Thursday, August 20, 2015

19 Weeks (Round 3)

I'm How far along? 19 weeks today! 

19 week bump #3

Next OB appointment? A week from today!  I have the 20 week ultrasound and will meet with one of the 2 midwives in our practice.  The plan is to still not find out the baby's sex!

Total weight gain/loss? I've not been in a weighing sort of mood this week...

Maternity clothes?  All maternity pants but still wearing mainly non-maternity tops.

Stretch marks? Nothing new this pregnancy.

Sleep? OK. I still tend to wake up around 3 for about 30 minutes and have had a hard time falling asleep

Best moment last week? Seeing one of my BFFs this past weekend and doing some major house organizing with my momma this week.  The boys' playroom is rearranged and I'm liking the new look - it is much cleaner and organized.  Here's hoping the boys keep it somewhat cleanish!

Movement? Yes! Although not as frequent as I'd expected. I sometimes feel movements throughout the day here and there, but usually I only feel the baby at night when I'm laying down.

Food cravings? Peanut butter - I'm obsessed again. And homemade pizza - I've made it twice in one week.  Hmm, I'm also liking chips with cheese and homemade salsa.  Oh, and La Croix sparkling water.

Food aversions? Nada.

Gender? Team Yellow.

Labor signs? Nope.

Belly button in/out? In!

What I miss: Hmm, I miss my waist and red wine.  I also miss my non-pregnant hormones. These preggo hormones make me feel crazy.

What I am looking forward to: The anatomy scan next week - since we're not finding out the sex I'm more aware that the scan is really to make sure the baby is growing on track and that everything is OK. This makes me nervous, but I'm excited to see the little one!  I'm also looking forward to picking a name - we're all over the board with names and it's one of my favorite things to do these days.  I have a feeling we're months away from deciding on potential names, but I'm loving the process!

Snuggling with J on the couch

Milestones: Julian pooped on the potty tonight.  I now have hopes that he can be potty trained before #3 arrives, so we only have one in diapers!

19 week bumps: Lukas * Julian * Baby #3

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Let's Do This

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

18 Weeks. Round 3

How far along? 18 weeks today! (For comparison, go here for my 18 week questionnaire with Julian).

Next OB appointment? 2 weeks away for our big 20 week anatomy scan. As we get closer to this appointment my commitment to not finding out the sex of this baby is starting to wane. I still plan to hold out until birth but the fact that we could know in 2 weeks if we'll have another sweet boy or a baby sister is  making me curious! I want to pick a name for this babe.  I have a favorite girl name and we have a few boy names we're loving.  I think this will be the first time we don't have a name picked out at birth.

Total weight gain/loss? I'm holding at about the same weight gain as last week.

Maternity clothes?  In full effect!  In case you've missed my self-involved OOTD posts....

Stretch marks? Nothing new this pregnancy.

Sleep? Hard to come by even though I'm exhausted. I just can't make it all night long without tossing and turning

Best moment last week? Hmm, I'm not sure. I've been a bit ho hum this week, so nothing is sticking out. I did really love my yoga class last Friday night and I saw some good friends on Saturday so that was nice.

Movement? Yes! I feel this sweet baby rolling around in there, mainly at night when I'm laying down to sleep.

Food cravings? Tomatoes slow roasted in the oven with a little EVOO.  And my mom's coffee cake - I made it this week and ate the whole thing in 3 days. I will refrain from making it again. Oh, and eggs over easy. So far I've had them for lunch yesterday over rice, kale, carrots and onions and in a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner tonight. I'd also say avocados are pretty delicious this week, but that's nothing new.

Food aversions? Nada.

Gender? Green could be for girl or for boy.  I don't even have a gut feeling this week.

Labor signs? Nope.

Belly button in/out? In!

What I miss: A really nice glass of wine.  And my positive attitude.  I've been feeling the pregnancy blues lately and just can't seem to shake the funk.

What I am looking forward to: Going grocery shopping on Saturday to see if we can stay within budget.  We were close again this week ($140, so $15 over budget) but we bought a few different spices, a bottle of EVOO and some other pantry-staples.  But then I had to go buy diapers so the last two weeks of the month will be difficult to keep the whole month on the $500 grocery budget.  This is definitely a work in progress! But I have really enjoyed all our homecooked meals this week!

