May 31, 2012

Week 25: Cauliflower Baby

Week 25!
Baby is the size of a cauliflower!

Am I really 25 weeks pregnant? Do I really have less than 4 months of this rad, out-of-body (even though it's a very in-the-body) experience? It's been a fabulous week, praise God! I'm a little sleepy, which I've been loving - since it makes sleep feel like the hugest blessing God has given to man. But it also makes AM workouts seem not as rich as AM sleeping in (the bed wins more often than not). Translate that to: Nicole's muscles are growing back slowly, but surely, and I'll take it! Baby is kicking mommy like maaaad, too! Which I can't even believe, because it was something I feel like I waited 5 years for. & food has been tasting really good, I have ZERO food aversions except banana every once n' a while.

The banana dilemma: Why could that be? That bananas cause my insides to churn and turn and thump? Did my body decide to go all "banana intolerance" on me? Is it because I used to eat 3 a day, and that had to be taken away from me? I doubt it's their sugary content, 'cause I'm eating dates and raw vegan cakes (made with dates) often, bro. But something in ye ol' faithful banana really messes with my insides during the day. I eat one, with or without almond butter (the case used to be that if I ate the nanners with a yummy fat like a nut butter or some seedy delight they'd feel better in my tummy) and within 10 minutes or so I get hit with a wave of nausea mania. This is the reason I still can't make fruity smoothies for bfast! And it makes me slightly sad... Interesting, though: if I eat a banana with some walnuts early in the AM and follow it with a green juice, or eat a 'nanna with cereal in the PM and then brush mai teeth shortly after, I'm totally fine and experience nada of nausea. Oh, the human body and its wonders!

Exercise has been random, but feels SO good when I do it! Running has felt more natural (ha! Oh, yeah, by running I mean jogging) and I've been able to last four to five delicious miles each time in this trimester. I tackled some 6-milers in the first trimester, but they were so inconsistent and based off of feeling-like-a-rockstar moments mixed with push-the-body-till-it-screams moments, which are unnatural and too up n' down for me. So four to five is my happy mileage number as of now! And I purchased another prenatal workout DVD: vinyasa yoga flow (also known as: squatting for 15 minutes at a time and having to "breathe through it and picture yourself holding your sweet baby" to prepare your body for labor and the pain on the way while distracting yourself with beautiful daydreams of your baby). It is an intense little 75 minute workout, I must say. This isn't a game for children, or for vinyasa newbies (like me), or for the "let's do yoga for fun!" folks. It's for real, no giggles or jokes, not enough downward facing dogs and child poses if you ask me (ha! Yoga joke!). I sweat, I whined a few times. And I felt like superwoman when I turned it off. Surprisingly, the muscles didn't yell at me the following day, meaning it was pure stretching and strengthening goodness! Will do again. Must do again. Loved it.

Oh, the nursery? What's that? We haven't done anything. We haven't purchased anything. We did, however, go to yesterday and check out the baby registery items. We have no idea where to start, what to purchase, what to ask for, or which item is the best of its kind. Car seats? Strollers? Cribs? A rocking chair? Diaper changing table? Drawer for baby's clothes? Clothes in general? We're definitely first timers in this parenting business! Reading other girls' blogs has helped mucho (Baby Kerf, Healthy Tipping Point, Fitnessista) but I'm still just sitting here. Twiddling my thumbs. Maybe it'll wait 'till trimester numbah 3. Then we might, just miiiight, look at a crib or something. We're such great procrastinators! I think we deserve a gold star.

Oh, the nightly, occur-without-fail, potty breaks. So, I have heard plenty of this happening: your baby is growing, causing pressure on your bladder and the constant urge to run to the bathroom. That, mixed with the lovely and fascinating fact that the amniotic fluid surrounding baby flushes itself and is replaced 3 times a day (or so I've read... somewhere between and Fit Pregnancy magazines) - so that causes me to pee even mooore often. Thirdly, we cannot forget the fact that pregnancy has made my body temp sky rocket, so I'm warm, thirsty, chugging down large amounts of water, and having to visit ye ol' bathroom more, and more, and some more. So yes, there is a good chance that pregnancy is causing me to wake in the wee-hours of the night, more than once, for a crazy potty break.

