Pregnancy: 35 Weeks


We’re in the home stretch!!! I’m just finishing up my 35th week of pregnancy and can officially say to people, when they ask when the baby is coming, “Sometime in the next month!”

She was apparently 18-19 inches long and weighed 5-6 pounds this week — about the size of a bag of carrots, which was fitting for Easter. 🙂 

I had a doctor appointment this past Friday, where we found out I’ve gained a total of 32 pounds and my belly is measuring right on track for 35 weeks. After I told our doctor I thought the baby might have switched positions, she did a super-quick ultrasound and saw that she is still head-down (woo-hoo!) but had flipped her body so that the little feet I used to feel kicking the right side of my ribs are now kicking my left side. Our doctor said it’s pretty rare for babies to move out of the head-down position once they’re already in it at this point, so I’m feeling good about that.

Later that day, we toured the birth center and got the scoop on where to go and what to do when I’m in labor. We visited one of the many identical birthing suites, which is huge and has everything from a Jacuzzi tub and jetted shower to a TV with access to music stations and movies. The vibe was more comforting than clinical, which I really liked. Plus, the baby never has to leave the room, as they have everything needed to take care of her right there. 

I have nothing else to compare this room to, but it seemed pretty great to me! It’s nice to be able to visualize where I’ll be laboring and giving birth, as before I was just picturing some anonymous hospital room like you’d see on TV.

We also visited one of the post-birth recovery rooms, which we’d actually seen before when we visited Aaron’s best friend Adam and wife Kim after they had their son. It’s a much smaller version of the birthing suite, without the Jacuzzi tub and baby-related equipment, but still with a private bathroom and shower. Someone advised me on Instagram to make sure I shower at the hospital while there are plenty of people around to watch the baby so I can feel fresh and ready to face the world, so I’ll make sure I do that!

I’ve got the hospital bag about half-packed, but I’ve written a complete list of everything I want to bring, which will remove the guesswork if I have to pack the rest in a hurry. Here’s what I’ve got on there:

– Nursing bras (I’ll probably already be wearing one, since I wear it all the time at home; I also bought a bigger size in case I need it after my milk comes in)
– Lounge pants & shorts
– Stretchy tank tops
– Comfy hoodie (I’m not really a robe person)
– Cozy socks
– Slippers
– Outfit to wear home – maybe a comfy maxi dress?

– Chapstick
– Hair clips/ties/headband
– Toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, etc. – I already have a little bag of travel-sized everything that I keep packed and ready to go, so this was easy!
– Nursing pads & nipple cream

– iPhone charger
– Camera, extra battery & battery charger

– Snacks, like Larabars, dried fruit strips, etc.
– Coconut water – I’m constantly thirsty and this helps so much!
– Gu gels – who knows whether I’ll actually eat these, but I might as well have them in case I need energy when I’m not allowed to eat anything solid while in labor
– Water bottle with a straw – great tip via Instagram from a new-mom friend!

– Two going-home outfits – one newborn size, one 0-3 month size – you never know!
– Two blankets/swaddles
– Binky – I’m sure we’ll have one from the hospital, but just in case

– Snoogle – is this overkill? Several moms on Instagram recommended I bring my own pillows, and I think I might really want this during labor and/or after
– Birth certificate paperwork, filled out as much as possible ahead of time
– Copies of our birth plan – a very brief one with a few preferences outlined in bullet points

We also now have a car-seat base properly installed in each of our cars, thanks to our visit on Saturday with The Car Seat Lady, aka Sue Emery! She surprisingly doesn’t have a website, but is well-known in the Seattle area as an expert who has helped parents learn about car-seat safety for more than 20 years.

We made an appointment with Sue via text message (her preferred method of communication) for Saturday afternoon, and she met us in the parking lot of our hospital to check out our seat situation. She walked us through how to properly install the Chicco Keyfit 30 base (referral) in my car, then had me do it myself, and then did the same with Aaron and his car. She also showed us how to insert and remove the seat itself (couldn’t be easier), and advised us on a few key points, like how long to use the newborn insert in the seat (until the baby weighs 11 pounds).

