Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Bird's Nest

Nell got a "fisheye" shot of the nursery.

Some little details.

Little Girl's room is very small so we had to really use the space carefully. There is no closet or built in shelving or anything. Here are some things that we did to capitalize on the space:
-Changing pad on dresser
-Baskets under the crib
-Book shelf with baskets
-Pocket shelves with baskets next to the glider as well as over the diaper changing area.
-all baby gear that I got is the smallest, cheapest, and most collapsable model i could find so that it can be stored under the crib, in the corner or in the dungeon. Seriously, everything: baby bath, baby swing, bassinet, packnplay, etc...

I have been amazed at how economically we could put together this space. I got the crib years ago at a garage sale for a few bucks and Landon refinished it with spray paint. I bought the glider for $35 at a local consignment shop and refinished it with fabric given to me by my sis. The mattress i purchased used on consignment for cheap. Otherwise, we already had the dresser and book shelf. Friends and family have been so generous to us at our baby showers, we really haven't needed to buy much at all. 

Mom and Nell helped put on the finishing touches during their Christmas trip out here. I specifically asked my sister, who is crazy organized, to help me come up with some creative storage ideas. And my mom really can look at a room and have great vision for its potential, so they were a huge help. I felt like I had to harness them a little bit, as they were very excited and had A LOT of ideas. I still wanted the space to be simple and be ours. And I think it is exactly that! I am very grateful and so excited to put our Little Girl in here soon.

Any day now....

Friday, December 28, 2012

Little Baby: 37 weeks

  Merry Christmas!

Family left to return to Colorado Wednesday and we are getting a little R&R&R (rest, relaxation, and regrouping) around our house. I am fortunate to have been able to take off the entire week, which is 9 days! What a luxury. During those 9 days, it SNOWED! We had near-blizzard conditions at times and sweet floating snowflakes at other times. I LOVE having white Christmases, and this year we were clobbered with snow. Dad and Landon were able to ski on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and ice climb as well.   Mom and Nell helped me put together a beautiful nursery for the baby (or maybe i helped them put it together...). Otherwise, we just spent some good time together.

It snowed all day yesterday and into today. I really would love our baby to be born on a snowy day. Days of snow are so peaceful and beautiful.

Enjoying my Christmas present from my baby's daddy.
It'll fit better come summer. Excited to get our family into the woods!

Little Baby is 37 weeks

This is a very important week as Little Girl is finally full-term. 

I had an appointment with my OB today. I am 2 cm dilated, and 80% effaced. She thinks baby could come any day, although she said it could also be a few weeks. So we will just wait and see. 

Unfortunately, I tested positive for StrepB, which will complicate labor plans a little bit. This just means that I will be administered an IV antibiotic during labor and things need to progress relatively quickly to decrease the risk of infecting her. according to the CDC, if I am given antibiotics during labor, she has a 1 in 4000 chance of contracting GBS. 

Today I packed my hospital bag. Baby's was packed last week. So we are ready to go whenever the time arrives! 

I still feel like there is much to do at work in preparation for my maternity leave. We have hired an intern who will help out during the 10 weeks that I am on leave. Many people ask me when my leave begins and i'm planning on working until my water breaks. I'm not sure if it is wise to work until "d-day", but I'd rather spend every day of the 10 weeks with my baby girl instead of sacrificing those days to merely sit around waiting for her arrival. 

I will update again after my appointment next week.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Little Baby: 36 weeks

Christmas Eve. What a joyous time of year!

Right now my parents and sister are in town to celebrate Christmas with us. It is really wonderful to get to celebrate Christmas in our own home without having to travel at all for the holiday. It takes a lot of stress out of the season - getting to stay home.

On their first day here, Mom and Nell were on a mission to help me complete the baby's nursery. It is just beautiful. In fact, I am sitting in it right now as I write this. When the husband saw it complete, he called it "The Bird's Nest". That's about right. It's the sweetest birdy-themed little room for our little chick! Now all we need is the baby. It feels great to have the nursery completed. 

36 weeks:
Last Monday (a week ago), I was 1cm dilated, 60% effaced, and baby was in position -1 in the birth canal
(sorry, i was unable to resize this one)

Women can stay dilated 1cm for the entire last month of their pregnancy. However, the effacement and lightening (dropping) of the baby in the birth canal means that this baby will probably be early. That makes me happy. I want her to stay inside as long as it takes for her to be healthy and strong when she comes out, but i would really love to finally hold her and to finally not have a pregnant body any more. 

The news about her progress kicked both landon and I's nesting instincts up a notch. Three days last week I woke around 3am with baby concerns on the mind: choosing a name, packing our bags (mine still isn't packed), finishing the nursery, getting the rest of the baby stuff that I need, etc... Made for some exhausting days, having not gotten much sleep last week. People tell me that it's just preparing me for my lack of constant sleep once she arrives. But at least when she is here I don't have to go to work for 8 hours in such an exhausted state. I'll let you know later if these sleepless nights "prepare" me for anything. My guess is that lack of sleep doesn't prepare one for lack of sleep ;)

I completed my breastfeeding class last week. It was interesting. I spent the break crying in the bathroom because I was the only expectant mother in the entire group to plan on putting her baby in daycare. It made me feel like a poor parent. I think the class did a good job at teaching about what to expect if I have a "normal" experience. I didn't learn anything about unique situations or babies. I didn't know that breastfeeding takes up practically half of your new-mommy life at the beginning. Sheesh. I am looking forward to it, though. Here in Utah, you get very experienced women teaching these classes. My teacher has 10 children! 

It is exciting to think that Little Baby should arrive in a few weeks. In the meantime, I just keep getting bigger and bigger. I am getting increasingly uncomfortable with some intense round ligament pain, braxton hicks transactions, and sciatic nerve pain. However, I remain so grateful that this pregnancy has gone so smoothly and I have been mostly comfortable throughout these 9 months. 

