Some NEWS (Here We Go Again!)

For those of you that don’t know, B, FW and I have some EXCITING news to share.

We are well onto our way in expecting Baby #2!

It’s pretty evident that I’ve been hiding a baby, as you can sorta see in the above photo.

Can’t really see it? Okay, how about now? (Took the sweater off)

Yup! There it is – baby #2 has been hiding. So here are some of the updates for you:

  • Baby #2 is due at the end of May.
  • Once again, B and I are not finding out if it’s going to be a boy or a girl.
  • I’m feeling overall okay. I felt much more nauseous at the beginning of the pregnancy, and now I’m feeling much more tired. I’m still waiting for the second trimester high to kick in … but, I’m thinking that life with a toddler may be preventing that from happening! #sotiredallthetime
  • I’m still running! It is MUCH harder for me this time around, and I’m much slower than I was last pregnancy, but I’m happy to be still running (or walk/running) these days, even if it has been a lot of treadmill runs.

  • We have so much to do before baby #2 arrives at the house! We have to move FW into a toddler bed (and get him one of those …), we have plans to move him into a different room (the baby will get his room, as it has a built-in diaper changing table that B made), and a few other things. Oh, and somewhat finish our third floor and convert it into a guest room …
  • I had no idea the we’d need so much stuff for baby #2 – we were super minimalistic with FW because we were in a tiny apartment, but now that we have a house there are some basic things we’ll need that are still big ticket items – like a comfy chair for the new baby’s room for late night nursing! (In the apartment, I just used our current living room chair)
  • We probably have a boy’s name picked out, but still no girl’s name. It was the opposite with FW – we had a girl’s name (which B now no longer likes) but no boy’s name.

So there you go – the news is out! What questions do you have for us? Any tips for being pregnant AND having a toddler? Or surviving life with two kids?

I’ll leave you with this- a photo from when FW was just a newborn. Wow- time flies and I can’t believe we will have another one here in must be few months!

9 Reasons Why 2016 Was Pretty Great

ringing in the new year

ringing in the new year

2016 wasn’t that bad for us.

If you are anything like me and my friends, your Facebook feed has been full of reasons why 2016 was the worst year ever and people beyond ready to welcome in 2017. I even saw this trailer for a fake horror movie about the year:

And while not everything went as hoped in 2016, I can’t complain toooooo much. Why? Well, one big reason – FW. But 2016 was a pretty good year and when I was talking with B about how the year had gone, it was easy to come up with some reasons why. Here are 9 reasons*:
1. FW was born! FW was born in June of 2016, so the year can’t be considered all bad 😉

This was taken in the hospital when we were about to take him home!

This was taken in the hospital when we were about to take him home!

2. I had a healthy, relatively easy pregnancy. I was pregnant for about half of 2016 and I was able to remain active, walking and running, throughout – and I am so grateful of that!

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A wedding a week or so before FW was born
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A morning walk the week FW was born

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5k race at 39 weeks pregnant

And yes, I had the same pose in all the above photos. There’s not much you can do with your arm when your belly sticks out so much!

3. B got a new job! While his commute is a little worse, he is so much happier at his new gig and I’m so proud of him for all he is accomplishing.

4. The Indians were in the World Series! No, we didn’t win. BUT I did get to go to a game in the ALDS AND Game 7 of the World Series and it was great.

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5. The Cavs became NBA World Champions and B and I got to celebrate – both the night of them winning (we went out and partied with all the other Cavs fans to celebrate) and then the parade, the day before FW was born.20160619_230123(0)

6. Great travels. We kicked off the year with a trip to Mexico City (I can’t wait to go back with FW!), got in a trip to Boston for our 5 year anniversary and spent a weekend in Columbus after FW was born.

boston <3

boston ❤

Mexico City!!

Mexico City!!

Columbus!

Columbus!

7. Great friends. I felt so much love this year from so many great friends. I had a wonderful baby shower with so many of my great friends in Cleveland, had another great year part of Ladies Craft Beer Society (I love these ladies!), and even was visited by some other great friends – my BFF Jane came and visited before FW was born and Katie and Caitlin visited shortly afterwards.

Me and Cuoghi - she threw me the best shower!

Me and Cuoghi – she threw me the best shower!

some of the Ladies Craft Beer Society at my baby shower.

some of the Ladies Craft Beer Society at my baby shower.

