18 & 19 Weeks

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How far along: Almost 19 weeks

Gender guess: I just finished up a post all about gender predictions and based on those things are bending towards girl.

Weight gain: 148 pounds at my last appointment. I think I started in the 140-145 range. 

Sleep: If I sleep alone I definitely sleep better than if Dom or Max are with me. Yellowstone has been a dream since I’ve had a queen all to myself! Thanks Mimi for taking on Mr. Max at bedtime!

Best moment this week: Taking baby to my 10 year high school reunion and then to Yellowstone. It’s been a busy, busy week!

Worst moment this week: The long drive (almost 14 hours) made me cranky and hangry. Apparently I don’t have much patience for the highway and limited food selection. I also cannot manage to fall asleep in the car no matter how much I try and I get headaches if I try to read. So, blah. Not looking forward to the drive home, but truly enjoying the time here, so, suck it up buttercup.

Miss anything: I’m in full pregnancy mode now, letting go of what I miss and embracing all the awesome that is to come!

Movement: We’ve been so on the go I haven’t been feeling much these few weeks, the occasional bump and roll at night when I’m falling asleep. Usually on my left side.

Cravings: Mom and I were talking about sandwiches while driving to Yellowstone and now I really need my Quizno’s special … toasted turkey with bacon, guacamole, cheese, lots of red onions and lettuce!

Queasy or sick? Nope! Doing much better!

Looking forward to: Our first and hopefully only ultrasound is schedule for August 10th … one day after Max turns 3!

What Jemma thinks: “The baby needs more water! Drink your water, Mama!” When given a task, this girl is on it! Daddy told Jem to remind me 5x a day to drink water while in Yellowstone and she is excelling at her job :)

What Max thinks: “When dat baby be born?” It seems he is over this whole mama’s belly getting big and having to walk more.


Style File — Bumpin’ It In Yellowstone With Emerald Cuff

On Monday we left home for a two day drive to Yellowstone. We crossed all of Washington, the Idaho panhandle, lots of Montana and then dipped into Idaho and Wyoming before arriving at our little cabin in the woods. It’s perfect! We opted to stay outside of the actual park and make the drive in each day so we could have a place to settle long term with the kids. Having lots of beds, a full kitchen and hot tub have been well worth the 30 minute drive to and from West Yellowstone. 

It has also been nice to fully unpack and settle our little vacation capsule wardrobes into the closets. By far the prettiest thing I packed is from Emerald Cuff, don’t let it fool you though … it’s super function and perfect for my growing bump!emerald cuff 1

Emerald Cuff is somewhat of a subscription based clothing service, but without any hooks – no monthly commitment or card on file. It’s just curated, quality clothing released as three featured collections each month. Pretty much perfect for busy moms, career women and ladies too busy to make it to the mall! 

With each collection you receive a clothing item, coordinating jewelry piece and a surprise bonus. You can also mix and match clothing and jewelry through the build your own option if none of the featured collections strike your fancy. That’s what I did when I chose the AAKAA Rosso Tunic Dress and Cutie Gems Gold Bar Layering Necklace. I was looking for pieces that would work well for maternity and then transition to postpartum. I couldn’t imagine anything better than a gorgeous tunic! It flows beautifully, has an optional waist tie and I just can’t get over the detailed embroidery. My new necklace has become my everyday staple too. Seriously, a simple gold bar was exactly what my jewelry box was missing! For my bonus item I received the Ambiance Apparel Sheer Yoke Top which made its way into my sister’s closet for the time being since my belly popped out of the bottom. I’ll be stealing it back soon though! emerald cuff 2emerald cuff 3emerald cuff bwemerald cuff 4

Tunic — c/o Emerald Cuff /// Leggings — Fabletics, Salar cut /// Necklace — c/o Emerald Cuff /// Bracelet — c/o Madre Beads /// Shoes — Tieks

Emerald Cuff is Seattle-based – hence, the operation and the three mamas behind it are practically my neighbors. On Tuesday, August 4th the August collection will be released and right now you can still peek at July’s amazing pieces. Best of all, shop before August 10th and you will save 15% with code ECSAVE15


Thanks so much to the wonderful team at Emerald Cuff for allowing me to feature one of their collections … it was a joy partnering with you! 

