Baby Must Haves

It only took me 3 newborns to finally sort out the “Must-Haves” from the “I could live withouts”. Here’s some things I couldn’t live without this go around…not only for the baby but for myself, too!
Avent Bottles – you name the bottle, I’ve tried it. From Gerber to Dr. Brown’s. A friend suggested I try Avent this time around and I’ve fallen in love. You didn’t know you could fall in love with a bottle, did you? Doesn’t take much to get me excited…obviously. I love that this have few parts but still serving the purpose to help with colic, gas and spitting up. I have been very impressed.

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Soothie Pacifier – Neither one of my boys took a pacifier. I recall many of nights leaned over into their bassinet just praying they would suck on it while holding it in their mouth. They didn’t and I’m sure God laughed. But, praise the good Lord above that #3 LOVES a paci. I bought all the cute ones before we had her but she is hooked on this Soothie one. I say its the ugliest one on the market. After some research about them, they really do have the best ratings and ergonomically are the best, too. They are the closest shape to the mother’s breast which is the reason most babies prefer them. Even if it is bigger than her head, it gets the job done. SIlence.

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Rock-n-Play Sleeper – How did I ever live without this thing? How did I not know about it with babies #1 and 2?! Someone gifted this to me and I literally don’t know how we’d live without it. If anytime Dixie is sleeping, it’s in the rock-n-play. It puts the baby at a slight angle eliminating all worry for spitting up while sleeping and choking. It also cradles them around the sides to make if feel like they are being held instead of all alone in a bed or bassinet. Love, LOve, LOVE it! And, It’s on sale at Target right now, too!!

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Sleep Sheep– In my house, a sound machine is a MUST. We all have one. There are too many different things going on around here at all times for anyone to get silence, so we just tune it out. DIxie LOVES her Sleep Sheep and I’ve mastered the roll over repress the button before it shuts off like a pro!!
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Diaper Caddy – When we got home from the Hospital and I was setting up shop on the couch following my CSection, I was trying to figure out to get everything within arms reach. My MIL went out and got this JJ Cole Diaper Caddy from Babies R Us. It’s perfecting for everything you need during the night. I load it down every night before bed with Bottle’s, Formula, Diapers, Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Pacifier, Burp Cloth and anything else I may need in the night. It is definitely a MUST MUST MUST have.

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Boppy Pillow – even us non breast feeding moms can benefit from a Boppy Pillow. Whether it be propping D up for some activity time or using it to support the boys when holding her, we have used a Boppy Pillow so much!

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Formula Dispenser – Having 2 other kids with activities and obligations got us out and about much sooner than with the first or second baby. I have found it so easy to pack my Avent bottles in the diaper bag with the right amount of room temperature water and fill the formula dispenser with Dixie’s formula powder. When time for a bottle just dump it in and you have a ready made bottle in 2.5. Easy Peasy.

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Muslin Swaddle Blankets – Our little bit LOVES to be swaddled. Once again, something the boys didn’t do. You can swaddle with the blankets from the hospital as they are the perfect size but I really like the Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddles as well as the ChickPea Muslin ones. Plus, it’s the same kind of swaddle Dixie’s future husband Prince George made his world debut in. If it’s good enough for the Royals’, it’s good enough for me! 🙂

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And plus, this picture makes me laugh! Can any of my UK friends confirm if this is how babies are buckled across the pond? I’d love to know!! Poor, poor Georgie.

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Hand Sanitizer – with Dixie being our smallest baby to date and it taking us a few weeks to get her back above birth weight, my Pediatrician could not stress enough hand sanitize, hand sanitize, hand sanitize.  I could buy stock in hand sanitizer as many bottles as we have around our house right now.

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Graco snap-n-go Stroller – Like I said before, being out of the house much sooner then we anticipated this time around, this snap-n-go stroller has been so easy for us. LOVE!

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Baby Connect app – What did we do without technology? I act like I’d forget to feed my baby if it weren’t for this app. I probably rely on it entirely TOO much but with all of our schedules lately I’d probably lose my head if it weren’t attached. Therefor, this app has been a lifesaver for me and it makes dr appointments much smoother too when the Doc ask how many bottles, diapers or ounces a day.

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And for Mommy:
Pads – As much as we would like to think that you come home from the hospital and it’s just perfect fairy tale bliss…it’s not. Your body is going through so many changes over the next 6 weeks and I guarantee you will probably use google much more than you are used to. With that being sad, the ugly truth is.. you bleed. Alot. Go ahead and save yourself and your spouse the embarrassment or the total hormonal breakdown when you send him out to the store and he gets the wrong thing. Before you go into the hospital, go ahead and by the kind of pads that you like and prefer for function and comfort. Let’s be honest..to our husbands, they are all the same.

