Dec 23, 2014

One Month

That's how much time we had to find a new place to live. I thought I'd have another 6 months but circumstances change. There we were, looking for an apartment in a place where rent is just too damn high. Finding an apartment that was pet-friendly, with 2 or 3 bedrooms where you didn't pay $500+ per room was nearly impossible.

I also confirmed something I've thought for a long time. Craigslist is pretty unreliable. Especially the housing section! We were scammed twice in a 48 hour period. Thankfully the only money we were out was for a background check but still frustrating none the less. The first time we just jumped the gun and didn't read into the ad. The second time everything seemed to check out. The scammer was extremely well rehearsed and all the information was even checking out with public records. We finally figured it out when trying to confirm the person we were emailing was actually the owner of the house. Let me just say, always go with what your gut says!

Then we had an apartment that finally looked like it would be the one. We filled out stacks of paperwork and waited two full weeks to hear back if we were fully approved. On the day we were supposed to get our keys so we could move in, we found out that we made too much money to qualify for that apartment. We still can't figure out how they calculated the number they came up with but as my mom said, we just weren't meant to live there.

At this point, we didn't have much time before we were required to move out of apartment and we still didn't have a place. Worst case scenario, we knew we could pack all of our stuff into storage and couch hop until we got things figured out. Sounds exactly like something you'd want to do while 6/7 months pregnant, right? We went back to a place that M had looked at that had more space for less rent. The two downsides were that it was not in the place we were looking to live and that there were no hookups for our washer and dryer. A concern of mine since our laundry load is about to get quite a bit bigger! I ended up loving the place despite those concerns so we turned in our paperwork. A few days later we got our keys and started moving in.

My family and multiple friends help us pack up all of our stuff and we moved over a 4 day period. By that 4th night, we had most of our stuff put away and it already was starting to feel like home. I'm so thankful for all the help we had! I didn't have to carry anything, I just got to direct and start unpacking. It helped me stay relaxed which is exactly what little man needed.

A little over a week later, I feel at peace. I can enjoy our last holiday season before little man comes, knowing we are in the place we will bring him home to. I can get the nursery set up knowing he won't have to share the space with a bunch of storage boxes. I can stop stressing about the many frustrating parts of living in campus housing and know that things will actually get taken care of in a timely manner. As I enter the 3rd trimester today, I'm in need of as much stability and stress-free situations as I can get!



Love,
Mandy

P.S. Notice things look different around here? Erin (who is AMAZING and so sweet) helped me make this space feel a little more like home. She's done both of my designs and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. I won this design in a giveaway around the time I found out I was pregnant. She was patient and let me take my time so I could focus on feeling better instead of getting back to her quickly. If you're looking for affordable, quality design work, check her out! Plus, the money goes towards helping them pay off student loan debt instead of getting spent on random crap. Worthy cause in my opinion :)

Nov 12, 2014

Appreciation

Today I'm especially frustrated. Let's just say, I've never been a fan of Craigslist and my recent encounters have not made that any better.

It's so easy to get worked up about something when you have so little control over it. Stress is never great for your body but right now, it's extra important that I don't get too stressed. I've never been one to handle it well. I tend to manifest it physically. I get really sick and my entire back/shoulders tighten up to the point of this burning sensation. Keeping my body relaxed is a huge priority until little man comes out!

I've been trying to think of ways to stay calm, even when all I want to do is be really mad.

And then, M&M kicks me. Moves around in my belly. Kicks me again. I look down at this newly formed belly just in time to see it bounce from another kick. In the past few weeks, I've gotten used to the feeling of him in there. I still smile every time it happens but I don't stop what I'm doing to really appreciate it.



This little man really is a miracle. God blessed us with this little life that I'm solely in charge of protecting right now. I think it's so easy to get used to certain parts of pregnancy and not really appreciate the amazing gift that it really is. Especially when you're still sick and new pregnancy symptoms pop up almost daily on top of that. Or because life can be busy and we just settle into the way things are.

