August 31, 2010

The Perfect Nest

Paul and I and the dogs just got back from our first walk around the neighborhood. It's pretty different from our other neighborhood. There is a higher concentration of houses and apartments and a lot more businesses and restaurants. It feels more like living in a city and we like that. There's definitely more "people" noise like I mentioned last time but it really makes the area feel alive. For example, there is a Lutheran church at the end of our block and we get woken up at 8:30 every weekday morning to the sound of the kids playing at the church's daycare. But really it's such a happy noise we don't care; we actually kind of like it. Hey, it's a heck of a lot better than freeway noise and it makes me excited to have a kid of our own soon. 

We are loving our new house! We both say "I love this house" at least twice a day. It works so well for us. We put the dog bed in the back mud room with a baby gate between it and the kitchen so during the day we leave the back door open and let them run in and out of that room while we're away. It really makes us enjoy the dogs more too because, since the house is so much larger, they aren't constantly underfoot when we're here. In the other place, Rider was beginning to think her name was "Move" as in "Move out of the way!" Now they have a big (for San Diego) yard to run around in and more space inside so we aren't constantly getting onto them or tripping over them. They really seem to like it too. It has new, really thick carpet that Rider is in heaven laying on and Posey, much to our dismay, has discovered a new love for digging in the yard.

They love the new house, but not as much as they love cuddling up to my belly :)

Speaking of the belly, we had our 28-week appointment with our midwife today. I've now gained 15.8 pounds (eek!) and she said the baby's heartbeat sounded good and that it felt like he was head-down. I could have told her that, since I've been feeling his little foot under my ribs for the last week or so. I had to do the dreaded glucose test at this appointment and drink that nasty orange liquid. I'm not going to lie, it was pretty awful. I'm not a huge sugar fan and that drink was ultra-sugary and thick. 

I'm excited though because now we get to start going for appointments every two weeks instead of once a month. I love going to my midwife and talking about the baby and everything that's going on, and that also means we're getting closer to seeing our sweet Wilder. We're anxious to have another ultrasound but I don't think we will until probably the last few weeks I'm guessing. So we're planning on going back to Babies First Ultrasound to have another 3D ultrasound done in the next 4-6 weeks. I can't wait to see him again!

In other news, we're looking forward to heading back to Tennessee again in three weeks. We're planning on seeing a lot of people, including our good friends Patrick and Alicia who have just announced that they are expecting! Also, I'm super excited because my best friend Jinny is throwing Wilder a baby shower while we're there. I've been getting a lot of cryptic text messages from her asking weird questions so I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for this party :) 

August 26, 2010

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

This is the fourth place Paul and I have lived in together in the three years we have been married. The first was a house in Starkville that was right next to the train tracks. And by "right next to" I mean within 15 feet of them. At first we had the train schedule memorized and would hear it every time it went by; but after a few months we thought the train had stopped running because we had gotten so used to it that we never heard it. 

The next place we lived in was our first apartment here in San Diego and it was about 3 miles from the airport and directly under the flight path of every departing plane. That was a little more difficult to get used to because a plane was going over about every five minutes all day long. By the time we moved out after 8 months, we were still aware of the noise but pretty accustomed to it.

After that we lived in our "charming cottage" in North Park that we just moved out of. As far as noise goes, this house was definitely the worst. It was situated on a hill overlooking the intersection of the 805 and 15 freeways and the traffic noise has been a constant presence in our lives for the last 10 months. We went to bed every night to the low drone of late night truckers and woke up to the high pitched honking of early morning commuters. Paul even did a project on the situation for his Acoustics class at school and found that we were averaging like 60 decibels of noise inside our house (the average quiet room is 30 decibels). 

So after literally living with the sounds of trains, planes, and automobiles for the last 3 years, needless to say, the blessed silence of this new house is a new and wonderful sound for us! Yes, there are a lot of other houses and apartments around with "people" noises but that's a welcome change and one that generally stops around bedtime. Just one of the many reasons we are LOVING this new house!

