Bumpdate: 9 Weeks

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Yes, this is a different picture, but I am going to wear the same shirt each week so that I can really compare my stomach each week and see if there are any differences!

Date: June 17, 2014

How far along: 9 weeks today!

The belly size: I think it looks about the same still as last week… slightly bigger and more bloated than my pre-pregnancy stomach, but that’s it.

The baby size: About an inch this week! Supposedly the size of a grape, olive, or cherry (though those aren’t really an inch, so I’m kind of confused).

Weight gain: I’m thinking/hoping it’s still around the 4-5 pound mark. I’m avoiding my scale at home though, if possible. For over two years, weight loss was my main focus, and now I need to shift that focus to our baby. If I’m constantly stepping on the scale and seeing it go up, I know I’m going to get freaked out, so I’m just not going to. The weight can and will come off again after the baby arrives, and for now, my focus needs to be on ensuring the baby is getting enough nutrients, weight be damned.

Symptoms/how I’m feeling: I had some nausea over the last week, and terrible migraines. My OBGYN prescribed me something, but after doing some research and talking to the pharmacist, I decided I was not going to use it. There was simply too much of a risk for the baby so I’ll just have to deal with the headaches as they come. Today, for the first time in awhile, I feel pretty good! I’m still watching out for that afternoon/evening nausea though. Maybe today is my lucky day.

Sleep: I’m sleeping okay, but have been getting up around 5-6 times a night to go to the bathroom.

Eating: No major aversions or cravings this week! I’ve even been eating some chicken this week – yay! I’ve had a terrible aversion to it for weeks, and I’ll admit I got a little bit grossed out after eating some last night, but it’s good for you, so I’m trying to suck it up. I also had green beans, which were okay, and applesauce and apples. Again, trying to be healthy here!

Exercising: Today was my first “workout” in a week because I finally felt good this morning. I walked outside for 20 minutes – woohoo! Hoping to walk more this week.

Clothes: I’m still in my regular clothes, but I did go to the Goodwill last week with my mom and got three pairs of  work maternity pants and some maternity shirts. I’m trying to hold off on wearing them still, but I might cave and start wearing them this week or next because my pants are getting tight and I’m feeling self-conscious with my bloating and weight gain.

Missing: Nothing too specific, just the same old, same old. I miss my more intense work outs, migraine pills, and hot dogs! Mainly the migraine meds though. LOL

Best moment: Well, last week on the 12th we had to go in for an emergency ultrasound again after continued bleeding. So while the circumstances were crappy, we got to see our baby again and it had grown so much in the week since our last ultrasound! It was 15 mm long, and had a heart beat of 160. Baby is good and fine. There was some bleeding behind the placenta, which was what had caused all the scares.

Looking forward to: Going to my 11 week appointment next Friday! Hopefully we can hear the heartbeat. So far, we’ve seen it which is so cool, but I also want to hear it!

Baby C on June 12th at 8 weeks and 2 days!

Baby C on June 12th at 8 weeks and 2 days!

Series Giveaway (5 books!): The Enemy by Charlie Higson

I’m super excited to be able to offer an amazing giveaway for the first FIVE BOOKS (!) in The Enemy series, by Charlie Higson, to one lucky winner! The fifth book in the series, The Fallen, was just released last week! This is an awesome YA zombie series, perfect for fans of The Walking Dead. Want some more info about the series? Check it out:

“When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician – every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry.

Only children under fourteen remain, and they’re fighting to survive.

A gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city – down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground – the grown-ups lie in wait.”

If you’d like to win these five brand new books, all you need to do is leave a comment below and be sure to leave your email address. Please be 13 years or older, and have a U.S. mailing address. If you become a fan of my Facebook page here (or if you already are one), let me know that in the comment, and you will earn one extra entry.

Also, be sure to check out The Enemy series on Facebook!

