Monday, February 24, 2014

21 Weeks

Another week down! I feel like these weeks are going by super fast. I knew February was going to be gone before I knew it - just a few more days and it will be March!

And then it will be May. 

And then it will be June. 

And then Ava will be here!!

Here's a great picture for ya:



I kept forgetting to take my 21 week photo. So this was last night.

At 10:30.

When I was very tired

And should have been in bed over an hour ago.

And the lighting was bad.

Oh well; that's life.

Anywho, I am now going to stand in front of her crib because the rest of her room is a complete mess.


But I am very thankful to those who helped this room become a mess!

I had 2 baby showers at home last weekend and Ava got a lot of very special things!

Now we just need to get her some furniture so we have a place to put it all!

This week I have really begun to notice that it is more difficult to get up off the couch, to get out of Chris' car, and I can't bend over to put on shoes as effortlessly. Chris likes to make fun of me because I make a lot more noise when getting up or sitting down. A lot of times I don't realize that I am "grunting"...it just takes more work than it used to! 

I read on my pregnancy app that baby will begin putting fat on her little body starting this next week; right now her skin is transparent and all her organs are visible through the skin! So I know from this point forward my belly will become rounder much quicker! So far I have gained 10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, so I think I am right on track.

I went in for Ava's anatomy scan in which an ultrasound is done to see and measure her organs and body. She was curled up and was making it difficult for the ultrasound tech to see what she needed to see, so it took about 45 minutes and a few trips to the bathroom to empty a bit more of my bladder to get her to move and have better visibility. She was not happy when the ultrasound tech was running the probe over her little head - I think she was punching me! I can consistently feel her head with my hand when I lay down flat; it always seems to be just to the left of my belly button, so I'm sure she could feel the pressure of the probe.

Ava sure does like to kick. And punch. Or whatever she's doing in there! I feel her move a lot during the day. I can usually count on her to move when I lean forward for too long, when I first lay down, and right after I eat.

This might be my first week of boredom since quitting my job - there's not much on the schedule! And I'm at a standstill in Ava's room; without furniture there's not much I can do. No appointments, no events...just cleaning house, I guess. The hubby is out of town until Thursday, so me and the animals shall bond! How about I bond with this baby:


What. A. Face.

2 weeks ago we had his foot wrapped because he broke a nail.

Well, he ate that wrap.

And he finally vomited it out!

I had never been so happy to see disgusting vomit in my life.

Fortunately he did it outside.

And there was no doubt that the wrap was in the vomit - the wrap was blue, so it was pretty obvious.

His belly can't have felt good with that in there for two weeks!

What a little dummy.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

20 Weeks

I have reached the halfway point! Exciting and scary all at once!

It's been a fairly busy week. We took a trip with some friends to Nashville to check out some baby stuff. 

And we got a crib! After putting it together, I originally wanted to keep the door shut to keep the cats out. Zorro loves to chew on strings, and Pearl likes to chew on plastic. And they both love to get on and crawl into things. But I was working on decorations for her room and let them wander around while I was in there. I looked up after awhile and this is what I saw: 



My first babies. 

It was exciting to see the crib in the empty room; once it was put together we stepped back to look at it in silence.

Our baby will go in there!

Seeing the crib makes I feel much more real!

They already love this room. So I've decided to only keep the door shut when I have things laying out that I don't want them getting into. 

I had a doctor's appointment a few days ago; Ava and mommy are both doing well! I occasionally have a rapid heart beat, and my doctor said not to worry about it too much unless it is accompanied by dizziness or shortness of breath, which I have had neither of. The first time it happened it kinda freaked me out - I wasn't doing anything but sitting and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest! It's working hard with the extra blood in my body, I guess!

We came home to Kansas this weekend for some baby showers. I am happy we were able to travel home before I got big and uncomfortable, especially since back aches have started. 8 hours in a car each way is plenty for me!




Monday, February 10, 2014

Crockpot Dr. Pepper Bacon Chili

Yes, you read that right. 

Crockpot.

Dr. Pepper.

Bacon.

CHILI!

This stuff is amazing! And so easy!

I love dump-and-go meals. Especially in the crockpot.



Here's how you do it:

TAKE THESE INGREDIENTS...
___________________________________________________________________________________
1 pound cooked ground something: beef, turkey, pork, sausage, chicken...whatev sounds good! I had a pound of cooked beef in the freezer, so thawed that quick used it.

