Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Not "adios" just "hasta luego"

Two weekends ago we were blessed to be able to send off some dear friends with a farewell fiesta! The Housers and the Griffins (see picture below from Houston Project 2008) are both moving on for the husbands to pursue their residencies – Housers in College Station and Griffins in Temple.
We packed out our little house with 64 friends and kiddos and sent them off in style! Everyone pitched in with food and drinks, bringing extra chairs, etc. – it was so much fun! Chris Kiser took photos and these are some of my favorites – really capturing our sweet class and the precious kiddos of our friends. He did a great job with the candid shots!















Friday, May 14, 2010

You should try Fiji

Y’all might not know this, but I have been wearing men’s deodorant since my sophomore year in college. It smells amazing, and I do believe it’s stronger/works better. I’ve been especially loyal to Old Spice Pure Sport in both solid and clear varieties. I have to say I am in love with the new Fiji scent. It’s just like Bath and Body Works’ Coconut Lime Verbena scent! (but don’t tell the boys)

You should get some. Smells like summer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A few preparations...

Now that we are in our second trimester, and that Baylor Women’s lunch I was chairing is over, it’s fun to take time here and there to prepare for Baby W. We haven’t done much, but here are some of our initial preparations. (Our first time to park in this spot – with Cason’s parents in Denton over mother’s day weekend – haha)
• We moved the kitties from the study (now baby’s room) to the laundry room. Kuy and Cason installed a kitty door. Winston got it right away…Theodore is a little slow. Once we took the flap off, Theodore was fine…we’ll see if we ever put it back on. Silly boy.

• We’ve been moving things around as we clean out the closet in the baby’s room – thankfully our house has lots of closets and a great attic, so it’s been a good reorganization/clean out process.

• Maternity clothes!! I have only bought a few medium shirts to tide me over while I am getting bigger but no bump appears (until this week!) In the meantime, I got several clothing items from Laura Lalani, 40 lbs of clothes from Tiffany Fuller (including SIX PAIR of jeans – hello! And I get to keep all of these!) and a wonderful summer stash from Ally Saxe. I am hoping and thinking I won’t have to buy a thing. What a blessing from these girls!
• Books: Erin DuBroc let me borrow Baby Bargains – this is such a help when navigating brands and products. I also ordered BabyWise – haven’t read it yet, but I think it will be helpful as we try to put this child on a schedule (see also: Micah Saxe, the two-year-old who asks to go to bed at 8 pm/can fall asleep anywhere if it’s his scheduled time to sleep.) I know every baby is different though, so I’m not putting major pressure on this, I just have seen some moms reap wonderful benefits!

• Shopping: Cason and I ventured out to Baby’s 1st Furniture on 45 a few weekends ago. We (think) we picked out some furniture, and Cason loved testing the gliders. Also, my mom and I did a quick recon trip to Babies R Us and Target a few weeks ago – very entertaining and not too daunting. There were some things that she pointed out “you will NOT need this” and others that she would’ve loved to have when we were babies. (Side note: Cason and I have already decided we will NOT have a “wipe warmer” no offense to anyone who does, but our baby will get cold wipes on its hiney!) The baby has also gotten its first Baylor T-shirt as well as a CD of classic rock songs turned into lullabies, thanks to its Nana.


• Movies: We babysat the Saxe kids with the Kisers while David and Ally went out for their anniversary. After Micah asked to go to bed, haha, we decided to pop in “Happiest Baby on the Block” to practice our 5 S’s (1) Swaddle the baby (using special tight technique); 2) place the baby on his side or stomach; 3) shush him loudly; 4) swing or bounce him rhythmically; and 5) give him something to suck on. We used some stuffed animals, but all 4 of us also got to practice on sweet baby Laurel. See the look of achievement on Cason’s face? (It so reminds me of the Office when Jim puts diapers on everything, even Angela's cat.) Laurel looks pretty happy too.

• Spiritually: Oh we are praying for this baby and know many of you are too! Everything from healthy development to an early awareness of who its heavenly Father is. My sister Liz mailed me a very sweet mother’s day card this weekend. Within the card was a sheet of notebook paper from her journal with the following prayer. Cason and I about came unglued reading this beautiful letter to the Lord. Mercy.

