"Instagram Famous"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

That label makes me cringe. 
I am not famous of any sort. 
I am a soon to be 22 year old who happens to have an adorable son
and a gorgeous baby girl who can arrive any day now. 
I don't enjoy drama and gossip like most "famous" people do.
I don't go out of my way to gain followers or put social media before my family. 
I just like to share my journey and also watch other moms. 
I love my instagram mommy circle because they are better than google. 
Where else can you get hundreds of opinions and personal experiences in the matter of minutes? 

*  *  *
I can remember when I started my first Instagram account.
I had just graduated from Army Training and was just getting back into all the social media stuff.
My Facebook had been at a hold still for the last 6 months and honestly I was over it. 
What could be more perfect than an app where I can easily share photos when I wanted. 
No need to write a status or have people write statuses about your annoying selfies. 
I had just bought a new puppy and I jumped into the photo world of the hashtag #ilovemydachsund 



Yes you read that right. 
Before I became pregnant, actually even the whole time I was pregnant with Brayden, I was 
one of the nerdy dog lovers who just posted photos of their dog and admired other peoples dogs. 
When I became pregnant I started to over use hashtags and keep my profile public. 
Hash tags such as
#pregnant #pregnancy #babyboy #baby #babybump #babybelly #preggo
As well as whatever week pregnant I was and what the photo was about.
I quickly learned to copy and paste them out of my notes in my phone. 
I slowly gained a circle of fellow mothers who were also pregnant.
Most of them were actually around the same due date as me! 
We would all admire each others photos and share pregnancy stories. 

*  *  *

By the time I had Brayden I had gained around 1000 followers and I thought that was insane. 
I started having requests for shoutouts and attempted to do them on my personal account at first but quickly stopped. 
May of 2012 I started an Instagram page called @mommyshouts
I use to spend hours of my day just working on shoutout edits for moms.
For months I worked my butt off and slowly grew not only my own personal IG but also the mommypage. 
Both accounts ended up hitting 10k followers and I decided to start a YouTube channel




It was an amazing experience while I did it but I am very shy when it comes to speaking into a camera.
Most of the time I had to record the whole video over again because I was so soft spoken. 
Also, it's so easy for people to judge you when you put yourself out there and honestly
the work I was putting into it was no longer worth it in my eyes. 
I stopped recording videos right after I found out I was pregnant with baby number two. 

*  *  *
I stuck to just Instagram for a few months and than came across a blog where the mom did pregnancy updates.
PREGNANCY UPDATES, thats an amazing idea! 
How do I get started?! 
I read up on blogs, chose Blogger, brainstormed a name, threw together a layout, bought a frame to make a chalk board and slowly came up with my own way of things that grew along with my blog. 
Looking back I can see the way my style changed as I learned more about blogging 
and also my own personal style of things. 

*  *  *

Instagram lead me to blogging and I will forever be thankful for that. 
Somehow a girl with a puppy turned into a mature mother who has a hobby of blogging. 
I made a few wrong turns and slowly found my way but that's part of life. 
I didn't sit around and beg for shoutouts or message other people asking them what they did. 
I just DID IT. 
Be your own kind of imperfection. 
Don't rely on others to get you where you want to be. 
No one knows you more than you know yourself. 

Bitter Sweet Birthday

Amazing edit done by cutestsedits_
Follow her account to have your own cute edits done! 

I will be sharing Brayden's Birthday photos hopefully tomorrow. 
With Elena arriving any day and Matt's hectic work schedule right now we decided to do a small
gathering of family. By small I mean only Grandparents, Great Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. 
He had a blast smashing his birthday cake and playing with all his new toys. 
So amazing to see how much he has grown and everything he has learned even these past few weeks! 

Every month, week and day brings something new and exciting!
I can't wait to see what this next year of my little man brings.
Other than him being a kick butt big brother! 

I love you so much Brayden. 
You will forever be my baby boy.




