Whoa we’re halfway there! 20 weeks pregnant!

Its a boy 20 weeks

How far along: 20 weeks
Gender: It’s a boy!
Weight gain: Next appt is on January 7. We still do not have a scale here 😦
Maternity clothes: Mostly maternity, but I bought some winter shirts a size up that I can wear. My cousin just gave me a ton of maternity clothes and I’m pretty excited to wear them too!
Stretch marks: no?
Belly button in or out: Innie. My cousin said hers never popped, maybe I’ll get lucky too!
Sleep: I still love our bed, I barely move around. I do keep waking up on my back though, which is annoying because I never was a back sleeper before!
Best moment this week:  finding out we are having a boy and seeing all the teeny tiny baby parts on the ultra sound and all of the Christmas fun with family!
Worst moment this week: being so tired from doing so much, then realizing I still have SO much more to do.
Miss anything: not having to worry so much about sugar intake!
Movement: I think the baby is moving, but the doctor said my placenta is in the front and I may not feel the baby move as much 😦
Cravings: still nothing significant
Queasy or sick: Nope, feeling happy and good!
Looking forward to: Our stuff coming from Korea! And see Saving Mr. Banks with Jim on our first ever quiet NYE!

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Disney MagicBands and MyMagic+

100_6073I wanted to share my thoughts on our experience with MagicBands/ MyMagic+ in Disney World a few weeks ago. For those of you who do not know, MagicBands are the new “Keys to the Kingdom” in Disney World. Instead of carrying around a room key (plastic credit card type card) to: enter the parks, retrieve Fastpasses, enter your room, and charge directly to your room, you now receive a lightweight wristband in its place.

Let’s start with the pros for MagicBands:

1. MagicBands come in cool colors and have your name printed on the inside of the band. (To receive a color other than gray, you must preorder these bands [for free] on the My Disney Experience webpage. They are shipped to your house and you must remember to bring them to Disney with you!)

2. You don’t have to dig through your bag, wallet, pocket, to find your plastic card to get into the parks, or your room, because ideally, this band should stay on your wrist for the duration of your visit. (I took mine off to sleep and shower.) Not having to enter Disney parks through a turnstiles was also pretty cool. This eliminated wait times as long as people didn’t ignore the Cast Members when they said, “This entrance is open too.”

3. Same goes with charging something to your room (with a preregistered credit card). You don’t have to take out your wallet to pay for meals, snacks, or souvenirs. Just place the Mickey on your band so that it kisses the Mickey on the scanning device, enter your preregistered pin, and walla, all paid for.

4. The band is synched with your dining plan so that your credits are stored on your band. We did not use the dining plan this time (and saved about $200, but I am a big fan of dining plans for expensive meals/character meals, we just didn’t do that this time.)

5. You can plan out your Fastpasses before you even leave for Disney. This is great because if you’re like me and pregnant, sleeping in instead of rushing to park opening to get a Fastpass is way better.

6. Even if you don’t have a smartphone (which we don’t) you can alter your Fastpass plans the day you’re touring the parks by locating one of the Fastpass+ kiosks, which are placed around all four Disney parks. (There are even Cast Members there to assist you!)

7. The plastic wristbands aren’t as annoying as I thought they would be. I actually missed mine once we left Disney!

8. We did have one Fastpass+ time mix up, but they still let us on the ride even though “they said” we were an hour late. I’m still convinced I was right, and they were wrong.

9. There are even more rides to choose from that now have Fastpass+. We wasted a pass on Pirates of the Caribbean, but it was never an option before. (There was only a 10 minute wait.)

10. We got lucky and were able to use Legacy Fastpasses and Fastpass+ on our trip. I know the Legacy Fastpasses will be disappearing soon and will be going “into the Disney vault” but we were able to use our park hopper passes given to us because we had the Military park hopper voucher. I have heard that even new Key to the Kingdom cards (which you most likely have to request at check in) do not work in Legacy Fastpass machines and that you have to use old ones from past trips (who keeps theirs?!)

Cons for MagicBands:

1. The new Fastpass+ system creates lines for rides that never had lines before. For example, the longest line we waited in, during the first week of December, was for Spaceship Earth. We waited for more than 20 minutes! It’s usually just a walk-in and walk-out kind of ride.  There were lines for Nemo and Figment at Epcot, as well. Luckily, we had Fastpass+ for these and didn’t have to wait. These rides NEVER have lines, even in the summer.

2. I have heard of people having issues linking their bands up to the appropriate member in their party. We didn’t have this problem, but I would have been annoyed if we did.

3. As of now, you can only book THREE Fastpasses per day and they have to all be in the ONE park. I think this is ridiculous. First off, I have had many days in Disney where I was able to print more than three Fastpasses. Also, who really stays in one park ALL day long? Especially since Animal Kingdom always closes first. That’s the issue we ran into. I wanted to use two in AK  during the day and one in MK at night, and it wouldn’t let me.

