Friday, January 30, 2015

Parenting philosophies and such

Recently, I've been reading many articles online and books about parenting. It got me thinking a bit about myself and my life before the baby and my life after baby. I'm obviously still in the before baby phase but as my due date approaches, I can't help but find myself daydreaming about this new chapter as a mom and this new role I am about to take on. 

I've already begun to notice all the advice expectant and new moms receive and the challenge that it is to figure out what type of mom you want to be. There are many types of moms out there and lots of choices to be made. How does a new mom decide?

What I've begun to realize is that there isn't one right answer when it comes to parenting and that to me is what makes parenting challenging. What one mom does with her family might not work for another family. I've already started to see that moms are judged about all different things. Is the baby breast or bottle fed? Was the delivery natural, or did the mom get an epidural? Does the mom work or stay at home? The list could go on and on. Moms are judged all the time for their choices, and I think many of them find the need to justify their decisions. 

Recently I realized though that at the end of the day, all moms have the common goal of loving their children and being the best mom that they can be. There are many parenting philosophies out there but really what matters most is that we do the best we can and that we love our child. 

I've always been one that is an overachiever and wants to do everything to the best of my ability. I like things neat, organized, and structured. As I think about my life with a baby, I've realized that I need to be okay with flexibility and that everything doesn't need to be perfect. I think it's common that we as individuals and moms often feel that we aren't good enough and that we could always be doing more. There seems to be so much pressure on people and kids.

Today I was at the hair salon, and my hair stylist said that looking back on his first few years of being a parent that there were many things he would have changed or wished he could have done differently. I think we are always going to be that way and look back on a situation and think about how it could have gone better. But hindsight is 20/20. We make the best choices we can at the time. Of course it's wonderful to reflect and figure out ways to improve ourselves but it's important not to dwell on the past and things that we can't change. 

Whether you are single, newly married, an expectant parent, a new parent, or a veteran parent, I encourage you to remind yourself that you are doing enough and that you are doing the best you can during your everyday life. I've been working on putting less pressure on myself and more focus on taking care of myself, my husband, my family, and my friends.

When I first stopped working and started telling people I planned to be a stay at home mom, I felt the need to justify my situation. I do have a college degree. I did teach for six years. I accomplished this, and I did that. I almost felt guilty that I wasn't working full time anymore and teaching those sweet children I impacted over the past few years. But then I realized that it's okay, and I shouldn't feel the need to explain why I made the choice I made and how I ended up where I am today. 

We all take different paths, and we all have various challenges but it's important that we cherish every stage of life. Sometimes there is so much focus on the future and what's coming next. Take a moment to enjoy today and remind yourself of all the great things in your life. Hope you all have a great weekend!




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

28 weeks! 3rd trimester

How far along? 28 weeks (hello 3rd trimester!)
Total weight gain: 23 pounds at my 28 week doctors appointment.
Maternity clothes? Absolutely 
Stretch marks? Nope!
Sleep: some nights are good and other nights I wake up often.
Miss anything? A cold turkey sub
Movement: Yes! I love how I'm able to feel him more often and consistently now. He's still pretty gentle but every once in a while I feel a stronger kick! He loves to stop moving if Jeremy tries to catch a kick but he has felt him move a bunch of times. The movement is definitely visible from the outside too!
Best moment this week: almost finishing the nursery! 
Food cravings: nothing I can think of but I definitely have a bigger appetite lately. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope
Gender: BOY!!
Labor signs: Nope! Hoping it stays that way. 
Symptoms: I don't have many symptoms. I get an occasional tightening feeling every once in a while but overall I'm still feeling really well! 
Belly button in or out? Still slightly in but definitely stretching.
Wedding rings on or off? On!
Mood: excited but occasionally nervous about the labor and delivery. 
Looking forward to: getting my lab results back, our couples spa weekend, my baby shower, and maternity pictures. Lots of fun things in the upcoming weeks!
Definitely growing!
So excited to be in the third trimester! Baby is about two pounds now and the size of a coconut. Yesterday I had my gestational diabetes test, my iron tested, and my thyroid checked. I'm currently waiting on the results. I also got the whooping cough vaccine to protect me as well as the baby when he is born. I know there is a big debate out there about vaccines lately especially after the measles outbreak. I've been trusting my doctors and the CDC's recommendations. In my opinion, there are always going to be risks regardless which route you choose to take. 
The baby's heartbeat was 135, my belly measured normally, and my blood pressure was fine. So far it's all been good news. Hoping for more good news in the next few days! I'm excited to start my two week doctors appointments too!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Baby Ciak's owl themed nursery!

