Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Penguin Baby Shower Invitations

When trying to find the perfect design for my baby shower invitations, I turned to my go-to site for all things cute - Etsy.com. Since I love penguins, I searched for "penguin invitations" until I found a design that I felt fit me and John perfectly.

If you're unfamiliar with this iconic penguin, it's actually a take on Penguin Group, a popular publishing company. John has a huge collection of classic Penguin-published books and well, I love penguins, so I thought this design was perfect for us.

In keeping with the book theme, we also placed labels on the back of each invitation asking our guests to bring their favorite book to start Lil Bit's very own collection.

We're really excited to see what books our guests will bring. Reading is so important to us, and we've actually already started reading Harry Potter to our Lil Bit. We hope that hearing our voices now will help him recognize us when he's born :) We love the idea of having a huge collection of books for our son so we can read to him every night before he goes to bed.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Orla Kiely Diaper Bag

Julie got me the most amazing baby gift - an Orla Kiely diaper bag.

In case you didn't know, Orla Kiely is one of my absolute favorite brands. I love her retro yet modern designs and patterns. I have everything from purses to kitchen accessories in her signature prints.

Stem print in Amber

The diaper bag even includes a changing pad that you can fold away and tuck neatly inside one of the many compartments.

I love all the different zippers and pockets, which provide great storage for everything from bottles to diapers. 

I'm SO excited to have this diaper bag. I'll feel so stylish toting it around with Lil Bit, and it'll make a great addition to my ever-growing collection of Orla Kiely.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I'm in love.

John and I met our nephew Silas for the first time last week. He's a little over a month old now and beyond adorable. I thought our visit was a great opportunity for me to learn how to change a diaper and hold a newborn. I was able to accomplish both, and now I feel like I can conquer the world. Motherhood? Bring it on!

While spending time with Silas, I learned a few things.

1. Holding a baby is not all that difficult.
I used to be terrified of holding a baby. I wasn't sure about the positioning, how to support their heads, if I was holding them too tightly, etc. And then if they start crying, it's all downhill from there. But I was able to hold baby Silas with ease. He was so cute and snuggly and I honestly never wanted to let go.

2. Babies poop. A lot.
So this is something I actually already knew on some level. But it wasn't until last week that I truly realized how much babies poop. For example, I was cradling Silas in my arms and when I lifted him up, I saw that his diaper had leaked and there was poop on my J. Crew jacket. I decided at that moment that I was not going to wear anything nice around Lil Bit once he's born. 

3. Changing diapers is easy.
I told Julie that the number one thing I wanted to do in Maryland was learn how to change a baby's diaper. At first, it seemed like such an overwhelming, complicated task. But she showed me how to wipe, powder, and put on a diaper and in the end, I felt it wasn't so bad. Sure, it's not exactly a fun or pleasant task, but you gotta do whatcha gotta do.

4. Babies are stronger than you think.
So remember when I said babies poop a lot? Well, with that comes multiple outfit changes. Before, I just imagined one onesie a day. Nope - you gotta change 'em when there's an accident, and there will be plenty of them. I was really nervous to pull Silas' arms through the holes, but Julie reassured me that babies are really strong and I won't hurt him. So I successfully changed Silas out of and into a new onesie. I was on a roll...

5. John will make a wonderful dad (and I won't be too shabby as a mom).
John was so good with Silas. He's just a natural when it comes to children. He's amazing with our other nephew Eli. And I'm getting better as well. I actually played with him and made him laugh, which is the first time I've ever made a child laugh. I was on a high.

Spending time with Silas and Eli this week makes me so excited for motherhood. At first, I wasn't sure how well I'd do raising a boy. But now I feel so confident and excited to meet our little guy.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Baby Bump: Week 28

28 Weeks

At 28 weeks pregnant, I've come to the point where my fingers have swelled so much that putting on and taking off my rings is quite difficult. I still wear my wedding band, but my engagement ring, for whatever reason, is so much more difficult to put on that I've decided to stop wearing it. Makes me a bit sad, but I know it's temporary.

