Guest blog: Emily from The Waiting

All Hail Emily, Queen of the Muffin Top: Originally posted Sept. 14, 2011

It was bound to happen eventually. I am nearing the end of my first trimester, after all. I have known that at some point I would have to part with my normal, cute wardrobe. And I dreaded it, not out of a fear of pregnant corpulence but because I like my clothes.

But it’s started: I have a giant muffin top. It’s only going to morph into a cake and then a watermelon. We’ve reached the point of no return, folks.

Let’s get this straight; I have always carried my junk in the front. I have by no means a small waist and that’s OK by me, as long as I can get jeans that make me look like I give a damn, which I have always been able to do. The rest of me is not skinny but healthy, and that’s all that matters, really.

Yesterday my #1 Jeans (you know them, that one pair of jeans that always makes you look great no matter what you pair them with, that have the uncanny ability to turn a borderline bad day into a somewhat pleasant day) were in the laundry, so I had to resort to #2 Jeans in my arsenal of awesomeness. The instant I put them on I had a craving for coffee to go with the giant muffin I was rocking.

Granted, I should have seen it coming since I really haven’t worn these jeans in several weeks and they do tend to be a little snug on bloaty days, but after zipping and buttoning them, I felt like an impostor.

“Silly girl,” the jeans said, “you’re pregnant now. You can’t wear me unless you want to pair me with that orange tunic your mother gave you two years ago and we all know you hate.”

“But jeans, I love you! You’re supposed to have stretch! See, right there in your label you say STRETCH really big. And you’ve always been so understanding in the  past!”

“There’s only so much I can do for you. Sorry.”

“But think about the good times! Please recall how I bought you in Korea, the lonely size 8 in the store. You would’ve had to stay among the 0′s and 2′s indefinitely had I not come around. Remember when your belt loop broke but I still loved you and sewed you up? What about the time in Paris when you were my trusty companion. You’ve seen the world, and now you say there’s nothing you can do?!”

“I don’t do muffins, and I don’t do babies.”

I realize now that it’s not going to be long until #1 Jeans falls prey to the MT and will have to be retired for maternity wear, but I am going to savor them until that day arrives, even if that means that they won’t be washed for weeks on end. Love makes you do strange things.

I now have a craving for muffins. Off I go!

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:

Emily smirks about pregnancy and life over at The Waiting. She now has way  more than a muffin top and her pre-preggo jeans have been traded in for maternity pants. We tried to contact her former jeans to comment on what Emily said about them, but they did not return our calls.  Emily said, “Good riddance. My new maternity pants rule beyond belief.”

Bebe is expected to arrive in April, 2012.

Until next time…

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Guest blog: Kristen from The Campbell Family

Top 5 Things for a NEW MOM!

OK! So while Sara is prepping for {or possibly already enjoying} that beautiful baby girl Keelin, I wanted to do a guest blog for her on the top 5 things for a new mom. Since I am going to be a new mom right around February 8th, I felt that this would be appropriate. Keep in mind that this is my personal opinion! I know that there are hundreds on wonderful things out there for new moms and babies alike! These are just a few things that I think are WONDERFUL!!!

Ok! So here we go!
Starting us off at Number 5: Moby Wrap

This is a great piece for any new mom to have because it’s so versatile! Unlike other carriers, it distributes the weight to all of your back and front instead of the small straps that just pull on your bag like some of the other carriers have. It’s also great for newborns to keep them snugly against your chest and can hold them up until they are 45 pounds! It can go on your front, back or side making it ultra versatile for you and your little one!!!

Number 4: Car Seat Mat

This mat doesn’t seem like a great thing, however I think that it’s a definite registry must have! I have seen so many times the divots left in seats from car seats and the yuck that lies beneath! As the baby grows, they will have snacks and drinks and other yucky items that will be coming from their car seat! This little mat will do the job to protect the seat and all that lies under it! Also, the mat works for rear and front facing car seats. So as your baby grows, no need to purchase another mat! This one will do the trick. 🙂

Number 3: Fisher Price Rock N Play Sleeper

So I have to say that a few months ago, this would have never made my list of top five! Only because it just didn’t seem like a GRAND thing to have or need. However, the more I started at looking for space in our bedroom for a bassinet and the less space we have, this seemed like a good idea! I have also talked to a few other friends that have this and LOVE LOVE it! It has an angled back so if your baby has acid reflux, it will help with that. It is also portable, so you can fold up and carry to living room, kitchen, grandmas house or even on a road trip! Also, it’s very reasonable in price compared to a lot of other bassinets out there! So this now seems like a win-win situation for the little one and for Momma!

