Taking Stock/ 40 Weeks

40 weeksThe adorable Abby, from Little City Adventures (who is also a mum-to-be) did a post called, Taking Stock – reflecting on the present through a list of short questions. She invited her readers to play along and answer the same questions. I thought this would be a fun way to do my last (hopefully) pregnancy update.

Making: the most of now. We’ve gone out for nice dinners and movie dates, savoring these fleeting moments of it being just us two.
Cooking: freezer meals. I’ve been stocking up our freezer with pre-cooked dinners for when baby arrives. I know we’ll be thankful I did this in the first month of becoming new parents, or should I say sleep deprived zombies?
Drinking: water. All day. Even though it seems like I’m constantly guzzling it down, I’ve never felt so thirsty in my life!
Reading: ‘What to Expect the First Year’, a month-by-month handbook on everything you need to know about the first year with a baby. Sometimes I get really overwhelmed with all the information, but I know every baby is different and we’ll  see what works for us.
Wanting: a pair of Frye boots.
Looking: at the calender, counting down the days!
Playing: the special ukulele my husband gave to me on my 21st birthday. I’ve been learning songs to sing to our little one.
Wasting: time on Facebook. I desperately need better ways to kill time these days.
Sewing: a bow. I hand-sewed a little felt bow for our baby, incase we’re having a girl.
Wishing: I could move around nimbly. I seriously feel like a beached whale right now.
Enjoying: these rare sunny winter days.
Waiting: for the arrival of our baby. It’s all I can think about! I even have dreams about being in labor!
Liking: yoga. I feel totally rejuvenated after all the meditative breathing and stretching.
Wondering: if we’ll have a son or daughter.
Loving: hot showers in the evening.
Hoping: I get the smooth natural birth I’ve been preparing and planning for.
Marveling: at the blessings God has given me!
Smelling: lavender. I love how my lavender face mist instantly mellows me out.
Needing: a back rub.
Wearing: see picture above.
Following: instructions from my midwife to spend time each day on my hands and knees to encourage the baby to stay in the optimal birthing position. This is where doing yoga comes in handy.
Noticing: how chubby my face has gotten. I usually don’t take pictures showing my face on the blog but I thought that since this is my last pregnancy update, why not get my mug out there, even if it just ended up being half of it!
Knowing: I will be a mother soon. Wow.
Thinking: of my family in New Zealand. I wish my mum and sister could be with me at this time.
Bookmarking: things I should remember in ‘What to Expect in the First Year’.
Opening: tubes of Pringles Tortillas Original and dipping them in homemade hummus.
Giggling: at old Seinfeld episodes.
Feeling: ready to get this show on the road! Come on baby! Your mum and dad are waiting to meet you!
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Pregnancy Must Haves

Pregnancy SaversWith just 1 more week until our baby is predicted to arrive, I’ve begun to grow more impatient (and enormous). The days are moving in slow motion, but I’ve been trying to find things to keep busy in an attempt to make time move faster. So without further ado, here is a short list of the things I felt were necessities during my winter pregnancy.

1. Long cardigans. Obviously because they’re warm and good for layering but mainly because they hide your butt when you’re wearing leggings as pants ( a faux pas I’ve committed for the majority of my pregnancy).

2. Maternity Jeans and Leggings. Since I’ve been pregnant during winter I really couldn’t get away with wearing comfy maxi skirts and dresses so I’ve had to live in maternity jeans and leggings. You could get away with wearing low waisted leggings but I highly recommend investing in a pair of nice maternity jeans. If you’re planning on having more babies, you can save them for your next pregnancy!

3. BPA free water bottle. Take water with you wherever you go. Keeping hydrated is so important!

4. Herbal Tea. One thing I’ve really missed is coffee! Since I’ve had to cut out the caffeine and love the comfort of a hot drink in the morning and evening, I’ve substituted coffee for herbal tea. My particular favorite has been Red Raspberry Leaf tea for it’s health benefits for the pregnant ladies!

