I was about hyperventilating. So by the time I broke down and asked the epidural I was 9 cm, and luckily my Mother was around to explain to the nurses that it would be a good idea (the first thing I hear from people is that they are surprised they even gave me the epidural this late.) The only thing that made me sad was that I had to sit up to get the spinal tap and shifting positions completely took away most of the pain from the contractions. I was just in too much pain to even think about changing positions. 

I can say I am glad I got the epidural. I think I would of delivered the baby faster with one, but I think I would of had less control of my actions. Which would of been more wear and tear on my body. I do have to say it sucked to have completely numb legs that I had no control over. It did take awhile to figure out how to push when you have no feeling in your lower half of your body. The other aspects weren’t as big of a deal, though I might of been more embarrassed about it if I hadn’t experienced the pain of the contractions for so long. In fact, since we didn’t really look too much into deliveries with epidurals, Jon got wrangled into holding up my leg for the delivery, which he handled very well considering.

So after 8 hours of being in the hospital and 45 minutes of pushing, on Tuesday, December 13th at 8 am, I gave birth to a baby boy. He came out screaming and peed almost immediately on the nurses, so I am pretty sure he healthy but a trouble maker. Just like my sneaking suspicions, I had a big baby weighing in at 8 pounds and 13 ounces, and measured at 21 3/4 inches in length. 

I don’t think the gravity of being pregnant sank in until the plopped a piping hot wet baby on my chest after giving birth. They took him away shortly afterwards to weigh and clean him up (that’s when he peed on everyone.) When they brought him back for our hour skin to skin time, one of the first things I noticed was his very hairy back. It was in fact a full moon as well. Jon and I laughed because one of the names we liked was Wolfgang. We decided to not go for it since it was quite an unusual name, but since we have a unique last name, and for privacy reasons, I will choose to call him Wolfie on the blog. 

So what does this mean for the blog? Well, let’s be real, it might be awhile since I talk about food again. At one point I was so stressed that I was getting nauseous whenever I ate. I still do. I have to eat small amounts all day, and even still I worry if I am getting enough calories since I’ve lost roughly 17-20 pounds in two weeks, although most women do loose 10 pounds after delivery, and 17 pounds by week 6.

This blog is partly a journal for myself, and partly to give information to other people. So I will be talking about my kid, and tips for vegan parents and such. There are still some posts I want to write about vegan pregnancy. I also want to create a space for vegan parents to check out. It seems that a lot of vegan parenting blogs are a little “granola crunchy” and it can be hard for some people to relate to that. But I don’t want to exclusively talk about babies and kids, and maybe strike a balance like Bonzai Aphrodite.

So if the next few months I am babies all the time, sorry. It is a little hard when your time is so broken up. But we are already starting to get longer nap times, and things seems like they are getting a little more stable (keyword here is seems.) Hopefully in two weeks I will have an update with a rough outline of the first month of Wolfie’s life.


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Nursery

Okay, still now official photos of the nursery yet! Maybe soon. I have a feeling technically it won’t be “finished” until the baby gets in there. Part of the reason was that painting the bookshelf took longer than what Jon anticipated. It has a lot of nooks and crannies and it really hurt his back, and as I sized it up with my eyes, I really wasn’t sure if my body was going to be flexible enough to paint it myself.

All there is left to do is still just to let the bookshelf cure, then put crap on it. Then hang a few things. Then that’s it. Part of the problem is that we kind-of don’t want to hang stuff up late at night and bother our neighbors. But who knows, maybe we will be impatient about it and I can share photos before going into labor.

Anytime Now

So I went in for my check up Monday morning. Almost al my visits are super fast and quick. I am low risk, I didn’t have too many symptoms that I found disruptive. Sleeping has been mostly awesome, heartburn is there but never persistent, I get decent exercise just by standing all day at work, and I never got sick to my stomach. Well, the nurse told me to undress from the waist down for the midwife. Sure enough when the midwife came in she went through the normal checks, and was about to finish up, then noticed you know, I had no pants on.

“Did you want me to check your cervix?”

