Pregnancy Update: Halfway There!

>> Wednesday, June 6, 2018

I'm nearing week 20 of my pregnancy, and if history repeats itself (which it very well may not), I am more than halfway done! I had both Ada and Eloise at just a couple days past the 38 week point. Last Friday we had our anatomy scan, and everything is looking good with baby girl. The only "issue" is that my placenta is sitting a bit low -- around 2 cm from my cervix. From what my doctor says and what many of you have told me, this should correct itself by birth in most cases. So, I have no restrictions or anything.

I was worried that being almost 35 and being on baby number 3 (pregnancy number 6!) would mean this pregnancy would kick my butt. Not so. I know I should be knocking on lots of wood . . . but this has been my easiest pregnancy by far. I don't have any complaints. I mean, the morning sickness was awful -- but that's been the case each time. I am so thankful that we don't have any weird medical stuff we're watching, like recurrent strep B UTIs or bleeding, etc.

I feel great. I'm still running, and I have no pelvic pain or bladder pressure. I haven't had Braxton Hicks or irritable uterus issues yet, which usually start very early (17 weeks or earlier) for me. I have energy. I can keep up with my crazy toddler during the day. I am sleeping well at night. I have my appetite back and have been eating a mix of foods. I'll admit that I had to feed myself mostly sugar when I was sick because it was the only thing keeping me from vomiting. It's been hard shifting back to healthier foods, but I am doing a good job at balance. At least I think!

While running does still feel great, I can tell that my SI joint is getting a bit finicky. It always does this around now. It's an old running injury from my marathoning days, and I think the hormones make the joint unstable. It doesn't hurt yet . . . but I have moved from tracking mileage to tracking steps each day. I still tend to get four or five 3-milers in each week. But as the weather heats up, etc. -- I am just aiming to get 10,000 steps a day, no matter how they come. I have been averaging around 12,000 -- awesome! (I use this activity tracker by Garmin -- it's great for runners.)

I mentioned on Instagram that I am frustrated because we've had our name picked out for a while . . . and now it's popped up as a character in a really popular television show. Sigh. I mostly don't care, but it's not a great association. I don't see us changing the name, though. And while I did mention a while back that we have the middle name set, I'm now wavering on that choice. We still have plenty of time. We're just the type that's always been pretty set on our decisions with names once we make them. And if you're curious, it starts with the letter E.

Ada is really excited for the baby. She keeps telling me she can feel the kicks, but I know they're still too faint. This first photo is from my pregnancy with Eloise. Ada wanted to recreate the shot last night. She's such a sweetheart.

Eloise still has no idea what's going on. When I say "kiss the baby!" she does bend down and kiss my belly. It's cute. We have been reading this book about breastfeeding for kids, and she gets a kick out of mama milk. So, sometimes when I say "where's the baby?" She points to my boobs. There's part of me that wants to take her to a big sister class, but then I realize that she is really young. It's not going to be the same type of transition that we had with Ada. There will be a day when the baby is still in my belly . . . and then a day when she's out. And Eloise's world will get rocked. Any tips on transitioning to a younger sibling with kids who don't totally get it yet? It's something I haven't dealt with before. And I don't expect it to be perfectly smooth.

(As an aside: We really love the Dr. Sears Baby on the Way and What Baby Needs books to prepare Ada for a new little one. She asks to read these books almost every night. They are written with alternative birthing/doctor/parenting options in mind, too. I highly recommend these books!)

I don't know how much weight I have gained with this pregnancy. My home scale and the doctor scale are totally different, and I didn't catch my initial weight at my doctor. They did say I lost 3 pounds from my 14 to 18 week appointment. I attribute that to eating better and being more active after ditching the morning sickness. I'd say I have gained 5-7 pounds total.

Other stuff: I do still have weird dry heaving and vomiting spells. And I do occasionally had wicked heartburn. The only other unpleasant thing is heart palpitations. They are normal, but I hate when my heart skips a beat and then races to catch up. It happens mostly when I am laying back in a reclined position.

In other news, I am starting to get excited for summer. Stephen will be home for 10 weeks, which is great. It does frustrate me that we cannot time our pregnancies perfectly. I feel like Eloise's birth -- while certainly not in our control -- fell at the perfect time. It was warm and sunny. I had tons of help and support in the summer. When this baby is born, the long cold and dark season will just be beginning. Stephen will be deep in cross country season and away most evenings and Saturdays. I worry I will feel overwhelmed and totally tapped out. I am trying to prepare and get a support system in place.

We'll see what happens, I guess!


Our Stock Tank Pool: Part I

>> Monday, June 4, 2018

You may remember the pool we set up last year in the backyard. It was absolutely perfect. Around 7.5 feet by 9.5 feet and just around 2 feet deep. The kids had so much fun splashing around all summer in those 870 gallons of H2O. The setup worked well, and it was relatively inexpensive. If you're interested, I would highly recommend these Bestway pools as a first step into learning how to care for a pool.

But we had a mouse issue in the fall and they got to the pool. So, we needed a solution for this year . . . and hopefully for many years to come. I've seen so many articles about stock tank pools crop up in recent years. I was always too intimidated by the process of getting a huge galvanized tub to my house, so it was on the back burner.

This year, we decided to pull the trigger.

