Merry Christmas- Part 2

Dec26-Christmas (5)December 26th was our day to celebrate Christmas with my family.  We all gathered at my mom’s around 11am and while the turkey finished cooking we opened gifts with everyone.  This is Emily’s last Christmas as a college student, so she still stays at home when she’s in town.  Unfortunately, having sisters who are nurses, she’s gotten used to celebrating Christmas not on the 25th.  It happens.  She’s a trooper about it (although not like she has a choice!).  We began our gift exchange…again, we got several goodies for baby boy Boggs, mostly lots of gift cards that I’m excited to use!  I also got some maternity clothes, which I’ll be needing more of soon.  Greg’s big surprise from everyone was a Yeti cooler.  I knew he would be totally surprised and LOVE it, and of course, he was!

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But the biggest surprise of the day was when Emily’s sweet boyfriend (Jonny) came walking into the living room to surprise Emily at our family Christmas.  Emily and Jonny are both building science majors at Auburn.  His family lives in Tennessee, so he had been home for Christmas, but drove back to Birmingham on the 26th to surprise Emily.  We were about halfway through gift exchanges when he just walked around the corner.  (Mom of course was in on the surprise!).  So he joined us for the rest of the gift exchange.  When everyone seemed to be done opening gifts, Jonny pulled out another gift for Emily.  It was a photo album he had made of the two of them with some sweet Bible verses on each page.  And as Emily was reading through the verses, we started noticing a trend and the last page said for her to “stand up.”  At this point Jonny started saying something really sweet about not spending another Christmas apart, and then he got down on one knee and asked Emily to marry him!!!  Katie and I were squealing!!  No one clued us in on any of these surprises!  Mom had been recording the whole thing and she had told Katie to “be in charge of the camera,” so although Katie didn’t know what was about to happen, she quickly knew why mom had handed her the camera.  Of course Emily said “yes” and we were all so excited for them!

Dec26-GravesChristmas (17) Dec26-GravesChristmas (19) Dec26-GravesChristmas (20)Dec26-GravesChristmas (24) Dec26-GravesChristmas (29) Dec26-GravesChristmas (32)Now, Jonny and Emily haven’t been dating for that long, but I think they’ve been “hanging out” way before we were told anything about him 😉  We just met him a few months ago, but they’ve been casually then seriously dating for probably almost a year now (if I had to guess, haha).  Emily is one who hasn’t dated much in the past, but we’ve always said that she’s one who will probably know pretty quickly when she finds “the one.”  And she and Jonny really seem to hit it off.  He’s a great Christian guy. He’s a year older (so a year wiser?).  He’s very outgoing and energetic.  And he’s so sweet to Emily, which is of course, very important 😉  So yeah…we have another brother joining the Graves family!  The Graves girls are all officially taken. Dec26-Christmas (10) Dec26-Christmas (14)Oh, and we can’t talk engagement stories and not show off the bling.  Y’all, her ring is gorgeous!!!  I mean, really.  Great job, Jonny!

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Merry Christmas- Part 1

What a week!  This may have been one of the most exciting Christmases we have had in a while.  We started the week off with our 20-week OBGYN appointment and gender reveal party where we found out with all our family that we are having a baby boy.  I’ve had a few days to let that soak in, and after playing around on our registry and focusing my attention on sweet little boy things, I’m really pumped about our precious little boy now.  Ok, that sounded bad. I’ve been excited about it!  I was never disappointed. I was just truly shocked.  And a little scared, to be honest.  A baby boy…actually, a toddler/little boy is a whole new adventure for me.  Not once during this whole process have I felt nervous or scared about becoming a mom.  I’ve been around babies A LOT.  Heck, it’s the whole premise of my job.  They don’t scare me.  I feel like I can handle them without any worry.  But a little boy…that scares me.  How do I raise him to be sweet, but strong?  To be “all boy” but not a wild terror?  To love God and respect authority?  I mean, in a lot of ways, I guess it’s no different than raising a little girl.  The basics are all the same, right?  Building good character and teaching about God’s love will be the same regardless of gender.  And I’m not in this alone, of course.  I have an amazing husband who is so ready to embrace fatherhood.  I think we will make a great team. 🙂

So we’ve kinda jumped back into baby mode over the past few days.  I’ve had fun adding little boy things to our registry. I’ve spent way too much time on Pinterest looking at little boy nurseries. 😉  And we’ve been looking over baby name lists again.  I think I said it before in my last post, but we had a girl name picked out and ready.  The boy names have been harder for some reason.  But the other night we looked at our list again, played around with some options, and I think we have a pretty solid choice picked out right now.  I don’t want to share it quite yet, but I feel good about it.

