Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Final Gender Reveal

Before they were iced.                                     Iced and ready to go to school!

The teachers and staff enjoyed the cupcakes.  It also ended up being kind of neat as a number of the TAs brought the cupcakes to the teachers in their classrooms so a bunch of the kids got to be in on the reveal as well:).

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Getting it Right (Part 2)

I have never been considered a perfectionist, but in retrospect there are a few times that I wanted things to go  just right.

My first year of teaching was a whirlwind and by the end I feel like I got chewed up and spit out.  At the end of that school year and all throughout the summer that followed I put all my energy toward setting the stage for year two to be just right.  All of my efforts paid off and while it was not a perfect school year it was just right and in fact I liked that class so much I looped from third grade to fourth grade with that second class of kiddos.

Every girl dreams of her wedding day and wants it to go just right.  I was no exception.  Once we decided on where (as in which state) we would get married, wedding planning went smoothly.  The wedding and reception went off without a hitch, we had a blast, and with the exception of our wedding pictures, it all seemed to go just right.

When it was time to buy a house we wanted one that was just right.  We researched and planned for about 4 months before actually picking a realtor and going on the house hunt.  I think all of our pre-work paid off and we found the house that was just right for us in lucky #7.

With all of this in mind I guess it should come as no surprise that after 6 years of patiently waiting to bring our first child home, I want things to be just right for her.

However, when I really stop and think about it I don't think she is much going to care about which outfit she wore home from the hospital. Nor do I think she is going to care about the other clothes she wore as a baby.  She is certainly not going to care about a first stocking that will likely be replaced for her actual first Christmas (and that can only handle a tiny bit of loot anyway:).  She may care about her name, but at the end of the day even if she hates it someday she may be as blessed as I to carry something so trivial as a primary piece of "baggage" from her childhood (#FWP).

Bottom line:  There is no just right when it comes to having a baby.

With that in mind:

I just placed orders for the items in the top row and will pick up one of these stockings the next time I am at Target.

Now I'm off to go tell J.T. her name:).

Monday, November 28, 2016

Getting it Right (Part 1)

So you've heard my ramblings on choosing a name and picking the one that is just right.  However, the more I reflect on some other decisions I have been (or rather have NOT been making) regarding baby girl, I think the name conundrum may be a part of something bigger.

You may recall a few years ago when we decided to adopt we also decided to set up a gender neutral nursery just in case we got a drop in the lap placement and needed to be ready ASAP.  You may also remember that in January I put the nursery away and converted it back into a guest room because it hurt my heart to see it unused.  Who knew (well of course God knew) that we would be converting it back into a nursery within the same year as I plan to set it back up while I am off for winter break at the end of December.

So while we have basically a complete nursery ready to go, I have yet to buy a single thing for baby girl.  Wait, that's not 100% true.  When I got the call that baby girl WAS baby girl I was at school, so I got to a special gender reveal just for J.T.  I stopped at a child consignment store and as luck would have it (or as God gave an assist) they had a baby UNC Cheerleading outfit that I bought and wrapped for him to open.

He was surprised and loved it.  So while technically I bought the outfit and baby girl will wear it one day, I bought it with J.T. in mind.

So having some time to think over the last week I have turned my sights on buying something for baby girl.  Last Sunday I randomly started googling coming home from the hospital outfits.  While I like the ones that say "Hello World!" I couldn't find one that was just right.

On Black Friday I tried to find a pair of super cheap brown boots.  I was successful, but needed to spend $30 more to get free shipping.  I found a grilling pan I had been wanting for a while for dirt cheap and still needed to spend $10 so I looked at baby clothes.  There were several items I clicked on and considered but I couldn't settle on anything that was just right.

On Sunday when I was at Target and saw the Christmas items I thought it would be cute to buy baby girl a stocking.  I saw a pink one at the front of the store and decided to pass.   In the Christmas section I saw a little red one that I put in the cart.  About half-way though the grocery section I put it back because it wasn't just right.

