Sleep.

It’s amazing how valuable sleep becomes when you are pregnant. It never seems like you are able to get enough of it, at least for me. Over the course of my pregnancy, I’ve discovered a few items that have helped sleep come a little bit easier. Hopefully some of these items will help you as well.

 

• Belly Butter – I apply a moisturizing belly butter to my skin every evening after my shower. This not only helps to reduce stretch marks but is a very relaxing ritual that helps to relax my body for bed. I have a recipe coming soon for my belly butter, but in the meantime, you can purchase it at my Etsy shop! I typically like to use an unscented belly butter but you can add a calming essential oil, such as lavender, to help relieve stress and reduce anxious feelings [check out my Lavender Linen Spray DIY as well].

 

PinkBlush Maternity Pants – I LOVE these pants. The fabric feels so soft against my skin and they are cozy enough for both the warm nights of summer all the way through a crisp winter evening. Though they have plenty of room for my expanding belly, they don’t look like maternity pajama pants so I also am planning to wear them post-pregnancy. PinkBlush Maternity is a dangerous website for me to visit as I love pretty much everything that they have to offer. A lot of the clothes, even if they say “Maternity” are styled in a way that you can wear them even after you give birth.

 

Tums – Before I became pregnant, I would get bad heartburn on occasion. Since becoming pregnant, I have experienced horrible heartburn during my second and third trimesters as I was trying to get to sleep. Some nights it would get to the point where I have to stuff so many pillows behind my head that I was basically sitting upright – and that is no way to catch some zzzz’s. After suffering through it for way too long, I finally broke down and picked some Tums up. It’s amazing the difference those chalky little tablets made.

 

Belle – Don’t laugh. A lot of pregnant women tend to use a body pillow of some sort to help support their hips, back, and stomach (like this one) when they are trying to get to sleep. I just use my dog. She is the perfect size and has this amazing ability to know exactly how I need her to lay. As the weather starts to cool off, she generates enough heat to keep me comfortable and provides the right amount of support for my body. Plus, I think it helps her to be so close to Lil Bean and feel him move around.

 

Hot Tea – Even before I found myself pregnant, I enjoyed a nice cup of hot herbal tea before bed. Now that I am pregnant, I have to be careful about what sort of herbs I’m ingesting as not all are pregnancy-friendly. I like to create my own blends but in a pinch, I enjoy the Peaceful Mama Tea from Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics. It contains lemon balm, calcium rich oat straw, calming Chamomile, red raspberry leaf and orange peel herbs traditionally used to help calm and relax during pregnancy.

What are/were some of your pregnancy nighttime essentials?



When you’re an expecting mother, you can sometimes lose sight of yourself among the preparations for your upcoming bundle of joy. It seems even more so if you are having a baby close to the holidays. One thing that my mom has tried her hardest to do during my pregnancy is to make sure that I haven’t been forgotten. For my birthday, she picked out gifts for me, not for Lil Bean. The same can probably be said for the Christmas holiday as well.

So I wanted to share some of my favorite gift ideas perfect for giving to the expecting mom in your life! These gifts are perfect for the upcoming holiday season or whenever you want to spoil that mama-to-be.

She deserves it.

Here we go!

Black Floral Pajama Pants from PinkBlush Maternity

PinkBlush Maternity has been my go-to for cute, comfortable clothing throughout my pregnancy and their pajama pants absolutely ROCK! The print is gorgeous, the fabric is so soft that the pants feel like butter against your skin, and the drawstring allows you to adjust the waistband as needed.

You can’t go wrong with pretty much anything from PinkBlush Maternity. Seriously.

Want more ideas on what not to get for a new mom? Then you need to see this gift guide from Priscilla at Multiwear.

Floral Bouquet from The Bouqs

When you’re pregnant, there will be days when you just aren’t feeling your best. Sometimes all it takes it a sweet little bouquet of flowers to brighten your day and The Bouqs has been my source for flowers for quite a few years now. The arrangements change frequently throughout the year and what I like most about the company is that they really work to build a relationship between the growers and the florists.

