Baby Update: 31 weeks


Baby is pretty much what occupies all my time and thoughts these days. I literally keep forgetting my birthday is in less than a week (yaaaayyyy 32!). Thankfully I have a sweet husband who keeps reminding me and has planned a stellar camping trip to celebrate. But, in the mean time, back to baby.

Sunday I hit the 31-week mark, which means this babe will be considered full term in 5 weeks. And may come to our home in another 9 or so. What the? This is the nutsiest! We are going to have a real, live tiny human in our house SO soon. Ty and I were chatting in the living room when he exclaimed how, so soon, we will have a baby in the house ALWAYS. "Like...not just for a day or a week," he said. "He will ALWAYS be here." Which was equal parts fantastic and frightening. It makes me thankful there will be two of us to ease our way into this amazing parenthood adventure together. I have no idea what we are getting ourselves into, but I can't help but be really really excited for it.

I re-read over these 5 Wonderful Mothering Tips from Cup of Jo this morning, and they totally made me smile (especially the Babies Be Babies - "Your spouse is not the enemy..."). Among other advice, I've had a few friends tell me to snuggle our little guy like crazy when he gets here, and not to worry if nothing else gets done, which I really really liked (he's only little once, after all). I've also been informed that's it's okay to cry. A lot. And to feel overwhelmed and need a break sometimes. So, thank you for that. At least I will know I am 100% normal when those times comes.

The great news is we have nearly everything ready! Well, at least home speaking. The rooms are painted. The excess furniture is sold. We have places for guests to sleep. And a sweet friend of mine even commented that Casa Clark is looking quite fancy lately, so if that doesn't say "guest and baby ready," I don't know what does. If I wanted to go crazy, I would try and paint the kitchen cabinets and master bathroom in the next few weeks just for funsies (we'll see), but overall things are feeling much more settled and prepared in the Clark house for this babe as is.

On the to-do list still is devoting a Saturday morning to shopping to stock up on all the little essentials (both baby and non) so when he gets here we don't have to worry about if we have enough toilet paper or dog food or laundry detergent. I want to prepare as best as possible so when he gets here we can just savor holding him and loving him instead of rushing about. I also still need to read the baby books on my nightstand. ALL THE BABY BOOKS. What have I been doing for 31 weeks?!. goo. Wish me luck.

And, to round things off, here are 5 nicki-pregnancy happenings as of late:

1. Every time I leave one of my doctor's appointments, my doctor departs with the phrase "Keep being perfect!" as we exit the room. I guess low blood pressure and no crazy symptoms are much appreciated in his book. Mine too.

2. I haven't had much of an appetite in the evenings after dinner lately. It's kind of nice not to feel like I need to eat constantly. Plus, it saves me from some oh-so-lovely heartburn. Oh heartburn -- I really don't like you.

3. My hair has been abnormally dry with these baby hormones, which means that as of late I only wash it every 7-10 days. Is that gross? Okay. Good. Didn't think so either.

4. I recently purchased two pair of maternity pants. Life. Changing.

5. Overall, I feel like a freaking champion still. And I promise to be grateful EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. that I don't feel like an overly huge, uncomfortable pregnant woman (as I am sure those days are coming).

Baby Update: 25 weeks


I just hit the 25 week mark! Which means only 15 to go. Which is crazy. And amazing. And crazy all at the same time. Our little babe is growing away though, happy and healthy. And it's seriously the weirdest (and the greatest) to have this ever expanding belly of mine. He's supposed to be about 13.5" long right about now, and he has started kicking / punching like a champion. For the last two weeks or so I've been feeling little arms and legs skimming the inside of my belly. And every time it feels like this amazing little reassurance that he's in there, just wriggling around and doing his thing. Two mornings ago though, as I was just lounging in bed after waking up, there were these three solid booms on the front of my belly; way stronger than the normal little tickles. It was like "Hey mom! Just practicing karate in here! Don't mind me. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM." And I honestly loved it. I hear that after a while all that squirming can get annoying, but for now, while it doesn't hurt, I am going to savor every last bit of it. It's such a special thing for me -- to feel him in there. And have these little interactions before he's even here. Plus, it's kind of amazing that he can actually make my hand bounce off my belly if he kicks it. The craziest. There's a little, tiny, karate human in there, people.

