Things You Can Do While Waiting On A Baby

While I’m still trying to make the most of this pre-baby time, I’ve found that at this point — 41 weeks, five days — I’ve officially entered the “over it” stage. I still don’t feel physically uncomfortable or anything, but nothing sounds fun to do. Having a low-key day doesn’t feel especially inviting, but keeping busy is not what I’m in the mood for, either. I’m still working, and that’s a good distraction, but it’s also been hard to stay motivated on that front.

Here’s how I’ve been biding my time over the last few days during the hours I’m not at work. (You know, in addition to all the things you’re supposed to do to get labor going.) Get ready for an EXCITING list — ha!:

  • Watching Season 3 of Grace and Frankie on Netflix
  • Watching The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story on Netflix
  • Baking this super-easy French bread
  • Walking around Reynolda Village
  • Walking around our neighborhood
  • Walking up and down our stairs
  • Going to Pure Barre (because why not, if I still feel up to it?)
  • Working on some freelance assignments
  • Not doing yard work (Kevin’s been busy with that recently!)

So yeah — super thrilling stuff happening over here while we’re in waiting mode! 🙂 The good news is, all looks great with the baby, so we’re just biding our time and hoping she comes on her own. If not, we have a forced eviction — ahem, scheduled induction — on the calendar for Friday afternoon.

Hopefully my next post will include a birth-related baby update!!!

 

 

 

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Friday Favorites

Another Friiiiiiday!

(And still no baby over here, y’all. This is getting crazy. 41 weeks as of today!)

I’m feeling…mostly okay about things on that front. I mean, physically I feel awesome! I’m sleeping well and still taking Pure Barre classes, and my heartburn has even seemed to lessen a bit. So that’s definitely positive. Emotionally I’ve had a couple days that have been pretty rough (which isn’t the norm for me so it kind of throws me off), but for the most part I’ve tried to stay optimistic. After all, the end is very near, regardless.

Kevin and I visited our midwife yesterday and had a pretty discouraging report (net-net: nothing seems to be happening, an induction — which I’d loooove to avoid anyway — isn’t looking favorable at the moment, plus the baby is sunny side up). So yeah…I wasn’t doing too well immediately after that news. BUT! Thankfully I’ve since gotten encouraging reports from friends who have been given similar stats at appointments and gone into labor on their own not long after. I’m holding out hope that will be our fate as well (and that this baby might turn over in the meantime, too).

For now, though, let’s talk Friday Favorites, shall we?:

  • American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. I started watching this mini-series (available on Netflix) this week and am so hooked. It features a great cast, and it’s totally sucked me in. (After all, I was in fifth grade when all this stuff was going down, so it’s safe to say there were lots of holes in the O.J. story for me!) I highly recommend it if you’re searching for a new Netflix obsession.

  • Garden & Gun: “Thirty Years of Steel Magnolias.” I stumbled upon this article this morning and, as a huge fan of this movie, was immediately drawn in to this backstory about the man who wrote the play, its transition to a movie, input from the film’s stars, and more. It’s not long and is totally worth a read if you’re a Steel Magnolias fan, too! (Favorite line from the movie? GO! Mine — based on most used — would have to be from Annelle: “It’s in the ‘Freezes Beautifully’ section of my cookbook, and I want to make something that freezes beautifully!”)

Hope everyone has a great weekend! (Here’s hoping I’ll be spending mine in the hospital…)

Still Waiting For Baby

Well, it’s now three days past my due date, and I’m still pregnant. But while I’m ready for this baby to be here, it’s also been a special few days:

  • I’ve had so many sweet friends and family members reach out with words of encouragement over the last few days. It’s just another reminder of how fortunate Kevin and I are to be part of such a strong community of people who love us. Thank you to each of you for your kind words and support. I can’t wait for our baby girl to meet each of you!
  • Kevin and I are choosing to view each day past our baby’s due date as a “bonus day” for us. We’re enjoying these last few days as “just us” before this baby arrives and our lives change dramatically and permanently. This past weekend we ran errands, saw a movie, hung out with friends at a winery, grilled out, and just enjoyed being together. I’ve fallen even more in love with Kevin in these final days before our baby arrives.
  • Now that the due date is behind us, the pressure seems to have lifted a bit. Don’t get me wrong — I still want this baby to come pretty soon on her own, so we don’t have to get into non-stress tests and induction conversations, etc. — but there’s no longer this one, big looming date on the calendar to hope against. It feels nice to have that out of the way. (Sorry, baby girl — no leprechaun-themed birthday parties are in your future!)

We can’t wait to meet our baby girl, but life is still pretty excellent in the meantime…

Friday Favorites

We’ve made it to another Friday — and this time it’s a holiday, too! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone.