“I was just listening to the nurse before hand… if you think it is unnecessary then we can skip it”

I guess she figured might as well, and I am a little glad she did. Apparently I am already starting to dilate. Naturally this is getting my butt into gear and getting some stuff done around the house, like finally putting together the hospital bag, buying newborn onsies (was waiting for a sale, but that isn’t happening), and writing some thank you notes. I told my Mom and family members, and they are convinced I will be going into labor this week.

I went to work on Tuesday and just felt EXHAUSTED. I was feeling so many early labor symptoms, braxon hicks contractions, crampiness, and sore back. Then Wednesday morning my mucus plug came out, which further prompted everyone to stress that I would be going into labor at any moment now. So here I am on Thursday, still not in labor, so I am starting to feel very anxious.

weeks1639

The Belly

“Did they tell you if you dropped yet?” That’s the first question I always get from my husband when I go to the doctors. I don’t think they would ever know, because I’ve actually dropped and I don’t really look like it. I can feel the baby is lower, mostly because my belly rubs on my legs whenever I drive. There are other things, mostly that suddenly a lot of basic things have become MUCH more uncomfortable, like sitting on the floor or getting up. 

Other things I’ve noticed, my belly button is officially in the out position. For the longest time it was either an innie or outie if my core was engaged or not. Now it is out 24/7 and it is a little weird. XD I’ve also noticed a few stretch marks on my stomach. A little bit of a bummer since I was stretch mark free for so long, but whatever. Nothing that I could really do about it.

Boney Butt

One thing that doctors have been doing at my appointments is that they are feeling my stomach to get an idea where the baby is located. My last visit was with a midwife, who felt what I call “the knobby bit.” On the top of my tummy the baby keeps poking the top right corner, and often will be a visible bulge. I find it gross. Well it was kind-of nice to get some vindication when the midwife made a slightly horrified face saying “what is this hard bit?” After a pause she checked lower and felt around, and was reassured that the head was on the bottom. Apparently, her guess that “the knobby bit” is just a very boney butt. Great. Our child has Jon’s boney butt. Okay, his butt isn’t that boney, just compared to mine XD

Animals

These past few weeks have been a little weird- week 38 is a Pomeranian and week 39 is an American Shorthair Cat which can be misleading. I am fairly certain my cat is going to be MUCH larger than our baby. The Pomeranian is hard to imagine since they are so fluffy. Like is my baby fluffy Pomeranian sized? Or alopecia Pomeranian sized?

Exercise

I’ve been working out again! I’ve been trying to do a workout a day, but you know, some days get skipped. But I am trying to do one round of a 20 minute barre workout. I figure the endurance muscle exercises will be good for delivery day. But I only do one round because I am a little paranoid about exhausting my muscles for when I DO go to labor.

I also have been walking around a lot when doing errands. I try not to think of errands as working out, but with all these early labor symptoms, it really does feel like a workout. I never park my car close to the door, which is a little bit out of habit. I might also try and convince Jon to go for a walk around the neighborhood at night and look at the Christmas lights, to help speed things along. I am not sure that will ACTUALLY help, but it does feel like a little bit of a “no pain no gain” mentality. 


weeks3637

I had a hunch that Thanksgiving would kill my Vegan MOFO mojo. And it did! XD It is pretty typical, especially since Thanksgiving rings in my panic mode of trying to get things done. It is hard not to do this because I am so use to working retail and knowing that I will be working more hours. But I guess there isn’t too much of a difference since I will be panicing to get everything done around the house before delivery day. I guess the plan is to finished the planned Vegan MOFO posts. So they will be delayed but whatever.

Thanksgiving

I am not kidding when I say I woke up on Thanksgiving, drove to Wegman’s to get a new loaf of bread for stuffing (mine got too stale), got a treat of a latte, then cooked until 12. Then I got to take a “break” by driving an hour to my parents, then stood around to make appetizers. Sat down a little for the parade, then cooked until dinner time. And then I worked the next day. XD I told my boss what my Thanksgiving was like and he just looked at me, then my stomach, then my face again with a look of disgust. Oddly standing around all day didn’t occur to me as a bad thing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Then of coarse the next few days I’ve been all on my feet. I went into Philly for the V Marks the Spot Vegan Pop Up Shop, and Sunday was running around getting groceries and Christmas gifts. And today I had to go for my 38 week check up at the doctors.

