Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chad's kinda gift

So I had Bible study last night and one of my small group girls, RobinAnn, brought the sweetest gifts for Jack.

When I brought the package home that night to show Chad - he zoned right in on it...


Indeed. Indeed it is.

Jack's first Handy Manny toy - which is Handy Manny that comes with a motorcycle with detachable tailpipes. Chad was PUMPED. He quickly pulled all the pieces out to assemble it. I think Chad might love it as much as our boy is going to!

We have such great friends. Thanks RA!

(If this post makes no sense to you, see this or this.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nursery storage

If Jack's dresser drawers are any indication, babies have A LOT OF STUFF.

{almost as many clothes as my mama}

I needed some cute storage solutions for not a ridiculous amount of money. Land of Nod is having a pretty swell summer sale, so I was able to pick up this in a navy blue:

and one of the big and little ones of these in green and blue, respectively, for under $50!

So now I'll have a place to put the knickknacks - toys, lovies, books, stuffed animals, rattles, etc. - that have already accumulated around our house.

Nursery... just a taste

We have another "project" for the nursery I hope to have finished by tomorrow night, so hopefully Friday I'll do an updated nursery post.

Lots of changes since I last posted!

But for now, here's just a taste:

Cans and Cannots: almost 8 weeks to go

I can shave my legs
I cannot paint my toenails

I can get really sleepy
I cannot sleep really well

I can get up and down on my own
I cannot get up and down on my own without grunting (attractive, yes)

I can still make dinner and do laundry
I cannot do any other household chore... or at least that's what I tell Chad

I can control my gestational diabetes
I cannot control my emotions

I can (with assistance) step up into Chad's too big Ford F-150
I cannot do it without saying "why can't we sell this and get a sedan?"

I can fold a huge load of baby clothes in like 2 minutes flat (cutest stuff EVER)
I cannot figure out how to work our carseat (we really need to look into this!)

I can imagine this little boy coming home from the hospital with us
I cannot imagine the process of going through labor without majorly freaking myself out

I can handle 8 more weeks of this if I have to, but...
I cannot WAIT to hold my child in my arms!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My husband has quite the sweet tooth. Since I'm trying to seriously limit my sweet intake (thanks gestational diabetes!), I don't really keep many sweets around the house.

Last night this came to a head.

Chad: "I need something sweet to eat."
Me: "Look around the pantry, I'm sure you'll be able to find something."
Chad: "No, we don't have anything."
Me (looking for myself): "We have a whole package of your favorite Reese's eggs. Have one of those?!"
Chad: "Your mom bought me like 12 packages. That's all I've been eating for months!"
Me: "Well I don't know what to tell you then."
Chad: grumble, grumble, grumble
Me: "Hey, we have that good sunflower bread we got from Papa Spuds, and the local honey we bought at the market this weekend. Toast some of that bread and put some butter and honey on top."
Chad: "I don't live in the mountains."
Me: "What does that even mean?"
Chad: "Only hippies would eat bread with honey as dessert."

Point taken. He's got it rough, doesn't he?


Chad and I have desperately tried to grow basil in the past. Herbs, basil in particular, just hate us.

And, of course, this is the one herb that everyone and their brothers says, "You can't kill basil if you try!" Go figure.

I think part of the problem is everyone (including the farmers at the market!) tell us to do something different. So we have tried, sun and shade; damp, dry and wet; in a pot or in the ground - and in various combination. The only thing that is the same is the result: dead basil.

So instead of stressing myself out over it anymore, I decided to take the cheater's option: go to the farmer's market! And that's just what I did this weekend - three huge bunches (stuffed a whole plastic grocery bag) for $5. I love you N.C. agriculture!

And what better to do with a ton of basil than to make homemade pesto. And that's just what I did.

I cleaned it thoroughly.

Picked off all the leaves.

Chopped the garlic... a LOT of garlic.

Ground pine nuts, walnuts and garlic together in the food processor.

Blended in my basil and extra virgin olive oil. Added pecorino romano cheese.

Made a mess (sorry Chaddy.)

Packed it in several small containers (make sure to add a small layer of olive oil on top) to freeze for later.

Success! It is delicious. So go forth and make pesto!

Kitchen + Flowers

Can I just say...

1) I love fresh flowers

2) I love my kitchen

Monday, June 27, 2011

A name

Over the years, we've (and by we, I usually mean me) casually talked about names for our future babies. .

Girls names were easier for us; there were plenty we really liked. Almost too many, in fact. But we had a hard time coming to a consensus on a little boy's name. That was until we GOT it. Then we were so much more sure of our boy's name than we were on a girl's name.

