Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy blog’

BUMP UPDATE: 31 WEEKS

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY

I was thinking about being pregnant and pregnancy in general and I just don’t think I am a fan of this state. I know some women think of their pregnancy in a romantic, wistful way, they miss it and want to be pregnant again. I thought I’d get that way when Alexis started kicking,  and then when that didn’t happen I thought I’d love being pregnant when I feel better-  but that didn’t happen either. So I am realizing  now that I simply don’t think of pregnancy as this sweet beautiful time. I think of it as the necessary 10 months of being slightly to very uncomfortable that you deal with, 10 months that you do your absolute best to grow a healthy baby, 10 months of changing everything about yourself and things you do to give her the best opportunity to grow and develop- 10 very important and commendable months.

Don’t get me wrong- I love when Alexis moves, I love feeling her and knowing she’s here, I love reading to her and singing songs and interacting with her the only way possible right now. But that’s not enough for me. I don’t want to her to be inside of me – I want her to be here, for real, so that I could actually see her ( I’m a visual person, I guess), and touch her and see her reactions. I have exactly 2 months till her due date and I will wait it out diligently and patiently – I want her to be healthy and full term and come whenever she wants. I don’t want to rush it, I’ll wait. But I’ll make no bones about it- I’d rather have her on the outside than the inside.

I also wonder if that’s going to change once she’s here and I know just how MUCH I love her. I wonder if THAT will make me look at my pregnant time and wish for the closeness we had…
But as of right now, I love her to pieces and I want her in my arms! And let me tell you, 10 months is a very long time- knowing about her from the first day of conception and wanting her here takes a lot of patience {not that any of us have a choice}

 

STATS:

Her size: Last week she was 3lb 12 oz, and now headed into a growth spurt! Watch out Elena’s Belly!

How far along: 31 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 160.8 lb (that’s 0.8 lb for this week for a total of 24.8 lbs).

Sleep: So uncomfortable and sore. I do have good nights of sleep but generally sleeping on one side is really uncomfortable. I’m having to switch sides all throughout the night. Bathroom trips? Ha! I’m  veteran- they don’t bother me anymore. I’ve been waking up 3-4 times a night to pee since the first trimester.

Maternity Clothes: All the time now. Anything non-maternity just doesn’t cut it anymore- it fits but it’s so uncomfortable.

Food cravings: Asian pears ( the ones that are $2.99 a pop at Whole Foods- expensive cravings, I gotta tell you)

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: I got sciatic pain! {Ha-ha} I feel like it’s an achievement. {lol} Not really-  it hurts! It started with the fact that Alexis flipped head down. I’d been doing inversions from spinningbabies.com to get her to flip and she did (sort of. She was on my right side head down). Then I spent the whole day walking around doing things and had a pretty fast long walk in the morning as well, and by the evening I was limping in my right foot. The pain feels like normal muscular pain in my right buttock. After resting it for a day, I’m back to feeling normal. Plus it seems Alexis flipped into transverse again and took the pressure of the sciatic nerve.

Also I’ve had a few evenings of slight nausea- not sure if it’s pregnancy related or what.

Doctor’s Appointment: Early December

Movement: She’s very active again! It’s starting to get painful especially when she kicks in one of my sides. I do love when she’s active! You might hear an occasional “Ouch!” from me, but I smile on the inside every time she jabs a foot into my side or sticks her butt out so much I think my belly is going to explode.

Belly Button: An outie- it sticks out from clothes too- I think that’s cute!

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Getting things done! I’ve really gotten off my butt this week and concentrated on getting everything done. With so many distractions I have nowadays ( will tell you about that in my birth plan post), it’s hard to get yourself back on track. What I need and what I thrive with is a very detailed to-do list or a few of them ( especially when there are a lot of items on it). I spend the whole day simply going down that to-do list without giving it another thought- and that’s the only way I feel good and productive and like everything or most everything is getting done.

What I’m looking forward to:

Going to the beach.

What I miss:

Beach, pre-pregnancy clothes, pre-pregnancy size, my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, my friends from up north.

{I know I have been a bit scarce on posting and commenting these past weeks, but as I am digging up from under the pile of to-do lists and things I have to get done, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once all the baby stuff is bought this Black Friday/Cyber Monday and I reorganize myself and reshift my priorities (I’ve been mainly concentrating on researching baby purchases up until now), I’ll be back to posting almost every day. I have so many fun posts planned that I cannot wait to get your opinion and feedback on. So it’s going to get a lot more interesting here, but for now all I can find time to do is my weekly update and the Sunday Pregnant with Style feature.}

 

Isabella Oliver Maternity – {Pregnant with Style} review & giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

Welcome to Week 8 of Pregnant with Style feature, a weekly low down on the cutest and little known maternity brands.