Here it is! I'm really happy with how it turned out! Jeremy did an amazing job painting the nursery, and he even accepted the challenge of painting a striped wall! I was very impressed at his ability to make the lines straight and neat! It also took us quite a few paint samples to actually get the two gray colors the way I was picturing. Some were too dark, some were too light, but after many samples and trips back and forth to Sherwin Williams and Home Depot we figured it out! I'm thankful for a husband that is patient with me and helping me create the nursery I was envisioning! We decided to keep the furniture and the walls neutral so that if we had a girl next time we could just change out the artwork, curtains, and bedding. I'm sure you can tell but I absolutely love gray! 
He measured it all and taped it first.
Getting closer! 
All finished!
The furniture is from Pottery Barn Kids. I just loved it the first time we saw it, found a good sale price and went with it! The bedding and curtains are from a company called Carousel Designs. A friend got her bedding there and shared the idea with me! They had lots of cute options for boys and girls. I had been looking for an owl theme, and this worked out well! They also have lots of accessories that coordinate with the bedding which I liked. 
The mobile and the art, I had custom made on Etsy. I sent them a swatch of the bedding, and they made the colors work! I love Etsy and how you're able to personalize things and find pretty much anything that you're looking for! I haven't decided where to hang this yet but thought it was cute too. All the people I worked with on etsy were super accommodating and relatively prompt which was nice!
On the other wall by the closest we got a bookshelf. I had accumulated a bunch of books during my years of teaching so I brought them all home, and I'm excited to read them to our little one! I still need to figure out how to arrange the bookshelf to maximize storage.
We found the owl pillows at Pier One and the piggy bank at TJ maxx. I was amazed by how much owl stuff was out there once I actually started looking for it. 
This was where I first saw the gray striped wall. I think it turned out pretty similar! I can't wait to spend lots of time in his nursery!


Productive weekend

I think I might have hit the nesting stage a little early. I've always been into organization and keeping my house clean but with the arrival of our baby in just a few short months I've been trying to take care of different projects now while I still have the time. 

One thing that has been on my list was organizing our garage. We keep both cars and a ping pong table in there so storage is pretty minimal. I had been wanting to get some shelving to give us a little more storage. We decided to keep it simple with floor standing shelving as opposed to wall mounted shelves. That can be a project for later but for the time being these were affordable and easy to assemble. It looks much neater than it did before! 
This weekend, we also picked up our new gliding chair and ottoman for the nursery. That was the last furniture item we had been waiting for. I ordered it back in November. Furniture can be one thing that takes time to get so I'm glad we did that early. The chair is super comfy, and I've already spent hours rocking in it day dreaming about holding our baby! 

Once we got the chair in, my original furniture layout wasn't going to work. Jeremy came up with a new layout, and we both ended up liking it! We hung the curtains, some artwork, and the mobile over the crib. We still need a standing lamp and a few other small things but it's basically all finished and that feels great! I'm really happy with how it turned out. I'll take some pictures and post them shortly! 

We also found some time to spend with friends. We had dinner with another couple who is having their first baby in February, and it was great chatting about baby preparations and getting ready to be new parents. We also had brunch with one of my friends that we hadn't seen in a while. Allie was one of my first friends in Atlanta from about 5 years ago. She's been working out of town the past couple years so I haven't seen her much but it was great to catch up! All in all, it was a nice weekend of productivity and fun too. I'm looking forward to our "babymoon" this weekend! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

3 months to go!

