Pregnancy Must-Haves

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

As I near the end of my pregnancy, it has become clear to me what items I wouldn't have been able to live without for these past nine months.
My list isn't that long because there were very few things that I consistently had to have. A lot of things came and went as my pregnancy progressed, but these items stayed important the entire time! 

1. Body Pillow: I posted about the Snoogle body pillow towards the beginning of my pregnancy, and it's importance has only grown since then. I honestly would not be able to sleep without this. If I had to pick one item from this post that I couldn't do without, it would be this pillow without a doubt.

 2. Skinny Jeans: A good pair of maternity jeans are totally worth it if you ask me. I prefer the full panel style because I've found it's more comfortable and continues to fit while my bump grows. I started wearing these from Gap at about 18 weeks, and I'm still in them now at 38 weeks. Definitely worth the investment in my opinion. 

3. Luna Bars: I started keeping these in my purse during my first trimester, and its been a habit I've continued throughout my entire pregnancy. They taste good and are great at holding me over until it's meal time. Letting yourself get too hungry is not an option, and these are easy to grab when you're on the go. 

4. Lotion: One thing that most women worry about is stretch marks. I personally believe that stretch marks are a genetic thing, and if your going to get them there isn't much you can do about it. With that said I received this lotion as a gift and have been applying it to my belly and chest after I shower. I figure a little extra moisture never hurt anyone. I'm now a couple weeks away from my due date and stretch mark free!

5. Chapstick: My lips have never been chapped so often in my entire life. A glorious effect of pregnancy is that I've become quite the mouth breather, and as a result I tend to find my lips dried out and chapped. This is definitely something I keep on me at all times. 

 6. Flats: I could tell my ankles/legs were starting to swell early on in my pregnancy, so boots were immediately out of the question. Now a days bending down to actually put shoes on is a ridiculously difficult task, which is why I have been living in flats. No socks, no shoe laces, no problems. I can just slip my feet in without any issues. The Tory Burch "Reva" is my favorite because they are super comfortable and the leather is soft so it feels less restricting on my swollen feet.  

Are there any items that you couldn't live without during your pregnancy? 

Paris Snapshots

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When I went on my girls trip to Paris this past fall, the only camera I had at my disposal was my phone. 
My husband has one of those fancy (super expensive) cameras with multiple lenses that can snap a pretty mean picture. He doesn't have an issue with letting me use it, but lets just say that if something happened to the camera I'd be better off not coming home. 
Basically it's not worth the risk for me, and I feel much more comfortable not having the camera in my possession. 
To be honest, I can be rather accident prone and I'm not always that careful.

So off to Paris I went with only my little phone to document the trip, and you know what?
You can take some pretty great pictures with just an iPhone. 

Here are some snapshots from my Paris trip:

There are two tips that I find the most helpful when it comes to iPhone photography:

1. Natural Light
I swear, natural lighting is the best kind of lighting. 
Anytime I try to snap a picture without it, it ends up looking like garbage. 

2. Composition 
It doesn't matter what type of device you are taking a photo with, composition is always super important. 
I really know nothing about photography, and about a year ago I started to follow behind my husband as he was snapping pictures while we were traveling. I would copy his composition with my phone, and it helped me to understand how how he always snapped such awesome pictures. 
You can have the most expensive high-tech camera in the world, but if you can't figure out composition it doesn't matter. 
Really think about the angle you are taking the picture at, and everything that is going to be in the frame. The rule of thirds can be really helpful.

Although I love the quality of photos we get from our fancy camera, you can still capture some great pictures using whatever is at your disposal. 

Want to see more of my trip to Paris? 
Check out the beautiful stained glass of La Sainte-Chapelle and a lovely afternoon tea at Laduree.
All photos were snapped by my iPhone of course.