Dear God,
I just want to pray for Baby W right now. As we are celebrating life in You this weekend, we can celebrate the life that you give. You are knitting this baby together right now, God. You know its days. You know its steps. You know its heart. God keep your hands on this little child. Shelter this baby from harm. However it is, it is fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for being a creative God. I pray for your face to be revealed to parents Allison and Cason. Keep Allison in health and let her heart be prepared for being a mother. Help her know when to shelter and when to let this child experience the world. Give her a peace and an awesome sense of you in this time. She already has a sacrificing spirit and the skill of juggling but increase that in her. This baby is going to sap energy and attention but it is going to be a blessing. It is going to be refreshing. It is going to be beautiful. Let the leadership and strength you have already place in Cason to be developed even more. He has an incredible love for babies, God. You are going to mix this strength and love in him as he becomes a good father to this baby. I pray that Baby W’s heart, even in the beginning stages would be makde to see you. Create a desire in him or her to want to know you and serve you. Thank you for this gift, God. Amen

And that is the most important part.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Time for a non-pregnancy related post


We have been watching the miniseries “America: The Story of Us” on the History channel on Sunday nights. There have only been three, so I would encourage the rest of you (even those of you who did not major in history – haha) to also watch. It’s really good. (We still need to watch last night’s episode.) Some of the angles are debatable, but it’s full of great stories and little vignettes that I find so fascinating (i.e. the amazing spy network the colonists had to continue to communicate and thwart the British army. Disappearing ink, secret codes, “loyalists” who spilled info to the Revolutionary army…history had one guy as a loyalist until 1939 when his secret spy identity was revealed! That’s a good spy.)

Anyway, back to my original topic. I know the lens of history can rosily cloud as time goes by, so I am not trying to over-glamorize the wit and tenacity of the early Americans, but I was just reminded of and impressed by their endurance and the amount of hardships they had. They had a crazy willingness to sacrifice. From the Mayflower (where a ton of them died, including one of my ancestors – Edward Fuller – his brother Samuel was left to help raise his family…but that’s another story) to the revolutionary war, to settling west, to the grit of the slaves who traveled the underground railroad, these people were willing to do anything to make their lives and the lives of their children better. No risk was too great, no price was too high. They lost homes, children, family…

Now I am not trying to turn this into a political thing – I really am trying to be “across the board” but I feel like so many Americans do have their hand out. They do want someone else to help them do what they want to do without working hard for it. These early Americans didn’t have retirement funds or stock options…no medicare or welfare…they just took care of each other and worked really, really hard. Only 2 generations ago, my granpa was the youngest of 8. His dad came to America, fleeing war and persecution in what was then Czechoslovakia. His mom (who his dad knew in Europe, and came over later to marry him) died in a car wreck when he was 9 months old. So, they all worked their tails off to make a central Texas farm work, and his dad was just focused on helping his family to survive. Granpa was thrilled if he got an orange for Christmas. I know my other grandparents faced similar hardships and uncertainties, and many of yours did too. Now kids, our generation included, expect so much materially.

As Cason points out frequently, at some point in our families’ histories, there was a generation that sucked it up and said “I didn’t get to go to college, but I am going to make sure my kids go. I am going to save and encourage them and make it happen.” Or, “no one in my family has ever been to college. I am going to do whatever it takes to go.” It was hard for every generation in every ethnic group to break that cycle and start the generational college attendees. Every family has to cross that threshold at some point. Can you make it without a degree? Yes, but it’s getting harder, and I know the college route isn’t for everyone – I’m using it more as a representation. So many families still need to break that barrier. Many do have the grit to do it, many don’t. I can’t say that if I didn’t have generous family to pay my way through Baylor that I would’ve sucked it up and done what it took to put myself through school. I’d like to think I would, but I don’t know.

So this sounds like a million different topics, and maybe so, but I just think in general, we Americans are lazy. Do we have people who are entrepreneurs and people who take full advantage of free education and everything else this country has to offer in order to re-write their family history? Absolutely. Are those people decreasing in number? I think they are.

Not trying to be unpatriotic. I love our country and the opportunities we have, I just think we, as a people, take them for granted.

(stepping off soapbox)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Au revoir, trimester #1!

Dear first trimester,

You weren’t terribly traumatic, but my life sure did change when you began! There are a myriad of new experiences that you and Baby W brought to me. Everything that I once thought was normal for my body changed!

Eating:

I am a bottomless pit. Example: I used to only eat a package of instant oatmeal for breakfast. If I eat oatmeal now, I must follow it up with a yogurt, an orange, a string cheese, some crackers and a granola bar all before lunch. I cannot believe how much food I bring to work each day. Yes, it’s healthy but it’s still a LOT. One thing I have been doing to solve this “problem” more recently is by making breakfast tacos. I’ll scramble eggs, cheese, onions and bacon bits and wrap it into 2 tacos. If it’s an especially hungry day, I’ll eat both. If not, I’ll save one for the next morning. The protein really helps me stay full, and I know eggs are good for Baby W! Saltine crackers also saved my life during the peak of queasiness. It was a weird paradox for me to combat nausea by eating crackers…sometimes in the bathroom stall at work. Don’t judge – it worked! I never got sick!

I have also been on a quest to find the perfect drink. I typically drink at least 2 nalgene bottles of water while I’m at work (64 oz.) That ol trusty nalgene has been with me since my sophomore year of college. Its lid is long gone (RIP, melted in the dishwasher) but it’s perfect for staying hydrated at my desk.

Anyway, with avoiding soft drinks and high calorie/high sugar juice, I still want something other than water sometimes. The winners are Archer Farms Italian Soda from Target, Organics Italian Soda from Randall’s and Archer Farms flavored water from Target. Italian soda gives you a little fruity, a little sweet and a little fizzy, and I especially love the orange blueberry flavor as well as peach pear. Blood orange isn’t bad either. I tried those fizzy waters with fruit flavors, but I learned that aspartame – caffeine = headache (so they got red Xs.)

Fatigue/Breathlessness:

I really struggled with waves of fatigue during early/middle of the first trimester. I’d get one in the morning and about two in the afternoon during which I thought I could…not…stay…awake. Miraculously, I only went home for a nap on one lunch break throughout these weeks! This was just bizarre though – I would also get home from work (a normal time to be worn out) and not be able to peel myself off the couch. Cason was great through this – he has tirelessly done laundry, put sheets on beds, made dinner and even just fetched things for me. In the past few weeks, the fatigue has generally subsided (but tends to rear its hypnotic grip on occasion!) and breathlessness has taken over. I get out of breath so easily now – I feel like I have just finished running or I am in a high altitude. It’s because so much of my blood is going to Baby W and the placenta, but it feels like I am just a major wimp!

Weird symptoms and accompanying products:

Sensitive gums and pregnancy zits were weird a few weeks ago. Thankfully, I've always had pretty clear skin, so having 5 pimples on my face all at the same time was just crazy! The latest odd symptom (of many…there are just some things this blog wasn’t made to share) is that my lips/the corners of my mouth have become dreadfully dry over the past 2-3 weeks. I think they are finally healing, but I feel like I put on some form of chapstick/Neosporin/carmex 30 times/day. I carry the following with me everywhere. So maybe it seems excessive, but you aren’t the one with desert lips. (Dessert lips could be fun though!)

Oh the stretch mark myth…don’t know if this Palmer’s is helping at all, but it sure is nice to get a belly rub from Cason each night before bed.

It’s been nice knowing you, but I am ready for trimester #2!!
Love,
Baby W’s Mom

Monday, May 3, 2010

Rag Quilts

Cason’s sweet parents gave me a sewing machine for Christmas. I was/am so excited to take on new projects with it. I had to leave it in the box until March – with our ski trip and the marathon in January and I can’t even remember what else in February, it just took me awhile to get going, but I logged some serious sewing miles with the 3 rag quilts I’ve made recently!

Rag quilts are a great first sewing project (as recommended to me by Jill and Jamie) because they are easy (but time-consuming) and repetitive, so you just get lots of practice on the machine as well as refilling the bobbin. Each square is about 8”x8” and they are each two layers of flannel with batting in between. I made 2 quilts for my sisters as half birthday presents (since I never got around to giving them gifts in September!) Liz’s is the one with the bees, and Jul loves owls, so that was easy once I found some cute flannel. I also made a girly owl one for Emma Grace and gave it to her during my visit to Waco. (hint – baby sizes of 4 squares by 4 squares are way easier than more grown-up sizes of 6 squares by 7 squares or larger!) The flannel and the frayed edges just get softer and softer with each wash.



Now just needing ideas for my next project, and I don’t think I’m up for/want to sew my own baby bedding…hmmm…maybe curtains for the nursery? Lots to do before then…