Monday, October 31, 2016


Happy Halloween! Today Elden had a preschool party and costume parade. I was able to work from home in the morning so I could go to both and he was all grins when we walked into his class. Edith had a bit of a meltdown - she kept saying she could go to school because she is big now - but Elden's teacher was great and let her sit on the carpet during their songs and next to him at the parade. Tonight we are going to have tacos before we go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with my sister, parents, and possibly Jon's parents. The kids are VERY excited and are having a hard time understanding that our town has a set time that it begins and we can't just start knocking on people's doors now.
This past weekend was a good one. It was really low key which was much needed after all the running around we've done this month. On Friday night we went to a local "haunted yard" at the urging of Elden. The family had a huge amount of Halloween decorations in their front and back yard and a path that let you follow it the whole way through. Edith thought it was great and insisted on going through twice. Elden got the crap scared out of him by a motion-activated monster and was pretty much done within the first 2 minutes as a result.
On Saturday Elden needed his flu shot in the morning. His pediatrician is near the mall we used to live by so I texted our small group to see if anyone wanted to meet up for lunch / to play in the play area. We were able to meet up with two families and the kids played before it was time to head home for naps. After nap time we went back to the haunted yard to show Elden that it was all pretend and much less scary in the daylight. The ghoul (along with all the lights) were obviously not turned on since it was daytime and Elden suddenly thought it was the greatest thing ever. There was, however, a random phone that rang in the back while Edith was near it... which scared the crap out of her. #winsomelosesome

Following the haunted yard we headed to Jon's parents for dinner. After dinner Jon ran some errands while I got a much coveted pedicure. I have not gotten my nails done since our wedding despite wanting to get a pedicure at the end of each of my pregnancies. I mentioned to Jon that I really wanted to get one since this is theoretically my last pregnancy and he was so sweet and all for it! It was totally worth it and I think from now on I am going to buy nail salon gift certificates for my friends as their baby shower gifts because moms deserve pampering, too!

On Sunday we had church. After church I bought this tea which can supposedly put you into labor. I drank two cups yesterday and one so far today and... nada. I know the baby will come when it's ready, but what if it's NEVER ready and I am pregnant forever? I digress. After the kids took naps my mom came over for a bit and Jon's brother and his wife stopped by to bring the kids Halloween presents. They were so happy! Elden got his first slinky, which he affectionately refers to as a 'springy spring' and Edith specifically requested we pray for Uncle Marc and Aunt Kelly at bedtime that night.

My OB goes out of town this Saturday, so I am hoping this baby decides to come before then. Otherwise, I hope it doesn't come until the 10th (when he is back)... but preferably before Saturday ;)

Linking up with Biana today!

Friday, October 28, 2016

five on friday

Linking up with LizAmyAmandaAndreaNarci and Erika!

{1} OB Triage. Well, I made it to 38.5 weeks of this pregnancy before I inevitably went in for some monitoring of Baby Turkey. Ever since Monday the baby has been passing its kick counts but just not like it usually does. I had an appointment on Tuesday and my doctor said that if I notice drastic changes in movements, regardless of the passing of kick counts, to let him know. That was the case yesterday morning so he sent me in. I felt somewhat vindicated in going (for once!) because even though the baby's heart rate looked good, they weren't happy with its movements. They went to get me juice and brought out a buzzer that they held next to my stomach and blasted a buzzing noise against it. The first time the baby didn't respond and I suggested it was because it has two very loud siblings at home and was used to the chaos. The second blast it responded a bit but I guess they were happy with it because after a quick ultrasound to check my fluid levels again (I went from 12.5 to 8 cm in 6 days; I'm going to ask my doctor about another follow-up ultrasound next week) I was sent on my way. I'm glad all looks well and being there really made reality sink in that this is happening soon!

{2} Homemade vanilla extract. I had read about this a while back and really wanted to try it! We figured it would be a better quality than what we buy off the shelf for less money. Plus, if it worked out we would be able to make smaller bottles as gifts in the future. We got vanilla beans from Costco and rum from the grocery store. The bottle I used for the mixture is from TJ Maxx. I sanitized the bottle, sliced the beans lengthwise (and then cut the halves into smaller sections), and poured the rum over it. Now it has to sit in our dark pantry for 4-6 months...

