Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Maternity Necessities


Well, I'm winding this pregnancy down. Just saying that sends kind of a jitter through me.

It's so bittersweet. I probably won't be pregnant again. This is it. The final countdown.

Two of my friends had their babies this week - within a few hours of one another. I'm ecstatic for them and it makes me giddy to think about meeting Mo....and yet I'm so conflicted at the same time.

A very close friend of mine just had an intense labor and delivery experience and I was texting with her and her husband throughout the process. Consequently, I was so wrapped up in her labor that I couldn't sleep that whole night. The following evening as I laid down to bed, weak with exhaustion both physically from not sleeping and mentally from the highs and lows of labor via text (she delivered a perfect, beautiful baby boy) all I could think was, "Thank God tonight I do not have a newborn to wake up and nurse all night. Thank you, Mo, for brewing a little longer."

Then the flip side...I can't wait to dress Mo in all of LW's clothes. I already have his going home outfit laid out. (Full disclosure: last night I had a moment of not being able to sleep because I was worrying I may forget socks for Mo to wear home. As if a baby will need socks. In June.) 
I can't wait to nurse him and snuggle him and wear him in a ring sling. And at the same time I am so enjoying feeling all of his kicks and wiggles and thumps around inside me. See the conflict? The struggle is real, people.

All I can REALLY do is try to enjoy as much of the remainder of this pregnancy as possible. All seven weeks one day of it. Give or take.

Here are a few things I've really loved this time around:

1. Maternity pillow

I started using this...maybe the night after I found out I was pregnant. Sleeping in it is the happiest place to sleep on the planet. I even brought it along for a weekend getaway with my Jamily. Right now I have to sleep 3/4 of the way on my back because if I put any pressure on my belly, Mo has a meltdown in there. This pillow always offers the right amount of support for me in all the right places, no matter what position I'm sleeping in. 

2.  Good maternity jeans (Kohl's)
I have Gap jeans from my previous pregnancy and they are fine, but I feel like they are always falling down and it drives me crazy. I assumed all maternity jeans did this since they lack a waistline but these jeans from Kohl's taught me otherwise. Plus, they're boot cut so I can wear my big, dorky gym shoes without feeling like a big dork. 

3. Sleep nursing tanks

Is there anything Pea in the Pod doesn't do well?! I only own two or three items from them and they are the softest, most magnificent things I've ever put on my body. My sister in law handed down some of her maternity and nursing items and the sleep nursing tanks (different from pictured above but still amazing) are SO comfortable. I wasn't sleeping well wearing a maternity sleep/nursing bra but I needed SOME kind of support. These camis are the perfect blend. And give me another reason to look forward to putting on my jammies at night. Plus, these I will be able to use through nursing Mo. Bonus! 

4. Smoothies 

There is no surprise when I say being pregnant is tiring. The thought of being sick while pregnant and having a toddler to manage is downright unbearable. Somehow I have discovered a smoothie that has *knock on wood* kicked every tickle in my throat since I've tried it. 

I'm not kidding. Every time I get as much as a tummy ache or a tickle in my throat, this smoothie is magical. Originally posted on WIFMK. It is: 
50% Kale or romaine (I prefer kale) 
a thumb of peeled ginger
1 peeled lemon
chia seeds
splash of elderberry syrup
handful of frozen fruit
water and ice to suit 

So simple. So random. So epically powerful. It just KNOCKS the ick right out of me! This blender has also been priceless because I use it for everything. Including muffins

5. Maternity belt

I have been SO LUCKY this pregnancy to have little to no sciatic pain. SO LUCKY!!!! But, my low abdomen and my low back feel very strained if I don't wear this puppy a majority of my day. It's also helped limit/stop my contractions if I'm out on a walk. 

I always used to find these things unnecessary, but two babies in two years does a number on your body...and some of us need all the support we can get! 

What were your maternity necessities - the first or second time around?? 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Nursery Decorations – Paper Mache Letters


I'm so thrilled to have this awesome part of the nursery done: Mo's name is now on the wall!!!!!!

