Friday, November 28, 2014

Bumpdate // 36-38 Weeks

Happy Black Friday! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

I planned to put this post up on Wednesday, but it's been a busy week and my family is visiting from out of town. However, I've been consistent about putting up these updates throughout my pregnancy and so I wanted to make sure to keep it up, especially since this is (hopefully) one of the last ones!

It gets dark so early now so we weren't able to take this one outside aka worst lighting ever.

How far along:  
I'm already 39 weeks now...but this bumpdate is just on weeks 36-38 :)

Baby's size: 
At our 38 week appointment last Thursday, the midwife said if she had to guess, she thinks our baby is probably going to be in the 8 pound range and most likely very long. (Cam and I both weighed more than that when we were born though, so we'll see!)

Weight gain: 
At my 38 week appointment, I was up around 30 lbs from my starting weight and the midwife said she was really happy with how things had progressed in this department throughout my pregnancy. (However, after Thanksgiving I have a feeling this number may be significantly higher now!)

Gender: Baby boy!

Still feeling lots of it! He's in a head down position (and the midwife said his head is really far down already) but I'm still feeling lots of kicks and rolls and my belly looks so crazy when it's happening! I'm trying to really enjoy the movement in these final weeks because it really is such a cool feeling!

Food cravings: 
I've been on a big chocolate peppermint kick lately and I don't see that going away any time soon, especially now that the holiday season has officially started!

Not great. Even though everyone has been telling me how much I need to sleep now, I have been terrible about staying up late at night lately. And then when I finally do go to bed, I've been waking up early in the morning and can't stay asleep as long as I'd like. I really need to be better about taking naps from here on out...

Miss anything?
Part of me does miss my old body and just not having to awkwardly maneuver through everyday life with a giant belly...but another part of me is already feeling sad about not being pregnant any more! I've really enjoyed being pregnant and part of me is really going to miss having the bump!

 Pretty much just getting through my everyday life is a workout these days.

Maternity Clothes?
Yep! Although all my maternity jeans still fit, I'm gravitating towards leggings a lot at this point. 
You can see all my favorite maternity pieces that have gotten me through my pregnancy here!

Overall, I've been feeling really great for being so far along in my pregnancy. I have been having some unpleasant symptoms here and there, but nothing major at all. Those symptoms include having some acid reflux pop up from time to time, but it seems to be exacerbated by the fact that I have been indulging in a quite a few treats lately. I've also been experiencing some low back pain, particularly if I've been standing for awhile...however, it's only here and there and other days it doesn't bother me at all. Also, I've noticed that my muscles feel a little fatigued sometimes, particularly my inner thighs, and it almost feels like a did an intense workout...but I definitely didn't, ha! The midwives said that's pretty par for the course at this point and it's likely a result of just having 30 extra pounds that are throwing off my center of gravity and forcing different muscles to compensate.

I'm definitely feeling a little weirded out by the fact that we're finally at the end of this pregnancy journey! In a way, it does feel like a long time ago that I found out I was pregnant, but at the same time, it feels like this year has flown by! I'm not feeling too nervous about labor (yet) but definitely having some of the normal uncertainties about how things are going to unforld. But most of all, I'm feeling happy that we're going to have a baby soon!

Best moment from weeks 36-38:
The past two weeks have been pretty great, but hands down the best part was starting my maternity leave from work! My last day was Wednesday (which was also the last day of week 38 for me) and it felt like such a huge relief to finally put up my out of office and shut down my work computer! In addition to that, I've been able to spend some quality time with friends the past few weeks (including a visit from Natasha!), I had a really lovely date night with Cam, and my family arrived from Michigan/New York!

Looking forward to:
Spending time with my family while they're here in Portland and continuing to decompress now that I'm on maternity leave. I'm hoping to do a few final things in the nursery this week and run some last minute errands, but most of all I'm looking forward to meeting our son! 

I do have quite a few posts I'd love to share over the next few weeks, including sharing pictures of our nursery. However, spending time with my family and getting ready for baby's arrival definitely takes first priority, especially since my due date is less than a week away! (So basically just bear with me if posts are a little spotty from here on out...) I appreciate those of you that have followed along with my pregnancy journey though, it means a lot! :) 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Third Trimester // Favorites

Third Trimester Favorites

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone!

I'm currently in week 38 of my pregnancy and although baby boy could technically make his appearance at any time, I'm really not feeling any indications at all that labor is going to happen soon. That being said, I figured that I better go ahead and share my favorite items from trimester #3!

