Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photo Booth

Here are just a few photos from the photo booth at my brother-in-law’s wedding earlier this month.  Photo booths are SO FUN at any event!  The photos make great party favors for guests and provide a fun, let-loose activity but you definitely gotta have some fun props!  The pictures print out instantaneously (2 sets – one for you & one for you to add to a book for the bride/groom with a personalized note).  The booth was completely busy the entire night – primarily by our awesome nephew Evan who monopolized about 25% of the photos solely by himself on repeat…lol.  Too precious!

My fav is the one of Matt holding my belly - ha

Matt's lovely cousin Gena titled this compilation 'Let your love grow' =)

Seriously - he cracks me up!!

Totally entertained --> just look at that personality...such a cutie!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bathroom Stall

Just realized that this is about to become a VERY important piece of equipment in public bathrooms for me.  I’ve never really thought twice about them before but...h.e.l.l.o changing table.  I’m Kathy.  Nice to meet you.  Just curious, but do you also appear in boy’s bathrooms for Daddy to change? 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Needles Schmeedles…

So I have never been good with needles.  I would get nauseous and ill and all sorts of things.  I can’t believe I’m actually admitting this so publicly, but I even RAN a blood drive several years ago and was not able to muster up enough strength to give blood myself due to my fear of that huge needle and almost fainted.  But I tell ya what…pregnancy has made me get over it in a good way.  I have had more blood drawn in the past 3 weeks it’s unreal.  Just today, I had THREE separate needles prick me by THREE different people.  I had my flu shot by my obgyn’s nurse, then more blood drawn by the lab and then, that nasty skin spot I mentioned under my left collarbone in my 29 Week baby status update had to be removed this morning by my new dermatologist.  It was brought on by pregnancy and was getting bigger and bigger.  It was sitting on a blood vessel and just this week, it would randomly begin gushing blood (like full on squirting out of a horror movie…TMI?  Yeah, sorry.).   Totally gross and she said it would only get bigger and more aggravated over the next weeks due to the pregnancy hormones so she removed it and cauterized the blood vessel after sticking a big ‘ol needle in it to numb me.  Yes my friends – 3 needles today!  I’m no longer scared – bring ‘em on!  After Harper is delivered, I’ve got some blood donation to make up =)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Baby Stats - 32.5 Weeks

Baby Size and Weight: Harper is the size of Honeydew (19in, 4.5lbs)

Food Cravings & Aversions:  Everything!  I'm loving eating again now that my reflux is mostly under control.
Symptoms:  Holy moly - kicks!  Little Harper just kicks my insides all around.  My poor ribs are holding up and I honestly wouldn't trade it for ANYTHING!  I have enjoyed most of my pregnancy but I am 100% confident, that more than anything, I will miss the constant movement from her in my stomach more than anything.  But my poor ribs are definitely going to come out of this pregnancy a bit tougher!  Also, I have a lot of pressure 'down there' - her head hangs out there and I'm constantly made aware of that ;-)  Other than a little less energy, I don't have any 'new' symptoms.  This week was awesome because I actually slept!  I mean, I did get up about every 1-2 hours to go to the bathroom but EVERY time, I went right back to sleep so I'm thankful for that.  

No real surprises for this week.  It's a stretch, but I guess I could say that this week, I've surprised myself by all of the random things I'm starting to question. We have taken to loving having fresh flowers in the house.  This week, burgandy hydrangea and orange tulips (fall colors); however, could Harper be allergic to the flowers...could they be harmful to her when we bring her home?  What about her I need to wash all of her toys before she uses them?  She'll put them in her mouth so I assume so but can they go in the washing machine or do I hand-wash them?  Am I already turning into a weirdo paranoid new mommy (something I don't want to be!).  
Hint: Central Market typically has great selection of flowers and some can actually be pretty inexpensive.  I've seen some varieties that are even less expensive than what I have seen at the floral wholesale shops and can last just as long!

Favorite Baby Things:
Tiny Headbands!  I am head over heels for these tiny headbands.  I got Harper the blue one shown below and three from the other grouping.  I did not have any hair on my head until I was two years fear for Harper.  Well, no more fear!  I plan on using these tiny headbands (in conjunction with her mega-cute wardrobe!) for the world to know she is a precious baby guurrlll!!!  They are tiny enough that they will not swallow her up while she's small and I just think they look so classic.  You can google 'tiny headband' on ETSY and find a TON of these adorable products.
My Sweet Bee - on ETSY
These little flowers are so tiny & precious!
I swoon!

I also have heard so much about these Monthly Onesie Stickers so I decided to check them out for myself.  Basically, as baby grows, each month you take a picture of baby in a solid onesie with the corresponding '1 month', '2 months', etc, sticker on it to track monthly pics for the first year.  
Here is an example...(and a cute baby!)
These are the ones I ended up selecting...yay for bright colors.  Mine came from Say it in Style and were only $9 for a 12 month set.