Jane was excited to see me and touch the belly :)

Jane was excited to see me and touch the belly 🙂

girls night out with Katie and Caitlin!

girls night out with Katie and Caitlin!

8. I got to spend another year as a Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassador. I’m so grateful to represent the Cleveland Marathon and even though I was just about 9 months pregnant, I’m so glad I got to be part of the group again and run the 5k/10k Challenge Series.

Cari and I before the race! We both did the 10k

Cari and I before the race! We both did the 10k

with my fellow ambassadors

with my fellow ambassadors

9. We got a new car! I didn’t realize a new car could excite me so much, but I LOVE our Subaru so much. We got it over the summer and I am loving using it this winter!

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I know many of us are looking forward to having 2016 behind us – and while I had a great year, I’m pretty excited to see what 2017 has in store for us! I have a feeling it’s going to be a pretty eventful year.

Questions for you:

  1. What’s something good that happened to you this year?
  2. What are you looking forward to in 2017?

*yes, there are 9 reasons. Not 10. Why? Because 9 is a pretty awesome number, because I’m recovering from a sinus infection and that’s all my brain could handle and because I’m joining with the Thinking Out Loud linkup where there are NO RULES except write what’s on your mind!)

Friday Five: Ask a Mom! 5 Questions for The Last Mommy Blog

My friend Reanna is a super mom.

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She is one of the first of my friends to have a baby, and she has been a source of so much inspiration and information as I’ve started this journey toward motherhood. She’s a great resource – she is going through all that I’m going through 6 months before I do and doing it and all with a smile and a great sense of humor (she’s super hilarious – check out her blog, The Last Mommy Blog). So when she asked if she could interview me for her blog, I was like – wait, why can’t I interview YOU? So, I’m partnering with her and sharing some advice, info, tips, etc. for moms. She has so much info to share that this will likely be a series of posts for the next few weeks.

Before we get started, here are 3 fun facts about Reanna:

  1. She used to live in Cleveland but now lives on a farm south of the city. She moved into her grandparents’ house when her baby was just a few months old and is cleaning it out, renovating it and basically living in nature. This is so crazy and amazing to me – I’m scared/in awe of anything nature related and don’t know how to even fix a broken drawer.
  2. She was the Lady who started Ladies’ Craft Beer Society. In case you haven’t read my posts about it, we meet once a month and drink a craft beer and do a craft. It’s been a great way for me to meet new friends with similar interests (drinking is an interest, right?) in CLE.
  3. She wears many hats these days. She’s adjusting to life as a stay-at-home mom AND is a part-time freelancer. And she also is a semi-successful gardener and may soon be a goat owner. That’s more hats than I own in real life! (which is why she froze her eggs…more on that [clickbait! but you know you wanna know!] here)

Okay, onto the pregnancy and parenting stuff. Here are 5 Q&A’s with Reanna – and check out her blog, where I answer some of these questions as well! This week, we’ll celebrate Friday and talk pregnancy and becoming a mom.

FRIDAY FIVE; PREGNANCY AND BECOMING A MOM

1. Has motherhood changed your perspective on the world in any way?

I feel so hard for all mothers and babies now. I have always thought our maternity leave policies (or lack thereof) in this country were unfair, but now I feel they’re downright cruel. I took The Baby to a restaurant when he was a few months old and our waitress told me she had a two-week old at home and I wanted to stuff piles of money in both her hands, scoop her up, drive her home and tuck her and her baby into bed. It is appalling to me that we are failing families in this way.

2. What was the worst advice you got while you were pregnant?

I have to also say, “Sleep when the baby sleeps.” I caught a few naps while The Husband was home from work, but as an anxious person it was almost always next to impossible for me to fall asleep on demand. It’s the advice equivalent of telling someone, “Don’t be scared,” or “Win the lottery.” You just don’t have as much control as that advice implies.

3. What was the hardest part of pregnancy for you?

Agonizing heartburn. It was so bad by the end of the second trimester I could barely eat until I started taking prescription heartburn medication, which I felt nervous about every time I took it because it was a Class B drug or something. That and my regrettable inability to quickly think of a good retort at 37 weeks when a male coworker asked me if I was dilated.

