Friday, July 31, 2015

Leslie Loves...{2.03}

Today I'm sharing with you a few of my favorite things that have gotten me through the past nine months of pregnancy. I guess you could call this the "Pregnancy Edition" of "Leslie Loves...," but some of the products I'm sharing are things I'll continue to use {and love!} when I'm no longer as big as a barn after our little guy arrives. 

Product Recommendations

Sam Edelman Flats


Your feet are going to swell during pregnancy. It's a fact. Period.Dot.Done. Soooo...you're going to want to treat them kindly {especially during the 3rd trimester} by wearing flat shoes as much as possible.  While you want high-quality shoes to support your prego feet, I do NOT recommend spending a bazillion dollars on Tory Burch or Tieks flats because the shoes you wear while you're pregnant are likely to get stretched out and be too big after the baby is born {at least I hope that is the case for me!}.



Enter Sam Edelman 'Felicia' flats as the perfect solution to your flat-shoe needs during pregnancy. {See them on me here.} Let me just list a few reasons why I love these shoes:
  1. They are super comfortable {soft cushioning on the sole}.
  2. The backs do not fold over and/or slip off your heel when you walk.
  3. They hold their shape even after you'd expect them to be worn out.
  4. They can be dressy or casual.
  5. They come in a variety of colors.
And they're not just for pregos! Assuming {hoping and praying} my current pair are too big once my feet go back to normal after the little guy arrives, I'll definitely be buying more of these flats...probably in multiple colors. To summarize these shoes in one sentence: Sam Edelman 'Felicia' flats are high-quality shoes at a reasonable price.



Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt



I've already discussed my love of Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt here, so I won't go into detail...but just know that my obsession with this product multiplied during this pregnancy. I'm telling you, soaking in an Epsom Salt bath is like a cure-all when you feel like every part of your body is swollen/achy/retaining water.



BellaBand



I bought two BellaBands {one black and one white} way back in my first trimester to extend the wear of my pre-pregnancy jeans and pants and didn't really think I'd have much use for it beyond 20 weeks or so.  Wrong...I'm still using them at 39 weeks! Apparently I didn't see {or more likely didn't pay attention to} these pics that show the transitional uses for the BellaBand throughout the entire pregnancy AND postpartum. While all these pics show it worn with pants, I often wear it under a dress to smooth everything out {you know, similar to the Spanx concept}. I've definitely gotten my money's worth out of the BellaBands.



BeMaternity Tank Tops



No matter what season it is when you're pregnant, you should buy these tank tops in every color you can find.  They're perfect for layering in the winter and they're the only thing I want to put on my body now that it's approximately 174 degrees in Texas. AND...they work throughout the entire pregnancy from the tiny baby bump to the HUGE belly {see examples here and here}.

Speaking of maternity clothes, most of my favorite {i.e. most comfortable} pieces came from Target! I bought several dresses from the Liz Lange line and found that they transitioned and fit well at every stage of pregnancy. I guess they're just very stretchy! In fact, I'll go ahead and admit that at this stage in the game {39 weeks}, I definitely prefer my stretchy Target dresses over the more-expensive pieces I purchased at A Pea in the Pod.




VitaFusion Gummy PreNatal Vitamins

 


These vitamins are like fruit snacks...no, seriously! I started out taking the prescription level prenatal vitamins, but the only ones that weren't the size of a horse pill I liked cost $60 even AFTER my insurance covered part of them. I talked to my doctor about over-the-counter prenatals {which he'd suggested I start taking several months before I was pregnant}, and he told me they were totally fine and would supply me with the proper nutrients I needed to grow this baby boy. Soooo...I've been chewing these little candies gummy vitamins ever since he gave me the ok that they're legit. I almost feel like it's dessert when I take these vitamins...reminds me of how much I loved taking Flintstone vitamins when I was a midget!



What's missing from my list of pregnancy must-haves?


