26 Weeks Pregnant

Crystal

How far along: 26 Weeks

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Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of a butternut squash or a bowling pin…he feels more like he’s the size of a bowling ball though!

Total weight gain: I don’t want to talk about this, but doctor is happy (and baby is healthy)!

Maternity clothes:  Of course I’m still wearing them—not the most stylish clothes to wear, but they aren’t what they used to be.  I bought another dress to wear that I do love…I might wear it for the baby shower, but I haven’t decided yet.  Some clothes I feel fabulous in and others just make me feel not so great (like the oversize shorts and shirts I wear to bed)—superficial I know!me
Sleep:  I have quite a bit of difficulty sleeping…after laying on the right for so long I’m sore, so flip to the left, then after so long I’m sore again and flip…then I have to flop out of bed to use the bathroom…then he thinks its time to play and is kicking…then the alarm to wake up sounds.

Best moment this week:  Hmmm…Craig’s surprise date night to see School of Rock…the baby was rockin out to all the music!

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Symptoms:  Well no more heartburn now that doc prescribed me something.  Shortness of breath, back pain, and of course feeling baby kicking quite a bit—we can even see him moving!

Food cravings: I wanted a Thanksgiving meal, so that is what we had…soooooo good!!!  Apple Cider, Belgium waffles, and apple pie or apple crisp too!

Food aversions:  None

Gender: Boy

Name: Still no name…nothing we are both totally in love with yet, but we will agree on one eventually.

Labor signs: Too early for that, but I swear I felt a couple contractions while walking around the public market yesterday.

What I miss:  Laying on my stomach in bed or being comfortable just laying on the couch.  Bending over with ease is another thing I miss—if you come to my classroom and see highlighters on the floor it’s because I have stopped bending over to pick them up!

What I look forward to:  I was not a fan of the idea of having a baby shower at all, but I am looking forward to seeing people I haven’t seen in a while, celebrating our little MVP, and having a good time.

Milestones: Does the Bills leading the division count?  Maybe baby is good luck for them? (although as I’m typing this they are not doing so well…come on Bills…Super Bowl this year!)

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Bump: It’s more like a hump now…

 

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Crystal

Dear Absent Father,

I’m not sure if it is because I’m pregnant which has made me think about people in my past, but I’ve been thinking about an individual some would label as my “biological father”.  This is an individual who was in prison for some time while I was a child, did not raise me, stepped into my life for a minute later on, and after unveiling his character I decided it was safer to keep my children away from him.

I decided to write an unsent letter to him: 

Dear Absent Father,

As a young child I made up fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.  Wishing on every dandelion I picked…

Years went by…

I created more fairytales of where you were, who you would be, and how you would return.

I knew I resembled you from what I had been told, so every male I saw with blonde hair and blue eyes I would think to myself, “could this be you”.  For years I did this…even as a teenager as a cashier at the local grocery store…imagine a young teenager wondering if each and every one of the blonde hair, blue eyed, males who walked through her line could be her father.

I continued to create more fairytales.  Send more dandelion wishes…

You decided to make that step and introduce yourself…it was nothing close to that fairytale I created, what I wanted, or what I expected, but I opened my heart.  I opened it because I had yearned for so long.  I just wanted to be wanted.

I’m an observant woman, and hearing about your upbringing and where you came from I understood you didn’t know how to be a father.  You didn’t know how to raise a child.  I gave you the benefit of the doubt.  I accepted you for you, left the past behind us, and began to build a relationship.  It wasn’t perfect.  I couldn’t call you “dad”.  I had a dad who raised me, one who earned that title, one who also didn’t know how to raise a child, but he did it without batting an eyelash and Lord knows that man shed some tears dealing with me as an ungrateful, hateful, teenager.  It also hurt him when we began to build a relationship, but he knew I needed to find me.

I needed to find me…

Did I find me?  I thought I did.  For years I had to build me.  Encourage me.  Support me.  Protect me.  Provide for me.  I had to because you were not there like you should have been.  Maybe in a way you are a part of my success because I don’t need a man to do those things for me.  Now I just don’t know how to allow one to when he wants to.

