No longer MIA

My absence is due to giving birth and motherhood. Oh…man! I am exhausted but so incredibly in love so it’s cool.

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A few updates:

• Lucas David was born on August 27th, 2013 at 10:40AM. He came out already sporting the pouty, quivering lip he still uses as a tool to meddle with my heart. 7lb 12oz, a good amount of blonde hair, blue eyes…perfect boy!
• I’m already back to work. Lame. But making money with no time to spend the money = happy bank account.
• I’m trying to become more-sufficient. I enjoy and prefer all things homemade, from cleaners to food. Seriously, I even made my own chicken stock. Next year, I’m going to grow a small garden and I’m EXCITED. I have created a new blog to chronicle this adventure. I will share the link once I’ve finally posted over there!
• So the Giants suck.

Okay…12:30AM is here and I have a baby asleep on my chest. Good night!

39 weeks pregnant

How far along? 39 weeks and 2 days
Total weight gain/measurements: 25 pounds total. I lost 2 pounds since last week but considering I had gained four between my 37-38 week appointments, its not too abnormal.
Maternity clothes: Basically consists of yoga pants and t-shirts.
Stretch marks: None…except for the teeny silver ones on my hip that are still teeny.
Sleep: Some nights are good. Most, though, suck.
Best moment this week:The doctor telling us I was 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced! Last week my cervix was still posterior and therefore no progress at all. So to hear that there is something going on to get this baby moving was awesome.
Miss anything? Wine!
Movement: Tons. He has always been so active! I can feel him a lot down in my crotch area now versus up higher since his head is down there. It feels like he is moving in my butt! Haha!
Food cravings: Nothing. Except water hah. I am constantly thirsty.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Smells still make me nauseous. Especially since my nose seems to fabricate smells lol. Today on the way to my appointment I swore I smelled poop. Smelled like someone took a big poop right on the dashboard. Idk why but I was going nuts lol.
Labour signs: 1-2cm dilated, 50% effaced, head is at a -2. Not feeling any Braxton Hicks lately but I do think I have felt a few real contractions here and there. Definitely a lot of pressure.
Symptoms: Heart burn has certainly eased up as he keeps dropping. Swollen feet and nausea are probably my biggest symptoms right now.
Belly button in or out? A stretched out outie. It’s pretty much flat against my tummy except for a little pop out in the middle.
Wedding rings on or off? Off. Too swollen.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy…but anxious.
Looking forward to: Having this little babe!

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36 weeks pregnant

How far along? 36 weeks and 4 days.
Total weight gain/measurements: 23 pounds total! I was like, WHAT. I gained 4 pounds since my last appointment, two weeks ago. Oh well 🙂
Maternity clothes: Sick of them. I want to wear my regular clothes. It’s gotten to the point where I literally do a load of clothes every day because I have nothing else to wear. Same few shirts. And gym shorts are my best friend. Not to mention I can only fit into one pair of dress pants (they are maternity, of course) so I have to wash them at least every other day.
Stretch marks: None…except for the teeny silver ones on my hip that are still teeny. The red ones I thought I saw disappeared.
Sleep: I toss and turn SO MUCH.
Best moment this week: Getting the last thing we “needed” for baby’s arrival – a baby gate to quarantine the dogs into the dining room so they won’t bother us in the living room if we need them to shoo! Haha.
Miss anything? I miss…well, my regular clothes!
Movement: He moves a TON still. He no longer jabs me in the ribs though. Now it’s more like…my organs and stomach muscles and hips haha. He dropped quite a bit within the last couple days!
Food cravings: Nothing really.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Smells still make me nauseous. I have a stomach of steel so no matter how nauseous I get…I tend to only dry heave instead of actually puking. Good or bad… I don’t know.
  
Labour signs: He has dropped. He’s head down. And I’ve been having false labor for the past two days. I had some major Braxton Hicks yesterday morning for about 6 hours! And I’ve had a couple today.
Symptoms: Same as any pregnant woman I’m sure. Varicose veins, clumsy, heart burn, aches and pains. You know.
Belly button in or out? An outie! But it doesn’t totally stick out…I think it’s too stretched out lol
Wedding rings on or off? My fingers haven’t been swelling so I do wear my wedding band. Not my engagement ring though. I’m afraid my fingers will swell and they’ll have to cut it off me haha.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy…but anxious.
Looking forward to: Meeting Lucas David, of course, and marveling over the fact that I’ve created a damn human being ;]

Question everything

This is bit of a ramble, but here it goes..

