Happy New Year (and our first wedding anniversary!)

new year ultrasound

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is treating you well so far ūüôā 2016 just seemed to fly by and this new year doesn’t seem to be slowing down any either.

new-years-eve-mike-and-jill

New Years Eve marked our first wedding anniversary! We marked the occasion with a steak dinner, a bite of our freezer-burnt wedding cake (ew), and a NYE celebration with friends.

first wedding anniversary photo book gift from shutterfly

Since the first wedding anniversary is traditionally the ‘paper anniversary’, I gifted Mike a photo book that included pictures from our Paris proposal, engagement shoots and wedding.¬†I created my photo book using Shutterfly.com¬†(affiliate link),¬†and I was able to put together my photo book in just a couple hours.

first wedding anniversary photo book

wedding photo book from shutterfly.com Continue Reading

22-week pregnancy update

20-week ultrasound

Happy December!

Since I last shared my pregnancy news and the story of our complications, things have been progressing well. I ended up spending a total of 1 month on bed rest before heading back to the office. I took it easy though, since I wasn’t officially taken off bed rest for another two weeks¬†after that. Some of the original concerns seem to have resolved, while a couple of unexpected new issues cropped up that may or may not become problems. Apparently I have a bunch of large placental lakes and the umbilical cord is eccentric, meaning it inserted into the placenta off centre, which can prevent the baby from getting enough nutrients as it grows. The baby’s growth is now being monitored a bit more frequently, but so far he’s doing perfectly well. Yes,¬†I said¬†he! We found out we are having a baby boy at our 20-week anatomy scan.

The ultrasound tech had asked us if we wanted to hear her guess about sex a few weeks earlier, and she told us she thought the baby was a boy. I figured that she probably wouldn’t have given us her guess if she didn’t really know, so we were pretty confident we were having a boy, but it was still fun to get the confirmation at the 20-week ultrasound. I didn’t have a preference at all, but I’m really excited to raise a boy. Growing up with just my sister and mom, the idea of having a little boy in the family seems so foreign!

20-week pregnancy photo

Earlier this week, for the first time, someone offered me a seat on the streetcar because she noticed I was pregnant, so I think I’ve officially transitioned from chubby-or-pregnant to definitely-preggers. My sister asked me earlier on how I was feeling about my body changing, and then and now I feel pretty much fine so far. I bet I’ll be feeling differently when I’m about to burst in a few months, though. Having clothes that fit comfortably definitely makes all the difference. I grew out of my pants pretty early on, and have been living in my H&M MAMA¬†jeans. All my tops seemed to shrink overnight, so I picked up a few simple ruched tees from Old Navy, which are cute and comfy with my cardigans and jackets. A couple weeks ago I was at a maternity store looking for a dress for a Christmas party we went to, and another girl in the fitting room was just sobbing! Based on what I overheard, it was her first time shopping for maternity clothes, and I guess it wasn’t going well.¬†Hormones, I’m sure. Poor girl ūüôĀ

22-weeks-pregnant

Most exciting of all, I have started to feel the baby kick. I’d been getting uncomfortable stabby pains here and there, which I thought might be the baby (with a butcher knife), but last week I felt legit kicks for the first time. I felt two in a row and then put my hand on my belly and felt one from the outside, too. A few days later, Mike got to feel him for the first time. Especially with concerns about the baby’s growth, it’s wonderful to have a solid indication that he’s been growing bigger and stronger since our last appointment.

We’re starting to get ourselves organized with figuring out which baby things we need to get including the stroller, car seat and crib. There are so many options out there. Where do you even begin? Another question we’ve been asking ourselves is whether we want to go with cloth diapers instead of disposables. So many decisions to think about!

xo

Exciting baby news! (& a long story of our pregnancy complications)

pumpkin pregnancy announcement

Yep, I’m pregnant! I’m so excited to share that our IVF journey has successfully resulted in a pregnancy, with a due date of¬†April 5th, 2017. Unfortunately it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. And not only due to my horrendous morning sickness.

frozen embryo transfer day 1

We transferred one of our 4 healthy BRCA- 6-day embryos on July 20th.  I was scheduled for a pregnancy test at the clinic 2 weeks later, but I did a home test a few days earlier. The home test came up as a clear positive, so we were excited that the embryo seemed to have taken. The test at the clinic confirmed that result and we were scheduled in for a 6 week ultrasound.

6-week ultrasound

At the 6-week¬†ultrasound we saw and heard the heartbeat for the first time and everything was looking good, so we officially graduated from the fertility clinic and were referred to our new OB. We met her at our 12 week ultrasound. The ultrasound tech showed us the heartbeat again, and we saw our little baby who had its little hand curled up in front of one of its eyes. So cute already ūüôā We were told everything looked good and we were scheduled in for an appointment with the OB for 4 weeks later. By the next weekend we’d officially made it through the first trimester and we started sharing our pregnancy news with more friends. I even broke the news to my boss at work.

I was starting to feel good and I had actually had a couple vomit-free days and was starting to feel more energetic for the first time in weeks. But then, at 13 weeks 5 days, I had some bleeding. Continue Reading

DIY Noisemaker Scratch-n-Reveal NYE Wedding Escort Cards

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers

These easy DIY escort cards were an inexpensive way to really tie in the theme for our New Year’s Eve wedding. Not only do they help guests easily find their table, but noisemaker escort cards are fun and festive¬†and look super cute with the decor. Plus it meant that everyone had their own party horn¬†for when the clock struck midnight.

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers

Just for extra fun, I used scratch-n-reveal stickers for guests to scratch to find their table numbers. Just in case it wasn’t obvious, I created a little rhyming sign which I hung on the mirror above: Take a penny, grab your label, scratch your card to find your table!

Make sure to have coins on hand in a dish or scattered around so guests can scratch and reveal their table numbers.

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers

Our venue had a wooden drawer unit that we were able to use to set up the escort cards, but lined up on a table or hung up would look great, too. One thing to be cautious of is not to line them up too closely or too many rows deep, because you don’t want them getting all knocked over as guests go in to find theirs. I organized mine alphabetically, and if you have a huge guest list, you might want to have signs (A-D, E-G, etc.) to make it easy on your guests.

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers

DIY NYE wedding escort cards

What you’ll need:

Metallic noisemakers

Perforated business cards (I used Avery #5371) or Cardstock

Scratch-off stickers

Corner paper punch

One-hole paper punch

Metallic curling ribbon¬†(I colour coded with guests’ dinner selections to aid the servers)

Editable escort card template

Scissors

Pennies for scratching

How to:

1. Download and edit the template (above)

2. Print on perforated business cards

3. Stick on scratch-n-reveal stickers

4. Punch out cards

5. Round edges with corner punch and punch hole for ribbon

6. Tie ribbon with loop to each card and curl ribbons with scissors

7. Order cards alphabetically

8. After arranging noisemakers on site, attach tags in alphabetical order

NYE escort cards using noisemakers and scratch-n-reveal stickers