Monthly Archives: January 2015

Baby 2.0 – 24 Weeks

Week 24 has arrived! This is an important week to me because it marks viability. This means that if baby were to be born for some reason he would have a good chance of surviving. I like passing the 24 week mark 🙂 Here are all the details!

Hello week 24, goodbye winter coat that doesn't fit anymore!

Hello week 24, goodbye winter coat that doesn’t fit anymore!

Baby

This week baby is the size of a cantaloupe. WTF, that seems huge! His skin is beginning to change from see-through to opaque and is turning more pink as he grows many little capillaries. He is also starting to grow hair, eyelashes and eyebrows (maybe that’s why my heartburn is terrible!) but it doesn’t have any color yet. I wonder if this baby will end up being a blondie like little Kevin, myself and my husband. I do wonder about that because while almost everyone in my extended family is blonde-haired and blue-eyed, we have a few that ended up with red hair (including my sister). I would LOVE a little red-haired baby!

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Body

I feel like my belly definitely had a growth spurt this week! I can tell when I compare last week’s picture to this week’s, and also just this week I started to not really be able to zip my winter coat up all the way. My belly feels like it’s growing too. I can tell because it’s itchy and crampy and feels like something’s stretching in there.

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I can tell the extra weight is taking a toll on my body more than it did with my first pregnancy because this past week I discovered some varicose veins on my right leg. Actually, my husband saw them when I was getting in the shower after a run. I was really sad, because both of my friends who just gave birth developed them during pregnancy and had to stop running because they got too uncomfortable/painful. They are located right behind my knee and aren’t too bad (yet), but they definitely bulge and throb more after I run. Just like my friends, they are only on the right side. I even have some up in my inner thigh area going all the way up to where you REALLY don’t want to have bulging veins. Ugh. I don’t really feel them when I’m running, except if I stop to walk and the blood stops circulating as much. I am being proactive by wearing compression during the day since I can’t really stay off my feet as a teacher, and elevating at night when I can. I’m also running every other day and will start using some essential oils on them when I get my next order. Just trying to go with the flow right now and take it day by day​, and continuing to hope I can keep running!

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Ironically this came up in my pregnancy app for week 24

Ironically this came up in my pregnancy app for week 24

Other than that I’m mainly feeling tired due to my toddler not sleeping very well. At this point I don’t know if it’s a regression or his last molar that has yet to come in or the little cough he has, but it’s rough! I need my sleep!!! Luckily there was one night where my hubby took him into the guest room when he was up and unhappy, so I was able to continue sleeping peacefully. I was very thankful for that.

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Mind

This week was much better for me emotionally. We had Monday off for Martin Luther King day and was able to spend the whole day with Kevin. We had a lot of fun going for a run, playing at the playground and snuggling watching Frozen. Later that week we had a 2 hour delay and my hubby took Kevin in at normal time so I could have some “me time.” I don’t get much of this since my husband works most nights, so it was so amazing! I actually got to relax and not rush off to work like usual. I also was able to drink my coffee before it got cold. It’s the little things that make me happy 🙂

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One thing that made this week extra special was getting to spend a little time with my two friends and their newborns who were born 4 days apart. I stopped by their houses after work this past Tuesday and Wednesday and was able to hold them, which gave me serious baby fever. It also helps to bring back my memories of having a newborn. Sometimes I really can’t remember certain things- it’s like I blocked it out or something. Haha! Just another reason why I’m thankful to have this blog so that I can look back on my updates and Day in the Life posts to refresh my memory!

He's still my baby even though he's almost 2 1/2!

He’s still my baby even though he’s almost 2 1/2!

Food

I AM SO SO SO HUNGRY this weekv. We are still sticking to our plan of not eating out at all, but I have noticed my appetite has increased a ton. There were some nights that I actually ate a second dinner because I was so hungry, yet I only gained 0.2 pounds this week?! I feel like I have a bottomless pit of a stomach! I have only gained one pound total in the last 3 weeks, despite my belly getting noticeably bigger, so I guess I’m doing something right.

Same outfit, 4 weeks difference. Definitely growing!

Same outfit, 4 weeks difference. Definitely growing!

Some indulges I let myself have this week: hot cocoa with marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies that I baked with little Kevin and non-alcoholic wine that my hubby picked up for me! It was fun to have some treats amidst all the healthy food I’ve been eating. Balance is a good thing 🙂

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Fitness

Running every other day and wearing my support belt has been helping my workouts feel a lot better this week! I did them all outside and while the first minute or so can be a little awkward/uncomfortable, I feel great after my body gets in the groove. It also helped that I did most of my runs outside this week, which I definitely prefer. These varicose veins have thrown a little wrench into everything however. Luckily I do not feel them from walking and body pump and they don’t bulge at all after I do those activities. Running seems to be the one thing that makes them flare up a bit. I was able to do my long run of 9 miles this week with both of my boys. I was so proud of them because it was the longest little Kev has ever sat in the stroller on a run, and the farthest my hubby has run in 2 years! I felt great while running, but I started feeling my veins more when I stopped to use the bathroom just after mile 5, when the blood starting collecting in my legs a little bit. I also felt some round ligament pain that evening. ​I’m definitely at the point now where I feel ready to cut back after this half marathon in a couple weeks.

