Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pregnancy fitness

I've always been one who tries to eat healthy and exercise but never really been a huge fan of the the gym. I'll be the first to admit that I have had three gym memberships since I moved to Atlanta almost seven years ago all of which have been canceled. I tend to go through phases where I'm really into working out and going to exercise classes and then other phases where life just seems so busy that going to the gym just wasn't a priority. I'm guessing some of you can relate to this. For those of you that go to the gym very frequently and are disciplined about it, I wish I was more like you! For those of you more like me that go back and forth, I totally get it. 

When I was having a hard time getting pregnant last year, I joined LA fitness back in March and started trying to get healthier thinking it would somehow improve my ability to get pregnant. I did yoga to try and relax, and I did other classes the build strength and endurance. When I got pregnant in July 2014, I was just in the transition stage of being in better shape but I didn't quite feel like I was where I was trying to get. My doctor had told me to continue regular exercise that I had done before the pregnancy but not to take on new routines and things my body wasn't already used to. Some women run marathons and continue a very rigorous work out schedule throughout their pregnancy because they were in those habits before. I think it's awesome that some people are able to keep up that level of fitness while also going through a pregnancy. I, however, didn't feel like my body was accustomed to a very strenuous routine before hand so I decided that walking and yoga would be my best bet for exercise during my pregnancy.

I've noticed as I get further along in the pregnancy, the easier it is start feeling very lazy and to try and make excuses to sit down or take a nap. I've been trying to keep my energy level up but I do find my body telling me to slow down a little more. Just the other day I went on a long walk, (5 plus miles according to my Fitbit) and I found myself getting worn out much easier than usual. I guess it makes sense carrying around a baby and about 25 extra pounds. But despite the changes my body is going through, I've been trying to stay active.

I think I mentioned I got a Fitbit for Christmas. I wanted to see how many steps I walked a day and to hold myself more accountable for how active or non active I was each day. When I first started, the idea of walking 10,000 steps a day seemed easy and realistic. Quickly I realized that was actually a lot of steps and equivalent to about 5 miles of walking per day. It wasn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be. While I don't pressure myself to hit a step goal everyday, I do find having the Fitbit and friends I'm "competing" with makes me walk more and push myself harder than I used to. For those of you looking for some motivation to be more active and walk more, I recommend getting a fit bit or similar device. It's definitely helped me stay motivated and more aware of my activity level.

Today I did prenatal yoga for the first time. As I mentioned in another post, I was able to get into a free class for the next three Saturdays. It was nice being with other pregnant ladies, relaxing, stretching, and preparing our bodies for the labor and delivery. It was a 75 minute class, and overall I enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to going back next weekend. It was the first time doing yoga with baby and me, and I definitely enjoyed it more than I was expecting! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

32 weeks!

How far along? 32 weeks
Total weight gain: 27 pounds 
Maternity clothes: definitely 
Stretch marks: no 
Sleep: I wake up pretty often but I'm still getting decent sleep. 
Miss anything? Still missing a good turkey sub 
Movement: There has been so much movement this week! Of course except for the few hour visit with my Dad where he was stubborn and wouldn't kick. I finally caught his kicks on video. It's such an amazing experience to not only be able feel the movements from the inside but also be able to see them from the outside. 
Best moment this week: finding outfits for our maternity pictures and passing all the tests at the doctor this week. (Blood pressure, urine check, belly measurement, and heartbeat check)
Food cravings: nothing in particular 
Anything making you queasy or sick: I should probably just cut this question out since I fortunately didn't have issues with anything making me feel sick.
Gender: BOY!!
Labor signs: I don't think so! I've had a few pains or cramp like feelings on the underside of my belly but I'm still not exactly sure what a Braxton Hicks contraction or a regular contraction feels like. 
Symptoms: just having a harder time getting comfortable but it's all still manageable! Oh and some occasional heartburn too. 
Belly button in or out? It's partly out when I stand up but still slightly in when laying down.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!
Mood: excited but a little nervous as the labor and delivery gets closer
Looking forward to: meeting with a potential pediatrician on Friday. Our maternity pictures are being rescheduled due to bad weather. I am hoping we can get them in next week but the forecast isn't looking good then either!
Getting  bigger! 
Strange fruit or veggie choice this week! Baby should be somewhere in the 3 pound range this week! His heartbeat was a little higher this week at 150. The previous few weeks were 135. The doctor said it was probably just a difference of him being awake or asleep during the appointment. 
Crazy how close that hand is to the 9 month mark! 

