Monday, January 31, 2011

17 Weeks

 I feel like my bump looks better in this picture than in real life. :)  I'm ready for it to be a little more like a "D" and less like a "B"... you know?  Oh, and yes I am wearing flip flops!  It was beautiful this weekend.  Don't get all in a tizzy though.  The cold is suppose to come back this week.

How far along: 17 weeks

Size of baby: Baby is the size of an onion

Total weight gain/loss: +8 total

Maternity Clothes: the same--maternity pants, regular sweat pants and a mix of regular and maternity shirts.

Gender: We find out on February 15th!!!!!!!!!

Movement: Yes!  Mostly during Little Man's nap time.  We're going to have to have a talk about 2 o'clock being sleep time and not play time!

Sleep: It depends on the day.  There have been a few nights where I struggled to get to sleep, or woke up more than usual during the night.  I am still exhausted though.   I think I'm more tired this trimester than I was the first!  A lot of days I take a nap while Little Man is at preschool, and then I take another nap while he naps.  I wish I didn't.  I try not too, but the feeling of being tired is too overwhelming.  Then, surprisingly, I can still go to bed and get about 7 or 7 1/2 hours of sleep at night.  I think my snoogle (pregnancy pillow) makes me hot.

What I miss: hot dogs!

Cravings: cheezits, juice

Food aversions: none

Symptoms: some round ligament pain, being exhausted, thirsty

Best moment of the week: feeling baby for the first time!

Fun Purchases: the swing!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thoughts on Texas

We've been here almost a month now.  It seems longer to me actually.  I have received numerous text messages, phone calls, facebook posts and messages, and emails asking things like "how's Texas?", "do you like it there?", "is it a culture shock?", and more.  I thought I'd share some of my thoughts and observations with you curious ones.

About two weeks ago we were sitting on the couch and Michael said, "Well, we've been here two weeks.  Do you like it?"  My answer was yes.  I asked him the same and he said yes.  A week later he said he wasn't really feeling homesick yet.  (Don't get me wrong--he does miss family and friends.  After hanging out with his friends in Ohio for one last time he thought he was maybe going to miss it more than he had thought.)  Then a few days ago we were walking into the mall and Michael said, "I really like it here."  I told him I was glad, because I didn't plan on moving back any time soon.  It was a lot of work just to get here!  I need a break!

All that to say... YES, we like it.  Everything is very nice.  Most things in our area are new.  The city is clean.  The roads are well maintained.  There is a large variety of places to eat, stores, and entertainment near by.  We like our apartment.  It's nicer than the average apartment.

There really hasn't been much of a culture shock.  Sure, some things are different here than in Ohio.  It's like that if you move from any state to another.  Each state does things their own way.  But there hasn't been anything all that weird or bizarre.

  • The water taste like dirt.  Seriously.  Not only does the water taste like dirt (which I get--different minerals), but the fountain drinks at restaurants tastes like dirt.  That I do not get.  I noticed it first at breakfast our first day here.  I got an orange juice out of a pitcher and almost gagged.  I thought it was just the OJ so I got an apple juice.  Nope.  Same thing.  Then I ordered a water when we went out for lunch and it all started coming together.  It tasted like roots.  Michael thought I was crazy.  He said it was some weird pregnancy thing.  When I saw K a few days later I asked her if she had any tap water yet.  She said no, but that G asked "why does this water taste like grass?"  Mmhmm.  It's NOT just me.  Little Man even came home from preschool one day saying they had apple juice, but it didn't taste like apple juice.  He said, "It tasted know... how your water tasted.  Like dirt!"  YES!  I know.  The bad thing is, even a couple lemon slices can't cover the taste!  I've been drinking bottled water, but when out to eat there are little options.  I'm sure I'll get use to it eventually.
  • It is not nearly as "country" here as everyone thinks.  Someone in Ohio said to us, "Anyone who makes fun of Texas has never been" and I think that's a pretty accurate statement.  It's beautiful here.  Although beautiful... I have yet to see a cowboy!  The only cowboy hat I've seen worn was on a State Trooper, and that's because it was uniform.  I think I've seen maybe one or two people wearing cowboy boots.  That's it.  I've really only heard a handful of "ya'll"s.  Hardly anyone has an accent.  Most people talk just like me.  The few that have had an accent weren't from around here.  Word is, the country scene is in Ft. Worth.  We've yet to make it there.
  • We've heard that the Dallas are is a huge melting pot of people.  Very few people around here actually grew up in the area, and of the transports, most aren't even from Texas.  That would probably explain the lack of accent.
  • There are more SUV's than pick up trucks.
  • I haven't found a Krispy Kreme yet, but there are a lot of places just called "Donuts".  Not very original, but my boss says they are "amazingly delicious" so I'll be trying some soon!
  • People drive faster and more aggressive here.  Who says the south is slow?
  • People are friendly.  I'll give you that.
  • It's colder than I thought it would be.  I've heard this weather is unusual, but I don't know.  When we visited, one of the ladies showing us an apartment said she only wore her coat about 7 times a year.  I'd like to find her and have a chit chat about lying.  It has definitely been nicer than Ohio, but some mornings have still been chilly.  (Like in the 20's and 30's).  Luckily, it usually warms up.  We have had a lot of days in the 50's.  There have even been days I don't wear a winter coat.  I can't complain about that. Yesterday was in the 70's!!  Michael was even in shorts.
  • When people find out we just moved here they immediately apologize for the summer heat.  This is starting to scare me.  Mostly because I am going to be a beached whale by then!
  • Even though it is chilly sometimes, and it has been rainy and cloudy a few days, the sun ALWAYS seems to find time to shine.  I'm not sure there's been a day where the sun hasn't been out... even if for just an hour or two in the afternoon.  Most days are sunny though.  It seems to be rainy on the weekends?!?
  • The sunsets here are like nothing I've ever seen before.  Breathtaking!
  • You can find a Taco place, a BBQ place, or a steak house almost anywhere.  I've also seen a large variety of frozen yogurt places to check out.  We have yet to do so, but I told Michael we need to try them all to find out which one is the best. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Apartment Pictures, Part 2

