January 31, 2010

Hello Blog World....

January 29, 2010

Nursery Renovation, Part Three

Three weeks ago, M and I began the task of renovating our home office to make it a lovely nursery for Joycelen. The project began with the removal of the dingy blue carpet which was replaced with lovely hardwood floors .

Once the flooring was in place, M and I took over and began prepping the nursery for the painter. We started by stripping off the remanats of old panneling. Then we hung the chair railing and finalized our paint selections.

The following Tuesday, the painter came in and worked his magic. Transforming the walls into this:

Once the painting was completed, M and I used last Friday night to set up the furniture in Joycelen's room. We began by hanging this vinyl wall decal:

The hanging of the decal was quite the ordeal. The instructions seemed simple enough - Remove the backing paper, place the decal, smooth it out, then peel off the top layer of protecting cover. We followed the instructions to a T, but the letters kept wanting to stick to the protecting cover rather than the wall. M patiently worked for over an hour until the decal was in place.

Once that was done, we set up Joycelen's crib. The crib is a gift from Joycelen's Uncle Jason and Aunt Lane. It is the crib that their daughters Lacey and London used and they thought it would be a wonderful idea to pass it down to Joycelen. M and I were quite happy to accept their genorsity.

The bedding that we have selected for the nursery was delayed in shipping. So for now, Joycelen's crib has just a pink sheet and a blanket that her Daddy selected for her. The stuffed duck in the corner was an Easter gift from M when we first began dating. It has now found a new home in Joycelen's nursery.

Up next on the to-do list is putting in her custom-made bookcases and adding accessories. I can not wait to show you the finished product.

January 28, 2010

34 Weeks

What's Happening with Joycelen?

  • Joycelen now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (per baby center.com) and should be almost 18 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.

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 24.5 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes.
  • Best moment this week: Taking maternity photos. I can not wait to share the images with you.
  • Food cravings: Bananas
  • Belly button in or out? In, although it is not nearly as deep as it use to be.
  • Stretch Marks? Still none that we can see.
  • What I miss: Being able to sit at my desk without feeling like Joycelen is going to beat my ribs into a million pieces. Apparently, my daughter likes it when Mama is active - i.e. walking, working out. If I sit in a chair for more than a few minutes, she kicks my ribs to voice her displeasure.

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy has been busy splitting his time between work related tasks and home improvement projects. The grand opening for the State Patrol Office he built is on February 8th and the school he is building is in full swing. He has had several nights where he has gotten home after 7:30. And yet he manages to work on Joycelen's bookcases, and a few other minor projects.

January 27, 2010

Doctor's Visit - 34 Weeks

Yesterday, I had my 34 week check up with the lovely Dr. H. After the usual routine of weight, peeing in a cup, and blood pressure check - Dr. H came in for her portion of the visit. I got to recline and relax while she measured the "bump" and listened to Joycelen's heartbeat on the Doppler. I am measuring perfectly on schedule, exactly 34 weeks and 3 days. Joycelen's heartbeat was strong and steady averaging between 135-145 beats per minute.

Dr. H and I then had a discussion about what to expect at my next visit and in the weeks to come. Our next appointment is scheduled for February 11, 2010. At that point, I will be 36 weeks and 5 days. Dr. H will perform an ultrasound to take a look at Joycelen to determine if she is moving into the birth position. (I should note that Dr. H says Joycelen has already started dropping and I should see a decrease in my rib pain, yea!. I will also have my cultures, specifically testing for Group B Strep - an infection that I could pass onto Joycelen during labor. I will also begin the fun routine of having my cervix checked.

Following this visit, Joycelen and I will see Dr. H weekly until the big day. I find it hard to believe that the end of my pregnancy is so close. Dr. H and her staff all made the same comments. Dr. H said that I had been "A most pleasant patient and a pleasure to deal with."

Perhaps it was the positive attitude that made time go by sooner. My 34 weeks pics and progress will be posted tomorrow.

January 25, 2010

Making Room for Baby, Part Two

As of Saturday, we are 6 weeks away from Joycelen's arrival -- and preparations for the big day are in full swing. You readers, may remember my original To-Do list. One month later, we have made quite a bit of progress on the list.....and added a few more items/events to our schedule. Here is what the next 6 weeks look like for M, myself, and Baby.

January 24, 2010 - Daddy and Papa Mike are going to finish putting the bookcases for Joycelen's room together. Daddy has been working on this project for awhile but has had to make several design changes which have delayed installation.

January 25, 2010 - Uncle Dewayne will finish painting the installed bookcases and Joycelen's nursery.

