Tuesday, June 29, 2010

24 week update!

How far along? 24 weeks 4 days

Total weight gain: Um, 19.

Maternity clothes? Of course. There's no way I could fit into regular clothes now!

Sleep: I sleep on one side until I'm in too much pain, then I flip to my other side. I sleep on my back for at least part of each night -- it's the only relief I can get from hip pain.

Best moment this week: I suppose a healthy doctor's appointment!

Movement: She moves and grooves and shakes my entire belly. Without fail, she gets super active during our church sermon each week! But her other two favorite times to move are early in the morning, lunch, supper, and late at night.
Gender: Sweet baby girl.

Labor Signs: No no!

Belly Button in or out? Uh, my belly button is way smaller than it used to be. It's barely a hole. I'm sure it will be flat in just a few weeks. Mark thinks it's so cute, haha! It looks like a baby belly button..

What I miss: A normal-sized bladder. Today, when I entered the hospital (my appointments are actually IN labor & delivery. Like, delivery rooms are *right* next door to my exam room -- very cool!), I peed before I went up to the 3rd floor. Then I had to test my urine, so I peed again. Then, after my appointment (15 minutes later?) I had to pee again. Water just goes riiiiight through me...

Weekly Wisdom: Beats me.

Milestones: One week closer to her due date!

Today was our 24 week appointment -- my first appointment in the actual midwifery center! My other appointments have been in the building next door (still the hospital), but in the obgyn area. And today I learned how to test my own urine! She taught me what each pH test strip box meant, the varying colors, and what it would mean for me if my color was off. For instance, I can now determine on my own if I have a bladder infection or if protein shows up in my urine! :) Very cool!

I set up my gestational diabetes test -- 4 weeks from now (28 weeks), and I chose the orange drink. Flat Sprite or flat grape drink sounds awful to me. My blood pressure is perfect, weight is great, and I'm feeling fine! My uterus measures exactly 24 weeks, and her heartbeat was 160.

She felt around and determined that my baby was nearly positively head down (right now -- goodness knows she will do lots of flips before birth!)

Our birthing classes begin in August, and we're very excited! My third trimester class will also be coming up soon! I have a feeling that, once birthing classes start, all of this will seem very real!

Mk, that about covers it!

the reality of pregnancy: where I use a bunch of italics.

So, you know, often times, a pregnancy results in a human being. A living, breathing, crying, pooping human being.

And, if I'm honest with you (which I always am!), I haven't accepted this reality. I wish I were joking, but I'm not. Here I am -- 24.5 weeks pregnant -- and it hasn't hit me that I'm going to have a daughter. A little girl with a squeaky mouse cry that relies on me for survival. In my mind, I think:

Hey! Yeah, I'm pregnant! With a little girl! I love her so much :)

But really, I think my subconsciousness is saying:

Hey! Yeah, I'm pregnant, and I will be forever! This baby will never be born. I'll just continue loving this pregnancy forever.

According to BabyCenter, this is totally normal, so I don't feel like a total freak. Note the word total in that sentence. I'm just so used to loving on my nephews, and I haven't realized that I'm going to have my very own baby. Her room is done, her name has been decided, we've been preparing for her birth since before her conception, I've read every book possible on breastfeeding and health, but still. It doesn't seem real to me!

I mean, come on!! How does a BABY come from ME?! Okay okay, I know how it works, but really?! All of my friends keep having babies, and with each new birth comes a smidge more reality for me. And don't get me wrong - I have no doubt that I can handle mothering. I just, ahem, haven't come to terms with the fact that she really, really is coming.

Yep. She's coming, alright! Just a little over 100 days to go.

I have a feeling that she's going to rock my world :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

cloth diapering - do I have this right?

Oh, I know you know that we know we'll be cloth diapering.

(Did you get that?)

It seems a speck of a tad overwhelming to a newbie cloth diaperer. I mean, there's washing. And drying. And stuff. I've researched my little heart out to make absolutely sure that I know what I'm going to do. And I think I've finally figured it out. I think.

