Monday, June 28, 2010

23 weeks

Here's what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With his sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that he's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see him squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze him when he hears them outside the womb. You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you'll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods. Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Be sure to call your midwife or doctor if you have severe or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, swelling in your face, or puffiness around your eyes.

As for me, no real changes.  I'm still feeling great.  Still very hungry.  Still a bit tired.  Overall this trimester has been a breeze though.  Pickled okra has become one of my favorite things to eat, as well as anything with a sweet and spicy combination.  I'm still not really into dessert foods, and am still very much into sushi, and meaty and cheesy foods.  I'm hot almost all of the time now, and definitely make more frequent trips to the restroom than normal (especially in the middle of the night).  Noah is still moving around a lot, especially when I lay down in bed at the end of the day.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

I have really been enjoying slow cooker meals so far this summer... there's just something about a heat index above 100 that makes me not want to heat up my oven, or spend much time in front of the stove.  My slow cooker is fairly large, so I doubled the recipe and made enough for our dinner this evening, as well as to be my lunch for the rest of the week.

-1 lb top round steak (1 inch thick), trimmed and sliced (across the grain) into 1/4" thick slices
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-2 tsp dried parsley
-2 Tbsp dijon mustard
-1 Tbsp worcestshire sauce
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon dried dill
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1 (8 oz) package mushrooms, washed and sliced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1/3 cup flour
-1 cup beef broth
-1 (8 oz) container low-fat sour cream
-1 bag whole wheat egg noodles, cooked al dente

Place steak and next 9 ingredients (through garlic) in a 3-quart electric slow cooker; stir well.  Place flour in a small bowl; gradually add broth, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add broth mixture to slow cooker; stir well. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour. Reduce to low-heat setting, and cook 7 to 8 hours or until steak is tender. Turn slow cooker off; remove lid. Let stroganoff stand 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Serve stroganoff over noodles.


Friday, June 25, 2010

weekly verse: Matthew 22:37-40

So I've been a slacker and spent two weeks on my last memory verse, The Great Commission.  It consists of more than one verse though, so maybe I'll give myself a break for taking so long to memorize it.

Matthew 22:37-40 And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

This has always been one of my favorite passages of Scripture.  In fact it was one of the first passages that I ever memorized.  But that was a few years ago, and as much as I know the general theme, I don't still have it memorized word for word.  Jeremy's tattoo stands for this verse, and if I was ever to get another tattoo I would probably get the Scripture reference for this on the back of my neck, between my shoulder blades, or on the inside of my right wrist.

I love the simplicity found here.  This was at a time when they were still under the law.  They had lists of rules and laws to follow and obey.  So many rules that to me it seems it would have been exhausting trying to learn and follow all of them.  But even here, prior to His death and resurrection, Jesus says that that whole list doesn't matter... you don't have to know it all.  He says that first and foremost we are to love our God, and that we are also to love others.  He says that all of the laws and rules can be summed up in these two commands.  That we don't have to have the list memorized of things not to do (covet, commit murder, commit adultery, etc.), we just have to weigh our actions against the scale of are they loving our Lord, and loving others.  Stealing, killing, being jealous, cheating etc. are all actions that would not be loving to others, so therefore they are summed up under this simple command.

It's so easy to make lists of rules that Christians should follow, and then to impose our list onto others.  But remembering, and following rules (for the sake of having rules) is not what it's about... we miss the big picture through those actions.  It's not about a list of don'ts, it's about the do's... Do love God, and do love others... simple as that.

Thank you Lord for our freedom found through you.  For abundant love found through you.  Lord help me to remember that following you is not about a list of don'ts, not about a list of rules... but it's about a sacrificial type of love that you displayed on the cross, that you have first given to me.  Us me Lord, to pour that same love out to others. 


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fire and Ice Pickles

This week I've been on a binge of all things pickled.  I've been scouring the internet for a good sweet and spicy pickle recipe and am planning on trying to make a few batches from scratch this weekend.  In the meantime, I decided to give this recipe a try for a quick week night version.  There is no photo for this recipe because Jeremy seemed to think that the mixture looked like puke in a jar, so I decided not to photograph it as to not deter anyone.  I can say that these pickles were GREAT, they were probably the best that I've had aside from homemade from scratch versions.  It's a great quick and easy recipe with and sweet and spicy flavors that I wanted.

