Friday, September 30, 2011

What about BOB?

We got 'im.  That's what!  My mom's been chompin' at the bit wanting to get something special for Sam.  As soon as the hub and I got our act together and figured out what all to register for (mostly anyway - pretty sure we'll never figure it ALL out), Mom wanted to know what she and Dad could get us.  Answer: The BOB Revolution CE Stroller!

We registered for it at BRU, but Amazon had the best price currently.  Always check Amazon!  Sometimes their free shipping and no sales tax (in most states) alone can make a huge difference.  Honestly, if I could only visit one retail website for the rest of my life, I'm pretty sure I'd pick Amazon.   I was tempted to do a baby registry on Amazon - they've got some products that neither BRU or BuyBuy Baby carry.  But I think we're pretty well covered!

We decided on the "CE" version - which has significantly smaller back wheels than the standard SE version.  I read that the only real reason to get the SE instead was for really, really rough terrain like vigorous hiking trails.  Um... I don't really see myself ever strolling up and down vigorous hiking trails.  With or without Sam in tow.  CE it is!

Now we haven't actually seen our BOB just yet... it arrived yesterday at my parents' house, so we'll get it tomorrow.  Can't wait to check it out!  Pretty sure Sam's gonna love it!  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

22 Week Belly

Oh we're rolling now, y'all. I told you Sam was on a growth spurt the last few weeks. I wasn't lyin'!

Wow, what a difference over the last four weeks. Good golly, where will we be in another four?

For my birthday (next week!), my mom's taking me shopping to find some maternity jeans and hopefully some cute options to wear for showers. The weather is finally getting a little cooler here and I need some bottoms! As much as I love my yoga pants and Old Navy skirts, I don't think I can wear them EVERY day.

We had our L&D tour at Piedmont Hospital last Sunday - this is all becoming kinda real! This weekend the hub and his buddy will be starting on the built-in shelves in the nursery. Can't wait to see those going up! We've also got our 24 week ultrasound next week. Can't wait to see how much our boy has changed! Exciting stuff...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Check this out.

Here's a great video from a local news station here with our miracle man, Dr. T!!! Love him! My friend, Jill, and I are were laughing at the staged "office chat" with the very pregnant girl in the video. First, you've graduated from the fertility clinic long before you ever start showing - you don't see big bellies there! And second, that's actually one of Dr. T's nurses! Too funny...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Week at a Time

I've noticed a lot lately that people's gaze, as they pass, goes from my eyes straight to my belly.  This mostly happens at work. I guess because they're checking to see how big my belly's getting?  Or it's hard NOT to look straight at it?  I don't know, but I find it funny.  Tomorrow marks 22 weeks and I am amazed!  With every passing week, I count another miracle.  We're obviously preparing for a healthy baby to come in January... getting the nursery set up, planning showers, registering, visiting daycares, taking classes...  But at the same time I continue to pray for peace throughout this still on-going journey.  It ain't over till we hear that baby cryin'!  And I'm no fool to just assume that's going to happen for us.  I'm certainly not fearful of something going wrong, but I think it's natural for any infertile to feel a little uneasy when things go *right* for a change.  Sometimes it's just hard to relax (my favorite word) and accept that this could REALLY be it! 
All kinds of irrational thoughts enter my head on a daily basis... Is my belly shrinking?  I think it looked bigger yesterday.  Is this really a pregnant belly or did I just eat too much ice cream lately? (Not that I did... no comment.)  Any minute, someone behind the desk at the OB's office is going to tell me I don't belong here.  Do people think I'm faking a pregnancy, like Mrs. Schuester on Glee?  Uh yeah, I told you they were irrational thoughts.  They are fleeting... but they still pop in my pea-brain!
Now that we can feel Sam kick (and even see it sometimes - wicked cool), it's all a lot more real.  Obviously, there really is something living inside there.  And everything is going perfectly so far.  We are truly blessed.  And it's been such a cool ride these last few months because I've been able to share it not just with y'all, but with other fellow wannabe-mom's whose dreams are finally coming true.  One of my dear friends is pregnant with her first - only 4 weeks ahead of me - after years and years of waiting on an adoption to go through.  We've leaned on each other for years... wanting so badly to have little ones of our own... and here we are pregnant together!  And then there's another sweet friend who is pregnant with TWINS after several unsuccessful IVF attempts.  Such a miracle!  And what a joy to watch her go through this.  We've had lots of laughs and tears over our fertility woes and here we are... expecting together.  And lastly, my heart is just overjoyed for Amy over at Chapters... please go catch up on her story if you haven't.  She's no longer in Atlanta but I continue to pray for her and follow her journey.  We shared our stories over fish tacos a while back... I'm so thrilled that she may have a little one right around the same time we will!  My prayer list is huge these days.
It is so cool to see God working in all of our lives in this same season.  Of course, he's always at work... but I love being able to see everything coming together for us and for so many people I care about!  (Oh we of little faith... always needing something tangible!)  Now I know there are so many sweet friends of mine still waiting for their "turn."  All I can say is KEEP TRYING.  I think about you and your pain all the time.   I'll keep praying.  You keep trying.  God never makes us wait without reason.  My life today would look a lot different if I really had control over it all along, but would it really be any better?  I can confidently say no.  God seems to get it right everytime.  Funny how that works...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sam's Crib Bedding!

