The day I met my second daughter

I spent the whole month of December praying that Baby S would be late. I was dreading the newborn stage. Plus, we did not know her name at this point (I wanted Scarlet, Eric wanted Fiona, neither of us liked each other's favorite name [I did not want my daughter's name to invoke the image of Shrek!! Like anyone would really think of stunning Fiona from Burn Notice, which is where Eric got the name from] and neither would budge). On top of all this, Eric was supposed to take the GMAT on January 5 and apply for four MBA programs by Jan 15, one day before my scheduled induction. Oh, and it was Christmas, the first one Isla would (kind of) remember. AND I had not taken out any newborn size clothes for the baby. You could say I was totally unprepared in every way possible.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013: 37 weeks, 4 days
I woke up with what I thought were contractions (haha, Tracie). They were uncomfortable and they weren't going away. After laying in bed for two hours going back and forth between timing the contractions and reading on my phone (HP, of course), I decided to take a bath to see if I was really in labor. I texted Eric's sister-in-law to make sure she could watch Isla, just in case. Cut to 30 minutes later, and the contractions were gone. I was not looking forward to this for the next two and a half weeks. But I kept reminding myself that semi-contractions and some sleep was better than a body recovering from labor hell & no sleep.

Friday, January 4, 2013: 38 weeks
As soon as I hit the third trimester, I am always paranoid about feeling baby's kick counts. I didn't feel baby at all that afternoon and was worried about going into work that night. I talked to my doctor and he said to stay down for the evening. Fortunately, since I have the best job in the world, I was able to work from home. The contractions started up again, but went away after a few hours. I thought I would definitely have a baby by the week's end. WRONG.

Thursday, January 10, 2013: 38 weeks, 6 days
I was so tired and exhausted from all the fake contractions that were doing nothing! I had been at 2cm for almost three weeks and nothing was happening. My doctor (amazing!!! Worth the three exclamation points. Dr. Russell Smith @ Alta View Hospital in Sandy, UT) predicted I would have my baby before I was scheduled to be induced on Wed, Jan 16. My sister came into town in the afternoon. She watched Isla while I took a nap. I was having uncomfortable contractions, but nothing consistent.

I went over to my friend's house and she did my hair for me. I was too tired to do my own hair and didn't want to look like a train wreck like last time. I still wasn't sure if baby would come, but I was ready. It started snowing like crazy when I was at her house. She dropped me off so I didn't have to walk the 30 yards back to my place. As we were sitting talking in her car, my contractions started getting worse. They were pretty painful. I could talk through them, but just barely. As soon as I couldn't fully concentrate on what she was saying (sorry, Kelsey!) I decided to go in and time them. This was around 8 p.m.

At 10 p.m., the contractions were getting more painful and about every five minutes. Oh, and did I forget to mention I had not packed my hospital bag yet? Big oops. I did have a list on my phone however! I ran around grabbing things while the contractions kept coming. Eric's back was already packed. I am the official procrastinator in the family. We made it to the hospital by midnight, in spite of the massive snow storm outside. Thank goodness we were only a few blocks from the hospital.
There was no snow on the ground earlier in the day!
Cutesy photo I never did post to Instagram. Proof I finally packed my bag and that belly was huge!

Friday, January 11, 2013, 12:00 a.m., at the hospital: 39 weeks
Ok, these were really hurting now. I could talk through them, but just barely. We were buzzed inside the women's center and I went straight to the L&D floor. The nurses quickly got me into a room and hooked up to a monitor. These contractions HAD to be doing something to my body! They were too painful to be fake labor. According to the charts, I was having contractions every three minutes. I thought my baby would be in my arms by early morning. During every contraction, Eric would hold my hand so I could squeeze it. It helped, a little. I was squeezing pretty hard, and he didn't even flinch or complain once :) At 2:00 a.m., the nurse came back into our room and checked to see what was happening. Nope. Nothing. Nada. Contractions that I could barely talk through were not doing anything to my body. I was SO mad. So I was just supposed to go home and pretend to get some sleep while these contractions did a number on my back and come back in a few hours? I was one unhappy pregnant lady.

The nurse offered to give me a morphine shot so I could get some sleep. Um, shot? In my rear? No, thank you. I haven't gotten a shot in my bum since I was a kid, but I still remembered the pain. The nurse insisted that it would help me sleep. I finally relented because I really did want to get some rest, and the contractions were hurting pretty bad. She told me to get into bed within 30 minutes because the morphine would make me tired and a little out of it. I made the walk of shame out the hospital and into the waiting snow storm.