Today I've decided that when I'm frustrated with what's happening, I will just stop. I will sit for a few minutes and talk to my little man in there. Feel him moving about. Thank God for this life because I can never thank Him enough. Think about all the little things I'm so excited to do once he arrives. Appreciate the fact that I'm able to carry a healthy pregnancy when so many women aren't so lucky.

When you stop and appreciate the little things, the big things get put into perspective a little more. Take some time to do that today if you're feeling stressed, frustrated, or just a little blah.

Happy Wednesday!
Love,
Mandy

Nov 4, 2014

Week 20 -- Oct 28 - Nov 3, 2014



This week was full of exciting things! We had our anatomy ultrasound which lasted about 45 minutes. Little man is definitely still a little man! He was pretty sleepy and didn't want to show us his profile again but we got a lot of other great pictures. He's measuring about 12 oz so right on track with our St. Patty's day due date. We have gotten so lucky to have the sweetest ultrasound techs who talked us through everything and spent extra time showing us our little babe. This week was Halloween but we didn't have any big plans. I dressed up as Minnie Mouse at work and we spent the night watching Hocus Pocus and M carved a pumpkin. Relaxing! We also had my nanny bebe's first birthday party so we used it as our excuse to dress up this year! I went as Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. and M went as a minion! We had a lot of fun putting our costumes together :) I also learned how to arm knit and made myself a warm winter scarf! This winter is supposed to be a nasty one so it will come in handy soon. Still feeling pretty sick but also feeling M&M move throughout the day so it's worth it! Craving bread and crackers this week!






Love,
Mandy

Week 19 - October 21-27, 2014



Mommy pampered herself by coloring her hair and getting a haircut for the first time since her birthday. It was much needed! Feeling productive this week, I wrote out all the blog posts I'd been putting off and cleaned out my emails. Energy seemed to be high all week even though I still had a sick day. Hopefully they become less and less throughout the rest of the pregnancy but as long as little man is growing, I'll try not to complain. Daddy got to feel M&M kick for the first time this week! Equally as exciting, the pants in this picture are buttoned :) I didn't know I had a pair that could still button so when I put them on I was pretty ecstatic. It's been awhile since I wore pants without my Bella band so it was a little victory!

Love,
Mandy

Oct 29, 2014

Those Two Pink Lines






I woke up around 5:30 to get ready for work and took the test on a whim. I was only 1 day late and I felt completely normal. Surely it couldn't be positive, at least not yet. I took the test and set it on the counter. I started to get ready and remembered to check it after a bit. Were my sleepy eyes deceiving me? Were there really two lines there? I'd never had a test turn positive before! It took a few minutes to sink in that the test was positive but as it did, my smile got bigger and bigger. I snapped a picture of myself to remember exactly how I looked and felt when I found out I was pregnant! I knew I wanted to take a few more before I told M so I finished getting ready and didn't wake him for the good news. We'd been trying for several months so I wanted to be sure before I let him in on the secret!

I took two more tests at work and sure enough, they were just as positive as the first one. That's when I knew it had to be real. How could I have 3 false strong positives? (I ended up taking 3 regular tests and 3 digital tests, "just to be sure.") I started brainstorming how I wanted to tell M that he was about to be a daddy! We had a friend who was staying with us that night so I held the secret in until the next day. I had planned out a few cute ideas but I was supposed to meet one of my best friends for coffee that night and I was afraid it would slip out. He was taking off for a haircut so I panicked and ended up changing what I had planned.

Gage is notorious for finding random junk to chew on so the poor puppy got used as an excuse to surprise M. I put the tests out on the bed with shaky hands and got my phone ready to record. I told him to come and look at what Gage had chewed on. He was messing around in the other room so it took a bit of shouting to get his attention. He looked at the tests (mind you, he knows what a pregnancy test looks like) and was like "yeah, so?" I laughed and asked if he even looked at them. He bent down and as soon as he saw they were all positive, he got the biggest smile on his face.