{Discover other weeks and maternity brands here}

ISABELLA OLIVER MATERNITY

is today’s brand.

Some of you might have heard of Isabella Oliver or seen ads on the Internet. It is a British company started in 2003 when the creators saw the need for beautiful stylish and comfortable maternity wear. They’ve even been awarded the Queen’s Award (How cool is that?)

I can’t think of another company that makes such elegant feminine maternity clothes. Most of their styles are form fitting which is perfect during pregnancy when you want to show off your bump ( because let’s admit it- that’s the only way to look pregnant and not fat).

Here’s some of my favorite items from Isabella Oliver:

1. Ruched Breton Button Top  2. Midi Ruched Skirt  3. The Everyday Blazer  4. Tuck Detail Tunic  5. Ruched T Shirt Dress 

It was very hard for me to pick 1 item to go with, and after a lot of deliberation I choose the Ruched Tank Dress in red.

Remember my obsession with red dresses? Well, it’s alive and kicking.  To date, this is my favorite dress to wear out. I feel like the red color dresses it up a lot, so if that’s not for you, this dress comes in a shade of black that is perfect for everyday wear.

What I love about this particular dress:

  • I love what it  does to my bump – in this dress I don’t feel thick or wide or big- it accentuates the bump in a way that makes the rest of me look thin (-ner).
  • Because of the stretchy material and the ruched style you can wear it any time during your life, whether you’re pregnant, postpartum or just like to look amazing.
  • The simple neckline that goes low enough to show off my cleavage {the only time in my life that I get to have one}, but not too low to feel overly exposed.

I just can imagine myself wearing this dress going on stroller walks with Alexis and  hubby around town and looking fabulous. Oh and did I forget to mention that Angelina Jolie wore the same dress in black when she was pregnant?

Right now Isabella Oliver is running a 25% off maternity dresses promotion with a code THANKS. Also they carry a non-maternity line that is equally amazing! And you can win this dress by entering below {you don’t have to be pregnant to wear it, btw}

And it just so happens that Isabella Oliver is on Zulily right now at 70% off. FUN!


Oh and can we please give a round of applause to my friend’s adorable baby who is the best model ever!?

Here’s how to win this dress in a color of your choice:

BUMP UPDATE: 30 WEEKS

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

30 Weeks! Woo-hoo!!!!

Sorry for such a gross picture, but I was completely out of time these few days, running around to OB, ultrasound and pediatrician appointments, among a million other things.

STATS:

Her size: According to the last ultrasound she is 3 lb 12 oz- a big girl!

How far along: 30 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 160 lb (that’s +2 for this week for a total of 24 lbs). I give up on the whole 1 lb a week weight gain thing- my body seems to gain whatever it or the baby wants- zero one week, 2 another week without any change in eating habits, and I am not about to cut the nutrition to my baby just so that I don’t gain much. As long as I eat only whole foods, no processed foods and no junk or empty calories (which is how I’ve been eating this whole pregnancy) – I’m not going to worry about it anymore.

Sleep: It’s been pretty good. I keep having weird dreams on and off.

Maternity Clothes: This week I’ve been wearing my Monster Mania tee from BOBA non stop- it’s one of the few tees that are long enough at this point and feel good on my belly.

Food cravings: As usual anything fresh and cold- like  refrigerated fresh pears.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Braxton Hicks, minor fatigue occasionally- that’s all, feeling pretty good these days.

Doctor’s Appointment: I had my ultrasound appointment, OB appointment and an interview with a pediatrician this past Thursday. The ultrasound showed that we had absolutely no reason to worry about my small measurement from the last appointment because our little girl is measuring perfectly fine.  Based on these measurements, she will be around 8 pounds. I don’t put toomuch stock in ultrasound determination of weight since I’ve read about too many cases where the estimation was wrong. In addition to that, there was an ultrasound student there who was doing the measurements so I don’t know how precise they are. But the most important thing is she’s growing perfectly fine. Another discovery at this ultrasound was that she is lying transverse.  The doctor wasn’t concerned since most transverse babies turn. My husband, though, wants me to do some spinning babies exercises to make sure. I’m more inclined to just wait and see, since I cannot imagine adding another set of obligations to my current routine as it is. I’ll probably add a few easier ones.

