Wednesday, July 27, 2016

40 Weeks!

Dates: July 20- July 27

Baby is the Size of a: mini-watermelon (approximate length and weight: 20 inches, 7+ pounds)

How I'm Feeling: I'm good, but a little achy. That's not surprising since I'm now a week past my due date. I'm feeling lots of cramps, dull aches, and contractions, but nothing productive yet. I got kind of excited the other night because I had a few contractions in a row, but sadly, it didn't lead anywhere. Baby will come when he's ready.

Other than physical symptoms though, I'm feeling awesome! My in-laws have been SO helpful! They've completely taken charge and have been great with Zahara. It's such a relief to be able to relax and just try and enjoy these last days.

How I'm Changing: Just when I thought I couldn't get any bigger, I am still growing! I'm up around 35 pounds now, which is 7 more pounds than with Zahara. But, thankfully, it's still pretty much all belly (and a little swelling in my feet). My rings still fit though and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm just making a nice little home for baby.

What I'm Eating: As I hoped, I've been eating tons of delicious Russian food that my mother-in-law has been making. Vinegret, lula kabob, syrniki, all sorts of delicious salads she just throws together with whatever's in the fridge. It's been awesome.

What the Baby is Doing: Whoever said that babies slow down toward the end and don't move as much clearly has never met my kids. This baby is just as active as he's been since I could first feel him at 13 weeks. Maybe he's just getting all his energy out now so he can sleep perfectly once he's out. Ha!

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 40

Monday, July 25, 2016

Playing Hooky Pre-Baby

While baby is still nice and cozy in there, Dan and I decided to take the day off work last Friday to play hooky. It was a fun day filled with a movie, ice cream, and swimming with the family. I can't think of a better way to spend the day.  

Dan and I saw Star Trek Beyond on it's opening day in the morning. It wasn't too crowded, which was nice. I enjoyed the movie, but Dan wasn't crazy about it. I'm loving all of the new strong women portrayed in the movies. I never really considered myself a feminist, but raising a daughter has made me really aware of gender disparity and stereotypes. I want Z to grow up seeing heroines and superheroes in movies, and smart, successful women in real life. Whew! Off my soap box now.

After the movie we hung out in downtown Silver Spring and grabbed a veggie burger at BurgerFi and a Cold Stone ice cream. We split a small German chocolate ice cream and it was amazing! 

After lunch we headed back home to pick up Z and my in-laws. Since it was so hot outside, it was the perfect day for some time by the pool. Our county has great public facilities. I love the lazy river! It felt fantastic walking around the loop while Z sat in the inner tube having a great time. We went around for nearly an hour. 

Z, Rose, Yakov, and Dan also spent a lot of time in the toddler area where there is a shallow pool and a mushroom fountain. We were there so long we clearly exhausted her.

Such a fun day! I love these final days with our little family.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

39 Weeks!

Dates: July 13- July 19

Baby is the Size of a: mini-watermelon (approximate length and weight: 20 inches, 7+ pounds)

How I'm Feeling: All things considered, I feel pretty good, but I'm starting to feel a bit anxious and a little grumpy. I'm not so worried about the labor itself (I know what that's like). It's more that I just want to know when things will happen. My in-laws arrived this weekend, which is just amazing that they're able to put their life on hold for us to help for as long as we need. But it would be really nice to know how long that is, and when my parents should come, and when my last day of work is, and when the bris will get the idea.

How I'm Changing: No real signs of labor yet, but lots of false starts. Mostly just braxton hicks and feeling like the baby is moving down a bit. I also am apparently a creature of habit. Just like last time at 39 weeks, I got a hair cut. This one wasn't nearly as dramatic as when I cut off 8 inches, but it still makes me feel good.

What I'm Eating: Pretty usual stuff, but now that my mother-in-law is here, I'm excited for all the delicious Russian food she's making!

What the Baby is Doing: Baby is still moving just as much as usual, which is a good sign, but also kind of uncomfortable. It's crazy seeing my stomach so huge and still moving like there is an alien inside.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 39

Monday, July 18, 2016

Fun Maternity Photo Shoot

I can't believe I haven't posted our maternity pictures yet. I guess I really should while I'm still pregnant. Ha!

They turned out great, and I'm so glad we did them. This time was a little different than last. First of all, I had a young child to chase and entertain. And second, it was approximately a million degrees outside. Nevertheless, it was a great experience.