Preparing for a Smash Cake Shoot ❤

Friday, March 28, 2014


Cake 
cake mix $2
base frosting $3
decoration frosting $3
empty formula can $0
Total = $8

Step 1: Follow simple baking instructions and bake until cake is no longer doughy in the middle. 
Step 2: Remove cake from oven and place in fridge.  Allow cake to cool down.
Step 3: Remove cake from formula can and set on plate.
Step 4: Frost the outside with your base frosting. 
Step 5: Decorate the outside however your heart desires!
More into depth instructions on baking in a formula can
I chose to do the star frosting nozzle with a number 1 candle! 




Photo Props
background (roll of wrapping paper) $1
floor cover (plastic table cover) $1
tassels (tissue paper) $1 x 4
string $3
construction paper $3
Total = $12


Want to learn how to make tassels? 
Click Here

Adorable photos of your loved one for just $20.
Seeing the smile on their face = Priceless. 








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Thank you for reading! 
I hope you enjoyed.






37 Weeks Down, 3 More Weeks to go!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


If any words were to describe this past week it would be
Mentally and Physically Exhausting.
Saturday was my official last day at Luckless for a while.
I have rushed around trying to get Elena's nursery ready for her arrival.
Many of the projects I did were cheap and DIY to help save money.
-I will be doing a blog post on her nursery and those projects-
But I am realizing that money only goes a little way these days.
As I used my last pay check buying a changing table, a book shelf, her crib, tissue paper,
curtains and other things for her room I slowly started to feel uneasy.
(Matt spends most of his pay checks on bills so I always use mine for the extra stuff)

Maternity Leave aka: mommy is broke
If you have kid(s) you know that we feel the need to buy them EVERYTHING.
I go to the store for milk and end up in the baby section buying teethers,
snacks, 10 different kinds of butt ointment, sippy cups in every shape and form, etc...
It is only human nature that we feel the need to give them everything they need and more.

I have came to terms that I needed to stop this bad habit.
I am officially putting myself on a shopping diet.
I will only buy what is NEEDED.
Here is to saving money and only spending it on the necessities.


UPDATES
Last week at my appointment I was 1 cm dilated but not effaced.
On Monday at 4am I lost some of my mucus plug (not bloody).
Later on that day I lost more but this time slightly tinted with blood.
I also suffered with back cramps, restless legs and lower pelvis cramping.
Not to mention the endless migraines and restless legs.

On Tuesday I lost more of my mucus plug this time also not bloody.
I keep waiting for the nesting to settle in but all I am feeling is more exhausted.
If I had one wish right now it would just be the ability to sleep ALL DAY.
Just lay in bed with messy hair and no make up with some snacks and some quality time with Netflix.
Instead I continue to clean, prepare and chase around my little monster.
Being a mother is amazing in every way and seeing our children's adorable faces is what reminds us that in the end 
it will be all okay.
They wont be little forever so cherish these moments and cuddle them at 2am.



On that note,
37 week bump board.



Highlights and Lowlights of my Pregnancy Week 36-37:

Highlights: 
  • Losing my mucous plug is a sign that I am thinning and dilating!
  • I am one week closer to meeting my princess.
  • I now go to the doctor every week, which makes time fly!
  • Elena's nursery is almost complete. 
  • I am going to pack my hospital bag this week.
  • Baby girl is measuring perfectly and is healthy!
Lowlights:
  • RESTLESS LEGS. Oh my, I hate RLS so much. 
  • Extremely uncomfortable. I swear she soccer punched me in the crotch today.
  • Elena is KILLING my ribs. Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes.
  • Throbbing girl part is full blown now. Plus side means she's dropping right?
  • Braxton Hicks many times throughout the day! 
  • Sore hips, pelvis and lower back. All I want is for my lower back to crack.
  • Heartburn
  • Migraines
  • Constipated
  • Dry hair
  • Simply, exhaustion.