And then there were three..

Love,
Mandy

Oct 27, 2014

Week 18 - Oct 14-20, 2014


I am starting to think morning sickness is going to stick around my whole pregnancy. Lucky me! I had multiple "bad" days this week where no amount of medicine or food could help me. Thankfully we found out at my midwife appointment this week, I'd gained 6 pounds since my last appointment. That brings me up to 7 total for the pregnancy which is on the right track. M&M moved and kicked every single day this week. He responded to me rubbing my belly and whenever we use the doppler now, he likes to kick it! Almonds were a big craving this week and I've almost finished the large jar of pickles we bought a month ago. Ice cream always tastes great as well so I'm one of those who eats pickles and ice cream during pregnancy :) I got my BumpNest pillow this week and that thing is amazing! I was really struggling to stay sleeping on my side this week so I ordered it from Amazon and two days later I was in heaven. Although we are both squished in our tiny bed now, it's worth it to sleep comfortably on my side. Plus, M and Gage have already claimed it a time or two! I went back to my parents' house for a day so this picture was taken at their house with the little chalkboard. Hopefully this next week I can get back to the big chalkboard updates!

Love,
Mandy

Oct 26, 2014

Week 17 - Oct 7-13, 2014



Our little M&M is a boy! The entire pregnancy I felt like he was a boy and I guess my momma intuition was right! This also means that the wives tales weren't true in our case. We got some very clear shots at the ultrasound that showed everything! The ultrasound tech said she was 110% sure baby was a boy and we agree! We will get it confirmed at our 20 week ultrasound. The bump started really sticking out this week. It's been easier to dress because I don't feel like everything just makes me look chubby now. I got a little lazy with the chalkboard this week because we took this picture the night before I was 18 weeks and I didn't want to do the big one. Craving chips and pickles again this week! M&M started moving and kicking a lot this week. At least every other day, I felt some sort of movement from him :)

Love,
Mandy

Week 16 - Sept 30-Oct 6, 2014



It's finally gender week! Originally I didn't want to know before M&M was born but M wanted to know. We talked about it for quite awhile and finally decided to schedule a private ultrasound to find out the gender! We had not had an ultrasound up to this point so we were just as excited to see baby for the first time. I posted on social media and the majority of guesses were boy. I filled out some wives tales that we had heard of before the appointment just for fun. Most of them pointed to girl!




I had been struggling to get enough water up to this point (I love water normally but pregnancy has changed my tastes) so I chugged a few 16 oz waters on the way to the appointment. By the time I started filling out paper work, I nearly peed my pants. The ultrasound tech looked around in the for about a minute before she told me I would have to go to the bathroom. My bladder was too full so it was making it hard on both of us to see anything! Though the appointment was only about 10 minutes long, I was thankful for the bathroom break because I don't think I would have made it all the way through. She showed us how M&M was curled up right next to my bladder just tapping on it. Baby was only using about half of the space he/she could have used, staying all tucked up into me. Baby's hands were folded behind his/her head and ankles were crossed, knees pulled almost completely up to the forehead. I ate some sugary snacks before I went but baby was too comfy and didn't want to stretch out or move much for us. The tech got some great pictures for us! Although we wish the appointment would have been longer (who wants to stop looking at their baby?) we were so happy with the place we chose!

We couldn't wait to get back home and share the gender with a few of our friends and family!

I also felt M&M kick for the first time at 16 weeks + 5 days! I always wondered if the little things here and there were kicks or movements. This time, I just knew! It was amazing and I may have teared up.

Love,
Mandy

Oct 25, 2014

Week 15 - Sept 23-29, 2014



This week was the first time that I felt like my "bump" could be not only noticed by strangers but also looked more like baby than a few extra pints of ice cream. We ran out of sunlight before getting this picture which is why it's in our kitchen instead of outside! We tailgated and I loved how this dress made me look :) The sweet cravings disappeared and were replaced by sour and salty this week. It really threw us off since we were thinking girl because of the cravings. French fries may have been a daily staple in my diet this week and pickles showed up too. Tuesday is when we get to find out if M&M is a boy like mommy thinks or a girl like daddy guesses.

We also got a video of our pictures that we had taken in August! I wanted a last set of pictures with just the two of us (and before I was really showing)! We also had a few taken with the Army onesies we bought to remember that there were really 3 of us in those pictures :) Check out the link if you'd like to see them.

Love,
Mandy

Week 14 - Sept 16-22, 2014




We forgot to take our weekly picture until bedtime, the night before I was 15 weeks. So here is me right after a shower, no makeup, in my pajamas. I thought about not posting this picture but this is what I look like most days so I went for it! We were excited to officially be in the 2nd trimester this week (depending on where you look, it's anywhere from 12-14 weeks so we went with 14)! Morning sickness came back hard this week, getting really sick of being sick. Since my morning sickness was awful this week, I wasn't craving anything because everything sounded and smelled horrible. I had my 2nd midwife appointment this week and met another of the midwives that could possibly deliver M&M. Everything went well! Still had a strong heartbeat, in the 150's, and my belly was measuring on the right track. I lost 1 pound at this point making my total weight gain so far 1 pound. We aren't worried as long as I can keep food down and start to gain at some point! I loved the picture M snapped of me with Gage so you get that thrown in here too :)

Love,
Mandy

Oct 24, 2014

Week 13 - Sept 9-15, 2014



The big Iowa/Iowa State game was this week and ISU won! We went out to watch the game with some friends at a bar. I felt a little silly being there but no one else could really tell I was pregnant so there were no strange looks. Super sweet cereal and laffy taffy topped the cravings list this week. M&M still has a strong heartbeat, around 170! My morning sickness seemed to be easing up just slightly this week and I'm truly enjoying pregnancy this week.

Love,
Mandy

Week 12 - Sept 2-8, 2014





We were so excited to share our news with everyone we'd been hiding it from. We felt overwhelmed with love in response to our news! I was still waking up multiple times a night although not to go to the bathroom. Bacon and pasta were favorites this week as well as gummy bears. The BellaBand made it's daily appearance around this time because the hair tie trick just wasn't cutting it anymore. We listened to M&M on the fetal doppler daily at this point and we started to hear him kicking through this.

Love,
Mandy

Oct 23, 2014

Week 4 - Week 11

Week 4
I'm pregnant!



 Week 5
Naps every single day.



Week 6
Having a hard time keeping it a secret!


Week 7
Notice the sea bands on my wrists, this is when morning sickness got the better of me! After a week of constant throwing up and losing way too much weight, I got on Zofran to help.


Week 8
It was a good day if the entire thing wasn't spent in bed. I also told my parents this week with an "anniversary present." Mom got it right away and Dad thought it was just a funny (and appropriate) plaque. They were happy to find out that they are going to be grandparents!






Week 9
Still mostly spent in bed snuggling with Gage when I wasn't at work. First time my bump showed through my shirt. We bought those mini m&m's to use for our announcement and we thought it was so cool when we got home and realized that they had the due date on them!




Week 10
We got to see a few sneak peeks of our pictures. The belly started to stick up even when I was laying down! I was still wondering if baby was a boy or a girl and if there was possibly twins! I had my first midwife appointment and we heard M&M's heartbeat for the first time ever! We bought a fetal heart doppler so we could listen at home. I filled out my first chalkboard and almost ruined the new board because the chalk markers we bought didn't want to come off. Craving potatoes and cereal.

Courtesy of Andera Photography



Week 11
Got our fetal doppler and listened to M&M every night! Heartbeat was still hard to find and pretty quiet but it was fun to listen to! Made the announcement public this week!



 


Love,
Mandy