Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review

After such a crazy year in 2011 - getting engaged and then married, going on our honeymoon cruise, and settling in to our life together, we thought maybe 2012 would be an easy, relaxing year.  That changed pretty much right away, when we suspected we might have gotten pregnant in January.  Confirmation would have to wait a couple of weeks, though.

We found out for sure that we were going to have a baby in early February.  We were over the moon, of course!  Another unexpected announcement was that our landlords didn't want to renew our lease for the two years we had previously discussed.  They wanted to make it only six more months after February, leaving us wondering where we would be living that summer.  After lots of discussion and budgeting, we decided it was the right time to buy a house - so we would never again be at the mercy of a landlord.  These two events pretty much took over our lives for the next few months as we started to realize just how much would be changing for us.

We announced the pregnancy to everyone in March.  Our parents knew earlier, but we didn't want to tell anyone else until we had an ultrasound.  The 10-week ultrasound showed everything was normal and the baby was healthy, so we felt comfortable announcing it to the world.  Facebook made that pretty easy.  We also started looking at houses and were approved for a loan.  Every weekend was spent looking at houses and every evening after work was spent on the Internet searching for more houses to look at.

The second trimester was awesome.  I was able to do more and was actually able to eat some things I hadn't been able to eat since before I even knew I was pregnant.  We had a great time registering for baby items and talking about names.  Everyone kept asking us what we wanted.  We just wanted a healthy baby - no, really.  We didn't have a preference for the first.  We found a house we really loved - the third one we looked at - and prepared to talk about making an offer.

We visited the house we loved one more time and made an offer on the first of May.  The offer was accepted the next day.  We found out we were going to have a boy!  Some repairs had to be made after the inspection, but the owners took care of them and we got ready to sign the papers...

We signed papers on June 5 to become homeowners!  What a huge moment for us!  We were so nervous, but we managed to get all the papers signed and drove to the new house immediately afterward to try out our keys!  Jon changed the locks that night and we made our plans for changes before moving day.  We worked every weekend on painting, getting the front and back yards ready, and deep-cleaning everything.

We moved in mid-July.  Not the best idea when you're hugely pregnant and living in the South, but oh well.  The new house was and still is the best thing we could have done for our family.  The dogs love the yard and haven't gotten sick at all since we moved.

We took childbirth classes in August and worked on getting settled in the new house.  We started setting up the nursery and had a couple of baby showers.  We were counting down at this point, ready to meet our little guy.  And I was starting to get very miserable.  I was massive, my ankles were swollen all the time, and I never felt rested because I couldn't sleep at night.

We thought we had until October 7.  But babies can surprise you.  We went to a routine doctor visit and ended up in the hospital that night.  They induced labor the next morning and after no progress all day, we had a c-section.  Nathan was born on Sept 18 and our lives haven't been the same since.  :)

Maternity leave, getting to know our little boy, absolute bliss.  :)  A new mayor was elected and I started looking for a new job.  I knew I didn't want to work for the new guy, so I wanted to find something before I went back to work.

Maternity leave, my 36th birthday, Jon went out of town a lot for work, and Nathan started interacting with us more and more.

I found a new job that I absolutely love!  It's so nice to actually fit in with the people at work and not have them assume something about me just because of the way I look or where I came from.  They seem to like me so far, which is a nice change.  Nobody is suspicious when I offer to help them, and they don't look at me like I'm an outsider who has no idea what's going on when I try to speak up.  We celebrated Nathan's first Christmas, and it was absolutely wonderful.  And our New Year's Eve is being spent eating Olive Garden to go and spending time together as a family.  What a year!  I'm hoping 2013 can be a little more settled.  :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Week by Week

I've been taking weekly photos of Nathan every Tuesday.  He was born on a Tuesday, you see, so every Tuesday he's a week older.  Today I thought it would be interesting to see how he has changed over the last 11 weeks.  It was surprising to me to see how much he has grown and changed.  I love this.

Dear Baby (11 weeks old)

Dear Nathan,

You are 11 weeks old today.  Every day with you is an adventure!  You are growing so quickly and changing so much, it's hard to keep up with you.  Some of my favorite things about you right now are:

The way you smile.  At first, it was just gas.  But the first time you smiled in response to something is a moment I will never forget.  That was several weeks ago, and now you smile all the time.  It is the cutest little toothless grin in the world.  Your eyes light up when you smile, just like your dad's do.  I could watch you smile all day.

Your laugh.  There will come a day when you will laugh a big, boisterous laugh like a man, but for now, you giggle.  And it's an adorable giggle.  It bubbles up from deep inside you and comes out accompanied by one of those wonderful smiles described above.  It melts my heart every time.

The way you snuggle up to me.  You are still so cuddly, something I know won't last very long.  When I think about the days when you won't want to cuddle with your mom, it makes me a little sad.  So I'm determined to steal as many snuggles as I can.

Your curiosity.  You love to look at new things and examine things you have seen before.  I hope you never lose your curiosity about the world.  It is a gift that many people lose as they grow older.

The way you look at your parents.  Now that you are a little older and can recognize people, you look at your parents differently than you look at other people.  It's like you know that we are the ones who will always be there for you and that will always protect you from everything, no matter what.  And you are right about that.  We are always here for you.

Your voice.  You are "talking" now.  It's all baby language and we can't understand it, but it's beautiful and wonderful.  You talk to everyone and everything.  You talk to us, you talk to the knights and castle on the wall above your changing table, you talk to the sea creatures that are projected on the ceiling above your crib, you talk to stuffed animals, you talk to the dogs, and you talk to other people.  Your voice is so sweet.  I love watching your mouth try to form words.

Who you are.  I love who you are and who you are becoming.  You are a sweet, loving, lovable boy who is learning so much about the world and is developing such a fun personality.  I can't wait to see how you grow and change over the next 11 weeks... and beyond that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monthly Photos

It is time again for the monthly photo!  I've included the others for comparison again.  He's growing so fast!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Birthday Weekend

I had such a lovely birthday weekend this year.  Jon is an incredibly sweet and considerate person and he always manages to make my birthday special.  On Friday, a package came to our house.  He knew it was coming and asked me to bring it in without thinking too much about it.  So that's what I did.  I didn't even look at the box.  The last thing I wanted to do was spoil a surprise.  That evening, he went into our office and looked at the box, then came back out into the living room.  He asked if I had seen the outside of the box, and I truthfully told him no.  It turns out the box had the word "laptop" printed on the outside of it.  If I had looked, it really would have spoiled the surprise!  I'm so glad I didn't look.  :)

He wrapped it and let me open it that night, and I haven't stopped using it since!  It's really nice and was absolutely needed.  I haven't had a computer since mine died almost a year ago.  I had been using my work computer, but the reason I can't do that anymore is a whole other story!