Milestones: Embracing the maternity wardrobe. My bump thanks me. Oh, and I finally told my boss I was pregnant, so that's done now. 

18 week bump. Can we even call it that? I just look pudgy.
OOTD: Ann Taylor Outlet non-maternity wrap dress.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Today's outfit brought to you from Target! I have a few Liz Lange maternity dresses and they are mostly all jersey, meaning SUPER comfy.  I adore the bright print on this one! Happy Hump Day!  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Essential Oil Newbie

Let's get the pregnancy photo documentation out of the way with today's OOTD. I was exhausted this morning (more on that in a few), so I didn't have the energy to put together a cute outfit. Actually, I set out to find a cute outfit but after trying on two different black maternity skirts that were both too big I decided to throw in the towel and opt for a go-to black and white ensemble that I wore often pre-pregnancy. The only difference is the pants since my non-maternity pants are a thing of the past. So I threw on my new Gap maternity pants, which, by the way, are "ankle" length (I'm only 5'4), but I still have to roll them under once in order for them not to be too long!  What gives Gap? Your making this shorty feel even shorter!  Aside from being a tad too long, these pants are perfect for this stage of pregnancy. They have a demi panel that sits low on the belly and doesn't quite cover the belly button. (For you non-maternity clothes connoisseurs, the other option is a full panel which covers you entire belly. I prefer that style farther along in pregnancy, but for now it's just too baggy and I feel like my pants are constantly at risk of falling to my ankles). {insert pants on the ground ditty from American Idol here. Pants on the ground, pants on the ground, lookin' like a fool with yo pants on the ground.  Enjoy that being stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome}

For my top, I'm wearing an Ann Taylor non maternity top that's real flowy.  I think I bought this after my pregnancy with Lukas so it's rather forgiving. To the unsuspecting eye, this outfit hides my pregnancy pretty well!  I forgot to add my standard pop of color today so I'll just have to try to remember to keep reapplying my Lip Sheer in hopes of not looking too washed out. I should've worn a bright pair of shoes but couldn't find any as I was scrambling out the door and have boring black and nude flats on today.  Womp womp.
But I'm not stressing, I'm just glad I'm not home with a sick J today. As we were getting ready for bed last night I noticed he was a little hot. He's had a runny nose for a few days now and his chest was rattling a bit. We did our normal bedtime routine but when it was time for him to get in his crib he wasn't having any of it. "Rock more momma." He just wanted to snuggle. And he was feeling increasingly more like a hot potato by the second. So off to take his temperature we went.

100.2 degrees.  Not too hot, but definitely hotter than his usual temp. He wasn't crying or seemingly uncomfortable, but I wanted to do something. Yet over the past year I've gone more and more crunchy/hippie/natural and I am trying to steer clear of Advil and Tylenol for the kids (and myself) to the extent possible. I've read some research on their negative affects, especially on the gut, so I'm looking into alternative ways of handling sickness - with my main focus on promoting health to avoid sickness.  But germs are unavoidable when your children are in school so I realize that not getting sick is not necessarily an option.

So this year I've started dabbling in essential oils. I say dabbling because I really have no idea what I'm doing. It started with our awesome nanny giving me some oils to use to try to help J sleep. I didn't give them enough of a go with him, but I used them on myself and am hooked. I then bought an oil for anxiety which seems to help (although I haven't had much anxiety during pregnancy, thankfully). And eventually got a few more.  My go-to oils are Lavender, Peppermint, Frankincense and Melaleuca. They were a savior when I was getting end of first trimester migraines and could only take Tylenol which does squat for a headache! I now carry a headache-relief roller of essential oils in my purse!

So when J was fever-y last night, I turned to the interwebs for help. Turns out Peppermint and Lavender are great for combating a fever. After 2 applications (mixed with carrier oil), he fell fast asleep. I diffused another oil in his room overnight that helps promote healthy immune support. J woke up at midnight and his fever was gone but he was a little fussy. So I rubbed him down again and was able to get him to sleep an hour or so later. And this morning he woke up happy with no fever in sight!

