My Baby Must-Haves + 3 Week Recap

So, I must preface this post by saying I had started writing a 2 week update last week, but never got around to finishing it; SO…this will now be a 3 week update. The beginning is what I meant to post last week, and even though Christmas is over, I want to share my reflections on my first Christmas as a mother 🙂

 

It’s been 2 (now 3) weeks since Giovanni came into the World and as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, it’s been so special to have him here with us. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and you may remember me saying that before we got pregnant, I was secretly hoping his birthday would fall around this time of year. My own birthday is just three days after Christmas, and it’s been beautiful to reflect on my own mother carrying me almost 27 years ago, and also Mary carrying the baby Jesus.

After giving birth, I am amazed at what Mary had to go through over 2,000 years ago. Even with modern medicine, giving birth is dangerous, and it is a complete miracle to give birth to a healthy baby and also have a healthy mommy.  I can’t imagine not having the team of nurses and midwives by my side, and having to labor and give birth in a cold, damp, smelly and unsanitary stable like Mary. Not to mention what her recovery process was like; giving birth is messy!  Remember…she was only 12 or 13 years old!! What a scary thing to go through at such a young age. It makes me appreciate the cost of my salvation so much more.

A beautiful song that reflects the humble birth of Christ is Michael W. Smith’s “Welcome to our World”. I look at my own son, and can’t believe that our Savior came into the world in the same way…a helpless little baby. He had tiny fingers and toes, and was dependent on his mother, just like Giovanni is dependent on me.

Kendrick and I have learned a lot these past 3 weeks, and have settled into a schedule (somewhat), and have gotten a lot more comfortable changing diapers (Kendrick has done most of the brunt work in this department). For some reason Gio has the messiest diapers in the early morning hours when Kendrick changes him. (He’s already gotten peed on numerous times.)

Our love for him grows each day, as we find ourselves laughing at his funny faces or admiring his beautiful features. As he slept in our bed yesterday, I found myself telling my sister, “I just can’t believe he’s my child.”

Up until you have children your whole life is centered around yourself. Then, you have a child and this new human becomes the center of your world…it still amazes me that my body was able to grow and give birth to such a perfect being. Kendrick has been saying it is a true miracle when a baby comes out healthy. So much has to go right to have a healthy baby, and the fact that Gio came into this world with 10 fingers and 10 toes, a heart that beats and eyes that can see is a complete miracle. 

Here’s a little update on what’s been happening these past few weeks:

  1. My milk coming in. This happened 2 days after coming home and let me tell you…no one warned me how painful it would be!! I took a nap that afternoon, and when I woke up, my boobs had turned to two rocks on my chest!! I’ve had small boobs my entire life, so this new change has been very uncomfortable for me. I qualified for a free breast pump through my insurance, and thank the LORD it arrived the very same day! I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise. I am very thankful that I’ve been able to breastfeed successfully, and know there are many other mothers who struggle with this. In those late night hours, when I struggle with whether to sleep or pump, I’m reminded that it’s a blessing to be able to feed this boy on my own.
  2. Night sweats. They started the night after I gave birth, but I didn’t realize it was normal. When we got home, Kendrick was concerned I was running a fever, but after a friend came over to visit, she told me these were normal and it’s your body trying to get rid of the excess water you stored up during pregnancy. Whew! I was glad to hear that.

5 Baby Must-Haves:

  1. Fisher Price Rock-n-Play. This thing has been a life saver! We ended up registering for this instead of a bulky swing, and I’m so glad we did!! Gio has actually been sleeping in this instead of his bassinet. It’s small, cozy, and foldable which makes it easy to move and transport. It also plays music, rocks, and vibrates. The rocking and vibrating is really soothing for him especially if he’s a little fussy. I HIGHLY recommend this to any mom.
  2. Kiinde Twist Bags. When my milk came in and I had to start pumping, I was SO glad that I had bought a box of these. I love the twist top for easy pouring, and the measurements on the bag.
  3. Dr. Brown’s Preemie Nipples. My sister-in-law recommended I buy the smallest size nipple so that when I started bottle feeding, Gio wouldn’t get lazy and stop taking the breast. Since my milk came in quickly and I had to start feeding some milk from the bottle, I’m glad I had these on hand.
  4. Pampers diapers with the color changing line! I didn’t know the diapers had this until I read a blog post late in my pregnancy and the blogger mentioned that Pampers (and also Huggies) have a yellow line down the middle that changes to blue when the baby wets himself. What a genius invention! Although The Honest Co. diapers are cute, I’d rather have practical!
  5. Nursing tank. This is technically for momma but I count it as something for baby too because it helps you nurse so much easier! I’ve lived in these Pea in the Pod tank tops for the past 3 weeks..I even wear them to bed! I have a couple nursing bras, but these are much more practical because you don’t have to worry about wearing another shirt.  These are another item my sister-in-law recommended and I stocked up and bought four before Gio was born.

