As I’m nearing the end of my 2nd trimester, I thought I’d put together a little list of things that have gotten me through this crazy, amazing, exhausting, I’m-creating-a-human process so far. These are just a few things that I have found to be comforting or helpful during the past several weeks that may or may not be helpful to you if you happen to be in the same baby-building boat. I’ve found that COMFORT is the most important word in that last sentence and have found myself gravitating towards things that keep me warm, cozy, or relaxed.

1. Leggings from the Loft. These are great to wear underneath a dress or a tunic to work and then they double as pj bottoms when I get home.  I love them so much that I actually just purchased 2 more pairs in a larger size to get me through the rest of my pregnancy.

2. Nature Valley Energy Bars. I found these on accident at a gas station one day when I’d forgotten to pack a snack for the gym. They are SO good! Plus, they are only 200 calories but contain 10g of protein. I’ve been eating them for breakfast and as a pre-workout snack for weeks now. Completely addicted. So far I’ve only been able to find them at the gas station, but have absolutely no problem buying out their entire stock every week and a half… #crazypregnantlady

3. J Crew Camp Socks. So I read about these on a blog and thought that they looked so comfortable that I asked for a few pairs for Christmas. They are now my go-to for cuddling up before bed and for keeping my toes warm on the hard wood floors. They are super soft and crazy thick. Invest in a pair, you won’t regret it.

4. Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion. Back when the doctors were worried about Annabelle’s heartbeat they told me not to use any lotion with cocoa butter in it on my belly. This was terrible news because my skin was itchy and I was super worried about getting stretch marks and the only sure fire remedy (according to all of my friends and family) was Arnold’s cocoa butter. My sweet husband brought some of this lotion home for me to try and it has worked perfectly. It’s not super thick, so I don’t feel weird putting it on before getting dressed for work and the smell is soft and kind of powdery. (And so far no sign of any pesky stretch marks either!)

5. Gucci Guilty. This is another item I can thank Steven for- he smelled it in a magazine and loved it so much that he convinced me to add it to my birthday list. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I now associate this smell with being pregnant and super happy. It has also been helpful in making me feel pretty and fresh, even when I’m feeling anything but.

6. Starbucks. Even though I can’t have caffeine, I’m still a loyal fan. At Christmas I was alternating between the Creme Brulee latte and the Gingerbread latte. I’m not sure what I’m going to do now that all of the good holiday flavors are gone for the year…. #firstworldproblem

7. 9 Round.  I worked out pretty regularly before getting pregnant and missed it terribly during the first trimester yuckiness. I notice a big difference in my mood when I work out and I love how fast the 9Round work out is. I can be in and out in 30 minutes, which leaves very little room for excuses. Now that I’m getting bigger, I’m also noticing less lower back pain when I work out regularly, which has been another great bonus. Side note:  I read that women who work out during pregnancy usually have on average a 30% shorter labor….so I’m all in. ;)

8. Naked Palette from Urban Decay. This was also a birthday gift (thanks, Mom!). My favorite part of doing my make up is experimenting with different eye shadow combinations, so when I kept seeing this palette pop up on Pinterest and in blogs that I read I really wanted to give it a try. Basically, I’m in love. The colors are gorgeous, really neutral, and they stay on really well! I feel way less frumpy when my make up is done, so this has gone a long way to help beat the puffy face blues. (Yes, that’s a real thing.)

9. The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner. I’ve really been enjoying this author and have been picking up one book of hers after another. I finished Little Earthquakes recently and am now half way through this set of short stories. Nothing like a good book to get your mind off of pregnancy, labor, and/or that third bowl of ice cream I wish I could eat….

What things were on your list? Anything I should know?

Love,

I should be working. Really.

But I’d rather tell you all about Annabelle’s nursery, ok? Ok.

Typically, I’m pretty indecisive. It can take me weeks to narrow down paint colors and even longer to choose fabric for a pair of curtains (print? plain? bold? shiny?). I have been known to pin no less than 3000 images focused on living room rugs before coming any where near a decision. But for Annabelle’s room, I have had a pretty clear vision since day one. (Or around 14 weeks, which is when my vision, er, baby, determined its gender.)

