Saturday, March 26, 2016

24 weeks

Whoa belly!
Each week is making such a difference at this point in the pregnancy!
How far along? 24 weeks + 1 day
Total weight gain: 19 pounds
Maternity clothes? in love with the two pairs of jeans I bought! I still have a number of shirts (that aren't maternity) that I'm still able to wear. 
Sleep: sleep. is. great. our new mattress is so, so comfy and Brandon and I are both sleeping so good on it! I still use my pregnancy body pillow every night and it really helps me sleep in a comfortable position. the pillow is quite big, which makes Brandon SO thankful that we have a king sized bed!
Best moment this week: Thursday was great. We were able to spend some time together as a family (Brandon tries to take Thursdays off whenever possible- life of a realtor!) and then later that day we stopped by to see close friends of ours who had a sweet baby boy not quite two weeks ago. There's nothing like a newborn to make your 20 month old look HUGE!
Current symptoms: a strange one that I've never experienced prior to the last 10 days or so... (not when I was pregnant with Harper either)- some nights I've been waking up in the middle of the night feeling super nauseous. I never have to throw up, but I have to sit there for a few minutes, eat some crackers, and then I'm able to fall back asleep (most of the time). I don't ever feel nauseous during the days and I never suffered from morning sickness. so it's a weird one for me, but thankfully it isn't too hard for me to manage!
Miss anything? turkey sandwiches still. but I'm able to have them if I heat the deli meat up in the microwave when I get home and then put it back in the refrigerator for later. it's so worth doing, because sometimes that is all I want for lunch! and man does it taste good! :)
Movement: yes. lots of movement lately! 
Food cravings: I guess you could say turkey sandwiches :) specifically- whole wheat bread, Boar's Head chicken breast (from the deli), Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, a little bit of mayo, and a dill pickle spear on the side! oh yeah, and still loving those reeses peanut butter eggs. it will be so good once Easter is over so that I can no longer buy them!
Happy or moody most of the time: happy. but I have been a bit more hormonal/emotional these last few days. so if I cry around you, don't think too much of it ;)
Looking forward to: we f i n a l l y decided on a crib + dresser!! it's taken awhile and a lot of looking to find exactly what we've been wanting. but I am so excited and hopefully we'll have all the pieces here in the next few weeks so that nursery decorating can really begin!


follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Get baby/toddler on a schedule- or not?

a schedule. "get your baby/toddler on a schedule." we've all heard it.
as mothers we strive for what is best for our children. but as a first time mom, there are so many things I have learned and to be honest, often there is too much advice out there. what about those God given mother instincts that we all have? let's listen to those a little more!

Harper never really got on a true schedule until about 8 months old.
I tried sooner (5-6 months or so), but it became more of a fight in trying to schedule her and I found that our days ran more smoothly when I just followed her cues. and that's how we did it for the first 8-9 months. having only one child to care for, it was great. for both of us. 
our schedule/routine started to form naturally when she was about 8-9 months old. I promise- it wasn't anything I did intentionally. it just happened. by paying attention to her needs, at that point she just naturally fell into a routine. and we have been on a routine ever since.

being on our routine has been so great for the both of us. when we can really stick to our 'regular', the days go better and her and I are both happier from morning to night. we just need it.
BUT this week I have realized that for how wonderful our routine/schedule really is (I mean really, I love it!), there are still those days/times where I need to remember to listen to what she is trying to tell me- like I did those first 8 months!
not every day is 'normal'. not every day is without 'other' challenges.
some days are just different.
that's when following the 'rules' is over, and following my mothering instincts trumps all else.
we didn't have anything planned for the day (and it was rainy out) so it was a day of being home and working/playing around the house. Harper has been going though a growth spurt and teething (off and on). those darn two year molars have been slowlllly working their way in here and there over the last couple of months. come on already!

