Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks


Baby's size: She's as big as a butternut squash (according to What to Expect), a cucumber (according to The Bump), or a platypus (according to the "weird-but-cute animals" theme on OviaPregnancy).  She should be weighing between 3-4 pounds and measuring 15-17 inches (same as last week).

Hi Mr. Platypus!
(image from buzzfeed.com)

What I'm wearing: Maternity jeans, stretchy black ponte leggings, maternity t-shirts with big, long scarves, sweaters, and ponchos are pretty much it right now!  The two dresses I ordered from Asos arrived this week, and I wore one (pictured above) for Thanksgiving with the Mister's family.  It fits really loosely, and I'm a little self conscious just because I feel VERY pregnant in it, but it's comfortable and the color is festive.  The second one that I ordered to wear at our baby shower is made from a thinner, more "jersey-ish" fabric, so I don't love the way it fits over my growing belly.  I'm hoping if I find a slip to smooth things out I'll be okay with wearing it in front of everyone at our shower.

Weight gained:  We've been traveling for the holiday since midweek, but as of Wednesday morning my weight gain was at 30 pounds.  I'm not sure if it increased over Thanksgiving with all the yummy foods and desserts around.  I've been getting full really quickly though, so I doubt it has increased substantially. At this point, I think my stomach is pretty much in my rib cage, so it's no wonder I don't have room for much food!

Working out: My exercise has consisted only of walking this week since we haven't been home much.  On Monday, I set a new personal pregnancy record of six miles!  Before we left for South Carolina on Wednesday, I took a shorter walk, only about forty minutes.  Then, on Friday morning, the Mister helped me walk off some of my Thanksgiving sluggishness with a short jaunt around his neighborhood.  Yesterday, my mom and I walked four or five miles, and hopefully we'll do that again today before Chris and I head back home.

New Symptoms:  Like last week, I'm not having any new symptoms, but the old ones are definitely still around.  I'm having a really hard time with acid reflux, and the Zantac and Tums are pretty worthless at this point (probably also related to my stomach and intestines being squished up toward my ribs).  Even though things can get pretty uncomfortable at times, I'm really thankful that I'm not having any of the trouble with swollen legs and feet that a lot of pregnant women experience and that at almost seven months I'm still mobile and able to exercise.

Days until my next appointment: Just two days!  Our next appointment is on Tuesday.  I'll be interested to see how far away our practitioner will schedule my next appointment.  We had a four week break between this one and the last one.  I don't know if she'll want to wait another four weeks or start seeing me every two weeks now since we're at only about two months to go.

Food aversions: I can't remember being particularly grossed out by anything this week!

Food cravings: Still ice cream and pretty much all dairy products!  I LOVE chocolate milk.

How I'm sleeping: I'm still very tired and sleeping well.  Sometimes I do wake up in the early morning hours and have a hard time getting back to sleep, but all in all I can't complain.

What I'm looking forward to in the near future: Our baby shower is less than two weeks away!  It's going to be such a fun night with friends and family.  And it will be so relieving to feel a bit more prepared for baby's arrival afterward!

Feeling baby move: She's moving more and more!  I feel her almost every time I sit still for a few a moments.  Often, her kicks are much higher, close to my ribs, so I'm happy she seems to be settling into a better position for birth and is no longer squashed down in my pelvis all the time.

Innie or outie: Still an innie!  I'm thinking it's going to stay that way.

My sister Caroline got in on the bump photos this week!

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!  I'm so excited it's officially CHRISTMAS TIME!  And that means baby will be here before we know it!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

PAINTING - Before and After

Over the last two weeks, we've had painters at our house a couple days painting our master bedroom, guest bathroom, and hallway.  I won't bore you with photos of the hall because we painted it the same color as before, just in a higher quality paint that hopefully won't get so marked up by the dogs and that we'll be able to wipe off a little easier when the walls do get scratched or rubbed.

We're at my parents' house right now enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend, so I don't have the paint chip of the color we used in the bathroom handy to remember the name/brand, but it's an oatmeal color (or "Luellen" as I like to call it).

