Archive | March, 2013

Getting back into running…soon.

30 Mar

morning_run_29393With the weather warming up, the daylight stretching into the evenings and the end of my pregnancy right around the corner (a max of 3 weeks away), I find myself seriously jonesing to get out and run. The other day, I was out on a walk and my legs felt the best they have in months, and it was so tempting to just break into a jog! I didn’t because I’m still carrying around this bowling ball in my belly, and I don’t think running would feel very good.

As much as I love to train for races, and have been very tempted to start looking up dates and planning things out, I’m restraining myself. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a few ideas rolling around in my head… or that I haven’t talked to a friend about doing a sprint triathlon in August. But I’m not committing to anything just yet.

My plan is to first get the all-clear from my doctor that I can start high-intensity exercise again. Then I’m just going to see where I’m at. I honestly would not be surprised if running 2 miles at a 12 minute pace is a stretch. I can definitely tell that I’ve lost muscle tone and endurance from not doing much during pregnancy other than walking. I mean, I’m pretty sure my butt has actually gotten smaller during pregnancy, from not running. You wouldn’t think that’d be a bad thing, but it’s slightly depressing because it makes me wonder how long the road will be to get back into the shape I was in before (though I can guarantee that I will not be in marathon shape again for a very long time!)

But whether I’m starting from scratch, or pleasantly surprised that I’m not as out of shape as I thought, it’ll be good to get back out there.

Maternity Pictures

29 Mar

While we were in Florida for vacation, my younger brother graciously agreed to take some maternity pictures for us. I love how they turned out! Thanks again Chris!

Here are my favorites:

EmmaGracePregnancy-5 EmmaGracePregnancy-7 EmmaGracePregnancy-13EmmaGracePregnancy-17EmmaGracePregnancy-22 EmmaGracePregnancy-23 EmmaGracePregnancy-28EmmaGracePregnancy-15EmmaGracePregnancy-2All photos are copyright of Christopher Moen.


Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks

25 Mar

38w0dThe most-asked question of the week has now switched from “How are you feeling?” to “Are you ready to be done?”

Why yes, yes I am.

Overall, I’m still feeling pretty good so I really can’t complain too much. But maybe just a little.

Like when it snows AGAIN but none of my boots fit over my cankles.  I’m down to 2 pairs of flats and flip flops. My North Face jacket is *almost* too small to zip. C’mon spring!

My maternity shirts are also starting to get too short and I rotate between the same 2 pairs of pants at work.

My nightly bathroom stops are now up to 3, but I don’t mind them that much. It’s kind of nice to get off my hips. Some nights, I don’t have any hip pain until about an hour before I get up in the morning. Other nights, my hips start throbbing after just an hour on each side. Rolling over in bed makes me feel like a beached whale. So. huge.

Ok, rant over.

I had another prenatal appointment this morning. The doctor checked my cervix and said that I was just beginning to dilate and thin out, but overall not much is happening. I’m measuring exactly 38 weeks and my protein/sugar/blood pressure levels and weight gain are all good. Emma’s heartrate is healthy. So we keep on trucking.


We had a very leisurely weekend. We were supposed to help out at my friend’s race but the 10 inches of snow we received put the kaibosh on that. It’s rescheduled for next Saturday.

That meant Saturday was wide open. Now that my to-do list of Very Important Things is pretty much done, I’m taking a much more leisurely approach to being productive. I worked on my “Bump Book” (belly scrapbook) and have it finished through 34 weeks. We also went to see Safe Haven (it was good!), watched Band of Brothers, took the dogs on a walk, and I did laundry and grocery shopping. Emma must’ve been sleeping all of Saturday morning because I spent a few hours worried about her not moving hardly at all. But I called the doctor and he reassured me that if she moved at least 3 times in an hour, she was probably fine. And she was. Last night, she was having a party in my belly. It’s just so hard to not worry!


Workouts last week:

T: 1.15 mile walk

W: 1.15 mile walk


Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, mild swelling, hip/inner thigh pain at night, heaviness/pelvic pressure, Emma gets hiccups a lot, feeling more tired

Cravings: Juice, chocolate

Emotions: Ready to have this baby!

Weight Gained: No change from last week (30 lbs total)

Rings on or off: Off

Belly button in or out: Just flat

Stretch marks: Just one, above my belly button where I had it pierced

Baby purchases this week: Crib sheets and the cutest little light pink fake Toms

What I Miss: Feeling thin, running and biking, wardrobe with more variety

Best moment this past week: Getting to see my maternity pictures – I’ll post them soon!

Looking forward to: Only 9 days of work left!