 

Mommas out there- what are your must-haves?? Feel free to comment and link your favorites down below!

To my readers– thank you for your loyalty this year and for sharing my posts with your family and friends. My hope for the new year is to get back to posting regularly…and also to share my postpartum fitness journey!

 

Family photo by: Jessie Salas

Welcoming Giovanni!

As I write this, my little babe is fast asleep and I can’t believe he is here! A week ago today I was laboring at the hospital, a few hours away from meeting my little boy.

This past week has flown by, and I’ve quickly learned that life with a newborn is very busy! Between the feedings, changings, and pumping…the hours in the day seem to disappear. I’ve been lucky to have my mom in town from the east coast, and thanks to her I actually get a chance to eat. I’ve also been able to shower and nap, which are huge accomplishments in and of themselves.

It’s funny how quickly you adapt to ‘mom life’ when your newborn arrives. My focus has shifted completely and I’m 100% devoted to my child and his needs. Breastfeeding has been going well for me, and Gio certainly takes after his dad in the eating department. He has no problem latching on, although he does prefer the right breast. (To compensate, I’ve been pumping my left often.) He is healthy and happy, and even tempered. He slept straight through his circumcision without crying (what baby does that??) and slept through getting his blood taken a few days later. Kendrick joked with the nurse that he is better at getting his blood taken than his momma.

Well, before the little one wakes up I want to try and share what I can from his birth story.

So, here goes!

I was laying in bed on Monday morning, December 5 when my water broke. At first, I wasn’t totally sure that’s what it was. When they portray your water breaking in the movies they make it seem like it’s this big event when everything comes gushing out of you. Well, that wasn’t the case. It was more like a slow trickle that I couldn’t control. Kendrick had just left for work, and so I called him to tell him the news. “Call the hospital!” he said. “I’m coming straight home.”

I called and they told me it sounded like all the signs were there, but they wanted to come in and check me to make sure. They said if my water did break, I would be admitted, so to come prepared. My heart started racing hearing this, and I quickly got changed and cleaned myself up. All our bags had already been packed, so we were ready to go! I wasn’t sure if I would experience this big rush of waters on the way to the hospital so I put a towel down on the front seat just in case.

The drive to the hospital was surreal; I kept looking over at Kendrick and he would turn and smile back at me. We couldn’t believe it was happening! Kendrick called his parents to let them know the news; they had flown in over the weekend from South Carolina and were staying close by. We arrived at Kaiser Hospital in Redwood City at 10:19 am. My midwife confirmed that my water had indeed broken, and so I was admitted. Because my blood type is 0-, I had to have a RhoGam shot during my pregnancy and after getting admitted, they had to give me antibiotics (penicillin through my IV) so that I wouldn’t infect the baby when our blood mixed. I’ve never been good with needles, and after getting my IV put in my blood pressure started to drop. I could feel myself getting faint and losing consciousness. Kendrick said the baby’s heartbeat dropped significantly and all of a sudden 5 other nurses were in the room. They put an oxygen mask over me and told me to lay on my side to help increase blood flow. I kept taking deep breaths and tried to stay calm so that his heart rate would come back up. It started to come back up, and after a couple minutes the nurses said that he was doing better. They left the oxygen mask on me though and continued to monitor for a little longer.

After that extravaganza, I continued a slow labor process into the afternoon. By 2:30 pm the nurses wanted to give me citotec to help move the contractions along. Citotec is a more mild form of pitocin, that I was able to take orally.  It only took half a pill to get the contractions started. However, they were still not close enough together so four hours later they gave me a full dose.  That made the contractions really strong, so much so that by 10 pm I decided to get an epidural. This time I did not pass out…thank goodness!

