Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday, Jack!

To the boy who made me a mother, who brightens my days, and gives me a million reasons to smile and laugh. You are loved far more than you can possibly imagine, and I hope your second birthday is one of the happiest days of your sweet life so far. The day you were born was definitely one of mine.

You are a cherished blessing, my precious little man!


At 2, Jack is singing his ABCs, counting to twenty, loves "The Wheels on the Bus" and in particular requests the babies, wipers, and mommies verses. He loves church, bubbles, and Chick Fil a and the occasional tater tot from Sonic. He's getting a tricycle from us to celebrate today!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mama Monday: What to Pack When You're Expecting

Although a hospital stay is no trip to Hawaii, it is, in a sense, a honeymoon. You and your husband fall all kinds of in love with your sweet baby love and someone else cleans the room, makes the bed, and brings you room service. Maybe not quite 5 stars. Here's what I'm packing for my trip to the maternity ward:

Mama's Bag
  • A nice comfy and soft robe. If you happen to want to walk about while in labor, you have something to cover your backside. Me? I had an epidural within an hour of arriving in L&D. No pacing the halls there. But, our sweet Jack spent the nights in the nursery, and it gave me something to throw on when I woke up at 1 am to sneak down to peek at his sweet face.
  • Nightgowns or "day dresses". I found that the idea of even comfy pajama or yoga pants just didn't do it for me those first couple of days. I picked up a couple of cute empire-waisted nightgowns and paired them with cardigans since we had visitors in and out. I'm a dress girl, anyway. If you're nursing, you'll want to make sure you bring something with easy access.
  • Some slippers and furry socks. Listen, I swelled up like an albino watermelon after I had Jack, and it was even a stretch that second day for me to get my Ugg slippers on. I spent most of my days in those furry grippy socks that you can find in the hosiery/sock department at Dillard's.
  • My favorite toiletries. I splurged on my favorite shampoo and conditioner, favorite body wash, and a new lipstick. Whatever I thought might make me feel pampered, I bought it and packed it. I did my hair and makeup every day in the hospital because it made me feel like myself. Did I look amazing? No. (See albino watermelon mention.) But it made me feel a little more like myself.
  • The nitty gritty. I'm not going to go into the un-pretty items in my bag for postpartum care, but feel free to e-mail if you're curious. There are some great suggestions in the comments of this post.
  • An outfit for coming home. Remembering to balance total comfort with the fact that this will be photographed and in my family memory album forever. No pressure.
  • Chocolate malted milk balls. This is absolutely not needed and a personal preference.
  • An extra bag. You'll need an extra bag to tote home all the diapers, wipes, and samples of all sorts of things that baby product makers send to the hospital to convince you to buy their stuff. Stock up on those newborn diapers!
  • Electronics. We'll have at least one laptop and our phones, plus camera, and then the chargers for all of them.
Untitled #12
Annabelle's Bag
  • Headgear. The baby will be learning to regulate her own temp over the next few days, so it's good to keep a hat on her head. The hospital provides one (usually pink and blue stripes), but I've packed my own too. And let's not deceive ourselves--I've got some bows up in that bag too. Can't stop won't stop.
  • 2-3 soft baby outfits. I'm a huge fan of babies in gowns because I cannot deal with snaps in the middle of the night. Again, the hospital will provide the baby with something to wear (like those plain white diaper shirts) so this is up to mom's discretion. I packed some for Jack and only used one on the second day.
  • Baby fingernail scissors. The hospital will not take responsibility for cutting tiny fingernails. If my girl comes out in need of her first mani, I'll be prepared. I prefer the little scissors over clippers because you can be more accurate with them.
  • Our paci of choice. We gave Jack the big green button the hospital provided (upon request), but I switched him out within days of getting home. This time, I've already boiled the pacis I'm hoping Annabelle will take and will have them on hand if she needs one in the hospital.
  • A boppy. Whether you bottle feed or nurse, this is really a lifesaver on the arm muscles.
  • The baby book. I had Jack's with us but forgot to have visitors sign in or have the nurse put his footprints in it. This time, I have fully briefed the husband on the expectations for this book to make it a team responsibility. If you come visit me, remind me to have you sign it!
  • Coming home outfit/blanket. You can take this as far as you want. We are big on the coming home outfit. It's her first fashion debut, so you can imagine that sister has a sweet dress and beautiful accessories.
  • Infant carrier. This is an obvious item, of course. We'll leave ours in the car, and she'll ride down in my arms to save some space in our room.
Miscellaneous Commentary: Our hospital (and most, I would imagine) provided diapers, wipes, formula if used, nasal aspirator (the nose suction thing), baby soap, and pretty much anything needed for the baby while there. I'm saving the inaugural use of my cute new diaper bag for baby's first visit to the pedi. There's no need for one more bag up in that room.