So we'll be buying 15 FuzziBunz cloth diapers (we have 5 others - a total of 20 diapers).

really cute kid in a FuzziBunz

So, with FuzziBunz, you stuff this little insert:

inside each diaper. When my baby girl wets her diaper (or worse...), I'll unsnap it and toss it in a garbage can, lined with a garbage bag (my homemade diaper pail). Then I'll shake some baking soda on top. Depending on how often she dirties a diaper, I'll either wash the diapers every day or every other day.

While she's solely on breastmilk, I can toss all her dirty diapers right into the washing machine with no hassle. Breastmilk poop is water soluble, and this is really how it's supposed to be done. I'll do some combination of a soak, pre-rinse, and a regular wash cycle. Then I'll dry them or hang them to dry, depending on the time of year.

And that's it. When she's younger, she'll dirty more diapers. And, as she grows, she'll be able to "hold it" for longer and longer. So, really, I won't be adding much laundry at all. And, with a little bit of practice, it will all come second-hand.

Most people turn their nose up at cloth diapers and envision the nastiest poopie diaper in the world. But, uh, trust me, the disposable diapers are JUST as nasty. I could have gagged last week when changing a few diapers.. :)

I've read different people say that they soak them at night while everyone's asleep, and then they begin a new load when they wake up. So maybe I'll try that. It will take some "adjusting to" in the beginning, so we'll be using Pampers Swaddlers for about three weeks. I'll slowly ease into CD-ing, develop a routine, and then it'll be a sinch.

Caaaaan't wait!! There's no contest -- cloth diapered bums are WAY cuter than regular dispoables! Our sweet girl will be absolutely adorable -- not butts about it :)

Edited to Add: The "garbage can" I refer to is really a diaper pail. I'll pull out each insert as I toss it in the pail and then wash it all together. The inserts are 4 layers of microfiber and soak up urine amazingly well! :)

what it's like to be an Air Force wife (for me!)

About two years ago, Mark began talking about joining the military. And, as many of you know, I was totally against it. Hello, I didn't want him deployed, and I certainly didn't want to move to far-away land. But, obviously, things changed; he signed the contracts, and here we are!

And I'm an Air Force wife!

At first, it was a gigantic adjustment -- he left two weeks into our marriage, and he was gone for seven months. But I had college and family to keep me busy, and I visited him three times. But before we knew it, we had orders to our very first base!

So we completed our first move - 12 hours from home - moved on base, and ta da! Here we are today. But what is it really like to be a military wife? Well, besides getting discounts at a few (very few..) places, being told "Thank you!" on Veteran's Day and the 4th of July, and getting pitiful looks from civilians back home, being a military wife is.. just like being a regular wife!

Kinda sorta.

Mark has PT three times a week, which is where he does special physical activity to stay fit, and he works 730-4pm. He's on-call every so often, but really not more than a typical civilian job would require.

Most people like to ask when he'll be deployed to Iraq :) And, really, we don't know. Well, we do know his deployment band, but I'd rather not announce it on my blog. I will say that his job deploys for six months at a time, and we're dreading the day when he gets his orders.

Like, really dreading.

He loves his job, and we love our base. We've nothing to complain about, and my life is just like yours -- except my husband wears a cute uniform to work, and he works on a military base. We've no idea how long we'll be at this base or where we might move years from now.

So what's it like to be an Air Force wife, to me? Well, it means that my entire life is up in the air. I've no idea where we'll be living or when my husband will be with me. Our lives are completely uncertain but not too much different than civilian life. I seriously cannot believe that I'm a military wife. In fact, I don't really even think of myself as one -- perhaps I will when he finally deploys.

But, of course, this is my experience, and each military wife has her own story. Nearly all of my readers have no affiliation with any military branch, so I thought you might be curious. Maybe. Or not.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to polish my husband's combat boots, wash his ABUs, and get his super huge gun ready for tomorrow.

Just kidding. Heh.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The P's Have It: Piper Gets A Makeover!

The pup-perazzi phoned pleading for Piper's
presentation for photographs!


Previously, we peddled Piper to the closest PetSmart in proximity.

And we procured a pedicure for our pet's paws.


Perfect Posture


Plump. Precious. Princess.


