Recipes

Cast Iron Pan Maintenance

Back in March I did a post about our Kitchen Must-Haves and our number one item is the cast iron fry pan.  I figured it was time to go over how Hubby got this thing to where it is today.

Seasoning is probably the most important thing when it comes to these types of pans.  It’s the seasoning process that gets them to be nonstick and the cleaning that keeps them that way.

Seasoning:

New or old this is the process that we (and by we, I mean Hubby) took.  Getting a cast iron pan to become come nonstick takes a lot of love, sweat and tears (of joy when it’s finally done)!

Start with a pan that has a nice smooth cooking surface. Some new pans have a textured surface and these are no good! The best place to find a smooth cast iron pan is at an antique store, or maybe online?


Start with a wet and soapy wire pad and scrub the crap out of the pan. I mean it! Really giver on that thing.  Hubby probably worked on it for more than an hour.  He got it down to where most of the black residue was gone and it had a nice silver colour again. Heat up the pan a bit to ensure its totally dry before continuing! Since we’re dealing with iron, its going to start rusting really fast once its dry… Gotta get through one seasoning cycle before its safe to leave alone.

Using flax seed oil (because of its high smoke point) give the pan a super thin coat all over the cooking surface and sides. Try to wipe out the oil with a paper towel even to make it extra thin. Place it upside down in the oven and turn the temperature to 425f.  Leave it in there for 2 hours, turn off the oven and just leave the pan in there to cool off.  Repeat this oiling/baking at least four times, then its ready to use!

The more you use the pan with care, the better its seasoning will become.

Cleaning:

To keep the seasoning perfect do not, I repeat, do not use soap. Ever.  Sounds gross, I know, but using soap on seasoned cast iron is a big (and I mean big) no no! It will take away your hard-earned seasoning.

If you are the type of person that lets dishes soak then I’m sorry but cast iron isn’t for you. Having water sit in the pan can make it rust. Eww.

To clean the pan after use, just wait until the pan has cooled down  then rise with water and wipe with a paper towel.
If food is burned-on, then you’ll need to get that off.  We, again Hubby (he’s the dish man), uses our super thin spatula to scrape anything off of it.  I’ve read that you can use coarse salt too and for those of you that are grossed out by not using soap… that is your answer.  The point is you need to preserve the nonstick surface.  Then you must dry the pan thoroughly!  Hubby puts our pan back on the stove for a few minutes on low. Lightly oil the pan and you’re all done!
Other Things to Note:

Cast iron pans are probably the most versatile thing in your kitchen, just don’t boil water in it… It can wear down your seasoning
Don’t turn up the stove too high or the seasoning will burn. We don’t turn our stove past 4 (out of 10) ever
Always heat up the pan before using it, it will hold the heat longer so you don’t need a high heat
The handle gets hot!  You’ll need an oven mitt.  We’ve had ours for 6 years and I still do this…so know that you won’t be loan when you do touch it
Use paper towel when drying it.  The oil will just get over and ruin your nice dish towels
When you cook with cast iron, the food absorbs some of the iron which is healthy for you!

This might all sound daunting, but it really is easy once you get to know your pan. It will become the pride of your kitchen in no time!
Uptown Baby

Uptown Baby – The First 6 months

Me and my little man! May 23, 2014 (1 month old)

I can’t believe Evan is six months!  It’s crazy!  He surprised us early and has been a joy ever since. He has grown so much.  He came home from the hospital at 5lb 5oz and he is now 20lb 5oz and wears 9 to 12 month clothing!  He’s a giant.  I’m not shocked because Dan was a big baby too.  I’m pretty dam proud of myself!  My body made this little man and is feeding him to date!!

Babies are no joke.  They are hard work!  Here are some of my personal tips that worked for me during the first 6 months:

Eating while feed: Food needs to be eaten from a bowl with a spoon while feeding.  For the first three months, Evan was a very slow eater.  I would be sitting feeding him for at least 45-60 minutes every 2-3 hours.  So the best thing for me was to eat either finger foods (like veggies and cheese) or from a bowl.

Hot drinks: Drink all hot things out of a thermos – don’t want to spill anything on the baby!

