Baby Bender: 26 Weeks

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 19, 2014

Week 26

Honestly, I don’t know where time is going these days. It seems I went from being halfway through pregnancy to almost entering the third trimester in the blink of an eye! I’m sure the holidays play a big part, not to mention that I am definitely still in my second trimester “honeymoon phase.” But I’m going to hold on to the bliss as long as possible and hope that suddenly I’ll be at 40 weeks and saying the same thing. I mean, it could happen…

Here’s a look at what’s been going on in the world of Baby Bender.

Boy or girl? BOY!

Name: We’ve got one! The challenge is keeping it a secret. :) He’s still “Spidey” for now!

How far along: 26 weeks, 4 days.

Baby is the size of: A head of lettuce! Although I am starting to wonder about these food comparisons, since a few weeks ago he was the size of a spaghetti squash. The coolest part is knowing he’s around a foot long and weighs at least a pound these days.

Feeling: Pretty darn good! I’ve started to have some back pain while sleeping, but this pregnancy pillow has been working wonders.

Total weight gained: 16 pounds – woohoo! (I’m a big fan of the number 16.)

Exercising: Yes! Still keeping up with pre-natal yoga, both through in-person classes and this DVD (thanks, Karla!). I’ve also started doing my exercises for The Bradley Method, which is what we’ve decided to go with for childbirth preparation. I’ve been wanting to do a drug-free, natural childbirth for a long time. I know it’s not for everyone, but the more I read about it the more excited I get. It helps to know a lot of amazing bloggers who have written inspiring birth stories! I know it will be one of (if not the) most challenging things I’ll ever do, but also the most rewarding.

What has made me happiest and most confident is how pumped my coach seems to be about it, too. Bobby has been learning everything right alongside me and I know he is going to be a pro at helping me through the various physical and emotional stages of the journey. We’re using the two recommended books (Husband-Coached Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way) and are also getting a copy of the workbook they use in the classes.

Sleep: Overall, it’s going well. I wake up a couple of times a night but for the most part am able to get back to sleep. And I find it kind of hilarious that I am woken up by Spidey’s crazy exercise sessions at 4:00 in the morning. I’m not sure if this kid sleeps anymore. Let’s just pretend he is getting all his sleepless energy out now…

Showing: I will let you decide based on the above picture! Today was actually the first day a stranger said something. I was checking out at the store and she looked me up and down and said, “You have a little bump.” I told her my sweatshirt makes it look modest, haha. I was recently looking back at pictures from when I first thought I was showing and had to laugh. I can only imagine I’ll be laughing even harder 14 weeks from now.

Cravings: This has been one of the biggest surprises of my pregnancy after hearing years of stereotypes like pickles and ice cream. I just don’t crave anything out of the ordinary. I have gotten on a hot chocolate kick since it got cold-ish here in Arizona, and now I crave its warmth in the morning. But that’s about it!

Aversions: There’s nothing that is off limits, although I’d choose shrimp over fish when it comes to seafood. I still don’t love overpowering scents like beer or, as Bobby found out the other day, salt and vinegar chips. :)

Missing: Not really missing, but I am now looking forward to a celebratory glass of wine.

Maternity clothes: I still wear some baggy t-shirts or sweatshirts from pre-pregnancy days, but am otherwise completely in maternity clothes and I love them. I can’t recommend LOFT jeans and corduroys enough. So comfy.

Movement: We’ve gone from those first few flutters to real kicks to visible movement over the past six weeks. It is the most surreal sensation to both feel and see our baby’s arms, legs and sometimes – I swear – what must be his entire body bumping up against my belly. As crazy as the feeling is (and as close as he comes to my ribs on occasion), I am admittedly obsessed with his movements. I like to give him a little nudge back and pretend we are having a two-way conversation through pokes and punches.

Looking forward to: The holidays! It’s our last Christmas as a family of two. Although in many ways it feels like our little dude is already a huge part of our traditions, I’m looking forward to soaking up these next couple of weeks.

Best moment of this week: Getting to hear Spidey’s heartbeat at our latest appointment and later, getting a brief tour of the hospital. We’re going back for a more detailed tour in the third trimester, but it was an unexpected bonus to have the chance to see where it’s all going down in just three short months. I have always liked to visualize. “If I can see it, then I can do it.” Yes, thank you, R. Kelly. I’ll have to put that song on our labor mix. :)


I hope to be back at least once before the new year to talk about 2014. I’m excited because I’ve already met my page number goal, and have so many amazing book suggestions for you.

In the meantime, wishing you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

What are you most excited about for the holidays this year?



P.S. It’s snowing on my blog! Some traditions will never change.


Feeling Thankful + Fall Pinterest Party

by Jenn (eating bender) on November 26, 2014

Well hello there, day before Thanksgiving. Where did you come from?

I didn’t plan to take almost an entire month off from blogging, but the semi-break has been helpful in finding time to cross off at least some of the to-dos in the four months we have left as a family of two. Baby Bender’s nursery is starting to look pretty spiffy, and I am starting to look like I’m basting my own Thanksgiving turkey. :) But I am loving every minute – the bigger my belly gets, the more I get to feel our little dude practicing his karate. At this rate, he’ll be a black belt by Christmas.

We’re looking forward to a Thanksgiving similar to those we’ve been enjoying over the past several years, with an abundance of family, food and feelings of gratitude for the many people and things we have to be thankful for. If you’re celebrating tomorrow, I hope you enjoy every minute.

And just in case your menu isn’t quite set in stone, I thought it would be timely to share the results of our fall Pinterest party, which happened during my trip to Chicago last month. It was amazing to have the chance to plan and prep with Lauren, Kelli and Monica (who flew in from her new home in California!) at least once more before any pint-sized additions are added to our group.

I would recommend any of the dishes and drinks we made for your table tomorrow.

Fall Pinterest Party

Fa-la-la-la Fall Pinterest Party Menu

Beverages: Apple-Pie Spiced Cider and Mock Champagne (pinned here and here)

Appetizer: Apple and Cheddar Cheese Soup (pinned here)

Main Course: Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells (pinned here)

Side Dish: Baked Tomatoes, Squash and Potatoes (pinned here)

Dessert: Apple Pie Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze (pinned here)

Note: The majority of the delicious food pictures below are courtesy of Monica.

As usual, we divided the tasks and responsibilities. I started out by chopping up the ingredients for our Apple and Cheddar Cheese Soup.



This soup was truly awesome – my favorite part was the blending at the end.


While Lauren was cooking the soup’s onions and carrots, Kelli was hard at work on our first drink: the Apple-Pie Spiced Cider.


It was a perfect blend of sugar and spice. We skipped the brandy, but I bet that’d add a real kick.


As our true culinary professional, Monica helped with a little of everything, including prep for the Baked Tomatoes, Squash and Potatoes, which Lauren then artfully placed in the pan (her favorite job).


Monica also got the Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells ready for Lauren to stuff. Check out the master hard at work. Such an intense look of concentration.




Annnnd she sliced the apples and biscuits for our Apple Pie Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze!




Finally, all that was left was to fill our mason jar glasses with Mock Champagne


…and set the table for a fall-themed feast.



So, how did it all turn out, you ask?








I’d say Pinterest perfect. :) The mocktails were deliciously fruity and the soup, shells and baked tomatoes, squash and potatoes were the right amount of flavor and heartiness for an autumn day.

But the pull-apart bread…oh, the pull-apart bread.


I made another batch as soon as I got back to Arizona. It was quick, easy and amazing!

Big thanks to Kelli for hosting, to Monica for flying all the way from California and to Lauren for just being herself (and hosting me!). I miss you ladies already, but am grateful that we’ve created an abundance of tasty memories to treasure forever – and now a party for every season!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!




Baby Bender: 19 Weeks {It’s a…}

October 30, 2014

We are feeling blue this week, for all the best reasons. Last Friday, we had our 18-week ultrasound and found out that Baby Bender is healthy, super flexible and most definitely… Our little BOY!!!! I was so nervous the morning of the appointment, and the waiting room made me even more anxious. Fortunately, our ultrasound technician […]

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Four Years! {Sedona + Flagstaff Getaway}

October 16, 2014

Today marks four years of married life with my best friend – hurray! This year, Bobby and I decided to combine an anniversary and babymoon trip into one fall weekend getaway. After our adventures in Sedona toward the end of the season last year, we thought it would be fun to head north even earlier in hopes of catching a glimpse of […]

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Baby Bender: 15 Weeks

October 1, 2014

I’m excited to share what I’ve been doing to track Baby Bender’s week-by-week progress! I got the idea from combining this post and this post on Pinterest and thought it would be a lot of fun, not just for me and Bobby but also for the little one to be able to look at someday. I […]

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Top 10 Books On My Fall To-Read List

September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I am ridiculously excited to participate in my first “Top Ten Tuesday.” It probably comes as no surprise that I am a voracious reader of book blogs, and I’ve been wanting to join in on the fun for quite some time (learn more about the weekly meme here). […]

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Feeling Peachy: Baby Bender Details

September 15, 2014

Thank you all so much for the kind words on our big (little) announcement. Being able to share the news has made us feel all the more excited and extremely grateful for the amazing family and friends we are blessed to have in our lives. I feel like there is now so much I want to say! […]

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Hey, Hey Baby

September 9, 2014

“Hey what? Go Wildcats!” We interrupt this period of relative radio silence on the blog to bring you…the reason for said radio silence on the blog! Yep, it’s a good one. I’ve been baking cinnamon buns! Okay, not really.  I did make cinnamon buns a few weeks ago, but this particular bun has been baking for a […]

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