Monday, November 30, 2009

We're Home!

We drove back from Shreveport yesterday.  We had a great time and they gave us a fabulous shower.  I will post about the shower later with pictures.  After being away from Lucy for a week we were excited to pick up our fur baby!  Lucy stayed at Mom and Pops' house, the equivalent of Disneyland for a doggie!  She had a fabulous time taking walks, supervising Christmas decorating, and being the center of attention. 
I'm glad she had some time away because she has recently had a run in with the law.  Yes, animal control has notified us that a neighbor complained about Lucy's barking.  Last week I contacted Angie, a fabulous dog trainer who has helped us in the past to understand Lucy's behavior and make her an enjoyable member of our family.  Angie's interpretation was that Lucy has a lot of nervous energy that may be due to her sensing the baby coming and is likely due to us being more busy than usual and me not getting out to walk her as much as usual, and this nervous energy has been directed at barking.  The recommended treatment is intense exercise that includes running to help her get her nervous energy out and be back to her more balanced self.  
She had a lot of exercise at Mom and Pops' house and did not make a peep all last night!  We are checking into a doggie daycare once a week as a way for her to get to run with other doggies and really get some exercise.  Hopefully, she will be back to her old self soon! 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We made it to Shreveport and have been enjoying our time to visit with Aaron's family.  Aaron and I are very thankful this year to be expecting our first baby and that we have had a healthy pregnancy.  That's a lot to be thankful for on top of all the other good things we have in life. 
I hope everyone is having a Thanksgiving surrounded by people they care for and realizing how much there is to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Heading to Shreveport

Aaron and I have been busy getting ready for our trip to Shreveport for the holiday.  When we are there for Thanksgiving, we celebrate what we refer to as Merry Thanksmas.  In other words, we combine the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  The good thing about this is that it has forced me to finish a lot of my Christmas shopping and the bigger task, getting the gifts wrapped! 
I ran out of time this morning to do a belly shot, but will try to get a picture soon and may double up next week.  We have been so diligent about it that I hate to miss a week!
Regardless of the picture, here is the update on sweet pea.
This week your baby weighs almost four pounds and could be up to 19 inches long. And though that's a head-to-toe length, your baby is actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!). At 32 weeks pregnant, you're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now. Your baby has also probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis in prepartion for birth. That's because the fetus's head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. It also makes it easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first. Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term. Don't worry if your baby hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance he or she will flip head-side-down before birth — even in the tight confines of your uterus. 
While your baby is still getting nourishment through the umbilical cord, it won't be long before you'll be bringing on the breast milk or formula (and soon after, the mashed carrots and peas).  In anticipation of that momentous transition to mouth feeding, your baby's digestive system is all set and ready to go.
And because your baby is accumulating more fat, his or her skin is finally turning opaque (like yours), which means those see-through days are over.  Though weeks away from D-day, your baby's looking more and more like a newborn. 
And speaking of that big day, hope you're resting up for it — because your bambino certainly is. In preparation for that big first date with you, your baby is sleeping like a baby — with sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes long (which would also account for the decrease in movement you're likely feeling these days).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Visiting Friends

On Saturday a close friend from my childhood and her husband came to stay with me and Aaron.  Kristi and I know each other from when our families lived on the same street in Houston.  Our families were good friends and stayed in touch after we both moved away.  Then, Kristi and I were roommates for a time at TCU.  Since college we have both been busy with grad school and haven't seen each other in several years, so this was a great chance to catch up!  We had a lot of fun visiting with them and hope that Kristi's husband, Ben, likes the program he is going to visit at UNC so they might be a little closer to us! 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

3-D Ultrasound

Yesterday we went for our 3-D/4-D ultrasound and it was quite amazing. Mom, Dad, and Jeanne' joined us for our first real glimpse of Sarah Graves.  We think she's quite the cutie already!
We were able to see that sweet little face! She likes to keep her hands up over her face and seems to grab onto the umbilical cord a lot, but we managed to get her to cooperate some! I love the fat cheeks and those sweet little lips.  I have been in love with her for some time, but having a face to think about just makes me more in love! 
I can't wait until we can kiss those sweet cheeks!  They might be chapped for some time!