This year, I chose to work “the Christmas option” again at the hospital.  I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but it guaranteed I was off all the other winter holidays (Thanksgiving day, Black Friday, New Years Eve and New Years day).  I’m low enough of the seniority list that if I hadn’t chosen to work both Christmas holidays, I probably would have been stuck on 3 holiday shifts instead of 2.  And it honestly isn’t that bad.  Greg goes and does Christmas with all his family, I meet up with all of them Christmas night, then we do a full day of Christmas with my family on the 26th.  We did the same thing last year.  Now, I can’t guarantee I’ll do that again next year.  I may try my chances and try to be off for Christmas day since we’ll have a bouncing little baby boy to celebrate with.  But if it doesn’t work out, a baby won’t know the difference, and we’ll make it work.

Greg and I ended up doing our Christmas gift exchange on the evening of the 22nd.  We knew the 23rd would be busy with our OB appointment and gender reveal fun, and the rest of the week was already full of other Christmases.  I had already received my Christmas gift…my new awesome car.  But I had some surprises for Greg that he got to open, mostly all hunting related.  I got him a gun rack, a fire starter, rifle case, and some new shoes and sweater.  He had some stocking goodies for me, one of which was a gorgeous diamond cross necklace. 🙂  He’s so thoughtful!

Dec22-Christmas (2)On Christmas Eve, I headed off to work and Greg spent the day running some errands, getting last minute gifts, attending the Christmas Eve service at Church of the Highlands with his family, followed by their tradition of dinner at Ichiban hibachi restaurant (so A Christmas Story, huh?).  I met up with all of them at his sister’s house when I got off work for a quick visit and we exchanged just a few gifts.

I worked Christmas day and Greg headed straight to Jordan’s house again for Christmas with all his family.  I’ve never been able to participate in Christmas mornings at their house with all the kids, but I hear it’s pretty hectic.  But what Christmas mornings with kids aren’t hectic, right? 🙂  That’s the fun of it.  Greg came home for a nap then was back at their house that evening.  I met up with everyone again when I got off work, and we all had a nice dinner together and opened the rest of the gifts.  We got a few items for little boy Boggs this Christmas, so that’s exciting.  All in all, it was another great holiday.  I can’t wait to have our baby boy with us next year to join in on the traditions and joy of Christmas.  He’ll be such a fun age too, about 7 months old.  He’ll be old enough to interact with everyone but still a baby at Christmas.  And what’s more fun than a baby at Christmas 🙂

Dirty Santa Gender Reveal- 20 weeks

So today was the day we finally got to find out the gender of baby Boggs!!  I seriously hardly slept last night I was so excited. I woke up and tossed and turned all night long.  Greg went to work as usual this morning, and I finished up some gift shopping (for our Dirty Santa game tonight).  Our appointment was at 1:40 this afternoon.  First was our ultrasound, then we met with our doctor.  We were so excited!  My heart was racing from the moment we stepped back into the waiting area.  We had a plan for our ultrasound appointment.  We wanted to know the gender, but not yet.  So we had devised a plan for our tech to place the appropriate gendered “gift” into a box we had, and separate the genitalia pics into an envelope to remain sealed until the revealing tonight.  She spend about 15 mins taking all sorts of measurements.  Head, heart, long bones, stomach, everything was looked over with great detail.  Our little pumpkin measured 11 oz today.  When she got to body parts that we didn’t need to see (so as to maintain the surprise), she would tell us to look away.  Talk about self-control.  Greg and I just stared at each other with wide eyes knowing the details were on the screen but we didn’t want to know yet.