Fire and Ice Pickles

From what I can tell this recipe was posted in a Taste of Home or Southern Living magazine roughly 40 years ago.  It is delicious, but the sweet/ spicy/ garlic combination will definitely ruin your breath for the rest of the evening, so I'd advise eating only around close friends or family.  These aren't hot at all, just a tad spicy, next time I will probably double the hot sauce in the recipe because I like things HOT.  I would also think that you could save the brine/ juice from a batch and use it to make another batch later with a new drained jar of dill chips (but don't hold me responsible if that doesn't work well).  I saw some recipes that used whole dill pickles and thickly sliced them before adding the sugar etc. mixture.  I just used what I had on hand though, and they worked great.

-32 oz jar dill pickle slices, drained and rinsed
-2 cups sugar
-2 Tbsp hot sauce
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 onion, sliced

In empty picle jar stir together sugar, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic.  Add in drained and rinsed pickles and sliced onion.  With lid on jar, shake vigorously until all ingredients are incorporated.  Stir in the fridge for at least a week before serving.  (I have to admit, I couldn't wait that long and started snacking on the pickles just hours later and they were delicious, but they get even more delicious with more time!).


Monday, June 21, 2010

22 weeks

Here's what is going on with Noah this week according to

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily. At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet. It's perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you'd rather they didn't. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate. What's important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits so she can make sure your baby's growth is on track. You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby. At least half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color). Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. There's no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.

As for me, I'm still feeling great overall.  I've been a little tired lately, but I blame the super hot summer on that.  I've had a little bit of lower back pain on and off for the last week, but nothing too bad, or that lasts too long.  My wedding ring is definitely starting to get tight on my finger (and this is probably at least partially due to the hot New Orleans summer) and I will probably be taking it off within the next few weeks.  Noah moves around a lot and I love those little kicks and squirms that remind me that he's in there.  Anytime we play loud music in the car (which isn't too often) he seems to be dancing along.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day breakfast

Jeremy's only request for Father's Day was for us to sleep in together (after having a busy week without much time together), and to skip church so that we could have some time together before we went to a Father's Day cookout at his Aunt's house.  Well, the sleeping in part didn't exactly happen... he got up at 6:30, which is sleeping in compared to what we do during the week, but wasn't quite as late as I'd expected.  He let me sleep until almost 8 though, before waking me due to hunger pangs since I had promised him a Father's Day breakfast.  Our breakfast consisted of Chile Relleno Casserole and Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins, made with the blueberries that I hand picked last weekend.

Chile Relleno Casserole

I don't think this could qualify as authentic, but it works for us.  We eat the baked casserole inside of whole wheat tortillas, topped with taco sauce or salsa and sour cream.  Some avocado would be great in here also, but it's not needed.

-1 (7 oz) can chiles
-10 eggs
-1 1/2 cups skim milk
-1 tsp salt
-fresh ground black pepper
-1 3/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese

Whisk together chiles, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.  Stir in cheese.  Pour into a greased 13x9 pan.  Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes (until eggs are set and top starts to brown).

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

These muffins are definitely on the healthy side, and I feel like some flavor is sacrificed in my efforts to keep oil, white flour, and sugar to a minimum.  Lemon juice could also be used in place of the orange juice for a different flavor combination.

-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1 Tbsp baking powder
-1/4 cup orange juice
-3/4 cup skim milk
-1/4 cup canola oil
-1 egg
-1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder.  Combine orange juice, milk, oil and egg in a separate bowl, whisk until mixed.  Slowly stir juice/milk/ egg mixture into dry ingredients.  Fold in blueberries.  Bake at 400 for 22-24 minutes.


Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!!!!!

Above is one of the homemade Father's Day cards that I made to give to our Dad's.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chicken Salad with Cranberries

Chicken Salad with Cranberries

This has recently become my favorite lunch, or quick week night dinner.  Poached, diced (or shredded) chicken could be used in place of the canned, but I'm usually making this when I'm in a hurry and the convenience of canned chicken is much appreciated.  Serve with your favorite crackers, or as a sandwich.  If I had had fresh lemon lying around I would have also added the juice of 1/2 a lemon, but it's great without it also.  I also make a similar chicken salad with the same dressing base, but with dried cranberries, dried apricots, sliced almonds, and no celery or red onion... either way this salad is delicious!  This will make about 2 sandwiches when made according to the recipe, increase amounts for more people.  All of these amounts are estimated, because I don't measure anything when I'm assembling

-1 (10-12) oz can chicken, drained
-2 Tbsp mayo
-2 Tsp dijon mustard
-1 tsp honey
-fresh ground black pepper
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 stalk celery, diced
-1/8 red onion, diced
-1/4 cup dried cranberries

In medium bowl whisk together mayo, dijon mustard, honey, black pepper and salt.  Add chicken, breaking it up with a fork.  Stir in celery, red onion, and cranberries.


