Friday, April 18, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {33 weeks}

Everyone likes to see the real stuff right? Well here are some real-life, unedited pictures from this week. 
Nooooooooooo of course I didn’t take the new stroller for a jog test drive
through the house……while playing chase with the dogs ;-)Mischievous MamaStroller funBig Belly33 week collage
Date: 4/9/14
How far along: 33 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: Durian.  Um has anyone ever had this? or even heard of it?!?!?
Developmental milestones: Little Peep’s skeleton is continuing to harden; however the plates which will form his skull will not fuse until after birth so that he can fit through the birth canal.  Little Peep is also starting to coordinate his breathing and swallowing (which I actually saw him do at our doctors appointment this week). 
Maternity clothes: Dresses are becoming the most comfortable things to wear to work since I still have yet to purchase maternity pants for work.  My belly band coupled with my zipper are just too uncomfortable at this point, because the zipper stabs me in the stomach.  Since I'm so close to being done I feel like if I've made it this far without work pants I might as well just keep going.
Weight gain: 25 lbs total
Stretch Marks: Yep, and I sure am proud of those little kisses from heaven
Sleep: Heartburn has woken me up a couple times where I have almost puked on the Mr.  Imagine being woken up by that.  Not cool!  I told him it was true love running to the bathroom with my giant belly so as not to wake him that way.  He thanks me greatly :-)  Other than my potty breaks, which are about 6 times a night now, and the occasional heartburn puke party, I'm sleeping pretty good.  I may get out of bed a lot but I fall back to sleep with ease.
Best moment of the week: We had our doctors appointment last Thursday (4/10) and Little Peep looked pretty good.  His heart rate was 143 and he was still head down.  I don't have any swelling and my blood pressures is still low.  My fundal measurement was 33.5 weeks.  We got to have a short impromptu ultrasound and saw him breathing.  That evening we had one of our prenatal consultations with our doulas and it went pretty well.  Over the weekend I had my first labor and delivery dream and it just got me so much more excited to see what my dapper little man will look like. 
Movement: This boy loves to move all around and I love it :-) The Mr. says he can feel Little Peep moving while I'm sleeping.
Cravings: Sandwiches and oreos :-)
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Still sporting my "flattie"
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss:  This might sound weird, but I’m missing that I had so much time between the present and my due date.  Everything is just moving so quickly.  I have enjoyed every single day and symptom of this pregnancy, and I’m sad that it’s almost over.  Of course I can’t wait to see my baby boy, but I think I’m also going to miss this beautiful stage in my life; this precious first full pregnancy is almost over and so a chapter of my life comes to a close with it.
What I’m looking forward to: Next weekend is Easter weekend so I'm looking forward to a 3-day weekend with my hubby. This will probably be the last big meal I prepare before Little Peep's arrival.
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks contractions
Symptoms:   My heart burn is real lava pouring out of me, and my potty breaks are something I do a bazillion times a day.  Now that Little Peep has dropped so much I think he is using my bladder as a drum set hehe.  As a neuroscientist I know that with the experience of pregnancy the brain changes in order to enable greater multitasking abilities.  I have noticed that within the last couple weeks I am able to juggling more things than I could before.  Thank you pregnancy for growing my corpus callosum!
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-)  We started to put together some of the baby gear that we have received this week....and from the pictures above you can probably tell that we're testing it all out on the pups.  Thank goodness they are so tolerant lol
Emotions: I'm feeling more and more ready everyday.  With work and home and getting ready for his debut, I'm feeling more ready. I've read. I’ve prayed. I’ve chatted with other mams. I'm ready to do this (not just yet of course, but I'm not buried in anxiety or fear).  I’ve got a peace about these last few weeks.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Red Envelope

When Red Envelope contacted me about wanting to send me my first Mother’s Day gift I was so honored….and to be honest quite shocked.  I never thought I would ever receive a gift for this special day; I didn’t think it was in the cards for me.  I remember the negative feelings associated with Mother’s Day in the past for me, and this year is completely different from the past few years.  Needless to say, to receive such a lovely gift was such an honor and special day for me.  Red Envelope let me select anything from their extensive and gorgeous Mother’s Day collection.  And let me just say, that this was really difficult to do because there were several things I wanted.  I ultimately selected the Pearl Message to Mom necklace and I love it.  The size and weight are perfect for every day occasions as well as for the special events; not to mention the quality is fabulous.  Every time I look in the mirror and see the necklace hanging around my neck I am reminded of the wonderful blessing I am anxiously awaiting :-)Red Envelop
When the package arrived, it got me thinking that I should probably start thinking about what I would like to do for the Mr. for Father’s Day.  To me, father’s are always over-shadowed by Mother’s Day, and they really shouldn’t because they really are just as important as mom. So I will not let the Mr. be forgotten.  Here are some of my favorite ideas for Father’s Day from Red Envelope:Collage 1
Collage 2
Collage 3
To be very honest, I think I would like to have most of these gifts too lol 
So go check out Red Envelope for some great gift ideas. 
What are y’all giving your hubby’s for Father’s day this year?
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer:
While I was gifted the necklace, I was not paid for this post;
I just really like these products. 
Everything stated is of my own opinion.