{3} French Silk pie. I have been hankering for Baker's Square pie for weeks. We needed to pick the baby up a monitor so we were at a store not far from Baker's Square and I finally got my fix!

{4} Small group. We had a Halloween party with our small group this week and dressed the kiddos up. Elden has (naturally) abandoned his skeleton dreams in lieu of the Gold Power Ranger and Edith couldn't be bothered with her flamingo costume, electing a little bat number from H&M instead. So grateful for the friendships we've forged with these folks.

{5} Sibling friendship. A lot of the time these two are at it - fighting over toys or affection. Sometimes, though, they find common ground and play beautifully together. And when that happens I'm going to document it so that I don't forget it--because a lot of our days are spent mediating arguments that we don't fully understand.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

jp's hot chocolate pancakes

Elden's most requested food at breakfast in our house is "chocolatey" pancakes. Jon is a bit of a pancake snob (which is a major win for the rest of us) so he makes all of his pancakes from scratch. After posting a picture of our pancakes this weekend a few people requested Jon's recipe. Without further adieu, I present:

1 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
splash of lemon juice 
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. butter, melted
chocolate chips

Sift all the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (except the butter). Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, making sure not to over-mix--lumps in the batter are okay. Mix the butter into the batter. Fold desired amount of chocolate chips into the batter; let batter sit while the pan heats on medium-low to medium heat. Grease the pan. Cook pancakes until bubbles on top burst and edges appear dry; flip and cook until brown. Garnish with whipped cream, powdered sugar, syrup, etc.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

what's up wednesday

Linking up with Mel, Sheaffer, and Shay!

What we're eating this week:

Saturday Jon made his famous chocolate pancakes (recipe soon!)

Sunday: I made two different soups--quinoa and cauliflower chowder and slow cooker sausage, spinach and white bean soup (made with veggie broth and sausage on the side).  

Monday: date night at a little Lebanese restaurant to celebrate Jon's birthday early!

Tuesday: Korean beef in the slow cooker with rice for us and mashed potatoes for the kids. For this recipe I just put a roast in the slow cooker and slather it with this sauce from World Market. So easy and SO GOOD. Shred when the beef is tender. Bam.

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: Small group. We are having a baked potato bar and I am bringing garlicky broccoli.

Friday: Pizza Friday! I also need to blog Jon's pizza dough recipe because it is bomb and several people have asked me for it.

Saturday: This one is still up in the air, but I am thinking pierogies. We have a huge bag in our freezer from Jon's parents and if I can avoid the grocery store I probably will. 

What I'm reminiscing about:

Sally! We have been friends since the summer before I entered 5th grade. We met at camp; she lived in Virginia and I was in Ohio, but during the year she would visit me once, I would visit her once and then we'd spend two weeks at camp together in the summer. She was in my wedding and she was able to come to visit last year for Edith's birthday. Sally is getting married in Atlanta next fall and we are pretty sure Jon's parents will be making the trip with us to help with the kids so Jon and I can enjoy the festivities. We were talking details this past weekend and I think we have found some solutions to our greatest stressors (like car seat and pack n play transport, etc.) so now I am just really excited!

What I'm loving:

Tunics! I want all the tunics! Any time you can put me in something that is basically a nightie but socially acceptable to wear in public I will jump on that train so hard. Here are a few that have caught my eye:
When I have this baby and lose the weight I can't wait to go shopping to update my wardrobe. I really want to purge and start mostly over, but I obviously don't want to do that until I am happy with my body.

What we've been up to:

Trick or treating! Our town had a "safe" trick or treat in the historical village over the weekend that we attended. After that we rushed home for a quick dinner then headed to a neighboring town's trick or treat on the square with some friends from church. It was a lot of fun and Elden was really excited to rock his skeleton costume. Edith was over it by the time we made it to the second ToT.

What I'm dreading:

The prospect of my doctor not being the one to deliver this baby. 

Getting out of bed in the morning--my pelvis has definitely been bothering me lately and when I get out of bed in the morning I am really stiff. It's hard to get going but thankfully once I am it is easier. 

What I'm working on:

Getting Baby Turkey o-u-t. Finishing packing our hospital bag.

What I'm excited about:

Not to be redundant... but meeting this baby and finding out if it's a boy or a girl.

