Monday, September 22, 2014

gluten free cheddar dill chicken cobbler...


I wish I could say that fall is in full swing here, with the trees changing colors, cool crispness in the air and pumpkin spiced everything all around. We've got the pumpkin spiced things...and that's about it. Our summer months really hit us around August-October, so unfortunately we Mains are right in the midst of two lovely heat waves. So here we are walking around in tank tops and shorts, sweating to death in blazing desert heat with pumpkins all over and apple cinnamon/pumpkin spice smelling things in all the stores. It's quite the juxtaposition!

We just ended our first wave (which was a bruiser!). So glad about that one. We ended up having to hibernate in our room (all of us- kitties included), door shut, with the little window AC blasting for ours on end. Our room was amazing. Goodness gracious though, if you had to leave the room to go potty (which I did numerous times)- it literally felt like you had stepped into a low roaring oven. Nothing like having an oven for your living room. But alas after a week, we finally hit a little cool pocket! 3 or 4 days of temps in the 70's versus the 90's/100's. Score to the max. We actually slept under our sheet last night and WITHOUT the fan or AC on! It felt SOOOOO good!

That being said, I'm taking full advantage of this break in the heat with a fall inspired dish- chicken cobbler. IT WILL BE FALL, DARNIT! It's kind of like a pot pie, but with a savory cheesy dill cobbler topping rather than the normal pie crust we're all used to. Then because I can't leave well enough alone, I made it gluten free and butter free. Because, why not? Feel free to use butter if that's more your thing.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

from shaky faith to renewal in Christ...


It's funny (well not "funny" really, but you know what I mean) how something like being pregnant can take your faith and shake it all around. I mean, flip it upside-down and leave your head spinning. 

Let's go back in time to before Bill and I found out the amazing news. I really was slowly and gradually walking up the steep mountain of learning about the wonderful Lord (I imagine the Price is Right Cliff Hanger, mountain climber game) and His merciful ways. Sure there were downs and slower times, but it was a nice, gentle, gradual climb up. I loved learning about Him, reading about His mercies...finding convictions in myself, changing, being molded more and more like Him. So I went from that to turning off the road and jumping face first off the cliff, plummeting to my demise. 

You see before Baby Main things were pretty normal and steady for us. Super steady. We knew how much money was coming in each month, how much was going out, no doubt about how long we'd be able to afford where we lived. We knew what our weeks looked like, what our weekends would most likely entail, what my days consisted of, etc. We've lived like this for about 4 solid years now. In all honesty, we got comfy. 

Insert baby in belly. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

my first trimester "must haves"...

Ahhhh the first trimester. How glad I am that you are over! You weren't debilitatingly terrible, but you definitely weren't a walk in the park. You made me a sad sack lump on the couch for most of my days. Haha. Good riddance :)

I've so been loving all of the pregnancy and specific trimester "must haves" that bloggers do. I love seeing the commonalities (like ginger!!!) each of us finds helps and then the differences that each woman found helped her out immensely. 

I'm very much jumping on the ginger band wagon because let's be honest- "morning" sickness is no bueno and ginger is a golden nugget of amazingness when it comes to combatting that stinker! But there are some other things I found helped and literally used on a daily basis (sometimes allllllll dayyyyyyyy longgggg) just to get through the weeks where you are really starting to feel being pregnant. Also read: the "awesome" things that the pregnancy hormones do to your body. 