I am normally a very decisive person so what gives?

Oh wait, I think I see a pattern...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What's in a name?

A WHOLE lot apparently!  Now that we have shared with the world that we are having a baby girl the next inevitable question is "Do you have a name picked out yet?".  Well...ya see...about that...

Over a decade ago I worked at a little cafe (with a handsome man who would become my husband) and each day would pass a little boutique with a name that I really liked.  As J.T. and I would discuss the future we would discuss names of our future children.  I suggested this particular girl's name and J.T. agreed it would be a nice name for a future daughter.  When we decided to adopt we added a middle name to this name and were all set in the event that the stork brought a little girl.

Well little girl is on her way and...I'm no longer sure about the name:(.

So after we found out we were having a girl, I had to lay this little bombshell on J.T.  He handled it very well and in fact offered a second suggestion that once upon in my daydreams had been the name of our second daughter should we ever become so blessed which amazingly we had never discussed, BUT I couldn't commit to that name either!

If we peel back the onion there are some valid(?) reasons...

First, I was one of six girls who had virtually the same name (my name is often a nickname for a more formal name, but I just got the nickname), and that name we selected all those years ago has gained significant popularity.  Such popularity that there are FOUR little girls with that same first name in this year's kindergarten class.  The lack of uniqueness to my name has always somewhat bothered me.  While I am not one who feels the need to name my child a totally outlandish name just for the sake of being unique, but I would prefer to avoid a trendy (which has a way of becoming common) name.

Then you have the fact that my parents were all set with a middle name to honor my late great-grandmother, but they had not chosen a first name.  For that matter, it did not seem like they were having a difficult time choosing, they did not have a first name, period!  Family lore explains that the delivery nurse was trying to be helpful and said "_____ is a nice name!" and my parents agreed and poof that became my name.  I love my parents dearly and wouldn't trade any part of my upbringing, but I want our little girl to feel like her name is special and name #2 while it represents a wonderful trip we had I don't know if it fits the bill for being special.

As a born and bred yankee I am accustomed to babies not being named (or those names not being shared) until baby arrives.  Well wouldn't you know it after living in the south for 16 years I somehow missed the memo that southern babies are usually named pretty early on in the pregnancy and those names become public.  Well one you have one yankee parent and one southern parent that makes things a bit tricky.

J.T. also accurately pointed out that we have been calling tiny baby "Baby girl" which is also what we use as one of (many) nicknames for one of our puppies and it feels kinda weird to have two "Baby Girls" traipsing about our house.

So I need to get cracking on a decision.  Hoping God gives me a sign soon...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Turkey Day, Gilmore Girls, and 19 Weeks

Since we do Thanksgiving with my family early each year and we do an annual Thanksgiving before the actual day with our community group, by actual Thanksgiving we are content to do whatever.  Some years we go to J.T.'s moms, some years we host and other years we go to his step-grandmothers house.  We were supposed to do the latter this year, but J.T. woke up with a cold on Wednesday morning and by Thursday morning didn't want to go anywhere.

Luckily the grocery store was open until 2 so I was able to pull some things together and my brother came up for dinner.  Luckily we don't really like turkey so it was easy to find a ham instead:).  It was a beautiful and warm day so we even go to spend some time sitting outside.  

J.T. took Friday off, but I had called dibs way back in the summer for watching the Gilmore Girls reboot on Black Friday so that is what we (I) did.

Overall I was content with the show.  8 years later it is easier to see that Lorelei and Rory are both much more superficial and selfish than I would have given them credit for once upon a time (though I guess it has always been the case).  I did not love the ending, but after processing and getting input from others I can see some of the parallels that they were going for so I can live with it.  

Today also marks

She is still moving some here and there, and I can't wait until her movements can be felt on the outside as I know J.T. is super excited to be able to feel her move:).