  • Monday – 3.5 miles @ 10:10 pace [pushing the stroller!]
  • Tuesday – Rest Day
  • Wednesday – ​3.5 miles @ 10:27 pace
  • Thursday – Body Pump
  • Friday – 4 miles @ 10:30 pace
  • Saturday – Body Pump
  • Sunday – 9 miles @ 10:45 pace
  • Run – 20 miles
  • Strength – 2x

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Week 24 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: +0.2 lbs
  • Total weight gained: +15.0 lbs (I’m now pretty much right where I was with my last pregnancy at this point)
  • Linea negra status: not yet!
  • Stretch mark status: not yet!
  • Belly button status: still getting shallower!
  • Favorite part of the week: having MLK Jr. day off with my boy. We had such a great day together with no tantrums 🙂
  • Looking forward to: still excited to run the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon with my husband on Valentine’s Day! 19 days to go!

24 weeks last time around!​

Survey of Fours

I have seen this little ‘Survey of Fours’ floating around on various blogs and bookmarked it to do on a rainy day. Today wasn’t exactly rainy but it was snowy and cold. My toddler is asleep and my husband is working so I figured, why not? I enjoy doing things like this and I like reading these types of posts when others do them. It’s fun to learn more about people 🙂 Here goes!

Four names that people call me other than my real name (Cathryn):

  1. Katie (everyone)
  2. Kate (certain family & close friends)
  3. Mommy
  4. Mrs. Spaulding (at school)

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Waitress at a retirement home (in high school)
  2. Student telefunder (a.k.a. asking alumni to donate money back to my university while I was in college)
  3. Sandwich and smoothie maker at a bagel shop (in college)
  4. Teacher (now)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. The Holiday
  2. Frozen (thanks to my toddler!)
  3. The Sex and the City movies
  4. The Hangover

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. Mile Markers by Kristen Armstrong
  2. Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth by Ina Gaskin (so many amazing birth stories)
  3. Any book by Jodi Picoult
  4. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch ​

Four places I’ve lived

  1. Media, Pennsylvania (hometown)
  2. University Park, Pennsylvania (college)
  3. Sydney, Australia (studying abroad)
  4. Stafford, Virginia (current)

Four places I’ve visited outside of the US:

  1. New Zealand (all over the South Island)
  2. Australia (up and down the east coast + the Outback)
  3. Costa Rica (San Jose, Arenal Volcano, Tamarindo Beach)
  4. Ireland (Dublin + sightseeing all over the country)

Four [favorite] places I’ve visited in the US (this was hard!):

  1. Portland & Bend, Oregon
  2. Seattle, Washington
  3. Nashville, Tennessee
  4. Austin, Texas

Four places I’d rather be right now:

  1. Somewhere warm drinking a margarita
  2. The West Coast (it’s my dream to live there!)
  3. Getting a massage
  4. Running 🙂

Four things I prefer not to eat:

  1. Meat (can’t do the texture- which is one of the reasons I initially became vegetarian)
  2. Olives
  3. Too much dairy (= major stomach problems)
  4. Raisins (had a weird aversion to them with baby #1 that I can’t quite get over)

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Tortilla chips
  2. Anything Mexican
  3. Avocado
  4. Eggs

Four TV shows I watch:

  1. Grey’s Anatomy (yes, still!)
  2. The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  3. Gilmore Girls (started rewatching from the beginning on Netflix and loving it!)
  4. Shark Tank (hubby and I love this show)

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  1. Traveling to various places to see family and friends.
  2. Meeting my baby boy!
  3. Having almost 4 months of maternity leave after having only 8 short weeks last time
  4. Fall races

Four things I’m always saying:

  1. “Kevin” – my husband and my son’s name
  2. “I’m hungry”
  3. “I’m thirsty”
  4. “I love you” 🙂

That was fun! I would love to hear your answers to these questions. Leave a comment below or link to your own post! 🙂

Baby 2.0 – 23 Weeks

Week 23 was kind of a doozy! It was a little challenging physically but also emotionally due to a toddler who’s going through some sort of regression. It was also an exciting week because my friend Cynthia gave birth to her baby girl (4 days after my running buddy Laura!) Read on for the details about this week.

Whoa baby! What a difference 3 months makes! Bigger belly, bigger everywhere!

Whoa baby! What a difference 3 months makes! Same outfit, bigger belly, bigger everything!

