Aug 22

Saturday Confessional

Ah… The weekend. So glad to see you again ol’ sport. (channeling a little Jay Gatsby here). I thought I’d try a little something different this weekend with a Saturday Confessional.  So I’m spilling all my secrets and divulging all my personal information for your viewing pleasures.   Saturday_Confession   Confession:  I’ve been feeling pretty useless lately due to my extreme case of pregnancy. There’s not much I can say, except that I’m sorry I’ve been such a drag. I don’t want to move from my little spot on the couch. I’m saving my energy for our move on Thursday.   Confession:  I’ve had such a lack of motivation lately, that I’ve been rocking this lazy hair do and no-makeup look.   IMG_6520.JPG Confession:  I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been a typical mama in her final stage of pregnancy. It ain’t pretty folks. All the typical stereotypes are true. IMG_6512.JPG Pregnant Mood swings Confession:  I was slacking for a while, but now I’m finally back to eating healthy.  I’ve been craving salads again and snacking on fruit.  My diet as of lately has wreaked havoc on my digestion.  Tummy problems when you have an active little baby in your uterus feels like a non-stop rave is happening inside you.   dancing_baby_gif Confession:  I am loving the new Taylor Swift Song

Confession:  My undergarments barely fit me.  I’ve been holding out to get fitted for a new nursing bra until AFTER the baby is born and my milk comes in, but I’m really wishing I had one more bra that fit just to make it through these next few weeks.  I need an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.    And I’m pretty sure I could rock these maternity underwear.   what do you think? maternity underwear pictures Confession:  I scored TWO Kate Spade rugs at Bed Bath & Beyond for $4.99 each!  They are going to look so great in my kid’s bathroom.   Kate_Spade_Rug   Confession:  I like and I’m getting used to saying phrases like “the kids” or “my babies” and “the kiddos.”   It makes me happy to know that my daughter will have a playmate soon…. well, not too soon, but in a few years, “the kids” will be happily playing together in our new house and I’ll sit off to the side and admire them for being so loving to each other.  (maybe?) brother_sister_fights   Confession:  I peed at least once every hour yesterday and I’m on point to do the very same today.   Boo_MonstersInc_HasToPee       Confession:  I am happy to say we finally purchased something for the baby’s room.  We bought a new rocker/glider for me.   Rocker_glider Confession:  I am no longer a RedBox virgin.  I rented Rio 2 for the LO last weekend.  I didn’t know if she’d watch it, and secretly, I wanted to watch it, so I brought it home casually to view during her play time.  She ended up liking it a lot, so I think I’m now on the hook to purchase it for her.   REDBOX_Confession:  While I was browsing wasting time on Pinterest the other day, I discovered this precious little newborn portrait.  How cute is this?   Since I ran three half marathons with my little baby bundle, I’m thinking I might have to recreate this picture with my race medals.   newborn_pictures_race_medals

Okay, It’s your turn.  

Leave me one random confession about you in the comments.

 

Aug 22

Friday Five – Things to Love About a Running Group

Happy Happy Friday folks!  I’m just a ball of excitement right now, because today is the walk thru for our new house!!!  We are less than a week away from our close and move-in date, so I am just bursting at the seams.  Well, that, and my current state of pregnancy.  On Monday, I will be considered full term and that much closer to bringing my baby boy into the world.  Lots of excitement for our family this week!!  

And of course, since it’s Friday, I’m linking up with the lovely ladies of the DC Trifecta for another #FridayFive. Make sure to visit Courtney, Mar and Cynthia’s pages after you finish with mine.  I’ve discovered some amazing bloggers through the Friday linkups,  you could too!  

This week we are talking about Five Things to Love About . . . . .

For this topic, I had to really think about what I was loving as of lately; there’s been so much.  But when it came to this past week specifically, I thought it was only appropriate that I mention how much there is to love about a running group.  

FF_Things_to_love_about_running_groups

Just last Friday, I announced on the blog that I had established a brand new chapter of Moms Run This Town in my new neighborhood.  Since opening the group and linking to our Facebook page, I have been overwhelmed by the excitement and enthusiasm of the ladies that are diligently connecting with each other and scheduling training runs together.   It really makes me excited for when I’ll be able to get back out there myself.  And with marathon season right around the corner, most of these ladies are well into their training schedules and they are kicking some major asphalt.  One of the moms from our chapter was out last Saturday with her single jogging stroller (usually she runs with a double stroller) pounding out a fourteen mile long run.  What a BAMR!!!  

Amidst all the excitement and chatter between the girls, it reminded me of why running groups are so awesome.  It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get out there and train every day, or every other day, but running takes on a whole new focus with the right crowd.  

 

 

Accountability  

Knowing that a group of fellow runners are all waking up at the crack of dawn to lace up and hit the pavement together is enough to keep me accountable.  Even more so, when I say that I’m going to be somewhere, I tend to follow through when I know someone will be there counting on me.  So in this aspect, joining a running group is one of the easiest ways to keep you accountable.   Another way to look at this is, by having your peers around you every week for your long runs, or track sessions, their presence is going to keep you accountable in sticking to your training plan.  This could equate to more endurance, speed and distance training for you.    

