Thursday, April 26, 2012

Organic Foods Update: B-

All that I came up with from Publix

People have been asking for an update on our resolution to eat organic, so here it goes...

I'd give us a B-. We're a few months in, and we've fallen into a pretty comfortable routine, which I consider a win. As a reminder, we're what I call "99% organic" in-house: There are certain foods that we can't live without that simply aren't organic; we don't worry about buying organic when we have people over; and we don't worry about it when we eat out. Basically, we aim to make the effort without being obsessive, limited and/or annoying.

The B- is mostly because we hit a low point in March really because of eating out (such a slippery slope--it becomes a major habit quickly for us), and in April Ryan's been traveling so much that his meals have almost exclusively been someone else's decision. Since I've been pretty much stuck at home alone with a no-unnecessary-travel-baby-belly, I've been able to indulge a little with our organic foods budget, which has been nice. I've been shopping almost exclusively at Whole Foods and definitely have a routine filled with favorite foods so that shopping trips have become pretty quick. When Ryan's home (and our budget has to feed two instead of one) I do have to make some decisions based on what groceries we need that week versus our organic goal. Occasionally I've run into a cycle where we happen to run out of a few expensive things in one week (like protein powder, prenatal vitamins, cheese or trail mix ingredients) and thus have had to maybe get a few all natural things instead of organic things, but I remind myself that it's just one week and it won't kill us.

And a side note: You'll notice that I'm doing all of the shopping because the one time I did send Ryan alone, he came home with two steaks, fresh shrimp, expensive cheese and prosciutto. A loverly dinner, but not exactly something to last us for a week! What can I say? He's an impulse buyer.

When Ryan specifically requested salads for dinner last night (for which I had NO ingredients on hand) and I was near a Publix, I decided to give it a try. I used to shop only at Publix and had bought their Greenwise brand previously, which made me hopeful for a successful shopping trip. To save a long story--it wasn't. It's not truly fair to compare Publix to Whole Foods since their customers and food philosophies are different, but I was really surprised at how limited their organic options were. For example, I wanted to get organic sour cream (Mexican salads), and they simply didn't offer any, which took me a lot of time and searching to figure out. Of the foods I could find, they were a lot more expensive than Whole Foods--to the extent that I opted to just get what Whole Foods would call "Stage 1" ground turkey (not really organic). I ended up only buying a few necessities and will be heading to Whole Foods tomorrow to finish up.

The ultimate moral of this story? When Ryan got home, I was eager to share my experience with him, but as he walked in the door he said, "Hey, let's go out to dinner tonight." Ha. Go figure. And that's what we did. Maybe I should give myself an "A+" for the extra effort... :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

31 Weeks

Loving this weather...I heart Spring!
I know people are freaked out that we're having a bit of a windy and chilly week, but for now I'm just soaking in this little cold-ish spell and appreciating the weather before it turns hot-hot-hot!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yay, Blood!

One more thing to remember to bring to the hospital...

At my last doctor's appointment, I picked up our cord blood collection kit, which may seem like a strange thing to be excited about, but I'm thrilled!

We've decided to collect and store this baby's cord blood and cord tissue, which I highly advocate. I mean, it's a personal decision and definitely not a necessity, but as we've gotten farther into researching it, we've become very convinced that it's the route for us. For anyone who hasn't ever really heard or thought about it, let me just give you my opinion--which you can take or leave.

Basically, when your baby is born, there are stem cells (which are uber-pure) in its umbilical cord. If you've ever heard that you shouldn't cut the umbilical cord right away, it's based on the concept that those last stem cells will be pumped into the baby instead of  being wasted. For about the last 20 years or so, though, parents have had the option to actually collect those stem cells and store them for later use. Once you get pregnant, there are posters and brochures and materials EVERYWHERE about it (because I'm sure it's a very lucrative business), and every parent has to decide yay or nay. Ryan and I decided yay for a few reasons:

1. In case our baby gets sick. What parent doesn't worry about their kid getting sick? If she ever has cancer, a blood disorder, a metabolic disorder or an immune disease, she could potentially use the these stem cells to get better. If we didn't opt to save them, we might have to worry about finding someone who's a match for her in case she needs them down the road. I prefer peace of mind from the beginning--especially since the word "cancer" is involved...

