currently | february

F E B R U A R Y-2

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post that wasn’t related to pregnancy or babies, so today is the day to get back into that…even though my life currently revolves around babies and will for…ever. #notmadaboutit

LOVING: Dom being off work. It’s been almost a month and I am so absolutely, completely not ready for him to go back. He made a comment the other day about how he could be off for six years and I would still complain that he was going back too early. Fact. Other things I’m loving include watching Isla love on Leo, thinking up/Pinteresting Valentine’s Day crafts for Isla to make, and all of our recent house projects.

READING: Nothing but blogs at the moment, but that’s due to having a new baby. I did finish my first book edit of the year about a week ago and am starting on my second, but for pleasure reading I plan to reread Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table. One of my favorites and a friend who borrowed it recently sent it back, so it’s time to finally make those recipes (from the book) that I’ve been delaying.

WATCHING: We just started the Dexter series over and we are loving it. We hadn’t seen the first episode (or any, really) in years, so we started it over since we spend a lot of our time in front of the TV with a new baby. We’ve almost blown through the entire first season in just three or four days.

ANTICIPATING: March! I recently joined the new Pure Barre studio in Fayetteville that opens in March, pretty much just in time for me to start working out again. So excited! In honor of working out again after waaaay too long, the gym bag below was purchased (but excuse the not-so-great photo).

gymbag

LISTENING TO: We’ve been keeping the top country hits playlist on repeat because I could listen to Die A Happy Man by Thomas Rhett over and over again for days, but at the moment I’m listening to Taylor Swift’s Red album on iTunes.

PLANNING: Family’s visits to see us and that’s about it. We’ve sort of just been in the getting-by-with-a-newborn stage

WORKING ON: Finishing up our West Elm inspired coffee table. I freaking love it and can’t wait until it’s finished. It’s going to be a big statement piece in the living room and it’s coming together well! Pictures will be up soon.

WEARING: Well, there’s nothing exciting here in terms of clothes, but I’m obsessed with the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Black perfume I got for Christmas and I wear that any time I shower and make myself presentable.

WISHING: paternity leave lasted forever. A thousand more weeks, please?

Leave a comment

Filed under Updates

10 healthier, late-night breastfeeding snacks

ten

This is a little different from what a normal post by me would look like, but since Leo just arrived and I’m up 2-4 times per night nursing, and starving each time, I started to look into healthier snacks to eat so I’m not gaining back all my pregnancy weight at night.

A lot of women tend to be hungrier during the day and thirstier at night, but I am super hungry AND thirsty each night, going through 2-3 snacks and 3-6 glasses of water. Lately, I wind up eating whatever we have on hand (which tends to be a lot of treats from wonderful friends or something easy like 100-cal Oreo Thin Crisps (don’t judge me) or yogurt tubes. That being said, I can’t do Oreos for the entire time I’ll wind up nursing or I’ll wind up huge.

When I’m wake nursing Leo, I spend a lot of that time on Google and started to research healthier late-night snacks. Here’s what I’ve got so far and what’s been working for me. I usually pair these with a full glass of water at each feeding.

  1. Yogurt tubes. I don’t like the Greek yogurt ones (though I usually like Greek yogurt, so this must be a pregnancy/postpartum thing for me), so I get Stonyfield Farm YoKid Squeezers. These are quick, organic, and tend to hit the spot until Leo’s next feeding.
  2. Belvita Breakfast Biscuits. I love the blueberry ones, and I don’t need to eat the whole pack to feel full.
  3. Hardboiled eggs. I usually only eat the whites, but sometimes the yolks too.
  4. Cheese + crackers. Cut up and bag some cheese to make this quicker.
  5. Celery + peanut butter. Another thing I prepare early. I wash, cut, and bag the celery with a damp paper towel, and I go ahead and spread the peanut butter on it beforehand too. I make these a few at a time so there aren’t so many that they go dry but not so few that I’m making them every day.
  6. Fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, kiwi, etc. I mix them all into small containers so all I have to grab is one container and a fork.
  7. Almonds. I’m not the type of person who can eat these plain–it seriously just isn’t happening–but I love the Archer Farm Honey Cinnamon ones from Target. I don’t do these too often, but they aren’t as high in sugar as you’d guess and a few fill me up.
  8. Cottage cheese. I know a lot of people hate this, but you can buy them in individual containers and they are super filling. I just add a little salt and pepper.
  9. Bananas. Easiest snack on here.
  10. Carrot sticks + hummus. I like to get them pre-cut, but baby carrots are just as easy. You can add a spoonful or two of hummus or buy individual containers.

