Thursday, August 15, 2013

One Month

Four whole weeks have past since the day that Jonah was born, and it's almost impossible to put into words how in love we are with this little boy. There are times that I just look over at Jonah and smile to Keith, "he's just SO CUTE!" It's overwhelming. He certainly has been keeping us on our toes, and keeping us pretty tired since he arrived, but overall we couldn't be more thankful for our happy, sweet baby (and all the googly eyes he gives us). These past four weeks have been some of the fastest of my life, but they have been full of smiles, laughter and just a few tears. Thankfully he loves to eat, and loves to sleep... with just a little fussing in between occasionally. We're so happy that this month has been filled with friends and family, and that we've gotten to share Jonah with so many people who love us so well. In this month we've been blessed beyond belief with meals, groceries and visitors who've come with open arms to help in any way we've needed. It's beyond amazing! 

Here are some of Jonah's milestones for the month:

He's gained almost 3 pounds, and grown 2 1/2 inches 
He has lost most of the hair on the front of his head (making him look even more like an old man)
He has fallen into a fairly regular 3 hour schedule of eating, playing and then sleeping
At night, he's been giving us some longer stretches of sleep, the best being 6 consecutive hours!
He's cheeks and belly have expanded generously, but we're still waiting for some chub on his arms/legs
He calms to the sound of our voices, and falls asleep when we rub his forehead
He loves/hates the swaddle and spends most of the night trying to break out
His baby acne is starting to clear up, but he still loves to scratch his face
He has been giving us lots of smiles, and has started talking and cooing at us
He tries to fight it, but the car puts him to sleep every time. 
He has peed on pretty much everyone who has changed him (dad being the most common victim)
He loves his bouncy chair, and the swing
He took very well to a pacifier, and has already drank 2 bottles with daddy in prep for school
He's been to a couple restaurants, and slept through it every time
He and I have gotten out of the house together quite a bit, and though we try to time it perfectly... we've nursed in a couple bathrooms, cars and friends houses. He doesn't seem to mind very much
He LOVES to kick! (which I already knew from his time in the womb...)
He likes to be held and rocked, but doesn't mind when we lay him down in his crib to sleep
His eyes are getting bluer by the day
He makes lots of startled/grumpy faces in pictures, but he's such a happy boy :)

We love you Jonah!

3 Years

I can hardly believe that three whole years have passed since we said vows and promised to be a team forever. So much has changed in these years- for better or for worse, and we made the best of it all together. Never once in the past 1096 days did I ever want to quit or give up. This life journey we're on wouldn't be nearly as exciting without my partner. Husband of mine: you are the greatest! Here are some of the highlights these past three years:

We've lived in 2 different states, and 4 different homes.

We've had 8 different jobs between the two of us (5 for me, 3 for him).

We've bought 2 cars and a scooter.

We've travelled high and low; in cars, planes and boats.

We've loved and lost our first pet.

We've spent holidays with family, and alone.

We've gone on adventures in our cities and eaten all kinds of amazing foods.

We've run for miles and miles together, and biked a few too.

We've stayed up late talking about all the things that may come next.

We've watched countless movies and tv shows together on our brown leather couch.

We've acted like kids and fought over who does the dishes next.

We've jumped in the snow and lounged in the sand.

We've gone on hundreds of dates.

We've made new friends, and felt thankful for the old ones.

We've gone to sporting events and concerts.

We've watched dozens of friends get married as well.

We've cooked, and baked and hiked and climbed and all the while... we have loved.

But the greatest thing that we've done in all three of these years? We made a BABY! and he's the sweetest and squishiest little baby there ever was. Thank you Keith for giving me Jonah. If he grew up to be just like you, I would have no complaints.

Marriage has made us the best of friends, and now it has made us parents too. Here's to many more fabulous years together!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Jonah is here!

Jonah Robert Richards finally made his appearance, a week later than expected. 

July 18th, 2013 at 9:48pm
7 pounds 14 ounces
20 inches long
Born in Nashville, Tennessee at Vanderbilt University Medical Center

He is just the sweetest :)

Full birth story coming soon....

Saturday, July 13, 2013

38 Weeks

Not too much to report! Week 38 I was still working, and doing my normal routine. Trying to tie up loose ends and make sure that everything is as ready as can be!

Here's the only belly photo that I have from this week... but as you can see he's getting much bigger! The midwife estimated that he'll probably be near 7lbs, which is the number I've had in my head all along. Still feeling fine, no major pains or complaints to report... just much more trouble sleeping and getting comfortable at night. Little bug seems to be quite snug and not so ready to make his appearance (unfortunately!)

This photo was from a date night, we wanted to make sure we got at least one more nice dinner in before we didn't have the chance to!

37 Weeks

No picture this week... oops!

Booo, week 37 brought stretch marks. I don't necessarily feel annoyed at getting stretch marks, because I was prepared for that all along, it's just such a tease that they waited until the VERY end when I thought I was home free! Oh well, goodbye bikinis and hello permanent reminders of this sweet boy growing inside me!

