Monday, September 23, 2013

Nesting. It's happening.

Let's be clear: I hate the term "nesting." It's like using the term "boyfriend" when you're dating in your late 30s. It's just weird. Nevertheless, it's happening over here.

I went to the doctor today and had progressed from 1cm and 50% effaced last week to 2cm and almost 90% effaced this week. And she's low. Waaaay low. Translation: that sweet baby girl of mine could come any day now. So, at 37 weeks, I came home a little freaked out. Naturally, I started dusting and cleaning the bathrooms and making a list of things I need to make lists about. I contemplated a grocery run, finishing packing my bag, researching "labor signs," vacuuming out my car, and making sure the car seat was actually clean. I've actually been "nesting" for weeks now, having been to the grocery store no fewer than two times a week, running crazy amounts of laundry, and even thinking about tackling that grimy, hard-to-reach place in my kitchen sink.

But in the midst of my nesting frenzy tonight (and to be clear, I did clean some things and make some lists), I also had an intense desire to be really present, so I held Moo close and long, and I edited some documents for a friend, and I ate dinner with my family, and it was good. Very, very good. And blissfully normal.

Nesting seems a lot like keeping your house clean when it's on the market. Try as you may to maintain that readiness to have visitors, it's likely that your realtor will call you when it's nap time and there's crushed cereal on the ground from breakfast and you're not sure if your toddler actually flushed his poop down the toilet this time. You just can't ever be totally prepared for these things.

But it sure would be nice if Baby Girl came on a day when my fridge was stocked, my house was clean, my toddler was happy and healthy, and my husband was off. Just sayin'.

Home Makeover: My Edition

For the first time in nearly two years, Phil and I spent several days away from Moo. Phil had a week of vacation back in August, so we took the opportunity to have a staycation, spending the first half of the week as a family doing fun things like going to the zoo and visiting cousins and the second half of the week as a couple making our house a more functional and organized space to live while Moo lived his dream at his grandparents' house. Before I get to the home makeover part, a few observations from our time without a child:
  • Try as I may, sleeping past 7:00 a.m. is no longer possible.
  • Eating out was actually enjoyable again--especially since I had time to taste my food and didn't once have to put my fingers in someone else's mouth to help them eat.
  • With a toddler, I'm lucky if I can vacuum my house in a day; without a toddler, I can conquer the world (or at least my closets)!
  • I still woke up with the theme song to Curious George in my head every morning. Could be worse, I guess.
Okay, onto the makeover! If I'd been really forward thinking, I would have had before and after pics to share, but you'll have to make do with the after and trust that it's an upgrade from the before. 

We definitely made the most of our three childless days. Phil and I are wired the same: once we start a project, we work, work, work until it's done. And we had about 20 projects on our list. (Don't worry--we played too. Out to eat a couple of times, lunch and dinner with friends, book store wandering, morning walks, etc.) 

First, the nursery. As you might recall, I'm no decorator. In fact, the idea of decorating a room makes me sweat a little. But I really like how this room is turning out--very feminine and calm without being too frilly. Prior to this week, all we had was freshly painted walls and a rug. Wish I had more pictures, a fisheye lens, and better photography skills/lighting, but you get the idea:

In a house with limited space, redoing one room means redoing parts of others too in order to make space for everything. So next we found ourselves rearranging the living room, adding a chair and this staple from IKEA to tame the toys and books:

Finally, we switched a few things around in Moo's room, which has a definite little boy look now:

Many thanks to IKEA, Craigslist, and friends/neighbors who just outright gave us things (and to my parents for keeping Moo for a few days). It's a much cheaper alternative to moving! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Keepin' it real

If you need to feel a little better about yourself today, you've come to the right place. Every now and then (or more), I think it's good for all of us that I give you a good dose of reality around here (humility for me, humor for you).

So I'm going to show you my legs in all their roadmap glory.

But first I'm going to remind you of what my legs looked like last pregnancy. Remember these lovelies?

 I gained 9 pounds in one week toward the end of my pregnancy and my doctor was like, "Girl, that just doesn't happen unless you're retaining some crazy amounts of water." And I was like, "Yeah. Tell me about it."

So that was fun.

This time--gratefully--I've had no swelling. Can I get an hallelujah? I'm gaining weight like a regular pregnant person, am able to squat down, wear normal maternity pants, see my ankles and knees, and sit Indian style (excuse me: "criss-cross apple sauce"--whatever). It's divine.


This time (bless the precious baby girl inside me) my veins have decided they're tired and have had enough and are going to explode everywhere. I've spent the summer in maxi dresses and workout pants so that the general public doesn't think I've been abused. Don't believe me? Here ya go:
Told you you'd feel better about yourself. (I'm having one of those "Am I actually going to hit 'publish' when I'm done writing this?" moments. Sheesh, those pictures are awful.)