My contractions slowed and I was able to sleep for a few hours. Then, I woke up and started feeling them again. The anesthesiologist came in the morning to give me a stronger dose  and I ended up throwing up all over myself. From then on, it was hard to keep fluids down- I was nauseous and dehydrated. I was also taking a bag of penicillin every few hours through my IV.

My mom arrived around 11 am. (She flew in straight from Pennsylvania!) She wasn’t supposed to arrive until the 10th, but I had called her late Sunday night (the day before my water broke) and told her I wanted her to come out earlier. Who knew I would start laboring the next day!? It all worked out perfectly.

I continued laboring through the morning and still felt strong contractions; my epidural wasn’t giving me any relief. Finally, by the afternoon, they decided to give me pitocin to speed up contractions so I would have the “urge to push”. By this point, I was in lots of pain, dehydrated and exhausted. I had been throwing up liquids and juices I was trying to keep down.

Kendrick was so worried I wasn’t going to make it through the pushing phase, and even called my midwife aside asking if I should have a C-section…I could barely open my mouth to suck on ice chips.

But then..something strange happened. After they gave me pitocin and decreased my epidural (they decided to do this because an epidural often slows down the labor and dilation progress and I wasn’t progressing as quickly as they wanted me too) so… after they did this, instead of being in more pain I just fell asleep! I passed out but they were monitoring my contractions on the screen and saw that I was having really strong contractions but not waking up. It was very strange!

However, the nurses said not to wake me, because I would need my strength for the last and final phase.  I slept for an hour or so and after waking up I felt much better. When my midwife Terri came in she said they weren’t going to give me more epidural; instead they just wanted me to push! It was time to get this baby out. I started pushing at 5:10 pm and had Kendrick, his mom, my sister, and my mom with me in the room. Kendrick was holding my left leg, a nurse was holding my right leg, and I was instructed to grab behind my knees and pull both legs back. While pushing, there were always two people holding my head up (my sister, Kendrick’s mom and my mom rotated).

At 7:45 pm, on Tuesday, December 6th Giovanni Natiello Ribeiro made his entrance into the world!

My midwife Terri immediately handed him to me and I watched while Kendrick cut the cord. They let me hold him until Terri finished stitching me up and cleaning me and then after that the nurses took Gio to clean him up. (I’m glad they let me hold him during that time it was a nice distraction from what she was doing!) They weighed and measured him (8 lbs, 12.9 oz. and 21 inches long) and then gave him back to me to nurse. He latched on at 8:45 pm- an hour after coming out, and nursed until 9:30 pm- 45 minutes!!

 
After that my sister and mom left and Kendrick’s parents helped move our bags over to the other room we’d be staying in post delivery. My legs were still numb from the epidural so the nurse helped transfer me onto the other bed. They wheeled me and baby over to the other room. That night there were a bunch of nurses in and out checking on me and baby. By that point I was so exhausted and just wanted to sleep through the night, but I knew I had this little thing to take care of and that it would be a long time before I was able to get an 8 hour stretch of sleep again. It’s such a strange feeling after giving birth; you wait 9+ months to meet your babe, and then they come and it’s like meeting a stranger. I did not recognize his face, his features, his expressions, or his sounds yet. Now, a week later, when I look back at his birth photos I see HIM- Gio. But at the time, it was all so foreign to me.

***This post has been interrupted by a projectile pooping incident…OH the joys of parenthood!!

Well, before something else interrupts me I will end this post here. This past week has been a wonderful, crazy ride that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Each day brings a new adventure and a new laugh.

Happy 1 Week birthday little man!!

Here are some photos for you to enjoy 😉

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Last belly shot before leaving for the hospital!

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After getting admitted at the hospital

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Carbo-loading! 😉

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Putting on a brave face before I started pushing

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Gio is born!

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Our precious little nugget 🙂

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Heading home 🙂

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No longer two…but three ❤

Lessons for Parenthood

This Thursday will be our last holiday without a child. It’s kind of a big deal.

The sentiment among most first-time parents is this: “Our lives are going to change and they’ll never be the same!” Kendrick and I have accepted this and do not feel a sense of regret, but rather a sense of present awareness. And so, we’ve been soaking up this time together as much as we can. We even took a spontaneous trip down the coast last weekend to Big Sur. At first it seemed a bit crazy to drive 2 1/2 hours to Big Sur and back in one day; but why not? We didn’t have anything holding us back.

