Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Baby Shower

This past weekend we were blessed with a day to celebrate baby Regal! Family came from all over the country (literally) to Indianapolis to help us prepare for our sweet princess. It was so fun to have family here and to show them nursery progress, my growing belly, and we were also blessed with amazing weather!
My girlfriends Cassy, Lindy and Lauren hosted the shower for me. We meet each week for a informal "girlfriend's bible study" and they have been with me through out this whole experience. It so encouraging have good girlfriends to talk to, cry to, and who you know are praying for you! They are also very much like me and knew they could go "all-out" when it came to planning the shower. All I know was it was going to be girly, full of animal prints, and not a detail would be over looked.
First of all... check out these invites!! So. Freaking. Cute.
My Lovely hostesses... Lindy and Cassy...
and Lauren! Who, by the way, is an event planner at Butler University! She is a professional party-thrower and it was so evident at my shower! From the set up, to the flow of the party, everything was perfect =)
Some of the decor: Leopard print and pink!And you can't forget zebra print!
My cake also fell into the fun animal print theme:
How cute is this! And yes, our baby girl's name is Macy Jane. <3
We got so much stuff! We were shocked at the amount of gifts.. and how thoughtful they were! My maternal grandma (Meme) and both my step-grandmas all made handmade blankets. Something that we will cherish forever! Kyle's sister had such a sweet gift idea: she had an outfit for every holiday spanning an entire year. The first outfit was for Father's Day (MJ's first holiday she will be here for) all the way through to next year's Mother's Day. If I could have taken a picture of everything we got I would, but that would take forever :)
Let's just say she got a lot of clothes....
And has her own tu-tu collection started!! We are definitely planning on doing the newborn pics in the pink and grey one.. and the blue one in the back is for football season! Go Colts!
My little baby sis made her niece a bow holder. Came up with the idea on her own, made it her self, and I am so proud of her! I have never seen anything like it, I can't wait to get it hung on the wall!A cute and hilarious gift we got was a stuffed bunny. Growing up I had my bunny, whom I lovingly named, "Bunny". She went everywhere with me, including cheerleading camps and sleepovers (all the way through highschool). My good family friend Teresa knew of Bunny, and decided that Macy girl would need her own bunny. So cute!
There a few things I can take away from our shower weekend. First and foremost, we are so lucky to have such a great support system! Between our friends and family, we just felt so loved! Friends from out of town mailed gifts and cards and family traveled thousands of miles just to be a part of our day. I haven't felt this over pouring of love and support since our wedding!
The other take away is... our baby is going to one little fashionista! Between the outfits and bows, she is going to be DECKED out! No, I will not be one of those crazy moms who wants to wear matching outfits, and I will NOT spend boo-coo bucks on outfits that she will wear, maybe once. My baby will be decked out in Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and sale rack items... just like her momma!
We have another baby shower coming up that two women from our church are throwing. I can't wait for that either! It is so fun getting together with good friends and celebrating the life of our future little girl. Have I mentioned how blessed we feel???

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Week 29: What I'm reading

As a first time mom I am all about getting advice. I have zero experience raising children, and quite frankly, I didn't even enjoy babysitting that much growing up. My two little siblings (now ages 12 and 13) are the closest experience I have to really being around kids... but I love them so much, all my time around them is just spent cuddling and spoiling them. -A technique I know won't work raising well-rounded children, but is great for building a special bond between them that I wouldn't trade for the world.

I have been reading books to help prepare myself, reading the occasional article, asking lots of questions to experienced moms, and doing a lot of OBSERVING. There are times I see parents out in public yelling and screaming at their kids, or completely ignoring them while they wreak havoc, and quietly say a prayer -Please Lord, do not let me be a parent like that! I believe having a strong faith in God and installing Christian values in your home from the beginning is what is most important when starting a family.

The first book I got was the famous, "What to Expect when You're Expecting". A month to month guide to pregnancy. Honestly I haven't actually read the book that much, because I have the app on my phone and I get weekly emails from their website. The information is great though and literally I will be feeling some weird symptom, then that day get an email from them telling me it's completely normal! I don't know what I would do with out. I am pretty sure I would be going crazy thinking that every thing I am experiencing was a bad thing if I didn't have this resource.

