Monday, February 28, 2011

A bullet dodged...

I'd like to introduce you to someone very special to me. 

My boyfriend...Brad Richards.

The Dallas Stars dodged a major bullet today by not trading him to the New York Rangers.  I am sure that if Brad had been traded, Craig and I would have had no choice but to sue the Stars franchise.  For what, you might ask?  Because had Brad been traded the stress would have surely sent me into early labor. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Some important milestones...

1.  Last Saturday my mom and I worked all day doing laundry and organizing things in preparation for Natalie's arrival.  At one point, I was face down on the bed lying on a pillow so my mom could rub my back.  She went downstairs to change laundry loads and left me lying on the bed just resting.  When she was gone, I felt a weird "boom, boom, boom" feeling in my belly and I immediately rolled over, thinking that was Natalie's way of telling me that I was crushing her.  Then I switched off pregnancy brain and turned on my rational brain and thought to myself "'s not me crushing her...maybe that was her swooshing around and moving into head-down position."  But I didn't want to get my hopes up, so I tried to dismiss that thought.

2. This week at work has been very difficult - not because of the kids or the weather or my coworkers but because of my body.  I feel like I have been riding a horse for a week.  I remembered what my friend Beri had told me about experiencing her own daughter's movements when she turned and our experiences are similar.  But again...I didn't want to get my hopes up that there might be an end in sight, so I tried to dismiss that thought.

3. Thursday afternoon I had my weekly doctor's appointment (week 37 to be exact) and I told my doctor how I have been feeling and as she was measuring my belly...she confirmed my thoughts - Natalie has turned head down and I'm actually dilated one centimeter. 

4. Pregnancy for the first time is weird for me.  I've always been in control of things and the answer to almost all of my questions could be answered by Google or any of my dear friends.  But pregnancy isn't like that.  You can Google "pre labor signs" and every website will list certain signs and symptoms, but they all end with "every pregnancy is different."  It's all so vague because every woman's experience can differ vastly from one another.  But I just knew something was different.  I told Craig on Tuesday night: "something in my body has changed since Saturday.  Things are different and I don't know why or what it means...but I feel different."  And it turns out that I was right.  Not only was this comforting, knowing that there really is going to be an end and I will get a beautiful baby out of this whole experience, but I was pretty proud of my ability to recognize and trust my own intuition.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Becoming a Family

I know that I'm a mom.  I didn't feel that maternal urge right away like some women do, but it has been steadily growing over the course of the past nine months...just like my belly.  I've seen changes in the way that I approach my students when I teach and how I deal with them when they are acting less than desirably.  I knew that the little alien growing in my belly was going to make Craig, Angie and I officially a "family."  I had visions of Mommy-Natalie dates to the park and the pool with my friends.  I already made my mom promise that every Christmas we three ladies would get dressed up and have a fancy lunch followed by the Nutcracker ballet.  I've already pictured her entire life and our relationship at every stage.

But I forgot one thing...

This baby in my belly is not just mine.  I'm not just creating a daughter for myself, but a precious little girl for Craig as well.  A few nights ago I walked into the hallway outside of the laundry room and stopped.  Before my eyes laid the most precious scene: my broad shouldered, Adidas clad husband was folding the teeny, tiniest of pink pants with such delicateness.  After he finished, he placed them carefully in her overnight bag for the hospital and then started on her muslin swaddling blankets.  As I stood there I realized something - this man was going to become a daddy.  And not just any daddy...but a daddy to the little girl that I already love so much that is patiently growing inside of me.  And she and he are going to have their own special and magical relationship completely seperate of mine with her.  And in this thought and in that moment, I was fully satisfied and content in the knowledge that I had picked such a special man to be such an important part of her life.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

32 days away from the due date...

All I want to do is eat and sleep - preferably in conjunction with one another.

I have told my students that as I get closer and closer to having this baby, my tolerance and patience for them will get smaller and smaller.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day Four...

We are beginning day four of the winter weather here at our house and the good news is...I married the right man.  Craig and I have hardly left the house in since Tuesday and we have not had any arguments!  Hurray!  We've just been kind of hanging out, watching true crime shows and HGTV and loving on Angie.  There are onl  a few things that I've been a little concerned about - I had my 34 week appointment scheduled for Wednesday which obviously will need to be made up and we have our birthing class tomorrow at 10:00 am at our house so I will be calling the teacher to see if she is still willing to trek out to our house for the class.

But in the meantime...

 Stay warm!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Around the House

In preparation for the arrival of Natalie, Craig and I have been doing a ton of stuff around the house and since we're in the midst of day three of being iced in...I have nothing better to do than clean up my house, photograph it and share it with you.  And we still have another three days until we go back to school...sigh.

