Thursday, November 24, 2011

Maggie's Monthly Milestones: 3 Months!

Oh Maggie, when you read this when you are a teenager (if blogs are still around then) don't be embarrassed when you see that I am a big ball of emotions tonight. I am writing you this on Thanksgiving Eve, and I have such a full, happy, grateful heart that it might just overflow. It is after midnight and I'm thinking about all the things I have to be thankful for this year, but you absolutely top the list. I think back to Thanksgiving last year, and how you weren't even a twinkle in our eye yet. I used November 19 as the start date in all my pregnancy calculators to tell me when you would arrive, and now here we are, a year later, and you are alive and well, making your dad and I fall in love with you more every minute. How could I have known the joy you would bring? All I know is I simply cannot imagine life without you. You, my dear daughter, make Thanksgiving so much more special. How much sweeter life is with you in it!

So I've not been on top of our monthly photo sessions, and usually realize we need to do them a few days after your monthly birthday has passed, but your dad and I did sing happy birthday to you on your 3 month birthday. You smiled at us and my heart swelled. In fact, you smile at us a lot in the morning, which is just about the most perfect start to a day I could ask for. And we all know I am NOT a morning person. But you have made me become a lot less grumpy.
I have a closet full of adorable clothes for you, but I end up snapping your picture in whatever "play clothes" you happen to have on at the moment, because I don't have the heart to change you into something less comfortable and risk you having a meltdown before picture time. I kind of like that you're not all done up in your finest duds though, and that we capture you just as you are. Because you really are one cute kid (though you have taken after your dad in the picture-taking department and are not even remotely a fan).
However, because I did have to break down and buy you a proper smocked gown (and was a sucker for this hot pink number because you are absolutely infatuated with polka dots) I had to snap a quick picture of you in it. You seem to be debating if it was worth the outfit change.
So, since we have a trip down to Alabama planned for early tomorrow morning and Mommy needs to get her behind to bed, I'll go ahead and get to your monthly milestones. Oh and right now, I'm watching you sleep soundly on the monitor in your brand new Halo Sleep Sack - you have been busting out of your Miracle Blanket for about a week so we had to find a new trick. This seems to be working out nicely, because you have barely moved since we put you down. That's my girl...
Weight: 12 lbs, 6 oz. Goodness, you are growing! We actually went and got you weighed today, and got the thumbs up from the nurse on how you're tracking. Makes this mama so proud to know that breastfeeding is making you grow so big. I remember thinking I would never make it to three months nursing, but now I feel like I could do it in my sleep (and sometimes do!).
Height: ?? I'm not sure - we'll get this checked next month at your four month appointment, but I definitely put a onesie with footies on you the other night and your toes could have busted the seams. I reluctantly decided it was time to add those to the "officially outgrown" pile - man, they were one of my favorite pairs!
Clothes: 3-6 months. Though a few 0-3 month things will still work, you have pretty much outgrown all the clothes that took up the majority of your closet before you arrived. I loved how easy it was to put you in a short-sleeved onesie or even your Baptist Hospital t-shirt and a diaper for the first few months of your life, and am trying to get the hang of putting you in layers and long-sleeves! I've also started trying to put shoes on you - since you've been a barefoot baby for most of these first three months!
Eye color: Still a dark bluish-green. Here's hoping they'll stay hazel and not turn brown!
Doctor's orders: No visits to the doc other than the weight check-up. Your next appointment is on December 14 and you have to get the second round of shots. I truly hate those more than you do.
Biggest accomplishment: You have become Queen of Tummy Time! You really just got the hang of it this last week, but now you don't even cry when we put you down on your tummy. You'll sit up on those chubby arms and look at everything around you, cooing and sometimes even smiling. This is a big improvement, since before you had a three minute max! Also, one night last week you rolled over, which took you and us both by surprise!
How we spend our day: I started back working two weeks ago, but thankfully I'm in the office only two days a week and working from home the other three. You like to wake up around 7 a.m. and Dad gets you and brings you to our room so I can give you your breakfast feeding. You are usually pretty hungry but after about 20 minutes nursing, you lay back on our propped-up knees and give us the biggest and best smiles of the day while we play. You are so stinkin' happy in the morning, which you HAVE to get from your dad. After that, you go back down for a mid-morning nap, which is by far the longest one of the day. Once you wake up from that, I change you out of your pajamas and we do some kind of activity - tummy time, reading books, activity mat, etc. - until you get sleepy again and go back down for a nap in your Snugabunny seat, which you love. I try to get things done around the house or run errands until you wake up, then nurse again and have more play time. You've started to really like Baby Einstein, so sometimes I'll put on a video that you'll watch with wide-eyed wonder. When Dad gets home, I hand you over so he can get some "Maggie time" while I try to figure out something for dinner. He is wonderful to lend a helping hand or offer to pick something up, which I so appreciate. I used to love to come up with new things in the kitchen but I have no idea when I'll find the time to do that anytime soon, so I'm leaning on recipes from memory. After dinner, we have family playtime (or bathtime twice a week) and then you'll nurse once or twice more before going down for the night. You love to be swaddled and read to before bed - your current favorite book is "Bear Snores On." I try to loosely follow the acronym E.A.S.Y. which I read about in Secrets of A Baby Whisperer, which is Eat, Activity, Sleep, You Time. It seems to work really well for you, unless you're going through a growth spurt and it's more like, Eat, Eat, Eat, Sleep!
Likes: All the same things from 2 months - early mornings playing in the bed with mom and dad, polka dots in any form or fashion - you will just stare at them as if you are mesmerized!, and being swaddled when you're sleepy. You also seem to like when I sing the ABC's and Pat-A-Cake, seeing yourself in the mirror, your new Play and Learn Puppy your Uncle Dan bought you, and inspecting your toes when you're sitting up - which you're doing so well! You can sit up in your bumbo without help now, and love to be facing out when you're sitting on a lap.
Dislikes: You seem to be warming up more and more to bath time, so I wouldn't even consider it a dislike anymore. You definitely don't like outfit changes, which we have to do quite frequently because of your tendency to have the occasional "blowout."
Trips You've Taken: We've pretty much stayed put this month, since you traveled so much last month, but we've still taken you out to restaurants and twice to church. You slept through the entire service both times, despite the loud worship music. I know we're probably pushing our luck, but you're such a good baby, we can't help it!
Sweetest Moment: Seeing your Dad get down on the floor with you and helping you to do Tummy Time, or really just seeing him with you anytime. He is so in love with you, Maggie. And I fall more in love with him when I see the two of you together.
You are an absolute joy, Maggie, and though there are many times I've messed up and misread your cues or done something wrong, you are really such an easy baby. I am so excited that we get to experience our first holidays with you, and surround you with friends and family over these next few weeks. May you always know how much you are loved!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Maggie's Monthly Milestones: Two Months!