Motivation  

How does a large group of your peers cheering and rooting for you at your next race sound?  How about lining up with a group for your next run to keep you on your target pace?  If you enjoy that type of motivation, then you just might love being part of a running group.    If you want to think of it another way.  Think about the cost of some of the larger running groups.  When you make an investment into training, you want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.  

 

Socializing  

Turning your training runs into social hour makes it something you look forward to.  Whether you like to check in with a friend and catch up on gossip, or you just want to escape the kiddos to have some adult conversation (Moms can relate to this), having an hour of socializing can do wonders for your self worth.  Also, it can make the time go by much quicker.    If socializing is a top priority for you when selecting a run club, definitely check out the clubs that schedule meet ups around centralized social hangouts, like bars, running stores or gyms. 

 

Support  

If you are a newer runner, or maybe you are training with a new PR in mind, running groups can offer you the training knowledge and support to help you achieve some success in this area.  There are usually several seasoned runners in every running group. Many of them are more than happy to share their knowledge and expertise with anyone looking for training tips or help achieving their racing goals.  If you want to take it even further, you can always contact the local running clubs to see who has certified coaches.  There are many clubs available nationwide with RRCA certified coaches, but if you can’t find one that fits your schedule, most clubs offer workshops or clinics for beginners.  A certified coach is typically brought in specifically for that day.  

Safety  

Let’s face it.  The world has a lot of sick people in it and runners can be vulnerable targets for some of these freaks and crazies.  When you pair up with a group, it doesn’t guarantee your safety, but there is definitely something to be said about safety in numbers.  

FF_ThingsToLoveAbout_RunGroups

Do you run with a run club or social group?

What things do you consider when selecting a run club? 

 

Aug 21

JOHNSON’S NO MORE TANGLES VoxBox Review

As part of the Influenster program, I received a VoxBox from Johnson’s No More Tangles line for me to review. Within the package, I received 3 products:  the Baby Shampoo & Conditioner for Thin/Straight Hair, Leave-in Conditioner, and Detangling Spray.  Even though my daughter has curly hair, I still tested the products on her for three weeks to see how it would work on her tangles.  

NoMoreTangles_Review

 

The Shampoo & Conditioner worked well enough to cleanse her hair, but I didn’t necessarily find that it helped eliminate tangles.  I did like that it lathered up well and was gentle on her scalp.  Because she has curly hair, I don’t know if I could technically construct a fair review of this product.  However, I will say that it did not irritate her eczema, and that is a huge bonus to me since I just recently had to change all her skin care products for that exact reason.  NoMoreTangles_Products

 

The Leave-in Conditioner was a nice addition to her bath & beauty routine and I can definitely say that it helped tame her wild curls and made combing easier.  I found her hair softer and more manageable on the nights that I included this into her bath routine.   Ordinarily, we have to use a separate leave in conditioner anyway.   The Johnson’s No More Tangles Leave-in Conditioner worked well enough that we will continue to use it.  

The detangling spray was my favorite of all three products. Since we have been at the beach all Summer, we have been struggling with the salt, sand, wind and pool water tangles.  The detangling spray has been a lifesaver.  I have used it on Rosalyn’s hair almost every day and a couple times on my own.  I use around 4-5 pumps on my curly headed toddler in the mornings to make her hair more manageable for styling and at night time, after using the Leave-in Conditioner, I will spritz 2-3 times.  If she has several knots and tangles, like after a day at the beach, I will require 7-10 pumps to completely ease the combing process.  Previously, I was using a spray bottle filled with water to aid with styling in the morning, but this detangling spray will replace it from now on.    

NoMoreTangles_RED2 NoMoreTangles_RED1

 

Having previously discarded all my JOHNSON & JOHNSON baby products due to their ingredient list containing harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and 1,4 dioxane, I was hesitant to use, let alone endorse, their products.  However, I can, once again, use these products now knowing that in August 2012, Johnson & Johnson pledged to eliminate formaldehyde, parabens, triclosan, and phthalates from all their baby products, and in May 2013 announced that they had done so.

 

 

***Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Aug 20

Pregnancy Update – 36 Weeks

Four weeks and counting down……  

On Monday, I will be considered full term.  Today I have my 36 week appointment at the doctor.  It will be an ordinary exam, with a Group B Strep test. I didn’t need this test with my first pregnancy, because I was scheduled for a cesarean by this point.  This is completely new to me.  Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterium that can cause urinary tract and uterine infections.  I can have it and not be affected by it, but if baby contracts GBS on the way out, it has potential to make him very sick.   I’ll undergo a simple swab at my appointment today to determine whether or not the bacteria is present.  If it comes back positive, no big deal.  I’ll just have to take an antibiotic during delivery.  

