Meet Jack!

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Hi friends!

Long time no talk! Sorry that I have been MIA on here, but also…not really sorry because I have been on a “maternity leave” of sorts! :)

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Everyone, meet baby Jack!

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Jack Benjamin Cohen was born on September 18th and he is perfect! We are so very in love with him…especially James! Seriously, watching James with his baby brother is about the cutest thing I have ever witnessed. James’ transition into the role of Big Brother has gone so much more smoothly than I was expecting and I’m so so very proud of him. He loves kissing Jack, doing tummy time with him, and he always includes him when we’re going to do things. For example, I’ll say, “Come on James, time to go to music class!” and he’ll shout, “And JACK JACK TOO!” haha He’s so sweet. I am so happy that my boys will have each other as they grow up.

So, back to Jack! He was 7lbs 15oz and 20inches when he was born - smaller than James. James was 8lbs 11oz and 21 inches. But, Jack was also born earlier than James was, at 38 weeks 3 days. Jack looks so much like James, but also very different. Jack’s nose is much pointier than James’, and Jack has a pointier chin as well. James has Ben’s strong chin (and under bite, which is the cutest), whereas it looks like Jack might have more of my jaw line. We’ll see! But Jack is blonde with big blue eyes, just like his brother. :)

Life with two kids is hard, but wonderful. But hard…haha I’ll do a whole blog post on this soon. Currently, we’re just figuring things out and settling into our new normal as a family of four (five!! Sorry Gunner!)

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I’ll be posting Jack’s birth story in the next few days so check back for that! If you’d like to read James’ birth story in the meantime, you can click here.

Thank you all for following along during my pregnancy, and for all of the continued prayers, words of encouragement, and love! I’m so thankful for you all and for the opportunity to have a “normal”, uneventful, scare-free pregnancy!

So thankful for my beautiful boys! And for all of YOU.

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Mommy Monday: 37 weeks pregnant with number two!

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I mean, should I even call these “Mommy MONDAY” posts any more? I can’t seem to get these up on Mondays these days! haha But, better late than never, right? :)

There honestly aren’t any real updates … which is good! The only update is that (TMI ALERT) I lost my mucous plug last week. I wont go into any more details about it, but basically it’s just a sign that labor is near.

But other than that, nothing new! I have been getting a bit of swelling in my feet and they definitely ache by the end of the day. Ben has been so sweet, rubbing them and letting me lounge around as much as possible. He has been waking up with James in the mornings even on work days so that I can sleep for an extra half hour or so. He is just the very best. I’m so so lucky to have him!

Yesterday, some friends from Music Class took James and I out to lunch as a sort of little baby shower for the new baby! It was so very sweet and really meant a lot to me! They gave us the cutest little clothes for the baby too - truck themed, of course, since James and his buddy are very into trucks and construction. The new baby will fit right in with the big boys! I’m so thankful for such an amazing new friend for James AND for me. :)

Let’s see…what else? I am having the WORST anxiety about labor and delivery and about how James’ life will be impacted by a new baby. I am just having the worst thoughts - like, what if I DIE during labor? I actually wrote letters to Ben, James, and the new baby the other night in case I die. So dramatic, I know. But I’m seriously SCARED guys! Last time I was in labor I was told there was a good chance I was going to die, so I am sure that is having something to do with my intense fear this time.

Plus, I’m just scared of not getting to the hospital in time, or not getting the epidural in time, and for the general discomfort and unpleasantness of labor and delivery …and for postpartum recovery. And for newborn life, because, let’s be honest - it’s hard! And the sleep deprivation! And not having as much time for James….gah. I’m trying to just take deep breaths and not over think things and trust God. But, prayers are much appreciated!!

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Here’s this week’s survey:

How far along: 37 weeks 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up around 40lbs.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Living in my maternity leggings and big t-shirts!

Stretch marks? Lots!

Sleep: Not good. haha

Best moment this week: Lunch with sweet friends!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time!

Food cravings: Everything…I can’t wait to be able to have a chicken caesar salad again!!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Back pain, period-like cramps, Braxton Hicks, lost mucus plug

Belly Button in or out? It's pretty much flat now.

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: EMOTIONAL and moody

Symptoms: Lightning crotch, Upper back pain on the right side (better than it was last week!!), pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, swollen and achey feet

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Mommy Monday: 36 weeks pregnant with number two - cerclage removal!

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Ok, I've come to a conclusion: GETTING A CERCLAGE REMOVED SUCKS. haha I had hopes that this time around would be a more pleasant experience than last time, but - it wasn't really. Which leads me to believe that cerclage removals just suck in general. And that's that. haha And that's fine. It is what it is.

Bottom line is, MY CERCLAGE IS OUT, hooray!! And this time around, the doctor was able to get the entire stitch out, versus last time part of it was still left in because my doctor couldn't get it all. So I am very thankful that the entire stitch was able to be removed this time! My doctor showed me the stitch after it was taken out and it was much different looking than I was expecting! It was HUGE and thick and black...I was expecting something daintier and less horrifying looking haha.

Anyways, the removal was painful and unpleasant, but it's done and I am so happy to have the stitch out and to be completely "normal" and ready for this baby to come! :)

After removing the cerclage, the doctor checked my cervix and said I am 2 cm dilated and about 60% effaced - about exactly what I was after I got my cerclage removed with my first pregnancy.

Oh, before I forget: last week I had an ultrasound to check the baby's growth and position. Everything looked great! Baby boy is head down (woohoo!) and was estimated to be about 6lbs 6oz. James was a big baby at 8lbs 11oz when he was born, and the doctor said she thinks this baby will be not *quite* as big, but still over 8lbs. His belly was also measuring big, but the doctor said "not in a concerning way...in a CUTE way!" haha Which I think is adorable. I can't wait to kiss that big belly!

I've been really stressing out about going into labor and about getting to the hospital on time and about being able to get an epidural in time - and MOSTLY about having to leave James when I'm in the hospital. I've never spent a night away from James, and I know he'll be fine with my parents (they're coming to stay with him at our house). But I'm still stressing about it and so sad to have to be away from him!! I was "induced" in that my water was broken with James, so I never experienced going into labor on my own, unexpectedly. I'm pretty nervous for that! I hate when things aren't planned out and I just hope it happens at a convenient time and that I realize what's happening in time to get to the hospital!! I'm stressing big time, guys!! Prayers please! I'm really trying to just trust God and put it all in His hands and NOT WORRY. It will all be fine, I know. :)

Also, I know I express a lot of fears and worries and discomforts here in this blog, but I want you all to know how genuinely grateful I am for this pregnancy and for how smoothly it has gone and for my healthy baby boy. I thank God every day that we made it this far without any complications or scares! I am so thankful to have been able to experience a more "normal" and worry free pregnancy! I'm praying the duration of this pregnancy and the labor/delivery/postpartum recovery go just as scare and worry free!

Ok, on to this week's survey:

How far along: 36 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up around 40lbs.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Living in my maternity leggings and big t-shirts!

Stretch marks? So many above and below and around my belly button!

Sleep: Insomnia, frequent peeing, stress...it's been rough! But it's all part of the journey!

Best moment this week: Having my cerclage be OUT!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: SO MUCH! He's a very active little boy, and he particularly loves punching and head butting my cervix and pelvis area while simultaneously kicking my ribs. haha

Food cravings: Doughnuts, pizza, fruit...

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Back pain, period-like cramps, Braxton Hicks

Belly Button in or out? It's pretty much flat now.

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy for the most part! But definitely moody and cranky and emotional as well.

Symptoms: Upper back pain on the right side - super horrible, pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey...

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2018 Fall Decor Ideas!

 Found all of these cute pumpkins in the Target dollar section!!

Found all of these cute pumpkins in the Target dollar section!!

Happy Fall, Ya'll!

I wanted to get this post up now so that you guys can take advantage of the Labor Day sales that are going on! A lot of the items below are on sale.

I'm sharing some Fall Decor items below to give you a little inspiration. Anyone already decorating for Fall?? I am SO ready! I have most of my decorations up, but I still have a few things I need to snag in order to put the finishing touches on everything.

My theme this year is PUMPKINS - mint, white, grey are my main colors, with the occasionally pop of orange. I'm accenting with black and white plaid. I really love how everything is looking! I'm doing a more sophisticated look this year, versus the bright orange and red and loud colors and patterns that I normally do. It's fun to do something different this year!

Ok, here are some Fall Decor pieces that I'm loving and that I'm using for inspo. myself.

Click on each photo below to shop the item!

What type of theme/colors are you going for this year??

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Currently Loving...

Sharing a quick round up of some items I'm currently loving! Best part? Many of these pieces are on sale this weekend!!

Click on a picture to shop the item!

Hope you all are having a lovely long weekend!

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Tracking Contractions With Bloomlife

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This post is sponsored by Bloomlife. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

Hi friends!

This post is for all my expecting mamas out there. I have partnered up with a really cool company called Bloomlife, and I'm so excited to share it with you!

Bloomlife is a women's health company whose focus is on improving the health of moms and babies. Through the use of their clinically validated tracker, expecting moms can now automatically track and count their contractions - it is seriously so handy!

Here's how it works:

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You rent a tracker from Bloomlife (use the code AMC10 for 10% off your weekly rental!) and they send you everything you need to start monitoring your contractions.

Included in your box are the following: a Bloomlife sensor, patches, a sensor charging cord, and a quick guide that walks you through how to use your sensor. It's everything you need to get started and let me tell you, it is super simple. I was a bit nervous that the setup and everything would be complicated and tricky, but it was so easy to use. I was very pleasantly surprised.

To get started, you just download the app in the app store, and it will easily walk you through setting up your device.

Once you have the app and have gone over how to use the device, you can begin tracking and counting your contractions. All you have to do is apply the device to your belly (again, very easy to do and the directions on how to properly position the device are very straight forward.) Then, you get comfy, and start tracking! It's a great idea to get into the routine of wearing your Bloomlife for an hour or two every evening. You need to be sitting down, so I love to curl up with a good book while I'm tracking.

