Second Trimester Recap…Three Months to Go

Tomorrow marks the start of my third trimester. Crazy. Time flies when you’re having fun – er, when your pregnancy is so ailment-free and uneventful that you feel totally normal the whole time. However, I know the next three months … Continue reading

Baby on the way and so thankful!

If you are friends with me on Facebook or our blog’s Facebook you might have heard WE’RE PREGNANT! Yay!

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Matt and I could not be MORE excited or MORE grateful for this gift on the way!

Pregnancy details thus far:

Due date: May 8, 2014

How far along: I’ll be 17 weeks on Thanksgiving

Sickness: YES! I was sick the whole first trimester. I had morning sickness, mainly in the morning but felt nauseated the WHOLE DAY. I was also extremely tired. I only went home from work twice but I really struggled the whole way through. I had moments  towards the end of the first trimester that I was really functional (aka cooked like crazy and picked up the house) but to be honest with you I was pretty down and out for most of it. Around week 13/14 I started feeling better. I still need an extra nap now and then and sometimes I eat something the baby didn’t like but it’s VERY different from the first trimester.

Gender: We find out the gender December 9! Hopefully the baby corporates. We don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, just praying for a healthy baby!

Showing: Yes! Or at least I think I am. See the bump in my stomach from the pictures? Well it’s usually not there. My jeans started to get uncomfortable to button at 10 weeks and by 13 weeks I didn’t even try to button them anymore. All other clothes pretty much still fit except if I wear a pencil skirt to work I may not zip it up all the way 🙂 I did get some maternity jeans with Lindsay a few weeks ago and they have been WONDERFUL but sweat pants are still my favorite right now.

Cravings: Nothing crazy but mostly stuff I loved before… ice cream, burgers, bread and cheese, fruit, water, smoothies, french fries. Some healthy, some not so healthy. Finding the right balance has been confusing to me. Mentally it’s so strange to be good with gaining weight but not gain too much weight. Still figuring that one out!

Telling people: We first told our parents at 8 weeks after our first appointment. It happen to be right before my birthday so I wrapped the ultrasound photos up in a box and told them this was the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten and I wanted them to open and see it. All four of their reactions were different and priceless! It was a special moment to me. After our 12 weeks appointment we started to tell all of our other family members and close friends. After my 16 week appointment (yesterday) we decided to share on social media and with YOU!

Movement: Yes! I wasn’t sure what I was feeling at first and it’s very delicate but it’s the most gentle little taps. It’s so sweet and I try to pay attention every time it happens. I can’t wait for Matt to be able to feel a real kick in the coming weeks.

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These photos were taken by my very talented friend, Kati Mallory of Kati Mallory Photo & Design. We did a quick, fun shoot. Their are a few other pictures but I’m saving those for our Christmas card. Stay tuned and Happy Thanksgiving!

“Stay”cation…what is it?

outside waterfall cabinWe always need a vacation. Whether you’re a stay at home mother, work a full time job, or just got back from your vacation! I can’t tell you how many times I return from a trip, and am ready to hit the road once more, after the laundry is piled up from a week of fun, and I’m preparing for Monday.

A few people consider a “staycation” as taking a week off of work, and seeing the sights around town, but at night returning to sleep at their home. However personally, I consider a “staycation” as getting OUT of the house, staying in a hotel, motel, cottage or cabin…just so long as its still within a couple hours of home. On my “staycations”, I don’t want the distractions and duties that come along with my homebase. I physically have to leave the premise and not return at the end of the day, in order to welcome that fully relaxed state that occurs with “vacation”.

Earlier in the year I wrote a list of goals to try and accomplish for 2013, and while I won’t complete all, I was able to check #8 off. My #8 was to purchase a groupon getaway, for my husband and I to escape for the weekend. I found a site called “yelp“, which is similar to groupon’s deals, and purchased a one night $95 coupon that was good for $125 at the Anderson Creek Cabins located in Glen Rose, TX. We booked two nights: Friday & Saturday, applied the coupon, & were able to pay a little less than $300 lodging for the whole weekend!

I would recommend this refuge of accommodation for couples, families, or those not into “roughing it aka camping in tents”. We had all the amenities that are present with a normal hotel, except we were away from the hustle and bustle of city life., oh, AND we had a full sized kitchen.

