Thursday, January 29, 2015

Growing Peanut: 8 months

I go back and forth with excitement and boredom on an hourly basis at this point. I'm excited (so freaking excited) that she's going to be here in approximately two months. I'm excited about it even knowing that the first few weeks will be taxing and difficult, but I never expected it to be easy-peasy.

I'm bored because I've finally reached the point where I would just like my due date to arrive now (seriously, like now), even though there's still 8 full weeks until her due date. I miss being able to lay on my back without getting light-headed and I miss being able to lay on my stomach to sleep. I miss the feeling of not being massively congested when I try to fall asleep.

In either case, I tell myself it's not long now and I try to focus on something else because the only way to make it through each day is to not think about it that much. Between work and my nursery to-do list, I have more than enough tasks to distract me given my waning energy levels. Getting the Tdap shot at my appointment earlier this week didn't exactly help my energy levels either. It did give me peace of mind though. Now if I accidentally stab myself (again, oops) with a pin while sewing the curtains, I won't be nearly as concerned.
32 weeks and I chopped off a bunch of my hair!
I'm pretty sure Peanut's already head down because I get little baby feet under my rib cage with startling frequency.  I didn't realize how much a tiny little foot can hurt when it's kicking into the back side of your ribs. I usually try to stand up immediately and stretch my arms over my head to get her to shift her little feet out; it works sometimes. She's often of her own mind and refuses to do what I want her to do. She's clearly my child in that regard.

7 months
6 months
5 months
4 months
First Trimester Recap

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pregnancy: Two Things That Make My Life Almost Normal Again

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive monetary compensation if you make a purchase using the link. All opinions expressed within are my own and based upon my own purchases of the products.

This post could be alternately titled "Two Things That Make My Life Very Slightly Less Uncomfortable." With extra emphasis on the very slightly less part. I'll admit, my pregnancy hasn't been that uncomfortable. It's really been pretty easy but there are still some days that the little things like not being able to lie on my back, not being able to lie on my stomach and not being able to breathe deeply and through both nostrils while lying down get to me.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips

I've never had allergies, just the occasional head cold but yikes, this pregnancy rhinitis thing doesn't mess around. I don't remember when it started anymore but I can't lie down without my nasal passages filling up with severe-head-cold-levels of mucous. The strips don't even alleviate it completely every night; I still end up with the dreaded one nostril fullness and evidently I still snore, even if I'm on my side. It's better than not having one one though because I can't sleep without it. I prefer the sensitive skin strips; they're easier to remove in the morning and take less of my skin with them. Occasionally, they leave a bit of sticky residue on my nostrils but it's nothing a quick face wash won't cure.

Body Pillow

As much as turning over in bed sucks with my pillow, I'm confident that it was exactly the right purchase for me. This was one of my earliest pregnancy purchases and a lot of research went into it at that time. My biggest considerations for purchasing a pregnancy pillow are and were temperature and wash-ability.

I've always slept hot and have a tendency to thrash the covers off of myself and onto Eric, who I'm quite positive does not appreciate being two levels of blankets warm. I strongly suspected that my tiny heat generator baby would only increase how hot I slept, and so I needed a pillow that wasn't going to insulate me too much.

A pregnancy pillow also had to be completely washable or have a removable slipcover, because I had a sneaking suspicion my already sensitive nose would get even worse during pregnancy. It did; I can smell everything, both good and bad, even more strongly than before.

The Snoogle Mini Compact Side Sleeper (pictured above) has fit my needs quite nicely. There's just enough pillow that I'm not roasting at night and the cover isn't too difficult to get back on the pillow after a wash. My only complaint is that the pillow form has not held up well where it rests between my knees. That's not unexpected though as it's had daily use from my ever-growing body. It can easily be shifted around to accommodate the flat spot as well.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Nursery - Part Three: Furnished

I have to admit, I'm working like I'm on a strict deadline with the nursery. The deadline isn't exactly imminent (still have 8-9 weeks to go!)  and there's not that much left to do. But if I'm not accomplishing at least one thing on my to-do list each weekend, I get that antsy, not doing enough feeling. I can't help it. Fortunately, as far as the furniture is concerned, that has been almost complete since Christmas. My gifts this year were all from IKEA: the Gulliver crib and changing table set and a Billy bookcase. Eric, being a helpful husband, put the furniture together the day after Christmas. I'm pretty sure his main motive wasn't being a helper; I think it was really just because he has a penchant for assembling things.