Also that night we went to 5 Guys, one of my favorite "quick food" places.  I don't really consider it fast food, more quick food.  ;)

On Saturday, we were shopping and he turned into Twist Cupcakes and told me to pick out six cupcakes.  Yum!  And the Saturday night we went out for dinner.

And then today, on my actual birthday, my parents had a little party at their house.  It was great.  Turning 36 wasn't a horrible experience at all.  I have a wonderful husband, a sweet baby boy, and a beautiful home.  And friends and family who love me.  Who could ask for more than all that?  Now if only I could find a job I really love...

Friday, November 16, 2012

So very busy...

I just realized it has been almost a month since my last post!  Bad blogger!  But I have been pretty busy being a mommy, so hopefully you will excuse me.  I'm going to back post a little to fill in the last month.  Look for some pictures and stories about life with Nathan.

Friday, November 02, 2012

First Smile

I caught Nathan's first smile on camera just because I happened to have my phone with me at the time.  He's super happy after being changed, so we always bring the camera in with us now in case he does something cute.  He likes to "talk" to us now too, which is amazing.  Of course, we have no idea what he's saying, but we still love it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Parent Adventures: The Poopsplosion

No picture to accompany this one, and you will be grateful, I promise.  We had our first poopsplosion.  And omg was it ever epic.  I've never seen anything like it before.  How can something that foul (and so much of it) come out of something so small and cute?  

Not only was it everywhere, but it kept coming out after we took the diaper off!  There were lots of "oh my gods" being shouted during that.  And laughter.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Growing up...

We are doing monthly photos through the first year of Nathan's life because it's such a great way to show how much he is growing.  The graphics on the onesies were made by Jon on the computer and the dragon was a gift from his mom to go with our knights/dragons nursery theme.  

This picture is of him at 2 weeks old.

And this is his one-month photo.  I can see a difference.  Can you?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nathan's Birth Story

This should explain where I've been for the last two weeks.  On Sept 17, I had a routine weekly doctor visit.  We had scheduled a growth ultrasound because my doctor was a little concerned about the baby's size versus the size of my pelvis.  We were 37 weeks and 1 day along at this point.
After the ultrasound, they put me in a room for the regular doctor visit, and when the doctor came in, she asked how we would feel about having the baby earlier than our due date.  When I asked how much earlier, she said "tomorrow." 
The ultrasound results were very unexpected.  My fluid level was dangerously low.  I was either leaking fluid or my placenta had aged prematurely, according to the doctor.  I had actually thought I was leaking fluid for a couple of weeks but when I called the doctor's office and talked to the phone nurse, she told me it was just urine or discharge and I didn't need to be worried.  I'm still a little ticked off about that, but it's not even important anymore.
The doctor said we needed to check into the hospital that night - that the fluid level was not enough to keep Nathan healthy and that we couldn't wait for it to replenish.  I was to be induced the next day.  She gave us an hour and a half to do what we needed to do before being at the hospital.  Jon and I went out for dinner, since there was no way we could actually go home and get anything during that time.  Luckily, we had a labor and delivery bag in my car, so we had what we needed for that night.  We arrived at the hospital and got into our room.  They inserted Cervadil to ripen my cervix and advised me to get some rest.  They asked if I wanted a sleeping pill and I agreed because I knew I would never actually be able to sleep otherwise.
The next thing I remember is waking up in the morning.  They took out the Cervadil and started Pitocin.  The contractions started pretty quickly after the medicine went in.  They hurt.  Pretty badly!  The doctor came in and broke my water.  I was 1 cm when I got there, and got to 3 cm in the first few hours.  They asked if I wanted an epidural and I said "yes please."  The epi was great, other than the very odd sensation that my legs were paralyzed.  I decided I hated not being able to feel parts of my body.  But ultimately it was better than the contractions, because according to the machine they were very intense and I didn't feel them.  I was thinking I could totally do this after all and that there was nothing to be afraid of!  Then the epidural wore off.  Yeah, it totally did.  They did a boost of medicine to see if that would help and it did for about 30 minutes.  And then that wore off.  They had to place another one, and when they came in to talk to me about it, they said when they place a second one, they usually do it higher in case the patient needs a c-section, so that they don't have to go in a third time.  I agreed and they did the second epi.  It worked.  We went back to laboring and hoping for some progress.
11 hours after beginning the Pitocin, the nurse checked me.  She was just as anxious as I was to know how far we had progressed.  When she said 4 cm, I nearly cried.  She paged my doctor, who came in very shortly after to check for herself.  Only 4 cm.  The doctor said it was time to make a decision.  She had felt for awhile that my pelvis was going to be too small for the baby to pass through.  She said she could give me a couple of more hours to labor and hopefully dilate more, but that she was 99% sure we would end up needing a c-section no matter what, and that she wouldn't want me to go more than 12 hours after my water broke so the c-section would be that night unless we could manage to dilate all the way before that time.  Jon said it was up to me.  I decided to go ahead and do the c-section.  If we were going to end up doing it in a couple of hours anyway, I decided to do it then so that hopefully I wouldn't be too exhausted to see the baby afterward.
The c-section was a very odd experience.  Once they got me into the OR, I started shaking.  The doctor said it was because of the epidural boost they gave me right before going in.  It was pretty awful, though.  I hate being out of control and the shaking was seriously uncontrollable.  Jon was right beside me the entire time.  He held my hand until they got Nathan out and then he went to take some pictures of him.  He was born at 6:03 P.M. on Sept 18.  He was 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 inches long.  They let Jon hold Nathan close to me so I could see him before they took him away to the nursery.   He had some fluid in his lungs and they wanted to make sure that was okay.  He spent a few hours in the special care nursery before we could see him, and that was probably the longest two hours of my life.  They sewed me up and wheeled me back to recovery.  Our family members came in to see me.  I was still shaking.  Finally the epidural wore off and they gave me a morphine pump.  I loved that morphine pump and was sad to see it go the next day!
They brought Nathan to us about 2 hours after he was born.  He was perfect and beautiful and the lung issue had almost completely resolved itself.  We brought him home that Friday and have been enjoying him since.  He is 11 days old today, and is so very precious.  We are getting the hang of breastfeeding and he is starting to get chubby cheeks.  (yay!)
Here's a link to a video I made of pictures we took during our hospital stay.  Nothing gross, I promise.  More pictures to come!