If you have any other easy snack ideas, send them my way. I’m all about some food.

Leave a comment

Filed under Leo, Parenting, Uncategorized

leo’s birth story

Leo1

This has been a complete whirlwind of a week and I want to write it all down before I forget–especially because this is one of those things/stories I never want to forget.

I’m going to preface Leo’s birth story by saying the Isla was nine days late and we NEVER expected Leo to be early. I didn’t think he’d even be a few days early, let alone over three weeks.

I guess it’s true how different each pregnancy and baby is, and the differences between these two new siblings is a perfect example

Anyway, the story.

I’ve been getting over a bad cold for a few weeks that I caught from Isla who had strep throat and an ear infection basically since mid-December. Poor girl. Because of this, I was blowing my nose pretty much constantly, and I’ve been told I blow my nose like a grown man by pretty much everyone who has ever heard me blow my nose. Needless to say, it isn’t gentle. When I was blowing it on Sunday, I must have done so too hard and I felt a pop and then had tons of pressure. I felt like I had practically blown Leo’s head into engagement. That being said, nothing happened and I went about my day like normal without too much concern. After all, they come when they are ready.

Monday was my first day to relax, get some work done, have some time to myself, and basically catch up on life (which apparently had other plans for me). Isla and I spent a lot of time in her new playroom upstairs while she went through her toys, made me “coffee” from her play kitchen, and I got some editing done. Later I talked to my grandma on the phone, made lunch for Isla and me, and put her down for a nap. For the first hour or so that she slept, I continued working and started cleaning up the house. All was well and I felt totally normal with zero cramps or contractions.

Leo3

During the cleanup, I took my laptop in our room, sat down on the bed before I made it and finished up some work, and all of a sudden I felt a huge gush. After my water breaking naturally with Isla, I immediately thought that’s what had happened. It didn’t continue and there was only one gush, but it was quite a bit. I called my mom who proceeded to tell me my water probably broke or I had a leak, to call my doctor, etc. I did all of the above, but I was only 36 weeks and 4 days and honestly believed nothing was happening, even though I had a feeling (based on absolutely nothing) that he might come early. Nothing could happen–after all, Isla was super late, and I felt fine. No contractions or cramping followed the fluids. Everything was normal.

I called the doctor, was on hold for 20 minutes (they were incredibly busy that day, and for basically the first time ever since I’ve been going there), and I started cleaning up and getting myself together in case I needed to go in. Isla was napping and I made arrangements with Dom and his mom, and the nurse who I spoke with told me to go ahead and go to triage at the mother/baby unit in the hospital I would be delivering at. Dom’s mom came over to hang out with Isla, Dom stayed at work (again, I didn’t think anything was actually happening, but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry), and my friend Emily drove me to the hospital just in case something happened on the way or I went into labor. I didn’t.

When I arrived to the hospital I was checked into triage and looked over. I was tested to see if I had a leak or if my water broke, and everything came back normal. That being said, I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart and didn’t even realize it. They checked me and I was dilated to a 1 so they kept me around to monitor, just to be safe.

An hour later (and several more contractions that didn’t let up), I was dilated to a 2. I started to feel light cramping but still wasn’t too worried. They arranged to give me fluids to see if I was dehydrated and maybe my contractions would stop. We went through a bag, and instead of letting up, my contractions grew stronger to the point that I felt them in my back and had a lot of cramping.

At this point my doctor was called and he planned to come in and evaluate me. Until this point my nurse had said I had a 50/50 chance of going home or of having a c-section that night (which I already had scheduled for February 1st). I was told to call Dom and have him come in “just in case.”