 


Where I’ve Been

This week I scrolled through my recent posts to recall what I’ve covered here on the blog and found it so lacking :/ I used to share some pretty awesome posts if I do say so myself and the last few months have been random Style Files, recipes and pregnancy updates. Kind of lame if you ask me.

I blame my lackluster here in part to baby tres, but mostly to my new, and most favorite writing gig of all time – mom.me! That’s where my thoughts and heart has been lately. Don’t fret too much though. The second trimester has delivered me a big boost of energy so I’m back in action with my evening writing hours – praise the Lord! Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 10.55.15 PMHere’s a round up of what I’ve written for mom.me the last few months. Enjoy my variety of ramblings and feel free to repin any that you love! You can find them all here.

5 Ways To Help Your Child Transition To Their Own Bed

Inspired by real life, ya’ll! This mama is needing some space in the king before a new little one arrives, but I’m doing my best to be sensitive to Max’s needs. I mean, after all, “mama’s bed” as he calls it, is the only place he’s ever known for sleep.

One Thing All Breastfeeding Working Moms Need To Know

Nursing Jemma was one long learning curve for me. I still write about it, 5 years later, because my experience breastfeeding her impacted me beyond belief. From my excess lipase, to pumping, to returning to work and then her nursing strike turned weaning it’s no wonder I get so emotional about breastfeeding my babies!

3 Things I Believe Made My Second Labor 38 Hours Shorter

This post received some interesting comments on Facebook. I promise, I get it that second babies usually come faster, but really 40 hours of labor (Jemma) to 2 hours (Max)? I know I did things differently the second time that helped and I totally swear by them now. Excited to see how it all plays out with wild card baby #3!

10 Questions To Ask When Interviewing a Pediatrician

So often I hear mamas and dads being unhappy with their doctors and I just want to shake them and yell, “We live in America! Pick a new doctor! You’re paying them to do a job for you and if they’re not fulfilling your expectations – leave!!!”

Saying No To First Trimester Ultrasounds

Another something to add to the parenting research lists – ultrasounds. Truly though, the more I read, the more I’m led to stay away. Ultrasounds are new, albeit cool, but there are literally no long term studies proving their safety. In our world of immediate gratification I get the pull to “see” our babies at each and every opportunity, but some things are worth the wait.

4 Reasons Midwives Win

Is it really a surprise I love these ladies so much? No, no it is not.

My Baby Doesn’t Have a Nursery

Both Jemma and Max had haphazard corners and a tiny theme trickled throughout their baby gear, but a room of their own? Nope. And they are both alive and well! And honestly, I think I slept better early on because of it! Baby #3 is in the same no-nursery boat :)

Did You Birth Without Fear?

I shared on Facebook and Instagram that I went to the BWF meet up in Portland, but not here! I went in May and loved it. Even more I love following the #birthwithoutfear hashtag on Instagram. It’s the most encouraging place to browse and make friends.

10 Things That Will Make You Cry During the First Trimester

Can you tell I was weepy when I pitched this idea? Maybe I should have added to the list, “Trying to think of post pitch ideas when you’re dog tired and can hardly stay awake to write a sentence let alone an entire article.”

10 Songs On My Soundtrack of Motherhood

I’ve kind of always viewed my life like an awkward movie. No doubt, this motherhood phase takes the cake when it comes to film worthy fiascos.

Just Because I Have a Girl and a Boy Doesn’t Mean “I’m Done”

When Dominic and I were dating I told him in Red Robin over that ginormous chocolate cake that I wanted to have four children. We were blessed with a girl and a boy first so maybe we’re aiming for another duo … or maybe a whole basketball team. Really, it’s none of your business :)

5 Reasons I’m Announcing My Pregnancy Early

One of my favorite posts that also seems to be one of my most viewed. Honestly, I respect whatever you decide to do, but for me, I knew an early announcement was necessary to my sanity.


Three Diono Radians In Mama’s Minivan

HOW TO FIT 3 SUPER SAFE CAR SEATSWhen Dominic and I were having conversations about a third child one of my main convincing points was that we only truly needed one thing – a third car seat. So pretty much, this baby would be our super budget baby :) Practically free!