Then we had a prenatal interview with a local pediatrician. I think we’ll be looking for another one. While we did like his answers and what he said, he talked way too much, listened way too little and honestly seemed like he was on methamphetamines ;) He seemed like a good doctor, but we’d like to find someone we’re more comfortable with. So I’ll have to ask around for more referrals.

Movement: I don’t know if it’s because she’s transverse or what but she goes from days with barely any activity to really active days. Mostly she’s been moving less than usual, which I attribute to her position- she can’t possibly have enough room lying across my belly.

Belly Button: It’s officially an outie- you can even see it on the bump photo.

Gender: GIRL! They tried to confirm her sex this time just for fun, but Alexis was keeping her knees tightly closed.

Best moment of the week: Finding out Alexis is growing well.

What I’m looking forward to:

End of pregnancy and birth of Lexi.

What I miss:

still sushi!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a review and giveaway of one of my MOST favorite maternity brands, Isabella Oliver, with a hot red dress that Angelina Jolie wore when she was pregnant- so don’t miss it!

 

Wordless Wednesday and Photo Share Tuesday

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in PHOTO


Life seemed to have sped up and with only 45 days left until I am full term, certain things are taking priority over others.

Labor exercises and relaxation training have taken over any blogging and photo editing time. I spend about 2-3 hours a day preparing for labor and birth.
Cooking and feeding myself with enough protein and nutrients is taking first place over working.
Planning the nursery, budgeting, mapping out purchases, answering emails is now in place of whatever I have left over.
Somehow I have to squeeze newborn and breastfeeding book reading, too.

And then there’s always good old relaxing and watching a show or two, which I’ve allowed myself  more these days, because it’s the only way I get to spend “quality” time with my husband.

So this is why you don’t see quite as many posts. I’m slowly coming back with the motivation and inspiration, but it’s pretty hard to find free time. So I’m trying to juggle it all and it’s difficult. I do need to get more organized- any little unplanned activity screws up my whole schedule and everything I have planned for that day.

So tonight, I pushed through and made myself pick out photos for the Photo Share Tuesday post. Now before I pass out, I have to go practice relaxation techniques and watch an episode of “Mentalist” with hubby, since he’s been waiting for me for an hour already.

Today I’ve got the photos of our 2nd visit to Puerto Rico. Hope these brighten up your day with blues and greens of sky and palm trees. Enjoy!

I MISS BEING SO CAREFREE!

{rules: 1. Link up ONLY THE Specific Photo Share POST, not the whole blog. 2. include the button in the post, if you link up}



and then, she {snapped}
Live and Love...Out LoudWordish WednesdayThe Paper Mama

Boden Maternity- {Pregnant with Style}

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

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Welcome to Week 7 of Pregnant with Style feature, a weekly low down on the cutest and little known maternity brands.

{Discover other weeks and maternity brands here}

Boden is a British brand that started out as a small menswear company only to grow into big, bright and beautiful brand with a full range of clothes for everyone. The one thing that comes to mind when I think of Boden is COLOR. COLOR and PATTERN! Their styles are incredibly distinguishable from anything else we are exposed to here in US. It’s like Benetton grew up and discovered luxury.

I’ve been in love with their strict shapes, classy designs, warm styles, tantalizing colors and mind-bending patterns since the first day I visited Boden website.

Recently, however, I discovered that Boden carries a small, but equally bright and happy maternity line. Using the same funky patterns and bright coordinating colors, Boden makes maternitywear fun again! Check out Boden maternity line here.

And if you like your man looking prim and proper and classy and most importantly HOT, visit the men’s section. Boden started in menswear, so they know a thing or two about how to make your man look dashing. Too bad we don’t have much use for yummy sweaters and trendy coats here in Florida, but I know now where I am going for an outfit or two when things get really chilly here.

Btw, I got a really good kick out of Boden’s “Dad Dancing” video. I loved it so much, I watched it three times, showed it to hubby and just had to post it here. I’m sorry, but if my dad looked this hot, I’d let him dance around all day long.

So onto the actual review of one of Boden’s tunic/dresses…. I chose the Fun Knit Tunic for the few months of cold-ish weather in Florida and the first time I put it on it really paid off :) I got it in a size or two larger than I needed to accommodate my preggo belly and it worked out perfectly. I wore it with black leggings and flats for a cute and comfy look and my husband and I went to a neighboring community to take some maternity style photos. During the day I was comfortable as long as the sun wasn’t shining, but by the end of the night, poor Andrew was freezing his bum off and I was warm and toasty.

