September 2010 Mini Goals

Can you believe September is here already?

I am 7 months pregnant today and we have exactly 2 months to go until our due date. Doesn’t sound long does it?

I wanted to set some mini goals for the next month to help me stay focused and not panic too much about what we have left to do!

In September I would like to…

  1. Make a list for my hospital bag and make sure I have everything I need.
  2. List everything we still need to buy for baby, and get most of it!
  3. Finish work!! (My last day is the 1st October so technically not quite this month).
  4. Tidy the garden
  5. Organise the nursery
  6. Organise the spare room
  7. Grocery challenge to help us save some money
  8. Create a budget for my maternity leave

So quite a lot to do then. Expect some updates on these as the month goes on.

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Some ideas…

I was looking through the pictures on my camera this morning and realised that there were lots of ideas which I haven’t had a chance to show you yet.

So here is a quick ideas post for you…

Breakfast:

French Toast with berries and yogurt

Made using cinnamon raisin bread, egg, milk and cinnamon. Topped with strawberries, blueberries, greek yogurt and honey.

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Cereal, berries and yogurt

One of my favourite brekkies to take to work. The yogurt is much more filling than milk on the cereal. This is Special K, Greek yogurt and blueberries.

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Cereal, milk and berries

This time I had Shreddies, skimmed milk and strawberries.

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Lunches

Tuna Melt Panini

Season a tin of tuna as liked (I like to mix in some sweet chilli sauce) and add mozzarella cheese for melty cheesy goodness! Toast on a Panini grill.

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Served with grapes, blueberries and cucumbers. DSC03222 

Cheesy English Muffins

Lightly toast an English Muffin, then add cheese (and I like Worcestershire sauce). Top with halved cherry tomatoes and grill.

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Salad Bar

I was excited to find that my local supermarket has installed a salad bar. This was a great speedy lunch.

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Served with a fresh buttered slice of bread.

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Dinners

Slow Cooker Casserole

Look at our new toy!!

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I have been wanting one of these for ages and we finally got around to getting one earlier this month. I figure that it will really come into its own when I go on maternity leave in October and after the baby comes I will be able to make some nice warming dinners with little effort in the kitchen.

For my first cooking attempt I made a chicken stew. Chicken, carrots, potato, onion, swede and leeks. Plus a couple of small dumplings – not healthy but they really make this dinner!

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This was a great dinner – really tasty. I can’t wait to experiment more with the slow cooker.

Hope you enjoyed these quick ideas!

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Body Image in Pregnancy

I am really interested in the topic of body image in pregnancy at the moment (for obvious reasons). I have been quite disturbed by some of the things I have read lately on some of the popular pregnancy forums.

My personal thoughts…

In some ways my personal reaction to the changes in my body has taken me by surprise. I have always been negative about what I see in the mirror, and struggled to focus on anything but the negatives I could see. My body image started to change when I found out I was pregnant for the first time last November. It was an amazing time. For the first time I felt truly in tune with my body. I knew I was pregnant really early on – I felt changes in my body in the days following conception, and by the time I took a test 2 weeks later, I knew what the result would be. Unfortunately that first pregnancy ended in miscarriage 7 weeks later. While this was a really traumatic event for us, I was comforted by the fact that the whole thing happened completely naturally, with no medical intervention. Even at the moment I realised I was definitely losing the baby, something inside me said that it was happening for a reason. I was able to trust my body in my darkest hour.

So fast forward to February when I became pregnant for the second time. Again, I felt the changes in my body immediately, although not as strongly as my body hadn’t completely reset from the first time. I tried to relax through the early weeks leading up to my 12 week scan and trust that whatever happened was for the best. The relief we felt when we saw a strong little heartbeat at the 12 week scan was unbelievable.

