Category / Expecting

new mama essentials.

with my newest love | 15 hours old
with my newest love | 15 hours old

I went through my fair share of “top ten” lists when thinking about stuff to stock at home, pre-delivery. Some of it I used, some of I didn’t, and some of it I discovered along the way.

I share my list of essential items here for mamas-to-be (and those shopping for them!). Some items have to do with the actual recovery, some are about general survival those first days and weeks. (As a note, mamas recovering from c-sections may have some different items that are most helpful, I can only speak for Baby arriving the ol’ fashioned way.) They aren’t the most exciting or adorable things to buy (for yourself or to gift), but you’ll never love anything more than the below items (and the comfort and relief they bring you in those first days!).

Soothies. I think one of the top surprises of this whole having-a-baby gig was the two other arrivals that require sudden and constant attention…Oh. YOU know. They hurt (a LOT), they leak, and they have to be tended to as often as your new bundle of joy. I remember more about the misery related to boobs than to the delivery recovery — they were pretty comparable! So to kick off my list, add these to your cart. And put them in your fridge between uses. And buy an extra set so you never have to be without the cold relief between those first ten days or so of nursing for more than a few seconds. Ahhh.

Lanolin. The hospital sent me home with an impossibly tiny tube of this stuff, so I promptly ordered more when I got home. Turns out, the tiny tube lasted long enough, but one way or another, make sure you have some on hand. The soothies take the cake as far as comfort, but this stuff helps, too, and you’ll want all hands on deck for relief.

Hot/Cold therapy pack. YES. Just…YES. To think I paused for a sec before buying these because it was yet ANOTHER 15 bucks in my Amazon cart. Good god, just buy them and forget about it. I used them both hot and cold (and will likely use them again if needed when I wean off nursing in a few months). Buy them without pause. Regret nothing.

Witch hazel pads and Dermoplast. I wasn’t kidding about the “not adorable” list of things to buy. But if the hospital doesn’t send you home with extra of either, your spouse’s first mission in life is to get to the pharmacy for these, stat. But stock up on pads ahead of time – because the man should get to keep a little dignity, even if yours is completely gone by now.

New pajamas. There’s something about wearing something new that makes you feel better, and what better time than when everyone wants a picture of you and the new baby and you are a total hot mess. At the same time, don’t spend a fortune…there’s a chance these end up stained, and will be too big anyway in a couple weeks’ time. While the first 24 hours, I wanted nothing to do with changing out of my hospital gown (too. much. work!), by day 2 I was ready to feel a little more human, and new pajamas helped me feel as fresh as is possible after just pushing another human out of you.

Etsy bath sachets. Just a hot bath with a little baking soda was all my doctor said I needed, and you’ll be thrilled and relieved to just get that. But, if you want something a little prettier to gift (to someone else, or yourself), these are awesome, and safe for use during recovery.

Ginormous water mug. Someone could make a killing designing these to be half as cute as the chic sports bottles we buy for the gym, but alas, these are pretty boring. The hospital gave me one that was 20 oz. and I think I had ordered this 32 oz. one before we even went home. I couldn’t believe how much water I could chug those first several days – you are constantly dying of thirst. Less refills means less getting up or having to ask someone for more all the time. And more on-hand to begin with encourages you to drink more overall. Granted, I donated mine after a few weeks because I had this whole patient/recovery association with it – ha! – but in those first couple weeks, it was one of my most-used items.

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EOS lip balm — not delivery related, but they are not kidding when they say the hospital is dry… Page and I both found our lips were raw within a few hours of checking in until the first couple days back home. I piled this on during the stay and in the following days at home.

Stuff for the new dad…dads, too, went through the crazy delivery, even if as a bystander, and are also functioning on less sleep as well, and trying to take care of everyone and play director to the nurses, doctors, and well-wishers. It may not be delivery, but it’s a lot. The caretaker needs to be taken care of, eventually! I made a point of having a lot of Page’s favorite, fast, snacks stocked in our pantry for those first days home (pistachios, cheeze-its, vitamin water, etc) and lots and lots (and lots) of his favorite coffee. He also scored some new lounge clothes from both our moms to wear during the hospital stay and those first days at home. He also ordered some Ugg slippers in time to wear in the hospital – a great call on the cold tile floors during our January stay.

