29 Weeks

Weeks: 29 weeks! Each week has brought another sigh of relief and thankfulness to God for bringing us closer to our girl, and for keeping her safe in utero.
Weight Gain: +11 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight!
This Week's Cravings: This must have been the week of the quesadilla. I've made a quesadilla using sharp cheddar cheese and a stove-toasted tortilla on most days and washed it down with, of course, cran-grape juice. 
New Maternity / Baby Purchases: I was so excited to get another set of ruffle butt diaper covers this week. I bought them for Cam to use for her newborn photos from a store on Etsy. For J, his highlight of the week was purchasing the baby monitor. We reviewed many and had a really hard time picking which one to get. With all the options out in the market right now, how do we know what the best will be? Up for debate were the Angelcare Baby Movement monitor (which includes a mat that goes under the crib mattress that monitors the baby's movement and breathing), the Summer Infant Video Monitor, and the Samsung Video Monitor. We asked for opinions of many friends and fellow parents, but in the end, we bought the Samsung Video Monitor. J was so excited the day we bought it, and he set it up in Cam's nursery right away. We absolutely love being able to hook up the parent unit onto our TV and being able to monitor her in the nursery while we watch TV in the other room. Another purchase of the week was a car seat cover for her, as I absolutely hate the covers that come with infant car seats. I bought her a pink minky dot seat and canopy cover. 
Moment of the Week: Any and all of Camden's movements are great moments for us. There was one night in particular when I was laying flat on my back and I pulled my shirt up to show my belly and J and I watched as the belly flickered and twitched with each of Camden's kicks and swishes. Moments like that have really made our now required daily kick counts even more fun. Another particularly joyous moment came today after our doctor's appointment. Dr. Moore measured my cervical length today at our routine appointment and according to his ultrasound machine, my cervix went from being 3.17 cm at my last appointment to 2.29 at today's. Although not a trigger for panic on his part, it was definitely a point of concern, so he sent us to radiology to have it examined further {the ultrasound machine at the doctor's office is not as good as the top-of-the-line fancy schmancy one in the radiology department}. On top of his ultrasound analysis, he did do a physical examination and noted that everything did, in fact, look normal, but needless to say, we headed off to the Kaiser hospital in Irvine with quite a bit of anxiety. J tried to keep me calm, but I could not help but be worried. During my last pregnancy, it was during our survey ultrasound that they had found the effaced cervix {initially told to us as just "thinned out"} and I was sent to the same hospital, but in the Labor and Delivery unit. I tell you what, even if Dr. Moore reassured us prior to heading off to radiology that it wasn't anything to be worried about and that the measurements in radiology would more than likely be much different from the one in his office, there is still nothing worse than hearing the words "stat ultrasound" in a situation like ours. An hour into waiting {and an incredibly and painfully full bladder that I was not allowed to empty to go with it}, I was called into the radiology department while my poor husband paced nervously in the waiting room. The radiologist took a few pictures of my little party animal {who, of course, only allowed us to take her choice of positions and angles} and then examined the cervix. Thank goodness he found that the cervical length was actually 2.9 to 3.2 cm instead. What a scare, but on the same token, what an absolute RELIEF!!!
Do you see how her eye is open in this picture above??
It was all about the closeups today with our little one!
This Week's Pregnancy Cheat: By my husband's own request, we went out to sushi on Friday. He had a pretty stressful week at work and it was he who was craving sushi this time. Suffice it to say, I didn't do much any resisting to his request.
Things to Look Forward To: We are excited to be starting our Childbirth Preparation classes next week. It is a series of five weekly 2 1/2 hour classes every Wednesday evening starting May 9th. The Childbirth Preparation classes are basically the Lamaze classes. An in-depth look at labor and birth, c-section birth, medications, how to be an effective labor partner, relaxation, breathing, pushing techniques, and postpartum care will be covered. J also noted that these next 10-11 weeks will be completely jam-packed with events and classes for us -- and he's right! He will soon be registering for the Daddy Boot Camp class and I will also soon be registering for the Baby Care Basics and Lactation Counseling classes as well. In between those, we will also be having the baby shower, J's birthday, the primary elections {J has volunteered to be a poll worker for the primaries, which means a training / certification class on top of working during the election day itself}, and some pre-baptismal classes we have to take through our church so that we can get Camden baptized very soon after she is born. I know it's going to be a whirlwind, but this is how I thrive -- I absolutely love a full and hectic calendar. I live for this stuff.
Sleep Pattern: Believe it or not, despite the constant sleep interruptions due to my child headbanging on my bladder, I have actually grown accustomed to it, and don't particularly mind it anymore. Like I mentioned before, this is a sign that there is actually a growing baby in there and I am more and more thankful everyday.
Things I'm Really MissingThere is a large part of me that misses going to work everyday. Having always had a job since I was 17, there is pride and comfort in making your own money and being able to bring something to the table. Of course, as my husband has reminded me so many times, my job now is to take care of myself and our baby and to make sure she gets here alive and safe and healthy. Don't get me wrong -- being able to stay home and dictate my own schedule is fantastic, but sometimes I can't help but feel insecure that I should be bringing some income home too. Still, I am beyond thankful that J and I are able to have me stay at home and not work right now. I have said this before and I say it again: Not everybody has the leeway to be able to do this, and J and I know that we are right where we need to be -- having me rest at home and prepare our life for the little one who's going to be joining us in more or less 75 days!!!

