Friday, February 28, 2014

Dear Baby Boy... 30 Weeks

Dear Baby Boy,

We're entering the fourth quarter!!

It seems like just yesterday it was halftime, and now here we are in the home stretch. Well done!

I had some fun with Nana last weekend, when we took a Birth and Family Education class for grandparents, in which she learned how to avoid inadvertently damaging you, or hurting the feelings of your novice parents. The majority of it wasn't new information (Nana's kind of a rock star when it comes to little kids) but it was still fun to spend the afternoon together. And I'm sure you'll be so much cuter than that fake plastic baby we practiced swaddling.

I had an absolutely crazy week at work, averaging about 14 hours per day. Are you learning lots about development services and proposals? Take good notes, this is a pretty cool industry, actually... Normally I don't mind working such long hours, but this time it's really taken a toll on me. Hence why I am taking a mental health day today to recover and make sure I am well rested for you!

Earlier this week your nursery furniture was delivered, and as a surprise Daddy spent the entire day putting it all together to show me when I finally got home from work. Everything looks so great and the room is really coming together... I hope you like it!

Cailin is throwing us what is sure to be an absolutely lovely baby shower tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to that. Everyone in our lives is so eager to shower you with gifts and love... you are already so cherished, little one!  

This week you are the size of a small cabbage (about 16 inches long and weighing almost 3 pounds). You are surrounded by a pint and a half of amniotic fluid, but that volume will shrink as you get bigger and take up more room. You'll be packing on weight at the rate of a half pound a week from now on, and shedding your lanugo, the downy body hair that's been keeping you warm up until now. Your eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after you're born you'll keep your eyes closed for a good part of the day (maybe letting Mommy and Daddy get some sleep?) When you do open them, you'll respond to changes in light, but will have 20/400 vision, which means you can only make out objects a few inches from your face.

Besides being exhausted from working so much, I've been feeling pretty good. The heartburn and pain in my hands and feet have continued, but I'm getting used to those symptoms. However, I have been much clumsier than normal, as you have probably noticed from my occasional exclamations when I bash into doorways and bedframes (hormonal changes and relaxed ligaments cause loose joints and balance being off). And for some reason eating and drinking have become a challenge; half of what I consume often ends up dribbled down the front of me. Eyeyeye...

My goal this weekend is to get caught up on my rest so that we are both at our best as we go into this final stretch...

Together, we're in it to win it!

Love Always,

Mommy

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Live & Learn -- How To Paint Chevron Stripes

After spending far too much time on Pinterest I became obsessed with painting a wall of Chevron stripes in Baby Boy's room.
 
But whenever I would mention it to someone, they would gasp and begin to tell me horror stories about how their mother's sister's daughter's cousin tried to paint Chevron stripes and it was a disaster. Obviously this made me even more determined to try it. So I read several online tutorials, hit up Home Depot for supplies, and tackled the mighty Chevron...
 
 
The first step, of course, was to decide what colors I was going to use. This may have been the hardest part of the whole project!
 


I ultimately went with grey and white, and as you might recall, my mom came up one weekend and we got all the walls in the nursery painted grey in a single morning. However, knowing what a perfectionist I am (and she never wants to let me down!) my mom wanted nothing to do with the Chevron stripes themselves. That, she left up to me...

This was unfortunate, because the first part of the project involved a lot of math, which isn't really my strongest subject. But I made it work...

 
My wall was 138 inches wide and I knew I wanted six Chevrons across, so I divided 138 by six and got 23 inches -- that would be the width of each Chevron. But I also needed to know where the middle of the Chevron was, so I could measure down from there to complete the shape, so I divided 23 by two and got 11.5 inches. 

138" / 6 = 23" / 2 = 11.5"

VoilĂ ! Chevron math complete! 
 

Beginning in one corner of the room, using a level and a pencil, I lightly marked each point of the first Chevron and then used painter's tape to connect the dots. Then, using those dots as guides, I used a level to measure down 11.5" from each original dot to create the Chevron below, taping as I went.