So super exciting... our custom crib bedding and accessories arrived in only 6 days.  I wasn't expecting to get the order till next week, so it was a fun surprise to find it on our doorstep already.  I love it as much as I knew I would!  Here's a pic of the online version once I designed it (I just did a skirt and crib sheet, so ignore the "blank" quilt and bumpers)...

Nursery Designer by Carousel Bedding

And here's the sweet product on our crib!

Obviously I need to iron it to get that box pleat looking good, but I just had to throw it on there right away to see how it looked.  We also went with a longer skirt (20") since we decided to skip the bumper.  I know I'll have to either pin it up or get a standard length later when we move the mattress down, but I don't care.  I LOVE it!

Got a sweet little pillow for the rocker... I'm sure I'll end up monogramming Sam's name on it (er, having a friend do it). 

I also got extra fabric so bestest can sew our closet "door."  It'll be the same blue and white striped fabric on the bottom of the crib skirt.  Love it!

So we started our registry today at BRU and it was 10x more overwhelming than I thought.  The first aisle was all bottles and feeding accessories.  What the hell?  Like literally hundreds of products crammed on a wall and I'm supposed to know what to pick out?  Ha!  Most used sentence in there today... "Uhhh, just scan it and I'll research it more later."

So yeah it was more like getting a jump start on it but now I'm weeding through it online.  A couple of things scanned wrong too, so I corrected those on the website.  I'm thinking this registry is going to be a work in process for a while...

Um, hilarious.

Proof that true love still exists and men never get over their love of boobs.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daycare Advice?

Phew... what a day.  Today's a big tax deadline, so it's been nuts around the office lately.  I am SO ready for this weekend!  We're taking off tomorrow to visit daycares.  Some close to my work and some close to the house.  But after sitting in traffic for over an hour last night trying to get home from work, I think I've about decided one near the office makes the most sense!  Granted, our house and my work are only 15-20 minutes apart.  Basically two exits down the interstate.  But in metro-Atlanta, you never know when a 15-minute commute will suddenly be a 90-minute commute.  Nine times out of ten, it's a breeze (I am lucky in that regard) - but you just never know.
Y'all gave me lots of good tips on what to ask pediatricians... so what about daycare questions?  Any must-ask things that should be on our list?  Don't go thinking, "Oh she'll know to ask that - that's so obvious."  We haven't had our expert parenting classes yet!  So nothing is too obvious for me.  Any advice on what to look for is certainly appreciated.  I haven't been in a daycare since *I* was enrolled in one.
We're also getting started on our registry this weekend!  Big fun... and big time overwhelming!  We're planning to do BRU and Buy Buy Baby but I'm not sure we'll get to hit both this weekend.  BRU may do us in.  Right now I'm trying to narrow down our baby gear choices - strollers and car seats particularly.  I'm consulting my Baby Bargains book and Consumer Reports to come up with the best candidates, so I can at least narrow things down before we go to the stores this weekend.  Should be fun!
Our bedding arrived yesterday, so I will get pics of that sweet goodness up soon!  It is gorgeous, and kudos to Carousel - my custom order arrived in less than a week!  I also have some fun birthday plans coming up here in a few weeks!  I'll tell y'all about that soon.  I have a few more fires to put out this afternoon.... gotta run!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sam's Rocker Arrived!

