Thursday, May 17, 2018

26 Week Bumpdate

It's that time of the week, it's Baby Boy's Bump Day! I'm loving sharing this stage of life with y'all and I hope that you're still enjoying following along on my journey. I've always said that I want this blog to be a reflection of my life, and I believe life is a balancing act of all the things we're juggling. It just so happens that pregnancy is quite a large thing that I'm juggling right now since I'm pregnant and feeling it 24/7! I have a pretty exciting update about my 3 hour glucose screening, so read on to see how that went and some other fun news!

How Far Along? 
26 weeks today!

Size of Baby: 
Baby is as big as kale. Yeah that's what the app says as you can see above! Another one says that he's the size of a bowling pin and another a butternut squash. In a nutshell it means that my little boy is about 2 lbs and 14 inches long from head to toe! 2 lbs! It's hard to believe, but I can definitely feel it in the weight of my stomach.

Weight Gain:
I'm pretty much where I was last time. I'm up about 16-18lbs, so right on track to gain about as much as I did with Chloe!

3 Hour Glucose Screening:
If you follow along with me on Instagram, then you may have seen that I had to take the 3 hour glucose test. I found out last Friday that I failed my 1 hour test by a few points They want your blood sugar levels to be under 130 after and hour and mine was 140. I was so bummed about having to take the 3 hour test and the prospect of having gestational diabetes. I have a great love for carbs after all! I went into the 3 hour test nervous about throwing up because I heard that it can make you really nauseous. If you puke, then you have to start all over again. If you don't know about the test, you go in after fasting for 12 hours, get your blood drawn, drink a crazy sugary drink, get your blood drawn again after 1 hr, 2 hrs and 3hrs. So 4 blood draws in 3 hours and no food for pretty much 16 hours! I survived and didn't throw up, but after the test I felt so dizzy, lightheaded and queasy that I had to eat something in my car and sit for 15 minutes before I felt well enough to drive. Well I got the results back yesterday morning and it turns out I do NOT have gestational diabetes. Not only did I pass, but I passed with flying colors. It turns out the original test was just a fluke. Here's how my results looked:
Fasting: Me- 93 Desired- Under 100
One Hour: Me- 128 Desired- Under 180
Two Hours: Me- 113 Desired- Under 160
Three Hours: Me- 43 Desired- Under 140
 Clearly I passed. But do you see that 43? Yeah that's actually dangerously low. My body processes sugars so well that it went into overdrive to finish processing all of the sugar from the drink! That's why I felt so sick. That's also why I get hangry and have to eat every two hours or so. It's nice to officially know the reason I feel like I need to eat all the time! I'm not crazy!

Back pain is killing me. I didn't experience it until the last several weeks of my pregnancy with Chloe, and this time it started early on. It's only getting worse, so I'm trying to do everything I can to make it better naturally. I've been walking like crazy because sitting makes it worse. Oddly moving and working out are making it better. I also ordered a belly band which I need to be better about wearing!

Tacos, tuna salad, tortilla chips, apples and peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, cheese, watermelon. Quite the variety!

Better now that the glucose test is over! I was super nervous upon finding out I failed the first one which is why I only told a couple of people that I was taking the 3 hour test before I did it. I felt very anxious about having gestational diabetes because I just want to be as healthy as I can for this baby boy! 

It's coming together y'all! We officially put Chloe's crib, dresser and rocker in there. We also put in a small cabinet that we got from JP's grandparents' apartment. We still have a lot of stuff laying around and I'm waiting on our shower for bedding and decorations. It's hard to wait when I just want to buy all of the things! I can't wait to share when it's ready!

We have a mover and groover on our hands. His favorite times to move around are early morning and late at night. I'm sure he's moving more than I realize during the day, but it's harder to feel when I'm busy!

Falling asleep is easy, staying asleep is another story. I'm exhausted in the evenings and ready to go to bed by 9:00pm. Unfortunately I'm waking up a couple of times to go to the bathroom, and I'm having trouble sleeping past 6-6:30am. But hey, I'm still getting plenty of sleep, so I can't complain yet.