Remember, when placing your tape you need to consider whether you want it on the "inside" or the "outside" of the Chevron. As you can see below, stripe A looks thicker than stripe B. This is because stripe A would be painted white, so I put the tape on the "outside" of the pencil marks. But for stripe B, which would remain grey, I put the tape on the "inside" of the marks.


From here it's just a little game of connect the dots. I did the row on the right hand side of the wall first to make sure I knew what I was doing and that everything spaced out correctly, and then I continued marking and taping horizontally until I was done with the whole thing.
 
 
As you can see, because I put the tape "inside" or "outside" of the dots depending on which stripes I planned to paint, the lines don't look like they are all the same width... but they will be! Trust...
 

But see all that overlapping tape? This was a problem...

 
Of course with the tape overlapping, your Chevrons aren't going to have nice sharp points, so now I needed to use an X-Acto knife to trim the points of the tape inside the Chevrons that were going to be painted white. I didn't need to bother trimming the points inside the stripes that were going to remain grey.
 
 
From what I read online, everyone's main complaint about Chevron stripes is that the paint tends to bleed underneath the tape on a textured wall, so I knew I needed to do something about that. I did some research and found a tutorial about how to avoid this problem, and this method worked pretty well...
 
 
Using the original grey color, I used a paint brush to seal the tape to the wall. This way, if any paint seeped underneath the tape, it would be the same color as the original wall and it wouldn't show.

After allowing the grey paint to dry, I carefully used a small brush and, stroking away from the tape toward the inside of the Chevron, I lightly cut in the edges of each stripe with my white paint. I went about an inch or so inward, removing the tape from each Chevron as I went. It's important to remove the tape while the paint is still wet to prevent cracking or chipping.

 
I repeated this process for each Chevron, and whenever I had one stripe done (because I have no patience) I would switch to a small roller and fill in the entire stripe. I was just so anxious to see what it would look like!

 
Because of the colors I chose, one coat of white paint wasn't enough to cover the grey completely, but even after the first coat was finished I knew I was on the right track... everything was looking great! And can you see that after the tape was removed, the Chevrons are all equal width? Told you...


My strategy of sealing the tape wasn't one hundred percent perfect, and I did end up with a little bit of cracking and bleeding at the edges of some of the Chevrons, but not much. I used small artist brushes to touch up both the grey and white edges wherever it was needed.

 
After a final coat with the small roller, my Chevron stripes were complete.
And I think they turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!
 

This project could probably be done in a single weekend, but I spread the project out over a few weeks because that's what worked best with my schedule. Initially, it took about half a day to paint the room grey, then a few hours to measure, mark and tape the wall, and probably another half day to cut in, paint, and touch up the Chevron stripes.
 
Totally worth it for my baby boy!
 
What do you think?
 
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Manic Monday

Well hello there, guys and dolls, and welcome to the beginning of another week. Whoever says that they enjoy Mondays is either lying or crazy, and cannot be trusted. Let's face it... Mondays suck.
 
 
I am looking down the barrel of a very long week filled with 10 to 15 hour days completing an important proposal at work. And while I can always use the overtime pay, this momma-to-be gets tired pretty easily these days, so I'm hoping to find the energy to get through it somehow without collapsing underneath my desk in a ball of stress and exhaustion.
 
I did have a good weekend to start things off. My mom came into town on Saturday and we took a Birth and Family Education class for grandparents, which was kind of fun. And guess who sat right next to me in class? King 5's Jean Enersen... local celebrity sighting! She asked me where the drinking fountain was, and also wished me luck in my pregnancy. I am now famous by association.

We also spent some quality time with my sis in West Seattle where I picked up a breast pump and indulged in some delicious Italian food at Talarico's Pizzeria followed by amazing hand crafted ice cream... because what my baby wants, my baby gets!