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Confessional


  • ...I've been reading way too many bloggers' birth stories. I'm secretly hoping that the more I read, the better prepared I'll be for anything that could possibly happen when I go into labor. The rational side of me {which isn't present very often these days} knows nothing can truly prepare me for what lies ahead, but that doesn't stop the crazy side of me from trying to conquer the fear of the unknown.
  • ...every time I get to the part of the birth story when they put the baby on the mom's chest for the first time, I get all teary-eyed. I can't even imagine what an emotional mess I'm going to be when it's MY baby on MY chest. 
  • ...I'm closely monitoring the story about the plane debris that washed up on Reunion Island that may be part of the missing Malaysia Air plane {MH370}. Wondering where that plane went STILL keeps me up at night on occasion...seriously! I can't help but be baffled by the idea that they're JUST NOW finding a piece of the plane...where has it been for the past year?!!?
  • ...I was devastated by the Blake Shelton/Miranda Lambert divorce. {I know this is old news by now, but still...} I typically don't really care about celebrity gossip, but I was so sad about this. In fact, I initially refused to believe it. I even searched through Oklahoma Public Records to find the divorce filing. I was so relieved when I didn't find it at first...but when the internet just wouldn't let up on the story, I did a bit more digging and found it here {under their initials}. #researcher  
  • ...I've been living in Ryan's clothes when I'm not at work or out in public.  Last night he came home with a bag full of new {men's large} workout clothes...claiming they're all for me...at least for the next week.  #thoughtfulhusband 
  • ...I plan to spend this entire weekend in one of two places: floating in the pool or sitting under the AC vent. Our electric bill may break the bank {or Ryan may freeze to death} if this baby doesn't arrive soon. This momma-to-be can't stand being hot!
  • ...I'm in desperate need of a vacation. Maternity leave is like vacation, right?!!?  Just kidding...kinda.

These are my confessions!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Bumpdate: 38 Weeks


Due Date: August 5, 2015

How far along?: 38 weeks, 3 days

Gender: It's a BOY!

Name: Huston Robert  {more details here}

Total weight gain:  No change in the scale this past week...still up a total of 36 pounds. It seems like it's an every-other-week thing with weight gain, so I guess we'll see if I've gained more at this week's OB appointment. I'm still holding out for that "you lose weight at the very end" promise...

Stretch marks?: None that I can see.

Symptoms: Swelling.Swelling.More Swelling. My poor hands and feet are so swollen! I'm fairly confident the summer heat/humidity aren't helping the swelling situation. Oh, and my heel on my right foot was hurting so badly last week {Ryan and I self-diagnosed it as plantar fasciitis, which is apparently very common late in pregnancy}...like too painful to put any weight on it and throbbing when I'd elevate it. I alternated heat and ice all night one night {I may have gotten a total of 2 hours of sleep that night}, and that seemed to help a bit. It's still sore, but now it just feels like there's a deep bruise on my heel...maybe I'm just getting used to it??? Either way, my poor foot doesn't like carrying around all this extra weight.

Maternity clothes?:  If I'm not wearing maternity clothes, you'll find me in Ryan's clothes {gym shorts/t-shirts}.

Sleep:  It seems like I can't get enough sleep! I go to bed early, but I can't sleep longer than 1.5 hours at a time...and I'm finding it harder and harder to fall back asleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. Naps are still my saving grace...even just 15-20 minutes at lunch time can make a HUGE difference!

Cravings:  Still obsessed with watermelon and snow cones. CAN'T.GET.ENOUGH!

Daily {seriously} trip to snow cone shop!

Workouts: Zip.Zero.Zilch. I'm moving pretty slowly these days just to get from Point A to Point B...I think the walking waddle has even set in. Not pretty.

Mood: Mostly anxious...and a little nervous. I want so badly to know exactly when our baby boy is going to make his appearance, but I know he's just going to come on his own terms...when he's ready. When I think about holding him in my arms, I already get ridiculously emotional and find myself wiping tears from my eyes.  And then on the other hand...I'm incredibly nervous. I realize it's mostly just the fear of the unknown, but continuously telling myself that doesn't really do much to calm my nerves. 

