Browsing articles from "August, 2012"
Aug 30, 2012
Rachel

Great friends

I’ve written before about how thankful I am to have amazing friends in my life, and this is just another reminder of it. I went to stay with my best friend Colleen in DC earlier this week and met up with these awesome ladies for dinner. I’ve known most of them since middle school and am so happy that we’ve stayed close into our adult years. We’ve seen each other grow and mature and have supported each other through good and bad times in our lives. I recently read this article about how relationships with other people are the key to happiness and listened to a podcast by Joel Osteen about how one of the best gifts you can give people you care about is your time. In a society that’s as busy as ours, these are really important messages. It’s easy to put off a phone call or a visit to see an old friend, but I think that these things should be a priority. I hope to stay close with friends from different parts of my life for many years to come!

Aug 29, 2012
Rachel

24 Weeks

So, apparently instead of getting a dark line down the middle of my stomach like most women during pregnancy, I got a dark circle around my belly button. My belly button is barely hanging in there and soon will be a complete outie! Other than that, there weren’t many other changes this week. Sometimes I still wake up around 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning and can’t sleep for about an hour, which is annoying, but maybe it’s my body’s way of trying to prepare me for early morning wake-ups with the baby :)

I went to visit my friend Colleen in DC for a couple of days earlier this week and found some awesome maternity jeans at A Pea in the Pod while we were shopping. I tried to find them for a lower price online, but haven’t had any success. Did you know they actually carry designer brands in maternity jeans? Of course, I fell in love with an expensive pair and the $40 jeans at Motherhood Maternity were baggy on me in weird places. I have heard that a good pair of maternity jeans is the one thing that you should invest in, so I might just buy them once I get my next paycheck. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get the majority of my other maternity clothes at Target and Old Navy, so it should be one of the only expensive clothing purchases I make.

I realized today that I only have 3 more weeks in my second trimester. It’s gone by really quickly and I’ve definitely been enjoying my pregnancy. I can’t wait to meet our baby girl in December!

Aug 24, 2012
Rachel

Worrying and body image

Photo Source

I love this quote. For too long, I feel like my life was almost ruled by worrying; before I was in high school, I worried about how I would handle the workload. Before college, I listened to stories of people saying that you can’t get by without constantly pulling all-nighters or about how impossible it was to make friends. During college, I freaked myself out about what I would do after graduation. It seemed like I could never relax and fully appreciate the situation that I was in because I was so concerned about the future. And did all of that worrying really help me achieve anything? I doubt it.

A recent relevant situation that used to give me anxiety was thinking about what my body would be like after having kids. Long before I got pregnant, I found a site called The Shape of a Mother where women upload pictures from before and after their pregnancies (warning- some of the photos contain nudity). At first, I thought it was a really cool site, but after checking it periodically over the past year I’ve realized that I really dislike it. Although I think it was started with good intentions (the creator wanted to make a safe space for women to share what their bodies really look like after childbirth), it’s turned into a place where women just complain about themselves and, in my opinion, start unnecessary worry amongst those of us who have yet to have children.

The part that bothers me the most is how vicious the comments become. A while ago (I wish I could find the link) a very fit woman posted a picture of herself a few months after giving birth that showed her six-pack abs. I realize that this is an exception and that it takes most women a while to lose their baby weight, but her post was very positive and uplifting. She mentioned being happy with her body and said that it felt great to be working out again so quickly after giving birth. Immediately, other women on the site started attacking her for “being a bad mother since she took time away from her baby at such a young age to workout.” Another common theme seemed to be that when women posted about being sad about stretch marks or slow weight loss, commenters who at face-value seemed to be saying positive things were actually just putting themselves down with comments like, “you’re so much thinner than me” or “I wish I had x, y, or z body part that you have.”  I also dislike that their Inspirational category has had nothing on it for the past year.

My point in sharing this is that I don’t think that worrying has really helped me at all and I’m happy that I have much less anxiety in general now.  A while ago (before I was pregnant) a woman at the gym actually said to me: “well, you’re happy with your body now, but just wait until after you have kids!” and a few years ago, that would have really scared me. Now I can just let it go and realize that statements like that are usually fueled by something that that person is unhappy about or struggling with themselves. Other than for the purpose of writing this post, I haven’t looked at The Shape of a Mother in a long time, either :) .

