Wednesday, September 29, 2010

22 weeks!

How far along? 22 weeks!

Baby's size? A papaya. 

Weight Gain?  Not sure, I haven't weighed since the Doctor two weeks ago but I'm sure it's gone up.

Maternity clothes? Definitely.  I can't wear regular pants or tops anymore.  I tried wearing a regular top to work last week and one of the girls informed me that it was time to put it away.

Sleep?  So-so.  Not too bad.  I'm not waking up in the middle of the night anymore so that's nice.  My shoulders are sore from laying on them but I feel pretty rested in the morning for the most part.  I am including a picture of the insanity that is our bed right now. It's a whole ordeal getting in and out of the cloud I have made for myself but nothing else feels comfortable.   Oh and the stuffed animal and kid pillow are totally necessary. 

 Food? Still everything but barbecue sauce and grilled meats. 

Best moment this week? A few!  Shopping for Star last weekend with J.  We went to the mall Saturday night before a movie and hit all of the kids stores looking for sales.  We got some cute items.  I also found a couple of really cute outfits last Friday.  Here's one dress complete with tights:

Here's her closet so far, complete with lucky coconut.   We're putting in an additional rod to hang clothes.  The shirt on the right is a gift from my Grandfather.  His wife went to Russia and mailed a baby top.  He also mailed a bib from Harrods.  Very cute.

Other best moments include painting the nursery.  Pink on walls scares the crap out of me but I think I can see it coming together.  You can see the pink in the picture above and in this one of Jamie working on the nursery.  We both painted but he looks much cuter with pink paint on his knuckles.  :)

I also purchased 100 baby Einstein songs for $10 on itunes this week and I have been playing them everyday at work for star.  I am currently listening to my iphone play "do your ears hang low" to my belly while typing. 

Movement? Little girl has been moving like crazy the past two days.  Yesterday is the first time that I have felt her move constantly all day.  Last night she was very active as well.  I think I will play her music at night now since that's when she is most active.  I still can't wait for J to feel her move.

Symptoms? Oh!  I got my first round ligament cramp this weekend in the middle of the night.  Holy Buhjeezus!  It hurt!  I thought I could walk it out (WRONG!) so I went to the bathroom and may as well have had a wooden peg leg, my leg was of no use.  I walked back to bed feeling like an amputee and hunched over the end of the bed in agony.  J woke up and couldn't do much.  It went away a couple of minutes later but yowza that hurt!  I am not looking forward to that again!

Gender? IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!  Jamie is still coming around.  I think painting the nursery pink helped.

What I miss?  Nada!

What I'm looking forward to?  J feeling the baby move, that's all I want right now.

Milestones:  We settled on a name.  It will most likely change though, knowing us.

What I love: Wilson's boom-boom room.  I have included some pictures. 

Wilson at the top of the steps

Wilson in his boom-boom room.  Smiling of course.  He loves his boom-boom room.

Emotions:  Feeling good.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The bedding arrived yesterday!

I experienced what felt a little bit like Christmas last night after work.  The bedding arrived and I was so excited to see it.  I had hoped I wouldn't be disappointed because I loved it so much on-line.  I wasn't.  It's perfect.  Worth every one of the hours I spent searching for it!  J likes it too which is great.

Here is the room itself with just the crib and changing table in it.  The two plush blocks on the floor are from two of J's Aunts/Uncles.  Very sweet.  I put the bedding in the crib just to get an idea of what the room would look like.  I have been thinking for the past few days that the tan walls wouldn't work.  I think we need to paint them a pale pink.  With the brown carpet and tan walls, it's just not girly enough.  We're still waiting on the mattress, that is why the bumper is sitting so low in the crib.  I love my two pieces of furniture for $110.00!!!!  Who says new is better?  I love these two used pieces from craigslist far more than anything I saw in the stores. 

I love the spindles.  The antique style is a perfect match for the bedding.

Here is the changing table.   It just fits between the two windows in the room with a half inch to spare on each end.  The changing table that matched the crib didn't have room for the wipes and stuff on top like this one does.  That was important to me.  I wanted the important things in reach.  the spindles on the end of the table match the ones on the bed even though they are from two different manufacturers. 

We went back and forth about which guest room to use for the nursery.  We ultimately went with the room I wanted but the real winner is Wilson...he gets to keep his boom-boom room where he can hump his pillows all day.  This is him after the ultrasound last week learning he has a baby sister on the way.  He seems a little worried. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baby Karate

I was sleeping really well last night.  The house was quiet.  Wilson was in his corner on the floor.  Jamie was sound asleep after a late hockey game.  The only noise was the hum of the ceiling fan until... I yelled "OWE!!!!!" at 3:15 in the morning.  Don't worry, no one woke up.  I think I may have felt my first kick!  Like a big karate kick!  There's no other explanation for what I felt.  I was minding my own business, sleeping on my side, when things inside my belly made a drastic shift and a big kick was felt on my inside.  It hurt!  My little chiquita banana was kicking me!  I guess she is getting big now.  I tend to think of her still as a plum sized baby but I have to remind myself that she's long and strong now at 10.5 inches and 12 ounces!!

What's funny is that I had been thinking earlier in the day about my sister-in-law and when she felt her baby kick the first time.  My brother said they were driving in the car and all of a sudden she yelled "whoa!" which scared my brother because he thought they were in danger of being hit by another car or something.  Anyway, I have felt flutters for the last few weeks and wondered if feeling her kick would feel much stronger.  I couldn't understand my sister-in-law yelling "whoa!" in comparison to the flutters I have felt so far.  The flutters I have experienced were certainly nothing to yell about.  Now, I get it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Recap and so much more...

We had a very productive weekend. 

