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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pregnancy Must Haves

Here my 10 Pregnancy Must Haves plus a bonus of 2 nice to haves at the end. I actually really enjoyed being pregnant but these things made the more challenging times and sometimes not-so-fun side effects of pregnancy better! I know most do not feel this way and I was lucky not to ever have morning sickness (or all day every day sickness like a friend of mine had) and just several weeks of nausea so I imagine with morning sickness this list would have a few different must haves... like a toilet nearby at all times haha. Kudos to those who are dealing with/dealt with that.


1. Nature Valley Protein Bars- these were such a lifesaver! I would get hungry in the middle of the night and if I didn't eat I would feel nauseous so I would eat one of these. It was just the thing to fill me up and curb the nausea. They are delicious and have 10 grams of protein which is key because you need a TON of protein while pregnant and most bars don't have this much protein for only 190 calories. I eat them now sometimes when I'm hungry in the middle of the night while breastfeeding. Amazon has these for a great deal too.



2. Multi-grain club crackers- these were another great snack to help with nausea. You can't go wrong with delicious buttery club crackers but these are multi-grain so even better!



3. Refillable water bottle- in addition to eating a bunch of protein, pregnant ladies have to consume A LOT of water. Luckily I really like drinking water so this wasn't too difficult of a task but I liked keeping track of how much I was drinking so I made sure I got enough each day. When you drink enough water you can really tell a difference in how you feel, pregnant or not. I have this one below  but the camelbak one looks nice too.



4. Heating pad- great for the sore back that pregnancy brings especially after being on the go a lot. This Sunbeam one was the best size and heated up quickly. I also liked it had multiple heat settings - the low ended up being what I liked.



5. Prenatal workout dvds- I posted my favorite pregnancy workouts awhile back. Continuing to work out was a must have for me.


6. Pregnancy book- Many people read What to Expect but at the advice of others, I decided on Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy instead which had all the basic information I needed and was easy to understand without scaring me to death like I've heard WTE can do. Googling symptoms is usually not a good idea and it's better to have a good reference like the Mayo Clinic Guide... step away from Dr. Google. We also read Bringing up Bebe which is a funny French pregnancy/parenting book about an American raising a baby in laid back France.



7. Leggings - these are a must! Even if you aren't pregnant in winter, they can be great in fall and spring and even summer when you are inside with the A/C going. I had like 5 pairs of maternity leggings. Make sure you find some that are super comfortable! My favorite ones were from gap (they were called supersoft leggings - picture below) and I waited until they had a sale. I also had a couple from destination maternity.



8. Prenatal vitamins- this one is a no-brainer. I used Target brand Up & Up prenatals during my pregnancy and they never made me sick or were hard to swallow. Postpartum I switched to Vegan prenatals since they were better for not interacting with another prescription I take.



9. Mustela stretch mark cream - this stuff was given to me by my sister in law and it was great - not a single stretch mark! It's pricey but I found that a little went a long way and never needed more than one tube the whole time and I even have some leftover. I've also used Earth Mama Angel Baby Stretch Oil but it does have an earthy smell to it that some people may not like but it's about as natural as you can get.



10. Burts Bees lotion - Pregnancy can make your skin dry and when you are pregnant over winter that doesn't help matters. I wanted a paraben free lotion with nothing on the ingredient list that looked like it shouldn't be in something I was slathering on my skin. I never had dry skin when using this and it doesn't have a smell to it which is a plus for anyone sensitive to smells while pregnant.



Here are two additional items that were helpful but I wouldn't call "must" haves.

1. Vasaline - pregnancy can bring about nose bleeds/bloody nose as you have an increase in your blood volume. I found putting a little bit of this in my nose before bed helped as strange as that seems.

2. Waterproof sheet protector- if you are worried about your water breaking while you are sleeping and messing up your mattress or any fluid leaking this is nice to have. It is also good postpartum when you are still bleeding and all that fun stuff.



Hope this is helpful for anyone looking to enjoy some of the pregnancy side effects a little better. What were some pregnancy must-haves you had that were not on this list?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'm baaaaaaack!


Hello there! I took an unexpected, sudden, and longer than anticipated blogging break after giving birth to munchkin a month early. Since my last post in April at 34 weeks, I'm sure most of you knew or had to assume we had our baby boy by now... otherwise I'd be about 50ish weeks pregnant now and that just doesn't sound fun haha. Thankfully our eager to arrive preemie was healthy and just perfect and we've been loving on him for the past 3.5 months! Sorry for disappearing without notice like that but at least I have a good reason right?!




Munchkin at 20 days old
(photos by my dear friend Brittany Lauren Photography, of course)

Isn't he just the cutest!

