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.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Anyone home?

Hello? Is anyone out there? If you're reading this, you've received the invitation to follow my now-private blog. I must say, I'm feeling so very good about this decision to go under the radar, and feel much more comfortable now putting pictures out there of myself and of Baby T for people to see. I don't want just anyone laying eyes on my baby, you know. I know, I am such a mama hen. :)

I just hope that none of you will regret signing up to come along for the journey, so I promise to try and make it worth your while! And let me just say that it truly made my day to hear from friends and blog-friends alike who said they wanted to keep following along on my little rambles. Most of which have turned to thoughts on pregnancy, bumpdates galore, and other things that everyone tells me I will look back on and be so happy I documented along the way, which is why I'm promising to try and keep it up now that I'm starting my third trimester. I am still loving being pregnant more than ever. Maternity swimsuits, not so much, but still loving all those kicks and tumbles that I'm feeling. But for today, to celebrate the upcoming weekend (the first unofficial one of summer, now that Memorial Day has come and gone and we're in near-100 degree temps here in Nashville), I'm going to play a little bit of catch up. This first photo is one of my handsome hubs and I in front of Woodfire Grill in Atlanta a few weekends ago, which was one of the best dining experiences I've ever had. Like, EVER, y'all.

We were with two other couples and decided to do the blind chef's tasting 5-course meal. Normally I am way too much of a control freak and like to not only choose my order but also my husband's, if he'll let me, but I decided to hand the reins over and let me just tell you, it was a great decision. The service was spectacular. The presentation - over the top. And the food - to die for. And for those of you who are Top Chef fans, you know that the chef was this guy:

Yes, that would be Kevin Gillespie, and yes, he definitely autographed our menu and took a quick moment for a photo op. The the girl on the left and I basically knew everything about him from watching him a few seasons ago. I'm sure he was a little frightened by that.

On the subject of food (one of my favorites, these days), we're headed to Taste of Music City this weekend, and I can't wait to sample some of the local cuisine street-side. Why have I not taken advantage of this event before? It has food, live music, and free admission. Um, twist my arm. I heard a certain watermelon and goat cheese salad shooter would be making an appearance, compliments of Copper Kettle (one of my favorite Sunday brunches) and my mouth is already watering. Oh and want to know who I saw the last time I was at Copper Kettle? This guy.

Just dining with Nicole and Sunday Rose after a little church on a Sunday morning. And no one in the restaurant even seemed to bat an eyelash, which is why I'm sure they love this town. But don't think I didn't freak out. Annnnnnnd time our exit to leave just before they left, so I could see what vehicle they got in to. And take down their license plate number. OK, I didn't go that far. (But I might have, if we had parked a little closer). And yes, he's that dreamy in person too.

I have some girlfriends headed into town to visit next weekend (yay! girls trip 2011!) and we'll be seeing him play at CMA Fest on Friday night. I'm hoping he sings his new song "Without You" just so I can hear him sing this line in person. When I hear it on the radio, it gets me every time.

"Along comes a baby girl, and suddenly my little world,
Just got a whole lot bigger, yes it did.
And people that I barely knew, love me cause I'm part of you,
Man, I start to figure

How two souls can be, miles from one another
But still you and me, have somehow found each other."

And speaking of that sweet baby girl, I'm proud to show you one of my favorite ultrasound pictures of her adorableness. I realized I never posted any of her ultrasound photos on the public blog, so consider yourself introduced for the first time. Presenting our baby girl (who shall remain nameless until her expected arrival on 8/28)!

Isn't she a beauty? Sleeps just like her mama and daddy do, too, with those arms up. Love it!

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