Friday, January 30, 2015

Five On Friday: Baby Registry Edition

Disclaimer: I want to apologize that this blog post may not be something that everyone can respond to. However, it's an important post to me because I have hopes that I can get some feedback about our baby registry and the best products for Kensington. 

I am starting to feel the financial differences that come along with a bundle of joy. Each pay period, my husband and I have been buying an essential item for Kensington in order to space out spending tons of money at the store. These essentials are things that, in our opinion, are not 'gift' items to receive at a shower. For example, we already purchased the crib. I doubt anyone would've purchased one for us, right? Same goes for a changing table/dresser, etc!

Anyways, I have finalized the last couple of essentials that we'll be buying for Kensington. I think we're going to try and purchase all of these items in February and then plan on receiving the other items as gifts. That's my hope anyways! 

All of that being said, today's blog post is not about the things that we intend to purchase. That would be boring. Instead, today's blog post is about the items that are on our baby registry and I want your feedback as to whether or not we should switch things up. Are these good brands? Do you suggest something different? We only want the best for mini me!

ONE.
My questions are...
Is there a safer/better brand out there?
Does this one seem fairly efficient to get your child in and out of?
Is it comfortable for that growing body of theirs?
Should we add two to our registry, or will one suffice?
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TWO.
My questions are...
Does this bassinet work well for infants to sleep beside the bed?
Would the mini Co-Sleeper be better, or is it too small?
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THREE.
My questions are...
Is this highchair fairly sturdy?
Does your child sit fairly comfortably in it?
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FOUR.
My questions are...
Is this something that you recommend?
Is there a better brand that you've heard of?
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FIVE.
Fun things!
I created a Pinterest board of all the fun things that I'd like for Kensington. You can see the board here. Is there anything else that you think I should add? I am ALL about monogrammed or personalized gifts. They are my absolute favorite. I would love y'alls feedback about the best personalized gifts. 

Today I am linking up with hosts for Five On Friday!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

What I've Learned In The First Half Of Pregnancy (Weeks 1-20)

Sleep deprivation starts before baby arrives. The lack of sleep does NOT start once you push baby out of your body. It starts far before that. I have always been a tummy sleeper, but that just ain't happening anymore. I can never seem to get comfortable in bed. Plus, tossing and turning isn't a quick process anymore. It takes a good minute for me to turn from one side to the other without inducing round ligament pain. All that being said, I still wake up every day grateful. This momma doesn't need sleep to be happy.
Swollen ankles are bound to happen. I made the mistake of not drinking enough water one day, and BAM... swollen ankles like crazy. I have a desk job and my doctor said the lack of water combined with sitting all day is really bad for the fluid retention in my body. Therefore, I am supposed to get up and walk around every 30-45 mins throughout my day, and then in the evening time, I am supposed to prop my feetsies up. This has helped big time!

You don't have to see where you're shaving to get the job done. My belly is large and in charge. When I'm in the shower shaving, I can't guarantee that I'm getting every single spot (since I can't exactly see what I'm doing all that well), but at least I get the majority of it.

People are going to say things without thinking. Do you know how many people have basically called me fat so far? I am so tired of people saying, "you're awfully big for being [enter number here] weeks". Clearly, they don't realize how offensive that is. I take it all with a grain of salt and just remember that me and my baby are equally healthy (per doctors), so who cares what other people say without thinking first. I AM GROWING A MINIATURE HUMAN BEING.
And last but not least...

Two hearts inside my body is the biggest blessing that ever existed. I think whenever Kensington's heart was forming in my womb, mine also tripled in size. The amount of love I have for this baby is intense. Everyone always says that I need to just wait until she's in my arms (and I totally believe y'all), but just trust me when I say that I love her SO much already. Words can't really explain how much of my heart she consumes. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

It Would Be Nice

It would be nice if ... this dress (size medium) magically arrived at my doorstep. I can totally see myself wearing this to our baby shower in April. I am the type of mom who would rather spend my husband's hard earned money on stuff for Kensington rather than for myself... but I am oohing and ahhing over this little number. 
It would be nice if ... the weather was always 75 degrees and sunshiny. This weekend and the past couple of days have just been glorious. Poor northern states are worrying about a terrible blizzard while we're here in the south thinking, "is it too early to sun bathe?"

