Savoring each moment

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The hubby and me when I was 33 weeks along. And still feeling kind of cute. πŸ™‚

I have been pretty whiny lately. I’m told by friends and family that the last few weeks of pregnancy are the hardest, and they most definitely have been, both physically and mentally.

The bump I once couldn’t wait to have is no longer as cute and fun to have around my midsection. My clothing options have dwindled to just maternity clothes, and I dread having to cycle through the same selection of outfits each week or only having two pairs of jeans that fit.

I still sleep pretty well at night, but it’s the waking up every two hours or less to pee that drives me mad. Getting out of bed is literally a pain. My bladder feels like it’s about to burst and attempting to sit up only increases the incredible pressure. I’m glad only Brett is around at these moments when I waddle to the bathroom.

I thought I got away without getting stretch marks, but they decided to appear the other day. Granted there are only a few (for now), but it still left me feeling sad and defeated. My body has become strange and foreign as it continues to grow and grow. I knew pregnancy can and will change your body in many ways, but it’s still surprising when you think you are in the clear but then something sneaks up and surprises you. Have I mentioned I don’t really like surprises?

I laid on the bed the other night, staring at the mountain my stomach has turned into, complaining to Brett about all these changes. I have been telling people that I want our son to stay put until at least 37 weeks, but at the same time, I’m eager and anxious to no longer be pregnant.

But then I read thisΒ from a fellow blogger at Baby on the Brehm, and my perspective was turned around.

These are the last weeks it will be just me and my little guy, every single moment of every single day. These are the last moments I will feel him squirming around inside my belly or the little flutters when he has the hiccups. There are only a few weeks left where I can giddily grab my hubby’s hand and place it on my belly as our son jumps and jives. These precious times we have together are dwindling, and I want to hold on to each one as long as I can. I yearn to hold our baby boy, kiss him and just see his sweet face, but this chapter of life is fleeting. He will soon be my newborn son that will transform into a toddler, a child, a preteen, a teenager and a man far, far too soon. He is healthy, and I hope happy, right where he is at this moment. These minor physical changes, aches and pains are worth it. I will never have these moments with Oliver again, and I know they are ones I will always treasure and will miss when they are gone.

One last trip

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Ready for a road trip!

I had been eagerly awaiting my best friend’s call all summer to tell me that she was engaged. We all knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time. She had wanted a winter wedding, particularly a January wedding. She called me shortly after their engagement to let me know the wedding was January 23.

I was thrilled and nervous at the same time. Nervous not because I was going to be a bridesmaid, but because on the day of her wedding I would be two days shy of 35 weeks pregnant. And the wedding was to be in Omaha, a 10-hour drive from my home in Wyoming. Over the coming months, I asked my doctor multiple times if I was going to be OK to make the trip. She reassured me that as long as everything was going smoothly with my pregnancy, it should be fine. She reminded me to take plenty of stops, keep my legs elevated as much as possible and drink lots of water.

Just in case Oliver did decide to make an early debut while we were away from home, we made sure to install his carseat, bring his diaper bag and my hospital bag. Better safe than sorry.

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Our sleepy pups on the long car ride.

Thankfully, we were able to break up our trip to Omaha into two legs. The first night we drove three hours and stopped for the night at my parents’ house. It was wonderful to see them again one more time before Oliver arrives and to sleep in a comfy, familiar place. On day two, we stopped three times for bathroom breaks, lunch, etc.

While I had been nervous for the long trip, my excitement to see my best friend get married overcame all other emotions. Brett and I were in bed by 10 p.m. Friday, which helped me have a fun, fabulous time on her wedding day.

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The beautiful bride and me on her big day!

I had a blast hanging out with the bride, her bridesmaids and family, getting our hair fixed while we chatted about everything under the sun. The day was much colder than the weatherman predicted (it was supposed to be 44 degrees and sunny; in reality, it was 28 degrees, overcast and blustery), but nothing could bring the giddy bride and her bridal party down on this day.

The ceremony was held in the same church the bride’s grandparents and parents had been married in, and it was absolutely breathtaking. And we had an amazing time at the reception, with delicious food and a dessert buffet! Yum! I wasn’t able to dance as much as I normally would at a wedding, but Brett and I had a few slow dances and enjoyed the merriment around us.