The whole appointment was about 20 minutes long, and Sue left us with some handwritten notes to refer to later. This lady knows her stuff! Sure, we could have educated ourselves by reading the instruction manual forward and backward, but Sue’s hands-on expertise and answers to our all questions were so helpful. If you live in the Seattle area, call or text her at (206) 619-2871, or email her at to make an appointment. She doesn’t charge for her services, but she does accept tips.

I want for a little walk along a path around the hospital after our appointment since it was so nice and sunny on Saturday, but didn’t make it very far before I had to hit the bathroom again — even though I went right before I started walking. The peeing situation has become serious. I’m so thirsty all the time, and the kiddo likes to dance on my bladder, so I’m now living the always-peeing pregnant-lady cliche.

I went on another walk today (Monday) that was much more successful, as I walked a little over a mile uphill to the grocery store, grabbed a few things for dinner, and walked back home with only one bathroom stop. The weather is going to be really beautiful this week, so I plan to get out walking as much as possible! 

The weather was not beautiful for Easter Sunday — torrential rain poured all day long — but that didn’t stop us from enjoying a lovely brunch buffet (a pregnant lady’s dream!) at Echo Falls with my dad and brother, and later dinner with Aaron’s mom and stepdad. The rain stopped just long enough to get a few pictures after brunch; I stole these from my dad off Facebook:


My dress is a non-maternity maxi from Ann Taylor that I’ve had for a few years now, and I was shocked to find that it still fit really well when I randomly tried it on last week! It must be made of some magical material, like those pants from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I may even pack it to wear home from the hospital, since it’s so comfy and forgiving.


We have versions of this exact picture going back several years!

2013 — my dad was emulating the Dos Equis guy with his beard:


2014 — Aaron had just had shoulder surgery and was probably on lots of painkillers in this photo:


2015 — Aaron’s turn to have an epic beard:


And next year, we’ll have a sweet little girl with us to do the Easter-egg hunt!

One last thing for this week. I’ve been thinking a lot about giving birth and the moment I’ll see our daughter for the first time. The question I keep turning over in my mind is: Will I recognize her?

I don’t mean that in the sense of recognizing who in our family she looks like, but in the sense of recognizing her as my daughter rather than some random baby who just showed up out of nowhere. Will I feel that instant bond with her as her mother?

I discussed this with one of the girls at Carly’s bachelorette party who has a toddler, and she said yes, it seems crazy, but I will instantly recognize her and be prepared to give my life to protect her. The conversation made me cry then, and remembering it is making me cry again now! 

I can’t imagine what that moment will feel like, but just thinking about it is so overwhelming. It’s that moment that occupies my mind more than anything, more than the packing list or the birth plan or the car seat. It’s that moment when our daughter, who we could only imagine before, will become real and change our lives forever.

OK, I’m officially an emotional mess now! Time to wrap this up.

Tomorrow, I’ll be 36 weeks pregnant — nine whole months. Aaron and I don’t have much else to do to prepare besides tie up a few loose ends and enjoy our last little bit of time as just the two of us. 

I wouldn’t say I’m completely mentally ready for this to happen, but I’m also not not ready. I think the idea of going into labor — the uncertainty of when it’ll happen and what it’ll feel like — is freaking me out a bit, but I’m hoping I’ll be calm and have my game face on when it does happen. We’ll see! In all likelihood, I’ve got at least a few more weeks to become nice and ready. 🙂

Pregnancy: 34 Weeks

We officially entered spring this week, which means I’ve now been pregnant during all four seasons! Here’s a fun comparison of fall (16 weeks) vs. spring:

That tree has changed quite a bit, but perhaps I’ve changed more! Those clothes are certainly working a lot harder these days. In fact, I busted open the butt seam of those jeans this week! That should come as no surprise since I’d been wearing them nearly every day for months, and they look pretty stretched to capacity in this week’s photo. 

I really didn’t want to buy a new pair of jeans with just a handful of weeks left to go, but I found this pair on sale for $20 and they are much more comfortable — plenty big and stretchy to last me until the end, and nice and roomy through the legs for when mine swell.

