Friday, May 30, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {39 Weeks}

39 weeks collageUh…check out the size of that belly!!!! It’s ginormous!
With a belly this big, hair does not get done lol
Date: 5/21/14
How far along: 39 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A watermelon!  (insert quote from Dirty Dancing, "I carried a watermelon?!")
Developmental milestones: More than likely Little Peep has reached his full birth weight since we are only days away from meeting him (fingers crossed and everyone praying!).  They say between 6 and 8 lbs, but I'm going to go with my maternal instincts and guess that he is definitely over 8lbs and probably closer to 9 lbs or more.  All of his internal organs are ready and his immune system continues to develop, as it will outside of the womb.
Maternity clothes: Oh yes!
Weight gain: I've gained 34 lbs since my pre-pregnancy weight
Stretch Marks: Yes and I'm totally loving every single kiss from heaven!
Sleep: I love it!
Best moment of the week: Getting good news from the doctor after my NST test to make sure that Little Peep isn’t getting stressed as he loses realstate in my tummy.
Movement:  I still feel him moving around but it is getting less and less.  I make sure to pay attention to those fetal kicks now that he doesn’t have much space.
Cravings: Sweets!
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: The top part of my belly button is now an outtie while the bottom portion is a flattie.......It's very comical to look at lol
Wedding ring: Mostly on unless I've been exercising outside in the Houston heat.
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss: Nothing
What I’m looking forward to: Holding my little boy!
Labor signs: I’m going on 3 weeks now of having early labor contractions.  Nothing is predictable yet though.
Symptoms: Most people have asked me about how “uncomfortable” I am.  To be honest, I'm really not that uncomfortable.  I mean I have had almost 10 months to adjust to my new body type, and while it's difficult to move around like I used to, I'm not that uncomfortable.  I have been really blessed with a fairly easy pregnancy, and when things have been less than ideal I have just chosen to embrace them.  However, I would say that my biggest discomfort is my recent PUPPP diagnosis (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy).  PUPPP is basically a red bumpy rash that appears around the umbilical cord area of the lower abdomen in response to hormones at the end of the third trimester; it looks like an allergic reaction to stretch marks.  So far it is a very mild case, but I have to say that my lower abdomen is extremely itchy, irritated, and sensitive to the touch (even the touch of my clothing).  I have absolutely no control over myself with the itching.  I have found a lot of natural ways to treat it so hopefully this will be healed up pretty soon, that is, if Little Peep doesn’t arrive sooner.
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-)
Emotions: I’m ready.  I have cleaned everything multiple times. I have cooked a small stock. I have gone to Costco & the grocery store. I have walked around the neighborhood until my calves hurt. I have consumed hot peppers and pineapple.  I have practiced acupressure.  My email box (personal & professional) are empty.  I have had a pedicure.  I have drank my raspberry leaf tea and pure cranberry juice.  I have attempted every single old wives tale available, and I’m ready to meet this little boy.  I see my maternity leave shrinking with every day that Little Peep is not here and it makes me extremely sad to know that each day he is not here is one less day I get to spend with him this summer.  While it has crossed my mind a few times, I know that I wont be pregnant forever; needless to say, I am very ready to meet Little Peep and snuggle with him.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Baby Prep for the Pups