Taking the kids trick or treating in our neighborhood! Our neighborhood is seriously amazing for ToT. We were so impressed with it last year. Coming from a city where people hardly knew when it was (they almost never had ToT on Halloween in Akron; it was usually the weekend before) and left their porch lights on even though they weren't home to our very kid-friendly neighborhood has been awesome.

What I'm watching/reading:

Jon and I are still getting caught up on Parks and Rec! I think we have about 2 seasons left and I'm already really sad to think about it ending. 

Some of our other favorites have been: Superstore, The Goldberg's, Scorpion, Modern Family, New Girl, and The Mindy Project.

As you have probably figured out by now...I am not reading anything. #maybeoneday

What I'm listening to:

What I'm wearing:

Tunics and leggings. I've pretty much hit 'given up' status in terms of my wardrobe.

What I'm doing:

Surviving. And trying to dance/squat this baby out.

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Besides the obvious, Thanksgiving and maternity leave! I really hope to execute some Pinterest-inspired projects with the kids while I'm on leave. Then Thanksgiving...I'm pretty sure it's my favorite holiday. I love food, but I also really love spending so much time with family. We typically celebrate with Jon's mom's side on the day of and then my family the day two days in a row of food and fun!

What else is new: 

We are basically just waiting. The car seat is installed and the bag is mostly packed. I have random contractions and cramping here or there, but nothing crazy at all. I definitely agree with this:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

baby turkey update

On Friday my doctor ordered an ultrasound to check my fluid levels since I had to be induced with both Elden and Edith due to oligohydramnios. That being said, the ultrasounds I had that discovered the oligo were performed at 39+6 with both kids whereas this one was being performed at 37+4, so I really didn't expect to have low fluid levels. My doctor also advised me the standards for low fluids had changed and it was very rare for someone to meet the new standards.

The great news is I had plenty of fluid - 12.5 cm - with the new oligo standard being somewhere around 2 cm I believe. Baby is head down, facing my back, and measuring a staggering 7 lb 9 oz. This is pretty much the best picture we got:
 ...which wasn't unexpected since things are so smashed in there.

I also found out the weird right side pain I've been having is an elbow jabbing me whenever baby darn well pleases. Baby's head size is in the 50th percentile and the abdomen size is somewhere in the upper 70's... so I'm hoping I don't deliver a ten-pounder.

At my follow-up appointment, my doctor informed me he will be out of town November 5-9. I am due November 7. The other OB that used to share the practice left when I was pregnant with Edith, so if I have this baby between 11/5-11/9, a random doctor I've never met will be delivering BT. Needless to say - I am in full blown eviction mode. Squats, dancing, other things. I am still (unsurprisingly, given my penchant for not dilating with the other two) sitting solidly at a 0 cm dilated. My OB claims my cervix is indeed starting to soften but I'm pretty sure he just feels sorry for me. Please spare me the lecture of "baby will come when baby is ready" - I understand this notion. If I thought my body could go into labor on its own or that labor was imminent I wouldn't be doing anything to encourage the process. But the reality is I really want to experience going into labor on my own, and I haven't been driving to an OB 45 minutes away my entire pregnancy just to have some random doctor deliver my last kid. Obviously baby will come when he or she is ready and I am not doing anything that could potentially hurt the baby. So just let me live my life.

I will never be desperate enough for castor oil, but if you have any tips or recipes or magic secrets to make this baby come no later than November 4, I would really appreciate it.

Monday, October 24, 2016

edith's second birthday recap

I took the day off work on Friday to celebrate Edith's birthday with her. We knew it would be an overall low-key day, partially due to the fact that I am 9 months pregnant and planned on it and partially due to the fact that I had an ultrasound to check the baby's fluid levels and then a follow-up with my OBGYN. 

We started the day with Dunkin Donuts and balloons--Edith is kind of a hashbrown (but not a doughnut! what?!) freak so that's what she got. When she woke up and came into our room to discover four balloons waiting for her you would have thought I had just given a 16-year-old a brand new car. The joy was palpable. She grabbed them and did a "balloon happy dance" for a solid 5 minutes straight (there's video of it on my Instagram). At breakfast she opened her present, which was this bird. After breakfast the kids painted some plastic stained glass window toys I had bought at the Dollar Tree with the balloons in an effort to make the day a bit easier on Elden. 

Following breakfast were my appointments--which the kids came to (more on that tomorrow)--then a trip to Target to pick out a small ($1) toy for doing so well at the ultrasound. I got the kids each a McDonald's happy meal for lunch as a special treat on the way back and then after lunch was nap/quiet time.

When the kids woke up, we realized Edith's gift had already stopped working. Thankfully, we had already gotten this for Christmas for her (and it's on sale right now so if you like it I recommend buying it now!) so we just gave her that instead and then returned the faulty bird to Target. After Target we ran to Costco to get pizzas. On Edith's birthday menu this year were pizza, potato chips and dip, tortilla chips and spinach artichoke dip, fresh fruit with chocolate dip, a veggie tray, and a pumpkin roll from our favorite bakery. We just had immediate family over to celebrate her. Since Edith is not generally a cake/baked goods fan, we decided to put her candles in a mini trifle bowl of Skittles. We sang, she blew out her candles, and happily munched away on her candy before presents.

The kids had a blast with our families and for once we had basically the exact amount of food. I'm definitely a fan of low-key parties, especially when our kids seem to enjoy themselves so much.

Jon and I put the kids down late and perused my Timehop as we reflected on the last two years and how much joy Edith brings us. Today is her 2-year well visit and we will ask her pediatrician if he thinks it's okay to turn her forward facing in the car. Since she is tall for her age I don't expect any problems, so in theory we will now have two "big" kids!

Friday, October 21, 2016


To my little firecracker:

Two years ago today you arrived on the scene quickly and without much drama. You are constantly cracking us up with the things you do and say. At two years old, you know what you want and you have no qualms with glaring / throwing generally unpleasant looks towards whomever or whatever has displeased you. You are independent, strong willed, and sassy.

You are also tender and gentle. You almost always have a baby doll with you and are drawn to basically any animal--bug or otherwise. If you notice someone is upset you show them much empathy and concern.

Your brother is still one of your favorite people. You think he is hilarious and you are always mimicking his antics. That's not to say you don't like to keep him in check--one of your favorite past times is putting a toy or your foot on his seat when we are driving because you know it makes him batty.

I am so excited to see you in your role as a big sister. I have no doubt that you will be gentle, loving and sweet to your new brother or sister in the same ways you are gentle, loving and sweet to your big brother.

Our lives are better for having you in them. We are so blessed to be your parents. We can't wait to see how you use your gumption and empathetic attributes as you grow. Never lose your spark, Baby Girl. We love you beyond comprehension. Happy second birthday.

Mom & Dad

Thursday, October 20, 2016

i'm ready, i am

Well, it took much longer this time around... but I am finally more done with being pregnant than I am anxious about becoming a family of five.

That's not to say I'm not anxious, because I am still freaking out. But the multiple bathroom trips, the slight roll to the right to throw myself to the left in order to get out of bed in the morning, etc. have finally overstayed their welcome.

You guys. My maternity clothes don't fit anymore. I legitimately have about 3 outfits I can wear comfortably. My belly hangs out from under my shirts now because it is bigger than it has ever been in my previous pregnancies, forever placing the belly bands on display.

And oh my word, the itching. I am so itchy.

So yeah, when this baby is ready, I am too. I'm anxious about leaving the kids for a few days and for the sleeplessness. I still would like to make it to Halloween but if this kid came this weekend I would be released in time for trick or treat anyway.

Since my body doesn't generally seem to know how to go into labor on its own, I've really tried to up my physical activity the past few days in an effort to encourage it to prepare itself (I know it's premature but I need all the help I can get). I have done some squats and pelvic lifts. I have been nesting like crazy.

It took until 37.5 weeks, but yes. I'm ready when this kid is.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

crafting with a toddler and preschooler

Our kids - Elden especially - are super into arts and crafts. Having a toddler who wants to do everything her big brother does somewhat complicates our crafting dynamic because of the obvious differences in listening abilities / fine motor skills. These are just some products/crafts that we've used that both kids have enjoyed and haven't been a total disaster for us:
Make Your Own Gummy Worms kit: this one obviously included a fair amount of grown up help/supervision, but there were no riots; both kids enjoyed it; and we've already gotten 3 uses out of it. I definitely recommend it!

Play-Doh Breakfast Time Set: Play-Doh is a big time favorite in our house and our kids require minimal supervision since they know the rules (we're sticklers about not mixing colors, playing with it at the kitchen table, etc). My sister got this set for the kids last Christmas and they still regularly play with it. Also, since there are enough pieces in it they can share easily without raging against one another.

Make-a-Meal Sticker Pad: My mom got this for the kids when we went to Delaware and they are still playing with it. You have a blank picture and then all the food stickers. Edith is less interested in this than Elden, but she still participates. My mom also found a make-a-face book of Halloween creatures (witches, ghosts, Frankenstein, etc.) at a local craft shop that Elden is obsessed with.  

Amos Silky Crayons: My cousin, Laura, got these for the kids and they have been a total game changer. They glide on super smoothly with minimal pressure - so Edith is able to color vibrant colors (something she can get frustrated about with regular crayons), they're thicker for small hands and they can be pushed up when the tip gets dull. Be warned that they can be messy so this is definitely a kitchen table only crayon, but if/when we run out (we've been using them regularly for months and still show no signs of needing more) we will definitely be buying them again.

Suncatcher Kits: We admittedly just attempted this for the first time on Monday, but it was a much bigger hit than I anticipated. Elden really took it seriously but didn't get frustrated - something he is prone to do if his projects don't turn out exactly how he envisions them (gets that lovely attribute from his mom). Edith was more interested than I expected and worked on hers for a solid ten minutes. I may buy a bulk case of these, but if you only want one or two, we found the Halloween ones the kids made Monday at Michael's for a buck a piece.

Create Your Own Bitty Books kit: We have admittedly not done this yet, but I am seriously considering picking this kit up for the winter months when we are going stir crazy inside. Elden's thing lately has been drawing monsters. Tens of hundreds of monsters. He specifically requests we staple his monster drawings together so he can have a monster book that he made, so I'm pretty sure he would be thrilled with an actual bound book to put his artwork in. Plus, it would be a nice keepsake for us to have and look back on when he's older. Edith would likely be less excited about this option, but since she does color a lot I'm sure she would still enjoy it.

Crayola Washable Paint: The kids LOVE painting. We like this paint because they can use it as finger paint or with a brush and it is washable. The kids request to paint at least 1-2x per week and it keeps them entertained for a while. We tape their paper down with painter's tape while they work and put the paint on disposable plates that we reuse for this purpose.

Some other honorable mentions for activities the kids enjoy doing with our help: baking/cooking (or mixing) just about anything; those little magic marker papers you can find in the Dollar Spot at Target; anything foam that involves making your own design (decorations, masks, etc.). I already created a whole Pinterest board dedicated to crafts I hope to do with the kids over maternity leave - but I am trying not to have too lofty expectations of myself during that time.

Linking up with Jenn & Jessi!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

front door refresh

When we first bought our house it was definitely move-in ready and really updated compared to others we looked at (for more money, no less!) in our price range. That being said, there are a few features of it that I've never been crazy about. One of the things I really dislike about our house is the exterior. The siding is almost a greenish beige (...or some ugly shade of beige; I can't put my finger on it), the shutters are jet black and the front door was an ugly deep red:

Obviously painting or re-siding the house would be an expensive task. At this point in time that is the lowest on my priority list. The shutters are whatever - I don't like them but I can live with them. The front door, however, was an easy enough project that I could tackle myself... at 37 weeks pregnant... on the cheap.

We landed on Behr Cool Mint and decided to buy sample sizes of it since we didn't need a quart of paint. Since we were going from dark to extremely light, we bought 2 samples at just under $5/each. We probably could have gotten away with one sample and done this project for $5, but better safe than sorry.

And you guys? I squeal like a child on Christmas every time I see my front door now:
Now that we have a light front door I'm really not feeling the shutters. I was perusing the net for inspiration and stumbled across this swatch:
I'm thinking we'll probably try to find a grey that works with the siding and door colors. This will certainly be a next year project since the weather is already cool in Ohio, so that gives me plenty of time to find the perfect shade of grey! It only took me about an hour to paint the door and for $10 I'd definitely say this is a DIY project everyone should consider!

Linking up with the Tuesday Talk party!

Monday, October 17, 2016

hello, monday

Well, I am officially "early term." I am also officially in the throes of denial - in my mind I still have a solid 2 months before Baby Turkey is born. So I spent my weekend doing what any normal in denial pregnant lady does - all the things except those that pertain to preparing for said baby.

