Week 26

Week 26 Belly Update - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

How big is baby? The size of a lettuce head!  

Baby Development FYI: She’s still growing in the 13.6- to 14.8-inch and 1.5- to 2.5-pound range, and developing her senses, features and talents! Her eyes are forming, and his eyes will soon start to open.  And her eyelashes are now grown, too.  She’s getting her immune system ready for life on the outside by soaking up your antibodies.  She’s taking breaths, too. They’re of amniotic fluid, not air, but it’s still good practice.

My body has been invaded, how’s that going? Sleeping great, but with more pillows.  Nate finally made the comment “maybe we should’ve invested in a king.” (I tried to tell him!)  I’ve only been getting up to go to the bathroom 1-2 times a night which has been AWESOME!  One morning I woke up at 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep, but I still felt completely rested once I actually got up, so no complaints there.

For my job, I sit down all day, and that is really starting to effect my body.  If I sit too long I get sore, stiff, my feet swell a bit, and my lower back hurts.  So I’ve been trying to go on walks throughout the day to help control this.  And of course drinking a ton of water.  When I first got pregnant, I thought sitting down all day would make this pregnancy a breeze…but now I’m realizing that is NOT the case.

What’s been on my mind?  Everything we need to get done.  Not feeling overwhelmed, but just want to get things taken care of now so we can just chill the last few weeks.  

Our baby showers aren’t for a few more weeks, but I’m really looking forward to just seeing everyone.  Living away from our hometown, makes it hard to see everyone we grew up with and makes us miss them all!  So I’m glad we have Baby Morgan on the way as an excuse to see everyone 🙂

Next week is my 1-hour glucose test…on Halloween actually.  How ironic.  The sweet drink will completely gross me out of candy for the next year.  But I’m hoping for good results the first time around.

Crazy Cravings: I’ve had a sweet tooth this week.  Which is bad because chocolate and sweets are what gives me heartburn from hell.  Can’t get enough of milk and cereal, but now the cereal choices have taken a turn to the sweet side.

Highlights:  This was our first labor and birth class.  We were looking forward to the class because it is the typical thing to do with your first pregnancy, and we figured we’d have funny stories from it.  Oh, and learn a thing or two about labor.  Well remember how Nate said “what if you fart during the exercises?”  Well guess who almost did?  NOT ME! NATE. haha  That’s right, the instructor made the guys get down on the floor to do the same relaxation exercises and he got a little too comfortable.  What was even funnier was, the person behind him had a major plumber crack.  So I had the giggles throughout the whole exercise, but hey, I was relaxed! 


Chicken Cacciatore

Adapted from:  Skinny Taste
 
Chicken Cacciatore, such a classic and comforting meal.  Which got me wondering, what exactly is cacciatore?  It turns out, “cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian.  And preparing a dish “hunter-style” includes tomatoes, herbs, peppers, and wine (optional of course!).  If you are from north Italy you’d use white wine and if you are from south Italy you’d use red wine.  But this is America, so I’m going to use whatever is in the fridge.  And considering my dude loves to hunt and fish, this could be the perfect meal to convince him the crock pot is magnifical!


And it was.  He didn’t say it, but silently going back for seconds…almost as large as the first portion is all the validity I need!  And another chef pal was over at the house, tried a spoonful of this goodness and said it was pretty tasty.  I know I’ll be making this on many cold nights this winter!

Chicken Cacciatore - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Ingredients

4 large chicken breasts (I also added a pack of chicken legs just because)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes 

1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp turmeric
Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)
salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions
Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to slow cooker.

Add the tomatoes, onions, peppers, oregano, basil, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to the crock pot and give it a little stir.

Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Remove the lid, give it another little stir, and cook for an additional hour on high to thicken the sauce.

Enjoy over pasta, rice, or with a side of bread.

Top with Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, etc.

Week 25

Week 25 Belly Update - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

How big is baby? The size of a cauliflower!  

Baby Development FYI:  During month six, the average fetus measures about 13.6 inches to 14.8 inches and weighs about 1.5 to 2.5 pounds.  She’s enjoying her new sense of equilibrium — she now knows which way is up and which is down.  She’s growing more fat and more hair too!

My body has been invaded, how’s that going?  Moving a little slower, huffing and puffing a little more, stiff, achy, leg cramps, the pressure in my lower belly is building, feeling huge.  I pay for it if I stand too long, sit too long, or do too much during the day.  The baby movements continue to get stronger.  The other day I felt it “thump” and it made me jump because for a second I had forgotten about the little booger in there!

What’s been on my mind?  Getting everything ready!  What all we MUST have and rearranging things around the house to make room.  Need to choose a pediatrician and decide whose insurance we will have the baby on.  And this is the first week that I’ve felt…huge!

