The Most Delicious Water You'll Ever Drink

A weekend or two ago, I posted a little teaser photo on my Instagram showing cucumber, lemon and mint and told ya'll to stay tuned to see what I used them for.

A while back, my sister sent me this awesome water recipe from Lipstick, Heels & A Baby and I finally got the ingredients to make it last weekend, and have to share with you. The water helps detox, enrich and boost your metabolism. AND it's easy to make. What else do you want!?

Without further adieu, here's the recipe:

What You Need
One Gallon Water
1 Lemon
1/2 Cucumber
Handful of fresh mint leaves

What You Do
1.Slice the cucumber and lemons into thin slices. 

(The thinner you cut, the more flavor you will get out of it.)

2. Either crush your mint, or just put in whole leaves. 

3. Throw all of it into a gallon of water.

4. Let sit overnight (about 8 hours). Enjoy!

And there you have it! A delicious, refreshing water recipe to keep you cool this summer.

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Week 14 || Bump Date

Man, I have a lot to catch you up on, both about my pregnancy and not. I've been pretty bummed out the past week due to some things going on with work. I can't get into the details right now, so all I'll say is that I'm currently jobless. And I'm super stressed about it due to the fact that, you know, there's a baby inside of me that according to the books, will cost an average of $234,000 over the next 18 years. 

Anyway, I don't know about you, but I need to think about something positive and there's nothing more positive in my life right now than our little peanut. I've been so excited to write my first "bump" post. I've gone back and forth on whether or not post bump pictures, and finally landed on "screw it." (That means bump pictures it is.)

I mentioned that I've felt awesome during my pregnancy so far. So much like my "normal" self, in fact, that I start freaking out that something is wrong. Sure, I had some symptoms, but even now that I've entered second trimester, I'm still not really showing. For me, I have so much going on emotionally and on the inside, I just want that all to reflect on the outside somehow. Of course, in my mind, I look super pregnant but then you look at photos and...I'm bigger but certainly not looking that large. In fact, if you don't know me, you'd likely just think I was a little pudgy. I'm sure in several weeks I will be eating my words and wishing to be smaller, but for now...gimme that bump!

Here's my 14-week update on what's going on with Baby F!

How far along: 14 weeks! Second trimester, baby!

Baby's size: Lemon. About 3 inches and 1.5 ounces!

Baby's progress: Baby F is becoming more fluid like in its movements, rather than jerking. It's got a roof on its mouth and its intestines are working. Baby is also sucking its thumb, wiggling its toes, squinting, grimacing and producing urine! It's also growing a thin coat of hair to keep it warm until it starts getting some meat on the bones!

Weight gain: I'm not positive where I was before I got pregnant, but based on my estimations, I've gained about 8 lbs.

Stretch marks: None yet! I've been slathering on Burt's Bees Mama Bee on my tummy, boobs, butt and thighs.

Sleep: Getting better. I've been going to bed early (for me) and I'm able to sleep through the night without the frequent potty breaks of 1st trimester, but I wake up EARLY with a full bladder and can't always get back to sleep.

Gender: Find out on August 5!!

Movement: None yet. Looking forward to those first flutters that everyone says happen, maybe as early as 16 weeks!

Best moment this week: It's been a rough week, but I spent a long weekend at home at Sloan kissed my belly out of nowhere one night. She's so sweet!

Looking forward to: Going to Nashville next week for the 4th of July! I'm pregnant with 2 of my besties, so it will be fun to be together!

Food cravings: Nothing really...another symptom I look forward to. I've been loving fruit of all kinds - watermelon, grapes and stone fruits, most recently. Carbs are my best friend, too!

Weirdest food I ate this week: Nothing comes to mind?

Anything making you queasy or sick: Not yet!

Labor signs: Let's hope not for a long while...

Symptoms: Pretty tame over energy is coming back and my boobs are less sore. Still having some killer headaches and I have to pee all the time. 

Workouts: One down this week, a couple more to time. Been averaging 3-4 times most good weeks!

What I miss: WINE. As much wine as I want whenever I want. Not having to think about everything I'm putting in my body. Not having to pee 1,000 times a day.

Things that suck: Not having a job + being pregnant = stress for mama. Not good for baby!

Things that don't suck: Being pregnant with friends! Aimee is due in August, Annie is due in September, Britt in November, and me in December!
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She's Having a Baby!