If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my journey of trying my hardest to live a natural & cruelty-free lifestyle…it is to question EVERYTHING you are told. Ask “Why?” and “What’s that?” like a toddler does. Do your own research and figure things out for yourself. Just because a doctor tells you his opinion does not mean its even medically recommended (they don’t teach parenting tips in medical school). And even if it is medically recommended – the medical world is very flawed. Look at what the rest of the world is doing: the changes they are making, the products and procedures they are banning. I had a customer tell me the other day that our country can highly benefit by looking at the way other countries do things. As a high-ranking military member, I can’t even guess how many countries he has been to. His comment still has me thinking. Americans are taught that our country is the best – therefore we tend to trust our leaders, doctors, and the media more than we should. We frown upon other countries. But when other countries are way ahead of us at banning products with toxins in them, animal testing, and food with GMOs…why, exactly, do we frown upon them?

Routine infant circumcision and vaccinations are other “mommy” topics that countries have changed their medical recommendations on. Routine infant circumcision is something that America is far behind on. We are the ONLY country that still recommends circumcision for reasons other than cultural and religious. It is rare to find a medical organization except for ours that even recommends RIC under any circumstances, period. Even our own professional research shows that the health benefits that doctors preach are irrelevant.

I’m rambling a bit more than I wanted to. But my point is: don’t assume that you and your family are being looked out for. Just because its on the shelf, don’t assume “It’s a product targeted especially for babies, of course it’s safe!” (Most likely, it’s not!) and don’t listen to the ‘one’ study that proves _______. Get on the Internet and find the facts until you feel as if you know the truth in your mind. Especially focus on articles and journals done by researchers in a variety of countries.

You always, always need to question what you are told and look out for yourself and your own family…you can very rarely depend on others to do that for you.

32 weeks pregnant

How far along? 32 weeks and 4 days
Total weight gain/measurements: 17 pounds gained total. Gained 2 pounds in two weeks – right on track.
Maternity clothes: Won’t buy any new ones from here on out. Am totally missing being able to fit into some of my favorite t-shirts. Grrrr.
Stretch marks: I think I see a couple faded red ones on each side starting to show. Dun dun dun.
Sleep: Huh? What’s that? I am SO UNCOMFORTABLE. I have slept like crap the past few nights.
Best moment this week: Completely and totally finishing the nursery 🙂  

Miss anything? I miss that happy-pregnant stage where I didn’t even feel or really look pregnant haha. I’ve had a great pregnancy so far so I can’t complain too much but the 3rd trimester blows.
Movement: A lot of movement still. He likes to jam his feet into my ribs and likes to poke his butt out a lot. It’s crazy seeing a foot sticking through my stomach..haha.
Food cravings: Pineapple. Citrus is definitely a reoccurring theme with my cravings. I’ve always loved oranges, which I craved during the beginning of my pregnancy. But pineapple I never really ate much even though I didn’t necessarily dislike it. I just never loved it. Until now.
Anything making you queasy or sick? My fears at 30 weeks were confirmed…my nausea is back. When I get hot flashes, I get nauseous. The smells on people really bother me too. IE, too much cologne or that old man smell lol.
  
Labour signs: I feel some minor Braxton Hicks here and there. He has dropped (then pops back up, then drops again).
Symptoms: Nausea, spider veins and varicose veins..ew. Clumsy as crap (I feel down 6 stairs a couple days ago…luckily didn’t hurt or really have any impact at all except for my hand.
Belly button in or out? It’s slowly but surely becoming an outie.
Wedding rings on or off? Off. I’m afraid my fingers will swell and I won’t get them back on lol!
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy!
Looking forward to: Our baby shower/bbq party! We wanted to have a “shower” despite being so far from home. But decided it should be a little less stuffy and a little more fun with a lot of food!

The Honest Company

It is incredibly important to me to find companies that I believe in. A lot of companies betray your trust, by selling out to larger companies for money and compromising their morals (Urban Decay, anyone?), falsely labeling and advertising (basically 99% of the companies you see on store shelves) and putting toxins and dangerous chemicals into products that are targeted toward children (I could list so many companies under this category, but the one that enters my mind the quickest is Johnson & Johnson).

I have found a few companies that I feel like I can truly stand behind – and The Honest Company (honest.com) is high on that list. The company was first introduced to me by a friend who has a lot of the same concerns that I do. The Honest Company was founded by Jessica Alba. (Side note: I am definitely not one to buy something just because it has a celebrity face but after reading her book The Honest Life, Alba (celebrity or not) has a lot of the same feelings that I do about natural products and I have definitely gained respect for her as a mom.) I signed up for their free trial bundles and received them at my door about a week later.

The trial diaper and wipes bundle includes 7 diapers (patterns of your choice) and a pack of 10 wipes. The patterns are adorable. A lot of the earth-friendly and natural diapers you’ll find are very plain-looking. But the patterns offered by The Honest Company are adorable and there are lots to choose from. My favorite pattern is the skull pattern.