  1. Saltines. Yes. Get them. Amen. This was one of the first things my mom said to me after she found out that we were pregnant. "Get some saltines and keep a sleeve by your bedside table. As soon as you wake up, before you even lift your head off of the pillow, eat a few of these. They helped my nausea immensely!" Since they say you most likely will take after your mother when it comes to pregnancy symptoms, you'd think I would have listened to her right off the bat. Nope. Since my "morning" sickness wasn't too bad at the beginning, I thought I was going to be one of those lucky ones that just sort of avoided it all together. Well the weeks went on and it slowly increased. I found myself really feeling pretty terrible come 11am and battling the consistent low-grade nausea the rest of the day until I dragged myself to bed come 9pm. So I gave it a shot. By golly, it really, really helped. As soon as I woke up I would turn my head (not lifting it even an inch off my pillow!), grab 2-3 saltines, slowly chew them up (try eating saltines first thing in the morning, hahahaha!), and lay there for another 15-20 minutes until I was sure they had hit my tummy. Then for most of the days I was pretty good to go. At least dramatically better. 
  2. My iPhone. I don't know what I would have done had I not been able to constantly get in touch with my husband and sweet friends who had been mamas before me. When you've been laying on the couch pretty regularly for quite a few days in a row, you need someone to talk to baaaaaadly. Not feeling good enough to actually talk, texting was such a life saver. I could keep in touch with my husband throughout the day, ask friends and family for prayers when something didn't feel too well, ask friends if what I was experiencing was normal, and have some sort of contact with the outside world during those less fun days of the first trimester.
  3. The Bible. Yep. This is an absolute must have! Whenever I would freak out, think something was terribly wrong, or come to the conclusion that "I couldn't do this anymore", my sweet friends, family, and husband would encourage me with scripture. It was so calming and comforting to see, read and hear God's word during those tough times. 
  4. 0% Greek Yogurt. When you need somewhere like 70 grams of protein while pregnant and the thought of most foods makes you sick to your stomach, let alone the thought of eggs, meat, poultry, etc...there poses a little problem. There were days when I literally only wanted toast and lemons. All day. Every meal. So knowing I needed 70 stinking grams of protein when all I could fathom was carbohydrates was a toughie. Insert the lovely greek yogurt! This was a lifesaver!!!! At 22 grams of protein in just 1 cup, I was sure to get way closer to my 70 gram goal when I incorporated this into my diet. Surprisingly it felt good to eat the cold, soft, yet tangy stuff. My palette loved sweetness, so I loved it mixed with some ground flax seeds and apricot jam. Seriously folks, life saver! 
  5. Fresh Lemons. I couldn't get enough tangy and acidic things in my mouth! Water became a chore to drink (you need like 8 solid 8oz glasses a day!) but when turned into lemonade or even just lemon water I could guzzle it for days! My husband became a world champion fresh lemonade slushy maker! Some nights all I could consume was ice whirled around in the blender with lemon juice and stevia. So fresh, so cold and so yummy! 
  6. Pillows! Lots of them. Knowing that in a matter of weeks (once I hit trimester number 2) I would be forbidden to sleep on my back (THE HORROR), I made it a goal to train myself asap to sleep solely on my side. I'm good falling asleep on one side or the other but I always, always end up sleeping and waking up on my back. So, I would grab a small pillow and wedge it between my back and the bed, stick another small pillow between my legs, one between my arms, and tuck one under my head. So yes, I've been sleeping with 4 pillows. Basically, I'm trying to create this, without having to buy one (plus it looks SO big!) The pillow behind me against my back helps me to turn naturally during sleep without ending up completely on my back :) Score!
  7. Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins. I heard some scary stories about prenatals. Some were too hard to swallow, some caused women massive nausea (on top of their already existing sick feeling!), some weren't as good as others, blah blah blah. So I was nervous about this. After doing some research I found these babies and they came highly recommended! Not only were they super gentle on tummies, but they were plant based meaning easy to digest and were non-constipating! I ran it by my doctor and she was very, very happy with them! If you've been pregnant before you know all of this makes for a big "YAY!" Sure the pill is a little large, but I personally don't have a hard time swallowing them. This brand also makes what they call "petite mini tablets" which are the same prenatals but in a much smaller pill size. Perfect for any of you scared about that. I bought my first month supply at Sprouts and then started ordering off of Amazon because it was so much easier. Plus they're on the "cheaper" side of prenatals! 
  8. Nalgene Water Bottle. I literally never left a room or the house without this. Again, when you need 64 ounces of water A DAY and this guy carries 32 of em- a must have. Pregnancy makes you super thirsty anyway, so you'll be happy its with you in the store, bathroom, bedroom, couch, supermarket, etc.
  9. Preggie Pops! Ooooooooh Preggie Pops, how I love thee! Even with my Saltine trick, there were still days or times when nausea would hit me like a freight train. When I got to the place where I couldn't fathom putting another ginger thing in my mouth, these naturally flavored suckers really helped. I carried some in the car, my purse and at home "just in case". They taste great too! Apple, raspberry, tangerine and lemon flavored slightly SOUR (YESSSS!) candies made especially for morning sickness. Each is made with powerful essential oils and plant botanicals so they are all natural and completely drug free! They felt good on the tongue and to the sick tummy when nothing else would do. 
  10. Mega Red Krill Oil. Unfortunately my prenatal didn't contain DHA (a vital thing for your developing baby's brain function!) so I needed to supplement with this stuff. No sweat. Super easy to swallow and no fishy aftertaste. Glad to know Baby Main is now getting what he or she needs to make a big smart baby brain. 
  11. Ginger Chews from Trader Joe's. At the very beginning, these guys were a HUGE help. They are nice and chewy, super pungent in the ginger department and quick to help alleviate a sick tummy. Just like the Preggie Pops, I carried them with me everywhere and ate them throughout my days. Thing is, after a few weeks of eating nothing but ginger flavored things, I started to develop an aversion to them! So I had to cut back and find another nausea alleviating alternative. I'm just now feeling like I can eat ginger again. 
  12. Ground Ginger Powder. When morning sickness literally hit in the morning, I would add some ground ginger to my morning tea and drink away. Relief! Then when it hit again in the afternoon, I would sprinkle some into my lemonade or over my toast. Basically this spice was my go-to for natural nausea help when I didn't want to suck on something.
  13. Trader Joe's Ruby Red Chai Tea. Caffeine is a no-no while pregnant (I know doctors say you can have some) and although I'm sure my usual morning cup of Black Breakfast Tea every morning wouldn't have been a BIG deal, I didn't want to take any chances and tried to eliminate all the caffeine I could. This tea is not only delicious and filled with ginger (yay!), but also is naturally caffeine free! It became (and still is) my everyday morning tea to which I added unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a few sprinklings of ground ginger, and a little stevia. MMmMmMmmm! 
If you've been preggie before, I'd love to know what some of your first trimester must haves were!


