Friday, May 22, 2015

Mini Dates

I have a feeling our future is going to be riddled with mini dates (i.e. nights where we maybe have one hour or so to do something fun outside the house, with or without baby). Anywho, lately it seems the manfriend and I have been trying to do our share of mini dates before the mini Moe comes to town.

Dessert @ Sweet Life

Banana cake w/ berry filling for her. Cream puff for him. Decaf for both.

While it would be much cheaper to grab ice cream from the grocery store or make something at home, getting out and about forces us to just chat (not stare at a screen) and do a little people watching.


At 38 39 weeks pregnant, we are still trying to get out and hike even for a few miles on The Ridgeline Trail or at Mt Pisgah. It's a good reminder that stepping out your door and heading even 15 minutes away can feel like a bit of serenity. Hiking doesn't require a huge road trip or hours of driving and it will be fun to do when we can plop Baby Moe in the Ergo and go.

Beer (or kombucha)!

Even though I'm not drinking right now, it's fun to be out and about among people socializing and having a good time. And a little bubbly kombucha makes it feel a little more special than sipping on a water or iced tea for me.

Coffee on a Saturday Morning

There's just something about slowly sipping a fancy cup of joe that makes it more exciting than in your living room, ya know? Plus, getting out of your PJs to get fancy cup is worth it (to me anyway).

Bike Dates

While this one is harder to do with a child, it is easily achievable with the help of a grandparent or babysitter. Plus, a bike date can be just that (an easy spin down the bike path with a few stops for chatting or sitting) or it could be a commute downtown for a fun drink.

Trying a New Restaurant

Last weekend we tried out an Indian restaurant for the spice-wary manfriend! While he couldn't eat everything on the menu, he did enjoy a new experience. And even if you've been to the place before, but it's been a while or you try something you wouldn't normally order, that can make it feel like new.

Dog Walks

These have a multipurpose benefit: it gets all three of us out in the fresh air, allows us a chance to chat, and calms the dog down when she's antsy pantsy. Lately, she's required at least two, if not three walks per day. I think she can tell something is about to change in her world!

Do you have any good mini date ideas or favorites to share? 

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Third Trimester: Week 37

The countdown to baby continues. At this point, Baby Moe is full term and could come any time, although on average, first babies do come late.

Week 37

How I'm feeling: I'm becoming less and less able to bend with this bump in the way. I've been using the coffee table or the manfriend to assist in my shoe tying these days.  

I've been saying this for  the last few weeks, but I'm just feeling BIG these days. Strangers especially are saying things about me being big or ready to pop, which is both interesting and annoying. At the end of this week, I felt some Braxton Hicks contractions at night, but nothing that lasted too long.

Also, it was hot over Eugene Marathon weekend (mid 70s) and I was just thinking how thankful I was that I wouldn't have to endure 3-4 months of warm temps with this little furnace strapped to me.

Baby: is the size of a winter melon (~18.9 to 20.9 inches, 6.2 to 9.2 pounds) and still kicking like crazy. My appointments are weekly now and baby remains head down and is positioned low, which is good.

Weight gained:  28 lb.

Exercise: walking waddling, yoga, and weights

I started really ramping up my walking this week taking any chance I could to walk an extra 30 minutes here or there.

What I'm wearing: Thank goodness for my maternity skinny jeans from Motherhood Maternity. Nothing else really feels just quite as comfy on my belly or legs like these jeans.

Baby preparations: This week I started getting a little antsy, feeling as though I had done everything I could possibly do. So, I vacuumed and mopped the house again and organized a few drawers in our kitchen to make room for baby bottles and such.

We had our last birth class, where we went through a practice run through of how a birth might go and then focused on the postpartum period.

Craving: sushi and wine (and specifically, fun wine outings like visiting the local tasting rooms w/ friends on a sunny weekend in wine country)

Random: wedding ring still fits. I just expected this to be nowhere near possible at this point. We've been watching a ton of Netflix lately in the evenings, mainly Anthony Bourdain's Layover show or House Hunters International.

