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.