Archive | December, 2012

pregnancy survival guide

This pregnancy has been a different ball game than my pregnancy with Lena.  Let me paint a picture for you of how my third trimester was last time:

  1. Husband is deployed
  2. My foot is broken
  3. I cannot work because of said broken foot (I am an ICU nurse)
  4. I am stuck inside in January, and February, and March
  5. I am very miserable

Honestly I don’t know how those last few months of my pregnancy with Lena even happened.  They are a blur now.  Thanks to good friends and a wonderful church and living near my family, I was very well cared for, but I was very, very glad when those months were over and I had a beautiful baby in my arms!

This pregnancy has been sooo different.  I have a husband at home to take care of me and worry over me.  (He took care of me and worried over me last time, too, but from Egypt, so it was a little completely different.)  I don’t have any broken bones… yet.  I work hard, but my job description has changed to include mothering a toddler, running a home in a foreign country, and managing my knitting and sewing venture.  I am not stuck inside, but I do spend a lot of my time inside, and that will explain a lot of the things on my list!

Here are a few things I’ve loved this pregnancy:

1. Cute jeans.  I love my jeans, which were a gift from my mom and have helped me feel stylish throughout both my pregnancies.  These jeans are a cut above Old Navy brand but not as pricey as Citizens or Sevens.  (Save that splurging for the many, many months of your life when you’re not pregnant!)

2. Knitting.  You all know I love it!  This season I have been so content to sit and knit in the evenings or occasionally even while Lena is playing during the day.  The slide and click of my knitting needles is relaxing, and so is the feeling of productivity as I create beautiful things.  Image via here.

3.  Oranges!  They are in season in Sicily and they are delicious.  Lena and I eat multiple oranges a day.  She is learning to peel mandarin oranges all by herself.  I love to watch her quietly as she furrows her brow in concentration and delicately peels off the skin.  Image via here.

4.  Warm, caffeine-free drinks.  I am sipping this Mighty Leaf tea right now.  I tasted this brand for the first time in a spa before a pregnancy massage two years ago and have been hooked ever since.  During these cold days I also love my decaff coffee every morning (with plenty of cream and sugar) and often enjoy a mug of spiced cider in the evenings.  I make my own (recipe here!), store the jug in the fridge, and heat up a cupful whenever I’m ready for a warm treat.

5. IKEA stacking toy.  I bought it on a whim at IKEA a few months ago and it has amused Lena for hours.  I had no idea she would love it so much, but wow… I am so grateful!   It’s teaching her important motor skills on the living room rug while I run around getting dinner ready.  Now we’re giving her this toy for Christmas… partly because all the reviews say it kept their kids entertained for so long!

6.  Slippers.  Our Italian house is cold during the winter and the floors are the coldest part of all.  You literally cannot walk on them in socks because the chill seeps right through socks and into your bones.  My sister Emily and sister-in-law Jess (who are best buds… how cool is that?) bought me these slippers last year and I literally wear them for about 8 hours every. single. day.  Thank you, girls, you really nailed that Christmas present.

7.  Knee-high, flat-heeled leather boots.  I bought a pair (not these, but they sure are gorgeous) a few years ago and wear them with dresses all winter long.  Especially when you are pregnant, any dress will seem awfully short when your big belly hikes up the skirt in front!  Knee-high boots add a little coverage, look so cute with a dress, and will be a staple from the first hint of fall till the green leaves pop out on the trees again.

8. This book has its quirks, as does the whole Bradley method, but I am so grateful for this manifesto for natural childbirth.  I gave birth to Lena using this method and had a great experience, and so natural childbirth is my goal with this bambino too.  I’ll be re-reading a lot of my old materials in January in order to prep for labor, delivery, and the post-partum period… which is coming up so soon!

A few things not pictured:

  • Zantac.  I have awful reflux this time around; it just feels like my stomach doesn’t even have room for a snack sometimes.  Popping one of these tiny over-the-counter pills kills the reflux in 30 minutes and makes me a much happier girl.
  • Nap time.  Lena is still taking two naps a day most days and how I love them.  Time to knit, read, blog, clean, bake, prep for dinner, or just sit still for a little while and pet the cat.
  • Body pillow.  Elliott bought me this pillow during my last pregnancy and I just got it out of storage last week.  I’m so glad I did; it makes sleeping at night so much more comfy!  Thank you again, Elliott.