Meals and Snacks. Food in general. I didn’t have freezer (or garage, or even Iowa winter patio!) space to stock much in the way of pre-prepared meals, but I did make a batch of spaghetti sauce with ground turkey to quickly throw over some noodles, and some enchilada filling to roll up in tortillas some night. I was super grateful to have both when we ended up reheating them. We also had many ready-to-eat meals delivered by family and friends. It hadn’t occurred to me to “schedule” these out, but many of our friends asked for a preferred night to bring them by. This allowed us to not have to store much, just have dinner ready to go, hot, each evening. We are blessed with family and friends who are great in the kitchen – breakfast burritos and quiche to maid rites and hearty soups – we were set for all meals of the day. Another idea? A gift certificate to a great Thai place that delivers. Just sayin. 🙂 Some friends of ours, knowing we had no room to stockpile food, gave us this instead of cooking, and it was one of the best meals we ate.

Some other favorites were the snackier things – you don’t always need a full meal, just something to munch at a 2am feeding. Energy bites, granola bars, and fresh fruit were all wonderful to receive. Whether it’s takeout or homemade, or just a bag of groceries, to have food arrive at your door and not have to think about what to get, is beyond heavenly.

Extra pillowcases. Pretty ones. About a week in for me, the night sweats – drenches – began. It’s miserable to get up in the night and your pillow is cold and wet. I bought a set of pillowcases that made me happy and added them to my daily laundry rotation of baby stuff and pajamas I inevitably sweat through, as well. Between the extras and the ones that matched our bedding, I always had a clean dry one on my nightstand to quickly swap out mid-night as needed.

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All of the under-eye products. All of them. I’m so glad I have pictures of Crew’s first days with me in them, but I also remembering the horror as I saw myself…dark circles and bags after laboring through the night and then having little sleep to catch up for days on end afterward. When you can’t get sleep, get the next best things. In the form of this (wear it under a little concealer), and this (dot it on OVER your concealer), and these. All worth it – I’m still using these weapons three months later because — spoiler alert — your nights are short and interrupted for quite a while.

A cleaning service. This makes a fabulous gift! I scheduled a deep clean of our home around the time Crew was about eight weeks. The idea of cleaning a whole house when I’d slept maybe a total of five hours a night (split up) for the past two months was just not on my list of things that were possible. I can always find room in the budget for this one, but especially post-babe. (But don’t schedule the first couple weeks home – you don’t want to bother with the whole “clean up so someone can clean” song and dance. Wait until you can get out for a couple hours of errands comfortably, then come home to clean-house-bliss.)

Anyone have others to add to this list? Leave them in the comments! I didn’t even touch on nursing tanks by the dozens and a Netflix subscription (both vital!). Hopefully this list helps a few others prep for those exhausting but awesome first days home doing little more than snuggling your new tiny family member!

Crew’s birth story.

birth story

Like a lot of mamas-to-be, I found myself reading birth stories on the blogs of some of my favorite authors, and on pregnancy/baby blogs, to get a better feel of what I might expect when D Day arrived.

If nothing else, by reading a variety of birth stories, you solidify your understanding that there is NO way to know what will happen, and that each birth is truly unique. I think it’s easy to do TOO much reading, or psych yourself out about all the possibilities. I read some, and then quit reading them as the time got closer, focusing on the best possible outcomes, and keeping a flexible, open mind (we didn’t have a birth plan) that it would go however it would go, when the time came.

All that said, I want to share my story because it was, in all, a very straightforward and happy story delivery – don’t get me wrong, still painful and had its crazy moments and surprises, but in all, about as “easy” as can be. I think it’s important to read stories like those, to remind you that it’s not always guaranteed drama and scariness and emergency c-sections. I appreciated reading stories more like mine happened to turn out, and focused on those, versus the scarier versions. To each their own of course, but that was how I kept myself mentally ready and positive going into this!