Oh Maggie, I cannot believe you are two months old! So many people say the first two months are the hardest physically due to lack of sleep, breastfeeding, etc., but I've found that they are definitely the most emotionally rewarding as well. I am so smitten with you, and am trying my best to sear all of these sweet moments with you into my memory, as they are going by so fast. I look back over the hundreds (literally) of pictures we have taken of your first two months of life, and you have changed so much already. I love seeing what new thing you'll do next!

I feel like I finally hit my stride on the mom thing around 6 weeks with the whole where-do-you-find-time-to-do-anything-other-than-stare-at-your-child routine. I woke up one day recently and realized I was halfway through my maternity leave before I go back to work part-time. Don't think I didn't hug you a little tighter that day. Being home with you these first months has been pure bliss. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, and I am so thankful I took as much time as I did to enjoy seeing the world through your beautiful blue-green eyes and didn't rush back to work. Best decision I ever made, other than marrying your daddy.

Speaking of, let me just tell you how crazy your daddy is about you. I knew the moment he met you in the hospital and had those big tears in his eyes that you had him wrapped, but you've managed to melt him even more over these first few weeks. I used to make fun of him and call him the Tinman because of how little emotion he would show, but you have come along and started to change all that. He loves to kiss us both before he leaves for work (he says sometimes we're even sleeping in the same position), call and check and see "how his girls are doing" throughout the day, and most of all, come home after a long day's work and scoop you up in his arms for some "Maggie time." He has a position he likes to put you in where you stare right in his eyes, with your arms hanging loosely by your side, and you get all relaxed and comfy and it looks like you feel completely secure. And you should, sweet baby, because he works his tail off for us. That's how I get to shop for you all the time. :)

Life with you is better than I could have ever imagined. Truly. You have turned our world upside down, but it is a more beautiful and complete world because you are here.

So let's see your stats, shall we?

Weight: 10 lbs, 7 oz. We're in the double digits! Your dad and I made a bet on what your weight would be at your 2 month appointment, and what a surprise to see you surpass both of our guesses! This put you in the 50th percentile, up from the 15th percentile at your 2 week visit. The doctor was very proud of you, and so was I! I believe we've finally gotten the hang of breastfeeding, and thankfully, it seems to be working!

Height: 23 inches (75th percentile - you must get that height from your dad and not me)

Look what a good patient you are!

Clothes: 0-3 months. I had to pack up all of your sweet, tiny newborn clothes after finally realizing how hard it was getting to get them over your head when I change you. I'm not afraid to admit it tugged on my heart a little to put them away.

Eye color: Dark bluish-green. They still could turn brown like mine, but I'm hoping they'll be hazel like your dad's!

Doctor's orders: I was dreading our two month check-up a little, since I knew you were getting those first immunization shots and I had a sneaking suspicion I would cry just as much as you did. Turns out I was right. It broke my heart to see you smiling and cooing the whole time, and then have you let out the saddest cry when they poked you. Dad took off work to go with us and be my moral support, which I definitely needed. You were fine by the time we got out to the car, but I could hardly put you down the rest of the afternoon! Made me so thankful for your health - I simply cannot imagine what some parents go through like those in the NICU, seeing their children hurt. I thank God everyday how happy and healthy you are.

Biggest accomplishment: That first big, beautiful smile! Oh, my heart just melted into a little pool on the floor when you flashed it at me. You are so happy after your first feeding in the morning, and the minute I'm done nursing you, you look up at me and give me the sweetest grin. You're also holding your head up now, and trackings lots of things with your eyes. You love the polka dots on your carseat, and the birds on your mobile in the snugabunny seat. And best of all, you are STILL a sensational sleeper! Once we got the doctor's orders to let you go at night and not wake you every three hours, you've gotten into a routine in these last few weeks of going to bed around 11 pm, and you usually sleep until 6 or 7 am! Those are the same hours we had before you arrived - how thoughtful you are to let us continue and keep them! Finally, your dad would probably say it was a big accomplishment to move you into the guest room. We did that right before your two month birthday, and though I hated having you across the hall, I have been quite proud of how well you have done in there. I don't think you even notice the train that runs practically in our backyard. Perhaps our biggest accomplishment this month was having our first date night, and leaving you with your favorite babysitter, Katy. Your dad and I were invited by one of his clients to see Sheryl Crow play a private concert at the Ryman, and we got all gussied up and had a date. I only texted Katy twice to check on you, which I thought was completely justified. You did great for her but I couldn't wait to get my hands on you when we got home!

How we spend our day: I've decided that this was hands-down the best time to have a baby. The weather has been so perfect for our neighborhood strolls, and you still seem to love being outside and feeling the fresh air - sometimes it instantly calms you. I have loved seeing summer turn into fall with you, and especially enjoy seeing the changing leaves, the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes, and the start of football with new eyes - it's been so nice to stop and slow down rather than go, go, go all the time. Your'e good for me like that.

Likes: Early mornings playing in the bed with mom and dad - your favorite time to smile! Also, i've discovered you love polka dots - on my padded armrest on your carseat, on the nursery curtains, anywhere you can find them! You still seem to like being swaddled, though sometimes you'll bust out and we'll find you with your arms up by your head in the morning. Your new favorite position is being held over my shoulder - I love it because you just fit right into the crook of my neck, and I can kiss the top of your fuzzy little head.

Dislikes: Bathtime, though you seem to be warming up to it, slowly but surely. You're also not a fan of being woken up, having your diaper changed, and being put on your tummy for tummy time...but really, who would enjoy those things?

Trips You've Taken: What a traveler you have been this month! We've gone to visit both sets of grandparents on back-to-back weekends, first to Virginia (a 9 hour car ride that usually takes 6) and then to Alabama. If anything, you're teaching us that we can't plan like we used to, as the on-the-road nursing and changing stops you need dictate our arrival these days. We've also had the Turman family come visit us, and it was so much fun having all of your cousins ooh and aah over you. You've also gone to your first football game, seeing Vanderbilt defeat Ole Miss, though we only came for the last quarter.

I didn't want to push my luck, but you slept just about the whole time. We also took you to church for the first time, and even to brunch afterward at our new favorite spot, The Garden Brunch Cafe. I got the Bananas Foster pancakes, which were to DIE for. Better enjoy eating things like that while I'm nursing and burning those calories!

Uncle Chris and Aunt Treva came to visit you over Labor Day Weekend

Mimi came too and covered you in kisses!

Logan, McKenzie and Lucas all wanted to hold you

You and your handsome daddy after church at the Garden Brunch Cafe

Cousin Audrey holding you for the first time

Granddad was a big fan of your gameday outfit

Perfectly at ease with your namesake, Aunt Margaret

Your first time meeting your Uncle Andrew

Sweetest Moment: Without a doubt, that first ear-to-ear smile. I will do just about anything I can to get it out of you because it absolutely melts me. And thankfully, you love to give it! Sometimes, I'll even get a coo or a giggle to go along with it - I think it's your way of saying you love me too. :)

Here's a sneak peek of the next post - Maggie's first photo shoot!

And after that, I've got to do a recap of her labor and delivery story. I must get it down before I forget the details! Let's just say that it was not according to plan (as in no time for an epidural), but worked out absolutely perfectly. From moment one, Maggie has been full of surprises!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maggie's Monthly Milestones: Month 1

In an attempt to remember all these precious "firsts" of Maggie's life, I decided to start a monthly installment called "Maggie's Monthly Milestones." I do love good alliteration. :)

Maggie, at one month old, here you are!

Weight: 8.1

Height: 21 inches

Clothes: Newborn (you probably could have worn preemie those first few weeks though)

Eye color: A beautiful dark blue

Doctor's orders: At your two week check-up, doc said you were doing great! He told us to keep up the feed every three hours routine, and then let you go at night. Made our day to hear that, since you have proven you are quite the little sleeper. (You take after your mom like that).

Biggest accomplishment: Sleeping for a 6 hour stretch. Could you please keep that up?

Funniest moment: On our way to a pediatrician appointment, you had quite a blowout that your lucky Daddy got to change, since Mom was getting ready. Upon coming into the nursery to see if we were ready to go, I see a stack of diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and a very overwhelmed look on Dad's face as he said "I don't think you understand what just happened here." You had a very pleased look on your face - I think you were pretty proud of your first BIG poopy diaper!

How we spend our day: Since we are breastfeeding (and loving it now that we have the hang of it), we start the day with a nursing session in bed, while Mom watches the Today Show when she's not watching your little jaws work. After Mom's cup of coffee (welcome back, beloved java), we go for a midmorning walk in your stroller, since you seem to love to be outside and in anything that moves, though you typically sleep the entire time. We really took advantage of the beautiful weather, and the exercise combined with breastfeeding helped Mom get back to her pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly. Once we're back home, we nurse again, then you're usually back to sleep for an afternoon nap on the sofa (surrounded by your boppy) while Mom tries to get things done around the house, though I usually just want to stare at you! Once Dad gets home from work, he gets his Maggie time by giving you a bottle of breast milk and taking over diaper duty. You usually go back to sleep while we eat dinner, and then nurse twice more before bedtime. Bedtime varies from day to day - it could be midnight or it could be 2 a.m., but you do love sleeping in your pack and play in our room, and have been sleeping there since your first night home. Mom has the camera set up in the bedroom so she can look at you on the monitor at anytime - and does so often through the night to be sure you're still there!

Likes: Being swaddled, being read to at bedtime, being held by all your visitors, short sleeved onesies or your Baptist t-shirts (they are the easiest for changing), going for rides in your carseat or your stroller, and taking a nap in your swing!

Dislikes: Bathtime, though you seem to be warming up to it, slowly but surely. Being woken up, having your diaper changed, and being put on your tummy for tummy time.

Trips You've Taken: We've made you quite the foodie! You've been to Taco Mamacita for lunch, Germantown Cafe for Sunday brunch, and Jimmy Kelly's for dinner during Restaurant Week. Also, two trips to the pediatrician, one trip to the grocery store, and two trips to Target!

Sweetest Memory: Seeing you smile in your sleep. It absolutely melts Mommy's heart. I can't wait until you actually smile AT us!

Until next month, my love. Thank you for making this the best month of my life!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Miss Margaret Mae "Maggie" Turman!

She arrived on August 16, 2011, weighing 6 lbs, 10 oz. and 19.5 inches long. I had quite the labor story, with an unexpectedly natural labor (no epidural!) that took only 2.5 hours, from my water breaking at 11:45 p.m., arriving at the hospital at 1:15 a.m., and hearing her first cry when she came into the world at 2:20 a.m. Best moment of my life.

Her proud daddy is completely smitten. :)

10 tiny fingers, 10 tiny toes!

Angel. Baby.

Modeling her hospital door sign, lovingly made by an Etsy vendor right here in Nashville and announcing her name, which we had kept a secret. It was quite the hit with our nurses!

Our second morning together, in one of the rare moments I took my eyes off of her.

Heading home from the hospital! Daddy has never driven more carefully in all his life.

As IF I could sit anywhere but right beside her.

I had to be able to look at this adorable little face the whole way home. :)

My Maggie,

Since the moment we met you one month ago today, we have fallen so in love with you. It is absolutely, without a doubt, the purest love I have ever known. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of heaven by showing us how beautiful life can be. You are such a good baby, and have inherited my ability to sleep just about anywhere! You love your carseat, your swing, and your walks in your stroller, and can sleep in all three with ease. You also love the bassinet in your pack-and-play, and thankfully, have slept there every night since you were born. We learned early on the swaddle is a game-changer, and have mastered the art of rolling you like a burrito to help you sleep soundly, though you've already started trying to bust those arms out.

You are completely at ease being held by all of your admirers, from our families who came to see you that first day in the hospital, to our friends who have steadily visited (and brought lots of lifesaving delicious dinners) in the weeks since you came home. We've passed you around like a hot potato, and love seeing how content you are in everyone's arms. You always seem to fit best in mine though. :)

You're quite the foodie, having visited three of our favorite restaurants in your first month - Taco Mamacita for lunch, Germantown Cafe for Sunday Brunch, and Jimmy Kelly's for a fabulous dinner during Restaurant Week - and slept through each with complete and total ease. You weighed 7 pounds, 5 oz at your last checkup with the pediatrician, so you've gotten back up to your birth weight after getting down to 5 lbs, 14 oz, and then some! You love to eat and can get fussy if you don't get fed exactly when you're ready for it, but who doesn't get ornery when they're hungry? You seem to equally enjoy nursing from me and taking a bottle of breast milk from Daddy when he gets home from work, so we hope to keep up that routine as long as you'll let us. Your Daddy took two whole weeks off from work to be with you, which went by in a blur. We didn't know what date it was, but we sure loved laughing over every funny face you made, and capturing everything on camera we could!

You have your daddy's long fingers and toes, and your mom's microscopic toenails. Though it's still hard for us to tell who you favor, your Dad thinks you have my lips, and I think you have his pretty eyes. You have our olive complexion and dark hair, and are starting to rock a pretty solid mullet with more hair in the back than on top! I have lots of pretty bows ready and waiting for you, but we'll have to wait until you get a little more hair first.

All the sleepless nights, diaper blowouts, and marathon nursing sessions are so very worth seeing your sweet face when we wake up each morning. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and awe that we get to be your parents, and we love you more than you will ever know.

Happy One Month, sweet Maggie. May the months go by slowly so we can savor every moment!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

37 Week Bumpdate - We're Full Term, Baby!

Photo taken at 36 weeks, but I'm actually 37 weeks tomorrow!

So here we are at 37 weeks, folks. It's pretty surreal to be sitting here on the sofa typing this post on a lazy Saturday afternoon, knowing Mr. T is in the nursery putting a surprise finishing touch on the nursery, feeling yet another Braxton-Hicks contraction, then looking down and see this little lump move across my big, bodacious belly, knowing we are three weeks and counting from meeting our little girl. Who as you can tell from the picture, is very clearly running out of room in the womb. I can now tell which lumps are her feet (always kicking me on my right side), and which one is her cute little bottom (just to the left of my belly button). At my doctor's appointment last Friday, the doctor confirmed she is still head down, my cervix has softened, and I'm about 70% effaced. WHOA. That means it's almost showtime. And whereas a week ago I was freaking out about that, all of a sudden in the past week I have become so, so ready. I'll let the bumpdate below explain why:

Symptoms: Hmmm, which one to choose? Sadly, the pregnancy insomnia is back with a bang. Four times this past week I've woken up around 3 a.m. to use the bathroom, all to come back to bed and toss and turn for two hours straight. Sometimes it's because I can't get comfortable, sometimes it's because she's keeping me company with an acrobatic act, and sometimes it's because I'm thinking of all of the things I still need to take care of before that fateful moment when I say, "it's time." I'll think of things I need to pack, wash, organize or do, and then I have to fight the urge to get up and do them right then so I won't forget. Because that's the other big thing I've noticed lately - I'm forgetting LOTS these days. I actually read today that your brain cells do actually decrease in the third trimester, and lemme just tell you, I am living proof. I literally panicked the other day and couldn't remember if I had written a thank you note to a dear friend. Turns out I hadn't...for a gift she had gotten us two months ago. Awesome. Thankfully, she totally understood my forgetfulness, but now I have learned my lesson and am tracking those thank you's more than ever!

Weight Gain: So they say there are early gainers and late gainers in pregnancy. Clearly, I am the latter. I was feeling semi-proud of myself for keeping things in check up until about 34 weeks and then WHAM! I started packing the pounds on like nobody's business. According to my trusty books, the baby went through a growth spurt a few weeks ago and gained a 1/2 pound per week, which also seemed to showed up on me! I went from being able to still wear some of my more forgiving regular clothes and bottoms with my belly band to literally wearing nothing but maxi dresses and maternity jeans or pants. Thank goodness it is summertime and sundresses and flip flops are expected. Because that is about all I can rock these days. I'm up to about 20 pounds, with three more weeks to go. We were able to get an ultrasond and see that Baby T is measuring almost 6 pounds a week ago, so we have both gone through a growth spurt. Within the last week, I've had some pretty significant swelling in my hands and feet, so much so that I'm down to about two pairs of shoes I can comfortably wear. Bye bye, fun high heels, hello flats. Which becomes barefoot the minute I get home from work. Poor tootsies.

What's different: Um, everything. I have truly loved every minute of being pregnant up until about two weeks ago. Long story short, we had a little scare that sent us on an unexpected trip to the hospital. We went on a little "last time for just the two of us trip" over the weekend and I started feeling pretty crummy pretty much the minute we left. (Sidenote: we have decided we are cursed on trips - I was sick the first three days of our honeymoon, sick the entire week of our one year anniversary because I was six weeks pregnant, and sick on our babymoon. What gives?) After calling the doctor on call after things kept getting worse, she thought we should get up early on Sunday and come into the hospital. I could really tell the baby had been less aftive when we were driving back, and once we were admitted, I asked them to check her on the fetal monitor. Five minutes and several alarmed looks later, they rushed me to Labor and Delivery, finally telling me that the baby's heart rate was 205 - scary high. Turns out that I was dehydrated and had an infection, and she was simply mimicing my symptoms, bless her heart. Talk about scary - we went from the doctor telling us we might need to do a c-section that night to getting her moving and her heart rate back in the normal range in about two hours flat. The positive that came from all of that was that we got a trial run of what to expect at the hospital (the staff was amazing, which was such a comfort) and also a lesson in how we are so not in control of any of this. It made us realize how lucky we've been throughout this whole pregnancy, and how her health, and mine, has been such a blessing. I think we needed that reminder.

Cravings: The other night while getting ready to watch the way-overrated Bachelorette finale, I absolutely, positively had to have a brownie. Brownie a la mode, actually. But I didn't want to bake a full pan for fear I would be tempted to devour the whole thing, so on an impulse, I ordered a Chocolate Thunder From Down Under from Outback. Mr. T picked it up and when he showed up with it, I devoured it in about five minutes flat. It wasn't pretty, but it was sooooooo worth it. And the baby kicked in delight for a good thirty minutes afterward. I think she likes sweets too.

Aversions: None!

Sleep: Not the greatest. But trying to enjoy it as much as I can, while I can!

I am loving: Sitting in the nursery and rocking in my chair. Listening to her dad read Dr. Seuss books to her at bedtime. Having the hospital bags packed and knowing we're ready when it's time to go. Sterilizing her sweet little pacis and washing her tiny little clothes. The smell of Dreft. Looking in my rearview mirror and seeing her carseat. Opening her closet and staring at her adorable clothes for the 100th time. And more than anything, knowing I will meet her soon.

I really miss: Sleeping on my stomach. Like, for real. That is going to feel like heaven in a few weeks. When I do get to actually sleep...

I am looking forward to: Meeting her, seeing her face for the first time, and telling her in person how much I love her, rather than having her hear it through the gurgle of my stomach. Plain and simple.

I'm spazzing about: The crazy, unbelievable, amazing thing my body is about to do. In one way, I'm totally in awe of all that is happening even now to prepare me for birthing this baby. And in another, I keep thinking "how in the world am I going to do this?" Is that normal?

Movement: Every day! We confirmed she is head down, and like I mentioned earlier, I can tell where all her little limbs are now. Sometime when I touch her foot, she moves it in response. I think she's ticklish. :)

Milestone: Baby T is now 19-22 inches long and weighs about 6.5 pounds. She's busy making last-minute preparations for life in the real world by simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on her thumb, blinking and pivoting from side to side (though I can tell she has a favorite position). We are officially full term, and would gladly welcome her any day now, but my doctor seems to think I'm tracking right on time for my 8/28 due date. Wow, next time I post, I could be a mom!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Party Inspiration

Well I satisfied my craving for a chocolate dip cone last night, but whether it was the hot, humid weather we walked in to get said treat or the fact that the ice cream cone immediately went to my fingers, my ring finger was so swollen that I couldn't get my wedding rings off and proceeded to have a minor meltdown when we got home. And by minor meltdown I mean a total come-apart. I slathered cocoa butter on that baby and followed Mr. T's suggestion to put ice on it, but it took both of us to get them off. So I will be sporting my faux ring from now on, because the thought of having my rings sawed off makes me want to cry big fat crocodile tears. No thanks.

On a happier note, I came across the most adorable idea for a gender reveal party the other day, which I thought I would share. I've always been a bit skeptical of these parties, especially with the idea of throwing one myself, but this one truly is the cutest thing I have ever seen. They did a duckling theme, and my favorite part is use of a fun gender-neutral yellow in the paper goods and most definitely the "Waddle It Be?" on the invite. Just check out this eye candy...(click photos to enlarge or view on blog).

Is that not adorable or what?

As for us, we elected to call our families the nano-second we got in the car after leaving the doctor's office at our 16 week appointment because we were bursting at the seams, and pretty much had our baby girl's name picked out within two days. And though we are keeping it a secret from friends (which has driven everyone crazy but everyone with kids tells us is a fabulous idea), we call her by name every single day. And might I say, from the first time we said it out loud, we knew it was absolutely perfect. (And don't worry, as a girl from the south, I do have a few things monogrammed with her name that are ready for her arrival).
5 weeks and counting, y'all!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ode to Ice Cream

Ode to Ice Cream by A Bride in Boots

I could eat it every day
And while I'm pregnant, I just may

Cold and creamy, it's such a treat
When I'm melting in this crazy heat

Moose tracks and mint chocolate chip
Or a dip cone from Bobby's Dairy Dip

I'm not picky, I'll eat them all
Until those glorious first days of fall!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just Call Me Big Bird (aka 32 week bumpdate)

I know what you're thinking..."bless her heart, she's blown up since that 28-week post!" And I would have to agree. According to the baby books, little miss is having a growth spurt, gaining almost a 1/2 pound a week now, and it's clearly showing up on her mother! I'm actually quite okay with it, until it came time to take our 32 week bumpdate picture and Mr. T started snapping away, only to have me demand about 10 re-do's because I was not a fan of any of them! I just kept thinking how much I look like Big Bird in this beloved Old Navy linen shirtdress. Why did no one tell me I needed to retire it? People, speak up! Save this mama some embarrassment!

Oh, that side profile really isn't flattering. Repeat to self: I am only posting these pictures for posterity. However, I do think it's funny that everytime we do these photos, the term "barefoot and pregnant" comes to mind. I do kind of love going barefoot whenever possible these days. My little piggies are not loving the stilettos like they used to!

So since I was flabbergasted at how large and in charge I looked in this photo, I thought I'd try a different outfit. Besides, I had ordered this dress from Piperlime (for $28!) and it arrived moments before our photo shoot began, so I figured I would see how it photographed. (Sidenote: remember when Alicia Silverstone's character did that for all her outfits on Clueless? I remember thinking as a 12 year old that I should soooooo do that.) Well, the outcome wasn't much better. Even though I went up a size thinking that would do the trick, I suppose this is evidence that I should just push the normal clothes to the back of the closet and resort to maternity wear only from now on.

Clearly not my best fashion moment. And yes, it was still wrinkled from being all packaged up. I would iron it...if I wasn't going to promptly return it - props on the free shipping and free return policy, by the way. Or maybe I'll keep it and wait to bust it out once I have my post-baby bod back. I mean, it was only $28...

So enough with the photos. Lawd knows I nearly had a come-apart when we took them, so I certainly don't need to linger on them any longer. The funny thing is, I think I was just having a "fat day" that day. Probably because I had three people at work tell me I looked like I was hiding a basketball under my shirt (all on the same day, I might add, when all anyone had said up to that point was "you don't even look pregnant!"). I just try to remind myself it means that Baby Girl is growing, just like she should, and then I'm usually over it. Because truthfully, that's all I want is for her to be healthy. And if that means I'm a big mama, so be it.

With that behind us, let the bumpdate begin!

Symptoms: Introducing the newest one: lower back pain. Boo. The pain tends to get worse when I sit still for long periods of time, so by the end of a day in the office, I feel like I have slept on a bunch of 2 x 4's. It got pretty uncomfortable at the U2 concert sitting on those hard metal bleachers for hours at a time. And let me also mention that these seats were two rows from the top of the stadium. Oy. I can't tell you how many sympathetic looks I got as we climbed those stairs. Also, Frequent Urination Fairy is hanging around. And she really annoys me. I'll feel like I'm about to literally wet my pants, only to relieve myself and have just a few drops. I'm always like, "seriously?"

Weight Gain: At my 31 week appointment, I had gained 12 pounds (but more like 15 if you count what I lost in the beginning). Doc says I am right on track and baby is measuring perfectly. The above photos demonstrate it has definitely picked up in the last few weeks, so I must be a 3rd trimester gainer. I'm estimating 20-25 pounds or so by the time she arrives. I hope it's not much more than that or I will be as wide as I am tall!

What's different: I can really tell my center of gravity is shifting as my belly grows, judging from the way I waddle when Mr. T and I take our after-work walks. It is actually getting pretty comical to watch me get around. I literally have to have him tie my shoes, pull me off the couch, and set me up in bed in the morning. But thankfully, since he wore the empathy belly at childbirth class, he understands just how hard these things can be!

Cravings: Still the old faithful: ICE CREAM! Truly, I could eat it every. single. day. And I love a cold glass of skim milk before bed every night. Baby needs her calcium!

Aversions: Nothing much comes to mind, but I do find myself getting full pretty fast when I sit down for a meal. Something that will be so good at first bite will make me feel like I'm literally about to pop after four or five bites. Weird.

Sleep: I love looking back and seeing how much has changed in just a few weeks. Last time I said it is a "rare occasion" when I have to get up to relieve myself in the middle of the night. Well now it is a nightly occurrence! Thankfully, I don't have trouble falling back asleep, so I suppose it's Mother Nature's way of getting me primed for those early-morning feedings.

I am loving
: Baby Showers! I've had two so far and they were an absolute blast! There is nothing like celebrating Baby T with sweet friends. A separate post with lots of pictures to come on that, but here's one of my favorites from our couples shower our dear friends, the Emils, threw for us. My baby daddy loves to feel my bump. We're headed to Virginia this weekend for a family baby shower that Mr. T's mom has put together. She combined it with a family reunion on the family farm, and I am so looking forward to it!

I really miss: The beach. What I would give to hightail it down to the Gulf Coast for a few days of R&R. I see all these fun pics on Facebook of friends at the beach and I have major fits of jealousy. Oh and sushi. Lawd have mercy, I have been craving sushi like nobody's business! Oh and sleeping on my stomach. I feel like a roly poly going from side to side throughout the night!

I am looking forward to: Really and truly finishing up the nursery. Just a few final things and we're ready for the unveiling. I adore it - it is truly my favorite room in the whole house.

I'm spazzing about: Ummm, the fact the baby will be here in SEVEN WEEKS! The hubs reminded me we should think about packing our bag soon (he's a planner like me). I'm going to the doctor every two weeks now, and after this next visit, she'll start checking dilation. Whoa.

Movement: All the time. And I absolutely can't get enough. She loves when Mr. T reads Dr. Seuss to her at night, and always gives him a little kick to let him know she liked story time.
She also has a favorite position she likes to burrow in, and it makes my stomach stick out on one side. We'll find out in a few weeks what her position is - I'm hoping she's head down!

Milestone: Baby T is now 16.5 inches long and weighs 4.5 pounds. Fat stores are continuing to be deposited under her skin, plumping her up and making her look even more like a newborn. All her little bones are beginning to harden, except for those in her skull, which will remain pliable so she can make it through the birth canal. And she's the size of a honeydew melon!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Even I Can Do This...

Recipe here.

Have I mentioned the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday? Because it is. The days are long, the food is yummy, and having Monday off is the thank-goodness-for-holidays cherry on top.

We're headed to the U2 concert on Saturday so Baby T can jam out to some good tunes in utero. You'll find me under the shade wearing my most comfortable sundress drinking a liter of H20. And possibly eating this entire tray of strawberries I intend to make for our tailgate before the concert begins. Oh and P.S. the strawberries will be coming from the Farmer's Market and they will be local. I'm a strawberry snob that way. :)

Happy birthday, America!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Few Promises

Dear Little One,

I promise to:

Never forget when we first found out about you. The disbelief that turned to shock that turned to complete and total bliss once your dad finally made me realize those two pink lines were in fact, the real thing.

Remember these moments in the late afternoon hours where all I can focus on are the movements you're making inside of me, and how each kick/hiccup/nudge is a reminder that your life truly is a miracle.

Remain grateful, even on the days when I realize I have absolutely no idea what to do when you cry. Because a cry means you are healthy and your lungs are working. And that is something I will never take for granted.

Hold that first day we saw you on the ultrasound screen deep in my heart. You were a tiny, beating being that we've watched grow bigger by the weeks. I love seeing your little arms up by your head, sleeping just like your dad and I do, and wondering what else you'll do that will take after us.

Remember what it felt like to dream about what you would look like, who you will be, and how amazing it will feel to watch you dance and sing and play and think to myself, "that's my daughter."

How we came to choose your name, and how perfect it sounded the first time we said it out loud. I think we've called you by name every day since, but only when it's just your dad and me. We love keeping it a secret from everyone else!

Never get rid of that first onesie I bought you, the day I found out you were a girl. It was soft and pink and tiny, and what sold me was the guitar on the front, a testament to your Nashville roots.

Foster your love for music by surrounding you with it any chance I get. I hope to always remember how much you like worship music, and how you get really active in church. I like to picture your little arms up in praise in there.

Read to you as often as I can, because you seem to love it already. Your dad and I take turns reading Dr. Seuss out loud to you at bedtime, and you kick in response to our voices everytime.

Remember how it felt to sit in your nursery, once I finally got the last piece of furniture in place. Even though it's tiny and you will soon outgrow it, just as we will soon outgrow our first home, it is my favorite room in the whole house.

Never miss an opportunity to tell you I love you and how lucky I am to be your mother. I hope you'll share your hopes and your fears with me, call me in the middle of the night whenever you're feeling lonely and need to talk, and come to me when you find yourself in a hard place. I promise to always listen just like your best friend would.

Tell you how beautiful you are anytime I think it. Which I know will be often, so I'll have to make sure and tell you when you're being a sasspot too, just to keep you grounded.

Treasure the feeling of being about to burst with love for you. I can now say I completely understand the "mama bear" complex, and how I would do anything in this world to protect you.

Cherish the sound of your laughter, knowing that even though we will have no idea what we're doing as parents, we must be doing something right.

Dream about your arrival into the world until the day you decide to make your debut, and how kissing each of those ten tiny fingers will finally feel.

More than anything, I promise to remember this feeling of gratitude, peacefulness, and deep, unconditional love for the fact that God saw fit to bring you into our lives at the perfect time. My cup runneth over that I could be so blessed. Only eight weeks until I meet you, baby girl. I know my life will never, ever be the same.

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Father's Day

How did my husband celebrate his first Father's Day? With a 40 pound empathy belly strapped around him at childbirth class.

Don't think I didn't ask him to bend down and tie his shoes either. I wanted him to get the full effect of how difficult that task can be.

Truthfully, he was a great sport, and even learned how to diaper and swaddle (he even picked out a girl doll). But I had no doubts whatsoever about his fathering abilities, because he already melts my heart each time he leans over my belly and talks to our daughter. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt he'll be wonderful. And in 10 short weeks, I'll get to see him in action and fall in love all over again.

Happy 1st Father's Day, honey! Baby T and I love you something fierce.

Monday, June 13, 2011

28 Week (Late) Bumpdate

So I'm a tad bit behind on the ole bloggity blog, but only because we've been so busy preparing for Little One's arrival these past few weeks. Who knew how much stuff a tiny tot would need?

Also attributing to my tardiness is the fact that I have been on the go! Since my last bumpdate, we've made trips to Tuscaloosa to see family, friends, and adorable friends' babies who are growing much too fast (I'm talking to you, Candice, Becca and Kristy!) and I was on the road last week for two work trips in Charlotte and Birmingham. And might I add, I'm a big fan of Charlotte. I think it's earned the #2 spot on places I could live someday. Behind Nashville of course. We all know it has always been and probably always will be my first love.

It's crazy to even wrap my head around this, but I'm now at 29 weeks (whoa) so with 11 weeks remaining, it was crunch time to get that nursery in order, so let's just say that Etsy and I have become BFF's lately. Their handmade goodness is too perfect for words when it comes to all things baby, and I am realizing this child has turned me into a complete shopaholic schmuck because I can so easily justify that I really do need that monogrammed burp cloth/bib set/stroller blanket/artwork/you name it. I have just a few more things to add before I'm ready for the big reveal, but I promise it really and truly is coming soon. Pinky swear. But for now, I've been known to just mosey back to the nursery and sit in our new glider and read to our baby girl upon occasion, just because I love the room so much.

I recently realized that I was behind on my bumpdates, so after a very full and super-fun weekend with my girlfriends/future aunties who came to Nashville to visit, Mr. T busted out the camera last night for our tardy 28 week photo session. Let's just pretend it's not a week late and Baby T will never know the difference.

Behold the bump!

Symptoms: So the frequent urination fairy strikes again. And what's strange is that I'll feel like I'm literally about to wet my pants, and will hightail it to the bathroom when I get home from work even though I've just gone 10 minutes before that, and then when I finally get to relieve myself, I only have a few drops. Baby Girl must be resting right on top of my bladder.

Weight Gain: At my 28 week appointment yesterday, I had gained another 3 pounds, for a grand total of 11 so far (after the little bit I lost the first trimester). I've heard people either gain on the front end or the back end, but I'm hoping for slow and steady. So far, so good. Though I'm feeling way more large and in charge than the scale shows, I assure you.

What's different: We can actually make out different lumps in my belly that feel like a head here, a foot there, which are pretty much the coolest thing EVER. And the way she likes to lay is always the same, so that when I lay down, the left side of my belly is always a little higher. I like to think it's because she's going to be left-handed like me. :)

Cravings: Not too many these days. Though I did get a hankering for spaghetti last night, so the hubs and I high-tailed it to Publix for the extra-lean ground beef I had to have in it. He mentioned making it without the meat and I looked at him like he was a four-eyed alien. As if! Still loving the occasional scoop of ice cream, though I'm partial to Pinkberry these days. Have you tried the new salted caramel flavor? Y' will change your life.

Aversions: None - I pretty much will eat anything that comes into my path! No, really.

Sleep: Still fabulous, thank the Lord. I've become a bit of an early riser on the weekends, but I actually don't mind it because it gives me an opportunity to take full advantage of the weekend. I occasionally have to get up to go in the middle of the night, but it's a rare occasion.

I am loving: Hand-me-downs. My sweet friend Whitney, who has an adorable 7-month old named Sam, has become my fairy godmother with all the wonderful things she's passed down to me. We're talking maternity clothes, nursing bras (which are crazy expensive, by the way), bottles, pacis, a sterilizer, a swing, a Boppy, playmats, and gender-neutral onesies that are adorable. Baby T is such a lucky girl to have a future boyfriend like Sam who shares all of his happies.

I really miss: My waistline. And a tan stomach. Especially when it comes time to put on my maternity swimsuit and head to the pool. Sigh. But the bikinis will return one day - at least I hope so!

I am looking forward to: Celebrating Father's Day this weekend by attending childbirth classes. How appropro for my baby daddy, right? I feel like the more I know, the less anxious I'll feel. Which is a good thing, because the faster this whole labor thing approaches, the more I think to myself, "Now how exactly is this baby getting out?"

I'm spazzing about: I was having some hip pain that I asked my doc about at my visit last week. I thought it might be the sciatic nerve pain I've heard about, and I was right. I've tried to figure out what the culprit is, and I'm thinking it flares up after Mr. T and I go on one of our long neighborhood walks. So I've decided the elliptical is a better idea lately, and it seems to be working.

Movement: Every single day! And I love every single minute of it. I actually told Mr. T the other night I just might miss being pregnant, because those sweet little kicks and flutters keep me company all day long and I've gotten kind of sentimental about them. But now that I'm in the third trimester, I'm sure those feelings will begin to change and I'll just be ready to get this show on the road.

Milestone: Little One is now 15.5 inches long and almost 3 pounds. That just blows my mind. From here on out, her height growth will start to slow down and she'll just be packing on the pounds, doubling or even tripling her weight before she makes her arrival in a few short weeks. Speaking in produce terms, she's now the size of a cabbage. Though if you could see my belly right now, you would think she's more like a watermelon. Which reminds me, tell me again how I'm going to get her out? Gulp.
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