12-24 strips of cooked bacon, chopped (I would have gone with 24 since bacon shrinks so much when it cooks, but I only had a little left after our breakfasts the past few days)
____________________________________________________________________________________

4 cans of beans, drained (any kind you want - I used 3 pinto and 1 navy)

1 can tomato sauce (or 2 if you want it a little less thick and more saucy)

1 can crushed or diced tomatoes

1 can Dr. Pepper (I used caffeine free because that's all my pregnant self had in the house)

____________________________________________________________________________________

2 TBSP chili powder

1 TBSP ancho chili powder (if you don't have it, just omit it - it just adds some spice.)

1 TBSP Lowry's seasoned salt

1 TBSP paprika

1 TBSP cumin

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 TBSP onion flakes (OR 1 tsp onion powder OR saute a chopped onion when you cook your meat)

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp black pepper

...OR JUST USE A PACKET OF CHILI SEASONING FROM THE STORE. Your call! I like my chili really flavorful, so you may want to tone yours down a bit. Or not.
___________________________________________________________________________________

...AND DUMP THEM INTO THE CROCKPOT.

High for 4, Low for 8.

Done.

The best part? 

I invented this chili.

And I didn't wreck it.

It's so rich and full of flavor - sweet and slightly spicy. I couldn't stop eating it! I served it with cheesy cornbread muffins.

Enjoy!




Friday, February 7, 2014

19 Weeks

...aaaand I'm back to having my photographer. Lookit my belly!!


I spent the day clearing out Ava's room. I may or may not have bought 4 rugs. I laid them all out to see which ones I liked best. Pearl helped me decide that this one was the keeper:


As soon as I laid it out, I went to the window and as soon as I turned around, there she was.

Whoring herself all over it. Ha!

And here is miss Ava! All 18.5 weeks of her!



She was in the same position as last time, nestled up against the placenta, but this time she decided to turn her head so we could see her! She liked to move her arms around and cross them over her face. At one point she held on to the umbilical cord, which is laying across her. I think she has her daddy's mouth. 

The ultrasound tech said she is laying transversely, instead of the typical breech or head down orientation, which would explain why I mostly feel her kicks on my right side. We watched her move around for a bit. She was on her back instead of on her head this time, but she kept tucking her legs up, so it looked like she was trying to somersault back onto her head. Silly girl!

I have my next doctor appointment next week, and then the anatomy scan the week after. I could not imagine still not knowing the gender for another 2 weeks - I am SO glad we opted to do the 4D!

I got my first real "craving" the other day. At 6:15 in the morning. I had randomly woken up, and Chris was getting ready for work. I said to him, "Don't hot wings with ranch sound really good?!"

He was a bit shocked. One, that I was awake, and two, that I wanted chicken wings first thing in the morning. He laughed and said, "Well nobody is open right now!".

"I know. But doesn't that sound so good though?"

And then I went back to sleep.

I didn't get my wings until a few days later...and man, were they good! I made them myself with a yummy asian slaw:


It was exactly what I was dreaming of. And then I dropped one on the carpet. Dang it.

I think it is safe to say that I now crave sweet AND salty...tonite I really am wanting some dessert. We had an early dinner tonite because we were both hungry at 4:30. I made beef stroganoff and green beans. I am planning on blogging that recipe later - it is amazing! And ever since we have finished dinner, I have been wanting some brownies.

Or cookies.

Or a root beer float.

Or cake.

This is going to get difficult if I want this every night! Sometimes chocolate milk will satisfy the craving.

Not tonite!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

These Keys

I took another major life step about 2 weeks ago. 

I put in my notice at my job.

I have never been the type of person to just quit or "get tired" of working somewhere. I don't interview at jobs that I'm not serious about, nor do I just take a job just because it's a job. I am committed, I don't like letting people down, and I always put my all in whatever I do.

So this was kind of a big deal for me.

In college, I quit working because my mom grew very sick and I went home just about every weekend.

I quit working at the preschool that I adored because the Army was taking us away.

And now, I have worked my last day at maurices because I am going to have a baby.

A baby!

It is so hard for me to turn in these keys.


Turning in these keys, to me, represents BIG life changes ahead. Each time I have quit a job and turned in keys has been the first step towards something drastic and life changing.

My last day at work was yesterday.

I handed them over with feelings of sadness.

Excitement.

Nervousness.

Such a confusing bundle of emotions all wrapped up together.

I didn't want to go. I almost felt like my work wasn't done.

But for the sake of my baby and a healthy pregnancy, it was the right decision. 

Turning in these keys meant no more days of dressing mannequins, no more set changes, no more fun customers, no more amazing coworkers, no more manager meetings, no more dance parties on slow days, no more bonding with special customers, no more trying on fun new clothes, no more store goals to hit...

No more seeing my friends (almost) everyday.

I felt kind of like a wimp, for a lack of a better term, for not being able to stay on the job throughout my pregnancy. I tried to imagine every scenario that could keep me on the team.

But I didn't realize until my belly had really begun to grow that every lift, every reach, everything I was used to doing was already harder for me. We do so much movement of product and wall hardware and boxes and tables and mannequin stands and racks and up and down ladders. I got winded much easier. I started to realize that it may not be a good idea for me to continue in this way at this pace. I am classified as high risk, and even though my doctor had no concerns up to this point, I was starting to realize that this much time on my feet for hours a day doing these tasks was not what was best for me.