The funny part was that Andrew was lukewarm on this tunic when I was looking at it online, but when I got it and put it on, he wouldn’t stop commenting on how cute it looked. I loved the simple design with a little fun colorful flare at the bottom. It can be worn with leggings, pants and I really adore the way it looks with bare legs and boots on (yum!).

Aside from womenswear, maternity and menswear, Boden has THE CUTEST MINIBoden collection for kids and babies and super adorable JohnnyB, clothes for teens. Boden recently launched their winter collection of boy clothing and girl clothing, as well as adorable irresistible baby stuff , so if you have kids, you won’t leave that site without some monetary damage (he-he)


Is this dress cute or what? I’m so getting it for Alexis when she’s a little older to match my tunic.

I’d love to hear what you think of my new tunic and Boden’s styles and what other maternity brands surprised you with the style and quality.



Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for free. All opinions are 100% my own.

29 Weeks Bump Update

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

I cannot believe I am one week from being in the week 30! I remember just starting this journey and thinking that 30 weeks was SO FAR ALONG! Luckily, the start of the third trimester has been wonderful for me. I feel like everything that has been said about 2nd trimester (less discomfort, more energy, no heartburn) is finally here now. Let’s hope that the third trimester pains won’t kick in for a while, because I am digging it right now :)

Someone commented asking where I got all the sleeping bras I’m wearing in the bump photos. I didn’t get to answer and couldn’t find that comment later, so here’s where I buy them: Lamaze Cotton Spandex Sleep Bra for Nursing and Maternity.

Really didn’t want to take the bump picture today- bleh!

STATS:

Her size: Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds

How far along: 29 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 158lb (that’s +0 for this week for a total of 21 lbs). With last week’s 3 lb gain, I am happy to not have gained anything this week.

Sleep: Weird pregnancy dreams are on and off. Last night I woke up from a different dream each time I had to go pee which was about 5 times. One of them featured Alexis being born with a full set of teeth lol

Alexis has also gotten to torturing me by pushing against the bed in my belly when I lay on my side- really funky feeling I gotta tell you.

Maternity Clothes: Totally loving a few lesser known brands (I talk about them every Sunday). I got my new pjs from Boob Design and refuse to take them off at home. I’ll be doing a giveaway of one of their items soon since they’re coming out with their US store. Also some of my other favorite maternity items this week are cargo pants from Everly Grey (win a pair here), and this pair of jean capri from Boob.

Food cravings : I’m still loving my chickenless chicken whole grain sandwiches.

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE: Almost none. I’ve been having a few obvious Braxton Hicks, but that’s really it. I’m really happy my heartburn hasn’t returned full strength yet, like it’s supposed to in 3rd trimester.

Doctor’s Appointment: November 17th and I am really looking forward to seeing our pumpkin on the ultrasound, possibly one last time before delivery. We also have our pediatrician interview the same day, so that’ll be interesting.

Movement: The girl is STRONG! I totally feel like someone out of a movie whose body was invaded by an alien. My skin moves all the time, I think she flipped 3 times today. At one point I could swear she was laying transverse, because i could feel simultaneous kicks and punches on both sides.

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Finishing all the painting of the nursery. Casings, baseboards, closet doors- all done! Now onto the design and I have such exciting things planned- can’t wait to show you guys.

What I’m looking forward to:

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, because that’s when I am ordering about 80% of the nursery stuff and baby items. I have most of it planned out and just cannot wait.

What I miss:

still sushi!

Look forward to the following posts:

2nd Trimester recap this week
My favorite 2nd trimester items
Nursery Update
Our Birth Plan – I am doing a complete 180 on that one.

 

Everly Grey Maternity- {Pregnant With Style} feature and giveaway

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in My Pregnancy, PREGNANCY FASHION, Pregnant With Style, PRODUCTS

Week 6 of Pregnant With Style

{see previous weeks here and come back each Sunday for more}

Discovering and introducing new and interesting maternity brands…

This week it’s Everly Grey Maternity.

USE CODE EVG20 to get a 20% discount off your Everly Grey purchase for the month of November as a special promotion for my readers.

Everly Grey is your total everyday affordable maternity wear, from dresses, to soft tops, to blouses to comfy pants and shorts.

I got to try out an Emmy top and Owen twill cargo pants and I have one word for you: COMFORT! I remember when I first received my package and put the Emmy top on, I spent the rest of the day lounging in it.

