Saturday, November 19, 2011

Show Me the Baby

I'm ready. But....

I've been sick this past week. Sick and in bed. Elijah caught a cold virus and loving shared it with me. We've been coughing and nose blowing the whole week. I was pre-laboring pretty hard before catching this lovely virus, but have completely stopped while my body is healing. I'm really happy about this. Laboring and pushing a baby out while sick is NOT how I envisioned this birth going. Hopefully, both Eli and I will continue to heal and baby girl we'll come along soon thereafter.

Since catching this cold, many ladies have shared their experiences of getting sick a week or so before their babies came. Weird. But, hopefully it's just one more sign she's on her way. I hope to be up and nesting early next week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Reviews - Our Home Progress

I had NO idea how much different it would be to own a home rather than rent an apartment. This experience has been far different from our home ownership days in East Point. And, if it weren't for the cost savings one would eventually reap coupled with not having to live below noisy drug-dealer punk college students, I would want to always rent. With that said, I love our home and I never want to move. I've enjoyed piecing it together - though most often my attention span is far from long enough to reach my end goals. And, our young family and busy lives have made finding the time to do much of our home-making-ness difficult. Yet, slowly slowly we are gaining experience in the how-to department and carving out our little haven.

To keep it neat and tidy, I've deleted items we've changed our minds about and items that we'd already accomplished as of the last publishing.

Make it Functional

1. Buy a diaper sprayer (aka baby bidet)- Rob conceded this to me after I wanted to get in a bidding war for one in a previous contract on a house
- yet to get, though a friend offered her's made from materials from Lowe's
2. Hand held shower sprayer - won't this be great for hosing off babies! - accomplished! and it is everything I thought it would be for giving babies baths - though next time I'll probably upgrade to get a longer hose.
3. baby-proof supplies and anti tip bracket installed on oven- the whole 9 yards
- no further progress.
4. mop & broom holder - done!
and even better than our first idea as it is out of the way of "helping" baby hands.
5. window coverings - either wooden blinds or curtains, not sure yet. Finished! Yes! Perhaps my biggest accomplishment. If we ever do move I told Rob he is taking down every single rod and curtain and we're taking them with us. I never want to dress another window again.
6. Laundry room floor epoxy or concrete stain - not yet. But the basement is organized and fairly neat. It also hold my favorite place of our house, my laundry area. This is MY space and mine alone. It's organized just how I want it and is compact and convenient to use. I love doing laundry now!
7. 2 outdoor mats - done
8. 2 bathroom shower curtain rods and shower curtains - done

9. fence - I think we're going to have Rob install one. That is after we save up for it and find the time to install it. It would really be great to have especially with new baby around.

Make it Homey

1. new front door (or paint existing one)
- we added a screen door instead. Ahh, southern perfection. We also put screens on the deck french doors, adding to our cheap summer air conditioning alternative - open windows.
2. Kitchen Island shelving? - Bar stools!
3. house plants!
- Slowly I'm collecting potted plants for indoors and out. I'm happy enought with my progress to call this done.
4. new lighting fixtures - no longer needed. I have no idea why I once hated our lighting fixtures so much. I think coupled with the bare house they felt cold and standard, but now with our things in place around them, they go great!
5. Rug for Eli's room - Christmas present!
6. Paint tree in Eli's room - also inspired by a previous house find. I really want to do a weeping willow
- Instead I used old art work I drew as a child and cheaply framed it with a 70% sale at Michael's. It turned out way cool (at least I think so)
7. Paint Livingroom and 2 upstairs bedrooms - No, but I would still like (Rob) to. I claim paint allergy.
8. Reupholster Ansley's beloved office chairs
- just need to find some cool fabric and the nerve. I found a cool little fabric store that sales re-upholstery fabric cheap!
9. Frame bathroom window mirror
- still a cool idea, not there yet though