we started our morning like any other and Harper woke like normal on Monday at 7:30am. the morning had its ups and downs. moments of happy, giggling, running the house. and then moments of dragging her blanket around, whinning/crying, asking for her paci (which she only gets for sleeping times- nap and bed). 
throughout the morning I continued telling her, "no paci. not until nap time" (which is at 1pm). we were hours from nap time! 
around 10am I thought, maybe she really is tired and is asking me to put her down...
but in my head... 'that will throw off the day's schedule!' and 'she just had a good night's sleep, no way she can really be tired.'
the crying and paci asking escalated.
it finally clicked for me! so at 10:15am I put her down for a nap. when I looked at the monitor 5 minutes later, she was completely passed out! and from there took a 2.5 hour nap. I'd say she was tired and what she needed was a nap ;)
there isn't anything in the world like a sleeping child! so precious!
sounds so simple, but in the moment it was such a challenge because I couldn't let go of our 'normal' schedule.
I am thankful for this experience and to be reminded of the importance to listen to my child and follow her needs. and today she needed me to NOT follow our typical daily routine and instead just stop and listen to her.
we both ended up having a happier rest of our day.
routines are so, so great! but having that balance, remembering to listen to my little Harper, and giving myself permission to follow her needs, can lead to even better moments :)
and she woke up as her happy self!


Saturday, March 19, 2016

23 weeks

We had such a great start to this week :) and it feels like Monday was just yesterday. 
As a stay-at-home-mama, how is it that the days blend and before you know it, it is Friday again!?

Monday we had a check-up appointment with my midwife, Susan.
I look forward to every prenatal appointment during pregnancy! Right now we're still on the every 4 week appointment schedule, but I am eager for the point when we get to go more frequently :)
We talked about a lot of things during this appointment. and it felt great to get so many topics covered!
We talked blood glucose test (which is to come in a couple weeks), turkey sandwiches, nutrition (specifically protein and electrolytes to prepare my body for labor), circumcision, my blood volume doubling over these next few weeks and what to expect there, and the bit of nerves I've sometimes felt about natural childbirth for this second time. 

No joke when I say I feel I have the best midwife around.
She is such a good fit for me. Direct and straight to what I need to know, while also being reassuring and reminding me of what I have in my favor this go around.

We heard baby's heartbeat and it was nice and strong at 150 bpm. Based on the old wives tales, you would guess we were having a 'she' :)
It's still lower than Harper's ever was. Her heartbeat was always around 160-170.
banner / hooray everyday
cardigan / white plum
How far along? 23 weeks + 1 day
Total weight gain: 18 pounds
Maternity clothes? yes! I  f i n a l l y  did it and went to the mall on Friday! I picked out two pairs of maternity jeans and they are! I seriously regret that I didn't go sooner! (like two years ago sooner when I was pregnant with Harper) I've been living in them since I got them.
Sleep: I've been a lot more tired this last week. At my prenatal appointment, my midwife said that's due to my blood volume working on doubling and it may be that way for the next few weeks. Thank goodness Harper naps well and most days I've been sneaking in a little nap for myself too.
Best moment this week: our appointment and hearing little one's heartbeat.
Current symptoms: the biggest things this week have been the tiredness and still feeling extra thirsty. which again, Susan said those both are related to my body increasing its blood volume. I'm doing my best to listen to my body and give it what it needs in those areas.
Miss anything? having more clothing options. trying to figure out what to wear for Eater next week and due to this belly :) my options are limited.
Movement: aw yes! the movements are getting bigger and bigger and I love it! he's actually kicking around right as I type this :) I'm still thinking he is more active than Harper was.
Looking forward to: a week with little planned and enjoying my time spent with my Harper girl and hubby :) Maybe a trip to the zoo (since we just got zoo passes!) if there's some decent enough weather.

