Mommy Monday: 25 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Monday!

I'm feeling so incredibly thankful this evening!

Here are a few things making me feel so so blessed:

  • An uneventful, normal, run-of-the-mill pregnancy and healthy, growing baby
  • My sweet little James
  • Ben getting safely home from London
  • My amazing parents
  • My grandparents
  • My loyal, gentle little old dog
  • My beautiful garden
  • My home
  • My health

What are YOU feeling grateful for right now?

This is going to be a rather boring Mommy Monday update. Not much to report, other than the fact that I'm quickly turning into a hormonal, emotional wreck! :p

James and I spent a night at my parents' house this weekend because Ben was in London for school. It was so nice being able to play in the lake and be with my dad on Father's Day! But we missed Ben terribly! It's so good to have him home!

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I swear, James is growing up so quickly right before my eyes. Every morning when we wake up he looks bigger and seems more grown up to me. It's going so fast, slow down!!

My belly is growing, my stretch marks are multiplying, my feet are starting to hurt, and my back is a little achey, and baby boy number two is kicking up a storm. It's the absolute best. :)

I have my next doctor's appointment in one week, so I'll have lots of updates and stuff for you guys in next Monday's post. I'm having my glucose test and my rhogam shot, so stay tuned for all of that!

Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 25 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19 lbs so far as of my last appointment. Will update this after my next appointment!

Maternity clothes? Yes! Pretty much exclusively, at this point!

Stretch marks? Yes, all around my belly button!

Sleep: It's been ok!

Best moment this week: Surprising my grandpa on Father's Day!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much!!

Food cravings: Fruit!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? The top part it out, the bottom part is in. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Emotional!

Symptoms: Light-headed, out of breath, thirsty, hungry, stretch marks, spider veins, feet feeling really sore and burning by the end of the day.

Thanks for reading, and thank you, as always for your continued prayers for a safe, healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery!

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Read Along With Me: Book Roundup

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Here's a list of some of the books I've read over the past year or so! There are quite a few, so grab a cup of coffee and get ready to beef up your reading list!

I'll put all of the books into two categories:  Books I Recommend and Books I Do NOT Recommend. You can click on the arrows on either end of each strip of photos to scroll through all of the books. I'll link to each book as well, so all you have to do is click on the picture of the book and you will be taken to the Amazon page where you can read what it's about and purchase it. Here we go!

Books I Recommend

Books I Do NOT Recommend

What are some books that you recommend?? Please share - I'm always looking for new books! As you can see, I am super into the thriller genre at the moment!

I'll do another one of these book roundups in a few months. I have a huge stack of books that I am getting to that all sound sooo good and I can't wait to share them all with you!

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Mommy Monday: 24 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two! Viability!!

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Happy Mommy Monday!

I just have to say, I can't believe I got up THREE blog posts last week! Who am I? haha I have been *struggling* to get even one post up a week for the past year, and all of a sudden I just have this new drive to get back on the blogging train and get consistent content out. I'm not making any commitments or promises, but my goal is going to be to try to get 2-3 posts up per week. I'll do my best and we'll see how it goes!

Oh! Also, as you can see in my pictures, I have taken up gardening! I just got bit by the gardening bug and I am diving in head first! I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'm LOVING it so far! Send any tips, inspo, etc... my way, please!

Saturday I hit 24 weeks - the first viability milestone!! Hooray! Always such an exciting point in pregnancy!

I'm still feeling so great! No scares, no changes, no real major symptoms, other than light-headed-ness and dizziness occasionally. I am incredibly thankful. What a blessing to be experiencing a healthy, "normal" pregnancy! I can't even express how happy I am. Our sweet boy is growing and kicking away. He has been moving so much!

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I've been trying to explain a bit more to James about the fact that his baby brother is growing in my tummy. I think it's a really difficult concept for a not-quite-two-year-old to grasp, so I'm not sure if he understands. But he does point to my tummy sometimes and say "baby", so something is registering! I'll keep working on explaining everything to him. If you fellow mamas of two+ have any tips for preparing a toddler for a new baby sibling, please share!

You guys, my stretch marks are so bad! haha I honestly am at a point in life where I don't care...well, a little bit obviously!! But not very much. But, I'm just surprised at how bad they are this time around compared to with my first pregnancy. With James, my stretch marks didn't show up until AFTER I gave birth. They were around my belly button, and they faded a lot over the course of a year and a half. But this pregnancy, my stretchmarks are back in full force, and SPREADING. They are mostly all above my belly button, which is such an odd place to have them I think! haha I use Biooil and Palmer's Cocoa Butter, but honestly I know it's mostly genetics. Oh well. Of course, SO WORTH IT!! But just thought I'd share because I'm amazed at how many I have now!!

Alright, I think that's all. Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 24 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19 lbs so far as of my last appointment. Will update this after my next appointment! (Side note: next appointment is my gestational diabetes test, and rhogam shot due to having a negative blood type. Big appointment!)

Maternity clothes? Yes! They are so comfy. I shall live in maternity clothing for the rest of my life.

Stretch marks? Yes, all around my belly button!

Sleep: Still working with a 5:15am wake up time, so pretty beat! haha

Best moment this week: James pulling Ben and I in for family love hugs before bed! He is the sweetest and he loves to hold onto Ben's and my necks super tight and bury his head in our chests in a family hug. It's the best thing in the world!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much!!

Food cravings: Doughnuts! Watermelon!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No! Well, bad smells are REALLLY getting hard to stomach.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Mostly out...haha still not quite all the way there yet!

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy but MOODY. But happy. BUT MOODY.

Symptoms: Light-headed, dizzy, tired muscles, thirsty, hungry, stretch marks, spider veins. :)

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My Current Makeup Lineup

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Hi beautiful people!

I did a poll on Instagram asking if you guys wanted to see a post on books I've read recently, or on my current makeup lineup, and the makeup post won! I'll get my book review post up next week (hopefully!). But let's dive right into the makeup products I have been using recently!

I am really liking my current makeup situation. I've got it down so that it is super quick (I can get my full, daily makeup look done in under 10 minutes), and really easy to do. As a mom, I don't have time for fancy brushes, sponges, contour, etc... I keep it straight forward and easy peasy! I also use my fingers to apply my foundation, concealer, and blush. The only thing I use a brush for is my highlighter and my eyeshadow. Easy!

Before I apply my makeup, I wash my face every morning and then apply this facial tanning lotion: click here

While that is drying, I brush my teeth and put lip balm on. I like this lip balm. Then I'll pat in a tiny bit of moisturizer. I have been using this moisturizer lately, and I know it's full of bad ingredients, but honestly I've had so much trouble with my skin lately and since using this my face has been the most clear that it's been in awhile. So, I'm sticking to it for now!