Have any good Netflix suggestions (movies or shows)? Best meal you've made recently?

Related posts:
Exercise During the Third Trimester
The Third Trimester: Week 36
Dear Self

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Exercise During the Third Trimester

Well, I better get this posted before a) I forget how much my fitness has changed during this last trimester and b) I pop out a baby.

Here are my first and second trimester recaps on exercise in case you missed them.

At 37 weeks pregnant, it truly feels like you live your life in this little waiting game. Part of my brain is being completely rational and preparing to be pregnant for another four weeks, but another part of my brain is saying "but you could also have a baby in your arms in a few days." Basically, I'm trying not to expect things to go a certain way.

Running takes a back seat
Anyway, the third trimester is considered to be week 27 on. As I posted previously, it really felt like my third trimester (in the exercise realm) started around week 28. All of a sudden, running much at all became more uncomfortable, even with a belly support band.

And by 31 weeks, I was down to alternating 1 minute of running with 1 minute of walking. It no longer felt like I was really "going on a run," so at 31 weeks I decided to put my running on pause and stick to walking and hiking instead.

Hiking, I found, was a great alternative to running because I could still get my heart rate up with the inclines, while challenging my muscles too. Not to mention the fact that the trails around here are gorgeous and perfect for personal reflection. Highlights included: taking the bump up Misery Ridge at Smith Rock and hiking with the manfriend at Sweet Creek, Mt. Pisgah and up Spencers Butte. And finally, hiking 8+ miles at Silver Falls with Elizabeth at 34 weeks along!

I definitely had to take a few breaks during hikes and take it slower than before, but it was still worth it!

Oming it
At 34 weeks along, I took my last studio yoga class before opting for my own mat practice or yogaglo classes at home. This conveniently coincided with the point in time where my running tanks stopped appropriately covering the belly.

Jogging (of the aqua variety)
As I started getting a little antsy, I decided to head to the nearby pool for a little aqua jogging 1-2x per week, which got my heart rate going and my muscles fatigued and sorta, kinda, almost felt like running. On top of that, a 10 visit pass is only $34 making each visit pretty affordable. Plus, they have a little workout center upstairs, which includes a few good treadmills, elliptical machines, and a decent variety of weights.

Sorry, no pics of me aqua jogging in my pre-preggo polka dot two-piece, although I'm sure it's a sight to see. Hellooooo bump. 

And finally, in these last few weeks, my yoga has slowed down (pre natal online classes only), hiking is minimal, and walking and weights are where it's at.

I mentioned this in last week's pregnancy post, but I'm pretty impressed with how I've embraced the downshift in my fitness over the past few months. It hasn't been easy mentally, but it seemed natural to slow down and do what my body was asking for. That being said, I'm really getting the itch to sign up for a race to have on the calendar for late summer/early spring!

Let me know if you have any questions about exercise during pregnancy.

Please keep in mind that each person is unique and our abilities (pregnant or not) are so varied. Check with your doctor before trying anything new, especially during pregnancy. And above all else, listen to your body. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Third Trimester: Week 36

Another week bites the dust and my pregnancy app says I have 3 weeks and 1 day until my due date. Oh my lanta! 

Week 36

How I'm feeling: Heartburn was a beast this week. I'm guessing it's the way the baby is sitting/pushing against my stomach, but whoa, not fun. Again, papaya extract really saves the day for me when heartburn hits.

Also, I feel like I really grew in the last week. The belly just looks huge to me and other people don't seem to be afraid to let me know it either.

Baby: is the size of a honeydew melon (~17.2 to 18.7 inches, 4.2 to 5.8 pounds). And boy am I feeling it! When I have to get up at night, it almost feels like I am picking up a bowling ball. And when he/she moves around, my belly turns into all kinds of interesting shapes.

Weight gained:  27 lb.