Friday we had dinner out and went to Jamie's nephew's baseball game.  He was pitching and it's always fun to see his games and we were able to spend some time talking with J's brother in law Shawn.  We had a good time, and laughed a lot.

Saturday Jamie and I went to Babies R Us to look at cribs and bedding.  I had searched the internet and found a bedding set and crib I was happy with weeks ago but I wanted to see if anything there struck J.  Two hours later we exited the building in complete shock.  We made the mistake of looking at bottles and infant seats and strollers, talking to an employee (or three) and looking at cribs and bedding.  We learned a lot but have more questions than what we started with!  Good things that came from our adventure to BRU...they had a version of the crib I liked and Jamie liked it too.  Cribs are built so big now that they resemble cars more so than cribs.  J also didn't love any of the girl's bedding there so at least we were in agreement...although we both liked some of the boys bedding. 

I jumped on Craigslist to find the Jenny Lind style crib I had envisioned for her room.  I found one for $50.  We went and picked up the crib, brought it home and cleaned it very well and Jamie ordered the recalled part and it's on the way. 

Jamie found us a killer deal on that bedding I love (here).  20% off!  We ordered the bumper, crib skirt, two floral sheets, two pink sheets, 5 yards of floral fabric and a minky changing pad cover all for 20% off due to my DH's discount detective skills!  This place never offers coupons but happened to have one this week as customer appreciation week on their facebook page!  Afterwards, we installed window blinds on the bare windows. 
Sunday I picked up a pottery barn Jenny Lind style changing table from someone off of Craigslist.  Originally $300 for $60.  I brought it home and cleaned it up and the two items are in place in Star's room!  Sunday afternoon I made cupcakes for my group in the office.  People usually bring in food to celebrate good news and I wanted to do something special to celebrate the fact that we are having a girl.  After baking I started spray painting the chandelier which will go in the babies room white.  J came home later and added a few more coats.  It's looking beautiful and will be very pretty when the crystals are added later.

I will post some pictures of the nursery later.  I was too tired at the end of our weekend to take pictures!  It's so neat to walk by Star's room and see a crib in there.  So exciting.

One thing that's hurting my heart is a conversation I had with Jamie Saturday night.  I don't know if I can explain this effectively but I'm going to try...He's excited for a girl but he's still saying this will probably be our only child due to resources.  He's sad for that because it means he may never have a boy and coming to terms with this being our only child and knowing it's a girl is hard for him.  He has wanted a boy so bad for at least 9 years.  This makes me tear up just thinking about it.  We are both excited for a girl and feel so lucky but to not be able to afford a sibling for her or try for a boy hurts.  If we were any normal couple able to conceive naturally he wouldn't be counting us out of the boy race yet, we would just try again, but given the price of IVF and considering we'd have to try our luck again and risk so much money it's an honest assessment that it's probably not an option for us to go back for another IVF cycle.   (Here is when I wish we lived in a state that offered assistance for IVF)  It would be especially difficult money wise if I started working part time with the cost of a baby, we wouldn't have the money for another cycle.  That's a tough pill to swallow.  J admitted to me that while watching his nephew's baseball game Friday night we was a little sad thinking that he may never get the opportunity to experience sports with his own son.  Ugh.  My heart.  I mean, how can I not feel responsible for this?  How can I not feel bad for my body causing this?   I tried comforting him telling him he never knows what can happen and that the only person throwing in the towel on a boy is him...but honestly, short of a miracle and conceiving naturally what are our chances there?  What else could I say?  I know we're lucky for just one baby and 6 months ago we would have both killed for just one baby but to think that you may only be able to have just one because of money seems so unfair.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's a ...


 We are delighted.  Jamie is still wondering how his reverse psychology failed but he will catch up eventually!  He's happy, he just hoped by saying he was 100% sure it was a would be a boy!  

I started drinking fluids an hour early like the office told me to.  I snuck in a little Dr. Pepper for good measure so baby would be movin'!  Well, by the time I got off the elevator I had to make a pit stop to relieve my bladder partially.  Then I sat and waited and was contemplating partially emptying again when the ultrasound tech called my name.  As always J is never a minute late but never a minute early either.  To get to the ultrasound room we have to exit the office.  I tried calling him because he hadn't arrived yet and wouldn't you know it, we picked him up fresh off the elevator on our way to the ultrasound room.  Always in the nick of time!  I had to pee so bad I wondered if I laid down, would it come rushing out.  I did okay until the UT started pressing on my stomach with the wand.  Yowza!  This was my first external ultrasound which I really liked.  J squeezed my hand in anticipation of finding out what we were having.  I knew the answer would be towards the end of the appointment because there were measurements and body parts the UT had to find first.  We stared at the screen trying to catch a glimpse of the sex before she announced it.  She started measuring the brain and spine, etc. and then she wiped off my stomach and said I could use the bathroom.  Jamie was like, "uh, we have more to see, right!?!"  She had measured the really important stuff and graciously let me go pee which I appreciated!  Then I came back and laid back down, she re-jellied up my belly and we were off again. 

J assumed position on my left side and squeezed my hand again, she showed us the face, the upper lip, the bladder, the kidneys, the legs, feet, and then she said "Are you ready?"  We both said yes and squeezed hands and she said "that's the bottom" and there was silence.  I didn't see anything but a hot dog bun looking thing with a bright spot and I was thinking to myself "okay, if I'm looking at the bottom and I see two oval shaped things and a bright spot, is that the scrotum and penis or is it the labia and clitoris?"  Jamie said "it's a girl".  She said "yep."  He said "I knew it.  I called it."  