Week 37 also came with full nesting mode. We crossed SO many projects off the list, and really made his room homey and useable. The closet has finally been cleared of (most of) our crap and space was made for all of his ;) we also did a complete clean out of the entire house and emptied all closets and drawers leaving piles and piles for trash or goodwill. It's SUCH a great feeling to get things readjusted and reorganized and to purge all the junk we knew we didn't need but just hadn't gotten around to sorting though. It's also pretty amazing how much space we have in our little home! I know it's not going to feel like that for long as we continue to accumulate baby stuff... but at least for now we have some spots to stash things.

I thought that I had missed the boat on Braxton Hicks contractions, but while we were at our midwife appointment she kindly pointed out that I was having one at that very moment. Since then I kind of knew what to look for and realized that I have them all the time, I just don't FEEL them! Glad to know that my body is practicing for baby boy's arrival!

Otherwise... only news is that I'm ready to be done working, and anxious to know when he will arrive. Also, I'm not feeling as tired as normal which is welcomed!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

36 Weeks

Week 36 was definitely one to remember, because baby bug took his first trip to Bonnaroo! People told me I was crazy for going so far into my pregnancy, but I was feeling great, and knew I wasn't going to overdo it... so we figured why not! Plus, I wasn't about to let Keith see Paul McCartney and Tom Petty without me. Keith got free passes through work that included access to a large, mostly air conditioned hospitality tent (that had couches!) so I spent any down time I needed there and just enjoyed as much music as my tired feet would allow! Obviously, we didn't stay in Manchester to camp. We bunked with Steve in Murfreesboro which was only a 20 minute drive so at least we could shower and eat breakfast and lunch like civilized people haha. It was so helpful on Saturday to do that because it allowed us to stay out of the sun and heat and not be at Bonnaroo until later when we had bands to see. Overall it was a great weekend and I'm so glad we went! We're just hoping that our boy is this easy going when he actually arrives, because up til now he seems to roll with the punches extremely well ;-) Randomly, at the merchandise tent they happened to be selling onesies, so we picked him up a keepsake. Now when he wears it to preschool he can brag to all his baby friends about how he was there haha.

Aside from Bonnaroo (yet possibly related to?) this week my feet were super swollen... but just in the mornings when I woke up. As I started walking and moving throughout the day it got much better, but that first walk down the hall to the bathroom each morning was pretty uncomfortable for my feet. 

Another thing? I know I've been so insistent on this the entire pregnancy... but I'm SO SICK of working! Not that it's too strenuous or stressful, I think I'm just ready to turn the page and be done. Kind of like senioritis... or that anticipation of a vacation coming up. Every morning now I sulk out of bed and count the minutes til the work day is over, ugh. Hurry up baby! I want a break from my job!

Otherwise all I have to report is that I've been feeling lots of pulling on my right side... kind of like he's trying to rip through my skin. I've had to avoid sleeping on that side because its gotten fairly painful at night, but STILL... thankfully I haven't been losing much sleep in general. Just lots and lots of bathroom trips! Also, at this point I can not even remember what it feels like to not be pregnant. It seems like ive been at it so long that I've just gotten used to it... but gosh I CAN'T WAIT to sleep on my stomach again (and not have heart burn, or a puffy fat face... yah know haha)

Thanks so much for keeping up with us everyone! Baby bug will be here so soon!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

35 Weeks

Week 35 was a pretty quick one! Lots of hiccups for little boy. He seemed to have them every night when I laid down to sleep, and they weren't just little ones... we're talking whole body shake type stuff haha. Hiccups make Keith a little sad because he feels like they're uncomfortable for our little guy, but they make me laugh and are WAY better than kicks to the ribs :)

I've also noticed that I've been moving a little bit slower, which is to be expected. It's not as easy to get up from the floor, and rolling over to get out of bed has become more of a challenge. It also didn't help that our baby bug spent a day or so this week sitting in some spot that kept making my hands go numb. Not a whole lot of fun haha

This week was spent getting some things done in his nursery and slowly but surely crossing items off the list. We had our last baby shower with friends here in Nashville and made a trip to Target to buy all the things we didn't get off the registry but still "needed" (I put that in quotes because this little guy probably doesn't "need" anything more, but we're just so overwhelmed with how blessed we've been by others generosity! He should be all set for the next year!) Also this week I made a laundry pile the size of a mountain with just baby stuff! It's pretty incredible how a person that small who doesn't even live in our house yet can accumulate so many things that need to be washed ;)

Last little random bit of information for the week, I've noticed that more than usual when I drink something I've been swallowing wrong. Like... going down the wrong tube and having to cough like a lunatic. I wouldn't say that I've choked on anything, just throughly embarrassed myself in front of others daily. Whether this is a pregnancy symptom or not? WHO KNOWS! 

