Friday, May 29, 2015

Pregnancy Survival Kit

maxi dress // cute water cup // Eucerin lotion // Eucerin Body Wash Oil // bra extenders // Sanuk Sandals // massager // snacks // citrus everything

As I'm nearing the end of this pregnancy I thought I'd put together a list of a few things that made pregnant life much comfier this time around. I relied on a few of these during my first pregnancy as well (hello, maxi dresses and massager!) and the rest of them I wish I'd known about right from the beginning. 

1. I already talked about how much I rely on maxi dresses in my maternity style necessities post, but since flowy or stretchy dresses are literally all I've worn the last few weeks, it's worth mentioning again.

2. Lots and lots of ice cold, lemony water + a cute cup to put it in. Something about pregnancy makes me very very thirsty, and it also makes lukewarm water taste absolutely disgusting to me, so I've always got my refillable cup either next to me, or in the fridge. Also, I finally bought a lemon juicer, which means no more pesky lemon seeds in my water. Kinda silly, but I'm still pretty excited about that purchase.

3. I've mentioned many (many many) times in my bump updates that my skin itches like crazy when I'm pregnant. I've got a drug store worth of lotions in my bathroom, and the only ones (like seriously, the only ones) that work for me are the Eucerin brand. I know some people swear by bio oil, and I've tried that, but it actually made my skin itchier. In fact, a lot of lotions that people recommended and swear by made my skin itch more, so I know everyone's skin is different, but this is what personally works for me. And because their lotion worked so well, I got the body wash oil as well, which I use to shave my legs and wash my belly (the two itchiest parts) and I swear by them both.

4. I wish I'd known about bra extenders right at the beginning of my first pregnancy, because I cannot stand the feeling of anything touching my rib cage while pregnant. I don't care about shaping or lifting or boosting anything right now, I just want my bras (no underwire!) hanging loosely to provide a little extra coverup. Technically I'd rather be braless altogether, but that's not always feasible, so bra extenders are the next best thing. 

5. Toward the end of my last pregnancy and postpartum my feet were super puffy. Even normal flip flop straps dug into my feet, so when I saw these cushiony stretchy Sanuk sandals at DSW I had to have them. The sole is made of recycled yoga mats, so they're super comfy and have become my go-to everyday shoe.

6. Back pain and pregnancy go hand in hand. Sad but true. Both pregnancies I've had issues with my rib cage, and I think we stocked up on two or three different massagers which offer great (although temporary) relief. A heating pad also worked wonders.

7. Hangry is a real thing when you're pregnant (and personally, even when I'm not pregnant I tend to get hangry) so I try to never leave the house without food for Ez and I. I've got smushed up Clif Bars and Larabars in my purse, crackers in the car, and I tend to grab an apple as we're walking out the door, just for good measure. When it comes to pregnant ladies or toddlers you really can't have too much food within arm's reach at any given moment.

8. Citrus everything has been a major must-have this pregnancy. I'm sure this is a matter of personal preference, but I'm obsessed with citrus. I want to eat it, drink it, smell like it, and fill the house up with it...seriously obsessed. Scents are a big deal during pregnancy, and most scents are not pleasant at all, but citrus doesn't make me nauseous or give me headaches, so I may have gone a little overboard with my white citrus hand soap from Bath & Bodyworks, Paul Mitchell's lemon sage shampoo & conditioner, lemon mint candles...the list goes on and on. 

Tums would probably be good on this list too, except that they gross me out and make me nauseous, but there have definitely been a few nights where heartburn relief would've been nice. Besides that, what else am I forgetting? I've got one month to go, so please share any pregnancy comfort necessities that'll make this last month easier!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

San Francisco - Our Pseudo-Babymoon

I'm calling this a pseudo-Babymoon because technically Joe was in San Francisco for work and Ez and I just decided to tag along. Also, are kids generally allowed on any kind of "moon"-type vacation? Whatever you want to call it, Joe's schedule still left plenty of time for family activities, and we all had a blast, so it worked out well.

