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January 12, 2015

5 Surprising things about pregnancy

Whether you were actively trying or never saw it coming, seeing two pink lines always takes your breath away a little.  Then there’s the pregnancy itself…I’m no Michelle Duggar, but even with just two kids, I’ve collected plenty of nice little pregnancy “surprises” over the past few years.

So in no particular order, 5 things that surprised me about pregnancy.

5 Surprising Things About Pregnancy


Y’all, I’m in my 20’s…I should not be browsing compression stockings on Amazon.  Now, I didn’t get these with my first pregnancy, but with Elle?  BAM.  Literally, BAM.  I tripped over something in Jay’s room one night and banged my leg on one of his toys, resulting in a huge bruise.  But that bruise?  It never went away.  It just turned into a large patch of purple varicose veins.  Guys, I’m clumsy and hasty…I earned myself half a dozen of those purple patches by the end of my pregnancy.  My midwife actually winced when she saw my leg!  Good news is that they fade A LOT after giving birth….bad news is that they don’t actually go away. Surprise!  I’m a 20 something year old with a grandma leg.

Certain smells literally made me want to punch a wall. Or cry.  Or both…yes both.  I bake bread almost twice a week (and is there any smell more delicious than homemade bread?) but I couldn’t stand it while pregnant!  The smell made me angry. You’re cooking barbecue? Where’s the nearest wall, because my fingers are starting to tingle.  And oh my poor husband.  There were several days where he had to eat dinner on the back deck (in the cold), because I couldn’t stand to be anywhere near his food.  Who knew smells could make me so mad?

I love snuggling up next to my hubby at night, but during pregnancy, my body seems to emit a force-field intent on keeping any well meaning and affectionate spouse far away.  At night, I would get the bed ready and actually push my husband’s pillows as far away from mine as possible.  I think it was just sensory overload, but seriously, what pregnant lady balks at an offer for a back rub?

And I’m not talking about swollen feet…I’m talking about actual growth. Who knew your feet could grow in your twenties? And why does this even happen?  Even worse…my left foot grew more than my right, so I’m having a bit of a hard time finding shoes that fit nowadays.

Well, I kinda do…but then I look at my precious littles and all of a sudden I don’t. I’ll take the grandma legs, olfactory rage, marital distance (literally, not figuratively), and weirdo feet…and do it all over again. Because, not surprisingly, it’s all worth it.

What surprised you about your pregnancy?

December 23, 2014

Awkward & Awesome #2 – No I’m not still pregnant, thank you very much!

Awkward and Awesome #2 
I’d love to hear your own Awkward and Awesomes…if you write a post, leave me a comment with the link so I can check it out!


Going to my dentist appointment and having the hygienist ask me if I’ve had the baby. *looks down* yep.  definitely had the baby.  I know I’m still a bit round, but yeesh…you found out I was pregnant 6 months ago.  I definitely don’t look like I’m in my third trimester!

Our inability to be on time for anything anymore.  Seriously.  On Sunday we left for church at 11:15.  The service started at 11:00

I was joking around that I make cream instead of milk because my babies gain weight quickly, but I’m starting to think it’s actually true!  I got mastitis again…2nd time in two months.  Ugh! I think my milk is too thick and keeps clogging my ducts. This was basically what I did for 24 hours straight.

Photo credit: ashley rose, / iWoman / CC BY-NC-ND

My hubby has a week off for Christmas (academia for the win!) and I am so so so looking forward to spending time with the 3 most special people in my life!

I told Jay he would be getting a present on Christmas day and he excitedly said “What kind of truck I get?” This kid knows us too well.

I just went to put Elle down to sleep for the night (12:50 AM…rocked it!) and Allen sits up (eyes wide open) and starts talking to me…”Just seeing if you did all the nap time stuff.  Two hours.  It’s like a pie chart with time allocated to grandma and how Julian does when he wakes up…”  I have no idea what he was talking about, but oh my goodness I laughed so hard….and he kept insisting me it wasn’t funny, which made me laugh even harder!.  (For the record, I have SO many hilarious stories about Allen’s middle of the night conversations and sleep walking adventures)

December 15, 2014

The shoes that gave hope…

This is a post about shoes that gave hope.  I’m not talking about the kind of shoes that give a pair to kids in third world countries (as great as those are)…no, I’m talking about the kind of shoes that give a 10 months pregnant lady hope.

But first before you get to thinking that I’m trying become a fashion blogger, let me just clear that up for you…no. That’s laughable.  That is, unless you’re a company that specializes in stretchy yoga pants and spit-up colored nursing shirts…then hi there!  You’ll find my contact info at the top of the page.

Anyway, I’m so far from a fashionista these days (or ever?), but I love love love shoes.  Every season, I’m overcome by this instinctive drive to find THE pair of (winter, spring, summer, fall) shoes.  My husband actually started a rule that for every pair of shoes I buy, I have to get rid of an old pair.  As much of a goody two-shoes (see what I did there?) that I am, I’ve definitely been a rule breaker in this area. I’ve gotten rid of, ummm, maybe 1 pair.  I just love me a good, comfortable, multi-use pair of shoes.

Notice the word that’s missing in there? Fashionable?  I’m generally all about comfort.  Sure, I’d prefer them to be cute (I’m not quite ready for granny orthotics yet), but I tend to stick to good “mommy” shoes. Toms, Danskos, Tevas…you know, shoes I can wear with a baby strapped to my chest without fear of toppling over.  I don’t think I’ve worn heels in 3 or 4 years.

So how did I end up with these beauties?


