Done! This adorable shelf is the icing to top off the nursery owl fiesta. Isn't it cute? Please ignore the holes above the shelf...that's from my first shelving attempt...we'll have to take care of that at some point...
My birthday is tomorrow, and while I'm excited and love birthdays, it completely snuck up on me this year! I wonder why...
Ruined birthday surprise #1:
Last week, I ordered the white side table to put in the nursery by the glider. I'd been on the hunt for a while, and was having a hard time paying $80 for a small white table! Everywhere I looked they were between $70 and $80...even WalMart! I'd searched on the Internet, every furniture place I could find! I'd, of course, been complaining about it to Jeff, so he knew my frustrations. One night while looking on line, I finally found one for like $54 and went ahead and ordered it. It's cute and I actually like it much more than the other more expensive ones I'd been looking for. It has a drawer and a door, which will be perfect places to hide messes. :) So, the next day, after Jeff gets home from work, I mention that I had finally found a side table and ordered it! He has a kinda sad look on his face...well, that's because earlier that morning, he had ordered the one from Target that I'd been looking at! Really? What are the odds. He's too good of a listener.
Ruined birthday surprise #2:
So, Thursday the FedEx guy comes to the door with a box addressed to Jeff. I take it inside, and it looks like one of those tall stand up air purifiers, which didn't surprise me too much. Jeff has allergies and while we have an air purifier, I thought he maybe wanted a serious looking one. I didn't open a box or anything, it was sent in the actual box that the thing came in! Like you would pick up and take to the check out lane at Target. Strange, because we usually tell each other when we orders things, but whatever.
So I text him at work: Your air purifier is here! He texts back: What? I text him: Your air purifier... He texts back: You mean fan? I text him: Oh, I guess it is a fan, it looks like an air purifier! He texts back: Happy Birthday!
Well, another birthday surprise out the door!! But I'm ecstatic to get a fan. Like I've said, my body is like the furnace. I'm always hot, sweating, and poor Jeff is under a blanket! Our bedroom is the absolutely hottest room in the house, so while I'm sleeping with no covers on, Jeff's under 2 blankets...so I put the fan in the bedroom and it's great!!!
Ruined birthday surprise #3:
I've been harassing Jeff about getting a video camera for Jack. He's been dragging his feet and I've been so frustrated with him! I want to video Jack and I didn't understand why he was not wanting to video our child!!
He has all of these videos from when he was little, and they're so fun to watch. He even has some of him, his brother, and cousins doing a news cast! His cousin, Erin, was the anchor, his other cousin, Grant, did the commercials, his brother, Andy, did sports, and of course, he did the weather. They're hilarious to watch! They have videos of Christmas, birthdays, and they're hysterical! One of my favorites is when he opened his teal, black and pink wind suit! Does it get better than that? He didn't think so at the time!!
Anyways, I've been harassing him. Yesterday, I was getting mad. I mean, Jack could be here any minute and we won't have a video camera to see his first everything! I was in the middle of forcing him to sit down at the computer so we could look at video cameras and just order one, when he finally says, "I'm getting you one for your birthday!"
For all practical purposes, the nursery is done!! I can't believe it. I just can't! I'm probably like 99.5% done. Although, I know me, and I know I could come up with a craft every few days between now and when Jack arrives, just to keep me busy!
So, here's the bench that I covered...I love the way the owl material turned out!
A sweet grouping of pictures on the wall by the door. The gold cross was my baptismal cross...so sweet! And the adorable owl picture, my friend Hannah made. She's crafty beyond everything.
I went to the Dr today and...wait for it...I only gained a pound! Wow was I nervous about that one. I've consumed more than my share of cheeseburgers these past 2 weeks!
Is it a little scary that before I agree to go eat somewhere, Jeff and I have to look up the menu on line and see if they have a cheeseburger on the menu? A little out of control.