Most moms like to use Bloomlife for the last 6-8 weeks of their pregnancy to monitor contractions. But you can really start whenever you'd like, as Bloomlife allows you to match your rental period to your specific pregnancy needs.

 Hellooooo stretchmarks and creepy belly button! haha

Hellooooo stretchmarks and creepy belly button! haha

Something I really love about Bloomlife is how easy it makes it to track and count contractions. With my last pregnancy, I tried out several different contraction counting apps, and all of them were so hard for me to use. I had to push a button when each contraction started, and then push it again when it ended, and often times I wasn't even entirely sure when exactly they were starting or fully stopped. And then sometimes I would forget to use the app at all... it was just really inconvenient! Bloomlife makes it SO easy because if I'm feeling contractions, I can just sit down with my device on and it will automatically count and track all of my contractions for me. I literally don't have to do a thing but sit there, haha. It just makes it so easy!

Bloomlife gave me a code for you guys to use, if you'd like to try out a device! You can go to the Bloomlife website by clicking HERE, and then use the code AMC10 for 10% off your weekly rental!

I'm so excited to be able to share this company with you all because it is one I genuinely love and believe in. I've been trying out and using the monitor personally and I can honestly say that it is a product that I believe you will love if you are an expecting mama.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions about Bloomlife and how it works and I will be happy to answer them!

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What's In My Hospital Bag! Second Pregnancy

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At almost 36 weeks pregnant with baby number two, I finally have my and my baby's hospital bags packed! I definitely am doing things a little bit differently this time around than I did with my first pregnancy. I learned a lot about what I do and do not need to bring with me to the hospital.

You can read what I packed in my hospital bags during my last pregnancy here and here.

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First up, I'll just start with everything I'm bringing for ME:

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  • Granny panties: haha Definitely bringing a giant pair of comfy granny panties!
  • Pads: The jumbo ones like these.
  • Snacks
  • Cell phone charger

I'm pretty sure that's all I'm bringing with me!

Now on to what I'm bringing for my baby:

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  • Four outfits (including the one that matches my nightgown that I talked about above)
  • Sleep sacks: These are my number one MUST HAVE. Seriously, they were a game changer once we started using them for James, so I'm definitely bringing a couple of them to the hospital to start using with this baby right away! Click here for the sleep sacks
  • Mittens: For his little hands so he doesn't scratch himself. Click here for mittens
  • Socks
  • Hat

That's it! I mean, I plan on adding in some of these fuzzy, non-slip socks once they arrive. And I'm packing these joggers and this top for my "going home outfit."

Let me know what your MUST-HAVES are/were for YOUR hospital bag! I definitely don't want to forget anything important, but I'm also trying to not pack too much because last time I didn't use half of what I brought with me!

Also, head on over to my Instagram stories (@annamcohenblog) for a closer look at everything I packed!

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Mommy Monday: 35 weeks pregnant with number two - it's getting serious!

 COMFIEST joggers! They are under $17 and I'm packing them in my hospital bag and wearing them home from the hospital after I give birth!   Click here for the joggers

COMFIEST joggers! They are under $17 and I'm packing them in my hospital bag and wearing them home from the hospital after I give birth! Click here for the joggers

Hi friends!

Sorry this post is up a day late...I had every intention of doing it last night after I put James to bed, but then I got tired and crashed. haha

I'm going to put next week's Mommy Monday post up next Tuesday as well because NEXT TUESDAY I GET MY CERCLAGE REMOVED!! I want to wait to put my post up until after it's removed so I can update you guys on how it went and everything!

I will be 36 weeks 3 days when I get it removed. I'm REALLY excited to get it out, but also pretty nervous. My cerclage removal last pregnancy was kind of awful (read about it here) so I'm praying this time it goes way smoother (and is less painful!).

This past weekend was so busy - we had a birthday party for one of James' friends on Saturday. It was so fun! Then on Sunday, we had a huge family reunion - there were around 22 little kids under the age of twelve there! It was crazy but James had SO MUCH fun playing with all the other kids! He is SO cute to watch with other kids - he's so friendly and bold and silly and eager to jump in and play. I just love him and am so proud of him!

 A little progress photo!

A little progress photo!

Anyways, my Braxton Hicks have picked up a LOT this past week. My body is definitely getting ready for labor - it's so exciting! My back has also been getting really sore - my upper back, so not labor related, just really sore muscles around my shoulder blades. Other than that, I don't really have any new symptoms other than just feeling really huge and ready for this baby to come! BUT, not until after the cerclage is removed!

Now for the survey:

How far along: 35 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up 34lbs as of last doctor's appointment.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Give me all the maternity leggings and tees!

Stretch marks? So many above and below and around my belly button!

Sleep: It's ok! Having a bit of insomnia, peeing a lot...but ok!

