Strange Combos

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At the checkout at the grocery store, the clerk held up my packet of basil and said, “I bet you have big plans for this,” and I replied, “Oh yeah.”


When I told him what I was going to do with the basil, he didn’t believe me.  But trust me – this combination is amazing.


Yup – a basil, watermelon, feta, and balsamic salad.  So refreshing.  It tastes like summer on my lips.


With black beans and quinoa.


One of our goals (and my ‘our,’ I mean the Husband’s) for this upcoming weekend is to gut our backyard.  It’s covered in weeds and rocks.  Once everything is cleared out, we hope to put down grass and start a herb garden.  The first thing I’m going to plant?  BASIL!


In other news…


Went to the doctor’s today for a prenatal check-up.  When you’re at my point in pregnancy, you usually go to the doctor’s every two weeks.  After next time, I’ll start going weekly.  I was sitting in the waiting room when it hit me –  I’m going to go into labor in anywhere from 3 weeks (full-term is 37 weeks) to 8 weeks (my midwife will allow me to go to 42 weeks before inducing).  LABOR!  I really cannot believe it.  I’m really, really excited and happy but still don’t feel like it’s happening.  Like, actually happening… to me… to us.  It feels like it’s supposed to be happening someone else!  Obviously, I know there’s a baby inside of me, and we’ve been preparing for her or him on one level or another for nearly a year, but I don’t know.  Is this a normal feeling for your first child?  I just cannot wrap my head around the entire experience (do you ever fully grasp it?).  It’s like trying to imagine how infinite space is – that the stars go on forever. 

photo2 photo

I treated myself to frozen yogurt after the appointment and ate it in my car as I contemplated the stunning fact that a nurse called ‘Mom.’  I just can’t process it.  Please make me feel more normal! 


Mmm kay?  Thanks.



  • jen May 3, 2012, 1:03 pm

    oh goodness i hope you don’t have endure until 42 weeks and that labor happens naturally for you!

    it was several weeks pp before i actually started to grasp that we actually had a baby. with the 2nd it seemed to settle in sooner but still not until after he was born. totally normal in my opinion 🙂

  • Hillary May 3, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I tried the watermelon/basil/feta combo for the first time last summer and fell in love. So refreshing!

    And, seeing as how I don’t have any children, I can’t sympathize with what you’re going through right now, but I do imagine it’s pretty mind-blowing!

  • Megan @ the road to skinny May 3, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Basil, watermelon, feta and balsamic is SO delicious! And being 2 1/2 weeks ahead of your pregnancy, I know exactly what you mean. The baby clothes are washed, crib is ready, changing table organized and packed but I don’t think it’ll really hit until I’m in labor. With my husbands grandma insisting Im going to have the baby by mid-may (2 weeks early), I just can’t believe it!

  • Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel May 3, 2012, 1:05 pm

    Basil grows like a WEED!! You won’t even know what to do with it all. Yum!

  • Lauren May 3, 2012, 1:10 pm

    My son will be three (THREE!) next month and I still cannot believe that I am someone’s mom. I don’t know when that stops, but it hasn’t for me yet!

  • Laine May 3, 2012, 1:11 pm

    My sister was 12 days overdue when she finally went to her acupuncturist. Her mucus plug fell out on the table, and a quick 36 hours later my niece was born at home!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat May 3, 2012, 1:16 pm

    I’m glad its becoming more real – your little one will be here so soon!

  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life May 3, 2012, 1:19 pm

    You are too funny!!! Yes, you are completely normal and no, it never really sinks in. At least it didn’t for me. Somedays I will look at my son and I can’t believe that I am his mother. Me. A mom. I personally think the pre-labor, new mom butterflies are the absolute best thing in the whole world! They are a reminder that you are about to experience the most profound and life-changing event to date. Enjoy every anxious, not-knowing-what-to-expect moment!

  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life May 3, 2012, 1:20 pm

    P.S. – What kind of balsamic dressing do you use??? It always looks so delicious!

    • Caitlin May 3, 2012, 8:50 pm

      That kind is from Trader Joe’s but I also like the Simply Dressed brand.

      • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life May 4, 2012, 10:56 am

        Thanks! I’ve been wondering for sooo long! We don’t have a Trader Joe’s in Colorado… I’ll look for the other one. 😉

  • Abby May 3, 2012, 1:22 pm

    I can empathize with you! I felt the same thing. My daughter Cecilia was 11 days overdue. My husband and I kept having last date nights,it was getting old…we wanted to meet our baby!! So worth the wait, it’s hard to imagine what life was like before her.

  • Amanda K. May 3, 2012, 1:25 pm

    I don’t think it ever really hits you that you’re a mom. My son is 8 months, and when they put him in my arms for the first time I was like, “really!? he just came out of me!? he’s MINE!?”
    it’s still pretty mind-blowing…and amazing.

  • Meredith May 3, 2012, 1:29 pm

    I must say, I love your blog! I am nearly 34 weeks pregnant as well so its cool to “watch” your progress alongside mine. Wishing you well these next <5-6 weeks! Oh, and the watermelon feta salad looks Delish. That may be happening today. 🙂

  • Lauren May 3, 2012, 1:31 pm

    See Caitlin…this is why I heart you so much (and read your blog everyday). Your posts are sometimes so simple, yet so thoughtful. I am going through this same feeling, but for other important life events, so it rang true to me. Also, I am not a mom yet, and am not even married yet, but your feeling made me so excited for one day (hopefully) when a nurse will call me “mom” too. Thanks for always brightening my day!

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) May 3, 2012, 1:32 pm

    I LOVE fresh basil and am so excited to be growing it in my backyard. I’ve never tried that salad, but it’s always intrigued me. I’m so excited your having a baby!!!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 3, 2012, 1:36 pm

    I’ve seen similar salads to yours that use watermelon, and I’m an enormous watermelon freak but just can’t bring myself to eat it in any form other than on its own – it’s just so delicious! Having said that though, I’m sure your salad was good too.
    I don’t blame you for suddenly feeling ‘the shock’. Even though I’ve never had kids, the thought of someday cranking a baby out from between my legs is enough to blow my mind. Like you said though, you and The Husband have prepared for a long time, and I’m sure you’re going to be a wonderful Mom!

  • Jill May 3, 2012, 1:38 pm

    It freaks me out to think that in 9 weeks someone could potentially love me as much as I love my mom. What a responsibility!

    • Christin May 3, 2012, 8:13 pm

      That is so sweet! 🙂

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride May 3, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I love that combo! I forget who on the food network, Giada maybe made the most amazing sounding grilled watermelon with feta, basil and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Yum.

    Ahh, you’re so close!

  • Jayce May 3, 2012, 1:39 pm

    I am going through the same overwhelming realization now. It’s hitting me that this is real, and that this baby is coming out one way or another SOON! I had tiny amounts of bleeding last weekend, so my doc checked me and said my cervix is thinning. That along with the GBS test, weekly appointments, and discussion of labor signs… Suddenly it’s so real! So scary but so exciting!!

  • Tina May 3, 2012, 1:42 pm

    I’m not pregnant, and don’t plan on being pregnant for another 5 or 10 years (if ever!) but what you’re describing sounds 100% normal! I would be surprised if you weren’t feeling this way =) All the best!

  • Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles May 3, 2012, 1:48 pm

    Excited for you guys!!

  • Angie All The Way May 3, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Yes it does eventually become real, but first you get to go through the “new mom” phase 1st. Just last night I went to my first “parent committee” meeting at my son’s day care and we all introduced ourselves and said who our child was and what program he was in and when I said it out loud, “My name is Angela and my son Cameron is in the toddler program,” it came out sounding funny because I guess I’m no longer in the “new mom” camp!

    It’s just the BEST, regardless of anything that scares you and that is tough. The best, best, BEST 🙂

  • Sara May 3, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Having not had a child yet myself, I can imagine I will feel the same! You will be a great Mom, Caitlin!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well May 3, 2012, 2:02 pm

    1. That salad looks amazing. And I love that combination. Not weird at all!
    2. I can’t imagine all you are feeling right now. It’s a huge change and a lovely-big deal…I think I’d be constantly freaking out. ha.