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The Essentials trial bundle includes trial sizes of their shampoo + body wash, face + body lotion, laundry detergent, hand soap and healing balm. I was pretty impressed with the packaging of each of the products and the quality of them when I tried them out.

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Note: they have added a new bundle, the Health & Wellness Bundle, that includes a 1-day dose of their new prenatal vitamin and a DHA/Omega-3 supplement. I ordered my trials a couple months before they came out with this one.

Of course – when you order the free trial, you are automatically in their system to keep receiving the monthly bundles. If you forget to call and cancel within 7 days, they will charge you and send you the bundles. Naturally, as forgetful as I am, I forgot to cancel in time and the bundles were shipped to me. It was no big deal since, well, I’d be needing to stock up on diapers, wipes and the other products anyway! The full-size monthly bundles really are awesome anyway.

DIAPERS AND WIPES BUNDLE ($79.95 per month)

The monthly bundle includes 6 jumbo bags of diapers (quantity in each bag depends on the diaper size) and 4 packs of wipes. This is supposed to be a one-month supply. I obviously cannot comment on this myself since my baby hasn’t made his debut yet. You get to pick your patterns (there are currently 18 patterns available, and some of them change seasonally!) I also can’t comment on the quality of the diapers, but here is a blog post that gives a fair, to-the-point review: clickity click. Basically, on most reviews you’ll read: they are great diapers, absorbent, but pricier than generic brand diapers. (And to that I say – you get what you pay for. And if you’re willing to pay a little extra to put a diaper on your baby’s bottom  that isn’t loaded with nasty toxins and chemicals, it is worth it. Especially considering that your baby will have diapers on for 24/7 for a couple of years, give or take. Plus…they are cruelty-free!). I cancelled this subscription since I don’t need it, yet.

THE ESSENTIALS BUNDLE ($35.95 per month)

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5 items of your choice! Plus you can add-on 3 items for 25% off (and apparently the longer you are a subscriber, this percentage off increases). I re-subscribed to this bundle last month. I chose laundry detergent, bug spray, dryer cloths, toothpaste and oxy boost. And two additional items for 25% off: toilet cleaner and organic dish towels. Their laundry detergent and dryer cloths are phenomenal. I’ve used their oxy boost once and it worked great. I have yet to try the toilet cleaner, bug spray and toothpaste. Next month, I’ve chosen my items to be: hand sanitizer (8 oz bottle), a baby bottle, multi-surface cleaner, dish brush with a ceramic base and travel wipes (4 10-wipe packages, perfect for the diaper bag and car!). I may very well change my items (you can never have enough laundry detergent) and you can change your items right up until the ship date. And choosing, changing, and browsing items is super simple. Here is what the layout looks like:

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My overall thoughts:

  • I love that it’s a company I can believe in. At first, I was skeptical, then after trying the products, reading some other reviews, and reading Jessica Alba’s book The Honest Life I gained a lot of faith. It is truly a company that wants to provide affordable, natural and non-toxic products for babies and families. Alba created the company, with help, because she was just as frustrated and disappointed as I was that there are so many companies, targeted toward innocent babies, that are deceitful and full of toxins and chemicals not safe for children – let alone anyone, really.
  • I haven’t yet been disappointed in a product that I have tried.
  • They offer a lot of products that many green companies haven’t come out with yet – such as bug spray, dryer sheets, hand sanitizer, toothpaste and laundry detergent.
  • The convenience is unmatched. The nearest place around me to buy natural, organic diapers is almost an hour away. Same with natural cleaning products. That is not convenient, period. The fact that these products are delivered to your door like clockwork is a great concept. Plus, you can change your delivery date if you’re in need of something pronto or still have some diapers left and don’t need any for another week or so.
  • These products are, in my opinion, affordable. In comparison to Wal-Mart brand – they are more expensive. However, in comparison to other green companies, and name brands in general (natural or not), they are about the same.

30 weeks pregnant!

Thirty weeks? THIRTY WEEKS?! I feel like I’m in the homestretch…especially since the aches, pains, over-heatedness and all that mess has kicked in to full gear and it only gets worse from here. I still try to consider this the calm before the storm 😉

 