BEFORE:


AFTER:




In the bedroom, we used Valspar's "Covered Wagon," a light tan with a touch of orange in it.

BEFORE:

(Please pardon the pile of clothes at the end of the bed.)


AFTER:







Of course, I had to buy a new comforter to celebrate the new paint!  We also had all the carpets cleaned in the house last week to make the floors a little more sanitary for the baby and to start getting ready for putting the the house on the market in the spring.

Even though we only changed the color in two rooms, the warmth it added to our home is pretty substantial - everything just looks more "finished."  Before, the paint was low quality and all the rooms were the same color other than Chris's office.

In our next semi-permanent home, I want to paint all the walls a bright white, but I'm really enjoying these colors for the short term until we move in May.  I think/hope potential buyers will find the colors inviting and neutral enough that they will be an asset instead of something they feel like they have to change.

Sometime next week, the painters are going to come touch up the front porch where it is starting to peel and look yucky, then the painting will be officially complete!  It feels so nice to be one BIG step closer to having the house ready to sell (so we don't have to worry about it after baby is born).

I'll be back tomorrow with a pregnancy update for this week!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 29 Weeks


Baby's size: She's as big as a small cabbage (according to What to Expect), an acorn squash (according to The Bump), or a New England cottontail rabbit (according to the "weird-but-cute animals" theme on OviaPregnancy).  Her weight should be somewhere around 2.5-4 pounds, and her length is supposed to be 15-17 inches.

I couldn't find a picture of a New England cottontail that was very representative of its size.  But it sure is cute!
(image from nhpr.org)

What I'm wearing: Thank goodness a substantial cold front has arrived!  My uniform is currently sweaters, scarves, ponchos, and jeans. The dresses I ordered from Asos for the holidays and our baby shower haven't arrived yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing how they fit.  Earlier week, I bought this coat from Old Navy (pictured above), and I'm IN LOVE with it.  It ties in the front instead of buttoning, so I don't have to worry about it getting too tight as my belly continues to grow.

Weight gained:  Once again, we've been at my parents' house this weekend because we came into town to watch the Burlington Christmas parade, so I haven't weighed myself since Friday morning. My weight gain was at 29 pounds then. As it has been for a while, it's a little higher than I'd like it to be, but it could be worse.  If I keep going at this rate, I should gain right at or a little over the 35 pound maximum most doctors and pregnancy reference materials suggest, so I'm okay with things as they are.

Working out: Just like last week, I don't have anything new or exciting to share here.  I'm still walking most mornings and doing a barre or prenatal yoga DVD a few times a week.  Thanks to the cooler weather, the dogs and I have been able to walk longer routes, so I'm happy about that!  I want to keep exercising as long as I can into the pregnancy (hopefully up until the very last day!).  The mornings after I walk 3-5 miles, I have a little muscle soreness in my hips and upper thighs that didn't used to be there, but I don't think it's anything that puts the baby or me in danger.  I do think it's important that I keep challenging myself while I still can to help with my strength in labor and delivery and my recovery afterward.

New Symptoms:  No new symptoms this week other than some uncomfortable back pain and tension that I think is to be expected at this point since my belly is growing bigger and bigger!

I have, however, had a resurgence of old symptoms that had taken a backseat before this week.  My sensitivity to smell, nausea, and fatigue are all making me feel like I'm back in the first trimester! It's funny, last week I thought I was going to be an insomniac until I had this baby - now I'm sleeping like I've been drugged every night.  And during the days I can hardly keep my eyes open, which makes it hard to get motivated to do much of anything around the house.  I have little spurts of energy followed by the overwhelming need to nap.  This growing a baby is hard work!

Days until my next appointment: Nine days!  I didn't hear anything back from my practitioner this week about my blood glucose or iron deficiency tests, so I guess I'm in the clear on those. That's good news for me and baby - and two less things to worry about!

Food aversions: Nothing sounds too terribly gross this week... I've been able to overcome my aversion to plain water a bit by adding a few drops of lemon and orange essential oils to my glass.  They said in our childbirth and infant care class that I'm going to have to drink a TON of water while I'm breastfeeding, so I've got to get used to it whether I like it or not!