On Friday night we decided to break in the fire pit my parents bought us for Christmas last year. We also got this really awesome make your own gummy worm kit in the mail so we made that with the kids before we went outside. Between the homemade gummy worms and the fire/s'mores/later bedtime, I'm pretty sure our kids thought we were the raddest parents alive.

Saturday morning we went to an apple orchard with my parents. The orchard itself was kind of meh, but we got a ton of apples and the kids had a great time - that's all that really matters. My parents came over after for a bit - which the kids loved. We also accidentally practiced potty training with Edith. She had asked for underwear that morning and we totally forgot to put her in a diaper before the orchard... or when we got home from the orchard. It wasn't until about 3 hours after she had initially requested the underwear when she was on a walk with my dad and Elden that I realized she was not in a diaper and had not used the bathroom for quite some time. Suffice to say, I threw a diaper in my car and booked it around our development - without shoes - trying to find them. After about three loops I realized they were probably at the playground. I was right, I bolted across a large field basically 9 months pregnant and barefoot (a sight to behold), Edith got diapered and we didn't have any accidents! All the praise hand emojis!

photo cred: my dad
photo cred: my dad
Saturday afternoon we took the kids to my parents' house so we could go shopping kid-free at Trader Joe's and have a dinner date to celebrate my birthday. We ended up going to Yard House because they had a ton of diverse vegetarian selections. It did not disappoint! The weather was absolutely gorgeous--in the mid 70s and sunny--so we ate on the patio. We had crispy Brussels sprouts and ripped potatoes as an appetizer; Jon got the angel hair pasta; I got a roasted turkey club sandwich and French onion soup; and for dessert we got the mini trio sampler. I'm pretty sure we found our new favorite date night restaurant because it's really hard finding vegetarian options at most restaurants outside the standard veggie burger and the selections here were just awesome.
On Sunday morning, Jon led worship at our church so he had to be there early for practice. We dropped him off and headed to Dunkin Donuts to pick up some treats for an impromptu early-morning play date with my friend, Sam, and her three kiddos. She provided the coffee and we got to have grown up conversation while our kids played. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't amazing. After church we had lunch and ran to Home Depot to get supplies for a little project I've been eyeing since we moved in...
more on this tomorrow...
It was definitely a productive and fun weekend and I should probably finish up the final preparations (hospital bag, car seat, etc.) for the baby... but instead I'll probably just pretend that isn't happening any time soon. 

Linking up with Johannah :)

Friday, October 14, 2016

thoughts on welcoming our third

I'll be 37 weeks this Monday. With my prior pregnancies, that would be considered 'full term' although they have recently changed the guidelines and now it's considered 'early term.'


As I sat in the OB's office with Jon yesterday, we were discussing the fact that Edith would be two in eight days. "We could have a baby in 8 days," Jon said to me in awe. "No. Don't say that," was my response.


I'm pretty sure I was mentally ready by 32 weeks with Elden and Edith. Obviously I wanted them to stay put until they would have been more 'term,' but the thought of welcoming them didn't give me any semblance of anxiety. I was excited and curious and more than ready to meet them.

It has not been the same experience with this pregnancy.

I think there are a few factors. The first is the daunting thought of being outnumbered. "You'll have to switch to zone defense" is what friends with 3+ kids have told me. I have all these insecurities that I just won't be able to devote enough attention and love to all three kids. As it is now, Elden and Edith vie for my attention and I feel like I'm doing a pretty subpar job of navigating that. Now I'll be adding a third little life to the mix and how is that fair to any of them? Then there's the sleep deprivation aspect. Labor/delivery--and even the looming recovery--don't really bother me. It's the exhaustion that freaks me out. With the other kids, Jon had gotten up with me for the middle of the night breastfeeding sessions as moral support. This time around I think I'm going to try to go it solo so he can rest and therefore tend to the bigger kids during the day so I can (hopefully) nap some of the times the baby (hopefully) naps. Except I know our kids - they will rage if they know I'm just upstairs and they aren't getting to spend time with me. And even though I haven't given it much thought, I'm sure the notion of this being my last pregnancy is factoring in. This pregnancy was overall easier than with the other two kids and the thought of never being pregnant again goes against every biological instinct I have. Despite the insistence of some of my friends that they don't think we will be done after this baby - I feel ready to close the door on my baby-having days. I was blessed to experience what I have with these pregnancies and I don't want to discount that, but the reality is I am getting older and pregnancy is not particularly kind to my body.