I cried.  I laid there on that table with my head tilted toward the screen and tears hit the paper under my head.  I wanted a girl so bad.  I was afraid to say it but I wanted a girl so I could have a mother/daughter relationship besides the one I have with my own mom.  I laid there on the bed with J squeezing my hand and knew I had everything that was important to me right there in that room.  My husband and my daughter.  My family.  My new family.   I laid there feeling immense pride.  I was so proud of all we had been through and for where we were that very moment.  Jamie is going to make the best Dad.  I know it.  I have always told him he's meant to have a girl.  This guy knows girls.  I can't wait to see him hold his daughter.  I looked at the screen and I told J, "Look at her.  Do you remember when she was just an embryo?"  We had come so far.  Then the UT put the ultrasound on video and we all sat there still while we watched the baby move.  She wiggled  a few times (this is when I admitted to having Dr. Pepper) and then she let out the cutest, biggest yawn ever stretching her arms out.  The UT rewound the video and we all watched in amazement again.  The UT said "it's hard work in there."  That it must be with a yawn that big!

Here are a few pictures of our DAUGHTER! 

All snuggled up.

Indian style.  This one scared me.  It looked like she didn't have lower legs!

The yawn, with mouth open looking toward screen.

The cutest picture ever.  Two pretty little feet!  I am making this picture my desktop picture at work.  I could look at it all day.  Does it get much more perfect than this?  I can't tell if she has Daddy's block feet or Mommies long toes.  Kinda looks like one of each!

As we waited in the waiting room we texted all of our friends and put the announcement on facebook via our iphones at the same time.  It's always fun seeing the comments roll in.  We met with Dr. B next.  I peed again first.  I was weighed.  I gained four and a half pounds which I am okay with.  I have been eating out of nervousness the last couple of days.  Dr. B came in and performed my exam and said everything was good.  We met in his office next and discussed my pinched nerve and dizziness (which he is referring me to an ENT). He also gave me a fruit punch drink I need to drink for a glucose blood test next visit.  All in all another great appointment.  I'm thrilled, we're thrilled.


So, remember when we had our first heart scan and Jamie gave me a gift in the waiting room and told me he wanted me to remember that day...well I decided to get him a gift to make this ultrasound special for him.  I went shopping this morning and bought two girl's outfits and two boy's outfits.  All four said something about Daddy on them.  I raced home after the ultrasound while J was at the grocery store and wrapped the girl's outfits with a white and pink ribbon and attached a card.  Not bad for being hurried!

Here are the outfits.  I told Jamie before he opened the gift he had to share.  Now  he knows why...

And there you have it.  I keep saying to myself "I'm having a girl!"  I'm so excited.  I think Jamie would be a little more animated if he wasn't prepping for his colonoscopy.  I really don't think he understands just yet how much he will love having a girl.  He told the UT that this girl's gonna play hockey.  He's so funny.  He just wants a little sports mate.  All I know is that this girl is lucky.  She gets a Daddy and a Mommy that wanted her so badly.

Today is the day...

I'm so excited.  I woke up in the middle of the night and thought to myself today is the day and then I woke up later when my alarm went off thinking the same thing.  I've been counting the days down to this very day, I can't believe it's here.  Now I will count the hours...9 to go...

Ultrasound appointment is at 4:30 with a Dr. appointment at 5:00.

Hoping for a healthy baby first and foremost and that the legs are uncrossed secondly.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

20th Week Update- Half Way there!

How far along? 20 weeks!  Half way there!  I can't believe it. 

Baby's size? A Cantaloupe! 

Weight Gain?   This week I am going to say definitely yes!  I'm expecting anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds in the last month. 

Maternity clothes?   Yes!  I placed a large order before labor day and received the order last week.  I started wearing full panel maternity pants this week.  Though it feels strange to wear my pants like Irkle (all the way up to my armpits) I have to say it's so much better than a bella band.  The bella bands had grown tight and were constricting and giving me aching pains in my stomach.  The tops I ordered are a little too big for me yet, I am waiting to wear some of them and am returning others.

Sleep? Last night I finally slept a full night without any type of medication but for the past two or three weeks I have been awake every night from 2 - 5.  I think I was just so tired last night it finally caught up with me and I crashed.

Food?  It's all good. I still wouldn't eat a pork chop or a steak, I don't think I would eat a chicken breast either but chopped up chicken or something in a recipe is okay.  I'm so glad to add regular foods back in my diet and to be back in the kitchen cooking.  Loving all types of fruit, especially these Tango apples our grocer carries.  We had never heard of them but they are so good.  I also drink milk like it's going out of style.  We will have gone through two gallons in a week and a half time frame.  I am making cupcakes with buttercream icing to bring to work on Monday to let everyone know what we are having-the cupcakes will either be brown and blue or brown and pink (choclate and colored vanilla buttercream icing).  This should be interesting since some people don't even know I'm pregnant STILL and if others suspect I haven't confirmed.  Some I have told.

Best moment this week?  Yesterday.  I brought the headphones I keep at home to work.  These are the headphones I place on my belly to play music to baby star.  I chose some different music from my ipod and sat at my desk while baby star rocked out.  Yesterday afternoon I felt a lot of movement from star.  I don't know if it had anything to do with the music but it was cool to be sitting in a meeting and feel star boppin' away like his/her daddy does to Phish!

Movement?  I was worried because I wasn't feeling it that often. Every few days maybe.  Once a week perhaps.  I have a feeling I am going to start feeling more movement now.  I am so excited for this but still waiting for J to feel it.

Symptoms? Oh my gosh.  Still.freaking.dizzy.  That's getting way old.  I now have what feels like a pinched nerve in my lower back.  The spot remains sore constantly but every once in a while a sharp shooting pain comes and I have to yell.  It hurts so bad I arch my back and rub that area.  I don't know if this is normal or if it's because I have been sleeping on the sofa a lot which puts my back in a weird position.  Two cushions come together right where my lower back is on the sofa, maybe that's why it's constantly sore.  I guess I will try a new position and see if that helps.  My feet are already swelling.  I usually kick off my shoes at work and put slippers on.  Yesterday afternoon I put my shoes back on to go to a meeting and my feet would barely fit.  I've heard I need to wear more supportive shoes instead of slippers so I think I will start putting on tennis shoes or something-if I can tie them.

