Things I’m Loving and Not Loving

I am a Happy Camper

Zico chocolate coconut water: This stuff is so good. It’s like a watery chocolate milkshake and would be the perfect liquid for a chocolate banana smoothie.

Yoga: I bought the prenatal package of ten classes at Dragonfly yoga, and although I didn’t go as often as I would’ve liked, I have been a couple times recently. It feels good to move like that, and it’s actually somewhat challenging now as an almost 40 week pregnant person. Plus there’s always a decent chance I’ll get to catch up with one of these two friends!  

The Americans: Brody watched this show over his lunch breaks, and now we’ve started watching it at night. We’re only in the first season (thanks Amazon Prime!), but it’s really interesting. 

Baking: Everything with sugar sounds good to me right now. In the past couple weeks, I’ve made banana whole wheat waffles, salted oatmeal white chocolate cookies, flourless peanut butter thumbprint cookies, banana coffee crumb cake, and zucchini bread. I’ll share all the links on my next food post.

My family: I love my husband and daughter so much, and as Brody pointed out yesterday as we walked around the Capitol Square, we have such a good life. I probably felt even more sentimental yesterday because a) It was our seven year anniversary, b) I’m pregnant, and c) Brunch may have been our last meal out at a restaurant as a family of three.  

Friday mom and baby play group: What would I do without these ladies?!?! They’ve been a source of support, laughs, food, fun and so much more for me (and Finley) over the last year. 

Relaxing during Finley’s nap: I’m typing this post as I lie in bed. While I did a few things right when she went down, such as laundry and the dishes, I’ve been trying to put my legs up to relieve the immense amount of pressure that exists down there. Baby Girl’s head is LOW.

I Could Do Without

Maternity clothes and my compression wear: I know I’ve moaned and groaned about this already, but I can’t wait to wear normal clothes again. I’m tempted to sell or donate (to a friend or Goodwill) all of my maternity clothes as soon as possible. 

Frequent night wakings: After spending a couple hours lying on one side of my body, my bottom hip starts to ache. Flipping to the other side takes a decent amount of effort, and unfortunately, often wakes Brody up. I know, I know…I’ll be getting up a lot with a newborn, and this is just preparing me for that….

Rain: We got a ton of rain last week, which was great for the grass, trees and plants, but not as much fun for a toddler who always wants to go outside. This week looks beautiful though, and even if I spend it in the hospital (maybe Baby H will come early?), Finley will enjoy it with my mom and/or Brody.

And for fun…Things Finley is Loving

Buses and trucks: She doesn’t play with trucks or cars much, but she gets so excited to see them drive past. She waves to them and says “Hi bus” and “Bye bus!”. 

Animals: Finley plays with her Little People animals every day. We also talk about animals every day, most likely the ones at the zoo. She likes seeing birds and squirrels outside while on walks or playing at parks.    

 Bacon: Maybe this was only a one time thing, but she housed a plate of bacon at Graze yesterday. Also, the anniversary card Brody got for me has a piece of (paper) bacon on the spring on the inside, and Finley keeps trying to eat it.   

Hope you’re having a nice Monday! And tell me: What are you loving or not loving???

Finley Photo Dump vol. X

  Finley tried grapefruit for the first time. It seemed like she kind of liked it but was shocked by the tartness.

  We go to a free play group in Sun Prairie most Monday mornings. Finley almost always has lots of fun and loves to see her friends (Noah, Ady, Ella and Brooks).

  For a week, she read this information book about the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison during meals.

  The girl still uses a paci, and it honestly doesn’t concern me one bit. She only gets it to sleep or in the car. 

  New tradition: Popsicles on the stoop after dinner. Finley’s are frozen orange juice.

  Finley spends a decent chunk of her days playing with her animals. They’re mostly Little People ones. 

 This may be hard to see but Finley got a hold of my Vaseline (used as Chapstick at night) and smeared it all over her face. 

  We’ve had a few last extender-nap cuddle sessions lately. It’s been amazing.

  Brody ran a half marathon over Memorial Day weekend. Finley and I were his biggest fans.

  Finley had a zoo date with a buddy. Unfortunately lots of the animals were inside, as it was very close to closing time. They still had fun even if we only saw the giraffes, camels, an alpaca, and two bisons.