In a few days Little Baby should be full-term. I am not going back to work from my Christmas vacation until Monday. Having a long 9 days off is something that I have been really needing and looking forward to. 

Tomorrow is Christmas! So grateful to get to celebrate the gift of "God with us" with my family in Utah this year. Merry Christmas to you and I hope you will celebrate with much joy and thankfulness. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Little Baby: 35 Weeks

  Our baby had hiccups at around 5am this morning. Sleep is hard to come by these days, for Mr McBrayer and for myself.

With only 10 days until our little girl is full-term, we are getting more prepared for her arrival.

Baby's daddy built a cloth diaper sprayer with about a billion separate parts that he located from the hardware store and a plumbing shop. 

It works beautifully.

We had two Christmas parties with our colleagues this last week. I've also had several days of Christmas cooking and crafting. So we are feeling Christmas drawing near and are looking forward to the arrival of the Sheely family come Friday.

Although we have received 20" of snow in the mountains, we spent 10 hours in a childbirthing class this weekend. 

We were surprised by how much we enjoyed it. We learned a lot. We received a tour of the hospital and every little thing inside of the labor and delivery rooms and recovery rooms. I really appreciated that because I feel like i can visualize this whole mysterious and terrifying experience better, which makes it less mysterious and terrifying! It was fun to be surrounded by other parents-to-be and hear their questions. I really am amazed at how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful pregnancy. I think I took more bathroom breaks than all the other women, but i wasn't miserably huge, on the verge of passing out, unable to fit in my shoes, hormonal, or snacking on tums... 

Doony putting in his 15 minutes with "the belly". It was 25lbs. He didn't like the way it felt on his stomach, and it was uncomfortable to wear standing, he said. I told him that I've put on more than that! Luckily for me, though, it was a gradual 8 months instead of 8 seconds, so my body is more used to it. I didn't have him try to tie his shoes walk up and down the stairs, ha! 

This last week has been nice because for some unknown reason, I have been more comfortable in general than the week before. This week, Little Baby stayed curled up inside my belly pretty well. I did feel her often pushing beneath my ribs, but I didn't feel like she was being magnetized away from my body, like i did the week before. Today, however, has been a different story. It is a little more than uncomfortable. It is a little painful to feel my skin stretch to tightly, and sometimes i feel like her boney butt and little feet have got to be bruising me with the discomfort she causes.

Updates in pregnancy land:
my belly button is starting to pop out just a little bit (can't see in the picture). 
I haven't shaved my legs in 3 weeks.
She is 20 inches long and 5 1/2lbs. 
We still don't have a name for her. 
Even my maternity clothes are starting to get too small.
Thoughts of being able to drink beer or go skiing in less than 2 months makes me giddy. But not as giddy as the thought of cuddling my baby girl at last...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Little Baby: 34 Weeks

  I feel so fortunate when the big snow storms arrive during the weekend. It is wonderful to wake to snow and be able to just sit home and enjoy it instead of bustling off to work. This was another snowy weekend this winter and I took full advantage of it by making a lot of Christmas goodness in my kitchen while singing along to Christmas music. 

Landon preparing his powder skis last night for this morning's 12 inches of powder.

Like I mentioned previously, I'm not making much for Christmas - especially not with my sewing maching. Every year, though, I like to put together something in my kitchen in bulk that I can give to multiple people, like colleagues or friends from church, or whomever we would want to give a gift.

Burlap pillow covers I made for this winter

Also this week I felt like I was truly in the thick of this pregnancy.

Little Baby is 34 Weeks:

By now our baby is 5lbs and 19 inches - pretty big baby, eh?
This week the "nesting" instinct not only arrived in force, but totally clobbered me. We were finally able to put a dresser in the baby's room which was the last thing I needed in order to begin putting the nursery together.  We don't have a closet in there so everything has just been sitting in piles on the ground waiting for this dresser. Sorting out all of the baby's clothes and washing it all and organizing it in the dresser took several hours and a lot of it was in the middle of the night. Wednesday morning, I woke at 3:30am and couldn't think of anything else except for our little girl's room so I just gave up on sleeping and spent that entire night/morning doing her laundry and sorting through her drawers. I was the first person in Target that morning to buy a few things I realized I still needed after I took an inventory of everything we have. 

A few days this week I have awoke in the morning to find Landon on the couch. My snoring is getting worse, apparently , which is absolutely a pregnancy side-affect!

I also have experienced my first sciatic nerve pain, which was honestly awful. It was so piercing and painful, I could hardly walk by the end of my work day. It took 3 or 4 days to go away completely. 

My maternity clothes are starting to feel too tight and uncomfortable. I've never been one to lounge around in pj's, but every day when I get home I put on my elastic pants and baggy sweatshirt immediately. 

I have had several people this week tell me that it looks like the baby is coming "any day now". These kind of comments don't actually bother me.  I certainly feel huge. I hate to inform them that I still have a month and a half. erg!

This baby FEELS huge. I actually asked my doctor of she was sideways because I can often feel her feet on my ribs or my hips. And my doctor thought that I was funny. In fact, our little girl has been head-down for a long time and still is, she is just running out of room in there and sometimes likes to kick her legs out in uncomfortable positions. 

I officially cannot tie my shoes any more. Luckily I have several velcro or slip-on shoes in my winter wardrobe. And the sweetest husband ever.

Next weekend we will go to our birthing classes, of which I am a little nervous about and a little excited about. I really have no clue about childbirth and neither does my husband (beyond what you can learn on the internet), so I am hoping it will help us feel more prepared

I am looking forwar to Christmas. And Doons and I finished our Christmas shopping this week, and with new snow and Christmas crafting complete, I am prepared and stoked. I am excited to have a week's break from work and family here to visit.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Little Baby: 33 Weeks

 Welcome December!