*30 minutes later*
Oh heavens. I now understand why people like morphine so much. Morphling addicts in the Hunger Games book? Totally get it. The shot took the edge off my contractions and I felt SOOOO-oh-oh-oh good. I don't know if Eric knew how loopy I really was. I am very sensitive to pain medication, so I felt the morphine-high pretty hard. I could not get a stupid, goofy grin off my face. I felt absolutely amazing.
iPhone pictures to prove it
 I fell into a deep sleep soon after I stopped taking pictures (seriously, I looked back on my phone later, and there were like 50. Why did my morphine-high self want to take so many photos??)

Friday, January 11, 2013: 39 weeks: 5:30 a.m. at home
SUPER PAINFUL CONTRACTION. I don't think I can properly give credit to the amount of pain I was in. It was like as soon as the morphine shot wore off, my pain level skyrocketed higher than ever before. Compared to Isla's contractions? Hers were a piece of cake! Every time a contraction would start to build up over my belly, I would tense up in horror of the forthcoming pain. It took every effort of my concentration to not have a major panic attack with each contraction.

I timed them for about an hour. They slowed down a little, to about every 7-10 minutes. I tried to get some rest. Not happening. I tried taking a bath to see if they would go away. Not happening. I finally told Eric at 8 a.m. that we needed to get to the hospital. We both ran around like crazy gathering things at the last minute. Every time I had a contraction, I had to stop, bend over, and breathe through them. The pain was incredibly intense.
I managed to get in one last belly shot before the hospital. Safe to say she dropped from the photo taken 10 hours earlier! Exactly 39 weeks here.

I was weirdly calm between contractions. It didn't feel like the day I was going to give birth to my second daughter.

9:00 a.m.: Back to the hospital
The car ride to the hospital was torture. I felt every bump. Eric had to drive super slow anyway because of the snow but it was very painful for me. Every time I had a contraction, I felt like my body was going to break in half. I couldn't believe my water had not broken yet.

Made it to Alta View Hospital in one piece. I did not slip on the icy sidewalk while I was walking to the building, which is a huge feat in itself for a hugely pregnant woman.

My doctor came to check on me.

Almost 6 cm. (FINALLY!)

Water about to break.

Which meant the pain I was feeling would intensify by like a hundred (or so my doctor and many friends said).

GET ME MY EPIDURAL NOW!!! {Please, pretty please. Pretty, pretty please.}

I spent the next 20 minutes praying to God that my water would not break. I could not handle any more pain. I would have passed out if my pain level increased. I made Eric pray, too. I was laying in the bed, Eric was sitting next to me, holding my hand, while I frantically prayed over and over again, please, please, please, do NOT let my water break before they put in that epidural. Please please please. I recited that short and to-the-point prayer over and over again until the World's Best Anesthesiologist came to my room around 10 a.m. I was SO over-joyed to see it was the same doctor who performed my epidural with Isla.

10:30 a.m.: Vain Tracie is vain
  Epidural in and working. Water broke less than five minutes after. Sincerely heartfelt prayer of gratitude sent heavenward. Thank you for not giving me more pain than I could possibly bear.

I could still feel my legs like last time. Honestly, the epidural was a little scary but it hardly hurt at all. Not as much as last time.

I had gotten eyelash extensions a few days prior because I'd heard and seen so many good things about them. I didn't want mascara smudging everywhere like my last birth. I wanted to look and feel pretty. So on with my whole Laura Mercier/MAC make-up routine, minus the mascara (which was AWESOME). All those hours of watching Pixiwoo make-up tutorials were finally going to come to fruition.

11:30 a.m.: WHAT THE WHAT

I was taking my time, enjoying labor, expecting my second child would not make her debut until later that afternoon. Just like last time, right?

Wrong! Nurse came to check me an hour after my epidural and I had raced from 5cm to almost 10CM (!!!!!!) in less than an hour. WHAT? I was not expecting that! I was supposed to be able to watch all of Harry Potter 7 AND get a nap in before she came!

 Me mentally freaking out.
Minor anxiety attack. I couldn't believe my daughter would be here in less than an hour. (My doctor's hours end at noon on Friday, so he would be up to help me as soon as his last appt was over). I didn't know her name! She could not be born unless the final name was crossed off our list: Scarlet, Fiona, Brielle, Eva, Eleanor, Maya, Violet, Elle, Gabrielle, Savannah, Daisy. Nothing felt right. We would have to see her first before we picked a name from the list. I was afraid we would be ready to leave the hospital before she was named.

And what did I do with all my pent-up anxiety? Well, first I tried to nap.
HA. That didn't last very long. I was too excited and my heart was racing.

Then I started to feel super woozy and I felt really light-headed. The room started spinning. What was going on? I didn't even have the energy to keep my eyes open. I barely managed to get out to the nurses that I was about to pass out.
I made Eric take a picture specifically for my birth story writing purposes. It took all my energy to tell him TAKE A PICTURE. I fully admit the crazy.
My blood pressure dropped super low because of the epidural. This happened last time. I am prone to low blood pressure anyway. They had to give me oxygen and more saline. Started to feel better, although I was suddenly exhausted. Could still barely keep my eyes open.