Feeling this baby kick and punch, or elbow me with fiery passion, is one of the most incredible miracles I've ever experienced. At first, around 22 weeks or so, I couldn't even believe what I had felt. The lightest thud low in my abdomen felt surreal and I found myself ignoring it often. How is this really a living, breathing, growing baby? How do I know it isn't just my insides doing their job and digesting breakfast? Then, a few weeks ago, the first true KICK occurred. My hand had already been resting on my baby bump, since I had just finished lunch (Happy. Healthy. Life.'s cashew ricotta with pesto pizza) and I was feeling stretched out and huge. Then-out of no where- the baby kicks or punches SO hard that my hand moved! It was scary, to be honest, I immediately felt like the poor baby was uncomfortable, or angry for some reason. It was violent business, man! Beautiful, violent business. After the initial moment of shock and surprise, I wanted it to happen again and again. But of course baby had other plans, and didn't do a thing for 3 weeks. Silly baby. The kicks are occurring a lot more often these days, so much so that I can feel three full kicks in the same spot, grab my hubby's attention + his hand, place it on my belly, and he can joyously feel a few kicks himself. It turns us into the happiest pair you'd ever see.

Baby kicks: a sure fire way to make two grown ups genuinely smile, giggle, and grin uncontrollably. Oh pregnancy!

We Eat:
homemade seitan sammie with pickle, mustard, spinach and roasted broccoli!
Quinoa with sauteed veggies and an unpictured raw vegan thai peanut sauce, oh my deliciousness!
pinto beans with hubby's co-worker's magical mole sauce, sprouted corn tortillas, raisin n' carrot cabbage slaw
Quinoa Almond muffins!
Snobby Joes with lentils, cabbage leave, bell pepper and homemade breads.

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my right hand." Isaiah 41:11 

 thank You, Lord! Your promises are SO amazing!

May 28, 2012

Watch the Belly Grow

The video says it all, my dears.


This belly of mine, and our baby, are growing at rapid speeds. I feel like the next time I blink I'm going to have another 30 lbs on my tummy and baby will still be in growing mode!

“Children too are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward.” – Psalm 127:3

May 27, 2012

The Baby and Jesus!

"Approach each day with a desire to find Jesus. Before you get out of bed, God has already been working to prepare the path that will get you through this day. There are hidden treasures in each day: some of them are trials, others are blessings that reveal His presence (the trees, the sun, friends, family, answered prayer). God has not abandoned this sin-filled world; He is still richly present in it. Search for deep treasure as you go through this day. You will find Christ Jesus along the way."

Sarah Young, Jesus Calling.

Struggling, like any human with a desire to follow Christ, to focus on my Savior. This world pushes and pulls at my emotions, it's distracting and over-stimulating. The only rock I can stand firm on is Christ, my Lord and God. Maker of this entire universe! But such a crazy world we have made it, I can hardly breathe sometimes.

Almost 25 weeks pregnant, feeling like I swallowed a soccer ball and it's making the simplest tasks ("pick up that pencil you just dropped!") so awkward. I'm so ready to meet this baby, it's hard to comprehend the incredibly blessing we have growing inside of me. A real human being with LIFE, will soon greet us and the rest of the world. Part hubby from Mexico City, part myself from Washington state, part our parents, our parent's parents... But overall, created in God's image just like we were! It's so beautiful. Such an emotional ride, and I'm so thankful for God's consistency and constant presence. He's the only stability I have.

sweet bundle of baby joy at 21 weeks gestation :)
"So God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." Genesis 1:27

and I don't want to be a grumpy mommy-to-be! Kids are amazingly intelligent, and they copy everything they see, and they see pretty much everything their parents do - so I gotta get my act together and really dedicate more time to Christ! The only way any Spiritual growth is going to happen in my life is if I am in His Word daily, meditating on it and even memorizing verses. I know how important this is, I'm sure all believers do, but I still put so many things ahead of bible time. I check my Facebook and email numerous times, even browse blogs for a good amount of time - and trust me, I'm in no way filled or satisfied by them! Entertained? Yes. Wasting time? For the most part.

That's why it's so easy for me to get lost in the daydream of a moment ALONE with Christ, on a mountain top, or in a forest, or anywhere but where I am 7 days a week - to just grow, to pray, to think. But even when I have free time during the week, I don't immediately think: Jesus time! I usually think: let's make muffins! And, well, there isn't anything wrong with muffin time - I'm just sayin' - I need to re-organize my priorities for real.

Even if we can't pass on the love for running to this baby, I pray we can share Christ's love with him/her daily, in all that we do and say!
 That's my prayer. This is my desire. I hope Edu and I can pass this onto baby. All I want is for them to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior and their form Rock, for them to find true and satisfying Peace in His Word, and refuge in His constant presence . Oooh goodness me, how I long to see their face already! It's all so incredible!

