Christmas Coffee by Reverie Coffee Roasters Wichita KS

No Christmas baby

My little one doesn’t look like he’s planning to show up early — Thank goodness!

What is it about the holiday season (and having less than three weeks before the baby joins us) that makes me feel so far behind?

Christmas presents for the family

All the family gifts are wrapped, but I still have so much to do.

  • Install. The. Forsaken. Car seat.
  • Schedule a house cleaning
  • Hang shelves and artwork in the nursery — it’s almost done!
  • Fix the upstairs shower
  • Prep freezer meals and smoothies
  • …I’m sure there’s more

Since we had a warm but gloomy, rainy, windy, potentially tornado-y Christmas in Kansas, I stayed in and got to cross one of these these to-do’s off my list.

Prepping freezer meals and smoothies for non-fast food fast.

I braved the grocery store on Christmas Eve to pick up the ingredients for the 15 freezer meals I planned so the husband and I aren’t ordering takeout every night when we’re both too tired to remember how the oven works.

I say “braved” because it was absolute chaos. Nonsense-making chaos. I’m never doing it again.

I also went to Costco. I am bad at Costco. I can’t figure out how to make the price per carrot worth it to buy food I’ll never be able to eat before it goes bad…

I just want to buy less food.

freezer meal prep ingredients

Anyway, a separate blog will detail this adventure. I might never do this again, either… One ingredient not found killed one of my freezer meals; and another ingredient forgotten killed a second. Instead of 15, I only have 13.

Plus, I’ve never touched so much raw chicken in my life… hork.

And my feet are kiiiiiiiling me.

Like, they’re so mad.

Fingers crossed each of these freezer meals are edible. After meal prepping for seven hours today (including tonight’s dinner!), I do not care if they taste good.

I’ll care tomorrow.

When my feet don’t hurt.

If I did my math correctly, and if I don’t cook anything to go with any of these freezer meals (though I plan to), each serving costs approximately $2.60 — assuming each freezer meal yields four servings. I’m going to keep track of costs as best I can because I want to know if freezer meals are worth more than time.

To plan and prep these meals, I used a bunch of plans and recipes I found on Pinterest. Because Pinterest. Find them –>>

I hope you all had a Happy Christmas! We’re celebrating next week (pending fetus).

Ivan the German Shepherd with his Christmas toy
Ivan says “Happy Christmas!” (as he demolishes a stuffed animal, leaving its entrails all around my once clean house)

 

Motherhood, Christmas, 2017… Crap

If you attach the words “maternity,” “motherhood” or “nursing” to an article of clothing, such as a maternity shirt or a nursing tank top, then said article of clothing is automatically 50 percent more expensive.

I don’t have actual math of this, but I did spend $60 on four tank tops at Target that — were they not nursing tank tops — would have cost me half as much. Target has great deals on tank tops, unless the tank tops have two special clips for easy baby access. The same goes for nursing bras, which are — unfortunately — very necessary for, you know, nursing. I also bought a “sports” nursing bra — in which I will NEVER do vigorous exercise — that was ridiculously expensive. I might be able to do yoga in it. (It’s super comfy so I’m not too mad about it’s near uselessness.)

Motherhood. It’s a racket.

I have made it through the majority of my pregnancy without having to buy too many articles of maternity clothing thanks to the generous donations of friends and family. Four pairs of leggings, several T-shirts and sweaters. Plus, many of my clothes are drapey, long or stretchy enough to fit over top of my bump.

But I do have to buy after-pregnancy clothing because, apparently, I won’t fit into my super pregnant clothes or my regular, not pregnant clothes. Women still look and feel pretty pregnant sans fetus.

Super.

Bah! I’d rather spend money on Christmas!

WHICH IS NEXT WEEK HOW WHEN ACK

I don’t know why I thought it’d be a good idea to have a baby this close to the holidays.

Sure, I have the pregnant lady super power of never being cold, even when it’s below freezing; and, sure, I don’t have to deal with the humid heat of the Kansas summer nine months pregnant.

But, seriously, Thanksgiving… Christmas… New Year’s… my anniversary… my due date… What. Was. I. Thinking.

