Happy Third Trimester to me!

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Today marks the beginning of the third trimester in Tiffany’s pregnancy. In some ways, I am so ready to meet her. And in other ways, I am glad she has a few months before she joins us. I think I would feel more ready if our furniture from Korea was in our current house. Soon enough. With about twelve weeks to go, the house will be ready in plenty of time for her arrival.

At Clarissa’s twenty week ultrasound, they had a few concerns. There was a small hole in her heart and she had a “bright bowel.” They had concerns about things like Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis. This was terrifying for a first time mom, but the blessing in it was that they sent me to EVMS (the local medical school) for further testing and ultrasounds. I got to see extra clear pictures of Clarissa at 22 weeks and 28 weeks and then another set at 35 weeks. By 22 weeks, the heart in her heart had closed and by 28 weeks her bowels were fine. She just wasn’t “ready” at the earlier ultrasound times.

With Tiffany, the ultrasound schedule has been completely different. While we were in Korea, they did an ultrasound at every appointment. We have been looking at things like her brain, spine, and liver since the beginning. We left Korea at about 20 weeks so they didn’t get to my anatomy scan before we left. My only ultrasound at my American doctor was at 24 weeks and I had to ask for that since I missed the 20 week anatomy scan that most people get. Her ultrasound showed that everything was fine, so that was the only ultrasound my ob plans to do this pregnancy.

On the one hand, I was glad for this. Tiffany is healthy. There are no concerns. On the other hand, I was sad. I got to see clear pictures of Clarissa’s face all the time. And we still had not really seen a great picture of Tiffany’s face. We decided that we would go to a special place that specializes in 4d elective ultrasounds. We went to InfantSeeHD in Fairfax.

Maria, our ultrasound tech was wonderful! She was super excited to see our baby. She had me move around in different positions so that we could see more. Tiffany had one of her feet in her face pretty much the entire time, but Maria was able to move around so that we could see her whole face anyway. She also said that Tiffany already has a full head of hair. We also got to watch Tiffany practice sucking on the placenta.

I’m not going to lie. There was a little bit of sticker shock when we saw the price for the ultrasound packages. Because there were concerns with Clarissa, insurance paid for all of her extra ultrasounds so I had no concept about how much these things normally cost. But we did get a full video recording of the thirty minute session and 84 still images on a jump drive.

Then, I wanted to celebrate. So we decided to check out Happy Tart, a gluten free bakery, in Falls Church. We parked in the garage for Pearson Square and it was really easy to find. The prices were reasonable for gluten free treats. Cookies and macaroons were $1.75. Cupcakes were $4.50 each. They also had bags of English muffins and drinks for sale. Clarissa loved her cookie. Tim and I thought the cupcakes were delicious. We will definitely be back!

Then we finished our evening with dinner in Shirlington. Since it was my choice, I chose Guapo’s for a Mexican dinner. I pretty much always love my Mexican food. The impressive part was that Tim enjoyed his dinner too.

Chocolate chip cookies

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Ingredients :
1/3 cup earth balance butter
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1  tablespoon soy milk
2  teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions :
1. In a large bowl,  cream sugar,  shortening,  and butter.
2. Mix egg,  soy milk,  and vanilla to bowl.
3. Add flour,  xanthan gum,  and baking powder to bowl.
4. Mix in chocolate chips.
5.  Form dough into meatball sized balls  and flatten onto cookie sheet.
6.  Cook at 375 for 12 minutes.

Makes 22 cookies.

Note : You can use butter and shortening interchangeably in this recipe. I have made the recipe with all shortening or all butter. Both taste great.

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Carob Quinoa Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

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This isn’t the prettiest cake, but it is delicious!

Note: You can change the carob to 1/2 cup chocolate for a chocolate cake if you want. Right now, I am dairy and caffeine free, so carob works better for me. Both taste great.

Cake Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa
3/4 cup earth balance butter
1/3 cup soy milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Carob Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Spray two cake pans.
3. Cook Quinoa. Put 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water in a covered saucepan. Bring to boil. Simmer for ten minutes.
4. Melt butter.
5. Combine soymilk, eggs, butter, and vanilla in blender.
6. Add cooked quinoa to blender.
7. In a large bowl, combine sugar, carob, baking powder, and baking soda.
8. Add blender mixture to bowl and stir thoroughly.
9. Put half batter in each cake pan.
10. Put cake pans in oven for 12 minutes.
11. Turn cake pans to bake evenly.
12. Cook another 12 minutes.
13. Allow cakes to cool for two hours before removing from pans.

Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy milk
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Directions:
1. Stir all frosting ingredients in a bowl.
2. For firmer frosting, let set 20 minutes.
3. Flip one of cakes out of pan and on to plate.
4. Pour half of frosting onto top of cake.
5. Spread frosting evenly with a knife.
6. Flip second cake out of pan and on top of frosted cake.
7. Pour rest of frosting onto top of cake.
8. Spread frosting evenly with a knife.

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Pumpkin Bars

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Ingredients :
2 eggs
1 cup soy milk
1 cup brown sugar
1  15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger

Directions :
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Spray 9×13 pan.
3. Mix sugar and egg in a large bowl. 
4. Add pumpkin and milk.
5. Mix in all dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.
6. Bake for 25 minutes.

I like them better chilled.  My husband prefers them warm.

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Lemon Bar

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Ingredients :
1/2 cup earth balance butter
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
2 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar

Directions :
1. Mix egg and lemon juice in bowl.
2. Add butter.
3. Thoroughly mix in flour and sugar to mixture.
4. Spray pan.
5. Cook at 350 degrees for 19 minutes or until edges start to brown.

My pan measures 10×6.  A 9×13 pan would probably take 12-15 minutes to bake.

These taste best chilled in the refrigerator.

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