We wanted a name that had meaning to us.

Something we both 100% loved... not one we got the other to just "agree" to.

A family name.

A strong name.

A name that would work just as well for a sweet little boy, as it would for a grown man.

A name that we wouldn't get sick of.

Nothing trendy.


Lucky for us, we already have a beautiful name in our home.

Chadwick Jonathan Barnhill.

My husband has a beautiful name. I've always loved it. We both smiled at the idea of passing down a father's name to his son. But we wanted them to be different. I didn't want to call little man Chad as well... too confusing. And Jonathan or John, while great names, just didn't strike either of us as the right nickname. So we thought some more... both of us have always loved the name, Jack. It's a great boy's and man's name. So, we figured, why not just call our little CJB, Jr. "Jack" for short. Though not the most common nickname, I figured Jonathan -> John -> Jack. And the "ck" in Chadwick also carries over nicely.

It just works for us. We love it. Baby Jack. Our little Jack.

We've already gotten used to it. We talk to Jack using his name all the time. We never really say "the baby." It's, "I'm ready for Jack to be here." Or, "I'm thinking about this for Jack's nursery." Or, "Oh my GOSH Jack will.not.stop.moving. in my stomach." (which is what I'm thinking right this second!)

So there it is. Our firstborn's name.

Jack, we're ready for you, son!


I had my first baby shower on Saturday afternoon - thrown with love by my baby sister Samantha... with some assistance from mom and Molly. It was such a special afternoon.

My sis, who has an affinity for design/wedding/creative blogs, did a masterful job of putting together SO many cute ideas for my "shower."

{cloud decorations which we're going to use as a mobile in the baby's room}

{milk bottles with cloud straws}

{homemade cupcakes courtesy of SK - which were the hit of the party}

{homemade marshmallows -plain, s'more and caramel pretzel. um yeah. as amazing as they sound.}

{advice table - my favorite thing. sweet j's jar is sitting on his nightstand}

{guest favors... i have an affinity for lemon drops}

Unfortunately, I did not get ANY pictures of the attendees or myself for that matter. Or the food (other than dessert) or drinks - which you should know is a real shame since it's well-established that the women in my family can COOK!

It was just such a fun afternoon and I had a great time with the loved ones there to celebrate our little boy. Thank you so so much to my family, especially my sister, for all her time and hard work she put into making this such a special day. (Inside joke: SK, if I had to "baby scattegories" you, I'd say amazing, beautiful, creative, darling, energetic... ;)

And... since Chad's already started dropping baby's name on Facebook... I figured I'll announce it later on the blog. But here's a hint: baby's first monogram cloth...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chad and Pigs

Chad's love affair with all things swine has been well-documented on this blog.

Here, here and here for reference.

I don't mean just eating it - though he is no doubt a fan of that. But whenever we see a pig ANYWHERE - on a TV commercial, as a stuffed animal, etc., Chad is always drawn toward it.

So when I came across this Hammered Iron Patio Pig Bench on Plow and Hearth, I had this overwhelming desire to want to buy it for the porkchop in my life.

So I sent him an email saying: "Why do I want to buy you this?!"

His immediate (less than 10 second later) respond: "That is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Since Chad's 30th birthday party is going to be (appropriately) a big pig pickin', I've been looking for weeks for inspiration. Unfortunately, most of the "pig parties" I've seen online are geared toward 5-year-olds... and while Chad does often act like a kindergartner, I was hoping for something a littttttttle more upscale. I guess as "upscale" as you get with pigs.

So if anyone has any great ideas for me, please let me know!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yes, I'm still cooking

I realized I have not done a good job about blogging about my food adventures lately - even though I'm back to cooking most of our weeknight meals.

I'm continuing to l.o.v.e. our Papa Spuds weekly deliveries. The last couple of weeks have been even better since there is an abundance of delicious summer crops so I'm able to get a lot for my money. We've gotten tons of stuff - green cabbage, red potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, salad greens, collards, kale, basil, corn, raspberries, blueberries, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, fresh milk and even - this week - flounder fillets caught the day before from the Carolina coast.

All these crops have made for some delicious - and easy - dinners. Most nights we've paired whatever protein we feel like (chicken, pork, beef... and now fish!) with potatoes in some sort of fashion (potato salad, roasted potatoes, boiled potatoes, etc.), and two or three fresh veggies.

{my shipment for the week - minus the flounder: sweet corn, red potatoes, kale, basil and tomatoes}

Last night, I made PW's Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes and Basil... since I've always had luck with her pasta dishes. I added some roasted chicken --- since I need to get my protein --- and used cellentani instead of mostaccioli and it was a perfect dinner. My fresh Papa Spuds tomatoes and sweet basil were perfect in it!