[Bonus: Order November’s Bouquet of the Month – the Chai Bouq – and Save 10% using coupon code NOV10! Valid 11/1-11/30]

Ecocentric Mom Gift Subscription

Ecocentric Mom box

I’ve waxed poetic before about how much I love receiving the Ecocentric Mom Monthly Subscription Box. The boxes are a mix of practical and pampering items tailored to the stage of motherhood. The contents vary every month but include some of the best non-toxic, organic, natural and unique products for moms, their babies and their homes.

[Bonus: Get 30% off your first monthly box with coupon code GETSTARTED]

Lavender and Calendula Hand Salve from The Southern Belle’s Garden

Filled with nourishing oils such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, and my favorite, kukui nut oil (which is known for its soothing properties helps sooth sunburns and chapped skin), this salve is perfect for dry skin. The added bonus of lavender, lemongrass, and cedar wood essential oils creates a relaxing sensation as you apply this salve to your hands. It’s a great pampering product to gift.

Looking for more of the best gifts for new moms? Alyssa over at Feathers and Stripes has some great suggestions.

Guided Pregnancy Journal from Studio Oh!

Time WILL fly by when you are pregnant. I’ve tried to keep up with my pregnancy journal the best that I can but even I have slacked off at times (right about the time I started blogging more up here actually). This pregnancy journal from Studio Oh! is super-cute and a great way for any pregnant woman to keep track of some of the most memorable moments of her pregnancy.

Milestone Pregnancy Cards from Our Green House

As I have learned during my pregnancy, it is amazing how quickly time will pass by. These cards will help a mom-to-be document the special moments of her pregnancy. The set includes a card for weeks 8-40 of pregnancy as well as other special moments such as “first kick” and “pregnancy cravings.”

Better Grip Yoga Mat from Clever Yoga

These yoga mats come in a wide array of colors and are made from premium 100% Recyclable and ECO friendly TPE material which is UV resistant, odor-less and free from PVC, Phthalates, Silicone, Latex and other toxic materials.

Kinesiology Tape Pro from Mytape

An odd choice, but I know that this would make a great stocking stuffer for any expecting mom. Kinesiology tape (which you’ve probably seen mostly athletes wear up until now) is a safe alternative to medication that can help to relieve many pregnancy symptoms including swollen feet, back pain, sciatic, etc. It serves to lift the skin and help promote better blood circulation to relieve pressure on pain receptors.

Amazon Gift Card

This is a no-brainer. Even though a lot of people think that giving gift cards might be tacky or impersonal, I LOVE to receive gift cards. It allows me to purchase what I really want. Get that mom-to-be a gift card to her favorite store and let her pick out what she really wants.

So there you have it – some of my top picks for holiday gifts for expecting moms. I hope this gift guide gives you some wonderful ideas for the holidays and after!

This Gift Guide is in participation with a Gift Guide Blog Hop. For the full list of Gifts for new or expecting moms, click here.

I decided to lump weeks 25 and 26 together in a short update since there isn’t much news to report. I seem to have passed the point of my pregnancy where strangers can recognize that I actually am pregnant and not just carrying some extra meat on my bones. I’ve been getting almost daily comments asking about my due date, what I’m having, etc. It could also be because I’ve been making an effort the past week or so to wear maternity clothes. My mom has been buying me tops and pants for about the past month now and for some reason, I had been reluctant to wear them. I don’t know what in the world I was thinking. I never want to wear regular pants again. I love not having to button my pants and how comfortable maternity clothing is.

25 Weeks

Symptoms wise – I still have heartburn. If the old wives tales are true and the more heartburn you have, the hairier your baby then I’m expecting our Lil Bean to pop out looking like Sasquatch! My belly has been itching the past few days, right around my belly button. I’ve heard that is caused by your skin stretching but I’m also wondering if maybe it is finally time for me to make the decision on if I’m going to remove my belly button ring completely (I’ve had it since 2004) or if I’m going to get a belly button ring that will expand with my belly. It’s getting to the point as well where my belly button ring is started to catch on stuff (like the edges of counters/my desk) because of my belly being extended.

If I stand right, I can still see my feet!

Another issue that I’ve been having the past week or so is that I cannot get to sleep at night. I lay down at my normal time (about 9:30 – 10:00) but am just not feeling tired. It’s usually about 12:00 or 1:00 that I actually get to sleep – which makes the next day at work drag. That being said, I have gotten some cleaning done around the house – especially up in my studio!

26 Weeks

As for cravings, earlier in my pregnancy it seemed to be whole milk, fried chicken and watermelon that I wanted to eat most of the time. But even those haven’t been of the “I NEED this” sort of craving. There really hasn’t been anything I’ve been dying to have, even now. I’ve walked past some items (such as Spaghetti-o’s and Captain Crunch) that I’ve thought to myself “Oh, that looks delicious” and have indulged myself, but there hasn’t been anything out of sorts.

If you are, or have ever been pregnant, did you crave anything in particular?

I had my 24 week check-up last week. Things went very well – my weight was good, Lil Bean’s heart rate was nice and strong, my belly was measuring on par. Even better, my mom was able to accompany me on this visit. It was great having her there to snap a few photos and to record the sound of the heartbeat, even if she did get a little teary-eyed (more than once). I followed that appointment up with an eye doctor appointment (my eye’s were good), a car inspection (my car was good), and lunch with my mom (lunch was good).

It’s weird to look at pictures of my stomach and see how much it is poking out. Especially when it seems like I am mostly belly so far. I just hope that our Lil Bean has plenty of room in there! Some days it really feels like he is flopping around trying to get comfortable.

My lower bank had been hurting earlier in the week but I’m blaming that one being mostly sedentary at work. I’ve been making more of an effort to get up from my chair and take a longer walk when I go and get water. I think that’s really been helping. I also switched out my chair at work to something a little firmer.

My next appointment (in 4 weeks) will be for the Glucose Test. My mom had gestational diabetes when she was pregnant with me, but even taking that into consideration, I believe that she had a pretty easy pregnancy and delivery when compared to others. I’m not looking forward to drinking the liquid beforehand but plan on getting it nice and cold.

My next appointment will also be quite the milestone because I’ll be entering my third trimester! I cannot believe how quickly this pregnancy has been flying by. I’ve been blessed so far at how things have gone and our Lil Bean will be here before we know it.

And simply because I haven’t posted a picture of my girls since changing up the blog – here are the ladies! It stormed pretty bad this past Wednesday so I decided to let them run around outside of the coop (3 chickens pictured, we have 4). They enjoyed their freedom even if they had to battle against the wind. Yes – the chicken on the right is wearing a Superman cape. She’s been bullied and is missing some back feathers so we got her a saddle cover to hopefully help the feathers grow back.

In the past few months that she has been wearing her cover, she has had only one feather grow back. I think we just might have a chicken with a bald patch. Oh well – she’s still laying at least!

I have been told that during the second trimester, I would suddenly regain some of the energy I lacked during my first trimester.

Well… I’m still waiting for that to happen…

I’m exhausted and it could be that I’m not sleeping well at night or it could be because I’m pulling extra hours at work. I work at a community college that has just started its fall session which means we have been busy. Hopefully things should start getting back to normal though. It doesn’t help that I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, my lips dry, my bladder full.

But I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

I received my first “official” baby gift. This lovely NC State (my alma mater) piggy bank from the generous couple I petsit for on occasion. I’ve already plopped it on one of the shelves in the nursery. Go Wolfpack!

I apologize for the graininess but Robb wanted to snap a quick picture of me on his cellphone after work last week when my baby bump was looking prominent. It’s funny how my bump looks so different under certain article of clothing. I’m actually wearing a maternity top for the first time today and I have to say that my bump doesn’t seem to be nearly as noticeable!

While I was away petsitting, Robb took the opportunity to finish painting our bathroom and to paint the nursery. It’s still a work in progress and this picture does the room no justice, but I am in love with the color of our nursery. We chose “May Apple” from Olympic paint which is this lovely color that works well with our idea of a more rustic/woodland theme. It would also be a great color if we had went with a beach theme as well.

Robb did such a great job while I was gone and he even arranged items on the shelves. He thinks that the color might be a bit too bright so I am going to work on finding wall accents to help tone it down a little for him.

Our Lil Bean will be here before we know it so it’s nice to feel like we have actually started on some sort of preparation!