Week at the Grandparents

A week at the grandparent’s house is like a vacation. It was a fantastic week with Baba and Pa, and Jude has been soaking up all the love and attention and it’s been so fun. Benny has had more kisses on his chubby little cheeks this week than his entire life. Jude’s been sleeping through the night until 6:30 or 7am each morning {which is late for him!} because he’s been playing and talking and hanging with his favorites all day. Benny has been rocked to sleep, talked to, and been on more adventures than ever!

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zoo with grandparents

We went to the Toledo Zoo- if you are ever in Northern Ohio I would highly recommend it! There was so much for Jude to see and do; he even fed the giraffes! That was a highlight! By the end of the morning, Jude was exhausted and fell asleep on Baba on the way out to the car. Benny was a trooper too. He stayed awake for a while watching the things around him, napped a little in the stroller and was an all-around good sport!

feeding giraffes
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penguins

My parents also converted their finished basement into what we lovingly call Playtown. My mom is a recently retired kindergarten teacher, so she has put some of her bookshelves and stools down there along with toys and books and basketball hoops for hours of fun.

reading in play town

On top of all the mini-babysitting sessions I got throughout the week to go get a pedicure, to go to shopping kid-free, and have some one-on-one time with each of the boys, they also watched my boys while Matt and I went to a Red Sox game up in Detroit Saturday night. I was anxious about leaving both boys, especially little Benji, for that long. But my parents were good about texting updates and pictures to make me feel a little better.

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Don’t you just love grandparents? Thanks Mom and Dad for a fantastic week. We all can’t wait to do it again soon.

It’s Tuesday today, so let’s link up for Tuesday talk! Share with me what you’ve been doing lately. And if you aren’t a blogger, feel free to comment on this post with what interesting things you have going on!

Tuesday Talk Hosts

 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 
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Benjamin: Two months

I blinked and eight weeks have passed! Our little Benji is two months old and we fall more and more in love with him each day.

two months

Likes: being held, his Nuk pacifier, cooing, smiling
Dislikes: being swaddled

Feeding
Benji is such a trooper when it comes to eating. He was three weeks early, weighing in at 5 lbs 3 oz. But even though he was little, he is mighty. His breastfeeding game was strong from the beginning and he hasn’t let up yet! Thank goodness! This is such a difference from Jude’s eating experience, which was a struggle.

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Sleeping
This little man actually had a newborn sleepy phase which was crazy because Jude didn’t- he was just always awake! The longest stretch so far has been three hours at a time, but only once a night. After his “long” stretch, he wakes every hour to hour and a half. I think it’s been gas and being uncomfortable, so hopefully he is growing out of this phase and will sleep for longer stretches soon.

2 months

Activity
Benji likes to kick! Especially his left leg, which I’m pretty sure was Jude’s favorite leg to kick too. Tummy time hasn’t been his favorite activity, unless he is laying on my chest. He likes to lay on me and look up and around.

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Schedule
Schedule?! What schedule?! It’s hard to get a grasp on his schedule yet. I feel like he is still unpredictable. Generally speaking this is what his day looks like:

7:30 – 7:45am: Awake for the morning
7:45 – 8:00am: Eat
8:00 – 9:00am: Awake, play, tummy time
9:30 – 10:30am: Morning Nap
11:00 – 11:30am: Eat
11:30 – 12:30: Awake, play
12:30 – 1:30pm: Afternoon nap
1:30 – 1:45pm: Eat
1:45 – 2:45pm: Awake, play
3:00 – 4:00pm: Second afternoon nap
4:00 – 4:15pm: Eat
4:15 – 7:00pm: This is a toss-up… sometimes he is sleepy, sometimes he stays awake for two and a half hours. You just never know!
7:00 – 7:15pm: Eat
7:15 – 8:00pm: Awake, play
8:00 – 9:30pm: Sleep
9:30 – 9:45pm: Eat
9:45 – 7:30am: Is awake but uncomfortable, takes a lot of coaxing to sleep again. Eats every 2 hours and then is awake for the morning by 7:30am or so.

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Two Month Old Essentials
Since this is my second baby and I already have a toddler running around, my essentials list is a little different than my first time around. But here is what has been invaluable to me over the past two months!

two month essentials

Boppy Lounge Pillow: I was skeptical of this at first, thinking it was just another thing to have around the house. But a friend lent me hers and it is AMAZING. He sleeps in it at night (not recommended on the website, but I do it!) and uses it during the day to sit and play with Jude and I on the floor. It’s lightweight, easy to move around, and wonderful!