12:00 p.m.
I was at 10 cm. My doctor was running slightly late. I started to feel very uncomfortable. Um, nurse? This baby is coming out NOW!! I seriously felt like the baby was literally going to slip right out of me. That is a very weird feeling. I thought for sure she would just come right out before my doctor came!

My doctor finally arrived about 10 minutes later. He assured me this was going to be a lot easier than last time. I hoped so! I hadn't fully recovered from my last L&D experience before I accidentally got pregnant again.

This is it. I was about to meet my sweet baby. I was actually excited this time. Maybe because I knew what to expect? Maybe because I knew she would look like an alien lizard?

Eric was prepared with the video camera and my new t3i. I had skimped out on paying for a birth photographer and was going to have my friend take pictures, but the hour I needed her, she had a super important work meeting she couldn't cancel. So bummed out, and I wish I had paid for someone to do it for Eric so he could fully concentrate on me.

My doctor had me start to push at 12:15 p.m. all the while I was badgering Eric. Is the video camera ready? Do you have the camera ready? Is it ready? Is it ready?? Poor, poor Eric. At least I had an epidural, so I wasn't being mean!

Eric held my hand and held the camera in his other hand. I pushed through one contraction then rested.

Eyes still not opening fully! WHY was I so tired? I could have taken a three hour nap if I wanted to.

My doctor had me wait and rest through one more contraction.

Baby almost slipped right out with no problem... but then my doctor announced her shoulders were stuck.

SHOULDER DYSTOCIA! IS SHE OK? (I had read about this online and was fully versed according to Google U). WOULD I HAVE TO HAVE AN EMERGENCY C-SECTION? WOULD SHE MAKE IT OUT OK?

All these thoughts raced through my head in less than a second. Less than 10 seconds later, my doctor managed to get her shoulders out without any problems. It was the longest 10 seconds of my life. Thank goodness my doctor knew what to do.

12:23 p.m.: The Birth

WHAT? She was here? That was it?! This birthing thing is EASY!!

She was here! She was here! I couldn't believe this tiny babe was mine and I couldn't keep this huge smile off my face. Baby girl S was born at exactly 12:23 p.m., January 11, 2013, on the same day as her cute cousin Olivia. 1-11 is an easy birthday to remember!

I was crying tears of joy this time (as opposed to tears of exhaustion last time). This sweet, purply, lizard-like beautiful baby girl was my brand-new daughter. It took her a few moments to cry, but when she did, it was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.

I felt this rush of emotion well up inside me. I loved her. This new life was my new daughter. It felt right and it felt amazing.

(Ok, Eric gets major points for taking these pictures. He did an awesome job. He completely captured the emotion of the moment.)
I loved my little baby so much.

Eric was so proud. He kept calling her his little princess.
 Baby and mama rested for the rest of the afternoon.

Ok dear readers, this post is long enough. I'll finish it up with this. Next post will be about Isla meeting her new baby sister and how we finally named this sweet baby girl.

I have about 10 posts in drafts. I'm looking forward to writing regularly (like actually once a week!) again.

If you've been wondering where I've been and why I've been so absent: I've been working and writing for

You can read all my stories here and here and here and here and here.

Thanks for all the text messages, facebook messages, and instagram messages of support. I am so grateful for all my family and friends. I truly enjoy the friendships I have gained on this sweet journey called life.

Xo, Tracie

Back to Blogging Review & Giveaway! Seraphine Maternity Dress!

I haven't written in almost three months! End of pregnancy + new baby can leave one in an exhausted state of mind. I'm in the process of updating the design and name (changing to just Bliss + Baby... still happily wedded, just changing direction) I thought I'd kick off my return to blogging with an amazing giveaway!

Ever heard of Seraphine Maternity?  I had not until they contacted me in December to do a review of one of their beautiful dresses. When I looked at their website, I was blown away by all the beautiful clothes for pregnant and nursing mothers. Their clothes have been worn by celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Alyson Hannigan, Kate Hudson and Halle Berry! I am always looking at celebrities in fashion magazine to get ideas on what to wear, especially when pregnant when I'm not feeling so cute, so I was very impressed by their celebrity clientele (although their clothes speak for themselves!).