Bonding: Bond with your baby during the day. Night feeds are strictly business. I used Netflix and Pinterest to stay awake.  Then during the day, we were bonding pros!  
Bathroom breaks: Pee before feeding.  Nothing worse than being in the middle of a feed and feeling like you are going to wet yourself. 


Drink water:
 Lots of it and then have a little more – before, after and during every feeding.

Clothing: Wear clothes that you can sleep in but still look fine when people come over to visit.  I kept to leggings, hoodies and breastfeeding tops.

Find a community of other mothers!  This has been so great for me and Evan.  We have met an amazing group of moms and babies.  We get out of the house almost everyday and are socializing with lots of other babies and moms.  We also message each other often when we are having an issue or a successful nap!  I’m so happy to have met with mamas and their babies.

Do a load of wash everyday: Even if it takes all day because you have zero memory because you are so tried, it’s ok!  No one will judge you, they will probably think you are amazing and have it all together!  Staying on top of it is so important, or else it will take over!  I have to thank my Mom for this one.  She got us off on the right foot when she was here for the first two weeks. I can’t thank her enough.  Thanks Mom!!

Cooking: When it comes to cooking, try and make way more food than you need.  So you’ll have lots of leftovers to freeze.  If you have the energy to cook you may as well take advantage of it, right? This includes grains as well. We are big rice and barely eaters, so I always make 3 times more.  This way the days I don’t feel like cooking it just a matter of defrost, reheat and eat.

Also, try and take advantage of your oven settings. My oven has a delayed start and cook time feature (who knew!). So on the off chance that Evan is napping longer than 30 minutes, I get dinner together and set up the oven for it to be all cooked by 5:30ish.

Build a good routine: Forget a schedule, go with a routine.  I’m not a professional but this is what works for us:  Do what will work for you and your baby!  I cannot express that enough.  We don’t have a set schedule at all.  Tried it and it didn’t work for us.  Evan’s nap times can go for 15 minutes to 2 hours.  So going with a routine is what works best for us.  Our routine is “Eat, Activity, Sleep” without paying attention to time. Sleeptime comes when Evan shows that he’s tired by an eye-rub or a yawn. This seems to work really well for us.  It does of course change from time to time and that’s ok because well… that’s life.  I’m not a super schedule person anyway and this is probably why a routine works for us.

Daycare: It is never too early to start planning on daycare (tear!).  Locally, we have a single online wait-list for all daycare centres.  Sounds like a good idea but really its just another step in the process. Daycares seem to have their own wait list anyway.  I think it’s too new still for it to be working the way people want it too.  Either way, we started looking into care when he was 4 months (this is in addition to going on these wait list when I was just 10 weeks pregers – crazy!  I know).  So we’ll see what happens.

Feel free to add anything in the comments section of things that worked for you!!

Rock on!  Us leaving the NICU – May 1, 2014 (9 days old)
One of his preemie sleepers vs. what he wore the other night (a 9 month sleeper)
One of my favourites!  One month vs. six months (he was sitting and then fell over into this position so I went with it) 

Recipes

Turkey Pie

What a great Thanksgiving weekend!  We stayed local because my SIL is pregers with her third baby and she is due any day now.  It ended up being an amazing family filled weekend with lots of food as well.

I cooked two dinners; 1) turkey for five people and 2) roast beef for 14 people.  My mom walked me through the turkey process and I rocked the beef all by myself!  I believe in lists and that is what kept me cool in the kitchen.  On Sunday, I planned for dinner at 6 and we were sitting down at 5:45!  On Monday, I planned for dinner at 5 and we were eating by 5:07.

So now what!  We have all this food and only two people to eat it.  Can you say Turkey Pie!?!?  It’s kind of like a chicken pot pie but with all the leftovers from the turkey dinner (including the cranberries).

Ingredient

Turkey Dinner leftovers (my leftovers included: turkey, mash potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberries and dressing/stuffing)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups chicken stock (or turkey stock if you happen to have made some)
2 pie crust for each pie you plan on making

Directions

Mix the leftovers, frozen veggies and stock together.

I didn’t include a picture of the mixture because… well it doesn’t look that good but it taste is delicious!

Place mixture into one pie crust and top pie with another pie crust.  Gently push the crust down and fold up the edges.

Pinch edge with fork and poke the top of the pie for venting.

