Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our Babymoon to Arizona

T and I decided a few months ago that we wanted to take a quick little trip together before our baby arrived.  T can't stand the term babymoon, so in our house we just referred to it as the trip before baby, but a babymoon is exactly what it was.

When planning vacations my first inclination is always to look somewhere tropical.  Mexico, Bahamas, Caribbean, I'm all in.  But with the scare of Zika, we decided it would be best to stay within the US, preferably somewhere high and dry with a low risk of mosquitos.  After exploring a few options, we decided on Sedona, with a brief stay in Phoenix beforehand.  I've never been out west, so I was pumped to get to explore a new part of the country.

T and I also never really took an anniversary trip to celebrate 3 years of marriage, so this trip doubled as both an anniversary trip and babymoon.  We have a goal to visit a different state for each anniversary, so we killed two birds here with being able to cross Arizona off our list.  T's mom is a travel agent, which is such a blessing.  We found the hotel where we wanted to stay in Sedona, and picked a weekend that worked for us.  And then she did everything else, and just sent us all our travel documents once they were ready to go.

Thursday afternoon we flew from Charlotte to Phoenix and spent our first night there.  I don't know if it was the stress, the sudden changes in altitude, dehydration, or a combination of all three, but I had contractions all day long.  Throughout the day I probably had close to 40 contractions.  Very scary considering I was only 31 weeks along at that point.  We were NOT going to have a preemie across the country.  NO WAY.   So we laid pretty low on Thursday, and went to dinner at a place called Barrio Cafe.

Dinner was incredible.  Prices were very reasonable, food was fresh, and we totally felt like locals when we were there.  Score.  The guacamole made tableside was definitely the star of the meal.  It was made simply with avocados, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, and jalapeƱo.  But the real deal breaker was the fact that it was topped with pomegranate seeds.  I've never considered the combination of pomegranate and avocado, but it was perfection.

T had a margarita (or two) and I was happy to see that they offered a few non alcoholic house-made drinks, too.  They're well known for their Horchata, but the Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus flower water), sounded so enticing I had to order it.  We filled up so much on guac that we both went pretty simple with our entrees.  I opted for tacos and T had a torta.  Both were very tasty. 

We went to bed early that night, which thankfully was just what my body needed.  After a good night's sleep, my contractions subsided.  The next morning we woke up early and headed to the Grand Canyon, about a 3 hour car ride away.  The three hours flew by, because there were so many cool things to look at along the way.

T has been to the Grand Canyon before, but this was obviously my first time.  I was in awe the entire time we were there.  What everyone had told me was true.   It was far bigger and more beautiful than I even imagined!  We used this blog post to help us get there and navigate the Park.  The park is so large, that there are several different options you can take once you get there.  We preferred to stay in our own car and ride along at our own pace, so this was the perfect option for us.

 After a few hours at the Canyon, we headed about an hour south to Sedona to check in to our hotel.  We read great reviews about L'Auberge de Sedona, and were so excited to get checked in.  Unfortunately the part of the hotel where we were staying had just undergone a renovation that wasn't 100% complete.  We tried not to let this put a damper on the rest of our trip, but it was quite disappointing.  The silver lining to the situation though was that it made us get out more and explore the town versus staying in our room or hanging around the resort.

For dinner on Friday night we wanted something casual and low key.  T heard one of the nearby restaurants served rattle snake sausage, and after that the decision was made.  We had dinner at The Cowboy Club right downtown.  It was very casual and a little touristy, but that's what we were wanting for our first night.

To get a little taste of everything, we shared an appetizer sampler.  Cactus Fries w/ Prickly Pear Sauce, Rattlesnake Sausage, Cilantro Flatbread, and Buffalo Skewers.   The rattlesnake sausage kind of freaked me out, but I did take a taste before letting T finish my portion.  It really was tasty, but I just couldn't get my mind around the whole eating a poisonous snake thing.   Because we filled up so much on appetizers we went light and had salads for our entrees.

That night our hotel offered stargazing led by a local astronomer.  I hope he doesn't read this, but T has the cutest fascination with stars and space.  It was so great to see him fascinated with all of this. We were the only ones there at the end of the night with the astronomer, so we got a little private session with him.   He pointed out several constellations around us and we looked through a humongous telescope to get closer glimpses at stars and planets. 

The next morning we were up early, grabbed coffee and pastries from our hotel lobby, and went out to the creek to feed the ducks.  Each morning the hotel supplies corn at 8:00 am for the guests to feed the ducks.  Probably an amenity for the kids, but I totally got a kick out of it.

