1.25.2017

Pregnancy Update: More Baby Showers!


  


  

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law threw me a lovely baby shower this past weekend! Lillian made a lovely brunch spread with quiches, sweet rolls, fruits, breakfast casseroles, and flavored waters. There were lots of cute little boy decorations and toys for him to play with in the future. The picture of the piano has Greg's little blessing outfit. Lillian has kept in premium condition all these years and we can bless our little one in it too. I can't even handle how adorable those little fabric shoes are!

We had the Woolston extended family there and friends of the Woolstons through the years that have watched Greg grow up. It was a fun opportunity to hear lots of stories about Greg as a little boy and receive some more motherly wisdom about how to be a mom. And people were so generous, I'm just in awe of how kind everyone has been to us. When I came home and showed Greg all of the nice gifts, he said, "Wow this little boy is already loved so much!" 

The next week, the ladies at my office gathered at Gourmandise downtown for brunch to celebrate the baby! It was so nice to have so many of them there and get to chat about all the change coming up. 


A couple days later, my new neighborhood was so kind and threw me a baby shower. One of my neighbors I had only met once gathered a group of about 15 ladies and we went to Paradise Bakery and opened presents. Keep in mind, we've only lived the neighborhood for a month now and there were all these women that I had never even met who drove in the snow on a Thursday night and brought me gifts! It was so heartwarming and they just made me feel so welcome. And boy did they shower us with kind gifts. Two gals even made blankets and burp cloths! I'm just still in shock that people who have never met me and have no reason to be nice to me would issue such a thoughtful gesture. On my drive home from the restaurant I kept singing the words from Annie, "I think I'm gonna like it here!" 

The next task is writing thank you notes! I counted them all up and I have 67 to write! It's gotta be the best problem I've ever had. I just feel so much love from so many people in my life right now. I know that people have a lot of showers and celebrations that they attend in their life, but I just so appreciate all the efforts that people have made for us lately and the gracious kindness we've received. It really makes me feel uplifted and strong to take on this new adventure knowing that there's so many people rooting for us and ready to support us when we need help. 

1.02.2017

Pregnancy Update: Baby Shower


  

Goodness, me. Sarah Jane threw me a baby shower this past weekend and I'm still in shock about all the kindness bestowed to me and our future little one. It's a sort of afterglow when you're driving home from an event in your honor and you have just seen all these people travel big or small distances to come support you and they even bring you a gift to help you on your transition. It's just a really lovely thing. And as an added benefit, I feel so much more prepared for bringing this baby home!

Sarah Jane kindly hosted it at her mother-in-law's house in Salt Lake City and lots of people came that I haven't seen in awhile, so it was great to catch up with so many. As we were packing up, my grandma said how nice it was to see how many different friends I have from different parts of my life. One from this random thing, 4 from this experience, etc. When they are all gathered in a room, it makes you appreciative of all the little pockets of experience I've had and the good people I got to meet.

One thing I really loved about the shower was that everyone was seated in a big circle. With each gift, I explained where I had met that person and then asked them for some advice or tell me something that they loved that their parents did for them. I didn't have much expectation with it, just thought it would be fun. But it ended up being really sweet to hear what meant a lot to my friends growing up. My digital record keeping is better than my physical record-keeping, so here's a few of the snippets I received.

Lindsey: It's ok to cry (both you and the baby). Her dad never worked when he came home, he would stay late and finish up at the office so that the kids knew when he was home, he was there's.

Sarah Jane: Trust yourself and your own motherly instincts. You know your child better than anyone else and you are his mom for a reason.

Kathy: Talk to your baby even if you don't think they understand you. Read to them.

Shana & Valentina: Don't get upset if your siblings spoil your kids, they love them and just want to be part of their life.

Grandma Johnson: Boil and sterilize bottles for 20 min. Tight swaddle on the babies.

Ahlin: She always knew where her mom was and that she would be home after school for her. She said parents always want to know where their kids are but kids wants to know where their parents are too.

