Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My little baby, today


My little Elly belly is not so little, anymore! I'm 25 weeks, today. I can't believe I'm only a couple of weeks away from the final trimester! From here on out, she'll be gaining 1/4 - 1/2 lb each week! I had another ultrasound yesterday, and she's currently measuring in the 72%-ile. Five weeks ago, it was 88, so it makes me feel a little better that she's slowing down a tad! I don't want her to come out looking like a 6-month old!

Last weekend, the hubs and I went to Pittsburgh (whee!) for their annual Vintage Grand Prix. It was HOT, but Eric was super about finding me a nice, shady place to sit and relax while he wandered around and talked to the drivers. He goes ga-ga for vintage race cars. Which is why we have a shell of a '66 Ford Cortina sitting in our driveway with no seats, no engine, and no tires at the moment.

This is what it COULD look like... someday...

This is what it DOES look like, right now, though...

We're having a garage built sometime within the month. The zoning and permit apps have been sent in, so it's just a matter of getting people out here and building.

While we were gone, two huge things happened, apparently, that I didn't hear about until we got back since I was not so much listening to the news.

1. Terrorist attach in Norway. Norway? Sad.
2. Amy Winehouse died. Double sad. What a waste of beautiful talent and potential.

And that is all I have for now.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Body image and then something nice

Since I am a woman who is ALIVE, it should come as no surprise that I often struggle with body image issues.

I come from a naturally thin family. My sisters and I were sometimes playfully teased about our twiggy-ness, but I knew it was far easier to joke about my chicken legs than to be made fun of for being fat. However, I did always feel self-conscious about the itty-bitties on my chest.

This was compounded by the fact that I was raised as a Mormon and taught that my body needed to be hidden. The standards for youth have been updated and re-worded a bit since I was that age, but the basic precepts regarding "dress standards" remain the same:
Your body is God’s sacred creation. Respect it as a gift from God, and do not defile it in any way. Through your dress and appearance, you can show the Lord that you know how precious your body is...
The way you dress is a reflection of what you are on the inside. Your dress and grooming send messages about you to others ... 
Never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval...
Cue: teenage angst and complexity.

My sisters and I were always very active and never had to worry about what we ate. After college, my boobs magically grew about four or five sizes in what seemed to be a week's time, but I could still get away with ignoring my diet.

I always wondered at what point a person got on the scale and said, "Eh, oh well." And just let it go, you know? I mean, how do people make it to 400, 600, even 1,000 pounds without doing something about it?

As I got a little older, my increasingly sedentary lifestyle and slowing metabolism brought me to that point when I got on the scale and said, "Oh, shit."

I changed my habits, including paying attention to my food intake and starting a running program, and was able to lose over 20 pounds just over a year ago.

Now I have a baby in my belly and my priorities have to change a bit. I'm supposed to be gaining all 20 of those pounds back and then some.

Tuesday morning, I got on the scale to see the same number that spun my head two years ago. It's been a struggle for me to look at that and know that I still have about a pound a week to gain for the next 18 weeks.

Intellectually, I know it's not the same as before. I'm growing a human. It's not even the image in the mirror that I struggle with - the weight is clearly all in my torso. I mean, at LEAST four of those pounds are in my boobs, alone (Seriously, are they ever going to stop growing? I'm not even close to actually producing any milk, yet!).

But that number on the scale is really hard for me to handle.

And then, last night, Eric and I were walking around a pretty happening outdoor market in town trying to decide on a place for dinner. As we walked by a crowd of people standing outside one of the shops, a woman leaned over to me and told me that I was the cutest pregnant lady she'd ever seen.

That was nice.


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Sketches: Dress

Here is a sketch of a dress wanted to make a while back, but now I'm pregnant, and it's going to have to wait a bit! Maybe next spring...

Now, I just thought to myself, "Oh! I should see if there are some cute maternity patterns online." Well... maybe I'll have better luck in the store?

But these sure are cute!


30 before 30: Make strawberry freezer jam

Update to my 30 before 30: #26 Make strawberry freezer jam

I have never canned anything before, because I remember my mom doing it ONE time when I was a kid. It took her ALL day and she swore she'd never do it again. BUT THEN. I saw a recipe for freezer jam on another blog recently and thought, "Wow! That seems really easy!"

So, I tried it.

And it totally was!

I just used the recipe that comes in the Sure-Jell Less Sugar pectin box. It called for 4 pints of strawberries, 3 cups of sugar, 1 box of Sure-Jell, and 1 cup of water.

First, I cut the stems off the strawberries and washed them. I ended up needing just a smidge more than two 16-oz clamshells of strawberries from the grocery.

Then, I pulsed the strawberries in a food processer and measured out 4 cups of mashed strawberry goodness.

Third, I mixed the sugar, pectin, and water in a large saucepan and brought it to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it started boiling, I cooked and stirred for a minute longer.

I immediately took it off the heat and added the strawberry mash, stirring quickly for one minute.

I used a measuring cup to help me pour the mixture into four small Bell jars.

I topped them, set them on the dining room table, and will leave them there to set for 24 hours. After that, they can go in the fridge for 3 months or the freezer for a year. Wow!

Even the clean-up was a breeze. Mom, you've got to try the freezer method!!



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