Friday, February 27, 2009

Healthy Friday

I must admit that I have not been as diligent at my healthy eating as I was in the beginning of my pregnancy and I'm ready to get back on the wagon. I've still been eating lots of spinach, fruit, low- fat dairy, and the things I know are good for Madelyn, but I've also been sneaking in one too many treats. So, it was perfect timing yesterday when I found a new issue of Health magazine in the mailbox. Health is a great magazine that focuses on natural-living, with an "everything in moderation" perspective which I fully subscribe to. Consequently, they even did a feature on a TV star who just had a baby and would like to lose the remaining extra weight, so I'll be sure to tuck that away for when the time comes.

More interesting than that though, was an article on probiotics. You've probably seen commercials advertising food products that now include probiotics, which are essentially the opposite of antibiotics, that work to rid your system of unhealthy bacteria, infection and other forms of junk that can accumulate in your system. Probiotics are now successfully being used to boost children's immune systems. They are all natural and can be found in certain yogurts, cheese, even cereal. Below is an excerpt from the article in Health.

"The “boost your immunity” probioticLab studies show that many probiotics have invigorating effects on the immune system. In theory, this should increase a person’s resistance to disease. But only a few strains, like L. casei DN-114001, L. rhamnosus GG, and L. acidophilus NCFM, seem to reduce the frequency and severity of illnesses like winter colds. In a study with 360 people over age 60, daily use of L. casei DN-114001 cut the duration of respiratory infections by a one and a half days and the severity by 20%. Similarly, in a study with 571 kids in day care, L. rhamnosus GG reduced both stay-at-home sick days and the number of infections serious enough to require antibiotics. And in a winter study of more than 200 preschoolers, the third strain (L. acidophilus NCFM) reduced the incidence of fever by 48%, cough by 42%, and antibiotic use by 68%. Researchers think similar benefits may be enjoyed by all age groups."

As someone who was the "sick kid" and in my opinion over-prescribed antibiotics for several years, I really want to take a more natural approach to Madelyn's overall well being (and my own). Just make sure if you start consuming large amounts of probiotic-infused dairy you consider switching to organic so you can avoid the added hormones and antibiotics found in regular milk products.

Also in the issue were a list of the most healthy fast-food restaurants in the US. Included were Panera Bread (a personal favorite), Jason's Deli (appx. 1/3 of their total produce used in organic), Corner Bakery, Chipotle (who uses all hormone and antibiotic-free meat), Einsteins bagels, and Taco Del Mar. Of course, it's still up to you to order the healthy items when stopping at these places:)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Woah Nelly

You know how your parents always used to say that one day when you became a parent, your children would pay you back for all of the things you did to them when you were a child? Well, I believe that time has come. It appears Madelyn is going to be quite a large baby and I suspect will likely be making her entrance into this world one to two weeks earlier than planned. I was a large baby and came two weeks early, so at least we're consistent so far:)

Today we had our routine 31 week checkup where they told us that I am measuring at 32 almost 33 weeks. Given the fact that she is measuring large based on last week's ultrasound, and I am now also measuring ahead of schedule, we'll be having an extra ultrasound at 36 weeks to try and gauge her birth weight. If, of course, it appears we are on schedule for a 9-10 pound baby, we'll probably be induced early. Fine with me- as long as she is healthy, the sooner we get to meet her the better!

Random pregnancy fact, but yesterday I learned that the hormone that controls appetite is actually supressed while you are pregnant, so you literally lose control over the ability to stop eating! That gave me some peace of mind.

Also, if you haven't been to a TJ Maxx lately, I highly suggest you stop by. I ran into our local store on my way home from work last night to check out a few baby things and was amazed to find Thymes soaps and products for dirt cheap as well as tons of great housewares. I made off with two of these beautiful throw pillows which I am totally in love with. Currently I have one resting in each end chair of my dining room table, but I'm also toying with using them on a bench in there...not sure yet...I've also heard rumor that they are now carrying shoes from J Crew but I forgot to look.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kitchen Love

Last time I was at the doctor's office I grabbed a copy of the recently-cancelled Country Home magazine to peruse through while I waited. I was quite surprised to see that many of the showcased ideas were not nearly as "country" as I'd expected, but more cottag-y. I'd never read the magazine before as country styling doesn't really appeal to me, but I fell in love with this kitchen and thought I would share. It's by Charleston designer Kimberly Williams. It may help knowing that the house is in Charleston, one of my all-time favorite cities, not only for it's charm and Southern elegance but also for the fact that it is where I met and got engaged to Matt.

The kitchen has french doors that open to a small garden- how refeshing on a nice day.

Kimberly collects brown transferware, so she decided to showcase a few pieces on the walls. I really love the overall-neutral feel of the room.

An antique armoire where she stores cookbooks and linens.

Just adjacent to the kitchen is this small sitting area and built-in pantry.