Best moment this week: Watching James play with his friends and with family members this weekend! He is the friendliest, sweetest, silliest little boy. I love how bold and loving he is!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time! Definitely more rolling type movement now that he is getting squished!

Food cravings: Nothing in particular!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks all the time...they've really amped up this past week!

Belly Button in or out? It's pretty much flat now.

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy for the most part! But definitely moody and cranky and emotional as well.

Symptoms: Pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night (had the WORST one last night!!!!), frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey...

Have a great week, and I can't wait to update you all next week after my ultrasound and cerclage removal!!

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Mommy Monday: 34 weeks pregnant and a bit of a scare!!

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I didn't write this post yesterday (on Monday) because I had a doctor's appointment today (Tuesday) and wanted to wait until after the appointment so that I'd have more to update you all on!

So, today I went in for my normal check-in with my OB, and had a bit of a scare! She listened to the baby's heart and his heart rate was high - in the 180s, when his is normally in the 140-150s. She had me go do an NST (non-stress test) which I had a few of when I was pregnant with James. I was, obviously, so worried, but the doctor assured me that it was just a precaution because babies' heart rates often spike and she could have just caught it during one of those spikes.

So, I had the NST and during it, it kept picking up contractions, which I knew to be Braxton Hicks because I'm a pro when it comes to those - I had SO many with James, and have had a ton with this pregnancy as well. But, of course the nurse doing the test got concerned and had me chug water and switch positions. I kept praying "PLEASE don't make me get admitted" because all I could think about was having to be away from sweet little James! And of course I was constantly praying that everything was ok with the baby as well.

Long story short, his heart rate went down and the doctor cleared me to go home, but told me to drink 120 oz of water a day. Which she even said was nearly impossible, but to TRY. So, now I'm just chugging water and peeing every two seconds and feeling very thankful that all is well with baby boy and that I got to come home!!

We scheduled an ultrasound for next week to check the baby's position. Then, the FOLLOWING week I get my cerclage removed!! Hooray! I'll be 36 weeks at that point, and we'll see what happens! There is a chance I could go into labor when they remove the cerclage, BUT they said that last time with James too and I ended up going full term.

Continued prayers are really appreciated! We're coming up on the end of this journey, and I am so thankful for how smoothly this whole pregnancy has gone! I pray that the rest of this pregnancy and labor and delivery and postpartum journey go smoothly and complication/scare free as well, for both me and the baby!

How far along: 34 weeks 3 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up 34lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes! All I wear these days! So comfy!

Stretch marks? More and more each day - the silvery type, alllll around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Peeing every few minutes, and having trouble getting comfortable - so...as good as can be expected! :)

Best moment this week: Watching James and Ben play this past weekend -they got so much good quality time and it was just so sweet to watch! Ben is the best daddy!

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: Yep!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Mostly out, the top part is still poking out though, very freaky looking!

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy for the most part! But definitely moody and cranky and emotional as well.

Symptoms: Pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey... No new symptoms really!

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Clean With Me: Cleaning Schedule

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I've finally figured out a great schedule for cleaning my house...I feel so grown up! haha I used to struggle so much with keeping things clean and with knowing what exactly TO clean. I mean, there were so many things that I didn't even think about ... like for some reason, cleaning toilets and stoves and washing windows and wiping down the microwave and oven...these things didn't even occur to me.

So, coming up with an organized method for cleaning certain things around the house has made a huge difference and has really helped to keep me on track. I've watched a lot of cleaning YouTube videos (yes they are a thing and they are strangely addicting and fun to watch!) and I've learned HOW to clean as well as WHAT to clean.

A lot of you requested this post, and I'm finally getting it all put together for you! Below is a sample of what my cleaning schedule looks like:

Daily

  • Sweep
  • Take out trash
  • Spray down shower with this cleaner (click here for cleaner)
  • Wipe down the counters and kitchen table
  • Unload/load the dishwasher
  • Clean up toys several times throughout the day to keep a handle on it
  • Make bed
  • Organize papers/mail/etc...

Weekly

Monthly

  • Wipe down light switches, door knobs, walls, etc...
  • Wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • Clean the inside of the microwave
  • Wipe down inside of cabinets
  • Sort through clothes, toys, books and set aside for goodwill
  • Clean inside of fridge and freezer
  • Organize the pantry
  • Clean coffee maker

What are your tips and tricks for keeping on top of cleaning? Please share! Also, what are you favorite cleaning products? I've linked some of mine below!

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Mommy Monday: 33 weeks pregnant with number two!

33 weeks! Yay! Getting so close!!

So, I have a new symptom this past week that I did NOT have with James. It is excruciating hip/pelvis pain...definitely NOT labor pain or contractions or anything. It's like...joint/nerve pain in my groin and hips and pelvis and it is SOOO PAINFUL. When it "flares up" I can't even really walk and it takes my breath away.

Now, before I get scolded for not going to my doctor, let me reiterate: this is NOT labor pain or contractions. Trust me I'm sure of that. It's definitely pain from everything loosening up, and pressure being put on my pelvis and nerves. And I have my next appointment with my doctor next week, so I will definitely talk to her about it then. But I'm sure there is probably nothing to be done about it, because I've done some research and it sounds like this is something that some women have during the last bit of pregnancy and you just have to ride it out. It's ROUGH though!

