Saturday, February 28, 2015

DIY: Essential Oil {anti-stretch mark} Belly Butter

Ever since I took the leap of ordering a Young Living starter kit last June, I've been loving the journey of learning and using essential oils in my day to day life. Most recently, I've been researching how they can be used during pregnancy. I'm lucky to have knowledgable friends who have taught me the ropes of this new realm of healthy living. Today I made a little homemade belly butter to help prevent stretch marks during my pregnancy. I know genetics and gradual weight gain are the two main factors that determine if they show up or not, but there are most definitely benefits to keeping my skin healthy, nourished and hydrated! Even if it helps minimize or fade the ones genetics may give me I'll be happy! 

1/2 cup organic coconut oil 
1 cup base lotion {I used shea butter with vitamin E in it}
7 drops grapefruit essential oil 
5 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops frankincense essential oil

I melted the coconut oil in a glass bowl added the essential oils **I just made up the ratio of drops based on what I wanted for the scent. All three of these essential oils are known for their skin healing and rejuvenating benefits** then whipped in the base lotion. As it cools the coconut oil will solidify. I reused an old candle jar to hold my finished product !

Disclaimer: always use glass when handling of storing essential (especially citrus ones) since they are so powerful they will break down plastic. 

Mrs. Beginner Oiler 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day & 16 week bumpdate

After this weekend, I can't help but be filled with lots of love for life right now. This weekend was so "normal" and that's what I loved most about it. I know culturally, there is so much commercializations around Valentine's Day and pressure from all sides for extravagant expressions of love. Don't get me wrong, I love flowers and hearts and chocolate but the bottom line is: I just want to feel thought of and loved, as well as show that I think of and love Weston. He did a great job of that, like he does throughout the year.

Earlier in the week I got a surprise delivery of roses and chocolate, and was told that reservations were made for us for dinner Saturday night. I worked Wednesday through Friday so I was thankful when Saturday rolled around. We spent the morning sleeping in, Weston made a delicious breakfast, we watched some CMT music videos (a favorite morning activity of ours  when were home together on weekends) then tackled our to-do list. Yes, we spent a majority of Valentine's day dusting, cleaning, organizing, vacuuming, filing bills and getting a head start on taxes. Just working together and being productive made for the best day. Then Weston made Mac&cheese with hot dogs slices in it for lunch (a recent & frequent  craving of mine) and we did some nursery and home improvement brainstorming and shopping. We got dressed up and went out for a nice dinner and were home by 7pm to watch the NBA all-star events. Not a glamorous Valentine's Day, yet definitely  one of my favorites yet.
Baby also decided to pop a little just for the occasion! I still feel more bloated than bumpin most days, but I'm thankful for a healthy babe and healthy body. I have been feeling great and noticing increasing energy every week. I invested in and started wearing an amazing pair of maternity jeans from H&M. Despite the crazy vivid dreams I  still love my sleep and am debating the investment in a "pregnancy pillow" more and more every night since I'm a belly sleeper by nature and now confined to my sides. I will say that for that reason our memory foam mattress topper was probably one of the best investments I've ever made. I've still been craving anything salty, red meat, strawberries and oranges, and any kind of cooked veggie. I can't believe next month we'll have our big anatomy ultrasound  find out if this little one is a boy or girl! We both have boy gut feelings and all of my friends and family have said the same.Time will tell!

Mrs. Feeling Loved

Friday, February 6, 2015

I'm back because....

Was August really the last time I posted? Yikes. Life has a funny way of flying doesn't it? There is sort of a major event that has brought me back to this little blog of mine. I'm pregnant! I've been feeling a bit self-conscious about how many pregnancy details are socially acceptable to share on Instagram. So blog documentation it is!

oh my, where to start? I am 15 weeks along today, but let's rewind to October where it all began. After many "how do we know if we're ready conversations", we decided it was time to go off birth control and "see what happens". All four sets of our grandparents are still living and local, our older siblings have babies and the baby fever has been brewing in me for, oh let's see, the entire two plus years I've been a Labor & Delivery nurse. 

