Friday, September 19, 2014

eighteen weeks

I figured I would take a little break from the blog-a-day challenge and share some updates on pregnancy! 

how far along: 18 weeks, 3 days

baby size: Little pea is measuring right around 8 inches long, and weighing about 8 ounces.

baby's progress: We had our first of two anatomy scans this week (one on base, one off base). Everything looks great! I go back in two weeks for a fetal echocardiogram, which will be a thorough ultrasound of her heart by a children's cardiologist. Then, two weeks after that is my second anatomy scan. Lots of doctor's appointments!

weight gain: 14 lbs, but I'm kind of convinced it's all gone to my boobs. I went maternity clothes shopping and am still a size small in jeans, so I'm not super concerned about that number.

stretch marks: No, but I'm using Burt's Bees mama bee belly cream every other day. I definitely notice my belly itching if I don't use it! 

sleep: It kind of sucks right now. I wake up at least once in the middle of the night, and that's on a good night. If I don't go pee when I wake up, in the morning, my stomach will feel tight and hurt a little from holding it for too long. Oh, the joys of pregnancy no one tells you about! 

movement: YES! Finally started to feel her move! It started about a week and a half ago, but I wasn't sure what I was feeling was movement. When a nurse on base asked if I had felt any movement, my response was, "I don't know, maybe?" Um, wrong answer apparently. It's a yes or no question. We both laughed, though. I realized a few days later it was, in fact, her moving. It feels like little bubbles.

best moment this week: Getting some maternity clothes. Finally, I love wearing jeans again. I'm also so ready for cooler weather, because I got a very cute sweater and cardigan to wear. 

looking forward to: The military baby shower next month. I found out about a week ago I was accepted into Las Vegas' military baby shower, which I had several friends recommend I apply for. They all said it is such a beautiful experience, and I'm really excited for it!

food cravings: Still lots of fruit, and Chipotle. I also love chicken tacos, but they have to be homemade. 

weirdest food I ate this week: Nothing strange, really. Lots of fruit, and Austen made chili for the week. 

anything making you queasy or sick: The dog food a little still. I'm better though if I drink some chocolate milk in the morning before feeding them. Maybe it's just putting something in my belly? 

labor signs: No

what I miss: Orange juice and skinny girl vodka. It's been one of those weeks where that sounds so good right now...

symptoms: Lots of bathroom breaks. Some headaches (it's a bad day when you wake up with a headache!). A little nausea, but mostly heartburn.   

things that suck: All of those middle of the night bathroom breaks. Oh, and completely losing patience by the end of the work day. I wish I had the patience of a saint right now, but I just don't.

things that don't suck: Been putting the nursery together slowly. I think we have all of the artwork/wall stuff picked out and ready to hang, expect for the letters for her name. I love anthropologie's zinc letters, but am having a hard time spending $18 per letter! Oh, and I ordered a pair of 0-6 month moccs in a deep purple color that are so cute! We just got them and I cannot wait to decorate the babe. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

day 18: krakow, poland

Day 18: Tell a tale of traveling, a city or country you've been to or a favorite vacation.

Before I start about one of my favorite vacations of all time, let me say that I really, really wanted to do a vlog yesterday as a part of the blog-a-day challenge! This week has knocked me off my feet though, time and time again. I have gone to bed well before 9:00pm every night this week, because I just can't handle the days anymore. I want to make it up, and will probably combine another post with a video this month. But, let me stop babbling on and just get to today's post. :)

I think my favorite vacation has definitely been to Poland. It was so incredible, and I cannot wait to take Austen and our babies there someday. I figured out this weekend how to get my Polish Disney  movies to play on our Apple TV, which will be great for little pea to learn some Polish from. 

Back in April, I spent a week in Krakow and neighboring smaller villages with my mom and aunt. We have family that still lives there, and it was so neat to meet them and spend that time putting faces and pictures to the places we had only heard about up until then. I think my favorite though, was the city square in Krakow. 

St. Mary's Basilica is the main Catholic church right on the square. Every hour, a trumpeter plays from a window facing north, south, east, and west, but his song is cut short each time. When Krakow was initially invaded many years ago, the trumpeter had started to warn the city, but an arrow stopped the warning call short. In memory of that, the trumpeter never plays a full song, even to this day. 

A view of St. Mary's Basilica and Cloth Hall at sunset. This evening was my absolute favorite, because it was cold and had been rainy all day. We were heading back to the Easter market that was set up on the other side of Cloth Hall to do some shopping (aka: Polish pottery, pysanky wooden Easter eggs, and cinnamon chimney curled bread!).

Poland is a predominately Catholic country, and loves traditions and holidays. We went the week leading up to Easter, and it was dreamy. This was the main market, but we found a couple of others while wandering around the city one afternoon. I can still smell the baked goods, salted cheeses, and breads. Mmm... If you ever visit Europe in general, I would recommend before a holiday! There are so many more traditions and customs you become a part of. I want to go back before Christmas next time with our little family.

This was the original gate and part of the wall that guarded the city of Krakow. If I'm correct, it dates back to before the 1400s (don't hold me to that... I was getting a little stir crazy at the underground museum when they gave us the official date).

Every great European city has to have a castle! My favorite thing about the Krakow castle is its legend. They say that a former king of Krakow (back before it was even called Krakow) had a problem with a dragon that lived under a hill near the Wislaw river. It continued to eat their sheep and virgins. The king sent in many knights, but the dragon killed them all. The king became desperate and said anyone who could kill the dragon could marry his daughter. Finally, a local man, Krakow, had an idea. He killed a sheep, filled it with tar, and left it outside of the dragon's lair. It ate the dragon and became immensely thirty. It went to the river and began to drink, but could not quench its thirst. It eventually burst from drinking too much. The young man married the princess, and built a castle on top of the dragon's old lair when he became king.