So, several months ago I sat down and put together a little mood board to help visualize what I wanted.

Since then I have come a long way and have purchased/been given several items and the room is really coming together. A few things have stayed the same: the crib, dresser (thank you Craigslist!), the bear (handmade from Gatlinburg, TN), the pink rug, and the triangle mobile (although different colors).

I’ve decided to nix the birch wallpaper- it’s crazy expensive- and we decided on this light instead of the one in the mood board:

Ballard Designs 

I have tried to diy a few things in the room, like her curtains:

I’m also planning to make my own version of the tassel mobile for above her crib- I’m thinking fuchsia and gold tassels?

One of my favorite pieces in the room is this trunk that was my mother-in-law’s mother’s. It’s gorgeous and old and super well made. I’m planning to line it with nice paper and use it for additional storage.

We’ve ordered the chair, although not the one in the mood board- we decided to go with a similar shape and a dark gray fabric. I can’t wait until it comes in, since it’s the last major piece of furniture to go in the room. My sweet friend drove all the way to Ikea to get this hot pink book shelf for the closet, since Ikea wanted $350 to ship a $90 shelf.

It’s exactly what I was hoping for. (Ignore all of the stuff ON the shelf right now, we were just shifting items around the room for kicks.)

From here, I’ve basically just got the fun stuff left. I need to complete the closet with a shelf/rod for hanging her clothes, hang some art on the walls, and pray that someone buys us a crib mattress. We also need to purchase a floor lamp and a lamp for beside the chair (once it arrives). I’m planning on using the trunk as a side table and want to outfit it with everything I’ll need for late night feedings.

Obviously, I’ve been doing some serious nesting in this room and have been caught just standing in the doorway looking at all of her stuff on more than one occasion. It’s just so crazy to be nearing our third trimester and to know that she’s going to be here very soon. Her kicks and rolls in my belly make up for any discomfort and watching Steven put together her crib was priceless (such a rite of passage).

I feel like we’re on the very edge of everything changing. All of this is like a beginning that we’re shifting in to and it’s really a great feeling.

Love,

6 whole months that I’ve been making a human! Can you believe that?

Steven can- he told me earlier that he’s so tired of me being able to use the “but I’m pregnant so…” excuse. In his defense, we’ve had a rough couple of nights with some pregnancy related insomnia mixed with a cold. Poor guy. Seems like with all of the medical advances in the world that someone would have come up with SOMETHING helpful for a pregnant lady to take to help manage cold symptoms. Let’s just say that me and Robitussin PM are besties and leave it at that, shall we?

Weeks 18-24 have been pretty uneventful, which I’ve learned is definitely the best way to go. I’ve felt great, no morning sickness, and my energy level is still pretty good. My belly is growing quickly-  I’m definitely past the “is she pregnant or fat?” stage but am moving into the slightly more uncomfortable phase. Nothing really to complain about yet, just a little more difficulty when trying to switch sides in bed or getting out of the recliner. (Evidently any ab muscles I may have had are now long gone…) I’ve also noticed an unfortunate “catch” in my side after sitting for too long, but overall I really can’t complain. Sometimes I even forget that I’m pregnant until I feel Annabelle shift or roll or I misjudge and hit myself in the stomach with the bathroom door. (True story.)

As far as cravings go I’ve been a little addicted to Blow Pops and have most recently started craving vanilla ice cream with Hershey’s syrup and dark chocolate chips. Christmas and Thanksgiving were fantastic- I’ve always been “watching my weight” around this time of year, but this time around I was not shy about getting my fill of the good stuff. Now that the holidays are over I’m hoping to get into a good gym routine of 3 times a week to get my body ready for labor. I’ve done pretty well as far as weight gain goes, so I’m hoping to stay on track so that I don’t have a ton to lose after she’s born.