I’m going to freeze my pies for eating at a later date.  So I have wrapped them in cling wrap, then tinfoil and placed the pies back into the boxes.

When cooking (fresh or frozen) here are the direction:

Preheat the oven to 425.  Brush a little milk on the top of the pie and bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 325.  Bake for an addition 35 minutes or until the crust gets a lovely brown colour on it.

My leftovers made 4 pies!

Enjoy!

Recipes

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!  I’m a very luck girl and I’m getting to cook two (yep! two) dinners.  I haven’t had much experience with cooking a turkey so I’m just going to do that one night and the next night I’m planning on doing a big roast beef.  I’m only doing the turkey for five people so if it doesn’t turn out not a big deal.  I know the beef will be good so that’s why I’m doing it for the larger dinner of 14.

Last Christmas, I did a post on Crockpot Mash Potatoes and an old friend asked if I had a recipe for doing sweet potatoes this way.  At the time I didn’t but I do now!!  Please note: I do these potatoes over night because I find it easier.  Who doesn’t want food to cook over night!

I enjoy a sweet sweet potato so please feel free to adjust the sugar.  Here is the recipe and I’m hoping it will be enough for 10:

Ingredients

6 Sweet Potatoes (because that’s how many I had), peeled and chopped into slices
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (I used coconut oil because I run out of butter)

Directions

Place the potato in the bottom of the crockpot.  Mix together the stock, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice and sugar.  Then pour the mixture over the potatoes.  Place dollops of the butter (or coconut oil) on top of the potatoes.

Cook on low over night.  I did give it a stir before going to bed.

Some of the potatoes did go a little brown but once everything was stirred together it was fine.

What it looked like in the morning after a good stir

After they cooled down a little I gave them another good mix.  Can’t wait to eat them!

In Dan’s family, they top sweet potatoes with marshmallows and roasts the dish so feel free to try that.  I’m going to leave them this way as they are pretty sweet.  I also have a little pumpkin left over from making pies which I’m going to add to this.  I would rather add it to something then toss it out.

I’m excited that this worked!  Thank you old friend for the suggestion.

Enjoy!

Uptown Baby

Uptown Baby – Preemie Power

After this post, I’ll be all caught up!  Yeah!!  Thanks for hanging in while I got my head around being a busy pergo and a new mom.  I know that the posts from the last month or so have been out of date.  The great news is things should start to be a little more normal in the near future.

Without further adieu – Preemie Power!

We had no idea how long Evan would be in the NICU for – our midwife had said 48 hours and on the fist night the nurse say two weeks!  We ended up learning that it would be closer to two weeks.  The 48 hours was how long he would be on medication.  He had to get his breathing in check, be feeding on his own and pass a car seat test before heading home.

Honestly, I’m so thankful for our experience in the NICU.  The nursing staff was amazing.  He had the best care and did really well!  He was in the hospital for 9 days.

This poster hung right by the doors into the NICU and did it make me feel good each and every time I walked in.

Evan did great!  He was off his oxygen by day three and we were starting to feed him by day five.  Dan come down with a cold so I was going to the hospital on my own and managing all the family visit.  I never once had a negative thought as to what could have been.  That came later.  Like I did during my pregnancy I just stayed positive and pushed the negativity away.

I had to pump and that was hard work!  We so badly wanted him to get my milk and not formal that we gave the nurses every last drop.  I found, at the hospital, I was able to produce milk but at home it was a fight.  I’m thinking it was because I was away from him but I’m not sure.  Dan had taken a video of Evan sucking on his soother and that’s what finally worked for my milk to come in at home.

What a crazy start to parenting!  We learned so much when he was in the hospital and now looking back I see that time as so valuable to us and I will never forget it!
Uptown Baby

Pregnancy Recap – Labour

It’s interesting because at the time of my labour we were just going with the flow.  It wasn’t until I sat down to write this post that I actually got emotional about the whole thing.  I’ll spare you the details and just recap it.

It was the Monday after Easter weekend which we had spent at Dan’s family cottage.  We got home late Sunday night and something wasn’t right.  We called my back up midwife and she said that everything seemed normal for 35 weeks.  I was scared and we tried to get some sleep.  I knew something was up but I couldn’t put it into words.  My midwife came on call at 8am so I called her at 8:10am.  She also said that it was normal.

