Baby Shower Speech

Jonny, Baby Itz, and I were showered with love yesterday afternoon during an absolutely marvelous baby shower. We were surrounded by the kindest, most supportive women in our lives, and are so grateful for everyone’s generosity in helping us prepare for Baby Itz. The entire weekend was packed with goodness, so I haven’t had time to fully recap the events yet, but, rest assured, I will.

SAMSUNG CSC

For today, I’m letting my sister take over the blog as she gave the most heartfelt baby shower speech and I want to share it with you all. While some of them include inside jokes between us sisters and our family, I’m sure you’ll still be able to get a sense of the amount of love that’s shared between us.

speech

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Know Lindsay is Going to Make an Amazing Mom

by Stephanie Cotta

#1: You can always pull your act together when working in a time crunch.  Several things cross my mind here as examples – the science fair projects you and mom would be working on midnight the day before the project was due, you – writing your maid of honor speech for my wedding – on the bus on the way to actual wedding… you have always been able to pull things off – and do amazing jobs on them.

#2: You are so patient and so sweet and so giving. Whether you are surprising the kids with a new book or toy or bringing someone a new dish that you recently tried out, you are always thinking of others.

#3: You will show Baby Itz how to make healthy food choices. Like the times you have been babysitting Jacob and will text me a picture of him eating bananas with “chocolate sprinkles.” Otherwise known as chia seeds.

#4: We have been able to learn from the best.  And I know this speech is about you, but itz hard to talk about motherhood without mentioning Mom. There are some days when you know I have called you and said, “I just don’t know how mom did it with FOUR of us.” But she did, and she taught us how to love and how to be a mom and we are so fortunate for that. And know that if you thought you called mom a lot before you had kids, wait until he arrives…

#5: You aren’t scared at all by things like vomit. Oh wait a second…. Nope, scratch that.  And know for that one that Mom is just a phone call away!

#6: You know when to ask for help. For the past four months, I’ve received an email or text or two or three or four or ten each day, asking for advice on bottles and breast pumps, outfits, and the color of your bumper pads. And while we joke about it, you know how much I love that and I can’t wait for the array of questions that will come once he is actually here.

#7: #hessocute #lookhowcute #ohmycuteness #babyitz #youwilldocumentallhislittlemomentsonyourblog

#8: You don’t give up.  In one of your most powerful posts on your blog, you wrote in regards to your journey, “Itz an emotional roller coaster and nothing like I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Itz sad.  Itz scary.  It makes me mad.  It makes me worried,” but you concluded that post with, “Believe. That’s a word I’m clinging on to with all my power.  I believe I will get pregnant.  I believe my doctors are doing what’s best for me.  I believe we are meant to have a baby.  I believe when the time is right, it will happen. Itz hard, but I believe.” Fast forward three months after that post and you were delivering the most amazing news to me…which brings to reason number nine

#9: You think of the best ways to deliver news. Like when I came over for services on Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – and you handed me a present and, while I was opening it, I asked “What is this for?” and you said, “For my upcoming maternity and newborn photoshoots.” And it took only a half a second for me to process what you were telling me and it was honestly one of my happiest days.

#10: And finally, you know how to love. Itz no surprise that you are a favorite of Jacob and Audrey Rose’s. You are so kind, warm, caring, nurturing. And while you never know exactly how you are going to feel when he is actually here, I know I’m not the only one in this room that knows that he is one of the most lucky babies in the world to have you as his mom.

In your blog post in which you announced your pregnancy, you began with a quote from Walt Disney…“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly & unquestionably.”  You did that. We all did that and I am just beyond happy for you that your dreams of a family are coming true.  I love you.

SAMSUNG CSC

my dress and belt are from seraphine maternity

There is no better friend than a sister. And there is no better sister than you.