Every now and then I wonder…how can you sleep at night?  How many children have you denied (or have you lost count)?  How many raised in poverty?  How many have seen those bars like you?  Taken the path like you?  Do you feel any sort of guilt?  Remorse?  Regret?  Shame?  Do you feel sorry for yourself?  Angry?  Does it even weigh on your soul?

I try not to judge…I really do…even as I type this I try to understand, but I just can’t…

For years I asked myself, “why don’t you want me?”

Sadly, I’ll also admit that every time I hear your favorite song, “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard you come to mind.  A person’s favorite song usually says a lot about who they are, so I have thought many times why you feel such a strong connection to it.  After listing to it a few more times I ask this…

Do you think your mom would be proud? God?

Are you proud?

Crystal

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My Thankful 30

This Friday we completed the second full week back to school which went fabulous, but it ended in a meeting that left me out of sorts.  I allowed myself to become bitter and I brought the negativity home with me, which is never fun for my family.

Gratitude

I decided I needed to put a stop to it and take a moment to reflect on the more popular moments of the week that I’m thankful for.  A strategy I recommend for anyone looking to turn their mood around!

  1. Celebrating McKinley’s Birthday…she is officially a teenager!
  2. Hearing Mick’s team (and the opposing team) sing Happy Birthday to her
  3. Soccer, soccer, and more soccer
  4. Cole’s Cross Country Meets
  5. Messages from former students
  6. Continuing to keep up with my blog
  7. Hearing all is healthy at my doctor’s appointment and listening to his heartbeat
  8. Some amazing students…nobody will ever see or understand those little moments that go on inside my classroom
  9. Surprise breakfast sandwich from my amazing co-worker
  10. Surprising one of our co-workers with a thoughtful gift who is a first time grandfather
  11. Everyone being able to SEE the baby kick…lil guy is active and strong
  12. Hearing my Grandfather on the phone…after his stroke I was unsure if he would recover and he is slowly, but surely making improvements!  He is the most strong, stubborn, fighter I know!
  13. Going through baby names with Craig…always fun…he thinks it’s hilarious when I start yelling the name out like he’s in trouble or he’s about to score a goal…we have to know how it will sound, right?
  14. Apple Crisp with vanilla ice cream in bed…compliments of Craig
  15. Our first daycare tour…a gofundme page is coming soon…haha!
  16. Buying some more maternity clothes…having more options in the morning makes it more likely to have a positive start to the day
  17. Cole playing bass for homecoming
  18. Grandpa licking the container out of the Apple Crisp we brought him…haha
  19. Our first visit to Brighton Farmer’s Market–who doesn’t love live music, fresh food, beautiful weather, food trucks, plants, and holding hands with your man
  20. Snuggling with McKinley while she felt her lil brother kick
  21. Eating some amazing Italian food…Veal Parm is one of my favs!
  22. Cole going to his school dance
  23. Payday $$$$$
  24. A quick chat with a friend I haven’t talked to in a long time
  25. Healthy meals
  26. A man who wakes up early to make my lunch for work in the morning…all because he wants to…he even woke up extra early one morning this week to make egg salad for me
  27. Gramps feeling the baby kick again (to be honest I don’t think he was kicking at the time, but we will just let him believe he felt him)
  28. Receiving my Fabfitfun box…always fun when it comes
  29. The smell of the house as the turkey dinner is cooking
  30. Selling a couple items on Teachers Pay Teachers (who cares if I only made a dollar—still makes me happy)

Just a short list to remember all the wonderful moments from this past week.  Next week will bring even more to be thankful for!

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Share in a comment:  What are you thankful for from this past week?

 

Crystal

 

 

Top 10 Favorites of Fall

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Is it just me or is apple picking a little overrated? Maybe because we went on what was the hottest day of the year at a scorching 91 degrees (unusual weather for us here in Rochester), but I keep wondering what on earth people become hyped up for to go pick apples.

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We had fun though…laughed the entire wagon ride, wondering if the jolting might initiate an early labor, ate cider donuts, drank cold cider (it was way too hot to drink anything even slightly warm), munched on popcorn, and bought a ton of apples.

Even though apple picking may not be my favorite fall activity, it is my favorite season of the year…so much that I named my first child Autumn!

 

My Top 10 Favorites of Fall 

10.  Football…which means lots of snacks:  I will admit this wouldn’t have made my list a few years ago, but I have come to enjoy watching football with Craig.  There is usually some sort of dip and/or tasty finger foods involved while watching and who doesn’t love food?  We feast on football days!

