17 December 2014

The Home Stretch (week 37)

So I'm in the last bit of week 37 now.  

So here's a belly shot with my stretch marks in all their glory.   I guess they aren't too bad.   So what does week 37 feel like?  In a word...uncomfortable.  It's hard to tie my own shoes!  

Any contractions?
Not sure.  No...I'm serious.  I don't know.  Last week there was a morning I woke up with an intense pain just on the right side.   I had to lay down to put my shoes on.   Was it a contraction?  Was it acid reflux? I don't know.  The doctor said the baby could be pushing my stomach down and into a funny spot.  I also have these little crampy spasms at random.  Are those Braxton Hicks?  I honest to goodness don't know.   Lol, I"m so clueless, I'll probably be well into active labor before I recognize it as labor!  

What about baby?
The little miss Mary is head down as always.  She "dropped" sometime last week, so she's locked and loaded!  I think she's still in the left occiput anterior position.   My doctor says she just reached the 7 pound mark and could come at any time.  My chiropractor said I'm in good alignment (and holding adjustments well).  I probably won't have another adjustment until after delivery :) I've had them every other week for the last month or two. 

Is the house ready?
I don't know... It's kinda mess, and I don't like how the baby's room is arranged!   Our freezer is full of premade freezer meals that I've been working on for the last week though :) And I still can't decide if I should order cloth diapers or just stick with what's easiest!   UGH

Am I ready?
Heavens yes!  I'm ready to have my body back.  I'm ready to be able to curl up in bed.  I'm ready to go for a jog!  I'm ready to be able to move freely again :)  And boy am I ready to have some time off from work to be a mommy!  I know it will be exhausting, but I just can't wait!  I just hope she's not late!  I want to maximize my time with my parents here when I'm a new mommy!

06 November 2014

Week 31 (and more)

As is usual, I'm late in posting.   My well-laid plans to post every week have translated to a blog post every month.  That's real life for you :)

As of tomorrow I will be 32 weeks.   Just a few more weeks before I'll be considered full term.  That's scary!  I still don't feel like we're ready, and I'm starting to have the urge to spend money like crazy!  MORE DIAPERS!  MORE BABY CLOTHES!  MORE BABY ACCESSORIES!!    I'll have to fight to keep myself out of stores at least until after the family baby shower.

The last couple weeks have been very good health wise.   I've still been feeling pretty good overall, but I've had a few more discomforts crop up.  Starting last week, I have terrible heartburn and reflux.  Yuck!  I also have a stretchy, popping sort of pain under my right ribs.  I discussed it with my doctor and she said it is likely my ribs getting stretched apart  as the baby and uterus expand upwards.  I've also got exactly 1 stretch mark (that I can see).  The doctor says everything is looking good.  My uterus/baby measurements are all exactly what they should be.   :)  My appointments have now gone from monthly to every 2 weeks.  In December, I'll see my doctor every week.   The receptionists already know me by name now.

At week 30, a local photographer (Tiger Paw Photography by Connie Harper) did a maternity photo shoot.  It was a complete blast.  I posted some of my favorite pictures.  

This one is probably my favorite because my dogs photo-bombed it!  They just can't be left out!  But man....look how HUGE my belly is!  

This one is just too cute too!

08 October 2014

Welcome to the 3rd Trimester

Well folks, we're on the home stretch now!   It's my Wednesday off and I thought it was time for an update :)

I'm 27 weeks into my pregnancy now.   I'm 2/3 of the way finished!  What's new this week?

I definitely feel rather large.  Sleeping is a bit a uncomfortable as I toss and turn a lot.  Of course the need to pee multiple times through the night doesn't really help.   Other than my rather round and sometimes wiggly belly, I'm feeling great.   This week is the first week I've noticed a linea nigra.  There's a faint dark line from a couple inches above my belly button that goes down my belly.  It's really faint, but very odd for me to see in the mirror.

I'm still trying to come up with our birth plan and decide if we should take a birth class...or just read a book.   When I called the hospital to ask questions about the class they offered, the lady who called me back was very condescending on her message.  "I can walk you through the online registering process if you couldn't figure it out.  Or I can just register for you if it's too difficult...."  Really?   Really?  My questions had nothing to do with registering... Maybe I'm just a little hormonal, but her message really irked me.  If that's what their birth class is like...maybe a different facility will be better...

Here's a layout I created with Jen Wright Design's new kit: Pumpkin Farm Pals.  