I have been waiting a LONG time to write this post. I've said several times in the past few weeks that there's been "stuff" going on that I haven't been able to talk about. "Health" stuff, job stuff. I've been too tired to do anything, much less blog. Well, now I can finally tell you that it's because...

Our Facebook announcement!

That's right...we're having a baby! I'm pregnant! Everyone always wants know, how did you find out? Were you trying? How have you been feeling? Yada yada.

My husband and I made the decision to stop preventing at the end of 2013. That being said, we agreed that we wanted the trying process to be fun. We didn't want to be--and hoped we wouldn't have to be--the couple that had to pay attention to my body temperature or certain hours of the day that were optimal for intimacy. We wanted it to happen, but just wanted to let it happen on its own. That said, there are certain things you need to pay attention to when trying to make baby, and so in March we decided to continue to have fun, but to pay closer attention.
on vacation at Disney!

At the beginning of April, it was my '"time of the month" and I was late. I'm usually pretty timely with those things, but Friday came and went and nothing. I waited through the weekend, telling Bryan that I was pretty sure I was pregnant, but we agreed to wait until Monday to take a test. One or 2 days late, after all, was not completely unheard of.

On Monday morning, I decided I didn't want to take the test before work. I felt like either way, I wanted us to be able to take in the news and react how we wanted to without having to rush off to work. I came home that night and told Bryan it was time. I went back to the bathroom and took a pregnancy test, letting it sit on the counter while I changed into my PJs. Bryan walked back in and said, "Well?" "I didn't look yet," I told him. I went into the bathroom and picked up the test. Sure enough, it was positive!

I showed the test to Bryan with tears in my eyes, and he looked at it, confused, and said, "what does this mean?" "It means we're having a baby," I told him. And with tears in his eyes, we hugged and kissed before I pulled away and said, "Holy shit."

I kind of feel like no matter if you are trying or if it's an accident, it's normal for your first words to be in the vein of "Oh shit." Unless of course you've had difficulty getting pregnant and have been trying different methods, you're completely overjoyed. And don't get me wrong. I was happy, of course, but I was just so shocked. It's one of those moments where your life literally changes in a minute. One minute you're not pregnant, the next minute you are. (I mean, not technically but you know what I mean.)

So yes, happiness is of course one of the many emotions we experienced in those first moments of learning we were going to be parents, but we (or at least I) went through a slew of others. Shock and sheer terror being two of the major ones. What did we do? Were we really ready for this? Could we afford a child? How the hell will we know what we're doing? How do I take care of myself? I'M GROWING A HUMAN?!

Bryan is the yin to my yang. As I was completely freaking out, he talked me off the ledge and assured me that we could do this. I could do this. We wanted this and we were lucky that it happened so quickly and so easily. I loved him so much in that moment.

And so that was that! We did some math and figured out that our estimated due date was December 19, 2014. (Upon that revelation, I started crying again, bemoaning the fact that I didn't want our poor child to share a birthday with Christmas. Too bad, kid.)
Taken the morning after I found out. Looking back, I was sure I already had a bump, 
but compared to how I look now (still with not much bump), I'm skinny here! 

The following weeks were an adjustment period, for sure, as I made doctor's appointments, learned what foods, drinks and medicines to avoid and which were safe, and adjusted to the changes happening in my body. We shared the news with my two best friends (one of whom is pregnant and due just 6 weeks before me!) and with our families over Easter weekend. I cried with every person I told for the first few weeks (emotional much?). Everyone was completely over the moon for us and so supportive. 

My older sister apparently knew upon looking at me that I was pregnant, so I didn't get to tell her in a fun way. I told my niece, who is 2.5 years old, that I was pregnant and we were all in the car with my little sister on the way to her first dress fitting. We were talking about someone else being pregnant and Sloan blurted out, "Chi Chi's pregnant!" So that's how my little sister found out, haha.

We told our parents with little signs that said "Grandparents: So easy to operate, even child can do it." 
My mom's said "The next best thing to having you for a mom is knowing my children will have you for a grandma."

Flash forward to now, and I'll be 14 weeks tomorrow! Second trimester already, can you believe it? I have been a lucky lady and have felt awesome my whole pregnancy. I've been tired, my boobs have been SO SORE, and I've had some bad headaches but that's about the worst of it. Some nights I get nauseous but no vomiting. I'm working out, sleeping OK for the most part. I really can't complain.