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Sports Bras – Deciding not to BF this time was by far one of the best decisions I made for me and our family. Unfortunately, you still have the deal with the drying up phase. I am still living in these Danskin sports bras. Double and Tripling them sometimes for comfort. Bind Bind Bind, the milk goes away eventually. 

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Benadryl- After my surgery and being sent home with so many different meds, I experienced lots of itching. I went through 2 boxes of benadryl the first month. Perk: because Benadryl is meant to help with allergies and to stop runny noses etc. it also aids in drying up breast milk. double score for me. If you are a breastfeeding mom, I’d ask your DR before taking Benadryl. We all know when BF, breast milk is liquid gold. 

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Ibuprofen – remember how I mentioned all those body changes before?! Go on and buy a big ol’ bottle of ibuprofen. Just do it, you’ll thank me later.

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Running Shorts – As much as we would like to all come home and fit in those pre pregnancy jeans, it just doesn’t work that way for the majority of us. Do yourself, your emotions and your spouse a favor and don’t even try to get into something you think “may fit” until after the first 6 weeks. The last thing you need is a total sleep deprived hormonal breakdown that leaves you feeling like a big pile of poo. I’ve had those, can you tell? This time I have lived in these nike lined running shorts. For all reasons listed above and also with my CSection Incision my underwear rest right on my incision site. ouch! These shorts have built in underwear that our much much more comfortable during my recover.

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My Makeup routine has been quick and simple. I’ve listed my favorites for a less than 5 minute I look like I showered today look.

Concealer

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BB Cream

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Bronzer/Blush duo

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Mascara

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Chapstick

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Lotion/Self Tanner – As if you aren’t already not loving your reflection in the mirror post-baby, you don’t need pale skin to make you feel that much worse. I love this Jergens gradual tanner for a natural, I haven’t been sitting inside for 6 weeks and I swear I’m not sleep deprived look.

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I hope maybe you can find something from my list of Must-Haves that will help you too. What are your post baby must-haves? What about the next couple of months.. what could you not live without the first months after baby?

XOXO,

Paige

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2 Weeks of Chaotic Bliss

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On Tuesday, July 30th @ 7:48 AM our 6 pound 8 ounce little girl made her debut into this great big world!

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There she is: Dixie Danielle Parker

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Our little/big family is now complete!

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These 2 little boys are just beside themselves. Words can’t express how wonderful they have been to me and to her. No major meltdowns…yet!

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After a 4 day hospital stay we were so happy to get home and have everyone under one roof! True to form, life has been very chaotic for us these last 2 weeks. On top of the adjustments of a newborn, we have had lots of family and friends in town,

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we have sent our first born off to kindergarten,

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started fall football practices

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and thrown a birthday party!

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Woo-wee… Recovery? What’s that?! Though chaotic and stressful at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is our new normal. This is our life. This is my bliss! I don’t think I would know what to do if things were quiet and slow. Loud and busy is the norm for us and for that, I am grateful!

These next 2 weeks aren’t getting any slower and I am happily waiting for September and anticipating a more scheduled fall. During our 4 AM feeding is when I have started taking my “quiet time” for the day. I do a couple different devotionals but this morning one really hit close to home as we embark on this next chapter in our lives and try to process our “new normal”. Maybe this prayer can help you today too.

“Dear Lord, change and uncertainty can be scary, but I am choosing to trust You. Help me walk confidently in my new normal, knowing it has been perfectly arranged by You. I love You, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen”

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above…”

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XOXO,
Paige

A Break Before Baby

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I unintentionally have taken a blogging break before baby. The past few weeks have been filled with making my list and checking it twice, Santa Claus style. I’ve been cleaning, getting everything ready to be gone away from my house for 3-4 days, getting everything ready for our big guy to start Kindergarten, school supply/clothes and grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments and just trying to enjoy every last minute of Summer with my boys. To say its all been a bit overwhelming would be an understatement. I can’t believe we are in our last 5 days as a family of 4. It all seems a bit surreal. We cannot wait to welcome Dixie into our family next week. I pray that among all the chaos that comes along with a new baby that I am able to soak in every minute of it and really cherish this special time in our life. I cannot wait to see the dynamic that a little girl brings to our crazy world of boy. I can’t wait to give my boys the title of “protector” of their little sister. I am excited to see my husband hold his daughter for the first time as I think she will show him and all of us a new look on life. More than anything amidst all the nerves, anxieties and worries, I can’t wait to hold the little girl I thought I’d never have. The blog has really taken off in the past few weeks even though I have been nonexistent. I am excited about getting back into regular blogging once we are home and settled. There is so much that I can’t wait to write about from trying to get back the post-baby body to new recipes I’ve been trying out. I will post a brief update when baby Dixie makes her grand debut. And, I’ll be back soon with some fun new posts this fall. Until then, please be in prayer for a safe delivery and recovery and a smooth transition for all of us!

XOXO,

Paige

The Hospital Bag 411 part II

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After being up all night with Braxton Hicks contractions, I decided it was time for me to finish packing my hospital bag. After all, maybe I will have a use for it sooner than I thought. Either way, in 19 days we are headed to the hospital whether we are ready or not. So…let’s be ready. I already did a post on what I packed for the baby. You can find it here. Now, what I packed for me…

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The Bag: Vera Bradley Large Duffel in Provencal found here. This pattern is actually one of their sale colors right now at $63.75 vs. the usual $85.
What’s in the bag:

  • Lightweight Robe – for the first day I will stay in the hospital gown. I have csections so I am just coming off some major pain meds and you are so so sore. After night number one I will change into a lightweight robe.
  • Pajamas – This go around I got a sleeveless nightgown with a very light robe that goes over it. Both cotton.
  • 4 Sports Bras – For more reasons than one, I have decided not to breastfeed this time. I have been doing some research on how to dry up your milk quickly. The route I am going to take is tight sports bras immediately after delivery. I packed 4 because I usually where 2 at a time anyway, and I packed various sizes since your milk still does come in.
  • Regular Bra – I don’t know why and I probably wont even wear it except for to the hospital on surgery day, but it’s there if I want it.
  • “Granny Panties” – Goodbye body as you know it. Post delivery comes with all kinds of fun changes. I mostly use the mesh underwear offered by the hospital just because of my csection incision and the pain that I am in. But whether you have csection or a regular delivery, you are going to want to pack some underwear that you don’t mind ruining or throwing away after your hospital stay. Trust me.
  • 3 pairs of socks – hospitals are always cold and I am very cold natured. I need my socks.
  • Flip Flops – makes life easier when going to the bathroom, taking walks etc.
  • Stomach Wrap – I have a few different kinds of these and I packed all 3. The hospital gives you one if you are a csection patient, and it is by far my favorite. I still have mine from baby number 2 so I put that in my bag just in case they’ve changed them since last time. I also have the Baboosh Body and the Belly Bandit. Whether csection or regular delivery, wrapping my stomach very tight after delivery provided so much relief. Your uterus is steadily shrinking back to size and you will continue to have contractions. The belly wraps make everything so much easier. I wear them for a couple of weeks post baby.
  • Going home outfit – Pack something loose fitting and comfortable. Preferably something you have worn during this last trimester of pregnancy. As much as I’d like to tell you you will be right back in those size 4’s, it just isn’t going to happen. If you are prepared with something that is going to fit you then you won’t experience any disappointments upon leaving the hospital. Your hormones are going to be running wild. Don’t let weight or ill fitting clothes add to it.
  • Phone Charger

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I am lucky in that I am not one of those people who doesn’t have to wash my hair everyday. Thank God. So, I don’t even know if I will wash my hair during my hospital stay but I packed everything I would need to “get ready” just incase. Half of this stuff will probably not even get used but at least I have it if I need it. You are going to feel like you’ve been hit by a bus… any thing you can bring that will make you feel better about yourself, pack it.

Shown in picture:

  • Makeup Bag
  • Mirror
  • Hairspray
  • Spray Gel
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Body Spray
  • Eye Makeup Remover
  • Makeup Remover Towelettes
  • Cotton Balls
  • Qtips
  • Glasses Case with Glasses and Contacts
  • Contact Solution

Not shown in picture:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Wash
  • Shaving Cream
  • Razor
  • Hair Dryer
  • Straightener
  • Curling Iron
  • Bobby Pins, Ponytail holder, clippy
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste

That’s it. I think I am officially ready for my 3-4 day hospital stay. WooHoo. I can’t believe it is so close! Lucky for us we live extremely close to the hospital. Our 2 boys will be staying at our house with their grandparents. This makes life a little easier for me since I don’t have to worry about packing bags for them. Will will just pack a bag for the first night (Pajama Pants, Tshirt, Boxers, Socks, a pair of Jeans, Tennis Shoes, Toothbrush, Toothpaste) He will be able to go home everyday to tend to things the boys need as well as take a normal shower and change or get more clothes etc.

I hope this post helped any first time or 2nd, 3rd time moms get prepared for their hospital stay as well. It took me a while to even figure out where to begin and this is my 3rd go at it. But, I think I am prepared. Now, come on baby!!

XOXO,

Paige

The Hospital Bag 411 part 1

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I’m on baby #3 and I still struggled with what to pack in our bags. You’d think I’d be a seasoned professional by now. I was blessed with a fabulous baby shower on Saturday (post to come) and after 2 days straight including 7 loads of laundry, one full dishwasher, the help of my mom, and one exhausted pregnant lady I finally felt prepared enough to pack for the hospital and dare I say I think we are prepared enough to bring a baby home into our little world of chaos.

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{instagram: paigecparker}

I’m doing this post on what I packed for the baby. I will do a second post on what I pack for Me and Will (update: you can find the post on what I packed for Me, here.) as well as what I do for the boys who are going to be left with their grandparents.

It took me a while to even get back into “baby mode”. I really had to dig deep in my memory to remember what the hospital scene is like once the morphine drip wears off. Here is Dixie’s stash of stuff that will be going to the hospital with us.

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The only advice I could give you when it comes to packing for the baby is DON’T OVERPACK. The hospital is going to have everything you need and then some to be fully prepared for the care of your baby. All you need to pack is the stuff you need/want as far as the babies looks or just your preferences of a certain brand. The hospital will have diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, nipples, baby wash, rags, mittens, lotions, breast pumps, creams etc.. I could really go on and on. Don’t pack any of that. As a matter of fact load up your husband’s bag with the leftovers from each day at the hospital and let them refill the stockpile. I am all about getting as much as you can from them. After all, we do pay for it. So, needless to say I didn’t pack any of that stuff this go around. Here is what I did pack:

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  • The bag: Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote in “Party Punch” you can find it here

From left to right:

  • Hair bows and headbands. I had someone tell me you have to put a headband/hair bow on her right when she comes out so she will get used it. So, I’m listening. I’m still learning about this girl stuff.
  • I’m also bringing my own pacifiers. Neither one of my boys would take them, but by chance that Dixie does, I want to give her a cute one and not those big ugly ones the hospital gives you.
  • Mittens. Both of my boys came out scratching themselves like crazy. The hospital will offer you mittens but they are green, blue or yellow. I packed a couple of girly pink ones.
  • A pink receiving blanket for swaddling. The hospital will provide the generic footprint or neutral striped blankets for swaddling and I definitely do use those, but I put a pink one in her bag for pictures sake.
  • 2 newborn sleepers.
  • Burp Towels/”cloth diapers” I just like a certain kind of thick burp towel so I threw a couple of those in the diaper bag just in case I wanted to use them.
  • Monogrammed/Applique Gowns Since I have C Sections and we are in the hospital for more than the usual 48 I packed some cute gowns for when we have visitors.
  • Going home outfit and blanket I am so excited about Dixie’s going home outfit. It is the same outfit I went home in. I cannot wait to see her in it! Even though it is July in the MidSouth, the outfit I packed is very light so I packed a blanket to put over her too.

Along with her bag we have the car seat and Boppy Pillow. Whether you are breastfeeding or not, the Boppy Pillow will be your best friend, trust me.

And, that’s all folks. Very basic and really just stuff I wanted to pack versus needed to pack. I can’t reiterate enough that the hospital will have all of your needs there provided for you. Save your stuff for when you get home.

I am slowly getting my bag ready, I’ll be back soon with that post. (update: find what I packed in my bag here.)

XOXO,

Paige

35 weeks and counting…

35 weeks.
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Did I really just type 3-5?! Can’t believe we are entering into our last month of pregnancy EVER! This pregnancy has FLOWN by. Everything about this pregnancy has been different than with my boys and I really am bittersweet about it ending. Well, kind of bittersweet and some days I’m just ready to get her out already! I’m sure all you moms out there can relate. It seems the closer I get to the end, the more pregnancy questions I get asked so I figured I would do a quick post/update.

According to the experts:

Your pregnancy at 35 weeks – Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.”

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According to me:

Wedding rings on or off? – Off. I can wear them in the mornings but by mid-day I can’t get them off my finger so I just haven’t been wearing them at all. I feel naked without them but I’d rather keep them in good shape than need them cut off. Thank you Memphis heat and humidity.

Weight gain so far – 26 pounds. With Hayden I gained a total of 80 lbs. Yup, you read that right. With Kash we weighed in right at the 50 lb. mark. Dixie has been REALLY nice to me. The downside is the doctor is saying that she is measuring really small so I have been trying to eat more protein etc. to fatten her up in these last 4 weeks. Also, I did not workout at all with both boys and I have worked out 3-5 days a week through the duration of this pregnancy so I guess that plays a big part too.

