Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Introducing... Avery Jane

Friends, our baby is finally here!  

I'm pleased to announce that my little one, Baby C, arrived into the world on August 22, 2014.  I was in labor for 2 days, and needed an emergency c-section, but both mommy and baby are doing great.  

Hubs and I are pleased to introduce you to our daughter, Avery Jane.

She weighed 8 lbs, 7 oz. and was 20.25" long.  She was perfect, healthy and cute a button!  She has my nose, eyebrows, fingernails, hair and chin.  She has my hubby's eyes, legs, feet, and head size (she's got a big noggin!).  She's a nice mix of both of us, and we couldn't be more thrilled.  My whole family is smitten with her, just as Hubs and I are, and her grandparents can't keep their hands off her.  She's one lucky little girl!

I will post my birth story soon, so stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Catching Up - Babymoon, Baby Shower & Updates

I realized today that I haven't kept anyone updated on things that have happened this summer.  Not my family, and not my out-of-town friends, and not my readers.  I'm a bad, bad blogger!!  So here's the catch-up post to recap where we've been this summer.

In June, Hubs and I went on a 3-day babymoon to Savannah, GA.  I've wanted to visit Savannah for years, and I felt like the timing couldn't be better.  Hubs was willing to visit somewhere low-key and relaxing, and that's definitely Savannah.

We arrived in Savannah on Friday, and I immediately found a local spa that had an opening for a pedicure.  It was heaven on Earth!!  I was overdue and my feet were swollen.  My pedicurist dumped a ridiculous amount of epsom salts in my footbath and voila!  The swelling went way down.  I knew right then that this weekend was going to be amazing.  Smaller feet and pretty painted nails will make any pregnant girl feel like a million bucks.

We explored the historic district for awhile after that, and spent time in our hotel.  We then went to The Pirate's House for dinner, and I had an unbelievable pecan fried chicken dinner.  I NEVER order fried chicken, but this sounded good at the moment and I'm so glad I went for it.  It was the most delicious chicken I've eaten in years!  And they gave me four pieces of chicken.  I couldn't touch two of the pieces, so Hubs had to help me out.  It was crazy yummy.

After that, we decided to head back to the hotel because the wind picked up, we heard loud thunder and the sky turned dark gray.  We made it back to the hotel just in time for an epic thunderstorm to unleash on the city.

The next day, we took a trolley tour of the city, hopping off at Lady & Sons for some Paula Deen action.  We loved our lunch there and enjoyed shopping in her adjacent store.

At Lady & Sons, try the Key Lime Pie.  Trust me.

We also spent some time visiting the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and other sites around Savannah.  There are many cute little squares with statues, benches and artists, which are perfect resting spots during walking tours or for stopping to enjoy your cup of Leopold's ice cream.  I also loved looking at all of the historic Southern homes and imagining the things that city has been in the past 200 years.

In the evening, we had dinner at The Olde Pink House (which was phenomenal) and went on a Ghost Tour, which was quite fun.  After the Ghost Tour, Hubs and I hit up a local brew pub so he could try some new beers awhile I enjoyed a nice little Diet Coke and some garlic fries.  Oh, and the Stanley Cup finals were on, so Hubs got to watch most of the game.

The next day, we caught an amazing brunch at B. Matthews Eatery, and Hubs is STILL talking about how amazing their sausage gravy was.  We headed out of town shortly thereafter, but we can't wait to visit again.  Savannah is really such a great city.

In July, I had my baby shower, which was hosted by my twin sister and my closest girlfriend, Tracy, at a local restaurant.  They did such a terrific job, and I love these girls so much!  They used a pink and navy blue nautical theme, and had not only several easy games, but a craft!  They had my guests make headbands for the baby, which were all SO cute!!  Needless to say, Baby C now has about 40 headbands.  Here are a few pictures from this blessed event...

Tracy, Me and My Sister, Kelly

My sister, my mom and me

Champagne Strawberry Cupcakes from Gigi's Cupcakes

Favors and Prizes

Time to make headbands - everyone loved this!

I was absolutely spoiled by my friends and family, and I felt fortunate to know just how loved both Baby C and I are by everyone.

