Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chive Ranch Cheeseball

Cheeseballs are a standard appetizer at most of my family's functions and I finally asked my mom for the recipe to make on my own! Preparation took me less than 5 minutes and it was a hit.

Ingredients
1 8oz block cream cheese, softened
1 ranch dressing seasoning package
1/8-1/4 cup chopped chives
Chopped pecans

1. Mix together cream cheese, ranch package, and chopped chives and mold into a ball
2. Let chill in the fridge
3. Roll in chopped pecans and serve with crackers


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

39 weeks


Thoughts: Never would I thought I'd be so calm about being 39+weeks pregnant (okay I really never thought I'd make it to 39 weeks!) but we are patiently waiting! The days go by fast and I know that in 2 weeks, our baby boy will be here! We have fun plans this week so we're not sitting here twiddling our thumbs. This is also my first full week of being a stay at home mommy which I am really enjoying! I thought I'd just sit around and watch TV but I am so behind on DVR! I am enjoying the quietness and getting lots of rest.

Doctor appointment: unfortunately no progress from our 38 week appointment (2cm dilated and 70% effaced) but doctor is still proud of me as a first time mom to be so progressed considering many women are in full labor at 2cm dilated. We've noticed I haven't really had contractiosn the past week so makes sense why I hadn't progressed, but that doesn't mean I couldn't have him today! We opted to have my membranes stripped (google it if you dare haha) and supposedly if it is successful, it can start contractions/induce labor within 24-48 hours. We did this at 5pm on Monday so we'll see! My fundal height was only 37 but since ultrasounds are so much more accurate and we've had so many, they aren't worried. My doctor is adamant about not going too far past 41 weeks so next week on my due date appointment, we have the option of scheduling an induction at 41+ weeks which I hope we don't get to but it's nice to know we will have an expiration date!

Baby: not much to report on little man but his heart rate was 130.

Weight: I actually lost 2.5lbs from last week which is normal. I am up a total of 29.5lbs

Symptoms: Lots of cramps which are a symptom of the membrane strip. Back pain is here to stay and shortness of breath is back. A few times this past week I've been laying down and had to sit up because I feel like there are a ton of bricks on my chest. I just wonder what my insides look like all squished and moved around to make room for baby.

Movement: YES. Two nights ago we stared at my belly for probably an hour watching it move...it just didn't look real. Elbows and knees...it was freaky and absolutely amazing! These are the last few moments we get feeling the precious kicks before he is here so I am trying to soak them in (even if they are uncomfortable)

Cravings/aversions/eating: I've noticed a loss in appetite the past week and I go longer throughout the day without eating (which isn't normal for me who eats every 2 hours). Baby is taking up lots of room and I get full easily! Still eating lots of watermelon and pineapple and I've added sweets a few times a week... whoops

Sleep: I am shocked to report one night this week I didn't wake up for potty. WHAT?! Normal nights I get up about twice and I am wide awake for a half hour trying to go back to bed. I've been sleeping from about 11/11:30pm-around 8am everyday so that's been nice. 

Clothes: rocking the maternity crop tops and tight maternity shorts these days!

Workout: I've been walking about 30 minutes every single day and even swam some laps this week! Okay a rock could have swam faster than me but it felt so good because I felt weightless. I did get sore pretty easily but it was relaxing. These "workouts" are more of a get-the-baby-out act than fitness haha.

Random: Thank you for all your texts, emails, comments, and messages checking on us and letting us know you are praying! Many people are anxious to hear his name and I hope we are announcing it SOON!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Waiting (patiently)

So here we are, exactly a week before our due date and I can tell you with 100% honesty that we are pretty darn calm. I laugh at the thought of thinking throughout the ENTIRE pregnancy that I would never get to this point of pregnancy. Everyone assumes their baby is massive and will come early, I expected no different with baby Hart who was always a big boy. We've been making progress (dilated and effaced) and experienced lots of contractions the past couple of weeks but lately we feel like the labor signs have decreased. And that is fine with us. There have been many times during this pregnancy that I've been way more anxious and antsy than today. And we could literally meet our son any day now. 

One of my favorite worship songs as of late is I Surrender by Hillsong and we sang it yesterday in church. It meant so much more to me yesterday than it has ever before. Lord I surrender this baby's birth to you. I want this to be about You, for You, and on Your time. There isn't a time I listen to the song and don't gulp back tears when we sing about breathing in the rushing wind of Christ and allowing Him to have His way in me. Yes I want to meet baby Hart SO SO bad. I want to finally look into his eyes and kiss his chubby cheeks. I want to watch Jon hold him and cuddle him and introduce him to his aunts, uncles, and cousin Embry. And in 2 weeks maximum we will, I know it. I am at peace.

