Baby AL Update {30 weeks}

Here we are with just TEN week left! TIme has flown and its just getting faster and faster as this girl approaches her birthday. I've been so behind on posting baby updates because the end of August and beginning of September included two trips for us, but now that we are back home for good, its time for another baby AL update!

Here she is in all her 30 week glory:

I Spy Kolbe's sweet little hand trying to get my attention =)

I Spy Kolbe's sweet little hand trying to get my attention =)

How I'm Feeling: Pretty good considering the circumstances. I'm starting to feel the wear and tear of pregnancy more now that I'm into the third trimester but its nothing crazy. Like for example, when I drop something on the floor there is a very big chance that I will either A) Leave it there or B) Ask Kolbe to pick it up for me because it seems like a pretty enduring task to bend over myself and get it while I have 20 extra pounds suddenly strapped onto my body. So like I said, nothing crazy =)

My back has been hurting a little bit again (it started after Kolbe was born and I got it fixed then), so I'm going back to my Physical Therapist tomorrow so that he can (hopefully!) fix me again. 

Movement: I will say that AL moves a lot. Like all day long. Its rare that I'm not feeling her move and its only about once or twice a day that I consciously realize she's not moving at that moment. Her movements are getting crazier and crazier by the day and a lot of the time her sharp jabs or roll overs make me wince. I can already tell she is running out of space in there!

Eating: I feel 100% back to normal regarding food aversions and cravings. Sometimes I'll have the random craving for something like ice cream, but since we don't usually buy it, it passes before I can go get some, which is for the most part a good thing. I've been trying my best to eat a variety of foods with an emphasis on veggies and protein. I do still get hungry very often (every 1-2 hours), so that's the only thing that is different from not being pregnant.

Emotions: This is by far the biggest difference I have noticed from my first pregnancy. Holy cow, are hormones crazy or what? I literally cry at everything..EVERYTHING at this stage. When I laugh, it suddenly turns into a a full out cry session, when I think of something sad (not necessarily pertaining to me) and talk about it, I cry. When I go to Cold Stone to satisfy said ice cream craving and realize they have shut down for good, I really ugly cry....When I talk to Matt about what a fun day I had with Kolbe, I tear up a bit....its Crraaaazzzy my friends. So don't be alarmed if this happens to you while I'm with you =) I definitely am not this emotional when not pregnant so its very weird to me!

AL is the size of a large head of cabbage this week! She is just growing and growing at this point. I have given myself a deadline to have her room ready at 35 weeks! I'm going for a loose coral + teal + gold ish theme and I think I can pull it off. I went crazy the other day and washed all of her clothes and organized her diapers and blankets so that's all good to go. I just need to hang things on the walls and clear out the rest of the bedroom that was formerly our "lets dump everything we don't use in there" room. It feels so good to bring so many bags to the thrift store! Matt will be building AL's crib after he's done with the chicken coop and that will be the last thing added to the room whenever he's done. 

Here's a side by side comparison of 30 weeks pregnant with Kolbe and 30 weeks with AL:

I love looking back and seeing the differences and similarities! That's all I have for now. I'll be back soon to recap our recent beach adventures. Have a lovely night!




What We're Reading Now

I always love seeing what other bloggers are reading and getting ideas for my ever growing reading list so I'm sharing our current reads with you! Its been a while since I shared my Summer Reading List so without further ado, here is what we are currently reading and what we plan to read this Fall too!

1. By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz- Matt and I are currently reading this out loud and while Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors, this one has been a little quirky and interesting to say the least. We are powering through though as none of his books have ever left me disappointed. I'm glad we are reading this one out loud because it helps us talk about it and sort through our confusion with the current events in the book. I'll let you know how it goes!

2. Restless Flame by Louis de Wohl- I just finished this book last weekend but I HAD to include it! It was so good. Louis de Wohl takes his knowledge of Catholic Saints and incorporates a fictional element to their stories making it so easy to feel like you know them personally. This particular book is about the life of St. Augustine and after finishing, I feel like I can connect with him on a whole other level. I also happened to be reading this during his feast day so that was an added plus! I not only learned a ton about St. Augustine's life, but St. Monica and St. Ambrose were also intricate characters in the book that I have developed a greater love for. 

3. I Spy- Kolbe is currently very into playing "I Spy" whether its in the car or at home or in a book. He is constantly asking us to read the "I Spy" books to him. His current favorite is "I Spy Letters" which is great because its helping him to identify all of the letters of the alphabet. 

4. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton- This one is from my Summer list and I'm glad I finally got to it. I'm still at the very beginning but already I'm intrigued and very into finding out what its all about! 

5. The Bradley Method of Childbirth Student Workbook- The workbook is from the Bradley Natural Childbirth classes that Matt and I took when I was pregnant with Kolbe but I figured now would be a good time to dust it off and read it again to prepare for Baby Al's birth. It can never hurt to refresh my memory of the pain relief methods and techniques that we learned 2+ years ago and an added plus is that it encourages Matt to resume giving me weekly relaxation massages up until Al's birth-win!

