Sunday, August 31, 2014

34 Weeks Bumpdate

Man, we are really getting close, friends! I'm so excited to welcome week 35, and we did so today by hanging out with Daniel's family.  They came to visit us here in NWA and we had the sweetest time sitting around our living room watching our niece interact with our pup :) Can't wait for Edie to join us!


Baby Size: Potentially 18ish inches and over 5 pounds!

Weight Gain: Still at 15.

Symptoms: More pinching and lots of acid reflux, but feeling like myself most of the time. I'm so thankful for good health as we near the end of this season!

Exercise: No change. Feeling really great this week!

Cravings: Peanut butter and jelly and lots of ice water.

Happy Labor Day!


Saturday, August 30, 2014

10 Little Things: August

Oh man--August is already over? It flew by! I can't say I mind too much, though--September means saying hello to my favorite season and hopefully saying goodbye to the sticky heat.  However, this past month was definitely wonderful, and my heart has so many things, big and small, to thank the Lord for!

1. Waking up to a thunderstorm.
So cozy!

2. This quote.
Trying to savor every last moment with my husband before the babe joins us!

3. This man and his work ethic, even on a Saturday morning.
Even though I asked him if he was almost done ten times :) I wanted to spend time with him! But I appreciate his desire to be excellent at his job so much.

4. And the super cute girl keeping him company.
I mean...

5. Yellow leaves!
I am giddy over the arrival of September and all things fall.

6. Baking with pumpkin.
And feeling like it's almost okay! I just couldn't wait.

7. These emails.
I love getting happy things in the mail, but waiting for them is half the fun!

8. The nights Daniel does yoga with me.
So appreciate his support as I continue trying to take care of my body at the end of this pregnancy.

9. Remembering last fall.
I can't believe we're approaching our first anniversary! Reflecting on how I was feeling at this time last year is so sweet. It's been the CRAZIEST year but I'm so thankful for the man I chose to tackle it with!

10. Raspberry leaf tea.
It's supposed to tone the uterus for labor, and it's actually really yummy! I'm thankful, because I'm supposed to drink three cups a day :)

Bring it on, September!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Christmas Card Photo Sessions

Friends! September starts THIS Monday--oh my goodness! I'm now booking a limited number of Christmas card shoots.  These can be scheduled as a half hour mini session so you have a number of photos to choose from for your pretty little postcards or a full shoot if you're in need of updated anniversary or family photos! Contact me for prices and details :) Happy long weekend!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Favorite Books: Fiction

As I prepare to raise a daughter, I can't help but look back on who I was as a little girl and what major forces in my life made me grow the most.  Reading is one of the first things that comes to mind.  My first word was "book." After I learned to read, I spent hours up in my room or up in my favorite tree in the backyard turning pages.  I know I owe much of my love for stories to my parents and the energy they spent reading to me night after night, but I also owe it to the authors who reached out and grabbed my heart through the characters I secretly considered some of my closest friends when I was young.  These are some of the books that turned me into a reader and compelled me to keep reading.  These are some of the books that stayed up with me all night, the ones I finished and immediately began again.

"Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight noises everywhere."
Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown

"Come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy."
The Giving Tree
Shel Silverstein

"So Matilda's strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out to the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone."
Roald Dahl

"If you've been up all night and cried until you have no more tears left in you--you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness.  You feel as if nothing was ever going to happen again."
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
C.S. Lewis

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott

"It's not so much that I like him as a person God, but as a boy he's very handsome."
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Judy Blume

"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road."
On the Road
Jack Kerouac

"It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you."
Ian McEwan

"It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels."
Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf

"And that's the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does, too."
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini

I'd recommend any and all of these, no matter how old you are.  I'm so thankful for these books (and many others!) and the ways they contributed to shaping my mind and heart up to this point in my life.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Baby Trend I Love: Moccasin Booties

I don't always want to jump on the trend train, but there are a few baby fashion items in style right now I can definitely get behind.  Mini moccasin booties? I mean, come on. They're SO cute.