Crazy Cravings:  Nothing in particular, but my appetite has increased again.  Everything tastes good haha!

Highlights:  We start our Labor and Birth Class next week, and we are actually looking forward to it.  We know realize that every delivery is different and it is near impossible to plan how it is going to happen, but the classes should be entertaining at the least.  Nate already brought up the embarrassing point of “what if you are doing  a breathing exercise and accidentally fart?!”  Gotta love the way boys think!

Week 24

How big is baby? The size of a cantaloupe! 

Baby Development FYI:  Your 10.5-to-11.8-inch fetus weighs about 12.7 to 20.8 ounces and every week she gets closer and closer to being ready to survive (and thrive!) in the outside world.  Her see-through skin is gradually becoming more opaque.  And it’s got a new pink glow, thanks to the small capillaries that have recently formed.

My body has been invaded, how’s that going?  Bending over is a challenge.  So instead of doing pregnant yoga, shaving my legs is enough of a work out.  But I have a feeling I won’t be able to shave my stems much longer!  Lucky for me, winter is approaching.  What did you do to keep from completely letting yourself go?

The heartburn continues and I’m sure it will be here until the delivery.  From what I’ve heard it should disappear once the kiddo is here.  And it normally happens in the morning and at night.

A lot of walking gets to me.  Last weekend, after a trip to Ikea, I felt like I was walking uphill the whole time.  Had to stop several times (thank goodness for all the beds and sofas!) to take a break.  The next day I was so sore and stiff, I knew I had overdone it.

My feet are starting to swell just a bit.  When I take my socks off at the end of the day, it looks like I’m still wearing them haha!  But I’ve figured out if I prop my feet up and drink a lot of water throughout the day, the swelling doesn’t happen.  Same goes for the leg cramps.

I read somewhere that the baby is most active between week 24-28.  That was no lie.  I swear this kid is break dancing in my belly.  It’s awesome, cute, and I love it most of the time.  Just not at 4am.  And woooooo the kicks are getting stronger!  Which is good, means the babe is healthy and growing strong. 

*Another honesty stick moment* I have now experienced my first hemorrhoid. That’s all I have to say about that, but hey all you non-preggos need to know what you are in for!  And I have now been experience what I like to call a boob zinger.  The boob zinger only happens for about 10 minutes every morning, and it only happens to the knocker on the right.  But WOW does it hurt.  I’ve looked it up on other pregnancy/baby websites and found it was very common and comes from your milk ducts getting ready.

What’s been on my mind?  How crazy is it that we only have about 15 weeks left?!  I’ve already been through 15 weeks of pregnancy and those flew by.  So how fast are the last 15 going to go?  To us that is so exciting and scary at the same time.  

We’ve been having conversations about what we hope life will be like with a baby, but also realizing we’ll have absolutely no idea until he or she gets here.  Also conversations about our expectations of each other, which I think every couple should talk about.  Every couple’s situation is different, so you have to figure out what is right for you and what you are willing to tolerate.  But with our work schedules being what they are, Nate will have the baby, alone, 2 days a week, and vice versa. So we will both be feeding, changing diapers, changing clothes, etc.  And we will both become comfortable taking care of the baby for an extended period of time on our own.  A little intimidating, but once we get the hang of it, we both agreed it’ll be a good thing.  If Nate wants to go on a weekend trip, I’ll be fine.  If I want to go on a weekend trip, he’ll be fine.  Not that we go on trips all the time, but still, what if.

Have also been thinking about how funny life is and how things change.  College parties were fun and all, but wow, weddings and babies are so much more exciting!  Baby showers and wedding showers are so much more…fulfilling…seeing everyone so happy and marking that milestone in whom ever’s life. -End Sentimental Hormone Moment 🙂 –

Crazy Cravings:  Nachos!  Can’t get enough of them.  Loaded with everything!  Yea I blamed the rain, but maybe it wasn’t all the rains fault 🙂


Highlights:  Nothing to do with our baby, but our nephew started walking this week!! We can’t believe how fast he is growing and learning new things.  So proud of our little glow worm 🙂  We are all looking forward to the cousins running around and playing one day.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

Source:  All My Great Ideas Are Really From Pinterest

Nate accuses me of being a sauce hoarder.  I love sauce, so sue me!  He also pointed out that we had 2 half bottles of Franks Hot Wing Sauce in the fridge, and asked me to explain.  I told him I was already a step ahead of him and had a recipe I was making THAT night to use them both up.  See what I did there? Girls ARE smarter than boys.