Finley will be two years old in less than a month. It’s been an incredible two years and somewhat insane how quickly it has gone by. We love her so much, and she brings so much joy to our life.

Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks with Baby #2

How far along? Almost 38 weeks!

Gender? Girl.

Baby’s size? The length of a stalk of rhubarb, so 19.5 inches, and about 6.5 lbs.

Movement? Yes, a lot. She’s very low in my pelvis now and punches the inside of my hip bones. I had a dream last night that I could see her hands through my skin as she moved. Weird!

Weight gain? About 25lbs.

Symptoms? Huge belly, some heartburn (it has gotten better recently), varicose veins, lines nigra, and nesting tendencies.

Belly button in or out? Out, and has been for a long time. Will it be somewhat normal again? I doubt it.

Wedding rings on or off? On, which is surprising. When I was pregnant with Finley, I didn’t wear my ring at night because my hands would get puffy. I’ve noticed absolutely no swelling in my hands or feet this time (knock on wood).

Sleep? Meh. I wake up a handful of times throughout the night to roll from one side to the other, which is a production due to the large belly and extra pillow I use between my knees. I also use the bathroom at least twice. All in preparation for life with a newborn. 

Best moment of the week? On Sunday morning, Brody, Finley and I went to the zoo, and it was lots of fun! She went through a brief stage when she was scared of all the animals, but lately, she’s been obsessed with all things animals. She keeps talking about how she wants to show her baby sister the animals at the zoo. We walked around there for over an hour and then grabbed lunch at Pizza Brutta. It was a great morning!

   
    

Looking forward to? Brody runs his second half marathon on Sunday, and it’ll be fun to watch him. 

Miss anything? A full glass (or three) of wine, stomach sleeping, not needing to wear compression things, and working out.

Exercise? This has been a big difference between my two pregnancies. When pregnant with Finley, I worked out at least a few times a week and walked the the dogs at the park almost daily. With this one, I chase a toddler around most of the day and sometimes get a short walk in with the whole family before dinner. 

Labor signs? As I mentioned before, Baby Girl dropped about a week and a half ago. At my appointment yesterday, I was not dilated. The Braxton Hicks contractions are happening a lot, but nothing starting in my back and nothing painful. 

My Decision to Attempt a VBAC

Before meeting with the OB who performed my c-section with Finley, I was pretty certain I’d be scheduling a c-section for this baby. It seemed like the right decision for many reasons. And then we met, and a few things changed my (and Brody’s) mind.

1) The risks for complications in each situation are comparable, with the VBAC being slightly safer.

2) Although the percent of success wasn’t great at a modest 62%, when (or if) I go into labor, they’ll be able to give me a more accurate percent of successfully delivering vaginally at that moment. 

3) This was the big one for me: the lifting restriction. For up to six weeks, I wouldn’t be able to lift more than 15 lbs. I wouldn’t be able to hold Finley, put her in her crib for naps, or get her into the car seat. I would be so dependent on other people, and I know it would be hard on me and Finley. 

So, I’m going to give it a go. I know my chances of success are higher if I avoid interventions (Pitocin, epidural, etc.), but unfortunately, if I am overdue by a week, I’ll need to be induced. Hopefully I’ll be able to choose to have my water broken, if it hasn’t already, to get contractions going rather than Pitocin. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to handle labor without an epidural, but maybe without Pitocin, my body will respond differently and I’ll be able to get through them. 

Purchases for Baby H

As the second child, and the second girl, this baby is going to be blessed with lots of hand-me-downs. The seasons match perfectly since they’ll be just under two years apart, and as long as this baby isn’t crazy small or big, we’ll be able to use Finley’s clothes. Plus we still have the infant car seat, Bumbo, swing, bouncer, play mat, and so on. Which is great, and I love that we are getting more use out of these things. 

But, I wanted to give Baby H a few new things, and here’s what we’ve got for her (so far):

-A beautiful nursery: It’s a “forest” theme with bedding from Land of Nod, a stenciled tree by yours truly, an owl mobile from Etsy, a porcelain owl, and a sweet moose clock (thanks Bridget and JP!). 