9.  Crockpot Meals:  Now that it’s fall I have broken out the crockpot and the fall meals…not only does it make my life so much easier, but everyone enjoys the Chicken and Dumplings (or as we call it: “Chicken Dump”), Pot Pie Soup, Lasagna Soup, Pulled Pork, Pot Roast…ohhh…I could go on!  There is just something satisfying about dinner being ready when we come home.

8.  Leaves/the colors:  Maybe I fell in love with leaves in kindergarten when we all had to bring one in and put it under our paper and color over it…ahhhh…awesomeness right there!  I’m the one in search for that perfect leaf no matter where we go.

7. Boots:  They can be tall, short, furry, leather, brown, gray, blue, black…I love boots and this is the boot season!  This reminds me I need a new pair…recommendations anyone?

6.  Pumpkins/Pumpkin Pie:  Whether the pumpkins are decorating the yard or pureed in a pie I love them!  Now the carving of the pumpkins I will admit I do try and scam out of every year…this year I’m thinking we need to try painting them.  Hmmm…

5.  Oversized Sweaters and warm blankets:  I’m all about the cozy comfort of an oversized sweater or a toasty blanket!

4.  Apple Cider/Apple Cider Donuts:  Apple Cider either hot or cold is amazing!  I order the hot apple cider from Tim Hortons with whipped cream on top and bottom and it is delicious!  Apple cider donuts are little circle shaped fall treats that are just as delicious, but a little harder to find fresh.

3.  Apple Crisp:  Who doesn’t love freshly made, warm,  apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream?

2.    The weather:  The fall weather is perfect!  It isn’t too hot or too cold, and if it is dressing in layers quickly solves that.

1.   Fall Family Photos:  This is my most favorite fall activity ever!  I started years ago with just snapping a quick photo each year of the kids in the leaves in the backyard, but it has evolved into a big event where we go to a local park to take a ton!  They are always an adventure!

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Share in a comment:  What is your favorite thing about fall?

Crystal

 

 

 

 

Fall in Love with Fabfitfun

 

Some women buy manicures, pedicures, and massages to pamper themselves.  One way I like to spoil myself is with the Fabfitfun subscription box (click link to sign up and receive a discount).  I enjoy receiving the box in the mail and it usually arrives on a day I need some positive vibes.  I’m hoping the mailman realizes the coincidence and understands that I’m not some crazy stalker as I wait for him to deliver my box!

If you are looking for a thoughtful gift item for that special someone this would make an amazing surprise!  Items are a mixture of skin care, hair care, make-up, beauty, fitness, and even jewelry related items!  I haven’t been disappointed with a box yet!

 

I just received my box today and these are the items that came with my initial thoughts…

 

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Mer-Sea & Co. Cozy Wrap:  This looks like it might be my favorite item of the box.  Feels thick, soft and of high quality!  This will be perfect for the cooler weather on the way.  As a teacher my classroom temperature fluctuates, so I will be keeping this in the room for those moments I need a little warmth.

I purchased an extra…not sure if I will give it as a gift or hold my first giveaway. Hmmmm….decisions decisions. 

 

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dpHUE ACV Hair Rinse:  This is another item I know I will love!  Every once in a while I rinse my hair with apple cider vinegar to clean it and bring back shine, so I’m sure I will love this item!  I can’t wait to give it a try!

 

Cotext wire heart ceramic jewelry holder:  This is a cute item, but honestly I don’t have much space on my vanity for it.  I’m sure other Fabfitfun members will be looking to trade something for it, so that is what I will probably do.  Trade anyone?

 

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DECO Miami Cuticle Oil (Lavender):  I am a huge fan of lavender and take care of my nails, so I’m excited to give this item a try!

 

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treStiQue Lip Color: (Matte)  I don’t wear lip color often and when I do it’s usually lighter shades, so this will be a change for me to try.  I have a couple darker colors, but haven’t found one that is a fit for me yet.  I’ll be giving this a try to see if this is the one!

 

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The Jetset Diaries Beanie:  I will either gift this item or trade it.  I have a black beanie already in a higher quality, so I wont be needing this.