We actually met a couple sitting next to us at dinner who had a 10-month old daughter and had driven all the way from San Diego for the weekend. We asked if they had been traveling much and the wife said, “Oh yes! She’s been on 5 planes this year, and we’ve even taken her camping. Having a child shouldn’t prohibit you from doing the things you love.”

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Our dinner view at Nepenthe in Big Sur– so worth the 2 1/2 hours we drove to get there!

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Made it just in time for sunset

I was so grateful for her refreshing outlook on parenthood. For the most part we’ve been lucky and have received encouraging comments from parents, but occasionally you have a parent who doesn’t hesitate to share their less than ideal experiences.

I understand that parenthood isn’t all roses, and that’s okay. We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

Well, there is one promise I can make to my son that I know I can keep; which is this:

“I will not be perfect.”

This reflection came after reading Karl Pillemer’s book, “30 Lessons for Living“.  I recently found it on my bookshelf and realized I had never read it. Karl is a Professor at Cornell University and ran a study in which he interviewed several elderly around the country, who ranged in age from mid-sixties to 102! He compiled all the information from their interviews into a book of 30 overarching lessons that they wanted to pass on to the younger generations. The chapter that most intrigued me, especially at this phase in my life, was the one titled, “Nobody’s Perfect: Lessons for a Lifetime of Parenting“.

I have to admit, I actually read this chapter first instead of starting at the beginning of the book.  My two favorite lessons were these:

  1. It’s all about time
  2. Take a lifelong view of relationships with your children

Here’s what I wrote in my personal journal on this topic.

Dear son,

Your dad and I talk about the first lesson frequently because we feel it is the most important gift we can give you…our TIME. You will grow up so fast and we want to be there for you through it all. Our number one value is family, and so you can expect that we will make that a priority in our home. Some children have dads or moms who work too much and travel all the time and miss out on special life events. We don’t want to be those parents. We want you to remember us being present in your life and being part of the things that are important to you.

2. We realize that once we become parents, we will always be parents. Even when you leave the home, we will never stop being your mom and dad. However, our relationship will change when you’re older. You will no longer have to report to us, you will be in charge of your own life. And so we hope that the values we teach you in the home will follow you into adulthood. The decisions we make in the next 18 years will lead to either a positive or negative relationship in the future; and so I pray that God will guide us with the wisdom to be the best parents we can be for you and that we foster a healthy, positive relationship with you.

We also realize that we are not perfect; so there may be times when we make a wrong decision or say something we don’t mean. Please know that no matter what happens, we will always love you- because you are part of us. You were created by God, but you share me and your father’s DNA. There is no one else in the world like you,  and there never will be- even your siblings will be different.

If you ever doubt my love for you- I hope you will read this and find comfort. You are SO loved and as we get ready to become parents, we can’t promise perfection, although we commit to do our best to:

  1. Listen
  2. Maintain openness
  3. Have good intentions

Te amo meu filho, (I love you my son)

 

To my parent readers: If you were being interviewed, what lesson(s) would you give to the younger generations on parenthood?

Please leave your comments below! 🙂 

PS- thought I’d include an updated bump picture! 37 weeks, 4 days along…we’re in the final stretch!

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7 Tips for Mindful Eating during the Holidays

With the holidays fast approaching, (Thanksgiving is already next week!)  I’ve put together a list of tips to ease your feasting anxiety. 😉