Next up I use my fingers to apply a couple of pumps of this CC + illuminating cream. I use the shade 'Light'. I love the subtle glow it gives, and it does wonders when it comes to evening out my skin tone. Plus, it has SPF 50+, which is a great bonus! I blend the cc cream in to my hair line and also down onto my neck, using my fingers. I sometimes will use a beauty blender, but I have found that I like the outcome best when I just use my fingers.

After I apply my cc cream, I go in with this concealer. It's full coverage, anti-aging, and water proof, and it is my FAVORITE concealer. I wear the shade 'Light'. I like this concealer so much! It doesn't settle in the creases  under my eyes and it provides a really full coverage which I am AAAALLL about. I do use Shape Tape occasionally, but Bye Bye Under Eye is definitely my go-to.

Next, I apply a tiny little bit of this blush with my finger tips. When I say a "tiny little bit", I mean it. A little of this goes a LOOONG way. Start off with less than you think you need and you can always add more. I love how dewey and light this blush is. It gives the perfect hint of pink. I wear the shade 'Puff'.

To finish off my face, I use this palette from Tarte. I recieved this palette in the FabFitFun Summer Box, which was sent to me, and I am SO happy to have been able to try it! Side note: you can get $10 off of your first FabFitFun box HERE with the code AMC10. Anyways, this palette is a GAME CHANGER. I am seriously in love. It is so good. I use the shade 'Strobe' on my cheek bones, nose, brow bones, upper forehead, and all over my eyes. It acts to set my face, as well as acting as a highlighter. Then I'll dust a bit of the shade 'Lit' all over to add a nice warm glow. I then will use the shade 'Stunner' as my eye shadow, sweeping it all over my lids. I really can't say enough good things about this palette. I've gotten so many compliments on my skin since I started using it! I use a Sigma brush.

I finish off my makeup with my eyes. I curl my eyelashes, apply eyeliner (I love how easy this is to use and how it effortlessly gives that cateye look), and this mascara. I was using this IT Cosmetics mascara for awhile, which I love. But honestly, nothing beats this one, and it is so affordable! I honestly just don't love any other mascara as much as this one. It makes my eyelashes look so full and long, without looking clumpy at all.

It seriously takes me less than 10 minutes to do my makeup each morning. I also shower at night before bed, so I don't have to shower in the morning, and I wash my hair every 2-3 days, so usually I just spray some dry shampoo and I'm good to go! My routine is fast and easy - what every mama strives for, haha.

How long does it take you to do your makeup? What are your favorite products? Please share!

 

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What I'd Like You To Know About My Anxiety

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I've been wanting to write this post for awhile, but it's been a hard one to make myself actually start. Whenever I thought about what I wanted to say or how I wanted to approach this topic, I got overwhelmed and honestly, I got anxious. Thinking about writing this post on anxiety gave me anxiety. Ha! The subject is so huge, so complicated, so hard to explain, and so deep that I feared that this post would end up being LOOOOOONG. Too long. So I've just decided to keep it as short and simple and to the point as possible.

When I mentioned recently on Instagram that I have social anxiety, I got a lot of messages and comments from people who suffer from the same thing and who wanted to hear more about my experience. I love the idea of giving some insight into anxiety and hopefully helping at least one other person who may feel the same way. But on a more selfish level, I more want to write this post for the people in my life to read and to maybe have a better understanding of me, why I am the way that I am, why I act the way that I act, etc...

I have no real plan for how to lay this out, so I think I'll just dive in. I apologize in advance if this seems disjointed or unorganized or confusing! And I want to just say THIS right up front:

I'm a happy person! I am totally ok and I love my life and this is not some huge sad thing that negatively impacts my every single day. It's just something I deal with that impacts *certain aspects* of my life, but not to the extent that I am unable to deal. I'm ok! I just want to share my experience in case it is helpful to other people in even the slightest bit! :)

You might think I'm shy. Well, maybe I am a bit. But, really, I just have awful social anxiety. My whole life I've grown up being told that I'm quiet, shy, an introvert. I've believed it. I've felt it. But I also knew that there was so much more to it. Rather than just feeling apprehensive or a bit "shy" around new people, I feel an almost debilitating surge of anxiety.

And not just around new people. Around people I've known for years and years.

Family members, friends, coworkers...you name it. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of people that I DON'T experience this with: my parents, Ben, and James. Really. That's it. Every single other social interaction sends me into a nervous, anxious attack of panic - some obviously much worse than others. Some aren't so bad, sure. But sometimes I have BAD attacks.

Here's Some Of What I feel/Experience:

-inability to catch my breath

-surging chatter and noise in my head so I can't focus on the conversation at hand

-choking on my own spit (no really, haha)

-shaking

-sweating

-hot flashes

-completely consumed by analyzing what my face is doing and how the other person is seeing me and what they are thinking while we are talking

-obsessing over which eye to focus on when talking with someone...like, do I stare in between their eyes? Do I focus on one eye? Do I switch between eyes?!?! haha

-complete blanking of anything to say...like...I go brain dead.

-heart racing

-light headed

-dread

-panic

You get the idea.

I used to dread going to school. Yes yes...I know, EVERY kid dreads going to school. But I mean, I used to DREAD it. Like...panic, fear, hyperventilating each and every morning. Over thinking every single step I would have to take to get to my first class, every single person I may have to pass in the hall... I missed A LOT of school because some days I just honestly mentally COULDN'T walk into the school.

Now you may ask, if I am on medication for this. The answer is no. Because, while I have it bad, others have it so much worse. Because I am still able to function. Because I am, in most cases, able to put on at least some sort of a front - a mask - and appear at least relatively calm and normal... relatively. ;) Other people can't. That's when you need medication. I don't want to be on medicine for this and I am able to cope and live and function without it. But, I guess the point of this is that it's hard. Sometimes, it's really hard. The mere idea of a lunch date with a friend, or meeting a group of my husband's co workers, or going to a family dinner sends me into a panic-y attack of stress and anxiety and dread. It sucks. Being social is genuinely HARD for me. haha

Now, here is something I'd like you to know:

The worst...WORST...let me repeat this: THE WORST thing that people do or say when I try to explain how I feel is to say "oh but everyone feels that way!" "I feel that way too in certain situations!" "oh, those are normal feelings!" "everyone feels like that deep down!" and other similar things to that affect...

Because let me tell you this: not everybody DOES feel this way. Anxiety is real. It's a thing. It's a mental thing. It's a medical thing. And unless you have it, you DON'T know what it feels like.