Gender? Tomorrow is the day.  I have waited for this day and I am so excited.  We have been counting down the days until this ultrasound since it was scheduled and J is excited too.  J still of course thinks it's 100% a girl-he hasn't wavered one bit.  I tend to lean more towards a girl but the more positive he is there is something in me that says boy.  In any event I can't wait to see Jamie's expression.  If it is a boy I think he will lose it.  I'm picturing tears of shock and joy, visions of all the things he will do with his son, especially sports.  If it's a girl I think he will say "ummmm hmmmm. I knew it.  I told you."  He swears that just by my symptoms, google and the chinese calendar he knows for sure.  He is excited for the possibility of a girl too.  I can see J with a little girl.  She'd be lucky to have him for a father. 

J said something funny and cute to me a few months ago.  He had just been rough housing with his niece and she left when he came to me and said "playing with Lilly gives me relief if we have a girl."  I said "why's that?"  He said "because I know that girls can still be tough and rough house and play sports."  That was too cute. 

As for me, I would be perfectly content with either.  Whether our family involves a baby boy or a girl I will feel so lucky and blessed to have the honor of being a Mom.  I just want to be a Mom.  I still can't believe this honor has been placed upon us.  I feel like I have won the lottery.  In the beginning of our IF journey I remember being so scared as to how long this journey would be.  Would we ever reach our destination?  We did and I feel so fortunate.  I thank my lucky stars all the time that we have been given this opportunity.

For the's who thinks the baby is a boy or a girl:

Amber-Boy (because Jamie is so sure it's a girl)
Julie(J's sister)-Boy
Brent (A's brother)-Boy
Lisa (Friend)-Girl (she thinks J would quit after a boy so she wants a girl first)

What I miss?   Nothing.  I don't miss a thing.

What I'm looking forward to?   Our ultrasound tomorrow.  I sent Jamie a meeting request for the date and when it popped up this morning it made me smile.  The appointment title read "Is it a boy or a girl?"  the inside said "Our lives will change forever today."  It's one thing to know we are pregnant, it's another thing to know who will make up the third person in our family-forever.  I just hope the legs are uncrossed!  Please God let those legs be wide open!  In any event, even if they are closed-I get to see my baby move and squirm.  How lucky am I?

Weekly Wisdom:  Gender scans and colonoscopy "prep" shouldn't mix.   I am expecting disaster.  My poor hubby has a colonoscopy scheduled Friday morning which he has to prep for starting Thursday before our ultrasound and Dr. appt.  I am scared for him...and for me....and anyone else in the rooms with us. 

Milestones: 20th week.  We're half way there!

What I love:  Feeling the baby out of the blue.  Minding your own business, working, talking, watching TV when all of a sudden you catch a reminder of the miracle growing inside of you.  Makes my heart melt each time. 

Emotions:  Having a rough time with depression.  I am going to talk to my Doctor about this tomorrow.  I think I have a lot going on outside of this pregnancy. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Recap-So much to say!

Friday afternoon - Jamie and I went to visit a daycare in our area.  We had read about this place on-line and as soon as J read me the owner's note I knew this place would probably be "it" for us.  The owner built the place five years ago and designed every inch of the building with kids in mind.  She was very warm and welcoming, easy to talk to and passionate about her building and the kids.  This place currently had 50 kids enrolled.  We were taken back to the nursery which is bright and airy.  The whole school smelled clean and looked clean.  We were told this room and the room next door were "no shoe rooms".  Everyone had to take their shoes off because shoes have germs and the kids are often on the floor having tummy time or crawling, etc.  I loved this.  None of the other places did this.  The doors were full glass whether to the outside or the hallways so that adults could see kids on the other side of the doors and kids could see out.  There's a kitchen and bathroom in every room so kids aren't wandering hallways.  The cribs are smaller but have see through end panels so there is no angle your kid can't be seen.  All of the classrooms exit out onto the play yard, not the parking lot or another ungated area since there are firedrills once a month this is huge.  There's a fire house next door which the kids love.  As kids get older they have school wide lesson plans weekly divided into age groups.   For older kids they have a gymnastics program, swimming at the Y, spanish, and computers.  The outdoor play equipment is in great shape with recycled plastic mulch underfoot and a tall white fence.  They serve snacks family style so we saw the three year olds practice saying please and thank you and pouring their own juice after nap time.  Their snack included a carrot stick, a marshmallow, and cracker mix.  The owner who was with us said to the kids "Is a marshmallow a healthy food?" and they all yelled "no!"  That was cute.  All in all a well thought out school.  The owner said they had 90 kids before the economy took a dive and now only have 50.  I kinda like that low number.  There was one teacher to three infants when we were there.   Here are some pictures from their website:

The nursery.  This picture must have been taken at night.  The shades are down and it appears darker here.

I never wanted to put my kids in daycare as I spent much time as a kid there myself.  I feel really comfortable with this place though.  I would have signed Friday if I had to.  I am going to submit an application today and put down the payment for our first week, they waved the application fee.  Jamie loves this place as much as I do.  It's ten minutes out of our way but it's really close to all of the places we frequent like Wal-mart, Sam's, etc.  So, it's not that bad.