It's the 22nd of the month and that brings us to 3 months until the baby's due date! We are getting very close to finishing the nursery, and I can't wait to share pictures super soon. Here is a quick preview of the theme/colors!
The curtains came today and we are picking up the chair this weekend. All the little details are coming together, and we are almost finished putting his room together. Just need to finalize the furniture arrangement and hang the artwork. 

As far as names, we aren't going to announce it until he is born but we might have decided on one. I'm still thinking about it and making sure it feels right! Naming my dog was hard enough and naming a person certainly isn't an easy task! 

Thanks to all of you who have asked how I'm feeling and how the baby is doing. I have my glucose test on Tuesday to check for gestational diabetes. Hoping that goes well and that everything else is looking good. More updates soon! 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

27 weeks!

How far along? 27 weeks (last week in the second trimester!)
Total weight gain: 21 or 22 pounds. It fluctuates. 
Maternity clothes? Absolutely. 
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep: some nights are pretty good and others are a little more challenging
Best moment this week: feeling him move and just being thankful there haven't been any complications so far.
Miss anything? Ultrasounds. I haven't had one since 20 weeks, and I miss seeing him! I also miss traveling. (I decided to cut off flying anywhere once we hit the 24 weeks mark in order to avoid any problems such as pre term labor while out of town.)
Movement: definitely! His movements are getting stronger, and I feel him more frequently than in previous weeks. He sleeps a lot too though! His most active time of day seems to be around 10 or 11pm or at least that's when I notice him most.
Food cravings: nothing in particular but I do find that I'm hungrier lately. I find that lots of smaller meals and snack works best.
Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!
Gender: BOY!!
Labor signs: not yet thankfully! Definitely want him to be nice and comfy until closer to his due date. 
Symptoms: some occasional soreness from carrying around the extra weight but it's manageable.
Belly button in or out? Still slightly in 
Wedding rings on or off? On but continually checking them. I haven't had any swelling yet.
Mood: excited but a little nervous too!
Looking forward to: the third trimester, finishing up the nursery, our "babymoon", my baby shower, and maternity pictures. Lots to look forward to in the upcoming weeks!
Baby is the size of a head of cauliflower this week! He is about two pounds and getting taller too. Recently I've been following the Gardner quads that were born a few weeks ago. Their babies were about 2 pounds when they were born and seeing pictures of them doing well on the outside is amazing to me. It makes it feel very real knowing our baby is that developed and that he would look so much like a baby at this point. And we reached another viability milestone! 
Baby's hands are getting bigger too!

This week is my last week in the second trimester! Where has the time gone?? I'm super excited to be getting into the final part of the pregnancy. My two week drs appointments will be starting soon, and baby will be here before we know it!



Saturday, January 17, 2015

Preparing for becoming a mother

Even though I've spent a lot of time around children my entire life, I don't think I realized what being a mom is actually like. When I babysat, someone else was making the decisions regarding the feeding and sleeping schedule. Someone else was always figuring out the needs of that little baby. I was just being given the instructions and following them and taking good care of their baby or child in their absence. Just recently I took down my care.com babysitter profile and created an account for parents. After being being a babysitter since I was a teenager (15 plus years), it was definitely a strange feeling to not be the babysitter anymore and instead the parent. I realized that I'm going to be the one (and Jeremy too) that will be making all the decisions regarding feeding, sleeping, and so much more. I've been putting a lot of thought into it lately about what type of mom I hope to be and how we will raise this new little human. I am super excited and can already tell it's going to be such a rewarding experience. 

I've spent a lot of time lately reading blogs of other moms and talking with the moms that I know. I've been soaking up all the information I can get and taking any words of wisdom I can find. As experienced as I feel when it comes to babies and children, I recognize how much I have to learn as we embark on this new journey. 

