2014 | NESHEAHOLIC

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What to Pack for Labor and Delivery

This post contains affiliate links. 


This is what I packed, what I used, and what I could have left home:

Cellphone chargers: NEED

Birth CD: I didn't get to listen to any music because in the induction room I was in with another woman, and by the time I got to labor and delivery I couldn't even think about the room's atmosphere before I was whisked off to an emergency c-section. But if I had been in a single room for the beginning of labor it would have been nice to have music.

Lotion: NEED. Unfortunately I brought a really perfumed lotion with me so I didn't use it much, because I didn't know how it would react to baby's skin. If I had to do things over, I would bring something with a more mellow, or no scent at all.

Flip Flops: Good for use in the shower.

Slippers: These were useful for when I was walking the halls. better than the hospital socks, but didn't expose my toes like my flip flops. I couldn't reach my toes at the end of pregnancy, so they were looking ROUGH lol.

Nursing Pillow: This was great to have while I was establishing nursing positions. I have the My Brest Friend Deluxe Pillow. I don't use this during the day anymore, but I still use it for night feedings, so she can fall asleep on it and it's easier to transfer her back to her crib. 

Going home outfit for baby: I brought one in newborn and one in 0-3 months. Even though she was almost 9lbs she still fit the newborn outfit.

Her first outfit. 

Pajamas, tank tops, going home outfit: all unnecessary. I wore the hospital gowns while I was there, and left in the same outfit I came in. 

Nursing Tanks/bras/pads: personally, my milk didn't come in until about an hour before we went home (3 days after birth) so I didn't need any nursing clothes and used my first pair of nursing pads on the way home. 

Belly Binder: I have this one and didn't wear it while in the hospital. The BIG mistake I made was not wearing it on the way home. Every bump the car hit on the way home was painful. I learned my lesson and always had it on for rides for the first couple of weeks. It really helped with abdominal pain and helping my organs get back to where they were supposed to be after the baby left a big space in there.

Socks: never used them. The hospital socks were much better.

Lanolin: my savior when I first started breastfeeding. I only had a cracked nipple for a few hours and no other nipple problems outside of normal soreness. If you are going to breastfeed, don't forget this. I don't know why hospitals don't provide it. I used Lansinoh brand

Underwear: never used. The hospital's mesh underwear are the way to go. I wish I had more to take home with me when I left!

What did you bring for labor and delivery?
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Getting Started with Cloth Diapering


I am so excited by all the feedback from my previous post - My Cloth Diaper Experience. Multiple people wanted to know more about my favorite brands and types of diapers so I figured a follow-up post was in order. 

PURCHASING

I will only buy a diaper new/retail if I cannot find it on the Facebook Cloth Diaper Swap, or the Babycenter.com Cloth Diaper Swap. You'll save a lot of money on the swap boards, and it's also nice to help out other moms who are trying to monetize their unneeded diapers. I also sell my unneeded diapers on these boards. If you buy used, throw a 1/4 cup of bleach in a couple gallons of water and let the diapers soak for 30 minutes before washing them.

QUANTITY 

If you're diapering a newborn/infant you want to have about 34 changes if you want to wash every two days. If you're starting with an older baby, I would say start with having the same number as you use disposables per day. Sage goes through 6-10 diapers a day. She's currently nine weeks old.

SIZING

There are One Size diapers and there are sized diapers. Kinda like Small, Medium and Large clothes, vs. One size fits all clothes. Snaps, or a combination of snaps and velcro allow you to adjust the sizing. If you are starting from newborn you will likely need to buy some newborn sized diapers, and then you will move on to One Size or sized diapers after baby gets bigger. We moved into One Size diapers around six weeks. These One Size diapers will hopefully take her all the way through her diapered life.

EASE OF USE

The type of cloth diaper the most easy to use are called All in Ones. These diapers function the most like disposables. They have snaps or Velcro to easily put them on and take them off. My favorite brands of All in One Diaper is Blueberry Simplex and Thirsties. If you have a childcare provider these are usually the only type of cloth diapers accepted by daycare centers. 