I'm about 7 months pregnant now, and I often hear that even after you have the baby, you will still look about 7-8 months pregnant. With that in mind, I'm always looking at myself in the mirror and thinking, "Hmm, this is what I'll have to deal with after the baby's born." 

So this is what I'll look like after baby??? Ooph.

At this point in my pregnancy, I've gained about 27 pounds. I'm not sure how accurate this number is, so that's why I rarely post my weight in the "By The Numbers" section to the right. I always weigh myself at the grocery store, my gym, and then whenever I got to the doctor's office, and all three always tell me something different. So I only post the weight I find out from my doctor's appointments because I figure that's the most accurate one. 

If the 27 pounds is accurate, then I certainly have my work cut out for me once the baby's born! I already have a plan in mind to lose the baby weight, which includes breastfeeding (I hear you can lose about 500 calories a day on breastfeeding alone!), eating a clean diet (no fried foods or sweets), and exercising regularly (with lots of cardio!). I went shopping today and bought a dress in my pre-pregnancy size 0 and I hope that I'll be able to fit into it soon after Lil Bit's born. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Have Baby, Will Travel

28 Weeks

John and I traveled to Maryland this week to visit John's brother and sister-in-law Ben and Julie, along with their adorable sons Elijah and Silas. Since I'm in my third trimester, I wasn't sure if flying would be a problem. Julie told me a story about one of her pregnant friends who had such a difficult time at the airport. I didn't want to end up in her shoes, so I decided to get my doctor to write me a letter that I could present to any employee at the airport that gave me a hard time. When I asked my doctor's office for this letter, they'd actually never heard of anyone needing a letter for flying before, but I insisted so they wrote me a note on their office letterhead. And in case you're curious, here's what the letter states:

To whom it may concern

Stephanie is an obstetric patient under my care at Generation to Generation. Her due date is 10/14/12 and she will be 28 weeks as of 7/22/12. Stephanie is not experiencing any complications at this time and I feel it would be safe for her to fly on an airplane. 

Please call the office at 633-0880 if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you.

So if you're in your third trimester and needing to fly, it wouldn't be a bad idea to obtain a letter like this from your doctor just in case. In the end, I didn't have to use it, but I would rather have had it and not needed it than needed it and not had it.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Baby Bump: Week 27

27 Weeks

Today, John and I went to our good friends Joey and Katherine's baby shower. We are so excited for them - they are going to be awesome parents! Their little boy is so lucky to have them.

It's been great having pregnant friends who can relate to exactly everything you're going through. We are both first time parents and it's been wonderful having their support. 

What I'm Wearing
Blue Bombus Dress by LeifNotes
Bracelet by Express
By the way, what do you guys think is the insect on my dress? Bumblebee or regular 'ol house fly? There seemed to be much debate about it today.

Hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Star Of My Blog

My wonderful friends Kelsey and Scott got me the cutest bib ever.

He certainly is the star of my blog :)

My brother asked me earlier this evening how long I would be writing this blog. Well, I'm going to make a promise right now to try to consistently write posts for you all. I would love to keep you updated on how John and I are doing and of course how our little star is doing. But I'm fully aware that life and my priorities will change dramatically once our baby is born, so maintaining this blog will be a huge task in and of itself. My writing may become less inspiring, but I'll do my best to post pictures of Lil Bit as he grows.

Happy Friday and I hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Night Owl

A couple days ago, I mentioned how my sweet little boy is not-so-sweetly kicking his mama while she tries to sleep at night, instead of during the day when she's wide awake and anxiously awaiting his every movement. Well, I read that the reason babies tend to kick more during the night is because your constant movement during the day creates a sort of rhythmic rocking motion that lulls the baby to sleep. Then, when you settle in for the night and your body is not moving anymore, the rocking that your baby has been enjoying peacefully during the day is interrupted and he wakes up. Makes sense. 