I was trying to decided if I should go to work or call in sick.  I was super busy at work and knew if I didn’t try to make it in the next day would be even crazier.  I sat up in bed and my water broke (I was very thankful that two weeks earlier I had purchased the waterproof mattress cover).  We called my midwife and she told me that we were to meet her at the hospital because we were going to have a baby that day.

We were informed early on that an OB would be delivering my baby because of him being a preemie and I was going to be induced.  Everyone was on the same page that it was going to be hours before he was born.  The nurse even said that since her shift was over at 7pm she probably wouldn’t see this baby be born.  Well, around 3pm everything kind of kicked into over drive.  I did end up getting an epidural and that made me transition right away.

During the whole labour process I was aware that we had many people in the room (15) but I could only hear Dan and the OB.  It was an amazing experience.  I wasn’t ready for the labour part yet – I had 5 more weeks to go!  We were blessed to get such and amazing OB,  She had everyone in check and that’s what I needed.  I was so scared and she was able to hold my focus.

3:48pm – Evan Joseph Roberts was born!

He was so tiny (5lbs 12oz) and I was only able to hold him for a minute before they took him away.  He needed to get to the NICU to be put on oxygen.

It was such a crazy experience.  I don’t remember much after that part and what I do remember is probably an hour after I delivered him.  I was hungry and full of energy (if you can call it that – I was probably high on life).  It was a pretty emotional time because we didn’t have much information on our guy other then what our midwife had told us.  I think it was 5 before Dan got to see him.  Dan was able to take everyone to see our little man.  I had to stay in bed for 6 hours before going to see him.  
It was very emotional and still is thinking about all the wires and tubes that were connected to him.  The first time seeing him was so hard because we couldn’t hold him, just touch.  We did get to see his little face and he looked just like daddy!
We spend the night in the hospital and finally got to hold him at 6am.

our first picture taken together and second time holding him!

Uptown Baby

Pregnancy Recap – Third Trimester

The third trimester here we go!  The time was flying by.  I couldn’t believe that we were into the third trimester.  Work was starting to pick up and I had a to do list a mile long.  I was starting to feel big and pregnant.  Not to mention having to pee every 45 minutes.  I had definite pressure around me, probably mostly brought on by myself (please note: this is why I wasn’t writing blog posts at this time).

Here are my thoughts and feelings about my third trimester:

Baby Education: I had decided not to take any prenatal classes, instead we took sessions on breastfeeding and emergency care.  I felt that since I had a midwife that the prenatal classes weren’t needed.  That was just my opinion and if you want to take a class please do!  Locally, we have a Momstown group and I went to a few of the Belly Basics nights which I found really helpful.

Feeling the pressure: Up until now we were just going with the flow.  We hadn’t really gotten anything ready at home for the baby.  I was doing a lot of reading so I felt ready in that sense.  Dan was given Be Prepared for Christmas and had yet to read it.  “I have lots of time for that” is what I was told.  I was feeling ready for the baby in my head but no where else.  Work had just started looking for my replacement, the room wasn’t started, my shower wasn’t going to be until I was 36 weeks so we had nothing in the house, etc.  I’m feeling panicked just writing about it!  I just kept on telling myself there was lots of time.  As for work, not my problem about finding my replacement.  I just needed to get as much done as possible so I made a to do list.  We worked on the room and got it pretty much done by week 34 (although it really didn’t have anything in it other then a few things we had already been given).  Getting the room done was hard for me because I’m the type of person that just does stuff.  Being this pregnant really slowed me down.  I needed help!  One night, I was so annoyed that I couldn’t move a dresses by myself that I just sat on the floor (in the baby room) and cried.  Dan was super busy with work and not at home at the time so I had no one to ask for help (which I really hate doing anyway).  I was crying because; 1) I knew I had to get over this not asking for help thing; 2) I was having a baby in a few weeks; 3) I really just wanted ice cream instead working on baby’s room; 4) I probably had to pee for the hundredth time that day and 5) I felt like I was the size of a house.  I picked myself up and did what I could.  The next day Dan moved the dresser.  It was all good.  Please note, that it’s totally ok to cry at the stupidest stuff in your third trimester/whole pregnancy/when ever you feel like it after the baby is born.

