Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

2011 was a year full of blessings & challenges!

In Jan. we found out we were pregnant! Jay began working at Sleeping Giant bed & furniture store.
In February, Granny's house burned the first night of a week-long ice storm & Granny ended up in the hospital with an open-heart surgery. We had our first OB appt & sonogram & heard the baby's heartbeat Feb 10th! We also attended Financial Peace University & Jay got hired part-time at Sears as well as the bed store so we were both stressed & exhausted.

In March, I flew to Houston for a Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology conference, & signed up to be an Independent Educational Consultant for Discovery Toys.
In April, I co-hosted the first family holiday celebration at Virginia's house--Easter & V& Alyssa's bdays. Days later we found out were expecting a girl! 2011 is the year of babies! I can list 40+ friends & I who were/are pregnant this year! 

Weather-wise we skipped from Winter to Summer, below freezing temps to fires so out of control 22 states sent aid/firefighters; it was easily the hottest spring/summer on record & 1 was hugely pregnant!
In July, my parents,siblings, & I took a weekend minivacation to San Antonio while Jay went to work then came home & put finishing touches on Makaela's room.

In August, we had fun at our baby showers & my brother Kevin officially moved in with us. 
In September, I turned 28, Kevin turned 21, Jay's grandmother passed away, and on Sep 22, Makaela Renee was born! Jay & Virginia were with me & definitely a help! Jessica Pietsek also came to pray & provide moral support. My mom arrived the next day & I wouldn't have recovered as well as quickly as I did without her help Makaela's first 2 weeks. 

In October, Makaela took her first roadtrip to meet Granny & extended family & we were blessed with friends to bring dinners 3 nights a week while our world revolved only around our newborn. Jay has been hunting for a full-time job with benefits all year & while it's been stressful & means I had to go back to work, it was so nice to have him & Kevin around as much as they have been to help me these last 3 months & for Jay to be able to bond with Makaela! I don't know how others do it without so much support! I know I am richly blessed!

In November, Jay turned 30 & we found out Virginia would be deploying in Dec for 6 months to Honduras! We made a whirlwind trip to/from Oklahoma for Thanksgiving, driving up the night before with a midnight arrival & driving down again by 3pm Thanksgiving Day. 

In December, I went back to work, part-time & Kevin babysat 2 days, Onkel Sven Gerner & Kimberly, Dad, & Chris (& Mom) flew down to meet Makaela & spend time with family. Jay worked Christmas Eve 6:30am-2:30pm so Makaela & I took pictures in the falling snow, listened to Christmas hymns by the tree & fought stuffy noses. Makaela & I visited Rachel & Hannah Reese for a couple hours until David Reese & Jay got off work, & then we came home & had a quiet cozy evening, watching Miracle on 34th St. & our wedding video as we exchanged 4th anniversary gifts--finally got that shutterfly wedding album done!
Today we went to First Baptist Church for their Christmas Morning service & family arrives this afternoon...then gifts & crockpot bbq pulled pork Christmas dinner! Merry Christmas everyone! Mele Kalikimaka!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finally, a blog update!

Wow! Makaela is a month old! She’s so big! I weighed her & myself & then subtracted my weight to get hers. She’s almost 11lbs! I should get out a tape measure to measure how long she is at her next diaper change (she likes to fully extend her legs at these times). 

I don’t want to jinx myself, but we’ve been seeing a pattern with her nighttime sleeping; she likes to be fully awake & play from about 11pm or 12am until 2am. But then, she’s usually out from 2:10am until anywhere between 5:30-6:30am. As long as I also get a night nap (last night was awesome from 9:45-11:45pm!), and can get her back to sleep after the 5:30am feeding, I feel pretty good J although I’m usually hoping for a nap in the afternoon—sometimes I take it while she’s down, sometimes I’m trying to get laundry, dishes, the rare dinner? done or  shower or photos edited & uploaded, etc. Today, it’s finally “blog day.”

I am SO proud of her! Not only is she a good sleeper, Makaela has been making sounds & real smiles in response to people (not just falling-asleep or I-have-gas ones) & working on holding her head up since before my mom left (2.5 weeks old)!