Even Chad, who doesn't prefer thicker pasta (he's a spaghetti/angel hair kinda guy) loved it. The best part was I was able to do all the prep the night before (cook the pasta, chop my veggies and cheese, make the dressing) and quickly assemble it that evening so I could feed Chad before he had to run out the door to Bible study.

Tomorrow night we're going to be cooking the flounder - which I'm leaving up to Chad. Despite my comfort in cooking, I don't have lots of experience cooking fish so I'm passing the buck on this one to the mister. I'll be happy to do the accompaniments - roasted potatoes, corn, sliced tomatoes and sauteed kale! ;)

So I'm sorry for not keeping you update with my cooking, but fear not - I'm back in action.

Baby update

I had my 30+ week check-up yesterday and all went well. It's hard to believe I only have about 9 weeks left until my due date. Where does the time go?!

My gestational diabetes readings have continued to be completely normal - which I attribute to (for the most part) sticking well to my diet and exercise. I have gained 10lbs on the nose for this pregnancy thus far. My doctors continue to think that I'll likely gain right under 20lbs total for the pregnancy. One of my OBs yesterday told me that he is so proud of me and that I'm doing perfect. The baby is growing (according to the stomach measurements) and is measuring right in line with where he should be.

This is a relief, because I was definitely beating myself up for the diabetes thing - so I'm glad to know that I'm managing it all well and that the baby and I are responding appropriately. My blood pressure continues to be within a normal range and everything else looks fine.

The biggest thing I've been proud of during the last several weeks (despite my ballooning belly) has been my ability to continue working out on a regular basis (every weeknight that I'm home) for about 30-45 minutes on the elliptical. I asked my doctor about my exercise yesterday and if I was fine to continue up until the birth - and he told me absolutely and it was one of the best things I can be doing for myself and baby. Not only will it help me bounce back to quicker after the birth, but it will also go a ways to improve my endurance to help with the most intense work-out I'll likely ever experience - LABOR.

My evening workouts have been great to get me breathing hard and heart and blood really pumping. I also think it helps wear my body out a little more so that I'm sleeping better than I would without it.

As much as I'd like to pat myself on the back for all this, part of this has really been luck. I know some ladies, who despite their best efforts, for various reasons have to take it easy the last few months of pregnancy (due to swelling, sickness, exhaustion, bed-rest, etc.) I'm thankful that my body has continued to cooperate with me - for the time being - so I'm going to take advantage of it as long as I safely can!

I go back in 2 weeks for another check-up and ultrasound (yay!) to make sure the baby is continuing to grow not too big and not too small. I can't wait to see my little guy again!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend at the Lake

So we had a really, really, realllllyyyyyy awesome time at the lake this weekend.

{one of the many views from the deck}

We left Thursday night with Mike, Molly and little James and made the three-hour trek to Lake Norman. We stayed with Molly's aunt and uncle, who were so wonderful and SO much fun... and also got to meet lots of Molly's extended family (including some of her way-too-cute cousins) that we hadn't been able to meet before.

Needless to say, there was lots of relaxing, eating, spending time at the water, boating, rafting, game-playing, babies and laughing.

Lots of laughing. I think there was at least ten separate occasions where I laughed so hard my stomach hurt and tears were streaming down my face. One of which was when Mol's cousin Samantha, after Chad telling her he was almost 30, said quite matter-of-fact, "Oh, you don't look that age. You look maybe 40 or something." Got 'em.

Those are the best times.

But no doubt, one of the best parts of the trip was getting to spend hours upon hours of quality time with our nephew. He's at such a fun stage where he's still our sweet little baby, but loves interacting with all people. He looks from person to person and just gives the hugest smiles to everyone.
{james showing off his musical skills... and yes, he would play it!}

{uncle chad and his little buddy}

{sweet baby smiles}

And as much as I am a beach person, this trip has me convinced that I want every ounce of our savings beyond retirement to go to a lake house and boat. I do declare I'm converted.

Here are a few other pictures from the weekend:

{morning boat ride to choose our future home...}

{taking in the breeze and sounds on the boat. however, he's not a fan of his life jacket.}

{low country boil on the deck}

{boat ride at sunset}

{lazy James on the dock swing}

{lazy Chad on a boat ride}

We made it back Sunday afternoon in time to celebrate our fathers and watch the final round of the US Open. I'm so grateful for my own dad and everything he means to our family. I'm sure he loved that he was "celebrated" on father's day by having his two daughters, one son, one son-in-law and one daughter-in-law taking naps across the living room with him, with grandson asleep on his belly, and the US Open on softly in the background. It was quite a sight to behold, as I'm sure my mama can testify.

