Roasted Garlic Mushroom Pizza

Roasted garlic. Caramelized onions. Sauteed mushrooms. Tangy aioli. Yes please!

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This is an amazing and satisfying cheese-less, vegan pizza. The creamy tanginess of the garlic aioli sauce really does a great job of replacing the cheese, you won’t miss it at all! Find the recipe for the crust here and experiment with your own toppings!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Batch pizza dough
  • 2 Bulbs plus 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 c Just Mayo (or your choice mayonnaise)
  • 1 T Lemon Juice
  • 1 T Almond milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 c Mushrooms (your choice)
  • 2 T Fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

 

Directions:

Prepare the pizza dough in bread machine on dough cycle. Roll out on pizza pan, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes. Brush with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes.

Roast 2 bulbs of garlic in oven or toaster oven. Slice both bulbs in half horizontally, brush with olive oil, place in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 and set aside.

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Prepare garlic aioli. Mince 2 cloves of garlic very finely, add mayo, almond milk, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Saute toppings. Put onion, mushrooms, rosemary, olive oil, and salt an pepper in a frying pan and saute until onions are caramelized.

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Add toppings to crust. Remove roasted garlic cloves from the bulb and mush them on to crust with the back of a spoon. Add mushrooms and onions to top of pizza. Drizzle with aioli.

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Slice and serve!

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Kombucha Tea

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Most of my friends know that I love my kombucha and brew my own at home. Not only is Kombucha (aka. booch) a tasty tea-based drink, but it also has many health benefits because of the fermentation process the tea goes through. (Some scientific information here: Kombucha Fermentation and Its Antimicrobial Activity and Jayabalan_et_al-2014-Comprehensive_Reviews_in_Food_Science_and_Food_Safety )

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I usually have spare SCOBY’s to pass on for others to start their own brew, so in order to save time (previously I had been writing out instructions for each person) I decided to write out and publish the instructions I use for brewing my booch. If you would like to brew your own please let me know and I will help you get started. I have heirloom kombucha tea SCOBY’s and Jun tea SCOBY’s to share!

(Printable PDF of instructions below: Kombucha Instructions)

Kombucha Brewing Instructions

You will need:

  • 1 large empty jar or vessel (at least 4L) – I’ve seen them at Bulk Barn, Winners, Canadian Tire, and Ikea.
  • Unflavored tea – black tea is optimal but white or oolong tea will also work. Do not use flavored tea.
  • Sugar – organic cane sugar is optimal but refined white sugar will also work.
  • Coffee filters or tight weave fabric for the top of the jar and a rubber band to secure. Do not use cheesecloth.
  • Water
  • SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and 1c of starter brew – provided by me

Directions for 1st ferment (1F):

  1. Make sweetened tea – Brew 2L of very strong tea, dissolve 1/2c of sugar, and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Thoroughly wash and rinse your jar and anything else that will come into contact with the SCOBY.
  3. Add cooled sweet tea, SCOBY, and starter brew to your jar. Note: before handling your SCOBY always thoroughly wash and rinse your hands.
  4. Cover jar with coffee filter or fabric and secure with rubber band.
  5. Place jar in an area out of direct sunlight where it will not be disturbed. Warmer areas of your home will make your kombucha brew faster than cooler areas, so when seasons change you might want to move your kombucha to a different location.
  6. Start to taste your brew after 5 days or so (I like to wait until I can see a new SCOBY forming on the top), it is “ready” any time but it can take anywhere between 5 and 30+ days depending on how sweet or tart you like it.
  7. When your first ferment is done, stir or swish around the liquid to get the yeast and sediment mixed with the kombucha, then pour or ladle out some of the brew (don’t forget to reserve some starter for your next brew), store in an airtight glass container (mason jars or flip-top bottles work great) and place in refrigerator. Brew will not ferment any more once refrigerated and can be stored for weeks or months. Note: kombucha can be drank now if the taste is to your liking or you can do a 2nd ferment at this point – instructions below.ratios
  8. Let your reserved brew and SCOBY(s) rest in the jar before starting your next batch. You will have better results with a really strong starter. When ready, add sweetened tea to your jar with SCOBY(s) and reserved starter brew and repeat the process (you do not need to clean out your jar/vessel before each batch). You can change the quantity of sweet tea as long as you keep the recommended ratios as per the chart. This ensures that your SCOBY stays healthy and your brew is optimal and free of mold. If you don’t want to start your next batch yet you can leave it to sit for several weeks or months as long as there is enough liquid to cover the SCOBY.