When it comes to car seats I’m a bit of a stickler so I wasn’t looking for any ol’ car seat. I researched and researched during my pregnancy with Jemma and fell in love with the Radian model from Diono. I didn’t want something too wide or bulky and Radians are one of the slimmest car seats on the market. Thankfully, that slim feature doesn’t compromise safety. Not one bit.  Plus, when it comes to safety, the steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced side walls just can’t be beat. I was sold! Triple sold apparently :) diono 1Jemma graduated from her bucket seat to her Radian at 5 months and she rides in the same seat today; with adjusted straps for her growth, of course. When Max was born, he followed the same path as his sister. And now, I knew I wanted nothing but a Radian for our third little one. This time we’re even skipping the bucket seat and going straight to the Radian. That’s right, these seats both rear and forward face and are acceptable for 5 pounds to 120 pounds. The one and only seat each of our children needs thanks to the 10 year life span and high weight limit.

I’ve seen many a photo of three Radians all side by side in a smaller vehicle, so I know I’m blessed to have the wiggle room to choose where all three kids sit in the van. Knowing Jemma and Max’s personalities and how we function while on the go, I opted to at least start out with the kids in this set up …

Jemma sits in the far rear passenger seat. In our Toyota Sienna the third row splits into a single and double seat for stow ‘n go options and I often flip that double seat back and forth so having Jemma on the single seemed to make most sense. At almost 5 years old she can also buckle herself and knows that her 5 point harness chest clip belongs at arm pit level. In her mind though, I think the biggest back seat perk is having the side storage cubby and double cup holder available for her car activities. She can’t unbuckle herself, but I can reach back with just my arm which saves me from the pregnant mama backseat hustle dance :) diono 2Max’s seat is in the captain seat behind the driver. He loves being able to climb in and out of his seat like a big boy and has learned to clip his chest piece too. He yells, “Safe!” whenever he hears the pop of it going into place :) Max is now forward facing so having him behind the driver’s side made most sense as it allows the driver to adjust the seat back and forth as needed. diono 3Baby will occupy the passenger side captain’s chair. Easy for me access from the side door and keep an eye on via the rear view mirror. Jemma will also be able to be my second set of eyes since she is positioned right behind baby. diono 4There you have it! Our placement plan for three kids in car seats! You’ll notice in the photos that Jemma and Max have retired versions of the Radian – all still safe, just no longer for sale. They’re also down to bare bones when it comes to support since they don’t require the extra padding and inserts due to their size. Baby has the new Heathered Grey Diono Radian RXT. All three kids have the Seat Guard Complete underneath their car seats to catch wayward snacks and while rearfacing, protect the backs of the seats from dirty shoes. These are musts in my book! When the time comes to sell our vehicle or dare I imagine we make it to the stage of parenting where car seats aren’t recommended, I don’t want our fabric seats to show the wear and tear of children and car seats. We’ve had a few versions of seat protectors in the past and Dominic, being just as particular about car seats and their accessories as me, feels the Diono Seat Guard Complete is the best!

Last, but not least, while I’m on my car seat soap box, I’ll just say that buying a bucket seat, convertible seat and then a booster for your child is super silly when you can buy one Diono car seat that lasts for 10-12 years (depending on the model) while keeping your child super safe from 5-120 pounds. Less car seats in the landfill AND extra safe kiddos while you’re on the road sounds like a win to me! Yay Diono!


We received a complimentary car seat and seat protectors from Diono, but as I shared, we’ve been Diono diehards since Jemma’s infancy in 2010.


16 & 17 Weeks

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Necklace c/o Emerald Cuff … stay tuned for a whole Style File with them, you Stitch Fixers will love it and you can save $10 off your first order here.

How far along: 17 weeks

Gender guess: I carried high with Jem, low with Max. This photo looks high to me, so … girl?

Weight gain: I think I’m holding around that 5+ range.

Sleep: Max is transitioning out of our family bed, but is still popping it at some point throughout the night. Dominic snores and I pee often. I love my pregnancy pillow, but I still feel like I’m tossing and turning lots.

Best moment this week: With my sleeplessness has come lots of tiny baby kicks! This little one is a night owl for sure.

Worst moment this week: It’s pretty lame, I went from running my 5 miler to getting winded going up the stairs. Does that have something to do with increased blood flow while pregnant? I’m committing to evening walks to help build up my endurance (again) and stay as fit as I can. I’m honestly really slumping over stopping my running routine during the first trimester and losing all I worked so hard for :/

Miss anything: Coffee. This pregnancy isn’t liking coffee one bit. I get shaky, even from decaf and just feel off. I’ve been having lots of Italian Cream Sodas to make up for it, but it’s just not the same. What am I going to do when Pumpkin Spice Latte season arrives?!?

