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In Motherhood, My Journal on
July 12, 2016

Third Trimester Update – 7 Month Pregnancy Symptoms (31 Weeks)

I am seven months pregnant, holy crap!

Hey there, Kind Friends. Today I’m going into some details about my seventh month of pregnancy. It’s insane to me that I have less than two months to go until Chris and I get to meet the little alien/monkey in my stomach (also known as Jack).

As of the time I’m writing this, I’m 31 weeks pregnant, so one week shy of eight months. Insert my freaking out face here, because I just did that math now and I had no idea I was already almost done with my seventh month! To say I feel underprepared is an understatement, especially since Chris and I are just starting to set up the house now and don’t even have a crib or car seat yet. Yeah, it’s #CrunchTime.

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In Beauty, Motherhood on
June 1, 2016

6 Month Bumpdate and Pregnancy Favorites

We’ve got a lot to go into during this pregnancy update. The difference in my body 5 months to 6 months has changed dramatically, so let’s jump right in to my 6 month bumpdate.

Weight Gain at 6 Months Pregnant

During my 5 month pregnancy update I talked about how my hunger had increased and that has maintained this past month. In the first four months I gained very little weight and in these past two I can see more significant increases. I believe I’m up close to 15 pounds, but I try to stay away from the scale for the most part just for the sake of my sanity.

5 month versus 6 month pregnancy changes

As for my clothing, I’ve had to put a few of my dresses into storage because my belly lifted the dresses enough to make them too short to wear to work. For the most part I’m still able to wear my non-maternity clothes, since I typically wear clothes that are more flowy, but I have added three maternity dresses to my capsule wardrobe this past month. I still only have one pair of pants that fit, as well as the one pair of maternity pants I purchased last month, so most of my wardrobe is dresses. I just hate pants.

Changes in my Body and Symptoms

My belly button is days away from popping out and that is just so strange! My belly has grown pretty significantly in the past month so there is now no question that I’m expecting.

My vaginal discharge has also increased the past month, so much so that I’ve purchased Summer’s Eve Feminine Deodorant Spray. This is something I use twice a day to minimize odor and make me feel more dry and comfortable.

I’m also finding more smells in the home to be bothersome, so I’ve added two home fragrance items this month, thanks to Simply Heaven Candles. They have sponsored a portion of the below video and a full review post will be coming on these products soon.

Featured: Lemon Drop Candle (for the kitchen) and Lavender Reed Diffuser (for the bedroom)

My energy levels are also a lot lower this month, so I’ve been going to bed a lot earlier and have had trouble keeping up with my blog and other freelance work. I’ve had to scale back a lot in that way, which emotionally was hard for me to accept, but now I’m trying to be more understanding of what the rest I need.

The last change this past month has been the introduction of acid reflux. Not fun! I’ve had to keep antacids in my purse at all times because, as of yet, I haven’t been able to find a pattern as to what I’m eating/doing that leads me to that discomfort. Thankfully it’s not a daily problem, but something that comes up 2-3 times a week.

Kicking

Jack is not much of a kicker, Chris has only been able to feel him kick a handful of times and no one else has had the pleasure. He seems really calm, fingers crossed that he stays calm after birth too. Most of the time he kicks in the nighttime, but he also kicks when I’m watching TV using my iPad (since I lean it against my stomach) and when we go to the movie theaters. I assume it’s the loud sounds that get him going, but it’s still pretty cute.

That is all I have to report this month for my 6 month bumpdate. Pregnancy isn’t getting easier! Make sure to follow me on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat: rebecca.kelsey) for on the go bump photos and symptom checkins.

In Free Printables, Motherhood on
May 3, 2016

10+ Free Mother’s Day Printables and Gifts

Mother's Day Free Printable Cards

I can’t believe this is going to be my first Mother’s Day! While there is no baby to snuggle with yet, this pregnancy thing is taking it all out on me (My feet have started to swell! Ah!) so I’m excited for a breakfast in bed this weekend.

Today I have a post in collaboration with KidzStuff, one of the companies I’m working with at AB&A Advertising, sharing some great last minute Mother’s Day printables that I know you all will love. I’m thinking of downloading the printable crown, just so I can show Chris how much of a queen I am this weekend.

Enjoy! Don’t forget to check out their Mother’s Day Pinterest board for more inspiration.

