Tuesday, June 28, 2016

36 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 36 weeks today- officially in my 9th month of pregnancy! And so happy to be here. While I want this little lady to cook for at least a couple more weeks, she should be mostly healthy now should she make an early arrival.

How big is baby? My apps estimate her at 5.75-6.75 pounds, and anywhere from 17.5 to 20 inches long. She is compared in size to a large cantaloupe. This past week was the first where her movements have been bordering on painful at times, as she has definitely maximized her space in my tummy! Her knees and feet are at the mid-section of my right side, and this is typically where the semi-painful kicks and knee butts occur.

How big is Mama? Weight gain has slowed down the last 3 weeks... today I was only up .2 of a pound from last week, for a total weigh in at 144.4 (so 34.4 total gain in pregnancy so far).

Sleep? I had two nights in a row of the most insanely sound sleep- it was heavenly. Last night it was back to the sporadic waking over and over again during the morning hours.

Food cravings/aversions? I've been sticking to pastas, fruits, & vegetables mostly. Sugary treats are still leaving my body not feeling well, so I haven't been partaking in many of those. The BEST semi-sweet 'treat' I've been enjoying this week are bowls of Grape-Nuts cereal.


*The strangest new symptom that has arisen this week is that every.single.night my hands are falling asleep and feeling extremely sore, like I have advanced carpal tunnel syndrome. One night my right hand became locked into a claw shape- I could not for the life of me straighten out my fingers! I've noticed this effect is exacerbated when I sleep on my sides, and can be somewhat helped by elevating my hands above my elbows while also keeping the hands themselves open. Even during the day now my right fingers feel sore and agitated. You may recall I struggled with "Mommy Thumb" on my right hand and wrist after Iyla's birth- ultimately resulting in surgery to cut a restricting tendon sheath. Wondering what's in store this round given my right fingers are all already aching?

*I had a strange day last week where I felt chilly (haven't felt cold in MONTHS!) while also having extremely sensitive teeth. So weird.

*My hips have been feeling better overall- thanks to weekly visits to my Myofacial Therapist and chiropractor. Thank God for that.

*This past week pretty extreme daily fatigue has hit. I am soooo sleepy.

*I've had some breast soreness/tingling this week as well- guessing that's their way of starting the preparations toward breast feeding.

Big sister? I've been feeling a lot of guilt lately about not being about to be out and about with Iyla doing activities. This belly + 95-100 degree heat = a Mama who needs to stay mostly indoors, and a daughter who is watching way too many IPad shows (though she thinks that's awesome).

I swear Iyla grew up again this week: her communication, conversations, & imagination have reached a new level, and we truly have a full on bright, creative, little GIRL on our hands. And I think she's going to be an awesome big sister. : )

Here are some photos of Iyla from the past week, starting with her daily school photos:

 "I love kale." 
Three words that MELT this Mama's heart! She freakishly likes raw kale leaves, and also gobbled up 3 bowls of kale chips last night.

Making silly photo faces

Baby Prep?

I'm feeling really good in this department! Here's what we got done this past week:

*Installed car seat bases/mirrors/car seat in our cars
*Assembled the baby swing
*Hung the shelving in the nursery
*Inventoried my breast pump supplies (and ordered/received new tubing)
*Assembled a good supply of nursing tank tops and bras
*Packed my hospital bag suitcase (save for last minute items)
*Assembled a newborn medicine kit
*Purchased Iyla's "Big Sister" gifts from her baby sister (to be given at the hospital)
*Put up a lockbox on our front door with a copy of our house key
*Got a haircut

Really there aren't any remaining items that are necessities for before baby arrives, which is great!

I did get another VERY EXCITED CALL from Buy Buy Baby yesterday exclaiming that YOUR CHAIR IS HERE FOR DELIVERY! CONGRATULATIONS! I replied in a very non-enthusiastic voice: "OK." So: that will be delivered- for better or worse- Thursday, and I'm just hoping it works in our bedroom for now, and might be able to work in either baby or Iyla's room eventually. We'll see....

In closing, here are a few shots of the new frames hanging in the nursery, which I will slowly but surely fill with decorative items. The only nursery item we are awaiting is the dreamcatcher mobile for above the crib, which I can't wait to see! I'm really loving the way this room has turned out, and hope baby girl likes it too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

35 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 35 weeks today!