I am putting this pillow on this list not because I think it's a pregnancy essential, but because it's super popular in the blogging world and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. I do really like the pillow itself and I love that it has a removable cover. However, it's also really big and takes up a ton of space in our bed, which ends up just making sleeping more awkward for me. I personally haven't had too many issues of not sleeping due to being uncomfortable during pregnancy, so to me, it's an item I definitely could have lived without. However, on days when Cam was out of town, I really did enjoy having it! It's a good pillow for what it is and I don't regret getting it but personally I just didn't need it as much as I was anticipating. However, everyone is different and I know a lot of people swear by it, especially at the end of their pregnancy!

2. Good Concealer and Mascara
Although I have been sleeping pretty comfortably the past trimester, I wouldn't necessarily say I've been sleeping well. A lot of times I'll have a hard time falling asleep at night or I'll wake up earlier than I'd like in the morning and so I don't get as many hours of sleep as I'd like. So in order to fake that well-rested look, I recently picked up this concealer from Maybelline and this mascara from L'Oreal. Both are popular items that I had just never gotten around to trying, but I'll know they'll continue to come in handy in the newborn days as well!

This fall, it's been super rainy here in Portland and so I've been getting a lot of use out of my Hunters! They're great to wear on a drizzly day but I've really been loving them because they are the easiest shoes to put on at this point in my pregnancy...ha! I don't have to bend over and can just slip my feet in, which is so much easier to deal with when maneuvering my giant belly!

I meant to mention these in my second trimester favorites but forgot, and then I also completely forgot to mention them in my maternity wardrobe post...whoops! Anyway, maternity Spanx may sound like an oxymoron but they're actually amazing! They do all the wonderful things Spanx are supposed to do for your lower body, but there is a mesh panel so your belly has lots of room to breathe. The best part is they actually help support your bump and provide support to your back, so they're perfect for a special event when you're going to be on your feet a lot. I actually bought them for this wedding back in the summer, but I've gotten a lot of use out of them since then!

5. Peppermint Tea
 I have been going a little off the rails when it comes to eating sweets lately, but one great alternative that I've really been enjoying this trimester is peppermint tea! I love anything mint-flavored and have been trying to avoid excess caffeine during my pregnancy, so this tea is perfect.

6. Books
I definitely feel like this trimester has gone by the fastest out of the three so far, and so unfortunately I just haven't had much time at all to read many pregnancy/baby-related books. However, there are a couple books that Cam and I are actually still in the process of reading that we're really enjoying:

-The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp: This book came highly recommended to us by a lot of people and we actually watched the DVD of it at my last group prenatal appointment. We'll see how well it works once the baby is actually here, but it's nice to feel a little prepared with some soothing techniques beforehand. The book itself is very repetitive but Cam and I both enjoyed reading it!
-The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin: This book came very highly recommended by my midwives and after Cam and I made the mutual decision not to hire a doula, I ran out and got a copy right away. It's written specifically for the person who is going to be providing support during labor and he has been getting really into reading it. It seems like it has a lot of really helpful information!
-Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin: This is another one that was recommended by my midwives and I'm really enjoying it! (It's a very quick read but I've just been busy and haven't had time to finish it!) It's pretty hippy/crunchy and so it might be a little too out there for some people, especially if you're not familiar with midwives/their philosophy, but I think it's great. The entire first half of the book is just positive birth stories, and they've been extremely reassuring to read.

7. Classes
This isn't pictured, but I wanted to mention that another one of my favorite parts about the third trimester was all of the classes we took through the hospital. Cameron and I took a 4-week 'Preparation for Birth' class which covered a lot of information from the anatomy/physiology of labor and birth itself to pain management strategies to potential hospital interventions. I feel like we learned a lot taking this class and it definitely helped us feel more prepared. We also took an 8-hour breastfeeding/newborn care class through the hospital as well and found it to be super informative. Finally, we did a hospital tour earlier this month and it was very reassuring to make sure we know where we're supposed to go when I'm actually in labor. I know the experience of having a baby isn't something you can "study" for and you just kind of have to go with it, but I am glad we took the time to take these classes because I do feel better for having prepared somewhat!