Puffy Profile


Polished in Purple


Purely Pristine


She is coming into her Westie-ness quite nicely, don't you think? I had horrible lighting tonight, so these photos are pretty awful. She seems so small without her fluffy mess of hair.

Isn't she sweet? She is our baby!!!

you might be

You might be 24 weeks pregnant if you...

...Use the restroom, walk downstairs, sit down, and realize that you have to go pee. Again. Even though you just sat down.

...Have a constant sore spot in your ribs from the wacky position your baby's in. So you massage it to try to get her to move, and she probably thinks it's a loving touch from mama. But really I'm saying: Please, child, move!!

...Can down a medium strawberry limeade in, like, 2 minutes. And you're slurping the last bits of strawberry through the straw before you make it home.

...Now realize that you know the real meaning of back pain.

...View peeing as a "chore" and are sick and tired of using public restrooms. "Holding it" is no longer an option..

...You LOVE the "Stork Parking" at various establishments and whip into those spots with pride! Front row parking - heck yes!

...Are now used to people commenting on your body - no matter how inappropriate - and what they view has "changed" about you :)

...Have discussed the "pain of childbirth" with one too many people. Genesis 3:16 already told me that it's supposed to hurt, as willed by God :)

...Embrace your body, knowing that this is the only time in life when having a huge gut is marked as "cute" by others!

...Can't remember the last time you slept through the whole night without interruption from your pathetically-equipped bladder, which now seems to be the size of a pea.

Welcome, 24 weeks of pregnancy :)

As I type this blog post, Piper is tapping me on the leg with a paw. This is her (adorable) way of politely asking me to pet her little head. In my heart, I know that she will take to her new "little sister" like a champ -- she is insanely loving, affectionate, protective, and cat-like. And, truthfully? We are looking SO forward to the day when Punkin Bean can "call" Piper over and play with her. Won't that be the day!!

Lately, I've discovered just how many freebies exist out there with the use of coupons. Seriously, stores and restaurants are practically begging to give us free food and merchandise. Today, we were able to use $5 Babies R Us Bucks (sent to us in the mail) and got 2 Nuk pacifiers for absolutely free. We didn't even pay tax. I almost felt guilty for walking into a store and walking out with a free item. Almost, guys.

Tonight, we're going to a Crown Financial seminar, which I'm very excited about! If I learn any interesting tidbits, I'll be sure to blog them. Piper's going to the beauty shop tonight to get a new hairdo. We're going short, so there will definitely be photos to follow!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

a letter from daddy

Dear A____,

Even though you aren't born yet, I want you to know that I truly love you. I want to give the best of my life to be a great father to you and a great husband to your mother. I draw my strengths and wisdom from God and I pray that He teaches me to raise you up in His will. It's crazy for me to think that I will be raising up another human being and unconditionally love.

The first time I felt you kick inside mommy's tummy, it was late at night just before bed. I put my hand on mommy's tummy and just like the shark in Jaws, you gave a swift kick that freaked me out. Today, as of June 22, 2010, mommy ate lunch and, without hesitation, you denied every bit of it and forced her to throw it up! I can tell that you just might be a picky eater. I've had the best time putting my ear to mommy's belly and listening to you rumble around. I can't wait to deliver you from the delivery room so I can finally see you. I really love you!



Sunday, June 20, 2010

to the man...

To the man who...

-rubs Mama Bee belly balm on my tummy each night before bed

-sticks his ear on my belly to hear her moving

-kisses my belly and tells our daughter he loves her

-finds joy in whipping out the doppler to hear her heartbeat

-adores photographing my tummy each week like a pro photographer

-already has a sweet nickname for our baby girl

-has become the best money saver I know for the benefit of our family and daughter

-insists on holding my hand in parking lots and when I step off a curb.. just to make absolutely sure I'm safe

-puts his hand on my belly during the sermon to feel her kick

-talks often about the fun daddy-daughter activities he has planned

-knows all about cloth diapering, natural childbirth, slings, breastfeeding, and raising a child in the Lord


Happy 1st Father's Day, Markie!

Baby & I love you very much!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm here to help.

Remember how I used to (sometimes) search for freebies online? Well, okay, I've only done that two or three times. In my whole life. Since then, I've discovered some food freebies - which, in my opinion, are the best kind!

