Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: 20 Weeks

Guess what I did this week? 
I finalllllly got out my tripod and took a bump picture with something other than my iPhone. Woohoo!! It only took me to the halfway point in my pregnancy to finally get on board!

20 WEEKS
Size of Baby: As long as a Banana
Gender: It's a Girl (name is still a secret!)
Feeling: Amazing! Blessed! Happy!
Weight: I finally got to weigh in at the doctors office...and I've gained 14 pounds total, which I of course googled to make sure I wasn't gaining too much weight, but it looks like I'm still on track. 
Maternity Clothes: Still wearing maternity jeans/yoga pants/leggings. But all my tops are regular bc I'm refusing to buy ugly maternity tops. I think I'll stop answering this question until my answer changes.
Symptoms: Nothing new really...just a lot of dry skin...but that might be the weather.
Movement: Started feeling a little flutters, and a few small short cramps here and there, but that's it. No significant "kick" yet.
Highlights: Going to the doctors office for our 20-week ultrasound! It was so fun seeing her again and seeing her little heart beating! :)
Also, getting a few gifts in the mail...we have very thoughtful family and friends!!
Looking forward to: Getting the nursery together! We cleaned out the closet over the weekend, so now CV can built an organized little closet to fit tiny little baby clothing!
See ya next week! :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five Things...

Starting this Friday with 5 random thoughts...

1. New Years Resolutions:
I didn't really make any official resolutions this year, but I do have some stuck in the back of my mind like:
+ Be an amazing wife
+ Eat healthy
+ Be active
+ Lose the baby weight (Post Pregnancy)
+ Search for a new job (since this happened)
+ Use my camera on our life more (and not always just the lives of others)
+ Relax
Pretty much, I just want to be my best self this year...I'll be bringing a daughter into the world this summer and I want her to meet the best ME!
 
2. Project Nursery:
CV was out of town for a week, and I had MLK day off work...so I did what any impatient pregnant person would do and got out my husbands toolbox and put together the dresser/changing table for the nursery!
I'm pretty sure everyone owns this dresser. (and if you do - then you know what a beast it was to put it together all by myself!!) Everytime I look at Pinterest I see this dresser everywhere and I know several friends who have it.  I guess it just confirms what a great dresser it is! (And at $230 you can't beat that!!)
*BUT I can say....if you're using it for a changing table like many people are...it is VERY TALL.  I'm only 5'1'', so after I put it together I was kinda disappointed on how tall the dresser was. It might be too tall for me to change the baby on. We will see! If so, I guess CV will be in charge of diaper duty! :)
 
3. Baby Clothes:
I've actually been really good about NOT buying any baby clothes. (I'm trying not to buy any since my sister has a lot of hand-me-downs...and who knows what adorable outfits I'll receive at baby showers!) So far, I've only purchased FIVE things! That's pretty good, right???

4. Photography Update:
I haven't been behind the camera lately.  My last session in 2014 was in early November - and due to the winter weather - I had to cancel the rest of my sessions in November and December since all my customers had little babies. (and I don't do indoor portrait sessions). (AND I didn't mind at all since I had no clue when I was going to be feeling "morning sick".) So, the camera has been sitting on my desk for a while - not getting much use.
The update for 2015? Well, I really don't know what will happen with my business after the baby. Photography is a side hobby for me (that I love) but I can't imagine I would want to leave my baby at home while I go take pictures of someone else's baby/family. But who knows, maybe I will enjoy the break....and maybe I will need the creative outlet and the extra money.  I may just have to play this year by ear and see where photography takes me.
But I do have a few sessions scheduled on my calendar for the Spring that I'm pretty excited about! :)

5. Our Kitchen:
Yes...our kitchen is still in the works. (ALMOST DONE!)  We had our countertops installed last week and let me just say - that is a relief!!! We had to put plywood & some extra cabinet stuff to act as a countertop for the past month.  Sure, it did it's job, but it wasn't easy on the eyes.
So finally our countertops are here!!!!! Hooorayyy!!!
Now, we are just waiting on 5 more things......and then we can begin the backsplash & lighting!!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Week 19

A little weekly bump update plus more bad iPhone pictures of me in house clothes. :)
Size of baby: Mango
Feeling: Pretty amazing!! Energy levels are UP, not feeling sick at all, just feeling a little heavy and tight in the belly after I eat a meal. Small portions are key!!
Weight Gain: I'll find out on Monday at the doctors office. I hope its on track!
Maternity Clothes: Still just wearing maternity jeans or yoga pants/leggings...all other clothes are my regular clothes.
 