2. In case their sibling gets sick. If we have more kids, they (or even Ryan and I) could potentially use them. (If we had a sick child without banked cord blood, an option would be to try and have an additional kid in hopes that they're born a "match"--what a nerve-wracking and pressure-filled situation!)

3. It's a one-time shot. This is a non-controversial way to gather stem cells, and it's the ONLY time you can take advantage of it. I would hate to need these stem cells down the road and regret not doing it.

4. It lasts a lifetime. They use cryogenic freezing, which means they could be 70 and still use the stem cells. Can you imagine? Ryan and I will be long-gone, and we could still help save our kid's life!

We've also decided to bank the baby's actual cord tissue, which is relatively new. From the cord tissue, they extract mesenchymal cells, which have different properties that are being explored. Basically, the use of mesenchymal cells is still in clinical trials, but these types of cells can potentially be used to help with:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Serious wounds
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cartilage injury
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • HIV
Unfortunately, if our kid has any of these problems right now, it would be experimental for them to be treated with these mesenchymal cells, but since the company we chose to go with is leading the field, we'd have a better chance of even getting into a clinical trial. Plus, although stem cells are really best used with people who are genetically close to the donor, mesenchymal cells aren't as restrictive and could be used for a range of people--maybe even strangers. I know that storing her cord tissue is DEFINITELY a *bonus,* but I can't help but think of the people who opted to store cord blood 20 years ago: I'm sure the full extent of its use wasn't known then (or really even now), but it lasts forever, so down the road they may be able to use them for purposes not yet discovered. What if in 20 years they figured out how to cure cancer with these cells??? Wouldn't I regret not having them? So we're placing a bet on science and will be storing her cord tissue too.
Honestly, after all of the research I've done (which is way more fascinating than anything I've written here, but way too long for a blog), I think that there are really only two reasons why someone wouldn't do it: 1. Lack of knowledge, and 2. The expense. I can't really help anyone with lack of knowledge beyond encouraging them to READ and ASK QUESTIONS. As for the expense, whoa, yes, it's expensive--especially when you're in the midst of paying for a new baby. Ryan and I sat down and talked about it, though, and have come to the conclusion that we'd rather sacrifice financially now than regret our decision--perhaps to the detriment of our kid's health--in the future. Plus, the older I get the more I realize that money comes in, money goes out, and our job is really just to point it in the right direction.

One final thought: I hope we NEVER have to use these cells. It's funny, because in most investments you would assume the opposite--why pay for something that you hope to never take advantage of? A lot of people cite the low percentage of people who actually use their stored cord blood as a reason NOT to store it, but I can't help but think that all of those people who don't use their cord blood are pretty happy with their outcome. I would be...

66 Degrees + a Boppy

Could YOU ask this guy to move?

Not being able to sleep while pregnant is one of those cliches that I have accepted as a part of life. Truthfully, at this point, seven months in, I've all but forgotten what it's like not to be pregnant, and a large part of that revolves around my sleep, or rather, my inability to sleep.

Since becoming pregnant, I haven't slept more than four hours in a row (with the exception of one time following a literal all-nighter). In fact, I average about two hours at a time. At about the two-hour mark, I either have to use the restroom, am dying of thirst, or have to rearrange myself due to discomfort. It's become part of my life, and as someone who deeply believes that eight-straight-hours-a-night is a necessity, it's been a strange transition in accepting my new schedule. Through trial and error, I've discovered two key factors in getting the maximum amount of sleep these days: 1. It has to be 66 degrees in our house at night (which I know sounds super cold, but I'M HOT), and 2. Pillows are key to comfort. In fact, toward the end of my first trimester, Ryan was so sweet to suggest "one of those pregnancy pillows" he had read about on the internet, and it's been some of us in the family.

The Boppy is great, don't get me wrong. It's more comfortable than squishing pillows around and easier to maneuver as well. I wouldn't say that it's been a magic solution, but I'm thankful for its help. (Even now I'm piling up extra pillows to create a sort of nest at night, which helps me to feel like I can actually breathe, since feeling like I'm suffocating when I lay down is an unexpected and terrifying symptom that's recently begun happening.) Looking for more of a rave review? Ask my dogs.

If you've ever hung around our dogs long enough for them to calm down (ahem) and relax, you know that comfort and sleep are their main priorities in life. The first morning after I used the Boppy, I came out of the shower to find Oscar and Olive both cozied up in it, snoozing. Hmmm. Not a big deal in and of itself, but as time has passed, we've had to come to a custody-type agreement on who gets the Boppy when.

The second night with the Boppy, I came out of the bathroom from brushing my teeth to find them, once again, comfortable and arranged for a long night's sleep. How do you explain to a dog that something that looks like a dog bed and is clearly more comfortable than a dog bed isn't a dog bed? And, to be fair, as much as my sleep has been sporadic, so has theirs as they often get up with me each night. It's grown to be a little bit of a problem, especially when I return to bed in the pitch-black-middle-of-the-night and find them (pretending to be) asleep in my Boppy. We tried several solutions: Could they fit in the Boppy with me? (Nope.) Would they be just as comfortable with some extra regular pillows laid out like a Boppy? (They're not dumb enough to fall for that.) Maybe we should buy them a Boppy for the floor? (We're not that crazy.) So we've settled on the days-for-dogs, nights-for-Talie settlement. It's been fairly successful thus far, save for a few gray areas that have occurred as a result of some much cherished daytime naps.

I think we've resolved that once the baby is here I'll relinquish the Boppy to belong to the dogs full-time (since it's getting worn in anyway). After all, it makes them happy, and I figure that it will be a nice, familiar place for them to escape a crying baby--a small sacrifice to make to bring our "first kids" a bit of comfort once we have our "real kid."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NOT Strep Throat

Penicillin, ugh.

I'm not a "medicine" person. That is to say that I don't really take medicine unless it's definitely necessary: I rarely take anything for headaches; I've never used a Z-pack (even after four years of UGA's Health Center!); I can't remember the last time I used a decongestant or NyQuil...needless to say my prescriptions often go unfilled.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't oppose medicine--I'm not crazy.  I just like to let my body take care of itself as much as possible.  I believe that it's capable of a lot more than we give it credit for, and therefore shouldn't be coddled too much with medicines at every bump in the road.

Since being pregnant, I think that my aversion to medicine has heightened (naturally) and, yes, has been justified a bit. I do have to say that it's been a bit of a struggle when dealing with my doctor's office since they're naturally inclined to "dose up and be done with it."  It started at our pregnancy confirmation visit, where we had a pushy nurse who asked if I had gotten a flu vaccine yet. When I responded "no," she automatically assumed that I would be getting one that day. I told her I wasn't interested: I work at home, I've never opted to have one, and I've known a few people who've had very adverse effects from the flu shot.  She scoffed at me (almost quite literally) and then tried the "the CDC recommends every pregnant woman get a flu shot" angle. It didn't work. Then she tried the "getting the flu will be much worse than getting the shot" argument. I put my foot down. THEN she had the audacity to turn to Ryan and tell him that he should get one. Really? It made me wonder if she was getting commission for administering flu shots!

Now, I've had quite a few vaccines in my lifetime. Between traveling to Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe, my arm has been privy to its share of needles. And that's fine. But a flu shot just wasn't one that I wanted to add to my list. I did get the whooping cough vaccine, simply because of the unusual way it's popping up again lately in Georgia babies.  That I saw the merit in.

Since being pregnant, I've only used headache medicine once, and otherwise have pretty much avoided OTC stuff with ease. Then, at my 28 week appointment, my doctor tested me for Group B Strep--and I came back positive. Crap.

GBS is not a big deal in and of itself--and, no, it's not even remotely related to strep throat, which, by the way, I have (ironically) NEVER had. It's a bacteria that occurs naturally in about 25% of women and just hangs out, doing its thing quietly, not bothering anyone...until you have a baby. If you have GBS at delivery, there are some very bad things that can happen to the infant. The most concerning problem? Meningitis. Yikes. If a woman tests positive for GBS at delivery, there's a 1 in 200 chance that the baby will be infected with GBS if she doesn't take antibiotics.  Those chances go to 1 in 4,000 if she takes antibiotics.

So I found out early in the game that I'm a "carrier." Dang. I thought we were out of the weeds--no neonatal allo-immune thrombocytopenia; no gestational diabetes (whew! I was worried about that one); no unusual ultrasounds.  I have to admit that I felt a pang of disappointment. Essentially, I have to take penicillin four times a day (ugh) for a week to stave it off initially, then I'll have an IV with antibiotics (even if I test negative at a later date) in the hospital when I give birth.

When I picked up my prescription from Publix (free--that was a treat!), I felt a little worried. Truthfully, I didn't want to take anything during pregnancy, even something as common as penicillin.  And four pills a day for a week?!? That just seems like A LOT. I did look into more natural options, but ultimately I trust Western medicine for something that could potentially cause brain damage or death. This time I DIDN'T argue with the nurse. :)

I've felt a bit begrudging since starting the regimen, though. I take a pill, then I get worried. Take a pill, worry. Take a pill, worry, and again until the day's dosage is done. Then I relax, and start again the next day. Plus, I swear it's making me nauseous and giving me stomach cramps. Needless to say, it's going to be a long week.

The upside? At least I found out now instead of during labor. Granted, at that moment in time I'll probably be so miserable I'll let them give me any antibiotic they want without question, but at least I'll know what to expect. I had been having a secret dream of an IV-free delivery (a la Abbey Busch), but now I can let go of that fantasy and prepare for a line in my hand (ouch/I hate them). I just continue to pray that the penicillin is doing good and not bad for this baby girl, and as long as she keeps kicking to tell me she's alright, I'll survive...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

30 Weeks

Uh-oh. Looks like I'm hitting the point of needing bigger shirts...:)

I'm so pumped to be entering the 30-somethings of pregnancy! Two-and-a-half-or-so months to it possible to feel both ready and completely unprepared at the same time?

Monday, April 16, 2012

LTF & The Great Baby-ssage

A little biology lesson...

My. Back. Hurts. Badly.

For those of you following along, you may remember that a few months ago my back was hurting so badly that I bellyflopped into my bed. As an update to that blog, let me just say that 1. The baby is fine despite my lack of common sense, and 2. The pain has only gotten worse.

Since Day One (literally), I've had pain in my tailbone. It was confusing at first (since I didn't realize that can be a symptom of pregnancy), and now it's become almost debilitating. I've been pretty active at the gym, mostly focusing on walking A TON and weightlifting some. (Ryan's been such a great encouragement, love that guy!)  However, the further along I get, the worse the pain is, and nothing is helping.  (Really all I want to do is bend over to touch my toes, but it's like a basketball is keeping me from bending over far enough to get a good stretch.) In fact, the pain is so bad that today I decided to sweep the house, and ended up sitting on the couch arm and sweeping everything in my reach before moving to another spot!

A side note, since I love knowledge so much, even despite my lack of proclivity toward science: When you're pregnant, there are only really three ligaments that attach your uterus (sorry, awkward image) to your body: one on each side in the front and one that attaches to the tailbone. So right now I have a 16-inch person inside of my clinging to my lower back for dear life. Sounds uncomfortable, huh? It is.

It's gotten so bad that I finally gave in and booked a prenatal massage on Saturday. I've been interested in going for a while, but just haven't gotten around to it thus far. I decided to try out my gym's massage therapy (more on Life Time Fitness in a bit) because it's pretty well-priced compared to a real spa, and I viewed this appointment as more functional than fun. I never go to the spa side of LTF (where you can get manicures and haircuts and massages), so I didn't realize how nice it is! There's a little door that I always assumed was a door to an individual massage room (like at a nail place), but it opened up into a whole relaxing lobby! Truthfully, the atmosphere was as nice as Spa Sydell.

I had the best time. Because my expectations were so low, I honestly thought I'd be getting a mall-ssage style treatment (in a chair), but I had a spa-style dark room with soothing music and Aveda essential oils.  I didn't realize that a prenatal massage would simply be done on your side instead of your stomach, which makes sense now. My masseur was very understanding of my wimpy-ness when it comes to massages (Deep tissue? No thank you!), and I came out of it with no back pain for the first time in seven months. For an hour massage, $63 was worth every penny and then some.

(Of course, I worked out on Sunday, and now the pain is back. Dangit. Can I get a massage every day?)

Let me take a moment to talk about Life Time Fitness now. Ryan and I used to belong to L.A. Fitness, and we paid $70 a month. It was fine. I was happy, but Ryan had always heard such great things about LTF that about two years ago I gave in and we took a tour. It's really not a gym; it's a pseudo-country club, and has a freakin' price tag to match. But, as soon as we stepped in, I knew Ryan was a goner. He loved it--a nice cafe with healthy food, an outdoor pool with a slide and food service, an indoor pool with glass saunas overlooking it, TONS of machines so you never have to name it, they have it. It took A LOT of convincing and cajoling for me to agree to the $115 a month fee (I'd have been happy at a cheap little gym as long as it had an elliptical and a treadmill), and I have to admit that although I can't imagine going anywhere else (spoiled), I always secretly rolled my eyes every time I paid that monthly fee...until I got pregnant. You see, LTF is really popular here in Alpharetta mostly because of its amazing kids' programming, so I stopped by the Childcare Center to feel it out--and BINGO, Life Time immediately became the best investment a mom could ask for.

For a kid to join, it's an additional $6 a month. Yup, just $6. And babies can "join" at three months old. The kicker? That $6 a month pays for 10 hours of childcare A WEEK--that's a maximum of two hours a day, a maximum of four days a week Monday-Saturday, and an additional two hours on Sunday. So even when you consider that we're paying $121 total, we can drop this kid off for as much as 40 hours a month! That's like $3 an hour for babysitting.  And the best part is, I can workout, eat lunch at the cafe with a friend, go to the pool, get a massage, relax in the lobby with a book (i.e. NAP), work on my computer, sit in the sauna...and have a built-in babysitter! Since Ryan travels so much, I know I'll be utilizing the Childcare Center a ton, if only to have a few hours to escape a week. (Maybe now I know why stay-at-home moms are so means being kid-free for a few hours!)

So moral of the story? If you can, getting a prenatal "baby-ssage" and joining a gym with great childcare are worthwhile investments for moms--and if you can get both in one place? Even better.

Friday, April 13, 2012

29 Weeks

...and feeling good!
Just starting to work on the "delivery" details (lots of research, forms, phone calls and conversations to make some key decisions) while Ryan's traveling a lot. Since I'll be relying on Ryan once this baby girl's here to do things like notify our friends, get her registered with our health care and get our cord blood sent out, I'm trying to organize all of that information early on--just in case she's early...and something in me feels like she will be, at least by a little bit. (Am I allowed to verbalize that?)

Monday, April 9, 2012

28 Weeks

To the gym!
So at 28 weeks, the weather's starting to get to me, and I'm experiencing the awful swelling that everyone complains about during summer pregnancies...air conditioning and oscillating fans, ON! :)

Birth in the '70s

Actually, this aid might be from the '70s as well...maybe it came along with "The Miracle of Life" kit? :)

We took a birthing class on Saturday, which, to say the least, was quite "interesting."

Actually, to back up a bit, about a week ago, a friend of ours gave us and another couple an informal, mini "class" on birthing, which I found to be super helpful. A former nurse, a mother of two (via natural birth) and an acting "doula" for her sister, Andrea Adkins knows a thing or two about having babies.  She was the first person we ever knew to have a natural birth (and since then we've known more people to go the natural route than to have medication--isn't that a total anomaly?), and so we've always viewed her as an expert in the birthing field. She sat down with us and went over some basics (and mostly answered our burning questions), and I can say that I left feeling a lot more educated than I came.  I mean, I've done a lot of reading and video-watching, but there were just some, um, let's just say "logistics" and scientific questions I couldn't seem to have answered without a knowledgable person to talk to.

Now fast forward to Saturday. Since we're only about 29 weeks, we took the birthing class a bit earlier than most people (who all seemed to be in the mid-30s), but since Ryan's traveling a lot before the baby comes, and since I REALLY wanted him there, we opted to go early rather than never. I hate to say this, but my biggest surprise was how unprepared and uninformed the other couples, who are mere weeks away from the big event, really were. From a lot of their questions, I found myself wondering if they had even read a single thing about giving birth or if they were all in birthing denial. I mean, I'm no expert by far, but I started to get frustrated that so much of our time was being taken up by questions like, "You can't walk with an epidural?" (seriously?) and "How can a husband help in breastfeeding?" (did you not see "Meet the Parents?"--sorry, you can't be milked, mister).

Especially after having Andrea talk us through so much in detail, I also started to want to comment back on the midwife's answers. For example, she gave a little spiel about banking cord blood, and I'm pretty sure she got a lot of the information wrong (not just from our conversation with Andrea, but even from the information the companies have published online and in literature), and I know that most of the couples at the class won't even consider it since she made it seem confusing and unnecessarily expensive. I, of course, held my tongue, which took all of my strength due to my Type-A-personality-so-I-must-correct-people urges.

Then there were the videos. Oh, goodness the videos. Really, not that it would make the birthing experience any easier to stomach, but why in the world has no one updated "The Miracle of Life" since the 1970s??? I mean, even getting beyond the ridiculously outdated look of the people and cinematography, let's just talk about how irrelevant some of the content is: 1. None of the women had epidurals (which is a huge part of the current-day experience), 2. The one woman who did had a c-section and all she talked about was how nice the epidural was compared to being knocked out (a totally '60s notion a la Betty Draper), 3. A lot of the mothers' commentary was about how wonderful it was to have their husbands at their side (a then-new-notion, but totally no-duh by today's standards)...let's just say that the best thing I gleaned from that video was the shocking and disgusting nature of the whole process. Really, so far from what I've seen, this whole thing seems less like a "beautiful miracle" and more like a "horrifying train wreck."

And, as a side note, Ryan and I were joking that most of those babies born are now in their 40s. If you're at your own birthing class and YOU are the baby featured in "The Miracle of Life," it's time to update! Could you imagine???

It was a really long day (about six hours or so), and I have to tattle on him--Ryan fell asleep! I felt a little bad since he's been traveling like crazy and had just gotten back on Friday night, but after letting him catch a few moments of rest, I had to nudge him awake before he started snoring or something. To be fair, it was during a how-to-sooth-your-baby video, so the lights were off and the video was very calming, but it was really important information, so I couldn't let him sleep too long. In fact, in hindsight, I think I'd rather have taken one of the classes that focuses only on newborn care (maybe I still will), since I learned a lot more from that portion of the class than from the birthing part.

The final shocking moment from the class: The Northside Hospital promo video (which is where our practice delivers and, for you out-of-staters, is one of the best birthing hospitals in the country) was so out of date as well! I was really shocked; I know that our standards for video here at the Shove household are way higher than the average person's, but man! Their video must be from the '90s, and they mention several times about their exquisite decor (while featuring rooms in mauve and teal with art framed in brass on the walls) and modern features, and I was just thinking, "Thank goodness I'm not unfamiliar with this hospital/that this video isn't really a factor in my decision to go there!" I turned to Ryan as soon as it was over and said, "Well there's a new piece of business to go after..."

So, now that I've ragged on what I didn't enjoy about the class, let me just say that it wasn't a total waste of time. I was able to ask a few logistical questions about birthing at Northside specifically, as well as learning more about the strengths and philosophies of the other doctors in my practice that I haven't met with yet. I also found a renewed vigor for pregnancy wellness (we've been in a lot of eating out situations lately, my body's been aching a lot so I've been walking a little less, I've allowed myself a few sodas lately, I haven't been drinking a ton of water like before, the middle here it's just dragging a bit, so I've been less diligent over the past few weeks). And, of course, there's the benefit of starting to get Ryan to wrap his head around the situation since he's going to play a big role in this process.

Overall, maybe I'd rather have my hundred dollars back (to pay Andrea for some more one-on-one time), but I'm glad it's over and done with. Now onto the actual birth itself--God help me! :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Gender Reveal Pictures!
So it's been about a month since our big Gender Reveal, and I have some pictures to share...enjoy!

CLICK HERE: Gender Reveal (March 3, 2012)

PS: A HUGE thank you to Alli and Kevin for helping us with our party logistics! :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nursery Update: Inspiration

No, we're not doing a bird theme, but I LOVE these colors!

I had a moment of panic last week. For the longest time, I've always imagined having a little girl's nursery done in yellows and neutrals (brown). While Ryan's been traveling, I've been working on pulling all of my nursery thoughts together (moving out our guest room furniture, painting the walls, hanging the curtains and accessories, etc.), and I walked into the almost-done room the other day and thought, "Well this is drab."

And then I panicked.  First of all, since the walls had to be beige, I lost a lot of potential color and "airiness" that an actual color would've brought to the room, and thus my yellow accessories and bedding didn't really do "enough" to brighten up the room.  Fail.  Then, I thought to myself, "What if my yellow phase is ending (which, yes, has happened with various colors I've used in our home before) and I'm stuck with only yellow and brown?"  Potential fail.  And then the final straw--the rug.

I thought that maybe finding an amazing yellow rug would solve at least my first problem, so I started searching. Not surprisingly, they're really hard to come by, especially not a "gold" rug.  I did find a couple that I thought would be great, but the issue of my ottoman arose. My bedding fabric is a watercolor paisley pattern, with lots of yellow tones in it. I was so excited to find a mustard-yellow tufted ottoman that perfectly matched the darkest yellow in the fabric, BUT (remembering that I need "airiness" to the room) all of the potential rugs I found were lighter yellow and wouldn't look great right next to the mustard ottoman.

As I grew a bit more frustrated at the rock-and-hard-place I had gotten myself into, I began to open up to the idea of adding more color...and ran across this bird nest at Casa Bella in Marietta.  Voila inspiration!  Our house already has a lot of chartreuse and tiffany blue (my two favorite colors) in it, so I bought the bird nest, grabbed a couple of extraneous accessories for a "test run," and I love it.

So, our direction has changed a bit, or rather grown.  I'm still working on gathering a rug, new curtains and colorful throw pillows to make the space brighter, so I won't be done quite as fast as I thought, but I think in the long run I'll be happier.  The jury is still out for Ryan, who hasn't abandoned the idea of only yellow, but I think that once I get all of my fabric elements in place, he'll see the light. :)

27 Weeks

27 weeks down, 13ish to go!

So this post is actually for last week...just a little late!

The biggest update I have (besides the fact that I feel like I'm growing a GIANT baby; Ryan was a HUGE baby, and from the looks of my belly, this girl is taking after him!) is that my stomach has started to visibly take on odd shapes.  Weird...

Since first being able to feel her kick, I've also been able to see her kick, but my belly's always been basically round.  This week it's looking lopsided, and I can see her hands and feet really poke out when she moves.  Last night (or should I say "this morning," since I couldn't really sleep), she also did a BIG move that felt like my insides were trying to rearrange themselves.  I can't really say that it was a pleasant feeling, but perhaps she was just getting me back for keeping her up so late. :)

OH! And this morning Ryan FINALLY caught one of her kicks! We've been joking that she's already got him wrapped around her little finger because every time he goes to feel her move, she stops.  And then he waits, and eventually gives up, and then she kicks.  Every time--until this morning! Yay!