My pregnancy app says the baby is about 18 inches long and 5-ish pounds this week. She’s become really active lately, although her movements are now more like subtle shifts and pushes than kicks since she’s running out of room. I hope she’s still head-down, but I think she may have shifted because I’m feeling consistent movements in different parts of my belly than I’m used to. Maybe it’s just because she’s bigger? We have our next doctor appointment this Friday, so hopefully our doctor will be able to determine her position!

I’m still feeling really good, and I think I owe it to being extremely lazy. I didn’t work out at all this week, but thanks to enjoying lots of R&R, I avoided the back pain and leg swelling I’d been experiencing during previous weeks after too much activity. I know light exercise would still do me good… but at this point, I kind of don’t care anymore.

My sleep quality is still amazing, although I have gotten a few more leg cramps in the middle of the night. They go away as soon as I can get on my feet, but that’s getting harder and harder! It’s quite the scene as I flail around in bed, whispering expletives in an attempt not to wake up Aaron.

I’m feeling thankful that my hands haven’t swollen up (yet) and I can still wear my wedding rings. I’m terrified about them getting stuck! And I continue to be far too pleased about my incredibly clear skin. I’m probably in for a rude awakening when my hormones go nuts after giving birth, so I’ll just make sure to appreciate it while it lasts.

I didn’t pack my hospital bag this past week — I will this week, I promise!! — but I did get quite a few things squared away:

TAXES: They are done — hooray!

PASSPORT RENEWAL: I’ve filled out the paperwork, written the check and printed a new photo; I just need to pick up the print from Target and then mail everything in. I initially made the mistake of paying $10 for a horrible passport photo at a drugstore, but then realized all the guidelines for taking your own photo are available online, and the Department of State provides a handy photo-cropping tool that helps you proportion it correctly and even saves it to the proper 2″ x 2″ size for you. I had Aaron take a photo of me in front of a white wall at home, used the tool to crop and save it, and then printed two copies of it on one 4″ x 6″ print at Target for a whopping $0.19. 

So easy and so cheap! And now I don’t have to live with a horrible passport photo for the next 10 years.

MATERNITY LEAVE: I completed all the paperwork and confirmed with my boss and HR the amount of time I’m taking off; I just need to give some paperwork to my doctor for her to fill out. I’ll be taking 12 weeks off, including six weeks (for a vaginal birth) or eight weeks (for a C-section) of partially paid disability leave, and then however many additional weeks of unpaid leave to bring me to 12 total.

Aaron will use vacation time to spend the first week or so at home with the baby and me, and then he’ll take his six weeks of fully paid paternity leave after I go back to work. Oh yes, you read that correctly: I’m the one popping this kid out, and Aaron’s the one who has a better deal on parental leave. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thrilled that his company recently began offering paternity leave, since that is a rarity, and I’m grateful that I’ll be able to spend three months with our daughter, but WTF! The U.S. just sucks big time when it comes to parental leave.

MOMS’ GROUP: I’m anxious to make friends with fellow new moms out here in the suburbs. While I have a few friends who are moms, I’d love to be able to connect with women who live nearby, are also going through all the same big changes for the first time, and have babies around the same age who can play with our kid. 

So, I attended an info session for a local program that I’ve heard great things about. There’s a weekly group for moms of newborns starting in May that I could attend during maternity leave, so I was hoping to scope out the other women in my area who were interested in joining and see if there were any I could potentially become friends with. Tragically, I was the only one at the info session!

For real. I still chatted with the session leader for an hour, asking all kinds of questions to get an idea of what the group experience is like. I think it would be good for me to join and at least get out of the house/be social once a week. The session leader told me there is currently no one else signed up for the particular group I would join, but there’s still plenty of time before it starts, so I’ll probably just sign up and see what happens. The group will be cancelled if it doesn’t reach the minimum of eight women, so cross your fingers for some mom friends for me!!!

To wrap up, I’ll mention a super-fun day I had with the friends I do have. 🙂 My longtime friend Carly had her bachelorette party this past weekend, and I attended the daytime/early evening portion before things got rowdy! 

Carly wanted to kick off the celebration with spa treatments, and I was more than happy to get a heavenly pedicure and then hang out in the “relaxation room” wearing a comfy robe while other girls drifted in and out for their manicures, pedicures or massages.

There’s the bachelorette in the middle! I took this pic, but then I spent plenty of time lounging in a fourth chair off to the right of this scene. We nibbled on fresh fruit and nuts, and the drinking ladies enjoyed mimosas. Not terrible at all.

The whole spa group. I got way too hot in the robe (thanks, prego sweats) and changed back into my dress early.

Later, we grabbed snacks and drinks at Dragonfish while a few members of the bridal party decorated a hotel room with the most amaaaaazing Harry Potter theme! Carly is a huge Harry Potter fan, obviously. There were HP glasses and wands for all.

You may recognize these girls as the bridesmaids at my wedding! We go way back to junior high. There were a total of 17 girls packed into this room, so don’t let let this photo or the spa photo fool you — Carly has no shortage of friends! It was so fun to watch her open (unmentionable) gifts and play (even more unmentionable) games. I sipped on sparkling apple cider that the maid of honor had gotten especially for me and another pregnant girl — so nice of her! — and then left around 6:30, as the girls weren’t having dinner until 8:30 and that is mighty close to my bedtime. 🙂

I’m so happy I was able to help celebrate with Carly, and I’m even more excited for her wedding in less than two weeks!! It’s one of many events Aaron and I are looking forward to as we count down to baby time. 

Our schedule is pretty packed every weekend with family/friend time, as everyone seems to want to get together before she arrives. It’s good to stay busy, I think — we’re already about as prepared as we can be, and it’ll make this last little bit of waiting fly by!

Pregnancy: 33 Weeks


We kicked off this week with a doctor appointment, and it was surprisingly the first one our actual doctor couldn’t attend because she was off delivering a baby! But it didn’t really matter since we didn’t have any big questions or concerns this week, so another doctor stepped in to measure my belly and check the baby’s heart rate after a nurse took my weight and blood pressure.

I gained a whopping five pounds since our last visit two weeks ago, putting me up 29 pounds overall. My belly also measured slightly big again — just a week ahead this time. I’m not concerned about either of those things since our recent ultrasound confirmed the baby is a perfectly healthy size.

Most days I feel perfectly fine until later in the afternoon at work, when my legs and feet start feeling swollen, and in the evenings, when my back starts to hurt if I’ve been standing or walking too much. I went to the gym twice this week, and I’ve learned to be diligent about getting cleaned up and changed quickly once I get home so I can sit down and relax. Otherwise, I get so uncomfortable and spend the whole rest of the evening trying to will the back pain away.

The leg swelling is typically manageable, but on Friday it was bad enough that I ducked into an empty conference room, lay down on the ground and put my legs up the wall like I used to do after long runs. I could only do it for a few minutes because lying on my back makes me short of breath due to pressure from the baby, but it really helped. Desperate times call for desperate measures! I need to get a little footstool to keep under my desk so I can at least have my legs somewhat elevated as I sit.

Luckily I had a prenatal massage scheduled for Friday evening, and the massage therapist paid extra attention to my legs and feet. It was heavenly, and I felt like a whole new person afterward. Thank you to the health-insurance gods for making these biweekly massages possible!


Mentally, I’m sort of in denial that this baby is actually coming, and coming soon. I’m so used to being pregnant that it’s hard to imagine being not pregnant and being a parent instead. WTF! Who gave me permission to have a kid??

But the reality is that she could come anytime, and I panicked a bit this week when I saw that my former Hood to Coast teammate Andrea gave birth to her beautiful baby boy at 36 weeks! Her little family is doing wonderfully, but holy cow, 36 weeks is not far away for me at all. Andrea cemented my panic today when I liked an Instagram photo of her son and she tagged me in a comment that said, “Get your bag packed!!”

Next on the to-do list: Pack our hospital bag.

This past weekend was jam-packed with activities, and for the first time in a long time, none of them were baby-related! We started Saturday with an early breakfast with my mom and stepdad at The Maltby Cafe, aka the best breakfast joint in the Seattle area.


