Weekend Recap: Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

Mondays are much easier when you've just had wonderful weekend. (Or does that make them harder?) Either way, the point is that I had such a great weekend! A great weekend, of which I took zero photos...

(That's my way of apologizing for a lot of words...)

I went home to Iowa for the weekend because my best girl friends threw Baby Farrell (and his friends) his first baby shower! As you know, my best friends, Brittany and Sara, are also pregnant with boys! Unbelievable, right? The rest of our "group," almost all of whom are mommies themselves, threw a joint shower in our honor.

First, let me tell you about the rest of the weekend. since I don't have photos, I'll give you the highlights.

Basically, I spent the weekend catching with friends and family, and playing anything and everything you can imagine centered around "Frozen." Sloan was all too excited to show me all of her birthday gifts from the weekend before.

I stayed up until wee hours of the morning laughing with Britt and Sara as we compared pregnancy symptoms, bellies, boobs and stories. Then, the most amazing thing happened. I was laying in bed trying to sleep and had the most amazing experience. You know how people say you can sometimes see limbs through your belly? So I'm lying in bed, on my left side, and all of the sudden on my right side, I could feel the baby's ENTIRE body, from head to toe, and I could pick out every limb. It was CRAZY! I desperately wanted to turn on the lights to see if  I could see an outline, but was just so amazed and enthralled that I laid there for 30 minutes patting his little butt and talking to him while he danced. :)

Saturday morning, Britt and I got coffee and breakfast from Starbucks and went to visit Sara and her parents. We've all been best friends for about 18 years, so it's always a pleasure to catch up with her family. Next, we headed to my Dad's house to watch the Hawkeyes with him and my stepmom. I never get to spend enough time with them when we're back, so it was nice to just relax and catch up with the whole family. That night, girlfriends and I all went to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants, where we were able to enjoy a beautiful night dining al fresco by a firepit! To end a great Saturday, I went to my mom's house and hung out with her and her boyfriend for a couple of hours before I FINALLY went home to crash. 

I could barely sleep I was so excited for Sunday! As I mentioned, it was my first baby shower. Talk about making things real! Something about getting car seats, strollers and diapers to make reality really sink in! 
Sara (25 weeks), Me (27 weeks), Britt (33 weeks).
Yes, we wore matching dresses. Find it here: http://tgt.biz/1uE0A3V

I mentioned my girlfriends are all moms too, so we've thrown many a baby shower. They were so sweet to want to do something different. The theme of the shower was "Rock a Bye Baby" and for food, they had Olive Garden cater soups, plus some sandwiches and of course, dessert: Blue Chocolate covered pretzels, brownies and blue rice crispy treats. (I was too busy saying hello to my guests to take any photos. dang it.)
My beautiful friends!

After we ate, we played a couple of games that everyone got a kick out of and then we got to the gifts!

To say Baby Farrell is spoiled would be an understatement. We got so many of our "bigger" items from our families and friends. We got our stroller, car seat, play yard + bassinet, two swings for baby, plus tons of swaddles, clothes, blankets, burp clothes...you name it! 
Not pictured: our "big" stuff

Generous doesn't begin to explain and grateful doesn't express how I felt. It was really the best day just being with my best friends and their moms, plus my family. And of course my two best friends. 
My MIL, SIL and nephew

My mama and my sisters

And that's our weekend! We are so busy in the coming weeks, We head to NYC this weekend for my birthday/our babymoon. Week after is litte sister's wedding. Week after that: NOLA (another wedding). One week home, plus another back in Iowa and one in Florida and that's mid November. I feel like I'm going to blink and we'll be having a baby!

What'd you do this weekend?
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Week 26 || Bumpdate

How far along: 26 weeks

Baby's size: He's the size of a head of lettuce this week. About 13.6 to 14. inches from crown to rump, and probably weighs about 2 lbs.

Baby's progress: His eyes are starting to open! He's also taking breaths, which are obviously of amniotic fluid, but it's helping his lungs practice for the outside world. His ears are also more developed, so now he can probably hear Bryan's voice, too. He definitely heard the music at the Ed Sheeran concert on Tuesday!