The "master" turned guest room
That night stand has since been moved into our room.
We have yet to hang up pictures.  Partly because I'm not sure if things are going to get moved around again.

The reason we made the master the guest room and the guest room the master is because of the lay out.  The master had the office area and was less of a square.  We were thinking that with a king bed and needing to put a crib in our room, using the "boxy" guest room would be better.
The shelf isn't very pretty (I like things hidden behind doors!), but it is nice to have storage.

We don't have TV in this room.  It's just for Michael to play his play station. :)
Also, you can see our patio out the window.  We were storing boxes out there and taking them out to the curb for trash pick a few at a time as to not overwhelm anyone.

So from this view you can see the doorway that leads to the dining room.  Then there is the master bath.  The master bath and closet are currently "mine" and Michael is using the other closet and bathroom.  It's working out nicely.

The bathroom--I like that it has lots of storage!

I'm not sure you can tell from the picture, but the shower is nice and wide!

The door to my closet and more storage!

I've left lots of places empty to soon be filled with baby things!
The top cabinet is completely empty.

My closet!  I love all the space!  
Finally, a place for my purses

I've saved this section for baby things.  I plan on putting baskets up there to store things like baby socks and bibs and other things that don't need to be hung.

Our bedroom
At this point we have no headboard and no wall decorations.  We've split up our old bedroom furniture into both of the bedrooms.  Eventually we'd like to get a whole new bedroom suite of furniture in darker wood.  This works for us now though.

The door on the right goes to the family room.  The door on the left is Michael's closet.  The door straight ahead is to the bathroom.  It is also the bathroom that opens into the living area.
(Don't mind the pictures and box in the "hall"... we've yet to find a place for them.)

 I'm thinking this is where the crib might go... or I might just use a basinett for the first few months and then move one of the dressers in the guest room to put the crib there.  It's all yet to be decided.

There is the same amount of storage in this bathroom as well.

In fact, this is where we have decided to store our games! :)  
Hey--sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! ha ha!

We've been told that garden tubs are a big deal here in Texas.  They were in almost every apartment we went it.  I've yet to check it out, but I look forward to a nice soak in the future.

Michael's closet

Luckily he doesn't have too many clothes, so it's a good place for more STORAGE

So there you have it.  Our apartment.
We also have TONS of stuff at my bosses house.  They have lots of extra room for us to store our things.  Plus, we have a small storage unit here that we rent.  Do you think we have too many things?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Apartment--The pictures you've been waiting for!

Just a reminder of what our floor plan looks like.  It is a total of 1187 square feet.
Our apartment is a flip flop of this... so when you walk in the door, the guest bath is on the right and the kitchen is on the left.  You get the idea.

This picture was taken by me standing at our front door.  The slight door you see on the right is the bathroom, the next door (past the lamp) is the hall closet, and the third door is bedroom #2 (which is suppose to be the guest room, but we made our master).

Looking into the kitchen... you can also see the dining room, which is turning into baby stuff room!

The kitchen.  The  door is the laundry room.

Michael was cooking dinner! :)
The tall cabinets on the left are like a pantry of sorts.  They are pretty deep.
We definitely have more cabinet space and drawers here verses our condo!