Saturday, 10/22/11, was a day of firsts! It was the first morning I set my alarm to get us out of the house by a certain time other than her 1 week old Dr apt. It was also the first time Makaela & I went out of the house for more than 1.5 hours and the first time taking her anywhere by myself. Saturday was the first homecoming Speech-Path Breakfast [8:30-9am] & EPiA Alumni Tea [9-9:30am] I attended with a child/baby.  The I Am Your Child conference at ACU [10:30am-4:45pm] was the first event I attended as a Discovery Toys Consultant/vendor, and the first time I nursed in public (I was behind the wall of crates of toys & had my huge nursing drape on), not to mention my first time changing her in a public restroom—and of course there was no changing station. That night, the 50th anniversary of SING!, in which my brother Kevin performed with the ITS group, was the first time I left Makaela; she stayed at home with Daddy. Jay’s friend, Joel, brought his son over & they watched the Rangers in the World Series.

Makaela’s 1 month (& 1st professional) photo shoot will be next week Sunday. I am hoping to get our Christmas card family photo from this shoot but her baby acne is still pretty bad & worse, I still have nothing to wear! Nothing suitable for a family photo anyway; I literally have 2 nursing tops that fit (bought one last weekend), one pair maternity jean capri (a little baggy now—what a nice feeling for a change!), 2 pairs of yoga capri, one pair of red “fitted” sweatpants, one sleeveless nightgown I wear as nightgown & nursing-friendly housedress, and one swimsuit cover-up that also works as a nursing-friendly housedress. Well, I do need to go to Target to get some baby things, number one of course being diapers… J


Several friends on facebook have asked, “So.... how was your labor??? How are you feeling?”

Labor was...well, laborious! :P
I actually started having contractions Saturday night and [we now know it was just] a super vivid dream about my water breaking when I was using the bathroom in the middle of the night so we went to the hospital and basically did a dry run of arriving in the early morning and checking in and waiting. They sent us home at the time we’d normally be getting up for Sunday School. I did so many loads of laundry and dishes by the time Wed evening came around, and of course no matter what I did, I could not sleep-- not for any measureable length of time anyway.
I was scheduled to be induced at 41 weeks and when we arrived Thursday morning, 9/22/11,  at 4:45am, I was again having some pretty big contractions. However, after one and a half hours but getting nowhere, they started the Pitocin. I had been hoping to have a natural labor and delivery, but with induction came the Pitocin and with it continuously being increased, I thought “I’m glad I did a little more research on how much epidurals have changed and gotten better over the years and how it affects the baby less than the IV pain medications and how I can be “completely there” and not possibly feeling a little “loopy” as I might on the IV meds.” About 4 hours after starting the Pitocin, though my contractions were spikingly high, I still didn’t seem to be progressing much as far as dilation goes, so after they told me it could be another hour before the anesthesiologist came (& I knew you can’t move while getting an epidural) I did say yes. He came within 15 minutes but it took 45 minutes because he had to stick me 5 times! When he left, my nurse said "I’ve never seen that Dr. have to do more than one stick on a patient before." Way to make me feel better, lady! I’ve had back problems since high school; I know my lower spine often is compressed—like a spring coiled too tightly that needs to be stretched and it's only gotten worse with pregnancy, so I know that the compressed area between vertebrae is what made mine so difficult. Anyway, my lower back hurt (not “just sore”) the ENTIRE time, and was still hurting until after I came home from the hospital Saturday afternoon. Jessica Pietsek had arrived just after I agreed to the epidural and she stayed until she had to leave to teach a class in the afternoon. Virginia arrived around 11- something in the morning, after my Phenergren had started for the nausea and headache I got due to the epidural.
My legs (and actually whole body but legs felt the worst) immediately started swelling, feeling at first like the  funny tingling sensation your tongue gets when the dentist numbs your gums and your tongue touches the spot. Then my feet felt like they were losing circulation although everyone said they were actually hot. After that, they just felt like huge water-soaked dead logs that made me feel panicky because I couldn’t move them—which kept me flat on my back except my head was tilted up—most uncomfortable position I’ve EVER been in for long—I couldn’t lower the bed flat as they would have allowed because it hurt my chest and I couldn’t breathe right, but the nurse couldn’t seem to understand I needed something for my lower back or to be propped up closer against the angled part of the bed. She also informed me I needed an oxygen mask “for the baby” AS she placed it on me and began pinching it around my nose.
I have ALWAYS had a problem with things around my face especially my nose/mouth area due to my allergy problems and history of occurrences (several choking ones, some allergic reactions) where I literally could not breathe. This little green plastic thing with no cut-outs was being forced over my nose and mouth with no advance notice and with the state I was already in, made my body go into panic mode even as my brain totally understood what she was saying. I began crying, which only made the whole breathing thing worse! Anyway, several minutes later she finally let me take it off but warned “if the baby needs it, it goes back on.” It took 3 times for her to understand I didn’t have a problem with understanding the reason for wearing the mask—but I wanted to be the one to put it over my nose and mouth so I knew when it was coming and how it would feel. It never could stay positioned right so I could take the deep breath and hold it as I pushed as the nurse instructed me, but I ended up wearing that awful oxygen mask until she was delivered :/ This also meant Virginia became my translator when others couldn’t understand me under the mask—I remember one episode in particular: Cramp! Cramp! Leg! Left! and several times asking for ice chips.
When it was time to push (about 3pm), the nurse kept turning down the epidural until it was off—for the last one and a half hours-- in order for me to "feel enough" to push correctly. My legs were so huge and heavy, and I was already so exhausted [and thirsty!] I couldn’t get my arms around them; I needed Jay and Virginia to help me bring them closer to me as I pushed.  Another technique was me pulling a towel from the nurse like the weirdest form of tug-of-war. At one point she asked me which way I’d like to try on the next contraction. I said, “I guess the towel (although I didn’t like it and my sore hands kept slipping as she gave me the wet end- how fair was that when she had rubber gloves already?).” She said, “so, you feel like you do better with the towel?” My response made everyone else laugh: “No, but you say I do… [& I Want This Baby OUT!!!]”

