ETC: Week 40

Hello friends!

I hope all is well! This past week, we made it to 40 weeks! It’s very bittersweet because I am very happy baby girl is fully cooked, but I’m also very anxious to meet her already!

We had a rather busy week and even had some visitors, but still, no baby!

Our 40-week weekend was beautiful; warm and filled with sunshine! Saturday we ran our weekly errands and Sunday we didn’t move until about 1pm. After relaxing all morning, we decided to go on a long walk. We walked down to the lakefront path and took a stroll through Andersonville on the way home. It was nice to reminisce along my old running path. Once Naomi is here and old enough to be in the jogging stroller, she will quickly become well acquainted with that path as well!

I worked from home this week which was extremely stress relieving. Not having to commute on crowded public transportation or worry about my escape route from downtown to up north if labor were to start was a blessing. Also, not having to try and fit in to office maternity clothes was pretty nice. At this point, a few maternity items still fit because they are stretchy, but are they by no means comfortable.

My mom and sister also came to visit this week. Unfortunately for them, when they booked the trip, they had planned to spend time with the baby since it was technically 2 days passed my due date that they would arrive. Joke was on all of us because, Naomi never made her grand entrance into the world.

It was nice to see them both one last time without a baby though. We went to Homeslice pizza one night and Xoco another night. Two places we wouldn’t have been able to check out with a newborn. We also stopped and walked around Oz park. Did you know, the statues can talk to you?!?! You enter a website on your phone then Dorothy or Tin Man will call you and talk to you for a minute or two. It’s a neat idea and I can’t wait to take Naomi to see them, once she’s old enough to understand the hype.

My mom and sister left at the end of the week but booked another stay the first weekend in May. They will be guaranteed to meet Naomi this next time around!

It was also our precious Pumbaa’s birthday this week! He is 7 and I cannot believe where the time went. I adopted Pumbaa when I moved to Whitewater for college and since then, he’s become such an important part of our family. I hope he loves Naomi as much as he loves us. It may take some getting used to, but he’s a cuddly lover so I have faith in him.

We made it the entire week, everyday asking ourselves ‘is today the day?’ We’ve tried nearly every home remedy people suggest and have answered the “where is she” or “how are you feeling” question at least 55 million times (little to no exaggeration on that estimated number). I’m fully convinced that all of these “at home labor inducing tricks” only work if baby is ready and Naomi is just not ready yet.

It’s definitely bittersweet going past your due date. Yes, I am so happy she’s fully developed in my belly, but we are anxiously awaiting her arrival. There’s a sense of frustration that kicks in when you wake up in the morning and realize it’s time to get up for work but you haven’t had any contractions and today may not be the day. However, it’s a blessing to continue feeling her movements. Soon, she will only be able to kick me from the outside 🙂

Currently, I am 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Our next update WILL have a baby update because I will be induced at the end of the week if she doesn’t come out on her own. I personally think she just wanted to wait for the month of May because Te’s birthday is also in May; so we have a serious daddy’s girl on our hands! 🙂

We cannot wait to meet our little bundle and I cannot wait to be done with pregnancy! We’ve got quite an exciting week ahead – Stay tuned!!

Until next time..

ETC: Week 38

Hi friends!
I hope everyone is having a great week! This past week we completed our 38th week of pregnancy. We are coming so close to meeting our little girl and we can NOT wait!

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Olive Park – Chicago, IL

Luckily, no one was sick this week – Thank you, Jesus! 🙂 To start off the 38th week, we took a trip downtown to visit Olive Park. It is a very pretty part of the city and the weather was gorgeous! I started feeling some pains in my lower belly area while walking – they amounted to nothing but it was reassuring that my body seems to be preparing for labor and delivery!

After being sick last week, I took it easy this week. Instead of 5 am wake up calls to go to the gym, I started getting up at 6 and going on a 2 mile walk around my neighborhood. This is definitely a change in pace for me. I am used to HIIT and running workouts followed by weight training, so allowing myself to learn to apprecite walking as a workout has been interesting. It definitely feels good to stay mobile throughout these last couple of weeks, but I cannot wait to get back to running!

Monday at work they threw me a baby shower. We had a delicious Sweet Mandy B’s cake (Chocolate with vanilla frosting – YUM) and the sales team got together and got Te and I an extremely generous gift card to Target. We are very thankful to have so much support from both of our work families in the city! I had a doctor appointment on Monday night (as I do every Monday now days :)) and it was super quick. Everything seems good, we’re just waiting on baby girl to come on out!

Tuesday night we had some friends over, Natalie and Reni, for a taco Tuesday celebration. It was so wonderful to see them and catch up! They just returned from a trip to Japan so we talked all about their travels and caught up on life. We also asked them to be Godparents to our little Naomi and we are so excited they said yes! 🙂 She is so lucky to have such positive influences in her life – they will be such great role models for her growing up!!