And just for funsies I put together this update, baby edition, to sum up the random quirkiness pregnancy has brought me lately:

Eating / so much. Hunger knows no bounds now a days.

Drinking / lemonade. So. Much. Lemonade. It's like the nectar of the gods, I tell you.

Practicing / going to bed early. As soon as 9:30 p.m. hits, I am out. It's THE BEST.

Mastering / proper pregnancy posture. I go through this mental checklist several times a day -- hips tucked, head up, shoulders back. I'm hoping it will help me avoid the pregnant waddle.

Learning / not to push myself too hard physically.

Trying / to keep my goal of running 3 times a week (only it's more like grandma-speed running recently. And I'm pretty sure the elliptical will shortly be entering the scene).

Playing / the "let's choose a middle name" game with Ty. A lot. Thankfully, I think we finally settled on one.

Finishing / painting the baby room and master bedroom. 1 ceiling down, two rooms and one ceiling to go. I will feel so much more prepared when these are done.

Reading / not enough of the baby books. I have at least 5 sitting on my bedside table awaiting me.

Remembering / how good it used to feel to sleep all the way through the night, without the now requisite trips to the potty. Also, I know potty is such a silly word. But I kind of like it. Potty.

Wearing / everything stretchy. Stretchy skirts. Stretchy dresses. Stretchy pants. Jeans and I are no longer friends.

Cooking / so many great things. Something about being exhausted and home all the time has made me fiercely into cooking lately.

Working / towards a really healthy financial state in prep for this little babe and my going to working part time.

Traveling / in the car only. I've taken a few of the worst plane trips of my life lately (hello nausea!), so I'm completely happy just to stay on the ground for the next 3 months.

Wanting / to throw away pretty much everything we have that doesn't get used on a daily basis. Nesting. Is. Real. Folks. To the trash with all the things.

A date in the mountains



Last Friday, Ty and I headed up into the mountains for the most epic-of-epic, evening mountain dates to date. I kid you not with that pronouncement. It was amazing. And we somehow fit an entire Saturday's worth of activities into a solid few hours. It's like we're superheros, really. Awesome-date superheros.

We started the evening off golfing (and by "we" I mean I sat in the cart while Ty killed 9 holes and I gave him intermittent good-luck kisses.) The course Ty chose was completely breathtaking; it wound its way up a local canyon and provided the loveliest scenic views. Which made me realize that sometimes I have a very hard time deciding if I like lookout views, or in-amongst-the-tree views more. You know. For when Ty and I buy our amazing mountain home one day. Right. But for real, I really don't know which views I like better. Which might lead to questions like should we buy the cabin overlooking the beautiful canyon or the one nestled in the trees overlooking the grove where the deer will come graze on the berry laden bushes? See what I mean? Super tough. But, yes. So.

Second, we hit up a small hike called Red Ledges up Diamond Fork Canyon. Then after a little hiking around and letting Hank swim in the creek across the road, we made our way up a windy dirt road to the saddle between Diamond Fork Canyon and Hobble Creek Canyon for a bonfire with, I kid you not, one of the prettiest views I have ever seen. We got to the bonfire spot just in time to get our fire lit before enjoying a pink-hued sunset complete with cotton candy clouds. Quite the perfect end to a perfect little evening in the mountains.

We may have gotten back home much too late, and definitely with some droopy eyelids, but thankfully the next day was Saturday. And Saturdays are made for lazy, 10-a.m. mornings and leisurely trips to the farmers market.
How breathtaking is that golf course?

The view from our hike at Red Ledges

Ty and some evidence of beavers in the area.