Yes, you may get nervous meeting new people. Yes, you may dread socializing, small talk, chatting, etc... Yes, you may prefer to stay in and watch a movie rather than going out with others... Yes... THAT stuff is normal. But to have trouble BREATHING, SWALLOWING, THINKING, STANDING, FUNCTIONING, FORMING WORDS...to have actual physical symptoms...that's not normal. That's anxiety.

So, the BEST thing to do when someone tries telling you that they are experiencing something like this is to acknowledge how they feel. Accept it. Hear what they are saying. Even if you don't understand it...understand this: something much bigger, deeper, and darker is going on than you could ever fully comprehend. The person telling you these things is suffering and is letting you in on a little of their secret. So...just hear it. Tell them you're sorry, tell them that may be tough. Acknowledge that you don't understand what that feels like. 

But please don't dismiss what they are feeling as less than what it is.

Here are a few things that help me with my social anxiety:

-focusing on my breath

-focusing on happy thoughts

-trying to tune out my own internal commentary when I'm talking to someone or listening to someone

-meditating

-praying

-positive self talk

-being able to laugh at myself and see the humor in it ;)

A few last thoughts:

-This post makes this sound like social anxiety is such a dramatic part of my life...it's not! I promise! Trust me, after almost thirty years of living with this, it really only impacts me to the extent of the situation. So, for example, when I'm living my life, I'm fine, I'm so happy. When I run into someone I know at the grocery store and choke on my own spit and start sweating and babbling and my eyes start darting back and forth between their eyes...it sucks. haha! That's when it impacts me. But then I walk away and I am able to laugh at myself and roll my eyes, and then I'll tell Ben about what happened and we'll laugh and it becomes no big deal. Ben and I are able to joke about it...that's one of the many reasons I love him so much. He makes me feel normal. He makes me feel safe. He makes me feel fine. :)

-I've only recently really started understanding what it is I suffer from, and with that has brought about an immense amount of relief. Now that I know that what I feel has a name and is a legitimate thing and that other people suffer from it to, I don't feel so out of control and weird and dysfunctional. I feel like...I just have social anxiety. So now I can deal with it!

-After giving birth to James and going through a traumatic pregnancy and birth experience, my anxiety skyrocketed. For several months, I suffered from postpartum anxiety and it was very hard and dark to have to deal with that when trying to adjust to being a new mom. But now things have leveled back out and I feel better than ever. Am I nervous that it will get bad again after giving birth to my second child? A little. But I know I can get through it if it does.

So, the point of all of this is not for pity, or to make you think I'm suffering on a daily basis, or that I'm unhappy, or that I'm crazy... haha It's just to give you a little glimpse into my experience. I hope that if you have any similar experiences that you'll share them with me! It's always so nice to know that we're not alone, despite all the crazy weirdness that we each may deal with.

Thanks for reading, friends!

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Mommy Monday: 23 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Monday! Less than one week until viability - WOOHOO!!

That was SUCH a huge goal/landmark/accomplishment when I was pregnant with James, and even though this pregnancy isn't scary or high risk, it still feels great to be almost at that critical point!!

This has been a really great week...time spent with friends, quality family time, a doctor's appointment to hear the heartbeat, etc...it's just been a good one! :)

I'll keep this brief, but some highlights from the past week have been:

-A bbq playdate with James' friends from music class

-Family day at Ben's work and getting to see the building he works in

-A doctor's appointment and checking in on little man numero dos

-Taking James to his first play and him scooching his way up to the very front... he loved it!

-Family walk over the weekend

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My dress was sent to me by a company called Beachcoco and it is the COMFIEST, prettiest maternity dress. I love it A LOT. You can click here to get the dress ... it comes in 14 different colors and is under $25!

Here is this week's survey (and yes, I finally have a weight gain number for you this week haha):

How far along: 23 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19 lbs so far

Maternity clothes? Yes! Like this dress, for example: click here

Stretch marks? Yes, all around my belly button!

Sleep: James is waking up at around 5am these days...so that's not ideal. haha But I'm sure it's just a phase...RIGHT!?!?!?!?

Best moment this week: Seeing James having so much fun and making new friends at the play this morning! He is so much fun and so confident and SO sweet! I just love him!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes, a lot!

Food cravings: Savory things! Pasta, cheesey things, gravy, meat...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really! Thankfully!

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting bigger and bigger by the day!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still... haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy AND veeerrrryyyyy moody. haha I alternate between so serene and happy and pleasant, and then a cranky raging grouch. So, it's been fun.

Symptoms: Hungry aaalll the time, shortness of breath, thirsty, tired. Not too intense in the symptoms department, which I'm thankful for!!

Thanks for reading and for following along on this journey!

OH! Before I go: Ben and I are now leaning towards having the boys share a room. We'll have the new baby sleep in our room in the Snoo for the first three to six months. But after that, we're thinking of just moving the baby right into James' room. Any other parents have experience with a toddler and a baby sharing a bedroom/any tips? Thanks in advance!

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Five Favorites

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Hi friends!

It's been awhile since I have done a Five Favorites post, so I thought it would be fun to get one up! I have been trying out some new products and brands lately and I have some things that I am LOVING. I can't wait to share!

Here we go:

  1.  Tarteist PRO Glow Highlight and Contour Palette
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I am obsessed with this palette! It is seriously *beautiful*, and smells amazing too - which is a bonus! I love love love the highlighter and it has the prettiest shade that I love using as an eye shadow. Highly recommend this! I received this palette in the Summer FabFitFun box, which brings me to my SECOND favorite thing at the moment...

2. FabFitFun Subscription Box (Use code AMC10 for $10 off your first box!)

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FabFitFun is a subscription box that comes to you every season full of FULL-SIZED products! The box contains various things related to beauty, fitness, tech, and lifestyle from brands like Moroccan Oil, Trina Turk, Tarte Cosmetics, Dermalogica, Dr. Brandt, and more. I have been dying to try out a box for a long long time because I've seen them posted all over social media. When FabFitFun reached out to me and asked me to be a #FabFitFunPartner I jumped at the opportunity! And let me tell you, the box did NOT disappoint. It is as amazing as I thought it would be - more so! I love all of the products and it is so fun that each season you get a new box filled with new goodies! They gave me a code for you guys: Use the code AMC10 and you'll get $10 off of your first box at FabFitFun.com!

3. Fawn Design Diaper Backpack

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I can't say enough good things about this diaper bag. Not only is it BEAUTIFUL, and totally does not look like a diaper bag, but it is also extremely functional. Now that I've been "momming" for a couple of years, I can say hands down that a backpack diaper bag is the way to go. Especially with a toddler. You need those hands (and arms) free, mama! This bag is great quality and I can fit so much into it. Get the bag here.

4. Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program

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You've heard me rave about the Core Rehab Program (click here for more info. on Core Rehab) for postpartum mamas and how it helped me to heal my abdominal separation after having my first son (read about my experience with the program here and here). Well, the creator of the Core Rehab Program has a program for pregnancy and it is just as amazing! I have been doing the prenatal workouts throughout this pregnancy and I love them and how they make me feel! You can learn more about the workouts by clicking here!

5. Made by Mary Zola Disc Necklace

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I have this necklace with 'james' on it and I just love it so so much. You can get it personalized to say whatever you want and I think it is so special. I wear it all the time (I switch off every day between this necklace and my mama and baby bird necklace!). I can't wait to get this necklace with the new baby's name on it once he arrives! I'll get it in an 18" chain and wear it with my 'james' disc necklace above it. This would make such a great gift for a new mom! For reference, the disc necklace I have is in the rose gold color, brushed metal, 16" chain. Click here for the necklace.

I hope you guys enjoyed this edition of Five Favorites! I'll do more of these, I promise. They are so fun to do.

Let me know what you are currently loving in the comments!

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Mommy Monday: 22 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

 My USA shirt:  ILY Couture  (  click here for the shirt  ) // James' USA sweatshirt:  Old Navy  (  click here for the sweatshirt  )

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday!

Sorry that no post went up yesterday, but I took the day off due to Memorial Day. I just wanted to take a moment to say how incredibly thankful I am for the men and women who have given their lives to defend our great nation and to protect our freedom. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten or taken for granted.

I just finished reading The Nightingale which was really really good! I definitely recommend it. You can get the book here. But I was in tears for a lot of it because I just kept thinking about how blessed I am to live in the United States of America, where I am free and safe and have plenty of food and clean water and where my children can grow up safe and with endless possibilities ahead of them. The book really made me realize how good we have it.

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Ok, now onto the point of this post! I'm 22 weeks pregnant and still feeling great! I'm trying to think if there is anything new at all since last week as far as my symptoms go or anything...but there really isn't!

Something really exciting, though! Ben was finally able to feel the baby kick! I'm so glad! It's such a special thing and I'm really happy that he was able to feel the baby at last!

I have my monthly appointment with my OB tomorrow. I can't wait to hear little man's heartbeat! These appointments are always so short - about 10 minutes or less, haha. But I always love checking in and hearing that my little boy is doing well!

I did want to share these maternity tank tops with you guys ...they are SO COMFORTABLE! They are also very affordable. I sized up one size and they are just absolutely my favorite thing right now - so comfortable!! Click here for the tank tops.

 Wearing   the tank top   in this picture!   Click here for the tank top    - comes in so many different colors!

Wearing the tank top in this picture! Click here for the tank top  - comes in so many different colors!

Alright, here's this week's survey:

How far along: 22 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss:  I have lost track, but I'll be weighed at my appointment tomorrow so I'll update you in next Monday's blog post!

Maternity clothes? Yes! The comfiest!

Stretch marks? Yes, all around my belly button!

Sleep: It's ok! James has been waking up pretty early in the morning and I'm not good about going to bed early, so it's been a bit rough. But not too bad!

Best moment this week: Ben feeling the baby kick for the first time! And watching James and Ben play out in the backyard together this weekend.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A lot! It's really picked up in the past week!

Food cravings: Savory things! Pasta, cheesey things, gravy, meat...

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting big!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! I was reeeaallly moody last week though! Like...CRANKY. haha

Symptoms: My restless leg has gotten better, thank goodness!! Starving all the time! Fatigued muscles...like, walking up the stairs makes my legs feel like they are going to fall off. haha

That's all for now! Still keeping up with my Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Workouts, although definitely not every day. I'm really listening to my body and just doing what feels right...which has meant a lot of rest days. :) Click here for the prenatal program!

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Mommy Monday: 21 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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My kimono is from Pinkblush - they have so many cute ones!! Click here to see all the kimonos

Happy Monday! 21 weeks already...wow!

Today, my dad asked me what I was doing at this time during my last pregnancy, and it got me thinking. My pregnancies have been so different - thank God.

During my last pregnancy, at 21 weeks I had been on bedrest for one week and we were all holding our breaths, holding out for viability at 24 weeks. You can read my 21 week blog post from my first pregnancy here.

It's pretty emotional and surreal thinking back on all that we went through last time around. I am so incredibly thankful for how well this pregnancy is going. I seriously can't stop thanking God for letting me experience a "normal" pregnancy! I pray that it continues going as smoothly as it has thus far!

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On Saturday night, Ben and I had a date night! It was a blast. We went to this super fancy restaurant and it was just a really special, fun night. Our dinner reservation was for 8:45pm and it was a serious STRUGGLE to stay awake, haha. But we made it and had such a wonderful time. I love that man so much!

My dress is from Ingrid & Isabel, but it's no longer in stock. Click here for a similar one, and click here for a similar sleeveless version. I also LOVE this one.

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Now for my 21 week survey:

How far along: 21 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  I have no idea! I have my next doctor's appointment next week, so I'll update then!

Maternity clothes? Yes! Pinkblush and Target are my go-to!

Stretch marks? Yeeeessss...trying to embrace them! haha

Sleep: I've been a bit restless, so not great!

Best moment this week: Date night!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Muffins! Baked goods!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting big!

Gender: Boy! Yay!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! But also grumpy. haha

Symptoms: RESTLESS LEG - it's so bad!! I didn't have this with James, and it is so so so very annoying!! Spider veins, stretch marks, bigger boobs, heart burn, always thirsty, congested, lower back is sore

Thanks for reading!! See you back next Monday for my 22 week update!

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What Postpartum Life Is REALLY Like

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I am honored to have written a piece for the Fit4Mom Blog about what postpartum life is REEEAAALLY like! You can read the full post here.

Now for an excerpt:

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had many preconceived notions about “postpartum life.” 

 

I had a vague idea about how life would change. But I intended to work the baby into MY life.

 

I knew I’d be tired, but there was no way I could even begin to comprehend what exactly I was in store for. I knew my body would probably be a little different. But if you work hard enough, I thought, your body didn’t have to change just because you were a mom.

 

Secretly, somewhat smugly, I judged moms that I saw juggling screaming, misbehaved children. MY kids would be well-behaved little adults...They wouldn’t eat junk food. They wouldn’t watch tv! I knew a bit about postpartum depression. I knew breastfeeding was hard for some. But these seemed like distant impossibilities. I was a happy, sound-minded person - I wouldn’t be sad! Especially not with a cute, fun little baby to play with! I was going to breastfeed.

 

No question about it!

 

Looking back now, almost two years later, pregnant with my second child, I realize how naive I was…how my world was about to be rocked in a way I never expected. The truth is this: having a baby is really and truly the most incredible, beautiful, wonderful, happiest thing in the world. I feel so blessed to have my son, to have been able to birth him, and to be able to raise him. But here is another truth: having a baby changes everything…

 

EVERYTHING.