This week we have begun Christmas preparations around our home.

Decking of halls with Christmas lights and the smell of evergreens are my favorite parts of this season (except for the snow, of course!) Our Noble Fir is beautiful! As several of our Christmas lights are at least 10 years old, we had to expire some of them this year. So our Christmas tree has doned LED lights. It is less traditional-looking but still beautiful. Doons and I are fortunate that we both brought a box of our childhood Christmas ornaments into our marriage, so it is really fun and special to sit here and look at our ornaments, some just as old as we are! 

With December now here, I am reminded that our daughter will be born NEXT MONTH! amazing. 

At 33 weeks, she is 4.5lbs and is 19 inches. 
Her movements are less extreme but she squirms for longer durations these days. I am finding that her movement has become much less of an annoyance and is now a comfort to me, to know that she is doing well.

Sleep has been our biggest struggle around here. I have been slightly under the weather, which makes it hard for me to breathe at night. This pulls me out of sleep often. Landon has spent several nights on the couch as my snoring and constant movement make it nearly impossible for him to sleep. Today we skipped church, both of us conceding to more sleep. 

The aches of pregnancy are getting more uncomfortable. This week I experienced my first braxton-hicks contraction, which was more of a surprise than anything. My back aches often, and I find myself using a heat pad while I'm at work and when I lay down for bed. Heartburn is becoming a regular occurance, and I can't believe that some people have to put up with it all of the time. I can tell that my joints have loosened up a bit, especially my hips. By 4pm most days, I feel like our little girl is being pulled forward and down by gravity which can sometimes be a little painful - i like it when she's crammed in close and snug.

As I mentioned last week, I still have some sewing planned. With the preparations that I am undertaking for this baby, I don't have as much motivation or time to do home-made gifts this Christmas. Usually I really enjoy making things for family and friends but this year I will just surrender to the other things (mostly this baby!) going on in my life... Maybe next year (would I really have more time with an 11 month old?).

The husband and I are trying to make every day an enjoyable time together. This week we went out to dinner one night and to a movie another. Things we don't usually do too often, but we want to take advantage of these last few months (weeks!) when we are baby-free and can go out on the town without any cares beyond each other. Dooney and I have so much fun together and are blessed by such wonderful friends. This is a really wonderful season of our life. We are so grateful.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Little Baby: 32 Weeks

Wow. Is it really 32 weeks? These days I'm having a hard time keeping track, honestly.

Last weekend was spent in my hometown. We celebrated my mother's 50th birthday on Friday and on Saturday we had a multi-generational baby shower. My grandmother, mother, and I all invited friends and family. There were 25 women over all, and it was a beautiful celebration. It is really special to see good friends, and almost all of my grandmother's friends have known me my entire life, so it is great to celebrate this baby with them. 

mom-to-be with the hostesses

It was a beautiful and very special shower. My grandmother did a wonderful job making the most incredible food and my mother and sister decorated her home so sweet and planned a very fun craft. It was great.

By the way, i am still extremely surprised every time i see a picture of myself (like just now, looking at the picture above). I certainly feel pregnant, but i don't realize how huge i actually am until i see myself in pictures. I even still try to turn my body sideways to get through narrow spaces - ha! that's a joke! maybe i'll be used to being enormous by the time the baby arrives.

This week we celebrated Thanksgiving with dear friends. With 14 adults, a baby, and 5 dogs, it was a Thanksgiving to remember! This was our first Thanksgiving with friends - we have always been with family or just the 2 of us. Landon began the day skiing, which is the best way to spend any holiday. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year. And I am just amazed at how our lives have changed and will change in such a short amount of time. God's blessings are so abundant!

Thanksgiving morning our Christmas tree arrived on our front porch. The last 3 years we have used a pre-pay Christmas tree service from a local familiy. You buy it in advance and they drop it off on your front porch between Thanksgiving and December. It is sitting in our living room smelling gorgeous, but we have yet to decorate it as we have been pretty busy around here.

Yesterday Dooney took Duvick into the desert for some rock climbing and I stayed home and did some crafting. With less than 2 months until our due date, I'm feeling the pressure to get everything ready for Little Baby (is that pressure or just a nesting instict? Either way, it makes me pretty productive!). Now that my baby showers are over, I sat down and surveyed what I still need and tried to see what I could make myself.

I made a seersucker crib sheet a few months ago and decided that I should just buy the rest because they cost more to make than to buy (takes 2 yards of fabric). But I haven't been able to find ANY flannel baby sheets in stock in Target or online. (imagine taking however many minutes it requires to finally soothe a baby to sleep and then place her on a cold cotton sheet. No way! This winter Baby requires flannel!) So I just bought a pair of flannel sheets that were on sale for $15 from Target, and was able to make 2 crib sheets out of that AND a changing table cover. I think I will be able to make another sheet from the remainder (but feel a little guilty giving Baby Girl 3 GREY crib sheets). I need at least 4 sheets since our baby's daycare requires 2 sheets there and i'm sure we will want more than 1 at home as well. Baby sheets are extremely easy to make with Dana's awesome tutorial.  

It's extremely satisfying to be making things for our baby. I really do sit there for hours and think about her as I sew. It's therapeutic for me and makes me feel like I am already being a good mom to my girl. Her nursery doesn't really have any colors or theme yet, although it does in my mind. I think of it as a grey/white/ room with a birdy theme. In reality it's just the room where we keep all of our baby junk so far. I know that grey and white isn't very exciting, but i really wanted a soothing space for our baby, with soft colors. We can go nuts creating a bedroom with tons of color for her once she has opinions about that sort of thing, but for now, I'm just envisioning a very peaceful place for her first year. 