So there you have it, my final list of maternity favorites!
I'm hoping to post my most recent bumpdate later this week, so stay tuned! :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Christmas // My Wish List

Happy Friday everyone! Unfortunately I haven't had much time for blogging lately as things have been busy with work, doctor's appointments, and getting things checked off the list before baby comes. (It's less than two weeks from my due date - ahhh!) However, I've been seeing lots of my favorite bloggers post their holiday wishlists this week, and so I couldn't resist joining in on the fun!

This year, I have to admit that I haven't really thought much (at all) about gifts, including what I want or buying gifts for other people (sorry friends and family!). I'm just slightly distracted by the fact that a) I could literally go into labor at any time in the next few weeks and b) we're going to have a newborn to take care of extremely soon. All I really want for Christmas is to have a smooth labor, a healthy baby, and to come home and soak up every moment as a new family of three :) But since my birthday AND Christmas are both coming up, here are a few things that I've had my eye on...

Christmas Wish List

Gift Cards To Non-Baby Stores - This is really what I want more than anything this year! Because my birthday is December 1st, there's always a lot of pressure to try and think of the things I want all in one month. And this year it's especially tough since I'm basically living in maternity leggings and the few giant shirts I have left that still fit me, and so it's hard to even think about shopping for things I might want for 2015. I know some people feel gift cards are impersonal, but I'd honestly love to get them for my birthday and Christmas this year! That way, I can treat myself to some shopping post-baby, plus you get so much more bang for your buck shopping the after Christmas sales anyway! I'd love gift cards to Lululemon (so I can get some new workout stuff, which will hopefully be a good motivator to get back to in shape!), Sephora (because this mom-to-be loves her makeup), and Nordstrom (because it will be so nice to be able to shop for normal person clothes again!)

Anthropologie Golden Monogram Mug - I love me some hot cocoa in the winter and I'm pretty sure I'm the only blogger out there that doesn't already have the black and white version of this mug.

Eyefi Mobi Wifi SD Card - A few of my blogger friends have these wifi camera cards, and they allow photos from your camera to go straight to your phone or computer! I think this could definitely come in handy, especially with all the baby pictures I'm sure I'll be taking in the months to come!

O Holy Night Print from Lindsay's Letters - I discovered this adorable online shop on Instagram, and I'm in love with all her beautiful holiday stuff! Although her canvases are absolutely stunning, I'd settle for one of these letterpress prints of one of my favorite Christmas carols - I just can't decide between white with gold foilcharcoal with white foil, or red with white foil? They're all lovely!

Cordless Stick Vacuum - Ugh, I can't even believe I'm putting this on here...pretty sure you're getting old when you put a vacuum cleaner on your holiday wishlist, ha! But we have hardwood floors throughout our whole house now, and although I love them, it can be a little bit of a challenge to keep up with the dog hair. Lola doesn't shed too much, but it's enough to be annoying and I feel like crap accumulates on the floor really quickly. We alternate between sweeping and using our traditional corded vacuum, but I feel like neither works super well on the wood floor. I'd love some sort of lightweight coordless electric sweeper/vaccuum type thing that I could use on kitchen tile, the wood floor, as well as on our family room rug. I want something that's powerful enough to pick up hair, yet won't damage the floors. This model has a ton of great reviews but I'm open to suggestions!

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Anna - I've always loved Nars, but recently they've been made some fabulous updates to their products/packaging. I've heard fantastic things about these ultra pigmented lipsticks and I think that this smokey rose shade would be perfect for the winter months.

Target Hooded Tunic - I've seen Katie and other bloggers raving about this comfy sweatshirt and it looks like the kind of thing I could live in all winter, while still being relatively cute! I haven't seen it in the stores, but it's still available online - I'm debating between the heather gray and the red.

Rifle Paper Co. Clear Rosa iPhone 6 Case - I absolutely love my new iPhone, but I just have a plain clear case on it right now. Cute cases are finally starting to come out for the holidays and since I am obsessed with all things Rifle Paper Co, I think that this case would be perfect!

Ina Garten's 'Make It Ahead' - I have (and love) a bunch of her cookbooks, they're fabulous!

Ugg Shearling Slippers - I could definitely use a new pair of slippers this season! I've had cheaper versions of this style of slipper that I've liked, but I'm thinking maybe it's time to upgrade? I haven't tried them on but I like that they can be easily slipped on and the sole looks super durable.

And because I can't not put a few baby-related things on my birthday/Christmas list, I had to include these adorable Pendleton baby booties and this classic baby blanket! I'm kind of obsessed with all things Pendleton right now, and I think both of these items would be perfect for our little boy!

