Friday, July 4, 2014

The baby waiting game (A list of things)

Hello everyone!

Well, with my due date having come and gone, we are deep in the throes of the baby waiting game around here. At first it was all excitement and jitters with words like "dilated" and "effacement" getting tossed around (and in pregnant world, those words are very important near the end). Also, there was the buying of the last few things we needed like a crib and a baby monitor. All good things! All things that mean the baby is coming!

In the meantime, several of my lovely friends are having their babies and my envy tries to take over, not only of getting to see the baby but of their (at long last) baby-free bellies...because seriously guys, sleeping whilst pregnant is truly a battle of its own design.

So, Toby and I have been desperately trying to fill our days with some sort of activities to take our minds off of how badly we want to see our sweet little guy. It's not easy, and many of our nights have been spent waiting to see if my ever increasing contractions will last or not (they haven't) and thus we stay up until 3 or 4 am. I guess it's newborn practice. However, no matter how often I get down, I always try to remember that this baby's arrival is totally up to God and that no matter when he comes, he'll be right on time. Toby reminds me of this at least twice a day because I'm totally emo about it most times. Anyhow, here are some of the ways we have been spending our days.

1. Watching lots of soccer. Thank God for the World Cup. It has kept us truly entertained. Also, this picture is not actually of us watching soccer, but we did right before The Sixties on CNN came on, haha.

2. Reading Neil Gaiman's fantastic novel, Neverwhere. I have spoken of my love for this author before, and every book I discover by him never fails to disappoint. I figure, I better finish it before I have a little darling needing all my intention.

3. Taking hospital tours! Ok, well just one hospital tour. Toby obviously didn't know I was taking a picture, but his face was too priceless...he looks all business, ready for fatherhood. The hospital we are going to is very nice with a lovely staff, beautiful rooms and just a very comforting atmosphere. Which honestly, for a hospital hater, I did not expect that. Taking the tour really settled my nerves and I highly recommend it to any future mamas.

4. Having due date lunch dates. The day I went to the doctor this week was actually on my due date and she said I wasn't really far enough to be in labor yet (cue words like "dilated" and "effacement"). So, that was the last thing I wanted to hear and I got pretty down. Toby then suggested a date day filled with thrifting and Chick Fil A. It was just what we both needed! On the way in to Chick Fil A, a man in his car called out to us and said "Hey, y'all got a blessing on the way! May your child be healthy and strong!" I nearly started crying. It was so unexpected but he was so sincere. God knew I needed the pick me up, too.

5. Just being together. This one is probably the most important thing we've done. We have always loved our time together, as bebebirds. No matter what we are doing, we always have a good time. We are in our last few days of it just being the two of us! It's bittersweet, but it's crazy how ready your heart becomes to let the little one creep in and take over too. We are SO ready to be parents, but as a friend of mine once said of her husband, "I love my kids, but my husband is like the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. He was there first and he's the one that will always take the most of Dorothy's heart." I like that. My scarecrow :)

So we are still waiting, but not for long! I can't wait until our little man is here!

~B~

Friday, June 6, 2014

This moment (reflections)



I am sitting here in a coffee shop that I love and, not that today is any different than any other day, but I am so oddly thankful and aware of this moment. There are a heck of a lot of changes going on and about to go on in my life, so I guess I get this hyper awareness every once in a while that reminds me, "you'll never be in this exact place again."

I realize that that may sound a little depressing, but I assure you, it's not how I mean it. I'll explain.

When I say, "I'll never be in this exact place again" I mean that I will never sit on this leather couch in the upstairs part of this coffee shop, pregnant with my first son, and writing thank you cards for my first baby shower ever. I will never drink this same cup of (decaffeinated) coffee while waiting for my wifi to connect. I will never be answering these exact text messages from an old dear friend at 10:30 am. I am thankful for these little things, these little moments, because they are mine and are so unique to this day. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, or maybe I am just really getting a glimpse of the way life flutters in and around and through us. Sometime soon after this moment (soon meaning in a few weeks) I will have a sweet little boy that I get to take care of and he will no longer be resting in my belly. I will have a diaper bag and wet wipes and pacifiers and all of the standard mom paraphernalia. I won't be the girl in the coffee shop with no kid. And that is more than ok...because it is a whole new chapter.