I am also planning to discuss my birth plan with my doctor tomorrow to make sure we are on the same page.  

Bumpdate_36Weeks

 

 

 

 

Now let’s see what’s up with mama and baby boy this week.  

 

Weight Gain:  I’m up 0.35 lbs. since last week. 


Body Changes: 
 I’ve been feeling pressure in my “lower regions.”  Whenever I stand up, it’s like a bowling ball is  immediately dropped on my bladder.  Obviously, it’s his head, but I don’t think he’s dropped just yet.  I haven’t felt that “lightening” feeling yet, and I might not, since this is my second pregnancy.  I have heard that a lot of moms don’t experience that with their second child until they go into active labor.  

Belly Button:  Popped 


Workouts: 
yoga, swimming, squats and lunges….. that’s about it at this point.  I don’t dare venture for a walk these days.  My bladder just can’t handle it.    

Symptoms: 
Same as previous weeks.  Heartburn, Braxton Hicks, itchy abdomen, constipation (thumbs down) and sensitive gums.  

Movements: 
 There hasn’t been a real decline in fetal movement yet.  I am still able to sit and watch him move around quite a bit, but now the kicks feel more like a sliding motion since he’s running out of room.  

Food Aversions:  None


Cravings: None,  sorry this has been a boring topic with me.  


Sleep: 
I’m still able to get in a good 7 – 8 hours each night and I’m napping regularly with my toddler.  But it’s finally becoming difficult to get comfortable.  Lots of pillows must be used to prop me up at night. The real difficulty isn’t finding a position that is comfy, it’s changing positions during the night that I find so challenging.  Thankfully, I have an entire bed to myself for 8 more days!!  Then after we move, I’ll be back in my ginormous king size bed again with my snoring husband.  lol   I’ll still have plenty of room even then.  

Stretch Marks: 
None

Mood: Happy, and anxious.  I wrote up my birth story from my prior planned cesarean, and while reading through it became a little nervous and afraid.  There’s always a feeling of fear associated with the unknown.  My biggest fear is that I will not be successful with my trial of labor and that I will end up with an emergency cesarean.  

To do:  

  • After next Friday, which is our move in date for the new house, I will have to locate all our baby items from their boxes and get them ready for our little man.   Mostly, I’ll need to wash and fold laundry and clean the baby bath tub and miscellaneous items.  Thankfully, there is nothing too tedious to take care of on his end.  
  • We are also purchasing a new rocker/glider to go into the nursery.  We gifted our old one to my husband’s cousin since my amazing husband agreed to buy me a new one, especially since I spent so much time in the last one.   This means I get to go shopping at Buy Buy Baby again this week and that makes me very happy.  =)  

What is going on with our little man?

 

BabyDuke_Update_36Weeks

Baby Stats are found at BabyCenter.com

Any last minute advice for a mama about to enter her last weeks of pregnancy?

(don’t say “try to relax,” because that just ain’t an option for me)  

When you were pregnant, did you test positive for the Strep B?

Aug 19

My Planned Cesarean Birth Story

I wasn’t blogging at the time that my daughter was born. I actually started a year after she came into our lives. And since I’m about to go through the whole childbirth phase again with our son, I thought it would be nice to share the birth story of when Rosalyn was born.

Planned_Cesarean_Birth_Story

Leading up to my due date, which was November 26th, 2011, we discovered that our little baby was stuck in the breech position. We attempted to change her position using the typical “spinning babies” techniques, but after no success, we accepted the fact that a cesarean was the safest way for me to deliver our baby girl.

I had a pre-op appointment on the Wednesday before my scheduled surgery to discuss what I was to expect on the day of my cesarean and then I went home to prepare the house and my belongings for the arrival of our baby girl.

On the day of my surgery, which was the Monday before Thanksgiving, I woke up without an alarm around 8am.  I showered, shaved my legs, washed and blow dried my hair, and dressed in a comfy maternity outfit. We headed to the hospital with our bags and our car seat already installed in the back of our SUV. Upon check-in at the hospital, I was taken into a private cubical to be admitted. The process took about 15 minutes and then I was sent to wait in a waiting room to be called to prep for the surgery.

Once my name was called, I kissed my husband goodbye and I was lead into a small curtained area where I was told to change into my hospital gown and grippy socks. I bagged my street clothes and carried them with me to my next waiting area, where I was shortly escorted – in my backless hospital gown, mind you – to the pre-op area. I met one of my nurses who immediately began to hook me up to ECG (Electrocardiography) lead wires, and set up an IV line.
I will admit that at this point, I began to get a little nervous. I hadn’t undergone major surgery since I had my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was 19 years old. Major abdominal surgery was very daunting for me, especially because I knew that I was going to be awake for the entire procedure.  The nurse could sense that I was nervous.  She assured me that I was in good hands with my crew and told me to try to relax. She was very sweet.