Today is also a special date on Kevin’s and my calendar: our baby girl’s due date! Now that it’s midday and she shows no signs of evacuation, I’m doubtful she’ll make an appearance today. And that’s fine. I mean, due dates are pretty arbitrary. I know that. And first babies often come late. I’m well aware of that stat as well. But I wasn’t expecting the weirdly emotional feeling I’d have today, processing the stark reality that this baby isn’t going to come on time and we now have no specific date to kind of hope or plan against.

(And yes — having a child is a lesson in losing control. So this is probably good for my Type A personality to have to get used to before I’m officially a mom. But that doesn’t make today easier.)

I know in a few short weeks, it will be hard to remember how today felt disappointing. This baby will come when she’s ready, and that will be just right. Today, though, we wait. And it’s not fun.

I’m reminding myself of the good things: Babies born at this stage or later tend to be better at nursing and sleeping right off the bat. I’m fortunate to have made it this far in my pregnancy, when so many other families deal with scary premature births. I feel really good physically — able to carry on my normal routine during this time of waiting.

And another good thing — it’s Friday Favorites day! So here are a few fun things to keep my mind off the fact that I’m still quite pregnant:

  • Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets. I heard this NPR piece this morning during my drive to work, and loved its theme. It’s a “collection of original poems for children written in the style of some of the world’s most famous poets — Rumi, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, Maya Angelou.” What a lovely idea! e.e. cummings has always been one of my favorite poets, so it’s no surprise this poem, which one of the book’s author’s, Kwame Alexander, read during the interview, has stuck with me all day:

  • Pretzel Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies. These aren’t a new recipe, but I was reminded this past week (by Kevin, who requested them, but I didn’t have all the ingredients) how amazing they are. Maybe I’ll make a batch this weekend and freeze some of the dough to bake a couple cookies at a time over the coming weeks!

  • The new Beauty & The Beast movie. Kevin and I are going to see this tonight with some friends, and I can’t wait! This was by far my favorite Disney movie as a kid, and I love Emma Watson, too.

  • Hamlet the Mini Pig. Okay, this one’s another throwback, but Kevin reminded me of the adorableness that is Hamlet the Mini Pig the other night, and I have a feeling y’all will love seeing him (either for the first time or the first time in a long time), too, on this Friday afternoon:

 

Hope everyone has a great weekend! (Someone please drink a green beer in my honor.) 🙂

Springtime Shoe Loves

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It’s chilly this week in Winston-Salem, but we managed to avoid the snowstorm that blasted so many Northeastern states over the last few days. (Thank goodness!) I think everyone’s pretty ready for springtime around here, and maybe that’s why I find myself drawn to all the adorable warm-weather shoes I’ve been seeing lately. (Anyone else?)

Including both casual picks and more put together pairs, here are some of the springtime shoe choices that are at the top of my wish list:

What springtime shoes are you lusting after?

 

Friday Favorites

Another Friday, y’all. Wahoooooo!

Today marks the start of the 39th week of pregnancy for me (whoa — we’re so close to the end!). I’m still feeling good, and this little girl seems quite cozy in her current location. I’m hoping we’ll get to meet her sooner than later (especially because that will mean avoiding the whole induction conversation), but lots is up to her at this point. (That said, I’m trying to stay active, drinking lots of raspberry leaf tea, eating dates like they’re going out of style, and have an acupuncture appointment scheduled for next Wednesday in case nothing’s happened by then. We shall see!)

It’s been fun in these last few weeks, though, as those final items on our baby to-do list have all been checked off. Now Kevin and I are just in hang out mode, waiting on our daughter to arrive. I’m trying to treasure these last days together, balancing that with the readiness I feel to meet this little one.

While I continue to wait, I thought I’d share a few Friday Favorites with y’all!

  • SNS Nails. Have any of y’all tried this gel alternative? I’d seen it advertised at my nail salon, but hadn’t ever given it a go until this past weekend. (I usually paint my own nails — and often! — so I don’t typically get gel nails or anything.) In anticipation of this baby coming, though, I was looking for a more long-lasting option. My sister was in town, and she was down to try this new-to-us process as well. (We chose it over gel because the UV lamp used to set gel nails isn’t recommended while you’re pregnant. Plus, this version is billed as much more natural overall, and supposedly improves the health of your nails while it’s on. And it’s supposed to last about three weeks!) The results? I love my nails. They feel SO strong and I love the color. I got them done Saturday and they’re still perfect. This might just be my new go-to! (For those in Winston-Salem, I got mine done at Elite Nails by Whole Foods.)

  • The Great British Baking Show. Susan and Marty (my sister and brother-in-law) were in town last weekend and mentioned that they loved this show. Always one for a good Netflix recommendation (especially one involving baked goods!), I wanted to check it out, so we all watched a few episodes together while they were here. Kevin and I totally got hooked, and plowed through the rest of the first season on Sunday. We love that everyone on the show, judges included, is just so very pleasant and polite. It’s another side of reality TV, and one we’re definitely in favor of.

  • Calm App. I’ve mentioned this app before for its meditation-related features, but wanted to call it out again for its sleep stories. I historically have had no issues falling — and staying — asleep, but that’s changed in these final weeks of pregnancy. Enter sleep stories, which are 30ish-minute-long narratives read by people with soothing voices. They really do put me right to sleep, and it’s so much better than watching Netflix on my phone to help me get some shut eye.

  • Baby Bathing Suits. Yes, I’m obsessed with pretty much all teeny tiny baby girl clothes these days, but I recently ordered a bathing suit and received a second one as a gift (thanks, Susan and Marty!) and can’t get over the cuteness. Kevin and I are planning to be with his family for a week at the beach this August (an annual tradition we love), and it will be such fun to have a little one to bring along this year!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! (Let’s hope we avoid this snowy weather they’re predicting for Sunday. Gross!)

Lazy Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a chill one. Kevin and I had dinner with a couple of friends on Friday night (at Full Moon Oyster Bar in Clemmons, which was SO delicious), then went with them to hang at Wise Man Brewing afterward (which is also great — I hadn’t yet been!). On Saturday morning, I got going early to teach a couple of classes at the Pure Barre Clemmons studio (which was awesome — tons of new clients thanks to our “Share the Love” Open House event).

Other than that, there wasn’t anything on our calendar for this weekend, which is VERY out of the ordinary at the Keller house. (Usually our weekend schedule fills up thanks to me, as I tend to say “yes” to lots of things — or make very ambitious to-to lists — and all of a sudden we have very little downtime during the weekend.)

Now that our baby prep is all ready (nursery is set, hospital bag is packed, car seat bases are installed), I’m not feeling anxious about making sure those things get done. I have some freelancing irons on the fire, but some of those are starting to die down as well as my due date approaches. And so Kevin and I decided Saturday would be a movie marathon day for us. We watched four movies (all of which were great, which was very lucky!): Big Eyes, Arrival, The Edge of Seventeen, and Moonlight. It was lovely and relaxing, and fun for the two of us to just be together most of the day.

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Sunday was equally slow paced, with a leisurely breakfast (protein pancakes and scrambled eggs!), working on some freelance projects, running a few errands just to get out of the house for a while, teaching and then taking Pure Barre, and then making some healthy homemade gummy bears before watching The Oscars for a while before bed.

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(Oh, and lots of snuggles with this stripey guy.):

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(Okay, so maybe Sunday was a little busier than Saturday, but it still felt pretty chill on my end.)

Weekends like these are good for me. They aren’t always comfortable (I’m wired to be doing something constantly — even if that means sort of making up tasks for myself to help me feel productive), but it’s so healthy to just slow down for a couple of days. Take deep breaths. Not be in front of my phone or laptop all day. Lose track of time and to-do lists for a few hours. Be with people who matter. Especially with so much BIG change on the horizon, unscheduled time like this was, I think, exactly what I needed.

Here’s to slow, quiet weekends to recharge and completely relax. They’re few and far between, to be sure!

3 Easy Ways To Save Money

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I come from a coupon-loving gene pool.

When I was little, my dad had a Christmas tradition of giving each of his relatives a bag full of non-perishable groceries — items he had purchased throughout the year — along with a receipt showing how little he’d paid for each item. It was always quite an impressive Christmas morning moment.

I’ve been with my mother on several occasions when, while checking out at a cash register, the cashier looks at her, confused, and says, “Um…it says we owe YOU seven cents…”

While I admire and appreciate these habits, I’m not a coupon clipper myself. I find the process overwhelming, and plus we do the majority of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, where coupons aren’t an option. Kevin and I tried getting into couponing for a while a few years ago, but it just didn’t stick.

Now, that’s not to say I don’t love a good deal. I consider myself to be pretty astute at finding great discounts when it comes to online shopping (you just have to Google around a bit!), and definitely love to save money when I can.

If you’re like me — budget conscious to a degree, but also just not wired to be a couponer — you might be interested in these three ways I’ve discovered to get deals (both in-store and online). (I like to keep the list rather short because then I’m more likely to actually use these savings tools rather than get too overwhelmed with options. Life’s busy enough, right?):

  • Ebates: Y’all. I can’t sing enough praises about Ebates. (This might sound familiar if you’re a frequent Curiouser & Curiouser reader, as I’ve written about Ebates before.) If you ever find yourself shopping online, you MUST sign up for this — and you MUST install the browser button. For those of you unfamiliar with this process, the gist is that Ebates captures a percentage of your online purchases that are Ebates compatible (and many of them will be!) and tracks that percentage back to your Ebates account. Then, once a quarter, you’ll get what Ebates calls a “Big Fat Check” (either in actual hard-copy check form or via a PayPal payment) totaling the amount of cash back you’ve earned during the last three months. It’s SO easy, and if you’re going to be making those online purchases anyway, you only have something to gain. You can use their app to shop via your mobile device as well. Seriously — please sign up today (and don’t forget to install the browser button, which will ensure you never miss a chance to earn cash back.)

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  • Ibotta: This is an app-based coupon tool that I find so much easier to use than most individual store apps/coupon systems. I use it exclusively at grocery stores (and Target), but it’s compatible at many other retail outlets as well. I love that I can use Ibotta at most of the main grocery stores here in our area (not at Trader Joe’s or Publix, though), and it’s super user friendly. You just select the store you’ll be shopping at, page through the offers they have available and select the ones you plan to use, then after you shop you scan the barcode of each discounted product and upload an image of your store receipt. Next thing you know, you have money in your Ibotta account, which you can transfer to a PayPal account once you’ve reached a certain threshold! I’ve loved using this app, and especially like how many of their offers are brand agnostic (e.g., “$1.00 cash back on any brand of bread”).

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  • Target’s Cartwheel App: This is so worth having, in my opinion. (This is coming from a frequent Target shopper, but I have a feeling many of you fall into that category as well!) The savings aren’t always huge on this app — 5% here, 15% there — but I find that if I make my shopping list first and then see if anything on my list is on Cartwheel, it’s a great system. I’m not purchasing things just because they’re on sale, but if I needed toothpaste or bananas or nail polish remover and happen to find a 10% Cartwheel deal? Yeah — count me in! (I also love when Cartwheel offers overlap with Ibotta deals for even more savings!) Also, Cartwheel can be awesome when making larger purchases at Target (say baby gear or an area rug or something). And they often have a great deal on shoes and clothes — always a good thing!

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For those of you fellow deal lovers out there — what are your favorite ways to save?

 

Friday Favorites

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Well, we’ve made it to the cusp of yet another weekend, friends. Way to go!

Kevin and I have a very low-key weekend planned, which is incredibly atypical for us. (Ahem — I may or may not have a slight issue with over scheduling us.) I’m teaching some Pure Barre classes both tomorrow and Sunday, but other than that our agenda includes:

  • movie day (Saturday)
  • potentially shopping for a new living room rug

Yup. Those are the big to-do list items. I think we can handle those. 🙂

But before we get to the weekend, it’s time for some Friday Favorites! Ready, set, GO!:

  • These Women’s dv Rose Sneakers from Target. Y’all. How adorable are these shoes? They’re comfortable to boot, and I know I’ll be getting tons of use out of them this spring. Plus, at just $24.99 they’re impossible to pass up! Snag you a pair now. (Do it!)

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  • Lenny & Larry’s cookies. I picked up three of these (3 for $5!) at Publix last week, and Kevin and I have each had a chocolate chip one since then. They’re GOOD, and offer 8 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving, plus they’re vegan and are soy free. I’m excited to try some of their other flavors! I think peanut butter might be up next…

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  • Beautycounter’s NEW Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream. My diaper rash cream arrived last week, and I was so excited to add it to baby girl’s changing table supplies. I’ve read awesome things about this product, and know I’m going to love it AND feel great about its ingredients being safe and baby skin friendly (along with the rest of the Beautycounter baby line). To get your own full-sized diaper rash cream for FREE, visit my Instagram page and enter to win today! (Free stuff on a Friday? Always a good thing.)

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Hope you have a fun weekend ahead of you!

 

 

Maternity Shoot Photos

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I’ve been very fortunate to have loved being pregnant and, even though I can’t wait to meet our daughter soon, part of me is already a little nostalgic for this special time as we await her arrival. It’s been a wonderful bonding time for Kevin and me, and I’ve loved discovering the connection pregnancy has brought between me and other women who have experienced it as well. I’ve been so thankful for my body — it’s been strong and resilient while growing this little life — and wanted to capture this fleeting time with a few photos.

With that in mind, Kevin and I spent time with the incredibly talented (and all-around amazing) Sarah Shinsky last Saturday walking around downtown Winston-Salem in unseasonably beautiful weather and stopping at a few spots to snap some maternity shots along the way.

Thank you, Sarah, for these special pictures!

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