I was fortunate enough to review the gorgeous Silver Buttoned Charcoal Shift dress. I was always buying dresses while pregnant, and let me tell you, it's all about the cut and fabric. You want a dress that is flattering to your bump & body shape, plus you will need something that won't look super-worn less than a week later. Which I was always having a problem with. Which meant I was always trying to find that "it" maternity dress, and I never succeeded until I wore this shift dress.
The best picture I got was with my iPhone. I got a Canon Rebel T3i for Christmas, and when I was taking pictures for this dress, I couldn't figure out the white balance, and so those pictures are kinda shot. But you can see that this dress is beautiful and it's all about the little details: ruched material at the shoulders. Silver buttons down the back. Form-fitting around the belly. I chose to wear it with a little black belt, black leggings, and black closed-toe pumps. The material felt so comfortable! By far, my favorite dress from this pregnancy. If I could, I would add all of Seraphine's maternity and nursing clothes to my wardrobe!

Tessa Solomons, Bookings Editor from Marie Claire, had this to say about the dress:
"This dress follows this season’s minimal trend, the sleek shape, and subtle details, make it a perfect versatile wardrobe piece.I have dressed it down for work with opaque tights and boots, and dressed it up with some statement jewellery and heels for evening. The jersey is such excellent quality, which is essential due the amount of times I will be wearing this! Wearable through from autumn to early summer, and I can even see myself wearing this after the baby."

Love this dress? Want to wear it for your current or future pregnancy? Enter the giveaway below!

To enter, just leave a comment for each of the following below:

1. Follow Seraphine Maternity on Facebook
2. Follow Seraphine Maternity on Twitter

3. Follow Seraphine Maternity (@seraphinematernity) on Instagram
4. Follow this blog (if you are already following, just leave a comment & let me know!) or follow me on Instagram (@tracietree)

Winner will be chosen by on Saturday!
UPDATE: Winner is Jennifer Shelton! Thank you all so much for entering!!
Stay tuned for the first part of Baby S's birth story on Friday!

Belly Diaries: Weeks 24-33

(If I post this today, I make my goal of posting for the month, so here we go.)

Oh, hi, blog. I haven't gotten on here in forever. And I'm still getting a ton of page hits a day (thank you readers & blog stalkers), which makes me feel bad. BUT I swam a mile at the gym yesterday in 45 minutes (at 33 weeks!!), so that exercise high made me feel better that I chose exercise over blogging.

Where to even begin? How about how crazy I am for starting back up a mini career in broadcasting while pregnant with my second child? Doing my hair and make up for so many photo shoots that I want to throw my hairdryer out (and with two more in the next two weeks, I would like to put a moratorium on wearing make-up for at least a year).
Beautiful maternity photos from the fantastic Jen Hampton
Isla getting the stomach flu and giving it to me (NOT FUN. Losing 7 lbs in two days is horrible. Especially when you still have major pregnancy cravings and can't keep anything down!!). Family time, Halloween, Thanksgiving, trying to clean, trying to sleep, trying to eat healthy, trying to still exercise daily. And when I have a little time left during the day, I prefer to curl up on the couch with Netflix (and/or Harry Potter) & an ice-cream cone instead of write. At least I still Instagram photos?
Modeled again for Milan Maternity! LOVE my new clothes!
And the most stressful part so far: baby girl turned upside down yesterday to head-up (MAJOR OUCH) and now I'm freaking out about her getting too big to turn back head-down. I love my OB. I completely trust my OB. I love that we have c-sections as a completely viable & safe option. But I still can't help but get grossed out by the very thought of my stomach getting sliced open. It just kind of freaks me out, even though I am in NO way against c-sections. The rational part of me understands and supports and cheers for the reasons of a c-section for a breech baby. But the irrational part of me can't get over the idea of my intestinal contents being open & moved around (weak stomach here). And if baby stays in breech position, I will get one, no (major) complaints here. The main goal is to deliver a healthy baby girl, whatever means necessary. I just wish she could go back to being head-down, like she has been for the past 8 weeks. The nurse assured me on the phone today that baby still has plenty of time to turn back around, so I'll try to put this major-minor freak-out on the back burner for a few more weeks.

How many weeks?:  33 weeks 
Countdown: 49 DAYS

Total weight gain/loss: By now I'm up 18 lbs. Was more, but lost a lot due to stomach flu.
Exercise Habits: HAHA. Exercise in the third trimester?? Actually, I've had a little energy and make it to the gym about twice a week to swim laps & do deep-water jogging (which is way harder than it sounds) and try to walk or ride my stationary bike twice a week. And I still do my arm/shoulder/back exercises every other day.
Physical Therapy: All done! I feel so much better knowing how to manage my hip pain. I can exercise without pain. And turn over in bed at night without wanting to pass out.
Sleeping?: Attack of the Pregnancy Insomnia. So, no.
Worst Moment in the past 10 weeks: Stomach flu. Stomach flu, hands down. I haven't been that sick in YEARS. Didn't even compare to morning sickness. There was no relief after being sick to my stomach. Coming in second place: Lakers season start. Glad it's looking better for us. (This really upped my stress levels for some reason. Pregnancy hormones apparently amplify when the Lakers lose and get a new head coach).
Best Moment in the past 10 weeks: Teaching Isla three new words.
Isla's Reactions: E taught her to kiss my belly!

I miss...: Laying on my stomach to sleep. 7 more weeks until I can do that again.
Movement: Having a 3ish lb baby turn upside down in your stomach is really painful. I AM grateful she is healthy and moving, though. Little blessings.
Morning Sickness?: Strangely the nausea is coming back. I don't remember this last time.
Food Cravings: Tillamook's Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream in a wafer cone. Cheese quesadillas. Graham crackers w/ milk. That's about it.
Food Aversions: Most anything in our fridge, freezer & pantry.
Labor signs: STRONG Braxton hicks contractions, espeically when I don't drink enough water. A few have been painful but they haven't been consistent at all.
Moods: Pregnancy Anti-Socialitis is in full force. Sorry, dear friends.
Not Looking Forward to: Being up all night with a newborn while recovering from L&D.
Looking Forward To: Meeting our new baby girl. I can't wait to see who she looks like!!

Coming up: Sneak Peek at our family photos: Anatomy of a Family Photo Session (E is SO glad these are over!)

The Absentee Blogger Strikes Again

Major blogger/writer fail.

I knew this was going to happen: It's been a month. Procrastination is one of my go-to sins in life.

Being pregnant is a good excuse, right?

Having SPD/almost-broken pelvic bones is a good excuse, right?

Chasing after a 15 month old toddler is a good excuse, right?

Trying to get said 15 month old to eat anything other than cheese is a good excuse, right?

Who knew she would actually eat apples if I didn't cut them up?
Having a new part-time sports job is a good excuse, right?

Trying to stay fit and eat healthy for upcoming maternity modeling shoots is a good excuse, right? (SO. EXCITED. for free maternity clothes!!!)

I feel guilty every time I log on to my blogger account. And when I feel guilty/stressed about something, I avoid it. I still get quite a bit of daily traffic even though it's been a month since my last post. Time is moving too fast during this pregnancy. Case in point: I officially enter my third trimester on Monday. I can already feel the painful physical changes.  I wasn't expecting to feel uncomfortable til December, especially since it's taken forever to have my belly pop out, but the sleepless & aching nights are back. Even now as I write this, she is stretching diagonally from my right rib to my lower hip. Baby girl can kick me hard enough to take my breath away. Between Isla's outside pummels and baby girl's inside punches, my stomach is getting quite the beating.

Time management has always been a problem of mine. If I have to decide between napping or cleaning the kitchen, napping usually wins. Sleeping or blogging? Sleeping. Exercising or blogging? Exercise, especially since it's part of my job description. Playing with Isla or blogging? Playing with Isla.

 I'm trying to cram in as much mommy and me time as I can. January 18 is looming closer and closer and I'm scared of what life will be like for me and Isla once the new baby gets here. I want Isla to have a happy mom. I want her to have a happy life. I want her to know that her mom loves her and I want her to feel showered with attention. Daily park dates and exploring and learning and walks and trips to the animal farm have taken priority over everything in my life. I'm grasping frantically onto this special time we have left with just the two of us, but time keeps slipping through my fingers. She must sense something too, because every time I try to sit down at the computer to write something, she's right there whining, complaining and prodding me to go and play with her (she's currently sitting on my lap. I have offered up my phone to appease her temporarily. My time for writing this post is almost done.) How can I say no to this face?
My view of Miss I during our walks
 What possible excuse could I give that would be more important that spending time with my daughter?

I have none. So my blog posts over the next three months will be sporadic, I'm sure. I have a few crafts and a few recipes lined up, I still will document my pregnancy, but I can't definitely say I will post every week, and I don't want to feel guilty about it. Picture posts will probably become my new lazy blogging crutch best friend.
Mommy's girl when she's not feeling well.

Any tricks to getting your toddler to sleep longer than an hour? She's ready to drop her second nap, but hasn't learned to sleep longer than 60-90 minutes for her midday nap no matter how long I keep her up for. I'm finally adjusting to (read: trying to have a good attitude about) this new sleeping schedule.

Elmo lover.
Park Explorer
Thinks it's hilarious to high-five daddy's face.
My life over the past month: Physical therapy appointments (and subsequent massages, hot baths & heating pads to soothe my expanding hips). Work (aka watching football games). Trips up the canyon. Park play dates. Cuddle time with my little bug. Nap time for me when she finally falls asleep. Trying to fit in family time between E's work & studying schedule. Trying to figure out where I stand on political issues so I can vote for the right person. Trying to keep up with my calling as Young Women's second counselor. Trying to keep my house presentable. Trying to keeping up with the laundry. Trying to survive & simultaneously ENJOY pregnancy & a toddler. (I've found ice cream cones help, a lot!). Because I really do want to enjoy this pregnancy and the alien-like feeling of the miracle of life within my belly.