That day we had lunch by recommendation of a friend at the Oak Creek Brewery and returned to the hotel for a few hours by the pool.  Their pool is heated year round, so it was a perfect temperature for swimming.  This is the first time I've been swimming since having a big belly, and the weightless feeling was quite a relief to my back.

Later that afternoon at 4:00 we were scheduled for a Pink Jeep Tour around Sedona.  I originally turned my nose up to this idea because it just seemed totally touristy, but it was honestly one of the highlights of our trip.  Pink Jeep offers several off-road tours, but the only one available for pregnant women is their Scenic Sedona Tour.  While we missed out on the off-road experience, I really felt like we had an incredible experience just staying on paved roads.  Our guide was super friendly and knowledgeable.  He knew so much history about the people of the area as well as the geology of all the rock formations, and he was always willing to take our picture when we made a new stop.  We visited several places and learned so much more than what we would have if we'd just done this on our own.  If you ever visit the area, I'd highly recommend doing one of these tours.

Saturday night was our last night, so we had reservations for our "big" dinner at a nicer place.  After talking to the concierge beforehand, we made reservations at a place called The Hudson.  Several of the appetizers looked amazing, so we opted for ordering a few small plates to share instead of individual entrees.  We shared three of their bruschettas; Brie, Apple, and Fig, the Funghi, and the Prosciutto Di Parma.  (If you're curious, all of their soft cheeses were pasteurized so they were preggo-safe, but I did break the rules to have one slice of the prosciutto.  No judgies.)

We also ordered the Fireball Lollipop Chicken Drumsticks and the Roasted Beet Salad which were phenomenal.  We just devoured them too quickly before I could snap a photo.  Plus at that point I felt like enough people were staring at me and my gigantic belly, I didn't want to give them another reason to look by bringing out my huge flashing camera.  

On Sunday we headed to Flagstaff's teensy airport to fly out.  When I say teensy I mean it.  They had to open security just for our flight at 10:00 am.  And the same guy who printed our boarding passes was helping to direct the airplane out to takeoff!  Seriously, that small.

We had such a great time, and it was the perfect getaway for a babymoon.  Now that we're back home it's just countdown to baby time!  We've got roughly 8 weeks until my due date, and I feel like there's still so much to do to prepare for his arrival.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks

Hey y'all!  T and I are back from our Arizona baby moon.  I'm still getting all of my pictures together for a full recap post, but I wanted to share a quick pregnancy update since I haven't done one in a while! I cannot believe I'm almost EIGHT months pregnant. 

How Far Along?   31 Weeks

Size of Baby:
  A pineapple, say wha?


Weight Gain: 
Up about 17 lbs so far I think.  I really haven’t been as diligent about keeping track as I thought I’d be.  As long as baby is healthy and I can still fit through doorways, I'm cool with it. 

Maternity Clothes:
 Yep, and I’m getting pretty sick of them.  At this point I really don’t want to buy more, so I keep the same 7-8 dresses on constant rotation. 

So close to being complete!  I still need to make the blackout curtains and hang some things on the wall.  But we’re almost there!

  Yes, and all the time.  This little boy is all up in my ribs.  I’ve gotten confirmation at my last two appointments that he’s already head down, and his little feet just kick inside my ribcage all day long.

  My blood pressure has been reading low throughout my entire pregnancy, but it’s been even lower over the past few days.  When I went to the doctor this week it was 85/55.  It’s amazing how having low blood pressure can make you feel yuck all over.  Lethargic, short of breath, headachy, and dizzy.  I’ve been trying to take it easy, not stand or bend over too quickly, and stay hydrated all the time.  I also have heartburn constantly throughout the day.  I take Zantac twice daily to keep it at bay, but sometimes its just not enough. 

Sleep:  Sleeping great thanks to Unisom.  It’s a nightly thing for me now.  I only take half of the dose, but it’s enough to get me to sleep and keeps me asleep all night.

Cravings:  All Fruit, PB&J’s, and crushed ice.  I could crunch on ice for days.  Oh, and soft serve ice cream all.the.time.

What I Miss:  My agility.  That is seriously the one thing I cannot wait to have back.  Oh to be able to pop right out of bed, or tie my shoes without having to maneuver around a belly. 

Best Moment This Week:  Our babymoon in Sedona this past weekend.   This was my first trip out west, and it did not disappoint! Our visit to the Grand Canyon was by far the highlight of the trip. I’ll follow up later this week with a full recap of the trip.

Looking Forward To:  Meeting this sweet babe in about 8 weeks!  I’m definitely getting nervous about the whole birthing part, but I’m just so ready to see this baby’s precious face.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Babymoon Bound!