Weight gain: Since I just wrote a blog about this, I suppose I should be honest. I've gained 30 lbs so far. 13 of those pounds, I gained from August 5 to September 9. WHAT THE HELL. The doctor says baby had a growth spurt (ya think!) and I should try to only gain half a pound  week from here on out. Less carbs, more protein, she says. BORING.

Stretch marks: Nope. Thanks babe!

Sleep: Still not terrible but getting worse. I'm getting up more frequently in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or reposition and I have trouble getting back to sleep.


Movement: All the time. He is getting stronger in there, that is for sure!

Best moment this week: We're pretty sure we decided on the baby's name. It's a secret though...sorry! Also my sister was in town for the Ed Sheeran concert and got to feel him kick. The look on her face was priceless.

Looking forward to:  We have our first baby shower this weekend in Iowa City! My girlfriends are hosting a co-shower for me and my two best friends. we're expecting within 3-9 weeks of each other and it'll be so fun! Can't wait to start checking things off my list of things we need, and to see everyone who loves baby so much already.

I also really want Bryan to feel him kick. Every time the baby moves and he puts his hand on my belly, baby stops!

Labor signs: Braxton Hicks like no one's biz. That's it for now, and I'm good with that.

Symptoms: My latest symptom, which is SUPER fun is numbness and tingling in my left pinky and ring finger. Apparently some tissue is swollen in there and compressing my nerves. It's "normal" and highly annoying. Back still hurts and when I get really full,it feels like the skin on my belly is going to break. Good times.

Workouts: Since my doctor told me I've gained too much weight, I'm going as frequently as I can, about 3-4 times a week. 

What I miss: Going to the bathroom without my belly sitting on my thighs and without having to really work to wipe. You're welcome for the visual.

Things that suck: Feeling uncomfortable and less than attractive. It's a daily struggle to keep perspective.

Things that don't suck: I am almost to third trimester...aka home stretch! It's crazy to think I will be "full term" in just 9 weeks, and after that, our baby could come at any time. Everything has gone so fast! We started with 200-some days and now are in the 90s. 
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How Pregnancy Made Me Appreciate My Body

In being pregnant, I've learned several things about myself. Perhaps one of the most important is a new appreciation for my body.

Here's the thing. The human body is nothing if not amazing. It can do things we don't even know it's capable of. My body in particular has bounced back from several surgeries and serious illnesses. And now it's growing a human being.

Before I became pregnant, I was like many other women: Most days of the week, I was on a diet or watching my weight in some capacity. Nearly every day I lamented how I looked in the mirror or what I looked like naked. I swatted my husband's hand when he lovingly grabbed me around my waist to pull me in for a kiss. I was never happy with how I looked, and it always, always had to do with my weight.
My wedding day. My lowest weight 
in years, in the 130s.

Which, in retrospect, doesn't make a lot of sense. I weighed 145 lbs pre-pregnancy, give or take a few pounds depending on the day. I was a little on the "heavy" side according to my height, but for the most part, I was healthy. So why wasn't I happy?

Then I got pregnant. I think I was like many women in that when I saw those two lines on my pregnancy test, I instinctively felt my stomach. At only 4 weeks along, I could already feel my "bump." Of course it was not a bump. Not even close. But when you're pregnant, you want that little pouch to be there. It's an outside glimpse into the amazing miracle that's happening inside you.

The day after I saw a positive sign. 

Of course, those first weeks, there wasn't really a bump to be seen. My boobs were growing and I was a bit thicker around the middle, to be sure. I gained weight slowly, continued to work out. I took my bump pictures every week. Looking back at these photos is amazing because I look at weeks 14, 16, even 18 and my belly is not very big. At 20 weeks, I remember chatting up a woman in Starbucks who told me she couldn't even tell I was pregnant!

10 weeks on the left, 15 weeks on the right.

