Friday, April 18, 2014

Mid-Pregnancy Must-Haves

Being past the half way point is blowing my mind. There is a little baby boy inside me. I have been tracking his growth in sizes of fruit since it was only a mere poppy seed. Now you are a cantaloupe and becoming an eggplant next week! Pretty soon you'll be getting a driver's license and finding a prom date (yikes!).

But seriously, I can't believe the time has flown by so quickly. 21 weeks down, and there are a few things that were super necessary these last 4 1/2 months that I thought I would share with you!




1. Nature Made Prenatal Vitamins with DHA - I debated putting this one up there because it make me burp up a fish taste if I don't take it with enough food. In the early weeks I was taking it with my "breakfast" (usually something small on the way to work) and all morning I would be burping a nasty fish taste. But once I decided to switch it over to taking them with dinner, all is well and I haven't had an issue. I love them because while they're pretty large, they're smooth capsules that make them easy to swallow and don't leave a taste in your mouth. I thought about the chewable gummy kind but figured I would probably end up eating them all as a sweet snack.

2. My Snoogle - We bought this when I was about 15 weeks pregnant, sleeping with about 4-5 pillows and feeling super uncomfortable. I am so thankful that I did! Now I just use this and gave the rest of the pillow to my hubby. It helps me sleep on my sides more comfortably now that baby is bigger, and sleeping with the pillow between my legs has reduced lower back pain exponentially! Definitely a must!

3. Your Pregnancy Week by Week -  My mom bought me this book shortly after we broke the news to them and I love reading it every week. Similar to "What to Expect..." it goes through body changes and changes in your baby, but it's actually written by doctors. I love that it's simple to skim through and each section in labeled simply so if it doesn't apply to you you can skim over it, or if you're looking to read about a certain thing, it's easy to find. It tells it to you straight to keep you informed without freaking you out unnecessarily. I definitely recommend this to all my first time mama friends out there.

4. Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Stretch Oil - I love this stuff. I started the pregnancy off using Cocoa Butter lotion on my belly and hips and while it was super moisturizing it left me feeling like I was covered in chocolate and the smell was really nauseating to me (causing the closest thing I felt to morning sickness...which is fortunate). My  mom bought this oil for me at Sprouts and I've been using it daily on my belly. No stretch marks yet (knock on wood!). They say oils and lotions don't help, but hey, I'll give it a shot! This oil is hydrating and smells light and lovely. 

5. Bump Start Shirts - These shirts are so comfy and just the right fit. One of the things I really love about maternity clothes is that you're still the size you were before you were pregnant, the shirt just fits you better. I wear these shirts out and about, lounging at home, even with my scrubs at work. 

6. Eos Lip Balm - I was using this before too, but it seems like chapped and dry lips have been a big symptom of this pregnancy. Random, I know. I have one of these in my work bag, one in my purse, and one on my night stand (in pomegranate berry, summer fruit, and honeydew) and my lips would be so much worse off without them. Plus they come in fabulous flavors which is a plus. 

Not pictured must haves include lots of lemons and oranges. I love a tall glass with one whole lemon squeezed into it, water, and ice. Nothing else. Also came up with a drink of orange and lemon juice with sparkling water - perfect on the warm afternoons we have been having. Just writing this out is making my mouth water. I love that tartness. 

So those are my must-haves so far. I'm hoping to share a bit more in the third trimester too if there are a bunch of new ones! What are your pregnancy must-haves? I would love to hear about them!

XO


Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's a...

BOY!

Everything has been non-stop. Work, work, work, and when we weren't at work we were making it to doctor's appointments and finding out some incredible news. We had our anatomy scan and were so delighted to see our baby moving around on the screen (I am still not feeling much movement, so seeing baby move was super reassuring!). But even more exciting than that is that we found out that our gut feelings were.... absolutely....WRONG!  We were so convinced that baby was a girl, so when the nurse said.... "you're having a boy".... our jaws dropped and we were like, "WHAT?!"  

Despite the surprise we are so extremely excited and blessed to have a healthy little guy on the way. Now we can stop referring to him as "it" or "he or she"  HE is really in there and he is super awesome. We didn't want to share the news with our family just over the phone or text, so we decided to have a gender reveal party on Saturday to make it a bit more exciting for them - after all this is their first grand child! (Side bar to my co-workers: if you're reading this, and piecing it together...yes, I really did know it was a boy on Thursday and Friday, I just knew that if you knew I was keeping it a secret I would so seriously blow it! Sorry!!)

It was so much fun to see everyone's anticipation. We had everyone tally their vote and wear a color-coordinating baby pin with their guess. I also wanted something for the baby's room as a reminder of the day and everyone who was there.  We had each person leave a fingerprint in pink or blue - whatever their guess was - and sign their name. The fingerprints turned into a bunch of balloons on some art the E and I both made together for our little guy's room. I was getting worried that he was going to have a bunch of pink balloons in his room, but it worked out OK in the end! 

We're so excited to share the news and so happy that we can really start getting ready now!