We ordered a dresser that should arrive in the next couple of weeks. So hopefully by Christmas I'll have the nursery better situated with her things laundered and organized in boxes and drawers. I'm excited for that. 

Still on my list of things to make: cloth diapers, cloth wipes, nursing pads. These are each things that I already have in stock - I've received some as gifts and have made some of my own. Yet, I still require more. So those are on my crafting list. Maybe if I can get those done by Christmas I can start to create really FUN things for our little girl, like leggings and hair bows. Maybe by then we'll have a name picked out for her...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Little Baby: 30 weeks

This last week has been an exciting one. Hitting 30 weeks feels like a milestone in itself 10 weeks left: that’s about 2 months. Amazing.

Our back yard on Sunday morning.

We had a major snowstorm here in the Valley that lasted about 48 hours. Friday morning we started to receive flurries and it didn’t stop until Sunday afternoon. I LOVE snowy days, especially when they fall on the weekend! The excitement I always had as a little kid returns each snow storm. I always wonder about the people that rebuke the snow - if maybe their childhoods deprived them of the beautiful snowy memories that mine is so rich with.

Landon was able to ski in 52” of fresh snow Sunday morning. We went into the woods with some friends on Saturday and I was able to snowshoe. It was wonderful to hear and smell the snow as we hiked among the trees. My ski pants didn’t fit too well, but I was still able to get my jacket zipped. This is becoming a problem for me lately: getting my cold weather jackets to fit over my belly. A lot of the time, I can just button the top button and let my belly hang out. I see this becoming an increasingly “bigger” challenge as my pregnancy progresses.

Baby is 3lbs. I can’t believe she still has so much growing to do! I’m not sure where she is going to find the space. She and I are maxed out in this body, I feel like.

Sunday I was able to celebrate Little Baby with friends at a beautiful baby shower. The shower was so fun and so sweet and my friends really “feathered our nest” with lovely gifts and well wishes.  

Baby shower hostesses: Lindsay and Shelley

Landon and I have received so much support during this season of our life and we are so grateful. If we would have had this baby 2 or even 4 years ago, we would have been mostly alone and isolated. In the last year, God has really given us a great community of loving support, which is such a blessing during this baby season so far away from family.

The next two months, I’m sure will fly by. With holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas to plan for and enjoy, they always seem to make time move faster. Our Little Girl will be here soon!

30 weeks!

Pregnancy news:

This third trimester has brought with it de-ja-vu from the first trimester: I am much more tired, and have food cravings again (still salami and chocolate shakes)

I am starting to notice a bit of a schedule of movement from Baby Girl. She goes a little crazy every night around 8 pm, so I like to sit still and enjoy her movements in the evening since I am pretty busy during the rest of the day. She moves a lot when I sing – like Sunday mornings at church. I love that I can feel her frolicking during my own times of worshipping the Lord. It reminds me of when John rejoiced from within Elizabeth’s belly when she saw Mary with child. I think my baby can feel the presence of the holy. Or at least, I like to think of it that way. As her creator is always lovingly working in her, I enjoy that she can join me in my times of worshipping him.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Little Baby: 29 Weeks

A lot of same 'ol, same 'ol happening around here.

Momma and Baby are doing very well. Since she was 14 weeks and was able to hear, I starting singing a particular song to her and still try to sing or hum it to her every day. She usually gets pretty squirmy when I start singing it these days. Although my hope is that it will soothe her when she needs to be soothed once she is born.

The girls that i work with had a baby party for me last weekend. We just sat around and had a good time with great food, drinks, and girl-time. I was amazed at the support I received from my colleagues - I am so blessed! They all pitched in and got us our travel system, so we have a car seat! I am slowly checking off a list of baby MUST-have's and that was on the top!

We are still dealing with Duvick's porcupine problems which is a little stressful. We keep expecting that he will be healed and perfect and then another quill pops up somewhere causing massive swelling and discomfort for him. Sad, sad.

My biggest discomfort pregnancy-wise is my sleep deprivation. I have had to get up multiple times each night to pee since the beginning of my pregnancy, but now I have a lot of tossing and turning and repositioning and "oh shit, i'm lying on my back!" moments on top of the frequent trips to the bathroom. I wake each day with back pain from the night - i'm not sure how to fix this.

The weather here remains gorgeous, which is wonderful. We should have a snowstorm Friday this week, which we are really looking forward to.

This morning as i was driving to work I was thinking about the election and how this one carries more weight to me than others have in the past. The results of this election not only effect me, but they effect the world that i am bringing my daughter into. That is a scary thought.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Little Baby: 28 weeks

Baby is 2 ½ lbs and has eyelashes.

Ginger has been a love of mine in this pregnancy: ginger candies, ginger drinks, etc… are sooooo good. Makes me want to name her Ginger. How cruel would that be? If she turns out to be a red-headed, freckley kid like I was, she’ll be called “Ginger” anyway…

We are still thinking of names for this baby girl.

She is moving a lot more these days. I think she had the hiccups for the first time (or, rather, the first time I’ve noticed). I’m starting to have trouble sleeping some times, but I think Landon has had the worst of it as my snoring keeps him awake more than my pregnancy aches keep me. 

Sitting at my desk for 8-9 hours/day is starting to become more difficult. My back aches by the 6th hour. So I’m trying to get out and walk around the aviary 15 minutes each day and use a heat pack and a stool when I am uncomfortable. Otherwise, I feel wonderful and excited. Now each week that passes really DOES feel like a week closer to when we get to meet our daughter – earlier in the pregnancy,  the expanse of time was so vast that the end wasn’t really in sight.

I am very grateful to have loving friends and family to throw me baby showers, so I am looking forward to some more of those soon.