Symptoms: I've started to get that line on my stomach already! Isn't it crazy that its already there?? I heard when you have a darker complexion, it shows up faster. It's a faint line - but it's definitely there.
Also, I can tell my belly button is a lot more shallow than it used to be. I wonder if I'll be getting an outie soon.
Movement: No movement yet! I've felt a few things...but I honestly couldn't tell you if it was a flutter, or just digestion of food.
Highlights: Putting together the dresser/changing table for the nursery this week and scheduling my baby showers. It's so fun to have those on the calendar.
Husband: Unfortunately, CV was out of town this week in sunny Key West, FL. But I'm happy he was able to go and enjoy a little vacation. (because lets face it - he won't be able to leave me for a week for a long time after the baby gets here!) :)
Looking forward to: Feeling a kick!!! And tomorrow since it is my 20 week milestone! I can't believe I'm one day away from being half-way through pregnancy!
Time sure is flying!!!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 17-18

Surprise, Surprise - I'm a little behind on my weekly bump updates...again.
Oh, and I have no fancy (non-iPhone) photos either. Fail on two accounts.
 
Week 17/18:
Size of Baby: Onion (17w) and Sweet Potato (18w)
Feeling: Amazing!! My lower back has hurt a little(I think due to sleeping uncomfortably) but that's nothing worth complaining about.
Weight Gain: Our scale is still battery-less, but I weighed myself at work (with jeans and boots on)...so taking the additional shoe weight into consideration - I assume I've gained a total of 10 pounds right now, which is right on track.
Maternity Clothes: Just jeans! My pre-pregnancy tops still fit (the loose ones do anyways.)  And my "house clothes" still fit! Hooray for sweatpants, leggings and long sleeve tee-shirts! That's all I wear at home.
Symptoms: Eating small meals with lots of snacks! My stomach gets full very easily - I can't eat very large portions. And I'm super thirsty all the time - therefore using the restroom all the time too.
Highlights: We started our baby registries!! And we purchased our CRIB!!! Our first big purchase has now been made!! I can't wait until it arrives so we can put it together.
Husband - Major props to my husband who cooks me a delicious dinner and rubs my feet almost every night! :)
Looking forward to: My 20 week ultrasound appointment so I can see that little sweetie again.
(Here I am at 18w3d in my house clothes with messy hair and a cute doggie!)

My goal for week 19 is to get out my camera for the first time this year and take a proper bump photo! We will see!! :)


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Eat an Entire (Family Size) Container of Spinach at Dinner

I'm always trying to add more spinach to my diet - but let's face it...salads are boring.
And every time I add more than a small handful of spinach to my smoothie - it completely ruins the taste and the texture. Ugh!
 
Luckily, I learned how to make my mom's Korean spinach side dish...and I can't get enough of it!
Every time I go to Memphis, I head straight for my mom's fridge and devour all of her tasty spinach! (She always has it on hand.) But I honestly didn't think about making it MY DAMN SELF until recently...
 
Intrigued? Want to make it?
Here's my recipe + some bad iphone pictures! :)
 
Ingredients:
10 oz of baby spinach (I love the Organic Girl Family Size Spinach. It's already washed 3 times so you don't have to wash it.) (If you buy regular spinach - wash it and cut off the roots.)
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
Pinch of Salt
Sesame Seeds
 
Directions:
1. Prepare an Ice Bath in a large bowl. (half ice/half water)
It's important to have this ready before you boil your spinach.
2. Blanch the Spinach: Boil water in a large pot on high heat. Blanch spinach in boiling water on high heat for 30seconds -1 min or until they die down.
3. Drain & Put in Ice: Drain the hot spinach and put all spinach in the ice bath for about 3-5minutes until cold.
4. Squeeze:  This is the most important step.  Use your hands to squeeze ALL the water out of the spinach. (I let CV do this part because he gets more water out than I do!)
5. Season: Season spinach with a pinch of salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic and sesame seeds. Mix well, tossing with a fork.
You can eat it now - but I like to put mine in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to make it really cold.
(photo pre-sesame seeds)
And there you have it! A super tasty spinach side dish that will go with anything!
(We served it alongside chicken, veggies & rice for dinner)
 
(AND YES - that entire family size container only makes a tiny bowl of spinach! Usually when I make it, I can eat the entire thing in one sitting - unless CV wants some - then I will eat half!)