What about you? What's on your holiday wishlist this year?

PS: I'm linking up with April and the gang for their 'My Favorite Things' post!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Maternity Style // Wardrobe Essentials

Happy Monday everyone!

This post has been a long time coming, but now that I'm almost done being pregnant (what?!) I figured that it's high time I share what pieces have helped get me through the past few months!

I've really enjoyed my pregnancy and attempting to style my growing bump has been a fun part of the process! Although I was able to wear my "normal" clothes for the first few months, because I'm fairly tall (5'10'') it seemed like a lot of things, especially dresses and tops, started to get very short very quickly once my bump "popped". I am fortunate to have a job where I work from home and so I really didn't have to buy too many maternity clothes since I can wear sweats/yoga pants daily. However, that didn't stop me from doing a fair amount of shopping! I may have gone a little overboard, but I think that's kind of normal for a first pregnancy since it's all new and exciting! But because I didn't have to buy much in the way of dressy/professional clothes, the maternity wardrobe I put together is comprised mainly of casual, comfortable pieces with a lot of options to mix and match.

Here's what worked for me when it came to maternity shopping:

  • I personally had the best luck with big box stores like H&M, Old Navy, Gap, and Target. I did find a few things at Destination Maternity, which features clothes from both Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity, but that was a little more hit or miss for me.
  • Although I did buy a fair amount of maternity clothes from those places in-store, I also bought things online too as there are a lot more choices available! ASOS is another awesome online option for maternity clothes, especially dresses!
  • I stuck to places that were pretty budget-friendly overall, but I was able to find some really good sales at the places I shopped which was super helpful since shopping for maternity clothes can really add up! Maternity clothes seem like they don't get marked down quite as much, but keep an eye out for sales (especially online) because they do happen!
  • Buy early! I was a little hesitant to start buying/wearing maternity clothes in the beginning of my pregnancy and wanted to keep wearing my normal stuff. However, so many maternity pieces really do fit a lot better and are just so much more comfortable! Plus, you really only have a short time to wear all this so you might as well get your use out of it!
  • I tried to stick to a fairly neutral color palette of black and gray with the majority of maternity pieces I purchased. This has given me a lot of options for putting different combinations together, plus it helped to transition between seasons as well. I'm also hoping that it will give these pieces some longevity so I can use them down the road.

Finally, here are the five key pieces that have been staples for me...

Maternity Essentials

1. Comfortable Jeans: I have a few different styles of maternity jeans and I personally like the full-panel type myself. I have a pair of dark blue skinnies as well as gray skinnies (that I don't think are available any more?) from Old Navy that are both full-panel that I really like a lot. I have gotten a ton of wear out of these distressed black skinny jeans from Gap as well and just love them. I also found a few pairs of J Brand maternity jeans on Rue La La as well that were a total steal!

2. Cute Tops: I found some great options at H&M - the striped one is no longer available online, but this gray one is probably my favorite maternity shirt that I have and it comes in multiple colors. I've also had luck at Target, Old Navy, and Destination Maternity when it comes to shirts!

3. Versatile Dresses: I personally have enjoyed wearing more stretchy, fitted pieces that really accentuated the bump during my pregnancy, particularly when it comes to dresses! I've found a few really cute options at Old Navy (including this one that's on super sale right now!) that were very simple, solid color dresses that I've been able to get a lot of use out of. As far as other dress options, I found the dress for my Michigan shower on ASOS (it's no longer available but this is similar) and this dress for my Portland shower at Destination Maternity.
4. Oversized Sweaters: Since the weather has cooled down this fall, I've been all about comfy sweaters! And what's great is that I've picked up some awesome open cardigans and oversized poncho type sweaters from H&M recently that are actually not maternity! They work perfectly with leggings now, but I know I'll get a ton of use out of them postpartum as well.

5. Solid Basics: Tanks and leggings are definitely the maternity staples I've gotten the most use out of during my pregnancy. I personally really liked the leggings from H&M and the tanks from Target, however, there are tons of great options out there for both!

These are the pieces that have carried me through the past 37.5 weeks, and it's what I'll be wearing through the next few weeks until baby boy arrives. (And I'm sure I'll be wearing many of these things for awhile after he's born too as I transition back to my normal wardrobe...) I'm thankful that there are so many cute options these days when it comes to maternity clothes because it definitely makes shopping and dressing during pregnancy that much more fun!


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