5. Doterra Essential Oil. There are a few go-to oils I’ve been using. Lavender – To help me relax and sleep easier. Peppermint – For upset stomach. Balance – To tame my mood swings. Citrus Bliss – To motivate me when I’m feeling lethargic.

6. Exfoliating Gloves. Dry winter weather tends to make my skin flaky which is something I’d rather avoid when I’m already feeling quite unattractive and huge. Exfoliating to maintain soft smooth skin when I take a shower makes me feel a little more like a woman.

7. Bio Oil. I rub this all over my belly after I shower. I don’t know if this is what has kept my bump stretch mark free or whether I’ve just been lucky. Either way, it makes your skin supple and smells lovely.

8. Flats. Imagine folding a bowling ball in half. Impossible, right? That’s what it feels like when I try to tie my shoelaces! It’s way easier to slip on a pair of flats. Preferably neutral ones in my opinion since they go with everything and you’ll be wearing them all the time!

If you’re pregnant or planning to be, I hope you find this list helpful 🙂 What are some of your pregnancy savers?

Pregnancy Update – 38 Weeks

Pregnancy Update - 38 Weeks

How far along?
38 weeks. Only 2 weeks to go! Whaaat!?
Total weight gain?
26 pounds.
Maternity clothes?
Living in leggings. So tired of the same boring clothes that have been in rotation during the last 9 months. Hopefully by spring/ summer I will be back or close to my regular size and can get some new non-maternity clothes!
Stretch marks?
Still stretch mark free.
Sleep?
Waking up in the middle of the night has become routine. Good practice for when baby arrives! The fatigue I felt in my first trimester has come back so I’ll need to nap once or TWICE a day because I just get so tired!
Best moment this week?
Reaching full term! I guess I’d heard a lot of negative things about pregnancy so I’ve been surprised at how easy it has been. Apart from the early first trimester nausea, second trimester mood swings and third trimester insomnia, it’s been great!
Worst moment this week?
I can’t think of anything negative that happened this week. It was a good week.
Movement?
The little one has been stretching ALOT! It’s pretty uncomfortable but also sooo cool!
Food cravings?
Pineapple! Nothing better than fresh juicy fruit.
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
Nothing different from the usual strong perfume/cologne scents, melted cheese on Mexican food, and second hand cigarette smoke. 
Belly button in or out?
Well and truly an outie.
Happy or moody?
Happy, oh so happy.
Looking forward to?
The rest of the month. We have our 2 year wedding anniversary, my husbands birthday (on  Valentines day), and of course the long awaited due date! Eeeeee!

Fur Babies

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How far along?
34 weeks. We only have 6 weeks left, yet time feels like it’s moving too slowly! I just want to meet our baby already!
Total weight gain?
I’ll be having another weigh-in this week at my midwife appointment. Last time I checked I had gained a total of 20 pounds. I feel like I’ve gained a lot this week. Baby feels so heavy now, and I know he or she is just going to get bigger!
Maternity clothes?
None this week. With such a short time left, I don’t think I’ll be buying anything new for myself. Shopping for baby stuff is much more necessary and fun days!
Stretch marks?
Still none. Thanks for giving me super elastic skin, mum! 🙂
Sleep?
Waking up at least twice to pee and feeling like I desperately need a glass of water at the same time. I don’t know if it’s the winter dryness that’s dehydrating me or if it’s my pregnant body telling me to drink more water. Whatever it is, I’m drinking more water than I ever  have in my life!
Best moment this week?
We found our at my last appointment that the baby is no longer breech and has turned to the optimal fetal position! I was trying all kinds of exercises to encourage baby to turn and I guess they worked. Let’s just hope that at my appointment this week that baby has stayed in place.
Worst moment this week?
A little emotional this week. We moved into our new house 6 months ago and it’s been a long process of buying everything we need for a fully functioning home on a budget. It’s really hard starting from scratch! There are still bits and pieces we need (or I feel like we need) to make the house feel right and ready before baby arrives. It basically feels like there’s a giant ticking clock above my head, reminding me that I don’t have much time left! I’ve been writing up our home birth plan, and just in case, I’ve been working on our emergency hospital birth plan too, which has been a rather stressful exercise, imagining what I’d do in worse case scenarios.  With a lot on my mind these days, even the silliest things like a dirty yoga ball can turn the tears on. I was ugly crying last night because my husband got drywall mud on my yoga ball! It came right off with warm water though 🙂
Movement?
The movements are so strong now. They don’t hurt or anything, which makes me think there might actually be a girl in there, not a boy? Who’s to know though!
Food cravings?
Big bowls of cereal!
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
There’s this local independent newspaper that we get and half the content is probably ads for local restaurants, Mexican restaurants to be precise. I can’t even get through the first few pages without being put off by photos of smothered burritos and melted processed cheese abominations. Super-sized mexican food, I just can’t.
Belly button in or out?
It’s an outie now.
Happy or moody?
Feeling happy and excited apart from worrying too much about everything that we need to get done.
Looking forward to?
Introducing our fur babies to our little one. The clip below is from that adorable documentary called, Babies. I must watch it again soon!

Christmas Withdrawals

Dec_001_title-01Dec_002Dec_003I can’t believe how quick Christmas came and went this year. We were even “those people” who put up our house lights and tree before Thanksgiving and it still doesn’t feel like it was long enough! You’ll be able to find me sipping on eggnog until the new year though! Since we finally have our own place together, it was extra special this year because we got to put up our first tree! She’s still looking lovely isn’t she? We got to spend a little bit of Christmas on our own, which has never happened before and will probably never happen again since we’ll be parents next year! So, we savored the occasion with a romantic candlelit dinner at home. Then of course spent the rest of the holiday with Danny’s family and mine (via Skype). Even though my family are so far away, they made sure I felt loved and thought of this holiday.

I haven’t had a chance to do a pregnancy update in a while so read on if you’re interested.

How far along?
31 and a half weeks! 8 and a half weeks to go! We’re into the single digits people!
Total weight gain?
So far I’ve gained like 20 pounds and think I’ve developed a nice waddle to go with my new round figure! 😉
Maternity clothes?
Just some skinny jeans and a few tops. 
Stretch marks?
Still no sign of any.
Sleep?
Tossing and turning constantly throughout the night and when 3 o’clock strikes I am wide awake.  My midwife says it’s because the baby is hungry so whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, I’ve been told to eat something, which is the last thing I feel like doing at that time! But for the last week since I’ve started the midnight snacking I’ve been able to fall back asleep much faster and stay sound asleep until morning.
Best moment this week?
Receiving all the amazing gifts we were given for Christmas. I seriously felt so much love!
My favourite was this sweet gift that arrived on our door step, from my sister who lives in New Zealand. I cannot wait to set it up for our baby!
Worst moment this week?
None this week. But there was a worrying moment last week when I found out our baby has turned to the breech position. My midwife assures me there’s still plenty of time for baby to get into the correct position so I’ve been doing various exercises that I learnt in one of our birth classes to encourage baby to turn.
Movement?
Lots and lots! Always so happy to feel the little guy or gal dancing in there.
Food cravings?
None, actually.
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
I thought I’d give omelette another go since I’m supposed to eat 2 eggs a day and I’m getting tired of eating them fried or boiled. But yup, turns out omelette still makes me gag. I think I’ve been turned off omelette for life. 
Belly button in or out?
I’d say neutral. It lays pretty flat.
Happy or moody?
Feeling really happy. We started a 6 week natural birth class a few weeks ago and I feel more confident about giving birth after each class! We plan on having a home birth and I’m a lot more confident about it now that I have a positive mind set about labor. I know it’s going to hurt but I feel like it’s a right of passage for a woman to go through this and the gift at the end will be so worth it!
Looking forward to?
Maternity leave next month! I can finish preparing and gathering supplies I’ll need for the home birth and postpartum recovery, get all the last baby things, find a family friendly car, settle on a pediatrician, give the house a good scrub down, prepare meals to freeze so we won’t have to worry about cooking for that first week when baby arrives, etc…. I think my nesting instincts have kicked in already and I’m just so anxious to get everything sorted out so I can (try to) relax before little one arrives.

Nursery Project – Part I

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While Danny and I were dating, he wrote a little love story for me about two squirrels who make their way back to each other, amidst a bundle of challenging obstacles. I had been keeping an eye out for nursery mobiles and since none of them felt quite right, I decided to craft my own, featuring the characters from the “Tale of Two Squirrels”, with the intention of sharing the story with our little one at bed time.

This was my first time using felt and attempting embroidery, but I think the mobile turned out nicely, maybe a bit lop-sided on the stringing together part. I used this pattern from Nuno Runo (people who share free patterns online are awesome) for the squirrels and as you can probably tell, I made up my own pattern for the awkward looking tree and deformed acorns!

For those of you who are interested, you can read on for
this weeks pregnancy update…

How far along?
25 weeks. That means only 3 and a half short months to go!
Total weight gain?
I can’t remember what I weighed at last weeks midwife appointment but I recall I had gained A LOT since my last weigh in.
Maternity clothes?
Bought some longer tops that I’ve been layering with cardigans and leggings are my new best friend!
Stretch marks?
None, yippee!
Sleep?
I’ve been sleeping with a pillow wedged under my belly which has alleviated the pressure on my rib cage which means, happy ribs in the morning!
Best moment this week?
Sitting on the rug in the nursery with Danny, talking for hours about kids and being parents. I feel so lucky to be his wife and unbelievably blessed to be doing this with my best friend.
Worst moment this week?
No emo days this week.
Movement?
I’ve been feeling kicks higher up in my rib cage. Baby is getting bigger!
Food cravings?
I had a craving for rice crispies, so whipped some up for desert. Baby was kicking all night, so probably not a good idea to have that much sugar :s
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
Still anything that I ate during my first trimester – omelettes!
Gender?
Still waiting for the surprise. We’ve chosen names if we have a girl or a boy.
Belly button in or out? 
Still on the verge of being an outie.
Happy or moody?
I’ve been really content and happy and I don’t know if it’s due to the fact that I’ve been using these dōTERRA essential oils or whether it’s all in my mind? I went to a dōTERRA class and was given a maternity essential oils gift pack which included single bottles of lavender, peppermint, and lemon oil, and bottles of their specialty blends. I’ve been using a blend called “Solace”, which helps to ease cramps, nausea, hot flashes and emotional swings caused by an imbalance of  hormones in women and one called “Citrus Bliss” which is a motivator and improves your mood. I swear that my sense of happiness and peace has improved since I’ve been using these that it’s almost like they’re too good to be true! Whether they work or not, they smell REALLY good!
Looking forward to?
Adding more things to the nursery 🙂

Who’s hiding in there?

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I’ve recently come across a couple of pregnancy blogs, written by first time mamas-to-be and I’ve got to say, they’ve been a Godsend! I wish I’d discovered them sooner because they’ve been super helpful in making me feel less anxious about this pregnancy. I love reading about the experiences these first time “Preggo’s” are going through and thinking excitedly, “Oh, me too!”. I haven’t really blogged about my pregnancy (even though I’ve really wanted to) because I didn’t want to come across as bragging about it. But after reading these wonderful blogs it has made me realize that this is a super exciting time in my life that I SHOULD share, if not for my own record then perhaps for someone out there who’d like to know more about the journey of a first time pregnancy. So I’d like to follow a similar diary style that these bloggers have been using to update readers each week. It seems like fun, so I’ll give it a go!
How far along?
24 weeks. I can’t believe it 4 short months we will have a son or daughter. I still find it hard to believe!
Total weight gain?
I’ve gained about 20 pounds so far and really feeling it! My midwife is pretty pleased about my weight gain. She recommends that I eat loads of protein as it’s safer to gain more than not enough so that the baby will have a healthy birth weight.
Maternity clothes?
I’ve been trying to avoid buying new maternity clothes. I just don’t see the point in spending all that money on clothes I’d wear for just a short while. Usually it’s slim pickings in the thrift store maternity section, but one fine day I won the thrift store lottery and found a pair of Old Navy maternity jeans in my size! Now, for normal people they’re capris, but for midgets like me they were just the right full-length! It was an awesome day. I wore these lucky jeans last week and they felt really tight when I sat down in them. This bump is just growing so quickly! I guess I might just have to give in and invest in a new pair of maternity jeans since I definitely can’t be wearing maxi skirts all winter!
Stretch marks?
None yet. I’ve heard it’s hereditary and my mum and sister didn’t get any so I’m hoping I won’t either. I’ve been using Bio oil on the bump after I shower. I brought a bottle with me from NZ so I’m not even sure if they sell it here. Once it runs out I’ll probably try Burt’s Bees Mama bee oil which I’ve heard good things about.
Sleep?
I’m supposed to sleep on my side and avoid laying on my back, which is so hard since I’ve always been a back sleeper! I get a pretty sound sleep, though I wake up in the morning with ultra sore ribs! Oh and I feel like Humpty Dumpty when I’m trying to climb out of bed!
Best moment this week?
We found the perfect vintage dresser to use as a changing table. It is the perfect size and colour, just everything I’d been looking for. Danny assembled the cot in the nursery and it all suddenly felt very real that we are going to be parents very soon!
Worst moment this week?
I have been so emotional and sensitive lately. It’s quite bizarre because I’m usually not like this. I think a combination of exhaustion and not having time to take care of myself led to my little (quiet) break down at Poor Richard’s. We both had a tiresome day and decided to head to our local cafe and just talk over hot drinks to end our night. I was telling Danny about how I’ve been feeling so fat and ugly, how my clothes don’t fit, my hair is a mess etc …then tears came dribbling down my face. He reassured me that I always look nice and he’d pay for me to get an entire new wardrobe, and to get my hair done if it would make me feel better and then that made me cry even more! He is such a sweet husband! Since then I’ve been to get my hair cut and I already feel so much fresher and better about myself 🙂 It’s the little things huh?
Movement?
So many kicks! Feeling some right now and loving those cute little jolts. Probably won’t be so happy about them when baby gets bigger though!
Food cravings?
Yogurt, of all things! Especially loving those Chobani cups! I was never one for dairy before but I guess baby likes it or something.
Anything making you feel sick or queezy?
Food that made me feel ill during my first trimester – omelet and smothered burritos. Gag!
Gender?
We’re waiting until the birth to find out but I have a feeling we’re having a boy. I don’t know why? Maybe its all the karate kicks I get throughout the day and night but my midwife cheekily said the heartbeat sounded like a girl at todays appointment, so I have no idea! 50/50!
Belly button in or out? 
On the verge of being and outie. Weird.
Happy or moody?
Happy 90 % of the time but there are moments I’ll be angry or frustrated for reasons unknown and that makes me even more confused and moody. Hormones eh?
Looking forward to?
Finally holding our son or daughter and seeing whose features he or she has.

Good Morning, Second Trimester

CO_Aug_034This first week into the second trimester has been awesome and emotional, but mostly awesome. It’s been amazing not having morning sickness! I’m so happy to be feeling more like myself, the ever hungry lover of food. But there have been days where I haven’t felt like myself at all. I had a couple of meltdowns this week (thanks, hormones!), but I felt so much better after talking it out and releasing all that pent up anxiety and worry in a dramatic shower of tears. I needed that.

I was really anxious to get to my second prenatal visit yesterday. I had so many questions since I hadn’t been feeling nauseous (why did my baby quit his day job!?), my belly had gone down in size (baby or bloat?), and I haven’t felt any kicks or flutters yet (is it still alive!?). I was so relieved to find out that everything is ticking along as it should. We didn’t get to see the baby with an ultrasound this time but we did get to hear its heartbeat. It sounded strong and healthy, and that was the best feeling.