  • Becca May 3, 2012, 2:14 pm

    That combination sounds amazing 🙂 I need to try it. I would love to have a herb garden. I can’t wait to find out if you are going I have a boy or girl. It’s all so exciting.

  • jen May 3, 2012, 2:21 pm

    i love every single one of your posts caitlin ahhh!!! my one random question for this one is about the black beans. do you season them at all or just dump them from a can? i’m looking for a way to make mine more tasty. thanks as always!

    • April May 3, 2012, 3:44 pm

      Cumin, salt, smoked chile powder, garlc. Mmmmm!

  • Amy Q May 3, 2012, 2:28 pm

    TOTALLY NORMAL! I even had it with my second baby! It was a planned pregnancy- and YET I kept thinking that the end of the nine months would merely be the end of the condition of being pregnant, not that it would ALSO mean I had another child!! LOL Crazy but true! (I’m sure that makes me sound NUTS.)

    Hang in there! The next thing is when you leave the hospital– you will feel like “really? you trust US to take this baby home? US? You don’t even know us?!!!!” LOL

    What a crazy, awesome ride the whole thing is!

  • Tara May 3, 2012, 2:36 pm

    It’s very normal. There were quite a few times I couldn’t believer I was actually preggo and that we were really going to have a baby, then the baby is here and you go through a phase where you just look at them in wonder that they are here and perfect and you’re really a mom! It’s a great experience. Now my little guy is almost two and there are still times I can’t believe he’s ours and how awesome it is that I get to be his mom!

  • Nikole May 3, 2012, 2:38 pm

    I completely related to this. I am 37 weeks so I can “go” at anytime. I was kind of bummed this week when the doctor told me I am not dialated at all yet. I keep telling my husband that labor doesn’t scare me as much as the fact that two days later we will be at home with a BABY. I feel like I have read enough about labor to have an idea what to expect but know once we come home it will be real. We have everything done and now just waiting. Oh the waiting 🙂

  • Jamie May 3, 2012, 2:53 pm

    It is totally normal but you will be fine! My son is five and sometimes I still have moments where I think “Am I really a mom?” You will still feel like yourself after the baby.

  • Allison K May 3, 2012, 2:58 pm

    Today I am 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant, you know when it hit me? 39 weeks and 5 days!

  • Peach May 3, 2012, 3:08 pm

    Totally normal, my friend! This is one of the most dramatic changes in a person’s life, it’s expected you will feel strange…

  • Kristin May 3, 2012, 3:12 pm

    sometimes i still can’t even believe my husband and i are MARRIED! and its almost been a year!!!! What you are feeling, im sure, is totally normal!!! u are gonna be such a good mom though!!! we all know it!

  • Alexis May 3, 2012, 3:17 pm

    I just read this article and checked out the film they are talking about. I immediately thought of you and think it’s something you’d love!!

  • Liza May 3, 2012, 3:24 pm

    Oh heck yea, watermelon basil salad! There is a restaurant here in Atlanta called Grace 1720 and that’s one of their side item options… just had it two weeks ago. It’s amazing!

  • Debbie May 3, 2012, 3:34 pm

    It is funny, I have had two children and I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that these two beautiful children came out of me! Perfectly normal!

  • Amber May 3, 2012, 3:45 pm

    I’m 30 weeks pregnant with baby #4, and I still can’t believe I’ll be going into labor and have another little one in just a few weeks! We’ve been parents for 7 years, and my husband and I frequently have moments where we are in awe that we are parents and responsible for 3 (almost 4) other little people :).

  • Sophie @ threetimesf May 3, 2012, 3:50 pm

    I can’t believe it was all those months ago that I was reading your clever bun in the oven post! Eeeeek, I’m excited for BabyHTP to arrive!

