Thanksgiving 2014

We had a great Thanksgiving this year.  We started our day out with breakfast at Aunt Kim’s house with all the cousins.  Then we headed off to my mom’s house to visit with my family for a few hours.  Then back to Kim’s for lunch with Greg’s family.  I think it was the perfect mix of family time with both sides.  Sometimes it’s hard to balance holidays when everyone lives in the same town.  You feel like you’re running back and forth all day. But it didn’t feel stressful or rushed this time. I think we worked it out nicely.  Emily has been in town all week from college, so I got to see her some this week. She came to join me and my girl friends for our friendsgiving dinner one night.  This is her senior year and she may or may not be living in Birmingham after she graduates.  It’s crazy she’s at the point of making career decisions already.

Nov27-Thanksgiving (6) Nov27-Thanksgiving (7)Nov27-Thanksgiving (11)

My silly family showing off my bump.  Since I didn’t take a bump picture for my weekly blog post early this week, I was told I needed to take one.  So here I am at 16 1/2 weeks.

Nov27-Thanksgiving (4)Nov27-Thanksgiving (14) Nov27-Thanksgiving (16) Nov27-Thanksgiving (15) Nov27-Thanksgiving (18)

At aunt Kim’s house we ate a delicious meal all seated around a giant table.  The food was amazing. I learned how to make my sourdough bread into rolls this week and brought those for Thanksgiving dinner.  That evening we went to see The Hunger Games movie with Tyler, Anna and my sisters and Chuck.  Then Katie and I did a little Black Friday shopping.  By 11pm I was ready to crash into my bed.  I can’t handle this late night/early AM Black Friday shopping.  Luckily there was nothing in particular I was shopping for, but I did pick up a few maternity tops at Target.  Eventually I gotta figure out where to get maternity pants.  If not, I’ll probably just be sporting leggings all winter!

The other exciting this for the week is on Tuesday night Greg surprised me with his Christmas/birthday gift to me.  Well, actually, at first he asked if I wanted to be surprised or if I’d want to be a part of the decision.  I trust him to come up with good surprises, but he said it was a pretty big decision.  Not having a clue what he was talking about, I opted to be included in the decision.  Much to my surprise, he had picked out a new car for me!!!!!  We have somewhat discussed the idea of purchasing new cars.  I’ve driven my rodeo since I was 16 years old, and it has served me well with only minor maintenance over the years.  And get this, when we turned it in at the dealership it only 95,001 miles on it.  And I drove it for almost 13 years!  I get my moneys worth out of things.  For instance, my laptop that I got when I went to college served me well for 7 years, which apparently is crazy.  And I’m still jamming out with my circa 2005 iPod 🙂

So anyways, Tuesday night I was surprised with the news that I would be getting a new car, and Greg would have kept it a total surprise until Christmas had he not needed my rodeo for trade-in purposes.  And since my name was on the title, he was in a jam.  But I’m so excited he went ahead and told me because I am LOVING it!!  He picked out a 2011 Nissan Rogue, and it is full of really awesome features like back-up camera, navigation system, heated seats, leather interior, bluetooth phone capabilities, and key-less entry.  This car is da’ bomb! 🙂

Nov28-car (1) Nov28-car (4)Nov28-car (3)Nov28-car (2)I love her. She’s so pretty.  And she looks especially good with a Christmas tree on top 😉  Here’s to many many years, my new friend.

So that pretty much wraps up our Thanksgiving weekend.  Oh, that and a super intense Iron Bowl last night.  Geez. That game is so freakin’ intense every year!  Glad Alabama pulled out another win!  I have a happy husband 😉

the Pumpkin- 16 weeks

It’s Thanksgiving week, and we’ve already been pretty busy around here.  This past weekend Greg and I went to Atlanta since Greg had a rugby game on Saturday.  We decided to stay with his parents in Atlanta Saturday night since we’d be driving to Lannet, AL on Sunday for some family Thanksgiving anyways (which is about halfway between Atlanta and B’ham).  So Saturday morning we hit the road, and I got to see him play rugby for the first time.  He just got into playing the sport about a month ago, and this was his first game to play.  His parents came to watch him too.  It’s an interesting game, for sure. There’s a lot of rules and strategies I’m still learning.  Greg really enjoys it, and it was fun seeing him play!

