Thank you, Illustrated Bites, for sharing the lovely herb illustration! Check out the other great food illustrations they have on their website as well!
Since being pregnant I’ve been striving to get 80-100 grams of protein a day. Protein is vital to a healthy pregnancy and baby development. My midwife is a stickler about getting enough protein everyday and one of the ways she recommends doing it is by making a protein shake (or two, depending on how far along you are) everyday.
It makes it easier to get a lot of protein in one place and not feel like you are eating all day long. You can also add different things to it for even more protein, like Greek yogurt (Chobani has the most protein per serving I found so far).
One thing to watch for though is to make sure that the protein powder you use has very little or no sugar in it.
The one thing that stands out the most to me about getting enough protein everyday is the difference it has made for me personally as far as swelling. If I have all that I am supposed to, I barely swell at all, even after being on my feet all day. If I don’t, I can tell, as my ankles get puffy. It really makes a difference!
There are lots of different recipes online for protein shakes. The one that I use I found on Pinterest. It is low sugar and high protein. Here is the link for the original, but as you can see I tweaked it for my own use.
Chocolate Banana Protein Shake
1 cup 2% milk (about 8 grams of protein)
1/2 frozen banana
1-2 scoops of protein powder (I am using 2 scoops of vanilla flavored powder and getting 52 grams of protein from it)
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.
Yesterday was the 24 week mark—now we have more behind us than in front of us and it won’t be too much longer before we are holding our little princess in our arms. I cannot wait to meet her! Between the little girls at church and my baby cousin we got to see yesterday, our arms are aching to hold our Livie and see who she looks like.
Olivia has introduced me to several new things over the last few weeks: sciatic nerve pain, heartburn, feeling like a beached whale, waddling occasionally, and NESTING. Nesting hit me full force last week and I was ready to repaint and redecorate everything. Suddenly I urgently want to get things done before the baby gets here. Some of my projects amuse Jacob and some of them make him cringe—like wanting to repaint the bedroom and make a new headboard and build the co-sleeper and get the flowerbeds ready….
I love feeling her move and kick all day. She is so active and now her movement are starting to be more than just kicks and flutters. She makes my belly move so much that we can see it and sometimes it feels like she is gently patting me from the inside. I love it! I never knew it would be this much fun <3
My belly is ever-expanding, but I can still see my feet! Adjusting my wardrobe has been, well, let’s say it’s been a learning experience. I’m finally starting to break down and make some maternity clothes. I’ve bought a few outfits but it is getting hard to find what I want and like. I’m currently working on a pattern for a knit top. It might be finished by this weekend, but who knows? ;)
Gifts have started arriving in little spurts for our girl. Sweet little dresses and shoes are hanging in the guest bedroom closet next to her Daddy’s work shirts. I started a smocked dress for her last week. All the smocking needs to be finished is a few little purple flowers around the wreath.
After all this time of making little dresses for other little girls, I’m finally making pretty stuff for my own angel ;)
Olivia loves to listen to her Daddy’s voice—she gets very hyper when he talks to her. She also LOVES church. When I play the organ or piano she moves and jumps so much that it threw me off and made me lose my place a few times until I got used to it. This last weekend I was listening to a song that our choir is learning and as soon as I turned it on she started acting like she was at church. So far the only kind of music that she really responds to is black gospel and some classical. The black gospel is understandable since we are at church a lot ;) This song always gets a reaction from her—it is the new one that our choir learned:
I’ll close with that. I’ve got to play catch-up today after our long weekend and anniversary service for our church. Laundry is taunting me and it needs attention.
Hope you have a great week!
The Benefits of Line-Dried Laundry
At the beginning I want to say that this is not a dryer bashing post. I am so thankful for my electric dryer! It enables me to do laundry when it is raining, or in the middle of the night if I need to. It is a great blessing to me, but I am thrilled to not have to use it for every load of laundry now that I have a clothesline in my backyard.