So I'm here to please. To help you out. To get you, my dear bloggy readers, some free food. Because, really, who doesn't like free food?

#1. Fazolis. Visit www.freespaghetti.com and sign up. You'll get a FREE small spaghetti with the purchase of a drink. Marinara or meat sauce. Yum! A small spaghetti with marinara sauce is only 8 Weight Watchers points, by the way!

#2. Captain D's. Join their D's Club and they'll email you a coupon for a TOTALLY FREE meal of FREE Fish & Fries or a FREE Chicken & Fries. It doesn't come with a drink, but you don't have to purchase a thing. Now that's what I'm talking about. (I haven't had Captain D's in over a year.. maybe two!)

#3. Taco Bell. Visit Taco Bell's website and get a completely free limeade! I believe they come in strawberry or margarita flavor, but I'm not sure. Regardless, it's a free icy drink. And, if you live in Kentucky, you're gonna need an icy drink in this summer heat!

#4. Auntie Anne's. Sign up with their e-mail club and get a coupon for a buy one get one free pretzel. Each month, they send new coupons for freebies. Who out there doesn't love a cinnamon pretzel?! They're the best!

It all sounds yummy, doesn't it :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

23 weeks pregnant!

Baby Bump at 23 weeks!
Photo by Mark.

This was the first photo he took yesterday. When he showed me, I (kindly) reminded him that we were taking photos of my belly, and this was just a picture of my FACE. HA! He is so cute. I really, really love my "baby daddy" a whole lot. More on that in another post, though!


How far along? 23 weeks

Total weight gain: I don't know. I haven't weighed myself in a few days. Probably 15lbs. (shudder..)

Maternity clothes? Yep! My wonderful sister gave me her entire maternity wardrobe. Yes!!

Sleep: Yes! It's wonderful - as long as I'm not sharing a bed with Clayton :)

Best moment this week: Clayton feeling my baby kick and saying, "*GASP* It feels like a shark! Like "pfft pfft pfft" (insert punching motions here)"

Movement: She even moves my stomach sometimes. She wakes up every couple of hours. My favorite part is how she pokes my bladder with a limb and "tickles" it, and it makes me really have to pee. Like, BAD. Thanks, baby girl!

Gender: Female!

Labor Signs: Nope!

Belly Button in or out? In!

What I miss: My back feeling normal. This back pain is really no fun.

Weekly Wisdom: Take lots of belly pictures, because it's such a sweet time :)

Milestones: This week, she has a 10% survival rate if born! Ha.



annnnnd my sister and I last week -- the day before Graydon was born!! 40 weeks and 22 weeks :)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I've returned!

It turns out that I turn into a really bad blogger when I'm in Kentucky. In defense, I was totally busy doing important things. Like going to Clayton's baseball games, playing Mario, working on my tan, snuggling with a newborn, having conversations with Hudsie, and stuff like that.

Busy, you see.

But today I returned to Virginia! My plane landed at 2pm, and Mark was there to meet me in his cute ABUs, since he came straight from work :) I might be in the 2% of wives who still think their husbands are super handsome when in uniform. Anyway -- not much had changed except his hair was "too long" (for my taste) and he had a jumbo grin on his face! He says my stomach "hasn't gotten any bigger" (he later retracted this statement) and said I was more beautiful than ever.


When Piper laid eyes on me, she nearly went into convulsions and was happier than ever. Since then, she hasn't really left my side and is currently glued to my left leg. Mark and I "celebrated" my return by having dinner at Cracker Barrel, the place of our engagement, where we both scarfed down grilled spicy catfish. Wednesday is broccoli casserole day, so we both had that too. Then we went to Motherhood Maternity, and I got an adorable dress (on sale!) that doesn't really look like a maternity dress, and I know I will be wearing it next summer!

Since then, we've been lounging around the house, washing the clothes from my trip, and enjoying our time with one another.


Just a few mental notes about my trip:

-It's super boring to travel alone. Thank goodness I'm re-reading Eclipse in preparation for the movie.