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Looking fancy for the wedding. πŸ™‚

We left early Sunday morning in order to make it back to Casper that night. We made a few pit stops along the way, including lunch with Brett’s parents and siblings in Kearney. It was very quick, but it was so nice to see everyone and have lunch together.

Even if I wasn’t pregnant, this drive wouldn’t have been fun. It was already long to begin with, but about an hour or so from home, we ran into snow and black ice on the roads. Brett is a great, cautious driver, but it was still scary with cars and semis zooming by us in the dark, wintery conditions. Thankfully, we made it home safe and sound after about 11 hours on the road.

Overall, the trip went much better than I had thought it would. I was terrified that Oliver would suddenly make the decision to come early, and he would be born 10 hours away from home. While Brett and I both like the idea of having Nebraska as his place of birth (oh, how we miss you, dear, sweet homeland!), I didn’t like the idea of not being under the care of the doctors we know and then having to make a very, very long drive back with a newborn! Thankfully, he stayed put, and we were able to enjoy a glorious weekend away that included lots of love, friends, family and an amazing wedding. Oh, and did I mention food? I was a happy camper when I was able to eat my favorite foods I can’t get in Casper, including Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Runza, Amigos and Ruby Tuesday! πŸ™‚ The icing on the top of a memorable weekend!

 

Fun, favorites for baby

Shopping for a baby is pretty thrilling and sometimes overwhelming, especially when its your baby. It can be pretty intense trying to figure out what is going to be the perfect crib, which car seat is the best choice for safety, if the baby carrier we chose is really as functional as it says it will be, etc.

There are a ton of choices to make and agonize over, but there are some choices that are just plain easy and fun. Once we made up our minds on the items that were necessities, we began to register or purchase the fun items for our little guy. Here are some of my favorites:

harry potter

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition β€” This was probably more of Β a purchase for me than Oliver, but what better way to start sharing my favorite series of books with my son than with the illustrated version? The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and I think all Harry Potter fans need to add this to their library.
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  • Harry Potter and Doctor Who onesies. It’s best to start them young, right? The little guy has so many cute outfits, but these two are my favorite onesies. They are a little pricey for something he won’t fit into for too long, but still very worth the joy Brett and I will experience when he gets to wear them. πŸ™‚ We found these on Amazon.com.
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  • NoJo Out of This World Four-Piece Crib Set.Β Β When choosing our theme for Oliver’s nursery, I really, really wanted to do a Harry Potter nursery. I found photos on Pinterest of the cutest nursery, but when I began searching for items for this theme, it was either incredibly expensive or very hard to find. As I have said before, I’m not crafty. If I was, I would maybe try to do some of the decor myself. That being said, Brett and I agreed on a space theme for our little guy. It’s definitely easier to find decor for this theme than Harry Potter, but still not the easiest. We settled on this crib set, and it’s adorable. My mom is a whiz at finding cute decor, and she found a huge variety of wall stickers, decor and even an adorable, rocket-shaped piggy bank! It’s perfect for our little guy!

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    How cute is this bear?!

  • Darth Vader Bear from Build-A-Bear Workshop.Β Brett is a huge Star Wars fan, so when we received this gift from his parents at our baby shower, he was over the moon. It’s not only cute and cuddly (as cuddly as Vader can be!), but if you squeeze his paw, he makes Vader’s infamous breathing noises. Pretty cool!
  • Baby Brezza Formula Pro One Step Bottle Maker.Β Brett is a coffee aficionado, and when he saw this formula maker, he was incredibly giddy. We added it to our registry, not really thinking anyone would get it for us. But someone did! We haven’t tried it out yet, but I’m hoping it will make our lives a little bit easier when it comes to dinner time. πŸ™‚
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    Amazon.com

  • “Oliver Who Would Not Sleep”Β and “Oliver’s Tree.”Β This was another one of my favorite baby shower gifts. My mom found adorable books where the main character was named Oliver. I have already been reading them out loud, and they are two of my favorite books for Oliver. I can just imagine him with red hair like the character in this book. πŸ˜‰
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  • Oliver’s sign. Some of the best gifts are the ones you can’t buy in a store. This sign is one of my favorite gifts Oliver has received. Brett’s sister made this for us, and it is absolutely perfect for Oliver’s room. I added a few space-themed stickers around it, and it looks adorable over his dresser/changing table.