28 September 2014

Update September

So I just need to get over the fact that Google broke Picasa when they acquired it.   For the past 9 months, the Blog This button no longer functions from Picasa.  That used to be how I wrote all my posts to this blog.  If I hadn't been blogging on this site for almost 10 years...I would abandon ship and switch to a non-google platform.  It seems that Picasa, Blogspot, and Google are aware of the problem and no one cares enough to fix it.   How frustrating!  *end rant* 

31 August 2014

Waiting for our baby....

Last weekend, Chase and I went down to Arkansas to party with friends and family.  We decided to wait to find out if our baby is a he or a she until this party.  It was so hard not peeking, but I can say that neither one of us knew ahead of time!   

My cousin, Amy, was our secret keeper.  She ordered the cake and had it iced so that we couldn't tell until we cut into it.  :)  

It's a.....



We are delighted to announce that we are having a little girl!!  We couldn't be happier! 

In these photos, I'm at 21 weeks.

This week I started my 22nd week of pregnancy.  I can't believe I'm over half way through our pregnancy!  I'm just happy and so grateful that our little M&M is healthy! 
What's new this week?  Well not too much!  She's getting bigger and stronger, and all organ systems are completed.  She's been kicking since week 18, but her wiggling is definitely getting more frequent.  You can see her moving if you stare it my belly long enough.   It's like having an alien inside your stomach...  Speaking of my belly, our baby isn't the only one getting bigger....my belly is getting HUGE!  I know it's only going to get bigger, but it just seems so big now.   Some days I just feel really fat, but on other days...I feel more beautiful than ever.  My body has changed so much to prepare for our little M&M.   I'm just glad I can pretty much eat what I want now as the morning sickness has mostly passed.   I've only had 1 bout of it over the last 4 weeks (while I was on a house call...of course).  

Next week is Chase's thesis defense.  Say a prayer for him on Thursday that he'll pass...and know what to do after!  He has a job offer, but we just aren't sure about it.  We could use God's wisdom.  

Peace and Love, y'all!

06 August 2014


Wow!  It's been forever since I played along with Julia at The Stamping Ground's WOYWW!   What have I been up to?  Well....just being pregnant and working full time has taken up most of my crafting time!  The first trimester was pretty rough because morning sickness (that lasted all day) for the first 13 to 14 weeks.  But I'm now 18 weeks along and feeling much better.  I can almost always keep down food, and I can pretty much eat what I want (that's healthy for baby of course).   Most of my crafty projects lately have been all digital.  I'm trying to keep up with a weekly Project Life this year after all there are so many changes happening this year! 

Here's a layout for PL.  I used a kit by Jen Wright Designs called Salt Life.  It's a beach themed kit, but I liked the colors so I wanted to use it for a non-beachy layout :)  I think I used a PL template by Julie Billingsley and font by Darcy Baldwin (now both retired designers).

Here's another layout I made this last week with a kit by Erica Zane and template by Cindy Schneider.  This kit had a fox theme, but I loved the colors so I just had to find a way to use it :)

I've also been trying to document every week of my pregnancy in a Smash Journal.  I love the Smash journal format because it's no pressure!  I can write in question for my doctor, slap in a picture, and do whatever!    :)

 I'm a little behind with it too.  I'm all the way to week 18, but I didn't hardly journal at all for Weeks 16 or 17.  I guess I need to so some catch-up!

Well!  Thanks for popping by!   I'm going to try to pop by a couple of blogs today before I have to head off to work.  

Thanks for visiting!

Peace and Love, Y'all!

09 July 2014

Weeks 13-14, a light in the darkness

Pregnancy Update:
The weeks are just flying by! And that's a great thing, because I'm still vomiting a lot!  As of the end of this week I'll be about 15 weeks along in my pregnancy.  By all accounts now, the baby and I have made it through the first trimester!   I'm starting to show just a little bump now.    You'd have to know me well to recognize it, but I've put on about 5 pounds.  Sometimes I'm not really sure how I managed to gain any weight, because I don't feel like I've been eating more calories.  I still loose the occasional meal (and every other breakfast).  Breakfast and I are not pals.

The good news about reaching the 2nd trimester is my energy is starting to return.  As of today...I almost feel normal as far as energy goes.  I actually felt like doing more than just sleep after work.  That in itself is pretty exciting.

Over last weekend, I actually had enough energy to weed a flower bed.  There were a lot of weeds (and some of them were taller than me...), but I got it done.  Chase might have pulled up 1 particularly stubborn weed for me...