How big is baby? I actually had a growth ultrasound last Thursday to check baby's position and measurements. She was estimated at 5 lb, 10 oz, in the 63rd percentile. What's interesting to me is that Iyla was 5lb14oz at BIRTH (at 37.5 weeks gestation)- so little sister appears to be on a bigger trajectory than her big sister!

After my appointment the doc I met with did bring up my fibroid again in relation to this baby being bigger. Of course we all hope this little lady will be able to push past it for a vaginal birth just like Iyla did, but if she can't, so be it.... I just want her to be delivered into this world as safely as possible. She is already in the head down position (yay!) so we are in good shape to let my body labor naturally when this little lady decides she is ready to come.

Baby girl has been having pretty predictable active/awake periods. She is crazy busy in my belly around 10:30am and again around 3:30pm, with mini spurts in between. It will be interesting to see if that all correlates with her schedule once she joins the family! Her feet are located on my right side, so that is where the majority of the kicks and action are occurring.

How big is Mama? I was at 144.2 on the scale this morning, so up a little shy of a pound from last week, for a total gain of 34.2 pounds at 35 weeks along.

Guest appearance by Iyla Gracie before bedtime last night

Sleep? Last night I slept sooooo hard, which felt great. Some nights are blissfully like that, others I still have the staccato like waking throughout the night.

Food cravings/aversions? I'm not wanting or craving anything really heavy meat wise, so red meats are mostly out. Loving pasta, fish, & vegetables.


*I had my first middle of the night leg cramp Sunday night... and good GOD am I glad I haven't had more of those! Yowee. My calf is STILL sore from it. We'd had a birthday party at an inflatable bounce house place earlier in the day, which saw me- upon attempting to climb up one of the inflatable slides- falling and toppling over the side. Not pretty, super embarrassing, and I think it reeked havoc on my oh so pregnant body.

*Body aches/fatigue continue. I've been feeling mentally alert, energetic, and productive- but per my usual, if I am up too long in a productive state my body definitely tells me about it. I was proud of myself yesterday and actually cooked up a double batch of Butternut Lentil soup toward freezing portions for after the baby arrives. That sucker took almost 2 hours to cook from start to finish and I was definitely hurting toward the end.

*Hair loss. I continue to pull pretty good size clumps out after every shower and am watching the consistency of my hair get thinner and thinner.

Big sister? 

*We are still playing the "Mama/Baby Tickles" game on a daily basis, going through the process of just what will happen when baby gets too big for Mama's belly.

*Iyla has been really interested in the days of the week lately, and usually this manifests in her announcing in the morning that there is "no kissing on Monday- kiss on Wednesday!" If it happens to be Wednesday, we are then promptly told then there will then be no kissing until Sunday (and yes, we still kiss her!)

I did just purchase her a little hanging magnetic calendar for the playroom I'll put up this week, so she can start better following along with the months & days.

Here are a few shots of big sister from this past week:

Baby prep?

This week, I'm hoping to check these items off of our list:

*Assemble the baby swing
*Install both car seat bases & mirrors in our cars
*Order replacement parts for my breast pump
*Cook & freeze some veggie chili

I got a very chipper voicemail from Buy Buy Baby yesterday announcing YOUR CHAIR IS ON ITS WAY TO OUR AUSTIN STORE, ON TIME!

My first thought? Dammit.

I was honestly hoping it would run late so we'd be eligible for a cancellation and full refund. This is due to the fact that the pattern on the chair was specifically chosen to go with our original nursery decor scheme, and that decor has now gone in an entirely different direction. So here's hoping this chair somewhat works in our master bedroom as a temporary solution (and function wise that will be super convenient since baby will be in our room for a few months anyway). Once baby moves into her own room, I'm not sure what we'll do. Maybe give this new chair to Iyla and move her white one to baby's room? Sell this one and buy another for baby's room? Keep this one indefinitely in our room? We shall see.

And in closing, a little flashback to one of my all time favorite photos of baby Iyla with her Papa.  Just look at that smiling little bean! Ahhhhhh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Baby Girl #2 Nursery Preview

It has been an interesting, productive, and exciting week on the nursery front.

Remember this sheet set that I bought when I was 11 weeks pregnant, which started the entire decorating journey for baby girl?

Dwell Studio's "Posey" collection

Well, after painting the room a gorgeous "Silver Sage"....

I was starting to feel like the sheets + the wall color were not in complete harmony. The sheets DO have specks of sage in them, but overall something just wasn't quite right.