Oh BTW- best part of the Thanksgiving Day parade was CLEARLY when Tony Bennet almost fell on top of Miss Piggy.

Nursery

It’s almost there. I swear next pregnancy update will have lots of photos of a nursery! We got my sister’s old rocking chair, and my Father brought it in. Now, I am not sure if I mentioned on the blog, but my Father is good at enthusiastically lifting things, but not so good at moving things in a controlled manner. This has involved many dents with the walls in our new home. And I knew that my husband spent FOREVER patching up spots in the nursery, so when my Father wheeled in the rocking chair I cleared out a path for him to put it in living room. Good old Dad had a clear path but managed to 1) ram into our old desk and 2) make a nice new dent in the living room walls. Eventually Jon’s Father came over to help carry it into the nursery, and my sisters helped bring over the old toy box.

So what is left? Still some artwork to hang and I need to put together a little mobile with messed up mat board clouds that I got from work. I am not sure fully how I will hang them together yet. Also Jon is painting our last piece of furniture- a small bookshelf for all the books to read at night and for our pretty night light. We are hoping it will be finished painting and curing by the end of the week.

Christmas

Yes, I am thinking ahead to Christmas. I already made plans with Alexa and Justine to come over and help decorate our Christmas tree. I love having the Christmas decorations up but this way we can enjoy the tree and know it is up before the baby comes…. which honestly could be any moment now. I keep hearing from people about how baby sometimes comes a week or two early, and truthfully I am slightly nervous, since my sister delievered her first daughter a month early (they were able to delay the labor, only to have her be delievered a week early still)

I also have been trying to get as much Christmas shopping done now. I got I think about half of it done, there is a few homemade gifts that I will be making, and I haven’t started that at all yet. So…. you know. 

Animal Size

For week 36 the baby is the size of a Chihuahua dog. Truthfully, I don’t like this breed. No it isn’t because they are small or “yippie” but because I think they are very aggressive dogs and since they are small and cute, people let them get really nasty. But I will admit- I do think Long Haired Chihuahuas are super cute- especially in Santa hats.

Supposedly at week 37 the baby is the size of a striped skunk…. which seems wrong. I mean I thought skunks were pretty big? But I guess maybe not? I do have to admit- baby skunks are really stinkin cute!

Waiting Game

Now it is all down to waiting I guess. I am still working, and trying to get as much done. We have SO many frame jobs, and I am only working a few more weeks. I am feeling a little stressed, even though it technically isn’t my problem. XD And to put in perspective how big a frame job we have coming up, let’s just say about 100+ frames need to be done by sometime in January. I have no plans of coming back until February. I am just assuming I will be super sleep deprived.

I should put together my hospital pack, and pretty much only put together what the baby can wear home from the hospital. XD I know I should be better about these things, but there is something in the back of my head that is just like “meh, I’ll pack it when I go into labor, whatever.” But I know I should get a few things in there- like magazines, snacks, slippers, you know stuff I don’t actually use while at home.

I am more interested in booze. Yes, I feel like I am always talking about it. I really wanted a drink during Thanksgiving since it is a time to have a special drink. I also can’t wait till I have some spiked egg nog. And today I bought a bottle of beer, sitting in the fridge, for when we get back from the hospital for celebratory drink.


ironshake0

Okay, I know this is a stretch for the prompt. It is suppose to be something grey, which is actually pretty hard to make. I guess I could make biscuits and gravy, but that’s a regional meal that have never looked appetizing to me. But the prompt made me think right away when I worked at Animo. The owner Joe, would get there pretty early, around 5 or 6, with a 30 minute drive. So he usually asked one of the workers to make his morning smoothie.

