June 22, 2015

Maternity Leave: Blog Edition

Brains Beauty & Basketball will be back in action on Monday, August 3rd. In the meantime, we will be snuggling up on this beautiful baby of ours. Please follow us on Instagram to see what we are up to between now and then!

Violet Catharina

Michelyn Cynthia

June 17, 2015

Bump Update: Week 38

Hi friends. Are you a little confused?

Don't you worry, I didn't become pregnant all over again! 

On Friday, when I changed over to 38 weeks, we took a photo. I figure since I was 38 weeks pregnant for two days, I'd better go ahead and document/share prior to sharing about baby girl's birth. 

How Far Along:: 38 weeks.
Size of Baby:: Little Miss Kemp is the size of a pumpkin.
I have not gained any weight at my last two office visits, though my stomach does seem to be expanding!

Gender:: Baby Girl!

Stretch Marks::
In the clear.
Sleep:: I can't say that it is non-existent, but I am definitely not sleeping a sound 9 hours like I once was. Granted, even when I was getting sound sleep, I was needing multiple bathroom breaks; now I am just up multiple times each night with the inability to get myself back to sleep!  I hear this is normal and just getting me prepared for the many restless nights ahead. 

On Sunday, I arose around my typical insomnia time of 3:30am. This morning's back pains and feelings were just DIFFERENT. After trying to get comfortable in our bedroom for over an hour, I announced that we needed to move downstairs to the family room. Well, we all know that a birth story began to develop shortly thereafter.

Fit Pregnancy:: We resumed exercise on Saturday! My diet had stayed pretty consistent though I did eat half the bag of Golden Graham S'mores mix which was basically Golden Graham cereal, marshmallow pieces, white chocolate chips, and dark chocolate drizzle. I can't even claim that it was a "healthy" snack mix option. I will not be purchasing it again!

Still thinking about that Jurassic World Dairy Queen blizzard from last week! And it was eaten on Friday night!!! Wonder if any of these treats got labor moving?!?

Miss Anything::
Any adult beverage sounds delicious!

Symptoms:: Back pains, mild 'menstrual-like' cramping, contractions, and just overall pressure down south! 

Belly Button In or Out::

It's beginning to get hard to distinguish her movement/stretching and contractions since they are both pretty uncomfortable.

Looking Forward To:: Little Miss Kemp's arrival. (She's here!)

Best Moment This Week:: Mimi's arrival!

Michelyn Cynthia

June 12, 2015

Cherish Every Moment

Note: This post was originally written on Saturday, June 13th with the anticipation of posting today. Since its original edition, Violet Catharina Kemp, lovingly referred to as "Little Miss Kemp" arrived on Sunday, June 14th. Her birth story will be shared soon. Mommy and baby are doing well. 

I have read that there are only 940 Saturdays between your child's birth and them leaving for college! Are you too surprised with that number? I mean when you think of that in years being merely 365 days, its like less than two years worth of Saturdays!

Perhaps I am being a little over-dramatic, but as we await Little Miss Kemp's arrival and as I scroll through social media seeing my friends' children reach various milestones (first birthdays, graduating from preschool/kindergarten, etc.), the swiftness of your child's development has been on my mind.

I remember being young, (well younger than I currently am, lol), and my parents frequently commenting on how swiftly life goes by and to relish in my youth. Honestly, I did not put much thought into their recommendations because summer break seemed to last forever! Though I do remember feeling like high school was over in a blink of an eye, and college went by even faster! Maybe this is why I elected to attend graduate school; my efforts of hanging on to my youth for a little longer....

Now as Coach and I embark on this monstrous task of nurturing and developing a little person, I hope that I can remember to cherish each minute, hour, and day because I know they are fleeting. I realize there will be days and weeks that we struggle, but I too am overjoyed with the responsibility to raise Little Miss Kemp into a loving, caring, and responsible adult. Certainly these are just the basic characteristics that I hope to instill into her little schema, plus so much more.

I must confess that in the past I have struggled with always living in the present. I have shared my tendencies of being Type-A, and have really worked at being less so, especially since being a coach's wife does not always lend itself to embodying all of Type-A qualities. In no way am I correlating being a planner and an individual who doesn't live in the moment; however, it can lead me to personally desire a rigid blueprint. Plans are fabulous until they do not allow you to admire and treasure your today.