follow along on instagram @brittneyhjelseth

Monday, March 14, 2016

22 weeks

How far along? 22 weeks + 3 days
Total weight gain: 17 pounds
Maternity clothes? yes! I finally went to the mall on Friday and bought a couple pairs of maternity jeans! It's about time. and I cannot believe how comfortable they are! I'll never know how/why I didn't get a pair before now. I didn't even buy any during my pregnancy with Harper. I guess I just made due, but man oh man I am so happy to have these! It's become quite the struggle to find bottoms to wear lately and now I'll always have a comfy go-to :)
Sleep: good! as it has been all the prior weeks. BUT now it's gotten even better. we just got a new mattress and oh the comfort! since I'm sleeping on my side all through the night, I was noticing some soreness in my shoulder when I would wake up. but now with the new mattress it gives into the pressure point so much better and I wake up feeling even better. thank you hubs for the best birthday gift!!
Best moment this week: getting our new, much needed mattress :)
Worst moment this week: one night I woke up at 4:30am with the worst stomach ache! my stomach was extremely bloated, painful, and I felt an urge of needing to throw up. I never did throw up (although at one point I thought that might actually make me feel better), but after a couple of tums and crackers, I started feeling better and was able to fall back asleep. must've been something I ate that night that didn't sit well...
Current symptoms: this week my appetite and thirst have really increased. I'm also feeling a little pressure low in my belly, that I never felt with Harper. I think this baby must be sitting lower.
Miss anything? just belly sleeping :) (which I know isn't a good way to sleep even when not pregnant!)
Movement: His movements have started to feel a bit stronger and more definite. a couple of nights ago while laying in bed, I pulled the covers down and Brandon and I were actually able to see some of his movement. feeling kicks/movement (on the inside) is so great, but then being able to see it, is just that much more exciting!
Food cravings: nothing particular. well... except for those darn Reeses peanut butter eggs... being pregnant during Easter time- it's hard not to resist those! I could eat them alllll day long. I had the exact same problem when I was pregnant with Harper. (with these babies being nearly exactly 2 years apart, it's like I'm going through the same things during the same seasons/holidays- kinda feels like life on repeat from two years ago- at least in the pregnancy aspect of things)
Wedding rings on or off? on
Happy or moody most of the time: happy :)
Looking forward to: we have a check up with my midwife this week and it's always something I look forward to! it's my favorite sound getting to hear my baby's heartbeat, and I just love pregnancy and babies so an appointment where we're talking about all things related.. it's time well spent!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

OUR TABLE || lemon cheesecake pie

This. Lemon cheesecake pie.
the picture truly does no justice to just how delicious it is!
light. creamy. lemony. sweet. (but not too sweet). and the crust. oh the graham cracker crust!
I made this for supper club a few weeks ago and it was a hit!
I've made it a few times now (the first was actually on Harper's first birthday) :) and it is such an easy, go-to dessert. I think Brandon would say this is top in his favorite desserts. and I would agree!
The original recipe is here.  and for the most part I follow it to a T, except for just a couple of my own modifications :) not sure how she gets hers to turn out so yellow! mine never has, but it's still delicious at that.

Here are my modifications:
1. and most important (in my opinion)! make your own crust and do not use a premade one. nothing compares to a homemade graham cracker crust!
recipe I use:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter
-in a bowl, mix all ingredients together with a fork.
-press into a pie pan.
-bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
-let chill for 2 hours before adding pie filling. I throw mine in the freezer if I'm needing this step to be a bit quicker
2. the '2 8 oz bars of cream cheese' I replace one bar with neufchatel cheese.
it's right next to the cream cheese in the grocery isle and is 1/3 of the fat :)
3. for the sour cream - go with fat free

That's it. everything else, just follow the original recipe!
You will love this! 
We still have some leftover pie in the fridge and I'm quite contemplating getting myself a piece now. 
Pie for lunch?? Sounds good to me!