After what felt like a million years, I was whisked away into an elevator and down a hall in to an operating room. It was the first time I had seen the inside of an operating room – while awake, at least – and I was completely frightened to be there. The only thing that put me at ease was seeing the familiar face of my lovely doctor enter the room. Dr. Clemens is such a wonderful doctor. She greeted me and we briefly chit chatted before we began to discuss the next steps of my procedure. When the anesthesiologist entered the room, he introduced himself and began chatting with me and the rest of the hospital staff. My doctor assured me that he was one of the best. She even told me he was the anesthesiologist who did her spinal block for her own cesarean and that she would trust him blindfolded. She held my hands as I rounded my back and accepted the needle prick of the spinal sub-dural anesthetics. It was a harsher prick than a typical shot, especially considering the placement, but it wasn’t as bad as I had worked it up to be in my mind. I quickly spun my legs onto the operating table before they went numb. My arms were extended out away from my body and were rested on armrests to keep from interfering in the sterile operating area. A blood pressure cuff was placed on my arm and I was told that it would inflate randomly throughout the procedure.

I felt very alone on the operating table. It was very clinical and scary. Instead of being focused on meeting my baby, I was scared to death of being cut open.
The anesthesiologist performed a check to see that my abdomen was numb up to my chest. Shortly after, my husband entered the room and took his place by my side. It was so great to have him close beside me at that exact moment of trepidation. A curtain was setup at my breast bone and the procedure began soon after.

Even though I was numbed up from the spinal, I could still feel the hands of my doctor tugging and pulling on my insides. I don’t remember much about this part of the delivery, except how quickly after beginning my doctor mentioned how much our daughter looked like my husband, and then my baby girl was presented to us over the curtain. I barely caught a glimpse of her and already my heart had melted.

She was cleaned up quickly by the nurses, then she was swaddled and placed on my chest.

It was very uncomfortable to look at her because she was placed right up under my chin. And with everything still being pulled, tugged and suctioned on the other side of the curtain, I struggled to focus on the beautiful creature laying on my chest. What I didn’t have a problem focusing on was her tiny little ear that was right in front of my face. I have a very slight malformation on my right ear, and at this point I realized that my daughter had inherited it!

The minutes seemed to zoom by as I just admired her gorgeous profile and cute little features. Eventually, she was taken back by the nurses and I was left staring at her from a short distance away. They finished closing me back up and stitching my incision site and then I was wheeled away to recovery while my husband stayed behind to watch over our daughter with the nurses.

I wasn’t left alone in recovery very long before my husband walked over with our daughter in her plexiglas crib. At this point, I was finally able to begin holding and nursing her. She latched on perfectly from the very first moment and I was almost to the point of tears. I stared down at her for what seemed like an eternity while my husband and I chatted about how perfect she was.  

Rosalyn_hospital pictures

She was born November 21, 2011 at 1:50pm weighing 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 21 inches long.  

After an hour in recovery, the whole family was escorted to our hospital room, where we were able to meet up with  my parents and some of our friends to introduce to our new baby girl.  Everybody admitted she looked nothing like her mama and everything like her Daddy.  

Rosalyn_Newborn_fingers Rosalyn_first_photos

 

Rosalyn_sleepingBeauty Rosalyn_newborn_pic

 

Thankfully, her complexion and features changed slightly over the next several months.  She did end up taking a slight resemblance to her mama eventually.  

Rosalyn_TummyTime Rosalyn_Cryin Rosalyn_GerberPic

 

Stay tuned for more pregnancy updates coming soon for her little brother, and eventually, another birth story.  Hopefully, the next story will be about a successful VBAC.  

Aug 15

Five Things I’m loving This Friday Five

Happy Friday to you guys!!!  As I’ve been doing now for quite some time, I’m linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia for the Friday Five.  This week we have a free pass to talk about whatever we would like.  And since I don’t have much fitness in my life right now and I’ve been talking so much about the upcoming baby, I decided to just roll with a random post about   What I’m Loving This Friday.   FF_WhatI'mLoving   1.  Shark Week

I have always been fascinated by sharks.  Living in Florida my whole life, I’ve been exposed to them both in captivity and in the wild.  We used to lobster down in the Keys every year as a kid. Once in my twenties, I went on a diving excursion in the Keys to the Florida Barrier Reef and actually swam right next to a shark.  I was pretty sure it was a nurse shark, so I kept following it to snap a few pictures with my underwater camera.  -  I’m pretty fearless.  Every year when Discovery Channel showcases their Shark Week specials, I always watch the newest shows and they never cease to amaze me.  This year, there has been a few new programs that I’ve enjoyed especially.  Sharks really are just misunderstood.  