37 Week Bumpdate

Friday, January 24, 2014

How Far Along:
37 Weeks
Size of Baby:
A watermelon. Holy cow.
I'd like to strap a watermelon to my husband and see how he likes carrying that around.
Total Weight Gain:
Ugh I don't want to talk about it
Stretch Marks:
Maternity Clothes:
Barely fitting into maternity clothes
Yes, although he is starting to run out of room
Waking up often due to being uncomfortable and having to pee 
What I miss:
My body. Wine.
Food Cravings:
Food Aversions:
Everything hurts. Lots of pelvic pain making it difficult to walk.
What I'm Looking Forward To:
Not being pregnant anymore

This bumpdate isn't going to have the same peppy tone that you might have grown accustomed to in previous ones. I don't feel very peppy, and I'm sure as heck not going to fake it.
I'm so ready to not be pregnant anymore. 
This last month is tough, really tough.
I feel huge and useless.
It's like I'm just twiddling my thumbs and counting down the days until he arrives. 
I would also like to take a second to complain about the amount of stairs we have in our house. 4 flights of stairs. It's absolutely ridiculous. That's not even counting the other random stairs we have throughout the house.
I'm trying hard to continue being productive, but what my mind wants to do and what my body is physically up for are two different things.
I pretty much look like a penguin when I try to walk, and I move at a slower pace than I ever thought possible.

My 38 week appointment is in a week, and I'm hoping to hear some good news at it.
I hope everything is moving along how it should, and that we will meet our little boy in the next couple of weeks.
I started packing our hospital bags so that everything will be ready when the time comes.
Not knowing when we are going to get this show on the road is definitely difficult for a planner like me.
So for now I'm spending a lot of my time relaxing and waiting.

Trust me, I know everything will be worth it in the end.
I'm just at a point where time is moving at a snails pace and it's not very much fun.

My Thoughts on Pregnancy

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pregnancy has seriously been one of the most insane experiences of my life.
Every aspect of your being, from your body to your mind, is effected. 

So much has changed over the past nine months, from my growing belly to my perspective on life.

Each trimester is SO different, and brings about it's own set of issues as well as awesomeness. 
I wanted to take a second and look back on everything I experienced during the past nine months.

Excitement is the only word I can use to describe our feelings when we learned that we were expecting. It's pretty surreal because in your head you know that there is this little life growing inside of you, but at the same time you don't feel very different physically. For the first couple of weeks we just went about life as usual, except that we had this MAJOR secret we were keeping.
I kept waiting for the moment when I would start to "feel" pregnant. 
Well, be careful what you wish for because before I knew it my morning sickness had kicked in, and it was the day before we left for our trip to the South of France. 
Needless to say, that was the last trip we took until I was out of my 1st trimester. 
I spent the second half of June pretty much unable to get up from the couch. The worst of my morning sickness lasted for about 3 weeks. All I wanted to eat were carbs and greasy foods. It was like a hangover that I didn't deserve. I never actually threw up, but the nausea  left me completely useless. Letting myself get hungry was like a death wish, so I made sure I always had snacks nearby. Saltine crackers and ginger ale were my drug of choice.
From what I've heard, I actually had it pretty easy compared to others.  
By July I was able to start functioning again. I would have good days and bad days, but at least on those good days I was able to get some stuff done. 
It wasn't until I was out of my 1st trimester that I really started to feel normal again. 

My second trimester absolutely rocked. 
I felt great, my baby bump grew to cute proportions, and I traveled like it was my job.
This is when being pregnant became fun! 
We shared our news with the world and started making plans.
At this point I wasn't experiencing any of the pregnancy side-effects I had read about and life in general was still pretty comfortable. 
At 16 weeks we learned that we were having a baby boy, which was almost as exciting as finding out we were pregnant. It made everything feel that much more real, and allowed me to really start planning!
We were at a hotel in London the first time I thought I might have felt the baby move. 
It was almost like a light muscle spasm, but I wasn't quite sure. We had been doing a lot of walking and my body was exhausted, so I kind of brushed it off. 
Now I can look back and say with certainty that what I had felt in London was in fact our baby boy.
After our trip to London we also settled on a name for our little one: Jacob Douglas (after my husband and father).
One of my good girlfriends came out to visit in the fall, and for 2 weeks we traveled. We took day trips to Verona, Venice and Trieste. We even made it up to Salzburg, Austria as well as a girls trip to Paris.
I was 24 weeks pregnant and felt invincible.
I was able to make a trip back to Florida to see my parents towards the end of my 2nd trimester, which is when I really started to notice that things were getting more difficult. The flight back to Italy was super uncomfortable, and at that point I knew I was pretty much done with flying.