Any suggestions for things you or your loved ones enjoyed during pregnancy?  I’m all ears!

9 :: in Baby Numero Due, links I love, Making Room {Handmade}

holding them close.

I have been moved to tears more than once over this past weekend after the events in Connecticut.  I didn’t use to be this way, but then I had Lena and lost my sister, and now it only takes a few words of a news article or interview to cause my eyes to well up with tears.
There just aren’t any guarantees in this life, are there?  You choose a small town in a state known for its decorum and law-abiding citizens.  You settle down, have your long-awaited children, send them to a lovely elementary school, welcome them home each day.  And then one morning you find yourself standing in the parking lot, watching children run out of the school, weeping, and you wait and you wait and you wait and your child never comes out.  
Or you fall asleep on a quiet July Saturday night in Sicily, sleep through your sister driving down the highway, sleep through your sister overcorrecting, sleep through your sister hitting a tree, wake up to a phone call from your dad, and phone calls should never come at 4am.  Never.
I read A Wrinkle in Time yesterday and my heart swelled with the family reunion at the end of the book:
Sandy suddenly yelled, “Father!”
Mr. Murry was running across the lawn, Mrs. Murry running toward him, and they were in each other’s arms, and then there was a tremendous happy jumble of arms and legs and hugging, the older Murrys and Meg and Charles Wallace and the twins, and Calvin grinning by them until Meg reached out and pulled him in and Mrs. Murry gave him a special hug all of his own.  They were talking and laughing all at once, where they were strartled by a crash, and Fortinbras, who could bear being left out of the happiness not one second longer, catapulted his sleek black body right through the screened door to the kitchen.  He dashed across the lawn to join in the joy, and almost knocked them all over with the exuberance of his greeting.
Through the achings and the longings of this life, through the griefs and the sorrows, I am holding out in hope and awaiting with eagerness a reunion like this in Heaven, when Booie will come running across the Jordan and we’ll all be together again, reaching for each other and falling down and laughing in the shallow water, reunited for all eternity in joy and peace, where there are no more tears and there is no more night, and all the light comes from Jesus.
5 :: in family, grief, home sweet home, Julia

life lately

 washing, sorting, and storing clothes for our little man!
& someone “helps” me with her baby brother’s socks and onesies
 the new puzzle from Grammie is a huge hit 
& part of a photoshoot for my sister-in-law Jess to thank her for a great birthday present: maternity duds!  
33 weeks now :-)
 Lena discovered this photo album of me in my college days and loves to page through it
& knitting, reading, a Maine Coon kitten, and a baby bump
best buds
& opening the Advent calendar from Auntie Eden

 rockin’ out in a pharmacy in town (where they provide toys for children?!  I love Italy!)
& more baby boy clothes… I couldn’t resist
 mop bucket madness
& photo from a classical piano concert we attended with friends 
(and stayed out till 2am… I had forgotten I could do that!)
what happens when you ask your hubby to “just let me finish knitting this hat”
& Daddy’s warm weather gear on a blue-eyed babe


Linking up with Lindsay of Hello Hue today!

4 :: in Baby Numero Due, holidays, life lately, Making Room {Handmade}

Advent calendars

Eden and David, two of Elliott’s siblings, have given us not one but two Advent calendars this season.  They are both unique and so beautiful, and they really have made this season all the more special each day.  As the chapel services on base do not discuss Advent besides lighting the Advent wreath each Sunday, this is a way to incorporate the anticipation and joy of the season into our everyday lives at home.

David sent us this Advent calendar, which he purchased from JohnsonMade on Etsy.  I hung the calendar with the help of 5 carefully spaced nails on our kitchen wall as well as red ribbon and clothespins.  I love the artwork on each card and the verses and activity suggestions on the back.

Eden knows her brother loves birds, and so her choice of Advent calendar is especially sweet for Elliott.  Every day we help Lena open one of the little windows in the calendar and pull out the tiny paper bird inside.  Then we help her choose a spot on the tree to place it.  Bit by bit, the tree is filling up with a flock of many colored birds.  I wonder what’s hiding in the big window for the 25th?

Do you have an Advent calendar, either new to you or filled with family tradition?

My favorite DIY Advent calendar idea this year is from paper{whites}.  Her calendar has 25 pockets that she filled with tiny ornaments; each day her little daughter takes out an ornament and puts it on her very own miniature tree!

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6 :: in holidays, home sweet home, links I love

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