39 Weeks! Pregnancy Update

Bam. Thirty-nine weeks. 
Um, how did that happen?!

Remember when I used to do those fun weekly posts when pregnant with Camille? With the "fancy camera" photos Ian would take of me before work, always in jewelry and rarely in yoga pants. Well, haha, things certainly change, and I'm lucky now to snap a quick mirror photo at the doctor's office before Camille finds someone else's Cheerio on the ground and decides to eat it. 

At my appointment yesterday, all was looking and measuring great. Baby's head is still down (jazz hands) and I had made just a smidge of progress, so that's promising -- but no guarantee of a delivery date soon! I have rotated around to all of the midwives in the practice and feel really, really good about using them for this labor and delivery. (More on that decision here)

So here are some fast stats:

How Far Along? 39 weeks

Size of Baby: A small pumpkin (WOW.)

Gender: We don't know! Crazy excited to find out, though. I've had boy feelings (as I did with Camille) but the similar pregnancy makes me think maybe it's a girl. I can say in complete honesty that I will be happy with a son or daughter. A son would be a totally new experience for our little family, and I love our boy name, but another daughter would certainly be amazing and I'd love to break out Camille's old clothes and use all of them again!

Weight Gain: Not entirely sure, but I think I'm up about 22/23 lbs.

Maternity Clothes: Every day ... and starting to love my maternity jeans less. They are a pain to put on, and the panel doesn't cover my whole tummy any longer. Favorites are still my Target leggings (which will probably be part of my coming-home outfit) and my Old Navy maternity yoga pants, which I'm wearing in the photo above.

Nursery: Pretty much DONE! Now, to be totally frank, I put about 15% of the effort in this room that I put in Camille's nursery. First of all, not knowing the gender really limits us on decor. Lots of green and yellow. Also, we may list our home at some point, so I didn't want us investing a ton of money in this room by painting the walls, getting custom drapes, et cetera. I happened upon some beautiful drapes that I purchased secondhand for $40, bought a new area rug for $99, and pretty much everything else came from Camille's nursery or other spots in our home. Super, super low-key but I'm actually happy with how it looks! (And I'll share photos soon) :)

Movement: Oh yeah. This baby loves running his/her arm or leg across the front of my belly and also giving me some head-butts that really zing. Hiccups happen from time to time but not nearly as much as they did with Camille!

Symptoms: Large stomach. Braxton Hicks contractions. Lower right back pain, occasionally.

Sleep: Sleeping okay but not great ... still using my Snoogle pregnancy pillow nightly, but the issue is that I normally wake around 3am to use the restroom and then have a hard time falling back asleep. Not taking any sort of sleep aids just in case I were to go into labor in the middle of the night.

Cravings: Not much, I mean I love sweets and crave sweet tea, but the gestational diabetes diagnosis has (somewhat) kept that intake in check.

What I Miss: I do really miss breakfast cereal and instant oatmeal! I have some outfits that I'm looking forward to wearing this spring when my belly is less jiggly. And I miss good sleep, although I know it may be a good six or twelve months before I get that again. Or longer.  :)

Best Moment This Week: A positive 39 week appointment! Baby's heartbeat was in 130s/140s this week. Last week it was much higher!

Looking Forward To: BIRTH. If I can just send this wish out there to the universe, I would love love love to go into labor naturally at home this time. With Camille I was induced at 41 weeks and 2 days, and that wasn't the easiest process. I'm curious what it would feel like to maybe go into labor naturally or even have my water break at home. But good gracious, please don't let it happen at THE WALMART (you have to say that with a really country accent).


Easter 'Round These Parts

I figured you hadn't read any Easter recaps and that you were chomping at the bit to see exaaaactly how we spent our Easter weekend. Lucky for you, here are 72634937 photos of how we celebrated!

The festivities started out Saturday afternoon when Camille was positively elated to meet the Easter Bunny.

