Week 23 || Bumpdate

my hubby is gone so i had to take a bump selfie this week! 
Lots of outtakes on this one...

How far along: 23 weeks 

Baby's size: All my apps say different fruits this week. One says Papaya, one says Grapefruit and another says Mango. Either way, he weighs over a pound now and they say he'll be having a growth spurt in the next few weeks. (Which means I will, too.)

Baby's progress: He's forming nipples and his face is fully formed now! He just needs some fat on his bones pretty much. He's more aware these days and tunes in to sounds outside the womb, like traffic and dogs, but can also hear my voice, music, my blood and my heartbeat. He can also sense movement, like swaying or dancing. I've started to feel him move at more consistent times, based on how I'm sitting or if I've eaten or drank something.

Weight gain: I haven't stepped on the scale lately, but last I checked, I am up 20lbs. Bleh. 

Stretch marks: Still none, thankfully!

Sleep: Still good!

Gender: Still my little man! 
Those toes are getting smaller and smaller...
Movement: Lots of movements that are getting stronger and more frequent! I think you can feel from the outside now, but I can never have Bryan catch little dude kicking at the right moment. I love feeling him move. It's the most indescribable feeling and I often can be found laying in his nursery with my hands on my belly. 

Best moment this week: Bryan painted the nursery while I was on vacation and it's gorgeous. We used Benjamin Moore's Stonington Gray and I'm obsessed. We also ordered furniture and I can't wait to start bringing the room together!
Clearly this isn't yet a "nursery" as it still has our 
guest bedroom furniture in it, though we took 
all stuff off the walls. But isn't the paint gorgeous?

Looking forward to: See above. Nursery planning. Shopping for little boy clothes. Baby showers. I'm NOT looking forward to my glucose testing in a couple of weeks! 

Food cravings: Still nothing here...sweets more often, which is not good for the weight gain. Still nothing making me queasy or sick.

Labor signs: Nada, just those pesky Braxton Hicks.

Symptoms: My back hurts something fierce these days. And my bladder consistently feels full. And my belly keeps on growing and growing!

Workouts: My workout schedule seems to be hit or miss. I swam and went on A bikeride on vacation, but other than that...I haven't been. 

What I miss: Not feeling like I have to pee. Having more than a glass of wine on the occasions I choose to indulge. 

Things that suck: Sorry if it's TMI re: bathroom, but honestly? It feels like I have to pee REALLY BAD all of the time, but then I go and it's like...just kidding. Which means this boy is just hanging out on my bladder and making it feel that way instead of actually having to use the facility. I hear this is not getting better anytime soon.

Things that don't suck: Being pregnant generally doesn't suck. I think it gets a bad rep and some have it way worse than others, but for me, I've loved it. I feel so connected to this little man and get more excited to see him every day!
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Baby Farrell: Boy or Girl?

Originally written 8/5/2014

I so excited to finally share that Baby Farrell is...... A BOY!

I truly have never been so shocked in my life! I mean, I knew there was a 50/50 chance that it could be a little man, but I was convinced it was a girl. Like, 150% convinced. So when I saw our little picture that said, "IT'S A BOY!" with an arrow pointing to what is very clearly a PENIS...my mouth dropped. 

Let me start from the beginning. When we first found out we were pregnant, Bryan and I both made our declarations: He wanted a boy and I wanted a girl. Of course, it goes without saying (I'll say it anyway) that we would both be happy with either. I think for me, girls are all I know! I have two nieces and I just got my first nephew. I grew up with sisters and only a few male cousins. 

After our 8-week ultrasound, I convinced myself it was a boy. Partly because I thought it was and partly because I thought if I had this mentality, I wouldn't feel disappointed it was a girl. And then I found myself really wanting a boy! 