The second easiest type of diaper that I have are pocket diapers. These function the same as All in Ones, except you have a pocket that you can stuff with different types of inserts to change the absorbency. These add some additional steps to laundry, because you have to unstuff and stuff the pockets before and after washing. All my pocket diapers are Bumgenius 4.0s

The third easiest type of diaper I own are fitted diapers. These diapers require two parts. A cloth portion that fits and snaps like a disposable, and a separate waterproof cover to go on top. My absolute favorite type of fitted diapers are Green Mountain Diaper Workhorses. And my favorite waterproof covers are Blueberry Diaper Coveralls. I should also note that the diapers in the photo above are also fitteds. Those are my two overnight diapers and I purchased them from a WAHM (work at home mom) on Etsy - Soothebaby

Another type of diaper, the fourth easiest,  that is used with a cover is called a pre-fold. You can do fancy folds with a prefold or just tri-fold it inside of a cover. That's what we do. Using pre-folds and covers are the absolute cheapest way to cloth diaper.

Note that I ranked these all easy, because no type of cloth diaper is really that hard. 

ABSORBENCY 

We very rarely have leaks. In my personal collection the two diapers that I can compare to disposables are my Bumgenius 4.0 pockets, and my Soothebaby fitteds. The others have good absorbency but get very wet on the inside, so I don't leave her in them long.  

Let me know if you have any other questions!
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Monday, December 8, 2014

My Cloth Diaper Experience


I LOVE cloth diapering. I didn't even know it was a thing until I started following TweedleTee10 on YouTube. After I saw them, I immediately started researching and decided that cloth diapering was for us. The reasons for cloth diapering are cost effectiveness ( disposables are expensive!), environmental consciousness (disposables just sit in landfills!), chemicals (disposables have tons of chemicals in them), and cuteness (they are freaking cute!).

One of my friends on Instagram asked me to specifically talk about cost effectiveness and the labor involved in washing them. I spent about $250 for my beginning stash before baby was born. This was comprised of new and used diapers that I got on the Facebook and Babycenter.com swap boards. For those thinking "ewwww, used diapers!" it's not bad at all. Sellers send them to you washed, and you do a bleach soak and another wash and they are good to go for your baby. Sage is 2 months old today (woot!) and grew out of the newborn sized diapers about two weeks ago. I have since sold her diapers that were too small for about $140, and purchased some new ones.  So as far as cost effectiveness goes, one thing you can't do with disposables is sell them when you're done! Also, the one-size diapers that I've purchased will take her all the way through potty training, or around 40lbs, whichever comes first. Definitely a great investment. 

When it comes to the labor of cleaning the diapers, I don't feel it's too bad at all. We don't use any special detergent, just Tide Free and Gentle, which we use for all our clothes also. The only detergent requirement is use something that doesn't have softeners in it. We have a really old washing machine, which is actually better for cloth because many times the High Efficiency machines don't use enough water to really get the diapers clean.  The process is do a quick rinse cycle (this rinses away most of the pee and poo), then a wash cycle, then a second quick rinse cycle at the end (to make sure all the detergent is out of the diapers). Then we dry most diapers in the dryer. The waterproof diaper covers we hang dry. We wash generally every other day to every two days. Our water bill has only gone up $8 since starting cloth diapering. I have to note that this wash routine works fine now because she is exclusively breastfeed, and breastfed poop is water soluble. Once she starts solids, we'll probably have to invest in some flush-able diaper liners. These lay on top of the diaper and allow you to easily throw the poop in the toilet before washing. 

We keep dirty diapers in a regular trash can with a Planet Wise pail liner inside. When the lid is closed, it doesn't smell at all. Something to note is that the chemicals in disposable diapers cause baby pee and poo to smell much worse than it does on it's own. We used disposables while visiting my in-laws for Thanksgiving in Virginia and my husband immediately noted how bad her diapers smelled in disposables vs. cloth. 

My stash is comprised of All in One Diapers, Pocket Diapers, Fitted Diapers, Prefolds, and Diaper Covers. It is REALLY easy to get carried away in the diaper world. There are so many different types, and brands, and they're so cute! If anyone would like me to be more specific on brands I use or types I recommend let me know and I can totally do that. 

Have I convinced you to cloth diaper yet? ;-)
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Birth Story: The Best Laid (Birth) Plans of Mice and Men


Alternate title: When we plan, God laughs

For those who don't want to read the long drawn out birth story, the jist is: Pretty much everything happened the opposite of how I planned. But each step of the way I was able to remain calm and happy and accept God's plan. I'm proud of myself for not breaking down as my plans broke down. At the end of it all, I have been blessed to be the mother to the most beautiful healthy little girl and I know that everything happened how it was meant to happen. 