So, now that I've got this adventure going on, hopefully this blog will get a lot more colorful! I've been journaling, with an actual pen and paper, since I haven't been able to blog about it yet. But I promise, I will give you the whole truth and nothing but. My favorite pregnancy books have been the "real" ones that make you feel normal for taking a hot minute to get really excited about having baby, and that tell you that the first trimester sucks. I will be that for you.

Back with more soon, including pictures of our peanut, doctor's appointments and some bump photos!

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Mime Me a Story: The Bachelorette Recap

This week we're in France, where Chris Harrison is dressed like..this.

I missed the beginning, but am joining in where apparently Andrew called Marcel a blackie? C'mon man, you're a social media manager. You know that is not in the community guidelines.

Josh and Andi are on a one-on-one date and after we see Josh's hand linger on Andi's waist for too long, we find out, in case you guys didn't know, JOSH IS AN ATHLETE. Not much to report here except that these two obviously are into each other. Also, how many private concerts do you think Andi has to go to before she says, "enough is enough!" Josh acts amazed by this one-on-one concert, for which he loses points, but I still dig him, so it's cool. Josh for the win!

Just when I think this show can't get any more embarrassing, it outdoes itself. For this next group date, Andi takes them to do something very "French;" Miming. Something tells me the guys didn't like "miming" when Andi references "nonverbal communication." Not much to say about this portion of the day. (See what I did there?)

Moving on to the group cocktail hour, where we FINALLY get some good old fashioned drama between grown men. Meanwhile, Andi shows up wearing Chris Harrison's turtleneck from earlier, thereby ruining an otherwise cute skirt.

Cody goes off on Nick V and is reminding me of a ghetto Sean Lowe. Anyone?

Tonight is dog on Nick night, and everyone is spending their one-on-one time talking shit about him. No one has learned anything from this show in the history of ever. I think ABC is trying to edit Nick to make us not like him, but I don't mind him, personally. 

Once Nick gets his time with Andi, she calls him out on his bad attitude and tries to get him to confess to being an a*hole, which he does, but not really, and then he reads some god awful embarrassing poem. And apparently, that works in the land of The Bachelorette, because he and Andi go through some awful/awkward kissing/pecking. I don't know about Nick, but I think Andi likes him and he's sticking around. 

Sidenote: Andi gets SUPER nasally when she drinks, no?

Marcus drops the "falling in love" bomb again. NO, Marcus! Shave your face, Marcus! Stop kissing like that, Marcus!

Back with the rest of the children, Marquel confronts Andrew about his "blackies" comment, which of course, he denies. For the record, I don't think Andrew said the "blackies" comment, mainly because I think he's homosexual and is there more of the "everyone is equal" mindset. 

Brian's next for his turn at a one-on-one, and GOD DAMNIT I hate it when they do the dates around the cities and talk about how "normal" it is. IT'S NOT FUCKING NORMAL. They cook back at Andi's apartment and she - SHOCKINGLY reads way more into a situation than normal by wondering why Brian isn't coming up behind her stealing kisses, and why oh why isn't this is romantic as the movie? I think the answer is in that sentence, sweetheart. In any case, I can't really hear what Andi is saying since she's whispering, but I'm gonna go out a limb and say that one of two things will happen: A) Brian will say something that she likes and that sounds like it was from a movie and he'll stay or B) he'll go home.

Let's get to the rose already, cuz this shit is boring and for the love, stop PECKING. You're in France. Have you heard of a FRENCH KISS?

Rose ceremony time, and it looks like Andi is not only rocking an "Elsa" braid a la FROZEN, she's also pulling the 'I DON'T WANT A COCKTAIL PARTY' that happens every season. GASP, she wants to cut THREE guys and Chris Harrison braces her by saying "they're gonna be upset." Thank you, once again, for your insight Chris Harrison. 

Sidenote: Why does Andi hold the rose in front of her like that with her elbows out? It's nearly as annoying as her sinus probs.

Welp. Marquel is going home and people all over the world are calling this show RACIST. You should see how many people on Twitter want Marquel to be the next Bachelor, but that would mean the show ISN'T racist and we all know is. 

My top four still stands: Chris, Marcus, Nick V. and Josh, with Josh taking it home.
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How to Plan a 'Little Man' Baby Shower

Today is the first day I can say, "Happy Monday" and mean it. I've had a good day, and it's been awhile since I've had one of those. Today I feel happy, and like maybe, just maybe, things might be working out for us.