In all the years I’ve been going to Maltby, I’ve never gotten the Swedish pancakes, and I’ve been doing it wrong. Those things were amazing!


This breakfast actually stretched into two breakfasts for me, as I ate my pancakes and bacon at the restaurant, then ate my eggs and Aaron’s biscuit on Sunday. Aaron wasn’t planning on eating it anyway, and I’d been craving that exact biscuit since the beginning of my pregnancy! So good.

We spent the rest of the day running random errands and seeing a movie (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot — it was meh) to kill time before dinner at my mom’s house to celebrate my brother’s 32nd birthday.


I rarely mention my brother here because we don’t really hang out that much, but he exists! And he’s 32!

On Sunday, my friend Gillian came over to indulge our mutual obsession with The Great British Bake-Off and make a fancy fruit tart — one of Mary Berry’s recipes!

It turned out so well and tasted even better than it looked!


OK, so the crust looked a little janky — that was my bad. But we didn’t care because it was mind-blowingly delicious regardless.


It was such a fun day, and it was so great to catch up with Gill, who is starting a new job and celebrating her birthday this week!

On Sunday evening, we celebrated my brother’s birthday again by going out to a wonderful dinner with my dad. I don’t have pics, but it was lovely and great to see my dad, who I hadn’t seen since Christmas! Clearly I’m wayyyy too much of a hermit.

It was a great weekend spent with lots of people we love. I finished each day feeling pretty worn-out, and therefore had zero trouble getting lots of sleep each night and seamlessly making the Daylight Saving Time transition. This will probably be the last time that happens… ever.

I’m still so grateful that I’m able to sleep like a rock every night and dread that changing as I continue to get bigger and more uncomfortable. I’m thoroughly enjoying every night of good sleep because I know it’s going away sooner or later, whether it happens before or after the baby comes.

That’s all for this week! By the time I write next week’s post, we should have our hospital bag packed (because in real time, I’ll be 35 weeks along then!) and I can report on what we’ve prepped.

I’m not worried about packing the perfect bag since we live incredibly close to the hospital and Aaron or another family member could easily pick up anything we forget, but please let me know if any of you have recommendations for must-haves or things you wished you’d brought with you!

Pregnancy: 32 Weeks


I’m in my eighth month of pregnancy! That sounds like I’m almost done, but technically there are 10 months of pregnancy, not nine. Two more months seems like a long time to go, but when I think about it in the context of how many more carefree, childless weekends we have left — only seven, as I write this, if the baby arrives on her due date — it sounds like hardly any time at all!

I don’t really trust my pregnancy app to be accurate about our baby’s size and weight, since we know she’s a bit bigger than average, but it says she measures about 18 inches long and weighs about 4 pounds. Remember, a doctor estimated she weighed 4.3 pounds last week based on ultrasound measurements. Keep packing on those pounds, kiddo!

I’m feeling her dance around quite a bit multiple times a day, which keeps me happy and anxiety-free. She seems especially active after I eat anything, whereas earlier I usually only felt her reacting to sweet foods. I can also easily see my belly move anytime she moves, which never fails to amaze me.

I felt extra-tired this week and failed to exercise at all except for one three-mile walk on Saturday. It was a beautiful, sunny day, so I shed my sweatshirt pretty quickly and proceeded to get multiple comments from people about my belly! 


This was surprising because I’ve worn a puffy coat outside for the majority of the time I’ve been really showing, and I can count on one hand the number of comments I’ve gotten from complete strangers. Once I was just wearing a t-shirt, it was pretty clear people were not afraid to say something about it.

Luckily I still feel comfortable in my body at the moment, so comments like, “You’re about to pop!” and, “Twins?” don’t bother me. Yes, I got both of those, back to back, from one guy. He clearly didn’t get the memo about what not to say to a pregnant woman — or any woman! 

I definitely look a lot more pregnant than I feel for the most part, which is a good thing, but that’s another reason why the comments surprise me — I often forget how big my belly is and looks to other people. Sometimes a certain outfit or angle in the mirror makes me go, “WHOA,” like this one:


It’s only going to get warmer, and I’m only going to get bigger, so I’ll just prepare myself for even more comments over the next several weeks — although I won’t be afraid to speak up if anyone is downright rude! But I believe most people only have good intentions with what they say, even if it doesn’t quite come out the right way.

