I want to start this by saying that pregnancy is amazing. It’s an experience full of ups and downs, seemingly miraculous moments and deep, soul-quenching emotions. It is something I hope that every woman who wants to experience will get the chance to. I do not take my fertility and my healthy pregnancies for granted. Not one single moment. I have been VERY blessed. But being pregnant has it ups (as I mentioned) and DOWNS. Besides the less than feminine symptoms (heartburn, gas, constipation, surprise bathroom needs, hemorrhoids, etc.), roller coasters of emotions/hormones, and daily aches and pains, there is having to deal with the general public.

It seems pregnancy is either glorified (as celebs seem to be becoming pregnant and announcing it in droves nowadays, and the media has become obsessed) or naively discouraged, in the form of rude and unsolicited remarks, shocking boundary-loss (don’t touch my belly!) and the insinuations that all woman who are pregnant are FAT and lazy. Though I haven’t experienced extremes in any of these realms, it has been heartrendingly hard to feel beautiful in this pregnancy. I have let this society we live in convince me that I’m not a beautiful pregnant woman and I’m going to have to endure 9+ months of UGLY. And feeling beautiful, I believe, is a deep need for women. Not a desire, but a need. Since the time of Adam and Eve, women were created to be beautiful and pleasing to men. Eve found favor in the eyes of Adam. How terrible to feel that you aren’t beautiful…

Besides the obvious that I’m bigger this time around, more tired, not “glowing” or cheery, I’ve just felt really out-of-my-element in this pregnancy. I have to laugh at magazine articles or even Pinterest pins touting maternity style or yummy mummies (laugh, and simultaneously feel gross about myself). I don’t really care about having style right now. It’s 100 degrees outside and I can guarantee you are going to see me in a tank top, shorts and flip flops on any given day right now. But beyond that, I’m more concerned about my health and the health of this little fetus. And I realize that I only have a few more months to experience pregnancy. This will be the end of our little family and though I sometimes loathe pregnancy, I’ve come to understand it and sort of settle into it. A tiny tiny tiny part of me will miss the miracle of growing a human being inside my body. That part, IS beautiful to me. That part, I love. Hearing that little heartbeat… feeling kicks and rolls… the first moment of locking eyes after birth… growing something from single cells to a 8 (or 9) pound precious baby. So so beautiful.

So I’m choosing to focus on those moments. I’m choosing to retrain my brain to understand what true beauty is and not be dazzled (or discouraged) by the mirage that the world tries to feed me. It may not be a conventional idea of beauty, but there is beauty in so many precious moments that pass by so very quickly. I’m going to find beauty in my bump these last few months… until I get to see the beauty of my newborn son when he arrives. My heart is full.

Maternity 7 mo

I cannot believe I’m on the last “3rd” of pregnancy. Though this one has been tough, I still feel like time is flying by crazily and, based on the terrible two’s that Little C is testing us with right now, I feel less-than-qualified to be the parent of two children. I had a moment this weekend where I fell into complete panic about it… like hysterically crying and thinking, “HOW are we going to do this? WHAT was I thinking? I will never sleep, shower or eat a meal again?! WHY did I want another baby?! ANOTHER BOY! WHY???????” But…I threw up lots of prayers and my soul and mind are a lot more at peace. I promise.

I keep focusing on how excited I am to meet this new little one. To see if he looks more like daddy or see if he looks like me. To see if I finally get my little blue-eyed baby! To see what loving two amazing kids will feel like. To see what kind of incredible adventures these boys are going to bring into my otherwise routine life. Wow. I can’t wait.

 

S'More Cookies

Our 4th of July came and went without much hurrah.Marshmallow Face Being 7 months pregnant sucks the life out of a lot of things right now. And, having a toddler that is in bed by 8 pretty much eliminates any fireworks-viewing and partying the night away. We still had a wonderful holiday. I made my famous S’mookies (S’more cookies) for the neighborhood BBQ and pool party. Little C tested out the homemade marshmallow creme for me. I would post the recipe but they are ridiculously time consuming. So much, that I only make them every few YEARS. Fact. Ask my hubby. I think he’s quite bitter about that part. :)

And, after yet another tantrum, we were able to get Little C in the pool for pretty much the first or second time ever. Once he calmed, he and daddy had a great time splashing, bobbing up and down and playing, and I had a fun time watching them with my feet soaking in the shallow end (get into a maternity suit in front of neighbors and strangers? Yeah right).

First Swim

I’m looking forward to the day we can take the boys to a fireworks show or light some off in our driveway and have it not turn into a terrified crying fit or something else. I love the baby years and everything, but I’m more excited for the “kid years” and some more freedom and less dependence, which hopefully doesn’t make me sound like a terrible mom. If you’ve been through it, you likely feel the same. Unless you’re one of those that wants babies forever. You’re crazy… but I respect you. :)

That’s about it for now. I’ll be sharing my obsession for Etsy baby shops pretty soon. I CANNOT stay off that site lately and I really don’t even need a lot for this baby. Etsy is amazing. Period.

You Are my Sunshine Giveaway!Speaking of Etsy, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an adorable sign from one of those Etsy shops I’m obsessed with. Giveaway ends at the end of the month! (Click the photo to go to the post, and leave your comment).

 

So this is our foretasted weather for the next week:

Weather Forecast

I mean really?! Is this even remotely habitable for human life? I am so not a summer person. I really hate the heat and being pregnant intensifies that by about 1,000%. Anyhow, we’ve been looking for creative ways to stay cool because we don’t own a pool and even if we did, getting me into my hideous maternity swimsuit takes a LOT of bargaining. ;)

With the heat, my ice cream cravings, already strong, are intensified. But, being a busy mom, I almost never have the right ingredients in the fridge. As I was flipping through my King Arthur Catalog, I came across this recipe and about died when I realized that we had everything to make this in the house. I was thrilled! So I immediately got to work. This is a super simple Philadelphia-style ice cream (which basically means no eggs, tempering, custard, etc.) that I swear ANYONE can make. Please don’t be intimidated by making ice cream as I once was. Once you get the hang out it, it’s super easy and the results are SOOOO much better than store bought.

You don’t even need fancy equipment. This simple Cuisinart machine is all we use and we love it! Though I have always wanted to upgrade to this one that makes 2 quarts. One thing I do recommend is buying an extra core so you always have one at the ready when the ice cream craving hits you. Either way, this recipe could not be more simple. You throw everything into a bowl, whisk it well, put it into the maker, let it churn for about 20 minutes, stir in the delicious Oreos and EAT. Or… chill for just a few hours longer and then EAT!

Cookies N Cream Ice Cream

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:
1 cup cold whole milk (DO NOT use skim or even 2%)
1/2 cup superfine sugar (dissolves faster and easier than regular granulated sugar)
2 cups cold heavy cream
2 t. vanilla extract (or 1 t. Vanilla Bean paste or crush -this stuff is amazing!)
20 chocolate sandwich cookies (I prefer Oreos), broken into chunks

Directions: 
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar, until the sugar has dissolved (you won’t see or feel the grain anymore). Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions, usually about 20 minutes. Stir the broken cookie chunks into the soft ice cream and serve immediately, or pour into a tightly-sealed, freezer safe container and freeze for an additional 2 to 3 hours for more firm ice cream. Freezing longer than this will freeze this ice cream very solid, so just be sure to take it out of the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving to allow it to soften a bit.

And by all means, be sure to top it with a whole or half a sandwich cookie! :)

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