Baby Swing: This time around the swing has been a huge help! We keep it in our living room tucked be the side of the couch and is a great spot to put Benny while Jude and I are playing. It plays music, has white noise, and has a mobile that keeps him interested for a little while!

Bjorn Carrier: I bought this carrier used for only $15 and it was well worth the money! I have a wrap carrier too, but this one is easy to put on, holds him close, and is support and comfortable. When he gets bigger, he can even face outward and see what’s going on. I love it.
carrier

Nuk Pacifier: I bought several different newborn pacifiers to have on hand, not knowing exactly which ones Benji would take to. But low and behold, he likes only these — luckily they were a gift from a friend who brought dinner to us! Life saver!

Pack N Play: There are so many styles of pack n plays out there, so check them out. Some have storage, some have two bassinets for the top, etc. But we have a simple one and keep it up in our bedroom, and we place his Boppy lounger on top. It works for us! We use the pack n play for Jude when we travel- the mattress moves down low for toddlers.

Link up with me and the other hosts below for Tuesday Talk! I’d love to hear what you’re up to!

Tuesday Talk Hosts

 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 
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My Latest 10

My iPhone has been through a lot. My husband can attest to the fact that it’s been dropped a few times, toddler fingers have smudged the screen, and it has been slipped into my diaper bag/bottomless pit.

And mostly the reason I want it close is pictures. I love capturing life and documenting the crazy. So here is the latest ten photos on my phone as of right now. I didn’t count the eight attempted shots before the desired shot was captured. Otherwise it would be ten pictures of me trying to snap a shot of Jude drinking out of the hose.

10. Me trying to blog at night. Jude’s asleep and Benny wants to party.
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9. Jude and his sweet friend Grayson at Stroller Strides workout.
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8. My friends working out. Aren’t they strong?
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7. My sweet Benny. He looks so much like Jude here!
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6. A progress shot of Matt building a built-in shelf. More to come on this project soon!
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5. Some pool time with Jude.
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4. Another sweet shot of Ben.
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3. Documenting a mom’s night out of bowling!
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2. Playground adventures!
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1. A screenshot of some phone cases I’ve been looking in to. Aren’t they pretty?
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And there it is- my life lately in ten pictures. Pretty much sums it up! What are your latest pictures of?

Homemade Cards

How fun is it to get a card in the mail? Snail mail is underrated. It’s so fun to get something other than adult material- bills, ads, more ads, junk mail. And a homemade card- even better! Just to know that someone thought about you, made a card, and then put a stamp on it and put it in the mail– Hello! So sweet!

When Matt graduated from his Master’s program, his sweet sister Erika mailed him this cute card:
graduation card

She also sent this sweet thing for our anniversary which was around the same time:
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Do you see that those hot air balloons are 3D?! And did I mention that she has two small kids at home? Yeah, she somehow finds the time!

Before I had Benny, I made a few thank you cards so they would be ready to send out as baby thank yous to all those that have helped or sent love to us! Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of those, but I did take a few photos of a birthday card I made:
birthday

And here’s just another idea for a card to send a little encouragement!
cool dude

All of these are simple and easy to make at home– you can do it, too! Here are a few of my tips & tricks to easy DIY cards!

card

{1} You can find premade cards with envelopes that make starting making a card easy! I found a bunch of them at Target {as seen in the bottom two cards} for only $10.

{2} Scrapbook stickers are a great way to cheat! Erika made her sweet cards by cutting out shapes from construction paper- I relied on stickers to help my handmade cards step it up a notch.

{3} Search Pinterest or in-store cards for ideas. Normally I find a card I like but isn’t perfect for my situation, so then I just use part of the idea and run with it!

It’s Tuesday, so that means Tuesday Talk! I’m back to hosting Tuesday Talk after being away for a while with my baby! {Read about the birth story here}

So let’s get to talking! Join in below!

Tuesday Talk Hosts

 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 
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Friday Favorites

Oh Friday. Even though it’s summertime, Friday is still a great signal that the weekend is here! I’ve been spoiled having Matt around for summer break helping with the boys. What in the world am I going to do when he goes back to work?!

But it’s Friday, so let’s get back to our normal Friday Favorites! I’ve got five lined up for you today!

boys

Let’s just start with my boys. They are just always keeping Matt and I on our toes! I’m already loving saying “my boys”.

stroller

I was cleared last Friday to start exercising again- so I’ve been getting back to my classes at Stroller Strides. I’m not running yet, but walking and doing some strength training with my friends has been good for my soul this week.

