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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Slacker

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I admit it, I have been slacking lately. At blogging. At being productive. At basically everything. But I kind of think I have a good excuse - the whole being 24 days away from my due date thing. I have truly been taking every single opportunity to rest and relax lately. Part of that is forced because I have reached the point where my feet start puffing up as soon as I'm up and moving around. Another part of it is the tiredness - sleep is getting more and more difficult as the days go on. And since I can still take the time to relax and rest when I'm exhausted, I'm making sure to do just that. Soon enough, this tiredness will be caused by a little person who doesn't allow me to just put my feet up and zone out.

Aside from being the major slacker that I have become, we had our maternity photos taken this weekend and I am dying to see them! The photoshoot was a baby gift from my in-laws and I'm super grateful. It's not something that I would have ever thought to have done myself.

We also went shopping for some of the baby things that we still needed. I still have a few items that I want to get before Little One is born, but I think we're actually pretty set when it comes to the must-have items. What a strange thought, considering the fact that we barely had anything just a few weeks ago.

Did I mention that my due date is in 24 days? Just over three weeks. Although my instincts are telling me that I'm going to go later than that. I think I've decided that if I make it to the Friday of the week that I'm due (I'm due on a Thursday), that day will begin my leave from work regardless of whether I've gone into labor or not. That way if labor hasn't started yet, I can potentially squeeze in a few extra days of doing absolutely nothing.

If there is one thing I look forward to about not being pregnant anymore, it's my lowered immune system. During my first trimester, I think I caught every cold/flu/whatever that was going around at the school that I work at. After only one week back to work, I've already managed to catch a cold. I don't even know how it happened - I barely came into contact with the kids last week because I had so many things to do when they were in the library and I've been crazy obsessive about washing my hands. And yet here we are, Tuesday of the second week and I'm coughing and my throat is itchy and I'm fantasizing about taking NyQuil and sleeping for 10 hours.

And now I'm off to return to my laziness. Because I've been awake since 3am and I'm already planning on taking a nap after work, but I also plan on doing absolutely nothing requiring effort before work.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Soaking It Up & Giveaway Winner

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First of all, I want to congratulate Neeha, the winner of the $75 gift card to Pink Blush! You will be receiving your gift card via email soon, if you haven't already!
I can assure you, I absolutely had every intention of blogging last week. I had planned on talking about my baby shower and a few other things. It just never happened.
My entire week was spent getting things set up and organized in Baby's room (still a work in progress), relaxing, a doctor's appointment, a childbirth class and more relaxing. Given that it was my last week of Summer vacation from work and my last chance to spend a few days doing absolutely nothing before Little arrives, I think you can understand my absence.

Today was the first day of school for the kiddos. My first day back was technically on Friday, but it never really feels real until I'm back in there with the kids. I am so excited to see all of my little friends this week and for their reactions to my belly, which has grown a whole lot since the last time they saw me!

This year, I will be going back to only working half days, which is going to be strange. I was definitely disappointed when I found out that news (long story short, I had two positions that made up my days and due to changes with one of those positions, I had to choose between them). However, seeing as I am in the final stretch of my pregnancy, I'm choosing to view it as a blessing, giving me both the ability to still get plenty of rest and also the extra time to finish getting things ready around here for that baby of ours to be born.

As for my normal Monday Bumpdate post... that will have to wait until tomorrow. Simply because like the rest of my previous week, I was slacking just a little bit this weekend and forgot to take a new picture.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Happy Monday

Monday, August 8, 2016

BUMPDATE | 34 WEEKS + GIVEAWAY

Dress: c/o pink blush maternity
Wowza, Monday came way too quick. And this happens to be the last Monday that doesn't really count as a Monday for me - school is back in session one week from today and that means back to work for me. At least for a month. And then the real work begins - baby time!

Yesterday was exhausting and wonderful - it was our baby shower and it was amazing to be surrounded by so many people who already love our little one. I will be talking more about that later this week. Until then, let's get on with the bumpdate.
I think that for the first time, I can honestly say that I really feel pregnant. By that, I mean that I'm starting to have trouble doing normal tasks like getting up or finding a comfortable way to sit without having someone snuggled right up to my bladder. And sleep is still a struggle most nights. There are at least a few hours a night when I am awake and struggling to sleep - sometimes those hours are consecutive and sometimes they're sporadic, but they usually exist either way.

But that being said, I still feel amazing. Despite the tiredness and the constant bathroom trips, I'm still not uncomfortable and actually, still really in love with my body. I have loved showing off this bump in cute maternity clothes throughout this entire pregnancy. I have been much more drawn to clothes that show off my bump rather than trying to cover it up or disguise it. Why try to hide something that is as amazing as the little life growing inside of me? And this maternity dress that was sent to me from Pink Blush Maternity is quite possibly my favorite thing that I've worn so far. I wore it yesterday at my baby shower and I also plan on wearing it for our maternity photos on the 21st.
I love feeling confident and I'm honestly going to miss this bump and the feeling of growing Little One in my body. Of course, it will be worth the sacrifice when we get to have this baby here with us. But still, I will be a little sad to see it go.