I started with some paper mache letters. I love the brown kraft paper look and wanted to just embellish them enough to be a extra cute.

I used a rubber stamp, paint brush and acrylic paint to add stars to the letters. 

TA DA!!!! I'm thrilled with how the name turned out. It is exactly what I had envisioned when I started daydreaming about his nursery. 
I stuck them to the wall using some 3M strips I had on hand. One quick Google search told me that was the adhesive of choice to put them on the wall. I'm hoping they really do stick! I had JUST enough for the name. 

The curtains aren't hung yet, but the room is coming together. One step at a time! 

For those who don't know, Hubs and I chose the name Simon last Easter (2014) in church. We were studying John over a few weeks and the more we read, the name Simon Peter kept coming up. The more we learned about that guy, the more we liked him. "Simon" just kept ringing through our heads and we decided if we had another boy someday, his name would need to be Simon. Our Simon won't be Simon Peter, but he is named after the apostle. He's commonly known in the Bible as Peter. 

Ironically, today the reading in church was again about Simon Peter. A line popped up that I hadn't thought twice about in the past, but feeling our Simon rolling around my belly while it was read made me feel extra connected to the reading. 

Acts 10: 34-35
34Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 

That's why we're naming him Simon. Because in the most important book in the history of the world, Simon is known to be an honest and god-fearing man. A true good 'ole boy. I know our Simon will live up to his name. 

Pregnancy: 32 Week Update


How far along? 32 Weeks

Size of Baby:  Large jicama (almost 4lb) 

Weight Gain: Only 3lb over the last two weeks!!!!!!!!!!! That puts me at 29lb total. I'm very proud of that number :D 

Nursery: I made his name and hung it on the wall today!!!!!!!!! Post about it here. Here's a sneak: 
Movement: He is not small. It's fun because I can see him rolling around in my belly and feel every hiccup but in the middle of the night I just want to sleep, not lay there thinking about when his hiccups will be over. I sent a video of him bubbling around the other night to my mom and she said it looks like I've smuggled a pillowcase full of puppies :-D HAHA! Kind of what it feels like too.

Symptoms: Tired. Backache. Cramping. Winded. You name it, third trimester symptoms are here with a vengeance. However, today I had what Hubs calls a "good belly" day. I actually felt "tucked in". I'm not sure how else to describe it. 

Lately I've felt like such a beached whale it's been hard to appreciate pregnancy and the cuteness that can come with it. Today just wearing my favorite yoga pants, with a tank top and a jean jacket I felt so good! Not like a whale. Just like a cute, happy prego. It was such a nice breath of fresh air.

Edited – I've started having to do mid-night yoga to get him to cooperate too. He wiggles and worms his way into a position that's uncomfortable for both of us so now I've started to just get out of bed and do some cat/cow stretches and a few down dogs to get him where he needs to go. 

Edited – My pineapple craving is back. I had it beyond belief with LW and now it's back with this pregnancy. I ate an entire pineapple today. Also, I have re-found my passion for Nutella. I'm going to try to limit myself to slathering it on one plain rice cake a day. That may not last beyond....right now.

Looking forward to: Labor and delivery!!!!!!! Two friends of mine are INCREDIBLY close to meeting their littles. Reading through labor stories and getting updates on how they're feeling makes me so excited for that stage. I am trying to embrace being pregnant all I can, but the labor and delivery part is so exciting to look forward to.

Things I can't stop thinking about: Finishing up the nursery. Only a few little doo-dads to take care of. I've just been so busy lately I haven't been able to do much of anything. I feel like I have a thousand things running around at once and I'm not FINISHING anything. Trying to take it one day at a time and accomplish all I can while still keeping my feet up an appropriate amount of time :) 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pregnancy: 31 Week Update


How far along? 31 Weeks

Size of Baby:  Coconut (3.5lb!!!)

Weight Gain: We all know the answer to that from last let's not talk about it again until next week, shall we? 