Nursery Tour

21 Mar

I’m so excited to finally share pictures of the nursery! It’s not completely done – I still have 2 picture frames and the diaper pail coming from Minnesota that I got at my shower, and I still would like to get a small side table for next to the glider, but otherwise, it’s finished. I’m so happy with how it turned out.

This is what you see when you walk into the room:

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The glider/recliner is the TRYP of the Best Storytime Series and it is amazingly comfortable for both me and Travis.

To the left of the crib:

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The crib is the Graco Lauren 4-in-1IMG_4341 (Large)My friend Carrie gave me those adorable etsy prints for my shower gift. I had wanted to use that picture frame for something but couldn’t find a poster the right size. Those prints worked perfectly, and we backed it with some of the extra fabric we had left from the curtains and crib skirt. The tissue paper poms were made by my friends who hosted my shower.

The closet (unpictured) is on that same wall, to the left of the etsy prints.

IMG_4343 (Large)So many amazing homemade baby gifts! All of these were made by friends (except for the sheet). They work perfectly in the nursery.

To the right of the crib and glider, we hung our shelves (in high gloss gray) from Ikea.

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IMG_4347 (Large)I found the piggy bank and books at the thrift store. I had the pink frame (need to switch the pic out) and bears and made the LOVE print based on an idea I found on etsy (it has Psalm 139:13:18 on it). The bigger bear is very special because I gave it to my grandma (my mom’s mom) in the hospital before she died, so it reminds me of her.

IMG_4348 (Large)The book on the right is our baby book and the bear is from my Minnesota shower. I also plan to put the square picture frame on this shelf and hang the 1st year collage underneath the shelf.

Looking at the wall opposite the crib:

IMG_4350 (Large)I plan on putting our diaper pail between the dresser and changing table.

IMG_4349 (Large)While the dresser would ideally be white to match the rest of the room, we already had the dresser and didn’t have anywhere to store it, so I let it go.

IMG_4351 (Large)Our changing table is from Ikea. I had planned to put the 3 pink drawers all in a row, but the table isn’t wide enough. This works for now (I’ll probably end up rearranging things later). The top shelf has disposable diapers (loose ones in the drawer) and all diaper changing essentials. The bottom shelf has all of the hygiene supplies, mommy supplies, toys, etc. Underneath is a CD player and a box that holds all of her headbands and barrettes. I found the changing pad cover at the same store as the glider – Firefly Furnishings.

IMG_4352 (Large)The paper bunting was also made by my friends for my shower – I had wanted to hang some on that wall and what they created was perfect.

For Emma’s name, I bought the white frames and scrapbook paper.  Then I printed the letters, cut stencils, and traced the letters. It was tedious and I ended up adding a pink background behind the letters after seeing that the white alone didn’t stand out enough, but I like how they turned out.

And that’s it! We’re ready for you Emma!

Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks

19 Mar

37w0dAccording to some sources, I’m now full term! (Others says 38 weeks is full term.)

The Braxton Hicks contractions have eased up some, only to be replaced by lots of indigestion.

Friday, I went out to lunch with some co-workers. Before we had even paid, I felt so sick that I thought I might have to make a mad dash to the bathroom to throw up. Luckily, the feeling passed and after about 15 minutes, I felt fine.

Saturday, Travis and I had our ‘babymoon’. I didn’t really want to have to pack and unpack to go on a short trip so we decided to just spend the day together doing fun stuff. We went out to lunch at Red Robin and then to the Avs vs. Wild hockey game. By the beginning of the 3rd period, my stomach hated me – so much so that we had to leave early and cancel our dinner plans. Instead, we rented 3 movies, bought a giant box of Tums and I spent the evening alternating between standing and sitting in a very specific position to relieve the acid reflux. It wasn’t quite as bad as the time I almost died from acid reflux. But close.

Then on Sunday, Travis and I were on our way to Panera for egg sandwiches, hazelnut coffee and a crossword. Three blocks from our house, I started feeling sick. Quickly, it grew worse and worse until I was fairly positive that I was going to have to lean out of the window and throw up at any moment. I regretfully suggested that we might have to cancel Panera so we started circling back toward our house. As I breathed the fresh air through the open window, I started feeling better. So we turned back around and went to Panera anyway. I was fine for the rest of the day. (Though I think this was caused by me taking my prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach – usually I eat breakfast first thing in the morning so it’s never been an issue.)

Beyond that, there’s been other random times of my stomach feeling off or upset. So that’s been fun.

