28 weeks!

How big is baby? 15.75 inches long and almost 2.5 pounds!
Maternity clothes? Still mixing regular and maternity clothes, but shirts that used to be plenty long are starting to barely cover my whole tummy. I also had to go get a new running shirt this week because I was constantly pulling it down. In the beginning of pregnancy, my workout shirt was a small and now I’m in a large. Wow!
Sleep: Starting to get a little tougher to get comfortable these days.
Best moment this week: Having my knee heal up enough to run my regular miles.
Movement: She is still one hyperactive little girl, but her movement seems a bit less erratic and crazy. I guess maybe she’s running out of room to do somersaults in there.
Food cravings: Donut holes! Sooo bad, I know.
Miss Anything? Comfortable sleeping.
Anything making you queasy or sick: The glucose test drink. Bleh.
Gender: Girl.
Belly Button in or out? In.
Exercising? Ran 24.88 miles this past week! I had another comment from a stranger on how “great” I am for still running. Those compliments are so encouraging and really push me to keep it up!
Mood: Happy and feeling so blessed.
Looking forward to: Seeing my FAMILY (including Lelia!!) this weekend!!!

And just because this is hilarious… Michael turned the camera on himself this week. The photo was originally upside-down, so at least I’ve fixed that much of it. I can’t fix the crazy face though, and I wouldn’t want to! I love being married to a goofball (but I still hope that Munchkin doesn’t make these faces)!

FAIRly fun weekend! :)

This past weekend, there was a little fair in town to celebrate the official start of summer. It was really nothing big- just a few tents with crafts and a tiny carnival in a church parking lot. It was pretty hot, but we walked around for awhile and made it a good time.

We found this one station set up with all these hula hoops! We learned that bigger hoops are supposedly easier to “hula”.

Michael wasn’t too bad at it, but there were some little girls who were practically professional hula-ers!

I just had to try. Please don’t laugh too hard. I know I look SO ridiculous! The baby bump actually improved my performance, although I still have nothing to brag about.

Michael was pretty excited for the fair food, so we each picked a treat to share. He couldn’t resist funnel cake!

I had never tried any before, so I had a little bite to see what it was like. It tasted like a doughnut to me! Michael had planned on me eating more than just one bite, so sadly he ended up with more funnel cake than he alone could handle, and only finished about half of it.

It was hot, so I chose blue-raspberry Italian ice for my treat. Mmmmm.

On the way home we saw some beautiful flowers. We even saw a little honey bee! Keep in mind that I don’t have a macro lens, so I had to get pretty close with my 24mm to get this shot. I’m usually afraid of bees! Anything for the sake of art.

27 weeks

You even get a bonus view from the front this week!

How big is baby? 9.66 inches from crown to rump, 15.25 inches in length total, and a little over 2 lbs! Two of my girlfriends at institute this week said that she definitely looks lower. I feel like my stomach has grown and changed a whole lot in this past week.
Maternity clothes? Some days yes and some days no. I’ve only worn one maternity top (and it was still a little too big), but my jeans and shorts have come in pretty handy! Anything elastic is my best friend right now.
Sleep: Variable as usual. Some nights I get up a couple times to use the bathroom and some nights I don’t get up at all. Lately we’ve been staying up too late that I eventually just crash into a deep sleep.
Best moment this week: Hearing her heartbeat on the Doppler and having the midwife say it was “good and strong”.
Movement: She has had a few very crazy days, and then a few not-as-active days. She seems a little more shy when anyone (even me) touches my belly, and so sometimes instead of kicking back, she’ll just “hide”. She still likes to dance to music, though. Here’s a song she liked a lot today!
Food cravings: Ice cream (but as Michael says, that’s nothing new!)
Miss Anything? Sleeping on my back. I get a little nervous when I wake up lying on my back, because supposedly that can cut off circulation to Munchkin.
Anything making you queasy or sick: For some reason, Frosted Mini Wheats were turning my stomach this week. Weird.
Gender: Little baby giiiirl!
Belly Button in or out? In.
Exercising? Still running, but I hurt my knee pretty badly so I was out of the game for awhile. I have eased back into it this week; taking it slow and being extra careful.
Mood: Happy, but a bit nervous… I think reality is starting to hit that anywhere in the next 10-13 weeks, I’ll have a little human who needs me for everything. I get a little scared that I won’t do the right things, or even love her as much as she deserves.
Looking forward to: The fair this weekend and spending time with my buddy!!

unofficial father’s day

Munchkin isn’t here yet, but I think Michael still had a fun first “unofficial” Father’s Day. He received a cute little card in the mail sent by my mom… signed by Munchkin. I still haven’t figured out how she knows how to write!