Thursday, November 24, 2016


We clearly have so very much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for all the many blessings you have given us.  Thank you for taking care of our physical needs of food, water and shelter without fail.  Thank you for growing our faith and our marriage each and every day.  Thank you for friends and family who share in our life.  Thank you for allowing us to support ourselves in abundance.  

THANK YOU for the plans you have for us.  Plans that have allowed us to know our beautiful daughter from the moment of her conception.  Plans that have allowed us good health and good fortune in preparing for her entrance into our family and your kingdom here on earth.  Plans of which I have no current inkling, but will be for our good.  

For these and so many other blessings we thank you.  In your holy and precious name I pray.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Diet and Exercise

One of my goals for this trimester has been to eat better and exercise.  I would love to say check and check, but unfortunately not-so-much:(.

What can I say?  I like food and unfortunately I don't really like healthy food.  When given the option between a grilled chicken breast or a piece of pizza I am always going to choose the pizza!  I have done pretty well with eating two-three servings of fruit each day, but some days the only vegetable I have is baked Lays.  The good news is I am not doing a ton of overeating, but it's probably not great to rely on my prenatal vitamin for nutritional value.

The other issue is that unless I HAVE to do something (like work or class or something) I am such a lazy bones these days.  So even though I have the ingredients for a yummy spinach salad that I actually enjoy I managed to order pizza for dinner last and ate leftover pasta salad from the party for lunch today and yesterday.  For baby girl's sake I have got to get better!

I didn't really gain in trimester one, and have gained a pound a week in trimester two (with the exception of the week we went away where I managed to gain three!).  All told I have gained 8 pounds which I guess isn't too bad, but I feel like I am failing baby girl or somehow setting her up to be a carb and sugaraholic like her mama.

Only this week, being off from school and classes, have I begun exercising.  I have walked 2-3 miles each day this week and hope to keep this up in the coming weeks as my classes begin to taper off for the semester.  If I can walk 5 days a week until the new semester begins that gives me about 6 weeks of steady exercise which would be a HUGE improvement.  The temperatures have dropped, but if the days stay this beautiful it hopefully won't be too hard to do!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mover and Shaker

At least I think that's what's she's doing.  Last weekend I felt a few of the "bubbles" I have heard are the beginning sensations of movement moms feel from their baby.  Last week was crazy busy so I didn't notice any through the week.

Then on Sunday morning I ate some chocolate covered Oreos (you know breakfast of champions) and I felt some waves of movement.  These have continued here and there.  It feels kind of weird (good weird, but weird:).  I am glad she is keeping busy in there and I am looking forward to feeling her move more in the days to come!

Monday, November 21, 2016

It's a...

well before we get to that, let me catch up on the craziness that has been the last few weeks😉.

Between daylight savings, Halloween, the Election, the Supermoon AND three days of indoor recess (due to the wildfires in the mountains impacting local air quality), the little children have been a bit busier than normal!  Bless their teachers for keeping their eyes on the prize (a WEEK long break for Thanksgiving) and their grumblings to a minimum (at least in my presence:).

The end of the semester looms and the to do list includes a 15 page research page, book review, field study reflection, and policy brief.  Unfortunately my motivation is lacking which makes these assignments even more daunting.

Along with all of this busyness, we have just finished celebrating Gender Reveal/J.T.'s 40th birthday week!

Last weekend we met my family in the mountains of Maryland for our annual Thanksgiving.

Friday night we did our gender reveal (cake pop style!).

Saturday we did formal family pictures (my cousin is a photographer) and J.T. and I managed to get our Christmas card done!  We topped the day of with a Thanksgiving Feast.  Sunday we turned around and headed home.

J.T.'s birthday was Wednesday, but because I had class he had to settle with a card and a cupcake until the weekend.  Friday night we went out for Hibachi (J.T.'s traditional birthday dinner choice since he was a kid) and then went to Party City and the grocery store to stock up for our (Star Wars themed) Gender Reveal & (Surprise) Birthday party.  It was a lot of fun, but I am not throwing a three -themed party again!

