Family, pregnancy, Uncategorized

22 week pregnancy update

Three things:

1- my daughter may only weigh about a pound, but she has the cuuuutest clothes and shoes. I’m so excited to dress her!
2- it still feels SO strange to say ‘daughter’.
3- I’ve come to realize that I will, in fact, be “that” mom that wears her teenage daughter’s clothes someday to try to look cool. #fairwarning #noshame

This week has gone by so quickly! And it’s been oddly hilarious.

On Friday, we went on a date for our anniversary to a local restaurant with an all-you-can-eat gyro bar and sat in the patio. I fully believe food ALWAYS tastes better when eaten outside.
After we were done eating and were sitting, talking and enjoying the weather, Ben saw his chance and took off running, escaping the patio through a narrow opening in the gate! Brandon jumped into action with his quick realization that I wouldn’t (a) be fast enough to catch Ben, and (b) wouldn’t be able to fit my belly through the tiny slit in the fencing! (Both very true.) I couldn’t stop laughing after he caught him. The whole situation happened so quickly and I’m sure provided plenty of entertainment to passers by! How are toddlers so darn quick?!

Also, there has been MORE baby proofing being done in our home this week. We literally haven’t stopped locking and moving things for over a year now. Nothing is safe, and just when we think we’re done, Ben discovers something new (AKA dangerous and/or fragile). At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to decorate again, but, rest assured, there has NEVER been a home as safe as ours is right now… I can almost guarantee it.

Although he appears to be lending a helping hand, Ben is carefully taking notes on how he will break into this drawer later.

As Baby Girl has been flipping around in my belly, Ben has also started doing “flips” all around the living room. He’s never even seen anyone do one, but has somehow discovered on his own that he can do somersaults, will do them anytime you ask, and is really good at them at only 20 months old. How?! It’s so impressive! He also poses and smiles when he wants his picture taken (usually with Jack) and will bring me my phone if I don’t have it nearby when his perfect photo opportunity strikes. He couldn’t be any more like me, which I equally love and am terrified by.

Seeing his little personality unfold more everyday makes me so excited to meet his little sister. She has the sweetest and best big brother waiting for her 😘

How far along? 22 weeks

How big is the baby? About 12 inches long and 1 pound! My pregnancy app said she is about the size of a Guinea pig, which made me laugh.

Maternity clothes? Yes, give me all the stretchy!

Sleep? Extra amazing this week, as long as I don’t have to roll over. The cooler nights mixed with us all going to bed earlier has been perfection.

Best moment this week? We had a great playdate with new friends on Thursday that really filled up my cup.

Cravings? Still peanut butter and chocolate anything.

Aversions? None, but I haven’t had much of an appetite this week, for some reason. (You wouldn’t be able to tell by how much I’ve been snacking, though! 🙈)

Labor signs? I started noticing some Braxton Hicks contractions this week. They aren’t painful, just a little uncomfortable. I’m taking them as a reminder to take it a little easier.

Belly button in or out? Ben was trying to “pick” it off the other day, so I think that means it’s officially out 🤣

What I miss? Brandon. He’s been picking up extra hours lately, so we’ve been seeing him less, but I’m so proud of him and how hard he works for our family. I’m thankful it’s only temporary!

Downfalls? So. Emotional. Gah, I can’t even stand how stereotypically teary I’ve been, like every pregnant woman in every movie ever. I don’t remember being like this during my first pregnancy. For example: I have ZERO idea why, but I’ve cried everytime I’ve seen a marching band this pregnancy. At first, I thought it was just a weird hormonal coincidence mixed with bad timing. But guys, between parades and other events around town, I’ve seen a marching band perform on four seperate occasions since becoming pregnant and it hasn’t failed. I wasn’t even in my high school’s marching band or anything sentimental that would lead me to bawl like a baby, but here I am, the weirdo with the big belly that’s wiping away tears as the trumpets pass by– Every. Single. Time. 😭🤣 So embarrassing!

