Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year thoughts.

The last day of 2008 is upon us. It has been a very interesting year. I am excited that the new year will bring us a baby and probably many more wonderful milestones in our marriage, but I would like to reflect on what has happened this year (forgive me if I leave something out).
1. TJ and I were just settling into our first home together, when we decided to move from Pike Road to Cloverdale. What a blessing that will be once the baby gets here. We are so much closer to both sets of Grandparents! It was complete chaos at the time. I was in the first trimester, and totally exhausted every minute of every day, so we had the movers pack our stuff. Then we headed up to the lake for several weeks until we could move into our new house. Then we had to remodel the kitchen, and try to organize around the construction.
2. We found out in March that we were expecting a surprise in November. Sadly, we miscarried him/her soon after.
3. After that loss, we decided we would begin trying as soon as the doctor would let us, and were very fortunate to conceive quickly and by June, we were counting down the arrival of Baby Avery.
4. In May, we acquired Heidi, our wonderful German Short Hair Pointer and found out that Maggie was expecting a litter as well. She delivered 8 healthy pups in July, and we were able to find homes for all, including Partner, whose home is ours until further notice.
5. Sometime in early summer, TJ opened Vital Eyes and then founded Partners Realty. I am very proud of him and his entrepreneurial spirit. I am hopeful these two businesses will continue to grow.
6. In February, the Hotel opened, and I have been running crazy ever since. It is never a dull day in the hospitality industry.
7. With an economic recession looming ahead of us, I am reminded that we must be grateful for more than just material possessions. I am truly thankful that this year was as great as it was, however stressful and at times tearful. I have a wonderful supportive family, Mom and Beverly have helped me deal with the stresses of pregnancy and TJ is a constant support of love and comfort. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and a perfectly matching baby room waiting for our precious daughter, whenever she decides to make her grand entrance into the world. I am thankful that no matter who I piss off, I can go home to Hank, my skinny labrodoodle who thinks I do no wrong, and feel like I have at least done one thing right. I am thankful to have a mind, and a job, and critical thinking skills. I am thankful that I am literate and can read some of the most incredible prose on earth and know it was written purely for my enjoyment. I am thankful for mint tea and cold nights by a fire with my husband and the rest of my furry family watching Jon and Kate + 8. I am thankful that I can call my Mom or Dad and that no matter what I am going through, they will be there to help me figure it out. I am thankful for friends that put up with my mood swings and crazy ideas like Searcy, TR, and Kara. I am thankful for TJ's friends who listen to him when I am unavailable, and who help him complete projects and tasks. (Especially those that involve painting and getting the baby's room ready- Justin & Scotty)
I am hopeful that 2009 will be even better.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas, Wii, and Avery.

Christmas was great around the Allen/Williford homes. We had dinner on Christmas Eve with TJ's parents and sisters, and then Christmas Day with my parents, Evan, and Grandma. Grandma and I each had a little cold, and Typhoid Evan had what appeared at first to be the flu (visualize me and a Lysol can frantically cleaning every surface he could ), but turned out to be something bacterial, as it responded immediately to some strong antibiotics. Viruses, as I am sure you all know, will laugh in the face of antibiotics as they mutate to invade their next host. (I promise that is the only dorky pathogen comment of the day.)

TJ and I are so fortunate to have such wonderful families! We received several gifts from them that are most beneficial to the baby! We got a pet-hair vacuum cleaner that is by far the best darn one I have ever used! (Who would have thought I would be so excited about a vacuum cleaner? Oh, how times have changed!) TJ got a new camcorder (since Scout chewed up the old one), to record every waking (and some sleeping) minute of the baby's life! We got our car seat and the stroller that it is compatible with, which are so cute!! Here are pictures. They are both in the aqua color of the car seat. Big Greg has already decided he wants to be the overseer of the installation of the car seat (Yeah, as in he doesn't want to actually do it, but he wants to make sure it's done right). Poor TJ.

But I digress...back to Christmas Day. We opened all our presents, and had a quick lunch before we launched a Wii marathon, interrupted only by a brief visit to the Bait Shop house. For some reason Dad and TJ decided it would be a good idea to take Luke and Humphrey (for protection I suppose). However, they forgot that Luke is not the brightest dog and so he decided to do a nose dive out of the back of the truck on Carter Hill Road. He skinned his chin up really good, but I bet he won't be trying that trick again anytime soon. Here is the duo.

And this is Humphrey telling me exactly how he feels about Auburn's new head coach Gene Chizik. He is so opinionated.

