Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Twilight Zone of Pregnancy

I'm pretty sure that the final weeks of pregnancy turn into a sort of twilight zone experience. You feel like time is moving slowly, yet fast at the same time. You have no idea when this whole labor thing will happen, so you just sit around and wait while feeling nervous, yet excited, yet impatient. For many women, you're also pushing through a fog of exhaustion and hormones and the strangest symptoms that could be straight out of the twilight zone itself. And if you're like me, then you already have everything prepared for the baby and feel like you're just twiddling your thumbs, waiting for this big moment that will change your life, and there's nothing you can do but wonder when it will happen!

Patience, Ashley. Patience.

^^^(Nicole's room. No decorations yet, but right now I'm just breathing a sigh of relief that the big things are done before baby arrives.)

Speaking of the twilight zone, Doug and I are convinced that Nicole has a 6th sense or something. When we first put her in her new bed, to ward off having a toddler who started waking up too early out of the excitement of having the freedom to get out of her own bed, I told her: "Nicole, mommy and daddy sleep until 7 o'clock. That means if you wake up before 7, I will come in and tell you to play for a bit until it's time for mommy and daddy to wake up. Okay?" (It's a technique I'm trying.) So for the past week and a half, Nicole has woken up at 7 each day, almost on the dot. Sometimes slightly earlier, sometimes a bit later, but always right about at 7. Impressive body clock, right? Well... then this morning she woke up at 6:35. I lay in bed, expecting her tiny hand to come knocking at any moment and preparing myself to have to get up and tell her it was still too early. I listened to her sing, play, and talk to herself for nearly HALF AN HOUR and then, shortly after 7 (7:03 to be exact) she finally started knocking on the door. How did she know?!?!?! I'm telling you, it's ESP or something. Haha!

I'm glad I have a daughter like Nicole. Her sweet, easy-going nature makes me a bit less nervous about being a mom of "two under two" (I'll be the proud owner of that title for a month and a half until Nicole's birthday haha). I can't wait to see her be a big sister! I am seriously SO excited!

Meanwhile, I'll just spend my time continuing to deep clean the house and check things off my fall bucket list. Last night we got the opportunity to go through Nightmare on 13th up in SLC (sans Nicole, of course) and I was SO glad I got to do something haunted this year. Anyone who really knows me can testify that I don't get scared in haunted houses, but I LOVE going through to see all the special effects and tiny details, and Nightmare on 13th never disappoints. I can only imagine all the time and planning that goes into creating the attraction (they switch themes every year to change it up). There's a reason it's one of the most popular haunted attractions in the state! Thanks, Nightmare on 13th, for the fun little date night! I guarantee that Doug jumped more times than I did. And he was a gentleman who let me go into every room first. ;)

I was very pregnant last time I went through this place, too. I guess I need to make it a tradition to get a picture here with each of my baby bumps ;)

Now it really feels like Halloween season! Eeeeeeeee, I love this month so much!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

An Evening at Cornbelly's

Going to Cornbelly's was a "must" on my fall bucket list this year, especially since Nicole's old enough to enjoy parts of it. I wanted to make absolutely certain that we got to go before the baby arrives, so we went as early in the season as we could manage... aka, yesterday! The perk of going during this first week: no lines for anything. So nice.

I was bummed to discover that Nicole did not like the corn cob beach AT. ALL. and wanted to climb back out the moment I put her in. I had visions of getting some cute pictures of her rolling around in a giant pit of corn kernels... yeah. Not this year, Ashley.

I decided to try taking video clips for this trip instead of pictures... and I discovered that I'm horrible at getting variety (not to mention the evening lighting was horrible for filming without better equipment) BUT the little video I included should give you an idea of what Nicole enjoyed most on this outing: riding in the various tractor-pulled rides (hence why most of the video is so shaky), exploring, going down giant slides with Doug, and climbing on all the play structures. In fact, those things are what we did the whole time, aside from when we watched the pig races. The cow train was her favorite ride, although she liked seeing the jack-o-lanterns lit up all along the grain train trail (we saved that one for the end when it was dark).

This will be a fun place to bring our kids back to every year. The older they get, the more fun they'll have with all the activities! Especially with things like the corn maze and the haunted areas. I wish I could've gone in those, but Nicole would have died and had nightmares for life. Haha!

Yay for fall and Halloween!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Baby #2 // 37 Weeks

Happy, happy October! The very best month! I made sure my outfit for these pictures was full of fall colors to celebrate.

