Thursday, May 29, 2014

What to read when you're expecting

So I am kind of obsessed with pregnancy books. I mean there really is no such thing as TMI when it comes to this topic for me (which I know is scary). So when we found out we were pregnant in February, I went on Amazon and bought a ton of different books. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy--This was the first book I ever bought and if you only want to read one or two pregnancy books, this is definitely one I'd recommend. It is very straightforward and is written by doctors who are also parents. Covers before, during, and after pregnancy from trying to conceive to breastfeeding. Chapters are divided by pregnancy months with brief sections on your baby's development week by week.
2.What to Expect When You're Expecting--The classic. I actually must admit I never bought this book. After reading a lot of controversial reviews online, I decided not to buy it but then saw it at the library later on and checked it out. I loved it. My friend actually gave me her older edition, so now I have a copy of my own but I would definitely recommend this book (the newest edition). The book is organized much like the Mayo Clinic book, but it also includes frequently asked questions from pregnant women that are answered in full. This really is the Pregnancy Bible. I would recommend it to every pregnant woman.
3. The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy--Very interesting and educational book! Since you're eating for two, I think it's important to educate yourself on food that could/will help your baby thrive during your pregnancy. This book separates the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester and delves into the top foods to eat during each trimester and why. Having this book around is like a constant reminder to be healthy for both you and your baby, and despite my many online searches on "healthiest foods to eat while pregnant," this book offers way more nutritional insight than you will find in any online article.
4. Pregnancy Day by Day--No joke, the MOTHER of all pregnancy books. I checked this book out from the library and was so happy with my find. This is for all you ladies who want to know every little thing about your baby's development at every stage of your pregnancy. This book is very exciting as it includes ultrasound pictures of what your baby may look like on a day-to-day basis and offers a plethora of exciting information on each page. I can't give enough positive feedback on this great (and much needed for my neurotic pregnant self) book.
5. The Pregnancy Countdown Book--Probably my favorite little pregnancy book. Much like the previous book, this book counts down your pregnancy day by day, page by page. Unlike the previous book, this book is small and can fit in your purse--prefect to pull out during lunch breaks at work or while waiting in the doctor's office. You are obviously not getting as much information as the other books, but if you are a busy mama, this book is perfect. Most of all I love this book for its humor. I'm really picky about pregnancy humor, but I was literally laughing out loud at some of the stuff I read in this book.
6. How to Exercise When You're Expecting--I must confess I have read this book the least out of all of my books so far. I do think it's important to try to stay active during pregnancy and this book really emphasizes why. This is a great pregnancy health book that lets you know what exercises are generally safe (obviously talk to your doctor first) and will guide you through the process of getting your body back 5 months after you give birth.
7. Be Prepared--I bought this book for my husband because I thought it looked cool and figured he would read it if it looked like a survival guide. Which basically this is. This book really deals with preparing for the baby, talking about everything from why babies cry and the best ways to deal with it, to dealing with people you really don't trust holding your newborn. This is a great book for getting ready for baby (as most of the other books posted center around pregnancy). But if you want the "father of all pregnancy books," as I like to call it, see the one below.
8. The Expectant Father--My dad actually bought us each a pregnancy book and this was the one he selected for my husband. Of course I have read parts and pieces of it and I can honestly say that I love it. This book really is awesome and really walks the dad-to-be through what YOU are going through (not to mention there is a wonderful list with sweet suggestions of thoughtful things to do for the mama-to-be). I like that it is pretty straightforward and encourages dads to be part of the pregnancy process, while still getting them ready for fatherhood.

I hope this is helpful for all you soon-to-be mamas and dads out there. Even though it is a matter of opinion, this is a list I would have found helpful (rather than reading thousands of reviews for different books) when I first found out I was pregnant.

Happy pregnancy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day weekend

First of all, I would like to thank the men and women who have died for our freedom and gave us all so much to be thankful for this weekend. As Zac Brown Band perfectly sings it, "Salute the ones who died/ The ones that give their lives/ So we don't have to sacrifice/ All the things we love".

This past week leading up to Memorial Day weekend has been busy but so much fun. I was really excited for my mom and step-dad to come up here and for my sister to visit us for the long weekend. She hasn't been to our place since Christmas so it was nice to finally have some quality time together at mi casa. Thursday we had a CRAZY thunder and lightening storm accompanied by rain, hail & snow. That was the day my family came up, so my sister was with me when a lightening struck in our back yard, about 10 feet away from the house, shaking the entire property. It felt like we had a ginormous earthquake and our house was going to crumble down (it was enough to wake up Aaron which is INSANE). But we survived and I am SOOO thankful none of us (or the house) were hit!

On our 6 mile hike!