I guess what I'm saying is that I am realizing the fact that the days of just me and my husband are rapidly coming to a close...and that I am actually ready for it. There are parts of me that could just sail into the sunset with my man and never have a care in the world. However, there are other, bigger parts of me that know the goodness that is in store that can only come in the form of my child joining this great adventure. Besides, who said sailing into the sunset couldn't be for us all?

Well, it is. That's the plan. We will sail on into whatever storm or horizon all together. We have no need to look back, unless it's on the good times, and we have no need to fear the future, because it's in God's hands. So then we have this glorious present, filled with the peace that honest hearts bring and the excitement that new life promises. I don't think anyone could ask for a greater adventure.

So onward we go and the wind is with us.


~B~

Monday, May 26, 2014

Feeling Human in the 3rd Trimester (a list of things)

Well, it's no secret that being pregnant is both one of the greatest blessings and one of the most uncomfortable, sci-fi things a person can experience. The first trimester is a total learning curve and is really more about staying alive than anything else. The second trimester is the "oh my gosh the baby moved and I look so cute" phase, so it's mostly a win. The third is a beast of it's own. It's super exciting because you are so much closer to seeing that precious bundle of joy, but also it feels like it lasts longer because you are huge with a kicking baby in your belly, constant heartburn, sore belly and back, and lots of 'sleepiness. That, and everyone feels welcome to tell you things like "wow, you look ready to pop" or "Are you having twins?!" or "Wow, you're really big for ___ weeks." Seriously, it's like you're wearing a sign that says "please say negative things to me about my appearance". Let's not even get into the birth horror stories people are free to tell you.

Long story short, the third trimester has a lot of  stress of it's own without counting what other people do or say, so the need for comfort and encouragement are very important. So if you are pregnant, know someone pregnant, want to be pregnant or are just curious about what we pregos are going through, this list is for you.

These are the things that have helped me immensely through the third trimester in three parts: Beauty, Health and Extras!


3rd trimester beauty loves



1. A good belly band - I cannot stress this enough in the 3rd trimester and (from what I hear from other moms) postpartum. On the days where you are not wearing maternity pants that have a belly band that is built in, you will immediately feel the painful drooping and pulling of your baby-filled-belly and it's not fun.  I even wear mine around the house some days just for the support and it helps so much. Seriously, I just took mine off prior to writing this and I immediately regret it. This is the one I got and I love it.

2. Easy but pretty makeup - I'll explain. Not that makeup is extremely hard to put or anything, but when you're this pregnant and still have to get up for work at 5:45 am, you will want ALL THE SHORTCUTS. That is why I switched to Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Compact Powder Foundation. It sounds complex, but really, it's just foundation and powder in one. To me, this was such a Godsend because I could skip the application of actual foundation because this provides enough coverage while still giving a natural look. I was sold. And Neutrogena products are GREAT for skin anyway. Also, a nice lipstick goes a long way when you feel like keeling over. Just makes you feel all girly and pretty. Even on days where I was at home all day, getting dressed and putting on makeup just made me FEEL better. Don't underestimate the power of dress...sometimes it just makes things better.

3. Go natural - No matter what your ethnicity may be, we often all feel pressure to make our hair do something it was not naturally meant to do. Curly girls want straight hair, straight haired girls want curly hair and there are lots of combinations in between. As a black and white mixed girl, I have some very naturally curly hair which I have had to learn to love throughout the years. Just letting my natural hair make it's debut more often helped with how much time it takes to get ready and is of course much healthier for my hair. Let your hair do what it was created to do ladies, because pregnancy makes your hair amazing anyway...might as well let it shine!

4. Accessorize - On a recent shopping trip with some of my girlfriends, I realized that I had not bought a new pair of earrings in AT LEAST a year. I know. It's crazy. I'm just not very shopping-spree-esque so buying things like jewelry take a backseat to groceries, bills and baby stuff. However, as soon as I bought a new pair of earrings, I was so excited and felt so pretty wearing them. It really boosted my self-esteem, much to my surprise. So if you can, splurge a little on yourself. You deserve it...YOU'RE GROWING A PERSON.

5. Lotion, Lotion, Lotion! - Your skin will thank you for doing this. As soon as I got pregnant, a good friend of mine sent me some of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula for Stretch Marks and I have used it almost every day since week 10. You have never seen such hydration in your life. It helps to prevent and relieve stretch marks, so its useful pre and post baby. Go get some!


