Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sneak Peak of our Home

You've seen the nursery... but I haven't shown you guys any other photos of our house. I thought I'd give you a sneak peak before Thursday since this will probably be the last time it's this clean! Enjoy!


This is our den, where we spend a lot of our time because it's so darn cozy. The cream couch is where Chad has spent the last month, due to the fact that I can no longer sleep with another human. Pardon Gertrude's toy on the floor and the stroller tucked away in the corner. 



The Den. Those pillows never stay up on that slippery leather couch. It drives me insane.



I couldn't live without bookshelves.... in between the two shelves are 2 original Erin Rasberry Napier prints.



Our kitchen/dining area. 



Dining area. Chad hung all 12 of those antique prints in a perfectly symmetrical fashion. He didn't even complain. It was a "Pleasant Chad" kind of day. Ignore my bare dining table. I try to keep it dressed at all times, but we've had several dinner parties lately and I haven't gotten around to re-setting it.


I simply adore these built-in cabinets in the kitchen. 



Chad's Office.



Formal Living Room. Yes, there is green carpet... but nothing an Oriental rug can't fix!



Formal Living Room.

Cheers!
aarp

Monday, August 30, 2010

Big News!

Today was a super busy day... Chad and I met our friends Erin and Ben for lunch at Pepper's, where I saw everyone I know (naturally). Today is Erin's real birthday, so we stopped by the Antique Mall on our way to lunch and got her a really cool apothecary-type bottle with a cross cork topper. I wanted it for myself but resisted the temptation.

Right after lunch, Chad and I scooted over to Ellisville for our weekly Dr. Weber appointment. I've been around 2 centimeters dilated for 3 weeks now, so I was hoping for some good news... even the slightest increase in dilation was going to make me a happy girl. Dr. Weber seemed pleased as punch with my progress and told me I was more like 2.5 centimeters. Thank goodness! Then he reveals that he will be leaving town for 4-5 days starting Friday. Yikes. After having a long discussion, we decided to induce on Thursday. As in 3 days from now. He said that with the swelling I've had and the way I've been progressing I was more than ready to deliver.

My emotions were exactly this: Hooray! And then almost immediately Oh crap. I am so ready to not be pregnant anymore... Don't get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed pregnancy, but the last couple of weeks have been borderline miserable. Between the heat outside, the internal heat (hot flashes), the swelling, the constant need to gasp for air and the sleepless nights, it's safe to say that Annalee is over it. Can you imagine if I had known those first 3 months? Ugh. It seems like I've been pregnant forever. But come Thursday, I will be a stomach sleeper once more! And that's where the oh crap feeling comes in.

I'm picturing Chad and I leaving the hospital on Saturday with this new person that we have no idea how to take care of, and all I can think is What the heck do you do with it once you get home? Don't you imagine that first day home alone is just really weird? Especially since my entire family is going to be in Starkville during all of this... Yes, you read that right. My whole family (Mom included) is leaving to go to Starkville Friday afternoon for our first home game. Makes you feel warm and tingly all over, doesn't it? I mean, I know I feel the love.

Luckily I have the best friends in the whole world, and I know they are going to help make the transition a smooth one... Even if my family can't be here, we are going to be surrounded by love and many helping hands. After all, friends are the family you choose. So get ready, friends. Next time you see me, I'm going to have a little sidekick!

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catch Up Session

Again, sorry I've been slow on the blog posts. I have just really been enjoying spending time with my friends and family... And sometimes I'll spend the night at my aunt's house or we'll stay at Erin and Ben's until nearly 11pm, so blogging completely slips my mind when I finally get home. So here goes catching up.

Last Wednesday we had a surprise party for Raz, and it was so much fun. I've mentioned Erin several times before... she's my uber talented, naturally pretty, sugar sweet girl-next-door friend who landed one of the best men I've ever known: Big Ben.


The birthday girl.