By this time, I still didn’t believe anything was happening. Emily even joked that I was so calm that she and my friend Alie knew it would be happening. I was “too calm,” as they put it.

Leo2

And then Dom arrived, followed immediately by my doctor, and I was told I would be having a baby that night. I was almost immediately prepped for surgery, moved into the operating room, given a spinal, and we began. What I remember about the c-section was that right after the a spinal they had me lay down and started prepping everything. They tested me to see if I could feel anything, and when I couldn’t they went ahead with hanging the sheet, cutting me open (and all the other gory details), and brought Dom in. I was either having trouble breathing from laying flat and having a stuffy nose or I was having a mini panic attack–it could go either way–so they gave me oxygen at my request. One of the anesthesiologists sat back with Dom and me, and my doctor, who is absolutely incredible, talked me through everything, complete with plenty of jokes.

Leo was born at 8:26pm at 5 lbs, 4 oz, 20″ long, and a 13.5″ head. The doctor held him up over the sheet for us to see which was a really nice change from Isla’s c-section, and they moved him to the NICU team to check him and make sure everything was okay–which they do for all c-sections, but especially when they are (even slightly) premature.

IslaAndLeo

When Leo checked out and was good to go, they brought him to Dom to hold, let me kiss him and snuggle him (with only my head because my hands were still down at the sides), and then they took him and Dom to the nursery to check him out further. I was cleaned up, stitched back together, and wheeled to the c-section recovery room and began hand expressing because his blood sugar was slightly low, though not out of range. This was really the only issue we had other than his temperature being slightly low the second day and him having to be placed under the warmer one time for 30 minutes.

Overall, the hospital visit wasn’t bad, I felt about 1000 times better than I did with Isla’s delivery, and Leo has been a dream. My mom watched Isla the entire time we were in the hospital and we were so excited to come home and see her/let her see Leo. Nursing is going SO much better and even the nights aren’t nearly as terrible as they were with Isla. When we introduced Isla to Leo, she was super excited and kept excitedly saying “I see baby!” before we let her “hold” him. She wanted him on her lap pretty much nonstop and melted all of our hearts.

Leo

That’s all I can really remember at the moment without going into every detail. We are so glad he’s here and can’t believe we are a family of four. It still feels surreal but in the best way.

Happy birthday, Leo!

All professional photos by Alexandra Lee Photography.

4 Comments

Filed under Family, Leo, Parenting, Pregnancy

leo’s nursery update (with pictures!)

IMG_1954

I shared a photo awhile back of what we had done in Leo’s nursery so far, but now we are moving into week 37, the nursery is complete, and we are just waiting for our little guy to arrive…or for my c-section date; whatever comes first.

IMG_1953

(He won’t even be sleeping in his room for 7-8 weeks, but after all the hard work we put into getting the room finished, we won’t talk about that right now.)

IMG_1955

I’m really proud of how we took our vision and turned it into exactly what we wanted. It turned out better than we expected and has quickly become one of our favorite rooms in the house.

IMG_1956

Dom made the picture frames, floating shelves, and built the closet system all from scratch. These were his first-ever projects like this and I love how they turned out! Again, even better than expected.

IMG_1952

For those who care about where things are from:

  • His crib, dresser, and rocker are all from Pottery Barn Kids. (Crib and dresser are in a discontinued color and I have no idea what model the crib is. We got it off Craigslist.)
  • Crib sheet is from Land of Nod
  • The blanket and pillow on the rocker (not sure if that’s the exact blanket but it looks like it, and I can’t find the pillow so it must be sold out), ottoman (no longer available), lamp, wire basket, copper wire decoration on the shelves, and fuzzy blanket (which is gray and white striped on the other side) on the crib are all from Target.
  • Curtain rod is from Walmart
  • Curtain is from Amazon
  • Both constellation photos (large constellation poster star map and small Aquarius constellation) that are framed are from Etsy.
  • Animal books on shelves were a gift from my sister. I think they are from Marshall’s or T.J. Maxx?
  • Books are Harry Potter and are Dom’s from high school
  • Changing pad cover is Aden + Anais and we purchased it on Amazon. Softest muslin cover and I’m obsessed!
  • We got the lamb sound maker in his crib from a friend. I think you can buy these on Amazon, etc.
  • We also have a nightlight that projects the planets above his bed. I got it from Target, but they also have them on Amazon.
  • Diaper pail is a Diaper Genie.
  • Wire baskets in closet are from Walmart. I can’t remember if they are medium or large, but there are no larges online. I’m not sure where the brown basket is from–we’ve had it for years and it’s probably a hand-me-down.
  • Plant and pot are both from Lowe’s. Pot was spray painted gold.

IMG_1949

The closet looks super messy at the moment but only because we have so much stuff in there. We are going to go through it today and organize it a little bit more, but I’m so happy with how it turned out!

2 Comments

Filed under Home, Leo

bumpdate: 36 weeks

3

How far along: 36 weeks to the day.

Mom: Is it too late to start panicking? This week has felt a lot harder on me mentally than previous weeks. I think that probably has to do with a cold + no sleep + sick toddler + lots of planning + end of trimester combo, but it’s hit me, and it’s real. Isla’s birthday was Wednesday (can you believe we have a two-year-old? Also, I originally wrote that it was Tuesday because pregnancy brain.) which is both really exciting and also really overwhelming. I’m not one of those moms who gets really sad as they get older, but it’s crazy to think that in such a short amount of time, we will be a family of four. On a better note, Isla has definitely helped raise my spirits talking about her “brubber, baby Wee-Woah” and being her generally sweet, happy self. Now that her strep throat and ear infection is clearing up things are a lot easier and less stressful. Also: The doctor is considering moving my c-section date up by a few days, so it could be any time between January 28-Feb 1. Probably no sooner. They messed my date up this week (even though I scheduled it over three months ago) and put it as the 2nd instead of the 1st which isn’t a big deal if you’re a normal, non-hormonal person, but I am not one of those people and it didn’t mesh well with the rest of my panicking. The nurse quickly resolved the problem and now I’m scheduled for a little bit later in the day. At least I don’t have to be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and can cuddle Isla before I go.

Dad: Back to work and not happy about it. At least there’s only a little over three weeks left until he’s off again, right?

Baby: At my 36-week appointment on Tuesday Leo was measuring a little small and his measurements have jumped all over the place in the past three visits. They ordered a growth ultrasound and thankfully all is well–it just looks like he will be a little smaller than his big 83rd-percentile-for-height-and-93rd-percentile-for-weight sister is. He was estimated to be 5 lbs 5 oz by ultrasound (though those can be off), and that seems about right. I was 35 weeks and 5 days at my appointment and he was measuring 34 weeks 4 days, so not too far off.

The Bump: I’ll let you be the judge. But don’t actually judge too hard–I was completely exhausted this morning when I took this.

36weekspregnant

Sleep: Nonexistent and it’s absolutely killing me. I’ve barely caught eight hours in the past two days which is no bueno, especially when I’m used to well over eight each night. When I do sleep it’s super restless and I wake up even more exhausted than when I went down. I knew this was coming because it happened when I was pregnant with Isla, but I’m definitely not happy about it.

Cravings/Aversions: I want all the Taco Bell. That’s really it. I can’t really taste food right now due to being sick, but I can always find an excuse for Taco Bell.

Gender: Still boy.

Missing: Sleep. Not having heartburn. Not feeling huge. Not having a stuffy nose. More sleep.

Looking forward to: I can’t say sleeping because that’s not happening for awhile, but I will be SO happy the day I don’t have heartburn anymore. I did get a new medicine this week which seems to be helping somewhat, but no medicine helps like not being pregnant.

Best moment this week: Isla girl’s birthday. We unveiled her new playroom and play kitchen, she opened gifts from some family, she played at Chick-Fil-A with one of her best friends, and she got ice cream. Low key but still wonderful.