Food cravings: Ice cream, ice cream, ice cream!  Also breakfast sandwiches!

The Mister sent this text to my family last night... I don't like giving him bites of my ice cream! Please pardon the sheets on my parents' new sectional - they're trying to protect it from my dogs. : ) But it's beautiful underneath!

How I'm sleeping: Like a rock! I get sleepy around 9 pm, and I think I could sleep until noon every day if my dogs would let me and I wouldn't feel terribly guilty for being unproductive.  I hope I can keep resting and that the insomnia doesn't return (although I'm sure it will once my due date looms closer and I'm feeling more anxious).

What I'm looking forward to in the near future: TWO of my best friends had their babies this week - and one of them had TWINS!  Three new babies to love!  Chris and I are going down to Augusta this weekend after Thanksgiving festivities to see the twins.  I can't wait!!!

Feeling baby move: I'm still making myself nervous about how often I feel her move, but in the mornings and at night when I'm in bed and paying close attention, I always feel her kick at least ten times in a minute or so.  And I think I felt her hiccuping the first time this morning!  I guess I just can't feel her as much when I'm upright and distracted by other things throughout the day.

It's hard to believe I'll be 30 weeks tomorrow!  And that Thanksgiving is in just a few days!  I'm especially thankful for Chris having a couple days off of work for us to visit family and friends at the end of the week.

I'm having some technical difficulties right now with my computer, but I'm hoping I'll be able to keep posting this week from an old Mac we have at the house.  Technology is so frustrating sometimes!  Talk to you again soon!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Happy Anniversary, a little late!

As I mentioned in my post about our recent getaway to Ocracoke Island, our second anniversary was a couple months ago, September 7th.  And, even though it's hard to believe, this past month marked one year since the Mister returned home from his first deployment.  Time got away from me, as it always does, but I didn't want to let those two big dates pass by without at least mentioning them here.

Now here we are in the month of "giving thanks," and I'm thankful that my husband lets me buy crunchy peanut butter, and wanders around the pet store with me looking at the small animals every time we go to buy dog food, and makes me feel pretty even on the days I'm feeling more like a marshmallow than myself, and is so supportive of my desire to be a stay-at-home mom, and tells me he loves me so often that there's no way I could ever forget.  I hope I'm at least half the source of comfort and happiness to him that he is to me.  And as we grow closer and closer to the day that we'll become a "family," it strikes me daily that he is going to be so good at being a dad, especially to a little girl.



We've got a BIG year ahead of us with our baby's arrival in a couple months and two moves to different states, and even though that's all a little scary sometimes, I'm much more excited than nervous because I get to do life with this guy.  I know I'm lucky to have found my "someone" when I did, and I'm so glad that we have many years ahead of us to drive each other crazy and make each other laugh and figure out this being parents thing as a team.

I can't wait to see where the future takes us and take y'all along for the ride. : )

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 28 Weeks

This photo was taken in our newly painted bedroom! We haven't moved the furniture back in yet because we are having the carpets cleaned on Monday.  The dogs are LOVING all the room for activities!  I'll post some before and after shots once we have the furniture where it belongs.  I'm not sure why my sweater is sticking out like that in the back  - may have been stuck in my pants.  Thanks, husband, for letting me know before you took the photo.  : )

Baby's size: She's as big as a head of cauliflower (according to What to Expect), an eggplant (according to The Bump), or an echidna (according to the "weird-but-cute animals" theme on OviaPregnancy).  Although it's hard for me to believe something this long is fitting inside me with all my organs and such, she should be measuring in around 14-16 inches.  And she's supposed to be weighing 2-2.5 pounds (probably on the higher end of that because I know she was close to 2 pounds a month or so ago).  It's already hard to wrap my mind around how big and close to being ready to come out into the world she is, and she still has so much more growing and maturing to do!