My vitals for the day were: HR 104, BP 126/73, and weight jumped up to 126lbs (up 6lb from November).  After the ultrasound, we met with Dr. Hoover. She told us everything looked great. Heart and brain all looked normal. Her only concern was our baby is measuring about 5 days smaller than expected.  So she’s adding an additional ultrasound which will be done at our next appointment in January.  She said it wasn’t anything to be concerned about since proportionally everything looked normal.  It may be that I just will have small babies (which honestly, is totally fine with me!)  As long as they are healthy, I’ll take the small babies 🙂  So anyways, we’ll get another peek at the little one in another month.

After the appointments, I dropped Greg back off at work and I headed home to wrap all the Dirty Santa gifts.  Greg was so worried I was going to cheat and peek in our little box, but I was a good girl!  No peeking 🙂

We all got to aunt Kim’s house this evening, ate dinner and desserts, and then gathered everyone together for our Dirty Santa Gender Reveal game! I brought pink and blue cupcakes, although somehow the “pink” ones still had a lot of blue on them.  Oh well.

Dec23-GenderReveal (1) Dec23-GenderReveal (3) Dec23-GenderReveal (11) Dec23-GenderReveal (12)Dec23-GenderReveal (9) Dec23-GenderReveal (16)Dec23-GenderReveal (15)Dec23-GenderReveal (20) The way we had it planned was Greg and I brought 3 gifts (2 normal dirty Santa gifts, and a baby gender reveal gift).  So we would play the game as normal, and whoever happened to open our gender reveal gift would announce to gender to everyone, including Greg and me!!  It was so intense.  We knew which gift was the gender gift, but no one else did. Greg casually filmed everyone individually opening their gifts of choice so that we would not spoil the surprise when “the one” was picked.  We got halfway through and I stole his mom’s gift (an amazing Restoration Hardware throw blanket), so of course she had to pick another gift.  She picked up the gender gift, and I know mine and Greg’s heart started racing, but we played it cool.  Check our the video below to see how the reveal was unveiled….

At Greg’s birthday party last week, one of his buddies gave him a box of cigars and there were two cigars in their that each said “it’s a boy” and “it’s a girl.”  So, we had our ultrasound tech leave the correct gender in the cigar box and just place to wrong gender back in the envelope.  Then I just wrapped up the whole cigar box not knowing which one was left in there.  And much to our surprise, baby Boggs is a BOY!  I know I’ve been saying “boy” for a while, but deep down I really was hoping it would be a girl.  Of course I’m thrilled, but oh my goodness, a boy?!  I only have sisters and my boy cousins were 10 years older than Katie and me.  So I really have very little experience with little boys.  This is going to be interesting.  Not to mention, we had a baby girl name picked out and on lock-down.  We have NO CLUE for a boy.  Guess we better get the name lists back out!

Dec23-GenderReveal (22)So there ya have it.  We can finally move forward with nursery decor, baby registries, all that fun stuff.  I am definitely excited about that!  Bring on the airplanes, trucks, trains, footballs, tractors…

Weekend in Nashville- 19 weeks

Ok, we’re slowly getting caught up.  After the birthday celebrations Thursday night, we headed out of town Friday morning for a weekend in Nashville.  My anniversary gift from Greg this year was a trip to Nashville to see the Radio City Rockettes at the Grand Ole Opry.  We got into town thinking the show was at 5pm, but once we got here and looked at the tickets, we realized the show wasn’t until 8pm. So we had a few hours that we spent doing some Christmas shopping at Opry Mills mall, then had dinner at Dave and Busters.  I always enjoy one-on-one time with Greg, and Friday night was a lot of fun.  The show was amazing!  I don’t think Greg really knew what he was about to see, but he really enjoyed the show too!  The Rockettes are crazy impressive.  The music, the dancing, the costumes, the living nativity story at the end….soooo good!  I loved it!  And sadly, this season is the last year the Rockettes will be performing in Nashville. After that, you have to travel to New York City to see them.