   
The tree required some free-handing to touch up the imperfections.

-New shoes: This week I bought her Zutano booties and Freshly Picked moccasins, both for fall and winter. Adorable!

   
 –Solly Baby Wrap: Even though I have the Baby K’tan and Ergo, I’ve been eyeing this wrap for months. There were lots of good reviews, and it sounded like a more breathable option than the Moby. I bought it in the yellow color and can’t wait to wear Baby!  

This has turned into a long post. If you stick with it, thank you. Maybe the next time I check in it will be with a birth announcement. Probably not though. That’s okay. I can wait.

Finally Friday Facts

1. We have farm fresh eggs! I found a woman on a resale group I’m in on Facebook who lives just outside of Waunakee selling them for $2.40/dozen. I picked up two dozen yesterday and plan on having eggs for breakfast after Finley wakes up. 

2. Finley has to be going through a growth spurt. She’s been eating more than normal, taking 2-3 hour naps every day this week, and been very moody. Sometimes she’s so happy and fun, and at other times she’s throwing a tantrum and insonsolable. I realize this last part is basically the definition of “toddler” but it’s been more dramatic recently. 

3. The freezer is looking good! I’ll do a full update later, but I’ve got eleven dinner items, which each will easily give us two meals. Yesterday I added chicken taco chili and oven baked chicken fajitas to the stash. If you have a favorite freezer meal, send it my way please!

4. Crazylegs is not looking good. I was excited to walk it tomorrow with two friends while pushing Finley in the stroller, but it’s most definitely going to rain. And be cold. And be windy. Yuck! 

5. My thumb nail is almost gone. If you can recall, I slammed my thumb in my car door about two months ago (the day before I broke out in hives from amoxicillan – I was a mess!). Well it died, and the new nail has been growing in. It’s an ugly process, and I’ll spare you photos. Fingers crossed it looks somewhat normal soon because… ⬇️

6. My sister’s wedding is two weeks away! I pick up my bridesmaids dress from the seamstress on Monday; hopefully it fits well and I don’t look ridiculous (not because of the dress, which is beautiful, but because I’m 8 months pregnant). 

7. After two attempts by Brody to buy patio furniture, third times a charm. We can’t wait to sit outside, eat meals, and just relax back there! It should arrive the second week in May.  

8. I’m thinking about buying the Solly Wrap for Baby Girl. Anyone have it? I have an Ergo and K’tan, but this one looks so comfy and easy. I hope to wear this baby a lot more than I did Finley. 

9. Brody and I have two nights out coming up: a birthday dinner for me at The Tempest tomorrow night and a “gala” next weekend. We’ve got to squeeze these in before life is flipped upside down with having a newborn. 

10. This girl – she’s awesome.   

     Have a great Friday and weekend!

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks with Baby #2

How far along? 32 weeks, 5 days.

Gender? Girl.

Baby’s size? She’s a pineapple at 4.25 lbs and 17.2 inches. 

Movement? Oh ya. She seems to move the most in the evening, but I notice it throughout the day. Since this will likely be my last pregnancy, I’m enjoying it.

Weight gain? About 17-18 pounds.

Symptoms? Heartburn! Tums are my best friends, and they go with me everywhere. I feel the burn after eating most food but especially citrus, chocolate, tomato-based anything, and spicy things. I also feel it if I’m starting to get hungry, which I assume is my stomach acid preparing for food creeping up. 

Also, I obviously still have varicose and spider veins. I wear some form of compression wear every day, and it has been helping relieve the discomfort.

Belly button in or out? Out. 

Wedding ring on or off? On day and night.

Sleep? I fall asleep easily and have fortunately not been cursed with pregnancy insomnia (knock on wood). I’m up a handful of times throughout the night to roll to the other side or use the bathroom. 

Best moment of the week? The best was also the scariest for a while. My SIL, who had the same due date as me, had her baby on Thursday at 32 weeks. Mom and Baby are both doing well. 

As for non-pregnancy related events, I had my friend’s bridal shower and bachelorette party this past weekend. It was a blast and so fun to spend time with her and my high school friends!   The bridesmaids and the bride (in white) at the bridal shower. Yes, I’m wearing flats but standing on my toes. I’m a shorty and had no business wearing heels.

