a little bit of this and that.

i don’t know about you, but this week was like whoa in terms of length and dragging on and just being generally difficult, as weeks sometimes tend to be. and i am 37 weeks pregnant, and don’t have anything interesting or useful to say about that. i’m guessing lots some of you are getting sick of the baby stuff too.

all that to say that today, we’re going to have a braindump. a little bit of this and a little bit of that. i never know what’s going to appear out of my brain on days like today, so get ready for a lot of lovely random thoughts. nothing better on a friday, right?

***

1. i received this email from my husband the other day and i don’t think you understand how hard i laughed/gagged at my desk at work. we used to write each other letters when he lived in iowa at the beginning of our relationship, and emails like this bring me back to that time, complete with the butterflies of a new relationship. weird, huh? it’s especially weird when you consider the content of this email.

Good Morning Madam,

You know have I never have stories, well I have one now! It took me a while to figure out the best way to tell you this story, because first I was going to call you, and then I thought that would be a bad idea. Then I was going to wait until you got home, but I also thought probably not the best, so I ended up on email sent to you at work.

So, on with the tale. You know how we haven’t seen the smaller bunnies around lately. Well, I found out why. How does one write this in a sophisticated manner? They gone!! And, by gone, I mean they died, dead, worm food..etc.! I can confirm this for two of the former little fuzz balls at least. How you may be asking yourself does my husband know that two of our little backyard companions have deceased? Well I will tell you how and I will spare you some of the details that aren’t so pleasant. [editor's note: he did not spare me that many unpleasant details.]

Like any typical day at home I started off by kissing my lovely wife good bye and telling little Baby Z in her belly to behave today [editor's note: awwwww, he loves us!], and then headed down to the office in the basement to work. It was a nice day outside, not to[o] warm, low humidity, so I decided to open the window in the basement office and let some fresh air in. The air that entered was anything but fresh, and stank of rancid decay. I knew immediately that something had entered our back window well, which is at least 3.5 feet deep, and was unable to get out. Damn I said to myself, and immediately closed the window, while trying to hold in the vomit that was trying to escape my stomach. Next step was to light a candle and turn a fan on the basement to get rid of the lingering odor. After I got the candle going I went outside to inspect what type of victim the window well had claimed. What I saw next was not the prettiest thing I had ever seen, but I will spare you the details. In the window well of death , that’s what I am calling it now, were two dead bunnies. One that had probably been there for at least two weeks and one that was probably in there for around 3 days. I am not a forensic expert, but one body was just bones with a little fur and the other was still mostly there. Not pretty, or a good way to start your morning. So, I got some garbage bags and picked up the remains that I could gather, while trying not to spew chunks from the smell all over the place. I proceed then to bleach down the area to somewhat sanitize it and then rinse it with hose for the final cleaning. It seems to have ridden the window well of death from the stench of bunny death for now, but I have a feeling those will not be the last victims it claims. I have unfortunately solved the case of the missing bunnies, but let that be a lesson to us to check the window well every day or two to make sure that no more victims are claimed. Ahhh, the joys of home ownership.

I hope you have enjoyed this story, and I hope you have a wonderful day at work.

Love you very much.

i told him that he can now never leave me (among other reasons), because i could never have handled that on my own. also, our yard is apparently a death trap? also, also, i feel like Mister Man would be really good at guest blogging here every now and again?

2. i’ve got a wonderful cause that i am going to be talking about here in the next couple of weeks that is especially dear to my heart at this point in my life. for now, make sure to pay attention to instagram over the next few days for the introduction to that cause.

3. one of my dear college friends is getting married to one of the most wonderful ladies tomorrow, and i cannot wait to celebrate them as much as my big belly will allow. it’s the first time most of my best guy friends from college will see me pregnant, and can i just say that seeing young men’s reactions to the belly is one of my favorite things about pregnancy? the bugged out eyes, the not-very-well-disguised grossed out faces, the tentative questions…it’s all awesome and hilarious.

4. how do i put this without sounding like i’m complaining? i’ve been having a hard time walking the past couple of weeks due to my darling baby growing like a weed and putting all the new weight at the front of my body. yes, there is a downside to having a pregnant belly that looks like you stuffed a beach ball in your shirt. sure it’s adorable at first, then your body betrays you because that beach ball weighs 26 pounds. but the bright side of being laid up on the couch most evenings is that you get a lot of time to think thoughts. and one of the thoughts i’ve been thinking the most is this: can i get away with wearing these fake glasses in public?

fake glasses

5. let’s talk about freeze pops for a moment. my favorite flavor is pink. my least favorite flavor is orange (unless the yellow tastes like banana). i will eat any flavor if it’s in my freezer. anyone have weird preferences like that? if you ever want to feel like you’re back in your childhood, buy a pack, you will not regret it.