Yep, sheer panic. We were close to the front of the line and I have no doubt that after hearing her shrieks of terror, other children probably pulled a U-turn and left the line, fearful of what monster lie ahead of them in line.

She refused to sit with him alone, I personally didn't mind having her cling to me, but I also didn't want her to be petrified for longer than five seconds so we quickly hopped up and left the premises. :)

Later that evening, my mother-in-law came in and we all dyed Easter eggs together! Now THAT was something that Camille really enjoyed. She's been doing this wide-mouthed surprised face recently that we really can't get enough of!

We tag-teamed her egg-dipping efforts to make sure that the dye didn't end up on our countertops, clothes, ceilings. We were mostly successful.

Sunday morning, Camille got to see all of the goodies that the Easter Bunny ("eesah bobbi") brought her. She got a new Olivia book (because she still begs us to read the Christmas one all.the.time.), yogurt melts, a snack trap, sunglasses, bath toys, a felt peep, a hairbow, and a little piece of art for her room. 

Note to self: cuter, more holiday-appropriate jammies next year. :)

Later that morning, my parents joined us for Easter brunch and the menu was a hit! 

We had ham delights, fruit salad, cold asparagus salad, veggies with hummus, and deviled eggs. Oh, and a carrot cake which we were too stuffed to touch! My mother-in-law headed to the mountains after brunch, but we did a quick egg hunt while my parents were still in town before Camille took her nap. We were threatened by rain all day, so our Easter Bunny hid the eggs in our screened porch. 

That adorable dress Camille is wearing was actually made by my mom! I found the fabric this past fall on major clearance and just fell in love with it. It was the perfect, colorful pattern for a sweet Easter dress.

So! Last Easter with just our solo little funny bunny. It's crazy to think that next year we will have an almost one-year old son or daughter joining the mix!


New Face Products I've Purchased

My latest shipment from Grove Collaborative (formerly ePantry) arrived the other day, and this time I didn't just purchase cleaning products ... I got some new face products that I'm absolutely loving.

For the past three years I've pretty much either been trying to get pregnant, pregnant, or nursing -- which is all very exciting, but it certainly limits what I've been able to use on my face. Years ago, I used dermatologist-prescribed retinol which resulted in a lot of "you have such pretty skin!" compliments, but since then, that's been off-limits to me. Bummer. Lately, really the only thing I've been doing at night is washing with CeraVe and then putting organic coconut oil on my face as a moisturizer.

When I saw the Acure line on Grove Collaborative, I decided to give it a shot after reading some nice reviews on it.

The three products I started off with are the firming facial serum, the radical wrinkle complex, and the night cream. I almost passed on the night cream, thinking the serum would probably be all I needed, until I read a review that compared the smell to a spa product. I'm so glad I got it, because it might even be my favorite of the three. The smell is diviiiiine and I look forward to applying it nightly. At night, I layer these three products in the following order: wrinkle complex, night cream, serum. (I hope I'm doing that right, ha!)

During the day I just use the radical wrinkle complex and then put my makeup on top of that. My powder foundation has SPF in it. 

Next up I'll be trying out the Acure eye cream and the dry argan oil spray (in the rose scent) because I think both of those just sound amazing!

*  *  *
Starting today through this Sunday at 6pm Eastern, Grove Collaborative is running a pretty amazing promotion that I wanted to pass along to you.

New customers who spend $20 get a Mrs. Meyer's spring cleaning kit in the new spring scent of your choice (peony or lilac!). And if you’re already a Grove Collaborative member like I am, you’ll receive their beautiful glass spray bottle with your next purchase.

Here’s what’s in the spring cleaning kit (a $27.34 value):
 ● Mrs. Meyer’s spring seasonal hand soap
 ● Mrs. Meyer’s spring seasonal dish soap
 ● Grove Collaborative glass spray bottle
 ● Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges

When you sign up for Grove Collaborative using my referral link and spend at least $20, you’ll get the spring cleaning kit for free... AND free shipping on your first order. So yeahhh - spend $20 and get almost $30 in free products. YES! No brainer!