It would be nice if ... girl scout cookies would stop being sold. Don't get me wrong - I am a major fan of thin mints, tagalongs, and samoas... but a girl is trying not to gain 100 lbs while preggo.
It would be nice if ... this weekend would hurry up and arrive. I get to (finally) meet sweet little Raedyn. My college girlfriend, Tiffany, had Raedyn a couple months ago, but being the baby hog that I am, I wanted to wait until we could go visit them when it was just us. That way I can hold the bebe as long as I want. Although I'm a proud preggo, I still need my baby fix every now and again! 

It would be nice if ... I could find the perfect Mexican rice recipe. I've been searching Pinterest up and down for the perfect rice recipe but I can't seem to find one. Any suggestions???

It would be nice if ... my husband and I didn't owe taxes to the IRS. You read that right. We did our taxes this weekend and learned that we sadly owe a large chunk of change to the IRS this year. Oh, and it burns!
It would be nice if ... my gosh darn diploma arrived already. As y'all already know, I graduated with my M.A. degree in December but my diploma hasn't arrived yet. I still have looming thoughts of homework, so I know that once I get the diploma in my hands, I will feel like I'm truly dunzo!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pregnancy: Week 21

How far along: 21 proud weeks!

Baby Size: 10.5 inches long.
 
Sleep: The naps on weekends do help with getting a decent amount of sleep, but my sleep during the night continues to be interrupted by either a) uncomfortableness or b) bathroom breaks. 
 
Gender: A little lady! 

Movement: My mini me has been moving quite a bit. Sometimes throughout my day if I feel like I haven't felt her move enough, I will eat something sweet and there she goes - kicking away! I am excited for the day when daddy can feel her moving.

Best moment this week: Although I still feel larger than I've felt ever before, I have finally decided that, "Wow... I actually look good pregnant." Gaining the pounds from baby has been something I've had to get used to, but I finally have some confidence back. I look at these pictures (above) and see a big ole belly and just have to smile. My precious little girl is growing inside my womb - that's a miracle. 
 
Looking forward to: I have another doctor appointment on Friday and I'm really excited. Granted, we probably won't have an ultrasound - we'll just listen to her heartbeat - but it's still the best ever. I sooo enjoy doctor appointments these days!

Food cravings: Nothing new really, except I have been wanting a chicken caesar wrap almost every day for lunch. There's a new salad bar in town that makes really good ones, but they're also expensive! 
 
What I miss: Not a dang thang. 
 
Symptoms: Not a whole lot this week. Mainly just achy joints! 
 
Nursery: Kensie Grace's room is start to slowly, but surely, come together. I am anticipating it being completely finished by April. That's my goal anyways. The main reason it probably won't be done before then is simply because we're trying to space out when we purchase items (i.e. changing table, etc).

Wedding rings on or off? They're on, but getting snug first thing in the morning. 

Daddy-isms: As of lately, my husband has been referring to me as "y'all". It's the cutest thing ever. It's not just me anymore; it's us. He will say things like, "love y'all" - meaning both Kensington and I.

Prayer: My God, thank you for this baby girl. When I feel her kicking inside my womb, I immediately think, "God is good." Even as I write this, I am overcome with thankfulness as she wiggles. I know that each day is a gift from You. Thank you for getting us to this point, God. I continue to pray that she will grow big and strong in Your name. I pray that my girl knows how loved she is. Thank you, God! Amen.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Struggle Is Real

It's so crazy how fertility struggles can completely alter who you are. 