You may remember my Spouses on Sabbatical friend from England, Katie. Well she is back in the U.S. too and is an amazing photographer. We hired her for this session, and she captured some great shots. Here are a few favorites.

I may turn one or two into a canvas like I did last time and put them in the baby's room. I'm thinking maybe the one of Z kissing my belly, or the closeup of my belly. What do you think?

If you live in the DC area and are looking for an amazing (and affordable!) photographer, check out our friend Katie at Sweet Serendipity. She's awesome! (Not a sponsored post--we just love Katie!)

See our first maternity session:
Maternity Photo Shoot

Friday, July 15, 2016

38 Weeks

Dates: July 6- July 12

Baby is the Size of a: leek (approximate length and weight: 19 1/2 inches, 7 pounds)

How I'm Feeling: Pretty good, actually. Compared to this same time with my last pregnancy, I am much more physically able that I was. I'm still big and slow, but I can walk reasonable lengths without experiencing terrible pain. I'm suffering from a bit of insomnia, and I'm definitely ready for the baby to come, but things could be much worse.

How I'm Changing: It turns out the swelling in my hands was really just from the heat. Now that I'm spending less time commuting, my hands are back to a normal size and my rings still fit. Yay!

What I'm Eating: I generally eat pretty healthily, and I'm mostly sticking to that. But, at the same time, recognizing that it's my last few weeks of my last pregnancy, I am indulging a bit. My latest favorite is Dominion Root Beer. It uses local honey to sweeten the drink, which gives it a really nice sweet-but-not-too-sweet flavor. So delicious!

What the Baby is Doing: Baby's only job now is packing on the pounds. And he's doing a good job, averaging an ounce a day!

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 38

Monday, July 11, 2016

Date Night!

Our good friends Dani and Brian very generously offered to watch Zahara for the night so Dan and I could have a date night. They are our emergency contacts for when baby Levin comes until my in-laws arrive next weekend, so this was a bit of a trial for how Z would do with them. I am happy to report that it was a success on all fronts!

We dropped Z off around 4:30 on Saturday and picked her back up at noon on Sunday. She had a blast playing with Bernadette, who is almost a year and a half. They played in the backyard, made colored pancakes for breakfast and read a million books.

Dan and I planned on dinner and a movie, but there wasn't anything we really wanted to see. Instead, went for smoothies at a coffee shop and a live comedy show at the Arlington Cinema and Draft House. I've never been there before, but it was a lot of fun. The show was good (the Sklar brothers headlined), and the nachos were delicious.

Afterwards, we met up with our friends Nick and Laura who happen to live nearby. It was nice seeing them and not having to rush home to relieve the babysitter.

All-in-all, it was a fun experience for everyone. And, as a bonus, Z had so much fun that she completely wore herself out. This was her at 6:30 on Sunday Night. Win!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Another Baby Pool Contest

UPDATE: Well, this is awkward...but I think I'm the winner of this baby pool. Asher was born on July 27th, weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces. No one, not even me, predicted what a giant baby he would be. But I did guess the right date. Thanks to everyone who played!

Just like I did last time, I'm running another contest to see when Baby Boy Levin will arrive. I'm currently 38 weeks and four days pregnant, meaning he will definitely come some time between now and August 3rd. My doctors will likely induce me sometime in that 41st week if he doesn't come on his own.

So who wants to play a fun game? Guess when baby Levin will arrive and how big he will be. Here is some background to help with your guesses: Zahara was born 9 days late, weighing 8 pounds, 0 ounces.

To sweeten the pot (literally), I'll provide the winner with a canister of freshly made candied almonds!
  • PRIZE: One canister of homemade candied almonds
  • TO ENTER: Comment on this post with your guess of when baby Levin will arrive (between July 10-August 3) AND how big you think he'll be (e.g. 7 pounds 3 ounces)
  • PRIZE SHIPS: Anywhere in the world
  • GIVEAWAY CLOSES: Thursday, August 4th or when Baby Levin arrives (whichever comes first)
The commenter with the closes guess wins. In case of multiple right guesses, one winner will be selected using Good luck!

