4 Things I can’t live without right now

At 34 (almost 35) weeks, it’s safe to say I’m fully in my third trimester. And because I’m carrying twins, I’m within what I lovingly call “the red zone.” Meaning, they could come any time now.

When people complain about the third trimester, they aren’t kidding. From aching everything to insomnia to nesting, you feel like you are splitting at the seams – literally and mentally.  I will say though, that while I am pretty uncomfortable, it’s not as bad as I thought.

As these weeks have passed, I have realized that I absolutely cannot live without these following things:

  1. These sandals. Made with yoga mats, these are seriously the only shoes I can wear. Between all the extra weight and swelling, I need comfortable and open. Maybe not the prettiest sandal on the block, they are definitely the most comfortable.
  2. Compression socks. In case you missed it, swollen feet are officially an issue. Interestingly, this is the one thing that I have been the most self-conscious about, even though it’s normal. What nobody tells you about this lovely phenomenon is that your legs get really itchy as well from the swelling. So these are in regular rotation, unless I’m leaving the house.
  3. My Kindle. But not one of the new, pretty ones. I’m still using my old, second generation Kindle that keeps chugging along. Because I am tired and sore ALL the time, I have been taking this opportunity to read. Alot. Because I know I won’t be able to, once the girls are here. Reading has always been my escape, and as we get closer to the day, I need to get my mind off of baby stuff from time-to-time.
  4. Witch Hazel. Random, I know. But my skin is getting more and more sensitive, so I’ve reincorporated this in to my beauty regiment. I could go on and on about the values of natural makeup and witch hazel, but this article from the FP blog does a much better job. It’s only been a couple weeks, but my skin definitely feels happier now that I’ve added this in to my regiment.
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The benefit of slowing down

It’s a bright and beautiful day out, and for once it’s not blisteringly hot down here in Miami. So what’s a girl to do when she can’t walk for more than 10-15 minutes without bone-settling exhaustion? Thanks to all the improvements the hubs has made on our townhouse, I’m enjoying the back patio with the breeze blowing through the banana trees.

Yes, this is real life when you live in the suburbs of South Florida. Something has to make up for the god-forsaken traffic in this place.

If there’s one thing I can say about pregnancy, it’s this. I have learned to slow down. Not because I want to, but because I have to. While I may have a lot of energy to start projects, I move at about a quarter of the pace that I used to. And that’s probably a good thing. I’m less high-strung and anxious about things.

However, there is a downside here. Between this bubbling abundance of creative energy and my addiction to Fixer Upper, I’ve jumped on El Hombre’s bandwagon of renovating our downstairs half-bath. At 32 weeks pregnant. Clearly this is a genius idea, right? Especially since the nursery isn’t done yet. Wish us luck!

 

Maternity Monday: Swollen Feet

It happens to most women. That moment when you catch a glimpse of your feet (which doesn’t happen that often) and you realize you don’t know where you calves end and your feet begin. Even though you know it happens to everyone, it still gets you.

If you ask around on how to reduce the swelling you get answers like, “You must have preeclampsia” or “it happens to everyone, it goes away at birth.” Not helpful, not helpful at all.

Before I was pregnant, my hands and feet would swell if I exercised too much and got dehydrated. At those points, I would drink a ton, ice my feet and rest. So I tried all these things and no dice. Then I asked the mommy forums on Facebook – that was the right thing to do. So if you are battling swollen feet and/or legs, this is what worked for me:

  1. Compression socks: Yup. You read it correctly. I refer to them as my old man socks. You can find them at any drug store (except for Target, apparently) for about $10.  They roll up to about your knees and they are most definitely not kidding about the compression. I had to have El Hombre put them on for me.
  2. Elevate your legs: This was supremely uncomfortable for awhile for me because I cannot lay on my back. But I figured out that I could drag a stool up to my favorite chair and put my feet (with my new compression socks) up on the chair. This is pretty much how I watched all the Heat/Hornets games.
  3. Rest: Pregnancy makes this a bit easier for me, but I am not good at sitting still. And I definitely notice a huge difference if I am on my feet all day. If he could, I think El Hombre would put me on bed rest. How to get through this? Binge watch Rome on Amazon Prime.
  4. Epsom salts: Yeah, you aren’t really supposed to take hot baths while you are pregnant, but you can soak your feet.  This was advice that I can’t believe I didn’t think of myself, as I believe epsom salts are the answer to everything.
  5. Ice: I mentioned above that this didn’t do much, but it did stop the itching. The extra fluid on your joints can be maddeningly itchy and ice does help quell that feeling. In combination with everything else, it’s useful.

After a day of all of this, my feet and calves look and feel normal again. When I feel it coming on again (generally I get itchy in my feet and legs when the swelling is about to kick it), I start the whole process over. And then I take a deep breathe and think, “Six and a half weeks left until the real fun starts!”

Do not register with Baby’s R Us

So, baby registries. A somewhat necessary evil. I’ve always felt strange putting together gift lists for people – like I expect them to buy me things, when really I don’t. But people ask and it makes everyone’s lives easier.

So, in my experience with both wedding registries and baby registries, I can hands-down tell you that Baby’s R Us is the worst. Part of this is personal snobbery – I cannot stand bad user experience, and Baby’s R Us clearly needs to restructure their entire online shopping experience. It looks like they just keep building on a site that they built in the early 2000’s.

But that’s not the only reason I recommend that you avoid the Baby’s R Us registry.  They also clearly have some issues with their internal systems architecture.  Items will show as “purchased” on the registry but never show up in your gift manager. If items are shipped separately there is no documentation of that – which has led me to several contacts with customer service. In some cases, they are unable to explain to me where the items are or when they are coming as they do not have access to the warehousing information.

