Friday, November 28, 2014

Baby Update: 22 Weeks

22 Weeks

How far along? 22 Weeks. I know I skipped my 20 week update but I just couldn't seem to find the time and never took a picture! 
Baby Size: About the size of a spaghetti squash.
  Total weight gain: 15 pounds. I've really started to feel "bigger" in the last few weeks. I still can't really complain though because sometimes I forget I'm even pregnant, though those times are getting more and more rare. 
 Maternity clothes? I'm still able to wear a lot of my regular tops, but only barely. I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing maternity clothing exclusively in another month.
Stretch Marks? Still none.
Sleep: I've been sleeping soundly and don't have much trouble. I can still sleep on my back and my belly for short periods of time, but mostly have to sleep on my side. 
Best moment this week: Thanksgiving with the family and everyone being excited about the new addition. I received a few gifts for the baby and it's been neat having other family members get to feel the baby kicking.
Miss Anything?  I do miss feeling lighter and being more nimble. I sometimes feel like I'm walking around like a grandma, especially after sitting in one place for a while. 
Movement: I feel the baby kicking multiples times every day. Night still tends to be its most active period where it has little kicking marathons. I think this is one of the best parts of being pregnant.
Food cravings: None actually. My interest in food has been so much less these last two weeks. I feel tired of cooking and just dream of someone else cooking food for me! In that regards, Thanksgiving couldn't have come at a better time!
Gender Prediction: Still going with a boy.
Symptoms: Other than feeling like my legs and hips get tight and stiff I've been feeling fine. My awesome husband usually gives me a massage if the pain is bad and it leaves me feeling so much better. 
Mood:  I've definitely been seeing a change in some of my normal moods. Nothing bad, just feeling more affectionate and "motherly." 
Looking forward to: The Holidays and all the happiness that comes with it. Gift giving and spending time with family. Also my husband having time off and getting to spend more time with him!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Projects!

I haven't blogged much, because I just can't seem to force myself to sit down and sit still long enough to write something. I have had so much extra energy in the second trimester (I'm 21 weeks now) and I figure I better use it to get everything done now before I move into the third trimester! So I've been cleaning--deep cleaning. Opening up cupboards in the kitchen, reorganizing closets, and finally getting to projects that I've put off for too long.

I've also been doing a lot of sewing. I'm working on getting my diaper stash ready:

This is my favorite of the diapers I've made so far. What do you think? Is it a good choice for gender neutral?

Of course, in all of my projects, I always have my little "helpers"

How would I get anything done without them? :P

I'm also planning on using cloth wipes. I've sewn 30 so far and have 20 to go. A friend taught me how to use my serger so now I can finish these super fast! I have quickly fallen in love with serging...

I've also been preparing for the Holidays. We don't have a lot of money to spend on Christmas this year (actually our budget is close to zero), so I'm trying to be creative and make most of our gifts for family and friends. One way I do that is by giving the gift of home-canned apple butter! People love it and it is super cheap if you get the apples on sale.

What projects have you been up to before the Holidays? Leave a link, as I'd love to see --I'm always looking for inspiration!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Baby Update: 18 Weeks

18 Weeks

How far along? 18 weeks
Baby Size: About the size of a bell pepper.
  Total weight gain: 10 pounds. Hasn't changed in the last couple of weeks, though I sure feel bigger. When I look at my picture I think: "That bump is tiny!" But it does not feel that way to be carrying the extra weight around!
 Maternity clothes? I can't wear any pants except my maternity pants now. My normal dresses and tops are still fitting for the most part. 
Stretch Marks? Nope.Thinking I wouldn't see these until much later anyways.
Sleep: I've been sleeping so much better than I did in the first trimester! Even though my belly has grown, for whatever reason it is now easier to find a comfortable position. 
Best moment this week: Feeling real kicks for the first time! I couldn't believe how strong they were, and my husband was able to feel them also. 
Miss Anything?  Being able to lift heavy things. I've been having to take it a little easier because I was getting round ligament pain when doing too much.
Movement: The baby seems to kick at night when I'm sitting on the couch. He likes to give about 8 strong kicks in the same place. 
Food cravings: Apple cider, pear jam, and meat! These last two weeks I've suddenly gotten over my dessert aversion and can stand the taste of sugar again. Not the best thing, so now I just have to restrain myself...
Gender Prediction: I'm still thinking boy, because it's more likely. And this baby is strong! But it could be a strong girl...
Symptoms: Round ligament pain has been giving me the most trouble. I have to be careful about doing too much and lifting too much, now that my energy levels are back and I've been cleaning and organizing like crazy.
Mood:  I am pretty non-emotional usually, but I've noticed a few times this week I've taken things to heart that I usually brush off. Pregnancy hormones maybe? Not sure.
Looking forward to: Getting our bedroom cleaned up so we can make way for baby stuff!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Master Bedroom To Do List

Our master bedroom is the one room in our house that isn't "done" and it's one of the major projects I want to finish before the baby comes. Since we only have one bedroom, the crib will be going in our room at the foot of our bed. 

This is how our bedroom looks when it is clean. I say "when it's clean" because it is rarely so these days, and I don't want to deceive you that my house is always decent looking. Everything leftover or out of place usually gets put in this room and right now there are boxes of wedding stuff at the end of the bed where the crib will be going. Not to mention boxes of wedding stuff under the bed and in the closets...

We bought some black shelves (from Ikea) that we need to hang over my husband's black corner desk (also from Ikea). This will allow him to get a lot of the books and knickknacks crowding his closet out of there and give him more space for his "real" closet things. I also want to get some shelves to put over our laundry hamper, where I would put some baby accessories. Since our space is so small, we have to utilize the walls!

One thing that had been on my to do list, is finally crossed off. I wanted a side table in black, with some storage space, and I looked everywhere before finding this at a rummage sale for $40. It is a really nice, solid piece, and though I wish it were cheaper (I always wish things were cheaper...), I have to admit it was a good price compared to what I had been seeing. Even the most flimsy side tables were $90-120. Gulp!

So for now, that leaves my master bedroom to do list with:

  • Hang black shelves over corner desk
  • Purchase nightstand
  • Purchase and hang shelves over hamper
  • Sell leftover wedding items
  • Organize under bed
  • Organize my closet
  • Organize my husband's closet
  • Purchase crib

I'd like to accomplish all of this before the baby comes, and although the list doesn't look long, selling the wedding items is the hardest and most important item on there! If all of it were sold, we'd have so much more space in our closets and under the bed. I'm putting this all out on the blog in the hopes that it keeps me accountable!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First Project for Baby: Diaper Wetbag

It occurred to me that I really haven't made any preparations for the arrival of our little one. To me, April still seems like a long way off, especially considering the Holidays still stand in the way.

Today, I had an incredible burst of productive energy and decided I would start on some of the sewing projects I have been wanting to do. I cut out and pinned fabric to make 48 cloth wipes (my goal is to have between 40-50), and then sewed a diaper wetbag:

 I love this fabric and have used it on a few projects now, including recovering my desk chair after the cats scratched up its previous fabric.

Sadly, it's the most expensive fabric I ever purchased. It was a trip to Joann's where I sat holding the fabric in my hands for 30 minutes, trying to persuade my thrifty self that it was okay to buy a $25 dollar a yard fabric with a 50% off coupon. Obviously, I gave in, but I swore I'd put that one yard to good use.

 I'm happy with this wetbag, and I plan on making one more in a different fabric. Tomorrow, my mother is coming over and we'll cut out the fabric for all the cloth diapers I need to make. Everything is gender-neutral since we aren't finding out the gender of the baby. It's sad to pass up some of the really cute girl and boy fabrics in my stash, but oh well!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

16 Week Baby Update

16 Weeks

How far along? 16 weeks
Baby Size: About the size of an avocado.
  Total weight gain: 10 pounds. This seems like a lot for this far along, but considering how small I was before it's a very good thing.
 Maternity clothes? I just started wearing maternity clothes and it is making an amazing difference in my comfort level.
Stretch Marks? Nope.
Sleep: It varies a lot from night to night but for the most part I am staying rested and taking naps when I have a bad night. 
Best moment this week: Getting my bloodwork back from the midwife and finding out that everything is good! I was especially concerned to see if I was anemic and would need to add more iron to my diet.
Miss Anything? Being able to take ibuprofen when I have a headache. 
Movement: I think I felt a few flutters this week, and I can't wait to feel more!
Food cravings: Comfort food and meat--I made chicken pot pie on Monday and beef stew yesterday. Yum! What I can't stand to think of eating includes all sugary foods and desserts and hamburgers. These repulsions have lasted the entire pregnancy so far. 
Gender Prediction: I think it's more likely that we are having a boy since there are a lot of boys on my husband's side, but it would be fun to have a girl since my new niece was just born today and  they would be less than 6 months apart!
Symptoms: My energy levels are pretty low, and I've just started noticing that I need to be careful about heavy lifting as I've started to really feel it my abdominal muscles. 
Mood:  I haven't had mood swings in pregnancy yet, which I'm sure my husband is grateful for! So far I am just feeling more and more excited. 
Looking forward to: Feeling real kicks!

I have a New Niece!

It is so hard to wait on certain things! Usually I am a patient person, but when it comes to certain things, like my friend's labors and babies arriving, I find myself almost going mad from anticipation.

This time, it was my sister-in-law who went into labor this afternoon, and since they didn't know the gender, I couldn't wait to hear if I was going to have a niece or nephew. Luckily, I didn't have to wait long, since my sister-in-law is known for her short labors (4 hours with #1, 2 hours with #2, 5 minutes with #3--and no I'm not kidding!). This time it was less than an hour, and I just heard the good news that it is a girl! This brings the gender tally to an equal balance in their household, with two boys and now two girls. I know her sister is going to be absolutely thrilled!

I am hoping that we will get to meet this precious new addition to the family tonight, but we shall see...