I can't believe that I'm eight months pregnant now. Sometimes it feels like the pregnancy has gone really quickly and other times it feels like it's gone slowly. Either way, the end is approaching and that makes me excited but sad as well. I've loved being pregnant, and I think I will miss that sweet baby kicking inside me. As excited as I am to meet our little boy, I'm trying to savor these last few weeks. I'll never get to be pregnant again without having another child to chase around. I'm taking the time to rest when I can and enjoy the quiet moments. 

This is the last time in my life where things are just about my husband and me. I recently read an article about how once you are a mom, it never goes away. You can turn off work and other things in life temporarily but being a mom is always going to be the number one priority. I never really thought about it that way but once you have a child pretty much all your decisions in life revolve around that sweet baby and how you can be the best parent. We are both ready to get started on this amazing journey but until then we plan to have lots more date nights! There are only about eight Saturdays left without needing a babysitter! 

Lastly, I finally was able to get a video of this sweet baby kicking! This has to be my favorite part of being pregnant. I remember always wondering what it was like to be pregnant and what it feels like to have a tiny human growing inside you. Now I know, and it couldn't be more special!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Atlanta Area Mom's Blog

I'm excited to announce that I will be a contributing blogger on the Atlanta Area Mom's blog. Check out the website! Here is a link to my bio Meet the contributors About a month ago, I liked their page on Facebook, started reading some articles, and I occasionally commented on some postings. I was looking to connect with more Moms in the Atlanta area since many of my current friends are long distance or aren't currently starting a family. 

I believe one of the posts that I commented on was in regards to PCOS or infertility.  Whenever I see articles online about both those topics, I still always read them. I am so interested about both topics and raising awareness about them. I posted my blog in a comment to share my story as well. Just recently, the founder of the Atlanta site contacted me and asked if I was interested in being a guest blogger or a contributor. I've been enjoying writing my blog over the past few months and was super excited about the opportunity. I applied and just the other day was officially was added to the contributors list. 

Heather was interested in having me on the team because none of the other contributors had difficultly getting pregnant or had gone through fertility treatments. Granted it is a moms blog so most of the followers have kids already, however I felt like it would be good to write about secondary infertility, PCOS, and ways to support friends who might be struggling to get pregnant. 

I'm looking forward to doing my first post! With being a stay at home mom, it's still important to me that I have hobbies of my own and activities that I enjoy doing when the baby is sleeping. Blogging with these other moms
I think will be a great experience, and I know I'll be able to learn a lot from them! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cabin weekend

On Friday night, we headed up to a cabin with two other couples. It was a bit of a race against the snow because snow was expected in the early evening. Fortunately we stopped quickly for dinner and food shopping, and we made it there just as it was starting to come down more heavily.

The cabin was really cozy, and we were greeted by the neighbors very friendly cat. After unpacking our stuff, we just relaxed by the fire and played boards games for the rest of the night.
Our other friends arrived later that night, and Saturday morning we made breakfast and played in the snow. There was about two inches but it was just enough to have a snowball fight and build a small snowman. This doesn't happen very often in GA so it was fun! 
We made a little snowman family!
We went on a walk too but it was pretty cold!
The rest of the day we played more board games and our friends braved the hot tub. I can't go in being pregnant so Jeremy and I just hung out in the cabin. We had a great time playing taboo, spoons, uno, and cards against humanity. I love quiet nights with good friends just laughing and having fun. 
Each of us provided a meal. I made lasagna for dinner with a salad. Everything turned out really well, and we are already thinking about our next weekend trip. We are thinking a beach trip, and I'm hoping maybe we can bring the baby along. I've been hearing it is best to travel while the baby is still small. We will see how it goes once the summer comes. As of now I feel like I can't think past April.

