Baby Barto: Week 31

me at week 31: This week, we started Bradley childbirth classes. We meet with the instructor and 4 other couples once a week, for 8 weeks. The Bradley method is based upon relaxation during labor & delivery while positioning your body in the most effective ways possible to allow for a healthy birth. We talk a lot about good nutrition during pregnancy and learn exercises and relaxation techniques to prepare for childbirth.  I like that the class is small & intimate, so people aren’t normally afraid to ask about any concern they have.

In my neighborhood, there is a mom’s group that I’m slowly becoming a part of. There’s an email distribution to use to ask for recommendations, give away or sell items, etc. I put out a request to see if anyone had a spring maternity coat for me to borrow for a couple of months. No one had one, but I got a nice reply from another mom who had a bunch of maternity clothes to give away! This week, I went over to her house to pick them up, and boy … did I strike it rich! She had some really nice clothes, which is a huge help to save some monies before Little Miss is born 🙂 I had already so generously received some maternity clothes from my sisters-in-law, but I still needed more items, especially for work. I am so grateful for this mom’s group already. Through the email list, I have received a bunch of new breastmilk storage bags (free), a booster seat (free) and a Baby Bjorn carrier and JJ Cole Bundle Me for a very small cost. The support of the group will be beneficial after Baby Girl is born, I’m sure.

This week I took a video of Little Miss moving around. I had been out shopping all day at the outlets with my friend, Laurel, and was exhausted (I’m finding this is a common theme of third trimester). I was lying on my side on the couch & our little baby was doing some pretty intense exercises 🙂

(Keep your eyes on the upper portion of the video, the left side of my belly.)

{video embedded}

Baby Girl Barto at week 31:  This week, she measures over 16 inches long.  Baby Girl weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. She’s probably moving a lot, too (check), so Mommy may have trouble sleeping because your baby’s kicks and somersaults keep you up. All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy (yay!).

{Most of this fun information is from}


Baby Barto: Week 30


me at week 30: Week 30!? This pregnancy is flying by.

This weekend, while Michael was in Vegas for his “man shower,” I had a dream that I went skydiving while pregnant. I had gone skydiving in June with my brother (in reality) and in my dream, I also went skydiving with him. It didn’t occur to me that I was pregnant & really shouldn’t be skydiving until after I got down to the earth.

Since our life insurance company was nervous because I went skydiving in the last year, they made me promise that I can’t go skydiving ever again, or else my insurance would be voided. So, don’t worry Mom, I won’t be running off to dive out of a plane as soon as Baby Girl is born. 🙂

Also, I thought this was really fascinating. It’s an interactive graphic that shows how my organs move & make room for Little Girl Barto throughout the pregnancy. Being pregnant has really made me realize how absolutely amazing the human body is. My organs knowing what to do with themselves (and still function), as well as my body knowing how to make another human out of a few particular cells is mind-boggling.

Baby Girl Barto at week 30:  Baby Girl Barto is about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in my uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it’s not very keen; even after she’s born, she’ll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she’ll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.) … Interestingly, right after she’s born, the perfect distance for her to make out facial features is the distance from my face to hers while breastfeeding.

{Most of this fun information is from}

Baby Barto: Week 29


{my photographer was absent while getting in a good bout of business travel before being on lock-down!}

me at week 29: This week, she woke me up for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd times in the middle of the night with her kicking! I know it sounds cliche, but I absolutely love it & don’t mind it at all. I love lying on my side (the position in which she kicks the most) and just feeling her move around my belly.  

This week, I picked up a 2nd prenatal yoga class; so now I go on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It’s definitely like other workouts in the sense that sometimes I may not want to go, but when I get there, I’m so glad I went.

I’m now starting to get comments on how huge my belly is.  Some even scoff when I tell them my due date in April. I could do without those reactions & comments 🙂  I am pretty short, which means my torso is short & Baby Girl has nowhere to go but OUT! It’ll definitely be interesting to see how my belly expands over the next 11 weeks.

Baby Girl Barto at week 29:  Little Miss Barto now weighs about 2.5 pounds (butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain. This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in her hardening skeleton each day.

maiden voyage: cashew chicken

For her maiden voyage, our new kitchen made us chicken.

Actually, Michael made it and I helped. As great as the kitchen is, we didn’t spring for the upgrade to self-cooking chicken.

err, kitchen.

I found this recipe via my sister, on Pinterest. (Of course, I really didn’t find it ON Pinterest, yet I found it via Pinterest, on the blog the letter 4.) So, I have to give credit to my see-store for this yummy find. It was delicious & very easy. The most time consuming part was cutting up the ingredients, which you could definitely do ahead of time.

While we both thought it wasn’t as good as Pioneer Woman’s Beef with Snow Peas, this is definitely a tasty alternative when you want to use chicken instead of beef.

We served it with jasmine rice and it was downright deeee-licious.


{now we’re cooking with gas!}



3 chicken breasts, or 4 boneless thighs
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced {we omitted.}
1/2 lb.  snow peas
4 green onions, chopped {we omitted.}
1 small can bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained {Yup, we omitted these too. Couldn’t find them at the store.}
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt

{we also added baby carrots, sliced thinly long-ways}

Cut chicken into 1″ pieces.  Whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and salt.  Heat oil in skillet on medium heat and add nuts to the pan.  Stir fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add chicken until cooked through.  Add peas, mushrooms, chicken broth, and soy sauce mixture {and carrots}.  Cook until it boils and thickens, stirring constantly.  Add green onions and serve over rice.


kitchen reveal.

When we bought this house in September of 2010, we knew we wanted to renovate the kitchen. I didn’t have any specific ideas in mind, but I wanted the space to be more open & airy, with clean lines, yet true to the character of the house. I’ll let the before/after pictures speak for themselves, but I think this was accomplished.

I want to say, first of all, that Hurst Total Home did all of the work, from the layout, to the structural considerations, to the actual construction. We were very pleased with the team we worked with at Hurst, and would recommend them to anyone in the Dayton, Ohio area. While they did all of the hard work, I had fun picking out the textile-type aspects of the kitchen … cabinets, counters, hardware, tile, etc. 🙂





(those 3 drawers still need hardware… 1 of a couple minor details yet to be finished.)









Ta daaaa!

We still can’t believe it’s our kitchen. We cooked dinner in it for the first time last night, and I think we both felt a little timid. I was so accustomed to using the microwave in the living room and the fridge in the dining room … I still found myself going to get water from the gallon jug in the dining room fridge, even though the water dispenser in the new fridge is fully functional.

Some details … the cabinets are custom by DeWils (black is stain, white is paint), counters are Cambria quartz, hardware is by Amerock, and all appliances are from the GE Cafe line except for the drawer microwave, which is Sharp.

{quartz counters by Cambria}

We had some more work done around the house by the same contracting company; I’ll post about those later. We loved our home before the renovations, but now … we LOVE our home 🙂  The functionality, design, character, warmth … it’s kind of ridiculous how much I love our home.

bouquet from the hubs and …

a kitchen teaser!

HA. That’s all you’re getting!

The kitchen is done (except for a few very minor items)!

I’m going to take pics of the kitchen tomorrow morning & post them … you’re going to pee your pants.


But back to the flowers … they are gorgeous. He’s amazing.

He finds the most beautiful flowers at The Flowerman, a warehouse-type place that has a big walk-in fridge, full of buckets of bunches of flowers … all priced pretty reasonably. I highly recommend it if you live in the Dayton area & want to make someone swoon 🙂

the homeland.

Back in October, I went to Warsaw, Poland, to spend a week with a team of colleagues who work there. I work with them on a daily basis, so from a professional perspective, it was a very helpful trip.

However, it was a great trip from a personal standpoint, too. The city of Warsaw is not the most modern city I’ve ever been to, but it has some very beautiful pockets. The amazing thing about Warsaw, and Poland in general, is the pride and loyalty of its people. Poland was founded hundreds of years ago, but during the 1800s, Poland actually didn’t exist. Neighboring countries have fought for control over Poland, but the strength of the Polish people has always persevered in the end. While I am biologically Irish & Scottish (and very proud of that 🙂 ), I am also proud to be Polish by marriage!

I flew in with a coworker of mine and arrived late on a Sunday morning.

{ view from my hotel room at the Marriott }

I was tired from the jet lag (it was really the wee hours of the morning in the US), but I wanted to explore. So, we went to Old Town.

{ walking down Nowy Swiat to Old Town }

{ Nicolaus Copernicus, the Polish astronomer (below. not this guy ^) }

{ Michael’s likeness, holding up a (very heavy) building. }

{ state-of-the-art Mercedes plant. }

{ Presidential palace. }

{ A celebration for Pope John Paul II, who was Polish. }

{ very colorful buildings. }

{ they get married in Poland, too. }

{ the latest fashion trends, hot off the press from Warsaw }

{ classic. exactly how I would picture a typical old Polish man. }

{ Lody ice cream. Unfortunately, even I thought it was too chilly for ice cream. }

{ outdoor restaurants all over the square. }

{ me+baby. about 13 weeks pregnant. }

{ we had dinner at one of these restaurants. }

{ Polish birdies. }

{ rabbit. it was delicious. }

{ the Polish birds were very friendly. }

{ they didn’t think it was too cold for Lody ice cream. }

{ lots of Sunday weddings in Warsaw, apparently. }

I had a great trip & would love to go back with Michael someday.