Baby Bump:
Wow - baby bump feels like it grew SIGNIFICANTLY this week!  This pic was taken yesterday, just before we headed out to Grapefest in Grapevine this weekend - we had a SUPER time!!  We realized it's probably our last festival to go to for a looong while as 'just the two of us'...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Preggo Foto Fun

Matt & I went to check out a nearby park just a few miles down the road, and, as we often do, we brought the camera along.  We took advantage of the weather for Matt to additionally snap some photos highlighting lil' miss Harper Kate and I love how they turned out!  Below are some of my favs (the hubs is getting pretty good at this photography thing, wouldn't ya say?!).  Only 8 more weeks until we meet our girl...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Baby Stats - 31 Weeks

Baby Size and Weight: Harper is the size of a head of lettuce (19in, 3.9lbs)

Food Cravings & Aversions:  Ice Cream & Cookies...I know, soooo typical.  
Symptoms:  Besides the rant from my previous post (here), nothing really new to report.  Instead of a list of 'symptoms', for this post, I decided to make a list of things I miss:
  • QT White Cherry Icee (these give me horrific reflux so I'm deprived of them currently)
  • Working Out
  • Tan Summer Legs (I can't be in this crazy summer sun w/out being in the water.  I can't lay on the pool float on my back or stomach.  Thus, I float upwards - the top half of me is tan & the bottom half, well...)
  • Laying on my back!
  • Starbucks frappacinos
  • Enjoying a good pedi - The last two I've had made me nauseous - no massage chair or leg massage for me...lame :(   
  • Cuddling w/the hubs without a pillow between my legs and supporting my baby belly
  • A full night of sleep
  • Mexican Food 

I've been taken off guard by what a difference it makes to have a supportive partner on this journey.  I mean, I knew it would be important for Matt to share in the joy with me but as I had illness last week, the confusion with the hospital visit, and as we continue to talk about the labor & delivery experience, I am completely humbled and thankful for what a true partnership we have in this experience.  He truly is my advocate, my caregiver, my sounding board and has been 110% by my side.  Through middle of the night Braxton Hicks, leg cramps, etc, he is up next to me.  He walks with me, runs baths for me, cooks / cleans / waits on me and all with love in his eyes, a smile on his face, and a constant desire to do more.  His support has helped me tremendously not to mention reinforced how I am completely loved, pampered and taken care of!  

Favorite Baby Things:
Matt & I are excited to have learned about CBR and Cord Blood Registry.  This is a process in which your baby's cord blood is collected and stored for years and years in case of future medical needs and the process is completely harmless to the baby.  Cord blood is full of nutrients that can be used in medical treatments for both your baby AND family members.  They are still making discoveries regarding all of the treatments/benefits but what a great opportunity for Matt & I to take advantage of this medical milestone for our family! 

Baby Bump:
31 Weeks!

Liver What?

I mentioned in my Colorado Wedding post here that I had an unpleasant experience with altitude; well, it may have been quite a bit more than just that.  We had a great time at all of the beautiful wedding events but the 'in between time' was primarily spent at the hotel where, over the weekend, I progressively experienced worsening nausea, pressure, reflux, and stomach pain.  By the time we arrived back to Dallas, I couldn't get in one position for more than a few minutes without having to shift in pain and was nearly in tears.  When I described how I felt, it just felt like I was being a big 'ol baby and complaining about typical 3rd Trimester I bit the bullet and just tried to suck it up.  I had my 31 week appointment with my doctor scheduled for the upcoming Friday and I thought I could stick it out.  

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I could barely make it through the work day, and then I noticed I hadn't felt Harper move like I was used to feeling her.  That was enough to make me suck up my pride and head straight to the doctor's office where they promptly performed an ultrasound - of course, my little girl started moving immediately ;)  I saw the 'on-call' doctor and she did some other tests that showed Harper was doing wonderfully.  They did some blood work and informed me the results would be back by my appointment on Friday.  I also started a new reflex medication (my 6th one!)....and low & behold IT FINALLY WORKED!  I couldn't believe what an amazing difference that alone made!  For the record, Prevacid is the winner - geez...that was a tough road.  I woke up on Thursday and it was like a light switch had been flipped over night but I felt like a new person; I was no longer an alien drowning in a sea of enhanced 3rd trimester symptoms.  I was really thankful because both Matt and I had NO IDEA how in the world we were going to make it another 8&1/2 weeks like that!  

When I went for my Friday appointment, my regular doctor had not been informed about my impromptu visit.  When I mentioned it to her, we went back to her office together so she could pull up my blood work and after looking alarmed, she immediately sent me to Labor & Deliver...wh, wha, whaaattt???  Not for what you think but because she wanted to re-run the blood test and that would be the fastest way to get results instead of waiting on the lab.  My liver enzymes were high (the normal limit is '35' but mine were at '51' --> whatever that means).  

