Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bump Day: 28 weeks!

Today I am 28 weeks pregnant, which means I am solidly in my 3rd trimester. My bump is large and in charge and with 3 months to go, I’m just baffled at how big it will undoubtedly get. 
I’m definitely feeling ‘pregnant’. It’s getting harder to both sit down and stand up, and I feel quite stiff after any exercise. Still, for the most part, I am feeling like myself and trying to remain as active as possible without compromising my comfort or health. 

I’ve cut my running down and have traded it in for long walks. I’m going about the same distance, it’s just taking me twice as long. But let’s be honest, when I do jog, I’m clocking a 12-13 minute mile, so I can basically power walk just as fast without as much discomfort. Bailey is not so enthused with our new pace and therefore has been showing her butt over the past few weeks. (More on her latest “incident” later…)

At 28 weeks gestation, baby is apparently the size of a head of cauliflower and weighs about 2.5 lbs. He’s pretty much fully formed and from now on will just be developing his nerves, senses, and brain cells and adding some adorable baby fat before his birth day. 

In name news, I think we’re ready to cut Henry, Graham, Wallace and Andrew from the list. Don’t think this means progress, because we’ve added 2 new names in their place. I got so desperate last night that I offered Jonathan a deal. I’d let him go to Germany to drive the Nurburgring circuit if he surrendered all baby naming rights over to me.
He almost considered it until he realized that would put all previously vetoed names back in the running. He still refuses to budge on ‘Elliot’ and it just breaks my heart.   

At this point, I’d say ‘Ian’ is the frontrunner, and ‘Ezra’ is the dark horse to watch out for. He’s sneaking into my heart, that’s for sure. Just gotta get hubby (and his obnoxious veto power) on board. 

It’s looking more and more like baby Boy will make his appearance before we decide on a name. It just doesn’t seem realistic that we’ll have chosen ‘the one’ in the next 3 months. 

There is something about the 3rd trimester that brings an air of reality to the situation. My ‘nesting’ mode has finally kicked in and I can’t wait to start painting some nursery furniture this week. Our shipment is being packed up tomorrow (woohoo!!), and once that has arrived, we will have all the baby essentials we need either purchased, gifted to us or borrowed from friends. Here are some more shots of my baby bump at 28 weeks. 
What do you think? As a bump, does he look like an 'Ezra'? Or an 'Ian'? Or perhaps a Forest, Theo, Harris, Asher, or Everett? Decisions, decisions.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Our Picture Perfect Weekend

Hey friends! How was your weekend? Mine was spectacular. I mean it. A picture perfect weekend. Literally. It started with a gloriously sunny Saturday morning, when Jonathan and I decided to take Bailey for a hike. 

Since the days are super long this time of year, we decided to venture a bit farther than our usual hikes around Aberdeen. Instead, we drove about 1.5 hours south to the Angus area to explore what the Cairngorm National Park had to offer us in those parts. I’d been eyeing the walks there for a while, wanting to get my hands on some of the beautiful mountain and valley scenery dotting the area. 

We were slightly wary at the directions leading us to the Invermark car park, since none of the last 4 roads we drove on had names. Instead, google maps told us vaguely: after 3.7 miles turn left, after .3 miles slight left, after 2.1 miles turn right, etc. We were mighty relieved when we made our final turn and we saw signs for parking ahead. We always kind of sigh when we finally see confirmation that we are not hopelessly turned around in the Scottish wilderness. 

Once we were parked, we followed the walking directions towards our Queen’s Well Hike. 
It wasn’t long before we passed through some farmland and grazing fields and had a wide open view towards Mount Keen, the most Easternly ‘Munro’ (Scottish term for ‘mountain’). 
The heather was in full bloom, covering the mountains in vibrant shades of purple. The sky was magnificently blue. The grass, vividly green. 
It was a truly spectacular day; quite possibly the most beautiful day in Scottish history. We were so glad that we decided to take advantage of the great weather by exploring some of the most beautiful scenery we’ve ever seen. 
The hike to Queen’s Well was simple and flat, and a round trip from the car park would be about a 5 mile total walking distance. If you are more adventurous, you could continue up the path to the Mount Keen summit. 
We decided to take a rest at the Queen’s Well, which was such a photogenic granite monument against the purple hills and blue sky.  