Ooooooh... and I'm in love!

That blue line of tape in the background is where the built-in shelving will be. (I need visuals.)

The soft taupe color fits in perfectly with our bedding swatches. Can't wait for the bedding to come in and see it all start to come together!

We got the call late Saturday from BRU that the rocker had arrived. I had to work Sunday, so the hub surprised me by having the rocker picked up, set up, AND the blinds installed before I got home! MADE my day. :-)

Friday, September 9, 2011

20 Week Ultrasound

We are halfway there, people! I can't believe it. When we first learned we were pregnant, 20 weeks felt like an eternity away and getting there seemed like wishful thinking. Yet, here we are! Sam is growing strong and yesterday he was measuring 20w6d and weighs almost a whole pound. And while the doctor assured us he was a boy at 16 weeks, I had to take his word for it. But yesterday, his boy parts were clear as day. MORE than clear... hahahha!

I gotta say I was relieved to know for sure that Sam is indeed a boy. My OB told me not to buy anything till 20 weeks - and except for some bargain clothes, I've stuck to that. And honestly, we've gotten so excited about having a boy and talking about "Sam" that I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be a little disappointed at first if they told us yesterday that, whoops, it's a girl. Of course we'd be FINE with that - obviously we don't care ultimately. But we've had Sam in our heads for a month now and it'd be weird to have to re-tune our thinking. But obviously that's not an issue - our boy is most definitely a boy! In fact one of the "weiner shots," as my doctor calls them, was so *vulgar* that he was like, "Uh, I can't let you take that picture home." Hahahha...

And speaking of pictures, we really didn't get any great ones this time. We saw lots of cool stuff on screen, but Sam kept his back turned to us most of the time. So, not the greatest shot, but here you go...

Wow, that was a long 4 weeks to wait to see him again. Admittedly, there were some days where I wasn't sure he was still in there and I started to get a bit anxious. But we actually started to feel him kick over Labor Day weekend - which has been SO cool. I had felt little bubbles and flutters some on and off before, but this was the first time the hub and I both could feel him. Such a cool feeling. And weird!

We go back in again at 24 weeks for another checkup with my OB and ultrasound with the perinatologist. I gotta say I love doing ultrasounds with the perinatologist - they are way thorough and I think their equipment is more high-tech than my regular OB's. It's so amazing all the stuff you can see on there!

This weekend we're taking a CPR class - the first of many classes on becoming parenting experts! And Sunday I'm sure I'll be working some... big deadline next week and LOTS to wrap up before then. That doesn't leave much time for nursery or baby stuff this weekend, but I'm hoping we'll at least get our new blinds put up. I hope you all have fabulous weekends!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nursery Bargains: Rocker & Ottoman

The hunt is over! This sweet rocker is on its way to Sam's nursery...

The fabric we ordered is actually a tad lighter than this and compliments our paisley print beautifully. And it's just a good neutral taupe color, so it will last through our whole army of embryos awaiting us. (Kidding, Mom... I promise we'll stop at 10 or 12.)