Movement: We were a little concerned that he wasn't moving around as much as he had been, so we had an unexpected sonogram at last week's OB appointment.  Turns out, the placenta was toward the front {posterior???}, so that was cushioning a lot of his movements to the point where I wasn't feeling him unless it was a pretty strong kick. Apparently the placenta has shifted back to being behind him because I'm feeling him move pretty regularly now {thank goodness...that was such a scary feeling!}. It's pretty obvious that he's running out of room because when he shifts around my belly tends to look a little lop-sided for a bit.

Best Moment of the Week: Although it was scary at the time because we were worried about the frequency of his moments, it was such an unexpected {and welcome!} surprise to get to see our little guy on the sonogram screen. He's big enough now that it was pretty easy to pick out his little hand and foot...at one point it looked like he was grabbing his toes. His little heartbeat was the best sound on the planet at 138 beats per minute.  They estimated that he weighed about 6 pounds, 9 ounces. It was just incredibly reassuring to see him wiggling and to hear the doctor tell us that everything looked great.

Worst Moment of the Week: I parked my car between two other cars last week to run in to get some lunch...but when I attempted to get out, I realized there was no way my big belly was fitting through the space I had to get out. Completely frustrated {and on the verge of tears}, I just sat back down in my seat, started the car and moved to another parking space. Looking back now, it's kind of hilarious...but at the time it totally hurt my feelings. 

Wedding Rings:  Off...and it makes me so sad. This swelling stuff is for real though...I'm not about to force my rings on and risk having to cut them off.

Belly Button: In.

Looking Forward To: Meeting our little man!


38 Week Bumpdate



13 Weeks           //           14 Weeks           //           15 Weeks

16 Weeks           //           17 Weeks           //           18 Weeks

19 Weeks               //               20 Weeks               //               21 Weeks

22 Weeks            //            23 Weeks            //            24 Weeks

25 Weeks            //            26 Weeks            //            27 Weeks

28 Weeks            //            29 Weeks            //            30 Weeks

31 Weeks            //            32 Weeks            //            33 Weeks

34 Weeks            //            35 Weeks            //            36 Weeks

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Happy 30th Birthday, Little Brother!

Today marks my baby brother's 30th birthday! I thought a good way to celebrate his big day on this lil 'ole blog would be to look back on the past 30 years of "Brotherly Love"...

video

{Sidenote: the slideshow might not work on mobile devices  :(  
Click here to see it on YouTube.}

Welcome to the 30-Club, Landon...may this decade be your best yet! I'm so very grateful for the close relationship we have and all the fabulous memories we share. Here's to making many, many more memories in the future!

Happy Birthday, Landon!

I love you!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Leslie Loves...{2.02}

It's been a looooooong while since I've had a "Leslie Loves..." post; believe me, I know. I find that most of the products I'm currently loving have to do with pregnancy and/or babies, and I'm just not sure anyone is interested in a long list of maternity loves. I've decided that I am going to need to devote a "Leslie Loves..." post to pregnancy-related loves though...just so I can remember what I relied on to get me through {coming soon...just not sure how soon!}. For now, take a look at a "normal" product I'm loving...

Product Recommendations

R+F Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan

If there's one thing I've learned about myself during this pregnancy it's that I may have been slightly addicted to spray tanning. I hate hate hate to be pasty white/pale...a tan just makes me feel so much prettier! I've already told you about my love for Dr. Dennis Gross tan towels, which I'm still using from time to time {especially for my face}...but I've also got a new product to share with you: Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan.



I'll go ahead and admit it...I'm typically not one to use "direct selling" products. I like the convenience of being able to pick something up at the store whenever I need it {or have it shipped from Amazon!}. I've just never been a fan of having to go through a distributor to get a product. I'm guessing these are the reasons it took me so long to learn about Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan. When my friend Nikki {a R+F distributor} reached out to me to try the sunless tanner, I figured there was no harm in giving it a try. I definitely wasn't expecting the results I got...

Left Pic: Before (10:00 am)    //    Right Pic: After (2:30 PM)
The color continued to develop after I took the "after" pic,
but of course I failed to take any photos!