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

We’d spent our morning lounging in bed with coffee and HGTV (like we need ANY more house project inspiration right now!). Page headed over to the house to work on our wardrobes a little before 2pm, and I pulled a bunch of clothes out of the dryer to fold. I was standing there in our living room just about to get started when suddenly…gush. I thought I had peed my pants! I hadn’t had any bladder issues the whole pregnancy, and I was instantly annoyed to think I most certainly had a couple weeks to get through yet, and now I was full-on wetting my pants without any notice? How would I go to work (or even walk across a room?!) if this were to be my life for the coming several days?

I changed my pants and went back to the laundry. Again…gush! Hmm, okay. Could this possibly be my water breaking? I wasn’t at ALL uncomfortable, or having contractions. So I called the nurse line (of course it was a Sunday and my doctor’s office was closed) and tried not to be annoyed with the nurse receptionist, who first asked me the reason for my call (um, I think my water broke but I’m not sure?), but then four questions later, asked me if I was pregnant. (Seriously?!) This exchange was one of the only negative experiences, but it was certainly not the way to start out for a first time mama unsure if she’s in labor ha!

I was told to go to Labor & Delivery downtown to be checked out and have the fluid tested. I called Page over at the house, who excitedly told the carpenter in the background, “Her water broke!”. I immediately hissed at him not to tell anyone, because I was still sure I just had an accident and didn’t want to sound the labor alarm only to admit later I didn’t know the difference between water breaking and peeing my pants!

We debated bringing our bags (and thankfully did) and drove to the hospital around 4pm. I mentioned to Page that my lower back was suddenly bothering me a little. We checked into a triage room and waited to have the fluid tested, while they hooked me up to a contraction monitor and heart rate monitor for baby. Boom. I was at four centimeters, it was indeed amniotic fluid, and the monitor was showing contractions — I just couldn’t yet feel them. We had a silly moment of “so…do we stay here or go home?”. I think the nurse tried not to laugh as she said, “Oh no, we’re getting a room ready for you right now. You’re having a baby today.”

"you're having a baby today"
“you’re having a baby today”

As we waited for our room to be ready, the backache became more nagging and came and went, as I started feeling the contractions. It was manageable and we got settled into our room and texted the parents that it was game time…by sending a pic of my hospital bracelet, and this funny picture of Page:

It's go time!
It’s go time!

From 7 to 9 or so I worked through the contractions on my own with Page’s support and our FANTASTIC nurse, who was there from start to finish. I was trying to get to five or more centimeters before asking for my epidural (not for any strong reason, just a personal goal). I was told it was a slow night on the floor so when I was ready, it likely wouldn’t take long for the anesthesiologist to show up.

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By the time the contractions made me stop talking and close my eyes to get through them, I asked for the drugs. As it turned out, (full moon that night!), two emergency c-sections took place during my request, and then a second-time mom arrived nearly ready to deliver. (I know first-time moms don’t progress as quickly…but don’t tell us someone is jumping the line in front of us – ha!) At any rate, it was over two hours before Rockstar Nurse nearly bullied them into sending another on-call anesthesiologist and that we were done waiting. I remember her asking me to rate my pain on a scale of one to ten and I asked if ten was wanting to jump out the window, and if so, I was at an 8 or 9. I was holding onto the bed handle with a death grip to breathe through the waves of pain when the anesthesiologist walked in, still taking off her coat as she talked me through what would happen.

Page watched the whole thing but because my ligaments were especially tough, it took a few tries to get the epidural in just right, at one point putting it down a vein. Ouch. The whole time, I was hunched over and told not to move, even through the contractions. I’m still not sure if it was my anxiety or being hunched over for so long as they tried to get it right, but Crew’s heart rate dropped drastically and I remember the room suddenly having more people in it, as they rolled me onto my side and started putting more monitors on me. He recovered quickly and the scary moment passed, as my epidural started to take over. It was nearly midnight, I was at seven centimeters, and we were wiped. We were told I’d be checked in two hours and to try and rest. I think we both passed out within seconds.