34 Weeks

Week 34 was an extremely busy one! We started by taking off for New York for a family wedding and to spend some times with friends. I wasn't nervous at all to fly so late in my pregnancy, but apparently I should have been! We had some annoying delays on our way there that just made the day feel so much longer. I think I've mentioned this before, but I feel like I have some sort of pregnancy claustrophobia where I get super uncomfortable if I'm in a confined space... so the airplane was not my friend. I just couldn't get comfortable any way I sat and was SO relieved to get off. We had a jammed packed weekend that consisted of a lot of driving around Long Island to get to various things for the wedding. Thursday night was the rehearsal dinner, and Friday before the wedding we made a trip down to the beach. The wedding Friday night was a BLAST, so much delicious food and dancing. It was actually one of the most physically exhausting days that I've had my whole pregnancy; we were up so late and I don't think I ever stopped dancing haha. The pain in my back and feet was well worth it though! We got to see family members we hadn't seen since our own wedding, AND got to spend some time with my grandmother (who may or may not have been confused about why I was pregnant haha). Saturday morning we were all moving pretty slowly, had breakfast in the hotel and said goodbyes to some family. Then we headed to visit our good family friends the Arnones for the afternoon. We had sandwiches and spent time out on their deck... I even got to take a nap! Then it was into the city to drop our stuff off at Jakes apartment. I forgot how HOT it gets in New York, and how no one has central AC. Geez was it hot! We did some walking to find a restaurant for dinner and by the time we sat down my hands and feet were thoroughly swollen haha. After dinner we went back to Jakes to relax on the couch and got a chance to see some more friends who were around. On to Sunday, I started the day with a delicious REAL bagel and then we went to a baby shower thrown by some of our best friends! It was so dang fun, they really put on quite a party (for people who have never had babies, or have plans for babies anytime soon haha). We also got to see my brothers band play before we headed off the the airport. Like I said, jam packed trip!!

BUT the real highlight of this story was our trip back to Nashvillle... oof! We got to the airport and found out our flight was going to be delayed an hour. Bummer, but not the end of the world. We ate a real dinner and settled in. When we finally boarded our plane at 10:30pm, I was already uncomfortable but just ready to be home. We sat on the plane for an HOUR because there was a mechanical problem and they needed to replace the computer? Craziness. It took them until about midnight to realize they weren't going to be able to fix it, and we would need a new airplane. At this point though the crew was going in to overtime, and weren't going to be able to fly unless we were able to get on a plane by 12:30. Obviously that didn't happen, so we sat around the airport until they finally cancelled the flight and we had to wait in line to make new arrangements. By 2am we found out we would have a flight in the morning at 6am, but had to connect through MIAMI (New York to Nashville via Miami? Totally on the way...) so we got a hotel voucher, slept for maybe 2 hours and were back at the airport for more. Mind you... within this time frame Keith had to deal with maybe 4 or 5 emotional breakdowns? Lots of tears and exhaustion related frustrations. 36 weeks pregnant is not a good time for major travel problems... gosh it was the worst! We didn't end up making it home until Monday afternoon, we ate some food, took a nap and then headed to a midwife appointment (and she wondered why my blood pressure was high haha). We slept pretty well that night :-) and were pretty delirious the rest of the week.

So I guess in summary, my biggest pregnancy complaint for week was very swollen hands and feet. Obviously I think that traveling on an airplane, doing lots of walking and some extreme heat were the cause of that. The other thing that made me a little sad during our whole traveling catastrophe was that our little bug never got a chance to sleep. He was awake and rolling around in my tummy the whole night; I think he knew I was stressed :-/ We'll take the bad with the good though, for as awful as it was to be stranded at the airport all night, we're SO happy that we got to spend that time with family and to celebrate our soon-to-be little boy with so many people who already love him!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

33 Weeks

7 Weeks to go! The countdown is happening....

Things have started to get really fun this week :) lots of indigestion, and the heart burn has gotten terrible. I have to be really careful with what I'm eating and when, and especially careful about when I take my vitamins. In general week 33 was pretty blah, and I'm glad that it didn't stick around very long. There was one day at work that I just got so hot and hungry that I felt sick and wasn't sure that I was going to be able to work until my due date. Thankfully after some rest, and some good food and water I snapped out of it and baby was feeling back to normal.

Baby bug is getting SO BIG! His head is still down (fingers crossed) but it's making things pretty interesting when he decides to do dances on my bladder. I've also been starting to feel like he's pressing downwards, which is always wonderfully awkward and usually stops me in my tracks. I'm doing fine as far as sleeping and getting around though, still some pain in my hips after I sleep for a long time but thankfully I'm still about to sleep for long periods of time! Random, but so far, I've had no braxton hicks contractions that I'm aware of. We'll see what happens now that I put that in writing though...

As far as goings on for week 33, we spent Saturday afternoon in Murfreesboro helping Steve and his fiance Heather fix up their new house. Sunday my favorite ladies at work threw me a really beautiful shower, and Keith's mom was able to come up for the day to join me. Monday was Memorial Day so we were off of work together and took some gift cards up to Babies R Us to buy some of the bigger items we'll need for our bug (since they were having a great sale). Still no nesting urges though... just LOTS of stuff piling up to be organized in baby's room. At least we have a car seat and stroller now though, so if he comes early we can at least take him home from the hospital!

One last bit of TMI for this post... the worst thing about week 33? Some sort of hormone surge must have happened because my face was breaking out like crazy! Nothing like an extremely pregnant woman with a face reminiscent of a 13 year old, ugh.

Also... no picture this week because we had a friend in town staying in the room we normally take it. Ooops!

32 Weeks

This was the week that I was in Florida, and therefore didn't take an "official" photo, so I hope this will do!