Have any of you experienced this during pregnancy?? Any tips?

These days, I am just so achey and exhausted and I haven't been working out - I do go for walks pushing James in the stroller about 4-5 days a week and I usually go 2-3 miles. But, other than that I have been just giving everything I have to stay awake and to keep the house from becoming a total disaster. This whole pelvis pain has not been making it any easier!

BUT, there is the occasional day where I feel full of energy and strong, and today was one of those days, and you better believe I took advantage! I got so much cleaning done AND I got in a prenatal booty workout from Knocked Up Fitness (click here for the prenatal workout program I'm doing)

Ok, that's all for this week! At my doctor's appointment next week I'll be scheduling my final ultrasound and my cerclage removal...things are getting real, guys!! I'll for sure update you guys when I have all the details!

Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 33 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 3.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? Lots! All above and around my belly button.

Sleep: Definitely experiencing more insomnia, and when I DO sleep, getting up around five times during the night to pee!

Best moment this week: As I put James to bed the other night, he kept giving me the hugest hugs and kisses and holding me so tight. He wouldn’t let me leave. I finally laid my head down on his bed beside him to try to help him fall asleep and he stroked my face and arms and hair for 15 minutes just staring at me. I finally left him, and within 5 minutes I got a text from my husband. His office is right next door to James’ bedroom. His text said: “He’s singing. Sounds like it’s about you.” I LOST IT. Like ugly crying so hard. Because how in the world did I get so blessed as to be loved SO much, so purely by that sweet little human? I swear, motherhood will rip you to your core, humble you, and make you ache in the BEST way possible. I can’t imagine how my heart could possibly grow any more without bursting! But I know somehow it certainly will and that both scares and thrills me.

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Apple Jacks!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm huge! People are frequently telling me I look like I'm going to explode. It's lovely.

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Mostly out.

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy! But definitely moody/sensitive/cranky...etc...

Symptoms: Pelvis/hip/groin pain, leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey...

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Help Me Pick Our Birth Announcements!

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!

Tomorrow, I'm 33 weeks pregnant - which means only SEVEN WEEKS until baby boy's due date! That seriously blows my mind, it's coming up so quickly! If you've been following my Mommy Monday blog posts, you'll know that there is actually a good chance that he'll come even SOONER than that!

We didn't do Birth Announcements with James...but this time around I really want to get some to send out to family! I think getting some cute pictures of James and his new baby brother would be really special to include on the announcement.

Basic Invite (basicinvite.com) reached out to me recently, and I am SO happy that they did, because they have SUCH amazing products! I'm really excited to have learned about them because I'll be using them for everything now! They have Christmas cards, unique business cards, and, of course, creative birth announcements! They have basically unlimited color options, including over 40 different envelope colors to choose from. They also offer address capturing services, meaning they allow customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. They also let you order printed samples BEFORE you place your final order to make sure you love the product! Anyways, just love everything about this company because I'm very in to cute cards and stationary and everything like that! I've been wanting to get some business cards to be able to hand out to clients too, and I'll for sure be using Basic Invite for when I do!

SO, we will be using them for our birth announcements and they have so many cute options that I need YOUR help choosing which one to use!!

Here are the three that we are deciding between: (Obviously the pictures and the names/info on these cards are just the default ones and we will customize our cards once the baby is born!)

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Option 1

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Option 2

click here

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Option 3

There are so many cute, creative birth announcements on basicinvite.com that it was nearly impossible for me to narrow it down to just three favorites! Now, I really need your help picking between the three options above!! So, go vote in the comments below: option 1, option 2, or option 3??

I'll share the one we pick and the final product once baby boy is here! And I might just be asking for your help in picking our holiday cards in a couple of months too!!

Thanks friends!!

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Mommy Monday: 32 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Hi friends!

I don't know about where you are, but it has been HOT here! I mean, I'm probably way more sensitive to the heat than most PLUS I'm very pregnant... but I'm kind of miserable! haha I feel like I can hardly function - hence the lack of new blog posts! But, I do have some really fun content planned for the upcoming weeks, INCLUDING the much requested Cleaning Schedule and some cool collaborations, so definitely keep checking back!

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This past weekend was a very busy one, packed with social activities for James! We went blueberry picking with friends again on Saturday, and then on Sunday we went to another of James' friend's second birthday party! It was a fun weekend!

Yesterday, I posted on Instagram (@annamcohenblog) and Facebook a picture and a whole thing about my experience with trying to breastfeed James. The feedback was so incredible. So many women shared their similar stories, feelings, experiences, and words of encouragement and love. It was so beautiful and I'm so thankful for all of you!

 Come find this picture on my Instagram to read the post!   Click here

Come find this picture on my Instagram to read the post! Click here

As far as my pregnancy goes, I'm feeling great! Thank the Lord! Still no issues, or concerns, or problems or anything at all! Aside from feeling huge, and from my lungs and organs being compressed - I'm feeling really well and I couldn't be more thankful!!