FF_SharkWeek

2.  Sweet Leaf Tea

I don’t remember who told me to try this stuff, but thank you for doing so.  I absolutely love this tea.  It’s so fantastic.  Sweat Leaf Tea makes delicious iced tea, green tea, fruit tea, lemonade, and coffee-tea blends.  I’ve only tried the green teas and the lemonade/tea blend, but with so many flavors and infusions, I’m in heaven.  These are the perfect teas to stock your fridge with this Summer.  And if you like to mix your tea with spirits, there are lots of cocktail recipes available on the website like: 

The Old Fashion Granny

  • 2 parts Citrus Green Tea
  • 1 part whiskey, bourbon, or scotch
  • 2 parts club soda
  • 3 dashes of superfine sugar per serving
  • 3 dashes orange bitters per serving
  • 1 lemon slice per serving. 

Place sugar in old-fashioned glass or small tumbler. Douse with bitters to soak sugar. Add tea and whiskey to glass. Muddle until liquid is slightly pinkish hue. Fill glass with ice, and top off with soda.

FF_SweatLeaf_TEA

3.  Being her Mommy

I can’t tell you how much fun we’ve been having lately.  With the arrival of her little brother very soon, I’ve been taking extra special care of this one and sneaking in lots of cuddles and play dates.  She’s growing up so fast and before I know it, she’ll be a teenager.  So we’ve been spending lots of time together, reading, swimming, taking day trips to the library, going out to lunch and shopping together.  Oh how I’m going to miss giving her all my attention.  

FF_RED

4.  Island Life

With only two weeks left until our closing on the new house, I’m realizing that our Summer vacation on Anna Maria Island is coming to a close.  It’s been such a great Summer and we have really enjoyed living down here for the past two months. I cannot even begin to think about how much I’m going to miss having my parents around all the time.  They’ve been so amazing with Rosalyn and I’ve appreciated having the extra company around while my hubby has been traveling.  I think I’ll miss them the most, but the evening sunsets will be hard to say goodbye to as well.  FF_Sunsets_AMI_Causeway FF_Sunsets

5.  Anticipating my race calendar for 2015

I know it’s very early to be talking about January and February races, but when you’re about to have a baby and you know your life is going to be a whirlwind of chaos and baby crazy for a few months, you tend to look ahead into the future for a break.  And that break is going to come in the shape of a few half marathons and training.  I’ve already loaded up my race calendar with three half marathons.  I’ll be running Best Damn Race at Safety Harbor, Orlando and Jacksonville, beginning in January.  I already registered for all three of them and I’m pretty excited about them, and getting my body back after baby.  BTW  I still have a $5 discount code for Best Damn Race.  It’s good for any distance, any location.  Amongst the excitement, I responded to a thread on the Tampa Moms Run This Town Facebook Page about getting a new chapter formed in the area of town where I am moving to in two weeks.  There were quite a few mommas that were interested, and I had already mentioned starting my own chapter after the baby was born, so I went ahead and made it happen.  MRTT is such an amazing group of women and I was proud to take initiative to start a local chapter.  Getting this organized and started now just makes me that much more anxious to get back out and start running postpartum.  

MRTT_Logo

What are you loving right now?

Have you watched Shark Week this year?  

Do you drink tea?

Aug 14

Pregnancy Update – 35 Weeks

Woah Mama! I am very pregnant and just weeks away from having another little baby.   How am I going to handle TWO KIDS???  This is the reality that is starting to set in my mind. Am I ready to multitask two kiddos? What if my toddler doesn’t want to share her mommy? How am I going to find the energy to exclusively breastfeed a baby around the clock and care for a needy toddler at the same time. What will I do once my husband begins traveling again and I am left alone with all these responsibilities. Am I capable of handling it alone?  Are we financially stable enough to support a second child?  Am I prepared for my attempt at labor?  As the panic and anxiety sets in, all I want to do is break free and go for a run, but I’m physically exhausted and can’t manage anything more than some squats, lunges, or yoga.  What’s a girl to do?     Thankfully, in just two more weeks we will be closing and moving into our new home.  So one of my worries will be suppressed.   But I still have plenty to stress me out. Don’t get me wrong.  It’s going to be a wonderful time, but I’m not looking forward to late night feedings and early morning wake ups and the hormonal mood swings or my body’s changes.  I’ll tell you what I am looking forward to.  I’m excited to begin a running routine again.  Lord knows I’ll need the stress relief.  Oh how I’ve missed a good sweat session.   Okay… rant over.  Let’s get to this pregnancy update, shall we.   35Weeks_Bumpdate     Weight Gain: 
Up another pound to 26 pounds total.  Only 4 weeks left and I have to stay within my weight goals of 30 pounds.  That means I’m on track to gain exactly what I said I was planning to gain.   

Body Changes: 
 Poking out more and more.  I swear I grew an inch overnight.  Also, my belly appears to have grown some new peach fuzz over the past few weeks.  I’m officially a sasquatch.    