Lastly, I feel like we need to discuss a time frame for Avery's birth. I have decided to use the two due dates as a window, and go with the average for calculations. Originally it was February 6th and then it was changed to the 11th. By my own calculations, the 6th is really more accurate but she is measuring more like the latter. So we will use the 9th for all intensive purposes. This is 6 weeks from today (42 days). We are so close! The medical professionals consider a baby full term anywhere from 37 to 42 weeks. So if she comes at 37 weeks, then we are looking at the 19th of January (21 days). In the event that she comes on the last day of full term (they usually won't let you go this long for fear of placental abruption, so expect me to be kicking and screaming for an induction long before this date) which is February 23rd, then we are 56 days out. So, basically she is anywhere from 21-56 days away from making her grand entrance into the world. On a positive note, a friend at work, who I don't see every day, swears that Avery has "dropped". And, after careful peripheral glaces into shiny elevator doors and windows as I walked to get my sandwich today, I think she is belly looks significantly lower than it did last week. Maybe its wishful thinking, but the books do say that it can happen several weeks before the baby actually comes. Get excited!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When the hunter becomes the hunted.

TJ, Justin, and Heidi went hunting yesterday. Somehow, I think this is cheating. Heidi has a much keener sense of smell than either TJ or Justin. She can smell the deer coming. Of course deer have pretty good smell receptors too, which could work in their favor as TJ, Justin, and Heidi smell strongly. I suppose it isn't quite The Most Dangerous Game, but it does make it a little more of a fair fight. Here is the image I received from the hunters last night.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Guitar Hero/ Facebook Paw Paw

We had a great weekend. Mom, Dad, Evan, TJ, and I loaded up for Atlanta. We had a great lunch with Aunt Patty, Boomer, Granny, Alison, Adrienne, Sidney, and Barack...I mean Kerry. It was delicious. Then we had a rousing Guitar Hero contest (I lost badly), and then a baby shower for little Avery. All of the extended family from Dad's side made it over to Granny's for some food and catching up. We had not seen most of these relatives in years. They brought great presents for the baby! We got a Boppy, two baby monitors, lots of cute clothes, blankets, a swing, hats, and booties, as well as a Curious George book, and a frog wash cloth. We are so fortunate! Thank you all! Pictures of all of this to come! Grandma, Mom and I are going to wash all of Avery's clothes over the Christmas holidays. Apparently this is very important. All of the books harass you about washing with the right kind of detergent. I suppose it makes sense to wash out all the chemicals, but why are they using chemicals in baby clothing anyway?

As a side note, Big Greg is now on facebook. Won't Avery be proud to know her grandpa is an internet junkie? Ask him to be your friend.

Friday, December 19, 2008

7 weeks 4 days until the new due date. 6 weeks 2 days until her birthday...hopefully.

We went back to the doctor today. Everything is normal. Avery is doing great, and I am no longer on bed rest. TJ and I are looking forward to the weekend trip to Atlanta to spend some time with Big Greg's side of the family for Christmas! Glad I will be able to actually go. There was some debate that I might still be on "bed rest" and not be able to travel. That's the good news.
The bad news is my due date was officially pushed back to February 11th. Ugh. That is very frustrating. This whole time I have been planning around a Feb. 6th birthday. Maybe she will still come a few days early. I don't need any of you nay-sayers telling me how most first time moms have late deliveries rather than early. I know that already. I am now liking February 3rd. That is the best birthday I can think of, but not for any real good reason. I just like that day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stubborn, I am.

Maybe I am stubborn, but I have made it to work everyday this week so far. It does seem to make me more tired, but I would be pulling my hair out if I was at home. And I wouldn't be sitting or laying around if I was there anyway. I'd be frantically cleaning because my house is in a perpetual state of disarray. It is not dirty, but very cluttered right now. It is driving me crazy!

In other news I got my Christmas Card pictures finished and mailed out, and we did manage to get all the dogs in one place at one time, and some of them even smiled.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bed Rest is Bad News