I also had a baby shower at work in late July, but no one captured any pictures of it.  I was disappointed, but my coworkers aren't really planners or picture-takers.  Nonetheless, we had a wonderful time!

After my showers were over, Hubs and I got busy getting house projects done so we'd have less to worry about for awhile once baby gets here.  Hubs cleaned out the garage and we donated all kinds of furniture, clothes and random stuff to charity.  I love to purge stuff, don't you??  Also, we touched up paint around the house, replaced all of our smoke detectors, and purchased a new kitchen sink and faucet (which will be installed next week).

General Updates:  My beloved miniature schnauzer, Bella, is not doing so well right now.  She senses that there are big changes coming and she's not handling it well.  She's taken to doing naughty things, like...

  • Chewing up my favorite Thirty-One monogrammed lunch bag while I was at work.  It was empty, and clean.  I have no idea how she got it off the console table in our foyer, but there it was, on the floor and destroyed one day...

  • She's been peeing in the house... while we're home... in front of us.  She hasn't done this since she was a puppy, which was over 12 years ago.  Usually, she whines at us or goes to the door and makes a noise if she wants to go out.  When she's feeling spiteful, she looks at us, then squats to pee, then runs away to one of her dog beds, knowing that she's been bad and she's about to be scolded.
  • She peed on my work laptop bag, which contained a laptop and important work papers, of course.
  • She tore apart a slew of used tissues, some papers and a bag of Cold-eeze lozenges.

Attention-seeking?  Definitely.  Annoying as hell?  OOOHHHHH YEAH.  Needless to say, we've hired a dog trainer, who will be coming to work with us shortly after the baby arrives.  I can't stand the thought of Bella peeing on or chewing apart the baby's things, or further destroying my house when I'll have so many other things to be concerned about.

In the past week, I've felt like baby's arrival is imminent.  I've had some terrible, yet inconsistent, contractions, a water-break scare, and all sorts of other signs, but alas, baby is still inside my tummy.  Hopefully we'll see some progress soon!

That's it for now, friends!  I'll be back soon with further updates!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Baby C's Nursery Reveal

After months of planning and preparations, Hubs and I finally gathered everything we need for our little girl's arrival.  We had our baby showers (pictures coming soon!) and utilized those ever-valuable registry completion coupons to ensure that we have the essentials ready to go for Baby C's imminent arrival.

The biggest hurdle we've had has been preparing her nursery.  Although we plan to have her sleep in our room for the first 4-6 weeks, having her room completed was one way that I could officially feel "ready".

I had quite a debate in my mind about how to decorate the baby's room.  My first inclination was to check out ideas at and Pinterest.  I saw ideas I LOVED.  The designs had the requisite chevron patterns, monograms and modern furnishings... Friends, they were gorgeous!  I adored the chic color palettes, statement wallpapers and ultra-mod light fixtures.  However, I found myself enamored with designs that didn't really look like they were for children at all, let alone babies.  Anyone, of any age, could have lived in those rooms if you swapped the crib for a queen sized bed and ditched the changing pad.  That's when it dawned on me:  I want my baby's nursery to look like it belongs to a BABY.  I want to decorate with her in mind, not my own grown-up tastes and desires.  I had to push that selfishness and desire for a Pinterest-worthy room aside and focus on my little girl.

So, my focus changed.  I was then looking at bedding and classic nursery items that were cute and pink and all of that jazz.  I began to entertain the thought of "cartoon-y" bedding, which had been off the table before.  That's also when my husband and I talked about incorporating some of the items from my childhood collection of giraffes (which have always been my favorite animal) into the design.  When I went to register, my sister and I found a very cute crib bedding set that used giraffes and jungle animals, but it was still girly and distinctly baby-like.  Hubs liked it too, and the decision was made.  We were going with the girly jungle animals, but trying not to over-play the theme.

We finished decorating and organizing the nursery last week, and besides a few art prints that haven't come in yet, the room is done.  Hallelujah!  There were times when I wondered if it was ever going to be done.

Below, you're getting a peek of our work...