Baby

This week baby is almost a foot long and about the size of a grapefruit. Most of his internal organs are in place and beginning to function well. From this point on the body will continue to put fat on his skinny little body (maybe that’s why I’ve been so hungry!).

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Body

My body doesn’t physically look very different from last week, but for some reason it does feel it! The big noticeable difference is the amount of big blue veins that are all over my boobs are starting to emerge on my belly. I can’t believe how dark they are!

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Other than that I’ve been noticing the size and weight of my growing belly more. I’ve definitely been feeling a little bit crampy lately. It comes and goes (not like contractions or anything though) and makes me uncomfortable. It’s like my uterus just feels heavy! It’s also started to feel that way when I run, and at my midwife appointment this past week I found a reason why this could be happening. We went over the results of my anatomy scan and they found that my placenta is low-lying, only 2 centimeters from my cervix- which is the minimum they like to see. This can cause crampiness, bleeding and may even lead to me not being able to deliver at the birth center or at home due to the higher risk of complications and hemorrhaging. Luckily the placenta ends up moving up in most cases, and I’ll have another ultrasound at 28 weeks to check on it. Since it’s not completely covering my cervix I don’t have to stop running, but my midwife said to be mindful of the cramping and if I have any bleeding to call right away (I haven’t had a single drop this entire pregnancy- thankfully!)

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I have been so tired this week. Every single night after dinner I end up falling asleep on the couch no matter how hard I fight it. They are short naps, but still end up messing with my nighttime sleep so I’m trying to get out of the habit! I can tell my body is working extra hard lately to grow this baby.

In other news, this baby moves so much especially at night. I have noticed that he definitely has more active times though, especially starting at 10:00 p.m. and continuing into the night hours. One of the most exciting parts of the week was when I felt him moving a ton so I had little Kevin come try to feel it, and he could! I will never forget the look on his face when he felt something move in my belly. It was a sweet moment. Now he’s always trying to ‘play’ with him and brings him toys. He tries to share them through my belly button as you can see in the picture below. If only it worked that way 🙂

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Mind

I didn’t have quite as emotional of a week as I did last week but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t challenging. We were blessed with more snow days and two hour delays, which I tried to enjoy to the fullest, but it was a tough week with little Kevin. He’s either going through some sort of regression with behavior or has severe separation anxiety. Either way he’s been super temperamental, clingy, and has been testing my patience a ton- especially at bedtime when he fights me like crazy. We did have some really special moments this week, but there were a few tearful moments (for both of us) as well.

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In other emotional news, my friend Cynthia had her baby! I wrote last week about how I have known Cynthia since we both went to elementary school together, and she asked me to come to the birth of her first baby for extra support. She was hoping for and prepared for a natural birth, but she found out the day before her due date that her baby was breech. She ended up having a c-section the next day. Everything is great now and baby is happy and healthy, but I wasn’t able to be there until after delivery. It was so amazing to meet this little girl who looks just like her mommy. I am so proud of Cynthia for making the best out of her situation. It was a good reminder for me too that things don’t always go as planned.

Food

Still feeling really good in terms of my eating this week. I even let myself indulge in a few treats (some m&ms and tortilla chips) and only gained less than a half pound. Since we started our “no eating out” month on January 1st, I am digesting my food perfectly and feeling so much better. I’m now only a little ahead of my weight gain with my first pregnancy. At 23 weeks last time I had gained a total of 14 pounds, and right now I’m up 14.8 pounds. This makes me feel better because with the holidays my weight gain was WAY ahead for awhile. The one unfortunate part about food is that most of it has been giving me pretty bad heartburn. Thankfully my peppermint essential oil helps with that, although as I get closer to the third trimester I won’t really be able to use it anymore (it can decrease milk supply). Heartburn and reflux are no joke- ouch :/

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Fitness

This was a challenging week for me with my running and fitness. I went back and forth between feeling good on my runs and feeling pretty terrible- mostly due to the cramping I talked about earlier. I decided to finally start wearing my support belt and it made a WORLD of difference. It felt like it lifted everything up and supported it, and I didn’t feel any of that pressure or crampiness that I was feeling before. I feel like an idiot now for waiting so long to start wearing it. I didn’t need it until the third trimester last time, but clearly I do now and that’s okay! Another positive to this week was that I had none of the foot numbness that I was having last week. It must have been related to my new shoes, which I’ve used a lot since then so they most likely stretched out a bit. Whew! So thankful I don’t have to deal with that problem (yet).