An echidna hanging out with Steve Irwin - I loved me some Crocodile Hunter back in the day.  Did you know that echidnas are mammals that lay eggs?  Fun facts!
Image from www.australiazoo.com.au

What I'm wearing: The weather has finally started to make a turn toward being more fall appropriate (about time, halfway through November!), so I've been able to wear some of my sweaters, scarves, and layers this week.  I'm much more comfortable dressing my bump in these loose clothes and thicker materials than I was in thin t-shirts.  If I can get the Asos website to work tonight (it's struggling!), I'm going to order a couple of their maternity dresses to hopefully wear for Thanksgiving and our baby shower in December if I like the way they fit.  I've bought very few true maternity clothes, so I'm super excited for them to arrive in the mail!

Weight gained:  We've been at my parents' house in Burlington this weekend, so I haven't weighed myself in a couple days (which is probably a good thing for my sanity).  My weight has been fluctuating a ton this week.  Some days, I'd only gained one pound since last week, while other days I was closer to three (putting my weight gain so far somewhere between 26-28 pounds).  I would think that these frequent changes were due to normal pregnancy water retention, but I haven't noticed any of the swelling in my hands and feet/ankles that many pregnant women experience.  I'm not sure what's going on!  Like the past couple weeks, the gains don't really seem to reflect my eating and exercising habits, as I don't really change anything from week to week.  I'm just going to keep eating when I need fuel and exercising when I can and hope for the best!

Working out: Nothing new to report on this front!  I'm really thankful that I'm still able to walk every day, as I know this can become challenging for some ladies by the time they're in their third trimesters.  And I'm still doing a barre or prenatal yoga DVD when I have the time and energy.  I was really proud of myself one day this week when I couldn't walk in our neighborhood because it was pouring rain, so I made the half hour drive to the gym to walk on the treadmill for a bit and do some light weightlifting.  Here's hoping I can keep up this motivation to fit exercise into each day even after I'm not doing it for the health of our little one.

New Symptoms:  My most noticeable preggo symptom this week is DEFINITELY insomnia, which of course leads to lots of fatigue during the day.  I'm not sure if it's anxiety about baby's impending arrival or hormones (or a combination of both) that's keeping me up at night, but sleep is hard to come by these days (or nights, I guess!).  Even when I can manage to stay asleep for a few hours in a row, I don't wake up feeling especially rested, so I think it must be very light sleep.  I fight off the urge to nap all day in hopes that I'll be super tired at night and sleep will come easier, but so far that plan hasn't yielded much success.  I guess I'm just getting ready for the nights I'll be up every couple hours for feedings!

Throughout my pregnancy, I've read a lot of literature warning of loose joints made overly flexible by the hormone relaxin, but I hadn't seen the evidence of this change in my own body till recently; I've been rolling one of my ankles almost daily lately, no matter what shoes I wear!  Luckily I haven't hurt myself yet, and I'm trying to be careful not to walk on the edges of my feet.  The infamous pregnancy clumsies have arrived!

Days until my next appointment: 17 days - my next appointment is December 1st.  This past week, I took my blood glucose test and had my blood drawn to make sure I'm not anemic.  Fingers crossed both those tests come back with good results so I don't have to take the follow-up glucose test (which is three hours long and requires a lot of fasting) or start taking extra iron supplements (I've heard they can cause nausea).  I also got my flu and whooping cough vaccines this week, which means my lab work and shots are finished for this pregnancy unless I have to take another diabetes test!  Yay for being one step closer to baby's arrival!

Food aversions: Mostly just plain water and plain grilled chicken... I was able to overcome one aversion this week - pizza!  I had been turned off by it for months because I got sick after eating a couple slices one night, but I ate it for dinner yesterday when I didn't have any other choices, and it was palatable!

Food cravings: Dairy products are still the main thing I'm craving this week - chocolate milk, cheddar cheese, ice cream, etc.  I'm also really enjoying breakfast foods.  Scrambled eggs and biscuits have been hitting the spot!

This is a cheeseburger that I ordered when we went out to eat earlier this week.  I seriously don't remember the last time I ordered a burger at a "sit-down" restaurant - I think I may have been in middle school.  It was such a momentous occasion that I had to take a photo to send to my mom and sister. Normal Hannah HATES red meat.  Pregnancy is so weird!

How I'm sleeping: Like I said above, not well!  From what I've read and heard, that's common at this point in pregnancy and probably isn't going to get better anytime soon, so I'm just trying to accept it as my new normal.

