Pregnancy Update: 24 Weeks

How far along? 24 weeks

Total weight gain: 9 pounds as of my last visit 2 weeks ago. I love my baby belly!

Maternity clothes? One of my closest friends is due in May, and she just gave me a bunch of maternity shirts, so I feel as if I have a brand new wardrobe. If I can get through this pregnancy only purchasing one pair of shorts and a few dresses I will be the happiest girl ever. However, at this point I’ve really had to let go of quite a bit of my normal wardrobe. I’ve even packed a bunch of it away in totes to make some room in my drawers for Baby Girl O’s extensive clothing selection. I think she may have more clothes than I do at this point.

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: Still nothing to complain about. I have my occasional days of crappy sleep, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s going pretty well.

Miss Anything? Not really, I’ve been so content these past two months of pregnancy. I mean, I occasionally think about things I cannot have, usually food or drink, but I don’t really miss them. I’ll eventually have them again – no big deal. For now I just want to enjoy all the joys of being pregnant.

Movement: Yes! It is the very best thing. Mr. O has felt a decent amount of movement, and just a few days ago, Wolverine felt movement for his first time.

Food cravings or aversions: I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m really enjoying my food. I’m still not 100% on board with some of the food I was grossed out by in my first trimester, but I’ve been enjoying food very consistently in this past month. It seems to me that “cravings” are just thinking of a food and then wanting it right away. As an example: On Friday at work one co-worker had pickles and another one had chocolate covered raisins. I then ate a couple raisins and one pickle spear because I wanted them.

I don’t know why, but I expected that cravings would be food I really wanted much of the time. I expected to be in love with popsicles and eat a few a day. That hasn’t happened. It’s usually a think of something and want it right away, and then forget about it just as quickly.

Gender: It’s still a girl. I don’t expect that to change.

Symptoms: My pregnancy symptoms have come and gone. I occasionally have hip pain, especially while sleeping. I’m getting random pains that are close to my hips but more in my stomach and pelvic area, so I’m guessing that’s round ligament pain. But in the grand scheme of things I’m feeling wonderful.

Belly button in or out? In

Wedding rings on or off? On

Mood: I’ve definitely become more outspoken while pregnant. I’m also probably a little less patient than I was before. I haven’t really noticed a huge shift in mood though, and I think that’s pretty great. I’m feeling pretty content right about now.

Looking forward to: More and more movement. I am loving all these little dance parties happening in my uterus right now.

Thoughts: I feel so grateful to be pregnant at the same time as my two closest friends. Granted, one has already had her baby, but it’s been an awesome experience. I’m also beyond grateful to my friends and family members for the awesome hand-me-downs this little girl has received so far. We are fully stocked for clothing until about 6 months, and I still have another friend who wants to give us some clothing. So wonderful.

Previous updates: 16 weeks, 20 weeks

Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks

IMG_5884.JPGHow far along? 20 weeks pregnant as of today.

Total weight gain: That I know of? 0 pounds. Which is up from the -2 pounds as of the last update. It’s likely that I’m actually +2 at this point, but I’m only weighing myself at my doctor’s office, and I won’t be back until 22 weeks. I actually feel much more confident about the weight gain at this point, because my food intake drastically increased around week 17. Plus, my belly went from almost nonexistent to obviously noticeable, so I’m doing something right.

Maternity clothes?  Still loving my maternity pants. I wear them pretty much every day with my normal clothing for tops. I’m very grateful for this. Wearing my own wardrobe has been such a blessing. I know I’ll need to mix things up a bit when the weather is actually warm, but I’m planning on wearing dresses and flip flops only in the summer.

Stretch Marks? None yet.

Sleep: Sleeping on my side.

Miss Anything? Since the last update? Not too much. I’ve been thinking about some of the foods I can’t eat here and there, but in the grand scheme of things I don’t seriously miss anything (at least this month).

Movement: It happened! I felt the baby move “for real” for the very first time at night on Tuesday, February 24, while we were laying in bed. When I felt it I knew for sure that the baby was moving. I’ll be honest though, before this happened, I’ve been feeling a lot of movement, and I knew that it was probably the baby, but because I have never been pregnant before I didn’t know for sure. Well, that movement convinced me that everything I had been feeling previously was in fact the baby. It was super awesome and I’m now feeling it pretty consistently throughout the day. The baby was dancing away during the ultrasound and it was so incredible to watch, especially since I could feel some of the movements while seeing it.

