Monday, March 31, 2014

How Do You Know?

How do you know when your man is a keeper? 
Here are 5 signs:

1. He waits until 12:06 pm on a Saturday "morning" to bring you breakfast in bed......because you were still sleeping up until that point and he completely comprehends that no matter how great the gesture, waking you up before noon is totally off limits.
2. He texts you cute pictures of the fur babies while you're at work and occasionally a video of the lovey or funny song he recently played on the guitar because 12 hours is just too long to spend without each other, no matter how many years you've been together.
3. He puts together all the new baby gear right away, and spends plenty of time learning how to use everything........then asks for the next project to tackle!
4. He comes home from a long day at the office to not a single thing being done around the house and assures you, as he washes 2 days worth of dishes, prepares dinner himself, and picks up the used tissues laying around all over the living room,
that it's completely okay to stay on the couch and continue to not lift a finger, because growing a baby is hard work. 
5. No matter how big you know your butt is getting, he continues in his life mission to convince you you're the sexiest woman on the planet and no man has ever had it so lucky.

These are just a few of my favorite things Patrick has done for me lately. 
If I'm not mistaken, I'm pretty sure I'm the lucky one. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Don't Act Like You're Not Impressed

Prepare yourself. This is mostly about food.
But first, and most importantly, Patrick has some exciting news!!! He is now officially ordained and ready to join two hearts together in Holy matrimony!!! Fancy. For all you love birds out there wanting to get hitched or renew your vows.......I can hook you up!
Second on my list of randoms, after years of holding my arms up in the air so long I thought they'd fall off and still failing miserably at the task at hand, I finally figured out how to french braid my own hair!!!! Seriously, I feel so successful. 
And while on the subject of success, I finally got smart and cracked the code on why blogger has been bleaching out my photos since November of last year!!! Not that you care or even noticed, but apparently Google+ thought they'd be clever and try to "fix" the photos that I've already fixed....but I "fixed" that by disabling the auto-enhancement application that automatically gave itself privileges to destroy my artwork. Thanks, but no thanks, Google.  
I love FroYo so much that I went out and had it by myself last Saturday when Patrick was out of town and I got cancelled from work......but sharing it with others is the a couple of weekends ago when Patrick, Emily and I had some of the yummy goodness while playing the ol' peg game!! (Full disclosure: I did the worst out of the 3 of us, by the way.)
Did you know it isn't cool anymore to say "FroYo"? That's what my very in-the-know-niece informed me, anyway. Dang it, I've got to try and keep up with my hipness a little better. 
I happened to make some amazing banana nut bread, sprinkled with semi-sweet chocolate chips. 
And my brother just happened to make some pretty tasty gelato and brought it over. 
I guess that means the two MUST be paired together, with the bread warmed, and chopped hazelnuts sprinkled on top. YUMMY!!!!
"Don't act like you're not impressed." --Ron Burgandy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Extremities, Extremities, Everywhere in 3D!!: Week 29

It's been a pretty eventful and expensive week! 
We kicked started it by picking up the crib we ordered a couple of weeks ago and splurging on a nice mattress to go with it. We started to worry we'd have to come back with a trailer after seeing how gigantic the box was, but with a little muscle and geometric manipulation, we were able to cram it in the 4runner for the short trip home.

Excited to see how it'd look in the nursery, we didn't waste any time putting it together once we got home.......and as soon as it was done, I pulled a "me", deciding the entire room needed to be rearranged for a better flow. The great part is, I love how it all turned out in the end, and with the help of my brother, I didn't even have to lift a finger. 
After that adventure, we were all counting down the hours to being able to see what Cotton looked like on the elective 3D/4D ultrasound. The technology is new enough that our parents had never seen such a thing and were excited to make the 4 hour round trip drive just to get a sneak peak of their growing grand-baby.
With so much time and effort on the line, you can image how disappointed we were when that little stinker decided to be stubborn and interpret the word "cooperative" with completely blocking his/her face with a barricade of hands and feet.  
Before we even switched to 3D mode, the ultrasound tech advised us to not proceed and reschedule our appointment before switching to the mode we'd be charged for, hoping the baby would be positioned better on another date. Tempted to take her advice, Patrick and I decided to decline it and continue with the ultrasound. There was no way we could let our parents drive all that way for nothing!!!
After trying for a while with me in different positions, and still getting nothing but blurry extremities on the camera, the tech was sweet and patient enough to let us have a little break and see if I could make some magic happen.
Try to imagine, for a moment, 5 other people in a tiny intimately lit room, intently fixated on me with my bulging torso exposed, jumping around, squatting and kicking, performing a belly dance, coaxing words of encouragement to Cotton while pushing in different places on my abdomen. It was a bit of a freak show. We all giggled at the silliness of the situation and crossed our fingers that it actually worked. 
Even though a certain someone remained completely content in fetal position and sucking on his/her toes, we were still able to get some great facial shots after all that effort. Phew!!
And another success: no accidental crotch shots were made in the process!! But now the ultrasound tech can be added to the list of people dying to know if we're having a boy or a girl!
I may be biased, but isn't that the most beautiful little face?!?!?!?! I have a feeling I'll be watching our DVD of the session all the time, in anticipation of the day we get to meet our sweet stubborn bundle of joy.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Third Time's a Charm. Lavender and Lace

As I've previously mentioned, 'tis the season for showers galore, and next on the list was to celebrate our upcoming bride, Jessica.
With a wedding theme of vintage lace and purple flowers, I hit up the local antique shops to get the basics for my crafting. 
I thrifted doilies, wrapped mason jars in burlap and lace with strings of pearls, converted old silver serving plates to useful chalk boards, covered a woodwork G with moss, and performed an experimental photo transfer onto a wooden plaque. 
I enjoy making my own flower arrangements, which is also extremely cost effective, but managed to get the biggest eye roll from a grocery store florist when I asked for wires to stabilize my roses. Apparently that's an old trade that's not commonly practiced anymore, which I think is a huge mistake. We shared words on the subject and both had to agree to disagree.
The trickiest part of all was managing to pass all the scrap book paper around at work to gather words of wisdom and well wishes without Jessica noticing what was going on. 
Everything was coming together perfectly.......that is, until the actual day of the shower. But what would life be without a few bumps in the road here and there? 
Originally taking place at Chuy's, who refused to take reservations but ensured us hosting our shower would be no problem, I arrived with all the supplies 1.5 hours know, to be extra prepared. It would be at this very moment they broke the news that not only were they declining me even a single table in their almost completely empty seating area, but they also wouldn't be letting a single person sit until half our party arrived.
After getting no where with begging and pleading, I advanced to threatening and talking to the manager.......which of course just lead to empty promised shrugs. This just wasn't going to work. No way, no how. 
It was scramble time. 
I re-loaded all the decor into my car, called the girls, and collaboratively made the decision to hightail it to Abuelo's, who's hosted several of our showers, where I'd be profusely apologizing for a last minute accommodation for a table of 20. They quickly arranged something for us, and just when we'd gotten everything decorated and organized beautifully, the General Manager showed up out of no where to tell us we couldn't utilize the 2 extra tables the waiters had helped us put together for our decor unless we wanted to reserve the entire room for a whopping grand total of $800. Geez, what a steal. 
This couldn't be happening. It just didn't make sense. I refused to fail at this shower. Two out of the three of us may have had giant bellies at this point, but we wouldn't be going belly up in this battle. 
I composed my hormonal emotions and re-approached the bench for a little negotiating. It wasn't easy, but after a heart to heart, we managed to work something out. The down fall???? We'd have to move everything we just set up to the other side of the restaurant! 
Determined to make everything as perfect as possible for our beautiful bride, we took a deep breath and got to moving for the third time, now racing the clock, while also editing e-vite's, calling work to notify people of the location change, and texting anyone and everyone we could to spread the word.
It's a good thing we had cake to look forward to, since alcohol is currently out of the question. A little bit of whipped icing makes everything better. 
And so does seeing that really big smile on Jessica's face!
Kinks smoothed just in the nick of  time for our guest's arrival, it all worked out in the end. A lovely shower for a very deserving girl.
If she didn't know how much we love her, she sure does now!
A few people didn't get the memo and still showed up a Chuy's first, but they were quickly directed to where the "angry shower girls" went.
Could Jasmine be any cuter? I'm still waiting on her to try the cheeseburger taco. 
And Gabriel, man, he had quite the love affair with that menu. 
Just ask the innocent waitress that tried to pick it up after our orders were placed.
What's the moral of this story? Show up early, never give up, and don't take entertainment away from a happy baby! 
(Oh ya, and don't try to host a shower at Chuy's. EVER!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

#ThirdTrimesterProblems Spiked with Good News: Week 28

Wow. This week has really turned out to be a doozy! 
Let's start with the 3 hour glucose tolerance test, AKA cruel and unusual punishment for pregnant women.
First of all, I was coming off a stretch of work days, so my sleep schedule was jacked, which contributed to my awakening in the middle of the night before my test. It didn't help that I had to be fasting for 12-14 hours, so needless to say I woke up painfully STARVING. I laid there in bed, counting the hours until I could eat.......only 480 more miserable minutes
What's worse than being a grouchy pregnant woman who has to spend 3 hours at the doctor's off by herself? A grouchy pregnant person who has have to her blood drawn on an empty stomach, is then forced to drink 8 ounces of fruit punch filled with more sugar content than any one person should consume in a week, and is then kicked out to the waiting room to be surrounded by well fed overly perfumed happy people.
"You know, if I DO have Gestational Diabetes, it doesn't seem like this would be the best thing for me or the baby to do."
"Yeah," replies the lab tech, "I've been thinking that same thing for years. By the way, until your 3 hours is up, you can't have anything to eat or drink. I'll call you back here for 3 more gallons of blood, once every hour, then you're done."
For the first 1.5 hours, I really thought I was going to have to let it all go in the toilet and start over (note my "trying not to throw up face"). Terrified to burp, too sick to laugh, one episode of Portlandia was all I could handle before having to switch to something more somber to pass the time, like Girl Interrupted, while also being entertained by all the dancing I could see from the outside of my belly.......little Cotton on a sugar high?
When it was all over, the tech asked me if I'd like a juice box or some crackers. 
"Are you freaking kidding me?!?!? Simple carbs and more liquid sugar is the last thing I'd ingest right now after that kind of torture." I immediately headed to Snappy Salads for my favorite Artisan, hoping it would help me recover, but it turns out spending the rest of the day feeling like I was back in my first trimester of pregnancy was unavoidable.
Little did I know, I'd really be spending the next week feeling like I was back in the first trimester. 
Flash forward a few days to me waking Patrick in the middle of the night by uncontrollably moaning and groaning in pure agony. I had the worst heartburn I'd ever felt in my life, accompanied by extreme nausea, abdominal cramps, and back aches. I tried everything and it wasn't waning. He fed me Tums and stayed by my side until about 8:30 or 9:00 am (Thank goodness his bossman loves him; I probably would have broke down in tears if he left me!), when I finally had enough relief to at least fall asleep. 
**Insert here, a very vivid dream about me actually being in labor and delivering a 28 weeker in bed and yelling at Patrick what do to. It was a girl, and due to the delayed cord clamping she did extremely well, and we named her.........(Just kidding, we actually FINALLY have names picked out, but we're still not telling!!!)**
My entire day would be filled with those horrible physical symptoms that follow nausea and abdominal cramps. Due to not being able to keep anything inside my body, I barely managed to drink half a glass of Gatorade and eat a single bowl of soup, for an entire 24 hour period. Ironic that I started this post with being forced to fast, and ended it with fasting because I couldn't muster the tenacity to even will food or drink down.
It's not all bad, though.
The good news is my doctors office finally called me to say MY TEST RESULTS WERE NORMAL!!! No gestational diabetes for this chick, thank goodness!!! I'm not sure if Cotton is celebrating right now or trying to give me a not so subtle hint to eat/drink more (I'm sill recovering), but this little person inside of me is definitely trying to get some kind of message across the placental line!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cotton's First Shower

The very sweet Toni Riley threw us a shower to get us started with all the things we need for Cotton's arrival. 
Somehow, I got really lucky and have a husband that actually goes with me to such events. 
It's really funny how ladies who never knew what they were having back in their baby-making days get so baffled today when someone decides not to find out the baby's gender. We're just killing them!!
Patience is really a dying art, along with cursive penmanship. 
Vickie made a flower arrangement symbolically filled with cotton.
And green sherbet shower punch is my favorite!!
I decided to be hip and not have a traditional baby book with a sign in page for shower attendees, and instead opted to snap lots of pictures......
Because, really, aren't pictures of smiling faces way better than just someone's name written on a page?
It was a come and go shower, so there was lots of mingling. 
Eventually the suspense of all the concealed presents in the corner started to get to me, and I made the announcement that we'd be unwrapping presents. 
Mem'ma wanted me to open hers first and when I pulled those bright pink onsies out of the bag, I knew why! She wanted to set the mood, making everyone aware that she KNOWS there's a girl in my belly. (She did pray for a little girl that looks exactly like me, right before I got pregnant. I told her that we didn't care what gender the baby was; just wanted a baby. She responded, "Well God knows what's on my heart, so I might as well pray for it out loud.")
But we all know she'll be head over heels to add another great grandchild to her list no matter what!
Haley and Emily sat up close and personal, keeping records for me and learning what everything was! They are going to be a huge help when baby Cotton comes. 
Digging in, we got lots of necessities, like crib sheets.....
a fancy carseat.....
a super amazing BOB Revolution jogging (we like to pronounce as "yogging") stroller and it's accessories......
and some gift cards that I don't even want to redeem because they're so adorable. 
There were lots of "ooo's" and "aahhh's" in between.....
and giggles.....
like when I made Patrick open the gift bag that looked like a diaper, just so he could ease into his new profession....
or when we were showing off all the beautiful blankets, burping cloths, and bibs my mom made and Patrick decided to try a bib on for kicks.....
and about the completely random yellow sticky notepad we found in my mom's gift bag, which we determined must have been from my Dad, since he writes his entire life on those things. 
And last but not least, was the special hanky bonnet Vickie made, something they have been making for the babies in the family for many years. 
Then it was time for some traditional pictures!!
My side of the family, including 3 generations on the Evans and the Stewart side...
Patrick's side of the family...
Cotton's Grandmothers, "Granny" and "Nanny"...
Cotton's Great Grandmothers, "Nana" and "Mem'ma"...
My flower girls, almost 6 years later.....
My Tina, the ol' roomie, and her Holden (who wasn't so sure about me, but did give me a fist bump before leaving, which I'll consider as a win).
And the Hintz's, who drove 6 hours roundtrip in crappy weather, just to see us for a couple of hours! Now that's love!
We are beyond thankful for everyone who came and all the generosity bestowed upon us!

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