I also found out last week that I tested positive for Group B Strep. It’s not a big deal – 1 in 5 women have it. The only thing that changes is that I’ll have to be given antibiotics via IV when I go into labor, and I’ll probably have to go into the hospital earlier than I would’ve otherwise, so that the drugs have a chance to work. But my doctor reassured me that I’ll still be able to move around and be active during labor, which was my main concern.

I had another prenatal appointment yesterday and everything still looks good. The lady this time weighed me before I went to the bathroom, so of course it said I had gained 4 lbs (I really had to go). My doctor said that they’ll check my cervix starting next Monday to see if all these Braxton Hicks have amounted to anything.

Perhaps the weirdest thing that has been happening to me lately is that I have a lot of vivid dreams about very normal, everyday things – so I’ve started seriously questioning whether something I remember happened in a dream, or in real life. I feel like I’m losing my mind…

As far as baby stuff, we got our carseat installed and inspected this week, our hospital bags are all packed (except for the things we’re still using, which I have written down to pack whenever the time comes), and I finished all my shower thank you notes. We also took our Infant CPR and First Aid class on Monday night. Because my energy is slowly waning and I don’t want to run myself ragged trying to check off my to-do list, I’m trying to do only one small/simple thing each day (a few more on the weekends). My plan for tonight is to make dinner, clean the microwave, and then read in bed.


Workouts last week:

Th: .5 mile walk

F: 1.15 mile walk

I didn’t do much last week because even when I’m just walking, my belly feels so ridiculously heavy and uncomfortable. It’s just miserable. I bet it would help to get a belly support band. I’ve been holding out because Emma could come tomorrow and then it’d be useless, but on the other hand, Emma could wait to come for another 5 weeks. So it might just be worth it…


Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, mild swelling, hip/inner thigh pain at night, heaviness, back pain and feeling out of breath after standing for a while, Emma gets hiccups a lot

Cravings: Waffles with peanut butter and cool whip

Emotions: Excitement, exhaustion, a little “I can’t believe we’re actually doing this”

Weight Gained: 30 lbs total

Rings on or off: Off

Belly button in or out: Still just flat

Stretch marks: The one above my belly button just keeps growing…

Baby purchases this week: My Brest Friend nursing pillow, cloth wipes, dolphin back massager for labor

What I Miss: Being able to go to the grocery store or on a walk without feeling like I need to sit down

Best moment this past week: Movie night with friends

Looking forward to: Fewer than 20 days left before my maternity leave!


Do/did you have a belly support band? Was it worth the money?

Colorado Baby Shower

15 Mar

My friends threw me an amazing baby shower last Saturday! I felt so loved and blessed.

Because of the snowstorm, we moved the shower from our church to my friend Carrie’s house. The roads weren’t bad at all, which made me happy since we had been unsure of whether to postpone the shower until the next day.

All of the decorations were so cute – and my friends made them!

IMG_4303 (Large)There was more food – I just took this picture before everyone had arrived.

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Is that not the coolest cake you’ve ever seen? LOVE IT.
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They even bought us Biscuit books, since that’s what we call Emma.

We played 3 games:

1) Guess the number of jellybeans in the bottle. The best part about this game was that I got to take the bottle home! Mmm… sugar.

2) Guess how many ounces of water a newborn diaper will hold before leaking. I guessed 9 oz, and the answer was 10. I ended up winning that game! (which I kind of felt bad about, since I was already getting so many gifts! but they insisted… and I could tell the gift was Toblerone and who am I to turn down chocolate?)

3) Tear a baby out of paper. I got to choose the winner. There were a lot of great choices, but I had to go with Sue’s baby because she included a teddy bear:

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Once again, Travis and I were so blessed by the generosity – we got more baby bath/hygiene stuff, soft pillows and blankets, pictures for the nursery, crib and pack n play linens, books, adorable outfits… the list goes on. We even received a few gifts after the shower from people who weren’t able to make it. I plan to post a nursery tour soon and you’ll get to see a lot of the great stuff people gave us then – and how I re-purposed the shower decorations too! 😉

The wonderful ladies:

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So much fun!! Thanks everyone for celebrating this special time with us!

The blessing continued yesterday at work – my co-workers threw a small shower for me (aka, ice cream cake in a conference room) and gave us the stroller we registered for! I am very grateful for everything, and really overwhelmed by how generous people have been. Emma is a very blessed little girl already.


Pregnancy Update: 36 Weeks

11 Mar

20130310_081947Only 4 weeks left until my due date!

