Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our Third Baby Shower

My third and final baby shower was last Saturday. We were so blessed to have each one of our mothers host a baby shower for us! My mom's shower was first, then my mother-in-law's, and finally, my step mother's baby shower! I can't believe they are all over, already. They were each special in their own way! Below are a few pictures from my third baby shower.


My husband and I.


My sister's and I.


My sister and my step mom.

My grandma and I.

The cake.



Chicken salad croissants with macaroni salad for lunch.

My mom and my nana.


My dad and I. 



We are so thankful for everyone who came to our baby showers! Each shower got us closer and closer to being ready for the arrival of our baby girl! She is so loved by us all!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Thanksgiving to Remember

Thanksgiving is always special, but this year it was a little extra special because I was carrying a little someone along with me.




It snowed Thanksgiving morning, and it was absolutely beautiful. My husband and I spent the morning together as the snow fell outside. We watched some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and then he started baking pumpkin muffins for us to take with us on our various trips throughout the day.




We visited my dad's side of the family, then my mom's and ended the evening at my husband's grandma's house. Being pregnant during Thanksgiving was definitely something special!




How was your Thanksgiving?
Anyone else out there ever been pregnant during Thanksgiving?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Baby B'Gosh

I came home to a great surprise, today!



Nothing like coming home to a complimentary package from Baby B'Gosh on my doorstep to make my day! I am so in love with the gifts they sent me!

Baby B'Gosh reached out to me after I posted a picture of my baby bump on my twitter account. They sent me a personal message congratulating me on my pregnancy and asked if I'd like a complimentary package of clothes for my baby girl. Just in case you're wondering, the answer to that question is always yes! (Especially if it's Baby B'Gosh that's asking.)




Their baby clothes melt my heart. It just so happens, our baby girl now has a Baby B'Gosh onesie that says the same.




And this little dress. Have mercy!



The little half jean jacket is just too cute, too!



And finally, the classic and timeless overalls. They are fleece lined! Baby girl is going to be so comfy!

I just can't get enough of these tiny baby clothes and I can't wait to dress our baby girl all up in them! Thank you, Baby B'Gosh!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Third Trimester: Weeks 28 - 31

Up until just recently, my third trimester hasn't been what I expected it to be at all! I expected to feel really heavy and tired. However, during weeks 28-31, I experienced about the same amount of energy as I did in my second trimester! It was really great! The full breakdown is below.



Week 28:
I had a prenatal visit this week. I measured at 32 weeks by external measurement. This made me excited that we might be able to see our little girl earlier than we thought, however; the nurse told us not to count on it. Due date remains the same (Jan. 22nd). I had my glucose test and the orange drink was actually... kind of... good. I know, I must be crazy. But it tasted like flat orange pop.




Week 29:
I had my second baby shower this weekend, and it was amazing! My husband installed blinds in the nursery and a closet organizer. We hung photo frames and shelves, too. We got a lot done this week, and I was feeling great for all of it!




Week 30:
I spent a lot of time in the nursery this week, folding and putting away tiny clothes! I felt a lot of big kicks from baby girl, and some that really startled me! My husband said that one night this week, baby girl kept kicking him in the back as we were sleeping, so he had to move. He couldn't believe that I sleep through that, but I sure do! I also noticed that I could better tell which position she is in this week. My husband and I spent a lot of time bonding with our little girl and each other as we spend a little bit of time each night, feeling her kicks together, and talking about her arrival!




Week 31:
Weird symptom of the week: sweaty palms. Like, really sweaty palms! Prior to this week, I was feeling some lung crowding because let's face it, baby girl is getting bigger! But starting on Sunday, November 16th, I felt a huge relief in my lungs, and noticed that I stopped waddling so much when I walked. It has lasted for over a week now, and I'm thinking it's either from her dropping or from a change in position. Either way, it's been great! I felt extra wonderful this week, my mom thinks I'm nesting because I cleaned the entire nursery (with the help of my husband, of course) and I'm feeling so good! Also, we had a prenatal visit this week, and when we heard the heartbeat, we also got to hear her hiccups. It was so adorable! We graduated to bi-weekly appointments, now. We are getting so excited!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Only 8 Weeks Left

The month of November has been a busy one for us. We just had our third and final baby shower yesterday. I'll share more of that with you, soon!




