33 Weeks Pregnant

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Warning: This photo was taken after a HUGE lunch at On the Border!

I know I have been quiet all week. I have been tired and busy, oh and nesting. I washed all the baby clothes I have so far, which isn’t much, and all of our reusable diapers! I also made curtains with my mother-in-law for Little Jimmie’s room. Not only am I nesting, but I have found a new love for the show Friday Night Lights, therefore, I have been binge watching that on Netflix.

How far along: 33 weeks
Gender: boy
Weight gain: 25 pounds. Finally back on track! I started proportioning out my cereal in the morning, and I think that helped.
Maternity clothes: I tried to wear some winter clothes this week that weren’t maternity, they were a bit tight. Now that winter is GONE (HOPEFULLY!) I’ will probably be 100% in Maternity from here on out.
Stretch marks: I have been slacking on my cocoa butter usage. I think I still only have one, or none.
Belly button in or out: half and half
Sleep: Sleeping is so-so. I keep waking up with a dry/sore throat, even though we have a humidifier on, and Toby keeps trying to jump into bed with us at all hours of the night.
Best moment this week: Jim having a bonus day off on Friday and him being able to come to my doctor’s appt.
Worst moment this week: Nothing really.
Miss anything: Working. Not that I have done that for 2 years, but I miss it.
Movement: Lots of hiccups and maybe Braxton Hicks? I can’t tell the difference.
Cravings: Lemonade!
Queasy or sick: Sinus’ have been bothering me this week and I have a sore throat at night/in the AM.
Looking forward to: My baby shower next weekend!

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32 Weeks Pregnant: Less Than Two Months Left!

32How far along: 32 weeks
Gender: boy
Weight gain: 24 pounds
Maternity clothes: I have been wearing 99.9% maternity. Forever 21 tank tops are great for undershirts, though, and stretch really well!
Stretch marks: Maybe one? On my side…it’s debatable.
Belly button in or out: half and half
Sleep: I have slept well the past 2 nights. I think I just have to do more stuff during the day to make myself sleepy.
Best moment this week: Seeing my parents on Tuesday. Also, getting out of the house, driving to post, and meeting new people.
Worst moment this week: It was a great week!
Miss anything: Not having to roll out of bed to go to the bathroom.
Movement: Lots of hiccups and hanging out in one of my ribs. I think he has been moving more than every this week.
Cravings: Water ice!
Queasy or sick: Nope. Just some backaches still.
Looking forward to: Ultrasound on Monday and my baby shower in 2 weeks!

Since we had some friends in town this weekend, I decided to take advantage of the fact that we could get a few family photos out on our deck. I can’t wait to take some maternity photos in a few weeks; location to be determined!

love

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TGIF Break Time Reading for Moms

TGIF

Not only is it Friday, but it’s also the first Friday of Spring! I hope you’re getting warm weather like we are in Maryland. It’s supposed to be 70 tomorrow! I guess I’ll have to break out the pregnancy capris. (Which means I’ll have to shave the bottom of my legs. That will definitely count as my workout for the day!)

Here are a few articles/blog posts to read while you’re sipping your tea/coffee/water/juice/ or even beer/wine (for you non-pregnant mommies!)

Embracing the Unexpected @ Disney Baby -A new mom talks about how her birth plan went out the window when she entered the delivery room and how to prepare yourself if a similar situation arises.

11 Things I wish I did When I was Pregnant @ Disney Baby – What a great list! With only 8 more weeks left, I am looking for ways to relax and enjoy the back pains (I mean joys) of pregnancy before Little Jimmie arrives. Many of the suggestions I have been doing, but a few were new to me. As many of you know, we moved during this pregnancy, just like this blogger. It’s hard to sometimes step back, relax, and enjoy this magical time. This list is a great reminder.

A Closer Look at Baby Sign Languange @ the WISE baby – I am a huge fan of baby sign language. I have seen the benefits of this way of communication in several of my friends’ children. I will be trying these techniques to help my baby communicate with me before he is able to talk.

What I Wish I’d Known About Breast Feeding @ Huffington Post – The thought of breast feeding is a bit overwhelming for me. I will be doing it not only for the benefits it brings to the baby, but also the benefits it brings to me. The more I read about breast feeding, and the more I talk to other mothers about it, the more relaxed I become. This article helped ease some fears of mine.

Bonus articles @ Washington Times not relating to being a mommy/pregnancy, but instead about one of my favorite companies: Starbucks. Read about how Howard Shultz is donating $30 million dollars to U.S. Troops returning to the United States after war to help fund research for PTSD. You can also read an older article (November 2013) about how Starbucks will be hiring at least 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. I worked for Starbucks for 4 1/2 years and couldn’t be more proud to be a former barisita. This is why I continue to support the company 100%. Maybe now, people will stop saying how Starbucks “doesn’t support the troops.”

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Food Review: Lean Cuisine Wrap Additions, Buffalo Style Chicken

 

leanSince I am trying really hard not to eat Chic-fil-A every day during this pregnancy, I’ve had to get  creative when it comes to keeping lunch exciting. I have been eating a lot of Greek yogurt and homemade breakfast sandwiches with Morningstar chicken patties, but after awhile all great meals become boring. Today, while browsing Target, I came across a new Lean Cuisine item: Lean Cuisine Wrap Additions Buffalo Style Chicken. I try not to eat a lot of these type meals because they are always full of sodium, but this one only has 370 mg, which I thought was semi-acceptable.

Included in your Wrap Additions box: spicy buffalo-style spread (orange sauce,) buffalo-style seasoned white meat chicken, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and onions. Let me start off my stating that I have a low spicy tolerance, and this was not spicy, at all. The only things NOT included in the package are the actual wraps, you need to provide your own. Luckily, we had tacos last night, which made getting these ideal because I had left over shells; there is enough food in the box to fill two small tacos shells.

Like most microwaveable meals, the instructions are simple: Remove contents from box, heat up package of meat and veggies in microwave for four minutes, and allow sauce to thaw (I stuck it in a mug of warm water to speed the process along.) Do not forget to drain the water from the meat/veggie pouch after you open it (of course, I forgot.) If you do not drain the extra water, you will have soggy tacos.

lean2Even though my wraps were soggy, because I was too hungry to remember to drain the water, they were AMAZING. At first I thought there were too many carrots, but once I took my first bite, I began to think otherwise. One complaint is that there could be a few more pieces of meat, but I’m sure each package varies. The sauce was very good (not spicy) and the veggies were delicious. The Lean Cuisine cost about $3.50 (plus the cost of the tortillas.) One package is only 160 calories (plus the calories from your tortilla.) The meal also provides your body with at least 16g of protein (more depending on what type of tortillas you use.) There are also two more flavors available: chicken teriyaki and creamy balsamic chicken. I am definitely going to try them too!

Time to Reveal Baby M’s Name!

hello my name is

I promised a name reveal a few weeks ago and unfortunately, time got away from me and I wasn’t able to get everything together to let everyone in on the secret. Now that things have calmed down, the time has finally come to let you all know what we will officially be naming Baby M!

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Here are a few ways we have incorporated Little Jimmie’s name into the nursery. In case you were wondering, Little Jimmie is a junior named after his daddy, James Curtis aka Big Jim (call him that and he will really get a kick out of it!)

100_6286The ‘James’ name sign was Jim’s when he was younger, the sign on the left was mine when I was younger. The block bank, silver spoon, and cup, were Jim’s when he was a baby.

JCMLittle Jimmie’s initials were painted by yours truly. You can find tons of hand painted letters on Etsy that cost anywhere from $15-$45 each. These guys cost me $2.50 each plus five bottles of paint for $1. I am not one to call myself artistic, I did not inherit this gene from my dad, but I still managed to bang out these cute letters, minus my ‘C’ in ‘ABC’ looking kind of like a G. It’s handmade, there are bound to be flaws.