I knew when I wrote my birth plan that everything was subject to change and that labor and delivery could not be bent to my will. I decided early on in pregnancy that whatever would happen, would happen, but I would have my preference for how things would go in a perfect world. I wanted: 

Breastfeeding Only
NO episiotomy 
Delayed cord clamping 
Little to no intervention
Ability to move around freely during labor
Limited cervical checks

Well, things pretty much went the EXACT OPPOSITE! 

It all started with being a week past my due date. My OB decided it would be best if I was induced. I went in for my induction on Wednesday October 8th. Induction meant: Intervention, multiple cervical checks, and being on monitors for both my contractions and the baby's heartbeat, which meant mostly being confined to the hospital bed. So just that easy, 3 of my hopes went out the window.

While I woke up early on the morning of the 8th, around 3am, with contractions, I wasn't in active labor so the induction was still on the schedule. I received a dose of Misoprostol (drug that encourages the cervix to dilate) approximately every 4 hours beginning at 3pm. Being stuck in the bed the most I could do for coping techniques was breathing and visualizations. I had planned to be able to use my birthing ball, have Hubs administer counter pressure, and be able to walk around. But as you can see, my plans were not what was happening here.

After the third dose of Misiprostol, in the wee hours of the morning, things were starting to get REALLY REAL. The contractions were harder to breath through, and the immobility was starting to kill me. At this point I'm sure I started driving the nurses crazy because I began getting up and walking, sitting in a chair or on the side of the bed, and doing lunges, all of which made the monitors disconnect, but I HAD to move. Then around 5:30am my water broke, and things got REALLY REALLY REAL. The pain was more than I could manage any longer. The majority of it was pressure in my back. I requested an epidural. Shortly after the epidural my cervix was checked and I had gone from 3cm to 7cm in about a HALF HOUR.

At this point I figured pushing shouldn't be too far off, just 3cm to go. Then nurses started gathering around my monitors. They had me move from one side to the other. They weren't happy with how the baby was tolerating the contractions. My blood pressure went low. Her heart rate went high. Fifteen, that is not an exaggeration, FIFTEEN nurses, doctors and surgeons rushed into the room and said I needed to have a c-section. As they were telling me this they were simultaneously cleaning off my stomach and handing Hubs a set of scrubs to change into. I felt like I was in the Twilight zone. Within minutes I was in the operating room, and shortly after that, Sage was HERE. Our beautiful Sage with a head full of hair. 8lb 15 ounces, 20 3/4 inches long, born at 8:45am on October 9, 2014.



It took them only a matter of minutes to get her out. Closing me up took much longer, mostly because the surgeon was pretty much teaching a C-section class, explaining things step by step to a student or maybe more than one student, I couldn't see. Delayed cord clamping with a c-section just isn't feasible, as you don't want your abdomen sitting open for longer than it has to. So that was another hope dashed.

But absolutely none of these things mattered because we had our baby!  All of her testing came back with her passing with flying colors except her blood sugar. Her blood sugar numbers were not what the pediatricians wanted to see. So after we'd already been comfortable in our room, getting use to our family of three, she was taken to the NICU, having her blood sugar tested every hour. Every hour she was also given formula. So that effectively crossed off every item on my birth plan list. Technically, I didn't have an episiotomy, but I didn't have a vaginal birth so that doesn't count.

She was returned to our room the next morning, with her numbers much improved, and we only had to supplement with formula for that day and she's been all breast since then. She had her first doctor's appointment yesterday and is doing GREAT. She is a happy, healthy, wonderful, beautiful baby and I just can't get enough of her. Everything happens for a reason, and we both came out of labor and delivery as healthy beings, which is all that matters.





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Friday, October 10, 2014



Insurance is extremely important. It doesn’t seem like it when you’re healthy and everything is going right, but in the unfortunate chance that you do need medical care, the difference between the bill you pay after insurance, and the bill you would pay before insurance are HUGELY different. This year Hubs has ended up in Urgent Care or the ER twice for random ailments. He’s also had two major dental surgeries. You can’t plan for those things, that’s where insurance comes in.

And of course there’s me, having just had a baby. If you’ve never been pregnant let me let you in on little secret: pregnancy brings a LOT of OBGYN appointments, and ultrasounds, and testing. Even more of these things if anything becomes abnormal during your pregnancy. Then of course there is the hospital stay for your actual labor and delivery. Then, you have a new member of the family, who also needs medical care. Insurance is imperative to cover all these things.