All the dads at church got some popcorn, and of course Michael was thrilled because popcorn is one of his favorite things (next to kettle corn, that is!)

I also had a little surprise for him, just for fun (and I even got it for free, so why not?) He always says how the other guys at work bring their mugs into meetings, and now he has a cool mug to bring too!

I am so blessed to have such a goofy, fun, loving husband, and I can’t wait to share him with our kids. He is so naturally talented at playing with and teaching other people’s children, and I am so excited to see him with our own baby in just a few months!

Happy 1st Unofficial Father’s Day, Michael!

hi-ho, hi-ho, a-camping we did go!

I’ve been talking about camping for a few weeks now, and this weekend we finally went! I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to go camping before, so Michael definitely loved my new-found enthusiasm.

I never went camping as a kid, so I guess I never learned all the basic skills you really need to do it. Luckily, I am married to an Eagle Scout who knows pretty much everything and doesn’t mind doing it.

He sets up the tent like a pro.

Thankfully, he also knows how to start a fire.

Neither one of us is all that great at cooking hotdogs, though. Everything might look just fine and dandy in this photo, but both of these dogs fell into the charred-ash abyss just seconds later. Whoops.

I planned a bunch of fun things for us to do, but I didn’t tell him anything ahead of time, so it was all a surprise! We did a “nature scavenger hunt”, which actually turned out to be a whole lot more exciting than I had anticipated! I also had a secret plan for dessert.

We made Campfire Cones, which I had seen on Pinterest not too long ago. They were such a fantastic idea because they are so customizable and whole lot less messy than regular s’mores. Oh, and I guess they were delicious, too! We put marshmallows, white chocolate, milk-chocolate covered caramels and cookie dough bites, Reese’s pieces and M&Ms in ours. Mmmm.

I had found a bunch of glowsticks at the dollar store, so I brought those for some more fun. It was also nice just to have it to wear so we could see each other walking around in the dark. Of course we played with them with the camera’s slow shutter speed.

Michael made a wave.

And I made a heart!

We had such a great time together, and this just might be one of my new very-favorite photos.

Thanks for taking me camping, buddy!

nature “walk”

“Gimpy”. That was what Michael called me most this past week.

I fell and hurt my knee pretty badly on Tuesday, so running has not been an option since then. But if you know me, you know I just had to get out and do something, so I took a few walks and even brought my camera on one of them!

When you take your time getting around, you just might notice some things you otherwise wouldn’t, like these vicious geese.

Some lady ducks.

Or even some beautiful little flowers.

I definitely love finding beauty in the small things.

26 weeks

Time just won’t slow down for even a second!

How big is baby? Book says 9.25 inches from crown to rump (14 inches from head to heel) and almost 2 pounds!
Maternity clothes? YES, although I’m not wearing any in this week’s picture. I busted out the maternity jeans and let me tell you… if you’re waiting to try your maternity pants and feeling even a tiiiiiny bit uncomfortable in your regular jeans, just go for it! They are so comfortable and make me feel a lot better about my body than when I try to squeeze into some of my regular pants. I think munchkin likes them better too, because with regular pants that are semi-tight, she’ll kick at the waistband. I wouldn’t want to be squished either!
Sleep: Good nights and bad nights and lots of naps!
Best moment this week: Starting to really feel a bond with Munchkin. Sure, I’ve loved her from the beginning, but now I am starting to really see her personality as she kicks and dances. I love how she’ll tap on my hand and interact with me. I love that I get to wake up to her gentle morning wiggles. I love how she’s finally starting to interact a little bit with her daddy when he talks to her or touches her, instead of just being shy. I love HER and everything that she is.
Movement: TONS as usual, and she continues to amaze me with how much of my stomach she’s taken over. I feel like there’s not much room for her to reach any higher, but she keeps kicking higher and higher in my belly! Both Michael and I thought we could feel her little fist dragging across my belly a couple times this week. So cool! She also likes to “dance” to Sugarland and string orchestra music. She’s got good taste!
Food cravings: Same old stuff… Poptarts, ice cream, pizza, and rainbow Twizzlers (but I had to settle for Starbursts this time. Tough life!)
Miss Anything? Nada.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope, and my anti-chicken days are officially over- I roasted a whole bird on Monday night!
Gender: Princess!
Belly Button in or out? In.
Exercising? Only 20.44 running miles and some swimming this week due to some pelvic pain.
Mood: Happy and so in love with this little girl, but SO EMOTIONAL! I feel like I cry at the drop of a hat. Michael and I went out for a walk and saw a cute little bunny, but on the way home, we saw a run-over bunny. I was convinced that it was “my” bunny from earlier and could not stop crying about it.
Looking forward to: Reading some childbirth books that the midwife recommended to me today! I’m hoping for as natural a birth as possible, and she said these books can really help motivate and inspire confidence that your body can do what it was made to do.

bookin’ it, shutterfly style

I was beyond excited to go to the post office yesterday! No, I’m not being sarcastic- I had a photo book waiting for me! This is the first photo book I’ve ever made, actually, which might be a little shocking if you know how much I love photography.