The laundry room is pretty small
I need the step stool handy and the other cart just rolls in and out when it's in our way.

There is also just a little bit of storage

The hall closet sure is nice too!  We never had one at the condo, and I hated that!

A few other views of the kitchen
The lazy boy was originally going to go in the dining area.  When Michael brought it in, he just put it in the living room because the dining room was full of boxes.  We intended to move it, but sort of like it here now.  It makes things a little tighter, but it's a nice addition to the seating.  Who cares if it's a little tight, right?

You may notice that everything is a little bland.  Our walls use to be pretty bold in color, so a lot of our decorations are neutral colored.  Now, with neutral walls and neutral furniture, PLUS neutral decorations, everything is just a little beige.  Whatcha gonna do?  I only plan on being here a year, so I'm not worrying about it.  Nor am I buying more things to decorate with.

The dining room
Also, you can see the second bedroom.  It is suppose to be the master, but we are making it our guest room.

There is a built in bookshelf in the dining room.  (Again, that's the door to the bedroom.)

The other side of the dining room
The door goes to our patio.  Don't mind the frames on the shelf.  They are gone now.
Also, all the white shelves will eventually be filled with baby stuff.  It may get moved... we just aren't sure how it's all going to work out yet. :)

The patio is actually a pretty good size.

Right now we just have our two Ohio State camping chairs there.  We are thinking of getting some of those outside storage units.  Patio furniture would be nice, but definitely not a necessity with all the other things we will be paying for.

If you look out from our patio, this is what we see.

Bedrooms and bathrooms tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who doesn't love a good sale!?!

We were wandering through the aisles of Target a week or so ago and saw that a crib was on sale.  They didn't have any on the shelf, so we asked a worker about it.  They were all out.  She did tell us that they were restocking the baby section next week so they were clearing out some old things.  She didn't know if they'd be getting any others of the clearance one in.  She said each Target is different though, so to check others.  We weren't too worried about it.  It's a little early to be buying the crib (especially with our space issues).

Fast forward a few days I kept seeing on the bump how all these people were getting MAJOR deals at Target on baby items.  Like $13 bedding sets and $8 play mats.  After work one night we decided to go and check it out.  I mentioned in my blog on Monday that we picked up a few onesies, but most of the stuff was picked over.  There was an entire aisle with signs that said 50% off and 75% off and the ENTIRE aisle was empty.  Gone.  Vultures must have came earlier in the day! :)

On Sunday we made a spur of the moment decision to pop into a different Target.  We wondered the baby aisle and stumbled upon this:
I have already spent hours looking online at baby stuff.  I made a list of what I wanted to register for.  I know.  It's a little OCD.  I wanted to know what I wanted to register for at Babies 'R Us and what I wanted to register for at Target.  I also wanted to make sure that I read the reviews and picked out items that didn't bomb for others. (I know reviews are not always a solid tool.  However, if 20 people gave it only one or two stars, then I probably don't want it.) All that to say, this is the swing I wanted.  It was one of the priciest items I was going to register for at $150.00.  As I walked down the aisle, I noticed there was no more little lamb swing, but rather a bunny swing and for $160.  I mentioned to Michael that I hoped the Lamb one wasn't retired.  He said he had just saw one at the end of the aisle.  Guess what?  It was for $75!  Woo hoo!  We decided to go for it.  How can I pass up 50% off?!

I love that it can swing back and forth or front to back.  It reclines in two positions and has six speeds.  It also plays a variety of songs and nature sounds.  Plus, it's super soft and freaking adorable!  It's still full price on the websites, so I'm happy to have found a deal.  I just hope the baby likes it!

pack and play....     CHECK
high chair...            CHECK
stroller...                CHECK
infant car seat...     CHECK
swing...                  CHECK
breast pump...        CHECK
baby food maker... CHECK

I'm feeling pretty good.  I plan on registering right after we find out the sex.  I can't wait! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This and That