Melissa: Her parents read a lot and had books everywhere around the house. They were an example of staying curious and learning new things.

Marissa: Your kids are never too old to be cuddled. Take care of them, even when they're adults.

Lillian: Be equal with your kids, don't have bottles in the crib when they have teeth.

Megan: Be patient. Hand off the baby when Greg gets home.

Amanda: Schedules are important. Have your baby take swimming lessons and then post pictures of it because it's adorable.

Lizzy: Don't say no, redirect their behaviors to something else. Have patience with them, especially in public.

Emily: Remember there are lots of ways to do things!

Mom & Deanna: Soak in all the time while they are little because they grow up fast.

Ashley: Don't try to do too much.

Danelle: Don't be afraid to give your kids Tylenol. It's safe and it will help them. Don't get too caught up in blogs or non-medical advice on the internet, read trusted medical sources. Don't stress about milestones or what your baby is "supposed" to be doing at a certain point. Everyone progresses a little differently.



  




This morning I'm listening to lullaby songs, feeling my baby kick inside my belly, watching the snow fall outside, wrapped up in the new baby blanket my mom just finished, writing thank you cards and feeling really grateful for all the kind words and gifts from my friends at the shower.

12.25.2016

Pregnancy Update: Christmas

The past couple weeks I've had more anxiety about motherhood. There are just so many transitions that I'm trying to prepare for and everyone keeps warning me about how much my life is going to change. I sometimes appreciate the advice and warnings, but sometimes I'm so nervous and worried in my own head that it is difficult to hear other people compounding my own concerns. Last night was one of those that got the better of me. I was thinking about how much I needed to do to try to keep unpacking boxes and get settled for the baby, while also thinking about the dinners we're hosting this week and trying to get enough things moved around so you can walk through the front door. After work, I ran a few errands to get some things to organize the house and some Christmas gifts for our new neighbors that have been so nice to us. By the time I got home to make dinner, I was tired. The dishwasher needs to be emptied. The other dishes are stacked in the sink. Clean dishes are still "out to dry" on the counter and need to be put away. I started dinner, but then Greg left work late since he's got a time crunch on his latest headphone. And then his commute was long and he had to make a stop at the auto parts store to fix something on my car.

By the time he got home and dinner was very much done and waiting, I just broke down. Again. Sometimes just the basics of life seem really involved and tiring and so the thought of adding more, such as a small infant who needs constant care, seems really overwhelming. I'm the worrying type so when I think about the future, I tend to think of all the obstacles that will be in that future and the pessimist in me doesn't remember to hope for the good. Greg tries to help me with this but it's not easy. So I finished eating and climbed in bed to cry for awhile. Again, not a rarity with me. Especially during the winter months or in seasons of major change (our first month of marriage). I try to keep remembering just how many moms there are out there. It doesn't take long to just think about the people around me, in my family, friends I see online, etc. There are a lot of people who have done this before me and it's not rocket science. A lot of people take on the life transition of parenthood. Most people survive labor and delivery. I keep trying to remember things and tell myself that what I'm doing is not that big of a deal. But then I think about every other "big deal" in my life and how it doesn't really matter if someone else has experienced it, it's new to me, and it's ok to be scared of what that newness will bring.

I was feeling all these feelings as I drove to work this morning. With my new, slightly longer commute, I usually listen to a podcast. But this morning I turned on my favorite Amy Grant "Home for Christmas" album. I put it on shuffle and sang some of my favorite tunes. Then the song "Breath of Heaven" came on. I've listened to this song many-a-times. I've played it on the piano. I've heard it sung in church. I've even done karaoke to it. I know this song. I started singing and then stopped to just listen to the words. I had never heard them in this way before. They had a new affect and the lyrics hit me deeply.

