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Halo Bassinest has Arrived!

I’m super excited to report that our first piece of baby furniture has arrived– The Halo Bassinest. I’ve talked about this before, but it finally arrived and I am so excited.

I pre-ordered this over a month ago and was actually told it wouldn’t arrive until the end of September. The reason I was so excited about this product is because my original plans for the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper fell through because our new master bedroom is just big enough for our king bed. This product is the perfect combination of the cosleeper I wanted and the bassinet. Now I haven’t actually assembled the product yet so I can not give an in-depth ‘review’ of the product, since I technically haven’t used it. I will be sure to do that once I’ve used it for a few weeks. For now all I can do is tell you the reasons that I wanted this product and why I believed it was a great purchase for us.

Arm's Reach Cosleeper

Arm’s Reach Cosleeper

Not only is it tall enough to reach while I’m sitting in our bed, but the way the legs are able to partially go under the bed to help conserve space. (Our room is actually quite large, but our bed set is huge!) The entire bed of the bassinest also swivels 360 degrees so I’m able to get in and out of bed easily without disturbing the baby. The cosleeper part is in the retractable side that can be folded down when I need to get the baby out. The halo bassinest also has soothing center with music/sounds, vibration, a light, and a nursing timer set to 15 minutes– I’m not sure I’m going to like the nursing timer, but time will tell.

MY Halo Bassinest

MY Halo Bassinest

I saw this product on Pinterest and after doing some research and reading some reviews I knew I had to have it. It was a little pricy at 229$ it cost close to to the price of the crib, and considered that this product can not be used after 5 months or after 30 pounds– It’s steep. But being as close to cosleeping as possible was important to me. I’ve read too much research on SIDS and knew that I would not be comfortable (personally) having my baby in bed with me, so this product gives me the next best thing.

Now I can’t wait to get to buy the crib and the remaining nursery furniture items! The glider I had picked out is now out of production, so I’m still looking for one of those. Otherwise I have everything else picked out and I’m ready to buy it, but I’m trying to space out purchases and wait to buy big things for when the nursery is ready. The carpet installers will be in on Monday to measure, and then it’ll be another week or two before the carpet is in. After that I can can go shopping! haha.

I’m so super excited, and I think my son is too because he’s been extra active today.

Love!

 

 

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Thanksgiving Dinner in July

One of my favorite meals is from Bob Evans– The slow roasted turkey dinner. Holy cow, this meal is seriously delicious! It’s slow roasted turkey served over dressing, with mashed potatoes, baby carrots, cranberry relish… and of course some gravy! If you order it while the pumpkin bread is in season you are in for a treat! I love this meal no matter the season. I love it so much that I’ve often wanted to make it at home.

Just last week I was complaining to my grandmother that I was annoyed that it is impossible to find a turkey breast outside of October and November. Then the day before yesterday I was scanning my weekly grocery ads and saw that Kroger had bone-in turkey breast on sale for .99lb! So hubby and I hit the store and bought 2, because they are limited to 2 per customer. Then while surfing Pinterest I saw a pin for slow-cooker turkey breast. I immediately took one of those breasts out of the deep freezer and set it in the fridge to thaw.

Source linked to image!

Source linked to image!

This morning I woke up and got my breast ready. The only thing I did differently from the above recipe was to smear some butter into crockpot, and under the skin of the breast. Then I just rubbed in the onion soup mix, plopped it into the crock and covered it up. (My breast was 7.5lbs, and my lid would not fit so I had to tightly wrap several layers of aluminum foil over it and poke a hole it to seal it up). 7 hours later it was fall off the bone tender!

I made the rest of the thanksgiving favorites, by using their instant versions: stovetop stuffing, Idaho baby reds mashed potatoes, frozen corn, and frozen yeast rolls. The turkey came with a gravy pack, I just added some of the juice from my turkey into the gravy with some corn starch and it was divine! I wish I thought to snap a few pictures for you. Just trust me– It was amazing and we will have left overs for days!

About an hour later I was feeling like baking so I scoured some of my pinned sweet recipes. Sure enough I came across a pumpkin crumb cake recipe I pinned ages ago. Since I had everything in my pantry that I needed hubby helped me whisk it together. It’s in the oven now and I hope it turns out as delicious as it smells. *I’ll let you know!

Source linked to image!

Source linked to image!

So basically I made a thanksgiving dinner in July. I love to cook, and I genuinely love to try new recipes from Pinterest and other sources. I’m so glad that hubby was in town and got to enjoy this meal with me. Lately it seems when I try a new recipe (and it’s not a flop) he’s 90 miles away and can only hear about via some bragging text messages.

