Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Favorite Things: Pregnancy #2 Edition

With my due date just over a month away, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my favorite things from this pregnancy.  You can find my favorites from my 1st pregnancy here.  I still love all those products the second time around, but I found many new favorite things too!  It was nice going into this pregnancy and novice mother & just being a bit more informed in general.  So here we go:

1. Support Belt :  This was a complete game changer for running!  I didn't start wearing it until I was 24 weeks, and I wish I would have done so much earlier.  While I haven't worn it recently, I could see myself using it in these last few weeks, especially when I'm walking & hiking with Liam.  I would order one size up from what you think you need (I have a medium).

2. Skinny Leather Belt : I never belted my shirts & tops during my first pregnancy, and instead rocked the "tent" look far too often!  This time I bought this skinny belt (in black & nude) and pretty much wear it with everything.  Again, buy one size bigger than you think you need.  At 35 weeks pregnant, I'm on the last notch...I did not anticipate my rib cage growing quite so much!

3.  Tank Top : This tank is my absolute favorite maternity one.  It fits perfectly and is long enough!  I bought it in every color and seriously wear one every single day!

4.  Papaya Enzymes :  I'm all about natural remedies.  These little drops of tropical heaven are the perfect cure for heartburn.  No more Tums for me!  Again, wish I had known about these far sooner!

5.  Vitamin D : Another natural remedy.  Vitamin D helps with those awful leg cramps & charlie horses.  I take one pill with dinner every night and haven't had a charlie horse since!  Thanks to Natasha for first mentioning this!

6.  Birthing from Within : By far the best thing I've read this pregnancy.  It has given me so much insight into Liam's birth, as well as prepared for the next.  A must read for all those even considering natural birth.  The other books I think every new mother should read are The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding & Sweet Sleep!
Any favorite things I need to check out before this pregnancy is over for me?!

Monday, March 30, 2015

35 Weeks (Bump #2)

Total Weight Gain: 33 lbs.

Stretch Marks:  Still not a single one, but that linea nigra has made a very subtle appearance.

Belly Button:  Top half out.  It's strange.

Sleep:  My midwife mentioned that tart cherry juice can help with sleep (it naturally raises your melatonin levels), so I bought some at Trader Joe's this week.  I am seriously convinced that it has helped.  While I still wake frequently, the sleep I do get is amazing.  Definitely sleeping deeper, so I'm a believer.

Symptoms: No real appetite and plenty of Braxton Hicks!  I'm having way more BH this time than with Liam.  For awhile I was fairly confident that I would at least hit my due date again, but perhaps not...

Nesting:  I washed all of Liam's 0-6 month clothes that I'm going to use for Finn as well as all the new things I've purchased.  Everything is perfectly folded and put away.  Next up will be to wash all the new tiny newborn diapers.  I've also started to put together the things I want to take to the hospital for baby in my new diaper bag.

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Although I'm rarely hungry, I'm still all about breakfast foods & baked goods!  And fruit; I can always eat fruit!

Staying Active?  Not so much.  At least not many "official" workouts.  I made one trip to the gym this week and took one long walking, hiking, mountain biking (Liam, not me) adventure with Liam.  I have to say, my mindset about working out has completely changed recently.  While it was overly important with me during my first pregnancy (and almost an obsession... I was pulling two-a-days in the final weeks), it's just not right now.  Spring weather is here, and I would much rather be spending my time outside with Liam & friends than in the gym.  I hate sneaking away on weekends just for a workout when I could be enjoying all day with my family.  And let's be honest, Liam keeps me plenty busy & active on a daily basis.  So my "workouts" are probably going to become less of priority in these last few weeks!

Cries: Perhaps a bit emotional, but no tears!

Birth Preparations:  The birth workshop I attended was awesome and helped give me even more confidence for the natural birth that I want.  At my last midwife appt. we discussed Liam's birth at length, and she had a new outlook on my experience.  She thinks I experienced long prodromal labor. This something I hadn't heard about before.  I have since read lots about it and many other birth stories, and I have completely different view of Liam's birth.  I feel prepared for if that happens again and just have a better understanding in general.  I'm am getting so excited for the birth experience again!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Five on Friday

We have an absolutely packed weekend that I just can't wait to kick off!  A birth workshop, March Madness (Go Gonzaga), a birthday party, hopefully more March Madness, & a girl's night out!  Here's my (sometimes) weekly five...  As always, thanks to all the lovely hosts: Christina, Darci, April, & Natasha!


I've been going through old photos lately, & I have really noticed the poor quality of all of my iPhone photos are.  I love my DSLR, but I don't have it on me on all the time.  So my new favorite gadget: moment lense!  They have a wide angle lens & telephoto lens that simply screw on & off of your iPhone.  I have seriously been impressed with the quality. I also think these are the perfect little gift.  Mother's Day & Father's Day aren't too far off...