I also found a super cheap eyebrow pencil that comes with a wooly on the other end! It’s been helpful to have something to quickly swipe across my face to make me look a little more awake these days.

Pinterest has been inspiring me to try some of these make-ahead meals. I have a feeling that I need to start planning ahead, otherwise we will never be eating.

Reading blogs is always fun for me, and lately I’m really enjoying this one.

Happy friday– have a good weekend! Linking up with H54F.

Family of Four

Guys, my heart is exploding. Seeing our little family grow has been more of a joy than I thought possible.

family of four

I haven’t been around the last five weeks or so because of the addition of Benjamin Grey Olsen! We was born on June 9th at 10:01am, weighing 5 pounds 3 ounces, 18 inches long. Surprise- I was induced three weeks early! It was quite the whirlwind, but he is healthy, I am healthy and we are happy he is here!

hospital

Let’s start on Wednesday…

Wednesday, June 8

The day started like {almost} normal. Matt, Jude and I were staying at a friend’s house who was on vacation because Matt ripping up all our carpet and putting down hardwood floors. We figured it was easier to remove Jude completely for the week so he wasn’t intertwined with power tools, sharp objects, and dust.

11:00am
I had an appointment with my midwife at 11am and since they were doing one last ultrasound, Matt and Jude came along so we could all see our little baby’s face together. Once the ultrasound was completed, Matt took Jude outside to play and I went on to meet with my midwife. But something went wrong.

I had to go back into the ultrasound room with another doctor, my midwife, the ultrasound tech, and my nurse. And I wasn’t even sure why. Obviously something was concerning them and that concerned me. {And when I say concerned, I mean I was freaking out.}

Come to find out, after a second ultrasound to confirm, little Ben’s umbilical cord was pinched and not delivering all the nutrients he needed. These nutrients are essential the last few weeks, so they decided I needed to be induced. That day. In a few hours.

benny boo

1:00pm
WHAT?! Today? They reassured me that Benjamin was fine, he was healthy but they felt he would be better on the outside instead of the inside these last few weeks. I was hooked up to monitors at the office for a while and Matt took Jude home to nap.

Lots is going through my mind at this point. First, I was scared for my baby. Even though the doctors told me he was doing fine, I felt somehow responsible for the pinched cord. Could I have drank more water? Did I need to slow down my exercise? Should I have slept more, ate more spinach and less Oreos, or carried Jude less? Second, our house was not ready for us. We had no floors in the majority of our house, all our living room and kitchen furniture was pushed into our bedrooms, and we were living out of suitcases at a friend’s house.

jude, matt, and ben

3:00pm
After several hours of monitoring at the doctor’s office, a friend came and took me back to the house where Matt was with our napping Jude. Matt and I packed up and tried to wrap our brains around what was happening.

6:30pm
We arrived and checked in at the hospital around 6:30pm, got settled into a room, and waited for the long night ahead. My mom started the five hour trip to Lexington once she heard the news and arrived around 8pm. She watched Jude that night and the following days, which was a huge blessing. Jude loved it!

jud

9:00pm
I was started on some medicine to get my contractions started but was taken off it by 2am since Ben’s heart rate was dropping with each contraction. But my body took the cue and kept right on with contractions all morning long. Isn’t it amazing how our bodies just know what to do? Totally blows my mind and reminds me how much of a miracle babies are!

Thursday, June 9th @ 7:30am
My wonderful midwife visited us that morning and assured us that things were progressing well, even without the medicine. She was wise enough to let my body take over and not give me any additional medicine to speed things up. She was confident that we could do this on our own!

8:30am
My midwife decided it was a good time to break my water and have this baby boy sometime after lunch, when she would come by again and check on things. Immediately after she broke my water and left the room, my contractions got so much stronger and closer together!

9:45am
I was telling the nurses that it was time to call my midwife back and get this baby out! A few intense minutes later, we had our baby boy, healthy and beautiful. It was amazing to see my little man and hold him close after waiting so long to meet him!

mommy

This second time around felt so different. Since I had given birth one other time, I was able to enjoy the moments more without the freakout. Well, I still had a few freakouts during labor {like, ‘when will this end?’ and ‘i’m never doing this again’ followed by ‘do not let them poke me with any more needles!’} But in terms of enjoying the moments and being present during his first few hours of life in this world, it seemed easier this time around.