Body Image: Still feeling good about what I looked like!  My belly was nice and round and I still had my curves.  I was gaining about one pound a week at this point.

Hip Pain:  In week 26 I started getting really bad hip pain.  I’m not sure if it was because I sit at a desk all day or what.  Nothing was working to help it. I started to see an RMT and that would help temporarily.  This was going to be something that I was just going to have to deal with. Some days where better then others.

Fatigue: I had to pee all the time and at night it was way worse.  Our only bathroom is on the main floors with our bedroom upstairs it was an effort to go in the middle of the night.  I got to the point when I would have to go two maybe three times a night…not fun.  I just thought it was my body getting me ready for getting up two or three times a night to do a feeding.  The fatigue mostly hit me around 3pm.  If only it was ok to go have a nap at work!!  I would just fight through it and I would try go to bed in good time.  Not much else a person can do about fatigue other then just deal with it.  I think that’s what I did, the people around me at the time may have a different option.  The good news for me is this my blog and they don’t have a say!!  Haha!


Getting around: I definitely slowed down at this stage and for me this was very hard.  It was frustrating that I couldn’t do simple things any more.  In the end it was a good learning experience.

Overall: I was still feeling pretty positive about the whole experience.  Yes, it had its moments and I knew it would.  It was just a little shocking when my third trimester was cut short by 4 weeks and 6 days.  On April 21, my water broke and it was one of the scariest moment of my life.

Uptown Baby

Pregnancy Recap – Second Trimester

Aww!  The Second Trimester!  WE MADE IT!  I was so happy to be done with the first trimester.  Not because of feeling like crap or anything just that it was out in the open!  I was feeling good, my belly was getting to be a nice size and midwife appointments were going great!

In week 20 we found out that it was a boy!  Super excited about this because it was the first boy in my family.  Growing up when ever I thought about my family I only ever saw myself with boys.  So I was super pumped about having a little guy!

Here are my thoughts on my second trimester:

Feeling hungover even though I was anything but: Late into my first trimester, I started to feel hungover if I didn’t get enough sleep.  This wasn’t all that fair because I did nothing to feel that way.  So on weekends, I still treated it the same way – tried to sleep a lot, eat junk food and watch TV all day.  As for going to work feeling this way, it was annoying.  I just over did it on the water (or tried too) than by 2 I would feel more normal.  The feeling pretty much stuck around for the rest of my pregnancy.  It just became the norm in my third trimester.  The good news as that my headaches were gone probably because the rest of my body felt like crap!

Feeling the Baby: At first I couldn’t tell if it was the baby or just gas.  Then by week 22 I was feeling him.  When Dan was around I would always try to get him to feel the kicking but that didn’t really happen until week 30.  He was very active at night – the baby not Dan.  I use to joke that he was having a party at 3am because that’s what it felt like.  It was my favourite thing about being pregnant.  I loved touching my belly, connecting with the little man and trying to guess where he was in there.

Self Esteem & Body Image: Oh I was loving my body!  I would wear tight clothes to show off my belly all the time.  I loved it!  I have worked very hard over the years to really and truly love my pear shaped body.  Nothing like being pregnant to feel amazing about yourself!  Haha!  My self esteem was at the highest it had ever been.  To this day it’s still pretty high, I did grow a baby in my belly after all!

Maternity Clothes: I have been trying to add colour and texture to my wardrobe for a few years now and my mat clothes were no different.  I kept it pretty simple and had a few key pieces.  I added things like scarves for the colour and texture.  H&M was my favour place for clothes!  Did you know that they carry maternity ware?  For my birthday, myself and a good friend of mine, went shopping in the states (my birthday is November 29th… so it was black Friday! so good sales on that weekend).  I spent $150 and got three pairs of pants (two of them jeans), three t-shirts and a sweater.  It was great!  My local store doesn’t carry mat clothes but one did near my head office in a different city.  Therefore any time I had meetings I would drop by the store on my way home.  In addition to the H&M clothes, I would always check out Target and Old Navy.  I made a killing at Old Navy after the holidays!  I got sweaters for $12.99!  I clearly need to do a post of my wardrobe.  Haha!  My point here is that mat clothes don’t have to be tents any more!