As far as baby prep goes, Aaron and I are now registered for a hospital tour at the end of March (when I’m 35 weeks along) and an infant safety and CPR class that our doctor recommended in mid-April (when I’m 38 weeks along). I waited a little too long to register for the safety class, since there was only one left with open spots before our baby’s due date, so hopefully she doesn’t arrive before then!

We asked our doc if she recommended any birth classes, and she said she thinks they’re useful if you’re looking to have a specific type of birth experience or if you want to ease your anxiety about giving birth, but otherwise, no. This probably sounds silly, but I feel like I’ve read enough birth stories to know in general what to expect, and to know that I should also expect the unexpected. I’m actually not anxious about giving birth (yet) and feel prepared to roll with whatever happens. I trust our doctor and other professionals to help guide us when the time comes, and Aaron feels the same way.

My breast pump arrived and is safely tucked away in a closet until that exciting time when I need to use it. I also don’t dare to open the package until our insurance claim is approved and we’re reimbursed for it, because it is freakin’ expensive! I wound up choosing the Medela Pump in Style with On the Go Tote, thanks in part to recommendations from many of you.

Now, on to the nursery. It’s pretty much finished! Just add baby.


The final piece of art arrived this week, which is the custom name sign over the crib. We ordered it on Etsy and are really happy with how it turned out! It’s made of wood and feels surprisingly lightweight, but I’m still terrified about it (and Kermit) falling into the crib in the event of an earthquake. The next step will be reinforcing these pieces so they absolutely won’t budge. 

We also hung our IKEA spice-racks-turned-bookshelves and loooove them!


Aaron took on this project, inspired by this blog post, by staining and finishing these $4 spice racks to match the dark wood of the nursery furniture. We love how the shelves fill this random space between the two closets and turn our little book collection into art!


Despite having no definitive color scheme or theme (besides “a baby’s room”), we love how the nursery turned out. It’s pretty gender-neutral and feels clean and bright — especially when it’s warm out and we can have the windows open, like this past weekend! It’s hard to see in this photo, but there’s a beautiful cherry tree in full bloom just outside the window, too.


If you’re wondering what’s along the fourth wall, remember we’re still using this room as an office!


This is an old photo — I’ve since cleaned out those plastic drawers of all the crap I’ve hoarded for years (like birthday cards from 1996) and moved it down to the garage for Aaron to use for tools or bike parts or something. The lamp has moved to the side table next to the glider, and the printer is now on the desk. A diaper pail and laundry hamper now live where the plastic drawers used to.

I can hardly remember what the room even looked like before, but here’s a photo from when we got the crib — our very first piece of nursery furniture — when I was only 14 weeks along:


We’ve come so far! And by “we” I mean the room, the baby, and me. 🙂

Now that the nursery is complete, the things we have left to do before the baby arrives are not as exciting:

– TAXES. Ugh.

– Have our car seat inspected. Aaron has installed the car seat we’ll use to take the baby home from the hospital, but we’ll have it checked by a professional to make sure it’s all good. Here is a list of people and places that perform car-seat inspections in Washington state.

– I need to roll over my 401(k) from my previous job into my new plan. It took me two years to do this after my last job change, and I want to get this one done before the baby comes so I have fewer excuses to put it off.

– I need to order a new passport with my married name. My passport is the only thing I haven’t updated, and I kept putting it off since I had no plans for international travel. Now I have a bachelorette party in Vancouver, B.C., on the books for Labor Day weekend, so I need to start this process to make sure I have it ready in time. (This will likely also be my first weekend away from the baby — eek!)

That’s all for week 32! We have another doctor appointment tomorrow, so next week’s post will have an official update on how the baby is doing if we get any interesting info. Typically these appointments are quick, as the doctor just checks my weight, belly size, and baby’s heartbeat, plus asks if we have any questions. Uneventful appointments are a good thing. 🙂

Until then!

Pregnancy: 31 Weeks


This week got off to an exciting start with a doctor visit and an ultrasound!