Even though over all I'm feeling better...the picture above is probably 40% of mornings.  Just hand me a bowl and leave me alone in the mornings...

Even though my doctor assures me listening with the doppler unit and using the ultrasound to glimpse the baby is not dangerous for the baby, I still only let myself listen to the baby once a week....and peek with the ultrasound once every 2 months.   I admit...I took a peek earlier this week.  Our ultrasound unit isn't fabulous, but I was able to find our little jumping bean.   The baby is very wiggly, and I was able to make out a tiny little face, cute dancing arms, and bouncing feet.  It was AWESOME to see my tiny dancer even if the detail on the US wasn't the best.  In the snapshot above, you can see 2 arms and the baby's noggin (with shadows of facial features).  I can't wait for my next real ultrasound!  We'll find out if the I can call the baby...a he...or a she :)

Other Ponderings about Children

Chase and I got an update this week on another child we care about: one of our former fosters.  I can't say too much about it, but Chase and I might be...or might not be... taking him into our home again.  If we do...there's a good chance he'll stay forever.   We'll still trying to pray and determine what God's will is for us and this little boy.  

As I sat outside on back patio, enjoying the low humidity on this summer day... I found my myself placing my hands over my growing belly.  I love this little baby wholeheartedly.  I'm scared.  I'm excited.  I can't wait to hold this baby in my arms, kiss her/his little face, tickle her/his toes, and love her/him for the rest of my life.  This must be how most mother's feel to some level.  Sure there are probably some with more fear...more anxiety, but I think most love the little baby. 

When I tell people, we are also foster parents...and that we don't intend to stop just because we're starting our bio family as well, the reactions are always mixed.  We get a lot of questions like...

Do you worry about foster children hurting the baby? Aren't foster children troubled?  Are you crazy?  Babies are ton of work; how can you even think of fostering with a newborn?

I can't say those thoughts don't run through my brain occasionally.  But here's the truth.  If we don't help them, will you?  If we don't step up to the plate, who will?  Yes.  There will be risk, because even the closest, most loving of siblings don't always get along.  Yes.  Foster children have a little more water under the bridge, and they can have some behaviors associated with that.  Yes.  It will be very difficult.  Isn't motherhood to biological children also difficult?  AND foster children are still just children.  They crave the things that your own kids crave more than anything else: someone to love them unconditionally.  I'm sure some of the foster children we will meet will have deep, deep scars.  But, honestly...it's not my job to heal them.  It's my role as a foster mom to love them and to provide a healing environment.  God is the healer.

One of the biggest reasons, I think we are still going to foster...is because it breaks my heart into tiny pieces.  I can't turn my back on these children.   I want to help them so badly in whatever capacity we can.  Truly, as much pain as foster parenting brings...turning my back on them hurts more.

Anyway... who knows what we'll do!  Maybe take a long term foster...maybe stick with respite.  Regardless of how, I know we'll do something to help.

Peace and Love, y'all!

25 June 2014

Little blob, big future

Sorry for the radio silence for over a month now!   I've not been feeling the greatest, but in the best way possible.   I found out recently that we will be adding a new family member soon...and not in the way that I usually blog about.   Our little bundle of joy is due January 2, 2015.  So that means I'm about 13 weeks pregnant.  Last month, we went in for the first ultrasound just to confirm the date and make sure everything was looking good.  I've had some right sided pain since week 3 that I had been concerned about.  Unfortunately, doctors (veterinarians included) make the worst patients.   Since the day I found out, I've had a running list of statistics of complications in early pregnancy, miscarriage rates, and all the things that can hurt the baby.  During my first appointment with my own doctor, my family practice doc (who is awesome) took one look at me and said ..."So let's start with your questions..."   

Just for fun and the thought that maybe my experience can help first time moms relax...Here's a summary of my experience with my first pregnancy.

Weeks 3-4 - Awesome. I'm still reveling in the fact that I'm pregnant.  I felt great if not a little tired. I think I might have thrown up 1 time 1 morning.  I remember thinking ...Is this morning sickness?  More on that later... I really had time to just enjoy the thought and start making some crochet projects for baby.  Within a week of testing positive, I also made an appointment with my doctor.  The first visit with the doc was mostly just answering all my questions, and bloodwork.  They drew a lot of blood for all sorts of tests :)   Everything was all normal, except for trace ketones in my urine.  The doctor says that's probably normal too since my metabolism is changing.  The only other signs I experienced were very mild cramps like my period was coming and a pinching pain on my right side.  The right sided sharp pain had me a little stressed about a possible ectopic pregnancy (even though I have NONE of the risk factors). 

