27 Weeks from San Francisco

It’s a rainy morning in San Francisco and I am grateful for a lazy, rainy morning – a little break from traipsing up and down San Fran’s gigantic hills! They seem bigger when your belly is practically the size of a basketball. Ok maybe not a basketball but it’s feeling huge – baby seems to have had a growth spurt these last couple of weeks. We are having a great time here – enjoying the cable cars, views of the bridge, yummy food, hot chocolate at Ghiradelli with friends, a Christmas tree lighting, window shopping (ok and a few purchases…), and of course enjoying some cable TV at our hotel! With all the fun we’re having, the 27 week update is a little late and probably not the same format as usual because we’re blogging from our phones. Enjoy!

She said:

How far along? 27 weeks
Total weight gain: Not sure – no scale in San Fran. I’m feeling much bigger so I’m guessing I gained a pound or two.
Maternity clothes? Yes. Fully embraced my maternity clothes. Maternity jeans are the most comfortable things in the world.
Sleep: Grateful for some extra sleep this holiday weekend! Sleeping fairly well.
Best moment this week: We got a great report at our ultrasound that everything is looking good. Baby is in the 53rd percentile – except for her long legs. No surprise there!
Miss Anything? The strength I once had in my core – not that I was ever that strong… I’m taking basic strength here like the kind that helps you sit up! Haha.
Movement: Oh yes. Must be those long legs.
Food cravings: Pizza King pizza. Sadly they don’t have that anywhere but Indiana.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing specific but I do have occasional bouts of queasiness.
Have you started to show yet: Yes very much so.
Gender: Girl!
Labor Signs: No – though I might have an occasional Braxton hicks contraction that I mistake for movement. Not entirely sure.
Belly Button in or out? Still in but inching out…
Wedding rings on or off? On. Had my first experience with cankles during this trip. Between the flight and all the walking I found myself with quite swollen ankles our first night here.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy
Looking forward to: Christmas, seeing what our baby looks like!

He said:

How far along? 27 weeks? All I know is the baby continues to grow!
Total weight gain: A couple pairs of pants but that’s it.
Maternity clothes? Yep.
Sleep: So-so.
Best moment this week: Ultrasound. They never get old!
Miss Anything? Not really.
Movement: Yeah, a lot! It’s fun being able to feel and even see it.
Food cravings: Pizza King pizza, from Indiana. Craved it so much she even began scheming about how to get it to Cali. Not going to happen!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not this week.
Have you started to show yet: Very much!
Gender: Girl.
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? In, but making its way out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy.
Looking forward to: Finishing the baby’s room.


3 Thanksgiving Eve’s Ago

It was Thanksgiving Eve, 2011.

Just a little over a month had passed since eHarmony matched me and this guy Than who lived in Grand Rapids. Pages upon pages of emails had been exchanged, as well as numerous Skype dates and Google chats and the day was finally here. I was about to meet my future husband face to face. (I’d say little did I know I was about to meet my future husband, but that’s not true. I was pretty sure even before we met face to face.)  And he was about to meet my family the very next day for Thanksgiving. He’s a brave one!

On his journey to Chicago we texted back and forth until we both needed to conserve what battery was left on our phones. I arrived at Union Station, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Greyhound bus. The anticipation was building and building when I got a text that said “Where are you?” That’s when panic set in. Than was at the Greyhound station and I was at Union Station with no clue where the Greyhound station in Chicago was!

Our panic was short-lived as Than found out he only had the temporarily get off the bus at the Greyound station (later we discovered that it’s about 2 blocks from Union Station) and could re-board for the last stop at Union Station. A few (seemingly long) minutes later, there he was. It wasn’t like we were meeting for the first time but more like everything was as it should be.

We ventured to the El to begin the trek back out to the suburbs.  On the way home we made a stop at Meijer for some cereal (sugary cereal did NOT exist in my house until Than was in the picture!). Cereal and a movie was our plan for the evening. Cereal before bed has been a tradition in Than’s world and is often a part of our lives now and so it was special that he wanted to share that with me as part of our evening.

The next morning we left at the crack of dawn to get to Indiana for Thanksgiving lunch. I had warned my family not to whisper about him because he’s an expert lip reader and I’m happy to report they were on their best behavior. We didn’t have a homemade Thanksgiving dinner that year – we had plans to eat at a local hotel.  The food was nothing to write home about but the company was great and that was (and is) far more important.