May 24, 2012

Week 24: Burger Addiction?

Week 24
Baby is the size of a cantaloupe!

This is the story of a girl who loves herself a really, really, good burger. Not just any burger you find tossed onto the sidewalk, partially wrapped and partially eaten. But a real gem of a burger. A mixture of beans, spices, dried herbs, and bread crumbs make with oat flour. A burger pattie sitting gently between two toasted Ezekiel sprouted buns, with mashed avocado, sauteed bell pepper, pickle, mustard, shredded cabbage and a serrano chili on the side. This is my idea of the perfect burger. This is what I have consumed more times than I can even imagine throughout this pregnancy. This is burger madness, welcome to the party.

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Post Punk Kitchen's website and was drawn to the title of a recipe that went a little something like this: Quarter Pounder Beet Burger. How could that not tempt a plant-eater looking to be creative? I kind of jumped up and down, actually. I had just purchased some lovely purple beets from the local Farmer's Market (syke. From the grocery store, actually. I just want to sound fancy and pretend I'm writing a book) and the idea of shredding them and stuffing them into a veggie burger grabbed my attention. Especially their beauty! Go to her website, check out the snapshot on that guy and try to convince yourself not to make it - impossible I say.

So I grabbed all the ingredients (or most of them anyway, we all know Nicole and her habit (and love) for substituting in the name of being convenient and not having to go to the grocery store for 7 new items she's never heard of before just for the sake of 1 new recipe - absurd!) and went to work in the kitchen. I even decided that I would use fresh garlic + onion in the patties for a true burger taste - even though I usually avoid those fellas and stick with the dry versions so my hubby won't need to avoid his wifey for 4 days at a time since the smell of garlic and onion on her breath makes him sick! And guess what? After I had the patty mix put together (and placed it in the fridge for it to settle) he said it smelled SO good! Why, you ask? If he hates those smells? Because it smelled like a REAL authentic burger!

So the recipe is really simple, and the seasonings and spices are perfect - so try not to let those slide. You can use a patty disc-like apparatus to make the perfect patty, and you could also bake these bad boys, but I formed the patties with my hands and placed them in some coconut oil in a pan and they turned out awesome. You just gotta make them BIG and take your time to mold 'em into a grand circle with flat edges (or a square with round edges, to each his own I s'pose). They browned pretty nicely, and once they cooled off in a dish I placed most in the freezer and a few in the fridge for within-the-week consumption.

My oh my, they were wild with flavor! It was a bit silly to my taste buds to taste the sweetness of beets with such a savory burger experience, but I was so fascinated by it all and quickly fell in wuv. So give these burgers a chance, whether or not you are a fan of beets. You will be pleasantly surprised! And hey, if you hate them you can always throw them in a box with some freezer packs and mail them to me. I'm always a fan of recycled veggie burgers.

One more thing: preheat your oven to 425*, cut up a large amount of sweet potatoes/yams into french fries, microwave them in a glass dish with a little water for 3 minutes, toss them with a hint of coconut oil and bake them on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 12 mins each side, or until they transform into crispy and golden delights. Serve with your burger, and smile the whooole time! Oh amazin'.

May 22, 2012

Delightful: Raw Vegan Garden Wraps

I can't help but share this beauty....

The Oh-My-Goodness raw meal:

1. Find yourself 1.5 cups of pumpkin seeds, soak them for 6 hours.
2. Find 1/2 cup brazil nuts.
3. Purchase fresh basil, parsley and dill.
4. Gather some large collard green leaves, fillet their stems like Natalia KW does on the video found on her website.
5. Throw a handful or two of baby carrots, or some large carrots, into a food processor with the shredder insert attached. Or, you can do this with your basic hand shredder.
6. Cut about 5 medium-sized tomatoes into thick strips (in half, then lie them cut side down and cut into long strips).
7. Find fresh lemon juice, half a cup, as well as a garlic clove, some onion, and salt n' pepper to taste.
8. Throw the brazil nuts into your food processor (not with the carrots), add the lemon juice to smooth things around, the pumpkin seeds, garlic, all fresh herbs, and salt n' pepper. A little water or olive oil may help make this smoother.
9. Take your collard green, place a few good tablespoons of the herb-filled pesto in the center, with a handful of shredded carrots and a few tomato slices.
10. Wrap those babies like burritos (aww..swaddling!) And enjoy the madness, joy, and wonder of the flavors!