  • Monday – 3 miles @ 10:20 pace
  • Tuesday – Rest Day
  • Wednesday – ​3 miles @ 10:33 pace
  • Thursday – Body Pump
  • Friday – 3.5 miles @ 11:22 pace
  • Saturday – 8.5 miles @ 10:31 pace
  • Sunday – 2 miles @ 10:33 pace
  • Run – 20 miles
  • Strength – 1x

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Week 23 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: +0.4 lbs
  • Total weight gained: +14.8 lbs
  • Baby’s heart rate  this week: 140 BPM
  • Linea negra status: not yet!
  • Stretch mark status: not yet!
  • Belly button status: getting shallower!
  • Favorite part of the week: tie between Cynthia’s baby being born and Kevin feeling his little brother move 🙂
  • Looking forward to: running the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon with my husband on Valentine’s Day! 25 days to go!

23 weeks last time around!​

Day in the Life with a 2 Year Old [Weekend]

A little over two months ago I wrote a “Day in the Life” post about life with a 2 year old. I purposefully chose a busy weekday to show how crazy things can get with a toddler + me being pregnant + working full-time + my husband working two jobs. This time I wanted to document one of our weekend days, which have been a lot more relaxed since the holidays have passed (so thankful for that!). I’ve been doing these types of ‘snapshots’ since Kevin was 2 weeks old, and I love that I have them all! Scroll down to the bottom for a full list of all of my “Day in the Life” posts! Here is how our day went today- Sunday, January 18th.

Kevin loves taking selfies. He even picked the black and white filter!

Kevin loves taking selfies. He even picked the black and white filter!

6:57 a.m. I wake up to the sound of Kevin singing songs in his crib. I realize it’s almost 7 a.m., which is a pretty typical wake-up time for him on the weekends. During the week we usually have to wake him up to get ready for daycare, so I like letting him wake up naturally on the weekends when we have nowhere to be. I listen to him sing for a few minutes and then go into get him. I bring him back into our bed and we all snuggle together for a few minutes. While we are laying there I feel the baby start to move around a lot, and both my hubby and little Kev are able to feel it! Kevin’s never felt him move before and the look on his face was amazing! I loved it ❤

7:20 a.m. We change Kevin’s diaper and then go downstairs. My hubby makes us coffee and breakfast (oatmeal with banana, blueberries and almond butter). He also starts some cloth diaper laundry. He’s the best on the weekends. Since he is gone most of the week he really makes up for it and lets me take a little break, which I really appreciate. While I eat and relax Kevin plays and has some milk. He rarely wants to eat breakfast right away (like me who wakes up starving!) and prefers to wait a little bit.

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8:15 a.m. After eating I go upstairs to start getting ready for Body Pump. While I’m up there I decide I really don’t want to go. I have a little headache and the idea of battling the crazy January crowds at the gym does not sound appealing to me. Plus I had a bunch of things I wanted to accomplish in the morning while I was still motived. I tell myself I’ll squeeze in some type of home workout later on and head back downstairs.

8:25 a.m. I start my morning of marathon cooking! On our meal plan was sweet potato and bean chili, which I was super excited about since it was cold and raining. I start prepping that for the crockpot so it can cook on low all day. Kevin also has his breakfast during this time: pancakes with blueberries.

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9:15 a.m. Break time! I got the chili started so I went in to the living room to spend some time with my boys who are all snuggled up on the couch. I love doing this on weekends!

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9:40 a.m. After my break I begin prepping the meal I am making for my friend (and running buddy!) Laura, who had her baby last Sunday! They love Mexican so I made them Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas from one of my favorite recipe blogs, Two Peas and their Pod. We love this recipe! After I get that ready I chop up some other produce so it’s ready for other meals during the week. This prep is key for me when my husband is working during the day and at night and I’m flying solo. The boys continue to play trains together and then work together to clean up the living room. I love that Kevin can help clean up these days.

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Some more meal prep for the week

Some more meal prep for the week

11:45 a.m. I’m finally finished with all of my cooking and I realize I am starving! I make myself an egg sandwich and devour it before I can take a picture. Kevin decides he wants a cheese stick and throws a tantrum when I get it for him (he wanted to get it himself, obviously… bad mommy!).

I guess he needed some "alone time" in his new chair :)

He needed some “alone time” in his new chair after his tantrum 🙂

12:10 p.m. Once Kevin calms down and has his cheese stick he says he’s still hungry so we give him his lunch. He has cilantro lime rice with roasted chickpeas and guacamole- leftovers from our homemade burrito bowls last night. He is a fan! While he’s eating he tells me, “I love you to the moon and back, Mommy,” which catches me off guard because I have never heard him say that before! Apparently his daddy taught him to say it 🙂 So sweet! While Kevin eats my husband does the many dishes that accumulated as a result of my morning cooking. Did I mention he is the best?

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12:40 p.m. Lunch is over and Kevin’s all cleaned up. Daddy takes him upstairs for nap while he cries that he wants mommy. We are REALLY trying to break him of the habit of wanting me at bedtime and nap time lately, because we know when the baby comes I won’t always be able to put him down. He calms down quickly once my hubby starts reading to him. I still have a little headache so I look up an essential oil recipe I can use to get rid of it. It works within 10 minutes. I love my oils!

