Friday, June 28, 2013

What's Your Influence?

I am a huge believer in spiritual gifts and the notion that each one of us is given a unique gift, from the Lord, that enables us to successfully complete and live out His plans for our lives. Some of us are given stronger voices than others or more powerful platforms but nonetheless, our humble God planted a seed in our hearts to allow us to build His kingdom and share the Good News. We are all given the chance to make a change, a difference, and to be an influence. (I wrote a post last year about spiritual gifts and being The Body)

Some of you may be familiar with The Influence Network, and some of you not, but if you haven't, you're in luck. A group of strong willed, Christ focused women started The Influence Network as a way to , support, connect, be a resource, create community, and encourage Christian women to use their influence. When I think of the birth of The Influence Network and how successful it has become, I can't help but to think, "these ladies were in my shoes at one time, and they are using their gifts!". The network offers web based classes on everything from succeeding in your small business, grammar and public speaking, managing life as a busy mom... all while using your platform to further the Kingdom. 

Let's face it friends... life is hard! I remember hearing a sermon earlier this year where the pastor said that it is naive to think becoming a Christian will make your life perfect, or easy. Nope. Choosing to follow Jesus will probably be one of the hardest things to do, but the most rewarding, fulfilling, and worthy things in your life. Right now I am almost 9 months pregnant, still working full time, trying to maintain my blog, along with friendships, family time, church, community group, setting up baby gear. I can't even begin to imagine how my life will be turned upside down in just a few weeks. But with my heart and head in the hands of the Lord, I am free. Y'all should see the lists I have stored in my phone right now. Things to do before baby, everyday to do list, grocery list, Target list, list of blog posts to write, lists of people to email, things to do at work before my baby is born, house project lists... yeah I am one of those people! It's so easy to stray our minds to focus on the minuscule details and forget to ask God for guidance. 

My prayer has been throughout this entire pregnancy and especially these last few weeks is to be a positive influence, shine a light on where I am struggling, yet show how God has redeemed me. If you've followed my pregnancy, you'd know it hasn't been easy. I've struggled with chronic sickness and every bad/random symptom you can imagine but not once have I struggled with understanding that this experience is such a precious, fleeting gift from our Lord. Yes there have been times over the past 9 months where I've been on the bathroom floor begging God to heal my sickness and make me well, but after a quick refocus of my heart, I am reminded of the gift He's given me. He's not only given me this precious baby but strength and positivity to truck through the pain, and the platform of my blog to share. 

And so many of you reading this have blogs too! Think about it for a second... is your blog where God has given you your voice? You may only be comfortable with blogging about recipes, parties, and crafts but I encourage you to pray and ask if it is God's will for you to use your blog as a platform for the Gospel. I bet the answer will be yes.

I feel so humbled and blessed to be a part of this group of ladies and only have scratched the surface of what God is going to do in my life with The Influence Network. Today I encourage you to sit and spend quiet time with the Lord, talking about your influence. What has He gifted you in this life that can help you successful bare the name of Jesus?

I also encourage you to check out some of The Influence Network resources...


The Influence Network Blog- women sharing their thoughts and hearts on many different subjects. You don't want to miss one of the most recent posts about what we can afford.

The Influence Network Classes- like I talked about above, The Influence Network offers a wide variety of classes that I promise will be worth every little penny (they are cheap!) and second of your time

The Influence Network Prayer- need prayer? Look no further

The Influence Conference- the 2nd annual Influence Conference will be held in late September in Indianapolis and the Hart's will be in attendance! What an answered prayer this has been for us, I can't wait to share more about the conference as it nears. 


InfluenceConf
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shrimp & Crab Layered Enchiladas

I pretty much make 99.9% of the recipes Meagan posts on her blog, A Zesty Bite. Do my pictures look as pretty? Heck no! But this girl can cook! I've been trying to find easy ways to add more seafood to our diets and I've had a hankering for shrimp lately. We had my parents over for dinner the night I made these enchiladas and they were a huge hit! And I loved how easy they were to make. 