Hope your weekend was just as swell!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Letters to J: 30

Hi my sweet boy,

Today is another milestone of sorts. 30 weeks. You've been growing in me for 30 weeks. Every day you get bigger and stronger. I know it seems crazy, but I feel like already know your personality just based on your movements. I think you are going to be a silly little boy. I think you're going to be feisty like your mama... with a little twinkle in your eye. You are, no doubt, going to keep me on my toes. But I bet at night, when all is quiet, you're going to love to snuggle up with me and your dad.

I keep thinking of all the little things I'm going to love doing with you... but one I hope I'll get to do a lot is sing to you. There is one song, that for whatever reason, whenever I would hear it, I'd imagine singing it to my baby one day.

Hide me now
Under your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hands

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You, above the storm
Father, You are king over the flood
I will be still and know You are God

Find rest my soul, in Christ alone
Know His power, in quietness and trust

I can't wait to have you here. I'm counting the weeks.

I love you,
your mama

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I've gotten some sweet texts, calls and emails since my post yesterday (gosh, was that yesterday?!?) about feeling very overwhelmed.

One particularly sweet note was from my dear friend Amy who I have mentioned on this blog before - who has been such a rock for me while I was trying to conceive, and then now along the way since she's a mom x2 and knows the ropes.

I obviously won't share the whole note, but the end just made me cry like a baby...

You and Chad will be fun and wonderful parents!! Don't be surprised if you fall completely in love all over again :) Babies have a magical way of doing this. Also allow yourselves the opportunity to acknowledge your marriage has changed. It will never again be what it's been up til this point. It's ok to miss it and ok to be sad about it. It's something that just isn't talked about enough I believe. It is all so very good Carrie. I can promise you that. J will rock the foundation your life rests upon but in the most amazing of ways. The world will no longer look the same to you because your child will now be in it. Take lots of deep breaths cause y'all are about to enter the best moments of your life. It's truly the dessert phase :) So grab your fork and dig in!

I think - for both Chad and I - this has been the unsaid "scary" thing we both worry about. We have such a strong marriage... how is this baby going to change that? I've had friends that say how if you don't watch it, you'll find that after the baby comes you find yourselves just passing each other in the hallways at home is the extent of your interaction with each other.

I remember driving home a couple weeks back after Chad and I went on our fun "date night" and we were just holding hands. I said quietly, "There might not be many more of these nights before this little baby comes." Chad, very solemnly agreed, "I know." He had the look in his eyes that you have when you're trying to hold back tears. And we didn't say much more after that. I think we were scared to. What is there to say? It's all so unknown what will become of "us."

So Amy's note acknowledged what I really didn't have the heart to even bring up, and reassured me so much. This baby isn't going to divide what Chad and I have --- with God's grace it will only multiply it exponentially. I hope my love for Chad isn't lessened now that I have a baby to give my heart to, but that it will grow deeper because I'll fall in love with Chad as the father of our child, and half of the being we made.

It's been about 6 years since I fell in love with Chad.

I'm glad to know that I'll be able to fall in love with him again.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Worn out

I won't lie - I'm feeling kinda out of it at the moment.

This has been SUCH a busy week at work for me. On top of that, I'm just feeling pretty sore, achy and tired. And then to add a cherry to the top, I've had some pretty bad heartburn and back pain.

And it's frustrating, because it's kinda hard to explain all that to Chad. I've just been kind of whiny and needy lately... and I don't think he gets it. I don't think it's a Chad problem, I think it's more a problem with men in general. Because while they can see you have a big belly, they can't possibly understand what your body (and emotions) are going through.

I'm waking up in the morning not feeling particularly rested... because, well... I don't really sleep that well any more. I am hard-pressed to find a comfortable position so I spend a lot of the evening tossing and turning. I've had a couple pretty intense leg cramps overnight that have literally woke me up screaming... which is always a fun way to wake up in the morning for both me and Chad (who has freaked out every time convinced I'm going into labor.) Some of these cramps were so intense that my leg muscle would be sore for days afterward.

I head in to work, where I'm either sitting at my desk working all day (which hurts my tailbone) or I'm running around with a reporter all day on my feet (which hurts my feet, lower back and THEN my tailbone.) I rush home and try to fix a healthy, wholesome home-cooked meal and then clean up the kitchen so I can head upstairs and spend 30-45 minutes on the elliptical in hopes it will decrease the heartburn and get me tired enough to fall asleep.