So sorry it has been so long. A very strange sequence of events lead to an early departure from work on Thursday. Here is how it went. Wednesday and continuing into Thursday, I was having some strange cramping very low in my abdomen. My feet had also swollen larger than I had ever thought possible. So I called the nurse at my OB's office thinking she would tell me what they tell everyone, "Get off of your feet, and drink as much water as you can down." However, I guess the combination of the two scared her a little and she sent me to OB Triage (the entrance level of the hospital for pregnant women) to get tested to make sure I wasn't in preterm labor. At this point, I kept my cool, but needless to say was pretty freaked out that I might be in early labor. They checked my blood pressure and urine to make sure I was having pre-eclampsia, which I was not, and then hooked me up to the fetal monitor which also checks for contractions. After about an hour, the nurse came in and said that I had one contraction while there, and that she thought I was probably just dehydrated. She gave me some water, and said she was going to bring me the discharge papers to go home. About another hour later, she came back in and said that I had four contractions since she had last been in there, and that gave her cause for concern. She gave me a shot of Brethine to stop the contractions, and then put me on modified bed rest until I could get in to see my OB. Then she checked to see if I was dilated, I wasn't, and I am not leaking amniotic fluid. So luckily, labor is not imminent. When I got home, I called to schedule an appointment, and the nurse who had originally sent me to Triage told me I needed to wait and see Dr. Miller on Friday. I am sure you can imagine my response. It was something like this, "Seriously? That's an awful long time to be on bed rest. I could see another doctor, you know. Fine. OK, I'll just stay in bed for 8 days." You probably know how long that lasted. I tried to stay in bed, I really did. But I just didn't feel that bad. I was having a few crampy waves here and there, but the swelling was gone by Saturday morning. I almost felt like I was faking it. Obviously I wasn't. I went to work this morning for a few hours, came home and took a 2 hour nap. Maybe bed rest isn't such a horrible idea after all. I think I will try again tomorrow, but did they really think I could stay in bed for 8 days?
I would like to think that Avery will hold off for at least another 5 weeks or so. That would put her at 37 weeks and full term. Say a prayer for that.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I am so incredibly tired. I know it is normal, but that doesn't make it any easier. I can't sleep because my hips and back ache. My desk chair is no longer comfortable. My feet and ankles are swelling to enormous proportions. I am hot, easily aggravated, and I am ready to pull Avery out myself if I have to. But that's enough complaining for one day. I will be thankful that I haven't had indigestion, and that I have slept pretty well until this point. TJ has been such a help. He is constantly trying to make me feel better. He massages my aches and lies through his teeth as he tells me I look great. Here is a photo of the Dad to be, and then one of the whole Williford clan at Thanksgiving. Even Avery made the shot (see the TV in background).

Once again, please excuse how awful I look. Its like my face won't hold makeup anymore. By 10AM, whatever foundation and eyeliner I put on is mysteriously gone. I am going to try and blame the fluorescent bulb elves, but I am sure you will see right through that.

Several weeks ago, Allison and I were given a baby shower by the ladies that we work with. Unbeknownst to me, there were pictures taken at this shower. I am pirating some of them off of Allison's blog and posting them here. We had a great time, everyone else consuming Margaritas, and Allison and I taking down some phenomenal non-alcoholic beer. And Carolyn, well, she decided milk was a good idea at a Mexican Restaurant. (Insert your own vomit sound here.) I am so fortunate to have such a caring group of women to work with! They were so thoughtful and gave us a Baby Einstein Bouncer!

My final entry for today is some pictures of very precious babies who were born over the past two weeks. Katie and Brigg, Allison and Michael, and TJ and were all expecting babies within about 2 months of each other. We are the last ones now, waiting on little Avery, but this is such an exciting preview of what is to come! Meet Hails and Riley, the newest eligible bachelors on the block.

Mr. Phillip Hails born on November 27th. 5 lbs, 6 ounces.

Mr. Riley Earl born on December 6th. 7 lbs, 6 ounces.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just the six of us.

Sorry for my extended absence on the blog. I had another rousing week of Grand Jury duty. While I think that everyone should have to serve on Grand Jury, I am hopeful that I will never have to do it again. I would like to tell you what has been going on with me and little Avery the past couple weeks. We have been back to the doctor, and given the thumbs up that everything is normal, and then the swift "get out of here you low risk pregnant woman, before someone with complications knocks you down." No one actually said that to me, but sure does feel like it in that factory of an OBGYN office. Regardless, I would still rather be low risk, and am thankful to be considered such.

An interesting article I read recently pointed out the fact that the majority of my single and or non-mommy friends would really only want to talk to me right now to find out how much weight I have gained. Somewhere in the back of my mind I already knew this, and just to oblige you all who don't see me on a regular basis should know that over the last two weeks I have absolutely exploded. Here is a picture taken from the week before Turkey Day of Allison, me, and Carolyn at work (in various stages of pregnancy). Please disregard the incredibly un-cute face I am sporting.

However, since that time, I have grown more, so add an inch or two to the belly, and I will surprise you with a newer picture another day.