January 30, 2010 - Our First Baby shower (from 3-5) thrown by the ladies of our church. The baby shower will then be followed up with an engagement party for Joycelen's Aunt Jessica. This means a late night for all of us.

February 6, 2010 - London's 3rd Birthday. Our 2nd oldest niece turns 3 on February 8th - so we will be celebrating her birthday on the Saturday prior....the agenda calls for cake/ice cream and a bounce house/slide. I will be 36 weeks at this point, and might be tempted to take a few bounces to see if I can move Joycelen along (just kidding).

February 13, 2010 - Youth Valentine's Banquet. The youth of our church will be hosting a Valentine's Banquet. As a youth worker, I am required to assist with the preparations. Last year my duties included hanging decorations, cooking the meal, and helping serve. I have a feeling that this year, I am going to be relegated to a chair where I will call out directions.

February 20, 2010 - Our Second Baby Shower. This shower will held at the home of my aunt - and hosted by my Mama's two older sisters. My Aunt lives about an hour and a half away.....and since I will be 38 weeks, my mother is really nervous about me making the trip. However, Dr. H says that as long as I am not experiencing any problems I can go -- as long as I bring my mother-in-law along since she is a labor and delivery nurse.

February 27, 2010 - Trenton's 3rd Birthday. Our 2nd oldest nephew turns 3 on the 23rd....so we are going to celebrate his birthday on the Saturday after. The entire family is taking bets on whether or not, I will go into labor prior to or during the party. I have already told everyone that unless I am 10cm and pushing -- the birthday party happens.

There you have it readers, a rough outline of the next 6 weeks - or at least the major events. I did not include work deadlines or the little to-do's that will happen - such as 1 more major deep clean of the house, washing Joycelen's clothes, or putting the finishing touches on her nursery. While the list seems long, I am excited to have so many events to focus on as a way to help pass the next 6 weeks.

January 19, 2010

Nursery Renovation, Part 2

When M and I began thinking about Joycelen's nursery, we knew that whatever design/theme we chose was going to require quite a bit of work on our part. Our home is much older, being originally built in the 1950's, then moved from town to our farm in the late 80's, with an addition in the 1990's. Suffice it to say that it has required a lot of TLC over the years. And we knew converting the home office to a nursery would require a large dose of TLC and even more elbow grease. Our first change was to rip out the ugly/stained blue carpet and replace it with the wood flooring.

Once the floors were installed, M and I began working on converting the beige walls to our chose paint scheme. Here I am scrapping off old paint and the remnants of panel strips, to prep for paint and the new chair railing.
Speaking of paint, here are the colors that will be used in Joycelen's nursery and bathroom. The top half of her walls will be the light mint green, with the chocolate brown on bottom. A white chair railing will separate the two. The darker green will be used in her bathroom which also functions as a guest bath.
Here is M installing the chair railing. Given the age of our house, the walls are not perfectly straight, which made the task of hanging the railing difficult. From a straight on perspective the railing is level, but a side view reveals a few curves.....
The painter arrives tomorrow to start on his tasks....and I couldn't be more excited. I am hoping that later tonight I can post a few videos that M and I shot while working over the weekend.

January 18, 2010

33 Weeks

My View at 33 Weeks

Belly Close up

What's Happening with Joycelen?
  • Joycelen now weighs a little over 4 pounds and is 17 inches long.
  • Her skin is rapidly losing its wrinkled look and her skeleton is hardening.

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 24.5 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes.
  • Best moment this week: Working with M on Joycelen's nursery.
  • Food cravings: Peanut Butter
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Stretch Marks? Thankfully still a negative.
  • What I miss: Endurance - I am beginning to notice that I tire easy and that my workout intensity has dropped.

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy is still in full home improvement mode. He has worked all weekend on Joycelen's nursery. This week he plans on replacing the toilet in her bathroom and installing can lights in the living room.

January 17, 2010

Nursery Renovation

This is what Joycelen's nursery looked like on Friday night after the new flooring went down. Over the next several posts, I will document the various changes/upgrades we have made to the room.

January 13, 2010

Help Needed...

Okay, my beloved readers, I need your help on the following things:

  • Do you have a favorite maternity picture? Whether you've had maternity photos done or just saw the picture online, I would love your input on shots that I should have my photographer take during our session. I am sure that Amy (that's our photographer) will have a plethora of ideas -- but she always ask me for my input....so I am asking you.
  • Do you have any good ideas on a gift that I could give M as a celebration of Joycelen's birth? Traditionally, the mother gets flowers, a card, or some other such item when she gives birth.....but I want to buck tradition and have a momento for M.
  • Do you have any ideas on what I can get M for our first wedding anniversary? Even though our anniversary is not until March 21, I want to go ahead and make the purchase, as I am fearful the stress of dealing with a newborn might make me forget.