Then? Then I discovered THE curtains. I had ordered several sets to try out- mostly all white- but absolutely feel in LOVE with this set online:

Restoration Hardware's "Vintage Butterfly" drapes

When the curtains arrived they were even more gorgeous and luxurious and amazing in person. Even BC- historically one of my most aesthetically difficult-to-please critics, was smitten.

And so it was that the entire scope of the nursery changed. The curtains were absolutely the piece de resistance of the room, so all else had to accommodate them.

This meant that the sheet set was out (sadly, because of course I'd already washed everything, which means it can't be returned. I'll figure that out later....)

It also meant that the chair I'd ordered likely wouldn't work either, due to its own intricate pattern:

Little Castle's "Cleo" pattern.
 I LOVE this but think it would compete too much with the curtains.

I've inquired as to whether or not the chair order can be cancelled, and we are on a 'wait and see' basis with that. If the chair ships within the time frame the store promised us, then we are stuck with it- cancelling would cost us 50% of the price we paid. If, however, the chair manufacturer runs behind the promised dates we may be able to recoup a full refund. I do think this pattern would work in our master bedroom, which is where baby will be for the first several months anyway- but that still leaves us needing to find & purchase ANOTHER chair for the nursery. We are hoping for a white or off white modern looking chair with a smaller footprint- something along these lines:

It all sounds so complicated.... but truly, those curtains made the room, such that we are willing to make sacrifices elsewhere.

And without further adieu, here are a few photos of the nursery so far... it is really coming together!

The last space to decorate is the large wall behind the crib and nightstands:

After way too many hours perusing Etsy and Pinterest, I finally ordered a gorgeous dreamcatcher that will be similar to the photo below but custom made to coordinate with our nursery, hanging directly above the bed:

On each side of the dreamcatcher, we'll hang 3 of these rustic open frames, which I can fill with rotating art, chatchkas, photos, etc:

I'm also smitten with this darling mirror, since hints of blush pink are working their way into the design scheme. BC isn't nearly as enchanted, so it remains to be seen if I'll officially order it or not:

The only to-do's left in the nursery are to figure out the chair situation and to better organize the large closet with additional shelving and/or cubbies (neither of which is an immediate need).

It's been such a fun project to decorate this space, and I love how everything has turned out- despite the twists and turns in the journey!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

34 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 34 weeks today!

How big is baby? The apps estimate her to be the size of a Pineapple, in the 4.5 pound range. I have a growth ultrasound scheduled for later this week, so it will be fun to see where my clinic officially estimates her measurements.

How big is Mama? So much for the slow and steady weight gain.... this morning the scale indicated a THREE pound gain since last week! For a grand total of 143.6, so 33.6 pounds in my pregnancy so far. Hoping much of that gain can be directly attributed to baby, as this is the time in gestation when an infant's job is to pack on the pounds.

34 week belly- and a sneak peek at baby girl's nursery!  
Separate post on the nursery progress coming later this week.
(On another note- I cannot for the life of me figure out why this text is turning blue- I've edited it back to black going on 10x now, to no avail).

Sleep? Much of the past week I've been falling asleep well, but waking over and over and over again as morning creeps closer. Very staccato-like, which doesn't leave me feeling very rested.

Food cravings/aversions? I finally have some new shifts to report here! Not sure if it is due to the Austin summer heat (90++ daily) or the fact that there isn't much room in my stomach, but I've been rejecting the thought of red meat lately (with the occasional exception of lamb... mmmmm lamb) in favor of lighter items like pasta, vegetables, and *gasp* FISH! Yep. It appears I can finally eat fish again. The last 2 Fridays I've craved & ordered fried fish- perhaps an unconscious homage to the Friday Fish Fries of my Wisconsin youth?

I had a day last week where I had to have ALL THE FRUIT imaginable, but overall am not craving sweets too much. I find if I eat sugary sweets my body doesn't feel well shortly thereafter (the strange heart palpitations/instant exhaustion). Ice cream is the ONE exception to this, and continues to be my favorite treat.


*Constipation is back this week, which *could* have something to do with the 3 pound weight gain.

*Physical exhaustion. Some days I wake up ready to rock n roll, but if I DO rock n roll and get productive, I am out for the count and on the couch much of the rest of the day.

*I'm having a lot of trouble getting comfortable, especially with sitting. Seems any position on any seat (padded, hard, etc) leaves me feeling stiff and achy before too long. Variety is the name of the game, with a heavy dose of daily reclining.