Everyone kept talking about seeing her head and so much hair and how close she was. At one point Jay was so excited and wanted to encourage me that he wheeled the stand-up mirror so I could see Makaela too.  What I saw was AWFUL—no wonder it was so painful! In the middle of everything, I saw a super-swollen, still-too-small, pointy-oval hole for a dark-haired head (and body) to come out of. This pushing thing was taking sooo long and so much out of me and when I saw myself, she seemed farther in than I had been thinking from the way it felt and how they’d been talking. I was afraid if she didn't come soon, they were going to say “the baby's in distress” and I would need an emergency C-section. It happened to my aunt, but it didn't happen to me, thankfully!

I delivered Makaela at 5:25pm, with the biggest inward sigh of relief ever; I had several small internal tears. I was still in SOOO much pain from cramping/clots, swollen body parts, almost unbearable back pain, then the nausea came back as they pulled me more upright, so then I had most painful mini-vomiting episodes ever! I felt so bad that in my pain I knew I shouldn’t even think about holding Makaela (afraid I was too weak) and trying to nurse (afraid I was too tense and sore everywhere). At first, Virginia protested to holding her before I did, but it made me want to cry to admit I didn’t feel like I could yet but I wanted Makaela to be in family arms, not a cold hospital tub of a nursery bed, so Jay and Virginia took turns holding her and taking photos while the Dr. stitched me up and gave me oral pain meds then IV pain meds. Jessica Pietsek arrived after everything was cleaned; she had a rosebud in a vase and gave me a side hug over the bed.

Then I held Makaela for the first time (about 6:50pm)! After a minute of staring at her, I tried nursing on the left side. It took only one try for her to latch on correctly (she did great that first night, but the next 3 nights and days were a different story)!

Taryn Smith had brought a note, a Dr Pepper, an almond snickers, and Reese's while I was pushing (they told her my room number and she knocked before someone in my room told her I couldn’t have visitors yet). The kitchen apparently closes at 6pm so I was rushed to order a meal; then, they convinced me to eat the Reese's for a photo op. The Porches, then the Delaneys arrived while we were still in the L and D room. They didn’t get to see her outside of the nursery however because the nurses kept saying she was too cold and needed to be under the warming lights. Everyone left as a nurse came twox to do some "checks" on me. Jay got a phone call saying “Bath time!” so he left to go watch and get the footprints in her baby book. Joel, Ashley and Jackson Wood met Jay by the nursery and took pictures.