From this point onwards, the physical changes have stepped up a gear. My belly became rounded and very quickly my usual clothes became too tight. This was a strange feeling. Usually, I would respond to this by trying to hide it while I lost a couple of pounds. This time, I was proud of it. In fact I was willing it to grow! I loved going out to buy maternity clothes for the first time (love those elasticated waistbands!).

Now, at 28 weeks pregnant, I have a beautiful big round belly. And its only going to get bigger! There is lost of advice about how much weight you should gain in pregnancy. And to be honest, I have ignored most of it. The midwife weighed me at 7 weeks, and I was weighed at my first scan at 12 weeks (I had put on 1.5kg) but since then, nothing. Instead, my bump gets measured at each midwife appointment (from 25 weeks onward) and is plotted on a personalised graph. As long as the measurements stay within the upper and lower limits on the graph everyone is happy. I did step on the scales out of interest for this post and have now gained 6.5kg since my 12 week scan. Not bad when you consider what my body is now carrying around!

I know I will gain weight faster and faster over the coming weeks and plan to go with the flow and enjoy it.

If you are reading this and are pregnant or planning to be pregnant my advice is to stay off the scales. Eat a healthy balanced diet (as far as your sickness will allow you to) and keep active. Trust your body through this process – its really quite liberating!

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Indoor BBQ

What’s happened to summer?? It’s the middle of August and the weather here is not summery in the least! The rain hasn’t stopped all day. Oh well, at least it saves watering the garden!

Luckily tonight’s dinner was a great way to cheer us up – an indoor BBQ!!

Under the grill tonight was this delicious lamb and mint burger which I picked up from the farm shop over the weekend. Yummy!

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Served in a bun (white – oops!) with salad, coleslaw and baby jacket spuds. We picked up these cute Rooster potatoes in the supermarket at the weekend and I decided that baking them would work best with tonight’s dinner. What a great idea for a work day dinner! The baked potatoes were perfectly soft with crispy skins after just 50 minutes in the oven at 200. Much quicker than a standard jacket spud.

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Loved the fresh flavours in this and really enjoyed the salad too. Not sure why I have been off salads for a while – maybe a hangover from early pregnancy where my sickness stopped me from enjoying any fruits and salads. But at least I have rediscovered them now. It’s strange how my tastes have changed through pregnancy. From the carb cravings leading up to 12 weeks, to dairy cravings around weeks 12-18, and now back onto real foods (and plenty of them!).

I have read a couple of articles recently about body image and weight gain in pregnancy and have some really strong views on the subject. I’ll save them for another post, but what I will say is that this pregnancy is the first time in my life that I have really trusted my body – and I’m loving it. I am eating more, but my weight gain is well within guidelines, so I am happy to go with it. And that goes for eating what I fancy, as well as when. So some full fat dairy has crept in, carbs are up, and desserts feature more often than they used to. I figure I need the energy and as long as my weight gain is ok, I am happy to roll with it!

Off to my first NCT antenatal class tonight – feeling excited but nervous! Wish me luck!

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A Great Sunday

Today has been such a great day that I just had to blog it! Hubby and I have been getting organised at home to prepare for our new arrival on 1st November, and today we completed one of the most important steps!

Despite planning a lie in, I woke up bright and early at 6.45. I lay in bed for a while waiting for hubby to wake up, and while I lay there I was entertained by baby kicking around inside me. It gave me the hardest kicks so far and when hubby woke up around 7.30 he was able to feel them for definite for the first time!

After a quick shower we headed down for breakfast.

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A toasted sesame seed bagel with lf cream cheese and strawberry jam. Love this combination! Accompanied this with a large glass of water for a perfect start to the day!

Soon after we headed into town for some shopping. We checked out the Next sale for baby clothes but were left empty handed 😦

We did manage to pick up a couple of things in H&M so all was not lost! While we were out we stopped at Starbucks for a break.

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I had a skinny decaf latte and split the low fat lemon and poppyseed muffin with the hubby. I usually have vanilla syrup in this drink but really enjoyed the flavour of the coffee coming through without the syrup.

After a bit more shopping and a few chores we headed headed across town to the DIY shop. We were getting peckish by then so decided to head to the Barn Owl for some lunch.

I didn’t really fancy anything on the main menu so decided to take advice from some bloggie friends and order a starter and a salad.

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I got the Tempura Prawns which came with a plum dipping sauce and bread, and a side salad.

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Loved this idea. The salad was quite generous and with the prawns made a great light lunch. Must do this more often! Especially loved the plum dipping sauce.

We had one more shop to head to after lunch. We saw a great swinging crib in the sale a few days ago and after some measuring up at home we were ready to buy. We already have a cotbed for the nursery but decided that we wanted to have baby in our room for a while before it moves into the nursery. We were thinking of a moses basket but this offer is amazing and makes the crib a similar price (plus its super cute!) so we decided to go for it.

Only problem was, when we went to buy there were none in stock so we have had to order it! Its a bit annoying but at least we still get it for the same price. Now we just need to pick out some cute bedding.

When we got home we decided to spend some more time in the nursery. The big job was putting up the cotbed which was an exciting moment for us. It really makes the nursery look complete!

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Can’t wait until there is a little baby to put in the cot!

Now settled down with our tea watching Finding Nemo! I’m having a Chicken and bacon toasted sandwich.

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Off to watch the rest of the film now – hope you are having a good Sunday!

22 week update

Firstly I want to say a huge congratulations to Leah and Steve on the arrival of baby Sophie Victoria. I’m so pleased that everything went well and the pictures of her are adorable!

Looking at pictures of babies makes me realise how quickly the rest of my pregnancy will go! I am 22 weeks pregnant today and Thursday marks the 5 months pregnant milestone. Baby has grown to about 28cm long and I have started to feel definite movements in my belly through the day (and night!).

I’m feeling well though, which I am thankful for. Only problem I am having is with the heat. We have had a bit of a heat wave in the UK over the last couple of weeks, and I’m finding it hard to stay cool. Plenty of water and a pocket fan seem to be the solution! I’ve also got a definite baby bump. I’ll try and get a picture up soon for you to see.

So our 20 week scan has been and gone. It was amazing to see baby again and the development since the 12 week scan is amazing. We chose not to find out whether the baby is a boy or a girl, so we have that surprise to come! The baby was moving around loads and it was really fun to watch. It kicked its legs and stretched its arms loads. Only 18 weeks now until I get to meet baby in real life!

I’ve been looking at my camera and have found loads of food pics from the last few weeks which I haven’t shared with you yet so I will work on those over the next few days. Tonight hubby is out having a BBQ with some friends (commiserating over England’s world cup defeat) so I am chilling out and catching up on blog reading!

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Must spend less!

Ok, a confession to start with! I am guilty at times of spending way too much on food shopping! With a baby on the way, and maternity pay looming, hubby and I need to cut back on our food spending. And what better way to stay on track than my neglected blog!

I have put together our new ‘preparing for baby’ budget (basically saving as much money as we can!) and need to try and get food spending down to an average of £40 per week. I have a few methods for doing this:

  • Stop eating out and ordering takeaways! Simple really 🙂
  • Meal planning
  • Making shopping lists and sticking to them
  • Batch cooking for lazy days!
  • Using up leftovers

Sounds easy doesn’t it! I’ll be posting about my progress with this challenge on the blog. Day 1 of the challenge is Sunday and this month is a 5 shop month (based on the number of weekends between pay days).

Over the weekend I will produce a meal plan and shopping list for the week and share it with you. Now I just need some yummy ideas for quick, cheap and healthy meals to get me going.

Off to scour some recipe websites (and blogs of course!).

I’ll be back later today with an update on my 20 week scan this week!

Oh, and before I go I want to say a huge GODD LUCK to Leah at Simply Fabulous Now who is sitting at home waiting for her labour to start!

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