In other news around our house, Heidi decided she would be Santa instead of Humphrey this year. As I am sure you can guess that really peeved him, but what could he do, she has already beaten him up once, and since he has no thumbs he couldn't very well lock her out of the house. Plus he is at Mike and Beverly's for bad behavior, and wont be out on bail for a while. Here is the pic of Heidi.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TJ's fantasy land

In TJ's world, everyone yells Roll Tide, and loves to ride Elephants. They hunt all day, and watch football at night. His daughter will be a die hard Alabama fan before she is potty trained, and will be able to wield a 270 twice her size. She will have his sense of fashion (Shirtless, in overall Carharts and Muck Boots), and will be Mini-Me to his Doctor Evil.
Knowing this, I was an innocent bystander while TJ "practiced" dressing his unborn child on little Partner. Here is what was captured.
This is Partner, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And this is when the crime took place.
Please notice the excitement on his face.
And then he peed on himself. "Mean ole TJ. Made me have an accident."
And here is Uncle Evan's response to all the mayhem. "TJ, lets just go to Bud's and see if we can forget this ever happened."

Finally Partner can get some respect he deserves from Aunt Hope.

2 pounds 12 ounces, and presents!

I am posting some of the gifts Avery received on the blog today. Please forgive me that I am not including everything, as that would take forever. Also know that I love everything we received, and I am grateful for your generosity.
This is the precious picture frame Hannah gave us for all of Avery's "firsts"!

Laura gave her some great newborn onezies!

The Cross placard is from Suelin (or Suelander as TJ calls her).

This one is a bad picture, but is Avery's first piece of jewelry, from Aunt Kara, a bracelet engraved with her name!

The Alabama outfit is from Aunt Laryne, and TJ was so excited about this, that he put one of the Alabama onezies on Partner. (Sorry about that for those of you who think that putting your child's clothes on your dog is akin to blasphemy, but remember our dogs are our children, at least until Avery gets here.) Then he mumbled something about a glorious national championship in the year his daughter is born. Pictures of that in another post.

Hope V. gave Avery her very first Brittney Spears outfit.

Jane Ann made sure we had some diapers to get started with, and they have biodegradable inserts. They are cloth exteriors! And they are so cute, and very tiny!

Beers and Lacey made sure Avery had a sleeper dress with a cute little green bunny, and a matching burp cloth, which I adore!

And last but certainly not least, Hannah and Jenny B. gave her the cutest monogrammed bibs! She is going to be one well dressed and well accessorized young lady!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So much to blog about!

On Sunday, my dear Birmingham friends (plus Searcy) gave us a baby shower. It was perfect! I was so excited to see everyone! The food was incredible, Rebecca's home was a dream, and I felt like a celebrity! We received some truly wonderful presents, but the time spent with my girls was my favorite part! I will have pictures of the presents tomorrow, but today, I have other exciting news...4 D ultrasound pictures!!!!

But first, an update before I show you her face. She is healthy, weighing in at 2 pounds 12 ounces, and is growing steadily. She has 10 fingers and 10 toes, and she looks like a perfect combination of TJ and I (Chubby cheeks on both ends)! She still has a long way to grow, but I am just so happy she is healthy! Ok, to the pics...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Friday Thoughts

Avery's room has really come together. The only thing we have left is to hang the paintings and shelf on the walls. Searcy, very kindly, painted her some beautiful abstract art to go over her bed, and I have a watercolor of some Geraniums that needs to be re-matted and framed that Jane Ann gave me a long time ago. The shelf is the one I painted a while back, and I want to hang the green letters that spell out Avery on it! This will happen as soon as TJ and Justin get done hunting, I am sure:).
The kitchen is almost done now too! Here is a fuzzy picture of the long awaited counter tops!

Pardon how messy everything is. My goal is get the entire kitchen organized and clean on Saturday. Searcy and Jane have volunteered to help. (Still not sure why anyone would want to do this dirty work, but I am grateful to both for the offer!)

I am very anxious to get our 4D Ultrasound on Tuesday. It is driving me crazy that I cannot tell how she is positioned in my belly. I swear I have an octopus growing in there. She can kick me in four directions at once. I found her heart beat in the lower right quarter of my abdomen (if you are facing me), but does that mean she is head down or sideways?

My baby shower in Birmingham is on Sunday! I am looking forward to seeing everyone I have neglected since I have been preggo. I am sorry about that gals, I don't know why thinking about driving anywhere exhausts me. Hopefully by this time next year, I will be ready for another incredibly Tacky Christmas Party with redneck baby in tow.

Last, but most certainly, not least, I leave you with a quick quote from the Honorable Judge Tripp Hatchett during a discussion of how large I look and feel: "Don't worry about swallowing a whale. Eat and be merry. You are carrying a baby. If I was you I would be in a rascal with a fleece moo moo. " You, sir, have stolen my heart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More on this later.

