Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Prego Life and 36 Week Check Up

I'm not a dessert eater, nor do I have a sweet tooth (AT ALL), but this pregnancy has made me a sugar fiend!
Last week, Wendy Williams (How you doin'?!) advertised for the Cheesecake Factory on her show.
She sampled their new s'mores cheesecake on her show, and ever since I watched it, I have been having cravings and dreams about this epic cheesecake!
Hubby and I actually went to there last week to try this delicious dessert, but we were disappointed to find out that they weren't debuting it until Aug 30 on National Cheesecake Day (TODAY!).
I made my hubby take me back there today before my doctor's appt to fulfill my cheesecake craving. 
Here it is in all it's glory...
It did not disappoint, and because it was National Cheesecake Day, it was half off!
It had a delicious graham cracker crust, chocolate cheesecake filling, toasted marshmallow oozing on top, and topped with a graham cracker and whipped cream.
To be honest, the first three or so bites were heavenly amazing!!!
The next few after that packed a little TOO much sugar for my taste, but my hubby LOVED it.
We actually split one between the two of us, and it was filling!
Go try it out if you have a Cheesecake Factory nearby!!

I had my 36 week check up today, and starting now, I have check ups every week until I go into labor.
I finally FEEL pregnant.
No center of gravity.
Hot flashes.
The "waddle".
Can't breathe.
Can't see my toes. 

My work outs have gotten much less intense as well.
It's hard to get moving at any real intensity with your center of gravity all messed up, and the fact that I am constantly short of breath!
This is me all sweaty, gross, and barely breathing after only 45 minutes of light cycling on my spin bike and some light weights.
According to my ultrasound today, the doc said baby is about 6 1/2 lbs.
He estimated that at birth, he'll weigh a healthy 8lbs.
D was 8lbs even, so it didn't surprise him that my second would be any different.
What can I say?
I have big babies.
I'm 1cm dilated which is normal at this stage in my pregnancy.
We also saw some hair on top of little man's head in the ultrasound!
D came out pretty bald, and she just recently started growing hair (she's 4 now, FYI!)

I'm pretty excited and anxious to be done with being pregnant!
It's been 4 years since I was pregnant last time, it was enough time for me to forget how much I hate being pregnant!
Hopefully, he comes soon...
(I'll probably regret saying that when I am up all hours of the night feeding him...)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Prayer Life

Hubby and I went to a prayer breakfast at our church over the weekend.
It was a small class on prayer life, and answered questions that people had about prayer.
There are two things that stuck out to me from the class.

1. Prayer is two way communication with God.

2. One of the most common struggles that couples have in a marriage is praying together.

The first one is obvious...
Prayer is one of the most intimate forms of communication with Him.
I never feel like I talk to Him enough, and when I am talking to Him, I feel like all I am doing is asking Him for things.
This is something I'm working on.

Anyone else feel like that?

As for the #2...
That's something that I have been working on daily, and praying about of course!
I consider myself a "quiet and to myself" kind of prayer girl. 
I don't like praying out loud in front of people or groups, and that includes my husband. 
I just feel awkward and uncomfortable.
I like the conversation with God to be just Him and me.
However, I do know that praying together as a couple is important and a way to bring us closer together to God.

So this week, I'm going to make a conscious effort to pray together with my husband once a day.

I'm hoping it becomes so natural that it becomes habit.

Especially with such big changes about to happen (baby) and possibly happen (his career) in the next year, I think it's important that we pray together.

How is your prayer life as a couple?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sunshine Farm (Sherborn, MA)

Just so you can take a look at our "beautimous" faces before you skip read through my blog :-)
(yes, my daughter is blowing a kiss...all "pageant girl" like)
We stayed BUSY BUSY today!

Our morning started out with a prayer breakfast at our church (which was OUTSTANDING!).

By the time we got home, we didn't want to waste a beautiful Saturday, so we decided to head to Sunshine Farm to do some blueberry pickin'!
It is literally walking distance from our house, and we drive by it every Sunday on our way to church.
I had been wanting to check it out, and today was the perfect, sunny, New England Summer day!
 They have seasonal fruits that you can go pick at different times of year.
Right now is prime pickin' for blueberries and raspberries (actually, the the raspberries were pretty picked out).

Hubby and I are also super ready for college football season...hence the Fightin' Texas Aggies hat (on yours truly) and some team from Alabama (on my hubby's hat) ;-)

This picture does no justice to just how large some of these blueberries are!!!!
They are also slightly tart (just the way I like them) and DELICIOUS!

Look how BEAUTIFUL the sky is! 
Our God is truly amazing!