That's the umbilical cord coming down the side of her face, not a long ringlet!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Search Goes On

Yesterday we met with another pediatric group.  This one is a little closer to our house.  I was hoping that we would be overwhelmingly pleased by one of the practices and it would make an easy choice, but they both have their pros and cons.
Our start with this practice was a bit rocky as we had an early appointment and when we arrived the door was locked.  We proceeded to wait and other patients showed up and we kept waiting.  I knocked on the door, tried to call them, and kept looking for someone to flag down, but had no luck.  Finally, after waiting nearly 20 minutes, one guy had the idea to go to the practice next door to see if they had a way into the office and sure enough there was a connecting door that allowed us to get their attention.  They apologized for the oversight, but I see that as a potential flag for how they operate.
We met with one of the pediatricians in the practice and she seemed nice, but not someone that I immediately fell in love with.  She was patient in answering our questions.  Their staff seemed very friendly and were happy to answer questions about insurance, etc.  Aaron felt more comfortable with the appearance of the office (more current looking) and the other patients  and their families than he did the practice we visited last week.
I saw several cons with this practice.  They are absolutely unwilling to consider an alternative vaccine schedule, which I see as a sign of their practice being inflexible.  The waiting area is essentially one large room with a partial wall to divide sick and well areas.  The waiting area and the exam room we saw are not decorated with anything that looks like a kid.  The colors are neutral, the pictures are generic artwork, and there is nothing that would capture a child's attention.
There are several things that are consistent with the first practice we met with, which makes them neutral in my opinion.  Both practices offer a number you can call with questions after hours, Saturday hours for sick appointments, and neither practice makes rounds at Children's. 
This pediatrician did explain that most practices in Atlanta are not going to see patients at Children's because of the traffic and time it takes to get over there as well as the fact that the doctors at Children's are much more experienced with treating kids in the hospital versus your pediatrician's experience with mostly well kids.  This made sense to me, but it would be nice to be able to see a familiar face at a time when your child is really sick.
I think there are a couple of other practices in our area, so we may try to check out one of them and hope for an overwhelmingly positive experience.
Sorry this one is so long, but it helps me to capture the pros and cons so that we can make a decision. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't Stand, Don't Stand, Don't Stand So Close to Me...

This song is all that I can think of now that I realize my belly has grown to new proportions.  I was ironing my shirt this morning when suddenly I felt a burning on my belly and realized that my belly hangs out so far I had accidentally burned it with the iron.  Don't get worried!  It's just a small burn where the iron got a little too close.  Baby girl is completely fine and probably only noticed the feeling of me jumping when I realized what happened. 
I have noticed a similar type thing while cooking because I have to back away from the stove in order to keep my belly away from the burner. Maybe I just need a burn resistant wrap for my belly! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Belly Shot!

Sweet pea is getting to be a big baby girl!

As far as growth goes, your baby's still on a roll, measuring an impressive 18 inches and weighing in at more than three pounds. At 31 weeks pregnant, you can still expect your baby to gain at least three to five pounds, possibly more, before you two meet.
Your baby's brain is working overtime these days, developing faster than ever. Connections between individual nerve cells are growing at a frenetic clip, and your baby can now perceive information from all five senses. Sure, your baby can't smell anything right now, but that's only because he or she is still submerged in amniotic fluid and needs to be breathing air to get a whiff of anything. Lucky for you — and your baby — yours will be one of the very first scents your baby breathes in, a scent that will quickly become his or her very favorite.
So what's your little dove doing all day while you're busy feathering your nest for his or her arrival? Making faces, hiccupping, swallowing, breathing, pedaling with little hands and feet along your uterine wall, and even sucking his or her thumb. In fact, some babies suck their thumbs so vigorously while in the womb that they're born with a callus on their thumb (what a little sucker!).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Shower Pictures

Okay, so here are pictures that I took with my camera.  These are a smattering of pictures of some of the gifts with a few others thrown in.  Hopefully, I will have some people pictures to add to the mix soon.