28 Weeks

Weeks: Holy moly, we are at 28 weeks! Hooray for the 3rd trimester!
Weight Gain: +10 lbs. from pre-pregnancy weight -- wow, I'm really packing it on now!
This Week's Cravings: My gyro craving won this week. I had it for lunch twice and it was ah-ma-zing. On top of that, I asked for extra tzatziki sauce, which I had on another day to dip my french fries in. For foodies like me, satisfying a craving like that is completely beyond wonderful. I've also estimated how many giant jugs of cran-grape juice we've purchased and gone through since February, and I can honestly say we are within the 15-16 mark. At least my kid's gonna have good kidneys . . . 
New Maternity / Baby Purchases: Aside from purchasing the rug to complete Baby B's nursery, we also bought and installed the infant carseat adapter for our jogger stroller. We also got the carseat adapter from the same place we got the rug -- a specialty children's boutique in Costa Mesa that had closed down and was just trying to get rid of their inventory. What was normally a $70 adapter was purchased for $15 -- brand new! What a lucky find! Also, as our normal behavior pattern dictates, when we purchase one thing for Baby B one day, we end up purchasing several more. On that same day and same whim, we purchased a Diaper Genie and one of the Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags that I wanted.
Moment of the Week: I used to think that "Pregnancy / Baby Brain" was a myth. I laughed at the thought of being clumsy {extra clumsy, in my case}, forgetful, and flighty during pregnancy. Of course, that was until I got here myself. On Wednesday evening, I was perusing the internet on my laptop in bed in between my nearing-20 potty trips. One of the times I went, I pulled down my pj pants and noticed that I had an unused wad of toilet paper sitting on my underwear. Evidently, during the previous trip, I tore another piece that I used and left the first unused wad in my underpants! Real slick! That, among with my many other "Baby Brain" moments, such as turning in to the wrong parking lot, forgetting the reason I went to the store, and forgetting emails I have already sent, have now led me to believe that Pregnancy / Baby Brain is not merely a myth, but a full-fledged reality.

