36 Week Pregnancy Update

36 Week Pregnancy Update, pregnant belly, 9 months pregnant, Alice Manfrida
My mom took this picture of us at my cousin's baby shower this weekend.
How far along? 36 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain/measurements: I'm up 27 lbs (3 lbs in the last week) and I measured another centimeter bigger at my midwife appointment. My belly is 40” around this week, which is up another half inch from last week.
Maternity clothes: I bought some gym/pajama shorts to stick in my hospital bag and another bra. I got a second one that isn't the kind with molded cups. So now I think I should be all set. I'm seriously so sick of buying bras. I'm also sick of wearing them because they are so hideous looking. The store I was in today did actually have a couple of cuter ones but obviously there weren't any of those in my size.

36 Week Pregnancy Update, pregnant belly, 9 months pregnant

Stretch marks: Nope.
Sleep: Ugh. I don't even want to talk about it. I'm so tired all the time. I have to nap every day. I also sleep less and less at night.
Best moment this week: Holding my cousin's brand new twin babies! They are so cute! :)
Miss anything? Being comfortable. Doing anything with speed.
Movement: Still plenty of movement. The baby is just spinning around in there (literally spinning side to side...not somersaults, which is good. The head has been staying down.)
Food Cravings: Cheese and Popsicles.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Just the heat.
Gender: The woman bagging my groceries today told me she could tell by my face what I'm having but since I told her we didn't know and were waiting to be surprised she said she wouldn't tell me and ruin it, but that she did know. Ha ha! :)
Labor signs: Just feeling more instability when I move around. Also, I've been feeling movement a little lower than I had been.

36 Week Pregnancy Update, pregnant belly, 9 months pregnant

Symptoms: Same. I can't wait for the heartburn to go away.
Belly button in or out? Out.
Wedding rings on or off? Both. I've been able to get them on and off so I am still wearing them out but it's getting a little annoying feeling and getting them off is a little bit of a struggle sometimes so I'm not wearing them when I'm at home anymore.
Happy or moody most of the time: Emotions are flying all over the place.
Looking forward to: I'm almost full term! :)

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


35 Week Pregnancy Update

35 Week Pregnancy, third trimester, eight months pregnant, first time mom, baby bump, pregnant belly

How far along? 35 weeks 6 days (pictures are from 35 plus 5 days)
Total weight gain/measurements: I'm up 24 lbs and my belly is 39.5” around.
Maternity clothes: I bought two more summer dresses. They are both short, meaning around knee-length. So now I have two short dresses and two long dresses. I'm pretty much only wearing pants when I have to go to an appointment (because getting your belly poked and prodded is a little easier with pants).
Stretch marks: Still none.
Sleep: I seem to get a lot of sleep about every third day. Then I'll be a total insomniac for a couple days and then finally I'll be so tired that I'll be able to sleep it off.
Best moment this week: Realizing that we are pretty much ready for the baby to come. We still have a few more things to buy and a few more things to set up but really if we don't get to them and the baby just showed up now, we'd be fine.
Miss anything? I'm starting to miss being not-pregnant. I'm not completely sick of it yet but the novelty of it all has long worn off and now at just about 9 months pregnant I'm kind over it. I think that's a sign that it's almost over. :)
Movement: Still lots of movement. I think there is a little arm that jabs me on one side a lot and then there are little feet and a butt ramming up into my ribs a lot. That doesn't hurt but it feels really strange to have your ribs pushed on from the inside.
Food Cravings: Food. Give me all of the food.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Not sick, just heartburn. And it's nothing specific, even water feels like it's coming back up...there is just no room anymore!
Gender: I've settled on a guess now. I'm not telling what my guess is, but when the baby is born, I'll let you know if I guessed right or wrong. Ha ha!