If you’re new to Grove Collaborative, here’s how it works: 

1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here
2. Answer 4 quick questions about your home that Grove Collaborative will then use to customize your first basket -- this takes under 30 seconds!
3. Once you’ve answered the questions, you can finalize your basket of products to suit your household needs by adding or removing items.
4. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive in your first box.
5. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order. Already hooked on Grove Collaborative? Existing customers click here to get a free Grove Collaborative glass spray bottle in your next order.

So, pretty neat deal, right? If you want to see my original review about Grove Collaborative (formerly ePantry), including the cost comparison I did before deciding to use this service, click here. Just remember that you'll need to use the referral links from this particular post to take advantage of the spring promotion!

Saving money -- ease of ordering -- and earth-friendly products. Three reasons why I'm sold on this service.

I'd love to hear from you if you're also a fan of them; what are your favorite products you've ordered so far?


Baked Fajitas // Easy Recipe

Recently a girlfriend told me about an oven-baked fajita recipe that her family has been enjoying. She's a shrimp-loving vegetarian, and this dish allows her to easily fill her fajitas with shrimp and veggies while her manly man gets his red meat fix.

The recipe is from Budget Bytes and you can find it HERE.

The recipe serves 4, but I ended up just baking half of it and freezing the other half (uncooked). I thought it would make a wonderful dish to have on hand once the new baby is here and time in the kitchen is a little more limited. All I'll have to do is thaw it and bake it ... as long as I have two tortillas and a lime on hand, I'm set! We were slap out of sour cream the other night, but that would have been an awesome addition. Or guac. Yes, GUAC!

So, if you haven't already done your grocery shopping for the week, check out the recipe and enjoy!


Saturday Sip and Shop: Peep Cocktail and Flamingo Pillow


Creamy Spring Peep | Tasty Kitchen: A Happy Recipe Community!:

Creamy Spring Peep
Recipe found HERE from


Loving this Lilly flamingo pillow with pompom trim!
How cute to get your home ready for spring and summer.
Found HERE on Amazon (Prime eligible)


Five On Friday - Happy Easter!

It's time for another edition of Five on Friday and I do hope you'll join along!

Remember, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, add our logo (found at the bottom of this post), and join the party using the linky tools below. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found. :)

We attended an Easter playdate on Monday morning and Camille wore her little Roberta Roller Rabbit dress with the bunny print ... SO cute and I just couldn't get enough of her sweet self. She says the word "rabbit" like "ippy" (???) which is just about the most precious thing we've ever heard.

We also made this cute craft at the playdate, which is now hanging on our fridge front! What a fun idea for all of the kids to participate in. 

I have to brag on a fellow Charlotte mama. I actually first met her when I bought a crib from her on a Facebook selling site for moms (that crib is now in the new baby's room!). Recently she did what we all dream of doing -- turning a pipe dream invention into a real, live, product -- and I think it is SO cool.

Hoopla*baby is a combination dress clip and teether. It's made out of silicone (BPA free, of course) so you always have a safe teether on hand for soothing gums, but when babies are in that awkward stage of crawling and wearing dresses, it's perfectly helpful. I sadly have cute dresses that Camille NEVER wore because her little knees would get caught under the front hem of the dress and it would prohibit her from crawling around with ease. This little tool expertly solves that. And it looks cute to boot.

Since Camille is now into the skipping/sprinting/darting around phase, I had my girlfriend Classic Annie to try it out on her little gal. You can see how it holds the dress up away from baby's knees so that scooting around is a non-issue. And since this little chickpea above is definitely teething, having it as something to chew on is such a great added benefit.