rugby (6)

Saturday evening we were all exhausted.  Greg of course was exhausted from rugby.  I was exhausted cause I worked 2 days, had clinicals for 2 days, and then the early morning wake-up call to drive to Atlanta that morning. I was desperate for a morning to sleep in.  We just chilled at the condo for the evening. I did a little bit of studying. His parents grilled steaks for dinner, and we watched the Samford v. Auburn game on tv.  Samford is our alma mater, and they are a much smaller team than Auburn.  Samford is part of the Southern Conference, where Auburn is of course in the SEC.  But Samford held their own for a while.  They didn’t get slaughtered which is good.

Sunday, we all got up and made our way to Lannet, AL for Thanksgiving with Greg’s dad’s side of the family.  Mimi and Daddy Bob drive down from the mountains in N.C., and there are cousins from Birmingham and Nashville area that join the gathering.  The feast was delicious!  Seriously, all of it was so good.  After a few hours in Lannet, we headed back home.Thanksgiving

Yesterday Greg and Aidan did some hunting up at the Clifford cabin in TN, and this time Aidan shot his first deer on the property!  (not his first deer ever, just the first on this new land they own)  His family has been building a cabin up there and they’ve been hunting the land for 2 seasons now, but haven’t shot anything yet.  This time he got a buck.  It’s being processed now and they’ll pick up the meat in 2 week when they return to the cabin.

Yesterday I had another OB appointment.  It was another simple one.  Just pee in a cup and listen for the heartbeat.  This time my vitals were BP 118/71, HR 99, and weight was up about 3lbs to 120lbs.  Baby’s heartbeat came in around 145-150.  It’s slowing down a bit with each appointment.  According to those wives tales, maybe we’re hearing a little boy hiding in there 🙂    December 23rd cannot get here fast enough!  We’re dying to know what baby Boggs is!!  But for now, everything still looks good, so we just have to wait.

The only pregnancy symptom I have now, for the most part, is a growing belly.  Yesterday I had to pull a pair of jeans out of the closet because they no longer fit.  I get by mostly by wearing my LOFT corduroy pants.  They have a bit more slack to them than jeans.  But I have a feeling December may be my month to start shopping for maternity pants.  Leggings are definitely my go-to if I’m just going to be hanging around the house most of the day.  Oh, and I have had a few mornings where I think I’m experiencing the “round ligament pain” I’ve heard of.  It’s a ligament that gets stretched as the uterus grows, and it feels like a slight pinch or sharp pain across the sides of my belly.  It hasn’t been bad, just uncomfortable at times.  All part of the process 🙂

As far as non-pregnancy symptoms, I’ve been sick the past few days.  It started the end of last week as just a little nasal congestion, but since Sunday, it’s now developed into a nasty cough, nasal and head congestion, and my voice has almost gone today.  Thankfully I’m not limited to just plain ole acetaminophen now.  After trying to find Tylenol cold and sinus (which neither Greg nor I have had success doing), I asked a pharmacist at CVS for a recommendation and he said I could take Mucinex DM.  So, I got some of that in my system now. Let’s hope it does the job tonight.  Everything is the worst when I wake up in the mornings. I can’t hardly breathe I’m so congested and the cough is killing my throat.  Not to mention poor baby Boggs is probably getting jostled all around with this coughing all day long.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving week so far!  We will be feasting with the Boggs this year on Thursday.  Not sure if I’ll participate in any Black Friday shopping this year.  There’s nothing we really need right now, so I may pass that up.  I’d like to get our Christmas tree on Friday  🙂  Maybe I’ll just decorate all day Friday.  That sounds like a great plan to me!  I’m working all weekend, so it would be nice to have the house ready for Christmas by then.

16 week baby stats-  Our little one is now the size of an avocado measuring about 4.5 inches (head to rump) and 3.5 ounces.  It is gearing up for a growth spurt over the next few weeks, and it’s weight will double.  Legs are more developed, the head is more erect, and eyes are continuing to move closer to the front of the head.  The skeletal system is developing more as calcium is being deposited into the bones.