4. You have to plan your whole trip in advance. (Unless you’re Military and can not link your tickets to your bands until you get to Disney World. This really wasn’t an issue yet, because everyone in the parks isn’t using MyDisney+, but in the future, I think it will be harder to get good Fastpass times.) Generally, I do this anyway depending on which park opens early/closes late, what Easy WDW says about the week’s crowd calendar, and what dining reservations we have. But, some people have NO IDEA how planning a trip works, and how to get the most bang for your buck, and end up in the wrong park, on the wrong day, with Fastpasses that keep them from park hopping.

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to Disney’s multi million dollar MyMagic+ program. According to the New York Times, the MagicBands are supposed to ease the “modern consumers” worries and make it “less daunting” to visit Disney. Last time I checked, Disney is the happiest place on earth, not “daunting” at all, unless you’re riding Mount Everest in AK.

I think on our next trip to Disney World, when legacy Fastpasses are a thing of the past, like Roger Rabbit appearing in the parks, I may have more issues with it. I was also pregnant this time and didn’t need Fastpasses for rides such as: Mount Everest, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, and Splash Mountain. Next time, I will want to ride these rides, plus all the kiddie rides with our baby (okay, maybe two year old.) This will create a stressful situation for us, but in the end the baby will win and we’ll choose Fastpasses for the kid rides (Who am I kidding? I love these rides, especially the new Under the Sea Little Mermaid ride,) and go in the single rider lines for the thrill rides. After all, Disney is for kids, right?

Recipe: Soy Nut Butter Blossom Cookies

100_6135For peanut/tree nut allergy suffers the holidays can be rough. There are so many delicious goodies made with nuts, and you just have to look at them and salivate. Alas, I have recovered one guilty pleasure that I don’t have to live without anymore.

My sister-in-law used to make these amazing cookies for me (before I was allergic to peanut butter.) Apparently, their traditional name is “Peanut Butter Blossoms,” but I just called them the yummy cookies with the Hershey kiss on top. As Christmas is creeping up, I thought about these cookies and how much I missed them. I figured trying them with soy nut butter wouldn’t hurt. So I looked up a recipe, made them, and then ate them….all. Just kidding, I wanted to bring them to Christmas Eve dinner, since I normally can’t eat all of the seven fishy foods everyone makes (shellfish allergy sufferer as well). Not eating the main course, leaves more room for me to enjoy desert.

Soy Nut Butter Blossom Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup soy nut butter (I use this brand)

1 1/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

granulated sugar for rolling dough in

1 bag of Hershey kisses

Directions:

1. Cream butter until smooth

2. Add white sugar, brown sugar, egg, and soy nut butter

3. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt

4. Use a spatula to scoop out dough and place it into plastic wrap

5. Wrap the dough and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes

6. Set oven to 375 degrees F

7. When dough is done in the freezer, roll into small/medium dough balls

8. Roll in sugar and place on ungreased pan

9. Bake 9-11 minutes, until bottom and tops are lightly brown (do no overcook or Hershey kiss will not smoosh in)

10. Take out of oven and press Hershey kiss onto each cookie (make sure you unwrap the kisses while the cookies are baking. I forgot to do this and was unwrapping the candy like a chicken with it’s head cut off, trying to get the kiss on before the cookie cooled)

11. Let cool on pan for 1 minute (I wouldn’t leave them on the pan too long because then the chocolate starts to melt.)

12. Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack or wax paper

13. Store in airtight container

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

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Original recipe from Just a Little Cracked

Babymoon in Disney World

 

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Before I got pregnant, we decided to plan a trip to Disney while Jim was on leave. When we found out we were pregnant, I figured I would just start calling it a babymoon, it was a  happy coincidence. I love Disney, and can’t wait to take our kids. This trip was our last one without kids, unless we lie and say we’re going on a business trip 😉

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I was a few weeks into my second trimester when we left for Disney. It was perfect timing because I had more energy and it is the safest time to fly. I had a little bit of nausea while flying to and from Disney, but other than that the flight was a breeze. The biggest issue was trying to keep my legs uncrossed so that I wouldn’t cause a blood clot!

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We splurged on our hotel and stayed at the Animal Kingdom lodge. It is a beautiful hotel, especially at Christmas. We had a savannah room and it was everything and more than I expected. I had read reviews about the rooms being too dark, they weren’t, and I had also read reviews that it took forever to get to all of the parks from the hotel, it didn’t. I would stay there again and again, if i could. Disney gives the Military amazing discounts, not only did we save on our hotel, we also saved on our four-day park-hopper pass.