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We always stay with our friends Steven and Mallorie when we visit Nashville, and this trip was no different.  Mallorie and I did a little shopping together Saturday.  I needed to get one more Christmas gift, so Mallorie and I headed to Lebanon’s downtown square.  Steven had to work most of the day, but Greg got to go with him on a few house farm calls. Steve is a large-animal vet here in Lebanon, TN, and they had some horses they needed to tend to this afternoon.  Then Saturday night the boys headed to Nashville for one of Steven’s co-workers’ birthday celebration. Mallorie and I were pretty tired (we’re both pregnant), so we just stayed at the house and watched Christmas movies 🙂

So as we finish up week 19, we are pretty ecstatic that in a few days we finally find out the gender of baby Boggs!  It’s finally here.  We cannot wait!

Week 19 stats- Baby is 6 inches and now 8.5 ounces.  We have grown almost 2 ounces from last week and can now be compared to an heirloom tomato.  Senses are continuing to develop- hearing, smell, taste, vision and touch, although obviously not all will be used for a while.  Motor neurons are continuing to develop allowing for more controlled and conscious movements.  And I can definitely feel those little movements now.  They come and go throughout the day, especially after a meal or when I’m relaxed hanging out on the couch or bed. Greg has only felt it move one time. I don’t think he’d be able to feel most of these movements lately. But just a few days after I first started feeling movements (2 weeks ago), Greg got lucky one time.  I had just crawled into bed one night and it started to move again. I told Greg to give me his hand, and as soon as I placed it on my belly, the baby gave us a good strong kick. That’s the strongest one either of us has experienced in the last two weeks, so I’m glad Greg got to feel it. 🙂

A Tacky Christmas Birthday Bash

This past week Greg turned the big 3-0.  Oh yes, we have a 30 year old in the house now.  In honor of this big celebration, the Christmas season, and his love for all things Christmas Vacation related, we threw a big tacky Christmas (Vacation-themed) birthday party for him at our house Thursday night.  It took a ton of planning, from cleaning the house, to decorating, to food prep, but it was all worth it.  We had a bonfire for roasting hotdogs and s’mores, plus a hot chocolate bar, wine, and other treats.  Greg setup a burnt Christmas tree in the front den, had Clark Griswold’s legs hanging from our ceiling, and we had enough lights on the front of the house to light up the whole cul-de-sac. Many of our closest friends came by to join the fun.  Jordan and the kids came by for a bit and they enjoyed making s’mores at the bonfire.  Everyone wore their tacky gear, which was great!  It was such a fun night!  Enjoy the pics 😉  (thanks Leah Brandon for capturing a lot of these shots!)

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I should probably explain these next few pics. The guys all have a tradition they started in college that they give each other the most random assortment of stuff for birthday gifts. Like, random crap from around the house, or super odd things that they purchase, etc.  For Greg’s 30th, they decided to go big. So this giant cardboard Santa was constructed and every body part of him had some sort of gift wrapped inside of it.  So his arms, legs, and body were all filled with little gifts….and in typical “boys will be boys” fashion, they were all poop/fart/body odor related gifts.  If anyone is curious, our baby now owns a copy of Everyone Poops.   Dec 18-Gregbday (39)Dec18-GregBday (25)Dec18-GregBday (27)Dec18-GregBday (29)Dec18-GregBday (33)Dec 18-Gregbday (56)Dec 18-Gregbday (82)Dec18-bdayDec 18-Gregbday (72)Dec 18-Gregbday (75)Dec 18-Gregbday (80)

 

Weddings and Week 18

Week of December 7-13

December has been crazy busy and flown by!  I mean, Christmas is next week! Whaaaaat?  I had finals, then one of my best friend’s wedding, then Greg turned 30, and now boom…it’s practically Christmas.  All that to say, blogging has dropped down the totem pole of priorities.  But stick with me and I’ll get us caught up!

My final exam of this semester was on Thurs. December 11.  It was all about the immune system.  Luckily, I had a pretty safe grade going into the exam.  Even if I’d made a 100%, I couldn’t make an A in the class, but I would have had to totally bomb the final to lose my B.  It didn’t help with my motivation to study, but thankfully there seemed to be less reading material this time.  And either I actually absorbed it better than usual (ha, not likely!), or this test wasn’t as bad as the others, but I did best on my final.  So shew, another semester down.  I was sooooo ready for a break!!