I thank you in advance for your help. You can leave your suggestions as a comment or you can e-mail.

January 12, 2010

Oh Monday, Monday

It seems to be a universal truth that Mondays are notoriously bad days. As a natural optimist, I have already tried to give Monday the benefit of the doubt and approach it with a positive attitude. However, this Monday was a bad day and one I hope not to repeat EVER!

The bad day started with the blaring of the alarm clock at 6:30. I hit the snooze for a moment and then left the warmth of my bed to head to the shower. I stepped in, turn the knob, and nothing.....not a single drop of water. Weird, but I figured that the pipes were just cold. I stepped out of the shower and tried the sink -- still nothing. I then discovered that no faucet worked and the toilets would not flush. My pump had frozen and until it unthawed, I was without water. Thankfully, I had showered the night before, but I had to wash my face and brush my teeth with bottled water from the fridge -- talk about waking up fast.

When I arrived at work, the fun just kept coming. In the span of 12 hours (yep, I at 8 months pregnant logged at 12 hour workday), I had the following happen:
  • My oatmeal exploded in the microwave
  • I missed my desk chair and landed on my bottom -- OUCH!
  • I left my bread (for my lunch sandwich) in the toaster too long and it burnt
  • Did I mention I had to work 12 hours?

I am not whining or complaining -- okay maybe a smidge --- but I though it would be fun to share my Monday mishaps, so that you readers know that you not alone!

January 11, 2010

32 Weeks

What's Happening with Joycelen?
  • Joycelen now weighs 3.75 pounds and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in my uterus.
  • I am gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to her.
  • She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 24.5 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes. I have had to pick up a few more maternity sweaters as we've had a cold snap recently.
  • Best moment this week: Knowing that we will hear Joycelen's heartbeat today at the doctor's.
  • Food cravings: Peanut Butter
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Stretch Marks? Thankfully still a negative.
  • What I miss: Being able to do ab-work. Our company is having a "Biggest Loser" contest and two of my co-workers have asked me to be their trainer. It is hard to explain ab exercises when you can not do them.

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy is in full home improvement mode. Over the weekend, he used the tractor to fix our very muddy dirt driveway. He managed to fill in all the holes and smooth things out. Daddy has a load of rock ordered to go down sometime this week. He also plans on hanging the chair molding in the nursery on Saturday. :-)

January 07, 2010

And life just keeps getting busier

We've scheduled our maternity photos for January 23. Our showers have been scheduled for the 30th of January and the 20th of February. And in between those, we have our niece London's birthday party (Feb 6th), our Youth sponsored Valentine's Supper (Feb 13th). The week before Joycelen's arrival is our nephew Trenton's birthday party....... I am getting tired just thinking about it.

January 06, 2010

31 Weeks

What's Happening with Joycelen?

Joycelen is about over 16 inches long. She weighs about 3.3 pounds and is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn her head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin.

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 21.5 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? During the week I where maternity clothes to work. On the weekends, I can still wear my pre-pregnancy "activewear" or some of Mikey's sweaters.
  • Best moment this week: Getting a whole 8 hours of sleep (at a single time)
  • Food cravings: Kashi Cereal
  • Belly button in or out? In.
    Stretch Marks? 9 weeks to go and still no stretch marks!
  • What I miss: Not having a somewhat constant pain in my ribs. Joycelen has discovered that kicking Mama's ribs is fun (for her) but quite painful for me.

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy's superintendent on his school project had to be out of town. Therefore, Daddy is running the project - meaning he is up at 5:00 in the morning, on site all day, and gets home after dark. His biggest complaint is the extreme cold (19 here this morning.)

January 05, 2010

Goals for 2010 - Everything Else

Goal: Take more pride in my appearance even as pregnancy progresses:
  • It would be very easy to fall into a rut of sweats/scrub pants and oversized sweaters as the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy come and go....but that's not what I want to do.
  • To combat the temptation of being a "slob" - I am going to plan out my daily outfits each evening, using inspiration from You Look Fab and Fab Finds Under $50. .
  • Wake up 10 minutes earlier each morning, to ensure that I have enough time to style my hair (I don't need to default to a bun every day) and put on my make-up (more than just lip gloss.)

Goal: Read more.