And my nesting instincts were out in full effect on Sunday, when I forced Stewart to help me complete about 18 projects around the house beginning the moment he arrived home from work. Whatev, he'll totally enjoy having the garage organized now.

Anyway, I did manage to get myself moderately organized and prepared for the week ahead (laundry, food prep, etc.) but it's still going to be a long one... Wish me luck!

How is your week shaping up so far? 
 
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Social -- Randoms

Well, it's been a while since I did a Sunday Social post, so I thought I'd toss one out there on this fine Sunday morning while I wait for Stewart to get off work. Then we shall spend the day together working on chores around the house, because we're lame that's how we spend our free time these days. Anyway, onward with the questions!
 
1. Favorite breakfast food
Any type of breakfast sandwich. I'm way more of a savory than a sweet breakfast person. But sometimes if Stew's been good I will make him waffles. Maybe I should get some of those started, come to think of it...

 2. Best way to spend a free day
Whenever I somehow end up with a free day and am able to just take time to enjoy it (rather than tackling one of my never-ending to-do lists), it usually goes something like this...
 
Sleeping in and getting up without the screech of an alarm clock
Heading to a favorite breakfast/brunch spot for yummy eats and a bloody mary
Going for a walk or hike in the fresh air and sunshine with my sweetie or a good friend
Grabbing a pedicure at one of my favorite spots
Lounging around the house or on the porch with a good book in the afternoon
Finally taking a long, leisurely shower
Taking my time to do my makeup and hair, and picking out a fun little outfit for the evening
Grabbing dinner or drinks or a movie with friends in the evening

 3. Airline ticket to anywhere in the world….where would you go and why?
Australia, because it's been on my bucket list my whole life (someday I will hold a koala in my arms!) and since it's one of the most expensive places to fly to from the U.S. I feel like that would be the best way to utilize a free ticket. Can I fly first class? Also on bucket list...

 4. You can only leave the house with one thing…what is it?
My iPhone. I'm totally addicted. But more importantly, it represents a way for my family to reach me in an emergency, the constant tether between me and Stew, and the ability to call my doctor immediately should Baby Boy decide that he wants to join the rest of us out here.

 5. How do you take your coffee?
With cream and two Splenda. Or, if I'm stopping at Starbucks, a grande nonfat chai latte. Not that I'm drinking much coffee these days.
 
Well, there you have it... A little Sunday socialization with yours truly. What are you up to this weekend?
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Book Club: A Brief History of Time

Like many people, I often find myself asking profound questions... How did the universe begin, and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending, or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?

I'm obsessed with shows like The X-Files and Fringe (Joshua Jackson -- swoon!) and some of my very favorite books are those that involve alternate dimensions or time travel (Outlander series, His Dark Materials trilogy). So of course when I saw A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking at a garage sale for fifty cents, I jumped on it. And after spending much longer than a brief period of time on my bookshelf staring intimidatingly at me, I decided that it was time to dust off this landmark volume and give it a whirl.

A Brief History of Time is described as being told in language we can all understand, which is why it appealed to me in the first place. I have seen and read a lot of fiction involving these topics, but I was very interested in reading the facts by one of "the great minds of our time." We're talking black holes, gravity, antimatter, alternate dimensions, the nature of time, the Big Bang and even God, with amazing and unexpected possibilities.

I had high expectations for this book, and I'd say that they were moderately met. This probably makes me sound like kind of a moron, considering this book is of the "for dummies" variety, but for some reason I thought it would be easier to read and less... text book-y. But I suppose that one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists in history can only stoop down to my level so much. But I was still able to wade through the technical jargon and finished with a much better (although general) grasp of this difficult subject matter. Some of the concepts were so vast that I actually felt vertigo while reading, but I couldn't help but marvel and Hawking's ability to break down these subjects.
 
Although I still don't understand the ultimate secrets at the heart of creation (but then again neither does Hawking), I still know a whole lot more than I did before reading this book, and I'm glad that I finally get to check it off my bucket list.
 