4. What surprised you about pregnancy?

I thought I would be really excited to tell people I was pregnant after I was far enough along I felt comfortable to. But I had a lot of anxiety around it. I’m not sure if it’s because I’d had a miscarriage the first time around, or because I was explaining my participation in human reproduction, or because it opened the doors for people to pay me lots of attention and ask me a lot of questions, but it didn’t feel as good to let people in on our secret as I thought it would. Except with my friends, I just wanted to carry on with life as usual.

5. Are you happy with your childbirth experience? Is there anything you wish would have gone differently?

I am so very grateful for my childbirth experience. The only major bummer was that it happened on Christmas Day. Not because it ruined that particular Christmas (not by any means!) but I know it’s going to make The Baby’s birthday rough for him, for his entire life.

There you have it – until next Friday, when there will likely be 5 more questions for The Last Mommy Blog.

Some questions for you:

  • What questions do you have for new moms?
  • Moms, how would you answer any of these questions?
  • YAY for Fridays!! What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Training Tuesday: 39 weeks pregnant workouts and a 5k

It’s been a few weeks since my last Training Tuesday post and the reason is a good one – I’m not training for anything at the moment! I’m 39 weeks pregnant (eep!) and slowing down. I’m more tired, my body hurts after a simple run and well, it hurts DURING running. So what have I been up to?

At 39 weeks, I’m:

  • Trying to run 1-2 days a week. And by run I mean run/walk. I’ve tried to get in one outdoor “run” with B and then another day or two of a treadmill workout.
after a run with B

after a run with B

a treadmill selfie. See-I can still see my feet! Yay!

a treadmill selfie. See-I can still see my feet! Yay!

  • Using the elliptical 2-3 days a week. Taking it pretty easy on there, but still nice to be moving.
  • Walking 2-3 days a week. B has been great about getting up and walking with me before work some days and it’s been nice to spend time with him outside and not running.
Sometimes we stop and take photos on the walk

Sometimes we stop and take photos on the walk

scenes from a walk with B

scenes from a walk with B

and selfies

and selfies

BUT this past weekend I did my first race since the Cleveland Marathon Weekend 5k and 10k! B and I signed up for the Lifebanc Gift of Life Walk and Run, which was held this year as part of the Transplant Games of America.

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so sunny I have to squint before the race

so sunny I have to squint before the race

It was a HOT race – 80 degrees when we started and barely any shade on the course. And with pregnancy heat, that’s probably equivalent to 90+ degrees – my body is a furnace when I work out these days! I wasn’t sure how I’d feel during it, and I wasn’t planning on racing it- really just trying to enjoy it and support the good cause – and I’m proud to say I only stopped twice and that was for water. So my plans to walk/run were achieved and I mostly “ran”! The race itself wasn’t bad – the course was kind of boring, but I was grateful for the flat terrain and the fact that there were plenty of people running. And knowing that I was running with thousands of organ, eye and tissue transplant survivors, their families and donor families, made it all more worthwhile. One of my clients is Donate Life Ohio and donation and transplantation is a cause that I care about.

a sweaty post-race pic

a sweaty post-race pic

I’m sure this is the last race I’ll be running until Baby C arrives. With a week (or who knows really) to go until his/her official arrival, I think I’ll be taking these last few days easy and trying to stay comfortable (with a watermelon in my belly it’s a little harder these days), keep my feet and back from hurting and just enjoy the last days of being pregnant!

Questions for you:

  • How hot is too hot for you to run?
  • What was the last race you ran?
  • If you are/were pregnant – when did you stop working out or running?

JUNE is here.

You guys. June is here. JUNE IS HERE. I know you know that – but this is a BIG DEAL in our household this year because it means that the BABY MONTH arrives is here. Baby C is due in June! Guess we’d better get our act together, huh?

Anyway, this weekend flew by. Guess when you are used to three-day weekends they’ll do that, huh? I really enjoyed it though – it was a great mix of hanging out with B (it’s only a few more days/weeks/who knows that it’s just the two of us!), seeing friends and getting baby ready.

Friday night we started with a date night – dinner at the Flying Fig. Started with their special toast and it was GREAT – cheese, mushrooms, onions and pea shoots.

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And I got the soft-shelled crab for dinner. We(surprisingly) didn’t get dessert – both of us were too full! We took a walk after dinner and enjoyed the warm evening.20160603_191947

And we stumbled across the new Forest City Brewery! We of course had to stop in for a beer (not for me..soon!!). It was a cool place – they had a huge outdoor patio/beer garden area and it wasn’t that crowded (at last yet).