Belly Button: 
Popped 

Workouts: 
Aside from the three flights of stairs that I walk up and down several times a day, I’ve slowed down tremendously.  I am still continuing my yoga practice almost daily and swimming is helping me stay active.  However, I’m not feeling up to the walking much anymore.  First it was running, now I can barely walk.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m still walking, just not the mileage that I was a few weeks ago. Squats and lunges are still a priority for me too.  I’ve been doing them in the bathroom while Rossi is in the tub or while she’s brushing her teeth.  She thinks it’s funny and I’m sure it is to her.  

Symptoms: 
Heartburn, “Practice” Braxton Hicks Contractions, Backache, Sensitive Gums, Constipation I’ve brought out the big guns to combat the potty issues.  I actually really like these dried prunes.  The orange essence really makes them tasty.  I have to remind myself just to eat a few or I’ll be sorry.  lol Prunes_sunsweet_orange_essence     Movements:  Plenty of fetal movement. He’s gotten the hiccups two or three times in the past week.  It’s really subtle though.  But he has popped me in the cervix a couple times, which is extremely uncomfortable, and I’ve winced in pain.  This little dude likes to move it!     I like to move it     
Food Aversions: 
None

Cravings: 
None, however, I’m still really thirsty all the time.  Lots of water and green tea for me lately.  

Sleep: 
Going well in this department.  Usually I’ve been getting 8 hours a night, but sometimes I have issues falling asleep because I’ve been cat napping during the day.  I would say on average I’m getting 9 hours a day, which is great.  And I’m only waking up once during the night to pee which makes it nice.  

Stretch Marks: 
None that I can see for myself.  

Mood: As you read above…..  nervous, anxious, afraid, worrisome, etc…  but I am still happy about baby coming soon.  I can’t wait for his sister to meet him.  She’s going to be a wonderful big sister.  

 

What about baby boy?   We have finally decided on his name.  I won’t be spilling the beans just yet though.  We will wait until it’s official, just in case we change our minds again.  He’s still locked and loaded in the head down position, but I haven’t felt him drop just yet.  It’s still a little early for that.   Our little man’s kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — so he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.  We estimate that he is about 5 1/2 pounds at this point and is 18 inches long.  He is about the size of a honeydew watermelon.  (Sorry, no fruit picture this week)  

 

 

The hairy belly is definitely a pregnancy symptom I’d never heard of before my first, and it seemed to have come back with a vengeance during this pregnancy.  

What crazy symptoms did you encounter during your pregnancies?

Aug 13

Hub Family Organizer App Review

If your family is anything like mine, then you know how difficult is to keep everyone’s schedules and calendar of events organized and well communicated.  With a husband who is constantly traveling, it’s near impossible to keep him linked up and synced with my schedule and the kids.  Everything from bill paying to doctor’s appointments tend to fall through the cracks when you can’t keep your calendar of events and to-do lists straight.  So when I discovered the Hub Family Organizer app, I thought I’d give it a try and see if it worked well enough to meet our family’s needs.  

Hub_Family_Organizer_Review

What is it?

This app is exactly what it’s name suggests.  It’s an information hub for families to share calendar events, to-do lists, home schedule planners, kids household chores, grocery lists and daily notes.

How Does it Work?

Each family member must download the free app to their mobile devices and then must be added to the family “hub.”  Once everyone is linked up to the family hub, they will have access to the calendars, to-do lists, planners, grocery lists and daily notes.  Anytime any member of the hub completes a task or adds to a list or calendar, each hub member will receive a notification directly to their mobile device.  

Pros:  

  • Free to establish family hub and setup account  
  • User friendly interface  
  • Customizable cover photo allows personalization  
  • Syncs automatically with your calendar – Zero Setup is Required!  
  • Immediately links up with the entire family hub members  
  • Available for iPhone, iPad and Android users

Cons:

  • A Gold (unrestricted) Membership will require a fee of $4.99/ mo or  $49.99 annually.   
  • Without upgrading to the Gold membership, hub users are limited in sharing capabilities, cannot assign tasks to other users, repeat events, or set reminders.

 

Hub_Screenshot1 Hub_Screenshot2 Hub_Screenshot3 Hub_Screenshot4 Hub_Screenshot-5

 

Here’s my take on this app:

My husband and I have been using this app for a little over two weeks now.  Essentially, we don’t have a huge need to assign tasks, repeat tasks or mark a task with a specific due date.  So I don’t see us needing to upgrade to the paid features.  

We use the calendar features to communicate like a message board for the whole family’s activities.  We make shopping lists so that we can add to it whenever we need to. And wherever we are, we always have an updated version of it with us.  The to-do lists have been especially handy with helping us keep organized with our bill paying and honey do lists.  

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an easy to use, uncomplicated, family organization tool.   However, if you tend to load up your calendars and to-do lists, be warned.  The service is limited and you can only use so much of the free service until you must pay to access additional space in your calendars.  The initial week allows users to experience an unlimited version of the application.  Since we are just getting into the second week of our trial, I am wary that we will fill up our allotted usage and require a payment to continue using the service.  I hope this is not the case because I find the app very useful and would hate to lose capabilities.  Hopefully, the developer will change the service requirements or allow users to purchase this app for a one time fee instead of the monthly or annual fees.  