You know I haven’t said anything yet about preparing our beloved pups for the baby.  Oops!  Some of you have asked what we’ve done, so I thought I would share how we have tried to get our four-legged babies ready for Little Peep.  Here are some of the things we've done so far with Tomlin and Rooney that seem to be working. The real test of course will be when we bring the bambino home! Preparing Your Dog for a New Baby
  1. The first thing we implemented was no puppies allowed in the nursery. I just want it to stay clean and I don’t want them to be walking in and out of there potentially barking and waking up a baby that took 3 days to finally fall asleep. We have trained them that they can come in when they are sitting outside the door nicely and we invite them in.
  2. We have taken Tomlin and Rooney to our friends with children homes’ and invited children over just so they have exposure to what children are like.  At first they were very frightened of children, but have since warmed up.
  3. We gently pull on their tails and ears while they're eating and other random times just to make sure they aren’t snapping and when they do rear their heads a little more assertively than we are comfortable with they are disciplined.  We want them to know that overly assertive behavior is not acceptable.
  4. We make sure they know that mommy and daddy are the boss, not them (this was a tough one and something I’m sure we will be working on consistently).
  5. We make sure Tomlin and Roo aren't jumping on us when we walk in the house from being gone. I have a huge fear that we will walk in from the hospital and they will jump and make us drop the baby and then the baby will have a traumatic brain injury. This is probably a new freaking out neuroscientist mama nightmare but still it's a concern of mine.  We also don’t want them jumping up on him as he is crawling or learning to walk so it’s good to get rid of that jumping habit now.
  6. While we don’t let the pups in the nursery, unless they are invited, we have allowed them to be around the baby gear so they get used to it and aren’t scared of the baby rocker, the music, or tunes. We don't want them to be scared nor do we want them to think it's a toy for them.   So we play the music and have the toys laying around so they can be exposed to the baby gear sounds & motions.  I've heard about playing baby noises (a CD you can purchase) but I haven’t done it. This is something you could try if you want though.  I’d be interested to hear how your pups respond if you do this.
  7. We have implemented a lot of operant conditioning to make sure they are listening and being obedient with commands.
  8.  Once the baby arrives, we have the pups favorite puppy sitter on call to come over and watch them while we are at the hospital.  I will send a blanket home with the Mr. that Little Peep has been swaddled in so that the pups get used to his smell.  When Little Peep and I come home we will slowly and carefully introduce the pups with A LOT of chaperoning.
  9. When Little Peep is home & sleeping we plan on giving the pups lots of special attention and special toys so that they still know we love them and jealousy doesn’t develop. I’m sure you’ve noticed with your pups, that they act out when they are jealous or bored, so those are the things we are going to be looking out for. During the post-Christmas sales I purchased a stash of special toys and treats to give to them randomly the first couple months that Little Peep is home just to help with the adjustment.
This is what we’ve done so far, but again, I don’t know how effective this will be. So I will let you know how it’s going once Little Peep arrives lol 
Any other tips for me?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {38 Weeks}

38 week collageDate: 5/14/14
How far along: 38 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A pumpkin!
Developmental milestones: Little Peep has officially reached his birth weight (within 6-8 oz), and his head is about the same circumference as his abdomen.  His finger nails and toe nails are long enough where they are probably ready for a trim now.  He is shedding his vernix caseosa & lanugo into the amniotic fluid.
Maternity clothes: Oh yes!
Weight gain: I gained 3 lbs in water weight this week.  I'm still under the recommended 35 lbs though, so the doctor and I'm okay with this.
Stretch Marks: Yes and I'm totally loving every single kiss from heaven!
Sleep: I'm soaking it in while I get it; however, if I'm being completely honest, I am definitely looking forward to middle of the night dates with my little man :-)
Best moment of the week: 1- Sharing our maternity pictures by Grace Hill Photography!  She is a magician behind the lens!  Go visit her page and book an appointment; I promise you will not regret it! 2- Having our doctors appointment and learning that we are 2 cm dilated!  Little Peep is looking great; his heart rate was 155.  Come on little boy, we are so ready to meet you!
Movement:  My baby boy is running out of room but he is still wiggling around.
Cravings: Anything with oatmeal and raisins.  I am l-o-v-i-n-g chewy oatmeal raisin granola bars.
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Flattie
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss: Nothing!
What I’m looking forward to:
Holding my little boy!
Labor signs: Contractions have definitely picked up.  I really thought he was going to be making his debut on Sunday/Monday because my contractions were so intense that I couldn't walk, but then by 5:30 am on Monday morning my contractions stopped.
Symptoms: Well my belly is huge, I can't see my feet, I'm swollen, & I have chick monk cheeks.  Yep, I'm still preggers lol
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-) 
Emotions: I'm back and forth.  Since school has ended, I'm glad that I was able to complete the semester and I'm enjoying the summer, but at the same time I'm getting more and more restless about getting this show on the road.  I change about every hour: one hour I'm embracing my last few moments where I don't have to share Little Peep with the world, and then the next hour I'm on another walk and bouncing on my birthing ball to encourage his debut.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What I'm Lovin' Wednesday: Turkey Green Chile Casserole