LIVING ROOM: Nothing has changed too much but I finally feel like the room is complete...for the most part.  There isn't too much that I really feel is absolutely necessary for us to add or change.
 We got a new rug from Target because our other basic chocolate brown rug went upstairs to go on the floor in Natalie's room.  I liked this particular rug because of the big, bold pattern of light green - it breaks up the monotony of the chocolate brown furniture.
 I added a few pictures from our wedding to the bookshelf.  This is mainly going to be used as storage for Natalie's downstairs toys.  I'm thinking of painting the wall behind the bookshelf a muted light green color as an accent wall...but that wouldn't happen until this summer at the earliest.
 Nothing has changed...but I know once the little munchkin is crawling a lot of my pretties will be finding a safe storage spot somewhere in a closet.
 Hi Angie.  Yes.  That's YOUR couch with the blanket on it.

ENTRY FOYER: We have a gorgeous two story foyer complete with open stairs and a view down from the upstairs open loft area.  This wall below is the focal point of the foyer - the first thing you see when you enter.  It's been relatively empty since we've moved in and I have been searching for two years for the perfect piece of furniture to fit in this space.  Craig and I found it at Kirkland's before Christmas and it was my big Christmas present.  It's the perfect shade of green that matches the green of our dining room and the greens found in the living room.  It also has three big drawers that I now use for table linen storage which I desperately needed.  All that's left for the foyer is to paint the space a nice mocha color and find a rug that can go in the middle of the tile entryway!

MY NEXT BIG PROJECT: This room is supposed to be the formal dining room since it is directly connected to the kitchen and the foyer, but we use it as a trophy room, junk dump spot and extra seating/serving area during parties.  I would LOVE to turn this space into a great little library/study room for when Natalie is bigger and has homework to do after school.  
 I would put a computer table where the hutch is and a nice rug on the floor in the middle.  I think that a muted blue would be pretty painted above the chair railing while leaving the bottom beige - mainly because the bottom is incredibly difficult and time consuming to paint!
 In this corner I would put a big comfy chair with footrest...or even better...a chaise lounge chair!  Maybe a little side table with a cozy reading lamp?!  But don't worry, Craig will still get to keep his "trophies" on the wall.

1/2 BATHROOM: We redid this room over the summer, but then I got pregnant and sick, started school and forgot to ever post any "after" pictures of our bathroom remakes.  It was originally a terribly dark and horribly done maroon wallpaper with an equally hideous mirror from circa 1993.  We hired painters to take down the wallpaper, texture the walls and then paint it an icy light blue color.
 We needed something to fill the space behind the toilet so Craig bought and built the shelving unit that also serves as a storage area for extra kleenex and toilet paper.  I thought it was a little on the short side so we bought the lamp and candle from Pottery Barn and I filled the space around the candle with rocks from our backyard.
 This mirror might be my favorite thing about this entire space.  It was a very out-of-the-box buy for me at Home Goods.  It is made up of light gold, cream and baby blue sequins glued onto the wood frame.  Craig was a little hesitant about my purchase when I first brought it home, but I think it adds such a unique charm to the small space. 

MASTER BATHROOM: Our master bathroom has a great layout and lots of fantastic space for the two of us but unfortunately the people who owned the house before us had done an awful job of painting the bathroom an awful glossy maroon.  It was so terribly done that we had to hire professional painters to prime and paint all the nooks and crannies in the bathroom to a nice seafoam blue-teal color.  The cabinets also used to be white and we had them painted chocolate brown.  My vision for this space was reminiscent of a dressing area that you might find at a spa.
 I need to sand and refinish the light brown chair to white but again...that's probably a summertime job.  My dad and Craig found the two mirrors at Home Goods after the original silver mirrors we found to be damaged once we took off the cardboard packaging they were encased in.
 I found the pictures on the wall for thirty bucks at Home Goods!
 For a long time I had all my perfume bottles and other stuff just hanging out on the countertop and it always looked messy.  As a base for the diaper cake she made me, my friend Amy used a plastic silver plate charger...I repurposed it as a space to nicely and neatly place all my bottles and jars that used to clutter up the countertop.