Coming up next: Official pregnancy update coming Monday (Third trimester already?? THIRD TRIMESTER??)

Belly Diaries, Week 23

Busy, crazy, fun, stressful, exhausting, exciting, relaxing. That sums up these past three weeks. We've been on the go with a teething baby and that has been an adventure. I'm not quite sure how molars are supposed to work, but it'd be nice to have a month in between each of Isla's THREE new molars. She's developed a habit of giving me "The Look", which I have been giving my mother for years. Trying to get this girl to smile or eat is hard work!!

Isla is not impressed: with either my cookie decorating skills AND the BYU football team.
Where have I been? Besides napping, you mean? It all started two weeks ago. I went to a BYU football game. This ALWAYS makes me sad I haven't done sports broadcasting for a while (when you're a former BYU sideline reporter for smaller sports, it's a bit depressing to realize if you had been at BYU just a few years later, you could have been a FOOTBALL sideline reporter on a national TV station since they own the rights to broadcast their games now...) So pregnant Tracie scoured the local news sites for any kind of sports jobs. Then Pregnant Tracie applied for said sports jobs (temporary ones, of course). And, I did it! I lucked into a video editing/sports writing job at a local news station for the football season. And now I get paid to watch all the local college football games. On top of this, I have physical therapy, a toddler I have to chase down, trying to keep my house from falling apart, required exercise, required napping, required eating, and trying to help E decide if he wants to get his MBA next fall or the year after that. Oh, and growing a baby in my belly (THIS COUNTS. IT'S EXHAUSTING).

How many weeks?: 23 weeks
Size of Baby: Large mango, 11.5 inches, 1.1 lbs!
Countdown: 17 weeks, 119 more days
Total weight gain/loss: Fluctuates depending on if I've given into my crazy cravings or not. I've either stayed the same or gained 5 lbs, so I won't know for sure til my next appointment next week.
Maternity Clothes?: YES. LOVE. I found the perfect pair of maternity skinny jeans at Ross for only $13. I would wear them every day if I didn't love my pajama yoga pants so much. I can still wear regular shirts, but my maternity shirts are longer and more comfortable.
Exercise Habits: Working out at least 30 minutes a day either walking with Isla in the stroller, stationary bike, swimming or spin class. I throw in 10 minutes of yoga/stretching a day, and switch every other day doing strength training for arms/back/shoulders and my legs. I also have been doing several ab exercises.
Physical Therapy: Mini pregnancy rant (Pregnancy Rage is REAL, people): My back/pelvic pain has been getting worse. I can't turn over or get out of bed without help from E. I made an appt and my PT was supposed to be there. Instead, she ditched out and I met with my hip doctor (all at TOSH) who said there was NOTHING I COULD DO for my extreme back/pelvic pain. No exercises, no stretches. Diagnosis? My pain is from pregnancy. NO KIDDING. He and my PT obviously do not treat pregnancy pain and so instead of referring me to someone who does, they had me come in and pay them money to tell me nothing. The only options the doctor said I had was a steroid shot right in the middle of my pelvic bones. No, thank you. Enjoy my co-pay 'cause you'll never see me again. I found an AWESOME PT and went to an appointment this morning and already feel so much better. I'm looking forward to being able to turn over at night & sleep longer than two hours at a time with stretching and exercises and prenatal massage (best part!)
Sleeping?: Should be getting better with my physical therapy.
Worst Moment in the past 3 weeks: Still watching my sugar/carb intake. Why can't I eat donuts for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, again?? Or pizza. Or french fries. Or Ding-Dongs. It's a struggle to eat 5-9 servings of fruits & vegetables a day.
Best Moment in the past 3 weeks: Either getting my new job OR spending a night away just with E  OR watching Isla become independent: she now loves to go with me to the gym. As soon as I drop her off at the child care center, she runs off without looking back as opposed to screaming her head off the entire time. This makes me equal parts sad, proud, and relieved that I can now spend over 30 minutes at the gym.
Isla's Reactions: She's so sweet--she hugs and pats my belly all the time. I love it. She's also learned to not hit my belly. FINALLY.
I miss...: Eating like a normal person. My appetite is HUGE.
Movement: Her busiest time is at night around 11:30 pm. Baby starts kicking up a storm.
Morning Sickness?: Almost all gone!
Food Cravings: French fries. Pizza. Peaches. Ice cream cones. BBQ sauce. Cherry tomatoes. Cheese sticks. Green-ish bananas w/ nutella or PB. PB&J sandwiches. Cottage cheese. Pudding.
Generous enough to share her pudding with me
Food Aversions: Chicken. Cheeseburgers. Tacos. Over ripe bananas.
Showing yet?: Yes, finally. It is small in the morning, but gets bigger by the end of the night.
Gender: SO excited to have another girl!!
Labor signs: Braxton hicks contractions don't hurt, but they're super uncomfortable. I get them when I don't drink enough water.
Moods: Still feel anti-social. I'd rather read a book.
Not Looking Forward to: I'm slowly remembering what it was like to recover from labor & delivery from last time. Uh-oh.
Looking Forward To: Maternity photo shoot coming up! Okay, in like 8 weeks. But I can't stop looking at and/or pinning pictures.