Surprisingly, I’m still feeling pretty good. It’s hard to bend over, get up, walk or stand for long but not impossible. Sleep is hit or miss, but has been mostly decent lately. My hips usually end up hurting by the morning (so I can’t sleep in), I get up to pee twice a night, and my inner thigh pain can tend to flare up. But during the day, I feel pretty good. It takes me a couple of hours and a cup of coffee to feel alive in the morning, but by the afternoon and evening, I feel pretty energetic. I even cooked a real dinner most nights last week! That hasn’t happened in quite some time. And now that it’ll be light outside after work, hopefully I’ll get some more exercise in.

The most uncomfortable things at this point are that sometimes my belly feels really heavy so I have to sit down or stop moving around. And I’ve still been having a ton of Braxton Hicks contractions. One night, I even timed them and they were anywhere from 5-20 minutes apart for several hours. I asked my doctor about it this morning and he said that irregular contractions help the baby’s head drop down into the pelvis – and that is exactly what has happened. He said that is making progress! He also said that at this point, they aren’t concerned if the contractions end up being the real thing.

We were able to have my baby shower last Saturday after all. As seems to happen with all Colorado snowstorms, we only got about 40% of what they were actually predicting, and it was so warm that none of the snow even stuck to the main roads. I’ll post about the shower separately, but it was a great time! I have awesome friends.

Travis and I are almost done decorating the nursery and after our Target run yesterday, we only have the stroller and breastfeeding pillow left to buy. I also scheduled our ‘meet the doctor’ appointment with the pediatrician and our carseat inspection, washed baby clothes and blankets, organized the nursery and found out that our health insurance will indeed cover my breast pump 100% (thanks Amy for that tip!). That pretty much takes care of all the “must do before baby comes” items on my to-do list, which is a great feeling! I see some nights on the couch in my future. Gotta bum it up while I can.

One other weird thing – if I burp after drinking coffee, it tastes like tuna. And I haven’t eaten tuna in months. …?


My workouts last week:

M: 15 min walk

W: 15 min walk

F: 20 min walk


Symptoms: Braxton Hicks, mild swelling, hip/inner thigh pain at night, heaviness, back pain and feeling out of breath after standing for a while

Cravings: Wendy’s, chocolate

Emotions: Excitement, exhaustion, incredulity, tiny bit of nervousness

Weight Gained: ~30 lbs total (at my appt this morning, they said I had lost 2 lbs, and I forgot to weigh myself at home, so I’m not sure)

Rings on or off: Off

Belly button in or out: Just flat, I don’t think it’s going to ‘pop’

Stretch marks: Just the one right above my belly button, where I had it pierced back in the day

Baby purchases this week: A few more clothes, changing pad, diaper pail refills, baby book, letter E for the nursery

What I Miss: Painting my own toenails, laying on my back, having a bigger wardrobe, being able to wear the cute trends in the stores

Best moment this past week: My baby shower with friends!

Looking forward to: Our ‘babymoon’ next weekend! (Details to come)


You’ve got to be kidding me.

8 Mar

Remember how my last baby shower almost got snowed out?

Well, here’s the forecast for my baby shower tomorrow in Denver:



What are the freaking odds?

It has only snowed (for real) in Denver once all ‘winter’. And it was on the day we were flying back from Florida. And now this.


My Plan for Maternity Leave and Work After Baby

6 Mar

Back in November, I started working out what my maternity leave and return to work plan would be. It has just recently been approved. Glad I was so ahead of the ball!

So here’s my plan:

Since Emma has a 50/50 chance of coming on or after her due date, I’m planning to work right up until then, meaning my last work day will be April 5. Ideally, I’d be able to take more time off before she comes but because my time off is limited, I’d rather use it after she comes. If she comes early, I’ll start my leave early (duh).

If I work through April 5, 12 weeks of maternity leave would put me coming back on the week of July 4th. Since my FMLA leave won’t start until May 7 (when I’ll have worked at my job for 12 months), I’ll be actually taking 13 weeks instead of 12. Six of those weeks will be covered by short term disability at 80% of my pay, and 6 of those weeks will be unpaid. If I end up starting my maternity leave earlier than April 5, I’ll cut my leave to 12 weeks total.

When I return to work, I’ll be coming back part-time 3 days a week (Tues – Thurs). My boss is awesome and really fought for me with this arrangement. Apparently, transitioning to part-time is very rare where I work. My three immediate supervisors are kind of making an exception for me and offering this arrangement on a 6-month trial period. They want to make sure that the workload isn’t too much for being part-time. I had originally requested to work 2 days half the year and 3 days a year half the year (since our workload tends to be very seasonal) but they didn’t feel comfortable with only 2 days.