Here lately, I have been reading a lot on social media about women either a) complaining about being pregnant, or b) taking it for granted how easily it came to them. It just kills me. I thought that once I was pregnant myself I could learn to cut those women some slack... but I just can't. The struggle is real, and I firmly believe that those who have experienced any ounce of fertility issues (generally speaking) have a much deeper appreciation than those who have not.

I have no idea if I'm alone or if others feel the same way, but each day that I wake up and feel my baby kick, I count my blessings. I mean... wow... this child is honestly a miracle. I am not promised another day.
Which is why I am going all out for my baby girl. The crib is already put together, her monogram decor has been hung, and my girl's closest is already full of goodies. I am soaking up every.single.moment of this pregnancy. Let's be honest - I think about KG about 23 out of 24 hours in the day. When I think about her or feel her kicking, I see God's love for me over and over again.
I know that there are plenty of women in this world who are currently struggling with fertility issues. Some ladies even keep it to themselves, perhaps out of fear of judgement or any other reason. For those ladies, I want to encourage you! Do not lose hope (that's exactly what the devil wants)! Remember that God put a desire inside your heart to become a mommy for a reason. He is a God of love and mercy and will fulfill that desire in due time. It may hurt now, but the joy that is to come is powerful and will consume your heart. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pregnancy: Week 20

How far along: 20 weeks! Can you believe that my belly is going to continue growing for another 20 more weeks? I am gonna be huge! But I am totally okay with that as long as Kensington is healthy. Now that the weather seems to be cooperating a tiny bit better, I can't wait to get out and walk more. Currently our treadmill is taken apart in the garage. It was in K's room, but we moved everything from her room into the garage so we can set up the nursery!

Baby Size: About 10 inches (from head to toe); the size of a banana :)
 
Sleep: I slept like a queen on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night... but now my sleeping is back to tossing and turning. When I do actually sleep, my dreams are wild. They are super crazy dreams that are totally outlandish. 
 
Gender: Mini me :) 

Movement: Kensie Grace has been moving like crazy inside my belly. I've noticed that she mostly kicks downward (toward my bladder; thanks K), but tiny kicks are also on the outside towards my belly. I can't wait until hubby can feel her kicking!

Best moment this week: Reaching the halfway mark has been a huge accomplishment. I feel immensely blessed by God. He is so powerful! 
 
Looking forward to: We're having our 20 week ultrasound today. They're doing the full anatomy scan, which is super exciting. They will measure all of K's parts and make sure she's growing like she should. Based upon where my uterus is (I can feel it), I'm thinking things are going okay in there. 

Food cravings: Sour patch kids... still. Ha.
 
What I miss: I miss weighing a normal weight. That's the only thing. But who cares what the scale says? As long as my bebe is healthy, it'll be okay. Once she's here, I will kick myself into shape!
 
Symptoms: Achy joints and sleep deprivation. 
 
Nursery: OMG happy news. We bought our crib yesterday. I am sooo excited especially after the mess that we went through with ordering one online, and then having to cancel the order. Read here if you're curious. 

Wedding rings on or off? They are still on.

Daddy-isms: We were walking through the baby section at Target and my hubby said, "Oh yea... I forgot that we were in that stage of life." It was just so funny of him. Our live has surely changed, and it will continue to change, but oh man... I wouldn't have it any other way!

What I'm looking forward to: I'm looking forward to many things. 1) continuing to bake a healthy babe, 2) baby girl kicking so that daddy can feel her, and 3) starting to set up her nursery this weekend!!!!!!!

Prayer: My God, I love you so much. I am reminded every.single.day of your powerful love because of this sweet child inside my belly. I am also thankful that so many of our friends and family have been sending prayers up for Kensington too. Our small group at church has been a huge blessing, and I pray that you'll bless each of them much like you've blessed Ross and I. Thank you for putting this child inside my womb! I pray that you will form her perfectly in every way possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Crockpot Chicken Tacos (only 3-Ingredients!)