Days like today: lazy but productive, are my favorite.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

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Week 20

Wow! Week 20 was a big week. 🙂

First things first I felt our son move with 100% certainty for the first time. I think I had felt him prior to that, but I couldn’t be sure. Now I’m sure. He loves to go crazy around 1030pm. I’ve been touching my stomach to see if I can feel him on the outside so C can feel him, and no luck on that just yet. I’m a little too chubby for that to be felt just yet.

Secondly. I took my NCLEX-RN on Monday and had to wait just over 24 hours for my results (agonizing!!)– but I passed and I am officially a registered nurse in the state of KY. We’ve decided to wait for me to go to work until after our son is here, but now that I have my license I want to work so bad! I’m so proud of myself and this accomplishment. I can not wait to go to work and help C provide for our family. This just puts me one step closer to my dream career as a midwife.

So far I have not gained any weight. I was ‘Up’ at my last appointment, but still 3 pounds from pre-pregnancy, and now I’m down another 2. I don’t understand how. I haven’t been sick. I’ve been eating well. My midwife didn’t seem concerned, but at this point I’m at 20.5 weeks pregnant and I am still 5 pounds away from prepregnancy.

I was larger when I got pregnant, and made all of the changes needed to give our son the best nutrients: cutting out the crap, and eating good food. My midwife said that when an overweight person makes the healthy switch, even if they are eating enough, it takes awhile for the body to balance out.

My pregnancy symptoms are about the same: awful lower back pain, sciatica pain down my leg, and bloating/gas. I do have some new additions, the first is my old friend constipation. I struggled with this in the first trimester, and after making the needed dietary changes and eating prunes when it had been a few days, I didn’t have the problem anymore. Unfortunately it’s back. I’ll try the prunes in again in a day or two.

I’ve also been experiencing a little bit of heartburn. I’ve never had heartburn before, but I find that eating smaller and more frequent meals, limiting my acidic intake (tomatoes, lemonade, etc), and sitting up for at least an hour after my meals— keeps it at bay. I’ll stay on top of those and see if it helps.

That is pretty much it for week 20. I’m excited for movement to get stronger, and my bump to grow.

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Quickening!

No questions about it– Tonight I felt our son move. No more guessing. 

Really, truly felt him move. I’m still feeling him move. I definitely think I’ve felt him before but I wasn’t sure. I’m 100% sure now. 

I’ve been sitting up in bed, enjoying the little flutters with tears in my eyes. 

We’re halfway there, son. Halfway there! 

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Planning Hubby’s Birthday

My husband’s birthday is a few weeks away, and he never gives me any hints about what he wants. I love to plan surprises and such for things like birthday and holidays, because I love watching him have a good time just for him. So this year is no different, and if anything I want him to have an especially great birthday because this is a big year. Not only is this is his last birthday before our son gets here, but also this is the first birthday he will celebrate without his father. His dad’s birthday is also just a few days after his.

So I’ve been debating and thinking about what to do for him for a few weeks already, and I’ve been fishing for hints. He wouldn’t throw a girl a bone! So last night when I was taking a break from studying for NCLEX the perfect idea hit me!

C has been talking about some production that is put on in an amphitheater. I could vaguely remember it, but not well enough. So I googled ‘Kentucky Outdoor Amphitheater’ and I found a list of them. I was reading through the descriptions trying to find one that sparked a memory, and the last one on the list did just that! It’s an outdoor theater that puts on a production called The Stephen Foster Story. I don’t know the specifics, but I know that C went once and he has talked about it before and his desire to go and take me.

2010Composite-musicalPG

I got lucky enough that there was a showing of it the saturday before his birthday. So I booked two tickets. I was thinking that was going to be the BIG event. Then I started looking for restaurants in the area. There are several really awesome restaurants with a historical/fancy vibe, and I thought we would enjoy a meal at one of these before the show starts at 8:30pm. This idea changed when I saw the Old Kentucky Dinner Train is literally less than 5 minutes away from the amphitheater.

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We’ve also been talking about going to this dinner train for ages! It’s pricy and the timing never seemed right. So I looked and SURE ENOUGH they still had tickets for the 5pm reservation on that same saturday. The whole dinner train experience is about 2.5 hours long, which gives us plenty of time to enjoy a wonderful meal, and make it to the theatre for the show. I know what C likes as far as food choices go– So I even feel confident that I picked a dinner he will really enjoy. The only thing I wished I did was tell them it was for his birthday so they would sing to him, but I know he actually hates that so I refrained. I’ll make sure to have him a special gift/card ahead of time.

The town where all of this is taking place is about an hour away, so it’ll be a fun mini road trip for us too.

The hardest part of this entire thing is now that it is all booked all my husband knows is that on that saturday I have plans for him. He doesn’t know any of it and I want to keep it that way. I’m not great at keeping secrets, but because I’m super impressed with this whole plan I hope that this time will be different and I can keep a secret.

I can’t wait to take pictures and document this birthday. It’s going to be spectacular.

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Week 19 and the Anatomy Scan!

How crazy is it that we are days away from being halfway there?! It’s insane. It’s absolutely mind boggling, nerve wracking, and so very exciting. We were looking at our positive test less than 4 months ago, and I thought this entire process would drag on, but with all of the excitement going on in our lives at the moment it has been flying by at warp speed. Right after we found out I graduated nursing school, we went on vacation, the renovations for the house went full swing, we discovered the gender (gender = shopping!), and I’ve been studying and peeping for my NCLEX that is about 4 days away!

As of today I am 19 weeks and 5 days. Yesterday they did the big anatomy scan and we got the fantastic news that everything looked great and on track. Our baby boy weighs 12 ounces by their calculations, which is nearly 2 ounces heavier than all of the information I’ve been reading. The midwife showed no concern for that and I saw the growth charts and he is measuring perfectly in the middle.

We’ve been so spoiled because this was our third chance to see our son. We won’t see him again until we have our 3D/4D ultrasound. Yesterday he was very active and she was able to easily get all of her measurements, until it came time to get his profile. He kept keeping his hands in front of his face. It was beautiful to see him move, and the ultrasound technician was so nice and took time to explain to us what exactly we were seeing.

C teared up when you could see our son opening his mouth. I teared up when I saw him kicking and flexing all of his limbs. It’s always such an emotional experience feeling that much closer to our son.

On the pregnancy front my biggest symptoms would be my continued (TMI) gas/bloat, headaches, and the aching back. My back is awful! I can’t hardly walk around the store without getting uncomfortable. C came into town for the ultrasound and he was so sweet about rubbing my back without even asking. My (temporary) midwife showed me a stretch to use to help ease the sciatica, and she said I can continue to use heating pad on low. I also found out that my midwife will be back in time for my next appointment! She had a baby boy and both are doing great according to the office. How exciting!

My appetite is growing, and it showed at the office. I was up 2.8 pounds from my last appointment, and I’m still about 3 pounds away from their highest recorded weight. I’ve been craving the same things: typically pickles, and home cooked meals, with the occasional desire for cold sweets (popsicles, etc).

So far I have not had any swelling, and fetal movement is only a MAYBE. I really thought I felt him at one point, but since I haven’t felt him since I can’t be sure. They told me at the ultrasound that my placenta has attached anteriorly, or in the front. This shouldn’t really impact my baby in any way, because the cervix is not blocked, but I haven’t done much more research on it. The only thing it might do is make it harder for me to feel him move. So that makes me feel better that I’m not feeling movements for sure, just yet!

Renovation mayhem has been crazy and expensive, but it’s so exciting. They are going to be installing our central heat and air next week, and the nursery has been painted! I would show a picture, but I really (really, really) want to wait to show the final before and after pictures! I was worried the paint colors we picked out were going to be too crazy, but my fears have been assuaged. After I take my boards I’m going in and we are going shopping for cabinets, and carpet. So thrilling!

Next time I update I will be past the halfway point, and I might be a licensed registered nurse!

 

registered nurse!

 

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Week 18

This week our son is the size of a sweet potato and is working on hardening his cartilaginous bones into actual bone. He is possible sucking his thumb, hiccuping, and rolling all around. Hopefully I will feel him move soon with 100% confidence. I keep thinking it’s him, but I can’t be sure.

On the pregnancy front I’ve been experiencing more of this joyous lower back pain, and what I think is sciatica. It usually doesn’t bother me until the end of the day, but if I’ve been up doing a lot then it will hurt sooner. Last night was awful and I was near tears, so I purchased a heating pad and it was fantastic!

I’m not losing weight anymore, and I’m not really gaining just yet either. I’m still within 0.2 pounds of my weight from the last doctors appointment. I have been very hungry and I’m sticking to eating every 3 hours or so to keep the nausea at bay. I’ve only been sick once this past week, and it was because I drank too much water too fast.