As far as projects go: The house is still in transition so not much progress on the nursery yet. I sewed my first diaper last weekend, which took me a long time but was a success. Only 10-or-so more to go.

Last weekend landon and Duvick went skiing and Duvick ran into a porcupine. It’s was an incredibly traumatic experience for him (and for Landon too, I think). We’ve been monitoring him closely (landon’s been able to be home with him this week) and we have found and pulled 6 or so more quills out of him in the last week. He is sometimes almost his normal self and sometimes a very hurting and tired puppy. It makes us sad to see our strong and beautiful dog gimp around the house and lack enthusiasm for the things he usually loves. We are hoping he will get better soon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

27 weeks: Little Baby

 Little Baby is 27 weeks old! That means that we are happily in our third trimester. Having had a baby shower last weekend really made things sink in: a baby is coming soon and forever. 

Doons and I at our baby shower in the mountains

Our crib that landon refinished and assembled this week. I found this crib at a garage sale in my hometown 5 years ago and just loved it. It has been in my grandmothers attic waiting for a day when we could use it. I know that is weird.i don't have anything else like that. We have purchased several other things for Little Baby second hand, but only recently.

Thus begins the nursery assembly. It's a tad overwhelming. Thankfully, our kid won't care much what her room looks like. This week Doons has been hard at work moving the house around to make room for Baby. We live in a very small little house.

This morning we woke to snow in the Salt Lake valley and the mountains have been receiving the powder for a few days now. When I got off of work we headed straight for the mountains and enjoyed an evening hike into the forest where the snow was dumping like crazy. It was so beautiful and special. Landon and I celebrate the first snow every year with a little skiing. Although this year I snow-shoed for the sake of our baby. I didn't want to chance any falling. Took me awhile to find a jacket that could zip over my bump, but I managed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"The Mountains"

We were really fortunate to spend last weekend in "the mountains" with Landon's family. Every year his family meets at a cluster of cabins in the Appalachian Mountains in Bryson City, North Carolina. We had only been once in our 8 years of marriage and since we are missing the McBrayer family Christmas this year, it was especially great that we could go. 

Of the 15 nieces and nephew that we love, 11 of them were able to make it, with the oldst at 6 yrs and the youngest at 1 week old. It is wonderful to be surrounded by the kiddos. We also were able to see many aunts, uncles and cousins that we haven't seen in several years. And it's so fun to see Landon's siblings as parents. We had such a great time connecting with the family that we dearly love!

Soon-to-be-Parents and looking forward to it!! this picture still surprises me. I look enormous! I had no idea that i was "showing" so much. 27 weeks! 13 more to go  (more or less).

During our weekend in NC, my sisters-in-law threw me my first ever baby shower. It was such a beautiful and special celebration. Doons, Little Baby and I were "showered" with several lovely gifts, and enjoyed ice cream sundaes and fun games (the men even had a beer "bottle" drinking game, which was hysterical!). It was a very special time to celebrate with family. Landon and I are so grateful for the support and love that surrounds us and our little girl.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

26 Weeks: Autumn Camping

Duvick and I at snowbasin enjoying bluegrass music, autumn leaves and friends.

Sunday's Sunrise

We went camping with some dear friends last weekend to City of Rocks. It is such a beautiful climber's paradise in Idaho. Landon did some rock climbing  with a buddy, but I stayed grounded.  I was wondering how sleeping on the ground would be while 6 months pregnant. Landon bought me a blow-up mattress, which was extremely comfortable. I was so grateful. We had such a wonderful time with friends, and 2 days without a mirror made me almost forget that I was pregnant, were it not for this moving baby, my alcohol and climbing restriction, and tight-fitting winter jackets. But i felt so great and was so happy to be in the wilderness. It was wonderful!
Aspen groves look like gold flecks in the sunshine.

During the trip Landon finally felt our little girl move for the first time. I think I may have been more excited than he was that he was finally able to feel her moving. It's too wonderful of a thing to keep to yourself, I'm grateful to finally get to share her movement with him! 

My closet is completely switched out to winter clothes, which I love. My winter maternity clothes that I am borrowing are so beautiful. It's like Christmas every day when I get dressed - so many beautiful things to wear for the first time!

I've been so grateful. This pregnancy has been very easy and such a wonderful experience. I know that I am so fortunate to not suffer the discomforts of pregnancy. I've really been able to savor and enjoy this time.

Tomorrow is our 8 year anniversary. Wow, 8 years! Landon and I have really had an adventure-filled marriage, I feel. And we are soon to embark an adventure that is greater than all adventures past. I'm so grateful to get to experience the joys, triumphs and challenges with him as my partner. I couldn't have chosen a better person in the world to be united with. I'm so grateful.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Little Baby: 25 Weeks

At 25 weeks, I’m starting to feel the weight of this baby.

She is still only over a pound, which amazes me. But already my protruding belly surprises me.  I’m starting to have to put my shoes on by elevating my foot – I can’t bend down to the ground while sitting in a chair without feeling winded, dizzy, and really uncomfortable. And I get all sorts of dirt and food on my belly. Of course I never notice until I see myself in the mirror because I can only see the top of the belly. So funny.

No one is confused any more about whether I’m pregnant or just chubby. Everywhere I go please ask me questions and remark about how I’m “looking”: You look so cute!   Look at that belly! Etc…. I don’t mind the attention yet. Still no strangers have come up and grabbed me yet. Ha!

I am starting to feel more fatigued again. I’m not sure if this is because of the stage of the pregnancy or because I have been a little under the weather and I’ve been working long hours.

