Catching Up Over Club Soda

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 23, 2015

What can I say? The drinks are pretty adventurous around here these days!

I’ve missed blogging! But the reality is that it’s the first thing I put on the back burner as we enter crunch time in the world of parenthood prep. So I thought perhaps we could meet for a virtual club soda date to catch up. Although if you’d like, I can make you something stronger!

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…

Weeks 27-31

My weekly photos seem to get progressively more ridiculous.

Today marks two months until the due date, although I’m always thinking in weeks these days. Less than nine weeks, to be exact.

Nine weeks! It seems like just yesterday I was nine weeks pregnant and we were seeing our little dude as a teeny tiny speck on the ultrasound. Let me tell you, that is no longer the case. He is all limbs and he likes to use ‘em. A lot! This week I finally captured the craziness on video and managed to get clear shots of his knee (at least I think it’s his knee) pushing the limits of my abdomen.

It looks as crazy as it sounds, but he seems to really enjoy himself.

I know for a fact that this nonstop energy does not come from me, the baby who liked to sleep so much in utero that I arrived more than two weeks past my due date. That leaves one other culpable party who just so happens to love soccer. Hmm…

Honestly though, I love it. If his energy inside translates into his personality on the outside, then us parents are in for quite the treat. His crashing waves aren’t painful – that is, unless he happens to hit my rib cage. Then it’s not quite so ticklish and we have to have a little chat. :)

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…

cloth diapers

In other baby-related news, we’ve decided to cloth diaper! I am unreasonably excited about it (diaper changes! yes!), but we already know I’m a complete nerd so that’s OK. Like our plan for labor, cloth diapering has been on my radar for a long time. I hadn’t done much research on it though, and it can be super overwhelming. Fortunately, I had some great resources in my cousin, Lisa, and friend, Jill (thanks, ladies!), in addition to reading about fellow bloggers’ experiences, such as Jenna. It was through Jenna I first heard about Green Mountain Diapers, which not only sells a wide variety of cloth diapers at all price points but also serves as an incredible resource for new parents, with how-tos and FAQs that cover all the bases (and booties).

Our plan is to cloth diaper at home for sure, probably starting after the first week once the meconium has passed and we’re feeling more settled. We’ll also have them when out and about, but will likely use disposables when traveling. Of course, all of this is subject to change, but for now it feels like a good strategy.

I love the variety of adorable colors and designs (some of what we’ve gotten for the newborn stage is in the photo above), but what excites me most is the cost factor – it’s a bigger investment up front but in the long term should be very economical. Plus, I’ve read time and time again that as long as you’re doing it correctly, cloth diapering is really effective against leaks. Sign me up! I know it will be extra laundry but once a routine is established, I feel confident that it will be seamlessly integrated into our new lives as parents.

I’ll plan to do a more detailed post in the future about what specific diapers we’re using and how it’s going, if you’re interested! To kick things off, we’re trying a bit of everything in the newborn stage – prefolds, workhorse diapers (both with Thirsties Duo covers) and all-in-ones – to see what works best for us. Then we’ll plan to use that method in the bigger sizes.

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…


Our Christmas in Minnesota was a lot of fun! Yes, I realize it has been almost a month since the holiday, but I can’t resist sharing a few photos of our time with Barb, John, Adam, Susan (check out her awesome recap) and two of our nieces pieces, Claire and Molly.

Christmas Day was full of opening presents wrapped with (and wearing) pretty bows.


The girls had a lot of fun and received some awesome new toys!



The rest of the trip was full of bundled up walks to the park…


…gatherings with family…



…and gingerbread houses! Among plenty of other fun activities.


This photo is one of my favorites (courtesy of Susan). Twas a house built with love. :)

Photo Dec 28, 6 43 52 PM

Bobby and I were also so thankful to both sides of his family for giving us some great gifts for baby boy! We received an impressive collection of books to add to our library, as well as some adorable clothes and registry favorites. Plus, it was the perfect chance to catch up even more with family we don’t get to see as often as we’d like. I am truly grateful to everyone – Spidey is lucky to be so loved!