Currently listening to: a great podcast series called RISE Together. Recommend!

Milestones: Ben saw a baby on a commercial, came over and lifted my shirt, pointed to my belly, and said “baby!”. It was so special because he put it all together on his own, and it really felt like he *might* be starting to understand what’s going on?!

What I’m looking forward to? Finishing up some cosmetic home projects Brandon and I have started. I’m so excited about how they’re turning out!

Bump? SO round!

Family, Uncategorized

Tips for Surviving Your SECOND First Trimester (Newly Pregnant with a Toddler in Tow)

Hi friends, and happy Monday!

I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the summer sun!

In case you didn’t know, you probably do after reading the title… Brandon and I are expecting baby # 2! We are over-the-moon excited about this news, but I had to wait to post this because we have been keeping it a secret from our families for THREE months!

Now that the news is out, and I’m officially pushing through my second trimester, I thought I’d share how I survived the first one. Because let me tell you, it was HARD. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve never been more exhausted in all of my life. I’m thankful Ben is still taking 2 naps a day, because some days, I had to too (definitely at least one, or I wouldn’t have made it through most days).

Unlike in my first pregnancy, where I was working back-to-back 12 hour night shifts AND picking up overtime day shifts, working on our kitchen renovations, and going to CrossFit 5-6 days a week during the first trimester, this pregnancy has been full of going to bed early, being nauseous all day with no appetite, and resting as much as Ben will let me.  It’s funny how life has changed in two short years.  I was so active, determined to have a fit pregnancy last time.  That still sounds great, but this time around, the thought of going for a run makes me need a nap so desperately.  Thankfully, much of my energy has come back with the start of my second trimester, and I’m hoping to work out again soon.  But for now, I’m listening to my body.  The demands of taking care of the house and my very spirited toddler are how I’m staying active.  Here are my most helpful tips on surviving that difficult first few months when you need to be a mama first.


Tip #1: Small snacks and bubbly water.

I don’t know why people refer to it as “morning” sickness, when it really lasts all day long.  When you’re feeling yucky and your appetite is nonexistent, it’s best to keep something small in your stomach at all times.  That really helped me to keep nausea at bay, since I found I felt my worst when my stomach was totally empty.  Instead of eating 3 large meals, try eating 5-6 smaller ones, and always keeping snacks around.  I also drank lots of LaCroix, which is carbonated water with natural flavors.  It helped to keep me hydrated when even water didn’t sound very good.

Tip #2: Ask for help.

Brandon was so helpful and understanding of how terrible I felt.  As soon as he got home from work, he’d step right into Dad duty so I could rest, cook dinner, or some days, take a nap.  It’s okay to ask for extra help.  Your body is going through so much, and a little break could keep you from totally breaking.

Tip #3: Celebrate ALL Victories.

Every ultrasound, every new week, every load of laundry folded deserves a reward.  Take it easy on yourself, and celebrate even the smallest of victories.  Reward yourself with a little treat, a face mask, a solo trip to Target, or even an early bedtime.  Growing a human deserves some recognition, Mama!  That’s multi-tasking at its finest!

Tip #4: Diet is KEY.

Cravings are REAL.  Aversions are REAL.  But try to remember that whatever you eat, your growing little baby is eating, too.  Since working out hasn’t been in the cards for me much (yet) this pregnancy, I’m working on focusing on what I can control, which is what I eat and how much I’m eating.

