Category: pregnancy

**UPDATE** Our Homemade Baby Book – With Free Printables


**Update** I’ve added a free printables tab to the top menu of the blog (under crafts/diy).  Click there to find all the baby book pages to print for free in either PDF or Publisher (so you can edit) files!  Enjoy. They are free for personal use only.  I just ask that you share the love on Pinterest and follow my blog through Bloglovin’ or social media.

My quest for the perfect baby book began back in the fall when we first discovered that I was pregnant.  I found so many cute ones for boys and for girls, but NOTHING cute for those of us who don’t find out the gender until the birth.  I did find one gender neutral book at a boutique here in town, but it was $70.  Are you kidding me?  For a baby book?  Come on now, people.

So, I decided the search was over and I would create my own.  I found a couple of great coupons for Hobby Lobby and bought an 8 1/2×11 chocolate brown scrapbook and a big package of bright primary colored cardstock.  You can also find a great deal on 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock and scrapbook albums on Amazon. I decided to go with the primary and bright colors instead of traditional pastels, because they seemed more fun.
I found a great gender neutral and baby book appropriate font called Drummon here.  It reminds me of printed handwriting with cute dots on each letter.  I love the simplicity of it.
I printed out each page on a different bright color of scrapbook quality paper.  The pages are red, blue, orange, yellow, and green.  Hopefully using the high quality paper will prevent fading or bleeding over time.
I’ve already filled out all of the pages that I can, and will continue as the baby is born and begins to grow.  Now I’m adding some fun stickers and more personal touches.  So far, this project has cost me about $17.  I probably could have found a lame baby book for less than that, but I love how personal this one is, and how I can continue to make it more so.
There is a page for my side of the family, too.
Please feel free to download them for any time from my “free printables” page.  They are for personal use only.  I just ask that you share the love by pinning this page and following my blog through Bloglovin or social media.  Thanks! I’d love some feed back about what pages I should add.  The problem with not having an actual baby book to work from is that I don’t know what I’m missing.
What pages should I add?

Things Are Swell(ing) Around Here.

Everyone’s favorite 3rd trimester pregnancy symptom, swelling (or edema if you want to get technical) has reared its ugly head at my house.  Or more specifically on my feet.  I’m basically down to flip flops at this point, which is fine because I love them and it’s warm outside.  On our babymoon we did a little hiking at Dinosaur Valley State Park, so I wore athletic socks and my hiking shoes.  As you can see above, my tootsies did a little swelling during the hike and the socks had a pattern.  That pattern became magically indented into my feet.  Awesome.  I had never experienced anything like this before, so I felt the need to document the occasion for your enjoyment.  I’m sure you have many more puffy feet and cankle pics to look forward to.  Get excited, people.  Please know that I’m not really complaining, but more laughing at myself and my puffy feet.  A girl has to keep herself entertained somehow.

Pregnancy Update – 28 Weeks and Complications

I am now 28 weeks along in my pregnancy, which means I have about 12 weeks to go.  I went to the lab yesterday for my 1 hour glucose tolerance test, and I tested very high.  I had an appointment with my OB today, and she ordered a 3 hour glucose test for later on this week.  She thinks that I have gestational diabetes because of the high test result and my massive weight gain during the last month.  I will not be at all surprised if the test show that I do have GD.  I’ve felt that something wasn’t right with my body, and that I was gaining too much weight despite trying to eat healthy and walking more.  After the test yesterday I felt like I’d been run over by a truck, and couldn’t get out of bed the rest of the day.  I am so not looking forward to the longer test on Friday.  My doctor told me to go ahead and start eating like I do have it, until we can get the test results and know for sure.  She instructed me to cut out carbs and concentrate on lean protein, fresh vegetables, and fruit.  Hopefully I can regulate my diet and exercise more and get this thing under control.

I hate having complications with this pregnancy.  Worry can consume me so easily.  I’ve had a few other complications so far, as I’m Rh Negative and have a fast growing fibroid tumor on my left ovary.  The good news is that my body hasn’t started producing antibodies towards a Rh positive baby.  I was able to get the shot today to prevent any issues arising there.  I’ll just have to get one more shot after the birth, no big deal.

The fibroid tumor is fast growing, but isn’t causing any issues right now.  Its placement is such that it is out of the way for the delivery and not causing problems with the uterus.  It is growing rapidly.  At 12 weeks it was the size of a plum, and by 20 weeks it had reached the size of a grapefruit.  We will see how much it has grown again at 32 weeks.      

On a more positive note, Jed took these pictures of me and Baby Bun at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose.  I don’t love them, but I don’t completely hate them either.  Which effect do you like best?  We had a lovely baby moon in Glen Rose that I’ll tell you about later.  I hope that I’ll have good news to tell you next week about the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  Please pray with me that the test will come back negative for gestational diabetes, and that I can be diligent about controlling my diet and exercise.    