Photo Dec 28, 12 01 56 PM2

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…

2014 Books Stats

I exceeded my page number goal in 2014 – woohoo! I was aiming for 15,000 and ended up reading 15,865. I really liked having page numbers as a goal instead of actual books, but surprisingly found I read more books anyway as a result.

Since I’ve been majorly slacking on my reviews as of late, I thought I could at least list them all out for you and provide links if the title intrigues you. I’ve ordered them into categories based on how much I liked them. Yes, I’m a pretty easygoing judge. But I really did love most of them.

Top Five (I counted books in a series as one but this was still really tough)

Books I Loved

Books I Liked

If we were having a club soda date, I would tell you…


We woke up to a rare desert snowfall on January 1, 2015. It’s not every day it snows in this part of Arizona, much less sticks to the ground for the majority of the day. It was truly beautiful and made me optimistic that the year ahead is going to be something special. I still haven’t sat down to formally write goals, but highest on my priority list is a healthy, happy baby.

What would you tell me on our club soda date?

I’m going to do my best to check in more often!




Baby Bender: 26 Weeks

by Jenn (eating bender) on December 19, 2014

Week 26

Honestly, I don’t know where time is going these days. It seems I went from being halfway through pregnancy to almost entering the third trimester in the blink of an eye! I’m sure the holidays play a big part, not to mention that I am definitely still in my second trimester “honeymoon phase.” But I’m going to hold on to the bliss as long as possible and hope that suddenly I’ll be at 40 weeks and saying the same thing. I mean, it could happen…

Here’s a look at what’s been going on in the world of Baby Bender.

Boy or girl? BOY!

Name: We’ve got one! The challenge is keeping it a secret. :) He’s still “Spidey” for now!

How far along: 26 weeks, 4 days.

Baby is the size of: A head of lettuce! Although I am starting to wonder about these food comparisons, since a few weeks ago he was the size of a spaghetti squash. The coolest part is knowing he’s around a foot long and weighs at least a pound these days.

Feeling: Pretty darn good! I’ve started to have some back pain while sleeping, but this pregnancy pillow has been working wonders.

Total weight gained: 16 pounds – woohoo! (I’m a big fan of the number 16.)

Exercising: Yes! Still keeping up with pre-natal yoga, both through in-person classes and this DVD (thanks, Karla!). I’ve also started doing my exercises for The Bradley Method, which is what we’ve decided to go with for childbirth preparation. I’ve been wanting to do a drug-free, natural childbirth for a long time. I know it’s not for everyone, but the more I read about it the more excited I get. It helps to know a lot of amazing bloggers who have written inspiring birth stories! I know it will be one of (if not the) most challenging things I’ll ever do, but also the most rewarding.

What has made me happiest and most confident is how pumped my coach seems to be about it, too. Bobby has been learning everything right alongside me and I know he is going to be a pro at helping me through the various physical and emotional stages of the journey. We’re using the two recommended books (Husband-Coached Childbirth and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way) and are also getting a copy of the workbook they use in the classes.

Sleep: Overall, it’s going well. I wake up a couple of times a night but for the most part am able to get back to sleep. And I find it kind of hilarious that I am woken up by Spidey’s crazy exercise sessions at 4:00 in the morning. I’m not sure if this kid sleeps anymore. Let’s just pretend he is getting all his sleepless energy out now…

Showing: I will let you decide based on the above picture! Today was actually the first day a stranger said something. I was checking out at the store and she looked me up and down and said, “You have a little bump.” I told her my sweatshirt makes it look modest, haha. I was recently looking back at pictures from when I first thought I was showing and had to laugh. I can only imagine I’ll be laughing even harder 14 weeks from now.