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Dear Baby Boy... 29 Weeks

Dear Baby Boy,

I hope you enjoyed our trip to southern Oregon this past weekend, because that's probably the furthest away from home that we will travel until you are born. I have this overwhelming fear that I will go into labor and not make it to the hospital on time, and I really want to deliver you at that particular hospital, with my doctor. But we still had a lovely visit, seeing your cousins (who can't wait to meet you!) and meeting Baby Olive, who is such a precious little thing and just reiterated how excited I am to be a mommy.

We headed back a little earlier than originally planned, which was sad because it shorted our visit, but good because I was able to finish painting your room on Monday! Your furniture and some wall art should arrive this week, so everything is really coming together for you, little darling.

Daddy and I started our Childbirth Preparation series of classes this week and now we're beginning to feel a little more informed about what to expect on the day of your arrival. Most of what we've learned so far has been stuff I already know, but there have been some new tidbits as well, and I'm sure we'll become well informed throughout the coming weeks and will know how to take good care of you when you arrive... we promise!

I also took a Baby Your Body pregnancy education class, which was very silly and frankly a waste of time. I already know how to eat healthy, sit up straight, and that exercise and stretching is important, so it turns out that was kind of a waste of time. I think you were bored as well, because you kicked me in the ribs throughout most of the class.

This week you are the size of a butternut squash (about 16 inches and anywhere from 2.5 to 3.8 pounds) and your energy is surging thanks to white fat depositing beneath your skin. Since you're growing so fast (your weight will triple by birth!) things are probably getting kind of cramped in there, so I guess I should get ready for some more kicks and jabs to the ribs. Your muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and your head is growing bigger to make room for your developing brain (I think you're going to be a smarty pants just like your daddy).

I have been counting your kicks every evening after dinner and you're typically very active then -- sometimes ten movements in less than a minute! Feeling you move has been the absolute best part of pregnancy, hands down.

Despite all the home remedies I have discovered, heartburn is my main complaint these days, along with constant pain in my hands and feet. I'll need to go shopping for some new work shoes this weekend, because I can barely squeeze my swollen little piggies into anything I own these days. Not that I mind shopping...

Keep growing strong, darling boy!

Love Always,

Mommy

 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Live & Learn -- What Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

Let's be clear: I'm no saint, and I've been guilty of putting my foot in my mouth more than one several times in my life. That being said, a simple tutorial like this one may have saved me from mortification many times, had it been available.

So, based on recent personal experiences, I have decided to share with you some knowledge...

Pregnancy is an incredible, magical time in a woman's life. She is growing a tiny human being inside her own body, which can feel empowering, emotional, irrational, and overwhelming all at the same time. I am in my third trimester and 20 pounds heavier than I was last summer, which has definitely done a number on my self esteem (even though I would gain it all again in a heartbeat for the sake of my precious Baby Boy). However, some of the comments and observations that have been shared with me lately have been unwelcome, insensitive, hurtful, and downright mean.

What Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman


Are you sure about your due date?
Asked incredulously while pointedly eyeing my belly after being told Baby Boy is expected to arrive around the beginning of May. Thanks, I know my midsection has taken over the majority of my anatomy right now, but it is in fact normal for my body to have stretched some at this point, making room for the TINY HUMAN growing in there. According to my doctor, my weight gain at this point is, in fact, entirely average, but thanks for making me feel like a whale.
  
 Wow, you look like you got bigger overnight!
Well, let's see. I spent last night eating a healthy dinner, walking two miles on the treadmill, and going to bed early only to toss and turn due to discomfort and acid reflux all night. Then I got up this morning and spent extra time picking out this outfit hoping to still look and feel my best. So having you comment on how large and in charge I look, despite all my best efforts and insecurities, really helps make my effing day. I didn't comment on your post-holiday weight gain, so kindly keep your observations to yourself, okay?