My bagel boycott paid off, as I’ve only gained a pound since our last doctor visit, putting me up 24 pounds overall. My belly is measuring back on track, too — woo-hoo! I swear the only thing I changed about my diet or exercise was that I stopped eating bagels, so this goes to show you how intense my bagel obsession really was.

Aaron and I also got our Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) shots to help protect our baby from whooping cough until she’s old enough to get her own vaccinations. Yay, science!

Next, we had an ultrasound to check on the baby’s size. The scan revealed she is already head-down — and hopefully will stay that way, but who knows! — and facing my spine, so unfortunately we couldn’t get a look at her face. The ultrasound tech took a ton of pictures and measurements, and a doctor used them to estimate that our baby weighs about 4.3 pounds (72nd percentile). She asked us how big we were as babies, and upon hearing that we were both well over 8 pounds, she said our kiddo will likely be in the 8-pound range. At this point, I’ll be surprised if she weighs any less!


Overall, the baby is doing really well and there’s nothing to worry about with regard to her growth. Whew.

I managed to exercise three times this week, including two trips to the gym and one glorious three-mile walk outside. It was 60 degrees one afternoon and I wore shorts!!! Spring is right around the corner.


My allergies know it, too. I started sneezing my face off anytime I went outside this week, so it’s officially time to take a daily allergy pill like I do every spring. (My doctor okayed my brand of allergy pills several months ago.) We’re lucky in Seattle to have an abundance of cherry trees that explode into gorgeous pink blossoms, but they’re also the worst for my allergies. I’m happy to suffer for the sake of beauty, though!

I’m starting to have difficulty getting out of bed without first building up some good momentum, as my belly is so freakin’ heavy and awkward. I don’t need assistance from Aaron (yet), but there’s a lot of attractive grunting involved from the effort.

I also had a horrible charley horse (calf cramp) this week. I hadn’t had a charley horse in years, but this one was worse than I ever remember having before. All the tricks that usually work to relax the cramp, like flexing my foot and massaging my calf, did nothing to help and it felt like it was going to go on forever. Aaron had to massage my leg for like five minutes while I cried and freaked out. (Have I mentioned I’m totally getting an epidural when I go into labor? Yeah, I’m a wimp.)

My doctor said leg cramps are really common in the third trimester and recommended staying well-hydrated, getting plenty of potassium, and stretching my legs before I go to sleep. She also said I should get up and walk around when they do happen. This really helped when another one struck in the middle of the night. I heaved myself out of bed — after thrashing around violently amongst the sheets and my Snoogle (referral link), accompanied by plenty of grunting — and walked down the hall, then stretched my calves on the stairs. Ahh, relief!

Our big accomplishment over the weekend was organizing the baby stuff that had exploded all over the nursery. We had dumped the baby shower gifts in there last weekend, and Aaron also pulled the gifts we’d gotten for Christmas out of the closet. It looked like this:


Frank, the giant teddy bear, was no help whatsoever. Thanks for nothing, Frank!

We spent Sunday morning removing packaging, snipping tags, organizing things into piles, and figuring out our storage needs. Thankfully everything was much less overwhelming once it was all sorted! We bought some plastic storage bins from Costco and decorative baskets from Target, and those made putting things away easy-peasy. I also washed and folded all the crib sheets, swaddles, and clothes (newborn through 3-month sizes; I’ll wash the rest when we need them).

Now the nursery looks like this:


Ahhh, so peaceful. I just got an email confirmation that the art we ordered to hang above the crib was shipped, so hopefully we’ll have that up in the next week or two!

Apparently I’m at the point when organizing a nursery completely poops me out, since I spent the entire rest of the day on the couch watching the Oscars red carpet and ceremony. It feels great to have gotten so much done with two months left to go, though! 

I’ll end this post by sharing a few items I’ve been loving for a while now.