Do you think you would use a family organizer app like this?  

Does the price of a service determine whether or not you will use it, even if you really like what it offers? 

What do you use to stay connected with your family’s schedules? 

Aug 12

Labor & Delivery Cheat Sheet for Spouses

My husband’s cousin was admitted into the maternity ward at the hospital this weekend in preparation for the birth of her baby.  She had reached full term and was going to be scheduled an induction.  Upon asking my husband later that weekend how she was doing, he answered simply “she’s in labor.”  Wanting to know a little more, I inquired what stage of labor she was in.  He, like so many other husbands, has very little knowledge of labor and delivery, and his answer proved to me just how little he knew.  My immediate thought was that maybe it was time I started to educate him on what was going to take place in our very near future.  

With just five weeks until our due date, my husband’s demanding work/travel schedule and our upcoming move upon us, we don’t have a lot of open availability to attend a child birth class.  Since I was a scheduled cesarean with our first born, I have absolutely no experience with any of the stages of labor.  To prepare myself, for my trial of labor, I have re-read all my birthing books and I’ve done a lot of online research on VBACs.  I feel somewhat confident in my own knowledge, but I’m convinced my husband will be completely clueless unless I help him out.  So I decided that it would be in my best interest if I constructed a labor and delivery cheat sheet for spouses.   

labor_delivery_cheat_sheet

 

1.  Know How to Time Contractions 

Essentially, this is where I believe most partners begin to become involved in the birthing process.  Nowadays there are so many mobile apps to assist expecting parents with this part.  I personally have the Sprout app with a contraction timer for my iPhone, but you can use any watch or clock with a second hand.  

In order to accurately tIme your partner’s contractions, start from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next. Count the frequency of contractions in minutes.  

The time from the beginning to end of one contraction is called the duration.  The interval of time from the start of one contraction to the start of the next contraction is called the frequency.  

If the expectant mother is having regular contractions that last 30 seconds or more, she is most likely in the first stage of labor.  

Keep in mind, if her contractions are five minutes apart or less, last more than 30 seconds, and continue in that pattern for an hour, it’s time to head to the hospital.  

2.  Know the Stages of Labor

For most women, labor progresses over the course of several hours, maybe even days, so don’t expect to get to the hospital and coach your partner to start pushing right away;  that will come once she is fully dilated and 100% effaced.  It’s best to think of labor as a journey, not a destination.  

There are really three stages of childbirth, but the first stage is broken down into three phases.  

First Stage of Labor

 

  • Phase One – Early Labor  
    • This stage has potential to be the longest part of the labor stages, but thankfully, it’s the least intense and painful.  Most likely your partner will want to wait this part out at home until her contractions become more advanced and regular.   This is the phase where her cervix will begin to open (dilate) and start to thin out (called effacement).     As the early phase progresses into the active phase, this is when your partner will need you to chauffeur her to the hospital.  
  • Phase Two – Active Labor  
    • Contractions will become much more intense, lasting about 40 to 60 seconds, and spaced three to five minutes apart.  The cervix will typically become dilated up to 7 centimeters at this phase.  This is when breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and your encouraging coaching are going to start being valuable.  Your partner may ask for a cool washcloth to wipe away her sweaty brow or she may want a soothing back rub to ease labor pains.  Give her whatever she asks and do it with a smile.  Make it your mission to help keep her relaxed and as comfortable as possible.   
  • Phase Three – Transitional Labor
    • This is the most intense, but thankfully the shortest stage of labor.  It can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or two.  The cervix will finish dilating from seven to ten centimeters and contractions will be the most intense, lasting 60-90 seconds with extreme peaks, only spaced two to three minutes apart.  It is the most physically demanding stage and will most likely result in an extremely exhausted and possibly irritated partner.   It is during this phase when she will most likely begin to curse like a sailor and tell you not to touch her….. but maybe not.  Whatever you do, be supportive and coach her as she asks.  If she doesn’t want to be touched, Don’t Touch Her!  If she wants to squeeze your hands, Let Her!  
cervical_effacement

{Source}

Second Stage of Labor

 

  • Pushing 
    • With dilation complete, it’s time to help mom push the baby through the birth canal.  These contactions will be more regular, lasting 60-90 seconds, and coming every two to five minutes.  You’ll want to assist mom into her pushing position, whether it be on a birthing ball, squatting, kneeling or on all fours, and hang on for the final ride. This could be a quick shot, over in a few minutes, or she could be pushing for a few hours.  Try to help her conserve her energy between contractions so she will be ready for the next round of pushing.  Once the baby is finally delivered, you’ll want sneak in a couple hugs and kisses to congratulate her on a job well done.  Also, you will want to see your breathtaking little miracle of life and admire him or her in all their glory.  