Monday, April 14, 2014

DIY Mantle

With everything that has happened around here through the fall and this spring, you know with the pregnancy, family visits, cruise, and working, I have not had a chance to tell you about our new mantle.  However, the Mr. really did build this back in September!  #badblogger I wanted it to be completed by the beginning of the fall so that I could use it to decorate throughout the holidays.  Hubby did not disappoint!DIY Mantle
When we moved in I loved that we had a fireplace and a mantle.  I even loved that it was all brick.  The only drawback for me was that since the actual mantle was brick it wasn’t very deep which really limited what I could put on there.  So the Mr. set out to basically make a cap to fit over the current brick mantle that would make it deeper.
Let’s check out the before: 
It’s definitely a mantle already that I could live with.  It’s pretty and all, but is just wasn’t quite enough room.Before
See how narrow this mantle was? I couldn’t even safely fit candle sticks on there. 
Safety issue? Yes! 
Decorator’s issue? Yes!
Picky person issue? Yes!DSC_0357The first step was to purchase a wooden board that was wide enough and deep enough (1 x 6 ).  Once the board was cut to the correct width, the Mr. placed it right on top of the old brick mantle and, using a mason bit, drilled it into place.DSC_0360DSC_0375Using a compound mitre saw, which can cut on an angel, the Mr. cut a piece of crown modeling at a 45 degree angle so that it would fit together like a puzzle and go around the three sides of the mantle. DSC_0371DSC_0373Using finishing nails, he hammered the three pieces of crown molding to the top board.DSC_0395Using the left over breadboard from our kitchen island, the Mr. cut a piece that would serve as the bottom of the mantle.  He had to take special measurements to go around the support bricks at the base of the mantle because I really liked the charm that the bricks added and didn’t want them removed.
Then all of the edges were sealed with white caulk, clamped, and painted.DSC_0440DSC_0486Then it was time to decorate to my hearts content!  DSC_0490- AfterDSC_0495DSC_0498DSC_0501DSC_0502
It was so nice to have the deeper mantle for the holiday season!  It was everything I imagined it would be.
A mantle is so much more useful when I can stack my junk on it ;-)
Here are pictures of our fall and Christmas mantles:
DSC_0335DSC_0356DSC_0357Thank you hubby for making this mantle for me :-)
Didn’t he do such a great job?!
Happy Monday friends!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {32 weeks}

32 week collageDate: 4/2/14
How far along: 32 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A jicama (which I have only ever seen on Chopped! lol)
Developmental milestones: Little Peep should now be gaining 1/2 a pound a week until he is born.
Maternity clothes: Oh yes, thank you Jesus!  I don’t think I’ll ever want to wear another kind of jean again!
Weight gain: I am up 22.5 lbs since my pre-pregnancy weight
Stretch Marks: I have mentioned that I have some stretch marks on my sides and some around my belly button….well now it is more like a full on pink cheetah print belt…hip-to-hip. 
Sleep: Pretty good…..I just wish I could sleep all day, every day and everything would get done on its own.  Wishful thinking?
Best moment of the week: 1- I met with Little Peep’s pediatrician for our prenatal consultation; I adore the doctor and think she will be a great fit for our family.  2- My work showered us on Friday and it was such a special and sweet shower.  I was so honored that they would take time from their busy schedules to invest so much in us.  I truly feel blessed by God with where I work and who I work with.  3- After the shower I did my first 4 loads of baby laundry (sheets, towels, blankets, etc.).  It was the sweetest laundry experience I have ever had.  I had more fun folding his little clothes and towels and organizing them in his closet.  It was also fun to start laying out and picking what clothes I want to pack in his hospital bag.  eeeeeek so excited!  4- The Mr. & Rooney went camping for the weekend so Tomlin and I had a girls weekend and did only girly things.  It will probably be a long time before us gals have another quiet weekend like that, but I look forward to those weekends when The Mr. gets to take his son camping and building memories.  I can’t help but smile when I think about what fun those two will have.
Movement:  I just love feeling him move.  He still only kicks on my right side.
Cravings: Oreos and sandwiches (warm clubs & BLT’s) …and of course pizza
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: I’m still sporting my “flattie”
Wedding ring: On :-)
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss:  Nothing
What I’m looking forward to: My doctors appointment next week
Labor signs: I think I’ve started having Braxton Hicks contractions
Symptoms:  I've got my waddle on these days lol My body is producing the hormone relaxin (nice name, right?) so that my joints are starting to be looser and waddling is the perfect motion to get my pelvis ready for delivery.  Lately, I've been using my belly as a table and a shelf; it’s so convenient to hold my bowl of cereal or my cell phone hehe.  My heartburn is getting more consistent and it steals my appetite.  This week I have been extremely exhausted.  It takes every ounce of energy I have to focus on anything.  I’m either easily distracted or falling asleep.
Nursery: Done, and I can’t wait to add the final piece, Little Peep, to complete the room :-)
Emotions: This week I felt joy spill out of me all over the place.  With work showering us,  I felt so special and valued, like I was surrounded by love and it just radiated and spilled out of ever pour of my being.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Felt Balls & Lady Pair

I’m not sure if you noticed last week when I shared Little Peep’s nursery, but hanging around the mirror over his changing station is a strand of customized felt garland.  DSC_0363-2DSC_035321fd802aaadd11e3b4c6124d293a9c07_8
While I love the look of felt balls, they tend to be extremely overly-priced.  When my dear friend Bree started making these and offering them in her Etsy shop I was stoked!  Not only were they reasonably priced, but she worked with me on finding the perfect shade of mint (which included a bazillion emails of questions from me- sorry Bree!).  And truly, the speed at which they arrived and their quality are something that will stand the test of time.  You’ve got to check out her shop: Lady Pair Designs!  These would be perfectly simple decorations for all holidays (think Christmas colors wrapped around the tree, or Easter colors hung around the mantle, or even red, white, and blue for a 4th of July picnic!) Adorable, right?!

Seriously, go check out her shop and order some of these cute felt balls for your home :-)
Lady Pair Designsil_570xN.556583036_brefil_570xN.556898452_az8wil_570xN.556989911_qln3
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer: I was not paid for this post; I just really like these products.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Debunked Brain Myths

By night I am a blogger,
but by day I'm something completely different.
I am a behavioral neuroscientist.
This means that basically I research how the brain interacts with our environment, and how our environment may impact our brain and behavior.
Blogger by night
Today I wanted to debunk some rather popular myths about our brains.
Pop culture influences a lot about what we know, or what we think we know, about our brains.
For example:
“We only use 10% of our brains!” orI’m very artistic, so I am right-brained.  What are you?”
Many times these “facts” are not based on scientific evidence.
Today let’s debunk 7 common myths about the brain:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Little Peep Bumpdate {31 weeks}

31 week collage
And just because I thought it would be fun for comparison, here is my bumpdate picture from week 5 when I was wearing the exact same outfit.5- Weeks
Date: 3/26/14
How far along: 31 weeks
Fruit-size comparison: A coconut or a pineapple....depending one where you look
Developmental milestones: Little Peep is heading towards a growth spurt in the next couple of weeks (which means I am headed towards a growth spurt too I guess lol).  He has a lot of brain and nerve development this week, and all 5 senses are working now.
Maternity clothes: Oh yes!
Weight gain: I had my weigh-in with my doctor this week and I've gained 20 lbs since pre-pregnancy
Stretch Marks: Yep :-)
Sleep: Is getting so much better, in fact I think I forgot what good sleep was.  Since Little Peep has started to drop he isn't putting as much pressure on my bruised rib and it is starting to heal much faster now.  Of course I'm still getting up about 4 times a night for potty breaks, but I am able to fall right back to sleep. So all is good here!
Best moment of the week: 1- I think the best news from this week came from our doctor's appointment.  We had our last ultrasound before Little Peep's arrival.  The technician chuckled at how long he was.  He weighed 4 lbs 7 oz and is in the 88th percentile; his arms and legs are so very long.  During the ultrasound, the technician tried so hard to get him to move his hands, but he just kept them in front of his face.  His cheeks are chubby and his lips look just like mine.  We did get to see that he has a lot of hair.  The technician showed us some lines going across the screen and told us that it was hair.  Then she shook my belly (like a bowl full of jelly, sorry I couldn’t resist) and it looked like what hair looks like in a pool; it started to move in a flowy motion.  It was very cool to watch.  He is still head-down and his heart rate was 138.  The doctor said it was a little lower this time because he slept through the entire ultrasound.  It was definitely hard to believe that this was the last time we will see him before he leaves the womb; a very bittersweet feeling.  The doctor also checked, and it appears that the Lord has healed our placenta issues and we have been cleared for a vaginal delivery, and my pelvic rest has been removed.  All of our news was so wonderful and sweet at the appointment.  2-  Daddy ordered Little Peep his first (well, first two) Terrible Towels this week.  We also received a package of fabulous Pittsburgh Steelers and Penguins clothing for Little Peep (thank you Opett family!).  He is officially ready for football season now.  We are really looking forward to teaching him all about football. 3- I spent the weekend with our Texas family out on the ranch and it was the perfect weekend spent relaxing with our loved ones!  Thank you Lynch and Hill families!!!
Movement: He is still my sweet little wiggle worm :-)  He is busiest in the afternoon. 
Cravings: Sweets :-)
Gender: A little boy!!!
Belly button in or out: Something in between an outtie and a "flattie"
Wedding ring: On
Anything making you queasy/sick: Nope
What I miss: Nothing!
What I’m looking forward to: I'm very excited about sharing our nursery pictures!
Labor signs: I haven't noticed any contractions yet, but I can tell that he is getting very low because I’m feeling a lot of pressure, not pain but more like heavy weight.
Symptoms: I have always wanted to feel Little Peep have hiccups but I recently learned that research suggests that fetal hiccups are a symptom of maternal anxiety.  I'm genuinely glad that I haven't felt those hiccups now.  Even though Little Peep has dropped and my ribs are finally starting to heal, I'm still easily winded if I try doing too much at one time.  Of course I'm okay with this because it means my little boy is just growing and pushing on my lungs.  My heart burn now makes me feel like I can breath fire....or maybe lava hehe.  As for new symptoms, I've started getting mild cramps in my calves; not painful, just noticeable.  Also since my bump has started getting so large, I've realized that whoever designs public bathrooms does not take pregnant women into account.  Those stalls are just too narrow and wiggling around the toilet paper holder to shut the door means I am usually shutting the door on my belly.  Sorry Little Peep!
Nursery: Done!  Now I need to start getting some gear and products for diapers, wipes, and oh yeah, a car seat lol
Emotions: I'm getting slightly anxious to know that we're now 31 weeks which means we're in the single digits in the number of weeks until we meet him....and really only 6 weeks away, which is just over a month, until I am full-term. That is so very scary for me.  This entire pregnancy has gone way too fast.  I keep reminding myself to embrace the days where Little Peep and I get to spend all day together; it really is the best feeling I've ever experienced.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Little Peep’s Nursery Reveal

