All the Feelings… *trigger warning*

So far, while I have posted “bumpdates” every four weeks or so, I haven’t really written a heartfelt post. I’ve been avoiding it because of the triggers it may cause others, especially those who are still deep in the infertility trenches, those who have had miscarriages, and even those who might have micropreemies and didn’t make it as far as I have in their pregnancies. But I’d be doing myself and Skipper a disservice by not acknowledging some of the amazing things that are happening inside my body.

My poor leg when I got home from the airport. A week later, and I finally lost all that extra fluid... more than two pounds of it!

My poor leg when I got home from the airport. A week later, and I finally lost all that extra fluid… more than two pounds of it! Those lines? They are from my SOCKS constricting my ankles!

I’m currently 27 weeks, 4 days, so there’s a bumpdate coming soon. Ten days ago, I traveled cross-country for the last time this pregnancy (this baby has traveled more than 16,000 miles before she’s even been born!). It was definitely the toughest trip of the pregnancy. On the way back, my legs blew up. I could literally feel my ankles all the way up through my calves expanding on the flight back. By the time I got home, my ankles were more than three times the size they are supposed to be. Just this morning, my body finally released the last of the fluid being held there. It was at least two pounds of fluid (that’s how much I lost… that doesn’t count for the amount of fluid that was replaced by baby weight gain in that timeframe, either!). It feels much better.

But anyway. An amazing thing happened on the trip there. Two amazing things, actually. I had just turned 26 weeks and read that baby could respond to stimuli (consciously) and that it was even good for her development to engage her once a day or a few times a week. How do you engage? By poking/prodding.. or shining a flashlight, or something. Anyway, I was on the plane and hadn’t felt her move that day (it was still relatively early in the morning) and so I started poking at her. About five seconds later… she swiftly kicked back. I did it again… and she again kicked me back. We did this several times back and forth before I decided it was enough stimulus for her. You guys… I played with my daughter for the first time ever. It was the most amazing feeling. I started crying silent tears on the plane.

Not too much later, I was in the bathroom (ok, this is about to get real) needing to pee. Skipper was hanging out on my bladder and I find that when she’s doing that, in order to properly empty my bladder, it’s best to hold my belly up to get the weight off of it. While I was doing this, she moved and squirmed. She was laying such that I could feel her on both sides of my belly, so I think she was transverse… and basically in my hands. I felt my daughter in my hands… it felt like I was holding her squirming body in my hands. I’m so excited for the time that nothing separates us, even my body, and I can hold her and kiss her. I hope she waits until at least late February to come, though.

I have a daughter. And she’s developed enough to play with me… at least in a very basic sense, even though she doesn’t understand the concept of play yet. I basically held her (even though I know my body carries her every day). Holy. Shit. I’m so incredibly grateful for this opportunity and know that I’m incredibly luck to be here and have gotten this far. I realize this and I cherish ever minute of it.

 

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Bumpdate: 21-24 Weeks

This is a big day. As of today, I’m 24 weeks along. Viability. I was told at 16 weeks (when Lulu the 105lb dog) stepped directly on my belly that they wouldn’t do anything to stop labor until baby was viable at 24 weeks. Well, that’s today. Today, if something were to happen and I had contractions, doctors would do all they could to stop them and if baby were to still come, they’d do all they could to save her. It’s a big milestone and I’m SO grateful to be here.

How Far Along? 24 weeks today… woo-hoo!

24 weeks!

24 weeks! So happy to be at “viability” finally. Loving being pregnant SO much. So grateful.

Size of Baby? 12 inches, head to heel, and 1.5 pounds

Maternity Clothes? =Oh yes. Even some of them are starting to creep up in the front and show the bottom of the maternity panel on my jeans.

Weight Gain? Lots. My doctor took me off thyroid meds to “see how I did without them” (even though my levels were perfect ON them) and in that time, I blew up. I’m now sitting at 14 pounds gained… eight of which was in the last four weeks.

Stretch Marks/belly button? No stretch marks, but my belly button is getting awfully shallow. I think I’ll be one of those pregnant women who have outties at some point.

Baby’s Sex? We are definitely having a girl!

Sleep? I’m back to getting up every 2-3 hours. Not that I HAVE to pee, but if I don’t when I wake up and roll over, it’ll end up being painful later. I thinks she’s sitting on my bladder a lot, so I have to go or it hurts holding back.

Food Cravings? Nope! Though I still can’t do super sweet stuff. I could handing able 1/4 piece of German Chocolate cake (which I normally LOVE) at Huzzy’s stepdad’s family reunion

Best Moment This Period? Finally being able to feel her move. And Huzzy feeling her for the first time. It’s special.

What I am loving? Still just loving having this opportunity to be pregnant and the fact that I’m obviously pregnant to those who don’t know me, either. Guys and random  people have no problem asking about the baby because… it’s obvious I have one.