Friday, September 12, 2014

coconut oil chocolate chip cookies...


I reeeeeeaaaaaaaaaally needed a chocolate chip cookie the other day. 

Like, needed. Which is fine, I'm used to these crazy cravings. So I went into my kitchen and started grabbing all my ingredients for your basic chocolate chip cookie when, !GASP! I was completely out of butter. What in the world?? What baker runs out of butter, ever? 

I clearly haven't been paying enough attention to life lately. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

baby update // 16 weeks...


I told myself I'd take professional shots of these updates for my blog. I even put it in my phone, this last Sunday, as a reminder. "Take baby bump photos!" It reminded me...but holy cow I was exhausted from the day before and just couldn't. imagine. getting. dressed. up. and. taking. them. Please forgive me! I promise from here on out there will be way better pics! 

I also couldn't let this milestone pass by! We're at 16 weeks! 4 months! I've been pregnant with little Baby Main for a third of a year! Goodness they're not kidding when they say it goes by fast. Look at that bump! It officially came out a few days ago. Craziness!

Here's to sharing this next season with you all!

WEEK

16

EATING

A lot more of my normal food loves! Thank goodness! The first trimester and first few weeks of my second really had me hating almost everything. Greek yogurt, bread, fruit, nut butters and almond milk were about all I could even think about consuming. And pizza. MMMmmm pizza. I couldn't get enough of the artichoke/pineapple pizzaaaaaaaa. But this last week has me enjoying and craving a lot more of my normal foods! Like pasta! Eggs! Meat! (kind of) and Veggies! (some...)

DRINKING

More flavored water than I know what to do with. And diluted cranberry juice...and diluted fruit juice (like this delicious stuff!). I read somewhere that 8, 8oz cups was enough for a pregnant woman, so I was sticking to that pretty religiously. I like to add sliced lemons or limes to spice it up. Then we hit the Dr this last Monday, I complained a bit about headaches and she said that we preggies really need to be getting more like 12+ 8oz cups! Sheesh. I thought I was peeing a lot before! You can now find me pretty much living in the bathroom.

READING

Our insurance company sent us a baby book and it's pretty much the only one I'm really reading and taking notes on. I don't want to get lost down the baby book rabbit trail, and kind of am really enjoying this one anyway. It's called "Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy". It keeps things pretty black and white, which I appreciate. "Here's what week you're in. Here's the size the baby approximately is. Here's what's going on with his or her body (like the fact he or she grew toenails and fingernails this week!) And here's what you can expect to see or feel in your own body this week." It also includes pregnancy exercises that are safe (and great!) and goes all the way through labor and delivery and then postpartum things. Best part? It's written by doctors who are parents themselves. Score!

WANTING

I'm finding myself more and more anxious about knowing whether Baby Main is a little boy or girl! We were told we'll find out at our next appointment, which is in about 3 weeks. Can NOT wait. That seems to be the question everyone is asking too! "Are you guys going to find out?" UHHH YEAH WE ARE! I'd die if I knew I could know and...not find out. I was surprised so many people don't find out! We have a lot in our own family who didn't and aren't going to with their own pregnancies. To each their own we say. We can't wait to find out! Like....I'm just so excited. 

PRAYING FOR

We've definitely still been praying for the Lord to open up a little 2 bedroom place for us AND that if not, we (more so, me) have peace about living in our one bedroom with a new little one. If you would, we'd love for prayers with this!

SLEEPING

Every night is different, but I find myself becoming adjusted to my new "norm". Half of the nights I wake up every two hours at a screaming bladder, the other half I count it a lucky night if I only got up to use the restroom 2-3 times. I also find myself still waking up flat on my back in the middle of the night, despite my 500 pillows I wedge all around me. Humph. 

WEARING

So extremely happy to only have had to buy one item of maternity clothes- an Old Navy dark wash skinny jean. With (waaaait for it) full coverage belly fabric stuff. I got it because they were having a sale and I figured I'd need a pair sooner or later. So now my jeans go all the way up to my chest, haha. Woowoo! No, in all seriousness, I'm fortunate enough to still be able to wear my regular jeans and shorts with the help of a belly band (these things rock!) and then my maxi skirts, dresses and shirts were already nice and loose so they still work too! I did have two awesome friends send me their old maternity clothes which I haven't had to get into quite yet! 

FEELING

Really, really good! Morning sickness has happened maybe twice since I hit my second trimester and the exhaustion has dissipated a tad. I can now function with one nap a day (or sometimes none!), as compared to 3+ a few weeks ago. Sheesh! Definitely get those headaches, but the Lord is good and 1/2 of an extra strength Tylenol seems to pretty much do the trick :) I'm back to almost regularly exercising again (such a life saver), baking, cooking, and cleaning the house! I feel 97% like a human being! Sweet!

LOVING

When my husband kisses, talks to, or rubs my tummy. It sends me skyrocketing to the moon, every time.