Sunday, December 29, 2013

Last Weekend of 2013

It was another wonderful weekend. On Friday, we headed down to the South Bay area to see Jenn and Justin and their families. We ended up chatting and playing a trivia game for a few hours, and we had a blast. I love hearing details about Jenn's upcoming wedding and seeing how excited she is. Seven and a half months to go!

Saturday, Terry and I slept in a bit before hitting up the treadmill for an incline walking workout. Here's what we did for a total of 40 minutes:


I ended up reducing almost all of the 4.0 speeds to 3.5 to keep my heart rate at a safe level during pregnancy, but I still felt very challenged and loved this workout. Terry found it tough, too!

We kept the rest of our morning pretty mellow, and then I had an eight-hour shift at work. It may have just been me, but I found the day stressful and the customers a bit rude. I think a lot of people are tired of shopping and need to take a little break. I was quite glad when the day ended and Terry picked me up!

Last night we headed to our neighbors' house for dinner, where we enjoyed steak, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and homemade ricotta gnocchi. Plus, for dessert, we dove into a Nutella tart and a brown butter apple pie. Everything was phenomenal!




But the night wasn't over yet: Our friends Fay and David who now live in DC stopped by for a quick visit after they attended the UCLA basketball game. I absolutely love those two. They are also getting married next year, in July, and it'll be another incredible one! They are just such a cute couple, and I loved even a short visit. I also can't wait because in January I'll be visiting them in DC for a whole weekend!

This morning, Terry and I slept in before we headed to the gym for a leg workout. After a 5 minute warm up, we did two rounds of 10 reps plus pulses to fatigue of the following:

  • Dumbbell split squats
  • Dumbbell plie squats
  • Hip abductors on stability ball
  • Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts
Then we walked about 3 miles to the farmer's market for a few items, ran some errands, and baked Smitten Kitchen's salted caramel brownies. We had some company for dinner and made tri tip sandwiches, Ina Garten's roasted potatoes, a simple winter salad (pears, pecans, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and spinach), and those brownies. Games were played, conversation was had--it was a good time. 

We're ending the night with some couch time, 30 Rock, and cereal. I'm just thrilled that Terry has another week off at home!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! How are you going to make the last two days of 2013 incredible? 

Friday, December 27, 2013

An Unconventional Christmas

Well I love that you all loved my photos from Christmas! I kept last night's post short--and entirely photos--because we were exhausted. Here's why:

On Monday, the 23rd, I worked a full eight hours at the store (a little reminder: I took a seasonal job at a kitchen goods store for the holidays), and it was pure chaos. Thankfully, our customers were still friendly and not exactly frantic yet, but we were packed and I remember several dashes through the store to grab items for my fellow employees or customers.

Then, on Christmas Eve, I woke up early to work a quick four-hour shift, eight to noon. This time, the store wasn't crazy, but I was pretty beat from the previous day. I came home to wrap up a few last-minute Christmas chores and then we headed to Orange County (in tons of traffic) for dinner with Terry's family.

That day, I got my first fun experience with major aches of pregnancy. I think it was related to not working out in the morning, but my back and legs felt stiff and sore no matter how I tried to stretch, stand, or sit. I don't think I've ever felt so uncomfortable! (My mom warned me that it's going to get much, much worse...yikes!)

But still, we had a wonderful time with Terry's family and stayed the night at Terry's parents' house for Christmas Eve. Christmas day was all about presents, relaxing, a quick jog (which turned into a walk because it was SO HOT), watching Miracle on 24th Street, and Terry's parents' classic Christmas dinner of a Honeybaked ham, candied yams, mashed potatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

Yesterday, Terry and I woke up a little later to exchange our own Christmas gifts. I whipped up some French toast, we opened stocking gifts, and then we started in on the regular gifts. Then, sadly, I was off again for another eight hour shift at work, which was smoother and calmer than the previous days. When I arrived home at 8:30, I started in on Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, which needed to rise for two hours. We ate tamales and relaxed with some TV while we waited.