With Mother’s Day less than a week away, you may be thinking about different gifts that you can buy or make to show your mom (or wife) that you love her without breaking the bank. That’s where these gorgeous, free Mother’s Day printables come in. Not only do they show that you put thought into her gift, but they can also help enhance the perfect gift.

And for the moms reading this post, feel free to forward it to your spouse or kids. Don’t forget to include a winky-face emoji!

Here are 10 different printable Mother’s Day cards, gifts and even cake toppers (with a few different style options in each) to help you celebrate that special mom in your life:

1. Amy Locurto’s DIY Mother’s Day Printable Artwork and Printable Tags

This set has a chalkboard feel and would look adorable in a wood frame for a rustic or country styled home. This free Mother’s Day printable is available as a card, art-print, or a gift tag.

2. Alex & Co’s Floral Chic Free Mother’s Day Art Print

If your mom prefers a more elegant look, this floral art print with a gold frame will help class up her office or bedroom.

3. Lolly Jane’s Hand Painted Mother’s Day Art Print

While this has a similar backdrop to the first printable, the hand-painted look of these roses gives it a whole different vibe.

4. Oh Happy Day Printable Cake Toppers

Now that is a cool cake topper! This floral set could easily cost $10 or more and here it is for free. All you need to do is print it on sturdy cardstock, add it to popsicle sticks and place on the cake.

5. October Ink’s Simple Stylistic Cards

If your mom is interested in simpler stylings, these printable Mother’s Day cards feature gorgeous typography that lets the message shine more than the card itself.

6. Party Delights’ Free Printable Mother’s Day Coupons

If you are looking for a Mother’s Day gift for the kiddos to share, a staple gift for parents has always been the coupon book. They include a whole bunch of tasks kids don’t typically feel up to doing but will when their mom needs a little break. These cute coupons come with a nice girly print too. If you’d like a printable coupon set that uses less ink, this Mother’s Day coupon set is just as cute.

7. Lia Griffith’s Mother’s Day Printable Menu Card

Pretty much all moms love to relax on Mother’s Day and if your plan includes breakfast in bed, this free printable menu was made just for her. Not only does it add some sophistication to your setting, the extra effort will not go unnoticed. This set includes a Mother’s Day printable card, matching envelope and menu.

If you’d rather have your mom choose her breakfast menu, there is also this cute printable door hang where she can check off what she wants as if she were in a hotel.

8. Cool Mom Picks’ Printable Mom Crown

Who doesn’t want to be queen for a day? Show mom how much you love her with this adorable printable crown she can wear for the day.

 
9. Skip to My Lou’s Coloring Page for Young Kids

If you have a young child looking for a Mother’s Day gift, this coloring page is a great way to help them share how they feel. Once they add their mom’s likeness to the cartoon, they can answer easy questions about their mom to help them feel special.

10. Oh Happy Day’s Mother’s Day Banner

This banner is so gorgeous that you’ll definitely be bringing it out every year to remind mom how special she is. Just make sure to print on quality cardstock paper so it will stand the test of time.

There you have it, over 10 different DIY Mother’s Day gifts and printables for you to share with your mom or wife. We hope they help inspire you this year.

Didn’t find exactly what you were looking for, or would just like to see more options? Check out our Mother’s Day Pinterest board for new projects and gifts all week!

[Images in collage are from Lia Griffith and an unknown source]

In Motherhood, My Journal on
April 27, 2016

It’s a BOY! 5 Month Pregnancy Update

I can’t believe it. Now we know for sure that EJ (the little nickname we had for baby #1) is officially Jack. We are having a baby boy. Wow!

If you missed my BIG reveal, take a look at my recent post: Why (and How) I Kept my Pregnancy a Secret for Five Months. That post also shares some of my symptoms and a video from my four-month update.

Now that things are all out in the open, getting dressed in the morning has been a heck of a lot easier now that I don’t have to hide my bump. Good thing too because this bump is large and in charge now. These past three weeks I have really popped.

My baby bump at 5 monthsI know that I have definitely gained some weight this month, and moving around has been a bit more challenging, but I’m trying to focus mainly on my health and making sure I’m still active rather than the number. Thinking about weight gain was putting a damper on things, so I’ve just decided to stop getting on the scale and only learn about my weight during doctor’s visits.