What I'm looking forward to in the near future: I've been nesting like crazy this week.  We got baby's changing table and clothing storage put together in the corner of the Mister's office (we're not setting up a nursery here since we'll be moving in the spring), we've had a few rooms in the house painted so we're prepared to put the house on the market when the time comes (I wanted to make sure to have that done before baby arrives so we can focus on enjoying our time with her after she is born), and the carpet cleaner is coming on Monday.  I can't wait to feel like the house is "ready" to bring a baby home.

Feeling baby move: She still isn't moving all the time like many women report at 28 weeks, but she is gradually becoming more active and building up more force behind her movements.  It's hard not to focus on how often I feel her kick and worry myself about it.  I'm trying to remind myself that every pregnancy is different and, even if I don't feel her constantly, that she definitely makes her presence known a few to several times a day.

Innie or outie?: Still an innie!

I know I say this practically every week, but I really can't believe how quickly time is flying by.  Our weekends until Christmas are filling up - the Burlington Christmas parade next weekend, then Thanksgiving, then our baby shower two weeks after that.  We plan to have our hospital bag packed by late December and then we'll just be waiting until the beginning of February for the big event (she could of course come before that but we want her to stay in there for as close to 40 weeks as possible).  Things are getting more and more "real" with each passing day!

For your enjoyment, here's a video of Hank not understanding why he couldn't have one of the baby's toys I had out while writing thank you notes for gifts.  Some days I worry he is going to be insanely jealous and other days I'm sure they're going to be the best of friends.  We're starting professional pre-baby dog training the week after next, but any firsthand advice for acquainting my fur babies with my human one would be much appreciated!

video

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Weekend in Raleighwood


A few weeks ago, the weekend of October 16-18, the Mister and I took a mini-vacation to Raleigh.  Although Raleigh is just an hour away from our house, we made a point to make the weekend a little getaway, as we know our chances to travel out of town on a whim are going to be few and far between once our kiddo arrives (not that we mind, we're looking forward to weekends spent at home with her when the time comes).

We started the weekend with our yearly tradition of visiting the North Carolina State Fair.  As always, it was good, high-calorie fun.  Pretty much the only two activities we partook in this year were walking miles and miles in circles to find the specific fair food we were craving and wandering around the artisan booths to ooh and ahh over the trinkets and treasures local artists had made.  We LOVE the fair, and I'm really hoping the Oklahoma State Fair will measure up next year once we've moved out west.

Since we were too shy to ask a random stranger to take our photo, we don't have any photo evidence of our night at the fair, other than these pictures I took of two goats that reminded me of Hank and Luellen.





After the fair, we drove to my parents' house in Burlington to spend the night because we didn't want to pay for a hotel room for two nights and our doggies were there hanging out with them for the weekend.

The next morning we got up bright and early to head back to Raleigh for the American Roots Music Festival.  Other than the CMA Music Festival in Nashville a couple times, I've never been to a legit music festival, the kind with dancing hippies and folk music, so when I found out there was a music festival coming to Raleigh this year and that Eric Church, one of my most favoritest artists, was headlining BOTH nights, I knew we had to go.

My goal Saturday morning had been to make it in time to see the second act of the day, Chris Stapleton (he recently shot to mainstream fame after winning three CMA awards at his first major awards show as an artist last week).  But after picking my sister Caroline up to join us, enjoying a leisurely Mexican lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in town, and solving a forgotten ticket fiasco, we didn't make it in until the second or third act.  The first day's lineup included Chris Stapleton, Leftover Salmon, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Roots, Modest Mouse, and Eric Church.





We didn't leave on Saturday night until around 11:00 pm and we had to sit in traffic for a bit, so we didn't make it into our hotel until around midnight.  Much to our surprise, upon our arrival, we found out our hotel had been overbooked, and we were sent to another Hyatt for the night.  Even though that was a bit obnoxious, our hotel room was FREE because of the inconvenience, so we got over the frustration pretty quickly.