High school friends!

  We painted pretty trees.

 

My lovely friend, Susan, had a baby 10 weeks ago. Isn’t she a doll! 

Looking forward to? A quiet weekend at home with Brody and Finley.  

Miss anything? Just the normal stuff: non-maternity clothes, wine, stomach sleeping.

Exercise? Not as much as I’d like, but I’m trying to not get down on myself about it. I know I’ll eventually (hopefully, someday) be able to get back into a good exercise routine and decent running shape.  

Labor signs? Some Braxton Hicks while exercising.

Scenes from the Weekend

We drove up to my mom’s house (formerly our family’s cottage) for the weekend to and had a really nice time with my mom, my sister, and her fiancé. Finley especially enjoyed herself. 

Saturday late morning we went into town to check out Lakewood’s Lioness (I think?) Easter celebration. Finley decorated an egg and made a foam egg magnet.   

 

After her nap, we spent some time outside doing Finley’s favorite activity: squirrel hunting. She saw a squirrel through the sliding glass doors in the morning and kept wanting to see more. She’d yell “Squirrel! Where are you?” We also played inside with Legos from when my sister and I were kids and all of my sister’s Beanie Babies.  

  

That night, the Badgers were playing in the Final Four against Kentucky. Brody went to a bar down the road after dinner to watch the end of the Michigan State game, and my sister, her fiance, and I met him after I had put Finley down for the night. Being in a small town bar with lots of fun Badger fans and nice bartenders was a great time! And I was sober (obviously)! Plus they won! Brody was just a little happy.  

We all woke up around 7:30am Sunday morning, and Finley found her Easter basket. Brody was responsible for buying everything and putting it together; he’s so good with stuff like that! 

 

  

  

  

  

Finley did figure out how to open the eggs with candy in them, so she consumed quite a bit of sugar in the first couple hours of the morning.  

Later, once my grandpa arrived, we went outside for an Easter egg hunt. My sister brought the eggs for her, and the two of us went out to “hide” them. Finley figured out the game quickly and loved it! After she found the last egg, she kept saying “More!”.    

        

  

Thanks to Laura for taking most of the photos in this post!!! I stole them from her FB page. Even though I look horrible in the photo above, I’m glad we got a picture of our little family. 

I hope you had a fun weekend as well!

Finley Update: 21 Months

Some of you may be wondering whats new with my little lady. It’s been forever since I’ve done a post only about her, so why not get one started now while she naps on me (which is quite the sight given my large belly).

Sleeping (naps):

Since September or so, we’ve been down to one nap a day right after lunch. Sometimes that means she’s in her crib at noon, and sometimes it’s 1pm. She sleeps for at least 75 minutes, but occasionally will take a 120 minute or more nap. Lately, because I can and I love it, I’ll bring her into the baby’s nursery and rock her in the glider. She’ll often doze off again for 20-60 minutes.   

Sleeping (night):

Ever since Daylight Savings Time, Finley’s nighttime schedule has been AWE-SOME (please don’t let me jinx myself). She goes to sleep around 7:30/8pm and sleeps until 7am. In the morning, she wakes up and hangs out in her crib for 10-15 minutes, rolling around, playing with her three pacis, and basically waking up. She’s so happy when I go in to get her then – I love it!

Soon after I posted about the tart cherry juice, we stopped giving it to her. It was becoming something forced. Seems like most things, she was in a “phase” and it passed. 

Eating and Drinking:

I can’t recall if I ever mentioned this, but I stopped nursing Finley in September, soon after we moved into our new house. At that point she was only nursing once in the morning and for only a few minutes. Plus, it started to feel “odd” to me, and I couldn’t explain it. Well, a pregnancy test a couple weeks later explained my aversion. I was not meant to be a breastfeeding pregnant mama. Because we weaned so slowly, I never had any problems with engorgement or leaking.

Finley eats three meals and two snacks a day. She eats most fruit, some vegetables, all grain products (bread, waffles, granola bars, pretzels), yogurt, hotdogs and chicken nuggets (we buy Applegate), rice with a little soy sauce, and as a treat, M&Ms. She drinks water throughout the day and whole milk at most meals.   

