Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Life Lately: Summer Bucket List {Update}

Y'all time is flashing before my eyes. Every day is going so fast and there is so much to do. I feel like I"m living this summer in fast forward! Days go by where I don't have a free minute to get on my computer. And other days, I'm so beat that I just want to lay on the couch! Don't get me wrong, it's kind of nice since I'm super pregnant and I'm so excited to meet this baby boy. But it's also kind of a bummer. These are the last days I have to soak up with our little family of 3. These are the last days to check off items from our bucket list! Somehow a month has come and gone since I originally posted about our Summer Bucket List, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at it and see what else we've done! {Click the link above to check out what we had accomplished by mid-June!}


This past month we've added:
Draw with chalk: We have Jojo to thank for this one! It's pretty hot outside for this momma to be out there for too long these days. By the time Chloe and I think about drawing with chalk, it's the heat of the day. Luckily JP's mom came to stay with us and did all sorts of fun things with Chloe including drawing with chalk! Now we're trying to take advantage of our shaded back porch to do it more often!

Watch fireworks: Well I can't actually say that Chloe has been able to stay awake for fireworks, but we're checking this one off her list anyway! Thank goodness for sparklers!

Paint a picture: We've been busy painting in our Usborne water color books especially on rainy days!


Go to a museum: This past weekend, we went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science with my friend Dom! I knew we would have a good time, but I didn't realize just how amazing it was going to be. Dom's friend volunteers at the museum and is trained to give tours, and she came to meet us and take us around the whole museum! We were able to touch a triceratops horn and a T-Rex tooth. She told us even more about the dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, energy, death by natural causes and butterflies! We were at the museum for nearly 4 hours and Chloe was such a trooper. Her favorites were definitely the dinosaurs and butterflies! Here are a few pictures I was able to snap: 




Help bake cookies: This little girl has taken a liking to helping out in the kitchen! Not only has she helped bake cookies, but she's helped me make chocolate zucchini bread, scrambled eggs, meatballs and she even helps her daddy on the grill!

Movie night with popcorn: I originally meant for this to be a movie at home, but it turns out we took Chloe to her very first movie theater movie on July 5th! We decided she would be ready for it and took her to see The Incredibles 2! Y'all, she loved it. At first we thought she may fall asleep, but she ended up being mesmerized. She was quiet and sat on our laps and only needed one potty break!


Go on a walk with popsicles: Some mornings you need to bribe your daughter with a popsicle to got on a walk and you get to check off a bucket list item at the same time! We've also eaten popsicles while riding around in the wagon. It's always a good time for a popsicle in the Texas heat!


Learn letters by sight: This one I am SOOOOO proud of! We've been working on letters a lot this summer and Chloe pretty much knows the whole alphabet by sight as long as the letters are capital. Lower case letters are still hit or miss. I figured focusing on one would be better for us this summer. She's still confused by P and R as well at Q and O, but other than that she pretty much has it down!

And a late add of Go to VBS which will officially be completed at the end of this week, so I went ahead and marked it off! We're having a wonderful time learning about Jesus and his love for us this week! Chloe is in her first year with the Pre-K group and I'm in my second year on the core team co-chairing the Bible Discovery room. I heard through the grapevine that our room is the most fun, so we must be doing something right! I had to share this sweet picture that the photographer captured of Chloe and I during the closing ceremony on the first day. Melt my heart!


It looks like we have about 9 more items to check off of our list before summer ends! I think we can definitely manage that since we checked off 9 this past month and even gave a few others a double (or even triple) check. I'm talking about you pool, splash pad, ice cream and watermelon!

What are some of your favorite bucket list items during the summer?
I would say our favorites are the fun day trips that turn into an adventure! The museum and VBS would probably be at the top of my list for this second round of updates!


Monday, July 9, 2018

Showering Baby B


After a week away, I'm back! Last week was full of down time spent at home with my family and it was quite needed. I took a step away from my blog and social media to regroup and recenter my focus! There was no real rhyme or reason for it except my husband had Wed-Fri off before heading out of the country and I just wanted to be present with him. We went to the movies, had a Chloe free evening, celebrated the 3rd on the 4th with neighbors, put together the nursery, ran lots of errands, went on walks and just relaxed on the couch with each other. Like I said, much needed! Now it's me and Chloe against the world this week!