Cold and weary, with a babe inside. 
Holy Father, you have come and chosen me now to carry your son. 
I am waiting in a silent prayer. I am frightened by the load I bear. Be with me now.  
Breath of heaven, hold me together. Be forever near me. Lighten my darkness.  
Do you wonder as you watch my face if a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am, for the mercy of your plan. Help me be strong.  

In just 3 minutes, changing lanes on I-15, I felt renewed. I felt a connection with Mary and the nativity story that I wasn't expecting. I am internalizing the fear and anxiety she must have had as she approached this same life change, being a mother for the first time. Although I am well equipped with modern assistance, a savings account, a hospital, a husband I've known and chosen, a new home to raise our son, I'm still nervous. But she was even younger than me and had more unknowns in her future. We both carried "sons of God" and have been trusted to bring them into the world. It's a big task. I always knew it was a big task but having to experience it myself this year has made me understand how much it takes: not just physically, but emotionally and psychologically as well.

This December has been an odd one for me. Combining my lack of energy with the new house and moving, I've had less time for the Christmas festivities that I so enjoy. I would have loved to participate in the #lighttheworld campaign and tried to figure out how to put more service in my month. I wish I could have made more handmade gifts for my family and friends. I wish I could have sent out Christmas cards and gone to see Christmas lights. But maybe this year the Christmas songs were all I needed to have my connection to nativity and the birth of Christ. Grateful for an opportunity to consider his birth in a new, especially poignant way for me this year. Merry Christmas!

P.S. If you haven't heard the song, here's a YouTube video of it:




12.22.2016

Pregnancy Update: Learning from Others



I read a fantastic book last month called "Great With Child" by Beth Ann Fennelly. It really helped me to calm down and have some more long term insight into the mental preparation for this big life change. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in a similar position. She faced a lot of topics head on: how difficult it is to share equal responsibility and how our generation is having to re-define that when it comes to working outside of the home, gift giving, accepting hormones and choosing to not medicate them away, balancing time, the importance of language and vocabulary for a child to develop memories, not judging yourself or other mothers for doing something differently, making time and energy for yourself, leaving the planet better for our children than it is now, how worrying changes with every phase of your child's life (but never stops). I absolutely loved it and would definitely recommend it to anyone in this phase of life.

Two more things that she touched on that really connected with me.

Insight #1

Here's a snippet from the book:
My best piece of maternal advice, “The best thing you can do for your child is have a happy marriage.”
She spent the whole book giving all sorts of advice and then ended with this as the best piece she could give. I've already internally known this, but it was a good to have another reminder. We've had some challenges this year that have stretched our communication habits. With the purchase of our house and coming to terms with our budgets and life goals, we've had to figure out better communication tactics about things that are typically hard to talk about. We've been listening to podcasts together about financial planning and then we read a marriage communication book together that has really made a difference! Reading it at the same time meant we could discuss each chapter and the new things we learned and want to try. We tried to carve out more time for little trips together, including our baby moon, that involved lots of just driving around and talking. We're hopeful that some of these new habits and routines we've made will help us sustain the difficulties we'll be facing ahead.

Insight #2

Treating non-mothers with kindness. I'm not very old, but in my lifetime of friendship circles most of my friends have had children earlier than I have. Many of them got married before I did. When you're single, you want to maintain those friendships but it gets difficult when priorities change and you can't relate to each other about all aspects of your life. As more of my friends got married and had children, I tried to make it a priority to maintain our friendships. I remember a particular baby shower I was at while I was in college. I hadn't really wanted to go but it was a nice gal who didn't have a lot of friends in the area and I felt she would appreciate my efforts to support her. I looked up her registry, bought a gift (which can be difficult with a part-time job in college), and headed to her shower. When I got there, I was grateful I had made the effort because there weren't a lot of people there. However, of the few people who were there, they were all married and expecting children or already mothers.

We were catching up and I was asking questions about their lives, and then the conversation pointed to me for a split second. I could tell they didn't really know what types of questions to even ask me because my life looked so different than there's. We got talking about my lack of dating and then one of them blurted out, "Well when are you going to move on with your life? Do you even WANT to get married?"