Swelling- I am a sweller ( <- you like that made up word, huh?) when I am not pregnant so it’s only natural that I swell more when I am pregnant. Mainly just at night after a long day in the heat or on my feet. But nothing too uncomfortable or Kim Kardashian like.

Kim Kardashian Has Swollen Feet Kim-Kardashian-Swollen-Feet-Givenchy-tattoo-492x492 A Makeup_Free Kim Kardashian Runs To Her Car After Dinner At Dan Tana_s Restaurant

It still hurts me just looking at these pictures. And, the girl gave birth a month early.. can you imagine if she went full term?? Let’s not even mention the baby name, I still feel like they are going to come out and say “Just Kidding” on that one!

Baby’s head- down. This little girl has been in the ready position for a while now.

Cravings – I haven’t had any major cravings like have to have now cannot live without cravings this pregnancy. I am really enjoying the Chocolate Chip Frappe’s from Mcdonalds and I have a smoothie just about everyday too. Those are the only consistent could have them multiple times a day thing I really want right now.

Exercise – I am still in the gym 3-5 days a week, but more on the 3 side than the 5 lately. I am doing ALOT of walking and weights. I was able to catch the last 40 minutes of a spin class this morning and I still try and make my weekly bootcamp class but with a good bit of modifications.

Complications – I have been having some minor issues with my cervix that put me on 24 hours of bedrest last week and is keeping me at the doctor’s office weekly. Dixie is sitting pretty and the cervix issues are not posing any problems for her so I really don’t feel that worried about it. I do have an awesome OB that takes every precaution necessary and makes me feel really comfortable so that could be why I haven’t gone into “freak out mode” yet.

Bags packed – Nope. Not one thing. I have a baby shower this weekend and after that I plan on getting everything ready and packing our bags. Look for a post on that in the next week or so.

Coming Soon:

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Number of times a day someone ask to touch my belly? – too many to count. Geez people, haven’t you ever seen a pregnant person before??!

Nursery- as good as its going to get. I still need a few odds and ends but other than that if she decided to make her debut tomorrow I feel like we are prepared.

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Wall decal from this shop on Etsy. Frame around decal from Hobby Lobby. White Minky Dot Bedding found here. Pink Chevron crib sheet from Target. ABC pillow a local find from my Mother-in-law. Small striped pillow made from left over fabric from curtains.

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Canvas painting from Hobby Lobby. Curtains made by me using a no sew pinterest tutuorial and fabric from Hobby Lobby. Mirror an antique shop find from Kash’s nursery. Chevron pillow in rocking chair from Hobby Lobby.

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Picture frames from Target. Lamp from Ikea. Nightstand – old that a friend was throwing away so I repainted it. Knobs an antique store find from my Mother-in-law.

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Wooden wall saying from Hobby Lobby. Light switch plate from Hobby Lobby. Shelves made by the hubby. Changing pad cover from Target. Most other odds an ends are either from Hobby Lobby or the boys’ nurseries.

That’s all I can think of going on in “baby land” at the moment. Anything I missed? Tips, tricks and prayers welcomed.

XOXO,
Paige

Workout Wednesday

Thursday:
1 Hour Bootcamp class at the gym.
Friday:
Went for a walk at the park with the boys.

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Saturday:
We traveled/ Rest Day

Sunday:
For the first time ever, I push mowed our yard. I’ve always wanted to learn how and I actually really enjoyed it! We did lots of yard work and pulled weeds/mulched our flower beds. I’m totally counting that as a workout! I think I’m more sore from the yard work than 2 hours in the gym!!
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Monday:
1 Hour spin class followed by 1 Hour Coreball class at the gym. Coreball is a class that offers a full body workout while using weight and the stability ball mainly concentrating on engaging the core.

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{32 weeks} I wrote about the shirt and shoes here and the leggings are Nike.

Tuesday:
Did this workout with my not pregnant friend, Courtney. I know I labeled it “Pregnant Girl Workout” but don’t let it fool you. This was HARD. Instead of the .5 mile run/walk change it to a 1 mile run for you non-preggos.
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Wednesday:
1 Hour Spin class at the gym.

Now that it is getting so hot outside I am back to my smoothie drinking. I have a lot of favorites but I am currently still loving this Post Workout Pregnancy Smoothie.

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Another week in the books. Working out is becoming REALLY hard for many reasons, but I really do feel a lot better after I make myself go. I know it will make for an easier delivery/recovery. Fingers crossed!

XOXO,
Paige