(sorry, no bump pic today. I’ll try to post one later this week when I’m feeling a little better).

Welcome Home St. Paul

Last week we had the pleasure of enjoying another fantastic show by St. Paul and the Broken Bones.  As usual, they did not disappoint.  This time the show was at Birmingham’s very own Alabama Theatre.  It’s this gorgeous theatre downtown built in 1927.  It has been beautifully maintained for all these years, and I’ve loved getting to attend various shows there including ballet performances, movie-showings, my high school beauty pageant, and now a concert.  I don’t have any pictures to show off the beautiful interior, but I did some google searching and found some great shots from over the years.  Here she is in her opening day glory, December 26, 1927…

AlabamaTheatreAlabamaTheatre3AlabamaTheatre4AlabamaTheatre2AlabamaTheatre6

One of the things that has also been wonderfully maintained/restored is this old Wurlitzer pipe organ.  It still works to this day, and I’ve heard it played many times at various events at the Alabama Theatre.  As you can see in one of the pictures above, there was another theatre right across from the Alabama Theatre called the Lyric.  It was built in 1914 and at that time you could attend a show for 25-75 cents.  The Lyric was built as a live performing arts theatre, whereas the Alabama Theatre originally opened as a movie theatre.  The Lyric has been out of business since the 1970s, but it is currently being restored to it’s former 1920’s glory 🙂  And it looks great so far from the outside!! The lights are bright and beautiful!

AlabamaTheatre7

Anyways, back to St. Paul and the Broken Bones. The show was fantastic!  We grabbed dinner with John, Leah, Chesley & Dana before the show at J. Clyde, then hopped a taxi to the theatre.  If you like a mix of jazz, gospel, and soul music then you’ll love St. Paul.  He is an entertainer who truly loves what he does and you can tell when you see him on stage.  His band is also so talented. The brass horns make their music one-of-a-kind.  It was a great night!

Nov13-St.Paul (4) Nov13-St.Paul (6) Nov13-St.Paul (1) Nov13-St.Paul (7)

the Pumpkin- 15 weeks

Fall is officially here in Birmingham.  In the last week or so all the trees around town have started bursting into color. I love this time of year.  The bright yellows, oranges, and reds make the landscape so pretty. I snapped this picture of the tree at the end of our street.  I love it.  It’s so bright and beautiful every year 🙂

Nov14 (2)The cold weather has finally arrived as well.  Even into late October we were still having very mild autumn days.  I finally pulled out all my sweaters and boots a few weeks ago when it started getting a little cool at night.  Well now we are in full blown fall weather because the highs have been in the 30s and 40s around here the past several days.  I even went shopping a few days ago to stock up on some more sweaters for the winter.  I’ve never really loved my winter wardrobe.  I feel like I’m not good at finding winter pieces that work well together. I’m not great at the whole layering thing.  But after a quick trip to Ann Taylor LOFT (thanks to their 40% off sale going on right now!), I have a few more warm weather essentials to add to my closet.  Winter clothes are expensive, too, which is why I don’t do a lot of winter shopping.  Summer clothes are so much easier (and cheaper!).  My favorite thing right now is my corduroy skinnies. I added another pair to my stash 🙂  They are a little stretchy, which is good for a growing belly, and I can throw on a pair of boots with them and call it a day.  That’s the other thing.  I basically just wear boots all winter, and the same 2 pair for the most part.  I don’t have a lot of variety in my winter wardrobe cause I just don’t know how to mix and match as well as I do with warm-weather clothes.  Oh well.  It works, I guess.