A weekend of self-indulgence

2016 has been welcomed with open arms in our house. Don’t get me wrong, 2015 wasn’t too shabby. But knowing that we are going to welcome home our son this year, it’s hard not to view 2016 as probably the best year ever. πŸ™‚

I’m overflowing with happiness and excitement knowing that next month is when our little boy is set to arrive. I’m also really nervous. Not only am I going to be a mom and responsible for this tiny human, but I know our lives are going to change in a big, big way. I try to imagine what it will be like when another person takes up residence in our home, but it’s still hard to envision. I do know that what I consider a normal, leisurely weekend might be pretty different in the near future, so I took full advantage of my three-day weekend over the holiday by enjoying every little blissful moment.

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In our pajamas, ready for a low-key New Year’s Eve. πŸ™‚

On New Year’s Eve, Brett and I ordered Domino’s and settled in for a “Star Wars” marathon. We popped open a bottle of sparkling cider and toasted to the new year. We didn’t last very long after our toast, and wound up only watching “Star Wars: A New Hope.” We were in bed by 10 p.m., and I snuggled up next to my sleeping husband to read a book.

Days off together have been few and far between for Brett and I during the holiday season, so when we both got New Year’s Day off, we had big plans. Plans to do absolutely nothing. I grabbed us coffee from Starbucks. Brett played video games while I did a little cleaning around the house and watched TV. One of the final pieces of Oliver’s nursery, a La-Z-Boy chair, was delivered in the morning, and we eagerly set it up and tried it out. His room is looking more and more complete!

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We spent the afternoon watching “The Office” on Netflix and making a quick grocery store run. Brett made crab alfredo and shrimp scampi for supper. It was so yummy! He was in bed pretty early, and I had every intention of calling it a night early, too. But then I saw there was a “Sex and the City” marathon on TV. I couldn’t resist.

I slept in Saturday morning, FaceTimed with my mom, played with our dogs and watched a movie I had been wanting to see, “The Longest Ride.” I finally dragged myself off the couch to have lunch with Brett. After lunch, I had my hair cut and styled, and took my time strolling through Target. As always, my cart was loaded with needed items and not-so-needed-but-definitely-necessary items. Those “necessary” purchases included a new robe for me (I thought it might come in handy while I’m in the hospital with Oliver), a few Valentine’s Day decorations and washcloths for Oliver that were super cute and on clearance. πŸ˜‰

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These decorations may not involve pink and red hearts, but they are sparkly and were only $3. πŸ™‚

Once Brett was off work, we grabbed Starbucks and roamed around Hobby Lobby. I was hoping to find some more Valentine’s Day decor to replace our Christmas decorations, but they didn’t really have what I was looking for. We debated for a while on what to have for supper and settled on grabbing our favorite fast food, Qdoba.

Earlier that day, Brett bought me ME! Bath Lavender Lullaby Mini Bath Ice Cream to use in the bathtub. I have been pretty lucky so far to not have any major aches and pains through pregnancy, but the last few days I have been pretty uncomfortable when laying down or walking around. A bath sounded heavenly! After Brett went to bed, I dropped a bath ball in the tub, grabbed a book and took a long, luxurious bath. I like bubble baths, but it was nice to avoid all the suds and just soak in warm, soothing water that smelled divine.

I planned to go to bed early, but I started watching “The Boy Next Door,” with Jennifer Lopez, and I had to find out what happened. It was pretty ridiculous, but it was a fun way to end the night.

Sunday was another wonderful morning of sleeping in, playing with our dogs and getting a few chores done around the house.

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Pippin is always finding ways to be entertaining. πŸ™‚

I had lunch with Brett and then met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time to catch up. We chatted for over two hours, and I headed home afterward to hang out with Brett. We lounged around together before he left to meet a friend for dinner. I took a long hot shower, made myself a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner and finished up writing thank you notes for our baby shower. Once Brett came home, we were in bed by 9 p.m. I laid in bed reading some passages from the Bible before I called it a night at 9:30 p.m.

While I didn’t do anything too remarkable or exciting this weekend, it was wonderful to be home, to relax and indulge. I’m hoping I can squeeze in at least one more weekend like this before the little guy arrives. πŸ™‚

“Star Wars” for the next generation

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Brett and I on the night of the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” premiere.