I had a GREAT trip home for the weekend, just wish that Keith could have come too! I got some time to relax and see lots of friends. The dance studio that I went to for forever as teenager was having a reunion in honor of their 30th anniversary, which was a great opportunity to catch up with some people who I haven't seen in probably 6 or 7 years. My mom and aunt Kathleen also planned a baby shower for me while I was in town (my first!) and it was SUCH a fun afternoon of games and food, and little boy presents. The house was packed full of friends, and people that have been friends so long they might as well be family. I'm so excited for baby bug to meet all these sweet people who already love him so much! I finished out my trip with a mom day; we got massages and pedicures together while she played hooky from work and also got to have one more lunch at City Oyster with my dad. It's always sad to say goodbye to Florida especially because I hardly ever have a good idea of when the next time I'll be in town is... but at least I know that the next time I'll be there, bug will be in my arms instead of my belly!

Now on to the pregnancy stuff: flying on an airplane at 8months pregnant is probably the most uncomfortable that I've been in a long long time. No space, no where to go... I just wanted to get off the entire time haha. I feel like i've said this before, but in general this pregnancy hasn't been very uncomfortable so I guess it was about time. Thankfully I had no flight issues though, and people were very kind to help me with my bags or let me pass by first.

All that aside, this week was the best because little bug got to take his first trip to the beach AND my parents (who I hadn't seen since DECEMBER) finally got to "see" him and feel him :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

31 Weeks

Here's another quick update (since this is actually nearly 2 weeks late... oops)

In week 31, I did some swimming at the YMCA. Now that I get out at 3:30 I should theoretically have that luxury more days a week but we're busy busy busy and I have places to be most afternoons after work. Regardless, it felt great to get in the pool and float around for a bit. I'm able to stretch my hips much better under the water, and take some of the pressure off my lower back. My only problem was that for as weightless as I felt while I was in the pool... I felt like I weighed 1000 pounds when I climbed the ladder to get out, yuck.

This was also the week we took our hospital tour. We've been to Vanderbilt to visit friends who had just delivered a baby, but we knew nothing about where we needed to park and go when it was actually our turn to have this bug. We got a lot of great questions answered about hospital procedures and what we can expect during our time there, so I think I have a few less fears about about the whole process.

Speaking of fears! During our most recent birth class we were asked to make lists of all our fears, ANYTHING that comes to mind and makes us worry about having this baby just so that we can start tackling them and making them less... fearful. It has sparked some great conversations between the two of us, and is helping us to feel more prepared (or to be prepared for the unexpected). We want to make sure that we walking in with more confidence than worries.

Random, but one of the biggest things I've noticed myself doing recently is that I am SO forgetful. Nothing major, but I often forget that one thing that was right on the tip of my tongue. To me though, that is the most annoying kind of forgetful! When you KNOW you know, but it just won't come out of your brain haha. And I constantly call the kids in my class by the wrong names right now... I'm starting to feel like my grandmother!

Lastly, we decided this week that I'm going to work up to my due date but not past it. So far I've been feeling great, and I think that continuing my normal work routine has really played in to that. Any time that I get TOO much rest I end up feeling worse than if I just go about my routine, so sitting at home and waiting for this baby to come is not really part of my plan at the moment. As long as I'm feeling up to it, I'll be going in to work... My due date is July 11th, which is a Thursday so unless he comes early I'll work that day and probably finish out the week and then take some time to relax that next week (or weeks??)

Can you even believe that May is almost over and that July will be here in no time?! 9 MORE WEEKS TO GO!

Friday, May 17, 2013

30 Weeks

Week 30... which means that we only have 10 weeks left. Let the countdown begin!

This week we've switched from kicks and wiggles to major moves. He is definitely getting bigger and taking up much more space. After our last midwife appointment I have a better idea of where he's positioned, so I can tell with more certainty that YES the little thing poking out of my belly is a foot... or more likely, his bum haha. Now when he does kick it shakes my whole body, but he has still yet to wake me up from it. During the day he has started to be a little more active, but I think that may just be because he's too big to hide from me (even if he is sleeping haha) The kids at school are SO curious about him, and want to know his name and what he's doing. A couple have gotten to feel him kick, so now of course I have 10 pairs of grubby little hands trying to touch me all day... they mean well haha. 

Sleeping has gotten a little more uncomfortable, just because my hips have been aching a bit. I've been known to have pain in my hips (thanks Boca Dance Studio!) so I kind of expected this to happen at a certain point. I haven't really found any arrangement of pillows that I can comfortably use to support myself without feeling smothered and hot, so for now I'm just dealing with it and honestly not losing sleep because of it. If things start getting worse I'll do some further finagling.