I love that I didn't have to give him any traditional meds to help him last night. In the past I've been quick to administer Motrin at any sign of sickness or pain and I'd really like to move away from that. I am now convinced there really is something to essential oils and I'm excited to learn more!

Do you use essential oils?  What are some of your go-to oils?

Monday, August 10, 2015

OOTD -8/10

Happy Monday y'all!  Today I'm wearing a Gap maternity wrap dress (from round 1).  It's one of my favorite maternity dresses- I just love the bright color!  I'm still rocking my peep toe heels (Naturalizer) and hope that continues for a few more weeks but inevitably they'll be replaced with flats soon enough.

I tried out the auto timer on my phone camera - is it better than the mirror picture??? 

Of course these posts are totally self involved, I fully realize that.  But so is a blog, right?

I showered and washed my hair last night for a change, but I'm not sure I'm sold on the idea.  I feel like my hair is a hot mess.

Ok, off to work.  Make today great!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Budget Update

We're on week #2 of the new budget and I'd say it's going OK. The husband has spent each night this past week comparing cell phone providers and plans - turns out we're spending a ton of money on cell phones. Up until a year ago, when I was still a full fledged associate at my firm, I received a decent monthly technology allowance that covered about half of our cell phone bill so we never really worried about looking for a cheaper plan. Well, now that I don't have that added benefit, it's high time to cut the cell bill.  (If we were smart money managers, we'd have realized this a long time ago and cut our cell bill even with the technology allowance, but so it goes.)  I think he's decided TMobile or Sprint are our best bets (as opposed to our current provider, AT&T), but he's still working that out.

We have DirectTV and cut our premium channels this past week to save on the cable bill. Customer service said to call back at the end of this month, when we'll have had our contract for a full year and they'll be able to work out a new rate with us, so we're waiting to pull the plug entirely until we see what they offer. We may drop from 3 receivers to just two and we're still considering cutting cable entirely and using Netflix and Hulu instead. The one thing that is holding us back is how to handle sports without cable - the husband is a huge soccer fan and I enjoy having the GA bulldogs on the TV during the Fall. I'm not sure there's a way around this if you cut cable altogether. We could always go out to watch these events, but that seems like it could be cost prohibitive in the end as we'd be spending money at whatever bar or restaurant we went to to watch the game. So you'd save on cable but spend on food.  This is a work in progress, clearly.

We fired the yard guy and sweet husband is out there now cutting the lawn. He also lowered the temperature on the hot water heater and we reset the thermostats to try to lower the energy bill. We're also being more diligent about turning off lights in rooms we're not currently in.

I'd say the most tangible budget change is in our approach to food. I went back and pulled our food expenses since April and I'm embarrassed to admit we've been spending an average of $1800 on food a month - split between restaurants and groceries. Our new budget allots $600 total - $500 for groceries and $100 for eating out. This is a BIG cut, so it has required a lot of planning and preparation.  Last Saturday I meal planned for the week and settled on these meals:

Saturday: homemade gluten free pizza with Italian sausage
Sunday: breaded chicken cutlets (made with GF breadcrumbs), broccoli and roasted carrots
Monday: Chickpea and vegetable curry with quinoa (the boys at fish sticks as I knew they wouldn't touch the curry)
Tuesday: tacos (we never made so we have 1 lb of ground turkey for this week)
Wednesday: Crock pot pork loin with rice (moved to Tuesday's meal)
Thursday: leftovers (made grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon and avocado)
Friday: pasta with shrimp (had leftovers instead - the shrimp is frozen so no food lost here)

So husband and I went to the grocery store armed with our list and the goal of spending $125. We spent $137 which isn't bad for our first attempt at a budgeted shopping trip, especially since we weren't adding up ingredients as we went. We had to go back to the store mid-week for more bread and milk, laundry detergent, butter and strawberries. So tack on another $20 or so.  We moved around the meals a bit because we went out to dinner with friends on Wednesday night. $53 of our eating out budget is now gone, but it was worth the fun night out with friends! I also had lunch with a girlfriend and spent $8, so we have about $40 left for the month to eat out. Knowing this has definitely stopped us from swinging by Panera or 5 Guys on a night we don't feel like cooking.  We were also diligent about bringing leftovers for lunches each day (those $5-10 lunches out add up quickly)!