At the beginning of my third trimester I noticed things were getting even more difficult, but at this point it still wasn't too bad. I experienced some back pain, and walking for long periods of time was tough.
We made baby registries online and started purchasing items for the little guy. 
We went to the Christmas market in Salzburg the day after Thanksgiving, which I quickly decided would be our last trip before baby Jacob. 
Between sitting uncomfortably in a car for an extended period of time and walking around for hours, my body basically announced that it didn't want to be doing this anymore. 
Even though I had lost my steam when it came to traveling, I was still going strong at home. 
I become a cleaning fanatic, wanting to make everything perfect and orderly before our bundle of joy arrived. My energy level was still high, and besides some aches and pains I was feeling good. 
Then I hit a wall. 
After the holidays I was just done. 
Naps became essential again, like back in my first trimester. Heartburn became a regular occurance no matter what I ate, and my body definitely hurt. I started to waddle slightly, and thought that was as bad as things were going to get. 
Then I hit another wall.
Hello 36 weeks. 
The last month of pregnancy should have it's own category.
This is where I am now, and let me tell you everything is difficult. Everything hurts. I dare you to say the wrong thing to me, because I'll probably bite your head off. 
Getting off the couch is a two person job, walking has become difficult, and nothing looks good when you are this big. 
I feel huge, and the weight from my ginormous uterus and growing baby has definitely started to take it's toll.
I hope I don't have too much longer to go, and that our little guy arrives sooner rather than later. 

For me pregnancy has been a roller coaster, and for the most part everything has gone pretty smoothly.
Now I'm nearing the end and I'm ready to get off the ride.

Did you have a similar journey, or was yours completely different?

Project Nursery: Repurposed dresser becomes a changing table

When we first found out we were expecting I started making a list of things we needed for our nursery. I originally looked into ordering a matching changing table along with our crib, but once I started taking measurements things weren't making much sense. 
The "changing table" wasn't very big, and I started to worry about where we would store all of baby Jacob's clothes, seeing how Italian homes don't have closets. 
An actual changing table also had such a limited function, it wasn't furniture that our little one could continue to use once he was no longer in diapers. 

Then an idea struck me:
In our guest room we have the furniture that once resided in my own bedroom growing up. 
The dresser was the perfect size for a changing table, and it was made of nice wood that we could easily sand. 
As soon as I mentioned this to my husband he was immediately on board.
I was well into my second trimester by the time we got the project going, so from this point on my husband deserves all the credit for our newly repurposed changing table. 

First he sanded the entire piece, then painted it with a primer. To create the decorative pattern on the top of the dresser he used painters tape to tape off the design. Next he painted the entire dresser blue. It took a good amount of layers to achieve the blue we were looking for (getting paint in Italy is difficult as it is, not to mention the color selection doesn't provide much variety). After the paint had dried he peeled off the painters tape to reveal the white design we had wanted to achieve on the dresser top. 
We were able to order some silver knobs online (the dresser had originally come with wood knobs), and finally we have our finished product. 

We are so happy with how the dresser/changing table turned out, and I love the idea that little Jacob can continue to use this piece of furniture as he grows up.
I added the changing pad and diaper caddy that I had already been gifted from my registry to turn this dresser into a functional changing table. 
The drawers are also full of Jacob's clothes, which helps solve my "no closets" issue. 

Slowly but surely the nursery is coming together, and I promise I will share more of it as we get everything finished! 


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Recently I've pretty much checked out of the blogging world. It wasn't intentional, but this last part of my pregnancy has hit me hard. 
I definitely don't have the same energy that I used to, and when I do get a sudden burst, I focus on getting things done around the house so that we aren't living like a couple of pigs. 
Most of these "bursts" of energy are usually nesting related, so all I can think about is cleaning or starting some sort of ridiculous project. 

I don't want to do some sort of huge "catch up" post, because most of the time it makes for a pretty boring blog post. So here's just a quick peek of whats been going on around here since the holidays.