PS: original recipe from Natalia KW's website *100% of the credit goes to her!*, but I've edited it a few times simply out of personal preference. And because I'm pregnant and can't handle raw onion, and because my hubby can't handle raw garlic breath so I hardly add any of that business.
Awesome: Even my omnivore mom + dad loved these wraps! Papa and I agree that the bites you get in the beginning and end of the collard green with little pesto are strong simply because collards = powerful punch of a green in their slightly bitter flavor. But it just takes the taste buds some getting used to, right? Eating leaves that taste like they were pulled right out of a forest and stuck on your plate is seriously business!
Goodness me, this recipe makes the art of eating only raw plants seem like the most incredible, flavorful experience one could ever be part of. Dear baby, want to be raw vegan with me? I don't know if he/she will buy it. After all, our addiction to home-cooked pinto beans straight out of the pressure cooker is too delicious to say goodbye to. But a few raw meals like this one are going to be ah-mazing once Seattle decides to shine some sun 'round here and cooking turns into the last thing I wanna do (especially with a huge baby bump making my internal and external body temperature reach incredible heights).

Happy almost Wednesday (and 24 weeks with baby)!

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." Genesis 1:29

May 19, 2012

Exercise + Pregnant Nicole

This is the *really long* story of how pregnancy has affected the athlete within me. Grab some dinner, and enjoy the novel.

Oh the exercise! I always used to picture myself, mighty pregnant, rocking a circular baby-bump, doing yoga in my living room. These daydreams, mind you, occurred when I was not pregnant or even planning on being pregnant. I just thought I'd be a rad exercise-mama-to-be, motivated, energized, inspired, fit, strong, beautiful.

When I suspected Edu and I had made a wee-baby, sure that God indeed had blessed me with the gift of carrying life, before I took the actual pregnancy test, I was had run 6 miles one day, 3 the next, walked for hours, and didn't feel the least bit run down. After taking the test, seeing it was indeed positive, and feeling superb (zeeero icky first trimester symptoms at this time), I had a confirmed feeling that pregnancy + exercising throughout the next 9 months was going to be RAD.

Then reality hit: we arrived home from Mexico City, Edu came down with the flu, a snow storm hit our hometown, and the all-day nausea commenced. I attempted, morning after morning, to crawl out of bed at 5:00am and get my butt movin'. There were mornings where I turned prenatal workout DVDs on, lifted up 2 5lb weights, and almost instantly put them down and sat on the couch, trying not to get sick to my stomach. Nausea is a pain, man! Anyhow, that went on for months. 

I did, however, accompany the hubby to Green Lake once a week for a listen-to-your-body run. Each step felt different, every run, jog, and walk was different than the last one. It was glorious, it made me a happy pregnant mama, and hubby grinned from ear to ear seeing his wifey do what she looonged to do throughout her first pregnancy! The only issue, of course, was that I was running 3-6 miles only once a week, with little to no movement Sunday through Friday. So the hopes of running a half marathon while pregnant (high expectations) or even maintaining my running stamina at all...were kinda shot.

Thankfully, though, like all strange changes this pregnancy has brought on, life has MUCH improved since that first trimester! Not only can I eat every color of the rainbow now (oh, green!) But nowadays I've been FULL of energy. Enough energy to hop out of bed (okay, I still crawl slowly and sometimes grumble along the way) and get my exercise on!

Two DVDs I have purchased along the way are: The Perfect Pregnancy Workout, led by a cirque du soleil athlete, Karyne Steben, and 10-Minute Prenatal Pilates Solutions. I LOVE how both girls are mighty pregnant, and in The Perfect Pregnancy Workout there are modifications for each move: easy, moderate and intermediate. So I can do each move depending on how I'm feeling - even if I'm feeling a little weak, I might attempt the intermediate version of the move so I can secretly feel like a rockstar. The Prenatal Pilates DVD is a little slower, but the girl's energy is great and I can always grab heavier weights if I want more of a challenge. All in all, I prefer me the cirque du soleil workout girl!

With running, it has been a little bit of a "baby steps" (teehee!) journey. I wanted to return to running a few times a week, and I tried, without really thinking, to pick things up where I had left them back in the first week of January. Big mistake. There were tears, letdowns, disappointments, and walk breaks. What am I saying? I mean to say, there are STILL walk breaks, sometimes tears 'cause I'm sensitive and pregnant and hormonal and a woman with feelings, and I have felt disappointed, too. But I'm THANKFUL for the ups and downs. So very BLESSED to be a human who tries to be a super-human only to be humbled by Christ. So, so, joyful.