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Saturday morning B and I took a walk around downtown again because it was another nice morning and not too hot. We always seem to end up in the Flats – its so nice to be able to walk around downtown and enjoy the sunny weather!20160604_113125

And then we got breakfast at Restore. It had been too long since I’d been there and I got an amazing dragonfruit bowl!

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Then we headed to the east side. I had plans to take a walk with Nicole (my former downtown running buddy) and I can’t believe I didn’t snap a photo of us on our walk. Oh well. Instead, here is part of Nicole’s garden.

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Then it was time for our Ladies Craft Beer Society! As usual, a great spread:20160604_154315

And here are some of the ladies crafting.

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We made monograms with succulents. My C came out pretty good, huh?

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That night, B and I had plans to go on another date night but ended up unexpectedly having to babysit our niece and nephew last minutes. So plans then included takeout pizza ..20160604_195844

Drawing and some  board games. I ended up winning this one – beginners’ luck I guess? The game was called the African Star (my sister-in-law is Finnish, thus the Finnish game board).20160604_203337

Sunday brought a day of errands and a little bit of work catchup. So not that many exciting pictures – BUT I did manage to find an “expectant mother” parking spot for the first time in my pregnancy! I was pretty pumped to park here, especially since it started down pouring right when I got to the store.

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And of course, Sunday dinner with B’s family to round up the weekend. A nice summery meal of chicken, burgers, dogs, fruit salad, corn salad, beans, salad .. yum!

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And of course ended with ice cream sundaes 🙂 No pic but imagine the goodness.

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your go-to babysitting food? What did you have growing up with a babysitter AND/OR what do you get when you babysit people? almost always pizza! or when i was growing up i could choose a fast food item.
  • What are you most looking forward to for the month of June?

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

 

My first prenatal massage

I’ve been a little busy/stressed/crazy lately. Between a few things that have happened at work, to some board activities, to this whole baby thing (wait what? do I need to do something for this baby?), I’ve felt like life has been a little crazier than usual. And I definitely don’t want that right now.

SO when I got a message from Massage Heights about trying out a complimentary service and getting the opportunity to RELAX, I jumped at the chance. Prenatal massage? YES PLEASE.

somecardmassage

Let me be the first to acknowledge that I’m not a regular massage person. The last time I had a massage was on vacation, when B booked us a couples’ massage in Costa Rica. It was incredible – I don’t know WHY I haven’t had one since!

And then I became pregnant. And heard from a friend that prenatal massages are overrated. But I don’t know why, and I had to try one for myself.

So, what does a prenatal massage entail? Here’s a little about my experience at Massage Heights in Crocker Park.

I arrived 15 minutes early to fill out some paperwork and meet my therapist. She explained to me how a prenatal massage is a little different than a traditional massage. The main differences she told me were –

  • You lie on your side next to a body pillow – you’re not on your back or stomach
  • There is no aromatherapy – so you don’t have any triggering smells
  • They don’t apply as much pressure as a traditional massage.

I admit that I was a little worried about the less than normal pressure. After all, I’m pregnant and my back and feet hurt! And I’m still running a few days a week, and my legs get sore. What good is a massage without pressure?

3rdtrimester

I had no need to be worried. The massage was great! I was told to lie on my left side holding a large giant body pillow. They started with my head massage, which was of course amazing. I love having my scalp rubbed, and this was a great. Then onto my arms and hands. I had no idea that a hand massage could feel so good! I guess holding my phone and typing all day makes my hand tense.

And then onto my back, legs and feet. Out of these, my feet felt the best. She asked me how the pressure was and I told her I could use some more on my back – but it was still a little light for my preference. It still felt AMAZING and I nearly fell asleep a few times, it was so relaxing!

Then she had me roll over to my right side and she did everything again. The hour went by WAY too fast!

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this is what the bed looks like – you can see the body pillow under the blanket and sheet

 

I’m SO glad I jumped at the chance to get the massage. The experience was so easy, and even for a first-time prenatal massager like me, I felt comfortable and great the entire time. 20160528_121600

When I was leaving, the Retreat Director shared with me some details about the membership – if you want to go on more of an ongoing basis, Massage Heights offers membership programs so that you pay a monthly fee and get a monthly massage or other service, along with discounts on anything above and beyond you want during the month. An introductory 1-hour massage is only $49.99 if you want to try it out first – and even though I went to the Crocker Park location,  there are three Cleveland locations. I definitely need to look into returning after Baby C is born – I know I’ll need some relaxation time AND when I get back into running more often again, I will definitely enjoy getting my legs massaged!