We actually noticed this very rocker first at my sweet friend Pammy's house. She is expecting and is 4 weeks ahead of me. She ordered her rocker from Babies 'R Us and I LOVED the look and feel of it. I made sure we added it to our list last week when we went on our rocker hunt all across town. After looking at all kinds of rockers in similar styles to this one, both the hub and I felt the BRU rocker was our best bet. I did like several of the Best brand rockers we saw at The Baby's Room, but for the price (as in several hundred dollars more) they just really weren't much better (that we could tell) from the Newco brand rocker at BRU. Plus, I consulted my Bible Baby Bargains book and the Newco brand chairs in general got very good ratings. I made sure we steered clear of any brands that had crappy ratings.

So how good of a bargain was it? Well I was personally stinkin' excited considering my first rocker musings were in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, where we'd have to fork up nearly $1200 for a similar rocker after their ridiculous shipping surcharges (on top of the already high prices). I knew we could find something for less. And the good thing about ordering from a place like BRU? Coupons. The rocker and ottoman together were right at $580 retail. Reasonable in my book - about middle of the road for all the rockers we looked at last week. Plus $500-600 was the target price range in my head. I didn't want to skimp on a rocker - it's such an important piece - but I didn't want to go apeshit either. The customer service gal at BRU was actually super nice. I wasn't expecting much because I've read that customer service in these big box stores is a joke, but we had a great experience (at least thus far - we don't exactly have the furniture just yet).

Our BRU actually didn't have the exact rocker we were after, so I texted Pammy to get the item number and customer service helped us track it down and get the right set ordered. And without even asking, they did what I was hoping they'd do - split the rocker and ottoman order up so we could slap on two 20% off coupons. So we got 20% off the whole shebang, making the set only $464. Record-breaking bargain? Doubtful. But for the quality and style of the rocker, I am loving that price. And the kicker is the hub's momma is paying for the rocker as her sweet gift to Baby Sam! But don't you know I don't want anyone paying retail! Of course we got asked like three times if we wanted to save an extra 10% by opening up a store credit card. My husband's response to the cashier? "Dave Ramsey would whoop our ass." Word. You can have your 10%.

Oh and this beauty's gonna be here in only one to two weeks! I tell ya, I cannot wait to have this thing set up in our nursery so I can sit there and rock and stare and daydream. Right now there's nowhere to sit in that room... except the toilet. So it's starting to come together! Now that we've got our swatches (finally), we can pick out paint colors for the bathroom. And the nursery itself too... I'm still contemplating what I want to do on the main walls. I'm thinking a harlequin diamond print in taupe/neutral shades similar to this look (found on Silverspoon Murals)...

I wouldn't want to do something that fancy pants and not be able to recycle it for say, a girl. It looks hella complicated though and I can guarantee you I don't have the patience to do this crap...

So I've already concluded we will probably have to hire a pro to do the nursery walls if we do decide to go in that direction. And it would be the whole damn wall - not just above bead board or some chair molding. Yeah there's no way I'm doing that. I would absolutely lose my mind. We are sloppy painters in my household. We get the job done, but the process ain't pretty. So we can handle "simple" paint projects like the orange closet and the bathroom, but the main nursery walls? Yeah, let's get some help on that.

Oh and I'm thinking maybe a muted, pale metallic gold color for the ceiling. Ralph Lauren has these really pretty metallic finish paints at Home Depot - we've used them in a few rooms on the ceiling and the walls. I love them. It may sound scary, but I promise it's not. It's just a little drama in a can.

Other nursery developments? Our blinds came in, so those poor nekkid windows will finally be clothed! The sun comes in that room SO badly in the mornings, so we've got all our furniture draped in blankets right now to prevent any damage. It'll be nice to get those windows covered so we can finally start putting the room together. On the to-do list for this month is getting the bathroom painted and bead board installed. I'm uber excited about doing the bathroom too... I LOVE baby and kids' bathrooms. And the hub and his talented wood-working buddy are probably going to start the built-in shelves sometime this month. I can't WAIT to see those come together! That's truly the focal point of the room, so until those are up it feels pretty bare in there. But yeah, I guess as far as what I can really do this month, it's going to be concentrating on the bathroom and also ordering the crib bedding and accessories. Oooh how fun! Every step is so fun.