I was anxious to "look" pregnant. And then, overnight, it seemed...I did. Not only did I look pregnant, I felt pregnant. My back began to ache. I started to swell on the regular. My boobs had another growth spurt. Suddenly and completely, I didn't feel cute or glowing anymore. I felt like a freaking cow. I hated the way I looked in photos. I hated that you could see my huge belly button under my stretching shirt. I hated that my face had begun to round out. And it was hard to balance that with what was happening on the inside: the kicks, turns and hiccups, all of which I love.
23 weeks
 Even as I type this, I know I'm being too hard on myself. After all, I'm not fat. I'm pregnant. But it's hard to remind yourself of that all the time. Especially because I've already gained 30 pounds in this pregnancy, 13 one month! And I still have a solid 12 weeks ago.

Soon after I really looked and felt pregnant, I started to look at old photos, taken as recently as this past winter. I found myself thinking, "Wow, you look good!" I even thought I looked, GASP, thin, in some photos. But how could that be, I wondered, when I was so surely fat all those years before I got pregnant? That was when I realized that I never appreciated my body until I got pregnant. Not only for what it "used" to be, but for what it can do and will do. So many women aren't able to bear children, and how, I wonder, would they feel if they knew I was "complaining" about what it was doing to my precious looks?

My breasts, which were large before, are now bigger because they're getting ready to be able to feed and nourish my son. My stomach, once flat and toned, is getting bigger by the day due to a growing uterus that is current home to a healthy baby boy. My hips, once relative to the size of my thighs, are getting wider to make labor and getting baby out more comfortable for all of us. My legs and back, though they ache, are getting stronger to support the weight of a growing baby.
Our little boy at just 12 weeks

There are so many moments in pregnancy when you don't feel beautiful. But there are also many that you do. And at the end of the day, this phase of life, like most, is temporary. One day, in the fairly near future, this babe growing inside me will make his way into the world, and I will have bigger things to worry about than my body. I'm sure I will be in a hurry to lose the baby weight. In no time, I'll complain that having a baby changed my body forever or that I can't seem to lose those last five pounds. But I hope I remember those stretch marks and extra pounds for what they are: Signs of my first born child living inside me, growing into a healthy little boy. And I hope, that the same way I look at my pre-pregnancy body with new appreciation, I can look back on my body while pregnant and after with much of the same.

Life's too short to be so obsessed with how we look. Especially when you're carrying a baby. No, my body is not the same as it was pre-pregnancy and time will tell what it looks like postpartum. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Friday Faves

Happy Friday!

I didn't get to share the news yet, but I got a new job! I actually started the last week of August. Fortunately, I had a few offers on the table at the end of the summer, each one more different than the next. I'm happy to say I chose a position that was completely out of my comfort zone, less than the salary I was seeking and not located downtown.

I'm happy to report I started working at a non-profit adoption agency as a Digital Marketing Manager. The work is right up my alley in terms of what I've done before, but I'm also learning new skills, like SEO. And it's feel-good work. I love knowing that I'm not working for an organization that is driven by money, but by helping families and children. I've been here a few weeks and am happy as a clam.

That said, getting back into the "real world" after a summer off has been an adjustment! It's amazing how much more tired I get with having to commute and use my brain! (Hehe). I wouldn't have it any other way though, and all the stress that came with not having a job at this time in our lives is slowly melting away.

I'm not going to do a bumpdate this week, only because not much has changed from last week. That and I just look hideous in my most recent bump photo (you can see it on Instagram if you really want).

So this Friday, I thought I'd do a non-pregnancy related post, since I feel like that's all I talk about anymore, and share with you some of my favorite things currently (and always):

Fall Faves

Fall Faves by rzupek featuring Essie

Gap top

Wedge ankle boots

Burts Bees beauty product
$23 - debenhams.com

Essie nail polish

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Week 24 || Bumpdate

Looking a little rough around the edges. 
I had been sleeping on the couch for 2 hours prior to this photo.

How far along: 24 weeks (Technically 25 today..I'm late posting this)

Baby's size: We are an ear of corn this week! He's about 1.5 lbs and almost a foot long already!

Baby's progress: His body is starting to fill out proportionally, but is still pretty skinny right now. His brain is still (always) growing and developing, and his taste buds continue to develop. His lungs are developing their branches, too. His skin is still translucent, but that changes soon. He's putting on weight like crazy!