Then my friends and I did the Old Wives Tale of a "necklace test" where the necklace moves a certain way depending if it's a boy or girl. Both times I did it, it said girl. (It said boy for my friends who ended up having boys.) I know how silly it sounds, but the necklace test has seriously almost ALWAYS been right. That, plus I am carrying exactly the way my sister carried Sloan and have had pretty much the exact same pregnancy as her. So then, I got sad it was a girl as I had really loved the idea of having a boy.

So back into girl camp I went, going so far as to complete design a baby girl nursery (no purchases, just Pinterest boards). There was no question: We were having a little girl. (Bryan stood his ground that it was a boy.)

We went to our 20 week appointment, where most importantly, they take all of baby's measurements and make sure he is growing on track, which thankfully, our little man is. We told our technician that we wanted her to keep the gender a secret by putting it in an envelope for us. Bryan and I really just wanted to have a moment to ourselves when we found out and really be able to celebrate and be joyful together. Basically we wanted to be able to hug and kiss without having my big belly all gooey. Upon leaving our appointment, I said to Bryan, "I think I saw a penis and it's a boy," at the same time he said, "I think it's a girl."

We went to dinner, ordered some plates and just kept looking at each other and smiling. Bryan finally said, "I can't take it, open it." To Bryan's dismay, I wanted to videotape it since we didn't have anyone there to take photos, and we're both so glad we did. We ended up getting great photos from the video to share and the video is super fun to send people as a way to tell them the news. Those we've shared it with said, "it felt like we were there with you, we couldn't wait to see!"

My mouth dropped when I saw "BOY" circled in that note! Bryan's reaction was the best moment for me. He was the happiest I have ever seen him, aside from when we saw each other for the first time on our wedding day. He immediately got choked up and started chugging a beer so as not to cry. It melted my heart. Honestly, I wanted it to be boy for him and seeing his joy made me all the happier. Apparently, my reaction to big moments like this continues to be "Holy Shit." When Bryan proposed, I said Holy Shit. When we found out we were pregnant, I said Holy Shit. And when we found out about little man, guess what I said?

So there you have it! We are having a SON! I can't believe I'm going to be a boy mom! We'll be having the first grandson on my side of the family, which is such a fun thing for us to experience. We are revealing to our families this weekend and it's been so fun to have this be our little secret for a few days!

We know something you don't know!

I'll be sure to share the details of our families reactions after we reveal to them this weekend, and show you how we did it! Tell me BOY MOMS: Is it amazing?!
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Week 21 || Bumpdate

How far along: 21 weeks! 

Baby's size: Baby is the size of a pomegranate! About 12.7 ounces and 10.5 inches. Crazy!

Baby's progress: Baby F is producing meconium, as a result of gulping down that amniotic fluid. They say we'll see this in baby boy's diapers. He's also putting on fat! Love me some baby rolls!

Weight gain: Holding steady at 17 lbs. 

Stretch marks: None yet! Thanks Burt's Bees Mama Bee!

Sleep: Like a rock, and getting a big more tired than I have been in recent weeks.

Gender: IT'S A BOY!

Movement: Still getting a little something every day. Can't wait until Bryan can feel, too!  

Best moment this week: Getting a job and telling them I was pregnant and being SUPPORTED!

Looking forward to: I can't wait to get going on the nursery! I've finally figured out our furniture and color scheme, so now it's down to picking out the details. 

Food cravings: Still nothing really here!

Weirdest food I ate this week: It's not a weird food, but tonight I HAD TO HAVE heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella cheese. We didn't have any said cheese, so I cut up string cheese, tossed in the tomatoes with salt and balsamic. It was SO GOOD.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Labor signs: Still those Braxon Hicks...

Symptoms: Itchy skin, achey legs, and gross boobs. Seriously, boobs and pregnancy are yuck.

Workouts: Been the past three days, thank you very much! Trying to get these fat arms in shape.

What I miss: Being able to touch my toes. Fitting into clothes. This week I had a great moment where THREE pairs of sweatpants were too small for me. SWEATPANTS. Fml.