With the help of our great friend Corey, Paul moved our furniture in on Tuesday and we slept here for the first time that night. We have pretty much everything out of the old house by now except for a few loose boxes which we'll get out by this weekend. I worked on unpacking the kitchen yesterday and today and now have almost everything situated in there. Then I guess I'll move on to the living room and our bedroom and then the fun begins in the nursery! After packing all those boxes and moving them from one house to the other, I sat here the other night wondering how I was ever going to have the energy to UNpack all of them. But I've decided there's no rush and I'm just going to take my time with it. 

In other news, we entered the third trimester today! Wow, I can't believe we're finally in the home stretch. And we have finally decided on a full name... Wilder Roman Taylor. The first name is my grandmother's maiden name and the middle name isn't a family name at all but one that we both really love. Hurray, "baby" has a name! My belly is getting bigger by the day it seems and the baby is still constantly on the move. I have to admit I often get distracted at work because I'll sit there and just watch my belly bulge and jump. It's a strange, awesome feeling that I'll never forget and can't get enough of. I'm still feeling pretty great except for getting a little more uncomfortable while sleeping. I'm also a LOT more clumsy and feel like I'm constantly dropping things. At the same time, I'm less able to bend over and pick them up so I've gotten pretty adept at picking things up with my feet, haha. I'm evolving in all kinds of ways these days. :) Here's me and Wilder at 27 weeks:

We had our last childbirth class tonight and, I have to say, after the panic-inducing first class I wasn't too sure about the merit of it, but in the end I definitely feel more confident, prepared, and knowledgeable and far less nervous about the experience than if I hadn't taken the class. I definitely recommend taking one for any new moms. Oh, and it was really neat too because at the beginning of tonight's class (which was on the same floor as the birth center) one of the husbands popped his head in and said he and his wife wouldn't be there tonight because they had had their baby yesterday. :) Kind of scary though... he said she was in labor for 43 hours, eek! 

Hmm, OK, I guess that's all for now. Adios!

August 21, 2010

Moving Days

So, I had a great birthday. It was very different from all the other birthdays I've had in my life, and I think it's just a foreshadowing of the rest of the birthdays still to come after the baby arrives. For one thing, we spent my birthday night in childbirth class. Then we had reservations at a restaurant Friday night to celebrate but I had been packing, moving, dealing with house stuff, and then working all day and I was just too tired by that night so we stayed at home, watched a movie (Precious -- sad but great movie by the way), and ate a frozen PF Chang's dinner (if you haven't tried those, they are the best frozen dinners I've ever had). Although Paul was super sweet all day -- he cooked breakfast for me, brought me flowers, and wrote me the sweetest letter -- and they decorated my desk at work for me, I've started to realize it's just not all about me anymore. Even on my birthday, there's stuff to get done. That's totally fine though; I'm ready for this change. I'm looking forward to having someone else to focus on, especially such a cute little someone. 

Birthday flowers from my sweet hubby
Birthday decorations at work

The moving is going well. The first night after we signed the lease I started packing up boxes. I went to bed that night with 11 boxes packed and guess what they were ALL full of... books! And we have at least 4 other boxes of books in the garage that we never unpacked. Every time we move I think, "I've got to get rid of some of these books!" but when I try to sort through them I can't find any I would want to get rid of. I like having them, just in case, and luckily (or unluckily) Paul's the same way. 

Since then though I've gotten most of the kitchen stuff and a lot of the bathroom stuff and clothes packed up and moved. Today after Paul's first-time dads class (which he loved, by the way... he said he wished it had lasted all day!), we went to Home Depot and got some paint and supplies and Paul started painting the bedroom while I made trip after trip moving stuff between the houses (don't worry, I didn't lift anything heavy). I think on Tuesday we'll rent a U-Haul for the day and Paul and some of his friends will move the furniture and the rest of the stuff in the garage and storage room. 

Every time we go over to the new house we don't want to leave to come back here and we just think how lucky we are to have found somewhere so perfect. Here are some pictures I took the other day. The outside isn't much to look at (I think we'll add some shutters to the front windows) and the yard has recently been tilled up and reseeded, but the inside is sooo nice and exactly what we needed! 