On Sunday morning, we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast at the hotel, and then headed back out to the ampitheatre for our second day of music festivaling.  That day was a little more low key, and we spent a lot of the time just lounging and napping on our blanket in the grass, but we were happy with that because how often do you just get to relax in the sunshine and listen to good, live music?  Greensky Bluegrass, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Grace Potter, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, and Eric Church all played on Sunday.  The Mister had to be at work bright and early on Monday, so we didn't stick around for Eric Church again, even though I would have loved to.  But we did hang out long enough to hear Mr. Willie Nelson play a couple songs, so I can check that off my bucket list.  : )



I know this photo is blurry, but that is THE Willie Nelson on stage.

Even though it was a little exhausting for my pregnant self, our weekend in Raleigh was a great time.  We fit a lot into a few days!  We were tired and happy when we got home Sunday night.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Pregnancy Update: 27 Weeks



Baby's size: She's as big as a cucumber (according to What to Expect), a rutabaga (according to The Bump), or a fennec fox minus the tail (according to the "weird-but-cute animals" theme on OviaPregnancy).  At somewhere around 14 or 15 inches, she's really long now!  And she should be weighing between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds (I know she must be at least 2 because she was already around that much at my last ultrasound a couple weeks ago).

 
Okay, fennec foxes may be my new favorite animal now.  I need one.
(images from Wikipedia and Pinterest respectively)

What I'm wearing: The high was 80 degrees here today!  That's just silly.  So obviously I'm still not wearing what I'd prefer to be (sweaters and scarves and such).  I still haven't really transitioned into maternity clothes completely.  I have one trusty pair of maternity jeans, a couple maternity t-shirts, and an extra long cami that's made to stretch over my belly.  But other than those staples I'm able to make due with some of my more stretchy or loose "normal" clothes.  I do also have one pair of maternity leggings that my in-laws gave me for my birthday that I really love to wear around the house.

Weight gained:  I gained one pound this week, so I'm up to 25 pounds now.  My weight gain seems to have slowed back down to a healthy pace, and I'm thankful for that.  Fingers crossed it progresses this way for the rest of the pregnancy!

Working out: I'm still walking at least 40 minutes a day (most days) and doing a barre or prenatal yoga DVD on the days I'm up to it/have time.  Even though I'm officially done working now, this week has been a little crazy because I had an appointment with my practitioner, painters at my house, childbirth classes in the evenings, and a haircut out of town in Burlington today (I drive to my hometown hairstylist because I'm picky about my hair).

New Symptoms:  For the first part of this week, I had a stomach bug and was in a good bit of pain.  I'm not sure how much of that was due to pregnancy, but I imagine how squished everything is inside of me didn't help.  I hate being couch-ridden, so that was a tad frustrating.  I'm glad I took the time to rest, though, and I'm feeling much better now!

I'm sure I'm forgetting some new symptoms I've had flair up this week, but I'm happy to report two of them are easing up!  My mom and my friend Tracey who cuts my hair BOTH said my skin looked good today.  I had thought my complexion had been looking a little better these last couple days, but when other people tell you it makes you feel a thousand times better!  My skin has a smooth shine to it (I guess the pregnancy glow? - I've read it's caused by excess oil being produced) and it is breaking out much less.  I've been using melaleuca and lavender essential oil on my trouble spots, so that may be helping as well.  And I'm finding some relief for my intense round ligament pain!  At our first childbirth class on Tuesday, they told us that I could be fit for a "belly brace" in the OB clinic, and I made sure to ask for one at my appointment on Wednesday.  The contraption is pretty darn funny looking, and I definitely won't be wearing it over my clothes out in public, but it really does support my belly and help with the pain.  I'm especially excited about being able to wear it on my morning walks when I tend to be the most uncomfortable.

Days until my next appointment: My next appointment is December 1st.  We're at the point now where my practitioner is going to start seeing me more regularly to make sure baby is doing okay and there are no signs of impending preterm labor.  I was a little nervous about my appointment this week because it was the first time the Mister wasn't able to leave work and join me, but everything went great.  My uterus is measuring as it should be and baby's heart is ticking right along.  And I was able to get all my questions answered about my flu shot, who needs to get the whooping cough vaccine (I'm definitely going to ask our parents and siblings to get it), and my abdominal discomfort (she said anything that isn't accompanied by bleeding or a decrease in baby's movement can be considered 'normal,' so that was reassuring).