We were crunching some numbers Friday afternoon after this meeting and going over what my salary would be if I worked 3 days a week and paid 3 days of daycare.  I hate giving up my current full time salary but I hate the idea of my son/daughter being in a daycare all day like I was.  I'm scared of what's going to happen to our income with only a portion of my salary remaining but J is doing really well at his job and it seems like his monthly take home is increasing by the month so that's good.
Friday night - J and I made it to dinner.  I offered to drive since I knew he would want to research where we were going as soon as we got in the car.  I didn't tell him but gave him some hints.  He had a couple of guesses as to streets he thought the restaurant was on but he was wrong.  Once we were about 2 miles away he googled and got it.  I let him know it was nearly next door to one of his favorite dessert spots.  That gave it away.  He blurted the name out.  We parked and were seated promptly.  A small little restaurant called "I Fratellini".

The inside was even more lovely than I had imagined.  Just a few tables and a great atmosphere.  It was cool out that night so the french doors were open and the fresh air moved through the restaurant.  We shared a Caprese Salad which included Mozzarella and tomatoes on top of bruschetta.  It was wonderful and they were nice enough to split it for us.  Two large portions.  Next we ordered.  We both ordered non-itallian dishes because we were going to be making an itallian recipe from Emeril I had found on-line the next night.  Limiting ourselves in an italian restaurant to non-itallian dishes wasn't a good idea.  Jamie had a veal chop with potatoes and I had a whole roasted pompano fish.  Jamie had pointed mine out on the menu and it sounded great despite the fact that a fish head and tail would be on my plate.  I was thoroughly satisfied.  The fish was presented beautifully with a wonderful spread of roasted capers, tomatoes and kalamata olives.  I loved it.  Jamie (my critic) wasn't so impressed with his veal but we agreed at the end that we should give the place another try for him before making any conclusions.  We skipped dessert at the restaurant and headed toward the Clayton Art Fair which we visit every year.  We usually walk it very quick as everything there is so expensive but Friday night we made record time!  I think we walked all six or so blocks in like half an hour never stepping into a single tent!  At one point we even sat and rested because my stomach was tight.  After the art fair we went back to the street we had dinner at and met Jamie's Dad at Chill-a serve yourself yogurt type place.  It was great seeing and talking with him as always.  Then we called it a night.

I couldn't have asked for more.  Dinner out with my cute hubby, a walk around town and dessert.  It was great.

Saturday morning - The next morning we got up and headed down to the Central West End for a 17-family garage sale.  J used to work with a couple of people from this neighborhood and saw the ad on facebook so we thought we'd go, especially since it said there'd be kids stuff.  We caught up with two of his former co-workers and I made three purchases for $15.  A three photo pottery barn frame for $5 and two great kids toys for $5 each.  So far we have a large collection of toys (most of which grow with the child) and we've only spent $10!  So great!

Saturday afternoon Jamie and I were in the kitchen!  I had found two recipes I wanted to try this weekend which I was excited about since I haven't really cooked in months.  We are really trying to watch our money so making large casserole type dishes and eating them for dinner all week helps. We cooked Emeril Lagasse's Sausage and Eggplant-Stuffed Shells in a Tomato-Basil Cream Sauce.  (Hello old appetite!)   I have missed being in the kitchen with Jamie.  We both love to cook and we save all of our recipes and rate them with comments for next time.  This recipe is awesome but we both prefer tomato sauce to cream sauce so next time we think we would just use tomato sauce but the mixture of spinach, eggplant and sausage was great.  Here are a couple of pictures...

Sunday - we lazed around the house for the most part.  J played tennis with his Dad and a couple of his Dad's buddies and though I didn't plan on going originally it was so beautiful outside that I had to take Wilson out.  I took him to the park where J was playing and brought some tennis balls.  Wilson is OBSESSED with tennis balls and though I brought him a few of his own he always wants the ones the guys are playing tennis with-on the other side of the fence.  We played fetch for 15 minutes or so and then the rest of the time was spent watching Wilson run circles around the tennis court chasing tennis balls he would never get to.  He always amazes me.  He can sniff out a tennis ball too.  He found 5 tennis balls, some were in mud.  He got a bath yesterday afternoon when we got home and he's now one fluffy Golden.  He was exhausted from his morning escapades and probably looking forward to a nap but then J's Dad, Jim, and his niece, Lilly, came over for the Ram's game and Wilson didn't get to sleep until 10:00 last night when we all crashed.  Oh, and I made Rachel Ray's mexican lasagna yesterday for lunch which was excellent!  No pictures.

All in all a great weekend.  No projects really , just enjoying my darling hubby, my wonderful doggie, fabulous weather, great food and family.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Date night with J

I have an amazing husband.  He rocks.  He's my bestie.  He's sensitive, so funny and very intelligent.  I was thinking about him a few days ago and decided to take him out for a nice dinner just to do something specifically for him and show him how much I love him.  I wanted to go somewhere special and somewhere we had never been to.  I researched and chose a quiet, dimly lit, quaint little restaurant that had great reviews and let him know I was taking him out.  I sent him a meeting request on outlook so he would have a date and time reminder.  I sent him an email as well telling him I was taking him out to which he replied with the names of two restaurants we've never been to that we currently have "groupons" for.  I told him I didn't want to use a "groupon", I was selecting the location myself! 

He likes to have control over where we go for dinner...he's a food snob and there's nothing wrong with that but being married to a food snob means relinquishing all food control!  Rarely do I get to pick a restaurant!  Don't get me wrong, he always asks where I want to go for dinner but he usually nixes my ideas and decides for us or gives me options...which is fine by me.  So I am taking care of dinner tonight and he's nervous not knowing where we're going.  He won't know until we get there, I'm just going to give him the directions before leaving our house and he'll find out when we get there.   I know that whether I told him now or within 5 minutes of leaving he would make a B-line for the computer and look up every review of this restaurant.  I just want him to relax and show up to a restaurant I researched for him.  Besides, I know that once we do get there he will look it up on his phone anyway...that's my food critic hubby.  I would post where I was going on this blog but he's an avid reader of my blog so I know I would be busted!  More Monday.

