25 Week Pregnancy Update

Good morning, friends!

I just glanced over at the calendar on my desk and almost passed out when I saw the date.  How have we blazed  through June AND July so fast?  Time is sailing by far too quickly…and I need more time to prepare for this baby!  It finally hit me that it is time to start working on getting the house in order.  My hope is to have every inch of the house organized (within reason) by the time this baby girl makes her appearance.  Last week, I went through every piece of Ryan’s old clothing and sent off items or gave away items to friends who are expecting boys.  Granted, I saved a ton of Ryan’s clothes for baby girl but I had far too much and wanted to share it with friends.  I spent several hours working on cleaning out the closet in what will be her nursery.  It was perfect timing because my brother and sister-in-law had a yard sale this past weekend so I jumped on board with them and was able to sell a bunch of items.

A friend of mine just had a baby this past weekend.  Her son arrived two weeks early and it really put things in perspective.  These little ones are on their own timetable so while I think I know how many weeks are left, reality is that I have absolutely no idea.

How far along?  25 weeks and 5 days

How am I feeling?  I mentioned previously that I was finally able to go off all medications for my pregnancy sickness around 20 weeks.  I basically felt sick 24 hours a day for 16 weeks so once that lifted, I began to settle into the pregnancy.  It was so difficult to focus on all of the excitement when I could barely function and needed to focus all of the energy I did have on caring for Ryan.  The fatigue took a bit longer to go away but I have experienced great bursts of energy recently…hence the organizing kick.

Aversions?  During my pregnancy with Ryan, I developed several aversions.  Currently, it’s the complete opposite.  No aversions to anything.  In fact, ever since giving up red meat back in fifth grade, the thought of red meat has always made me squirm.  However, during this pregnancy, I have found myself craving a cheeseburger and pepperoni pizza!  Assuming that this is my body’s way of telling me to eat more protein, I have tried to amp up the amount of protein in my diet.  This includes eating a ton of Greek yogurt, nuts, eggs, beans, peanut butter, and adding spinach and chia seeds to my smoothies.

Cravings?  Besides the random red meat cravings, I haven’t experienced any super strong cravings this time around.  My cravings go in waves and they aren’t very intense.  (During my previous pregnancy, I craved Eggo waffles so badly that David definitely made a late-night run for them when we ran out.)  The only consistent cravings (since feeling well) have been for fruit, cheddar popcorn, chocolate milk and a Vanilla Bean from Starbucks.  Even so, they are mild cravings.

Body Changes?  Well, my bump seemingly doubled in size overnight this past week.  I reached the point where strangers have felt comfortable asking about my pregnancy because it is that obvious.  We are heading to the beach again soon and I must admit, I am not looking forward to spending my days in a swimsuit.  The beach where we go is really quiet, thankfully, but every single person around is crazy fit!  It is unreal.  Not the best environment for someone who is experiencing a ton of physical changes.  As always, I want to stress the fact that I couldn’t feel more blessed to be carrying this baby but it doesn’t mean that the changes to my body don’t have an impact on how I feel about myself in a bathing suit.  Just to further clarify, I would happily look this this for three years if it meant being able to meet our baby girl!

The butterflies have taken up residence in my belly alongside baby girl.  I am getting so anxious to meet her and to see how Ryan responds to his little sister.  He has been telling us that baby sister is in HIS tummy recently so it seems that he is coming around to the idea.  Woohoo!  He also has asked for me to “open my tummy” so he can see her…it has to so confusing for the little kiddos to understand the pregnancy process but man, it makes me giggle when he tries!

Hope you all have a fantastic start to the week!




Current Favorites- Skincare

Good morning, everyone!

Ever since finding out that I was pregnant, it was important to me to switch up my beauty routine.  While continuing to take care of my skin remained important, so did minimizing the products that I had been using previously.  For the last couple of years, I have been using the Rodan + Fields Reverse line and have LOVED the results.  However, I definitely didn’t feel comfortable with continuing this regimen during my pregnancy.  In fact, I stopped using R + F as soon as we began trying to get pregnant.  Do not get me wrong, I will be using Reverse as soon as it is safe for me to use again.  After a summer spent in the sun, mama’s going to need some Reverse to take away my melasma again.

Within days of confirming the pregnancy, a college friend of mine happened to post to Facebook.  She mentioned that she was now selling Beautycounter products.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try some more of the products.  I had tried a couple of the makeup products but had yet to really delve into the skincare.  The company prides itself on the fact that their products are safer for everyone.  According to their website, “The US has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.”  Yep, you read that date correctly!  How is it even possible that regulations haven’t been updated in close to 80 years?  Beautycounter compiled a “Never List” of ingredients that will NOT be found in any of their items.  The list consists of approximate 1500 questionable chemicals that have not been banned in the US (but have been in other countries) and are found in countless others products distributed by other brands.  Wanting to make a change for the safety of my baby as she develops, this change was a no-brainer.  I switched the majority of my skincare products over to Beautycounter.  My absolute favorite products are the face oils as well as the Calendula lip balm.

During my last pregnancy, I swore by the Mama Mio products.  The Tummy Butter became a ritual for me and I continued to use it for a couple pf months post-pregnancy as well.  While I cannot guarantee that the Tummy Butter was solely responsible for this (as genetics likely play a significant role as well), I did not end up with any stretch marks after having Ryan.  Not wanting to deviate, I have been using the product again this time around…so far so good. I also added their body lotion to my regimen and love the way it feels.  The Mama Mio line is 100% safe for pregnancy as it is designed specifically for this important time.

My favorite way to give my face a little pick-me-up?  Using the Mario Badescu Facial Spray.  Halfway through the day, I like to spritz this on my face to feel refreshed.  Tiffany has featured this products previously as it’s one of her favorites as well!

As far as sun protection goes, truth be told, I have been using my toddler’s Babyganics sunscreen this summer at the pool and while at the beach.  It has worked beautifully and I have yet to burn at all this summer…which is a first.  For every day skin protection, I make sure and wear SPF on my face but I also focus on my hands.  Lack of protecting my hands has resulted in sun spots.  They drive me insane…so much so that I’ll look into laser removal in the future.  For now, I use the Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream.  It it is formulated with SPF 40…amazing to find in a hand cream!

I LOVE trying out new masks so when I spotted these Lemon and Cucumber masks at Anthropologie, they made their way into my bag.  They know what they’re doing at their stores…placing all of the fun small items right at checkout so you can’t resist them!  When you open the packets, you realize that these are not sheets masks but instead there are pads saturated with serum and they look like cucumber and lemon slices.  So adorable…such a cute gift idea!

Finally, let’s talk under-eyes.  The La Mer products have been a part of my daily regimen for years now.  I completely understand if the cost blows your mind…it still does for me too!  The thing about La Mer products is that they are so concentrated.  Because of this, you do not need to use much.  For example, I have had this Eye Balm Intense ($200) eye cream for three months and have only used a quarter of the jar.  That means that I should have the jar for an entire year.  Is it worth the expense?  Let me tell you a little story.  When I go get my lash extensions, my girl tapes little pads under my eyes to hold down my lower lashes.  After switching to this product, she could no longer use the pads.  My under-eyes were too moisturized for the pads to stay in place!  I need to note that I use the cream at night and get my lashes done during the day…which means that the product  is doing its’ job!  Personally, I would much rather spend more money on one product that works for me than waste money trying out several less expensive options.

That is the bulk of my current skincare routine.  I should mention that continuing to use the Beautycounter products post-pregnancy is the plan.  While I wish I could switch to all of their safer products, I know myself and love trying out products too much.  I can’t give that up!  Let’s all hope that new regulations will be set in place for all beauty product lines sometime in the near future.

You can shop these products by clicking on the individual images below!


Have a wonderful weekend, friends!




It’s a…

Good morning, sweet friends!

Today is the day when we are finally able to share the gender of our new little one with you all.  You are going to think I have lost my mind when I tell you how long we have known the gender but I’ll explain why I haven’t shared until now.

I have previously been very open about the fact that we experienced a devastating loss when our identical twin boys were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome at our anatomy ultrasound four years ago.  Due to the syndrome, we experienced a crushing loss when they were born far too prematurely only days later.  Because we had already had our sweet boys, and then along came our little love Ryan, David and I “knew” that we would have another boy.  Because of all that we have been through, we truly would have been happy either way.  Healthy baby.  Healthy baby.  Our instincts were simply so strong about having a boy.  We asked all of our closest friends and loved ones to guess and, interestingly, every female guessed boy and every male guessed girl.  Crazy, right?

Well, due to my lovely label of “Advanced Maternal Age”, we opted for a vast amount of genetic testing at just 12 weeks.  The genetic results came in less than a week later…those results included gender!

Because David and I wanted to find out at the same exact moment, we asked that the results be sent in a special email.  It was such a strange feeling to be anxious about the gender but also feel so confident that we already knew it would read, “Boy”.

The genetic counselor called to say that she had sent over the email containing the gender of our next little one.  I immediately called David and we decided to find out together over the phone.  There was no way would be able to wait until he was home from work that day!  I opened the email and staring at me were the words, “It’s a girl!”  I yelled those exact words to David and then literally became light-headed.  I was in absolute shock!  Beyond ecstatic but in shock!  David as well.  We both sat there repeating things like, “Really?” and “No way!”

I have said since I was approximately seven or eight years old, “When I grow up, I am going to have a boy and then I am going to have a girl three years later…just like my brother and me!”  Obviously, I thought I could map out my life at that age and you learn over time that there is a plan for you.  Not always a smooth ride but a plan nonetheless. With age grew the strong sense of not caring if we would have another boy or bring a girl in the family.  As I mentioned previously, we just wanted a healthy little one.  However, I do think it is so special for us to have a girl to complete our family.  I have an older brother and it’s just the two of us and David is an older brother to his sister and it’s just the two of them.  We are recreating our family circle and I think it’s pretty darn awesome. Plus, I CANNOT WAIT to see David with a little girl.  It’s going to melt my heart.

Thankfully, Ryan continues to come around to the idea of having a sibling and just announced last week that he would like a brother.  Ummm…sorry, kid.  He does talk about his sister when prompted so he’s not in total denial.  We have four more months to keep working on improving his excitement level.

Why did I wait so long to share the gender?  I honestly did not believe that it was a girl.  My doctor (who is basically like family at this point in our journey) teased me about the fact that the genetic test is 98-99% accurate.  My response was, “Yes, and I always fall in that 1-2%.”  I just wanted to make it until out anatomy ultrasound to 100% confirm that there was in fact a little girl growing in my belly!  I’m insane, I know.  I am certain that part of it was a defense mechanism.  I was SO happy to have one of each that I wanted to completely confirm before allowing myself to really settle into the idea of a boy and a girl.

Needless to say, we are beyond thrilled to be expanding our family and welcoming a little girl!

Thank you all so much for sharing along!!!

…and perhaps the picture which most accurately illustrates how Ryan feels about having a sister…

Finally, on the keeping-it-real tip, Ryan enjoying his Mounds bar reward for being in these pictures…