View from front door looking into living room
View looking back at front door
(yes, two walls are cream and the other two are gray)
Kitchen and breakfast nook
Our bedroom 
(now painted dusty red thanks to my wonderful husband)
And, dum duh duhhh... the nursery!

We are so excited and can't wait to finally be all moved in. And I'm SO excited to start setting up the nursery, even though everyone tells me he won't sleep in there for the first few months. Even so, doesn't it make sense to go ahead and get it ready... it's not like I'll have time to do that after he gets here. 

Anyway, in other news, Rider has now lost 15 pounds... of hair. We've always bought all kinds of brushes and tools, even vacuum attachments, trying to control all the hair this dog produces to no avail. But last week Paul ordered The FURminator and it came in the mail a couple of days ago. The one he got is the next size under the equine version, haha, and this thing is amazing! Rider seriously looks 15 pounds lighter and a lot cooler temperature-wise and you can actually run your hand down her back without fur flying off of her. We are SO thrilled with the results I just wanted to share a picture of what we brushed off her today. This is the third time we've used it on her in the two days we've had it and we've gotten this much off each time. Pretty crazy, huh? Now you can see why I used to have to vacuum every day. 


Hope everyone has a good rest of your weekend! I'll keep posting pictures as we get moved in. 

August 17, 2010

And the Search is Over!

Mondays aren't typically considered a favorite day of the week; in fact, they are generally dreaded. But, contrary to its reputation, this Monday was an absolutely great Monday. Almost, I would venture to say, a great enough Monday to compensate for all the other crappy Mondays I've had in my life. Why, you may ask, was this Monday so spectacular? 

Well, we got the call that we've been hoping, praying, and waiting for for months... We actually got approved for a house!!! And not just any house, THE house! It's perfect in every way: two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, large rooms all around, lots of closet space, washer/dryer, dishwasher, newly renovated kitchen, garage with plenty of storage, fenced yard, in our same neighborhood but in an even better location, CENTRAL A/C (!)... everything and more than we were looking for! 
And, if you can believe it, something happened today to make it even better. When we originally saw the listing for the house it said the rent was $1500. After we went and looked at it on Saturday, we left thinking that was a steal for all that the house had to offer. On Sunday we looked at the ad again on Craigslist and it said the rent was $1650... although that wasn't what we thought at first we were still OK with it because of how great the house was. Well, when we went to sign the lease this morning, we were reading over it and guess what it listed the rent as... $1500! What an awesome surprise! That saves us $1800 over the year... that's a lot of diapers, haha! :) Plus, we had offered up a pet deposit to try to seal the deal and they didn't even want it! 

I just want to thank everyone for all the thoughts, prayers, and words of encouragement throughout this whole process. My birthday is on Thursday and I think this is one of the best birthday presents I've ever gotten! I'll have some pictures by the end of the week so I'll post those as soon as I can. I'm still pinching myself... I can't believe the search is finally over and with such amazing results! I'm so excited to start moving in and setting up the nursery (which is already painted blue by the way)! 

It's going to be quite a busy week. Guess where we'll be celebrating my birthday Thursday... our third childbirth class, haha! Exciting, I know. So, I guess we'll do something for it on Friday; then on Saturday Paul has a "Daddy Bootcamp" class, and Sunday some great friends that Paul worked with at CAVS in Starkville are going to be in town with their baby girl we haven't met yet, so we'll get together with them... all in the midst of packing and moving. This is such a wonderful time in our lives and I'm trying so hard to savor and remember every moment. We are so blessed.  

August 12, 2010

More Various and Sundry Things

Well, we had our second childbirth class tonight and this one went way better than last week. I actually left smiling instead of crying this time so that was a big improvement. We covered pain management techniques and learned about pain medications that can be used. Then we ended by touring the birth center and seeing a couple of the rooms. That actually got me really excited. They have queen-sized four-poster beds, birthing balls and stools, tubs, etc. Seeing the rooms helped me be able to visualize where we'll be and what it will be like a little bit. Sorry to scare you last week, Kayla... I thought surely ignorance was bliss, but I'm beginning to agree more with my mom, who says that knowledge is power. I think it's definitely going to reduce my nerves to have all the information I'm learning; plus, it will help Paul understand what I'm going through so he can be as supportive and helpful as possible. 