We ran into these lucky ducks cows and their million-dollar-view grazing lands on the way to our campfire spot. 

And it's a ...


Last Friday morning Ty and I headed into the doctor's office for my 20-week ultrasound. We are 100% in the "finding out the gender camp" (hello, first time parents here!), so I had been looking forward to this appointment for quite a while. As we walked into the main building and were about to get into the elevator, Ty turned to me and asked what I thought the gender was. "Boy." I said. "What about you?" "Girl." he answered.

And team boy came through for a solid win! When the ultrasound tech wrote "BOY!" on the screen as she saw the gender, my little heart leapt. We are seriously over the moon. And I am so grateful everything is looking happy and healthy with him. It hasn't fully hit me what this new adventure is going to be like, but I am so looking forward to seeing Ty with our son. It's just going to be so sweet.

My Grandpa the Acrobat


In his younger days, my Grandpa Stillman was a professional acrobat. That's him, on the bottom in the white trunks. Performing in night clubs and on the beach for spectators circa 1935, that's how he made his living (and I'm sure whooed my grandma). When I was younger I was in gymnastics for quite a few years. And I remember visiting my then-elderly grandpa in his trailer home, and him spotting me on my back handsprings in his yard, giving me tips. "You gotta whip your legs around" he would say as he made a quick circular whipping motion with his arms. He's since passed (and I am no longer a gymnast), but I will always cherish those memories.

When I came across these pictures taken by Hans Wild for LIFE Magazine at a school for acrobats, Gymnase Saulnier, in Paris in 1947, I was transported right back to my days of instruction at my grandpa's hip. Their rudimentary setting. Their "athletic" clothes. Everything is just so wonderful. I mean, just look at the instructor's beret.












 Are those not SO great?! Man. Charm galore. And now, a few more of my grandpa for good measure.










Tale of two picture frames


Just before our wedding in 2011, Ty and I received the cutest drawings of us from my niece and nephew. One of me in a purple wedding dress (of course). And a blue one of Ty. Needless to say, they warranted some framing and we decided to display them at the wedding because #1 we love them (the kids and the drawings) and #2 we thought they were adorable (the kids and the drawings).

They found their way to our home after the big day was over and have found homes on a few different walls over the last couple years as we've changed decorations and rearranged rooms. Most recently, though, they had been sitting on my bedroom floor waiting to be hung.


I knew I wanted them in the bedroom (I mean, look at those naked walls!), but couldn't decide the best place for them. So yesterday I decided was the day to find them a new semi-permanent home. So after work I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.


In an effort to make as few holes as possible in the walls, I grabbed a couple dark colored pillow cases and taped them to match the size of the frames. Then, to give the proper color contrast, I taped a couple pieces of 8.5 x 11 in. sheets of paper on the fronts for good measure. I proceeded to hang them with tape around the room to give myself a good visual of the positioning I would like best.

I had four options in mind: 1. Either side of the bathroom door. 2. To the right of the bathroom door. 3. Over our bedside lamps. Or, 4. directly overhead above our headboard.



It took a few rearrangings, a few going back and forths, and a few walking in and out of the rooms, but I ended up settling on...



Straight up over the headboard. I actually had a small debate between to the right of the bathroom door and above the headboard, but in the end I really liked how over the headboard added a height to that side of the room that I didn't even know I was missing. And I like that they are a bit front and center when you enter the room. The room is far from finished, but I am liking this new little addition.

Now, I just need to get some curtains up. And paint these walls. And possibly add some shelving. Plus a slew of other house projects I have had on my mind. My list of "To do before the baby comes" looks something like this:

1. Paint bedroom (May)
2. Hang bedroom curtains (June)
3. Paint baby room (May)
4. Buy baby furniture and accessories (May - August)
5. Frame and hang baby-room artwork (by August end)
6. Buy ottoman for nursing chair (by August end)
7. Arrange baby space (by August end)
8. Paint kitchen cabinets (June?)
9. New kitchen countertops (June?)