This weekend we are camping, which will be a lot of fun. I certainly haven’t gotten out as much as I usually do or would like to. I haven’t been able to fit in my climbing harness for awhile now, and I doubt carrying a backpacking pack would fit any better. But I’ve been able to get out and see the beautiful fall foliage upon the mountains a few times. I’m just not playing in the mountains like I usually do. All of my friends have purchased their ski passes, and I find myself just as excited for the ski season as always, although I know I won’t be enjoying the slopes until the spring. I’m sure it’ll be a bummer to have friends (and husband) enjoying powder days while I waddle around the house. The reality of that hasn’t  hit me yet.

Yesterday I did some baby laundry with baby laundry detergent. It was so sweet to wash those little clothes and fold them into their designated piles while inhaling the sweet baby scent (baby laundry detergent is a great idea!).

Landon finished repainting the crib and it looks so beautiful! Preparations are underway. She is coming in 3 months. We are so excited!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Getting the Craft on, Baby

Now that the Baby-moon is over and we are more than half-way through this pregnancy, it's time to start really getting ready for baby. No names picked out yet. The "nursery" is still Dooney's office, although we hope to move him into his new office in the next month. That will be a difficult move, as we will have to totally move around and re-coordinate 3 of the 5 rooms in our house (our bedroom and kitchen will remain the same). 

So far have a crib AND a mattress, and a glider. The only other thing we're looking for is a dresser, so I'm thinking it won't take too much more to get the nursery together. But what do I know? I've never done this before...

I found this glider at a children's consignment shop for only $30.

Upon closer look, this thing is covered in all sorts of stains - they look mostly of the milky sort. The cushions don't fit in the washing machine, so I decided that I would cover them. 

My sister donated a cute Ikea fabric to me that she couldn't find a use for. It just happened to be the perfect amount to cover the chair! Amazing. I thought that covering the cushions would be difficult, but I'm pretty good at simplifying projects as long as I don't desire perfection. I basically just traced the cushions onto the fabric  and put then together with a straight stitch. I used velcro so that whenever we get spit-up or milk or whatever else on this chair, we will be able to take the covers off and wash them.

I am really happy with the result. 

These little sewing projects make me feel like I'm better preparing for our baby. Although I know that putting together a nursery doesn't prepare you for parenting any more than planning a wedding prepares you for marriage. But, similar to marriage,  I guess, the only thing I can really do to prepare is read and pray. It will  probably be similar in that you figure it out as you go... and mistakes are learning opportunities. And I have a wonderful partner in this.

Monday, October 1, 2012

God so loved the WHOLE WORLD...

Awhile ago, the intern at our church preached about salvation for the whole world. And as I was sitting there, I started thinking about the world and the state that it is in. I started thinking about my role in the world as one who already knows the truth and lives in the freedom that Christ's grace provides. And then I started thinking about our baby.

The realization that God sent his only son to save my daughter still brings me to tears. Her salvation is more important to me than anything else that I could hope for her life. And I am overwhelmed in humility that not only is God creating her and caring for her in her developing state, not only does he love her more than I am ever capable, but he already has a plan for her life where he could be center if she chooses him to be.

I am so amazed. I am humbled that God came for ALL, not just for me or for America or for this world, but even for our baby. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Little Baby: 24 weeks

At our last OB appointment, our doctor asked us to start making all of our appointments occur ever two weeks after our October monthly check-up. In a month we will be in the third trimester of this pregnancy! Landon and I are still a little bit confused about why our check-ups are necessary at all. They usually last about 2 minutes, with her asking how I feel (i always feel great), measuring the size of my uterus and listening for Little Baby's heart beat. They're pretty uneventful. I'm not even sure which questions to ask. 

 Dooney still can't feel when the Bambina is frolicking. But I'm sure he will eventually. 

This last week we got to see our little girl in an ultrasound again. I was relieved to hear that her brain is normal. They tell me she is perfect. I will still be counting her fingers and toes when she comes out.

She is 1lb 6 oz and is still scheduled to be born on January 19th.

She is growing fast. I'm starting to feel her moving a lot. She loves to party before and after my meals and when I lay down to sleep. By the end of the day I am usually a LOT larger looking and feeling. I'm not sure if it's gravity or a day's worth of food in my slower digestion tract, but I am certainly more uncomfortable by the end of the day than at the beginning. After dinner, I usually am uncomfortable sitting - there is no room for my food!

My uterus is the size of a soccer ball. A soccer ball! No wonder....

The fall weather feels amazing. I am so grateful that the days are cooler. And the trees in the mountains are so beautiful. Last week we got 4" of snow in the mountains which was enough to make people giddy. Of course, it's all melted by now, but it was a huge encouragement of what we hope will be a snow-filled winter.

I ushered in autumn this weekend with pumpkin bread and a little autumn decor in the house. It's been a very relaxing weekend, which is a relief because i had a rather busy work week, which brought back my cold that I thought I had kicked last weekend. Apparently my immune system is weaker than normal. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Little Baby: 23 Weeks

Yikes! Sorry for the lag.
By the Jordan River on the edge of the Sea of Galilee.

As some of you know, Landon and I were on our BabyMoon. Which was a wonderful 2 week trip to the Mediterranean. It was great to spend some relaxing time alone together - "one last hurrah!" - i suppose. We went somewhere that we thought would be difficult to visit with kids. So we enjoyed a cruise to places like Jerusalem, Ephesus, Naples, and Athens. A lot of history and a lot of walking, which isn't very kid-conducive. It was perfect for us, though. And it's the first time we've traveled together since our trip to Thailand in 2006. It was wonderful and rejuvenating!

When I returned, my boss said, "Oh look, you came back with a belly!" Which is quite true. While we were traveling, people from every country and culture remarked that I was pregnant, which was fun to enjoy. For some reason, a lot of people like to see pregnant women. 

Now that the BabyMoon is over, next comes the baby, i suppose.