3rd trimester: health

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1. "Campfire soap" and Hydrocortisone: In case no one told you, rashes and itchy skin can legitimately become a major problem in the 3rd trimester. Don't be mad if they didn't tell you, every pregnancy is different so it's hard to know what will effect you. Needless to say, I was infected with what felt like one of the 10 dang plagues. I had what looked like an allergic reaction on my hands and feet only. I can only assume I was allergic to MY BABY. Wow. Anyhow, the doctor was a little vague about it but assured me all was well and referred me to a dermatologist after prescribing me with a mild steroid. I took the steroids (which were safe and my god the itching) and it helped a lot, but the rash started to return. Being the daughter of a hippie, I figured I'd take the natural route instead of finding a dermatologist. Enter Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap. It smells like an actual campfire BUT my rash was GONE within a week. That stuff is AMAZING. And for the time in between, hydrocortisone (walmart brand) with intensive healing and chamomile was a constant comfort.

2. Nasal Strips: No, they are not attractive. But alas, unless you want to trick your husband into thinking that he is sleeping with a dragon and not his smokin' hot  wife, then you should maybe think about it. I have never really snored unless I have a cold, but in pregnancy I have found the snoring beast within. So God bless these nasal strips because now my husband can sleep and I don't feel like Smaug the terrible. 

3. Prenatals...in whatever form they come: Like many of us, one of the prenatals I tried was too heavy on the iron in them, so naturally I threw up immediately every time. I tried another prenatal gummy vitamin and LOVED it, but much to my surprise it had NO iron in it, which the baby needs. Distraught, I went to my doctor and she told me to take Flintstones vitamins and a Fish Oil supplement, since it didn't really have enough of something or other. So ever since my 2nd trimester, I've been a Flintstones kid and it works great with no sickness.


3rd trimester: extras



1. Nursing bras are super comfortable: Seriously. The one I bought from Target I have already started wearing because it just feels amazing. No underwire, stretchy material and cute girl color! Who cares if it's a size bigger than it needs to be? Comfort wins...EVERY TIME.

2. Decaf coffee that doesn't taste like death: Seriously, finding a good decaf coffee is an art of it's own. I am not 100% off caffeine (because I wouldn't survive) but I do mix in my caf with decaf. This brand from Target is SO delicious, I can't even believe it. I even got my mother in law hooked on it. It's a real treat.

3. My trusty flip flops: The one good thing about being pregnant in the summer is that I can wear flip flops everywhere. That's because the rest of my shoes aren't that comfy. My feet aren't that swollen, which I'm thankful for, but they are more than usual, which makes flats not very inviting. So God bless my Old Navy flips.

4. The Bump App: I LOVE this app. It has a "how big is baby" calendar (with the comparative fruit of course), a forum for questions, tips, check list...pretty much everything. I can't tell you how often I get in those forums with questions and come away with GREAT answers. I really recommend it.


Well, that's it! I'm sure there are million more things I could add, but these are the kickers...the one I couldn't make it a day without. Hope it helps or at least entertains, haha.

Happy baby-growing!

~B~

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My very first (almost) Mother's Day

I realize that Mother's Day was not exactly yesterday, but we've been a bit busy 'round here with baby things, graduation things and all sorts of things, so please forgive my absence!

Usually Mother's Day is a great time it remember all the mothers around me that have helped to shape me into who I am. It was still a day all about those incredible women,  but for the first time I got to participate in the festivities as a new (or almost new) mama. It was kind of not real in some ways. I have moments of feeling like I will be pregnant forever and then moments of clarity where I realize that this bundle of joy will be here in little over a month. Well, Mother's Day was definitely a moment of clarity.

My first Mother's Day card ever!
We had a Mother's Day weekend of sorts. We grilled burgers, made kale salad, washed baby clothes and put them in his drawer, set up the baby bed, bought a car seat and other baby goods, and laughed until we hurt. Every violent kick to my ribs tat this little squirt gave me was proof of motherhood to me and even though it hurt sometimes, I loved every minute. Oh and if any of you have seen (and loved) the movie Twister, we made steak and eggs on Sunday morning and quoted the movie the whole time. "You slaughter your own cows? Meg, nice."



Also let me just add that newborn shirts are probably the cutest thing to fold ever in the world. That is one load of laundry that was so much fun to do!