And by the way, I'm not picky about my burger. A burger at Lili's on Magnolia, which is an gorgonzola burger that will knock you over with happiness and makes my mouth water as I type, will pretty much conquer the craving as much as a burger from McDonalds. I have to say, I tried the new Angus burger at McDonalds last week and it was pretty darn good. I mean, I'm a fan of McDonalds, and I'm not ashamed! But this burger was more like a sit-down-and-eat burger than an eat-it-in-the-car burger. Jeff keeps telling me that meat at McDonalds isn't really meat...but then I show him the part on the bag that says 100% beef! I mean, it's on the bag! It has to be true!
So with all of my burger consumptions as of late (yes, I had one today after the Dr's appointment) that one pound weight gain is amazing.
And did I mention there are just 19 days until I'm due! Wonder how many hamburgers I can consumer in those 19 days?
Hope Jack's not allergic to dog hair! And it might look like torture, but Vincent sat in that bouncy seat for a good 5 minutes!
Jeff's grandparents are wonderful. Since the first time I met them, they made me feel like family. His grandpa (Paw Paw) is a WWII vet and had about a million stories to back that up. He is a fabulous story teller, and whether it was a story about banking on Iwo Jima, the war dogs, or men in his company, his stories are captivating. He didn't mind re-telling stories either! Sometimes his stories even start with "I know you've heard this story before, but..." He is a very proud Marine. He also tells stories of his days at Georgia playing football, growing up in Clarksville, TX, and being a soil conservationist. No, I didn't think stories about soil conservation could be very interesting, but you don't know PawPaw!
The family moved his grandparents to an assisted living center about 4 months ago because it just wasn't safe for them to be in their house alone anymore. Probably about 3 weeks ago, Paw Paw had to move to a nursing home because he was just requiring more medical care than they give at the assisted living center. Since then, Paw Paw hadn't been doing very well. He was tired. On Saturday, the people at the nursing home took him to the hospital because it was sounding like he had fluid in his lungs, probably pneumonia. Turns out that he had actually had a heart attack.
Jeff and I went down to see him on Sunday after church, and thankfully we did. We arrived at the hospital at about 11:15 and PawPaw passed away at noon. I'm so glad we were there to be with him and say goodbye. The family had gathered around PawPaw's bed to say a prayer and when we closed our eyes and Jeff started praying, he was still hanging in there. By the time we said Amen, he was gone.
It's so hard to lose someone who's larger than life, full of generosity, humility, and love. Everywhere he went, people knew PawPaw and were drawn to him.
Jeff did a short tribute to him this morning on the show:
How does this relate to the bath tub? Well, with the funeral coming up, I'm thinking that we might have a few guests staying in the guest room. Not a big deal, that's why we have a guest room and I'm glad to use it!! But that means I have to clean...not have to, but need to.
I'm not a super clean person. I don't mind cleaning, but it's usually started begrudgingly by looking around the house and thinking, shoot, this house needs to be cleaned. Jeff would probably like a house that is a little cleaner...he would NEVER say that (and will probably be mad at the accusation) but truthfully, I'd like a house that was a little cleaner! Who wouldn't!!
With the tiredness of the first tri-mester, I didn't clean. Literally. I hadn't cleaned the floors in the kitchen for so long, that there might have been a minor bug problem...maybe. Second tri-mester, I probably cleaned a little but not much. Now, I'm huge and I'm cleaning...the minimal amount. I can find lots of excuses not to clean...being pregnant is just one of the more reasonable ones...
We decided that with a little one on the way, it might be nice to have some help cleaning. You know, so Jack doesn't get attacked by dust bunnies while he's sleeping. We looked around and found a very nice lady who cleans another woman's house on our street, so thank goodness, Gwen will be coming to clean every other week starting September 7th. Woohoo!
Like I've said before, I've been working at Van Grow this summer, and when I work in the summer, Jeff and I decided that the money made then is my money to spend on whatever. Last summer, I spent it re-doing the dining room/den...money well earned and spent, let me tell you! This summer, I've been working for Gwen...at least working for money to pay Gwen! And again, I know it will be money well earned and spent!!!!!
So, my latest excuse to not clean has been, "Well, Gwen's coming soon!" But now that we're having guests and those guests are arriving before September 7th, I need to clean! I keep most things tidy, and generally clean, but the thing I hate the most in cleaning the bath tub. I hate it. It's awkward and I never feel like it's really clean! And that's a lot of effort to put into cleaning something that doesn't really look that clean when I'm done.