The best part was that it was FREE with a coupon I had (except for shipping). Still not a bad deal! And despite the rampant number of technological devices around the house that will let me look at any pictures I want at anytime, there is just something you can’t beat about a physical book to touch and admire. I know that in a couple years, I will love sitting down with Munchkin and showing her all of my most favorite memories and people.

Michael even got his own 2-page spread! What a lucky kid.

25 weeks!

How big is baby? Book says 8.75 inches from crown to rump and about 1.5 lbs! BabyCenter app on my phone says that she’s 13.5 inches from head to heel. Getting big!
Maternity clothes? Still none, but the distance between the button and buttonhole on my jeans seems to be getting further and further apart…
Sleep: Some good nights, some bad nights. I ended up sleeping most of the night on the recliner one night this week because the bed just wasn’t comfortable. Naps are pretty awesome right now, too!
Best moment this week: This isn’t baby-related and might sound a little frivolous to be the “best moment of the week”, but I starting couponing/shopping sales again and “saved” $39.28 on groceries. It just gets me so excited!
Movement: TONS! I’ve been seeing my stomach move from the outside for a few weeks already, but now it will move back and forth or jump on both sides at the same time. I don’t know what she’s doing in there- flailing her arms and legs out simultaneously or maybe rolling? I love feeling her body move under my fingers. I also love letting her find where my hand is, and then sometimes she’ll tap on it. So sweet! Poor Michael is a little sad that she won’t play with him- she usually gets shy when someone besides me tried to feel her.
Food cravings: Pizza, ice cream, and rainbow Twizzlers!
Miss Anything? I’m not feeling like the most productive person these days just because I’ve been tired. Comes with the territory, I guess.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Not as long as my stomach doesn’t get too empty!
Gender: Baby girl!
Belly Button in or out? In… just waiting for the day it disappears.
Exercising? Still 22.88 miles!
Mood: Happy and a little shocked that she’ll be here in about 15 weeks! (Or less if she comes early like her daddy did!)
Looking forward to: Date night (milkshakes and movie night pool-side) with my best friend this weekend! 🙂

Michael asked to have his picture taken this week, too. His disclaimer is that he’s “sticking it out”!

weekend learnin’

Just because you’re out of college and it’s the weekend doesn’t mean you have to be a complete bum. But just in case you were that bum this weekend, I guess I’ll share all my hard-earned knowledge with you so you can feel accomplished, too!

We went to a church barbecue this weekend, and I decided to make a cake, of course! (Bet you could have guessed that one). I saw the “ruffle” design in the May issue of Better Homes & Gardens, and thought I would give it a try. Weekend lesson #1: Better Homes and Gardens makes creating ruffles look a whole lot easier than it actually is. Their cake had “imperfectly perfect” cascading ruffles, and mine… well, mine was imperfectly imperfect. Ah well.

I’ll still call it a success just for my effort and for the fact that we didn’t bring home even one slice- it was devoured! It was actually a “pink lemonade”-flavored cake with my own homemade lemon buttercream. Mmm. Weekend lesson #2: Making up your own lemon buttercream recipe is actually pretty easy! I just used the standard formula for buttercream, plus lemon extract, plus lemon concentrate. So it ended up looking like this:

2 lbs confectioner’s sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup shortening

2 tsp lemon extract

2 TBSP lemon concentrate

Mix shortening and butter until creamy. Add the lemon extract. Add sugar slowly, constantly mixing. Add lemon concentrate and mix until smooth.

Weekend lesson #3 actually has nothing at all to do with this cake, and it almost seems gross to lump it together in the same post… But it is a hard fact of life and someone else out there might be yearning to know a solution to this problem.

One day, you might discover that your running/workout shoes smell.

Now, we ain’t talking about a smell like that nice new “fresh berries” air freshener I put in my living room. We’re talking about the wet-dog-who-rolled-in-a-pile-of-trash-dragging-in-a-dead-squirrel kind of smell.

Not saying that my shoes smelled that bad. I’m just saying that someone’s might.

Anyway, I figured out that pouring some baking soda in them (enough to cover the inside of the shoe, from toe to heel) and then pouring undiluted white vinegar on top of that and letting them sit overnight is MAGIC. In the morning, I threw them in the washer on cold, and they came out pretty much like new!

So there you go. You’re now one blog-post wiser. And if you can relate to that stinky dog smell… it might be time to give your best friend a bath! Just don’t use the same trick you used on your shoes.