And today turned out to be fun, too:

Those cinnamon rolls rocked





We busted out a quick, in-the-apartment arm workout and then took a 30-minute walk

Terry started a turkey (half breast and two legs) in the crock pot

We drove up to Thousand Oaks to visit with my friend Amanda and her mom for a quick chat, then went to Lazy Dog Cafe for lunch with Amanda

We talked about going to a movie but chose to chill on the couch instead. I started planning my 2013 in Review post (here's the one from 2012), and Terry worked on solving his 5x5 Rubik's cube (yep).

Tonight we're chowing down on that turkey Terry made, and then we'll head down to the South Bay to see Jenn and her family and hopefully see some Christmas lights (yeah...a little late). It's been an unconventional Christmas in some ways, but I'm just so thrilled because A) Terry's home and B) it's our last Christmas just the two of us (though I know we might miss these quiet mornings sometimes).


Hope you're enjoying these last few days of the year! I'm starting to think about goals for 2014 and reflecting on what a great year it was. Hope you are, too!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Photo Recap

Here's a little snapshot of our Christmas festivities:













And to all a good night. :-)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Festivus!

One of my favorite Christmas activities is setting up a gift wrapping station on the dining room table where we can surround ourselves with ribbons, paper, bags, and bows. Yesterday we set up the table and wrapped only about half of our gifts before calling it a day. I guess we'll need another gift wrapping day soon!

Last night, Jenn and Justin came over for a little Christmas get together. Terry did a spectacular job cleaning the house while I was away at work for the morning, and we worked together to get dinner ready. We made citrus chicken, roasted Brussels sprouts, and brown rice with mushrooms and onions. Jenn also made a delicious salad with spinach, gorgonzola cheese, pecans, blueberries, and raspberry vinegar, and Terry sliced up some cheese and salami for appetizers.



Here are some photos of our Christmas decorations, since I neglected to post them earlier.
On our dining room table.



Even the bathroom joined the party!




We all exchanged gifts, and Jenn and Justin gave us a beautiful blanket for our little one and some new coasters, a particularly thoughtful gift since I've been wanting some new ones. We gave them a gluten-free slow cooker cookbook and a canvas print of their choice, which will hopefully come in handy for their recent engagement photos!

This morning Terry and I awoke rested after nine glorious hours of sleep. We took a long walk around our neighborhood and then headed out to a Christmas lunch with some of Terry's family. We had a great time catching up and especially loved hearing all the banter about the baby to be.

This evening turned out to be perfectly mellow. We changed into our pjs (our Christmas jammies?), baked sugar cookies (some of the best I've ever tasted! here's the recipe), stuck with a simple appetizer plate for dinner (apples, blueberries, cucumbers, whole wheat pita, hummus from our farmer's market, salami, sourdough bread, brie, and gouda), and cried while watching Up. Does that movie get you every time, too? It kills me.

Our plans this week:

  • Lots of work at the store for me (four days, including Christmas Eve morning)
  • Our next doctor appointment is tomorrow! Hopefully we'll get to see our little one or at least hear the heartbeat again.
  • A few days of workouts, and I'm hoping to try to run three miles again one day.
  • Perhaps a movie or two.
  • As much time as possible just enjoying our quality time together. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Day in the Life: Two Jobs Edition

Since taking on a part time, holiday-season-only job, life has really sped up around here, which is actually a good thing. With Terry gone for work so much in November, December, and January, I needed a distraction to keep me feeling like I'm a useful part of society instead of a soft lump on the couch. So here's what my day looked like Wednesday, when I worked both jobs.

Morning

2:02 am - Woke up in the middle of the night, took about 40 minutes to fall asleep again. Apparently sleeping on my stomach and back is no longer an option.
5:08 am - Alarm went off, I hit the snooze.
5:10 am - Alarm went off again, I hit the snooze.
5:10 am - Terry called me to wake me up. I barely remember this call, but it happened. It was nice to hear his voice first thing, though!
5:15 am - Showered, got dressed, dried my hair a bit, fed the cat.
5:45 am - Ate a quick bowl of cereal while making my French toast, started the tea.
6:00 am - Sat down to eat breakfast while Scout played to entertain me.
6:03 am - Scrambled to finish getting ready, packed my bag, grabbed snacks for the morning.
6:15 am - Out the door.
6:35 am - Arrived at school, subbed for a friend who was out sick. She teaches 6:45 to 1 pm, so I followed her schedule, which involved almost no breaks! I'm impressed that she does that every day (when I taught for four years, I always had my prep period in the middle of the morning, so I got some nicely spaced breaks).