Movement? YES! Finally! I am loving it. All I want to do is have my hand on my belly so I can feel any kicks that are hard enough on the outside AND the inside. If she’s kicking hard enough, I just like watching my belly. Every movement makes me smile (which is kinda inappropriate as a member of a jury right now).

What I’m looking forward to: Continuing this pregnancy for at least 14 more weeks.

Other Updates… We finally have a name! It will not be shared on this blog, though, for safety reasons, but she’s named after six different people. She’ll continue to be called Skipper here… or maybe Sunshine.

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Meal Planning #4

In my three posts herehere, and here, I was encouraged to continue posting my meal plans in order to help give others ideas. It’s been a while since I posted one of these.  A lot of these are Crockpot recipes because… well, I love my Crockpot! Meal Planning

Here’s my next three weeks of meal plans:

Friday, November 14: Steak Kabobs and Corn on the Cob (frozen from when it was ripe and yummy!)
Saturday, November 15: Crockpot Pepper Steak
Sunday, November 16: Crockpot Pasta Fagioli
Monday, November 17:  Vitamix Black Bean Soup
Tuesday, November 18: Bacon Wrapped Steak, potatoes, and veggies
Wednesday, November 19:  Crockpot BBQ Cranberry Chicken
Thursday, November 20: Crockpot Fajita Chicken
Friday, November 21: Homemade Enchiladas
Saturday, November 22: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Sunday, November 23: Crockpot Beef Stew
Monday, November 24:  Crockpot Sweet ‘n Sour Meatballs over Rice
Tuesday, November 25: Nachos
Wednesday, November 26: Homemade Lasagna
Thursday, November 27: THANKSGIVING at Many Water’s house!
Friday, November 28: Leftovers
Saturday, November 29: Dinner out before a comedy show
Sunday, November 30: Stovetop Stuffing Hamburger Casserole
Monday, December 1: Crockpot Philly Cheesesteak
Tuesday, December 2: Chicken and Rice Casserole
Wednesday, December 3: Leftovers
Thursday, December 4: Spinach & Artichoke Chicken Bake

I love how much it saves us when I plan meals ahead. So do you do meal planning? If so, what do you have planned?

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Army vs. Navy Battle!

I’m looking for TWO AWESOME LADIES who want to battle it out for fabulous Jamberry prizes! I’m looking for one Army fanBattle of the Hostesses- Army-Navy and one Navy fan (preferably Army/Navy spouses or veterans) in our own version of the epic Army-Navy game. Our event will take place on Facebook on the evening of December 10 (the Army-Navy game is December 13th!)… all orders ordered by the 10th are guaranteed to be there by Christmas!

Two hostesses. Two parties. One event. Each hostess will receive a free wrap from me before the party & will receive all hostess rewards earned from your individual party! All qualifying* parties will mean I will give away the choice of an application kit or our new mini heater to a party guest as a door prize.

The WINNER, the party with the most sales at the end, will not only receive all the hostess rewards for their party PLUS an exclusive Holiday Gift Box (contains 1 Holiday Gift Box, 1 Holiday Greeting Card, 3 Exclusive Nail Wraps–1 Sparkle, 1 Glossy, 1 Tint–, 1 Application Kit). It’s perfect for yourself OR a Holiday gift!

Interested? Comment below that you’d like to join! This will be SO MUCH FUN LADIES!!! On top of all this, my Jamberry team was challenged by another to a booking contest. Our Team Manager is putting the names of every hostess that books with me and any other consultant on our team into a drawing and on Friday she will choose two lucky ladies (and their consultant) to win an extra free lacquer or set of wraps when they close their party!

Check out the Holiday Gift Box for the winning hostess of my Battle of the Hostesses!!
New Holiday Box 2

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Bumpdate: 17-20 Weeks

Holy. Crap. I’m 20 weeks today. That’s halfway (well, if Skipper decides to come on time that is). I’m so incredibly grateful to be here. So I guess it’s time to do another one of these since I haven’t in a month.

16 1/2 weeks. Standing up straight, I can no longer see my feet. Love it!

16 1/2 weeks. Standing up straight, I can no longer see my feet. Love it! Ignore our ugly kitchen floors.


How Far Along?
20 weeks today… woo-hoo!

Size of Baby? 10 inches, head to heel, and 10 1/2oz or the size of a banana

Maternity Clothes? Pants, yes. Tops, yup. For sure now.

Weight Gain? I was starting to worry when I had gone three months without weight gain, but the last two weeks I put on 2 1/2 pounds, so I’m sitting at 6 1/2 pounds total now.

18 1/2 weeks trying on a comfy sweater dress (ignore the white socks with it)

18 1/2 weeks trying on a comfy sweater dress (ignore the white socks with it)

Stretch Marks/belly button? Not yet!

Baby’s Sex? Well, so far it’s a GIRL!  But hopefully we’ll get a confirmation at the anatomy scan next week.

Sleep? Still getting up once or twice a night to use the bathroom and it’s getting really hard to sleep on just my shoulders (due to previous surgery, I can only sleep on my left shoulder for a small amount of time, so my right shoulder gets awfully tired of being slept on).