  1. Don’t let the fear of the Thanksgiving Day feast cause you to start dieting now. Instead of restricting your favorite foods the week before Thanksgiving, practice eating mindfully so that when turkey day comes, you don’t find yourself with the excuse to suddenly binge on anything and everything you find enjoyable. Remember, it’s all about balance. Drastic highs and lows in your diet do not do any good. Learning to eat healthy consistently will be much better for you than extreme dieting, binging, and then dieting again.
  2. Offer to bring a dish (and make sure it’s a healthy one). If you’re not the one hosting Thanksgiving, ask the hostess if you can bring a dish. Having a healthy option can bring you a sense of relief if you’re unsure of what the menu will consist of. Chances are there will be someone else secretly thanking you for bringing something they don’t feel guilty eating. I brought this delicious kale salad to Thanksgiving last year, and it was such a hit..seriously! I even had a guest request the recipe and she’s told me she makes it regularly for her family. Another favorite holiday salad of mine is a spinach salad with roasted strawberries and almonds. The roasted strawberries are warm and gooey when they come out of the oven and provide just the right amount of sweetness. Check out the recipe here. spinach-salad
  3. Schedule your exercise for the day. Plan a hike, walk, or go to your favorite exercise class in the morning. (If you live in the Bay Area, visit us at Studio K-Fit for our annual Pre-Turkey Burn workout! 😉 ) Remember, high intensity exercise allows your body to continue burning calories even after the workout is over. If you can’t get out before dinner, plan to do a walk after. This will help fight that ‘sluggish’ feeling and also help you digest your meal faster than if you took a nap or sat on the couch. If you’ve been inside cooking all day you’ll feel grateful to get out of the house for some fresh air.
  4. Use a plate when nibbling. When you’re at a holiday party, or standing around the kitchen waiting for the roast turkey, be sure to pick up a plate so you’re mindful of what’s going in your mouth. The more steps you take to observe the food that’s in front of you before you eat it, the less likely you’ll overindulge in that cheese dip.
  5. HYDRATE. Instead of grabbing a beer or pouring a glass of wine when you arrive, opt for a glass of water. Drinking an alcoholic beverage while also munching on hors d’oeuvres will most likely cause you to overeat/eat more than you planned. If you opt for a glass of wine at dinner, be sure to follow it up with a glass of water. Drinking water in between courses will not only aid in digestion, but also trigger a cue to your brain letting you know you’re full.
  6. Assess your dinner plate. Does it contain a protein (turkey) and at least 1 serving of vegetables (corn doesn’t count). Instead of grabbing a biscuit, mashed potatoes, AND stuffing – choose 1 or 2 of your favorites. For me, I would choose mashed potatoes because it’s something I never make myself. Bread is easy to come by, so I usually pass up the dinner rolls at Thanksgiving. Be mindful if your veggies are loaded in cheese or a cream sauce. If you were munching on cheese and crackers before dinner, choose to eat more turkey and green beans and/or carrots during your main meal; especially if you have a sweet tooth like me and know you won’t be able to refuse a slice of pie. Remember, you control your food- not the other way around!
  7. Slow down and enjoy the experience. Savor the foods smell and texture. Engage in the dinner table conversation and thank those that helped prepare the meal. You don’t have to refuse Grandma’s pumpkin pie, but take small bites and give yourself time to digest afterwards before helping yourself to seconds.

Having a game plan before going to a party this holiday season will help you to make smarter decisions when temptation comes knocking. Instead of completely eliminating everything you love, choose which vice you would rather indulge in. For example:

“I will drink sparkling water with hors d’oeuvres instead of wine.”

“I will have a glass of wine instead of having a slice of pie for dessert.”

“I will eat the sour cream mashed potatoes at dinner instead of eating these macaroni and cheese bites as an appetizer.”

The holidays don’t have to undo all your hard work from this year. With these mindful tips, you’ll be sure to have a healthy, and happy holiday season 🙂

36 Week Update + Embarking on a New Season

Just like the changing leaves, the weeks and days are quickly falling and bringing us closer to the day we’ve been anticipating for the past 8 months. A year ago, we spent a serendipitous weekend in NYC. Although I grew up not far from the city, I never spent much time there except during Christmas; which I now regret because I missed out on enjoying the beauty of the city when it was not 30 degrees outside. The weekend was memorable in more ways than one, and if you’d like to read an inspiring story to lift your spirits today, read this post my husband wrote about why he ran the NYC Marathon. http://www.kendrickfitness.com/inspiration/christys-262-miles-for-hope

He was accepted to run it again this year, however he gave up his spot because he had a hunch I would be pregnant, which was correct! He figured I wouldn’t be happy, (and he wouldn’t feel comfortable) traveling across the country a month before my potential due date. He’s hoping to run it next year, in which case he’ll have an extra cheerleader in the crowd! 🙂 I would love to make it an annual trip, because NYC is SO beautiful in the Fall.

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Today, we’re at the 36 week mark and when I watched my weekly progress video, they re-iterated the fact that in the past 6 months, this little one’s grown from a sesame seed to a 6 pound, 20 inch miracle.

Here’s what I’ve been up to in the past week:

  • washed the baby’s clothes and blankets/linens
  • got his car seat installed
  • started having Braxton Hicks contractions
  • made a list of what I need in my hospital bag
  • scheduled our newborn photographer (thanks Amanda for the recommendation!) http://jessiesalasphoto.com/index2.php#/home/
  • scheduled my last haircut before baby arrives!