Notice that I am not packing snacks for my husband, although many people will include that in their lists. I have full confidence in Mr. G's intelligence and stomach that if he gets hungry while I'm hyped up on ice chips and laboring to deliver our baby he will excuse himself and go find something to eat outside of my presence without me even knowing. I do, however, plan on sharing my malted milk balls after she is born. Experienced mamas, what else would you add to the list?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

38 Weeks

Taken by Hailey Erickson Photography back at the beginning of December.

I am pleased to announce that we have made it to 38 weeks! I had a bit of a discouraging check-up this week, but I came home, made myself some mac and cheese, opened some packages that had been delivered that day, and delivered myself a dose of perspective. I'm about to have a baby!

We're both very healthy. My ankles are swelling, without fail, daily, but my blood pressure looks good. With Jack, the second day the swelling didn't subside overnight, I went into labor with him. So rest assured, that is the first thing I check every day.

(I have no idea if there really is any correlation there or not, but I'm 38 weeks pregnant and will grasp at anything that might indicate imminent labor, so there is no need to burst my bubble with proven science!)

As I posted earlier in the week, Annabelle's room is complete, including her back ordered sheets. My new baby bag has arrived, and even a last minute newborn hat I ordered from Etsy came in. We celebrated Valentine's Day as a family of 3 at Joe T. Garcia's. I'm thinking about Easter clothes already. If it weren't in the 30s, I'd probably be out handwashing my car just to keep myself busy.

It's D-Now weekend here, so we're running around helping with that. Today I made a pie, a batch of cookies, and a breakfast casserole to give myself something to do. I'm having some contractions, but nothing regular, and quite a bit of it is back labor. I keep waiting for the very predictable waves of normal front contractions (like I had with Jack) to begin, but if I have learned anything from this pregnancy, it's that no pregnancy is the same!

We'll see how this next week goes!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Waiting on a Little Lady

I'm so excited to be finished with Annabelle's room! I've joked with my husband that if we didn't share, this is what my bedroom would look like. I love that it is full of sweetness and things that I love. Nearly everything in it is something I've wanted for a long time.

I haven't included all my sources because that would've taken forever, but if you have questions about something, please feel free to drop me an email. I'll respond!

Her big girl bed!

I don't do changing tables, so this will be used for both that purpose (with a blanket for insurance) as well as late night crashes when we need to camp out in there. I've been dying for that headboard for several years now, and I love how it works in here. It's a dark grey linen that I think it'll stand up to dirty kid hands. Sharpies? Not so much. But it's worth the risk.

I love, love, love the pintucked duvet. It reminds me of the skirt on my wedding dress.

Such a sweet pillow for a sweet girl!

The pillow was made by Anna at For the Love of Joy who, it turns out, is practically my neighbor. Her production time ran about 2 months, but that included the holidays, and it was worth the wait. She personalized it with my absolute favorite Scripture. I love the image of the Father being with us, taking great delight in us, and rejoicing over us with singing as it says in Zephaniah 3:17. I trust Him with my sweet Annabelle and wanted to include this in her room in some way, and the pillow was just perfect.

She also made a boppy cover to match that you can see in the pic above.

Another look at my Annabelle's headboard.

When I started picturing this room, I knew I would want some antique gilded floral plates over the headboard. My mom started searching for them for me at the antique stores in my hometown. I love that they are all from there. It's a special touch from where I grew up.

Those grey trellis sheets came in today, and I wasted no time getting them laundered and on the bed.

This Kate Spade ad is just a little bit of pink happiness. I'm framing it in a gold frame, and it will go on the nightstand.

The dresser and nightstand are from Pier 1. I have loved that dresser since I first laid eyes on it. I've been trying to find a place to put it in my house for years. Hooray for Annabelle!

The banner was a gift from my baby shower. The dolls on the dresser are pretty fun. One of them is Little Red Riding Hood and was mine as a little girl. Another is a doll that I made with my grandmother for a project for Texas history in 7th grade. I will never forget sewing it with her the week I was home with the chicken pox. ("We" made a 110 on the project, by the way.) It is very, very special to me.

The last doll is a stuffed rabbit that Mr. G, Jack, and I made especially for our girl at Build-a-Bear. We went on a family date a few Saturdays ago to have a fun day together. Brad and I did something similar for Jack on one last date night before he was born.