Nursery: It is coming together!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited. 

This week I ordered the monitor as our item of the week. Only a few things left on the list! 

I did add a white noise machine to the list, however. After some research, I picked this one
The humidifier I picked that we've ended up using in LW's room bc his kicked the bucket isn't as noisy as our previous humidifier. I really like it (once I painted over the nightlight which was actually like EXTREMELY BRIGHT HEADLIGHT) because it has great output, is small and lasts all night long on one tank, but I specifically remember needing white noise for LW in his newborn days, and really until recently we had the really noisy humidifier in his room that buffered out sounds. This is the humidifier we have now: 

So since the new humidifier is so quiet, I decided a white noise machine is a good thing to have. For LW we used an old iPhone in a docking station with a free white noise app. Problem with that was the home button on that iPhone didn't work consistently, and if I forgot (in my sleep-deprived state) and hit "play" on the docking station, Carrie Underwood would start BLASTING through the speakers at the volume we had been playing soothing waves sounds previously. 

That made for plenty of panicked mommy moments, LW jumping awake, and a lot of frustration. So, I'm not doing that again. $42 will be well-spent on that little noise maker machine. It's gotten great reviews. 

Movement: This little dude is a WILD MAN. He's moving around so much lately! It's really fun. I feel like he's very long because I already always feel him very low in my pelvis while simultaneously feeling him up at my rib cage. I have a feeling my dreams of a baby under 8lb may just be that....dreams :)

Symptoms: Well, this is where it gets interesting. Thursday afternoon LW and I visited my dad in the hospital (he just had both knees replaced) and I got stuck in traffic on my way home. I had to use the bathroom REALLY BADLY by the time I finally arrived to my door and had been contracting from the need to use the bathroom (or so I thought). Turns out the contractions didn't stop once I "emptied my tank" and continued fairly aggressively for over an hour.

I contacted my midwife and made a plan on what to do if they continued but thankfully after a lot of water, sitting with my feet up and completely relaxing 100%, the contractions slowed and eventually stopped.

That said, we're considering Mo a bit of a flight risk so I'll be taking it easy more often than not the remaining 8 much as I can possibly stand to do so.

Also, I have SO MANY BRAXTON HICKS lately! It's like my uterus doesn't realize it's done this before and thinks it needs to practice. Earth-to-uterus: YOU GOT THIS. CALM YO'SELF.

I've had a little heartburn this week, but nothing crazy (thankfully). My back hurts now and then. I'm tired. You know...third trimester woes.

Cravings: I think it's probably just residual from Easter, but CHOCOLATE THE MINUTE LW GOES TO BED. As much as possible, get it in my belly. Just thinking about it right now I think I need to bite the ears off of a bunny.

Looking forward to: Getting the final items done in the nursery. I have a craft list of things I want to do and between that, freelance work (blessed!), Jamberry, What I Feed My Kid, housework, LW, sewing ring slings, and oh, trying to "relax" I don't know how I'll do it all!!! One day at a time, I guess :)

Things I can't stop thinking about: Nothing, really. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time and get all of my tasks done on my various lists as I go. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Teacher Appreciation


May 5 is Teacher Appreciation Day! Does your kiddo have a teacher they adore and deserves to be rewarded for another awesome year?

I've designed this fun printable to coordinate with a half sheet of Jamberry nails just for your favorite teachers. Each half sheet will provide your favorite teacher with one manicure and one pedicure. Give half of a sheet to Mrs. Smith and save half for yourself, Mama! 

Jamberry nails last up to two weeks on fingers and SIX weeks on toes, so you'll definitely be sending your child to school with a gorgeous gift that keeps on giving for a teacher who really deserves it.

Fabulous nails sound like a super fun way for every teacher to kick off maxi dress and flip-flop season. Shop here and email me if you'd like the FREE printable to go with your Jamberry purchase for your favorite teachers! 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Pregnancy: 30 Week Update


How far along? 30 Weeks

Clearly between weeks 29-30 I "popped" because this baby got HUGE! Look at that tummy! It came kind of at the perfect time, because last week I had my maternity photos done with Milamemories Photography. I have only seen one "sneak" peek photo so far, but I'm in love. 