  •  We went to the doctor yesterday.  It was our first appointment here in Texas.  She was really nice.  She did a quick ultrasound just to check in.  She said she could maybe see what the sex was, but baby was not cooperating.  We did see the spine, the face, and hear the heartbeat.  All is good.  However, the baby would not uncross it's legs.  She said it was sitting Indian style, which she then corrected with "criss cross". :)  She shook my belly over and over, but no such luck.  Oh well.  We didn't expect to find out the sex yesterday.  We can wait three more weeks.
  • Even though the baby wouldn't move during the ultrasound, I definitely felt it yesterday afternoon.  It was not gas or hunger pains like the books said I could mistake it for.  It was definite baby movement.  YAY!
  • We visited our third church on Sunday.  The first one was a no.  The second one was a possibility.  This third one was also a no.  Even though we think we might end up at the second one, we want to make sure.  We want to visit a few before we make the decision.  That way, we don't wonder later, or want to change after six months....especially with a baby on the way.  We should have one to call "home" soon!
  • Our appointment to find out "what it is" is scheduled for Tuesday, February 15th.  We can't wait.
  • For those of you who may not have read on Facebook--We had a showing on our condo on Saturday.  Really, I was just happy to have someone looking at it.  We got an email from our Realtor saying the feedback was very positive.  The buyer liked the location of the condo (as opposed to others in the complex that are for sale), the upgrades, and that it was well maintained.  The agent said it is on their short list and they will be scheduling a second showing soon.  Our Realtor was going to follow up with them, but we haven't heard anything yet.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but it would be GREAT if they at least made an offer.  I just want something to work with!
  • Pictures of the apartment are coming!  I promise.  They should be on here Thursday.  It might be Thursday and Friday.  We'll see.  I know you are all sitting on the edge of your seats! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

16 weeks

How far along: 16 weeks

Size of baby: Baby is the size of an avocado

Total weight gain/loss: still +6... I was up 6.2 for most of the week, but I guess the point 2 didn't stick around.

Maternity clothes: mostly maternity clothes now, with some regular shirts thrown in

Gender: Still boy--I will think it's a boy until the anatomy scan and they tell me otherwise.

Movement: I think I might have felt my first little movement last night.  It's hard to say since I'm a first time mom.  They say you start feeling them anywhere between 16 and 20 weeks.  It sort of felt like a caterpillar was crawling up the inside of my stomach, for just a few seconds.  I felt it twice.  It sort of matches some descriptions I have read, such as: "butterfly flutters", "slight tickles", "a bug crawling up the belly", and "bubbles".

Sleep: Yay!  It's back to normal. Thank goodness!  I'm hoping it stays this way for a while.

What I miss: Energy!  I was promised by many books and even some people on the bump that once I hit the second trimester it would be like magic.  I would no longer feel tired and all my energy would be back--maybe even more than before I was pregnant.  So far, this is NOT the case for me.  I sleep 8 hours a night and still nap every day--sometimes twice a day!

Cravings: I did have a very mild craving.  Someone posted about a happy meal on facebook, and then for three days all I wanted was a McDonald's cheeseburger and fries.  I finally got them one night this week.  Now all is back to normal. :)  Oh, and I also bought a box of Cheezits because they sounded really good to me.

Food aversions: nothing that I can think of

Symptoms: Don't you know that right when I said I didn't have acid reflux--I got it!  The very same day that blog posted!!  I've never had it in my life and it is not so pleasant.  One day it was so bad I ended up throwing up my whole lunch and burning my throat from the acid. (Sorry!)  Luckily, it was short lived.  Although I know it can return at any point.  They say it means lots of hair on the baby.  If that's the case, then it must be coming out with Michael's hair.  Blond babies are usually bald.  I am imagining a bald baby, but we'll see!

Surprises: My mother-in-law offered to get me some more maternity clothes! Yay!  I thought I was being good and frugal with what I had.  Unfortunately, two pair of the pants don't fit yet.  My bump isn't big enough.  Plus, I had to return some I had previously bought.  That left me with 3 workable pants and 5 shirts.  My MIL bought me 5 shirts and I was able to pick up two more pair of pants on sale at Kohls with a gift card I had.  I'm going to make these work until it's time to buy stuff for late spring/summer.

Best moment this week: Watching Michael get excited about baby stuff and set up the stroller and high chair.  He's so cute.  He's going to make a great dad!

Fun purchases: It was more at the end of last week, but I didn't mention it because I had written about the bed.  When we went to Babies 'R Us last weekend we found some Halloween and Christmas stuff on clearance.  We got some hats, bibs, a pair of pumpkin booties and a gender neutral ducky sleep sack.  We also got a Christmas outfit and a winter hat.  Everything was marked down so much!  I bought baby hangers too! Then mid week we checked out a baby clearance sale I heard was going on at Target.  The major clearance was already picked over, but we did get a few baby toys and some bibs and onsies for super cheap! (like 3 for $1.83 or something like that!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Following God's Lead

"  You moved to Texas to be a nanny?"   That's what the waitress said to me at the restaurant the other night.  I'm sure she's not alone in her thinking.  It probably does seem a little strange.  On the surface the answer is "yes", but really, I moved here for so much more than that.