But more than anything, I'm just kinda emotionally drained. As excited as I am to meet this little boy, there is still so much "unknown." The thought that within a few short weeks I could be going into labor any time is scary. And bringing a new baby into our home, while being the greatest blessing ever, is just going to completely change our lives in every way possible. So that's pretty scary too. As much as I'm ready for him to be here on the outside - I also am scared that I won't have him in me for protection from this crazy world.

And then, of course, I have pregnancy hormones still doing a number on me. So I just feel like I'm walking (or limping) around in a haze while still trying to stay with-it enough that my work quality doesn't slip. So much of what I do is reactive and involves quick thinking and fast responses and coordination. I don't really have time to say "oh, this can wait." It's all go-go-go, which is what I usually love about what I do. It's just a little more difficult to do in this stage.

I guess I'm just tired. I'm thankful that we're heading to Lake Norman this weekend with Mike, Mol and baby James for another mini-vacay (our last of the summer). I'm hoping some time away from the grind will help lift my spirits.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pregnancy Wives Tales - Boy or Girl

These are more funny to look at now that I know the gender. People will try to convince you throughout your pregnancy that they can tell what you're having based on certain old wives tales.

Let's see how well these held up for us:

Pregnancy Wives’ Tales
Baby’s heart rate - If baby’s heart rate is 140 or below you are having a boy and if it is over 140 you are having a girl.
Baby J's heart rate has often been over 140.

Carrying high or low - If you are carrying your baby high you are having a girl and if you are carrying your baby low you are having a boy.
I'm carrying this baby very high - hence the horrible heartburn, pain in the ribs and shortness of breath. Minus. But I'm also not having to pee every 5 minutes. Plus.

Watermelon or basketball - If your belly looks like a watermelon you are having a girl and if it looks like a basketball you are having a boy.
I definitely think my belly is rounder than wider.
Myth: TRUE

Morning sickness - If you having really bad morning sickness you are having a girl and if you are not having morning sickness you are having a boy.
Hahahahaha. I was sick as a dog.

Cravings - If you are craving meats and cheese you are having a boy and if you are craving sweets you are having a girl.
Any time I've had a major craving for something, it's been something sweet.

Heartburn - If you are having a lot of heartburn, your baby will have a lot of hair on his head.
Well definitely experiencing the worst heartburn E.V.E.R. (seriously, heartburn that made me want to call the doctor because the sharp stabbing pain in my heart could easily have been confused with a heart attack.
Myth: TBD

So as you can see, the majority of these wives tales did not hold true for us. So for all you mamas-to-be that can't wait to find out the gender, don't think for a second these silly tales will give you any insight.

But it's fun to look into!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Okay, I know I don't need it...

...but I want it.
Pippa Middleton bag envy.Just because I'm about to be a mom doesn't mean I can't lust over handbags, does it?

Nursery updates and more

So I kicked off my weekend last Friday by getting together for lunch with one of my sweet girlfriends, Eliza, who was in town from D.C. We had a great time at lunch catching up - and probably spoke a million miles a minute to try to recap everything that was going on in our lives.

{me (@29wks) and eliza }

She also brought the sweetest little gifts for baby J - including a "pee pee teepee" which is exactly what it sounds like, and exactly the type of gift Eliza would crack up over buying.

Man this little boy is spoiled already! I forgot to take a picture of the precious Kissy Kissy outfit my love Laura bought for him last week. How lucky was I to be able to lunch with THREE college girlfriends within five days. What a great week!

The weekend continued by knocking some things off the nursery checklist. Our Quinn chair and glider arrived and has already become my new favorite seat in the house!

The sage toile minky blanket hanging on the back is this little love:

... and it has a story behind it! A couple years ago, in the midst of our trying to conceive, I was surrounded by friends getting pregnant. So I was having to constantly shop for baby shower gifts for friends, despite a pain in my heart and a barren womb. Well I found this gorgeous blanket on Etsy and fell in love. I marked it as one of my favorites and would go back and look at it from time to time. I wondered if I should buy it for a friend, because I refused to by anything for my future baby because I was terrified we'd never get pregnant.

But this blanket just had a hold on me. I finally sucked it up and bought it - telling myself if I became convinced purchasing something for our non-existent baby would jinx me, I'd give it to a friend. So I've had it sitting in the back of a closet for almost two years! I'm SO glad I bought and kept it because it's a gentle reminder of a tender stage of our lives. I can't wait to wrap baby up in all its softness!

Chad also finished painting Baby J's new dresser, and hung two of the new pictures! We have the third one done, but haven't been able to put it up yet. I swear Chad and I can never finish a project without some unforeseen (minor) complication that delays it. I know it's God's way of teaching me patience. I'm definitely a "get it done" girl - so it drives me up a wall to have a project half-finished.