Smith & Nephew Secura Moisturizing Cream (referral link)

During a friend’s bachelorette weekend a few years ago, one of the girls (who is a nurse) had this incredibly thick, rich cream that she’d gotten from the hospital and was loaning to anyone who had dry hands. I became so obsessed with it that she gave me her tube at the end of the weekend. I’ve since ordered many of my own tubes from Amazon, and find it’s the only thing that keeps my skin feeling super-moisturized through winter. I also use it on my belly after I shower, and have never felt the itchiness that is apparently common for pregnant women to feel as their belly skin stretches so rapidly.

This cream is on the greasier side when you first apply it, so I give it a few minutes to soak in before getting dressed, and then I’m all moisturized for two days! (I shower every other day now that I’m not exercising all the time.)

That brings me to…

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

Do not — I repeat, DO NOT — try this dry shampoo if you’re not prepared for a $22/can commitment. (Please note that I buy this using my employee discount, which makes me feel slightly better about it, but I still realize it’s stupid.) This stuff actually makes my hair look and feel legitimately clean, not like I have dirty hair with dry shampoo in it. Plus, it smells amazing. Pretty much the only time Aaron comments on how good I smell is when I have this in, and that means I haven’t showered that day. 

A much more affordable option that I used to use, but now don’t like nearly as much now that Living Proof has ruined me, is Suave Professionals Refresh & Revive Dry Shampoo. It does a good job of soaking up grease at first, but by the end of the day, my grease is back. I also have a harder time blending this dry shampoo into my dark hair, even though both Suave and Living Proof spray chalky white. 

Aaron insists there must be a dry shampoo that costs somewhere between $2.89 and $22 that works just as well as the $22 kind. I don’t really want to put in the effort to find it. Any recommendations?

Now, an item that I actually prefer the less-expensive version of…

Basics Stella Maternity & Nursing Bra

I bought this to test the waters of nursing bras, and now I wear it all the time at home. I now need to wear a bra during all waking hours to avoid having neck/upper back pain (large-chested ladies: I’m so sorry, I had no idea what you’ve been enduring all this time!), and this one is super-comfy and supportive. I obviously don’t use the nursing clips yet, but I’ve tested them and they seem easy enough.

I also tried the Bravado! Designs Seamless Nursing Bra, since it had a similar number of rave reviews, and didn’t like it nearly as much. I thought the silky fabric was bunchy and awkward, and the removable cups were those really crappy ones that were already dented/misshapen and just looked awful. I was surprised that I so strongly preferred the Basics Stella bra, which is half the price of the Bravado!, but sometimes life actually works in my favor. Just not with dry shampoo.

My final favorite things are… FLAT SHOES! I gave up my beloved BP. Trolley Ankle Booties several weeks ago, and have now committed 100% to flats for the rest of my pregnancy.

The three pairs I have on heavy rotation right now are:

Classic TOMS — I work amongst extremely stylish women who wear high heels like you wouldn’t believe, so at first I felt like a fuddy-duddy busting these out for work, but I really don’t care anymore. My super broken-in pair accommodates daily foot swelling like a dream.

Converse Chuck Taylor Shoreline Slip-On Sneakers — These are cute, sporty, and go with pretty much everything. I used to reserve them for Fridays, but now every day is Friday because I’m hugely pregnant and I don’t care.

Vans Perforated Leather Slip-On Sneakers — In an attempt to look slightly more put-together than I do while wearing TOMS, I got these in black. I’m still breaking them in, but I like them so far and feel like they’ll be good “mom shoes,” too. I also love the grey suede version, but I don’t really need those… yet.

Notice these are all slip-on shoes, which is key because reaching my feet is a very real challenge. Tying my shoes for the gym is an event.

Once it gets warmer and less rainy, Tieks are the only ballet flats I wear. Yes, they are stupid-expensive, and yes, they are worth it. I’ve had my pairs for years and years and they still look brand-new. I wore this fancy pair for my wedding and actually still wear them all the time to work, to my baby shower, etc.

I think that’s all for this week! Oh, I got another prenatal massage after work today, and let me just say that scheduling a massage on a Monday evening is the greatest idea ever. Ugh, now I sound really spoiled with my fancy dry shampoo and my Monday massages. The massage costs me one-third as much as the dry shampoo, though! What is life??

I’m officially overtired and getting weird. Time for me to sign off and drag this big ol’ belly up to bed!