This morning, I had to tackle the tub. No guest would be able to get in that thing and come out thinking I'm any type of housewife!! Now, I hate cleaning the tub, hate it with a passion. I worked in Colorado at a bed and breakfast for a summer and the worst job was cleaning the huge jacuzzi tub in one of the cabins. Gross. There's no good way to do that! You have to get in it to clean it! And when doing that, you don't want to think about why it's so dirty and if there's a reason they call it the "honeymoon cabin". Thankfully, ours is just a 1950's plain ole' tub. But even cleaning a regular tub 8 months pregnant was quite a task!
I wish someone was there to video it, because I was like an acrobat with a beach ball under their shirt! I was maneuvering like no other, scrubbing until that tub shined!! I had on my rubber gloves, window open to avoid the fumes, my Scrubbing Bubbles spray in hand...I was quite amazing, if I do say so myself. I have to say, my tub shines right now. And I know that Gwen will be thanking me on September 7th.
I had another amazing shower on Saturday! Wonderful friends, perfect gifts...this baby is so blessed by people who love him even before he's here. And I am so blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people!! I don't have as many pictures to share on this one...I forgot to designate a photographer. I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures!
And the diaper tower is adorable, not to mention useful!!
And the family picture!
I guess if Jack's room had a theme, it would be owls. The blue owl material was the jumping point for everything in the nursery! And I have gotten some of the most adorable owls!! I just love them!!!
This one is from Susan, and I just love it. He looks so sweet and I want Jack to sleep with him one day. He's so soft!!
This is a weird part of pregnancy...since it's all been so normal up until now (my swollen ankles scream otherwise)...I guess this is the strangest part of timing of pregnancy. This week, I'm 36 week along. That's considered full term or maybe it's next week that I'm considered full term...whatever, it's close. So, technically, Jack could come right now and not be considered early. Um, that's CRAZY!!
The strange part of it is that he could also come 5 weeks from now and not be late. It's a weird feeling! Wanting to be prepared, just in case, but not wanting to be too prepared, because then you're just sitting around waiting with nothing to do! I know some of you are thinking, whatever, he won't be early! It's your first! They're always late! Not always...a good friend of mine had a baby about 2 months ago and she was 3 weeks early! It was her first!
Yesterday, in the spirit of being prepared, I packed my hospital bag. Really, I tried to pack my hospital bag. How do you pack clothes to wear home from the hospital when you still need to wear the clothes right now? They say to pack maternity clothes to wear home because it takes time for your body to start to pull back together and things. Well, I need my maternity clothes! Ok, moving on to maternity PJ's. Well, I don't have any. I've just been stretching out whatever night gown I can struggle into. And it's nothing that anyone coming to visit me in the hospital will want to see me in! So, better get some maternity PJ's. Pack your toiletries. Might need those between now and when Jack pops out! So basically, I just ended up making a list of what I need to remember to put in the "pre-packed" hospital bag.
Today, I decided I needed to pack the diaper bag. You know, since we'll be going out so much in the first month or so! I actually did have everything I needed to put in the diaper bag, which was a good feeling!
So, I'm getting ready. And it's weird. Last week, I was planning some things for October, and it was really weird to think about planning with Jack in mind! My oldest friends (not like old in age, but old as in I've known them forever) are planning a baby shower for a wonderful friend in October. Well, Jack will be here! And he'll still be so little! It's fun to think about, him being here, going places, doing things. Just so strange! I guess that's part of getting ready, knowing that things are about to change like crazy!!
So, I'm down to the last few nursery things...curtains up? Check. Bedding finished? Check. Bookshelf put together? Check. Glider finished? Check. There is one thing, that for whatever reason, I haven't gotten started on. It's this bench with drawers that was Jeff's. It was originally just varnished, but I decided a while back that I wanted it to be white, so probably like 3-4 months ago, I spray painted it white...and then put it in a corner. My idea was to cover the cushion with cute material, and then on the inside panel of the drawers, Modge Podge in some coordinating material. I don't know why it's been hard to get motivated about it, but it has!