Afternoon/Evening

1:00 pm - Got called to the office, which was super weird.
1:04 pm - Arrived at the office to find the best surprise ever: Terry! He came home two days early and surprised me! Woo hoo! I turned bright red and got all teary, but it was awesome.
1:20 pm - Stopped at Trader Joe's to grab a few groceries.
1:55 pm - Scrambled around the house hiding my gifts for Terry because I had planned to wrap them before he got home but obviously didn't get to it.
1:58 pm - Got started on roasting spaghetti squash and heating up marinara sauce while we also sliced up some cheese and salami for lunch.
2:10 pm - Ate lunch, watched Monday's episode of How I Met Your Mother, played with the kitten, relaxed, chatted with Terry.
3:30 pm - Terry drove me to work (one of many perks of having him home!).
4:00 pm - Started my shift at the store.
8:45 pm - Clocked out, Terry picked me up to head home.
9:05 pm - Arrived home to the dishes and laundry DONE!!!
9:10 pm - Heated up spaghetti squash with mozzarella for myself and scarfed it down, along with a bowl of cereal to bookend the day. We watched some TV and chatted while I ate, and Terry played with Scout.
10:30 pm - Got ready for bed, checked my blogs, hoped for a good night of rest.


And that was that! My routine isn't too different now that I'm pregnant, but I'm sure things will evolve over the next few months. My belly (though still not really showing according to most people but definitely there according to me) is already preventing me from bending down too quickly and from sleeping on my side or back, but those are minor adjustments so far.

Today we even managed a pretty tough workout together. I made up my own version of the 1000 Rep Workout:

Complete 10 reps of each exercise; complete 10 rounds total. Exercises are all body weight exercises, unless indicated. If using dumbbells, choose a light weight--you are doing 100 reps, after all.
  • Bent over dumbbell rows
  • Walking lunges (5 per side)
  • Dumbbell biceps curls
  • Plie squats
  • Push ups (<--you better believe I did all of these on my knees)
  • Squats
  • Dumbbell overhead shoulder press 
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • Glute bridges
  • Bench dips
I definitely feel fatigued after that one! Somehow, though, we mustered up more energy to make one of our favorite comfort meals: shepherd's pie. We loosely follow Sunny Anderson's recipe minus the mushroom gravy, and today we used bison meat. Hello deliciousness! And the best part...plenty of leftovers! Even Terry, with three servings, couldn't even eat half the dish.


I also baked up a new-to-me brownie recipe, promised to be the best I've ever had. They're in the oven now, and the house smells heavenly, so I'll let you know what I think!

Oh, and since I mentioned it, here's one of my maternity purchases from this weekend. Burgundy pants aren't normally something I'd be brave enough to buy, but I feel like I can make them work. 



Hope you had an awesome day! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Wonderful Surprise for WIAW

Another Wednesday here and another round of foods. Interestingly, even though I initially reportedthat I have no aversions, I’ve stumbled upon quite a few “problem” foods that, for one reason or another, have caused enough trauma to make me want to avoid them. That list includes:
  • Chipotle—I’ve now gotten two severe cases of stress stomach (aggravation of my nonulcer dyspepsia) immediately after eating Chipotle, so while I still enjoy the food, I think it’s best to avoid it altogether. But man, they have good guacamole.
  • Candied nuts—This one is so strange. While we were in Europe and I was only a few weeks pregnant, Terry went crazy over the candied nuts available at Oktoberfest. I ate a few handfuls one day, but after that I felt completely repulsed whenever I smelled them around Europe (which, surprisingly, was rather often). Ironically, we never eat or buy candied almonds here in LA, but of course one day (before we had announced the pregnancy), we went to a football game with Terry’s family, and Terry’s uncle kept offering everyone—what else?—candied almonds. Ugh. My stomach churned every time they went by, but since we weren't announcing yet I had to just deal.
  • Morning tea—Another weird one. Most books and my doctor agree that some caffeine (up to 250 mg, or about one or two cups of coffee) each day is okay. I don’t drink coffee, but normally I love my morning cup of tea. Lately (just the last two weeks or so), while I still think tea sounds good, I’m just not enjoying the taste. So I may need to find a new morning routine to enjoy, because sipping out of my mug while curling up with the kitten—even for five minutes—makes the mornings just a little bit better. Perhaps five minutes of reading or stretching instead…
  • Sweets—I did mention this one last time, but I feel it’s worth another shout out because I never would have expected it. I think I assumed my sweet tooth would get even more intense with pregnancy (although, when you crave sweets after breakfast, how much worse can it get?), but it’s gone the other way. Some days, I don’t eat any dessert. It’s not an aversion; it’s just a lack of desire. And that’s just so strange.