The top feels more like a tunic – long, lean and comfortable, perfect for fall weather. The navy inspired stripes add a touch of elegance to any casual outfit, so you can still look classy if you pair it up with skinny jeans and a pair of stilettos. The 4″ side slits will accommodate your ever-growing front and rear without accentuating it. All together I thought the Emmy Top was a perfect item to have in your wardrobe, both during pregnancy and after.



So when I first tried it on, I walked around in my undies and this top for a few hours until my husband looked at me strangely and asked “Why don’t you have pants on?”

That’s when I remembered I forgot to try out the pants lol

I’d say the biggest complaint I’ve heard from pregnant women about maternity clothes are pants/jeans that just don’t fit/don’t fit right. And I have to agree: the band pressing on your stomach is just too tight and too uncomfortable after a certain point in pregnancy.

Say hello to the Owen Pants! I love twill pants in general. I had a ton of skinny twill pants before pregnancy and hope to buy many more after. I love how they hug your body but don’t look exactly like good old jeans. The band of these pants is below the belly, just like you’d wear normal pants, except for it’s a slightly thicker and sort of like a soft scrunchy. It doesn’t press on your tummy but doesn’t stick out from under your shirt. In other words, the pants band fits perfectly under your belly without causing any discomfort or bunching up. I love the zipper on the ankle that gives it a more rough look, as well as big pockets on the back and the sides that take the pants from leggings category to cargo pants field.

Below are a few other things I own and/or like from Everly Grey Maternity:

{blue top no longer carried} {Blue Beth Dress}

{Rowan Tuxedo Top} {Robyn Top} {Poppy Dress} {Beth Dress}

All the Everly Grey items I have are extremely soft and comfortable, but most importantly affordable. And now you get an opportunity to win your own Emmy Top or Owen Cargo Pants in your size! All you have to do is ENTER the giveaway below. Please read the rules carefully, but otherwise it’s super easy with Rafflecopter (no more multiple comments for entries- one click each and you’re done (almost)).

You can also USE CODE EVG20 to get a 20% discount off your Everly Grey purchase for the month of November as a special promotion for my readers. They are having a really good sale right now, so don’t miss out.


BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAY RULES
and Mandatory Entries: {read carefully}

Holiday Comforts

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, PHOTO


This post is sponsored by
Tempur-Pedic, the brand millions of owners trust to deliver their best night’s sleep every night.
Enjoy our Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer now and give the gift of custom comfort to someone you love.

Up until 8 or so years ago, my definition of winter holidays was one thing: New Years celebration.

See, New Year’s Eve is a HUGE thing in Russia- it’s the family holiday that Christmas is in America. It’s also a “go party- get drunk” holiday, but that just depends on the class of person you’re talking to. Winter holidays for me meant smell of mandarins, my mom’s awesome cooking with a whole table full of food. It meant a Christmas tree (except it was a new year’s tree in Russia) and presents in the morning. It meant those little gift boxes every parent received for their child at work that always had at least 1 mandarin and a ton of candy {not sure what the deal was with the mandarins but they were huge during New Year’s}

New Year’s Eve meant ditching your parents for a few hours while they’re busy cooking and running out with your friends to the local Tree Fair, where crazy sledding, snowfights, ice slides, gigantic tree lighting ceremony took over the mind of hyped up on candy children. There were lots of firecrackers and sparklers, giggling and flirting, lots of toes and fingers frozen and red snotty noses. It was the best time ever. And that’s what being a kid meant at that time.

Here I am, an adult ( seriously?), expecting her own child, in a country with different traditions and celebrations that I accept as my own. My holidays for the last few years have been different. I guess I don’t like to think about it or admit it but it IS difficult being away from my family, not watching all the holiday movies, not eating weird Russian salads…. My husband’s family is spread across the US too. We couldn’t wait  to move away from Cleveland where he grew up and we wouldn’t trade living in Florida for anything. But there are never big family gathering on his side, so that always leaves us to make our own holidays and traditions. Ones that consist of friends and travel and love and, more often than not, Disney.

When we lived in Cleveland, holidays were what you’d typically imagine them to be: family and friends, lots of snow, indoor parties. For some reason, it was always a part of the holidays for us to go to the mall and enjoy the decorations, and the crowds and the buying of gifts. Thinking about it now I realize that there was nothing else to do in Cleveland during the holidays, so the mall was the next best thing.

 

After a few years of living together, I got my way and we adopted a few kittens and that was like a step towards having kids. We would have so much fun decorating our condo with our cats in a tizzy over the shiny balls and strings. That was always a special time for me- it made the holidays just a little more fun.

