Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of a Decade.

I can't believe it's New Year's Eve! While at work today I suddenly realized that I was signing off and dating things with "2009" for the last time ever. Crazy!

And it's the end of a decade. A lot has happened in my life over this decade. I started out the new milennium as a freshman in high school. I'm ending it a (near) college graduate, homeowner, wife, and soon to be mother! A lot happens over the span of 10 years even though it doesn't seem that it takes that long to pass.

Let's talk about goals. I'm not a huge fan of "resolutions" per se, but I do like to have defined goals in my life. Obviously, my number one goal for 2010 is to A) get the parasite currently living in my mid-section outside of my body and B) learn to be a great mom.

My goals for 2009 were actually set in mid-2008 due to the fact that the first half of 2008 was taken up by wedding stuff and it was all I could do to get through that madness. I didn't need to add additional things on top of that! By the end of 2008 we were still working on those goals so they carried over to 2009. After a year and a half we have made slow and steady progress!

On the financial front: I feel that we have spent the last year and a half doing a really good job revitalizing our finances. Our debt is definitely a lot smaller than when we started, but we are still working on it.

We kept up with the goal of putting a weekly deposit into our (what used to be at least...) high interest savings account and not touching it so that it can earn interest for us. Since opening that account we have earned $134.32 in interest. I wish it were a lot higher than that, but ever since we opened our account interest rates have been steadily declining, but that's an overall issue with the economy and something I clearly can't control although I wish I could.

In the next few months we will have Mark's car paid off, but we will also be dropping to a single income as I have a career change coming up so we will need to do some readjusting with our budget. I'm happy to say I have been hired as a stay at home mom once the baby is here : ) I'm sure there will be much more to come on this topic at a later date.

Overall, I'm just super thankful that we are comfortable in our lifestyle. We don't have to live strictly paycheck to paycheck, we have the ability to be somewhat flexible in our spending, and we have the opportunity to make decisions like dropping an income so that I can stay home to raise our baby. I know that we are very lucky and there are many people out there who are not in that kind of position right now.

With that said, one of my goals for 2010 is a continuation of my goal from 2009 in regards to revitalizing our finances. We have laid all of the ground work and have made significant progress, but by the end of 2010 I'd really like to be completely debt free with the exception of our mortgage.

On the organization issue: I feel like we have made HUGE strides with this! Since originally setting this goal we have redone our kitchen and office, we finally got our spare room set up as a guest room and have since started to transfrom that to a nursery!

After living here for more than 3 years we finally unpacked all of our boxes! This is a fairly recent accomplishment actually.

Also, we have donated quite a few things this year in addition to the usual bags of clothing including 2 boxes of towels and linens to the dog shelter, a couch and chair, full sized bed with headboard, a desk, and boxes of miscellaneous items leftover from our garage sale. These donations have really helped us clear out some of the bigger things that were taking up space and I'm so happy we were able to find homes for it all!

Still, I feel like things get cluttered really quickly around here and I don't feel like we are to the point where EVERYTHING has a place. So, I'll be working more with this goal in the upcoming year especially considering we are going to have so much stuff coming into the house along with another person! I would also really like to redo the bathroom at some point in the upcoming year.

And in addition to my old goals and my new goal of motherhood I'm also focusing on being happy and good at being a stay at home mom. I'm both anxious and excited to see how this goes for me. I think 2010 has a lot in store for us!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby Furniture = CHECK!

Last night we ordered furniture for the nursery. Thanks to our very generous families we were able to cover the cost of the furniture with gift cards we got at Christmas! So here's a peek at what we got:

Crib:

Changing table:



Dresser:


The dresser is actually going in our room and our current dresser is going to relocate to Bean's room. All 3 items are a dark brown color.

Everything should be here in the next couple of weeks and then we can set it up! I can't wait to see how everything looks!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

32 Weeks


I think Bean looks fully cooked, don't you? I'm sure that someone miscalculated and I'm actually going to have this kid any day now. This has to be because I'm certain that he weighs at least 15 pounds!

I saw my doctor yesterday and everything is good - weight, blood pressure, belly growth, baby's heartbeat all good. The only small concern that I had was related to the fact that I have had TERRIBLE pelvic pain for the last week. Yes, the last WEEK! When I'm sitting or laying down it's not so bad, but if I'm standing or walking it's pretty terrible. Sometimes it feels like Bean has a steel spike in there which he is playfully forcing into my bones. Other times it just feels like there's about 15 pounds of pressure in there forcing the bones apart. Either way, it's not a good feeling at all.

I was thinking that it might have to do with the baby's position and if he would just shift then everything would be alright again. Well, I was close, but I didn't quite get the answer I was looking for. Yes the pain will go away... just as soon as the baby is here! Which is supposed to be 8 weeks from now!!!

Apparently, the problem is this, your pelvis is actually two bones held together by some ligaments or tendons or something stretchy. When the baby becomes heavy and begins pressing down on your pelvis it can cause pain. It affects women to varying degrees. Apparently some people are just lucky and get to be in excruciating pain. The cure? Having the baby. The only way to get true relief is to lay down to take the pressure off your pelvis. Super.