Avery should be right around 3 pounds at this point, and 16 inches long. She is growing steadily, and apparently making me waddle. I have walked funny in the past when she was laying on my sciatic nerve, but now, I am actually waddling because it is the most comfortable way to walk. She is bouncing around in the belly as I type this, and she is getting so rambunctious at night, that it is hard to sleep! I know that it is starting to get cramped in there now, so the movements seem even bigger. It looked like she was turning flips in there last night. My belly was literally bouncing up and down.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Little Perspective

Of course, the next thing I read after I posted my last blog is a testament to how selfish I am, and right now, God is trying change my attitude. I was just complaining about my 186 days of pregnancy, and then I read Jay Wolf's blog about his wife Katherine, who 200 days ago suffered a stroke and has been struggling to swallow, talk, eat, breath, and walk since that day. She has had more challenges in her 200 days than I will ever face in my entire life. She is making progress everyday. And I will, too. Perhaps, today, I will just be thankful for my healthy baby in my belly, and my cheerful husband, who silently puts up with all of my complaints.

28 weeks and 4 days

Baby Avery hit a developmental milestone over the weekend. Her brain can regulate her body temperature and tell her lungs to begin producing surfectant, which will keep them well lubricated and functional when she is born. That means that if she is born now, she would be fairly well equipped to deal with life outside the womb. She would probably still need some medical assistance, but in a few more weeks, even that would be limited. So, as far as I am concerned, she can go ahead and come out. Isn't 7 months long enough? Maggie had her puppies after 63 days. Avery has been in utero for 186 days. Surely we are close enough.

BTW, Partner went to the vet last week, and he now weighs in at a whopping 18.4 pounds. He is soon to be larger than his mom and Hank who weigh around 23 pounds. I suspect he will be about 40 pounds when it is all said and done. He is such a snuggler. He is turning into a giant lap dog (just like his Aunt Heidi).

We have Childbirth Class again tonight. I am hopeful we will learn some good breathing techniques and that TJ will be as entertained as he was last time. We are supposed to bring pillows tonight, so I think that means we have some Lamaze-like instruction.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Turkey Day Excitement Comes Early in Pregnant Land

At this stage Avery is the size of a large eggplant. She is 15 1/2 inches from head to toe and weighs in at 2 1/4 pounds. She will be 28 weeks on Friday. I moved our 4D ultrasound to November 25th, because of more Jury Duty, but that means that the family will get to see her face at Thanksgiving dinner! Yeah!
Also, I made an appointment with a pediatrician for next Friday. It is a sort of prenatal interview, and hopefully we will like who we chose. My pediatrician, Dr. Bob, is no longer taking new patients, but this is his practice/group.
Thanks to those who commented on my new figure. Beers, you make me laugh. I suppose it is one of those things you just take in stride or you might spontaneously combust.
I am making tortilla soup tonight, thanks to Angela. I am looking forward to it. That statement alone proves I am pregnant. I just ate lunch 30 minutes ago, and already I am excited about dinner. I can't even begin to say how much I am looking forward to Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I finally look Pregnant not just Fat!!!

Our first childbirth class went well, and although TJ wasn't thrilled to be going, I think he half way enjoyed himself once we got there. We watched two videos and Renee explained the different phases of labor. Two of the preggos had lots of questions about that. They also looked like they could go into labor at any moment. I was thinking how I wouldn't have gotten so far without knowing the facts of labor, at the very least. Then again, I might be a little over prepared. I have read every book, magazine, web site, and medical journal I can get my swollen little hands on. I have asked questions to the doctor as well as anyone who will talk to me about their delivery story. I think I know all the possible outcomes, and as along as Avery and I come out healthy in the end, I am OK with them.
But I digress. So we are sitting in class, watching the second video entitled "Deborah's Birth", and everyone is doing pretty well. Until Deborah goes into the "transition" phase of her labor. She is un-medicated, and therefore quite lucid, and she and her husband start walking the halls of the hospital to encourage more dilation. They proceed to stop and stretch (in strange positions) all over the hospital. The waiting room, the hallway, near the cafeteria, which at this point, TJ loses it. He starts giggling uncontrollably because Deborah and said partner are doing want looks to be a sort of uncomfortable dance down the hall. Then, they cut straight to the crotch shot and show the baby crowning. At which point, the laughter that TJ had brought on is silenced and followed by gasps and an "Oh my Gawd, they should warn you 'fore they show tha-yut."