Soooo...here are a few of my thoughts on the Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan {in list form}:
  • It's super easy to apply the foam evenly, which prevents streaking and dark splotches.
  • The foam is clear {color shows up over time}, so you don't have to have a mitt to apply it.
  • I only waited about 2-3 minutes after applying the foam to put my clothes on {until it felt dry}, and it didn't come off on my clothes at all. No orange-ish color on my white sheets the next morning either! 
  • I can't say that there's absolutely no scent that lingers after you apply it, but it's much lighter than other tanning lotions/foams. I sprayed some Bath & Body Works body spray after I applied it, and that totally masked the "tanning lotion" scent.
  • The bottle says the bronze color will start to show in 2-4 hours, and maybe it did start to show...but I felt like it took about 12-24 hours to see the full impact of the natural-looking bronze color. I'd recommend applying it the night before you're wanting to look like you've got a fabulous tan.
  • The color lasts for about five days before it noticeably fades...but it fades very evenly, like a natural tan. Let me tell you, this is hard to find with self-tanning products.
While it's unlikely that I'll jump on the "direct selling" train for all of my skin/beauty products, I am sold on the Rodan + Fields Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan.  The links I've included will take you directly to the sunless tanning foam {via my friend Nikki's R+F site}.

What is your favorite sunless tanner?


Monday, July 20, 2015

Bumpdate: 37 Weeks

Lily loves to be in the bump pics!
Due Date: August 5, 2015

How far along?: 37 weeks, 4 days

Gender: It's a BOY!

Name: Huston Robert  {more details here}

Total weight gain:  I'm now over the "recommended weight gain" range of 25-35 pounds. Based on the "official scale" at the doctor's office, I'm currently up 36 pounds in total.

Stretch marks?: None that I can see.

Symptoms: Swelling. I feel like I've really just blown up like a balloon, but everyone around me tells me it's not nearly as bad as I think {by the way, people are so nice and full of compliments when you're a million months pregnant!}. Sooo...although the swelling might not be as extreme as I feel like it is, it is still worse than it previously has been. I know this is very common for the end of pregnancy...plus, I'm pretty certain the 100+ degree days aren't helping matters! My treatment of choice: soaking in an Epsom salt bath. I don't know how or why, but it seriously helps reduce the swelling.

Maternity clothes?:  What else? All maternity, all the time.

Sleep:  I'm soooooo tired ALL.THE.TIME, but my sleep patterns are very sporadic. Naps are my best friend. I'm so grateful that we live so close to my office so that I can squeeze in a 15-20 minute nap over my lunch hour. On most days I find that is seriously the best rest I get. I also found myself waking up from an "accidental nap" after work a couple of times last week. I unintentionally fell asleep when I laid down to play with Lily...and woke up 30 minutes or an hour later. Oh well...that was some good rest too!  :)  As far as sleeping at night, welllll....that hasn't been the best.  Between my multiple trips to the bathroom and switching locations {bed, couch, guest room} because I'm hot, I'm pretty much just wandering around the house all night.

Cravings:  Snow cones {fruity flavors mixed with wedding cake flavor} are my newest obsession...and by obsession, I mean I've had three snow cones in the past four days. Yesterday was "National Ice Cream Day," so my normal ice cream/snow cone shop literally had a line around the block. The temperature was approximately 162 degrees, so I wasn't really up for standing in line. My {very patient} husband willingly drove around as I led him on a wild-goose chase to find a snow cone. I think this may have been the first intense pregnancy craving that I wasn't giving up on until I had a snow cone in my hands! Anyway, Google's first suggestion didn't exist, the second suggestion was closed {Sunday}...but we continued our search. Third time's a charm {I guess it was technically the fourth option if you count our "regular" ice cream shop as the first attempt}! Even though it was located in a sketchy strip mall all the way in Garland, it was a HUGE SUCCESS in my book because it resulted in a delicious snow cone that totally satisfied my craving...until next time!