Numbers 8 and 9 are quite ambitious, but we will see how this all goes along. The good news is we already have gotten some very sweet baby-essential gifts from friends and family, and we have secured a carseat, stroller, and humidifier. So, a few less things to add onto the list.


We're having a baby


Hi friends! To interrupt our regular Friday posts, today comes with some glorious news. Ty and I are expecting our first child! I'm due in early October, and we couldn't be more thrilled. We are so excited to start growing this family of ours. I'm 16 weeks now, and it feels good to finally have some energy back and feel a semblance of normal / non-nauseousness most of the day. I'm definitely not one of those lucky ones who gets to skip the whole feeling sick business of the first trimester. Thankfully though, I think I got off a little easier than some girls.

Just four more weeks and we will be finding out the gender. Eeeeps! At the beginning of the pregnancy, for some unknown reason, I was sure it was a girl. Hands down. But lately I've been leaning more towards boy. But, let's be honest, I really have 100% no idea. So I guess we will just have to wait with bated breath for the words of the all-knowing ultra-sounder. What I do know is that this sweet little bean has a happy little heartbeat and squirms around like crazy, and I couldn't be more content.

Happy weekend


Friends! Friday is here! Good Friday, nonetheless. I hope you all have some great Easter plans. Ty has finals starting today, with one scheduled for tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. (is that not the weirdest, most unfortunate time for a final? I'm so glad I'm done with school.) So good luck to Ty! I'm hoping to do some Easter Sunday prep and to put together a decent Easter meal, because by golly that's what a wife should do. Well, at least a wife of a food-loving husband like my husband. Who will have been taking finals for 2 days when Easter rolls around.

Here are some links to start it all off.

The human experience in 60 photos.
33 breathtaking places to visit.
Mother's day cards. Snagged this one for my sweet mama.
The Street Shop. Such a cool idea to help clothe the homeless.
What a cute summer look.
Oh my cuteness.


Questival!

If we are friends on Instagram or Facebook, you will know I was a part of Questival last Friday and Saturday (please accept my sincerest apologies for blowing up your feeds with our low-quality quest pics -- as evidenced below). Questival was a 26-hour adventure race meets scavenger hunt thrown by Cotopaxi, a new backpack and waterbottle company here in Utah that also does social giving. They did the Questival as part of their brand launch (brilliant) and it was a grip load of fun.


Our team of 4 (Me and my friends Lance, Katy, and Derek) slept 6 of the 26 hours, and the other 20 were spent rushing all along the Wasatch Front doing all sorts of adventures; everything from skiing a backcountry run to eating a hot dog with hot sauce in a hot tub wearing hot pants. We shook a mayor's hand. Took pictures with llamas. Camped in hammocks. Climbed outdoors. Hiked our little legs off. Yodeled in public. etc. etc. It was quite the whirlwind of random and awesome and weird. We ended with 515 points from everything we accomplished, but sadly didn't win (the winner racked up a whopping 620 and is headed on a free trip to Machu Picchu), but I think we did pretty great among the other 300 teams participating.

My brain keeps thinking and strategizing for next year, but when I realize it was part of a brand launch, I'm not quite sure there will actually be a next year. Let's keep our fingers crossed they have a 2nd Annual Questival come next April as part of a new product line launch or something.











A morning conversation

This morning, after my first night of semi-decent sleep in a week, Ty and I were chatting in bed and this was the conversation we had:

Ty: How'd you sleep babe?

Nicki: SO much better than I have been! It was so nice. I'm feeling way better.

Ty: Oh good!

Nicki: How'd you sleep?

Ty: ... :: glances sideways :: ...

Nicki: No good?

Ty: Well. I didn't fall asleep 'til 3:00 a.m. because you were snoring like crazy. But I didn't want to wake you up because I was so glad you were sleeping!

Heart melted.

And that, my friends, is love. I married such a good one.