Food cravings or aversions: I haven’t noticed that I’ve been craving food in the way that I expected to crave food. One thing I have noticed is that when I see a food or think of a food that intrigues me, I suddenly want it. And when I say that I want it, I mean immediately. That doesn’t mean I get it, I just want it. My aversions are a little better. I’m eating a tiny bit of meat, which I’m pleased with. I also went out for breakfast and ate an egg-white omelet, and it was incredible.

Gender: We found out that we are having a girl!

Symptoms: Some lower back pain that seems to come and go, and also one really bad leg cramp. It’s been a real nice month.

Belly button in or out? In still.

Wedding rings on or off? On still.

Mood: I’m still loving the second trimester. This is just the best. If I could feel exactly as I do now, I’d want to be pregnant so many more times.

Looking forward to: Honestly, with the weather we’ve had in Southeastern Mass., all I can think about is the snow. I am so very excited about the spring. I just need to get out of this horrific winter.

Thoughts: I’m halfway through this pregnancy, and I cannot even believe it. I’m so very pleased to be at this point because I felt as if I’d never get there in the beginning of the pregnancy. At the same time, I think pregnancy is so beautiful, so to think that it is already halfway over is also a little sad. I loved the my 20 week ultrasound, and I hope to schedule a 3D ultrasound before the baby is born so I can see her one more time. Everything just feels really great at this point.

Previous updates: 16 weeks

Gender Reveal

The big news is here. On Thursday, February 26, we found out our future baby’s gender. We asked our friends, family, and Facebook friends to share whether they thought we were having a girl or a boy, and girl was the big winner, with about 40+ people saying girl and 32 saying boy.

My guess was boy. Mr O and Wolverine were both guessing girl. Well, now that we know, we’d like to share our happy news with you.

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We’re having a girl!

Currently in February 2015

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 1.26.47 PMReading: I read a few books in January. This month I didn’t read any books, but I did read my weekly updates in my baby book, and I’ve done a lot of research reading for work. So in the grand scheme of things, I wish I read a book, but I did read an immense amount.

Listening: I cleaned out my home computer this month and in doing so I jammed out a bunch to iTunes. It was a great time.

Excited: to finally find out the gender of our baby. Yes, I know what we are having, and if you follow me on Facebook, you probably know as well. I just want to announce it in a separate blog post, so you’ll find out soon!

Watching:  Better Call Saul, Blacklist, Walking Dead

Wearing: My normal shirts still and my maternity jeans or normal leggings.

Wishing: For warmer weather and melted snow that doesn’t turn into a 4 inch sheet of ice.

Drinking: hot chocolate, a lot of water, cranberry raspberry juice, and that is about that.

Loving: spending time on Pinterest planning out things for our new baby.

Loathing: The snow. Everything about the snow.

Admiring: My best friend who just had her first baby. The delivery and past month and a half has been a bit of a transition for her little family. They’re all doing wonderful though, and I am so very proud of her.

How did February treat all of you? 

Rainy Days Make Me Tired

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This is nothing new, but I just needed to share about how much rainy days makes me tired. This morning, I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed, under the covers, completely ignoring my alarm and the need to get up and get ready for work. I actually did sleep later than I should have this morning, but I got up with enough time to get ready for the day.

It’s raining in my are. It’s not just a little rain either, it is raining on and off all day long. Sometimes heavy, sometimes light, but it is consistent. It’s gloomy too. The sky is gray. The air is cold and windy.

All day long I’ve been so sluggish and tired. I’m lucky that I still got a lot of work done, but man, I would have loved a nap. Rainy days make me tired. I try not to complain about the rain, especially in the winter. I much prefer rain to snow, but I could really use a bright, warm sunny day.

I know that many of you are feeling the same way. I’ve read the same sentiments on Facebook and Twitter so many times today. I remember when I was a little younger, I adored rainy days when I had a day off of work and no responsibilities. I’d lay in bed all day and read a book or watch movies. It was the best.

Now, all rainy make me tired.

Six-Month Wedding Picture Grace Period

Is there a grace period for having your wedding picture as your profile picture on Facebook?

Tonight, a colleague of mine mentioned in a post that it makes him sad when he sees women in their wedding gowns past the “six-month grace period.” I had never heard of this. Have  you?

I got my wedding photos about two months after my wedding. I thought that was remarkably fast seeing how long it took some of my friends to get their photos back. If you’d like me to be honest with you, I’m not even sure I’ve seen all of my wedding pictures. There are just so many of them. If you’re looking for an incredible wedding photographer in the Southeastern Massachusetts/Rhode Island area, you definitely want to book with Brittany Adams Photography. I loved working with her, and can give her the highest recommendation. Here is her blog roundup of my wedding. It’s incredible.

But back to Facebook. Is there an expiration date on how long you can keep your wedding photos up? If you’d like me to be honest with you, I planned on keeping my wedding photos online forever. Well, maybe not forever, but certainly for a long time. Am I narcissistic or is this normal?

After the conversation though, I really thought about it. How long is too long to have wedding pictures up. Will I really have me and Mr. O as a profile picture three years from now? Should I put up “normal” pictures of us after we’ve been married for six months? a year? Who makes this timeline, and where can I find out more information about it?

What do you think?  I’m really interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts.

A Few More Writing Links

I hope you guys don’t mind me sharing a few more writing links with you. I promise this is will be my third and final day sharing links I love or links to writing I’ve published.

 

Vector valentine day greeting card in flat style10 Jewelry Blog Ideas to Dazzle Your Potential Customers

“The business is all about glamorous products aimed at women. For chains with big TV ad budgets, it’s easy to sell beauty, especially when it comes wrapped up in emotion or romance. But for jewelry makers and retailers in a market more crowded than the setting in Kim Kardashian West’s wedding ring, the story is the most important part. It’s one of your few opportunities to separate yourself from the pack.”

 

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Twitter for Bloggers: Define and Grow Your Social Presence

“You’re blogging – wonderful! Content creation can be great for community building, information dissemination, and even regular ol’ personal purging. If you’ve been blogging for some time now, you’ve likely signed up for other social media outlets – such as Twitter –as a way to strengthen and develop your blog.”

 

 

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Twitter Honeymoon Planning for the Recently Engaged

“The one thing I knew I wanted from my honeymoon was to do as little planning as possible. Knowing that I wanted a short engagement meant detailed, organized planning would be of utmost importance for my wedding to go off without a hitch. I didn’t, however, want to put that same effort into my honeymoon. I longed for the days when you could just show up at the airport and request to be put on the next available flight. There’s a sort of serendipity to traveling at a moment’s notice. So what did I do? I took to Twitter. Honeymoon planning no longer felt like a drag when I had a wealth of opinions and advice available, and to be honest, it ended up being fun.”

 

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Have a Suspended Twitter Account? Here’s How to Reactivate Your Twitter

“Suspended Twitter accounts are nothing new. While this has recently come into the spotlight, Twitter has been suspending accounts all along. Here’s an explanation on why an account may be suspended, and how a user should go about reactivating their account.”

 

Vector flat employment infographics elements10 HR Blog Ideas to Keep Your Company Up to Code

“Human resources is an information hub. Employees come to you by way of recruitment, performance evaluation, problems, or termination. Simply put, people have questions. Employees, managers, and even other human resources professionals are looking for answers. Creating an HR blog is a way to disseminate policies and expectations in a clear and comprehensive way.”

Find My Professional Writing Online

After sharing some of my recent favorite links yesterday, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been writing at work lately. I’ve been getting around, and I haven’t really promoted any of it on the blog.

Do you remember me telling you how I’d be writing a collection about storytelling marketing? Well, the first four installments are live, and I hope you’ll follow me for the rest, which should be coming out weekly

TypewriterStorytelling Marketing: Creative Writing in Blogging and Business

“Everyone loves stories. Children beg their parents for just one more before bedtime. Campers lose themselves in spooky campfire yarns. Bars fill up with heavy-drinking fish-tale-tellers.

To know how to market your company or to build a brand, you need to understand how creative engagement plays a role in the sales process.”

 

Cartoon man and megaphone

What Is Voice in Writing, and How Can You Find Yours?

“Voice is a style; think of it as the personality in your writing. Just as each being’s personality is unique, each writer’s voice is, too.