Once we had some water and PB&J, I decided that while I might not have the stamina to make it to the Mt. Keen summit, I surely had enough energy to explore the riverside, where our hiking directions told us there was a cave on the other side of the river. 

I didn’t want to wade the river to go spelunking, so instead, we decided to try and make it high enough up the mountain to take a few photos looking back over gorgeous Glen Esk. 

Mission accomplished. 

After this detour, we headed back down toward the Queen’s Well and finally the car park. On our way back, we saw the most elusive of Scottish wildlife: a snake! He was sunning himself right on the trail, and we’ve become so accustomed to not looking for them, that Jonathan walked right past him without even noticing. 

I spotted him, and wanted to get a picture, but I was too focused on distracting Bailey from noticing that the snake ended up scooting away before I could get a shot. He was pretty docile though, because Bailey obliviously walked right over him and he calmly slithered into the grass unnoticed by our ‘hunting’ dog. 
The presence of the snake just proves how warm it’s been this summer. I’ve been hiking all over this country for the past year and I’ve never seen a single reptile.  Part of what I love so much about hiking here is that I don’t have to worry about snakes, whereas in the southern US, it’s my biggest concern, especially with Bailey off lead. 
I’m still not too concerned, because even though there are a few snakes in Scotland, there aren’t any fatal ones to worry about. We carried on with our return trek without too much excitement. 

I’m so glad we decided to explore this walk. It was possibly my most favorite hike since coming to Scotland. I’m sure the weather and the seasonal heather had something to do with the favorable experience, but I’d still recommend it to anyone wanting an easy hike in a mountainous atmosphere. 
And there is always Mount Keen for those of you who want more of a challenge. And talk about picturesque! 
I was an Instagram junkie all afternoon.  I kinda regretted not taking our fancy Nikon along for the trek, but since I’m currently carrying an extra 20 pounds or so in my middle section, I have to cut weight where I can. Jonathan’s fancy iPhone 5 did the trick well enough. 
Sunday was the polar opposite of Saturday, but still perfect in it’s own way. We woke up to chilly air and stormy skies. The rain was coming down in buckets, giving us the perfect excuse to laze the morning away by reading in bed. 

When that got old, Jonathan offered to make me a special breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Yum! Such a great diversion from my usual morning oatmeal and banana. He was really cute about the whole thing and commented, “If I was a blogger, I would probably blog about my husband cooking me breakfast.” So here you go, Jonathan. I’m bragging about you in the blogosphere. Too bad I forgot to snap a picture. 

The rest of the day was spent lazing around, watching Big Brother, running to B&Q for painting supplies (more on my painting projects to come…), going to the gym and eating leftovers for dinner. It was the perfect lazy Sunday, which is just what this preggo lady needed after that 7 mile hike on Saturday. 
I hope your weekend was just as memorable and blessed!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pregnant in Paris

Since we didn’t have much specifically planned for our time in Paris, other than our tour of Monet’s Gardens, we decided to have a fun little scavenger hunt of taking bump pics in front of some of the most famous sites in the city. It’s amazing to think of how many places our baby has already travelled in utero. He’s been skiing in the French Alps...
he’s been to visit the USA twice with stops in Missouri, Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama...
first meeting with his future BFF Kye

...he’s been hiking up Bennachie, Scolty, and Clachnaben hills....

....and now he can add Paris to his in-utero passport. Here are the pictures to prove he was there:   

Notre Dame:
 Palace of Justice:
 Monet's House and Gardens:
 Overlooking the Paris skyline from Sacre Couer:
 Sacre Couer:
 Luxembourg Gardens:
 The Louvre:
 Tuileries Garden:
 The Siene River:
 Monet's Water lilies in his Japanese water garden:
 The Eiffel Tower!:

 The Pantheon:
 Moulin Rouge:
 and the Arc du Triomphe:
Yep, our international bebe is off to quite a strong traveling start. Next stop: the western Isles of Scotland!