Movement: Yes! And Jemma is so excited to feel baby soon too!

Cravings: This Italian restaurant in town serves up a gorgonzola parmesan cream sauce pizza topped with shredded potatoes, white onions, basil and a drizzle of truffle oil. It’s beyond divine! My mom wants to try and make it at home … I don’t want to mess up an amazing thing and would be content just visiting the restaurant weekly :)

Queasy or sick? Only when I have coffee.

Looking forward to: Tomorrow I’m calling to schedule our gender ultrasound! I have no idea how I stayed Team Green with Jemma!

What Jemma thinks: “Well, your tummy is just getting a little big for me to fit there too.”

What Max thinks: While poking my belly button and peering inside, “When dat baby be born?”


Tropical Tapioca Parfait

If you hadn’t yet realized, parfaits are my jam. They are the kind of dessert that takes minimal work, looks pretty and requires ZERO heat. Talk about summer perfection!

After the deliciousness of our raspberry chocolate parfait I decided to mix it up with another favorite and created a tropical tapioca parfait! Get ready to get your tapioca on!

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Now, before you turn up your nose at tapioca – the grandma of all puddings, let me take you down memory lane …

I fondly remember sitting at my Grammy’s worn kitchen table with a spread of her favorite foods for a grandma granddaughter lunch picnic. She was a brand enthusiast before that title truly existed. A die hard customer for products who had won her over with superior flavors, ingredients and production. I remember wondering why she would buy “fancy” jam that was twice the price when there were 99 cent bargain options. But she had her reasons, and now I fully understand. You get what you pay for. Quality ingredients aren’t free. Transparent companies don’t just happen. She appreciated taste testing, selecting and then without wavering committing a new product to her cupboard of favorites. 

I’m sure by now you’ve guessed that tapioca was in that line up of winners. She taught me to love the cool creaminess of real tapioca pudding. Savoring each little tapioca pearl and adding a dash of cinnamon on occasion. Mmmmm. The taste of tapioca takes me back to those warm summers sitting at her table with the kitchen curtains fluttering open while we discussed our most cherished parts of Anne of Green Gables and what flowers we planned to snip from the garden that afternoon. 

Of course I haven’t lost my love for tapioca over the years. It’s definitely my favorite flavor of pudding and now I get to share that love with Jemma. Yesterday afternoon we fancied up our tapioca into lovely parfaits and snuggled on the couch while visiting about her morning at summer camp. 

Precious memories are starting all over again and it looks like pudding will once again be the cornerstone.

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Here is what you’ll need to prepare your own tropical tapioca parfait.

INGREDIENTS

  • Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding
  • Caramel sauce
  • Whipped cream, homemade if you want!
  • Graham crackers (crushed)
  • Coconut flakes, unsweetened and shaved

DIRECTIONS

In the bottom of your parfait cup place a dollop of caramel. Kind of like those fruit in the bottom  yogurt cups, the sweet caramel is the perfect surprise with each spoonful.

Fill your cup with tapioca pudding and top with whipped cream. To make your own, in a KitchenAid mixer with the whisk attachment pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and a few tablespoons of sugar. Whisk on medium high until fluffy peaks appear. Sprinkle with graham crackers for a yummy crunch and coconut for a tropical flair! 

Pause for a moment and hop over here … what recipes look most tasty to you? I’m planning on some more parfait treats later this week since the summer heat is on and I don’t want anything to do with baking desserts in the oven!


This & That

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Sublime + thrifty decorating tips.

What you need to eat this summer.

This mama. Just adore her.

She’s got style.

Read it in 2 days. AND #5 COMES OUT NEXT YEAR!

We loved this movie. Now I love it even more.

Too gorgeous!

For you breastfeeding mamas.

Totally digging this show.

Maybe bought these for my maybe new daughter.

Who doesn’t love ruffles?

Big announcements coming here soon – stay tuned!

How to prep your body for labor.


14 & 15 Weeks

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How far along: 15 weeks

Gender guess: I mean, it’s 50/50, right? I did order this for kicks and giggles!

Weight gain: Plus 5 pounds at the end of my first trimester. Not too shabby.

Sleep: Insomnia sadness going on. I just started taking my mag/cal in hopes of staying asleep more often than not.

Best moment this week: My energy seems to be back. I repeat … MY ENERGY IS BACK!