This is so yummy and I wish I could take credit for this recipe.  My bestie Grace brought us this casserole after one of my fertility procedures last summer.  Since then we begged her for the recipe and have made it at least once a month; it’s just that good!  This is a must-pin AND must-try recipe!Turkey Green Chile Casserole
Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
garlic powder
salt
pepper
large green chile stew
8 oz. Velvetta cheese, cubed
32 oz. frozen tater tots
1/2 cup plain panko crumbsDSC_0102
Directions:
  1. Brown turkey with garlic powder, salt, & pepper.
  2. Mix green chile stew and velvetta in with turkey and stir until melted.
  3. Place frozen tater tots in the bottom of a  9x13 pan, and pour turkey mixture over top.
  4. Sprinkle panko crumbs over top and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
  5. Dig in!
Turkey Green Chile Casserole-2

Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Navigate Infertility and Baby Showers

Infertility and Baby Showers-2
Not every woman who struggles with infertility finds baby showers to be like salt in an open wound.  However, for me baby showers were excruciatingly painful.  It took a lot for me to attend a baby shower during the years that the Mr. and I were struggling with infertility.  Today I wanted to shed some light on baby showers from the perspective of the “fertility challenged.” *Disclaimer- I understand that all women who struggle with infertility do so in different ways; this list is based on my own personal experiences.
  • Dreaded Baby Shower Syndrome- Some women who struggle with infertility are not bothered by baby showers, and I think that is absolutely wonderful!  However, I was someone who dreaded baby showers.  I often avoided them because just talking about pregnancy hurt too much.  Spending 3-4 hours gushing over something that I might never have ripped out my barely hanging on heart.  Also it never failed, every time I attended a baby shower someone would ask me “When is it your turn Darby?”  Remember what I said about asking questions like that (“When are you going to have children?” or “When are you going to have your next child?”)? Never ask these questions.  Just don’t; you don’t know someone’s story and just attending the baby shower might be all someone could muster dealing with in one day.  If it is going to add stress to you, and cause a lot of emotional pain, I say politely decline the invitation to a baby shower.  Your true expecting friends who love you will sympathize with you; they wont hold it against you.  If you still want to send a gift, you don’t have to go to Babies R Us, just order something online and have it sent to her house.  You never have to hold the gift or see it in person; this is how I have handled baby showers for the past few years unless I was hosting, of course, and then I just spent A LOT of time praying for my heart to be softened.
  • Don’t Assume I Don’t Want to Attend- I had a family member who knew about our struggle with infertility and chose not to send me an invitation to her baby shower.  I found out about the shower the week after when pictures were posted on Facebook.  As I scrolled through the pictures online, I noticed that I was the only female from our family absent from the pictures.  When I put myself in her shoes, I imagine she was trying to "protect" me from the pain of attending the shower, but to be honest it made me feel like an outsider looking in.  It hurt really really bad.  I felt like any power I did have was stolen from me and I was in even less control of my life.  Women who struggle with infertility don’t want to be left out of even more activities, send them an invite and let them decide if they can handle it.
  • Big Sacrifices = Big Love- Even though baby showers were dreaded for me, it did not mean that I was not happy for my friends or family when they were expecting.  I was truly over the moon even if it was a challenge for me to express it.  Seeing the pregnant belly grow is a constant reminder of what someone struggling with infertility cannot have, and is often very painful. Unless an infertile woman plans to spend her life in a cave, she has to find a way to interact with pregnant women again.   She isn't rejecting you or your children; she is just trying to work her way through her pain to show sincere joy for you. The fact that she is willing to endure such pain in order to celebrate your new baby or children with you speaks volumes about how much your friendship means to her.  When a woman who is fertility challenged attends a baby shower, know that she is pushing her own heart-ache away and demonstrating great love for you.
Again I know that not every woman deals with infertility in the same ways, but I hope that my experience sheds some light on how some women who are fertility challenged may be feeling.
Have a great Monday friends!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {37 Weeks}