Thank you, Stephanie. I love you. xoxo

Studio Maternity Photoshoot | St. Louis Maternity Photographer

Last weekend I was fortunate to spend some time with Stephanie Cotta Photography, St. Louis Maternity Photographer, for my studio maternity photoshoot.  She’s the best of the best and her pictures of precious newborns and gorgeous belly bumps speaks volumes of work. Here’s my all time favorite of the photos she took of me:

studio maternity pregnant itzlinz

LOVE.  If itz possible to feel sexy and pretty while being nine months pregnant, Stephanie sure helps in making that happen.

st-louis-maternity-photographer-pregnant

If you’re anywhere in or near the St. Louis area, hiring Stephanie Cotta Photography is a must. Aspiring photographers should get in contact with her, as well. She hosts newborn mentoring workshops nationwide and sells her newborn posing guide and e-workshop of Mastering the Art of Newborn Photography all across the world.

black white studio maternity pregnant

Have I mentioned that she’s my sister and I’m the luckiest pregnant lady around?

studio maternity pregnant

Stephanie is crazy busy, but always, always, always makes time for me and gives so much of herself – not just to me, but to her family, her clients, her friends, everyone.  Thank you, Stephanie, for being the best sister (and photographer!) ever! Itz because of you that my pregnancy is so beautifully documented, and I’ll have these images to cherish forever.

Itz hard to believe that the next time I’ll be in this pose, I will be cuddling my new baby boy!

studio maternity pregnant itzlinz 1

Have a lovely weekend, friends. xoxo

Be sure to like Stephanie Cotta Photography on Facebook – each and every picture will make you “oooh” and “awww” and will definitely bring a smile to your face! Guaranteed!

Stylish Reebok Skyscape Shoes

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.

Check out my shoes, y’all.

pregnant reebok skyscape

Pretty fashionable, huh?  Wearing sneaks with everyday outfits is totally the new thing and Reebok has got a fabulous new pair. They’re the stylish Reebok Skscape Shoes.  I’m all about them because they’re super comfortable, add a great pop of color, and can fancy up any old outfit whether itz skinny jeans, leggings, skirts, dresses, or even a belly bump!

pregnant reebok skyscape 1

Their official hashtag is #StyleNeverStops and I just adore it. What I take it to mean is that any woman, any time, no matter what can and should feel stylish.  What is stylish?  Is it just about the clothes?  No.  Itz about being confident in your own skin.  Itz about being happy with who you are, from the inside out.  Am I reading too far into a shoe company’s latest campaign?  Maybe yes, but maybe not.  The fact of the matter is that we should all embrace ourselves, and one another, for who we truly are.  We don’t need to change, we don’t need to try to be someone we’re not.  We are who we are and that’s a beautiful thing.  Being true to yourself is most stylish in my book!

That’s not to say Reebok Skyscape shoes aren’t pretty sweet…

reebok skyscape shoes

Because they are!  You can just see the pillowy softness; just imagine what they feel like!  Here are some of the sweet features:

  • Foam material in the upper for softness and flexibility
  • Low-cut design for added mobility
  • Seamless construction for minimized rub and irritation
  • Unique architecture designed to support the foot and provide all-day comfort
  • Minimal rubber accents only where needed for traction
  • Skyspring technology – features a unique design architecture designed to help support the foot and provide all day comfort
  • Lightweight – only 5.0 ounces

reebok1

As an elementary teacher and as a 35-week pregnant lady, I have got to be comfortable on my feet as I’m on them all day long.  These shoes are rocking my world.  When I’ve been wearing them with my skinny jeans, I’ve been wearing them with socks because you can’t tell. However, once the weather [finally] warms up enough, I’m going to try the look with a skirt or dress and no socks.  At first I was worried about stinky feet and shoes, but the Reebok Skyscapes are machine washable! Itz best to remove the sole and laces and wash on gentle, and then just air dry. Stinky shoes be gone!

Reebok Skyscapes can be purchased online HERE, or in stores at a Reebok FitHub or Outlet. (Check locations HERE.) Select locations of Kohls also carry them.

They come in three colors: pink (my favorite), purple, and black.  They’re sure to match any outfit, but you may find yourself planning your outfits around the Skyscapes instead of the other way around.  Or maybe that’s just me…

reebok skyscape

Reebok Skyscape – so lightweight and comfortable, you’ll forget you have them on!

