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???

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.

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.

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!

Really?

I’d like to think I’m pretty tough, have a decent ability to handle pain and discomfort, and am healthy enough. While I’m prone to self-diagnose via Dr. Google, it stems from a need to know why.

This pregnant mama needs to catch a break! Here’s why.

A week and a half ago, I had a bad sore throat that turned into a sinus infection. Last Wednesday, there was so much pressure behind my face that my eyes were red, puffy and watery. I was prescribed amoxicillin and aside from some lingering phelgm, it’s gone. 

Tuesday night of this week, I came home and idiotically shut my right thumb in the car door. Ouch! It turned blackish blue in less than ten minutes and throbbed constantly. Sleep was not very restful Tuesday night despite Tylenol and ice. 

I read online that sometimes a small hole will be drilled in a bruised nail to let the blood out and relieve the pressure, so I called my doctor’s office. After speaking to a nurse, she scheduled an appointment with my doctor. My doctor said the bruising didn’t cover enough of the nail bed to warrant drilling a hole in it (not sure if I was relieved or not about that) and that I could take ibuprofen. Apparently this pain reliever only really needs to be avoided during the third trimester of pregnancy, or at least that’s what she told me. At home, I found a bottle of aspirin – thinking it was the same as ibuprofen – and took three doses throughout the remainder of the day.

My thumb started to feel much better Wednesday late afternoon and did not affect my sleep. However, an itchy body did affect my sleep.

I woke up this morning to a body covered in hives. For real. Dr. Google stated I could take Benadryl, and luckily we had liquigels in the medicine cabinet, but I just noticed they expired in 2013. Awesome. Anyways, Brody suggested I still call my doctor to let her know what was happening. I’m 99% positive I’ve taken aspirin before, and that’s the only thing I can think of that was different yesterday. Before the itching really started during the night, I did notice my hands were itchy, but I chalked it up to their dryness. 

*Update: My doctor thinks I’m having an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin I’m on for the sinus infection. I’ve been instructed to stop taking it. 

And the cherry on top? My backs of my legs look like someone beat me up due to the varicose veins and spider veins, and the constant dull ache and pressure “down there” from my special veins create a very ugly and uncomfortable situation. My fingers and legs are crossed that all of the veins go back to normal after I give birth. 

Basically my body is a war zone and is failing me. Dramatic much? 

You can thank me for sparing you photos of my aforementioned ailments.

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks with Baby #2

Hi! Happy Tuesday afternoon!

I’m blogging again – crazy. Let’s talk about pregnancy. I doubt I’ll do pregnancy updates as often as I did with my first, but here’s at least one to get things started. 

   How far along? Almost 22 weeks

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*picture from about a week ago 

 
Gender? Girl!

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Baby’s size? Spaghetti squash (11 inches, almost 1 pound). 

 

Weight gain? 11 lbs. This is more than I had gained at this point with Finley but I was about five pounds less starting out than I was pre-pregnancy with Finley. So whatever. 

Belly button in or out? Kind of out already.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I had forgotten I took them off at night during my first pregnancy.

Sleep? Good. I go to sleep around 9:30pm, wake up twice to use the bathroom around 11pm and 3am, and I’m up for the day around 6am. 

Best moment(s) of the week? Family trip to Chicago! Brody took Friday off and we drove down Thursday night. On Friday morning, we had breakfast at The Bongo Room and spent two and a half hours at the Shedd Aquarium.

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Miss anything? Stomach sleeping. 

Looking forward to? Brody’s dad is visiting and staying with us this weekend. We’re excited for him to spend a lot of time with Finley. On the baby front, we looking at decor for her room, so that’s fun. 

Movement? I’ve been feeling movement inside for a few weeks, and recently, movement with my hand on the belly.

Food cravings? A few weeks back, I was into Raisin Bran, but otherwise, not much. I have been loving oranges but I wouldn’t say it’s a craving.

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Anything making you sick or queasy? As with my first pregnancy, whole chicken breasts gross me out.  

Exercise? Meh. I try to get to the gym twice a week, whether that’s for a kickboxing class or a session on the elliptical. I did attend a prenatal yoga class at Dragonfly in Middleton with my other pregnant friend, Mel. I bought a ten class package, so that’ll be good for me. 

Symptoms? The varicose veins (on legs and elsewhere) are baaaaack. Yuck. They’re so much worse than last time. I got fitted for compression leggings but haven’t been good about wearing them. The waistband hits at an awkward spot and either gives me ridiculous muffin top or two pregnant bellies. I spoke to my doctor about options if these don’t go away after giving birth. They did with Finley, so fingers crossed they will disappear again…immediately. 

