Let Them Eat Cake

Sunday afternoon, the JA’s extended family and my immediate family gathered together to celebrate.

Baby A+ Shower 1 - banner

Part one: baby shower. Games were played, laughs were had, and presents were opened. Oh, and cake was eaten. So. much. cake.

Baby A+ Shower 1 - cake

Why so much cake?

Well, it was also Mommy Janks’s birthday. And while we had everyone together, we celebrated the birthdays of JA’s grandmother’s birthday and Jeff, whose birthdays were yesterday.

Baby A+ Shower 1 - birthday

Did I mention that the favors were cupcakes, too?

Don’t get me wrong – I loved every minute of it! In other news, how are we already at 32 weeks?! (Photo was taken Sunday, pre-shower, at 31 week 5 days.) Things are starting to get real – one of our friends delivered at about 36 weeks and that’s not too far away! We’re SO not prepared yet. However, the JA assures me that everything will be okay, no matter what happens. I sure hope he’s right!

Bump 31 weeks

Favorite/least favorite shower game? For bridal showers, I’m not a big fan of the toilet paper dress game. For baby showers, my hands-down least favorite is the guess the poopy diaper game. Gross.

Running While Pregnant: 2nd Trimester

Please note that the following post is my personal experience with running during pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. I suggest consulting your doctor before beginning or continuing an exercise routine while pregnant.

My second trimester proved to be the best for me in terms of running. I don’t know if it was the weather, my energy level, or the fact that I cut back on barre and my legs were feeling good, but things just clicked.

If you remember, my first trimester had me completing a half marathon and then taking some time to let my body recover. (To read a full recap of my running routine during that first trimester, click here.) I started jogging with Watson and found that with my slower pace, he had become a great running buddy. We generally completed a 2ish mile route with intervals of running and walking. Some days were better, some were worse, but we stuck to our routine and relished our longer morning workouts.

Then the second trimester began. I/we got quicker. We were back in the 10-minute mile club, and it felt good. The bump continued to grow, and the weather stayed surprisingly cool for a Baltimore summer. The first few times I thought the time was a fluke, but after a some consecutive 10-min/mile runs, I was sold.

10min mile 2nd trimester

The times and the running continued right until the end of my 26th week. While the competitive side of me wished to maintain this great accomplishment and keep running through my third trimester, I also knew that the dark fall mornings were quickly approaching and that running with both an increasingly bigger belly and a sometimes finicky dog may not prove to be the best idea.

running belly and W

Stay tuned for the next update: third trimester!

Getting Into A Groove

All the warnings in the world couldn’t have prepared me for how much my world would change after both finding out I was pregnant and then starting a new job.

Both have their challenges and their triumphs, and I think I’m finally finding a good rhythm. With a little over two months to go until Baby A+ is due, I know it will be short-lived. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying this ‘quiet time.’

baby bump purple

So, since we haven’t really spoken in a few weeks, where do I begin after such a long absence? I guess this past weekend is as good any another point.

We took our babymoon to New York, kicking off a month filled with baby activities. Without gushing too much, it was glorious. Even with a bit of rain, we balanced hanging out with friends, trying new eateries, a museum visit, a Broadway show and even managed to squeeze in a walk through Central Park.

NYC JAs

In somewhat related news, I can’t believe I’m in my third trimester. Hitting 31 weeks tomorrow is making the impending arrival of our little girl more of a reality than some abstract idea. Delivery is still a big, scary unknown for me, but I’m doing my best to manage my thoughts and ideas by educating myself just enough to kind of know what to expect without being overwhelmed. Truth: some days are better than others.

I’m still exercising, although not to the extent that I was in the beginning of my pregnancy. With the mornings being darker, I’m taking the time to alternate sleeping in with some light strength training. Watson and I are making our morning rounds, as it’s good for me to start my morning outside. Getting my endorphins up and enjoying the sunrise make even the groggiest morning better.

morning sunrise

Work is good, but we’ve got a busy few weeks ahead of us. Adding this to what’s going on in my personal life has resulted in a few instances of stress/anxiety-induced tears, but in our two years of marriage (and especially the past few months) he’s become an expert in managing my emotional surges.