Speaking of feeling beautiful and confident while showing off your bump (or just in general), I've teamed up with Pink Blush Maternity to give you the chance to win a $75 gift card to their online shop!
Enter below - enter with as few or as many of the options listed below as you want! To be eligible to win, you cannot have won a Pink Blush sponsored giveaway within the past three months. The entry form will be open until this Sunday, August 14, 2016 at midnight. Good luck!

Friday, August 5, 2016

TGIF | 5 Tips for a Fit and Healthy Pregnancy

I have been asked on numerous occasions how I have stayed so "small" or "tiny" during my pregnancy. And to be honest, even I don't fully have an answer for you on that one. I have a body type and a metabolism that typically causes me to gain weight just by looking at food. It takes conscious effort to maintain a healthy body size. And I fully expected that pregnancy would hit me hard. And yet with relatively minimal effort, I am sitting here at 34 weeks pregnant with a body that I am both incredibly in love with and that has managed to gain only the recommended amount of weight for a health pregnancy. But how?

The first thing that I will say is this - and it will be mentioned again in this list - I had a head start. I was in shape and living a healthy lifestyle that had been developed and maintained for months prior to getting pregnant. The habits of choosing healthier foods and staying physical were already there.

The second thing that I want to say is that every body and every pregnancy is different. I could do exactly the same things next time and have completely different results. And what matters isn't how big or small your baby bump happens to be - it's about the health of you and the little human you're growing and supporting. So these tips that I'm about to list aren't tips on how to have a small baby bump or how to stay skinny during pregnancy.
five tips for a fit and healthy pregnancy
1. Take those vitamins; One of the most important things that you need to do when you're pregnant is to take your prenatal vitamins. They're not only crucial for your #1 priority, keeping your baby healthy - they're also crucial for you. I love gummies - so much easier to take. But pay attention to the labels. I have to take a an iron supplement because mine don't have any iron. But it's still better than trying to swallow a giant pill! Considering how limited my food preferences were during my first trimester, it really goes to show how good those vitamins are for you and baby.

2. Food & water matter; I'm going to be honest here. I had it pretty easy in this department. After my first trimester, once I was beyond the majority of my food aversions, I craved mostly healthy things. Fresh fruit and veggies. Tons of water. And anything super greasy still made my stomach queasy to even think about. But even if you're not lucky like me, it's important to try to keep a healthy balance in your diet.

One tip that I've always used to "trick" myself into eating something healthy and avoid overeating something unhealthy - when you're craving something super unhealthy, don't say no... just eat something healthy first. I'm prone to bouts of low blood sugar, which causes me to become hangry. It's scary. Ask my husband. And when that happens, I tend to set my mind to eating something specific (it's usually pizza) and nothing else will suffice. And so I tell myself that I can have it... after I eat a salad. Or a protein bar. Or an apple. It typically ends one of two ways. Either eating satisfies me enough that I can now consider the possibility of eating something other than the unhealthy thing I was craving... or I still want the unhealthy thing, but I significantly reduce the amount that I would have eaten before and I have still snuck in something good for me. It almost always works for me.

As for water, you'll hear it a million times - with your body making more blood and fluids than ever before, you need more water. I happen to love water and drink it like crazy anyway, but if you aren't a fan, try adding fruit to give it some flavor.

3. If possible, start early; Before my husband and I started trying to get pregnant, we knew that those plans were in our relatively near future. For me, I knew that before we even started trying, I wanted my body to be healthy and strong. Because pregnancy can do a number on you. I started following Tone It Up, among a few other online trainers, and created a workout routine that worked for me. For the first time in my life, I fell in love with fitness and taking care of myself. By the time I got pregnant, I was in the best shape I had ever been in and I think that has definitely helped me stay strong and healthy and comfortable throughout my pregnancy. I definitely suggest that if you can, develop a healthy fitness routine before you get pregnant.

4. Get up and move; I just mentioned that at the time I got pregnant, I had a workout routine that I loved and was consistent at maintaining. Now let's address reality... first trimester exhaustion. I slept until I had to get up for work, I often napped after work and I was in bed by 7pm every single night. Sometimes earlier. I managed to do an actual "workout" twice during my entire first trimester. But I was still sneaking in physical activity, mainly in the form of walking a lot at work. Once my energy came back, I still never jumped back into my full blown workout routine. But I walk. I do arm workouts with light weights. I do squats and wall sits when blow-drying my hair and brushing my teeth. Even without doing an intense cardio or strength workout, I am still finding ways to be active and stay in shape.