-Jamba Juice is TOTALLY delicious. I must admit that I only tried it because of the movie Baby Mama, where Jamba Juice is mentioned multiple times. I ordered the Mango-a-go-go, and it changed my baby's life. It was some kind of pure mango-pineapple-(& other fruits) concoction, but boy was it good. And healthy. And refreshing.

-It's probably a good idea to brace yourself for impact on the runway and not assume that your pilot is a good driver.

-The breakfast burritos at Wendys (who knew they had breakfast? I didn't!!!) are pretty disgusting. When you have to squirt hot sauce on your breakfast to cover the taste, that's a pretty bad sign.

-Not everyone has that good old southern hospitality. In fact, some might just maul you over in order to board the plane sooner. No, really.

Well, that about sums it up. I'm glad to be "home," but I sure miss everyone in Kentucky. We'll all (me, Pi, and Mark) be in Kentucky in roughly 5 weeks. We're really looking forward to it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

finally, an update!

I promise I'm still alive in Kentucky! I've been preoccupied with this new, adorable, scrumptious, sweet, flawless, edible nephew:

I could eat him with a spoon.

C & H have adjusted beautifully to this 7lb 13oz addition to the family. Clayton is an extremely proud Big Brother and takes his role very seriously. Hudson thinks Graydie is all that & a bag of chips. He says, "I want it!" and reaches for the baby. Holding Graydon is his new favorite past time.

Who can blame him? Holding him is my new favorite past time too!

Graydon "bought" C this new "Pop Up Book Maker" that comes with two blank books and lots of accessories to make the book 3D. We've been working on a book on animals, which C cleverly named, "The Eye of the Tiger." He's chosen animals such as: skunk, shark, t-rex, dog, etc. and we've practiced writing a sentence about each animal along with a drawing.

Here's his first page:

Complete with gigantic green shark
& blood dripping out its mouth.

I'm already re-attached to my nephews and want to spend every moment with them. But nap time is always welcomed with glee :) Clayton has become so expressive of his feelings, and I'm so impressed with his abilities to tell me exactly how he feels. He has told me so much in the past few days -- especially during late nights in bed when the lights go out. Few things are sweeter than those moments :)

Huds can sit and listen and carry on little conversations. His little eyes say so much, and he is such a wonderful child. This morning, we were alone for many hours, and he was just perfect. He's grown up so much over the past few months, and I'm so proud of him for tackling his new role of Big Brother so well.

Becoming an aunt was the best decision my sister ever made for me. I love these children :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

here's here!

Graydon Wyatt is here!
7lbs 13oz

He's healthy, perfect, sweet, and everything wonderful. He makes a funny sound like a door creaking open. His brothers love him, and Clayton thinks he's "cute" -- probably because he looks just like Clayton!

Labor was fast (super fast..) and "furious." We all love him so much.

And of course more photos will follow!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

stream of consciousness: kentucky style!

I haven't blogged in days. And, really, I haven't taken many photos! But I promise that will soon change. Somehow, I get caught up playing/swimming/holding/cuddling my nephews.. and I just forget to photograph anything!

I've been alternating between spending the night with Clayton and my parents. This morning, C let me "sleep in" and woke me up at 7:40! What a treat! He leaned over and whispered, "Shannie? Are you ready to get up?" And how could I say no to that?!

Hudsie says my name "Sannie" and likes to give me kisses and talk to me. I call Hudsie my little "Toot" because that's what he is! A long long time ago, Hudson met a family friend's baby, named Davis. He met him once. Since then, he thinks Davis is "our baby," and he goes around the house talking about Davis all day long. We try to say, "No, our baby is G____, not Davis!!" And he ARGUES with us!! "NO! IT'S DAVIS! DAAAVIS!!!" Okay, kid. Whatever you say.

Sprout will be born tomorrow. I'm spending the night with C&H and my sister is trotting off to the hospital at 5am tomorrow morning. I'll get the kids up, feed them breakfast, dress them, and then call my sister. Hopefully she'll be scooting right along and dilating like a pro. Then, of course, I'll be headed to the hospital to photograph the whole thing! We're all super excited to see who Sprout looks like (we're mostly anxious to see if he has hair!) and Clayton is overjoyed about becoming a big brother again. Hudsie is unaware and oblivious to it all.