Monday, September 17, 2012

37 Week Bump

Last baby bump picture.  This was taken on the Monday we went into the hospital, right before our doctor's appointment.  It was unexpected, but we were happy we were able to go in right then and have him before something bad could happen.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

35 Week Bump

And here it is, the huge 35-week bump.  I keep saying I can't imagine getting any bigger and then I do!  It's crazy but awesome at the same time.  And even though I feel pretty rough these days, I know it's worth it and am happy that getting bigger means that Nathan is growing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dear Baby (34 weeks)

Dear Nathan,

We had our last childbirth class tonight.  We got to tour the hospital and see where you will be born.  It's pretty nice.  As nice as a hospital can be, I suppose!  The nurses we saw seemed very kind and welcoming.  They smiled at our class and said "see you soon!"

Your dad and I feel more prepared for your arrival after four weeks of class.  We know what the process is going to be like and what we will need to do when it's time to deliver you into this world.  It's scary, at times, to think about your arrival.  So many questions come to mind.  Will we know it's time?  Will we make it to the hospital before you arrive?  Just how much will it hurt?  Can I handle it?  Of course, these are pretty normal questions to ask and pretty normal fears to have.  But as long as you get here safely, I don't care how it happens.  We are getting closer and closer to the day you will be born.

For now, keep growing and developing the way you should and we will see you when you are ready.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Dear Baby (33 weeks)

Dear Nathan,

We had a baby shower for you yesterday!  It was at Fish River Baptist Church and the church ladies were awesome!  We had such a nice time and you got lots of amazing gifts.  I can't wait to see you in some of these outfits.  Here's a picture of all the goodies from the shower.

Well, most of it came from the shower.  The giant gorilla was a valentine's gift to me from your grandpa one year when I was sad and lonely, before I met your dad.  I want you to have it because it made me happy when I needed something to hug.  We have some awesome dragon toys for you, as well as some other toys to play with.  And some books to read to you!  We love books so much and hope you do too!  We're almost ready for your arrival.  Just a few more projects and another couple of baby showers to go!



Monday, August 13, 2012

Dear Baby (32 weeks)

Dear Nathan,

It's mom again!  Your dad and I have been working like crazy on stuff for your room.  We really hope you love knights and dragons as much as we do!  Since you're our little "dragon baby," we thought it was a most appropriate nursery theme.  Here's some stuff we have been working on for you.

I found this quote on the internet and thought it was just completely awesome for a baby's room.  I hope it inspires you to use your imagination and love adventures as much as your dad and I do.

And this is for your door.  Every Knight needs a sign declaring his knighthood!  Your castle is being carefully prepared for you, so we wanted to have a sign on the door telling everyone you live there!

It has been so much fun working on projects for your room.  Your daddy and I love doing things like this together, and although he is much more talented than I am in these areas, he's a great teacher and helps me feel like I'm actually doing something worthwhile when I help!  :)  It's nice.

As for you, wiggle worm, you are still moving around like crazy and letting me know when you are unhappy about how I'm sitting or standing or lying down.  I know it's getting a bit cramped in there.  Just hang on a little while longer and you will be out in this world with both your parents, and you will have lots of room to stretch out!  I can't wait to meet you, and for you to meet your dad and Kaylee and Simon.  We will be such a happy family.


Monday, August 06, 2012

32 Week Bump

Childbirth class edition.  They made the dads wear the empathy belly and take pictures with the ladies.  It was hilarious.

Dear Baby (31 weeks)

Dear Nathan,

You are 31 weeks along now!  Somehow being in the 30s is a milestone in my mind.  It's like we are almost there, but still so far away...

We're having childbirth classes starting tonight and going through the entire month of August.  I'm looking forward to seeing what we learn in these classes and using that knowledge to make sure you get here safely!

I love feeling you kick and squirm around.  You are such a wiggle worm!  Your daddy and I can't wait to meet you in person, little one.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Not all sunshine and rainbows...

This is the text from an email I sent to a friend who had a baby several months ago.  She asked me how I've been feeling and boy, did I let her have it!  I will say this: overall, pregnancy has been pretty awesome.  But yeah, it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

I'm completely miserable, lol.  Feeling very overwhelmed right now with everything we still need to do.  There are boxes and there is random furniture all around the house.  And while I know I need to unpack some when I get home, I just feel so exhausted when I get home that I want to sit still for a few hours and then go to sleep.  

But then I can't sleep.  It's just too uncomfortable.  And I can't sit for a long time or stand for a long time or lay down for a long time.  My back hurts, my legs hurt, and I think my knees are swollen.  I've never been this heavy and my body hates me for it.  And my boobs have started hurting again.  My sinuses are constantly swollen, so I can't breathe through my nose, which means I have a constant sore throat from mouth-breathing at night under the ceiling fan.  But I need the ceiling fan because I'm always extremely hot.  Like an "I want to take off all my clothes and lay in a bathtub filled with ice" kind of hot.  And when I do manage to get comfortable enough to go to sleep, I have awful dreams where I wake up and am covered in blood and Jon just looks at me and says "it's not a big deal, go back to sleep."  

My head hurts all the time now too.  Not sure what that's about.  I'm bored with everything at work and it's torture sitting here pretending to care.  Because I really, really don't care about anything at this point.  The dogs are irritating me to no end.  Every time Simon barks in the house I want to scream.  

I'm honestly surprised Jon hasn't been sleeping at the rental house.  I've turned into preggosaurus.  

What's funny is, I know it's all worth it.  And I know it is worse for some women than it has been for me.  So I'm trying to keep all that in perspective.  I do sometimes daydream about being able to go to sleep now and wake up in October, just in time for delivery.  But then who would make the crib quilt and the knit blanket and the curtains for the nursery, not to mention some of the wall art I really want to do?  And who would help Jon unpack all the boxes?  So yeah, it's not the most fun time right now, but it's temporary and I know it will all go away soon.

Vent over.  Lol.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Who do you talk to?

Who do you regularly talk with and share your pregnancy details with? 

I am eternally grateful for the ladies online, in The Pumpkin Patch.  It's the October birth club that I found on a pregnancy website, and we even have a facebook group.  These are the ladies I talk to most about this pregnancy because I know they will understand and can relate.  We share symptoms and stories about our husbands and our lives.  It's pretty awesome.