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1lb shrimp, peeled, and cut in half
8oz chopped or shredded crab
1 15oz can red enchilada sauce
2 tbsp light sour cream
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 corn tortillas
Green onions to garnish

1. In a large pan, cook the onions in the olive oil until soft
2. Add in the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are a pink color
3. Remove from heat and stir in the crab meat
4. Combine all cheeses in a bowl
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and enchilada sauce
6. In a large casserole dish, pour 1/4 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom and top with 3 corn tortillas (you may tear them in half).
7. Top with 1 cup shrimp/crab/onion mix, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, and 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture
8. Top with corn tortillas and repeat the steps above with 2 more layers. You should end up with the sauce and cheese on top (you can really just layer how you want!)
9. Top with chopped green onions
10. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees 
11. Enjoy!

*I am lucky I even snapped a picture before we dug into this!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why did this happen?

Time doesn't go by without finding myself asking this question. "Why did this happen?" "Why did that happen?". Whether it be questioning the state of a current friendship, the tragic losses experienced in the Moore tornadoes, or why the heck I lost a $25 Target giftcard I received (true story), as humans we always question.

3 weeks ago today Jon was in a bad car accident. He is 100% fine and no one was injured (nor in the accident with him), but his car was badly damaged. And we still can't wrap our heads around why it happened. Long and scary story short, Jon had to drive to Dallas for a couple of hours to fill in for an executive who couldn't make it to a quick presentation and happy hour. Jon's in software sales and has a certain territory and even though the meeting was in his territory, it didn't benefit him one bit. So he had to spend 6 hours in the car round trip for this meeting and he sucked it up. We were on the phone while he is heading Southbound on I-35 and all of the sudden he starts yelling "I don't know what's going on! Oh my God! What is happening." Click. And my heart sank. Jon saw a brush fire in the distance and a car in the shoulder so he moved to the left lane to pass by. The next thing he knew, there was a thick cable jumping over the median, flailing, and it hooked onto his bumper, tore through it, tore through his radiator, tore through his brake line, and did incredible amounts of damage to practically every panel of the car. Oh and I should mention... this car was 2 weeks old. Jon spent months researching and finally bought a new (to us) car that he was so excited about. Thank God for modern car technology and his E brake helping him get to the shoulder but what an experience. And this was the day before we left for vacation.

I was able to talk to Jon just a bit in the midst of police reports, towing, driving back to Dallas, and insurance claims. And when we finally got the chance to really talk the next morning, I was in full tears telling him how happy I was. Yes the situation sucked and still sucks, but we saw so much of God's grace through the accident. Knowing how scary it was for Jon, I can't imagine having stayed calm in the situation so it is a blessing I wasn't with him. God protected Jon by not allowing the cable to rip through his windshield and hurt him. Nor was anyone around him (he was on I35 going 60mph so could have easily been hit). And by the grace of God, we hadn't had the chance to sell Jon's old car so he can drive it until the repair on his car is made (which I have to say will take 4 weeks, $11k in damage, 56 hours of paint and body work, and it's still in Dallas... thank God again... for insurance)

So it's been a few weeks, we've had time to relax on the beach, digest the information, and move on but we still can't wrap our heads around why this happened. But isn't that how life should be? We constantly feel entitled to the whole truth which is really like saying, "God we don't trust that this was for our good, so tell us why it happened". Jon said the whole night, as he's interacting with people who stopped, cops, etc, he kept asking God, "am I supposed to meet this person? Will they change my life". We seem to always want a quick and easy answer to things in our lives... especially things that cause pain and damage. And sometimes we are lucky enough to get those answers! I know I was meant to be hurt in relationships prior to Jon to prepare my heart for a marriage I could only dream of. Or that I was laid off from my job a week before my wedding only to find a sense of purpose, excitement, and fun in my current job. We are quick to blame God on the pain in our lives and too impatient to wait for truth and understanding in His plans. 