Deborah gave birth and everyone was relieved. Then we took the tour of the maternity wing at Baptist East, and got to see the little babies in the nursery. They were so tiny and red. I cant believe I have one of them in my belly, and will soon have one in my house.

Lastly, to appease Lauren, here are some belly pics.

Monday, November 10, 2008

27 weeks 4 days

Yeah! I made it through Jury Duty Week 1! I won't bore you with the few details I can share about that experience, but just know that there is a lot more crime than you might think.

I went to the doctor this morning, and all of my numbers look good. Miss Avery is growing right on schedule, but one of the banquet ladies informed me this morning that I am carrying her "in my hips". Whatever that means. I don't think it was a compliment. Anywho, I am not going to get to upset, because she is healthy, and has a good heart rate. Hopefully I will shed the baby pounds quickly and efficiently. Next appointment is two weeks from today, and in three weeks, we get to see her little face! That's right, 4-D Ultrasound! Get excited! (Did that sound like a KD during chapter or what?)

Tonight, TJ and I go to our first child birth class at the hospital. I am a little nervous after hearing how Allison and Michael's went. I am just hoping they pick some other preggo's husband to try on "the belly". As much as I would like to torture TJ with wearing 20 extra pounds around and trying to tie his shoes or even put them on, I would much prefer to laugh at someone I don't know. I have already watched plenty of birthing videos (God love YouTube), and I am plenty comfortable with the concept, but not of it actually happening to me. Too bad they don't drug you to the point of coma anymore. Wouldn't it be nice to just wake up and have a baby in the bassinet next to you? More on that tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some disjointed thoughts on a Thursday.

I decided to go ahead and change the blog layout to Fall from Halloween. I don't know if I will be able to post tomorrow, and I will be in Grand Jury all next week, so this may be the last post for a while. My apologies to those of you who use this as your entertainment during work (Lauren).

I mistakenly said yesterday that Avery is 12 inches long. I was going on old data. She is 14 inches long at this point and just under 2 pounds! She is the weight of a large rutabaga and the length of an English hothouse cucumber (whatever that is). I think the people at are getting desperate for vegetables as large as my growing fetus.

After another Sunday of work on Avery's room, I am starting to feel like it is coming together. We have a bed (complete with mattress pad, sheets, and bedding), a rocking chair with pillow and blanket, a chaise lounge for Mommy, a rug and rug pad, a changing table with changing pad and cover, one drawer full of baby clothes and socks, and two lamps. We are still waiting on some items to be hung (I knew hunting would get in the way). Her bulletin board and shelf are leaning against the wall, and paintings(by Aunt Searcy that aren't here yet) have a place reserved for them. In fact, the mirrors and curtain tie backs were done by none other than Jane Ann! That is all that is on the walls, except for the lovely stripes, of course.

TJ had a great idea that I make Avery a book with all of these posts and pictures so she will have a record of how I felt about her every step of the way. I think she will probably come away with a sense that I am a terribly impatient person, who is slightly egotistical, but more importantly, I hope she will know how much she is loved (and we haven't even met her yet!). I do believe I am beginning to understand the unconditional love of a parent. I am sure it only gets stronger and deeper. Now all I have to do is birth her and teach her to read. :)

Lastly, Allison posted that a stranger touched her belly not too long ago, and I have had a similar experience. In Jury Duty on Monday, "Brenda" touched my belly. While realizing that I had been sitting next to her for 7.5 hours, and she had asked the normal "when are you due?" questions, I probably should have known the belly touch was inevitable. Now, I don't want anyone to think it bothers me. In fact, just the opposite, I enjoy letting others touch the belly in hopes that they might get to feel her kick. However, up to this point, it has been TJ, Mom, Searcy, and a few other scattered friends who have asked. I suppose I should get used to it, I do have three more months.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

14 weeks 1 day to go.

It is amazing how fast my body has gone from slightly robust to OMG huge! My belly is now busting out of my torso, and I feel like I am going to fall over any moment now. Seriously, I have to live like this for 3 more months (and it continually gets worse)? I might not make it. Avery has been quite the acrobat the last few days. She now weighs 2 pounds and is 12 inches long. I am more than ready for her to be here! I am so impatient.

Friday begins the third trimester, which seems crazy. The 2nd has gone by much quicker than the first. TJ and I start our birth preparation classes on the 10th of November, which is also the day of my next doctor's appointment. The glucose test is on that day. We will then have them every 2 weeks after the that. We have breastfeeding class on December 10th.

TJ has been hunting all the time, so I thought I would include a picture of his and Heidi's latest kill.

