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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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

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

What will we name him?

One of the most frequent questions we are asked after people know we are having a boy is…

What are you naming him?

It feels like we have discussed several thousand names.  Being a teacher makes selecting a name a little more challenging.  Another layer to that is one of the schools we both worked at we referred to students by their initials, so we have thought about what his initials will be as well.

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Our name we picked out for a girl is Lyndon and I’m still absolutely in love with it, but we are having a boy.

Some of the names for our little boy we have discussed are…

Joseph:  Craig’s father’s first name.  Since Craig’s father has passed away we thought about using part of his name for the baby, but we aren’t too fond of other people we know with that name.  Even more so, we don’t like the idea of him being called “Joe” or “Joey”.

Lawrence:  Craig’s father’s middle name.  We liked it for a little while, but again, we aren’t thrilled with the thought of him being called “Larry”.

Cayden:  Craig keeps circling around back to this name, but I’m not sold on it at all.

Laxton: I like this one…Craig does not.  He prefers Paxton, but Cole had a friend with that name and I just can’t.

Jaxson or Jackson:  Craig likes this one, but it’s way too popular.

Max/Maxwell:  Craig is into this one too—as I write this I realize how open he is and how resistant I am.  Maxwell reminds me of coffee and Max sort of sounds like a dog…I’m just not so sure about it.

Maddox:  In case you haven’t noticed, Craig likes names with an “x” in them.  I’m not a fan of this one…uggg will I ever like a name?

Lennox:  Family name which would have a lot of meaning, but not sold on him being called “Len” or “Lenny”…as an English Teacher all I can think of is Lenny in Of Mice and Men.

Isaiah:  I like this one, but Craig accuses me of being a closet Celtics fan and thinks that’s why I like the name.  I do like the player Isaiah Thomas a lot, but since he is now on the Cavs this name is off my list (I’m not a Cavs fan).

Josiah:  This name we both like, but are not in love with it.  Since Craig’s father’s name is Joseph is has that connection, but again we don’t like the idea of him being called “Joe” or “Joey”.

Pierce:  I like this one, but Craig does not—since it is a former Celtic player (I swear I’m not a Celtic fan).

Craig Jr.:  Craig doesn’t like the idea because he feels a lot of men who name their son after them are controlling and he doesn’t want to be that dad.  He wants him to have his own identity.

Do we select a name that is popular?  Unique, but not too unique?  Family name?  A Jr?  So much to think about, but I know when the time comes we will have the perfect name for our little one.

When we have decided on a name we have agreed not to share it with anyone until he is born…now if we can just agree on a name for the lil guy!

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Share in a comment:  Which name do you like best?  Any suggestions for us to consider?

Crystal

 

Top 10 Best Parts About Being Pregnant

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Pregnancy isn’t always full of positive experiences, but I took a moment to reflect on what my top 10 best parts.  This is what I came up with…

10.  More to blog about:  With all the excitement I have more to write about…I just have to commit to taking a specific amount of time to write per day/week.

9.  Organization: I’m a pretty organized person, but now I have stepped it up a notch and started to update my lists of birthdays of family and friends–I used to be a lot more thoughtful and send cards for special occasions and now I want to make it a goal to do that again!

8.   No period:  Does this one need much explaining?

7.  Another excuse to take pictures:  I enjoy taking photos, and another reason just makes it even better!  I have very few photos of my previous pregnancies, and this one being my last means I will take tons!  I’m sure I will drive some nuts with them all, but I’m excited and proud of my growing, healthy baby…and body.

6.  A reason to buy new clothes…and shoes….and bras:  Even if I’m not a huge fan of maternity clothes I do like buying new clothes…I have been able to find quite a few items that I like to wear, and I will be needing to stock up on some winter items too!  Since I’m on my feet all day teaching I *had* to go shoe shopping too.  I’ve found that sketchers have some really comfortable shoes and some of them are cute!  I did have to break down and buy new bras which I didn’t want to do at first, but I’m much more comfortable now—that could explain why my moods have leveled off lately?!?!