Do I think that because of this car accident, something huge and drastic will forever be changed in our lives? No. But I know God was teaching us something through this. I am not quite sure what it is but I know He loves seeing the praise we are giving for Jon's safety rather than blame for Jon's car. Is it easy? Not always. Of course it sucks that we are out our insurance deductible and the car will probably be ready right when I am delivering our baby... but the mercy He showed on us is so much greater than those things... so much greater. 

My prayer is that I prepare to enter motherhood, I can continue seeing God's grace and mercy in the tough times. I know there will be days, many days, where I question my success as a mother, wife, or friend, yet what a gift to have the unfailing, steadfast, overflowing love, support, and encouragement from the Lord. I pray that I can be patient when problems arise and less demanding of trying to understand God's will. And I pray these things for you too.



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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

34 weeks

Thoughts: I saw the pictures above and thought...I look so happy. And I am!! We were driving home after midnight on Saturday night and I was wiping away tears as we talked about meeting our son. We are savoring these last few weeks, just the two of us, but can't wait for the beautiful day our son is born. As hard as the last month is on your body, I am still in awe of how my body has changed to help my son grow. And as much as we want to meet him SOON, we know God has the perfect plan for his birth.

Baby: he is almost 5lbs according to What To Expect and at least 18 inches long. He is chunking up and his body fat will grow from 15% to 30-50% in the next few weeks... how cute is that! His lungs are starting to mature and fingernails have grown to the end of his finger (good thing we have mittens for those sharp puppies).

Symptoms: I've had a few tummy aches this week thanks to Montezuma's Revenge after returning from Mexico which sucks but I get it everytime I go. I've taken Zofran twice to try to counteract the symptoms but no pregnancy nausea yay. I need help getting up from the sitting position and my tailbone has bothered me a handful of times in the past week.

Movement: wow! This week has been nuts. At any given moment, my stomach looks like baby Hart is using it as a punching bag. Since he's so big, it's not necessarily kicks I feel and see but him trying to get comfortable. His feet are in my ribs and I feel his head WAY down in my lower pelvis. It is almost scary to watch my tummy move, I feel like it is going to explode! I've had a few painful movements really low and a mix of Braxton Hicks.

Cravings/aversions/eating: we got back from vacation and I wasn't too interested in food since we'd gorged ourselves on the trip. The thing I've been wanting most has been pb&j's and cereal which we didn't eat on vacation. We bought a fresh pineapple and I've been loving that lately. In old news... I am craving chocolate so bad and can't wait til baby is born so I can have it again haha.

Workouts: I went to the gym last Friday and then yesterday. It felt so good! I walked for 20 minutes and did a light weights workout...hoping to go 2 more times this week too. I wish the weather would be more accommodating for outdoor walks but it is too hot for me to be out there walking.  

Sleep: every day is different. One night I will sleep 9 hours without getting up to pee, and the next night wake up 3 times. I've been using an eye mask which really helps me fall asleep quickly after getting up. My shoulders get sore when I sleep on my side so I feel like I am constantly going from one side to the other.

Clothes: maternity shirts are getting short and tight! Luckily I invested in lots of long length maternity tanks and been living in those. I've retired my maternity jeans since it's so hot and switching between a few pairs of shorts, capris and skirts. Since my wardrobe is so limited, I wear the same things all the time and miss my old clothes! 

Random: our house is baby gear central! We put together the pack & play and swing/bouncer combo...omg could those things be any more difficult? Baby Hart better LOVE his swing because man it was hard to put together.

Ernie approves
Graco Pack & Play Playyard in Monroe

I love being married to an engineer

We also have the matching Graco duo-diner highchair in Monroe but we won't put that together for a couple of months until he actually will use it. 

