I feel as though I've gone through a growth spurt lately - or at least my belly has. Here's an updated picture of me for those of you who are curious.
Okay, okay... I haven't morphed into a beluga whale in the literal sense, but this is a pretty good representation of how I feel right now. Maybe I was in denial the first few months or something. Regardless, my belly is expanding at a rate that I never anticipated. Luckily, I just recently purchased some much-needed maternity clothes and a belly band, and it looks like I couldn't have put it off another day. Here's the real me at 24 weeks (about 5 and a half months).
And this is before a meal. After I've eaten, it feels as though my skin will burst open because my stomach feels so tight. Oh well! It all means that little baby boy is growing to be big, strong, and healthy - right? :) The baby kicks all the time these days. It's so fun to feel him wiggle around and move in there. Unfortunately, TJ is still unable to feel the baby move at all, but hopefully that will change as the baby gets bigger and the kicks get stronger. I'm feeling great these days, though! They say the second trimester is the honeymoon period, so I guess I better soak up these last few weeks before the discomfort really kicks in. For now, I'm hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
I've finally, finally graduated with my Master's in School Counseling on May 4th. Done! It's felt like such a long journey, especially since I took a year leave of absence to move to Oakland after marrying TJ. What a relief to be finished. It's been a goal of mine to achieve a Master's in Psychology ever since I majored in Psych at the U of U - I knew a Bachelor's in Psychology was pretty useless unless you get more education beyond it. It feels great to be able to check it off my list right before this baby comes and sends my life in a whole new direction. All my gratitude goes to my sweet husband for his continual support during all the hours of class, homework, and internship. :)
So, what do I do with my time now? Baby books, baby books, and more baby books! I feel like too much is never enough. I keep hoping after reading another one, I'll feel more prepared than before, but for some odd reason I feel even LESS prepared because I keep realizing how much I really have no idea about. There is so much to learn!! Here's a list of some of what I've read/have been reading. Honestly, they are all awesome books and I'm glad I've read each one. I'd highly recommend them all. And don't laugh at me, but I have a lady crush on Jo Frost. :)
For the record, I am planning and preparing for a natural birth. If anyone has experience or advice on the matter, please let me know! :)
TJ and I have been enjoying the gorgeous weather by making the most of our weekends outside. The other day, we had a fun picnic in a park near our home and played some games. Turkey, avocado, and tomato bagel sandwiches and Wheat Thins. Simple and delicious.
Speaking of TJ, my poor husband has been working his tail off on an ever-growing pile of audits that are all due right at the same time. He's been leaving for the office at around 6 am and getting back at 6 pm, only to continue working into the night. I snapped a photo of him late Friday evening because I felt it adequately captured how hard he's been working. Poor guy. Send your prayers his way, if you don't mind. :)