We aren't investing in very many shoes for her itty bitty phase because I've been told they don't stay on well and are hard to keep track of, but since she's due just before the colder months, I feel like she needs something we can put on her feet over her little socks or tights. Little elastic moccasins are at the top of my list, for sure!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

National Dog Day

All serious baby posts aside for today...

Our pup is the WEIRDEST, in the best way.  She makes it pretty impossible to be down for too long and we really just love having her around. Happy day to you, Penny!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Five Pretty Prints (FREE!) for Your Home

I've been on the hunt for simple, pretty prints for our home office lately.  I'm struggling to figure out how I want to balance text prints and photo prints on a gallery wall in front of our desks--or if I want to keep it really minimal and just have one or two frames.  I'm still undecided, but there sure are a lot of lovely options out there!

Download this print HERE.

Download this print HERE.

Download this print HERE.

Download this print HERE.

Download this print HERE.

Hope one of these pretties makes your Monday a little less Monday-ish!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

33 Weeks Bumpdate

We had an appointment with our midwife this week--we learned baby girl has settled down into the best position for labor and birth. She is hanging out pretty low and shoving her little bottom and feet out a lot.  My blood pressure is still really low and we were told I'm allowed to keep running until I'm too uncomfortable, which was happy news to me! We have another appointment in two weeks, then we'll start going every week! We are really approaching the end of this season and it's hitting me that I won't be pregnant forever.

Baby Size: 17 plus inches and about 5 pounds!

Weight Gain: Zero pounds gained in the last month at our appointment this week--so still at 15 pounds. But girl is growing and measuring right on, so we're good!

Symptoms: Getting that pinching/sharp lightning bolt pain up around my cervix a little more often and girl's movements are sometimes a little more uncomfortable, but most of the time I don't feel pregnant (until I accidentally run my belly into something because I forgot about it, haha). Although I am pretty stinkin' ready for this heat to go away. But I'm ready for fall every year, pregnant or not :) I'm noticing a few painless braxton hicks contractions a day (I started noticing them around 17 or 18 weeks but haven't really said anything about them yet), and I had my first uncomfortable one this week.  Just one, though, after cleaning the house post-workout. I probably just needed to sit down and drink some water.  

Exercise: Same routine! Running has actually felt pretty good this week--I think the babe has dropped more and is making it easier for me to breathe. 

Cravings: Chips and salsa!

Stay cool this week, loves!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sixteen Again

Tonight Daniel and I went to Target to get a few things for our birth center bag. The cashier sheepishly asked, "So, um, is this you guys' first baby?" I told her yes, and she asked how far along we were.  She eventually admitted to thinking we must be about 16.

Awesome. We were mistaken for 16 and pregnant.

Hope your Saturday was as inspiring as ours! If not, here's this:


Friday, August 22, 2014

Late Night Laundry

Tonight I'm staying up a little later drinking raspberry leaf tea and listening to All Sons & Daughters pandora while waiting on my daughter's first load of clothes to finish drying.  I know that can't sound terribly interesting to anyone else, but I was overcome with a wave of unfamiliar emotions as I cut tags off of each tiny dress, onesie, and pair of socks (will someone please tell me how I'm supposed to keep track of socks that are seriously hardly over an inch long?) and threw them in the washer.  I have a daughter, and soon I will dress her each morning (and probably a few others times throughout the day due to messy poops and spit up, according to all the mommies I've talked to).  I've felt so aware of this little girl's existence for the last eight months, but her presence is about to take on an entirely new, probably pretty loud and overwhelming shape. 

My constant mindfulness of Eden's presence this year, although I can't even see her yet, has me feeling a little convicted lately.  She is a part of me--she is INSIDE of me--it's pretty difficult to forget her and not feel moved by the miracle of her movement. The bigger she gets, the more I feel like I know her and ache to see her.

Do I feel this way about the Lord? He is MUCH GREATER than what this girl is to me--He is in me and moving in miraculous ways all the time. And He is the God of the universe! Am I consistently aware of His presence and do I ache to see His face?  Not enough.

