Cookie · family · grateful · hubby · just for fun · Liv

Cookie: 36 weeks

How we’re growing?:  On Thursday, we’ll be 36 weeks pregnant, which means baby’s about 18.5 inches long, 6+ pounds, and the size of a papaya or a cabbage patch doll!  With (about) a month to go, I could start saying “I’m in my ninth month,” but I haven’t said those words outloud.  I like pretending we still have lots of time to tackle everything on my excessive to-do list…

How I’m feeling?:  I’m experiencing all the same physical ailments I’ve been whining about for weeks: sciatic pain, hip pain, leg cramps, fatigue, episodes of dizziness (low blood pressure) and nausea, and LOTS of Braxton Hicks.

I’m trying to rest and relax, but emotionally, I’m feeling all the feelings!  I’m so excited to meet our baby, but I’m also nervous about labor and delivery, having a newborn again, and adapting to life with two kids.  I’m ready to have our baby in my arms, but it’s bittersweet thinking this might be our last baby and my last pregnancy…

So I’m working hard to savor where we are right now, to be present and grateful, and embrace the newest love of our lives coming soon, and all of the overwhelming awesomeness.

As uncomfortable as I can be at times, Jared and Liv have been showering me with so much love, and I’m doing everything I can to savor this fleeting time — from baby’s startlingly strong kicks, to hubby’s abundant back rubs, to Liv’s endless (and often public) belly hugs, kisses, “nubbies,” and “raspberries,” ha!  I’m loving all the love!

What I’m eating?:  Not much has changed here.  I don’t have the energy to cook, and there’s no room in my belly for big meals anyway, so I’m keeping it simple: toast with peanut butter, smoothies, salads with RANCH, apples, mangoes, Larabars, protein bars, and I finished off a box of gluten-free Girl Scout cookies all by myself… Sent by my sweet cousin all the way in TX!

Not surprisingly, Liv’s been a trooper about the lack of cooking.  We share big bowls of fruit and sliced apples.  She loves cereal for breakfast, PB&Js, and hotdogs.  And we’ve made a few trips to Panera for “mac ‘ee, apple, and milk, pleeease!” 

Running with Cookie:  I don’t have much to say about running as it’s continuing to dwindle.  I’m still putting on my running shoes almost every day, but the short intervals of jogging are getting shorter and my walking pace continues to slow, too.

Several people have asked why I’m still running when it’s clearly so much more difficult this time around.  Here’s my health coach/nerd answer: First of all, running makes me happy.  Secondly, exercise promotes blood flow to the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls emotions and memory.  After years of consistent running, stopping could lead to (more!) mood swings, cognitive changes, and stress.  No thank you!  I’ll keep doing what I can, every day, forever!  (You’re welcome, Jared!)  Besides, I’m pretty sure the trainers at my gym have a pool going on whether or not I go into labor on a treadmill…

In other move-my-body news, I’ve been doing squats (malasana), cat/cow, and pelvic rocks several times a day, with hopes of keeping myself strong and baby positioned right (head-down).  And once I’m on leave, I’ll have my Saturdays free to squeeze in more prenatal yoga classes!

What we’re up to?:  Jared’s parents departed last week and his Aunt Sheila will be arriving tomorrow for a long weekend with us, so I’ve been busy with housework, tackling as much of the baby to-do list as possible, as well as wrapping up things at work before maternity leave!

As for the big sister-to-be, Jared surprised Liv with an extra special Daddy-Daughter day, while I was at work.  They started out the day playing games before school.  (Liv was supposed to wear the color green to school and this is the outfit she picked out, haha…)

When Jared picked her up from school, they made a spur of the moment decision to go to the zoo.  They didn’t have the stroller, so Liv walked her little big girl feet off.  They saw the animals, shared a soft pretzel, rode the Skyfari, and when I got home, Liv couldn’t stop gushing about her best daddy-daughter day ever!

Today, the four of us were “showered” at the most adorable Cubs-themed baby shower.  I wish I had gotten better pics of all the special touches — the baseball decorations, Cracker Jacks, games, and so so so much food!  It was over-the-top in the most heart-filling way!

I’m pretty sure Liv thought it was a party for her, because she got to enjoy so many of her favorite things: rainbow sprinkled donuts, pizza, marshmallows dipped in chocolate fondue, cupcakes with extra frosting, balloons, and she even got to open all of baby’s presents!

Our buckets are full, especially after this shower, a special “mini shower” with friends last weekend, not to mention all the well wishes, gifts, and love that have been pouring in from family, friends, and even strangers.  And you know what I’m finding?  A heart full of love and gratitude has little room for fears and worry.

Weeks 35 & 36 in Review:

  • Workouts:  9 runs, 4 walks, 1 prenatal yoga class
  • Miles with Cookie:  758.9 miles
  • Weight gained:  +19 lbs.
  • Favorite foods:  whatever’s easiest…
  • Cravings:  hot showers and naps
  • Next appointment:  Friday!
  • Highlight:  On Monday, we had torrential rain.  The three main roads leading out of our neighborhood were closed due to flooding, but after days of talking about our Mommy-Daughter Monday at Menchie’s, I couldn’t let my girl down.  We drove a back way in the rain, through winding neighborhoods to Menchie’s, which was deserted (not surprisingly).  We had the place to ourselves as we ate our frozen yogurt, and I said: “Liv, after baby’s here, we’ll still have special Mommy-Daughter dates.”  And Liv quickly replied: “WITH baby!  I want to bring him, too!”

***Reminder:  Head over to  Cookie’s Baby Pool  to guess our little guy’s birthday, weight, the first letter of his name, etc. before March 9th!

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