Monday, January 12, 2015

Favorite Things: Pregnancy Edition

My previous "favorite things" post on baby items got a lot of great reviews last year, so I thought I'd put a list together of my favorite pregnancy items so far. Just like with baby gear, I realize everyone has their own opinion and preference, but these are a few of my favorites...

1. Snoogle body pillow- $54.99
Now I know what you're thinking. That is a very expensive pillow. Especially considering the fact I also got the cover for easy washing. BUT I have had sleeping issues since early on in this pregnancy. With an active toddler, that didn't leave much time during the day to rest and catch up. I needed something that would keep me on my side comfortably as I usually ended up on my back. This pillow has been so amazing and comfortable and has given me better sleep than I imagined. It's easier to manipulate than using multiple pillows; however, it is also larger and bulkier. All in all, I highly recommend it if you're having issues with sleep during your pregnancy.

2. Burt's Bees Mama Bee belly butter- $12.99
This was recommended to me by a friend early in my pregnancy- basically as soon as I started growing. I've since used it everyday and love it. It goes on super smooth, has minimal scent and is made of natural ingredients. Stretch marks are really genetic, so there is no miracle cure that will keep you from getting them if it's in your genes, but I feel good knowing that I'm staying moisturized and giving my body every bit of help I can. So far, I haven't had any stretch marks, but honestly, I could be covered head to toe in stretch marks and not care less.
 3. My Neti pot- $10.99
I actually listed this as one of my favorite things several years ago, but pregnancy is giving it all new meaning. Sinus issues are common during pregnancy and I have definitely seen my share. I had a nasty cold a couple weeks ago and my neti pot was pretty much my only option if I wanted to stay med free. I did it almost every hour when it was really bad and now I've just been doing it once or twice a day to keep my sinuses clear.

4. Breathe Right nasal strips-$8.43
These go along with #3 above. I started using these when I was sick and couldn't breathe at night. I would use my neti pot and then put on one of these stylish bad boys and I was good to go for the night.
5. Bracoo maternity support belt- $13.60
Speaking of style... ok kidding, but seriously this has been such a lifesaver. I have been having a lot of pain in my lower back- mainly due to bending, squatting and carrying our sweet big brother around. The husband helps out a lot when he's home, but he does have a job which leaves me chasing after and carrying Finn most days. This belt has really helped support my back and leaves me with less pain in the evenings- which is when I would usually feel it the most. You can wear it over a tank top but under your clothes so that nobody can even see it if you're in public. Usually at home, I don't really care, so I look like I'm continually moving couches all day.
6. Target BeMaternity BeBands- $16.99
This is Target's version of the BellaBand. Same concept, cheaper price point. I have used both and really can't tell a difference. I actually bought a few of these the very first time I was pregnant several years ago and have gotten my use out of them this time around. I was able to extend the life of my regular pants and jeans much longer than I would have without them. They will also come in handy post-pregnancy to hopefully get me back in those same jeans sooner :)

So that's it for now. I am also compiling a list of a few of my favorites for having a second baby so stay tuned for that.
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christmas wrap-up

Since we're a week into 2015, I figured I ought to post the last of our Christmas pictures. The Tuesday before Christmas, we packed up and headed to Aiken to celebrate with my family for a few days. We soaked up every minute of our last Christmas with just this little guy. I did a poor job of documenting everything in pictures this time around, but that's just what happens when you're 29 weeks pregnant and chasing around an active toddler. Here are a couple pics I manage to capture...

We went to the candlelight Christmas eve service at my parents' church.

Our little reindeer.

 Not so bright and early on Christmas morning.

 On Christmas, we drink out of festive cups.

 Nonna with Finn.
 This happy boy makes my heart smile.

 Our attempt at getting a picture in front of the tree of Christmas morning.

The day after Christmas, we packed up from there and headed down to Orlando to spend some time in the warm weather with Dustin's fam. I am so sad at the lack of pictures I took, but that is just how it goes when there is so much activity going on with 6 grand kids 9 and under. We were able to spend quite a bit of time at the pools since it was warm and beautiful outside.
 We went to Magic Kingdom for a day and left Finn back with Oma, Opa and his cousin Colton so we could enjoy some time with the "big kids". We also spent the afternoon with Dustin's sister and the four oldest kiddos but again the phone or camera never got pulled out for pics.
 Resting up during lunch.

So glad we got to spend the day with Dustin's brother and his wife. We are even more excited that they will be welcoming a sweet baby in June just a few months after our newest arrival!

We all spent the day at Sea World together and this also happened to be the only day that it rained.

 Love these boys! Can't wait to add another one in just 10 short weeks!
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Friday, December 26, 2014

Fifteen Months

While I have had the best of intentions to keep up with Finn's monthly posts past the one year mark, reality has set in and it just hasn't happened. Therefore, we will try every three months since we see the doctor at that interval until he turns two.

Since he has turned one, he has just taken off. Literally. He started walking just before Thanksgiving and has really picked it up quickly since then.

He still LOVES waving and clapping and dancing. All of which usually happen simultaneously. Here is a great example.