What does #StyleNeverStops mean to you? What color Skyscapes would you get?

not quite a recipe yet

Did anyone do or receive any noteworthy April Fool’s Day pranks?  I didn’t, but my older brother Jason sure did!  He filled up my parents’ sink with four pounds of corn flakes and left a note that read, “Itz important to start your day with a good breakfast!”  He also proceeded to wrap 100+ rubber bands around my mom’s computer mouse.  Jason got his co-workers, too! He scraped the cream out of Oreos and replaced it with toothpaste, and emptied someone’s hand sanitizer with warming lube! But the best prank of all was played on my mom (my poor mother!), as he attached a sign to the back of her car.

april fools

Yes, the sign really did read, “Honk, wave, and yell ‘Hi Susan!’ It’s April Fool’s Day and she doesn’t know.” LOL! But the real kicker is that my dad knew about these pranks my brother was going to pull, so he sprinkled red pepper flakes in Jason’s travel coffee mug in the morning that he took to work. Oh my family is just the funniest!

Alright on to food!  I tried a couple different food concoctions lately that I thought I’d be sharing the recipes with you today, but… they weren’t food fails, but they definitely are not quite a recipe yet.  First up, breakfast – some type of banana bread:

breakfast

It tasted good, but it didn’t stay together very well. It included bananas, peanut flour, chia seed, flax seed, cinnamon, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and applesauce, but it was too loose. However, I spread a big glob of NuttZo on top which trumped the not quite a recipe yet status.

Linking up with Peas and Crayons’ What I Ate Wednesday!

Lunch was another not quite a recipe yet.  I tried to make a meatloaf, but wanted to include tons of vegetables, as well.  Like the banana bread, it didn’t hold together too well despite itz looks in the picture below.

lunch

I used lean ground beef, oatmeal, mixed vegetables, onion, eggs, and spices.  I drizzled ketchup on top halfway through baking.  Jonny and I both agreed it tasted great! It was just crumbly. What do I have to do to get it to stick together better? Use additional eggs?

Dinner is something I take no credit for because last night I met my good friend Heather at Il Bel Lago. They have a fabulous happy hour of just four dollar appetizers!  It was bar food and not the healthiest, but it sure tasted good!

dinner

And of course the more important part was spending time with my friend catching up.  But the pizza, toasted ravioli, and meatballs were pretty darn tasty and ya can’t beat that price!

Any good April Fool’s jokes or pranks you experienced? Do you have a good meat and vegetable casserole/meatloaf recipe you can share with me?

35 Weeks Pregnant | Packing the Hospital Bag

I think I felt Baby Itz hiccup. I’m not sure though because how am I supposed to know what they feel like? But on Sunday, I felt a little something like a bubble in my belly; it was pretty quick, yet consistent. I went to the doctor yesterday for my appointment and learned that Baby Itz is head down which is great. And that’s exactly the area which I felt like the hiccups were coming from. Alright 35 weeks pregnant bumpdate picture and details below, and then itz time to start planning and packing the hospital bag!

SAMSUNG CSC

So many people have told me how “big” I’ve gotten over the last week, and some have even commented that I look like I’m carrying lower. He feels a little lower to me, but not uncomfortably so or anything. I still feel really great which I count my blessings everyday.

Baby Itz: 35 Weeks

Baby’s size? Honeydew.

Maternity clothes? LOVE! I definitely love clothes that are more fitted compared to looser which is funny because itz totally opposite how I felt at the beginning of my pregnancy.

Stretch marks? Nope.

Sleep: Ehhh, I’m up a lot throughout the night either going pee or tossing and turning. I still have really good energy throughout the day though, so I’m not complaining. <– same

Best moment this week: Being with family. Seeing Baby Itz on the ultrasound.

Miss anything? Not really. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m totally digging this pregnancy thing.

Movement: So much movement! And now that I know he’s head down, I feel like I can feel his little butt or his little legs when he moves which is so fun.

Food Cravings: Again, no cravings, just eating a lot all the time.

Anything making you queasy or sick? No.

Gender: BOY BOY BOY!!!!

Labor Signs: Nope – some Braxton Hicks contractions, but nothing major.

Symptoms: Nothing out of the ordinary.

Belly Button – in or out?  Not a full outtie, but itz definitely showing through my tight shirts! <– true again!

Wedding Rings – on or off? On!

Happy or Moody? Happy!

Looking Forward To: My friends and family baby shower is this weekend. After that itz time to be in baby-prep mode full time! We’ve had the furniture for awhile, but haven’t done much else. Itz getting close!