I dunno what I did before Pinterest. I mean really. How did I know what to cook??? Okay, so I may be over exaggerating, but Pinterest has definitely made my life easier. I found this recipe and it looked so yummy that I had to try it for myself. 
  • 1/2 an envelope of taco seasoning
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
  • 3/4 of a 16oz jar of Salsa
Making this recipe is super simple. Just put all of the ingredients in your crock pot, ensuring that you get some salsa on bottom and top of the chicken, then cook on high for 4 hours.
But seriously... it was so good. I added avocado, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese to mine. I am totally craving some more already. The recipe was also a hit with my hubby. So if you're lookin for quick and easy, then you have found the perfect recipe. Next time, I am going to add black beans to my taco. MMM!

Monday, January 12, 2015

15 in 15

Don't judge me for just now writing a post about 2015 and my expectations for the year. It just now dawned on me that I should share. I didn't make any resolutions for the year, per say; rather I just have some goals. Here are my 15 goals in 2015:
1. List our house for sell. Yep, you read that right. We are going to list our house for sell very soon in 2015. However, that doesn't necessarily mean it will sell. We have a certain price that we want, and since we're not desperate to move, we may not take it. Plus, I honestly believe that this is another God thing. We're simply putting our house on the market to make the first move. If God wants us to stay put, then that's exactly what we're going to do! 

2. Once Kensington has made her sweet arrival, I want to get back down to my pre-pregnancy & pre-IVF weight. This will be tough, but I have to do it. I feel large and in charge - and I'm just not quite used to it. From the beginning of IVF until we knew we were pregnant, I had gained 10 pounds. Stupid hormone injections. I do not mind the belly weight that I've gained; it's to be expected. But I've also gained weight in my thighs and legs. 

3. Do a weekly SOAP. I used to do these weekly with our small group, but we had changed things up slightly in the group (i.e. read Christian books), which meant that I totally slacked on doing them. Beginning this year, the group plans to get back into SOAP and I'm really excited about it.

4. Complete Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. Every year, I say that I'm gonna do this... but I am gonna seriously try to in 2015! 

5. Complete Kensington's nursery. This may be tough since there's the possibility that we may be moving sometime this year, but I am bound and determined to get her room 100% complete either before she's here or shortly thereafter.

6. Start Alphabet Dating again! It looks like hubby and I are on the letter E for our next date. Any suggestions for fun E dates?

7. Promote my blog more. I want to continue growing Texas Mrs. and I feel the best way to go about that is by advertising. My goal is to advertise my button on other women's blogs - one new blog per month.

8. Learn how to sew. I got a sewing machine for Christmas and I am just so excited to learn how to use it. I have already found some great tips on Pinterest, but if you have tips for beginners, let me know!

9. Attend either a church, marriage, or blogger conference. I attended the women's conference at our church last year, and it was phenomenal! I really want to go again, but because it costs a pretty penny, I am trying to decide if that's the one I'll attend this year, or if I'll attend a different type of non-work related conference. 

10. Recreate at least 5 DIY projects or recipes from Pinterest. I just lurve Pinterest and I've been using it more and more lately. As I write this, I am making one of the recipes on my "foodies" board. I am hoping to do more than 5 in 2015, but I figure this is a good starting point.

11. Drink more water. I know all goals should be measurable, but my goal is just to put water as a priority (especially during pregnancy) so that I'm drinking more of it. In my typical day, I usually have some decaf coffee, a caffeine-free soda, milk, and water. I want to simply drink more water! 

12. Play the Texas lotto. This is really silly of me, but I don't even really know how to play the lottery. I think in 2015, it would  be neato to play at least once. 

13. Try at least 3 new brunch places in Austin. I am such a foodie, and brunch is my most favorite meal ever! True story. I want to expand from my favorite places (i.e. Moonshine, Jack Allens, &  Iron Cactuc) and try other yummo places.

14. Check off at least 3 more items on my 30 before 30 list. After all, I will be 28 this year, so I should probably get to movin' on those items.