35 Week Pregnancy, third trimester, eight months pregnant, first time mom, baby bump, pregnant belly

Labor signs: No signs of actual labor. Braxton Hicks contractions are still happening. It's definitely every day now and some days I have a few of them.
Symptoms: I've noticed my hands and feet are swelling when it's hot and most days in the evening. I'm also having a hard time staying in one position for very long. It's like when you have restless legs but it's my whole body. I need to get up and move around but then I can't do that for that long either so then I have to find a comfortable position and then change and then move around again.
Belly button in or out? Out.
Wedding rings on or off? On but it's a little bit of a struggle to get them back off at night.
Happy or moody most of the time: Whoa this week. In terms of pregnancy I've been happy. In terms of life in general, this has been a tough week. I'm really trying to keep the stress away from me. I've been trying to keep stressful conversations to a minimum and I barely want to even talk about pregnancy anymore. I actually had a long conversation with a cousin the other day and we only talked about him, which was AMAZING! :) So I guess my emotions this week are pretty mixed.
Looking forward to: Going to a baby shower for one of my cousins! This is baby heavy summer in my family. Two have already been born and there are two more to go (including mine)!

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


34 Week Pregnancy Update

34 Week Pregnancy Update, pregnant belly, baby bump, third trimester, pregnant woman

How far along? 34 weeks 5 days
Total weight gain/measurements: 39.5” around my belly and it's really looking a lot bigger and rounder now.
Maternity clothes: Some of my maternity clothes are starting to get a little small and uncomfortable feeling...so that's awesome...not. I still have a good number of weeks to go so hopefully I'll still fit into something by then!
Stretch marks: Not yet.
Sleep: I'm still getting enough over all but it's very interrupted.
Best moment this week: We've been setting up a lot of baby things this week. We put the stroller together and figured out how to attach the infant carrier to it. We've got the changing table set up and we bought new cushions for a chair that we already had so that I have something a little less grubby to breastfeed in. We're not done yet because obviously we both have other things to do in our lives every day but we're getting there! :)

34 Week Pregnancy Update, pregnant belly, baby bump, third trimester, pregnant woman
The red mark at the top of my belly is a bruise. These have been popping up randomly on my belly here and there. I don't know if they are just bruises from being pushed on and stretched or if they are a precursor to stretch marks.  Time will tell, I guess!
Miss anything? Nope.
Movement: There is a lot of rolling around going on in there and little pokey bits stick out more often now. Something was jammed into my hip for a couple of days this week so that was a little rough trying to get the baby to shift and do something else.
Food Cravings: Nope.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope.
Gender: We don't know. I had a dream last night that it was a boy. Not that it means anything.
Labor signs: Nope.
Symptoms: Everything is pretty much the same, but just more. People ask how I'm feeling and I just say that I feel very pregnant but good. Everything that is strange or uncomfortable is a normal pregnancy thing so to me that doesn't mean that I feel crappy, even if my back is kind of sore or I can't eat because of heartburn. I guess I just mean that I'm having a normal pregnancy so it's fine and I feel good.
Belly button in or out? Out.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on!
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy...especially when I was able to successfully cut my toenails this week!!! Ha ha! It was NOT easy.
Looking forward to: A sunny day when Steve and I are both home so that we can figure out how to put the car seat in our car.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice

P.S. If you want to hear a little about the crazy baby dream I mentioned then check out today's vlog over on ManfridaTV.  It's pretty funny. :)


33 Week Pregnancy Update | Baby Shower!

How far along? 33 weeks 6 days
Total weight gain/measurements: 23 lbs gained and my belly is just about 39.5” around. At my midwife appointment yesterday she said that it looked like I grew a lot bigger and then when she measured me I was 3cm bigger, which she said was a big jump. I had been holding steady at my last appointment so it's a good thing. I had told her that in the last week the upper part of my belly was hurting the way it would if I'd done 1000 crunches, but just that one part. She said that it was probably the connective tissue holding my abs together ripping apart so I finally popped open up there!

Maternity clothes: I bought a maternity support belt and it's so amazing! I just wear it for a little bit when my back starts getting sore in the afternoons but it is a life saver. I also bought a birthing/exercise ball, which isn't maternity clothes but it is pregnancy related and it's been making my hips feel better to sit on it.
Stretch marks: None yet. I have noticed random bruising on my belly once in a while so I'm not sure if that means that there will be stretch marks later in those spots or if they are just bruises from being pushed on and stretched by the baby.