Anyway, lately, it seems like everyone I know is knocked up. It must have been a long winter, amiright?

One of said people is one of my best friends, Annie, who is expecting a baby boy this September with her hubby. Annie and Bret live in Nashville and are two of my favorite people. They're going to be amazing parents to Mr. Grady!

Last weekend, Annie flew into Chicago to drive back to Iowa City with my girlfriend Sara and I so that we, along with our other best gals, could host a baby shower for Annie and Baby Boy Alvis.
Don't I have gorgeous friends!?

We decided on a "Little Man" theme, featuring mustaches and bowties. The ideas for this theme are endless and of course, thanks to Pinterest, we got some great ideas for decorations and the like. The seven of us divided and conquered our tasks into small groups for games, menu and decorations. I chose decorations and invitations.

We chose to go with a color palette of green, blue and grey. We bought these invitations from Etsy:

Next, we scoured Pinterest for some fun (and easy) decoration ideas. We decided to make Mason jars with ribbon tied as bows for beverages and to hold utensilsstraws with mustaches to drink with, decorative food labels, cupcake toppers and finally, a banner.

My friend SJ made these fantastic diaper motorcycle cakes!
For centerpieces, we bought books to start Grady's library 
and just did simple Spring flowers!

For our menu, we went with:
Chicken salad croissants & Hummus and veggie on Focaccia 

Bowtie pasta salad 

Fruit, veggies and dips 


Punch & Lemon Water

And finally, for games, we played a rousing game of pregnancy Catch Phrase, where my girlfriends came up with a bunch of words related to pregnancy, birth, and parenthood and we played by the rules of Catch Phrase. So fun, actually! And lastly, we played "Tinkle in the Pot," which was a relay. Everyone had to put a coin in between their legs, run down the room and then drop the coin in the pot. The idea was that little boys can't aim their weiners when potty training :). The coins all went to Grady's Piggy Bank and lots of laughs were had.

And that my friends, is how a successful shower is done! Hope everyone else had a great Monday, too!
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The Bachelorette Part 2: Ain't No Shame, Except When There Is

Finally, after a productive evening of working, grocery shopping, cooking dinner and unpacking from our trip (which we returned from a week ago), I had some time to lie in bed and watch the second episode of Andi's "journey."

Let's just call this episode what it was: A Crock of Shit.

The Eric thing. This episode was supposed to commemorate Eric. Instead, it was all about Andi and ended up making Eric seem like a jerk. The sit-down with Andi and Chris Harrison was downright horrible. No one cares what Andi thinks or how she feels. She knew the guy for 4 weeks, was a bitch to him and is now trying to make herself feel better as a result of her own behavior. Also, she pretty much only talked about how sad she was that she wouldn't get a chance to see him on the reunion. Do I think it sucks that her last conversation with him was what it was? Of course. But if ABC really wanted to celebrate this guy's life, they would have talked to the guys he lived with and spent time with, at the very least. Or, do everyone a favor and not show Eric's conversation with Andi at all. Because now you have people all over the Internet, me included, judging her and ABC.

As if it wasn't sad enough to watch a deceased guy -- who happened to be super cute, super nice, super interesting and super honest -- ABC seriously had THIS be his last episode? I fail to believe that there wasn't any more footage they could have shown of his conversation with Andi or saying goodbye to the guys that they could have shown to have his last scenes be shown in a more appropriate way. Look, obviously you can't change history. He left the show this week and that would have happened no matter what. But to have viewers last image of him to basically be that of an asshole is inaccurate and a dick move. Shame on ABC.

Also, who the hell does Andi think she is? I think we can all remember when she confronted Juan Pablo for being disingenuous and not getting to know her enough. So when Eric calls her out for the same thing, she gets pissed and sends him packing? Actually "calls her out" is not even the right term to use. Dude was just trying to be honest and her reaction was complete defensive and over the top, in my opinion. She even busted out the same phrase “if you say (blank) one more time, I’m going to lose it.”

I don't know. A lot of people think this was handled well and I don't agree, but I also have to remember that this situation is separate from Eric's death. Either way, I think Eric speaking up to Andi was commendable and I'm glad he at least stayed true to himself at the end. It's going to suck even worse when we have to go through it with the rest of the cast when they get news that Eric passed away.

Not much to say about the rest of the episode, but I've got a few things to mention.