Now that it's hot in Nashville and none of my clothes fit, Keith took me shopping which has been SUCH a lifesaver. I just got two pairs of shorts and 3 tops, but having a few more things to throw on before work has made getting dressed not feel so daunting. I also went through ALL of the maternity clothes I was gifted by school moms and picked out the things I would actually wear and did a major closet overhaul. Now all of my clothes that don't fit are away and out of sight and my drawers are thankfully uncluttered. I kind of can't wait until this baby comes out and I can bring all my favorite clothes back out... it's going to be like shopping in my own closet haha

Some more bits of mindless information, I am still able to wear my wedding rings. I haven't had much trouble with swelling so far, but as we enter into more consistent 80 degree days I fear it may be imminent (which is fine). At this point I'm just not sure if I should go ahead and take them off so they don't get stuck... or just ride it out. Also (don't hate me) up until now I can happily report that I do not have any stretch marks that I can see... so fingers crossed they won't start popping up out of nowhere. My belly is still RIDICULOUSLY itchy regardless of how much lotion or oil I slather on it. Sometimes when I get home from work I'll just start itching and not really realize until Keith gets home and my stomach is beat red. I know... it's terrible. Otherwise my mood is still relatively cheerful. Patience wears thin, but not really any faster than a normal day. There have been more days recently that I wake up and just don't wanna go to work, but I can't completely blame that on pregnancy haha. I have noticed though that other people are more cautious of what I'm doing or are nervous for me and remind me to be careful (like when I stood on a chair at work to reach something up high and I had 3 women rush over to me to, making sure I didn't fall... and a kid tell me I "need to be careful because that baby could get hurt!") Thanks everyone! As much as I don't like extra attention, since I do feel mostly "normal" I tend to forget that certain things can be dangerous and the reminders are a good reality check.

All that to say.... 10 WEEKS TO GO! (which is terrifying...)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

29 Weeks

Time flies when you're pregnant? Not always... but now that we're past the half way mark and the countdown has officially begun I feel like time is slipping by faster than I can keep track.

This week's update will be quick... no exciting news to report. I wouldn't say that I love being pregnant, but I don't hate it (at this point). Ask me again in July.... haha. For now obviously this is all I know, but I think when all is said and done, I might actually miss having him in my tummy. He's just so safe in there and so sweet. It's going to be very different when he's here and we can actually see him, and hold him... so for now I'm going to cherish all these quiet kicks and shifts.

In other news, my prenatal vitamins waited until the 3rd trimester to start making me nauseous, which has been a BLAST. and my legs and feet have been very sore after a long day of standing/squatting/running/jumping/chasing/lifting/etc at school. Anyone know of any good sandals that are cute but still supportive? I'm getting desperate!

Good news about all that though is I have a new schedule at work that has me getting out at 3:30 (instead of 5, yuck!) and even though I have yet to walk out the door AT 3:30, it theoretically gives me plenty of time to not sit in traffic and catch a nap before Keith gets home. I think it's going to make the summer just a little bit easier and hopefully my days won't drag on quite so endlessly... leaving me too exhausted for dinner some nights.

Here's to more good weeks!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

28 Weeks

Chugging along now in the 3rd trimester.... these weeks have all seemed to blur together. Not much is "happening" or changing at this point, so baby boy and I have just been smooth sailing together. It's days like this that I think to myself, "I don't really mind being pregnant". Who knows what is to come in the next few weeks, but instead of sitting around and waiting for things to get hard, I'll just be content that I'm comfortable and happy and don't have much to complain about. Thank you mom, grandma and all those other generations of good genes that let me off easy so far!

Birthing class is going well! We're learning a lot and it's been helpful to see that we're not the only completely clueless people out there haha. Now I just need to work on NOT fall asleep during the relaxation time at the end, oops.

Speaking of sleep, we recently got a new mattress which has been like sleeping on a cloud! I'm having a pretty tough time prying my body out of bed each morning, and I can already tell that I've had a bit less achey-ness in my hips after a long nights sleep. Groupon is the best. BUT now that we have a new mattress there's another old mattress that we have no space for in the house. We passed along the queen bed from the guest room to a friend because there will be no room for baby furniture if we had kept it. Now we just need to ditch the last mattress, or trade it for a twin and we'll be a LITTLE closer to having a "nursery" for baby bug. This month Keith is planning an Ikea trip for a couple of essentials and other than that... we'll just be finding new and creative ways to organize all of our stuff and all the stuff this little guys is going to have haha. SO if you were ever planning on visiting us, and would like the luxury of not sleeping on our couch... come quickly! The guest room is about to be permanently occupied haha

In other official news, my belly button is definitely an outie. I think it's the weirdest, but Keith has been waiting for this since day one and loves making jokes. Joke's on him though, because while I'm sleeping soundly on our new bed... this clever little bug has been kicking up a storm and waking his daddy up. We're just giving him a little taste of the future after July ;)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

27 Weeks

I think I've wrapped my head around being pregnant, and I'm beginning to feel settled about a baby coming into our home... but the one thing I still don't have a good grip on is that this baby is GROWING inside me. Right this minute. There is a moving, living, human being inside of me. It's just too crazy! I must admit that I've been known to roll my eyes at women who seemed so dreamy and naive when they described their baby as a "miracle", but the further I venture into this pregnancy, the more I feel like I must be drinking the same kool-aid. It's so true... it is a complete and utter miracle that our bodies do the things that they do, and without much effort from myself my body knows how to sustain and grow another body. Even on days where I feel like I didn't do anything significant or that I accomplished nothing on my list... I have to remember that I did manage one really incredible thing. I supported the life of another human and helped him to grow just a little bit more. While I was busy sleeping, our baby is learning how to react to the sound of our voices and is practicing for his grand entry into this world. Miracle is really the only way to explain this phenomenon.

