Oct 24, 2014

Late Night Reflections, Week 37

Ever since I was little, I had a hard time sleeping when I knew something exciting was about to happen soon. Vacations, birthdays, going off to college, getting married...how can you get a good night's rest when you have such important events on your mind?

This is why, as I sit awake at 4:30 AM typing this post, I can't help but laugh at everyone telling me to "get sleep while you can!". Believe me, I'd like to. Pre-pregnancy, I had no problem falling asleep and staying asleep (besides the nights before exciting things as mentioned above). Hashtag blessed. These past few weeks have been a lot different, though. All I can think about is how everything is about to change. I'm anxious, nervous, but most of all, excited.

But, as excited as I am to meet our little one, pregnancy hasn't been all fun and games all the time. Yesterday was rough. Landon came home for lunch to find me half-crying curled up on the couch, saying how I just don't want to be pregnant anymore. And with thoughts like that come guilt for saying/thinking such things which just makes everything worse. I was a mess, and no amount of kind, positive affirmations from my husband was going to change that.

After deciding it was best to let myself ride out this wave of sadness and go see a movie by myself for the first time in my life, I started to feel a little better. Then Landon suggested a pizza date night (the best kind, no?) and even came home with the most beautiful flowers and chocolates. His resilience to my crazy hormonal outbursts like that afternoon is almost too much to take. I know I don't deserve it. I get frustrated when people don't immediately accept my attempts to make them feel better, and here he had been spending all day trying everything to make me feel better again.

At dinner, he kindly reminded me that it's okay to both relax and enjoy the remaining days of pregnancy as much as possible as well as be ready to not be pregnant anymore; it's okay to look forward to the future but also be present right here and now. His wise and gentle words were just what it took to shake off any remaining trace of guilt and sadness. To top it all off, the manager at the restaurant asked us what we wanted for dessert and came back with it saying they took care of it, for the baby. After weeks of feeling like all anyone in public was doing was gawking at me, this act of kindness paired with the immense amount of love I felt from my husband completely turned my day around.

Week 38 begins today. I'm ready to get this all over with already, but I have no idea what the big man upstairs has in mind. After yesterday, I finally feel at peace with this remaining stage of pregnancy, this last leg of the marathon. These past 9 months have been a huge blessing, but just as you start to get ready for school to be over come April (Landon's analogy), I'm ready for it all to be over...for now. I was always excited for classes to start again in August, and now I have no doubt I'll feel similarly if we're blessed with another opportunity like this one in the future.

Oct 22, 2014

5 Current Beauty Faves

Wowzers, it's been a good while since I linked up for a 5 Faves post! The lovely Jenna over at Call Her Happy has recently taken over as hostess and she's doing a mighty fine job ;) Be sure to check out the link up over there!

Today's 5 Faves are all beauty related because I'm vain and sometimes a little extra something is all that will help with the frumpy factor I've felt during this last trimester of pregnancy. And because I don't want this blog to turn into ALL things pregnancy and motherhood. I have other interests too, I swear.

1. Reverse Washing
I first heard about reverse washing over on the blog Nouveau Cheap about a month ago. Essentially, you "wash" your hair with conditioner first, let it stay in your hair while you go about your shower business, and then wash the conditioner out with shampoo last. My hair has leaned slightly toward the oily side recently, probably because summer and because hormones, so I wasn't sure how this would work out for me but let me tell you: I love it. It leaves my hair feeling so soft and manageable, even when I don't do a darn thing besides let it air dry. I find myself needing to wash it less, too, which I can't explain but it's great.

2. NYC Liquid Liner
When it comes to cheapo drugstore makeup, NYC is a brand I tend to steer away from. I just haven't had much luck with their products in the past (even though everyone swears by this bronzer...it makes me look like an oompa loompa) and their prices are just right there where I figure I might as well go with something that's slightly better quality. Recently Tati recommended their liquid liner and since I was in the market for one and I'm a sheep, I took her advice. I was shocked to find it at Target for less than $2 and it's just wonderful for doing little flicks. It's super black and doesn't flake off like some liquid liners do. I will say it's not waterproof and I can't speak for how it works with contacts, but it lasts all day on my eyes so long as I don't cry. And it doesn't take any scrubbing to get off at the end of the day which is awesome, because ow.

3. Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade
Have I talked about this stuff yet? I feel like I should have considering I've had my pot of it since the summer. If you regularly fill in your eyebrows, it's life changing stuff. I apply it using a small angled brush, following the shape of my brows very lightly and then filling them in, all while brushing through often with a spoolie to smooth everything out and keep it from looking drawn on and harsh. It took a little practice but now I know how to apply it with a light hand for a softer look and a little darker for a stronger evening look. The stuff doesn't budge but is surprisingly easy to wash off. It's a bit of a splurge, but I'm pretty sure the pot of it will last years (okay that's probably not sanitary) and their vast color selection at Ulta and Sephora makes it worth it, especially considering most "dark brown" eyebrow pencils have some seriously unflattering red undertones.

4. Milani Bronzer XL in "Fake Tan"
I'm not a huge fan of using bronzer, but since I didn't get outside much this summer because Texas heat + pregnant + no pool, I'm looking a little paler than I usually do this time of year. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on one because like I said, I'm not usually a big fan of them, so I took Emily's recommendation and tried this one out (you can get it at CVS). Guys, I love it. I feel like it really warms up my face without looking too orange or too brown. And the compact is hayooooge and will probably last me years so that's cool too. I swirl both colors together because I haven't gotten the hang of contouring quite yet, but the deeper side is a great cool tone to use for that purpose if you fancy.

5. Facial Massage
Do y'all know about Lisa Eldrige? She's one of the first makeup artists I started watching on YouTube years ago and she's kind of perfect. She's someone who does makeup for fashion shows and premieres and probably celebrity weddings, yet she is so incredibly warm and down to earth and you feel like you're kind of already friends with her just by watching her videos. Anyways, she recently posted a video on how to do different types of facial massage, citing it as a reason she's been able to avoid wrinkles and other signs of aging all these years. I've only tried out a few minutes of it here and there but have big plans to do 10-20 minutes of it one night before Zoe comes and then in the future when I'm able to spend some time pampering myself. Lisa makes it look so easy and relaxing and if it's something free I can do to prevent signs of aging, sign me up.

Okay now it's your turn to tell me if you have any recent beauty favorites! I'm particularly on the hunt for an affordable face primer and brightening undereye concealer...goodness knows I'll need it pretty soon! :)

Oct 17, 2014

Bump Update: Week 36

(37 weeks today!)

You know how people say to take advantage of sleeping in and napping during the day during the third trimester if you can? Man, I'd like to. I really would! But my body's doing this thing where my brain can't turn off when I try to go to sleep...and if it does, it turns on again when I wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and then it won't let me go back to bed. Everything...everything...is on my mind. Believe it or not, though, I'm not really stressed or all that anxious. I just keep thinking about going into labor and meeting our little girl at the end of it all and the excitement is outweighing everything else.

(Don't be alarmed by the purple spider...I found some old Halloween window clings that had to be put to good use.)

Since I started learning about pregnancy, I thought she'd be late. It seemed like most first born babies arrived past their due date and oftentimes an induction was even necessary. It wasn't until Landon wondered out loud on Monday if my height (short) would encourage an early arrival and the doctor's appointment on Tuesday where I was 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced that made me realize that holy cow she could actually come early.

My doctor said she would be surprised if I went past my due date, but don't worry, she didn't think Zoe would be coming this week. Okay this week as in by the end of tomorrow? Or this week as in Tuesday-next Tuesday? What?! Doctor-speak just makes me over think everything.

I'm trying not to think too much about the when because I know the longer she's in there the better, but I just didn't even think an early arrival was a possibility until this week. My new guesstimate of her arrival if she is born early is October 28th, just in case you were wondering.

In terms of the bad stuff...there's really not a lot of it. And I'm eternally grateful. The most annoying thing at the moment is my stomach being stretched thin. It hurts and no amount of lotion helps relieve the pain. Luckily I only notice it if it's being touched or I walk into something, which has happened more times than I'd like to admit. Also, since homegirl is sitting prettttty darn low, sitting upright in a chair is kind of uncomfortable because my whole belly is pushed up against my legs.

But there's no back pain, no heartburn (thank you, generic Zantac), no fatigue, and no bad gross painful stuff. Thank you thank you and let's keep it that way, okay body?

She's still moving around quite a bit. It's crazy to see her shift from one side of my belly to the other; for the longest time she leaned more toward my left side and suddenly the other night she moved to the right. She's been the queen of hiccups this trimester and I wonder if that's any indication of how things will be once she's born? I feel her having them at least twice a day!

The nursery is still very much a work in progress, but we're pretty much set on the stuff for now minus newborn diapers thanks to a shiny new Amazon Prime/Mom subscription. (Side note: major bummer that you can't take advantage of the Kindle library using the Kindle app rather than an actual Kindle!) I'm trying not to go crazy with taking advantage of 2 days shipping but I haven't had much success in that department this past week. The car seat bases are now in both cars and I even put the "Baby On Board" sign on my window which I felt guilty about since there's not actually a baby on board yet, but then I almost got into two accidents today because of the crazies so I guess that bright yellow reminder did absolutely nothing. Oh well. It made things feel more official.

Any guesses on if Zoe will decide to grace us with her presence early? I really just don't even know. I'm thinking it's 50/50 ;)

Oct 9, 2014

Bump Update: Week 35

Things are starting to feel really real, y'all.

We're finally at the point where, if I went into labor this very moment, we'd basically be ready to go.

We've got diapers and wipes. We installed the car seat. We put together the bassinet and it's in position (for easy access breastfeeding) next to my side of the bed. I have new nursing camisoles and bras.

The hospital and diaper bag aren't packed, but I have a list and have confidence that I could pack it in a hurry if I recognized early labor signs. But I'm planning on packing it by the end of the week anyways, don't you worry.

(Cheesin' at Zoe's shower)

On Sunday night, I was absolutely exhausted from the weekend and ready to zonk out at 9:30. Someone had other plans, though, and decided it was time to prep me with some contractions. They lasted about an hour and even though we recognized there wasn't a pattern early on, we still timed them for you know, practice. They were painful little guys. Although I knew they were nothing, I finally started thinking like "this could be it...we could be parents tomorrow." 

Within the past week, my mindset on a lot has officially changed. I'm a lot less worried about getting everything done before she arrives because as Landon has been kindly reminding me...we can still do things once she's here. It's not like we won't be able to hang curtains or clean out the fridge and frankly I know those will be the absolute last of our worries. We're still staying busy, but the urgency is gone and I'm thankful for that.

I ran some errands today and must have had my sensitive brain on because I felt like everyone was out to get me. I'm huge and waddling at a slow pace here and everyone was just getting so close to me with their shopping carts and walking out in front of me! I know, I know it was all in my head (maybe) but I really feel like I got special treatment from people when I was showing less and now it feels like everyone is treating me worse than before I was pregnant. Anyways, sensitive pregnant woman here. I just like chivalry and stuff, you know?

Earlier I was looking through some baby free samples I've gotten recently and held a newborn diaper in my hands and wanted to cry. It was so tiny. I've held many babies in my life, but I don't think I've ever held a newborn. I can't even imagine how tiny she'll be and seeing the little bitty diaper made me want to meet her NOW. Landon has a gut feeling she'll come early but he also had a gut feeling she was a he, so there's that.

Speaking of diapers, I've been looking more into cloth diapering again. When I first started researching it all, I got kind of overwhelmed and decided on one particular style (inserts) which is still my favorite...but kind of pricey to buy enough of to cloth diaper full time. I decided to give prefolds/covers a second look and think we're going to go that route as well. Everyone says to buy a variety at first anyways because every baby is different, so we'll see. The plan is to use disposables the first few weeks/months and then start incorporating cloth into the regimen.

(Sorry I just spent a paragraph talking about diapers. I never in a million years thought I'd have such strong opinions on diaper brands and styles but...here we are.)

One more pregnancy complaint if you can bear it: hip/pelvis pain. Oh my GOSH, I definitely can't just jump out of bed or my chair anymore because if I try to move without waiting a second or easing into it all, I feel like I'm going to break something. I don't know if it's because she's sitting so low--I think that's what our doctor said last appointment--or what, but the pressure is getting slightly unbearable. When I roll over in bed, I feel like I have a 20 pound weight plate attached to my hips which I guess I basically do. I'm ready to be done with that for sure.

Can't believe it's Week 36 tomorrow! You better believe I'll be saying that until the end...I just can't believe it's almost here!

Oct 2, 2014

Bump Update: Week 34

I had to look at my apps to verify that I am, in fact, on week 34. Week 35 tomorrow. Excuse me, whaaat? Where did those first 34 weeks go?

(My bump is officially large and in charge)

A lot of the fun stuff started happening this week. I had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of various pregnancy symptoms because you know, I knew I wasn't going to get off scot-free. The manageable acid reflux I had experienced up until now got to the point where I needed something stronger than Tums to relieve the pain. I have no idea if it's the Zantac or almonds or smaller meals but it's better now and I hope it stays that way. Constant heartburn is just gross and painful.

I also had the luxury of feeling my first semi-painful contractions. I still have no idea when to classify them as Braxton-Hicks or whatever (are BH just any contractions that don't occur during true labor?) but these guys woke me up around midnight a few nights ago and even had me getting out an app with a contraction timer (what did pregnant moms do before pregnancy apps?!). It all really freaked me out because I know the pain levels pre-epidural are going to be even worse and all I could think about during it was "am I really ready for this?" I'm starting to think I was crazy for wanting to go the natural route initially!

I've felt like my shirts are getting smaller and this morning I saw some lovely new stretch marks on one side of my belly as confirmation, right where her head and torso have been for the past month or so. Little things like getting into the car and washing the dishes are starting to become a little tricky with it poking out so much, and I wonder how much more it will grow in the next 6 weeks. I'm at the point now where I kind of need some new shirts but I get kind of bummed out looking at maternity clothes because they're all so black and boring. Seriously! I was trying to find a nicer dress for a special event next week and I feel like all of the (affordable) options are like "aw, sorry you're pregnant and can't wear anything on trend. Here's a black sack for you to wear." I can't wait to wear some new clothes postpartum, even if I have to go up a size or two initially!

On the brighter side of it all, I'm still feeling her move around a ton which I'm trying to remember to enjoy since I hear things quiet down within the next few weeks as they're running out of room in there. My energy levels are pretty good still, and the serious back pain I was having has gotten a lot better.

We're going on a tour of the hospital tonight and I think seeing exactly where it all will take place will be a major reality check letting me know that this is really about to happen. I'm excited along with every single other emotion there is.

To all the moms out there, what did you do to stay sane during the last few weeks of your pregnancy? :)

Oct 1, 2014

Nesting + October Goals

It's October, aka my favorite month of every year! Today is also one of our cat's birthdays, St. Therese of Lisieux's feast day, and apparently National Kale Day...so we've got a lot to celebrate. I'm only half mourning the still highish temperatures here in Texas because we got a late start to planting a fall garden (see below) so I know the seeds kind of neeeed it to not frost or anything yet but still. Cooler weather please come soon. This pregnant lady is sick of sweating.

Anyways, let's talk about nesting. I was waiting for this stage in my pregnancy to come and when it finally did, it hit me full force.

I had written a bunch of things I wanted to do on different scraps of paper and on notes in my phone, and a few weeks ago I finally added it all together. There was/is a lot. The list ranged from making decorations for Zoe's room, to planting a fall garden, to cleaning the washing machine. As I started delegating tasks to each day via Google Calendar, I felt like a crazy person. I *know* in this last month of pregnancy I need to be relaxing, but I don't even want to anymore. I want to go, go, go! There's so much that I have to do!

Landon has been an absolute saint through this little phase of mine......especially since most of the items on the to-do list are things only he can do at this point in time. He planted plum trees, tore up our front flowerbed, replanted the flowerbed, built two raised garden beds, added hundreds of pounds of soil to aforementioned beds, hung decorations all over the house, moved furniture, etc, etc, etc. Really, I cannot husband brag about him enough right now. I know he thinks I'm crazy and yet he's putting up with it all in the most loving way possible. Zoe, your dad is a catch.
Grow little plants, grow!
Making good use of the box our crib came in ;) How awesome did these turn out?!

One thing I've learned during this process of ticking off my to-dos is that I severely underestimate how much time things will take. It wasn't until I was standing/sitting right next to Landon as he was doing all of these things that I realized they take a lottttt longer when just one person is doing the heavy lifting, digging, and bending. At one point while we/he was replanting the front flowerbed, I brought out a stool to sit on and felt like the bossiest grandma ever, just sitting on the front porch pointing where the plants should go. I don't remember what it was, but a few weeks ago I tried lifting something and finally came to terms with the fact that I just can't do some things anymore. This is coming from the girl who, a few days later, could barely carry a 24 pack of toilet paper through HEB. Pregnancy, man. But I can see the light!

