the drank is making me sappy

On this, my last real day of tax season, I am sitting in the lab letting the dreaded orange drank sit and simmer in my system. They said I can’t walk around, which I did last time around, and their internet isn’t good enough to let me work. So taking this extreme sugar high sitting and playing on my phone. FUN!

At least baby girl is enjoying it.

So tax season is practically over. It’s going to be a busy day, but the hard part is over. This was my 6th and hopefully last tax season and I can say with absolute certainty it was the hardest one yet. We were short staffed, we all got sick in March, Jon had 3 travel weekends in a row and deadlines of his own, not to mention the car wreck, the pregnancy, the toddler, and then of course the depressingly long winter.

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But now it’s over. In college, I went to hear Dr Lou speak on perseverance. I honestly don’t remember much of his talk, except that it is only trough perseverance that we can end up on the winning side (ie, heaven, but really any challenge).

I’m not going to say it was pretty. There were a lot of tears, a few fights, and a lot of swelling due to too much coffee and too little anything else. But I pushed through. There’s no quitting because it sucks. Welcome to adulthood.

So I wanted to thank y’all. So many of you sent me messages of encouragement and sent prayers up for my sanity. Something more than my own will got me through these 3.5 months and I know it was the prayers and support of friends and family.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax and let third trimester nesting take over. After I take an epic nap or four.

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5 pregnancy favorites

Now that I’ve experienced 1.67 pregnancies, I am declaring myself a subject matter expert on this whole with-child thing. Sounds about right. Actually, I can’t seem to remember much of my third trimester from last time, so these favorites are very particular to the first two. I’m sure I’ll post again towards the end of the third trimester and it will be all about flip flops for my swollen feet and my husband’s t-shirts.

– 1 –

Mama Bee Belly Butter

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I wanted to try this during my last pregnancy and I so wish we bit the bullet and bought the overpriced tub back then. It is glorious. It’s unscented and I seriously think it will last multiple pregnancies. It isn’t greasy or too thick feeling but at the end of the day I can still tell that its there keeping my belly nice and not-dry. I definitely recommend it to all you pregnant mamas out there. I’m not going to tell you that it will prevent stretch marks because that is highly unlikely but if it helps keeps the skin elastic, it very well could.

– 2 –

NORA Tea

I will forever direct you to Mary Helen‘s old blog for this. It’s a combination of Nettles, Oatstraw, Raspberry Leaf and Alfalfa made into a big ole jug of tea that you drink daily. It has so many benefits. I’m hoping it helps tone things up for labor but even if it doesn’t, the herbs are jam-packed with vitamins and it forces me to get good fluids in. I’m hoping the magnesium that is in it helps with some of the late-pregnancy aches too. I’ll keep you posted for sure.

– 3 –

Epsom Salt Baths

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I started taking these baths when I had my first bout of swelling a few weeks back. I like to add a few drops of lavender in there as well. I also love adding lemon but I don’t know if it was the salt or the lemon, but the lemon stung my freshly half-shaved legs so beware of that. The water must be hot (sure sure, not over 100 degrees or whatever) and must be as deep as possible. I’ve been known to fill the tub up every time it dips below the overflow drain. I really should get one of these. The salts are detoxing (allegedly) and I think help with swelling. The deep water definitely helps with swelling and the heat+water combo really helps with pregnancy aches. All over a winning combo.

– 4 –

Iron Glycinate

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You’ve heard Grace and Hallie and Katrina sing the praises of Mega Food Blood Builder. I couldn’t bear the expense so I went in search of something similar. Nature’s Bounty makes the same formulation for significantly cheaper. I haven’t held two bottles next to each other but I’m pretty sure its basically the same thing (Oh just checked and Nature’s Bounty has Folic Acid and MegaFood has Folate so you should probably spring for the more expensive one. They also have organic beet root in theirs.) ANYWAY it is excellent if you’re on a budget and don’t care about the folate vs folic acid issue. During the first trimester I was so so so very tired. I’ve never been anemic, but I’ve always easily dropped to the borderline. Within a week or two of taking this, I seriously felt infinitely more awake and less sluggish. On days when I would forget to take my vitamins, I’d be a total waste of space. I take them in the evening and it made it a tad easier to wake up in the morning.

– 5 –

Long Tank Tops

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I’ve been wearing these from Target for a while and they are just now starting to get a tad short. I have a couple of Gilligan & O’Malley nursing tanks that I wear (not because I’m nursing anymore but I just always have to have a tank with a shelf bra on. . . is anyone else crazy like that?) and then I put one of these on when I wear a shirt that is a smidge too short. I think they’ll last me another month so I need to get some late-pregnancy replacements. Any ideas? I’m toying with the idea of just sizing up because these are so cheap and so accessible.