Click here to continue reading...

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What has your postpartum experience been like? I'd love it if you'd share!

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Mommy Monday: 20 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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I hope all of you mamas out there had a wonderful Mother's Day!

We headed to the family cabin in Montana and unplugged for a long weekend...it was so refreshing and nice. We spent time reading, hiking around, and breathing in the fresh mountain air. No phones, no internet, no e-mails, no work. Just being in the moment with each other.

I'm 20 weeks pregnant now ... half way through this pregnancy and I can hardly even believe it! This pregnancy is FLYING by! It's seriously going so fast, I kind of want time to slow down a little bit. We aren't planning on having any more children after this, so this is my last time being pregnant and it is bittersweet. I feel so blessed to be able to experience pregnancy - TWICE! And I feel so incredibly blessed and thankful that this pregnancy is going so smoothly!

Ok, can we just talk about spider veins for a quick sec?? Um, I have gotten SO MANY lately! I only got a few after my pregnancy with James, but this time around my legs (particularly my knee area) is covered with them! Oh the joys of pregnancy symptoms. I'm not complaining...like I said I'm really thankful for every single part of this experience. I'm more just throwing that out there for those of you who may be experiencing the same thing. I am covered with spider veins and ever-growing stretch marks. But hey, my boobs are bigger so there's that!!

I've been feeling the baby move so much over this past week! It's really fun! I can feel his kicks and rolls getting stronger and more substantial and I think we'll be able to feel them from the outside any day now.

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I'm soaking up every second with my sweet little James. I'm so excited for him to have a little brother. I know adding another baby to our family will only add to his life, rather than detract from it. But it is still a bit sad to think of him not being the only baby any more. I know it will be an adjustment for us all! I am so excited to see James as a big brother!! He'll be so sweet with the baby, I just know it.

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Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 20 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  To be honest, I've lost track. I'll update this next time I get weighed at the doctor!

Maternity clothes? Pretty much exclusively!

Stretch marks? Some new ones...all of my stretch marks are around my belly button.

Sleep: Fine!

Best moment this week: Playing in the mountains with Ben and James.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes, feeling a lot lately.

Food cravings: Mexican food, fruit

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, getting big!

Gender: A boy! Hooray!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: Spider veins, stretch marks, bigger boobs, heart burn, always thirsty, congested, lower back is sore

Have a great week, friends!

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 I know I look horrendous in this picture, but I just LOVE how James loves giving me kisses! He is seriously the sweetest!!!

I know I look horrendous in this picture, but I just LOVE how James loves giving me kisses! He is seriously the sweetest!!!

Mommy Monday: Gender Reveal! 19 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two

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It's a...BOY!

We are SO excited to finally be able to publicly announce that we're expecting our second little boy! We couldn't be more thrilled! Seriously, the idea of being a boy mom makes me so so incredibly happy! I am really excited that James will have a little brother to grow up with and for them to be able to play together!

We actually found out that we are having a boy at my 12 week ultrasound, so we've known for awhile. But I really wanted to wait until after our anatomy scan (which we just had a few hours ago!) to double check and confirm before we went ahead and told everyone. Just in case it actually turned out to be a girl, haha. 12 weeks is super early to be able to tell from an ultrasound, but the technician and the doctor were both pretty darn sure that they were seeing a boy. ;)

Even so, it was a relief to have the gender confirmed today at our anatomy scan!

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Speaking of the anatomy scan, everything went so well! Baby boy number two looked perfect and is growing just as he should be! My cervix is still closed up tight and long, just as IT should be. They even told me that I don't have to come in to have my cervix checked any more! I only need to come in if I have something I'm worried about or if I have new symptoms, so I'm basically a normal pregnant person now! Yippee!

I am so relieved and thankful that everything is well with the baby and with me! Such a nice change from our anatomy scan with James!! Read about our anatomy scan for my first pregnancy here.

Ok, on to this week's survey:

How far along: 19 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  Up around 11lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! They are the comfiest!

Stretch marks? My old ones are looking so rough, haha

Sleep: It's been ok!

Best moment this week: Playdate with James' friends from music class!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes! So fun

Food cravings: Fruit, frozen blueberries

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes! People are starting to ask if I'm expecting...which means I'm at the point where there is no question that I'm pregnant!

Gender: Yes!! Another sweet boy!!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out still. This really freaks Ben out, haha.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! And emotional!

Symptoms: Acne, heart burn, bloody nose, congestion, light-headedness, round ligament pain.

Thank you all for the continued prayers and good vibes! So grateful for a smooth pregnancy thus far!

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Mommy Monday: 18 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Monday!

I'm 18 weeks, two days pregnant and feeling great! I had an ultrasound last thursday to check my cervix since having the cerclage, and all looks perfect. My cervix was still over 4 cm and completely closed! I'm so thankful! I also got the clear to begin (gentle) workouts again... woohoo!

We go in next monday for our anatomy scan, so they will check my cervix again at that appointment. With my last pregnancy, we discovered my shortened cervix (only 1.2cm!!) at my 20 week anatomy scan, so it will be nice to pass that point in this pregnancy with no complications! Read about my experience during my last pregnancy here.

We also will be confirming the gender at the anatomy scan, so expect our gender reveal next week! We are so excited to FINALLY share what we are having with all of you! Go ahead and leave your guess in the comments: Boy or Girl?!?! :)

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It feels so nice to be able to start easing into some workouts again! I've been doing prenatal workouts from Knocked Up Fitness... click here to learn more about the workouts. They are amazing for pregnant mamas! Definitely check it out!

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I love this comfy, cute maternity top that I got from Target recently! I linked it and a few similar tops below!

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Alright, that's all for now! Here is this week's survey:

How far along: 18 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  As of my last week, up 10lbs since beginning of pregnancy.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Constantly on the hunt for cute, affordable pieces!

Stretch marks? Still no new ones yet!

Sleep: Super congested so it hasn't been great this week!

Best moment this week: Seeing the new baby flip and move around on the ultrasound last thursday!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes! The past few days I've felt a ton of movement!

Food cravings: Doughnuts. :) And Mexican food.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, announcing next week!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ Moody/ Emotional ... you name it!

Symptoms: Acne, round ligament pain has really amped up, tight muscles, tired, irritable, shortness of breath, forgetful...I'm a mess, haha.

See you back here next Monday, friends! Be sure to check back because we'll be announcing the GENDER!! HOORAY!

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Review: Elfbox!

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Hi everyone!

I wanted to come on here real quick to tell you guys about this incredible new company that some friends of ours started: Elfbox.

Now, let me start off by saying this is NOT SPONSORED. I am just genuinely very excited about this service and our whole family really loves it!

So, what is Elfbox? It's a monthly toy subscription! Every month, you get a new box full of toys, tailored to your child (or childrens') ages! The toys are all non-electronic, high quality, classic toys. You get a mix of toys that are sensory, music, motor skill, and problem-solving oriented. You play with the toys for a whole month, and then you receive a new box full of NEW toys. Once you get the new box, you send back the old box full of toys (it's free to mail it back). If there is a toy that you'd like to keep from your box, you simply don't send it back and you will be automatically charged for the (discounted) price of the toy. It's seriously SUCH a cool idea!

We have received two boxes so far, and I was nervous that maybe the second box wouldn't be as great as the first one. But really I think it's almost better! James was SO excited when a new green box showed up at our door. He knew exactly what it was! I shared some videos of him opening his new Elfbox on Instagram, it was so cute!

Anyways, if you guys want to try out Elfbox for yourself, you can get your first month for only $10 by signing up HERE

Also, I have been reading up on a more minimalistic motherhood (I'll write a whole post on this later). But I love the idea of eventually getting down to having maybe five toys of our own, and then just getting Elfbox every month. We'll see if we can actually make that happen. ;)

Click here to sign up for Elfbox and recieve your first box for only $10!

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Have a great weekend!

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Mommy Monday: 17 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Sorry that this post is going up a day late! This past week/weekend was packed!

Ben was at training for his new position at work, so James and I stayed with my parents all last week. We went to the tulip fields, and also visited a really cute park with a little farm. James LOVED seeing all of the animals! He was so adorable - he kept going and sitting down next to the chickens. And at the tulip fields, he had so much fun with all of the other little kids! He and the other little boys kept chasing each other and yelling in each other's faces. James had the time of his life, haha.

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We also had a fun play date with some of our friends from music class yesterday. I love watching James play with other kids! He is so adorable and I love watching him have fun and interact and explore!

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday - just my quick, monthly check. All was well! The baby's heartbeat sounded great and everything is going as it should be! On Thursday I have an ultrasound to check on my cervix. Prayers that there are no changes since I had the cerclage put in a few weeks ago!

Ok, I'll get to the survey in just a moment, but real quick: how beautiful is this dress?? You guys, it is not a maternity dress, but it works PERFECTLY with a bump! Win! And it comes in the most beautiful green floral print as well. Click here for the dress

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The best part is, this dress is UNDER $30!! And my shoes are only around $12! Click here for my shoes

Now for this week's survey:

How far along: 17 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss:  As of my doctor's appointment yesterday, up 10lbs since beginning of pregnancy.

Maternity clothes? Yes! But trying to find lots of non-maternity pieces that will work through pregnancy as well!

Stretch marks? My old ones are showing hardcore now!

Sleep: Not bad!

Best moment this week: Watching James sit with the chickens at the farm, and watching him run around with all the other little kids at the tulip fields!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Not much, but a few little thumps!

Food cravings: Junk food. Give me ALL the junk food.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really.

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, but still not announcing quite yet!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out. haha

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ Moody/ Emotional

Symptoms: Acne, aches, tight muscles, tired, SHORT TEMPER, haha

Thanks for reading! See you back here next Monday, when I'll fill you in on the results of my ultrasound!

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Mommy Monday: 16 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy (very late) Mommy Monday!

Don't mind the above pictures - I realized today that I had no pictures to share from this past week, haha... so I had my mom take these of me real quick! This past week has been pretty uneventful, really. Which is good! Fine by me!! I want this pregnancy to be as uneventful and boring as possible!

Honestly, nothing really new to report. I'm feeling great! All recovered from my cerclage, although my lower back is really sore ever since I had it done.

James and I are staying at my parents' house this week because Ben is at a training thing for his new position at work. We have lots of fun things planned for this week and I can't wait to tell you all about them in next week's Mommy Monday post!

Here is a fun little comparison I did the other day. The first picture is one I took back in January around the time I got pregnant. I was trying on swimsuits for our trip to Hawaii. The second picture is about 16 weeks later. Kind of cool to see the change in such a short amount of time!

 Right around when I got pregnant, and then about 16 weeks later!

Right around when I got pregnant, and then about 16 weeks later!

Oh! I also wanted to mention that lately James and I have been doing so many more crafts and fun learning activities together! I love letting him play with different materials and he's been practicing color and letter matching! Let me know if you would like me to share any of the crafts and projects that we do!

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Ok, onto this week's survey:

How far along: 16 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  I didn't weigh myself this week but I'm assuming around the same as last week, ~6 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, some!

Stretch marks? No new ones yet! But my old ones are out in full glory, haha

Sleep: Fine! I have to get up quite a lot to pee, and my crazy dreams are back though.

Best moment this week: Watching James be the center of attention at music class! He has gotten so confident and is just thriving in that class, it's adorable! I'm so proud of him!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: A little bit, off and on!

Food cravings: Thai Food!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Vegetables :(

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, but still not announcing quite yet!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? Mostly in...starting to poke out on top though. So cute.

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ EMOTIONAL!!!!

Symptoms: Acne, weird dreams, having to pee all the time, constipation, congestion, back aches.

That's it for this week! Sorry it wasn't a very fun or exciting update, but as I said, that's fine with me!! No excitement please! Just a boring, standard, uneventful, safe, healthy pregnancy! See you back next Monday!

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Mommy Monday: 15 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two, Cerclage!

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Hi there, friends!

Friday I had my cerclage put in. I was so nervous for the surgery, even though it was planned this time and the whole thing was very relaxed. As of Friday, my cervix was still very long and normal looking, so that was great to hear, and I'm so glad that we did the cerclage before anything started changing or going south.

Even though I was super nervous, I also felt overwhelmed by a sense of peace and the knowledge that everything was going to be ok. It was such a great feeling - all of the prayers were really felt, so thank you to everyone sending them our way!

As I was waiting in the hospital room to be taken to the OR, I was overcome with emotions. I felt so incredibly thankful that I was able to have this surgery and that I was able to go through all of the scary hospital stuff in order to protect my new baby and keep it safe before anything went wrong.

Also, when I first checked in to the hospital, they sent me to the lab to get blood work done. I am a Certified Medical Assistant and have tons of experience drawing blood, but let me tell you - I HATE having my blood drawn. Like, HATE IT. I get so anxious and nervous and sweaty and so I was dreading having lab work done. Well, I got to the lab and check in, and the phlebotomist came out and said, "sorry to disappoint you, but you don't get to have a blood draw today!" I WAS SO HAPPY!! Already my second cerclage experience was going amazingly! haha

Then, I met with the anesthesiologist to discuss options and a game plan. With my first cerclage, I had a spinal, where I was numbed from my waist down and couldn't feel a thing. But I was wide awake and totally aware of what was going on and so stressed and nervous the whole time. The anesthesiologist this time said he could put me under with general anesthesia, or do a spinal. Although, he said that there was a nation-wide shortage of the medication they usually use for a spinal, so he'd have to use a different medication that takes a couple of hours longer to wear off. I told him whatever he thought was best for the baby. He decided to do the spinal, but said he'd give me something to help me relax too.