You know what is great about aging? Personal growth and development in all facets of one's life.  Its my opinion that relishing in the present and being thankful for the gifts bestowed upon you is the most effective tool in attracting additional positive energy in your life.

So as we await the birth of Miss Kemp, I am reminding myself to take one breath at a time. I hope to take too many pictures, document every milestone, and just live life to its fullest. Team Kemp has accomplished so much in the last three years. I am certain that even more is in store, but in the meantime, let's cherish this time as first time parents.

Michelyn Cynthia

Schools Out!

 Happy Friday to you and happy last day of work for me!

The last two weeks have been ever so busy and I am beyond joyous that summer break is upon me! I want to thank all my followers for sticking around as I know my posts have been very sparse as of late. I must blame it on work and my ever-aching back for my lack of motivation on the blog! I am taking a half day from work today, so will be punching out at noon, hallelujah!

This summer is even more special since we will be welcoming our first child, Little Miss Kemp, any day now. Yesterday we had our 38 week appointment and we have even more progress. I know I typically share my pregnancy updates during my weekly Bump Updates, but I just can't help but share a little information early.

Last week I was effaced at 70-80% and now the doctor estimates a very "thin" 90% effacement! My cervix is still measuring at 1cm, which is what I had predicted. Like I mentioned on Wednesday, I discontinued my walking regime because I could feel my cervix shortening and contractions increasing when I walked. Mimi arrives tomorrow so we can continue walking around 2pm. And by walking I mean shopping in Columbus! We will take Prince out on a few walks until baby girl arrives too which will make him one happy canine.

Michelyn Cynthia

Question of the Day: What tactics/strategies did you do to get labor moving?

June 10, 2015

Bump Update: Week 37

How Far Along:: Full term!
Size of Baby:: Little Miss Kemp is the size of a winter squash.

Gender:: Baby Girl!

Stretch Marks::
In the clear.
Sleep:: What's that? I officially have insomnia! The other night Coach had the nerve to tell me to simply "go to bed!" Really! If it were that simple; trust me, I would be getting some Zs.

Fit Pregnancy:: I have taken up my modified bed rest until Saturday when Mimi arrives!

Sleep! Oh, we are referring to food! Hmm, that new Jurassic World Dairy Queen blizzard sounds amazing! It is a combination of cookie dough and peanut butter cookie pieces. Trying to hold out on that one! On Saturday Coach mentioned Taco Bell, and I had secretly been yearning for a cheese quesadilla for so long I can't even remember. I blame him because I caved in!

Miss Anything::
Seeing my feet and no back pains!

Symptoms:: Side back pains; morning headaches, and insomnia. I am beginning to enter that truly uncomfortable stage in pregnancy, when you are just ready for it to be over. I too am overly sensitive/emotional. This weekend I became really emotional because soon Prince, the dog, will not be an only child. By emotional, I mean that I started crying inconsolably. Prince is such a good boy, and we know he will be a great big brother. The transition will be somewhat challenging for him as he likes to be the center of attention, and has had it this way for two years.Yea, I just confessed to having a crying fit over the dog!

Belly Button In or Out::

Movement:: We should take video footage of my stomach because this child is an acrobat. I look forward to my next OB appointment because we think she has moved sides. For weeks, her feet have been near my upper right rib cage, buttocks to my left side, and head south. We swear she has flipped to the other side for her legs and buttocks. I guess it does not matter just as long as her head is south, which it is! Just strange that we think she has moved so drastically and so late in the pregnancy.  

Looking Forward To:: My mother's arrival on Saturday. We too will get a little shopping in before baby too. 

Best Moment This Week:: We installed the car seat and bases in both of our cars. Coach also assembled the second stroller, the BOB Revolution SE, and I finished packing my hospital bags.

Michelyn Cynthia

June 8, 2015

Walking Lunges + Resistance Band Workout

Out of all the workouts that I developed, this is my favorite! Not because it is easy, but because I felt like I got the best whole body workout when doing this exercise.

I hope you enjoy!