In real life, I don't talk about it all that much to anyone but my mom and Jon.  I have a few coworkers I can say things to occasionally, but I'm trying not to talk about it too much.  Mainly because I don't want to be seen as "the pregnant girl" at work, but the woman who knows how to do her job.  That's really important to me.  

But because I don't have a ton of people to talk to IRL, I know I couldn't live without my Pumpkin Patch girls.  They are so awesome and I hope we all stay in touch after we have these babies!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Glucose Tolerance Test

If there has been one thing (other than "advanced maternal age" and "birth defects") that has struck fear into my heart during this pregnancy, it has been the Glucose Tolerance Test and the possibility of having Gestational Diabetes.  Mostly because I'm lazy and don't want to have to change my diet!  We had our fateful test on July 9.  The sugary drink was terrible - it tasted like Sprite without the carbonation and about 100 times more sugar.  I barely got it all down.  We had a regular doctor's appointment after that, and then it was to the lab for the blood draw.  As usual, they had a hard time getting a vein and by the time they finally got all the blood they needed, I was completely wired from the sugar and the anxiety.  Afterward, it was just a matter of waiting for the results.  I never did get the phone call, so I'm going to assume, now that it's 2 full weeks, that I passed and everything is okay.  I don't know what my number was, but if they haven't called by now, I'm assuming it was pretty good.  So that's another big milestone for the books and I'm thanking God (and my pancreas) that we don't have to do anything special for the next 11 weeks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

28 Week Bump

And here it is: The 28 week Bump.  Seriously, can I get any bigger?  Yep, and I have 11 more weeks of getting bigger until I will stop expanding.  But the kid is healthy and active, so that's all that matters to me!  Only 17 pounds gained at the last doctor's appointment.  That seems insane, considering the fact that I'm eating everything I can get my hands on, but I'm not complaining.  :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

26 Week Bump

New House Edition!  This was taken on the 4th of July while we were cooking out for our parents at our new house.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

25 Week Bump

Home Improvement

We spent all weekend working on the new house.  My dad came over and started putting up the fence for the dogs, my mom and mother in law started painting the nursery, and I worked on some random projects (not allowed to paint or get up on ladders because my husband doesn't want anything to hurt the baby) here and there.  We all worked hard and were very sore for a couple of days as a result.  I'm thinking we should probably not take it to such an extreme again!  Maybe pace ourselves a little more?

But the best thing that happened is that the Sago palms are gone!  I actually spent about an hour and a half pruning the one in front of the front door.  It looked pretty cool when I was done, but we still wanted them removed.  I posted the picture on facebook and got a call from my sister very quickly after, asking if we had destroyed the palms yet.  I said no, and she said to leave them alone, that her husband wanted them.  So Rob came over and dug/pulled them out for us!  And this is how he did it:

It was very exciting!  The one being pulled in the picture ended up being about 8 of them growing together, so he cut them apart and put all of them on the back of his truck, plus all the bulbs we found and all the seeds that were scattered on the ground.  He's going to plant them in their front yard.  And we get a lovely house that you can actually see now:

I'm working on a landscape plan for the flower bed in front of the porch.  I want some color there since the house is very vanilla.  I'm so excited to have the toxic palms gone!  We've also raked tons of leaves.  I think we're up to about 14 or so bags of them.  You can only put out a certain number at a time, so we are having to go over there and put them out when we know it's time for pickup.  Hopefully once we get the six months of leaves out of the back yard, we can keep it at bay a little easier by raking each weekend or something.

I was anxious to get this particular project done and was very excited that we managed to finish it on Sunday.  We bought the paint during the week and got started on Saturday.  Jon finished up on Sunday and it looks awesome.  Ladies and Gentlemen... Sir Nathan's Castle:

We still need to paint the office (same color) but it's all taped up and ready to go, so that will be Saturday morning's task.  Hopefully we can get that room done this weekend.  

There are lots of other projects to do, some of them can wait until we move and some need to be done before we move, so we're making lists and crossing things off and prioritizing.  I think we have a pretty good system.  The fence is the most important thing.  And the painting.  Once those are completely done, there's no stopping us from moving in and actually spending our first night there!  I'm so excited for that moment!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dear Baby (25 weeks)

Dear Nathan,

We started painting your room over the weekend.  It's the most awesome shade of gray.  I'm calling it "castle wall gray" because that goes with the theme we chose for your first bedroom.  I hope you like knights and dragons, because they are going to be everywhere!  I've had a few dreams about you and what you may look like and who you may become.  It's so exciting to think about you growing up and becoming a person with ideas, creativity, and your own opinions about things.  I can't wait to teach you and learn from you.  We will be moving into our new house very soon.  We've been packing things up like crazy, including some fun items we've already gotten from people for you!  I can't wait to put all that stuff in your new room.  Your grandpa is going to build your first bed, with your daddy's help.  I love watching them build things together.  I'm sure you will help them do that when you get older, if you like doing things like that.

Keep moving around in there - it helps me know that you are okay.  I actually enjoy your kicks and punches.  They make me feel closer to you.

See you soon.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Ravelympics Controversy

Yesterday, I logged onto Ravelry, one of my favorite sites.  I logged on to check something on a pattern and to see if any of my forum posts had gotten any replies.  But mostly, I logged on to check information about my favorite Ravelry tradition, the Ravelympics.

What is this Ravelympics?  Well, it's an event held to coincide with the Olympics, where knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists make a commitment to watch the Olympics while challenging themselves to create a project that tests and enhances their skills.  Much like the Olympic athletes do when they participate in the Games.  But there was a message from Casey, one of the site's founders, on the main forum that made my heart sink.  This letter was from the US Olympic Committee.  Here is the text of this letter:

Dear Mr. Forbes,
In March 14, 2011, my colleague, Carol Gross, corresponded with your attorney, Craig Selmach [sic], in regard to a pin listed as the "2010 Ravelympic Badge of Glory." At that time, she explained that the use of RAVELYMPIC infringed upon the USOC's intellectual property rights, and you kindly removed the pin from the website. I was hoping to close our file on this matter, but upon further review of your website, I found more infringing content.
By way of review, the USOC is a non-profit corporation chartered by Congress to coordinate, promote and govern all international amateur athletic activities in the United States. The USOC therefore is responsible for training, entering and underwriting U.S. Teams in the Olympic Games. Unlike the National Olympic Committees of many other countries, the USOC does not rely on federal funding to support all of its efforts. Therefore, in order to fulfill our responsibilities without the need for federal funding, Congress granted the USOC the exclusive right to use and control the commercial use of the word OLYMPIC a and any simulation or combination thereof in the United States, as well as the OLYMPIC SYMBOL. See the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, 36 U.S.C. §220501 et seq. (the "Act"). (A copy of the relevant portion of the Act is enclosed for your convenience.) The Act prohibits the unauthorized use of the Olympic Symbol or the mark OLYMPIC and derivations thereof for any commercial purpose or for any competition, such as the one organized through your website. See 36 U.S.C. §220506(c). The USOC primarily relies on legitimate sponsorship fees and licensing revenues to support U.S. Olympic athletes and finance this country's participation in the Olympic Games. Other companies, like Nike and Ralph Lauren, have paid substantial sums for the right to use Olympic-related marks, and through their sponsorships support the U.S. Olympic Team. Therefore, it is important that we restrict the use of Olympic marks and protect the rights of companies who financially support Team USA.
In addition to the protections of the Act discussed above, the USOC also owns numerous trademark registration that include the mark OLYMPIC. These marks therefore are protected under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1051 et seq. Thus,'s unauthorized use of the mark OLYMPIC or derivations thereof, such as RAVELYMPICS, may constitute trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution of our famous trademarks.
The USOC would like to settle this matter on an amicable basis. However, we must request the following actions be taken.
1. Changing the name of the event, the "Ravelympics."; The athletes of Team USA have usually spent the better part of their entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them. For many, the Olympics represent the pinnacle of their sporting career. Over more than a century, the Olympic Games have brought athletes around the world together to compete in an event that has come to mean much more than just a competition between the world's best athletes. The Olympic Games represent ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony.
The USOC is responsible for preserving the Olympic Movement and its ideals within the United States. Part of that responsibility is to ensure that Olympic trademarks, imagery and terminology are protected and given the appropriate respect. We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games. In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.
It looks as if this is the third time that the Ravelympics have been organized, each coinciding with an Olympic year (2008, 2010, and 2012). The name Ravelympics is clearly derived from the terms "Ravelry" (the name of your website) and OLYMPICS, making RAVELYMPICS a simulation of the mark OLYMPIC tending to falsely suggest a connection to the Olympic Movement. Thus, the use of RAVELYMPICS is prohibited by the Act. Knowing this, we are sure that you can appreciate the need for you to re-name the event, to something like the Ravelry Games.
1. Removal of Olympic Symbols in patterns, projects, etc. As stated before, the USOC receives no funding from the government to support this country's Olympic athletes. The USOC relies upon official licensing and sponsorship fees to raise the funds necessary to fulfill its mission. Therefore, the USOC reserves use of Olympic terminology and trademarks to our official sponsors, suppliers and licensees. The patterns and projects featuring the Olympic Symbol on's website are not licensed and therefore unauthorized. The USOC respectfully asks that all such patterns and projects be removed from your site.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. We would appreciate a written reply to this letter by no later than June 19, 2012. If you would like to discuss this matter directly, please feel free to contact me at the number above, or you may reach my colleague, Carol Gross.
Kindest Regards,
Brett HirschLaw ClerkOffice of the General CounselUnited States Olympic Committee1 Olympic PlazaColorado Springs, CO 80909
Take a look at that passage in red.  That's what has fiber artists around the globe so angry.  How dare they say that us practicing our craft in honor of the teams we support in anyway denigrates them?  I would love to know what the actual athletes think.  I believe they would agree with the spirit of our games, the desire to create something that pushes our skills to their limit while watching them push theirs to the limit as well.  Their reward may be a medal.  Ours is a finished project we never thought we could finish, and a sense of accomplishment that comes from a job well-done.  
After this letter was released into the community, members of the more than 2 million strong social network took to other social networking sites to make sure their voices were heard.  Facebook and twitter were flooded with comments, as were blogs all over the world.  Media outlets began to pick up the story, including MSN, Gawker, and Hot Air.  But that wasn't the end.  The Olympic Committee, realizing the language in their "standard" cease and desist letter was insulting to millions of people all around the world, decided to give a half-hearted apology:

Statement from USOC Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer Patrick Sandusky:

“Thanks to all of you who have posted, tweeted, emailed and called regarding the letter sent to the organizers of the Ravelympics.  Like you, we are extremely passionate about what we do. And, as  you may know, the United States Olympic Committee is a non-profit entity, and our Olympic team receives no government funding. We are totally dependent on our sponsors, who pay for the right to associate with the Olympic Movement, as well as our generous donors to bring Team USA to the Games.  The letter sent to the organizers of the Ravelympics was a standard-form cease and desist letter that explained why we need to protect our trademarks in legal terms. Rest assured, as an organization that has many passionate knitters, we never intended to make this a personal attack on the knitting community or to suggest that knitters are not supportive of Team USA.  We apologize for any insult and appreciate your support. We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”

Once again, read the passage in red to understand why members of the fiber arts community did not accept this apology.  You insult our craft, apologize for any insult, and then ask us to send you our handmade items?  The items that took us years to learn how to make?  The items that take hours to create?  I don't think so!  After this apology, a new firestorm started on the Olympic Committee's facebook page and twitter, sparking new articles from different news organizations.  This time, the New York Times got involved, as well as NPR and Yahoo Sports.  PR Daily also weighed in, and Gawker took another swipe at the story as well.

Another apology from the Olympic Committee: 

Statement Update:

"As a follow-up to our previous statement on this subject, we would again like to apologize to the members of the Ravelry community. While we stand by our obligation to protect the marks and terms associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Movements in the United States, we sincerely regret the use of insensitive terms in relation to the actions of a group that was clearly not intending to denigrate or disrespect the Olympic Movement. We hope you’ll accept this apology and continue to support the Olympic Games."
My own response to the foolishness, posted on the US Olympic Committee's facebook page yesterday: 
As a knitter, a member of Ravelry, a past participant in the Ravelympics, a public relations professional, and a fan of the Olympics, I have to voice my opinion here. Your letter and subsequent apology are both insulting. It makes me wonder if you have anyone who is responsible for public relations, because that person would surely have said something before these documents were released. Or at least, someone worth his or her title would have. With two documents, you have managed to insult more than 2 million people. That seems like a PR crisis to me. And it's not about the copyright issue. It is about the insinuation that practicing our craft in honor of the games is somehow detrimental to the games and the athletes themselves. 