Within a few days of starting your brew (or a few hours if it’s really warm in your house) you may notice it looks a little cloudy near the top of the liquid. There may also be translucent white patches or it may appear to have a “film” on the top. This is your new SCOBY forming and it will get thicker as your kombucha sits. Your new SCOBY will cover the top of the liquid completely and your old SCOBY(s) may float, sink, fold in half, float diagonally, or stick to its mother culture (old SCOBY) – it’s all normal. Older SCOBY’s will be different shades of beige (older ones will be darker) and probably have brown strings hanging off of the SCOBY, this is yeast and it totally normal. If you have fuzzy or dusty black/orange/green/ patches it is probably mold and the entire SCOBY and brew should be discarded.

Every new batch of kombucha will produce a new SCOBY. You can leave all of your SCOBYs in the jar, or when you start to run out of room in your jar you can transfer them to a new jar with some sweet tea (SCOBY hotel). You can also share your SCOBY’s and starter brew with your friends to make their own kombucha.

The 2nd Ferment (2F):

Note: This is an optional step. If you have followed the steps above and like the way your kombucha tastes put it in the fridge and start your next batch.

  1. In a separate jar add some fresh or frozen fruit, vegetables, or spices of your choice. Some common favorites are blackberries, pear, strawberries, mango, melon, pineapple, ginger, carrot, star anise, lemon, thyme, and rosemary. You can also use pure, unsweetened fruit juice – PomWonderful is my favorite.
  2. Add a pinch of sugar to taste (optional, fruits will add sweetness to your brew) and pour some of your kombucha into the jar with fruit. Sugar (either added or from fruit) will help with carbonation.
  3. Close lid tightly and let sit on your counter for a few more days and hopefully your brew will self-carbonate. If you have a very active/healthy culture (fizz in 1st ferment) you might want to “burp” the bottles/jars once per day to get excess gasses out if you are getting too much fizz.
  4. Strain into bottle or jar and refrigerate.

Your kombucha will keep for weeks or months in the refrigerator. If (either during your second ferment or in your refrigerated kombucha) you notice new baby SCOBY’s forming, brown stringy bits, or clear blobs that resemble egg whites it’s totally normal, it just means your kombucha is healthy. Although it’s all edible, I usually strain it out.

My Personal Process: 3 Ferments

  1. First ferment for 10 to 15 days, keep tasting until it’s only slightly sweet.
  2. Second ferment with fruit and/or herbs of choice in mason jars with tight lids for 2 to 3 days.
  3. Third ferment. Use a fork to squish chunks of fruit (if using chunks rather than puree or juice) to get the flavour out, scoop out fruit pieces or bits of SCOBY that have formed during second ferment. Pour through strainer into flip-top bottles to 1” headspace in the bottle. Leave bottles out on counter for an additional 2 to 4 days before refrigerating. Do not “burp” or open the bottle until you are ready to drink your kombucha.

That’s pretty much it! Please comment below or send me a message if you are interested in acquiring a SCOBY to start your own brew or if you have any questions. I will try my best to answer!

– – – – – NEW SECTION (still in progress) – – – – – 

F.A.Q.’s and Answers:

Q: Can I add vinegar to my kombucha? A: No. If you use apple cider vinegar (ACV) you not only risk contamination with vinegar eels, but ACV is its own unique strain and your kombucha will become a hybrid and no longer a pure kombucha strain. You can use distilled white vinegar to clean your equipment but make sure you rinse really well with very hot water to ensure there are no traces of vinegar left.

Q: What can I do if I don’t have enough starter? A: Make more starter. Sometimes we forget to reserve some starter for the next batch or receive a new SCOBY without starter so it’s best to make some starter before brewing your next batch. Make 2 cups of sweet tea as per the standard recipe, add your SCOBY, cover and let it sit for at least 2 weeks. There should be enough liquid inside the SCOBY to ferment the small amount of tea. Starter tea is never meant to be drank so I don’t bother tasting it, I know it’s ready when it smells really strong and vinegary.

Q: Can I use cheese cloth to cover my jar? A: No. Cheese cloth has a very open weave that allows bugs, mold spores, etc. to contaminate your brew. Coffee filters, tea towels, old t-shirts, wash cloths, paper towels, etc. all work really well.