A year or two later, we finally made a move to Florida and everything changed. We had a ton of new options for celebrating the holidays, but one thing was missing: SNOW. Now, if you know me, you’re aware how MUCH I hate the cold ( and snow, since it can’t be without cold). I said “good riddance” and never looked back, but Andrew thought Christmas wasn’t the same without it.

However, we could now do so much more during the holidays. For one, we could spend time outside!!!!  And it’s amazing how many events you get to visit when you don’t have to freeze your tushie off. So come December, we’d get our fill of Christmas spirit by going to the one place on earth that celebrates it with style: Disneyworld. Nowhere do I feel so much joy and holiday spirit as I do walking the exquisitely decorated streets of Magic Kingdom.

That is ONE thing that I am sad about missing out on this year and the one thing I will be looking forward to, like a little girl, next year. Christmas parades, cookies and milk, fake but very realistic snow, perfect weather with hot sun and a bit of chill in the air, families and kids and blue blue blue sky- what can be better?

And come nighttime then there are the lights, little twinkling lights everywhere you go: yellow, white, blue, red- everything is covered with happiness and glow. Nighttime around Christmas is magical to me, the world comes to life.

 

Of course, there are always  holidays with friends, the kind of friends that feel like family to you. The ones, that despite living miles away from you, gather in one place for Christmas, the ones that you miss so much your heart aches, the ones that make you happy and make you laugh and give you memories and feelings you’ll never forget.

Sometimes we have quiet holiday periods, where all we need is a cosy sweater, a fragrant tree, warm candles, sparkly lights and decorations. I love bringing out my Cookies for Santa bowl which is the one thing I refuse to spend the holidays without ( the bowl, no the cookies). Last year was the first time I talked Andrew into getting a live tree. I’d never had one as a kid and he always refused to get one since  he didn’t want the mess. Last year I put my foot down- I had to have a real tree- and it was awesome ( but a total mess) lol

{There’s gum in the bowl because it’s dangerous to leave cookies out}

And as the Christmas time comes to a close, I can always look forward to another comfort of mine:  New Year’s Eve with friends. It’s the one time to let go and have fun, one time to look and feel absolutely gorgeous, one time to finish up the year with people that you care about.

These are the things I look forward to each and every year as it says good-bye to us. And while this year it will be a quiet and calm time, I will always remember the fun times I’ve had, as well as even more precious times I am going to have, with new and old friends, new and old family members, in new and old places. The holiday season is about to take on a whole new meaning for us as a family, but I really hope  that the old ways will still be there.

What are you looking forward to this holiday season?

 Comfort is the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday gift list,
 so be sure to take advantage of  Tempur-Pedic's Buy 2, get 1 free pillow offer!
 I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.

28 Weeks Bump Update – 3rd Trimester

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in BUMP UPDATES, My Pregnancy

I am officially in my 3rd (!!!!) trimester!

I’m starting to run out of short shorts and tight pants that fit me well for these photos, but I really don’t want to resort to normal clothes, because that won’t show the change in my body as well, which is the whole point of documenting the bump each week.

The bump update pictures are also going to move a bit. I’m not sure where but I need to change backgrounds – maybe nursery!

STATS:

Her size:  Two and a quarter pounds – keep growing little girl!

How far along: 28 WEEKS

Total weight gain: 158lb (that’s +3 for this week for a total of 21 lbs). Not sure what’s going on here and why I suddenly gained 3 pounds this week. I did concentrate on eating more protein, however my calorie intake has been the same, so hoping it’s all baby girl weight and not the Elena’s fat ass weight :)

Sleep: Iffy. The key is to go to bed earlier- then I get much better sleep.
I know my body hates me because here’s what happens in my “going to bed routine”: I go pee, then go back to the bedroom to put some belly oil on. By the time we’re done ( hubby helps moisturize me), I have to pee again, so I go and, of course, sit my oily butt down on the toilet seat  :) haha Sometimes I don’t wipe off the oil, because I find it funny when hubby goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night and slides all over the place and swears up and down. Then I finally snuggle in with my sleeping pillows and try to go to bed. The second I get into a comfortable position, I realize that  I kind of want to go pee again. I’m not sure if it’s in my head or if it’s Alexis pressing on my bladder while I’m fidgeting around trying to get comfy, but it works like a charm every time. So I go pee a third time in what must have been no longer than 20 minutes and then finally fall asleep peacefully.