This Week's Pregnancy Cheat: Our Sunday Funday this week included a trip with our neighbors to a local golf club for a buffet brunch. It was a wonderful time -- fifteen people, five families, dining and laughing together. 
What made it more wonderful for me was actually eating two rather large oysters and some brie cheese. At that point, I didn't care -- it was my way of welcoming myself into the 3rd trimester!
Things to Look Forward To: We do not have an appointment with Dr. Moore until next Monday {29 weeks}, so this week, we're kind of on our own. I am excited to start counting kicks, which shouldn't be hard, considering my little tenant is quite an active girl. Hyperactive and already following a regular schedule, she is a girl after her mamma's own heart. 
Sleep Pattern: Yes, the potty trips are still regular at night, so much so that I sometimes don't even remember my trips. I swing my legs off the bed {or apparently, when I am in a more dramatic mood, I slowly slide myself off the bed}, blindly make my way through the dark room, feeling for any sharp corners I may encounter, do my business, and not remember any of it in the morning. On top of that, I have been going to bed at around 1:30 - 2:00 a.m., as Little Miss has now made it quite a regular affair to be up and dancing around 1:00 a.m. She must think that her mom is still running on college hours, when 1:00 a.m. just meant a late night trip to the Del Taco drive thru on Lassen and Devonshire. {CSUN kids, you remember!} Luckily for both Baby B and me, I have neither school nor work in the morning, and everyday, I am thankful that my husband and I are afforded the opportunity for me to stay home and focus on getting my much-needed {and clearly, much-wanted} rest for this baby.
Things I'm Really Missing: There are women who ask their husbands for Push Gifts -- generally jewelry or other large ticket items. I'm a simple girl: After I have this baby, I want a cold beer, a glass {or two} of wine, crispy rice and tuna from Katsuya, steak tartare from Brussels Bistro, and caffeinated coffee. It's a beautiful thing; I'm a cheap date! I think I'm also starting to miss being more mobile. Now that we've come this far, I can't blame J for not wanting me to be driving around too much, or traveling any large distances {large, in his mind, is anything more than 10 miles away}. I honestly don't blame him. After what we had already been through, it's not worth it for me to take risks, especially being this close to the finish line. It's a bitter pill to swallow, considering I have always been a go-go-go kind of person, but I keep telling myself that now, my only job is to take care of myself and our little one and make sure that she gets here safely this summer.
So what's a girl to do on house arrest? With my outside trips limited, I have been doing lots of crafts to help prepare some small items for the baby shower that my mom and best friends have been planning for me. I have also been a baking fiend -- in the past two weeks, I have made so much baked goods that J has actually started taking daily hikes after work! We've shared some with our neighbors, who say they don't know whether to hate me or thank me for the extra calories. I figure, if I'm going to make enough baked goods to make even Paula Deen blush, we may as well spread the love!

On top of that, I spend a lot of time dreaming of when our little girl gets here. With the wonderful weather we've had this past week, I can't help but dream of summertime, when Camden gets to be here in adorable little outfits! It's difficult to go to the store and not wander into the baby and kids sections!

Despite her due date being July 16th, there's a part of me that kinda wants her to arrive right before the 4th of July, just so I can dress her in the adorable 4th of July outfits I've seen around!  Now that it's springtime, most stores are starting to bring out their summer collections, and what a smile-inducing thought to know that my little one gets to indulge in those summer fashions too. 

Camden's Summer 2012 Essentials {also found on our baby registry!}:

I realize that I'm probably setting up my daughter to be just like me -- a clothes horse, but what can I say? Not much I can do -- I'm having a little girl!

Our Sweet Pea's Nursery

We finally finished!

After almost three months of tedious research, work, furniture assembly, a series of serendipitous finds, and crafting, Camden's nursery is finally done!

There are still a few blank spots {i.e. some books to put into her bookshelf, some toys for aesthetics}, but the nursery is otherwise complete.

As soon as we found out her gender, we knew it was time to proceed with the room revamp. J immediately scheduled for painters to come and paint the room. 
We already had the paint from before -- we purchased it last year for Aubrey & Finley. The room, which was J's son, Nathaniel, and my brother, Ryan's room, with two twin beds, a big TV, a bookshelf, and their Playstation 3, had walls that were painted a light butterscotch. We changed the room to now be a light cloud gray.
Once the paint was dry, J and I installed the pink curtains we had purchased last year. Then he hired an electrician to come in and install the chandelier, another purchase that we already owned in preparation for Aubrey & Finley last year. The room did not have a ceiling outlet for lighting, so we had to hire someone to do a re-wire so that we would be able to hang the chandelier in the middle of the ceiling. J had this chandelier custom designed and made for the girls, and it was bittersweet to finally see it go up. 
After the chandelier was installed, it was time to start putting in the furniture. We are absolutely in love with the crib that we got for her. We searched and scoured every source we could possibly find to get a solid-backed convertible crib, and we were so happy to find this one! It was important for us to get a crib that was solid wood {not particle board, the way so many these days are made} and one that converts into a toddler bed, then a full-size bed. It was as if it was meant to be -- this crib is normally sold only in specialty boutiques was carried for a limited time at Babies R Us! The best part was that what normally was an over $500 crib was purchased on sale for $250! 
Once the crib was in place, we moved in the changing table. The changing table was another piece that we were incredibly picky about. During the last pregnancy, even if we had already ordered the cribs for the girls {which we returned after we lost them}, we couldn't make up our minds as to where to purchase the right changing table. Again, we wanted something that was solid wood, white, and that looked more like a dresser {not one that looks like a cart with open compartments}. 