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1:00 p.m. And he’s out! We start some more laundry, and then my hubby leaves to go get his haircut and drop the meal off to Laura who lives down the street. I sit down to plan out the week, make my to-do lists, start this blog post, and of course relax a little bit 🙂

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2:25 p.m. I go upstairs to get dressed to work out, so I can be ready when my hubby gets home. The sun is out now and temps are in the high 40s/low 50s (!!!) so I plan to go for a little run. While I am up there I also clean up.

2:54 p.m. He’s home and I head out for my run. Just as I leave we hear Kevin start to wake up so he goes up to get him.

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3:17 p.m.  I’m back after a nice and easy 2 miler. I kept it short because I did my long run the day before. Even though it was rainy and cold all morning it was beautiful out for a short time before the rain came again. I walk in the door and see my boys playing and eating a snack of raisins and crackers. I sit down to play blocks and my hubby gets me some cucumbers and hummus.

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4:00 p.m. I head upstairs to shower. It takes me a while today because I also have to shave my legs, which is getting harder and harder (already- ugh!). Afterwards I put my comfy clothes back on of course. That’s our normal Sunday ritual unless we’re going somewhere 🙂

4:40 p.m. I go back downstairs and get our toppings for the chili ready to go. It’s been cooking all day and smells so good! We’re all hungry so we decide to eat on the earlier side. Meanwhile Kevin is trying very hard to get his daddy’s beer. LOL!!

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5:20 p.m. Time to eat! Yum, yum, yum! I have my chili with green onions and guacamole, and the boys have cheese on theirs. I love cheese but sadly it does love me during pregnancy 😦 It destroys my body and digestion!

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5:45 p.m. And just like that we are finished and full! I make the mistake of sitting on the couch with my baby boy in my arms and accidentally fall asleep. This has been my nightly routine lately no matter how hard I try to stay awake. I always fall asleep after dinner! See my tired eyes below (and my hair still in a towel… don’t judge!)

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6:40 p.m. My cat nap is over. I realize the boys went upstairs for bath time so I head up there too. They are Face Timing my in-laws like we usually do around this time. Afterwards he gets out and I get him dressed and ready for bed.

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7:00 p.m. Little Kev goes into his room with daddy. They go through the whole book reading, song singing, and rocking bedtime routine while I listen in on the monitor and clean up downstairs.

7:30 p.m. And he’s asleep! Success! Bedtime has been a struggle lately so this is good news that he went down without a fight. I start folding some laundry while catching up on my DVR.

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8:15 p.m.  Kevin’s friend comes over and they go to downstairs to his ‘man cave’ to drink beer and watch football. I am happy to stay upstairs and watch my shows as I hear lots of football reaction noises happening in the basement. I also catch up on journaling in my One Line a Day book 🙂 After that I work on this blog post while trying not to think about the terrible heartburn I have from my delicious dinner.

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9:00 p.m. I decided that I needed to eat something sweet so I steal a few of the M&Ms that we use for potty training Kev. This is becoming a little bit of a habit. But I do pee a lot during the day so I guess I’m earning them like he does 🙂

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10:00 p.m. I hit publish on this post and it’s bedtime for me!

Even though we didn’t do anything super special today and didn’t really go anywhere, I really love this type of lazy weekend day. We spend the whole week running from place to place and rushing from one thing to the next, so it feels good to slow down and just enjoy each other’s company on the weekend. The best part about today is that I get to have another day at home with my boy tomorrow, since it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day and we have off 🙂 I love it!

Previous “Day in the Life” posts:

What I’m Loving Lately

It has been a really long time since I’ve done a “What I’m Loving Lately” post! I used to write them all the time, and did one per trimester of my last pregnancy. I thought now would be a good time to do a little round-up of all my current favorite things. Here we go!

Erin Condren Life Planner. There is just something about a planner that makes my type-A self SO happy! Especially a brand new one at the beginning of a new year. I have used these life planners since July 2013, and my old one held up really well even after a year and a half of use. I just transitioned over to my new one in January and I get great satisfaction out of filling up my monthly calendar, as well as the weekly and daily to-dos. I’ve always been a huge list maker, and even with all of today’s technology I still prefer to do most of my planning and note-taking on paper. These planners are worth every penny to me!

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One Line a Day. I saw this little book on the Hungry Runner Girl’s blog a while ago and put it on my Christmas list! There is one page for each day of the year, and the concept is to write a little snippet of each day- something memorable that happened, something that made you happy, something that challenged you, something you learned, etc.  As the years pass you add more to each page until you have 5 years of memories. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE things like this.  I started on January 1st and it’s been really great so far. I hope I can keep up with it, because it will be a great way to preserve memories and see where life ends up taking me over the next 5 years. I got my book from Amazon, but they have a few different types (including one for moms) if you search for “one line a day.”