It is truly the last thing I have to actually be crafty about in the nursery, so there's no where else to go but to the bench! I had picture of what it would look like, I was thinking striped material on the cushion, and then perhaps the yellow material on the panels. So, I decide today that it was time to tackle the project. Probably one of the reasons it's been left to last is because I'm not quite sure how to tackle it!
So I bravely take the cushion into the dining room to get started...what I really need to post is a picture of my dining room turned to sweat shop (I truly call it my sweat shop because I'm convinced it's the hottest place in the house...as soon as I sit down to sew, I'm sweating like a mother...actually, at this point, every time I sit down, I'm sweating...actually, whenever I sit, stand, lay down, or breath, I'm sweating...whatever) because that's something to marvel at. How is it possible to spread out that much?
Anyways, I get out the striped material to start pinning and...there's not enough. It's long enough, but there's not enough to wrap all the way around the cushion. What to do, what to do...well...couldn't I make this work? I mean, only one side of the cushion could be seen, right? So why do I need to cover both sides? Right? It's then that my "Whatever, nobody will notice" kicks in HIGH gear! I mean, I could use a glue gun to glue the material on the bottom of the cushion and nobody will know, right? If my glue gun skills are enough to hold together fashions at fashion week, surely they were good enough to glue some material to a cushion! But do I really want to just glue material to a pillow? Is that good enough for little Jack? Oh, if you only knew the battle...should I do it? Each time I walk in Jack's room will I notice the super ghetto cushion cover?
Of course, I take my whining to Jeff...he actually backs my gluing to the back of the cushion idea! Validation! Just what I needed! I'm literally about to start gluing the material to the cushion when I think to my self, "Are you kidding me? Am I really gluing this material that doesn't even fit onto Jack's cushion??"
I couldn't do it. I just couldn't! The cushion cover in the picture obviously isn't covered with what I pictured in my mind, but I had plenty of this orange and yellow material to cover it, and it looks just fine. Yes, it's sewn. I have to admit, I did end up gluing the ends down...I couldn't help it. Hot glue can do wonders, I tell you, and wonders it did on the ends of this cushion!
So I didn't make it out of the glue gun woods, but I did conquer the "Whatever, nobody will notice" monster...well, mostly! And I still have to put the material on the panels...we'll see what kind of project that becomes, but I am anticipating plugging in the glue gun!
This summer I've been working at Van Grow Art Studio for Kids, which is just amazing. If you have kids, they should go here. Anyways, this week is my last week...time to get ready for Jack! I have an amazing group this week. They're astoundingly polite, so sweet, and work really hard. I am always complimenting my group, you know, "I see some really good painting going on! You guys are doing great!" and usually, that's met by a smile or so. This week, if I say something complimentary to the group, they all take turns, going around the room, saying "Thank you!" So sweet, they're just great kids.
So I was getting ready for camp today, gathering paint, brushes, etc. My green can of paint needed a little more in it, so I went about squirting more paint into the can. At this point in pregnancy, I'm in a little bit of a habit of rubbing my belly...I know, so cliche, pregnant woman with her hand on her belly, but it just kinda happens! Anyways, while I'm squirting paint, I'm mindlessly rubbing my belly with the other hand. I glance down at my belly rubbing hand, and it's green! I look down, don't see paint anywhere...where did that paint come from? Must have been on the outside of the bottle when I picked it up. More squirting...rubbing belly...more paint on that hand! It's then that I realize that a bit of the squirt of the paint had ended up on the underside of my belly, all over my shirt, and I couldn't see it. This means that I officially can not see the underside of my belly. And, really? I splattered paint on my shirt and have been rubbing it in for the last few minutes? Great. And the really annoying thing is that at this point, there are few shirts that actually cover the belly! They're all starting to ride up, and before I know it, the bottom of my belly is actually sticking out under the shirts! Eew! Nobody needs to see that! Oh well, a good excuse to run to Target later and pick up a new prego shirt. Can't beat that! :)
After work, I headed to a Dr's appointment. I didn't have to wait too long, which is good and pretty unusual! After a few squeaks of that waiting room door, my name was called! Did all the normal things, pee in the cup, check blood pressure, yadda, yadda, jump on the scale...um, what? I've gained 9 pounds in the last 3 weeks? Excuse me? I start thinking that maybe it's not Jack who's been eating all those hamburgers lately, it's me! Goodness!! As my nurse leaves, I'm freaking out a little, I mean I have 5 more weeks to go! I can't gain weight like that! I sit pondering until my Dr comes in and says, "Wow, 9 pounds!" Um, thanks. We talked about what was going on, she asked if I was feeling swollen. Well, if toes that feel like sausages, feet that have gone from narrows to wides, and ankles that have all of a sudden turned into sickening cankles means I'm feeling swollen, then yes! Turns out that when you feel like you're walking on Dr. Scholls Gells on top of a balloon when you're walking barefoot through the house, your retaining a little water.