This month, when we weren't having a baby shower, we were either baking for a fundraiser we organized for my mom or we were working on the nursery. We have come so far along on the nursery this month; I just can't wait to give you all a tour!

Now that we are done baking every spare chance we get, and since my new deep freezer will be free from mass amounts of baked goods, I can finally start a new project I have been anticipating for some time now! I am going to start freezing meals for us to have for when the baby is here!




I am going to start my official list of meals to freeze, soon. Some meals I have been tossing around in my head initially include lasagna, turkey meatloaf, and I'm making this meal to freeze (and an extra one for us to have for dinner), tonight! I'm going to make a few changes to the recipe, because I'm just picky like that, so if it turns out good, I'll share my changes with you!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Cancer Has Spread

We got the news back from my moms surgery two weeks ago. The cancer has spread to at least one of her lymph nodes. She is in Stage 3, and will be getting a full body scan to make sure she's not in Stage 4. She will also be going in for more surgery before Christmas. If you've kept my mom in your prayers, thank you. Please send more, because we could use them!

Finding out this kind news about your mother is hard at any age and any time in your life. Being about 8 months pregnant when dealing with this news, has it's own unique effect. Dealing with grief + hormones is an adventure, to say the least.

Overall, though, being pregnant while getting this news may just be a blessing in disguise. I am conscious of how my stress level effects my baby girl, and so I do not let myself lose it like I think I very well could and have every right to. I am forcing myself to be positive about this, because it's healthier for myself, my baby, my mom, my husband, my siblings, etc.




Above is a good quote for the moment. Just because you see me smiling, doesn't mean everything is okay. It means that I'm trying to be strong. It's a good reminder that everyone has their own battles they are dealing with.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

More Afraid of That Than Delivering

Today I have a prenatal visit with a midwife. I'm hoping to get a little more clarification on my actual due date. At my last appointment, I was measuring at 32 weeks when I thought I was only 28 weeks. They didn't change my due date yet just because it was an external measurement, and not as accurate as other methods they had been using. Still, it makes me want to be prepared for our baby girl's arrival, even earlier than I had anticipated!

I am so thankful that my husband has been able to come to every prenatal appointment with me. This pregnancy is a journey for him, as well. I feel so much love for both him and our baby girl. I really can't wait to see us all together, as a family!

Since the weather is getting snowier and snowier here, I am also glad that he is going to the appointment with me so he can follow me home afterward. Yesterday, on my way home from work, I was seconds away from being involved in an accident that happened in front of me on the highway. Driving in these snowy icy conditions, while being nearly 8 months pregnant, is extremely terrifying. I can honestly say, I am more afraid of getting into an accident with my baby girl than actually delivering my baby girl. Each day of travel, since this snow and ice has arrived, has been a struggle. I pray daily before and during my commute. I am trying to keep my anxiety level as low as I can, but after seeing that accident happen yesterday, it's on high alert.




Maybe it has to do with my anxiety level lately, or it has to do with my hormones, but I decided to cave in and order some food for lunch with my coworker. I brought in a salad, but I'll save that for tomorrow. Today, I had a Chicken Cordon Bleu Wrap with a side of fries!

Where are you at, and how is the snow in your area?
What's on your plate for lunch or dinner?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pregnancy Brain is Real

I'm starting to believe that pregnancy brain is a real thing. Just yesterday, I realized that my husband and I forgot to attend the hospital tour we scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Mind you, this was Sunday at 2:00 p.m., three weeks ago. Randomly, I remembered that we completely forgot the appointment, weeks later. Let's hope I don't forget to deliver this baby, too! Oy vey.

I could probably list about a dozen other instances of pregnancy brain, if I could remember. I just know that I've been very forgetful lately. Notes and reminders don't even seem to help. If you send me a text or email, I may forget to respond. I will forget to wish you happy birthday, and we'll see if I remember to buy Christmas gifts this year, too.

Something that I'm not forgetting to do, however, is try to get in more fruits and veggies for my little girl this week! I have our fridge stocked with broccoli, carrots, grapes and salad fixings to get me through this week at work.