Mind you, all of the little projects I can actually work on by myself are all about half started. I have yet to finish something all the way, which is making me even more anxious. I don't know how time is possibly slipping away so fast, but I just need more of it. I need more of it to get everything done, but I also need more of it so I can relax and embrace these last few weeks of it being just me and just me and my husband. For a procrastinator like myself, nesting has been a wonderful kick in the pants...but it's also time to take it down a notch.

I'm trying to slow it down a little. There's a lot of special events and occasions during October that I want to be fully present in. And who knows; the little one could come early and make my favorite month even better!

To reorient myself away from the to-do list and instead towards what's more important, I wanted to come up with some October Goals that would encourage me to slow it all down:

For prayer time, this includes the usual of reading the daily readings and Blessed Is She devotions, as well as saying a daily rosary and hitting up adoration once a week. For reflection time, I want to give myself time to be still and journal, if I'm up for it.

I want to embrace the season of fall by cooking seasonally, burning my favorite candles, decorating with nature, making some fun crafts, and going for walks...when it gets a little cooler.

I'm a habitual book starter but not finisher, and I want to finish two in particular before Zoe arrives.

Finally, I need to remember to breathe and take time to relax, hopefully by doing some of these things mentioned above.

Happy first day of October! What are your goals for this glorious month?

Sep 23, 2014

Wide Eyed

Well, I suppose the pregnancy insomnia was bound to hit me at some point.

I usually have no problem falling asleep or going back to sleep after a bathroom break in the middle of the night. You can often hear me saying right before bed, "But I'm not sleepy..." and then I'm out just minutes later. I think I read once that being able to fall asleep that easily is a sleep disorder in itself but I'm just going with it for now until it becomes an issue. If it does.

Anyways, I woke up a few times last night and finally woke up for good at 3:40 am. 3:40! I even tried going back to bed a few hours later but just couldn't do it. So I did what every good pregnant woman does: poured herself a bowl of Reese's Puffs (I'm weak), watched some YouTube, and browsed Pinterest for even more things to make before Zoe's arrival. 

Right now I'm 33 weeks pregnant. I should probably do a bump update soon, huh? It's just getting to that point now where I'm feeling so darn large and even maternity clothes are becoming a little tight. I decided I at least want to get a pair of maternity skinny jeans for fall since I'm sure they'll get some wear postpartum as well. But! Tell me why Target only sells maternity bottoms in small, medium, and large? Love the stretch and color of their jeans, but I'm in between sizes and look frumpy going up a size. Pregnancy woes for real.

I'm also realizing that under the belly bottoms just aren't for me. I'm convinced they dig into my bladder, no matter how loose they fit, making me have to go to the bathroom even more than just from Zoe pushing up against it every 10 minutes. I've been wanting to browse stores in person to get some walking in (hah) and for "inspiration" (I feel so out of the trend loop right now it's ridiculous) but I literally can't for more than a few minutes before needing to find a public restroom. And public restrooms just really, really gross me out 90% of the time.

Anyways, let's get back to this 33 week thing for a second. Four more weeks until I'm considered full term. That's a month, ladies and gents. To say I'm a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions right now would be...actually fairly accurate. I am so, so, so excited to meet this little one. I'm excited to see how our lives are changed forever by adding her to our family. I'm excited to see what God has in store and how he'll use her to shape me even more.

I'm also terrified. That's normal, right? Feeling a little bit like "what have I done"? My early desire for an unmedicated birth is long gone and I know I just want a stinkin' epidural. We went to a childbirthing class this past weekend at the hospital and I was really hoping it would be my mind to ease. The nurses didn't give any awful statistics or stories or anything, but my mind was not eased. I think the uncertainty of it all is just killing me and making me anxious every time I try to imagine just how bad the pain of labor and recovery will be. I think I've been blessed with a fairly easy pregnancy so far. I keep waiting to feel so Braxton-Hicks so I get a small feel for what to expect, but I'm pretty darn sure they haven't come yet. But I'm sure you seasoned mamas out there are thinking "just you wait..." because this ain't over yet and a lot can happen in a month+.

Anyways, time to seize the day and head to some doctors appointments and work on my nesting. I hope you all were able to get a full 8 hours of sleep last night ;) I'm sure I'll be sneaking in a nap or two later on!