Still good! Lots of walking, easy jogging and lower intensity workouts. Here's what my last week looked like:

Wednesday: 4.5 mile walk with my girl Chandra!
Thursday: Rest - I was so sick
Friday: Rest - Still recovering
Saturday: 2.3 mile walk
Sunday: 3.5 mile walk/run
Monday: 45 minute cycle class, 6 rounds Tabata
Tuesday: 2 mile walk
Wednesday: 3 rounds of Kettlebell Tabata and 3 rounds of a little workout I made up on the spot and plan to share with y'all later!

What I Miss: 
Not having back pain!

Belly Button in or out?
It's flat through the first half of the day and an outtie by most evenings!

Labor Signs: 
Just a few Braxton Hicks contractions each day. I feel more when I'm more active, but nothing crazy. Yesterday, I had a huge sneeze which triggered a BH. It was one part hilarious and one part annoying!

Anything making you queasy or sick: 
Thinking about the Glucose Test. The first one hour test wasn't too bad, but my 3 hour test was horrible. I was so nauseous after drinking the sugar drink that I was convinced I was going to throw up. There was no way I was going to throw up and have to start all over again though.

Best Moments The Past Weeks: 
Mother's Day weekend! I had the most relaxing and wonderful Mother's Day. I celebrated with all of my neighbors at a pool party on Friday, floated in my parents' pool all day Saturday, and my hubby and Chloe spoiled me all day Sunday. I didn't wash any dishes or clean up any toys. Also finding out that I don't have gestational diabetes!

Looking forward to:
Leaving for Chicago tonight to see my best friend and celebrate her baby girl's 2nd birthday! My last flight and big trip of this pregnancy. 

There you have it, 26 weeks down and about 14 to go! It's hard to believe how fast this pregnancy is going, but my body can definitely feel all the changes that its going through. 

I'm excited to share my 28 week bumpdate because I'm going to do a compare and contrast to my pregnancy with Chloe! Stay tuned to see what's up!

Did you ever have problems with back pain, pregnancy or non-pregnancy related?
What were the best ways to overcome the pain naturally?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Traveling Around Holland: The Hague & Leiden

Oh hello! I've been missing for a week, I know. And I still have so much to share about our two weeks overseas. Before I get to that, the reason I've been gone is because I got so sick last week! I was down for the count Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday I was feeling much better, but still off. Then I didn't have the drive to get on my computer and get everything ready. So here I am a week later! On the plus side, I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend and I'll tell y'all all about it tomorrow when I do my next Bumpdate. Stay tuned!

Today I actually want to share our day when we hopped on a train and travelled around Holland! First stop was The Hague. Chloe absolutely loved riding on the train. It was a great experience to see the countryside and more of this beautiful country.

We saw these gorgeous fields of flowers multiple times along our 45 minute journey. Their countryside is so colorful!

Once we arrived in The Hague, our plan was to hit some of the top spots and things to see in the city. We were there on a Monday, so it wasn't too crowded! The only downside was that many places were closed for tours on Mondays. We didn't think of that at all, so I had to be sure to share. Since tours are so popular on the weekends, they take Monday as their day off! We didn't let that stop us from exploring.

Binnenhof & Ridderzaal
First we came to Binnenhof & Ridderzaal. This is the Inner Court and Hall of Knights. It is also known as the political heart of the Netherlands. This is where important events in the Netherlands history have taken place. It is where Parliament meets and has been the office of the Prime Minister since the 1980's.

We had the chance to stroll around the courtyard and take in the beauty of the buildings. But again, since it was Monday, we weren't able to go inside or take a tour. It kind of worked out in the end because we were able to get more packed into our half day there.

The Hague is known for their shopping! If you go for a visit be sure to check out the Court District. We didn't make it there, but we heard awesome things. If I wasn't pregnant, we would have found a way to get there. Even though we weren't shopping, we still saw some beautiful stores while walking the city.

The Canals
When you're in The Hague, be sure to take some time to walk along the canals. They are so pretty especially on bright and sunny days!

The Peace Palace
One of The Hague's top attractions is the Peace Palace. It's the city's most photographed building and it holds the Eternal Peace Flame at its entrance.

Once again, the Peace Palace offers tours, but not on Monday. Since we couldn't go in, we did take the time to enjoy all of the green space around it. Chloe loved running around and even posed for a few pictures for me!

Here's the World Peace Flame that burns eternally outside the entrance!

I also loved the attention to detail with the benches and gardens around the palace. This dove with an olive branch bench was my favorite!

The Panorama Mesdag 
This is a unique piece of Dutch artwork that shows the history of the city. The panorama portrays the city of The Hague from 1881. The building that holds the panorama was specifically built to house the painting. The panorama is in the upstairs roundabout tower and is 36 meters in diameter. It's size is quite impressive! Fun fact: The windows behind the panorama and the roof allows for natural light to come through, so the panorama projects the weather of the day.

Parks and Green Space
The Hague has parks and green space throughout the city. This was particularly welcome the day we were there because Chloe needed to burn some energy. She doesn't always love riding in a stroller all day, so any chance we can give her to run around and have fun we take!

A few other places to see in The Hague are:
Madurodam: a miniature version of The Netherlands
The Pier and the Sea: The Hague is on the ocean and is a beautiful place to visit. I wish we would have had the chance!
Palace Noordeinde: The royal palace

After we spent several hours in The Hague, we hopped back on a train and took a quick 15 minute train ride to Leiden. I fell in love with this city! Leiden is a sleepy little Dutch town full of history and quite a bit to do!

Molen de PutThe first thing you should do is check out the Windmill Museum! It's not far at all from the train station, and you can get great photos of a Dutch windmill. Of course, the museum is closed on Mondays. Just our luck right? I thought everything would be closed on Sundays, but like I said, we were wrong. We still got to see a windmill up close and get some great pictures.

Burcht van Leiden
An old shell fortress from the 1100's! It's now a public park open to everyone to take a break, have a look around and bask in the city views. When you enter the fortress, there are stairs that take you up to the top of the wall so you can see all around the city. Every few yards, there are plaques that explain what you're seeing. I loved learning more about the city and understanding what was around me.

JP and I had to take turns going up there and looking around because someone fell asleep in her stroller. It was kind of nice to be able to sit at a table and kick up my feet while JP took his turn looking around the fortress.

Leiden is the perfect city to just walk around on the cobblestones, browse through markets, check out the canal system, or sit at a cafe sipping a drink while people watching.

There are several churches and museums that you can visit as well as beautiful botanical gardens. Because we had such a busy day already, we decided against more museums and such. Instead we decided to try out the people watching at a cafe! A Dutch pancake cafe to be more specific.

We shared a cinnamon apple pancake while just relaxing and taking in our surroundings. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day traveling around Holland. Afterwards, we burned some Chloe energy running around the square before getting on the train one last time to go back to Amsterdam.

It was a busy day and we were gone from 9:00am to 7:00pm which is pretty impressive for a 2 year old! If you're visiting Amsterdam and have the chance to get out of the city and see more of the country, I highly recommend both of these cities. The Hague is more of a big city great for shopping or the beach. Leiden is more of a small, sleepy town great for a low key day checking out some museums, the canals and markets!

If you find yourself planning a vacation in The Netherlands even if it's just a few days, I'd love to talk to you and give you some great ideas of what to do!

Do you prefer visiting a big city or sleepy town? 
It definitely depends on the day for me, but I would say I definitely lean towards sleepy town!

Where would you go outside of your favorite major city if given the chance?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

That one time I bought a car {+ a workout}

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have figured out that last week I BOUGHT A NEW CAR! Well technically it's not brand new, but it's new to me. I absolutely love my new, bigger mom wheels.

We went out last Wednesday evening planning to test drive several different midsize SUVs with 3 rows. I had a few stipulations for my new car. I needed three rows with captain's seats in the middle row, rear view camera, bluetooth compatible and enough space in the back even if the third row was up. Some features that weren't mandatory, but would be nice to have were leather seats and remote start. I think I may have had some others, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

We went to our first dealership and tested the Chevy Traverse which was my original top pick. We really liked it. Like I mean, we really liked the car and everything it had to offer. One downside was that in order to get everything that I wanted, we would have to get the second to top of the line model. It was still within our budget, but at the very top. We knew that we could get a discount with JP's company and were still willing to pay the price since we liked the Traverse so much. {Definitely go and test drive if you're in the market for a larger SUV but don't want a Tahoe or Denali.} We left there feeling pretty good about it and talking about when we would go back.