The rest of the week, we took it easy as well. We continue to clean the house and prep for baby as much as possible, but we’re pretty much all set. Now, we wait! I am feeling very ready to meet the baby! Also, I only have a few items of clothing that fit me now and I refuse to buy anything new, so dressing for work.. and life, really, is becoming quite a challenge. Also, the swelling I’m experiencing in my feet/ankles/legs/fingers is intense. I am ready to be done with the discomfort that comes along with these last couple of weeks!

Te and I put a fun little bet on Naomi’s birthday. I said April 16th (Which if you’re reading this now, it didn’t happen..) and Te said Thursday, April 20th. We’ll see if either of us are right! I couldn’t care less what day she comes, I just pray she comes before or on her due date. I am not looking forward to 41 weeks of pregnancy – I want to meet you little Naomi!! 

We just started our 39th week of pregnancy this past Saturday and we are hoping it was the last bump photo we have to take! I’ll update you next week with a bumpdate and HOPEFULLY, a baby intro! 🙂

Stay tuned!

Until next time..

ETC: T-30 days

 

We are so close! In less than 30 days we will be Bates, party of 3!

Looking ahead, since we aren’t sure when our little girl will make her grand appearance, I’m going to try and give an update every week. Don’t hold me to it, but I’ll try my best 🙂

For this post, join me as I take a look at back at our 8th month of pregnancy.

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Warning, this was a crazy busy week for us! For our 1 year anniversary, Te bought me tickets to a bread baking class. I was super excited because I’ve always wanted to go to a couple’s cooking class! We learned how to make sourdough bread and once everything came out of the oven, the instructor pointed out a loaf that was ‘perfect’. Low and behold, it was Te’s 🙂 It was also pretty ‘punny’ that we had our bread bun in the oven while I also have a ‘bun in the oven’ 🙂

Next on our list, we drove to Milwaukee to pick up a stroller. Also, I met with my long time friend Jenny and my sister for brunch. It was so nice to catch up!

Another thing we did was attend a home buying class! Redfin hosted a free class where they provided dinner and some tips for first time buyers. It was eye opening and left us feeling optimistic about *someday* buying our own humble abode.

Also this week, we went to our first Chicago Blackhawks game! It was magical 🙂 We have now been to every major Chicago sporting event (yes, including the Chicago Fire and the Chicago Wolves). The atmosphere at the Blackhawks game was unreal – I think it’s my new favorite type of event! We saw some friends at the game and were able to catch up with them a bit, which added to the excitement of the evening!

Believe it or not, we ALSO had a baby shower this week [I warned you, it was a very busy this week!]. Te’s Shred co-workers-turned-family threw us the cutest shower. We got our first diaper cake and Naomi got her first pair of (gold) Nike’s!! We are so thankful for the Shred team who has truly become family for us.

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This week, the city of Chicago celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by dyeing the river green! I’ve never gone to see the green river so we decided this year was the year we would go check it out! I couldn’t believe how truly green it was!

Unfortunately, after our many festivities of week 33, Te came down with the flu during week 34. It was a very tough week because he was VERY sick so I was trying my best to care for him while not getting sick myself.

On top of Te being sick, we scheduled a vet appointment for Pumbaa. It. Was. Awful. Our cat HATES the vet. It’s truly the worst time of year when we have to take him. He gets angry and hisses and is very mean. I understand he’s scared, but jeeze!!! At any rate, we got his shots so he’s ready for baby. However, Te had to clean poop and pee off of Pumbaa’s butt when we got home because they kept him in the kennel to administer the shot, he got scared and let loose. I felt terrible because I couldn’t help since I have to avoid cat poop while pregnant. UGH! What a day it was. We both took a long nap after that event.

After an entire week under the weather (poor babe 😦 ) and an awful vet appointment, we were able to get out of the house that weekend and turn our frowns upside down. We went to see Beauty and the Beast! I’ve been dying to see the movie and for Valentine’s Day, Te ordered tickets for us to go. It was amazing. I cried at least 5 times in the theatre and twice when we left. I also indulged on delicious movie theatre popcorn which was incredible.

All in all, it was a happy ending to a very tough week.

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This week was much easier. Slower pace and no illness! We always wanted to take a photo at this adorable coffee shop and of course, try their coffee. Well when we arrived, unfortunately the coffee shop was closed. 😦 We still took the picture then went back to our car. Before we left, we stopped in to Goddess & the Baker to get a latte and a scone. To our surprise, as we were waiting for our order, a ginormous (tall) guy walked in and right away, Te knew who he was [Paul Zipser from the Bulls]. Te went up to him and showed him a photo that Te took of him while at the Bulls game. They talked briefly and we let him get on his way. I would have had NO idea this guy played for the Bulls but thanks to hubby, we got to briefly meet him.