On Sunday, we came home in the early afternoon. My dad was in town, and we went to dinner with my parents. 
It's always nice to see my Dad! Next time he visits, it will be to see the baby! It's still hard to believe that it's getting close to my due date. Yesterday marked 2 months to go! 

This weekend was also THON weekend at Penn State! I watched the live webcast during family hour and for the money raised reveal. I look forward to this event every year and am proud to be a PSU alum and former THON dancer. I hope one day in the near future they can find a cure for cancer. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Baby room organization

We decided to get the extra wide dresser for the nursery. I knew I would need lots of space to store everything. Our dresser has three drawers on the top row and then two rows of two wider drawers. It seems to be a good amount of space for all the essential items. Here's how I layed things out. 
Burp clothes and wash clothes on the top left. I wanted those quick and easy to access because I know we will be using a lot of them especially if he splits up a lot!
Diapers, wipes, and desitin in the top middle drawer. These definitely need to be easily accessible as well!
Bibs, socks, hats, and mittens are on the top right. We got so many bibs! Love the whale fabric of the handmade ones from one of my friends! 
Second row drawer has his onesies and pants!
And the other drawer has Aden and anais swaddle blankets, sleep sacs, and regular blankets.
Towels and bath supplies in the bottom drawer.
And more blankets and toys to snuggle with during playtime! 
We got a long bin that fits perfectly under  the crib for extra diapers, wipes, and other extra items to store. Half of it has diapers and half has wipes! We should be stocked up for a while but I know it will go faster than I think!
Lots of wipe refills and diaper genie refill bags. I know some people have said the diaper genie isn't a necessity but I've used it babysitting, and I thought it did a good job minimizing the diaper odor. Hoping it works well for us. I plan to review different baby products and share what we love and use a lot and what we find isn't that useful once the baby arrives. For now I'm just going on past experiences with other people's children or recommendation from friends that are already moms. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

31 weeks!

 How many weeks? 31 weeks
Total weight gain: 26 pounds 
Maternity clothes? Yup!
Stretch marks? No. I've been using this lotion called Mustela that a friend suggested. Not sure if that's making a difference or if I've just been lucky not to get stretch marks.
Sleep: sometimes it is hard to fall asleep if the baby is awake and kicking. I wake up a few times a night but I'm still getting a decent amount of sleep.
Miss anything? Not really. I'm pretty used to being pregnant by now!
Movement: yes! Lots of movement especially in the evening. 
Best moment this week: getting into a free prenatal yoga class! There is a website called oh baby fitness, and they have prenatal yoga classes along with a bunch of other classes. I had heard they offer free ones sponsered by Kaiser Permanente. I emailed and asked them to let me know if a spot opened up a while back and just got the email this week I could join one of the free classes. I hope I like it and that it's helpful in preparing for childbirth. 
Food cravings: still really liking a bowl of cereal and milk
Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope! 
Gender: BOY!!
Labor Signs: not yet
Symptoms: just feeling a bit heavy but other than that I'm feeling great!
Belly button in or out: It's kind of in between.
Wedding rings on or off? On 
Mood: happy and excited 
Looking forward to: our cabin weekend with friends and our maternity pictures next week! If only I could figure out what I'm wearing in the pictures!
Baby Ciak is the size of a head of lettuce.
He is weighing around 3 pounds right now and should be gaining about a half a pound a week until he is born. His five senses are also finished being developed and his eyes are open! It's hard to believe he could double or even triple in size over the next 9 weeks. I can't believe we are in single digit weeks left. I remember being just 9 weeks pregnant and so excited when I got to 10 weeks. Where did the time go? When I hear stories of people delivering three weeks early and such, it really hits me that he could arrive in more like 6 weeks which seems super soon. For some reason I still think he will be late or close to being on time but obviously I have no idea! I'm just trying to be prepared a few weeks early just in case. 
I feel like we are almost ready. Jeremy helped assemble the Rock and play and the bouncy seat this weekend. I still need to wash all his clothes and sheets but want to wait a little closer to his due date. I did find homes for most things in his room. I'll do a separate post about how I organized his dresser! I've had so much fun putting away all those tiny clothes. 