     


Social Development:

We stay busy around here! We leave the house every morning for play dates, music class, the museum, play groups, etc. Finley has lots of friends, and while she doesn’t exactly “play” with them yet, she prefers being around other kids to playing by herself.    

  

 

   

 

In the afternoon we’re more likely to stay at home, whether that means playing inside or outside. Now that the weather is improving, we’ve been going to the park across the street, taking walks, and playing with chalk.   

   


Physical Development:

At her 18 month appointment, she was still in the 90% for height and weight. She wears mostly 24 month or 2T clothes now, but all the summer clothes I bought for her at the end of last summer are 3T, and they’re going to fit perfectly. 

Finley runs, climbs stairs with help, can almost jump correctly, goes down big slides alone (she’s still fearless), dances, and much more. She’s working on jumping; she can’t quite get both of her feet to leave the ground at the same time. 

Mental Development:

Finley is very clearly going through a language explosion. Every day she is saying new words, and most recently, she’s started putting two words together (Noah’s house and Daddy home). She’s been loving the ABCs, and we sing them to her a lot and play with the foam letters in the bathtub every night.

Like any toddler, Finley has tantrums when frustrated or when things don’t go her way. Typically I can distract her so she forgets about it or I hold her in a hug and sing and sway.

We are trying to mentally prepare Finley for a sibling by talking about the baby, hanging out in her room, reading books about being a big sister, and even watching the Daniel Tiger episodes involving his little sister. She is drawn to babies and always wants to see them and touch them. I know she’ll be a great big sister!

Extra Information:

-We haven’t even attempted any form of potty training and don’t plan on tackling it any time soon. I have hopes of doing the “naked weekend boot camp” in August. For now she’s perfectly content wearing Pampers Baby Dry size 5 and occasionally a cloth diaper.

-Finley still has her paci(s), and like the potty training, I have no plans of changing that. We limit their use to car rides and sleeping. However during her week of sickness, she had it during the day too.  

-We are not a no-tv household, but I do not want Finley sitting for hours watching shows (unless she is sick). She likes Curious George, Daniel Tiger and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I see her screen time decreasing as it continues to get warmer.  

 

 -The girl is obsessed with belly buttons…hers and others’.   

 

That’s our Finley! We love her to pieces and have been having so much fun with her lately.  

Survey from a Blog from a Magazine

Did you follow that title? This morning, I read Carrots ‘n Cake morning post, and she answered the questions that Anna Faris responded to in Health magazine. I liked the questions and thought I’d also be a copycat. 

Can you eat what you want or do you have to watch it?

Being pregnant, I’m “allowed” an extra 300(ish) calories a day. However, I haven’t found in either of my pregnancies that my eating habits changed much. Eating fairly clean and healthy has been a part of my life for so long that I don’t even think about it. I do allow myself to indulge in something  sweet almost everyday, whether it be a couple pieces of dark chocolate after dinner, a brownie, or some ice cream (which we don’t keep in the house, so it’s a rare treat). 

After you had your baby, did you feel pressure to snap back into shape?

Surprisingly, no. I walked a lot for the first month after giving birth to Finley, but I didn’t start working out (going to the gym, running, workout DVDs) until  at least 8 weeks postpartum. I felt good about my body and didn’t mind the extra around my middle. Honestly, nursing helped me drop the weight quite quickly, so I started to feel comfortable in my body again after a couple months (or less). With this baby, at least now as a 30 week pregnant lady, I am feeling the pressure to be fit. But I’m not doing so great in that department, so I am excited to start working out regularly and sweating after I give birth.

Do you guys want more kids?

We’re likely going to stop at two. Both of us have one sibling, so that’s what we “know.” Also, as my sister says, we’ll never be outnumbered and the girls will each always have a partner (either each other or one of us) for going to amusement parks. Ha!

What are your favorite ways to pamper yourself?

Ummm…pamper? What does that mean? I’ve never been one to get regular massages, facials, or my nails done. For me, I feel pampered when I can take a shower without a toddler in the bathroom at the same time! Actually, I did get a gel manicure (my first ever!) on Friday night with my sister. The woman spent a few minutes massaging my arms and hands at the end, and that felt pretty amazing.

