Mommy Monday: 28 Weeks Pregnant With Number Two!

Giving his baby brother hugs and kisses!

Giving his baby brother hugs and kisses!

28 weeks! Another milestone reached, and still feeling so well!

A new symptom I've been dealing with has been really intense leg cramps at night. These cramps are no joke and they hurt so badly! They are in my calves and ankles primarily, and I've read that this is a common symptom...any of you experience this?? I didn't have it with James!

I'm officially in the third trimester now, which I can hardly even believe! I was looking at my calendar and realizing that we are seriously so booked and busy for the next couple of months and then...the baby is due! Aaahh!! Where is the time?! I can't believe how soon he'll be here!

The craziest thought is that I get my cerclage removed at around 36 weeks, and POTENTIALLY the baby could come at that time...so only 8 weeks away! That's nothing!!

I keep thinking of everything I need to do before the baby comes, meaning over the next two months...the next 8 weeks!!

Here is my to-do list:

  • Wash all of the baby clothes
  • Pack hospital bag (I'll be doing a blog post on this so stay tuned!)
  • Set up the Snoo in our bedroom
  • Set up all of the old baby toys like the swing, the play mat, etc...
  • Prepare freezer meals
  • Deep clean the house
  • Get my hair highlighted and trimmed
  • Get a manicure and a pedicure

What else am I forgetting??? Let me know in the comments below!

Ok, onto this week's survey!

How far along: 28 weeks 2 days - Third Trimester!!

Total weight gain/loss: Up 19.4 lbs as of last appointment.

Maternity clothes? Yes! Basically all...except for a few cute non-maternity pieces I've found like THIS DRESS

Stretch marks? All around/above my belly button.

Sleep: Horrible, haha I've been getting up to pee at LEAST once per hour the past few nights. This baby is hanging out right on my bladder, haha

Best moment this week: Taking James on a mommy-son date to the theater to see a play of Goldilocks and then running into friends from music class!

Have you told family and friends: Yes!

Movement: So much! I don't remember James being this active, but he probably was! Just feels like this kid is ALWAYS MOVING! So fun! :)

Food cravings: Doughnuts, ice cream, berries, peaches

Anything making you queasy or sick: No.

Have you started to show yet: Yes feeling whale-ish! haha

Gender: Boy!

Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks. I had so many with James, I think I have irritable uterus.

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: Moody and happy. 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.

Next weekend we're taking James to this fun event that I can't wait to share with you guys! Ben and I got tickets to it for James'  birthday present and I am SO EXCITED to see James' reaction and face when he sees where we are going!!

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The above are pictures from our mommy/son date to the theater yesterday! We saw Goldilocks and it was so much fun! We also ran into a little girl and her mommy from music class there and so we got to sit with them and get coffee after and it was SUCH a fun day! I love my little man so much!

Have a great week friends!

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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: 10 Month Old Baby!

James is 10 months old tomorrow...how did this happen??

This is for sure my favorite age so far! James is so much fun!! He has the BEST personality and has quite the sense of humor. He laughs and giggles and gives me a sly smile when we're in on a joke together. He makes funny noises and cracks himself up. He feeds off of my laughter, which in turn makes me laugh more until we're both a big pile of giggles.

He's CONSTANTLY exploring and on the move. For a few months, he was army crawling and scooting around on his stomach, pulling himself around by his arms. He was FAST doing this!! But now he officially crawls, and oh my goodness, the kid can cover some serious ground!

James has been pulling himself up to stand for a couple of months now, and has recently started letting go of whatever he is holding onto. He falls pretty much right away, but always pulls himself right back up. He'll be standing on his own and walking before we know it. His pediatrician guessed within the next month or so.

Speaking of his pediatrician, he went in for his 9 month check last month. All is well and on track! But it was hilarious: they couldn't get a measurement for his length because as soon as we set him on the table and tried to get him to lie down still, he would start screaming and thrashing around. The minute I picked him up and he would grin and giggle and give us a sly look. hahaha It was hilarious. Then we tried to get his weight, and again as SOON as I set him down on the scale he was screaming and thrashing and rolling around. We had to weigh him by having me hold him and then having ME get on the scale. Then I set James down and they weighed me along and THEN subtracted the two weights. Not super accurate, but according to that he was almost 20 lbs.