So, I was taken to a Labor & Delivery room where the nurse gave me a gown.  I promptly informed her that I felt fine and was just there for blood work.  Regardless, it was protocol.  Then, the nurse started to hook me up to all kinds of monitors.  Again, I informed her that I felt fine and was just there for blood work.  Again - protocol.  By the time Matt arrived, he walked into a labor & deliver room with his wife hooked up like she was about to have a baby and his poor face was in utter shock!  They took my blood and had me sign all of the labor and delivery forms (for realz!); fortunately, Matt & I had already researched and discussed our birth plan in detail and knew exactly what we wanted in the forms.  When we asked about the blood work results, the nurse informed us they were indeed back and my doctor would be coming up to discuss them with us...just great (we knew that meant not good).  

After waiting for what seemed like a long while, Dr. Sigman (the BEST doctor EVER!) came up and said the high liver enzyme level had more than doubled from '51' to '121' (again, whatever that means) and because of that, she wanted to run a great deal of additional tests.  Typically, increased levels like that are accompanied by high blood pressure (which I didn't have), other funky blood counts (which I didn't have), or the foul symptoms I had experienced earlier in the week (but no longer had) so I was a 'medical mystery' at that point.  She did reassure me that I was in fact NOT being a baby earlier in the week and that she was confident SOMETHING was wrong at that time and then assured me I should NOT go through the remainder of my pregnancy in as much pain as I had experienced.  On one hand it was refreshing to hear I wasn't off base in my personal assessment but on the other, I definitely didn't want there to be something wrong.  Dr. Sigman stayed with us as they did a sonogram on my liver and it was 'normal'.  She stayed with us even longer and just visited about quirky hospital patients and unfathomable hospital was great to have that time with her and build more of a relationship - her and Matt together kept me laughing for about an hour in total!   

I stayed overnight at the hospital with the hubs by my side, and we re-ran the blood test in the morning; Dr Sigman had informed us that if it doubled again to 300+ she may be delivering Harper right away.  Thankfully, the results showed that one of the liver enzyme levels had gone up by just a small amount but the other one had gone down.  All of the other tests results were back and were all negative except that I am also now a bit anemic, but that's pretty typical among preggos (just add an extra iron supplement to my pre-natals -> no biggie).  I still felt completely fine...I felt great, actually.  After additional monitoring and assessment, I finally came home on Saturday (24 hours after arriving for my doctor appointment the previous day). 

So, I'm going back again on Monday to re-run the blood work and double-check the levels.  She's not sure what to attribute it to at this time, but the point is that as of now, all major pregnancy related issues are off the table and little Harper is doing wonderfully.  The fact that I feel so good is a great sign that the levels should come down significantly so we will wait and see.  Matt & I are not worried at all and really didn't get too worried in the hospital as we could see our little girl moving tons in my stomach and everything just felt 'right' (as opposed to earlier in the week).  My major lesson learned through this whole experience is to definitely TRUST MY INTUITION.  I know my body better than anyone and if I think something is wrong, I need to trust that instinct and check it out.  Don't be embarrassed to be wrong - I will NOT be a burden on my doctor!  Matt & I loved every single nurse I had and became very familiar with the Labor & Delivery wing.  We now know just the perfect setting for the thermostat in the rooms, what foods are good on the menu (hello ice cream float!), and how to get around the quirks of the TV.  I'd say that thanks to this 'practice run', we are well prepared for our REAL hospital stay ;)  

LOL - such an overreaction for BLOODWORK!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Colorado Wedding

This weekend, we went to Colorado Springs for Matt's brother's wedding.  James & Jill had one of the loveliest weddings I've ever been to.  Not to mention, the weather in Colorado Springs was such a welcomed break from the 100+ temperatures we've had in Dallas all summer; however, the altitude was NOT welcomed by baby Harper (more on that in another post)!

In honor of James' Texas roots, the Rehearsal Dinner was held at a dude ranch and much of the group wore cowboy boots; the couple also passed out cowboy hats and enjoyed a show by the Flying J Wranglers...all of this was right up my alley: Yee-haw!  The next day, the wedding was held at a beautiful church in downtown Colorado Springs with the reception following at the spectacular Broadmoor Resort - everything was absolutely beautiful!  They had a photobooth at the reception and I don't believe there was ever a free moment where it was not busy taking pictures...there was plenty entertainment to go around.  Matt & I loved visiting with all of his family - they are all so fun, easy-going, and especially close; there is seldom a moment where laughter isn't involved with that group!  We pray TONS of blessings upon James & Jill as they begin their married life together!!!

Rehearsal Dinner at Flying W Ranch
Me & my handsome hubby at the wedding (apparently short, blue dresses were my 'thing' this weekend :)
My beautiful sister-in-law Laura was a the grey & yellow colors!