Weight gain: Unknown. My scale broke (probably due to my weight) but I'm guessing 25ish lbs? Will find out at next week's appointment...

Stretch marks: All clear.

Sleep: All good in the hood. Wish I could say the same for my husband.

Gender: I think we've established I've got a penis inside me.

Movement: Little dude has been on the move this week. But it's mostly been during the day, so that's good. At least he's not waking me up at night. He made his way under my rib cage yesterday, which was SUPER weird and uncomfortable. Go ahead and float back down any time! 

Best moment this week: Little man Farrell was hiccuping today! Either that, or jumping up and down. It was hilarious and so cute!

Looking forward to:  Our babymoon! We were going to go somewhere tropical, but decided to save the money and head to NYC instead! We're going the last weekend of September (my birthday weekend!) and I can't wait! It's a foodie/pregnant woman's dream! Also excited about seeing fellow preggo Carrie Underwood this weekend at Ravinia with my other fellow pregnant friends! (Minus a couple.)

Labor signs: Nada! Keep cookin' in there, buddy!

Symptoms: Backaches...leg cramps...swelling...exhaustion (I'm talking first trimester tired). Ooof.

Workouts: Just once, unless you count my painting and dancing this past weekend! 

What I miss: I'm gonna go with not feeling like my back is breaking in half. I also actually really miss craft beer. I've indulged in Non-Alcoholic beers this summer, but would really just love a beer that has FLAVOR!

Things that suck: I've begun the swelling phase of pregnancy, which is a real downer, to put it kindly. It also sucks when you can't find relief for your aching back!

Things that don't suck: Feeling little man be so active! He loves to kick, punch, jump, hiccup and stretch.
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Weekend Update: A "LABOR" of Love

No, I did not go into labor this weekend, thank God. But I very well could have, what with how I occupied my time while simultaneously being a complete ball of nerves while my husband climbed Mt. Rainier.

I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, first and foremost - It's SEPTEMBER and I'm not sure where or when or how that happened, but this is officially my favorite month. Not only is it my birthday month (on the 28th, mark your calendars!), Fall begins (my favorite season), college football starts (Go Hawks!) and Fantasy Football/NFL football starts (Go Pack Go). Hot coffee is back in style. Boots and leggings are on regular rotation. THE BEST.

This year, September also has new meaning because now I can say that in just three short months, we will be a family of THREE, which is crazy to me. This pregnancy has seriously gone by so fast, and I can't believe I'll be 25 weeks along on Friday. Anyway, back to my weekend.

So, my ever-adventurous and thrill-seeking husband signed up several months ago (before we were expecting) to climb Mt. Rainier with a couple of his buddies this past weekend. No, he has never climbed a mountain before. Yes, I was scared. A group freaking died on Mt. Rainier just a few months ago, and I have no interest in becoming a single mom or widow any time soon! Thankfully, he and the group made it up the mountain and back down in one piece, and I'm super proud of him for this amazing accomplishment (just don't do it again, honey).
Needless to say, while he was gone, I felt anxious and knew I had to keep myself busy to keep my mind off things. And what better activity to keep me busy than to get ready for baby? Friday night, I went to Pottery Barn Kids and picked up some curtains for the nursery (and scanned a few more items while I was at it!) I also hit up Buy Buy Baby to pick out a glider. After much debate, I decided I needed Bryan to help me make a decision, but here are the two we are looking at.

They are pretty similar, and I think I'm more drawn to the modern look of the one on the left, but the one on the right is a bit more fluffy and comfy. The bigger decision here is which fabric? We have light gray walls and white furniture. So do I go with the tweed/gray color and hope it doesn't blend too much, or go with the Raffia Cloud and make it pop with pillows and blankets? Would love your input!

The top two are my faves and the right is our paint color. Stonington Gray. 