I will watch the Olympics, because I love the games and I support Team USA with all my heart. I will knit while watching. I will be calling it the Ravelympics. You may be able to make the site change the name, but you can't change what we call it in our hearts and our minds. And you can't change the fact that we do what we do to honor a community we love (Ravelry) and a team we support (Team USA or whatever team each individual Raveler decides to support.)
I think the important thing to remember is that when you give someone too much power, they will abuse it.  Is the US Olympic Committee going to go after every organization that uses the letters -ympic in their name?  It wasn't the Ravelry Olympics.  It wasn't the Knitting Olympics.  It was the Ravelympics.  Does the committee own these letters in this configuration?  I'm not sure the trademark goes that far.  And the other important thing to remember is that you should never mess with 2 million people who routinely use pointy sticks.  And the Internet.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Some pictures of our new house!  Forgive the photo quality, they were taken with my phone.

The front of the house.  The massive Sago Palm is leaving this Saturday, 
by any means necessary.

The dining room with lovely french doors leading to the back yard.  The blinds are between the two panes of glass, so the dogs won't be able to eat them.  A plus for us, for sure! 

The lovely large living room with fireplace and awesome vaulted ceilings. 

A nice-sized kitchen with lots of cabinet and counter space.  There's also a floor-to-ceiling pantry! 


This bedroom is the smallest and will be the office.  
It's purple right now but will be painted light/medium gray. 

Main bathroom off the hallway.  There's a full bathtub with shower on the other side of the room. 

This bedroom is going to be the nursery.  It's right beside the master bedroom and is bigger than the other one, so it will be great for Nathan.  It will also be gray, rather than the pink it is currently. 

This is the master bedroom.  There are two walk-in closets in here, and the room is pretty big. 

Love that we have a master bathroom!  This is the vanity area, and there is a door closing off 
the full tub with shower and the toilet.  I like that too, because I can dry my hair at the mirror 
while Jon is taking a shower in the other room.  Or the other way around, I suppose! 

And this is the closed-off area with the tub and toilet.

One of the walk-in closets.  Every bedroom has one, the master bedroom has two!  Awesome, right?

Path from the driveway to the front door.  I love this brick pathway and can't wait to line it with pretty lights.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It Takes a Special Person to be a Daddy

Yep, that's my daddy.  I don't think I've ever called him anything other than daddy my entire life.  I've always heard people say that anyone can be a "father," but it takes a special person to be a "daddy."  Well, I have the most special daddy in the world!

This man is strong, smart, and can do anything.  I always saw him as a superhero when I was growing up.  I knew that he could solve any problem and fix anything that was broken.  When I was 16, he rebuilt the engine in a car so I could have something to drive.  When I was 22, he helped heal my broken heart after my divorce.  He helped me to not fall on my face when he walked me down the aisle last year, and gave me away to the most awesome husband I could ever have found (who, by the way, is a lot like my daddy in a lot of ways.)  He came with us when we looked at houses every Saturday for several months, and helped us identify and understand potential issues with the ones we liked.

My dad was a farmer when I was a kid.  During that time, he used our farm as a classroom, teaching us about animal care and the circle of life.  He taught us how to work hard and how to appreciate a job well done when we were finished.  He was firm, but gentle with his two girls, never raising a hand to us (he let my mom do that on occasion) and never making us feel like we were less than what we were to him - his girls, his world.

He coached our first softball team, and never missed a soccer game.  He even came to my theatre and choir performances, even though I knew they were not his favorite thing to attend.  He came because his daughter was in it, and he knew that's where he needed to be.  We grew up outside, playing and working and spending time with him.  He helped us develop our minds and imaginations, and a deep appreciation for the earth and everything it gives us.  We were never afraid to get our hands dirty like some girls were.  He taught me how to fish when I was little, and I still remember trying to throw the cast net (it was a little bait net just like his only smaller) when I was 10 years old.  I got pretty good, but it took a long time!

I've seen my daddy cry only a few times in my life, and while it was terrifying for me at the time, I'm glad I saw it.  It's important for girls to understand that men do cry sometimes and that it's okay.

My daddy and I are similar people in a lot of ways.  I'm just as stubborn as he is, and never want to back down from a fight.  My dad will debate with you that the sky is purple, knowing that he is wrong, but wanting to debate it anyway.  And the funny thing is, you will most likely leave the conversation questioning your knowledge about the color of the sky!

He shows love well.  I never had any doubt that my daddy loved my mom.  They would kiss each other goodbye and hello in our presence.  Not intimate kisses, but sweet pecks on the lips to acknowledge that they were glad to see each other, or that they would miss each other while apart.  I never had any doubt that he loved me, either.  He would kiss us on the cheek all the time.  When we were little, we would crawl up into his lap while he was watching TV and hug him like he was our favorite teddy bear.  And really, that's exactly what he was!  I have great memories of watching the original Star Trek while sitting on my daddy's lap in the living room.

He is not arrogant like so many men are.  He is a humble man who deserves to be recognized for his intelligence and skills, but because he is humble, you will never hear him brag about it.  He is a fun and funny person to be around who always manages to make everyone laugh.  I never felt like he wished he could be doing something other than being right where he was, with his wife and his kids.  He taught me about integrity and honesty.

On this Father's Day, I can't help reflecting on what a wonderful daddy I had and still have.  I think of all the qualities I love about him and about the fact that I see those qualities in my husband.  I am happy that our children will have the kind of daddy I had.  And that they will have my daddy for a grandpa.

Happy Father's Day, daddy!  You have always been, and will always be, my superhero!

Monday, June 11, 2012

23 Weeks and All is Well

We had a repeat anatomy scan today because Nathan was not in the right position to get a good picture of his heart last time.  He was in the same position again this time, but since he was bigger and not moving around as much, the tech finally got some good shots of his perfect heart and everything else was perfect too!  I was so glad, because Jon had the flu and wasn't able to come to this particular appointment, and while I was being very brave about it, I have no idea how I would have handled bad news without him there.

But there was no bad news and everything looks great!  He's still measuring big, about a week ahead, but the doctor didn't seem too worried about that.  We did talk a little about labor and delivery, something I've been pretty nervous about, and she helped me feel better about some things relating to that.

I love our new baby pictures!  He looks like a real little person now!  And in this one, he's holding on to his foot.  I actually got to see him playing with his foot a little, reaching out and grabbing it, letting go, and grabbing it again, then moving it around with his hand.  It was absolutely adorable.