Friday, July 8, 2016

37 Weeks

Dates: June 29- July 5

Baby is the Size of a: bunch of swiss chard (approximate length and weight: 19 inches, 6 1/3 pounds)

How I'm Feeling: I'm feeling pretty good, actually. As of this week I'm no longer commuting to the office, which is awesome! I'm looking forward to not having to be on the metro for more than an hour each way. I'm excited to not have to sit in an office chair for hours on end. I'm excited to use my own bathroom a hundred times a day instead of the office one. So much to look forward to. Ha!

How I'm Changing: Now my hands are starting to swell too. Bummer. I think I might have to take my rings off just in case the swelling gets worse. At my 37 week check up though my doctor said she was surprised "how skinny my wrists and ankles were for someone so pregnant in July." What a strange, lovely compliment.

What I'm Eating: Would you believe that I'm still eating leftover cake from Zahara's birthday party? Well I am, and it is amazing.

What the Baby is Doing: I had my last physiotherapy appointment this week, and when saying good-bye, my therapist said that she's never seen a baby as active as mine. It's so funny how many people I've heard that same story from. This doesn't bode well for a restful first couple of months.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 37

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

36 Weeks

Dates: June 22-28

Baby is the Size of a: head of romaine lettuce (approximate length and weight: 18 1/2 inches, 6 pounds)

How I'm Feeling: I'm officially nine months pregnant! I'm feeling pretty good, but this last month is going to move so slowly. I am already starting to feel anxious. It's hard to sleep at night because I have so many thoughts running through my head. I need to get the hospital bag packed, the baby's clothes washed, supplies for the first couple of days...

How I'm Changing: Just getting real surprises here

What I'm Eating: Nothing too unusual

What the Baby is Doing: Still moving a ton. When checking the heartbeat this week, the doctor said, "wow, he's a real mover and shaker." I hear that some babies slow down by the end of the pregnancy. I'm 0-2 on that front. But I know I'll miss those kicks and hiccups when he's out, so I'm trying to treasure it all now.

Read about my first pregnancy:
My Pregnancy
Week 36

Monday, July 4, 2016

Zahara's 3rd Birthday Party

To celebrate Zahara's third birthday, we wanted to have a party that is as fun and energetic as she is. The fact that I'm nine months pregnant made me hesitant to do it all ourselves though. We did a bit of crowd-sourcing to see what been-there, done-that parents recommend, and came away with a recommendation for a gymnastics place near us. Best. Decision. Ever!

If you're local, I can't recommend Silver Stars highly enough. They clearly know what they're doing. This was the best, easiest birthday party I've ever hosted (and I've hosted quite a few!).  It was a little pricey, but totally worth it.

I never get to see Zahara interact with her daycare buddies because Dan is in charge of the pick-ups and drop-offs. So it was especially fun for me to see her play with her two best friends, Ben and Liana, and the "babies," Dylan, Annabel, and Hannah. Our good friends' kids also were able to come: Paige, Lena, Genevieve, and baby Reid.

The program is a pretty tightly-run ship, but at the same time it feels like there is plenty of free time for the kids to play. We started in the gym where the kids got to play on various equipment like the rope swing, the balance beams, and a moon bounce. The instructors led the kids through warm-ups before setting them loose. Watch this and just try not to smile. I dare you.

After some more playtime in the smaller gym, it was time for cake and snacks. We brought some cheese, crackers, veggies, dip, and of course cake. We got the cake from Costco and it was DELICIOUS! 

It was such a blast watching Zahara run, jump, skip, and giggle her way through the day. Happy birthday, Zahara! Here's to many, many more!

Read about Zahara's other birthdays:
Zahara's Second Birthday
Zahara's First Birthday

Friday, July 1, 2016

More Thoughts by Z

Zahara is such a chatterbox and I love hearing what's going on in that gorgeous head of hers. Here are a few recent gems.

Thought 1:
Z: One day I am going to have a backyard with a fruit tree and a playground. One pear tree. Or maybe two.

Thought 2: 
Z: Mummy? One day, will you marry me?
Me: Of course!
Z: But not yet. We have to wait until I'm older.
Me: How old do you have to be to get married?
Z: Maybe 100
Me: And how old will I be?
Z: 13.

Thought 3:
Z: I want to be a space teacher. That's called astronomy.

Thought 4:
Z, playing doctor: I hate to tell you this, but you're very sick.

See previous Thoughts by Z here