 Can I touch your belly?
No. No, you cannot. While asking first is certainly better than lunging in like I'm a freaking Buddha begging for a belly rub, it still puts me in an extremely uncomfortable position. If you know me at all, you realize that I don't like being touched, and if we aren't close enough for you to know that, then you certainly don't have any business touching me anywhere, ever. If my baby is kicking and I want you to have a feel, I'll ask you if you'd like to feel the baby move. Otherwise I'd rather keep my bump to myself, thank you very much.

Are you sure there aren't two in there?!
Again, asked in mock shock while staring at my belly like it's the largest thing you've seen since Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson waddled their way across the pages of US Weekly. You might as well say, "Wow, you sure look fat!" instead of asking this rude question. Some women's bellies get huge during pregnancies, others do not. But thanks for pointing out how obese you think I look, asshole.

 You're breastfeeding/circumcising/baptizing your baby, right?
It seems the moment we announced our pregnancy that these questions began coming up on an almost daily basis. Basically, it's no one's business how a mother feeds her baby, whether or not she'll choose to circumcise him, or what her family's religious preferences are. And really, you're only asking because you're desperate to impart your own wisdom unsolicited advice about the subject, and frankly, I don't careMy husband and I can make choices for our son without your opinion, thanks.


You look like you're ready to burst!
Or did you mean, "You look like a beached whale." I began hearing this gem at about 26 weeks from everyone from the sales clerk at Toys R Us to random fellow bus commuters. And honestly, it's the last thing a pregnant woman needs to hear when her hormones are raging and she can no longer fit into half of her maternity clothes. I'm sorry I can't live up to your standards, but thanks for really making my day. 

You're in for a surprise...
I don't know why parents feel the need to constantly "warn" me about how little sleep I will get, how awful I'm going to look, how many of my belongings will be destroyed, and generally how miserable I'm going to be once my baby is born. Moms-to-be are well aware of the sleepless nights in our future, and the fact that our reality will be drastically altered by the presence of a new, tiny, dependent human being. Why people feel the need to focus on the negative aspects of newborns, I'll never understand, but it does not help with any of the anxieties of becoming a new parent. You're only making me feel more apprehension than I already do. And it's a little late for me to change my mind, don't you think?

Enjoy (insert activity) while you still can.
I'm sorry if, for you, having a child has meant that you now never have time to do ANYTHING. But my husband and I do not intend to be shells of our former selves. I happen to know plenty of parents who still watch movies, read books, and enjoy dinner at restaurants. I know many working moms with successful careers and happy children. So I'm not buying this whole idea that life suddenly ends when you have a baby. Sure, I understand that things will change a lot. But it will be for the better, and we wouldn't have it any other way.


I don't know what it is about a baby bump that inspires such insensitive comments, but it sometimes seems as if strangers, and even people I know well, will say anything to try to bring a pregnant woman down from her happy cloud. Getting used to people staring at me as if I'm a zoo exhibit when I waddle down the sidewalk has been hard, but learning to laugh off certain comments I hear way too much may be one of the most difficult things I've had to deal with while navigating through the complicated journey of being knocked up.

I'm sure many of you mean well, but please...

Think before you speak to a pregnant woman about how your words might come across.

And if you feel the need to make a comment, a simple, "You look great!" can really go a long way...
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Baby Fever Weekend

I saw so many gorgeous babes this past weekend, and the only thing I could think the whole time was how much I want MY baby! Yes, I know he will be here before I know it, but it's like I MISS him!
 
Not that I didn't love spending the weekend with some of my very favorite people.
 
Mom and I left Friday afternoon to head down to Oregon for some visits. Our first stop was to see my sister, Nichole, and her family in Forest Grove. Excuse the poor photo quality, but this is all that I got...
 
 
We got in some quality time and a slumber party with my adorable nieces before heading south in the morning to Umpqua for a visit with Crys and Baby Olive. What a doll! I had so much fun just playing with this smiling, happy, adorable little human being. Love.
 