Not only is my Lil Bit keeping me up at night with his little kicks, but he's also keeping me up by making me go to the bathroom at least three times a night. I think during week 25, I started averaging about 5 times a night. I know what everyone says - this'll give me good practice for when the baby wakes me up multiple times a night for his feedings. And honestly, I think I've been in training for this whole pregnancy thing for a long time. I've always had to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. I don't know what it is, but I have not had an uninterrupted night of sleep in many many years. Also, I'm a teacher. How does this help you might ask? Well, being a teacher, we are oftentimes tied to our classrooms because we simply can't leave 25+ kids unattended. So for several years, I'd gotten used to using the restroom approximately twice a day - during my planning period and after school. So in other words, I was used to, um, holding it in. This is highly NOT recommended, as it can cause a UTI, which is what I found out I had during one of my prenatal visits (apparently, it's quite common for pregnant women). Treatment is no biggie though - just some prescription pills you have to take twice a day for about two weeks. So now, being 27 weeks pregnant, I've made it a point to use the restroom before I leave the house and make note of all nearby restrooms wherever I go.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Bun In The Oven

27 weeks pregnant in 90+ degree Florida weather.

For awhile, I thought I was doing pretty well dealing with the heat and ignoring all the exclamations of, "Oh, you're pregnant during the summer! How miserable you must be!" But now I'm starting to get to the point where I have to turn down our AC and I admit there've been a few times where John has caught me standing in front of our open refrigerator and freezer. People keep telling me I have the "pregnancy glow." I joke with them and tell them it's just the sweat from all the heat.

And speaking of my little bun in the oven, we don't seem to be on the same sleep patterns. He seems to be awake while I'm asleep, as evidenced by all the kicking he does at night. But during the day, I don't feel him that much at all. Which is disappointing because John would love to feel him, too. It seems nowadays when he's moving during the day, I'll alert John, but as soon as he puts his hand on my belly, the baby stops kicking. I just hope that by the time he's born, we'll get on the same sleep schedule. I'm currently reading On Becoming Baby Wise, which gives parents advice and tips on how to get your baby to sleep through the night by 9 weeks. Stay tuned for a book review!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pregnant In Heels

Last night, John and I gathered with our families and close friends to celebrate his 30th birthday. I knew I wanted John's 30th to be extra-special so I threw a cocktail party at the Chart House.

What I'm Wearing
Dress by BCBG
Shoes by Michael Kors
Necklace from Target
I bought this dress several months ago, thinking I could wear it for a special date night. I'm starting to get to that point where my clothes just aren't fitting me quite right anymore so I figured John's 30th birthday party would be the perfect occasion to wear this dress - before I can no longer fit into it! Everyone kept asking, "You're wearing heels?!" It actually wasn't so bad, but then again, I was sitting a lot. It's important to me to maintain my sense of style even while pregnant so I wore the heels!

Me and the birthday boy

And because I'm some sort of sadist, I pulled up last year's birthday picture to compare my pre-pregnant self with my pregnant self. Ah, to be skinny again...

My family

John and the guys

Me and the girls

We were SO excited that our friends Scott and Kelsey were able to make it into town for John's party.

Me and my two pregnant friends, Katherine and Kelsey. It's fun to watch the progression of our growing bellies. Katherine is due in August, Kelsey in September, and then me in October - so one right after another!

I know I look like an irresponsible mother in these pictures, but don't worry - they were nonalcoholic pina coladas!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


The Walking Dead season 3 trailer just came out and guess when the new season premieres? The baby's due date - October 14! Check it out below:

I'm kinda hoping that the baby will be born Sunday morning. That way, we can all watch The Walking Dead together as a family :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baby Bump and Birthdays: Week 26

26 Weeks

I wanted to write a special post today to wish my wonderful husband a happy 30th birthday! This is the first birthday we get to celebrate with a Lil Bit and we are so excited for his arrival so we can celebrate more birthdays together as a family.

While we were taking this picture, the baby kicked as soon as John put his hand on my belly :)

I actually wore the very same outfit above two years ago for my Mom's 50th birthday party. I pulled up the picture below to compare how I looked pre-pregnant, and boy, did I get sad. I asked John if I would ever be skinny again and he always reassures me that I look beautiful and that I'm carrying a wonderful boy inside. So of course, that makes me feel better.