When I told you all that we were moving here I gave you a little bit of a history and reason why.  I thought I'd expand on that a little today.  It's not that I need to justify my reasoning.  I don't feel I do.  It's more so that I can share what God has done and how we strongly feel He directed us here.  There have been the few people who were not happy with our decision to move away, but overwhelmingly I heard from my friends and family things like "that is awesome" and "what a great opportunity".  I had multiple people tell me they had a peace about us going... that they felt it was right for us... and even some who said they "could see God's hand in all of it".

I'm not sure when the story officially starts.  I guess it could be as far back as when we got married, but I don't think I'm going to go back that far.  I'd say it started when I quit teaching.  (I had a teacher friend say to me that she laid in bed one night telling your her husband how she could see all the ways God had moved and directed and blessed me since I felt called to leave the school I was at.  How cool is that?  I feel it, but to have others recognize it is awesome!)  I knew I needed to leave where I was at, and the job with Little Man literally landed in my lap.  It was perfect.  It was the only interview I went on when considering leaving my job.  I was offered the job in a week.  That was in February.  Do you know how huge that was?  I could finish out my school year with a job guarantee for June.  That's nearly unheard of when it comes to leaving a teaching job.  It gave me the peace I needed about my decision.

But getting back on track... Michael has been ready to have a baby since he turned 30 (about 6 months after we got married).  I was not as ready! :)  However, I came around about the time I turned 30 (last year).  We weren't necessarily in the position we wanted to be to have a child.  But after a major melt down and pity party (by me), we decided we'd go ahead and give it a go.  We could make things work if we had to.  That was around the end of March.  We decided the pill pack I was on would be my last, and we put in a call to our Realtor to put our house up for the second time.  She was heading to Italy, but would get back with us in the next two weeks to finalize it.  Things were rolling, or at least plans to get things rolling were in place.  Then, the first week of April, Michael got laid off.  Yep, I'd call that a major wrench in our plans!  It stopped all plans to start trying for a baby.  It stopped all plans to put the house on the market.  It stopped all our plans.  However, it did not stop God's plan.

We knew there was a reason for everything, but we weren't seeing what God's plan was.  We prayed for answers, but weren't really getting any.  So we decided to just wait.  That's all we could do right?  Michael enrolled in school, I kept working, and kids and a house once again got put on the back burner.

We felt very unsettled.  We were sick of being where we were.  We felt stuck.  We continually prayed for answers and waited until God directed us.  Even though I knew and trusted that God had a plan, I'm not going to lie--it was discouraging sometimes.  I knew though, that while I could not see the big picture, God could. We had to trust.  As one friend put it, "you went through a nine month birthing process".  Why yes, we sure did.

We started going back and forth on the baby issue... back and forth, back and forth.  "People have done it with less".  "We have a good support system".  "We could make it work".  These are the thoughts that we kept throwing out there.  We went to Ft. Wayne for a weekend in October and the discussion got brought up once again.  My uncle made a comment that "eventually you just need to step out in faith".  We went to bed that night talking about it again.  Should we "step out in faith"?  It's what we had been talking about all along.  We slept on it and woke up the next morning asking the same question.  We decided that we should.  We've had many friends and some family struggle with getting pregnant.  They say that if you have problems, you have to try for a year before they'll do any testing (unless you are over 35).  We figured that we'd give it a go and leave it up to God.  If we were suppose to get pregnant, then we would.  If it took six months, then great.  If we went a year and had problems, then at least that year would be under our belt.  So it was set in motion.

About two weeks later (not knowing that I got pregnant in one week), my boss dropped a bomb on me.  I could move to Texas, or stay in Columbus and try to find another job.  One of the reasons why we had not had a child yet was that it was my desire to stay home with my kids.  In order to do that, we would have to be completely debt free.  Needless to say, asking if I could bring my kid to work with me was one of my first questions. The answer was yes, and it seemed like a win/win situation.  I would get paid to be a "stay at home" mom.  We'd have money to pay the bills and I'd get to spend the day with my baby.

So here we were.  Unsettled.  Feeling stuck.  Wanting a baby, but not really in a good place to do it.  Praying for answers.  Then, God drops the answer in our lap.  We said yes and a week or so later found out I was indeed pregnant.  Only God could have timed it all so perfectly.  So many things could have been different.  If Michael had a good job, we may not have gone.  If we would have gotten pregnant a little sooner, things might have been different.  Instead, the minute we stepped out in faith and trusted God with our decision, He answered our prayers and He answered them big.

I believe God brought us here for many more reasons than just to allow me to "stay at home" with my baby.  I think he has great things in store for us here in Texas.  Again, I don't know what He's up to, but I'm sure it's going to be great!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Because someone could not wait...

Like a kid in a candy store...