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For Two Fitness. I’ve talked about For Two Fitness in my first pregnancy and now during my second, but I want to mention them again. I love them because they make maternity workout clothes that make me feel strong and beautiful as my body changes.  During pregnancy it can be difficult to find things that work with your body rather than against it, and are flattering- especially when it comes to running/workout gear. I own a pair of maternity capris, a tank top, and a short sleeved shirt and I am tempted to wash them every night so I can re wear them the next day because I love them so much! Below you can see how my “Running for Two” tank stretched along with me in my first pregnancy, and then how my capris and short-sleeved shirt are looking this time around.

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Maternity capris and shirt @ 16 weeks

Maternity capris and shirt @ 16 weeks

The Bachelor.​ Oh the Bachelor… my guilty pleasure! Both the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are two shows that I made no apologies about watching regularly and loving. A new season just started with one of my favorites from last season as the star and it has made my Monday nights so much better. I always text with my sister and best friend as we watch, which is the closest I can get to being with them since they live in Pennsylvania. The only thing I’m missing this season is the wine I used to always drink while watching! It’s okay though, I’ll be able to indulge by the time the next season rolls around 🙂

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Essential Oils. My good friend/Bradley Method teacher/doula started using essential oils a while ago and was always talking about them. I wanted to learn more so she gave me a whole lesson on their benefits. and it convinced me to give them a shot. We purchased doTERRA’s Family Physician​’s kit back in November, and I’ve been adding to my collection a little bit each month. We use them all, but the ones we use the most would probably be lavender and lemon- they are the only two I’ve actually run out of and had to reorder! Lavender is great for relaxation and sleep. We put it on Kevin’s feet before bed and I diffuse it at night in our room. It’s also great for diaper rash and a million other reasons. I have been putting lemon in my water every day too, which is great for detoxification and digestion. Other than those two we like the oil blends serenity and balance for relaxation, on guard to keep sicknesses away, peppermint for heartburn and energy… I could go on and on! I would really like to do a whole post on essential oils in the future, because there’s just too much to say about them right now. But I am LOVING them and they’ve been working wonderfully for our family. Here are 150 uses for the Family Physician Kit in case you are curious!

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Cilantro Lime Hummus. OMG. This hummus is amazing. I discovered it at Wegmans and it just satisfies all of my cravings. I like to eat it with pita chips, cucumbers, or carrots, or put it in a wrap or sandwich. I could probably eat it plain too, it’s that good! I have gotten a few friends hooked on it as well. I keep hoping Wegmans will come out with a bigger sized container of it because I go through it so fast!

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My Snoogle Pillow.​ This was one of my pregnancy favorites last time around and it is this time too. It just feels like being wrapped in a big, comfortable, supportive cloud while sleeping. Ahhh, amazing. My husband isn’t a huge fan because it takes up half of our queen size bed, but oh well. He’s not the one growing a human! 🙂

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Reading with Kevin. One of my favorite things that I’m loving right now is reading with my boy, who is currently 2 years and 4 months old. He loves reading all throughout the day but especially before bed. He has some books that he really loves and has actually memorized them, so he’s able to “read” them to me now! Here’s a video of him reading me one of our favorites, “I Love You Through and Through.” His little voice melts my heart!

Spotify.​ I don’t really run with music since I had to painfully wean myself off of NEEDING music every single time I ran or I literally wouldn’t be able to do it (not good!) But there are two times I do enjoy running with music: on the treadmill and when I’m pregnant. Right now I’m experiencing both of those things, especially the treadmill because of ice and things like that, which makes me not comfortable running outside. I like music to take my mind off running and the monotony of being indoors. I used to use songs I downloaded but I got bored of them so fast. My husband suggested I try Spotify, which is an app that you can stream music from but also save individual songs onto personalized playlists. I love this because I get to listen to only the songs I really want to without having to skip through a bunch of songs I don’t want (which I had to do when I used Pandora). I can also change stations or playlists easily depending on my mood. It’s been awesome!

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The Birth Partner.​ I’m not sure if I have mentioned this on the blog yet, but one of my best friends asked me to help at her birth. She is due tomorrow (!!!) and she wants me to come as an extra support to her and her husband- not a doula since I’m not certified as one, but as a “birth coach” as she called it. She’s having a hospital birth like I did and has taken Bradley Method classes, also like I did. She’s hoping for a natural birth free of unnecessary interventions. To prepare for this new role I’ve been reading The Birth Partner. Kevin actually read this book before our birth but I never really did. It’s been really interesting to read about birth from the perspective of the ‘partner’ rather than the other actually giving birth. Reading this book has gotten me so excited and really has me thinking about eventually getting my doula certification. I honestly believe everyone, no matter what type of birth you want or are having- epidural, non-epidural, c-section, etc.- can benefit from having a doula there to support both mother and father during such an important and special time. I feel honored that she wants me to be a part of it and I can’t wait!