Well, ole Ben planned the whole shindig using Erin's favorite time of year - Fall - as the theme. I made a huge pot of ranch stew (Raz's fav), there was pumpkin decor all around and those of us that could stand the heat (me not included, obviously... I can't be in a room warmer than 68 degrees right now) wore Fall attire. I met some new people that I really enjoyed getting to know, there was a sing along (who doesn't love a sing along?) and some of us stayed so late we had to go back for second helpings around 11pm. Have I mentioned how much I love being back home?


The sing along leader. Y'all oughta hear this gal sing. I don't know HOW she manages to throw all her inhibitions to the wind and wail on a song like she does. It's true entertainment.


Ben shut 'er down with a Conway solo. Man, he took me right on back to the good ole days (circa 1991) riding around in my grandmother's Lincoln listening to Conway Twitty's greatest hits.

On Thursday, my friend Emily (who I used to work with at MSU) came down with her husband and sweet little boy Braxton. I took them down to JCJC to get an ultrasound in hopes that we might find out what her 2nd little tike's sex is. Turns out, she's having a little lady too! I took them to lunch at Vic's, which they loved, and they headed back to God's Country.

Saturday Chad and I set out on an antiquing adventure. We started in Hattiesburg, where we found a great end table for $45. We moseyed around a few more stores there before we headed to Collins. Neither of us had been to the antique mall in Collins, and we were pleasantly surprised! Chad desperately needed a piece for his office... and since we will only be in this house for another 8-9 months, we were looking specifically for a piece that was multi-functional. A sideboard of some type, perhaps, that might later be used in a foyer or dining room. Boy did we luck out in finding a wonderful piece for only $550. What's more, it was 50% off... so we took home an antique English sideboard for the low, low price of $275. It was a fun day. Here's a photo of the piece in his office:


Today (Sunday) I vacuumed and mopped the house, did some laundry and scrubbed the countertops and stove while Chad worked on organizing his office. We took a lunch break around noon and went out to Mom and Dad's for lunch... We visited and talked about how they were going to redecorate the house, I ordered Mom a brand spankin' new MacBook with Adobe CS5 (which I am super excited about!) and we placed our bets on when MaryCollis would arrive. Before we knew it, it was nearly 4 o'clock. We lazed around for the rest of the day, then Erin and Ben stopped by to visit for a bit. And they brought me an apple juice slush, which I haven't had since my second trimester, and I forgot just how much I love them. I am so thankful for sweet and thoughtful friends.

Cheers!
aarp

Friday, August 20, 2010

Busy Week!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while... this has been the busiest week! Monday I had a prenatal appointment then had lunch with Barb. Monday night we had our friends and neighbors Jenna & Matt over for dinner (oh, and Miss Emma too!) Jenna made her marinated chicken breasts, cornbread salad & homemade brownies and I made the Pioneer Woman's homemade macaroni and cheese, grilled corn and grilled pineapple. 


Just take a gander at that plate! It was truly delicious.

Tuesday me and Barb went to JCJC to get one last ultrasound before MaryCollis makes her arrival. Afterward, we had lunch with our friend Jacq. That night, we had a family dinner at my parents' house. Wednesday I had to go to Wal-Mart for a few last minute baby essentials, then we had Erin and Ben over for steaks. They live in a downtown loft, so grilling out is not an option. We had the best time talking about everything under the sun.

You see, it's really hard for me and Chad (or any couple for that matter) to find "couple friends." Either he likes the guy and I hate the girl or I love the girl and he hates the guy. That's one great thing about being back in Laurel... we are super fortunate to have friends here that we both like. Jenna and Matt recently had a baby, so we're kind of on the same wave length as them... and they are uber conservative and die-hard Republicans, so you know we all get along wonderfully!

And I can't tell you how much we adore Erin and Ben. We both love spending time with The Napiers. We can talk about something really deep and thought-provoking or we can talk about nothing at all. Don't you love those kinds of friends? We sat around our dining table Wednesday night and talked for 3 hours before Erin pointed out that it was way past my bedtime.