Around the same time the changing table was placed, we also found a rocking chair from Room and Board. The rocking chair was a purchase that kinda daunted us, as the style I wanted cost a little more than the usual ones. I wanted a fully upholstered chair -- nothing that was of the wood-glider-with-pad style. After purchasing the chair, I found a storage ottoman from Ikea that matched it perfectly as well. I made the pink accent pillow with her monogram and the bear is something from J's late grandmother that was handed down to us when I was pregnant with Aubrey & Finley. Finally, it has found a place in Grandma Bench's great granddaughter's room. 

We also found a corner bookshelf from Target.com. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to find a white corner bookshelf that doesn't look like a baker's rack!

Other final touches include a side table also purchased from Ikea, the adorable pink floor lamp that my mom so kindly bought for the room, the custom vinyl monogram I ordered from Etsy, some Rachel Ashwell bedding, the prayer cross that we put up in memory of her sisters, and the pink shabby mirror I found at Home Goods. The picture frames were a gift from our friend Amy.
I was also really happy to find the rug for the room. Quite honestly, I was afraid to venture outside of our gray and pink color scheme, but the addition of the green turned out to be a great pop of color! The rug itself was also a major score: We found a baby boutique in Costa Mesa that was closing and was selling various items at closeout prices. This brand new, boutique-style rug, normally sold for $150, was bought for {are you sitting down?} a whopping $20. Like I said, I was a little leery to get it because of the color scheme, but thank goodness, my husband insisted that we get it. The pink and green match perfectly with the pink and green piggy bank that sits on the bookshelf.
     Another item I am particularly proud of is inside the cabinet part of her changing table. It is her bow and clip organizer and I made it about two months ago for her.
The fabric I used for the bow and clip organizer matches the one used on the bunting banner for her door.
I love the feel of this nursery. It's serene, elegant, and a peaceful place for us to cuddle and love on our little girl. It's really ready for Camden's arrival. 

One of my favorite items in the room is the sign that is at the top of the bookshelf. It says everything about how we feel for our little girl, and with her room ready and pretty much complete, it is ever more fitting now.