 
And it was so fantastic to finally get some quality time with Crys and to see where she's been living all this time. This is small town life, kiddos. From the information I can find, the population of Umpqua is about 600. There isn't even a single stop light!
 
Crys, Hans and Olive live in an adorable 100-year-old farm house surrounded by rolling green hills filled with sheep. I seriously felt like I was in Ireland or something. It was so peaceful and wonderful to spend some time outside the city with them.
 
 
We had so much fun just playing with Olive, hanging around the house, chit chatting, and even having lunch at a vegetarian restaurant owned and operated by hippies from a local commune! I'm telling you guys, this is legit backwoods country. Crys and Hans got married down here a couple years ago, and I can totally see why they've chosen to make it their permanent home. Growing up, I always used to say that I wanted to live in the city or the country, but never anything in between. Places like this remember why I thought the simple, country life would be so refreshing for the soul. Ironically, here I am in Suburbia, but that's a story for another day...
 
I hope that y'all had a wonderful long weekend!
What were you up to?
 
I can't help but reflect on last year's epic fail over the President's Day holiday. Can you believe it's been a year already? Or that that was the last time I was on my snowboard? This makes me incredibly sad...
 
Ah well, Stew is up at Crystal today enjoying the powder for the both of us.
 
Have a great (short!) week, guys and dolls!
 
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Winter Cara Box Reveal

Cara (car-rah) noun : beloved friend
"Make Friends -- Receive Gifts -- Share Encouragement"
 
For the first time this winter, I decided to sign up for the Cara Box Exchange with Wifessionals. Basically, it's a box swap among women that is primarily based around Instagram. I was paired up with two other ladies in Washington state, and for three months we followed each other's daily lives and built awesome friendships. Then at the end of the second month we created boxes or packages for one another. So much fun!

The theme for this box was SHINE -- all about encouraging and bringing out the best in each other.
 
I prepared a box for Jennifer and actually got the opportunity to meet her and hand it to her in person at our Washington State Blogger Meet Up. Jennifer loves Seattle sports just like me, so obviously there was an instant connection there, but I also liked learning about her job, vacations, hobbies, and her adorable Golden Doodle. She definitely SHINES in many ways, and I hope the items I gave her helped compliment those things about her.

As for me, I received a package from Caitlin, who unfortunately couldn't make it to our meet up because she was about to give birth! Since then an adorable little baby boy has joined her family, which of course make me feel like we had a special connection. I followed all her pregnancy updates on Instagram, and she was extremely helpful every time I had a question or needed advice. Caitlin put together an incredibly thoughtful, generous, and SHINE themed package for me!


Adorbs, right?!

Caitlin's handwritten note was so thoughtful and sweet. And she might have even written it with that amazing Seahawks pen! She handmade the cowl and coffee sleeve herself, as well as that tiny, precious little hat for Baby Boy. And I am loving the outfit, which includes two of the main themes we have for his life: Seattle Seahawks (green & blue!) and animals. Being a new mommy herself of course Caitlin couldn't resist sending the baby stuff (which I love!) but she also included some items specifically for me: Body butter and relaxing body wash/bubble bath to help get me through this final trimester stretchmark and stress free (hopefully)!

Thanks so much, Caitlin, you are an absolute doll and I'm so happy to have gotten to know you!

Participating in the Cara Box Exchange was definitely a pretty big commitment, but in the end I'm so glad that I signed up, because otherwise I never would have gotten to know these two wonderful ladies. And I'm so glad that they both live here in Washington, which will make it even easier to keep in touch. Because I still need to meet Caitlin's precious baby! And maybe our boys will even become friends one day...
 