So of course for the last week there's been lots of whining about my pelvic pain. And I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get through the next 8 weeks!

In other news, I FINALLY was able to give Mark his Christmas gift! His very own Wii! I'm not sure who was more excited me to give or Mark to get. I told him I was NOT spending $200 on a game, but when I heard that Wal-mart had them for $150 I just couldn't pass it up. 25% off? I think so!

So I made not one, but TWO trips to two different locations and multiple calls to track down a location with a Wii. I think they were hoarding them because they could always tell me that they'd have X number in at 8am the next day, but I couldn't go at 8am I could only go later in the day!

After 1 trip on a SATURDAY (it was terrifying, see below for the whole story*) and 3 days of calling around I finally remembered that there is a Wal-mart right down the street from my office. HELLO! So I called they had them in stock, I ran out on my lunch hour (which I hate doing!) and was able to secure a Wii for $150 and even sprung for Mario Kart with the wheel. Now, I still feel that all the games and accessories are a rip off because they rope you in to ongoing spending once you buy the system, BUT I do feel pretty good about the deal I got on the actual system. I guess it balances out.

This is what pure Christmas joy looks like:

Please note Christmas Vacation playing in the background. I think we watched this like 5 times on Christmas day. I love that movie! Some of the best quotes are as follows:

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?
Clark: Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.


Clark: Where is Eddie? He usually eats these goddam things.
Cousin Catherine: Not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

Merry Christmas. Shitter was full.

And my favorite: She falls down a well, her eyes go cross. She gets kicked by a mule. They go back. I don't know.


*My Wal-mart story OR Why Everyone Including Little Baby Jesus Hates Wal-mart:

I fight hellish traffic and pedestrians everywhere to get a spot that's about 3/4 of the parking lot out from the store. I shop. I try not to kill people who in the middle of all the crowdedness just STOP in the middle of an aisle with their carts like they've never shopped in a crowded store before.

I then head back to the Electronics departement only to find out that they had "just" sold out of their Wiis, but will have 10 more in at 8am tomorrow. Perfect.

I finish my grocery shopping and then wait in line for 15 minutes at the express lane where there are people PACKED in around me everywhere. I of course start getting all anxious, and heart poundy, and hot and sweaty. I then had to step out of line to find a bottle of water I could drink while waiting so I didn't pass out.

I finally get to check out and head all the way back out to my car. I load up my groceries, return my car to the corral, and get into my car. As soon as I turn my key in the ignition some idiot starts honking at me because they want my spot. Give me an effin' minute!

I put my car in reverse and look all around - there are people and SUVs and stray children everywhere - as soon as I take my foot off the break some superidiot guy starts screaming and cussing at me to stop. He then starts yelling at me that I was trying to hit him with my car. Where did he come from? Oh yeah, he's the guy parked next to me and even though he must have CLEARLY SEEN that I was trying to back out because someone was waiting for my spot, he didn't want to wait to get into his car so he walked RIGHT behind my reversing car and tried to squeeze into his car at the same time I'm backing out of the spot right next to him.

(&%&39427&(^%%^(*^()*

So, I hit the break again to let him get into his car, he opens his door THEN he stops before getting in and starts yelling at me to "f*cking back out now since I already tried to kill him". Drama much?! I don't know where he learned the rules, but where I'm from, if a car is reversing you wait to get into your car for 30 effing seconds soyoudon'tgetrunover! GAH!

Running over an impatient and rude person averted, I finally back out of my parking spot and off course end up with the poophead behind me where we both get stuck behind a GINORMOUS 70's Caddillac captained by an old lady. She's waiting for a spot and blocking the ENTIRE aisle. She's of course waiting for a spot where they had to load like 6 kids into a van, load up the van, and then ANOTHER person came out of WM to load their purchases into the van also before they finally backed out. Old lady totally waited like 8 minutes while a line of cars formed behind her AND it wasn't even a good spot! And of course, poophead behind me sat there and kept laying on his horn. I guess he was still traumatized from his near death experience. ::eyeroll::

In summary, I didn't get what I originally went there for - BIG surprise! I think I'm emotionally traumatized from my experiences there and therefore, I feel that Little Baby Jesus would also hate Wal-mart because the idiots there suck the Christmas sprit right outta December..


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve!

I love Christmas! Too bad we're getting rain today instead of snow. It seems like it's been yeeears since we've experienced a white Christmas in Central Ohio.

I'm so thankful to have today off. The company I work for was closed today and will also be closed tomorrow. This makes for a very nice long weekend for me!

I'm still having some pelvic pain, but it seems to be better than it was 2 days ago. I've been trying to rest as much as possible, but I think it's up to Bean to PLEASE move into a different position.

I spent most of this afternoon (with intermittent breaks) wrapping Christmas gifts. I've found the gift wrapping (like just about everything else!) is MUCH harder to do when you're stretching and bending a reaching over your very own Santa belly! But everything is wrapped now and under the (mini) tree! Along with Kitty.