Happy Thursday!  Today is my Friday because T and I are headed across the country for a long weekend babymoon to Phoenix and Sedona.  It's embarrassing to admit, but until now the most western I've been in the United States is Tennessee.  I've heard so many great things about Sedona, so I can't wait to see it for myself.

I'm so looking forward to a long weekend full of great food, relaxation, sightseeing, and exploring.  You can follow me on Snapchat and Instagram (@thereedyreview for both accounts) for updates along our trip!  Y'all have a great weekend.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Our Weekend + April's Baby Sprinkle

Last weekend my sister April came to visit with her daughter Camille. April was in Greenville selling bows and bonnets for her shop, The Tipsy Bunny, so I had the pleasure of taking care of sweet Camille. Watching over a 20 month old is no joke, especially when you're almost 8 months pregnant. I honestly have no idea how April does it. After three days I was exhausted and in need of a chiropractor visit.

Camille is seriously one of the smartest most fun toddlers to be around. Everything she does it just so precious, and she's so, so smart. We made multiple visits to our neighborhood playground, swinging on the big girl swings, which she loved (and which made this over protective auntie very nervous). T even got to join us on Saturday morning which was just the icing on the cake for Camille. She's obsessed with her uncle T, or as she calls him T Nuh-Nuh.

On Sunday I headed to Charlotte for a baby sprinkle that some of April's girlfriends were hosting for her.  It was held at Dogwood Southern Table, a perfect spot for a Sunday brunch.  April's friends did the best job putting together this little celebration, it was absolutely perfect.  I returned the favor that April did for me last weekend at my shower and captured as many photos of the day as I could.  (You can see more pictures from the shower on April's blog here, and photos from my shower here)

The food at Dogwood was amazing. As soon as I saw their Chicken-n-Biscuit on the menu, I knew it was exactly what I was going to order.  A huge biscuit topped with pepper chive gravy, eggs, and a fried chicken breast.  It was as heavenly as it looks. 

 It's been so much fun being pregnant at the same time as my sister.  Sharing clothes, taking all the advice I can get from her, and having someone to answer my "is this normal?" questions has been priceless.  I can't believe we'll be meeting her sweet little bundle of joy in the next few weeks, and I am chomping at the bit to know whether she'll be having a boy or girl- and what the name will be!  I personally think she's having a boy, but that may be because I'm so used to referring to an in utero baby as a "he" all the time.  Just a few more weeks, and we'll know for sure! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Blogger Meetup at Stella's Southern Bistro

Last week I met up with several other Upstate bloggers for a dinner hosted by Stella's Southern Bistro.  For years there's been a handful of Greenville bloggers around, so I can't believe it's taken us this long to finally get together.  I've met a few of the ladies before, but it was great to finally meet several of them in real life for the first time.  We drank, we ate, we chatted, and no one gave a side-eye when one of us took out our camera or our phone to snap pictures during the dinner.

Stella's Southern Bistro in Simpsonville has been on my short list of restaurants to try for some time, so I was thrilled to hear that they were hosting us for our first get together.  We previewed their new spring cocktails, and I was so happy to see that they could make an alcohol-free version of their Southern Heat Celery Cup.

Stella's works with nearby farmers to source as many of their ingredients locally as they can.   Farm-to-table cuisine isn't a new idea, but I still so appreciate the handful of Greenville area restaurants that make this a priority.

Everything we tried was absolutely delicious, and I can't wait to come back and bring T along with me.  These ladies were such a delight to get to know, and I can't wait for our next blogger meet up! 

If you're interested in checking out the blogs of the other local ladies, click the links below.

Olive and Tate
North Living South
Gap Creek Gourmet
The Pantry Doctor

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Thompson's Baby Shower

This weekend, my sisters and sister-in-law hosted a baby shower for baby Thompson and me.   It was so great to see family members, and so sweet of them to come to Charlotte for this little celebration.  I hadn't seen most of my family since the holidays when I was barely showing, so it was also a great opportunity for me to see them with my now 30 week baby belly.

The hosts did the best job with every detail for this shower, everything was absolutely perfect.  My sister April was also able to snap several photos throughout the day so I'd have pictures to remember this wonderful day!

 The shower was hosted late in the afternoon, so we had light snacks like finger sandwiches and fruit, some bubbly, and water infused with cucumber and mint.

April also picked up cupcakes from Gigi's and my sister in law Angela brought petit fours from my favorite Columbia bakery, Tiffany's.  

The day was absolutely perfect, I'm so thankful to now have three of the best sisters to have hosted this for me!

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