My hunger has definitely increased this past month, I feel like I’m constantly eating while I’m at work. I typically have my lunch box next to me and I’m sneaking food from it the majority of the day.

Some other things that have changed this month has been the amount of hair on my body. The fine blonde hair I’ve always had on my stomach is now longer (which is totally weird to me) and the hair on my legs and other areas I typically shave grows back a lot faster. No change on the hair that sits on my head, sadly, I was hoping that would get thicker.

My skin is also a lot dryer, but thankfully no stretch marks as of yet.

Changes, week by week:

Here is a video that goes into my symptoms as well as what it has been like at my new job and what baby kicks feel like.

 

 

I’m sharing a lot of updates on my social media accounts, so do follow if you can as it’s hard to share posts on my blog and YouTube channel while I’m figuring out how to write and upload during my free time.

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Thank you all so much for the support these past few weeks. It has meant the world to me. I can’t believe I’m already half-way through this journey.

Have you been pregnant before? What symptoms did you feel at five months?

In Beauty, Motherhood on
April 14, 2016

If I Had $100, What Would I Buy? (April 2016 Pregnancy Edition)

Last month I shared a fun post called the $100 Wishlist and thought I’d do an April edition now that everyone knows about my pregnancy.

So, what would I buy this second if I had $100 of fun money?

If you had $100 of mad money, what would you buy off of your wishlist?

  1. Flared skirts from Romwe: I recently discovered Romwe  and I am desperate to buy all of their flared and pleated skirts. I have a white pleated skirt that makes me feel really confident, so it would be great to have a few more to switch between when I want to feel chic. Most of them cost around $20.
  2. Snoogle side sleeper: Sleeping on my back or my stomach is impossible at this point, so I’ve been slowly adjusting to sleeping on my side so I’m not squishing little EJ. I wish I could get this pregnancy pillow to make it easier, but the $40 price makes it a little more of a splurge at this point.
  3. Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser: This used to be a skincare staple for me a few years ago, but I haven’t purchased a new bottle in ages. It’s time to pick it up at the drugstore or as an Amazon subscribe and save option because the pregnancy has made my skin so dry this past month. The small bottle is only $8.25, so this is likely the one thing I’m for sure to get out of this list.
  4. Moleskin weekly planner: I have been dying for a new personal planner (as my current to-do list notebook is almost complete) and this is a planner I really enjoyed in college. I have another blank notebook I can fill, so it isn’t a priority at the moment, but if I had a few extra bucks I’d spend the $11.53 to get it on Amazon.
  5. Rubbermaid containers: I’ve been bringing lunch to work every day and wish I had more container options so I can bring a larger variety of food. Amazon has a 42-piece Rubbermaid set for only $15.99 that would make packing my lunch so much easier.

There, that was fun! I love going through my ever growing wishlists to see what would be my priority to-buy items month to month. This list is drastically different from what my $100 March Wishlist held.

Last month I won a giveaway for the #Instaready Contour Stick and earned a giftcard from another website, so I used that money to buy the #Instaready Blush Stick and the Burt’s Bees BB Cream. I can’t wait to get them in the mail. That makes three purchases from last months five-item list. How fun!

What would you buy this second if you could? I’d love to know!

In Motherhood, My Journal on
April 11, 2016

Why (and How) I Kept My Pregnancy a Secret for Five Months

Easy calendar pregnancy announcement.

Surprise! Chris and I are expecting a bundle of joy this September.

I am currently 19 weeks and 4 days pregnant, just 3 days shy of being 5 months along.

Here is a happy video sharing the news and going into my symptoms for up to week 16:

It was not my intention to keep this secret for so long. I had initially only planned on waiting until the first trimester passed (three months) but some other factors came into play that made me and my husband want to keep things under wraps a little longer.

It all started December 2015 when I began feeling symptoms very shortly after conception. At the time, I thought I was insane for wondering if I was pregnant because I was taking birth control pills. As it turns out, there are so many factors at play with hormonal birth control that any mishap can mess up the whole system. That little misstep led Chris and I to a little miracle, baby EJ.

We’ve been calling our bundle baby EJ because we aren’t going to be able to find out the sex until April 15 and Chris and I have had our baby names picked out for years. EJ is short for Emma Aurora and Jack Douglas, we’ll know for sure who is joining our family later this week.