At $14.95 it is a really great add-on for a baby shower gift. You could even tie it to the top of a present with some fun ribbon -- what a cute conversation starter! It ages well as a gift, since older girls can use it to keep their sundresses (or princess gowns!) from getting in the way as they climb over the jungle gym. :) 

Do show this smart, inventive mom some love ... find her here on Facebook, here on Instagram, and of course on the Hoopla*baby website! Big applause to you for making this smart idea a reality!

On Wednesday morning, Camille and I went to the Matthews Fire Department to have my infant car seat installed properly. This is something we NEVER did before Camille's arrival (guilty!) so it made me feel good to have the "pros" to sign off on it. They also checked C's convertible carseat and slightly tightened it up a bit. The policeman was full of great information and I truly learned a lot. THIS is the website I used to find out more information about this installation and inspection process. It's free and quick!

I loved reading the comments yesterday about everyone who also drank the red raspberry leaf tea during the last part of pregnancy to help shorten labor times. Who knows if it really works, but it sounds like many of you had success stories! The first thing I did this morning was brewed a cup of it under the Keurig in my Tervis Tumbler. I prefer to drink mine iced, so I let it steep first in a little hot water and then add ice cubes and a tiny bit of sweetener.

Raspberry Leaf

Happy Easter to you and your loved ones! I hope it's a lovely day for you, filled with joy and jellybeans.

EASTER GREETINGS  chick below shell above lilies-of-the-valley:

TGIF y'all, and hope you will join in on Five on Friday this week! Cheers to the weekend!


On Using A Midwife

For Camille's birth, we elected to use a doula (you can read more about that decision and our experience here). In short, it was awesome and Ian and I will still tell you to this day that it was the perfect decision for us, and money well spent.

This time around, I didn't feel that it was as necessary, but I did decide to transition my care in my OB practice from the physicians to the team of midwives. This is a small group that is actually in the very same practice. In fact, I've even seen physicians for appointments in this pregnancy when the midwives weren't available. They work seamlessly as a team and have great communication.

So, what's the biggest difference I've experienced so far?

The midwives (in general) seem to take on more of a holistic, old-school approach to labor and birth. When I delivered Camille, I pushed for two hours, and the majority of that time it was just with nurses. Our delivery doctor came in right as Camille was about to be born and he handled that actual birthing part as well as the post-care that I needed.

My midwife will be there from start to finish, and I like that. The entire time that I am pushing (and oh gawwwsh, please don't let it be two hours again!) she will be coaching me and helping me to find the best laboring techniques that work for me. The birth will still happen at a hospital, the same one where Camille was born, and physicians are right there should they be needed.

I was also really surprised to learn that the majority of labor nurses associated with my particular practice end up using the midwives for their own births, so that made a big impact on me.

I mentioned the other day to my midwife that I was really happy that the baby turned head-down because I didn't want to think that I spent the majority of my pregnancy getting to know the midwives, only to then have a physician perform a C-section for me. She said, "Oh honey, we would have been in the room with you! Should you need a C-section, we will be there with you helping the doctor." That just made me feel so great, that they truly will be there by my side even if a physician is needed.

Time-wise, I feel they have spent a little more time in the room with me. Yesterday, the midwife even remembered that Camille loves to have her heartbeat heard, so she used the doppler on C's tummy before we all listened to the new baby's heartbeat (which was high 160s, low 170s!). Now, that is a great experience! Bedside manner is so important to me.

I also loved that yesterday, when I asked about red raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil, the midwife was like, "Absolutely, you can definitely start taking those now as a labor aid" instead of looking at me like I had two heads. She said she truly believed they can help tone the muscles used for labor and aid in the birthing process.

Nature's Bounty Evening Primrose Oil 1,000 mg Softgels, 60 ct

If you decided to use a midwife for your birth, would you consider sharing about your experience below? I'd love to hear from you!


Our Easter Brunch Menu

As I mentioned on Monday, my parents will be here in Charlotte for Easter Sunday. I have promised Ian not to stress myself into a tizzy over making The Brunch Of The Century (... does anyone elses' husband beg them to keep things simple? Maybe they're actually on to something. Maybe.)