Yesterday we made our first efforts around the house to start prepping for baby Boggs.  We decided about a week ago that we would nix the idea of trying to move next spring, and just stay here and continue to do the updates we want to do in order to sell the house sometime later.  So we started cleaning out some items in order to make room for our new family member.  We currently have 3 bedrooms- master, guest, and an office.  So we will be combining the office and guest rooms together and turning the other into a nursery.  I didn’t take a picture of the room before we got started  but I found this picture from 2013 when we did some cleaning out and organizing of the office…

Apr1-officeFor the most part, that’s what it’s looked like since then.  It functions as the office, plus Greg keeps all his clothes in that closet and in a dresser along the front wall.  The closets are tiny in these older houses.  We could never share one 😉   So our project yesterday was to send that giant desk off to a storage unit, and clean out a lot of stuff from the bookshelves and the rest of the room (some of which will go to the storage unit, some will be garage sold).  Several hours and about 5 garbage bags of crap later, the room is totally different!  We had another (much smaller) desk in the guest room that we pulled into the office room so I can still use it for school things.  I think eventually we will pull the guest bed into this room as well, and turn the current guest room into the nursery.  However, Greg thinks this room would be better as the nursery because of all the bookshelves.  Either way, we made a lot of progress in one afternoon!  I love project days 🙂

Nov16-bedrooms (1) Nov16-bedrooms (2)

Here’s our current guest room set-up.  This is the room that I think would make a good nursery.  I plan to use the armoire and white dresser for the baby. 🙂

Nov16-bedrooms (3) Nov16-bedrooms (6) Nov16-bedrooms (7)

For pregnancy updates, there’s not much going on.  I don’t even feel pregnant most days. Sometimes, depending on what clothes I’m wearing, I’m showing a little.  But other days you still can’t tell that much.  Still no detection of any movement in there, although I hear around 16-18 weeks that might start to happen! So I’m excited about that.  We did come up with a fun gender reveal idea for December with all our families!  We were hanging out with our Sunday school friends, asking them for some ideas, and one of our friends came up with a great one!  We are really excited about it, but for now I’ll keep it quiet 😉  People have asked me if I think it’s a boy or a girl, and I still have no clue.  I lean towards girl, but I think that’s just because I kinda want a girl first.  Obviously, I’ll be thrilled either way, but I don’t know anything about little boys!! haha.  But as a first time mama, I don’t have any inklings at this point.

The girls at the Sunday school bonfire…

Nov14-bonfire15 week baby stats-  Baby is now the size of an apple!  It is about 4 inches in length and approximately 2 1/2 ounces.  His or her legs are now longer than the arms, and he or she can move all those little joints.  The eyelids are still fused shut, but it can sense light.  Taste buds are also starting to form at this point. Hair on it’s head is starting to grow (although I was as bald as can be at birth, so who knows on that one!).

the Pumpkin- 14 weeks

Well last week was pretty hectic.  I had my on-campus intensives for school Wed, Thurs and Friday.  Three days of waking up before 7am wears me out!  I’ve never been a morning person. This new motherhood thing is going to be quite the wake-up call. It was good to see my fellow neonatal classmates who all came into town for our intensives.  We really have an AMAZING group in our cohort.  We all get along really great.  We group text a lot of the time, about school and life in general.  Most of us go out to dinner when we are all in town each semester.  We have a really great time together.  I hate I won’t be able to finish out and graduated with them all 🙁

Speaking of school plans, I may actually try to stick it out one more semester.  I go back and forth about it.  On one hand, I’m SO ready for a break.  I want to focus on prepping for a new baby, and not stress about school all the way up until my due date.  But on the other hand, clinicals won’t be any easier once a baby gets here.  So then I think I should get as much done beforehand as possible.  If I go one more semester, I’d only have my final residency semester to finish, which I probably would still postpone and not try to do during the summer.  I want to really enjoy my maternity leave- not try to squeeze in 240 hours of clinicals.  It’s hard enough doing that alone, much less factoring in any sort of time off for maternity leave.  The last hiccup with continuing on with another semester is that I originally submitting paperwork to stay at UAB for clinicals next spring.  Although I love UAB, and I love our practitioners, I need to get out of my comfort zone.  I’ve realized this semester that I won’t get a lot of skills doing clinicals at UAB.  By no fault of theirs, our practitioners don’t go to deliveries.  Since we are a teaching hospital, the residents go to our deliveries.  They also snag most of the critical patients, codes, intubations, central line-placements, etc.  Our practitioners just don’t do a lot of that.  So it scares me going into a final semester if I haven’t ever gotten any of those skills in these first two semesters.  So now I’m at the point of determining if I can find another clinical location in the next month and a half in order to get the most out of doing another semester.  Sigh.  It’s stressing me out a bit.