XO

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Goals


Monthly goals were sort of a thing of last year (or was it the year before?), and since 2014 started and blogging became a big blur, goals were sorta out the window. But...let's be honest. I need to start being a little more productive on my days off. There's a baby coming in 4 1/2 months (YIKES!!!) and we're not ready there yet. It's April which means spring time, Easter, and only 1 month til my birthday (double YIKES!!!) But now that it's April 2nd and you all won't think this is on giant April Fool's joke, let's get down to some of these goals that I'd like to accomplish this month.

1. Finish cleaning out baby's room - right now the room is still filled with boxes of china and glasses for special occasions, and a ton of other junk that came with E and I when we moved in 1 1/2 years ago. This poor child needs some SPACE to play around in. This month I want to get all of OUR stuff out of there so we can figure out what it's going to start looking like.

2. Sign up for my CPN certification - CPN stands for Certified Pediatric Nurse. I took the review course last June and the books have been sitting and taunting me ever since. Before I head off on maternity leave and trade in my already iffy pregnancy brain in for baby brain and forget everything, I really need to take this test!

3. Blog consistently - this last week of blogging has got me back on the bandwagon. I've realized how much I really love this processes and putting life and ideas and crafts out there. While it's been great getting something posted every few days, I know that with my track record, that won't continue unless I make it happen. I want to set a goal to have a blog post up at LEAST every Wednesday.  If I do more, that's awesome, but when things get busy, I want to just know that I'm going to be creative in this space at least once a week. And I like Wednesdays.

4. Do more Yoga! I say it that was because more would imply that I've actually been doing some. I've had a yoga for pregnancy book since early in the 1st trimester and started out totally gung-ho about it. But ... well... yoga is not easy to follow off of a book, and it seems the days that I really need it (like when my back is aching) are the days I'm at work, and when I get home I'm too tired to do anything, and the days I'm off and have the time, I've gotten good sleep and my back is feeling much better again.  But last week my mom bought me a Yoga for Pregnancy DVD and I've got to get that thing into the player and just do it. I have a feeling my back and my brain (and maybe baby) will thank me.

5. Get our garden planted - Last week E and I started working in our garden again. And while it's not the all-out event it was last year, we're still getting some good veggies in the ground. We already have 4 tomato plants (one is upside down in a hanging planter) and sweet peppers, and some cilantro, parsley, and basil growing, and we have 3 artichokes and a cucumber plant we want to get in the ground before it's too late! I'd also like to plant some more succulents in the front yard and maybe a few other veggies in the back, but whatever we decide to plant, I want to plant it this month! After all - Earth day is coming up!

So there you have it. 5 goals 1 month. I think I can get this done - and hopefully some more.  I have one other goal - which is to start another baby-related craft project - but I think these 5 should sort of take priority. Chances are next week I will make a trip to JoAnn's and get started on something anyway, but I want these goals to be the focus of the month. It's OK if my project goes into May, but these goals are April goals.

XO

Monday, March 31, 2014

Baby's First Quilt

A few weeks back I posted here about my latest sewing adventure. It's been a whirlwind of thread and needles, and learning of course, but it's finally finished in all it's glory (well, my glory, since I'm super thrilled about it!).



I can't believe it's finally finished.  The basic idea for this quilt pattern and method came from Elise Blaha Cripe's Get Quilty E-Course that I purchased last October. While I made the table runner to start, this blanket was really the reason I bought the course. And while I really couldn't say anything in my last post about sewing it, this blanket was made 100% with baby in mind.



Now, since we don't know yet if we're expecting a baby boy or a baby girl, I *tried* to be gender neutral in the color selection. Some of the patterns are a bit more floral and "girly" but hey, whatevs.  My intention with this blanket was not to make a "bed quilt" (SAFE SLEEP people - babies shouldn't sleep with blankets over them!). What I wanted this quilt to be is really, well, an "adventure quilt."  I want it to be something we can lay out on the floor to play on, something we can take to the back yard, or the park and play on. Something to build forts with and to hide under, and then cuddle up in bed with a good book and our quilt. Sure, newborn baby isn't going to care much about it, but this blanket will be with us for many years.



I followed the E-Course for the majority of the steps to make this quilt with a few exceptions. After having a lot of trouble with the binding on the table runner, I did some research and decided to invest in a "walking foot" for my Singer sewing machine. This foot allows the layers of fabric to feed through the machine together to avoid pulling of the material, and uneven fabric in the end.  I also read up more on bias tape because I didn't feel like I cut it well for the table runner.  I found this awesome tutorial on you-tube on making a continuous bias tape and made it happen. It took a few tries - the video has you cutting 2.5" bias tape, which I found to be too narrow for my imperfect stitching technique. So I tried again with 3.5" lines and loved the way it turned out (though with 3.5" you need more than 1/2 yard, probably about 3/4).



With the walking foot I still had some issues with my binding, but much of that stems from my own impatience. I'm really the only one staring at the flaws on the blanket, and I'm learning to love them.  To be really cheesy about it, I look at this blanket as a metaphor for what I imagine parenting to be like in the first few months: you try different techniques, you mess up, you fix it, you try your best, you get impatient, you want to cry, but you put your blood sweat and tears into it (literally because I cut my finger on a pin...) and in the end it may not be perfect but you made it with all your love and baby's going to love it because of that.

