Monday, July 27, 2015

Our last weekend before parenthood!

What do you do when you know your baby is coming in just a few days?
Well, let me tell you.
Since I've already organized and reorganized everything we own,
I spent the weekend doing all the crazy things around town, you know.

Like making jam with my mom...

Enough strawberry and cherry jam to last through my childbearing years!
We had never made cherry jam before, but we had a flat from Montana and decided what the heck, I'm having a baby and feeling like taking a risk, you know?
It turned out quite well!

We also bought some fabric to make a nursing cover because, why not?

Friday night consisted of a mellow date with my baby daddy at Barnes & Noble.
We decided to each pick out five books from the parenting section, and take a few minutes skimming parts of each of them and telling each other what we learned.
My favorite book was titled:
It was straightforward and gave me a good laugh.

Saturday we went to the gym.
I always get interesting looks from people at the gym.
We also did a "dive in movie" at my cousin's house!
We set up the projector and screen and I nearly passed out inflating tubes so we could float around under the stars and watch "Woman in Gold" which was a lovely movie and I highly recommend it.

Sunday we taught our primary class for the last time, which was sad!
Our ward has almost twenty kids turning seven this year,
and we taught all of them at some point and just loved them.

I can't wait to see Jason with our little boy!

Sunday evening I arranged some bonding time for my nephew Bennett and the baby.
They're just four months apart and I can already tell they're great friends!

Today is my due date, but baby Arias is still quite cozy. I still haven't felt a contraction!
I have an induction scheduled for this week though, so we're pretty sure he'll be here either way in the next couple of days which is the craziest thought.

There are a few moments during the delivery I try to envision now
so that I can soak them in and never forget them when they actually happen.
One of those moments is when they will hold that baby up and put him on my chest
and our eyes meet for the first time.
I can't even put into words the part of my soul that is just waiting for this moment!
Even though I can't picture him now, I know I'll look at him and think,
"Yes, I know you! Have you really been in there this whole time?"

Another moment I look forward to is seeing Jason hold our son for the first time.
My eyes fill up with tears every time I think about it.
I wish I could be in his head during that moment. He is going to be a wonderful father.

One more moment I imagine is Jason looking at me while all of this craziness happens around us.
In my mind, the world stands still for a moment, and we can say everything we are feeling without even saying a word.

I can't wait.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy pregnancy tips

I've had a few people ask me lately how I've handled pregnancy with a good attitude.
I thought it was a funny question at first, but I guess pregnant people have a reputation of not being the easiest people to be around sometimes, haha.
I know this can be a sensitive issue, because everyone's pregnancies are so different,
but it got me thinking and I wanted to share a few of the things I did before and during pregnancy that I think made the difference for me!

1. Choose gratitude
I think a lot of a good attitude during pregnancy comes from remembering that pregnancy will not last forever, and not every gets to experience it, so don't take it lightly! Even when I was feeling nauseous (which lasted more than four straight months) I tried to find ways to deal with it other than complaining, because I knew thousands of women out there would gladly take my place. There were plenty of nights when I would pull in from a long day at work and a long, uncomfortable commute and be on the verge of tears because my body ached and I wanted to throw up, but I would just go inside, grab a snack and take a little bath to rejuvenate. So find your happy place, and go there whenever you need to and recharge! And remember the reason you're feeling the way you do -- it's completely a miracle.

2. Exercise if you can
I knew I wanted to exercise while I was pregnant, so I made sure to push my body before I got pregnant so it would be able to handle the extra stress. I honestly believe exercise has been the reason I haven't had back pain (something I have had chronically since junior high) and emotionally it has allowed me to gain the necessary weight to carry a baby without feeling out of control. Find what works for you and don't be afraid to sweat!

3. Find a relaxing activity to do as a couple
Being with Jason recharges me in a variety of ways, and during pregnancy that became especially important! One of our favorite activities to do as a couple is simple and free: walking. Three or four nights a week we usually go on an hour-long walk and I'm glad that activity can also translate into parenthood as we bring the baby along in a stroller! Some nights when I feel too exhausted to move, we opt for an indoor activity instead, like watching and episode of Shark Tank or The Profit (I think you can guess what genre we like!). No matter what we end up doing, we make sure to spend a few minutes cuddling up together and talking about the day.