Now let's rewind to the weekend BEFORE the 4th of July. Yes, two weekends ago baby boy and I were spoiled by our friends and family. I was shocked at the number of people that came to celebrate this little nugget of mine! So much love. Several months ago when Ali and my sister approached me about throwing me a baby shower, we decided that my house would be the best location. I have a lot of open space and all of the presents would already be at home. Plus my house was freshly painted back in March and I wanted to show it off. Now let's show off all of the cute details of my baby boy's dinosaur themed baby shower!


The Candy Bar


My sister put together this adorable candy bar along the dining room table! She found several dinosaur candies like dino gummies, dino bones and dino lollipops. Then she put a fun twist on some traditional favorites like M&M's are dino droppings and Hershey Kisses had stickers with dino kisses!


She also put together all of these adorable mason jars for all of the guests to stuff with candies to take home with them! It was definitely a big hit and everyone walked away with their jar of candy. And Chloe ate more gummies than I care to admit, but it kept her happy and quiet all day!

I was also able to use some of the extra mason jars in the nursery. I filled some with cotton balls, ear swabs, baby samples and such. Once I get some good pictures taken, I'll be sharing with y'all!



The Games


We didn't play many games because it was really more of a mix, mingle and eat kind of shower. We did have two easy games that everyone was able play on their own time. 

First was the Play-doh Make Me a Baby Game. You essentially get several containers of play-doh and some cupcake liners. Each guest writes their name on the bottom of a cupcake liner then they use the play-doh to make a baby! The goal is to make the best baby for the mom-to-be to chose at the end of the shower! That's why the names are written on the bottom, so momma doesn't know who made each one. We definitely had some creative ladies at my shower! 


The other game was the Pillowcase Baby Item Game. {Yeah, I just made that sweet name up.} It's another simple, but fun one! My mom filled up a pillow case with about 20 different baby items. Then she and my sister walked around from person to person giving them 60 seconds to feel around in the bag. Once their time was up, they had to write down as many items as they could remember. Just before I opened presents, my sister went through all of the items and the person who remembered the most correct items won a prize!

I loved having these two simple games for people to participate, but they didn't completely disrupt the ease of the shower!

The Decorations


I loved how they didn't make everything obnoxiously dinosaur. Instead it had this prehistoric jungle feel with lots of greens, blues and oranges. They used lots of dino clothes and accessories to decorate my mantle that baby boy can use when he gets here!


Another awesome decoration area was the photobooth! Here's a peek at all of the fun masks, but scroll down further to see us in action!


The Food


All of the host ladies brought different snacks and sweets, so we had lots to choose from! Meatballs, Italian pasta bites, buffalo chicken dip, spinach dip, cheesecake, cupcakes, peanut butter bacon cookies and more! Just looking at these pictures has me hungry again.


Oh and I couldn't forget the mimosa bar! A baby shower isn't complete without some sort of champagne drink concoction. Just a few more weeks until I can indulge in one myself!


The Presents


It's not a baby shower without opening presents and oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over all of the adorable baby things right? Well this one was no different, and I think everyone enjoyed seeing all of the goodies this baby received! I can't say enough how spoiled and loved we are. We're clearly blessed with the most amazing family and friends.


I'm really good at making lots of weird and exaggerated faces all the time, so when unexpected pictures are taken, there are always quite a few interesting ones of me.


Needless to say, this little boy will be well dressed! Since we registered for gender neutral colors for most of the main, big baby items with Chloe, we didn't need a lot of gear. We did need lots of clothes since Chloe's were incredibly girly and feminine. Oh and nursery gear and decor! I held off on purchasing things in hopes that we would get things at the shower, and we sure did! I spent the next few days washing clothes, blankets and sheets and putting everything together in his room. Now I can't stop going back in just to sit in the glider! I'm looking forward to sharing how everything turned out with y'all soon.


The Photobooth

My Amazing Friends and Shower Hosts!
Ali - Julie - Me - Emily - Jessica - Ashley
Remember the photobooth I mentioned above? Well my sister put together this adorable little set up for all of us to snap some super cute pics! I loved the greenery in the background, but the masks totally stole the show!



And I couldn't do a shower post without some sister pics!



My babies are so lucky to have Emily and Kate as their amazing Aunties! Their also lucky to have the most amazing grandparents and my friends who are like aunties to them. We're beyond blessed to have all of these amazing women in our lives. I know I've said it several times in this post, but I don't think I could verbalize it or write it enough.