Getting a Midwife: My sister-in-law had a midwife and her experience was great so that’s what I wanted as well!  I called I soon as I found out and was wait listed.  Lucky for me, my GP was going to look after me until I got in.  Well it took 8 weeks and I was just starting into my second trimester.  Either way, I was able to get the same midwife that delivered my niece and nephew!  Yeah!  So that was exciting.

Travelling: I never thought of myself as a traveller but I think I could be classified as one now.  In two years I’ve been to five countries and to BC twice.  In my 27th week, I was going to be flying to BC again.  I was feeling good and all I wanted was a isle seat which I got!  I just made sure to have lots of food with me and ask for water a lot.  I didn’t take one of those little cups of water the airlines give out – I would ask the stewardess to fill my big bottle and each time they did!

Sleeping: The first trimester was great because of being so tried all the time.  However, in my second trimester if I didn’t get enough sleep I would feel hungover (see above).  A friend recommended this pillow.  I’m so happy she did!  It was like heaven.  I loved my pillow, I brought it everywhere with me and cried when I forgot it at a hotel.  Please note that it’s perfectly normal to cry at forgetting your pillow at a hotel.  Just don’t do what I did and call your husband crying on the side of a highway because of a forgotten pillow.  It will just make them think that you are totally nuts or just more nuts in my case!


Overall:  Feeling pretty good!  Feeling the baby!  Trying to stay positive.  Outside of work, I took advantage of this time with going shopping, visiting friends and watching TV.  Since I didn’t know what life would be like once baby arrived!

Uptown Baby

Pregnancy Recap – First Trimester

You know that feeling the day before you get a cold?  You know what I’m talking about – the feeling that you get knowing you are about to come down with something.  Well, this is what the first trimester felt like to me!  I was one of the lucky ones, I never had morning sickness!  My sister did for her whole pregnancy and I was so worried that I would be the same but nope.  I’m so happy to report that I never got sick!  YEAH!  I’m mean never ever sick – not a cold, flu or a sniffle.  I believe that I was one of the lucky ones.

Here are some of the things that I went through and how I dealt with them or tried too:

My Philosophy: Try not to complain and stay positive.  I wanted my pregnancy to be a positive thing and early on I decided this.  It was important to me to feel good and being positive was just part of that.  I was embarking on this amazing thing and I should enjoy it!  To this day, I can still look back and feel good about the whole process.  So I did my best to not complain and stay positive!!  To this day, I try to be this way too.

Keeping the Secret at Social Events: This was the hardest part for me.  Of course, we told family but that was pretty much it.  We went to work events, a wedding with college friend and Oktoberfest early on.  You know how hard it is to pretended to drink!  At the wedding, after some dancing, I came back to the table and took a big old swig of what I thought was my “drink”.  Yeah not mine, it was my friends double vodka soda.  Then at Oktoberfest they give the DD these lovely blue cups so everyone knows you aren’t drinking.  The workers didn’t understand that I didn’t want it.  Where we live Oktoberfest is a big deal and we were at the main hall, we were going to run into someone!  Needless to say, I didn’t use the blue cup which was a smart move because we saw lots of people we knew!  At these events, I was able to get away with looking like I was drinking by having club soda.  Sometimes I would have to ask for it to be put into a different glass so that I would blend in.  The bartenders always understood why and were always great!  Also because of all this club soda drinking, I LOVE the stuff now!  I call it “Pregers Beer” now.

Food Issues: Again, I was lucky here.  The only thing I wasn’t really into was coffee and water.  Other then those all food was fair game!  I ended up getting over the coffee thing by about week 10.  As for water, I just felt like I couldn’t get enough.  I still have this problem so I’m expecting for it to never go away now.  The only issues I had with food was that I would eat and eat and eat and not really ever feel full.  This was shocking to me because I have basically lived my life on a diet.  I was more then happy to finally get to eat!  I did stay really focused on making sure that I didn’t eat the same stuff all the time and got a good mix of food.

Digestion and Indigestion: Yeah, no one really ever talks about this one.  Those darn prenatal vitamins, they back you up!  This is probably TMI but I don’t care, people need to know!  I already felt like I was going to get a cold any day and then I started having bathroom issues.  Not a good mix!  Prunes were my answer.  I would have a few each night and I was good in the morning.  Only in the first trimester did I get some indigestion.  I think it was more in my head because it wasn’t ever all that bad.