Looking forward to spending a wonderful evening with him and a great weekend.  We're hitting a 17-family garage sale tomorrow morning in the Central West End.  Hoping to find some great baby bargains!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Love this girls crib bedding

About 7 years ago I purchased this little girls bedroom set at a thrift store for $125 dollars.  It had five pieces.  A headboard, a 9 drawer dresser, two nightstands and a beautifully shaped mirror.  The set below is an image of someone else's set but ours is the same style.  I am still so proud of that deal.  I didn't have a car big enough to get it home so I stood in the thrift store and guarded it until someone I paid could come get it.  While standing there guarding my purchase many people came up and were bitter towards me for buying what they felt belonged to them.  I guess they felt entitled to it since they were low income, I'm not sure.  When I found this set there wasn't a single person standing by it.  Anyway, I got it home and painted it black and then painted it white on top of the black and distressed it with a sander.  It's shabby chic and I love it.  It's been in our guest room for a long time and if we have a girl I hope to use the set for a girls room.  Our set is bright white with distressing, it's darling. 

Our last house was decorated very shabby chic.  The house lent itself to that style being a queen anne style home but in our current home we have a more simplified Pottery Barn/Restoration Hardware look for the most part but there is still a place in my heart for all things shabby.  I love furniture that looks like it's been lived in and worn.  The little girl's bedroom set I bought that day is something straight from my heart....beautifully shabby.

Here is what it looked like before I refinished it...this is someone elsees set from the internet but you get the idea.  Great shape, great bones.

I searched the internet for the perfect bedding set to go with the drexel bedroom set I found.  I have searched for weeks.  I finally found it here.  It's girly and soft.  It's fresh.  The inside of the bumper is chenille.  I zoomed in on one picture so the chenille can be seen (bottom picture).    What's great is that it's custom, so we could mix up the fabrics  and choose a different bumper fabric or sheet fabric...but honestly I love it just how it's shown.  I adore it.  If we find out we're having a girl, it will be the first purchase I make.

It's perfect.  And if we can get the the crib and changing table for about $100 dollars which I hope to...this set isn't out of our budget. 

Here's the crib I want...there are many on craigslist just waiting to be gobbled up.  I saw this crib and changing table for $50 together yesterday.  Some of them were recently recalled which they sell repair kits for.  Older models are okay though.  The style goes perfect with the girls bedroom set we have.

So sweet. 

I also have the perfect chandelier which we salvaged from our home remodel.  It was in the foyer.  It's shabby, presently gold in color and I think I would paint it white and distress it also.  It's been sitting in the nursery closet for almost a year waiting for a new home.  I'm thinking the walls of the nursery would be a muted taupe.  I can visualize the room, it would be perfect and airy.  The only other thing we would need is the upholstered rocking chair with ottoman and we'd be set!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

19 weeks-Food, Family and Nightmares

We've almost made it to 20 weeks!  I can't believe our 20 week ultrasound is next Thursday.  J and I are sooooo excited!  This week, baby is the size of a mango, and I can't believe it but next week we'll have a cantaloupe on our hands! 

This week I made some big strides in the eating area. We went to Greek Fest Saturday at our friends Church and had all kinds of yummy food!  I had been waiting for Greek Fest for weeks and nearly wrecked my car when I saw the banner a couple of weeks ago advertising it.  Oh the food, the food is so yummy.  I had been talking to myself for over a week in advance about what I was going to eat...EVERYTHING!  And I did!  I even had two bite sized pieces of chicken!  Okay, so they were wrapped in a pita with tzatziki but hey...I had CHICKEN!  Not chicken nuggets or another kid item-GRILLED CHICKEN!  I was so impressed with myself!  I also had a wonderful salad, flaming cheese and spanikopita (I HAD SPINACH!)  I missed spinach.  For dessert we had loukoumades and baklava!  Oh, I was in heaven.  Heaven I tell you.  I'm looking forward to next year already with baby in tow! 

So I have been doing a little better food wise outside of festivals.  Jamie and I were grocery shopping on Saturday and he asked me if I was ready to graduate from Kid Cuisine to Grown-up food.  I told him I didn't think so but one look at the Kid Cuisine's through the freezer case door and I knew I needed to graduate!  That food looked so disgusting and well....childish!  So I made my way down to the Smart ones and Lean Cuisines to take for lunch this week.  I picked plain foods like spaghetti and other red sauce entree's but for me even red sauce is a huge step.  It seemed like too much flavor for the past few weeks.  I'm still not eating real complicated things but I am open to more options which feels great!  I still won't eat grilled meat, though I had those two pieces at Greek Fest and I won't even smell barbecue sauce but I tell you, I am making big progress!