  • I use to average 2-3 books per month. These days, I am doing good to finish 1 book every 3 months. My goal is to finish at least 2 books in January and 1 in February. I will devote 15-20 minutes every night to reading, prior to bed, to help me relax.
  • I will also bring a book to read on my lunch break!

Goal: Finish Joycelen's nursery.

Goal: With M's help, make a list of those "home improvement" projects that we would like to accomplish in the coming year. Figure out how they will impact our monthly budget and "schedule" them over the course of 2010.

Goals for 2010 - Food/Healthy Eating

Goal: Eat less junk food

  • I want to limit myself to a single "junk food" item per day. However, if I find I have an overwhelming craving for something, then I will indulge but within reason.

Goal: Eat more fruits/veggies

  • I have not been getting the recommended servings of fruits/veggies per day. I will eat the recommended servings each day. To accomplish this - I intend on making a green monster (fruit, yogurt and spinach) smoothie for breakfast, eating veggies with my lunch, and incorporate more veggies into my dinner.

Goal: Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day

Goal: Reduce the amount of "meals out" that M and I consume each week.

  • M and I have very crammed schedules on Wednesdays and have resorted to eating out that night each week (and then again on Friday/Saturday). I am going to research and find healthy recipes that can be prepared in the crock pot, so that there is good food waiting on M and I when we find the time to eat.
  • M and I are also going to share cooking responsiblities with our SIL and M's parents. Each Sunday, my SIL, MIL and I will meet to "plan" our meals for the week. Then each party is responsible for obtaining the ingredients that need to prepare their respective meal on their assigned night. My hope is that this will allow us to eat healthier and cheaper.

Goals for 2010 - Fitness

Goal: Complete a minimum of 20 minutes of cardio at least 5 times per week.

  • The cardio will help me to keep my pregnancy weight gain under control, promote circulation which will aid in reducing swelling, and help me sleep better (always a plus at nearly 8 months pregnant).
  • I will alternate between walking on the treadmill, using the elliptical trainer and utilizing the various low-impact workout DVD's that I own.

Goal: Complete 3 weight lifting workouts per week - specific focus lower body

  • Weight training is something that I love to do and I know it provides great benefits to my body. As delivery grows nearer, I will focus more on exercises that strengthen the lower body area as it will be needed more in the coming months.

January 04, 2010

Goals for 2010 - Family

Goal: Deepen my relationship with Mikey
  • Devote at least 1 night per week to "hiding out" with M. - Between work, church, family, and friends, M and I often spend little to no time at home during the week. This often leaves us feeling frazzled. Over the next two months, I want to have a least one evening per week where M and I are at home....alone....just taking care of ourselves and the chores that often accumulate at home.
  • Have "date night" each week. - Date night is different from "hiding out". Date night is a night reserved for nothing more than spending time together. No chores allowed on date night!

Goal: Develop stronger relationships with our nieces/nephews.

  • For so long, M and I have been cast in the role of "cool Aunt and Uncle" we are a little nervous that our nieces/nephews will feel neglected upon Joycelen's arrival. In the new year, we want to show them that our love for them does not change just because we now have a daughter.
  • Between now and the end of February, M and I will take our oldest two nephews out for pizza (their favorite meal) and our two oldest nieces out for Mexican. Baby niece Kaitlynn will get a few hours with Aunt Kim and Uncle M all by her lonesome.
  • We will try and have each of the four oldest spend the night with us at least once prior to baby's arrival.

Goal: Reconnect with old friends.

  • In 2009, I was the world's worst at keeping in touch with my friends who lived in other cities. This year I want to do more to keep up with them - and not just via Facebook. I am going to set myself reminders on my calendar to e-mail them each week, and time permitting schedule Skype sessions with each of them.

Goal: Spend more time with our parents

  • This will include lunch dates with my Daddy, shopping trips with my Mama and MIL, and at least two "parents" dinners at our home.

Next up, Fitness....

Goals for 2010 - Faith

Four days into the New Year and the blogsphere is filled with countless posts detailing each author's resolutions/goals/plans for 2010. I have never been a big fan of New Year's resolutions - as I tend to quit/forget about them after the "newness" wears off. However, this year I took several days to examine my life over the last year - things I loved, things I disliked, things I wanted to do more of, things I wanted to do less of - and came up with a few goals that I would like to accomplish.

In a little over 8 weeks, my life will forever change with the birth of my daughter. Recongizing that a newborn brings a whole level of unpredictablity to life, I have decided to narrow my goals to just January and February. I will re-evaluate and make new goals for myself after Joycelen's arrival.