Monday, June 14, 2010

21 weeks

Here's what is going on with Noah this week, according to;

Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now. You're probably feeling pretty comfortable these days. You're not too big yet, and the usual discomforts associated with early pregnancy are, for the most part, gone. If you're feeling good, relax and enjoy it while you can — the third trimester may bring with it a new crop of complaints. That's not to say you won't have some minor glitches to deal with now. For example, increased oil production may contribute to the development (or worsening) of acne. If that's the case, be diligent about washing well with a gentle soap or cleanser twice a day, and make sure that any moisturizer or make-up you use is oil-free. You're also more prone to varicose veins now. As your pregnancy progresses, there's increasing pressure on the veins in your legs; higher progesterone levels, which may cause the walls of your veins to relax, can make the problem worse. You're more likely to get varicose veins if other family members have them. Also, they tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you age. To help prevent or minimize varicose veins, exercise daily, prop up your feet and legs whenever possible, sleep on your left side, and wear maternity support hose. You may also notice so-called spider veins (a group of tiny blood vessels near the surface of your skin), particularly on your ankles, legs, or face. They may have a spider- or sunburst-like pattern with little branches radiating out from the center, they may look like the branches of a tree, or they may be a group of separate thin lines with no particular pattern. Though they may be a bit unsightly, spider veins don't cause discomfort and usually disappear after delivery.

As for me, the doctor's appointment went well last week.  Jeremy and I loved looking at Noah.  He had his legs up to his face, and his hand grabbing one of his feet.  They estimated that he weighed about 14 oz, as of last Wednesday and said that he's right on track with everything.  Everything was healthy and where it is supposed to be.  I'm still feeling great, maybe just a little tired, but overall I'm feeling good.  I can feel Noah moving around lots, and I think Jeremy has been able to feel him through my belly about 3 times as of now.  I'm starting to get hot a lot.  I know it's hot in New Orleans, and that I'll be hot outside, but now I even find myself frequently uncomfortably warm even when I'm in air conditioning.  This is definitely going to be a long summer!  No new changes recently though.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Greek Dinner

Tonight we had a couple over for a Greek inspired dinner.  We had a fun night of food, Phase 10, and conversation.  It's so refreshing to spend time with like-minded friends!

I made Chicken Gyros that were good (although not my best meal).  And served them with my favorite Greek Salad.  I also made some delicious roasted potatoes (recipe below), that Jeremy said may have been the best roasted potatoes that he's ever had (so I think I'll be making these again).  Our friends brought some yummy hummus and a watermelon to cut up for dessert.  It was all delicious, and just happened to be very healthy also!

Greek Roasted Potatoes (sorry, no picture for this one... we ate them all before I could take one)

-3 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into bite sized chunks
-juice of 1 lemon
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp salt
-fresh ground black pepper
-1/2 tsp dried basil
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp dried marjoram
-1/2 tsp dried rosemary
-1/8 cup olive oil

Boil potatoes for until fork tender (about 5 minutes).  While potatoes are boiling whisk together remaining ingredients in large plastic container.  Drain potatoes and add them to the container with the remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate and marinade potatoes for 4-12 hours.  Roast potatoes in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes (or until brown and crisp), flipping potatoes half way through.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Baby Name Announcement

Tonight we had a great spontaneous family evening with Jeremy's parents and sister.  We ate, played Yahtzee, talked, and all laid hands on my belly and prayed over our little one.  Good times for sure!

We also announced our son's name to them, so it's official that we are sharing the name now.  But before I get to that, it's cool how the name came to be...

A week or two before we found out whether our child was a boy or girl Jeremy started praying for if our child was a boy, for God to give him a name that had meaning, that we could speak into our childs life.  Within a few days Jeremy felt the Lord leading him to Noah.  Jeremy meditated on how in Noah's day the world was extremely depraved and corrupt (so much so that God purged the entire human race besides Noah and his family through the flood), but Noah was found blameless and righteous despite the world around him.  Noah was a man of God

Genesis 6:5-9 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.