Hello, little buddha belly

Exercise: walking waddling, yoga, and weights

Frankly, I'm impressed at how I've handled the whole exercising less thing. It seems that the more immobile I get with the ever expanding belly, the more I embrace the fact that right now, walks and a little strength training are all my body needs.

What I'm wearing: whatever fits over the belly + Birkenstocks. Also, just a friendly P.S.A. that these sleep pants are a-mazing and affordable.

Baby preparations: I finally got our changing pad, a few covers, some reusable wipes, and wipe solution. Yes, the whole cloth diapering thing requires a lot of "stuff," but I'm hoping it's worth it in the end. We also watched the Happiest Baby on the Block dvd, which offered some helpful tips for calming a baby.

We had our fourth birth class, which focused on transition and the second stage of labor (delivery of baby and placenta). I honestly got a little light headed thinking about the pain and the fluid loss as we watched a few live births on video (I would not do so well as an ER or labor & delivery nurse). But, I have complete faith that I CAN do it.

How is your week going? And what's on deck for your weekend? 

The Eugene Marathon is happening this weekend and even though I'm not running, I have a few friends coming into town and some fun social events happening surrounding the marathon. And, we have plenty of sun in the forecast! Ah, I love race weekends!

Related posts:
Dear Self
The Third Trimester: Weeks 34 and 35

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dear Self

I'm sure you've seen this kind of post before or perhaps written one of these letters to yourself in the past. Back in March, I read Katie Hart Morse's post that inspired me to want to write a letter like this to myself.

I do journal about once or twice a week usually before bed, but the last nine months have really been for the purpose of documenting my personal pregnancy journey on paper. I thought this would be a fun way to round up my life as it is in the moment from several aspects.

Dear Self,

You are currently 32 years and four months old. You are also 36 weeks pregnant and things are bumpin' (literally). The baby is growing and moving around a ton inside of you. Pregnancy and growing a human is quite the miracle that everyone says it is and you and the manfriend are in awe of the whole thing on a daily basis. 

30 weeks

At 32, you hare learning more and more about how you want to spend your time (hint: on things that truly fill your soul) and debating how your career will evolve.

You have been taking classes full time the past two terms for nutrition and before that, part time for 2+ years. But you got this opportunity to move in a new direction and it just might be perfect for you. (Hint: working at a brand new running store in town and helping with the launch and strategic marketing for the store)

The last six months have been full of more change than you've encountered in oh, 9 years. But you're taking it in stride and figuring out day by day what it is you might want to do. A little bit of nutrition, a lot of helping people, running, writing, getting outdoors, strategic marketing, and personal training. 

 Me. Running on a trail. Can't wait to be back. 

You're not sure if you'll finish the nutrition program at Oregon State University, which sometimes makes you feel ashamed and like a quitter or failure, but also reminds you that it's okay for life to have twists and turns. But deep in your heart, you know that there's more education in your future no matter what. 

While you aren't working full time, you have been able to truly nest and prepare mentally and physically for this little one to come into the world. Your house is cleaner than ever and you've had more time to stay connected to loved ones. 

And finally, you are more grateful than you can express to the manfriend for his support as a husband, a friend, and the excited father of Baby Moe. 

While your life is just about to be turned upside down with the arrival of this little one, you're reminding yourself that when things get tough, this year's mantra of "You are enough." will be more true than ever. Motherhood is going to be challenging and amazing in so many ways. 

Lots of love,

Have you written a Dear Self letter to yourself recently? If so, link it in the comments or leave me a line or two on who you are right now.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Third Trimester: Weeks 34 and 35

Can you believe I'm at 36 weeks today? Eeps! Just one month to go (give or take a few weeks/days)!

Week 34

How I'm feeling: Overall, I felt pretty good. The belly is getting BIG and I'm sure strangers think I'm just about to POP. Baby feels like it's moving a bit lower and I'm feeling more punches and pressure on or near the bladder.