Anyways,the other big change in our plans is we are no longer considering trying to move before the baby gets here.  It came about along with the conversation about me possibly doing another semester.  IF I do that, I don’t think I could handle moving houses as well.  Plus, we still have some projects to do around the house in order to make it ready to list, and we would only have about a month or two to list it and get it sold.  If it didn’t sell by the end of March, we’d have to just pull it from the market and prep for the baby here.  The market isn’t exactly booming, and winter isn’t exactly the best time to put a house on the market either.  And honestly, our house is totally do-able for a baby, we just need to downsize some “stuff.”  So now our plans are to continue some of the bigger renovations over the next 2 months (master bath, possible kitchen updates, finish the butler’s pantry), and then focus on little stuff to get the house in better condition for selling later.  It honestly gets me excited cause now I can actually start making baby progress around here instead of waiting to see if we’ll be in a new house or not.  And I’m really looking forward to doing some cleaning out!

So those are our big new plans.  Total shift in gears, but it’s exciting.  As far as pregnancy stuff goes, not much new in that department.  Symptoms are pretty much gone. No more nausea, and I haven’t thrown up in about two weeks now.  My energy is improving, and mealtimes are a little more desirable.  Nothing is really off the plate anymore.  Well, that’s not entirely true. I’m still really picky, but that’s nothing new.  Meat is all good again 😉  Yay for 2nd trimester!

14-week baby stats:  Baby is now the size of a lemon.  A lemon!!  Oh my goodness!  It measures about 3 1/2 inches and weighs 1 1/2 ounces.  He or she can make facial expressions and may even be starting to suck his or her thumb.  🙂 The kidneys are producing urine which is excreted into the amniotic fluid.  The liver is making bile and the spleen is starting to assist in the process of making red blood cells (although the liver is still the primary site for several more weeks).

Nov12- 14 weeks (2) Nov12- 14 weeks (14)

the Pumpkin- 13 weeks

Today is the first day of week 13, and it’s gonna be a busy week!!  I worked Sunday, thankfully got canceled from work today, and have to be on campus for school intensives 7:30am-5pm Wed, Thurs, Fri this week.  Then if I’m up for it (which I will suck it up even if I’m not!), my mom, Katie and I will be heading to Christmas Village on Saturday! Yay!  I know I’m gonna be exhausted, but I can’t imagine not going. It’s one of my favorite things this time of year!

In other non-pregnancy news, we have a new gadget around the house that is making this pregnant grad student very happy.  It’s called the Neato, and it’s basically the same thing as the Roomba (although a bit cheaper) and it’s specifically designed for vacuuming pet hair.  One afternoon when I was home doing some cleaning Greg got up and said “I have an early Christmas present for you.”  I told him to save it for Christmas but he swore that I would appreciate it much more now and so he wanted to give it to me early.  Sure enough, I’m so glad he did!!  It has taken care of 1 less chore to do around the house on my off days.  With 3 dogs, I had to vacuum at least twice a week to keep the floor clean.  With clinicals, and working, and being exhausted half the time from pregnancy, that chore was getting neglected lately, which drove me nuts cause I hate walking on our floors when I can see dog hair all over them!!  It drives this clean-freak crazy! 🙂  So, Neato to the rescue!  This little dude vacuums on whatever schedule we set it for (for us, we have it working 6 days/week).  It doesn’t always get every nook and cranny every single day, but in a week’s time it gets the job done.  I LOVE IT!!  I can’t believe we haven’t gotten one sooner.

IMG_0251 Since the week is just starting I don’t have much else to update.  But at least I have a picture this week! 😉  The bump is definitely growing!

