Friday, January 30, 2015

Week Thirty-Two... OR Thirty-Six!

Major Update: So, baby River gave her daddy and me a huge scare Wednesday! We had what was supposed to be our last ultra-sound, when we found out she was measuring FOUR WEEKS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE! Weighing in at a whopping six pounds already, they also told us that she is in position and is going to be very tall (thanks to the freakishly tall hubs on this one). However, my doctor tried to reassure me by telling me that ultrasounds are notorious for being off a pound or two, so who knows. On top of all of this, my blood pressure sky rocketed to 159/96. They then admitted me to the hospital to be monitored. I'm not going to lie, I was terrified. Not only for me, but for River as well. I thought I was pretty prepared for the whole hospital stay... turns out not so much. It's just scary when you're doctor tells you that you have to go in and everything is out of your hands. But I'm lucky, I only spent about two hours in there watching Supernatural and laughing with my amazing husband (seriously, this guy deserves a trophy for best husband/ dad), mom, and MamaB when it promptly went down and back to normal. I'm pretty sure this was just an abnormal incident from unnecessary stress that had been thrown my way and not something I really need to be worried about. Also, my doctor appointments will now be moved to every week instead of every two weeks, and I am supposed to be keeping a close eye on the BP when I can. Hopefully she'll be able to tell me more about what's going on with River and her due date when I go back next week since they were mainly just concerned this time with my BP.

How I'm Feeling: Good... a little bit freaked out that River maybe making her entrance early, because there's still *so* much to do, but I'm trying to stay calm! As long as she's healthy though, I'm good! I think the biggest things I need to do at this point is to go ahead and get our hospital bags ready, and stock up on some stuff here, but I was hoping I could at least hold off on the stocking up of diapers until *after* the baby shower.

My blood pressure has also been fluctuating since Wednesday, but I'm trying my best to keep it down and just relax. I think once I get the nursery completely finished, I may stop freaking out. Maybe.

Cravings: Burgers and Shakes!

Bottom Line: From my understanding RIGHT now, River can basically come at any time from now until the end of February to her due date in March (although it's highly unlikely that she will wait that long, or that my body will be able to carry her for that long if she continues to grow so fast... seriously, Momma can't cart a 14 pound baby, my bladder just couldn't handle it).

Most Coveted Baby Item of the Week:
Diapers. Wipes. And Baby Meds!

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Letter to Future River.


It's so bizarre to think of you as an actual "person" and not just some little, but adorable, munchkin growing inside of me. However, I know one day you're going to be some angsty, fourteen year old who carries the world on her shoulders (because let's face it, we all go through that). I also know that when that time comes around I may not be the "open-minded", hip mom that I hope to be. Because I'll be older and sometimes when you grow up you forget what it's like to be young and have everything be so new.

I hope that never happens. I hope that I will always be able to relate to you and that I will remember to sometimes give you a break when you mess up because being a teenager (mostly) sucks and it's hard. But just in case I don't, or just in case you think your parents are "like, the lamest people to ever walk the planet", there's a few things I want you to know before I get too old and forget them:

1. David Bowie, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, The Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, The Smiths, The Cure, REM, Pixies, and Smashing Pumpkins. Play them. They'll help you get you through all the craptastic days.

2. Read. Read everything and anything you can get your hands on. Question the world around you by opening up your mind to different worlds and ways of living by reading. Before you can even really become a teenager you have to read "The Outsiders" (it's like a right of passage for every kid out there to know that "nothing gold can stay"). Also, read plenty of John Green. Because he's amazing too. And "Perks of Being a Wallflower". Because Charlie is such an awesome book friend to have.

3. Remember that sometimes people leave. Sometimes they get taken away from us, and sometimes they walk out on their own, but at some point, someone you love will be gone. When that happens, breathe through the pain. Feel every inch of it, but don't let it consume you, even though it may feel like you will never be able to breathe right again. Take loss for what it is: something you can't change, but that you can learn from. Learn from every bad experience. Take something bad always and find the silver lining it, because I promise, there will be one, even if it's hidden deep. And if someone is taken from you, remember the love they had for you. Hold on to it and realize that as long as you have that, they're never really gone.

4. Never be afraid to be yourself. Never let anyone make you feel ashamed of loving something/ someone. You are amazing. You are wonderfully made. You are the greatest joy in my life no matter what. Don't try to fit in to make life easier, because you can't. At fourteen, no one fits in. We're all weird and goofy, and it's amazing because that just means we're all different and can learn from each other. Embrace being different.

5. This Article on Stand By Me.

6. Remember your namesakes: River Song, Tam, and Phoenix. The first two were (although fictional) amazingly strong women who could hold their own in life. Phoenix was amazingly creative and beautiful (but totally made bad decisions on drugs- don't do drugs).

7. Never put your dreams and goals before anyone. Explore everything. Fall in love often. Dream big- bigger than big. You can do anything, as long as you put the effort into it. Life is too short not to get out of it everything you could possibly want.