  • You aren’t actually eating for two whole people, so most doctors recommend only upping your calories by 150 during the first trimester.  That could be used on 2 Oreo Cookies, or you could enjoy something filling and nutritious instead, like some rice and veggies that will help you power through your day.  (And really, who can stop at just 2 Oreos?!  NOT ME.)  Also, don’t drink you calories!
  • Protein is also really important, so I’ve been fitting it in throughout my day wherever I can.  I’ve been choosing eggs over a bowl of sugary cereal, chicken with my salads, or a protein bar snack.  Comparing my diet thus far with my first pregnancy, I really believe this is the main contributor to the reason I’ve been able to successfully keep my growing belly relatively small and hide-able for months (and fit into a bridesmaid dress at 16 weeks that I ordered prior to getting pregnant!).  I’m still gaining a very healthy amount of weight, but I’m just making smarter choices.
  • I’m also not giving into every single craving I’ve had– I’ve found that usually a few bites is all I need to satisfy it.
  • If there’s ever been a time to go organic, this is it.  Brandon and I had already switched must of our produce and daily staples to organic ones, but I’ve been trying to really step it up.  After learning about the pesticides in literally EVERYTHING we eat and realizing that they all add up, and thinking about the little person growing so quickly and depending on you for nutrients,  I’ve realized I want to give them the best start I can.

Tip #5: Plan Ahead.

Prepping meals ahead of time– even pre-making PB&Js to throw in the freezer, pealing/cutting fruits, or portioning out snacks– will save you tremendous amounts of time, as well as help you to make healthier choices for you and your family.  Each week, I made sure to keep up with my menu planning and grocery lists and do what I could on Sundays to prepare for the week while Brandon was home to help me.  I also looked ahead at any local activities going on for kids and families, which helped to keep Ben busy and engaged with other kids without as much planning on my (already fatigued) end.  Some of our favorite days were spent trying out new playgrounds and activities put on by our library!

Tip #6:  Go outside!

I’ve been really fortunate to be pregnant during beautiful weather.  Getting some fresh air and sunshine totally changes my mood.  It’s also great for Ben, who would be outside from morning to bedtime, if I let him!  Playing in the rocks or with bubbles keeps him entertained for hours, and wears his little body out for naps and bedtime, which I consider a mom win!  Just some chalk, toy trucks, and a bubble mower will provide endless fun without any stress or mess for me, and watching him play and learn is the best part of ANY day.

I hope you’ve found this list helpful!  Do you have any tips for mamas trying to survive pregnancy with a toddler?  (Any third trimester tips?  It’s creeping up on me REAL QUICK!)  I’d love to hear them!

(I surprised Brandon– and apparently Ben ^^– with a mini photo session to tell him our news, and it was a success! I’ll post more about that soon!)

Family, Traveling, Uncategorized

Ben’s First Camping Trip

Hello, everyone!

We are well into the week now, and man, this one really seems to be flying by for me.  Anyone else?  Brandon, Ben, Jack, & I went on Ben’s first camping trip to a lake about 45 minutes from our house over the weekend.  We had heard amazing things about this place, but for some reason, had never been.  My goodness, it was so beautiful!  We are already excited to go back!  We met my parents there, who were camping for the whole weekend.  They let us set our little tent up on their campsite, and we were so anxious to make s’mores and something called “Woofem Pies” on the fire.

The day was scorching hot, so the lake felt amazing.  We took their new kayaks out for a try (which only made us want to get kayaks even more than we already do!), and were  having the best time.  Jack even went in for an impromptu swim at the lake while I was letting him get a drink.  I should’ve known better than to trust a lab around water to just “get a drink”… I ended up bouncing all over some huge rocks as he dragged me around so he could cool off and splash around!  We went back to the campsite for lunch and to swim in the pool.  Ben LOVES the water, and it makes me so proud that he is so comfortable around it like I’ve always been.  He was one tired little fish!  It was so sunny and beautiful.  The forecast was showing this perfect weather all weekend… no rain in sight…

and then it rained.

I mean, RAINED.  Out of no where, it began DOWNPOURING and hailing.  The wind picked up and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it rain so hard in my life!  It didn’t take long until we were all completely drenched.  Actually, that’s an understatement.  I don’t think I could’ve gotten more wet if I was submerged in water.  And since the storm was so sudden and unexpected, our tent window was wide open, and it was like we were inviting the water in.  Our air mattress almost became a raft that floated away, had our tent not been steaked into the ground.  But just as quickly as it came on, the rain stopped, the hail melted, and the sun was out again.  We couldn’t do anything but laugh as we tried to wring everything we owned out to dry in the sun.