So far, we've done a lot of preparations but there is still a lot more to do and learn! Here are some of the things we have accomplished already and checked off the list...

-crib 
-changing table
-gliding chair 
-bookcase 
-car seat/stroller (thanks Mom and Dad!)
-pack and play (thanks Jess!)
-high chair (thanks Laurel!)
-nursing pillow
-mobile
-toys (thanks Emily!)
-bath supplies (thanks Ashley!)
-clothes and other items (thanks Will and Roxanne and our moms) 

Lots of the other items that we still need are on my registry! From other mom's advice, here are some of the items I'm looking forward to getting.

-bouncy seat 
-rock and play sleeper 
-moby wrap or similar wrap 
-Aden and anais swaddle blankets 
-sleep sacks (halo or other similar brands)
-baby monitor 
-play mat

The baby industry is full of many choices. There are a million things you could buy but I'm trying to figure out what I actually need! I'm not a fan of clutter, and I'm trying not to accumulate too many baby products that might not potentially be used. I've tried to do my own research  as well as asking input from new moms. I'll do another post reviewing the products we end up loving and using all the time! 

Also, for those of you that aren't aware, many insurance companies are covering the cost of a breast pump. I'm planning on getting the Medela Pump in Style one. I've heard great things about Medela and hope I have a good experience with them too. I still need to get milk storage bags/bottles but I decided to wait on that until I know which bottle/nipple the baby likes best. I'm hoping I'll mostly just be breastfeeding but I'm sure the pump will come in handy sometimes.

I've also been thinking about all the stuff I'll need following the delivery. There is so much focus on getting ready for the baby but I also think it's important to prepare for taking care of my body too. I've been reading the "tmi" type info and what to expect those first few weeks after the baby is born. That's been helpful in knowing what to expect a little more and how to sooth/treat the issues that arise afterwards. I'm not one that likes surprises. I prefer to try and prepare myself before hand in hopes of making things easier to deal with. As prepared as I feel, I know there will be many surprises along the way. But that's all part of becoming a mom! If anyone has more advice, products they love, or any information to share, feel free to comment or message me! Thanks!

Things still on my to do list...

-finishing my will (this has been on my radar for a while but I really need to get it done now that we own a home and are having a baby) 

- get diapers, wipes, and other supplies needed right when the baby comes home

-finalize the name 

-pack the hospital bag

-finalize my birth plan 

-finish decorating the nursery 

It's the teacher in me that loves making to do lists and accomplishing tasks on the list. I love that satisfication of checking something off my list! It's almost calming or something. That's all for now! 





Wednesday, January 14, 2015

26 weeks!

How far along? 26 weeks 
Total weight gain: 20lbs (I guess the 2 pounds last week counted for this week!)
Maternity clothes? Absolutely 
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: still having strange dreams and waking up occasionally but overall I'm still sleeping well. I had a dream I had a scary birth story, and I was glad when I woke up! 
Best moment this week: having people ask me when the baby is due and other baby related questions! I love how sweet people can be now that I'm noticeably pregnant. :) 
Miss Anything? Sleeping on my stomach or my back. 
Movement: Yes! It's pretty similar to last week. It's not uncomfortable and just subtle reminders that he is there and playing. He will sometimes kick back when I push on my stomach which is fun! 
Food cravings: I've been loving a bowl of cereal and milk lately.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope not at all
Gender: BOY!!
Labor Signs: Nope 
Symptoms: lower back soreness from
The extra weight but that's about it! This baby has been very good to me. 
Belly Button in or out? In for now but looking a bit funny 
Wedding rings on or off? On but continually checking them. 
Mood: excited but a little nervous too 
Looking forward to: finishing the nursery, the third trimester, my baby shower, and maternity pictures
The bump is definitely getting bigger! 
This app says a butternut squash and my other app says an eggplant. Either way these fruit and veggie comparisons are turning into quite large ones! Baby is approaching the 2 pound mark, and this week his eyes are starting to open! I'm amazed by all the developments and changes each week! 