I’ve been working on Annabelle’s nursery- it’s really starting to come together. I can’t wait to show pictures when it’s all done! I bought the fabric I need to make her curtains on my lunch break today and am planning a serious sewing session for New Year’s Day.

We have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, so we’re hoping for continued good news- praying that this little one is still growing healthy and strong. I really can’t wait to meet her.

Love,

I’m a little behind here, aren’t I?

Let’s hit the highlights:
1. At week 14 we had a routine visit with my OB just to check how things were going and for her to answer any questions. Easy-peasy. It turned out to be neither “easy” or “peasy”, when the nurse (and then my doctor) detected a very noticeable “skip” in our little one’s heart beat. They ushered us into the ultrasound room where the tech confirmed an arrhythmia as well as some fluid in the kidneys and a “shadow” on the baby’s head. Oblivious, we headed back to see our doctor. She told us that the fluid in the kidneys can be a marker for Downs and the “shadow” on the baby’s head could be one of two chromosomal issues that could mean the baby would not live outside of my belly. Cue the complete breakdown. I went in to the appointment expecting everything to be ok and I was leaving the office wondering if I would still be pregnant in a month. Or if our little one would have some type of major deficiency that we would be unprepared to deal with. Or, or, or… Steven and I were both reeling. They did some blood work that would tell us if any of the concerns were real, but then were told that it would take 7-14 days to get the results back. Perfect. In the meantime, we were to come in for weekly ultrasounds to monitor the heart beat.

2. I took this picture:

3.  At our next ultrasound the “skip” only happened once or twice, which was an improvement. At the visit after that, it did not happen at all.  Still, we waited on the blood work to confirm that everything was really going to be ok.

4. While we waited, we took a trip to Tennessee. I hit 16 weeks.

5.  We had another appointment when we got back from the mountains and again, our little one passed with flying colors. Not one skip the whole time. She was even “practicing breathing”- her tiny diaphragm was contracting like a pro! The tech told us that it was a good sign of high brain function. That’s my girl! And yes, you read that right- Baby Wolfe is a girl! Thus disproving the old wives tale that craving savory foods = boy parts.

6. Test results came back. All is GOOD. No weird chromosomal issues to worry about! Healthy little baby! Insert HUGE sigh of relief here.

7. In the midst of ALL of this, we moved out of our house in order to have carpet removed and our hard wood floors refinished. And THEN we decided to paint the whole house while we were at it. Over-achievers, for sure.

8. Back at home now, our furniture is all in place, but we still have boxes everywhere. We’re slowly getting things back in order and rearranging to make room for Baby Wolfe. PS: I’ve got BIG plans for the nursery that I need to share.

9. Have I ever mentioned that 17 is my favorite number? (Let’s not get into the explanation- it won’t make sense. Just understand that # 17 rocks…) Well, it came through for me again. At 17 weeks my body decided to FINALLY give in to this little baby and accept the fact that all of these hormone related changes are NORMAL and that feeling barfy all the time just isn’t realistic anymore. Praise jeebus. I’ve felt awesome the last 2 weeks- I even went to 9round twice this week. Take THAT morning sickness! I really won’t miss you.

10. Today is Friday and I’ve just managed to take my 18 week photo even though I’ll be 19 weeks tomorrow.  Better late than never, right? In other news:  I’ve started to feel her moving around the last two weeks as well, which has made this whole pregnancy adventure seem very, very real. (Hello in there!)

(And now I’m trying not to cringe at how fat my face looks….)

Have a good weekend!