I will say our pantry and fridge are pretty bare right now since we have yet to grocery shop this week, but I feel good that we're not wasting food, something I knew we were doing since we weren't aware of what was always in the fridge and would often decide to eat out rather than cook what was planned.

This week we decided to try a new approach to lower the grocery bill to keep it under $125. We're going meatless for the week - here's the plan:

Saturday: Dinner at a children's birthday party
Sunday: Turkey burgers with roasted carrots (this is one of my go-to meals that I make for company often - its a delicious 5 ingredient recipe and I usually make sliders and go bunless)
Monday: Chickpea and vegetable curry with quinoa (last week's Meatless Monday meal - it was delicious, and we already have chickpeas and quinoa in the pantry)
Tuesday: Roasted vegetable and black bean tacos
Wednesday: Grilled cheese sandwiches with sliced apples and possibly a carrot and ginger soup
Thursday: Coconut Green Lentil Curry(I have a bunch of lentils in the pantry waiting to be cooked)
Friday: Shrimp pasta (or leftovers depending on my mood)

So that covers our dinners. We should have enough leftovers for lunches, but if not my go-to lunch is to brown a pound of turkey cooked with green curry paste, put over rice, roasted sweet potatoes or carrots and shredded kale with either coconut oil or ghee. It sounds odd but it is delicious.  I made this last week and ate it for lunch, a snack or breakfast each day.

Turkey veggie rice curry

For breakfasts I usually make overnight oats with steel cut oats, almond milk, chia seeds, cacao powder, maple syrup, vanilla and strawberries. I had some leftover quinoa from our curry meal so last week I also made breakfast quinoa with almond milk, shredded almonds, peanut butter and blueberries.

Breakfast quinoa (before mixing it all together)
The hubs eats granola with milk for breakfast or skips breakfast altogether. We also have to pack the boys lunch for school each day and feed them breakfast (duh). They usually eat gluten free waffles for breakfast with a ton of fruit, or toast with butter and fruit or yogurt and fruit or cereal and fruit. (They love fruit.) For their lunches we do a lot of peanut butter sandwiches or hot dogs (the Applegate organic nitrate free ones, so in my head these are nutritious), tomatoes, carrots, sliced apples, mandarin oranges, yogurt, sliced cucumber, apple sauce, string cheese, etc. So we have a lot of items on this week's grocery list for these growing boys who seem to have huge appetites these days!

I'm not sure we'll hit the food budget this month (or this week as we need to buy Julian diapers which currently comes out of the grocery budget) but I can already tell a big shift simply by being aware of the money we are spending on food and consciously trying to make positive changes. I still want to enjoy dinners out with friends and worry the $100 restaurant budget will inhibit that, so perhaps we can get our grocery bills cheaper to be able to go over the $100 every now and again if need be. Or we'll invite friends over to eat at our house so we can control the costs.) And as I say in my Beautycounter business, it's not about perfection, it's about progress!

I have not done any shopping this week on clothes or house goods, even though I've done some online perusing. We were at a friend's new house yesterday and I definitely had envy over all the new furniture and furnishings she'd bought for her house. I started picking apart each room of our house and noting what we were lacking, but quickly shifted into being thankful for what we do have. Our house may not be as pretty or put together (or big) as hers and I may still have rooms with mismatched furniture (and a dining room table with no chairs), but our home is full of love and that makes it more than enough.

This week my goal is looking into refinancing our student loans and attempting to get that payment down. I hate the thought of pushing them out even longer, but the husband had a good point - we can refinance them to lower the required monthly payment, but we can continue paying the same amount each month we're currently paying as long as we can swing it. That way if there are months where we need to spend more on one area of life (say for a broken car, the $60 oil change I paid for this week or unexpected house expense that will surely come up), we won't be stuck dipping into our savings. So here's hoping we can lower that payment!

Do you budget?  Where have you made changes to save costs?