Tutorial: Easy DIY Team Wreath

I've seen team-inspired wreaths on Pinterest and Etsy. They are cute, but can be VERY pricey. Hello, Etsy shop owners? I am not going to drop $80 for a door decoration. I made mine for a total of about $8.30. That's more like it. I'd rather spend the rest of my hypothetical $80 here or here.

This tutorial is super easy. I made it the other night during a severe bout of pregnancy-induced insomnia, partially brought on because Netflix has added the most recent season of Parks and Rec. My tutorial pictures are HORRIBLE because lighting in my apartment at night is not bright at night (energy saving bulbs, FTW!... according to my husband). But hopefully you can get the gist of how to make the flowers, which are easy, but require the most time.

Firstly, I suppose you need to pick what team you want to represent on your wreath. BYU was a no-brainer: this is rivalry week. The Holy War. We, on the right side, must draw the line, make our loyalties shine bright and clear (especially when you live in Ute territory). I went to Hobby Lobby and got scrap fabric (the cotton for the flowers + the tulle) for a total of about $4.00. The fabric for the blue flowers ended up, to my horror, of being a giant picture of a snowman in a snowstorm. But there was enough blue around the green trees and snowman to make the blue flowers. Which was nice, because that whole yard of fabric was only a $1!

So get your fabric and trace circles. I did two sizes- the bigger flowers are the size of my cereal bowls. The smaller ones were the size of one of Isla's toy rings. I made 8 big flowers and 8 little flowers.

These are SO EASY. Cut out the circle. Stitch around the edge. And pull the thread through until you have a flower. You might need to adjust how the circle lays before you put a few stitches in the middle to hold it in place. Repeat this until you have as many flowers as you want. And that's IT. SO. EASY. I whipped out 16 flowers in about two episodes of Parks and Rec.

I used a glue gun to put it all together. I glued about 3-4 flowers at a time, and then glued it to the wreath. Arrange it anyway you want.

The letters are from Hobby Lobby and were about $1.40 a piece, which I painted white. I had buttons and pearls that are just glued on (pearls from Isla pulling and breaking some necklaces) and the wreath already (which was only $3 from Walmart). So I just spent money on the fabric and letters.

I wrapped tulle around the wreath so the letters would stick better. Extra tulle went to the bow at top.
And there you go. Easy-to-make flowers + wooden letters= a cute team wreath for the Fall.

Pregnancy update coming tomorrow on Monday! (I have sugar cookies to make & frost, a house to clean, laundry to do, and anniversary weekend to go on withOUT a baby!!!, and a football game to make goodies for... so, yeah, Super Busy Syndrome this weekend). I will debut my official "baby bump" at 22 weeks.

Wedded Bliss: Three Years in Pictures

September 2009-2010
September 2010-2011
September 2011-2012
These past three years: One sweet husband, one sweet baby girl, and one on the way. One good life. Happy Anniversary (a few days late) to the most perfect man in the world for me (aka the one that complements my personality perfectly.) I've spent half of our married life pregnant, and this man still loves me. If that's not true love, I don't know what is.

Belly Diaries, Week 20: Halfway There

Poor E. We found out this week that he's officially outnumbered 3 to 1. My premonition from March came true: this little kicking babe is a girl. He said he won't be worried unless the NEXT one is a girl, too. (HAHAHA, the next one. He must mean in about 10 years when we can afford a night nurse and a nanny???). All I can think about are my two girls, growing up best friends together, dancing together, cheerleading together, apparently playing soccer together (According to E--I guess I'm going to be a soccer mom--), playing string instruments together for orchestra, complaining about piano lessons together, shopping with their mama at the staples: Nordstrom & Gap & Target, and NOT sharing rooms when they're teens so that they have the possibility of NOT fighting every day like me and my sister. So many, many things to be excited about!