Finally, I think I just generally feel unprepared. With my other pregnancies we had so much to do - make Elden's nursery / move Elden to a new room and redo the nursery for Edith. Neither one of those tasks was a small commitment. With this pregnancy and the new house, we didn't have to do nearly the amount of work as we did on the old one. As for purchases, we only really had to purchase a handful of items thanks to holding onto what we had from the other kids. I guess I just don't feel like I've done enough. Notice a theme? There's a drastic amount of feeling like I am not / have not / cannot do enough, ever. This runs deeper than just with raising kids and I'm sure many women can relate to that feeling of inadequacy.

The good news? At my appointment my cervix was nice and high and firmly closed, so as of yesterday there is no sign of an impending arrival. This coupled with the fact that both of the other kids were born on their due dates strictly as a result of induction leads me to believe that I have a heck of a lot more than 8 days to snap out of my mental funk. My goals are (1) to make it to November 1 at the earliest (I really want to be there for trick or treat with the older kids) and (2) to go on my own this time. I really want to experience the excitement of "this is it! This baby is coming!" That being said, it would be nice if I delivered no later than my due date because my company shuts down from December 23 through the new year and 6 weeks of maternity leave would bring me back December 19th - which gives me enough time to establish that I am no longer on leave and can earn my full benefits pay over the holidays instead of the 50% I'll be receiving on FMLA.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

current favorites

My birthday was this past weekend and I was given a few new things that I am absolutely loving so I thought I would share in case anyone was in the market for some new beauty products.

This texturizing spray is amazing. I have really fine hair - but a lot of it. It usually is very flat because it is so heavy and I have a hard time getting it to do anything worthwhile. I sprayed this in my dry hair on Sunday morning, scrunched it, and it created a gorgeous beachy wave that lasted the whole day! It also smelled great and didn't dry out my hair.

As my OB so delicately reminded me at my last appointment, I am getting older. That means I need to actually pay attention to skin care. I had wanted a face mask for a while and when I read these reviews I decided to give this one a shot. And I LOVE it! My complexion was visibly brighter after I used it. While it was on I could feel it working. I have really sensitive skin - but it's a weird combination of being too oily/too dry and it's hard to find a healthy balance - and this mask didn't irritate me at all. A little goes a long way and I can't wait to use some again. I'm planning on doing another mask this weekend.

I've seen bloggers mention this Vaseline lip therapy before and I had been wanting to try it. I typically only use regular Vaseline or Aloe Gator in the winter when my lips get inevitably horribly chapped, so the idea of a Vaseline dedicated to my lips - especially a pink one - appealed to me. It doesn't give quite the pink glow I was hoping for, but I have been using it daily nonetheless. And you can't beat the price!

It could be the pregnancy and how horribly uncomfortable I am, but I am all about that tunic/legging life right now. Zulily has a ton of tunics every day - and my parents got me the one in the picture for my birthday. I am so excited because it is very soft, loose enough that I was able to wear it to church on Sunday, and I *think* it will still look cute even when I'm not pregnant! I also own two tunics by √©loges from Zulily that I adore.

I'm not sure if it's that pesky aging thing I mentioned before or pregnancy, but my hair has definitely changed within the past year. No matter what I did, it was either super greasy just from its natural oil or it had a weird filmy buildup from the shampoos and conditioners I was using. I tried several different types of shampoo and conditioner (including more expensive/natural/sulfate-free brands) and seriously nothing helped. When I ordered some makeup from Ulta I got a free sample of this shampoo and conditioner. I tried it for about a week before I ran out and my hair was in the greatest shape it had been in for as long as I could remember! Not to mention the smell was intoxicating - the rose scent is very strong and it felt like I was showering in a rose garden each night. Unfortunately it was a bit pricier, but Jon got me a bottle of each for my birthday and I have looked forward to showering every night since. I keep an eye out on sales (right now they are on sale at Ulta for $25 for the pair) and plan on stocking up when they get cheaper and I get low.

Since I'm all about that tunic life, I couldn't help but share my favorite maternity leggings. Full panel leggings are a must for me and I love my Old Navy pairs. I admittedly also rock these when I'm not pregnant.. both in the immediate postpartum phase and even months and months after my kids are born. Love them and the price is decent, especially when there are sales.