Food + Wine

Spring Fever

The fact that this is my second pregnancy would make you think it’s easier. My body should know what’s going on, my brain should know how to deal and I should take so much comfort in the fact that I’ve done this before. But it’s amazing to me that I am struggling with so many things this time around. I never had any issues with physical activity when I was pregnant with my son, but now I swear to you that I cannot even climb my stairs without having to stop at the top and sit down to catch my breath. Sometimes I can’t even make it to the top before I need a break….there are 14 steps…we’re not talkin’ tough stuff here. And then you combine that with the fact that I am so completely forgetful and absent minded with this pregnancy, you get a whole lot of walking up and down the stairs to retrieve the things I should have had on my person in the first place. Things like my son’s socks, his shoes, sometimes his pants, sometimes my pants, the family dog needing to be put in her crate which happens to be 14 steps back up the mountain. Now I understand all those crazy people who have elevators in their homes. I totally get that now and I want one.

I’m also struggling with personal space issues. I don’t realize how large my midsection is. I look at a space in between two tables or two people and go to walk right through it only to find that I’m completely stuck or I’ve run into two completely bewildered old ladies. I was at the store the other day buying a couple of things with my three year old who loves to go through the ‘U Scan’ aisle of the store, the one where you scan your own groceries and you put the money into the slot, etc., and we started to scan our items when the machine told me to, “please remove all objects from the scanner and wait before starting again.” I looked down, nothing was on the scanner. I looked at my son, he wasn’t waving anything over the scanner.

I looked at the store clerk and said,

“Um, your scanner is broken, it keeps telling me I have something on the scanner and as you can see, I obviously do not.”

The store clerk, a sweet, young girl, came over to me and said,

Oh, um, ma’am, (I hate ma’am. What is that? I have almost 2 kids and all of a sudden I’m a ma’am? What ever happened to Miss?), I think it’s you.”

I looked down and saw that my belly, now so large that it is hanging over the bar code scanner and somewhat resting on the counter, had set the thing off.

I can’t reach things like I used to, I can’t tell you what anything below my belly button looks like, and I can’t complete simple grooming tasks anymore. I remember when I was 9 months pregnant with my son, my husband had to shave my legs for me. He was so terrified. And it took him 30 minutes. By the time I got out of the tub, I looked like a 90 year old pregnant lady. With this pregnancy, I started having trouble shaving last month…I’m 7 1/2 months along. You do the math. I also can’t reach my feet. Last week I glanced down at my toes only to realize 3 out of the 10 of them still had paint on. Thank goodness for boot weather. I tried to give myself a pedicure and absolutely could not reach that far down. I tried twisting to the side, lifting my leg up to my head, twisting to the other side, nothin’. So I called my mother and asked if she would come over and give me a pedicure. She, of course, had more of a life than to drop everything and drive 10 minutes to paint her daughters nails. So I came up with a much better solution…

Now, that’s love.

Things like this never happened with my first. Back then I had people telling me I was so petite and cute and sweet, and now I’m a big, fat ma’am. My measurements and weight are still the same as they were when I was pregnant the first time, (unless my mid-wife is lying to me to keep me sane), but for some reason I just don’t feel it. Why is that?

I’m also finding myself so completely ready for this pregnancy to be over with, for Winter to be gone and Spring to be here at last. I guess that could be because nothing is really new to me now. I know what’s coming next, I know how this whole ‘having a baby thing’ works, and I remember what labor feels like. Well, sort-of. I mostly remember being in so much pain that I couldn’t stop shaking and then passing out and then waking up in so much pain that I couldn’t move. I’m only hoping that with the birth of my daughter, I will have much more peace. I’m envious of my very good friend, Beth, who gave birth naturally to 2 beautiful children (one of them almost 10 pounds) with no problem. She is my role model, my personal hero, and I am hoping that by the power of positive thinking I can have that too.

And then I feel guilty about wanting this pregnancy to be over with. That can’t be healthy, right? I loved being pregnant with my son and that is just not the case with my daughter. Does that mean I won’t be as attached to her when she’s born? You see, this is what I do. I sit around and stress and obsess over things that haven’t even happened yet. I’m sure everything will be fine and I’m even more sure that I need to just calm down and really focus on how fortunate I am to have the things that I have, (this is my mother talking now…), I need to sit back and enjoy this pregnancy because it is the last one I will ever go through. As Beth told me after the birth of her most recent child, “Don’t worry, one day after this baby is born, you will find yourself wishing she was back in your belly.”