I hope that those of you who are reading this don’t struggle with anxiety the way that I used to. Moving to Raleigh and away from the busyness, traffic, and high cost of living in Northern Virginia definitely helped ease my worrying, but more than that, recently I’ve just been able to accept that most things work out the way that they’re supposed to. It’s important to work hard and set goals for yourself, but unhealthy anxiety doesn’t help you achieve things. To close, I’d like to list some other good quotes that I’ve found about worrying:

 Photo Source

Aug 21, 2012
Rachel

23 Weeks

23 weeks and feeling really pregnant! As I mentioned yesterday, my doctor’s appointment went extremely well. Also, when Patrick and I were on a walk around our neighborhood, a guy who lives a few blocks away (we’ve never met him) called out “when’s your due date?” so I guess it’s becoming more obvious to everyone that I am in fact pregnant. I’ve developed a dark spot around my belly button, which my doctor said is normal because the skin is thinner there and I was in the sun so much last week. I think it looks funny. The only bad part about this week is that I get cramps in my ribs almost every time I sit for more than 15 minutes, which makes work challenging! I’ve been stretching a lot and taking breaks to walk around, so it’s manageable.

Patrick and I are about 90% sure that we’ve decided on a name! I’ll announce it later when we’re definitely sure :)

Aug 20, 2012
Rachel

A few updates

Photo credit

This picture is what I want to use as inspiration to design our baby’s nursery. I love the dresser/changing table and am thinking of having an old dresser that we own refinished and painted a slightly lighter shade of yellow. I would also use pink instead of green accents in the room.

Here are a few other random updates:

  • -After reviewing my blood sugar levels from the past few weeks, my doctor agreed with me that I don’t actually have Gestational Diabetes. Since my numbers were so good, she said that the test just showed that I have a strong predisposition to developing diabetes (either gestational or type 2) due to my family history.  So if I stopped eating well and exercising, I would have a high likelihood of developing either type of diabetes, but due to my current lifestyle habits, I’m fine. I was so happy to hear that she agreed with me!
  • -Everything else went really well at my doctors appointment and my weight gain, blood pressure, and belly size were all normal. That’s right– starting at 20 weeks, the doctor actually measures your stomach (fundal height) to see if the baby is growing normally. I measured at 22 cm, which is right on track for 23 weeks.
  • -They’re keeping my due date at December 18! I’m happy that it wasn’t moved closer to Christmas, even though the baby could actually come 2 weeks before or after the due date.
  • -I’ve made some progress on the goals that I set for myself! I mentioned that I wanted to get back into volunteering on a regular basis, but couldn’t decide how to do it. I applied to be a mentor for a teen pregnancy support program in the area and am hoping that it works out!
  • -I’m also thinking about training to walk the American Tobacco Trail 10 Miler at the end of October. I’ve been walking a lot each day and I don’t think it would be too aggressive to just add some longer hikes on the weekends (making sure to keep my heart rate at a safe level). The race is on a flat trail and if I was feeling bad, I could just turn around early.
  • -Our cat, Oliver, is back! I took him to my parents’ house before we went to the beach last week and my dad was nice enough to bring him back. My dad is staying with us for a couple of days before visiting his sisters in Tennessee and Oklahoma later this week. Rather than think of myself as a crazy cat lady for spoiling Oliver so badly (he hates being alone, OK?) I would rather think that this shows what an awesome future parent I will be :)

This is where Oliver spends most of his day (either there or constantly trying to sit on my lap while I work). He loves the cable box!

Aug 16, 2012
Rachel

A day at the beach

Here’s some pictures from a typical day at the beach for Patrick and me. First, a picture of the giant Connect Four game that we played at a coffee shop down the street from our beach house. It was really fun!

Another view in front of the coffee shop.

We went to the beach in the afternoon and the weather was PERFECT.

Most days we wake up in the morning and I go for a long walk while Patrick goes for a run. Recently, walking has felt a lot better than running and I downloaded a great audio book  (The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty- I highly recommend it) that I look forward to listening to while I walk. We usually cook breakfast and lunch at the house and then go to the beach in the late afternoon/early evening. Neither of us like to spend all day at the beach in the hot sun, so a few hours a day is great. Today we mixed things up by hanging out at the coffee shop down the street from us and played Connect Four for a while, which was really fun (I beat Patrick 3 times and he won once :) ). It’s been an amazingly relaxing trip and I’m sad that we have to go back on Saturday morning!