Number 2: Baby Bullet

So let me introduce to you to the Baby Bullet! I received this at a shower last weekend and after digging out all of the parts and pieces, I was AMAZED at all of the wonderful things that this can do!!! Not only does it come with everything that you need to make and store your baby food, but it also has this amazing cookbook that you can learn how to make anything from just veggies to full-out meals for your growing baby! And it’s so user-friendly! This is a sure-fire way to save money and cook healthy for your little one!

Number 1: Diaper Sprayer to go with BumGenius Diapers! 

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

HAHA! Can you hear me singing? I think that this is the coolest thing since microwave popcorn! No really! I know that so many people are fans of BumGenius, me included. In fact, I already have my full stock for when Colton arrives! And I know that Sara is using them for Keelin, so I found this to be an appropriate Numero Uno! This little guy attaches directly to your toilet! (Think sprayer for a sink, but on the toilet!) And once its attached, you can spray off the dirty diapers right into the toilet! No more leaving messy yucky pails of water in the bathroom for dunking dirty diapers. Just spray and flush! Wahoo!!! This will be a need-to-have piece of hardware for the bathroom to use with those super cute BumGenius cloth diapers!

Well thanks for letting me share those top 5 New Mom Items! Like I said, these are only MY opinion as I know that there are MILLIONS of things that we are fortunate to have at our disposal to make having babies easier than ever! And thanks to Sara for posting this today!!!

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:

Kristin and her sweet hubby Aaron!

Hi! I’m Kristin and I live in Midlothian, Virginia! I am married to my highschool sweetheart, Aaron and we have a 4-legged furry child, Ruger! We also have a new baby boy, Colton, due the first week of February! I currently work as a paralegal but will be enjoying my new job as a stay at home mom! I also sell Pampered Chef and love helping people make inexpensive recipes for their families! I am so excited to be a new mom and cannot wait for all of the love, fun & craziness that comes with it! Thanks for reading! *Visit Kristin’s blog at the link above and check in on her own baby adventure!

Until next time…

Do you have your own TOP 5 list for new moms? Share some of your favorite new mommy MUST HAVES!

Hump Day Bump Day – 39 weeks and READY TO POP

I’m actually a little surprised that I’m writing this post at all {was REALLY hoping she would be here by now} but I guess it’s better than being 2 weeks late. Sweet lord PLEASE don’t let me be 2 weeks late!

The doctor’s apt on Monday went really well and the midwife keeps saying how excited she is to deliver Keelin. She also said, just by feeling, that Keelin was sunny side up {facing up with the back of her head toward my spine… still safe for natural delivery but tends to cause a lot of back labor and more pain} so she gave me a ‘shifting position’ to try and lay in to get her to roll over. It’s not the most comfortable position, especially the first time trying it out, but basically entails getting as far over ON my stomach as possible. She said that it basically squashes her face into the bed {or whatever I’m laying on} so she’ll want to roll over and be more comfortable. The first few times I did it I was extremely uncomfortable but it was actually a nice and relaxing way to lay last night so I’m hoping that means she’s shifted. Like I said, I can still deliver her naturally without any problem but it’s not the “ideal” position for her to be in.

I’m getting SO MANY tips on how to induce labor and have tried basically all of them. Castor Oil is not an option. YUCK! SO… here’s hoping that I don’t have a 40 week update for you NEXT Wednesday!

Here we go…

putting my new SIDEWAYS sweatshirt to the test!!! STRETCH!!!! Pardon my gross face and hair. This is was maternity leave looks like 🙂

*How far along? 39 weeks 2 days today!

*Total weight gain/loss: Still healthy!

*How big is baby? 19 to 22 inches, 7ish lbs .

*Maternity clothes? Once I went on maternity leave I started living in my leggins and baggy sweaters 🙂

*Stretch Marks? None 🙂

*Best moment this week? MY MOM ARRIVED! It’s been great having her around the house to help with baby prep while Z is at work. ALSO, finishing the SIDEWAYS dance show was kind of the final thing I needed to “do” before Keelin could come. Now that it’s checked off the list I’m anxiously awaiting those first signs of labor. COME ON LITTLE GIRL!

*Movement? Still plenty from her, much less from me. Although, I’m thinking about renting a mini trampoline to try to BOUNCE her out… while eating spicy food of course!

*Food Cravings? Orange Juice!

*What I miss: Nothing in particular. I’m much more focused on what’s about to happen than what USED to happen.

*What I am looking forward to: KEELIN GETTING HER SWEET BUTT HERE!!!

*Nausea/Vomiting? Nope!