A good friend of mine had also given us a wooden diaper pad tray for the top of the dresser, which I was excited about using.  She painted it a light lime green to match the bedding but contrast with other colors used in the room.  However, the rubber pads she put on the bottom took the finish off of our dining room table, so we decided that we need to find some other pads for the bottom before we dare put it on the new dresser.  Hopefully that will work out down the road.

We also have a monogrammed throw pillow for the arm chair coming soon, so that will be a great extra touch for the room.  I'm very excited to show our daughter around her new room once she arrives.  I'm proud of how the room turned out, and feel like it's very appropriate for both baby and I's tastes.

Now that this is done, we're just putting the finishing touches on the house to prepare for Baby C.  She should be here very soon, we're ready for that whirlwind to begin!

Friday, July 11, 2014

My Love/Hate Relationship with Pregnancy & Maternity Clothes

Being pregnant is truly a wonderful thing.  It's beautiful and it's a miracle.  However, there's a dark underside to this pregnancy gig, and everyone who's interested in being real does their own kind of expose into this area.  Even me.

Pregnancy symptoms are for the birds.  I haven't even had all of the possible symptoms, but the ones I have are making me miserable.  Swollen legs and feet, heartburn, headaches, hot flashes, discomfort while sleeping, lower back pain, widening hips, ligament pain in my abdomen, growing breasts, rounding belly, increased mucous/fluids... the list could go on and on. 

Aside from that, there are other changes going on that really stink.  They're mostly chain reactions of the above, and they serve as reminders of your temporary state of impairment and the fact that being pregnant as a plus sized woman is no picnic. 

Restaurants have become trickier.  You know that restaurant you love going to because it has all of those booths?  Well, those cozy booths aren't comfortable anymore and now you can only sit at a regular table.  This means longer wait times and eye-rolls from the host stand, who just think I'm being super picky and high maintenance before you've even ordered your first non-alcoholic beverage.  Telling the host that you're pregnant helps a smidge, but they still act put out and annoyed by a special request.  You'll also notice that some restaurants have VERY few tables, and most will be high-top tables in the bar.  This just isn't cool because even high-top bar chairs can be uncomfortable during pregnancy, and I don't really want to be sitting in the bar area watching everyone drink their 2-for-1 margaritas.  It's like rubbing salt in my wounds!  Also, chairs with arms are less comfortable for me right now since my body is getting wider without my say-so.  My docs say it's normal, but I say it's shit. 

Also, NOTHING fits right anymore.  No surprise, right?  Even shoes stop fitting.  Most of my shoes are too tight now due to my swollen feet, so my footwear options are now limited to one or two pairs of flip flops and ballet flats.  I seriously miss all of my other cute shoes!  Even the shoes that other pregnant ladies recommend don't fit my feet, since they're so chunky on  top right now.  Even my toes have little chub rolls.  I wish I was kidding.

My hands have even swelled up, causing me to ditch my wedding rings and now I also have the start of a lovely phenomenon called Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel.  While the wedding ring issue is fixed by my cheap, Target CZ ring, there's no easy fix for the temporary Carpal Tunnel problem.  There's nothing like trying to type something quickly while your hands and fingers are engulfed in that pins-and-needles feeling.

Finally, the latest bane of my existence is plus sized maternity clothing.  Do you realize that practically no one makes this segment of clothing??  It's super-specialty clothing that most retailers ignore.  I mean, most retailers like to pretend that plus size women don't exist anyway, and those that do sell plus sizes assume the women wearing the clothing are all over the age of 50.  It's completely insulting.  But plus size maternity clothes?  Forget about it.  There are SO few options.

Here's a newsflash to retailers:  PLUS SIZED WOMEN HAVE BABIES TOO!!  And we're not all dumpy, white-trash types who will just live in huge 4X men's t-shirts and sweatpants while we're with child.  Plus sized pregnant women want cute clothes, pajamas, swim suits and business clothes, too.  We want cute shoes that fit our big sausage feet.  We want CHOICES.  It shouldn't be such a hard thing for stores to grasp.