We (and by we, I mean Chad) still need to prime and paint the end table to go next to the chair, but after that's finished... we're really pretty much done with the nursery --- minus a few knick knacks!

But the room is really coming along and I couldn't be more pleased. It's such a sweet, calming room and I wish the pictures could do it justice. Everyone who has seen it in person said they love it so much more than they even did online. It's just hard to translate to pictures!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cloth diapering

Okay so since I follow many other "mommy bloggers" (and have since pre-pregnancy), I have always been interesting in cloth diapering --- as opposed to disposable, for those not 'in the know.' Actually - I should start by saying now unless you are a mom, or mom-to-be, you'll probably have no interest whatsoever in this post so feel free to quick reading now.

But onward and upward...

I wanted to be a "cloth diaper" mom but I knew the reaction Chad would have to the idea. Which is the exact reaction he did give to the idea: head shake, arms crossed and an "absolutely not." And while the concept of cloth diapering seems to have so many advantages (less diaper rash, less blow outs, less expensive, better for the environment, easier transition to potty training, etc.), I was also trying to put myself in the place of my mother-in-law (who will be kindly watching our child during some of the workdays). Her watching our baby is such a godsend anyway, I didn't want to do anything to make watching our baby MORE difficult for her. And I know the idea of cloth diapering can seem super scary.

So I told myself 1) Chad says no, 2) Tons of people use disposable and have for years... it's going to be fine, and 3) This will be easier.

But I couldn't stop thinking about it. Finally, Molly decided she wanted to attempt cloth diapering with James --- and within a day she was already feeling like a convert. Sure it's more expensive up front, but you're saving money in the long run and it really isn't any more difficult, once you get the hang of it.

I went home last night and told Chad that I knew he already was against this, but please let's look into it further. There are plenty of advantages and I'd at least want to give it a shot. He didn't oppose - and I feel like I'm going to be able to show him that we'll be able to find a system that can work for our needs.

And I think I've figured it out. At least, here is my general plan... for now.

I want to get several gDiapers - these seem like the best of both worlds because we can use the cloth inserts at home, and if Chad's mom is completely grossed out by the idea of cloth, she can use 100% biodegradable inserts that she can just flush down the toilet (and reuse the outer shell.) This is what is called a "hybrid" diaper. It allows us to go completely cloth at our home and overnight, but we have the option of bringing flushable inserts when we go out so we're not carrying around soiled inserts.

Then, I'd also like to try a couple other brands of all-cloth diapers that are "one size" so that it can transition as baby grows. A few brands I'm interested in are Fuzzibunz...
and Best Bottom, which Molly has been using and really likes.
I have still not been given the "all clear" from Chaddy yet to proceed, but I'm hoping he can watch Molly do a few demonstrations on his cute little nephew to ease his fears that cloth diapering will be SO overwhelming.

So, moms - what do you think? Anyone else have any good/bad/indifferent ideas on cloth diapering? Please comment and let a sista know!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bad blogger

I know, I know. Bad blogger again. Things have just been super busy at work lately - and being in Charlotte for the beginning part of the week made my schedule a little wonky.

That said, let's recap!

We had a really, really nice weekend. Friday night, Chad and I had a good ol' fashioned date night at our favorite restaurant in Raleigh. The executive chef is a dear friend of ours and was wonderful to come assist us with our food choices throughout the evening. The standout (for both of us, I'd say) was our appetizers... we had Chef James' curried corn soup which was honestly the best soup I've had in my life, along with chick-pea crusted oysters... which were perfectly cooked and super fresh.

Saturday, we got up early to head to the farmer's market for some breakfast and shopping. We bought some delicious goodies at the market - fresh basil, red potatoes and, of course, the first crop of sweet white corn of the season. That night we had my parents, Mike, Molly and baby Jamesy come over for a "summer + James' 3rd month celebration." We made a heavenly frogmore stew that night - crab legs, shrimp, corn, onion, potatoes boiled in water, beer, lemon juice and lots and lots of Old Bay.

{let's dig in!}

James enjoyed getting strapped in his Moby with his daddy and couldn't keep his eyes off all the food! Now, eating this feast with a baby strapped to your chest is no easy feat - as Mike will attest. He had to lean to the side each time he took a bite so juices, cocktail sauce and butter wouldn't fall on baby's head. It was definitely entertaining - if nothing else.

This little guy and his chunky little legs seriously has my heart. And his mama and daddy aren't too bad either. ;) I feel so blessed that Chad and I have some built in "friends" within our family. We always have the best time with them.