Q: Why has my kombucha not grown a SCOBY? or Why is my kombucha still too sweet? A: Many factors will determine how fast a brew will ferment including ambient temperature, strength and amount of starter, being moved (even gently), type and quality of culture. Some cultures will ferment faster than others and timing will change with the seasons.

Q: Can I use flavoured or decaffeinated tea? A: Some people have successfully made kombucha with flavored or decaffeinated tea but I think it largely depends on what type of tea is used and how often it is done. You can experiment with different teas but make sure you are using a spare SCOBY and do not share baby SCOBY’s from this type of brew.

Q: How do I get fizz in my kombucha?  A: Fizz may depend on the quality of the culture and how healthy it is, what you use in your 2nd ferment, and they type of bottle you are using to store your finished kombucha in. Personally, the 3rd ferment guarantees me a fizzy kombucha, but some people swear by using the EZ cap flip-top bottles (although some people get plenty of fizz in a mason jar) and some people say that certain fruits guarantee ginger. You might have to experiment with other people’s methods to see what works well for you.

Q: Can I convert a kombucha SCOBY to a Jun SCOBY? A: No. Jun is a completely different culture than kombucha and uses green tea and honey rather than black tea and sugar. You can brew kombucha with green tea and honey with a kombucha SCOBY but it still will not be Jun.

Q: Can I grow my own SCOBY with store bought kombucha? A: Yes. If you leave commercial kombucha out it will grow a SCOBY and you can brew future batches. Commercial kombucha contains yeast inhibitors (yeast is the “Y” in SCOBY) and stabilizers to make it more appealing on the shelf, so it will not be the same as a home brew.

Q: What should I do with my SCOBYs while I’m away on vacation? A: Just make sure there is enough liquid in the brewing vessel, top up with sweet tea if needed, and cover. Your brew will be perfectly safe and you will have good, strong starter when you return.

Q: Can I store my SCOBYs in the fridge if I’m not going to brew for a while? A: No. Cool temperatures will weaken or damage some of the bacterial culture and it will not brew as effectively. Refrigerated SCOBY’s/starter often result in mold down the road because the culture is no longer able to create a strong enough starter.

Q: Can I add commercial kombucha to “help” my brew?  A: Technically yes, but it’s not usually recommended. Commercial kombucha is from a different strain so if you mix it with your own brew you will get a hybrid kombucha. Please don’t ever do this with an heirloom or vintage strain!

Q: How do I make a SCOBY hotel and why would I want one?  A: A SCOBY hotel is just a place to store your spare SCOBY’s as back-up in case of contamination and to give away. All you need is a large jar (the same type of jar you use for brewing), add your spare SCOBYs and enough sweet tea/starter/kombucha to ensure they are covered. The hotel can be covered with either a cloth/coffee filter or a solid lid. The tea in the jar will become very tart and vinegary and will not be for drinking, but will be the perfect starter tea for new batches. Remember to top up your hotel with more sweet tea once in a while to ensure your SCOBYs don’t dry out.

Soft Pizza Crust (for the bread machine)

This delicious crust is soft, flavorful, and works great for any kind of sweet or savory pizza.

Add the following ingredients into your bread maker in the order specified by the manufacturer and set your machine to the dough cycle.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c Water
  • 1 T Olive oil
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 2 t Sugar
  • 2 c Flour
  • 1 1/2 t Yeast

 

Instructions:

When the dough cycle is complete, roll out on to a pizza pan and let rise again for another 30 minutes or so.

Bake at 425F for 10-12 minutes. Add toppings, broil until cheese is melted.

This will make enough dough for one 16″ pizza. This recipe can be easily doubled and the dough may be frozen if wrapped tightly and placed in the freezer immediately. If you are freezing the dough make sure you put in in the coldest part of the freezer immediately so it freezes as quickly as possible, otherwise the dough will continue to rise and burst out of the plastic.

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White Chocolate Chai Puffed Wheat Squares

I made up this recipe for my mom. I’ve been working on this year’s Christmas baking and because she is allergic to chocolate I wanted to make sure there will be a good selection of chocolate-free treats for her to enjoy on Christmas Eve.

I love all things chai flavored any time, but around the holidays I crave those sweet spices a little more than usual. I modified a recipe for chocolate puffed what squares that I already had to incorporate the spices and white chocolate. I hope you like this recipe as much as I do!

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

7 cups puffed wheat

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions:

Pour puffed wheat into a large greased bowl. Measure out white chocolate chips and set aside.