Symptoms: Heartburn, lack of sleep, and lots of cold/ear infection/upper respiratory infection symptoms right now.

Movement: As much as always–it’s just getting more painful.

Happy or moody: Wah. Moodier, but probably because I’m exhausted and sick.

Purchases for baby: Nothing more than a few days ago.

Advice/Commentary from others: Again, nothing really. Just wonderful friends letting me know it’s okay to panic but also that things will be fine.

Also, a two-year-old birthday picture of Isla because she’s adorable. Happy birthday, baby girl! We love you and your sweet soul more each and every day.

islabirthday

2 Comments

Filed under Leo, Pregnancy

bumpdate: 35 weeks and 3 days

Until Baby Basilio

How far along: 35 weeks and 3 days. Beginning tomorrow we’ll only have 28 days to go! Can’t believe it’s 4 weeks or less until this little guy is in our arms.

Mom: How I’m feeling is sort of on and off. Most days I’m great and the time is flying by, but then there are days like today where Leo’s movements absolutely kill me and practically make my knees buckle. This little guy doesn’t feel so little anymore and I don’t remember Isla moving in ways that makes me feel like I can’t walk, but he definitely makes that happen. I have a weird feeling I won’t make it to the scheduled c-section and will go early, but who knows.

Dad: Dom is coming up on the end of having two weeks off which has been so wonderful. He found out this morning he has tomorrow off (an awesome surprise!) so we got some extra stuff done that we weren’t expecting to finish today. Tomorrow we are getting a bunch of stuff for freezer meals (doubling some recipes like stuffed meatballs, white bean chicken chili, and sesame chicken) and relaxing the rest of the day, and then he goes back to work Tuesday which I’m sad about. Fortunately, he won’t be there for too long before he’s off again for Leo’s arrival. We just need to make it through this month!

Baby: Like I said, he’s getting huge–or at least he feels that way. He was estimated at our last appointment to be between 5-6 pounds according to my doctor’s measurements (by hand), but I was measuring a little small at 33 weeks. That being said, I don’t know how much I trust those measurements because I measured 34 weeks two weeks before. Must’ve just been an off day! We have an appointment Tuesday and I’m hoping he’s filling out a little more and that I’ll measure further along.

The Bump: Like I said above, it measured at 33 weeks at my 35-week appointment (which was actually at 34 weeks and 5 days), but I measured 34 weeks at my 33-week appointment. Basically, the moral of the story, aside from measurements, is that Leo is getting big and fluffy and if he’s anything like his sister who was born at 8 lbs 5 oz, we’ve got lots of chunk to go (and grow).

Sleep: Meh. This is a bad day to answer this question. Last night I woke up several times due to nightmares, having to pee, being too hot, needing to change positions, etc. Hopefully tonight is better. Overall, my sleep hasn’t been too awful–there are just moments of awfulness.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing really. Just super hungry all the time which is really hard to control.

Gender: Boy

Missing: Having fewer physical issues when trying to move certain ways, good sleep (which won’t be happening for awhile), and just feeling comfortable in general.

Looking forward to: The arrival and having my to-do list totally checked off. Also excited for a short break in work.

Best moment this week: Getting our carpets professionally cleaned! Such a treat, especially for my OCD, pregnant self. It makes the entire house feel so much cleaner. We also got a chance to sleep in past 10 on New Year’s Day and it’s probably the last time that will happen for a very long time, so we were happy about that.

Symptoms: Lots of pain with Leo’s movements, less sleep, exhaustion and lack of motivation (but also nesting, so who knows what’s going on there), and I’m starting to feel impatient for his arrival thanks to how uncomfortable I am. Then again, some days I’m totally fine with how much time we have left.

Movement: A ton. Absolutely no decrease in movement like I had with Isla (she apparently wanted to rest the last few weeks). Leo is all over the place and ready to party.

Happy or moody: Pretty happy though I can feel the tiredness kicking in and find myself a little bit moodier lately. Nothing like my pregnancy with Isla bear though. I was a full-blown lunatic with her.