After that, the weather remained cool enough for us to enjoy a gorgeous after-storm hike (which my pregnant ass was grateful for), and then got hot just in time for our weekend BBQ. I absolutely loooove barbequing (well, I love when Aaron barbeques). It was really a premature summer kick-off accompanied by family, friends and tons of puppies at our house. 

Sorry for crappy photo quality

Chilling out, enjoying the beautiful weather and Sean's music!
Not to mention there were a ton of yard sales up here, and my sister and I briefly checked out a few on Friday where I found these beautiful vintage mirrored vanities for Baby G's room. I have been keeping an eye out for them to keep on her (future) dresser/changing table so I can have her diaper cream, baby powder, and whatever else we may need in one spot, and still keep the space looking pretty and elegant. I don't know exactly what I'll use the other one for yet, but my sister informed me I would have regretted not buying both (she knows me too well).

Now for the pregnancy update!


Weight gain: 7 pounds?
Symptoms:  Little girl is like her mama, moving a mile a minute in my tummy! So happy to feel her active inside of me!!

Changes: I have nice little baby bump, and an arguable “booby do” (when you stomach sticks out further than your boobies do).

Clothes: Comfortable in boot cut jeans, tank tops, loose shirts and yoga/workout pants.

Sleep: Wondering if I will really need a pregnancy pillow in the future . . . so far I have no problems sleeping (knock on wood, I know it gets harder in the 3rd trimester).

Missing: beeer

Cravings: Seafood & iced decaf chai lattes. Mmmm

Best moment this week: Spending a long, amazing weekend with family, friends, and the love of my life!

Looking forward to: This Friday we have our 20 week anatomy ultrasound! So excited to see our little girl again and see how much she has grown!!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Nursery Ideas!

As week 18 is coming to an end (Monday officially marks the beginning of a new pregnancy week according to my doctor), it's crazy to think that we are almost halfway through this pregnancy!!!
For the past couple of weeks I have been building a baby registry to keep track of all our picks for Baby G. I have read HUNDREDS of reviews, and taken advice from friends and family on their favorite baby products. We registered on this site called Baby List which is basically like Pinterest and makes baby shopping even more fun than you could possibly imagine.
We haven't decided on a crib yet but I definitely know we want a white crib. 
So far this Graco crib is our favorite
We also want the nursery to be soft and feminine, and are sticking to a color theme of light pink, light grey, white and maybe touches of gold or rose gold. I want to find a vintage dresser instead of something brand new, and am still deciding whether I want to use a dresser as a changing table and also buy a pretty white bookcase, or just buy a changing table and use the dresser to display some photos, etc.

Blush and gold nursery idea.
 I know this image totally sucks (I couldn't even find the source) but I love some of these pieces.

Love this closet this couple designed for their baby

 Before we found out the sex I bought a set of three glass jars to hold things like pacifiers, headbands and bows (in case it would be a girl), and maybe booties or hats. They are not super girly since I wanted to be able to use them for a boy as well, but I think they will fit in well once we start to put together the nursery.
I'm also kind of obsessed with the idea of having a mini crystal chandelier in her room. I think it would be so beautiful and feminine. I love french empire chandeliers but Aaron made a good point that it can't hang too low since we don't have crazy high ceilings. 
Authentic Crystal Chandelier

French Empire Chandelier 

Basket Crystal Chandelier
Now for the weekly update! :)

Weight gain: 5.5 pounds
Symptoms: Finally feeling some baby kicks! So exciting to feel her move in there every once in a while!
Changes: Some days I feel more pregnant than others- like my stomach is big one day then feels smaller the next. Maybe this depends on what I eat or what I wear? I have no idea.
Clothes: I think it is about that time to buy a belly band! I can no longer button a couple of my skinny jeans, but am not quite ready for maternity clothes yet. Awkward stage.
Sleep: They really don’t lie about those crazy pregnancy dreams.
Missing: Martinis & red wine
Cravings: Seafood! Never would have thought . . .
Best moment this week: Any moment home with Aaron. I even feel like the puppies are so much happier when we are all home together.
Looking forward to: Next weekend when my mom comes and my sister stays at our place (I love having guests)! I think we might have a barbeque and have a couple of friends up too.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gender reveal & baby clothes!

This was such an amazing week for so many reasons. At the beginning of week 16 we found out we were having a girl & were SOOOOO excited! It has been hard to keep it a secret (though we did tell our moms and my sister right away), but I think it made the news even more exciting. I wanted to do something different for the gender reveal since we couldn't host a big gender reveal party with all our family and friends. I wanted to do something fun that wasn't too crazy, which is why I decided to buy the gender reveal scratch-off cards from Etsy. They were such a fun way to announce to family and close friends that we are having a little baby girl.

