Archive for February, 2011

I’m loving the theme on ‘i heart faces’ this week.  It’s so easy to capture emotions when a person’s face is showing…but trying to do so without it?  That’s a challenge. 

I chose this picture of my good friend’s daughter getting ready for a dance recital.  Hair spray is a must for a dancer, and it reminded me of  how much I used to HATE hair spray as a child.  Seriously I would gag like I was being tortured.  I’m wondering if Charley will be the same way.  😉

Check out more ‘not faces’.  😉


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And I mean close like, “it’s getting close”….not like, “close the door”. 

The end of this pregnancy really is getting close.  Remember how I was smacked in the face with the reality of how an actual baby is going to be the result of my growing bump?  Well…let’s just say you can be smacked more than once.

Wednesday morning I woke up with some cramping and lots of Braxton Hicks pressure waves.  The BH were normal, but adding the cramping got me a little worried.  I called Jan’s office, and they literally squeezed me in to see her.  Really…I had 15 minutes to put a bra on and brush my teeth.  My hair was ridiculous, and I’m sure I looked like the typical ‘3rd trimester’ pregnant woman.  At least I wasn’t wearing slippers. 

I digress…

I get checked and turns out I was 70-80% effaced…but not dilated.  What does this all mean?  Basically my body is doing what it’s supposed to…gearing up to push Charley into the world.  Jan told me if I felt the same way the next morning to come on in again.  Well, the cramping actually got worse…so off to see Jan I went.  A few things I love about Jan:

1)  She NEVER makes me feel bad for coming in when I’m not actually scheduled for an appointment.

2)  She has the best British accent you’ve ever heard.

3)  She talks to Charley…through my cervix.

Let me explain…

Yesterday while getting checked (btw I’m now 80-90% effaced…basically the same but still chugging along) Jan says in her adorable accent, “Well hello, love…yes it’s me again”.  Seriously…I just about melted.

I’m trying not to stress out about the fact that there’s a good chance that Jan might not deliver Charley.  It’s completely out of my hands.  However when I imagine Charley being born, Jan is there.  I know when the time comes, it will be beautiful no matter what, and whoever delivers Charley will be the right person…but ugh…can’t that person be her?  What do I do when I get stressed out over things I can’t control?  I think of my Mamaw and what she would tell me…


…give it all to God. 

And I have.

I am no longer stressed about it.  What will be will be…and the end result will be beautiful. 

All of this ‘pre-labor’ (don’t get too excited folks…this can last a few days to a few weeks) has led to some much needed relaxtion these past few days.  I’ve hung out with the animals, watched tv, and taken MANY baths.  On two occasions I’ve brought my phone with me and played Charley’s birth song while I just soaked and dreamed about holding her in my arms.

*yes…I painted those piggies myself last week*

They were the most relaxing baths I’ve ever had…Maxwell singing Charley’s song with the sun filtering through the bamboo shades. 

For the past few weeks I’ve been craving pineapple like it’s no one’s business.  However, I read somewhere that it can help induce labor, so that sort of freaked me out.  Not anymore.  Jan said at this point she wouldn’t stop labor so bring on the pineapple!

Charley isn’t the only thing that’s close to arriving…

Spring is so close that I’m ready to throw in the Winter towel and call it quits.  We’ve had warm weather for weeks now, and all signs are pointing to SPRING.  Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe the emotion I’m feeling.

I can’t believe March is almost here.  Part of me wouldn’t mind if Charley came early…mainly because I can’t wait to finally meet her.  Another part wants to stay pregnant these last weeks.  I mean, I just now started my ‘one cupcake a week’ rule.  I guess if she decides to come early I’ll just bring her in my Ergo.  I’ll burn the calories breast feeding.  Alright, Charley…ready when you are.  🙂

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i heart faces–cell phone

I wasn’t even going to do this challenge…mainly because I don’t have an iphone and thought I couldn’t compete with that…

…but then I thought, no way.  I love my palm pre, and even more I love the picture I created with it.  I used the ginger filter on my phone, then added some texture with gimp, and then tweaked it a little more in lightroom.  Once again, so glad I participated.  Thanks, i heart faces!

My belly…housing the beautiful face of the little girl pictured.  5 weeks to go!

See more creative phone pictures!

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Brick wall…

That’s what I felt like I was hit by this morning when I realized how soon Charley will be here.  She’s due to arrive in five weeks.  FIVE weeks.  I feel like the past five have gone by so fast, and it’s hard for me to get a handle on reality.   A lot of women have warned me how slow time will seem once you get close to your due date, and for me it’s been the opposite.  Maybe I’ll think differently in a few weeks, but I doubt it.  I think a mistake a lot of pregnant women make is they get to 37 weeks and think, “I’m full term…it’s time for my baby to be here”.  Yes, 37 weeks is technically full term, but statistically, first time mom’s usuallly go to their due date…or beyond.  I will welcome Charley when it’s her time to arrive, whether it’s in two weeks or seven weeks.  Either way…she’ll be here soon, and I went into full blown nesting mode upon awakening this morning.  I needed her room organized…and I needed it organized right that second.