Big sister?

I can tell Iyla senses the baby's arrival is near! When we read stories at bedtime she will rub and pat my belly and ask "do you think baby sister likes that?" She also thinks its hilarious when I ask her to say something to baby, to which she almost always shouts into my belly: "poop!"

We play the "Mama, baby, daughter" game a gazillion times each day. This equates to her pretending that one of my hands is the Mama (specifically, "Mama tickles"- ha!), one is the baby ("baby tickles," of course), and that her hands are the daughters. We then play act wondering "what will happen when the baby gets too big for mama's belly?" and go through the entire process.

For those of you curious, the "entire process" goes like this: "when baby gets too big for Mama's belly, it's time for the baby to be born! Papa will take Mama to a special hospital where babies are born, and Mimi, Grampy, and likely Lucka (her nanny) will come take care of you. Once the baby is born Papa will come get you and bring you to meet your new baby sister!"

This morning she told me that the baby snake (that string of beads in her hand) was growing in her uterus.

A new session of swim lessons began, complete with new props!

Iyla also started her summer session of dance classes with a new teacher- the studio owner's mother. This teacher was firm, kind, & definitely keep the littles on task.
In this video, Iyla is the youngest girl in the back of the ballet conga line.

Baby prep:

I've been knocking off a LOT on my baby prep to-do list. For this week, I'd like to:

*Install car seat bases in both cars & clean/prep the infant car seat
*Pack my hospital bag
*Purge our house and make a run to Goodwill
*Sterilize pump parts

We are getting more and more excited as each week ticks by.... can't wait to meet this little lady!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

33 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 33 weeks today!

How big is baby? The apps estimate at this time she would be around 17 inches long and 4-4.5 pounds. Baby is actively in the process of receiving Mama's antibodies toward good health upon her arrival.

How big is Mama? My weight gain has been slowing way down. Only up .4 of a pound from last week (140.8 total weight, so 30.4 pound gain so far). Baby is definitely still growing though, as I can actively tell her space in there is getting tighter and tighter!

Sleep? Still good overall, though for the first time this past week sleeping on my back has gotten harder. I'll get a bit short of breath and have to prop something under one side to not be completely flat. I've also noticed that when I fall asleep in the side lying position, I NEVER wake up on my back (which always used to happen!) Even my subconscious is having trouble flipping this mammoth belly over. The last couple of nights I've also awoken several times to a hand having fallen asleep.

Food cravings/aversions? I haven't been wanting red meat or heavier meals lately; rather soups, pastas, and lighter foods along those lines are what my body is craving.


*For every "good" day I have- where I feel rested and energetic- I have 2-3 in a row where I am pretty exhausted in every.single.way.

*This week saw an uptick/return of bloody noses

*The Braxton Hicks contractions have increased

Big sister? Iyla has been in such a lovely place this past week. Super happy, affectionate, sleeping well, waking happy... she's definitely matured further in her perception and interactions with us.

Over the weekend her Mimi and Grampy were in town, and when she woke up Sunday morning and I reminded her that Mimi and Grampy had slept over, she immediately got an excited look on her face and asked "are you going to the baby hospital today?" It seems reading the "I'm Going to be a Big Sister" book every.single.night has definitely had an effect on her. So cute!

Yesterday we had an open house at Iyla's new "Big Girl School" that she'll be starting in late August. She was super excited to go, and did really well! They started all the kiddos out on the playground, then had a circle time in one of the classrooms. After circle time the parents were encouraged to leave the room while the kids played & interacted with the 5 Primary teachers. I never had to go back in- which was great- but she was definitely a bit over-stimulated when we reunited (she is, after all, an introvert at heart)! We are excited to see how it all goes come August.

Iyla is still insisting on either 1 or 2 buns in her hair daily.... good thing they are so adorable on her!

Baby prep?

The nursery furniture arrived (well, at least the dresser and crib...still awaiting the glider)! Here are a few shots of the baby's room... obviously there is still a lot to be done (curtains, rug, art, shelving, nightstand assembly, etc):

I also scored that Halo Bassinet I've been wanting off Craigslist for $75 less than it retails new! Very excited about this and hope baby girl likes it too:

In other prep, I washed all the baby clothes (still need to put them away in the dresser) and also cleared out the nursery closet. Baby steps.... baby steps! I can't believe how soon this little one is going to be here. Very exciting!