At 23 weeks, I am LOVING the newly-found Fall weather that we are enjoying here in Utah. Feeling fat is more comfortable when you can be fully clothed, that's for sure. And I have several beautiful clothes to wear in these cooler temps thanks to generous friends and sister-in-law.

Little Baby weighs just over a pound now and is growing fast. Sometimes I can feel her using my bladder like a pillow and i have to literally hold my belly up a little bit to ease the discomfort that is making my bladder feel like it will explode.

I am feeling her move a lot more now. One of my goals during our baby moon was to have landon feel her for the first time. That still didn't work out, which i couldn't believe because I feel like she can get pretty crazy in there. She does a celebratory dance every time I eat dessert: proof that some of here genes have been passed down from generations of Sheelys.

I haven't sewed anything for this baby in a long time. A few months ago I sewed some burp clothes, crib sheet, and swaddling blanket. There are a lot of other things that I hope to sew that are also very practical like nursing pads and baby diapers. We are brainstorming on names for this Little One but have not decided on anything yet. Once we do decide, we are not planning on sharing it with anyone until her birth day.

Mom came to visit over Labor Day weekend, which was wonderful. She helped me stock up on a few baby things. And in my own process of becoming a mother, I have had a huge longing for my own mom. So it was nice to have her here for a few days.

Next week we get to see our daughter again on another ultra-sound. The doctor wasn't able to get her head circumference last month. And i'm not complaining about a return visit. I'm excited to see her again!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Little Baby GIRL: 19 weeks

A few weeks ago my computer went caput. I replaced it with an iPad, as I am no longer working from home and thought apple-simple-system would be great.

But blogger is very unfriendly with mobile devices (please tell me if you know of an app or an answer for this). I still cannot figure out how to put one of my own pictures onto a blog post using an iPad.  But I am hoping and planning on figuring it out, otherwise there isn't much of a point to this dear blog, without the images.

I am currently 19 weeks pregnant.

This was a huge week for us regarding our pregnancy:
  • I am feeling Little Baby kicking regularly now. By that, I  mean 5 or 6 times a day.
  • Our ultrasound experience was amazing. I loooooved to see our baby moving around and  looking like a baby! The big news is that Little Baby is a baby GIRL! Which we are both excited about.
  • SHE weighs 9oz and is 6 inches long
  • I still try to nap most evenings when I get home from work.
  • I gained 4 lbs in the past month which FREAKS ME OUT! But my doctor said that my weight gain is right on track (really!?)
  • I'm eating salami as I write this
Regarding the rest of our lives:

Doons started school.

That means he has been busy with meetings, gearing up for this big year of dissertation writing. We are both very grateful that he is not teaching on top of everything. We are hoping that this will be a very productive year for him, even though we are expecting our Little Baby during spring semester.

Otherwise, Landon is rock climbing at every chance he can get.

I'm singing at church which I love. Singing has always been a very meaningful ministry in my life. I'm so grateful.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Knowing in Mystery

The day is fast approaching. In 48 hours I will know more about our Little Baby. Learning the sex of our baby is so much more than knowing which colors to choose for a nursery or which clothes to buy. It’s choosing a name and imagining a future for our child, and beginning the process of knowing this little person that we already so dearly love.
I have been excited this whole month knowing that this day would arrive.
This morning I awoke with a realization that the mysterious formation of our growing baby is gradually being discovered. Now that I am feeling it moving (very seldom, but still), and we will know more of who this little person is and will be, the mysterious life of our child is being brought into the light, and the unknown graduatlly being known.
And this is great. This is what I have been hoping for – to know something about this little one.

But there is something sacred and precoius in knowing that the ONLY knowledge that I really have is that God knows this child fully and is creatively and mightily constructing our baby in every second of every day - even though it is all a mystery to me. And trusting in that has brought me much peace in the mystery. I still know that no matter how much I discover about our child as it grows and developes, that truth remains the same: that this child is God's child more than it will ever be mine.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Little Baby: 18 weeks

At 18 weeks, I am feeling great.

Little Baby is the size of a baking potato. Although, my uterus is the size of a cantaloupe. depending on if I am wearing maternity clothes or not, my belly is becoming more obvious. I haven't had any strangers says anything to me yet, which is a good thing, I guess.

Headaches and backaches are increasing. I am trying to sleep on my sides at night, which is better for Little Baby and the circulation to my legs, apparently. Although I think that I have a few more weeks until this becomes essential.

Wonderful Husband makes amazing and nutritious meals for us and keeps the house stocked with plentiful fruits for my incessant snacking. I am so grateful that he is already playing a huge role in taking care of Little Baby in this way.

Last night I felt our little one kicking for the first time. It was even more wonderful than I had anticipated.

This week we discover if we are having a boy or a girl. This will be the most exciting part of our pregnancy since the day our pee-stick had double lines. I'm obnoxiously excited. Hopefully our little Potato won't be crossing its legs or any other shenanigans.

Doons reminds me that not everyone is as excited about our baby as I am. So I'm trying to contain myself, but it is so hard! But this blog's only purpose is to share the happenings of our life, so it is a free place to baby-gush as much as I want. More of that is sure to come...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Little Baby: 17 Weeks

I am currently 17 weeks pregnant (4 mos)

(climbing in the Uintas this weekend)

Nothing new on the pregnancy symptom front. Although, for the first time in my life I have "long" nails. The hormones in my body apparently supply me with stronger nails, which is fun! I'm still craving salami all the time and eating meat most every day. Ever since communion at church, last week, I have been craving wine every evening as well.

I've been concentrating patiently to see if I can feel Little Baby rockin' out in the belly but I still haven't felt anything. But that's okay. I know some day I'll take note of its movings and after that, it'll never sit still again. For the rest. of. my. life.