I am going to post my goals over a few entries....based on the sub-categories that they fall into.

First up, faith:

Goal: To deepen my relationship with Christ.

  • Develop the habit of a daily quiet time. For the month of January, I am studying the book of Proverbs. I will read a chapter each morning, journal my thoughts/questions/impression, and then discuss with M each evening.
  • Devote more time to preparing my Sunday School Lesson. In September, I became the Sunday school teacher for our Youth class. I started off strong - reading the scriptures one day, the commentary in the teaching guide the next, and making a "lesson plan". But somewhere along the way I got off track and have just been throwing the lessons together. Starting with this week's lesson - I will read the Scriptures on Monday, study the commentary on Tuesday, develop the lesson plan on Wednesday/Thursday, and review everything on Saturday afternoon.
  • Find opportunities to serve others - both in my church and in the community at large. For January, I am working on collecting donations of non-perishable items for our community food bank.

Up next....Family!

January 01, 2010

FB's 2009 in Review Questions

FatBridesmaid posted these questions to help bloggers review 2009. I thought it would be fun to play along....

1. Was 2009 good for you? 2009 was a great year for me - a new job, getting married, and finding out we were pregnant
2. What was your favorite moment of the year? March 21, 2009 - my wedding day and July 4, 2009 - the day we found out we were pregnant.
3. What was your worst moment of the year? April - when I realized that my knees were going to cooperate and let me continue my 5K training.
4. Where were you when 2009 began? At our church's "Watch Night Service".
5. Who were you with? I was with Mikey.
6. Where were you when 2009 ended? At Jessica's house - playing the Wii with her, M, and Levi
7. Did you keep your new years resolution of 2009? I don't think I had any resoultions.
8. Do you have a new years resolution for 2010? I have a few goals - but nothing too concrete at the moment.
9. Did you fall in love in 2009? If falling in love with your unborn child counts, then the answer is a resounding YES!
10. Did you make any new friends in 2009? Yes - Shera, Paris, Moondog (and no these aren't their real names)
11. What was your favorite month of 2009? March
12. Why this month? It was the month that I got married and took my honeymoon.
13. Did you travel outside of the US in 2009? Sadly my answer is the same as last year, no. Hopefully this will change one day soon.
14. How many different places did you travel to in 2009? 20
15. Did you miss anybody in the past year? Yes
16. What was your favorite movie that you saw in 2009? Batman - The Dark Knight or The Blindside
17. What was your favorite song from 2009? Big Green Tractor - Jason Aldeen - just because it is sooo cute hearing my nieces sing it.
18. How many concerts or plays did you see in 2009? 0
19. Did you have a favorite concert in 2009? N/a
20. What was your favorite book in 2009? Tuesdays with Morrie - I realize that it is a book that has been out for quite awhile, but I just finished reading it.
21. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year? No
22. What was the biggest lie you told in 2009?
23. Did you treat somebody badly in 2009? No
24. Did somebody treat you badly in 2009? Not that I can recall.
25. What was your proudest moment of 2009? Wedding Day.
26. What was your most embarrassing moment of 2009?
27. If you could go back to any moment of 2009 and change something, what would it be? I would probably go back and wait a few weeks to tell our family that we were pregnant. The first few weeks were nerve-wracking - hoping things were okay with the pregnancy and wondering how we'd tell our family/friends if they weren't.
28. Where did you work in 2009? The hospital in my hometown
29. Favorite TV shows(s) of 2009? MythBusters, The Good Wife, Chopped, and anything on TLC/Discovery Channel
30. Favorite Band(s) of 2009? Rascall Flatts, Taylor Swift, SugarLand
31. Favorite Food in 2009? Nutella Hazelnut Spread
32. Favorite Drink in 2009? Diet Dr. Pepper
33. Favorite Place in 2009? My couch next to the hubby
34. Favorite person(s) to be with in 2009? M
35. Favorite person(s) to talk to in 2009? Lane or Jessica
36. Favorite trip in 2009? Our Honeymoon to Gaitlinburg, followed by my girl's night out in Savannah, and the June Beach trip with my sister-in-law
37. Favorite stores in 2009? Ann Taylor Loft, Gap Outlet, JC Penney, any sporting goods store
38. Hardest thing you had to go through in 2009? Finding out that my oldest nephew has a few developmental delays.
39. Most exciting moment(s) in 2009? Wedding, pregnancy, new job, remodeling our house
40. Funniest moment(s) in 2009? Anything my nieces/nephews have done.