The first time he watched “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer, and that famous music blared through the speakers, his eyes glistened with nostalgia and awe. When tickets went on sale the month before the movie was set to release, we jumped online right away, scrambling to find the perfect seats. With our tickets securely in our grasp, he gave me the biggest hug and smile. It was like my 27-year-old husband had been transformed back into his 10-year-old self, eagerly awaiting the day when his favorite movie would be released.

I have never been much of a “Star Wars” fan. My parents had never watched the movies, and the later episodes were something I caught bits and pieces of when it was on TV. I won a lot of brownie points with Brett when we first started dating due to my love of “Lord of the Rings,” Marvel films, “Harry Potter,” etc. But when he discovered I had never really watched “Star Wars,” his eyes bulged and he sputtered in protest. Needless to say, a marathon of all six movies ensued soon after. I liked them, but they didn’t automatically make their way onto my list of favorite movies of all time.

But then the hype for the new “Star Wars” film began, and I couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon. Perhaps it’s because the longer I have been with Brett, the more I learn more about myself and have fallen in love with so many things considered “nerdy.” Or it could also be that I love how excited my husband gets when he watches the movies over and over again. His excitement is contagious, and I found myself eagerly reading articles about the new movie and sharing tidbits with him that I had discovered.

I absolutely loved the latest movie, and we have already seen it three times. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have jumped on the “Star Wars” bandwagon very late in the game. There are a plethora of reasons for why I consider this latest installment to be awesome, but the number one reason I now adore this film franchise is because of our son. He may not be here yet, but just like his father before him, I want him to grow up watching these movies with his dad, standing in line the night of the premiere to see the next film and imagining that he is a Jedi. For me, I will never forget seeing every “Harry Potter” movie with my dad in theaters. For Brett, it was “Star Wars.” Even though we live seven hours from his parents, Brett made sure plans were in place so that he and his dad could watch “The Force Awakens” together. It’s what they have always done, and I know it’s something they will continue to do. And I can’t wait for the moment our son can be a part of that. Β When our little boy hears that famous music and watches that scrolling text, I know how happy that will make his dad, because “Star Wars” is part of his family legacy. Being able to not only witness this bond form over three generations and being a part of it has and will forever make me a “Star Wars” fan.

Preparing for Baby B

 

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Brett and I chose to do our baby shower fairly early in my pregnancy. Because my third trimester begins during the holiday season – which is Brett’s busiest time of year at work – we chose to have the shower before all the mayhem of the holidays and we were also hoping the weather would be nice for guests who were traveling.

Because of that, I began my baby registry pretty early. And I had so much fun picking out the items for our little guy! Brett works at Target, and I absolutely love that store, so that is where we registered for our shower. A lot of my research was asking my sisters what they used for their kids and what they liked best. I did use sites, such as The Bump and Baby Center, to give me ideas on what are the best brands and what items to avoid. I also see how other customers have rated or reviewed certain items to make sure there isn’t anything faulty with my selection.

I wanted Brett to be involved as much as possible. When it came to the big items, we went through everything together to make sure we both agreed on what we were getting. For our bigger items, we chose to go gender neutral because we are planning to have more kids, and we want to be able to reuse what we can.

On that note, here is a list of what we chose for our little guy:

CRIB

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DRESSER

Target.com

  • Changing Table/Dresser: Delta Children Clermont 6-Drawer Dresser β€” I was set on buying just a changing table and using storage baskets, but as I looked into changing tables and dressers, I really liked the thought of all the extra storage a dresser would provide. And the Delta brand provides a changing top you can buy separately to attach to the top of the dresser. And because the crib and dresser would match perfectly, I was sold.
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Target.com

  • Stroller/Car seat: Graco Dynamo Lite Classic Connect Travel System Stroller – Hudson β€” For many of these items, we thought we knew what we wanted but soon changed our minds. The same went for choice of a car seat and stroller. I thought a convertible car seat sounded awesome, but then when I realized it’s not very portable, I changed my mind. My sister recommended the Graco Travel System. I also made sure to get a second base so we can easily take the little man in either car.
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Target.com