Baby: is the size of a butternut squash (~17.2 to 18.7 inches, 4.2 to 5.8 pounds). At my midwife appointment this week, Baby Moe was still head down with its little butt and back on my right side and a heartbeat in the 130s!

Weight gained:  25 lb.

Rockin' the outtie

Tank still stretches juuuust enough for a little yoga flow

Exercise: aqua jogging, hiking, weights, and prenatal yoga at home

Bumps all around

The manfriend and I hiked Spencer's Butte possibly for the last time during pregnancy. It's rocky at the top, so we took it slow and I used the manfriend's hand for support several times on the decent. 

What I'm wearing: whatever fits over the belly

Baby preparations: We had our second birth class this week, which was again helpful in getting us mentally prepared for the birth. We are going through the stages of labor, learning how to identify when things are becoming "active labor," and talking about the pain level and techniques that will be helpful for each stage.

I also ordered a few changing pad covers, put up a cute mobile my friend Laura gave me, and the manfriend hung the baby's book shelves (which we need more of it seems). I also started packing the diaper bag with a few baby outfits and snacks for labor (larabars, Pickybars, KIND bars).

Cravings: cookies

Random: wedding ring still fits

Week 35

How I'm feeling: Blah. I got hit with another sinus infection Monday morning and have been trying to recover since then. Lots of fluids, saline solution, Vitamin C - loaded fruit, kleenex, and rest are my friends.

Sleep has been on and off. Some nights I sleep until 6 a.m. and other nights, my eyes pop open at 3 a.m. and don't close again for several hours.

Baby: is the size of a coconut (~17.2 to 18.7 inches, 4.2 to 5.8 pounds) and hearing is fully developed. Baby is still kicking, punching and moving its little behind around quite a bit. It is especially fun to be able to feel or see a little foot or hand as it protrudes now and then.

Weight gained:  25 lb.

Feeling (and looking) pretty blah, so all you get is a Target dressing room shot. 

Exercise: Weights + walking + gentle yoga

Keeping it easy this week for the sake of fitness, despite the fact that it's completely gorgeous out and I want to be doing #allthethings.

What I'm wearing: I bought an aqua Liz Lange maternity tank because I was running out of things to fit the belly in this warmer weather. I also bought a pair of maternity shorts. Purchasing them online vs in the store saved me some $$ too! Both have been comfy to wear.

Baby preparations: This week we had our third birth class, which focused on the transition stage of labor (i.e. when things are getting really painful) and tools we can use to get through it (i.e. mantras, breathing styles, sounds, heating pad, bathtub, massage, etc.)

In addition, we finally had a tour of the hospital. It was nice to see the different rooms we'll be in and feel like we understand the process better now that we've been taking the birth classes. I also made a batch of protein/oat balls to freeze for snacks post birth as they will be easy to eat. In the next few weeks, I'll also make a few meals to have more hearty options on hand.

Cravings: salty goodness and citrus (i.e. things that help heal a cold/sinus infection).

Random: We're officially at that stage where we plan things, but in my mind I also know that by the time that date comes around, said plans could be thrown out the window because of a little one.

This weekend I'm looking forward to: plenty of sunshine and a BBQ with my family in Portland

What are you looking forward to this weekend? 

Related posts:
The Third Trimester: Week 33
The Third Trimester: Week 32
Exercise During the Second Trimester
The Third Trimester: Week 31

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Silver Falls State Park: Hike it!

As I near the end of my pregnancy, hiking is one of the few activities that still gets my heart rate going, leaves my muscles sore, and satisfies the soul. 

Blogging buddy Elizabeth and I have been talking about meeting up for ages, but finally made it happen last week with the motivators being this soon-to-hatch baby and her trip to Africa this summer.

Silver Falls State Park is a place I had been to a few times before in high school and college with friends and family. There is a half marathon here every fall that I hope to someday do, but it sells out in about 20 minutes each year. 

The park is often packed on the weekends, so whenever I think about making the journey there for a hike, I dismiss it. Well, now that my schedule is much more flexible, a weekday hike seemed perfect for exploring the falls. 