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Combine butter/margarine, brown sugar, corn syrup, and spices in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add vanilla extract to mixture.

Pour mixture over puffed wheat and stir quickly until puffed wheat is completely coated with mixture. Add in white chocolate chips and stir. Note: Avoid over-mixing the chips with the puffed wheat mixture. It will be very hot and if the chips melt too much the puffed wheat squares might not stick together very well.

Pour immediately into greased pan. Optional: drizzle with melted white chocolate. I mixed my leftover white chocolate chips with a little cream to keep the chocolate soft.

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Enjoy!

Birth Story: Welcoming Lovina Josephine

Lovina7final cropWe always knew we wanted a midwife to help bring our baby into the world. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I applied for midwifery care and ended up on waiting lists before I finally got an offer of care at 14 weeks from Heather and Mia at Beginnings Midwifery. Since we weren’t sure early in the pregnancy if we would get a midwife we decided to hire a doula to support us during labour and birth and advocate for us should we end up having a hospital birth. We met with Dyvonna from Labour of Love and decided that we would like to have her there to support us through the birth of our baby.

I was blessed with a very easy and uneventful pregnancy. I had none of the morning sickness, fatigue, aches, hot flashes, swelling, etc. that most pregnant women experience. As I was nearing the end of my pregnancy I was excited to meet our baby but I also knew I would miss this special time with her. All of my ultrasounds and prenatal appointments went really well, both me and baby were healthy and had no signs of complications or issues. At around the 39th week my blood pressure went up higher than normal so our midwife, Heather, sent me for blood work and asked me to monitor my blood pressure at home 3 times a day. After some time monitoring my own blood pressure (which was normal at home), a few rounds of blood work (that all came back normal, ruling out pre-eclampsia), and a consult with Dr. Mayo from the Royal Alex Hospital it was determined that I most likely have “white coat syndrome” and that baby and I were cleared to safely have a home birth. Yay! The only caveat being that Dr. Mayo felt I shouldn’t go much past 41 weeks if my blood pressure was going to be unpredictable.

40 weeks came and baby still hadn’t arrived. I could feel that my body was already preparing for labour and was sure that progress was being made but wanted to try to naturally speed things up even more – the last thing I wanted was a chemical induction in the hospital if baby didn’t come by 41 weeks! I went for acupuncture, drank raspberry leaf tea, ate fresh pineapple and dates, walked, danced, etc. At my next midwife appointment (I was 40 weeks, 4 days) I had my membranes swept in the morning (I was already 3cm dilated!) and was given lemon verbena along with directions on how to make a smoothie that will help bring on labour. The midwife, Heather, said if I wasn’t having contractions by late in the afternoon to come back at the end of the day to have my membranes swept again, which is what I did since I wasn’t having contractions. Minutes after the second sweep I was already having contractions. As soon as I got home I blended up round 2 of the lemon verbena smoothie and snuggled with Samuel in front of the t.v for the rest of the evening.

Mild contractions continued all evening and I decided to go to bed early, as tomorrow could be a really big day for us. Before I went to bed I texted our doula, Dyvonna, to give her a heads up about having my membranes swept so she knew it could happen any time now.

I was lucky to have slept through the early stages of labour. Sometime between 5am and 6am I woke up because the surges were getting more intense. I tried to nap a little longer but was awoken soon after by my surges, and at some point during my nap my waters had broken. Samuel helped time my surges, and for the next few hours they went from being 30 to 40 seconds long to being somewhere around a minute long. We called Dyvonna and she told us to call the midwife!

Both ladies arrived at our house soon after, I was still in my bedroom where I felt most comfortable. Dyvonna reminded me how to breathe through my surges and diffused some peppermint oil before setting up the birthing pool, which I got into it soon after. The midwife, Mia, watched me have contractions to gauge intensity and timing, checked my cervix (already 7cm, I think!), and my blood pressure. My blood pressure was high again. Mia called Dr. Mayo again for his opinion and together they made the decision that we would go to the hospital just in case.

We gathered up our hospital bag and we all met at the hospital, where we ended up in a big room in the corner. I made myself comfortable in one of the chairs and continued breathing through surges. The second midwife, Gaelyn, arrived to help Mia. Blood work was done and Mia and took my blood pressure again several times – my blood pressure had gone down! Dyvonna drew a warm bath for me and set up some candles, which I got into right away. Mia used the fetal doppler to check the baby’s heart rate intermittently to make sure baby was handling the contractions okay, and she was. Not long after I was in the tub I started having involuntary urges to push. I changed positions so I was laying on my side in the water, I knew our baby was coming really soon.