Anyways, when the doctor came in she said, "so I see here that the nurse put that the patient was combative and we couldn't get a length for him." HAHA Ben and I are pretty proud that our nine month old was labeled "combative" in his medical chart. So freaking funny! And James was just grinning and laughing at us...he knew exactly what he was doing. We're going to have our hands full!!!

James eats pretty much everything that we eat. He eats "table food" and has never eaten baby food. I've always prepared everything he's eaten. I made our own purees out of fresh fruits and vegetables and meats, and now I cook him healthy, whole foods for his meals.

Would you guys like more information on the types of foods and meals that I make James? I could do a sample menu post or something like that, just let me know!

James loves music, playing peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake, walking around non stop holding onto his walker or our hands or the furniture, playing with Gunner (he throws the ball for him, it's SO cute to watch them play together!!), being outside, playing with blocks and buckets, and he LOVE LOVE LOVES BATHTIME!! He sticks his face under the water and giggles and splashes and just has the best time! :)

As far as how things are going for me 10 months postpartum, here's an update:

I feel like my old self. My tummy is tightening up more and more as I continue to focus on exercise and healthy eating. I still have stretch marks and my belly button is all droopy, haha, but I've learned to love those parts of me because of how I got them!

The one main update is about birth control! I have been on the mini pill since my postpartum exam at 7 weeks pp. Over the past few months, I've gotten HORRIBLE ACNE, which I have never had an issue with before in my life!! It's been so frustrating, and I tried everything - different cleansers, new makeup, NOT wearing makeup, changing my diet, supplements ...everything! Then after doing some research, it hit me: THE MINI PILL. My HORMONES were the issue, and the mini pill is the culprit. So, I went off of the mini pill a couple of days ago and switched to a new birth control pill. We'll see if things start clearing up!!

I'll keep you guys updated. I was also having SUCH irregular periods...like, having one for three weeks off and on, then skipping a month, then only having one for a day, etc...seriously messing with my body. I've read horror stories about the mini pill...any of you have any experiences with it??

OH! And I had my first Mother's Day!! Well, first one with James out in the world, that is! :) It was so special, and we got to spend it with my parents too! It was fun to celebrate my mom AND me being a mom this year!

Alright, that's it for our 10 month update! Let me know if you have any questions!! I'm planning things for James' first Birthday already. I don't think we'll have a party...maybe just a SMALL get together with close family. I definitely want to bake him a healthy smash cake (let me know if you'd like me to post the recipe!!) and I have a few other things planned for him!

Have a great week, friends!

How To Be Happy: Lessons From My Son

His little face is still all chapped from his cold, but I lovelovelove these photos of my sweet, blue-eyed boy. James is such a joy - always smiling his big, bright-eyed, tooth-y (he has FIVE teeth now!) grin that lights up the room, as well as the hearts of everyone who sees him. He is a happy baby...people tell us that everywhere we go. He loves life and loves people and just always has so much fun, no matter what we are doing.

It's contagious!

Watching my happy, cheerful, bright baby boy, I can't help but admire his optimism and joy. I want to capture some of it and infuse it into my own life.

Everything is new and interesting and exciting and wondrous to baby James. As we grow and have more and more experiences, some of that newness and wonder unavoidably and inevitably fades away. We discover that, along with the amazing and fun and beautiful, life also holds many unpleasant things. We learn what it means to feel pain, betrayal, disappointment, and fear. We become disillusioned, losing that innocence, blind trust, and curiosity.

But watching James, I see that he is the perfect example of how to be happy. Here are some things that I've learned from my son:

  • Try new things, new foods, new places, new activities. Step outside of your comfort zone - new things challenge us, thrill us, scare us, and teach us. We grow mentally and physically by doing new things. The mundane can be depressing, discouraging, boring...no growth takes place there.
    But to try something new...that is what puts the excitement in life. That is the adventure of it.