 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Double digits! 99 days to go!

Baby Ciak's due date keeps getting closer and closer, and we both keep growing! I'm definitely feeling the movements a lot more as he continues to get stronger. As the due date gets closer, I find myself thinking more and more about the labor and delivery. How is this baby possibly going to get out!? As much as I've read about contractions, labor positions, and such I still feel like I have no idea what to really expect. From what I've heard, nothing can really prepare you for childbirth and each birth is unique. I've never had a really serious injury so I'm really not sure how I handle pain. The most painful experience I had was probably skin surgery last year which was a 2 inch incision but other than that, no broken bones or anything like that. It's going to be different for sure!

I've been trying to avoid thinking about the pain and the challenges and instead focusing on the fact that after it is all over that I will get to hold our baby. I came across an article recently that I loved. The title intrigued me because it was called "They should have warned me..."  See article here.

The article started off by saying how this mom to be was warned about all the things that would be changing once the baby arrived. The lack of sleep, the pain from the recovery and breastfeeding, and so much more. Very often I find people telling me to enjoy my sleep and free time while I have it. Certainly great advice, and I'm definitely savoring every bit of sleep I can get. They also say things like enjoy the time with your husband. It won't be about you two anymore. This is also true. It's going to be different for sure but if there is a time for us to make this transition, I don't think it could have happened at a better time. I honestly don't feel like any couple can ever be fully prepared for parenthood. It's a learn on the job kind of thing. There are always going to be reasons to wait or reasons to start a family. For us, the time feels right and while our life as we know it is about to change forever, I couldn't be more excited.

The article then continued on to discuss all the amazing things that come from having a baby and starting a family. I loved reading all these positive aspects that I would be gaining when we welcome this baby into the world. I always try to surround myself with positive people and focus on the good things in every situation. As challenging as it's going to be, I really want to enjoy every moment because I know how quickly babies grow. They don't stay newborns for long and before you know it they are all grown up. 

For the next few months I want to just enjoy being pregnant. I'm trying not to rush it and savor this part too. I do think I will miss being pregnant. It's a pretty special experience being connected to your baby. I thought I'd end this post with this saying. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend updates

Lately I've been having the urge to go out more on the weekends. I know it won't be nearly as easy once the baby arrives. On Friday night we typically stay home but last minute we decided to have a spontaneous date night in Buckhead. I had been hearing about all the new shops and restaurants that had opened, and I wanted to check it out. The whole area is pretty cute. The shops are super expensive and the restaurants seem to be too but they all look really nice. We just went to a place called Shake Shack. The food wasn't anything particularly special but the smores frozen custard thing I got for dessert was a nice treat! 
On Saturday, we just ran a few errands but overall had a low key day. At night we had Jeremy's belated holiday dinner with his team at work. We went to Pampas in Alpharetta which was delicious as always, and we left entirely too full! One of Jeremy's coworkers has a five month old so I enjoyed talking to his wife about baby stuff! Many of my close friends aren't having kids yet so it's always nice when I find a mom to chat with and ask for advice. I feel like I learn best from people with experience thus why I love talking to people who are recent moms and even mom who have had kids for many years. 

On Sunday, we had a lazy morning. We really are trying to take advantage of these last few months where we can sleep in. Neither of us are morning people so waking up early on the weekends will be an adjustment for sure. I'm trying to savor all our time together as a couple. 

We went to my mother in laws for a belated holiday dinner since she was out of town over Christmas. She made an assortment of chili, and we all just relaxed and watched football. 

And it's Monday again! The weekends always seem to fly by. The weather has been pretty chilly and rainy lately. This upcoming weekend was when I was originally planning on going to Florida. Kind of wish we were! I would love to getaway from winter but this year we will be staying closer to home. More soon! 