Size of Baby:  Cabbage.

Weight Gain: Are you sitting down? Because you'll want to be. I should have been when I heard.... Twenty. Six. Pounds. Ladies and gentleman, that's a record breaking 12 pounds in a month I just gained. Ho-ly sh*t. I feel like I've been pretty well behaved, too! I mean, a doughnut or two here, a Cadbury egg or six there but.....TWELVE POUNDS?!?! That's embarrassing. Apparently my body thinks Mo needs the cushioning....

Nursery: OH MY GOSH so many things are happening in the nursery. The twin got moved to LW's room, so he's in a big boy bed now (a post on that another time). The crib is set up and ready in Mo's room. I bought curtain rods which will be installed this coming weekend and I FINISHED THE DRESSER!!!!!!!!! Recap, BEFORE: 
And this is the finished product: 
The paint I wanted to use for the drawer fronts ended up being bad so I painted the whole thing the blue/grey from the accent wall at the old house. Paint was free, dresser was $30, hardware was $30. $60 for a super sturdy and adorable nursery dresser! I'm thrilled with the outcome. (I also just noticed from this photo that I have the drawers in the wrong order. I'm awesome at paying attention to detail.)

I've also acquired a few pieces to repurpose/refinish for Mo's room which I'll leave you in suspense over. ANNNNDDD I plan to make a crib skirt since I never made one for LW (poor LW). I'm planning to use this tutorial...I just need to find the right fabric! Which is proving to be more challenging than I had anticipated.

Movement: Easter Sunday MoMo was COMPLETELY wild. Probably the two ham dinners. Or the Peeps. Or the Cadbury eggs (and really I'm wondering how I gained 12 pounds in a month...really....) but he certainly isn't small anymore. His movements aren't too extreme like I remember LW's being, but he LOVES to hook his feet under my ribs and push push push. 

Cravings: None really. Lemonade tastes awesome and my heartburn went away (for now) so I've been really enjoying that. Otherwise, nothing fun to report. 

Looking forward to: Doing all of these projects in his nursery!!! His room and LW's big boy room are coming together so adorably! 

Things I can't stop thinking about: More projects. I'm in DIY mode, big time. This morning I had two items in my hands at HomeGoods and it was going to be $70 + tax so I put them back. Went to the thrift store and scored the same two items for $5 ea!! They'll take a touch of creativity and DIY but they will be exactly what I want in the end! I can't wait to share them, and the other items in our home when I finish them. I'm trying to do all I can now, when I have good feeling days. Every few days I feel absolutely wretched and I hit the "WHEN CAN I HAVE THIS BABY" wall. So good days become very productive days. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Autism Awareness Month


UPDATE: Jamberry launched a BRAND NEW Autism Awareness wrap for 2015 TODAY!!! It's GORGEOUS! 
Autism Awareness: Jamberry donates $2.00 for every sheet of charity nail wraps purchased to the Autism Society of America. 
I'm excited to launch a new section in my Jamberry business - fundraisers!

This month I will have a party open all month in support of Autism Awareness. A portion of all party proceeds will go straight to the Autism Society of America.

Want free tax and shipping? I have selected seven adorable wraps that look gorgeous together and if you submit your order using this form I will cover your tax AND shipping, all month!

Do you have a charity or organization you'd like to raise money for? I would love to help you support that mission through Jamberry! Email me and we can make it happen.

Don't have a charity to support but want to earn free wraps? Every ten wraps sold in a party earns the hostess a FREE sheet, so let's talk if you'd like to start earning Pinterest-worthy nails for free!

These are a few of my favorite combos of my featured wraps for April:

All images sourced from Instagram using the official Jamberry hashtags (#autismawarenessjn, #prepschooljn, #puppylovejn, #sunnylotusjn)

What charity would you like to help support?