these days with baby zee.

happy weekend to you!

i am about to rush off to a girls overnight at a hotel in the city as a last hurrah before i’m physically attached to a baby for a few months again, so this will be short and sweet. basically, i’m feeling great, can’t believe that there is such a short amount of time before this baby gets here, and am requesting some more prayers because my stubborn baby has once again refused to do what it’s supposed to do.

i hope everyone has a fabulous weekend, do something autumnal for me! i’ll probably be eating pizza and diet coke in a robe on a hotel bed, so i’ll live the dream for you guys too.

36 weeks baby zee

36 weeks with baby zee

how far along: 36 weeks. very pregnant.

i’m feeling: pretty great still. tired? yes. swollen? oh my goodness yes.

update on stubborn baby’s position: at my appointment this week, we couldn’t tell if baby had a bony butt or its head was up (where it’s not supposed to be). so i had an ultrasound on friday, and we confirmed what i did NOT want to hear…that baby is not head down, but is cradled quite comfortably with its bootie in my pelvis. so that means the next step is to do an external version (aka moving the baby by hand). NOT looking forward to it at all, but if this works, it is much less likely that i would need a c-section. so please keep the prayers coming.

total weight gain: you guys, i gained like 4-5 pounds in the last two weeks haha. i’m pretty sure most is fluid based on how puffy my hands and feet feel, but still. so i’m up to about 27 pounds total now, which was what my total gain was with Amelia. i’m on track (if the fluid chills out) to gain about 30 pounds, which is what i guessed at the beginning.

baby zee’s size: this week, baby is the size of a head of romaine lettuce, about 6 lbs. and 18.5 inches long.

this week: Mister Man was gone ALL WEEK LONG, which marks the last time he’ll take a long trip before baby gets here, and the last time i’ll be by myself with only one child. i tried to remind myself all week long that the next time i’m holding down the fort, there will be two kids here, and it really helped keep my perspective clear!

maternity clothes: my darling friend amy let me come over and pick out a bunch of her maternity clothes (she has a brand new squishy 2 month old and a brand new 2 year old!). the dress i’m wearing in these photos is hers, and she saved my life with these “new to me” clothes. they’re going to get me through the next few weeks with my sanity intact! thank you amy!

sleep: oh it’s bad now guys. laying down makes me kind of sore, turning over makes me kind of sore, and i’ve apparently started to snore a little bit? whatever, it’s not like i’m going to be getting any more sleep anytime soon, so might as well embrace it.

best moment this week: amelia giving my belly lots of hugs and kisses, and taking a night out at a hotel in the city with my sisters and sister-cousin for a last night of relaxation and girl time before this baby gets here. (big thanks to Mister Man for pushing me to actually do this…i love you baby daddy).

movement: slowing down a bit, but still kicking and punching and jabbing in there. we’ll see what happens when we try to move the little one…

food cravings: nothing new, but i still have an appetite, so i’m trying to eat lots of protein (hard-boiled eggs, nuts, yogurt) and fruit instead of gorging on skittles like i want to.

food aversions: nope. give me whatever and i’ll eat it.

belly button in or out: it’s totally, completely flat.

looking forward to: getting the dresser in the bedroom (i just washed all our gender neutral baby clothes and can’t believe anything could be that small…Amelia was never that small, right??), and getting the crib set up. we’re hoping next weekend is the weekend to get all of it done!

36 weeks with baby zee

[unsure how this baby could get any bigger…]

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how to occupy a busy* toddler.

*and by busy, i mean one who never stops moving, ever. never ever ever ever.

if you missed it somewhere along the way, let me catch you up.

I HAVE A VERY BUSY TODDLER.

she was busy when i was pregnant with her, she was busy when she was an infant, and she continues to exhaust and amaze me with her busy-ness to this very day. especially to this very day.

now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great things about having an energetic toddler. they absorb everything around them, they tend to learn quickly, and are interested in so many different things. but it’s also really, incredibly exhausting to be around one all day everyday. and you have to read between their lines and force them to sit still for their own health and sanity every once in a while. but how do you do that? because it’s certainly easier said than done.

here are a few things that have worked for us over the last year or so. feel free to add any ideas in the comments, because with this baby on the way, i’m going to need them!