Revelations aside... now that we can feel bug moving more and more, my favorite time of day is when we lay down in bed each night and he does flips and tricks for us. The other night when Keith started talking he went CRAZY and now that his movements are obvious enough for others to feel he's been showing off for friends too. Regardless, he always kicks longer and stronger when Keith's hand is on my belly... how does he know?!

In other news, this week I spilled some juice in my lap while I was driving, and I couldn't see past my belly to clean it up. Hopefully my feet are still down there, because everything is starting to be a little more hidden haha.

We had an extremely normal midwife appointment this week... I had to take the glucose test which I passed with flying colors (even though I had like 4 cookies right before I got there, oops) and we're starting to think about our birthing plan, so since everyone always says that things go the exact opposite of the way you plan them... should I just write that I want to labor for more than 24 hours and then be forced to have a c-section? Great birth plan right? Ok, done :) We started our birthing class this week, which I think is going to be great for us. We really don't know the first thing about what is about to happen, so it's definitely going to be an eye opener. The hope is that we walk out of it with less questions and way less fears. We've also learned that I'm pretty terrible at relaxing and turning off my brain... gotta start working on that!

No other significant news from this week to share, except that baby boy seems pretty content to rest his little foot right in my rib. It's not quite as uncomfortable as I'm sure it will be once he's a little bigger... so for now it's just a sweet little reminder of where he's laying while I work all day. Love this little guy so much!

Monday, April 22, 2013


These are some pretty unimaginable words for me to have to write at this time, and I wasn't sure that I was going to post something about this at all. When I tried to write other posts (or do anything in general) and came across his photo though... it just left me feeling like I need to get these words off my chest, and share my feelings with others.

On Saturday, April 6th Keith and I woke up to find that our cat Theo had passed away. 

If you've ever read our blog before or know anything about us... you know about our cat. He was a huge part of our lives and a genuine member of our family. He's been with us since before we got married, and we've only ever really lived together without him for maybe 6 months. Theo came to us as a 22nd birthday present for me. We were living in Philadelphia at the time, Keith worked lots of late nights and with my graduate school schedule I was home a lot and got really lonely. I remember the day we got him so well! Keith was off, so I took the day off too and when we woke up he told me he had a surprise and we got ready for a drive out to the mall he was currently working at. We stopped at Chick-fil-A for a breakfast treat, and by then I was SO antsy and had a small hunch that this was going to involve bringing a new friend home. We drove through a strange neighborhood for awhile before stopping at a strangers house who Keith called to come out and meet us. She walked us over to the house next door and we went into their garage to peek into a box with the smallest tiniest kittens I had ever seen! They had been born under this families porch and they were looking for homes for them all. Initially they wanted us to take both of the boys, but we were only interested in getting one (a decision we later regretted when we realized how hyper Theo was going to be...) Regardless, I picked up one little guy and knew he needed to be mine. We took him home that day and he's changed our lives considerably since then.

I think it goes without saying that Theo wasn't always the easiest pet. After lots of moving around homes he was a little cranky around people he didn't know and his favorite toy in the whole world was peoples hands. He was known to attack your ankles if you talked on the phone too long and his newest dislike is if I spent too much time working at my computer (to which he would try to steal the mouse from my hand). But despite all the snakes, the mice, the BIRDS and other mayhem he brought to our home, he was ours and he loved us so much. He had lots of ways that he would show that love: special cuddles in the morning, naps on my lap under a blanket, and the excited way he would greet us and not let us out of his sight when we got home from a trip.

I think being home alone now is going to be really hard, 90% of the odd noises that we hear in our house were from him. We knew his sounds so well, like, when he came in the cat door or jumped off the counter or the little noises he made when he was stretching. I feel so frustrated because my brain is still "hearing" those things and its such a cruel trick. We have so many routines that revolved around him: 7pm is dinner time, all the blinds have to be raised at least a foot because he loved to sit in the window sills (and wreck the blinds if they weren't out of the way). I always started my morning by feeding him and having him sit in the sink with me while I got ready. Even going to the grocery store and not going down the pet food aisle, it breaks my heart. It was so easy for us to add him to our lives, but learning how to live without him has been much harder... we all had our place in this home, and there is a giant Theo sized hole here. Now we have no need for pet insurance and all those medicine droppers that we had to use when he needed antibiotics. Now all the toilet paper tubes and hair ties on the floor look less like favorite toys and more like trash we've just neglected. There are reminders of him everywhere I go, and it's absolutely laughable the things that will trigger my craziness. Let's make a quick list of some of the things that have made me cry this month: 1. a fly in our bedroom when I was trying to take a nap (because he would have loved to try and catch it) 2. having a bowl of ice cream and not having him there to beg to lick the bowl. 3. a beautiful sunny day with SO many chirping birds (he would have been out terrorizing them for sure) 4. finding his cat food prescription in my wallet when I was looking for a coupon. 5. deep cleaning our house and finding his fur just about everywhere... I could go on.