On our Fall Reading List:

1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain- Haha yeah I know right? This is next up on Matt' and I's read out loud queue. Even though we both read it while in high school, I, its been long enough that we are both eager to read it again. Plus ound a super old copy that will make us feel super refined while reading it (ha!) and

2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie- When I asked on Facebook for book recommendations, a ton of friends told me to read Agatha Christie, so she is also next up on my list! I've never read any of her books and I'm looking forward to diving in.

3. Four Witnesses by Rod Bennett- This one is from my Summer reading list, but I will definitely try to get to it soon! I love Church history and anything having to do with the early Church Fathers and early Saints so this is right up my alley. If anything, I'll just keep putting it on here to remind myself to read it =)

Happy Reading!


7 Quick Takes..Our Trip to Indy!

Hey friends! I hope you had a fun filled labor day weekend!

Matt and I took advantage of the holiday weekend to go and visit our sweet friends in Indianapolis. Brad and Emily are currently living there so that Brad can complete his residency in family medicine and since baby AL is due in November, it was a now or never opportunity to go and visit since traveling probably won't be happening for a little while. Right before Baby AL went on her first flight:

We dropped Kolbe off at Matt's parent's house on Thursday and caught a late afternoon flight to middle America. Seriously, I never thought I would have a reason to go to Indianapolis since I've never had any ties to it, but the prospect of exploring a new city was exciting! In an effort to turn this into a 7 Quick Takes post, here's 7 fun things we did in Indy:

1) Nature Hike at Eagle Creek Park. Most of the time we were there, the weather was overcast, drizzly and breezy (some of my favorite kind of weather!), but we took advantage of a break in the drizzle to venture out for an afternoon hike. We took a short drive to Eagle Creek Park, which offers lots of trails, paddle boarding, and a center where you can learn all about birds (Ornithology is apparently the study of birds, who knew?). Since pregnancy has been significantly slowing me down lately, we opted for a short hike that took us around the paddleboarding lake. It was nice to be immersed in nature and meander around exploring. We even got to witness a hawk having a squirrel was really kind of gross but kind of cool at the same time. 

2) Zionsville Farmers Market: On the Saturday we were there, we went to a quaint little town called Zionsville to check out the farmers market. Y'all this market was so awesome. Apparently Indiana is very centered on farming in general so you can imagine the offerings they had. Even though the market in Covington is decent most of the time, I was so impressed with the variety offered at the market in Zionsville. I only got two shots of the whole market because I was too enthralled to take out my camera (plus I didn't want to freak out the vendors haha), but these two pictures say it all. We also got to sample some delicious bison sausage from one of the vendors...yum. Matt and I are tea drinkers (in addition to my coffee problem ha), and there was a vendor selling fair trade, organic loose leaf tea. I was in tea heaven. We came home with three different ones: Cream Earl Grey, (my favorite of the three!) Forever Fields of Strawberries Green Tea, and a Spearmint Green Tea. I wish I could buy these online because we are drinking it fast. I may have to get Emily to bring some home for Christmas =)

3) Cobblestone Grill. Zionsville has lots to offer and the restaurant we went to definitely didn't disappoint. The restaurant is a farm to table concept so their ingredients are really fresh and flavorful. I wish I had gotten picture of our entrees but I guarantee everything was so delicious. We ordered a spicy chicken and quinoa dish and a fish dish that included pureed squash, sweet mango chutney and purple potatoes and we split the two entrees amongst the four of us. We then split the Triple Chocolate Blondie Brownie, which tasted as awesome as it sounds! I'm not typically a huge fan of chocolate desserts but even this didn't disappoint!

*Thank you to all the nice waiters who made efforts to bring me fruity drinks so I didn't feel left out....this pregnant girl appreciated it very much =)

4) Mass St. John the Evangelist & Our Lady of the Rosary. While we were visiting, we had the privilege of going to mass twice, once at St. John downtown and the other at an amazingly traditional church in another neighborhood within Indianapolis. The latter was my favorite, as I always appreciate and love a traditional high mass, which is what we got to experience. The sweet priest from Nigeria even blessed baby AL in utero =) Both of these churches have beautiful architecture and paintings and it was a treat to experience them both.

5) Downtown. Speaking of downtown, we spent an afternoon exploring the city and what it had to offer. Although the downtown area isn't huge, its very clean and pretty. We had lunch at an awesome indoor market that had a huge variety of food offerings. I'm pretty sure I could go there for two weeks straight and never eat from the same place. Matt and I split a delicious ham, spinach, and pineapple crepe and then we topped it off with Baklava gelato =) Afterwards, we visited the Soldiers and Sailors monument and Matt and Brad got their exercise for the day by climbing the stairs to the very top. Emily and I happily vetoed the experience, as it probably would have taken me 3 years to get to the top at 7 months pregnant.

6) Keystone Mall. Although there are malls in nearly every city, we made a pit stop because I was looking for this headband from Urban Outfitters and I didn't want to pay for shipping online. (first headband ever that fits my large head and doesn't slip off-this is a big deal!) I also ended up scoring these awesome pair of pants from Anthropologie that feel like I'm wearing a cloud so it was a win win situation....sorry to Brad and Matt who had the typical husbands at the mall experience while their wives went from store to store. They finally took advantage of the situation and waited for us while they sampled beers in the bar located inside the mall haha. 