We set up the baby's bassinet this weekend (or should I say, Ben did) and it is so exciting to start getting his little area in our bedroom ready for him!

Click here for the bassinet we are using this time around

Ok, here's this week's survey:

How far along: 32 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 2.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button. Getting more and more every day...marks of this beautiful gift of being able to carry two sons!

Sleep: It's been ok!

Best moment this week: Blueberry picking with James and our friends, doing the "baby shark" dance that James learned at his friend's birthday party - Ben, James, and I danced around the kitchen blasting the song and it was just such a happy wonderful fun moment that I'll remember forever. I love my sweet family!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Everything, haha and also nothing. Very confusing. So hungry, but also my stomach is being squished so can't eat that much!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm huge!

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Mostly out, but the top is still sticking out a bit more than the bottom!

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy! But definitely moody/sensitive/cranky...etc...

Symptoms: Leg cramps at night, frequent peeing, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long, tired, achey, and I officially waddle now. haha

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Mommy Monday: 31 weeks pregnant with number two!

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Happy Monday!

I hit the 31 week mark on Saturday, and I am so incredibly thankful to be feeling so well still! This pregnancy has been such a blessing...easy, fast, "normal"... I can't stop thanking God for this experience.

Today, James was sitting next to me on the couch and I felt the baby kicking. I asked J if he wanted to feel the baby, and placed his little hands on my stomach. James felt kicks and looked at me with this really amazed smile on his face and his eyes gleamed. Then, he laid his head on my stomach, and wrapped his arms around it, and just held his baby brother...it was seriously so special and so sweet. But THEN, as if that wasn't adorable enough, J jumped up, ran over and grabbed his water cup. He brought it over and held it up to my stomach, giving his baby brother a drink. I almost died, it was the most precious, sweet thing I have ever seen. I'm so proud of James...he's a truly one-of-a-kind little boy and he is already the best big brother!

James and I made no-bake toddler cookies and they turned out so yummy! James had so much fun making them and he did a really great job. He was very focused, haha. Baking is serious business! You can get the recipe we used for these cookies HERE

Now, for this week's survey:

How far along: 31 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs as of my last appointment 1.5 weeks ago.

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Not great!

Best moment this week: James hugging his baby brother in my tummy and sharing his water with him. I mean, what more could a mama ask for? :)

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Peaches

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Oh boy, yes haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? Half in, half out...it looks kind of like a unicorn...haha

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy. But a little cranky. And A LOT emotional. haha

Symptoms: Leg cramps, at night heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time, stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long.

Thanks for following along! I love all of the e-mails and messages that I get from you guys! This is such a fun community, and I am so grateful to have connected with each of you!

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Mommy Monday: 30 weeks pregnant with number two!

 'I Get Paid In Hugs And Kisses' mug c/o   True Life Threads   - my favorite mug!!   Click here for the mug

'I Get Paid In Hugs And Kisses' mug c/o True Life Threads - my favorite mug!! Click here for the mug

Ok, this is two days late...sorry! This past weekend was so busy with James' 2nd birthday party (post will be going up about that later!)! Then this week has been sooo hot and I honestly have just been barely able to even function!

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So, again, this will be a quick post!

Friday, I had my doctor's appointment and all is well! I found out a few interesting things:

  • I will have one more ultrasound at around 35 weeks to check the baby's position before having my cerclage removed. So excited to get to see baby boy one more time before he arrives out in the world!!
  • My cerclage is coming out between 36 and 37 weeks. Instead of my OB removing it, I will go back to the MFM doctor who put it in because she likes to do her own cerclage removals.
  • My OB thinks that this baby will come shortly after my cerclage is removed at around 37 weeks. They thought this with James too, but he stayed put until they stripped my membranes and broke my water at 39 weeks 4 days, so who knows! But exciting to think that baby boy could be here in less than 7 weeks, potentially!!

I've been getting SO many leg cramps in the night - a symptom I did not have with James. They are seriously the worst...so so painful!! And there's nothing that can be done about them, aaaaahhh!! haha Oh well!

And I have officially hit the mark in this pregnancy where I do not feel cute any more, haha. I just feel big, and cumbersome, and uncomfortable. BUT obviously still so thankful for such a wonderful, easy pregnancy. I'm still savoring every moment of this pregnancy because it is most likely my last and it is such a beautiful experience. But, just keeping it real here - I'm uncomfortable and feel BIG. haha

 A little transformation! Right around when I got pregnant, 16 weeks, 30 weeks!

A little transformation! Right around when I got pregnant, 16 weeks, 30 weeks!