five ways to occupy a busy toddler

  1. crayons. i mean, this is obvious, but invest in some crayons, paper, and any other art supplies that your toddler is interested in. busy toddlers need rest, and sometimes you have to make sure that they get it during their waking hours…they cannot literally run around all day. which my child would try to do if i let her. anything that’s colorful and will get them to sit but still use their brain and motor skills is a great thing.
  2. homemade play dough. see above. only the best thing about homemade play dough is that the making of the play dough is an activity in and of itself. boom. you can let the little one stir the mixture before it goes on the stove, and they usually get a kick out of the fact that their play dough is warm when they start playing with it. my favorite recipe is as follows: take 1 C. flour, 1 Tbsp. alum, 1/2 C. salt, 1 C. water, 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, and food coloring and mix together in a medium-sized saucepan. heat over low-medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes dough consistency and forms a ball. turn dough out onto a flat surface and knead until it looks like play dough (careful, it’ll be HOT! at first). then play!2 year old with play dough
  3. play kitchen. this is one of the best ways to kill time before dinner if you can’t be outside during that lovely time of day. whether it’s playing in a small play kitchen or playing with real kitchen things while you cook, getting your toddler involved in feeling like they’re adding to the meal can be a real lifesaver when they might be running low on energy but still want to be active. miss Amelia’s favorite thing to cook for me when we’re making dinner is currently “blueberry soup”. it’s very delicious if i may say so.
  4. cleaning. YOU GUYS. little kids love cleaning. they LOVE it. give them a swiffer rag and show them where to “dust” and they feel so grown up. if you aren’t too uptight about water getting on cabinets and floors and walls, you can step it up a notch and give them a spray bottle full of water along with a rag, and let them go nuts. you get help with the dusting (kind of), and you can get some chores done without a crazy toddler-person running circles around you.
  5. daniel tiger. or any children’s show of your choice. there are days when the only time i can get Amelia to sit down is to watch her favorite show, daniel tiger. there are a lot of opinions out there on screen time, but here’s my take: sometimes a rest is necessary, and as long as the screen time is limited, is used as a tool, and is allowing you to interact with your child to help them learn, it can be invaluable. we waited until Amelia was about a year and a half old before introducing a show if that’s helpful (driven mostly by the fact that Mister Man was out of town for my entire first trimester with baby zee so i needed a break). i highly suggest daniel tiger because that show is amazing. Amelia not only picks up on the lessons, but uses them in her daily life. it’s kind of the best.

watching-daniel-tiger

[full disclosure: she was sick and teething when this photo was taken, so this is not usually how we roll when watching daniel tiger.]

let me know what you think about these ideas for keeping a busy toddler occupied! what are your tried and true tricks? like i said, with baby zee on the way, and winter on the way, we are going to be spending a lot more time at home and inside than we’re used to, and i’m going to need some more ideas.

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coffee date.

happy “it’s finally getting to be seasonal hot drink weather” season! let me tell you all something, and you can hold me to this; i will never be sick of seasonally appropriate food and beverages. seasonal eating and drinking IS MY JAM. give me all the gin and tonics and rose in the summer, all the pumpkin spice and old fashioneds in the fall, and all the hot cocoa and red wine in the winter (we don’t have spring here really so i have no seasonally appropriate beverages for that one). i don’t get all the hating on the PSL man. just let people live their lives and drink it, and if you don’t like pumpkin things, then get something hazelnut or cinnamon flavored. or don’t. but stop hating on my seasonal drinks!

here’s to a post that’s not about my pregnancy, and instead about catching up with you on all things in the z household. coffee dates are the best. let’s always have them.

coffee date fall

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if we were on a coffee date, i’d obviously be sipping on a hot, lovely latte. probably a pumpkin spice latte with half the pumpkin spice (or vanilla if i’m feeling old-fashioned). like i said, i am pumped up about fall coming. not only is the weather getting cooler, which means i am far less swollen and puffy, but there is also more time for relaxing and getting stuff done around the house, which is perfect for me since i’m pretty obsessed with organizing right now.

fall candles

if we were on a coffee date, i’d be singing praises for the glory that is living near family. our babysitter recently left for a fabulous, open-ended trip around europe, which is awesome, but also left us with a couple months gap in childcare for one day a week. sounds easy to fill, but finding someone for one day a week is tough, then taking a maternity leave right after for four months? not happening. enter my aunt and my mom splitting the weeks to help us out. it’s amazing. my mother-in-law, who regularly takes care of amelia two days a week just told me that she would be happy to take amelia one day a week while i’m on leave to help me take a break. we are never in need of babysitters or people to help us out with our yard work or anything else we might need. i’d highly suggest that if you are ever able to, you live near your family if you get the chance. it’s pretty dang great.