********************************

st-louis-maternity-photographer-pregnant

photo by Stephanie Cotta Photography

Packing the Hospital Bag

So I asked my sister Stephanie (of course) what I should pack in the hospital bag as I definitely need to start getting things ready. She was like, “Uhh sweats, you’ll want to be comfortable.” Ok, well clearly, Sis, but what else? After awhile, she really got to thinking and we actually ran to Old Navy to pick up some new cute sweats that I’d be comfortable in. Jonny’s been wanting me to pack a hospital bag for quite some time now because he’s such a planner. First I’ll make this list, then I’ll actually pack.  Soon.  I promise!

My Bag: (the Apera Performance Duffel)

  • capri sweats
  • loose sweatshirt
  • tank tops
  • t-shirts
  • undies & bras
  • flip flops
  • essential oils
  • toiletries
  • baby book (to get footprints stamped)
  • cocogo (to stay hydrated)
  • snacks
  • lip balm
  • baby’s going home outfit

Last Minute Items:

  • iPhone + charger
  • computer + charger
  • makeup
  • hair stuff (blow dryer, flat iron, brush)
  • wallet + purse

I’m packing a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant for both Jonny and I, so itz one less thing we have to worry about grabbing on the way out. The makeup and hair stuff may seem silly, but when your sister is a professional photographer and planning to document every last detail, I know I’ll want to look somewhat put together! Or as put together as possible for laboring and birthing Baby Itz.

I’m not taking any music because Jonny has made a playlist for me on his phone. Also, no magazines or books because if I need or want to be entertained, I’ll do so with my phone. I’ve heard some suggestions with possibly taking my breast pump. I thought it would be to learn how to use it, so I asked Stephanie and she responded, “Learn how to use it? You hook it up to your boobs!” Ha. But she said it may be a good idea to bring it to get my milk going. We live pretty close to the hospital, so that may get left at home and I could have someone grab it, if necessary. Hmm, I think that about covers the basics, but of course I want to hear from you!

What else do I need to pack in the hospital bag?

Weekend Highlights

Sometimes I’m really good at taking pictures of anything and everything, and other times I’m not so great. This weekend I wasn’t so great.  I had an absolutely marvelous weekend, but the only pictures I have are ones my sister took.  Which, if you know my professional photographer sister, you know itz most definitely not a bad thing. And, frankly, itz sometimes nice to take a step back and not “have” to capture every little moment on camera. That’s not usually how I feel because I genuinely like taking photographs of every little thing, and I most definitely don’t feel like I “have” to. Anyway, here’s some weekend highlights in words with a couple pictures scattered in:

Friday night: Jonny and I went out to Bristol to celebrate his ten years. We enjoyed a lovely dinner and were gifted a massive piece of their carrot cake. We took it home, and after our food digested, we dug right in. Then I finished it on Sunday morning for breakfast.

Saturday morning: Swim boot camp class! The instructor had the class wearing t-shirts for extra resistance. I kindly declined saying I had enough resistance on my own.

Saturday brunch: Jonny’s brother, Robbie, was in town this weekend, so we went out to brunch with Jonny’s grandparents which was a definite delight.

Saturday day: Stephanie invited me to her studio to take some maternity shots. I’m saving those for itz own post, but you can get a sneak peek if you head to her Facebook page. I did show up in my new Reebok Skyscapes (received as part of a FitFluential campaign), so I had her snap a photo of me just using my iPhone. Full review coming later, but I’m totally digging the look the shoes give to any outfit.

pregnant reebok skyscape

Saturday night: We headed to my in-laws for a tasty barbecue dinner. They recently opened their pool which is always nice to see because it means warmer temps MUST be coming. They open it the earliest and close it the latest of anyone I know. Itz awesome!

Sunday morning: I took a walk in our neighborhood with my best friend Diana. It was chilly as it was still in the 30′s, but later the temperature reached 60! Wahoo!

Sunday noon time: There was a bridal shower for my soon-to-be cousin. My mom and my mother-in-law were two of the eight hosts. Everything about the shower was wonderful. Stephanie, Mom, & Me:

SAMSUNG CSC

I’m so fortunate to have such amazing, strong, supportive role models in my life. My sister and my mom are just amazing. They both are two of the most selfless people I know, especially when it comes to me. They would do and they do do absolutely anything for me, and I really hope they know how much I appreciate them. I can’t say it enough.

I’m linking up to Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday.