Part of my project list includes finishing up the decor in our living room.  It's been a slow room to fill and an expensive one at that but it's a large item on my to do list.  I had some pictures of ours printed and bought new frames to display all of my favorite pictures in.  I included some from Jamie's childhood, his two sisters, his niece and nephew, his Grandmother and some pictures of J and I.  I have a couple that I still haven't found frames for, both pictures of his parents.  I was glad to get this part done.  Now I just need some lamps and art for the walls which are completely bare. 
Friday night/Saturday morning I had a terrible nightmare.  It was about our dog we had to put down one year ago.  His name was Bowden.  He was Jamie's dog when Jamie and I started dating.  My first introduction to the amazing breed of Golden Retrievers.  He was beautiful and the sweetest dog I have ever known.  He and my husband had an incredible bond and I was lucky enough to witness that and to form my own bond with Bowden over the course of dating and being newly married.  Eight years later, the day we closed on our last home we had to put Bowden down.  His mind was perfectly there but his joints were so bad he couldn't walk anymore.  His joints gave out slowly over a couple of years and J and I did as much as we could to help him including carrying him up two flights of stairs daily...all 85 pounds of him.  Sometimes I would carry him a couple/few times a day to protect what little remained of his joints.  It was easier than watching him struggle.  I hated seeing him struggle.  He was also on various medications.  Anyway, my nightmare was about how I was doing everything I could to make things easier for Bowden as he was getting really weak towards the end and somehow I had managed to figure out a way to have him lay in one spot and be watered and fed and sleep for weeks only to finally pick him up and the side he had laid on for weeks had grown dead, the hair was gone and his skin was falling off.  I woke up several times so disturbed by what I was dreaming and made conscious efforts to try and change my thoughts.  I told myself to dream about the first time we would see star or to imagine the playset we would eventually put in the back yard but instead, every time I closed my eyes the dream about Bowden grew darker and darker and soon it was reflective of me not doing enough to protect him.  It was about how I could have prolonged his life had I just done more.  I finally got up to use the bathroom in a last effort to change things and while in the bathroom I started sobbing.  It was 2:00 in the morning and I cried about the visuals I kept seeing in my sleep and I cried because I missed Bowden.  I went back towards bed and stood at the side of the bed blowing my nose and getting a drink of water when Jamie heard me and jumped up.  He asked me if I was okay and I told him I had a terrible nightmare.  As I told him I started crying as I climbed back in bed and when he asked what it was about I told him I didn't want to tell him because I didn't want him to think of what I was thinking of.  I kept sobbing but tried to control myself and Jamie gave me the TV remote and rubbed my arm for half an hour or so while I watched Jackass on MTV-which did make me laugh I have to admit.  I finally went downstairs to sleep on the sofa and was woken by J the next morning.  He asked again what my nightmare was about and I told him.  Bowden's still very much in our hearts.  I wish we could have cloned him, he was that great of a dog.  We have another Golden Retriever currently, Wilson, who grew up with Bowden for 5 years and though he is an amazing dog as well and wonderful in a completely different way, no dog will ever be the same as Bowden was.

Sweet baby.  I hope all dogs do go to heaven and I hope you are running up there chasing tennis balls.  We miss you.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Some things are changing around our house...

Every weekend there are new projects.  Projects preparing us for the arrival of our little star.  Our star who we both refer to as "star" by the way.  I love that.  Each project I plan in preparation of his or her arrival and each project is a project that doesn't matter if it's a boy or a just needs to get done.  My hope has been that by getting all of these projects out of the way that we will have time to focus squarely on the nursery once we find out if we are expecting a boy or a girl in 10 days!  This weekend I unpacked and organized the basement making room for all of the toys our dear friends gave us.  I made a trash pile, a garage sale pile, a Christmas decor pile and left a large area for kids stuff which we started filling. 

Jamie worked on drainage outside in the yard.  We installed shelving in the laundry room to provide more storage.  I'd still like to install more hanging as I can barely reach the hanging space over our washer and dryer with my growing tummy.  We cleaned the garage out and we even got our first floor changing station underway!  Revamping a wet bar into a changing station/storage closet has been my vision since we bought this house.  After buying our home less than a year ago I had closet doors put on the wet bar area and Friday night my brother helped me take out the wet bar sink and cap off the plumbing.  After a few attempts at a solution to cover the sink hole, Jamie and I finished the changing area minus a few shelves which I hope to install next week.  Here are some photos.  It cost us about $75 to convert this bar into an area that will be well used for years...first as a changing area and then as storage for toys and games.

Doors closed

Doors open with new top installed and changing pad.  Shelving above will be the finishing touch to complete our changing area.  There is even a light in the closet and two outlets, perfect for the wipe warmer.  (I like wipe warmers for little tushies)  I'm debating on painting the wood.  I hate that wood color.  I much prefer white or espresso.  Probably espresso here but it is in a closet after all.

Peel and stick tile laid on diagonal made this project cheap and fast.  Changing pad put in place.

This weekend we also watched my niece for four hours or so.  She's 13 months old and boy did she drain me!  She just learned to walk and I followed her everywhere.  Thank goodness we had a ton of age appropriate toys for her to play with thanks to our friends.  The weather was so nice I put a blanket out on the grass in our back yard and brought some toys out and we enjoyed the weather together.  Inside we took over the office with more toys which was nice because we were able to shut the french doors and coral her in there since she is attracted to stairs like a magnet! 

Last night I was going upstairs when Jamie asked me to come into the office (his office- his personal space complete with a big screen TV, desk/computer, leather anti-gravity chair and art work from the many concerts and ball games he has been to.  He used to have a basement with all of these items but after moving and starting IVF we didn't want to spend money finishing our new basement so this room is his man room).  We had discussed a couple of times how this room would be a great play room eventually and it served that purpose well while my niece was there.  I went into the office and he told me he was putting his chair on craigslist to make room for baby furniture or toys.  This was so incredibly sweet of him but it made me sad.  I have always been proud that Jamie has had his own place to get away and watch sports or take business calls, etc.  As much as I look forward to this baby, J selling that chair breaks my heart.  I want him to still have his special place.  Even after the nursery is chosen we will have two extra bedrooms and the unfinished basement.  I don't think we will need his current office as a play room for sometime but hopefully one of these other areas will serve as a backup location for him. 

Things are definitely changing.  We've been together 9 years and it's strange and exciting at the same time to see the transformations taking place in our home.  19 weeks tomorrow.  A lot of progress with food!  More later!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

18 weeks! Eek!

How far along? 18 weeks!  Almost half way!!!

Baby's size? A sweet potato!  5.6 inches!  I can't believe I have a little star the size of a sweet potato in my belly! 

Weight Gain? Still at my pre-IVF weight.  I weighed this morning.