Otherwise I get up 3-4 times a night to pee and drink some water AND I’ve been having the weird vivid pregnancy dreams everyone has been talking about.

So far here’s what my virtual self has been up to in my dreams:

1.) while travelling in Iran, I’ve been taken hostage by Betsy Johnson’s  (I know WTH? note: She’s a famous designer)  swat team that flew in scary looking military planes;
2.) I have been chased by a huge big foot/monster looking creature that comes out exactly at 4 pm in a beautiful mansion where I was hanging out with some of my guyfriends AND Vincent Chase from Entourage
3.) Gave birth to Alexis ( which was absolutely breathtaking) and was taking care of her (but of course always screwing up and forgetting to feed her or leaving her somewhere for hours on end), but she was still my gorgeous happy princess and I was surprised to see that she was able to smile and laugh as a 1 day old and then learned to pull up in her crib as a 3 day old :). This dream left me longing for Alexis to be here NOW!!!

Are these not the weirdest dreams ever or what?

Maternity Clothes: Yeeees. Mostly lots of loungewear. But there’re also a few brands and items I am REALLY digging right now. Finally I am starting to feel beautiful as a preggo, and finding the right maternity brands has contributed greatly to it. Check out my weekly maternity brands feature. I have many more to show you for the next 2 months.

Food cravings : We’ve discovered the MOST AMAZING chickless chicken patties ( lol). They are made out of wheat protein and normally, even though I don’t eat meat,  I am all like “Ew! wheat protein, tofu, soy protein- not me! If you want the taste of meat, eat meat), but these things are tasty as all get out. It’s Dr Praeger’s Brand, one patty has 13g of protein which is awesome, and they truly taste like chicken ( well at least to me considering I am not a fan of chicken or any meat for that matter)

Food aversions: none

Symptoms I HAVE:

Heartburn – Mild to strong depending on my diet
Braxton Hicks –  occasional

I’ve been pretty asymptomatic this week- feeling relatively good and just trying to get everything done. That everything is 13 different To-Do lists on my Wunderlist app.

Doctor’s Appointment: November 17th for the final (?) ultrasound to check placenta, baby growth, amniotic fluid and other good stuff. I’m really looking forward to it because I don’t like the idea of my belly measuring 2 weeks behind ( even though,  yeah I understand- I was a small baby myself, I am tall, i.e. lotsa room, my ab muscles are strong, fundal height isn’t a a reliable indication of growth bla bla bla- still I want to make sure she’s growing well).

Speaking of ab muscles, aren’t they supposed to soften or weaken at some point in pregnancy? When’s that point? Mine are still rock hard when I flex them.

Movement: She’s continuing her pattern of crazy movement for 2 days and barely anything another. She loves responding to daddy’s voice and is always super active when I am doing my relaxation exercises.

Belly Button: An innie with a Napoleon complex.

Gender: GIRL!

Best moment of the week: Uuuummm…wow I don’t even remember what happened this week… I guess my 1st baby dream about Alexis which made me love her a 1000 times more.

What I’m looking forward to:

Getting shit done. It feels like I’m never going to dig out from under the mound of things I have to do and research. At this point I barely even do any work ( actual work), it’s mostly like this:  cook, eat, exercise, cook, eat, answer emails, cook eat, train for birth, cook, eat, get some super important work things done, cook, eat, work on the blog, brush teeth, pass out.

What I miss:

SUSHI!

 Look forward to 2nd Trimester recap soon!

Flying High – Photo Share Tuesdays

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, PHOTO

So a few weeks ago, we went to the local airport to take some pictures for a dress review next to our friends’ plane. Of course, when there are pictures involved,  we (read: I) never stop at just what we planned, we usually come back with about 600 more shots than necessary, but I love that because they all tell a story and create amazing memories. I know one thing: this is one of the best documented pregnancies and babies known to mankind lol.

You might have seen some of the shots taken by the plane in the Shabby Apple Giveaway post, and they were along these lines:

But I never posted the photos of what went on after that.

So after we got the dress shots out of the way, we did a little family photoshoot with our friends Michelle, Ryan and their daughter Heleena, that I will post on Selfie Magic as soon as I get a little more time to work on them. Then, the boys we ready to take off.  Now, they are used to flying all the time (and wouldn’t you, if you owned a plane?), but because I am super careful about Alexis and this pregnancy, we weren’t sure whether it was a smart idea to take a ride for me. I’d never been in a small plane, so I didn’t know if there would be too much pressure that would make Alexis uncomfortable or if I’d be afraid and stressed out. Normally I’d be super scared of flying in a small plane – I once flew over the Alps in a Helicopter and that was a bit terrifying, so we didn’t want any stress for Lexy. For the time being, we had decided that Andrew would go first and see how it felt and then we’d go from there.