Until recently, I had always planned on being a stay-at-home mom once we had kids. I’m not a career-driven person by any means, and until recently, my job had bored me to tears about 80% of the time. But things at work have really turned around, and Travis and I both agree that it would be nice to be able to pay off some more loans while we only have one child, so that my staying home in the future (when we have more kids) will be more feasible. I also have a pretty well-paying job right now and we have a good friend who is going to watch Emma for a very affordable rate. So we really do come out ahead with me working.

I’m still not completely sure how I feel about going back to work 3 days a week, or what I’ll think about it in July. But I’m willing to try it out for a month or two. I try to remind myself that just because I’ll be a mother doesn’t mean I have to only do mothering things. And it’ll actually be beneficial to our family if I keep pursuing my own goals and dreams. Maybe that means working part-time. Maybe not. It’s another one of those questions I’m hoping becomes more clear once I’m living the reality.


And just something kind of funny, I got this in the mail yesterday:

20130305_202242My report date? April 9. I think I’m going to be able to get out of this one.


Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

5 Mar

20130305_083039Last Monday (8 days ago), I had another prenatal appointment. The doctor said that everything looks perfect and confirmed that Emma is head down. I go back next Monday for another appointment (during which they’ll test me for Group B Strep) and then I start going in every week! The reality of the situation is really starting to set in – I’m really going to have to give birth and we’re really going to have a baby. A child! It’s craziness. But very exciting.

This past week, I have been a productivity machine. I wouldn’t call it nesting so much as stubbornness and the determination that I will get this stuff done before she comes. The bathroom we remodeled is so close to being done! All Travis has left to do is put up the trim and baseboards, and I just need to buy a couple new towels and figure out what to put on the walls. But since the bathroom is now clean and functional, it has dropped way down on the priority list.

I also got the nursery organized with everything we have so far, and bought dye- and scent-free laundry detergent to wash Emma’s clothes and blankets. I updated our list of things to buy so that after my baby shower this weekend, I’ll be ready to get whatever else we need. I still need to decide if I want to buy baby hangers and size separators to organize the closet, vs. folding things. Thoughts?

What I spent the majority of the weekend doing, though, was deep-cleaning our house. The bathroom remodel project nicely coated everything in dust, and I hadn’t cleaned in about a month so it was majorly disgusting. I was able to deep-clean both bathrooms and thoroughly dust and vacuum/mop the entire house (including the tops of door frames and behind the washer and dryer, which was GROSS – so much dog hair). It doesn’t sound like much but things take longer when you actually clean off shelves, move furniture and scrub walls. I may have overdone things on Sunday a bit – it was ridiculously painful to move around in bed that night and the next day I felt old and decrepit. Lesson learned (sort of). I mostly only have the kitchen left to focus on (the refrigerator, stove and microwave all need help). Even though I hate cleaning, I LOVE having a clean house. I told Travis that this is the cleanest our house will ever be.

So you can probably guess that my energy levels are still pretty good. (Nothing motivates like a to-do list.) I’m still having a TON of Braxton Hicks contractions. I probably have at least a couple an hour, all day long, if not more. Some days I even time them to see if they’re coming more often than every 15 minutes (in which case, it’s recommended you call your doctor) but they end up only being every 20-30 minutes. It definitely feels more frequent! It seems like they’ve increased in intensity too, which I’ve read is normal. And annoying. Seriously. I just hope that since my uterus is getting all this practice in, it’s more efficient when the real thing comes along. Practice makes perfect, right?


My workouts last week:

W: 20 min prenatal pilates

S: 1.7 mile walk + 3-4 hours cleaning


Symptoms: Braxton Hicks; hip pain (at night); zombie mornings; swelling of ankles, feet, hands and wrists

Cravings: Sweets of every kind, specifically froyo and Australian licorice

Emotions: Excitement! and I’m ready to be done with work (my last day is a month from today if Emma doesn’t come early!)

Weight Gained: 2 lbs (29 lbs total)

Rings on or off: Off

Belly button in or out: Just flat, I don’t think it’s going to ‘pop’

Stretch marks: Maybe one right above my belly button? I’ve never had stretch marks so I’m not sure. It looks very shiny.

Baby purchases this week: Medela Breast Pump in Style with On-the-Go Tote (I paid $216 before shipping), baby books from the thrift store

What I Miss: Wearing regular clothes, feeling skinny, sleeping on my stomach, running (last night I actually dreamed that I was running a 5k pregnant)

Best moment this past week: Having dinner Saturday night and lunch Sunday afternoon with friends – enjoying it while we can easily do so!

Looking forward to: Baby shower with friends this weekend!