The next book I got, "Baby Wise" is actually quite controversial. After reading it though, I honestly don't understand why. There are literally groups called "Mom's Against Baby Wise" -but what I really think they should be called is, "Mom's Against Getting Good Rest and That are FOR Letting Your Baby Run Your Lives". Basically the book suggests that you feed and nurture your baby in a "Parent Directed" manner. And that the baby is a PART of the existing family... not the CENTER of it. The mom does not drop down and nurse the baby every time she cries, but rather offers to nurse the baby according a schedule set by mom. -I am TOTALLY for this, especially as a full time working mom that has a husband, friends, and personal interests to attend to as well. Following this book usually gets babies sleeping through the night by 6 weeks- and I personally know people who have used this and swear by it. Kyle has also read it so we can be on the same page. Obviously I am not expecting a perfect schedule right away and know that it will be a learning curve, but having a game plan going in makes me feel better.

Another book I am reading is called"Dr. Denmark Said It". Dr Denmark practiced as a pediatrician until she was 103 years old... 103! She has some very strong opinions or raising children, some of which kind of shocked me. For one, she believes even newborns should sleep through the night with out being offered a feeding between 10pm-6am. What?! How is this even possible? She also says absolutely NO pacifiers ever, the baby should always sleep on their STOMACH, no juice or milk -just breast milk/formula and water when appropriate, and no table food until they are at least 2 years old (only "mush" -pureed baby food). She is also a big advocate for setting a schedule, but hers doesn't allow for much grace. She expects the baby's room to be quite, dark and eliminate any visitors, pets or anything else that may wake the baby. -These were all shocking, and while I'm sure there is a good reason for all of these suggestions, I really don't want our lives revolving around our baby. Rather, our baby to be integrated in to our life. I haven't finished it yet, but I am looking forward to what else she has to say. What I do know, is that the book was suggested by a couple who have raised great kids -so it's at least worth my time to finish it!

So pregnant/new moms- What have you read that helped? I know each baby is individual and all you can do is take a little bit of advice from each place and develop a system that works for you. So that is what I am trying to do -for some reason, I guess the Type A side of me, feels better having a "plan" going in to this whole being a mommy thing!

Friday, March 9, 2012

28 weeks later...

28 Weeks later... and I find myself in my third trimester already. It is all starting to feel so real. The baby has some patterns of movement I can recognize, and Kyle and I talk about her a lot more now, like she is already here. I have learned a few things about my future daughter -like how she loves sweets as much as her mommy! Every time I eat chocolate or have some ice cream, I can feel her quickly after doing a little dance there. She also likes to make her most prominent appearance every night before bed. As soon as I lay down I can feel whole body parts sticking out. It is fun though, because Kyle and I lay there feeling around, guessing what it may be that we are feeling. A head, a butt -who knows!

I had my 28 week appointment on Wednesday and everything checked out great. I passed my glucose test (which was yucky!), baby's HR was nice and strong, and I gained just the right amount of weight -wahoo!

I am also now realizing what it meant when I read "the second trimester is the easiest". I had someone say recently... "How do you make being pregnant look so easy?" -And I thought.. because it is easy! And then I swear, as soon as the third trimester officially started I felt different. I have weird pains all through my torso, mostly my back and ribs. I can't bend over forward anymore. And after working 12 hour shifts my ankles are starting to swell :-/ Sleep for the most part is still OK though. Every day I think... how much bigger am I going to get? And what will THAT feel like?! But every day that passes is just one day closer to meeting our sweet baby girl!

28 Week Picture:
Our crib came in and Kyle surprised me by putting it together one night before I got home from work. It is absolutely PERFECT for the room. I can't wait to put her bedding in there. I walk by her room sometimes and can't believe there will actually be a baby in there before we know it!

I am absolutely ECSTATIC that my first baby shower is coming up. I have family coming in from Texas, Utah, Illinois, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama! I feel so blessed that we have such a strong support system from our family, even if we are so spread apart. Our baby girl is going to have an abundance of aunties, uncles, and great-aunts/uncles/cousins to love on her!

Having out of town guests has also motivated us to get some house projects down that we need to do. So in between nesting and preparing for the baby we have been super busy doing other things around the house. Most notably, our kitchen floors. For some reason, the people who lived in our house before us decided the "diner" look was a good one. Not for us. We have been talking about changing the floors since we moved in and FINALLY go to them!

The finished product:

We also got a new dining room table which is another thing I have been wanting forever. It is so hard hosting with only a 4 top table. We finally have a 6 top and one that fits in perfectly with our place!

New Dining table:

With all of these changes going on between our house and my body/baby, sometimes I have to just stop and take it all in. God has been pouring his blessings on us and I try to remember that everything we have comes directly from Him. I literally get the doxology stuck in my head sometimes and can't stop singing.. "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!"