Just gorgeous

Too Cute

Happy Monday Everyone. I'd be lying if I said I was excited it was already Monday again. I could have slept all day today if given the chance. We had a really nice, uneventful weekend, even though it's cold here again! I am so ready for Spring!

Friday Matt called me at work around 2 p.m. and told me he was picking me up at 5 to take me on a date. It was a very nice surprise. We went to this great "eclectic Southwestern" restaurant called Agave which I highly recommend to anyone in the Atlanta area. I had a non-alcoholic margarita which was killer good. If you wanted a regular margarita, they specialize in tequila and have over 90 different kinds, which is quite impressive since it's kindof a little hole-in-the wall restaurant. Also, anything with the smoked chicken is to die for. Seriously.

Then when we got home he pulled out a little Gap bag and proceeded to show me the outfit he picked out for Madelyn at Baby Gap! He said he wanted to pick out her going home outfit- he even went so far as to get socks and a hat- I was really impressed with his knowledge about constantly needing to keep babies covered up and warm. Such a sweet gesture. I can't wait to tell Madelyn that her daddy went shopping for her.

(the items he bought are light pink- sorry for the bad picture, I took it on my phone)

Yesterday was a nice, lazy day, spent grocery shopping and cleaning the house. I've attached links to a few of the recipes I'm cooking for dinner this week incase anyone is looking for ideas!

Monday: Roasted chicken pesto pasta with tomato and mozzarella salad

Tuesday: Cornmeal crusted tilapia from Cooking Light, garlic sauteed spinach, baked potato

Wednesday: Turkey sloppy Joe's, macaroni and cheese (if it's organic, does that make it healthier? :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Baby Love

Today we had our final ultrasound before we get to meet Madelyn in real life and I have to say, she is pretty darn cute!! She was very cooperative, with the exception of holding her hand up in front of her face and the umbilical cord partially blocking our pictures. She also kept yawning- clearly she was very sleepy and ready for a nap like her mommy. While most of my books say she should be a little over 3 pounds by now, the ultrasound tech estimated she is currently around 4 pounds 6 ounces, which only further reinforces my suspicions that she is going to come early. In the last picture her nose looks smooshed- I think this is because both her hand and the cord were in front of it, and the tech had to "remove" those from the picture which distorted it a bit...

And last but not least, the 30 week 4 day belly shot...I am definitely starting to feel much bigger, both with baby and just in general.

Just 9 1/2 weeks to go- if she comes on time!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A little inspiration for your weekend

As I'm sure you've heard, Domino magazine is the latest in the Home Decor magazines to end circulation and quietly close its doors. My favorite Cottage Living closed down months ago, followed by a string of others with Domino being the latest. Since Domino's site will be up for a few more weeks, I took this opportunity to pull some of my favorite images from an issue they had about a year ago featuring none other than my favorite Katie Lee Joel. You may have seen some of Katie's recipes that I've featured here from her book The Comfort Table, and when I found out she was offering Domino readers a tour of her NYC Townhouse I ran to the nearest store to pick up a copy. Here are just a few images from her place which was designed by Nate Berkus. I love the open spaces on the first floor (very conducive to entertaining), the all white bedding in the guest room, and the overall mix of old and new.

False Alarm

I know I promised a few new pictures of Madelyn but little Miss didn't want to cooperate yesterday so we'll be going back to the doctor next Wednesday in hopes that she'll be in a different position more conducive to picture taking :) She is already making it known that she is on her own schedule and that we can just work around her. Yesterday she was laying with her hands in front of her face and her legs up in the air like she was having her diaper changed. It was cute to watch, but we didn't get to see too much. I will say she has started to feel much larger to me as I'm starting to have some little pains and pressure when she moves around a lot- we are just running out of room in there and she is only 3 pounds now!

Stay tuned- hopefully next week I'll have something to share!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Caution: Baby Ahead!

So I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by all that we need to get done in preparation for Madelyn's arrival in 10 weeks. I also figure I really only have 8 weeks to get it all done because I'm partially convinced she's going to come early, and even if she doesn't I'm sure I won't want to do anything at all the last 2 weeks. Emotionally I feel completely ready for her to get here- for that I am thankful. Granted, with my not-so-gradual hormonal shifts lately, that's likely to change at any minute. And given the fact that I am generally a very low stress person, feeling overwhelmed is not an emotion I become easily accustomed to. I'm trying to break my to-do's down into weeks so it doesn't feel like quite so much, so here is my list for the coming week.