Well, since he owned the shop, he went NUTS on the add ons. One day we figured out the price of his smoothie, and I think ended up being something like $16 smoothie. So what was in it? I remember it being something like a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a scoop of spiru-tein, spirulina, an acai puree packet, a banana, fresh strawberries, and sprouted flax seed. I kid you not when I say the drink was cement grey. But as you can see- there are lots of expensive ingredients!

ironshake1

My drink is still pretty intense, but not as pricey. I have pumped it with lots of awesome foods that are perfect for any pregnant lady. For starters I have a soy milk base that is high in protein, but is fortified in lots of goodies. I am getting most of my calcium from the milk, and sure it is fortified, but cow’s milk sold for humans has been fortified with vitamins and minerals as well (particularly skim milk). I have also found that soy milks are now often fortified with B12, which is a nice add on. And if anyone is wondering why calcium is such a big deal, it is pretty much the only thing that a baby “leeches” from the body. A good diet while pregnant is always strongly encouraged because what you eat makes a different of what the baby eats. If you don’t eat much vitamin K, the baby isn’t going to take if from your body. For some reason calcium is different. Technically pregnant women don’t require more calcium, but if you aren’t hitting your daily requirements, you might want to start focusing on your intake.

Then we have the more “supplemented” foods that I add in- spirulina and DHA omega-3s. Many studies show that DHA helps with brain development with children, and that is partly why you have so many people saying to eat fish while pregnant. But vegans can cut out the middle man and just jump to the direct source of DHA- algae! I toss in 10 drops of Deva’s DHA liquid vitamins. To be perfectly clear, we as humans make our own DHA. Some people speculate that it is possible that humans can’t produce enough DHA during certain times, like if you are sick or pregnant. So I take the better safe than sorry approach. You can easily leave out this ingredient.

ironshake2

If you have read my spirulina page, you will know that algae is really high in iron. This is perfect for a pregnant lady who needs a whopping 27mg of iron! To put that into perspective, most women who haven’t gone through menopause need 18mg, and most everyone else needs only about 10mg or less. So it is helpful to pack a big punch in one food source. One teaspoon of spirulina powder gives 7mg of iron!

Where else am I getting the iron? Well, chocolate! Yes, chocolate has lots of iron in it, but it often isn’t talked about because we normally make desserts with chocolates. This smoothie doesn’t have much added sugar or fats, so it is a healthy way to eat lots of cocoa. I like to use a mix of cocoa- one tablespoon of normal cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of special dark chocolate. The special dark helps keep a “chocolate” color next to the greens, but it usually has higher levels of iron than regular cocoa. So that adds 4mg of iron. What’s next? Greens! I switch the greens I add to my smoothie according to what looks good at the store. Sometimes chard, sometimes collards, sometimes kale. Whatever really. That will usually add about 1-3mg of iron.

ironshake3

Now this shake isn’t the only way to add lots of iron to your diet. The Full Helping has a great page devoted to the specifics of iron intake, and great combos to build up your iron intake. I strongly recommend checking that out if this is something that concerns you. Keep in mind that many pregnant women, vegan or not have problem with low iron levels. Between my two blood work tests, I have never been told I test for low iron levels. I think I have this shake to thank.

So what’s the nutrition? Well, funny thing is that keep forgetting that I am pregnant, so I added some nutritional facts on the blog earlier for Vegan MOFO, and the percentages are wrong since they are calibrated for my pregnancy needs. Oops. But I will keep that since I am promoting this drink as one perfect for pregnancy! Quick macros- 47 grams of carbs (14 grams fiber, half of the daily requirements), 10 grams fat (100% omega-3, not including the DHA supplements), and 17 grams of protein (almost 30 grams if you add two tablespoons protein powder). I left the screen capped specs below, and take note that the percentages are for a 9 month pregnant lady, so if you are an average woman, you are probably getting most of your iron from this shake (the suggested for women ages 18-40 is only 18mg, everyone else needs about 8-10mg)

ironshakestats

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weeks3435

Holy cow, I had a hard time telling apart the photos I took this time around. Now I am only wearing the special maternity shirts (at least in public XD) and this H&M bird shirt (they now sell a long sleeved version) fits the best for these progression photos. I am pretty consistently the same size…. but I keep gaining weight. I guess just fattening up the baby?