Ok, so you really can’t call it a bump…yet. A more accurate title would have to be: “All of the weight that this little human has forcibly caused me to gain thanks to nausea and Sonic hamburgers”-Update.  But that just didn’t sound as good…

News:

  • I have now had 5 days in a row where I have felt pretty much like myself- very little nausea and a little more energy than I have had since finding out about our little one. I’m not sure if this is thanks to being officially in the “safe zone”/end of the first trimester or if all the Jedi mind tricks I’ve been using to battle the morning sickness are finally paying off. Either way, I’m not questioning it…
  • I’m hoping to start working out again now that I’m feeling a little better. I don’t want to gain any more weight than I need to!!
  • I bought a crib this morning. I know what you’re thinking, it IS early and no, we still don’t know if baby is a he or a she, but the crib I’ve been eyeing was part of a Zulily deal this morning so with their discount and a coupon code, I was able to get the crib for $150 less than what it is normally. *High fives all around!*
  • Because Saturday was the official end of my first trimester, I finally caved and decided to go on a fact finding mission to a couple of baby stores here in Charleston with my mama. (I refused to go look at any baby items prior to hitting this milestone- I was so afraid I would jinx something.) After sitting in about 15 different types/shapes/varieties of gliders I felt like I had learned a lot about what some of the items on our list would cost and the quality of a few items I was interested in. Plus, we got pumpkins.
(We also got two loaves of homemade bread from Boone Hall’s little market- cinnamon raisin and pumpkin. Basically this entire day was a win for me. Sorry about the blurry photo- I think I made my mom laugh.)
  • I’m planning on trying to take a photo every 2 weeks or so throughout this process (even if when I get huge and fat and presumably hate any and all photos taken of me). Since we’re thinking that this little one may be our ONLY one, I want to document the process as best as I can. (And save me your comments about the joys of siblings or spoiled only children…I’m not listening! Why would anyone sign up to do this more than once?!)
  • I haven’t noticed any major cravings this week, although I will say that my once BFF hot dogs are now on the “no thank you” list. Also, I made an entire pork loin in the crock pot the other night and couldn’t eat a bite of it. Pork isn’t my favorite when I’m not pregnant and it is evidently a definite NO right now. I ended up having to toss the whole thing.  Still not wanting chocolate or ice cream, which I never thought I would say.
  • My sister gave me a big box of her maternity clothes a few weeks ago and I am now referring to it as the “magic maternity box”- without it there would be way more crying every morning…. (Thanks, Rachel!!)
I think that’s all I have to report right now.
Love,

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I have to say that I’ve had really, really great self control when it comes to not buying baby items so far.

Ok. In all actuality, I have to admit that self control really doesn’t have much to do with anything and more to do with the fact that I feel like a poopsicle. On a hot summer day.

Also, not knowing whether baby Wolfe will be a he or she has kind of put a damper on shopping. HOWEVER, I love looking around on Etsy and have seen a few things lately that I really feel like my little bundle of  joy needs. Yes, needs. Bold & italics. Take that.

1. I’m dying over these cute fox leggings. I love the bear ones too.

ourlittlelullaby 

2. This onesie is actually in my shopping cart as we speak. I’m contemplating buying the print for the nursery as well. Love.

DaleighDesigns 

3.  This crib bumper is a little pricey, but I think it’s adorable.

woodland baby bumperiviebaby 

4. Yes, another fox.

Gingiber 

5. I know it will be a long time before our little one will play with these, but I love the colors.

Outdoor / Indoor BlocksIndiePopShop 

Are you picking up what I’m putting down? I love the rustic, eclectic feeling that all of these silly items have. I’m hoping to do the nursery kind of like this:

monster baby nursery inspiration boardLayBabyLay 

Obviously, I’m thinking baby Wolfe may be a boy….What do you think?

Love,

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a round up of desktops, but since I’m ready for a new one I thought I’d share a few of the cute ones that I came across today.

1. Going Home to Roost:

2. The Fox is Black:

3. HDW:

4.  And because fall would not be complete without a little bit of Charlie Brown, Kelly Ashworth Design:

Love,

Alternate titles for this post include: 

  • That Time I Wanted to Puke for 3 Months Straight
  • Touch Me and Die
  • I’m Not Fat, I’m Pregnant
  • I Only Want Hot Dogs & Other Concerns 
  • A List of Grievances: A Letter To Eve
Pregnancy has turned me into a complete whiner. I’d say that I’m normally pretty tough- I don’t mind being sore after a work out, I can deal with a cold or a headache,  I even handled the whole “one-armed wonder” thing pretty well after having skin cancer removed. But this….?
Let’s just say that being pregnant has given me a whole new understanding of  the phrase “I’m not feeling well”.  Since it took us some time to get pregnant I was able to do a lot of reading about pregnancy and what to expect. I read about ways to curb morning sickness, the importance of staying active, and basically anything else I could get my hands on. Being a planner by nature, I like to know what’s coming. Well, here’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from being pregnant:  Expect the unexpectedBecause one second you could feel just fine, and then BAM! the next second you’re begging to be put down like a wounded animal.
I very quickly realized that READING and being aware of a symptom is completely different from actually EXPERIENCING the symptom. But let me just stop here a moment and say to those of you lucky girls whose bodies were made for building humans and who tell people “oh, being pregnant was great, I literally glowed.” Well, I tip my hat to you my friend. (And I may or may not be mentally cursing you and your little dog too.)

So in case you’re interested here’s a quick little run down of my first trimester’s grab bag o’ symptoms:
1. All day nausea. You’ve had a stomach bug or food poisoning, so you know what nausea feels like, right? Now pretend that you feel that every day for 3 months. Sound good? Yeah, not so much. It kind of just wears you down to the point that the only thing you want to do is hide in your pjs and watch reruns of House Hunters. Thankfully, I have not actually thrown up (quick, someone knock on wood and rub a rabbit’s foot while standing on one leg!), so I know that my morning sickness (biggest misnomer ever) could have been much, much worse. As much as I’ve complained, I am so very thankful that I’ve not been as sick as I could have been.
2. Let’s just say that Dulcolax is my new best friend and move on, shall we? (Just keepin’ it real, y’all.)
3. Random nose bleeds. Yup, thanks to all that excess blood now running through my body, my nose bleeds at will. The other day I was in the shower and saw bright red drops of blood on the floor. I immediately began to panic and pray that I wasn’t miscarrying only to realize that all that blood was coming from my face. Awesome.
4. So very, very tired. All.the.time.  This is the symptom that I worried about the most pre-pregnancy. Thanks to my super lazy thyroid, I need lots of sleep anyway.  Now that I’m creating life? Oh man, if I’m not asleep, I’m wishing that I was.
5. Weight gain. When you think about being pregnant, you think about all of those cute pictures on Pinterest of gorgeous women with great bodies who are all glowy and pulled together, right? Well, boys and girls, that’s complete crap. These first few weeks you don’t look pregnant, you just look fat. And a special thanks goes out to my nausea which has made all things healthy taste completely disgusting.
Spoiler alert- I don’t look like this:
freaking adorable! I would not look that cute in a suit with no shorts or skirt though... Attack of the prego thighs.
source unknown, Pinterest
Reality looks a little closer to this:
source unknown, Pinterest
So there ya have it.  A little list of how things are going over here. Which really could be summed up with two words: sensory overload.

But I keep hearing that it’s going to get better, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to finding out if Baby Wolfe is a she-wolf or a he-wolf so I can get cracking on the nursery. Also, starting at week 12 I’m going to start documenting the bump. Here’s hoping it looks less like I’ve eaten 17,000 oreos and more like there’s a human in there.
Love and happy weekend,

I just looked back and the last time I posted anything out here on the old interwebs was the day before everything changed.

Let’s go back, ok?

Here’s what was happening at the beginning of August:

1. I was painfully aware that August marked the 15th month of trying to have a baby. About a week before, I had been to the doctor only to hear her say, “I think we need to start talking about fertility treatments.” Over the course of the past year and a half I had cried, prayed, yelled, begged…but nothing was happening. Steven and I felt strongly that if we were meant to have a baby, then God would allow us to get pregnant on our own. We finished up the last couple of non-invasive tests and when the results came back normal, we decided that enough was enough. No more. No more talking about it. No more crying about it. No more.

2. I decided to enroll in grad school. I knew I had to get my mind busy on something else rather than allowing myself to fixate on the baby we weren’t having. I was all set to begin school on August 19th. I wrote more about that here.

3. I began to delete all baby related items from my world. No more baby blogs. Avoid Pinterest. Work out more.  Steven and I stopped discussing what would happen “when we have a baby” and began talking more about other interests. What else could we be doing?

4. Those other interests led to me accidentally finding an old house for sell out in the country that needed a lot of work. It was on a beautiful piece of land with a shared dock and the house itself was actually an old school house built in the 1800s. We were in love. It needed a ton of work, but hey, we needed a distraction. We set up a showing with the realtor. We toured the house once on our own. And then again when we dragged Steven’s parents out to take a look. They could see what this house COULD be too. We even went so far as to ask the realtor to come take a look at our current home and began the process of putting it on the market.

And then everything changed.

That week we were expecting results from the final test we’d taken regarding getting pregnant- I knew when the doctor called that she would ask if I had taken a test recently, so on the afternoon that I expected the phone call I went to Target at lunch and bought a test.  I thought, “This is the last time. It will be negative and after this I can stop thinking about it.” I even took the test at work, that’s how sure I was that it would be negative.

The bathroom at work is dark, but as the test processed I could see a tiny, barely there line appearing in the “You’re Pregnant” box. Umm, what? I put the test back in the wrapper and tried to go back to work. Instead, I was up checking the test every 10 minutes to make sure that A: the line was still there and B: that I hadn’t dreamed it. Nope. Still sort of there. Holy crap. I couldn’t wait for the doctor to call. Do you get false positives? What does it mean if the line is only sort of there? She finally called when I was on the way to the gym. I told her about the test and I could hear her voice change from informative to excited. After all, this poor woman had been the one to hear me cry on the phone every time she called with a negative result (which was a lot in the past 14 months). It felt so nice for her to give me good news for a change- I think for both of us! She told me to take another test in the morning and then call her back.

I went to the gym. I was waffling back and forth between excitement and cautiousness. I kept telling myself not to get too excited. It’s probably a fluke. There’s no way. In the end I decided not to tell Steven until I’d taken the test the next morning. We’d been through so much, I just didn’t want to disappoint him again if it turned out to be nothing. When I got home, he was in a silly mood and was talking about babies. He had no idea what was going on and yet there he was breaking our new rule about “no baby talk”. All night he kept bringing up things his friends had said about their kids. What a customer had said about being pregnant that day. Had I seen so-and-sos new baby on Facebook? As we got ready for bed, I even said, “What in the world has gotten into you? We’re not talking about this anymore!” He just told me that it was on his mind that day, but that he knew it upset me so he would knock it off.

The next morning, the test was undeniably positive. Steven was off that day, so I went to work with plans to come home at lunch to tell him. It was SO hard to keep the secret. This is what we’d been praying for- I couldn’t believe that it was actually happening. On the way home from lunch I stopped and bought a onesie from a sports store. When I got home I told him that I’d gotten him a present and tossed him the rolled up onesie. He was so confused. He sat there with his mouth open for a full minute or two. I could tell he was going over all of the recent tests, wondering  how it was even possible. Finally he just started smiling.

I think we’ve been smiling ever since.

It’s August. Can you believe it? I’m already starting to look forward to pumpkins, scarves, and cooler weather. It’s been such a weird, rainy summer that I honestly have only been in my bathing suit about three times total….which means that I’m greeting this fall with unusually pastey legs. Bummer.

August also means the start of my new adventure: graduate school. I’m SO looking forward to having something to concentrate on! All of this change means that it’s probably time to update the ol’ desktop image while I’m at it. Here are a few of my favorites from around the interwebs.

1. This one is super simple, but I kind of like to keep my desktop relatively minimalistic. Also, anything with arrows these days = true love for me…

via Let’s Illustrate 

2. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”  How appropriate.

via Design Is Yay

3.  Just for fun.

via A Fine Line 

4 & 5. I just stumbled on Breanna Rose’s website and there are several cute backgrounds to choose from. Go look.

There ya have it. A few pretty awesome options to start your month off right.

Have a good week!