And now for what you REALLY want to see...
NATALIE'S ROOM: Craig and I chose to use the spare bedroom that is furthest away from the front of the house because it is the quietest and it also does not face east or west and therefore stays a little darker than the other bedrooms.  It was originally "my" spare bedroom because it held all the bedroom furniture from my old apartment.  Sometime this fall, Craig woke up on a Sunday morning and decided that we were going to clean out the closet in this room, take out all the furniture and paint the room to the appropriate color.  That was a pretty long day.  Over the MLK weekend in January, my parents and friend Amy came over and we got a lot of other things done in her room and here is what we have done so far...
 Her crib (Babies R Us) that is convertible to a toddler bed and then a full size bed.  The bedding is the Dahlia pattern from N. Selby designs that I found at Lonestar Baby in Frisco.
 We used the turquoise flower print on the comforter as the basis for the paint on the walls. 
 We bought the glider at Babies R Us and the blanket over the back of the chair was handmade by Amy.  The chocolate brown rug we brought up from the living room.  The lime green nightstand was originally black but Amy and I sanded it, primed it and painted it lime green and I replaced the original knob with a round glass knob.  And yes...that is Angie's bed in the right corner of the picture, but to be real honest...she tends to prefer the chair.  Sigh.
 And this is the rest of the room...we still have a LOT of stuff to do.  The dresser was mine from when I was a little girl - we just changed out the brass knobs for silver ones.  The brown shelving unit is going to be used for books and other things like that.  I didn't want to put too much furniture in the room because I want her to have room in the middle of the floor to get out her toys and play.
Her closet so far...she has PLENTY of clothes as of right now.  Craig and I built the storage unit and that is where all her toys are going to be organized.

I know that someday Craig would like to own a larger home with a bigger backyard but I don't know if I'll ever want to move.  We have worked so hard over the last few years to really turn this place from a house to a home and I am really enjoying personalizing everything.

Two Kinds of Cowboys

In December, Craig and I had a took a quick two night vacation to Nashville to stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and to see Garth Brooks in concert.  Garth is such an amazing performer and we had a lovely time just the two of us hanging out and relaxing.

For Craig's birthday, I scheduled us a guided tour of Cowboys Stadium and it was so much fun.  Craig loved being able to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff and I liked learning all the interesting tidbits about the amount of work and planning that went into building the gargantuan structure.  What made it even better for me was that the staff was preparing for the next week's Cotton Bowl featuring my Texas A&M Aggies!

 Craig sitting in the "business suite" that belongs to Jerry Jones.
 Gig 'em Aggies!!!

 Because of the weather, the Cowboys weren't able to practice out at Valley Ranch so they had to move indoors at the stadium.  We weren't able to tour their locker room or get out onto the actual football field, but that was okay...we got to see the team practice! 
 Former Aggie, quarterback Stephen McGee getting ready to put the play in motion.
Now that I've finally figured out how to use and upload our new camera (that we got in August) hopefully I'll be putting a lot more pictures on the blog...especially once Natalie is born - I'll actually probably bore you to death with pictures of her being the most awesome baby in the entire world.

Resolutions...Part Deux

Seeing as how it is now a month and three days into the new year, I figured I'd let you know how I was doing on those resolutions that I made awhile back.  Plus...seeing as how this is my third consecutive snow day in a row - I'm really bored.

1. Make grocery lists.  For most of January I was doing really fantastically at this resolution and then Craig had knee surgery and I came down with a sinus infection and it all went downhill after that.  It's been a few weeks since I've planned and orchestrated good and wholesome meals for the two of us...I'm hoping that for our Valentine's/Anniversary celebration I will be getting a basic all-American cookbook and that will help widen my cooking possibilities.

2. Acknowledge and accept my limitations.  I hate feeling lazy by sitting around and doing nothing while everyone else is working around me.  BUT as much as I hate feeling lazy, I hate puffy and swollen ankles even more so I am doing a whole lot more sitting and resting.  I have a feeling this is going to be a lot harder of a resolution to keep once Natalie has arrived and I'm not able to be up and moving around as much as I would like.

3. Read more books and watch less television.  Ugh.  I'm doing AWFUL at this resolution.  Terrible, terrible, terrible.  But those Real Housewives just draw me into their drama and I just have to stick it out with them throughout the entire season!  I also haven't been to the book store lately to get any new books so I haven't had a lot to read lately.  It is kind of hard to pick out literature right now because I have to stay away from story lines that make me cry.  But books and magazines are on my list of items to purchase in this last month before Natalie is born so that I have something to do during the time in the hospital and at 3:00 am when she is feeding during those first few weeks.

4. Walk Angie at least 3 times a week.  Craig has actually done much better at this resolution than I have - as part of his personal rehab from his knee surgery, he has taken it upon himself to take her on quick walks around the block to get his knee moving and stronger.  It's been a bit cold for me lately AND I've been absolutely exhausted when I get home due to my frequent nighttime trips to the restroom as well as waking up due to sweating and nightmares.

We'll see how I'm doing in another month!