Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday Adventures: Newport on the Levee

One thing I've always appreciated about Brandon (my fiancée) is his sense of adventure. It's not uncommon in our house to wake up on an ordinary day and end up in the car, driving to a random destination. Big or small, he makes it fun. Regardless of where we are going or what we are doing. I love it.

Yesterday (Sunday, February 28th) we took the boys to a local park to ride their bikes. The weather was gorgeous! Gotta love when it reaches seventy degrees in February. After riding for two miles (lots of rest breaks for this pregnant momma) we ended up at the bowling alley. I watched and cheered from a distance....picking up heavy balls and tossing them down a lane just doesn't seem like a good time for my back at this point in pregnancy. Our four year old beat his dad and big brother, with no bumpers!

Afterwards we were all STARVING (for once it wasn't just me) and the boys were convinced Frich's was the best possible option.'s 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon. It was a packed house. So we hopped on the highway and one way or another ended up in Newport.

It's only a 30-40 minute drive and traffic wasn't bad. The kids loved crossing the bridge from Ohio to Kentucky and seeing the river. It's easy to please four and six year olds, occasionally. We thought the aquarium would be a good idea, but the line alone to get in was massive. So we walked around, exploring the theatre and other shops. 

Cameron is an extremely picky eater... So we passed on some amazing restaurants. We can glance at a menu and know if he will eat at any given place. Brandon and I plan on going back this weekend. I can not pass up the grilled cheese donut one particular place was advertising. Hellllllo. It will either be disgusting or amazing. I'll let you know. After exploring and finding nothing for Cameron we decided to head back towards home. The kids were set on breakfast food. Where do you go for pancakes and eggs at four pm? That's right. IHOP.

The food was amazing (especially my cinnamon roll pancakes), there was no wait, and my boys bashed. Win for this momma. It was a laid back night after that...warm baths all around, cuddles and movie time. The best part? We made memories, didn't have to spend a ton of money to do so, and my boys had fun. You can't beat that.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 29 Weeks

Another week has passed, which means we are one more week closer to meeting Elizabeth. I honestly cannot wait! I'm starting to feel a little anxious. I'm sure that's totally normal, right?

We started work on the nursery! If you dont follow me on Instagram.... You should. I posted a sneak peek preview of the paint color we decided on. You might be surprised. We are about halfway through painting. I can't wait to finish so we can get to the fun stuff!

Twenty two days until the baby shower. I'm so excited!!! I can't wait to celebrate Elizabeth with my family. Plus, let's be real. Baby gifts are awesome.

Symptoms: heartburn is still a thing unfortunately. As well as nausea. Yeah. That's back. Usually in the mornings, sometimes at night. I'm not thrilled. Contractions have slowed down, but baby is kicking with serious force these days.

Cravings: Chili Spaghetti. Lasagna. Ahhhhh. All the pasta. I've had to control myself this week, as those dishes tend to go straight to my backside. But I'm not gonna even play like I didn't make a special trip to Gold Star for a three way.

Mood: Mood swings are becoming a thing again. I'm happy, I'm crying, I'm angry. All within an hour time span. I'm sure I'm a blast to live with. I lack patience completely at this point. I just keep telling myself eleven more weeks.

I've been lacking motivation to do much of anything other than clean my house lately. Which is probably a reason why this post is going up late. I am just so tired all the time. I can sleep six hours or eleven and I'm still ready for a nap. The weather isn't helping... Sunshine and sixty one day. Snowing the next. Thanks Ohio.

I believe that's it for this pregnancy update. Other than her insane karate like movement, not much has happened this week. As always, Thank you so so so so much for reading. I appreciate you all so much! You're awesome! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Baby Gear Dreamin'

So let's talk baby gear. Since August, when I found out about this little peanut, I have been dreaming about her nursery...and also her gear. Swings, co sleepers, bassinets, pack n plays, travel systems. The list goes for days! I've done quite a bit of research and after multiple trips to Babies R Us and Target, we finally registered for some big ticket items.

Like I said in my Nursery Vibes post, I'm not super  into cutesy stuff. Brandon however feels the exact opposite. After two boys, he has been all about pink everything and frills everywhere! It's been fun to see him get so excited. That brings us to the matching swing and bouncer that he just HAD to have. Fisher Price Rose Chandelier was our preferred style.