One month later on November 22nd I was oddly woken up by my about-to-burst bladder. Weird. At 6:30 in the morning on that Saturday I saw a second little line appear (it was definitely there unlike the last 7 tests I'd taken that month) and Weston was woken up by my sudden outburst of "BABE! I'm pregnant!" Oh believe me, this was nothing like the big reveal I had orchestrated in my mind. I had searched Pinterest high and low for 'the perfect way to tell your spouse you're expecting'. All of that went out the window in about .2 seconds. It's funny how the real life version of how things unfolded was SO much better than anything I could have planned out. Home together, nowhere to go, we soaked in the reality that we had created a human...We were going to be parents! We sprawled on our bed next to each other in shock and joy, nervous laughing, talking, crying, praying and mostly just staring blankly at the ceiling. 

The first trimester was a lot harder than I expected. I was blessed to have very mild symptoms. Nausea like clockwork every evening around dinner but never vomiting. I spent a lot of time sleeping and eating bland, salty foods. Overall I felt great physically, but my mind was going wild. Worry, doubt, and dread of what could go wrong consumed my thoughts so much more than I ever could have expected. My experience as a nurse  exposes me to the reality of the statistic: 1 in 4 women experience a loss. All of those experiences have opened my eyes to the true miracle of life but also to the heartbreak that so many silently endure in those early weeks. I clung tightly to my trust in God, lots of prayer and encouragement from my husband in those first few weeks. Then, on December 16th I had my first ultrasound. I saw that little blob and flickering heart and I fell in love. That was in my body? A teeny tiny growing human? It became so real. Soon after that you better believe I ordered a home doppler. It felt a little 'crazy mom'ish to me, but just knowing I could listen to that little heartbeat that gave me so much peace when I saw it at just 7 weeks was all the justification I needed. 

Christmas came along and it was time for the big announcement. Before all of this happened, around the time I stopped taking my birth control, I found out (by cornering her and asking her point blank) my sister was expecting her second baby! So after sharing our secrets with each other and keeping it under wraps [literally] to everyone else, it was time to tell our family. She made her Christmas card an announcement and we put a sonogram picture in our Christmas card envelope. We were all together at my parent's house on Christmas Eve and started the night by nonchalantly handing them our Christmas cards to open. Hers first then mine. There was freak out #1 after hers. Smiles, hugs, questions. Then, a few minutes later there was freak out #2 after mine. More smiles, hugs, laughs and now tears. What better Christmas present can kids give their parents than two new grandchildren just a month apart in the upcoming year? 'Twas a very merry Christmas indeed. (I should also mention Weston's Sister is expecting her third mid-March, so his parents were just as thrilled, and also gaining 2 grandchildren in 2015)

So, that's the story. Here I am, in my second trimester, waiting for my 5'8" body to show me that there is truly a baby growing in there. (don't worry I've confirmed with my doppler many times) I see all my petite friends posting adorable 12 week bump photos and I'm just over here feeling and looking bloated. I decided I'm posting a bump photo whether baby shows up or not between now and 20 weeks. I'm still wearing normal clothes at this point but definitely unbutton my pants when I sit down (no shame) and am on the hunt for the perfect pair of maternity jeans to live in asap. 

This journey to motherhood drags and flies all at the same time. It terrifies me and excites me. It makes me self-conscious and confident. I want to soak it all in and bond with my baby and love every minute. For now it's more of a coast along until I feel movement and grow a bump. But, I am thankful. For health, for life, for a husband who becomes more of a softy every day in anticipation of this little one. We pray every night for who this child will become, and I thank God for choosing us to be his or her parents. 

And now I will stop rambling and go to bed with my five pillows and prepare for the middle of the night bathroom trip(s). 

Mrs. Mom-to-be