In other news, I'm super excited because we booked our flights tonight to come back to the South for one last visit before the baby gets here! We'll be in Tennessee September 22-29 and will be in Starkville for the MS State vs. Georgia game on the 25th, whoohoo! Our last trip was really exhausting and I wasn't even that pregnant yet so I can't imagine how tiring this trip will be when I'm 31 weeks but I don't even care. I'm just so excited to get to spend some time with family again before our little one arrives. 

Also, in other news (or non-news), the house-search continues... We looked at two houses this morning, neither of which worked for us for different reasons. We have one to look at on Saturday and another one that we'll hopefully get to view sometime next week; both of these seem promising so maybe one of them will work out. We're both getting super-antsy about finding a place. As my belly grows, this house seems to shrink more and more. 
As of today, we have 2 1/2 months until our lease runs up here and 3 1/2 months until the baby is due. We've already been looking for a new house for two months, so you can understand our unease. Oh well, all we can do is keep looking and if we have to move after the baby is born then that's just what we'll do. I'm not usually one to actively try to stay positive, but I don't want my stress/negativity to affect baby Taylor so I'm learning to make myself look at the bright side and not take things so seriously. I have to say, too, my regular exercise routine is definitely helping to reduce the stress, especially my prenatal yoga. Woosahhhh... :)

August 9, 2010

Taking Care of Business

I just love having Paul home on the weekends! He usually spends most of Saturday and Sunday at the studio working on projects, but he actually had this weekend free so we got to spend a lot of time together (yay!) and got a lot done (YAY!). At this point in pregnancy, there's no better feeling than feeling productive! 

On Saturday we decided to go sign up for this rental service that we used to find our first apartment out here a year and a half ago. You pay them a fee and they tailor a search to your needs and give you a bunch of listings for houses that you may not find on Craigslist. Plus, they will send out your application to any that you are interested in -- instead of having to fill out a different application and pay an application fee for each property. They'll even send out your application to properties you find yourself. I think it's a pretty good deal overall. After that we drove by a few properties in North Park and South Park and then came home, wrote some thank-you notes, made dinner, and watched Anchorman. That movie gets funnier every time we watch it, especially now that we live in San Diego. 

Sunday was truly "Sunday Funday" for me... I went on a massive cleaning spree with Paul's help. I did laundry, cleaned out and organized the closet, sorted through clothes to give away, vacuumed the whole house (even the ceiling!), and finally organized all of the baby stuff we've accumulated into actual drawers instead of boxes! I decided that even though I don't have a nursery to work on yet, I can still do some nesting. And let me tell you, it felt awesome! I now have a separate drawer for blankets, supplies, washcloths and burp cloths, bibs and accessories (yes, baby Wilder already has accessories), and clothes (which are organized according to size). Here's a picture of my baby corner:

So, another thing we did this weekend is, to make room for the "baby corner" in our bedroom, we moved the dogs' bed outside to the laundry room. The baby corner used to be their corner and they aren't too happy with the change but we seriously woke up to dog hair rolling across the floor like tumbleweeds every morning and, after my cleaning spree, I was not having that anymore. 

So, Saturday night we put both of them out there to sleep knowing that they would whine for a while but not dreaming that they would whine and bark and throw themselves at the door to be let in ALL NIGHT! It was awful! Of course, Paul slept straight through most of it, like I imagine he will with the baby haha, but I got maybe four hours of sleep that night. Rider settled down after the first few hours but then Posey took over and, like the huge baby she is, threw a six-hour temper tantrum until the sun came up and I let them in. 