5.  Learning more about my body:  I have learned more about my body by being pregnant this time around than I have ever.  I have more of an interest in learning about what is going on, so I research everything.  I now realize that the cramping I  usually feel mid-cycle is actually ovulation, I know the difference between an ovary and follicle,  what the placenta vs. uterus is, and even the various theories of gender swaying and prediction—I became a bit obsessed with reading all about those!

4.  Presents:  Who doesn’t love presents?  I have received maternity clothes, a mani-pedi gift certificate, a homemade blanket, packages in the mail of goodies for our little one, and bags of baby clothes that will be a huge help!  I’m a lover of those fun types of surprises, so they are definitely one of the best parts of being pregnant!

3.  People (including students) are generally nicer:  Maybe I’m imagining it, but students and co-workers seem a lot more friendly.  Even strangers spark up conversations and smile more than usual.  Who can be mean to a pregnant woman I guess?  Friendly people means one happy pregnant momma!

2.  People are more likely to go out of their way to give you what you want…cravings:  Not that I abuse the perk, but I do enjoy being given what I want, when I want it…man I have a penchant for those Tim Horton’s blueberry muffins!  Craig is picking one up on his way home from work as I type this.  Now if I can convince my mom to make her lemon poppy seed bread…hmmm…is she reading?

1. Realizing there is a little life growing inside…beyond amazing:  Taking a moment to really think about the life growing inside, the miracle of it all, how I’m chosen to carry this tiny life, wow…God is great!  Feeling his movements is precious, but most moms know there is that uncomfortable feeling my cousin Brittany describes perfectly when she said, “the worst is when he will literally feel like his foot is coming out of your va-j!”

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On that note…my next post just might be about the struggles of being pregnant.

Share in a comment: What is your top favorite part about being pregnant or having been pregnant?

Crystal

 

 

Update: 22 Weeks Pregnant

My goal was to keep up to date with the pregnancy updates, but again I find myself slacking.  My grandfather experienced a stroke and gave us quite the scare, so we have been spending as much time at the hospital as possible—maybe I will dedicate a blog post all about him because he is one amazing man!  He was moved to hospice, but has been making positive improvements and will be moved soon to begin therapy.

 

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“I felt him kick” (Grandpa in hospice)

 

I am also back to work now that school has started.  I have so many new ideas for my students that I have been spending a lot of time planning creative lessons for them!  Being pregnant while teaching is a first for me, so this semester will be interesting.  Hmmm…I went into labor in school with my eldest daughter…will I go into labor with this little one?  I guess we shall see!

How far along: 22 weeks, 1 day today

Baby is size of a: according to my Ovia App he is the size of corn on the cob, but he sure feels like he’s the size of a watermelon already!

Total weight gain: my last appointment I gained 9lbs which was a huge change from losing weight…Doc was happy!

Maternity clothes:  I am wearing them every day…winter will be here soon though and I do need to decide if I’m buying a maternity coat or not…hmmm….thoughts anyone?

Sleep:  I toss and turn quite a bit because he is quite active mixed with the fact that I can’t sleep on my stomach!  Pillow between the legs is a must too!

Best moment this week:  Grandpa feeling the baby kick…he was so excited!  My boyfriend was also finally able to feel and witness our lil guy practicing his jump shot…he has been incredibly active!

Symptoms:  Heartburn like crazy…I’ve never been one to experience heartburn, but now I can drink water and all of a sudden the burn is on!

Food cravings:  Tim Horton’s blueberry muffins (warmed up, cut in half, with butter)….yummmmmmmmmm!!!!

Food aversions: none

Gender: Boy

Name: None set in stone yet…it is difficult to name a child when you’re a teacher.  We are waiting until after he is born to share the name though.

Labor signs: None, but I swear with all the movement he might break my water soon!

What I miss:  Being able to clip and paint my toenails without contorting myself

What I look forward to:  maternity photos…yes, more of them

Milestones:  today marks my first day starting a full week back to work…I can no longer squeeze between the clusters of desks in class and have to take the long way to reach certain students

Bump:  growing and noticeable, healthy

 

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Happened this week

 

 

Any advice you would like to share?  

Crystal