– — –

Personally, I find people’s favorite pregnancy staples to be totally fascinating. What’s on your list? I will admit, I’m leaving out the obvious like coffee and pants that fit. Those are a given, right?

an award that isn’t really an award

The ever-wise Kendra nominated me for this oh-so-flattering Leibster award. Part of me is like “whoa, Kendra has seen my little rarely posted on blog?!” and the other part of me is like “dang, I have to answer these questions now” and yet another part of me is thinking how lame these awards are. It’s not an award, just a chain letter as Kendra calls it. BUT I always loved chain letters so of course I’m going to participate and tag all my friends.

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?

Good ole Pittsburgh, PA. I’ve written about my love for it here and here. I use to hate it here but really, it is an excellent city. We’re here because the husband is getting his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. Which to me, is kind of a big deal, but I won’t go on bragging about his smartness again because that’s not the question.

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2. What are you currently watching and/or reading?

Well, I was watching How I Met Your Mother and be prepared for a much delayed review of the series finale (and maybe the series as a whole) sometime. Real edifying stuff there (kidding). On my night stand, waiting to be picked up again, is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Daring Greatly, Red Prophet and Allegiant. Tax season is the worst. (All affiliate links there!)

3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

Cradle.

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

It was sometime in my late high school years. In particular, the first Latin Mass I attended on Ash Wednesday. I was already practicing before that but some time around then really made me want to be so. (Though I was still unbelievably immature and continued to be so until. . . wait, I’m sure in 10 years I’ll look back and think I was immature now, so I’m not going to put an end date to that, let’s be real.)

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Maybe 15-20? I only wear some of them though. Right now I wear the same gray flats to work every day. I also often wear my Sperry Topsiders. Then, of course, the required rain boots, snow boots, running shoes, old worn out running shoes, various flip flops (though my favorite Havaianas busted last May on this trip), and various flats that I don’t really wear.

6. Are you a good dancer?

In a word, no.

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But I do enjoy it.

7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

The husband. I’ve come to hate driving most of the time and I think he’s come to hate when I’m driving so it works out.

8. What’s your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Hands down, Christmas. I know, it’s so cliche, but really with all the food and the twinkle lights and the presents (totally my love language), what’s not to love. Oh yeah, and Jesus too. Of course. We don’t celebrate it much differently than anyone else does. Nativity sets and Christmas music. Christmas trees and red ribbons. Cookies and cranberry sauce. The whole package.

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9. Which is correct? Left or right?

Please. It’s left.

10. Do you have any scars?

About a million. My legs are covered in tomboy battle wounds. My knees have some scars from a minor surgery. My arm has a moving day battle wound. My collar bone has a kitten scratch. I’m sure there are infinitely more that I’m forgetting.

11. What’s the most famous thing you’ve ever done?

I was once in a commercial for a medical facility. I wasn’t an actress, just a normal patient on a day they were filming and I signed a waiver saying they could air the footage. (Well, my dad signed a waiver because I was like 15.) A ton of people at school said they saw it, but I never did. Another odd part of that story? It was 9/11. Crazy how we remember every tiny detail of that day, no?

Oh and I wrote this post for Haley over at Carrots once too. Not sure that made me famous but it was fun!

– — –

Ok now that I’ve answered all those questions, I’m suppose to tag a few people and ask them questions of my own. These bloggers are ones that I stumbled upon in the past year or so and fast became favorites. I’d love to sit down and have coffee with each and every one of them.

Ellen of McSisters 

Olivia of To the Heights

Martha of Romancing Reilly

Rosie of A Blog for my Mom

1.  Where are you from, where did you go to college and where are you now?

2.  What song has been getting stuck in your head lately or have you been listening to on repeat?

3.  If you could live anywhere and do anything, what would it be?

4.  What are you Easter plans?

I full expect all four of you to respond, FYI. (winky face!)

six months

 

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Month 6:

(Weeks 22-26) Please, no judging how absolutely rough I look in this picture. It’s tax season folks and I am tired. I’m seriously regretting taking a PJs picture but it is what it is and accurately reflects my life at the time, right?