Mom called at 9pm, as we were transferring to the maternity ward, room 4718. I called her back once we were settled. I didn’t see Makaela again until 11:45pm, then I fed her and Jay changed her diaper and re-swaddled her. He did this several times tonight, sleeping very lightly. I was so proud of him and realized I would have needed to call a nurse in to do this several times that night had he not been there. J Her eyes kept closing but she fought sleep. She gagged once after eating and as all newborns, she had the shallowest breathing but she would also stop and then gasp.  Needless to say, I stayed up watching, but I did nod off a few times while trying to read and respond to everyone’s texts and facebook messages while Jay slept. I figured I’d have my turn during the day. They took Makaela at 6am to the nursery with all the babies to check their vitals and for the Pediatric Drs to make their rounds. They didn't bring her back until 9am, so I got a couple hours of sleep and my breakfast. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Photo Card

Storytime Pink Baby Announcements
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Showers of blessings

Makaela still has 2 ½ weeks until her due date but she already has many blessings! This weekend was our baby shower and it was so nice to have a little more time than a typical week for hanging out & talking with friends, as well as opening all the fun & cute little baby stuff! Virginia Aguilar, Leah Poarch, Ashley Delaney, Angela Peters, & Taryn Smith were the lovely hostesses. It was a pretty relaxed come & go backyard family-style shower, where our friends’ kids were free to run, climb, & swing on the playset & eat their fruit kabobs or pieces of cake on their own little picnic table. In all, I think about 30 people (plus 7 children) came together in 100F+ Texas heat to bless us! How loved we felt! I love family-style get-togethers & what better time to have one than when celebrating the birth of a new family? I mean, yes, Jay & I have been our own little family since we got married, but having a baby will turn us into a new family of three, with one of those three being completely dependent on the other two for everything! J

My coworker Macie is due a week after me so our work baby shower will be combined this Wednesday. That is, if we both make it! I will be a day shy of 38 weeks & she will be 37 weeks, both considered full term. J I’m sure we both will, & the party hour will be a welcomed break for everyone from our day-long scheduled training & staff meeting!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A lot has happened

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my family came & we went to San Antonio! Jay & I were up all Tuesday night (6/21/11) due to the severe thunderstorm & then me getting sick to my stomach for a few hours. As Wednesday wore on, my sciatic nerve acted worse & worse til by the time I got home, I made it to my recliner & then it was torture every time I had to venture to the bathroom until we went to bed. Mom, Dad, Virginia, Chris, & Kim drove in that night though, so Mom & Kim threw their own baby shower for Jay & me, gifting us with Hawaiian chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies & li hing mui gummy bears & chocolate covered coffee beans along with all the baby goodies Mom & Kim hand-made! These included 2 quilts, a crocheted blanket, the cutest crocheted button-up hooded jacket, curtains for all 3 windows, a crib sheet, the crib dust ruffle, a boppy cover, a nursing shawl, & a wet bag to go in the diaper bag Mom’s making out of the material she brought! Mom had already given us a crocheted bunny finger-blankie & a crocheted swaddling sleep sack & cap when she helped Chris move to V’s after he graduated Portland State U earlier this year.
My back felt a LOT better by Thursday (6/23/11) morning; this improvement however just meant I could walk mostly upright throughout the day, if I took I walked slowly & didn’t try standing too quickly. I was still in no shape for a long roadtrip, but we weren’t exactly waiting on just my back. We ended up eating breakfast in shifts at IHOP while Kevin was in class & Jay was working. Mom, Kim, & I left early to meet a lady who was selling her boppy pillow on craigslist. Virginia went to visit some people at HSU then came home to pick up Chris & Dad & they took the van to Walmart to get new tires since we had a tire replacement plan there, but Walmart didn’t have any tires to fit the minivan. By this time, Kim & I had ordered & almost finished eating. Dad dropped off Virginia & Chris at IHOP & Mom followed him over to Sears to get the tires there. We ordered for Mom & Dad just as they pulled up; Chris & Virginia were finishing up their meals. Then we only had one car & it couldn’t hold all of us so Mom & Dad walked the 2 blocks to Sears while Chris drove Kim, Virginia (on crutches from her knee surgery), & me.  We walked around while waiting for the van, then Virginia took Chris & Kim on a mini tour of Abilene’s music shops then to downtown’s little shops while Mom, Dad, & I went to Dillard’s to get mom’s dress for [my cousin] Dexter’s wedding & then we headed to JC Penny & Kohl’s. We all got together & ate dinner at Cracker Barrel then headed to Prime Time! We thought it would be more interactive & we’d get home sooner than going to the drive-in movies. Interactive, yes.  Coming home early? Not even close, lol.
The next morning (Friday 6/24/11) we finalized where we were taking this family trip & booked our hotel rooms as we packed last minute items & loaded the van! We drove to Fredericksburg where I almost felt like a tour guide leading my family around :P We stopped to take a picture by the sign stating the historic birthplace of Chester Nimitz, Fleet Admiral for the US Navy during WWII (who happened to have 6 kids). He helped write the papers for the surrender of the Japanese & a highway in Hawaii is named after him. We ate a late lunch at the Bavarian Inn (fun fact: Virginia & I were born in Bavaria, Germany) then headed to find our hotel in San Antonio. We found the Fairfield Inn & checked into our rooms then headed out to meet up with Dad’s cousin Dan Villarreal & his family. We ate at one of their friend’s restaurant, La Hacienda de los Barrios. It was “muy delicioso,” or as we say in Hawaii, “so ono!” We talked a long time then headed to their house & talked some more J. We made it to our hotel & I don’t know about anyone else, but I couldn’t sleep in the stuffy & muggy room; the AC wouldn’t work & the room kept getting warmer as the night wore on! Oh well, in the morning, we ate our complimentary breakfast & toured the Alamo for a refresher history lesson (fun fact 2: we can trace our Dad’s side back to one of the original families who settled the town of San Antonio, after coming through Mexico, having left Spain & the Canary Islands years before).
After that, we made it to Sea World where we were able to take advantage of the Here’s to Our Heros military program (we got in free, thanks to Dad & Virginia!) & we literally spent the rest of the day splitting up & meeting together, seeing shows, eating, & walking--lots of walking. Chris, Kevin, & Kim rode 2 roller coasters & a water slide while Virginia & I took turns riding the motorized wheelchair, lol. I cooled off by walking through the kiddie water park & then went again after getting completely soaked with fishy-smelling water at the Shamu show. We left the park at 10pm with Dad driving the first 2 ½ hours, me taking over from Fredericksburg to Brady, & then Dad drove the rest of the way to my house. We got in at 3am & took showers. Kevin & I were the last to our respective beds at 4am, but I haven’t been able to sleep past 6:45am for over a month now so…. yeah.