I took my wedding ring off a few months ago (sniff) and have been wearing a ring I bought in Mexico since then. (I couldn't go with out a ring, I was afraid at one of my WalMart ventures, I might find a man who was more than willing to be my baby's daddy...) I was worried that if I started swelling and didn't already have my ring off, I would have to get it cut off! Obviously, I've read the stupid prego websites that try to scare you. So my Mexico ring fit great, no worries. Well, this week and last, that ring had been leaving marks on my finger! Not green marks reminding me it's from Mexico, marks that say, "Take me off, I don't fit your prego finger anymore!" Guess that should have been a sign.
My Dr said that since my weight gain had been so steady from the beginning, the frightening amount of weight gain since last time was mostly due to swelling. Whew! So, the obvious thing to do after my appointment was to go to Target, get my new prego shirt, and leave with a bag of fresh popped popcorn! :)
This weekend was amazingly busy. A few months ago, I sat down and perused the prego classes offered at the hospitals and signed up for a few. We took Child Care Basics a few weeks ago, which was pretty good! Learned a lot of practical stuff...car seat installation, baby CPR, how much Jack should sleep and feed...good stuff. Jeff actually really liked the class, which is good...since I still had to drag him to two more classes...
This weekend we had Childbirth and Breastfeeding...the two big, scary classes . A few months ago, taking two classes in one weekend seemed like it would be no big deal! I mean, what's a few hours in a classroom? I can do that!
So the journey started on Saturday morning...first of all, on a sort of tangent, but a tangent that will matter in a minute, our house is about 60 years old. The electrical box was the original and seriously needed updating. We got a few bids from electricians, ranging from $11,000 to $1,300...and guess which one we chose! And even at that price, I feel like the new box should now be a part of the general house tour. Anything that expensive should be showcased, not just tucked away in a closet! I might have to put a frame around it...anyways, Saturday was the day for the new electrical box to be installed. So, the electrician said he'd like to get started at 7...excuse me, what time on a Saturday morning would you like to start? Eek! So, needless to say, the day started early, and even though he didn't quite make it over until 7:30 (should have guessed), I was showered, dressed, and packed up for my upcoming baby shower that afternoon by 7am.
So, we got out of the house by 7:45 and headed to Paris Coffee Shop down on Magnolia (where they make the most amazing french toast...so amazing it almost made up for getting up so early on a Saturday morning) for breakfast then headed straight to the hospital for our Childbirth class.
Our instructor was interesting...we took the class at Baylor, just because it was the class that worked out for us timing-wise, but we're delivering at Harris. To start off with, she was clearly annoyed when she found that out (I mean, she asked for a show of hands for who wasn't delivering at Baylor) and made a side comment along the lines of "I'm sure they have a great labor and delivery floor at Harris, too..." She was a little hard core...the first thing we did when we got to the class was to go around the room and tell your name, due date, and share something negative about pregnancy that you're experiencing right now. Way to start off the class on a high note! It ended up essentially being a way for her to show her knowledge..."oh, you're dealing with _______, well what you need to do is __________." Okay....she was a little scary, not one you'd want to mess with. She clearly took her job seriously. She even made us take a protein quiz, to make sure we all knew none of us were getting enough protein...thanks for the birthing tip.