Despite the chaos of the past week, I stop and think about what myself and millions of other women around the World are doing- growing  a baby! Every single person alive on this planet (yes, even Donald Trump) started out as a little sesame seed and grew into the human being they are today. During one of my walks this week, I found myself thinking about the man our son will become. In the book I shared in my last post, (Praying Through Your Pregnancy) the author dedicates one chapter to praying for your child’s future spouse. At first it sounded silly, “why should I be praying about that now?” But time moves quickly…even more so when you have children (so I hear). I couldn’t help envisioning what he will look like when he reaches Kendrick’s age, and what kind of woman he will fall in love with. (I even pictured his name on a wedding invitation!)

I’ve been praying everyday for his character…for him to grow up to be a man of integrity and do what is right, even if it’s not the popular choice. This past week we voted for a new President. I wrote in my journal on Election Day and reflected on how far we’ve come as a nation. I thought back to the last big election in 2008 when I was a freshman in college. It was such an amazing time in history and I am so glad I experienced it on a college campus. Whether you voted for Obama or not, the eruption that exploded after he was named President was thrilling. I remember the cheers in the dorm halls and the dancing in the streets.

On Tuesday, I thought about how in 8 short years, history could be made again with the first female President. We now know this was not meant to be, but what an incredible time to be alive. No matter what you believe, or who you voted for, I want to share a verse that Hillary quoted in her concession speech. It gave me chills when I heard it, because it was the exact same verse I picked out to pray over my son over 4 months ago!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we shall reap a harvest if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9

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My son,

Never stop doing good. Never stop loving others, no matter how hard it may be. And never stop fighting for what you believe in.

Love Always,

Mom ❤

Week 34 Reflections…or should I say ramblings ;)

Here we are…week 34! Only 6 short weeks until this little one arrives. I’ve been thinking a lot about how our lives are going to change, and it hit me that November will be the last month we are just Kendrick and Angela. By December, we’ll be mom and dad…how crazy!

I know that technically I’m a mother now, because I’m carrying a baby inside me…but once he’s out in the world, I’ll transition from just Angela…to Angela, aka Mommy. I brought it up to Kendrick this week and said, “Babe, I’m forever going to be Mom. Like, it’s going to be on my epitaph now.”

“How morbid,” he replied.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally thrilled about becoming a mother…and I feel so blessed to even be able to go through this process. I have loved every minute of being pregnant and will miss carrying him because it’s been so amazing to feel his every move. I smile when I look down at my belly because I know he’s safe and protected.

This week he’s the size of a pineapple…and about 5 pounds! He’s between 19-22 inches long, which I still can’t imagine but explains why my belly pulls itself in opposite directions when he stretches.

It’s been 2 weeks since I went on maternity leave and it feels like the days go by a little slower now. Without a regular schedule, it feels like I have so much freedom. I’ve been sleeping in as late as I want, trying to convince myself not to feel guilty since once he’s here I won’t be getting any sleep!

People have been asking me if I’m ‘nesting’, and I tell them I’ve been doing that since July. Once we found out we were having a boy, I started browsing furniture and gender specific nurseries on Pinterest. I knew I wanted a calming, neutral palette- no bold colors or crazy patterns. I fell in love with a design I saw here and used it as inspiration moving forward. I actually ordered the same exact crib pictured here, and also the same blue paint color. Once the room is complete (just waiting on the chair to arrive!) I will write a separate blog post with details as to where we got everything.  🙂

We moved into a new apartment at the end of May, which jump-started my obsession with getting rid of our junk. Anything we hadn’t been using, I tossed. I knew that we would be accumulating a whole lot more stuff once baby came, and that thought was enough to scare me into major closet purging.  After my parents came to visit in August, I started tackling the guest room closet, which would now be the baby’s closet. We had been storing Kendrick’s clothes there temporarily, so I now faced the challenge of combining our wardrobes. I found myself at The Container Store more than once that week, crazily organizing every bit of space I could. The less we had, the better; if I noticed a shirt or pair of pants Kendrick never wore, I tossed it in the donation pile.