I love these tulips!

The roses were so pretty!

Except for the pink frilly stuff, this is all cake.  A friend of my Mom's decorated it for us and it looked adorable and tastes even better!

The same friend also made these pretzels that have been dipped in chocolate with these cute baby things! 
They tasted so yum!

Now we can have a clean baby!  This tub is shaped like a whale!

I am so excited that we have a bassinett for her!  Yes, it is all setup and waiting for her in our room. 
I wanted to test out putting Lucy in it, but Aaron said Angel would have to do as the model.

Here is Angel again testing out the Bumbo chair.  It can even hold up a doll!

I think Angel's favorite thing is this doll chair.  It is handpainted with flowers.  Perfect for a baby girl's room.

We also received some clothes as gifts.  She now has a sassy pair of jeans with a cute top. 

I love these corduroy overalls and the cute as a button ladybug all in one. 

These burp cloths have her name monogrammed on them and are so, so adorable. 
Who wouldn't want to take a baby out just to show these off?

Look at all the cute toys!  The elephant will be a special friend along with the lion.
This mailbox toy is lots of fun because it makes sounds and has little packages to put in the slot.  Aaron and I had lots of fun playing with it!

Sarah Graves is really a lucky baby to be coming into the world with so many people already adoring her.  I never realized how many people would take an interest in what to us is a little miracle. 

As I was posting this I realized there are some more sweet things that I didn't get pictures of.  I will post pictures of those tomorrow.

Baby Shower

This weekend we had the couples baby shower in Atlanta hosted by my sister and several of my Mom's friends. Everyone worked really hard to put it together and Aaron and I are so grateful!  Aaron was a little skeptical about the idea of a couples shower when it was first proposed, but I think he had a good time getting to share his excitement with everyone.
I couldn't believe how many people came and how many nice gifts we received.   They went all out with the pink decorations and everything looked adorable!  There was an amazing cake and my sweet tooth has been satisfied by it. We got busy talking and visiting with everyone, so I forgot to take many pictures, but I will update later this evening with pictures we have.  I didn't sleep well several nights before it and we were very late getting home after, so I am moving a little slow. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Shopping for a Pediatrician

Yesterday we went for our first consultation with a pediatrician's office.  This practice came recommended by a girl I met at a JL meeting (the same one who had the newborn that I couldn't take my eyes off), and one of the pediatricians in the practice is voted one of Atlanta's top 10.  It's not too far from our house, which is another plus. 
I'm not really sure what we are looking for in a pediatrician, so it's hard to form a strong opinion.  I liked that they have totally separate waiting areas for sick and well kids, they have a number you can call after hours to get advice or ask questions, during the school year they offer sick appointments on Saturdays, and the staff seemed friendly.  The parts that weren't impressive were the building looks dated and the more important one is that the doctors do not have privileges at the children's hospital.  This means that should she need to be hospitalized, we would have to see some other doctor during our stay. 
Recently I heard about alternative schedules for childhood vaccines.  Aaron and I thought the only decision to make was immunize or not, and we definitely agreed that immunizing was the choice for us.  This idea of an alternative schedule to reduce side effects is new to me, so I haven't had a chance to do much research.  I did mention it to the nurse who met with us and she acknowledged that more parents are starting to request this and they would be willing to work with us on this.  That seems to show some flexibility on their part, which might be a good thing. 
Next week we go for another consultation at a practice that came recommended by a friend from church, so hopefully the comparison will help us make up our mind. There are other practices out there too, these were just the 2 that came recommended.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update on Zach

It looks like Zach is going to be fine.  They believe that the injuries to his neck will be able to heal with a neck brace, but will know for sure today when they have him standup and do some more tests. 
His friend is going to have jaw surgery and after that they will wait to see if he is able to wake up and be alert. 
Thanks for all the prayers.