We can not wait to meet Little Jimmie! The final nursery post will be sometime in April when everything is where it belongs; these next nine weeks are going to fly by.

31 Weeks Pregnant: Feeling BIG

100_6283How far along: 31 weeks
Gender: boy!
Weight gain: 24 pounds
Maternity clothes: I wore some old sweaters this week, but other than that, maternity clothes. I never want to say goodbye to my jeans, except to say hello to my skinny jeans again!
Stretch marks: No, Teen Mom 2 has officially taught me what stretch marks are. I do not have them, nor do I ever want them!
Belly button in or out:  half in and half out.
Sleep: Sleep is crap. But better this week than last week.
Best moment this week: Seeing my friends this weekend for brunch.
Worst moment this week: One of my many emotional meltdowns. Hormones, ugh!
Miss anything: Summer Shandy! We bought some for brunch and I was jealous of everyone who could drink one.
Movement: He has been so active today and last night. I can see my tummy move and it’s like an alien.
Cravings: Not much this week. Which is good, I need to scale back on the sweets!
Queasy or sick: Feeling fine!
Looking forward to: Being able to sit on the couch for more than 10 minutes without my back hurting.

Book Review: Evening Stars by Susan Mallery

eveningNina is a 30 year old nurse living on the same island she grew up on, in the same house she grew up in, with her mom, Bonnie, and her mom’s partner, Bertie. Blackberry Island has always been Nina’s home, but lately it has felt more like a prison. Growing up, Nina had to take care of not only herself, but also her sister, Averil. Bonnie, their mother, can only be defined as having “Peter Pan syndrome” meaning she has never wanted to grow up, leaving Nina responsible for their run down house and run down antique shop. Her mother’s refusal to grow up made Nina grow up faster than expected and left her no choice but to give up her own dreams to take care of everyone else’s.

After years of being unhappy, things start to change for Nina. Not only does she find herself dating a younger fighter pilot for the Navy, but she also begins to rekindle a love for an old flame that she had throughout high school and well into college. Between juggling two men, trying to figure out why her married sister is back on the island without her husband, and trying to untangle the many messes her mother has left for her while away on one of her long antique hunting trips, Nina is about to lose it. What do the stars hold for Nina? Find out in Evening Stars by Susan Mallery.

I really enjoyed this novel. It took me a while to get into it because I kept having to put it down for various reasons, but once I became immersed in the character’s lives’, I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I loved how each character was given the opportunity to shine throughout the story. Not only does Nina’s story capture your heart, but so does her sister’s, who is an aspiring writer trying to start and finish her first novel. Susan Mallery also takes time to depict both of Nina’s “boyfriends” as the good guys. We get to know each of them as the perfect guy; I even started to fall for them both, which is why I can acknowledge Nina’s predicament in choosing one or the other. In the end though, I think she picked the right one; you’ll have to read the book yourself to see what I mean.

There are several different storylines in this novel. Each storyline weaves its way into the other’s and leaves you wondering how everything is going to tie up in the end. The end of the story did not disappoint. I was, for once, satisfied with how each character’s life wrapped up and was amazed how each character grew and changed from the first page to the last. The ending was not predictable; if you saw my face as I was turning the last page, you would have seen me with my mouth open. Not many books can surprise me, and this one certainly did.

If you’re looking for a book to get lost in; a true love story about romantic love, family love, and friendship, then Evening Stars by Susan Mallery is the novel for you. Curl up by the fire, grab a cup of tea, and get to know Nina and her small world on Blackberry Island, Washington.

Evening Stars is the third book in The Blackberry Island Series. You do not need to read the first two books to enjoy the third book. I had never heard of the series before reading this book. After reading this one, I would love to go back and read the first two. By reading the first two novel summaries, it seems to me that some characters peek their heads in and out of all three books. While you are learning more about The Blackberry Island Series, check out these mouth-watering blackberry recipes that could be used as a tie into a Susan Mallery book club night.

I was given an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.