I was determined not to give up though (I can't have a baby live in a dog hair-filled house!) so last night we decided to just put Rider out, since her hairy butt is really the issue, and we made Posey sleep in the living room. It was a totally different story -- we didn't hear a peep out of Rider the whole night! I think she gets hot inside at night and that's why she sheds so much so she appreciated being out in the cool night with the bed to herself and unlimited access to the water bowl. Posey still whined and paced a little but I think she'll get used to it. Of all that we accomplished this weekend, I'm the most proud of this new sleeping arrangement. I think it's going to result in a cleaner house that I can maybe vacuum every other day instead of every day and it begins to set some boundaries for the dogs in preparation for the baby's arrival. 

Aaahhhhh... it feels good to get things done! Hope everyone else had a good weekend as well! 

August 6, 2010

Oh, Just a Little Case of Panic

Oh. My. Goodness. What have I gotten myself into??

This is what was running through my head last night as we left our first Childbirth Preparation class. I'm a little ashamed to admit it but, by the time we got to the parking lot, I was in tears. You can call me a wimp, but let me explain. First of all, I was exhausted. I went straight from work to this 2-hour class. Secondly, I was starving, which never helps my emotional state. Thirdly, and most overwhelmingly, the teacher showed the extremely graphic labor video at the very end of class and left it at that. There was no discussion afterwards; in fact, we were out of time so she even cut it off before the post-labor part where the couple talks about (I imagine) how wonderful and fulfilling an experience it was. 

I've never seen a birth video. I mean, I've seen a version of one in a class in high school, but of course it didn't show everything like this one did. There's no need to hand out contraception in schools, people, just show this video of "Deborah's Journey" through labor and delivery and you'll have the most celibate kids in the world. I seriously left the class last night feeling a little panicky. It's one thing to see what's going to happen on a video; it's quite another to imagine that happening, very imminently and unavoidably, to yourself.

I'm not really nervous about the pain part. I know it's going to be super painful, especially if I manage to stick to my goal of doing it without an epidural. I feel like I have a pretty high pain threshold though so it's not that that worries me. I guess it's just the fear of the unknown (even after, and a little because of, seeing what ol' Deborah went through) and the fear of what will happen to me physically during the process. But I'm determined that I want to go through the process and feel the sense of accomplishment that I imagine comes with doing the hardest thing I'll ever do (as the video describes it). I really think I just need to get my birth plan together so I'll have something to focus on and some techniques to practice in order to build my confidence. 

One good thing that did come from watching the video was the pride I felt at being a woman. I mean, women are amazing. The fact that our bodies can carry and develop and then birth a human being is truly astounding. I've been thinking a lot about women in third world countries who deliver their babies in tents with no comfort or medication and very little, if any, sanitation. Also, about women in centuries past who would work in the fields until they went into labor, then go behind a tree, give birth, and immediately return to work in the fields with their newborn baby strapped to their back. 

If these women can do it in such adverse situations, then surely I can do it in the comfort of a hospital. And, anyway, I have to. He's in there now, he's got to come out one way or another, right? That's the good thing about women -- we know what we have to do and we get it done. Plus, I know that once he's laid on my chest all of the pain and fear will disappear and I will know I've just been through the most amazing experience of my life. I'm lucky, too, to have a strong, wonderful husband who will be at my side encouraging me and reminding me to breathe. So we'll keep going back to the classes for the next three weeks and hopefully the next ones will do more to build confidence than to overwhelm us. 

August 3, 2010

Baby, Won't You Carry Meeeee... Back to Tennessee

Vacations aren't really vacations anymore. When you live 1,900 miles from home every "vacation" is spent traveling home to visit, which is fun but not exactly relaxing. We had a great trip though; we saw all of our family and a ton of friends from high school, some of whom we hadn't seen since our wedding three years ago. 

I just love Tennessee... it's so green and wide open, but man was it HOT! When we stepped out of the airport we immediately started sweating, and I was introduced to a joy of pregnancy I haven't experienced yet... swollen feet and ankles. I'm telling you, I looked like I had elephantitis and it was soooo not attractive. This continued to happen all weekend and the 3-inch heels I wore to the wedding festivities Friday and Saturday night certainly didn't help the situation. Oh well, we're back in the 60 degree weather now and I won't be wearing heels again for the foreseeable future so they're back to normal and no harm done (except that Paul may never look at my feet the same way again).