Next stop was a GMC Buick dealership to check out the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. We were able to look at the Acadia and Enclave side by side which was really helpful. It allowed us to see the size and space difference in the two. For those of you looking for a new car, the new Acadia's are quite a bit smaller. The vehicle itself is narrower and they hacked off several inches from the back of the car which cut out the trunk space. That trunk space is valuable for us since we'll have two kids and two labs to tote around. Plus if we're going on a trip, add luggage and there just wouldn't be room. The good thing is that we were able to knock the Acadia off of our list right then and there.

Then it was time to talk more about the Enclave. The sales rep asked me if I had to have a new car or if I was open to looking at a gently used 2017. I got super excited when he asked this because JP and I talked about getting something slightly used just because new cars depreciate so much as you drive them off the lot.

That was when he showed us this beauty. It was previously used occasionally by the manager and only had 4500 miles on it. Practically nothing and in excellent condition. We decided to take it out for a spin to see how it felt, and that's when I fell in love. It is the smoothest car I've ever driven, and I loved the way the gas and brake felt. For whatever reason, it just felt right. After the test drive, JP and I were comparing mental notes. The Enclave was my favorite and he liked the Traverse just a little bit more, but was good with whatever I wanted.

We talked to our sales rep and were thinking that we'd part ways and touch base over the weekend, but then he asked if we wanted to just see what we could get for JP's old Hyundai Santa Fe. We said why not just so we would have an idea. After a bit, they came back with a $2500 offer for the Santa Fe, and what the cost of this particular 2017 Enclave would be with the trade in. It was definitely a good price and slightly below our budget, but we were comfortable enough to walk away from it and possibly come back in a day or so after sleeping on it.

Then he asked what would they need to do so that we couldn't walk away. We were kind of talking it over when he said he'd be right back and he went and talked to his boss. He came back with an offer we couldn't refuse. They were going to offer us $9000 for the Santa Fe plus we'd be able to get the $2000 instant rebate through GM plus we could get employee pricing thanks to my cousin Dan! Shout out to Dan, you rock! They also said they could upgrade all of my seats to leather for just $1000. Ummmm....what? So naturally we needed to talk about it.

We went out to the car to talk and call my cousin to make sure we really were getting an awesome deal. Turns out we DEFINITELY did! While out there, I sat in every single seat of the car to make sure there was plenty of room and it was comfortable. I had JP get Chloe's car seat to test how it fit and how the back seat felt with the chair in its necessary position. I played with the stereo, the dials, all the gadgets I could get my hands on to make sure this is really what I wanted. I was feeling a bit shocked because it was getting real and we DID NOT plan on buying a car that day.

In the end, it was a deal that I really couldn't pass up. It was a car that I really liked and knew I could love once it was my own and I really got to know it. So we just did it! We bought a car on the first official day of car shopping! I say official because I had been doing a lot of research over the past 4 months and talking about it even more.

I'm so excited about my new car and after a week, I definitely love it. It's so easy to drive, I've got my bluetooth all set up and it feels like mine! Now in just over 3 months, we'll be adding another car seat and baby to drive around in it.

Speaking of a baby coming, I've been doing pretty good with my prenatal workouts, but I realized I haven't shared one lately! I've come up with a few different "Pregnant Girl's Guide" workouts focusing on different areas of the body. Today I've got a great abs and butt for y'all to enjoy!

**Also let's note that this workout isn't just for pregnant women. It's an awesome low impact workout for anyone looking to tone at home. I'm just targeting it towards pregnant women because well, I'm pregnant. Plus putting pregnant or prenatal in the title helps pregnant ladies to know that it's safe for them to give it a go!**

Here are some links to short videos explaining and demonstrating the moves:
Walking lunges
Donkey kicks
Side bends
Plie squat pulse
Fire hydrants
Squat front kicks

You can stay fit throughout your pregnancy! Make sure you confirm with your doctor that you're able to continue working out. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns or modifications. I'm happy to help!

Now I'm off to drive my pretty new car to meet a friend for a walk and then run some errands with my little helper!

Have you gone in to test drive and come out with a new car?
What's your favorite car buying story?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday's Need Disney Magic

Do your Monday need a little magic? Maybe you have the Monday blues after a fabulous weekend? Maybe you're in just a fine mood, but could still use a little magic? Maybe you're having a great morning, but you can always use a pick me up? No matter what kind of mood you're in, I know that this post won't dampen your day that's for sure.