The first week of this month I totally ballooned. Not really compared to how big I got last time around, but I gained about 5 pounds in that week which, as you can imagine, did not go over well. I swore off sweets and weighing myself for a week. I know it was a growth spurt plus the onset of swelling and too many peanut butter m&ms. It was still rough to see those numbers climb so fast. Baby girl stayed active and made her presence quite known by the ever-expanding belly.

I had another appointment with the midwifes and got the too-much-weight-gain spiel. It went over real well as you can imagine. While she was of course right that I should try harder and I am grateful for proactive medical professionals, I kind of wanted to smack her when she told me that my current weight gain is what she suggests for total weight gain. If she really thinks its normal for all women to gain no more than about 18 lbs in pregnancy (particularly one who gained 50 lbs in her last one) she is nuts. That is all. And for the record, I’m actually gaining less than I did last time around. So kiss it!

Ok that was a lot of talk about weight, but around this time, that’s what we’re all kind of thinking isn’t it? So in other non-weight news, tax season picked up as March is one of the busiest times. Jon’s parents came to town to help out while Jon was off at some conferences, which was a huge blessing. I got sick, but I talked your ear off about that already.

Other than all of that, baby girl got big. She kept moving like its her job (oh wait, it kind of is right now!). She started training her mama for late nights and she got a handful of cute clothes already. We met with the doula who gave us some great exercises to help prepare for labor and get baby girl in the right position. Hard to believe we’re practically in the third trimester at this point!

quick takes, maybe.

Linking up with Jen whether I make it to 7 or not and whether they are quick or not. Sorry folks but enjoy!

– 1 –

I have been a little MIA thanks to a little thing called a “virus”. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a “just a cold”. I put scare quotes because seriously, it’s all BS. Since when do colds knock you out and confine you to bed for 3 days? Seriously? That’s what a cold is? Then frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever had a cold in my adult life. I always thought colds were “eh, I’m sniffly and occasionally sneezy and a little coughy too”. I have been proven wrong.

– 2 –

I have been sick of course. I had bronchitis a few years ago (which started off as “just a cold”) and that was brutal. I missed a ton of work and then got lovely steroids that helped me make up all of my lost time. I got sick again when I was very early in my pregnancy with Michael and while I wasn’t diagnosed with it, because I didn’t get to a doctor as it was tax season, I’m pretty sure it was bronchitis again. I’m not saying the bronchitis was better but I could at least function, whereas this cold seriously knocked me down like a ton of bricks.

– 3 –

Two takes about my illnesses. Are y’all still here? Anyway, I lucked out that my in-laws are in town so my sick days away from work were actually spent in bed and not wrangling the toddler. The timing of that was very very good. You know, except for the part where I had to take 3 days off of work in the middle of a tax season that we’re short staffed in and running behind on. That timing wasn’t so good.

– 4 –

DANGIT! I meant to not talk about being sick in that last one. Ok. Something not about illness. . . OH I have generally been quiet except for some ranty texts to some friends, but Jon was out of town last weekend and is out of town this weekend. Oh wait, AND he’s out of town the weekend after that. Did I mention its tax season? If it weren’t for the in-laws coming in to help out I’d probably be posting more about the woes. Next weekend I’m solo (well, except for the good babysitter who will be working on a Saturday!) so I’m sure a fun recap will occur.

– 5 –

What else? We celebrated St. Joseph’s Day! Not really, we just ordered zeppole from the local bakery and basked in its deliciousness. Jon and Michael went to Mass which is probably the more appropriate celebration, but that was during my bed confinement so alas, I did not partake. For visual, I give you our mini St. Joseph statue that has recently been martyred. Still looking for the super glue.

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– 6 –

I ordered seeds last weekend and got them in the mail a few days ago. I’m itching to get them started soon, though I have to wait a little more time before I can. I’m not sure I will successfully grow anything from seeds but I sure hope I do. We got carrots (orange and purple), bell peppers (red and orange), tomatoes, cucumbers and creeping thyme. I plan on getting already-started plants of basic herbs as well. I even managed to rake out some of the garden and hopefully I can make more progress on it soon. I figure by the time tax season is over and its time to start planting things, I’m going to be quite large and want to do as little manual labor as possible, so I’m trying to do as much as I can now. If only spring would actually show up in more places than just the calendar.

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– 7 –

I made it to 7! And I think I’m just going to leave it at that. Sorry folks! With only a few more weeks of tax season left (ohcraphowisitallgoingtogetdone?!?) I may continue being on the quiet side, even if I am healthy (which I’m not yet, stupid cold). I’m sure you will all hardly notice because really? Who notices these things?

– — –

So how was that? Quick. Seven. I’m linking up.