Even though I had to only wait about 50 minutes, I still had to keep myself busy somehow...and that I accomplished by getting this batch of pears ready to make pear jam. My landlord grows fruits and vegetables and is kind enough to share them with his tenants, so I got all of these naturally grown pears for free. They kept me busy until I heard the news.

It's funny how so far I am so much more patient about meeting our little baby, and just treasuring each day, but when it comes to other people's babies, it is so much harder to wait!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

First Midwife Appointment and Maternity Shopping

Yesterday was my first midwife appointment, and the most exciting thing about it was that I got to finally hear the baby's heartbeat. It was my first "real" sensory experience of the baby. There that heartbeat was, loud and strong-- a whole new little separate person growing in there that we will get to meet in only a few more months!

My midwife told me that so far I am doing well with my nutrition and water intake. She drew three vials of blood to test for things like my Rh factor, blood type, iron levels etc. I am most concerned with my iron levels because I have struggled with anemia for the past few years. I may need to change my diet or take more supplements to get enough for my expanding blood volume as the pregnancy progresses. Overall, the visit was a reassuring one and I go back in one month, but I should hear about the blood work results early next week.

After the appointment, my mother took me shopping for maternity clothing. Because of my body type, I was already starting to have trouble fitting my clothes six weeks into this pregnancy and now at fifteen weeks, my clothing (especially pants) is really tight and uncomfortable.

As soon as I tried the maternity clothing on, it was such a relief. I got two pairs of pants and a few tops that should be enough for me to make it through the pregnancy. I can tell that most of my dresses and a few of my "normal" tops will still fit for most of the pregnancy, so I don't think I will have to get that many maternity things, hopefully.

And now I am off to start my Saturday, but I will leave you with this picture of kitty cuteness.

And yes....we did get another cat (my husband rescued him from behind a dumpster at his work).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Heading into the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

This week I entered into the second trimester of this pregnancy, and have already been relieved at how much better I feel! Finally, I have my energy back and feel like I can be productive and accomplish things.

One thing I am especially grateful for is the timing of this pregnancy. It is wonderful to be heading into the cooler months of Fall and Winter as I get further along. I am so glad that summer is behind us!

And speaking of Fall, I'm having fun decorating with some simple decorations around our house to get more in the mood:

So what I have I done so far to prepare for this pregnancy and upcoming labor?

First, my husband and I interviewed and chose our midwife. I couldn't be happier with our choice. We know many people that she has assisted (including my sister-in-law) and she has such a professional, and yet natural and caring practice. I have my first prenatal appointment with her on Friday and I'm excited to hear the heartbeat!

Second, I have been reading more books on home birth to prepare for ours. There is nothing like birth stories to get me in a good mindset, and I loved reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirthbecause almost half the book is a compilation of birth stories. I definitely recommend her book.

We have also signed up for Bradley Natural Childbirth classes and these will start at the beginning of the third trimester (which is January for me). I am really looking forward to these classes and how they will help keep me accountable in preparing for the labor. I am already using the Bradley charts for tracking what I eat and making sure I get enough protein. I've found that proper nutrition has made such a huge difference in how I feel. I'm staying away from junk food, sugar, and really processed foods, which has been easy because I don't crave any of these things (thankfully!).

Although I didn't exercise virtually at all during the first trimester (whoops...), I am finally getting back on track thanks to a very sweet friend who has offered to walk with me every day. I also want to get a birth ball and do the Pilates exercises that my sister-in-law had recommended, but I'm just waiting for the budget to do so (we are being very careful now that our debt is paid off--but maybe a post to come on that later!).

Finally, I have been putting together 3 x 5 cards with Scriptures and inspirational reminders to read (or have someone read to me) during the labor.

I really want my labor to be full of prayer and worship. I know despite my plans my labor could be something completely different than what I imagined. There are so many possibilities, but I will do my best to prepare and leave the rest up to God. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend Project

This last weekend I finally did a project that I have been wanting to do for a long time: sew a sink skirt. I had been tired of seeing the kitty litter out in the open in our only bathroom, where guests also had to look at it. In our little house it's the only place for the litter and as such, I had to find a way to hide it!



So much nicer! If there's one thing I'm glad I put the time into learning, it was learning how to sew.  It is such a useful skill and can save quite a bit of money too, which is very important to us now that we are living on one income!

Monday, June 30, 2014

More to Come

Since getting married almost two months ago, there is so much I have wanted to blog about, but I have been surprised at how much there is to do after getting married!  Slowly, I hope to get back into blogging, as I am transitioning to wife-hood and being the keeper of the home. All this to say that I have not abandoned this blog and there will be more to come!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Things I Learned from Being a Nanny

A few years ago, I had my favorite job of all-time: being a nanny to an 11-month old little girl. Today, I came across something I had jotted down in my notebook during that time,which made me laugh:

  • Silence, though perhaps welcome, is usually a bad sign. A very bad sign. 

  • It is most imperative to take any and all chances to use the restroom, because once you have a child in your care, your chances to use the restroom drastically decrease.

  • Saying "No" only increases a child's desire for the item a hundred-fold.

  • Personal space does not exist for babies. Secure all articles of clothing tightly lest they be torn off or open.