We still have a few weeks until our ultrasound and it makes me so excited, it's almost distracting.

This week I've had 3 people tell me that i'm "starting to show". Part of me is overjoyed. Yay! I'm not just covered in acne and looking fat these days, but actually looking like a pregnant woman. Of course, these are people that know that i'm pregnant. And part of me is thinking, starting to show!?

I feel like I'm huge. I honestly really do struggle with my changing body. I didn't anticipate this struggle at all. I would always look at pregnant women and think that they are radiant and so lucky! I do feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be a mom, but the changes in my body make me a little sad. I was in the best shape of my life 4 months ago and now i'm bigger than i've ever been in my life. A quick transition like that, especially after it took me a year and a half to get in the physical shape I was in, makes me feel discouraged. Even though I'M PREGNANT! I feel awful and disgraceful to admit it, but i do feel very unlovely in this new big-booty-big-belly-acne-covered body.

The heat here is starting to wear on me. Not because I'm pregnant, necessarily, but because I'm a weakling when it comes to summer weather. With last week topping at 102 degrees one day and the rest of the days in the upper 90's, I remain sessile. Last summer I ran after work every day in the upper-90 degree weather and I remember almost passing out on several occasions. That is not worth the risk when I'm responsible for this Little Baby now. I just can't get myself out of bed early enough to complete a run before work. Bad excuse, I know, but my body sleeps very hard these days. I've always prided myself at being a morning person and have never had issues waking at the alarm and these last 4 months I've really struggled pulling myself out of bed.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Things I'm Loving Lately

We've been very blessed by an amazing group of friends out here. EVERYONE is from out of state, so I think we all play the role of surrogate family in each other's lives. They certainly are the closest thing we have to family out here. We are so grateful for them!

Little Baby McBrayer
This season is so precious.

2012 Olympics
Go team U.S.A.!! Landon and I bought an antenna just so we could watch the games on NBC. It's worth it.

Chocolate Shakes
Seriously,  you have no idea how torturous it is to look at this picture and not have one in-hand. I've allowed myself 5 chocolate shakes since I've become pregnant. That might sound like a lot, but what it really is, is a lot of self control being practiced over here! 

I know this pic looks nasty, but my-oh-my, I find myself thinking of Salami almost as often as I think about skiing, which is multiple times per day.

Farmer's Market Tomatoes

REAL Salt Lake
I love this team. Landon and I have been keeping up with Major League Soccer like crazy this year, and we've been trying to attend the home games to cheer on our team. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Little Baby

I've been wanting to get back into the 'ol blog for awhile now. I just wanted to make sure that I didn't get started without an intention to continue. So I've waited...

But 3 weeks ago we broke the news to the world that Little Baby is on the way. And around the same time Baby Belly started to pop up underneath my shirts.  I know that I'll regret keeping Little Baby to myself, when our family and so many of our friends are far away. I want you to be able to anticipate this arrival with us, and watch Little Baby grow with us as well.

I'm not getting too ambitious (on the blog-front). There is a lot of planning going on over here (on the baby-front). I'm hoping to do a weekly update on this sweet baby and as I get into the swing of that, I hope to share more than just baby-goo-goo-ga-ga.

Here is my first ever pregnancy photo. I took a profile picture of the belly, but it just freaked me out, so you'll have to live with this one until I get some more courage. 

Today I am 16 weeks pregnant (4 months). Due January 19th.

Which means that I am in my second trimester. I'm feeling pretty wonderful.

New symptoms I'm realizing recently:

  • vivid dreams, mostly nightmares
  • acid reflux every once in a while
  • headaches
  • can no longer button my pants - some maternity clothes are being put to use
  • feeling belly muscles/ligaments stretching - ouch!

Old symptoms I'm still enjoying:

  • being bloated - by the end of the day my belly is 3x bigger than it was in the morning!
  • cravings (mostly chocolate ice cream and salami)
  • hunger
  • very sensitive to smells
  • have to pee every 45 minutes
Symptoms that are history:
  • nausea (never had it that bad to begin with)
  • feeling exhausted all the time
  • boobs hurting like crazy
  • aversions
  • crying over nothing at all

I can't feel Little Baby moving yet, although I know it is a mover. In our 10 week ultrasound, although the baby wasn't much bigger than a bean, it was a squirmy-wormy! That was when we first saw the heart beat. We first heard the heart beat at our last OB appointment last week. I initially thought that I was the one running this pregnancy marathon, but at 140bpm, I'm starting to wonder if it is really Little Bean that is the one doing all the work.

Right now Little Baby is the size of an avocado and can hear the world. So I try to sing to it every day. I know it doesn't know English, so it doesn't much matter what it is that I sing. I just want it to know that there is a wonderful world waiting, and it's good mommy-baby bonding time for me.

We will eventually convert Landon's office into a nursery. I'm hoping to put this off as long as possible (thinking December). Landon has received a fellowship for this next semester (which is only awarded one student in his entire department each year - he's awesome). So that means he is not teaching at all, but will be working from home on his dissertation 10+ hours/day. It needs to remain an office space for as long as possible for his sake. So all nesting instincts are going into sewing: swaddling blankets, burp clothes, etc... and reading, reading, reading about babies and baby stuff.

I've stopped running recently. I'm no longer feeling exhausted all of the time, but with each day above 90 degrees, I worry about pushing myself too hard. I did go rock climbing last weekend which was very fun. I took it pretty easy there too, but I was just glad to be in the mountains having fun.

Our next OB appointment is at the end of this month. Prior to which we will have an ultrasound to determine Little Baby's gender. We can't wait!

My next weekly updates should be shorter, hopefully, since I think I have brought you up to speed on this one.  I'm hoping that by next week I'll have felt this sweet baby moving. I'll keep you posted...