The project that had been looming over me was washing all of her cloth diapers.  Mission accomplished…as well as organizing her changing table.


My mom has been a maniac about making sure Charley has a nice stash of fluff.  Thanks to all the daily deal websites we check, almost all of her diapers were half off.  Not to mention she purchased the white baskets that are now the key to my diaper organization system.

Bottom shelf  has all her prefolds, liners (cloth and flushable), a couple newborn fitted diapers, and all her covers.

Cloth diapering is definitely not what it used to be. 

 These will go under the covers…just like prefolds only they act like a disposable…which means they’re more daddy friendly.  😉


Top shelf has all her pocket diapers, all-in-ones (AIO), fitted diapers, cloth wipes (yes…I’m that crunchy), wipe warmer, and diaper accessories. 

These are probably the easiest cloth diaper.  No cover needed…just diaper and go.

Cloth wipes and accessories…no diaper rash for this girl!

In other news…

Our backyard is coming together so nicely.  It seems like Andy is doing his own kind of nesting.  To remind you what it looked like last weekend…

…and the end of the day Saturday.

…and Sunday.

Sam spent the days watching Andy work.  I love this dog.

Like I said…a lot of nesting going on today for both of us.  Andy came home from work and immediately went to the backyard.

The beginnings of our pondless water feature…or as I like to call it, “The Grotto”.

This will probably be my favorite ‘room’ in our yard.  The grotto…and the beautiful coral bark maple put in the ground today.  Hello year round interest.  🙂

Next weekend:  final grading and putting down seed. 

Spring is literally around the corner, and once again I am grateful for living in the South.  I love how in late February I wake up to a chill in the air…enough to use the fireplace while I eat my oatmeal…and then be able to rock a maternity tank top and capri pants during the day.  Sure, we’ll get blasted again before Spring really hits, but I am giddy with excitement every time I see red maple blooms or little purple ‘weed flowers’ popping up in the roadside medians.  Not to mention with every sign of Spring brings Charley closer to me. 

To celebrate my realization that I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy I’ve started a weekly tradition.  Cupcrazed…get ready to see me every Monday.  I pride myself on my healthy eating, but I believe you need to treat yourself every now and then.  At this point in my pregnancy, every now and then equals once a week.  I only buy one cupcake so I’m not cheating, and it gives me something to look forward to.  

Today’s flavor:  carrot cake


Here’s to the last full week in February.  Let the countdown begin!  🙂

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It’s amazing the things that can stir up memories.  Sights…smells…tastes…  


The beach and I go way back.  We’ve been best friends since I can remember.  I’ve splashed in the waters, been tickled by the sand, tasted fresh salt water, and discovered the simplicity of sitting in a chair and watching the waves ebb and flow.  Our bond is tight…one that I’m sure can never be broken.  But like all true friendships, there are rocky times…bumps in the road.  Our bump happened 16 months ago.

It should have been a joyous week.  Andy and I were days away from celebrating our one year anniversary and we were eight weeks pregnant with our first baby.  I was high as a kite.  The first four days it was just me and my mom…and it was wonderful.  I’ll never forget how relaxing it was to just forget about trivial things and relax.  We slept in, ate lunch on the beach, read books, and just talked.  I remembered my mom saying, “How does it feel to know there’s a baby inside you?”.  I was just in awe.  I love looking back at those days…and I hate it at the same time.  I hate it because that Friday at our appointment with my midwife, our world got turned upside down.  That was the day we learned that our pregnancy had ended two weeks earlier…but my body didn’t realize it.  I hate how those memories with my mom are now scarred with memories of me thinking I was pregnant with a growing baby, when in fact I wasn’t.  I hate how my beautiful beach friendship no longer seemed quite as beautiful. 

That April, after trying for another baby for nearly six months, we took a trip to Folly Beach, SC with our friends.  It was supposed to be my ‘make-up with beach’ trip.  While I did have a blast, my fun was shadowed with the frustrations of not being pregnant…as well as the eager anticipation of ‘could this be the month?’.  My mind was swimming with emotions, and never was I fully able to relax the way I did with my mom those four days. 

Yesterday the beach and I made up.

Yesterday I found that peace that I longed for in April…that I had sixteen months ago, but forgot what it felt like…and I found it all with Charley.

*pictures of me taken by my good friend, Sonja…see, you CAN take a great picture!*

It really is true how going through rough times make the happy ones that much better.  I kept saying that to myself when we lost our first pregnancy, and every month after when we weren’t pregnant.  I knew it had happened for a reason.  I wasn’t sure what it was yet, but I had faith that someday I would look back and not remember that October beach trip as a depressing time…but rather an experience that would help shape Andy and I into the people we are today.  I didn’t know it then, but those 10 months of trying to get pregnant were some of the sweetest times we’ve had together.  Those are 10 months of time where it was just the two of us…a time we wouldn’t have had otherwise.  