Case in point:

1. We went boating. Twice. (Cause Ez loved it that much):
We tried a row boat one day and paddle boating the next day. I say "we", but really Joe did all the physical labor. Ez helped too, in the typical way that a two year old's help tends to increase the time of any activity threefold. But we all loved it, the weather was perfect, and none of us fell in the goose-infected water, so it was definitely a win.

2. Lots of walking and exploring:
We wandered all over Golden Gate park, walked down to the piers, and explored the area around our hotel, by the Metreon and financial district. 

3. Snapping photos of all the beautiful scenery. Ez is a huge fan of all the various bodies of water in SF (fountains included):
We stayed near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and Ez loved visiting there daily to throw pennies in the fountain. Also, the views from our room were gorgeous and Ez was all about playing in the window seat while pointing out the buses and cars driving by down below.

4. It's not a vacation without lots of good food:

5. You didn't think we skipped dessert, did you??

Pretty much every afternoon ended like this:
Play hard, nap harder.

As all vacations do, our week flew by way too fast. While I'll miss leaving for a day of fun and coming back to a clean room, it is nice to be home and slowly easing our way back into some semblance of routine.


Monday, May 25, 2015

35 Week Bump Update - Baby #2


35 weeks - aka, that weird pregnancy limbo phase where I'm wondering how the end got here so soon AND how are there still 5 weeks to go?? For the longest time I was using Ez's birthday as a landmark that we're nearing the end of this pregnancy, but now his birthday has come and gone there are really no other big events between us and birth, which means we're "officially" in the home stretch!  

Healthwise, I'm feeling extremely large and pregnant, but otherwise pretty good right now. Heartburn is minimal, my rib pain went away, and that prenatal massage and a whole day all to myself left me feeling completely rejuvenated. I know it's not feasible for all pregnant mamas to take a day off, but if you can get any time away for yourself I highly recommend it. I feel like it resets your mind and you come back ready to take on whatever life (aka - a toddler) can throw at you.

Cravings include lots of citrus: grapefruit, pineapple, and super lemony ice water. Like basically lemonade minus the sugar. Trust me, I still love sugar, but ice cold lemon water is just the most refreshing drink to me right now. Also, I had my first ripe peaches and cherries of the season and they're everything I was hoping they'd be. I'm so excited for more summer fruits! 

Nothing much has been accomplished in terms of nesting, but thankfully not too much needs to be done. We still need to hang some curtains and clean out their room a little bit, maybe rearrange some furniture. We should probably stock up on tiny diapers too. Other than that I think we're basically ready.

In big bro news, we've been reading Ez his new baby books, and now he'll point at himself and say "big brother!" Which is the cutest thing. He also brings his baby doll out for a cuddle almost daily. And he's always pointing at my belly and saying baby. I think he's about as prepared and knowledgeable as a two year old is gonna get. I've been loving reading up on how Amanda over at Plum Tickled Pink is adjusting to parenting two, and it gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, this transition will go smoother than I'm anticipating. Fingers crossed!

In baby news, this little guy is as active as ever, and he likes to switch up between tap dancing on my bladder or jabbing my lungs. Judging his movements I'd say he's about ready to move on to a bigger space. Only a few more weeks, lil guy!

You can read all Baby Craig's bump updates here, and all of Ez's bump updates here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Maternity Photos - Baby Craig #2


I absolutely love these photos our friend Amber (from RMA Photography) took back when I was 30 weeks pregnant. It was a very low key, relaxed shoot and that picture of Ez standing next to my belly smiling up at the camera is one of my most favorite shots ever. 

With Ez I waited till I was 8 months pregnant to take photos, and while I love those photos I decided that for this pregnancy my plan is to do absolutely nothing the last month. Especially not dress up and document how huge I look and feel, so I'm glad we planned ahead and did our photos a month earlier this time. Now all I have to worry about during this last month of pregnancy is printing a few of these out to hang on our walls. And I should probably finish getting their shared room ready. Oh, and the tiny little detail of picking a name. So yeah, there are still a few things on the baby to do list, but thankfully most of them can be done in yoga pants and a baseball cap ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Day of Ez's Favorite Things


I've already talked about Ez's birthday party, which was the Saturday before his birthday, but on his actual birthday we decided to go a simpler route and spend the whole day just the three of us doing his favorite things. 