Maternity clothes? I'm finally ready for some clothes that I don't have to wear unzipped or with a bella band on top of.  Some of my clothes just look rediculous.  I wear bella bands every day to work so I can leave my pre-pregnancy pants unzipped but I can't stand how you can see the lines of my unzipped pants under my shirts even though the band is under the shirt.  Maternity pants scare me just looking at them, but it's time.  I hate to spend a lot of money on clothes I won't wear that long so that's been delaying my shopping too.  Outside of work I only have two pairs of summer pants that I can wear out (aside from sweats, etc.).  Jamie offered to take me shopping for some maternity clothes on Sunday but we were both too tired.  Maybe this weekend.

 Sleep?  What's that?  I am so uncomfortable sleeping on my left side.  My left arm falls asleep from laying on it, my hip is sore and I just don't know what to do with the arm I am laying on.  I'm not sleeping with the maternity pillow as it's annoying me right now.  I am sleeping with four pillows.  I keep getting to work earlier and earlier because I am so uncomfortable I get out of bed earlier.

Food?   Still a sore subject.  I have to say first of all that Jamie has been amazing.  Dinner is difficult around our house.  We haven't eaten the same meal together in weeks .  He has the patience of a Saint and even Monday night when NOTHING sounded good he kept offering solutions to try and get me to eat.  After throwing out 20 different thoughts he said "What about Pizza?"  I said, "I thought about that but all of the bread makes me sick."  That's when he suggested a local pizza place that makes pizza on super thin crust.  We ordered it and I finally had something to eat for dinner and even had a small salad.  We typically don't eat out often in our house, as we both like to cook and like to save the money but he has been so understanding of the fact that I can't pack a lunch for work because whatever I pack that morning does not sound good by the time lunch rolls around.  I have been eating out 3 times a week or so for lunch and making due the rest of the week with Peanut Butter and Jelly.  I keep expecting a lecture about spending and eating out but he's really been supportive and understanding to say the least.  Besides, I give myself these lectures as I hate spending as much as he does.

As far as what I eat...I eat like a 4 year old.  Fish sticks, chicken nuggets, corn dogs, pizza...honestly these things don't even sound good anymore.  Nothing does.  Jamie bought me kid cuisines last week.  He had called me at work to ask what I wanted from the grocery store and I finally said "This is going to sound weird but get me anything a kid would eat."  He came home with kid cuisine meals.  I had a corn dog meal at work the other day.  It felt strange to sit at my desk eating a corn dog and emptying a sprinkle packet onto my pudding but hey, at least I ate.  I even ate my corn.

 Best moment this week?   Loading up with all kinds of free goodies from our friends home on Sunday.  It was so nice of them to think of us and allow us to go through everything they have before putting it out for a garage sale.  We paid nothing but I want to get them a gift card for their thoughtfulness.  It's so appreciated.  The pictures of all we brought home are below.  It took two car loads and it feels so strange to see our dining room piled with all of this kids stuff.  Stuff I wondered if I would ever see in our home.  It feels good though.

Movement? Okay, I have something minor to post here.  I was supposed to start feeling the baby move between 16 and 20 weeks.  I have felt a little flutter once below my belly button and felt a little tickle after turning over in the middle of the night last week.  I can't wait to feel the baby move more.  This is what I am looking forward to the most along with J finally being able to feel it.

Symptoms?  Dizziness.  I usually get it after turning over or moving fast like sitting up from laying down.  In the morning I get dizzy after waking up and then sitting up.  The other morning I stood up and said "oh sh!t".  My world was spinning.  I stand like I'm surfing waiting for the world to stop with my feet spread out and my hands out.  So weird.  The nurse at my Doctor's office thinks it's due to my cold and thought sudafed would help but I've been on it for six days and it's not getting better.  My cold is slowly going away but I still have coughing spells and congestion.  It's lingering.  Not eating a lot of foods is another symptom.  Meat is still definitely not happening, well unless it's bacon or a corn dog.  There was a barbecue at our friends house the other night where everyone but me feasted on grilled chicken.  I had asparagus (pat on the back), corn (pat on the back) and tomato salad (pat on the back).  You'd think I was a vegetarian.  Like I said meat isn't happening and neither is anything grilled.

Gender? I mentioned Monday that Jamie is 100% sure it's a girl.  I am thinking the same.  A co-worker told me yesterday that she didn't eat meat when she was pregnant with her girl.  I would love a boy though as we have a boys first and middle name picked out (we did before we were pregnant) and we have boy's nursery ideas but no name and no ideas for a girl's nursery!  Yikes!  We threw names around last night for a girl and completely disagreed on one name (Jamie loved it and I hated it) and though we both loved a different first name it didn't go well with the middle name we have picked out so that's no fun.  Our friends all think we are having a girl as well.  One of them stated the other night that she hopes it's a girl so we can try again for a boy.  She must know J's plan of having an only child if it's a boy but if it's a girl he'd gladly try again.  

What I miss?  Being able to roll to the other side of the bed if the remote is on Jamie's nightstand.  Now I have to get up and walk around.  Honestly though, nothing compares to this feeling of being pregnant.   I would give up anything.

What I'm looking forward to? Finding out the sex in 15 days!!!!!   Shopping for babies room and decorating it!  Oh, and buying super cute clothes on clearance. 

Weekly Wisdom:   Buy TUMS in bulk and bring them everywhere you go.

Milestones:   I looked down the other morning and this is what I saw... All belly!  This is a first.  That carpet?   That's my work carpet.  Purple, red and lime green.  I know, scary.

What I love: Playing a baby einstein music CD to my belly for an hour or so each night.  I put the head phones where I think baby is and crank the music up!  I do this while watching TV. 

Emotions:   Feeling great.  The pissy thing at sixteen weeks passed quickly.