PS- I downloaded a new template for the blog so that I could organize my posts into more categories. Check it out– I think things look a lot more organized now.

Aug 14, 2012
Rachel

22 Weeks

 

After looking at this picture, I realized I look a little slouchy. Gotta work on the posture!

There’s the baby! No more tanning while laying on my stomach, and really, only limited amounts while laying on my back like this. Maybe this is more of me than you wanted to see, but I think they’re funny pictures.

 

This week has been great. About a month ago, I was trying to do research on what pregnancy is like in the 22nd week because I knew that we would be on vacation then. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do things like ride a bike or be as active as I wanted to, but things have been fine! The house that we’re staying in has beach cruiser bikes and we took a long ride on them yesterday. It’s also been so nice to take walks on the beach. I’ve been able to feel the baby move almost daily now, which is really exciting! Also, my belly button is barely hanging in there. I think it will become a complete outie any day now.

 

 

Aug 13, 2012
Rachel

Mini beach house

Patrick and I are really enjoying ourselves in Ocracoke this week. We’re staying in a free-standing, one-bedroom beach house that I found on Vacation Rental by Owner. It’s really cute!

It’s definitely compact, but it does have a full kitchen, which I love. When I’m on vacation, I really like being able to cook for breakfast and lunch. Going out to dinner is great, but if I have to eat out for every meal, I usually end up feeling like it’s a waste. Especially for breakfast,  it’s so easy to make an omelette or scrambled eggs, which can end up being very expensive if you eat out.

There are really nice porches on both levels of the house, but I especially love the one outside of our bedroom.

My only complaint– the tiny tiny bathroom!

The real issue is the shower. It’s one of the smallest showers I’ve ever been in and being pregnant, it’s a little harder to move around in general. I thought I would have to shave my legs in the sink, but then I discovered that there’s a really great outdoor shower, which I plan to use all week. Now I feel much better!

I love being on vacation and we need to soak up every moment because it’s probably our last vacation before the baby. We keep talking about how different our vacations will be next summer (but still really fun!) with a 6-month-old. Yay for the beach!

 

 

 

Aug 12, 2012
Rachel

Vacation on Ocracoke Island

Hello from Ocracoke Island!

Patrick and I are here on vacation for the week and today while we were out walking around, we saw some fat chickens randomly walking through someone’s yard.

The chickens actually started getting a little closer to me than I was comfortable with, so we left and kept walking. I wasn’t sure if they were going to try to peck me or something.

I’m so excited to be here with Patrick on an early baby-moon vacation! More pictures of the house and area that we’re staying in are coming soon :) .

 

PS- Check out my friend Colleen’s recent post about her trip to the Outer Banks last week.

Aug 9, 2012
Rachel

Feeling like a homeowner

What’s the difference between this picture–

And this picture? (you can’t say that it’s that the grass is cut or that the bushes are trimmed…)

Here’s a hint…

That’s right, we got gutters!

OK, so I realize that this is not the most exciting home improvement for people to look at, but other than getting blinds installed before we moved in, it’s the first major project that we completed. It also made me feel like a real homeowner :) . Things tend to hit me slowly because I’ve actually been a homeowner for about 6 months. I’ve always been like that– I remember my best friend Colleen getting mad at me because I didn’t cry when she left for college (it’s because I knew that we would stay close, OK?) and it probably didn’t hit me that high school was really over until after my freshman year at Virginia Tech.

Another more embarrassing example of me processing things slowly also happened at Virginia Tech when I was running one day. I was jogging through campus on the sidewalk and came across an area where a parking lot emptied out onto a small road. I stopped, made eye contact with the driver who was waiting to get out of the parking lot, saw that there was a lot of traffic and that she couldn’t go anywhere, and then started to jog in front of her car to get around it. She pulled up and hit me! I wasn’t hurt, but I did fall onto the hood of her car. Then, instead of yelling at her or saying anything at all, I just awkwardly got up and kept running. When I told Patrick about it later, he couldn’t believe that I said nothing! I got angry about it later, but at the time, I just felt embarrassed for some strange reason. I’m working on standing up for myself more quickly in situations like that. Luckily, it doesn’t happen very often.

Later this week, we’re getting quotes for painting our living room and finishing our attic so that we can actually use it for storage. I love being a homeowner!

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