Besides wine, do you have a go-to drink?

When I’m not pregnant, and I’m not drinking red wine, I like stouts and IPAs. When I can’t drink or just want something special, I love kombucha. 

Do you have any health regrets?

Nothing I can think of.

Are you a yoga person?

Right after I graduated from college in 2005, I got into hot (or at that time it was Bikram) yoga. I practiced 5-6 days a week and loved it. After Brody and I bought our house in Sun Prairie and then I started student teaching, the location and long classes (90 minutes) weren’t convenient. Since then I’ve dabbled in it. I’m currently taking prenatal yoga classes at Dragonfly in Middleton, but I’ve only been able to make it to a class once every other week or so. After the baby is born, I’d love to start going to hot yoga again. 

What workout move do you loathe?

In BodyPump (which I haven’t taken forever), I despise biceps. 

When do you feel sexy?

When I get dressed up for a fancy night out with Brody. The last time this happened was when we went to The American Club in Kohler and had a nice dinner together. I wore a dress, eyeliner, and perfume!

When do you feel your absolute happiest?

In general, I am happy in the morning. I love the promise of the day to come, drinking coffee, and cuddling with Finley on the couch while she watches an episode of Daniel Tiger and does her nebulizer. Otherwise, I am so happy when Brody, Finley and I are out having fun, such as at the museum or out for brunch.

Pregnancy Update: 28 Weeks with Baby #2

How far along? Just over 28 weeks.



My SIL and I at 27 weeks. We have the same due date!

Gender? Girl!

Baby’s size? She’s the size of a large eggplant, about 2 1/4 pounds.

Weight gain? I think about 15-16 pounds.



Belly button in or out? Very much out! Finley loves poking it. Actually, it’s so far out, I wonder if it’s a hernia.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Sleep? Good! I’ve been sleeping with a pillow between my legs on some nights. I’m up to use the bathroom two times a night.

Best moment of the week? Being outside last week was amazing! It felt so great to have sunshine on my skin, watch Finley play at the park and color with chalk, and sit on our back patio.



Looking forward to? Hopefully passing my glucose tolerance test on Tuesday. This time around, my blood is drawn at 7:40am, and I’ll avoid eating breakfast to throw off the results. Last time, I failed the first test and had to take the three hour test, which I passed, but it still was not a fun way to spend that much time.

Miss anything? Wine and not being in almost constant discomfort (from the varicose veins).

Movement? Yes – a lot! This baby likes to move, especially at night after dinner when we’re watching tv or lying in bed. I love it!

Food cravings? Nothing really. Brody and I each had a hankering for a peanut butter milkshake after seeing one on tv, and we’ve since had two.

Anything making you sick or queasy? Nope.

Exercise? I had a strong start to the week and worked out the first three days, but it didn’t happen after that. There was a lot more walking this week, though, and I guess that counts.

Symptoms? Heartburn (I heart Tums), varicose veins, and linea nigra.

Labor signs? I believe I’m feeling Braxton Hicks at times, especially when I’m working out. 

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Today Thus Far

Today has went like this: 

-an early morning wakeup call (5:50am, and Finley has been on a cherry juice strike – coincidence?) 

-a trip to Woodmans for groceries for the week, including a huge vat of strawberries in the clearance section for 99 cents 

-a denied entrance to Play N Learn (a free play group funded by United Way) because we were five minutes late and they were already at capacity 

-an impromptu play date with Finley’s friend Noah and my friend Amber at their house 

-two phone conversations with nurses regarding sore throats and coughs (Finley and I are both under the weather) 

-a delicious lunch of salad with leftover crispy chicken and a small bowl of loaded baked potato soup from Costco 

-a short walk with the dogs while Finley napped

-the discovery on said walk that water was streaming out of a spigot on the side of our house

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-a visit from the company who winterized our sprinkler system, who realized the valve wasn’t turned off (or was turned back on) 

-a sleeping toddler on my chest (she’s been sleeping another 30-60 minutes after she wakes up from her nap if we hold her…which we won’t be able to do for much longer so I’m enjoying the snuggles)

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How’s your day going?