*Labor signs? Some really strong BH contractions

*Gender? Sweet baby girl

*Belly Button in or out? 1/2 and 1/2

*Wedding rings on or off? Still on :)

*Sleep? Pretty shifty and up at least twice for a bathroom run but other than that feeling fairly rested when I wake up

*Weekly Wisdom: This isn’t wisdom… more a plea to my sweet girl: My bags are packed, the house is prepped, you’re whole family is anxiously awaiting, all that’s missing is YOU! Come on out and say “HELLO WORLD!”

She's definitely dropped even from last week's post!

Until next time…

Any more guesses on when she’ll be here??? Any SUPER STRANGE tips on how to get her here??? For all you mommies out there, did you do anything unique to induce labor that actually worked???

Hospital Bag 101

With only 2 weeks left, Z and I are really in full swing on the baby prep front. We taken care of most of our shopping trips to get some final necessities and get rid of some of the repeat gifts we received and things we don’t really need {HELLO STORE CREDIT}! We’ve been neck-deep in extra organizing around the house to better manage OUR stuff and make room for HER stuff. We successfully installed the car seat so they’ll actually let us LEAVE the hospital and we’re even getting some last minute training for the pups to hopefully help them adjust to life with baby a little easier {that, and give them more obedience so Z doesn’t punt them out the back door}.

But there’s one thing in particular that having ready brings me great peace! We’ve gotten our hospital bag(s) packed and ready to go right out the door! Our midwife reminded us at our 36-week appointment that we should go ahead and get our delivery bag ready… something I had accidentally put off with all the excitement of maternity photos, Thanksgiving cooking, tree buying and Christmas decorating. Although it took us about a week to finally get it done, it’s officially checked off the list and what a great relief it is knowing that, when the time comes, we are all set to walk right out the door.

The Internet is filled with more lists than you can possibly imagine that are made to assist expectant parents in packing their hospital bag. But I thought I would share a few additional items that you may not think to bring {compliments of our midwife who is so super smart and helpful}.

  1. Tiny bottles of mouthwash – pregnant women, and especially women in labor, tend to be overly sensitive to smells. So when Nurse Nancy comes to see how you are doing, after recently chowing down on an onion bagel, you may find yourself in an epic battle against your gag reflexes. There’s nothing wrong with asking your nurse to take a quick swig and spit, so you can avoid upchucking mid-contraction. Obviously you would want to be as KIND as possible and remind them that you’re sure their breath doesn’t really smell bad, it’s just your heightened sensitivity.
  2. 3 bags of candy and thank you cards – I’ve heard this from so many people… one of the best ways to up your chances of having a successful labor {especially if you are very particular in your birth plan} and delivery are to be NICE to the nurses. No matter what your birth plan is, if you go into the hospital with anything remotely resembling a “mightier than thou” mentality, your nurses will NOT want to be accommodating to your crazy requests. Think about it… would you want to bend over backwards for someone being a total biotch? That goes for daddy-to-be as well. Being kind, respectful, and consistently thankful to your nurses for all the hard work they are doing is a sure-fire way to make your labor experience that much better. Bring bags of candy to help “sweeten” up even the biggest sourpuss nurse. And be sure to write a thank you note to all the nurses that assist you from start to finish, to show how much you appreciate them. Who knows, you may play a part in ensuring the next laboring mother they deal with has a more pleasant experience.
  3. Soft hair ties – Hair ties are one of those items that I always THINK I have on me, but most consistently am forgetting. Long or short hair, you’re going to want it out of your face and you’re going to want to be able to lay your head back without getting stabbed in the cranium by a huge plastic clip. Keep it simple, keep it soft, and keep it as comfortable as possible.
  4. Chapstick– Between breathing through the pain of contractions and trying to stay hydrated, your lips WILL get chapped. Especially if you find yourself in your 24th hour of labor, you’re going to want that tiny bit of comfort.
  5. Cheap lotion – Our birthing method is all about relaxation do you can bet that massages from the hubby will be on the menu during labor. Constant rubbing on dry skin will quickly start to not feel good so bring some cheap lotion for mid-contraction back rubs!
  6. Drinks and snacks – At one point or another you’re going to have spouts of hunger and extreme thirst. Staying hydrated and keeping your tummy happy are more important than you might think. Plus if hubby is there supporting you through 24 hours of labor, chances are he’s going to get a bit famished as well. Even if it is his fault that your pushing a watermelon out of your crotch, he deserves some aid too.

SO… for those of you who plan on doing HARD TIME at a hospital in the near future… consider bringing some of these things along with you when you go!

Until next time…

Can you think of any other “not so obvious” hospital bag items? Or, for you mommies out there who have done it before, was there anything you found to be exceptionally helpful or totally unnecessary? How about something you wish you’d thought to bring? TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT!