Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 22-24

How Far Along: 25 weeks as of today but I'm only sharing about weeks 22-24 because I didn't have time to change the chalkboard or take a new bump pic yet.

Size of Baby: A head of cauliflower!

Gender: It's a Boy!

Weight Gain: 12 pounds

Symptoms: Um... bending over has officially become work. I have to take a wider stance and brace myself before going to pick something up off the floor. And by the time I get back up I'm out of breath. Still peeing all the time. Also rib soreness. Both of those symptoms I think I can attribute to baby running out of room. In general I also just feel more pregnant. You know what I mean? Like weighty and stretched, like I am really noticing the baby I'm carrying around and it's getting heavy. T.J. totally makes fun of how long it takes me to get out of his truck. I can only imagine how it will feel to be hauling around a 6 pound baby towards the end of the third trimester and I am in awe of how my body is going to continue to stretch and grow to make room.

Belly Button: What belly button? It's basically flattened and is preparing to become an outie any day now so that's cute.... My belly button gets a lot of extra love from my belly balm every evening because I feel like it's mad at me. No stretch marks at this point...and hopefully no stretch marks later pretty please.

Exercise: Did I mention the shortness of breath, and the having to pee all the time, and the cantaloupe I'm carrying around? I still walk the dog every day but, since my last pregnancy journal, I have not really done more than that like I intended to.

Cravings: I've been loving fruit, especially oranges, lately.

What I Miss: Nothing really except you know those commercials where they slowly pour Diet Coke over ice... yeah they make me tear up.

Maternity Clothes: I found maternity jeans that fit!! Petite pregnant woman go to H&M, they are on your side! I bought two pairs (these in the distressed mid denim blue, and these in the light denim blue) and they fit perfectly, like your normal pre-pregnancy jeans, through the leg/thigh/butt area but with no buttons, a stretchier waist, and that wonderful panel. Seriously every other store that I tried on maternity jeans at seemed to think that all pregnant women want or have a saggy butt (I'm looking at you Liz Lange for Target...) I am set for pants for now though I will probably need to find a pair of shorts eventually but that seems like wishful thinking considering the spring we're having.

I was super excited to find an old Loft gift card in my wallet from I don't know what birthday past and it had $40 left on it so I put it towards this cute top. I didn't even know Loft had maternity clothes. I definitely need more tops but I keep hoping the weather will warm up and then I can buy springtime/summer wear rather than more long sleeves and sweaters.

Best Moment this Month: All the baby kicks. It seriously is the best thing ever! I love to just stare at my stomach move. My mom and sister came to visit last week and got to feel him moving around and they came to my 24 week midwife appointment and got to hear his very strong and healthy heartbeat. The midwife said he was showing off. Having them here was great! We got the nursery furniture ordered and took care of some things around the house that I can't do in my current state but really we just had fun hanging out all together and picturing what it will look like the next time they visit when there will be a little baby boy joining us.

Looking Forward to Next Month: Next month I will be entering my third trimester!!! WHAT?!! At my appointment last week they had me fill our pre-admission paperwork (which is earlier than normal but Tricare) and I about fell off my chair. Already?? I can't believe I am nearing the end of this pregnancy and every day getting closer to meeting my son. I have a list a mile long that I keep adding things to do get done before his arrival. Guess it's about time to really step up my game. I'm especially excited for the nursery furniture we ordered to be delivered! I am having so much fun getting that sweet little room all set up. My glider arrived yesterday and it's perfect! I think I'm going to just sit in there for the next 3 and half months and talk to baby.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fort Worthwhile

I've been doing a bit of traveling this past month but I am happy to say I'm done until after baby is born. My last trip was to Fort Worth, Texas for a girls weekend. It was the very next weekend after we returned from our South Carolina trip and I wasn't exactly feeling up to another round of packing, putting the dog back into the kennel, early morning flights, and jet lag.  But I know this kind of weekend will be rare or at least even more difficult to plan once our baby boy arrives so I was going to take full advantage of that "freedom" while I could.

The 4am drive to the airport was made easier knowing that I was headed towards sunshine, blue skies, and 80 degree weather. Y'all, we've been drowning in the Pacific Northwest lately and I was in desperate need of some Vitamin D. I texted my friend beforehand to ask what the heck I should pack because I'd all but forgotten what warm weather feels like. Do I really not need a coat? I can bring sandals? Are you serious?

As soon as I landed and was picked up by my friends, (Liz, our hostess for the weekend, and Jackie, who flew in from D.C.) we headed to the apartment to drop off my suitcase and release my feet from their sock prisons before heading out for lunch al fresco!!  We went to the Rodeo Goat for delicious burgers. Mine had grilled peaches, bacon and tomato jam on it. I highly recommend it. And now I'm hungry again.
After lunch we treated ourselves to manicures and strolled around the cute area near my friend's apartment. She lives in such a great location, close to a ton of shops and restaurants all within walking distance, which you can actually take advantage of because it doesn't rain all day every day... Seriously after just a few hours in the sun I was questioning everything I love about the Pacific Northwest and wondering why we don't live in Texas.
That night we went to The Village Church's worship event. I have been a long time listener of Matt Chandler's sermons and even though 2 hours at church on our first night in town might not have been exactly what I had in mind it was still fun to get to hear him speak and to sing praise with my good friends.

The next morning I slept in a bit while the other two crazies when for a run... just like when we were all roommates. Then we headed out to a "Shop Small Fort Worth" event and met up with one of Liz's sweet friends. It was an adorable pop up craft fair of sorts filled with cute booths from local boutiques and vendors. After I talked Liz out of buying a oversized wood cut out of the state of Texas to hang in her apartment... we grabbed popsicles as a sort of appetizer before heading to brunch.  
Brunch was again enjoyed outside in the sunshine at HG Sply Co situated alongside the river in Trinity Park and I actually had to apply sunscreen which I was only too happy to do. We were talked into vegan chips and queso which sounds like an abomination but I will admit it actually was surprisingly good.
Our leisurely lunch was followed by more relaxation back at my friend's apartment complex pool. Y'all! Did you catch that? I laid out at the pool in March! The baby bump saw the sun! Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
I am going to pause here to say that my dear friend Liz, born and raised in Maryland, though you wouldn't know it if you met her today, has officially drunk the Texas Kool-Aid. Seriously the mayor of Fort Worth should pay this one-woman welcome wagon a commission. She knew all the best spots and instagram shots that were not to be missed and she made sure we saw just how awesome Fort Worth is. So after soaking in some Vitamin D, we headed back out to check out a new local bar that was just opening called American Gardens. Basically it was a big outdoor patio with picnic tables, string lights, yard games, and just a fun spot to hang out with friends.
We came back home that night and all changed into matching pj's for some chill time on the couch. The matching pj's is an adopted girl's weekend tradition started last year when they came out to Washington to visit me. I'm hoping we carry this tradition well into old age, along with the tradition of staying up late into the night and talking about life and how much it's changed since we all lived together,  for better or worse.
The next day we went to church together and then out for BBQ and ice cream. The perfect Sunday morning. Liz had a bunch of Fort Worth-y activities on our itinerary and kept saying we needed to "do the stockyards," whatever that means, but I managed to convince her that going back to the pool for the afternoon was actually a much better idea. And since this might very well be the only weekend I get to wear a bathing suit all year I was beyond thrilled that she agreed.  
That night we got dressed up a bit and went to Sundance Square, yet another adorable part of Fort Worth, with tons of restaurants, fun outdoor seating, and a fountain all lit up. We met up with another one of my friends from college for Mexican food which we of course enjoyed outside again. When in Texas. 
It was a perfect last evening out in Fort Worth before our last morning in town. But before our flights out the next day we managed to finally "do the Stockyards" which included wandering around the very historic Texas/ Old West part of town where we drooled over custom leather cowboy boots before stopping for one last selfie. 
This girl's weekend looked a lot different from their visit out to the PNW last year- the sunshine being just one part of that. I love that even though a year may pass between visits, being with these girls still feels like being roommates again and all the entails. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Baby Boy's Neutral Nursery Inspiration

Now that we know our baby is a boy I feel like I can really dive headfirst into setting up his nursery. While I plan to keep it pretty neutral and will have a lot of the same elements I would have had for a baby girl, I am excited to find sweet little boy touches to add. 