If you have a sister, then you understand the bond that Stephanie and I share. Throughout this entire pregnancy, I have asked her no less than 500 million questions. Per week. Seriously. I even got her opinion on which wubbanubs to register for. (Her answer: the elephant and the giraffe.) No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’re always laughing. On the car ride back to her house, we were discussing some details of Baby Itz’s birth (what to pack in my hospital bag, how close she’s getting with her camera…), and she asked me if I was going to be grumpy during my labor. All I could do was laugh. When she realized how it sounded, we were both literally cracking up. “Well, you know, sometimes you get moody when you get stressed out.” Nothing but love, sister!

SAMSUNG CSC

Sunday afternoon: I went to Stephanie’s house and hung out with her kiddos outdoors. Jacob, Phil, and I played baseball (with a plastic bat and wiffle balls – so much fun!) while Audrey and Stephanie sat on chairs and watched. Eventually, the kids got on their bikes and we went on a walk to enjoy the sunshine that had finally appeared.

Sunday night: We went to dinner at Jonny’s aunt’s house as his cousins were in town.  Dinner was delicious, but the highlight was definitely the four flavors of gelato for dessert. Everyone had a little scoop of each.  It was fantastic, and Baby Itz loved it, too!

itzlinz pregnant

What was the highlight of YOUR weekend?

10 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby

10 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby – I know what you’re thinking… I’m still pregnant, how can I be writing a post on how to calm a crying baby when Baby Itz is in my belly? Am I right, or am I right? Itz ok. I debated whether or not to write this post now, or wait until I have some real life experience. I decided I’d do both. Plus, we learned these ten ways in our baby class last night, and I thought blogging about it would be a good way for me to remember them. I’ve listed them in a pinnable graphic and will explain down below:

10 ways to calm a crying baby

10 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby

  1. swaddle baby – babies are wrapped up tightly in the womb, so swaddling emulates their familiar womb experience
  2. lay baby on side or stomach position – (in your arms! don’t leave baby unattended on his/her side or stomach!) changing baby’s position can be good
  3. make shushing sounds to baby – again, this imitates the sounds they heard in the womb and can be soothing
  4. have baby suck on something – sucking triggers the calming reflex
  5. gently swing baby – gentle movements can be relaxing for baby; rocking, walking, and car rides are other possibilities
  6. change baby’s diaper – make sure baby is clean and dry
  7. nurse or feed baby – babies go through growth spurts and sometimes require cluster  (more frequent) feedings
  8. burp or bicycle baby’s legs – if baby has air in his/her belly, burping or bicycling baby’s legs could help relieve gas
  9. feel baby’s chest and back for temperature – see if baby is too hot or cold by feeling his/her chest or back (often times, baby’s hands or feet are cooler)
  10. inspect all parts of baby – lay baby down, take off clothes, and inspect baby; an article of clothing may be too tight, a loose string may have gotten wrapped around a part, or something else may be bothering baby

Our wonderful nurse in the baby class suggests reading or watching The Happiest Baby by Dr. Harvey Karp. The first five tips are his “5 S’s System.”  Like I said before, these ten tips are what we learned in our baby class. Once Baby Itz is here will be the true test. For now, we’ll let him keep calm in my belly!

beach maternity photo

What works/worked especially well for you? What tips would you add to this list?

Swimming Boot Camp Workout

I’ve been telling you how much I’ve been digging the swimming boot camp workout classes I’ve been taking on the weekends, but I’ve yet to provide you with a sample workout. After last week’s class, I asked the instructor if I could post her workout and she agreed.  You guys, it was tough.  Swimming it eight+ months pregnant was even tougher.  But hey, swimming is so good for everyone. Old, young, pregnant, not.  I’ll show you the graphic of the workout and then I’ll explain in detail below.

swimming boot camp workout

Swimming Boot Camp Workout

Warm Up:

  • 200 spkw: 200 meter swim, 200 meter pull (using a pull buoy), 200 meter kick (using a kickboard), 200 meter swim
  • 200 reverse IM: 200 meters each freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly

First Part:

  • 25 meter swim, then get out of pool
  • 10 spider push-ups, then get in pool
  • run 25 meters (in pool), then get out of pool
  • 10 crunch & punch (cross punch while crunching up, then get in pool
  • run 25 meters (in pool), then get out of pool
  • 10 step-ups (on to pool ledge from shallow water), then get in pool
  • run 25 meters (in pool), then get out of pool
  • cannonball
  • swim 25 meters, then get out of pool
  • 10 squats
  • repeat this sequence for a total of three times