15. Have Kensington dedicated at our church once she's born. Our church does baby dedications a couple times throughout the year. It's super important to me that Kensington is a part of that this year. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Currently

THINKING - I am so stinking excited that 3 of my girlfriends are hosting a baby shower for me and Kensington in April. Bring on all things girly. Please and thank you.

FEELING - Don't even get me started on how frustrated I am. We ordered Kensington's crib and received a tacking number saying that it had been shipped. But then, we randomly got refunded the money. When I called them, they were like, "Oh yea, your crib is on back order and you should've never gotten a shipping confirmation." So basically they don't know when our crib will arrive - it's sold out everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. We cancelled the order and we'll try to find a different one we like. Obviously that crib wasn't meant to be.
WATCHING - Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I don't quite understand why Brandi threw a glass of perfectly good wine on Eileen. What the hail just happened? That Brandi chick - she is a hot mess.

LISTENING - Make Me Wanna by Thomas Rhett
READING - The Bachelor spoilers. Yes, I already know who wins. But in my opinion, it's that much more fun to watch whenever I know who wins! My favorites are Whitney, Carly, and Becca. P.S. for those who watched on Monday, did you see the crazy girl in the sparkly silver dress? Homegirl was on crack or something. A little too wacko for me. P.S. Who I like has nothing to do with the spoilers!
WEARING - I've been wearing some new leopard flats that I purchased for Payless. I got them in a size 8 1/2, which is entirely too big for me... but my poor feet have had the circulation cut off in my size 8 flats due to my growing body. Now I am at a weird in between size. #firstworldprobz

NEEDING - I sincerely need Kendra Scott to have a 'free shipping' offer on her website soon. Hubby gave me a KS gift card for Christmas and I am dying to use it. But, I refuse to use it online unless there's free shipping with no minimum purchase. I guess I'll just have to make a trip to South Austin and go in store. But, for my Austin friends - have you heard that she's going to have a store at the Domain? I am quite ecstatic.

LOVING - I have been pleased as punch over the past couple of days when I realized (yet again) that, "oh yea - I graduated." No more school. I am loving that so much. It's really not even funny how happy I am about being done. Praise Jesus!
ANTICIPATING - I am quite excited because Ross and I bought movie tickets to see American Sniper next weekend (yay) and then Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine's weekend (super yay)! One thing that I quite enjoy is a good movie with my hubby.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pregnancy: Week 18

How far along: 18 weeks & 1 day

Baby Size: About 5 & half inches; the size of a sweet potato
 
Sleep: My sleep continues to suck, except about 30 minutes before I am supposed to wake up. Somehow the sound of my alarm automatically makes me more tired. 
 
Gender: It's a girl! 

Movement: Still feeling flutters. I just cannot wait to feel full blown kicks. 

Best moment this week: A few of the items that I ordered from Etsy arrived, so it's making it more and more real seeing all of her cute little outfits. 
 
Looking forward to: It will be a good day whenever we can actually have the crib in Kensington's nursery. Long story about that. Come back to my blog tomorrow for the details.

Food cravings: I was anything and everything sour. Lemonade and sour patch kids have been my jam.
 
What I miss: Like I said last time, I miss being skinnier. I just feel fat now. But it's one of many sacrifices that I will happily make for my baby girl.
 
Symptoms: Achy back and joints. And no, Tylenol does not help!
 
Nursery: We have her dresser set up, but that's about it. I can't wait to do more!

Wedding rings on or off? Still on.

Daddy-isms: My baby daddy showed me something that he wanted to buy for Kensington and it made me really happy. I love that he's excited about her too. 

What I'm looking forward to:  I am pretty excited about the full body scan, which will be on January 20th! I love seeing my baby girl inside my womb. Plus I want to make sure she is growing perfectly!