My problem is that friends often try to help by pointing out where they found cute maternity wear, but they're all smaller than I am or are just built differently.  99% of the time they suggest Old Navy and Target, but these stores only go up to an XXL in maternity wear.  Pre-pregnancy, this would not have been an issue for me, as XLs and XXLs were a regular staple of my wardrobe.  But now, my wider hips, bigger boobs and round tummy require me to wear a 2X or 3X in plus sized maternity.  NO JOKE.  Target's clothes simply don't fit right (most are too clingy for my liking) and Old Navy has given me only limited success.

Motherhood Maternity is a decent resource, but the clothes are less stylish and more expensive.  Most of my current work clothes have come from there, as well as some casual pants and t-shirts.  Casual pants in plus maternity are extremely limited unless you want leggings or cargo capris (neither of which are really my thing), and the selection of shorts is laughable.   I just don't love buying a super plain, borderline frumpy maxi dress or ill-fitting khaki pants for $50, but a girl needs to be clothed.  Decisions, decisions.

People have recommended Kohl's, but they've stopped selling plus sized maternity last year.  I've also heard about JC Penney, but their selection is also very limited and can only be purchased online.  Ugh.  No one besides Motherhood offers maternity that you can try on in the store, and even then, Motherhood's in-store selection is far smaller than their variety of online offerings.  JC Penney does not have any in-store plus maternity, so that's also out if you want to try things on.

My biggest hurdle has been finding something to wear to my baby shower.  I have two dresses I've bought online and I don't love either one.  One is passable but shows off my swollen legs, and the other is just frumpy, cheaply-made and dull.  I am probably going to try to dress up a work outfit for the occasion, which is less than ideal.  I never thought finding a cute maternity dress would be so hard!

Now on to the parts of maternity clothes that I love...

The best thing I can say about plus sized maternity is that when you find comfortable pieces, those are the only ones you want to wear.  They're a godsend as you get larger and more uncomfortable in anything else you own.  I love a full-coverage elastic waistband on pants these days (the vain part of me never thought I'd say it!), as well as tops and dresses with extra belly room.  Totally.  Glorious.

My favorite pants are these lightweight pants that roll into capris, which are keeping me cool this summer.  I have shorts too, but I like these better because they cover more of my swollen parts.

Motherhood Maternity
VERY Comfortable, but not particularly exciting

This t-shirt is also great due to the light fabric and sleeves that cover my squishy upper arms.  I own it in 4 colors, so you know it's a favorite. 
Motherhood Maternity
Nothing special, but lightweight and comfortable

I've been wearing maxi dresses from Motherhood and Old Navy, but unfortunately neither site still carries them.  They're long, they cover a lot and yet they're cool for the sweaty summer months.  They also work well for work or play, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.  I highly recommend maxi dresses for summertime pregnancies!

Finally, ballet flats and flip flops are your friend when your feet get swollen and other shoes are no longer a comfortable option.  Since I don't work at a flip-flop friendly workplace, it's ballet flats for me every single day.  Even other sandals don't work for me right now because the tops of my feet are so swollen, and don't let anyone tell you that Tom's or Crocs will work better.  If you're feet are like mine, they won't cut it.  Invest in some reasonably comfortable ballet flats and you won't be sorry.  Even affordable shoe stores like Payless make some decent ballet flats, including those in wide-widths (if you need that sort of thing). 

Our Child Birth class teacher recently asked me what I liked about being pregnant.  And I answered honestly:  There aren't many things I like about being pregnant, other than feeling my baby move and kick and seeing her little face on our sonogram pictures.  I also like that no one expects me to lift anything heavy, do any manual labor, or be around chemicals (Hall Pass to get out of painting the nursery!).  Several other moms in the room felt the same way, so I wasn't alone.  I don't feel like a sexy, womanly being who has that pregnancy glow.  Being pregnant hasn't been comfortable for me physically, but I love knowing that it's temporary and will result in us meeting our newest, most exciting family member to date.  Woo-hoo to that!

So that's it.  It's a bit more of a rant than I initially planned, but you get the truth here.  Overall, despite the trials and tribulations of being pregnant, having our baby here will be AMAZING, and I know that.  It will all be worth it in the end!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Refocusing the Planner In Me

The life of a crazy-busy, 33-weeks pregnant lady is tough... At times turbulent.... But always an adventure. 