Jay had to work at Sears Friday & Saturday so he didn’t get to go with us, but he worked on Makaela’s room & sent us pictures; it’s looking awesome! :D
After church on Sunday, we took a family picture, then ate with our friends, the Pietseks, at Bonzai—first time for Mom & Kim to eat at a hibachi grill! We came back to the house & lounged around while the laundry finished. Virginia, Mom, & Dad loaded up & left for V’s house in Chris’ car; Chris & Kim decided to stay at my house for the week since Jay, Kevin, & I were all going to be heading up to OK for Dexter’s wedding that Friday.

The wedding was short & cute, almost entirely family present- we filled up every chair & people were standing along the back wall! It was the first happy occasion for a family reunion in many years & it was really nice. J Granny, Mom, my sisters, Makaela, & I took a “4-generation of women” (who also all happen to be the oldest girl in each generation) photo. 
My Granny was also able to move back into her house that week as well; she looked so happy!

Time has sped by since the wedding & I’ve set up my maternity leave with HR, although we still need to find another SLP to help see all my kids. 7/7/11 marked 30 weeks of pregnancy & Jay & I went to our first childbirth class. I also decided to stop wearing my silver anniversary rings while I could still take them off. By 7/11/11, my engagement ring came off & 4 days later made 31 weeks. 7/14/11 also happened to be the day our friends Joel & Ashley Wood had their baby boy!

That weekend I was making another trip to the laundry room when I had to stop as I passed Makaela’s room. I had looked inside & it made me smile all over again. It suddenly felt like this whole pregnancy thing was a little more real as it hit me that this wasn’t just another old room that needed to be redone, but we were working on it because it is going to be our daughter’s room! It’s odd that I can be this obviously pregnant & it still sometimes seems like a dream. I know she really will change everything. We are both nervous as I’m sure every new set of parents are, but we are SO excited to meet her too!

Makaela was particularly active 7/24/11. I love watching her, as well as feeling her, move! Jay felt her during the service where Caleb was preaching on worship. Our friend Marabeth later said she wished she had a video camera on Jay because she'd never seen such a "proud Daddy" face when the baby is still INside :-D

I have been around babies & kids since I was one & the only dream that hasn’t changed as I’ve grown older is I want to be a Mommy. I can’t believe after tomorrow I’ll be able to say we’re having our baby NEXT month! I am SO getting the best birthday present this year—a baby of my own!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jay's first Father's Day

Well, we are 27 1/2 weeks along in the pregnancy so I am getting bigger (I have an album on facebook showing my growing belly; you can just copy & paste this address to your address bar on your internet:  

) & it is HOT, HOT, HOT! over a week of 100+F weather every single day...ugh. Makaela is kicking up a storm, moving at least a little all throughout the day :) We start our childbirth classes July 7, every Thursday at the hospital for 3 weeks.   

Jay had a really good first Father's Day I think. He didn't have to work (YAY!) I gave him a card from me with a card "from Makaela" tucked inside. Then he got a stainlees steel desktop coffee mug with lid & some Philadelphia Eagles (his favorite football team) baby sleeper outfits & a 3 pound bag of Mike'N'Ike candies that he shared with Kevin & me. We went to church after buying donut holes for our Sunday school class & egg,bacon, & cheese croissant sandwiches for the Dads in our class. Then we went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant with a bunch of our friends. We came home & he tinkered around in his workshop/garage until time for our Lifegroup. He played bocce ball outside with the guys, then they came inside & we discussed the service, announcements & shared prayer requests. We came home from that & now he is cleaning up the mess he made in the garage :) & playing with the dog & two kittens we rescued even though we are BOTH allergic & we are expecting a baby (but they live in the garage with Linus, our dog, & play in the backyard where--after taking our antihistamines--we can enjoy them for short periods of time then wash up when we come inside).

More good news!
My family (meaning Mom, Dad, Virginia, Chris, Kevin, Kimberly, & I) haven't been on a family trip since the summer of 2003! Kimberly is 17! She was NINE the last time! Wow. Kevin is an RA in Nix Hall this summer while taking summer school classes so we didn't think he would be able to go with us, but he found out today he can! Mom, Dad, Kim, & Chris are at Virginia's house in OK & they are headed down to Abilene Wednesday after Virginia's physical therapy from her knee surgery. We will all leave Thursday after Kevin gets off his work shift & come back by Sat evening. The thing is...we still don't know where we're going! :P

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Paint! & other ideas for Makaela's room :)

So on May 15th, we bought Makaela’s nursery paint! I have dreamed of having my own light purple with white or cream trim & furniture since I was little, but the closest I got was a welcome home surprise by Jay a little over a year ago.  In the Anderson Hall dorm apartment he had repainted the tiny bathroom into a bright purple & white bathroom with a beige shower curtain. Red is one of my favorite colors, but I was SO glad to be rid of the BLOOD-red in that tiny bathroom! It was one of the BEST surprises! Our master bedroom has one of the most relaxing blues on the walls. It was supposed to be white on the frames & baseboards but we never got around to painting that before moving our furniture in so it’s the still the old tired-looking beige, but it works with room. I considered several gender-neutral painted nursery ideas for long-term use, just as the crib, bassinet, stroller, & carrier/car seat were all "a must" to be gender-neutral, but I just couldn't help dreaming of a purple room again as I considered our baby girl’s nursery J

Thankfully, Jay & I have had very similar tastes as far as decorating & furniture go, at least in this house. Almost before I could say anything about a particular room before we moved in, Jay would mention a very similar--if not the same--way or method of furnishing or decorating the room as I would have done it on my own. He accepted the idea for Makaela's room very quickly & loved the small rug I found that incorporated all the colors we could want in her room; the picture is fairly accurate.

The main wall color will be light but cheery--Purple Dragon; the end-wall of built-ins is darker--French Violet; and the thick trim that's around the 3 doors, 3 windows, & ceiling/floors (& we’re thinking of the crib & dresser too ;) is an off-white--Heritage Lace. On facebook, I told our friends Chelsea Harper & Nadine EuGene (who each were a roommate in this room in years past), "your old crisp Pure White & Navy Blue room is soon to be no longer!"

In my old dream, very little pink would have been found but in this nursery vision, I have found myself incorporating more & more pink touches. One sister, Virginia, has liked pink all her life, while I tended to avoid it, though I was the one who liked wearing dresses & playing with dolls. I have always liked baby girls & little girls wearing pink, but their clothes are small so the pink is in small doses! Over the past 10 years, I think about how many pink things Jay has given to or made for me & how many times I get compliments from others & Jay when I venture out in a pink top or dress. I think it has finally grown a little on me, but I still don't want pink on the walls of any room in my house (yet anyway; MAYBE by the time we have our second girl I could do our version of one of the many lovely pink nurseries I’ve seen).

After looking at many coordinating purple bedding collections, it seems you cannot find one in stores that are not all about butterflies or ladybugs, and while I do like many of the playful butterflies it’s not really what I had in mind. I have always loved many things reminiscent of the Victorian era and I found some crib bedding that’s perfect for bringing both the vintage romantic floral feel & a subtle touch of pink to the room, but it’s too expensive & so I keep dreaming J We did, however, find a nursery on HGTV’s Rate My Space that did not have butterflies everywhere, but had painted large white outlines of flowers on each wall. Jay immediately said he wanted to do something like it for his daughter’s room. I loved the idea!

I have thought of pink sheers for the windows, or more likely, pink (blackout) panels with white/cream sheers (I’m not sold on the idea, but I found some white sheers with tiny pink embroidered flowers). One popular idea I do love is a beaded or crystal-look chandelier but we already have a working ceiling light/fan in there that is obviously more functional, and in this house, necessary. I found a small cream lampshade at a friend’s garage sale so that might be spruced up with some beading/ribbons instead.

I can’t wait to unpack some of my old children’s books & toys onto the many shelves of the built-ins. I know Makaela can hear now (we’re 23 weeks & 4 days) so I’ve been more conscious of singing & talking to her. It’s funny but sweet how Jay talks to Makaela & wants to rub my belly. She has SUCH a good Daddy already. For the dresser he found at Junk-It, he could have paid the full price & had the store do the stripping & staining, but he wanted to do it himself, “for our daughter.” J

Last July, my dad came to help move my sister up to her new house in Oklahoma. After I cut & rolled up the carpet & swept up the literally falling-to-pieces foam under it, then ripped up the linoleum, my dad started scraping the goop of underlayment off the wood floors of what will be Makaela’s room. In August, Jay & I moved in & Jay finished the second half of the underlayment & sanded the whole floor down. It remained in this state until a month ago when Jay stained & sealed the floor. A few weeks ago, he bought, cut, & nailed the base trim around the room. Once we got the paint, he wanted a sprayer so he traded in his weight bench for one at Wild Bills & has painted the cream, & will be starting the dark purple on the shelves this week.

Other topics regarding Makaela:
1. As she & my belly grow, it is becoming harder NOT to notice her activity level & since I’ve been starting to feel her movements with my hand over the outside, when she kicked two times fairly close together on May 16th around 9:15pm, I had Jay rush over so he could feel the next one. She kicked right on cue but only that one time & he’s not sure if he actually felt it or not.
2. That was also the night I noticed my belly button, which had seemed to be ever widening, is now very shallow! My preggie outie might be showing up sooner than I had originally thought :/
3. I think especially since we didn’t get the outdoor engagement photo shoot I had dreamed of, I’m starting to get excited about our pregnancy photo shoot in June with friend (& EPiA sister) Krystal Maestas!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Loving Memory of Michelle Rachel Blancett

Makaela looks more “Hawaiian” than Makayla, but they’re pronounced the same. Makaela & Michelle are both feminine forms of Michael (which means, ‘who is like God?’); one is American, the other French. Part of our choosing Makaela as our baby girl’s name is in honor of my cousin, Michelle, (sister to Dexter Blancett) who would be 20 today-- Happy Heavenly Birthday, Michelle! :) We love & miss you! :) 
(Even their middle names both begin with R; my middle name is Renee & it will be Makaela's: Makaela Renee; that part was unplanned but adds an extra-nice touch:)

iPhone Notes pregnancy journal

2/1/11: 4 weeks after finding out,  my heart still does this somersault-feeling thing when I just THINK about telling anyone (immediate family already knows). I have my first appt with Dr. Whitney Mascarro (not her Nurse Practitioner) on 2/10/11 @ 2:30pm. Baby heart rate: 186 bpm

I've lived with headaches from allergies, sinus, stress, you name it, off & on most of my life, but they weren't migraines. I had migraines every day from 1/20/11 until 2/10/11. I started a new nosespray, got off Sudafed, & started taking a Rx for when I had a migraine so they were managable through the rest of February. Migraines returned with a vengence the first week of March, after my Rx had run out. Back on migraine meds.

Week 10: I have always loved cheese & gotten plenty of dairy but I think this is my first craving--I feel like I can't get enough Sargenta String Cheese &  Mini Babybel original. I've only been REALLY queasy & that was from Day 1 of Week 7 until yesterday, the end of Week 9; now the nausea is mostly when I'm in the car or get too warm. I've been mainly on cheese & ritz crackers, my slimfast shake (for the extra nutrients because I have so many allergies including foods--NOT for weight loss) & pepperoni pizza at least once a week (another thing I never could resist before being pregnant).

13 weeks: baby heart rate: 164bpm

3/31/11: People have been asking so I tried laying REALLY still for a while with my hands spread out over my belly & I felt the baby move (inside)!

4/1/11-4/3/11: got to see my Mom! She helped Chris drive down from Portland to live with V for the summer. Starting to research carseats, strollers, etc.

4/7/11: I was working & outside at a playground when my stomach started feeling funny; I suddenly felt sweaty & weak & my vision got shadowy & shaky & my heart seemed to be pounding so loudly. I walked to a bench and propped up one leg next to me, the other still on the ground to keep me balanced, while I prayed I would not faint. I didn't & eventually felt better though the headache stayed. I have been careful to stayed extrahydrated & eat a snack so my stomach is never on "empty." I talked with my mom, called the Dr, then called a friend & sorority sister who is a Labor & Delivery Nurse. It took the Dr-on-call more than 5 hours later to call me back. After asking several questions, she determined I had severe sinus problems (my thoughts were, 'well I could've told you that years ago!'). She said it was safe for me to begin sudafed again so I picked some up that night & though I've needed tylenol on some days, I haven't used the migraine meds since! 

4/12/11: baby heart rate 150s bpm

4/13/11: noticed my first stretch marks :( lol
4/15/11, 12:25am: first time I'm SURE I felt baby kick without trying to feel it!
4/19/11, 11:30ish: more flutter kicks
4/21/11, 8:14-8:24 felt 2 kicks w/in 10 minutes. 11:09pm-golly! there's 3 more close together! 
4/24/11 3:35am: Yow! those ligaments are loosening up! It seriously felt like someone standing next to my bed just jabbed me in the left side of my stomach. 
4/26/11: another painful kick or loose ligament as I got ready for work this morning. After the part about the Actual Delivery, I'm most nervous about bathing & breastfeeding my newborn--2 major things I've never done before.

4/27/11, 20 weeks: Ultrasound with Dr. Maberry: 155bpm, 12 oz, 10 in., "everything looks perfect...definitely a GIRL!" I should note that before today, Jay had a total of 5 dreams that we' were having a little girl! The first one came while we were still living in the dorms but we had been talking about when to start a family. We had a short conversation discussing names at Cracker Barrell shortly a few days after finding out. Basically, in less time than it takes me to look over the menu & decide what to order, we had a girl's name picked & a very narrowed boy's name list! We agreed not to share names right away.

5/4/11, my dad's bday: Makaela's been moving around all day!

5/6/11: I came home to find the house clean & a gift bag & card on the bed from Jay. Inside the giftbag was the Home figurine from Willow Tree & a Winnie the Pooh baby book along with a Little Princess photo album. Both books had Makaela's 20 weeks U/S photo up front.

5/8/11: My First Mother's Day with a baby inside me! Several people wished me a Happy Mother's Day & I got to spend it in Oklahoma with my Granny, some aunts, uncles, cousins & their children, & my sister Virginia!

Monday, May 9, 2011

We're joining the blogging community, because we're having a Baby!

So, I finally took the bait. I started a blog because we're having a baby! We are just SO excited & I don't think Facebook statuses will be enough, plus several family members & friends of family are not on Facebook & this will be easier for them to stay updated than me remembering to send them an email for Facebook Notes. 

It still feels weird to write it out, but I kept reading about starting a pregnancy journal, and being a scrapbooker & bookworm, I kind of started one by writing in my iPhone Notes.

Jay asked almost every day; finally on January 11, 2011, I agreed we could take another test, THE test. At about 7:15am, the home test showed 2 pink lines...+baby! Jay was getting dressed for work & though I had thought about different ways to surprise him with the news, I was just too excited! I called him to the hallway by the bathroom & showed it to him, asking what he saw. He said "2 lines--" I interrupted him with, "I see a baby!" We laughed, we hugged; Jay did a little dance. I set the test down and just stared at it for awhile, realizing our dream was really coming true, yet still not wanting to believe it just yet. I don't really know why I chose a week, but on January 17, 2011, I took the second test  (a different brand) and it also showed 2 pink lines, confirming a BABY was on the way!