I was shocked and really hurt. Of course I wanted to get married. What girl in their young 20s wouldn't want a guy to love her and think she's the best thing and put a diamond ring on her hand? Especially in a time of being surrounded by all my friends getting married, of course marriage was on my mind and something I had always hoped for myself, but unfortunately, it's not one of those things I could just "set my mind to and make it happen."

I felt the same way about longing to be a mother. It's not something that you can just go get just because you want it, which makes it hard and difficult. And it's really unfair when people assume that you don't want that thing just because it hasn't happened.

Here is a little snippet from the book I was reading:
I started thinking about how poorly childless women are sometimes treated. Because I was thirty before I had Claire, I got occasional doses of the bland arrogance, the if-you-aint-got-kids-you-aint-got-nothing types, women who seemed to speak in code to other mothers, who look down on childless women. Once at a baby shower when I was handing my gift to the mother-to-be, my fingernail snapped off.
“Rats,” I announced to the room full of mothers, “I broke a nail.”
“I remembered when I cared about stuff like that,” said one mother, and the room broke up in laughter. I chuckled along but understood that my life seemed trivial to these women who were trading the names of babysitters like stock tips. The other day, a student who’s 33 said that she hates to go home for Thanksgiving because she still has to sit at the kids’ table. If she doesn’t have a child, she must be one. Let’s swear never to treat childless women this way.

I connected so much with this passage. I hope to never get so caught up in my new priorities of motherhood that I would say anything that makes someone else's life and situation less important than my own.

We Bought a House!



Finally, I can post about the biggest purchase of our lives! We bought a house! It's wonderful and perfect for us. As you may know, we've been looking for quite awhile. Here's a little timeline for history sake. :)

September 2015: Took a home-buying class in community education
January 2016: Met with a lender, got pre-approved for a home loan
February 2016: Met with our realtor, started looking at houses. Usually 2-3 a week.
March 2016: Submitted our first offer (a cute little house in the neighborhood where we were renting)
April 2016: More offers, including the house we thought was perfect.
May 2016: More offers!
June 2016: More offers! Found out we were expecting a baby!

At this point, I took a break from the house search. Every day, two times a day, we were getting emails that had all the specs of the houses that had gone on the market in our price range and zip code goals in the last 12 hours. I would read every single email and look at every listing, twice a day! It was a job in and of itself. I was pretty obsessive. I memorized specs, MLS numbers, I constantly had the app open. I'm one of those people that fully commits. Obviously.

I was getting super bummed when none of our offers were getting accepted. I felt like I did a pretty good job of separating myself from the emotional connection to specific houses. After 7 offers, I became pretty good at speeding through the paperwork and trying to just make it a financial decision. At this point I didn't really care about all the house details, I just wanted to make sure we locked one in. But as I was getting sick with pregnancy and found myself with less energy, I let it go. I stopped reading the emails. I felt like I only had so much capacity and the house hunt was sucking too much of it.

But Greg, he's the MVP of this story. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted after looking so many house visits. He kept looking at the emails, all-be-it a little more casually. I don't think he really read them every single day, but every couple days he would skim and see if square footage, list price, and zip code looked like a real possibility. About once a month we would go see something that looked promising. In November, he found this house. It was in an area that we really liked. We had put an offer on a similar house a few blocks away in June. So we went to see it.

We liked a lot of things about it, but it needs a ton of work to make it something we love. As we drove away, I complained about the entryway for a good 5 minutes and we didn't think much about it. A couple days later we were chatting about our long term goals and casually started talking about the house. The more we talked, the more we liked it. So we looked up the listing again and saw that the price had dropped. We took it as a sign that we could get it at the price we wanted. We liked that the price was dropping, the square footage was what we wanted, we were already sold on location, the garage was big enough to hold Greg's dreams for the next little bit, and as an added bonus- it's something we can comfortably live in for awhile as we save up to do remodels. Suddenly, we had to have it. So we called our realtor, made a plan, and drove to my office to get my laptop for the paperwork.