Here's our "special" ornament for the year. This is the one that Mark and I pick out together every year. I can't believe this is our FIFTH special ornament on the tree! Next year, we will have a third family member to take shopping with us for our sixth ornament! I'm very excited for this!


Mark has spent most of his Christmas Eve painting Bean's room! It's coming along nicely. I will get some pics to share as soon as possible!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

31 Weeks Today.

Dear Baby,

I really do want you to be comfy in your little temporary home. I'm sure it's getting kinda cramped in there, but parking yourself on my pelvis for the last few hours is just unacceptable. It causes quite a bit of pain which I would not like to experience so I'm going to have to ask that you relocate your little baby butt to a slightly different location. Thanks in advance.

Love,
Mama.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We (finally) registered!

For some reason creating a baby registery from scratch was a really daunting task. I put it off for quite a while. Yes I knew it would be fun to go down all the aisles and scan all the cute little baby things, but at the same time we have NOTHING for a baby so not only did we get to scan fun things, but we also needed to make sure that we put everything you need for a baby on this registery! That is quite a task.

I remember back when we needed to do a wedding registery and even then I felt a bit scared for some reason. There's just SO MUCH stuff out there and what you need vs. what the store SAYS you need is a delicate balance. This is taken to a whole. 'novah. level. with a baby registery. Not only are you starting from scratch and need everything, but then there are sooo many options to choose from!

So, we ended up spending a good 3 hours at We B' Babies (a.k.a. Babies R' Us) last Saturday. We probably looked at everything in the store at least once. We registered for bottles, and binkies, and blankets, strollers, bibs, a bathtub, towels, a swing, a bouncy seat, a pack n' play, bedding, clothing, toys, a monitor etc. etc. etc. It was a ton of fun and it was so exciting picking out items for our baby who will be here very soon to use the stuff, but it was a SUPER tiring day! I think I was still worn out on Monday from our excursion.

Now I can't wait to see what kind of goodies we get for our upcoming shower!

Also, big news for the week is I think we've decided on a baby name: Jack!

Now we are debating whether to name him Jack or Jackson (and call him Jack). I like Jackson and my argument is that if he doesn't like to go by Jack then maybe when he's older he'll choose to go by Jackson. Mark doesn't like Jackson as much and would prefer just to name him Jack. And we're thinking Michael for a middle name.

I really don't know what we'll end up doing. I'm surprised we were even able to narrow it down to Jack in some capacity, but of course, we can never just decide on something so the debate continues for a while.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How I Know a New Vacuum Was a Good Investment

I can't believe I forgot to mention this gem!

We have been discussing purchasing a new vacuum for quite a while now. We were using an old (crappy) Dirt Devil that Mark has had for years (pre-dating our relationship) and I'm sure it was just fine when there were no pets or pending children around, but really I questioned what it actually did. I felt like we could vacuum and vacuum and the carpets never got clean enough.

With a new addition coming to our family we both felt like we should probably look at investing some money in a better vacuum since we're going to have a little one crawling around on it soon enough! So, I started doing some research.

Vacuums are not cheap. Not at all. I think we've all heard of the Dyson and understand that it's thought to be the Cadillac of vacuums, but I am not even able to entertain the idea of spending $500+ on a dirt sucker. I did some research and the Bissell Healthy Home comes highly recommened for value, quality, durability, and all that good stuff. It's especially recommended for homes with pets!

So I started the process of trying to justify to myself spending $249.99 on a vacuum. That's a lot of money, but it's something we use often. Back and forth in my head it went.

Well, lucky us a deal came up that I just HAD to act on and snatch this baby right up! Back on the weekend before Thanksgiving I saw in the Target ad that they had a deal that with the purchase of this vacuum you got a $75 gift card. SuhWEET! This brings the price down to a more mentally managable cost of $174.99. THEN I discovered that Bissell was offering a $30 rebate on the purchase of this vacuum before 12/20/09! Which brought the price down to an even better $144.99!!!

Now, I figure that even to buy a less quality vacuum we'd be spending AT LEAST $100. At that point I could TOTALLY justify throwing in an extra $45 to get a great product! So, we raced out to Target and brought our new vacuum home.

Here's where proving the investment as a good one comes in. First I vacuumed our carpet with our old vacuum. Then, we went over it again with the new one. Keep in mind the "carpet" I'm referencing is just our family room and hallway, probably 300 - 350 square feet total.

Here are the results:




Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I could knit a damn sweater for our dog with that junk! AND we've only had this carpet since August! THAT is what our old vacuum was leaving behind!!! So gross. After I saw that I was skeeved out just knowing that after we "cleaned" our carpets by vacuuming with our old wondervacuum we were still living among that filth!

So, in conclusion, the $145 was super well spent on our new vacuum. I feel like the carpet is SO much cleaner now and I'm mighty proud of the deal we got!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Few Random Things to Catch You All Up

I've been a bit AWOL lately. We've been busy as always and work is taking a lot out of me lately! I live for the weekends and struggle through the week. No fun, but gotta do it.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving complete with Turkey lunch and dinner with each side of the family.