Monday, January 12, 2015

First Trimester: Must Haves

For those of you trying...or in your first trimester:
Here were my First Trimester Must Haves. Hope this helps someone out there! :)
 
 
1. Bump Nest Pillow: Some people wait until the second trimester to get their pregnancy pillow, but I was having trouble sleeping right from the start. My "morning sickness" was at night - so this pillow definitely helped make me more comfortable and sleep through the night. 
This particular pillow is great, but probably on the higher side at $99.  I actually don't sleep with it every night because it does make me feel a little "trapped" sometimes. I would still recommend it though. It's soft, comfortable, has a removable/washable cover and it definitely helps me not sleep on my back.
2. Burt's Bees Belly Butter: I'm scared of getting those dreaded stretch marks - so I bought a jar of this almost immediately.  I put on a little in the morning...and a little before I go to bed. I like the smell and the texture....I just hope it WORKS! Only time will tell!
3. Pregnancy Books/Apps:  I've read quite a few books and have a few apps on my phone that I really like.  I think everyone is different and like to read/learn in different ways.  A lot of the recommended books I read - I didn't like (they seemed very common sense to me). So I think it just depends on the person.  I do, however, like the What to Expect app on my iPhone.  (You don't need the book if you get the app.) And I like the BabyBump app - it actually emails me a tip every day, and emails me weekly to tell me how big my baby is and what its doing! :)
4. Snacks:  Snacks are different for everyone.  I was really sick during my first trimester so I needed ginger ale, crackers (the goldfish crackers were the best to me!) and I loooooved soft pretzels, particularly from the mall.  These snacks definitely helped me feel less nauseous.  I also craved clementines and any fruit! Oh, and drink a lot of water too!!!
5. Prenatal Vitamins: I could write an entire post on prenatal vitamins (and maybe I will)...since I've taken several different brands. But the point is....you need to take a prenatal vitamin! Actually, you need to take one when you start trying - and even beforehand.  I started taking mine about 4 months before I got pregnant. (and since I didn't know anything about them - mine were so disgusting and HUGE horse pills! I've since learned there are better tasting ones out there!) They make them in capsules and also in gummies - pick what's right for you!
6. Lotion: Stock up on lotion! You will need it. My skin was so dry and itchy that I applied lotion all the time. And moisturizing your skin will hopefully prevent stretch marks too! :)
7. And Not Pictured: MOVIES:  Since you're keeping this secret from most of your friends (and since I was sick at night) I stayed in at night and watched a lot of movies! Make sure you have something to keep you occupied since you might be forgoing a lot of social events!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

We're Having A........GIRL!!!! :)

I literally can't believe it....
The past three months my brain has been 100% on "boy".  I had many reasons why I thought it was a boy...the main one being scientific and knowing that if you "try" during a certain time in your ovulation cycle, you're more likely to have a boy.
We definitely weren't trying for either gender, I just know that's how the timing worked out for us that month....so science brainwashed me into thinking it was going to be a boy from the very start!
And due to that...I brainwashed CV into thinking the same thing.
So there we were...thinking we were having a cute little boy....
Friday, December 26th, - CV and I had our ultrasound appointment at a local prenatal boutique, Becoming Mom. This little spa offers ultrasound appointments for anyone over 16 weeks pregnant, and since my doctor doesn't do an ultrasound/gender determination until 20 weeks, we jumped at the chance to see our little baby a month early and know the gender.
If you're in Cincinnati, I 100% recommend them. It was only $99 and worth every penny!
The spa was very spacious and nice, and they had a huge flat screen on the wall where you can see your baby! It wasn't stuffy like a doctors office, it literally felt like a spa and was very relaxing. 
(They wouldn't let us take photos of anything other than me laying down, so here I am....all ready to see my little baby!!)
The ultrasound was the best thing about pregnancy so far. Seeing that little angel for the first time was the best experience!! AND...our little sweetie WAVED AT US!!! And also gave us the "number one" sign with its finger....so adorable!!
We didn't want to know the gender until we were surrounded by family....so they put the gender in a cute little envelope and we headed home to meet our friends and family!

I honestly didn't want to have a gender reveal party. This little get together was a last minute decision with CV's family - so there were no decorations, no Pinterest-worthy foods or games.
It was just me, CV, about 15 family members and one friend....and cake!
(My friend made two cakes that day - blue and pink - I handed her the envelope 10 seconds before we were going to cut the cake - so she could give us the correct cake to cut!)
Here is said friend!!! She's the best (and preggo too)!!
And the cake cutting begins.....
(Is THIS what I look like when I'm surprised??? Embarrassing!! I need to work on a better "surprise face"! :)
*WATCH THE SHORTENED VIDEO HERE:
video
HOLY MOLY!
It's a GIRL!!!!
Even the MIL was completely caught off guard with a girl! She's HAPPY, wouldn't you say?
I had two envelopes ready to open after we cut the cake.  1. Boys Name 2. Girls Name.
We've been settled on our baby names for quite some time, so we let CV's mom open the envelope and read the girls name! So sweet!!  :)
IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!
We honestly can't believe our little sweetie is a little GIRL!!!
We would have been excited for either gender, but being completely caught off guard and surprised, kinda made it even more special to me.  We love her already!!! :)
Until next time...xoxoxox!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 15-16

Okay, I obviously shouldn't do weekly bumpdates....because I'm already 2+ weeks behind. Whooops! Let's see if I can catch up!!
 