Next on my to do list is picking a pediatrician. I'm deciding between two practices both which have six or seven doctors. I'm leaning towards the practice that has an online portal and a lactation consultant on site but I still want to check out both places since I've had recommendations to both. I've been very happy with my primary care doctor and my Ob/gyn, and I'm hoping I can find a doctor I am on the same page with. Even once I pick the practice, I still need to decide which of the doctors to choose. Hopefully the new parent consultation will help, and we will decide soon. 

Next on the list after that is packing the hospital bag and baby's diaper bag. It's starting to feel very real now that our home is filled with baby supplies. More soon!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Day!

This year we decided to stay home and that Jeremy would cook dinner for me. When I thought back to all four of our previous Valentine's Day dinners, I loved our first one and the meal he made. We've been going out a lot lately (trying to get in extra date nights without needing a babysitter), and I'm not always a fan of the fixed price menus many restaurants do on special occasions so we went with the stay in option. I think we both decided to make this a yearly tradition since we will have a little one in the mix next year, and it's easier to stay home anyway!

During the week, he asked for my meal request. Pappardelle pasta with shrimp was the first thing that came to mind. He found the recipe and did the grocery shopping! That afternoon he surprised me with flowers delivered to our house. They were very pretty! 
They still smell nice a few days later. I love having fresh flowers around the house.
We had the fireplace on, sparkling cider, and a delicious meal. I'm so lucky to have someone special to spend nights like this with. I'm definitely cherishing our time together and having dinner on our own schedule. 
Super yummy!
The rice pudding was great too! Pretty good for the first attempt. I think all the cooking shows Jeremy watches has helped make him into a good cook! :) 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Books I've been reading

Lately, I've been doing a ton of reading about pregnancy, babies, breastfeeding, and parenting. A lot of the reading I do is online but I've been trying read some books as well. My sister in law gave me some books as well as a friend and the lady I babysit for. So far I've gotten through two of them and am reading though the others when I can. 
The first book that I've refered to was sent to me by a friend. I used my pregnancy apps a lot for daily tidbits of information but this book has been good to read chapter by chapter when I reach a new week or month in my pregnancy. It also has labor and delivery info as well.
The next book I read was Bringing Up Bebe which is written by an American women who learns about French parenting. She discusses the similarities and differences of both cultures and the parenting strategies she sees during her time in France. Her writing is entertaining, and I thought she had many useful pointers that I would like to try once my little boy arrives.
Next I read Twelve Hours of Sleep by Twelve weeks. I was skeptical at first how well this would work with a breastfed baby but I thought many of the ideas made sense and sounded like it could work. I obviously still don't know what kind of baby I'm working with but much of this book stresses the parents establishing good, consistent routines with a predictable schedule where the child feels comfortable and secure. Since I am an organizer and a planner, I'm hoping to establish a schedule once we get past the first few weeks when then baby is breastfeeding every 2-3 hours 24 hours a day. For some moms, being more flexible and not having a schedule is preferable. For others, they seem to like the structure and having a relatively  predictable day given perfect circumstances. Obviously things like illness, special events, and travel plans can easily disrupt a schedule but trying to stick to one when possible sounds appealing to me. All these ideas and what works for us could change once we embark on this parenting journey but for now getting a toolbox of ideas has been my goal.
This one was sent from my sister in law. I'm just starting it and looking forward to the ideas it has to offer.
I've been reading this one for breastfeeding. It's taught me some of the various breastfeeding positions and just given me information about what to expect. This is another one my sister in law sent.
This last one was recommended by many moms in the Atlanta area. It's very specific and gives lots of great tips for the first six months. 