One more thing: at the risk of sounding so cliche and overly sensitive, I've just gotta say how annoying it is when MEN feel the need to comment on how big I am! haha I mean, what is with that?? At James' birthday party alone, three different MEN made comments like "wow, you're getting BIG!" and "Whoa! When are you due again?" and "You're plump!" and "You're so funny how you eat when you're pregnant - if a cookie goes missing I'm gonna say it was you!" ...haha I mean....right? Isn't that odd?! Why would a man feel that it is appropriate at all to comment on a woman's weight or appearance in a condescending or rude way like that? I'm obviously able to laugh about it, but I'm just emotional enough that it actually really bothered me and made me feel a bit self conscious. Which is probably really ridiculous of me, but also...not. Because, HOW RUDE!! haha I mean, women don't make those kinds of comments!! Am I alone here in thinking this is ridiculous? HA Anyways, rant over!! :)

Ok, onto this week's survey!

How far along: 30 weeks 4 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up nearly 30 lbs

Maternity clothes? Yes!

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Not great!

Best moment this week: James' 2nd birthday party and watching him have so much fun, surrounded by friends and family who love him! I can't believe my sweet baby boy is TWO!!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! :)

Food cravings: Fruit and doughnuts :) and pasta!

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, I'm ginormous! haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.

Belly Button in or out? The top part is out, the bottom part is in. Looks like this may just be the situation for the entirety of the pregnancy, haha

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy this week! But SO emotional and sensitive as well, haha

Symptoms: Leg cramps, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long.

Thanks for reading and following along on this journey each week! I'm so thankful for each of you!

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Shop The #NSale With Me! My Public Access Picks

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Shop this look

It's finally here: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now open to the public! Click here to head to Nordstrom's website and start shopping!!

I'm going to be sharing all of my picks from the sale here in this post! Items sell out FAST!! So, definitely grab what you like right away (just putting it in your shopping cart doesn't save it - you have to actually purchase it!). Nordstrom has the BEST return policy, so you can definitely return whatever you don't end up wanting to keep! Plus, shipping is FREE! So I'd suggest that if you see something you want in YOUR size, BUY IT. You can make lots of separate orders because shipping is free so it doesn't matter.

The point is: snag the things you want RIGHT AWAY. They will sell out FAST! ...like, within hours.

Also, be sure to head to my Instagram (@annamcohenblog) and take a look at my try-on that I did of everything that I ordered from the sale! It's saved in my highlights under 'Nordstrom Sale' and I talk a lot about fit, comfort, sizing, etc... I linked to everything in my try-on so it's super easy to shop each item as well!

Ok, so below are all of my top picks from the sale! I'm including EVERYTHING that I love/that I ordered and I hope these items will be in stock!! You will have to just click on each picture below to see if it is in stock and what sizes and colors are available!

Click on each picture below to be taken to the product page for all pricing, sizing, and color info!

Happy Shopping!!

Let me know what you score from the sale!!

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My Top Piece Of Advice After 10 Years Of Marriage

Today, Ben and I have been married for 10 years!

It simultaneously feels like forever AND just yesterday...it truly truly has just gotten better and better and I feel so blessed. I say it all the time - I'm like a broken record - but I feel so lucky to have met the love of my life at such a young age. You can read our love story here!

I thought in honor of hitting the 10 year mark, I'd share my number one piece of marriage advice. Now, I in no way think I'm an expert - but I do feel very proud of my marriage and I do have a big piece of advice that I think is worth sharing. When I've told people what I'm about to share, they often brush it off or don't quite understand what I mean. So I'll explain.

Because in my opinion, it's the most important thing you can do to cultivate a healthy, happy marriage full of unity and respect. Here it is:

Look for the GOOD in each other.

Ok. So, this sounds simple. This sounds like...no big deal. But it's actually very hard. Let me explain.

I feel like a very common thing is to see spouses LOOKING for things to be annoyed about, or upset by, or to be angry about. They are LOOKING to be let down. They are ASSUMING that their spouse is acting from a selfish place, or a careless place. They INTERPRET actions or words as something negative or bad or careless or insignificant. It can be an easy trap to fall into.

For example:  let's say your husband leaves a mess in the kitchen after fixing himself a snack.

It could be easy to see it this way: he is careless, he's messy, he doesn't even consider the fact that I'm going to end up cleaning this up, he ASSUMES I'll clean up after him, he doesn't appreciate me, he is lazy, etc... etc... etc...

BUT, if you are looking for the GOOD in your husband, you will see the situation from a place of love. Your husband's strength may not be in tidying up - he may not care about it as much as you do...and that's ok! If YOU care, you can clean it up. Or you could ask him if he wouldn't mind helping you out by cleaning up after himself when he gets a chance. You can choose to see the situation in a positive light - maybe it's endearing that your husband is messy. Maybe that's a part of who he is - and you love him! So you accept that!

Or, another example: Your baby has a poopy diaper. You are tired and you feel like you always change the diapers. You wait for your husband to take the initiative and change the diaper. But he doesn't.

It could be easy to see it this way: Your husband is purposefully ignoring a necessary task, he's expecting you to change the diaper, he's not taking responsibility, he's not helping, etc...

BUT, looking for the good in your husband, you could understand that since you DO change most of the diapers, your husband has every right to assume that you are just going to change this one. If you want some help, simply ask - in a nice and respectful way.