Today I'm getting my hair cut and highlighted (darker!!!!) and will be spending the remainder of my day with my nephews.

Just for fun, I think I'll make a "prediction" about Sprout:

June 10, 2010
7lbs 5oz

quite a bit of dark hair
Hudson's complexion

Can't wait to see if this baby comes out looking like Clayton:


Or Hudson:



Sunday, June 6, 2010

update from home!

I normally don't go four consecutive days without blogging. And, really, I could go even more -- I'm way too busy/tired/preoccupied/excited to blog. But I have a few free minutes, so I might as well do an update:

I made it safely to Kentucky! The flights home were perfect and I arrived in Nashville 20 minutes early. When C saw me, he ran across the airport so fast to hug me. It was the cutest thing ever. Then, when I got home, Hudsie looked up at me and said, "Shannie" in the sweestest, softest voice I'd ever seen. Since then, he likes to come up to me and say "Shannie, Shannie" and grin super big.

I'm a lot in love with Hudsie.

Since being here, we've been going non-stop. I'm a little shocked at how much Hudson has grown! He can speak in full sentences and ask for anything he wants. He calls Clayton "Bubby," which he came up with all on his own, and they play like little best friends!

Friday, I spent the night with C -- what an experience. He kicked and flopped all night, but it was sweet to wake up next to my little man and get a good morning hug. Saturday was filled with haircuts, Clayton's baseball game, a wedding shower, swimming, and a smidge of relaxing. Pictures will come, I promise!

I swear that my stomach has popped out even more since I arrived in Kentucky. C has already felt Punkin move, which he thought was super cool. Mark says that Piper is more depressed than ever and is sleeping much more than usual. Sniff. I miss the two of them so much, but I am having lots of fun here. We're anxiously awaiting Sprout's arrival and I CAN'T wait to be an Aunt^3.

I love love love my nephews. They are the sweetest things ever. Little boys are wonderful :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the magnificent Puj Tub.

I can't remember where I found this neat little gadget, but it is the coolest baby bath tub I have ever seen. It's called the Puj Tub, and I want one!

Our bathroom is pretty tiny, and our sink is really... old. Mark has pretty much decided that we should just bathe her in our kitchen sink (until we move to new housing and get a pretty, big bathroom). But I found this awesome little invention. Watch the video -- it will make you want to bathe a baby real bad.

Is that not the neatest little invention or what!? Of course it would fit perfectly in our kitchen sink! Plus, that little blonde-haired baby in the beginning of the video reminds me of Mark. What a cute little thing!

I just had to share my most recent awesome find with you guys. Baby items are SO much fun! You can visit their website HERE. Just so, so insanely cute.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

20 week ultrasound!

Today was our anatomy ultrasound to make sure our little girl was healthy and on target for her age! I always get pretty nervous before ultrasounds, but we're always so excited to see her! The good news is that she's still a girl! Each time we have an ultrasound, she's so relaxed. For once in her (teeny) life, she cooperated perfectly for the ultrasound technician! She zipped through the measurements.

She actually only printed out three photos for me (2 profile shots and one gender shot), but we brought a DVD for her to record the session. So I came home and did screen shots of the ultrasound!


Isn't she just gorgeous? We think so ;]

shot of the lips^
her mouth is open in this photo
and you can actually see her little lips!

It's a GIRL! ^

Hopefully you can tell what you're looking at. You're looking right at her butt, and she's sitting on her foot. That "F" means foot. BT means bottom. L means labia. The arrow is pointing RIGHT at her "parts." :) That's my girl!

my placenta ^
I just think it's neat to see my placenta. Ha!

femur bones ^

The two long white lines are her femur bones!

And another shot of her cute lil face:


Her measurements show that she weighs about 13oz and is due around Oct 13th. Her belly measurement showed her being due on October 9th, and her head measurement said October 15th. We were able to see her swallow amniotic fluid and could even see her tongue moving in her mouth -- so cool! The technician woman asked me about her name and then I started crying like an emotional pregnant woman! I'm extremely in love with her name, to say the least! :)

We love her sooo much!