I am so thankful the Lord has called me to motherhood and hope to become more mindful of Him and His hand as I enter this new season.  I know I'll be absolutely bursting with the love I'll feel for my daughter when she comes, but instead of allowing that to completely consume me, I pray it reminds me of the Lord's all-consuming love for his daughters--both of us--and that it brings me to my knees in praise and thankfulness that I get a glimpse at that love in my own little human way.

My heart says of You, "Seek his face!"
Your face Lord, I will seek.
-Psalm 27:8


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Backyard Inspiration

Daniel and I had a few different priorities when it came to what we were looking for in a house back in January, but we both agreed from the get go we wanted a backyard. We ended up finding the perfect one--not too big, not too small--a place we can definitely see ourselves relaxing when the weather is nice.  Although Daniel has done a LOT of work on it this summer (digging up dead bushes, killing weeds), we've come to terms with saving the more major parts of a backyard reno for the future (maybe next spring/summer).  It's one of those projects we don't NEED to get done before Edie is here, so we've been focusing on other parts of the house.

That doesn't keep us from dreaming about what we could do with the space, however.  One thing I definitely want to utilize is in prettying up the yard is the wooden pergola outside our back door.  Did you know that's what those are called--pergolas? I didn't until recently--I kept calling in the "wooden thing outside" and eventually decided to google it. I've never lived in a house with one, but I do love the way they can look with some pretty greenery growing up the sides, white curtains and a few strands of bulb lights. 

The second one with all the flowers? I mean, come on--a dream!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Little Celebrations

Some days you have a really good 32/33 week prenatal appointment and you just feel like celebrating with a little solo (decaf) iced coffee date.  We are one month from full term! Life is sweet.

And yes, that blue thing at the bottom is the reflection of my big ol' belly. :) Oops.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Writing Our Birth Plan

Daniel and I learned about the importance of writing a birth plan at our Bradley class last week.  We know we can't ultimately control how every part of my labor and delivery goes, but getting on the same page about our ideal vision for that day is definitely something we want to do ahead of time, and writing it out seems like a good way to do it. 

So this weekend we started breaking down our priorities.  We know all of them are not only completely acceptable, but highly encouraged by our birth center staff, and for that we feel really thankful.  Even though we feel confident our wishes will be completely respected at our birth place, we do want to have them typed out in case a complication arises and we end up transferring to the hospital.  If the complication is minor, we hope to pursue the natural birth experience as we've planned it, but we are obviously willing to do what we need to do for the safety of our babe.

Here's our current rough list of priorities we plan to work into our birth plan:

*Labor will start naturally (let me go to 42 weeks, if need be!)
*No medical interventions (no pitocin, no IV, no epidural, no cesarean section)
*I will be free to move around during labor--walking, birth ball, bath, shower
*I will be free to eat and drink during labor
*I will tell you when I feel the need to push
*I will be free to choose my position of comfort while pushing (squat or kneeling squat, probably)
*I will push with contractions, only to the point of my own comfort to avoid tearing
*No episiotomy
*I will be allowed to "catch" the babe if I want to in the moment
*She will be immediately placed on my chest for skin to skin
*Delayed cord clamping
*I will breastfeed immediately
*Allow my placenta to do its thing--I'll deliver it when it's ready
*No visitors for at least two hours as bonding hormones are at their highest
*I will get up and walk soon after birth
*Babe will stay in room with us for weighing and measuring
***If I'm at a hospital for some reason--No randos in and out of our room during this whole process. If babe absolutely needs to be taken to nursery/away anywhere, Daniel will go with her. All interventions will be discussed/explained to us beforehand, and we will give informed consent.

After we made this list I started searching for example birth plans--what format do midwives/doctors expect to navigate for this situation? Based on my research, I don't think there's one specific way to write something like this.

But I did find this one particularly amusing:
:) We're praying for God's hand in our birth plan, but also for patience and flexibility if things don't go our way!

For more info on the Bradley Method classes I've been mentioning, go HERE.