Monday, March 7, 2016

Palm Desert Vacation

This is so so so so- so late!
like we got home from this trip 2.5 weeks ago. but life, yeah that, has gotten in the way of this post :) and well, taking care of my family will always come first.
anywho... I still wanted to document this trip- as it was sunny, fun, relaxing and I was with my little family!
This will mostly be a bit of a 'photo dump' of the fun things we did, places we went, and more of just us. However.. let me start off with a quick little story that I can't not share!
Day 1 of vacation. 
So the day we are traveling down to California. All went g r e a t!! Everything at the airport went great, our flights went great, and Harper did great! We couldn't have been more pleased. 
Brandon's parents have a condo down there and were also there for the week. When our flight landed, they were there to pick us up and we were so ready for this fun, relaxing vacation with our little Harper to start! I just couldn't wait to have easy, (low responsibility) days, play with her out in the sunshine, take her to new places, and of course spend some time at the pool! This little girl is a fish and loves the water!
After the traveling we were all hungry and ready for a late lunch. and we had just heard that a new In-N-Out had just (like a couple days ago) opened not far from the condo. We were all more than ready to give it a shot. I was pregnant and hungry and this was just what I needed! A burger, fries, and a strawberry shake! (the dietitian in me though - thinking yikes!)
We placed our orders and began looking for a table to sit at. and that's when it happened...
I'm holding Harper, standing right in the front entry, before I know it Harper is suddenly vomitting allll over me and anything within touching distance to us! I have to say my mama instincts reacted faster than I would have. Somehow I instantly knew where the restroom was (thank goodness I went through the women's door, not the men's) and bolted straight to it! all while she's leaving a trail of every food she's eaten earlier that day. To the sink she went. and I tell ya, it would.not.stop. It was horrible. and when she eventually had nothing else left to come up, her and I were completely covered! and then I was frozen. Brandon's mom came in to help clean up and thank the Lord, we had our suitcases in the car!! Out to the parking lot we went. Stripped down and threw on some fresh clothes.
Somehow following all that chaos we still then managed to go back in the restaurant, find Brandon and his dad, and enjoy our lunch :) not quite the start to vacation I was expecting (and thank goodness Harper was fine from there on out!) but happy to say the trip was uphill from there!
and that. was Harper's first experience to In-N-Out.
trust me, she won't forget it. we'll be sure to remember this story as she gets older :)

V A C A Y  P H O T O  D U M P!

pool days.
the living desert zoo.

birthday eve (out with hubs) bathroom selfie.
my birthday.
cute Harper, ect. :)

last picture before heading to the airport.
in the airport. wishing though that she wasn't :)
Since the day we got back home, we have so been wishing we could still be wearing our summer clothes! It's now just barely March, and sadly we have a few months still until it's shorts weather. but we're ready for it when it gets here!
It was a great trip and memories were made :)
and chances are that was our last flight with Harper as a lap child!
I am so happy we had the trip though and were able to really enjoy our time away. The quality time with Harper was priceless. It's likely that the next trip she goes on, she will be a big sis!


Friday, March 4, 2016

21 weeks

banner / hooray everyday
How far along? 21 weeks - belly really grew this week!
Total weight gain: 15 pounds. I can't remember how much I had gained at this point with Harper (total of 36 at the end of pregnancy), but man I feel like the weight is really coming on this time! 
Maternity clothes? I really, really need to get my booty to the store to find some jeans! I have one pair of jeans left that I'm somehow still able to button, but that isn't going to last much longer. Procrastination at it's finest!
Stretch marks? no new ones from this pregnancy
Sleep: oh sleep. it is so so good! :) I can feel my body getting more tired from busy days running around with a toddler, and by evening my body is so ready to sit down and rest. and I am more than willing to listen to my body!
Best moment this week: having Harper back to her fun and happy self after being sick last week.
oh and one more :) I also went to a Le Leche League meeting for the first time and thought that the support and info shared was so great for breastfeeding moms! a little reminder of what's to come with my newborn :)
Current symptoms: my feet are getting more tired by the end of the day from the extra weight. I don't know if that would really be a symptom... but other than that I'm doing great!
Miss anything? not at the moment :)
Movement: yes. more and more movement! lately I've been feeling a bunch of little, quick movements in addition to the feeling of him rolling around inside.
Food cravings: none lately - fine by me!
Gender? BOY!!