Exhaustion: I normally go to bed at 11.  Then as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I was falling asleep at 7:30 pm.  Like passed out nothing is going to wake you kind of sleep.  It was crazy!  The problem with that was I felt that nothing was getting done – house stuff and trip planning (the Spain trip took place when I was 16 weeks along).  Once the second trimester came along this went away but came back in the third mostly because I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep at night from going to be the bathroom all the time.  This was just something that I was going to have to fight and I won in week 10 when I started having coffee again.

Body Image: I have worked hard over the last five years to finally love my body!  I was super excited to see what she was going to do for me and this baby.  I tried to workout but I stopped because it made me fell sick.  Instead, I just focused on what I was eating and feeling good about my choices.  The only major thing that happened to my body in the first trimester was my boobs were a little tender and got real big!  Before getting pregers, I worked very hard and lost 20lbs.  Then by week 8, I was back into my old-20lbs-heavier bras.  I had only put on 5lbs but they were just that big!

Headaches: I use to suffer from migraines as a teen.  When I was 19, I had jaw surgery and that seem to kick them in the butt.  Well, 12 years later they turned there ugly little head.  I was starting to get them again and functioning at work was starting to be difficult.  I can’t remember if I had read this or someone told me but we got a humidifier.  I put that thing right by my head at night and like magic migraines were gone.  I also was really pushing myself to drink more water but this was very hard.  Lemon tea was my saving grace.

Anxiety: This is a hard one because it never goes away nor do you want to talk about.  So we didn’t.  I focused only on good things.  However, losing the baby was always in the back of my head.  We live a pretty busy life so I never let these negative thoughts in.  Just know that they were there.  That is all.

Telling the families:  I came up with this one all on my own!  We emailed out these pictures to our families.  From the comments, it took a few minutes to get it but in the end everyone loved it!

Dan’s Side of the Family

My Side of the Family

Overall: I was so happy to get through the first trimester!  Being positive was my focus because at the end of the day I was doing what I was put on this earth to do!  I was growing a baby and it was going to be a pretty awesome experience.

Travel

Iceland in a Day

Here we go… Iceland in one day!  Hang onto your seats kids because it’s going to go by fast!

We got up had breakfast so that Dan could go get the rental car.

We got on the road at 9am and it was dark out!  Our plan was to do the golden circle. That is the main touristy thing to do. The night before we looked online for any insight on how long it would take and we couldn’t find much.  So we went into it not knowing how long it would take.  Our flight was at 5pm so we needed to be back at the Airport by 3pm… totally possible from what we had found.

Get ready because here is what we did!

On the road by 9am

Way too excited to be doing this in our rain coats!

Got to Thingvellir (a national park) by 10:30am and the sun was just starting to come up

We were at the top of the lake 

So happy that I brought my hat!
Epic belly pic!  I’m standing between two tectonic plates (North America and Europe)!

Got to the Geysir at 11:15 and the sun was out, cold but out (-13c)

The Geysir went off as we were taking this picture… it was showing off!
Icelandic Horse!  Too cute to not stop and…
pet them!

Got to Gullfoss by noon and it was also cold but awesome

We had to start heading back by 1 and we were right on target!  We didn’t stop on the way back but it worked.  We got to the car lot at 3:20 a little later then we (I) wanted but it was ok.  Note: the sun was already starting to go down.

I’m a GoT fan and this totally reminded me of  the Wall!  Probably is the Wall since they do film in Iceland.

So there you have it. Golden circle in 6.5 hours with stops and a quick lunch stop. I think if it wasn’t so cold it would have taken longer.  Since the circle is the thing to do, each place had a little shop that Dan let me walk around.  I was also able to go to the washroom each time we stopped.  With this whole trip, if there was a WC around I was using it!  Even at 16 weeks pregers I had to pee all the time!

We were the last ones to check in to our flight and ended up with upgraded seats!  CRAZY awesome!  Iceland Air totally rocked this extra day for us!

Upgraded seats luxury!
Such an awesome way to end a trip!!  Couldn’t have asked for a better finial trip together before the babe came!!!

One last amazing thing, this was my view for three hours on the way home.  I may never again get to see the sun set for that long and I’m so lucky to have done it with my better half!

I hope you enjoyed our trip as much as I did!