To all of my blogger mother friends, I hope your day was full of fun and made you feel super appreciated! I know I appreciate all the wisdom you give on your blogs!

Much love,

~B~

Also, for any of my friends who are almost-moms like me, here are some great posts to check out from the lovely Lauren Hartmann. Bam, bam and bam. Seriously, if you have not discovered this amazing lady, do it now. She's super raw and real and just as nice as she seems!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sub adventures #3


As previously mentioned in my last post, it's easy to figure out which grades (or schools) work for you and which don't. I have found the most enjoyment in middle school and high school, believe it or not. The good thing about big school is that they are mostly self sufficient and fun to make friends with. Tha bad thing is that they can have the worst attitudes on the planet and can be a little scary because they are the same size as me. Of course that's worst case scenario, which rarely happens...well, at least not the scary part.


Last week I subbed for a coach, which was something I never thought I'd do. I was the breathless kid who could barely complete laps and avoided every sport possible. Not to mention the jocks totally intimidated me and I will forever hate th special treatment anyone involved in sports gets over other. End of rant. So yeah, I hated gym. However, it DID feel really good to put some of those same jocks into place as a teacher. It was my own little way of saying "not such hot stuff now, are ya Ace? Fine Arts rules!" Or...something like that.


Am I right, fellow teachers? Sometimes being a teacher is so satisfying when you get to give justice where justice is needed. Not all the time...just sometimes :)

~ B ~


A very happy birthday


I didn't mean to delay posting so long, but life happens as we all know. Not long ago it was my birthday. Turning 27 was pretty normal, but it is crazy to think that I was 17 ten years ago! Boy I DON'T miss 17 though. It was a very chill birthday weekend. My husband made me breakfast in bed and I slept, literally, all day while he worked on the computer. That may sound the absolute worst and most boring thing ever, but to this pregnant gal, it was pure heaven.



If you look closely, you can see mullet-head guy from The Walking Dead on screen.

That night we went over to watch The Walking Dead with Toby's mom and I was greeted with cards,, balloons and cake with fruit. It was oh so sweet.


I also got lots of sweet messages from friends on Instagram, and it was awesome. And check out my adorable nephew. Seriously. I can't.


From my best bud since the 6th grade! She's my lobster :) (Friends reference anyone??)

The next weekend I went out with some of my girlies to eat at Outback Steakhouse. It was delicious, needless to say. Steak has never tasted so good. However, the best thing about it wasn't the food, it was the fashion parade of prom goers that filled the venue. We saw long dresses, short dresses and one TOO short dress that made me want to send a note home to her mom. The best was yet to come though. 


As we enjoyed our bloomin' onion waiting for a table, we noticed one prom girl that was having a seemingly important text conversation. No sooner did we look at her than she ran smack into the door of the restaurant. I mean, smack! She shuffled out of there quick as her date laughed behind her. As soon as she left, the entire reception area erupted with laughter (laced with some "aw, bless her heart" exclamations of course). The poor hostess was nearly doubled over. This was all without alcohol, ladies and gentlemen.

All in all in it was a fantastic birthday. I have a lot to be thankful for in this new year of life and I can't wait to get started!

And the moral of the story is: friends don't let friends text and walk.

~B~

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring has sprung (a list of things)

No matter what the temperature reads or what the weather man says regarding how cold it still may be, spring has officially sprung! March 20th marks the glorious emergence of the green goodness that we wait for every winter, and especially this one. I for one know that I am quite ready for some sunshine and gardening. There are a few great things that I look forward to every spring, so I thought I'd actually list them out for a change.

Good ole Georgia, alive with Spring.


Spring is exciting because:

1. The earth becomes green and full of life again, and I always whisper to myself at some point "Aslan is on the move."

2. I get to think about (and begin) gardening again. You can see my obsession with gardening here.

3. We celebrate my favorite holiday, Passover.

4. we also celebrate my birthday (on March 23rd...this Sunday!!)

5. The cherry blossoms bloom here in Georgia and they are just beautiful. We even have a festival dedicated to the event.

6. We get to ditch our winter coats (at some point) in exchange for light sweaters and, dare I say it, short sleeves!

7. SPRING BREAK! for those of us who are students or teachers. I know my dear friend Julie can relate!

I hope everyone has a happy beginning of spring and a happy weekend!

~B~
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