The Feels:

Unless you are living under a rock (lucky you!) you probably know about our new President. Yuck, I can’t even say that word before Trump. I mean I remember the days when Jon Stewart would make fun of Bush for mispronouncing nuclear, now our country will be run by a man who says “swatches of land” and “bigly.” Ugh. I was really upset when I woke up the day after the election, and I think a lot of it has do with having a child. I am hoping my baby doesn’t get old enough to know what a president is, so I don’t have explain who he is. I just hope that after 4 years, we get someone new and Trump will just be the new Nixon (minus the endearing puppy).

The worst part? I think talking to friends and family who seem to not understand the big deal. I get it. With our system of government Trump can’t just say “Hey, start with the blue prints for that wall stat!” and have the blue prints by the end of the month. We won’t loose Obamacare for at least another year and half, and we have lots of individual state laws that vary all over the place. So when some people ask why people are protesting, or why we are so upset, it isn’t just that Hillary lost. It is who she lost to. A man who feeds on racism, misogyny, and bigotry and another man who wants to take away everyone’s rights. Anyone who doesn’t already know, Trump maybe a mediocre white dude who’s success was handed to him the “classiest” 24-karat plate but Pence is a monster.

But it seems that hopefully, everyone who sat around complaining about Trump (aka people like me) are a little more enthusiastic about doing something about it. I want to try and get more active with local government. I probably will try and volunteer more, and hell, I might even register finally as democrat instead of an independent. *gasp* Funnily, my husband is registered as a republican, which shocks my friends. XD Although it isn’t ALWAYS true, but most northeast republicans are thought to be fiscally responsible. Though sometimes they are just jerks.

Belly:

I still find it funny when some people say I look small. I have to admit, I remember when watching Rosemary’s Baby thinking “Come on, really Rosemary is THAT small with her baby? At 9 months?!” Now I am looking at my tummy and I can kind-of see how it was plausible. But I know a lot of it is because it is my first baby, and I have fairly strong abdominals from working out consistently (well, that I USE to workout consistently.) If I focus on relaxing my abdominal muscles my tummy gets pretty large. But if I don’t engage my muscles my back hurts a lot by the end of the day.

To make the whole engage and disengage the muscles weirder, my belly button is ready to pop. Somedays if I engage the core and disengage, my belly button looks like a goofy muppet mouth. I feel a little Seinfeld-y by making my belly button talk, HELLOOO! No need to take my hands to make my belly button stretch and talk. #pregnancyperks

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Oh look how much I’ve grown in literally seconds!

Animals:

Week 34 had my FAVORITE animal featured. A QUOKKA! OMG, I know, I was a weird American child who knew what a quokka was, but uh…. isn’t it the cutest thing ever? And if you google this guy you get a lot of selfies with them, which is because of Rottennest Island. It is packed with quokkas that seemed to get use to tourists. I am not sure how I feel about this, but I know if I knew about this place as a kid I would be trying to convince my parents to make a trip to Australia.

Week 35 is the very specific Mini Lop Bunny. I don’t really know how big a regular lop bunny is, so mini is more mysterious. But they are also pretty cute, but I can’t help but wonder if the ears are annoying for the bunny sort of like how bulldogs have a hard time breathing. Any big bunny fans? Also, if anyone has their hearts stolen by these photos, there are lots of mini lop bunnies for adoption on PetFinder.com. I just can’t even with Bettie Brown.

Werkin Out:

Oof, finding time is hard. Mostly during the work week. Luckily I work only 4 days a week, but we have been so busy I pretty much get home, cook, then just sit around feeling fried. But I am trying to go for long walks on weekends with Jon, which puts me out of breath with my stuffy nose (pregnancy symptom) and having the baby sit so close to the diaphragm (when will this baby drop to give some relief?) But the good news is that my muscles are still pretty strong and I can still curl a 14lb weight, though I should try and do more barre workouts consistently. I think it will help with muscle endurance when it comes to labor time.

Oh, and if you love body positive fitness- please donate to Lacy Davis’ IndieGoGo campaign! She is the author of the blog Super Strength Health and co-host of the podcast Rise and Resist. Passing a few bucks will help the campaign. She is 55% of the way to her goal, and every little bit helps.