Second Part:

  • Cooper 12 AMLAP (as many laps as possible): swim continuously for twelve minutes counting your laps, any stroke

Third Part:

  • 8 x 50 – fins on kicking, dolphin flutter: 50 meters on front, 50 meters on right side (using kickboard), 50 meters on back, 50 meters on left side (using kickboard), repeat sequence

Fourth Part:

  • 12 x 25 – sprints: four 25 meter swims using flippers, eight 25 meter swims without flippers, rest ten seconds in between so you’re able to explode out for sprint

Cool Down:

  • 200 meters easy

Whew! It looks like a lot, doesn’t it? It is! These swimming boot camp workout classes usually take about seventy-five minutes. They’re definitely intense, but I love how it really mixes up the workout. I can only swim laps in a pool for so long before getting bored. There is NO way anyone can get bored with a boot camp style swim workout! Plus, with as many times as you need to get out of the pool requires you to use your upper body strength because there are no ladders allowed! Except for me since I can’t really safely hoist my pregnant self out of the pool.  And you know how we’ll end this post, don’t you?

pregnant swimming

Are you a fan of swimming workouts? Have you ever taken a swimming boot camp workout class?

Cream Cheese Substitute

Food, food, food, food, food! Itz on my mind a lot lately and I feel like I’m a bottomless pit plus my Baby Itz!  Today, I’ll share some of my eats.

Yesterday I treated myself to a Starbucks refresh tea!

starbucks tea

I added some honey in there because I love drinking my tea sweet. And I love honey.  And, yes, I totally took a selfie with my tea.  Then promptly Instagrammed it.  Obviously.

We were on dog duty at my in-laws’ over the weekend while they were soaking up the sun in Florida. They always stock their house full of good food knowing that they’ll most likely come home to an empty fridge and pantry because of the amount Jonny and I both eat. (In fairness, I did bake them a fresh loaf of banana bread to say “sorry” and “thanks!”)  Anyway, they had bagel thins and a bagel and cream cheese totally appealed to me for breakfast one morning.  However, there was no cream cheese in the house and how could I have a bagel with no cream cheese?  So I got creative.

bagel

It looks like cream cheese. It tastes like cream cheese.  It doesn’t really taste like cream cheese.  I put a shmear of plain Chobani greek yogurt on the bagel and then drizzled honey.  Just plain greek yogurt tastes like sour cream (which I substitute all the time!), but adding a little honey sweetens it up a bit.  I topped it with strawberries and it was utterly delicious!  The following day I toasted another bagel thin, shmeared plain Chobani and honey, and added a couple of eggs cooked in coconut oil for a bagel-wich.  I think plain greek yogurt and honey is my new favorite cream cheese substitute! Itz way healthier, that’s for sure, plus you’ve got a little protein punch in there, too!

Linking up to Peas & Crayons What I Ate Wednesday.

Lunch consisted of a concoction I threw together over the weekend.

lunch

It was a hodge-podge of ingredients I had on hand.  I started by sauteing cherry tomatoes and onions just like my grandma does for many sauces and her own creations.  Then, I added black beans, cannellini beans, brown rice, kale, and garlic. That’s it!  When it was all set and done I sprinkled a bit of Parmesan cheese throughout it.  I made a big ol’ batch that I’ve taken for lunch these past couple days and dinner last night. The rice and beans combo makes a complete protein (including all essential amino acids), so itz best to pair the two together.

We had dinner at my sister Stephanie’s the other night. She was asking what she should make, so I sent her to my Pinterest page as there are a couple of recipes I’d been wanting to try.  She chose the Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken.

honey sesame chicken

It was faaaaantastic!  The recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, but she added two tablespoons instead.  My family likes it hot hot hot!  She steamed some broccoli and served it all over brown rice.  Winner winner chicken dinner!  I’ll definitely be making this. Thanks for testing it out and thanks for the tasty dinner, Steph!

Have you made any Pinterest recipes lately? What would you sub for cream cheese?  I imagine something with cottage cheese may work, too.