Outdoor Living
1. Porch furniture - I did return the 2 I bought, but we just choose another color. I think the front porch is shaping up nicely.
2. Porch curtains - eh, I'm rethinking porch curtains.
3. Porch plants - Just waiting until spring when I Southern-ify my front porch with big beautiful ferns.
4. front yard - remove bushes, add flowers and birdbath - we're getting there. The huge bushes have been trimmed, I'm still waiting on a cheap bird bath.
5. window boxes! - next spring....
6. Deck furniture - we're saving up and will buy it when it goes on clearance of clearance in November.
7. Deck Pergola with hanging ivy and lights!!! (I'm trying to talk Rob into this for my birthday gift!) - back to square one!
8. Patio concrete stain - Too late this year, but we may get some on clearance and tackle that job next spring.
9. Patio furniture -we're still saving and may buy some off craigslist next spring.
10. hammock on patio - Rob's looking into getting the bolts to put this in for next spring.
11. herb garden - May do pots instead of a garden next spring to keep it simple with Little Girl here.
12. veggie garden/ and trellis - We're going to at least do fruit trees.
13. Stain the deck - Done by handsome huz! Hurray!

Ahhh, this list no longer stresses me out like it once did. It seems way more manageable! The outside stuff is still a lot, but I'm really proud of how we've slowly chipped away at it and all that we've accomplished! Hope you're enjoying "This New House"

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Year Goals 2011 - Revisited

I'm thinking I'll be a little too busy in the upcoming months to review my goals for this year. Or perhaps, lacking enough brain cells due to sleep deprivation to make such a lofty review. So, here goes - A review in November.

I had 6 goals for 2011. You can read up on them here.

1. Date my Husband: complete and utter failure. We've had 2 legitimate dates this year - hopefully 1 more before baby girl arrives. We have lots of excuses. And truthfully, it would be a lot easier if we lived closer to family. (They love it when you dump your kids on them, right?) But we have recently discovered the novel idea of swapping babysitting services with friends. We do a very good job of "family dates" - taking Eli places where he can roam free and we can hang out- but we all know that's just not the same. We'll try again in 2012.

2. Plant a Garden: Ehh. I've prepared, planned, and made some progress. Shortly after we moved in I got very pregnant and very sick. We found out we were pregnant around the 7 week marker and the next day got a ton of lilies and other plants from some good friends. I worked all the next day digging in the dirt to get them in the ground before morning sickness hit. Later in the summer, my family helped me clean up the front yard landscaping. And Rob and I have been working on solving a water run-off problem in the backyard to prepare for some fruit trees. I've finally decided that the side yard is the best place for a veggie/herb garden, but that is also where I want to put my day. Hopefully, we'll get the fruit trees in next year and I'd love to get some herbs going, at least in pots in the spring.

3. Take a Vacation: Success! We had a great family vacay with the extended Hartleys in Pensacola. You can read more about that here. It was great, nuff said.

4. Start my business: Success! I have thoroughly enjoyed this past year of helping women and their families welcome their babies into the world. It has been truly amazing to become part of their lives as they prepare for birth. I've had 26 students total this year and been a doula for some very strong mamas. Next year will already be off to a rocking start as I have 8 more students lined up and will cut my maternity leave a little short to work with their due dates. I've completed a year of provisionally teaching the Bradley Method and am working on my final exam - hopefully to be completed before baby girl arrives - the final step toward full accreditation. In addition to Bradley classes, I've recently joined forces with Open Heart Doula Services. These women are amazing. Their knowledge and support are vital; they are such an encouragement. I quickly discovered that being a doula is a very physically demanding job for many long hours usually during the night - during all of which your brain is fully engaged to help your clients have the birth they've envisioned. Without these ladies, this job would be impossible to do with a young family of my own. I'm so thankful for this partnership. I'm interested looking into pursuing certification to become a lactation consultant (IBCLC). That dream would take many years to accomplish, but I'm interested in finding out more about the steps to take towards it. It could be a great full-time/part-time job once my babies are in school. That, or using the Econ MA I already have....

5. Get Financially Organized: Getting There! We're taking a "correspondent" Dave Ramsey class and are working through all those baby steps. After first being very skeptical of Dave and his FPU, I now love him and often say, "but, Dave says." We have an actual working budget instead of just saying, "our budget is we don't spend money." And we've cut up all our credit cards. Not because we were in debt, but the economists in us recognized the tendency to spend more when you pay with plastic rather than cash. My favorite parts of our Dave-Transformation, the envelope system and monthly saving for big ticket items like Christmas and Car Repairs. We've also consolidated bank accounts and are working on setting up some long term stuff.