I can't lie and say that I am physically at peace because man oh man carrying around a 32lb basketball in my tummy is quite exhausting but I can say with confidence I am peacefully, excitedly and calmly waiting the birth of our son. The less I get caught up with sorting out details (could it be tonight, well what about tomorrow, what would we do with Ernie, what route would we drive to the hospital), the more relaxed and excited I am. We know it's coming but I feel like it will still be a big surprise when it does. 

We are heading to the doctor this afternoon, be back tomorrow with an update!

Our days/nights have included swimming, naps, Too Cute on Animal Planet, Yahtzee, Marbles, dinner with friends, more naps, eating pineapple, walking, foot massages...

Big brother is ready!

Friday, July 26, 2013

We were babies

I was cleaning out the picture folders on my computer to make room for baby Hart pictures and I loved coming across old pictures of me and Jon before we were married. Thought it would be fun to share! Jon and I met in May 2009, got engaged in July 2010, and were married in February 2011. We look like babies in some of these pictures, even though it was only a few years ago. Love this man!

October 2009, visiting me in College Station, Anchors Away!

November 2009, Texas Renaissance Festival

December 2009, office party photobooth


May 2010, celebrating my graduation at Fogo de Chao

June 2010, South Padre Island


June 2010, San Antonio, TX at a sorority sister's wedding


July 2010, Michael Buble concert in San Antonio, TX

July 2010, our engagement party

October 2010, Estes Park, CO

November 2010, our couples shower

December 2010, Lake Tahoe ski trip

Christmas 2010, our first monogrammed gift

New Years Eve 2010



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A promotion


Today is a big day for me, and for our family. Today I am getting a promotion! No I am not taking a leap and moving up the corporate ladder, today I become a stay at home wife/soon to be stay at home mom to our son. I couldn't be more excited to type these words and finally see a dream of mine come true. Becoming pregnant and venturing into parent hood brings lots of big decisions. Beyond the work/daycare/stay home question, there is the discussion of names, discipline, religious teachings, etc. Good thing the Lord gives us 9 months to prepare! Jon and I have known long before we even became pregnant that when we started a family, I would be a full time mother. I still can't believe it is really happening and I thank God and my husband daily for this opportunity. It is an opportunity that doesn't come at an "easy price". I feel incredibly blessed that Jon is able to provide for our family financially but more so I feel grateful that he also provides the emotional support for me to stay home. There was a time at the beginning of my pregnancy that I had just received a raise and thought maybe I'd go back part time but Jon has always been my biggest cheerleader for staying home. He knew it is was something so close to my heart and knew it was something I would never, ever regret. 

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As Christ followers we believe each one of us is given spiritual gifts to use to further the Kingdom of Heaven. Beyond becoming pastors, missionaries, or evangelists, God gives many of us strengths and the opportunity to be a witness in everyday jobs and careers. As much as I have really enjoyed my job the past few years (great company, wonderful coworkers, traveling, learning), I've never felt a true calling towards it. My calling is in motherhood and this journey has only just begun. I believe I was meant for lots in this world and I am only scratching the surface. I cannot wait to see the story the Lord has written for my life as a mother. 

I know for a FACT that my new job will be hard. There will be days I don't see the outside of my home or the inside of a shower and days where I crave adult conversation but I am so confident in my success as a mother. I like to think of it similar to my pregnancy. My pregnancy was hard and I could have easily complained and been the most pessimistic, miserable person ever. But I didn't. I know many women who would kill to stay home with their children and I will never take that for advantage. I have so much respect for women who work outside of the home, I don't even have kids yet and sometimes feel overwhelmed having to juggle work/my home/my marriage/my social life. Like I said, God calls some women to use their gifts as doctors, lawyers, teachers, stay at home moms. 

The next few weeks will be a whirlwind and I am really looking forward to fall knowing that will give me time to get to know my baby, hopefully sleep a little bit, and get into the swing of things as a full time mommy and wife. I get giddy excited thinking of walks with Ernie and baby, afternoon naps on rainy days, and I've already joined our neighborhood Moms club. 

Jon has been such an encouragement these past few months and keeps a countdown until my "promotion" as he calls it. I look forward to what the future holds for us as we anxiously await the birth of my new boss! Adios corporate world, this domestic engineer/household COO/cruise director is ready for duty. 