We then decided on the Summer Infant lil Luxuries Whirlpool Spa in, you guessed it, pink. This is totally unnecessary and a complete splurge as far as baby bathtubs are concerned. We both thought it was awesome and decided if we receive it as a shower gift, awesome. If not, we will probably purchase something else. 

The Ingenuity 3-in-1 Deluxe Highchair in Ashton was a last minute add on for us. I'm not super excited about the print, but the reviews and capabilities of this particular piece of gear far outweigh the print options. Looks aren't everything, yo. I like that it can strap to a chair, but also comes with the option to use it as a traditional Highchair. Granted we won't be using this for a little while...but I definitely want to snag it before then.

Lastly let's look at travel systems. This has been the biggest pain! I'm still not one hundred percent sold on what we picked. However I wanted to include it in this post because as of right now we are registered for and plan to use the Graco FastAction Fold Click Connect travel system in Alexis. It has good reviews and safety ratings. From what other parents have told me, it's a solid affordable option.

So that's that! As we  receive/ purchase items I will give an update! Eventually, as Elizabeth gets to use this stuff, I will review and give my opinions on them as well. I thought it would be fun to give y'all a peek into our registery and we plan on using. As always, thanks for reading. You're awesome! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 28 weeks

Alright. Yeah. I know. I'm a little late. This shoulda went up Monday and its Thursday.... Life happens. Plus I really wanted to write that post about the nursery. I'm so excited to get started on it!  Anyway... Twenty eight weeks pregnant. How on earth did we get here? Nine weeks out from full term, twelve from our due date. It's getting very very real folks. We are having a baby!

This week has been exciting, to say the least. This week we had a scare....I thought my water broke. I've been having consistent back pain and actual contractions lasting about a minute for a week and a half, then that happened. I was terrified we would be meeting baby way too soon. As it turns out, all is well. Contractions are a bit concerning so I need to stay off my feet as much as possible and relax. It's a challenge with two small kids, a house, fiancée and two dogs but we are making it work. 

Size Comparison: this week Baby M is comparable to a coconut, according to the Ovia Pregnancy app.

Symptoms: heartburn has become a semi regular thing in my life. At first it was just when I would lie down at night, but now I am dealing with it on and off all day. So. Yay for that. Contractions as previously stated. Again. Yay for that.

Cravings: Sweets per usual. This week I have had much better control over my sweet tooth....but the urge is still definitely there. For breakfast all I want is Pop Tarts (super healthy I know) and Mexican food officially grosses me out. We went to a lovely restaurant and I ate plain tortilla chips with water. My waitress was not impressed.

Mood: I wish I could say I am feeling fabulous, but that's not the case. Between exhaustion and other things going on in life right now, I've had to work very hard to keep a positive outlook. Things are looking up, however. Thank you Jesus.

Another pregnancy "milestone" was reached this week....I now sleep with four pillows, and it would be more if I had them. Six weeks ago someone offered to buy me a pregnancy pillow and I said, "Oh, no! I'm sleeping great!" How silly could I possibly be?! I would KILL for one now. Well. Not literally. But you know. I am still on my nesting kick, cleaning and organizing every corner of our new home when the burst of energy comes. It's funny the things you find yourself doing.... Like scrubbing baseboards with a toothbrush. Yeah.

I'm also feeling a strong urge to pack my hospital bag. I have no idea whatsoever as to what to take. For myself or her. To be honest, I don't have many options for her yet as I haven't had my baby shower (four more weeks!) And I do not know what to pack. I have no idea what my hospital provides, if anything. I've heard some provide EVERYTHING, others not so much. I need to schedule our hospital tour and get pre registered, just in case our little lady decides to come early. Can you tell I'm feeling unprepared?  Once our bags are packed, I'll update you on what I'm taking. Maybe I'll update you on what we actually used in a later post... I think that would be interesting and helpful to other mommas to be!

Let's talk birthing classes. When did you take them? As well as breastfeeding classes? We are on the home stretch here and I haven't signed up for either. I know, I know. Get it together Megan. 

I didn't take a bump shot this week, but I post them regularly to Instagram. Follow me there for updates, I post at least once a day! I might be addicted. It's whatever. As always, thank you so so so much for reading and visiting my blog. If you'd like to stay in touch, my social media is linked. Just click those little icons over there. Keep doing you, you're fabulous. See ya next time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Nursery Vibes

Since August (when I found out I was pregnant) I began dreaming up what our new little humans nursery would look like.  I was totally convinced I was having a boy, and planned accordingly. Think lots of light tones and lambs everywhere! Even though I'm not into super cutesy things, this lamb bedding from Babies R Us stole my heart.