I didn’t even decorate :(

I don’t think I will decorate, either. What happens if I go into labor before taking Christmas decorations down? Well, then it’s just Christmas in my house for… like… weeks.

The most Christmas decor I’ll get this year is a little white tree at work decked out in Starbucks ornaments (which is super cute).

starbucks-2016-christmas-ornaments
Look at the tiny French press!

The baby’s room is almost done! That’s as good as Christmas decorations, right?

My husband and my father-in-law put together his crib Friday night, and I layered a quilted mattress pad, waterproof pad, crib sheet, another water proof pad and another crib sheet on this afternoon. If baby has a blowout in the middle of the night, I’ll just tear off a layer and put him back to bed. (I can’t find where I read this advice.)

I just need to install shelves and get command strips to hang wall art, and then we will be DONE, people!

I’m also prepping bedside diaper and snack stations for middle-of-the-night wake-up cries and nursing sessions. (I also can’t find where I read this advice.)

bedside-diaper-station-snack-station-nursing

Baby’s hospital bag is packed; my hospital bag is packed; my pump is in a separate tote bag; and my husband still needs to pack his hospital bag.

That’s four hospital bags.

That’s too many bags.

I might have to consolidate…

There’s a lot of advice out there about what should and should not be taken to the hospital on D-Day. Check out my mama shae Pinterest board for all the advice I’ve been reading.

Forewarning, there’s boobs on it.

In my effort to de-clutter my house before giving birth, I did make the mistake of throwing away excess travel size shampoos and conditioners. So… now I have to get new ones.

travel-size-beauty-products-hospital-bag
I threw them all away… Years old containers. Still probably perfectly good.

Sigh…

We’re almost ready for the final countdown, folks. Baby in T minus four weeks.

Let’s do this.

35 weeks pregnant the final countdown

PT for pregnancy

I was putting clothes away in our dresser when my husband asked me: “Does your back hurt just all the time?”

From the profile view of my body, not only is my large pregnant belly sticking out in front a major feature — but so is the concave curve of my spine over-exaggerated when I lean.

Pregnancy is not kind on the back.

Around 28 weeks, I complained to my doctor about a pain in my butt and how much of a pain-in-the-butt it was to sit and stand, roll and flip. The only thing that didn’t hurt was walking. She sent me to Palmer Physical Therapy where I got checked out. I was told I had bad posture — not surprising — and that the pregnancy was putting new weight on a poorly cared for spine. Ouch. The weight put pressure on the sciatic nerve — that giant one in the spine, butt and legs — which caused all sorts of nasty pain.

Had I kept up with my weight-lifting workouts and yoga practice — like my doctor told me to — my back might have been strong enough to withstand the extra strain on my spine.

Beachbody Master's Hammer and Chisel workout program
Master’s Hammer and Chisel (because I’m going to get beefy!)

But I didn’t.

So it wasn’t.

Now, here we are.

Guess which exercises I’m allowed to do…

…walking.

Guess which exercises I’m not allowed to do…

…yoga.

Why can’t I do yoga? Yoga sounds like a practice that should, in fairness, help with back pain. But forward bends, Downward Dog, sitting without support… the physical therapist said all these poses were just making the pinch in my spine worse. Even prenatal yoga is bad for my back.

No more yoga while the baby is in the belly.

It’s the suckiest thing ever :(

I went to Palmer’s four times in two weeks to get my spine checked. The left side was worse than the right side so all my PT exercises focused on fixing that pinch — using a towel roll under my left side while rotating my spine to the right, miniature back bends while standing, press ups (which are just going up and down in Cobra Pose).

homemade lumbar support towel roll
My homemade towel roll held together with twine.

I did a really good job doing the rotations three times a day and the back bends once an hour. My Fitbit goes off hourly to remind me. I also did a really good job remembering to ice my lower back three times a day — no lie, the ice pack was the best part. I even switched out chairs with a coworker so I could take the arms off and get as close as possible to my computer station as my belly would allow <– This is no longer possible.

The only thing I couldn’t do were the press ups because I can’t successfully lay on my stomach without the special pregnant lady pillow pad <– This thing is awesome.

I did a really good job.

…for about four weeks.