Labor signs? Nope. 

 Have a good day!

Meal Plan 1/11/15-1/17/15

Brody and I have let our preferred way of eating slide over the last couple months. We both felt great sticking to a mainly grain-free diet, and as I mentioned, Brody dropped a significant amount of weight.

Then I got pregnant. All I wanted to eat for the month of October was carbs. Tortilla chips (GF, but still). Bagels with cream cheese. Bread. Cereal. I went to town. I felt nauseated almost every day for a month, and the thought of food, especially meat, would make me want to hurl (which I never did, thank goodness). I could barely meal plan. I’d go to Costco and come home with Aussie bites (which Finley ate most of), mozzarella sticks, fish sticks, pre-made Caesar salad and tomato basil soup.

My grain-loving self then rubbed off on Brody, and he found himself “cheating” more.

The last straw was the holidays. There’s no avoiding all the sugar, carbs and booze (unless you have an allergy and/or are pregnant).

Now that life has returned to normal and my appetite is back, Brody and I are trying to get back on track. Much of this falls on me since I’m the one who grocery shops and meal plans. While pregnant, though, I’m still going to keep some grains in my diet. They do not cause me discomfort, I’m not looking to lose weight, and they make me happy.

Lunches (for me): beef and barley soup
*I used the broth, which had been in our deep freezer, I made from the leftover rib roasts from Christmas.

Sunday: Calzones (from Brittany Angel’s book, Every Last Crumb)

Monday: Steak stir fry

Tuesday: Crock Pot ginger chicken (a freezer meal) and roasted broccoli

Wednesday: Smoked kielbasa (from Costco) and roasted potatoes

Thursday: Pork Szechuan stir fry

Friday: Wing it/order takeout

Saturday: Dinner at The Immigrant Room at The American Club in Kohler!!!

Sorry I don’t have many actual recipes this week, as this was kind of a “clean out the freezer” week. Next week maybe I’ll be more adventurous and interesting.

A Day in the Life [12-11-14]

What better way to fill you in on my life than a this-is-what-I-did-in-day-if-you-care-at-all post. Oh, and it never shows up in what we did today, but I’m pregnant and due June 4! Finley will have a little brother or sister who is almost two years younger than her.

5:50am: Finley is awake but it’s too early for everyone.

5:55am: I’ve successfully soothed her back to sleep.

6:20am: Now she’s awake for real.

6:25am: Diaper change

6:30am: Sesame Street in Mom and Dad’s bed

7:00am: Breakfast with The Today Show playing in the background

7:30am: Bake pumpkin muffins

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7:40am: Finley watches the rest of the Sesame Street episode.

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8:00am: Diaper change

8:05am: Play time with breaks to sample the muffins

9:30am: Drop off at gym’s daycare

9:35am: Kickboxing class for Mama

10:25am: Shower…alone with no toddler trying to open my hairspray or use Qtips

10:35am: Pick up Finley from daycare

11:00am: Home and diaper change

11:10am: Lunch

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11:35am: Play with Mom’s wallet and attempt to eat coins

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11:45am: Read books in Finley’s room

12:00pm: Diaper change

12:10am: Sing “Twinkle Twinkle” and put Finley in her crib

12:20pm: Finley is asleep.

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12:25pm: Make Starbucks hot chocolate

12:45pm: Address Christmas cards in the basement

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1:20pm: Work on this post

2:00pm: Odds and ends: make guac (avocados were on their last legs), fold laundry, brush teeth (whoops, hadn’t done that yet today), pick up a little, etc.

2:30pm: Relax on the couch, meal plan, and make grocery list

2:55pm: Finley is awake – quite a nap!

3:00pm: She has a kids Chobani tube and we watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol. *Normally we only watch an hour or less of tv a day (typically Sesame Street), but I saw this recorded and wanted to see it too.

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3:30pm: Finley eats peanut butter granola with milk, and I have crackers and cheese.

4:00pm: Walk the dogs – Finley cries for the last half of it while I try to keep her happy by singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the ABCs.

4:30pm: Home and diaper change

4:40pm: Play and wait for Dad to come home (plus another diaper change at some point)

5:25pm: Brody is home, and I watch while he entertains Finley.

6:10pm: Dinner – we all fend for ourselves.

6:40pm: Finley gets a bath.

6:55pm: Brody and I read Finley holiday books.

7:10pm: Lights out for our little one

7:15pm: Couch, pineapple, tv (Blackhawks are playing), Facebook, blogs, Instagram, text with my sister, and this post

8:45pm: Get ready for bed

9:00pm: Lights out for the adults