***

i hope that everyone’s weekend is just amazing. my little brother is home for almost three weeks, and i cannot wait for him to see my belly and get to feel the baby kick! he’s been living in maui since march (yea, for real), so he hasn’t really seen me PREGNANT yet, and i am so excited that he’s here. i may or may not be whispering to the baby that if it comes out on august 10, it will get to meet uncle patrick…incentives, right?

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these days with baby z.

one month left.

one month until we get to find out if we have a son or daughter.

one month until we get to kiss those little cheeks and toes and belly and…and…and.

one month until everything  changes.

***

36 weeks

how far along: 36 weeks.

how i’m feeling: it’s like one week i say one thing with all the confidence in the world and then the next week the baby and my body decide to make me sorry i said anything. so that whole “feeling like a physical specimen” thing has now gone out the window. my hip realized that i was pregnant, and so i’ve been hobbling around like an 85 year old grandma. i’m hoping that with a bit of continued stretching and chiropractor visits, i’ll be walking somewhat normally in the next week or so, and will be in tip top shape for when i need to welcome this little bundle into the world.

total weight gain: as of 34 weeks, i had lost a pound from the two weeks previous. so my total was at 24 pounds. which is fine, i’ve gained enough weight up to this point that my doctor says when a pound drops, it doesn’t make a difference, and i will obviously keep gaining until the end. but i’m using this as an excuse to eat more of my homemade ice cream (dark chocolate strawberry with chocolate chips ya’ll! full fat milk and cream ya’ll! boom!). i am predicting that i’ll be up to 27 total at my 36 week appointment next week, and am still standing by my 32-33 pound total gain by the end.

baby z.’s size: baby z. is a lettuce baby this week! meaning that it is about as long as a head of romaine lettuce (around 18.5 inches) and weighs almost 6 pounds. it’s getting crowded in there!

this week: Mister Man took his last work trip until september! fkjsdkfljaaeiogasdjsfkhk!! i can’t tell you how excited this makes me. he asked if i was going to get sick of him, and the answer was a resounding NO! i love having him home, and having him here for the first month of baby’s life is going to make me so, so happy.

maternity clothes: yeppers! getting pretty sick of the limited amount of clothing i have to wear. does anyone out there want to lend me some maternity tops for the next month? pretty please? i do have a package headed my way from “a pea in the pod”, featuring clothing for a great cause, and i can’t wait to show you guys!

sleep: i’m usually up 1-2 times a night now, without much of an exception. but i’m learning to fall back asleep really quickly, which is a skill i’m definitely going to need when baby gets here.

best moment this week: not going to lie, this week was tough. the hip pain, Mister Man being away, and just a case of the blahs kept me pretty low key all week. (i was desperately trying to take my own advice) but there is always a silver lining, and we did get to go to the home run derby at target field with the husband and my parents, which was SO MUCH FUN! brats, root beer and home runs like whoa. what pain in my hip?

movement: jabby jab jabbing. that is all.

food cravings: i’m definitely sensing a pull towards the sugary foods lately, so (other than the ice cream) i’m trying to satisfy the urges by eating lots of fruit so at least i’m eating natural sugars. i’m not saying i haven’t broken down and bought a pack of skittles for myself here and there….but i’m mostly being good.

food aversions: nope.

belly button in or out: is this even a question i need to answer anymore?

looking forward to: a baby shower with my mom’s family tomorrow (and one with my darling friends next week!), and my little sister’s last wedding shower on sunday. all sorts of showers! also, can we talk about the fact that my sister is getting married in THREE WEEKS??? how is this happening?

have a wonderful weekend, give yourselves some relaxation and loving, and send me some good healing vibes for this old lady/pregnant hip of mine! smoochies to all of you wonderful people who have been along for this ride with us, your support has meant the world.

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pregnancy comfort tips - hooley with a 'z'

top 8 tips for a comfortable pregnancy.

hey mamas! did you laugh at the title of this post? i thought maybe you would. because obviously the word comfortable should be in big, giant quotation marks. it’s wishful thinking to say that you can make your ENTIRE pregnancy comfortable (although mine was pretty awesome), so this is about doing what you can to make it “as comfortable as possible”.

1) get a pregnancy/body pillow

pregnancy snoogle

i’ve written about my snoogle before, but it bears repeating: i don’t care if you think you will be able to sleep the same during pregnancy as before, a pregnancy pillow is worth investing in. before getting pregnant, i was able to sleep through anything. i was so sure that this would carry over into pregnancy, or at least keep me sleeping better until later in the pregnancy. and then right away in the first trimester, i just found that i wasn’t sleeping as well as i used to.

so i went straight to amazon and bought that snoogle, and haven’t looked back since. it props your back up if you have to sleep on your side, it supports your knees, and it keeps all of you propped up (including belly) when you get further into your third trimester. sleep is so important when you’re pregnant, so try to find any way you can to get it while you can.