Classes, etc: We had a home visit from a maternity concierge from Mommy Haven last night and it was fantastic! She gave us lots of insight on how the labor process works and what we can expect my body to go through. She gave us tips on natural induction and lots of great points/questions I want to bring up to my doctor before birth. The more I talk about birth the more comfortable I feel with what is going it happen and I am so glad she was able to help subside my anxiousness. She is going to come back after the baby is born to help us with sleeping techniques, figuring out what is best for our baby, etc. Check out Mommy Haven's Facebook page here


And tonight we have our breast feeding class! Jon is coming with me because I hear it can be a 2-3 man job in the beginning and I am excited to learn as much as I can so we can EBF.

Doctor appointments: we go to the doctor for a quick nurse visit on Friday (another quick blood sugar test, vitals, weight, heart beat, etc) and then start our weekly visits with the doctor on July 7th where we start cervical exams, growth ultrasounds and getting prepped for baby!

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Answers from mamas

Again, thank you all so much for giving your input, insight, recommendations and advice in my questions for mamas post. I am so humbled by the time and effort so many busy mamas put into their answers, I really appreciate it! I had a few requests from mamas to be (and new mamas) for a compilation of answers so today, I am compiling the most popular answer for the questions I asked. To me, I can research for hours and hours on Google but I feel most comfortable getting advice from moms with experience. So thank you!


Pre Baby

What are your hospital bag essentials? Besides the necessities, what is something someone wouldn't ordinarily pack that was a life saver?
  • Chapstick- so many moms said this was a must!
  • Socks and a robe since most hospital rooms get cold. I bought this robe from Target and bringing some fuzzy socks and slippers I have
  • Powerstrip so you can plug in your phone and laptop/camera/ipad chargers
  • I heard not to pack a lot for baby since the hospital will provide everything you need so we aren't packing diapers, rash cream, etc. The only things I am packing for baby are his going home outfit, a pretty blanket for pictures, hand mittens, 2 beanies/hats, his baby book (they do the footprints for you at the hospital), and a cute binky...my hospital is very pro breastfeeding so I am not sure if they supply pacis or not (and I have some cute ones!). 

When should I pack my hospital bag? Should I keep it in my car?
  • Heard lots of different responses to this and I have actually started putting stuff in a bag in my closet.
  • I have a document I am going to send out to my family members with info on the hospital, what to do when I go into labor, etc so if I happen to go into labor when I am not at home and my bag is, someone can grab it for me and bring it to the hospital. And I won't keep it in the car since it is so darn hot!

Anyone else have traveling husbands? When did yours stop traveling? Jon is hoping I can make it to 37-38 weeks before he makes all his normal travel meetings remote.
  • We haven't really decided on this one. Some ladies said their hubbies didn't travel the last month, some said 35 weeks because that's when doctors won't stop your labor... so we aren't really sure. I go to the doctor on Friday then start weekly appointments with cervical checks and ultrasounds so hopefully we can get a better idea of how big he is and if he will come early. Jon will definitely not travel after 37 weeks though! 

What are some of your favorite recipes to make ahead and freeze for when after baby comes?
  • Noodle based recipes, lasagnas, soups, Mexican meals
  • I meal plan every week so next week I am going to start making double of certain recipes so we can have a few stocked in our freezer. I plan on looking on Pinterest

Post Baby

I hear post delivery bleeding can be a beautiful thing (sarcasm folks), what pads/protection do you recommend?
  • I talked to someone who gave birth at the hospital I will give birth at so that was incredibly helpful to know what they will send us home with. I got a package of the largest pads I could find (with wings) and may make a few padcicles thanks to my girl Katie!
  • I hear Tucks pads and Witch Hazel are life savers and my hospital sends you home with dermaplast

I want to pack a cute-ish outfit for me to bring baby home in, should I plan on packing a maternity dress? I have a few maxis I was thinking would be good. 
  • I plan to pack two Target swim coverups to wear in the hospital after he is born because they will be easy to nurse in and still cute. As for going home, I will most likely pack a maternity maxi since I will still be fluffy (most women said you look 6 months pregnant), and if I do have to have a C section, it won't irritate the incision.