8. Never forget that I love you. I loved you from the moment I first found out that I was carrying you. You became my whole world instantly. I know I'm going to eventually screw up in the parenting department at some point, because we all do (I sincerely pray it's a little screw-up and not a big one). I know that I'm not going to be perfect at this. There will be (heartbreaking) days when you will probably think you hate me. Try to remember that your poor mom is simply blinded by this insane amount of love she has for you if I get too controlling. And I promise, I'll try really hard when the time comes to learn when to let you have a breather and to let you grow. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Week Thirty-One!

How I'm Feeling: Uncomfortable! Backaches + Pelvic Pain is terrible.

Nursery Update: The Nursery is coming along! Zack and I spent part of the weekend going through her clothes and hanging up what we could, the rest of it is just neatly stacked in her closet for now until we get all of her furniture in!

Baby Shower Update: I have a lot of sweet people asking me what we need. I've been incredibly lucky to have such a great family (who just happened to have all had babies in the past few years) that have already given me tons of stuff. So, here's just a quick run down of somethings that I can think of at the top of my head that we don't have and need;

Small Stuff:
*Baby Gates (2)
*Baby Towels and Washcloths
*Diapers (varying sizes)
*Any Johnson Baby Products (Soaps, Lotions, Etc)
*Burp Cloths
*Nursing Pads
*Medela Bottles
*Medela Breast Milk Storage Bag
*Baby Hangers
*Memory/ Baby Book
*Diaper Genie Refills
*Mattress Sheets (White, Pink, Gray)
*Car Window Shield
*Mattress Pads
*Pacifier clip holders
*Baby Medicines

Bigger Stuff:
*Rock N Play
*Nursing Cover(s)
*Baby Bath
*Diaper Genie
*Baby Monitor
*White Crib
*White Changing Table
*White Dresser

Cravings: The other night I woke up with a crazy insane craving for blackberry cobbler and a cold glass of milk... luckily my MamaB is awesome and took me to get some for lunch :)

Most Coveted Baby Item of the Week: A pedicure. Seriously, I can't do my own toes right now, and I would just love for someone to paint them cute and massage my swollen cankles! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Week 30! The Countdown is On!

How I'm Feeling: Great! I finally got over being sick and I am back to normal! I think I've been incredibly lucky during this pregnancy (not to jinx it), but so far it's been fairly good. I mean, I do have terrible leg cramps that wake me up in the middle of the night, I waddle now when I walk, and the back pain sucks, but it's really not bad enough for me to say I'm miserable. The only thing that really bothered me was the constant worry I felt over her during the first trimester, simply because it's such an iffy time. Now though I realize she's probably the safest she's ever going to be in her entire life, and even though I'm going to be over the moon when she gets here, I know a small part of me is going to be sad that I have to share her with the world when it's just been the two of us (and her daddy) for the past nine months. Which sounds really selfish, but I have a feeling other mommas out there know what I mean. But I still absolutely can't wait to see and hold her!

Latest Doctor Visit: This last visit was super quick and all we did was listen to the heartbeat (152) and measure my belly. When I go back in two weeks though, we get to do another ultrasound to just check on River's growth process! Needless to say, I'm super excited to get to see our little lady moving around again. Hopefully this time she'll actually let us see her face.

Daddy Talk: Last week Zack and I were having one of our many conversations about how we think River will turn out during her teenage years. I see her as being a quiet, beautiful, little nerdy girl with high career expectations and a love for traveling- think Rory Gilmore. Her daddy says he sees her as a metal loving-hipster/gothic-chick and that he intends to buy her her first pair of Tripp Pants. Truthfully, she'll probably be a mixture of the two, considering the embarrassing short-term all black gothic-ish phase I went through when I was younger. Hopefully, she'll have enough fashion sense to forgo the Tripp pants though.

#Blessed: So, this week I found out that not only does my insurance cover a FREE electronic breast pump, but it covers for the one I really wanted (the Medela Pump In Style Advanced)! Completely free, with no cost for me or hubs. To say that I was excited is putting it lightly. Who would have thought I would be getting excited about a breast pump, of all things?! But the truth is, my husband works super hard to pay for the great coverage we have and has sacrificed a lot of things he wanted (and sometimes needed) just so we could have great insurance. So, shout out to the hubster for being epic and awesome so I don't have to pump manually!

Nursery Update: Zack and I finally made a decision to stay put for at least another year in our current home. It just wasn't a good idea for us to attempt to move during my last trimester. We're hoping that we're going to be able to stay for the long term, as planned, but all that's going to depend on varying factors that we will deal with next year. In the meantime, Zack painted the trim in the nursery and did an awesome job of putting the new flooring in.

Excuse the craptastic quality of the photos.... my phone camera *may* or *may not* be broken because I threw it in a fit of hormonal pregnancy rage... at a wall.

 We still have some touch-ups to do and we have to put in the floor molding. But I love the wood we put down!

Baby Shower Update: Date is set and invitations are currently being put together! February 7th can't come fast enough. I'm so beyond blessed to have such a wonderful Mother-in-Law and my family that takes time out of their busy schedules to help plan for this!

Cravings: Fried Green Tomatoes (especially from Full Moon)! Plus Chocolate Pop-Tarts and Cold Milk.