But overall, I’ve enjoyed most foods as I normally do, especially homemade foods. I think the Chipotle incidents have made me nervous about eating out. But I went to Lazy Dog CafĂ© the other day and enjoyed their chicken hummus salad and edamame without any problems. Here’s what I ate today:

Since my morning started extra early (I subbed for a teacher whose schedule begins at 6:45), I ate an extra hearty breakfast to get me through to lunch—a small bowl of cereal plus one and a half pieces of French toast topped with peanut butter, sliced almonds, and syrup.

For my midmorning snacks I had an apple around 9 am and then a KIND bar at 11 am. I grabbed a small brownie from the faculty room before the last class of the day, around noon. It was only okay.

And then I got the world’s best Christmas present: Terry came home early!!! He was supposed to arrive Friday, but he showed up at my school and was waiting in the office when I finished work. Of course, several of my friends were in the office at the time, so I turned bright red, but I was too thrilled to see Terry to be embarrassed. What a wonderful way to celebrate the season! I was even happier than the time I bought all those OXO containers:


On the way home, we stopped for a few groceries at TJs. I had a giant spaghetti squash waiting for us at home, and I couldn’t wait to roast it up to enjoy with that spinach, some marinara, and mozzarella. But since that process too awhile, we decided to plate up a big board of salami, cheeses, crackers, hummus, and cucumbers, plus a spinach salad. We also nibbled on a few Christmas cookies, a gift from our neighbor. I left the squash for Terry for dinner and headed to work.

After a fun, quick day of work, I heated up some leftover spaghetti squash with mozzarella and then devoured another bowl of cereal. 


And now I'm so tired from it all that I can't eat or write anymore. It was a long day, but a wonderful surprise in the middle made it a fantastic one. I still can't believe Terry is home for the holidays (at least through the first weekend in January!), and I'm beyond thrilled. 

Another little fun surprise today was a sweet gift from my mom--more maternity clothes! She got my some leggings and a few tops. I'll be sure to snap some photos of my maternity outfits, because I've found it pretty tough to do maternity shopping. Mostly, I've stuck with Pea in the Pod (sale items only) and Motherhood. I'll let you know how I feel about the quality once I've worn things a few times!

Hope you had as wonderful a day as I did!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gift Guides Galore

It turns out that, even though first trimester is over (good riddance), I'm still feeling major effects of fatigue in situations that surprise me. Granted, I've kept myself rather active and busy, but the exhaustion sets in sooner than I expect and just knocks me out.

Sunday I spent a few hours shopping; Monday I subbed and then worked at the store; today I cleaned house and then ran about ten Christmas errands. And now that I've sat down to write this post, I don't think I can get up again.

(Just kidding. I totally just got up to get a bowl of cereal. What can I say? The power of food is apparently greater than the power of exhaustion.)

No, it's not cereal, but it's a nice photo.


These past few days have felt rather productive, though, and I'm pretty close to finishing my Christmas shopping. And I actually love the whole shopping experience. Finding the perfect gift for someone makes me so happy. And this year has been a good one; I feel like I ended up with too many ideas for most people, rather than walking around aimlessly, desperate to just purchase something and get home.

A lot of bloggers have created some awesome gift-giving guides. I love the idea of a gift guide, but it's just not going to happen for me this year, so I thought I would link to some of my favorite gift lists if you (like me) still have some shopping to do!

And just for fun I chose a few ideas of my own, both reasonably priced and splurge options:

For the fitness lover in your life: New workout clothes (I'm always more motivated when I have fun, stylish, comfortable clothes!)--I like TJ Maxx and Marshall's--or a Polar Heart Rate Monitor 

My favorite jacket from UnderArmour

For the home chef: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, any Ina Garten cookbook, or a nice slow cooker (we have all of these items and use them regularly; I guarantee satisfaction!)

For your guy: This shirt:

Why not?


For anyone special in your life: An "experience" gift. My favorite gifts to give and receive are those that involve going somewhere, doing something, spending time with the person to whom I'm giving the gift. A few years ago I surprised Terry with a trip to Denver for a brewery tour trip, and it's still one of our favorite vacations (and he says it was one of his favorite gifts!). You can't go wrong with tickets to a sporting event, a night out to dinner followed by ice skating, or supplies for a mellow picnic at home with a new-to-you movie.

Hope you're enjoying the holiday season! What's your favorite gift (given or received) of all time? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Currently...

I love reading these posts when other bloggers do them. It's a good way to provide a little snapshot of what's going on, especially since I've struggled with a regular blogging routine lately. I'm not able to blog when I sub, and on days that I work at the store I have a tough time feeling motivated to write a quality post at 9:30 pm. So now here's a little insight into life around here lately.

Eating...overnight oats! During my first trimester, large amounts of dairy weren't my jam. But lately I've been able to eat yogurt, ice cream, milk, and cheese with no problems. So when Terry requested overnight oats the other day, I made a bowl for myself, too...and LOVED them all over again!



Reading...Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman, a recommendation from my friend Jenn. It's a book that follows an American woman raising her first child in Paris, observing and researching the major differences between French and American children. Terry and I are reading it together and loving it! It's so interesting to read about a different culture's childcare and child rearing customs.

Feeling...the Christmas spirit.


Learning...firsthand what round ligament pain is and how uncomfortable it is. Some parts of pregnancy are tougher than others, but even the painful stuff makes me feel like I'm right on track.

Finding...new clothes! A few of my friends have mentioned that they wish they had gotten into maternity clothes sooner, so I figured 15 weeks was as good a time as any to splurge on some new stuff for myself. I found a few pairs of leggings, some sweaters, and new bras. My mom had already bought me a few shirts, and I got a pair of maternity jeans from Old Navy around week 12, so I feel pretty happy for the time being. Hopefully these items will last me the rest of this pregnancy AND through the next one!


Missing...Terry. But I'm so thankful he'll be back quickly this time around!

Planning...our babymoon! We have no idea where we're going yet, but we're throwing around some ideas. Warm and tropical? Somewhere with snow? Local? Far away? Any suggestions?

Loving...my body. I'm so excited about my growing belly and learning what it means to accept whatever else grows, too (hips, thighs, tush...it's all happening). I'm also so proud that my legs carried me three miles jogging yesterday!


Wondering...why this guy chose to sunbathe in our apartment complex's parking lot. We have TWO pools.


What about you? Anything fun going on?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

365 Breakfast Casserole

As long as I can remember, my mom has made her breakfast casserole every Christmas morning. Occasionally she would bake it for some other special occasion, but on Christmas we could count on this delicious dish alongside Cinnabon cinnamon rolls (she'd stop at the mall a day or so in advance to pick some up for us to share), fresh berries, and, as we got older, mimosas.

Of course, growing up, the casserole included white bread and 2% milk and a few other ingredients I prefer to avoid now that we're eating real food as much as possible. So this week I finally created the real food approved version of this beloved dish, and I am happy to report that it's just as delicious as my mom's! I called it a 365 Breakfast Casserole because it's no longer a splurge--it's perfect for any day of the year. (But if you're going for the Cinnabon on the side, stick to once a year.)




365 Breakfast Casserole
Serves 8, because people are going to want seconds
*Note: This is an overnight recipe. You'll make the dish before bed and bake it in the morning.
  • Butter to grease the casserole dish
  • 10-12 pieces whole wheat bread (ideally, find whole wheat bread with as few ingredients as possible)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • your choice of "fillings" (ideas below)--about 3 cups total
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • your favorite cheese, grated, 2-4 ounces
Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish with butter and set aside. 