Well, whatever he gave me, the last thing I remember is being wheeled into the OR, rolled onto my side on the operating table, and the OR nurse rubbing my back as I *think* they gave me the spinal. The next thing I remember is being wheeled into recovery. I asked the anesthesiologist, "did I just fall asleep on my own or did you put me under?!" and he laughed and said, "I helped you out a bit!" haha I was SO CONFUSED!! I thought I had slept through the whole thing! I remember nothing! What I now think happened is that he gave me a sedative, so I probably was awake but just so relaxed and don't remember? I don't know, haha But it weirds me out to think that I was maybe chatting away saying who knows what during the surgery and don't remember ANYTHING!! HAHA

But, I am totally fine with whatever they did because it wasn't scary at all since I wasn't aware of what was happening and I don't remember a thing. I just remember going into the OR and leaving the OR, haha. Very pleasant!

I then had to wait a few hours for the spinal to wear off and to be able to move/feel my legs again. Then I got to go home. The whole thing was very easy and really no big deal. SUCH a different experience than the cerclage I had with my first pregnancy!! I'm so thankful for how everything went the day of my surgery and for my wonderful husband and my parents for taking such good care of me and of James during all of this!

Now, I'm 15 weeks pregnant, and everything is going well and I'm praying that the rest of this pregnancy stays as normal and uneventful as it has been thus far!!

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I've just been taking it easy the past couple of days. I'm feeling great, just sore. My back hurts a bit from the spinal, but it's getting better every day. I'm waiting on a call back from my doctor today to give me the "OK" to start lifting James and resuming my previous activity level. I'm dying to get outside and go for a walk around the neighborhood!

Yesterday afternoon I started having Braxton Hicks which I had basically MOST of my pregnancy with James (I think I may have irritable uterus), but since they started happening so soon after my cerclage I was of course freaking out a little. But they stopped and there was never any pain or bleeding so I'll mention it to my doctor when I talk to her today, but I'm pretty confident it's nothing to be concerned about. Braxton Hicks are oh-so-fun and I'm just preparing myself for  a lot of them over the next few months!

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Time for this week's survey!

How far along: 15 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss:  6 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes, some!

Stretch marks? No new ones yet!

Sleep: Pretty good at the moment actually!

Best moment this week: Watching James and his little friend on their play date!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Yes! I've felt a few thumps over the past few days!

Food cravings: Pineapple, crunch wrap supreme, doughnuts :p

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really!

Have you started to show yet: Yes!

Gender: Yes, but still not announcing quite yet!

Labor Signs: Some Braxton Hicks over the past day or two since the cerclage.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy/ EMOTIONAL!!!!

Symptoms: Congested, round ligament pain, emotional, peeing all the time, haha.

Thank you, again, for all of the prayers and positivity being sent our way! Please keep them coming!

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Mommy Monday: 14 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Click here for my dress (Comes in so many colors and under $100! It's my favorite dress ever!) // Click here for my shoes // Click here for my necklace (It's customized with James' name on it - you can get any name put on it! I love it so much!)

I hope you all had the happiest Easter!

We had such a fun weekend! Saturday we had a lazy morning and we all watched Homeward Bound together in our jammies and it was just such a nice, cozy day. Yesterday, James and I went to church with my parents. Then later, Ben James, Gunner, and I headed to my parents' house for dinner with extended family and an Easter egg hunt for little James. It was James' first Easter egg hunt and he did SO well!! He loved it! My cousins set it up for him and it was the cutest most fun thing!

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I was seriously dying over James' Easter outfit and how CUTE he looked!! His little tie was just the most adorable thing. I want to dress him up in fancy clothes every day!! His shirt is my favorite color - mint! And his slacks are a bit big so they will fit him for all of our events coming up through the summer!

I'm also so obsessed with the dress I wore - it's not a maternity dress. I barely squeezed myself into the dress and had to have Ben zip me up, haha but it worked with my little bump!! It's just the most feminine dress with such pretty detailing and I love the length. It's very classy and elegant and perfect for any occasion. It comes in a lot of colors and is under $100 which is SUCH a great price for the quality!! (Click here for my dress)

So, I am officially in the Second Trimester now!! Hooray!!

This week, I'm getting my cerclage, so please send all your thoughts and prayers and good vibes my way! I'm pretty nervous for the surgery and just want to get it over with!

Oh also, I found the BEST maternity jeans ever...seriously. If you're pregnant, GET THEM!

They are really comfortable (like leggings), and are super cute and actually fit well unlike a lot of maternity jeans. They come in several colors/ washes. Click here for the jeans!

Now, for this week's survey:

How far along: 14 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: 6 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! Like these maternity jeans I've been raving about!! (Click here for jeans)

Stretch marks? No new ones!

Sleep: Not great - SO congested!!

Best moment this week: James doing his Easter egg hunt! And watching James during the church service yesterday! He's so sweet!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: I *think* a few little flutters - but none that I'm absolutely positive about yet. I have an anterior placenta this time, so it will probably be harder for me to feel movement until later on.

Food cravings: Pineapple!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really!

Have you started to show yet: Oooooh yes. ;)

Gender: We know! But we're not announcing yet! ;)

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? Off! Wearing a place holder ring now! :p

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy!

Symptoms: My weird dreams are gone, yay! Now symptoms include congestion, weakness, shortness of breath, and moodiness.

Have a great week, friends!!

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Mommy Monday: 13 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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Happy Mommy Monday!

As I mentioned in last week's post (read last week's post here), I met with Maternal Fetal Medicine on Wednesday for a "pre-op consult" because I am getting another cerclage this pregnancy. You can read about my whole scary experience with finding out that I needed an emergency cerclage during my first pregnancy here.

This time around I was told right away: "Once a cerclage, always a cerclage". So, I got in the mindset. Last time around was so scary and unexpected and urgent and complicated. THIS time will be calm, planned, relaxed, no big deal, and not *necesssary*, just a precaution. As of my appointment on Wednesday, my cervix was still over 4cm which is GREAT - super long. At my 20 week scan during my first pregnancy, my cervix was down to 1.2cm, which is extremely short. I was SO relieved that my cervix was still so long at this week's scan!