Winner will be drawn via random.org on June 25, 2014.

enemy series

Bumpdate: 8 Weeks

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I’m going to start doing a weekly “bumpdate” every Tuesday. I’ve been reading lots of other people’s bumpdates, so I’ve used a lot of the basic templates but modified it a bit for my own needs. :)

Date: June 10, 2014

How far along: 8 weeks today!

The belly size: No baby bump yet of course, but my stomach does look a bit rounder and bigger. I already had some flab left over there that I just never lost, so that’s some of it, but I am also feeling bloated!

The baby size: About half an inch, or the size of a raspberry or kidney bean!

Weight gain: About 4 pounds… ugh! This is because I ate at a calorie deficit for over 2 years and obviously can’t eat at a deficit anymore which my body is not used to. Also, I have not been able to exercise much due to fatigue, nausea, and directions from the doctor to stop running for the time being after last week’s scare.

Symptoms/how I’m feeling: Tired all the time! Nausea also kicked in last week which isn’t fun. Also, TMI, but I had some pregnancy “poo” problems kick in last week… not fun.

Sleep: My sleep is okay, but it’s never been good, even before the pregnancy. My newest problem is waking up very early and not being able to fall back asleep.

Eating: Hated chicken for a few weeks, but I’m slowly working it back into my diet. Working on eating foods that are high in fiber and healthier to help with the poo problem. So far so good, and with some prune juice and a Fiber One brownie every morning plus the addition of more fruits and veggies, my problem has been a-okay! I also had to cut back on the cheese which makes me sad, but what can you do? Lol. We went to a health food restaurant this weekend specifically for hummus and lentil soup which definitely helped and were both delicious!

Exercising: I didn’t exercise at all last week after our scare, but I am trying to slowly work a bit of exercise back in, even though I can’t run for the time being. Today, I walked for 10 minutes outside. It’s a start! Can’t believe I ran a half-marathon less than a year ago… lol. I know that after the baby is born, I can get my fitness level back up.

Clothes: Pants are getting a bit snug, so I may need to find some stretchy type of work pants soon. On the weekends, I live in sweatpants, but let’s face it, I’ve always lived in sweatpants on my days off, even before I was pregnant.

Missing: Running! Also, dairy products (though I am starting to work a little bit back into my diet). I also gave up Diet Coke and artificial sweeteners, but I am managing okay. And last but not least, missing my migraine meds. My migraines are crazy bad right now and all I can take is Tylenol which really doesn’t cut it. Honestly though, I’ll give up anything I have to in order to make sure our baby is healthy.

Best moment: Seeing the baby and its heartbeat for the first time, even though it was under scary circumstances.

Looking forward to: Getting to be a bit active again and taking it day by day. Every day that the baby stays healthy is a good day after last week’s terror!

Dear Baby

Dear Baby,

You gave everyone the biggest scare of our lives last week.

On Tuesday night, at exactly seven weeks, I saw the scariest sight of my life – blood. I went into panic mode, calling your daddy at work, your grandma, and your Aunt Sheena because she’s a nurse. She told me to take a pregnancy test again so grandma got us one at Wegmans while Dad was on his way home. I was relieved to see it was still positive, but was still so terrified. I called the doctor on call who told me he wanted me to come in for an ultrasound and checkup the next morning.

Daddy and I were the most scared we had ever been in our whole lives on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, we were the happiest. We saw you for the very first time, and we saw your heart beating on the screen. I was sure I had lost you, but there you were, beating your little heart in your blueberry sized body. What an amazing sight!

The next day though, with continued problems, I became frantic again. Grandma picked me up from work and rushed me back for another ultrasound while Dad was working. We saw your heart beat again, and again, I had never felt so relieved in my entire life.

Baby, you scared us so much because we want you so badly. We love you already, and seeing you made you all the more real. The day I first met your daddy when I picked him up from the airport was terrifying. I was so anxious and sick to my stomach all day. I never thought I would feel that way again, but NOTHING can compare to how we felt when we feared the worst about you. Every other fear I have ever felt in my life pales in comparison to the fear I felt for you all last week. I knew I already loved you, but I didn’t know just how much until this happened.