As you know, we are expecting a girl! Believe me, when I found out I was completely over the moon. There was a slight undertone of anxiety because I had everything picked out for a boy. For seventeen weeks I was planning for another male member of the family and BAM! My plans went down the tubes. 

So I immediately hit up Pinterest (follow me here!) for inspiration, as anyone would. I firmly believe Pinterest can solve almost any problem. I may or may not be addicted. It's an issue. Anyway... I knew I wanted light colors such as pale gray, blush, white, and touches of Gold. I am also a firm believer that you can NEVER go wrong with gold.
My style throughout my home is a little country, a little farmhouse, and a little shabby chic. At least it will be once it's finished. After living in our new home for two months, I have made TONS of plans/vision boards (thanks Pinterest) and can't wait to tackle them one at a time. I want Elizabeth's nursery to reflect that style, but still maintain a tone of soft feminity as well. We've decided on VERY pale gray walls. I am not a huge fan of the effect that my little humans tend to have on all white walls, and gray is one of my favorite shades to decorate was a no brainier for this momma.

I knew I wanted white furniture (its my weakness) and our crib is being purchased as a gift from a family member. How amazing is that?! My next focus was storage. Her closet is TINY and has no shelving whatsoever. Not ideal for itsy bitsy baby things. I want a dresser that will double as a changing table for sure. I want to buy something old and solid that will fit the vibe of her room. I'm not worried about finish or hardware, I can easily change those things. I've been looking for a while, I just waiting to come across the perfect piece. Honestly, that's not going to offer enough storage. 

I kept looking and found this wonderful idea!I love how they used tension rods to hang clothes. That would be an adorable way to practically display some of her (my) favorite outfits. The other shelves offer so many options to store and display other lovely items and gives me a little bit of space to decorate as well. I love it.  Again, I see this as a fun DIY project. 

The nursery is L shaped, which I love and hate. I believe I will also have room for a cube storage unit, which will provide me with more storage. I am the type that likes everything to have a home...clutter makes me insane.

Bedding has been something I've went back and forth on for a while. I wasn't really planning on investing much simply because she will not be sleeping in her crib for a while. I planned on buying a white and gold crib sheet and crocheting a gray blanket for her...basically for looks until she is older. Online shopping man. It's done me in again. While on Babies R Us' website poking around, I found this.

Yep. It's everything I've ever wanted in bedding. Light and bright. Floral. Absolutely gorgeous. It fits in with my vision. When I saw it I immediately went to Instagram to rave about it. Ahhhh. Brandon wasn't super impressed by the price tag, and I'm not either honestly. But I NEED it. 

I stumbled upon these adorable letters covered in flowers as wall decor. How precious?! Again, an easy DIY project. I'm sure if you are not the DIY type, or just lack the time, you can find something similar on Etsy. You can customize the types of flowers and colors you use to fit in any room. This would look good anywhere in your home! I'm obsessed. 

I plan on starting the hard work aka painting and replacing the baseboards in her bedroom in a few weeks. I'm thinking mid March. I'm holding off on doing anything else until after the baby shower and then I will be in total organize/decorate mode. In the meantime I need to make decisions for things such as window treatments, rugs, and if we are going to change out her light fixture. 

Alright. I've rambled on far too long. One last thing. Do you have any ideas as to what I could add or improve in my little girls room? Advice? Just wanna chat? Leave me a comment or reach out to me on other social media! I would love to hear from you. As always, thanks so much for reading. You are amazing.

*** photos are from Pinterest and belong to the original pinner. All credit belongs to them***

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Embrace The Journey

Here I go again, call me Captain Obvious. But as you know, I'm pregnant. I am 27 weeks 1 day, due on the ninth of May. We are expecting a girl (a first for our blended family) and she will be named Elizabeth Juliann. If you are here because of Instagram you probably know all of this and have been following my journey the last seven months. None of this is news to you.

Maybe you are new to my journey, so I'll give you a rundown of my story and make it as painless as possible. Sound cool? Here we go.  Brandon and I are engaged, he has two boys from a previous marriage that we have full time. I love them like they are my own and when asked how many children I have they are included without hesitation. I was engaged once before and suffered multiple pregnancy losses during that time. It is hands down the most difficult time of my life thus far. I wouldn't wish losing a child on anyone. Wanting to be pregnant so so so badly, finally getting there, and then losing it is hard to deal with. I always thought I was one of "those people" who had a hard time getting pregnant and carrying. That's just the way it is.

Until I met Brandon. After one month of TTC (trying to conceive) I was convinced we were pregnant. After multiple pregnancies that all had similar early symptoms, I recognized the signs. I tried to talk myself out of it. I didn't want to deal with that overwhelming let down when I saw only one line on the test. So I waited. At ten DPO (days past ovulation) I gave in and tested with a "cheapie" dollar tree test. In my experience with my body and past pregnancies I tend to get bfps earlier with those tests. Hey, I'm not mad at it.
Pregnancy tests can run up to $20 a pop. 

Anyway, there is was. The faintest of fainty lines. A shadow of a line. I about fell over.
Again I talked myself out of it. It had to be a fluke. I only paid a dollar for that test anyway. Four more days came and went. I was experiencing tender breasts, EXTREME fatigue (like getting up in the morning was a serious struggle, man.) Headaches, slight pressure and cramps. The signs were all there and my period was officially late. So I made a trip to the drugstore and bought a First Response digital that read yes+ or no- in that tiny little window after waiting what felt like one million days for the results. Lo and behold, at five am with bleary eyes I blinked in total shock and disbelief when that little white piece of plastic said yes+.

I told Brandon later that evening and he was over the moon! Shocked most definitely, but happy.  Unfortunately the happiness was short lived. At 8 weeks exactly I made a trip to the bathroom and found that I was bleeding. I thought it was all over, just like before. After a trip to the E.R. they discovered a simple issue that was rectified with a shot that I would need twice throughout my pregnancy, and possibly once at birth. With ultrasound pictures of our little love in hand we went home cautiously optimistic. 

Four weeks later I woke up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break. Nothing unusual for a pregnant woman. When I sat down on the toilet I realized something was very wrong. I was covered in blood, my leggings I slept in were soaked. I wasn't in any pain, and now I realize that was one of the only things that helped me keep it together. With past losses I was in extreme pain. At three a.m. Brandon and I arrived at the emergency room again. After an exam and ultrasound they sent me home, with the comfort of knowing that my baby's heart was still beating. Threatened miscarriage and bed rest was mentioned quite a few times. We later discovered with a genetic specialist that I had a pocket of blood at the bottom of my uterus. It was simply draining. The rest would continue to drain or be absorbed like a bruise. Simple enough.

After all of the days of worry, fearing this pregnancy would abruptly end like the others... I never let myself enjoy it. Even now, in the third trimester I catch myself thinking "I just can't wait for her to get here." I don't mean that with a tone of excitement (rest assured I am BEYOND excited) but the anxiety is always there. Now that she is moving the majority of the day that brings me a little peace of mind...but that undertone of fear will never leave me completely.

Anxiety. Fear. And guilt. Yes, guilt. Because I've caught myself saying more than once "I can't wait for this pregnancy to be over," "I just want her to be here," "may can't come soon enough,". I know first hand what its like to be that woman who can't conceive. Who can't carry a pregnancy. To want it so bad its all consuming. Here I am, pregnant, overcoming all these obstacles and I have the nerve to complain.

Lately this has been on my mind more than usual. After a lot of thought and prayer I've decided to do what I should have done at week 8. Just give it to the Lord. And relax. This may be the only pregnancy my body carries. I'm going to embrace whatever the next three months  brings me, and roll with it. I want to enjoy this beautiful experience!

My point to this longer than intended post is this: Embrace the Journey. Whether you are struggling through pregnancy, raising rambunctious littles, striving to move up at work or just survive this college semester... Embrace it. Enjoy it. Stop and look around you. This is life, we only get to do this once. You may only journey down the path you are on this one time.  Give it your all, and soak it in. Good luck!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 27 Weeks

I kinda can't believe I'm saying this, but here we are. Chatting about week 27! Can you believe that? In thirteen weeks Elizabeth's due date will be here. Realistically, she could be born in ten weeks. Ten. Let that sink in.

I thought this week I would set this update up a little differently. I'll go over some stats and then close with a bump shot. Let me know if you enjoy the change of pace!