My latest issue is whether or not to get a larger vehicle. After some research on safety (i.e. a chat with Safety Greg) and little internet fun, I have decided that a Volvo XC90 is exactly what I need. I think there is no feasible way to get a baby (in a car seat) and a jogging stroller in the same backseat. Which really means that there is no reason to carry a jogging stroller if I cannot get my baby in the car as well. And I am quite confident that my trunk (which is more often that not filled to them brim with junk anyway) wont hold one either. Hopefully, I will begin to feel like the soccer mom that I am destined to be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fabreeze Ninja

Tomorrow begins the last week of the 6th month. That means that next Friday will start the 7th month, and the third trimester. I cant believe it. Little Avery will be here in 104 days. At that point, I am sure I will be begging to pull her out!
Here is the last picture of the Fabreeze Ninja shed. It will be getting painted over soon! I still don't know what it means, but I laugh every time I see it. Here is the picture.

Avery's lungs are developing capillaries, and her nostrils are open. Soon her eyes will be, too! She is around 1.75 lbs now and gaining steadily. says she is about the weight of a rutabaga. Eww.

Jane Ann found a great rug place on the way to Wetumpka and I went yesterday and found a cute rug for Avery's room. Pictures of that to come.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sorry it has been so long Searcy

I have been very busy at work and haven't had a free moment to blog since last Wednesday! Sorry! So hear are my latest thoughts...

1. It is getting increasingly difficult to bend over, put on shoes, squat, walk up stairs, etc.

2. I had a doctor's appointment today, and everything is normal. (which is relative at this point, since true normalcy is a thing of the past) All levels are good, my uterus is measuring at 21 centimeters, and weight gain is right on track.

3. I found out we go back in 6 weeks for the 4-D ultrasound to see her little cute face!

4. Next appointment is the "glucose test" appointment. I have to drink this un-Godly stuff one hour before my appointment and then have blood drawn.

5. Third Trimester starts next Friday.

6. TJ carved our pumpkin last night. It looks like it was done by a professional! I was very impressed! See the picture!
7. Hank, Maggie, and Partner had quite an adventure this weekend, and thus, we now have an invisible fence so that they will not take themselves on walks or get arrested anymore.
Hank went to doggy jail, and we actually have to go to court for it. (yes, that's right- Judge Joe Brown style.) Everyone is now safe at home with new collars!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

23 weeks 5 days/the creepy dream

It seems crazy that Avery should be here in 16 weeks and 2 days. In a dream I had last night, I saw her face, creepy as it is, sticking out through my belly. I couldn't quite see details, but I could see the outline, and she looked like an alien. Then I saw her foot, which seemed oddly large compared to her baseball sized head. I read that pregnancy dreams could be weird, but I didn't really prepare for that. Luckily, it was just a dream.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

an evening with the camera and my thoughts.

Hank wanted to have his picture made. So gladly, I obliged.
While I was at it, I took some pictures of the progress on Avery's room. Then I took some pictures of Partner who has not gotten his fair share of face time on the blog. (BTW, we are keeping the name Partner. We got used to it, and found that changing it might damage his self confidence.)

I am not terribly concerned about the actual care I will give little Avery. I think I have a pretty good handle on the feeding, bathing, diapering, rocking, sleeping aspects of raising a child. I am more concerned about discipline that comes later. Let me explain. Lately, I have had some "Come to Jesus" moments about being thrown into the parental circuit.

Incident #1: Last week my friend Sheryl, who has three sons, was telling me her role in alerting her oldest son's school of some off campus lunch issues. Apparently, some of the students who were co-oping would "leave for their job" and bring lunch back to the students who had to stay at school all day. I'm thinking, "So What? They leave and come back then leave again." When I should have been thinking about their safety, and the problems it could cause should one of them get in an accident. Uhh. Must start thinking like an adult.

Incident #2: As Mom and I sat in the nail place getting our pedicures yesterday, there were two young women with a very cute/slightly active four year old little boy. He wasn't really misbehaving, considering he had no toys, and was there for at least and hour and a half. He was just bouncing, like little boys do. One of the women started thumping him in the forehead to get him to sit down and be quiet. Ummm, Thumping him? Seriously? What are you teaching him with that? When the other girl was done with her manicure, he went to sit by her. He was still having trouble sitting still, and the other girl told him she was going to "Kick you in the head," if he didn't shut up. Wow, I know I am not a parent yet, but it was a great lesson in what not to do to discipline a 4 year old. (Jane Ann was about to blow a gasket and start parenting classes right in the middle of Nails by Ly.) And, if you were wondering, the kid did not settle down with his "discipline". In fact, if anything, it made him more disobedient. Lesson learned (for me at least).