 

Andrew’s dad used to own a small plane when they lived in Puerto Rico and as a little boy he’d always been fascinated with planes. They used to fly to St Thomas, Culebra, St John’s and surrounding islands and he still fondly tells me about his memories. So Michelle and I stayed on the ground while the boys took off.  To be honest, the second I saw that plane take off,  all the fear disappeared and all I wanted to do is be on that plane.

{Grey Dress by Shabby Apple, Two’s Company maternity line}

Meanwhile, with nothing better to do, we set up the tripod and took some ridiculous pictures of our growing bellies. I was at 25 weeks and Michelle was at 11 weeks, I think. We did the “goofy face belly bump”.

 

 

Once that got old, we went ahead and took a few pictures of Heleena, who was having way too much fun in her stroller! It’s crazy to think that just one week later, we were back at that air field and this little girl was already walking. It’s amazing how fast kids grow. So believe me when I say: There’s going to be a LOT of pictures of Alexis when she arrives. That’s the only thing that keeps the memories alive.

 

Soon the boys landed- my husband all disheveled and excited. He loved it and was happy to report that the ride was 100% comfortable, no pressure or too many G-forces and that he would  fully support me going for a ride ( he’s more conservative when it comes to Alexis’s safety and our pregnancy than I am, so that was good enough for me). It was settled then that next week we’d go out for another ride, this time all together!
And of course, we couldn’t leave without a few group pictures. 

So fast forward to next week, we were out there again and I was ready to catch some wind. I called shot-gun, b/c it was my first time. Normally I would NOT feel safe flying in a small plane, mostly because owners of small planes tend to have gotten their pilots licenses to fly these personal planes and might not have much experience. However, in our case, Ryan is an actual commercial pilot, so I was confident that if he is entrusted thousands of lives on daily basis and flies a much bigger, much more complex plane all the time, with hours and hours of school and experience, then I’ll be fine in a plane piloted by him.
{below: “What’s kicking ” Tshirt by 2Chix Maternity. You can win one in the current giveaway}

In reality, it was just soooo cool watching him fly it. It blows my mind that people know how to fly planes. I know in theory it isn’t as hard as it seems (aerodynamics and all that good stuff), but looking at all the buttons and taking off and then coasting over the ocean, I just can’t believe that we can get a big piece of metal in the air with just 1 propeller. It was such a different experience looking at our town from the air. We flew over the high school Alexis will eventually go to (on the right), passed up the little master-planned religious community next us with a massive church, a cute town center and a Law University (on the left)

A few other communities and a million of golf courses and man-made lakes. Our area is beautiful as it is, but it’s breathtaking from the air.

We passed our community (bottom photo), but we were facing the wrong direction and the setting sun made it difficult to take photos. So Ryan turned the plane around to take better pictures, which was a little bit terrifying for me hahahaha

But that turn did give us a much better view of our community and our house. It almost looked like early Midwestern fall with the setting sun, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. On the ground, it is very lush and green and tropical.

Soon we reached the Gulf of Mexico and it was glorious ( if you don’t count the time when we had to turn around over the water to head back- yikes!). The beach is my favorite place and living near the gulf is a dream come true for me – it’s as awesome as one can imagine and I hope that I never ever take it for granted! In about 2-3 months, when I am no longer pregnant, you will get a much better look at what living in Florida is like and I’ll get to share it with you in every photograph and post I write.

On the way back I was “forced” to co-pilot. He literally let go of the yoke (I had no idea that’s what you call that thing) and let the plane shift a bit to the side until he got me to grab the co-piloting yoke and even the plane out. I sat there with my knuckles white on the steering wheel, trying my best to keep the plane even ( and not to freak out too much). It felt like I was really moving the yoke and I was not happy with the responsibility. Granted, hindsight being 20/20 , the changes I was making in the plane’s trajectory were  more in seconds and inches, but to me it felt like it was hours and miles. Next time ( if I’m ever in the co-piloting seat), I try to not be such a chicken and actually turn the yoke a bit more than 1/10 of an inch

And that is all! Hope you’re having a wonderful week and link up your Photo Share Posts below.

{rules: 1. Link up ONLY THE Specific Photo Share POST, not the whole blog. 2. include the button in the post, if you link up}

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