7) Relaxed. This was the best aspect of our entire trip. Although we did go out and about each day, what Matt and I needed most was to get away and just chill out for a few days. As in, lay around and read books, talk, play board games, and enjoy each other's company. I came back so refreshed and rested and I'm thankful to Brad and Emily for making us slow down and do nothing haha. Plus, Emily is an amazing cook so the healthy food also didn't disappoint one bit. Emily and Matt apparently both have an exceptionally keen affinity for sweets, especially of the homemade chocolate chip cookie variety, and that beast was definitely not tamed while we were there. Lucky for Matt, Emily made some of the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever tasted =)

That wraps up our trip! I think I could officially be a spokesperson for the city of Indianapolis after writing this post, don't you think? 

Check out Jen's blog for more awesome Quick Takes!

Baby AL Update {26 weeks}

This is officially my last week in the second trimester, that's crazy! This pregnancy really is starting to fly by at this point. 

I went to the doctor yesterday for a check up and she was measuring right on track. He did a quick ultra sound just to take a look at her growth and he indeed confirmed that AL is still a girl =)

Have I mentioned how much I adore my OB/GYN? I switched doctors for this pregnancy for several reasons, one of them being that I wanted to find a smaller, private practice since I was having some issues with the huge hospital based practice that I was previously at. I was also important to me to find a doctor who was on board with my views regarding the type of birth we want and our choice of family planning as well as a doctor who was at least familiar with and open to working with NaPro Technology (<<Click on the link of you're interested in finding out what that is!)

Seriously by the grace of God, I found this amazing guy, just because someone happened to mention him in passing during a conversation, and it has made a huge difference in this pregnancy journey. This guy just gets it, y'all. He is educated in his profession, yet so open minded and actually excited about the things that I desire out of this labor/delivery (something I unfortunately didn't experience with my previous doctor). Nearly every time I go in for a check up, we have a heart to heart conversation and he is one of the most reassuring and uplifting doctors I've ever met. He also, spends 30-40 minutes with me almost every visit answering my questions and just talking about life and forming a relationship with me, which I so appreciate, since he is, after all, the guy who will be bringing AL into the world. He kind of reminds me of what a visit with a midwife would be like, which I love! Every time I leave his office its like a huge sigh of happy relief and I want to cry tears of joy (hormonal much??).

One thing that I appreciate the most, is that he is very laid back and calm and willing to try natural, less aggressive interventions first if I were to have an issue, rather than pulling out the big guns right away. He has been quick to reassure me that no matter what happens, my happiness, and comfort level are very important to him and he even told me yesterday that he just wants to be my hero during labor and then I told him he was already my hero haha

Needless to say, if you couldn't tell, I'm very pleased. So much so, actually, that I've convinced a bunch of my pregnant (and non-pregnant) friends to go to him too.

Ok, end rant....Here is AL at 26 weeks:

There haven't really been any new developments since the last time I updated other than the fact that she is getting more and more active. She moves the most in the evenings and in the middle of the night, which I kind of wish she would reverse but I'm thankful for an active baby regardless. 

On the food and nutrition front, I feel the most like my non-pregnant self that I've felt this entire pregnancy in regards to food aversions, cravings, and getting back to intuitive eating, rather than just survival mode eating. I'm still indulging in treats here and there probably more than I would if I weren't pregnant, but I try to offset those with exercise and veggies. 

I also did a mini gestational diabetes test at my appointment yesterday. Since he didn't consider me to be high risk (again, awesome guy!), my doctor agreed to let me eat real food and test with finger pricks rather than drinking the syrup-like orange drink that is unfortunately chemical filled (and made me sick last pregnancy) and testing with a more involved blood draw. So, I ate 50 grams worth of sugar in the form of orange juice, toast, and bananas....not once, but twice (once at 7:30am and once at 9:30am) and by the time I was sitting in his office, I was so hungover from all of that orange juice that when the nurse went to go do the finger prick test, I told her that I was expecting my blood sugar to probably be around 100 (still normal one hour after eating), and we were both very surprised when 62 popped up! 

I'm very thankful that no issues showed up regarding that test and that I can continue doing what I'm doing. I've been thinking about how that result really motivates me to keep exercising and eating healthy as much as I can! Although a trip to Cold Stone might happen later today, just sayin....

One thing I wasn't expecting? The discomfort that would come with the stretching of the scar from my Appendectomy! At first I thought it was round ligament pain, but it makes more sense that its the scar since the achy feeling is pretty localized to that single spot exactly where the scar is. 

Sleep could be a little more comfortable and less interruptive but I'm getting by. There's only so many positions you can get in when you have a large watermelon attached to your midsection =) Downside is that coffee does noooootttttthhiiinnnggg for me....nada, and 4pm is usually when my afternoon slump happens. 

Here's one more of AL from a different angle plus another little cutie pie who wouldn't open his eyes =)

Have a blessed week!