You can even go into the dragon's lair underneath the hill the castle is built on. Oh, and hanging in front of the castle church are these huge bones. We asked a man standing nearby who worked there, and he looked at us with a straight face and said, "Those are the dragon's bones."

One of my favorite things about Poland? Paczki. Lots of paczki. And Polish pottery. And tea served in Polish pottery. And more of the food, mostly the breads and pierogi.

Oh, and there was that one time we found a stork in the same town my great-grand father came from. Two months later, we found out we were pregnant. ;)

Brave Love Blog

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

day 16: weight loss journey

Day 16: "Most people don't know this but..."

...I used to be fat. 

At least, on my frame I was. I'm only 5'4". And honestly, I sort of knew I was, but at first, didn't care. Once I did care, it was immensely hard to get the weight off. 

Here's just one picture of before: 

That was just before my senior year of high school. I don't know what I even weighed then, but I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. 

Fast forward to at Austen's basic training graduation. Some weight had come off since then, but not enough to actually be considered "small" or "healthy" by anyone's standards. I had been working hard for those 2 months he was gone. I remember starting off weighing 156 lbs, and the first week, all I did was cut out fast food. Ya'll, I was living alone and had no one to cook for. It was so easy to just grab fast food for dinner, and I probably did so 3x a week. Nasty, I know. That week, I lost 5 lbs by just cutting out the fast food. I was so grossed out by that number, that it changed the way I looked at fast food. After that, I started working out a few times a week and tried to eat healthier. I weighed 145 lbs by the time his graduation came around.

september 2010

After we got married and were living together, I started cooking for us and put on a couple of lbs again. Granted, in the next picture, I tried to hunch over a little so that Austen would look even taller than me, and it only made me look bigger. Still, I had gained back some weight. 

january 2011

I tried to lose weight here in Vegas, but continued to struggle with it. This is going to sound so strange, but it took having a tonsillectomy in September 2011 in order for me to realize I was simply eating too much. My body didn't need the sizes of portions that I was eating. It took me being unable to eat for 11 days to realize this, but once I did, it made a difference. I lost about 10 lbs during those 11 days following surgery, but really didn't gain it back once I was able to eat again. 

november 2012

A lot of people don't agree with this next part, but to each their own. I began weighing myself every morning. I might have even been a little obsessive about it. I just wanted to know what I weighed. But here's why it worked for me: because it taught me about my body. I learned so much about what foods affect my body, about how the times I eat affect my body, and that weights affect what sizes fit. 

So I made changes to my lifestyle. I didn't diet, I made changes that I stuck with. I stopped eating past 4:30-5:00pm. I don't have a high metabolism, so by not eating so late in the day, my body has time to finish processing what I ate. Slowly but steadily, more weight came off. Then, we began eating less processed foods and more organic produce and free-range meats. I lost even more weight, and especially inches. My goal was 125-130 lbs (depending on how I felt) and I eventually made it to 128 lbs over the course of two more years.

march 2014

What really went down were my sizes though. I went from a size 12 to a size 4/6 in pants. I went from wearing larges in shirts to smalls. My bra size went down from a 36D to a 34B. I loved having small jeans and small boobs! I felt so confident in my own skin, and genuinely felt so much healthier. 

With pregnancy, yes, I've put on weight. And no, it hasn't all gone to my belly. Honest to goodness, that's been frustrating for me. I have 2 pairs of dress pants that had gotten so big in May, I could wiggle them over my hips without unbuttoning them. Now, they won't button and I have to wear a belly band with them. Oh, and my legs have filled them out again. I have my moments of being frustrated with the changes happening to my body, but I also know that the weight will come off post baby. Breastfeeding will help with that, and I also know the tricks that work for my body. 

For kicks and giggles, here's a recent picture of me at 17 weeks + a few days pregnant:

september 2014, pregnant! :)

So far, I'm up 13 lbs, and my family laughs that most of that has gone to my boobs. Seriously though, I'm up a bra size already, but am still a size small in jeans from Motherhood Maternity (side note - why do they not have number sizes for their maternity pants? anyone know?). As long as the weight starts going to my belly and not to my butt anymore, I'll be just fine with the weight gain! ;)

To sum this long post up, ultimately, it took me realizing that it's okay to be a little hungry sometimes. Our portions are much too big for what our bodies really need, and processed crap doesn't count as real food. This really made a world of a difference for me. Oh, and I teased a nurse once who asked me what my exercise regime is, and I asked if teaching counts. She laughed and said yes. So being busy and on my feet all day does help, too! I also found that finding exercise in non-exercise ways helped. I hate running and really anything that feels like I'm working out, but love skiing (core and leg strength) and yoga. Find something that gets you up and moving, but that you really like to do! I'm also going to try some workout videos (like Jillian Michaels) post baby to help tone up again quicker than it took last time. 

Brave Love Blog

Sunday, September 14, 2014

day 14: blogging

Day 14: When did you start blogging and why?

I had to look it up, but I first posted about Austen's basic training graduation on September 23, 2010. I began blogging as a way to document our move from Texas to Las Vegas. It wasn't anything fancy by any means, but I do like that I wrote about how I was feeling then and can look back on it now. The pictures are all tiny, and it reads more like a journal than like a blog. Oh, and the fact that we look like babies cracks me up! 

Since then, this blog has come a long way, and had a name change. It was originally "dogtags & diamonds". One thing that I loved about that, though, was a good friend of mine's mom made me a small canvas of the blog title. It's still in our guest bedroom on the nightstand. Changing it to "sweet pea's" had more meaning though, since that's Austen's nickname for me. It felt like it could grow more with us as life changes.

What I love is that our blog has been documenting our life together all along our way from dating, through marriage, and now into becoming parents. 
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