Last night as I lay awake in the middle of the night (ugh), I did some menu planning for this weekend. I want to do as many things ahead of schedule as I can, so I'm pretty happy with this brunch plan.

Easter Brunch 2016

Ham Delights
Fruit Salad with Pineapple, Grapefruit, Mint and Shredded Coconut
Deviled Eggs
Cold Asparagus Dish - TBD

Pretty Spring Tablescape for home entertaining: Aqua, Coral and (GOLD instead of Yellow) Table Setting!:

Ham delights are an easy way for us to get in the traditional ham serving for Easter. I can't recall off the top of my head how many carbohydrates are in each piece of bread, so I need to check that out at the store. That will help me determine (due to my gestational diabetes) how many little sandwiches I can eat since I will have some fruit, too. HERE is my go-to recipe for these tasty bites. Easy and classic.

Ham, swiss and dijon.  We make these sliders all the time over the holidays when we have houseguests because you can graze on them throughout the day.:

Fruit salad will go together beautifully the night before, and I am remembering now that I have some apples in the produce drawer of the fridge that I also may chop up to add in. My mint has already sprung up in a container outside, so that's an easy add-in.

The deviled eggs are Ian's favorite, a great protein source for my diet these days, AND an easy way for us to use the eggs that we plan to dye with Camille on Friday or Saturday. Win-win. I have a vintage milk glass deviled egg platter that I always use for these, but if you don't have a platter like this, there are plenty HERE on Amazon Prime that can reach your doorstep by Saturday.

And for the last dish, I think for a green I will do some sort of cold asparagus dish. I haven't yet looked up a recipe for this ... do you have any suggestions? I am thinking I will roast it and then toss it with some sort of lemon vinaigrette, maybe a little feta added in, too? Maybe some walnuts?

I'd love to hear what's on your menu for this weekend. Do share!


My Baby Sprinkle ... Welcoming Baby R #2!

This past Sunday afternoon, my girlfriends threw the most beautiful, generous, special baby sprinkle for me to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our new baby.

It was held at Dogwood Southern Table, which is a newer farm-to-fork restaurant in the heart of South Park in Charlotte. The brunch menu is ... oh my goodness ... spot-on. I chose a country ham bowl that included sauteed greens, rice, a delicious sauce, a fried egg (I prefer mine over-hard -- even while not pregnant), all topped with pink pickled onions.

I kept the invitation list fairly small, just inviting a few Charlotte girlfriends, the grandmothers, and the aunts. Ian's sister was unable to come from Ohio and my middle sister was unable to come from New York, but my youngest sister, mom, and mother-in-law were all in attendance which was really special since they all drove in for it. 

Laura even took all of the photos from the day which helped me to relax and have fun but to relive the day through pictures later. Laura -- I love you for this!

Here are some other highlights of the day. I received some great baby gear, gender-neutral clothing, and diapers galore! Two girlfriends even spoiled ME with gift certificates for a mani/pedi and a hair blow-out ... so sweet and thoughtful. 

The favors were provided by my sweet friend Lindsay and were something I'd never seen before. They were little plantable seeds in the shape of buttons! She brought these gorgeous flowers and the hand-lettered sign as well. So unique and beautiful. 

The best part of the day was just chatting with everyone and getting excited for this sweet new addition to our family. Most of my friends seem split 50/50 on the gender. Moms of little boys seem to feel I'm having a boy next, and moms of little girls are thinking we'll have more pink around our house!

Thank you again to my lovely sister Laura for capturing these special photos and for being the most fun person to share a pregnancy with!

And to my sweet girlfriends who hosted this day, you mean so much to me! It was truly the most generous baby shower I've attended, and you went above and beyond to ensure that everyone was well fed, hydrated adequately with mimosas and coffee (ha!), and spoiled with yummy buttercream cupcakes. Thank you for everything, you are the best lunch bunch girls!
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