FullSizeRenderThe pushing contractions were incredibly satisfying even though our baby hadn’t made her way out yet. The pushing took every bit of my energy but felt really good. Samuel sat beside the tub and held my hand, Dyvonna offered me sips of water between contractions, and they both reassured and comforted me. It seemed to take several pushes before our baby was crowning, but finally, our baby’s head was out in two pushes! I didn’t think I’d want to see, but in that moment I just had to look. The first glimpse of my baby was the back of her tiny head. After one more push our baby was born. Mia caught her and handed her to me where I held her on my chest for the first time and admired how perfectly formed her little ears are. She was already crying and she was perfect. Lovina Josephine was born at 2:41pm after 36 minutes of pushing and approximately 3 hours of active labour.

Lovina1finalAfter I delivered the placenta, Samuel cut the cord, then held Lovina for the first time. I was helped out of the bath tub and onto the bed where Dyvonna brought me some blankets and juice and the midwives checked me for tearing and bleeding. Everything looked good! While Mia filled out our baby’s paperwork Gaelyn and Dyvonna gave me advice on how to start breastfeeding and Lovina latched on quickly. My blood pressure was taken again and the results of my blood work came back – everything was still normal! Just over 2 hours after our arrival at the hospital we were on our way home with our baby!

So, did we have the birth that we planned? Absolutely! Sure, we had to change the location from our home to the hospital as a precaution, but there was no transfer of care to an obstetrician (we never even saw a doctor while at the hospital) we still had our midwife to “catch” our baby, we still had a water birth in the hospital room, there were no medical interventions, our doula was there to support us, I was free to move and do whatever felt comfortable, and nothing ever came of the concerns over my blood pressure. We had a truly wonderful birth experience and were thrilled to be able to bring our beautiful daughter, Lovina Josephine, into the world in a loving and natural way.

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Added to address comments:

  • Thanks for the positive comments! They are appreciated. ❤ The negative ones from strangers are not and will be ignored. I’m not expecting a t-shirt, and I’m not trying to be a hero. IT REALLY WASN’T THAT BAD! This is my blog and my story.
  • No, I did not ride in an ambulance. Nothing bad happened, it was a precaution just in case. Everything went exactly as planned, just in a different location (but hey, they have cleaning people there, I don’t).

 

Beginnings Midwives http://beginningsmidwiferycare.com/

Dyvonna Inkster, doula http://www.labour-of-love.com/#!about-labour-of-love

Tori Agius Photography https://www.facebook.com/toriagiusphotography/info/?ref=page_internal

Pregnancy massage and acupuncture http://www.sweetmomma.com/

Alberta Association of Midwives https://www.abmidwives.ca/what-is-a-midwife/

Why hire a doula? http://evidencebasedbirth.com/the-evidence-for-doulas/

The Baby’s Room!

We are pretty excited about how well the baby’s room is coming along! We purchased used things on Kijiji and worked on refinishing some furniture ourselves, and since I’m pretty handy with a sewing machine I made several other things for the baby’s room. We aren’t huge DIY-ers, but we do think that people can be far too wasteful and when it comes to kid stuff as it doesn’t get used for too many years before the kid grows out of it.

Refinished antique dresser

My favorite thing that we got on Kijiji was an antique dresser that was in pretty good shape but the wood wasn’t the color we wanted – and someone painted the top white?? I spent an afternoon stripping all of the old paint and varnish off, sanded (Samuel helped), then stained it with a rich, dark walnut stain, and sealed it all with varnish. I love the color that it turned out to be, it matches the new crib and change table in the room and the grain of the wood is still visible.

Wood Eddie Bauer high chair.

We also purchased this wooden high chair from Kijiji for a pretty reasonable price. It was originally a reddish cherry color but it had a ton of scratches and wear right down to to wood and the cushion was worn with food caked into it. Actually, most of the pieces of the chair had food caked into it so there was a lot of cleaning that had to be done. I wasn’t sure the safety strap could be salvaged but I picked up some supplies from the fabric store and re-created it using the old one as a guide. The next thing to work on was the ugly seat cushion. I used some leftover fabric from making diapers for the front and used some fabric I already had, plus some polyester batting from the fabric store. It wasn’t overly difficult to make but my machine didn’t really like sewing through the batting. I was going to make two so I would have a backup while one was being washed but I think I will just use the old one as a backup. Samuel did all of the stripping, I sanded, stained, and varnished using the same color stain as the dresser.