"For this child, I prayed." {1 Samuel 1:27}

27 Weeks

Weeks: 27 . . . The countdown is at 13 weeks until due date!
Weight Gain: now at +9 lbs. from pre-preggo weight! I'm determined to stay within the recommended 15-25 lb weight gain for this pregnancy!
This Week's Cravings: Yes, cran-grape remains a staple in the house, although after the glucose test sitch {more on that later}, I have been watering it down more. I did have a craving for gyros late Wednesday night after our Hospital / Maternity tour, and yesterday {Sunday} I craved calamari. Bizarre, I know. I don't even know where those cravings come from, but I do have to say this: I thank God everyday that I have a husband who allows and supports and is always willing {although sometimes reluctant} to go out and pick up whatever craving I have. 
New Maternity / Baby Purchases: We purchased an extra base for Camden's car seat this week. That way, we have bases for both J's and my cars. We also got a Boppy pillow with two different covers. I swear, each week our baby registry gets at least two more things knocked off, so you know what this means: more room for clothes and shoes on the registry! Hooray for our little fashion plate!
Moment of the Week: This week has been choc-full of great moments!
[1] After one of my now regular sessions of complaints regarding J's obsession addiction hobby of playing war games on his Playstation 3, he turned it off one night {after his 26th hour of playing that week, by the way} and decided to lay next to the belly, put one hand on it, and the other on a book which he started reading aloud. As if to thank her Daddy for taking a break from his game to spend time with her, Camden let out two very strong kicks, and proceeded to move and dance around for her Daddy to feel!
[2] We went to our Hospital / Maternity class & tour this past week. Sounds boring, I know, but we actually learned a lot {and had a lot of material to make fun of afterwards, thanks to the other quirky couples who were in our group) and made us look forward to the other classes we are signed up for. On a different note, it was a little tough to walk by the room where I went into labor and delivered Aubrey & Finley. What a heavy feeling, but J was right. He said that it was good to deal with it then, because he knows that the next time we come back will be for good news, and he didn't want to go through both emotions {the good and the bad} for that time. It wasn't necessarily closure {I don't think there is such a thing with a situation like ours}, but more like a coming-to-terms with both sides of our very unique situation. 
This Week's Pregnancy Cheat: I so had to be good this week because I was so petrified of the glucose test results. What a good momma I was!
Things to Look Forward To: Quite honestly, I'm really looking forward to next week, when we cross over into the 3rd trimester and we also will be officially 7 months along. Each day, each week that Cam is safely tucked away and growing in my belly is one day closer to meeting her and is one more day and week of relief that she is right where she is supposed to be. We do have our Childbirth / Lamaze classes in a few weeks {we go on week 30} and after those 5 weeks of classes are done, we will be 35 weeks along! I feel that with many things in life, it's always best to look forward to the next small event, no matter how small it is, and next thing you know, your big event is finally here. 
Sleep Pattern: Boy, I feel so incredibly pregnant. Same as the past two weeks, my sleep has been constantly interrupted by my almost 5 trips to the restroom throughout the night. Now, J and I are both in agreement that with my severely segmented night sleep, it's a good idea for me to just not fight any urges to nap {hence today's almost 2 hour nap}. No more fighting it -- time to embrace it. We've also now agreed {okay, okay, I have now agreed} to quit being so hyperactive in taking on so many projects and just relax now. It doesn't help my case any that I think my sciatic nerve is now pinched and my backache is so severe that I can barely walk {I HATE losing arguments! Even by default!}. I am, however, doing exercises and stretches, which provide me some relief, albeit temporary, to help make the pain more manageable.
Things I'm Really Missing: I'm not really missing anything outside of being more mobile and active. To be honest, I really enjoy pregnancy -- even the backache doesn't bother me so much because we are just so thankful to have made it thus far. God knows I am right where I want to be. 
OH, the glucose test. I mentioned in last week's post that I was particularly anxious {although not too nervous} about my upcoming glucose test, which I had done on Wednesday. As if to remind me that I shouldn't be overconfident about anything, my glucose came back at 171. Generally, glucose levels should be less than 130. To make matters worse, I turned off my phone during my nap that afternoon so I missed the nurse's calls to let me know that the results weren't ideal and that I needed to take the dreaded 3-hour version of the glucose test thereafter. Not knowing what she had wanted, I, of course, freaked out, and researched everything I could find out about glucose levels. 
Although not to be taken lightly, elevated glucose levels are not bad, as long as they are less than 200. Sometimes, elevated levels {especially given the fact that I was not instructed to fast the night before} are a result of food whose sugars have not been broken down yet. As my luck would have it, I had a piece of decadent baklava and an ice cream bar the night before. 
On Friday, after fasting for 12 hours {no easy feat for an almost 7-month pregnant woman} I went back to take the 3-hour test. The orange dextrose drink had twice as much glucose as the one from the 1-hour test two days prior, and it almost hurt my throat to drink. To make matters worse, everyone who knows me knows that I have the attention span of a preschooler {perhaps worse}. On that cold and rainy morning, I armed myself with a fully charged Nook and my new issue of Real Simple as well as some issues of Good Housekeeping and OC Family that I had snagged from various areas of the waiting room. I have to say, along with many encouraging text messages I received from my husband, mom, and friends, I made it through the hours of waiting without wanting to gouge out my eyeballs. Adding insult to injury, however, I never do well on only sweets on an empty stomach, so throughout the arduous 3-hour wait, I weebled and wobbled in nausea from having nothing but some orange syrupy mess in my belly. I whine, I know, but all in all, I survived. 
Later on that evening, my much-anticipated test results came in my email and J and I were so relieved to find that they were normal.
Suffice it to say, we breathed a collective sigh of relief, and I had no qualms in celebrating with some much needed sweets for the weekend!