I think that hits all the major points of what’s been happening over here. I’m hoping to have posts with a bit more detail regarding the pregnancy, books I’ve been reading, and other fun things, but for now, let’s consider ourselves all caught up.

What’s been happening with you? Any exciting news I should know? Spill! I’ve missed all of you.

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

New Beginnings

[taps the mic] Hello? Hello? is this thing on?

A little over a month ago, I started a new job. It was scary, exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and exciting all at once. You see, my employer didn’t know I was pregnant before extended the offer. (Which will be another post on another day, but certainly something that added to my stress level and anxiety about the change.)

It’s everything I hoped it would be and more. I’m working with three different entities in a university setting. My co-workers have been extremely welcoming and incredibly kind. My supervisors have all been open and receptive to both my news and ideas. In addition to all that, the work is exactly what I liked most about my previous position and seems like it could provide more flexibility to me in the future.

Yet, new beginnings are hard. I miss my old co-workers. I miss my 10-minute commute. I miss having my husband on the same campus. However, I also know that this was the right decision. Not just for me and my sanity, but for our family as a whole.

we dont look back.disney

I’m not the only one starting anew this fall. My absolute favorite barre teacher, Rachel, has returned to the classroom. I attended her last class and to say it was bittersweet would be an understatement. Once we bought our house, I began traveling 20 minutes to the gym twice a week so I could continue to take her class. She gave me the push and confidence I needed to substitute teach for her on occasion. She reawakened my love for barre and ballet in general. She also became a friend.

We gathered together a few weeks ago to toast to our new beginnings. While we both know it’s not a goodbye – more of an ‘I’ll see you later’ – it doesn’t make the transition any easier. We spoke of how we know each of our decisions is right for us at this time, the anxiety that comes with starting something new, the change this has and will bring to our families. We also spoke of our excitement, our passion, and how our new journeys will fill a void that we didn’t realize we had until now.

It was wonderful.

Since then, things have only gotten better. I’ve enjoyed the lingering days of summer and, as usual am anxiously awaiting the start of fall. The JA and I feel like we’re in a really good place (and I’m probably jinxing myself by saying that), Baby A+ is doing well, and Watson’s still up to his normal shenanigans.

But Ma, you left that whole roll of hot dog buns just sitting on the counter...they were begging to be eaten!

But Ma, you left that whole roll of hot dog buns just sitting on the counter…they were begging to be eaten!

I’ve missed this space, but working on websites/social media all day does isn’t exactly inspiring me to come home and get back on my computer right now. I thank you for being patient, and promise to be back soon.

xoxo,

J.

The Sh!t No One Tells You: A Guide to Surviving Your Baby’s First Year

For generally being a Type A person, I’m not doing a lot of reading regarding my pregnancy. [Googling, on the other hand, is another story.]

I was looking through Amazon and this book came up as suggested reading. I figured that after many a conversation with female friends and co-workers regarding pregnancy and childbirth, I was adequately prepared for what lay ahead.  But before we get to my thoughts, let’s get some background on the book.

 

Sh-t No One Tells You

Summary (from Goodreads):
There comes a time in every new mother’s life when she finds herself staring at her screaming, smelly “bundle of joy” and wishing someone had told her that her house would reek of vomit, or that she shouldn’t buy the cute onesies with a thousand impossible buttons, or that she might cry more than the baby.

Best-selling humor author Dawn Dais, mother to a one-year-old and author of The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women, is convinced that there is a reason for this lack of preparedness. She believes that a vast conspiracy exists to hide the horrific truth about parenting from doe-eyed expectant mothers who might otherwise abandon their babies in hospitals and run for it. In The Sh!t No One Tells You, Dais tells it like it is, revealing what it’s really like to be a new parent and providing helpful insights, humor, and hope for those who feel overwhelmed by the exhausting trials they’re suddenly facing. Eschewing the adorableness that oozes out of other parenting books, Dais offers real advice from real moms—along with hilarious anecdotes, clever tips, and the genuine encouragement every mom needs in order to survive the first year of parenthood.

My Thoughts:
LOVED IT. I thought I had a pretty good handle (or at least a small understanding) of all things motherhood related (ha!), but this book proved me wrong. It was funny, yet informative  – often leaving me in giggles as I relayed pertinent information to the JA. From what to take home from the hospital (everything that’s not nailed down, apparently) to how to deal with postpartum depression, this book showcases a woman’s first year of motherhood via the lives of ‘seasoned vets.’ I have a feeling I’ll be re-reading it again closer to my due date and possibly even referring to it once Baby A+ is born.