The bedroom that I can now lovingly call the nursery, used to be known loosely as the "office" but it probably should have just been called "storage" since it was mostly home to an assortment of furniture and books and bins of whosits and whatsits that we didn't have room for elsewhere but didn't want to get rid of. It did have a desk, hence the office title, but the desk was just another surface to store things on. Here's what it looked like initially:
We have a three bedroom, 2.5 bath house and every single solitary closet and cupboard was full. There are currently only 2 adults and one puppy living here right now and I knew I needed to make space for baby and all the fun baby gear. As soon as we returned from Spokane I went into full on purging and organizing mode. It felt so good to take bags and boxes of stuff to goodwill and to move all the bins taking up floor to ceiling space in the nursery closet to the newly added garage shelving. (Side note: I really really really miss having a basement.)

T.J. and I have a shared dream of floor to ceiling bookshelves and a rolling ladder in our future dream home. We are hoarders of books. So while the desk went to goodwill, we decided to move one of the bookshelves and some of our favorite reads to our bedroom, and the other will go to the garage. I suppose I could have kept them in the nursery but I am going for lighter colors for the crib and other furniture. I really just want this room to be soft and light and airy which those shelves are not.

The daybed, however, is staying put. I like that it's another option for sleeping if we are every overrun with house guests, and I also imagine there will be more than a few sleepless nights with a new baby when I myself will appreciate having a place to lay down in there. Also, it's been my bed since middle school and I'm just not ready to say goodbye. The map is also staying in the room. I love how it fills the space but is also still quite soft and neutral.

So here are my plans and ideas for this sweet space:

1. Buy a crib, glider, and dresser for starters.  My mom and sister are coming to visit next week for sister's spring break and shopping for nursery furniture is high on our list of activities during their stay. There is a Pottery Barn Kids in Seattle and it will be so much more fun to make that drive with them instead of solo.
This is the crib I have my eye on. I really don't like the cribs that have the solid back. I think the point of those is that it eventually can convert to a head board but they're just not my style. I wanted something classic, simple, and white and love that this will work for any future babies as well.
I just ordered this glider online from Babies R' Us. It's not sold in stores so I haven't seen it or sat on it in real life which makes me more than a little nervous, but it has amazing reviews so I'm taking a chance. I have very high expectations for this chair and will definitely let you know if it's as comfortable and pretty in person as the reviews claim.  I had my eye on a similar wingback chair from Pottery Barn Kids and it's absolutely beautiful but way out of my price range so I'm hopeful the one I ordered will be a good alternative.

(left | right)
These are a few of the dressers/changing tables I'm considering. I want something white to match the crib and it needs to have a small footprint because it is going in the closet. Of course I prefer the more expensive one from Pottery Barn Kids but I also really like this Target dresser for less than half the price, though I'd replace the knobs with something more rustic and boyish. Decisions. Decisions.

2. Add new shelving for our boy's already growing library, and storage for his toys and knickknacks. Yes I just removed bookshelves, but yes I will be adding in different bookshelves. On the wall next to the daybed, I plan to add some floating ledges plus a cute basket or bin on the floor for toys.
3. Add organization to the closet. Since we don't have a designated playroom and we won't have a ton of floor space in our living room I want to make sure his nursery is set up for playing as well. The daybed does take up a considerable chunk of real estate so I am planning to put the dresser in the closet so we don't have wall to wall furniture.  I'm also debating on possibly removing the closet doors depending on whether or not I can open and close the drawers. And I want to add some more vertical shelving since tiny baby clothes don't require all that much hanging space.  Mom and sis... add a trip to the Container Store to our itinerary.
4. Curtains and other decorative touches. 
Though I've been told it's a good thing if your baby can sleep in any sort of light, not just a dark bedroom, I want blackout curtains because this room gets a ton of sunlight first thing in the morning. Also, we don't have air conditioning in our house and blackout curtains tend to keep the rooms cooler for those couple of days in the summer when I wish we had AC. Since most of the room is pretty neutral I can't decide if I'd rather do white curtains or go with something with a color and pattern.
I also plan to swap out the green pillow shams currently on the daybed for something blue. The cream daybed cover and pillow shams are from Pottery Barn so I love the idea of adding these blue quilted ones from there as well, but again I just don't love the price so I'm still shopping around.