Even though we’ve had only small glimpses of you on a screen, even though you are itty bitty, your heart is beating, you are real, and we love you more than words. Thank you for holding on and teaching us a new kind of love.

Love,

Your mom

Baby C at 7 weeks and 1 day

Baby C at 7 weeks and 1 day

Race Recap: Lilac Festival 5K

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to run five races in 2014. I didn’t care the distance, just that I ran five in total. In 2013, I ran three, including my half-marathon. I’m glad to say the weather has finally become nice enough to start my racing season and I have finally completed my first race of the year!

I ran the Lilac Festival 5K on Sunday, May 18th, 2014 with my husband, Jerry, and our friend, Denise, who we actually met on MyFitnessPal and lives nearby. It was the first race all three of us have done together and we had a lot of fun!

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lilac run

 

This was my first race of the year and was actually my first official 5K race! I’ve run longer races and shorter races, but never an official 5K; I enjoyed this distance a lot. It was just long enough to get a good workout in, but not long enough to exhaust this newly pregnant girl.

Jerry and I woke up bright and early to head to my parent’s house. They have come to all of my races to cheer me/us on, and take photos. I love having their support; it’s awesome running a race knowing someone is waiting to see you cross the finish line and cheer you on.

The race started at 8 AM on a beautiful sunny day. The air had just the right amount of chill to keep us feeling comfortable throughout the whole race which took place at one of our yearly local festivals, aptly named the Lilac Festival. We ran past some of the gorgeous lilacs in bloom, and even ran by my best friend’s apartment complex. We didn’t know this beforehand, so I told her that next year, I fully expect to see her on the sidewalk with a sign. ;)

We ran a really slow and steady pace, about a 14:30 minute mile which is much slower than my usual but felt really good and comfortable, as I’m usually around an 11 minute mile on a good day. However, we slowed it down, enjoyed the scenery, and were able to comfortably hold a conversation, which I normally can’t do when running a race. We ran the whole time (though Jerry had to stop a few times to walk – he drank the night before at our housewarming party… oops), and stopped only a couple of times to grab some water at the aid stations. I was delighted to see a few dogs on our run, and was encouraged by all the volunteers and spectators with all of their encouraging words. The three of us finished with a time of 45:25.

After the race, we posed for some pictures for my dad, then Jerry and I headed to breakfast with my parents.

All in all, it was a great race. I felt awesome even though I’m pregnant, and had a really good time running with two awesome people. :) I will definitely do this race again next year, and I will certainly keep in mind how good it felt to run at a slower pace. It’s really not all about the speed – it’s about the journey!

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It looks like I’m trying to be that “ridiculously photogenic runner” guy but my hair doesn’t look nearly as good. Who remembers that meme?

Review: Cure For the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

Title: Cure For the Common Breakupcure
Author: Beth Kendrick
Genre/Audience: Chick lit, adult
Publication: NAL, 2014
Source: For review

Um, can you say love? Because I loved this one.

Summer Benson, flight attendant extraordinaire, is your typical party girl who loves a good time and hates any kind of commitment, be it to a man or to a place. After a tragic accident though, Summer finds herself in a terrible place, feeling heartbroken and lost. Not knowing what else to do, she remembers seeing an ad for Black Dog Bay, a small tourist town in Delaware that caters to the heartbroken with places such as the Eat Your Heart Out Bakery and the Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, and heads there right away. Almost immediately, Summer is accepted with open arms by the residents of the town, including Hattie Huntington, the most hated, evil old woman the town has ever seen. For the first time ever, Summer feels at home and doesn’t feel like running. She’s also possibly, maybe found love with a man she probably shouldn’t be falling for but she’s falling anyway, and life is looking up. Then Hattie, who is seeking revenge for a long ago wrongdoing, drops a bomb on Summer that may force her to lose everything she has only just started to find…

So. I really enjoyed this book and FLEW through it in a matter of days, which doesn’t happen all that often as I’m a fairly slow reader. I loved everything about it from the small town setting, to the vibrant cast of characters, to Summer’s witty one liners and hilarious attitude.

