Monday, October 27, 2014
Baby gear is a whole new, overwhelming world for me. The process of researching, purchasing, and making space for all the items a little one needs can be quite daunting. I consider myself pretty minimal and strive to be simplified and organized. That's why, where I can, I try to keep a sense of self in mind when deciding on certain items. One area where that's easy to do is a diaper bag. I recently got my hands on Pacapod's Coromandel bag and was blown away. For starters, it looks nothing like a diaper bag. Beautiful leather, saddlebag styling, spacious, and a classic look - yes please. But hidden inside is Pacapod's 3-in-1 organizing system with everything baby could need all neat and tidy in one spot. The "pods" keep changing and feeding supplies separate yet easily accessible. For an everything in it's place person like me, that's just heavenly. And there is sooo much more! Head over to Sassy Moms in the City to check out my full review and few more pictures of the bag in action.
It even looks hot on Dad, #amIright??
Friday, October 24, 2014
Alex and I recently took maternity photos with the super talented sweetheart Hannah Drews and I wanted to share a few of our favorites. After a little deliberation over the location, we settled on the spot of our summer walkabouts and I'm so happy with how they turned out. The scenery options are endless, the fall evening sunlight was just gorgeous, and we got lucky with Chicago weather (well, after one rainy day reschedule) so it was warm enough to wear the dress I'd planned on since July. (I wish I could say I'm as well prepared in other areas!)
As the saying goes, a picture says a thousand words, and I can only hope that one day baby girl will look back and see how excited we were about her arrival, the anticipation of great things to come, and how much we already loved her before we'd even met.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
(Photo by Hannah Drews Photography)
(Photo by Hannah Drews Photography)
Even though I move like a turtle, can't tie my own shoes, and require assistance to rise from the couch I still have pinch me moments that this is really happening. We're having a baby!
A few weeks ago I felt content with where we were. I felt decent, and as far as we knew/know things are going well. Everything seemed easy in the world; I eat, she's nourished. I sleep, she sleeps. I know exactly where she is at all times without the hassle of dirty diapers. If she could just stay in that little cocoon forever how awesome that would be! But approaching the last month or so my tune is changing. I'm getting more anxious and excited to see and hold my girl, and know for sure that's she healthy and happy. (I guess that's the thing about parenthood, you'll never really know...). So I'm trying to embrace the changes as much as possible and keep enjoying all these final moments for what they are, even though I swear she's practicing to be a gymnast in there. (Ye-ouch!)
Last week was pretty uneventful. I'm feeling more tired overall, even with a decent night's sleep, and had to skip out on a few planned events. By the end of the day, alright fine, mid-afternoon, I'm just zapped. Accomplishing anything (cleaning up, running errands, getting ready) just takes longer and requires so much more effort.
I spent some time over the weekend sorting and organizing old pictures. (It's crazy how they just stop after around 2004. Even though we started using our digital camera in the early 2000's, I still continued to print photo's, until suddenly we just didn't anymore. Just an interesting observation.) Anyway, I found this one of us, which has always been a favorite, taken a few weeks before we were married. I remember it like yesterday, being so excited and giddy in love on a last minute beach trip. I posted it on my personal Facebook account and was thinking how crazy it is to think we thought we knew each other then. And maybe we did, but so much changes in eleven years, I'm just thankful we continued liking the people we grew to be.
Compared to those two people at the top (who've aged a little in looks and wisdom), I see two babies above. We've learned a lot about each other, and ourselves, over the years. I'd estimate a few hundred arguments, a thousand tears, approximately 8,547 responses of "I don't know" when he asks where I want to go for dinner, and probably a million laughs.
In a few weeks everything will change more than ever before. We'll have a piece of us walking this earth. (Ok, not literally walking, but you know what I mean.) Our very own little mix of a girl who got lost and found a boy. And you know what guys, that is the most awesome, terrifying feeling in the world.
Wishing you a happy week. Stay tuned for some more snaps of our maternity shoot to come!
Monday, October 20, 2014
A few weeks ago our amazing friends hosted a Chicago shower for us and it was beyond our wildest expectations. I never could have imagined such a fête and am grateful beyond words for all the planning, preparation, and thoughtfulness that went into celebrating the soon-to-be arrival of our little lady. It was an absolutely beautiful day in every way. Good company and great weather made the perfect combination for chowing down, chatting, and savoring the warm fall sunshine.
Let's start with the food, shall we?
That's a veggie sandwich "cake", and it was incredible!
There were baby games...
...grown up games...
....a onesie making station....
....plenty of goodies....
...and gifts galore!
It warms my heart to feel such love and kindness during this special time in our lives and I will cherish these memories for always. We are so appreciative and lucky to have such wonderful, supportive friends, and baby girl will be beyond blessed with lots of loving "aunties" and "uncles"!
Monday, October 13, 2014
photo by Hannah Drews
Everyone said the third trimester lasts forever. Everyone said the last ten weeks or so would feel like an eternity. So far, everyone's lied. The clock is counting down like crazy. With only eight more seven days stretches to go, the second week into our single digit countdown, I started to worry that I'm not prepared enough. Now, I'm aware one can never be fully mentally ready for what's to come, for that part I won't even try. I'm just talking logistically, organizationally, hospital-bag-packed prepared. I'm usually not a procrastinator, more of an on top of it control freak, but the abstractness of all of this has stopped me in my tracks. Typically before embarking on new adventures, new hobbies, and the like, I arm myself with research. I read blogs and books until I'm blue in the face. I like facts and concrete evidence to back up my decisions and help me create plan. (Oh, how I love plans!) But this, this pregnancy, this baby coming whether I'm ready or not, has thrown me for a loop. Maybe it's because there's just sooo much information out there. Because everywhere you turn there's an argument for co-sleeping and an argument against it. Vaccines are necessary, vaccines are the devil! Never wake a sleeping baby, wake them every 3 hours! It's maddening.
I learned early on that the forums were a no-no. That only negative trolls hang out there and love nothing more than sharing their horror stories and scaring you to death. (Cramping? It's placental abruption!) The sooner I logged off, the more in tune I felt with myself. As for pregnancy and baby books, I've half read a few. (A quick search on Amazon proves there are 147 books on newborn sleep alone! Ain't nobody got time for that.) My sweet little nugget has taught me so much already. I'm much more "live in the moment" than ever before. At first I loved the idea of sleeping/feeding/playing schedules (so me! so structured!) and then I saw real mom's and babies in action and realized "yeah right". I've accepted that she's going to come into this world kicking and screaming with her own fiery personality. She'll be handed over to us to love and nurture and meet all her basic needs. I'll have no idea what type of soothing she'll like, when she'll like to doze, or what her "I'm hungry" cry will sound like compared to her "I'm just needy" cry. Setting us up by the book seems like a recipe for frustration, at least until we get to know each other a little first.
So for this, biggest adventure of our lives, I'm utterly unprepared. But that's my plan.
(Don't worry, we fully intend to acquire some of the basics: bathing, diaper changing, installing a car seat properly, etc. What are we, unfit parents?? ;)
What else is new is p-town? (That's pregnancy town if you're not down with my lingo.) Well....
- She minds so well already. At night, her movements get really strong, to the point where it's sometimes uncomfortable for me. One evening, after watching me squirm for a bit, Alex put his hand on the trouble spot (always just underneath my right rib) and said, "Baby, please stop hurting your mama." And see it or believe it, she did. Such a good girl!
- She hiccups on command! (Ok, she did it just once, but it was awesome.) Alex was out of town last weekend when I felt them for the first time. A few days later we were playing with her before bed (which means we're poking and rubbing and seeing how she responds) when I said, "I wish she would get the hiccups again so you could feel it, it's so funny." and almost instantly I felt those jerk-jerk-jerks. Amazeballs.
- I had another growth spurt this week, gaining a few pounds rather than the average one. I hear that's the norm from here on out...
- Husband pajama's make the best maternity pj's. Thanks, babe. And yes, this is your t-shirt.
- We had our maternity pictures made (sneak peek above and here!) and chose the site of our summer walkabouts as the backdrop. Aside from being super talented, Hannah is just the sweetest! Can't wait to see the rest.
Have a happy week!
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
No official bump pic this week, lots taken here though!
Things have been pretty stable and my recap posts are starting to sound a little similar in the past few weeks (I love baby kicks and bathroom breaks are reoccurring themes) so to switch it up a little here are a few things I'm grateful for so far:
- Sleep - Every time I read the two weekly pregnancy update emails I receive they talk about ways to get better sleep. Luckily, shut eye hasn't been a problem for me. Yes, turning over in the bed feels different (more difficult) and I do get up a few times in the night for bathroom breaks, but I fall back asleep easily and dozing soundly hasn't been a problem. I've always been a person that just looooves sleep, so maybe some of it is just my make up, but I did read early on that taking calcium and magnesium together before bed really help to get a sound night and I can definitely tell a difference in the few nights I've forgotten it. So.. yay for sleep! I know I'll need that stock once the little lady makes her debut.
- No cravings. You read that right. Ziltch. It seems a little strange but I'm cool with it.
- Friends and Family - After two showers (one in Tennessee, one in Chicago) I can't remember a time when I've felt so much love all at once. To have people be genuinely excited about this little person we've never met, filling us with positive vibes and her closet with precious tiny little clothes, really means the world to me. The word "blessed" is grossly overused these days but it this case, it's completely appropriate. I'm not sure how we got so lucky but it's not taken for granted and I appreciate every kind word and belly rub.
- An uncomplicated pregnancy (so far) - I know things could change at any minute, but up to this point I wouldn't dare complain!
- A changed perspective. Early on I'd see fellow preggo's penguin walking about and think, "No, not the waddle, that can't happen". (Hey, just being honest. I might have been a bit of a pregnancy snob.) But inevitably the way one carries herself when toting around an extra 25-ish pounds changes things a bit. I refer to it as my "swaddle", (not to be confused with tightly wrapped newborns) it's my swag waddle, and I wear it proudly because it means in 8 more weeks *this girl* is going to be somebody's mama. Eek! ;)
- A supportive hubby who helps buckle my shoes, pull me off our couch, push me up stairs, shares my blog posts, and is enthusiastic about our birth classes (2 hours a week for 12 weeks you guys!). He's gonna be a good Dad!
If you're new-ish around here (thanks for reading!) and like the updates you can also subscribe by email, or follow on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to get the latest posts (and more!). xoxo
P.S. When this blog was still pretty new (all the way back in 2010, whoa.) I did a Grateful Series based on the alphabet. After re-reading recently, it's funny how things haven't changed much! Check it out here.
Friday, October 3, 2014
I couldn't have imagined a prettier day than September 20th in East Tennessee. Baby girl was showered with love at a pinky-peach soiree under the beautiful southern sunshine.
Topped with florals and fruit, there were a variety of cakes, like my grandmother's coconut cake, which was a special request since it's just out of this world delicious.
(That's a coconut cake happy face.)
It was great to catch up with loved we hadn't seen in ages...
...like this gal that I've been friends with since 9th grade. (Aren't her twins adorable?)
Everyone wrote advice for us, including my five year old niece....
...and guessed the circumference of my bump. How awesome that my brother was the winner - he was spot on!!
The men were asked to complete every day tasks, like tying their shoes, with a balloon belly.
It was pretty flippin' hilarious.
And oh my goodness, the gifts galore!
And my grandmother made a pillow case embroidered with, "Nobody puts this baby in the corner."
Because you know how perfect that is!
It was an amazing day in a beautiful setting with some of my favorite company, soaking up love and excitement.
Of course the afternoon flew by in the blink of an eye, but we'll cherish the memories for always!