- Pick up a pack of diapers so I can slowly start to accumulate a good supply
- Organize said diapers in basket (note: need to find a basket) in changing area of dresser
- Order fabric for ottoman
- Reassure Matt that even though I'm spending more time in Madelyn's room and not with him I still think he's a good husband, I'm just nesting
- Laugh when he walks into Madelyn's room and says, eyes half-rolled, "are you nesting, again?"
- Pick up baby detergent and wash her 0-3 month onesies, blankets, socks, and hats
- Order a few nursing tank tops while they're on sale at
- Schedule haircut, pedicure, eyebrow wax, and house cleaner a few weeks out from due date
- Remind myself that I do not have to read every book/article/magazine/website that sends me information about babies sleeping and eating patterns, behavioral milestones, and what to expect during delivery...
- Remember to stop and enjoy every little kick, wiggle, hiccup, and jab because I know I'm going to miss it when she's here and I'm not pregnant anymore :)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Warm Weather Makes Me Happy

This weekend it was 70 degrees in Atlanta! 70! I couldn't believe it. I feel so refreshed and energized after just a few days of warm weather. Granted, by Thursday it's going to be back in the 50's, at least we have until then :)

We had a really nice weekend. On Saturday I made this for breakfast (YUM) and then I got out and went for a walk which was so nice. I haven't been able to get much cardio in with our recent frigid temperatures so it felt good to get my blood flowing, though I will say I did not make it very far :) Saturday night we went to a friend's engagement shower and then met another friend out for drinks (and by drinks I mean water with lemon for me of course). Sunday I got to go watch Matt coach his little 10-year-old basketball team to a victory and first place regular season finish! The kids were precious and it was a fun game to watch, plus Matt is so great with kids it's always fun to watch him interact and coach. Sunday night we met our friends Ben and Lisa out for dinner, along with their 21 month-old Haley. We had such a great time and really spent a lot of it watching and laughing at Haley and her hysterical facial expressions and phrases. They were so sweet and even brought us a few adorable little things for Madelyn including toys, onesies, and hairbows! I can't wait to put them in her hair.

This week is a little crazy, but I'm just soaking it all in in preparation for the days when I'm stuck at home on the couch with swolen ankles and a roll of cookie dough- haha ;) I get to have dinner with my Aunt Donna and cousin Daphne tomorrow, we have two doctor's appointments (one of which will yield the last glamour shots of Madelyn before she makes her debut!), Matt has a basketball tournament which will run several evenings this week, and on Wednesday Kristin, Jenny, and I are having girls night and making homemade pizza and watching a movie...I am so looking forward to my girl time.

Tonight I am planning on making my weekly Target run to pick up a few things and peruse around to see what's new, and also inevitably fight the urge to buy little newborn size diapers and then take them home and oooh and aaah over how small they are. Then I'll be heading home to clip my grocery coupons for the week (I am a huge coupon-clipping dork) and hopefully get in a yoga workout. Hope you all have a great week! I'm hoping to have some new belly shots soon as it has definitely taken on a life of it's own--just 11 weeks to go! Crazy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mid-Week Highlights

Here are a few highlights from our week so far...

- Yesterday I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch and they came out so good I proceeded to eat three of them. I made them with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, so that's how I justified the overdose.

- Also yesterday, Matt's parents took us to PF Changs for my belated birthday dinner and I got to have their lettuce wraps which I absolutely love.
(you shouldn't be surprised that the first two items are food-related- clearly Madelyn is already developing a love of food like her parents)

- No news from the doctor which means I passed my glucose test and do not have gestational diabetes AND we have our last 3D ultrasound next Thursday. It will be Maddy's last glamour shot until she is born. I'm so excited to see what she looks like now, hopefully she's starting to get a little chubbier :)

- It was 18 degrees when I left for work this morning- if I had a "mid-week lowlights" post this would be in there, but since I don't, I'm just going to use the frigid temperatures as an excuse to hibernate and nest every night after work. And hopefully convince Matt to build me a really nice fire every night :)

- We ordered the glider for Madelyn's nursery! It is so comfortable and super super cute. I am very much looking forward to rocking both Madelyn and myself to sleep in it :) The chair will be in a white fabric and I'm working to have an ottoman slipcover and some accent pillows made in a pink/brown toile. (this is obviously just a sketch but it gives you an idea)

- I have been such a hard core-nester lately I've managed to clean out almost every closet, cabinet, drawer, corner, hutch, etc in our entire house. I've pared down everything to just the bare essentials and the rest is being given away. I really feel the need to make things as simple as possible. I am donating all of our old books to the local library (who I swear doesn't have anything past 1987- seriously--) and clothes to Goodwill; I've minimized our cleaning supplies, my makeup and bath products, kitchen utensils, everything down to just what we actually use. It is quite liberating, actually, and gives me a much clearer mind. Matt will probably never understand this about me.

- I have been spending time researching all of the great local activities we can partake in when Madelyn gets old enough. Having a child really gives you a good excuse to go do fun things on the weekends and I was so surprised to see all of the free events sponsored by our little town that we can hopefully visit this summer.

- I discovered free online photo editing! I am obsessed and can't stop playing with it. I made this little belly collage which obviously needs some work, but for someone who considers themself creatively-inept, it's not a bad start!

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