For those of you who have been asking me questions (and there are many of you!): We picked up our 8 foot stock tank at Tractor Supply. It's 24 inches deep. Our store does not do delivery, so we asked a friend to help us get it home. It wasn't too bad a process -- aside from one roadside adjustment -- and ended up being much easier than we anticipated. When we got it home, we gave it a good scrub because the store had been displaying plants inside it.

From there, it was all about re-leveling the area we had dug out last year.

Surprisingly, it took a few hours to get the area absolutely perfect. Last year, we settled with level-ish. But one benefit of getting this type of pool is that you can leave it out all year. We're hoping to leave it in place, so taking our time was in our best interest.

When that was done, we put it where we want it to go and got to work on the landscaping. Mostly rocks that we bought at the store and pulled up from the creek area behind our house.

I love how it looks! So much prettier than the bold blue with white supports from last year.

This stock tank holds around 700 gallons of water, so it is smaller than last year's. I had to buy a new filter pump that we are going to drill/hook up tonight. That will be part II of my posting. But if you're interested in doing a similar project at your home, I highly suggest checking out the number of really helpful tutorials I found online.

Here are some of my favorites:

DIY Stock Tank Pool: Everything You Need to Know
How to Make a Stock Tank Pool
Stock Tank Swimming Pool Ideas

Just a budget breakdown. We ended up getting the tank for $349 plus tax at the store. They're usually $399, but we got it on a Memorial Day sale. The new filter we bought was $35 on Amazon. The rock was around $30 because we already had some leftover from last year. It's not the least expensive upgrade we could have done, but I am hoping it will pay off in the long run.

Why didn't we go with a larger option? Well, partially because we didn't want to eat up our yard with a pool the whole year. Or have a big hole when it's cold outside. I like that it's shallow enough that Eloise's head is well above the water. But yet it's big enough to still get in as an adult and cool down. It looks nice, though I understand the style isn't for everyone. And we are hoping that the galvanized steel is durable and lasts for many years.

If you have further questions, I'd be happy to answer them either in the comments or on Instagram!

I'm going to do another post once we get it up and running to talk about any issues we run into or any tips I have. But I won't be writing out a full tutorial. Again, I highly recommend the links I provided above. We're learning as we go.

Happy Monday!


Weekend Recap // Mother's Day, etc.

>> Monday, May 14, 2018

Hey, everyone!

Happy belated Mother's Day. 

It was a rainy and cold one here, but we packed in a lot of fun stuff this weekend. Stephen had three track meets last week. And Saturday was a long one in the rain. Poor guy. My parents actually came up on Saturday for the afternoon and took us out to eat at our favorite restaurant. It's my dad's birthday today, too, so there's lots to celebrate. I was bummed, though, because the only menu item they were out of was exactly what I planned to get (a quinoa burger). But I made up for it with a huge slice of vegan chocolate peanut butter pie.

Sunday morning we woke up, tossed on some clothes (nothing fancy -- it was laundry day), and drove down the street to our local diner. It's a good spot. Just basic food. We got there before the big rush, thank goodness. I got a chocolate Belgian waffle topped with whipped cream. And I think I ate it in two seconds flat. Ada had made me a little Mother's Day book at school as well as a last-minute hand-drawn card. Stephen also has a tradition of making silly cards using family photos. In mine, he gave me a coupon to take a spa day for myself next weekend.

He also got me tickets to go see A Quiet Place yesterday afternoon (so good). Going to the movies alone is my favorite thing to do since becoming a mom. It's dark, quiet (and THAT movie was INCREDIBLY quiet), and nobody is yelling for me or needing anything.


I also got a nice gift card from my in-laws for Ulta. So, I thought I'd share my Ulta haul. I know it's silly, but I've gotten in the habit of watching haul videos on YouTube. I love seeing what other people buy or use for different products. I'm not a real high-end type of person when it comes to personal care. In fact, I do still make some of my own bath and body stuff. As a result, I was able to get an impressive haul of things I'll be using for months to come.

Anyway, here's what I got:

Soap + Glory is my favorite. This shower gel and lotion set (with loofah) was on clearance for only $10. Score. They were also running a sale of buy 1/get one 40% off for the brand. So, I picked up another container of my favorite face cleansing milk (best smell ever) and my favorite lip gloss (in Rose & Shine).

I had originally planned to get my hair dyed professionally, but I'm going to go it on my own with this L'oreal box dye. I've used this kind a lot in the past with varying results. It's only hair. We'll see how my highlights turn out. I also picked up a hair oil spritz by OGX. It's super light weight and has organ oil. It also smells amazing.

Neutrogena's hyaluronic acid line (especially the foundation!) is doing great things for my skin. So, I picked up some of the Hydro Boost Skin Serum and the Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream. Other skin-care stuff I love is a face mist by Mario Badescu. And I couldn't resist getting a lip scrub that smells like my beloved mojitos. Gosh I miss those when the weather is hot.

Last but not least, I picked up some of my favorite NYX eyebrow pencils. I had been buying the Anastasia Brow Wiz for a long time. But I go through so much product, I needed to find a good + cheap alternative. I am really happy with NYX. And to round it out, I got a bath bomb for Ada that has a prize inside. Fun!

Happy Monday. I'll be back soon with more parenting stuff. You guys really liked my post about why I do the things the way I do with parenting. So, I'm hoping to write more around that topic. If you have questions or suggestions, send them my way!

(Note: I'm linking to Amazon because it's the easiest -- but check local stores for better prices. Some of these prices are great and some of them are not. Buyer beware!)

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