 

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Private Party Gym Bag:  I received the “Gym & Juice” bag in my box.  Since I have been slacking on going to the gym and I don’t need a bag because I change at home I will be either gifting this item or trading it.  I like it, but have enough bags as it is.  Cute item though!

 

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Whish Beauty Renewing Mud Mask:  Since I love mud masks I’m sure this will be a much loved item from the box!  My skin is so much cleaner and softer after, so I will be trying this sooner rather than later.

 

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MYTAGALONGS Hot & Cold Gel Pack:  I’m sure being pregnant this will find quite a bit of use!  I’m not hoping for a migraine to try it, but I’ll be pulling this out if it does.

The Cottonelle fresh wipes will either go in my guest jar or to one of the kids for their sports bags.

 

There you have it… a quick review of the items in the Fall Fabfitfun Box!   It isn’t my most favorite box FFF has sent out, but it is well worth the money—I have items I wouldn’t normally purchase for myself to try which I think is one of best parts about receiving them.

Sign up here to receive a discount code if you are interested in pampering yourself or someone you love!

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Share in a comment:  What is your favorite item in the Fall box?  What item do you think you would enjoy most?

Crystal

24 Weeks Pregnancy Update

 

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How far along: 24 Weeks
Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of an eggplant
Total weight gain: I don’t weigh myself at home, but I will find out Friday at my next appointment
Maternity clothes:  Wearing them every day!  Just bought a new dress on amazon and was a little worried because it isn’t technically a maternity dress, but it was just delivered yesterday and I love it!
Sleep:  Sleeping better, but he wakes me up with all the movement sometimes.
Best moment this week:

1.  Craig surprising me with a “in between seasons” Fabfitfun box with some new maternity shirts for the upcoming cooler weather.  He really goes above and beyond to make sure I’m comfortable and taken care of.  He has to be the most creative and thoughtful man on the planet!

2. Our sunset date with McKinely…we took some great silhouette pictures.  We were even able to take one of McKinley giving the peace sign which she loved—she does not like photos taken of herself, so this was a huge surprise!
Symptoms:  Heartburn is still in full force…call me the Pepcid popper!  Since I really do not enjoy taking medication every day I drank apple cider vinegar mixed with water before bed last night and no heartburn. I’ll be trying this again to avoid taking meds!

 

Food cravings: Goulash…yummm!
Food aversions:  None
Gender: Boy
Name: No name yet…I’m in love with the name Curtis, but Craig has an uncle with the same name which would be a little awkward.  We are still searching for a name for him.
Labor signs: Too early for that
What I miss:  My non-maternity clothes…I miss having more options to pick from.
What I look forward to:  Now that the nursery is painted I’m looking forward to beginning to design it
Milestones: You can SEE my stomach move when he is moving around in there
Bump: For 24 weeks I feel larger than my previous pregnancies…a little scary considering they were large babies.

 

Share in a comment:  What pregnancy symptoms were the most difficult for you to handle?  Did you have to resort to medication for relief?

 

Crystal

Experiencing the Layers of Pregnancy

I am officially 23 weeks pregnant.  I never thought I would even entertain the idea of having another child, but I fell in love with an amazing man and that plan changed.

When I met him I told him straight, “I will not be married, I will not have anymore children, and if you are still hung up on some ex or into drugs don’t bother with me because I don’t have time to play around”.

The poor guy looked at me and said, “Ummm…can we just go on a date to see where that takes us?”

And here we are now…23 weeks pregnant!  Whoa!  I think I’m more scared now than ever before!  How will I balance my life?  How will I sleep?  I want to breast feed, but will also be working…will I be able to pump enough?  And the dreaded thoughts about my body and what it will look like after I give birth…

For now I will focus on the beauty of my body as it changes and embrace the layers of change.

Today I took a few minutes to take some photos of myself to do just that…focus on the beauty of my pregnant body.

If this offends you I don’t apologize. If I wasn’t pregnant, on a beach, and in a bikini then you wouldn’t be offended at all.  It took me years to love my body, and becoming pregnant has caused a range of emotions to continue to love every part.

Share in a comment:  Did you find it easier to appreciate your body while you were pregnant?  Before pregnancy?  After?  How do you maintain a positive body image?

Crystal

Post inspired by The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Layered