I love crawling into a bed freshly made with sheets fresh off of the clothesline. It makes the whole room smell like fresh air and sunshine. When I bring my line-dried clothes inside and put them away I feel like I am making the whole smell fresh. I grew up with a clothesline and line-dried laundry, so that is what “home” smells and feels like to me. I love looking out of my kitchen window and watching my clean laundry billow in the breeze.
I’ve been greatly enjoying my clothesline the last few weeks. I didn’t realize how much joy I was going to get from something as simple as hanging my laundry outside almost everyday. I get excited about doing laundry now—which for me is big because I am notorious for doing other things to avoid laundry.
Some people curl their nose up at line-dried laundry. I understand this is personal preference, but to me this is silly and the benefits outweigh the reasons some prefer to use a dryer. One thing that I hear from several people is that “line-dried towels are scratchy!” They are, but it’s not like you are using a Brillo pad to dry off with ;). A lot of people (Jacob and I included) prefer them that way. Line-dried towels absorb much more moisture than towels dried in a dryer. When using a dryer-dried towel after being used to towels hung to dry, it feels like the soft towel is only smearing the moisture around and not absorbing much at all.
Another argument that some people have is that it takes too much time to hang clothes out. It really doesn’t take much longer than tossing them in the dryer. The more you hang laundry on the line, the faster you’ll get. I prefer to fold the clothes as I take them off of the clothesline so all I have to do is put them away when I bring them inside. If the laundry is already folded, I will put it away quicker than if I have a pile of laundry looming on the couch waiting to be folded.
Growing up we hung everything outside, but since I’m in the city with neighbors on both sides, I hang out everything except underwear and socks. I do use my dryer for those things and anything small.
Benefits of line-dried clothes:
~Hanging your clothes outside to dry will help cut down on your utility bill, whether you have an electric or gas dryer. Especially if you hang out items that take a long time to dry in a dryer such as towels, blankets, and blue jeans.
~Hanging clothes in the sun is an effective way to get rid of stains. My mom has used this method with great success over the years, simply hanging the stained garment outside in the sun for a few days. This works very well for baby garments which are easily soiled and stained.
~In the same vein, hanging whites outside is a great way to keep them white without having to bleach them very often.
~The sun is a great way to disinfect and kill germs. Many years ago hospitals would periodically take all of the bedding, linens, beds, etc., outside and let them sit in the sunshine. The UV rays in the sun did away with all sorts of germs. I learned this from a nurse friend of mine and she said that an older nurse told her of this practice and also that staph infections started going rampant after the hospitals discontinued this practice.
After learning this, I always try to take bedding and pillows outside to air and soak up sunshine after we’ve been sick.
My mom noticed that when she didn’t hang my siblings’ cloth diapers outside in the sun, but dried them in the dryer, they were more prone to diaper rashes and other irritations.
~You can use less starch on shirts, denim skirts and blue jeans if they are dried on a line rather than in a dryer. Sometimes you can get away with not ironing at all if you make sure all of the hems, collars, and pocket flaps are straight when you first put them on the line.
~It’s a great way to make sure you are getting plenty of vitamin D. My mood and spirits are much improved when I get a little sunshine every day and hanging out my laundry is a wonderful way to accomplish this.
Hurray for clotheslines!
This past Saturday Jacob and I spent working in our backyard clearing bushes and limbs from the fence row. He also re-strung my clothesline and I am so thrilled to finally have one again! I immediately washed a load of laundry so I could use it.
Hurray for husbands and clotheslines!
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – II Timothy 1:7 KJV
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. –II Corinthians 1:20 KJV
Fears and doubts creep into the corners of our minds, often unnoticed. They start so small that we often don’t realize they are there until they have such a grip on our hearts and minds that we are paralyzed. They begin to slowly eat away at our confidence in our Creator until we begin to question His promises and doubt His word. We can be so immobilized by our fears that we are unable to obey the Lord when He calls us.
The enemy knows our weaknesses. That has been established since Eden when Satan tempted Eve and asked her “Hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1). He knows our weaknesses and he exploits them as much as he can. Our weaknesses in the flesh can make us doubt God. The enemy will use the things or hopes dearest to our hearts to cause doubts and fears to take root.