Nursery:

We are getting there! My parents are stopping by tomorrow to bring over the fancy pants rocker my sister use to own. I think my husband was confused to why it wouldn’t fit in our car, or my sister’s until I said it was like a couch. But we will set it up in the room this weekend and hopefully pick up the toy box that sister has that matches the rest of the furniture. Which will hopefully get the bulk of the nursery all tidied up. Oh! And our closet door is finally all painted and can fully shut. Thank goodness.

Next order of buisness is framing some of the art that will be going in there. My Mom did a needlepoint of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle (my favorite as a girl, and today) and Alexa is making a painting. So I am pretty excited to see the final results.


I know it is only the second day of Vegan MOFO and I am taking a break from the prompts. I like using this blog sometimes as a way to remember things, so keeping up with some of my pregnancy posts is important to me. Granted, this post IS about vegan food, so it is still in the same spirit. It just doesn’t have the theme of the go-to-impressment meal. I won’t lie- you will be getting a preview of future Vegan MOFO posts. XD But let’s move on-

shake

As always I start my morning with a shake. Yup, I’m boring. I usually am so busy doing remaining dishes from the night before, and prepping my husband’s our lunches that I really like having quick shakes that I don’t need to think about. So this shake is one I featured before in my first and second WIAW posts. They turned out looking more brown looking. I guess it large depends on how much greens I happen to add that day. XD The photo looks extra pretty today since I was taking a photo for a Vegan MOFO prompt.

latte

Before heading to work I had to stop by Wegman’s to buy some peanut butter since we ran out. How will my husband live without his PB&J sandwiches?! XD So I figured I would pick up an almond milk latte as well. I am always surprised how much a latte will fill up my belly until lunch time. I figured I would take a photo of my “drink station.” Keeping my work area clean is SUPER important. Like 99% of the stuff we get at the frame shop isn’t worth much. Many things are digital photos or a $40-100 print. But some things are one of a kind- like needlepoints, old family photos, kid art. And now we are getting increasingly more and more expensive art, ranging from $1,000-80,000! No joke, the other day we got a call because a customer thought we lost his $80,000 print we framed, and I went white. I had no idea that piece was so expensive. Turns out he forgot that he brought it an appraiser to make sure it was authentic. Side note guys- if you think you have $80,000 print, get it appraised BEFORE getting it framed. They are most likely going to have to open it back up and reseal it. I know how many of my readers are sitting on expensive art ^__~

wrap

Lunch rolled around 12:30, and I ate my cut apple and a wrap with crumbled pumpkin black bean burger, radish greens, carrot shavings, and some Just Ranch dressing. The wrap was okay, it was a little dry. I also ate a few handfuls of tortilla chips because my boss took them out while we were eating. How do people NOT eat chips when the bag is opened?

So I didn’t photograph the apple and chips (use your imagination guys). I also didn’t photograph the two rolls of smarties and one of the new Nut Filled Clif Bars. I actually had the Coconut Almond Butter, and it was pretty good. I am not sure how much of a fan I am of them. I think I will stick to the originals, but they are still worth the occasional splurge.

burger

Before work I took some photos of the Pumpkin Black Bean Burgers (will be posted tomorrow) so I figured I would wrap up one of them and eat it as a mid-day snack. It was actually a pretty nutritious snack- gots some extra beans, pumpkin, and radish greens! I added some roasted garlic hummus to the bun, but I wish I could of added more since it was a little dry… and cold. 

dinner

Dinner is going to be featured in an upcoming Vegan MOFO, I wonder if anyone will be able to guess from the photo? It is kind-of a stretch for the prompt. XD I rarely make meals like this, but I know I should start getting use to it as I plan to have kids. It isn’t too hard to make three separate things, especially when you can just shove the tofu in the oven. I had a little brown rice, curried beets, and tandoori tofu from Vegan Eats World. I saw that My Cat Loves Daiya tried it out and it just looked so yummy I had to do the same. 