Diapering

I have one pack of newborn Pamper's Swaddlers but curious to see your thoughts. I know it depends on how big the baby is but should I buy another few packs and keep the receipts to be safe? I have 2 packs of size 1 diapers too. 
  • Not knowing how big baby Hart will be, this one is a toss up. I purchased 2 more packs of newborn diapers and taped the receipts to the bottom in case he is a giant and doesn't go through all. My guess is we will have to purchase more which is fine because we will have lots of help from my family who can run out and grab them. I also have 2 packs of size 1 diapers inc ase he is bigger. 
  • We will be using Dr. Smith's rash cream for disposable diapers and I have a large and small container.
  • I have a few packs of Honest wipes I want to use when he is a newborn but after that we will use Huggies Naturals (bought in bulk from Costco with a coupon).

We plan to start cloth diapering when he is sleeping a little bit more at night, when did you CD mamas start?
  • This will totally depend on baby, how he is sleeping, and what his potty schedule looks like. We have 24 BumGenius 4.0 diapers that say you can start at 8lbs but I don't want to be overwhelmed with laundry when I am learning to be a mama. So we will take it one step at a time and most likely start around 2 months or so. 
  • After lots of research, we will use coconut oil (purchased in bulk at Costco) on his booty when we cloth diaper

What detergent do you use on your cloth diapers? We are using BumGenius 4.0 one size pocket diapers. 
  • We still have time since we won't start cloth diapering right away so I am not 100% sure but I have heard great things about Rockin Green. I feel like I have researched this to it's death and multiple websites/blogs say that Purex Free and Clear is an awesome mainstream detergent that is great for CDs and it is CHEAP! So we will see. 

Feeding
My insurance covers the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump, has anyone ever used it? I've read great reviews but would love a personal experience.
  • A few women commented that they have the Ameda pump and love it so I am excited! And thanks to Obama... it will be free for us which is a huge plus. Our new insurance coverage starts July 1st so all I have to do is have my doctor fax in a subscription to Cigna and I will have my pump in 2-5 business days. Score!
  • Last week I purchased a bunch of breast feeding "supplies".... who knew that $100 could be spent so easily!! I bought disposable breast pads, reusable breast pads, Medela Lanolin, Lansinoh Lanolin, Earth Mama nipple butter, Lansinoh breast therapy cold packs, Lansinoh breast milk storage bags and I already have a boppy, nursing cover, bottles, etc. 
Our goal is to exclusively breast feed but I do want to pump and bottle feed so Jon (and family/friends) can help out. When did you introduce a bottle to your EBF baby? I've read many reviews that suggest different ages.
  • I think we are going to try a bottle at a month. We bought very low flow nipples that are very similar to the breast so hopefully he won't struggle with nipple confusion. Lots of moms said between 1-2 months and even 1 bottle a day was a huge help for getting extra sleep.
  • We have our breast feeding class tomorrow night so hopefully I can get more insight.
  • Another piece of advice I got from my sister was to get a bottle sterilizer so you aren't having to handwash all your bottles. They are less than $20 at Target (see here)

What is the best way to store bottles? We are using Dr. Browns that have 5 pieces so I want to make sure we have things organized. 
  • I may try plastic Tupperware for each of the parts but not sure yet. As of now, each bottle is washed and put together in the cabinet

Random

We have the Ergo, Baby Bjorn, Moby and a sling. Any great YouTube videos or how-to's on tying the Moby? I am guessing we will use that one most when he is newborn.
  • Reading the Moby manual is on my to do list and I hear it is super helpful. 
  • I've heard that the baby Bjorn isn't the best carrier for the baby's hips but we bought it for $3 from our neighborhood swap so we couldn't pass it up! I am guessing we will use the Moby and Ergo the most.
  • Becky sent me this awesome post on baby wearing
  • We were also given a Kelty Kid carrier which is for hiking/etc. but we won't use that until he is older.

