Friday, April 29, 2011

Debate - Need your vote

So Chad and I had a debate this morning (yes, we debate at 7 a.m.) And I'm going to start a poll on the top right hand of the blog so you can help us solve it.

Here was our convo (both our initials are CB so you won't be roped into taking sides):

CB: Can you put some toast in the oven for breakfast?
CB: Do you want toast or do you want a grilled cheese?
CB: Ummmm, toast?! Grilled cheese is NOT a breakfast food.
CB: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Of course it's a breakfast food!
CB: Show me a breakfast menu with grilled cheese listed as a breakfast item and I'll concede. I'm not saying you can't eat grilled cheese for breakfast. But you could eat spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast, it doesn't make it a breakfast food.'
CB: You are crazy.
CB: YOU are crazy.

So there you have it.

The question is:
Is grilled cheese considered a breakfast food?

The winner gets a 5 minute backscratch (our standard our betting.) Vote people!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Childbirth

Since my dad was out of town, Chad and I had my mama come over for supper with us last night. Chad had some work to do in our storage room, so it gave me some time to just catch up and have some good ol' girl-talk with my mom.

Can I just say that I love, love, love my mom? I could say it a billion times. My mom is just the greatest. They don't make 'em better... that's for sure.

But anyway, my mom and I were talking a bit about childbirth. Coming from a woman who has done it (naturally) five times, I trust what the woman has to say.

I follow so many (too many, probably) blogs - many of them from women like me who either recently had babies or in the process of it. And so often, I read about women making their big stance on natural childbirth... and wanting to do it in birthing centers, with midwives/doulas/etc. They site their higher rates for natural births versus conventional OBGYNs+hospitals. I had to admit, just reading it- it does make it seem pretty convincing.

But I talked about this with my mom (a former NICU nurse), who made such a good point. Any women who has ANY sort of complication during their pregnancy is going to be turned away from any midwifery/birthing center in the first place --- for liability reasons. These places will tell you that they are designed for healthy, low-risk mothers and healthy babies. So right off the bat, you're eliminating a huge chunk of women that are going to need medical intervention during the birthing process anyway. (+1 in favor of the 'natural childbirth stats' for birthing centers.) And chances are, that healthy, low-risk mom and baby would be able to have a "natural" birth in a hospital too, so long as there were no complications.

And then, you read stories about women who had completely complication-free pregnancies like Sherry on Young House Love who a year later shared the birthing story of her daughter Clara. She had a completely normal and healthy pregnancy. Yet, when she gets to the hospital to have her baby, IMMEDIATELY she is thrown into a very dangerous situation and ends up in the emergency operating room minutes after arrival. I can't help but think, as I'm sure her and her family do, about what would have happened if she had plans to go to a birthing center without a team of doctor's and nurse's ready and equipped to handle the serious issues her and her baby were dealt with (without warning.)

I think about my own sister in law, who also had some very scary complications during and after the birth of my sweet little nephew James. I remember me and Chad being SO grateful that she was in a hospital that night and not somewhere else. I remember talking to my mom that morning and her saying, "Carrie, now THIS is the reason people have babies in hospitals."

The thing is, of course I want a natural childbirth. I want a complication-free, easy delivery with no unexpected issues. But that's why you find a doctor that you trust. Let them know that you want to do whatever you can - as long as its safe for you and baby - to keep things as progressing naturally. I'm sorry but I don't believe that these OBGYNs, who have spent their lives devoted to birthing children and having healthy mamas, are conspiring to give you drugs early and often in order to keep you in the hospital longer so they, the hospitals and insurance companies make more money off you. Please. Any doctor worth his salt cares about keeping you and your child safe. Period. If you don't trust that, you need to find you a new doctor.

But, for me, I want to have my child in a hospital... a GREAT hospital. I want to have a world-class team of doctors and nurses right there ready and able to take care of me and my baby in a instant if anything goes south.

Because here's the thing: you ask ANY mom... from those with easy labor and deliveries and those with the most complicated... as long as a healthy baby was placed in their arms at the end of it, that's all that matters.

I remember feeling so bad for Molly that her birth didn't go as planned. I was sad thinking that she would be so caught up in all the things she "missed out on" because she had a rough delivery. But you know what... one look at her told you all you needed to know: all she cared about was that little boy.

So, for me, that's all I care about. If I have this magical birthing experience, yippee! I'll be thrilled with it. But I would rather, a million times over, feel completely sure that if the worst were to happen, I'd be in a place were it could be handled and in the end, a healthy baby would be placed in my arms.