Of course, insurance isn’t free. It takes financial planning and saving for health care to make it work, but I feel you have to make healthcare a priority in your budgeting, like gas, electric or water. Millennials especially have to make health care a priority as we find ourselves aging out of our parent’s insurance policies and having families of our own.

According to the Aflac and their WorkForces Report on millennial workers 72% at least somewhat agree that they regularly underestimate the total cost of an injury or illness and 46% are not at all/not very prepared to pay for out-of-pocket expenses associated with a serious injury or illness. Don’t find yourself “One Emergency Away From Financial Disaster.” Make room in your budget! Not just for health care, but also for emergencies like home repair and car repair. Savings are essential.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

38 Week Pregnancy Emotions



I am 38 weeks pregnant. Her nursery is done. My breast pump should be waiting at my door when I get home tonight. Her cloth diapers and clothes are prewashed and put away by size. Everything is purchased. We're as ready as we're going to be. I have SO MANY emotions throughout a single day it's ridiculous. It goes something like this: 

  • My body hurts I can't be pregnant anymore.
  • I just want to hold her and kiss her little face.
  • OMG I'm going to have a baby what am I thinking?!
  • Am I going to go into labor today?
  • I hope I go into labor today.
  • I hope I don't go into labor today because .
  • If I went into labor right now what would I do?
  • What's it going to feel like to go into labor?
  • Am I in labor?

  • A whole human is going to come out of me. 
  • I have to push a whole human out of me. 
  • She'll come when she's ready. 
  • I'm not rushing. I'm not rushing. 
  • How will we take care of a baby?!
  • I can't wait to have my baby. 
  • I can't wait to feel normal again. 
  • Is that a Braxton Hicks contraction?
  • Is that a real contraction?
  • What will contractions feel like?
  • What if this is the last thing I eat before I go into labor?
...and so on lol

I hope this is my last pregnancy update and the next thing you will be seeing is the adorable little face of Baby Sage. I'm also proud of myself with pretty much keeping up with pregnancy updates every two weeks. I did a lot better with this than my ABCs of Fall/Winter series which seems to be taking me FOUR YEARS to complete lol. That's pretty bad since there are only 26 letters in the alphabet. I can't make any promises, but I'm going to try to finish this year ;-)
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Turtle Invaders App


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Zyrobotics, LLC. All opinions are 100% mine.

Devices and content on those devices is something that parents have to manage for their children. As Tim and I are very much into games, we're pretty sure Sage will be a little gamer when the time comes as well. There are so many apps out there, weeding through and finding quality games made specifically for kids can be a challenge. 

I was asked to try out a new game, Turtle Invaders, and share my opinion.

Turtle Invaders is available on iTunes and Google Play and is built to help younger children and children with special needs improve their motor skills. The premise is the turtles have decided to take over the underwater Aqua world and the player, playing as Octoremus, is fighting back! The game focuses on building attention, timing, coordination, and control. 

Even though the game is made for ages 6-8, I played it on the easiest level and still found it entertaining. The expert level offers a bit more a challenge for the older player. Huge kudos to the developers for making a FREE app that also doesn't have any ads or in-app purchases. There's no chance your little one will accidently download or buy something while trying to play.

If you have a child you've been looking for a new game for that is both fun and educational, try it out:   iTunes Download Link | Google Play Link
Visit Sponsor's Site
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

36 Weeks Pregnancy Update



36 weeks. According to what app/book you go by, I'll be full term in one week! That is pretty crazy to think about. 

Preparation: 

I think we've bought everything we need to buy. If it isn't already in our house, it's on its way. Quite frankly, I am TIRED OF SHOPPING. If I don't have to buy another thing for a while it'll be too soon lol. Once we get the crib and set it up I'll share some pictures of the whole nursery. We've completed childbirth classes so I think we're as ready as we're gonna be for labor and delivery. 

Symptoms: 

I had to take my wedding rings off last week. I'm glad Hubs recommended I do it when he did because it was a bit painful getting them off so I did it before they would have gotten stuck on these swollen fingers! So now I'm wearing this costume jewelry ring that does the job of signifying I'm a married woman lol. Speaking of swelling, ankles and feet are in on the swelling party as well. I'm pretty much as uncomfortable as you would expect a woman to be who is going to have a baby some time in the next  four weeks, but I've had no pains that are signs of labor. 