  • Melissa May 3, 2012, 3:51 pm

    Just this morning I was remembering back to when I was in labor (almost 7 months ago!) and thought “how on earth did I do that?” I am so not into hospitals, IVs, pain…through my whole pregnancy, right up to 40 weeks, I had somehow mentally separated being pregnant from actually giving birth. But in the moment, it just happened and I just did it. And it was amazing! But no, that “wow, I’m a mom” feeling doesn’t go away. At least it hasn’t yet! When I tell my son “I get to be your mom for your whole life” it’s almost like I’m telling myself as much as I’m telling him.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats May 3, 2012, 4:02 pm

    Haha I don’t think I’d want to wrap my mind around it! Whenever I get pregnant I’ll be the one pretending it’s not happening so I don’t get anxious!

  • Colleen May 3, 2012, 4:03 pm

    Your lunch looks delicious! Your feelings are natural. I had them with each of our kids. “I can’t believe D day is almost here. Are we ready? What are we getting into? We’ll be out-numbered with this one?”

  • Crystal May 3, 2012, 4:11 pm

    You don’t really get used to it. I’m on my third kid and Io’m still freaking out about having a new baby in less than 17 weeks. Instead of omg how am I going to keep this kid alive now it’s omg how do I keep the other two from killing him?

  • Kim T May 3, 2012, 4:35 pm

    It is the most profound change you will ever experience. While i found the birth of my second child just as exciting, welcome and wonderful, it was not the profound change of my first. I had no idea how differently i would feel about everything. Best to you. Exciting times ahead.

  • Debbie May 3, 2012, 4:55 pm

    For me I still haven’t grasped it and my “baby” is turning 3 on Wednesday. I am typing this and shaking my head trying to work out how I ended up being the mother of a three year old. Where does the time go?

  • Kellie May 3, 2012, 5:17 pm

    I have three kids and I still stare at them completely in awe that they are my children. It never feels real, it is always amazing.

  • dana May 3, 2012, 5:32 pm

    this combo is so good! I’ve tried it with mint too.

  • Katheryn May 3, 2012, 5:38 pm

    It never feels real. I’m waiting for #3 (due on Sunday!), and I’m still freaked out.

  • Rosa - Fitness Food Fulfilled May 3, 2012, 5:49 pm

    I totally get how you’re feeling! I thought it was just me! Sometimes the thought of going through labor and then finally getting to be a mommy to my baby boy seems likes a surreal experience. I thought I had four more weeks to go, but the baby has apparently decided to start his descent now. It’s scary to think that the end of my pregnancy and start of mommyhood will start sooner than I had mentally prepared for.

  • Katie May 3, 2012, 5:49 pm

    I’ve done a similar combo but added heirloom tomatos to the mix. So good!!

  • Heidi May 3, 2012, 6:17 pm

    I remember when I was 8 months pregnant with my first-one day I suddenly realized that somehow that baby had to come out of me and I freaked out! I just hadn’t thought about that before then! But she came out fine and so did one more! And I was just as in awe the 2nd time!

  • Mary May 3, 2012, 6:31 pm

    I remember walking with my husband at the stage of pregnancy you are at and being amazed that the baby would be coming soon and we would be a family. That baby is turning 15 in a few weeks, and that doesn’t seem possible either. Time sure flies, and life is amazing!

  • Annette@FitnessPerks May 3, 2012, 6:46 pm

    I’d get fro yo with all those thoughts swirling around my head too! WOW! So excited for you though 🙂

  • Sarah May 3, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Once labour kicks off you’ll believe it!!!

    I’ve done it twice and still can’t believe it… only time it was *real* was the first painful contraction of the second labour when I was like “oh shit. That’s right” … and then the time for thinking much was over.

  • TeenyLittleSuperChef May 3, 2012, 7:51 pm

    Haha, I can’t even imagine what you must be feeling right now, although I hope to one of these days soon. Whenever one of my friends has a baby or tells me they’re pregnant, I immediately think, no way! We’re too young to have babies. Hmmm, 31-years-old is definitely not too young to have kids. To some people, I’m probably way past my prime.
    I’m sure it’ll all fall right into place once the nurse hands you your precious little newborn. Congratulations again! So exciting for you and the Husband!