Easter Sunday @ 22+ weeks


Me, the Mister and the little mister.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My produce box - April 26

Yippee! Like a kid waiting for Christmas morning, I anxiously counted down the clock Tuesday afternoon and couldn't wait to rush home to see the goodies I selected for my first week's shipment from Papa Spuds.

For 20 credits (about $20), I received:



- Asparagus (~0.90 lbs.)
- Tatsoi (1 bunch)
- Arugula (1 bunch)
- Sourdough, Old World (1 loaf)
- Snow Pea Shoots/Tips (~1 lb.)
- Salad Mix (~1/3 lb.)
- Sweet Potatoes, Covington (~2.0 lbs.)

All local, and almost all organic + pesticide-free.

A couple of new-to-me items include tatsoi and snow pea shoots/tips - both of which are in the "greens" family which I'll be able to eat raw (a la salad-form) or sauteed.

And my menu for the week is as follows:
Monday (pre-Papa Spuds delivery): zucchini and tomato lasagna with a ricotta-lemon-basil white sauce
Tuesday: Tatsoi & pea shoot saute with grilled Asian-marinated ribeye on top, sourdough
Wednesday: Roasted sweet potatoes, asparagus and wilted arugula
Thursday: "Papa Spuds Salad" - all my leftover veggies + greens assembled into somewhat of a cold salad with homemade dijon-shallot vinagrette and toasted sourdough

I rarely make dinner plans for Friday thru Sunday, since we often end up making plans with family or friends and my meal prep goes out the window. That, and I deserve a couple days off from cooking!

But, all in all, a good first week!

Big Night

I started on painting Baby J's nursery last night. I had plans to only tape the accent wall (where we'll be doing our blue and white pattern), and MAYBE cut it with paint on the edges.

But by the time I got going, it seemed silly not to at least paint that wall white - and get one good coat in. I'll probably put another white coat on tonight, and then we'll let it sit until Saturday morning, when we tape over it and then fill it in with the blue.



So, maybe it was the paint fumes or the yummy dinner we had last night, but Baby J was kicking up a storm (and still is this morning.) Soooooo, Daddy Chaddy got to feel his son kick for the first time... and he gave 'em a few good ones that he could feel without me prompting "Did you feel that!"

Good job, J.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

(Another) New Project

.... soooo I'm crafty.

Not normally, but I'm becoming more-so. The fact is, we're still in a semi-new (year old) house and I still have some bare walls that are desperate for a pick-me-up.

My conundrum is this:
1) I have expensive taste.
2) Right now my discretionary spending money is tied up in Baby J. And unless I want to get the stank eye from Chad (and trust me, I get it enough already), I don't have a couple thousand to drop on wall decor.

So I'm taking it one-room, one-wall at a time.

Right now - behind our kitchen table (hard to see in this pic, since this pic was originally of the gor-geous-table that my Handy Manny husband made), is a long bare wall that is screaming for SOMETHING. I had thought about getting Chad and his dad to build in a corner cabinet/bookshelf for where the wall meets the side of my cabinets... but 1) it might be a little squished over there and 2) Chad and dad-in-law's to-do list for me is getting longer and longer.

So I had a bright idea.

I have a yearly subscription to my favorite cooking magazine, Cooks Illustrated. It is a fabulous magazine - full of great recipes and tips... and gorgeous artwork. On the back of each issue is a "theme" of a food, veggie, herb, etc., accompanied with sketches of the different varieties. They are all printed on a beautiful cardstock and I felt sad letting the little back covers sit in my kitchen cabinet to be noticed by no one.

{I mean, how beautiful is this!}

I decided, what better idea than to frame a series of the back covers (they are almost exactly 8''x12'') and hang them on this lonesome wall in my kitchen. I had several already, and purchased other back-issues from Ebay, so I could choose my favorite eight to frame... two rows of four. And, depending on the season or my mood, I could temporarily change them out. I have covers that range from goat cheeses, to heirloom corn, to Italian cookies to Indian spices.

Here's a big lot of 'em. Aren't they beautiful?

Next step: going to buy 8 frames and then getting Chaddy boy to hang 'em for me.

Some people hang covers of the New Yorker, I hang the back covers of Cooks. It's just the kinda gal I am.

Will post pictures when my project is done!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why MPLT Should Not "Ebay"

Bidding on items on Ebay is pretty much amazing. Unless you are Type-A like me and therefor prone to being:

1) Anxious

2) Competitive

Anxious and competitive people can be dangerous in a setting like Ebay. Dangerous to ourselves and others.