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The floor project faded away, the questions and doubts about having two boys under two years old seemed more of a blessing than a challenge, and love filled in the gaps.

Since leaving the hospital, we have been adjusting to a life with two boys and a family of four. Luckily my husband is a teacher and has the summer to adjust with me– thank goodness. We are picking back up on the house projects, slowly but surely. We have hosted family from all over, had great visits, baby snuggles, and time to catch up. We have lost a lot of sleep. We have consumed a lot of coffee. We have even ventured out of the house all together a few times now.

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And every day there is this moment. A moment of overwhelming love for my family. It hit me the other day when we were in the car together, me squished in the backseat between two carseats, Matt driving and Jude nodding his head to the music. Benny was holding my finger, sleeping with his little grunting noises. Tears welled up and I was so thankful for this life, and for the lives of my family. It’s not going to be easy, but I think we are ready to start this adventure.

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On a blogging note…
I have missed this little space of mine, and am excited to be back. It might look a little different- less posts for a few weeks, maybe a bit more sporadic. I need to figure out my schedule again with two boys – but it will happen and we will get back on track! I have so many things to tell you all… house projects, stories, workouts, and updates on my 30 before 30 list.

Also- can we just laugh at the fact that my last post on here I started out talking about Matt doing the floors and how I won’t have a baby in a construction zone…. oh, that’s life for ya!

Long Weekend Wrap Up

Last weekend- what a great long weekend of celebrations! I felt like we went from full-on school mode to summer time & relax mode in a matter seconds. And I’m not complaining! And it took me until today to actually get it together. But here it is– our Memorial Day Weekend Wrap Up.

Friday

Matt’s last day of school with students was on Thursday, but Friday was still a workday for him. So Friday night was still a relief that the weekend was here! We took a family trip to Home Depot to do one more trip researching floors. We have decided to go with engineered bamboo floors for our living room and kitchen areas. Matt is planning on starting next weekend- ripping up carpets, removing the moulding, and laying down new floors! A few weeks away from my due date…. it’s fine, we will be fine. I won’t have a baby in a construction zone.

floors

Saturday

Rain was being called for later on Saturday, so we took advantage of the nice weather in the morning and took a hike! We went back to Raven Run and did a family hike with some friends. It was nice to get out and see Jude interacting with other kids- it’s so much fun to see!

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After lunch and a long hike, Jude was ready to be sleep! He was awake the whole 25 minute ride home reading his Winnie the Pooh book. Then he hit the hay around 2pm and slept two hours! Little guy was tired. AND SO WAS I. I took a little snooze too and it felt good. But man alive, that hike wore me out to pieces.

book

Sunday

Sunday morning we met one of my old coworkers and her family at North Lime Coffee & Donuts — if you are local you NEED to go there. Delicious at any time of day. She moved to Louisville a little over a year ago, and so now her little girl is over one and her and Jude played and talked while we ate donuts and talked. Then we rounded out our visit with a trip to a nearby park.

SARAH- how in the world did we not get any photos of us together, let alone our sweet kiddos?! We need to get better at this. Just let it be known, we had a good time catching up.

That afternoon I was still feeling the effects of our hike the day before, and when Jude went for a nap around noon, so did I. I slept for TWO HOURS folks, and Jude went a little longer. Thanks to the hubs for getting stuff done around the house while I snoozed.

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Church rounded out our Sunday, with a late dinner afterward of crockpot chicken tacos. They were delicious and I slammed two of those bad boys before we put Jude to bed and snuggled up on the couch to watch the newest James Bond film, Spectre. We are James Bond fans, but this was the first one that didn’t really impress us. We felt like there could have been a little more build up between Bond and his nemesis, but whatever. I guess they can’t all hit it out of the park.

Monday

Our city pools are wonderful and opened up this past weekend. We bought passes and visited the one that’s really close to our house right when it opened at 10am. It was delightful! Jude was a little hesitant at first, which surprised me, but once he warmed up to the idea he was all about it. The pool we go to has a huge kid area with shallow water, but also a beach-access area in the big pool, so Jude could easily walk and splash in that spot too. I can’t wait for more family pool outings!

pool

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I guess we better get those in before this next little guy comes at the end of the month! Matt and Jude left me at the pool to relax for an extra 20 minutes or so while they swung by chick-fil-a and grabbed some lunch. Then we took it back to our house to eat and put Jude for his nap. Sweet guy slept for 2 1/2 hours! I think the pool really did him in. Then we finished up things around the house- mowing the lawn, prepping our living room for installing new bamboo floors, dishes, laundry– you know, grown up stuff.