2) figure out how you’re going to stay active

i can’t tell you how much i hated when people told me how important it was to stay active because of how much faster i would “bounce back” after having the baby. okay, seriously, shut up. that might be a great motivator for a lot of people, but for me, i don’t care how i look, so the bounce back reason just made me mad because it sounds so selfish.

what i will preach until i’m blue in the face is how important it is to stay active for the purpose of keeping your body strong throughout the whole pregnancy and ready for delivering your baby. your body works so hard during your whole pregnancy and is shifting around so much, that without some conditioning you’re going to feel it happening more and earlier. i made it to 35 weeks completely ache-free, and i credit that entirely to the fact that i stayed active by doing prenatal workout dvds, walking and stretching. i KNOW that i would have been in more pain sooner had i not been diligent with staying active. it doesn’t matter what you do, but figure out what’s going to work for you!

pregnancy staying active

3) make a plan for if you get really uncomfortable

as i said above, i made it to 35 weeks ache-free, but when my muscles went, oh boy they went good. between 35 and 36 weeks, my left hip got some sort of crazy muscle spasm/knot, and walking became a real issue. as in, i was limping everywhere if i had to walk. not waddling, i was limping because of the physical pain i was in. and that was tough for me, because up to that point, i had felt so strong. so i decided that i need to try to do something about it.

the first step was ordering a backpack to replace my work bag, to even out the weight of carrying everything on one side. the next step was making a visit to the chiropractor to make sure everything was aligning correctly, because early on in the pregnancy i had decided that was  going to be my way of treating any discomfort i felt over the next 9 months. for you it might be acupuncture or a chiropractor, prenatal massage or regular pedicures. it doesn’t matter what it is for you, but have a plan in place before you need it.

4) invest in epsom salts/heating pads/ice packs

epsom salt baths are the best things in the whole wide world if you’re feeling a little sore or achy. heating pads and ice packs (especially at night) are a close second and third. knowing that there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable is such a comfort in itself. sometimes it seems silly to be doing all the self-care, especially if you feel like you are in strong warrior mama mode and like you should be invincible, but it is so important. invest in the things that will bring you physical comfort, and invest in the time it takes to do those things for yourself.

5) put your feet up – literally

until my eight month of pregnancy, i had always thought of the phrase, “relax and put your feet up” as more of a metaphor. and then i started to get swollen feet, and started to literally put my feet up. and that was a life-changer, let me tell you! it’s such a good way to alleviate a sore back, sore hips, sore thighs, and the swollen feet (especially in the summer!). for swollen feet, i also highly recommend drawing the letters of the alphabet with your feet a couple times a day to increase circulation and decrease the swelling a bit.

6) be okay with slowing down

if you’re anything like me, this will be the hardest thing for you to do. i wanted to be able to keep cooking dinner every night, and doing the dishes, and helping with my share around the house, and i had to listen to my body and my husband and ease up a little bit. because for the last month of pregnancy i couldn’t keep going at the speed that i had been able to go at the rest of the pregnancy. and to get my brain around that fact took some doing. but it was such a good decision, and it was okay. of course it was okay! because the world will keep on turning even if you can’t do as much.

7) don’t complain

this might make some people annoyed with me, but i believe that if you focus on what’s unpleasant in the process of pregnancy, then you are in for a long nine months my friend. i had a great pregnancy, but there are going to be discomforts along the way for everyone, in some way or another. and that’s normal. so the fact is, we might as well focus on the good and ignore the bad, because focusing on the bad just brings it right in front of you at all times and that’s not going to help in any way. but focusing on the good, that will help you get your perspective in the right place, and it will make your experience so much more pleasant than the alternative.

8) have a husband who is amazing in every way

this is the one thing that i can’t give you by recommendation or advice. you have to be lucky enough to have a husband like mine, who will help you and take care of you and tell you it’s okay that you don’t feel great all the time. my husband has continued to amaze me time and again with his ability to take on more than his share, and his willingness to make sure i’m feeling the best i can feel. there is no substitute for the wonderful support of your partner in the journey, there just isn’t. (if you don’t have that in a husband, find it in a partner or a friend or a family member. find someone to take care of you, because it will change your whole experience.)

i hope this is helpful and gives some good ideas to any mamas out there who might be desperate for ONE new idea on how to take care of themselves when this journey gets tough.

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