I recently experienced some severe abdominal cramping that really terrified and upset me.  Normally, my non-preggo self would say, "Damn, I won't eat at that sushi place again."  But my preggo self got nervous because I didn't know the cause of my pain. (I haven't had any sushi while pregnant, even though I've had some serious cravings!)  It lasted for a couple of days, and on the second day, it was so bad that it brought this tough girl to tears.  I stayed home from work to rest and rehydrate (the doctor thought I may be dehydrated), but the pain persisted, and by the end of that day, I couldn't sit down comfortably but I couldn't move much while standing either.  I was really worried about what that might mean for baby and I, and if that meant that I was having any problems with my pregnancy.  Thus far, my pregnancy has been very healthy and I've had no issues to speak of. 

I decided to go to the hospital for monitoring, which was a great decision, at least for my peace of mind.  I found out that our baby is doing wonderfully, and my pain and discomfort was likely due to a stomach bug and a non-serious infection.  I learned that I'm not experiencing any kind of pre-term labor, and she's not likely to arrive anytime in the next two weeks.

Relief set in.

Afterward, I reflected on the experience.  While the thought of having a baby born 7 weeks early was scary to me, I was really most worried about her arriving before I had everything ready for her.  I don't have a car seat, stroller, diapers, or other necessities.  My baby shower is this weekend, where I will probably get some essentials, but I need to buy the rest and darn it, I need time for that!  I also don't have her room organized and decorated, which I realize is minor in the grand scheme of things, but I was still upset about it.  I want everything to be just right for her and not done on the fly.

But that's the planner in me.  I was more upset that my prep-work wasn't done than I was knowing that she might arrive before her lungs are fully developed.  Silly, silly, silly.  But the planner reminds me that we have excellent doctors, a great hospital staff and a great support system to take care of her if she's born early, but the planning and preparations are all on me and my hubby.  And we aren't ready.   There's nothing like a swift kick in the butt to get you moving on your to-do list!

Nonetheless, I was reminded of what truly matters.  It's not about having cute d├ęcor hung on the walls of the nursery, having just the right Coming Home outfit, or saving up to buy the fancy stroller.  It's about making Baby C gets here in the safest, healthiest way possible.  I also have very little control around when baby decides to arrive, so I have to be prepared in case she makes her way into our family earlier than expected.  As long as I'm staying healthy AND preparing for her arrival simultaneously, things will be good.  I'm confident in that.

So from here on out, I am committed to being focused on preparations for baby without losing sight of how important she and her health are to me.  I need to pack our bags for the hospital, finish decorating the nursery, and stock up on baby essentials.  I also need to drink water like its my job, keep eating healthy and rest whenever possible.  Physically over-doing it in June didn't do me any favors!

Here's to a wonderful (and hopefully productive) next 7 weeks!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Winding Down

Hola, aloha, bienvenidos, ciao and hi!

It feel like such an absentee blogger as of late, but I know that this whole thing is a function of my life's circumstances right now.  Thanks for bearing with me!

I have been absolutely swamped over the past two months, with every single weekend being booked with activities and my weeks packed with work, conferences and commitments.  I'm exhausted, to say the least, and it's a miracle that I've been able to keep up with everything.  

This weekend marks a turning point for me.  I purposely planned to have most of my traveling, big commitments and such completed by the end of June so I could have all of July and August to prepare for our baby's impending arrival.  After I got back from my conference and had my second (but not my last) 4D ultrasound, it was mostly over.  We're now in the downhill slide to baby's arrival!

We only have a few things planned for this week, but July is shaping up to be a much quieter time.   My Hubby's birthday and my baby shower are in early/mid July, but that's it.  The rest of the month will be dedicated to baby stuff and getting our life in order for this tremendous change.  Holy mother of pearl, I can't believe she's going to be here in 2 short months (or less!!).  

To be honest, I'm feeling completely overwhelmed by my to-do list right now, which is growing by the day.  I also feel extremely tired, which is apparently a cornerstone of the third trimester of pregnancy.  What great timing!  Ha.  