Worst moment this week: Nothing. It has been a good week :)

Miss anything: Still cocktails. So weird. I just want a fancy martini and since that’s a bit taboo I have settled for black raspberry Italian sodas with a dash or two of cream instead. Daily.

Movement: Still little ones. I felt one major roll across my belly the other night in the bath – hi baby!

Cravings: Steak from the Japanese grill – golly, I love that stuff. And the fried rice. And yum yum sauce. All amazing!

Queasy or sick? I’m back in action. As long as I stay hydrated I feel pretty swell. I’ve also found that cutting coffee has been helpful. I’m on day 5 of my no-coffee life and it seems to be correlating to how I feel each day. Yay!

Looking forward to: Taking the bump to Yellowstone! I have one midwife appointment before we go and then we’re off!

What Jemma thinks: Almost daily she says in the sappiest, sweetest little voice, “I just can’t believe you have a baby bump!”

What Max thinks: I’ve asked him a few times if our baby is a boy or girl and every time he says, “It’s a baby durl!”


My First MATERNITY Stitch Fix

I took the plunge and am so happy I did! Maternity Stitch Fix for the win!

Stitch Fix has always known what they’re doing – I’ve adored so many of the pieces I’ve received over the last 2+ years, and now, they’re catering to both the pregnant and petite gals of the world. Hallelujah!

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So, this maxi skirt. I knew right out the door that this one would be going back. Totally not my color combo or print. But I’ll hand it to my stylist, she was on point with fit. It was super comfy!stitch fix maternity 5

Loved this top! Amazing stretch and super comfortable. Plus, side rushing is the best thing ever. But, seeing that it is 95+ around here, I couldn’t justify keeping a 3/4 sleeve top for now when I very well might need the next size up when cooler weather cools around.stitch fix maternity 4

This top wasn’t maternity, but obviously worked. It had flow. Once again though, I wasn’t feeling the pattern. I think I’m in a floral phase of life. I noted that on my returns too – that I didn’t want geometric stuff next round. The skinnies were also part of my fix AND AMAZING! They are Mavi brand and overall a great fit. Had I not just ordered maternity jeans, I would have heavily considered keeping these. They felt like leggings, but with more support and well, they aren’t leggings so more appropriate for leaving the house.stitch fix maternity 1

 

And the winner! This dress looks structured, but is actually a t-shirt jersey fabric. True love! When I made a note for my first maternity fix I specifically asked for a dress that I could wear for graduations and other fancier events over the summer and my stylist delivered! I wore this dress just days after it arrived with a perfectly matching necklace swiped from my mama’s jewelry stash :) 

Have you taken the Stitch Fix jump yet? If not, I’m seriously dying to know what you’re waiting for! Sign up here and I’ll earn credit towards my next fix. My maternity wardrobe will thank you!


Raspberry Chocolate Parfaits

When the dears over at Kozy Shack quoted me on Facebook (yes, yes they did!) I knew I just had to share my latest sweet creation! 

This quick and easy recipe mixes two of my favorite things – raspberries and chocolate. I’ve forever been a fan and seeing that yesterday was National Chocolate Pudding Day and Monday is my mama’s birthday, well, I’ll just introduce my friend the Raspberry Chocolate Parfait … raspberry chocolate parfait

Swoon and indulge.

That’s what I say.

To whip up your own perfect parfait for a birthday party, afternoon snack, baby shower, holiday gathering, or any ol’ event … you first must buy this. Do not buy another. I have tried others and none compare. None. So just do yourself a favor and learn from my ways. *wink*

Ingredients

Makes 6 parfaits

Directions

In small parfait size cups or bowls place 5-6 raspberries. Top with 2 large spoonfuls of chocolate pudding. Add a swirl of whipped cream then garnish with a few raspberries and a wedge of Brownie Brittle.

Isn’t it divine how simple parfaits are? I love how pretty they look and individual servings of dessert are such a wonderful  treat!

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Kozy Shack is made with real, simple ingredients. Like, the kind you can pronounce. Things like that must be celebrated! I’m so over weird, chemical things in our food and just adore Kozy Shack for giving us mamas a wholesome product. You can join me in saying thank you here!

And once you say thanks, pop over to Kozy Shack’s Facebook page for many more great pudding recipes. Kozy Shack is hosting the Summer of Pudding with oodles of giveaways that you won’t want to miss out on! Oh, and you can read my quote there too!