Cravings: This has been one of the biggest surprises of my pregnancy after hearing years of stereotypes like pickles and ice cream. I just don’t crave anything out of the ordinary. I have gotten on a hot chocolate kick since it got cold-ish here in Arizona, and now I crave its warmth in the morning. But that’s about it!

Aversions: There’s nothing that is off limits, although I’d choose shrimp over fish when it comes to seafood. I still don’t love overpowering scents like beer or, as Bobby found out the other day, salt and vinegar chips. :)

Missing: Not really missing, but I am now looking forward to a celebratory glass of wine.

Maternity clothes: I still wear some baggy t-shirts or sweatshirts from pre-pregnancy days, but am otherwise completely in maternity clothes and I love them. I can’t recommend LOFT jeans and corduroys enough. So comfy.

Movement: We’ve gone from those first few flutters to real kicks to visible movement over the past six weeks. It is the most surreal sensation to both feel and see our baby’s arms, legs and sometimes – I swear – what must be his entire body bumping up against my belly. As crazy as the feeling is (and as close as he comes to my ribs on occasion), I am admittedly obsessed with his movements. I like to give him a little nudge back and pretend we are having a two-way conversation through pokes and punches.

Looking forward to: The holidays! It’s our last Christmas as a family of two. Although in many ways it feels like our little dude is already a huge part of our traditions, I’m looking forward to soaking up these next couple of weeks.

Best moment of this week: Getting to hear Spidey’s heartbeat at our latest appointment and later, getting a brief tour of the hospital. We’re going back for a more detailed tour in the third trimester, but it was an unexpected bonus to have the chance to see where it’s all going down in just three short months. I have always liked to visualize. “If I can see it, then I can do it.” Yes, thank you, R. Kelly. I’ll have to put that song on our labor mix. :)


I hope to be back at least once before the new year to talk about 2014. I’m excited because I’ve already met my page number goal, and have so many amazing book suggestions for you.

In the meantime, wishing you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

What are you most excited about for the holidays this year?



P.S. It’s snowing on my blog! Some traditions will never change.


Feeling Thankful + Fall Pinterest Party

November 26, 2014

Well hello there, day before Thanksgiving. Where did you come from? I didn’t plan to take almost an entire month off from blogging, but the semi-break has been helpful in finding time to cross off at least some of the to-dos in the four months we have left as a family of two. Baby Bender’s nursery […]

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Baby Bender: 19 Weeks {It’s a…}

October 30, 2014

We are feeling blue this week, for all the best reasons. Last Friday, we had our 18-week ultrasound and found out that Baby Bender is healthy, super flexible and most definitely… Our little BOY!!!! I was so nervous the morning of the appointment, and the waiting room made me even more anxious. Fortunately, our ultrasound technician […]

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Four Years! {Sedona + Flagstaff Getaway}

October 16, 2014

Today marks four years of married life with my best friend – hurray! This year, Bobby and I decided to combine an anniversary and babymoon trip into one fall weekend getaway. After our adventures in Sedona toward the end of the season last year, we thought it would be fun to head north even earlier in hopes of catching a glimpse of […]

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Baby Bender: 15 Weeks

October 1, 2014

I’m excited to share what I’ve been doing to track Baby Bender’s week-by-week progress! I got the idea from combining this post and this post on Pinterest and thought it would be a lot of fun, not just for me and Bobby but also for the little one to be able to look at someday. I […]

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Top 10 Books On My Fall To-Read List

September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I am ridiculously excited to participate in my first “Top Ten Tuesday.” It probably comes as no surprise that I am a voracious reader of book blogs, and I’ve been wanting to join in on the fun for quite some time (learn more about the weekly meme here). […]

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Feeling Peachy: Baby Bender Details

September 15, 2014

Thank you all so much for the kind words on our big (little) announcement. Being able to share the news has made us feel all the more excited and extremely grateful for the amazing family and friends we are blessed to have in our lives. I feel like there is now so much I want to say! […]

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