Food Cravings? Nope, though I’m finally starting to be able to eat SOME sweet stuff again.

Best Moment This Week? Well, best moment this period was finding out the sex. I would say another best was finding out Skipper was ok after 105lb Lulu stepped directly onto  her =(

What I am loving? Still just loving having this opportunity to be pregnant and the fact that I’m obviously pregnant to those who don’t know me, either.

20 weeks. Again trying on a shirt. Needed something for our upcoming trip to Texas.

20 weeks. Again trying on a shirt. Needed something for our upcoming trip to Texas.

Movement? No, but I’m excited to… hopefully this week or next. She’s being stubborn. I *may* have felt something earlier this week, but I’m not entirely sure.

What I’m looking forward to: The anatomy scan and feeling movement. I really, really want to feel this baby.

Other Updates… We are starting to narrow down names and I hope to get a Top 10 from Huzzy (I have mine done) so we can put a Top 20 together and go from there. I also have the color of the nursery pretty much set (a light yellow) but still deciding on if we want other colors or what in there.

 

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Winner Winner!

Giveaway

The wraps I’ve chosen for the giveaway… a StyleBox exclusive, so you can’t buy these anywhere!

So last week I offered up a drawing of a 1/2 sheet of wraps to the person who guessed Skipper’s sex correctly. While I mentioned in yesterday’s reveal that I don’t believe gender can be determined until the child is old enough to identify one way or another and I’m not HUGE on the gender-specific colors, I still decided choose wraps that are traditionally “girl” colors, since we are having a girl.

In fact, the wraps I chose are ones I had a hard time parting with since they are pretty much one-of-a-kind. They came from my August StyleBox and were the exclusive wrap in it (you get one from the catalog and one for only that month’s StyleBox customers)… so you can’t buy these. In fact, I currently have them on right now (they have been on 21 days and are still going strong!). They are SO pretty and the chevron is very “in” right now.

More people chose boy than girl, so odds were pretty good for those who were correct. So without further ado, the winner is…

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Name Picker

 

Congrats, Marie D.!

 

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He or She…. Read On to See!

The box that was sent to our mothers

The box of cookies that was sent to our mothers

Sooo… as I mentioned in my last post, we unexpectedly found out Skipper’s sex. I mean, I knew it was possible because we were having an ultrasound, but I wasn’t counting on it. Cue mayhem as I run around trying to figure out how we were going to let our moms know. Since there’s a good chance this will be our only baby, I really wanted to make this whole pregnancy a celebration. I’m not one to do a gender reveal party (not that I care if others do), but I sure as heck want to reveal the sex in a fun way to our parents.  (BTW: I fully believe sex and gender are two different things and our child’s gender won’t be certain for quite a while but sometimes sex just doesn’t sound good–a sex reveal party??– so I’ll use it interchangeably here).

Originally, I was going to have cakes made at bakeries local to them, but… it’s expensive. And when I checked near my mom’s house we could easily get strawberry cake if it was a girl, but there wasn’t an option for blue if it was a boy. So, I scoured the internet and found some amazing Chocolate Chip Gender Reveal Cookies.  I will eventually post the recipe but I did use my own chocolate chip cookie recipe along with it instead of the one I with it.

Gender Reveal Cookies- b w

 

 

Oh. Wait. I’m pretty sure you want to see this photo in color, right? Especially those who chose to play in my guess the sex post last week and are waiting to see who won and is getting the Jamberry wraps. Funny thing is I haven’t decided which wraps to give away, so I think I’ll reveal the winner tomorrow, along with a picture of the wraps the winner is getting. So stay tuned for that.  But back to the color photo…

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Gender Reveal Cookies

It’s a girl!! LOL, the “Submariner’s Curse” is strong. I’m sooooo excited to have a girl. I’ve always wanted one. Always. And I was going to be super happy no matter what we got. I have to admit that no matter what we were told, I’d have been a teensy bit sad for not having the opposite. Just because I would love both!

I do have to say that just by looking at the ultrasound photo, I have my doubts that this is for-sure a girl. So does my ultrasound tech friend who looked at it (I’m not sharing it because I don’t want my child’s nether regions pasted on the internet, even if it is just an ultrasound). She said, “I can see why the tech called this a girl, but if I was seeing this photo, I’d say it was indeterminate because those could be boy parts at a bad angle.”  Which is what I see. I see boy parts or at least not a very good, clear, view of girl parts. It’s definitely not a classic girl shot so… I guess we’ll get confirmation (hopefully) at our anatomy scan at the end of this month. But for now, I’ll rely on the tech who was pretty sure (but even said she wouldn’t take tags off anything girlish). Should we be wrong… well, I guess I’ll be giving away a second set of 1/2 sheet of wraps ;)

If you know me on Facebook, please PLEASE don’t say anything as we aren’t announcing Skipper’s sex until the anatomy scan.

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