Two hours later, our nurse came in to check us, and asking if I was feeling any pressure. Um, yes. She was preparing me that it could still take a bit, but after the check she laughed and said, “oh, you’re ready to push!”. It was at that moment that I freaked a little…everything to this point had been manageable, but something about this final stage made me super anxious. It was almost 4am, and Page grabbed a quick cup of coffee as the room was transitioned into a delivery room.

time for coffee!
time for coffee!

To my surprise, the next phase was very calm and quiet – just our nurse, me, and Page, doing the initial pushes to the timing of the contractions. To Page’s surprise, after we had discussed him staying near my head when delivery time came, he was asked by the nurse to grab a leg and that he had work to do! In retrospect, Page said it was terrifying in the moment, but now he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I remember being SO hungry and tired at this point that I’d do a push, then close my eyes and nearly sleep between each one. After about an hour of pushing, our nurse called for the OB on call. She came in and asked me to do one practice push as she gloved up across the room. I had to laugh when her eyes went a little wide and she said, “Okay, never mind, stop pushing!”. She got into place and two pushes later, our world changed forever.

meeting my new love.
meeting my new love.
instantly in love.
instantly in love.

We are so lucky and blessed that all in all, it was a smooth delivery and everyone is happy and healthy. We still can’t believe this little peanut is ours to keep!

one little word for 2015.

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This time last year, I ditched the idea of a traditional resolutions list in favor of a single word on which to focus. Page got in on the selection for the first time and we landed on adventure as our guiding mantra for 2014. As the twists and turns of the year unfolded, we focused on rolling with them all, looking for even more of them, and relishing in the way our life together was evolving because of it all.

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Maternity Photos | Key West, Florida

We could not have known how true the concept of “adventure” would ring for us throughout the last twelve months — we had not yet decided to even look at the possibility of moving, and certainly not to build. We had begun to discuss the idea of starting a family, but neither of us dreamed that journey would begin as early as last spring. If you had told me when the ball dropped last year that in several short weeks, I’d be living in a one-bedroom apartment battling morning sickness, I would NOT have believed you. 🙂

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18 weeks & staking foundation | August

And yet I wouldn’t change a moment of the last year — it was one large, blessed adventure from start to (almost) finish, as the fruits of our two biggest adventures remain to arrive in the coming first few weeks of the new year.

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36 weeks and ready for siding | December

As I look back on 2014, there were other adventures that took place that, while somewhat paling in comparison to our two “biggies”, also helped us to grow and change. We took awesome trips, both together and separately with friends, and tried on new roles and responsibilities in our career paths, tried a new dish or two, and with our eyes a bit more open to them this year, discovered just how many adventures we get to partake in together.

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Page and friends skiing in Steamboat | February

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Girls’ weekend in New York City with my bestie | April

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Web designer… turned hand model for a client’s billboard shoot | June

The year of “adventure” certainly went full-throttle, and it took us in directions we couldn’t have imagined, but through so many experiences we wouldn’t trade for anything. It has been a huge leap for both of us in learning to let go a little, realizing we can’t control it all and that not everything happens on our time table. And that is all part of the bliss. 

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The BEST moment…when we learned we were having a SON | July

With that in mind, I think about what I want for myself and my little growing family, as I pick my word for 2015. While I’d sign up for it all again, I’m okay that 2015 is less about “go go go” adventure-seeking, and more about relishing in the ones that are happening now, finding our new normal as a family of three, nourishing our life in our new home, and truly “tending to my garden” so to speak, before striking out in search of the next to-do.

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My one little word for 2015 is nurture. 