I think I have received more emails and comments about Little Peep’s nursery than any other blog topic.  I really thought that today I would be sharing some DIY projects with you, but those will have to wait because I don’t want to tease you with black and white pictures anymore.  So today is the big reveal! 

I always thought I would have a black and yellow nursery, but like most things in my life, my plan gets derailed.  Last summer when we were still struggling to conceive, I was devastated every time I walked into the office because it was a tractor themed nursery before we moved in and I felt like it just taunted me with the thoughts of what I thought I would never have.  One weekend, I had had it and we had to paint immediately, so the Mr. and I painted it mint and white with coral accents (a super girlie office for me), and a couple weeks later when I was about to post the pictures here for you of the finished office, we found out we were expectingThank you Lord for teaching me again that your plan and timing is always better than mine!  Needless to say I was not going to pay to paint all over again, so these were the colors we were going with.  I have to say that even though this was not what I had expected or planned for, I really do like the peaceful feeling in the nursery.  I don’t really have a theme (like animals or trucks), but I did have a peaceful, shabby chic and burlap vibe I was shooting for.  This nursery I think is pretty gender neutral in case the Lord decides to bless us with another baby.
Okay, so this is what the nursery started out looking like when we moved in a couple years ago; a nice mural of the Houston skyline with a tractor theme…..just not very Darby.DSC_0289-2Before Nursery details

And here is the new nursery that is awaiting our sweet Little Peep:DSC_0361-2DSC_0353DSC_0357Little Peep Nursery- 2DSC_0448-2Little Peep Nursery- 1Little Peep Nursery- 6Pslam 91-4DSC_0363-2Little Peep Nursery- 7Little Peep Nursery- 3Little Peep Nursery- 5DSC_0375-2DSC_0376DSC_0377DSC_0351DSC_0383DSC_0384-2DSC_0387DSC_0389

Where it all came from:
Paint- Cool Gray by Valspar & Serendipity by Olympic
Glider & ottoman
Graco Lauren Convertible Crib with Mattress in White
Table Lamp on Book Shelf
Table Lamp on Window Seat Cabinet
Curtains- I purchased 4 panels of one size & hemmed them myself because I wanted them to be long
Crib Bedding
Floating shelves- I purchased in white & painted it the same color as the stripes
Picture frames- this model in various sizes in white & gray
Curtain rods and accessories
Closet Dividers
Faux Sheep Skin Area Rug
Felt Balls
Mirror- I purchased in brown and painted it the same color as the stripes
Faux Deer with Gold Antlers
Toy basket
Glider blanket
Baskets in the closet- Ross
Hamper in the closet- Marshall’s
Pillows on the window seat and cushion covers were all hand-made
Book Shelf- purchased at an antique show
*If I forgot something on this list please feel free to ask me :-)
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