A random trip to Folly beach, SC and our friendship has never been tighter.


I KNEW it had happened for a reason.  My bump in the road led to the bump I’m sporting today.

I am so thankful Sonja convinced me to be spontaneous and join her for a day filled with walking, talking, and memory making.

Background story of these next two pictures…

Last April when we went to Folly, we ate at Planet Follywood countless times.  Each time, the guys would order a Folly burger…which was probably the best garlic burger you can imagine.  Since then, we have been able to *almost* recreate it at home.  I couldnt not take a picture.  These next two are for you Andy and Shawn.


Only at Planet Follywood can you see Hank the Pirate live…whoever he is.

After our reflective beach walk we went back into Charleston and walked around Charles Town Landing for some more picture opportunities.  I literally squeeled outloud when I saw that the Red Maples were in bloom…

…followed by an even louder squeal when I found this cherry tree…in bloom!

I’m a sucker for pelicans.  My favorite character on Finding Nemo is Nigel, and back when Beanie Babies were hot…I was the proud owner of Scoop the Pelican.

Sonja has a turtle radar.  I was so into the pelicans that I almost missed this little guy.

There is something magical about live oaks and Spanish moss.  I don’t think of the beach without getting a vision of these beautiful trees. 

The last 20 minutes of our nature walk were like living in a dream, and once again I found the same peace I had sitting on the beach with my mom. 


I just wandered around…not a care in the world…completely forgetting how tired I was, and how it felt like Charley was about to fall out of me (thanks, third trimester).  This was the definition of tranquility.

I cannot tell you how much I needed this trip.  I wanted so bad to return to the place where I was devastated with loss…and bring with me new life.  I have a new appreciation for the past that brought so much pain…

…it led me to Charley.

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So long!

Tomorrow I make a super spontaneous trip to Charleston, SC for a couple days…




The only thing I’m bringing is a change of clothes, my camera, and my baby girl in utero.  Forecast:  sunny and in the 70s.  I’ve already whipped out the tank tops. 

See you Friday!

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This one’s for you dad (or at least the first part is)…

Anyone that knows my dad knows that he loves his appliances.  Foodsaver, various smoothie machines, his new Keurig coffee maker, and his Belgian waffle maker.  I love when he finds a new one because of the way he shows it off.  He’s so proud of his new discovery, and rarely does he discover a dud.  He loves spreading the love of these machines by giving them to members of our family…which we love!  My Papaw now enjoys fresh coffee from his new Keurig, and Andy and I are now proud new owners of a Foodsaver…and a Belgian waffle maker.  Actually, we aren’t ‘new’ owners of the latter…it was given to us two Christmases ago and has been dormant since then.  Why is beyond me.  I *LOVE* waffles…especially the thick Belgian waffles.  And this machine is serious business.


*Notice that the pan is covered with aluminum foil.  I learned that from my dad, which I’m almost certain he learned from my Mamaw.  Definitely something she would do*

I try and eat mostly whole wheat/whole grain carbohydrates which might be a big reason I haven’t used this bad boy before….until today.  I was shopping at Target last weekend and found an instant honey whole wheat pancake/waffle mix.  Sold!

Hello second breakfast!


Can you smell it? 

Served with cool whip and sugar free syrup.  🙂

Even the syrup was smiling.  🙂

And in a completely unrelated ‘part 2’ of this post, I decided to tackle the washing of all my prefold cloth diapers and cloth wipes.  Anyone that is familiar with cloth diapers knows you have to wash prefolds six times before using them.  I had some work to do.

Size small before…

Small after 3 washes (I’m on number 4 as we speak)…

Our fur babies have been extremely clingly lately.  I swear they know what’s going on.  They pace around the living room like a husband would in the waiting room back in the 50s…or they just hang out by my side when I’m folding laundry.


Earlier today I was sitting on the chaise lounge, and Bela was doing her pacing.  Our dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture, but sometimes we make an exception.  Today was an exception. 

Bela climbed right up and put her paw and head on my pregnant belly.  I strained for my camera and tried to get some shots. 


And like many crunchy mamas, I’m planning on ‘wearing’ Charley…in an Ergo carrier.  🙂 

I’ve said MANY silent prayers that she’ll enjoy being carried.  I’ve imagined so many walks/hikes that involve my Ergo.  My mom even purchased the infant insert that arrived today in the mail.  I wanted to get a picture with that, but alas…my pregnant belly wouldnt allow it.  We’ll just have to wait for Charley to get here to see that in action. 

And for the record…a waffle was my second lunch too.  😉

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