So I went to Pinterest and found a quick recipe for buffalo chicken something, and came across this gem.  There is really nothing too it.  And you could do it with any favorite sauce, for all you other sauce hoarders.  You could make a large batch of the chicken to use for wraps, buffalo enchiladas, buffalo mac n cheese, etc.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Buffalo Chicken Wrap - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Ingredients
3 lbs chicken breasts
1 12 oz bottle of wing sauce
1 packet of Ranch Dip Seasoning
tortillas (used whole grain tortillas for health factor)

Optional Ingredients:
shredded cheese
leafy greens
sour cream
tomatoes
salsa
jalapenos
cilantro
ranch or blue cheese

Directions
Put the chicken in the crock pot and pour wing sauce over the top.  Sprinkle the ranch dip mix over the top.

Cook on high for 4 hours.  Open the crock pot and shred chicken with a fork.  Stir the shredded chicken around in the sauce and cook on low for at least another hour.

Then assemble your wraps how you please!

Pumpkin Crisp

Krista: Hey!  I have a great idea.  Let’s have dessert first and dinner second tonight!
Nate: Wanna know how I know you’re pregnant?
Dessert first, dinner second is exactly what we did!  And man was it worth it.  I swear, this stuff is even better than pumpkin pie, and I LOVE pumpkin pie.  Do I dare say, it is EASIER to make than pumpkin pie?  And pumpkin pie is pretty darn easy to make.  
I’ve seen a similar recipe floating around potluck gatherings for years, jotted it down, and finally dug it out of my recipe box.  The originals all called for yellow cake mix, only a couple pecans, and no brown sugar.  So I thought I’d change the recipe around to make it my own and add more flavor.  It was a success!  We were on our way out the door, TO DINNER, and I saw Nate eat 4-5 bites of this!

Nate: (with mouth full) This stuff is really good! (still chewing with mouth full)
Krista: Wanna know how I know this just made it on the blog?

Pumpkin Crisp - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Pumpkin Crisp - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife

Pumpkin Crisp - The Not So Desperate Chef Wife
This is why you should let it sit 🙂  But so you can see the pumpkin color inside!

Ingredients
1 can pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box spice cake mix
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup of pecans, chopped
1/2 cup of almonds, chopped or slivered
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions
Preheat over to 350 degrees

Whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.

Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with no-stick baking spray.  Add pumpkin mixture to casserole dish.

Sprinkle the cake mix over the top, and then sprinkle the pecans and almonds over the top.

Drizzle the butter over the nuts evenly and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of that.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is brown and bubbly!

Let sit for about 5 minutes so it will come out in nice squares (I skipped this step, I just couldn’t wait!)

Serve with vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!

How OxiClean Laundry Saved My White Couch

Okay, after something horrible happened to my beautiful white couch and almost spending at least $120 (if not more) in a professional to come to my house and -try- to clean it… I asked a lot of friends what the best strain remover product was.  There were so many great answers, but the most common was OxiClean Laundry.  I’ve grown up seeing the commercials and always though tit was too good to be true.  But for $3, I thought I’d give it a try.  Now…to really show you the power of this stuff I have to tell and show you what happened to my couch.  Or else you just won’t get how amazed I am!

So this is your warning.  If you already use this product and don’t want to read or see this nastiness created by my seemingly cute dog Maple, feel free to skip this post.  If you have never used OxiClean Laundry, I suggest you just trust me and go get some, or if you need convincing please continue… at your own risk 🙂  The comparison picture will be at the very bottom of this post.

First off here is the couch:

What happened was…I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but Maple got a hold of some poor animal and ate it.  And then the poor animal was regurgitated on our couch.  I’m glad she didn’t fully digest the nasty thing, but did she really have to throw it up on the couch?  The couch that she has never been allowed on.  Not to mention the hardwood floors that are all over the first floor of our house.  WE GOT THEM FOR HER!  And our future children who will no doubt spill stuff.

When the stain was first spotted I yelled “OMG!” but almost immediately started laughing and accepted there wasn’t anything I could do about it, except clean it.  And I realized even if the stain never came out, I would laugh every time I saw it.  But this was the most serious stain I’ve ever come across, and I don’t have a lot of stain removal experience.  In art class growing up, if I got paint on my shirt, I’d mix up more paint the same color as the fabric and paint over the spot.  That was always good enough for me.

So I bought a bottle of OxiClean Laundry, sprayed the whole stain, let it soak for about 5-10 minutes, sprayed it again, scrubbed the spot with a microfiber cloth, rinsed the cloth, ringed out the cloth, blotted the spot with some of the water, let it dry over night, and most of the stain was already gone but the perimeter/border was still noticeable.  So I lightly sprayed around the border of the stain, let it soak for 5 minutes, started scrubbing with the same microfiber cloth, and then let it dry over night. And WAH LA!  No more gross stain!  Only problem now is, I realized how dirty the rest of the couch is, so I will have to clean the whole thing another day 🙂
So here is the before and after picture:

Don’t Feel Like Cooking Nachos

There has been over a week long stretch of cold, cloudy, and rainy days here.  At first this weather makes you want all the autumn goodies, and then after a week, you get to feeling down right lazy.  -AND- it was Monday, so all we wanted to do was go straight home and to bed, but we had to eat, and you’re crazy if you think we wanted to take a trip to the grocery store! The furthest I was going was to the pantry and back to the couch.  So nachos became a good idea and were extremely satisfying on this cold and rainy night.  Gourmet, I know.