Weight gain: +17 lbs

Major Developmental Milestones: You've got what is officially considered a full-term baby, even with three weeks to go. That doesn't mean she's finished growing — in fact, she's still packing on about a half pound a week (at this age, the average fetus weighs about 6.5 pounds). That makes it a little crowded in your uterus, so she’s probably not kicking as much, though she’s probably stretching, rolling a bit, and wiggling (all of which you’ll be able to feel!). Right now, your little superstar is busy rehearsing for her big debut, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (to get the lungs ready for that first breath), sucking her thumb (to prepare for that first suckle of milk), blinking, and turning from side to side.

Stretch marks: My old ones from Brayden seem to be branching further up on my stomach because Elena has been so low. 

Belly button in or out: It is an innie outtie! 

Sleep: If i'm not tossing and turning struggling to sleep it seems like Brayden is. 

Best moment this week: My best moment this week was just enjoying cuddles from Brayden. He is growing way too fast and I am amazed by how much he learns everyday. 

Worst moment this week: My worst moment this week just has to be dealing with my migraines which also bring on my emotional side. 

Miss anything: I still miss my clothes!!! 

Movement: Elena has been pushing off my hips and then shoving her butt in my right ribs and her feet in my left ribs. Sometimes it surprises me and almost knocks the wind out of me. It astonishes me how big and strong she is! Maybe the reason I feel her sooner than I felt Brayden is because my baby belly is smaller and not giving her as much cushion. ( still the same)

Cravings: This past week I have snacked on fruit, animal crackers, yogurt and raisins. Yes I know I eat like a toddler. 

Queasy or sick: Some migraines leave me a little car sick feeling but nothing too horrible. 

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to getting Elena's room ready for her arrival! 

Mood: Focusing on the finish line and keeping this smile on my face! 

Upcoming events/appointments: Appointment with my MidWife tomorrow! I am excited to see if I have progressed anymore! Also I am pretty sure I get to see my mom. <3 

What I look forward to: Brayden's first birthday this weekend! Elena's birth and marrying the love of my life this October. 
Weekly Wisdom: Just when you don't think you can handle any more, stand up and show them you can.



Starting weight 119 pounds - Starting waist measurement 31 inches. 
I am now 136 pounds & 39 inches round. 



My Labor and Delivery with Brayden ♥

Monday, March 24, 2014


I remember thinking that this baby was NEVER going to come out. 
It took me all the way until 39 weeks to even dilate 1 cm! 
I thought I was going to cry at my 39 week appointment when my midwife 
said he showed very few signs of coming before or on my due date.
I decided I was going to dance him out wether he liked it or not.

Sure enough that night I lost my mucus plug
March 28th 2013 I spent most the day in bed. 
As I recall I actually finished the final season of Greek on Netflix!
Matt had new floor being put in the kitchen and bathroom of
our old apartment and the workers actually had to disconnect our toilet
Around 5pm I went to stand up to let the dog out and noticed
that I seemed to have a small leak
Thinking that maybe my bladder was really full 
(due to not being able to use our bathroom)
I just wrote it off as nothing. 
As I went down the steps to outside I felt a big gush
of fluid then once more as I continued. 
All I could think is OH GREAT.
Here are two guys in the apartment, no toilet, my dog wont
stop jumping on me and sticking his head in my crotch.
He was determined to tell on me.
*  *  * 
I called my midwife to tell her what had just happened.
She had just got home (she delivered a baby that afternoon)
She told me to head over to the hospital and they will 
test me to see if it is indeed my water leaking and if
that was the case she would see me in a little. 
I hung up the phone and called Matt. 
He was suppose to work until 8pm and had to leave early.
*  *  *
I am not really sure what we were thinking as we
grabbed the bags and the dog and jumped in the car.
We arrived to the hospital around 8 pm.
(The hospital was almost 50 minutes away)
Long story short I lived in NY and my health insurance was PA.
Once I got there they had me undress gave me a gown and a big pad.
They told me to walk around & bounce on the ball.
The goal was to get some liquid to come out so they could test it
to see if it was my water leaking. 
I couldn't get much liquid out but what I did tested a slight positive.
Once my midwife arrived she came in and inserted the speculum
that way she could easy get the Q-tip in to test the liquid.
As soon as she inserted them water started flowing out
Sure enough there was a tear in my amniotic sac.
It was GO TIME

Everything seemed to start flying by.
Suddenly we remembered the poor dog was in the car.
Also we didn't have cell phone service at the hospital.
I had to get on the wifi to message my brother who lives
in New Jersey and tell him to call my mom and have her come.
Matts brother ended up coming and getting the dog where he
was spoiled by Matts grandma while we were in the hospital.
All monitors were connected and they started the IV of pitocin.


At first I couldn't feel anything besides my stomach tightening and releasing.
The nurse taught me how to feel my stomach and know how big of
a contraction it was by how hard my stomach was.
After hours of just sitting around and chatting the easy part was over.
My water finally broke by itself and the contractions were suddenly strong. 
I want to say this was around 1am on March 29th 2013.
Because I was progressing so fast I had to wait for an epidural until
I had a full bag of the fluid in me.
When the bag was finally empty I signed the paperwork
and had the epidural inserted.
I remember my arm was cold from the IV and my legs were hot from the epidural. 
The nurse told me I should try to sleep while I waited to dilate.
After a little over a half hour I woke up in more pain than I was before.
I told my mom that it hurt worse now than it did before the epidural.
It was now around 3:30 am.
The nurse came in and checked to see how dilated I was. 
She said I was an 8 and we would start pushing around 4 am.
I kept asking my mom what time it was in-between contractions.
I never wanted time to fly by as fast as I did then. 
I started to throw up in a bucket from the pain.
*  *  * 
My midwife came in a little after 4 and checked me.
She said we would start pushing at 4:20 because I still needed to dilate a little more.  
I thought Matt was going to have a heart attack while he watched helplessly. 
I have never been so envious of the fact he had a penis in my life.
4:20 came around and I was 10cm dilated. 
Ready, Set, Push!
Such a relief!
Who ever said pushing is the worst was so wrong.
The worst is sitting there dealing with the pain waiting to dilate.
After a few pushes my midwife had me get in the squatting position with my back to her and my arms wrapped around the bed.

Three things that stand out to me in this moment.
1. Brayden was caught on my pelvis so she hoped this position helped.
2. She realized that my Epidural was not hooked to my IV.
Turns out I some how disconnected it during my nap.
Apparently I was meant to give birth naturally.
3. I threw up all down the bed while pushing and when she had
me lay back down I had throw up all in my hair. 

My midwife told me that a few more pushes and he would be here!
She actually made Matt look at his head crowning. 
I was briefed that as soon as he was born she would set him on my
chest but as he started to come they noticed the cord was wrapped around his neck.
Matt said that she quickly slid it off but they still needed to go take him 
over to the examination area under the light to make sure everything was okay.
I remember tearing up when I heard his little cry and they handed him over. 
My baby boy was perfect.

March 29th 2013 at 4:41am 
Brayden Matthew Morris was born ♥

8 pounds 4 ounces and 21.5 inches long! 

He shares his Birthday with my mother AND Matts mother! 
Talk about a crazy coincidence. 
I can't believe it has already been a whole year since 
I was blessed to have him brought into my life. 
Everyday I smile and kiss his forehead knowing he came
exactly when I needed him to and had made me a better person.
Everything I do is for him and soon to be Elena. 
I just want to be someone who you will be proud to call your mother.
I love you baby boy.
You are my everything. 