Feelings: 

I seem to always be in some state of flux between "OMG so excited gonna have a baby!" and "Who in the world told me I could take care of another human?!"

How's life treating YOU?
Is the Fall bringing you anything exciting?
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Monday, September 1, 2014

Looking Forward: Fall 2014 TV

It's September 1st! Despite the weatherman predicting 90 degree temps for this upcoming week, we are indeed moving into fall. With the change in the seasons comes a change in TV. Here's what I'm excited for: 

American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX) - October 8th


I absolutely love American Horror Story. I'd venture to say it might be my favorite show. I love the format of the series. Every season is a completely different story, even though some of the actors repeatedly appear each season. I'm excited to see Michael Chiklis joining the already phenomenal cast of Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, and others. This show has a really unique ability to get into my subconscious. If I watch the show before bed, without any sort of buffer, I will absolutely have dreams related to the show...which isn't great lol


Ensemble Comedies


Selfie (ABC) - September 30th

I am a sucker for a good ensemble comedy. I'm still lamenting the fact that Happy Endings was cancelled. The fall brings the return of four of my favorite ensemble comedies: 

  • New Girl (FOX) - September 16th 
  • The Mindy Project (FOX) - September 16th 
  • Modern Family (ABC) - September 24th 
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX) - September 28th
A new comedy I'm excited to see is Selfie. Not only am I excited to see Karen Gillan in something after her departure from Doctor Who. I'm also ecstatic to see Da'Vine Joy Randolph in the show, who I actually went to college with.  

Boardwalk Empire (HBO) - September 7th


Sadly this is the final season of Boardwalk Empire, but I'm excited to see where the story goes, especially because the premier is going to pick up SEVEN YEARS after where the finale left off. Boardwalk Empire is a period drama series that takes place primarily in Atlantic City in the 1920s and 1930s. So we're talking prohibition, bootlegging, the original Atlantic City boardwalk, etc. Drama ensues, and it's juicy! 

The Blacklist (NBC) - September 22nd


The first season of The Blacklist definitely captured my attention and I'm excited for it's return. It's a basic crime series that will have you on the edge of your seat and counting down the hours until the next episode airs when the credits roll. 

Grimm (NBC) - October 24th 


Grimm is my current watch on the weekends when nothing else is on show. I've made it up to the third season, so I want to catch up completely before the fourth season starts in October. If you've never seen Grimm, it's a fantasy police drama in which the characters from the Grimm Brothers' fairy tales (Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, etc.) are actual people living in the in the world, specifically, in Portland, Oregon.

What Fall TV shows are you looking forward to?

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Mini Blogs: Thoughts on Blackness

This week I wrote two short entries that I didn't feel were complete blogs worth posting alone, but I figured since I have them both, I'd put them together to share some thoughts I've had this week regarding Blackness. 

Entry 1

I feel like I want to step away from all the Ferguson coverage. I ignored it for three days because I didn't feel I had the emotional volume at the time to handle it. Now that I’m in it I want to forget it all and pretend it’s not happening. But I also feel like I need to keep it in my face. To remind me how things are. To make me do something. 

Being Black feels so hopeless sometimes. Walking around with a reputation that was never really true, and a history that comes as a result of kidnapping, oppression and discrimination. 

If this baby inside me was a little boy I don’t think I’d be able to stop crying. I’d be inconsolable thinking about the fragility of his life. 

---
Entry 2

I saw the preview for the 2014 version of Annie this past weekend in theaters when I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. I was surprised at how much it affected me. I was SO HAPPY to see a little Black Annie whose curls weren't ringlets but kinky tight curls. I know inclusion of Black faces in the media, in all their varieties,is important, but it hadn’t struck me until I saw the preview that I was so touched by it, that somewhere inside I needed a little Black Annie. Kudos to Overbrook Entertainment and Will Smith for making this happen.

Happy Friday!
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 33 Weeks

We're coming into the home stretch! The due date is getting closer, I am getting bigger, and things are getting harder. A highlight from the last couple weeks was my baby shower, which was really awesome. 
I have this now you see it, now you don't, belly going on depending on the angle I'm standing at. It's funny. 
Due date: October 1, 2014

How far along: 33 Weeks

Next appointment: Next week.

Gender: Girl! :-)

Stretch marks: Thighs and tummy.