Anyway, I realize that part of the reason I'm feeling so exhausted and run-down is because I've been over-doing things in the past month.   By being on the go A LOT and not resting or taking care of myself enough, I've probably just made the exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed worse.  

My problem is that I have trouble slowing down.  Throughout my life, whenever I've taken time to feel better, rejuvenate, or relax, it's always been met by someone being snarky and joking about me being "lazy".  Many times growing up, this was my family.  For example, until my pregnancy, I'd always been someone who needed more sleep than some other people do.  (Since being pregnant, this has changed and I don't sleep nearly as much anymore.)  My family always liked to point out how "lazy" I was for sleeping in on the weekends or needing a nap after a stressful day.  I was always hurt by this, since I knew I wasn't being a lazy, shiftless oaf, but rather trying to do what was necessary to keep me functioning like a normal human being.  As I got older, I learned to push myself through those periods of exhaustion, so although I'd sleep in on weekends (unapologetically, thankyouverymuch), I never napped anymore.  I also learned to keep up with many commitments and just work my tail off.  To me, I did this so that no one could ever say I was being "lazy", even though those words would occasionally (and still do) pop out of my mom and sister's mouths from time to time.  Ugh.  It's like nails on a chalkboard at this point in my life.  My inability to slow down, whether its in planning or participating in activities or at work, is a product of my need to show people that I'm doing my part.  It's me, waiting a big flag and saying, "See?!?  This is me NOT BEING LAZY!!!"

My problem is that at 31.5 weeks pregnant, my lack of willingness to slow down has only made me more tired and more overwhelmed, due to everything from a massive to-do list to anxiety, excitement and wonder about my changing body and life.  I'm having to learn to delegate tasks to people in a way I've never had to before just to keep sane.  Sometimes it hurts because I want to do certain things myself.  Other times, it feels like relief.  I'm still learning how to balance these feelings, and it's not as easy as I thought it would be.  As a working mom, I know that delegating to a husband or my employees will be a critical skill, so I need to hone it now, before my little one arrives and even more stress enters my life.

Truth be told, even though I'm winding down my external activities in preparation for having my baby, other aspects of my life, those on the baby front, are ramping up.  I've got a nursery to decorate, tons of baby things to buy, a house to clean, and a dog, car, home and hubby to tend to.  Life isn't really going to slow down, but all of those outside commitments are being put on hold while I focus on bigger and more important things.  

So here's to June.  You were a slave driver and kicked my butt.  Cheers.

July, I'm ready for you, but go easy on me.  I need a few breaks and a little TLC.   Huggy smoocho.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life Lately

Hey there, ladies and gents!  I realized tonight that it's been awhile since I caught everyone up as to what I've been up to lately.  As usual, I've had a million things going on and I've run out of time for doing things I really enjoy.  It seems like my life is a tug of war between responsibilities and total exhaustion, which isn't fun or healthy for anyone if it doesn't come to a reasonable end at some point.  Here are some highlights from the last month or so...

Work has been NUTS.  Earlier this year, my boss and I did a "roadshow" of sorts, traveling around to our company's facilities and talking about employee performance management (I'm in HR, after all).  Following those seminars, I was SLAMMED with requests from leaders who wanted my help in managing problematic employees.  Which was great, but there's only one of me to go around... for 1300 employees!  Not good.  Finally, I got some help from a co-worker who was being underutilized and had some employee relations experience.  She's been a godsend and I'm thrilled that we've been getting our business under control together.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, one of my three administrative employees quit and she didn't exactly leave things in a great place.  So, now I'm searching for a temp to fill in while we wait for our CEO to approve the position as a regular hire.  On top of all of that, I've been going into work early and staying late many nights, and I know I'm heading for burn-out if I don't nip this in the bud soon.  Plus, with baby on the way in August, I'll be forced to scale back on the stress in the months to come.  I have no idea how that will happen, but I'm coming up with plans and hope to get everything in place by the end of July.  You know, just in case my little one decides to join us earlier than expected!

