Friday, August 24, 2012

On Wednesday, I celebrated my 34th birthday!

and a happy birthday it was. I love my birthday and as I get older, it's tougher to carve out time and make it a day of celebration. This year, I had to work. No time off since any day off is one less day of maternity leave! A lot of people asked me how I felt turning 34. The answer..pretty damn good. I'm not one to shy away from age, instead I like to look at all I've accomplished from one year to the next. I have a husband I adore. He's my true partner in every sense. We have a nice balanced relationship where neither one of us wears the pants in the relationship or  solely makes the calls. At the center or this relationship is just a great mutual respect for one another that keeps it going and nurtures it every day. We own a house that we're slowly making into a home. Sure, it might not be the biggest, best and fanciest house, but it's ours. We worked to save for it and work to keep it up and improve it. We're not ones to "keep up with Jones" and appreciate what we have, because, again, no one gave it to us and we worked for it.

Aside from all that stuff, this past year is obviously exciting since we're waiting for Baby Allan to arrive. I've had a pretty good pregnancy so far (29 weeks tomorrow...ahhh where is time going??). I've been able to maintain an active lifestyle and haven't been sidelined by too much. It's just been such an experience to see both my husband and myself transformed by this little baby growing inside of me. From the way he rests his head on my belly every night to the conversations about what she'll be like or who she'll look like to the way our families have come together to introduce this little girl to the world and help us prepare...overall it's been a pretty amazing experience. I know what great aunts our sisters will be, what amazing grandparents our parents will be and, most of all, I feel so incredibly lucky because I know what a hands on, caring, loving, father my husband will be. I also think I won't be too shabby in the mom department as well!

So, as I look at the journey I took from 33 to 34, I look back with a sense of accomplishment and a great deal of excitement because I know that 34 will be the most transformative and amazing year yet.

And..because we all love a bump picture and because I feel like I'm growing exponentially every birthday bump at almost 29 weeks!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tortellini with Fresh Tomatoes and Corn and some other recipes using Fresh Tomatoes!

It's that time of year...where we are absolutely drowning in tomatoes. We're actually quite excited about it since our little 4 foot by 20 foot garden took a back seat this year. The weather's been weird for the past's either raining cats and dogs or so humid out I can't even bear the thought of drying my hair only to have it poof out all weird an hour later. We've have some bigger things going on and I just didn't get to put the time and effort into the garden that I normally do. That, coupled with the effort to not use any type of chemicals and pesticides...the garden took a bit of a might look a little sad, but it's been producing a decent amount! I think we picked over 10 lbs of tomatoes in the past 2 it was off to my friend Mr. Google to find some new recipes...

I picked this on Saturday alone!

This recipe from Southern Living caught my eye..I wanted some recipes that I could use freshly cut up tomatoes in vs. cooking them down to make a sauce etc. This was relatively easy to make and I love using fresh seasonal things like corn and scallions. I initially thought that recipes from Southern Living would involve deep frying my tomatoes..but was pleasantly surprised to see that this wasn't that bad nutrition wise!

Here's what dinner..aka Tortellini with fresh tomatoes and fresh corn in a lemon parmesan vinaigrette looked like last night...

Tortellini with Fresh Tomatoes and Corn
from Southern Living

Two 9oz packages of refrigerated tortellini
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups of any type of tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini according to package directions. In a food processor, pulse together olive oil, cheese, lemon juice, garlic, Worcestershire, and salt. . Toss vinaigrette with tomatoes, corn, scallions. Once tortellini is done, drain and add to the mixture. Top with chopped basil and season, if necessary, with salt and pepper.

Some other recipes I love for this time of year....

Fresh Tomatoe Sauce by Smitten Kitchen. Super easy and a nice chunky sauce that I make every year.

Cherry Tomato and Basil Pasta from Food Network's Elie easy to make and a great way to use up cherry tomatoes!


Friday, August 17, 2012

The Snoogle, Snookie, Slanket, Snuggie

Its been a rough week in the Allan household. Maybe rough is a mild way to put if you ask my husband. I've been pretty level headed and calm this pregnancy. No weird freak outs..ok, maybe one or two, no crying fits, and no hormonal breakdowns..I really hesitate to even write that...just a note..just like you should never slide in that comment that a woman is in a bad mood because "it's that time of month"...when a pregnant lady is in a bad mood..don't blame it on hormones. It's probably something you did to piss off any person..pregnant or not.

But..the tides turned this week in my house. I think it started off with a small growth spurt. the picture on the right is my work bathroom portrait last week...the picture on the left is my work bathroom portrait from this week.
I guess when people ask me when it is I "popped"..the answer will be during my 27th week. With this emergence of a definite bump came lots of growing pains. With the growing pains came lots of problems sleeping. I kind of miss the 1st trimester flat out exhaustion where I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open and passed out on the couch before dinner every night. Now, I've been exhausted but just can't get comfortable. It starts with my hips aching so bad they literally start to sting and burn. When I adjust, my back starts to ache, then I toss and turn and toss and turn a few more times. Add at least 2 bathroom breaks a night...and you have one exhausted momma to be. People like to tell's just preparing you for when baby gets here. While that may be true, when I'm this dead tired, it's the last thing you want to hear.

Couple that with my precious Elchim professional hair dryer breaking on me one morning. That, along with the lack of sleep, sent me into atomic meltdown mode. Poor Mr. Allan didn't know what to do..I think he may have promised me a new hair dryer made of gold to get me to calm down! So, after rising between 4 and 5 am every morning, watching so much of my early local news morning show that my Facebook statuses at 5am began to critique the weather lady's outfits and was time to take action.

I didn't want to go here...I was dead set against the enormous $70 pregnancy pillows. 1) they're huge. We have a queen bed. We're both pretty decently sized people at almost 5'8 and 6'2. We sleep with 3 cats. I was convinced there was no room for this 3rd party in my bed every night. 2) They're so overpriced as they're geared towards the sleepless pregnant ladies who will probably pay $100 a night for a good night's sleep. This is coming from the lady who just spend $150 on a new I'm not sure why I was having such an issue with $70 for a pillow.

But, I succumbed. After a week of crappy sleep, the Snoogle came into our lives.

When I got into bed with my new friend Snoogle, Mr. Allan cracked up and called it the Snookie. Then he decided it should be called the Snoodle because it looks like a noodle. He had me in tears when he asked if I was going to wear a Slanket or Snuggie with the Snookie once the cold weather got here.   It was somewhat awkwardly shaped, it did take up a lot of room, the cats did have to readjust, and my husband knows if the Snoogle is in bed with us there's no way with all that stuffing between us that he'll ever be able to touch me again.   On the bright of my cats just slept on the Snoogle with me making a little extra wiggle room and I'm in the best mood I've been in all week because I slept for at least 5 hours straight last night. I need to kick the almond milk and ovaltine craving and did learn that having it at 9pm results in at least 3 trips to the bathroom during the night.   So, were worth the wretched $70. I hate you but love you all at the same time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's kind of funny how my little tortie cat, Reese, knew I was pregnant before I even did. She's always been snuggly but as soon as the Baby Allan started cooking, Reese took to sleeping on my belly immediately. She takes her belly protecting pretty seriously. Now that I can no longer sleep on my back, she's made accommodations to do it every morning after I get out of the shower..even if it is only for 10 minutes or so while we catch the weather or a couple minutes of the Today Show.

These past couple weeks I've gone from looking like I ate a big lunch to now looking like I'm smuggling a cantaloupe under my she's made some adjustments to sit on my lap and rest her head on my belly...or as we call her little sister a hug.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I love planning the weekly menu around what comes out of the might not be the best year for our little garden since we've got some other stuff going on...but it's always so rewarding to eat the food that you grow!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Time is starting to fly....

this weekend I'll hit the 26 week mark. I always wondered why pregnant ladies could never say I'm 6 months pregnant and instead use this "week speak" and make me do the oh so difficult math in my head. Now, I completely understand. I'm chalking off each week like it's a mini milestone. First there was the all important 12 week mark where we could come out to the public, then the 20 week half way mark, and we just surpassed the 24 week mark..the all important viability milestone.

I look back and it blows my mind that Mr. Allan and I found out about this little miracle on leap day...all the way back in February! It's crazy how all of sudden time just starts flying by!

Here's the 25 1/2 week almost 26 week self portrait in my workplace bathroom mirror. I really wish I was one of those girls who had a knack for these bathroom pics..obviously I'm not!

So what's the down and dirty on the first 26 or so weeks? Not too much has surprised me so far...I think I've been  a pretty good pregnant wife not driving my husband too insane just yet. Sure, there are mornings I wake up extremely cranky because a little someone was practicing ninja kicks on my bladder until 4am or my hips are aching so much from side sleeping that they burn and sting. I just try and put a positive twist on things and rationalize that the end result will be worth it. I think I've been a trooper..managing to not roll into bed at 8pm every night and still keep up with our normal lives and schedules. I'm sure it will come to a screeching halt sooner or can ask once I'm the size of the good year blimp in my 9th month!

I find that the two most frequent questions I'm getting are 1) What's her name and 2) how's the nursery...that's after the obligatory polite how are you feeling one. We don't have a name yet. I think it's because that question is asked so often. Mr. Allan and I are putting off this epic battle over naming our child. He thinks it'll just come to us one day, I think he'll give in and just go with something I throw out one of these days. I also think we're delaying this and making it game time decision because some people are dying to know and we don't want to share the name before she's born. So, by not picking it, we don't have to hide it!

When it comes to the nursery...I've really surprised myself. I have a Type A personality planner streak to me. I like to start planning the Thanksgiving menu in October and packing for vacation a month ahead of time. So, I figured I'd be a huge nightmare when it came to designing and creating a nursery.I thought I'd have it set up before I hit the 6 month mark. Right now we have a bureau, a pack of diapers, 4 onesies, a bath book, and a chandelier. I'm not sure what we're waiting for considering the list of to-do's is quite long and includes new flooring, painting ceiling, walls and trim, buying a crib, buying a chair, and emptying out the room, which has primarily been used as my dressing room and closet. I'm quite shocked at the absolute lack of urgency I've had and I'm sure my husband is enjoying the fact that I'm not down his throat to do a million things. Maybe there's a little bit of denial going on that life is about to change forever..or maybe it's just that we're trying to enjoy the summertime!

So, while I'm excited to see these last 3 months fly the same time I feel like I need some more time to prepare. But, I have a funny feeling that there's no amount of time to prepare either one of us for what's in store!