We had a cookout planned, but Jude woke up so late from his nap and wasn’t really feeling another outing, so we stayed in… BUT we are rescheduling our cookout with those friends soon.

Tuesday

Tuesday was our 8th year wedding anniversary! It’s going to need a post all on it’s own- but just know we had a great little trip and had a blast as a family. Really, it was a perfect day from start to finish.

Kon Mari my Kitchen

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Kon Mari update! It’s still going strong over here at the Olsen house, but just in spurts I feel like. Between working on Jude’s big boy room, updating our master bedroom, Matt’s graduation, being a pregnant, and being sick– it’s been busy.

konmari update

You can catch up on my other Kon Mari experiences here:
Kon Mari: Intro
Part One
Part Two
Part Three

But for a while now I’ve really have wanted to tackle the kitchen! The cabinets needed to be emptied and cleaned anyway, so why not organize while I’m at it? Get rid of a bunch kitchen gadgets I wasn’t using, and make sure everything has a spot.

Here are some before pictures- messy, unorganized, shoved-in-there style. I seemed to add a few things {like Jude’s bowls, plates, and utensils from Ikea – which I love} and never really made space for them. So now is the time, since I’m also bringing back out bottles to get ready for this new baby!

before

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before

That’s just to give you a taste. There just wasn’t much sense to the madness and I was getting tired of reaching for things and having to dig through other things I wasn’t even using. So the first step is to take everything out and clean. Since I wasn’t sure how long Jude would be napping, I did this one cabinet at a time. That way I could make any point a stopping point if I had to.

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It gets worse before it gets better…. Even though I emptied cabinet by cabinet, my kitchen was still a mess! And then I did some sorting: keep pile, throw pile, donate pile, move pile. The move pile was just items I needed to move to another cabinet but hadn’t organized or emptied yet.

before/after

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I’ve been living in my newly organized kitchen for about 2 weeks, and it has made a huge difference! I feel better about putting away clean dishes, I can easily grab things I need when cooking, I don’t get frustrated because I don’t have things falling on my when I get a straw.

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Have you tackled your kitchen? Let me know what helped you to make it organized and clean!

An Anniversary

Today marks eight years since I walked down the aisle to marry my man. Best decision I’ve ever made, and he has proved that to me everyday for the last eight years. Get ready, babe, for the gushiest anniversary card you’ve ever read. And in return, you can give me a massage. Card for you. Massage for me. Sounds like a good trade.

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If you want to read our full love story, head over here! And in case you want to see more pictures of us together, I’ve rounded up some oldies but goodies- because everyone wants to see us as young newly-weds, right?!

us

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Anyone who buys me a huge cone of super-chocolatey ice cream is a keeper in my book!
Anyone who buys me a huge cone of super-chocolatey ice cream is a keeper in my book!

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Two of my favorite things in one picture- my hubs and giraffes!
Two of my favorite things in one picture- my hubs and giraffes!

Here’s to many more years, babe!

Tuesday Talk Hosts

 Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 
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Friday Five: Maternity Workout

Working out during pregnancy is a high priority for me. I didn’t want to slow down or stop exercising just because I had some morning sickness or because I was growing a human. I wanted to keep my normal pace and routine and keep moving.

I’m about four weeks away from my due date, and I’ve had to modify some workouts, slow down my pace when I don’t want to, and realize that this tiny human inside of me is going to alter my workouts in some way. And I’m OK with that! Some can continue on during their entire pregnancy, others are made to be on bedrest. There is a range of workout levels during pregnancy — just like there are before and after.

maternity workout gear

mumberry tank, headband, capris, hat, sports bra

Mumberry brand was new to me, but once I tried them I was amazed. So impressed by the supportive belly band in the top. And I’m all about working out in tanks, so having that as an option was crucial. You can read my full review here.

The headband and hat aren’t only for pregnant women wanting to workout, but I had to include them anyway because both are great. I have a sweatband- a black sparkly one- and it stays put and doesn’t give me a headache, which is a rare find.

Maternity workout pants are hard for me. I have a few with full panels and those are good for the beginning, but toward the end I don’t want any panel over my belly! So the ones above are perfect, for the last term of my pregnancy and for afterward. Plenty of room left to wear them post-baby.

Do you have any favorite workout gear for pregnancy? Or afterward? Or heck, even for before! I’m always looking for good gear.

Linking up with High Five for Friday.