We ended up picking just under a pound of blueberries and it cost $4.60 which is slightly cheaper than the grocery store.
They taste way better, are bigger, and we're supporting a local business!
They also have fresh produce grown from their farm in their little store.
We ended up buying some cherry tomatoes, and I used them to make home made butternut squash and fire roasted tomato soup! (will post recipe later)
They also have an ice cream stand that they only open during the warm months, and they seriously have the most AH-MAZING ice cream EVER!
(of course nothing compares to Blue Bell ice cream...you can't ever change THIS Texas girl's mind about that!).
If you're ever randomly in the metrowest area of Boston, I highly recommend you go and check this place out!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Maternity Photos

I was seriously stressing out about maternity photos!
We just moved here to New England, and I didn't know any photographers, whereas in California, I felt like I had a rolodex of AMAZING photographers I could have used.
I browsed through a few photographers' blogs, websites, and social media pages here in New England, and the biggest thing for me was that I wasn't familiar with the area.
I couldn't get an idea of what sort of "scenery" I wanted.
I decided to wait till I got home to Texas to do a search for a photographer.
Even though my parents now reside in Houston (where I did not grow up), I still felt more "at home" and more comfortable with my surroundings in the great state of TEXAS!
I just love the southern hospitality down there, and because it's where I call home, I decided it was where I wanted my photos done.
I had such an AMAZING photographer for my maternity and newborn photos in Orange County that I wasn't sure if I would be able to find someone with quite the same level of talent and caliber.

After some tireless "google searching", I came across Tiffany Daniel Photography.
Looking through her work made me smile and get excited, and I knew right away that I NEEDED her to do my photos!

Let me tell you...
She did not disappoint!
I told her I wanted some photos that felt like "Texas", and I told her how much I loved the Houston skyline.
She found the perfect place for us, and as you can tell by the photos below, the scenery was gorgeous!
She was so fun to work with, and despite the RIDICULOUS Texas humidity and heat, she was patient, and still managed to make our photos look flawless.

Thank you so much, Tiffany for capturing this important moment in our lives through your lens!
I can't wait to be in Houston again as a family of 4 for some family photos with you!

These next few photos (of me in Nick's cammie blouse), I didn't realize I was standing in a fire ant bed! My feet were eaten alive, but I'm glad I got these great shots! I forgot how violent Texas fire ants were! Beauty is pain though, right?!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pregnancy 35 Weeks

Here's my post from 26 weeks for anyone who wants to compare.
How far along? 35 weeks! Just a month left!!!

Total weight gain/loss: STILL...I have no idea. I refuse to look at the scale when I go into my Drs. appointments. The intensity of my work outs has slowed down significantly though. It's a lot harder to move.

Maternity clothes?  have two favorite Maxi dresses...

This blue and white nautical striped dress was purchased from Destination Maternity. It's super light cotton, thin, and comfy!
I bought this one from Target's maternity line. It feels really heavy when it's just on the hanger, but wearing it is a different story. It's really comfy and does not feel heavy at all. I love the layered bottom of this dress
Besides these two favorites, I LIVE in maternity capri pants (all purchased from Destination Maternity and one pair from Target), and tank tops (I have one in every color...also purchased from Destination Maternity)
This is tank top. I got them on major sale, so I ended up purchasing it in black, lime green, hot pink, and gray. 

Stretch marks? Nope...still zero (praying it stays that way!). I didn't have any with D either. I have really good skin from my mom, and it's not prone to stretch marks.

Sleep: Eh...some nights I sleep well, some nights I don't. I started getting heartburn at night when I lay down, and my back has been hurting.

Best moment this week: Going to the Natick Town Square since my hubby got off work at 1400 (2PM) to get homemade ice cream from from a place called "Park St. Ice Cream Shoppe". It has a total old school vibe, and it's been around forever. They have pretty delicious ice cream. My favorite being the mocha chip.

Miss Anything? I am still missing a good cocktail (a vodka martini, please!). I also miss being able to breathe comfortably, and not waddling when I walk.

Movement: This boy!!!! AGGHH! He moves SO much, and he's ALWAYS kicking the crap out of my upper right side of my rib cage! It's painful! My baby girl NEVER gave me this much pain when I was prego with her.

Food cravings: I crave sweets. I'm pretty good about it though. When I'm not prego, I am NOT a sweets/desserts person AT ALL, so my hubby and my daughter are welcoming my pregnancy sweet tooth since they get to indulge with me.

Symptoms: heartburn...only at night when I lay down for bed (extra strength Tums are my savior). I use the bathroom about 3-4 times a night (so annoying). It's hard to take a nice deep breath. I get the occasional Braxton hicks contractions (something I never experienced with my 1st pregnancy).

Have you started to show yet: yep!
Here I am today!

Gender: still very much a boy

Labor Signs: Just a little Braxton Hicks

Belly Button in or out? Out...ish. Some days it pokes out, and some days it doesn't. It hasn't decided, I guess...lol.

Wedding rings on or off? On..I don't have any swelling (so far). My rings feel pretty loose actually.

Happy or Moody most of the time: I'm happy cause my due date is getting closer!

Looking forward to: Holding our little man, finishing his nursery, and having a cocktail!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Oh, How Life Has Changed

I've written a few times about the transition from being in the Marine Corps for 10 years to becoming a "Marine Wife" and a SAHM.
Every once in a while, I almost forget how much different my life is today than it was just a year ago.
Today was my husband's first day back at work (in Boston) since May.
It was our first "real" Monday since May.
I went back to being woken up by the rustling of hubby getting ready for work at 5AM.
I went back to thoughtfully planning the evening's dinner during the day while he's at work.
I went back to trying to find meaningful things to do with our daughter during the day to pass time until he gets home from work.

I realized I was missing a few things for dinner tonight, so I got myself and D dressed and headed to the store.
I got home, unloaded the groceries, and did a quick meal prep for dinner.
I recently purchased a "high speed, low drag" (I still gotta little Marine in me) food processor, and I've been dying to use it.
I was so excited to be using it!

That's when it hit me...
"Am I seriously THIS excited over using my new food processor?!?"
The answer?
yes I am.

It got me reflecting on my life in the last year, and just how different it is.
A year ago, I was at a point in my career as a Marine where I was no longer having fun, I hated going to work, and I hated my boss.

(how I felt about being a Marine in that last year)

These were all feelings about the Marine Corps that festered in me within the last 2 years of my career.
I used to LOVE my job, and couldn't picture myself doing anything else with my life.

The thing that changed in the last 2 years of my career that had my mindset this way was the previous 3 years of my career catching up to me and taking its' mental toll on me.
  • Recruiting duty broke me....emotionally and mentally.
  • The guilt of feeling like I wasn't spending enough time with my child because of my obligation to the Corps was eating me alive inside.
  • Dealing with my husband being gone the majority of that time on deployments or training was getting too much for me to handle on my own (on top of being a Marine and raising a toddler...alone).
  • When I finally got my husband home safely for the 2nd time from Afghanistan, he had orders to Massachusetts while my duty station remained in Southern California (keeping us separated, yet again, for another year). 
  • The icing on the cake was the fact that one of the Marines I answered to at work was by far, the worst leader I have ever worked for in my entire 10 year existence as a Marine. I felt like he had made it his mission to make my life as miserable as possible.
Fast forward to today...
I am loving my life as a SAHM.
Granted, there are days when I feel like the tv is babysitting my kid (don't you dare judge me!), just so I can relax with no interruptions.
I love the fact that I set my own schedule.
I absolutely LOVED being able to go back home to Texas for an entire 6 weeks this summer while hubby was gone.
I love the fact that I have all day long to prepare an amazing home cooked meal for my husband for dinner.
I love the fact that I get at least a year at home with my daughter before she'll be in school in the Fall...just in time for baby #2 :)

I really can't complain about life right now.
And as the cliche goes...
I am so amazingly blessed.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Jesus Will Make It Feel Better

It's amazing that my 4 year old reminds me every day about the power of God's love and healing.
Just an example of something that happened today...
We have these really sweet neighbors with a little girl that D loves to play with.
They welcomed us into the neighborhood when we moved in, and we've had dinner over at their house before.
They're an Indian family who are Hindu.
We've discussed religion with them.
They told us about their religion and we shared ours.
That's about as far as our discussion went, and we all get along in harmony.
Just as the bible says in Mark 12:31, "Love your neighbor as yourself." 
There's no discriminating or hating because we're different, because that's not what Christians do.
We show them the same kindness and love we show anyone else...Christian or not.

Today, while the girls were playing outside, our neighbor's little girl was attacked by a swarm of yellow jackets (yes, it was horrifying for me to watch!).
Her father rescued her, and we all went into their home to make sure she was ok.
The little girl was crying uncontrollably, and automatically, Dannika's nurturing instinct came out.
She kept trying to give her a hug while screaming over and over again(over her hysterical crying), "Jesus will make it feel better!!!"
Her mom gave me an awkward look for a moment, and told Dannika, "oh, really? ok, then." 
For a moment, I felt slightly uncomfortable, awkward, and even embarrassed. 
After coming home and thinking about it, all I could think was, "why was I embarrassed?!"
My 4 year old was preaching about the healing power of Jesus with absolutely no shame, and here I was feeling all awkward.

It's amazing how much I learn every day from the innocence and pureness of my child.
If only my soul were as pure as hers.
I pray every day that it remains that way, and that she will never be ashamed to share the love and power of our amazing God.

"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise'?"
Matthew 21:16

D had her 4 year well check last week! She's a healthy 38lbs, and 40 1/2 inches!

She received a princess tiara decorating kit for her birthday, so we spent the afternoon decorating tiaras.
 Of course daddy HAD to wear his.

Remember this post about "second baby syndrome"? Well, we finished redecorating D's room. I guess I can now start on the baby's nursery.............maybe.


Right after the "yellow jacket incident". Such a pure and innocent face.

Friday, July 19, 2013

2nd Baby Syndrome

Tons of people have told me about second baby syndrome.
You know...
You don't give as much attention to detail to your pregnancy and second child as you did with your first.

As my hubby and I started shopping around for essential baby items, I instinctively went to the same brands and products I had with D.
Then I realized how outrageously priced these items were.
I looked at my hubby with my "OMG" face, and he just smiled and said, "You insisted on the 200 dollar pack and play when you were prego with D."
What's funny is that 75% of the "must need" features that came with that 200 dollar pack and play were left never used (like the detachable diaper changing station).

This went on for every other baby item that I looked at.
car seat. sheets. baby bathtub. stroller. shampoo. nothing but brand name clothes. diaper rash cream. Swarovski blinged pacifier with matching paci clip (I know...I know...) etc. etc. etc.
I seriously went and purchased THE most expensive baby essentials ever for Dannika!
*insert face palm*
What sucks is that we used to only want ONE child, so we got rid of most of D's baby items (by rid of, I mean either throw away or donate).
I probably could have sold most of it and made a hefty penny.
*insert face palm #2 here*

Every day, I walk into Baby M's nursery, and I have no desire to finish decorating it.
I mean, the crib is up....that's all that matters right?!
In fact, the other night, Nick and I spent a good portion of our evening redecorating D's room.
I also have the fear that D is going to feel "less loved" once the baby gets here, so I instinctively (but not intentionally) have been spoiling her rotten.
I know that I'm gonna love both my babies equally, since I already do.
I just don't want my first baby to feel any less loved.

Either way...
Sorry Baby M...
You will not have a Swarovski blinged pacifier,
a Burberry outfit,
the 200 dollar pack and play,
the outrageously expensive car seat/stroller combo,
a million outfits,
or the ridiculously priced newborn portraits that your sister had done.
You will have two parents who love you unconditionally,
a crib to sleep in,
clothes for the cold winter,
a big sister to teach you cool tricks,
and a father who's not going to be deployed for the first few years of your life.

I'd say that's a pretty sweet deal if you ask me :-)

And for my "forever baby" and first born love...
You'll always be daddy's little girl....the one and only.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Houston Adventures

I tried to do as many fun things with D this summer in Houston.
Houston has SO many amazing things to offer, and I knew once I got back to New England, I would regret it if I didn't get to take advantage of these things.
And while Boston also has a lot of fun things to do, the cost of parking in the city is ridiculously expensive, and I am NOT comfortable with taking the "T" anywhere!
Both of these places I'm about to mention also offer military discounts!

I posted back in June about our trip to the Houston's Natural Museum of Science.
The museum is HUGE, and we didn't get to check out all the exhibits there.
There's a gem stone, ancient Egypt, Dinosaurs, Early America, planetarium, butterfly exhibit, and a few more that I can't name off the top of my head.
When Nick came down, we went back to take D to the butterfly and bug exhibit.

They have sort of a "butterfly sanctuary" within the museum where they have butterflies of every color imaginable fluttering around freely. 
It was gorgeous!

It looks like a greenhouse, but the climate control they had inside made the weather conditions perfect for people to comfortably stroll through.

 Just a random, gigantic, orange iguana they had caged up in the midst of all the butterflies.

 D had a blast. She was a little freaked out by all the butterflies. They tend to fly right past your face.

 A panoramic view (courtesy of my iPhone5) of the dinosaur exhibit.

 The next place we hit up was the Houston Downtown Aquarium.
 This was a totally awesome place!
It's not your average aquarium!
The aquarium is actually built around a restaurant where you can dine with an underwater view of the aquarium all around you. 
There's also an outdoor fair with carnival rides and games.
We didn't eat there, but we did go through the walking tour of aquarium, the shark exhibit, and checked out the fair.
I would say this is a "must see" attraction if you're ever in the Houston area (with our without kids!).

The shark exhibit was way cool. The only down side was that we had to pay an extra 6 dollars and wait in line for an hour to get on a train for a 15 minute ride through the shark tank.

A cool thing about this aquarium was that they had a TON of strange freshwater life.
I have never seen catfish so big in my entire life!
I saw a lot of the fish that Nick and I watch on the show River Monsters!

 We had a blast checking these places out, and definitely making a trip back when we go to Houston again!
I wish we were there a bit longer though!