Well again, y'all enjoy this holiday weekend! It's a busy time at work with deadlines on the horizon, so I'll probably work a little from home Monday morning, but in my jammies no doubt!

Friday, September 2, 2011

18 Week Belly

Something's starting to POP! And boy, do I feel it. I've been pretty crampy the last few days because my belly (and Sam) are on quite the growth spurt right now...

There wasn't much difference between 10 and 14 weeks, but you can definitely see a change here!

We'll see how the waistline progresses over the next couple of weeks - I think it may be time to move to belly updates every two weeks instead of four.

So in other fun news, look what a sweet surprise Sam got in the mail yesterday from his Auntie Kathleen!!!

I was literally looking around on Monogram Chick's website this week and saw these shorts and thought, aw... how cute would those be for Sam?!

Apparently my friends are mindreaders! And look - it's Sam's very first monogrammed goodies!!!

Thank you, Kathleen! I'm in love with it all and Sam will be the most dapper little dude on the block! Mom also picked up a couple of goodies at Target yesterday...

I tell ya, this boy is going to be SET. Oh and my fabric swatches finally arrived this week! I knew I'd love them but I had to see them in person. And yeah, they're definitely way prettier in person. Looks like we're definitely going to go with this group for the bedding and other accessories around the nursery...

I laid all the swatches out for the hub last night and asked what he thought. He studied them for a half second and then pointed at the blue and white striped print. "That one." No, I mean ALL of them together, honey. "Oh, oh, yeah, OK." So you like them? "For what?" For the bedding. "Yeah, sure." Clearly he does not share my enthusiasm for these sweet fabrics, but he approves!

Well, Happy Friday all! And I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Enjoy this last toast to summer and be safe out there...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Maternity Goodies

In case you've forgotten, I have a *mild* obsession with maternity wear - have for years. So to be able to actually wear maternity clothes now is a total thrill. For the most part. As my belly is really starting to pop, I'm learning what kinds of clothes I like and don't like. And there are so many designers and brands out there that I love to drool over (Isabella Oliver for one), but it turns out I have more of an Old Navy budget. Which is totally fine - for the price, I think their line is pretty stellar - especially the basics. Some of their stores have a maternity section, but all the ones I've visited pretty much suck. The selection is VERY limited, but I will sometimes find a decent piece on clearance. But to really get a feel for what they've got, you have to go online. Most of their maternity collection is online only - which is kind of annoying, but whatever.

Luckily, my maternity wear obsession led me to collect quite a number of pieces over the years for "future use." So once I finally got here, I found myself with a ridiculous amount of maternity tops - especially tanks and tees. All bought on clearance, of course! But really, it worked out great in the end because I find myself nearly suited for my entire pregnancy - at least on my top half. Bottoms are more of an issue. Those are kind of hard to nail down until you're actually there. So now that I'm getting bigger, I've been hunting down some good options for my bottom half. And so far, this skirt has by far been my favorite maternity purchase to date...

This is the maternity maxi skirt from Old Navy, which I got on sale (duh). It seriously feels like jammies. It has a simple fold over waist that you can wear over the belly or under. And you can totally wear this later post-pregnancy. I got both colors since I knew this would be a staple for fall! My whole game plan for fall (especially at the office) is maternity tanks and tees with cardis. And like I said, the tanks and tees are more than covered.

I want to wait till I'm a little bigger, but my next big hunt will be for a pair of great jeans. And possibly some fun outfits for showers, but other than that, I really don't need much at all. So what were your favorite maternity pieces? Where was your go-to place to shop?

Oh and we finally took my 18 week belly shot - I'll get that posted later today or tomorrow!