Things that suck: Feeling overwhelmed when registering. How on Earth do I know what to get, how much? There are hundreds of resources and it's all just a lot.

Things that don't suck: Registering :). I know I just said that it sucks being overwhelmed, but that doesn't mean it's not fun!
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Week 20 || Bumpdate

Originally written 8/7/2014
How far along: 20 weeks! 

Baby's size: Baby is the size of a banana from head to toe. About 6.5 inches inches and 10.2 oz!

Baby's progress: Baby F has fully formed taste buds by now, and is gulping down lots of delicious amniotic fluid. Yum? 

Weight gain: Ugh. I had a bit of growth spurt with Baby in the past few weeks, but I'm up 17 lbs. [insert ashamed emoji]

Stretch marks: None yet! Thanks Burt's Bees Mama Bee!

Sleep: No complaints here! I can sleep through the night but am still rising early to go to the bathroom. If I can turn my mind off, I can go back to bed!

Gender: IT'S A BOY!

Movement: Little man is moving around more and more and I love it! I learned that I have an anterior placenta, which means I might not be able to feel movements as often, but I've felt at least one nearly every day for the past couple of weeks. It continues to be amazing and remind me that I am this little dude's world and he is mine.  

Best moment this week: Finding out that Baby F is a BOY! I still can't believe it, but am so excited to be a "boy mom." Boys love their mamas, and mine will be no different. I love the idea of raising him to be a good, honest man that we are proud of. 

Looking forward to: More milestones! Soon I'll start to feel real kicks instead of flutters and that will be super fun. I'm also looking forward to a more pronounced baby bump as I still don't feel I really have one yet.

Food cravings: Carbs are still my best friend, as is fruit and sugar.

Weirdest food I ate this week: I satisfied a weird craving for a Salted Nut Roll.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Labor signs: I've been having some Braxton Hicks contractions a bit, but it doesn't hurt and doctor says as long as it's not happening more than 4 times and hour, we're OK.

Symptoms: Still feel amazing mostly! My back is starting to hurt more frequently and I've found myself short of breath a little more often as my uterus gets bigger and close to my lungs. Bigger, veinier boobs. Itching belly due to growth.

Workouts: Not this week, due to being busy interviewing, but I will be back next week! My arms are getting chubby. 

What I miss: I'm so happy these days, I don't miss anything about not being pregnant. I love being preggo right now!

Things that suck: Interviewing while pregnant. I really hate not telling prospective employers that I'm expecting, but I just don't trust people to do the right thing anymore. 

Things that don't suck: Being halfway done! Knowing we have a boy on the way and being able to finally start buying clothes and nursery planning!

Here's week 19's photo, even though I forgot a bumpdate: 

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Week 18 || Bumpdate

Originally written on July 23, 2014

How far along: 18 weeks! Where is time going?

Baby's size: Sweet Potato. About 5.6 inches inches and 7 oz!

Baby's progress: Baby F has lots going on! It's hiccuping, yawning, swallowing and sucking in there, not to mention lots of moving around. Baby can hear me, as it's ears are fully formed. He or she also has its very own set of fingerprints! 

Weight gain: 11 lbs and counting...

Stretch marks: None yet! Thanks Burt's Bees Mama Bee!

Sleep: Good! I'm not overly tired but am sleeping 8-10 hours a night. My problem now seems to be shutting off my brain when I wake up. Immediately I start thinking about EVERYTHING and can't go back to sleep. I also started sleeping with a Snoogle and while my hubby complains about its size, I L-O-V-E it. 

Gender: The countdown is on...12 days!

Movement: FINALLY, I felt the baby move for the first time this week! I have an anterior placenta, which means it can be harder to feel movements, so I was SUPER excited to feel this. It felt like two quick little pops on my left side. I felt it again the next day but none since. 

Best moment this week: Feeling the baby move. It made everything so real and it was truly amazing. I can't wait for Bryan to feel something, too. Feeling the baby made me realize it's just the two of us in this body of mine, which is kind of awesome when you stop to think about it!