Frequently made pregnancy comments

Now that I'm noticeably pregnant, the comments from strangers have come out in full force. I don't mind the questions at all, and I love talking about my pregnancy to anyone who asks. I'm an open book when it comes to my fertility treatments and my pregnancy. With that being said, lately I've been noticing a common trend of questions and responses that I receive. I thought I'd do a post about this so I can remember all the funny things people say and do.

The first conversation that comes to mind was with a Lowes check out clerk. He was the first person that I encountered that talked to my belly as if he was going to receive a response. He didn't make eye contact with us and instead chose to talk to the baby. That fortunately hasn't happened again. It was a bit odd but kind of entertaining too.

The most common and obvious question people like to ask is in reference to the baby's gender. They ask if I know what I'm having and after sharing that it's a boy, the responses get quite interesting. The most typical thing they say is that boys are "easier" than girls. This still puzzles me a bit because in my experience teaching boys and girls for six years, most of my more challenging students were boys. I think they are referring to that its easier to get boys dressed and ready in the morning because their clothes, hair, and shoes are simpler. In that respect, yes boys might be "easier" but in other aspects I think raising a boy might be harder. I guess I will find out soon enough but I find it interesting that many people seem to think raising boys is easier than raising girls. 

The next thing people commonly ask is, "how far along are you?" I'm always thinking in weeks because that's how my pregnancy apps keep track but I usually convert it into months to make it easier for others to understand how far along I am. Lately, I've been saying I am 7 months along or that I have about 2 months left. People tend to look at my belly in shock and then reply, "oh you're so small!" I've been trying to figure out if people are being polite and trying to make me feel better about my growing belly or if they genuinely feel that way! I honestly love having a baby bump and the weight gain really hasn't bothered me at all because I know it's all necessary and part of the process. I'm wondering though if it will get to a point in the pregnancy where people start commenting "oh wow you look like you're about to pop, or are there twins in there?" If that happens, when we will it be? I'm almost 31 weeks now and still getting the small belly remarks. I guess that's a good thing but I'm not sure! I really don't mind what people say one way or the other. Everyone's pregnancy looks different and everyone grows at their own pace. Just for the record, my belly measurement was 30cm at 30 weeks which is just where I am supposed to be so I don't think I'm necessary big or small. I'm just taking notes so I can remember this experience and compare it to other pregnancies in the future.

The next typical question, "is it your first baby?" Well yes it is my first baby. Then the responses. They can be overwhelmingly positive or often negative.  Your life will never be the same is probably the most common statement. Get your sleep now is another one. I try to focus on the positive comments about how my life will be much more full of love and how amazing being a mom is. I try to brush off the comments that make parenting seem overwhelming and not enjoyable. It's not going to be easy that is for sure but I prefer to focus on the positive aspects and what you are gaining by having a child instead of what you are losing. I've been surprised by how many people like to point out all the things I won't be able to do as easily anymore (traveling, date nights, sleep, the list goes on). 

I will probably keep adding to this post as I think of more things and as more conversations happen during the next few weeks. More soon! 

Baby filled week!

This week was a busy one! On Wednesday I went to Northside hospital to meet my friend Kristen's baby as well as my neighbor's baby. It worked out well they were there at the same time. I'd heard Northside refered to as the baby factory and now I understand why! That place is huge and full of new dads, siblings, grandparents, and of course babies! There were multiple floors, and it was a very busy place. I lost on the way there and on the way out! After visiting this hospital and where I'm delivering, I'm glad I'll be over at Piedmont. It seemed a little quieter and more personal from my first impression. 

It was great to meet Coleton and Javier. Holding a few day old baby got me really excited about meeting our little boy! I loved seeing Kristen and Dan as new parents and couldn't help but picture that being us in about 9 weeks. I unfortunately didn't get pictures during my hospital visit but I'll get one next visit! 
Later in the week I met up with two other girls I know that recently had babies. Ashlie's baby is 5 weeks old and Melissa's is almost 4 months. I loved meeting them both and catching up with these new moms! I loved hearing their birth stories and how the first few weeks and months have gone. Rilynn was so sweet and napped on me for almost 2 hours! 