Holding many different meanings for me this year, first and foremost is to step into this new role as someone’s mother, and continuing to improve upon being the best wife I can be to my husband. I am anxious to focus on nurturing my body, post-partum. Healing, rebuilding, and nourishing physically will in turn help me mentally, so I can feel more like myself again, and in turn have the energy to nurture others. It’s all a cycle.

I look forward to creating our home, the space in which we nurture our life as a family of three, both in the physical compiling of our finished home, and in creating memories together within its walls.

As always, I’m curious to see what our professional lives have in store for us this year. I am eager to try some new things in the spirit of nurturing my brain and challenging myself with new ideas and how to bring them to life.

In all, the goal is to relish, reflect, and take the best care possible of these blessings that have come our way.

Cheers to you all reading, I wish you a nurturing new year in 2015!

“Be one who nurtures and builds…”
{Marvin J. Ashton}

38 weeks: the final countdown!

38 weeks

“Papa Rosie” and Baby touring the new house | 38 weeks

How far along: 38 weeks

Gender: BOY

Weight gain:  up 28 lbs…the past few weeks I’ve been hungry ALL. THE. TIME. Clearly the scale is reflecting this, sheesh! Baby has been having his final growth spurt, for sure!

Maternity clothes: The more comfortable and easier to step in and out of, the happier I am. 🙂 I’ve completely ditched heels and boots as of this week – if it doesn’t go with my Uggs or my Toms, I’m not wearing it!

Stretch marks: I think I’ve spotted a mark on the underside of my bump, but hard to know for sure until I can get a better (post-delivery) look! Otherwise, so far, so good!

Belly button in or out: flush, and the top is popping out a bit.

Sleep: Still waking up multiple times a night to use the restroom, but while my lower back has stopped giving me fits, now the pain and discomfort has moved into my pelvic floor. How’s THAT for TMI? 🙂 It feels like every ligament in my groin and inner/upper thighs is stretched to the point of snapping, and if I move the wrong way in my sleep, I am instantly awake because of the pain. Thank goodness we are nearing the end…

Best moment:  My last three weekly appointments have revealed consistent progress on the dilation front (again, TMI?!) but I’m just happy to know we’re roughly a third of the way there as far as centimeters! 🙂

Worst moment: My 37 week check happened just as my head cold was coming on, which may or may not have had to do with my blood pressure spiking that particular visit. I was suddenly swelling in my ankles as well, and my weight had jumped more than the weekly pound or so…all out of the norm for me. The nurses had me all nerved up about the changes, but the doctor assured me it was all fine as long as I started taking the order to “drink water” very seriously, which I did. By the next week, all the numbers were back down and normal, but it was a less-than-fun visit!

Miss anything: I’m very ready to have my body back to myself. To zip a normal, non-maternity coat up. To bend over and get what I need without lack of oxygen. To comfortably tie my shoes or shave my legs. You get the idea…

Movement: Busier at certain times than others, but yes lots of movement! He is officially head down these last couple of weeks, and tends to favor the right side of my rib cage to press his little butt and feet up against. Sometimes it’s just pressure, but other times it hurts and I either have to change position or actually push on him a little to let up – yowza, Buddy!

Cravings: Nothing specific, just lots of snacks. It seems every couple hours, my mind drifts back to hmm, what to eat next…

Queasy or sick: Finally kicking a head cold, but otherwise just uncomfortable.

Looking forward to: Signs of labor! There really is a reason this whole process takes nine months… we’ve gone from the shock of the news, to weeks of wrapping our heads around the idea of expanding our family, to final months of anxious anticipation, and finally now, to the “hurry up and get here already!” point. It seems so natural that this little guy join us, and I don’t feel scared of delivery, and neither of us is nervous about caring for this tiny person. We have both hit this super calm state the last couple of weeks, where we are almost bored, just waiting on him to start this next adventure!

addicted to baby jammies.

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Eric Carle at Gymboree

This post is up there on the “rannnndom!” list, but it’s oh-so-true in these final weeks before Baby Smith arrives…I have an addiction to adorable jammies! I figure at least it’s a necessary and practical thing to own…but unlike diapers or bottles, these are WAY more fun to shop for! Here are some of my favorite resources for baby bedtime threads!