Week 5- cramps are starting to dissipate, but I still have that pinching pain.  The doctor said it's probably round ligament pain.   

Week 6 - Like clockwork...as soon as week 6 rolled around the vomiting began.  I have no idea why they call it morning sickness when it lasts ALL DAY.   The miserable nauseated feeling never fully goes away...  During this week, I spent the first 3 days puking my guts out and exhausted.  Soon, I figured out that I HAVE TO EAT...even when I don't think I can keep it down.  If I get the tiniest bit hungry...the vomiting starts.  So I started eating small snacks almost constantly.  My favorites: apple sauce, apples, jello, saltines, bananas.   When I'm home, I ate bowls of cereal like it was my job!  Favorite cereals: Fruity Pebbles, Marshmallow Mateys, Cheerios, and Raisin Nut Bran.   I wouldn't say I'm having cravings, but I have aversions to most food.   So if I feel like eating something, I eat it.

Week 7-12 - All day NVP (nausea and vomiting of pregnancy) continued.  I started getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom.  Most of that weird cramping is gone.  I still get the hiccups EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Here's a picture from Week 11.  That week, I just barely started showing a tiny baby bump.   My clothes started to fit just a bit too tight.  I went out with Chase to pick out some stretchy skirts. I'm really glad maxi skirts and dresses are in style!

So you want to know what the first trimester feels like.... Well this picture pretty much sums it up.   I keep big bowls strategically placed around the house in case I don't make it to the bathroom.   Anything can set me off...a commercial from a former favorite restaurant, the smell of Chase cooking my favorite food, opening the refrigerator, just sitting there doing nothing.     I'm just so tired all the time!  I let the house get really, really dirty.   Well....today the team from MaidPro came by to help me out.  I finally broke down and hired a cleaning service.  AND I can say it was well worth it.  My house feels and looks so much better!

Anyway!  I'm so happy to be able to share my big news with everyone.  Lol...we're still not putting it on my husband's wall though...so be careful not to tag him on Facebook :)

Peace and Love, y'all!  

02 April 2014

Current Happenings, Project Life, New Digital Scrapbooking Store

It's a lazy Wednesday morning.  In my dreams this morning, Chase and I had just gotten through a long line for a ride in Disney World.  Just as the ride was starting, a loud clap of thunder woke me up.    The cats are both sleeping on their respective couches, Gary's sleeping in his bed, and Ruby is taking cover in the hall bathroom.   I just finished drinking my first cup of coffee and a bagel while watching the morning news.  It's a lazy morning.   After I finish this post, I'll evaluate our Dave Ramsey Style budget.  
Here are some recent layouts I've done for my "Project Life"  I'm attempting to document everyday life by making 1 layout for every week of the year.  :)

Here's Week 10.  Chase and I went to go see the Lego Movie.  Much to our surprise, we loved it!  We had little expectation that it would be any good at all, but it ended up being a very creative, enjoyable movie.  This layout was made with a kit by Jen Wright Designs called Life Series March 2014.   It's available at the brand new digital scrapbooking store: Scrappy Bee.

Here's the next layout:
This one is for Week 11.  I used a kit by Keep in Touch Designs: Document March.

Here's Week 12.   This one is with Jen Wright's kit again :) 

I can't believe it's April!   This is the 14th week of 2014.  

Well I'm off to take a look at our budget.  Chase and I are taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace.  We're trying to pay off the astronomical amount of student debt I carry from Veterinary School.  When I was a student, I had no idea how it would feel to carry this much debt.  There are days, the burden feels so heavy.  How did I get in this much debt...drag my family into this deep hole?  Even working to pay off my debt with "Gazelle-like intensity" (think of eating ramen multiple times per week...selling off belongings on Craigslist....and picking up a second job on top of my full time job), we'll still be paying for many years.   Just making the minimum payments...my debt free date is 11/02/2037.  If Chase gets a better paying job (ie, a paying job at all) after graduation this June, I'm hoping to be able to make double payments.  Right now we are living almost entirely off my income.  So everything he makes can go toward our debt.  

If any budding veterinary students have stumbled across my blog, drop me a line and I'll share some tips with you.