Another thing I'm looking to add to this space is artwork for over the crib. I love these farm canvases from DeAnn Art and think they are perfect for a little boy, especially one whose parents have roots in the south. Along those rustic lines I received the most adorable felted lamb mobile and it is just perfect.

I am so excited for this room and the little man who's going to come home here. I can't wait to snuggle and rock him in the chair, and read him sweet stories, and lay him down to sleep in his crib. I'm totally feeling the nesting vibe and wondering if it will ever not feel so huge and incredible and wonderful that our house of 2 is soon going to be home to 3. Plus Hunley. We can't forget about Hunley.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Showered In Love

It's a cheesy post title but I'm all sorts of cheesy these days...

A couple weeks ago T.J. and I flew back to South Carolina for a week of leave. The whole time we were traveling I just kept thinking how the next time I make this trip it will be with a baby in tow. So crazy to think about! Also, when that time comes I'm gonna need all the baby travel tips, k? Thanks!

Since we had our anatomy ultrasound just a couple days before our trip we decided to keep the gender a secret until we could tell everyone in person, something we didn't get to do with our pregnancy announcement. The night we got to town we all gathered for dinner at a favorite restaurant on the lake. I had wrapped up two blue pictures frames with the ultrasound picture, one for my mom and one for his mom. Before they unwrapped them, though, we went around the table and asked everyone to guess what they thought baby would be. Most of the table said girl, and even though I was about to burst with excitement I think I managed to keep a pretty good poker face the whole time. And of course no one on team girl was disappointed to learn it's a boy!
The next day my mom hosted a baby shower for me! Even though I was barely 20 weeks and that might seem a bit early for a shower, we knew I wouldn't be back in town again before baby's arrival so it was now or never and it actually worked out jut so perfectly. It was exactly the shower I always imagined. My mom went above and beyond with all the cute details and baby boy and I felt thoroughly spoiled and loved. A bunch of my family came to town along with a couple college friends, plus all of my mother-in-law's dear local friends were in attendance as well. 
(The great grandmas and the grandmas to be) 
(Future aunt and grandma.)
(He still can't believe I'm pregnant.) 
Once guests started to arrive, before we could do anything else, we had them make their gender guesses as well and then I shared the news by opening up a box to reveal blue balloons tied around a sweet little stuffed lamb. The shower had a loose "Welcome Little Lamb" theme which everyone embraced. Luckily I think lambs are simply precious and perfect for a baby, and our little boy is now going to have a whole bin full of stuffed lambs thanks to this shower. 
Once everyone was in the loop we sat down to a yummy lunch. It was so fun to finally be able to gab about the baby with all the family. I hate secrets and even though I only had to keep this one for a couple days... that was enough for me. 
(Be sure to check out my mom's post about the shower. She shares all the sources for the sweet details.)
After lunch and a couple games it was present time. I really hadn't purchased anything for baby at that point (which is basically a miracle) so I was so excited for every swaddle and onesie! My one little concern about having a shower this early was that since guests wouldn't know the gender beforehand I'd end up with a bunch of gender neutral baby clothes that weren't really my style. Turns out though, most gender neutral outfits are simply perfect for a little man and I got some of the sweetest, most adorable items! 
That's my "oh my gosh it's so tiny!" face. Nothing makes it more real than holding teeny tiny onesies and baby booties in your hands and realizing that an actual little person, growing in my belly, is going to wear those in just a matter of months. 
Sidenote. My dress is from Sew Trendy Accessories and I thought it was perfect for my shower. I was worried I wouldn't actually look pregnant since it was an earlier shower so I wanted something fitted, but of course that was a silly concern. I had it customized with on the shoulder cap sleeves rather than the off the shoulder style it came with and they cut it to length for this petite mama. I'm hoping to maybe wear it again for maternity photos if I end up doing those. 
My mom had made sure to note on the invitation to ship larger gifts directly to our house and I brought an extra empty suitcase with me so we were able to get all our new baby goodies home. It was so much fun unpacking everything in the nursery and having more boxes to open once we got back to Washington.  Now I just need to get a dresser and tiny hangers to put all the things. T.J.'s reaction to most of gifts was "what is this for?" He'll be an expert soon enough though!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 17-21