And this is what we pray for our son, that despite the depravity around him, despite the corruption in the world, that he will be righteous, blameless, and that he will walk with God.
So (drum roll please) Noah Dominic Mangerchine it is.  Dominic was chosen because we like the name, because it hints on the Italian heritage of the Mangerchine roots, and because it means "of God" and I just LOVE that!!!!!  (In case you are wondering Noah means rest/ comfort in Hebrew).
So there you have it folks.

Being faithful with what I'm given

This week I have been finishing up the book of Matthew (which it seems that I have been reading through for months!).  I was especially struck by the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.  I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this parable, one of the first sermons that I ever heard, and the first sermon that I can actually remember was 5 yeas ago, on this specific parable.

Click here to read the parable in its entirety on

This parable has had me asking myself; Am I being faithful with what my Lord has entrusted to me?  With my provision, money, time, spiritual gifts etc.  And unfortunately the answer is no... in two specific areas. 

I'm not being faithful with my time... I'm being selfish, I'm doing the things that I want to do, with whom I want to do them, and am missing out on the bigger picture that I am blessed to be a blessing to others... to the nations (or if you want to refer to it in the hip Christianese that our church is using as we go through this series, I haven't been doing a good job of living sent). 

The second area in which I haven't been doing a good job of being faithful is in using my gifts... particularly hospitality.  And I don't mean that we haven't been having people into our home, we have been.  But I'm referring back to this post that I wrote referring to fellowship as inviting over others that are like us, and hospitality as entertaining strangers, and those different than us.  Not that I don't think God loves it and is glorified through us fellowshipping with our friends... because He does love that, and is glorified through it, and uses that time to encourage and refresh us.  But the key there is us, it's not all about us, and I need to do a better job of remembering this.  Of remembering that I have been entrusted with my gifts for specific reasons, for God to use them for His purposes and glory, and that I want to be faithful with them.  I want to hear my Master say "Well done, good and faithful slave".

Matthew 25:23 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'

So this is my current prayer; to learn to be faithful with what I have been entrusted, for the Lord to show me opportunities to do this.

This week my friends, spend some time in prayer and reflection asking God to show you if you're being faithful with what He has entrusted to you.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


As of today I have officially notified my employer that I will be a stay-at-home mom once our baby is born in October.  My employer handled it great and was very supportive.  As of now we plan on interviewing possible replacements for me in early October and then hope to have a little overlap for me to train someone before I leave.

This is all so bittersweet!  I'm so excited for this next season of life, for the blessing of a child, the opportunity to be able to stay home with our little one, the responsibility of raising up the next generation, the freedom to dedicate myself more fully to running our home and family.  But I'm sad to know that this current season of life is quickly coming to an end.  That soon I'll be saying goodbye to a job and co-workers that I love. 

And with our decision for me to stay home (at least as long as we can afford it) comes lots of sacrifice.  With cutting out my entire income we will be cutting out our entertainment/ date fund and will be adjusting other various areas of our budget.  Let's just say that things will be really tight.  But we are ready and excited to embrace that, we have weighed the costs and have decided together that this is the best decision for our family at this time.  Thankfully we are already used to living fairly frugally.  Thankfully we are already used to living on a budget, and therefore have a good understanding of how much it takes a month for us to live.  Thankfully the Lord has provided for us to make this possible.

So here I sit, enjoying the present moment.  Trying to cherish it for all that it's worth, because I know that just around the corner things will all be changing... not for the better, or worse, but it will just be different.  So I enjoy every date night with my husband just a little more knowing that they are limited.  I sit around the lunch table just a little longer with my co-workers, knowing that soon I won't see them everyday.  I savor each moment of sleep, knowing that soon I'll go a time where it will be limited.  I enjoy the freedom to be random and spontanteous and have my husband all to myself, knowing that soon we'll have an additional family member with whom to share ourselves.  I enjoy the long commutes with my husband each day just a little more, knowing that soon he'll be doing the drive all by himself, and that I'll be waiting at home for him after not having seen him all day.  This season of life has been sweet, and I want to enjoy it for all that it's worth before the Lord brings us to the next season.  I want to live in the moment, rather than anxiously awaiting and dreaming of what lies ahead, and all the while forgetting the current goodness that surrounds me.  I want to experience God where I am right now, as He works in and through and around me and not miss a moment with Him.

And so here I am, on the cusp of change, but not quite there yet. 