This could be a serious problem...

I have acquired a craving for candybars that could be a serious problem.  I think about it all the the time.  We had some candy leftover from Halloween and it is almost gone.  A part of me would be glad not to have it available, but another part of me is worried what I will do about this constant desire for the candy and nothing to satisfy it.  In case you're wondering, Twix is my big desire.  Because I am staying away from foods with peanuts in them while pregnant, that has reduced the options for candy that I really like.  Twix is definitely the frontrunner.  I think about eating it in the car, I think about it first thing in the morning, and it goes on all day. 
This is a similar desire to the one that I had for orange juice in the beginning of the pregnancy, but there is no way to reconcile that eating Twix bars until your heart's content could be good for me or the baby.  There is no nutritional value for her in a candybar.  Why don't I have a craving for something like fish that would actually benefit her right now?  Aren't pregnant women supposed to want strange things like a can of sardines?
My saving grace is that the vending machine in my office does not offer a Twix bar and they aren't available downstairs in the dining area, I've checked.

We have a glider!

About 6 weeks ago we picked out the glider that we wanted for the nursery and it is finally here!  I am really excited about the color and how well the chair fits.  You may recall that I was very anxious about it being too large for the space and Aaron convinced me that we had space for it.  He was right.  Good thing one of us can envision how things will fit!
It is very comfortable and the back is a great height for me to be able to lean back and fall asleep.  I envision that we will be spending a lot of time right there in that chair.  The ottoman is great because it can glide, or it has a piece that pulls out to make a footrest for when you are nursing. 
I am so looking forward to us holding her and being able to read books to her before she goes to sleep.
Thank you Mom and Dad for getting this for us!

Belly Shot!

Here's what Sarah Graves is up to this week:
Your baby's height and weight haven't changed much in the past week, but the big news is your baby's brain gain. Until now, the surface of your baby's brain was smooth. Now, your fetus's brain is taking on those characteristic grooves and indentations. The reason for this change in appearance? Those wrinkles allow for an increased amount of brain tissue — a necessary change as your developing baby prepares for life outside your womb, and the street smarts he or she will need.

Another big change at 30 weeks pregnant: Your baby's bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells (before, tissue groups and then the spleen took care of producing the blood cells). This is an important step for your baby, because it means he or she is better able to thrive on his or her own once born (with a little TLC from you, of course).
So it's in with the new (brain cells, red blood cells) and out with the old (lanugo). Much of the lanugo — the soft, downy hair covering your baby's body — is beginning to disappear now because both fat and the brain are regulating your baby's body temperature (so no need for that furry coat anymore). But you may see a few leftover strands of fur on your newborn's back and shoulders.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gumbo Good

On Saturday, Aaron and I looked at the calendar and realized that we may not have another completely free weekend until Christmas.  I have been wanting to make a pot of gumbo, so we decided this might be our only chance.  The weather in Atlanta was nice, but not exactly gumbo inspiring, but we figured we should make the most of the weekend. 
I forgot just how long it takes to make what ends up being enough gumbo to feed a small country.  Saturday evening Aaron helped by chopping all the vegetables.  A few onion induced tears and many batches through the Cuisinart yielded about 6 cups of chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper.  I worked on boiling the chicken to make the stock and then de-boning all of the chicken.  The recipe I use calls for 8 ducks, but since I don't have whole ducks hanging around, I went with about 10 pounds of chicken. 
Sunday we came home from church and I started on the roux.  This is the part that I had forgotten how long it takes to make. I stood and stirred for a few hours, then Aaron offered to take over.  After about 4 1/2 hours we had a roux the color of chocolate.  If patience is love, then gumbo is one big love fest. 
From there it goes pretty quick because you add the veggies and let those cook with the roux for a bit, then the chicken and a couple of gallons of stock go in and it just simmers for a couple of hours.  The sausage and andouille go in last along with the extra seasoning.  About 8:30 last night we enjoyed the fruits of all our labors.  It was well worth it because it tasted delicious!
I told Aaron that we should start a pot of gumbo when I go into labor and we will be sure that we don't end up at the hospital too early!