Now here we are just over 6 more weeks until my due date! The nursery is almost ready. The stroller, carseat and other baby gear is out of storage and cleaned. His clothes are washed and ready to wear. Big sister is starting to get excited about actually meeting this hypothetical brother we keep talking about. Now all we need to do is cook and grow this little boy a few more weeks and we'll be as ready as we'll ever be to meet him! I can't wait to see his little face and recognize his feet and elbows that I feel on a daily basis.

Thank you to all of my wonderful friends who came to celebrate and an even bigger thank you to the ladies who helped my sister put on this perfect shower!


Monday, July 2, 2018

Patriotic Cookie Pizza

Happy 2nd of July! Did anyone start their 4th of July celebrations this past weekend? With this fun holiday being on a Wednesday, it kind of puts a damper on celebrating! We had a pool day yesterday at my parents' house with lots of swimming and eating. My dad smoked some ribs and we had left over goodies from my baby shower on Saturday. {Don't worry, Baby Shower post coming later this week! Once I get allllll of the pictures sorted and edited!} Since my dad will be out of town and my sister has to work, we decided to get together and do what we would have done on the 4th...minus the fireworks. I would share all the fun pictures with y'all, but it turns out my dad was the only one documenting the event. I was too busy floating around the pool being as weightless as can be. Every time I got out of the water, which was rare, all I could think was that it's much heavier outside of the pool! I'm a big fan of weightlessness.

Now don't get me wrong, we still plan on celebrating the 4th this week. Who said it can't be a week long celebration? JP has Wednesday-Friday off before heading off to London Saturday, so we have to do something fun! Our neighbors are having people over Tuesday evening and my mom has offered to have a sleepover party with Chloe, so we're looking forward to a kid free celebration. This party is BYOB and BYOD...bring your own dessert! Dessert happens to be my specialty and I love being able to create something with a theme. Enter Patriotic Cookie Pizza.


It's easy, it's delicious, and it's super American! I made this for a Memorial Day gathering this year and pretty much every year for the 4th! Today I'm sharing just how easy this is with y'all. There are lots of different cookie pizza recipes out there and I've tried a few different ones. This one is my go to these days, and it is definitely the easiest.

Ingredients:
  • 1 roll (16.5oz) of sugar cookie dough
  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray a 12" cookie sheet and make sure it is completely coated for easy cookie pizza removal.
  2. Press sugar cookie dough evenly onto cookie sheet. Make sure it isn't pressed too thin!
  3. Bake 12-16 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Set aside to cool for about 30 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  5. Spread mixture over cooled cookie. Add blueberries and sliced strawberries in the pattern above to create the American flag!
  6. Refrigerate your creation for at least an hour. Longer won't hurt, so leave it in until it's time to serve! 



You can serve your cookie pizza straight from the cookie pan or you can carefully transfer to another serving dish. I prefer to transfer and cut the edges to make it more rectangular.

Many cookie pizzas call for a glaze to go over the fruit. Some use apple jelly, others use a lemon/orange juice mixture. I've tried these in the past and have come to the conclusion that it tastes just as good and looks better without the glaze! Feel free to create a tasty glaze to add to your pizza if you're feeing creative. 

I'm looking forward to making this easy and tasty treat again for our 4th celebration on the 3rd! If you're trying to figure out something to bring to a gathering this week, this patriotic cookie pizza may be just the thing for you too!

Are you celebrating the 4th of July on a different day this year?
What are your go to foods for 4th of July celebrations?



Friday, June 29, 2018

32 Week Bumpdate

Happy Friday to y'all and happy Bump day to me! Actually, my bump day is on Thursday, but it's easier for me to share it on Fridays with y'all most of the time. I feel like I just posted my 30 week bumpdate, and here I am sharing my 32 week bumpdate today! We have a lot of exciting things coming up and I can't wait to share with y'all!


How Far Along? 
32 weeks yesterday!

Size of Baby:
It depends on who you ask! This week he is the size of a squash, a head of lettuce, a Florida Pomelo or a backpack. What that really means is that most babies of this gestation weight between 3-4lbs and are 15-17 inches long! Since we had a weight estimate at 30 weeks and baby boy is gaining about a half a pound a week, it's safe to say our little man is probably closer to 4.5 lbs. Getting closer to that birth weight!

Weight Gain:
Up about 24 lbs according to yesterday's appointment!
It's funny because I appear to be on track to gain exactly the same as I did with Chloe.