Here's the view from the other side of the room. You can see where her crib tucks into a little nook. It didn't photograph well, but the vine monogram is painted gold.

A peek inside her crib.

She has a sweet little Beaufort Bonnet Company pink bow swaddle waiting on her! This was a gift from my parents.

Her super soft quilt.

As Jack says, "Aaa-belle's banket."

We are so excited to meet our girl! Her room was painted with love by her daddy, and Jack and I have spent hours in there organizing, reading (her) books, talking about her, and for me, praying for her. All that is left is for her to make her grand appearance.

We're ready for you, Annabelle!

Monday, February 11, 2013

37 Weeks

We made it to 37 weeks!

Lots of things can happen at 37 weeks!

Babies can be born at 37 weeks!

Here's a look at the notables this week:

1. Without going into the details, I had a rough week, pregnancy-wise. My doc took one look at me last Thursday and said, "You're done." I said, "AGREED." She said, "Go finish up your friend's wedding shower this weekend, and we'll talk next week." I go in Wednesday to see what is going on with Annabelle and consider making some plans.

{Overall, both mine and Annabelle's health is fine. Diagnosis: very pregnant.}

2. I helped throw the aforementioned wedding shower Saturday at my house with ladies from our church for my sweet BFF/college roommate. (See belly binding post.) We had over 30 people there. The shower was so fun, she got a lot of great things, and she looked so beautiful! My house is spotless and ready for my child to come, thanks to getting it ready for that event.

See? Gorgeous!

3. We finished up Annabelle's room about 20 minutes before people arrived Saturday morning, thanks to some help from my mom and dad. It's lacking the blessed sheets for her big girl bed, which have been backordered from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child since the end of November. It's making me itchy, but there are bigger problems in the world. I'm living with cream colored sheets for now until the grey percale European trellis ones come in. They're probably nicer than what is on my own bed, and she will never even notice them. I should just cancel the order.

{But we all know that isn't going to happen.}

Sneak peek from Instagram. As soon as I have some good light, I'll grab some with my real camera.

4. I've been having contractions. A couple of times they've gone on long enough that I pulled out my phone and started timing them, but after about an hour they taper off. Back labor.

{That means progress, hopefully?}

5. I pack my bag after I get ready every morning. It's kind of wishful thinking, but it makes me happy and much less stressed out that I won't have to call Mr. G if I go into labor and ask him to pack some of my last minute items. I would put it in my car, but it's too heavy. The one thing I've asked him to remind me to pick up is my Sonicare (I forgot it last time and the cheap-o, manual toothbrush they had at the hospital did not spur me on to love and good deeds.) The most random item in my bag is a package of celebratory malted milk balls.

{Do the Gentrys know how to party or what?}

6. The ankles are the last to go. Last night Mr. G said, "Wow, your ankles really haven't swelled like they did with Jack's." Such the flatterer, that Mr. Gentry.

Seriously? One minute later they inflated like balloons.

{See item #1: we are done.}

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cannot Handle the Adorableness

Western Day at school.

We're celebrating the Fort Worth Stock Show around these parts, although I am far too pregnant to be out wandering around the exhibits.

{Although a funnel cake sounds mighty nice right now.}

That little farmer hugged my neck and told me he loved me for the first time without being prompted tonight. And that is one reminder to me that I can/will make it through another week of being great with child, because there are many more sweet moments like that to come from little sister and him.

Friday, February 1, 2013

36 Weeks

I'd love to say that things are starting to progress around here, but they're not! This sweet little lady is doing just fine where she is. Mama, however, has a little bit of elevated blood pressure and some swollen ankles that my doc is keeping a close watch over.

{Side Note: This makes me very thankful for friends who shared their access to Downton Abbey Season 3 last fall while it was airing in the UK so that I'm not watching it on PBS now. Like I needed to see that episode at 36 weeks pregnant!}

This means I'll be resting over the weekend, as much as is possible with a toddler in the house, and Monday I go back in for a BP check and labs. Little sis was an estimated 6.5 lbs at our appointment, so she's on track to be in the 8's like her brother if we go the distance.

I feel fine other than, you know, being 36 weeks tired and large so that's a huge blessing. I told the doc that Annabelle can come {if necessary} any time after noon on February 9. Have I mentioned I'm hosting a wedding shower at my house that morning for my sweet friend? It's going to be beautiful and fun, and I can't wait to post some pics here!

February 9th has been my goal date for a million and one things in my house--namely new floors and finishing Annabelle's room--and I'm right on track to finish it all on schedule. I really love it so far. The few finishing items should be here by next Friday, just in time.

Exciting times ahead!
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