Anne Lamott, one of my favorite creative nonfiction writers, has a distinct self-deprecating, open-to-all voice. Author Tucker Max’s voice, on the other hand, is boastful and could even be considered arrogant. Both writers have authentic, worthy voices that can easily be identified.”

 

Crowd of people

Persona Writing: How to Identify Your Most Monetizable Blog Readers

“You have a general idea of who’s currently reading your blog and buying your products, but do you know who will be reading in the future? Can you visualize who your ideal readers are? How will you get them to your website? Once your readers are on your website, how do you turn them into customers? It may feel like I’m asking a lot of questions, but they all need answering before you can begin a successful storytelling marketing campaign. To answer these questions, use the information you have on your audience and start doing some persona writing.”

 

Book a pencilStorytelling Tips: Steps to Take Before Publishing

“Where do you start telling your brand’s story? If we were in a college-level, beginner’s writing class, I’d teach you about the arc of a story. There are five parts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. Each plays its own role in completing a short story. While your blog posts won’t all need to follow the same arc, you should consider creating or following some type of structure to your posts.”

 

I’ve been around the block at a few other places, but I figure I’ll go easy on you and give you a little at a time!

Grateful

Today I rested. I woke up, not feeling the greatest, and spent the majority of the day relaxing. It isn’t very often I’m able to rest all day. Today I napped, caught up on some Netflix, and cooked. That is all. I’m very grateful.

Better Than Yesterday

Today was better than yesterday, which is a great thing.

I woke up early, got a few important errands done and started my work day on time. Thursday is deadline day which meant all my writing was due. Because we had Tuesday off of work due to Veteran’s Day, and Wednesday was a very difficult day for me to concentrate, I had a lot of work to do.

The incredible part was that I got everything done. Part of my anxiety yesterday (which continued into today) was that I wouldn’t finish on time, and I am a person who needs to make deadlines at work. I get way too upset at the thought of being late with work, especially if someone else needs to approve it before it’s due. But I did it, and I’m so happy with that.

I also talked to both of my best friends on the phone today which is a rare occasion, but wonderful feeling.

November 13, 2014 was a good day for me.

I hope it was for you as well.

A Day to Remember

Today felt never-ending. I couldn’t do anything correct at work. I’d get up from my desk on one side of my office, walk all the way over to the water-cooler to fill up my drink container only to realize that I left it at my desk. No big deal, right? Right. Except when you do it 3-4 times throughout the day! It’s a brand new insulated container, and I really like it. Well, I proceeded to break it after I dropped it when I got home tonight. Goodbye new water container.

My brain has been so cloudy today. I just can’t seem to concentrate, and I also cannot lasso the necessary words into the sentences I wanted them to be. I can’t tell you how many things I rewrote over and over and over again at work today. That happens sometimes when you work in a creative field. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it happens to everyone, but it is never any fun. I just felt so stunted today. Besides the water, I got up searching for pens, only to realize they were on the same table I was working from previously. My computer shut down while I was working because I didn’t notice the low battery note while I was working. It is simply just one of those days.

It also was a pretty bad self-talk day. As you can imagine, with all of my numb-brained forgetfulness, I judged myself pretty harshly. Get it together, Erin! I’d think or worse. If one of my writing friends of clients beat themselves up the way I did today, I’d tell them they need to go easy on themselves. Days like this happen, and sometimes you just need to go with the flow. Be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up won’t help in any way. It will just make things worse.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, it’s life. I tend to share the better parts of my days: fun moments with Wolverine, loving thoughts for Mr. O. I write about celebrations, vacations, achievements, activities. I very seldom write about the tough days. I want to be authentic. Just like my word of the year “be”: I want to be an honest, authentic Erin.

The other reason I’m sharing all of this is because in my rational brain, I know that there is nothing for me to be upset about. Today is any ordinary, normal day. I got through a relatively good amount of work, and I even had a last-minute client meeting with someone I really enjoy talking to. We all have days like this, right? Days when nothing seems to be going right. Days when you can’t seem to do anything correct. They pass. They always do. The best part of all of this is that I kept going. Yes, I beat myself up a little, and that was unnecessary, but I kept trudging through my workday. I finished what I wanted to have completed, and I’m proud of myself.

I ended up coming home and having a great meal with my husband. I’m telling you, pho can make anything and everything better. My evening was great. I was able to relax and just have a wonderful night. I’m so very grateful.

I guess that’s the final reason I decided to share this story today. You might have a horrible, no good, awful day, but still end up having an incredible evening. Life changes quickly. I’ll tell you at one point today, when I was really feeling bad for myself, I thought it was such a waste of a day. I honestly wished that I could just hide in my bed under the covers and not come out until the day was over. And then everything changed. I didn’t think it could,  but it did.

Sometimes, you just need to be kind to yourself, trudge through the hard stuff, and things get better.

Acting Like an Old Lady: Bingo and Shepherd’s Pie

I had a fun day today, even if you might think I was acting like an old lady.

I live a drivable distance to Foxwoods Resort and Casino, so every once and a while, Mr. O and I will take a trip out there to do a little gambling. Less often, but on occasion we’ll make a mini vacation out of the trip and stay at a hotel, which is what we did this time. After we got out of work yesterday, we drove to Connecticut, and checked into our hotel the Hilton Garden Inn. We got ready to go out and made our way over to the casino. Dinner was at High Rollers, and it was really good, though we enjoyed the appetizers better than the meal! We gambled for a tiny bit before getting bored with losing our money and made our way back to the hotel.

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We woke up early and ate breakfast at the hotel. After getting all packed up we headed back to Foxwoods to play BINGO!

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I love playing Bingo. I have such a great time. Today it was packed, which was probably because so many people had it off due to the the holiday.

Before I continue, let me just say thank you to everyone who has served in our military. I know all too well that it isn’t an easy job to do, and I appreciate your service.

So, I didn’t win any money at Bingo, but I did make friends with a couple our parents age and another couple who could have been their parents! It was a blast.

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To continue with my old lady ways, I came home and made a shepherd’s pie for dinner. I’m pretty sure it was the first one I made by my self, and I think it came out pretty good.

Now, if I want to continue acting like an old lady, I should knit a blanket and fall asleep early!

 

 

 

 

Social Media: Are We Friends?

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m participating in NaBloPoMo again this year, and I’m doing pretty well. I’ve written about podcasts, voting with children, and how I finally decided on a career path (that fortunately I’m on) among other topics (like how to bake pumpkin seeds).

I made an decision this year to check out every single blog on the NaBloPoMo blogroll. Well, that was when the blogroll was about 500 blogs long. Now that it is 1400+ blogs, I highly doubt I’ll make it through, but that is okay. I’ve already checked out the first 325. Y’all are doing and writing about great stuff. I wanted to find new bloggers who’d inspire me, but may not have made it to my radar yet. I’ve added a bunch of new blogs to my reader, and I can’t wait to get to know you better.

Are we friends? I love developing relationships with other bloggers. If you’ve found me because of NaBloPoMo: welcome! If you have any questions for me, let me know, and I’d be glad to answer them.

If you’re looking to connect off the blog, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

I hope you’ll stay and read my words. Please leave comments so that I can find you as well!

Young Friendship and Rollerskating

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source: unchanged

Wolverine and my nephew are about a year-and-a-half apart in age, and they are the bestest of friends. I’m lucky to live so close to my brother that the two boys get to spend a lot of time quality time together. Today we took them to the rollerskating rink. It’s actually where we are now as I type this on my phone. The two are whirling around the rink in circles at this point, but it didn’t so much start off that way.

Wolverine has been rollerskating and rollerblading for years. He also ice skates pretty regularly with his grandfather. He’s very comfortable on wheels. My nephew reports that the only time he’s ever skated has been with the three of us, so that’s maybe a handful (or two) of times. When they both rolled onto the rink, Wolverine was off in super speed, a smile covering his face as he looked back to his cousin. I know them and their hyped-up competition style way to well, so I took that smile to mean “Yeah, I’m in the lead. He’ll never be able to catch me!” And you know what, he couldn’t. He was rusty on those skates. So instead, my nephew skated around slowly, holding on to the walls, and falling down every once in a while. He was determined to catch up to Wolverine no matter how long it took him to feel comfortable on those skates.

And with that determination, he did catch up to Wolverine. They skated together for a while and had fun for a few hours on the rink.

Well, until they both got blisters on both of their feet and whined until we told them we it was time to leave.

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