At 26 weeks pregnant, I'm definitely starting to get to that point where my clothes are starting to feel, well, really tight. Shopping and trying on clothes is always a bad idea, but for some reason, I do it anyway (I really need to stop that!) Weight gain, of course, is one of those things that's inevitable with pregnancy. You want your baby to grow strong and healthy, but that means you have to grow (a lot) as well. There are times when I get bummed about it, but I just remember a piece of advice my sister-in-law Julie shared with me that's really helped me a lot: "You have the rest of your life after you have the baby to get back in shape, but only 9 months to dedicate your body to growing your baby." And this is so true - my body is changing for a reason - to grow a wonderful, happy, strong, healthy baby boy. And just like that, my selfish vain feelings subside to make way for more positive happy thoughts of my little bundle of joy.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Baby Bump and Baby Kicks: Week 25

25 Weeks

I'm at the point in my pregnancy now where I'm positive I know exactly what baby kicks feel like. At first, I wasn't sure, probably because everyone kept telling me it would feel like a little flutter, like butterflies in your stomach.

It didn't feel anything like this to me.

I felt my first baby kicks during week 21. In fact, I remember the exact day - June 7. John and I were sitting on the couch watching TV, when all of a sudden, I felt this tiny kick. It startled me so much that I jumped, which startled John. I told him the baby kicked me and he excitedly put his hands on my belly. He swears that he felt it too, but I'm not sure. I'm thinking it was too early for him to feel the kicks, but I guess it's quite possible. It didn't feel like a flutter at all, but I've heard that it can feel somewhat similar to gas bubbles and that's probably the closest way I can describe it. Honestly, it feels exactly how it sounds - a baby inside your stomach kicking you. Just light, tiny taps. It's not painful, which is what I feared at first, but it does feel weird. In a good way though. It's the best, reassuring feeling that your baby is ok. It's crazy that you go for weeks in between appointments, without hearing the heartbeat or seeing him on an ultrasound. So baby kicks are the next best thing. I like to think that's his way of saying, "Hey, ma!" Last night we were sitting on the couch and I had John place his hand on my belly. I was talking to the baby, telling him that John and I love him very much and that Daddy would love to feel him. And then he kicked! It's always so much fun to see the look on John's face when he feels the baby kick. Sometimes, I think guys get the short end of the stick because mommies get to feel all the little kicks all the time, and the dads...well, they just have to take our word for it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


You've heard of them before - pickles with ice cream, Cheez Wiz with, well, anything. These are the crazy pregnancy cravings that you always hear about. So far, I haven't had any cravings that you would call crazy, but I've had a few. And honestly, I'm not even sure if these were actual cravings or me subconsciously using pregnancy as an excuse to indulge myself in the things I've always wanted to eat but felt too guilty about. You ever notice how pregnant women always crave bad food? Seriously, they're never good. I've never once heard a pregnant woman say, "Man, I'm really craving some broccoli right now." If only life were that simple.

1. Pizza
During my first few weeks of pregnancy, I craved pepperoni pizza. Seriously, all the time. I think during one week, I made John take me to Al's Pizza, where I ate the leftovers for lunch for the next few days and I still demanded that we order Papa John's for dinner just a few nights later. On top of that, I let my students have a pizza party to celebrate Pi Day, resulting in the pleasant smell of Domino's in my classroom for several days.


2. Bean burritos*
This MUST have been a side effect of the pregnancy because I haven't thought about these horrible bean burritos since I was in elementary school, when my brother and I used to stockpile them in my Mom's freezer and eat them after school or during summer vacation.

Only a pregnant woman would want to eat this.

*As a side not, these cravings do pass. I only ate one bean burrito and it was enough to satisfy my temporary pregnancy cravings.

3. Orange juice
I've never not liked orange juice, but it's never been my drink of choice. Before I was pregnant, I pretty much only drank water and the occasional sweet tea, but during my first few weeks of pregnancy, water actually sounded disgusting to me (a drink aversion?) and only orange juice seemed to make me feel better. Now I buy it every single week.