Sleep: Still on and off. I've been getting super hot at night though.
Best moment this week: My baby shower was Sunday! My mom and sister threw the party for me and we got so many awesome things and honestly, my family and friends did such a good job that there are only a few little things left for us to buy. :)
Miss anything? I miss being able to stay out of the bathroom for many hours at a time. I am so sick of going in there and I'm also sick of having to change the toilet paper roll constantly because I go through it so fast.

Movement: Lots of movement in the evenings and into the night. I think the baby is most active around 5pm and then maybe from 8 or 9 until around midnight. My midwife said that when babies are born they usually keep a similar schedule to the one they had in the last weeks of pregnancy. So this baby is probably a night owl like us but once it actually gets acquainted with the sun it should slowly flip over to being awake in the day time after a few weeks or months...just so you know I am aware that babies are awake all night. Once it's older and does sleep for longer stretches I think it will be difficult for me because then it'll want to wake up in the morning and play and I'll be like, um, nooo baby, we sleep in the day and stay up at night in this house. Ha ha ha!
Food Cravings: Salty things and yogurt.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Just the heat!
Gender: Since we don't know, there were Baby Prediction cards for everyone to fill out at my baby shower. The guesses were 15 for Boy and 7 for Girl. Which is funny because until the shower, more people were guessing girl.
Labor signs: None yet.
Symptoms: The ab ripping thing, more wadding, hunger and feeling hot are the big ones. Still just occasional Braxton Hicks and also, my boobs are leaking daily now.
Belly button in or out? Out...the part that could still be considered in is super tiny now. It's almost like my belly button is actually disappearing except for the top part that sticks out a little. Ha ha!

Wedding rings on or off? On but I've gotten nervous a couple of times that they wouldn't come back off.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy.
Looking forward to: Finishing all of the baby laundry I'm in the middle of doing right now! :)

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


Empties | Spring 2016

beauty, products, skincare, makeup, cosmetics, hair

I have so many empties hanging around. There are a ton so I've got pictures and the product names here and a video to explain the products and let you know which ones were my favorites!

face, skincare, CeraVe, witch hazel, hydrating, cleanser, eye repair cream, facial moisturizing lotion

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream
T.N. Dickinson's Witch Hazel
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

makeup, cosmetics, oil free eye makeup remover, Neutrogena, Maybelline, mascara, LUSH, popcorn lip scrub, laura mercier, face powder, beauty

Lush Popcorn Lip Scrub
Maybelline theFalsies Volum' Express Flared Waterproof Mascara
Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
Laura Mercier Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder
Maybelline theRocket Volum' Express Waterproof Mascara

toothpaste, Colgate, hair, products, Davines, Love Shampoo, TRESemme, Heat Tamer, Not Your Mother's, NYM, clean freak, dry shampoo

Colgate Total Whitening Gel Toothpaste
Davines Love Shampoo
TRESemmé Heat Tamer Leave-In Spray
Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo

Coola, sunscreen, Versace Crystal Noir, Noabay, Marcelle, Vasanti, beauty, perfume, face, skincare

Coola Classic Sunscreen Cucumber Moisturizer SPF 30
Coola Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Natural BB Cream SPF 30
Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
Versace Crystal Noir Eau De Toilette
Marcelle Clay Mask
Naobay Oxygenating Cream

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice


How to Share Baby News in the Age of Instant Communication: A First Time Mom's Dilemma

baby, pregnancy, social media, first time mom, advice, parenting

This pregnancy is drawing to a close.  I'm 33 weeks so, at this point, even if the baby came two weeks after my "due date" we're still looking at a single digit count down of how many weeks there are left.  I have loved being pregnant and so far it's gone by really fast.  Emotionally, it's overwhelming to think about the idea of a new person suddenly existing.  It's also strange to think about no longer being pregnant, because honestly, as short as pregnancy is, I've still been sharing my body with someone else who has increasingly been showing awareness of the outside world and once he or she is born, my body will immediately be just my own again.  That's both completely welcome because I miss the full control of myself (duh) and it makes me a little sad because with that first separation of independence it's a physical reminder that my child will become his or her own person.

We're apartment hunting right now along with the major purge that needs to come before a move and getting things ready for that fast approaching arrival of this dependent little roommate that can't live in the bathtub.  I've also been learning as much as I can about cats so that I can help poor old Stella to not be too traumatized by getting a human sibling.

Adding to this is something I've been trying to put out of my mind for months but is suddenly pushing it's way to the front because of its rapid approach.  That something is sharing the news with family and friends when the baby is born.  Here's where I'm stuck.  I'm having a baby.  My first baby.  A baby that is going to come out of my body that I grew myself for months.  This is literally the biggest, hardest thing that I've ever done in my 33 years of life.  It is also something that I have been thinking about and wanting to do, with eyes wide open, for over a decade.  (I'm not saying I wanted to have a baby in high school, but I knew that it was the most important life goal I would have.  For me.)  Not having done it yet, I'm assuming that telling people I birthed a human will be an exciting thing to tell.

But how do you do that in 2016?  Every list you can find online, in pregnancy books and even in pamphlets from the hospital tell you to get a list of names and numbers of the important people that your partner should call to share the news with once the baby is born.  Of course you can have it programmed in a cell phone or written on a piece of paper but seriously, I feel like that tip hasn't been updated since the telephone was invented.  I personally feel that Steve and I should be afforded the RIGHT to telling our own news but I know that every email can easily be forwarded and anyone with a Facebook account can put whatever they want on there.  Group texts and reply all are the things I hate most in this life.  I feel pressure to tell literally everyone I've ever met immediately and simultaneously,  and whether that is a real expectation or just a paranoid perception, that is really what it feels like to me.

Of course I plan to call my immediate family pretty immediately.  I will also probably email my close extended family right after that.  I'm assuming I will not want to be on the phone all day while recovering from childbirth and oh yeah, wanting to stare at and get to know the person who has been living in my body this whole time.  But I'm frustrated because snail mail birth announcements are an afterthought.  I don't use Facebook often because I don't like it.  It's not my fault if most of the people I know in real life don't use other social media sites.  I absolutely plan to get a picture and an announcement up there once I get home from the hospital so that my far flung extended family can see the new family member.  But it has to wait until I get home to my desktop.

While I think this is reasonable, I'm having a hard time believing that it will go the way I've laid it out here.  I actually didn't put professional wedding pictures up because I was so irritated that when I came home the next day from that major life event, my feed was full of wedding pictures for all to see.  Honestly, I felt cheated and it put a damper on my excitement.  I am afraid that the same thing will happen with the baby and that's really too bad.  The "easy" solution is to follow the crowd and put a picture up while I'm still in the recovery room and let everyone find out together.  But I should get to live my own life the way I choose and call me crazy, but I think our parents and siblings and then grandparents deserve to hear it before anyone else.  There actually is a family hierarchy in the case of a new baby. 

This is probably both one of my longest and one of my most complain-iest posts but it's something I think about a lot.  Right now I'm thinking about it in terms of having a baby, but it's something I grapple with consistently.  I don't want to have to be constantly and immediately available to everyone.  I want to have as much privacy as I feel like having.  I want to be in control of my own message.  Of course the only person anyone can control is themselves, but I wish that it didn't take so much scheming and maneuvering just be able to keep others from putting stuff out on the public and permanent internet about you. (For the record, we should all remember that screen shots are real.)

This was mostly just food for thought.  I try to be respectful of the online needs of others based on what they actually want and need and not on what I think they should want and need.  Nobody is perfect, but I think it's important to keep striving to better.  I hope you all practice the same thing.

Thanks for reading!
:) Alice

P.S. If anyone asks if they'll be on the email list, I will remove you from the email list.  Just trust that I will not keep it a secret.  That would be ridiculous.