34 Weeks Pregnant | Diaper Discussion

WOW! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts on yesterday’s post: Meet Jonny | Stroke Survivor. I’ve always known what an inspiration Jonny is, but I was definitely overwhelmed with the response that his post received. In just a few days it will mark the ten-year anniversary when he had his stroke. We didn’t even mean for the timing of his post to coincide with that big anniversary, but it makes it extra awesome that it does. Such a celebration of life! The little man in my belly is definitely celebrating his amazing daddy-o.

34 weeks

Celebrating and growing, huh? I feel like I’m getting bigger by the day! Time is definitely ticking and April 30th is drawing near veeeery quickly. Alright, the details and then let’s have a [clean] diaper discussion!

Baby Itz: 34 Weeks

Baby’s size? Cantaloupe. (No wonder I feel/look big!)

Maternity clothes? Love ‘em. I’m seriously not giving them up post-baby.

Stretch marks? Nope.

Sleep: Ehhh, I’m up a lot throughout the night either going pee or tossing and turning. I still have really good energy throughout the day though, so I’m not complaining.

Best moment this week: So many. Life is wonderful right now. I feel so blessed and Jonny’s post yesterday just made me incredibly proud of Baby Itz’s father.

Miss anything? Raw cookie dough still. If you follow me on Pinterest you probably know that as I’ve pinned several edible eggless cookie dough recipes.

Movement: Yes! Sometimes he really jabs me!

Food Cravings: No cravings, but really hungry all the time. I thought at some point Baby Itz will take up more room in my stomach so I get full faster? That doesn’t seem to be the case.for me. I eat. A LOT.

Anything making you queasy or sick? No.

Gender: BOY BOY BOY!!!!

Labor Signs: Doctor confirmed I am having Braxton Hick contractions. No big deal and totally normal.

Symptoms: I am feeling pretty big and I know the next month and a half I’ll continue to grow. I’ve also been pretty warm lately. Makes sense since I’m an oven for Baby Itz!

Belly Button – in or out?  Not a full outtie, but itz definitely showing through my tight shirts! <– true again!

Wedding Rings – on or off? On!

Happy or Moody? Happy!

Looking Forward To: In one week is my next doctor appointment and we get to have an ultrasound!  Absolutely cannot wait to see Baby Itz!!!

*************

Diaper Discussion – Let the poop talk begin! Just kidding. We’ll wait for lil man to arrive before that starts. I want to discuss two topics in particular here. The first being cloth vs. disposable diapers as I’ve gotten several questions on this. The answer? We’re going disposable. In a perfect world, I would say cloth. I like the idea behind them. I like that they’re supposedly better for babies and definitely better for the environment. However, I am also practical and cloth diapers will not be practical for us. After the summer, I’ll have to go back to work, and frankly, disposable diapers are more convenient. That’s that. Of course, itz not set in stone and my mind could be changed, but for now that’s our plan.

Second diaper discussion topic: How will Jonny change a diaper one-handed?  This is something we’ve been thinking about for awhile. We’ve discussed a lot and tried to come up with some techniques. We’ve scoured the internet, but surprisingly there’s very little on there. Most of the information is about people who have some use of their second hand which is not the case with Jonny. Upon the recommendation of a wonderful nurse who is teaching us in our baby class, we scheduled a session through our insurance with an Occupational Therapist. We had our first appointment last week.

jonny diaper

Unfortunately, it was kind of a let down. The OT didn’t really have any strategies for Jonny and told us it would mostly be a process of trial and error, which we knew already. We weren’t totally surprised as Jonny’s situation is pretty rare.  Does this worry us? No. Like everything else, Jonny will figure out a way, and eventually we will make our own videos and tutorials!  As you can see from the above picture, Jonny uses his mouth for a lot of things to compensate for his left hand.  In this practice scenario, he used his head to help turn the baby doll; we laughed when I asked him how soon he thinks it will be before Baby Itz pees in his face?

We did learn that diapers with velcro will probably be easier than the kind with the sticky tabs. That way Jonny can redo it in order to make it tight enough without ripping the diaper. Besides that, itz kind of hard to practice on the baby dolls because they obviously don’t move. That won’t be the case with the real Baby Itz!

One more quick baby bump picture:

34 weeks pregnant

What tips do you have for Jonny learning how to change a diaper one-handed? Cloth or disposable diapers?