My favorite beauty product: Witch Hazel Toner!  After seeing a few different bloggers (like Katie) raving about it, I decided to jump on board!  Every woman who has ever birthed a baby is definitely a fan of witch hazel!  I've never used a toner before, but I love witch hazel & natural products in general.  And I am loving this stuff!  My skin has been clearer & more even since I started using it!

With Easter just barely over a week away, I thought you all could use a little toddler basket inspiration.  Last year I posted some of my ideas here.  This year we the Easter Bunny ("Mr. Rabbit Bunny") are giving Liam a Strider Balance Bike for Easter!!!  I seriously can't wait!  Since this is obviously a big gift, his basket will only have a few goodies.  I'll put his new helmet in (if I can get it to fit) along with some egg shaped bubbles & sidewalk chalk as well as a bath bomb from Lush (he is obsessed)!

I have been on the hunt for a new coffee table.  We currently have a massive black IKEA monstrosity, and it just needs to go.  I want to invest in a nicer piece, but it's hard to find something that is kid friendly.  I'm seriously swooning over this pebble coffee table from West Elm, but somehow I see marker & red wine stains all over it...

I have been wanting to start putting together yearly photo albums.  I have so many pictures just sitting on my computer, but I want to have something you can hold.  My dad always put together photo albums for our family, and I truly value them now.  I love paging through the years.  So I've started to put my favorites from 2014 together, and then I need to choose a template to go with.  For those of you that do this, what site & template do you like?  Snapfish?  Shutterfly?  Something else I'm not cool enough to know about???

TGIF friends!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On Sundays We Break Into Construction Sites

You may have seen a little snippet of this on Instagram (obviously my favorite form of social media), but there was so much fun to be had that a full post was necessary!  So yes, a couple weekends ago we broke into a construction site.  There was plenty of orange netting trying to keep us out, but the allure of numerous diggers was far greater!  And since it was Sunday, we knew that no trouble (or massive fine) would be coming our way...

There were excavators, skid steers, bulldozers, & backhoes!  An absolute dream!  And we pretty much just let Liam have at it!  His eyes were wide open in pure awe of the moment.  It was pretty incredible to be a part of.  I'm so glad Conor convinced me to join in this adventure, because typically I'm a rule follower...  And this was definitely breaking the rules!

He's always had quite the love for construction, but a new library book exacerbated it recently!  I had read Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? for every single nap time & bedtime for two weeks straight before it was due back.  Liam tends to go on book binges, and we read the same two books every single day until somehow we manage to sneak a new one into the mix.  The new favorite is Katy and the Big Snow.  Still tolerable; mostly because I really like snow!

My sweet boy has taught me far more about every type of vehicle than I ever imagined I would know!  I love helping him look out for things while we are driving (cherry pickers being the current obsession).  He gets me excited about new things & helps me appreciate even the simplest moments.

This particular Sunday was good to us!  I'm already wanting many more.
Perhaps this will become a new tradition...
And now I'm officially a rule breaker!  Pretty badass!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fresh New Look

I have a brand new spanking pair of glasses that I'm pretty excited about!  I rarely post pictures of myself wearing glasses, since I really only wear them at night and in the mornings, but that doesn't mean I don't love them!  I've had glasses since I was in 2nd grade, and let's just say I've been pretty self conscious about them for years!  I have terrible vision, so my lenses were always huge and seemed to take over my face.  I hated them.  I switched to contacts in 6th grade and never looked back!  Then glasses became trendy all of sudden.  If all the hipsters were rocking them, so could I!

So about 2 years ago, I actually invested in a pair that I liked and would wear outside my house.  They have been perfect, but I'm always terrified that Liam is just going to rip them apart one day.  I'm actually shocked it has yet to happen.  So when Firmoo contacted me about trying out a new pair, I jumped on the opportunity!  A back up pair of glasses is just what this mom needs, plus it gave me an opportunity to get something new.

Firmoo is an online retailer, which makes shopping easy peasy.  I've always loved shopping online, but that love is even stronger now that I have a toddler.  The less errands I have to drag him on the better!  So after the little tot was asleep one night, I simply oogled all the pretty options, made my selection (tortoise shell for the win), & put in my prescription info.  The site if very user friendly; I had no idea how to read my glasses Rx, but the site walked me through it all!

I know you are all loving this post for the simple fact that you get to see all these incredibly awkward photos of me.  "Oh hey!  I'm just lounging here in bed on this sunny Saturday morning, making a few smirks, while trying to convince my toddler to get dressed for the day.  But aren't my new glasses just the best?!"  One of these days I will get comfortable taking solo photos, but today is not that day.  

Anywhoo, my glasses are awesome!  I loved working with Firmoo and completely recommend them!  Good news for any of you glassed people out there, new customers can get a 50% off code here.  Go for the tortoise shell; you won't be disappointed!

Monday, March 23, 2015

34 Weeks (Bump #2)

maxi skirt: stitch fix

Total Weight Gain: 31 lbs.