Food aversions: There are very few things that completely turn me off right now.  I still can't do plain water.  I like salads and fresh veggies, but I can't eat them because I burp the taste for the rest of the day and it makes me queasy - even the blandest iceberg lettuce salads have bad repercussions.  Like many pregnant women report, plain grilled chicken seems pretty yucky to me right now.

Food cravings: Even though I'm not totally disliking much this week, I'm not really loving anything either, probably due at least in part to the stomach bug I've been fighting off.  Dairy products are the most palatable right now - Greek yogurt, plain mozzarella and cheddar cheese, creamy soups, cereal with milk, chocolate milk, and ice cream are all on rotation.

How I'm sleeping: When I was having bad stomach aches, sleep was really hard to come by.  As soon as I found a position that took the pressure off my tummy, my back would start hurting, but if I moved to relieve my back muscles, I would have stomach pains.  It was rough!  These past two nights have been MUCH better.  On Wednesday night, I slept from 11 pm to 6 am without having to get up to pee - that's HUGE!

What I'm looking forward to in the near future: Pretty much everything in the coming weeks feels really exciting right now!  I'm a holiday season addict and now that Halloween is behind us we can start making our Thanksgiving and Christmas plans and I can work on my Christmas shopping.  Getting the house ready for baby's arrival has begun (I'll post photos soon!), I'm going to hopefully get in touch with a dog trainer in the next couple weeks to help the dogs prepare for their world to get rocked, and I'm researching to hire our newborn photographer! All of a sudden it feels like crunch time to get ready for this little one, but I work best under pressure! : )

Feeling baby move: My practitioner made me kind of nervous at my appointment because she asked if the baby was "really active."  I definitely feel her moving a lot, quite a bit more than I used to, but I wouldn't say that it's constant or consistent yet.  But when I put pressure against my stomach, like leaning lightly against a counter or placing my palm over where the baby is, I can feel her pushing back.  So I guess she is moving around, she's just not big enough yet for me to feel it all the time.  My mom and I watched her wiggle for a long time tonight which was pretty funny.

Innie or outie?: Still an innie - but it feels more shallow, and it's actually kind of tender when I put my finger in it (weird I know).  I'm thinking there must be a good bit of pressure pushing on it from the inside.

I won't officially be in my third trimester till next week, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me because we definitely have less than three months left before our due date!  We had our first couple childbirth classes this week, and they were a little scary but also strangely reassuring.  It's nice to know what we're getting ourselves into and our hospital's policies about c-sections, separating mom and baby after delivery, etc.  I've been comforted by the classes instead of them making me more nervous.  Next week, the classes focus more on breastfeeding and infant care.  I'm really excited about that because I'm not really sure what to do with a baby yet. : ) I don't have a lot of experience other than with my little sister - and that was 19 years ago!

The days are just flying by...  I can't believe we're almost a week into November.  This baby is gonna be here before we know it!  We have a low key weekend planned.  Hopefully putting the changing table together, heading to the gym at least once, and going to church on Sunday.  Next time I talk to y'all I'll be in the third trimester.  Ahhh!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Our Labor Day Weekend/Anniversary/Babymoon Trip

Labor day weekend the Mister had four days off work - which was the first and time this summer we were both available to go on a trip together.  That Monday also ended up being our anniversary, and we knew it was the only chance we were going to have to truly "get away" before the baby arrives.  So, of course, we headed to our favorite place, Ocracoke Island, for the long weekend.  It's a place near and dear to our hearts because we spent most of our honeymoon there.