LOVE the Eric Carle line that has been at Gymboree this fall. Gymboree was my first job in high school, and while I wasn’t in baby mode myself yet (thankfully!), I can still remember all the training and customer reviews we were educated on, around the extra-high quality of this company’s sleepwear. They wash and wear exceptionally well…throw in some children’s book references, and I’m sold.

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Hanna Anderson 

The Norwegian in me is partial to this Swedish-inspired company that offers sleep and playwear in a range of gorgeous colors and adorable patterns. Their holiday jammies are particularly cute with Nordic inspired patterns…but it was the yellow goats above that needed to come live at my house!

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Kickee Pants

Baby Smith already has a few sizes and colors of these Kickee Pants (formerly Kicky Pants) jammies, ready to go. They are RIDICULOUSLY soft! I can’t say I’m overly crazy about many of the patterns and graphic designs they put out — I tend to just stick with the solid colors, and I definitely try and grab them on sale when I can, but they are one of my go-to gift items for a new babe!

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Just One You by Carters at Target

I can’t not include a bargain choice from good old Target. I don’t find myself shopping for baby clothing a whole lot there as much as I do other stuff, but I picked these up more than once on my last run. I ended up leaving them behind…but then saw a favorite blogger post an Instagram of her son in the same ones…sold. I’ll be grabbing these on my next trip!

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Old Navy and Gap

I LOVE anything Baby Gap, and jammies are no exception. This particular set came from Old Navy — you don’t find much black for babies, and again, I’m a sucker for anything Nordic-inspired!

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Tucker + Tate

I couldn’t find links to some of the other specific sets that have been set aside for Baby S, but a few more of my favorite brands, if you’re on a jammie-shopping binge like me: Tucker + Tate, Tea Collection, Splendid, Petunia Pickle Bottom, Nordstrom Baby, and Mini Boden.

Here’s hoping that these adorable jammies will help him sleep longer stretches at night… 😉 Sweet dreams!

less than six weeks…

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Thanksgiving | 34 weeks

It’s hard to believe we are in the final 5+ weeks before this little man’s arrival. We have seen more than one baby arrive early this year, so I have that in the back of my mind (although my doctor thinks I’ll go past my due date). I’ve been drafting a list of things to remember for the hospital, tackling some box-packing around the apartment, doing a little baby laundry, and trying to stay on top of my workload as I plan for maternity leave, juuuust in case I have less time than I think.

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 Car seat bases and backseat mirrors installed…check!

We’ve been crossing things off our list like grabbing the last essential items off our registry, getting my car in for an oil change, dental check-ups, taking a baby CPR class with some friends, deep-cleaning the apartment, and stocking up on some household basics. We’re hoping to make the first weeks at home with a newborn just a tiny bit easier and with fewer to-dos. Just getting our new routine down while trying to move to the house will be work enough, so anything that can be done now (and to avoid taking a newborn out and about in January weather more than necessary), is being done.

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I even schemed to get Page into a Baby Gap one night after dinner…after lecturing ME that Baby has enough clothes, he found a couple items that will allow him to match the new “mod lodge” house…and we even made a second stop at the other location across town to grab a matching onesie that became a “must”. Hehe…turns out no one can resist adorable baby clothes!

In some ways, being in the apartment is a blessing and helps me to keep things simple. I’m not overwhelmed with the tasks of readying a nursery (baby’s “room” is a rock ‘n’ play squeezed next to our bed!), or agonizing over which Pinterest freezer meal recipes to make (our freezer is the size of a microwave – no room for pre-prepared meals… just order pizza!). It has been nice to have wrapped up the last of my photo sessions for the year, so I can enjoy just working ONE full time job and take better care of myself in these last weeks. I’m looking forward to getting our Christmas cards in the mail, and putting my feet up for some holiday movies and hot chocolate. Other than that, our plan for the coming weeks is to slow our pace, get in some dates with friends, work on the next stages of house progress (stone and closets are the next meetings!), and get ready to meet this tiny new family member.