37 week collageDate: 5/7/14
How far along: 37 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A wintermelon (not a watermelon...that is not a typo, just another weird fruit)
Developmental milestones: Little Peep is now full-term!!!!  He is starting to finish up his in utero development and getting that first dirty diaper ready for mommy and daddy!
Maternity clothes: Yep!  I purchased some in a size larger than normal back around Christmas and left them in my closet with the tags on.  Since my regular maternity clothes have grown uncomfortable these have been a nice treat: they're like new because they have the tags on them and they make me feel more comfortable and pretty :-)
Weight gain: 30 lbs total according to my Dr.  I'm still under the recommended 35 so both my dr. and I feel good about this.
Stretch Marks: Oh Lord, yes and I'm totally loving every single kiss from heaven!
Sleep: Is going pretty well.  I do have my 5-6 potty breaks every 1.5 hours, but I fall right back to sleep.
Best moment of the week:  I had my doctors appointment this week and Little Peep was looking great.  His heart rate was up (161) compared to two weeks ago.  The doc has me laying really low and quiet so that I can make it through the end of the semester.  This week was also my first mother's day with a baby in my tummy.  The Mr. and I already consider ourselves parents since we lost our first baby in 2010, plus our 4-legged children.  On Saturday the Mr. and I ran errands to make sure that the house was stocked with everything for a while and we also got to stop at my favorite place for lunch (Costco...you know I love the pizza there).  Then he took me to my favorite French restaurant for dinner and it was so delicious!  On Sunday we we went to church and purchased a new fridge (our 3rd one in a year!) for the garage so that I could start stocking the freezer with meals for us this summer.  We took a nap, watched sports, played with the pups, and I made spinach rolls and chicken parmesan for dinner.  To me there was no better way to spend a Mother's Day than with my family.  I'm looking forward to how different this holiday will be next year :-)
Movement: I still love feeling him wiggle all around.
Cravings: Sweets....especially doughnuts
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: "Flattie"
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss: Being able to hold my puppies in my lap.  They just don’t fit and they don’t understand why I can’t hold them anymore.  It breaks my heart to have to tell them ‘no’ and see their sad puppy faces.
What I’m looking forward to: The school year being over, not so much because I'm ready for school to be over, because I love my job and I'm actually quite sad to see some of my seniors graduate (sad for me, but happy for them of course), but because the anxiety of making it through the semester without pregnancy complications or going into early labor will be gone.
Labor signs: Yep :-) I have lots of pressure and some contractions, though nothing regular or painful. I have also started dilating :-) We finished our last doula class this week so I think we are as mentally ready as we can be for D-day
Symptoms: Still lots of pressure and my right foot is still hilariously swollen.
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-) 
Emotions: There is a weird feeling in the air....it's a bittersweet feeling.  We are so very excited to meet Little Peep and begin the Parenthood chapter in our book together, but I have to say that there are some sad feelings: Is this the last time we get to grocery shop as just us? Is this the last time we go to dinner as just us? Is this our last quiet night at home for a while? Will this be the last full night of sleep for a while? Is this the last time I feel Little Peep kick me, from the inside? Is this the last time my belly will be this swollen with a child? Since these occasions might be the last we are embracing them; every second is special and a blessing which we are grateful for.  Just like Jesus knew at The Last Supper (Luke 22:19-20) that it would be His last meal, we are trying to embrace our time together because we do not know when our last meal as just a family of 2 will be.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Joy of Baking {Maternity Pictures}