26 Weeks

Weeks: 26 . . . 6 1/2 months down, 99 days to go!
Weight Gain: still at +6 lbs. from pre-preggo weight!
This Week's Cravings: Aside from my usual cran-grape juice, popsicles, and chocolate croissants, there hasn't been anything new added to the list. Boring week, I know :-)
New Maternity / Baby Purchases: This week, we purchased her carseat (a Graco SnugRide 22). I'm not too hot on the designs and fabric they use, so I've been perusing for a custom cover to have made for her. Also, thanks to my mom, we have the lamp that we wanted added to the nursery, right next to the rocker. It was such a pleasant surprise to find the delivery at our doorstep on Thursday! We have also finally found and purchased a matching ottoman for the rocker. We need one more item, an area rug, before her nursery is complete! Another few additions to her wardrobe are a new pettiskirt and ruffle-bottom bloomers. My mom keeps telling me to slow down on purchasing clothes and shoes for her, but let's be real: when you know you're having a little girl, how do you stop yourself?!
Moment of the Week: On Easter Sunday, we arrived at the church for the 9:00 a.m. mass about 15 minutes early, but the entire Basilica was PACKED. I mean like standing room ONLY. Not even kidding, there must have been 1000 people there. We didn't mind and moved towards the front standing crowd and situated ourselves there, the whole time thanking God that I wore flats and a comfortable dress that day. A few minutes later, an usher came up to me and said, "I have a seat for you over here" and led us to a spot where he had asked a family to squish together more to make room for me and J to sit. Needless to say, J and I were so very grateful to have a place to sit, especially because the service was a little longer that day. Other than that, I think that at this point, each moment that J feels her moving, especially when it's a particularly BIG jolt or kick, is a moment we truly enjoy and one that makes us look forward more to meeting her. We laugh together a lot when J has to assemble yet another piece of furniture {this time, the ottoman -- thanks, Ikea.} and say that we have never, ever known a child more spoiled prior to her being born. 
This Week's Pregnancy Cheat: There is this AMAZING lemon beer from Austria that we get from Cafe Mozart, the place where we had our wedding reception. We have gotten to know the owners / chefs fairly well, and when we had dinner there on Aubrey & Finley's birthday, they sent us home with a bottle. The other night, J shared some of it with the neighbors and allowed me to have a sip. I had forgotten how delicious it was and savored every drop of that sip!
Things to Look Forward To: This week, I have another appointment with Dr. Moore. On the same day, I will be taking my much-anticipated glucose test, which, quite honestly, I'm not dreading too much. I don't want to be overconfident, but I feel that I've been really good with my sugar intake, especially during this pregnancy. I remember my mom had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with my brother, Ryan, and I saw how much work it took for her. On the same evening, we will be doing our Maternity Hospital Tour. Supposedly, it's a 2 1/2 hour tour. Seriously?? How big do they think this maternity ward is?!?! Aside from that, we have already signed up for our Childbirth Preparation / Lamaze classes. We aren't scheduled to begin the five weekly sessions until May 9th, though {I'll be 30 weeks along by then!}.
Sleep Pattern: I've noticed that within these past two weeks, signs of discomfort have slowly started to set in. Standing for extended periods of time give me back and side pains, I now get much more easily wiped out, I am tired and sleepy all the time, and most apparent of all, I go to the restroom about 15-20 times a day and another 2-4 times per night. Certainly, it makes it difficult to wake myself up and after using the restroom, put myself back to sleep right away. I think this erratic sleeping pattern is what has made me revert to taking naps in the afternoon again. The thing with it, though, is that instead of letting ourselves get annoyed by any aches and pains and discomforts, we are just thankful that we have reached this point in the pregnancy. Each day that comes where Camden is safely nested in my belly is another day that she is growing, developing, and preparing for her life outside of the belly, so we are thankful for being able to be right where God leads us everyday.
Things I'm Really Missing: This iced tea craving is mutating. First I thought it was just iced tea, any iced tea, but now I specifically want some Sweet Tea from McDonald's and some Thai iced tea. I feel like if I were able to take a day off and not be afraid of the masses of caffeine loaded into those drinks, I could load up on gallons of each!

We have 2 1/2 months to go -- 99 more days until Camden's due date! We were so excited to see our countdown calendar actually down to the double digits! Thank you for sticking with us and praying with us through this journey. We know that come July, our prayers of thanks will be overflowing.

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song. {Psalm 28:7}

25 Weeks

Weeks: 25 -- fifteen left to go!
Weight Gain: +6 lbs. from pre-pregnancy weight... starting to pack them on!
This Week's Cravings: Although I continued to crave chocolate croissants, I'd been able to steer clear from them for a few days. I've also continued to chug on my 50/50 concoctions of water and cran-grape juice. I think we've bought a gallon jug every three days. On Saturday night, I had a 1:00 a.m. craving for an orange popsicle!  When I told J, he grumpily {yet still willingly} got out of bed, got into jeans and a hoodie, and started to head downstairs so we could go to CVS to get some. Luckily, I checked the freezer before we opened the front door, and BOOM -- a brand new box of popsicles was already there! Guess we both got lucky I stockpiled on that stuff! Since then, I'd had at least one everyday. Baby B gets so excited after I eat each one.
New Maternity / Baby Purchases: I've been really good this past week as far as spending that believe it or not {I hope you're sitting down}, I actually did not purchase one single thing for either one of us this week. {It helps that we have most everything taken care of for her already}
Moment of the Week: Especially compared to the past two weeks, Baby B's movements have mellowed out this week, which, of course, leave her neurotic mamma checking around the belly every few minutes for signs of movement. {Lucky for me, my daughter knows when to put on a show} We went to our doctor's appointment last week {on Thursday} and were told that everything is going fantastically and that our little one is active and well. She was doing so well that she refused to let us get a decent profile shot of her and instead, decided to be an even classier girl and moon us instead. 
Needless to say, I'm starting to question whether in 18 years, she will be getting a bid to join her Mamma's sorority if this behavior continues. My daughter, evidently, has a little less class but a little more sass. 
This Week's Pregnancy Cheat: On Sunday, we met up with J's friends to celebrate a birthday at one of our favorite sushi places. Although I ordered vegetable tempura and pork tonkatsu, I was not ashamed and had a few pieces of sushi. If you've ever had Taka-O's tataki sauce, you wouldn't blame me either. That stuff is so amazing that not only did I request for two sides of it to dip my tempura and tonkatsu in, but I very well contemplated stealing the ramekins of leftover sauce -- and this is not the first time I've thought about doing so!
Things to Look Forward To: We have another appointment next week with Dr. Moore. On that same day, I will be doing my {dreaded} glucose test. Ask J, "gestational diabetes" has been my catch phrase during this pregnancy. My mom had it when she was pregnant with my little brother and I have been doing my best to manage the sugar intake {hence my 50/50 juice and water}, and it's really helped me not gain as much weight as I thought I might.
Sleep Pattern: Sleeping has been pretty easy for me lately. Yesterday, I actually thought I was starting to get sick -- and I must have been, as I ended up taking not one but two naps during the day, and I had no problems going to bed that night. The only thing that's been interrupting my sleep is the frequent bathroom trips. I told J last night, if my potty breaks are this bad at 6 1/2 months, can you imagine how they will be when I am 8 1/2 or 9 months along?!?! Holy cow.
Things I'm Really Missing: Since I was able to satisfy my need for both sushi and popsicles, I've been on solid ground. I'm trying not to concentrate so much on wanting iced tea {looks like my fixation is particularly on Snapple lemon iced tea and raspberry iced tea} by just thinking of how much worse it would make my constant visits with the potty. So far, I'm hanging in!
Other notable things:
1. Baby is a night owl. My erratic sleeping patterns have taught me that my daughter is a late nighter. Seems like every night, at around 1:00 a.m. {when Mamma is busy pinning away on Pinterest}, she kicks and moves a lot, so much so that when I have my laptop on a pillow {never directly} on my belly, I see it jolt sometimes. Makes me giggle.
2. Baby is now head-down. Dr. Moore showed us this during her ultrasound. Her head is now closer to the cervix and her feet are up at the top of the uterus. No wonder I'm feeling more flutters closer to my chest. The down side of this {no pun intended}: each time she moves her head, it hits my bladder. I talked to Dr. Moore about the mild pelvic pressure I've been feeling {perfectly normal, I'm told} and we're all deducing that it's Camden trampolining off Mamma's bladder. Thanks, kiddo.
3. Me = neurotic. Last week, I went potty and a piece of thread  {a remnant from a craft I worked on earlier} came off my clothes and fell into the toilet. I immediately thought my cerclage stitch came out. What a freak show.

As of next week, which is 26 weeks, I will be officially 6 1/2 months along!! Sooo close!

Burlap Wall Art

Call it a Pinterest inspiration with a more frugal twist = 
A Dollar Tree find plus supplies I already had.

The other night, I made this burlap wall art piece, inspired by my three little ladies.
I had so much fun making it that since, I've made several versions and designs and thought I'd share a how-to. {Not to mention, J has been giving me a hard time about not posting any crafts or recipes lately...}

For this particular piece, I chose to use the word "nest" along with two different frames. The frames were templates I found in the Silhouette shop.

Here's what you need:
{1} Burlap
{2} An 8.5 x 11 inch picture frame {I got this from the Dollar Tree. You can also use painting canvas or any other old frames you have around}
{3} Assortment of acrylic paints
{4} Magic Tape
{5} Your trusty glue gun
{6} A pair of sharp scissors or a rotary cutter
{7} A sheet of plain white paper
{8} Glue Stick
{9) A sheet of cardstock {I used a 65 lb. weight stock}
{10}A flat, stiff-bristled paint brush
{11}A few sponge brushes
{12}Silhouette Cameo electronic cutting tool

Remove the inserts within the picture frame and place your sheet of plain white paper inside.

Cut a piece of burlap according to your frame or canvas size. Make sure to cut about a 1 1/2 to 2 inch allowance on each side.

Place your frame or canvas front side down on the burlap.
At the corners, cut a slit from the edge of the burlap to the corner of the frame. This helps to make flatter folds once you glue the burlap down.

Using your trusty glue gun, carefully glue down the edges of the burlap onto the back of the frame or canvas. Trim any frays as needed. As you are gluing, make sure that you are pulling the burlap just enough so that it is taut around the frame or canvas. {You don't want to stretch it out too much because it creates an uneven pattern and even holes on the front}
When you are done, the front should look like this:

Using white acrylic paint and your flat, stiff bristle brush, make small, swift, and light strokes onto the front and sides of the frame or canvas.
Something I've also learned during my several projects is when you are getting paint from your palette, use the brush to draw it out and away from the main puddle and tap it down around the palette. Try not to just dip the brush directly onto the paint. This allows for a lighter on your brush and eventually onto your canvas so that it looks more rustic.
When you are done, the canvas should have an uneven and rustic texture and finish like this:

Using your Silhouette Studio software, pick your design and format it accordingly, so that it is the size you want. For this design, I chose the 4 Nested Frames {Ungroup the frames and choose which ones  you want to use. I chose the two largest ones} and the word "nest" in CAC Champagne font.
When you are ready and satisfied with your design, use the Silhouette machine to cut out your design on the sheet of cardstock.

The next few steps are done in layers, so patience is very important. In this case, I started from the outside of the design and worked my way in. {For other designs like the bird nest I did above, it's best to work from the largest aspect of the design -- in that case, the main nest itself -- to the smallest, which were the eggs.} For this project, I started with the largest swirl frame first. Tape the cardstock stencil onto your canvas. 
Use your sponge brush in the same method of acquiring paint from the palette, gently press paint onto the edges of the stencil. 
 Hold down any edges of the stencil that may pop up as you paint. Also, what I really wanted to show was the outer shape of the frame, so I made sure that the edge between the stencil and the canvas was well covered with paint.
In this case, I was not as concerned with the center of the item, as it was going to be covered anyway.

To ensure that the next stencil was perfectly aligned, I placed it on the canvas before taping it down and removing the outer frame.
Use the same sponge painting method to fill in the stencil. This time, fill in the whole open center with paint.

{9} Once the previous layer is complete, add the stencil with your letters. Tape the edges as you did with the previous stencils. Since this part has smaller pieces that may pop up, use a glue stick to adhere them to the canvas surface temporarily. {Examples would be the piece on the "n" below as well as the center of the "e", which was cut out separately, so I had to place it onto the canvas and glue}

Use the same sponge method to fill in the letters. This time, I used white acrylic paint again to make the letters stand out. 

Et voila!

If you decide to try this, share it with us! Email it to me and I'll put up a post of your crafts!