Well, it ended doing that again about an hour later, with another bad storm to follow.  Others in the campground were losing their tents, their canopies… everything.  No one even saw the storm coming.  Pairing that with Ben being SO exhausted but having trouble falling asleep in such a weird place, with a sopping wet dog that is terrified of storms, and the fact that we clearly weren’t as prepared as I tried to be, we decided it was best if we just made a late night drive home to all sleep in our DRY, cool beds before the next storm came.

To make a long story short, Ben’s first camping trip was just a long day trip.  We are planning a more prepared (and hopefully overnight!) camping trip later this summer, and I will share with you all how it goes!

I keep thinking about ‘if Id known, I would’ve done *this* differently’, but I’m trying to stop myself when those thoughts creep up.  The thing is, I did the best I could based on the forecast I saw and for our first night in a tiny tent with a baby and a dog.  I planned, prepared, and packed, but sometimes, God has other plans.  I’m thankful we had an amazing day, we got to see my family, and that the drive was short enough to make it home that night to sleep in our beds.  We made some amazing memories, so all you can do is brush it off and laugh!  I’m choosing to look at life that way.

I hope you all decide that no matter what is going on in your world, you can change your mood if you change your mindset.  Take charge of your situation, look at all the good, and turn it into a positive experience!

Have a great rest of your week!

Ben helping Brandon set up the tent
Getting ready for a day on the lake! Jack is the most adventurous dog and is always along for the ride.
Brandon and my dad going out on the kayaks
Ben and my mom playing in the sun.  He loves his Grammy!
Cooling off at the pool
Family, Uncategorized

January 2018

We kicked off our year in the way most parents of 1-year olds do… ASLEEP! Brandon and I put Ben to sleep around 9, popped open some bubbly (sparkling apple juice 😂) while watching an episode of Parks and Rec, and were in bed by 10:30.

*cue the grandma/ grandpa comments*

I know, we sound SO lame for some 20- somethings. But talk to me when you know your baby will be bright-eyed and ready to climb furniture eat the dog’s food destroy the house play just a few hours after you fell asleep. No one said keeping the kids alive making responsible parenting choices was easy all the time 🙄

We still had an amazing New Year’s Day, albeit a cold one here in Ohio. Brandon was off work so we spent the day hibernating and playing with our new Christmas gifts. We also booked our vacation for our 10 year anniversary in May! (Sidenote: I seriously can NOT believe we starting dating 10 years ago and got married 5 years ago this year. Time flies, and the older I get, the quicker the years seem to go.) We decided on a cruise, which is what we did for our honeymoon and it was amazing. It will be a whole new kind of fun with a toddler on board, and we are so excited to make vacation memories with him. I’ve been doing some research on taking toddlers on cruises. (Have you guys done it? I’d love to hear your advice!) The cruise being booked is also giving me some motivation to get back into working out, which I’ve neglected doing due to the cold and winter blues.

Ben has been CRACKING us up lately with his adorable personality. He is so independent and fearless, which is enough to keep this mama on her toes! He’s figured out that if he climbs Jack, he can get up onto the couch or coffee table. It’s like an undiscovered jungle gym up there! He’s also learned how to shake his head no, which he uses very freely and appropriately when we ask him to eat foods he doesn’t want to, or to get down from the coffee table. We’ve been taking him to play areas more to get some energy out, and he loves playing with the other kids. He’s the sweetest boy, always smiling, sharing, and curious.

We took him sledding for the first time after getting several inches of snow. He was NOT a fan of the cold, or maybe it was the dozen layers we bundled him up in. He could hardly move his arms and he kept tipping over from the weight of his coat and snowpants, which made him pretty upset, so we didn’t stay long. We’ll try again next year!

Any time we go to the store, Ben loves to wave and blow kisses to everyone, making friends wherever we go. He also knows lots of body parts and points to them when you say their name. He fake coughs and fake laughs, and it’s the cutest. He loves making others laugh, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the class clown at school one day. He is the best boy at naptime and bedtime, and I’m so grateful. He will roll over and put himself to sleep in his bed. I couldn’t be more proud of the little boy he’s becoming.

We’re having a great month here, and if it’s any sign of what’s to come for the new year, I think we are on a great path! Thanks for reading!

(He almost didn’t make it to 12 pm for the toddler “Noon Years” celebration at the library, after missing his morning nap! 😂)
Health, Uncategorized

New Year’s Resolutions (2018)

Even though it’s so predictable, I try to set resolutions at the start of every new year. For the sake of not sounding so cliché, let’s call them goals.

I know a lot of people hate these things. The way I see it, there is a brand new year unfolding in front of you. This year, that also happened to be a new week, as well. There’s something so refreshing and invigorating about the new start that excites me to change my life. These changes, while often small, have led to some great habits that are now simply a new way of life for me. I never flossed until a few years ago (eww, I know, not my proudest confession), but thanks to a new years resolution (and one too many cavities at a dentist appointment 🙊), I can proudly say I haven’t skipped a day of flossing in over 2 years!

I am determined to make 2018 my best year yet. That says a lot, since 2017 was pretty darn amazing! Here are some of my goals for the new year.

  • Drink more water. I’m still nursing Ben, but I’m also now chasing him around the house! Both require more water consumption, but I also feel much better when I’m hydrated.
  • Read more books. Ben’s little brain has been like a sponge lately, and he’s learning something remarkable every day. I want to make time to read out loud to him everyday.
  • Be more mindful.  I want to spend less time in front of a screen and more time with my family, making memories, and spending time in more meaningful ways.  I think this is my biggest goal for the year.
  • Juice and/or salad every day.  I am trying to also make this year my healthiest one yet.  Brandon and I bought a juicer and have been juicing organic produce in it nearly every day.  We are trying to eat more of a plant-based diet, and this is definitely a delicious way to fill our bodies with healthy micronutrients!
  • Daily devotions/prayer/meditation.  It’s so easy to wake up and become quickly engulfed in everything going on around us.  All too often, the first things we hear in our day after checking social media or turning on the news is that something terrible has happened in the crazy world we live in.  I find I get so caught up in it all and often find myself stressed and anxious.  There’s no need for that when just a few quiet moments with deep breathing and God are all I need to set my mind straight and have an amazingly brighter day.

I’m working toward becoming a better ME in 2018.  Have you set some goals for yourself for the new year?  I’d love to hear about them!


It’s Been Awhile

It has been years since my last post, but after much thought and a few large life changes, I’ve decided to get back into blogging.

2016 was a fantastic year for my husband and I.

February – we went on the trip of a lifetime to Italy

March- we paid off all of our student loans, and I was officially down 20 lbs!

April- we found out we were pregnant!

May- I turned 24, and we celebrated 8 years together

June- we remodeled our kitchen

July- we found out our baby is a healthy little boy!

August – Brandon turned 25, and we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary

September- we became godparents and built a new fireplace

October- we bought me a new car, went on a baby moon to Maine, and had my beautiful baby shower

November – we built a crossfit gym in our garage, and I FINALLY finished my mammography requirements

December- we welcomed a perfect little baby boy!

We also welcomed 4 new neices & nephews, went to countless celebrations (my parents celebrated 30 years of marriage!), and made so many wonderful memories along the way.

I’m not the same girl I was in 2013 when I began this blog. I’m excited to talk about my adventures in marriage, motherhood, homeownership, money saving, travel, and fitness with you.  I’ve got SO much to say, and I hope you’ll let me know what you want to hear from me!

Happy spring!