Symptoms: 
I feel incredibly fortunate because I don't have much to can truly complain about. Except for one thing...sciatica and back pain. I'm proud to say that I've actually done something about it! I started seeing a chiropractor last week and he is working wonders. My pelvis was tilted and putting too much pressure on my sciatica, so he's helping me to even it back out which will also help when it comes time to deliver. I still have a sore and aching back at the end of the day, but that's just part of having a large bump and larger than life boobs all on the front side of my body!

Cravings: 
Pretty much the same over the last month. Fruit, yogurt, ice cream, cereal and milk, more ice cream, more fruit, smoothies, snow cones, etc. I also am still obsessed with tacos. {I had them for dinner last night!} Oh and one really weird craving for me has been Pop-Tarts. Y'all the brown sugar ones are the bomb. Until I impulse bought this box, I couldn't tell you the last time I had a Pop-Tart!

Mood:
I feel like I've been in a really good place lately. I'm a little emotional from time to time and my poor husband gets the brunt of those outbursts. Otherwise, I'm feeling really confident about adding this baby to our family. I'm also feeling confident about his impending birth and I'm kind of excited about labor and delivery. I haven't mentioned this on the blog, but I am hoping to have a natural delivery. I have nothing against pain management and if I feel I need it, I will ask for it, but I'd like to avoid an epidural. I've been preparing myself mentally and physically for this! I've learned so much more about birth and a woman's body since I gave birth to Chloe and I'm kind of obsessed!


Nursery: 
I'm itching to get in there and hang pictures, put on his sheets, organize his bookshelves and put together his toy bin, but I can't. I've been waiting on his baby shower which is TOMORROW! Which means that hopefully next week, I'll be sharing a nursery post with y'all. This momma is in nesting mode, so I bet I'll be in there putting everything together as soon as possible.

Movement: 
All day, every day. He is a busy little man. His jumpy movements have become more controlled and much stronger! Sometimes I fight him and push back on whichever limb is jabbing me. It's fun to feel and interact with him. Feeling baby is by far my favorite part of pregnancy. Now if only he'd keep him limbs out of my ribs!

Sleep:
I'm exhausted at night and have no trouble falling asleep! I'm actually pretty good at staying asleep...until about 6 or 6:30am. It doesn't matter what time I go to bed, by 6:30am I'm awake and can't go back to sleep. I know, I know it's not that bad. It really isn't, I'm just trying to soak up all the sleep I can until this baby comes because I know I'll be sleep deprived for the next year at least!



Workouts: 
Same old, same old! Walking is my friend and the more I move and stay busy, the better I feel. Here's what my last week looked like:

Thursday: 2.1 mile walk
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 2.15 mile walk
Sunday: Cleaning workout! 
Monday: 45 minute cycle class + 30 minute Tabata class
Tuesday: 4 mile walk
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Chase your toddler around the splash pad workout

What I Miss:
Laying on my stomach! I can lay on it on a special table at the chiropractor which made me realize just how much I miss being able to do it! 

Belly Button in or out?
It's out there.


Labor Signs:
Occasional Braxton Hicks, but that's about it!

Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Not really these days. I will say that cooking is pretty much the last thing I want to do. If I was cooking more, I may say that things like raw meat bother me.

Best Moments The Past Weeks: 
Our family day trip to the beach, long days spent at the pool and surprising one of our best friends with an engagement party!


Looking forward to:
Our baby shower this weekend which also means some of my best friends are coming in from out of town. I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it! 

Well I'm off to clean my house, meet up with some besties for breakfast, go to the chiropractor and then wait for another bestie to arrive at my house for the weekend! Let the baby festivities begin!

Mommas, have you ever considered or accomplished a natural birth? 
If so, I'd love any resources or tips you have for me!


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My Third Trimester {Summer} Must Haves

Hello summer and hello third trimester of my pregnancy. Both have actually been around for a few weeks, but as it gets hotter, I keep getting bigger! I thought it would be fun to share my pregnancy must haves for making it through the summer months. Not all of them are necessarily summer related, but they're a must no matter what time of year you're pregnant!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase!


Maternity/Long Tank Tops
It's summertime in Texas, so I'm hot. I'm pretty much melting most days. If I know I'll just be in the house for a while, I usually don't even wear a shirt. A sports bra totally does the trick. My husband was helping me with laundry the other day and he mentioned that all I had were tank tops to wash. Why yes because that's all I wear! I have a few from Motherhood Maternity, but most are just simple tanks from Target and I sized up. The tank below is one I snagged from a Motherhood Maternity sale! They have lots of cute shirts with pregnancy puns if you're into that sort of thing. Clearly I am!