Prayer: Dear God, I wake up every morning just thinking about the miracles that you have performed in my life - Kensington is my favorite miracle. Thank you for guiding me along our fertility struggles for two years. Thank you for my story. Thank you for helping me see your bigger plan, although I could not see it previously. I pray that you'll help me to use my story to encourage other women who have also struggled with fertility. Thank you for my miracle baby.

I Love Link Ups

My poor brain hasn't totally recovered from the two week vacation that I was just on. Is it just me? I feel bad for my lil ole blog. I have all the time in the world since I'm no longer in school (praise Jesus!), but I can't think of anything witty to write about. All that I think about is Kensington and my lil ole family. I know ya'll would be bored out of your minds if that's all I wrote about.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is: I love link ups. They give me a purpose on the days that I don't know what else to write about. Alas, here I am today... linking up with two of my favie people: Mia and Kelli for my December favorites. 
Fitbit Flex - I got a Fitbit for Christmas and I have loved being able to track my movement and steps. I kept my goal steps at 10,000 per day, which is the default setting, but I have only hit that goal once since wearing it. I need to be walking more! So glad I have it to track my movement.

Sons of Anarchy TV Show - I have been an avid SOA watcher for years. The series finale was in December and I was really sad to see it go. However, I felt like it ended well. It gave closure, which I think is important in a good TV show!

Bump Nest Pregnancy Pillow - One of the best $100 I've ever spent was on this bad boy. I think that even non-preggos should order one. It's the worlds most comfy pillow. I am in major favor. I will try to write a full blog post very soon describing it in more detail. 

L'OrĂ©al True Match Foundation - Although this foundation as been around for quite some time, I only began using it in December. I bought the lightest shade (now that I'm not self tanning) and just mix it in with my other favorite foundations. It makes the most perfect base for my makeup. 

Starbucks Decaf Peppermint Mocha - This drink just shouts, "hey, it's winter time!" So I think that's mainly why I like it. I drank this treat at least 5 different times throughout December and it made me happy. It's supposed to get really cold here on Thursday, so I may be getting one more then.

Monday, January 5, 2015

DIY: Glitter Monogram Frame

Ever since we found out that we were having Kensington Grace (a she instead of a he), I have been buying and making all things for a precious little girl. When I came across this pin, I was like, "I want it now... give it to me." However, I was not about to spend $50 on it. I would probably spend $50 on a monogrammed outfit before I would spend that kinda money on a decoration.

So, off to Hob Lob I went. Here's what you'll need to recreate the look:
* Paint brushes (foam)
* Mod Podge
* Lace fabric
* Bows or accents to add to frame
* Paint (I used gold & turquoise)
* Glitter
* Wooden letter of your choice 
* Frame
* Hot glue gun (not pictured)

The first thing that I did was paint the frame and the wooden letter.


As you can tell on the frame, I was pretty light with my hand. I wanted a little more of a rustic feel to it. Luckily, since the frame was unfinished wood, the look was really easy to achieve.

After the paint dried on the wooden letter, I mixed mod podge and glitter together. I used the mixture to paint the letter. I decided to add some more glitter on top for the heck of it.


Next, it was time to create the lace-y backdrop. I gathered my lace fabric, scissors, stapler, and the cardboard backing of the frame.

I measured the amount of lace that I would need and cut that amount to use. Then, I just stapled the lace fabric to the cardboard backing.


The final result looked like this:


Once that was created, I put the cardboard backing into the frame. Since you previous disassembled the frame and its pieces, be sure that your glass is already in the frame (before you put in the cardboard backing).


After you've assembled the frame back together, simply hot glue the accents and wooden letter in your preferred placement. I centered my letter onto the glass, and put the accent flowers on the top left of the frame.

The entire project cost me around $25; half the price as the one I found online. I would say that it was money well spent. I think this would be a cute gift idea for someone - maybe like an engagement gift. Also, these are going to be Kensington's nursery colors: turquoise, coral, gold, and white! I am really happy with the outcome. Happy crafting!