Purchases for baby: We finished Leo’s nursery this past week and bought basically every single additional thing we need for when he’s first born–swaddles, blankets, diapers, pacifiers, ointments, gas drops, etc, etc, etc. And while this isn’t a purchase for Leo, we are finishing up Isla’s play room (which will obviously also end up being Leo’s play room). We bought her a play kitchen for her birthday (which is Wednesday and I can’t believe we will have a two year old!) and painted the walls, made a chalkboard wall, bought a rug, put up bookshelves, and so on. I’ll post pictures when it’s finished! This will give Isla a place to play and be loud upstairs when Leo is asleep downstairs.

Advice/Commentary from others: I’ve had a few people tell me how much it looks like my belly has dropped, but that’s about it overall. I have one friend who is also convinced I’ll go early, but I thought the same thing with Isla and she was nine days late. Guess we’ll see! Either way, four weeks or less!

Leave a comment

Filed under Leo, Pregnancy

bumpdate: 34 weeks and 2 days

thirty-four

How far along: 34 weeks and 2 days. My 35-week appointment is Tuesday morning and I can’t wait. We’re at weekly appointments beginning then!

Mom: I’m feeling much better than last week. While I’m starting to feel a lot of pressure and plenty of other symptoms that are gross or not super memorable, I feel both like we are super close to his arrival and also SO far. I will admit that while this Christmas was the best we’ve had yet (there’s nothing quite like watching an excited toddler open Christmas gifts or get excited over lights or beg to watch Frosty six times in a day), I am so glad it’s over because other than NYE, it felt like the last big milestone to get past before his arrival. And now the real countdown begins!

Dad: Dom is super happy to have some time off work (two weeks!) so we can finish up some projects we’ve been putting off. There really isn’t much left to do until Leo gets here other than some last-minute preparations. He’s been asking more questions about how I’m feeling lately, if I’m “afraid I’ll go into labor today,” etc, but overall, we are just taking it day by day and taking advantage of all the time (and solo snuggles with Isla) we have left.

Baby: Leo is kicking up a storm, seems to be dropping, and is somehow giving me one final burst of energy. I’m never tired at night lately and I think some serious nesting has kicked in, but I would rather beg Dom to do it than do it myself. (I just want to make the to-do lists…oops.) Also, I feel like Leo is trying to escape each and every day. Hello, pressure.

The Bump: Still large and in charge. I’m anxious to see how I’m measuring this week.

Sleep: I’m SO tired in the morning and afternoon, but at night I’m basically the world’s biggest night owl. I beg Dom to watch endless episodes of shows with me (we just finished two seasons of The Killing in less than two weeks) and Unisom is my best friend.

Cravings/Aversions: It was still holiday treats up until this week but now I’m starting to crave some healthier foods. I think maybe it’s all catching up to me. No aversions, really.

Gender: Boy. And I’m so excited we’ll have one of each!

Missing: Doing anything without being out of breath. Holding Isla without thinking Leo will actually fall out. Leaning over comfortably. Sitting in the car comfortably. Doing anything comfortably.

Looking forward to: Getting all of our final purchases made so that we can stop spending money for a little while. Entering the final month.

Best moment this week: Watching Isla get so excited for Christmas. She kept happily and excitedly asking to “open box?!” and melting my heart. That being said, she is basically a stage 5 baby doll hoarder now.

Symptoms: Endless pressure, feeling like he is going to fall out, gross symptoms that should not be named, and exhaustion. But also nesting? Pregnancy is confusing.

Movement: is nonstop. Always. Just like his sister. I always thought they were supposed to slow down this far along, but nope.

Happy or moody: Happy and calm. This is a total 180 from how I felt with Isla at this (and every) stage and I hope it continues.

Purchases for baby: Nothing this week but we got some really cute Christmas gifts for him from friends and family, so thanks, friends and family!

Advice/Commentary from others: A man at the grocery store today asked if the baby was “coming this year” and then told me I was very, very low. Thanks, grocery store man.

Leave a comment

Filed under Leo, Pregnancy