Most of the time, once we realize that we are overtaken by fears and doubts, repent and conquer them, we realize how silly and unfounded our fears were.
My own battle with doubts and fears was a hard one. From my childhood, I have always wanted children of my own. I have always loved children and caring for them and little people hold a special place in my heart. There would be a literal ache in my arms and heart for children—even before I was married. I would cry out the Lord and ask for children.
When I was in my teens, on several occasions different ministers or people with influence in my life would come to me—out of the blue—and tell me that I would be a mother and that God would give me the desires of my heart. Oh I would rejoice and get so excited and praise the Lord for His promises to me. I was ecstatic! The Lord was going to give me the desires of my heart! I had received confirmation from many witnesses and now I was breathlessly awaiting the day that it would happen.
About this time the Lord laid on my heart a heavy burden for ladies who are unable to have children or have suffered miscarriages and loss of children. I ached for their empty arms, and when I heard their stories my heart broke for them and many times I shed tears for them as I called out their names in prayer, asking the Lord to give them a baby.
Then one day when I was about 20, out of nowhere, came a nagging little voice, “What if you can’t have children?” It stopped me dead in my tracks. I scoffed at it. “That is ridiculous” I said. I laughed because I had been given a promise of children and it had been confirmed many times over. Fertility had never been a problem in our family—on either side. I shook the voice off and went on my way.
It was a while before I heard it again. “What if you can’t have children?” I went through the same thoughts as I had the first time—remembering the promises of God, reminding myself of the confirmations I’d been given, and it went away. But it came back. Over and over and over and over again like a song you can’t get out of your head, until one day I asked that question. “What if I can’t have children?” I opened the door wide and let fears and doubts stroll in and take up residence in my heart.
It didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow, gradual process—like water slowly cutting through a rock. There would be times that I would stand up to that fear and doubt and say, “No! God has promised me children. He cannot lie.” The fear would calmly answer back, “Did He specifically say actual children of your own? Or did He mean spiritual children?” “And why did He give you such a burden for barren women? What if you are one of them?”
I never told anyone about the battle I was in.
I forgot about it for awhile and got caught in the realization of another of my dearest desires—being loved by and marrying a Godly man. The fears and doubts were pushed to a dark corner while I basked in the light of new love and a new chapter in my life. The future was bright!
After a little break, the fears surfaced again. I fought hard this time. The Lord had given me a husband, and He would give me children. The fear and doubt agreed with me, “Yes, He gave you a husband, but barren women have husbands too. What if you can’t have children?”
This fear was further fed by the fact that I was on hormonal birth control. We’d decided to use birth control for several reasons for a little while after we got married. It wasn’t a long term decision, it was only temporary, but it fed my fears. I knew going into it that it was not good for me, but I wasn’t going to be on it for very long, so the good side of it outweighed the bad.
Finally the time came when we’d been married about 18 months, we’d been praying asking the Lord when the right time for us to start a family was and I stopped taking birth control. I’d been told that it could take anywhere from 1 month to a year to get pregnant after being on birth control and we were prepared for that possibility.
I began asking the Lord for a baby, ignoring the fears and claiming the promises He’d given me. About three weeks after I stopped taking the pill, we were at church and towards the end of service we were gathered around the altars praying. I don’t remember what I was praying about, but out of nowhere a Voice told me, “You will not be alone for long. I am going to give you a baby.” I began to cry and thank the Lord for letting me know that He had heard my prayers. As further confirmation, a few minutes later, the minister said from the pulpit, “Rejoice, the Lord has heard your prayers and your promise is on its way.” When we left church, I excitedly told Jacob what had happened. He was very happy.
A week later, I started. The fears tried to creep up, but this time I would have none of it. I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord was going to fulfill His promise to me. I decided that it didn’t matter if it took a whole year for us to conceive, I was going to rejoice and thank God for my baby and know that every month that went by and I wasn’t pregnant, was one month closer to my womb being filled.
A month later, I found out that I was pregnant. After seeing the positive result on the test I wept and praised the Lord for nearly an hour. He had kept His promises to me and was giving me a baby.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. –Proverbs 13:12 KJV