Then, well, waking up earlier in the morning to do my exercises was sacrificed for sleep, and getting up and down off the floor at work to do the rotations became really hard — I’m the size of a whale — and every time I try to do the standing back bends, I have to pee.

baby laundry
Pre-washed baby clothes successfully stored in his closet or just built dresser!

Plus, we’re so busy all weekend every weekend getting ready for the baby that taking care of myself is becoming less and less of a priority.

So backwards, right?

Now is the best time to be taking care of myself because, in five short weeks, I’ll be taking care of a newborn. (Did you see the cover photo? Five weeks, y’all. And, yes, that’s a cup of cereal sitting on my stomach like a TABLE. Follow me on Instagram for more.) He’s going to take up all sorts of attention! And my back? Well, it’s definitely going to suffer from neglect.

Once I recover from delivery, my goal is to get back in to yoga. Gentle, stretching yoga, with full support — that means sitting in a chair with my towel roll instead of on the floor — to alleviate tight muscles and start building up the strength in my spine.

High hopes I have for postpartum, huh? :)

I also renew my commitment to my PT exercises every day. You know, as soon as I have the crib built, the house cleaned and the Christmas decorations up. (What if he shows up around Christmas, and I don’t have a tree up? Or an ornament? Crap.)

The Internet, in its infinite knowledge, has a bunch of recommendations to relieve pregnancy pain, including sciatic nerve pain:

  • What to Expect has several recommendations (The only one I don’t really agree with is the “warm compress.” I was told to stay away from heat as it can worsen inflammation. Physical therapist’s orders!)
  • Diary of a Fit Mommy — a new favorite blog of mine — has information about kinesiology tape, which can be used for a number of annoying ailments
  • You can also take your chances with WebMD, but I’m not allowed to look at that site anymore because… well, we won’t get in to that…

 

34 weeks pregnant photo shoot

Thankful(ly) November (is over)

Why am I thankful November is over? The third trimester is pretty awful. I’d like it to be done soon.

His favorite thing to do is press on my bladder and kick me viciously in the right rib cage. Like really hard. He also spends a lot of his precious time in my right lung.

skinnyshae-tweet

Super awesome.

The second-to-last-month of pregnancy is a lot like the second month of pregnancy. I’m starving. My food aversions are back (and so are my cravings). I’m exhausted. I have insomnia. I have to pee every seven minutes.

The only difference?

The size of the belly.

Second month of pregnancy belly is non-existent. Second-to-last-month of pregnancy belly is so. so. so. much larger.

29 weeks pregnant dress
This is 29 weeks of baby.

Four weeks later, we took maternity photos with the wonderful Kacy Meinecke.

33 weeks pregnant dress
This is 33 weeks of baby (and pampas grass, for kicks). 

Same dress from Halloween, but the ‘Mama Short’ Spanx underneath are working overtime. My belly button can no longer be contained, y’all.

I’m a nearly-done turkey so, for Thanksgiving, I didn’t have any. Instead, my husband and I munched Chex mix, ate apple crisp and decorated a Christmas tree with his parents.

christmas tree decorating
IT’S SO SPARKLY.

I am so excited for Christmas, you have no idea, but I can’t decorate until the baby’s things are in the baby’s room… instead of in my living room.

We have some made progress on the nursery this month, though.

prairie sage paint color
Painted.
toy organization for baby
Toys hanging in the closet.
baby boy nursery
A changing table from my sister-in-law (stuffed full of the tiniest diapers I have ever seen) and a rocking chair handed down through my husband’s family where little one and I will spend some adorable snuggle time during which I may or may not be awake.

Half the nursery is complete.

His dresser is in pieces in the middle of his room. My husband is putting it together this weekend, and I’m prewashing all his clothes — in Dreft, of course — so that will get his clothes out of my living room…

We’re also installing car seat bases this weekend and loading up the strollers so they’re not in my living room any more…

 

His crib, also from my sister-in-law, is on its way — traveling in the trunk of a friend’s car. When it gets here, we’ll finish the nursery.

Fingers crossed we get all this done before he decides to enter the world!

The doctor asked me if the baby planned on joining the outside world this year or next. She thinks she’s funny.

Will I have a Christmas baby?

Will I have a New Year’s baby?

Who knows! I just hope he keeps cooking past our anniversary.