24th Week: Of Instagram Contests, Aling Gemma’s Recipes & River’s Stuff

Yey! We turned 24 weeks on Thursday! Thank You, Lord 🙂

River is about a foot long now and the size of a pineapple or a GI Joe figure, according to the apps I use.  A significant milestone is that his brain is now fully developed to that of a newborn baby, and he already has consciousness and memory!  He also has eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair, but they are all white since pigments have yet to develop.  (I hope you have lots of hair, River!)  He has heightened sense of sight and hearing too!  He may get startled by bright lights and loud noises.

As for me, I might feel unbalanced at times because of the growing weight of my belly.  My heart rate may get a bit higher because my body has to pump more blood for the baby.

It was again time for my OB visit yesterday, and after a pelvic ultrasound, everything is ok!  I have gained 6 pounds in a month.  I think that’s not too bad! Doctor strictly advised for me not to eat junk food and sweets.  Wahhh…. Less carbs too – less pasta, rice and bread.  More veggies.  Snack on veggies.  I thought I can eat anything in moderation 😀  I better be really good now, because I will have my OGT (oral glucose test for blood sugar), along with other blood tests, and urinalysis next week.

It’s also time for our congenital anomaly scan, which we will schedule Friday next week.  Made a quick  Google on it and it says, from babycentre.co.uk:

An anomaly scan, also known as a mid-pregnancy scan, takes a close look at your baby and your womb (uterus). The person carrying out the scan (sonographer) will check that your baby is developing normally, and look at where your placenta is lying.

Although the anomaly scan is often called a 20-week scan, you may have it any time between 18 weeks and 20 weeks plus six days.

Sonographers have a list of conditions to look out for. The conditions are either very serious, which may mean that a baby can’t survive, or they may be treatable conditions, once your baby is born.

If the condition is treatable, it will help the hospital team to know in advance, so they can make sure your baby has the right care as soon as he’s born.

Some conditions are easier to spot than others, and some are hard to see at all. Most of the conditions on the list are very rare. Here’s the list of conditions, and the percentage chance of your sonographer seeing each one, if your baby has it:

  • absence of the top of the head (anencephaly): 98 per cent
  • cleft lip: 75 per cent
  • defect of the abdominal wall, where the bowel and liver protrude (exomphalos): 80 per cent
  • defect of the abdominal wall, where the intestines protrude (gastroschisis): 98 per cent
  • missing or very short limbs: 90 per cent
  • defect of the spinal cord (spina bifida): 90 per cent
  • major kidney problems (missing or abnormal kidneys): 84 per cent
  • hole in the muscle separating chest and abdomen (diaphragmatic hernia): 60 per cent
  • excess fluid within the brain (hydrocephalus): 60 per cent
  • Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome (chromosomal abnormalities): 95 per cent
  • major heart problems (defects of chambers, valves or vessels): 50 per cent

Some conditions, including heart defects and bowel obstructions, may not be seen until later in your pregnancy. Having an anomaly scan will most likely rule out all these conditions, as the vast majority of babies are born healthy.

I pray everything goes well.  Lord, I will not worry and I entrust everything into Your hands.  Please take care of River 🙂

Inspired by a friend’s post, I joined several contests on Instagram this week, just for fun!  Didn’t realize joining Instagram contests can be so exciting 🙂 I hope my friends don’t mind me tagging them 😆

(1) Superscoops Ice Cream

(2) Teepee

The design is for girls so I hope to win it for my cousin, who’s having a baby girl soon!

(3) Scripture swaddle blankets and personalized frame

I’ve bought 6 of these and gave away 4. Wouldn’t mind having some more! 🙂 I’m sure they’ll be very useful for River and me 🙂

(4)  toy puppy

Isn’t it cute? 🙂

(5) Baby diaper bags

This is the most challenging contest among the 5 because it’s a naming contest.

I made an entry for this for my cousin again 🙂

This one, for myself 🙂

(6) Infant seat

Winners will be announced on or before February 28, I think! I wonder if I can win in at least one of these 🙂 I’m not usually “lucky” with raffle draws. Can’t wait to know the results!

(As of this posting, the ice cream promo announced its winner already.  No ice cream for me! 5 more contests to go…)


This recipes are from my mom’s cook, Aling Gemma 🙂

(1) Fried Meatballs

Notes:  ground pork + shredded and chopped carrots + chopped shrimp + onions + egg + cornstarch

(2) Pinakbet

Notes:  Put all veggies (squash, string beans, okra, eggplant) in a pot, add minced garlic, turn on heat to medium, add salt (in moderation since we will add bagoong or shrimp paste later on), cover and let the veggies cook.  Add a little water if needed. Add shrimp paste (bagoong) towards the end.

(3) Sweet and sour fish

1. Season fish with salt, and coat the fish with flour / cornstach / potato starch, then fry. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, season pineapple juice with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
3. Chop to strips ginger and carrots. Chop red bell peppers and onions coarsely. Stir fry ginger, and add the rest of ingredients. Set aside.
4. Heat pan, put seasoned pineapple juice, and then add ketchup to achieve desired color. Add flour or cornstarch to thicken the sauce. Add the chopped stirfried vegetables first, then add the fried fish.

(4) Adobo – no photo, I wonder why 🙂

Notes for adobo sauce (before I forget): water + soy sauce + pineapple juice + brown sugar


Found two more items I got years ago, for River 🙂

(1) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe story book

It was a bittersweet moment to receive this Christmas gift years ago (probably at least 4 years ago) for our future child. Though it was supposed to be a thoughtful  and encouraging gesture by my friend showing her support in my struggle with infertility, I couldn’t help but feel sadness and self-pity then because it was a reminder of what we’ve been longing to have but just couldn’t.

I’m thankful now that I’m months closer to reading this to River 🙂

(2) Found this in my parents’ house – a cross stitch project I made at least 20 years ago!   I didn’t manage to have it framed then.  I think because it was such a hassle to have it framed years ago (had to be customized) and quite expensive too.  Bought a ready-made nice wooden frame recently for 299 pesos from SM Department Store 😍

Perfect for River’s room!  May he be reminded to pray at all times and depend on God in all things 🙂


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