And then there’s the mural. THE MURAL! I cannot take any credit for this. My talented mother hand painted a mural on an entire wall of the baby’s room. We collaborated on what it would look like but she did all the work. It’s so amazing! We kept the color scheme gender-neutral since we don’t know if we are having a boy or girl. The walls were already grey (we painted all the bedrooms the same color when we moved in) and decided on a bright, sunny yellow as an accent color for the baby’s room.

    Birch trees and birds.           photo 2

I didn’t do much with the change table but I did make a cute change pad cover (I still have to make a back-up or two for laundry day) and added some shelf paper to the shelves just to make it look a little nicer. 🙂 I love it. I also whipped up some curtains and used clip rings to hang them.

Cloth diapers are still an ongoing project for me. We really wanted to use cloth diapers so I figured we would save a ton of money by making our own. We definitely are saving money but I’ve been working on them for months! I gave priority to the smaller sizes so at least they are ready to go.

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I was dreading organizing the closet since this room has such a tiny closet, but I guess tiny people have tiny things so it all works out for now. 🙂 We picked up a closet organizer/storage system from Ikea and installed it into the closet, which turned out to be a lot more work than anticipated. We had to take out the old shelf and closet rod and do some spackling, priming, and painting before we could install the new system. I think it will work great for us and it can be changed as the baby grows up.

The first things we bought for the baby’s room were a crib and change table. Even though they came from two different Kijiji sellers we were able to get a matching set in decent condition! IMG_0613

IMG_0612 IMG_0606Overall I think we did pretty well getting the baby’s room ready for his/her imminent arrival. I can’t wait until there is an actual baby in there. Soon!

The Second Trimester

We’re officially through the second trimester and into the third!! 27 weeks! 6 months down, 3 months to go! 🙂 A lot has happened. We did a bunch of reading and research about pregnancy and birth, worked on getting the baby’s room ready, and giggled over my bulging baby belly moving and jumping around.

Things are coming along perfectly both in our home and with my pregnancy – the baby’s room is about 70% complete, I still don’t really have any pregnancy discomfort or “issues”, and baby is growing right on par! We purchased a few used furniture items for the baby’s room from kijiji and got some really good deals. Also, some of our awesome friends have been kind enough to pass on a few of their old baby things they don’t need any more so we have been really fortunate with all the things we already have for our baby. ❤

Last week we met with our doula who refreshed our knowledge on anatomy (as it relates to pregnancy/birth), taught us all about the different stages of labor and what it feels like for some women and how to identify which stage of labor I am in, gave examples of how different women react to what is happening in their bodies during the various stages, how long it can take, etc. So many things to know about! We borrowed the Hypnobirthing book from her lending library and Samuel and I have been reading it together (I’ll probably write about the book when we finish it) but so far we think it will be really helpful. Next time we meet with our doula we will learn relaxation techniques and birthing positions. I love having a doula and am thrilled that she will be there as we bring our baby into the world.

Things I learned about pregnancy/things people don’t tell you…
The baby can actually kick you in the butt hole (from the inside). So weird. It totally depends on where your placenta is and the position of the baby, but half of the mom’s I’ve mentioned this to have no idea what I’m talking about and the other half are like, “Ya! It’s so weird!”.
Hot feet. SO HOT! No, they aren’t swollen. The rest of my body is not hot, just my feet. I Googled it and it’s a thing that happens to some pregnant women but nobody knows why. At least it’s only occasional for me.
The baby moves ALL THE TIME! Of course, I was expecting to feel movement and I know it’s a good thing, but a break for a few hours would be nice sometimes. Shhhhh…. sleep, baby. Sleeeep… Actually, I love it when the baby moves. ❤

Speaking of movement… our wiggly baby wouldn’t even lay still enough at the 20-week ultrasounds (yes, there were 2 ultrasounds again) to let the ultrasound technician have a peek at his/her organs to make sure they have developed normally. Both times we were also unable to find out if we are having a boy or girl, so I guess it will have to be a surprise! I have a strong preference for gender-neutral things over pink or blue anyways.

Things I’m looking forward to in the third trimester…
More cute maxi dresses, the baby shower, seeing how the baby’s room turns out (my Mom is painting a mural!), getting really good at the relaxation exercises, ice cream on hot days, and finally meeting our baby.

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