Quick Takes: Medical families, 29 weeks, style, and keepin' calm/carryin' on

Friday, February 28, 2014

Linking up with Jen and all of the lovelies for some Quick Takes. And I'm still somehow keeping up with Jen's 7 posts/7 days challenge, a record for me. The posts: MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday.

1. My family took a picture outside the ICU this week since my two siblings and my dad and I have all been up there working the last couple of weeks. My sister is a dietician, brother is a nursing student, mom is a B.S.N., dad is an M.D., and I'm a B.S.N. and almost-M.D. (crazy to say that). I have another sibling in nursing school, two in non-medical careers (engineering and education), and then two more little ones, so there may be more doctors and nurses to come (or more engineers and teachers - that would be good too). It's been so nice being near my family these last two years and I really can't fathom what it will be like to move away from them in a few short months (also Stephen and I are now going to have to learn to cook).

2. This is what 29 weeks looks like. I actually don't feel nearly as big as I look...I was telling myself that this picture just makes me look bigger than I really am but it probably doesn't. I have also been telling myself that I haven't been bloated at all, but my puffy face in the picture above says otherwise. Oh well, it really is mind over matter sometimes so I'll keep telling myself that I'm not that big, not that puffy, not that tired as long as it makes me feel better ha. And yes, this is another one of those H&M jersey tees that I keep wearing (if you are prego I suggest buying all the colors, they are awesome).

3. I know that I posted a picture like this last year when we had a ridiculous amount of snow, but it looks even higher this year. I really don't mind the snow, but it was 25 below zero early this morning which was just too much. And this is the now dear-to-me winter coat that my mother-in-law loaned me (not maternity, but a size bigger than I normally wear) that has happily gotten me through the winter without buying a maternity coat (and winter go away please so I don't have to!).

4. Isabella Oliver, which I found out about from Anne, sent me a 25% off code this week so I ordered a couple of their jersey dresses to try out in the hopes that I'll find something that I can wear for my upcoming showers and graduation events. The dresses are crazy expensive but supposed to be insanely flattering, versatile and wearable even after baby so we shall see (I'll report back).

5. I've found myself longing for my pre-maternity wardrobe lately, and even more so when I was flipping through the Boden catalog the other day. I have everything necessary to recreate this lovely outfit and can't wait until I can (extra motivation for keeping up on my elliptical/pilates routine).

6. If you are looking for a good post on natural family planning (or even if you aren't) this one that one of my friends posted last week was spot-on:

"I’m a fan of NFP because it allows women to control their fertility. It allows us to really take back our sexuality without taking foreign suppressants to “improve” our bodies. I’m a supporter of NFP because women deserve access to complete autonomy. Because women deserve solutions that don’t involve breaking our bodies... I support NFP because I believe in a woman’s right to make her own decisions – to be healthy and happy as possible."

7. My mom gave me two of these mugs for Christmas (I think she was trying to tell me something) and I've been drinking out of them a lot lately. It's hard to stay calm during pregnancy anyways and there are just a lot of stressors on me lately (I was laying awake again last night at 2:30 a.m.). But I'm ever so thankful for prayer, good family and friends, and all of your supportive comments lately! It has made all the difference.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Scarf: deloom

Eating: English muffins with peanut butter, blackberries, and cinnamon Life cereal (which I discovered is the reason why my hemoglobin is perfectly normal for a pregnant lady even though I've been taking these no-iron prenatal tummies - Life has 40% daily value of iron, and I've been eating two bowls every morning).

Thinking about: my residency match list which officially closed last night. I'll be honest that I was tossing and turning all night last night thinking that I should have switched my number 2 program (a solid program close to Stephen's family) with my number 3 program (at one of the top hospitals in the country but far from family). But this morning I had more clarity and I realized that I shouldn't ever regret making a decision that I felt was best for our family. Now if only we didn't have to wait almost a month for match results!

Wanting: a black floral scarf like this one.

Thankful for: a healthy pregnancy so far (besides my hospital stay over Christmas). I passed my glucose tolerance test with flying colors despite ice cream and brownies the night before (living on the edge!) and the steroids I was on for asthma after my hospital stay. My hemoglobin is 12.2 which is great for 29 weeks pregnant (see my Life cereal comment) and I only gained one pound these last four weeks. God is good.

Excited about: baby showers coming up in March courtesy of my lovely mom/sisters/mother-in-law, a barely-used Medela double electric breast pump that a good family friend decided to give me, and our pretty gray crib that came last week.

Watching: the Bachelor (of course). This season is epic in that it has to be the worst season I have watched thus far (which doesn't at all mean that I will stop watching). Juan Pablo is incredibly condescending, sexist, and a little dumb (sorry Juan) and I won't be that sad when this season finishes. This Huffington Post article called it (go Andi). And yet I remain a Bachelor fan for some unbeknownst reason.

Wishing: that someone made long torso maternity jeans. My two pairs of full-panel maternity jeans (which are more comfy now that I'm in the third trimester) sit awkwardly low, as in several inches below my hip bones, thanks to my super long torso.

Drinking: lots of water with fruit in it (which I just discovered a few weeks ago in the hospital caf) aaaand a half-glass of wine the other night (felt like such a rebel).

Feeling: ready for warmer weather pleeeeaaase (the high was -7 today, ouch) before my borrowed non-maternity coat doesn't zip any longer...it's coming dangerously close.

Hoping: that I deliver one to two weeks early so I can have more time with the babe before residency (how-to-induce labor suggestions welcome and I promise I won't use them until 38 weeks).

Wondering: if I will make it to graduation, which I just signed up for and happens to be 6 days before my due date (and I am totally fine with not making it if the reason is that I deliver early).

Loving: that Stephen is so patient and calm and kind when I'm not.

Copying Sydney and Grace and a bunch of other awesome bloggers. And I can't believe I'm still keeping up with Jen's 7 posts/7 days challenge.

Tough decisions...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I've had a lot on my mind lately. I've been lying awake in the middle of the night or early morning feeling the baby move around inside of me and wondering what it will be like when I start residency with a four week old. I had a dream the other night that I missed his first steps because I was at the hospital, and I was devastated.

My attending physician the other day started talking about how she had her first baby during intern year. She said that she couldn't prepare herself for how she felt...it was such a change to go from carrying her baby with her everywhere, inside of her, to leaving him behind. I felt a deep ache when she talked about it, like it was a glimpse of what was to come that I hadn't anticipated and couldn't really fully prepare myself for at all.

I've thought a lot about what to do with my life these past months. I've struggled about what specialty to pursue and where I'm being called. Struggled about the timing of things. Regretted not having more time with our baby as a newborn before it's even happened. Even considered taking a year off to spend more time with him.

Yesterday I awakened again way too early with random thoughts running through my mind, my hand on my belly feeling the reassuring dance he usually does at 5 a.m. (and 3 a.m.). I got up, and finally certified my match list for residency (the list of the programs where we interviewed in the order of where we want to go). Until then, I couldn't bring myself to make it permanent. But I knew what I had to do and I did it, and ultimately I think that what I did was the best decision for our family and our future. And I'm at peace with that.

Five Favs

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Joining Hallie for Five Favorites and Pleated Poppy for WIWS.

1. This outfit was definitely something that I would wear pre-pregnancy and is really comfy now...win/win.

Top: H&M/Scarf: H&M (old)/Skirt: Noppies via Amazon/Booties: Old Navy
Can't believe that we're in the third trimester already!!

2. This jersey top, which I'm wearing in black above (and also wore here in white), is a total pregnancy wardrobe saver...definitely the most flattering and comfortable option that I have in my closet currently ($12.95 each; I own it in four colors ha).

3. Tan booties are everywhere right now (and go with everything)...I'm so, so happy with these ones.

4. I got this body wash on super sale when I was ordering something else from beautybrands.com and I love it...I'm not sure that the sea salt really 'draws out impurities' but it smells amazing (minty and beachy all at the same time).

5. I wish with all my heart that I had read Hallie's post on what's truly important on your wedding day before my wedding (and you can see my chock-full wedding Pinterest board here).

On personal style...

Monday, February 24, 2014

I was going through my Pinterest style board the other day and noticed a pattern...

I started off mostly pinning things that had been true to my style for a long time: big scarves, tailored sweaters, ruffled cardis, and button-downs...kind of simple, pretty, and a little understated.

*all images via my Pinterest style board*
Then enter spending more time on Pinterest, style blogs, etc. I started pinning things that were brighter, more fun, and a little crazier - big statement necklaces, bold color combinations, and lots of pattern-mixing. My closet even started to reflect this a little, but let's face it, unless you're Kendi it's awfully hard to pull off a polka dot blazer with a striped skirt, and as much as I would love to wear that tulle skirt with the leopard scarf and baseball tee (still one of my favorite pins), I wouldn't feel comfortable and it isn't my style. Also, my mint jeans are sitting in a box downstairs, worn only a few times.

And then, lately...I've been pinning lots of neutrals, more classic combinations...outfits that transcend more than a season. I think I've realized that a perfectly cut blazer is more worthwhile than a third patterned button-up or pair of colored jeans, statement necklaces work best for me when paired with a grey tee and jeans, and the right polka dot sweater makes an outfit in itself (without a big purse or a statement necklace).

It's funny that being pregnant and having much more limited outfit options has actually given me the opportunity to step back and reevaluate what my personal style really is and what I want it to be.

I'm going to really *try* to join Jen for 7 posts/7 days...

WIWS + some updates

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Top: Gap maternity/Pants: J.C. Penney maternity/Scarf: Etsy

This Sunday's outfit was a mostly uninspired one consisting of my favorite maternity top (which is starting to pill already from wearing it so much) and my favorite maternity pants (my dear mom purchased me a second pair for when the first one is in the wash). 

We went to mass yesterday evening which meant that for some reason I went half of today thinking that tomorrow was Sunday and than was pretty disappointed when I realized the weekend is over already and I'm back to the hospital tomorrow. Clerkships are starting to drag a bit, which I guess is to be expected when graduation is only about two months away. 

Stephen and I went to Target today to finish up our registry (any suggestions for mostly clueless first-time parents?) and left with our first little outfit purchase. We both loved the tiny anchor and adorable bow tie, and originally intended on putting it on our registry but there was only one 3 month size left and so we ended up just purchasing it. We purchased a couple things for the nursery also, a sweet little print for the wall and a nursery organizer for diapers and little clothes. And his pretty gray crib is on it's way to our house now, a gift from my mom. I feel like we are making small dents in getting ready for his arrival and it's so exciting (and kind of surreal).

And what a difference a month makes! I thought I was getting big on the picture on the left (6 months) which I now think is pretty funny compared to 7 months (on the right) and I probably will be laughing again a month from now.

Random pregnancy round-up:

Highlights: feeling (and seeing!) him move oh so much/random pregnancy stories from strangers/starting to get the nursery ready

Cravings: fruit (esp. strawberries and blackberries)/Sprite/anything sweet (not looking forward to my glucose tolerance test tomorrow)

Exercise: 20-30 minutes on the elliptical most days and a prenatal Pilates video a couple times a week (I've found if I don't exercise my back and hips hurt and I have way less energy)

Weight gain: I've been afraid to check since last week, when it was a total of 16ish pounds (*hoping* to keep the total weight gain to around 25)

Symptoms: oh the usual but overall not too terrible - tired and achy, the occasional tear fest (poor Stephen), weird dreams, and some trouble sleeping

When we logged into our Target baby registry, I saw that we only have 82 days until our due date which is crazy/scary/exciting. Can't wait to meet our little guy.

Linking up here.

Red maxi

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I wore this last night to mass and our church's yearly married couples dinner. We went to the dinner last year, but this year was different both because we are now old married folk (ha) and no longer newlyweds (at least not fresh newlyweds), and this year we are expecting our little guy (they have a special blessing at the dinner for moms-to-be).

Funniest moment of the night was when I went to get some punch that I thought was pink lemonade, and one of the college students volunteering at the dinner practically jumped over the punch table to grab it while she exclaimed "That one's alcoholic!!!" Glad she saved the pregnant lady.

Maternity dressing is tough. A few weeks ago all I wanted was loose tops and leggings, but those tops are incredibly unflattering (and not so loose) right now and I've found that tighter things that show off the bump are better.

Cardi: J. Crew
Top: H&M Mama
Skirt: Nordstrom (I think the Red Velvet color is sold out; similar here or here)

I love that a red maxi makes an outfit all by itself and so all you really need is a neutral top (and maybe a cute clutch?):

Via my Pinterest

I just can't resist these holding-the-babe shots lately. I'm kind of fascinated (and slightly scared) by how much my bump has popped out these last two weeks. Pregnancy is crazy. 

Linking it up here and here.

On Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Outfit on left (Date night): top//cardigan//jeans//booties
Outfit on right (V-day): same jeans and top/hearts cardigan (old, J. Crew Factory)/boots Frye

I love Valentine's Day. Since I found my person I love it more, but I loved it even in high school when my friends and I would send each other 'secret admirer' carnations and in college when we would have single ladies parties and watch romantic comedies and after college when I spent it with the wrong person. I'm lucky that Stephen is one of those romantic guys (not that he would ever admit it) and gives the most thoughtful gifts, writes cards sweeter than anything I could come with, and always gets me flowers (this year it was a huge, beautiful bouquet of pink tiger lilies. 

This Valentine's Day felt a little different for us. Marriage is wonderful and all of that, but I think we've learned more about the meaning of sacrificial love for each other these last months while Stephen works at a job that has sucked the life out of him, I deal with the changes of pregnancy, and we both face huge life decisions along with their accompanying uncertainties. The funny thing is, it made this Valentine's Day that much sweeter. Going through difficulties together has purified and deepened our love for each other. We know each other better, appreciate each other more, and understand what marriage is so much differently than we did when we looked at each other bright-eyed and innocent at the altar. And since we are still kind of newlyweds, I think that Valentine's Day will only get better.

We celebrated with a nice dinner at a quiet hotel in town the night before Valentine's Day since Stephen had to work February 14. It was the best date that we've had in a long time; we talked and laughed and reminisced about some of our favorite memories together. We also planned for the baby; Stephen went to a Dad's class this week which he complained about before ("Why do I need to go to a class on how to change diapers?" me : "Have you ever changed a diaper?" Stephen: "   ") but he ended up leaving the class so excited (it was really cute) and with lots of tips on how to swaddle a baby, etc. It made things much more real for him I think, even though we both are still trying to wrap our heads around the face that in a couple months we will bring a little guy into the world.

(the bump looks much bigger in person, I promise)

Seven fun/interesting/thoughtful links that I enjoyed this week (joining Jen and the rest of them).

1. A fill-in-the-blank love letter courtesy of Hallie for your Valentine (better late than never)
2. A thoughtful article on real love ("I got engaged and immediately doubted my decision")
3. The perfect cardigan for just about anything (I'm wearing it in 'pink paradise' in the picture above)
4. Three ways to tie a scarf (I use a modified version of the first way all the time)
5. Finding the perfect white tee
6. Would love to try this 'Kiss Me' lip scrub
7. How this couple's baby son changed the world in his 10 days of life

Dear baby: Weeks 25 & 26

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I finally caught up on my baby diaries last weekend. It's hard to believe that we're so close to the third trimester!

What I Wore Sunday

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stephen was off work today and it was a balmy 12 degrees (instead of the norm lately, -10) so we snapped a couple pics after mass. I'm finding that I have less options as my belly grows, but leggings and a tunic plus a big scarf are always a good idea. And speaking of leggings, these are the best I've ever found (they trump Lululemons and come recommended by Britt).

This past week was one of my roughest thus far (the week I was in the hospital trumps of course). All the nights of troubled sleeping started to get to me (my new pregnancy pillow is helping some but is no miracle worker). Coupled with a couple stressful life things that aren't really worth writing about, I was an emotional wreck. Poor Stephen bore the brunt of it. I also discovered what pregnancy brain is; I started off the week pre-rounding on the wrong patient in the ICU (so I basically gathered 45 minutes of data on the wrong patient and then realized that I had 10 minutes to see my actual patient before rounds). I then somehow lost my phone in a parking lot; fortunately we live in a small town and it eventually made its way to some kind lady who called "Mom cell" and 15 minutes later I was picking my phone up at the local bowling alley (still trying to figure out how it ended up there). The worst part of the week, though, was feeling the baby move much, much less on Friday night and Saturday. It's probably just because I got used to feeling him move almost constantly last week (and because I'm overly anxious lately), but I woke up in the middle of the night Friday and panicked that he didn't seem to be moving. I got up, listened to his heart with my Doppler (like any normal pregnant almost-doctor I guess) which sounded just fine. I still wasn't reassured so I drank a glass of orange juice (resulting in four more bathroom trips that night) and laid on my side until I felt him kicking again. Today he was thankfully back to his normal crazy self.

It's all worth it for our little boy, of course, and I'm determined that this week will be much better. I started exercising more regularly again, 20 minutes on the elliptical and 20-30 minutes of pregnancy Pilates which I'm hoping to continue this week. Crossing my fingers that it helps with the sleeping (and to curb the four pounds I gained in the last two weeks).

26 + 2 weeks
Scarf: Etsy
Tunic: Old Navy ($7! not online anymore but they have some similar maternity tunics)
Leggings: Zella (the best)
Boots: Sorel Joan of Arctic

Linking it up with FL&P.

5 Favorites

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

5 favorites this week (linking up with Hallie):

1. This hoodie: I wish I would never have bought a pair of running pants from Lululemon last summer, because before that I would never imagined spending so much on yoga/running clothes. Two shirts and one more pair of pants later, I'm hooked. Both of my shirts from there are baggy in just the right places to make a great maternity top (at least at this point of my pregnancy). This hoodie is sold out now online, which is a good thing because it's so wonderful that I want every color that they every made.

And this little guy is not so little anymore (comparatively that is). I went to a prenatal yoga class yesterday which was ridiculous ("cross your leg over your chest and grab on, now practice rocking your baby") and all kinds of relaxing all at the same time. Anyways, it was my first time and after telling the yoga instructor that I was almost 26 weeks, she asserted that "Well, you're not very big" to which I responded seriously?

2. These booties: I've been looking for a pair of camel booties for a while, and happened to see these on Kendi while I was wasting precious time on Pinterest. They looked way too expensive to be from Old Navy, so I was shocked when I clicked on them (here). $32 later (they were 25% off) I think I found the perfect pair of camel booties...side note that the leather is surprisingly not pleather-ish.

3. J. Crew baby: Did you even know there was such a thing?! And let's be honest, it's a little silly (cashmere jumpers for your newborn, anyone?) but these onesies are just adorable.


4. Mi bebe: He's now an official mover and groover, since I saw my stomach moving (!) last week. Despite loving everything OB I did not know that it was possible to see a little 24 week old moving inside of you, but I now know that it is. Stephen has yet to see it for himself since I've been trying to take a video for him but the little guy has yet to cooperate (he always stops moving, at least visibly, after I start recording). At my conference yesterday I kept getting distracted by my belly moving around.

5. These lip pencils: I've never been much of a lipstick wearer - until I got this one with a J. Crew credit (they sell a couple of colors at J. Crew). Don't get one yourself because then you'll be addicted too.