if we were on a coffee date, we’d probably talk about the fact that i’m feeling like a terrible friend. on average, i’ve been responding to texts four days after i get them (which is ridiculous), i’ve been terrible about locking down friend dates, and just in general i’ve been a lump of a human being. i’d want to know that you feel like that sometimes too. because i can’t be the only one who does this from time to time. i mean, if you’re the type of friend who is amazing all the time, then you can tell me about what that’s like too, because i have no idea. and i’d want to learn from you. teach me your ways, or at least tell me that you understand me on some level. that would make me feel better.

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what’s on your mind lately? tell me what’s going on with you over whatever type of coffee date beverage you want. seasonal or not!

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these days with baby zee.

alas, this blog has become solely a place for me to update you guys on my pregnancy. i swear, i have the best of intentions every week to write posts (on my grandpa, on my daughter turning two, on cooking, on baby stuff that is a bit more humorous than these updates, etc.), and then all of a sudden, another week is gone and i have no posts to show for it.

to those of you who have stuck around, i very much appreciate it. i will eventually figure out how to balance my time with this fuller life of mine. in the meantime, i stand in awe of those who do it so easily, and try to take notes.

as each week passes, i get more and more excited to meet baby zee. every time i see a little squishy newborn, i think, “i get to have one of those soon!”. i’m trying to keep the sleep deprivation and diaper changes and nonstop feeding out of my head so i can focus on the squishiness of the babies. now, please enjoy these photos of my giant belly and my (hopefully) light-hearted take on what it means to be very pregnant.

34 weeks pregnant

how far along: 34 weeks. (or 42 if you ask anyone who has given me a sideways glance in the last week for some reason.)

i’m feeling: still feeling great. i’m thinking my discomfort is just waiting to kick in until the last month or so? because i honestly feel better than i should be allowed to feel at this many weeks pregnant. but i am definitely not complaining about it, i’m basically on cloud nine.

ALSO, regarding my little transverse baby: you guys must have some powerful mojo and you must have all sent it my way at once, because after doing lots of inversions and stretching, and also visiting a chiropractor who is well-versed in straightening the pelvises of pregnant ladies out, i was informed at my appointment that my doctor felt baby zee’s head DOWN in my lower belly. all the praise hands and thumbs up and toasts with the la croix!!! this takes so much stress off of me, you have no idea. no more worrying about having to get the baby turned manually (ouch!) or the potential of a c-section (at least for this reason). i’ll keep going to the chiropractor once a week until i have the baby, just to make sure everything stays in line, and i’ll keep doing inversions and posture improvement, but at least i know all is good.(if anyone wants more details on turning a transverse baby, i’m happy to share!)

total weight gain: 23 pounds. alright, looks like i’m slowing down a bit now. to be expected when this baby is taking up all the space where my food used to go!

baby zee’s size: this week, baby is the size of a cantaloupe, about 4 3/4 lbs. and 18 inches long. really, when we get to the melon and pumpkin comparisons, i can’t help but be horrified by the concept.

this week: (anyone notice i left this blank by accident last update? pregnancy brain is too real.) this week, i am starting to feel the need to nest a little bit. i’m adding one meal a week to our meal planning/grocery list to cook for the freezer, i’m planning out weird little organization projects for myself, and starting to get serious about getting the kids room ready. i didn’t really nest last time, so this is kind of fun for me!

maternity clothes: they’re just never big enough at the end. and i really, really, really do not want to buy anything else. so dresses and the only three shirts that fit it is!

sleep: it’s just not really…happening anymore. i’m up every hour either to go to the bathroom or to turn to a different side. poor Mister Man, i’m guessing he’s not getting great sleep either.

best moment this week: finding out baby was head down! so much happy dancing going on!

movement: lots and lots! baby likes to remind me that he or she is in there and is going to come out ACTIVE.

food cravings: does it count as a real craving if i have to convince myself that i crave ice cream?

food aversions: nope, but that appetite is slowly leaving me.

belly button in or out: i should honestly just post a picture of it so you guys can see how ridiculous my belly is.

looking forward to: meeting this baby! even though i still have six weeks to go…

34 weeks pregnant

[outtake/work selfie timer probs]