Bean is growing well and right on schedule. I've gained 5 pounds so far, but I feel like it's been at least 20! I'm into my 3rd Trimester now. I can't believe we have less than 12 weeks 'til D-day!

We have even started on the nursery. So far, we have purchased paint and cleaned out the room, but that's as far as we've gotten. It's a start at least!

At my last appointment I took my gloucose test. It actually ended up being one of the easiest blood draws I've ever experienced, so that was nice. Another plus, the orange drink doesn't taste as bad as everyone says it does. At least it didn't to me. It just tasted like the orange syrup that they flavor icees or "flavor-ice" or whatever they call those things with. It was SUPER sweet and not refreshing at all, but the worst part was downing all that sweetness as quickly as possible! I got my results back on Thursday and my levels were normal.

During the same appointment I also got my H1N1 vaccine - mostly to help everyone else rest easy! - and I even got to get stuck one more time for a Rhogam injection because I have Rh-negative blood and they want to be sure I don't produce any antibodies against my possible Rh-positive baby which can cause problems in any future pregnancies. I'm now to the point where I have to start visiting the doctor every 2 weeks!

Another craft project that I finially finished and which Mark has been bugging me to get done for a while now:



We've been looking for something to go in this spot for a while now, but we couldn't find anything in the color palete we wanted that was a price we liked, so I decided just to do it myself! I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

Also, fun story... we went out to dinner the other night and I was nearly too big to fit comfortably in the booth! Granted the booth was kind of smaller than I would say normal booths are, but my tummy was definitely right up against the table! We might have to switch to tables til this pregnancy is over!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Beginning to Look A lot Like Christmas!

We put up Christmas decorations today. Here's a peek!

Disclaimer: I really have trouble photographing anything not in natural light not to mention trying to capture lights in dim light. It's harder than you'd think! So, use your imagination a bit, these things look better in person!

Outside:



I really can't take any credit for this, but Mark did an awesome job as always!


Our little Christmas tree:


I miss doing a big tree, but the smaller one works much better for us. This way we can have it up off the ground keeping our living space. And the mini-tree is pretty cute! Mark's mom donated mini-tree to us last year.




And I made this bow for the top of the tree:


I'm very proud of how it turned out! it's very hard to find small tree toppers. We saw bows like this at Hobby Lobby and asked if they sold them. Yes, they do, but one of the associates custom makes them, so to purchase one it's the cost of whatever ribbon you want + $10. I was not okay with that. So I bought a roll of $5 ribbon for something else and I ended up making a bow on my own. It turned out just how I wanted! You could also attach long trailing ends, but I didn't want to overwhelm mini-tree!


Here is the top of our bookcase:




And I put this together for the top of our coffee table:


I couldn't get a good pic of it, but it's sparkley brown balls and red bells surrounding the candles.


And last, but not least, the ornament wreaths that I made to go over our couch:



Mark had a super-fun time assisting with this little project! I LUUURVE how they turned out though! And I made the bows to go on the wreaths. I'm just a bow-makin-......pro(?) now!


Now, if I can just get Mark to spell out "Welcome Santa!" on our roof in blinky lights we will be ready for Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Why "Fun Size" Isn't So Fun After All.

Being a pregnant woman I tend to think about food a lot. What to eat, what not to eat, when to eat it, all while trying to keep my appetite in check so I don't end up looking like a beached whale by the end of this whole experiment with procreation.

With the passing of Halloween and Trick or Treat, my crazy pregnant lady thoughts have turned to candy. I'm not a huge sweets person, but I love Halloween candy as much as the next 23 year old who sometimes likes to pretend she's still a kid. Did I say that out loud? Yes, I did.

Here's my kvetch: "Fun size" candy ain't so fun. Nothing thrills me more than eating a single square of snickers which is exactly 1" by 1" in dimension. It's SO fun. Yeah right. Or how 'bout yesterday when I had a Kit Kat. *A* Kit Kat. It was a single stick that was approximately 2 inches in length. What is that all about?!

So, instead of having a nice little chocolatey treat you actually end up having to tear open about 6 of them to get your sugar fix and even though they're tiny seeing all those discarded wrappers makes me feel like I've done something very naughty. And I KNOW that it's the candy getting smaller, not me getting bigger because I don't even remember seeing a single Kit Kat stick option in "fun size" until this year. 2 sticks? Sure. One stick that's shorter than normal? Uncalled for.

Back in the day when I had to walk 15 miles uphill to Trick or Treat it was a REAL treat to get a name brand mini-candy bar in your bag. It didn't seem as widespread to hand out name brand candy as it is now when you hardly even see off brand options! Or maybe those were just the cheap people in my neighborhood... I digress. The point is, I really enjoyed those darn fun sized candy bars! You could enjoy a Snickers, a Reese's Cup, and a Milky Way all at once! Now, I'm just really annoyed by the fact that they keep getting smaller and smaller, but the prices seem to be staying stagnant or going in the other direction and getting higher.

I move that no overly-tiny candy bar be falsely labelled as "fun size" and they instead refer to them using the following adjectives:

Lilliputian, bitsy, bitty, diminutive, insignificant, itty-bitty, microscopic, mini, minikin, minuscule, minute, negligible, pee-wee, petite, pint-sized, puny, slight, teensy or wee.

*Sigh* if only I ran the world. This would definitely be on my list of remedies.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Have a Frightening Confession to Make.

Hai, my name is Stephanie and I like White Castle. ::hides face in shame::

Yeah, that's right. I said it. *I* like White Castle.

Scene: 10.30 at night at the McCarrell household. Saturday football games are wrapping up (thank goodness!). Mark gets The Crave.

We proceed to have a conversation that entails "does it really have to be White Castle?" from me. Insistence that yes, it must be White Castle and it must be Right Now from Mark. Eventually, I say I'm tired and cold and no, I'm not going along to ride to the next suburb over to get a sack of sliders, I'm going to bed. Maybe I'll eat one because I'm kind of hungry.

Now, I have never liked White Castle. I'm 23 years old, have had several experiences with White Castle and I just have never liked the taste, the smell makes me wanna barf... it's just not good. I proceeded to lay in bed dreading the White Castle fumes that were about to enter my house and questioning whether I was even going to eat one slider or if I could just go to bed a little hungry.

Mark comes home, sets the smelly bag on the table, lines up the sliders from his bag as well as a little box of crinkle cut fries and digs in. I gingerly pull one slider from a box and take a taste. And imagine my surprise when not only was it palatable, but I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot. I scarfed down *3* sliders all by myself before either Mark or I even knew what happened. When he went for another slider from the 2nd bag, Mark was surprised to find that there weren't any left!

I then went on and on for the next 30 minutes about how I really wanted some more sliders, how those were the best little burgers I had ever had, and why did they taste so good this time as compared with others? Maybe Mark laced them with some sort of addictive drugs? I don't know. What I do know is,

A) I need to get some more White Castle soon
B) I think I'm growing a mini-craver in my uterus to accompany Mark on his White Castle runs
C) I'm utterly convinced that pregnancy really does change your palate. (Also see: Skyline coneys, and Burger King Whopper Jr's.)

I officially feel like my body is not mine.


Oh, delicious White Castle mini-burger, please get in my belleh!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Updates!

Sorry, we've been busy and sleepy!

Here's an updated bump pic:

I'm at 21 weeks, 6 days. It's odd because I don't feel that I look this pregnant in real life, but I must look something like that, right?

Anyway.

I can finally feel movement! It seems to have been a bit delayed due to the whole anterior placenta which I discussed previously, but last night when I was laying in bed reading I started feeling it all of the sudden and it was definitely the Bean moving! It wasn't little flutters or bubbles like I've heard other people describe it. It felt more like the baby was doing full body flips in there or something! His acrobatics continued for about an hour and I've felt it on and off all day today as well.

It's the coolest and strangest feeling at the same time. It's really nice to feel the baby moving around, but at the same time there is a live human in there! You're not supposed to feel movement like that in your belly! Overall, I'm very excited to finally be feeling movement. I feel like I've been waiting forever for this!

Mark and I have been spending a lot of time lately discussing nursery decor and baby names. We are still in the very abstract planning stages of both. We have compiled a "prospect" list for names. Some of them are a little more "out there" than others, but what I we like seems to vary from day to day.

The list so far is as follows:

Liam - this is top of my list, not so much Mark's
Colin
Connor
Jackson - top of my list for the day; We'd call him Jack, or maybe we'd just go with Jack
Cash - I think this is topping Mark's list right now
Noah - probaby my #2 or #3 pick
Cade
Cooper
Joel
Levi
Matthew - my hold up for this one is that it's really common in my opinion

Feel free to comment/add suggestions. We aren't in love with anything yet so it's time to weigh in now!

Aside from the whole growing a human thing which while involuntary seems to be taking up a lot of my time and effort nowadays my adorable niece Kylie just celebrated her 1st birthday last weekend!

She's so cute!

And I made her cakes:

Which I think turned out very cute!

She was very ladylike when she ate her cake and there was no icing in between the fingers or all over the face.

Here's a quick clip because she's so darn adorable:

video

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's a BOY!!!

And because everyone should see my son's penis in utero, here it is:



At first the doctor had some trouble seeing the goods. The baby was... erm... exploring its anatomy. When she saw that she said it's usually an indication of a boy. Shocking ; ) But after rolling the wand over my tummy for a while and taking some measurements of the head, arms, and legs, Bean seemed to get on board with what we were trying to do and moved his hands so that we were able to get the money shot! Definitely a boy!

Mark and I are so excited! The doctor said that everything looks good and is growing properly. We got to see a lot of movement today and could clearly see the fingers and toes. I was also informed that I have an anterior placenta, which basically means that the placenta is attached to the front of my uterus instead of the back. It's not an issue, but that's why I have yet to feel much (if any, still unclear about that!) movement! I wish I had known this sooner because I had been starting to worry that Bean wasn't moving around in there! Well, as we were able to see today he's doing plenty of moving I just can't feel it yet. Apparently it's normal for women with an anterior placenta to be a bit behind in feeling movement.

After our appointment we of course made a whole list of calls to important people and sent off plenty of texts with the big news. We had a nice lunch out together and then treated ourselves to some celebratory shopping!
We each picked out an outfit:


Guess who picked which outfit?

Here's a hint:

Of course Mark sought out the football related outfit.

And here's a close up of the darling little monkey footie on my pick:


And Mark was introduced to the wonderful world of baby stuff. He's amazed at how much gear is out there for babies and how expensive it is. It's kind of like planning a wedding all over again, but this time the prices are inflated because it's baby-related.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

2 days 'til the big reveal!

We are less than 2 days away from finding out the sex of Baby McCarrell! I'm so excited it's all I can think about right now! I don't know how I'm going to be able to go another 20 weeks without meeting this little one once I know what we're expecting.

For the record - Mark feels like it's a boy. I have absolutely no idea, but I feel that I need to formulate an educated guess by appointment time.

Edit to add: Okay, my official prediction is boy! I don't know if Mark's guess has influenced me and I'm still not 100% sure, but this is my guess. I've been thinking about it all day today and on the drive home from work I realized that in a lot of my daydreams about when the baby is actually here it seems to be a boy, so that's what we'll go with.

Monday, September 21, 2009

17 weeks, 6 days Bump

So... I went to bed last night with a slightly swelling stomach and woke up today with this:


I went from not looking pregnant to looking quite pregnant. Such and odd thing this whole growing a human is. My bump has officially sprung overnight.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

17 Weeks today!

According to TheBump: Average Fetus is 5.1 inches in length and weighs 5.9 ounces. Baby's skeleton is hardening, changing from rubbery cartilage to bone, and fat is finally accumulating around it. The umbilical cord is getting thicker and stronger, and those little fingers and toes are now topped by one-of-a-kind prints.

I had an OB appointment today. I have yet to gain any weight which is fine by me as I don't have much of a bump to speak of. I just kind of look especially chubby. Not a good place to be in, this in betweeness, but I'm sure my bump is just around the corner. Once I actually start to look pregnant I'll feel better about gaining any weight.

Bean's heartrate was 150 according to the doppler which is still in the girl range according to the old wives' tale which says above 140 is a girl, below 140 is a boy.

Also, we are supposed to have a girl based on the Chinese Gender Chart (yet another unscientific tool).



The good news is all of our questions will be answered in 3 short weeks! Our find out the sex appointment is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6th! And I'm so excited. Now, Bean had better cooperate by being an exhibitionist or I will be most disappointed!
What sex do you think the baby is? Vote in my poll. Please and thank you : )

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

OMG LIFE IS GOOD! (A guest post. By Mark.)


I would like to introduce our little bundle of joy. OK, it's not so little.

Yes, friends, that's right. I interrupt your deep, burning, literary, food and pregnancy discussions to gloat about my new treasure, Sanyo 42" HD TV!

Ahhh...... HD. So crisp, so clear, so.... WHOA WHAT'S THAT ON HIS FACE??!!!!! There are downsides to ultra-clear, 42-inch goodness in the form of over-the-hill newscasters and sports announcers.

(Oh, Bud Collins... You're a legendary announcer.... And you're freakin' SCARY IN HD!!!)

I know Steph will never say she loves it, but there's definitely some "like" there. I can see it. She's so enamored with the TV she doesn't read that much anymore. It's absolutely mesmerizing.... I now know how families felt in the '50s when they first saw TV. It's like a rebirth. I'm born again in the Church of the Higher Definition. May HD be with you... and also with you.

AND..... I'm soooooo excited for football season. Thursday night, Titans/Steelers, HD!!!! Then the big one Saturday night.... Buckeyes/USC!!!

Football + HD + Buffalo Chicken Dip = HEAVEN

Have there ever been so many "!!!!!" in one blog post! SQUEE!!!!!!

Gotta go, "Pawn Stars" marathon on HistoryHD is on!

Bountiful Harvests #s 3 & 4

2 medium tomatoes and 3 cherry tomatoes.




The good news is that there are 3 eggplants coming along. One that is quite big, but I'm not really sure how big it's supposed to get before you pick it. I'll give it some more time.

I'm Sick : (

I either have some demonic allergies or a nasty cold. Either way, I feel as though I'm dying.

I was just starting to feel better from all of the pregnancy malaise, but Mother Nature is not ready for me to rest comfortably. Ohhhh no.

Since Friday I have been coughing, sneezing, congested, coughing until I gag/vomit, feeling like I'm being smothered from said congestion, and therefore can't sleep. It has been a wonderous few days.

I finally broke down a took some Claritin which doesn't seem to be helping that much. Claritin is a Class B medication. Meds in this category have not been thoroughly tested on humans, but in animal testing have not been found to have any negative impact on an unborn fetus. Likewise, Class C meds are a no-no, and Class A meds have been proven safe. So, I was trying to struggle along without taking anything, but ended up taking something, but it didn't help. Yeah. That's kinda where I'm at.

I've also read that (like just about everything else apparently!) seasonal allergies can be positively or negatively affected by pregnancy. Clearly, mine have been negatively impacted as I've never had allergies this bad in my life. Throw in a fever and I'd swear that I have the flu. (Okay, please don't throw in a fever, I wouldn't be able to survive.)

In better news, I'm at 16 weeks today. Bean is the size of an avocado and ears are developed enough to start hearing sounds this week! I suppose this isn't the best week for poor Bean to start hearing things as I'm sure it'll get tired of me hacking and shaking things up in there! Also, we'll have to stop yelling at our dog to be quiet or the baby's first words will be NO, BELLE! STOP BARKING!

No movement yet, but everything I've read promises I should feel something soon!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bountiful Harvest #2

4 cherry tomatoes and 1 jalapeno:





I did eat one of the cherry tomatoes already and it was delish! VERY sweet. If only the garden would hurry up and start producing more!


What happened to my zucchini? I thought that zucchini and yellow squash are ridiculously easy to grow? How many have I had? None. ???

Monday, August 24, 2009

Family Room Updates

First and foremost, check out our new carpet!!!

I know that you don't have a "before" example to compare it to, but trust me this is a HUGE improvement! Our old carpet was stained and smelly! It smelled like dirty, stinky, uncared for animals (from the prior owners). We have steam cleaned and baking soda'ed and tried all sorts of deodorizers, but no matter what we do the smell just kept coming back! Clearly it was stained clear to the carpet pad and there was nothing we could do to fix the problem but invest in new carpet. So we finally did and we are VERY happy with the results! It looks so much fresher and cleaner in our house I can't even tell you!

And to go with our new carpet some fresh new pillows for the couch!



I got these on Overstock.com, $30 for the set, which isn't too bad considering the exorbitant cost of decorative pillows. It's ridiculous! It's nothing to have to pay $30 PER PILLOW at some stores!
So, what do you think of the updates?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our bountiful harvest

Yep, this is it so far. One tomato.




There are a few more still on the vine ripening and several green ones. There is one jalapeno pepper that's nearly finished growing, and a couple of tiny eggplants and cucumbers, but I'm getting worried about what the garden will actually produce since it's nearly the end of August and it's going to start getting chilly here in the next few weeks!

Anyway, my little tomato was VERY good. You sometimes forget how fresh veggies are supposed to taste when you're used to eating produce from the grocery store. This was definitely a fresh vine ripened tomato. I enjoyed it with a nice scoop of cottage cheese. YUM!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

13 Weeks and a Sex Prediction

I'm at 13 Weeks today. This is good.

4 days from now I will officially cross over into the coveted Second trimester. Land of beautiful pregnancy and small baby bumps. Purportedly, the 2nd Tri is the time post- all of the icky 1st Tri vomiting and fatigue and pre- being too large to feel good. I figure the 2nd Tri must be pretty darn good considering people voluntarily go through the 1st Tri again with subsequent pregnancies. I just can't imagine putting myself through this special level of Hell again.

My appointment went well and I haven't gained any weight yet (see: above mentioned vomiting). Blood pressure is good and we got another peak at Bean as they did an ultrasound. This time they were able to do it on my tummy vs. the previous one which was trans-vaginal and just as special and uncomfortable as it sounds. A good thing to note: Baby's head is becoming a lot more proportionate to its body. In early develpment feti (is that the plural of fetus?) tend to look more like an alien or something that should be named Skeletor than a tiny human.

According to this U/S Baby's heart rate was between 158 and 159 beats per minute. A good strong heart rate and one that indicates that this alien being inside my body is a girl.

An Old Wive's Tale says that if baby's heart beat is less than 140 bpm it will be a boy, whereas above 140 bpm indicates a girl. I don't know how 'old' said wive's tale is as I don't think they started doing a lot of fetal heart monitoring until the 80s and of course there are scientific studies that indicate this unit of measure is a bunch of bull cocky, but it's fun to think about anyway,

We should be able to actually find out the sex in approximately 2 months. Apparently right around 14 Weeks or so the fetus will begin to exhibit either male or female genitalia even though sex is determined right at the time of conception. Understandable though since everything is so tiny right now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mark really wants a new TV.

I keep telling him to wait until our current TV (a hand-me-down from his Dad that's perfectly fine albeit large and bulky) dies a peaceful death following a long life. I hate the thought of purchasing a new TV just to do so when we have a perfectly good one right now!


He does not agree with my sensible side so he has prepared a short PowerPoint presentation to persuade me to his way of thinking. I will post the presentation, but you must keep in mind that you missed out on the best part: the argument was made in Mark's best Billy May's (rest in peace, Billy) impression.










In honor of Mark's wish and his persuasive argument I'm hosting a poll, please vote.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I've just spent a lot of time lately erm... indisposed. Mostly on my bathroom floor.

That's right fans and friends, I'm officially knocked up!

Squeeeee!!!!

Please forgive my absence as I have spent my last few weeks puking, nauseous, fighting to keep my eyes open, or sleeping. I'm honestly lucky if I get a shower in. I'm sure you understand. Growing a human is hard work!

So, here's a little timeline to catch everyone up. I'm currently 9 weeks along and due February 23rd.

Week 1 (Week 3): My BBT goes up when it usually takes a dive. I try not to let myself get too much hope and anxiously wait for cycle day 11. That morning, I woke up early to pee on a stick and what did I see, but a second faint line!

DSC01019.JPG

OMGWTFBBQ!!!!!!! Loads of squeeing ensued. I also found out that "they" (the authorities on all things pregnancy) add in the 2 weeks prior to conception (supposedly the amount of time since the start of your last period if you have a textbook 28-day cycle) so I was actually nearly 4 weeks pregnant! Woohoo!

Week 4: Wheeee! Pregnancy is fun! Hubs and I decided that we wanted to wait a bit to announce the news to anyone because we were still in a bit of disbelief. I called and made my first pre-natal appointment and they wanted to see my in Week 6. Hunger kicked in right away as well as sore bewbies.

Week 5: Uggghhh! Pregnancy isn't so fun anymore... Nausea hit me like a tidal wave and I spent the latter half of Week 5 and the first half of Week 6 with my head in the toilet. Seriously, it was as if my body was fighting off some sort of terrible stomach bug that had invaded my body. I spent this time eating saltine crackers and baked potatoes. That's it. Oh, and drinking diet, caffeine free ginger ale. It was about this time that I wondered why so many women voluntarily put themselves in this situation. I mean... women have been having babies for hundreds of years. It's what our bodies are made to do. You'd think that our bodies would have evolved over time to deal with the hormones that come with early pregnancy. Guess not.

Week 6: More vomiting. Met with a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) at my OB/GYN pratice. She said that nausea indicates a healthy baby. Good news for me and baby. They did all the usual check-up stuff, a pelvic exam, and a pap smear (uck), even though I just had one a few months ago. I find 2 in one year to be entriely unnecessary. They took urine and about a quart of blood.

Week 7: More vomiting.

Week 8: More vomiting. Really, there wasn't much else going on during this time.

Week 9: Some days I'm still sick, other days the nausea and vomiting seems to be replaced with ferocious fatigue. Fatigue that is bone deep and makes you feel sick. It's a wondrous change. I'm actually feeling much better today and even ventured to the grocery store for the first time in a month. This is of course after I slept 12 hours Friday night, took a 2 hour nap from 6-8pm on Saturday evening, and slept another 12 hours on Saturday night. Gee do I feel refreshed! I just need to figure out how to capture this rested feeling while working 8.5 hours a day...

Anyhoo, last Monday we went to the doctor for our very first ultrasound! I was able to enjoy a huge sigh of relief because there is definitely a baby in there (at least the doctor says so) and it's growing where it's supposed to and how it's supposed to. Even though I had no symptoms I had nearly convinced myself that something was wrong. It was growing in the wrong spot; there was nothing in there, something. But the doctor says everything looks great and we even going to see Lil' Bean move! It kinda just looked like a little gray blob, or a peanut or something, but we did see his little arms move! It was the cutest thing. And we got to see his little heart beating. It was amazing.

Here's a pic:

DSC01051.JPG

Looks like a baby, right? Sure.

So, that's kind of where we're at. Super excited, still in a bit of disbelief, but we're starting to tell people. And you're people. So... yay!

I promise I'll be around more. I've got a ton of stuff to discuss and hopefully I won't be spending as much time on the bathroom floor.

Pee Ess: I know you're jealous of my super-fab Paint skillz. If you study, Young Grasshopper, you too may master Paint one day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy 1-Year!

As of June 18th I have had this blog going for one year! I can't believe that it's been a year already because the very first post that I made was shortly after our wedding to recap the festivities.

June 7th, last Sunday, was our one year anniversary! I guess we are no longer considered newlyweds. Kind of sad, but also exciting. We spent our first anniversary very quietly, relaxing together in the backyard with the puppy and reminiscing about what we were doing a year ago at that time. Let me tell ya, I really really enjoyed our wedding, the planning process, actual ceremony, the honeymoon, all of it, but I am soooo glad that it's now behind us! Our lives have been much more enjoyable since everything has calmed down!

One thing we did not do was eat our top cake tier. Unfortunately, we lost our cake in the Great Power Outage of September 2008. There was a terrible windstorm that left us without power for nearly a week. Well, needless to say, I'm sure that year old cake would be even worse once it was melted and refrozen, so we just cut our losses and pitched it back in September. Instead, we had a nice grilled dinner on the back deck. I'm sure it tasted better than year old cake would have.

I can't wait to see what is ahead of us for our second year of marriage. I can only hope that it's as great as our first!



In honor of my bloggiversary, I have changed the look of my blog a little bit. I thought it could use a bit of a change since it's a whole year old! What do you think?