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9 months pregnant. Woah. In the next 4 weeks (or 5-6.. but hopefully 4 :)) we will meet our little girl! This week was ALL about nesting. We got the changing table we’d been eyeing up and were able to organize everything in Naomi’s space. We gave our apartment a mini makeover and a deep clean since we aren’t sure when we will have time to do that again.

On the way to take our bump pic this week, we decided to stop at Cafe Tola to get an empanada snack. They had chicken mole empanadas which, if you know me, you know I LOVE mole. It was absolutely delicious! We decided to scrap our original photo plan and take our bump pic on the side of the Cafe Tola building because, well.. Hey Kanye! 👋🏽🤣

Also this week, Jaime & Tiffany came to Chicago and spent the day with us! It was so fun seeing them. They brought Naomi some of the most adorable gifts. She’s so blessed to have such thoughtful family! During their visit, we went to HopLeaf because it’s been on our “to-do” list forever. After a couple of drinks for the boys, we went to DMK for dinner and completely indulged in some of the city’s best burgers and fries. We don’t have much planned for the rest of the week so I’m excited for another slow, uneventful couple of days.

We are very close to meeting our princess. I may or may not have a “bumpdate” for you next week – I could possibly have a baby update!

Stay tuned!

Until next time..

everything you want is on the other side of fear

Explore: Blogging

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a great week! In honor of my 1 year blog-iversary last month, I’d like to catch up and review my journey thus far as a blogger. It’s quite an exciting, scary, fun, time-consuming feet that has taught me a lot about myself.

When I first started this blog, I wasn’t sure I could do it. Me? Blog? About what? I’m the gal who thinks something one day and then has a brand new, grand plan the next day. How in the world could I ever pick one topic to write about when I just don’t know if there’s ONE thing I can write about all of the time? I mean, don’t you want to hear about my meal prep, my cat AND my trips around the world?

Luckily for me, I figured out a way to start a blog which allowed me to switch gears at any time without a hitch; “Explore. Thank. Create.” was born. I was so scared of what people would think about the blog. I’m not a very strong writer when it comes to grammar and punctuation. I put commas all over the place, or I forget them. I also don’t have a big fancy pants vocabulary, I typically converse in layman’s terms 🙂 Compared to all of the other bloggers out there, why would anyone read MY blog? The fear of what people would think or that my blog wouldn’t be ‘good enough’ held me back from writing for a long time. Until one day, I said forget this, I’m going to do it.

Coincidentally, my first post was about fear, and how you should overcome fear because really, it is pointless. Once I got over the hump, a new world opened up!

I began blogging and tried to post very regularly. Then I realized that didn’t work with my schedule and I went on a few hiatuses before I found a sequence that worked for me. This is another good lesson, don’t let a few weeks of derailment throw you off. Life happens and you get busy, you can always pick up where you left off! 

Anywho, I got to thinking and determined,  so what if people hate my blog? I enjoy writing down my thoughts and having a virtual ‘record’ of some of my experiences. Also, I enjoy sharing my ideas. If you hate it, don’t read it and be on your way 🙂 It’s not about what others will or will not think, it’s about pursuing something of interest to me and figuring out how to make that work with my schedule.

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Have you ever stopped yourself from doing something because you were afraid of what others might think? Did you ever pick it back up or is it still hanging over your head for you to start? (If it’s still hanging, pick it back up and start it! 🙂 )

When people ask me what my blog is about, I typically respond with ‘a little bit of everything’. You see, while I’m on this journey through life in my 20’s, I’m still figuring out what that ONE passion of mine is. What can I write a blog about someday which focuses ONLY on that one topic for each post? I think I’m beginning to figure that out (cough, wellness, cough) but I still really enjoy a variety of topics. (On that note, even the wellness topic has a million directions you can take it!) So I thought, just because some blogs focus on one topic, doesn’t mean every blog has to be that way. Variety is the spice of life, right?

Over the past year I’ve learned a lot about my style of blogging, what I need to do create a blog post, what happens if I’m too busy and most importantly, I’ve learned to let go of fear of not having a ‘good enough’ blog. It’s really just a way I can let my creativity shine and share some vulnerability with the world.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog, or a new hobby in general, but you’re scared of what people might think, start now. Seriously, the best thing you can do is start now. It’s going to take some time to figure out how it works, and you’ll get better and better each time. Don’t let the fear of not being good enough or having enough followers or not knowing exactly what to do stop you from being you!

What hobbies are you going to start today? Or, what hobbies have you recently started? Leave your answers in the comments below!

PS. Get out there and live your life! Take each opportunity as it comes and keep at it! With every new thing you try, you could just find your new passion! You’re doing a great job!!!

Until Next Time..