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Cara Box

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dear Baby Boy... 28 Weeks

Dear Baby Boy,

Wow, another busy week that passed by in the blink of an eye. Daddy and I spent the entire weekend at home together working on projects and running errands, prepping for your inevitable arrival. We're getting so excited! We had to decline a few invitations in order to fit in this important family nesting time, but doing so was really good for our anxiety levels and we finally feel like we're kind of on track now.

 This week you are the size of a large eggplant, about two and a half pounds and measuring 14.8 inches from the top of your head to your heels. You can blink your eyes, which now sport lashes (likely as gorgeous as your daddy's), and with your developing eyesight you may be able to see light that filters in. You are continuing your tricks of coughing, sucking, hiccupping and taking practice breaths, and your sleep patterns now include the REM phase, which means you may already be dreaming... do you dream of us, my love?

They say that moms-to-be who are at 28 weeks and beyond are known for their lack of sleep, but so far I haven't noticed this being much of a problem. In fact, I've actually been sleeping better lately than I did during the first two thirds of this pregnancy. Although I did come down with a nasty cold this week that's been moderately annoying. Oh well, that's just one more thing you will be born immune to...

I haven't had any Braxton Hicks contractions yet, or if I have I haven't noticed. Be sure to let me know when actual labor starts, okay? My main complaint this week is continuing pain in my hands and feet. I know that carpal tunnel syndrome is prevalent in pregnant women due to fluid retention and swelling, but even the doctor has no idea what is causing the numbness and occasional sharp pains in the sides of my feet and ankles. I'm sure it's all related somehow...

Most importantly, I passed my second glucose tolerance test which means no gestational diabetes for us -- yay!!

This weekend Nana and I are headed down to Oregon to visit my BFF Crystal and meet Baby Olive, and I just cannot wait! It's kind of a long road trip though, so you just settle in and don't make Mommy too uncomfortable, okay?

Happy Valentine's Day, my sweet baby!

Love Always,

Mommy


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Live & Learn -- Heartburn Home Remedies

Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm a hippie and jump on the clean eating, vegetarian, environmental, yoga practicing bandwagon. And being pregnant has given me more incentive than ever. Obviously while you're knocked up you want to be extra careful about dumping garbage or chemicals into your body, and this also includes most medications.

Acid indigestion (heartburn) is a common discomfort experienced during pregnancy. Basically it's a horrible burning sensation that extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat, and I seem to get it every single time my stomach gets empty. For me, eating a meal usually resolves it pretty quickly, but I've also discovered a few other home remedies that have been super effective.

Although antacids like TUMS can provide relief, I learned from my yoga instructor that they can actually make the problem worse. Because you actually need that acid to help break down your food, and TUMS breaks it down, which can cause other digestive discomforts and problems.

This is where the hippie stuff comes in. Some of these natural remedies help to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn without eliminating the acid that your body needs to help break down food. Most of these I heard about in my prenatal yoga class...


{1} Papaya
Natural, fresh papaya is best, but if you can't find it Trader Joe's carries a dietary supplement of natural papaya & pineapple enzymes in tablet form. I find chewing one of these to be effective about half of the time. And I did also once find fresh papaya at Trader Joe's, but I thought it was slimy and tasteless so I didn't buy it again. But the tablets are easy to carry around in my purse for an emergency, and they taste yummy, too.

{2} Yogurt
Make sure you're only using plain yogurt, because sugar will make the problem worse. This has probably been the most effective quick fix for me. One big spoonful of plain Greek yogurt pretty much immediately cures that horrible burning sensation for me. It's obviously a little harder to have on-the-go, but I was shocked at how effective it can be.

{3} Almonds
Plain, natural, unsalted are best, and you don't need many... just a small handful (five or six) will do the trick. For me this one has been about as useful as the papaya tablets... maybe a little better because for me just getting something in my stomach seems to alleviate the symptoms. But if you have heartburn at night I hear that popping a few of these before bed can be a life saver.
So there you have it... some hippie heartburn remedies I learned in my hippie preggo yoga class. And now I'm off to buy some Birkenstock sandals and a hemp necklace.