I hope this relaxed feeling lasts another 4 weeks!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever had a massage? What did you think?
  • How do you relax when you’re stressed?

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary one-hour prenatal massage from Massage Heights. All views, as always, are my own.

Thinking Out Loud: What I WON’T Miss About Being Pregnant

I’m due with our first child in one month. I can’t believe it  – in just over a month (or who knows when), I will have to care for another human being. It’s intimidating, and I’m by no means ready at all.

I’ve been lucky, my pregnancy has been pretty easy. Despite being high risk and having the “normal” pregnancy issues, I’ve been blessed (KNOCK ON WOOD) with a great past few months. In fact, I even made a list of the things I will miss about being pregnant- here…who does that?! BUT there are a few things I’m looking forward to about not being pregnant anymore.

Running. I know it’s not going to happen overnight (yes, I know I have to recover from giving birth) – but I can’t wait until I can go for an easy run again that’s actually easy – I don’t feel like like I have to pee the entire time, it’s not hard to breathe, my body doesn’t hurt the entire time (and then for days afterwards) and I’m not paranoid about falling. Oh, and I don’t feel super full. I’ve been trying to keep up running for nearly this entire pregnancy, and although I’m still keeping up the miles, it has NOT been easy.

I’m smiling in the first shot because I’m NOT running.

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People commenting on my body: I know I said that most people are super nice and accommodating when you’re pregnant. But there are also the people who the second you become pregnant suddenly feel like your body/looks/weight is an acceptable topic of conversation. While it would never be okay to tell the person next to you in the store that they are huge and do they really need three different types of nut butter (UM YES OBVIOUSLY), for some reason, if you’re pregnant, it is perfectly acceptable. “Are you SURE you’re not due until June?” “Whoa, this baby is really happening, I guess!” “How much weight have you gained?” “Are you really going to get bigger?” “Wow, you’ve really … grown … overnight!” And these are all comments I’ve gotten from people I know. It’s funny that pregnancy makes people somehow forgot that it’s MY body and I don’t need to be reminded that I have a cantaloupe living inside of me.

 

Food and drink:  Yes, I said it. I miss drinking. I miss everything about it. From having a glass of red wine with a good homemade Italian meal (that may include some uncooked pepperoni to snack on), to having a few drinks with friends, to sitting on the patio with beers, to even a Bud Light Lime in the summer (#dontjudge). I miss it all.  AlsoI started a list of foods I can not WAIT to enjoy, guiltlessly. Sushi. Unpasteurized soft cheeses. A good Italian sub with all the meats and cheeses. Smoothies. Soft-serve. Kombucha. The list goes on and on. While I haven’t 100% stuck to the “do not eat” list (raw honey lover 4 life), I’ve been pretty good and I can’t wait until I have a meal with all of the above. Yes, someone please bring me some epoisses, sushi, runny eggs, kombucha and fro yo the second I am able to eat it all again.

My skin: OMG who are those people that are GLOWING when they are pregnant? It is NOT me. Unless by glowing you mean super greasy? I swear, since finding out I was pregnant, my face has returned to its puberty days – but worse. The bright side? I guess I’ve gotten better about learning how to wear makeup, something I’ve never really understood how to do before. It’s out of necessity.

Exhaustion and sleepless nights: So I’ve heard that after you have a baby you also get little sleep? So this may not go away … but I will not  miss the third trimester fatigue, which sometimes hits me around 3 p.m. (which is also when my backaches start from sitting in an uncomfortable chair all day with scoliosis AND a squash in my belly… sorry coworkers if I’m a crooked zombie at our 4 p.m. meetings) and then makes me helpless for the rest of the day (this is why I need 4 nut butters – hellllllo peanut butter and crackers for dinner!)  but then I somehow can’t get comfortable enough to sleep at night. Let’s just say by Thursday I’m pretty much useless until I get to rest up over the weekend. And yes, I’m editing this post at 2 a.m. because I am having one of those said sleepless nights, so today is going to be rough.

And in about a month, I know all be worth it (right mommas???) but some days it is just hard!

Want the other side of the story? I also wrote about what I’ll miss about being pregnant, here..

Joining up again today with the Thinking Out Loud linkup.