December 12th and 13th we celebrated the wedding weekend of my good friend Caroline and her fiance’, Paul. caroline

Friday morning she had her bridal luncheon at one of our favorite restaurants, Nabeel’s, in Homewood.  It’s this little Greek/Mediterranean cafe where our group of girlfriends spent many many meals together during our college years.dec12

Saturday during the day, Greg and I did some MAJOR yard work.  We raked and raked and raked some more to get all the leaves up out of our yard. You couldn’t even see our grass or driveway. It was just solid brown with leaves.  We also spent a lot of time prepping the outside of the house for our tacky Christmas birthday party for Greg later the next week.  Greg put tons of lights on the house and I cleaned out and cleaned up the back porch and hung string lights,  I don’t think the outside of our house has looked this good in a long time. It was well worth the work!  The wedding was at 4, so we got cleaned up and headed out for a night of celebrations.  Caroline and Paul were married at Avondale United Methodist church.  That is a gorgeous church!  The sanctuary is filled with beautiful woodwork and wood beams in it’s high ceilings, and stained glass windows all around.

Our good friend Lauren led the ceremony. She completed seminary school at Samford a few years ago.  It was a sweet, intimate, friend-filled wedding ceremony.  The reception was at Saw’s Juke Joint, this awesome southern bbq joint in Mountain Brook.  Originally the reception was to be held at Sloss Furnaces- a historic landmark for the iron-works industry here in Birmingham, AL.  However, poor Caroline had a similar wedding debacle as we did because the reception venue has been under renovations for the past 6 months, and although they assured her the would be complete well before wedding time….they were not.  So about 3 weeks before the wedding date, Caroline was on a mad hunt for a new venue.  But honestly, Saw’s was a perfect location. They were able to rent out the whole restaurant, had a vinyl record DJ do all the music, and the food was phenomenal!! I mean, seriously…good, home-style, southern food.  Delicious!  We all had a great time. (excuse the terrible quality pics. We just use our phones these days, and I’m still rocking an iPhone 4 at the moment….so yeah.)  New phone and new camera are hopefully both in the near future.

Dec13- Caroline wedding (1) Dec13- Caroline wedding (8) Dec13- Caroline wedding (7) Dec13- Caroline wedding (2) Dec13- Caroline wedding (6)It’s always great having all our friends in town together.  Most of us live in Birmingham, but a few are scattered around the country.  Another wedding in the books, and another great night shared with these lovely ladies.

That pretty much wrapped up week 18.  The bump is still quite small. Sorry, no pic again.  December has been a whirlwind. I notice the bump, and Greg notices it, but honestly, people still look at me and go, “where’s the bump?” or “eh, it’s kinda there!”  I can still easily get away with not even looking pregnant in some of my tops.  And I’m still not needing maternity pants or anything. I just stick with corduroy pants or leggings 😉

18 week baby stats- Baby is now the size of a sweet potato measuring about 5.5 inches long and almost 7 ounces.  Bones continue to develop and harden throughout it’s body, but in particular this week the bones of the inner ear are beginning to develop. This means he/she may start to hear sounds soon, such as my heartbeat and eventually sounds from the outside world.

the Pumpkin- 17 weeks

Oh boy…let’s do some catch up!

Thurs. Dec 4, 2015

This week has turned out to be pretty nice.  I ended up getting canceled from work on Sunday, and I used that as an opportunity to go to the doctor.  This nasty cold was just not going away after almost a full week of taking Mucinex.  I’ve had a terrible cough and have been super congested, so by Sunday I decided I needed something more than OTC drugs to knock it out.  I went to a doc-in-the-box and walked out with a prescription for an antibiotic.  Hopefully that takes care of it.  My congestion is better, thank goodness, but I still have a lingering cough that hasn’t really gone away.  :/

Also on Sunday, we went and got our Christmas tree 🙂  We did the cheap and easy route this year and just went to Lowes.  We’ve done the boy scouts in the past, but after just dropping money on a new car last week, we decided a Lowes tree was just fine.  We’ll do the whole boy scouts thing again next year with baby in tow 😉  I spent part of the day Monday and Tuesday putting up all our Christmas decorations.  I love Christmas decorations!  They make the house feel so cozy.  I haven’t actually bought new decorations in the last year or two, which is surprising for me.  I have a certain style of Christmas decor that I like.  I like rustic and vintage decor.  More cranberry and evergreen colors than bright reds and greens (although my vintage decor is mostly bright red, but that’s ok, because it’s vintage) 🙂  I don’t care for a lot of the sparkle and glitter, although I do have a few pieces in silver and gold that I love.  And don’t get me started on the lime green Christmas decor. Yikes!