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This has been another edition of
Live & Learn Thursday!
Life As Always
Join the party... follow your hosts and link up your post!

And as a special treat this week, each person who links up an appropriate post (see Rules below) will be entered to win a Go!Sac -- an awesome, lightweight, durable bag for toting all of your necessities around town, to the gym, or on vacation. It's the ultimate full size bag that conveniently folds into itself to store as a small pouch. Good luck! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sh*t Men Say v2

Stewart was so completely adorable this past weekend in Babies R Us, testing out car seats, strollers, and high chairs. My how things have changed since we first met...
 
He's not super into reading (in fact, he's about halfway through Unbroken, which he started on our honeymoon almost two years ago) but our good friend Clint gave him a book for Christmas that he's actually been peeking through (as far as I can tell)...
 
Here are some of the things that randomly come out of his mouth these days:
 
"I sure hope you don't get that post partum depression thing."
 
"I heard that I have to give up my season tickets and trade them in for a diaper pail... but I'm not gonna."
 
"So... who's going to be in the south end zone during this whole labor situation?"
 
It's after one of these random, out of the blue comments that I realize he's been reading The New Dad's Survival Guide. It's "man-to-man advice for first time fathers," and I'm thinking I should probably check it out here soon, just to make sure it's not giving him the wrong impression about anything! But at least he's learning something, because I'm pretty sure "post partum" and "diaper pail" were not a part of Stew's vocabulary before a few weeks ago...
 
With our niece, Sophia, 2011.
 
He's going to be such a good Daddy!
  
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Voyage of the Mee Mee
 
Today's link-up was brought to you by Amanda and Danae. And if you missed my first edition of Sh*t Men Say, be sure to check it out!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Celebration of Champions

How long, exactly, is it appropriate to celebrate your team being WORLD CHAMPIONS?
 
I've decided we definitely get a while longer...
 
SEAHAWKS!!
 
I wanted to do a recap of the Seahawks Victory Parade last week, because it was seriously one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. Just me and 700,000 of my closest friends, gathered to welcome the Hawks home from the Super Bowl.
 
Have I already mentioned that we won?!?!
 
We nearly froze to death, but it was worth it to be part of such a monumental day...
 

We arrived in the city at 6:45 a.m. the day of the parade so Stew and Brett could post up and get us front row seats on the parade route. It was COLD. My friend Jessica and I brought them hot drinks every hour or so...

As the streets started to fill up and the excitement began to built, you could literally feel the energy in the city rising...

With my co-workers, front and center waiting for the parade to start. We are lucky to work only a block away!

Stew and Brett getting the crowd riled up...

We hung out in the freezing cold for several hours waiting for the parade to start, but no one minded a bit.

It's starting! It's starting!!

Marshawn Lynch tossing Skittles out to the crowd. Stew even reached up and handed him a new bag! I decided it was weird to try and get him to sign my belly for Baby Marshawn... but I was tempted!

Sea Gals and Blue Thunder.

Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson showing off that beautiful, shiny Lombardi Trophy. Swoon!

BOOM.

I have never, ever in my life seen the streets of Seattle like this. It was such an unbelievable experience and I'm so glad we were able to be a part of it!

After the parade we headed down to the season ticket holder victory rally at CenturyLink Field. This is the last time you'll see me here until the fall!
 
Stew and I spent some of this weekend spending Baby Marshawn's college tuition on Super Bowl swag... we may have gone a little overboard. But Baby Boy will be so excited to have a commemorative football someday... and a hat and a t-shirt and a sweatshirt and a onesie and a beer mug and a photo collage and a pennant and... oh lord I don't even remember what all we ordered. It's all going to look great displayed in our media room, though.
 
It feels strange to have football season officially over with, even though we went out with the biggest bang in franchise history.
 
I'm so in love with this city, this game, this team... And I can't wait to do it all again!
 
Hawk Yeah!
 
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