Saturday, I woke up and thought it would be a good idea to paint our master bedroom. I told you that I'm obsessed with the paint color for the nursery, and we had a bunch leftover, so I thought, why not? Never mind the fact that I'm pregnant and should not be inhaling paint fumes, climbing ladders or moving furniture. I went ahead and taped off the whole bedroom, which took SO much longer than I thought (doesn't it always? This is the story of painting). By the time I was done, I had to shower and head to Aurora to watch one of my close friends tie the knot!

The wedding was at Two Brothers Brewery and was a total blast. I got to see all of my former co-workers that I worked with at Imagination and we always have a great time together. As I told the bride, it's tough to have sober fun at a wedding, but I truly did at her wedding and could even be found on the dance floor for much of the night! I didn't get home until after 1am, so I snuggled in to rest up for my day of painting on Sunday.
Rest I did - I slept until 11am! This mama was tired. Not wanting to waste the day, I ordered brunch from my favorite place (#lazy), picked up a couple of movies from RedBox and got to work on the bedroom. One quarter of the first wall in and I immediately regretted my decision. We only had a roller, with a short handle, which meant a lot of climbing up and down the ladder to reach the high spots. I also had to press the roller really hard onto the wall to ensure I didn't have any spots.
SEVEN HOURS LATER...the room was done. And holy hell, I was spent. My back ached like nothing I have felt ever before. My hands were bruised from pressing that damn roller into the wall. My feet hurt from standing all GD day and my legs were swollen from climbing up and down. I had a headache from the paint fumes. It was horrible. BUT the room looked great.

Seriously though, I realize how dumb it was of me to paint a freaking bedroom when I'm 24 weeks pregnant and no one was there to supervise or help if something happened. More importantly, I learned that I need to listen to my body and that I can't physically exert myself the way I did pre-pregnancy. Lesson learned, loud and clear.

Not great after shots..oh well. How annoying is that crooked lampshade?

Since painting took me all day on Sunday, I left my last project for Monday and spent the night laid up on the couch, watching Divergent. (Haven't read those books, but really liked the movie!) Monday morning, I woke up sore, yet rested and ready to tackle my final weekend project: The closets.

We have a master bedroom closet and another closet in the guest bedroom (soon-to-be nursery). Until recently, half of my wardrobe was in one closet and half was in the other. Mainly, I kept the opposite season's clothes in the other bedroom, along with my 50+ dresses for every season, and would switch out accordingly. Obviously, with little man on the way, I had to make room for him. And given that I can't fit into anything in either closet, it was time to pack it up and move things out.

So, I went to the Container Store (anyone else freaking LOVE the Container Store?) and stocked up on under-the-bed storage and some closet organization devices to help the process. I started in my bedroom and took inventory of all the clothes I wear currently and/or clothes I assumed I'd still be able to wear pregnant. This was a sad day for me, friends.

Pretty much, the only things I was able to keep in my closet were maternity shirts, maternity jeans, drawstring pants, maxi skirts and cardigans. That's it. Even my flowey blouses and tank tops don't fit, thanks to my ginormous pregnant boobs and growing hips and belly. The joys.

The good part about this was I made a TON of space for new clothes to move in. After I got done in the main closet, I moved everything out of the second bedroom and did the same thing. What I ended up with was clothes to put in my closet that I can wear currently will be able to wear through the rest of my pregnancy. And the rest, I organized into piles: Summer & Spring 2015 (cuz ain't no chance I'll be able to wear it before then) and post-pregnancy clothes. So, clothes that I can't fit into now, but will likely (hopefully) be able to wear in the winter after I have little man.  I folded and packed all of these clothes into my handy storage bins and voila! With the exception of my wedding dress, I have made room for Baby F's clothes.

Speaking of, I washed all those, too. I received a BOXLOAD of newborn outfits from my sister-in-law that my nephew never wore, and I've done a little purchasing of my own. So into the washer they went and now, all that's left is hanging those adorable little outfits!

By the time I finished this task, my hubby walked through the door safe and sound, and we grabbed a bite to eat before concluding the weekend snuggled up at home.

And that my friends, was my labor-filled, Labor Day weekend. Crossing so much off my list was worth the backache.

What'd everyone else do?
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