This is all so fresh, and it happened so suddenly that I just don't really know the best way to grieve. I feel ridiculous for getting upset every time I walk down the hall, or pass by his favorite chair. Part of me just expects him to be there when I get up from the couch because he knows that means it time for his nighttime snack. I don't want to forget him, but I'm ready for these memories to become happy and funny instead of how extremely sad and piercing they currently feel. I just cannot wrap my head around the idea that he's gone, that he's not just outside or away at the vet.

If anyone is interested in a brief version of the story, we're 99% positive that he was poisoned by something. Whether it was an animal he ate, or just something bad that he got into while he was outside... either way it moved quickly without any signs to us or anyway that we could have helped him. That Friday night he was acting completely normal, he ate his dinner and laid with us on the couch. Early Saturday he woke me up begging for food and I closed him out of our room, and when I got up to go to the bathroom at 6:30 I noticed that he had gone poop on the floor (which has never happened in 4 years). I got Keith up because it just didn't seem normal and that's when Keith found him, already gone. We had a very emotional morning, and it felt like everything was moving in slow motion. I refused to believe that Theo was actually gone and made Keith wrap him up in his favorite blanket so that I could see him and say my goodbyes. We eventually buried him in the backyard which was probably his favorite place on the planet, and now we have a place to visit him (whenever I can manage that without completely losing it)

In the meantime, we are living in a pet free home which feels quite sad. In an effort to look on the bright side I hope that this makes the transition of adding the baby to our home this summer a little easier. I was just a tiny bit worried about how Theo was going to react to all of the changes, and now I can wipe away any of those fears. But truly, I would gladly worry about Theo bringing in pet snakes for our son if it meant he could come back and live with us forever.

I miss him, and I think I'll miss him for quite some time. Before too long our hearts will heal and we'll be able to invite a new pet into our lives. Bear with me now, here are some of my favorite photos of Theo that I have on my computer from the past year....

Lastly I just want to say thank you to everyone who has offered kind words to us this past month and checked in to see how we're doing. Thank you to all our friends who ever came by our house while we were away to watch Theo and make sure he had plenty of food. That means more to us than you'll know and we're sure he appreciated it too. And of course, thank you to everyone who has ever hung out at our house or stayed for the weekend and had put up with the full harassment from our favorite cat, he was still learning how to be sweet and we appreciate that you didn't hold that against him haha.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

26 Weeks

Lets just say that week 26 was not the easiest one we've had so far. I would gladly take months of morning sickness, backaches or whatever instead of dealing with the pain we felt this week. Obviously as you may have seen us post online, this is the week we lost our cat Theo. Keith and I talked about it and both agreed that this was a pretty unfortunate time in my life to deal with a loss like this, just based on my already heightened hormone levels. It was a pretty tearful week to say the least. While I'm absolutely still devastated, I'm thankfully working through the crying fits and trying to find ways to see happy memories in all those reminders laying around the house. I know that not everyone views their pets this way, but in our eyes, Theo was our first baby... the first creature we were ever entrusted with the sole care of. Gosh we loved him, and he loved us and he needed us. He was the best and will never be forgotten in this home. I have a longer post written about this, I just haven't had the heart this week to finish it yet.

Sad sappiness aside and on to some more baby bug updates... Week 26 also happened to be the week we took a trip with friends to Knoxville! I'm quite proud of myself for packing ample snacks to never have needed to feel desperate for food, or sick because I didn't have enough energy. After a full day of car riding, walking, listening to music and generally being awake that's pretty impressive! On another note, for a baby who usually only comes out to play when everything is quiet and still, he gave me some fairly strong kicks during some of the shows we were at... this guy is certainly going to be a music lover :-)

And speaking of kicks, I have some updates from the two year olds (who are actually all turning 3 these days). Number one, I can no longer mention to my class that the baby is kicking me... "Ms Dana, why is that baby kicking you? Doesn't he know its not nice to kick your friends? He needs to listen the first time. I would have to go in time out if I kicked my mommy, is your baby in time out?" It never ends haha INSTEAD! I just tell them the baby is waving hello and that seems to do the trick. And number two... the bluntness is always such a comedic treat. One of my boys whose mom recently had a baby pointed at my shirt during lunch and told me I have milk. Now mind you... I had just passed out their milk cups and could very possibly have spilled some on myself, so I looked down and asked him whether I had some on my shirt or not and he very kindly said no, "in your breast, you have milk in your breast, Ms Dana." That and the never ending question train that leads to being asked things like, "is the baby drinking your blood" or "is he playing with your bones?" It's a good thing I love these little guys haha. Thankfully they love me back even in all their weirdness and LOVE giving my belly lots of extra hugs and kisses. Now if they could just stop passing their germs off to me...

ps- where is this beautiful, full and thick pregnancy hair that people have told me about?! My just seems way more gross and greasy these days, boo!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

25 Weeks

Sorry if these have gotten monotonous, each week certainly blends into the other at this point which thankfully means that my symptoms haven't really gotten any crazier as I continue to get larger and larger. I have noticed though, especially since the weather has gotten warmer, that I need to be wearing better shoes or my feet and legs are extremely sore at the end of the day. It's amazing what carrying 20 extra pounds on your body all day can do... lets just not mention that this baby only weighs a whopping 2 pounds, ugh.