We went back and forth the next few days with the realtor and seller. The more complications arose, the more we wanted it. On Friday night, I couldn't sleep and I kept thinking "We have to have it! We have to get this one!" So I patiently (not my strong suit) waited for Greg to wake up. When he did, I told him how much I wanted it and that I felt like we had to lock it in before the open house on Saturday afternoon. So we called our realtor and told him how much we wanted it to happen and then headed to our all day labor and delivery class. A few hours later (while watching a live birth and epidural video in a hospital classroom) we got the call that they had accepted and we signed the final paperwork in the dark classroom. Woot woot! On our way home, we drove by the house and saw that no one was at the open house that they cancelled. BOO YAH!

We did our due diligence and closed the first week in December. We've been packing and cleaning and unpacking and cleaning and we're finally getting close to being settled! We moved in December 10th with the world's best team. It was so nice to have so much help. Our coworkers boxes and packing supplies so we didn't need to buy much of anything. My parents rented us a huge U-haul truck and were ready on a drizzly Saturday morning at the crack of dawn to load it. Luckily, 8 guys from our elders quorum came over and loaded up the whole apartment in about 40 minutes. It was awesome. My brother Jesse came and helped load his truck too. We excused the elders and then the rest of us proceeded to the new house.

Greg's friends Uly, Isaac, and Michael all showed up to unload the truck which was awesome! Luckily it had stopped raining. My dad and Greg figured out some plumbing with the old fridge and all the guys helped take that around the house to the garage. Greg's sister Megan came with her impressive muscles and carried in furniture. She also built our bed with my brother so that we had a place to sleep that night. So grateful for that. I was worried we were going to have to sleep on the couches, which my pregnant back would not have loved. My mom was a trooper and unloaded all of the kitchen boxes and organized our kitchen in just a couple hours. It was crazy. She also came the day before and scrubbed the house for hours so that we would be ready to unload. Miracles, people. My dad calls her the Energizer bunny!

After we finished up with the unloading and another truck load to get Greg's garage stuff and a few things at his parents' house in Murray, Greg's friend Mo showed up for the next phase of the move. We drove the truck to Alpine to get some more furniture that we couldn't have loaded without him. Then we drove back in the rain and my brother and his girlfriend came over again to help us unload all of that stuff in the pouring rain and thus mud. We finally finished around 5 pm, which was just enough time for us to shower and leave to get to my holiday party up at Sundance. An absolute whirlwind of a day! But we were so, so grateful for all the help we had. And couldn't believe how fast we got it done. The next day, Greg's parents brought us dinner and leftovers for the next couple days. Which gave Greg and I some extra time to put up our Christmas decorations! Yay!

Here are a few pictures. Just remember, the kitchen is the real weak link. We're planning to remodel that this summer and unfortunately, we're not keeping the yellow counters! Kidding. It's a good thing we're ditching most everything in the kitchen. Just ask my mom who scrubbed every cabinet. Thanks mom!

 

 

 
  

 


 
   

12.19.2016

Pregnancy Update: Third Trimester



Another pregnancy update! We're at 33.5 weeks and I truly feel a big difference in the pregnancy.

Energy & Sleep

As I read online, the fatigue has come back. I don't know if it's just because I've been doing more manual labor this month or if it's a combination of pregnancy, but my energy is lacking. I fall asleep pretty early and every afternoon, I feel like I need a nap. I'm trying to get as much sleep as possible, because I know I'll need to enjoy it while I can! 