P.S. I am loving those little dressing cups! It is a proven fact that I am more likely to eat my carrots and broccoli if I have a side of ranch to go with them. Whatever works to get those veggies in, right?!

Have you experienced "Pregnancy Brain"?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Time to Remember: 30 Weeks Pregnant

I'm in my 30th week of pregnancy and I have to say, it's absolutely wonderful! Now, don't get me wrong, I am really sore and tired but, I am so happy that it's not bringing me down a single peg!

This weekend, after my second baby shower, I got a lot done in the nursery. I folded a bunch of tiny clothes and smiled as I pictured her wearing each one. I also organized her tiny toys in bins and containers. Needless to say, my heart was definitely happy this weekend!




I absolutely love, love, love feeling this baby girl kick and move around. It just gets so much more amazing each day! Yesterday, I got my biggest kick from her, yet. I shouted out loud at work; it scared me, then I laughed. She's so strong now, and a lot more active during the day this week; particularly after I eat.

I am SO in love with this little girl! My husband is so in love with her, too. He often asks how she is doing, as if she's already here and a part of our family. Which, she really is already a part of our family. She's a part of our family that makes us smile each day, and laugh often. Her kicks show us a glimpse into her personality. We spend a lot of time lounging around, with my husband's hand on my belly. Last night, he had to pull away because he was getting kicked (or elbowed) so much! She really loves to give him a good jab. And, she loves his voice! And she really loves it when we hug; that always gets her dancing around! I feel like she already loves us as much as we love her.

Pregnancy, while it can be hard and filled with worry, is truly amazing. I can't believe that in about 10 weeks (give or take), we will finally meet this little girl that has been filling our hearts with so much joyful anticipation! And yet, while I really can't wait to meet her, I am making sure to also take this time to truly enjoy being together in this moment, just as we are now.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

My Second Baby Shower

Yesterday was my second baby shower. It was hosted by my mother-in-law Debi, my sister-in-law Lee and my brother-in-law's girlfriend, Erica. It was so much fun!






I really had a very limited idea of what to expect going into the shower because my mother-in-law and the girls had planned everything. It was so nice to be surprised and pampered by not having to do a thing!



They had a salad bar, croissants with ham salad and chicken salad, a chocolate fountain, a drink fountain, and the most amazing cupcakes made by Nick's aunt!





They did a chinese auction, and my husband and I got to pick the winners. That was a lot of fun! There were so many babies at this shower, and I was happy I got to hold a couple!





with my mom and nana.

with Busha and my mother-in-law.

with Aunt Tammy, Ethel, Busha, Debi, Lori and Sandy.

Showing off our baby bumps...

Busha, us and Debi.


We are so thankful for everyone who helped make this shower so beautiful, and for everyone who came to share in our special day! It was perfect!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Praise be to God

This Sunday is the second anniversary of my miscarriage with my first pregnancy. We only knew for a short time that I was pregnant prior to miscarrying, and I was only pregnant for about 7 weeks, but it doesn't negate the impact of this loss. This was a tremendous loss for both my husband and I.

Prior to, I didn't know that I could get pregnant. I was told by a couple doctors that I probably couldn't get pregnant and after many years, I believed them.

To quote a previous post of mine from 2012:

"While I was pregnant, my husband, sister, mom and I began thinking of baby names. We hadn't officially decided on a name before I miscarried. Since I miscarried at 7 weeks, I don't really know the gender, except for in my heart. Therefore, I always refer to my baby as "her" in my prayers.

Shortly after my miscarriage, my sister told me that she had been calling my baby Sophie when she prayed. Sophia was one of the names we really liked.

Baby Sophie, in the short amount of time she was alive, she was a lot of things to me. I need to share how amazing Sophia was and what a great impact her life has had on me.

First of all, she was strong. She had a good heartbeat when we finally found out I was pregnant. She made a home inside me and survived about 5/6 healthy weeks before trouble began. She was taking everything she needed from me, which caused very strong pregnancy symptoms for mommy.