When we first found out, the day after Christmas last year, there was a few weeks of panic. I had been working freelance all of 2015, with varying successes. I was (and still am) really proud of the amount of work I was able to get, but with a third mouth on the way we knew freelance was no longer an option for us.

So we both started looking for more work. I started getting a few hopeful bites and interview requests quickly, and around three months I was up for a job in the marketing department at a local accounting firm. After one month of interviewing, it ended up not working out.

So, the secrets started building. At this point several of our family members were aware that we were having financial concerns and because of that, we didn’t want to add in the extra worry that we knew they would feel once they found out we were expecting.

My Mom found out about the baby shortly past the three-month mark, mostly because she was noticing differences in me before anyone else did, so it was nice to vent with her, but I also felt guilty over how much concern she had for us. It just solidified our decision to keep everyone in the dark until a new job was eminent.

It was another month of hiding until I started getting traction with my resume again and two companies in advertising seemed very interested in me, so after a second round of interviews (at about four months pregnant) we started telling our family and close friends. At this time it was becoming a lot harder to keep my weight gain a secret and emotionally it was taking too much of a toll to constantly judge my appearance, so we decided that at least the people we saw the most frequently should be brought into the loop so I would only have to worry about my weight during interviews.

Pregnancy photos week 16, 17, 18, and 19.

I’ve popped!

 

There were a lot of shocked faces (and about three people that surprised us by saying they had noticed a few clues), but overall the responses were so positive that our hearts felt warm again and we were able to celebrate with our family in private.

Two days later, I got a job at AB&A Advertising. It was such a joy, but also another level of fear. How can I keep my pregnancy a secret at work?

A week and a half after starting my new job, I knew I needed to fess up. It was the responsible thing to do, since I knew the earlier my job could prepare for my leave the better, and the reveal was also needed to keep me happy emotionally, as focusing on my looks so much was only alienating me from what should be a happy time.

So, I got to work early one day and started speaking with my supervisors. To my immense relief, I was met with happiness. While, of course, practical questions came up (as they should), I had found myself with a wonderful and supportive team. I couldn’t be happier to be with AB&A Advertising. I know now that I am exactly where I need to be.

For the few months I kept my pregnancy a secret from friends and family, as well as through the interview process and at work, these are the steps I followed to keep my baby bump hidden.

How I kept my pregnancy a secret:

  1. Establish that you rarely drink caffeinated beverages (and other pregnancy no-nos) from the get-go. During my onboarding, I was given pizza and soda to celebrate (which was so fun) but I made sure to mention how I rarely have soda since caffeine makes me jittery “so this really feels like a treat.” My office loves coffee, so this gave me an excuse to always say no.
  2. Establish a love for hydration. Since I was going to the bathroom very frequently at this point in the pregnancy, I made sure I always had a large water bottle at my desk so that I’d have a reason to get up often. Finding other reasons, like talking to someone on the other side of the office, also made it easier to feel comfortable taking more bathroom breaks.
  3. Wear baggy clothing and layers. Since my office was business casual, I had a lot more leeway in the outfit department. I went on a shopping trip right before starting so that I could buy some high quality larger clothing that I could grow into. The baggy clothes kept my bump hidden, with the addition of jackets, cardigans, and sparkly jewelry that brought more attention to my upper body than my lower. See some of my outfits here and here.
  4. Wear flared skirts and skater skirts. My favorite outfit for when I was bloated included my white flared pleated skirt from Plato’s Closet. The purposeful shape made it easier for my belly to expand comfortably without being obvious.
  5. Buy maternity SpanxThere are safe versions of Spanx for pregnant women so that they can smooth the lines of their body while also minimizing thighs and butts without putting pressure on your baby. Since I was feeling bigger in those areas, this became a dress staple for me. It wasn’t comfortable, not by a long shot, but it made me feel more confident in my outfits. Belly bands are also really helpful to expand your wardrobe.

While I don’t recommend people to keep their pregnancies a secret for so long, these tips helped me keep it under wraps while I figured out my next move.

And today, at 19 weeks and 4 days, I’m now sharing my happy news with my extended friends and blog followers. No more hiding. It’s time to celebrate.