Size Comparison: So right now Elizabeth is roughly estimated to be a little over two pounds, or the size of a Fennec Fox! How cute!

Symptoms: Things haven't changed much in this department. Body aches and fatigue. A few random bouts of heartburn. Frequent trips to the bathroom and increased appetite.

Cravings: Sweets. That sweet tooth, man. This week my obsession has been peanut butter blossoms. Best. Cookie. Ever. Definitely not the healthiest choice.

Mood: I have noticed that I seem to get a bit grumpy, especially as the weekends draw near. I think it's just a combination of exhaustion/life. I'm working hard on appreciating my blessings and kicking the negative attitude.

My baby shower date has been set for March nineteenth, the invitations are being made and my lovely family members throwing the shower have started picking things up...such as decor. I am beyond excited! Good food, good people, all gathered to celebrate my daughter. I can't wait.

As I mentioned in my last update, I had an approaching doctors appointment. I am up four more pounds (ugh) and everything looked good. We are now moving on to appointments every two weeks! Eeeek!! I am starting to look into scheduling our hospital tour, breastfeeding classes... It's getting real, fam.

I think that's it for this week! I hope you enjoyed. If you are expecting, leave me a comment and tell me how you are doing. I love connecting with other mommas! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thoughts From My Bathtub (resolutions?)

If I'm sure about anything about myself, its that I am a wet thinker. A water thinker. Okay. Hold on. Let me explain. I've always been a creative person whether I'm writing, drawing, painting...I'm always making a mess. I've found throughout the years that my best ideas come to me in the shower or bathtub. It's kinda strange to be honest with you. I'm in the shower all alone, reading the shampoo bottle for the hundredth time, minding my own business and BAM! It hits me. An idea for a drawing, that awesome line for that story I've been working on...whatever. I've even had to get out of the shower before to write down ideas, they've been so fabulous.  Like I said, I'm a water thinker.

So today I was chillin' in the tub, idly wondering what sets bubble bath bubbles apart from normal bubbles when it hit me.   You see, lately I've been focusing a lot on where I am, where I want to be by the end of the year... Goals, basically. I believe this was initially influenced by all the "new year, new me" nonsense everyone was posting a month ago. I've always been a goal setter, a list maker, a planner. It's keeps me sane.

But my question is why? Why do we wait for January to make "resolutions"? Now I'm gonna let you in on a little secret, folks. Resolution is basically a fancy way of saying you are setting goals for yourself to meet throughout the coming year. And guess what? You can do that all. Year. Long.

Yeah, you heard (read?) me right. You don't have to wait for January. You can set a goal for yourself right now! Yes! I know its exciting. Calm down so I can finish. 

The beginning of the year is no better than July. Monday is no better than Wednesday. So decide what you want to do, or change, and commit to it. Do it today! Focus on being the best version of yourself. I know that sounds like some cheesy self help stuff, but its true, man.

For example, one of my goals is to post here on this little baby twice a week. So far I'm crushing it. This may be the first week, but I'm also a firm believer in rewarding hard work and effort.  At least, that's how I'm justifying the ice cream I'm eating as I type this.

The moral of this ramble? Think outside the box (or bathtub), set attainable goals throughout the year, and dont forget to reward yourself.

You go, Glen Coco.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 26 Weeks

I cannot believe I am actually typing these words... But here it goes. I am 26 weeks pregnant. We have passed one viability milestone and are quickly approaching another (stay in there, little lady!) in just six days. Eleven weeks from full term, thirteen from her suggested date of arrival. This pregnancy hasn't been easy, so I am anxiously waiting for her to decide to make an appearance.

This week has been full of body aches, contractions, and cookie cravings. I've gained four pounds so far, but I have a suspicion I will see an increase on the scale at my next appointment. I blame the cookies the baby made me bake and eat.
I've never been so sick (as in cold/flu) so often in my life. I know baby is messing with my immune system, but I'm full blown sick again. Unable to talk or breathe through my nostrils.
The bump has popped quite a bit this week. The pregnancy waddle has also made its appearance...especially if I'm walking long distances. Funny and unavoidable, so I just laugh at it.
Fortunately baby and I are on a positive streak with no complications, so I'm enjoying it while I can! Stay tuned for next week's bump shot and a doctors appointment recap in the update!

© Mrs. Mom Life
Maira Gall