We started off with smoothies at the mall followed by some time running around the mall play area. Ez was totally in his element and by the time we left he was a pro at climbing some of the trickier structures. I swear, sometimes it's like he's literally growing right before our eyes. While we were at the mall we also visited the motorcycle at the Kiehls store, let Ez steal a rock from one of the planters (he's obsessed!), and stopped by the Disney store where Ez got to pick a birthday present (he chose Sheriff from Cars). 

For lunch Ez had a few classic kid faves: grilled cheese, fruit, and, most importantly, a birthday sundae from Cheesecake Factory. After all that running around I'd say that definitely hit the spot. 

Post-nap it was time for more of Ez's favorites, this time at the park. On the agenda: swings, stick collecting, tree climbing, and...bubbles! I love how excited he gets about exploring nature and running around outside. 

We capped the whole evening off with cupcakes and Mater's Tall Tales. To say Ez had a blast would be an understatement. He's always happiest when all three of us are together, and then to have a whole day of our undivided attention plus activities catered just to him? Pure heaven. 

I hope turning 2 was just as special to you as it was to your Daddy and me, Ez! We love you!




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Momcation


When Joe asked what I wanted for Mother's Day I didn't really hesitate at all when I told him I wanted a night all to myself. Aka, a night away from him and Ez. Super tactful, I know. 

Don't get me wrong, there is no place I'd rather be than with Joe and Ez. They are my two absolute favorite people to spend time with, but pre-Joe and Ez I was really into alone time. Like if it didn't happen on a frequent basis my world just didn't feel right. So the fact that I made it two whole years without any significant chunk of alone time says a lot about just how much I love spending time with Joe and Ez. At the time Joe asked what I wanted, we were in the midst of weeks-long colds (all 3 of us), plus Ez was teething, then throw in normal 2-year old behavior and my being heavily pregnant on top of all that. It was definitely time for a vacation. 

Thankfully Joe was not offended, and was actually super excited for some one on one guy time with Ez. Win/win. 

So how did I spend my 24 hour momcation? 

To start with, some shopping and bookstore browsing. Then Joe spoiled me real good and I got a prenatal massage (best fiancĂ© ever!). I've never had a prenatal massage before, and to sum it up it was basically the most relaxing hour of my life, and the best I've felt physically at any point during either pregnancy. If you're pregnant and this is in anyway an option, do it! Afterward, to keep the relaxation going I spent some time in the jacuzzi (only my lower half, so baby wasn't cooking in there). The rest of my evening can be summed up as a whole lot of girly R&R. I did my nails, read a whole book (I highly recommend Girl on the Train - such a page turner!), gave myself a facial, and took a nice long bubble bath. I enjoyed the rare commodities of silence and personal space and sleeping in. It was every bit as blissful as it sounds.


And then I rushed home in the morning so I could cuddle my lil guy. What can I say? A day away was rejuvenating and exactly what I needed, but being reunited was a pretty amazing feeling too. For me, anyway. Ez didn't seem to care at all about my being gone and was completely unimpressed when I returned. He and Daddy had way too much fun meeting friends for lunch, watching a Dodgers game, enjoying a Cars movie night, and, of course, running around the park. Mommy who?


I have to take a minute to brag on my man. I'm so lucky to have a partner that takes such incredibly good care of both Ez and I (and our soon-to-be new bundle of joy) - thanks for all you do, babe!



Friday, May 15, 2015

Ez's Birthday Party


I already talked about all the train details of Ez's party here, but obviously I still have tons of family photos to share, so consider this post one huge birthday album for Ez to look back on one day. About 30 people, all family, showed up to celebrate Ez's big day, and it was so sweet to see that many people love on Ez. He didn't quite know what to make of all the attention and was a little shy, especially after the day got off to a rocky start with a tantrum to go along with every step of getting ready. For some reason Ez just wasn't feeling my idea that he should wear clothes and have a semi-clean face and teeth at his own party. Once we finally made it to the restaurant, we let him entertain himself with Mater's Tall Tales while we set up, which cheered him up, but that also meant that everyone who showed up while Cars was on was basically just background noise. Eventually we turned Cars off, got him some cookies, and he warmed up to everyone. 