We have a 2 story house and our room is downstairs and the nursery is the farthest room away upstairs. The plan is for him to sleep in the basinet in our room until we get into the swing of things and aren't having to walk all the way upstairs every hour. Any tips on what to keep downstairs? Should I keep a whole diaper changing station and all of his clothes?
  • We set up the pack and play that has a built in bassinet and changing table on top in our bedroom. We plan on using that to change him and for naps until he starts sleeping upstairs. At night, he will sleep in a real white bassinet next to my bed (or in the master bathroom). 
  • My sister told me some great advice she had heard from a friend with a 2 story house that once baby is on a good schedule (not needing a diaper change every hour), to always change their diaper upstairs so you essentially get in a little workout walking up the stairs. So hopefully we can do that once he is on a schedule but I'm not ruling out keeping a changing pad and supplies in a cabinet downstairs.

If you have some time and are wanting more details, check out the comments in the original post. So many great pieces of advice!

Thanks again moms!

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Riveria Maya... 8 months pregnant!

If you remember back to December, my parents surprised us with a trip to Riveria Maya Mexico for Christmas! Well... it wasn't exactly a surprise because my dad asked us if we could go the week of August 5th and knowing we were due that day, we had to make up some lie for him to move the trip up :-). Little did he know we would be surprising THEM with our pregnancy on Christmas Eve! This year my parents turned 50, Jon turned 30, and Tomi will turn 21 in 2 weeks and among other things...this is a year to celebrate! It felt like June would never come...


We flew into Mexico and were shuttled to our amazing resort, Barcelo Maya. We stayed in the Palace section of the tiered resort and I cannot rave enough about the entire establishment! We were just in Riveria Maya in October for a wedding and had a blast and it was fun to compare the resorts. Y'all... the food! It was out of this world! There were 4 fancy restaurants, 2 buffets, and a snack bar...filet, lobster, crab legs, escargot...we definitely ate like kings. 

 
(*note my little brother didn't come with us...Younglife camp happened to be the same week and he had a blast with his friends!)

My gorgeous parents

I brought my nice camera but only brought it out a few times and luckily Cori brought hers and took tons of pictures! I hated not being able to Instagram during the trip but honestly it was nice not to be glued to my phone, checking work emails, and unplug a bit. We bought a 4 day internet pass so we could check in which was nice.

Jon and I savored our dark, cold room and leisurely slept til 9am everyday. We'd spend most of the day by the huge pool with built in loungers and cabanas. The Barcelo had an amazing kids area with slides, fountains, and a separate zero depth area (we would definitely come back with kiddos!) so Embry had a BLAST!

I think E brought more swimsuits than I own!
(*note, Embry is the happiest baby on the planet!)

Nothing feels better 8 months pregnant than wading around in the pool, it was heaven! I am very grateful to have come this far in pregnancy without stretch marks so I was able to wear regular bikinis on the trip (things don't exactly fit the same way as before pregnancy but hey, maternity suits are $$$!). It was funny how many people would straight up STARE at me around the resort. Granted I know my belly is huge and I look like I could give birth at any second but we thought it was comical. They act like they've never seen a pregnant gal in a swimsuit before! We got lots of curious questions and even had an L&D nurse and med student come give me their room numbers just in case haha. If you're wondering, my doctor gave me the OK to travel but after this Sunday, I have to stay within an hour of the hospital (34weeks)


Embry is already sharing her toys with her cousin!

The swim up bars were huge and everyone (but me) enjoyed trying new drinks, okay and old drinks too! The best thing about all inclusives is getting to try food and drinks you wouldn't normally shell out the money to do so. I think I drank enough in Riveria Maya in October for this trip too :). I kept well hydrated with bottled water but could have definitely enjoyed a virgin cocktail if it wasn't for my glucose scores boooo. 