Diet & Exercise

Could be the combination of the holidays and cravings, but I can't get enough sweets these days! Our office gets a lot of gifts from vendors so there is no shortage of chocolate and caramels and peppermint flavored delights. I've been eating a lot, a lot of Farr's peppermint stick ice cream with Trader Joe's hot fudge on top. I keep thinking that maybe I should tame the cravings, but who knows if I'll ever be pregnant over the holidays again? Formal exercise is pretty much non-existent right now because I use up any extra energy moving things around our new house and cleaning. We are in a split-level so it means more stairs and square footage than I'm used to, so I definitely feel like I'm getting a work out, just not in my normal "taking a walk around the block" or pre-natal yoga. 

I still have the energy to cook so I'm grateful for that. 

Breathing

My biggest symptom this month has been a lack of air. We're approaching inversion season in the Salt Lake Valley and so pollution outside is a bit concerning. The rhinitis has been quite bad, especially at night. I've started sleeping with my head elevated, which means a sore neck in the morning, but at least I'm able to sleep more through the night. I'm congested all the time but I don't have any other cold symptoms. I've been grateful that I have been able to stay healthy and not pick up the flu that seems to be going around everywhere. I do feel like I'm short of breath quite regularly, mostly going up the several flights of stairs at my office. But I've heard this is normal because the baby is pressing on my lungs so it's harder to get a full breath. I'm looking forward to deeper breaths in the new year when I get to meet this little guy! 

Classes

We're all finished with our classes! My goal was to schedule them all before the holidays and I'm glad we did. Our last class was about breast feeding and we felt a lot more comfortable about the how-to's and how important it is to immediately get help if something seems off. I'm glad I have an arsenal of resources and know the signs to look for if it's a struggle for us. 

Baby's Movement

This guy is moving a lot! I noticed the kicks before, but they were always quite minimal. Now that he's getting so big, my stomach actually moves around and it's definitely noticeable to the human eye, instead of just touch. Greg and I both love to sit still at night and just watch him move all around. It makes this whole thing seem even more real! 

Baby Showers

We have a couple baby showers planned in the next few weeks that I'm really excited about! I'm excited to meet with old friends and new and gain some more advice on how to do all this! And I think it will be fun to start the celebrating for our new little guy. 

11.08.2016

Pregnancy Update: Ending of Second Trimester


Time for another update on our little boy!

It's been really exciting to process knowing his gender and talking about names for him. My mom is in the middle of making him a quilt and we've been getting a lot more serious about research and shopping for what we'll need. It's all coming together!


We feel pretty lucky to have so many friends going through similar situations right now. Two of Greg's best friends welcomed the first babies this past month and it's been so fun to visit them see their little bundles. A good friend of mine from high school had a baby in September and I got to visit her and hear how everything went. My best friend gave birth to her second baby this weekend. My co-worker gives birth in a few weeks. It's been really nice to learn from everyone and compare plans, strategies, and resources.


Classes

We planned out our schedule so that we could have our classes completed by the holidays so we could focus on fun things like shopping and hot chocolate instead of viewing the scary tools they might need to use to get our son here safely. We went to our first baby preparation class this Saturday. We were worried about getting through all of it because it was scheduled from 9 am to 5:30 pm and we had to drive about 40 minutes to the class. There were more available near us but this date worked for us. It ended up being so worth it! We learned so many new things that I had never heard about and our teacher was just awesome. She made the whole class super engaging and we learned a lot. As we were driving away, I said, "We're lucky there wasn't some person in the class that tried to compete with the teacher, because that would have made the whole day really long." Then I realized, I was probably that person. I think I asked her a question every 10 minutes of the day. They were all related to the topic but just random questions I had in my head. Hopefully the class doesn't mind that I was the one who slowed us down, but hey, I felt so much more ready for delivery when we left. So I guess that's the point of taking the class.

We also did our hospital tour a few weeks ago. I wanted to do that before the delivery class so I could visualize what sort of space we would be in and what our situation would look like. I'm pumped that the hospital has jacuzzis in each delivery room and that they have flavored ice chips!