For the actual reveal we did more cake pops.

Sunday night was more Thanksgiving (Friendsgiving with our community group from church) and one final gender reveal with my college roommates.  I had mailed them gender reveal cookies which arrived without incident to each of them on Friday.  We had originally planned on a Google hangout, but due to technical issues, did a conference call instead.  So with the exception of my staff, for whom I plan to make gender reveal cupcakes (hey I may only get to do this once, so I am intentionally running the gamut!) everyone we know and love knows it's a...


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Anatomy Scan

We got to see tiny baby this morning at our anatomy scan.

Heartbeat strong and steady.

Weighing in at a solid 1/2 pound!  According to my What to Expect app weight at 18 weeks is 5 oz, so we may have another "chubby cheekers" (that was my older brother's nickname for me when I was a baby) on our hands:).

We experienced our first joint parent fail in that neither of us managed to catch the length, but tiny baby is looking perfect.

There was only one measurement they couldn't get precisely because despite all of tiny baby's movement, the head would only move when the machine was on the opposite side.  By the time they got it in place, the little stinker moved back in the same spot--ha, ha!

The doctor made a comment about long fingers which was nice as one of my parents' favorite stories to tell about me as a baby is that when my dad took me to the doctor one day an older lady commented on my "long and beautiful fingers". She then held up one of my dad's hand to examine his fingers and exclaimed "Well, she didn't get them from you!":).  So it's nice to see that tiny baby and I already share a common characteristic.

Overall measurements put us just a bit ahead (18 w, 2 d vs. the current 17 w, 6 d).  We couldn't ask for more!

(They got some good shots which I will come back and post once I am able to disentangle myself from these two sleeping puppies.)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Role of Genetics in Egg Donation

This blog is mostly anonymous though I have shared the link with a few close friends.  After reading the post The Pregnant Infertile, one of my sweet friends reached out.  She shared with me a link to an article related to the science involved in donor egg and the mother who carries the baby.  I had read through some articles on the topic briefly in the spring when we were deciding donor egg versus donor embryo, but hadn't revisited since we made the final decision.

In short, my body determines which genes from our donor and J.T. are turned on in tiny baby.  I relate this to being the teacher who gets to determine the lesson plans:).  The science behind it is still beyond my verbal-humanities intellect, but I hope to revisit and try to wrap my brain fully around the topic over one of my breaks this winter.

Here are some of the articles I plan to study:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016

All is Well

We had our monthly appointment with the OB and all is well with tiny baby and the pregnancy in general.

My BP was it's normal 102 over something and weight gain is at 3 pounds.  They are testing my thyroid and we will get those results on Monday, but all seems to be well.

The nurse found the heartbeat very quickly-sigh of relief!  Tiny baby's heart is beating a little over 140 beats per minute.  Nothing out of the ordinary is in play (yay!) so it was a very brief appointment.

At the end the doctor closed up by saying  "That's're too easy!".

After 6 years finally something is easy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Pregnant Infertile

I am currently 15 weeks pregnant.   I have experienced morning sickness and am currently experiencing the is she fat or is she pregnant belly stare from people who don't know.  To date this pregnancy has been happy and healthy.   J.T. and I couldn't be more excited to welcome this tiny person into our family.  All of that being said I can't shake the feeling that I am still infertile.

J.T. no longer lives in this place of infertility with me-he has successfully participated in the creation of our little one.  While I fully recognize the blessing it is to be able to carry and help this little one to grow, I can take absolutely zero credit for his/her existence.  A part of me feels like this role is much like the roles I have fulfilled over the last 25 years-babysitter, teacher, caregiver...

Again, baby K has been very busy in there yet I have felt no movement, and I am also not even halfway through this adventure of growing a person.  I know that when I meet him/her my love will know no, bounds; however, despite my braining knowing all of these things a part of my heart still lives in the land of infertility and I am beginning to wonder if it always will.