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Babymoon" given two thumbs up by TJ and Tracy

Yeah for a relaxing weekend with the dear husband. We rode north and stayed at Gavin and Amber's lake house on Lake Guntersville. It was a beautiful drive and I almost finished my book! We ate dinner at this Bed and Breakfast called Gorham's Bluff, and were practically the only ones there. The food was incredible and the view was even better! We drank sparkling cider, and I almost felt like a grown up again! It was a great little get-away before Baby Avery gets here!
Speaking of the little one, she is the size of a large mango, weighing in at almost one and a half pounds, 11 1/2 inches long, and gaining about an ounce a day. (That is a lot!) Mom and I worked on her room yesterday when TJ and I got home from our trip. We rearranged the furniture that we have, and got rid of the junk that had piled up since we moved in. We put the bedding on the bed, because the mattress made it here over the weekend! It is so cute! Pictures of that tomorrow! I have been agonizing over a changing table for weeks now, and I finally found one that I am in love with! This only proves that a little persistence and some prayer go a long way! Here is the picture. It should be here in a few weeks!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Fair is in October

When I taught at McInnis, my students were obsessed with Fair day. Reggie would sing the Fair theme song everyday regardless if it was April or October. He would draw the big top of the circus tent, and the happy smiling faces of all McInnis students in front. I embodied Reggie yesterday, as my excitement for the fair overflowed into my work time.
The fair was as wonderful as I remembered, or at least, as wonderful as a carney filled, fried food fest can be. Since I am growing another person, I could not ride any of the rides, but I did manage to waddle onto the Ferris Wheel. I ate a corn dog and a piece of pizza, and even a bite or two of funnel cake. Oh, delicious funnel cake. TJ and I had a caricature drawn of us while Lacey and Justin rode the "Zero Gravity". In the end, the sweet man who drew it turned a blind eye to my rotund body and gave me a very tiny waist and giant boobs. TJ, of course, has a six pack and a Partner's Realty visor on.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I hope she likes it!

The walls have stripes!!! Justin did a great job on them! I am really impressed! My ideas are starting to come to fruition. I am still looking for a comfy rocking chair and a rug, though. Now we need to clean the room out of all the junk that is piling up, and get organized. I really enjoy organizing and being organized, but the thought of doing it is so overwhelming. Once it is done, I will feel like I have accomplished something! Yeah for progress!

Monday, October 6, 2008

TJ & Tracy's One Year Anniversary

Justin is painting Avery's stripes today! I am very excited to check out the progress when I get home today! The chandelier shades are finished, and the bedding should be here tomorrow! It is starting to come together.
Today is our first wedding anniversary, and we are celebrating by taking a trip to a secluded cabin on a lake near Guntersville. Some people call this a "babymoon"(because we are pregnant, and having really nothing to do with our anniversary, although the timing in impeccable). Regardless, I am looking forward to some relaxation and whatever else TJ has planned!
Grandma is in town, and we are working on our Muscadine Jelly! It will be ready tonight. I hope it is as good as I remember. Avery is kicking the crap out me right now, so I will mention her progress. Today is 22 weeks and 4 days. 17 weeks 3 days left till her due date! I am so ready for her to be here! I will post pictures tomorrow!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Massage = Happy Me

I had a pre-natal massage yesterday after work. It was wonderful! I think I will need another one soon! My back feels great, and I slept like a rock last night. Avery liked it too! She kicked and rolled around the whole time I was on the table. Last night before I fell asleep, I felt her move her hands and feet at the same time. It was a very strange sensation. Before it had been mostly on one side or the other, but last night, it was both sides at the same time. It gave me a much better idea of how big she really is. She is one pound and gaining steadily. She is now as long as a spaghetti squash (11 inches).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Avery weighs 1 pound!

I bought a mattress! Yeah for me being decisive! I went with the organic, and I found one on sale!!! It should be here by next week! The bedding probably won't be in til mid-October, but at least I will have a bed and mattress to put them on!
Last night I had my first calf cramp. At four AM I shoot straight up in bed, but I was so sleepy I couldn't remember which way to flex it to make it go away! Finally, I figure it out, and the pain subsides. Strangely, instead of being my normal pissed off mood that I was awakened, I felt a sense of motherhood and pride at the prospect of having a baby. Like the pregnancy was real because I was having calf cramps. Who am I? I feel like I say that at least once a day. I look in the mirror, and my body appears foreign (see belly photos). My belly button is no longer my own. And who exactly is invading my brain and giving me all these crazy emotions that fluctuate so rapidly?
I hope my old self returns when Avery gets here (mind and body, preferably).