I won't go into crazy detail about everything that we did on our first day at Disneyland Paris. Instead I'll give you lots of pictures and a quick run down on the highlights of our day! We didn't get to the parks until about 2:00pm and we stayed until close to 7:00pm since Chloe was exhausted from an early morning, lots of travel and a busy day.

Since we were traveling, I didn't come prepared with all of my Disney accessories! I was bummed to be missing my beloved ears, but at least I had my Disney Lula, sunglasses and this adorable Apple Watch bow from Mouse on Main Street!

We decided to start at the smaller Walt Disney Studios park. Those of you who don't know much about Disneyland Paris, there are two parks: Disneyland Park {similar to Magic Kingdom} and Walt Disney Studios {similar to Hollywood Studios}. Walt Disney Studios is significantly smaller, but there is still plenty to do! For starters, they already have Toy Story Land!

Everything here is giant because you've obviously shrunk down to toy size! You can ride several rides like the army men parachute drop, slinky dog coaster and the RC car racer. Chloe was excited to ride the Slinky Dog because we learned in Norway that she loves little kid coasters!

 Since I'm pregnant, there were quite a few rides that I couldn't ride. It didn't bother me at all though. Let's be real, going around a circular, jerky track multiple times doesn't exactly sound fun and exciting to a pregnant lady! Besides, this way I got lots of cute pictures including a selfie with my boy Rex!

Next up, Toon Studio to meet our girl Minnie Mouse! Her line was kind of long, but we couldn't pass up meeting her with our girl rocking her Minnie dress. Since it was hot and the sun was intense, we decided that popsicles were the perfect solution to the heat and the wait.

Unfortunately Chloe was quite tired and getting a little overheated by the time we met Minnie and she was not about her at all. I was a little bummed, but what can you do?! We still have pictures and her surly face will make for great stories when she's older. 

Also while we were meeting Minnie, the character attendant told us about the pregnancy card which ended up being a life saver. I'll tell y'all more about it in a later post, but we were able to get time stamps on our card to come back later so that I didn't have to stand in long lines. It was magical and I felt like a princess!

One neat thing about Walt Disney Studios Park is that there are tons of places that you can pose and snap pictures on your own! Anyone who knows me, knows that Monsters Inc is my favorite movie, so I was super excited about becoming a 2319! Don't worry, we came back later when we were rocking our Monster's Inc outfits!

Chloe and I also got some cute shots while JP was riding Rockin' Roller Coaster! I was super jealous because that's one of my favorite rides.

While waiting, I also discovered this amazing Snapchat filter that I couldn't stop taking pictures with that day!

I mean, y'all. I'm so obsessed with her!

Another neat thing is that several rides have viewing platforms where you can go and take pictures of your family while they're riding. How neat is that? I was able to capture this adorable one on Aladdin's magic carpets!

The best part about Walt Disney Studios is the Animagique Theatre! They're currently showing a Mickey and the Magician that includes several of your Disney favorites. It's about 30 minutes and in an air conditioned theatre. It's a nice escape from being outside and the show itself was great. Chloe was absolutely mesmerized!

We were hungry around 6:00pm and there weren't too many dinner options in Walt Disney Studios Park, so we walked on over to Disneyland Park for dinner, a few rides and some pictures!

Again they had TONS of photo op locations all throughout the park. It was so fun! They even open up areas that usually have characters earlier in the day for people to use later in the day. The one above is actually where Donald hangs out!

We grabbed some pizza for a quick dinner and hit up It's a Small World! You can never go wrong with this one.

Next we ran around and played in Alice's Labyrinth, but this is about the time that Chloe decided she was over it.

I'm a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan, so I still played and explored until the end. Fun Fact: I was in the play Alice in Wonderland in high school. I played the Queen of Hearts. She's kind of my fave.

There was a tower at the end of the maze and just check out this amazing view!

We did leave after the maze, but first a quick castle selfie and a little treat for the road.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down after all!

There you have it! Our first magical afternoon at Disneyland Paris! I have so many more pictures, adventures and tips to come. This is just a tease compared to everything we were able to do during our time there. I hope these pictures were able to brighten someone's mood today! They made me happy that's for sure!

Who is your favorite Disney character?
What is your favorite Disney or Pixar movie?

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