Here we are, three years later on Thanksgiving Eve.  Over two wonderful years of marriage, a sweet baby girl on the way and tonight we will celebrate with a bowl of Lucky Charms – thankful for that night 3 years ago!


What’s for Dinner?

I’ve been failing miserably with keeping up with my weekly menu planning blogs.  The plans are there – they just never make it onto the blog! I should admit, I’m not so great at sticking with them during this pregnancy. There are a lot of days where certain things just don’t sound good. I’ve been on a mission lately to make some freezer meals – mostly as a trial run for when baby arrives. As a substitute for Menu Planning Monday I thought I’d share 5 new recipes we have enjoyed lately at our house.  They are either easy or freezer friendly! And the freezer friendly ones are pretty easy as well! Sorry there are no pictures – for some reason taking pictures of food makes it rather unappetizing to me by the time I actually sit down to eat it…

Stuffed Pepper Soup – I didn’t follow this recipe exactly. I used turkey sausage instead of beef, brown sugar instead of white and also used brown rice. I think it would also be good to substitute quinoa for the rice! It makes a lot and I felt like we were eating it for days. Next time I’d only add the cooked rice to half of it and freeze the other half!
Baked Ziti (Freezer meal) – A new favorite. This was so yummy! Definitely a go-to recipe for us from now on.
Butter Beef -This was totally a hit. We don’t eat a lot of beef, but this just melts in your mouth.  Great to add to the crockpot recipe list!
Chicken Pesto Stuffed Shells (Freezer meal)- Nice option for something different in terms of flavor. You don’t find pesto on our dinner table very often – in fact, I used to dislike it, but it’s growing on me and it’s a good option to mix things up a bit.
Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings – This was probably our least favorite of the meals, though still good. Than isn’t a big dumpling person (it’s a texture thing) and I don’t feel great about cooking with cream of _____ (chicken, mushroom, etc). It’s a tasty meal when you’re in the mood for some comfort food on a cold night. We’d definitely make it again – it just won’t be making a regular appearance in our rotation.
What are some of your favorite crockpot or freezer meals?

26 Weeks – Things are Getting Real

Things are getting real, folks. We are pre-registered for delivery at our hospital. We’ve been sent the paperwork to get our birth certificate for our baby. The baby bump is big enough now that people (other than Than) occasionally touch it (as long as you’re not a stranger, it doesn’t bother me – yet) and I had to turn down a Christmas party because of childbirth class.  Yep, this is definitely getting real.

She said:

How far along? 26 Weeks

Total weight gain:  3 pounds (steady gain this week – I have a feeling that will be my new norm)

Maternity clothes? I still have not given in to maternity pants – but I think that Thanksgiving day is the perfect day to bust them out! I mean who DOESN’T want stretchy, maternity pants on Thanksgiving?!  I am wearing some maternity shirts though – my regular ones are getting a wee bit too short in the front now.

Sleep:  So-so. Some nights are good…others…not so much.

Best moment this week: Reading a nightly Bible story from the Jesus Storybook Bible (such a great book) to the baby.  More fun packages for the baby also arrived this week!

Miss Anything?   Nah, not really.

Movement:  Lots of movement! I’m so curious what she’s doing in there.

Food cravings:  A banana split! Than’s craving for the week was jalapeno cheetos…which I may have enjoyed with him. In all seriousness, those are the hardest things to find and he was beyond excited to find them at Food 4 Less this week!

Anything making you queasy or sick: The landscapers spreading manure outside our building was definitely unpleasant. Two days later and the smell is still lingering…

Have you started to show yet: Yes. Officially quite round.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: No, not yet.

Belly Button in or out?  In. I really don’t know if it will ever pop out. Some days it looks like it’s moving outward, then it retracts or something. Who knows!

Wedding rings on or off?  On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Overall happy.

Looking forward to: Time off work next week for Thanksgiving and our trip to San Francisco!

He said:

How far along? 26 weeks

Total weight gain:  Well, this week we acquired a rocking-gliding chair for $10, which represents a significant weight gain!

Maternity clothes? Yes.