Comfy, Supportive Sandals
Again it's hot here and sandals are a must. I live in them! The key is to get a good, comfy, supportive pair that you can slip on and off easily. Gone are the days where you can tie your shoes quickly or at all really. Seriously, tying my shoes is an Olympic event these days and I always come up gasping for air! I'm all for my tennies when I'm going on a walk or working out, but as for the day to day, sandals all the way. I found these at Target and I'm obsessed. They're like Berkinstock's, but less expensive. They have them in several different colors too. If you're thinking about ordering some, I'd size up!



Palmer's Tummy Butter
A must have for mommas as those bellies get bigger! Even if you don't get stretch marks, {they are hereditary you know!} this stuff is great for hydration. As your belly grows, the skin stretches and thins. It can make your skin itch, but this tummy butter helps combat it. It also smells great!



Smarty Pants Prenatal Gummy Vitamins
Obviously these are for more than just the third trimester. This is more of an overall pregnancy must have. I love these gummies! They taste delicious and don't make me sick. Any pill form of prenatal makes me so sick and I throw them up more often than not. The only problem with gummy vitamins is that you don't get the iron. Personally, I'd rather take an iron supplement than try to stomach prenatal pills.



NEOtech Belly Support Belt
Third trimester comes with all of the aches and pains. You're always looking for something to help ease the pain naturally and long term it seems. This pregnancy I decided to give a belly support band a try. I really like this one because it's easy to use and definitely eases my lower back pain. It's great when you're on your feet for long periods of time or even when working out.



Exercise Ball
Whenever you can't seem find a comfortable position to sit no matter what you do, reach for your exercise ball! It keeps your pelvis in line and actually makes your back feel better. Lounging on the couch is one of the worst things for your back even though it feel like the right thing to do when you're in pain. Next time try an exercise ball and notice the difference. They're also great for some women during labor!

Nursing Bras
By the third trimester, bras are uncomfortable and your breast and band size has likely changed. Not only has it already changed, but it will continue to change until you deliver and your milk comes in. I pretty much put away all of my regular bras during my second trimester and stick to my bigger sports bras and nursing bras. I found this three pack of nursing bras on Amazon and decided to give them a try. I love them! They are comfortable and provide enough support without being tight or irritating my rib cage. They also come with band extenders for each bra to help your growing frame! Another great place to buy nursing bras is Kindred Bravely. I have purchased several items from them and love everything from their under the bump panties to maternity/nursing jammies!



Large Water Bottle
Hydration is key during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. I recommend getting something that holds at least 30 oz that you can take around with you everywhere you go. My current go tos are my Yeti or RTIC. They hold so much water and keep it cold which is necessary in this summer heat. The colder the water, the more likely I am to drink it these days! Some other good options are HydraFlask, Tervis or anything you have that you know you'll keep reaching for throughout the day.



Heating Pad
It's hard to avoid back pain when you're pregnant. By the end of the day your shoulders are tight, you lower back is killing you and you have knots along your shoulder blades. Having a big belly and larger than life boobs can do a number to your back. Enter heating pad for relief! I actually have a rice heating pad that goes over my shoulders and down my back. My mother-in-law bought it for me after I gave birth to Chloe and experience a lot of back pain. It's been a God send and I'm so grateful to have it! Here is something similar {and another one} to the one I have on Amazon if anyone is interested. I look forward to heating it up in the evenings and just relaxing on the couch. Now if only I could find a comfortable position that lasts...

Chiropractic Care/Massage
Back pain is no joke during pregnancy, and if you don't get to the root of the problem, it has potential to get worse. Last pregnancy, I got a few prenatal massages, but the ones in my third trimester were the most beneficial! This pregnancy, I started seeing a chiropractor for severe sciatica pain. It turns out my pelvis was quite tilted and that could have had some adverse effects on this baby being able to descend into the birth canal for a vaginal delivery! So far it has been a great decision for me to go, and I'll continue as long as it keeps helping. I think the main thing you need to do is listen to your body and know if you need to do something about pain. You know your body best and I believe that when you're pregnant you get to know your body even better.


A few other items that I feel like I need these days are my pregnancy pillow, good walking shoes, air conditioning, watermelon and iced coffee. Yep, that rounds out my list quite nicely! Stay tuned this week for my 32 week bumpdate!

What are some of your pregnancy must haves?
What do you think helped you get through pregnancy in the hot summer months?


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