Here’s a look at a few items around our house for Christmas 2014…

photoChristmasdecor (24)Christmasdecor (11)Christmasdecor (13)Christmasdecor (18)Christmasdecor (36)We also got our Christmas cards sent out this week.  Greg did a great job turning our fall pregnancy announcement picture into a Christmas picture. Notice any changes?  😉ChristmascardMy other task for the week has been studying for my final exam for this semester. I did my last clinical on Tuesday, and got all my clinical notes done.  The best part was after an entire semester of doing clinicals and not getting to do any “skills” per se, I got to do a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) on Tuesday!  It was crazy!  I didn’t do it 100%.  After my initial stick, I realized I was too far down on the spinal column (better to aim low than high, though!).  So instead of inserting the needle between vertebrae, I was actually on top of the coccyx, which are fused vertebrae.  So my preceptor stuck just a centimeter higher so that the needle was in the correct space, then passed it off to me to do the rest (the advancing and collecting of spinal fluid).  It was so neat!  It was a tiny little 800g baby, so that made it a little easier feeling for the vertebrae. I hope to do more skills like that next semester!  It was exciting.  The not fun part of the week has been catching up on the studying I put off during the week of Thanksgiving.  I gave myself a break and didn’t do a lick of schoolwork the week of Thanksgiving, and now it’s biting me in the butt.  I’m so ready to be done with this semester!!!  I get more and more frustrated with grad school the longer I’m in it.  And now I’ve decided to push through another semester instead of stopping after this one. Am I crazy?!  I figure it’ll suck, but it’ll be easier pregnant than with an infant in the picture.  So I’ll keep trucking along for one more.  THEN, I’ll take my break.

For pregnancy news, I’m ready to feel this little pumpkin move!!  I have a few instances where I thought, “maybe that was it??” but nothing that I could definitively say, “yes, that was a baby move!”  I know it’s just flutters in the beginning. I don’t expect to feel a strong kick at this point.  But even the flutters have been questionable to me right now.  Especially with all this coughing I’ve done over the past 2 weeks, I thought surely that would have it moving more!  I’ve probably startled it a lot lately!  Update!  So I started writing this post Thursday night, and then Saturday at work I think I definitely felt baby movements.  I was sitting in a recliner, feeding one of my premies, and I guess our baby felt like he/she was being squished, cause that’s when I felt these little dull rotation-type movements and little thumps.  The dullness is what made me think it was baby.  Gas and tummy rumblings are usually lighter and airy feeling.  And these lasted for a minute or two.  It was fun to finally be able to pinpoint what I’m pretty sure were baby Boggs’ movements. 🙂

We’re getting really excited about finding out the gender.  We were going to find out in our appointment, and then surprise everyone else with a gender reveal Dirty Santa.  But Greg’s family has convinced us to wait it out just a few hours and find out with everyone else at the party.  Aaaaahhh! I don’t know how we’ll be able to sit through that appointment and NOT find out! Eeek!  Luckily, it’s just a few hours of anticipation before we’ll see everyone that evening. We are SO excited!  And although I still have no idea, I’m kinda thinking boy still.  I was dead set on girl for the first several months, but these past few weeks have really got me thinking boy now.  The mild nausea and sickness, the lower heart rate at the last appointment…I don’t know. It’s got me on the boy kick right now.  Soon we shall know!! 🙂

So my 17 week stats are:  Baby now roughly the size of an onion, weighing 5 ounces and measuring 5 inches long from head to rump.  Sweat glands are starting to develop, and it’s skeleton is continuing to strengthen from soft cartilage to bone.  Fat is forming underneath the skin (although VERY little, because I’ve seen those little 23 weekers, and even they are skin and bone! So there’s not way a 17 weeker has any fat hardly).  It has also mastered simple reflexes such as sucking, swallowing, and blinking.