Ailments: Outside of normal pregnancy stuff I also have a cold, which is a bummer. And I seemed to have developed some sort of prenatal carpal tunnel that has my right wrist in pain a few times throughout the day.

Maternity clothes: I'm either in dresses (both maternity and non-maternity) or I'm in maternity pants/shorts. I don't know how people can possibly wear pants during pregnancy that aren't maternity. My preference is really just to be naked at this point lol

Belly button: It is still holding out hope to stay an innie.

Sleep: Sleep is hard. Between bathroom breaks, congestion from my cold, and just general uncomfortability with my wrist and belly, its just hard.

Food cravings/aversions: Right now my cold is dictating things more than pregnancy. I'm eating bland stuff because I can't really taste or smell anything anyway, and anything acidic makes my throat burn. Sigh.

Movement: All the time! She is just having a field day moving around in there! I love it :-)

Labor signs: None at all. ::raises the roof::

What I miss: Being able to lay/sleep any way I want to and get actual rest.

What I'm loving: Childbirth class. We've gone to 1 out of 3 of our classes which was cool. Most of it for me so far was reiteration of stuff I've already read, but repetition is good for learning. It's also nice to have dedicated baby focus time with Hubs.

What I'm looking forward to: Continuing to get prepared for her arrival.



What are YOU up to? Tell me about the most exciting thing you've done in the last 3 weeks.
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 30 Weeks

Where in the world did the time go? It felt like time was moving slowly, and then all of a sudden I woke up with just 10 weeks left to go! It definitely feels like crunch time. My baby shower is next weekend, and then after that it's full speed ahead to preparing and buying for baby's arrival. I'm feeling nervous and excited. 

Due date: October 1, 2014

How far along: 30 weeks + 2

Next appointment: This afternoon. 

Gender: Girl! :-)

Stretch marks: None on my tummy, but I do have a few on my thighs. 

Swelling: I've had like 1 or 2 days where I felt like my feet were swollen at the end of the day. I also think my hands are a little swollen, they don't look it, but my wedding ring is tighter than usual. 

Maternity clothes: I'm either in dresses (both maternity and non-maternity) or I'm in maternity pants/shorts. I don't know how people can possibly wear pants during pregnancy that aren't maternity. 

Belly button: It is trying SO HARD to stay an innie, but right now it's almost flat. 

Sleep: See my Three Stages of Pregnancy Sleep post. 

Food cravings/aversions: This whole pregnancy I've not really had any cravings for one specific thing over and over. I have been easily persuaded by commercials to want foods though. I haven't eaten anything I'd say is particularly strange. Although, I'm not a big ice cream eater, and I MAY have eaten a whole pint of Cookies & Cream ice cream in one sitting the other day... I may have... ;-)

Movement: Absolutely. She's moving around in there all the time. I love it. It's also like having an alien inside me, but it's cool nonetheless. 

Labor signs: None at all. 

What I miss: Being able to lay/sleep any way I want to. 

What I'm loving: Feeling her move around. 

What I'm looking forward to: Having my baby shower and doing the rest of the shopping so I can really feel prepared. 

Milestones: Only 10 weeks left!

In other news, I'm probably the most uncomfortable I've been all pregnancy, which is to be expected. I have a whole human and human supporting habitat in my abdomen, that's bound to cause some achy joints, and it is!


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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Seven Months In - How's that Vision Board Treating You?

On New Years Eve 2013 I created a Vision Board instead of making a New Years Resolution and hung it in my boudoir so I could see it when getting dressed every day. 

Since we're more than half-way into the year, I thought now was a good time to to check-in and see how/if my vision's are coming true. My main focuses of my vision board were home, relationship and physical health, and....BABIES! lol

Well we know I have a baby on board, so that portion of my vision for 2014 is on it's way. 

Regarding my home I wanted to put more energy into it. This has been happening a bit. We've done work on the guest room that will become the nursery. We got a new living room set, and we upgraded the look of our laundry room replacing some broke down sliding doors with curtains. 

living room


I also wanted the love between my husband and I to flourish. Pregnancy is usually a time that can tear couples apart, but we've been blessed to share even more laughs and good times than we had before. 2013 was SO HARD on us, and 2014 has definitely blessed us. 

I wanted 2014 to be filled with healthy home cooked meals and healthy living. This one I need to work a little harder on lol. Healthy living takes effort, and even more of an effort when you're pregnant, fatigued, and have a really wacky appetite. This vision will take some more work. Here's to an increase in healthy eating and exercise. 