Best Moment of the Week:  My mom came down this past weekend to help with "last minute" stuff that needed to be done before our little guy arrives...and, as always, we're so very grateful for her help. We returned some duplicate gifts and purchased the remaining "essentials" {and a few non-essentials} that we'll need to have when he comes home. She did about a million loads of laundry {she's a laundry Nazi, I tell ya!}, so all of Baby Huston's stuff is ready for him to wear and use...and all of Mom-and-Dad-to-be's clothes are clean too!  :) We checked quite a few things off the "to do" list this weekend, and I just feel so much more prepared to bring our sweet baby boy home.

Worst Moment of the Week: Our upstairs air conditioning unit stopped working last week. I worked from home last Thursday afternoon so the AC repairman could come fix it. My home office is upstairs...so I was stuck in the sauna if I wanted to get any work done. The thermostat said it was 88 degrees in the house...which doesn't bode well for anyone, let alone a VERY PREGNANT girl. Don't worry, the AC is fixed now...and I'm back to being comfortable {while poor Ryan nearly freezes to death!}.

Workouts: I should probably just remove this section...

Mood: I feel like my mood has stabilized a bit since last week...at least I haven't found myself laughing and crying at the same time in the last few days. However, if something is even a little bit funny to make me start laughing, then there is no stopping the laughter. I mean like big belly laughs! I'll take that though...after all, laughter is the best medicine, right?

Nursery: We made major progress on his room this weekend! It's actually starting to look like a nursery! We Ryan hung some art/accessories on the walls, which really started to pull it all together. We still need curtains {in progress} and a lamp {still searching}, but I'm happy with the way it's coming together. Photos to come soon!

Movement: His most active time of day is between 3:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon. It's not like he's kicking and poking during that time, but it feels like his whole little body is shifting around. It's pretty cool {and a little weird} to see my entire belly shift as he moves from one side to the other. He's still most responsive to his daddy's voice.

Wedding Rings:  My fingers seem to be the most swollen in the mornings, so I haven't been wearing my rings just because I fear they'll get stuck. By lunch the swelling has usually subsided enough that I can comfortably wear my rings...but then the swelling comes back in the evenings.

Belly Button: In.

Looking Forward To: Meeting our little man!


37 Week Bumpdate



13 Weeks           //           14 Weeks           //           15 Weeks

16 Weeks           //           17 Weeks           //           18 Weeks

19 Weeks               //               20 Weeks               //               21 Weeks

22 Weeks            //            23 Weeks            //            24 Weeks

25 Weeks            //            26 Weeks            //            27 Weeks

28 Weeks            //            29 Weeks            //            30 Weeks

31 Weeks            //            32 Weeks            //            33 Weeks

34 Weeks            //            35 Weeks            //            36 Weeks


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Capturing Memories: Maternity Photos

I wasn't going to have maternity photos taken. Don't get me wrong...I've had a very easy and enjoyable pregnancy, and I absolutely see the miracle in this whole process...but I didn't necessarily see a need to photo-document this rather large body that some days I barely recognize as my own. However, my family and a number of my girlfriends finally convinced me that I would regret it if I didn't do the photos. If nothing else, they convinced me to do it for the baby...photos for his baby book.  

Our fabulous photographers {McGowan Images} offered us a "wedding alumni" package that we couldn't turn down. It included the maternity session and a newborn session within the first five days of our baby boy's birth...in our home! How awesome is it that they'll come to our home to take his first professional photos?!!?

Anyway, I have to admit that I'm grateful we decided to do the maternity session. The images turned out much better than I ever expected...and I feel like they truly reflect the beauty of the miracle that is pregnancy! {I still can't fully wrap my head around all that my body is doing to grow, nurture and prepare our babe to enter this world!} Here are a few of my favorite prego pics...


All photo credit to McGowan Images.
Our photos were taken in Prairie Creek Park in Richardson, Texas.











 



Thank you, thank you, thank you to Mack & Chelsea for capturing these pretty pics to document this exciting time in our lives. We're so grateful to have awesome photographers we can always count on...no matter what the occasion! 

Three more weeks till Baby Huston's due date!



Monday, July 13, 2015

Bumpdate: 36 Weeks


Due Date: August 5, 2015

How far along?: 36 weeks, 4 days

Gender: It's a BOY!

Name: Huston Robert  {more details here}

Total weight gain:  No change in the "official" doctor's office scale last week. Total weight gain stands at 33 pounds. I think that may change significantly this week though because I feel like this little guy has grown leaps and bounds in just a few days...at least I'm hoping that's the reason my belly has expanded so much! Maybe it won't be reflected on the scale though...all the books I've read tell me weight-gain tapers off toward the very end. Sooo...at least there's that one little positive point to get me through the last few weeks! :)

Stretch marks?: None that I can see.

Symptoms: This belly feels REALLY.HEAVY! It's almost as though I feel like I should lean backward to carry it around...maybe that's a sign that he's starting to drop??? I really have no idea what it means, but I can tell you that it becomes more challenging by the day to find a comfortable position to sit and/or lie down.

Maternity clothes?:  Always...and it's dresses about 80% of the time. Comfort is crucial these days!

Sleep:  I've really been struggling to find comfortable positions to sleep. I've tried the bed, the couch, the recliner...nothing lasts longer than an hour or two...and then it's time to get up and go to the bathroom. 

Cravings:  Nothing new on this front...still on the watermelon and fresh-squeezed lemonade kick.  Oh! I guess there is something new to report...I've been waking up absolutely starving in the middle of the night! Maybe this is to help prepare me for the nighttime feedings??? 

Best Moment of the Week: This past weekend we celebrated the wedding of Linsey Verver and Craig McCoy. Once I surpassed the challenge of finding something to fit my 8.5 month prego body, it was all good. We went with some friends {Cody & Chelsie} who are also expecting a little midget {in December}. Let me just tell you, Chelsie and I were the life of the party as we sipped our sodas and watched everyone else get wedding-drunk! While people-watching is pretty entertaining, I'll go ahead and admit I missed the cocktails! Although we didn't make it to the end of the reception, it was a fun wedding...CONGRATS, Craig & Linsey!


Workouts: Pretty much non-existent. I'm still doing my stretches to strengthen my hip {do NOT want that pain to come back}, but I don't really think that counts as a workout. It's supposed to get really hot this week, so I don't foresee Lily and I stepping up our walking routine...you never know though!

Mood: ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE! One minute I'm anxious and feel like I need to tackle a million things on the to-do list, and then the next minute I'm blah and feel like I need to take a nap! I'm overly emotional, but I totally recognize it. I can seriously laugh at myself WHILE I'm crying because I realize I'm crying for no particular reason. 

Nursery: We still need a lamp and a few other "necessities," but we're pretty much to the point where we just need to put it all together {i.e. hang stuff on the walls}. 

Movement: When I lie still for any amount of time, this little guy really gets moving. Any movement he makes can now be seen from the outside, so it's always a little strange to see ripples and waves across my belly or to see his little body shift from one side to the other. It's kinda my favorite thing to experience these days...so if you're looking for me, you'll likely find me just lounging in bed waiting for the little guy to wiggle {and/or napping!}.

Wedding Rings:  On...last week's swelling must have been the humidity or something because I haven't noticed it at all this week.

Belly Button: In.

Other Updates: We attended a three-hour breastfeeding class on Sunday, and while it was very helpful and packed full of information, I'm still nervous about nursing. I guess it's one of those things that you just have to learn by doing...

Oh, I almost forgot...my hospital bag is packed...well, for the most part, anyway!

Looking Forward To: Meeting our little man!


36 Week Bumpdate



13 Weeks           //           14 Weeks           //           15 Weeks

16 Weeks           //           17 Weeks           //           18 Weeks

19 Weeks               //               20 Weeks               //               21 Weeks

22 Weeks            //            23 Weeks            //            24 Weeks

25 Weeks            //            26 Weeks            //            27 Weeks

28 Weeks            //            29 Weeks            //            30 Weeks

31 Weeks            //            32 Weeks            //            33 Weeks

34 Weeks            //            35 Weeks