EMAIL: catchingupwithcrystal@gmail.com

36 Weeks Down, 4 More To Go!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014



four. more. weeks.
The thought blows my mind.
I remember when I first found out we were having another baby.
Matt thought I was playing a practical joke.
Brayden was not even 4 months old yet.
I had just got back from Army Training two weeks prior.
Turns out I was ovulation those first 3 days when I came home.
My hormones were still messed up from just having a baby and trying to take BC.
I was on seasonique but should have know it wasn't working well.
I had been spotting for two weeks before finally getting my period on July 10th.
After I stopped breast feeding Brayden my breast had shrunk drastically!
All my bras, bought post pregnancy or during pregnancy, were way to big. 
My little lady lumps were looking like a sac of soggy potatoes.
Suddenly they started getting perky and swollen again.
At first I was like AWESOME maybe they are going to go back to their original size!
Well perky and swollen turned into sore and tender.
In two weeks I had gone from a saggy C to a swollen DD.
I finally took a hint and bought a pregnancy test.
Sure enough, at only 2 weeks and 6 days I found out we were "with child"
A G A I N. 
You would think that my pregnancy would have dragged on.
I have known I was pregnant since only 6 days after she was conceived!
For over 33 WEEKS!
That is over 8 MONTHS.
Yet here I am rushing to buy everything she needs.
Little sweaters, throw blankets, crib sheets, socks...
I am FINALLY just starting to put together her nursery! 
Where the hell did these past 36 weeks go? 
I blame it on being sleep deprived.
Some mombie haze condition that has been going around.
I heard it's making moms go crazy world wide!

On that note,
36 week bump board.

Highlights and Lowlights of my Pregnancy Week 35-36:

Highlights: 
  • We finally picked up Elena's crib and it is set up!
  • I am one week closer to meeting my princess.
  • She is getting stronger and bigger every day.
  • My skin cleared up this past week.
  • I have not been over working myself as much.
  • This Friday will be my last day at Luckless for a little while.
  • For the first time in months Brayden and I took a nap together!
Lowlights:
  • RESTLESS LEGS. Oh my, I hate RLS so much. 
  • Extremely uncomfortable. Embrace the pregnant waddle!
  • Elena is KILLING my ribs. Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes.
  • Throbbing girl part is full blown now. Plus side means she's dropping right?
  • Braxton Hicks. I have been getting A LOT of Braxton Hicks these past 4 days.
  • Sore hips, pelvis and lower back.
  • Heartburn
  • Migraines
  • Constipated
  • Dry hair
  • Simply, exhaustion.
Weight gain: +16.4 lbs

Major Developmental Milestones: She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. She swallows both of these substances (sick!), along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, which will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

Stretch marks: I haven't noticed any new ones! 

Belly button in or out: It is an innie outtie! 

Sleep: Hit and miss these days. My struggle to get comfortable has become unreal. Last night I was awake from 4am to 5:30 fighting restless legs and cramps from Elena's head being so low. 

Best moment this week: My best moment this week was spending sometime with Matthew this past weekend. Sometimes it's nice to just get away for a day.

Worst moment this week: I have to say worst still goes with stress. I can't wait for the day where I just get to sit and relax. I am kinda excited to be recovering after labor so people will leave me alone for at least a week! >.<

Miss anything: I miss most of my clothes. I am reaching the part of pregnancy where I don't know what to wear! 

Movement: Elena has been pushing off my hips and then shoving her butt in my right ribs and her feet in my left ribs. Sometimes it surprises me and almost knocks the wind out of me. It astonishes me how big and strong she is! Maybe the reason I feel her sooner than I felt Brayden is because my baby belly is smaller and not giving her as much cushion. ( still the same)

Cravings: Goodbye Shamrock Shake ): Bring on the fruit bowls again.  

Queasy or sick: Some migraines leave me a little car sick feeling but nothing too horrible. 

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to getting Elena's room ready for her arrival! 

Mood: Staying positive and getting excited!

Upcoming events/appointments: Appointment with my MidWife this Thursday! Then I start my weekly appointments! 

What I look forward to: Unpacking and feeling at home finally. Brayden's first birthday, Elena's birth and marrying the love of my life this October. 
Weekly Wisdom: Any guy can love a thousand girls, but a true guy can love only one girl, a thousand ways.
Starting weight 119 pounds - Starting waist measurement 31 inches. 
I am now 135.4 pounds and 39 inches. 




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