She’s here! A bundle of joy

Hello everyone!

I am back and overjoyed to announce the arrival of our daughter Holly on 11/9/15 at 11:45 p.m. Holly weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and was 19.5 inches tall. It was a long 17-hour labor but there were no complications and both Holly, me, and her daddy are happy and healthy!

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I plan to take it easy on the blogging front for my maternity leave through January but I may pop in here and there with some random ideas (for instance, some of my friends have requested a top 5 things you need in the first few weeks with baby. That sounds fun!).

I hope you all have a holly jolly holiday season <3

 

 

32 Week Baby Bump Date

32 weeks?! What? Who? How? That’s kind of how I’ve been feeling lately, except I feel VERY pregnant. Like, no joke. Like, I’ve been pregnant forever. I was cooking dinner tonight and I snuck a sip of Matt’s wine and I swear the sky opened up and the angels sang… and then the pregnancy gods decided to punish me, because I went for another little sip and it went down the wrong pipe, and I spent the next ten minutes sputtering as I sheepishly continued to dice zucchini. No wine for you, prego.

I’ve been quiet on blogs and social media because #tired. And, as most of you know, I work in social media and while I absolutely adore what I do, honestly, sometimes my eyes just want a break from screen time in the evenings and weekends. But, I have lots to tell you, so let the 32 week bump date commence!

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How far along? 32 +5 which means I’m just two days away from 33 weeks. Hot diggity.
Baby’s Size: A naked tailed armadillo, Florida pomelo, or head of lettuce, depending on which app you go by. Pretty sure none of those things are the same size… so baby is about four pounds and 19 inches.
Weight Gain: Well, it finally caught up with me. At my last appointment I had put on 6 pounds and got a bit of the eyebrow raise from my OB. However, I’ve been cleaning up my act the past few weeks and am thrilled to be able to eat again without vomiting, so I’ll take it. That’s 6 pounds at 32 weeks. I’ll take it!
Maternity clothes? All day every day. If it doesn’t have stretch to it, it’s not anywhere on me.
Best moment this week: We’re in full on nesting mode after having baby showers, and I am continually humbled and grateful for how freakin’ generous our friends and family are. We have so. much. stuff. and it’s overflowing in our humble abode. This weekend we’re hoping to finally set up our crib and baby dresser, and once that’s up, it’s time for the fun stuff (DECOR!). One of my friends also gave birth last week , and a fellow blogger friend also had her baby (Welcome to the world, sweet William and Delaney!).

Miss anything?

  • Sleeping on my stomach. I’m not going to take this bullet point off  this list ever.
  • Being able to get up or flop on the couch with abandon. When you have a massive, bulbous abdomen, you totally move slower, more deliberately, and more painfully.
  • Wine. Salami. The ability to pop an Excedrin (or two) when you have a wicked headache. Pants with buttons. Uninterrupted sleep. Getting out of the bathtub without feeling like I need a complex system of levers and pulleys to hoist me out.
  • Going outside. It’s consistently been in the hundreds here and my OB asked me to stay indoors because of my blood pressure (more about that in next bullet).
  • Not worrying about baby’s health as much. My blood pressure is a weird devil, and I’ve been having low blood pressure episodes which make me dizzy. In the past I’ve had high blood pressure, but never needed medication or anything like that. Well, my OB decided at my last appointment because of my track record this pregnancy (even though my blood pressure was great!) that she wanted me to do twice-weekly non-stress tests at 34 weeks. Regardless of them being called “non-stress tests”, of course I stressed out, thinking “WHYYYYYYY? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!”. It means my OB is conservative, as she said, and it’s just two more chances each week to make sure mommy and baby are healthy. But man. Pregnancy. All the feels.

Movement: This girl is hilarious and definitely knows when the kitty is lying on me or when live music is playing. We captured a video of the little lady moving her leg to Matt playing the guitar and I thought it was sooo cool. I mean.. that’s a frickin baby leg, in my belly. Crazy!
Food cravings:  Grapes, as usual, milk, as usual, and tonight I had to have a homemade veggie primavera pasta.
Anything making you queasy or sick: This week the smell of black beans made me feel gaggy, and then walking by the fish section in the market (as usual) turned my stomach. But! I have not thrown up in over two weeks… great success in my book!
Gender:  Girl!
Labor signs: Uh, I hope none, though some of the lower back pain and achiness this week makes me paranoid.
Symptoms: Less nausea (praise God or Allah or Flying Spaghetti Monster), lower back pain, cramping, wanting to eat ALL THE THINGS, hot all the time.
Happy or moody most of the time: Other than being a cranky crabby patty because I feel icky, mostly happy. Getting so excited to meet the little lady. I was in Sears the other day and got ridiculously excited thinking about taking her shopping!
Looking forward to: Finalizing our day care plans for February (you have to do it crazy early here), finalizing our pediatrician (another thing you have to do before birth!), getting the nursery set up and washing and putting away adorable baby clothes like the onesie below, celebrating hubby’s birthday.

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So that’s it, everyone! Hope life has been treating you well 🙂

Getting my bloggy on: Lifestyle Bloggers National Conference 2015

Remember last year when I got to be all fancy and speak on a panel about social media? Well, I was invited to attend the Lifestyle Blogger’s National Conference again this year, and I’m so glad I went! I didn’t have any speaking duties this time, so I was able to fully absorb everything as an eager attendee. The conference is held at Maker’s City in downtown LA — a super cool building that houses furniture designers, coworking spaces, and textile and clothing boutiques. Many of these are not open to the public, so it’s fun to get a sneak peek of what life might be like for a designer.