How far along: 21weeks! Half way there baby! Time is simply flying by!

Size of Baby:
Endive. 10.5 inches!

Gender:
It's a BOY!

Weight Gain: 8 pounds total.

Symptoms:
I pee all. the. time!

Belly Button: In for now but it's definitely stretched to it's limits.

Exercise: Um.... I walk the dog... when it's not pouring rain, which it's been doing A LOT of lately. But my goal for the second half of this pregnancy is to (try to) exercise regularly (beyond walking the dog) so that my body is strong and ready for labor.

Sleep: Still the hardest part of being pregnant and I have a feeling it's only going to get trickier the further along we get. I am really looking forward to sleeping on my back again in about 19 weeks.

Maternity Clothes: Don't get me started on the sizing of maternity jeans or the limited options for petite ladies. I'm rocking leggings every day and really looking forward to warmer weather so I can wear more dresses. But I finally caved and bought a new bra and everyone is happier for it. And I picked up a couple of tops that are not specific maternity wear but I stuffed a sweater under each shirt in the dressing room and I think they should work as I continue to get rounder.

Best Moment of this Month: Finding out the gender!!!! Feeling the baby kick!!! My baby shower (which I will bog about)!!! All the exclamation points. I am just loving being pregnant.

Looking Forward to Next Month: Getting started on the nursery now that we know it's a boy. I have also been holding out on buying anything for our little one and now I can't wait to start loading up on all the cute little boy clothes and necessities. I also love watching my belly grow and feeling more baby kicks and punches. Basically I like to stare at my belly all day and wait to see it move. He's a wiggle worm.
(I didn't take a chalkboard pic at 20weeks because we weren't at home. Also I didn't know how to draw an endive....) 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It's a...

BOY!!!! 
I'm having a baby boy.
I'm going to have a son.
I can hardly believe it and I am so excited!

T.J. was sure we were having a girl. He was convinced and he had mostly convinced me except then I had a dream it was boy the week before our ultrasound and didn't want to be set one way or the other. But if I'm honest it was hard to picture a boy simply because I'm a girl, and I have a sister, and that's just what I'm used to. But when our little one flashed his goods there was no doubt.

And now my mindset is changing, how I'm thinking about this pregnancy and the years to follow has shifted. Our future looks so different than I could have ever hoped! A boy! A sweet little baby boy. Seeing our baby moving and squirming on the screen, seeing confirmation that he was going to have a son, I watched T.J.'s excitement ratchet up. Not that he wasn't excited about a girl but, again, for him it was unfamiliar territory.

Suddenly I could see a sweet little boy nestled on my husband's chest. I saw overalls, and smocked longalls, toy trucks, scraped knees, Little League and a car full of stinky boys after football practice.  I saw him, my son, barefoot and chasing the goats at my in laws. I saw a little boy in a lifejacket and my dad teaching his grandson to waterski.

A BOY! This is going to be so much fun!!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Pick a Side: Old Wives' Tales

Tomorrow we go for our anatomy ultrasound and I am BEYOND excited! It feels like I'm waiting for Christmas morning or a trip to Disney World. I can't wait to stare at our sweet baby moving on the screen for a whole hour, AND I can't wait to find out if baby is a little man or little lady. How wild is that and how amazing?!