  • Trust. Dare to trust. Dare to give people the benefit of the doubt. With age comes wisdom and intuition and good judgement. Use those. But also, try to let your guard down and trust. Take a leap of faith.
    Time can harden our hearts...try to let yours soften and see what happens.

  • Ask for help. When James wants a toy that he can not reach on his own, or when he wants to go somewhere that he can't get to, he turns to me and makes it clear that he would like help. He has no pride that gets in the way of receiving help when he needs it. Our pride often stands between us and our goals, and at times, even our needs. We become so intent on independence and self-sufficiency, which are important things, without a doubt. But it is also important to recognize the times when we would be better off and more successful by asking for help. There is no shame in acknowledging that we can not or should not do something on our own.

  • Appreciate the little things. My son takes such pleasure from the very littlest of things. Tickles on his tummy, a funny sounding voice, a silly word, birds chirping, a squirrel standing on a path, splashing water, a spoon banging a pot, his dog licking his face... watching him giggle and experience SO MUCH GENUINE JOY from the simplest of things makes my heart swell and yearn to be so easily HAPPY. We should remember that happiness, joy, and grace can be found in the little things...the things and events and items and experiences that maybe we have come to take for granted.
    Try to be consciously and intentionally grateful for the little things.

  • Show more affection. Cuddles, slobbery, open-mouthed kisses, gentle caresses of the face and arms and chest, a warm bright smile, holding hands...these signs of affection are second-nature to James. He shows his love so openly and so honestly. That kind of love is so rare. Life lends itself to heart-ache and each of us has - or will probably - experience betrayal, hurt-feelings, or heartbreak at some point. Experiences train us to be guarded with our emotions and with our feelings. We hold back, even at times when maybe what we should really do is rush into someone's arms and give them a big smile and kiss. Sometimes it is right to be unashamedly in love, enamored, and infatuated. Sometimes we need to cuddle, to touch, and to openly, genuinely adore...in all of the vulnerability that that entails.

My son is honest, kind, grateful, curious, loving, vulnerable, trusting, and brave. He has so much joy and happiness in his heart, and he has already, in his short little 8 months of life, been the greatest teacher I have ever known.

How To Dye Easter Eggs Naturally

My Sweater: Nordstrom

This will be James' first Easter and I was SO excited to dye Easter eggs with him! I was interested in finding a way to naturally dye the eggs rather than using the store bought dye kits. I played around with some ingredients, and I am really happy with the results! The eggs turned out beautifully, and James was so intrigued by how colorful they are! :)

Also, his poor little face is chapped in these pictures because he has a cold and his face is so dry from having to wash it and wipe it off so much. Poor baby! But, he is almost all better...it's the tail end of the cold. It is the HARDEST THING EVER when your baby is sick. I just want to make him feel all better. :(

Anyways, here is how to naturally dye easter eggs:

Ingredients

Brown and white hard-boiled eggs - the brown eggs will come out a lot darker and different shades of the colors, so it's fun to do brown AND white! 

For pink:

2 cups of water + 2 cups of chopped up beets + a couple tablespoons of vinegar

For orange:

2 cups of the peels of yellow onions + enough water to fully cover + a few tablespoons of vinegar

For yellow:

2 cups of water + 1 tablespoon of turmeric + a couple tablespoons of vinegar

Here's What You Do:

Bring each set of ingredients (minus the eggs and the vinegar) to a boil, then turn it down and simmer for about a half hour. The longer you let the ingredients simmer, the more concentrated and darker the dye will be.

Remove each set of dye from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Strain the dye and then pour it into bowls or mason jars. Add the vinegar to each bowl of dye.

Add the hard-boiled eggs to the dye and let them soak until they reach the desired color. The longer they soak in the dye, the darker and more vivid the colors will be.

That's it! I hope you have fun trying out these natural ingredients for your Easter eggs! :)