Once the crib was assembled and evenly lined up on the wall, it was time for the pièce de résistance:
Isn't it adorable?
Putting the decal up was more work than I anticipated. The main pieces, the pandas and the branch, were easy. Each of those tiny flowers and the butterflies? Individually placed by yours truly and maybe possibly Eric. If I recall correctly, he came in while I was placing the first ones, put two up and promptly got bored with the tedious nature of the task then left to continue assembling his Sandcrawler LEGO set together.

Two weeks and a semi-quick trip to IKEA this past weekend, furnishing the room is complete. I went back and forth with myself about the rocking chair for the last two weeks. After first I thought that a birch frame with a red cushion would look pretty in the room, but checking the stock at the local IKEA made that idea impossible: no birch frames! The black-brown (more black than brown, really) frame was in stock so I ended up getting that one. I was still undecided about the red cushion, but Eric talked me out of it and I'm glad he did. He thought that the red cushion would look out of place and not match anything else in the room; he was right then and is definitely right now.

I like how the black-brown frame picks up the color of branch and the pandas, which ties the room together a little bit better than a red cushion would have. I still want to have a red accent in here somewhere because it wouldn't fit the theme (our wedding) if there wasn't. My current thoughts are either to sew another accent pillow in red, or make the tie-backs for the curtains red. Those are both such small accents that they could fit more seamlessly into the overall design.

Last but not least, you may notice that there are shades in the window. And a single curtain panel! I picked up the blinds at Lowe's the weekend before last; they're the fancy Levolor brand with no strings because strings in a nursery are bad. They cost me a pretty penny but they're worth it. Besides, I'm in the midst of sewing my own curtains (hence the single panel right now) and the smaller cost of that will offset the blinds.

The Nursery - Part Two: Prep Work and Painting
The Nursery - Part One: Design and Planning

Monday, January 5, 2015

Maintenance: Year Five

It comes as the tiniest of shocks to me that Christmas has come and gone which means the fifth anniversary of making my goal weight has also come and gone. It didn't quite exactly sneak up on me this year, but it was one of the last things on my mind. My focus right now is growing a healthy little Peanut, which means my current weight is pretty low on my priority list. Besides, weight was never the sole measure of my health. The whole concept has become even more comprehensive over the years and my weight is a much smaller part of it. Two years worth of running injuries have taught me that focusing solely on numbers alone isn't going to cut it. It's taught me that you can never be to proud to return to humble basic exercises and that you're never as balanced as you think you are.

Five years ago the idea of only weighing in once a month would have filled me with dread. That's not to say that watching the number go up isn't unsettling; it is but I've already covered that in a previous post. What I find most remarkable is the fact that I feel like an entirely different person than the first day at my goal weight. Until recently, I never knew what to call the thought process that I adopted and continue to use daily. About a month ago though, I took a mindfulness meditation class on a whim. While the instructor was describing what mindfulness is and how it can be used, I realized that's what I've been practicing ever since I decided that I wanted to lose weight.

The fascinating part of mindfulness, at least the way I've been practicing it, is that it has applications far beyond weight loss and the subsequent maintenance. I know I pay far more attention to my own moods, feelings and reactions in the moment now. That allows me the chance to quickly acknowledge I feel that way and then let it go so that I can move forward. It also lets me understand how certain situations or things will trigger particular feelings and gives me a chance to reflect upon my reactions, adjusting them as appropriate for the future. Perhaps it's  just part of growing up, but for the first time in my life, I'm happy and stable. I've suffered through my lows and I've danced through my highs; I know I'll see more of both throughout my life but I feel confident that I'm mentally equipped to handle them.

Previous Maintenance Posts:
Maintenance: Year One
Maintenance: Year Two
Maintenance: Year Three
Maintenance: Year Four