Then I wrapped up the night with a Pumpkin Spice Macaccino Cupcake. Again, something I will post on the blog for Vegan MOFO. I didn’t take a photo since I ate one of the first batches where I mixed in chocolate chips and had a crumb topping. The topping- uh…. melted. So they looked pretty nasty before I took any photos. So I made a second batch without those add ins. Baking is never perfect the first time right?

nutstats

So how did I do? Well, I ALWAYS point out, everyone is different, and needs different amount of calories. I am 8 1/2 months pregnant, so yeah, I’m eating a lot XD Just click the chart to enlarge it if you can’t read it. Out of all the days I think I hit the most of the nutritional goals. As always, the packaged goods aren’t very accurate, I mean the clif bar didn’t register most of the vitamins and minerals, which is a bummer since the regular clif bars usually show up. 

I know it looks like I ate A LOT of sugar, but I have my specs registered for 50 grams of sugar, the suggested amount. About half of the sugar that is being registered are naturally occurring from the banana, apple, beets, and carrot that I ate. Yeah, not the greatest that I have doubled the amount from smarties, clif bar, latte, and a muffin/cupcake. And let’s not forget all those sneaky added in sugars in dressings and breads and such.

I can’t believe I am getting to the end. There might be ONE more of these What I Ate Wednesdays before the baby comes. And if I try hard, I might do a few more to show the food recommendations for breast feeding. The good news is that I can freak out a lot less about iron! YEY!

What are you guys eating today?


weeks3233

These past two weeks have been crazy. I’ve been either doing non stop laundry (getting all the baby clothes cleaned) or spending 2+ hours each day driving my husband and myself to work. It is so sad. I actually live 10-15 minutes away from my work. My husband has about a 20 minute drive. But because of where his work is, it just isn’t a straight shot from his work to mine. Plus we have an hour difference in when when we start our jobs. Then add on rush hour traffic. I’ve been cursing a lot guys. XD We should be getting our second car back on Monday.

Baby Shower:

I had lots of fun with my shower. There were lots of drinks, food, and LOTS of vegan desserts. My friend Justine had a sugar overload, she wasn’t use to there being more than one vegan option at a party. There was pictionary, and some of the usual baby games (Guess the Baby Gear Game and Guess the Baby Stats) But it was mostly just a party where people could have some booze (well, except for the kids and myself) and just mingle and catch up. I am not much of the type of person to have planned games, cutesy things, and being the center of attention.

trailmixbar

My sister planned a trailmix bar, which was pretty vegan friendly. There were some non-vegan mixins, but you can easily sub them with some vegan chocolate chips and non-honey nuts. We made our own little mixes, and I am sure Jon will be mixing it into his oatmeal every morning. It will be super helpful when we are dead tired from staying up late.

smores

I think my sister remembered that Trader Joe’s had vegan marshmallows and saw these cute vegan s’mores pops. She said they were pretty easy to make, and they were pretty tasty. Just put a stick in a marshmallow, dunk in chocolate, and roll in graham cracker crumbs. Naturally you want to check if all the ingredients are vegan, but my sister checked all of that. I think she used a recipe like this one. My sister said the vegan marshmallows are denser than non-vegan ones, but I can’t tell the difference since I can’t remember when I had a “normal” marshmallow.

stinkeye

This photo cracks me up. Looks more like a funeral than a shower. Some people had to catch a train back to NYC so they got first dibs on the desserts. Almost all the New Yorkers are wearing all black or something very dark that looks black in the photo. And then there is Alexa in the middle with her pink hair giving our friend Ali the stink eye as she eats a dessert. I am guessing Alexa was hungry. She claimes it was just unfortunate timing. BTW if that dress looks familiar (which it probably doesn’t) I wore that dress on the blog many moons ago. I gave it to Alexa since the dress armscye (the holes where the arms go out) was too small for me.

gifts

I didn’t get any particularly good photos of my outfit. I was rushing out of the door to get to the shower, plus I can’t find a dress similar to link to anyways. I bought the dress second hand from Kate Gabrielle‘s online instagram account. I paid something like $20 but a medium black shift dress with little bell sleeves. It originally came from Forever 21, a store I wouldn’t promote, and it wouldn’t have the dress available anymore anyways. It clearly is no longer a dress with my tummy, and became more like a tunic with black leggings. If you want a similar look for a baby bump- Pink Blush has an actual dress made for baby bump that is similar. I hope everyone likes my super serious and super derpie faces.