Black Dog Bay seems like an amazing place and I kind of wish it were real and that I lived there amongst the awesome locals (well, mostly awesome. Hattie was NOT so awesome). I love, love, love small towns and have always wished I lived in one because of the sense of community and kinship, and this fictional small town was no exception. It was full of sweet, little local businesses run by equally sweet people who welcomed Summer like an old friend. Despite her former wild, partying  ways and globetrotting lifestyle, Summer quickly falls in love with the town and its people, most notably with Dutch, the stern but uber hot mayor who needs a little more fun in his life. Once Summer manages to get under his skin, both of their lives start to improve for the better.

I loved the characters in this story. All of the heartbreak themed businesses were run by local women who seemed both like great friends AND a lot of fun. I would have loved to pull up a bar stool and join them in their frequent gossip sessions at the Whinery Bar. Summer was a fantastic character who really cracked me up and always had just the right thing to say in response to any of Hattie’s nasty quips. Hattie, on the other hand, was dreadful. She was very spiteful about something that had happened many years ago, and had since been torturing basically the whole town with her nasty demeanor and constant complaints. She and Summer tend to clash on most occasions, but when Hattie gives Summer an ultimatum that can destroy everything for both her and the entire town, she is torn about what to do.

I could go on but I’ll close this by saying if you like chick lit, women’s fiction, sweet stories, or funny stories, I’d highly recommend you check this one out. I’m already itching to read my next Beth Kendrick story!

My Rating: 5/5

Review: The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish

Title: The Opposite of Everythingopposite
Author: David Kalish
Genre/Audience: Contemporary fiction
Publication: 2014
Source: For review

Reviewed by Kim

Daniel Plotnick is a journalist from Brooklyn who he learns he has cancer. Unfortunately, this is not the only bad thing that happens to him - his marriage ends and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge. After this terrifying event, he comes up with a plan to do the opposite of everything he has done before, since doing what he thought was the right thing did not work out for him.

This book definitely held my interest and I found it to be very unique. The character of Daniel was not particularly sympathetic, although I was invested in finding out if his opposite plan would work out for him, because really, what an unusual and crazy idea! His thought process that he could turn his life around by doing the opposite of what he would have done in his prior life totally baffled his friends, but made sense in kind of a weird way when you think about it. I don’t know that I would consider it a comedy, as the jacket describes, but it was definitely different and captivating.  I would recommend this book if you are looking for something out of the ordinary than what you would normally read.

A lifechanger!

I don’t think that I have ever had more exciting and lifechanging news to share than I do right now. So, here goes…

cakeJerry and I are so excited to share that we are going to be having a baby!

As of today, I should be about five weeks along, if all of our estimations are correct. We’ll know for sure at my first appointment in just a couple of weeks!

I will share more details and information in a few days in a lengthier post, but for now, we just wanted to get our exciting news out there! We really couldn’t be happier and cannot wait to have a baby.

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A crazy (good) weekend.

Well this weekend has been a complete and utter whirlwind full of lots of awesomeness, but also lots of craziness! Books, family, friends, food, and running… all of my favorite things!

My weekend started with the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival! I’ve been on the committee for the past two years with lots of fellow librarians, and it’s been SO crazy but so rewarding. We get around 30 YA authors each year (this was the 9th annual), and I am talking HUGE bestselling authors. Check out our TBF alums on the site here. So my crazy weekend started Friday when I took off work to help set up and prepare for the festival which was held on Saturday. There was lots of running around during the day, and then Friday evening we had our welcome dinner with the authors. The amazing Simone Elkeles sat at my table and I loved chatting with her. I read Perfect Chemistry a few years ago and am a big fan.

Saturday started at 6 AM when my alarm went off and I was off to the festival for some last minute set up before the author parade started at 8:45. They arrive in limos and old cars while thousands of teens cheer them on. I was stationed at the merchandise table for the day, which was lots of fun. TBF literally draws a crowd of thousands each year, and it is so epic that people travel here for it. Our authors have told us countless times that it is one of the best festivals ever because they are treated like rock stars. I love it so much and it literally gives me chills to see how books can bring so many people together, and how many people are touched and excited about books. There are so many booklovers all in one place… these are my people!

tbf collage

After the festival I had to hurry home for our housewarming party! It was hectic and crazy but great to see so many of our friends and family in one place and enjoying our new home! We had a “dips and drinks” party, and asked everyone to bring a favorite dip. Our house quickly became filled with lots of awesome food and even more awesome loved ones. Everyone seemed to have a great time! I was busy bustling around trying to be a good hostess and talk to everyone, but it’s so hard! It felt like my wedding where I wanted the chance to talk to everyone, but really only got a few minutes or seconds with each person. At any rate, we had a great time showing off our new digs and hanging out with everyone.

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Taylor (bff), Denise, Me!

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Just some of the 800 dips!

Sunday was another early morning as we headed out for our first race of the year, the Lilac Festival 5K at 8 AM! Jerry and I ran with our friend Denise (above). All three of us actually met on MyFitnessPal so how cool is that? It was an awesome race, and the perfect day for it! I’ll post a race recap later on this week. My parents came to show their support, and my dad, the photographer, got some great shots.

runningI’m really into low-key weekends, but once in awhile, it’s nice to be busy and get out there. I’ll be looking forward to relaxing a bit more next week though! I’ll be around the blogosphere more this week now that my crazy weekend is through. I will also be sharing some exciting news sometime in the next few days. :)

How was everyone else’s weekend?

Review: Old Before My Time by Hayley and Kerry Okines

Title: Old Before My Timeold
Author: Hayley and Kerry Okines
Genre/Audience: Memoir, nonfiction
Publication: 2011
Source: Own (Kindle)

Perhaps you’ve heard of the amazing Hayley Okines, or maybe you’ve seen her on TV. Hayley was born with an incredibly rare condition called Progeria, which causes her to age eight times faster than the average person. From the time she was a baby, she looked like an elderly person, and had the physical symptoms to accompany that, including things like arthritis. She is also very small and frail. Because these children have the bodies of very old people, they rarely make it into their teenage years. This book is written by both Hayley and her mother, in alternating chapters, and tells Hayley’s story from the time she was born until present day (really 2011, when it was written).

First and foremost… girl has SPUNK and she NEVER lets this disorder get her down. She was only 13 years old at the time this book was written, and had such a positive attitude already. Because of her Progeria, she has had some amazing experiences in her life like meeting Kylie Minogue, Steve Irwin, and Justin Bieber. She even says that if she were given the choice, she would still live her life with this condition because of the opportunities it has afforded her. Yes, she endures a lot of pain and discomfort, and yes, her life isn’t always normal, but her outlook on life is truly incredible.

While Hayley talks a lot about the positive experiences that have come along with having Progeria, Kerry, her mother, discusses a lot of the difficulties, like seeing fellow Progeria children pass away, or trying to decide whether Hayley should partake in various drug trials to try and prolong her life. With these two voices narrating, we are able to see two different sides of the issue, which is very eye-opening. I admire the entire family because they are always willing to do anything they can to improve Hayley’s life, while also allowing her to live as normal a life as possible.

Today, Hayley is about 17 years old. She has lived longer than most people with Progeria have, and I continue to root for her and her family. She truly is remarkable and admirable. I loved getting to know more about her story through reading this book.

One thing I will say is that the writing is not the best. I know some of the issue for me may have been the British slang, but I also felt it could have been edited better. I still really enjoyed learning more about Hayley though, and I don’t think this issue will bother everyone, but I just wanted to point it out and explain why my rating wasn’t higher.

Anyway, if you enjoy  those TV documentaries about extraordinary people and/or medical issues, like I do, this book may be right up your alley. In fact, Hayley has been filmed for multiple shows herself, and I will continue following her story and progress as best I can.

My Rating: 3/5