I’ve been using my fetal heart rate doppler and I love how much he’s moving because I have to fight it find where he’s hanging out each time. He’s hanging out in the low 140’s. It is always a great sound, and I know C and I love to hear it in between appointments.

Our next appointment is next Wednesday and it’s the big anatomy scan! I’m very excited to see him again, and hear how everything is growing. We are so close to the half way point! Also I keep feeling like I feel him moving, but I have to really focus and I can’t be 100% sure that what I feel is him. One time I felt something and I was so sure it was him– but now I’m doubting myself. Haha

This past week C and I went to our first childbirth class. This class talked about labor, childbirth, and what to expect at our hospital. Honestly– we both really hated the class. Other than the 5 minutes she spent on the stuff about our hospital’s specific protocols, she did not say anything we didn’t already know. I was irritated at some if the hospital procedures and ‘rules’, and at the antiquated practices that are no longer evidence based practice.

I guess I have a very ‘hippie’ mindset when it comes to childbirth. It is a natural process, not a medical procedure (most of time!). If I wouldn’t be living 90 miles away from a competent hospital, home birth would have been considered. There also are not any alternative birth centers in my state. I hope that one day, after I’ve gained experience as a midwife, that I will be able to work in a facility like an alternative birth center. I realize that this is many years off because I plan to get my doctorate of nursing practice as a midwife and then need to get experience– but this is a dream I don’t think will ever die.

The next two weeks are going to be super busy. This weekend we are traveling to see my parents in Wes Virginia and pick up our air conditioner units for the house. We also have the big anatomy scan coming up next week. Then I’ve got to study for my NCLEX, because it’s less than 2 weeks away. After all of this we are celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary, and traveling to Ohio to see our friends. It’s going to be a blur and I’m hoping everything works out.

Fingers crossed– until next week!

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7 Tips for Saving $$ on Baby Stuff!

I’m sure I’m not alone in my desire to buy all things baby– especially since we have a gender now. However, my desire to buy things needs to be contained for practical reasons: baby stuff is expensive! So I’m going to share a few of my awesome buys and tips to make this as affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality. ***

First off: Scour discount stores (TJ MAXX, MARSHALLS, etc.). I found a Boppy Pillow that retails at BabiesRUs for 49.99, for 20$. Now all I need to do is have a few extra slipcovers on hand for those messes, and I saved 30 bucks. Not too shabby. I also found some awesome discounted baby clothes that would retail significantly higher. Just be mindful and don’t always assume that the items are cheaper than you can find somewhere else.

Secondly: Plan your registry accordingly.

  • A: I planned on registering at two stores for the convince and for price comparison. Turns out BabiesRUs will price match to several of their competitor stores (even if you just pull the item up on your cell phone). I know I plan to do that, but I don’t know if others who plan to be gracious and gift to our son will know or use that option– So I’m being very careful and price comparing between the two stores I’m registering at. I am also being very careful to read reviews, and not sacrifice quality. Some items I found I was able to buy a cheaper brand and still be as happy as I would be if I bought the name brand– The 900+ 4.5 star reviews leave me to believe that.
  • B: It is also pays to look at the benefits for your registry: BabiesRUs offers up to 10% back on all purchases from their registry. Every time I go shopping, even for little things, I make sure I’ve got my wand– and register for everything I buy. 10% will come back to me after our baby is born. They also offer discounts for the items not purchased on your registry during the few weeks before your due date.

Third: Space out big purchases. There are inevitably going to be items that you know you are going to buy– either because they are very expensive or come from stores that you aren’t registered at. I know for us the items we don’t plan on having help with are: Bassinet, Crib, Glider and Ottoman, Bookcase/Dresser, and Travel System Stroller — So to help with these I’ve spaced them out and plan to buy certain purchases every month. That way I’ve got time in between purchases to let my bank account recover.

Fourth: CLEARANCE! I have not purchased one item of baby clothes at full retail price. Sure I’ve been tempted, but I am finding plenty of great clothes for a fantastic deal. Carters and BaiesRUs both had Fourth of July sales where they were offering another 25-60% off of their already low price clearance clothes. I was able to score over 200$ of baby boy clothes (in all sizes up to 9 months) for less than 80$. I now have over 50 baby outfits– All great quality! We also purchased our crib bedding, and accessories on clearance and saved another 80$!

Fifth: Buy some second hand stuff! There are certain items I am not comfortable purchasing second hand, but for some items (clothes is a second hand purchase I’m 100% OK with)– I’m fine with it. A friend of mine put me in contact with a girl who has a son who was born last November, and who is interested in selling some of his clothes. It works out perfect because our boys are both winter babies so the type of clothes should also coordinate with the right size. (Winter clothes in 0-3 months, shorts in 3-6 months, etc.). Just look the items over carefully, and don’t buy it if it looks too worn out or is damaged, etc. Don’t be in a hurry!

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Sixth: Coupons! I found a great 20% off coupon for BabiesRUs that I could print off of the internet and is valid until 10/31/14. I printed several coupons, and plan to use it for some of my bigger purchases: Travel System, baby carrier, etc. I was also recieved a lot of coupons when making purchases at other places. Use them if you can!

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Seventh: Baby Showers are here to help! If the person who is throwing your baby shower asks for input from you, don’t be afraid to offer suggestions– especially on a time frame. My best friend wanted me to have enough time to make the necessary purchases after the shower so she asked what month would be good. We’ve decided to go with an October shower, so that way we’ve got a little over a month (assuming our son bakes until his due date), to finish buying all of the needs. I know I feel a little awkward at the whole concept of a baby shower, because I feel like it’s weird to have a party where people come to ‘shower’ your new addition with gifts, but then I sat down and thought about it. Personally, I LOVE going to baby showers and buying gifts for new babies– So there is a chance that your guests are equally as excited. Also, I had to wrap my head around the idea that people are not giving me gifts– They are giving my son gifts.

*** Keep in mind I am new at this! I’m only 18 weeks pregnant, and have no other kids. So I’ve been using these tips to help me save money just recently. I hope that these suggestions, even as predictable as they sound, help someone else. 🙂  So far I’ve taken inventory of our purchases: Retail value of what we have purchased so far: 600$, and what I’ve actually spent: 250$ (+/- 10$). I’ve personally used every one of these tips, and I’m looking for other suggestions! I know I am a dry sponge in the baby universe, and I am trying to soak up as much information as I can.

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Week 17

This week has been very exciting! (So far just about every week has bee very exciting).

On the pregnancy front the nausea is *fingers crossed* — All but gone, and my weight is staying where it was; still down a bunch from pre-pregnancy– but I anticipate it will be coming up soon, my energy is staying up, and sleep is still good. I also think I may have felt our son move for the first time last night (July 3rd, 2014) while we were at a Lexington Legends baseball game. The only negatives this week have been some lower back pain that I think might be (self-diagnoised) sciatica, and my anxiety has been high.

Pre-pregnancy I struggled with anxiety. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t preform my day-to-day functions, but it could be very overwhelming at times, and for reasons I couldn’t even identify. This past week I was borderline panic attack for reasons that I know don’t make a lot of sense. Honestly, I can look at what sets me off, and know that it is not that big of a deal– but I can’t just will my heart rate to slow, or my adrenaline to stop pumping. This past week what got me upset was everyone was asking me questions about the house: what should we build the closets out of, what about staining the wainscoting rather than painting, etc. It was overwhelming and I felt put on the spot, and didn’t really know what I wanted.

C was amazing and he took me out of the house, let me cry it out and calm down, before we headed back home. He also has anxiety issues, and completely understands. This was my first ‘freak out’ since the last week of nursing school, which is nice. I feared that with pregnancy hormones swirling around I would be miserable to be around. but that hasn’t been the case. Even C agrees that in general I’ve been a pretty easy pregnant women to be around. **Trust me, he wouldn’t lie.

We have our first childbirth class on Monday. It’s less about teaching us about childbirth, and more about what to expect at our elected hospital: procedures, etc. I’m looking forward to it. C is going, but he isn’t as excited about it as I am. Maybe it’s because I’m the one who will be doing the actual ‘birthing’ — haha.

The renovation mayhem has been crazy busy! The electrician is making quick work as he essentially rewires the entire house and brings it up to code. The contractor redesigned my kitchen in a way that makes me heart swell– I’m going to have a ‘walk-in’ pantry. The master bedroom, that had previously been demoed to the point it didn’t have walls, or a ceiling– now has drywall up, has been mudded and sanded, and has the closet built. Soon it will painted!

We are planning a trip to a warehouse to pick out some closet doors for the nursery, and cabinets for the kitchen, and maybe even the carpet for the bedrooms. Unfortunately, just as the house is really starting to take shape I’ve got to pull back so I can start studying for my NCLEX. I take it in less than 3 weeks and I haven’t done a great job at staying on top of my studying. So– Time to kick it into gear.