-Anyone notice Andi's constant bitch face? Or maybe it's more of a  "who farted?" face. She makes it ALL THE DAMN TIME and it's becoming hard to watch. 

-Dylan looks like Ed Burns. And he's a little weird.

-I still have serious questions about these guys. When they all get to the hotel in Connecticut, their first move is to immediately pile into the bathtub together...DAFUQ?
-Marcus pulls the "I can't believe I'm falling in love with you" already. Don't believe it, Marcus, because you're not.

That's all I got. What were your thoughts on Eric's last episode?

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Bachelorette Recap Part 1: It's (Not) So Hard to Say Goodbye

Can we all agree that a double dose of The Bachelorette is too much? I forgot there was an episode on Sunday, so I watched that one last night and tonight will have to watch last night's and cover that (did you catch that?). Basically, you'll get Monday's recap tomorrow. Sorry I'm not really sorry, but two hours of this BS at once is about all I can take. FYI, they did this because there's no episode next week.

This week they are off to Santa Barbara, an "unbelieveable" destination a whole 45 minutes from where they are now. Seriously? Methinks the travel budget has been reduced because next week they "get to" go to Connecticut? Don't act excited guys, it's not exciting.

First up for a one-on-one is Nick V., who at first glance reminds me of Frank Buffay on Friends, aka Giovanni Ribisi. Anyone?
There's not much to say about this date. She's into him, he's into her. I like Nick because he's one of the "normal" ones who actually questions the notion of finding love on a reality TV show. He gets a rose anyway.

Before the worst group date in Bachelor History, we have yet another Suave Commercial, which are somehow more awkward and horrible than anything I've seen in a long time. I used to respect Catherine and Deana. (By respect, I mean 'stalk them on Instagram.) But now...I just can't.

Brian, Marquel, Cody, Tasos, Brett, Ron, Bradley, Josh, Eric, Andrew, Patrick and Marcus gather with Andi at a bogus Music Academy where the men walk in to a serenade of Boyz II Men singing, "I'll Make Love to You."

I'd like us all to sit and think about this for one minute: 12 dudes walk into a room where 3 other dudes (where's the 4th Boyz, BTW?) are singing a song to said 12 dudes that is strictly about getting laid. Anyone else think this is weird? I mean, I have noticed since night one that, as with every season of The Bachelorette, the dudes are heavily invested in some serious Bromance, but c'mon, this is a little much. 

Another side note: Boyz II Men was my first concert. My parents got my sister and I six tickets to their concert for Valentine's Day. We got to take a limo and everything. I remember thinking that people would probably assume we were the band when we pulled up out front. I felt beautiful in a black and white babydoll dress with knee-high socks and black patent leather shoes. It was an amazing night.

You can imagine my disappointment to see such a beloved group stooping to such a low as a freaking group date on The Bachelorette. 

In any case, the men are divided into two groups where Boyz II Men will coach each group to perform portions of "I'll Make Love to You" in front of a live audience. If I were someone who'd actually paid money to go to this concert and this group of yahoos sang one of the BEST SONGS EVER instead I'd be as pissed as the little blonde girl covering her ears the whole time.

This was painful to watch. Especially when the "Opera Singer" tried to sing in a ridiculous vibrato and that wedding planner (did anyone else just notice he's a wedding planner?) held the mic like Eminem.

Let's move on to the party portion of the date where hilarious Andi "pranks" meathead Cody (about as funny as Sean Lowe saying he still lived with his parents), makes out with everyone and ultimately gives Josh the rose. I'm going to go on a limb and say Josh makes it to final two, hands down. He's her type guys. HOT.

Next Andi goes on a one-on-one with No Pants Dance/Panstaprenuer where she decides it's a good idea to make herself and her future husband look ugly by "growing old" together. For some reason, Andi thinks looking old, walking around a park and talking like Lindsay Lohan will help determine if she can see herself with JJ for the long haul. I'm bored. And I take back what I said about Boyz II Men being the worst date. While other guys get to ride in helicopters and watch sunsets from a cliff, he gets to look ugly and walk like a hunchback.   

Meanwhile Ron leaves due to a death of a friend, which is sad, but...see ya, Ron. We hardly knew ya. No seriously, we don't know a single thing about you. The guys get mad at Andrew for apparently getting some chick's phone number (are we sure it wasn't a dude?). And she sends home the guy with the rat tail, aka "I love lamp."

Next week (damn it, last night?) we go to Connecticut. Can't wait?
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