On several occasions, the registry information goes down and is not available. This cannot be chalked up to maintenance because it happens in the middle of the day and early evenings – prime online shopping times. Other times, like today, the registry information will come back up on the website, but customer service will not have access.

Most recently, I had a friend contact me because he purchased something on my registry, and a week later got an email from Baby’s R Us that the item cannot be fulfilled and they were cancelling the order. No similar email was sent to me so that I could pick a similar item – I had to rely on my friend to tell me. What kind of shopping experience is this? Overall, very disappointing.

Baby’s R Us also has the lowest completion discount of all the registries.

So where should you register? I recommend Target and Amazon. Both have clean, simple, easy websites. Getting information is easy and with Target you can still go in-store. My friend also recommends Buy Buy Baby. From my shopping experience, Buy Buy Baby is much better online. I just didn’t choose it because the store closest to me is pretty small and much of their merchandise is high up on shelves that I cannot reach.

Oh babies. I hope you don’t inherit my shopping problems.

In the past 29 weeks, I’ve realized something. When you become pregnant, the stories about parenting shift. All of a sudden you start hearing the “horror” stories from well-meaning parents. That’s great, I appreciate that people don’t want me to be blindsided. But sometimes you just need a break from poop explosion stories and sleep regression. All that’s going to hit me in a way that I can’t prepare for, other than to soldier through so in the meantime I’m going to daydream about the memorable experiences and cuteness that comes along with parenting. And while I currently don’t reflect this interest, one of these things is fashion.

As I’ve perused my Instagram feed, Pinterest feed and stores, I’m starting to see all sorts of things that we clearly don’t need, but I want for future park and beach days. Like these:

Floral Baby Romper

This adorable romper from Bailey’s Blossoms would perfectly show off chubby baby legs on park and playground days.

Coming home baby girl outfit

This coming home outfit from Gigi and Max is adorable! Maybe a bit too toasty for my Miami babies, but I love it!

Knot headband tutorial

I can totally make these. And I will. I like these better than those massive flower headband situations.

foxdressprodw

I mean, how can you not do this for fall?

baby dino dress

How can any kid not love dinosaurs? I love dinosaurs! Maybe not $50 dinosaurs but this is so, so cute.

 

I could go on and on and on. But it’s a slippery slope between online shopping and having an “oops, I kind of spent too much money, but I’m supporting small businesses!” conversation later.

Also, this is in no way a sponsored post and I do not receive any compensation for purchases. I just genuinely love these pieces.

Where did the second trimester go?

As of this week, I am officially in my third trimester. It doesn’t seem real and I vividly remember thinking to myself, “how the hell am I going to get through this” back in my first trimester.

Everyone told me I would immediately feel better in my second trimester. I would have more energy, my nausea would go away and I would feel on top of the world. Well, sort of.  Maybe twin pregnancies are different in that respect too. As I look towards my last two and a half months, I also reflect on the past three months and how they measured up against what I was told:

The nausea and morning sickness go away after week 12,13,14:

Not only did my nausea not go away, but my morning sickness got so bad that I was told I needed to gain MORE weight. At 19 weeks I went to acupuncture and I swear that’s what fixed this for me.

The food aversions go away and you can eat again. 

I still get food aversions but they definitely subside, as well as the extreme sense of smell. I can finally eat meat again, although in smaller quantities.

This is when the crazy food cravings kick in.

Again, this didn’t really happen with me. I am more hungry, but I don’t have weird cravings and I can’t eat a bucket of ice cream by myself. Most of my cravings have been healthy food, and annoyingly, soda.

You are going to have SO MUCH ENERGY!

Hahahahahaha no. Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I have been tired and out of breath. There are days that I start with lots of energy, or get inspired, but I can’t go the entire day. Rest breaks are my best friend.

Obviously I also experienced some things that nobody told me. Like carpel tunnel hits you pretty hard. Getting up and leaning over becomes increasingly more difficult and getting a cough can make you pull a back muscle.

But this is when I felt more connected to the babies. I can feel them moving, kicking and pushing a lot more. And they look much more real on ultrasounds – they are obviously bigger, and there’s something breathtaking about seeing little fingers, toes, feet and arms.

People are also generally nicer. In Miami, this is huge. People open doors for you, smile at you and ask for details.  The older ladies in our complex quiz El Hombre on details.

As the time gets closer, it will be interesting to see how everything changes. And June, you can hold off on coming for a bit. We still have so much to do!

 

Our Baby Shower: A recap and tips

Who doesn’t love a good party?

This weekend we celebrated our baby shower with our friends, and guys, it was a blast. For those who don’t know, I generally bristle at the idea of “shower-style” parties. I don’t get into games, I usually don’t know a lot of people except for the host and overall I find them awkward. I didn’t have a bridal shower and, had it not been for my friend Natalie, I wouldn’t have done a baby shower. But I’m glad I did.

You see, Natalie knows me. So there were no games and we took the same approach for this party that El Hombre and I would for any other party. We rented our condo pavilion and invited pretty much everyone we see regularly – men, women and children.  And we all had a blast. Our party was supposed to end around 6 or 7, but our last guests left around midnight. I had no idea where my phone was for the majority of the time

In my brief experiences of throwing parties, I have realized there are 3 key aspects to a successful party:

  • Good food
  • Alcohol
  • Good music

People won’t often remember the details of decorations or the venue and our personal preference is to have outdoor parties and clean, minimal decorations so that people have space to move around. What people remember is seeing friends, munching on something tasty and drinking a cold beer while watching their kids running around making friends and playing.

Because I didn’t have my phone, I didn’t take a single picture. But most of my friends did – using our hashtag, #marcheztwins.  Here’s a few that I lifted off FaceBook: