Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Best Blankets
He complained that it wasn't quite long enough for his liking, though, so I asked my mom to make another one with more t-shirts. She came through with a Meezy-sized blanket and it's perfect!
As you can see, this one has a gray, blue, and white theme to it. It's the perfect complement to our other one. My mom is the best!
Monday, December 26, 2011
Christmas Week Recap
Next, we bought the Vizio 8" Android Tablet to use as the monitor. We downloaded one of the many apps that's compatible with the Foscam camera, and it gives us a great view of the crib, on a large screen, with sound.
We also downloaded apps to our smartphones, and we can view the live feed from there too. We can adjust the camera's position from any of the devices, and also hear sound or set it up to notify us if there's movement in the crib. I'm excited to put it to use!
Another advancement in the nursery was the hanging of our little man's initials. They came plain white from the store, so I added some colored circles to fit with the theme of the room.
On Friday night, we went to a lovely dinner at St. Martin's with our friends Brian, Sharon, Justin, and Stari. It was French cuisine, which was the perfect preface to our next stop - watching Les Miserables at Winspear Opera House. I had never seen the play/musical before, but I've heard Meezy talk about it in the past as one he liked, so I was excited to get the chance to see it too. I enjoyed the show, and didn't realize that I had heard a couple of the songs previously but didn't know they were from Les Mis at the time.
On Sunday, we traveled down to the Midlothian area to spend time with my side of the family. It also happens to be my Mom's birthday on Christmas, so we had lots to celebrate! I love seeing my nieces and nephews, because they bring such joy to my life. It's hard to believe there will be another little one joining the celebration next year, but I look forward to it. This is our last Christmas without a child, and from here on out - everything changes! Here's a pic of me from Sunday, at 31.5 weeks.
We're less than two months away!
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Baby Owner's Manual
It's just over 200 pages, so it doesn't seem like wayyyyyy too much information than you'd ever care about. It approaches parenting very practically, and doesn't include the constant eye-rolling mushiness that I don't need to read about (I'm going to experience it myself soon enough, so I'd like my baby book to give me knowledge, not an emotional response!). It's also funny, but doesn't try to be too funny. It doesn't go into too much detail on any one topic, so you feel like you're getting a good overview in a lot of areas without feeling bogged down. I read the book from cover to cover pretty quickly, because I was actually interested, and I kept coming across little tidbits that made me go, "Oh, that's a good idea." or "I didn't realize that." So, in other words, I would recommend this book to soon-to-be or new parents if you want a break from the run-of-the-mill encyclopedia-like books!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
When I'm a Parent
One day last summer, I was at a Texas Rangers game when the temperature exceeded 100 degrees. I saw a family with their infant in a stroller, and the child had bright red cheeks and looked miserable from the sun exposure. That scenario made it to the list in this form:
"I will never bring my infant to a Texas Rangers game in the sweltering heat (or any other outdoor event for that matter, when its 100 degrees outside)"
Maybe the parents couldn't find a babysitter. Maybe the parents thought it would be cute to bring their little one to his first baseball game. Whatever the reason, I don't think it was a good enough one to subject their kid to that atmosphere, at that age. I wrote it down so that I would hopefully remember it later in life if I ever got tempted to bring my child to a game in that heat.
Not everything on the list is "I won't do so and so" type of things. Some of the things on there are appealing behaviors or responses I've observed, that I really hope to try and replicate when the time comes. For example, my sister Joanna has done an amazing job with her 3 year old, in that you will very rarely catch her throwing an obnoxious tantrum to get what she wants. My sister set the precedent very early that that won't work, and Olivia knows this. Case in point: the other day at Chick fil a, Olivia saw another child with an ice cream cone and wanted one too. We were on the way out, and it was getting late, so Joanna said no. Olivia repeated her desire to have ice cream and Joanna declined again. The third time, Olivia started to use a whiny voice and get a little huffy and Joanna looked at her very calmly and said, "Olivia, have you ever gotten what you wanted when you acted that way?" She knew she hadn't, so she said no, changed her demeanor to a very happy one and said, "Mom, may I please have some ice cream?" Joanna declined her request again, we walked outside to the car, I asked Olivia about something else, which made her forget about the ice cream completely, and we went along our merry way with no screaming tantrum, no waterworks, and no caving in by the parent. It was truly fabulous, and I hope to achieve that in the future as well with my kid!
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely know that the chances of me not performing any of the "I hope to never" items is slim. I know that when I become a parent, I will change my views on some things and fall victim to some habits non-parents will find annoying. I know that parenting is ridiculously difficult and even people with the best intentions sometimes have to take shortcuts. Those are the main reasons why I'm making this list. I know that things change, and it will be humorous to see how I felt before a child entered the picture versus after.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
The glider we had on our registry went on sale for $75 off, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get it for a steal! I ordered it from Target on a Saturday and got it the next Tuesday. Nice! We put it together and we're pretty happy with it. It looks good in the room, and is comfortable.
We were also incredibly grateful to receive an amazing gift from our good friends, Jonathan and Rose. They bought us the swing and pack and play from our registry. Can you say generous?? We set up the swing and I just wished I had my little angel already around so I could put him in it! It's so cute.
And here's what the pack and play looks like:
We also received an awesome package in the mail from our friends in San Francisco, Jimmy and Rosa. We couldn't help but smile when opening it!
On Saturday night, we went to a tacky Christmas sweater party thrown by our friends, Casey and Rachel. We had nothing sufficiently tacky enough in our own closet, so we had to do some shopping to try and find just the right outfits. I think we succeeded!
In other news, I passed my glucose test, and this week marks my 30th week of pregnancy! I'll be going to the doctor for my normal checkup and then I'll be back again to see her every 2 weeks until the 1 week appointments start. Whoa! This pregnancy sure is flying by. I hope I stay just as busy as I have been lately.
Finally, let me use this opportunity to wish my parents a happy anniversary! Today marks 40 years of marriage for them, and I couldn't be more proud. They are a wonderful couple, and they have always been amazing parents to me and my sisters. I am so happy they reached this impressive milestone, and I look forward to the day when Meezy and I can celebrate 40 years too!
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Not Your Average Baby Shower
My hostesses - Kari, Katie, Jenn, and Jo - did an amazing job of making the party exactly like we wanted it. They brought in fajitas, enchiladas, beans, rice, guacamole, and queso from Rosa's Cafe (my favorite!) and cupcakes from Stein's Bakery. They set up an adorable clothesline filled with socks and onesies, placed beautiful orange lilies around the house, made a board where guests could bet $1 to guess when the baby would be born, and set up a scrapbook station where guests got their picture taken and wrote down advice for us. It was perfect! Here are some pics:
Friday, December 2, 2011
The Price is Right Experience
We got to the studio about 6:30am, and there were already about 40-45 people in line in front of us (the studio holds 300 people). By the time 7:30am rolled around, the line stretched out pretty far behind us. I never got to see how long it actually got, or if everyone made it in, but I think getting there early was a good plan! We read magazines and talked to the people around us to pass the time. As it got closer to 8am, studio employees started going through the line and checking tickets. If your ticket showed that you had clicked the link from thebump.com, you got moved over to a priority line. We then became numbers 17 and 18 in line. After they let us into the main gate, we were moved into an area where we had to fill out an information card and we got our picture taken. This is where they weeded out the non-expectant mothers from the contestant pool by putting a large X over their number. (Only women that were expecting were going to be called as contestants). This made us get a little hope that my chances of being called were actually pretty good! We waited in this area for a while, and there was a gift shop and snack bar open nearby.
From here, we were moved into another staging area where we had to wait for a while. We were always told to stay in numerical order, so Meezy and I were close to the front of each line. When the show's producer finally came out, they called us up in front of him in groups of about 9 people. He did a really quick interview of each of us (Where are you from? What do you do? When's your due date? etc), while an assistant took notes. Apparently this is where the decision is made as to whether you're going to be a contestant. You only have a few seconds of time to make an impression! (A girl in our group of 9 ended up being picked as a contestant, and she actually made it to the showcase showdown. She was with her husband, sister, and parents, and they were all wearing clever shirts related to her pregnancy. They were also pretty high-energy!) I think it probably helps if you come in a group and everyone is outgoing and friendly. After the quick interview, we were moved into another staging area where an assistant gave us a briefing about the taping, and then showed us all an episode of the show that included some of the games that were going to be played that day. (Side note: after the interview stage, before the part where you watch the episode, you have to go through a metal detector, so this is where you'd have to give up your cellphone and any other electronic devices. You check them with security and then could pick them up afterwards. They could help you pass the time in the morning, but we opted to leave them at the hotel so we didn't have to get them checked. We didn't want to stand in the long line to pick them up after the taping, when we knew we'd be ready to go and tired of waiting by that point!) Finally, sometime around 12:30pm, we were let into the studio.
They direct you where to sit in the studio, so it's not a free for all, but since we had been assigned such low numbers, we were seated in the front. They had roped off the first couple of rows to put a few groups of women with clever shirts up there, and then seated us right behind them. We were no more than 5 rows back from the stage, and just off to the right side of the contestant podiums. In other words, we were going to be on camera a lot! We were pretty surprised at how small the studio was. I guess what you see on TV is a little deceiving because they use some camera tricks to make it seem bigger. The stage was also much smaller than we expected it to be. They use the same area over and over again, and just move the props for the games and prizes in between each break. The show isn't live, but they try to tape it like it is. In other words, there's not many do-overs, and it doesn't take much more than an hour to tape. They take "commercial breaks" and during those times, Drew Carey and the announcer spend time talking with the audience, making jokes, or telling stories. It was pretty entertaining, and a little weird that he was literally right in front of us!
Meezy and I caught ourselves looking at the monitors a few times, trying to see what the shot would look like on TV, and if we were in the camera shot. One time, I saw myself on the monitor, looking up at the monitor. Oops! We tried to stop doing that as the show went on, so I'm not sure exactly how many times we're on camera, but I'm guessing it was a lot! One of the crew was responsible for prompting the audience on when to clap, cheer, or yell out potential prices, and he was usually pretty close to us, so we started yelling out whatever popped into our head. I'm pretty sure we were no help to the contestants, but we wanted to contribute like he was asking everyone to do! I'm curious to see if I'm ever on camera holding up a ridiculous price. Lol.
When it was all said and done, I didn't get called as a contestant, but the taping was a blast. It was so neat to see people getting called down that you had talked to in line previously, or just simply seen during the waiting process. It made it more personal and we actually wanted people to win and felt genuinely happy for them when they did. After the show was over, they did have to re-tape one person's "come on down" because the cameras missed it the first time. It was kind of hilarious because she had to recreate her excitement and the rest of the audience had to as well. The announcer also had to do a couple of prize descriptions again because his original ones weren't going to fit into the allotted time. After those were done, every audience member was given a gift bag from thebump.com with a few baby-related items and some gift cards in it. That was a nice gesture! We finally got out of there at almost 2pm, which means the whole process took us almost 7.5 hours! There were times where we got bored and a little annoyed, but it really wasn't that bad. I'm glad we went, and I'd say it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We probably won't be doing it again, but I wouldn't discourage other people from going. The taping we attended will run on January 11, 2012. I'll be setting my DVR for sure!
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Riley Weight Loss - Update 5
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Phase Two Done!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Can't Be Thankful Enough
Today, I think about the sacrifices and choices my parents made so I could grow up the way I did. I think about the example they set for me and the unconditional love they've shown. I think about my mom's willingness to drop whatever she's doing to help me if I ask, and my dad's warm hugs and friendly phone calls when he thinks of something he knows I'd like to hear.
Today, I think about the family I've gained through marriage, and the open arms they've welcomed me with. I think about all the nice things they do, and the warmth and love I feel when I see them. They treat me like I've been around since birth, and I'm grateful they love me like their own blood.
Today, I think about my good fortune to have two older sisters who look out for me and celebrate my successes with me. They're there for me when I need them, and they make this journey through life much more enjoyable. I'm grateful I can go to them with my frustrations and my joys, and they welcome both because they love me.
Today, I think about my friends who I'm so proud to surround myself with. While some I talk to more often than others, I'm grateful there are so many that wouldn't hesitate to step up in a time of need. My friends are a diverse group of people, and each one brings something special to my life.
Today, I think about the man who stands beside me, and holds me up when I need him to. I think about the years we've spent together and wish for a million more like them. He supports my dreams and makes them his own. I'm so thankful that his generosity, open mind, humor, and level-headedness have rubbed off on me, and I'm a better person today than before I met him. I'm grateful for the example he's going to set for our son, and I hope our son grows up to be just like his daddy.
I can never really be thankful enough, but I'm trying my best.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Audi R8 Private Drive Event
We were surprised at how they just set us all loose behind the wheel of these cars. We weren't on some secluded track, away from other drivers and the elements. We were right on I-35 in Dallas, amidst traffic at times, and even as it started raining. They had put walkie-talkies in each car so the professional drivers could stay in contact with us and let us know where we'd be heading next. Other than that, Meezy was pretty much free to drive how he wanted! It was really cool. I'm sure it looked a little odd to other drivers and people on the street to see 8 Audi R8s driving next to each other! Here's some pics of the experience, and a couple videos for a little taste of what it was like to be a passenger.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
Buddha speaks the truth.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Phase One Done!
I can be pretty determined once I set my mind to something, so it didn't take me too long to get it completed. The next step in the painting scheme might actually be harder than the accent wall since I need to use a laser level to draw the top and bottom lines for the orange stripe, and the walls it's going to go on have lots of interruptions- closet doors, windows, etc. It won't be one continuous stripe around the room. Oh well! Who doesn't love a challenge?
Friday, November 4, 2011
I love the whimsical dots and circles, and it features my two favorite colors - green and orange. The window valances, a couple pieces of the bedding, and a few other decorations around the room will be this design, so I decided to use it in my paint scheme too. Talk about hard work! It's been time-consuming, but I'm loving the results! I chose one accent wall to incorporate the dots and circles, and the other three walls will just have a bold orange stripe around the middle. Here's a couple close-ups of what a completed section of the accent wall looks like:
And then here's where you can see what I've done in total, and how much I still have left to do:
I've just been working on it at night, and the stenciling took a few different sessions. I started the painting two nights ago, and probably spent 2.5 hours each night on it. I know it doesn't seem like much progress for that amount of time, but there are quite a lot of things to paint, and they're very small! Overall, I think all the effort will be worth it because I love the colors and the design, and how unique it is!