Did you make a Vision Board or set a New Years Resolution?
 How is it going?


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Monday, June 16, 2014

Motherhood Worries + Labor & Deliver Support


At the end of my last blog post I asked what you would like my next post to be about. The lovely CC asked: 

Can you talk about what you're most worried about in motherhood or who your support for during labor and after delivery will be? 

When it comes to what I'm most worried about in motherhood most of my anxiety stems from what is going to happen when my three months of maternity leave is up. By the time I was of an age where I could remember my grandfather was retired, so he was essentially my stay-at-home grandpa. I feel like this is a large part of why my childhood was so awesome. I'm worried about being away from my daughter (OMG I'm going to have a daughter!) for so much of the day when I go back to work. I do plan on having her with my at work from time to time, as my grandmother did with me, so I'm very blessed to have a job that is flexible in that way. For the rest of the time, we need to a good nanny, at a good price, so that search will begin once she's here. Because I was pretty much always with my grandparents I can't imagine being a child growing up and only seeing my parents in the morning and night. I know plenty of people do it, because it's pretty much a necessity to be able to be financially stable for both parents to work, but it still gives me worry. 

When it comes to support during labor my husband will be with me and I'm planning to have a doula. I have coffee shop date "interviews" with two potential doulas next week and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to choose between the two of them. 

After delivery my doula will provide some support, my husband is planning to take a week off from work and depending on scheduling my mom will come visit for a few days as well. 

I imagine labor, delivery and those first weeks with her home are going to be the wildest adventure ever...but I am so looking forward to it!

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pregnancy Update: Week 24


24 weeks woohoo!

How far along? 24 weeks + 1 day

How big is baby? According to my apps she's as big as a squash and as long as an ear of corn.

Maternity Clothes? I made a trip to Destination Maternity this week and picked up a pair of black skinny pants, two pairs of shorts, and a pair of casual linen pants (they were buy 3 get 1 free!). I feel like I'm definitely squared away in the bottoms department. I have dresses already, and lots of dressy tops. What I feel like I'm missing is just some plain maternity t-shirts for casual dreary weather like it's been ALL WEEK. 

Symptoms? Must pee all the time. 

Mood Swings? Yes. I can have a total meltdown over absolutely nothing. 

Buy anything for baby this week? Since my last update I think the only thing I've bought were some cloth diapers. This weekend we're planning on getting a changing table and dresser to start putting away all the diapers I've already bought, and the clothes people have given us already.  

Sleep? I'm usually ready for bed by 10, pee 2-3 times during the night, and then my brain is wide awake at 5am. 

Best Moment This Week: Being able to see her movement from the outside, and Hubs feeling her move. 

Cravings: Dunkin Donuts Arnold Palmer Coolattas were my thing last week. 

What I miss? Not having to use the bathroom ALL THE TIME. 

What I am looking forward to? Making headway on the nursery, washing and storing the diapers and clothes we have so far. 

In other news, I have less and less of a belly button every day. This innie is sure to turn into an outtie one day soon. My nails are starting to see the pregnancy benefits. They're longer and stronger than usual. 

What would you like my next blog post to be about?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Philly Natural Hair Show 2014 + Ticket Giveaway!


I am so excited the Philly Natural Hair Show is back this year, Saturday, June 7th. I had a great experience last year. I feel very fortunate that I will be a part of their blogger/vloggers session again this year. Here are some other event highlights: 

John Casablancas Modeling and Acting agency will be at the show scouting. If you are a model or an actor bring your headshots and make sure you stop by their booth!

International Celebrity Hair Stylist Felicia Leatherwood will be leading a workshop and doing a Q&A. 

YouTuber/Blogger Jouelzy will be returning again, as well as lots of other workshops, vendors, and the hair fashion show. 

There will be goodie bags for the first arrivals, while supplies last. Includes products from Miss Jessie's, Curls, Design Essentials, Cantu and more.

Tickets can be purchased HERE for $20...BUT, I have FIVE tickets to give away! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. The giveaway will close Sunday, June 1st at midnight and I will contact the five winners on Monday, June 2nd. 

Good luck!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

What is the Millennial Generation's Man on the Moon?


Note: this post contains information about the May 25, 2014 episode of Mad Men. I don't consider the information to have spoilers, but proceed with caution if you haven't watched it and don't want to know any details.