Some random things I made notes about for the week: I've been oddly feeling a bit claustrophobic recently, like there's not enough space in my own body. I get super uncomfortable if I need to sit somewhere where I can't easily spread out or get up, and need to take a step back when standing in a group of people. Sometimes even on the couch I feel like there's not enough room to breathe, which I think has less to do with actually lack of space and more to do with the cramming together of all my organs to make room for another human inside me.

Otherwise, I've just been clumsier than usual despite my best efforts to be extremely careful. I can routinely be found bumping into door ways or completely misjudging the amount of space my belly takes up. Thankfully I have other people around me to remind me that even though I'm still quite mobile and capable, there are just some things a clumsy pregnant girl shouldn't be doing... like standing on a chair in my classroom to reach something on a tall shelf, oops.

Nothing else too exciting to report! No news is certainly good news at this point!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

24 Weeks

(I began writing this forever ago, just bear with me as I try and catch up on these)

Hey there week 24 (you were two weeks ago... but)! We've got some definite baby kicks coming our way!

Tiny Mr. Richards is now very clearly making his presence known and it's been fun trying to guess what he's up to in there. There are some nights that Keith will put his hand on my tummy and (it seems that) bug will go out of his way to change positions just to kick for him. I think it was much more noticeable for me to feel him since I was home on spring break and doing more relaxing than normal, but I can tell that he's growing and getting much stronger. I love that Keith can finally start experiencing some of this whole "baby growing inside me" business. Now that I can feel him more, it's definitely been distracting. I waited so long for those little kicks and nudges to start, that now I don't want to miss any of them! I know that once he gets bigger I won't be quite as excited about feeling all those wiggles, but for now I can't help but give him my full attention when he gives me a little hello kick.

Week 24 was when I had my spring break from school which was a little different than I thought it would be. I ended up not getting as much done as I wanted to, but that was mostly because I developed a little stomach bug and wasn't feeling great. We just stayed in town, got some rest, enjoyed all the extra baby kicks that I could feel and took advantage of any of the nice days that we could... (even though it snowed the first two days, and rained the last 4 ugh). When we were out at the mall one night, we popped into Old Navy because they were having a sale and grabbed a couple cute outfits. As much as we are thankful for the things that we're given, and all the gifts we've been receiving, it's still nice to have a couple things we've picked out just for our boy.

In other news, now that we have a name picked out, we've been using it at home a bunch which has made it VERY hard not to start using it in front of others. My wonderful husband has already slipped a couple of times and though we're still absolutely committed to keeping it a secret until he arrives, there are 4 people on this planet (who have been sworn to secrecy) who do know what our little boy will be called. That being said, you can all stop guessing! We're still not telling ;)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

23 Weeks

Hello all! Another week gone by:

Week 23 was another good one (thankfully there really haven't been any truly bad ones!). Still some strange things going on though... like the extremely bizarre numb patch on the top my belly on the right side. It's generally not bothersome, just feels SO WEIRD to touch and sometimes when I'm bending or stretching the muscles there feel sore like they might have been pulled (therefore causing the numbness?) who knows! Also, little bug did this fun thing where he pushed himself as hard as he could against my belly button for a day which was uncomfortable and more honestly... painful! The next day he kindly retreated though and was even so far back that you could hardly see my bump. For living in a pretty tight space, this little one certainly knows how to make the most of it. He is most definitely growing though, I've been feeling him much more, and my belly has started getting in the way more than usual. There was even a day last week that I was trying like heck to get my sneakers on and tie my shoes... Keith called from the other room asking what in the world I was doing and if I needed help haha. Apparently my struggles weren't very silent. This is definitely a sign that warmer weather needs to hurry up so I can start wearing sandals again! I think the last interesting thing that happened is that waiting for dinner the other night I was approached by my first stranger asking how far along I was. Usually people just stare at my stomach, but I haven't had anyone ask yet. The kiddos at school have also seemed to notice the baby a little more and have been asking to give him hugs, they really are sweet sometimes :)

Aside from all the weird stuff, everything else around here has been normal... just making sure that I'm eating and sleeping enough. Sometimes eating enough really does feel like a chore (taking ALL the fun out of it) there is lots of planning and prepping involved in making sure I have enough food with me each day to not feel lousy. I'm honestly not going to miss the increased appetite part of pregnancy.

Here is a little sneak peek at how much baby bug has grown since we announced his arrival (aka, I know all these pictures are starting to look the same... but I promise things are changing) :

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Non-Beer Tour

There's a new-ish brewery in Franklin called Turtle Anarchy and they put out a groupon last fall for a tour and tasting. We love trying new brews with our friends the Berger's, so Keith purchased the deal for the tour but kind of forgot about it until this past month when we realized that the coupon was about to expire. Obviously... some things have changed since we made those initial plans (like my ability to drink beer...) but in an attempt to get our money's worth, we met with friends Saturday night to go on the tour. The atmosphere at the brewery was pretty ehh... along with the middle of nowhere location, and a lackluster tour guide BUT from what everyone else said, the beer made up for all of that. All I can say is it smelled DELICIOUS, but I drank some dr. pepper instead. It was a great evening adventure with friends... although I think everyone agreed that instead of driving all the way out to Franklin again, we'll just drink their beers at the bar down the street haha