Prayers Needed

First, Aaron and I are just fine.  My cousin Zack was in a bad car accident over the weekend and he and the friend who was riding in the car with him were badly injured.  Please say a prayer that they are both okay and make a full recovery. 

Friday, November 6, 2009


We went for a check-up this morning and everything looks good!  My blood pressure is low (not too low), our measurements are on track, and Sarah Graves' heartbeat was good.  She had her back facing out, so the heartbeat wasn't the loud thudding, but we could definitely hear that sweet sound. 
I asked a lot of questions about the labor and delivery so that I can put together my birth plan.  It's hard to imagine what it will be like and how we might feel when we have never experienced anything like it.  I guess I'll keep reading and asking for the input of the midwives.
We will go back for our next appointment at the beginning of December.  After that we will go every 2 weeks. 

More Shower Gifts

At the shower we received several very special gifts that will be used for the christeining.  These will also be special keepsakes once Sarah Graves gets older.  They are so sweet and so thoughtful that I thought they needed their own post.

My Maw-Maw Yvonne picked out this sweet, little bracelet for her.  It has her initials engraved on the inside and it is just adorable.  What girl doesn't need some jewelry?

Aaron's Mom sent this very sweet gift to the shower. It's a little gold ring with a heart on it for Sarah to wear as a baby. It is so sweet and simple. I know that she will treasure it long after her little finger outgrows it.

When my Dad was born, an aunt made a christening gown for him.  The gown is beautiful with French hand sewing and all the children in the family wore it up until my youngest cousin was christened.  When my cousins started having their children, my grandmother started the tradition of letting each one pick out a christening gown for her to make for their baby to wear.  When she asked what I would like, I told her one like Dad's.  This was a big undertaking and she used several patterns in order to get the style to match his.  She gave it to me at the shower and it is simply gorgeous.  She did the embroidery and the hand sewing beautifully.  The slip has embroidery on it and the little bonnet has embroidery on the crown. 

The lacework and the embroidery came out so beautiful.

There are tiny, tiny little buttons at the neck of the dress.

I cannot wait for Sarah Graves' christening to see her in these very special little things.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Baby Shower Gifts

Yesterday I posted some pictures of the people at the shower and today I thought I would post some of the pictures of the gifts.  I mostly have pictures of the clothes, probably because they get the most oohs and aahs. 
What sweet outfits for when she is brand new.  Aunt Nay picked out gowns and this tiny sleeper that has ballet shoes on the feet. 
She is going to have a ball with this in her crib.  When she kicks the piano, it makes noises.
Our friends Dustin and Lorna gave this adorable outfit with these sweet shoes to match.  And Aaron didn't think she needed any shoes!
What a sweet picture frame!  Can't wait to have sweet baby pictures to go in it.
This little outfit has a dragonfly on it and all the accessories to go with it.  You know, bib, booties, hat.

Maybe with the monitor we will be able to leave her in her crib.  Not sure Aaron is going to want to put her down, ever!
I love the little ducks on the feet of the pants!
My cousin DeDe made this sweet blanket and some other things for Sarah Graves.  The blanket has tiny little white daisies on the pink background. 
My cousin Nikki searched long and hard to find this baby bag.  I absolutely love it!  Thank you!
What girl's wardrobe would be complete without her dress and socks for football watching?   Thanks Mom and Pops!
To keep her warm during those chilly Fall games :)
A clock for the nursery.  It looks awesome against the green walls.
Cute onesies that have little pants to match.
My Aunt Linda bought Sarah Graves these tiny handmade booties.
Here's a close-up of the booties, so cute!
I love the little ruffles on the back of this outfit!
This outfit says "Shop 'til you nap".  Perfect for her days with Mom