Sunday, we had church and KidCity - and then went to a surprise birthday get-together for one of my best friends... which was a blast (and a definite surprise to the birthday girl!). After that, we hit the road to Charlotte.

The hotel we stayed at was super nice - and we were right in the middle of the city. I worked from the hotel during the day, and Chaddy and I would walk to dinner each night and then walked around uptown after we ate (since it's becoming increasingly uncomfortable for me to sit or lay with a full stomach.)

But, by far the best part of the trip was getting to see two of my really close girlfriends.

Monday I had a great lunch with Amy - and got to enjoy comparing pregnancy stories together... all the more fun since our little ones are only about a week apart. It has been so nice to have someone who is going through all the same things I am at the same time. She looks absolutely glowing and beautiful and I'm so excited for her baby girl to get here!

Then on Tuesday, I got to see my sweet Laura - who has held her own special little place in my heart since our college days. I took one look at her and almost burst out crying because I forgot how much I missed her. There are just certain people you meet in your life and you feel like no matter how much time passes, or how far away you live from each other, that you will always have this bond. I told Chad it was sad that Laura had to go back to work after our lunch because I honestly think we could have sat there talking until midnight. But I'm already going to force her to make a special Raleigh trip once baby J arrives so he (and I) can get some Laura time.

Chad and I headed home last night, and while we appreciated the getaway, we were SO happy to be back sleeping in our own beds.

As for a pregnancy update:
1) I've thought I had heartburn once or twice. Ummm, I obviously didn't. Because starting yesterday there is no mistaking the distinct feeling that my esophagus is on FIRE.
2) And speaking about being on fire - today is the first day that I have finally grasped the whole "Omg, I'm SO sorry you're going to be super pregnant over the summer" comment I've gotten about 390093249032 times. It is miserably HOT outside.
3) Baby J's new trick includes trying to wedge his foot up under my ribs. Needless to say, I hope he gets bored with it soon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Pregnancy Week by Week 25-28

Week 25-28 (Month 6)
Hellooooooooooo 3rd trimester!

Baby size: Eggplant
How I feel about being pregnant: I really have loved being pregnant these past several weeks. I've felt good, had lots of energy, have enjoyed watching/feeling my little one get stronger and stronger (and bigger and bigger.) It's just an amazing experience... one I desperately hope I'll be able to do at least one more time. ;)
Symptoms: I'm just generally a bit more sore now. It takes more work to stand/sit-up. My muscles are always a little achy and my back/tailbone give me the most problems. Other than that, most nights (assuming the baby isn't waking me up with kicks) I'm sleeping really well... other than the occasional getting up to go to the bathroom.
Food cravings: Well diabetes put a damper on this one since most of the things I would want to indulge in I'm having to say "no" too. But it really hasn't been bad. The one thing I desperately miss is my WINE. White, red, rose, sparkling - all of it. It's especially hard now that it's getting warmer. Last spring/summer I would be out on our screened in porch most every night with a cool glass of sauvignon blanc. I won't lie, once or twice I've had the teeniest bit of wine (like seriously 1/4 cup or less.) Especially now that I'm in the third trimester I have the all-clear from my doctor to drink a glass every now in then if I want one... but I'm trying to not. Maybe only one or two teeny tastes between now and my lil' hoppa being here.
What I'm most excited about: No question - meeting my little fella in person. I'm thankful to have reached 28 weeks... so if my baby was born any time after now, it would have a 95% chance of survival since its lungs have reached a good maturity level. So as much as I might want him here now!now!now!, I want him to keep growing for several more weeks so he's nice and strong when he arrives!
Something I've done to prepare for baby: The nursery is really coming along! We have purchased all the major items we need for it - now it's just finishing it all up. I hope within the month it will be complete enough for me to put up some pictures!
Special moment: Can't think of one thing in particular, but Chad and I have really been enjoying our time together these past several weeks... the last few months of "just the two of us." I remember wanting to get pregnant RIGHT after we got married, but in retrospect, I'm glad by the time baby arrives, we will have (wow) 3.5 years of marriage under our belt. I feel like we have a really solid foundation for our family to grow upon. I hope Baby J benefits from having two parents who really love each other and cherish our time together. I pray that as much as I'm sure our lives will become wrapped up in this little person, that we never stop being "us."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My wish

During a nine-month pregnancy, you spend a lot of time thinking about what your baby is going to be like. What will they look like? Will they be funny/smart/athletic/beautiful? Will they be outgoing or an introvert? Will they have blue eyes or brown? And what will they be when they grow up? Nurse? Lawyer? Scientist? Teacher? Who will they marry? Will THEY have kids of their own? The list goes on.

I've spent some time thinking about those things. And after a bit reflection, I've realized that there is really only one thing I want for my child.

I want my child to know and love God.


If I get that, I don't care about a single other thing. If during their time on this earth - be it short or long - if they love God, that's all that matters to me.

A friend of mine posted this video of her church's Easter service (this is the same amazing church my parents and sister go to) - and about 3:30 minutes into the video they show a little boy - probably 9 or 10, being baptized. And I cried like a baby for about an hour when I saw it. Because, I want so badly for that to be my little boy one day.

Summit Church Easter Experience from The Summit Church on Vimeo.

Why? Because knowing God is absolutely life changing. I know. I've experienced it. I know the difference. I know what I'm like, and how I feel, when I have left God behind and walked in the flesh. And I know what it's like to live in the freedom of God's sovereignty and grace. And there is really no comparison.

I know a lot of people feel strongly that you shouldn't force your kids into church and religion. You should let it be a choice.

But I guess the way I see it is this: I know what the Bible says is true. I believe that the only way to heaven is through Jesus. So, knowing that, why would I not do everything I can to let my children know about Jesus and who He is? In the end, it is still their choice. They get to an age where no matter how much teaching and instruction you have given them, they get to choose on their own. And that's the way God wanted it to be. We can't accept God for our child - he or she must decide it for themselves.

Chad accepted this truth at 6. I didn't truly accept Him until 16. And then we both continue to accept it every day.

Months ago, I was talking to my wise mama about this very thing. And I thought she explained it so well: "Say you had the secret to financial security. You knew what it would take to have financial peace, stay out of debt, etc. Would you want to tell your child about it? Or would you wait until they ran up thousands of dollars in credit card bills and foreclosed on their house and then decide whether or not to talk to them about it. Of COURSE you would tell them. We teach our kids millions of things. We are constantly expressing our opinions on them in every other area of life. Why would you NOT teach them about the most important part - their salvation?"

I guess I just would never want to wait a second to tell my child about the most important truth in their life. With Him there are no tricks, gimmicks or hoops to jump through.

All He's ever asked if that we just BELIEVE him.

Kinda overwhelmed

Okay so the one thing that I've learned from the second I found out I was pregnant is how amazingly generous other moms are. I remember, being only like 5 weeks along, sitting at Mike and Molly's and one of their good friends Sofi, who has in turn become a sweet friend of mine, had brought along a little Christmas outfit that her son just wore over Christmas and asked, "Which one of you will have 3-6 month old at Christmas?"

It was me, so she tossed it my way.

And that was just the beginning. I've had so many friends bring me clothes, blankets, etc. Heck, every time I see Molly she has a handful of outfits that baby James just grew out of that she's passing down to Baby J.

So here's the thing- Molly, queen child-watcher that she is, has developed some really close relationships with the moms she babysits for. Moms that are a few years older than I am and are done with having babies of their own. They are so sweet to want to pass down anything and everything they think someone else could get use out of.

Because of that, I wasn't too surprised when one of these sweet mamas - who lives minutes from me - asked if she could drop by on our doorstep yesterday some maternity clothes she had that she obviously doesn't need any more, and an infant seat for our baby. I honestly was expecting maybe a dress or two and a few tops.

I have been really frugal when it came to maternity clothes shopping - I bought some cute stuff but have been wearing the same few pieces over and over again, it seems. And I really couldn't justify buying anything else when that money could be much better spent in other areas. I think a $50 pair of white Gap maternity jeans were my biggest purchase - and I had to tell myself 100 times before purchasing them that it was okay to spend a teeny bit of $ on myself.

So I get home last night and there are two HUGE (must have weighed 20 pounds a piece) shopping bags absolutely stuffed to the brim with gorgeously nice clothes. I'm talking like pairs upon pairs of jeans and shorts, plus more dresses and tops than I could count. I just stared at Chad stunned as I pulled out item after item after item (it must have taken me 20 minutes to take everything out of the bags.)

I even started tearing up. I told him I felt like one of the poor families on Extreme Home Makeover after they moved the bus.

This woman had absolutely no expectation of anything in return - she was quick to say take whatever I want and don't worry about things I don't... to do whatever with them. Which obviously means, in this sweet mama world, to pass them along to someone else who can use them.

It's a generosity that you don't see much any more. And it's something I learned from so many amazing moms around me... and I hope I never forget to pass on not just stuff but encouragement to every other new mama that so many ladies have given to me.

I've gotta say, becoming a mom is seriously like entering the super-coolest club ever.

Can we like develop a secret handshake or something?!