Anyway, you probably have a pretty good idea of what we're in for in this class...lots of videos. All kinds of videos. And all videos that make you wonder, "Who would say it's ok to tape this and then put it on a video for millions of people to see?" And that's not just a question you'd want to ask one woman...there were quite a few women that I could pose that question to. Jeff was a trooper, and although the class wasn't quite as practical for him as the last one, honestly, it was pretty good for me to see...in some kinda of strange scary way.
They passed around all kinds of labor/birthing equipment...an epidural needle was one of the most interesting ones. I've heard it's a large needle, and that's no lie. It will be like shoving a stick of bamboo in my back. Fun. But I'm guessing at that point in the labor, the idea to stabbing me in the back with this mammoth of a needle will seem like the least of my worries.
They also passed around the forceps and the vacuum that they sometimes use to have to assist in the birth. The forceps look like a medieval torture device, and the vacuum looks like a suction cup. I'm expecting the "vacuum" to be like the Hoover in my closet. Turn it on, stick the hose on the baby's head, and out it pops! It wasn't it, in fact, it looked quite harmless. But the instructor actually said the forceps are safer than the vacuums...I'll just say, they don't look like it, but I don't choose to doubt the scary woman.
Because of my spectacular shower, we left the class a little early, right after the Lamaze and Bradly breathing methods...some people in the class took this part of the class pretty seriously...closed eyes, really breathing the whole "he, he, he, who" thing...Jeff and I were trying to stifle our laughs and of course, he was just being silly the whole time! Our professor like instructor didn't appreciate it too much, but what else would you do, looking around the room at 10 other couples, on the floor with pillows, leaning back and pretending to be in pain! I get the gist of it. I'll probably regret not paying more attention in 5 weeks, but one way or another, this little boy's coming out! Lamaze breathing or not!
Sunday, we had our Breastfeeding class. The instructor was the same one we'd had for the Child Care Basics class and we liked her, so it was nice to see a non-Nazi face at the front of the room! She is funny, and although, again you have to wonder, "Who would say it's ok to tape this to share with millions," she made it entertaining and a little less awkward than it could have been. There were even a few inappropriate jokes that she let slip out!
One of the funniest things, she had a fake, stuffed boob. Like a stuffed animal, but it was a boob! It's kinda hard not to giggle about that. She's throwing the boob around, having the baby doll pretend to nurse on it...kinda funny. Especially for the boys in the class. Let me say, there were many an elbow thrown into the side of husbands during this class. It's like they all turned into 8th grade boys as soon as that first video came on!
So, I learned a lot about breastfeeding, that there's actually more to it than just putting the baby in front of your breast and hoping he can do his thing and make it work. Again, not so practical for Jeff, but good for me to see. And to know it could be hard and somewhat uncomfortable in the beginning.
And it's actually a good thing they make the husbands come to these classes! Now he knows what it all means, and that over all, none of this is easy, and when I'm complaining, it's normal.
Needless to say, after all of this new crazy information, I had a little freak out on Sunday night...how in the heck am I supposed to do all of this! I mean, going to both classes in one weekend was tough enough, not to mention, that pretty soon, all in one day, I'm going to be giving birth and then breastfeeding! Oh my goodness! What have I gotten myself into. How am I supposed to do all of this!! Plus resemble a normal person!
It's a good thing that when I really sit and think and don't freak out, I know that it's natural, it will happen, and all of this is just what the Lord has made my body for. How in the world would I do it with out that trust that no matter what...no matter how hard labor is, no matter what tool they have to use to pull Jack out, no matter if he latches on right or not, that I'm not doing this alone. Jeff is wonderful, reminding me that I'm not alone, he's there, ready to do anything other than offer a boob, and my eyes need to be on the Lord anyways. Where they should be always, but are more often that not, they're not.
I know full well that the Lord will change me in this process and I am glad of it. Make me less selfish, make me more patient, make me more loving, more able to forget about the clutter of my house (yes, regardless of what my house looks like, I do sometimes worry about the clutter of my house)...I'm sure I'll resist the change, be frustrated and even resentful. But I love that the Lord will draw me closer to HIm in all of this. I just pray that I will be mold-able.