Friday, January 9, 2015

Just some random updates

Now that the holidays are over, I have been busy working on final baby preparations and just enjoying our last three months as a couple. I think I've definitely started to reach that nesting phase in the pregnancy where I have this urge to clean, organize, and finish getting our home ready for the baby. I think part of this has to do with the cold weather lately and wanting to stay warm and get things off my to do list. 

We also decided not to take a trip to Florida and instead we are going to stay closer to home. Now that the third trimester is approaching I decided to cut off the air travel and stick to car rides. I've heard all too many stories of pre term labor and unexpected things happening earlier than expected which has made me want to stay nearby. This isn't really characteristic of me because I love to travel but putting baby first is my number one priority right now. 

I've been focusing on eating healthy and getting lots of walking in. Jeremy got me a fit bit which I'm enjoying. I've been wearing it and being more conscious of my activity level and steps that I walk each day. As I get further along in the pregnancy, it's important to me that I stay active and keep my body in shape for the labor and delivery. I've set the goal of trying to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and so far it's going well! 

The nursery is starting to come together. I can't wait to share pictures in a few weeks once it is finished! We are just waiting on the chair/ottoman to come in and for a few other items I ordered online. I've also started to receive some gifts from family and friends out of town which has been fun! It's exciting to get packages from all the people who already love and care about this little guy! We are thankful for your friendships and generousity! We can't wait for everyone to meet him and appreciate your help in getting ready for his arrival! 


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

25 weeks!

How far along? 25 weeks
Total weight gain: 20lbs (just keep gaining lately! I think it's mostly the baby growing because I'm eating and exercising the same as usual!)
Maternity clothes? Of course 
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: still having strange dreams and waking up occasionally but overall I'm sleeping relatively well. Rolling over is starting to be more challenging. 
Best moment this week: feeling the baby continue to move. I can definitely tell his kicks are getting stronger as he gains more weight!
Miss anything? I do miss some of my clothes that I can't currently wear this winter.
Movement: yes! It's become a little more frequent than in previous weeks too. So far I think he still has plenty of room because it doesn't feel uncomfortable when he kicks. 
Food cravings: I wouldn't say I really have cravings but I'm typically wanting fruit, yogurt, pasta and veggie dishes, and pizza.
Anything making you queasy or sick: no
Gender: BOY!!
Labor Signa: Nope
Symptoms: My back has started to get tired more easily when standing for longer periods of time but overall the symptoms are manageable and completely worth it!
Belly button in or out? In for now
Wedding rings on or off? On but continually checking them. So far I haven't had any swelling but not sure when that might hit! 
Mood: excited but nervous about the labor and delivery part
Looking forward to: getting into the third trimester in a few weeks and my baby shower in about a month!
Baby Ciak is the size of a small cabbage this week and weighs about 1.5 pounds. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sweet surprise!

Today I came home to the sweetest surprise at my door. It was a package, and I wasn't expecting anything. From far away, I thought maybe it was a baby gift from someone out of town. To my surprise, once I walked up to it, I saw it was from my soon to be sister in law, Emily. I eagerly opened the box to find a note, non alcoholic sparkling cider, and a pretty pink package filled with fortune cookies. 
She asked me to be a part of their wedding party, and I couldn't be more excited! I feel honored to be part of their special day, and I just can't wait until August 22, 2015! My brother and Emily make such an awesome couple, and I'm excited for them to start this next chapter in their lives together.
I'm also thrilled that Emily is flying down for my baby shower in February! I can't wait to see her, and it means so much to me that she is making the trip down to celebrate Baby Ciak! While 2015 only started five days ago, I'm loving it already. Lots of excitement coming soon! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Birthday pizza party!