The pleasant innkeepers of the quaint cabins provide: pancake mix, syrup, popcorn, starbucks tea, & coffee in each cabin, and then cut firewood which could be picked up any time throughout the day at a designated wood pile, for an enjoyable cozy campfire at night. Propane grills are provided on the deck of each cabin for grilling, and the spacing of the four cabins, is far enough from each, that you cannot hear or even see your neighbor “campers”!

We stayed in the “Waterfall Cabin”, which when provided with a decent amount of rainfall, produces a waterfall that can be viewed from your personal deck. Unfortunately, as we’ve been in a bit of a drought, there was just a lovely view of the rock face sans water.

If you enjoy hiking, nature, or have children who like dinosaurs, Dinosaur Valley State Park is less than five minutes from the Anderson Creek Cabins. The hikes are easy, not even intermediate, unless of course you are going to “get primitive” and decide to hike the path less traveled.dinodino printusAn amazing dessert place in downtown Glen Rose called, “Pie Peddlers“, creates homemade cream & fruit pies, so if you have a sweet tooth, make sure to try a slice of blackberry pie and key lime pie. It was delicious and so worth it!!pie peddlerspie

Next time you are interested in a inexpensive getaway for the weekend, check groupon or yelp, because you just might be packing your bags sooner than you realize! Have fun friend & share your finds!

The De-clutter Bug Bit Me, Right Along with the Baby Bug

Ok so maybe I’m nesting or maybe I’m just the girl who gets Spring Cleaning Fever a tad later in the year, but either way, I’m full-throttle into cleaning, re-organizing, purging and de-cluttering mode.

I’d say decorating but really I don’t think this counts as there is no furniture involved (if I could afford to, I’d completely decorate and furnish the front living room, replace or reupholster the dining room table set and also get a buffet piece for in there, and buy a king mattress for the master…..but we have to focus on the nursery and the new guest room first).

So anyway, here’s what I’ve been up to the past couple of weekends around the house in preparations for Baby Irvin’s arrival:

1) Spruce up the backyard. Check.

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2) Begin the transition from guest room to baby room. Meaning, EMPTY CLOSET, RELOCATE ITEMS, FIND SPOT FOR THEM ELSEWHERE IN HOUSE. Also know as… closet re-organizing mania. See pictures.

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Baby Irvin’s closet: newly emptied and cleaned, save for baby’s first little things.

To get to where I could empty the closet, I had to relocate my entire linen storage (it was previously in the guest room), relocate my golf clothes, and soft shells and sweatshirts; and I took the opportunity to purge items I didn’t need or use and could donate.  Here’s a peek at my new linen closet and more … spiffy with labels and all!

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I know. As organized as I am, I refuse to take the time to fold sheets properly. Or blankets for that matter. This is the best I can do.

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As a result of emptying one closet, this one got re-organized. Now my scarves are neatly hung for me to grab on a whim this fall/winter when I grab a jacket or coat.

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Another closet that fell prey to my re-organizing. This has always held some of my shoes and misc. clothes. Now it will be my designated MATERNITY CLOSET! Yay!

3) Deep clean the entire house.

4) Tidy. De-clutter. Re-arrange knick-knacks. 

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5) Finally frame some wedding photos after 5 years (instead of buying new frames like I wanted to, I re-used some boring-but-satisfactory frames I found in a box from my college townhouse.

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6) Organize and decorate the office built-in in our master bedroom. For the past two years, it’s been a wasteland of clean and dirty laundry, new and old mail, a to-shred mail pile, a to-file mail pile, dog toys, random cords to electronics, etc. A MESS. AND MY WORST NIGHTMARE. Finally, I cleared it all off. Sorted, shredded, cleaned, filed, and headed to Target to buy some cute desk accessories. Here’s the end result of that over-due project (sorry no before photo!):

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I labeled the slots and storage boxes and such to help keep us accountable!

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My amazing co-workers bought me this NEST Candle in “Moss & Mint” and it’s the best, most relaxing bedroom candle ever. NEST Candles are pretty pricey but well worth it! Fortunately, this fragrance doesn’t seem to bother my allergy-prone hubby.

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Oh, and I’m OBSESSED with my small glass lamps. $60/2 at Target. DEAL!

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I chose to do a his and hers side, where the books under each lamp are gender-friendly, and themed to our aesthetics (kind of). Note: Michael’s sniper, war, politics and business books and my childhood keepsake fairytale books, personal memoir books, and a motivational, personal enhancement book … fits us too a “T”!

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These baskets – which I placed at both sides of our built-in – correspond with our drawers for clothes in the built-in. I bought these for us to store clean laundry that we’re too lazy to put up at the moment. If the basket is full, I told Michael, too bad, time to put it all away. LOL. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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ta-da! clean, peaceful room with a view of our serene backyard!

Now, the next two projects on my brain are….

1) Paint the mud room and decorate it. (No picture, sorry). Ever since we got broken into and the door had to be replaced…no, scratch that…ever since we moved in and I’ve had to live with this weird wallpaper that you’d have to see to understand, I’ve been waiting to paint over it. We will be DIY painting over wallpaper … stay tuned for the post!

2) Renovate and customize our media cabinet  in the main living room – aka, the blue room – to fit modern TVs and such. We’ve been talking about doing this since we moved in too and now I’m super motivated to get this eye-sore of a TV stand from our college days out of the house and off the floor, so Baby Irvin has more room to spread out and play. And so mama and dada can buy a 70″ TV haha! Ok, that’ll actually have to wait a while but it’s def. in my future plans for this room too.

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Until then…

Puppy Love

It’s no secret that we got a puppy. A super cute one named Dexter. He’s a golden doodle and an absolute doll! He’s super friendly and when you meet him for the first time he will make you feel so special and lick you to death. I love seeing him so friendly to everyone he meets!

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Aside from being on cloud 9 from all the cuteness in our house puppies are a lot of hard work! I don’t think Matt and I really understood when people tried to tell us. We probably thought “oh you just had a difficult dog… or it’s just hard for you but we will make it work!” Oh how little did we know! The first few nights (and days) were rough on all of us. Dexter whined or cried every few hours and he had lots of accidents (one #2 accident I saw coming and caught in mid air with my hand towel as I was washing my face… my husband was hysterically laughing).

With that said everything is SO much better now. He sleeps all night in his crate but still wakes up just a little before we would prefer 🙂 He hasn’t had an accident in days but this is partly learning on our part too. We know about how long he can wait until he needs to go again.

The biggest challenge we still deal with is chewing and biting (because he needs something to chew on and that might be you!). He hasn’t destroyed anything but we’ve given him less freedom to roam so he won’t. We also try to make him tired at night by taking him on walks around the neighbor. Thankfully the weather is perfect for this right now and we’ve got a great backyard for him to do lots of running and playing.

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We seriously can’t handle the cuteness sometimes. We just smother him with kisses and tummy rubs. But I’m glad the puppy stage is just a “stage” and we get to see what grown up Dexter will be like someday. Hopefully he’s still his friendly, adorable self but just a bit calmer 🙂

PS I’ll take any and all puppy advice out there!

Baby on the Way: The 100 (er, 40) Parenting Questions Swirling in My Pregnancy Brain

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As you may already know from our announcement post, my husband and I are expecting our first child.

I was never a baby person. My sisters and I were never exposed to babies, never had baby dolls as toys (even if we did, they weren’t played with), and I rarely babysat anyone (let alone anyone under the age of 6). Usually babysitting for us was just hanging out with kids younger than us and “watching” them (aka watching MTV and ordering pizza while they played video games in the other room).

And while this whole thing is very exciting and has my heart filled with a joy I can’t explain, I’m also fearful of and questioning a lot of things these days.

1) How will I know what to do?

2) Will I be a good mom?

3) How tiring will it really be?

4) Will my baby be cute?

5) Will I miss my baby-less life a lot?

6) Are my friends going to avoid us?

7) When do I need to get the baby room ready?

8) How do I know what to register for and how much of each item?

9) Will the delivery hurt really bad?

10) How will I ever be able to go back to work and concentrate on work – how could I possibly stop thinking about the baby all day?

11) Will the daycare place really let me come visit 100x a day, and to feed as necessary?

12) Do we need to go to a birthing class?

13) Should we go to a parenting class?

14) Will they love God as much as I want them to?

15) How will I lose the weight?

16) Can we afford to give them the life we want to give them?

17) Will my parents be as involved as grandparents as mine were – I want them to be super close to my kids, as my grammy and poppop are/were unbelievably important to me?

18) Will I be able to breastfeed as long as I want to – with all the complications of going back to work and such?

19) How do I avoid fighting about how to parent, finances and the stresses we’ll face after the baby is born?

20) Is there any way to be sure the daycare we pick is better than the others we’ve toured?

21) Am I gaining too much weight? Too little?

22) Should I be showing more or less right now?

23) Why do I feel like crying sometimes when I think about the baby – happy tears, tears of anxiety, tears of impatience, etc.?

24) How is it that some girls my age were born with this baby thing where they’re aching to me moms the minute they hit puberty and then become instant rockstar moms the minute they find out they’re pregnant?

25) Is it OK if I am still ME as a mom? I want to be the same old Lindsay but with a baby on my hip and my designer bag on my shoulder (sorry, no Vera Bradley Diaper Bag for me). I want to still see my friends all the time and have fun.

26) How soon am I supposed to start educational stuff for the baby? Immediately? Does that mean reading to them and that’s enough? That’s adorable and I can so do that, but what else can I do to make them smart?

27) Sort of along the lines of question 26 … how do I ensure they’re smart and learn what they need to, when they need to?

28) Should we have stayed in Dallas so that we have family close as we raise a family?

29) How hard will it be without family nearby to help?

30) Is sending them to daycare as an infant going to be harmful to my bonding / my husband’s bonding with them?

31) Will I experience post-partum? And what the heck is post-partum anyway? 

32) Is it bad that I think some moms are just so cheese-y and I don’t want to talk to my kids like that at all? I’ve heard that baby talk is bad for them, and talking to them normally makes them smarter – is that true?

33) How will our dogs react to the new baby? Will they behave? Will they love the baby and protect it? Will they be jealous and act out? Will they have to become outside dogs full-time?

34) Are other moms going to judge me for the way I am as a mom (which I don’t even know how I’ll be yet)?

35) Why does it take so long to make a baby – I want to meet it now?

36) Will a boy be better for me getting used to this mom thing first, or a girl?

37) Am I going to be mean?

38) Am I going to be a push-over?

39) How do we ensure we are a super tight-knit family and are always close throughout our lives?

40) When will I know the answers to all these questions and more?

I decided to share these here in hopes that it would be somewhat cathartic and elicit advice, wisdom and encouragement from you. If only these all magically became answered when the baby is born. 🙂

A Facelift…

Q: Easiest & Affordable way to change the look of your home?

A: Paint

Here are a few amazing room transformations and furniture makeovers with paint.  FYI, these are not images of my home, as it will be a work in progress for the next couple years.

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Sherwin Williams has a sale about 2 or 3 times a year with their paint being 40% off, and about 3 weeks before we were to move into our new home, I went ahead and bought about 27 cans during their awesome sale! Something people don’t know, is that you can buy their “paint in the can” without having color added. Then, at a later date when you have decided on your colors…. bring the paint back & they will add color (free of course, since its already been paid for at an earlier date.) Also, if you estimated more paint than necessary, you can return it (with receipt), unless of course you have added the color to it. (I believe there is a 60 day return policy, so just figure it out sooner than later.)

Another paint estimated tidbit: Apparently, when you have popcorn removed from ceilings, its likely to need double the amount of ceiling paint you actually think is necessary, because the ceiling will just drink it up.

About a week ago, I mentioned reader, that there would be pictures of my updated laundry room…but guess what? I’m not finished. Between working full time, and driving about 2 and a half hours a day for this job…I am usually exhausted when I finally get home at 6:30 in the evening. My husband and I have been trying to push through our “paint reno”  after work everyday, but the process has been slow going.

Today I just have some progress pictures…but next week I promise, I will have images of our finished “completed for now” master closet & laundry room.

Goal for this week: Finish painting ALL closets & complete laundry room

Ongoing Project: Painting Living Area, Question Room, Kitchen, & all bedrooms

In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

Mrs. Duran lost someone close to her yesterday and we are posting this in support of her today. Prayers for her and her entire family are very welcome.

We’re Having a Baby!

I am so excited to share our big news with the world today. Michael and I are having a baby! This will be our first little one and we couldn’t be more overjoyed. We’ve had a blast being married and … Continue reading

IT’S OUR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

IT'S OUR ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

THANKS FOR FOLLOWING, COMMENTING, SHARING AND LIKING OUR POSTS!

HERE’S TO MANY, MANY MORE YEARS OF FUN!