I'm getting quite the raise....
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Oh and last night I realized I started my current job 2 weeks after we got married and I am leaving it knowing in 2 weeks I will be holding my baby boy!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

38 weeks


Thoughts: this week we are very excited, very emotional, very ready, and very happy. Tomorrow is a BIG day for me (come back to see why) and I am praying I can relax and soak up these last few days/weeks of being pregnant. Last night at dinner I was staring at Jon and he smirked and said "whats up girlie?" and I just told him I was wondering what our son would look like and hope he looks like him. We will know VERY soon! Babies in our family are known to be born on other family members birthday and my cousins is the 27th so Jon thinks he'll make his appearance then!

Doctor appointment: 2cm dilated, 70% effaced and -2 station positioning. Doctor was VERY excited for the progress. They don't expect him to come this week but said there shouldn't be any reason that I don't go into labor on my own before my due date and if we get to the point of needing induction, it won't be as hard since I have progressed. We are going to strip the membranes next Monday which means baby could be here in a week!

Baby: nothing new to report, just carrying around a full sized baby inside of me who is getting quite big and antsy to come out. Heart rate was 130 which was normal for him and he sure did hate the nurse poking my belly, lots of kicks back at her. 

Weight: 32lbs

Symptoms: back pain like NO OTHER! 30lbs of belly contributes to some major lower back pain. I've been laying on my heating pad about 20-30 minutes at night before bed and it does help a little. I can't really move from the sitting/laying position to standing without Jon's help so that is funny and interesting. Lots of Braxton Hicks contractions where my tummy tightens up into a boxy square (picture below) and a few real labor contractions, but nothing consistent enough to call my doctor which is normal.

37w
Movement: baby is so big that I can feel him inside of me at all times. I keep telling Jon I think he is getting annoyed and uncomfortable because the movements are SO intense and sharp. Pretty cool/freaky seeing a tiny little elbow or knee stick out of my tummy... sometimes it looks like he will pop right out

Cravings/aversions/eating: nothing new to report really. Still craving sugar and letting myself cheat on occasion :). Eating lots of fresh pineapple (supposed to induce labor but really just enjoying it) and watermelon. I keep saying we are going to eat spicy food to help induce labor but I am a weenie when it comes to heat.

Sleep: bleh. Hard to turn over, waking up a few times for potty, and the past 2 nights waking up with an intense contraction or 2 so it's hard to get back to sleep. 

Clothes: maternity pants are getting REALLY snug and my tops are getting really short. One of the many postpartum things I am looking forward to is having access to my non maternity clothes!

Workouts: In the past week I've walked 3 times for about 30 minutes each and funny thing is I wake up the next day sore. Can't wait to be outside with baby Hart and my stroller once it gets nicer!

Random: I have maternity pictures to show you later this week yay! We are having more done at our house this evening and I cannot wait! And I forgot to mention last week Jon and I took a parent/child dedication class at our church and our son will be dedicated in November. We believe that baptism is a choice for a believer to make later in life so in November we will dedicate our hearts to raising our son in Christ. It was so great to get the perspective of other parents of many different aged kiddos and we are blessed to have them as resources as we teach our son about Christ. We studied the book of Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and over the next couple of months Jon and I will be creating goals and commitments for our family. 

Our cousin made us the most ADORABLE tuxedo sleep sack for baby with a matching rosette for me and bowtie for Ernie. I can't wait to see little man looking so handsome in his tux

Jon flew up to Dallas last week to pickup his car (for back story, read this post) and was very anxious to get home! Luckily baby Hart waited for his dad and Jon isn't going anywhere until he's born!

 Cutie hospital sign gifted to us from Sweet Mudd on Etsy

Constantly wondering when will be our last meal out without baby! 37w6d

Can't wait for Uncle James to teach baby Hart some moves on the bball court....ready to get this basketball out of my belly! 37w5d
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Monday, July 22, 2013

DIY Pacifier Clip Tutorial

 I couldn't seem to find paci clips that I liked (or I found some I liked but they were ridiculously expensive) so I turned to Pinterest to find a tutorial to make my own. Now that I am confident in my straight line sewing, I was excited to find this easy tutorial to create pacifier clips.

Supplies
Fabric, you'll need a 4''x10'' rectangle so not much (I recommend duck fabric because it is thicker and sturdier than regular cotton, they have cute patterns at Hobby Lobby)
1 inch suspender clips ($2 for 2 in the sewing section of Hobby Lobby)
Elastic (about 2 inches worth, color and style of your choice, I chose thin white)
Iron
Sewing machine

I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Please email me with any additional questions you have! Oh and I made these for a friend who has a baby girl, baby Hart's are more masculine :).