I'm also glad we waited a week or so to share the news because it has been amusing to tally up everyone's guesses and see what they thought we were having and why. Either way, we would have been thrilled, but since I have always wanted at least one girl, I am extremely excited to find out we are having one. I must admit, I'm still a little nervous that at our next ultrasound we'll find out it really is a boy (I know, I'm totally paranoid). Not that I will be disappointed if it really is a boy, but now that we have told everyone we're having a "little lady" and have been so excited about it, I would be taken off guard. Not to mention we kind of have a name in mind, and have picked out our first baby outfits!

Not that I totally believed anything I read about this, but I was constantly testing these fun gender prediction tales. For the most part I was 50/50. The big tale I heard was the morning sickness indicator, so in the beginning I thought I was having a boy. But later on, especially during week 15, I started to get "girl vibes" (I guess you could call them). Every time I pictured our baby (especially before falling asleep), I kept picturing a girl. Here is a little gender prediction chart I made according to these old wives tales:

         Old Wives Tales
Gender Predictions
Morning Sickness –Boy
According to popular beliefs, if you have morning sickness you are having a girl. This was true for about 90% of the women I know. I did not have one trace of morning sickness!
Skin breakouts—Boy
Apparently, if your skin worsens and you start to breakout during pregnancy, you are having a girl (she is “stealing your beauty”). My skin pretty much remained unchanged.
Heart rate—Girl
If your baby’s heart rate is higher than 140 bpm, get ready for a girl! So far her heart rate hasn’t been below 140 (latest was 146 bpm).
According to some people, if you are craving sweets, you are expecting a girl. If you’re craving salty food, you are expecting a boy. I have mostly craved sweets and fruits.

Since I was sooo excited to find out the sex, I was even more anxious to buy something for our Bumpkin once we found out the gender. I told Aaron that I really wanted to pick something (or maybe a few things :) ) out together, and this week we finally had time to do it. Luckily I happened to browse on Ralph Lauren's website and found that they were having a HUGE spring sale, which included a ton of baby stuff. Aaron is obsessed with RL and was totally down to buy some adorable baby outfits. It was so fun to pick stuff out together, and I was so thrilled I came across this sale since we both love RL and their stuff full priced is kind of pricey. We literally received over fifty percent off our order for great quality clothes (that I'm sure our adorable baby will spit up all over), and even had complimentary shipping.  

Furthermore, we kicked our weekend off early and visited my mom and sister in Seal Beach. It was so amazing to spend some quality time together since Aaron has been working so much, and being able to see family and friends made it even better. Not to mention the weather was gorgeous and waking up so close to the ocean every morning really made our weekend feel like a mini vacation. We made sure to do some shopping, go out to eat at all our favorite places, take the dogs to the dog beach, and most importantly, RELAX. I really miss where we use to live but am glad we are less that two hours away, and in all honesty, the distance has made me appreciate my home town even more that I ever have.

The boys resting after a long, fun day.

Aaron and I spent a whole day in Newport & Balboa Island, eating, shopping and walking around some of our favorite spots. Like everyday that weekend, it was breathtaking outside and I was so grateful to spend such a beautiful day with the love of my life. 

Lunch at The Great Maple in Fashion Island
The next day I went shopping with my sister to help her pick out some professional clothing pieces, while also checking out some baby stuff. She totally knows our style and helped me find the cutest newborn pieces. I totally fell in love with some of the clothes we found at Marshalls, but narrowed my pile of about a billion items to about 4 pieces I think my baby won't be able to live without ;)




We also dropped by Target where I was able to check out some of the baby gear I've been eyeing online. It makes such a difference to see/feel/test out products in person, so I'm really glad I was able to do that since we live kind of far from the nearest Target. My sister was a trooper, bringing down several strollers I was interested in so we could test drive them around the store (stroller races!). Since I'm not suppose to lift more than about 20 pounds, she got quite the workout.

Testing out the Eddie Bauer travel system I've had my eye on . . .

Now for the weekly update!


Weight gain: 5 pounds (although according to my doctor, only 3)

Symptoms: Am I feeling baby kicks??

Changes: My stomach really popped this week! Aaron even joked around saying, “Hey, you really are pregnant!”

Clothes: Mamma bought me some maternity clothes off Zulily, which was really exciting. Also, Aaron picked out a cute pair of Tiffany blue jean capris at Macys in the maternity section, so I officially bought my first maternity piece! Finding I really love wearing maxis right now, especially since they really show off my little baby bump.

Sleep: Sleep is amazing.

Missing: Scorching hot bubble baths!

Cravings: Gatorade & olives (not together).

Best moment this week: Going down to Seal Beach for 3 whole days and spending time with the family. Loved taking our pups to the dog beach!! Especially since it was Bennet’s first time going and he did so well!

Looking forward to: Memorial Day weekend and having our family come up. My sister will hopefully be staying with us that week! Also really looking forward to week 20 (halfway mark).