Gifts for River this Week: River received a ton of stuff from my cousins out-of-state! Plenty of clothes, socks, bows, diapers, and even a bassinet! She's probably set for the first six months of her life now thanks to them, but I'm sure she'll be getting even more clothes during the shower!

Most Coveted Baby Item of the Week:
Not technically a "baby" item, but I would seriously kill for a pregnancy massage!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me #1
Genre: YA Dystopia
Format: Kindle
Publication: Harper Collins 2012
Cover Rating: 5/5 Stars
Links: GoodreadsAmazonB&NBook Depo

From Goodreads: Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

My Thoughts: AMAZING! Why did I not read this book sooner?! I have been missing out! Shame on my book friends for not biting my head off and forcing me to read this! Seriously though, Shatter Me was epically awesome and everything you could ever want out of a book. From the first page, I was instantly hooked. Tahereh Mafi has a beautiful way with words that just proves YA reading is not the guilty pleasure some people make out to be. The plot, the characters, the chemistry... it was all just so perfect! Not to mention one fantastic heroine that will stay with you even after the story has ended.

Bottom Line: Go out now and just buy the whole hard-cover box set because I can already tell it's going to be worth it!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 Reading Challenges

25 Books in 2015
I'm seriously hoping that I'm under estimating my reading power, but with a newborn on the way I'm just not sure how much time I'll have for reading. Normally, I read around 90 books a year, but I don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself since little River is on her way!

Book Riots Read Harder Challenge
Found Here.

1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25 "Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi

2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65

3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)

4. A book published by an indie press

5.A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ

6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own

7. A book that takes place in Asia

8. A book by an author from Africa

9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)

10. A microhistory

12. A sci-fi novel

13. A romance novel

14. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade

15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)"Masque of the Red Death" by Bethany Griffin

16. An audiobook

17. A collection of poetry

18. A book that someone else has recommended to you

19. A book that was originally published in another language

20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?)

21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)

22. A book published before 1850

23. A book published this year

24. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”) 

Series Review: The Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins

From Goodreads Sweet Evil Description: What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Thoughts: My first reaction upon finishing this series was that I just didn't get what all the hype was about. One of my favorite authors had raved about these books, so I went into reading them with pretty high expectations. They weren't terrible. I mean, they definitely held some appeal for me... but they didn't scream "book hang-over" quality.

I did enjoy the fact that there was a lot of Biblical references, and that the plot were pretty original (which we all know is kind of hard to find now days in the YA Paranormal 'verse). However that's about all I can say for my pros list. I just felt "meh" towards every book. 

One of the things that really bothered me was the pacing. The plot felt rushed, the characters chemistry felt a little forced, and in general it seemed like the author didn't give herself time to flush out their relationships, even though the whole series is suppose to take place in a two year time span. There's definitely a bout of insta-love all around, as well. 

Then we have the MC, Anna Whitt. I wanted to like Anna. Really, I did. But she grated on my everlasting nerve most of the time. She was just too much sometimes with her "good behavior" and personality. I felt like the author went over the top with her. 

Bottom Line: Again, these are all just my opinions, and I have friends who loved this series, but it wasn't for me. Would I recommend this series? Maybe as a last resort, but I would definitely suggest getting it from the library and saving your cash for something with a five star quality.

Overall Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy new year! While I've never been a huge fan of New Years Eve (and the usually lame festivities that it brings), I do have to say I enjoy New Years Day the most. For most of us, it's a time to write down all of those resolutions and changes that we want to make for 2015 to be our most amazing year yet... and of course, some of us have probably already broken those resolutions before noon today ;) Regardless, January 1st is always looked at as the first page of a new beginning in our lives, and for my family and I that is definitely going to be the case with baby River on the way.

2014 was an incredible year for me. I learned so much and grew as a person. My best-friend/ soul-mate and I stood before our friends and family and pledged to love each other, and be committed to each other, forever. We were so blessed during this time, because Zack's dad was there to witness this. I've never seen someone with so much strength to hang on so he could be there for those he loved. The day after our wedding, Zack and I spent the rest of the week with him before he passed on. It was by far, the hardest thing that I have ever done, and I'm sure my husband felt this way as well since his father was his best-friend. But I would never trade a single moment of that time we spent with him. I learned so much, not only about my father-in-law, but about my husband. Zack inherited the same strength and love that his own father possessed. I thought I knew everything about my husband up until that point, but he amazed me the way he took care of his dad in those last days. 

2014 also brought along the news that I was going to be a mom. By far, the most amazing thing to ever happen to me in my entire life. I've always felt unsure of everything in my life, but with the announcement of River I've never been more certain of anything. The most incredible sound I heard this year was the first time we heard her little heartbeat. On our first visit, we we're given two due dates: March 16th or March 24th. March 16th was my dad's birthday and March 24th will be one year since Zack's father passed away. She may not come on either of those days, but regardless she has definitely been gift to us already.

This year my resolutions are short and sweet:
1. Follow God's direction for my life by building a stronger relationship with Him.
2. Wake up every morning and decide to be the best mother and wife that I can be to my family. 

That's it. Because, I think if I can do those two things, the rest will just fall into place :)

Hope you all have an amazing year in 2015! 
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