IMG_026913 week baby stats- In the last 2 weeks, our baby has doubled in size and now is about 3 inches long (about the size of a pea pod) and is almost 1 whole ounce 🙂  His/her body is growing to catch up to it’s disproportionately large head that it has been sporting 😉  It continues to move, bend and stretch it’s arms and legs (but still no detection by me).  Fingerprints have formed on it’s tiny fingers!

the Pumpkin- 12 weeks

Well, I’ve gotten a little behind, but no worries, there’s not that much to update on lately 😉  Today actually begins week 13, but week 12 was exciting because we had another OB appointment.  And we got to actually hear our baby’s heartbeat at this one.  I hate we didn’t get another ultrasound this time.  We won’t actually see our baby again until December.  But this was our first time hearing the heartbeat, and that was just as fun!  Greg recorded it for me so we can listen to it anytime we want.  It was still going strong, hovering right at 160 bpm.  As far as my vitals go, BP was stable at 112/65 and my weight was actually down a pound from my first appointment.  One thing I did learn at this appointment (or probably forgot from nursing school!) is that all your smooth muscles relax during pregnancy.  This is why I can’t eat normal sized meals.  When food enters my gut, it just sits there because motility is slowed down more than normal.  I wondered why I couldn’t eat normal meals, even though it wasn’t really a nausea issue.  I just get full SO quick!  And that’s why 🙂

So that was pretty much it for that appointment. We decided not to do the nuchal translucency genetics testing that you can have done at this point.  I’m at very low risk for most genetic abnormalities, and there’s a decent rate of false positive with the screening.  So we decided to skip it.  Our doctor assured me if something really was wrong they would likely detect it at follow-up appointments based on growth trends and the 20-week anatomy ultrasound.  That was good enough for me 🙂  So no blood draws this time. Just pee in a cup, take my vitals and listen for the heartbeat.  I think the next appointment in November is pretty much the same.

One thing I’ve noticed lately is that when I don’t get a good amount of sleep the nausea and sickness get worse.  In general, I don’t really have any nausea anymore.  But food just never sounds good to me.  Each meal seems to be a challenge to find something I actually want to eat.  I hate the dreaded “what do you want for dinner?” question.  The honest answer is usually “nothing”, but I know I have to eat something.  Greg has started asking “what do you not want for dinner?”  At least I can narrow things down a little better with that one.

But despite not being nauseated, I’m still getting sick every now and then.  I got sick at work last week for the first time.  I’ve had a few days at work that I get really lightheaded in the morning.  I can usually deal with it by just pulling up a rolling chair to my baby’s isolette while I do my assessments and bedside care.  And then by about 10/11am it goes away.  I make sure to eat a breakfast bar or banana on my way to work and drink some apple juice to get my blood sugar up, but sometimes that still doesn’t work.  Well, last Friday, the lightheadedness hit me again at my first baby’s bedside.  I was in my chair as usual, but it kept getting worse by the minute.  I called my charge nurse to the room, and was telling her about it, and asking her if she would get my next baby ready cause I knew I was starting to run behind.  Well, then I couldn’t even get my sentences out, and the room starting going black.  I was able to explain to her where my bag was out at the nurse station that had some juice in it.  Well, as she left the room to go get my juice, I stood up to move to the recliner in the room but immediately had to dash into the patient restroom and where I proceeded to get sick. Thank goodness that baby’s family was not there that day!  By then my charge nurse was back in the room with my juice, and I sat down for a minute sipping on it.  It was not fun.  I’ve managed to avoid getting sick at work all these weeks.  I guess it was bound to happen one of these days 🙁  Although it’s been just once a week the past 2 weeks, so I can’t really complain.  But I’m still hoping that part is almost over.

I haven’t been good about keeping up with my weekly photos.  I did take this one the other day when I was at the library studying (excuse the public bathroom shot!).  It was the first truly cold so far this season that called for a sweater.  Ironically, I felt more pregnant in my big sweater than I have in my lighter tops!  I think the belly is about to kick it up a notch.

Nov1-12 weeks12 week baby stats- Baby is now just over 2 inches.  Facial features have taken more shape this week. Eyes have moved closer towards the front of the face, and the chin and nose are more defined.  It will start making sucking movements with it’s mouth.  Tiny fingernails are well formed now.  The brain continues to grow rapidly and is firing synapses constantly.  And the kidneys are starting to excrete urine into his/her bladder.