I've been wanting to get back to blogging for awhile and now I feel I'm in a new normal state. New normal meaning slightly less sleep deprived but also getting more used to less sleep than in the beginning... the struggle is real. There are many posts I planned on writing the month before munchkin was due... my family shower, the nursery reveal, pregnancy must haves, etc. so my hope is to start writing those and have a goal of one post a week. Then I also can't wait to post some things related to parenthood like breastfeeding must haves, baby must haves and whatnot and maybe even munchkin's birth story (I always liked reading people's birth stories). But don't worry, this won't all be baby/parenthood related... I still have recipe and travel and other posts to come.. and maybe even eventually What I Wore again... although most days right now it consists of workout clothes or pajamas or occasionally a knit skirt and a top. Oh and spit up :)

Glad to get back to blogging and thanks for waiting patiently (hopefully you hadn't all given up on me and this little blog yet) as I adjust to being a new mom! Oh and if there are any posts you would like to see or questions you have just ask away!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

34 weeks


Here is another bump update since I haven't posted one of them since 31 weeks.



How far along: 34 weeks
Baby Size: a butternut squash or a cabbage, about 18 inches and over 4 lbs
Weight gain: +18
Maternity clothes: Yep, my Gap super soft maternity leggings have been my favorite for lounging around on the weekend.
Sleep: Not great, getting up usually 4 times a night.
Gender: BOY!
Movement: Yes, all kinds of moving around and big kicks. He gets hiccups usually daily.
Best moment this week: Having our maternity photos done! We had a fun time and I'm so excited to see how they turned out.
Looking forward to: Doing more reading to munchkin. We found an awesome stash of children's books from my childhood and have starting reading some of them. Munchkin liked Strega Nona :)
Food cravings: Not really
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
Labor Signs: Nope
What I miss: Feeling more comfortable.
Symptoms: Tired, some back pain and general uncomfortableness (apparently spell check says that's not a word but I think it should be) and occasionally a little ankle swelling.
Nursery: I finished up some flannel swaddle blankets and burp cloths and we finished the changing pad covers - now there are 4 to be able to easily swap out when one gets dirty :)
Belly Button in or out? It's in the neutral zone but it could come out any day now.
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Loving this little guy so so much.

We are praying our little munchkin continues to grow and stay safe and healthy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Oh The Places You'll Go Baby Shower


Last month, my mom and one of my best friends Katie threw me a baby shower here in Charlotte with the theme Oh The Places You'll Go. It was more travel inspired with just a touch of Dr. Seuss which I loved since we really love travelling and seeing new places and hope our little one will too.



All of the decorations were perfect. My mom has a lot of travel decor (like the hats hanging from the kitchen light fixture) from living in different countries growing up in an army family. And she has lots of Little People travel themed toys like the airplane and bus and such that my sister and I played with as kids. She borrowed the globes and garland from me and made the table cloth and banner.

She also made this diaper wreath with clip art travel stuff taped to it. She also made a pretend passport for the baby. We are hoping to cloth diaper but of course will always need a few disposables for when we travel and such. She printed the Dr. Seuss quote out and framed it. We are excited to hang it up in the nursery.



Our little guy has a ton of cute appliqued and handmade onesies and such from the mantle. I'm loving the little hat and leggings with transportation stuff on them. There are a few more Little People toys on the mantle as well as random little toys in the two vases as decor. And a Oh the Places You'll Go Baby book to be read in utero from my sister. We've read it to munchkin several times and he seems to move around a lot and really like it!


I took these two photos later that night so you could see the window decor and table cloth better because it was hard to capture on camera when it was so bright out.



When guests arrived they grabbed a bow tie and if someone said the word "baby" you got to take their bow tie so the person with the most won a prize. I lost my bow tie very quickly :)


All the food was labelled for a different country to go along with the theme... so clever!




The little food labels were made out of punched out maps and punched out white paper with the words printed on them and are attached to binder clips.


My friend Elisabeth brought this activity that I was super excited about which I had seen at a friend's shower. Everyone puts their thumbprint on the printable (in the end it will look like a big bunch of balloons) and signs their name in their thumbprint. I can't wait to put this up in the nursery too!


We played  few fun shower games Katie came up with. One was matching the word "baby" in different languages and another was about what different things you have on your smart phone.. some was related to baby or kids and there were other categories like how many contacts you have with a "B". Much better than the measuring tape game or the candy in diaper game that I've heard of played at showers.


And I opened gifts. Little guy has some super awesome stuff already!




The wives from the group we usually hang out with.


Katie and I... can you believe she co-hosted a shower when she was about 37 weeks pregnant. She is amazing!


Elisabeth and I


My friend Kelley brought her daughter Olivia who is seriously the best behaved almost 4-year old I've ever seen. She is so adorable too.

With my mom and sister


And the hubby... who was great at clean up and packing up :)


I had such a wonderful shower and munchkin is already so spoiled and loved! Thank you mom and Katie for throwing the shower!
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