At least my son is having fun with the fact that there is a baby inside mommy’s belly. He wants to talk to her, give her kisses and listen to her. He’ll tell me he hears her inside playing with trucks. It’s the moments like those that make me enjoy this more, when my two boys place their hands on my belly, when I get to see the look on my son’s face as he feels a big kick or the reaction my husband gives me when he feels her rolling around. It makes me feel magical and super human. Those are the moments I need to hold onto more.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to try to relax more with my boys, try to enjoy my insanely large belly, and obviously avoid the U-Scan.
My cravings have been fairly similar to what they were the first time around, nothing weird, just really good food, heavy on the carbs. This recipe has been one of my favorites, it somehow reminds me of Spring, and I’m happy to share it with you now.

*Abbey’s Rice Pudding

-3/4 cup arborio rice
-kosher salt for the boiling water
-2 cans evaporated, whole milk
-1 cup of low fat milk (may not need to be used, but keep it handy)
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1 egg, beaten
-good splash of vanilla extract
–Bring 1 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil, add in your rice. Once it comes back to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Continue to cook on low heat, covered until the water is absorbed.
–Stir in the 2 cans of milk and the sugar, bring back to a boil, then back down to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the rice is very soft.
–Slowly stir in the beaten egg and while stirring, cook for 1 minute to allow the egg to cook.
–If your pudding is too tight, add some of the milk, a little bit at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
–Stir in your vanilla and taste to check seasoning, it may need a bit more salt to balance out the sweetness.
–This is best served hot, warm, room temperature, or cold out of a very large bowl set atop your belly with a very large spoon.
(note- this actually freezes well!)

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  • Reply homeladychef January 20, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Oh… Ur hubby is sweet! I The scanner story is so hilarious, hahahah… I think sooner or later it's my turn…

  • Reply mollygorman January 20, 2011 at 3:18 am

    i loved reading this post! it's nice to not feel alone!
    first of all, the forgetfulness. i am a dept manager and i am always forgetting things! i walk around work with a notepad to remember anything and everything. just today an associate said to me "remember when you said i could have 2 weeks off in June..?" and i was like NO! are you pulling a fast one on me!! today i forgot to attend a confrence call. i felt so lame but i called the buyer back and blamed it on the pregnancy (and the dr visit) hey, i can't use this excuse again, can i ?!
    i am a little out of breath as well, but the back pain is really killing me.
    i'm def ready for these 2 months to fly. i'm not "loving" this like others claim to have loved their preg. it's just ok, fine. but i'm not gaga over this thing!
    thanks for sharing!! and keep the scanning to the professionals! molly

  • Reply Everyday Champagne January 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks HomeladyChef! I hope that when it is your turn, you can take comfort in knowing that everything you will go through will be perfectly normal… no matter how weird, painful or hilarious!
    And hello Molly! Thanks for joining us here! As far as your back pain is concerned, have you tried a maternity pillow? Mine completely changed my life! And yes, you can use this pregnancy as an excuse for anything and everything!
    Thanks for reading ladies!

  • Reply Tinky January 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    The rice pudding looks SO comforting. And never fear, you will be a miss again soon…

  • Reply Erica January 21, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Abbey!
    I just found your blog the other day while I was looking for ideas for Parsnips- found your Parsnips & Beets with honey and feta. I really like your blog! You have great recipes and a lot that feature veggies/fruit which I'm working on incorporating with more variety in my own family.
    Today's scanner story had me cracking up! Poor girl! Congrats on the impending baby girl. I have a little girl who's 4 and I just adore having a girl.
    Love your tips too for saving. I have to admit that going into a store and making the meal plan on the way out is a bit scary and foreign to me- mostly just the complete opposite. But I can definitely see how you can save money that way!
    I haven't tried any of you're recipes yet, but I'm excited to try. Thanks for sharing!

    Oh for my parsnip recipe I made my own creation and it turned out something like this:
    Honey Glazed Carrots, Parsnip, and Pears with Feta
    spices: cinnamon and rosemary.
    Thanks! and Happy Blogging!


  • Reply Everyday Champagne January 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Thank you Tinky! I can only hope… 🙂

    Erica-thank you for your comment! I'm so glad you stumbled upon my blog and your parsnip recipe sounds delicious!! I hope I can keep your attention 🙂

  • Reply mollygorman January 23, 2011 at 2:16 am

    oh, i've tried pillows – the preg ones are too big for me and the bed!but i kind of shove various ones around me.
    my dr says it's not "baby" back pain but muscular pain. i think it may be my posture or being at the desk at work but also as a result of the baby awkward weight. as long as i keep moving at work and don't stay at my desk, it doesn't get too bag.

  • Reply My Carolina Kitchen January 23, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Abbey, what a cute story about the scanner. It helps to keep a good sense of humor in life doesn't it?

    I've never been pregnant but I can sympathize with not being able to reach your toes as well as you used to. I splurge and have pedicures now. My husband of forty-one years is an angel but there's no way he would paint my toes. Your guy is a keeper.

  • Reply Everyday Champagne February 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks Carolina! I should definitely splurge on a pedicure…but splurging on anything for me is extra hard! You're so sweet to read and comment, thank you!

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