So here's a little recap of the trip...

Thursday night after getting into Jackson we went to eat at Cracker Barrel with my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend. We have to go to Cracker Barrel at least once on every trip home because, can you believe this, there are NO Cracker Barrels in the state of California! Oh how I miss it when I need a good dose of carbs and home-cooking. 

On Friday Paul went to eat lunch with Russell, the groom, and I went to Target to pick up things we had forgotten or didn't have room to pack. Afterwards, on the way to take Paul to get a haircut, we saw a man selling puppies out of the back of his truck in the almost 100 degree weather and I made us stop so I could check on them and make sure they had water, etc. Luckily for him, he had them under an umbrella in the bed of the truck with water and a fan blowing air on them. I still gave him a little piece of my mind though. He could have just as easily put an ad in the paper instead of dragging them out there to sit for hours in the heat of the day. 

Anyway, then we picked up Paul's little sister who was in town from Chicago and went to see Paul's maternal grandparents where we spent a couple of hours visiting. By then it was time to go get ready for the rehearsal dinner at the Country Club. The dinner was very nice and they had great food... mmmm, mashed potato bar! 


On Saturday Paul and I went to eat at one of our favorite local restaurants, Snappy Tomato Pizza. The owner has known us ever since we first started dating, so it was funny to go back now married and pregnant. Sidenote: They have the best and weirdest pizzas... cheeseburger pizza, barbeque chicken pizza with BBQ sauce instead of marinara, baked potato pizza with sour cream instead of marinara, etc. Delish! Then we went to see my best friend, Jinny, and her family at their new house. They have done so much work on it since moving in and it looks beautiful! Paul got to meet their new little baby boy, Blane, and get some practice in holding him and we were thoroughly entertained by big sister Aniston's outfits and antics. 




After spending a couple of hours at Jinny's, we went to my paternal grandmother's house where we spent another couple of hours visiting and eating delicious ice cream with peaches. 



After that it was time to go get ready for the wedding reception, which was also at the Country Club. We saw soooo many friends we hadn't seen in years and it was fun to get to hang out and catch up with everybody. 


On Sunday we woke up bright and early and headed to Covington to have family pictures made with my mom's family. You'd think coordinating 28 people into one decent photo would be a nightmare, but it actually went really smoothly and we were out of the heat in about an hour or so. That afternoon my sweet cousin Katie and my other cousin's girlfriend Chelsea threw me my first baby shower. They had the cutest decorations and some great food, and I got lots of books for Baby Taylor's library and tons of other great gifts. 


                                                  The hostesses and me

                                                      My mom and me

                                                My grandmother and me

While we were having the shower, Paul went to see his cousin Josh and his wife and their new baby girl, Ava. Sunday night we went to eat at the new restaurant in Jackson, Coyote Blues, with Paul's mom, his sister, and her husband. The food was amazing and we had fun catching up with his family. 

On Monday we slept in trying to recuperate a little from the weekend and then went to eat lunch over at Paul's paternal grandparents' house. I knew I could count on them for one last good Southern meal and his grandmother certainly delivered: roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, cornbread and rolls, and blueberry cobbler for dessert! I was in heaven! 

After that we hung out with my parents a little more, saw Paul's mom again briefly, and then headed off to the Memphis airport. Whew! We were exhausted to say the least! We got back to San Diego late Monday evening and the dogs were totally ecstatic to see us. :)

Thank you to everybody who took time out of their schedules to visit with us and to Corey again for taking such good care of our dogs while we were gone!

This morning I had my 6-month checkup with my midwife and everything went well, except that I've gained another 6 lbs. Hmmm, I wonder why? Could it possibly have something to do with all the awesome Southern food I consumed over the last five days? Oh well, it was worth it. And the baby is measuring perfectly and still kicking up a storm so all seems to be going well! 

OK, now I'm going to bed. I have a feeling it's going to take me the rest of the week to fully recuperate and unpack from this trip but I'm so glad we had the chance to take a "vacation" back home and I can't wait to do it all over again in September before I can't fly anymore.