Sleep: As good as it’s gonna get at this point, I think. For me, apparently Baby Veltman tried to kick me out of bed, literally, with a kick to the back in the middle of the night. I slept through it, of course.

Best moment this week: Receiving lots of packages from Grandpa and Grandma Northcutt! I like packages, even if they’re not for me.

Miss Anything? Consistent energy throughout the day.

Movement: Yep, and I don’t think she is doing gymnastics but rather practicing her hockey skills. That, or kick-boxing.

Food cravings:  Chocolate is still a go-to. Popcorn has been pop-ularized frequently as well. (See what I did there?)

Anything making you queasy or sick: It’s been a good week with no significant gag reflex-inducing moments.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Still a girl.

Labor Signs:  No

Belly Button in or out? In. And I’m starting to think it’s never going to pop out despite my suspicions it would…

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy; I’ve been working hard this week…at school and other things, but it seems to do the trick. 😉

Looking forward to: Trip to San Francisco. Baby Veltman is going to enjoy it there!

Week 26

25 Weeks

 She said:

How far along? 25 Weeks
Total weight gain: Lost a tiny bit of weight this week – no idea how that is even possible as I am clearly growing (though the fact that the chocolate frosting is gone might have something to do with it…or our scale could be off). The grand total for weight gain is 1.75 pounds.
Maternity clothes? Still depends on the day… Often wearing maternity shirts or the longest shirts I have these days. Plus, it’s sweater weather now (yay!) so all I’ve really been needing are my maternity tank tops for underneath!
Sleep:  A little better than last week!
Best moment this week:  Getting started on some nursery decorations! Or maybe this amazing, cool weather!
Miss Anything? I still miss sleeping through the night. I know, I know… I need to get over it. There’s definitely a lot more NOT sleeping through the night to come!
Movement: Yes – and becoming more frequent.  Also, the movements are getting bigger and stronger which must mean baby is growing. And THAT makes me feel good about this growing belly.
Food cravings: Chocolate and cereal!
Anything making you queasy or sick: The other day I was sitting by a table that had a variety of strong smelling foods on it and I was about to gag. I thought I was past that stage of pregnancy but apparently not.
Have you started to show yet: Yep – though to a complete stranger it might still be questionable if I am pregnant or if that’s just my body type.  To me I am showing a LOT.
Gender: Girl.
Labor Signs: Nope. Though a quick glance at the calendar reminds me that it’s not going to be too long before this baby arrives. Things like birthing classes and hospital tours and starting to pop up as I scroll through the upcoming few weeks.
Belly Button in or out? Inching outward, but definitely still in.
Wedding rings on or off?  On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Oh a little of both I’d say. Generally more happy though.
Looking forward to: A few days off at Thanksgiving and our trip to San Francisco!

He said:

How far along? 25 weeks
Total weight gain: Holding steady this week.
Maternity clothes? Yes
Sleep: So-so.
Best moment this week: Grandma Northcutt reading a story to Baby Veltman.
Miss Anything? A full night of uninterrupted sleep. I suspect this is training for life over the next year.
Movement: Yes. She loves giving me fist bumps; and I like it too!
Food cravings: Chocolate milk. Cereal is often a snack as well; this is how I know it’s my baby.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Trash; easily resolved.
Have you started to show yet: Yes. She is definitely showing more than I am.
Gender: Girl.
Labor Signs: No. 
Belly Button in or out? Still in.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: It’s been a good week. The chocolate milk might have more to do with that than anything I did.
Looking forward to: Trip to San Francisco in a couple weeks.
Week 25

24 Weeks

She Said:

How far along? 24 Weeks
Total weight gain: 2 pounds
Maternity clothes? Occasionally, but not consistently for shirts. Still holding out on those maternity jeans!
Sleep: Not so good anymore… Spending far more time awake than I should during the middle of the night. God’s way of preparing me for bringing home baby, perhaps?  It’s just not quite as easy to get comfortable these days either. Baby’s favorite time to do gymnastics is about 3:30 am.
Best moment this week: Definitely all the kicking. She is now big enough that Than can feel her kicks and movements. And, we not only feel the movement but I SAW some movement once. Not sure how I feel about that – it’s kind of weird. As an aside, I think I’m growing a little chocoholic! She kicks like crazy after I eat chocolate frosting (yes… plain chocolate frosting – if you can’t lick the brownie batter spatula b/c of raw eggs, you can eat least lick the frosting spoon + a little extra!).
Miss Anything? Sleeping comfortably!
Movement: Several times a day!
Food cravings: Chocolate frosting, sweets of all types, Nutella, and still loving my chocolate milk.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope!
Have you started to show yet: Yep – getting more and more noticeable.
Gender: Girl…in case you forgot.
Labor Signs: Thankfully, no.
Belly Button in or out? In for now.
Wedding rings on or off?  On – sometimes a little snug after working out.
Happy or Moody most of the time: How could I be unhappy after all that chocolate frosting?!
Looking forward to: Getting our baby’s room ready!