Week 15:
Size of baby: Naval Orange
Feeling: Amazing!!! And I'm feeling like "it's" a boy!! (I've felt this way the entire time!)
Maternity Clothes: Still wearing my one and only pair of pre-pregnancy jeans that fit. All my tops still fit though. :)
Symptoms: None this week, I'm feeling pretty great and "normal"!
Sleep: Sleeping great, still trying to conquer sleeping on my side like they recommend.
What I miss: My old jeans. I understand that I need maternity clothes...but maternity jeans just aren't that "cute" if you know what I mean. Sorry GAP, I bought two pairs of your maternity jeans and they are just "okay".
Looking forward to: KNOWING THE GENDER! We find out next week!!! :)

(here's my lame attempt at getting a bump selfie. haha. I'm just not good at taking pictures of myself with a mirror image.)
Week 16:
Size of baby: Avocado
Feeling: Amazing because we finally know the gender and got to see the ultrasound! (My next post will be on the gender reveal so stay tuned!)
Maternity Clothes: Ahhhhhh, so I finally splurged on the best maternity jeans ever made (thanks to my sis for giving me a gift card for Christmas which paid for a good portion of them!).  They were about triple what I wanted to spend on maternity jeans, but they are worth every penny.  I'll be wearing them every day for the next 6 months.
Symptoms: None really, unless you count the fact that I cry when any sad/sweet song comes on the radio.  I heard my favorite Christmas song "Oh Holy Night" on the radio and cried like a baby. No idea why...it was just so beautifully sung that I wept.
Sleep: Sleep is great....except the night we found out the gender. Then my brain was thinking about nurseries and décor and etc.
What I miss: Deli Sandwiches!! I could really go for a cold turkey sandwich right now. :)
Looking forward to: Decorating the nursery...even though we won't be doing that for a few months.
(hi bump!)
(Disregard the messy background, but I wanted to capture what I looked like from the front!)
And there you have it....
Okay...the next weekly bumpdate will have more quality photos of me + bump, I promise!!! :)


Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Cincinnati

CV and I hosted Christmas this year for his family....
So that meant our guest room, my office (air mattress) and the couch were completely occupied for a week! Oddly enough - I took zero pictures of any people/festivities/games/etc. I literally stepped away from the camera and just enjoyed everyone's company.
 
Except for the few pictures I took of Paisley in front of the Christmas Tree.
(I've been a bad photographer/blogger this holiday!)
On Christmas Eve, we went to CV's aunts & uncles house to celebrate.  His entire family celebrates together - so it was fun to chat and catch up with everyone, and play a fun dirty Santa game! We usually go out of town for the holidays so we've never been able to take part in all the family fun, so I'm glad we were in town this year. (again, no pictures) :(
On Christmas Day, CV made a delish breakfast, lunch and dinner!! We had filets for dinner topped with shrimp (I had salmon since I can't eat undercooked meat) and it was fabulous! We had the traditional ham/green beans/casseroles,etc the night before, so it was nice to have a fancy meal that wasn't so traditional for Christmas.
The morning after Christmas we all went to the Woodhouse Day Spa for massages! I got a prenatal massage and it was amazing!! And the rest of our day was pretty amazing too...but that's another post!! (hint hint: gender reveal!!) :)
 We had tons of lovely Christmas décor in every room of the house...but this one is probably my favorite. It greeted everyone who came to our door! :)
I also made a hanging basket for our front porch filled with evergreens and juniper berries! It was so much fun to make.
And happily my friend EJ from L.A. was in town for the holidays - so we met up for an evening of hanging out and grabbed some pizza with some friends. I love her and miss her every day! (Come back to Ohio please!!!)
And of course there was the exchanging of gifts! CV got me the Kate Spade wallet I've been wanting...and a prenatal yoga DVD that I really wanted too! And there were tons of other amazing gifts flying around - and even some for little Baby Vollat too, which was the most fun to open! :)
 
Hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Our 2014 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from us!
Hope everyone enjoys their holiday and I'll see you next week! :)

(front)
 (back)

(See last year's Christmas Card (and possibly my favorite photo ever) here!)