As you may know or remember from our honeymoon post, Ocracoke is pretty remote.  A three and a half hour drive from our house to a ferry terminal and then another two and a half hours on a ferry are required to access the island.  We were brave (or dumb) enough to bring the dogs this time, so that added an extra challenge to our travel arrangements and lodging situation.   When we first started talking about bringing the dogs this year, we entertained the idea of camping instead of staying at a hotel, but considering I'm pregnant and I was still sick a good bit of the time in September, we decided we would give up on the camping for the sake of both of our sanity.  So, I had to find a hotel or inn that allowed dogs, and there aren't a ton of those on the island.  We decided on Blackbeard's Lodge, which allows pets in a select few of their rooms.  For as much as we paid for the room, I was a little disappointed in the quality of our accommodations (I was relieved I had brought a sheet and a blanket to use over what they provided on our bed in the room), but I know that's just part of the package when you stay somewhere that allows crazy dog people like us.  And in the hotel's defense, I imagine their rooms in which dogs aren't allowed are cleaner and nicer.  We're not the type of folks who care much about how fancy our room is when it comes to vacations, especially at the beach where we prefer to spend most of our time outside anyway, so we were happy. 

Our collection of photos from the weekend is below if you care to see!  It's hard to believe it's already been two months since this little getaway - and that it's taken me that long to get this post on the blog!

Luellen has a really lovely habit of of riding right in Chris's blind spot in the truck.  She cares not about our safety when it comes to her awesome windshield view.


We had to turn the truck off on the ferry, so the dogs were very warm.  Luckily we were at least parked in the shade on this trip.  There's no cell phone reception out in the middle of the sound, so the ride can get a little boring, but the view of the water all around is kind of awe-inspiring.


My little family out on the beach - they're so cute. : ) Our sunshade/easy up situation only lasted a couple days before the wind destroyed it, but we invested in a beach umbrella that we honestly ended up liking better.  If only if we'd known that before we spent $50 on the easy up.

Both of our dogs seemed to love the actual beach, but neither of them were fond of the idea of actually getting in the water.  Lulu was especially terrified - she spent most of her time up by our chairs while we were frolicking in the waves.  

Since we were staying in a hotel room without a kitchen, and my dietary choices were kind of limited due to the whole pregnancy thing, we ate out for almost every meal, which was a really nice treat (even though it got pretty expensive by the end of the trip).  Luckily, the hotel allowed us to leave the dogs in their crate in our room as long as they didn't make a lot of noise, so we were able to go out without them in the evenings.  The photo of the Mister above is at our most favorite place, Howard's Pub, where we ate dinner two out of the four days we were on the island.  We frequented Jolly Roger Pub and Marina for lunch because they allow dogs and have yummy food - and really good virgin pina coladas!

For breakfast every morning, we went to the best place for breakfast on the island, Pony Island Restaurant.  They had this lovely outdoor seating area open where we sat a couple times.  I had to take a photo because I just loved the ambiance - and the temperature was perfect in the shade out there in the mornings.

My four month baby bump and my doggies on the beach - it's much bigger now!

Chris enjoyed a beer and a cigar on the deck at Zillie's, a cool little place that sells craft beer, cigars, and snacks.  (Don't worry, he blew his secondhand smoke away from me and the baby!)

As someone who pretty much exclusively uses naturally derived cleaning products like Method and Mrs. Meyer's, I know how difficult it can be to find them at your local grocery store, so I got a kick out of the fact that they had a whole shelf of them at the general store on this itty bitty island.  There must be a high demand for these products there!


Ocracoke has quite a few wonderful little galleries.  I got a lot of my Christmas shopping done that weekend!



I've been strangely obsessed with candlestick holders lately.  I wanted to take every single one home with me.

The cutest/weirdest tire swing outside the local bookshop

These little green biting flies were particularly evil on the days the wind wasn't blowing!  Luellen was NOT a fan.

Mister frog, just drinking his cup of brew outside the coffee shop

Back on the ferry we go!  We were parked in the sun on the way back to the mainland, which was a little tough on us and the dogs.  But we survived!

This guy was very patient with his preggo wife and our doggies all weekend. : )

Our Labor Day weekend trip was everything we wanted it to be.  It was so nice to relax and take some time to enjoy being "just the two of us."  Even though we loved the alone time together, we hope to be able to take our little one back to the island with us sometime soon.  It'll be harder since we'll be moving away from NC this coming year, but we'll make it happen!  Until next time Ocracoke : )