Friday, July 19, 2013

Things I've learned during pregnancy

As I near the close of my first pregnancy, I reflect back on the past 9 months and what I've learned. I tell ya there are so many things about pregnancy that no one seems to tell you beforehand and many more things that you just can't understand until you are experiencing it. I wanted to share a few things, both trivial and wise, that I will take away from this pregnancy. 



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  • You don't have to be a hero- I remember getting a bad cold the week after finding out I was pregnancy and trucking through it without drugs so I wouldn't pass anything onto the little baby growing inside of me. And then weeks later I got SICK. If you've followed my pregnancy you'd know that I was chronically sick from about week 7. I managed to stay alive and sane for 3 weeks, getting sick 6-7 times a day, not wanting to throw in the towel and ask for drugs. Then I got the flu. I remember it well... Jon was visiting home for 5 days and I was battling the flu and extreme morning sickness. I felt as if I was admitting defeat but that cold January day, picking up Zofran and Mucinex was the best thing I could have done for myself and my baby. I still got sick occasionally on Zofran but it made a huge difference in my life physically and emotionally! The Lord made these drugs to help us through the pain and I am a huge supporter of them. If you're experiencing extreme morning sickness (or even have a cold/etc), don't feel bad asking for meds. Pregnancy became enjoyable when I was able to get my head out of the toilet!
  • Get things done early- I was really sick during my first trimester and into my second but with the help of meds, I felt good and was able to start on baby related projects. I remember people thinking we were crazy for painting our nursery and ordering our crib before 20 weeks but I am SO glad we did. I hit 30 weeks and really slowed down. And forget doing anything physically productive after 34 weeks. I can barely stick my hands into the washer to move the clothes to the dryer without getting tired. Use that 2nd trimester energy for your advantage. You will be so happy you did!
  • Nothing is genetic- my mom had 4 symptom free pregnancies and 4 all natural, drug free, SHORT deliveries. So far, my pregnancy has been drastically different. My older sister had an easy pregnancy but a rough end to her pregnancy/delivery so we aren't convinced that pregnancy is genetic. Let's hope my mom's lack of stretch marks will be genetic! Don't assume that if your mama was sick with you, you'll be sick, etc.
  • Boys make you sick- the wives tale is that if you are really sick, you're having a girl. Sorry folks. Wrong-oh. 
  • Take advice with a grain of salt- I've learned to close my mouth, smile, and nod when people give unwarranted advice. In most cases, I want to listen and soak up as much information as I can from mommies but there have been times where I wanted to slap people in the head when they suggest I drink gingerale and crackers to help my sickness (don't you think I've tried that?!?!). I know for a fact the advice will get more intense when the baby comes...sleeping, breastfeeding, soothing, vaccinations, etc. The beauty of life is that we are all different and despite our parenting decisions, we are all doing a great job. 
  • Invest in maternity clothes- because I promise, there will be a day where your non maternity stuff doesn't fit! I found out I was pregnant right before winter so I stocked up on maternity sale items from Old Navy when they were dirt cheap. If you are pregnant in the summer, buy shorts! I was lucky that a family friend gave me tons of gorgeous maternity clothes so I am never at a loss for maternity bottoms. Buy clearance during the off season and don't be afraid to check out Wal Mart, Target, Ross and other discount stores. Spend the money, you want to still look cute!
  • Ask for help- this has been hard for me. I hate saying no, I love doing things for other people, and I like doing things by myself. I don't know why the heck it took me until 34 weeks to ask for help at the grocery store... what a life saver! I've learned that people genuinely want to help when they ask so I am embracing it knowing how hard even the littlest things are for me. I know I need to get more comfortable asking for help when the baby comes too.
  • Learn to say no- again, hard for me because I am a people pleaser. I haven't used the pregnancy card much to say no but now that I am tired and sore 99% of the day, saying no is a lot easier. My ideal night these days is a meal with my husband and relaxing, playing games, and being in our own home. As much as I want to go and do tons of stuff before baby is here, I'd much rather rest at home. I need to learn that people aren't offended if I say no. I need to learn to say no when the baby comes, especially if I am too tired for visitors, etc. It is okay Ruthie!
  • Pregnancy is a lot harder than I expected but a heck of a lot better. I have a new found respect for pregnant women and especially those chasing around their older children. It is tough! But man is it fulfilling  Growing a tiny life inside of me has been the most precious experience of my life, I feel so blessed to be chosen to be a mother. As hard as it has been on me, I cannot wait to do it again and pray that I get the opportunity!
Both my marriage and my relationship with the Lord have become so much stronger during this pregnancy. How can it not? I couldn't have done this without the love and support of my husband and the grace and mercy of our God. What a gift this has been, I cannot wait to meet this little boy!