Chad, Ben and Erin talking about something deeply important I'm sure.


We feasted on grilled ribeyes, homemade macaroni and cheese, hashbrown casserole, Erin's amazing sauteed squash and sour cream muffins. And banana pudding for dessert. Behold my creation.


Doesn't it look pretty sitting in this short goblet?

Thursday morning I went out to Northeast Jones High School to help Barbara with some Alumni Association stuff, then we headed to Charlie's Catfish for a late lunch. For those of you who don't live around Laurel, you have NEVER had catfish if you haven't had Charlie's. I'm telling you, you haven't. They serve their homemade cole slaw with a side of Captain's Wafers crackers which is undoubtedly one of my husband's favorite things to eat. Every time we go to Charlie's, we will finish our delicious meal and Chad will say, "Why do I even order food? Why didn't I just eat that whole bowl of cole slaw with those Captain's Wafers?" Every. Single. Time. Even though he loves the fish, he just really REALLY loves the slaw and crackers. Anyway, if you're ever in the Laurel/Ellisville area, stop in and try it. You will not be disappointed. I promise.


Yes, I had two whole pieces. Don't judge me.

After lunch we went out to Soso to help my mom pick out new fabric for her 100-year-old antique sofa that she's having refinished. She wanted my opinion since it will one day be mine :)  I finally got home around 4pm and crashed. Sweet Chad let me sleep until 5:45 and then he announced it was time for our childbirth class at the hospital, which lasted until 8:15.

Today we looked at a couple of houses on 6th Avenue just to get ourselves in the mindset of house-hunting. We only have about 9 months before we have to buy something, so we're trying to start ruling some houses out and get a good idea of what it is we're looking for. Tonight we had just finished dinner when our neighbor Mrs. Guy brought us some delicious pecan pie muffins straight from the oven. How sweet was that? I can't tell y'all how good it is to be home.

Cheers!
aarp

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pregnancy Update - Dilation & Effacement

I am quickly approaching my 37th Week (on Sunday), and I think MaryCollis is quickly approaching her breaking point. Last Monday - at my 35 Week checkup - Dr. Weber started checking for dilation. I fully expected him to say, "Nope. You're still completely sealed up. She'll be in there every bit of 5 more weeks." But he didn't say that. He said, "Oh! You're 1 centimeter dilated." Well, I didn't know if that was normal or not... I've never done this before. He said it was great news but that it didn't mean anything per say and that I could stay at 1 centimeter for weeks. But I was still super excited to hear that I am, in fact, making progress. But it also scared me. That means labor is coming....


35 Weeks, 2 Days

Then I went for my 36 Week checkup this week. Dr. Weber was out of town, so I saw a different doctor. He said, "We're going to start checking you this week for dilation." And I said, "Well actually, Dr. Weber checked me last week and said I was at 1 centimeter." And then he says, "Well, 1 centimeter is hardly worth mentioning. That's barely anything. I bet you haven't progressed past that. You could stay there for weeks." Before I know it he is saying, "Oh! You have made some progress. I'd say you're around 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced." Hooray!!

Well, the next day I went to get an ultrasound and I told them about the dilation and effacement. A girl who works at Wesley Medical in Hattiesburg said that typically women who are 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced have about 2 more weeks. If that is true, I might deliver as much as 2 weeks early. (In fact, she told me she believed I would deliver around August 31 and the baby would weigh 7lb. 3 oz.) I am just hoping I make it until at least September 1. You know, my mom has told me from the beginning that she delivered all 3 of us at 37 weeks and that she just KNEW I wouldn't go the full 40 weeks. So, feel free to start placing bets! I get checked again on Monday, so I will let y'all know if there is any more progress.