6. Spend Differently: This has been much easier since beginning the Dave course. Sticking to our budget can make purchases and purchase place very interesting. Thanks to sales and coupons and a Southern Savers seminar, I now save 30% + weekly on groceries. And I clip every coupon I can find that I think we'll use. The only thing extreme about my coupon endeavors, however, is the lengths I'll go to to use a coupon. I recently found a BabiesRUs/ToysRUs coupon for a $10 gift card just for creating a new baby registry. Bingo! Clearance racks/Thrift stores/craigslist/consignment sales and yard sales continue to be favorite haunts of mine. This goal and the one above have made it a whole lot easier for me to stay home with babies.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Home Stretch

36 weeks today. We're almost there. In fact, Eli was born at 36 and 6 by our last midwife's records. I cannot imagine having a girl in a week. Being in labor in a week. 4am feedings in a week. Having 2 kids in a week. You would think I would be more mentally prepared for this after 9 months of waiting. And yet having baby #2 is still such a crazy unreal concept! Who's idea was this?!

While mentally less than ready - my body is done-zos. Normally an AVID non-complainer, I whine most everyday, multiple times a day (at least to myself). I pelvic rock on the living room rug, lean over the kitchen island, squat everywhere; all to try to relieve the building pressure, sciatic pain, and heavy belly. My body is most certainly ready to have baby girl out, perhaps that's why Eli came early! Contractions come and go as well as cramping. I'm reaching the - I'm going to be pregnant forever please get this baby out - point.

So I know, I know. 36 weeks preggo - I could have another 6 weeks, right. I cannot even fathom this idea. Throughout the whole pregnancy, I would tell myself, "we'll have her by Christmas." But, now. I want her by Thanksgiving.

My belly now measures big even after dropping. Baby girl is ready for landing. Even though it's felt like a harder pregnancy this go around, everything's going fine - GBS negative, Blood pressure good, weight gain good (34lbs), baby girl movement and bpm good, blood sugar good (after failing the first test I had to withstand 2 weeks of 4 finger pricks a day - yuck!) Note to self - next time do not stave yourself all day and then carbo/sugar load at Chick-fil-a on the way to take the glucose test. Big mistake. I should totally know better.

Elijah is doing awesome - He kisses baby sister in my belly. He also waves and says, bye-bye to her and pulls my shirt back down when he's done giving her kisses. And every morning he wants to see the baby in the bassinet beside our bed; he pulls her out, hugs and pats her, kisses her, and puts her back to bed. If you ask him where baby sister is though, he'll pull up his shirt and pat his own belly!

I can't wait until this is the real baby sister

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Then and Now

Does this trip down memory lane put a lump in anyone else's throat? Just me? And, I thought he was such a big guy last year.

Fall 2010

Fall 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

First, the season started off with a trip to the pumpkin patch

It's extraordinarily difficult to catch this kid NOT in motion. Does that ever get easier? Perhaps when he's ten.

That's right, real pumpkins on the vine - we love trips to the Fruit & Berry Patch!

"Almost got it!"

My favorite sequence: tasting and then gagging

Obligatory non-flattering preggo and pumpkin pic. I did this for you, Rumble.

Then, we (Rob) carved the pumpkin. I suggested a Mickey Mouse mug for our pumpkin this year, since it's easily Eli's favorite character.

setting up the work station

careful design

And Voila! Eli pointed at the pumpkin and whispered, "Mee Mow?!"

The Saturday before Halloween we went to a couple Halloween parties. Pacing ourselves of course with a mid-afternoon nap.

Hear me Roar!
Eli the Lion

Lots of candy in my kitchen I'm trying to just say "no" to

And on Halloween night, we had a blast with neighbors and some lovely friends on the front porch handing out candy and hot cider. We had 57 Trick-or-Treaters, before we called it a night. Candy, Chilli, and Cider - the three C's of any successful Halloween. It was so chilly our little lion had to turn into a fuzzy warm bear. He didn't mind.

Eli loved his Mickey Mouse pumpkin and tried to stick his nose in Mickey's nose all night. That or he was getting a real good look at Mickey's insides.