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Those are just some of the things I’ve been loving lately! What are some of your current favorites?

Previous “What I’m Loving” posts:

Baby 2.0 – 22 Weeks

Week 22 came and went in a flash! We had some weather-related excitement which led to a bunch of school delays and extra time at home with my boy. I had some challenges both emotionally and physically and I am definitely feeling more pregnant! Here are all the details.

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Baby

This week baby is the size of a papaya, getting closer to being a foot long and anywhere from 12-20 ounces. Big boy! According to The Bump, baby is now sleeping in cycles – about 12-14 hours a day. I really don’t know how that could be true because I swear, this kid never sleeps. He is rocking and rolling in there all day (and night) long. Baby’s hearing has gotten a lot better, and he is able to hear my heartbeat, my churning stomach, and my voice. Aww 🙂 He can also sense light and if it’s too bright, may even turn away from it.

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Body

I’m still feeling tired, but now that I’m back to work I can’t really nap like I did over winter break. I did take a good nap on Saturday (using my husband as a pillow- the best!!!) but that’s about it. Sadly, the best nights of sleep I got this week were two nights when my hubby slept in another room. I have trouble getting into a deep sleep, and his snoring drives me crazy and keeps me tossing and turning all night. I hate sleeping in different rooms and don’t want to make it a habit, but those two nights of sleep were glorious!

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I’m definitely feeling pregnant most days in terms of my growing belly. It takes more effort to get out of bed and off the couch sometimes which makes me feel really lame. I also realized that I have to start being careful how I lift my 30 pound toddler. I was trying to get him into the carseat the other day during a tantrum (more about that later), and he and I are both just getting too big to struggle against each other. I’ve also noticed myself feeling a little more uncomfortable when Kevin sits in my lap or when I rock him to sleep at night, which makes me sad. I also can barely zip my winter jacket and my belly feels itchy all the time! Yup, it’s definitely growing!

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Mind

This week definitely tested my patience in some ways. I felt pretty emotional and found myself getting frustrated easily.We had some bad weather here in Virginia which led to a bunch of drama. On Tuesday, schools decided not to close despite horrible conditions and tons of car accidents. It was super stressful getting to school and my blood pressure was sky high. The next 3 days (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) we had two-hour delays. On these days I realized that delays are way more trouble than they are worth with a baby/toddler. I’d rather be closed entirely or go in on time. I spent Wednesday and Thursday morning battling with him since his routine was thrown off. It was rough. He really likes routine and is fine if we are home for the whole day, but if he settles in, has breakfast, plays for a while and then we have to head out to daycare he gets confused and really fights me. My back was killing me from trying to get him to stop throwing fits and actually leave the house. Plus my heart can’t take him saying he wants to stay with mommy all day 😦 On Friday my husband decided to take him into daycare at the normal time, despite our two-hour delay, to give me a break. It was amazing to have some time to relax, go for a run, and have coffee and breakfast in peace. I love my son to death but I needed that, especially since my husband works his second job at nights during the week so I’m alone with him then too. I was very thankful for that short amount of time to myself.

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What my morning looked like.

Even though he tests me, Kevin gives me so much joy. He really makes me laugh and smile and I love him so much. He has been super attached lately like he knows big change is coming with the new baby, and I love how affectionate he is. He loves giving me hugs and kisses, sitting in my lap and reading books, telling me I’m “bootiful.” It is so sweet. Although I like having time to myself, I couldn’t escape him even if I wanted to- even his clothes follow me everywhere, like at the gym when I randomly saw his sock lying on the side. Who knows where that came from! LOL 🙂

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Food

I can’t even explain how much better I feel physically this week because of how clean we’ve eating since we decided to plan all our meals and not eat out at all during the month of January. What a huge difference from the holidays! My body is thanking me, that’s for sure. My digestion has been great, I feel less sluggish during the day and the scale barely moved this week after moving WAY too much over the holidays. I’m very happy about all of those things and am excited to keep it up 🙂

Fitness

I felt pretty good this week in terms of my activity level. Due to the weather I did run on the treadmill a few times, but it actually wasn’t terrible. During a few runs I felt some achiness in my uterus and a feeling of heaviness, like I need some support. But then the next day I would be fine… strange! I also noticed that my feet started feeling a little numb toward the end of some of my runs this week- especially my long run. I don’t know if it’s my new shoes not being stretched out enough yet or a pregnancy thing, since I had issues with leg/foot numbness with my first pregnancy- although it happened a lot later on. I will definitely be keeping an eye on it over the next couple weeks.