  • Christine May 3, 2012, 8:04 pm

    Our girls are 3 and 5 and my husband and I still look at each other and can’t believe they are ours 🙂

  • Earthy Nicole May 3, 2012, 8:07 pm

    I definitely think it’s a normal feeling to have… it seems so surreal until one day you’ll realize it’s the most natural feeling in the world. Like you were born to be BabyHTP’s mommy! Now that my little girl is three, thinking of NOT being her mom is just as crazy to think of as becoming a mother once was.

    I’m hoping in our new house I can plant some herbs or something (last time I checked, my thumb was still black though!) because I love fresh herbs too. In fact, I just posted a new beauty recipe on my blog using some leftover basil!


  • Wendy May 3, 2012, 8:18 pm

    Ummmmm….I still get that overwhelming, am I really a mom? Is this really my life? Did these beautiful, kind, intelligent, wonderful children really come from ME? feeling from time to time.

    Those children are now 5 and 7. Motherhood is amazing. And your feelings are totally normal. 🙂

  • VTMama May 3, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Haha. I remember being in labor with my first child and thinking, “Is this real? This is a joke right? A baby is going to come out of me?” This is just one of the many lessons of parenting. This is part one of developing your sense of humor!

  • Brenda May 3, 2012, 10:36 pm

    I remember the anticipation for labor. Every night I would go to bed and think, ” will this be my last night being pregnant?” I was so excited I could hardly get to sleep. Then when my water did break and I started having contractions, it was amazing because labor, this abstract thing I had only read about, was actually happening. How awesome that you will be experiencing it in only a few weeks!

  • Laura May 3, 2012, 10:41 pm

    I had our baby girl eight weeks ago, and I remember the hospital always calling us “Mom” and “Dad” whenever they addressed us. This must be a conscious and deliberate move to adjust new parents to their new roles. I remember the first time though that they said “Dad, this is for you” my husband had no idea they were talking to him! The whole experience is surreal but once your baby is here you’ll easily slip into mommy and daddy mode.

  • Bonita May 3, 2012, 11:01 pm

    You said “…full-term is 37 weeks” but that is not true. Full term is 40 weeks. While babies born after 37 weeks of pregnancy are usually healthy, several studies have shown that babies born between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days are at significantly higher risks of problems-respiratory illnesses, higher rates of NICU admissions, breastfeeding difficulties, difficulty regulating their temperatures, hypersensitivity, increased irritability. The brain needs that full 40 weeks to grow. When the myth that babies are ready to be born at 37 weeks is perpetuated, we often find that parents do not understand why they are having such a difficult time understanding their baby. If the baby is born at 37 weeks or sooner, it is important to provide him with an environment similar to what they missed in utero-assuming it was optimal…
    My passion (and my work) is babies-maternal child health, infant mental health, attachment…

  • Dominique May 3, 2012, 11:30 pm

    Watermelon, feta cheese and basil is one of the best combos around! Right up there with maple syrup and bacon. It’s so good. I don’t really like the summer (can’t stand the heat because of heat rashes and the like) but my two favourite things about summer are strawberries and watermelon. I can’t wait for them to be in season.

  • Jessica May 4, 2012, 6:53 am

    I was in the same boat and even when I went into labor at work it didn’t really hit me. (I drove my hour long commute home timing out my less than 5 minute apart contractions, not something I’d advise!) I had my healthy son at 37 weeks and it wasn’t until we got home with him that it really hit me that I was this little guy’s mother.

  • Jennifer H May 4, 2012, 8:09 am

    Well we are expecting our first son June 15th….so mentally we are in the same boat!! I was just telling my husband the same thing! I know he is coming and cannot wait- but it still feels surreal that a baby will be coming home with us! So at least in my book your feelings are normal 😉

  • Amber K May 4, 2012, 1:55 pm

    I think you’ll be a great mom! It’ll take some getting used to, but you can do it 🙂

  • Michelle May 4, 2012, 3:32 pm

    It didn’t really hit me until about 2 pushes before my daughter was born. I started to panic, then worry that my husband and I hadn’t had enough time alone together. Were we ready, would we be good parents? 2 pushes and a few panicky tears later, I fell in love with my daughter and have never looked back. 🙂

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