The past three months, I have really started seeing the difference between boys and girls. I remember when my nieces and friends' girls were this age, they would sit for a (short) period of time and play with a toy or listen to a book. Not this little guy. Now, it may just be a personality thing, but this little man is into anything and everything. He loves exploring and finding new things. He loves figuring out how things work and is overall just a ball of joyous energy. He still loves being outside and pointing to birds and airplanes. He really doesn't even need to be outside, because he'll still raise his hands when he hears airplanes from in the house. He's also never met a stranger. Separation anxiety has never really been an issue. Sweet boy is certainly happy with whoever he's with at the time. My absolute favorite thing that he loves doing now is giving hugs and (wet) kisses. He will not sit still long enough to snuggle, but he saves the sweetest hugs and kisses for just before bedtime. He loves to eat, but we're finding that he's getting to be a little pickier. Pasta is still an overwhelming favorite (just like mommy). Fruit, avocados, sweet potatoes, cheese, turkey, waffles and toast with jelly also rank pretty highly on his list. He still loves to sleep for which we are ever so thankful. He'll sleep 12 hours at night and still takes two solid 1.5-2hr naps each day.

At his doctor's appt last Friday, he was down a bit to 22.8lbs (he was 24 at 12 months) which puts him in the 50th percentile for weight. This is most likely, because he seems to be eating less and moving more. He's only grown a half an inch to 30.5in, so he's in the 25th percentile for height.

Sweet boy, we love you to the moon and back and are trying to soak up every last minute as a family of three before your baby brother comes along. You have the sweetest, happiest, little personality and it just makes us so happy to see your big cheesy grin when you really like something.You seem to grow more fun each and every day!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

28 Weeks

Hello, third trimester. Those are words, I never thought I'd say (or type). In some ways, this pregnancy seems to have flown by, but yet in others it has seemed so incredibly long. That might be because we had two weeks notice before Finn was born. Something in me likes the quick turnaround time, but nonetheless, this pregnancy has really been a breeze and I can't complain. Here we are, entering the third trimester and I really have not done a thing in preparation for this baby. Those are also words I never thought I'd say. We got our double stroller and a crib, but right now everything is just piled in our guest room. We will probably take a hospital tour at some point (I keep having to remind myself that I haven't actually delivered a baby and that my baby experience really starts once the baby is out). I may be new at the whole labor, delivery and breastfeeding thing but I can change a diaper, swaddle and follow a schedule like a champ. Luckily, I have sweet friends that have done this part before and I find them much more valuable than sitting through a class so that is where I'm planning to get the majority of my preparation from.

I've seen these little lists on other blogs I follow, so I figure now's as good a time as any to fill in the blanks for myself. This will probably be the only time I do it during this pregnancy, because I've got a nursery to work on apparently.

How far along: 28 weeks
Baby Size: an eggplant. ~14in. & 2.5 lbs.
Weight gain: +20 (see food cravings below.)
Maternity clothes: pretty much my wardrobe these days thanks to Target, Old Navy and friends.  
Sleep: Not great. I toss and turn to get comfortable and that takes some effort.
Gender: BOY!
Movement: Anytime I'm sitting still (which isn't too often these days)- usually the most at night
Best moment this week: Our last ultrasound at the perinatal specialist. I'll just see my regular OB from this point.   
Looking forward to: Just seeing what he looks like  
Food cravings: salt and vinegar chips and milk and cookies (not all together though).
Anything making you queasy or sick:  It doesn't make me sick, but I haven't really been wanting ground beef or burgers (I wasn't the biggest red meat fan pre-pregnancy, though)
Labor Signs: nope
What I miss: sleep, having energy and my back not hurting constantly
Symptoms: lower back pain big time (mostly because of the bending, squatting and carrying associated with big brother).
Nursery: zero progress
Belly Button in or out? In  
Wedding rings on or off? On
Mood: Couldn't be happier! 

 My doctor could not get over how large of a big toe baby boy has. I was close to getting the husband to take his shoes off to prove that it's totally normal as his are indeed very round. Like father, like son.

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Crescents

Usually on Christmas morning, we have cinnamon rolls of some sort but I forgot to get some the last time I was at the store, so when we did our little family Christmas morning yesterday at home, I whipped these little gems up. We did have a roll of crescent dough, however. After a quick Pinterest search, I found this super yummy recipe that is sure to be repeated.

Cinnamon Sugar Crescent Rolls
1 roll of crescent dough in the can (I used Trader Joe's)

6 tablespoons butter, softened
¼ cup white sugar
2½ teaspoons cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven according to package directions.
2. Place the unrolled and separate crescent rolls on an ungreased rimmed cookie sheet (one with sides- very important as the butter will melt all over).

1. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, sugar and cinnamon
2. Evenly spread the cinnamon butter over the crescent rolls and roll up tightly.
3. Bake according to package directions.

1. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
2. Place in a zip lock bag and snip a tiny corner off (of just use a spoon like I did, because I was out of small bags).
3. Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls.

I dare you not to eat one right off the pan when they're done. The husband actually said "it tastes like a Krispy Kreme doughnut" and Finn thoroughly enjoyed his special breakfast treat.

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