How far along? 30 weeks and 2 days.
Total weight gain/measurements: 15 pounds total gain. I weigh 149.something (I saw the 149 and looked away really fast, missing what was after the decimal point..ahahaha). Up 4 pounds from two weeks ago! Imagine my face when I saw the scale. It was pure horror. But three of those pounds are baby, so it’s not SO bad 🙂 I actually don’t mind the weight gain at all, especially since I have heard of some women gaining twice as much as I have by this point. But there is a moment when I hear of a woman who has gained absolutely nothing during pregnancy or at least less than 10 pounds and I flip her off, inside my mind of course. I’m eating healthy, I stand all day, and I try to walk at least 3 times a week – especially since walking helps with the aches and pains. Except for uphill walking. That is just cruel.
Maternity clothes: Last week I went shopping for more shirts. Being from NY, I seriously lack in the t-shirt department. Living in SC currently, and being pregnant, t-shirts are a MUST and when I hate doing laundry…I need a lot of them haha. I didn’t get maternity-specific shirts though. I got 4 shirts in size Large from the misses section of Burke’s Outlet and a maxi dress. I still have a lot of room to grow in the shirts, which was my goal. The maxi dress is particularly exciting since, pregnant or not, I have never found a maxi dress that didn’t extend a foot past my ankles haha. I definitely do not plan on buying more clothes during my pregnancy.
Stretch marks: Nothing significantly more than what I’ve had.
Sleep: I’m getting better at sleeping on my side.. YIPEE! Especially since sleeping on my back actually gets uncomfortable from the weight of my belly. However, sleeping itself pretty much sucks. I wake up a lot, he kicks me a lot (he tends to want to practice his butterfly kicks at 11PM), and my goodness…hot flashes galore. Not to mention, I also wake up incredibly thirsty at least once a night.
Best moment this week: Having a little boy tell me I was pretty! AWWW! SO CUTE. That feels good after you’ve just been told you gained 15 pounds 😉 Baby-related though, we did the hospital tour and that was exciting. It was crazy knowing I’d be in there in just a couple months! And this was last week, but we got our crib all set up! LOVE IT. Oh and how did I forget?! Our spouses’ squadron baby shower was this weekend and it was absolutely wonderful and baby got a lot of great stuff =) It’s awesome having supportive people here, especially when family is so far away.

 
Miss anything? Nope, aside from being comfortable. Man, I really took my pre-pregnancy body for granted. And by “my body” I don’t mean my (kind of) thinness, I mean my non-achey body haha.
Movement: This kid…I’m so nervous for him to come out. He’s going to be constantly going. He moves so much and now he has started jamming his feet into my ribs. Ouch, dude, ouch.
Food cravings: Pineapple. Citrus is definitely a reoccurring theme with my cravings. I’ve always loved oranges, which I craved during the beginning of my pregnancy. But pineapple I never really ate much even though I didn’t necessarily dislike it. I just never loved it. Until now.
Anything making you queasy or sick? I am starting to fear that my luckiness with nausea is coming to a close…I had some sickness during my first trimester. Then for about 2 weeks during my second trimester. The past few days, I get nauseous in the morning if I smell anything funky. Like eggs. And when you work at a gas station that sells egg sandwiches…no bueno. I can’t complain about it TOO much though since I rarely actually get sick from nausea.
Gender: Still a boy.. I hope! At least everything except for his clothes is gender neutral if he decides to be a she 🙂
Labour signs: Either I had painful Braxton Hicks the other night or really bad round ligament pain…either way, it hurt and I got all anxious that I was going to go into early labor. Anxious as in…sobbing! From fear, not pain! Needless to say, he is still in there thank goodness!
Symptoms: Nausea. HIP PAIN and BACK PAIN. OW. Thirst. Hot flashes. Acne (but that seems to be subsiding!). A teeny bit of swelling but mostly at night. I have to sleep without my wedding rings on.
Belly button in or out? It’s starting to poke out!!!
Wedding rings on or off? On but I take them off at night because I’ve woken up twice with my finger hurting!
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy. But I do cry easily. At stupid stuff. I used to be a crier when I was little. Then I grew a backbone and an attitude and hated crying. I usually leave the room if I start to cry even a little so no one knows…haha.
Looking forward to: Getting the last piece for his nursery…a bookcase! It only makes sense for a major bookworm to dream of her son being a bookworm, too 😉 But I’m a firm believer that children should be exposed to reading at the very beginning of their life because reading is wonderful for so many reasons. I even got these adorable book ends. They are going to be used until he is in his “get-into-everything” phase, since they are heavy concrete book ends! But then they will go in another area of the house 🙂 I love them so much and highly recommend this Etsy seller, blessingandlight, and her shop has some amazing stuff! Not just for children – but decor mostly for the home in general. Very creative, shipped quickly and packaged safely.
These are the two I got:
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I also want this one:
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On a side note, I am feeling MUCH more prepared now! We bought a frame stroller today ($20 lightly used, originally $70. SCORE.) Hospital bag and diaper bag pretty much all set…just need to go through them with a proper checklist. Nursery almost done (just need the bookcase and to do some rearranging). Oh goodness…in 3ish months I’ll be submerged in poopy diapers and nipple cream.