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One of my favorite workshops was the Lifestyle Styling workshop. At conferences, it’s easy to get a little bit glazy-eyed as you sit at a table for hours, so I really loved the idea of small, hands-on, interactive workshops. This workshop was lead by Katie Allison, a lifestyle and product stylist for J. Crew, Nordstroms, Two’s Company, and many more. She handed us a great worksheet filled with tips and tricks for blog photography. For example, if you’re photographing something that’s mostly monochromatic, make sure your pops of color are only 10 to 20% of the photo for best visual impact. She also recommended mixing up textures and backgrounds, and getting super creative when it comes to setting up your shot. She let us loose in the studio with hundreds of fun props, from butterfly wings to old suitcases to rocks. We spent a solid half an hour arranging shots, and here’s what I came up with. This was definitely one of the best conference sessions I have EVER been to — and I’ve been to a lot of conferences!

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One of the other things I really like about LBNC is they call it a boutique conference, and work hard to keep the attendees fairly limited so it’s an intimate feeling. It was really fun to meet several ladies and then see them several times throughout the weekend, as opposed to some of the bigger cons I’ve been to where you see someone once and then that’s it. We also feasted on delicious food from Fresh Brothers (YUM!) and even an LA Dirt Dog, which is a grilled hot dog wrapped in bacon, piled with peppers and onions, and served on a chewy bun with mayo, mustard, and ketchup. It’s so good! There’s definitely plenty of yummy stuff to eat at this conference.

And lastly, despite the informative sessions, good food and kick ass swag bag (We got OPI polish from the new Hawaiian line — anybody that hooks up high end polish is good in my book!), it’s packed with awesome women. Here I am with old and new friends alike! From top left: Kia of Bodhi Bear, Monica of My Life is a Journey, Leah of Mamavation, Ana Lydia of Cabeza de Coco (and the founder of LBNC!), Jen of Skinned Knees, Me, Kia and Leah again, and me and Aubrye of Club Momme. I also got to meet an awesome photographer and fellow valley girl, Kristina Bant Jenkins.

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If you’re thinking about taking your blog to the next level, definitely check out LBNC. We were also encouraged to tweet and ‘gram and post like crazy in exchange for tons of prizes… and I scored an awesome prize pack of a hot/cold neck wrap and some fancy Nerium face products. Can’t wait to try them out. Next year it will be held starting on Feb. 25. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for promotions and coupons so you can get your lifestyle bloggy on, too! See ya there!

 

Thoughtful Thursdays: All About Blogging

Hey everyone! My friend Kenlie reintroduced a blog link up at her site, and since this week’s is about blogging, I thought it’d be a fun one to try. If you’re a blogger, copy and paste the questions and then comment here with a link to your post so we can all read.

Thoughtful Thursdays on All the Weigh

All About the Blog

1. How long have you been blogging? Since I was 12 years old! I loved learning old school HTML and building websites in Geocities. My first blog was called “pale green stars” after the Everclear song, and then I started a Tori Amos fan site.

2. What do you like about being a blogger? So many things! I love having a space of my own to write whatever I want. I love making connections with people I might otherwise not know, like my pals Sarah and Emmie and Kelly and KJPugs. I’m close enough with all of these girls to text them on an almost daily basis, and that’s so cool! I also like that my friends and family can read along, though sometimes I forget that people read it and will make a comment related to my blog and I go, huh?

This is me and my friend Nik from BariatricFoodie.com, and Martinus from 300poundsandrunning.com. We were at FitBloggin', an awesome blog conference.

This is me and my friend Nik from BariatricFoodie.com, and Martinus from 300poundsandrunning.com. We were at FitBloggin’, an awesome blog conference.

3. What do you dislike about being a blogger? There’s a big stigma about being a blogger, that we’re all fame-hungry and self-absorbed. I think there’s definitely some small degree of narcissism involved in deciding to write a blog, but I don’t want fame at all. I also dislike that while there is opportunity to make money, deciding to take on those opportunities can turn into a second job if you take on too much. It’s awesome to have that chance and those opportunities, but I burned myself out with my last blog and I need to be careful to remember why I blog in the first place: for me, to write 🙂

4. What are the top 5 topics that you write about most frequently? My weight, food, exercise, and general life stuff like cats.

5. How often do you read other blogs? Are there any that you read regularly that we should be reading too? I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a total slacker when it comes to blogs! I usually read things via Twitter or that interest me through Facebook. But,  I definitely have a “short list” in my head of blogs I lurk around on.

6. How do you define success when it comes to blogging? As long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, then continue rocking on with yo’ bad self.

7. Share something that you know now as a result of blogging that you didn’t know before. I know lots of nerdy stuff about websites and SEO and marketing. I also know that something you write, no matter how silly, trivial, or insignificant it may mean at the time, has the power to influence someone, either for good or for bad.

8. Has blogging had an effect on your life? If so, share the details. Absolutely, and all in a positive way. I’ve met so many wonderful people and had chances to further my career and passions. I’m also so lucky that a part of my job is blogging. Here’s a picture of me out in the field last summer, interviewing someone. How cool is that? (And? Tables, camera bags? Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!)

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9. How did you come up with your blog’s title? I wanted something light-hearted related to my name, and I originally had bought AllLyssa.com as a play on my name. However, some domain name squatter bought the name AlLyssa.com and turned it into a porn site. THAT could be embarrassing, so I decided on LalaLyssa, because I live in Lalaland and once named a cute little product that starts with Lala. It’s also short n’ sweet!

10. What’s the coolest thing about blogging? Giving yourself a voice when you might not otherwise have a chance to speak up.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to visit AllTheWeigh.com to link up! 🙂