On last night's episode of Mad Men the date in history was in July 1969 when Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 11 crew landed and walked on the moon. Everyone on the show was huddled around their televisions watching the event. Everyone talked about it leading up to and after the moon landing. It was interesting to see a whole country (as depicted by the show) in a unified interest and consciousness.

It got me thinking, what is our generation's, the Millennial generation's, Moon Landing? What is it that we all sat around and watched in awe? My husband suggested 9-11, which did have everyone huddled around their TVs, but I'm looking for something awe inspiring yet not horror inducing.

What is the Millennial Generation's Moon Landing Experience?
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Boy or Girl? 21 Week Pregnancy Update


I'm more than half-way through pregnancy. Time is flying! I'm definitely starting to feel more pregnant physically. I get tired/out of breath pretty easily, especially on stairs. The way I bend over is also starting to change already. I'm definitely starting to feel like there is something in my stomach that must be worked around lol. 

How far along? Technically I'm 20 weeks and 6 days, but if I don't get this blog post out today, I'm not sure when it will happen lol. 

How big is baby? Depending on the app I look at, it's the size of a small cantaloupe and as long as a carrot, however that makes sense lol. 

Maternity Clothes? My friend Brittany sent me some maternity dresses and pants that have been life savers. I've bought a couple maternity tops and one pair of pants. I'm trying to stretch my "regular" wardrobe as much as I can. I fear I've almost stretched it as far as it will go at this point. 

Morning Sickness? Didn't have morning sickness at all really. ::praise dances::

Mood Swings? I have times where I feel very...hormonal. I know I'm having a hormonal time when I randomly get mad at people in commercials on TV. 

Buy anything for baby this week? Surprisingly no! I thought for sure I'd run out and get some stuff once I knew the gender, but I just haven't had time. I have gotten a good start on our registry though. Note: Keep reading for gender reveal. 

Sleep? Well, I have to use the bathroom at least twice at night. But other than that I can usually get an o.k. sleep. Since being pregnant I seem much more susceptible to TV affecting my dreams. On Sunday night I was being tried for a crime I didn't commit and there was a bunch of false evidence against me... because I watched Game of Thrones right before bed. 

Best Moment This Week: Finding out the gender! Note: Keep reading for gender reveal. 

Movement: I'm pretty sure I'm feeling this kid move around in there a bit. 

Cravings: The thing I've wanted most is eggs. 

What I miss? Not having to use the bathroom ALL THE TIME. 

What I am looking forward to? More movement, and getting the nursery together. 

Gender: It's a ......GIRL!!!!!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Getting My Natural Hair Back to Healthy

This post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here. 

About a month ago I found my hair to be very dry and breaking off a lot. I knew a few contributing factors were that I'd become lazy with moisturizing my hair in early pregnancy, and I was napping a lot, which meant laying on various surfaces without my scarf on or satin pillowcase.

Once I got my energy back the first thing I did was a henna treatment to jump-start my hair back to health. Then I resolved to find a good combination of products to moisturize my hair in between washes and I settled on a simple duo: 

Oyin Handmade's Burnt Sugar Pomade and aloe vera juice/water spray.

In the spray bottle I put about 1 part aloe vera juice and 2 parts water. You could probably go with all aloe vera juice if you wanted. It's all natural. I even drink it sometimes in juice, it's good for digestion. 

So in between wash days (which is usually the span of a week), about every other day, I spray my hair with the water/aloe vera juice spray, and then apply the Burnt Sugar Pomade to seal in the moisture. This gives me really shiny, soft, and moisturized hair. 

I'm feeling much better about the conditioner of my hair following my henna treatment and new moisture routine. 

What's your hair doing lately?
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Friday, May 2, 2014

The Paint Nite Experience



If you haven't noticed, Paint Nites, and various named "sip and paint" events, are the new hip thing to do. The basic concept is you have a few drinks while being led by a painting instructor on painting a particular picture. They've been all over GroupOn and Living Social, and I've seen plenty of people's Instagrams from their experiences so I thought I'd give it a shot. 

Now that I'm pregnant I'm always looking for something to do where drinking isn't the main component, so this was a good fit for activity. 

I haven't painted something since elementary school, and even then I wasn't good lol. My picture doesn't really look ANYTHING like the example, but I'm proud of it, because I made it, and hubby hung it up in our living room for me. 


Have you tried Paint Nite?

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