Symptoms: It's starting to be quite uncomfortable to bend over, especially during bath time or helping Liam get dressed.  My appetite is also starting to decrease again.  And that pregnancy brain is in full force!  But otherwise, I'm feeling great!

Movement:  Tons!  Especially when I'm trying to put Liam to sleep; Finn is always going crazy!  He is officially head down, and has hit feet in my ribs (just like big brother).  I feel like this baby isn't quite as low anymore..  Perhaps it's all in my head, or maybe he moved up a bit since I stopped running.

Food Cravings/Aversions:  Fruit.  Champagne mangos & grapes were the big hit this week!  And I have just been craving some of those cotton candy grapes, but I can't find them anywhere!

Staying Active?  Very active this week!  I made it to the pool 3 times for some lap swimming.  I'm keeping up the same pace that I did with Liam, but swimming a shorter distance (only 1 mile instead of 1.5).  I also took three toddler paced walks with Liam!  The gorgeous weather has us outside constantly, and we'll start hiking again soon too!

Cries: A few.  Nothing noteworthy, just your typically pregnancy emotions running on high!

Nursery Progress:  Getting so close to completed!  We painted the walls and put up the arrow decals (I posted a sneak peak to Instagram)!  Conor also DIYed some wooden arrows that are already finished & hung as well!  We did stumble across a small issue, which is that the white/blue we chose for most of the walls made our trim look a bit yellow (something we were worried about), so now all the trim & doors need to painted a more stark white.  Hoping to tackle that project this week!  My maternity photos are scheduled for April 7th and are going to be a lifestyle session at home, so the nursery needs to be completely done by then...2 weeks and counting!

Birth Preparations:  A friend told me about a series of podcasts from doulas called "toRaise Questions", and I've been into podcasts ever since Serial.  The most recent episode is about hydrotherapy & water birth so I'm anxious to listen to it!

Looking Forward To:  My Awakening Your Birth Goddess class...should be an experience for sure!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Come Fly With Me

This past weekend was full of gorgeous weather; it truly feels like Spring is here!  At least my daffodils seem to think so, and the tulips aren't far behind.  We have been trying to soak up as much sunshine as possible, but along with the warm temps came some pretty strong winds.  And I loathe the wind.  I'm pretty much a wuss about it.  But not my little boy; Liam loves it!  He tells me "Mama, it's windy really hard!"  So we decided to embrace the wind and go kite flying!

I only brought my portrait lense (oops!), so you will not be seeing said kite in any of the photos...  Just believe me when I say we did in fact fly a kite.  This is something Conor & Liam have done together a handful of times, but this was the first outing that I tagged along on.  Confession time:  I'm fairly certain that I have never flown a kite before.  So at 29 years old, I flew my very first kite!  And it was surprisingly exhilarating!  The excitement of a toddler can easily rub off on you!

Conor has found the perfect kite flying spot, where the wind is always whipping! The view is pretty incredible, with both mountain ranges in sight to the east & the west!  That afternoon I took in each moment.  Liam's recent growth spurt has me learning all sorts of new things about him.  Our bond is growing and only getting deeper.  These simple yet special moments as just a family of three are quickly dwindling.  Each day with just my Liam is one to remember.  And this is one...  This one needed to be documented. 
And now, I'm anxiously waiting for that next windy day...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

My Irish Boy

I hope everyone had a green & cider filled St. Patrick's Day!  I was certainly craving my favorite adult beverage just about all day long.  The crispness of a Irish hard cider would have been the perfect way to wet the whistle with all the evening sunshine we've been having!  Instead, I gobbled up as much corned beef & cabbage as is possible!  It was a nice little Tuesday!

Per tradition, I snapped some photos of Liam for our annual "Hello, my name is..." shoot!  For those who haven't been reading here for too long, we announced Liam's name on St. Patrick's Day when I was about 22 weeks pregnant.  And since then, we have taken a photo of our little Irish boy every year on this holiday.  I almost didn't keep up with it this year, but I'm so happy I did.  It's fun to see the changes in him.  His sweet personality is so apparent through his big eyes and sly smile!

Here's the flashbacks:




 Perhaps we'll have Finn join in on the fun next year!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Easter Decor

Pastel colors are my favorite, so the Easter season is one of my favorite times to decorate!  Adding little touches of soft colors and bunny everything & anything makes it instantly feel like Spring!  I seriously can't choose a favorite item below; I just want it all!  Usually I try to invest in only one or two new decor pieces a year, so choosing will be tough.  I am sucker for pussy willows, so that wreath needs to be mine!

1. Pierced Ceramic Eggs / 2. Faux Pussy Willow Easter Egg Wreath / 3. Egg Crate
4. Bunny Tea Light Holder / 5. Bunny Bottoms Dish Towels / 6. Bunny Measuring Spoons

While I always love splurging on myself, it's nice to think of others too.  Any of these would make the perfect hostess gift if you are attending an Easter Brunch or Dinner at a friend or family's house!
What's your favorite?!

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