We have another class this week about breast feeding, and then one more called "What to Expect as a New Parent" which goes over diapers, CPR, bathing, sleeping, calming the baby down, etc. I know a lot of people aren't into the classes but we feel like they've already been a great source of anxiety relief for us to have a better understanding of how we can prepare physically and emotionally. And I think it's nice to do the classes together and be able to get the same information at the same time.

Diet & Exercise

Eating is still tricky for me. There are a lot of things I'm trying to avoid in the "not recommended during pregnancy" category. But then there's also just a lot of things that don't sound good to me. I've consistently enjoyed my bran cereals in the morning, apple sauce and cottage cheese for snacks, and then usually vegetarian meals for lunch and dinner– especially things that involve bread, cheese, tomatoes of some sort. I think I've been doing better with vegetables this trimester. I haven't been as picky and I've been making a lot of vegetables pureed soups so I can try to get more veggies in my diet. I try to order a salad anytime I go out to eat because usually a salad at a restaurant is pretty tasty with lots of ingredients and good dressings. I'm learning why the recommendation is to not eat large meals when pregnant. I saw a diagram of the intestines of a pregnant woman this weekend. It's pretty much just smushed and the space is taken over by the baby. I experience heartburn for the first time a few weeks ago after a big meal, and I kept trying to figure out what it was because it was so weird! After a few big meals, I've learned my lesson and I'm trying to not overdo it, even when the meal is really good!

I've been pretty proud of myself on the exercise front. I typically have a hard time getting out of bed and making exercise a priority, but having this little guy kicking and motivating me has really helped. He makes me want to be in good shape to take care of him. I should clarify when I say exercise- I don't go a real intense cycle, but I try to do something a little active everyday. Some mornings I take a walk around our neighborhood for about 25 minutes. Other mornings I do a prenatal yoga video for 10 minutes (found a cute gal on YouTube from the UK who leads 10 min segments and I really like her) and then I'll do some of my own stretching afterwards. And some mornings, Greg leads me in a few repetitions of squats. I try to do them on my own but I always do them wrong because they're pretty easy. But when he guides me and shows me how to do them properly, they are always much harder!

Energy & Sleep

The best part of the second trimester has been all the extra energy and feeling like myself again. It's been really nice to cook and get some other fun projects done. As we get closer to the third trimester though, I'm starting to lose some of that energy which is sad. I've been falling asleep earlier and earlier at night. Usually I'll fall asleep on the couch and then sweet Greg gets the bed turned down and turns on the heater in our room and then walks me to bed because I'm so drowsy. Daylights savings has been a REAL BUMMER. I always struggle with it, but these past few days have been pretty rough. I've been falling asleep at 8 pm and then trying to wake up or stay awake a little longer.

Game changer for my sleep has been a pregnancy pillow. Greg's co-worker gave it to us and it's really helped me sleep at night. It's a horseshoe sized body pillow and takes up more than my fair share of our bed. But it's really been nice to have the bump supported and have things be a little more comfortable for side sleeping. 

Random Symptoms

My rhinitis has pretty much gone away, which I'm very grateful about. My mood swings are all over the place, but in general, I think I've been pretty emotional and sad more often than I'm in a great mood. The mood swings are really wearing me down and Greg too. Yesterday as I was going to bed, I said, "Wow! I don't think I cried today! Wohoo!" 

Bending down is also getting more difficult. I find myself less willing to turn on the heater under my desk at work and just suffer through the cold so I don't have to bend down. Although, it's not so much the bending down that is so bad. It's the getting up that is difficult! I've started embracing the slip-on shoes! 

The bump is growing and it makes my maternity clothes easier to wear. I'm really grateful for all the clothes from my sister. We didn't realize that she's a bit taller than me, so I've been altering the clothes to be a better fit for me and it's really helped with my moods in the mornings to have something fitted for me. 

On Perfection

I'm not sure if it's motherhood or my personality or what, but I've been feeling a little frantic about making sure I do everything right: no processed meats, no unpasteurized cheeses, planning to go organic with everything, not having too much sugar, cloth diapering, Montessori toys, lots of baby books, analyzing delivery options, avoiding medicine, etc. There's a lot to be careful of during pregnancy.

I'm glad that I've learned so much. But as I learned in art school, it's important to learn the fundamentals and the building blocks. But it's just as important to know when and how to break them. I've started reading some baby books and the overwhelming message that's repeated over and over is how important it to trust your instinct. I'm trying to focus on that and allow myself some space that I'll learn what I need to learn and then pick and choose the best thing for our baby when the time is right. But I don't think it's helping to obsess over the details when I know I can trust Greg and myself to be good parents.

11.01.2016

Babymoon: Boston

Our next day of England fun was spent driving through Connecticut and Massachusetts. It was Columbus Day so there were many festivities happening. We first stopped at the Red Apple Farm in northern Massachusetts. I had been there with Emily, so I knew all the good stuff to show Greg. We got a meal cooked on their barbecue outside (pulled pork sandwich, cast iron skillet corn bread with apple butter, and really good french fries). We explored the orchards and the little shop, got a few different apple varieties, admired the petting zoo, sampled maple cotton candy (amazing!), and got apple cider doughnuts. It was a picturesque fall day! We even ran into a few of Emily's friends that I got to know in Boston, so that was a fun perk too. 



Greg guiding me on how to do a serious maternity pose. Ha! 



 

Greg was too distracted to smile in this picture because he really wanted our half doughnuts to match up to make a full circle. Ha! 


After a couple more hours of driving, we went to Emily's favorite ice cream spot, Kimball Farm. We were lucky to be there because it was the last day they were open this year. We didn't realize how large the ice cream scoops would be and couldn't end up finishing them, which was the saddest. But it was delicious and fun to be there! 

 

We made it to Boston that day, returned our rental car, and checked into our favorite rental of the trip. We had a king bed! Our own bathroom! A nice kitchen! Close to a grocery store! It was a really nice place. Greg reminded me that we don't need to overdo it or try to do too many touristy things and that it's ok to just take time to relax. So that night we stayed in and it was great! I should listen to him more often. At this point of the trip, I was getting pretty tired walking around and my feet were really hurting. So I appreciated the recommendation to take it easy and I tried to calm down a lot more. 

The next day we spent on the Freedom Trail. Greg loves learning about the revolutionary war history, so this was fun to do together. We also went to the naval yard, which was fun for me because I had never been there. I showed him some of my favorite places to eat around town and he managed the subway system, like always. :) We walked around Beacon Hill and Boston Common too. 

For dinner we went to Giacomo's in Little Italy. I had heard about this place before but knew it was a crazy wait. We got there right when they opened and still had to wait 45 minutes but it was one of the best meals I've had. I had butternut squash ravioli in a savory mascarpone cheese sauce with asparagus. Greg had chicken parmesan and the tomato sauce was fab. There was bottomless bread and we got to sit at the bar so I could watch the chefs and it was awesome! The owner kept going back to the kitchen and taste testing the sauces with a chunk of bread. It was so fun! I kept talking about it for days! 



 

I was really happy to have another lobster roll. MY FAVORITE! 




 


 

Our last day in Boston was a bit short because we had to catch our flight, but we made sure to make time for a few extra stops. I showed Greg around Harvard and we went to Emily's old office at Harvard Business School to say hi to her co-workers. We walked around Harvard Square and I filled up on some of my favorite tools from Bob Slate Stationer. 

We went to MIT and saw some of the mechanical engineering exhibits and got to catch up with Ellen Patton, the sweetest lady in Massachusetts. She gave us a great recommendation to check out a fabric store and taco shop that we ended up loving! I found some wool felt there and I think I loved it even more than Purl Soho in New York. 





So many solids! I love it!



 

We took an Uber to the airport with the windows down on a really nice afternoon. We had such a good time on our trip. I especially loved the food and being able to put aside baby and real life stresses for awhile. The New England fall is so charming and I'm glad we got to experience it together!