If I learned one thing from all four of the moms I visited, it was that the birth plan didn't go according to plan. With that being said, I still have my plan in mind but I'm already expecting to be flexible and go with the flow. I am very curious to see what our birth story will be like. I try to picture it in my head but honestly as much as I read and talk about labor and delivery, it still feels very uncertain and unpredictable. That's part of what will make it special though. We will be creating our own unique story and no matter what matters, we get the best gift at the end! I'm just going to trust the doctors and nurses and continue to hope for minimal complications and a healthy baby.

It was almost great talking about breastfeeding, sleep schedules, and just the little things these moms have learned along the way. While I feel like I have a ton of baby experience, I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to breastfeeding and just taking care of a newborn. I have tons of ideas and things I would like to try and am excited to get started! But as ready as I'm starting to feel, I'm trying not to rush these last few weeks. 

I'm enjoying the calmness, the quiet, and the sleep that I'm getting at home. We've been going on lots of date nights and finishing up projects around the house. I know this alone time with my husband is about to change forever so I'm making sure to cherish these moments just the two of us. I love laying in bed at night feeling those sweet kicks together and talking about the baby. What will he look like? What type of personality will he have? It's really fun to think about what this little guy will be like! I'm really going to miss being pregnant but hopefully I'll have the opportunity again in a few years. In case you were wondering, we definitely want more children if we can have more! 

Well I'm off to organize the baby room. I spent my week writing thank you notes for all the wonderful gifts and now it's time to unpack them all and find homes for everything! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

30 weeks!

How far along? 30 weeks! 
Total weight gain: 25 pounds
Maternity clothes? Definitely! I loved the two dresses I wore over the weekend from Izzy Maternity. 
Stretch marks? Nope 
Sleep: I wake up pretty frequently but I'm still getting decent sleep in between. 
Miss anything? This might sound silly but my smaller boobs (I didn't realize they changed so much before the baby was here and breastfeeding began.)
Movement: yes! I love laying in bed watching TV and just holding my stomach. There really isn't anything much sweeter than feeling that new life kick and wiggle inside you!
Best moment this week: blood pressure, pee check, belly measurement, and heartbeat were all normal at my 30 week appt! Hurray. 
Food cravings: leftover cake from my baby shower. It was so delicious and still is 4 days later!
Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope although I think I may have gotten food poisoning after the charity event we went to this weekend at the GA aquarium. (I'll do a post about that event soon.) We came home from the event around 11:30 when the nausea and sweating hit. I threw up for the first time this pregnancy (very lucky I know!) but fortunately it passed before my baby shower the next morning.
Gender: BOY!!
Labor signs: nope (still haven't had any Braxton hicks contractions either. I guess he is nice and comfy in there!)
Symptoms: I've had some heartburn recently and some soreness in my legs and lower back but overall I'm still feeling well.
Belly button in or out? Oh so close to being popped out
Wedding rings on or off? On and still fit just fine 
Mood: excited 
Looking forward to: Valentine's Day (Jeremy is cooking!), our cabin weekend with friends, and our maternity pictures
Baby Ciak is the size of a...
Wow! He's getting so big! He weighs about 3lbs now and should be gaining about a half a pound a week for the next few weeks.
His hands have grown so much. I remember when they were really small!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Baby shower!

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day for my baby shower. It was 66 degrees, the sky was blue, and the sun was shining through the big, beautiful windows at the restaurant. It was one of those spring like days that just makes you feel happy to be out and about enjoying such a nice day! On top of the gorgeous weather, my baby shower was just perfect! It was definitely a day I looked forward to for many years now, and a day I'll never forget!
My mom was such a great host, and everything came together very well. It was at a restaurant called Old Vinings Inn, and the room was the perfect size for our 30 guests. My mom and I love windows and natural light and was one thing we liked about this restaurant. The staff, service, food, and atmosphere was great. I definitely recommend hosting an event there if you're in Atlanta! They were super accommodating and allowed my mom and I to drop everything off the day before which made setting up yesterday morning super easy and quick for her.