Rating: 5 of out 5

Hey, you. Yes, you! If you liked this review, check out my thoughts on other books by visiting my Reviews page. Want to see what I’m reading next? Let’s be friends on Goodreads!

First Trimester Recap

I know I said this isn’t going to turn into a baby-centric blog, but I did want to let you know what’s been happening during those first few weeks after I announced my pregnancy.

preg header blog.jpg

First Trimester Recap

The Good Stuff
Running my first half marathon
Carbohydrates – specifically cookies, bread, and pasta
Naps
Crabs and shrimp
Seeing the baby for the first time
Hearing the baby’s heartbeat
Sharing the news with our immediate family and close friends

The Not-So-Good Stuff
Other fish/fishy smells
Periodic nausea (but not anything too bad)
Fatigue
Scaling back on intensity/frequency of workouts
HORMONES

The biggest issue for me was learning the limits of my hormone-ridden, pregnant self. If you recall, I ran my first half marathon just before week 9 of my pregnancy. I was burned out from running (or so I originally thought) and didn’t push myself as much as I know I could have. Upon confirming my pregnancy, I also started scaling back during some of my other workouts. I was unsure of how frequent/intense my workouts could be. It was hard knowing that I probably could have pushed myself harder and further, but wanting to protect my (very small) child. Things have gotten better since then, but I definitely had a moment or two where the JA had to talk me through a particularly rough patch while I sat crying and saying, ‘But I could do all this fine before!’

In regard to diet, my doctor has the ‘everything in moderation’ mentality. One of my first questions about food, being from Baltimore, was, “Can I have crabs this summer?” He answered, “Yes” and I was one happy lady. Ice cream has become a regular staple in our grocery cart in addition to gummy bears. I’ve scaled back on other proteins like chicken and fish, but have enjoyed baked ham, shrimp, and tuna here and there. While I do want to do what’s best for my baby, I know that making myself happy will produce a happy child. So if I want an small decaf iced coffee in the morning, I get one.

One question I get asked from non-pregnant friends is about booze. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t miss it. However, the urge to drink simply isn’t there anymore. I do miss champagne, but have used sparkling water to get my carbonation fix. Crabs aren’t the same without a nice cold brew, but I know that this period will only last a short time. Additionally, since my doctor is in the ‘everything in moderation’ camp, he has said that a glass of wine here and there wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I don’t trust my heavy-handed self to pour a correctly portioned glass. If I am to have a glass, it will be with dinner at a restaurant.

I think that’s it. We’re just passed the halfway point (ridiculousness), so let me know if you have any questions for the next recap!

For more information on this crazy journey, check out the Pregnancy page!

Pop Physique

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re well aware that barre is one of my all-time favorite group fitness classes. Being a former dancer, the moves came naturally to me and I reconnected with my inner child. All this without the pain of pointe shoes?! I’m so there.

So when I got the opportunity to attend a free class at Pop Physique Baltimore last week, I jumped at the chance.

pop physique logo

Let me tell you, they don’t call it ‘butt school’ for nothing. Although I’ve been taking barre classes at my gym on a regular basis, this was a bit more intense. This fast-paced, high repetition workout uses small movements to isolate various parts of the body to give you a total body workout within an hour. (Learn more details about the workout here.) Shaky legs are encouraged and the grippy socks are mandatory for a reason. The instructors were knowledgable, encouraging, and succinct – they aren’t there to mess around, they’re there to help you get the most of your workout. However, don’t get the impression that they are extremely disciplined or mean, in fact, just the opposite. They were more than excited to help me modify moves for my pregnancy, but also made sure that my form was on point (no pun intended).

belly at the barre

belly at the barre

While I don’t know if I’ll be back before the end of my pregnancy, the Baltimore shop does have a New Mom’s special so I’m hoping to see the team there in the new year.

TIU group at Pop Physique

Special thanks to Pop Physique Baltimore for opening their doors to the Baltimore Tone It Up crew! I paid a small fee to attend the class, and all thoughts and opinions on the experience are my own.