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

weekly verse: Matthew 28:18-20

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

This week I'll be memorizing The Great Commission.  Here are some of my thoughts so far;
-Jesus was given all authority
-"Go therefore and make disciples..." is more accurately translated to "as you go", "as you are going", or "along the way"... How often do I get annoyed at the "interuptions" that happen as I go about my day?  How often do I look at anything not on my schedule, plan, or routine as an inconvenience?  How many times have I passed up the opportunity to join God in what He is doing, because I was stuck on where I was going (or what I was doing) rather than what was happening along the way, and how He was working through that?  This should be a natural overflow of my love for Him and His work in my life, that disciples are made as I go.
-He doesn't give a program or formula for making disciples... it flows out of my relationship with Him
-I am to make disciples of all nations (not just the one in which I currently reside)
-He is always with me


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos with quick refried beans

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

This meal is super easy and healthy.  It was so convenient to come home from a baby shower to dinner already made in the slow cooker and ready to go.  1 cup salsa could be substituted for the Rotel, and 1/2 Tbsp eash of chili powder and cumin and 1 tsp salt could be substituted for the taco seasoning.  I served this on whole wheat flour tortillas, but any variety of hard or soft taco shells would work great.  Serve with a variety of toppings including; sliced jalapenos, sour cream, cheese, shreeded lettuce, taco sauce, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, chopped red onion, and avocado. 

-2 lbs chicken breast, trimmed of fat
-1 can Rotel
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 Tbsp taco seasoning

Place Rotel, garlic and taco seasoning in slow cooker, stir to combine.  Layer chicken on top of tomato mixture.  Spoon some tomatoes on top of the chicken breasts.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Shred meat directly in slow cooker and serve.

Quick Refried Beans

These were the best refried beans that I've ever eaten!  Pinto beans could be used in place of the black beans, but I like black beans best.  Any liquid could be used in place of a jalapeno brine (water, broth, or lime juice), but I like the kick that the jalapeno brine gave the beans and that saved me from needing to add salt (if using water add some cayenne or hot sauce, and salt to taste).  This could be served cold or warm with tortilla chips as a great black bean dip, the bottom layer of a 7 layer dip, or as a healthy side to any Mexican meal.  I made a bean burrito with cheese, taco sauce, and sour cream with some of the leftovers and it was excellent.  You could also add some cheese when heating the beans (or to the top for serving), but they were so good on their own that I didn't think they needed anything else.

-2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 clove garlic, minced
-a few Tablespoons of brine from a jar or can of pickled jalapenos

Place beans and garlic in food processor or blender.  Turn on to process beans.  Add a few Tablespoons of jalapeno brine at a time to processing beans until they have reached desired consistency.  At this point you could refrigerate for a few hours prior to heating and serving, heat and serve immediately, or serve as is for a cold black bean dip. 


20 weeks

Here's what's going on this week according to;

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)  He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).  Congratulations! You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy. The top of your uterus is about level with your belly button, and you've likely gained around 10 pounds. Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on.  Make sure you're getting enough iron, a mineral that's used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen). During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume, as well as for your growing baby and the placenta. Red meat is one of the best sources of iron for pregnant women. Poultry (especially the dark meat) and shellfish also contain iron. Some common non-meat sources of iron include legumes, soy-based products, spinach, prune juice, raisins, and iron-fortified cereals.

As for me; I'm still feeling good, still growing, and still hungry.  There really hasn't been any change in my symptoms the last few weeks, just in the size of my belly.  I can feel the baby move around a lot, and Jeremy has now been able to feel the movement on two separate occasions.  We've narrowed down our names to our top favorite boy and girl name and now we're just waiting until Wednesday to find out the gender of our little one.  I'm still not much of a sweet person, but I did really enjoy dessert for the first time in months when I had some Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle today (I will definitely be making this soon!  And yes, I'll post the recipe when I do).  I'm still loving and wanting all things meaty and am really starting to wonder if I'll ever be a vegetarian again after having the baby.  This evening I got the biggest urge for orange juice at 8 pm and Jeremy was nice enough to indulge my craving.  We ended up on a spontanteous drive around Uptown listening to music and picking up my orange juice (that's the first time that we've run out to get something that I was really wanting, so far I've just ignored any major cravings that I had if they were for anything that we didn't have at home).  Cucumbers have also become one of my favorites lately and I love snacking on them at work.  That's it for this week, more to come after the ultrasound on Wednesay!


afternoon cardmaking

this afternoon i squeezed in a bit of creative time for the first time in months.  i got my father's day cards made (to be shown later) and also made a few of these bird cards for random occasions to come.

What have you been creating lately?