ANYway, I know you have questions so let me address them:

  • No, my legs will not always look that way; lot of those spider veins will go away after I have the baby. At least that's what I've been told.
  • No, my legs will never look normal again without some serious vein specialist help. 
  • Yes, they are painful. But not nearly as uncomfortable as being swollen. Seriously, I'd take this anytime over that again.
  • Yes, those really are my legs. Ask Phil. I made him do the photo shoot so I could share my lovely lady legs with all of you. 
So, there you have it. The self-sacrifice starts long before the babe ever enters the world, but it's worth it. And lest you think I'm posting this to gripe and get sympathy, please know that I'm not. I just think it's real and ugly and beautiful and oh-so-much-better than last time and I wanted you to know just how human I am--right down to my insecurities about turning into a Smurf one vein at a time.

And for those who are wanting an updated preggy pic, this one's for you (35 weeks):

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moo Update: 22 months

Is a little music man! Sings all day long and in tune. Among the jibberish and songs like "You Are My Sunshine," he often sings songs about Jesus and loves the "Hallelujah...Praise Ye the Lord" song. There's nothing quite as wonderful as hearing your child talk/sing about Jesus, even if he doesn't completely understand what he's saying yet. 

Has quite a sense of humor. Has started telling little jokes over and over again and cracking himself (and us) up.
Thinks he's so funny.
Still obsessed with all things wheels, water, and outside, as well as stuffed animals. 97% of our indoor activities involve cars and 90% of our outdoor activities involve water. Anytime you have water, outdoors, and wheels simultaneously, you get extra points.

Has a great imagination (that or he really needs a sibling). He makes his cars talk to each other and he talks to his stuffed animals as if they're real and even changes their diapers when they "make poo-poo."

Is extraverted and loves spending time with his "sins" (friends). 

Might be a runner one day. Wants to run all day long--especially when we're outside--which is partly why his legs are covered in a variety of bruises, scars, scabs, and open wounds on a regular basis. "Run, Mama!" he says. So we run. Or he does. I pretty much just waddle these days.
Loves sports and talks mostly about baseball and the Braves.

Totally into bugs. Wants to hold them, dig for them, catch them, touch them, talk about them.

The other night he said "Night night, Sissy" to my belly as I was putting him down. Melt. My. Heart. Already praying that those two will love and protect each other all their lives.

Really into art--especially drawing "happy saces" (crude circles) with crayons or chalk.
Artist at work
Loves to fix (or "six") things--especially if it means he gets to use Daddy's tools.

Still wants to help in the kitchen any chance he gets, so I just let him go to town learning to crack eggs, measure flour, rinse beans, etc. It's messy, but that's what brooms and vacuums are for.
Notice the flour on his mouth. Gotta taste test, people.
Is highly verbal. He recently spent a few days with my parents and when I asked my mom how the car ride went, she said he talked and talked the whole time! Right now, I love this. I'm sure I'll have a day soon when some quiet would be nice.

Knows most colors and some letters. Can count to three, but usually just says, "Two, three, six, ten!" At least it's in ascending order.

Still loves animals. As in he wants to lick the dogs back when they lick him. That kind of love.

Is starting to memorize his favorite books and "read" them on his own. 

Like his mama, he gets ornery when he's hungry. For someone so verbal, he doesn't ever tell me when he's hungry until he has an all-out temper tantrum. Sheesh!

Is happy 95% of the time. Grace. Of. God.

LOVES his daddy. If Phil is home, Moo wants to be where he is, doing what he's doing. I can't think of a better man for Moo to model his life after!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Thing One: Unbroken
photo credit

Y'all, this book is fabulous. I know I'm a nonfiction junkie and that you might not be drawn to a true story about a WWII POW survivor, but I'm telling you: you want to read this book. Some friends have criticized it for being overdone or falsified, but even if 20% of it is made up (and I don't think it is), the 80% that's true is one of the most moving stories of humanity's darkness and resilience that I've ever read.

Thing Two: Recipe win
photo credit

Looking for a simple (we're talking FIVE ingredients) end-of-summer dish? Try Cooking Light's Halibut with Bacony Corn Saute. Does the word "Halibut" scare you? It's okay. Do like I do and substitute tilapia, which is really mild and less expensive. Don't have green onions on hand? Do like I do and substitute whatever onion you have in your pantry. And trust me: this meal tastes like a lot more than five ingredients. I'll definitely be making it again.  
Thing Three: my latest favorite app
Y'all probably know all about this app because you joined the Smartphone world when normal people did instead of waiting until a few months ago like me. But. A friend recently recommended Aviary. It's a photo editing app that makes your pretty good pictures look pretty dang amazing. I'll prove it to you on some upcoming posts!

Speaking of upcoming posts, I realize I've been a little absent lately, but I DO have some posts in the works, so stay tuned! Topics include the home makeover we did the other week (nursery pics included), pictures of my legs this pregnancy (I think it'll be a theme for all my pregnancies. You won't want to miss it!), and an update on all the hilarious and irresistible things Moo is doing these days.