Let me tell you how.  I was 10 months pregnant and feeling like a sloppy, frumpy, waddling mess.
I had outgrown all of my shoes, the only pants that fit were my running shorts, and my shirts…well bare midriffs are back in style, right? Oh, not for pregnant ladies? darn. (Sidenote: If you ever want to buy a pair of shoes without worrying about what your hubby will say, buy them when you’re reaallly overdue…sweet man didn’t even bat an eye at my impulse purchase)

Anyway, I was out shopping with my mom, doing everything I could to take my mind off the fact that I was STILL pregnant, when I saw these gorgeous shoes and decided I had to have them.  Now, I’m not much of an impulse buyer, but these shoes represented HOPE y’all.  Nevermind that they didn’t fit my swollen preggo feet, I knew that someday they would and that was enough.  Someday, I would no longer be 10 months pregnant.  In fact, I’d be hitting up mommy and me playdates making an entrance in these shoes.  All heads would turn to admire me in my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans, a shirt that can’t, in fact, stretch over a beach ball, and perfectly coiffed hair.  Right?

Ok, the reality is that I haven’t actually been to (much less admired at) any playdates since before Elle was born…8 weeks ago.  And the shoes never ended up fitting…I had to exchange them for a bigger size.  Womp womp pregnancy feet.  I DID, however, get to wear them to a neighborhood Christmas party, (at least the 45 minutes that I was there).  But my jeans?  They were maternity jeans (seriously, who needs zippers) and my shirt could definitely fit a beach ball underneath…but let’s just pretend it was one of those fashionable over sized sweaters everyone is wearing nowadays.  Oh, and my hair?  It didn’t have any spit-up in it…that’s gotta count for something right?

But there’s HOPE y’all.  Someday I’ll start socializing again.  Someday I’ll have cute hair again.  Someday…well I’ll probably still wear maternity jeans, because they’re just so much more comfy (seriously, why the zippers?!)  And that’s what these shoes are all about — HOPE  (Don’t you feel moved and inspired now?  My writing does that to people sometimes.)


(Also, I feel like I need to mention that these are Dr. Scholl’s shoes…probably one of the leading brands of orthotics.  Some things don’t change.)

December 5, 2014

Why I’m not trying to lose the baby weight – Embracing the Roundness

The theme of my pregnancy with Elle was “embracing the roundness”.  But, first, a little background info.  I grew up very involved in all sorts activities…gymnastics, dance, horseback riding…you name it, I probably did it.  As an adult I continued on with ballet and picked up a love for running (miles on end).  I’ve always been fit and in shape…and conscious of my size.  So pregnancy weight gain was not fun. My pregnancy with Jay, I chose to not even look at the scale (seriously, I faced the other way at every appointment), because I didn’t want to know how much I’d gained.

At some point in my pregnancy with Elle, however, I had a change of heart.  I was reading a blog written by a pregnant mom who exercised several hours a day.  At the end of her pregnancy, she was lamenting having gained 11 pounds.  ELEVEN POUNDS.  Some babies come out almost that big!  Her baby, however, came out really small, even though she was full term, and her doctor said that it was due to her extreme physical activity.  Reading this made me sad for the mama and sad for the baby. I’m no doctor, but I’m pretty sure it’s unhealthy to birth a low-weight baby because of excessive exercising.  At that point, it really hit me….weight gain during pregnancy is not only necessary, it’s GOOD!  Now, I’m not saying I gave myself a free pass to be lazy and eat garbage..I still tried to eat healthy and stay fit.  I did, however, decide to stop worrying about what the scale said and “embrace the roundness”.  My cheeks filled out, my abs pulled a Houdini, and my thighs….well let’s not even talk about my thighs.

And you know what?  I was totally ok with it.  My body and my baby both needed me to gain weight, and I was happy to do it.

Now that I’ve given birth, I’ve bounced right back to my dancer self.

Ta da!

Photo credit: mkd. / Foter / CC BY

Just kidding!  I don’t know who that is, but that’s definitely NOT me! (She’s a beautiful dancer though, isn’t she?)

The real me?  Well, how about I give you a view from the top:


No, that’s not my 5 month pregnant shot.  That’s all postpartum flub….but hey, this is all about embracing, right?  And I’ve definitely had to continue to embrace the roundness. (I actually had someone ask me if I’d gained weight since the last time he saw me…which was after I gave birth.  Things not to say to a woman.  Ever.)  I could wax poetic about how my postpartum body is beautiful and every stretch mark, dimple, and squishy spot is a special souvenir from the precious life I grew, but that’s not my style.  Yes, yes, it’s all true, but really for me, it’s about one thing:



Photo credit: koeb / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

(Yes, it’s that magical looking) With Jay, I lost most of the weight pretty quickly, but that was mainly a byproduct of being knocked on my behind by motherhood….I just didn’t have the mental wherewithal to eat like I needed to. Through that though, I learned that my milk supply greatly depends on my consumption of calories. Simply put, if I don’t eat enough, my supply suffers.

With Elle, I know better.  I’m making sure I get the calories I need so I can produce the milk she needs.  And because of this…I’m still nice and round.  I’ll admit, embracing this roundness has been a lot more difficult than it was during pregnancy.  Because people expect you to be round during pregnancy, you know?  But after having the baby, there’s just this assumption that you’re going to lose weight.

But what if I don’t really want to lose weight?  I mean, of course I WANT to lose weight, but you know what I want even more?  For my baby to gain weight.  Exclusively on my breast milk if I can help it.  And in order for that to happen, I’m going to put the dieting and running (because I can’t stop at just a few miles) on hold…I’m going to embrace the roundness.

And because I can already mentally hear some dissension…for the record, I still intend to eat healthy and be active.  I just don’t intend to actively TRY and lose weight (but if it happens on its own, I won’t protest).