4. Hot dogs
Before pregnancy, I hated hot dogs. I pretty much had to either be really in the mood for them or really starving in order to have one, and even then they would have to be disguised with chili or mustard. Now, my stomach growls every time I pass one of those hot dog carts conveniently parked at the Town Center or outside of Home Depot. 


The other night I made piggies in a blanket and John looked at me like I was crazy.

5. Panera Bread cookies
These flower lemon cookies from Panera Bread are pretty much the best thing I've ever eaten.

6. Pop tarts
I probably have not eaten a pop tart since I was in elementary school, so the fact that I've been buying them for the past few weeks leads me to believe that this is another result of pregnancy cravings. My favorite - strawberry.

I think I drool a little every time I pass these in the grocery store.

Did you ever have any pregnancy cravings? Were they crazy? Or, like me, did you just find the phrase "pregnancy cravings" as a great excuse to indulge yourself?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Ok, so this is not exactly a baby-related post, except maybe for the fact that I hope my son is not bad at math. Now, he doesn't have to be a math genius, but I'm at least hoping he doesn't make the following mistake.

I was out shopping at BCBG today for loose flowy tops that I could wear as maternity gear (see? Somewhat baby-related.) Anyway, BCBG was having a 60% off sale, with an additional 20% off. All these women were gathered around saying, "Ooh, that means it's 80% off!" Wrong! You can't add percentages like that because after you take the initial 60% off, you're taking the additional 20% off a new price. This is how I explain it to my students - say you want to purchase an item that's $100 with the sale described above. Now, it seems most people would make the mistake and think it's 80% off, making your total $20. Let me explain why this is incorrect. Go ahead and take 60% off $100. That's $40. Then take an additional 20% off the $40. That makes your final price $32. And $32 of $100 is 32%, meaning you only saved 68%, not 80%. See how that works? I was very compelled to correct all these women at BCBG, who at this point started getting out their calculators to perform incorrect calculations, but I didn't want to be that guy. Instead, I take to my blog to vent to you guys, since it seems most of my readers are family and friends and I know you all will love me regardless of my anal-retentive tendencies :)

And to appease those out there that probably visited this blog today in hopes of a Lil Bit update, I'll leave you with this - he's doing very well and weighs about a pound and a half now. He happily kicks me everyday :)

Happy Tuesday and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


My family and I went out to dinner the other night where we saw this mother and her children - four girls ranging in age from about 3-years-old to 7-years-old and a little boy who looked to be about 4. The four girls were standing by very quietly and well-behaved, but their brother? Oh boy, he was such a brat. First, he started crying because he wanted to be carried by his mom. And what did the mom do? She quickly obliged. Then, he started crying and screaming at the top of his lungs because he didn't get his drink right then and there. And what does the mom do? Nothing. At this point, I turned to my own Mom and said, "If that were my child, John and I would take him out back and spank him." It seems that every time I make a comment like this to a veteran parent, they always give me this doubtful look as if to say, "Hmm, you say that now...but just wait..." You see, what I think people tend to forget about me and John is that we're teachers - a majority of our daily lives consists of disciplining children. True, we do teach high schoolers and I understand there is a significant difference between disciplining a 5-year-old versus a 15-year-old, but at least we see firsthand how a kid turns out if they're not disciplined as children. I've been in parent-teacher conferences where the child will actually yell at their parent (seriously, you're gonna let your kid talk to you like that?!) So as a result, John and I are all for spanking our children as a way of discipline. It seems, however, when I tell people this, some look completely appalled as if I'd just said I would abuse them. Mind you, there is a difference and John and I would never cross that line. We just believe that discipline should consist of a combination of spanking followed by a stern talking-to to explain said spanking. And I understand that this will all work in theory and I probably just sound like some naive mother-to-be, but quite frankly, I don't care. As teachers, John and I have formed very strong opinions on raising and disciplining children and we plan on putting those beliefs into action once our Lil Bit is born. 

Any parents out there have any advice on what worked for your children? Let us know!