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on the safari in Animal Kingdom

I wasn’t able to do any of the thrill rides (rollercoasters, etc) but I did go on the safari in Animal Kingdom, even though Disney says you shouldn’t ride it if you’re pregnant. I sat in the middle of the jeep (which I requested) and didn’t have any trouble. It was a bumpy ride, but nothing a person who is only 16 weeks pregnant can’t handle, unless you’re nauseous and then I would say skip it. Here is a list of rides you can’t ride while you’re pregnant in Disney (it’s actually shorter than I originally thought!)

I tried to eat as healthy as possible (while on vacation) but didn’t deprive myself of anything I really wanted. My favorite treat was the carrot cake cookie sandwich in Hollywood Studios. I drank extra water (even carried around a reusable water bottle for the first time in Disney) and sat down on benches to rest, when needed.

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disney 4If you love Disney, I would say take your last hurrah vacation there before you have kids! It’ll be the last time you can run away from the screaming children and eat at more adult restaurants. You can also stay at a nicer hotel and spend more time there, instead of in the parks. I wish I could say we spent tons of time at our hotel, but we were only there for five days. Although, we did spend way more time there than we would have if we stayed at a lower value resort. (I was willing to take a mid-afternoon nap this time around, for the baby’s sake)

We are thinking about doing a Disneyland trip next year for Christmas, right around the same time we went this year (which was December 1-5). The baby will be about 7 months old, which is old enough to hopefully be sleeping through the night (minus the jetlag.) We would ony do Disney for one or two days, visit with family, and check out Hollywood. It’s still in the very early planning (me wishing) stages, but it could potentially happen. Neither of us has ever been to Disneyland before. We were supposed to make a trip up there from San Diego on our Honeymoon, but it rained the day we were supposed to go, which was a huge bummer. So until next time Disney, see ya real soon!

19 Weeks Pregnant!

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I can not believe Christmas is NEXT week. We are finally settling in at our townhouse in Maryland. It has been a very long two weeks, busy and exausting, but in the end, I’m excited to call this place home!

How far along: 19 weeks
Gender: my regular doctor looked at my stomach and said it was a girl. We find out on December 30th!!!
Weight gain: OB said I’m underweight, and then I got the stomach flu. I don’t have a scale here in Maryland yet. But I’m thinking probably 8-9 pounds.
Maternity clothes: Maternity jeans all the time and some of my shirts. I’m starting to grown into them! (sorta…)
Stretch marks: I’m beginning to think I have no idea what stretch marks looks like.
Belly button in or out: Starting to look flat and weird.
Sleep: We just bought an amazing Serta foam bed. Loving sleeping on it!
Best moment this week:  Making our house a home by getting furniture. (best moment of last week was hearing the baby’s heartbeat!!)
Worst moment this week: Driving to MD between a million trucks.
Miss anything: My old pants.
Movement: same as last time. Still not sure if it’s even movement or just gas.
Cravings: None. I’m also begining to wonder what cravings are…I would like to have a real one so I can finally say I’ve had one. I just like to eat…but obviously not enough.
Queasy or sick: Having the stomach flu was the WORST ever. I am so thankful that I didn’t have morning sickness.
Looking forward to: Christmas with our families. I feel so lucky and blessed to be here this year, and for the next couple of years.

17 weeks pregnant!

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Happy December! Time is flying. Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping came and went. We had a fabulous time with our families on Thanksgiving and I shopped till I dropped on Black Friday. I got a TON of maternity stuff at Old Navy. The WHOLE store was 50% off. I’m loving their maternity jeans, I never want to take them off; I now have three pair, two blue and one black.

This past week we went to Disney (more updates on that to follow) and we had a fantastic “babymoon.” We came home just in time for one of my best friend’s, Lauren, wedding. It was great to see everyone and celebrate the happy marriage between Lauren and Sean!

How far along: 17 weeks
Gender: Still thinking baby Emerald is a she. Everyone on Thanksgiving said it’s a girl, except for two of my cousins who guessed boy. We have our first appointment in Maryland on Tuesday; HOPING to find out then!!
Weight gain: about 8-9 pounds.
Maternity clothes: Maternity jeans all the time and some of my shirts (which are still kind of too big, but very comfy!)
Stretch marks: No? I don’t know 😦
Belly button in or out: Innie. Is it possible for a innie to become more innie?
Sleep: No more jetlag. WOOHOO!! I am only getting up to go to the bathroom once-twice a night, which is actually better than before I was pregnant. The second trimester has cured my overactive bladder for the time being.
Best moment this week:  Our babymoon to Disney and Lauren and Sean’s wedding!
Worst moment this week: Coming home from Disney. It’s way too cold here!!!
Miss anything: drinking adult beverages at weddings and on vacation.
Movement: Yes, I think so. It’s a bit uncomfortable at the moment, but I think it’s some movement. And it’s very cool ❤
Cravings: None.
Queasy or sick: A little nauseous when flying, but that’s about it.
Looking forward to: Moving to Maryland on Monday, house hunting on Tuesday, and our doctor’s appt! Busy week!