  • Β Baby Carrier: BabyBjorn Miracle Baby Carrier β€” Even before we knew we were going to have a baby, Brett has wanted to be a baby-carrying dad. And because he is so excited about it, I wanted to make sure we got a high-quality baby carrier. Baby wraps kind of freak me out. I’m terrified I won’t be able to wrap it right, and I will end up smothering my child. I had read many great reviews about BabyBjorn and this particular carrier. I also loved that you can have the baby facing you or facing outward. And you can tote your tot in this until they are 26 pounds!
diaper bag

Target.com

  • Diaper Bag: Eddie Bauer Bremmerton Duffle Diaper Bag β€” There are so many diaper bags out there to choose from! I loved the bags that are pretty and almost resemble a purse, but Brett didn’t love the idea of carrying a floral bag around. I loved that this bag had so many pockets and it also came with a changing pad.
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Target.com

  • Rocker or Sleeper: Eddie Bauer Slumber and Soothe Rocker β€” I was told by many moms that this is an absolute necessity for newborns. They are able to sleep right next to your bed at night, and they can sleep propped up if they are dealing with acid reflux. It also vibrates and plays music!
bouncer

Target.com

Items we chose to skip (at least for now) are:

  • Infant swing β€” I was told by a few different moms that they received swings and only used them a couple of times. Many of them recommended the bouncer instead.
  • Doorway jumper β€” This was another item I had a few different moms say they received but rarely used. They recommended a play mat or activity center instead.
  • Baby wipe warmer β€” This just seemed a little excessive. While it might be nice to have a warm wipe for the baby’s tush, it just didn’t seem like an absolute necessity.
  • Breast pump β€” I admit I’m still on the fence about breast feeding. I’m going to give it a try, but if it doesn’t feel right for me or my little guy, I don’t to force it. Also, pumping does not sound like fun, especially when I return to work. I may completely change my mind and become gung-ho about breast feeding and pumping, but I’m going to wait to purchase this particular item until I know for sure what is going to be best for me and Baby B.

I consider this a list of necessities, but stay tuned for my list of fun items, such as books, toys, clothes, we have picked out. πŸ™‚

Think before you speak

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One of the maternity photos my mom took for us. πŸ™‚

In the early stages of my pregnancy, I was excited to have a baby bump. At the time, I just felt bloated. In my eyes, you couldn’t really tell if I was pregnant or had one too many doughnuts. I was ready to have that cute little baby bump so it was obvious to the world that I have a baby on board.

It took a bit, but by 20 weeks, the baby bump began to make it’s appearance, and I was over the moon. I was still able to fit into most of my prematernity clothes, and I felt comfortable and cute. At 25 weeks, I have noticed a dramatic change in my body. Apparently, other people have as well. And some aren’t afraid to say so. The other day I had someone ask how far along I was. When I told that person, they remarked, “Oh my goodness, you still have a long ways to go yet.” I just smiled and nodded, but something about that comment struck a nerve. I had a doctor’s appointment earlier that week where my belly was measuring at 26 weeks, not 24 weeks. My doctor reassured me that was OK; it could just be the way the little guy is positioned. But after hearing that comment, my pride for the way I look at the moment began to wilt.

The next day, I searched through my closet trying to find a prematernity shirt that may still fit. I know I still have plenty of options, but I was convinced it was all going to be too tight or too short at this point. I opted to wear black with a scarf to make my bump appear a bit smaller.

As I thought more about it throughout the day, I just got angry. I have never disliked the way I look. Over the past few years, I have struggled to lose weight and not loved the number on the scale. But my body is doing something pretty incredible at the moment, and I was excited to flaunt it, until one comment brought me down.

Instead of dwelling on that one comment, and dreading the ones to come, I’m going to focus on the positive. How so many loved ones tell me I’m glowing or the look in Brett’s eyes as he places his hand on my belly and feels our son kick. This is a time I want to look back on and remember fondly. I won’t let it be a time where I’m worried about what people think. I’m sure I’m still going to get annoyed when only maternity clothes fit and wonder if this weight is going to come off after having our little guy. But I’m going to embrace this change, because it’s all for this precious life that we are bringing into the world.

I know I can’t magically make the human populace hold their tongues and only give glowing comments to pregnant ladies, but that doesn’t mean I can’t. I will make sure to tell the next lovely pregnant lady I see that she looks fantastic. She may have heard it a dozen times or hasn’t heard it at all, but I know that at whatever stage she is in, a little reminder that she is still beautiful can be music to the ears.