Looking forward to: Feeling more movements in the coming weeks and finding out if Baby F is a boy or girl!

Food cravings: Still loving fruit and sweets like ice cream. Graham crackers dipped in frosting and bagels! YUM. Oh, and cheese.

Weirdest food I ate this week: It's not a weird food, but I put down basically an entire block of cheese the other day. Oops.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.

Labor signs: Another negative. 

Symptoms: Still thanking my lucky stars that I feel great. I've been getting some belly pains from my ever-growing uterus (which is apparently the size of a cantaloupe) and experiencing minor back aches and restless leg syndrome

Workouts: Still making it 3-5 times a week, thanks to not having a job, I don't really have an excuse not to. 30-40 minutes of cardio plus strength training when I'm up for it. 

What I miss: Still missing my wine. I have indulged in a glass here and there but having just one is not quite the same as being able to have as much as I want! :) I also miss not feeling fat.

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

Things that don't suck: Being so close to halfway done! Although it makes me super anxious, too!
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5 Ways to S(h)ave Money

When Dollar Shave Club reached out to me to see if I'd write a post about ways I 'shave time' or 'shave money,' I thought it was a perfect fit. After all, given my employment situation the past 6-7 weeks, money has been tighter than usual, so we are becoming good at looking at how we can save money.

Here are some quick tips we've been using to keep more money in our pockets as of late:

  1. Take public transportation. Living in a big city like Chicago, public transportation is easy peasy. There is a train, bus, even bikes you can rent, that will take you anywhere you want to go. Though we do love Uber for taxi rides (and have gotten a little spoiled with this app), we have been better about taking the train downtown when meeting friends or going to the airport, and I have been taking public transport  to all of my interviews. When it's $5 roundtrip on the El, vs $15+ for a cab or to drive and park...you take the public transportation. (Plus, it's always good people watching, so consider it free entertainment!)
  2. Recycle when you can. By 'recycle,' I mean 'Reuse water bottles.' Given that I'm off the booze these days, I drink a lot of water. But it gets expensive to buy La Croix or bottled water all the time. Instead, I buy a couple of 1 liter bottles from CVS or somewhere similar (where they are usually 2/$3 or something) and just refill them at home! My husband makes fun of my many water bottles lying around the house, but it works for me!
  3. Make coffee at home. I think everyone knows this simple trick, but I'm all for making my coffee at home, despite the close vicinity of Starbucks AND Dunkin Donuts. Up front, the $150 you spend on a Keurig might seem steep, but let's do some math. $150/365= 41 cents/day on the machine. +$10 (for 16 or or coffee refills) = 63 cents for each cup of coffee. 41+63= $1.04 cents for a cup of Joe. There are countless flavors, blends and caffeine amounts and you can buy them nearly anywhere, from Target to the grocery store. 
  4. Choose carryout. If you're on a budget, you probably aren't ordering out a lot. But, let's be realistic - sometimes a home cooked meal just ain't gonna happen. One way we cut back if we do order out is to choose the "pick up" option instead of delivery. No, it doesn't save you time, but it does save you about $5, if not more, so get off your bum and go!
  5. DIY. Now, I'm not a huge DIY-er myself, but I aspire to be. When we got married, we did several easy DIY projects (and got friends to help) to save on money. And now, as many friends are pregnant and outfitting nurseries, there are so many cute decor options you can find on Pinterest and Etsy. Many of them are easy to do yourself if you have the time! Just do a bit of research and I'd bet you can make that cute sign you saw at Pottery Barn Kids for $60 and make it yourself spending $15 at Hobby Lobby.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one more obvious way to Shave time and Shave money - check out Dollar Shave Club. You just choose a blade, pay a monthly fee, which ranges from $1-$9, and they send the razors right to your door, with a FREE handle! You better believe I'm signing Bryan up - his blades cost more than $30 a pop! 

How do you s(h)ave time and money?
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