Elizabeth and I met up around noon on Friday at the north parking lot and chatted away for the entire 8.7 mile Trail of Ten Falls loop, enjoying the warmth and beautiful scenery.

As she works as an instructor of public health and is a newly minted licensed massage therapist who loves the outdoors, we had a lot in common to chat about. 

Looking through the falls

By the end of the three hours, it felt like little time had passed and there was much more we could talk about. I love those kinds of conversations. 

I will say that while the trail is moderate with some inclines, this preggo was definitely a little sore by the last few miles. As I've mentioned, the ligaments on the lower half of the belly get sore from doing all that work for a few hours straight.

Consequently, I drove straight to the nearest gas station and grabbed some coconut water and fig newtons to refuel a bit (in addition to the snacks I had with me) before heading on to Eugene.

Note for visitors: Parking is $5 and can be paid via cash or check. Here is a link to the trail map, but there should also be copies at the trailheads. Restrooms are available at the North Falls parking lot as well as the South Falls day-use area, which includes the lodge and main parking lot as well as a picnic area. The drive from Eugene or Portland is about 1 hr 40 min.

For more sightseeing, stop at the Gordon House, a Frank Lloyd Wright house that is nearby and open for tours.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Third Trimester: Week 33

Currently, I'm 34 weeks along. Let's look back on week 33, shall we?

Week 33

How I'm feeling: Pretty good. Sleep was good to me this week. Oddly enough, my belly and ligaments seem most sore when I wake up in the morning. I would think it would all feel so rested after 8 hours of laying down, but who knows!

I managed to fit in a few hikes this week, which required some breaks and made for some sore pelvis ligaments, but nothing that wasn't remedied by a little rest. After all, it's just a lot of weight for those little guys to be carrying around for hours at a time.

My 5'3" attempt at getting a 6'3" husband in the photo

We started our birth classes this week and attended a breastfeeding class, so I'm starting to feel slightly more prepared. The birth class is going to be helpful in just getting us mentally prepared for the big day.

Baby: is the size of a durian (~17.2 to 18.7 inches, 4.2 to 5.8 pounds). Amniotic fluid has reached its max this week, baby's eyes are staying open when it's awake, and baby's brain is in major development mode right now so Omega 3s and DHA are important.

Weight gained:  23 lb.

I think I eat approximately every 90 minutes, which just seems ridiculous, but necessary. A few times when I haven't had enough to eat I start feeling nauseous.

Thank goodness for maternity yoga pants

Trying to capture the enormity of the belly

Exercise: Aqua jogging, hiking, weights, and yoga.

I'm starting to really miss running and dream of those first post bump runs. I know they won't be easy by any means, but I'm craving the endorphins and a good sweat. I'm also thinking about signing up for a 10K or so for late summer to have something exciting to train for.

What I'm wearing: The weather was a bit warmer lately, requiring me to wear a few stretchy skirts I have. I'm afraid I may need to get a pair of maternity shorts for this last six weeks or so. Goodbye, money.

Baby preparations: Nesting mode is in full force. Granted, I have the time for it, so I can't guarantee half of this stuff would be done by now if I were working or going to school full time.

This week, we bought a chair from Ikea for the baby's room, washed and folded more tiny baby items, and got the adapter for the stroller to fit on the BOB stroller. For the first six months or so, you just snap the carseat into the adapter as the baby lacks enough neck control to be plopped into the stroller itself. In addition to attending the birth and breastfeeding classes, we also watched The Business of Being Born, which I highly recommend to anyone planning to have kids.

Cravings: Carbs and kombucha

La Perla wood-fired pizza is what dreams are made of.

Favorite songs as of late: Raise Em Up by Keith Urban and Eric Church and Try by Colbie Caillat

What's your favorite song of the moment? 

Related posts:
The Third Trimester: Week 32
Exercise During the Second Trimester
The Third Trimester: Week 31