T.J. (and everyone else) has probably asked me every day since I got pregnant if I had feeling about the baby's gender. He has his prediction and while I mostly feel the same I've tried to stay pretty neutral so that I'm not dead set one way or the other. I had a dream early on it was a girl but the other week I had a dream it was a boy so I really have no idea. Obviously it's a 50/50 chance and we will be thrilled with either a son or daughter. I just can't believe I'm actually going to have a son or a daughter in about 5 months! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!!!

Before we know for sure though, we thought it would be fun to see what the old wives' tales have to say on the matter...

We are going home in a few days and I can't wait to share the gender with our families in person! I am also excited to finally be able to buy some cute and oh so tiny baby clothes, and start referring to the little nugget as "he" or "she" rather than "baby" or "it." So what do you think? Boy or girl? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cannon Beach

We have tried to go to Cannon Beach on several occasions but by the time we know T.J's schedule all the dog friendly places have been booked up. This past weekend though T.J. knew by Monday that he'd have a 4 day weekend so we called around a found the perfect spot for a little beach get away. Cannon Beach is about 3 hours away from our home on the Oregon coast and it's been on my PNW bucket list ever since we moved out here.

Thursday night before we left we watched The Goonies to get in the zone. If you didn't know the movie is set in Astoria, Oregon, which we would be passing through, and the very last scene at the beach is filmed at Cannon Beach. Fun fact.

Friday we got up loaded the car and hit the road. Hunley of course was a ball of anxiety thinking we were going to leave him behind or leave him at the kennel but by the time we got to Astoria he had started to accept that he was going to be included on this trip. We stopped at a shopping center right by the harbor to let the dog stretch his legs, grab a bite, and say hello to the seals who were having a very lively and loud town hall meeting.
Cannon Beach is only about another 45 minutes down the road from Astoria and we were eager to get there. We had booked a suite at The Ocean Lodge and we were able to check in early. It was the perfect room for our needs. It was steps from the beach with amazing views of the famous Haystack Rock and we were able to let Hunley out the sliding door to go to the bathroom rather than having to deal with steps and elevators. It had a bedroom and then a living space which allowed us to spread out a bit and was nice to relax in on the rainy days.

(The view from our room.)

(The Ocean Lodge)
I am so glad we got to town early enough to enjoy the beach because Friday was definitely the best weather of the weekend. It was in the low 50s and SUNNY!!! As soon as we got checked in we headed out! My favorite part of the west coast beaches is how wide they are. Even though we were (kind of surprisingly because it's February after all) not the only ones out on the beach, you never feel like you're on top of one another. We let Hunley off the leash and had a blast.
Hunley was thoroughly soaked and thoroughly worn out by the time we came back in. T.J. grabbed a glass of wine from the lobby and we sat out on our porch to watch the sun set (and give Hunley time to dry off).
Then we turned on the fireplace and got cleaned up before heading out for dinner at Pelican Brewing Co. T.J. tried the local brews for both of us and then I had fish and chips and he had a burger and we split a marionberry crisp. It was really fun atmosphere and I can only imagine how busy this place gets in the summertime.

Saturday we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel (it was free and yummy) before taking the dog for another walk under more overcast skies.
Figuring we'd be getting rain later in the day we decided to head out to Ecola State Park while it was still dry. This park has great views of the coast and Tillamook Lighthouse, a bunch of trails, and a picnic area.
Of course the rain came on soon after we started hiking so we turned back and dropped Hunley off at the hotel and then headed out in search of a cozy spot for lunch. Once we got parked in town (I still can't believe how busy this beach town was in February) we found a table by the fireplace in Bill's Tavern & Brewhouse.
The rest of the day was spent snuggled up in the room reading and watching movies. We embraced the lazy vibe and ended up just ordering pizza for dinner that night. Hunley was so well behaved- I wish we had a beach to run him on every day!

On Sunday the weather was insane, pouring rain and hail. We took our time leaving but the rain definitely made it easier to say goodbye to our little weekend retreat. Even though it wasn't the best weather I loved getting to have a little taste of this beach with my boys and a baby on board.