A few weeks ago, on a lovely Saturday, I attempted ye ol' 5K jog at Green Lake. Eduardo was recovering from Boston, so we decided to jog the first lap together. The moment we started I was filled with happiness. I love the feeling of a good run, of being outside, of being at my hubby's side. But within 5 minutes or so, I felt awful. My legs seemed like dead weights, lifting one in front of the other would call for an army. It wasn't fun, or easy, or as natural as it has been in the past. I told Eduardo to go on without me, and let the pity party commence. I stopped to walk.

I have always felt like a rockstar for never stopping during a run. I have slowed the pace to a barely-jog before, but had never stopped to walk. I try to make it a habit to pray at the start of each run or jog, and my top prayer is to help myself + my hubby listen to our bodies during the run and STOP if we're not feeling good. This came from many running injuries that could've been a lot less serious if only we had done that very thing: stopped. You know, when your knee hurts in a strange way and you decide to run 6 miles on it anyway, 'cause you're a normal, stubborn human being who wants to get a good run in no matter what the cost. But when I had to actually stop for the first time, simply because I didn't "feel right" (cause I was 4 months pregnant), it kinda hurt my pride (praise God, right?) And I kinda cried about it. 

The awesome part is that after I stopped to walk for a handful of minutes, I got the urge and energy to jog again. So I picked up the pace and was able to finish 4 miles. It felt so good! And now? I'm completely done with feeling too proud to walk, have stopped to walk TWICE since then, without crying or cursing my body. It's so freeing! Anyhow. Pregnancy has let this mama run (jog) again, a few times a week, 4 to 6 miles depending on how the legs (and tummy weight) is feeling. And walking breaks are no longer needed, but also are no longer feared.

God is good. God is amazing. God is sovereign. God is present. God hears our prayers. God sticks by our side even when we ignore Him. God is INCREDIBLE!

And exercise and pregnancy live strong :)

May 17, 2012

Week 23: Grapefruit baby!

23 weeks pregnant? Is this really happening? It has been an awesome week! There were a few *firsts* that I'm overjoyed about, exercise is back to being consistent, and all food aversions have ceased to exist. I'm feeling crazy energetic (or just crazy), having those awkward "what the heck just went through my mind?!?!" dreams, and FINALLY feeling those un-mistakable baby kicks! And I don't just mean the burp-like bubbles in my tummy, I felt a full-on kick today after (the most incredibly delicious) lunch. So dramatic it actually MOVED my hand from my gut!

Oh the joys. I can hardly type any longer before I start babbling about the most-fantastical-magical lunch I had today. Let me just dive into this story: With pregnancy has come on a new side of Nicole. Not too new, just a new-er version of what already was and has always been Nicole. This can only be explained in the following words: crazy sensitive, acts like a child, stomps her feet and says, "I don't wanna!" Nicole. This version of me comes out on Sundays, or Mondays. Maybe Tuesdays, possibly on Wednesdays... Once on a Thursday, but never on a Friday, when I am standing in my kitchen thinking about what to cook for dinner for the next couple of days. Sometimes I stand there for a full HOUR or more, but not staring blankly at the floor, I'm usually staring deeply onto a food blog, which tempts me to check Facebook for the 8th time in 5 minutes, which can lead its way to YouTube videos, which eventually makes me feel guilty, so I go back to the food blogs, hunting for recipes, hunting for inspiration, hoping for a touch of motivation - 'cause I'm just plain lazy sometimes.

Once I find an incredible recipe (or 6) I check add them to my favorites, making a mini-collection before I even think about opening the fridge. On this particular day, I was browsing the wonder that is Happy. Health. Life. and was taken aback by how beautiful the photos were, how fresh the ingredients, how simple it all really looked and how delicious I could imagine each dish tasting. I found a few pizzas (yes, please!) and a trillion burgers (oh me oh myyy) as well as desserts and salads galore! Seriously folks, this website is a gem. Please make friends with it! I decided to make friends with the thought of:

cashew ricotta
basil-loaded pesto
thinly slice tomatoes &
whole wheat hempseed crust

who wouldn't want to tackle that pizza pie? Mind you, it was around 8:00pm at the time, since I had spent so much "quality time" (lies) sitting on my behind staring at the computer screen. But I was motivated, I was inspired, I had a hankering for a new take on pizza. So I tackled it.  Cashews were soaked, fresh basil was sitting on my dining room table, and all the ingredients were just waiting to be messed with. So I did it. And I was blown away.

Dive into her recipe here. Eat with your eyes here:

In other news, green juice has finally made its way back into my life, after what feels like 18 years of being disgusted by the stuff. My favorite, or as I call it, the "classic" green juice here in the Carrillo casa is as follows: half lemon, peeled only partially, one orange, peeled, one apple, a knob of fresh ginger, 1 cup cold water, 4 giant kale leaves, handful of spinach leaves. hooray! It's delicious, very refreshing, and if we had an orange tree (and didn't spend $10 a week on Costco oranges, which gets to be pretty pricey!) I would add about 3 oranges total, 'cause the citrus is delicious! 

I've also been trying to be more creative with salads, the following is from Happy, Healthy, Life, as well, and was made by ripping up kale leaves, tosses them with tomato, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, apple, and I added bell pepper (mistake? hmmm). the dressing was apple cider vinegar, sunflower oil (my tahini subsitute), some maple syrup and...I can't remember what else. It actually was pretty awful, because I'm pretty sure I should have stuck to the original recipe, but I wanted to be creative! Anyway, I found that inside of a giant Ezekiel tortilla with some avocado and mustard - it was golden delicious! Hooray for not having to toss an entire head of kale!!

 Other bites and goodies have come from Post Punk Kitchen's blog. This woman is amazing! Her recipes are completely practical - which we all want and need when swapping to whole, plant-based meals, and I almost always have all the ingredients on hand - so no crazy substituting has to go down - assuring 100% that's-how-it's-supposed-to-taste flavor, and even hubby is loving these meals! The following are lentil no-meatballs (from her "Spaghetti-Nos With Mini Lentil Meatballs" recipe) with store bought sauce and whole wheat pasta. Super filling and magnificent and Italian and meatballs.

 Whew! Happy 23 weeks old, baby, thanks for letting mama eat all her plants again!

May 15, 2012

Green Monster Dilemmas

Oh, to the Green Monsters in-a-bowl:

Baby isn't a fan of green monsters, and I'm 23 weeks pregnant. You'd think that all that was the first trimester and its symptoms would be outta sight by now. One would hope that, since 99.9% of foods are sounding good again, a green monster would hit the spot just fine. But this is a myth in my case, it just simply isn't true. I don't know which part of the smoothie turns me (and/or baby) off: the greens? The fruit over-load? The portion size (size of a 15lb baby)? What's going on?

All I know is, throughout this pregnancy I have downed about 6 of these smoothies. One, without greens, was tolerable. One, consumed at around 6 weeks of pregnancy, with greens and the works, made me so nauseated I ate half a pack of saltines to keep myself from getting sick. Another, just recently, got so thick from the chia seeds and flax sitting in it, that I could hardly sip it through a straw. And by the time I got the hang of sipping it down, I was sick of it, the flavors didn't like me and I didn't like them much, either.

There have been, however, a few smoothies that I tolerated and embraced. I grinned from ear to ear afterwards, happy that baby and mama both handled their breakfast bomb of vitamins and greens. But what did I do different in the blender with those guys, compared to the others? I may never know.

All I know is: I want me my smoothies back. It's a simple breakfast, it's filling, satisfying, rich, delicious, and wonderful. So here's to the third trimester - although you feel mighty far away, I have hope for the green beasts again. I have hope. Hope. Hope. Le sigh.

Maybe I should just stick to oatmeal and pancakes...

May 8, 2012

Week 22: Papaya Baby

Week 22 (and 2 days)
Baby is the size of a papaya
that's around 10.5 inches, insanity!

I can't believe we're already at week 22, and since tomorrow is Wednesday, meaning the week is almost over, we might as well be at week 23! It's so incredible how fast time is going by, how quickly my clothes aren't fitting anymore, and how much food I can fit in my growing belly. I've been quite a food beast this past week, eating everything I can imagine cooking, enjoy it intensely, and craving some more. I've also been able to exercise regularly, including running and weight lifting, both challenging in their own ways. And I feel amazing! Well, I'm kind of an emotional wreck, but physically and spiritually I am feeling in tip-top happy shape. No, spiritually I am always growing and praying for something deeper, hoping to grow stronger in my faith. So, I guess I just feel like a rock star on the physical aspect of things.

Where's the baby? So after the ultrasound last Friday, I've been a little comforted in why I'm not feeling this baby: the placenta is smack dab in the middle of my tummy, as if a large pillow is on the other side of my belly button, attached to the uterus. But at the same time, why can't I feel this baby almost at all? I've had the slight flutters, a few exciting moves deep down, but nothing that screams "I'm a baby! I'm REAL! sing me songs and talk to me!" and it's kinda bumming me out. If I were still in the first trimester, or anywhere earlier than 22 weeks pregnant, I'd be okay with it, like I have been up until this week. But the crazy side of me compares myself to other pregnant girlies around their 22 weeks, who are almost alllll feeling their babies actually KICK and I feel.... let down. I know, girl has gotta be patient. But still. C'mon baby! Kick mami, won't cha? 

jicama hashbrowns! jicama, coconut oil, salt n' pepper, paprika and the magic of a fry pan! with unsweetened ketchup on the side - goodness me, so delicious! ate the entire jicama!
Let's bump this business: so I am usually in photo-mood right after I get ready for work each morning. Unfortunately, this is the only time that my hubby isn't available (out on a run, still in bed, or in a hurry like I sometimes am) and I'm not loving on the camera's 10-second timer option. So I don't have proof that I actually wear real clothes, cute maternity tops and skirts, or anything besides tank tops and running bottoms. This being said, I've only been taking those 10-second timer photos on Saturdays and haven't gotten really awesome growth photos this past week. I posted a photo of where the belly is at on last week's *surprise* 22 week ultrasound post, but this is the official 22 week update - so I'm in need of the backup photos. Meaning: you get to see the awkward Saturday snapshots. But since we're at the half way mark, I decided to make things special and rock a slideshow - and by "slideshow" I really mean a WATCH MY BELLY GROW! movie. Grab some popcorn, and enjoy.

In midwife news: I completely messed up on recapping my last appointment with my midwife! For those who aren't sure on what's going down in the "is she seeing an OBGYN?" or "what hospital is she giving birth at?" part of this pregnancy, I'll give a little summary. After talking to a few friends at work, hubby and I decided on seeing a midwife for all the prenatal appointments instead of an OB doc. I had already gone to the doctor's office and seen the nurse practitioner for the initial ultrasound, as well as a second visit for the second ultrasound since we weren't as far along the first time as we had thought. During this second appointment, I was only with the radiology technician for the first part and then was introduced to my doctor, who waved, or shook my hand, or neither (can't remember), said her name, said "everything looks good" and left the room. Superb. I wasn't expecting her to hug me, give me a massage, or ask about how my walk with Jesus was going or anything, but I wasn't blown away by her friendliness, either. And there wasn't a rad connection, it was more awkward than anything. So I was happy that Edu and I were, on the side, thinking of switching to a midwife group of gals and seeing them for the rest of the appointments. 

After much consideration, a meet-and-greet with Seattle midwives, and even more consideration, we decided to transfer to the midwife side. It's been absolutely wonderful, and exciting, and rad each visit. We talk about everything baby, everything mommy, and everything else. They encourage exercise (yes, running, and yes, weight lifting, and no, it isn't bad to lie on your back and no, you don't have to stop all exericse and stick to walking for 9 months and...ah, sigh of relief!) and they are 100,000% for a plant-based vegan diet. They helped me with supplements needed throughout pregnancy, we've talked a lot about nutrition and baby's needs, and they support out of hospital births - which brings me to my next paragraph.

We have decided to have a home birth. I wrote about what we learned while filling out brains with information on this subject on this post. And one of the reason we hadn't told anyone except for immediate family members was because everyone. has. an. opinion. about this, and 99.9% of the time, it is a negative opinion and I didn't care to hear it. After watching The Business of Being Born, hearing about other women's homebirth (and birthing center) experiences, we were sold on it. And I've been so excited ever since! We know this is in God's hands and whatever happens, however and wherever we give birth to this sweet baby, will be part of His plan for us. And it's crazy exciting to know that giving birth is not some traumatic experience that women have to fear, it doesn't have to be intervened by a large group of surgeons (that's what obstetricians are) and it is supposed to be felt - we're made to birth! Anyhow. The Business of Being Born film sums it up a lot better than I ever could, so go watch it. 