These are just two examples where I feel like I've seen spouses react in a way that seems as if they ASSUME THE WORST from their spouse. Doing this breaks down respect on BOTH sides.

You will see what you look for. So look for the GOOD!

The way I look at it is this: Ben is my husband. He is the GREATEST man and husband in the world. He is sweet, loving, smart, brave, hard-working, funny, honorable, humble, devoted...the head of our house, my best friend, my life-long team mate, the father of my children.

It's easy for me to see the good in him! BUT, even in situations where we may disagree, or where we may have a mis-communication, I always stop and LOOK FOR THE GOOD. I try to see where he is coming from in the best possible light. I will stand up for him, have his back, show him respect, fight FOR and ALONGSIDE him, until the end. Because he's mine. My other half. My perfect match. Every situation, I approach from this perspective. Ben and our marriage come first. They are the cornerstone, the foundation, and the base camp. He is my person. I see the good in him. Always.

It's about loyalty. It's about seeking out the BEST in YOUR better half. It's about making your team the BEST it can be by viewing and treating your significant other with respect and with trust and with KINDNESS.

I NEVER speak badly about Ben to ANYONE. Not that I would ever have a reason to. But in general, I don't buy into women (or men, for that matter) bashing their spouse to their friends or family. As a married couple, YOU are one. YOU are a team. YOU deal with your issues or concerns amongst YOURSELVES. YOU show your spouse the respect of not speaking about them behind their backs. By focusing on the negative and discussing annoyances and problems with others, you are weakening the strong front of your relationship with your spouse. It's YOU TWO against the world.

Or, at least, that's how Ben and I see it. :)

Anyways, I'll stop there. I feel so strongly that there is a huge lack of respect and the seeking out of GOOD within marriages. I hope this post makes sense and that it is helpful in some way to at least ONE person.

In my opinion, a marriage is the most important relationship of a person's life. Everything else revolves around that union. Love, look for the good, respect, work together, trust, encourage, compliment, listen, forgive... cliche, but so so important.

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Mommy Monday: 29 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

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This is going to be a quick little update because:

1. Today was busy and it's currently after 10:30pm and I'm TIRED.

2. There isn't all that much to report! Which is GOOD! Still an uneventful pregnancy!

This past week I washed all of the newborn clothes and got my hospital bag *pretty* much packed! So exciting! I still need to add a few things in like toiletries, snacks, chargers, etc...

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On Saturday, we took James to ride/see/meet Thomas the Train! It was our birthday present to him (a week early) and it was such a fun experience! James loved riding on the train! So thankful for this sweet family of mine!

Tomorrow is Ben's and my 10 year wedding anniversary! <3 I'm planning on getting a special post up here tomorrow for it, so check back! Then on Wednesday, it's Ben's 30th birthday! Such an exciting week! :)

I have a doctor's appointment on Friday, so next Monday I'll have more updates for you guys!

Here's this week's survey:

How far along: 29 weeks 2 days

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19.4 lbs as of last appointment. Will update this next Monday, as I'll be weighed at my appointment on Friday!

Maternity clothes? Yes! Just got some more of these maternity t-shirts which are the best thing  ever! Click here for t-shirts

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Getting up like 5 times per night to pee, but other than that really well!

Best moment this week: Watching James on his first train ride, sitting on his daddy's lap!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: All the time!! :) Love this active little boy!

Food cravings: Fruit and doughnuts :)

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes! At that point where I'm like... how could I get bigger? 11 weeks left!! I'm scared! haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.

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

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

Happy or Moody most of the time: Mostly happy this week!

Symptoms: Leg cramps, heart burn, light-headed, out of breath, THIRSTY, hungry all the time stretch marks, spider veins, EMOTIONAL, hormonal, feet starting to hurt if I stand on them too long. Same as last week, nothing new really!

I never cease to appreciate the fact that I"m having such a smooth pregnancy this time around! So thankful!

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My Picks From The Nordstrom Sale For Kids and Babies!

Today, I'm sharing my top picks for kids and babies from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

Some of these items are things that we have used and LOVED, and others are things that I really want to try out! Enjoy!

Click each picture below to be taken to the product page where you can shop the item.

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What I've Purchased From The #NSALE So Far

Hi friends!

Who has been shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?? Are you surviving?? haha I am, barely! It's been a whirlwind, but SOSO much fun. I love covering and shopping the sale and creating content for you guys! And I REALLY appreciate your support - thank you to everyone who has made (or is making) purchases through my links! It means the world to me!

I thought I'd share what I have personally purchased so far from the sale! I'll be making additional purchases, so I'll of course share those with you all. I will also be doing a try on next week of the things I've purchased! I'll post pictures in a blog post, as well as on my Instagram stories.

Here are my purchases thus far from the sale:

What have you purchased so far? What do you have your eye on? Be sure to check out the 'Shop My Nordstrom Sale Picks!' tab at the top of my website (you can also click here) for all of my picks from the sale! I'm constantly updating it, so check back often!

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