Monday, August 18, 2014

Baby Emma's Moves & Grooves

The main reason I wanted to blog about my pregnancy experience is because I want to keep a log of all the exciting things that are happening. I want to be able to look back on how I felt and the pictures I took to remember what baby Emma was like through her beginnings. I know a lot of women keep a pregnancy journal, and I would like to, but knowing myself and my busy lifestyle, I find it hard to either remember to write things down or I push it off until I forget. With this blog, however, I can easily track all the little pleasures (and displeasures!) of my pregnancy. I'm constantly connected to the Internet, so I can take note of things quickly. I'm not sure how others feel about the world being able to read every detail posted of their pregnancy, but it is what works for me and I enjoy knowing I have record of my sweet baby's history!

With that being said, another exciting piece of news to share: we felt baby Emma's movements for the first time last week! #excitedfirsttimemommaface Of course, I've been feeling little flutters from time to time, and when she pushes on my bladder I certainly know it! But for the first time I felt her on my belly with a few of her kicks and/or punches (can't tell which just yet). I was sitting at my desk at work last Wednesday afternoon drinking a Diet Dr. Pepper when it happened. I thought I felt some movement, so I put my hand on the lower part of my belly, and sure enough I caught her last little "nudge" before she stopped. It was precious; I was beyond excited! I think the caffeine is what got her going lol. My husband tried so hard that night to get her to move for him while we were lying in bed; he was super jealous. We think she was sleeping, though (or teasing him, as we like to say), because she refused to budge - stubborn like her daddy already haha. Luckily, the next night he did get to feel her and was of course overwhelmed with joy. Since then I've been feeling her a lot!

I love being pregnant! Its seriously the coolest, most blessed thing in the world. What a miracle...

Here's an updated pic for you too. This is from last Wednesday when I was 21 weeks. My belly is really starting to poke out now! Ignore the ugly background - I was in the restroom at work haha.


-M

Friday, August 15, 2014

Smothered Pork Chops

Lightly breaded pork chops smothered in a yummy gravy!


Its been some time since I posted a recipe... but this one was so good, I felt I needed to share the love right away!

I had already planned to make pork chops for dinner last night, but I always make them the same way. Don't get me wrong, my way is super delicious, and the hubby loves it, but I was really inspired to try something new. So, I went searching and found this easy and delicious recipe for Smothered Pork Chops. I made some modifications to fit what we like, but feel free to look up the original recipe and just choose your favorite!

These pork chops are lightly fried in a seasoned flour, then the pan is deglazed to make a delicious gravy. Yum! We served ours with loaded mashed potatoes and broccoli.

I highly recommend this recipe for anyone needing a yummy new dinner idea. Enjoy!


Smothered Pork Chops
Adapted from here

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4-5 boneless, thin cut pork chops
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup skim milk


Directions
1. In a large skillet, heat your olive oil on medium heat.
2. In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.
3. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and dredge each chop in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess. (Save the rest of the flour, you will need it)
4. Once the oil is hot, fry each chop for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
5. Remove the chops and set aside. Sprinkle about 2 tsp. of the seasoned flour mixture in the pan and whisk with the fat until dissolved, about 30 seconds.
6. Whisk in the chicken broth and let it reduce and thicken for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally to deglaze the pan.
7. Whisk in the milk and let the gravy come to a simmer.
8. Turn the heat to low and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them in the sauce. Let simmer for another 5 minutes, or until you're ready to serve. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.




Monday, August 11, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks


So, last Wednesday I hit the half way mark: I am now 20 weeks prego! #halfwaytobaby

Unfortunately, we have yet to feel our little Emma, but she sure has liked sitting on my bladder recently! That's one thing I CAN feel now. My husband and I went on a little vacay this past weekend, which is when I first noticed that I could feel her putting pressure on my insides. We are hoping to feel her little kicks and nudges on my belly in the next couple weeks. It's almost as if it becomes more real at that point; I'm not just getting fat, there's actually a baby in there! LOL

I go for my monthly doctor appt this Wednesday, and I'll also be 21 weeks then. Time just seems to be flying by! But we are so anxious to meet our sweet girl that it also feels like its taking forever for December to get here! I can't wait to hold our precious Christmas gift in my arms.

Besides my belly getting bigger and my bladder feeling fuller, no other news to report from this momma-to-be. Maybe my next post will contain more exciting news ;-)

Happy Monday everyone!

-M

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blue Or Pink??

I'm 18 weeks today!


I went for my ultrasound this morning to find out what baby Gipson is. My husband and mom joined me. We were all so excited! Here's some pics to help you figure out the answer...



Yup, it's a GIRL!!! Our beautiful baby now can be called by name: Emma Grace. We were elated to see her! She was moving a whole bunch too! We think she liked having her picture taken lol. I'll be honest, I was expecting a boy and was so surprised when the nurse showed us her little bottom. But, surprise quickly turned to excitement knowing we were having a baby girl! She will have my husband wrapped around her little finger ;) he knows it already, too. Haha.

Will continue to keep you posted on how momma and baby are doing, and of course provide pics as they come. Pure joy today thinking about our little family's addition this Christmas!




Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 16 Weeks

Good morning everyone!

Just wanted to update you on how my pregnancy is going. So far, its been wonderful! Obviously, there were some ups and downs with some sickness early on and a few headaches. Plus, being tired ALL THE TIME was not fun, but that is starting to wain in my second trimester. I do feel my strength coming back from this energy-sucking-baby!

I can't believe how quickly things are progressing! In just 2 short weeks we will know if we are having a boy or a girl!!! We are so excited to find out! We already have names picked out for either (which I'll share once we know what it is), and we're crossing our fingers for a boy. My husband says it's because it takes the pressure off for the second child, knowing he'll already have a son. For me, I hear boys are easier to raise haha. But, as long as its healthy, we will be overjoyed no matter what!

New cravings include: orange juice and dill pickles, but NOT together! Yuck! I just seem to want these two things pretty often. I liked pickles pre-pregnancy, but didn't eat them often. I did not like orange juice, however, so that's been new. I'm trying not to drink too much, though, because it honestly has too much sugar to be a daily thing. I'm glad I can eat as many pickles as I want! :-D hehe.

My clothes are all getting snug and I've had to buy a couple pregnancy tops, or just over-sized tops. I've been able to wear my maxi dresses and skirts fine, so that's a plus, but it gets uncomfortable when the weather is too warm. I think I'll be able to last a few more weeks in my current clothes, but I might need to buy a belly band here soon! Skirt buttons/zippers are not friend...

I have my next monthly appt this coming week, and then of course the ultrasound the week after. My husband and my mother will be with me. We're going to try and surprise our other family members with a "gender reveal party" but my husband and I both agree we will probably not last very long after finding out. I'm a better secret keeper than him, so its mainly HIM we're worried about telling! LOL

Oh, and something non-baby to share: my 23rd birthday is in two days! Woot woot! I love my birthday, so I just wanted to let you know ;-)

Here are some new pics for ya...

This was at 14 weeks:


This is from today, I will be 16 weeks tomorrow:


If you can't tell, more than just my stomach is growing... *cough cough* LOL, all part of the "fun" I suppose!

You will probably hear from me again in about 2 weeks when I share what we're having, so stay tuned for more baby updates!

-M