When it came time for everyone to sing Happy Birthday he completely froze with a deer in the headlights look on his face. I have to admit, looking down a long table with 30 pairs of eyes staring back at you is pretty intimidating. After everyone sang, I tried to demonstrate how to blow out the candle, but apparently I was a little overzealous because I accidentally blew it out for him. Kinda anticlimactic. But the irritated look on his face was priceless. Every time I look at that picture I crack up (3rd from the top). And don't worry, Ez got two more chances to blow out his own candles on his actual birthday. The first time he tried to snuff it out using his fingers (Joe caught him in time), the second time he just ran away, apparently scarred from the first two times... Better luck next year, Ez!

Ez was so spoiled with love and, of course, presents. After most people went home, he demanded the grandparents and uncles sit on the floor with him to play with his new cars. I'm pretty sure that was his favorite part of the whole day. Any time he'd notice anyone standing or sitting in a chair, he'd stare them down and pat the floor next to him until they got down on his level. Apparently it's ok to be a little tyrannical on your birthday ;)


As soon as his head hit the car seat he promptly passed out, Thomas the Train balloon in hand. We eventually had to wake him up three hours later. Definitely a sign of a good party:

We could not have asked for a better way to celebrate our sweet, sometimes surly, always entertaining two year old. Thanks to everyone who came!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chugga Chugga Two Two - Train Birthday Party Details


The whole train party idea came from these letter trains we bought back in March spelling out Ez's name. Ez loves anything with an engine, so he would've been just as happy with cars, airplanes, or construction vehicles, but I was set on using his name train as decoration, so trains it was!

From there I went straight to Pinterest (naturally) and that's where I found the idea for the chugga chugga two two posters, which I decided would be a simple DIY project. Turns out cutting out little letters is fairly time consuming, but Joe took Ez out for the day so I didn't have to contend with little fingers reaching for my scissors. Plus cutting up poster board is strangely therapeutic. I'll just store those away and baby #2 can have a train-themed party too ;)

For Ez's 1st birthday I made two picture collages using 12 slot frames - 1 month for each slot, and then I gifted those to the grandmas as a Mother's Day present. This time I went more low key with some clothespins, string and 70 cent wooden trains I found at Michael's. I made two garlands with six photos each and hung those above the cake. I also framed two 8x10 photos of Ez with a giant 2 balloon and a train in his hand, and the grandmas each got to keep one of those. 

I'd seen a lot of elaborate train cakes on Pinterest, many of them involving marzipan and fondant, which I'm not a fan of, so I went the more simple route (notice a theme here?) and got a round cake with brightly colored dots from the bakery and put one of Ez's larger Thomas trains on top. I also bought a dozen red and white cupcakes and added some Thomas the train cupcake toppers that I got at Party City. 

When it came to party favors I stuck with tradition and made some sugar cookies shaped like trains. Again, I saw some adorable train cookies on Etsy, but at $30+ per dozen, I opted to make my own less professional but still cute cookies. Good thing too, because the kids scarfed down at least 20 cookies while we were waiting for food. In case you were wondering, I made hot air balloons for Ez's baby shower, and one-shaped cookies for his birthday last year:

I put the cookies in a suitcase that a friend gave me at Ez's baby shower. We used it for a time capsule, where each guest brought something symbolic from that year, and I also use it to store mementos for him, but I figured the travel theme went along with trains, so it became a cookie-holder for the day.

The kids also got little treat bags with Thomas stamps and bubbles, plus a sheet of stickers and another train cookie. I found the train invitation on Etsy, and sticking with my no-fuss theme I didn't even print or mail it. Digital copies make life so much easier.

Ez's party was in a private enclosed patio at a restaurant, so it wasn't really necessary or possible to go all out with decorations. Instead of worrying about food or cleanup, I just remember being surrounded by family, eating lots of good food, and watching Ez enjoy his day. All in all, a perfect 2nd birthday. More party pics are on the way, but with hundreds to choose from this will be a two (or three) parter!

You can also check out my original toddler train birthday inspiration here.