5. Listen to your body; Your body is going through a lot when you're pregnant. So above all else, listen to what it's telling you. If you're tired, rest. If you're hungry, eat. Thirsty? Drink. You're growing a human. Those who have never been pregnant might assume that you just sit there and grow and that's all there is to it - but it's intensely hard work. Take care of yourself!

One last time, I want to reiterate - none of these tips are designed to help you lose weight or make you miraculously "bounce back" after you give birth. They're not meant to keep you "small" during your pregnancy. Truthfully, aside from my doctor telling me that I'm gaining just the right amount of weight, I haven't been paying much attention to my own weight since getting pregnant. These tips may help you with weight - I am assuming that they play at least some roll in my own healthy amount of weight gain. But it's not about that.

Your number one priority is and should be to take care of your growing baby and your growing body.

Do you have any tips or advice for staying healthy before, during or after pregnancy? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

FOUR

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Almost three years ago, my life became a little more full and a whole lot happier. I never had a dog growing up. My mom is very allergic to dogs and slightly allergic to cats. I am the exact opposite - my throat starts to itch at the though of cats while only certain breeds of dogs bother my allergies. But either way - no real pets for us. And I always felt like I was missing out.
The first photo I ever saw of Izzy - posted on the shelter's Facebook page
Then one day, just a few months after moving in with Adam, I saw a picture on our local animal shelter's Facebook page and I fell in love. I can't even explain the feeling that came over me. I just knew that she had to be mine. Although that's not very fitting. I am 100% hers. She is spoiled and loved and the best friend that a girl could ever dream of. She is the best at snuggling, the one who comforts me when I am upset and the one who makes me laugh when I need it most. She has me wrapped around her little paws. And I know without a doubt that she's going to be the very best big sister when our baby arrives.
Her first day home - she snuggled me as soon as she finished exploring.
Today, this beautiful little girl turns four years old. Four years on this Earth and almost three years in my life - I am grateful each and every single day for her existence and for the fact that we managed to find each other.
Happy birthday, Isabelle! Mommy and Daddy love you the very most!

Monday, August 1, 2016

BUMPDATE | 33 Weeks Pregnant + Weekend Update

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I'm tired. Beyond tired. Tired enough that it's already 9:00am, the time that my posts usually go live, and I'm only just now putting this one together. My weekend was full and fun and I am feeling it today. 

Saturday, we had a birthday party for my friend's son. Because of my husbands work schedule, we were running late, but we made it in time for cake and ice cream and to watch him open his presents. And that's what really matters, right? Considering my lack of socializing this Summer, it was nice to actually get out and see our friends for a while and we really need to get together again soon!

Sunday. That's the day that has me feeling exhausted. We met my family (my parents, my siblings and their families) at the Summerfield Zoo. None of us had ever been there before, so it was a fun new adventure for us. It's a small place with both farm animals and wild ones and it was a pretty fun place, especially for the kids. Except for feeding the goats. There was lots and lots of being jumped on and I made a goat friend who decided that my leg was a scratching post. But overall, definitely a fun experience. 
After the zoo, Adam and I stopped for lunch (because preggo was hangry) and to replace my shirt (the goats made a mess) and headed to a bbq to celebrate one of Adam's co-worker/friend's recent wedding. This was also fun, but by the time that we went home, I was pretty much done with the day. Being up and moving all day gave my my first real set of swollen feet/ankles and all I can say is ouch. We stopped and picked up pizza for dinner and then headed home, where I ate, showered and then passed out cold until about 3:00am. Lately, I've been waking up at around that time, staying away for about two hours and then finally falling back asleep for about two more hours. 

It's been a joy. 

And now for the pregnancy stuff.. 
What's new this week; I had an appointment with my doctor last week and everything is still going excellent. Baby's heartbeat is nice and strong. He/she is in the head down position and should remain that way until delivery. And my doctor isn't concerned about the dizzy spell that I had two weeks ago - he said it's an annoying, but common symptom and since it wasn't accompanied with any other problems, it's not something to worry about.

Mommy stuff; This week, frozen pink lemonade has been my go-to craving. It keeps me cool, gives me the cold and crunchiness that I've been craving all along and is perfect during these hot Summer days. As for how I'm feeling - still good, but my energy is decreasing a little more each day. Part of it is, I'm sure, due to the fact that sleep is a struggle. My legs refuse to stay comfortable in one position for very long.
Paint Color (here)
Nursery update; Little's room is fully painted, cleaned and ready to be filled. This weekend is my baby shower, so we will certainly have lots of things to move in there next week. My plan for next week, aside from getting plenty of rest (it's my last week of vacation before work starts back up), is to get as much of the room set up as I can. And also, to keep Izzy away from the stuffed animals... she's confused about why I won't let her play with those.

My plan for this week; Tonight I have an infant & toddler CPR class, which my mom will be attending with me since my husband is temporarily working nights. I also have my first childbirth class on Thursday, which my mom will also be attending with me. Thank goodness for backup labor coaches ;)

How was your weekend?