Well, after all my crazy antics, his room was finally ready to be decorated. Since we’re in a rental, Kendrick  initially opposed to painting his room. It took some convincing, but in the end I played the pregnant wife card to my advantage. 😉

As I mentioned above, today is a new week of development for Baby K-Fit. Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been keeping a journal that I plan to make into a book as a keepsake. I’ve been writing it in every week, sometimes two or three times a week depending on life events. It’s been so special to look back on what I wrote the day we heard his heartbeat, and when we found out the gender. Another ritual has been reading a weekly pregnancy guide called, “Praying through your Pregnancy“. My mother-in-law read through the book last year with my sister-in-law and when I told her I was pregnant, she suggested doing the same thing. I loved the idea so much that I shared it with my mom as well. Because I live so far away from both of them, this is something that has kept us linked through this process. The author shares little bits from her own pregnancy journal each week, information on baby’s development and related scripture and prayers.

Back in Week 16, I chose two verses that I would continue to pray during my pregnancy. The first was from Matthew 6:21 which says,

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I chose this because it is also a quote in Kendrick and I’s favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. We want our son to always trust his heart, because it is the most powerful thing he possesses.

The second verse I chose was based on the character quality I desire most for my son:

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

Kendrick and I believe kindness will get you farther in life than any other trait. We also believe in the law of reciprocity. What you put out in the world comes back to you, not necessarily in the same form or right away, but in other ways you may not expect. Therefore, if you continue to be kind and do good onto others, that goodness will come back to you.

 

 

 

If you’re a Mommy, I’d love to hear about any special rituals you did/do during pregnancy.

Thanks for reading!

xo

❤ Angie & Baby

Cinnamon & Sugar Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

I’ve always loved everything pumpkin…maybe a little bit too much. In high school, I couldn’t wait for the pumpkin spice lattes to make their debut, the Wawa pumpkin muffins, and Dunkin Donuts pumpkin donuts. (For those who don’t know, Wawa is a gas station/convenience store chain on the east coast.)

One Thanksgiving, my family and I traveled to Lewisburg, PA to spend the weekend with our extended family. We stopped at Wawa to grab our favorite treats for the road – pumpkin lattes and a very large pumpkin muffin for me. Everything was fine and dandy until we started driving on some very windy, back roads. I get car sick easily, and suddenly that delicious pumpkin muffin I had enjoyed about an hour earlier was starting to make another appearance. I had my dad pull over and I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

I thought that experience would forever taint my enjoyment for pumpkin flavored things…but I am happy to say that enough time has passed now, that I am no longer scarred.  I’m glad because I really do love pumpkin. 😉

I wanted to enjoy apple season first, before I broke out the canned pumpkin. This weekend felt like an appropriate time to finally make something pumpkin.  I was inspired to make these pumpkin muffins from Hanna, of The Healthiest Me. She made a healthy version using whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of oil. I modified a bit and used white flour instead, because when you’re pregnant, it’s easier for your body to break down white flour instead of whole wheat. Obviously, eating starchy carbs can attribute to faster weight gain, so it’s not recommended that you over-indulge in these foods. But, at the end of the day whether you consume white flour, or whole wheat flour, they both turn to sugar in the body and therefore there’s not much of a difference in choosing the healthier “whole wheat” option.

These were easy to make, and the best part was the delicious cinnamon and sugar glaze I drizzled over them while hot. Ideally, I wanted to do a powdered sugar glaze, but didn’t have any powdered sugar on hand.

Here’s the recipe:

Cinnamon & Sugar Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour (or whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of milk as needed (can also use soy or almond)

Directions:

  1. Beat together the wet ingredients (pumpkin, applesauce, sugar, eggs and vanilla).
  2. Add in the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking soda, and 1 cup of flour. Mix together until all flour is incorporated.
  3. Add in the additional 3/4 cup of flour and mix thoroughly.
  4. Throw in a dash of salt and milk.
  5. Scoop batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. **Oven times can vary- I set the timer for 15 minutes first, checked the insides, and cooked for an additional 3 minutes.

For the glaze:

  1. Stir together a mixture of white sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of milk.
  2. Spoon the glaze over the warm muffins. **If you have powdered sugar, you can make a glaze of powdered sugar and water. I do not have exact measurements for this, but you don’t want the glaze to be too runny, so be careful when adding the milk.

 

This recipe makes 14-15 muffins. I suggest storing the muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator once cooled. Since the glaze contains milk, I didn’t want them to get moldy sitting on the counter. When you’re ready to indulge, just pop one in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and enjoy 😉