  • Monday – 3 miles @ 10:28 pace
  • Tuesday – rest day (I needed it!)
  • Wednesday – ​4 miles @ 9:46 pace
  • Thursday – Body Pump + 1 mile @ 10:14 pace
  • Friday – 4 miles @ 10:11 pace
  • Saturday – Body Pump + 2 miles @ 10:11 pace + 3 mile walk- Trying to get my running buddy Laura’s baby out &  it worked! Her baby girl was born the next day 🙂
  • Sunday – 8 miles @ 10:14 pace
  • Run – 22 miles
  • Strength – 2x

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Trying to walk Laura's baby out!

Trying to walk Laura’s baby out!

Week 22 Summary

  • Weight gained this week: +0.4 lbs
  • Total weight gained: +14.4 lbs
  • # of days until my next appointment: 1! Yay!
  • This week’s guilty pleasure: The Bachelor is back on! I am not ashamed to admit that I love it and my Monday night ritual of watching it and texting with my sister and best friend about it… minus the wine this time!
  • Looking forward to: Attending my friend’s birth! She asked me to be a part of it and I am so excited I can barely contain myself. She is due on Wednesday 🙂

22 weeks last time around!​

Stridebox: December

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 9.11.18 PMIt’s time for another Stridebox review! Stridebox is a $15 monthly subscription box for all things running related. My husband and I got through December’s box (with some help from little Kev!) and are ready to review the items we received. This month I decided to take a video of myself unboxing my Stridebox for the first time. You can see the video below. Don’t laugh too hard at my awkward commentary! 🙂

Now onto the reviews!

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Vega Sport- Recovery Accelerator (Apple Berry): The powdered drink mixes I have received in my boxes lately have been hits and misses, so I wasn’t sure about this one. I am familiar with the brand because my sister uses their protein powder so I was hoping it would be good. Vega makes plant-based, vegan products that are free of artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. I drank this after a run and body pump class, knowing that I had a long run the next day and would need some extra help with recovery, and it ended up tasting very good! I liked the apple berry flavor, and it dissolved well in the water. I would use this again. Retail: $29.99/12 packets ($2.49 each)

Funn Bar- Protein Chews (Tropical Berry): I am sad to say that both Kevin and I didn’t like these. We were excited when we saw that they looked like little wrapped Starburst candies, but when we tried them they were chalky and really difficult to eat. I’m going to have to pass on these protein chews. Retail: $30.00/12 packs ($2.50 each)

GoCHIA!- Chia Booster Drink Mix (Cherry Berry):  My sister has been big into chia seeds for a while but I haven’t really gotten into them yet. Chia seeds are so good for you for so many reasons. I was curious to try this drink mix, because I have difficulty with weird textures sometimes and I knew this drink would contain the small seeds that get a little gelatinous in water. I drank it the afternoon after my long run and was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it! The cherry flavor was great and I didn’t even notice the texture. I would definitely buy this again.  Retail: $19.99/10 pouches ($1.99 each)

Clif Energy Bar (Spiced Pumpkin Pie): Well I don’t have anything to say about this bar because my toddler devoured the whole thing before I had a chance to try it! The fact that it was gone within 5 minutes says a lot about how he liked it 🙂 I have been on the lookout for another one to try but I haven’t seen them in the stores, probably because it’s a seasonal flavor. Oh well, maybe next year! I love all things pumpkin so I’m sure I would have loved this too! Retail: $20.00/12 bars ($1.67 each)

Hammer Gel- Nocciola (Chocolate Hazelnut): I was turned off from gels for a while after having to eat so many of them while training for marathons, but some of the ones I have received in my Stridebox over the last few months have me loving them again. This one definitely did not disappoint. I felt like I was eating Nutella while running! It was awesome! The box also contained a coupon to buy more Hammer Gels, which I’ll be using for sure 🙂 Retail: $16.80/12 pouches ($1.40 each)

On the Go Sports Towels (Revive & Unscented):  These little things are great! Let’s be honest, as a busy, working mom of a toddler who is also pregnant, sometimes I don’t have time to shower immediately after a workout. These little towels are refreshing and make me feel clean until I’m able to take a real shower. They would be great to carry around in my purse/diaper bag. Retail: $0.99/towel

Safety Reflective Shoe Laces: These shoelaces are really cool! They have reflective material on them so it’s easier to be seen while running in the dark. I haven’t used them yet because the shoes I have are pink, black and blue, so purple laces don’t really match. I definitely plan to use them in the future though! Retail: $5.99 pair

Running Sticker: “My Other Car is a Pair of Running Shoes” … oh how I wish I lived in a place that is more walkable than where I currently live! Whenever we end up moving next, that is on the top of the list! Any suggestions? 🙂

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Another month, another great box! My January box shipped a few days ago so I should be receiving it soon. I’ll be back once I try all the items for another review!

Previous Stridebox reviews:

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Stridebox (I wish I was! LOL). I purchased this subscription myself and all opinions are my own.