36 Weeks, 4 Days
Cheers!
aarp

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Week 35 & More Maternity Shots

Me & Raz were FINALLY able to drag ole Chad out into the 106 degree Mississippi heat to take some more maternity photos. I felt it was necessary to have him in some of the photos because... well, he is kind of the father and all. We lost the sunlight before we got some of the shots we wanted, but the ones we took in the park turned out super cute. Here are some of my favorite photos me (at 35 weeks, 1 day) & Chad took in Laurel's Mason Park yesterday afternoon with our good friend Erin.








Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Amby's Wedding

This weekend was Amber's wedding in Jackson. I don't think I've blogged about what all has happened with this wedding... so let me give you some background. First off, Amber got engaged over Christmas and immediately asked me to be a bridesmaid to which I responded, "Yes, of course! I wouldn't miss it!" Well, around 15 weeks later I found out about McNugget. After I got over the initial shock and let my family in on the secret, I started telling my friends.

Amber was one of the first people I called because I just knew she was going to kick me out of the wedding. So I called her and told her that I obviously had no clue this was going to happen and that by the time the wedding came around I would be just around the corner from delivery and that I totally understood if she wanted to make me a greeter or something else that didn't require wearing a particular dress or shoes. I basically warned her that I might not be able to wear certain styles or do certain things (like get crazy at the bachelorette party). But she was adamant about me being in the wedding, so we agreed that instead of wearing the almost straight bridesmaid dress with a HUGE cumber-bun right in the center of the belly, I would order a maternity dress in the same color. Problem solved.

Problem not solved. The dress comes in... and it's not maternity. It's the nearly completely straight bridesmaid dress with the huge cumber-bun that lands right smack dab in the middle of MaryCollis and makes it impossible for me to breathe (as if I was able to breathe anyway, right?). Don't panic. This can be fixed. So, the ladies of A Southern Affair tell me to come down the Wednesday before the wedding so they can make the dress fit me. Okay, folks. I am 35 weeks pregnant.... how in God's name are they going to make it fit? Not only that, how are they going to re-make a dress in 2 days? At this point, my feet have been swelling pretty badly for over a week, I am tired and have to rest all the time, and I can't stand (or sit) for long periods. Anyone else probably would've run for the hills and said "Forget it." But Amber stood by me on my wedding day, and she made great sacrifices to attend all of my wedding festivities. So as not to stress out the bride, I agreed to drive to Jackson and have them fix it.

So Barbara and I drove to Jackson on Wednesday. I put the dress on, and I don't have a good feeling about it. I just knew they were going to throw a bunch of extra fabric on and I was going to look like a royal blue circus tent. (Oh, did I forget to mention that this is a full out Ole Miss wedding?) We left the fitting feeling unimpressed by the seamstress and nervous about how it would turn out. Instead of staying in Jackson until the wedding, we returned back to Laurel so I could attend my first childbirth class on Thursday. Chad was out of town (Side note: Why do I even feel the need to still mention that to y'all? He's always out of town), so Raz went with me. In hindsight, that probably wasn't the best idea. You see, she is terrified of the whole pregnancy/labor experience. TERRIFIED!

Friday morning, I dropped Gerty off at Umpy & Gamma's and headed back to Jackson by myself (Chad had to work in Nashville, so my sweet friend Lauren drove down from Oxford to be my date). I drove straight to the bridal shop to try on the dress. To my amazement, it looked great! It was much longer than the other bridesmaid dresses, but I didn't complain... anything to hide those ankles! I was really pleased with the results, so they bagged up the dress and I scooted to Brandon to meet Amber so we could ride to the bridesmaid luncheon together. The luncheon was lovely... it was a great time to visit with everyone, and the food was delicious.

After the luncheon, I went back to Amby's to prop my cankles up and rest until we had to be at the church for rehearsal. It was probably the best hour and a half of my life. Johnny (her now husband) would check on me every 5 minutes. "Do you need anything? Are you okay? You want some water? Do you have enough pillows? Are you comfortable? Is it hot in here? Do you want the fan on?" He was a complete doll. After the church rehearsal, Lauren met me at the River Room for the rehearsal dinner where we enjoyed a lovely dinner and the company of one of our old sorority sisters Melanie Hull. We talked about our college days and conspired about how we would ring our cowbells instead of the red and blue pom poms that were going to be given out at the wedding reception. We had such a great time, but boy were my dogs barking at the end of the night.