How far along: 34.5 weeks

Gender: BOY

Weight gain:   up 20lbs…praying a body can only pack on so much with less than six weeks to go! Baby is guesstimated between 5 pounds and 5 pounds, 2 oz. Guesses are that he will be 8+ at delivery!

Maternity clothes: Definitely favoring the most comfortable of maternity options at this point. Leggings and my Uggs seem to be the staples of most outfits.

Stretch marks: Still no…knock on wood!

Belly button in or out: no popping, but pretty flush

Sleep: I have finally figured out some comfortable positions that allow me to stay asleep for longer stretches before hip pain, heartburn, extra-strong kicks, hunger, or all of the above, wake me up :). I am still up a couple times a night to pee, but between a routine of popping Tums just before bed and recruiting extra pillows on top of the Snoogle to get comfy, sleep has improved a bit and just in time – I’ve been dragging myself through many of my days!

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Best moment:  I was blessed with a GORGEOUS second shower hosted here in town to include local girlfriends as well as my bestie who flew in from Philly. Page’s agency hosted a shower where the focus was on him for a change – go cart racing and a diaper cake topped with bourbon for the daddy-to-be! Both such thoughtful events arranged by great friends. We are SO lucky to have so many loving people in Baby’s life!

Worst moment: I can’t think of anything worthy of a WORST moment, but getting around on the ice with no sense of balance has been interesting, as has scraping my SUV windshield with a belly in the way! Page ordered me a new brush/scraper that extends a couple feet. I feel a little geriatric using it, but not complaining! Little things like just trying to roll over in bed have become something of a three-point-turn. I constantly feel like a big, awkward dork!

Miss anything: My regular clothes and more choices of what to wear. Red wine. Alcohol in general. Sleeping on my stomach. Sleeping in general. A decent sense of balance. Visiting the bathroom a normal amount of times in a day. Soft cheeses. A waistline. Clearer skin. Did I say red wine already?…

Movement: Stronger than ever, becoming more flip and roll sensations than kicks, as he gets more crowded with less room to “wind up” his punches and kicks.

Cravings: So much for the healthier things I craved earlier on! Juice and clementines, but also cinnamon rolls and salt and vinegar chips – all at the top of the list. I’ve reverted to a touch of the first trimester in terms of aversions…most meat and fish turns me off again. Lime Tostitos and mango salsa are my go-to salty-sweet thing!

Queasy or sick: Not sick, just getting uncomfortable. Pressure and a sense of feeling overly stretched comes and goes from my lower belly, along with some Braxton Hicks contractions. The tailbone pain comes and goes but trips to the chiropractor are helping. I instagrammed a pic at a recent visit, and couldn’t believe how many mamas commented that they, too, found major relief (even turning breech babies!) from chiro visits. This would be my “one piece of advice” for expecting mamas…go and get some relief from an adjustment!

Looking forward to: Our final holidays as “just us”, and I can finally say we are looking forward to Little Man’s arrival! We know it is still (likely!) a month or more away, but we feel ready and anxious to meet this babe already and begin new adventures in 2015!

a season of thanks.

Tiny Prints Holiday Thank You Cards Between the overwhelming thoughtfulness of friends and family helping us get ready for this baby, and sending out Christmas gift thank yous, I find myself constantly in need of more stationery, lately! When Tiny Prints offered up some holiday-themed thank you notes, I jumped at the chance to browse the fun designs.

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There is no shortage of cute cards out there (and I love girly note cards for myself), but I love the added touch of personalized stationery, and this particular design that is “cool” enough to represent both me and my hubby/son as we get ready to move into what we’ve deemed our “mod lodge” new home – how appropriate! 🙂 As an added bonus, I had the envelopes pre-printed with our new January address.

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I love the orange peel-esque thick stock of these. Can’t wait to put some in the mail to family and friends!