How many weeks?: 20 exactly today
Size of Baby: Small Cantaloupe, 6.5 inches, 10.6 oz
Countdown: 20 weeks left! I can't believe I'm halfway there. It's all downhill from here?
Total weight gain/loss: +6 lbs. 5 L-Bs in THREE WEEKS. Oh hey weight gain, nice to see you. I've packed it on, as I was horrified to learn at my appointment (apparently my scale at home has been lying). My doctor's not worried, but my iPhone pregnancy app so aptly puts it: "You are gaining an excessive amount of weight... You need to watch what you eat and gain a little at a time... You are gaining at an extreme pace." Ooookay, but sometimes I just want an ice cream cone instead of watermelon. IS THAT SO BAD???
Maternity Clothes?: Maternity shirts are SO COMFORTABLE. I think I might wear them for the rest of my life. My favorites are from Target and the Ross maternity section.
Energy Levels: Well, when your 14 month old is getting all her molars in, and she's up half the night, that means YOU'RE up half the night, which results in being exhausted all day. I still exercise though. But other things, like the blog, or finishing decorating my room, or cleaning my room, fall through the cracks.
Exercise Habits: Doing great, especially since I'm trying to even out the weight gain a little at a time (a fat-shaming iPhone app gives me great motivation). 45-90 minutes of cardio, weights, and my PT exercises. Lots of yoga and lots of stretching. Also-- anyone else mad that Netflix got rid of all their fitness videos on instant streaming? I now have to decide WHICH prenantal yoga video I'm going to buy from Amazon. Most likely going to stay with Crunch Mama Yoga, but if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
Physical Therapy: Swimming helps my achy back but I've developed sciatica which has come and gone since a cheer injury in high school. This is extremely painful and if I don't sleep with a huge pillow between my legs, I can't walk in the morning. I should probably see my physical therapist about this.
Sleeping?: Ah, my sleep schedule is off because of the teething babe. Last night I couldn't fall asleep til almost 4 am. I in no way blame all the new library books I got on my Kindle (Curse you, Percy Jackson)..............
Worst Moment in the past 3 weeks: Realizing I have to watch what I eat and force myself to eat a LOT more vegetables and a LOT less sugar.
Best Moment in the past 3 weeks: Finding out my mother instinct was right and we are having another GIRL! Also, watching her on the ultrasound. I love seeing her squirming and moving and watching her hands and feet and face move. (Except full-frontal face pictures from ultrasounds are CREEPY! You can only see the eye sockets, and it's not pretty. But the cute baby face silhouette is always beautiful.) Also, finding out one of my best friend is pregnant again. Last time I was 8 weeks behind her and this time she's 8 weeks behind me! I love sharing my pregnancies with her.
I can't believe I'm having another GIRL!
Isla's Reactions: Loves my belly. I taught her the right way to pet an animal (as opposed to pulling noses and tails) and so now she pets everything: me, my belly, her baby friends, the couch, her dad.We're getting closer to having almost-always nice reactions to me and other babies.
I miss...: Getting through my workouts fast! It's a pain to take an HOUR to swim just 1750 yards (that's 70 lengths of the pool) . I used to be able to do it in 30 minutes. Now going to the gym, getting ready (if you're not using a swim cap, you're not really exercise-swimming), using my handy-dandy mini white board to write down my workout, warming up, swimming, cooling down, all takes at least 80 minutes.
Movement: I see and feel her kick daily. LOVE THIS.
Morning Sickness?: Still bad nausea in the morning and when I have to change diapers. I can mostly  Lamaze-breathe through it.
Food Cravings: Candy. Ice cream. Peaches. Bananas with PB or nutella. Chocolate milk. Pizza. (I don't give in to most cravings because I'm too lazy to drag Isla and myself out of the house, thank goodness.) Raspberries. Milkshakes (preferably with brownie chunks in them).
Food Aversions: Pears. French fries. Cheeseburgers. Tacos.
Showing yet?: I guess so. I still don't feel like a stranger could pick me out of a crowd as pregnant. The baby is still SO LOW.
Gender: It's a girl! I've already bought two matching outfits for Isla and her little sister. (Oh heavens, I'm turning into my mother already. My 13.5-month-older sister and I were always matching for church, every Sunday when we were little.)
Labor signs: The braxton hicks started a few days ago. So uncomfortable when I'm exercising.
Moods: Majorly stressed for no reason. Weird things stress me out. I've avoided the internet like the plague since my last post last Friday. I'd rather read my Kindle.
Not Looking Forward to: Trying to convince my husband to name the girl the ONE name I love. I haven't decided if I'm keeping it a secret yet.
Looking Forward To: I can't wait to see my baby girl for the first time. I'm seriously so excited for this part. (Even though I know the first time I see her, she'll look like a little wrinkly lizard, I've prepared myself, and I won't care this time, right?) I successfully swaddled and rocked my friend's fussy baby to sleep last week. This gives me hope that I can calm down my OWN future fussy baby and I'm so excited to have another one, even if I don't really love the newborn phase.
I love silhouette pictures, so I'm going to take a (very grainy) weekly one from now on.