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these days with baby zee.

oh gosh. so i’m a few days late with this update (i’m sure you all noticed and were very very concerned about it), and i feel like it’s just a metaphor for my life right now. “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” is basically my life motto right now, if that gives you any inkling as far as how together i’m keeping it.

so, turns out the third trimester goes three times as fast with your second child. which is all great and good when it comes to getting through the discomfort quick, but not so great when it comes to everything else. there are text messages in my phone from a month ago that i haven’t responded to. so to everyone who belongs to those messages: I’M SORRY AND I’M STILL HERE AND I STILL LOVE YOU I SWEAR. we have yet to do anything to update the kids’ room, although i think all we have left to buy is a dresser to use for a changing table. so that’s something?

we are down to (less than) two months to go until we meet this new babe, and honestly, after realizing how little babies need from the first time around, other than eventually getting the room ready, and washing bottles and a few gender neutral clothes, i actually feel pretty ready? question mark? but for real, this time just feels different, like i have a handle on at least the basics of having a baby, so i know that everything will fall into place when it needs to. and i can’t wait!

32 weeks with baby zee

how far along: 32 weeks. holy moly.

i’m feeling: honestly, i still feel pretty awesome. a few aches here and there, sleep could be better (but couldn’t it always?), but overall, i am honestly feeling downright great. i am feeling a bit stressed out since my last appointment, because i found out that the baby is transverse, which just means that it’s sitting sideways in my belly, with the head on my left and the booty on my right. this is not ideal for a couple reasons; one is that now that the baby is getting bigger very quickly, there is not as much room for it to move into the right position…it should have done that by now. and two is that unless the baby moves before the birth, or during labor (which it could since this is my second baby and i’ve had a successful prior birth), transverse position means a c-section. and that would be a bummer.

so i’ve been instructed by my doctor to visit a chiropractor who is experienced in the webster technique (a known and proven technique for opening the pelvic ligaments so there is enough room for baby to turn), and to do the exercises from spinning babies. i’ve been doing the exercises and just got a referral for a chiropractor, so i’m hoping that in the next two weeks, ideally by my 34-week appointment, baby will have turned head down and all will be well. say a couple prayers and also if you have any awesome stories about turning babies late in pregnancy, send them my way please!

total weight gain: 22 pounds. last month i was at 18, so i’m still at a steady one pound a week gain. could i be any more cliche? seriously, i could not BE a more stereotypically pregnant person. as always, please remember my thoughts on pregnancy weight gain, and hold them close to your heart, because it’s important.

baby zee’s size: this week, baby is the size of a jicama, about 3 lbs. and 16 inches long. really hoping that it’s not too long to flip itself into the right position SOON.

this week: 

maternity clothes: you know it! haven’t picked out my new pjs yet, but i’m really excited for that particular purchase. i’m also starting to think ahead to post-baby. one thing i never thought about last time was how different you have to dress post-baby and while nursing. so i’m tentatively thinking about what clothes to have out and ready to go.

sleep: not great, not gonna lie. it’s hot here, and i’m just big enough to be uncomfortable in most positions. but i must be used to sleep deprivation now, so it doesn’t even bother me.

best moment this week: actually last week was too long ago, so i don’t remember anything that happened. but today, as we were driving in the car together, Amelia and i had the best chat about the baby coming. she informed me that she was excited for the baby to come out so she could hold it and change its diapers, and that she was going to share her toys with the baby and take walks with it. so now i’m basically a puddle and i cannot wait until they meet. i may not be the type to cry when i birth a child, but i am certain that i’ll be a sobbing mess when my children meet for the first time.

movement: yes. it’s starting to slow down a bit, probably because the baby is confused about all the weird exercises i’m doing to try and flip it head down. but still lots of movement all through the day. i also think that as the baby rotates, i will start to feel it less, because the movements will be more internal than they have been with the position it’s in.

food cravings: nope, the fact that i still have an appetite is amazing.

food aversions: nope, the fact that i still have an appetite is amazing.

belly button in or out: hahahaha.

looking forward to: enjoying these last few weeks as a family of three. getting everything set up as the nesting kicks in (it’ll kick in, won’t it?). basically just enjoying the end of this very fast pregnancy. i know not everyone gets to experience what i’m experiencing, and i want all of you to know that i do not take any of this for granted, not one single second.

32 weeks with baby zee

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