I enrolled my hubby in guitar lessons about a month ago, and he LOVES it!!  He's always had guitars around the house, but rarely plays them.  He can play a bit, but is self-taught and really needs someone great to help him be more proficient.  I'm so excited that he's taking this on.  He may never be a famous rock star, but he'll be able to play songs for baby and I, which we'll love!

Traveling is important right now since we won't be getting to do much of it once baby arrives.  We spent a few days in Orlando earlier this month, and a few days in Venice seeing my parents over Memorial Day weekend.  This weekend, I'm headed to Orlando once again, but just for one night.  I have a training meeting on Saturday morning at a resort, and then I'm heading right back home to try to get some things done for the next weekend.  The first weekend in June is my hubby and I's anniversary trip and babymoon, and we're heading to Savannah, GA!  I'm crazy excited and I've always wanted to go there.  We booked our hotel room, but haven't made any dinner reservations or tour reservations yet.  I've gotta get that done this week!

I've been steadily trying to do baby-related things, but there's SO much to do!  I found some viable daycare options, but nothing is locked down yet.  We're on two waitlists, but there are no guarantees.  It's driving me crazy, too, because I'm a planner and hate last minute issues!  I am praying that something works out.  We have other options, we just don't like them as well and hope to avoid using a Plan B, C or D option.  We also need to start looking for a pediatrician and finish decorating the baby's room, which both need to be sorted out in June.  Other things like childbirth classes, newborn care classes, etc. are already booked for June, so we're set there.  I'm sure there are other things, but you get the gist of it.  Lots. O'. Stuff. To. Do.

Being pregnant has been a trip.  I'm currently 27 weeks along, and I'm now noticeably pregnant, not just extra-chubby.  I wear mostly maternity clothes, with a few stretchy non-maternity pieces thrown in for good measure.  Baby has been moving around a lot more lately and she's getting stronger, as evidenced by her swift, hard karate kicks to my bladder and hip bones.  She still doesn't kick hard enough for Hubs to feel her most of the time, though, so I'm hoping he can feel her kicks soon.  I've got all kinds of crazy pregnancy symptoms, too.  My swollen feet resemble bread baking in in my ballet flats... yeah, definitely not cute!  I also have trouble sleeping, have terrible heartburn and all of that other jazz.  I still have about 3 months left to go, but knowing that my baby girl will be here soon makes everything seem strangely... okay.  

Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat, but it's still a big part of my life that will be continuing well into the future.  I see a re-branding, though, and I'm not sure what that might look like yet.  Even though I've fought long and hard, it's not easy to have a blog and not talk about big things like pregnancy, kids, or family when they're significant parts of your life.  I've never wanted to be solely a 'mommy blogger', but if you mention kids or pregnancy at all in this type of forum, it seems inevitable that the 'mommy blogger' label gets stamped on you.  I guess it's time to sort-of embrace that, but I just don't want to fall into trap where those are the ONLY things that get discussed in my neck of the woods.  There are many wonderful things in my life beyond my kiddo-to-be, and I want to touch on all of those things.  Beauty, celebs, home, activities, the community, and more... I look forward to diving right back in!

Weather here in Tampa Bay is already HOT and muggy.  The famous Tampa Bay storms are also starting early this year, so we've had lots of crazy weather to contend with on my drives home over the past few days.  Between the heat, humidity and dampness from storms, I feel like I never stop sweating.  I really need cooler maternity clothes, but I haven't been successful in finding cool clothes that are suitable for work.  As a fix, I've hooked a fan up and it blows directly onto my face, chest and arms all day long while I'm at my desk.  It feels like a little slice of heaven, too!  

That's a quick-ish update on me!  I hope you all are doing great and having a wonderful time heading into summer.  Hugs and squishes to all of you!!

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Tampa, Florida, United States
I'm a wife, daughter and amazing twin sister. I'm a mom to my adorable dog, Bella. Loves: Shopping, cooking, baking, good grammar and Dave Matthews Band. I'm also a Bath and Body Works addict, a Michigan State Spartans fanatic, and an iPhone aficionado. I see beauty in simple things and little things make me ever-so-happy. Welcome to my world!

La Bella Vita

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