When we were 36 weeks pregnant we had the pleasure of having our pictures taken by the BEST photographer!  Some of you saw sneak peaks on Facebook last week, but today I want to share with you the full magnitude of this exceptional photographer’s talent.  Grace Hill Photography took our pregnancy announcement pictures and it was a thrill to have her take our pictures again.  When she sent these pictures I started crying (like super ugly-crying) because they are simply so beautiful!  You must book an appointment with Grace Hill Photography….go now….do it…..stop wasting time!
Check out our twist on the modern-day “Bun in the Oven”GraceHillPhoto-12GraceHillPhoto-6GraceHillPhoto-9GraceHillPhoto-8GraceHillPhoto-7GraceHillPhoto-11GraceHillPhoto-13GraceHillPhoto-15GraceHillPhoto-14GraceHillPhoto-17GraceHillPhoto-16GraceHillPhoto-18GraceHillPhoto-19GraceHillPhoto-10
Some photos of us in the nursery as we anticipate the arrival of our sweet Little Peep.GraceHillPhoto-4GraceHillPhoto-5
Thank you Grace for capturing this phase in our lives so artistically and beautifully!

Monday, May 12, 2014

What is in my Diaper Bag?

Y’all should know by now that this lady is a list maker! I have a list for everything and I’m all about crossing things off and getting things done!  The more prepared I can be, the greater my perceived sense of control is (read: therefore decreased anxiety).  I know I wont need my diaper bag for a while, and I’m certainly not taking it with me to the hospital for D-day, but I still wanted to have it done and packed for that first outing…..whenever that will be.  I mean I have carried MANY bags through the years, but a diaper bag has never been in the rotation.  In order to know what I should have in my diaper bag I turned to the best sources I have: new mamas, Pinterest, and Twitter (I can’t help but laugh as I type that lol).  Here is what is packed in my diaper bag for an infant:Infant Diaper BagInfant Diaper Bag Contents
  1. Large muslin blanket since our baby will be born in the summer.  This can double as a swaddle blanket, carrier cover, and nursing cover.
  2. Burp cloth… ya know, because babies burp and spit-up.  Funny that they're called "burp cloths" and not "spit-up cloths"  niiiiiiicccceeee marketing ;-)
  3. Boogie Wipes- because from what I hear they fix almost everything.
  4. Pacifiers- 2 just in case one gets misplaced or “rejected”
  5. Extra change of clothes and a hat for accidents
  6. Hand sanitizer
  7. The Mommy Hook serves as an extra “hand”.  The strong clip can help you secure your diaper bag or shopping bags to the stroller or the grocery cart.
  8. Ziplock baggies can be used for anything, but if you have a blow-out you can contain the damage
  9. Diaper rash cream and petroleum jelly
  10. Changing pad, many of which come with the diaper bag, but double check before purchasing.
  11. Lotion for mama (all that hand washing can really dry out the skin) and Dreft stain pen
  12. Diapers, wipes, and dirty diaper bags
I hope this helps any other new mamas that are thinking about what to pack in their diaper bags. And, as always, if you have something to add to the list please let me know.  I’m working on my learning curve right now, so I’m taking all of the tips and tricks of the trade that y’all have to offer!
Happy Monday!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {36 weeks}

36 week collageDate: 4/30/14
How far along: 36 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A honeydew
Developmental milestones: Little Peep's sole job now is to put on weight; liver, kidneys, circulation and immune systems are ready to go :-)
Maternity clothes: Yep, and I'm staying in dresses when I can.  I did purchase my first two non-maternity clothes for this summer and I'm really looking forward to wearing them.
Weight gain: I have completely forgotten to track my weight this week, but I imagine I have gained at least a pound and I'm okay with that.
Stretch Marks: Yep, and I sure am proud of those little kisses from heaven
Sleep: Is going pretty well.  I do have my 5-6 potty breaks every 1.5 hours, but I fall right back to sleep.
Best moment of the week: By far, the best moment this week was having our maternity pictures taken.  It was so much fun and seeing the magic come from behind the lens was stunning!  You MUST check out Grace Hill Photography asap!  Seriously, go check out her work and book a session for your family!  Like her on Facebook too for awesome updates :-)
Movement: Yep, this little boy sure is moving around.
Cravings: Cereal with cold bananas and strawberries sliced on top with a big glass of cold milk.
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Flattie
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss: Nothing this week
What I’m looking forward to: My next doctors appointment to see how Little Peep is doing.
Labor signs: I've got a lot of pressure that is often pretty painful and plenty of Braxton Hicks contractions.  I've got the lightning going on and I'm praying progress is being made.
Symptoms: I think this has probably been the first week of the pregnancy that I have been truly uncomfortable and felt very pregnant.  Yes in other weeks I have had episodes and things that weren't pleasant of course, but this week has been consistently difficult on my body; it feels physically worn and exhausted.  Because of all of the pressure, I'm walking very slow these days and trying to sit a lot on my birth ball.  On the flip side, while my body is physically drained, my level of mental concentration is over the top.  I can cognitively get so much done at one time!
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-)  The car seat is installed and inspected and all of our gear is put together.  We're just waiting for our babe.
Emotions:  The fact that this has been the toughest week on my body physically doesn't upset me mentally or emotionally.  In fact it makes me excited because I know that I'm getting very close to meeting my dapper Little Peep. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Third Trimester Must-Haves

I compiled a list of items that I found helpful for the first trimester and second trimesters of my pregnancy, so I thought I would do the same for the third trimester.  This list is a combination of must-haves and must-dos.

Third Trimester Must-Haves
  1. Vitamins & Water- I know I have said this every trimester, but they really are important; just keep taking those prenatal vitamins & drinking that water. 
  2. Hospital Bag- Go ahead and get this packed by 32 weeks while you still have energy.  Here is my list of what to pack for the hospital for mama, daddy, & baby.
  3. Freezer Meals- Once the baby comes you wont have time to be fixing a gourmet meal, let alone a meal at all.  Cook ahead of time and freeze meals in smaller containers so that you can pull food out when you need it.
  4. Raspberry Leaf Tea- Drink a cup of this tea everyday for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy.  This tea helps to tone the uterus and will help with pushing.  I like this brand.
  5. Coffee Dates- Go on your last coffee dates for a while with your girl friends.  The next time you get a chance you’ll be juggling a bambino.
  6. Thank You Notes- If you’re as blessed as we have been (and I’m sure that you are), your friends & family will shower you with so many wonderful gifts to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival.  Every package that arrives in the mail and every gift from the shower needs a thank you note.  Write them as soon as the gift arrives or else you might get overwhelmed, & make sure that you’ve got enough stamps available.  Two times I have sent gifts, big gifts worth over $200 each (one for the pending arrival of a baby for a family member and one for a bridal shower for which I was actually in the bridal party.....if you can't tell I'm still shocked by this folks) and neither of these women even acknowledged the gift, let alone sent a thank you note.  I had to ask if they had even received the gifts, and they still didn't say thank you.  The words between the lines tells me that they were not grateful, and I will never be sending them a gift again.  Now of course you don't write thank you notes so that you get more gifts, you write them to demonstrate your sincere gratitude and appreciation to the individual who took their own time, effort, and finances to get you a gift to shower you with love.  (Ok I'm getting off my etiquette soap box now lol)
  7. Pump Accessories- Even if you plan to breast feed you’re going to want to have your pump accessories ready to go when you get home to help encourage your milk to come in.  This means that you need to read through the pump manual so you know how it works so when you’re sleep deprived you can be as educated as possible.  Have your pump parts & bottles, and everything boiled and sanitized for that first usage when you return home from the hospital.  Be sure that all bottles and bottle nipples are BPA- free and latex-free.  If you’re worried about the cost of a breast pump, remember that because of the Affordable Care Act most insurances will give you a pump for free, so call them before you purchase anything.
  8. Baby Book- Order or purchase your baby book and read through the first few pages so that you know what things to take note of during those first few days in the hospital.  Pack this in your hospital bag so that you will have it at the hospital.  For more about that see here.
  9. Trade-in the Tums- Tums at this point are child’s play; they’re weak my friends, weak!  Those things are not going to work with the lava crawling up your esophagus.  Instead you can take Zantac 150 or Pepcid AC.  These are much more effective over-the-counter Class B drugs, which means that they will not cross over to the placenta.  Relief for you and no impact on baby :-)  The generic brands are just as effective, but make sure that you’re taking them at the same time every morning and every night to help prevent heartburn instead of trying to treat it.
  10. The Baby 411- After you’ve spent time reading about labor and what to expect so that you’re mentally prepared, start reading about life with baby.  Once the baby arrives your time to read will be cut back significantly and this is the stage that you really need to prepare for.  Labor is a matter of hours, but the baby will be there for much longer so you should spend time prepping for the parenthood part.  I really like Baby 411 because it is organized topically, not by age.
  11. Laundry- Wash all clothes, sheets, towels, nursing cover, etc. that you are certain you’re going to use for your baby when they get home.  Again this will help you to be prepared for when you welcome baby at home.  Leave tags on things that you’re not totally sure that you’re keeping that way you can return or exchange it later.  Doing baby laundry has been my absolutely favorite baby preparation "project"; I am in love with how those little clothes smell.
  12. Car Seat- Have your baby’s car seat installed by 35 weeks and have it assessed to make sure that it is installed properly.  More than 70% of car seats are installed incorrectly, so make sure your car seat is safe for bambino!  Here is a link where you can type in your zip code to find the closest places to have your car seat assessed. Fire stations are no longer certified to do the inspections, so make sure you take your vehicle to be inspected by a certified location.
  13. Amazon Prime & Amazon Mom- If you don’t have a membership already then you NEED to do this today.  Once the baby arrives it will be a challenge to get out of the house sometimes, and you can’t beat free 2-day delivery, not to mention all of the money you can save on products and movies you can watch.  If you purchase a Prime membership then you’re Mom account will be free.  Just do this!  In fact, even if you’re not expecting you should do this!
  14. Tootsies- Get a pedicure…just do it. Towards the end of pregnancy, if you & baby are ready, you can get acupressure during your pedicure to help induce labor with the pressure point just below the your lateral malleolus (ankle bone).
  15. Costco T.P.- Start buying toilet paper in bulk if you don’t already.  If you thought you were urinating a lot before the third trimester you’re about to be shocked with how often you will need to use the restroom.  Remember the uterus and the bladder are connected and that baby will use your bladder as a drum set, at least mine does.
  16. Birthing Ball- Even if your hospital or birthing center will provide one of these for you during labor, there are a lot of exercises that you can do before labor.  I used my birthing ball (which yes is just a yoga ball) to relieve back pressure, and to help keep me limber (as limber as someone with a big ole belly can be) for labor.  These exercises also help to get baby head down for delivery.  Refrain from sitting in a recliner or deep in the couch because those positions make it difficult for the baby to flip head-down.  Gravity from the birth ball exercises will help baby descend down into the pelvis, and thin the cervix for delivery.  I started sitting on my birth ball in my second trimester and Little Peep had flipped by 27 weeks and hasn’t flipped back.
  17. Apps- Download an app for timing contractions; you’ll probably thank yourself for doing this later.  Also if you live in a big city, get the traffic app specific for your city so when you leave for the hospital you can be aware of the traffic patterns.
I noticed that every time I write a post like this the list gets longer and longer.
But I hope these things that I have done help you too.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mama’s Emergency Car Kit

Just like you’ve got a first aid kit in your home, it’s probably a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car in case something happens, especially if you’re carting around a little bambino.  Here is a kit that I have put together and just have in the trunk of my car for emergencies.Mamas Emergency Car KitMamas Emergency Car Kit Contents
This first thing you need is a small plastic container, and then it’s time to start filling:
  • A change of clothes for mama, top and bottom, and make sure that the top is nursing-friendly.  This may even come in handy if you’re at work or getting ready to go into church and you realize you’ve got spit-up running down your back.
  • A change of clothes for baby in several sizes too big (get something cheap off of the clearance rack).  Remember the only reason you’re accessing these clothes is because you’re in an emergency situation so if they’re too big it doesn’t matter, and if it has been several months (or years) since you’ve updated the kit (and let’s be honest you’re probably going to forget to update the kit), your kiddo will still have a change of clothes to wear. 
  • Diapers….again a couple sizes bigger.  You will use the diapers eventually. Diaper bags eat diapers like dryers eat socks.
  • An unopened pack of travel-sized wipes.  If they are opened they will dry out and not be any good.
  • Several plastic ziplock bags.  If you need one you probably need a couple.
  • Boogie Wipes, for anything and everything.  These can help clean up faces but are also great for scrapes.  Anti-itch and anti-bacterial sprays don’t keep well in the car so don’t even bother with those.
  • Whatever diaper cream you use.  There are also some good substitutes you can use if you’re in a pinch that are safe to apply and will work temporarily until you get to a new spot: Neosporin, baby or hand lotion, lip balm, massage oil, lanolin, or eczema cream. 
  • A blanket…..this is mostly for mama guilt since we live in Houston and it’s never cold, but shaking babies sure are sad to look at.
  • Money, not a lot but enough to buy a bottle of water or a snack for you and the bambino in case there aren't credit card options.
  • A mini first aid kit for minor cuts
  • Small baggies to dispose of things like dirty diapers
Now you’re “ready” for an emergency…or as ready as you can be for an emergency. 
Experienced mamas: what else should be in this kit?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {35 weeks}

35 week collageDate: 4/23/14
How far along: 35 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A coconut....I've got a coconut in my belly!
Developmental milestones: Little Peep wont get much bigger in length, but he will be plumping up for the remainder of the pregnancy.  Right about now he is probably closer to 6 lbs based on what he was measuring at the end of March.  He has about 1 more pound of fat to grow and then he will be ready for his big debut.   Little Peep's testicles have fully descended, and his liver has begun to create waste.  His kidneys & hearing are completely developed and he is responding best to high pitch sounds (like dogs barking lol).
Maternity clothes: Oh yes and not many of these fit anymore; my pants are stretched to the max!
Weight gain: 28 lbs
Stretch Marks: Yep, and I sure am proud of those little kisses from heaven
Sleep: With the exception of all of the potty breaks, sleep is great.
Best moment of the week: I love visiting the doctor these days to get a peak at Little Peep :-)  This week we saw him breathing again; we've been watching him breath on his own for at least a month!  The Dr. was shocked by how low Little Peep is already.  He is still head down, had a heart beat 141, and my blood pressure was good. I also had my Group B Strep (GBS) test which really wasn't bad at all just a little pinch, and came back negative.  The doc said that we want to shoot to have this baby between 38 and 39 weeks because Little Peep is breathing on his own already and running out of room....that gives us 3-4 weeks.  I am completing my piles at work for my colleagues of what to do for each class in case something happens and my sweet boy comes early :-)
Movement: He is moving all around but I haven't had any huge tough jabs yet
Cravings: Sweets!
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Still sportin’ my “flattie”
Wedding ring: On for the most part
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss: Nothing
What I’m looking forward to:  Little Peep's first birth day :-)
Labor signs: With my size, how low he is in my pelvis, and the Braxton Hicks contractions, I’d say that Little Peep is working on making his debut soon :-)
Symptoms:   Little Peep has definitely dropped more because I've got increased pressure and can breath so much better now.  I can tell which side of my spine he is sitting on based on my decreased circulation and swollen right foot.  Shoes on that foot are pretty tight; you can’t even find my ankle on that foot lol
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-)
Emotions: I wouldn’t say that I’m anxious because I have a lot of peace, but I would say that I am very focused on getting things ready in every aspect of my life (home & work) so that I can focus on Little Peep when he gets here.  I’m crossing things off my lists very quickly.
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