Cube up your bread slices. I cut them three times across each way so I end up with 16 squares per piece of bread, but you can go slightly bigger or smaller. I think my mom removes the crusts, and I think she just leaves the bread pieces whole and layers two slices of bread in the casserole dish, so go with what works for you. Either way, the entire bottom of your dish should be layered evenly with bread.

Next up: work on your filling. You can get creative here! You'll need to roast or saute your fillings so they are fully cooked before adding them to the dish. Here are some ideas:
  • sauteed onion
  • sauteed bell peppers
  • wilted spinach
  • cooked and crumbled bacon, sausage, pancetta, and/or ham
  • roasted zucchini or other squash
  • sauteed mushrooms
Once you've cooked your fillings, sprinkle them evenly over the bread. You could even make a half-and-half casserole if you have folks with different likes and dislikes (my mom loves mushrooms, so her corner always has tons, but the rest of us stick with a normal amount). 

Next, sprinkle most of your grated cheese over the fillings. I like to leave a little for the end to sprinkle on top to brown a bit. 

Time for the egg mixture: Whisk the eggs and milk in a medium bowl, along with salt and pepper to taste. Then pour the egg-milk mixture over the cheese, fillings, and bread. If you saved some cheese, sprinkle it on top. Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. The bread will soak up the egg mixture, and you'll get a light, fluffy texture when you bake this baby!


In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and remove the foil from your casserole dish. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until a small knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 




Enjoy! It's a great meal to prepare alongside dinner (you can saute some extra veggies while you cook dinner and throw the casserole together before bed) and perfect for a weekend brunch. You could make it at the beginning of the week and enjoy it reheated each morning, too. Of course, it's also awesome for Christmas morning.

What fillings would you choose? I think my favorite ever was a combo of spinach, bell peppers, onion, and bacon. Hearty and filling!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

First Trimester in a Nutshell

I haven't made any firm decisions on how often I'll post about my pregnancy or how detailed I'll get, but reading about other pregnancies has been helpful and interesting to me, so I want to include some of the basics. So here you go!

Click here for the original announcement.

Overall Health and Checkups
Thankfully, after the colitis, I've been very healthy throughout the pregnancy. I felt a little bit of all the expected symptoms (nausea, breast tenderness, fatigue, hunger, minor food aversions), but nothing extreme. My vitals, blood tests, and ultrasounds have all looked good so far.

We were referred to an OB/GYN next door to my regular doctor, and we really love him so far. He's in his seventies, super sweet and soft spoken, and he's one of the top surgical experts at UCLA, even though we don't anticipate needing those services. He is also an advocate of natural birth, which I appreciate.

So far, all signs show that baby is healthy and strong. We've heard the heartbeat and seen two images, so it's starting to feel more real. I'm doing well, too, putting on a few pounds and getting back some energy. I said a lot during the first trimester that I just didn't feel 100%, and I'm finally feeling like myself again.

For now, we go to the doctor every four weeks, and our next appointment is right before Christmas. Terry has been able to come to all the appointments so far, and we both teared up when we heard the heartbeat for the first time. It's pretty crazy to know I'm responsible for growing a person--I'm glad to have Terry to help me through it!

Workouts
I mentioned briefly that we're trying to keep up a normal workout routine, which, for me, includes strength and cardio. I spoke with my doctor to ask about how my workouts should change, if at all. At our 8-week appointment, my doctor simply said I can continue my normal workouts with two caveats:

  1. Keep my heart rate under 140 BPM (beats per minute). I don't have a heart rate monitor (though I've always wanted a Polar), so I measured the old fashioned way and determined that my heart rate gets to around 140 when I jog at 6 mph. So I just don't go over 6 mph (or about that level of exertion). I've cut out all HIIT workouts, but I still do some interval training (walk a few minutes, jog a few minutes, or walk at different speeds/inclines). 
  2. Avoid intense plyometrics and intense jumping. Honestly, I was more than willing to give up jumping. My stomach, pelvis, and lower abs weren't thrilled about even jumping jacks over the last two months, so I felt ready to keep my feet on the ground. As I mentioned, I'm still cleared to jog, and my body feels fine doing speed skaters, but nothing more intense than that.
So here's what I've been doing as part of my "normal" workout routine:
  • Lots of long walks (3-5 miles), especially with plenty of hills to keep my tush and legs toned.
  • Hiking (I have noticed that I need to go a little slower than usual, maybe 3.5-4 mph, and I take a few more water breaks than before). 
  • Jogging and/or walking with jogging intervals. I love to alternate 2 minutes running with one minute walking because it keeps my heart rate at a safe level but still challenges me. I did run the full 5K (it was tough to remind myself not to actually race and just go at my 6 mph pace!).
  • Zumba, first time today (technically second trimester, but would have been fine last trimester too), with very minor modifications to avoid too much bouncing.
  • Strength training: Pretty much everything I did before, but limiting myself to 5-10 pounds, as per doctor's orders (for second trimester). Basically my doctor said to avoid straining myself, so as long as I feel comfortable, I will continue to do what feels good for my body. My favorites are lunges, bench dips, any hip abductor exercises, and biceps curls.
  • Prenatal yoga: I'm doing some videos I've found on YouTube, and I like the relaxation and mindfulness aspects. It's also really helpful to stretch my pelvis and hips--those areas get pretty sore!
  • Abs: I had heard before becoming pregnant that some doctors recommend avoiding ab exercises, preferring soft stomachs instead. I asked my doctor, and he simply said that around 16 weeks I should no longer be laying on my back, but that I can still do exercises in other positions. So I like side bend crunches, side and regular planks, and bird dogs. 
I'll be sure to post my workouts like I usually do, providing the normal version and the pregnancy-safe version!


Food





Luckily, I haven't had any major aversions or cravings (no desperation for pickles at 3 am so far). The only minor aversions:

  • meat on its own (a big hunk of steak just doesn't appeal to me, but a burger is okay)
  • cooked spinach
  • I don't have as much of a sweet tooth as before
  • I don't know if I would call it an aversion, but I struggled with drinking enough water. I used to drink around 90 ounces or more per day, and now I was barely drinking 40.
And the only minor cravings:
  • pita and hummus for the first few weeks (we went to a Middle Eastern restaurant and I think I ate about a pint of hummus)
  • guacamole (but I can't confirm that I really want the guac that much more than I did before--who doesn't love guac?)
Since I've been okay with eating pretty much everything I normally do, it was easy to continue eating all the meals I regularly cook. The only struggle was that I needed significantly more food, lots of snacks throughout the day (large meals left me feeling super nauseous). I knew I was only supposed to gain around half a pound per week for the first trimester, so I was stunned at how much food I could pack away and how my body was obviously using all those calories, because I gained exactly one pound for my entire first trimester. Now that second trimester has rolled around, I'm on track for gaining the right amount of weight, though!

The Bump
Alright, I won't inundate the blog with bump photos, but here's progress so far:

(Left to right) Week 7, Week 13, Week 14

If it looks like I already had a mini bump in Week 7, it's because that was the first day I noticed a "bump" (actually just bloating, an awesome side effect of pregnancy) and we snapped a picture in case it was our last chance. It's so strange to watch my belly grow, even if it's just a little bit so far. I'm already in maternity jeans (Old Navy had a cute pair, and they are SO comfortable), and some of my shirts and workout tops are too tight. But it's exciting to start to see some evidence of the little life I'm growing!

Miscellaneous
  • My doctor recommended What to Expect When You're Expecting for my reading. I'm also using the Baby Center pregnancy app, which describes the baby's development as well as what's going on with me. My mom subscribed me to Fit Pregnancy magazine, just for some fun reading material, and I have a few other books on my Christmas list that I hope to read before June.
  • We had fun announcing the news to our families. We told Terry's parents by giving them gifts--a "UCLA Grandpa" shirt for his dad (Terry's parents are also alumni) and a "Grandmother" charm for his mom's charm bracelet. We told my brother, sister-in-law, and parents by showing them a slideshow "of our Europe trip", which included the following photo:

And now I'm off to relax with Terry. Back tomorrow with the usual post!