On days I was scheduled to work, I would only be able to go to work. That was all the energy I had. If I worked in the morning, I would spend the rest of the day on the couch. Maybe I'd have some leftover energy to make a stop at the grocery store on the way home. If I worked in the afternoon, I knew I'd better not do too much in the morning or else I'd have a hard time making it through my shift later.

Chris and I talked about me working while pregnant. The plan was always for me to be a stay-at-home mom. I was mentally prepared to work for awhile longer. But my body was not! I was dragging my feet making my official decision; I did not want to eliminate my paycheck when we have all these things to buy for little miss Ava.

But I also knew that money would never trump my health or my concern for keeping Ava all happy and nestled right where she is.

Oh, these keys.

I tearfully wrote my resignation. I knew it was the right thing to do, it just felt so weird to have to do it sooner than I was hoping.

Maurices was my family. Is my family.

I have knack for picking pretty good places to work. I'm telling you - coworkers make ALL the difference in the world. Consider that a compliment if I have worked with you! :) People who take their job seriously and are committed to the cause of the company make it so much more enjoyable. A strong, fair, and personable management team are a must as well, if I do say so myself. 

I will always love you, maurices.

This is not the last you've seen of me!

Now will you please create a maternity line?!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

18 Weeks

I can't believe it's February already!!

I'm 18 weeks and the baby is approximately the size of a mango.

A kicking mango! She likes to kick a lot. Sometimes I have to really be focused to feel it; the other day she gave a pretty strong kick for being just 5 inches long! I feel her right at the waistband on my non-maternity pants.



(Would you like my chevron cardi? Check it out here on maurices' website!)

Is it just me, or does 18 seem like a very big number?! I am approaching the halfway mark!

That is kinda scary!

I was at the PX the other day, and I was wandering around and realized I haven't bought anything for baby Ava yet. Ok, so we bought a few KU onsies, but that was before we knew she was a girl. So I thought I'd let myself pick up a few things.

I about lost it when I saw this in size newborn:



Is that not THE CUTEST THING you have ever seen?!?!?!

I had to have looked like a fool to anyone walking by; I'm sure I had a huge dorky smile on my face and I probably stared at it for a good 30 seconds, just trying to imagine what Ava will look like in it.

I did some shopping for nursery decorations today with a friend, and I found some great stuff! The colors for the room are going to be mostly white and gray and a bold pink with pops of turquoise. We are not going to paint her room, so the walls will be white. I don't want to put forth the effort just to have to paint it back if the next family doesn't "accept" it (reason number 29 why this is the first and last time we will live on post). So I knew the decorations would have to be colorful to make up for that.

Here are my finds! I did pretty well; I was keeping a running total in my head and I got all this for just over $100:


I actually got 3 bins - there's another small one nesting inside the bottom one. The turquoise and white chevron rug is folded up - only a quarter of it is showing. The wrought iron support brackets will be for shelves for the wall. I got the idea from pinterest! And I got almost all of it on sale!

Hobby Lobby - the letters, wrought iron brackets, and the pink and gray art (which I actually got an extra discount because it has a giant scratch across the middle of it). Everything I bought from here was 50% off!

Kirklands - (my first time in this store; I was making quite a scene!) the 3 nesting bins (only 2 pictured) and the pink and turquoise frames. The most expensive thing was just over $7. Loved this store!! I think there was actually something I forgot, so I may have to go back and get it!

TJMaxx - the 3 white and burlap frames with hooks (I also got a discount on those for a noticeable scratch) and the chevron rug. Believe it or not, this was the store with the most expensive items. The rug was $20 and the frames were $15. Oh well. I love them! There was a really big area rug in gray and white chevron that was sitting behind the counter, but it was on hold. And it was probably more that I would want to spend anyway. 

But I still might have to check back in a day or two to see if it got put back! ;)

Not much has changed with me since last week. Chris and I both agree that I have really popped! I need to get him to help me take belly photos again - I don't feel like my selfies are really cutting it!

We have our second 4D appointment on Tuesday to try again to get some images of baby A's face - she wasn't really cooperating last time.

I can kind of feel my sweet tooth trying to make a comeback. I caught myself getting into the chocolate chips in the back of the pantry! I can feel that I am getting a little more emotional than my typically even-keel self. But maybe it's just circumstantial; I can't really tell.

I am anxious for our tax refund - we are in the market for a sectional and ottoman! We are ready to upgrade our starter living room furniture! We really want one with a chaise on one end and a nice cushy ottoman to use as a footrest/coffee table. Hopefully we can find one that has easy to clean fabric, is a tolerable color, and is a decent price! We are also hoping to find a swivel recliner/nice sleeping chair for the baby room. If anyone knows of a great furniture store in the Nashville area with free delivery, please let me know! :) We got spoiled with Nebraska Furniture Mart, and now we must live without!

I am excited for my upcoming showers, even though they are a bit early, it's the best time for me to travel home and the ONLY weekend Chris could come with me. The Army really puts a wrench in your plans! February is going to be a busy month!