4. Keep getting ready
Watching your body change so quickly is an incredible experience. I will admit though, there are days that you can get a little down on yourself by simply looking too closely, haha.  Remember that it's just for a season, and I promise you can still feel cute through every stage of pregnancy, no matter what crazy things your body is doing. Make sure you have a few maternity outfits that are flattering and you can grow into, because waking up and having to squeeze yourself into clothes that are too small will only hurt your possibly unstable pregnant self. I prepared for this buy getting some maternity clothes from Gap, Old Navy and H&M pretty quickly after I got pregnant when they were having a big sale so I wouldn't have to buy them out of desperation! I highly recommend it. You will need them eventually, so you might as well get them early on. Also, even on your most tired of days, make an effort to shower and get ready enough to feel like you're still taking care of yourself. Sometimes, you can trick yourself in to thinking you have energy by getting ready and getting moving!

5. Have a long torso
Honestly, I can't take credit for many of the good days I've had during this pregnancy. Most of the time, I have felt pretty dang good and I can only attribute that to the way my body just naturally is. I never feel the baby up in my ribs, I don't have trouble breathing, and frankly, most of the time I'm quite comfortable. I say that because I know not everyone's pregnancies are that way, and having a good attitude is a whole lot harder when you've got a head on your bladder and two little feet going lord of the dance all over your insides. Sometimes women are put on bed rest, or sometimes they're sick the entire nine months. But sometimes women are told they won't experience any of these things, and those are the times I feel especially grateful and humbled for the opportunity to be a mom.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A baby shower, summer vacations & 39 weeks pregnant!

It's been a little while, no?
Well it's safe to say quite a bit has happened since I posted last!
So here's an overview.

Back in June I was thrown the loveliest baby shower by these two fantastic women!

and two of my adopted little sisters

The shower was Tiffany themed brunch and by a last minute turn of events my good friend Lizzy was able to be in town that day and took some beautiful photos!

We had acai bowls that were just as delicious as they looked.

Thank you to all the fun friends who came and spoiled us!

A few days after the shower, Jason and I headed to Washington, D.C. for his cousin's wedding, and happened to be there at the same time as the congressional baseball game we met at three years ago!

For tradition's sake, my mom was sitting by us again.
We like to call it "Jason and Cheryl's first date"
because it's when my mom really fell hard for Jason.
(you can read more about the story in this article, but please don't think I said we don't have dragonflies in Arizona, it was a misquote! Fireflies!!)

One night we got to stay with our friends at their beautiful home in Maryland
where we made great memories while we were dating!
We ate lots of crab -- my favorite -- and road around on a quad to watch the fireflies come out.
Is there anything more magical than a field of fireflies?!
I think not.

It's also noteworthy to mention we went to my favorite burger & shake joint in all the world,
Their turkey burger + any shake on the menu (I've tried most of them) are fantastic.
This time I got a birthday cake shake they will only give you on your actual birthday, and it was my favorite one to date!
They also have crazy dipping sauces like mango and Old Bay.

We always seem to be traveling on my birthday and I quite like it that way!
It kind of takes the pressure off, you know?
Like when people ask you "Well what are you going to do today?! IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY!"
you just say you're out of town and instantly it sounds like you're having a blast (because you are).

So for my birthday, I got to go to a wedding in Virginia and meet all of Jason's cousins for the first time!
They are one cool bunch. They are also one tall bunch.
Jason is almost 6'4'' and he looks shrimpy!
Jon is seven feet, and that beautiful girl Carolyn is 6'6" and we got to watch her play in the WNBA last Saturday!

We finished off the evening by eating blueberry croissants and watching a movie in this zebra robe I found in our hotel closet. So trendy, so chic.

 Sorry, this is the longest post ever.
Moving on.
At the end of June we headed up to Utah 
(with obvious stops both ways to see Meesh and Joe on the way in Las Vegas)
for a couple of weeks and had a blast!

This is pretty much the only photo Jason and I took the entire time and we laughed for a good, long while about it. Why are ALL of my maternity dresses horizontally striped?!
It's like I'm literally screaming I'M PREGNANT, CAN'T YOU SEE everywhere I go!

Speaking of that, I am now 39 weeks and 1 day pregnant!
I am still feeling pretty normal and good most of the time, so who knows when this baby will come!
I've yet to have a contraction (other than one night when we were walking a little too fast to the stadium of fire) so I'm kind of thinking this little guy is quite comfortable in there and will not be making his debut a day earlier than he needs to. And I'm totally okay with that!
I did get my membranes stripped yesterday mostly out of curiosity to see what would happen and nothing did happen, except for the pain associated with that endeavor. Why did I do that to myself?!

So in case you're wondering what I'm up to, you can find me organizing baby boy clothes, relaxing with Jason, running into things with my stomach, and trying to get my water to break at Last Chance
(because seriously how funny would that be?).

In other worlds, I am so excited to be a mom!