Moms, what is something that you'd like to pass on to future moms that you learned during pregnancy? And for the future mothers, what is something you've always wondered about pregnancy?




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

37 weeks


Thoughts: holy moly we are excited. Baby Hart was full term yesterday and I can honestly say my feelings have changed from "oh yeah we have X weeks left" to "omg it could be any day!". Each night I go to bed wondering if it will be the last time I fall asleep without my son, or last time I go to the grocery store without him. Like any other 9+ month pregnant mama, I am physically ready for him to be here but I can now say with confidence we are ready emotionally and spiritually. Prayers have changed from healthy growth to a healthy and peaceful labor and birth. I feel so confident knowing how many people have joined in to pray for us!

Doctor appointment: we had our weekly appointment yesterday and we are making progress!! Last week my cervix was closed and tight and this week I was 1/2cm dilated, 25% effaced and baby's head was station 2! I am just gonna say that this week's cervical check was probably the most painful thing I've gone through thus far... ouch. He doesn't expect anything to happen this week as far as labor goes but he thinks I will definitely be more dilated and effaced next week! Time to get serious about walking, spicy food, and sex (eh em, Jon). Our weekly appointments are on Monday afternoons so I should have updates for you each Tuesday. 

Baby: not anything new to report. We had our last ultrasound last week so the next time we see him will be on his birthday! He had a great heart rate yesterday and my fundal height measured right on track.

Weight: exactly 30lbs. Doctor said baby will gain 1/2lb a week and unless I start swelling and carrying water, I shouldn't gain anything but that 1/2lb for baby. 

Symptoms: just your normal 9 month prego aches and pains. Lower back pain and pelvic pain since baby is dropping. They don't lie when they talk about "lightening". Tightening and Braxton Hicks are very normal and I had my first real contraction Saturday night and it was so painful it made me cry. We waited for another but nothing happened. Jon told me it sucked watching me in pain but he was excited knowing that it may be the beginning of labor (womp womp). I noticed a drop in my heart palpitations the past few weeks but they are back at it. It is the weirdest feeling and really unpleasant.

Movement: yes and lots of it. There isn't much room for baby inside my squished belly so I definitely feel his tiniest movements. I have seen little elbows, hands, and feet poke out of my belly (nothing like those fake images on Pinterest though). I was trying to explain it to Jon that I can feel him playing with his hands and clicking his heels together inside of me... such a cool feeling!

Cravings/aversions/eating: big appetite!! I think I could eat a burger and fries every single day. Trying to fill up with lots of protein and counting down the days til I can add sugar back into my diet.

Sleep: terrible this week. Getting up so many times to pee and feeling like I don't go more than an hour without having to move to the other side which takes a LOT of energy.

Clothes: maternity is getting tight! Tanks and shorts almost everyday

Workouts: I've gone to the gym the past 2 days and walked about 30 minutes around the indoor track. I may be walking at a snail's pace but trying to make progress!

Random: we have NO baby related projects left to do! I made my last return at Target yesterday and we are ready to rock. Sunday evening we spent time deep cleaning the house so we can relax until baby is here. Jon is going to fly to Dallas Thursday morning to grab his car and drive right back (read the backstory here), so we are praying baby doesn't try to come then! 

Yesterday was rainy in Austin so we celebrated our annual August-mas, just a few weeks early since ya know, we may be busy in August! Summer in Texas is brutal so the past 4 years we've celebrated Christmas in August with decorations, lights, movies, music, and gifts (this year it was back rubs haha). I wrote about one of our August-mases here


I think Ernie is ready for his brother to be born because not only did I dress him up in garland for Christmas in July, Jon dressed him in a mini sombrero yesterday. Can't wait until I have 2 little boys to dress up haha.


When will my last pregnancy update be?! 
Be sure to follow me on Instagram where I will most likely post our son's arrival.

Monday, July 15, 2013

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A sneak peek of the big ole belly and all it's glory from my maternity shoot this weekend with Hat Creek Photography! And today I am so excited I could cry (...okay I already have)... baby Hart is full term! After the roller coaster of a pregnancy I've had and our scare in April, I am thrilled to have kept him growing for this long. We have a weekly checkup this afternoon and really looking forward to seeing if we've made any progress. 

Hope you had a great weekend!

Ours included date night (you have got to see The Heat!), pool time, some darn good nesting, and of course... games. 


(would it be weird if we packed Yahtzee in my hospital bag?)
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