At our last appointment, I brought my hubby along the ride for the first time. The plan was to go over all of our birthing questions - and we had a good handful that had come from our own brains as well as my mom's brain. It's good to ask questions, and I brought a notebook, pen, and list of them with us that morning. We were given a list of items needed for home birth (including old towels, lots of things you find around the home, and a birthing kit you can purchase online) and a few things to think about, then we brought up our questions:
*who do you want present during the birth? (in the room, in the home)
*have you thought about birthing classes?
*which place in your home will the birth take place?

*will you rent a tub for a waterbirth?

how soon do you cut the umbilicol cord? we want to wait until it stops pulsing, then snip it. the midwife says at the homebirths they attend, they leave it attached until the placenta is birthed. I love this idea, because it just makes me feel good knowing every little bit of oxygen and goodness is going straight to baby and isn't being hurried to cut off like I'm so used to seeing! 

what is done if mom begins to bleed (risk of hemorrhage)? the oxytocin in the body and breast feeding, which produces more oxytocin work together to help the uterus' open wound (that is, what the placenta leaves behind after detaching) close. the midwife has medicine and necessary items in case of bleeding, and are very trained in what to do to stop the bleeding.

what about breech baby? the midwife looks at the baby's position throughout the third trimester. if positioning is feet/butt down they use many methods to turn baby around, including acupuncture and a list of exercises that help the baby rotate. And if baby is still breech when it's time to birth, they would not deliver the baby but have mom brought to hospital - then a cesarean would be performed. There are doctors and midwives that are trained in delivering breech babies, but my midwife only knows of one midwife in the area that does it, and trying to find a doctor when I'm ready to push this baby out is not a fun search - so we'd definitely just head to the hospital in this case! 

how long is "too long" of a labor? I asked this question because I know that a huge reason OBs go to the drugs and even, sadly, cesarean options with a laboring mom is because the labor is just too long and heck - they have a business to keep going! They need your room, they need you to hurry it up. And even if you and your baby are fine - they can very well make it sound like the "next step" (medication, cesarean, crazy things) is simply for the good of the baby and mom, nothing more. Lame-o! Anyhow. Midwife responded: if mom and baby are doing well (they check baby's heart throughout entire birth) there is no reason to speed things up. The number ONE thing that makes preggo mom's transfer from home (or birthing center) to a hospital is simply because they are exhausted and wants help. So, as long as mom-to-be is feeling okay, and baby is doing fine, this labor will continue, and continue, and continue some more, in your home.

Anywho. Love being pregnant. Would love to be more emotionally stable. Hoping to feel baby kick me soon. And excited for the future! Off to read about the Bradley Method, birthing classes, and all we have left to do before baby arrives! 

May 6, 2012

How to: Have an Incredible Weekend

The last weekend of April was an incredible blessing. We had plans, I was okay with them not going just as we had planned, and I was darn right excited for it all. It was a weekend filled with family, fun, food, fitness, and Jesus. Pure joy. Pure bliss. And I want to share how easy it is to have an incredible weekend in the Carrillo family, in just a few simple steps.

one: go for a run, go for a walk, go enjoy Green Lake
two: enjoy the zoo with your spouse, see a lot of babies, a lot of animals, and a lot of pregnant woman.
three: eat snacks in the car, as you drive to the most fabulous restaurant in the entire world. or in Seattle. or in all Washington.
four: consume your *second* raw vegan meal prepared by rad-zolla people in an earth-loving restaurant.
five: drive home, fall asleep in the car from the long day
six: babysit a 5 year old, even though you're exhausted, then fall asleep on their couch while the child is asleep.
seven: go to church the next morning, fill up with Spiritual food, praise GOD
eight: invite family over for dinner, eat amaaazing chili from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan's cookbook, paired with a simple, but massively delicious cornbread, and a mayo-free coleslaw that looks like rainbows.
nine: go for a walk with your mom, your sister, and your sister's dog. chat, grow together, exercise for almost 5 kilometers of love.
ten: clean the house, sleep. after making a version of "hamburger helper" made with tempeh, rice noodles, a cheesy nooch sauce and glorious seasoning, from the recipe archives of Post Punk Kitchen.

whew. feast your eyes:

I think I'm showing.


Chaco Canyon Cafe. Endulge.
hubby's pick: black bean pattie with veganaise, avocado, mango salsa and soup.
baby and mama's pick: tuna-less sandwich "Amazing raw sandwich made with buckwheat-flax raw flatbread, sunflower seed ‘tuna’ pate, cucumbers & sprouts, and served with our tasty house salad." (from their website) INCREDIBLE!
how to: mini-house party.