If you know my husband, you'd know that he is a conversationalist. He's an engineer by degree but a salesman by trade and really is a great communicator. This holds true, even on vacation because after a few days, he seemed to know everyone at the resort. He found fellow Clevelanders, threw the football with Chicagoans, and chatted up many others. Love that about him!
(*note, if you are going to an all inclusive resort with men, I highly recommend bringing a football or waterball. Our guys forgot them so had to shell out $30 in the giftshop for what was probably a $3 football)



We felt like Kardashians on the white couch
 
Our days were spent by the pool and beach, eating, drinking, snorkeling, relaxing. I feel so lucky to call each of my family members a best friend because you couldn't beat the company! As much fun as Jon and I have traveling alone, our family sure does know how to have a good time. We are already planning our family vacation for next summer... we will have an almost 1 year old!



The evenings were spent at dinner, enjoying the beautiful resort, and belly laughs playing Catch Phrase. Y'all I can't even tell you how funny it was. My sister also brought Chat Pack which was great to play at dinner or around the pool. Oh and luckily the hotel had ESPN so we (okay the guys) were able to watch the NBA finals. One night the ladies ventured to one of the nightly shows which was hilariously entertaining!

Uncle Jon's beard is so fun!

Yes that is me, full snorkel gear, 8 months pregnant! It was so much fun!


Our family of 2... not much longer!
(can you tell I tried to pull off a non maternity dress... quite short in the front!)

The "original" Fannings... without little brother James

So there ya have it folks! Our last big hurrah before our lives change forever. I can't decide whether to use the word surreal or real because we are closing in on our due date and feeling more and more ready for the birth of our son. We were home for all of 30 minutes on Wednesday night and I found myself packing my hospital bag (and last night put up the pack and play, washed baby clothes, and folded blankets haha). We have a busy next couple of weeks but good busy... friends, parties, baby classes and hopefully a baby!

Thank you to my parents for such a fabulous and generous Christmas gift. It will be a trip and experience to remember forever! We are so lucky to be a part of this family.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

33 weeks


Thank you all SO much for the incredible feedback, answers, and recommendations from my Questions for Mamas post. I have lots of reading material for the next few days and although I won't be able to respond to each comment or email, please know how grateful I am for all your input! I am thinking of compiling the answers for an answer post to help other first time mamas to be.
Thoughts: we returned from Mexico and I'm still pregnant... yay! We had an absolute blast (more pics to come) but I am pretty darn wiped out. Traveling at 8 months pregnant was definitely do-able but my body was slow moving and tired. We got home last night and I swear the nesting started immediately! I will be camped out in Austin at home until the baby comes so it's starting to feel more and more real. 

Baby: getting big! We know he is already over 4lbs (was 4lbs 7oz at 28 weeks) and about 17 inches. He will pack on weight from now until he is born and grow an inch or two. His immune system is getting stronger everyday... I am getting so anxious and excited to meet our boy!

Symptoms: no Zofran this week yay! Flying wasn't an issue (we took a 2.5 hour direct flight, no swelling, didn't have to use the restroom and slept most of the flight). The worst symptom this week is heart palpitations and flutters...and they are bad. It's the weirdest feeling because even laying down, breathing deep, and hydrating don't help. I know it will get worse as I get bigger. Rolling out of bed and moving from the laying or sitting position to standing is really hard. Random aches and pains, totally normal. 

Movement: tons!!! This week I told Jon I can feel him clicking his feet together inside of me, it is hard to explain but such a weird sensation. I know he is still head down because his feet have moved into my rib cage (I can maneuver them down by pushing pretty hard and he doesn't like that). Significant increase in sharp movements which can be attributed to my amniotic fluid being maxed out. My stomach is so entertaining to watch, this boy is a mover and shaker!

Cravings/aversions/eating: I ate lots of yummy fruit this week on vacation (favorites were pineapple, honeydew and watermelon). I also ate tons of great steak and seafood (lobster, crab) so we definitely got protein! I used my sweets on special occasion pass and ate treats each night... boy was it amazing! 

Workouts: nothing this week... heck walking back and forth from the pool to our room to the beach and to the restaurants was enough of a workout for me during our trip!  I may try to go to the gym today or tomorrow.

Sleep: pretty good... I only wake up once for potty but going back to bed sucks. I've started using an eye cover after I get up and it helps a bit. Rolling from one side to the other is tough too. We slept GOOD and lots on vacation!