The shower started at 12 but I got there a few minutes early so I could take some pictures of the little details. Thanks to Pinterest and my mom the flower arrangements looked awesome. We had seen a mason jar with blue hydrangea, white roses, and babies breath that I thought was pretty. With a little lace and blue ribbon to dress up the mason jar, the centerpieces were done! 
The tables were also decorated with the favors. We found personalized stickers for the bottom of Hershey kisses and put them in a shear blue bag. I loved them, and it was super easy and not too expensive to put together! Thanks etsy for this find! 
I loved that it tied into the owl theme as well! 
Here's the table set up!
As for the other decorations and activities, there was a wishing tree, a guess the birthday/weight game, and a guest book that the guests created!
It came out so well! 
All these ideas came from Etsy. We love how you can personalize things and custom items. For this one they sent a digital file and then you just had to get it printed on a poster. 
It was fun to see all the guesses! I'm curious to see if anyone guessed correctly! 
Thanks for all the great advice and well wishes! I enjoyed reading all your sweet notes and words of wisdom.
I absolutely loved how the cake turned out. We recently had this bakeries cake at a friend's wedding and loved it. Gorgeous design and delicious cake! We did a strawberry cake, strawberry filling, and buttercream ombré roses. It's not really your typical baby shower cake but so pretty and went well with the colors! I loved hearing everyone say how delicious and moist the cake was. I think everyone enjoyed the food and the cake as much as I did! 
There was an owl themed it's a boy banner hanging in the window too! It's hard to see in the picture but super cute.

Everyone got there around 12. It was great seeing all my moms friends that I hadn't seen in a while. They are all such sweethearts and great friends! It was also nice having mother in law, two soon to be sister in laws, old coworkers, and my atlanta friends all together to celebrate Baby Ciak!
My mom was a wonderful host, and thanks to both my parents for making this shower possible! I love this picture of us!
Emily, my brothers fiance, flew in from DC for the shower. I really appreciated her making the trip, and she did an amazing job recording all the gifts I got! Riley, my brother in laws fiance helped me take some pictures too! I'm looking forward to both of their upcoming weddings. All three of us have so much to celebrate!
Here's a group shot of all my moms friends and my mother in law. They are all such sweethearts!
And the rest of the ladies! Most of them are my old coworkers and a few are friends that I've met during my six years in Atlanta plus Ashley that I knew from Penn State. 
There were many adorable baby outfits, toys, burp clothes, bibs, blankets, towels, and much more. We received more gifts than I could have possibly imagined, and I was overwhelmed by everyone's generosity! This little boy is very loved already and such a lucky baby to be surrounded by many caring, thoughtful, and loving family and friends. 
Here was the invitation!
Beautiful gifts! 
Pretty balloons! 
My table 
My mom's table 
One of the other tables 
And the fourth table!
Soon to be Grammy (times 3) and a first time Grandma!
My mother in law got us tons of stuff from her and baby Ciak's soon to be great grandma! 

Now the organization begins. Some of the bigger items I'll probably just leave in boxes until we are ready to use them. I need to wash all the clothes, sheets, bibs, etc. Next, I need to go through my registry and see which items we still need right when the baby comes home. There really isn't that much that we still need. We do need more diapers and wipes. I also need to get some breastfeeding supplies but for the most part we've almost have all the essential items that we will need when the baby comes home. It's amazing how real it's getting as the day gets closer.

I've probably looked at the pictures from yesterday ten times already. The smile on my face in all the pictures really says it all. I honestly wish I could freeze time for a little while and savor every minute of this special time. How did I get so lucky to be the mom to this sweet baby? It still seems like just yesterday we were going through fertility treatments and wondering when we might be able to start a family. I've dreamed of this time since I was a little girl, and it almost still feels surreal that I'm going to be a mom very soon. 

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