Michelyn Cynthia

June 3, 2015

Bump Watch: Week 36

How Far Along:: 36 and looking oh so H-U-G-E!
Size of Baby:: Little Miss Kemp is the size of a honeydew. At our US, they estimated that Little Miss Kemp weighs over 6lbs! The US tech did not tell us the specifics, but just noted that her femur was "long!" Then the doctor proceeded to estimate that she will weight between 7.5-8lbs! I have consulted with some other mommies who reminded me of the +/- 1lb estimate for the growth scan! I was just a little surprised with the possibility of an 8lb baby. But, by the looks of me, maybe that is accurate, lol!

Gender:: Baby Girl!

Stretch Marks::
Sleep:: Been having a little more energy and desire in the mornings. But, I am also sticking to my 10pm bed time!

Fit Pregnancy:: Just walking daily. I am somewhat over the resistance bands.

Cravings:: Pop, soda, anything with a fizz and sweet flavor. 

Miss Anything::Any adult beverage sounds delicious at this point! Even beer commercials have me salivating.

Symptoms:: Decreased appetite. I find myself not hungry during most of the day, except breakfast for which I am absolutely ravenous!

Belly Button In or Out::
No change here; in with a small portion sticking out!

We may have a gymnast on our hands!

Looking Forward To::My mom is coming June 18th! I know that is in 2 weeks, but I am excited to see her (xoxo).

Best Moment This Week:: We had three week! First, we had our last ultra-sound, mentioned above, and it was so surreal. At this point, we have agreed that Little Miss Kemp has my lips and nose! She takes after daddy in the big cheeks department. We too think she is going to be a little DIVA, like her momma (and grandmothers!). 

Then, we had a visit from one of my cousins and good friends! It was so nice seeing them both, even if only for a few days! The next time I see them, I will have a little girl for them to meet!

Lastly, yesterday was Prince's 2nd birthday! We made him a special breakfast and dinner of brown rice, boiled chicken, carrots, and celery. Once Coach got off of work, we went on a long walk around campus, and then finished off the night with a birthday song and gourmet dog cookie! Prince is pooped from his birthday festivities as he is currently sprawled out by my feet!

Michelyn Cynthia

June 1, 2015

BBBC: Where'd You Go Bernadette

It's June!!!!!!!! June means Little Miss Kemp shall be arriving shortly. Everyone in our family is beyond enthused for her upcoming arrival! My mother plans to arrive on June 18th, and she has firmly explained that no baby can arrive before then! We will surely try our best, lol! How fitting that last month's book included a mother-daughter relationship.

Ok, let's see what this book is all about.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

Such a witty and entertaining read! How Maria Semple weaves various formats ( e-mails, letters, F.B.I. documents, correspondence with a psychiatrist and even an emergency-room bill) for the background to a riveting story is beyond me!

Now, I must admit that the various formats at first made me so confused and perplexed, especially in the first chapter. My mother also read this book, in like 2 days, and she assured me that it all comes together in a marvelous way, and she was so right!

I must give this book high praise for Ms. Semple's writing, but also the message that I took away at the end. You learn about the suffering that Bernadette has faced for nearly 20 years, and I truly sympathized for her character. It made me step back and realize that everyone has a history with multiple dimensions impacting their present. An individual's present way of being has been molded from their life experiences, and we must keep this in my mind when judging others' actions, in my humble opinion :)

I too loved the mother-daughter relationship that is so present throughout the book!

For the month of June, Heather from Love To Be Busy has chosen "The Year We Left Home" by Jean Thompson.

Now, head on over the the other Members' blogs to see what they thought about the book! 
Heather - Love To Be Busy

We have yet another NEW Beauty Blogger Book Club member! Please help me welcome Stephanie from The Wonky Brow! Stephanie blogs about beauty products and sharing her #365DaysofEmpties with the world!

I honestly could not be more thrilled for our new members! I hope you check out their blogs!

The Beauty Blogger Book Club began in January of 2015! We currently have 6 Members with various blog content. Each month, one of the Beauty Blogger Book Club (BBBC) members chooses a book for the Club to read. At the beginning of the following month, we each write a book report/summary for our readers to enjoy and share the book for the following month! The "Club" provides all of us bloggers an opportunity to network and read books outside of our comfort zones!

Michelyn Cynthia
Question of the Day:  What book have you recently read that you think the BBBC should read & review?