So I found the exact Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 30-30 SIP infant carseat plus TWO bases (same colors and everything) that I was registered for (and figured we'd end up buying for ourselves anyway), on Ebay last week. Bought in Dec. 2010, and barely used for 3 months by a NYCtier, and seller said the only way you could tell it's been used is there is one scratch on a sticker on one of the bases. Other than that, absolutely pristine condition. Buying new would cost us $330. I started my bidding on Ebay at her lowest offer: $120 last week.

Lesson 1 to novice Ebayer: Don't bid early.

But whateva. I was the only bidder for days and was convinced I was going to make out like a bandit with this sucka for $120. Needless to say, Friday night some other probably desperate, hormonal mama-to-be decided to duel and upped my ante. Price soared up quickly to $150. Winning = other mama.

I decided to not rebid until this morning (when the bidding closed.) With about an hour to go, I increased my max and was winning out at $180. Holllla. Was convinced this chick knew better than to step to me. (aka: why you can't be an competitive person on Ebay... we take this 'ish personal.)

Of course, homegirl decided to come at me again and jumped her max bid up to who knows what, so I knew that it was going to be down to the wire. I called Chad and confirmed he would let me raise my bid to $200 (knowing shipping is going to cost $30)... so that we'd still be saving $100. He told me to go for it.

So with 30 seconds left (aka: why you can't be an anxious person on Ebay... my heart was literally pounding out of my chest watching the Ebay clock tick down on my cell phone), I decided to up my bid to $200. However, in a moment of sheer genius --- which is what makes MPLT, MPLT --- I thought this other crazy probably bid right over $200, so if I really wanted to win, to bid like $202.50.

10...
9...
8...
7...
6...
5...
4...
3...
2...
1...

WINNER: MPLT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like you even had to guess.

Checked the bidding history - sure 'nuff OCM (other crazy mama) had put in her max bid at $200.99. I bet she's a crying hormonal mess on the phone with her husband that she lost out by a $1.50. I would hope her tears would be dried knowing she was going against a most worthy opponent. Unfortunately, she doesn't know that and will probably spend the rest of the day drowning her loss in a tub of Breyers Butter Pecan.

MPLT's Ebay Lesson to OCM:


MPLT's Ebay Lesson to MPLT:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He Is Risen



Happy Easter, everyone.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A letter to my son

Hello sweet boy,

Your mama has been a bit overwhelmed thinking about you these past few days. Almost two weeks ago I felt you move for the first time, and have been lucky enough to feel you every day since! Time to time, you'll give me a good kick during the morning or in the afternoon. But the evening is definitely our time together. I'll lay quietly in bed, rest my hand on my stomach, and sure enough within minutes I'll start feeling your steady movements. It is my favorite time of the day.

Now, you need to keep growing because your daddy is not to happy about the fact that he can't feel you kick yet. He's so patient to leave his hand on my stomach for minutes at a time in hopes he'll catch a good one. He thinks he might have felt one or two, but is ready for you to make it crystal clear for him. But you are good about pushing your weight against me so that your dad can feel where you are in my stomach. Last night we were sure we felt the curve of your little back pushed against me for a good couple seconds before you settled in. It's hard to believe in just a few short months, my hand will be resting on your actual back as you snuggle into my chest for the first time.

Do you know how much I love you, son? I've wanted a baby for some time, but it's a different feeling to want you - and not just any baby. I feel so bonded and close to the little being that you are already. Your mama had a hard time getting pregnant, and I was so scared for awhile that I would lose you. I became even more fearful after we lost your little twin brother or sister so early on. But, J, you are my fighter. I think you knew that you had to hold on for me and your dad. You stuck with me, and I'm so grateful for that.

I keep picturing what it will be like when I look at you for the first time. I try to imagine out of the millions of words in the dictionary, what words will form when I talk to you for the first time.

But I hope I remember to thank you.

I love you,
your mama

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New food feature: My produce box


So for probably about a year now, I've been realllllly interested in co-ops, CSAs and online farmer's markets. I'm not some crazy nut about my food - but I think it's increasingly important to know where your food comes from, what you're eating, how it was raised/made, and supporting local farmers. Mass-produced food only really became a big thing starting in the 60s (thank you, McDonald's) and has changed the way we eat... and not for the better. With the sudden and alarming rise of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. over the years, it's important to be making educated decisions about your food choices (especially if you're in charge of food within your family!)

During the warmer months, Chad and I are really good about going to our local farmer's market to get lots of fresh fruits and veggies. But during the the cooler months (or weeks where we're just too busy), we often end up falling into the rut of liking the convenience of going to a grocery store 5-minutes away.

But that didn't keep me from every couple of months looking at some local CSAs and wanting to try them. I would bring it up to Chad, he'd semi-listen and agree that it was interesting, but never really give me the "Yes! We should do it." that I was hoping for.

Finally, I decided - especially after he made the point that what we eat/cooking/buying food is my domain in the house - that I was done thinking about it and it's time to take action. One of my good friends joined a local "online farmer's market" - Papa Spuds - and I think I had been just as excited as she was every week to hear what goodies she got.

The way it works is you can pay (for the service we're getting) $23/week and with that we get 20 credits to buy fresh, locally/and-or/organically grown produce that is delivered weekly right to our doorstep. Then you choose whatever items you want to buy for your 20 credits - sample list here - from a variety of in-season veggies and fruits, plus meats, cheeses, breads and more... all either local and/or organic. The site gives you the option to filter by category, local-only, local-and-organic, organic-only, pesticide-free, etc.

Yes it might be a tad bit more than what you'd pay for in-store (assuming you'd buy local/organic anyway), but you get the added satisfaction that you are getting to choose exactly which farm your food is coming from and you are supporting local farmers with your purchase!

The reason I think/hope that the bit more in cost will be made up for, is that hopefully it will significantly decrease our trips to the grocery store, and thus purchases of stuff we REALLY don't need. We will eat for lunches and dinners what we have purchased for the week from Papa Spuds (perhaps with a few supplemental things from the grocery store - like pasta if we want to use that, grits, cereal, etc.). Especially now with our little boy coming in the next few months, I am even more determined that I want to know what my child is putting in his mouth - so I will be making my own baby food with produce that I know is organic and pesticide-free.

So why is this exciting for you? Because each Wednesday (I'll get my deliveries on Tuesdays), I'll post a picture of my produce box and let you know what I'm cooking for the week based on my box. During summer months, it will be easier to get produce that I'm used to working with, but - being the adventurous eater I am... and a husband that luckily will eat just about anything once - buying in-season will force me to pick items I'm not necessarily used to and hopefully learn new recipes to share!

If any locals in the Triangle area are interested in hearing more about Papa Spuds, holler at me. If you sign up thru PS using me as your reference, both you and I will get an extra 4 credits!

And for my non-local readers, I encourage you to explore if there are any groups like this close to your home!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Well heyyyyyy newbies!

Over the past few weeks, my readership has shot up again. If you are new to MPLT: hello, welcome, I think you are beautiful and I'm glad you're here! If you are a fellow blogger, please feel free to leave me a comment with your blog or shoot me an email to myprettylittlethoughts @ gmail.com. I'd love to return the favor.

Also, please click my little "follow" button on the righthand side of the screen - I love to look at your pretty faces as I type to remember who I'm writing for.

A little bit about me for my new readers (which you can also see more of in the About Me section):

1- I promise I don't always talk about baby stuff. But baby has definitely been consuming my thoughts lately.

2- I promise I usually give you some good food/recipe info because... well... I love food. Hopefully I'll have a new food feature starting in the coming weeks. I'll keep you posted.

3- I do rant sometimes. I'm sorry. And it's worse now that I'm pregnant since my hormones are OOC (out of control.) But I really am a nice person... just ask LF.BP. if you don't believe me. But then again, she's hormonal too and can probably not be trusted.

4- If I get 10 more people to "officially" follow the blog, I'll convince Chad to guest post again. My husband is infinitely more funny than I am (or, at least, he thinks so).

5- I do write about Jesus. Hope it doesn't scare you. But I love that guy.

6- If for no other reason, follow my blog because I periodically post pictures of THIS guy... and, well, he's worth seeing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mom-To-Be Promise

I know you should "never say never" when it comes to what you WON'T do when you become a mom, but I have a few that I realllllyyyyyyyy hope I keep my word on. If not, I have a couple girlfriends that I know would have no problem calling me out for one of these infractions:

1) Talking about my child's bowel movements on Facebook. Neither in this world or the next is any person other than me/myself/and/I interested in if, how often, where, what color, what consistency, etc. my child's pee or poop is... and I hope I'm never disillusioned enough to think otherwise. And that lead's me to #2...

2) I will never use the word "blowout" in a status message unless, perhaps, it refers to something that happened to my tire on the side of the interstate. Also, following a theme, leads me to #3...

3) Post pictures of said bowel movements/kid on potty/etc. on Facebook. Hey, way to mortify your kid 15 years down the road. People do realize that once something is put online... it is there FOREVER. Like this even needs to be said, but let those at STFUParents show you otherwise.

4) Be "soooooooooooooooooooooo busy" being a mom... yet having time to write status messages every 10 minutes about what I'm so busy doing. A girl I knew from high school would do this, and I finally ended up having to remove her as a friend because it would drive me absolutely crazy and I was scared one day I was going to blast her saying, "I bet you'd find a wholeeeeeee lot more hours in the day if you get the heck off Facebook."Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt being a mom is non-stop, 100% demanding job that exhausts you in a way you have never been exhausted before. But your credibly is lost when you find time to share it constantly on a social networking site.

5) Ooooh, I might ruffle feathers for this one... but I'm doing it. I promise to not bring my child out to a restaurant and let my child scream his/her head off for minutes on end without taking action. And action = bring his/her butt outside until they calm down, or leaving completely... if need be. So many people have the attitude "I shouldn't have to barricade myself at home just because I have a baby." No, no you don't. But if you're bringing your kid to a place whether other people are also going to enjoy an afternoon or evening out - I don't think it's fair to let your little one ruin it for everyone around them. My mom and dad had five of us kids -and they both maintain to this day that this constant screaming of kids (and their parents ignoring it) is not necessary. If we'd scream, we went outside. Period. If your kid is too young to behave, find a babysitter. Not everyone is as good as you are at drowning out your child's wails.

Those are my big ones at the top of my mind, so I just felt need to put it in writing. If there are any other things that new moms do that drive you C.R.A.Z.Y. please let me know.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Shopping and Storms

Well, Saturday turned into quite the eventful day.

We will start with the most eventful part, and work our way back. Saturday late-afternoon, bad storms and tornadoes ripped through our (normally) peaceful neck of the woods. We rode out the actual storm at my parents house in their basement. We are extremely blessed to be able to say all our family (and respective houses) are safe... but many, many people were not so lucky. Tornadoes touched down a mile or less from both our house and my parent's house. So many homes and cars were destroyed, and many lost their lives. We continue to pray for those who are trying to put their lives back together after the storms.

Here's a pretty intense time-lapse video of the storm approaching downtown Raleigh. And here are some pictures of storm damage from around the area.

The day, however, started out much more lighthearted as me, Chaddy, my mom and mother-in-law headed out to Green Pea Baby to check out some baby gear and hopefully get my registry together. For anyone in the Triangle area with-or-expecting child, PLEASE check out Green Pea Baby. They are a precious baby boutique in historic downtown Apex that actually has a wonderful website as well (for those not so lucky enough to live in my neck of the woods.)

I was spoiled (despite a busy Saturday morning of shoppers) to get the nearly undivided attention of the store owner, Krista, for about 1.5 hours as she walked me around and personally wrote down all the things I should/wanted to register for so that she could later into them into the online registry. I'd like to say that the attention was because my sis and Krista's eldest daughter are longtime friends, but I have a feeling that Krista is just as dedicated to any customer that comes through her door. She was SO thorough in her explanations that you can tell not one item is picked for her shop without painstaking examination from Krista. (Which is a big relief for this first-time mommy.)

Krista spent tons of time talking over advantages of different strollers with us, but when we got down to the Peg Perego Pliko and the Baby Jogger City Mini, we were too carried away with the lightweight and transportability of the Baby Jogger City Mini to imagine another stroller for baby J! Even Chad was in love with it.

I begged and pleaded for Chad to let me order a black one, but "Mr. Practicality" wouldn't back down on the fact he thought a black stroller would by way to hot for ol' North Carolina... despite my argument that the material is super breathable. He said breathable or not, black material absorbs heat and his little baby wasn't going to be our taking walks in the Carolina summers in a black stroller.

Chad doesn't argue with me much, so I would have felt guilty choosing the black stroller for superficial reasons (i.e. - i'm a vanilla ice cream kinda girl and I like the simplicity of black) over the health (and body temperature) of our little boy. Bah.
Anyway, we decided to register for a light green one, which is nice and neutral and should suit us just fine.

Note: I DID win the argument that I can register for the black Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30-30 --- in Nero --- by promising that I wouldn't strap our baby into this "black death-trap" and leave him out in the sun. ;)

...little victories...

(And thank you to Krista for being patient as we had this argument in front of her.)

And while I was originally going to register for a good ol' Baby Bjorn, Krista walked me through why she MUCH preferred the Ergobaby Carrier... mainly for the fact that after the baby is about 15 pounds, the Baby Bjorn is simply not comfortable for mom and dad. Chad was a trooper and tried on that Ergobaby - since I have a feeling we'll be splitting the time wearing this thing 50/50 - and even requested the fake baby doll to sit in the thing so he could get the whole experience. We both agreed Ergobaby was the way to go... and wouldn't have known a thing about it were it not for Krista.

Among tons of other "little" things, we also found our crib at Green Pea! I love the simplicity of the look with the high-quality of the furniture (and had been wanting a white crib), so this one by Million Dollar Baby was a winner.
So all in all, the shopping experience (despite completely overwhelming Chad) was a huge success for all. Except, maybe not so much for my mom's credit card who left with a big ol' shopping bag of goodies for her grandbaby James and grandbaby-to-be.

So I could go on for way too long about how fabulous Krista and Green Pea Baby are (and no, I promise I'm not a paid spokesperson), but I tried to keep it as short as possible. But - even for those who aren't in my area - let this be a reminder to please please PLEASE support your local businesses. The customer service is a million times better, their products are more carefully tested and selected, and often times the prices aren't that much more than what you'd find in your big-box chain. Yes, their selection is more limited - but that's because they've taken away the options that they find aren't up to their quality standards (which I much prefer!). I could have walked around in Babies R Us or Target (or even 'nicer' ones like Pottery Barn Kids) for HOURS and not had a fraction of the experience I had at a local shop.

So, GO LOCAL!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pregnancy Week by Week: 21

Week 21Baby Size: Banana.
How I feel about being pregnant: Still feeling great! I've definitely popped in the last couple of weeks
Symptoms: None - feel good!
Food Cravings: Sigh... a sweet tooth has hit me. Luckily, I haven't had enough sweets around the house to tempt me. But I did have to beg Chad to let me eat one of his Reese's Easter Eggs (if you've read my previous post, you'd understand why I have to beg) one night.
What I'm most excited about: Still excited about starting the nursery - hopefully the week after Easter. While registering, I've found some bedding and decor stuff I love, so I'm excited about this new undertaking.
Something I've done to prepare for baby: Nothing I've done, but my sis-in-law brought me some clothes baby James has outgrown already (wahhhh from both of us) along with some newborn diapers. It just seems more real to have clothes hanging in the closet and diapers sitting under the bassinet. Now we're just waiting for the little mister to get here. Also, I (thank goodness) thought about registering for our labor and delivery class at the hospital yesterday... I had put it off so long there was only ONE weekend left between now and the due date offered at our particular hospital.
Special moment: Getting to feel the baby (and being sure about it) for the first time Sunday night, and every subsequent evening. It's awesome knowing he's in there!

Believe it or not, this is my last "week by week" post, since starting next week, we start measuring by months! Time is absolutely flying by.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three cheers...

... for my bro and sis-in-law putting up new pictures of baby James on Facebook.

No crappy week can withstand the cuteness of this face first thing on a Thursday.

{i.dont.care.what.anyone.else.says.my.nephew.is.the.absolute.cutest.baby.alive.ever.for.real.ever.}

It just seems unfair that James is here to play and his BFF cousin is still a couple months away...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two things... only semi-related

1) Baby is on the MOVE. Last Sunday night I began distinctly feeling baby J move around in my stomach. I've felt it every night since... and a few times during the day. I wouldn't describe it as a "fluttering" like many people do.... more like a massive movement in my stomach. Last night I felt huge pressure right in the middle of my stomach, and felt what was likely a head or back pushing against me for about 20 seconds. My stomach was hard as a rock... then when the pressure was removed, it felt back to normal. But it's been awesome to feel him moving... I'm just jealous Chad hasn't been able to feel anything yet.

2) Since Chad is turning the dirty 30 shortly after the baby arrives, I'm trying to go ahead and start planning his big pig pickin' bash ahead of time. While getting quotes for rental tables and chairs and menu requests from caterers, I've found what's REALLY important:

Matching onsies that Baby James and Baby J will be wearing for the party.

Rhetorical question...

Ladies, does doing your makeup in the car really save you THAT much time in the mornings?!

I swear, 3 out of 5 mornings during the week, I'll be behind a woman who is putting on make-up in her car. Granted, it's usually while stopped at stoplights... but still.

How long DOES it take you to do your makeup?!

It takes me maybe 2-3 minutes from start to finish. I guess I could get an additional 2-3 minutes sleep if I decided to haul my make-up bag with me in the car. But really?!?!!?

It boggles my mind.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3 Years

So here's how it went.

Chad and I met each other about 9 years ago.


We started dating about 5.5 years ago.


We got married 3 years ago, today.


We've had a lot of fun times since then.

I mean, A LOT of fun times.

And now we're making a person together. A real-life representation of our commitment to each other. A little piece of me and a little piece of Chad made into one perfect little boy. It's the craziest thing ever, I'll tell ya. He might have my hair and Chad's eyes. My smile and Chad's laugh. My ability to memorize rules of comma placement and Chad's ability to memorize comedy quotes. I bet he'll pout like I do when he doesn't get his way, and whine like his daddy does when he doesn't feel good. But he'll be ours. A baby "us." I'm so excited for it.

So happy anniversary to my sweetest husband. You are seriously the most wonderful and precious part of my life here on earth. I can't wait to grow a family together. I'll love you forever.

Monday, April 11, 2011

(Bad) 20 Week Bump

Because I love you guys and have had numerous requests for an updated bump picture, I will put this gah-awful picture that Chad took of me yesterday before church.

I'm pale and squinty, but here it is nonetheless.


I had my regular OBGYN check-up this morning. Baby's heartbeat sounded fabulous and the doctor says everything is perfectly normal (growing a baby is the one time in your life that the words 'average' and 'normal' are music to your ears!)

And, at 20 wks 3 days, I've only gained 3 pounds since my last appointment which I believe puts me at a +2 lbs weight gain total. How did I celebrate? By happily accepting a "Hot Now" Krispy Kreme original doughnut brought to me by a coworker. For my readers who do not have a Krispy Kreme within driving distance - my sympathy is with you.

Ohhhhh

myyyyy

gosssshhhhhhhh.

I had forgotten how sinfully amazing those things are when they are hot and fresh. If left to my own devices, I could have easily polished off four. EASILY.

Happy Monday y'all.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Buy Now, Ask Permission Later

I had been SO good to not shop for sweet baby stuff until we knew the gender. But now, the reigns are removed. Thanks to Zulily, I'm able to find some great items for Baby J for much less.

Zulily has daily emails (like Rue la la, HauteLook, etc. --- all of which I've unsubscribed from during my pregnancy... because, why tempt yourself when your body ain't gonna fit in it anyway) for moms and babies. And oooohmyyygoooosh so cute. If you want to join, use my referral link here.

Today's "Sweet Peanut Boy" shop tempted me too much to say no. Baby J now has...

this...


this...

and this...

...all on the way to our house. Each normally $30, now $15.

But I did exercise restraint. Because I could have easily added

this...


and this...

and this...
to my shopping cart. See Chaddy? I didn't do too bad!

Pregnancy Week by Week: 20

Okay, I'm about to confuse you guys. Well, I've kinda confused myself. I've been doing my week-by-weeks by recapping what had happened the previous week. So, for example, on a Friday, when I'd turn 18 weeks, I'd title my post 17 weeks and write about how that previous week had been. But the more I've seen other people's blogs, I've learned I'm the only one who does it that way.

So today, when I'm 20 weeks, I'm going to PUT 20 weeks (which is much more logical), instead of 19 weeks with the previous week's recap.

Are you thoroughly confused yet? Good.

So yipppeeeeee! I'm 20 weeks today.... halfway there. Can you believe it? Here's what's up with baby boy this week:

Week 20
Baby Size: Cantaloupe. Man, how is this possible? I swear, just a few weeks ago you were the size of a raspberry!
How I feel about being pregnant: Loving this. Everything you hear about the second trimester is true - you feel a million times better and it flies by.
Symptoms: I've been too distracted by allergies to think about pregnancy symptoms.
Food Cravings: Not this week! But my appetite has definitely kicked in and hunger can strike in an instant.
What I'm most excited about: Hopefully starting the nursery in a couple weeks. And both your daddy and I are anxiously awaiting those first few kicks. Hopefully any time now.
Something I've done to prepare for baby: We bought baby J's bassinet! The first "big" thing for our little man. I've also slowly started to put together a registry. I'm starting to feel more productive by knocking a few things off my to-do list.
Special moment: I was snuggling with your daddy on the couch this week, and we were just laughing and having a good ol' time together (as we usually do.) It just warmed my heart the idea that you (being in me) get to be a part of that special time with us... and that when you come out, I bet you'll be used to the sound of our laughter. If there is one thing that your dad and I like to do together, it is laugh. I hope there is never a shortage of laughter in our house.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fast Eddie and the Neti

You know that we call my dad "Fast Eddie," right? If you met my dad, you'd immediately understand. My dad just is Fast Eddie. Whenever I talk about Fast Eddie at work, all my coworkers start to laugh because they can picture this "Fast Eddie" in their head. It's just such a fitting name for him... though I do let a 'daddy' slip out from time-to-time --- especially when I need something.

But anyway, my spring allergies have been KILLING me. Like they do every year. Pollen hates me and I hate it. While I usually don't mind doping myself up during allergy season (not that it ever seems to do a lick of good), with this little baby growing in me, I try to get by with as little medicine as possible (even medicine that is baby doctor-approved.)

So finally, after about 2 weeks of not being able to breath (and therefore not being able to sleep), I decided it was time to take action.

My dad, who is king of all crazy sorts of remedies, has always been a fan of the neti pot.

{not MPLT. Who smiles while doing this?!?!?!!?}

The neti pot terrified me though, since I can just picture nasty mucous-y salt water going down the back of my throat. So I've avoided the neti at all costs. But desperate times call for desperate measures. So I called up Fast Eddie yesterday and asked if he show me how to use the neti pot. And boy oh boy was he excited.

I went over after work yesterday and he had the "neti station" all set up for me in the bathroom. Neti pot, warm water, "neti salt", kleenex and a towel. He was like a doctor prepping for surgery. He gave me thorough (overly thorough) instructions and guided me through my first neti pot experience.

Fact: The water doesn't always immediately come right out your other nostril. Don't let this freak you out. I swear I had to keep my head bent over for about 2.5 minutes until it finally drained (just goes to show you how stopped up I was.) Of course, during these 2.5 minutes, Chad thought it would be a good idea to take video of me doing it without telling me (and I will murder him if he ever shows a soul.) But, please if you are ever having a bad day, YouTube search neti pot videos. You'll get hours of giggles.

But man oh man, the neti changed my life. I didn't gag once and never did water touch my throat. While I'm still blowing my nose from time to time, it is NOTHING like the last couple weeks. I actually slept through the entire night last night without waking up to blow my nose once. It was amazing. I'm a true neti fan now.

Thanks, Fast Eddie!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our first big purchase...

Baby J's bassinet!
Since our house is a two-story (with the master downstairs and nursery upstairs), we knew we'd be keeping the little peanut in our room with us for the first few months while I'm nursing frequently. This bassinet is precious and just the right size to get us through until we transition baby into his crib upstairs.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I think I finally...

...found bedding.
Thank you Serena & Lily.

Let me tell you: finding crib bedding was a pain in the butt... for me at least.

Here's what I didn't want:

1) Anything "themed." No butterflies. No jungles. No elephants. No alphabet. No sports. No nautical. Here's the problem - 95% of nursery bedding has a theme. This is not to say I don't think it's not great for someone else... but personally, I want simple.simple.simple.

2) Anything that is super gender-specific. This also kinda ties in with the theme thing.

3) At the same time, I didn't want something "boy" that is really girlie. Although I liked the bedding from Land of Nod, even the boy stuff looked like something for a little girl... very floral-y.

With that said, there is very little left over. And, if you buy it from one of the major retailers, chances are you know lots of other people with the same bedding. Again, not that this is a big deal - but I wanted something a little different.

... plain, clean, high-quality material, but with a little pop of something. Which is why I think this Sprout bedding fits the bill - the little green piping and the dots on the crib sheet give it just enough character for me.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pregnancy Week by Week: 18

Week 18Baby Size: sweet potato! Our little mister was measuring at 9 oz!
How I feel about being pregnant: Content and so, so happy.
Symptoms: Lots of cramps and growing pains. And I can do longer sit at my desk for longer than 30 minutes without taking a break to walk around... or else my tailbone starts to kill me. Heating pad on my lower back at night helps!
Food Cravings: I ALMOST said "no cravings" but I have a feeling Chad would have yelled at me about this since I DID make him go out and buy me java chip ice cream because if he didn't make me a java chip milkshake (daddy makes the BEST milkshakes by hand), I would have started crying. So I do believe that was my first REAL pregnancy (bad, bad, bad) craving!
What I'm most excited about: Planning the nursery for our son! Going shopping this weekend to hopefully get some ideas. I learned this week that I have an anterior placenta (which means my placenta is between the baby and my stomach), so it will probably be another couple of weeks until I start feeling more steady movements. I'm definitely ready for those first kicks... especially the ones that your dad will be able to feel!
Something sweet your daddy did for me: We drove separately to our doctor's appointment, and on the drive Chad called to tell me to turn my radio to a local station where Joe Cockers' "You Are So Beautiful To Me" was playing. It was sweet. Your daddy always makes me feel very loved and special.
Something I've done to prepare for baby: We 100% decided on your name! I'll call you baby J on the blog for now, since I'm not sure if we'll make it public before you arrive. But I love having your name so we can start talking to you using it! I talk to you every morning in the shower and lots throughout the day.
Special moment: Learning our little sweet pea was a son! We are SO excited for this little boy and can't wait to hold him in our arms. You are so special to us already!