Ingredients
1 a bag of tortilla chips
1 small can of chili (I prefer Texas Pete)
1 14 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained (feel free to use fresh, this is what I had on hand!)
1 bunch of green onions, finely sliced
1-2 cups of shredded cheese (I used quesadilla cheese)
Optional toppings – salsa, sour cream, cilantro, hot sauce, guacamole, avocado, corn, lime juice, etc.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cover a baking sheet with foil, for easy clean up.  Spread out tortilla chips in an even layer.

Spoon beans and chili over the tortilla chips.  Sprinkle tomatoes, green onions, and cheese over the top.

Baked in the oven uncovered for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Top with optional ingredients. Last night we added sour cream, more green onions, cilantro, and hot sauce.

Eat directly from cooking sheet or move to a plate.  

Week 23

How big is baby? The size of a grapefruit!  (These food comparisons aren’t the most accurate I’ve realized…)

Baby Development FYI:  At about 10.5 to 11.8 inches and about 12.7 to 20.8 ounces, baby’s not just getting bigger, she’s getting even cuter. She’s forming little nipples (yeah, really!).  Her face is fully formed now — she just needs a little extra fat to fill it out.  She’s listening to your voice and your heartbeat — and even to loud sounds like cars honking and dogs barking.

My body has been invaded, how’s that going?  Up until now, I’d say I’ve been sailing through this whole pregnancy thing.  I’m sure I still have it pretty easy, but some new joys have shown up.  Joys such as back pain, heartburn (from the blasted brownies!), and leg cramps.  At first I was pretty pissed that brownies/chocolate were the source of my heartburn, but it is actually a blessing.  Laying off the sweets will keep me and my baby healthy.  Why is it that leg cramps happen at night, while you are trying to sleep?  Can I not be left alone to just sleep?  Cramp all you want (eh maybe not all you want) while I’m wide awake at work, but back off when I get in the covers!  My fingers are starting to swell.  It is very subtle, but there are indentions where my rings usually are.  Even though the autumn air has finally arrived, I feel hotter than ever.  The extra blood and insulation is no joke!

What’s been on my mind?  Weird dreams and just thinking about baby.  My dream last night was of this cute little baby that I was rocking, sound asleep, and snoring as loud as Nate.  That would happen, our baby won’t cry at night, but the snoring alone will make me wish it did 🙂

Crazy Cravings:  Baked potatoes and starches in general.  I wish they made salt-less chips so I wouldn’t feel so bad about eating a ton of them.  Do those exist?  I’ve been craving a turkey burger, so maybe Nate will make me some this weekend, hint hint.

Highlights: Looking and feeling pregnant.  I’ve been waiting to look and feel pregnant for sometime now.  Even before I was even pregnant, weird I know, but I was READY!  It made my day when the bank teller said hello and immediately asked me how far along I was.  I knew I had finally crossed over!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

What is it about cloudy, cold, and rainy weekends that makes you want to lay around and veg-out?  The list of things I ate this weekend would include salt and vinegar chips, chips and salsa, ice cream, pretzels, baked potato with plenty of yummy toppings, and an apple just to make myself not feel like a failure.  So what did I cook for dinner? Uhh, nothing that could be considered dinner food!  A pie dish full of spinach and artichoke dip.  Thank goodness, Nate was in the snacking-mood too!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - #TheNotSoDesperateChefWife

Spinach and Artichoke Dip - #TheNotSoDesperateChefWife

Ingredients
1 10 oz box of frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded 
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (Lowry’s)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less for desired kick)
1/2 a teaspoon garlic powder
More shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
– Optional – a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce

Directions
-preheat oven to 375 degrees

-add spinach and artichoke hearts to a medium-sized pot with just enough water to boil for 3-4 minutes.  You just want the veggies to be more tender and cook out some of the frozen/canned flavor.  Then drain in a colander.

-mix all of the ingredients and add to a baking dish

-sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top

-bake for 30-45 minutes, until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and starting to brown

-Chow down!

**We mixed some of the dip with our baked potatoes.  Just imagine, a spinach and artichoke dip, double-stuffed potato! DEE-licious.
***Everything tastes better fresh.  Of course, artichoke hearts are definitely worth getting canned and the frozen spinach is a time-saver.  But if you’d like to saute fresh spinach, you want to end up with a cup of spinach.