I can't wait for this quilt to become a part of our daily routine somewhere down the line. It's already full of memories of this pregnancy for me, and I can't wait for our little family to grow and keep making memories with it.

XO

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Mornings.


Our schedules are hectic, to say the least. I'm working 12 hour shifts 3-4 times a week, and E is working 8 hour shifts 5 days a week. We both have weekend requirements and E's days off keep changing. My schedule, while I make it myself, is rarely constant. But lately, these last few weeks, we've had some mornings that are just us two.

Some weeks our Saturdays are really on Fridays, and some days we are still super busy. Sometimes it's the only day off that we have together and so it's the only day that anything gets done. Grocery shopping, cleaning, gardening, visiting family, seeing friends, organizing our office space, cleaning out the baby's room. We spend early morning to late night running around making life happen.

And then there are some Saturdays like today. Sure we have place to go and people to see and things to do, but right now in this morning, all that matters is just us. Enjoying a fresh batch of blueberry muffins straight out of the oven, and spending time being the two of us. I'm sure five months from now I will crave these moments that are so quiet and serene and peaceful, but we'll probably be so wrapped up in blankets and burp cloths and love that we won't quite remember what it's like to be just two anymore.

So for right now, I'm cherishing these moments. And enjoying a second muffin. Happy Saturday.

XO

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Life - March


thinking about baby boy and girl names.  we have a few contenders, but this is serious business.

so excited to welcome my friend Stephanie's baby boy into the world this week. he's so sweet.

loving fresh squeezed orange juice and making lemonade one cup at a time. i'm craving tart yumminess.

remembering why i don't like painting my nails at home. just did them and my thumb is already crashed.

moving boxes from what will be baby's room and trying to figure out where to put everything that's been sitting in there for the last year and half.

resting with my Snoogle. definitely a pregnancy must-have for sleeping on your side.

embracing my growing belly. it's an adjustment, but i'm excited it's starting to look like a baby's in there now.

watching the final episodes of How I Met Your Mother. i'm really not sure what we're going to do when it's over, but i'm pretty positive i will cry during the finale on monday.

anticipating  my next craft project. it's most likely going to be something for baby, for baby's room, but i can't decide what it will be yet. 

sharing my finished baby quilt on the blog soon!

sitting at our kitchen table and so happy with how it turned out in this space. so glad we finally bit the bullet and bought something. 

getting ready for another baby shower this weekend! so amazed at how many babies are coming into our lives this year - and more amazed that mine is one of them!

writing letters to baby in a "dear baby" book I started the night we found out we were expecting. thrilled that my little one will have something to look back on just like the one i have!

amazed that March is almost over. how did that happen?

a little freaked out that we're almost at the 1/2 way point of this pregnancy!

XO


Thursday, March 27, 2014

New.


I'm sitting on our brand new kitchen table and writing this, feeling very much grown up because we have finally replaced the plastic picnic table with something that doesn't shake when I type.  The kitchen is definitely my favorite place in this house. That's me and baby enjoying this new space.

Since posting about our new addition, I've been going over blog posts in my head, deciding what to write about. And well, after announcing a baby in the works, blogging about other things just seemed so ... meh. I just couldn't get the words to flow out of me the same way. Not to mention that I've been super tired and dealing with some tired eyes as well, which makes sitting at the computer not-so-easy. But new glasses are on their way, and today has been my first duty-free day off in a while, so I've decided to embrace it and finally blog about something here.

Our baby is growing. Can you tell?  I am 18 weeks along now and I think I'm starting to feel him/her move around in there. I'm noticeably pregnant now, which means people actually ask about my pregnancy instead of just look at me awkwardly and wonder if I've put on weight (thank goodness, that was getting uncomfortable). I was lucky enough to avoid morning sickness (I think that's genetics working in my favor - my mom and grandma never got sick either), but this week the back pain and leg cramps have started up. I am hoping to get back into the swing of some pre-natal yoga. I tried it a few times and loved it until round ligament pain in the middle of it scared me out of doing more exercises. Now that I know what that pain feels like and where it's from, I'm a bit more open to the idea. Plus I think I need the de-stress/meditation part of it too. But all in all this pregnancy has been a fun ride. It's amazing watching my belly grow and change to fit the little human inside (that totally blows my mind!).

Other than baby growing, we're working on organizing our house and cleaning out what will be baby's room and making our office look a little less like a tornado hit. We also started working on our garden again, planting tomatoes, and hopefully some artichokes soon.  All of that takes a lot of work and energy, so it's a slow process. But hey, we got a new kitchen table, and I'm blogging again, so it seems like we're making good progress.

I keep wondering what direction this blog will go in. Will I focus on mommy-things? Will I keep crafting? I finally finished my quilt last week (more coming soon!) so I am waiting to figure out what my next project will be. I want to crochet, something, but maybe after we find out if it's a boy or a girl.

In the mean time, I hope to be back here soon, more posts with more energy that I am hoping will come back shortly. I think I need to catch up on a little more sleep.

XO