Is it possible to love him this much already?  I didn't think so, but I guess it is!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Dear Baby (22 Weeks)

Dear Baby,

Or should I say Dear Nathan?  We found out you are a boy not too long ago and we are very excited!  Your nursery plans are coming along now, especially since we know that you're a boy, and we are looking forward to painting the walls and making it a special place just for you!  I'm going to make a quilt, and your daddy and I are knitting a special blanket for you too!

Our most recent milestones, besides finding out you are a perfect, healthy, growing boy, are that we can actually see your kicks on the outside now!  It's a little strange and completely wonderful.  I haven't seen an outline of your hand or foot yet, but I'm sure that's coming.

I hope you like your name.  We picked it out just for you, to honor some special people in your life.  Your daddy didn't really want to name you after him because of "junior confusion" later on, but your name is a part of his name, so we thought that would be cool.  And your middle name is after your Nana (my mom) and also your grandpa's family (my dad.)  It's a special way for us to carry on a little bit of them with you.

We have a new house to bring you home to - a special house that we bought with you in mind.  It has a beautiful back yard that already has a swing set for you to play on.

Keep growing and being safe and healthy, my sweet boy.  I will see you in a few months.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012


These are the keys to our new home!  We closed on the house today, and I've never been so excited in my life!  Signing the next 30 years away was a little frightening, but knowing we got a great deal and that we are going to be very happy in this house for at least 7-10 years helps a lot.  The payments are only a little higher than our monthly rent was, and the utilities and everything should be much lower (better energy efficiency!)

We have some work to do before we can actually move in, plus our lease doesn't expire until July or August, so it'll be awhile before we actually settle in there, but for now I'm just excited that it's ours!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

21 Week Bump

Now THIS is a bump!  21 Weeks and getting larger!  
I've gained 14 pounds and everything looks great so far!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nathan James Powell

We had our anatomy scan last week and got the news that it's a boy!  Jon was so excited to find out this news, although I suspect he would have probably been just as excited about a girl.  He's just excited about having a baby in general.  I didn't have a preference either, as long as he/she was healthy.  And guess what?  He's very healthy and active.  All the parts are there and in the right place.  We have the correct number of fingers and toes, no soft markers for anything scary, and he's measuring a little ahead of schedule.  The tech said we may want to prepare for a big baby.  Yikes!  The only thing she really couldn't take a good picture of was his heart, although she did see it and it did look just fine.  We are repeating the scan at our June appointment just to be safe and to get some good pictures of his heart.

After finding out the gender, Jon and I got serious about names.  It only took about 10 minutes for us to mentally go through the list and decide on one we really liked.  He didn't really want to name a child after himself, and I really wanted our firstborn son to have some part of his dad's name, so the compromise was Nathan, which is part of Jonathan, after all.  And since we had two middle names in mind, one family name from his side and one from mine, we decided on the one that sounded best with Nathan, which was James.  My mom's maiden name and a family name on my dad's side as well.  We are so happy with the name and started using it pretty much immediately.

Our little Nathan.  Our son.  I'm a little afraid of being a mother to a son.  I know very little about boys other than what I've learned from helping with Noah when he was younger.  I know I'll get it, but it's a little more "unknown" than girls are.  I can't wait to meet my little man.  I can already tell he's going to steal my heart.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dear Baby (19 Weeks)

Dear Baby,

It's the week of Mother's Day, and I've been thinking a lot about being your mom.  I'm so excited about this new role in life and can't wait to meet you and see the person you are going to become.  You gave me a Mother's Day gift, whether you know it or not... I'm really feeling you kick these days!  And better than that, your daddy got to feel you kick too!  It's really the coolest thing in the world!

You seem to be reacting to the music I play while I'm in my office at work.  There are some songs that seem to put you right to sleep, because you get really still for a little while, and then there are some that I swear seem to make you want to dance.  I'm keeping track of the ones that cause you to be active and the ones that seem to soothe you, so that when you are born, we can make you feel better using music.

We're still working on preparing everything for your arrival.

Your Mommy

Sunday, May 13, 2012

In Honor of Mom

Here I am, with my mom, on my wedding day.  She was such a calming spirit on that day, and as I look back on it, one of the things I am happiest about is that she agreed to sing a song for us during the wedding.  Having her be a part of the ceremony was so special, and so appropriate, because while my dad gave me away, my mom wasn't going to have a role in it if she didn't sing the song.  And I wanted her to have a role in my wedding that represented her role in my life.  A gentle, calming voice guiding me to do the right thing, guiding me to love and faith in a way only a mother can.

On this Mother's Day, more than any other, I find myself reflecting on what a mother really is and what she really does.  Perhaps this is because I'm preparing mentally and emotionally to become a mother myself, and although I'm 35 years old and have been dreaming of becoming a mother my entire adult life, I'm not sure I will ever really be ready for it.  I have spent a lot of time these last few months thinking about my own mother, and how she influenced every single aspect of my life in some way.  And how our relationship has evolved from mother and child to two adult women who love each other and enjoy each other's company.  While I know she is still a mother, she is really more like a friend.  So many moms don't know when to stop "actively parenting," but I think she found the perfect balance.  And because of that, her opinions still matter to me.  Because she chooses not to actively parent her adult daughter, I ask for her advice and her thoughts about situations.  She gives it only when asks, which is something I've grown to appreciate more and more.

As I prepare to become a mother, I think of the things she did with us and I write them down, hoping to use some of her gentle wisdom with our children.  Mostly little things that may not have felt significant in the moment, but when you look back on them as adults, you realize they did something to you - they made you a better person.  Like when a kid in our church had a fire in his home.  Everything was destroyed, and the church put together some things for him and his family.  My mom encouraged us to give him some of our toys.  And she didn't let us give him broken, old toys.  She suggested that we give him our best and favorite toys, because we had so much and he had so little.  I didn't realize the impact of that life lesson until later - that when someone has gone through a tragedy, you care for them as you would a family member.  You love them because that's all they have at that moment.  And that kind of love really can make things a little better.

My mom taught us things without us realizing it.  She kept kids in our home before I started school, so there were always kids around to play with.  But she didn't just let us play mindlessly.  She played with us, and her games were both active and educational.  We learned without knowing we were learning, and that prepared us for school and beyond.  Even after starting school, my mom taught and participated in our education.  The number of projects she (and my dad) helped us with, and the number of times I forgot about a project until the weekend before it was due - or even the night before - and she stayed up late with me working on it... well, I can't even count those.  But she did it.  She helped me build a dollhouse to represent the Winchester mansion, she helped create volcanoes and caves, she found stuff in the grocery store from Mexico, and she helped collect over 20 different kinds of insects.  Notice I said HELPED, and not DID.  She knew how important it was for me to actually DO the projects with her help, rather than her doing them and letting me go to bed.