After the dinner we drove to Clinton to stay with Ashley & Will. We stayed up to chat with them for a little while, but then my eyes started to close all by themselves. I've never been so tired. They graciously let Lauren and I have their king size bed for the night and I swear I've never slept so good. I looked up at the clock, and it was 9:30AM! I had to be at the church in Brandon at 12:45, so Ashley cooked me a wonderful breakfast and I immediately started getting ready. It was definitely a group effort. Lauren picked out earrings and got all my stuff together while Ashley pinned up my hair and I applied the finishing touches on my makeup. We shot out the door knowing we were going to be late (and I am NEVER late). We got to the church right at 1:00. I ran through the church searching for the other bridesmaids, and they were nowhere to be found. Great. The one time in my life I'm late, and I've missed everything. I bet they're outside taking pictures. I searched the church for 10 minutes before calling Emily, another bridesmaid. She said, "Oh. We're not even there yet." Phew! So sat in the parlor and drank my bottled water until the others arrived.

Everything ran smoothly as we took pictures and wrapped up before the wedding. Then, before we knew it, it was 4:00 and we were walking down the aisle. The mother of the groom noticed how uncomfortable I was at the rehearsal, so she demanded I have a chair at the altar so I could sit down if I felt faint. Luckily, I did not have to use the chair. Victory! Lauren and Ash met me outside the sanctuary and we headed to the reception - with our cowbells in hand. Make no mistake, Mississippi State was well represented at this wedding... despite the fact that we were wearing royal blue dresses and the bride and groom arrived in an Ole Miss buggy.

The reception was just beautiful. The food was great, the cake was DIVINE, Amber looked gorgeous, Johnny seemed to be enjoying himself, and most importantly it was freezing inside that building. Hallelujah! I knew I wouldn't make it until the end of the reception, so I said my goodbyes to the bride early so I wouldn't miss her. We ended up staying about 2 hours, which I'd say is pretty good considering my feet looked like small boats. After we left, we ate at Nagoya where we enjoyed some delicious sushi and probably the best 4-5 glasses of water I've ever had. It was so hot that day. I really wish you guys could've seen my feet. (Ps. If you haven't seen Erin's post of my feet from last week, click here. It's truly shocking.)

We got back to Clinton safely and attempted to watch some stupid movie Will had rented, but I fell asleep around 9. And I didn't wake up until 9:30 the next morning. I slept better this weekend than I've slept in a long, long time. All in all, it was a great weekend. I got to see good friends, eat good food and see one of my best friends get married.


I look a fright in this photo, but doesn't Amber look pretty?



Me, Lauren and Ash at the reception. Thank goodness for great friends!

Cheers!
aarp

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Update on Mommy & Baby - Week 34

Baby this week:


According to several books and websites, McNugget now weighs between 4 3/4 pounds and 5 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is somewhere between 18 and 20 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well.


They also say if you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies. Also, the vernix (the white coating protecting your baby’s skin) is getting thicker. Her tiny fingernails have probably reached the tips of her fingers by now — and getting ready for that first postpartum manicure.




Mommy this week:




By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you're under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now's the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you've been sitting or lying down for a long time, don't jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.


You're not seeing things — at least not as well as usual. That's because your eyes are yet another part of your body that falls prey to those pesky pregnancy hormones. Not only can your vision seem less sharp these days, but also a decrease in tear production can leave your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses. Plus, an increase in fluid behind your eyes’ lenses can temporarily change their shape, making some women more nearsighted or farsighted than usual. Happily, these vision changes during pregnancy are all temporary. Things should clear up as your eyes return to normal after delivery (so there's no need to change your prescription just yet).


Cheers!
aarp

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