Third Stage of Labor

 

  • Delivery of the Placenta
    • Even though the baby is out of the birth canal and the hard part is over, the birthing process isn’t finished just yet.  Mom will still have to deliver the placenta following a short period of contractions along with more pushing.  The doctor or nurses will probably assist her by applying a little bit of pressure to her abdomen/uterus.  

 

3.  Participate in the Process

In the weeks leading up to your baby’s due date, make necessary arrangements to pack your own hospital bag.  Remember to bring along any personal hygiene products, change of clothes, camera and/or video equipment along with any other necessities you’ll need.  

Familiarize yourself with the quickest route to the hospital and be aware of the parking structure or lots surrounding the area.  

During the beginning phase of labor, offer your partner water and juice to keep her hydrated.  Remind her to eat something light.  She might not be allowed to eat once she reaches L&D at the hospital.  

4.  Be a Good Coach 

Know what to expect, be patient, try to help her stay focused and relaxed, and be a voice for her if she isn’t able to voice it herself.  And most importantly,  don’t be upset or take things too personal if she becomes irritable with your attempts to help her through labor.  Giving birth is a long, hard job.  Some women vocalize way more than others, and you might not like hearing what she has to say in the heat of the moment.  Take whatever blows she gives and remember that it’s the contractions talking.  If you need to, give her a moment of space then promptly return to her side with a willingness to help her.  Just being there offering a word of encouragement and a hand when needed is enough to most women.  Your presence matters to her.  

5.  Attend to Her Physical Needs

If she needs ice chips, you’re the man to fetch them.  If she wants a massage, get your fingers cracking.  Whatever she wants or needs, you be the gopher. Ask her what you can do to make her more comfortable, and then make it happen.  

6.  Change A Diaper or Two

A lot of hospitals today have arranged for mom and baby to room together from the very beginning.  If this is the case with your delivery hospital, make the best of it.  Let mom take the time to nurse baby or snuggle up with him/her while she rests and recuperates.  When the time comes, make yourself useful and change a dirt diaper or two.  The nurses will be more than happy to assist with this, especially if you are afraid of the umbilical cord or have never changed a diaper before.  

7.  Become a Swaddling Master

Mom is going to need all the sleep she can get to recuperate after childbirth, especially if it was an extremely long labor.  One way that you can offer an awesome assistance is by mastering the art of swaddling.  She will be impressed with your dedication and commitment to the wellbeing of the baby and by you doing so, you’ll prove to her that you want to be an active participant in the parenting department.  

8.  Enjoy being a Daddy

There is no greater joy for a father than to witness the birth of his child.  Being present and active in the delivery process will forever be a memory of great joy in your life.  You will talk about this experience over and over and over again.  You will share the stories with friends, family and future children and grandchildren.  Celebrate today with your partner and congratulations!!!  

What would you add to this list?

Do you think there are certain parts of the delivery phases that is more important to have the support of the spouse over another?  

Who helped you deliver your child/children?

Aug 09

Mostly Silent Saturday 7-9-14

Well, I haven’t done an update post in a while and I don’t necessarily have much to talk about to fill an entire post, so I’ll just tour you through the past week in pictures for another mostly silent Saturday.  

SilentSaturday_Post

Picked up my brother yesterday and he joined Rossi and I at Chuck E. Cheese for pizza and playtime.   

ChuckECheese_kid

Tested out some new #NoMoreTangles shampoo plus conditioner from the “new and improved” Johnson & Johnson line.  Got this in my Influenster VoxBox.  

Happy_BathTime

Someone was pretty tired from a fun day of playing.  

Most likely it’s because she didn’t get a nap.  

Tired_Toddler

It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that she has been non-stop with her new Toy Story toys.  

She loves Rex and usually wants him to come to bed with her.  

Rex_ToyStory

Basically, I’ve been enjoying this little lady and all her attitude.  

LovingThisGirl

 I did manage to sneak in a little adult time this week.  

I met up with a girlfriend and her little girl for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.  

We even indulged in the “mini indulgences.”

Seasons52_Dessert

And then I was back at it again with my toddler the very next day at the library.  

We overdosed on Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle books.  

LibraryBooks_toddlers

Drove by our house and saw the landscaping has been completed.  

In less than 3 weeks we will be moved in and living there.  Yay!!! 

Landscaping_NewHouse

Pizza from Mellow Mushroom is always a nice treat.  Hubby and I split a small pie.  

Half Mellowteranean and half Funky-Q Chicken.  

Isn’t it cute?

MellowMushroom_pizza

Admiring the handy work of the tourists on the beach, building sand castles in the sand.  

Sandcastleson_AMI

Taking our little one for a sunset run down the beach.  

Look at that form.  

Beach_Running

Reminding everyone that soda is terrible.  

DRINK WATER INSTEAD!!

Coke_Obesity

Finally deciding on our final selection from the maternity session.  

MaternityPictures_Beach_SurfandSand

 

Have a great weekend.  

What did you do this week?  

Do you drink Coke?  

Have you found your name yet?  

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