She was a messenger. During my first sonogram, there was an odd sense of calm that came over me, despite the panic that had been going on for hours. I remember the word, "Messenger" coming to mind. Her message was so many things. It was to stop and remember who was in control; that I can make plans all that I want but its God who is the true planner for our lives. Her message was that I do have a bright path ahead; I was destined to be a mother, even if only to her; and she gave me hope that one day we will be able to hold a healthy baby in our arms.

She brought me perspective. From the instant I found out I was pregnant, my perspective on life has changed. This was God's intent. I was blessed with the perspective of an expecting mother. It's not something that can be explained. It changed me in some very amazing ways.

She brought me closer with God, and my loved ones. She showed me how important it is to have a community of loved ones in your life, and how important faith is to me. After needing to draw upon my community of loved ones and beliefs for strength, it has given me the desire to give back. Something I will never be able to fully do, and something I will never stop trying to do.

She made me a mother. Something I have always wanted to be but didn't dare dream of. I hoped to be a mother one day but doubted that I would be blessed with the honor. Although she is no longer with us, that does not change the fact that she was here. She was growing, she had a heartbeat. She was alive. There hasn't been a single day gone by that I don't think about her. My baby, Sophia.

She was and is a lucky soul. She was blessed with such an important task in her short life. She was a messenger from God. He chose her to come whisper in my heart that there is hope and a great plan ahead. And while I take great comfort in knowing that she is in heaven right now, there isn't a day that goes by without me wishing that I could have held her in my arms and given her just one sweet kiss. My amazing angel, my sweet baby, my little messenger."

Being pregnant now, 2 years after having my miscarriage, has been bitter-sweet. One thing is for certain, it is by the Grace of God that I have carried this baby to 29 weeks now without any issue.

I pray daily for the baby in my belly, and even before she was with me, I prayed for her to come to me at a time that was right, a time when my body could handle it; in God's time.

Even though my road to becoming a mother hasn't been easy, it has been a miracle.

I sit here now with a heavy heart as I mourn the loss of my first pregnancy, and with a hopeful, excited heart as I anticipate the safe arrival of my second. Praise be to God.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Update of Current Happenings

Since I haven't been on top of updating as much, I have a few things to tell you!

First of all, today is my mom's surgery. Please say a prayer for her to have a speedy recovery and for all of the cancer to be removed today.

Right now, I'm 29 weeks pregnant and I've been sick for over a week now. Not as bad as the bronchitis I had when I was 23/24 weeks pregnant, but still sick. I'm hoping my body fights this off soon, because...

My second baby shower is this Saturday! My mother-in-law is hosting a baby shower for her side of the family and Nick's dad's side of the family. We have a lot of family so splitting up the showers like this just made the most sense! We are very excited and can't wait to share our joy with everyone this weekend!




Other than that, my husband and I have been spending a lot of time in the nursery, trying to come up with organizing ideas for all of the great gifts we have been receiving! So far, getting the nursery ready has been one of my favorite things to do during pregnancy. We started the nursery early, so we've been able to take it at our own pace, and it's been so wonderful! My heart just fills to the brim every time I step foot in the nursery. I love to feel the blankets that she is going to be wrapped up in, and fold the clothes that she will be wearing. This is such a special time in our lives. We are soaking up every minute of it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sour Cream Noodle Bake with Ground Chicken

Have you ever tried the Pioneer Woman's Sour Cream Noodle Bake?

I've got two words for ya. Holy Moley!




I changed up the recipe a tad bit to suit my husband and I (for example, I haven't been able to bring myself to buy ground beef more than twice in the past two years so, we used ground chicken instead) and it turned out great!




Ingredients (altered for our taste):
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  •  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 12 ounces, weight Egg Noodles
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 12 oz Cottage Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Sliced Green Onions
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir.

To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. (or you can just mix it all together, your choice.)

Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted.




To be honest, I initially made this meal to share; half for my husband and I, and half to surprise my mom with since she is going to have surgery this week. I'm sad to say that the other half never made it to my mom. We just liked this meal so much; we had it for lunch the next day too!

Needless to say, we are making it up to my mom by having her over for lasagna tonight. Thankfully, she doesn't even know that we ate the food we initially made for her, unless she is reading this now. (Love ya, mom!)