Aside from great food, clothes, and company, we got a lot of great stuff for the baby. We got practical stuff like wash clothes, and car seats, but also cute things like Sophie and Fanfan! We are finishing up our shopping as the days are coming up. It is kind-of nice to know that we can pick whatever we want at the point. We stocked up on secondhand newborn onesies, and I will be checking out Swap.com for sleep sacks and jackets.

Animals:

For week 32 the baby was the size of a naked tailed armadillo. The app doesn’t say which species, which drives me nuts (since I am such an animal know it all) but I can leave you guys with this cute cartoon about armadillos. For week 33, the app says the baby is the size of a ferret. Since they are a semi domesticated animal, I feel less bad leaving a link to a google search of ferrets in costumes.

Birthing Plans:

Right before the shower Jon had been getting so anxious about the baby. For the most part our prep work has been painting rooms. Now that we are getting closer he started to worry about all the technical stuff. I don’t blame him. He kept asking me “Are you SURE you don’t want to take a birthing class?” I was pretty hesitant because I am pretty good at remembering things, so I was worried about taking a class, paying for it, and having lots of info repeated. Even a two day class at the hospital was $70. I can’t imagine how expensive some of those 8 day lamaze classes would get. So to get Jon to shut up, I mean calm his nerves, I rented a DVD from the local library. They have one option- Laugh and Learn About Childbirth.

Let’s just say thank GOD we didn’t pay for a class. Okay clearly it would of been different experience depending on the teacher. But I think I made a face of disgusts the whole time at the tacky wholesome jokes while Jon looked like he might of fainted. Things got a little easier as things went on for him, and I think I got more in vibe with the tacky jokes, or maybe she just grew on me more?

birthin

The first few classes/episodes/whatever didn’t have much new information for. I think that’s why I hated it so much at first. But it didn’t help that this lady has the most dated hair, and acted like a character played by Cheri Oteri mixed with your outgoing-but-not-so-funny high school drama teacher. Highlights? Showing everyone what a baby looks like coming out of a knitted uterus… which I can’t really remember why she needed that simulation. Then she talked about the different positions you can be in to give birth. She shows some of the positions- all are not flattering. Then she proceeds to say “you might look silly doing this one” and goes on all four. Nothing particularly bad. Then proceeds to say “or you can go on your side” and makes that move up above. Jon and I lost it, and couldn’t stop laughing. This lady made it seem like this was such a normal position to be in. Oddly, I just noticed that she is wearing tights under her khakis.

There are so many weird little things this lady does (like tights under pants.) Actually there are lots of weird decisions about the filming. Like they make as if it is a “real class” and have other couples sitting there. Which kind-of stinks there isn’t any same sex couples, or single moms or something like that. But they go around having everyone introduce themselves, you know, like a class. They even have a Dad who doesn’t speak English, but they keep asking him questions and such, only to have the teacher be like “uh… not sure what you are saying.” That one got me scratching my head. Another fun fact about the teacher- she had twin boys. She claims she would eat 4,000 calories to keep up with her milk supply and still loose weight. She claims she ate half an Entenmann’s cake every day. What?!

I think it overall was helpful, though I can’t say it is best since we haven’t seen any other videos out there. But I think it helped ease Jon about how awful the labor will be. He also better understands why I don’t want an epidural. We’ll see how I deal with the pain, but honestly I think I have a high pain tolerance. And if there is one thing I took away from this video is that it is better to try and tough it out as long as you can before getting the epidural.

Vegan MOFO!

I am a little happy to focus some of this blog to food again. Vegan Mofo is coming up and I didn’t get as much prepped as I hoped. I am crossing my fingers that Sunday and Monday I can do a lot of pre-writing for posts. It will be nice to have a few things to counteract all the baby stuff. The other day I was at Barnes and Noble and I was thinking about grabbing a pregnancy magazine. And then just couldn’t do it. And instead grabbed Bitch and Ms. I think the guy ringing me up was a little confused. XD