Peace and Love, y'all

05 March 2014

Some recent scrapbook pages

I've been scrapping up a storm lately.  I'm trying to keep up with weekly layouts just documenting everyday life.  Nothing fancy...just simple recording life as it occurs. 

Here's one with Keep in Touch Design's kit Simply a Love Story.

This one is with her kit Document February.

This is one I made with Keep in Touch Designs' mini kit - Just a Moment.  It's a layout from 2011 when we said goodbye to Mr. Bailey.

It seems like I'm doing a lot of catch up with scrapbooking :)  Here's one with Dee's My Endless Love kit

I'm having a ton of fun with the kits by all 3 of those designers :) 

Peace and Love, y'all!

25 February 2014


So it's Wednesday. And that means it is what's on your workspace Wednesday time. Thank you Julia, for hosting it (http://stamping-ground.blogspot.com/).  This week I have a new set of watercolor paints and a blank page on my workspace. What could be more inspiring than that? During my visit to Little Rock Arkansas, I visited Art Outfitters. Beth talked me into grabbing some more watercolor paints. She recommended a brand I haven't before (Daniel Smith Extra Fine), so I'm really excited to give them a shot.  

Something new to my craft room is this China cabinet. I inherited this China cabinet from my grandmother.  It features a lot of my teacup collection. It also features some hand-painted china painted by my great-grandmother.  Both the China cabinet and the hand-painted pieces are treasures to me :)

Of course no blog post would be complete without one of my pets, and here's Ruby. She's right in front of a statue that my brother got me for Christmas a couple years ago.

And just because you were probably curious, here's what's inside the wardrobe.   A couple of months ago, my mom visited and helped me organize everything in here. The neat little labels help me find art supplies, and make it easier to work :). 

Well thanks for dropping by.  For Valentine's Day Chase purchased a gift certificate for a massage. After I get that massage today maybe I'll come back and do some painting.  :)

Peace and love y'all!

At 4 pm today: 

12 February 2014

Encouragement Lunch Cards

Picasa isn't playing nice with Blogger today so I have to compose this blog the long way :) Oh well!

It's been a long time since my last post, but I've still be working on projects.  We've had a couple more little visitors stay with us over the weekends (foster children).  I think the Three Little Bears, Scooby & Shaggy, and maybe Princess Peach came to stay with us.   At foster parent support group, I got to see one of the Luke and Lando boys.  He gave me a big hug and said he wanted to stay a weekend with us.  Love that kid.  I hope he's doing well.    As a foster parent, you'll carry the memory of every child that's ever stayed with you.   They'll stay in your hearts long after they've left your house...

As far as crafty projects go, I've been working on Valentine designs to print (and sell) to friends and family.   They turned out so cute!  I'll probably post more pictures of them on Valentine's day.  I decided to go with animal themed designs :) 

Here are some first sketches of raccoons:  "You Stole My Heart"

As I was printing them and cutting them out, I was thinking why only do this on Valentine's day?    So I made little cards that I want to use to encourage others :)

I used the digital scrapbooking kit My Endless Love by Dees-Deelights. The fonts are all by Darcy Baldwin (at Sweet Shoppe).

These kits were perfect for making these little cards :)

Since it was my morning off today, I had time to pack Chase's lunch and send him with a little encouragement from God's word :) 

Peace and Love, y'all!

06 January 2014

Scrapping in the New Year

Chase and I celebrated Christmas together - just the 2 of us.  It was quiet and peaceful. 

My parents came to visit just a couple days after Christmas and stayed for a week.  We had a lovely time eating delicious meals, playing games, and piecing puzzles.  During my time off, I got some scrapping done!  

I'm on 3 creative teams now, so I'll be scrapbooking a lot more regularly.  The third team I'm on is Keep In Touch Designs.  Sophie is a French designer with very whimsical kits.  I love her style.

This layout was done with her free mini kit available as a part of Scrapbookbytes Monthly Challenge.  It's hard to believe this picture is from 2 years ago!  I'm still catching up on my scrapbooking. 

This is with Sophie's Cozy at Home Kit.  I adored the chalkboard paper AND the doily stamp.  Very fun!  The font is of course my custom handwriting by Darcy Baldwin.

This layout isn't part of my CT. It was just for fun.  I used Lauren Grier's new kit, a Darcy balwin font (Tell your story...i think), Oh My Mats by Melissa Bennet.   I just loved the bright colors, and I really like how this layout turned out :)

I hope you all had a wonderful break! 

Peace and Love, y'all!