Last night we went to our friends place to celebrate her birthday. She provided homemade pizza dough, sauce, and all the toppings that you could imagine. Everyone got to make their own pizza. Caitlin and Greg were great hosts, and I loved this idea of making your own pizzas! 
Here is Jeremy making his pizza. Check out that huge pile of dough and all the toppings! So fun and delicious! 
My finished pizza! I clearly am not a meat lovers type. I prefer the veggie toppings. So good!
A few of the topping selections! There was even more she kept adding. 
Amanda and Caitlin are my old coworkers. They co teach together this year. I subbed for Caitlin a few weeks ago, and it was fun being in a co taught classroom. They have 6 of my old students from last year too! Amanda is getting married in April, and I'm sad that we will miss it since its in Florida and very close to my due date. We missed her fiancĂ©, Eric last night but are glad he is moving back to GA soon! I still remember Amanda and I talking in the copy room at work two years ago about her joining match.com and here they are two years later about to get married. Love those online success stories! Thanks Caitlin and Greg for hosting and happy birthday Caitlin! It was a nice night of good food, friends, and playoff football! 

I'm a bit sad the holidays are over. We took down all the decorations and the house feels a bit empty. I've really enjoyed having Jeremy around during his time off. While we didn't travel anywhere, we did have plenty of time to relax together while also being productive too. Back to the regular routine tomorrow! Hope everyone's new year is off to a great start!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Recipe idea

In our time off this week, we decided to try some new recipes. This one turned out pretty well so I thought I would share. It's called Paprika Chicken in a white wine butter sauce. 
It doesn't require a ton of ingredients which I like and was simple to make. 
Here are the instructions. It's from a website called the kitchen paper. 

I would definitely add some kind of pasta or rice. We just did the chicken and spinach and I was still a bit hungry after. We both really liked the sauce. 

Now that the holidays are over, I definitely want to get back on track eating nice and healthy. Being pregnant is good motivation to eat well but it's still hard not to splurge every once in a while. Yesterday I went back and looked at first picture that we took at 4 weeks and put it next to my 24 week picture. What a difference 20 weeks makes! Here's what I'm talking about. I have gotten so used to being pregnant that I feel like I've forgotten how I used to look! Quite a difference. 
Next on my cooking to do list is finding some good freezer meals. I want to make some food and store it for after the baby it here so I won't have to cook as much right away. I also don't want to be always getting take out so freezer meals are a good way to go with a newborn. I'm thinking things like lasagna or chili would work well. Pre baby we have tended to grocery shop by the week so we have lots of fresh produce but I think we need to start thinking about more meals that can produce leftovers to make things simpler at least in the beginning. :) 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Last night we hosted a group of our friends to watch the GA tech bowl game and to ring in the new year. There ended up being a group of 11 of us. Everyone brought an appetizer and some drinks. There was more than enough food for everyone! I made a non alcoholic punch with sparkling grape juice for me and my other friend who is pregnant. I think everyone had a good time! It was low key but great company and GA tech won the football game. All in all a good night! Here are a few pictures. I didn't end up getting a group picture but we did get a few!
Last New Years just the two of us!
My sweet friend Ashley! 
Coworkers!
My friend Fred who went to Penn State joined us as well. There are few people who aren't pictured. I think they were all just too cozy on the couch! I was glad to be surrounded by such great friends to bring in the new year.

I can't believe it's 2015 and the year that our first baby will be born! 2014 was a year of mixed emotions for me. It started off a bit of a rollercoaster but really ended up on a high note from June until the end of the year. Looking back, many life changing events happened, and knowing what I know now, I wouldn't change any of those decisions. In February I got diagnosised with PCOS. Back in April we decided I would stop teaching full time and focus on our fertility treatments. Then we went to Thailand and Cambodia for two weeks and just a few short weeks after our return to the U.S. I had my IUI. In August, we found out we were pregnant and things just kept getting better from there. We had two family engagements in November and December to finish the year off. As you can see, I loved the second half of 2014 but the first half of the year while it was challenging was important too. 

Looking forward to 2015, I can't help but think this will be the most rewarding and challenging year yet. I couldn't be more excited for all the new adventures this year will bring, and I think last year helped prepare me a bit more for those tough decisions and hard times too. Cheers to a new and exciting year! 

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