So, basically, the doctor gave me two options:

1. Get a cerclage done in the next week or two as a precaution. That way, we make sure the cerclage is done under calm and controlled circumstances and that my cervix is super long and we wont have to worry about it the rest of the pregnancy.

2. Monitor my cervix every two weeks and if is starts to shorten, put a cerclage in.

With option two, I potentially would not need a cerclage at all if my cervix does not shorten - which sounds super appealing! BUT, my cervix could possibly shorten super quickly before it is caught and I could lose the baby. And a really short cervix like I had before makes a cerclage a lot more risky (ie, bleeding, puncturing the bladder, etc...) So, I decided to just do the cerclage now. I'll be scheduling it for in the next few weeks, so I'll keep you all updated on that!

Definitely not looking forward to it, BUT this time around will hopefully be a lot more relaxed and pleasant. :)

In other exciting news: WE FOUND OUT THE GENDER!!

I'm not going to say much more about this yet because we aren't going to publicly announce for awhile. The ultrasound tech asked me if I was going to be doing genetic testing, and I told her the ONLY reason I would do it would be to find out the gender sooner. She said, "Well, I can just look and see if I can tell" and I was like, oh YES. haha And she could. And the doctor confirmed. It's REEEAAALLLY early - like, usually you can't tell on an ultrasound until at least 18 weeks and I was only 12. But they were PRETTY confident. :)

So exciting. I can't wait to announce to you all when the time comes! Go ahead and post your guess in the comments below: Is baby Cohen number two a BOY or a GIRL??

Also, I have gotten a few requests about items that I think are necessary vs. unnecessary for a new baby. I'll try to put together a blog post soon going over all of this! If you have any specific questions feel free to leave them below and I'll answer them!

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Yesterday, Ben, James, Gunner, and I went for a drive into the National Forest where we live. We went exploring and Ben shot his bow and it was SUCH a beautiful day! Days like that make me so thankful for this growing family of mine! I am truly blessed!

Who else is doing the Knocked Up Fitness prenatal program with me?? Comment below and let me know so that we can hold each other accountable! And be sure to follow me on Instagram (@annamcohenblog) so we can check in with eachother! Click here to learn more about the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program!

Ok, now for the weekly survey:

How far along: 13 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Last Wednesday I was 116lbs at the doctor's office - but that's with clothes and shoes on. When I weigh myself at home I usually don't wear clothes, so that's where I got my pre-pregnancy weight of 107lbs. From here on out, I'll just use the weight from the doctor to make it easier and since I don't have a scale any more anyways to weigh myself at home. :)

Maternity clothes? A few pieces! Maternity leggings and pajamas are LIFE!

Stretch marks? No new ones, but I feel like my old ones are stretching back out. BOO!

Sleep: Oh my goodness, CAN'T GET COMFORTABLE. haha I'm scared. If I'm having trouble getting comfortable this early on, I don't know what I'm going to do come third trimester! Also, the insanely weird, horrible, detailed, REAL-feeling dreams are just getting worse! haha You guys, they are so bizarre!!!

Best moment this week: Hiking with my family in the mountains!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Not yet!

Food cravings: Crunch wrap supremes and sub sandwiches.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not really!

Have you started to show yet: Yes, and I feel like I popped even more over the past day or two!

Gender: We know! But we're not announcing yet! ;)

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On, but I'm going to take them off and put on my place holder ring soon because I already notice them getting super tight and it makes me claustrophobic.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy and emotional!!

Symptoms: Weird dreams, dry skin, acne, tired, congested, aching pelvis,

I'll see you guys back here next Monday for another update! And check back later this week for another non-mommy-monday post!

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Mommy Monday: 12 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Dress: Soprano (Exact pattern sold out, same dress in different color here and here) // Shoes: Target

Happy Monday, friends!

Welcome to the first round of Mommy Monday for pregnancy number two!

You guys: I started showing SO QUICKLY this time around!! Seriously, I think the moment I got pregnant my uterus was like, "Ok, this again!" and blew up. haha I was showing when we were in Hawaii and that was only at six weeks...granted I'm sure a lot of it was bloating, but still. I started showing waaaayyyy sooner than I did my first pregnancy. I'm glad I've announced that I'm pregnant because now I can just let it all hang out, haha.

This week I am going in for a pre-op consultation with Maternal Fetal Medicine because...yup, I have to get a cerclage again.

As of my eight week appointment, my cervix was still looking perfect and hadn't started shortening or anything, but my OB told me "once a cerclage, always a cerclage". So I'll be getting one put in at 14 weeks as a precaution. And at least this time around it wont be an emergency or a scary unknown hurried thing. I can plan ahead, prepare for it mentally, go in to the hospital in my pajamas and glasses (last time I was wearing tight jeans, high heels, and contact lenses...NOT COMFY POST-OP, haha). Oh, and this time I can tell the anesthesiologist ahead of time that I puked on the operating table last time, so they can plan ahead and give me medicine for that haha. Anyways, this time should be a much more pleasant and calm experience, God-willing! :)

So, this week is my pre-op consultation for all of that. I'll fill you guys in on all the details of that appointment in next monday's post. I'll be getting an ultrasound so I'm really looking forward to seeing the little one!

As I mentioned in my last post I'm not experiencing any morning sickness any more, so that has been wonderful! So much better in that regard, compared to my last pregnancy!

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You guys all know how much I love and adore the Core Rehab Program from Knocked Up Fitness, right? (Read about my posts on it here and here) Core Rehab helped me heal my abdominal separation postpartum and just helped me to get my body back to looking and feeling it's best after having James. Well, I'm so excited to be doing the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program during my pregnancy this time around!!

You can learn more about the Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program here. I'd love it if some of you other pregnant mamas did it along with me! Let me know if you're doing it and we can hold each other accountable!

Ok, now to the weekly survey, which I'll be filling out each Monday, just like last time:

How far along: 12 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Not sure! I haven't been weighing myself. I was 107lbs before I got pregnant.

Maternity clothes? Some! They are way more comfy, and like I said, I am getting so big so fast with this pregnancy that already some of my non-maternity clothes are getting too tight!

Stretch marks? Just the old ones so far!

Sleep: Not great! Having so many weird dreams and such bad allergies. I keep waking up with an itchy nose, haha.

Best moment this week: Hitting the 12 week mark! It just feels like a milestone, as we're basically out of the first trimester now!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: Not yet!

Food cravings: None really! Sour candy has been my jam though!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Vegetables, unfortunately. Just the thought of them makes me gag. :(

Have you started to show yet: Yes, SO quickly this time around!

Gender: Don't know yet!

Labor Signs: No.

Belly Button in or out? In/flat

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy but SO emotional!!

Symptoms: Weird dreams, dry skin, acne, tired.