That dedication extended to after-school activities too, of course.  She cheered the loudest at the softball and soccer games, and brought flowers to all of my opening nights when I was doing theatre.  We sang together in church from the time I was 12 until now, and she made costumes, helped me run lines, and practiced songs with me until I was comfortable with them.  She never missed a choir concert, and chaperoned one very memorable church youth group trip to Six Flags.

I think there may have been a week or so when I was a teen when my mom and I didn't get along.  But for the most part, we have always had a great relationship.

So as I prepare to become a mother, I think of my own mom, who was gentle and kind and soft and loving. Who did discipline us when we needed it (maybe not enough sometimes) but who always did it with love.  Who I would have died rather than disappoint as a kid, and even now.  Who prayed for us every single day, not just once, but throughout the day.  Whether we had an important test, a game or performance, or if it was just an ordinary day, she was always thinking about us and praying for us, that we would get through the day and be happy and healthy.

I think about her, and I wonder how I will ever be even half as good a mom as she was (and still is) to me.  If I can manage even that, I will be happy.

I love you mom, and I hope you know just how much you mean to me.  You are my example of motherhood.  I hope I can live up to it!

(Don't worry daddy, you'll get one of these on Father's Day!)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Fixing everything!

So the sellers are going to fix everything we asked them to fix!  We are one step closer to buying the house.  Now all we need is for the appraisal to come back as equal or higher value than we are paying and we're golden!

I may be even more nervous now than I was before!

I just want all this to be over so we can get everything settled and move into our new house.  :)


I believe an update is in order... 

We made the offer, but then got a call the next day saying there was another offer on the table.  We then had to go with our best offer, which we decided would be our max budget because we really wanted the house.  They accepted the offer and we scheduled the home inspection. 

Turns out, there are some pretty big things wrong with the house, so we made an addendum to the contract saying those things had to be fixed before we would purchase the house.  And now we are waiting again, to see if they will agree to fix those things.

To be honest, I kind of hope they don't.  I love the house and I know we will be happy there, but I've got a bad taste in my mouth about these sellers and about having to pay our max for the house when I really didn't want to do that.  It's not that we are going to be "house poor" or anything.  Our max was a good $50,000 or more less than we actually could afford.  We chose that max to keep ourselves from going to crazy.  

We should hear something today.  If they agree to fix everything, we keep moving forward.  If they choose not to fix one or more of the items on the list, we walk.  If we have to start looking again, I'm determined to make it fun - and not to compare any future house to this one.  We do love the house, but with the damage that needs to be fixed, there's just no way.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

17 Week Bump

Here's the bump at 17 weeks!  There's a little more to look at now!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Offer Day!

In February, just a few weeks after we found out we were having a baby, we got an email from our landlord.  Rather than giving us another year (per our verbal agreement) their financial situation made it imperative that they sell the house sooner rather than later.  They gave us a six-month lease, allowing us time to either buy a house or find another place to rent.  Rather than having to move twice, we decided to go ahead and try to buy. This started a crazy journey into the world of home ownership.  We immediately started looking online at houses in our price range, and after finding a few we liked, contacted a mortgage company.  We were pre-approved for a loan and started looking at houses.  Our agent is fantastic - a referral from the mortgage broker - and a perfect fit for us.  After looking at something like 80 homes online and about 20 in person, we finally decided on one this past weekend.  And today, we are making an offer.  This is the house...

It's such a great place.  Hardwood floors in all the living areas, carpet in the bedrooms.  There's a two-car carport in the back and the yard is fully fenced.  It needs a new gate, but that's really all the work it needs!  Everything has been updated and repainted.  The back yard is the largest we saw in our preferred neighborhood and already has a storage building and a patio with a built-in fire pit, as well as a really sturdy swing set!  There's a nice formal dining room and the great room is massive!  We can do so much with that space!  The house also passes the "Christmas tree test," which is something I was pretty focused on - can you put a Christmas tree in a window so it can be seen from the outside?  You would be surprised to know how many houses do not have a front window in the living/great room.  

So this is the house.  We're making an offer at 6:30 tonight.  Here's hoping they accept the offer or counter with something acceptable.  It's been on the market for 6 months now, and they are paying two mortgages, so hopefully that will help them make a good decision!  I'm already placing our furniture and hanging our pictures in my head.  I know you are not supposed to do that, but I can't help it!  I want to nest, and I can't in our current house, so I'm doing it in this house in my head until we get the keys!

The good news is, there are two other strong contenders if this one doesn't pan out.  Both will require some work and one is more expensive, but they are both good choices if this one, for some reason, doesn't happen.  I really hope it does, though.  It's just what we were both looking for in our first home!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pregnancy Journal: Symptoms

What are your cravings? 
Being only in the first part of the second trimester and knowing this is bound to get worse as the pregnancy progresses, I can only give an "up to now" update.  So far, my main cravings have been peanuts/peanut butter, and sharp cheddar cheese.  Not together.  I have had other cravings too, including potatoes (done any possible way) ice cream, chocolate, Dorito's chips, pickles, and salad.  I have craved Chinese food on several occasions and pizza a few times too.  

Do you have morning sickness?
Not to the extreme that some women experience it.  I read that any kind of nausea is considered morning sickness, and if that is the case, I have had it.  It's pretty much gone now, but for most of the first trimester, I felt nauseated pretty much all the time.  And the heartburn when I did eat something was pretty bad.  I had to take medication for that and am still taking it.  Even drinking water would give me heartburn!  I haven't thrown up at all, though.  And for that, I am very grateful.

What other pregnancy symptoms do you have? 
I have experienced a few food aversions, mostly grilled chicken and cooked vegetables.  The exhaustion has been pretty bad.  Even before we found out I was pregnant, I was getting sleepy before 9 pm.  That trend has continued through today, except I can sometimes actually stay awake until 10!  It's very nice when I can do that.  I pay for it the next day, though.  Sooo sleepy...
I've had some emotional symptoms too.  I'm more irritable than usual, and less likely to tolerate stupid people.  That's always been a problem for me, but now it's magnified about 100 times!  I'm crying at odd things, too.  Sad news stories, TV shows, movies... they are all getting to me like never before.  And if I see a baby, I'm squealing like a little girl.  "sooooo cuuuuuute!"  Sometimes I don't recognize myself!