He Said:

How far along? Well, supposedly it’s 24, but the doctor keeps confusing me by saying it could be 25.
Total weight gain: We received some baby clothes and toys from friends this week.
Maternity clothes? Yes.
Sleep: Apparently the baby is on a different bed-time clock and keeps waking Ru up. I’m sleeping fine, by the way.
Best moment this week: Feeling the baby move for the first time. She gave me a fist bump!
Miss Anything? Probably sleeping through the night.
Movement: Yep, like crazy, especially after eating Nutella!
Food cravings: Nutella. Huh, maybe Ru should stop eating Nutella to sleep better. Nevermind, it’ll never happen.
Anything making you queasy or sick: The trash.
Have you started to show yet: Yep.
Gender: Girl.
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? Getting closer to being out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Been a mixed bag this week, but probably not entirely her fault. The Nutella has some responsibility in that….
Looking forward to: Baby-moon in San-Fran in a few weeks.

23 Weeks – Before Long We’ll Need a Countdown!

She said:

How far along? 23 Weeks – I can hardly believe it! Before too long we’ll probably need to start a countdown of how many weeks to go rather than just counting up!
Total weight gain: Gained 1/4 of a pound this week for a grand total of 1.35 pounds.
Maternity clothes? Getting taken out of the closet a bit more frequently now… Still holding out on the maternity jeans.
Sleep:  Overall I’m sleeping well. Excited for that extra hour of sleep tonight!
Best moment this week: Good report from the doctor that everything is looking good and baby girl is growing well.
Miss Anything? I miss sleeping through the night… Oh the joys of not having to get out of the warm, cozy bed to go to the bathroom!
Movement: Yes – now that she’s a pound and a half I feel her moving quite a bit. Especially after drinking orange juice or after eating dinner.
Food cravings: Chocolate milk!
Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of garbage is still really disgusting to me – but who doesn’t think that is disgusting?!
Have you started to show yet: Yep – the bump continues to grow… I’m convinced it literally grew overnight once this week. I went to bed one night and woke up bigger the next morning.
Gender:  Doctor confirmed yesterday that she’s still a girl 🙂
Labor Signs: Nope.
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off?  On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy overall.
Looking forward to: The holidays, getting baby’s room ready, our babymoon to San Francisco…

He said:

How far along? 23 weeks
Total weight gain: We received some books and clothing from Grandpa and Grandma Northcutt.
Maternity clothes? Yes, and enjoying the new comfort. I wonder why they don’t make normal clothes to be as comfortable. Or is it just they are uncomfortable during pregancy? I don’t know…women stuff!
Sleep: I think it’s been ok, but I’m realizing that I might be projecting my sleep patterns onto her as she seems to always have a different answer for this than I do.
Best moment this week: Seeing the Baby wave at me in the ultrasound. She totally did! I don’t care what anyone else says! 😉
Miss Anything? No…not being picky helps with this, I think.
Movement: Apparently a ton this week. But she seems to be shy when I try to feel her move.
Food cravings: A can of nutella was “broken into” recently; who knows how many times!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not that I remember…
Have you started to show yet: Yep!
Gender: Sonographer confirmed it was a girl, again. Not that we were concerned or confused.
Labor Signs: No. But, during a foot massage, I was told that pinching a certain part of the foot could induce labor. Really?! Wow, women’s bodies ARE complex and crazy!
Belly Button in or out? Still in.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on–I got scars to prove it too!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy, despite what my recent scars might indicate.
Looking forward to: I love seeing the ultrasounds. They make me smile! See: 😀
Week 23