Time for what will likely be my last bumpdate for this pregnancy. (If I go past my due date, I'll probably do one more.) Home stretch! Home stretch! And the best part? I haven't hit the "I'm done being pregnant, get him out!" phase yet! During my first pregnancy I hit the wall when I was 35 weeks, so it's great that I've made it even further this time. I'm hoping this means my hormones will stay in check all the way until the end, and maybe even that my post-pregnancy hormones won't be that bad.

Baby is: the size of a watermelon, more or less. Yikes, so big!

Sleep: I'm tired all the time, so naps are a regular occurrence. Some nights I fall asleep quickly, other nights... not so much. I can never tell what kind of night I'm going to have. At least I only have to wake up once to use the bathroom!

Symptoms: Mild heartburn. Occasional back pain and headaches. Minor swelling has started up--mostly in my feet and legs--but also in my face and fingers, so my rings are tight some days. On those days I just wear a fake ring I got from a Prize Candle! My legs keep trying to have charley horse cramps, but I always manage to stop them from happening. (Except one time, and then my calf muscle was sore the rest of the day.) Oh, and is having a constant sweet tooth a symptom, or just a fact of life? Haha!

Braxton Hicks: I have a handful throughout the day, but they're not painful at all.

Mood: As I said, my mood hasn't gone crazy yet. Weeks 38-39 were the worst for me in terms of mood (and symptoms in general) during my first pregnancy, but every pregnancy is different, so... we'll see. I think that keeping busy with Nicole and other things (as well as not having the stress of teaching during this pregnancy) has helped a lot.

Baby's Movement: He really likes to stretch, which can be uncomfortable for me when he's pushing the sides of my stomach in opposite directions. (That's when I put a hand on either side of my belly and push back! Oh that poor, squished kid. Haha.)

My Movement: I'm going to be honest... I think I'm rocking it. I'm still pretty agile, considering I only have 3 weeks left until my due date. I think I have 2 things to thank for this: having a toddler to chase around, and my exercise regime. Speaking of exercise...

Exercise: Still rocking my 6-day-a-week program. I think I missed 3 or 4 days in the past 5 weeks since my last bumpdate, but other than that I'm banging on all cylinders! You should see me in Barre, I'm so proud of how I'm keeping up with all the non-pregnant gals. I genuinely think that my activity level is what has made this pregnancy so great for me. Slower weight gain, less swelling, better mood... it all comes back to exercise. I wish 1000x that I had been this active during my first pregnancy.

Weight gain: I hit my 30 pound mark this weekend. 3 weeks early, dang it! Haha. My weight gain rate picked up in the past couple weeks (I'm sure swelling has something to do with that... but also all the pumpkin cookies and m&m's I've been eating) and so now I'm aiming to not pass 35 pounds by my due date. That's still SO much better than 55 pounds like my first pregnancy! I'm trying to keep in mind that weight gain from swelling isn't something I have control over. Also, I'm getting barely any new stretch marks this time around since I've been so good at controlling my weight gain rate.

Midwife Says: Everything looks awesome. Baby is head down and low in my pelvis, and I seem to be in great condition physically. I didn't have them check my dilation/effacement this past week, so I don't know what I'm at, but I'm pretty sure I'll last until my due date. If he comes a week or two early, I'll be very surprised.

What I've done/bought for baby: Everything is pretty much ready to go. Nicole is still taking naps in the crib until her bed frame gets delivered this week (we had to get a different one) but then she'll be in her "big girl bed" for good and I can get all the purple nursery d├ęcor switched over to my main color choice of navy blue. Everything is purchased and washed, I just need to set the room up :) The car seat is installed, my hospital bag is packed, and now we're just waiting! And now I can focus on the urge I've been having to deep-clean my house... if I ever stop napping, that is ;)

Best moments: I love asking Nicole where her baby brother is; she'll come lift up my shirt so she can pat my tummy. Also... getting our renovations on the top floor of our house done last weekend felt really great. There was something so satisfying about putting away the last of the painting equipment! We finished before October! That was my goal! Hooray! I also loved getting to watch General Conference this weekend.

Looking forward to: Meeting our son!!!!! Wow, a son! Newborn snuggles! And I'm really excited to breastfeed again. It's such a sweet experience, and sometimes I wish I went longer than a year with Nicole. Sometimes ;)

SO close, you guys! So close!