Clothes: maternity pants and tops, some non maternity dresses, and thankfully I was able to wear regular swimsuits on our trip. I am loving my Old Navy maternity yoga pants and cotton tanks.

Random: we see the doctor next week and then start weekly visits after that! I've started a list of things we need to do in the coming weeks and it is very surreal... wash clothes, install carseat, buy diapers. We know lots of women who are giving birth early so it definitely lights a fire under me to be prepared! I can't stop thinking about what our little guy looks like. 

A few sneak peek of our trip...

Riveria Maya Oct 2012 vs. Riveria Maya June 2013... what a difference 8 months makes!

Beach babes!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What makes you cringe?



  • Thinking about bugs and spiders in my bed (thanks to that old Brady bunch movie where a tarantula crawls on Peter at night...I am scarred for life). I often wake up with nightmares trying to convince Jon I saw a creature in my bed.
  • Fingernails scratching the material that is on the inside roof of cars... random I know but it's that almost fuzzy material that just gives me the chills.
  • When people use the phrase "I could care less"... it's "I couldn't care less" people
  • Getting blood taken... it doesn't hurt, it just grosses me out thinking about my blood traveling from my veins to little viles. Last summer I threw up getting blood drawn at my annual. Luckily I've been good throughout pregnancy but it still makes me wanna barf
What makes YOU cringe?



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Monday, June 17, 2013

Questions for mamas...

I've kept a note in my phone the past couple of weeks and when I think of questions, I write them down. I figured the easiest way to ask a million questions was write them in a post and you mamas can answer the ones you know! I know we all do things differently but would love your advice/recommendations on the following...

Pre-baby
  • What are your hospital bag essentials? Besides the necessities, what is something someone wouldn't ordinarily pack that was a life saver?
  • When should I pack my hospital bag? Should I keep it in my car?
  • Anyone else have traveling husbands? When did yours stop traveling? Jon is hoping I can make it to 37-38 weeks before he makes all his normal travel meetings remote.
  • What are some of your favorite recipes to make ahead and freeze for when after baby comes?
Post-baby
  • I hear post delivery bleeding can be a beautiful thing (sarcasm folks), what pads/protection do you recommend?
  • I want to pack a cute-ish outfit for me to bring baby home in, should I plan on packing a maternity dress? I have a few maxis I was thinking would be good. 
Diapering
  • I have one pack of newborn Pamper's Swaddlers but curious to see your thoughts. I know it depends on how big the baby is but should I buy another few packs and keep the receipts to be safe? I have 2 packs of size 1 diapers too. 
  • We plan to start cloth diapering when he is sleeping a little bit more at night, when did you CD mamas start?
  • What detergent do you use on your cloth diapers? We are using BumGenius 4.0 one size pocket diapers. 
Feeding
  • My insurance covers the Ameda Purely Yours double electric breast pump, has anyone ever used it? I've read great reviews but would love a personal experience.
  • Our goal is to exclusively breast feed but I do want to pump and bottle feed so Jon (and family/friends) can help out. When did you introduce a bottle to your EBF baby? I've read many reviews that suggest different ages.
  • What is the best way to store bottles? We are using Dr. Browns that have 5 pieces so I want to make sure we have things organized. 
Random
  • We have the Ergo, Baby Bjorn, Moby and a sling. Any great YouTube videos or how-to's on tying the Moby? I am guessing we will use that one most when he is newborn.
  • We have a 2 story house and our room is downstairs and the nursery is the farthest room away upstairs. The plan is for him to sleep in the basinet in our room until we get into the swing of things and aren't having to walk all the way upstairs every hour. Any tips on what to keep downstairs? Should I keep a whole diaper changing station and all of his clothes?

Any other tips, advice, recommendations for things that worked for you would be much appreciated!

P.S. we are in Riveria Maya without much access to internet and I'm said I can't Instagram but can't wait to share pictures with you next week!
 
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