Weirdest Dreams Ever

I’ve never been one who remembers my dreams. Throughout my life I’ve had a few spells of repeated nightmares. In the 4th grade I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula (sneaking it into my bedside table) and had repeated vampire nightmares for weeks. In 3rd grade it was pirates, and even younger it was a T-Rex coming in my 2nd floor bedroom window because I read that they were 2 stories tall. Perhaps someone should have been guiding my book choices. 😉 These episodes are few and far between, and in general I wake up and forget all about my dreams.
Then came pregnancy.
Now I have CRAZY, vivid dreams almost nightly. I dreamed that Jed was cheating on me, and the dream came complete with multiple reaction scenarios including me hitting him over the head with a chair WWF style. After that one I woke up mad at him and made him wake up and hold me. Yes ma’am, I am ridiculous.
Last night was the craziest dream series so far. I dreamed that a polar bear was attacking Windy Gap, the Young Life camp where Jed and I met. The camp looked a little different in my dream, but all the people were the same. The bear kept creeping onto the little island at camp and taking people out one by one. The most traumatic thing is that my point of view was video taping each person as they were attacked. Weird, right? And awful. It was bloody and graphic like a Quentin Tarentino movie, and I had to watch several dear friends get eaten by the beast.
I really wish I knew where this dream came from in my subconscious. I did watch the early seasons of Lost when there was a polar bear involved. I worked as a keep assistant at the zoo in my hometown during high school in the Bears and Small Carnivores section, but we didn’t have any polar bears. Arkansas is not conducive to recreating a polar environment. Windy Gap does have bears, but they are cute little black ones, not the vicious white ones from the great north. I will never know where the heck this nightmare came from, but I sure hope it isn’t a repeater. How does a baby growing inside me cause me to dream of a rage filled polar bear? So bizarre…
What is the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?
Did you dreams get crazier during pregnancy?

Pregnancy Update – 22 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 22 Weeks
Our little Bun is the size of a papaya and weighs over 1 pound.
Maternity Clothes: I’m completely done with regular clothes now. I just had to order some plain long sleeved shirts from the Gap because they are having a major maternity sale. I’ve been wearing regular shirts, but they’ve just reached the point when they won’t cover the whole belly. I have 2 pairs of maternity jeans and 2 pairs of maternity cargo pants that will roll up into capri pants when it gets warmer. My awesome friend Crystal hooked me up with a ton of her old maternity clothes, including a rockin’ vintage coat. She saved me a fortune with her generosity. Thanks Crystal!

Gender: It’s a surprise! We’ve narrowed down the name options to one boy name and two girl names. You can vote in the gender poll in the top right hand corner of the blog. I think it is a boy, but the rest of my family is convinced it is a girl. Jed refuses to guess.
Movement: The Bun is moving around like crazy. I love it, but I’m the only one who can feel it so far. I can’t wait for Jed to be able to feel the kicking.
Sleep: Sleep is a struggle. I have a giant preggo body pillow that has become a necessity. The real problem is the waking up 3-4 times a night to use the bathroom.
Symptoms: I’ve had some back pain, but nothing too major. I feel like I’m about the size of a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What I Miss: Multiple cups of coffee, Diet Coke, red wine and real sushi ( I can still eat the veggie stuff.)
Cravings: Nutella with Granny Smith Apples all day long; salty, buttery popcorn, garlic bread, hardboiled eggs

Emotions: I’m so excited and a little overwhelmed. I can’t wait to meet our baby and find out the gender and who he/she is and what he/she is like.

Pregnancy Update – Our Ultrasound Photos and Not Finding Out

Isn’t that little hand amazing?! We were blown away at our 20 week ultrasound on Tuesday. Our little Bun was moving around like crazy, waving to us and yawning.
Here you can see the profile. Look at that belly! The doctor said the baby weighs 13 oz, so almost a pound. Bun looks perfect and everything measured just as it should. Woohoo!
These little feet made me melt. I’m not sure why, but I just love them. I can’t wait to see them in person and 20 more weeks (ish). The photo below is of Bun’s face. It is a little harder to decipher, but still cool.
We could have found out Bun’s gender at our appointment, but we have decided to wait. This was a decision we did not arrive at easily. I wanted to find out and Jed did not. There were many negotiations and a list of pros and cons was made. The planner in me is having a hard time with it, just a little bit. We have to call our baby “Bun” instead of his or her name. I worried that I might have trouble bonding. Those fears are gone as I now get to feel Bun moving around on a regular basis. On the other hand, there are a lot of great things about the big surprise. We can get all gender neutral baby stuff so it can be used for future wee ones. We get an amazing surprise, and really how many big surprises are there in life? Come late May or June, we will have a sweet surprise on our hands.

If you’ve had babies, did you find out the gender?
Tell me why or why not.
Please vote on the gender poll (upper right column).

Today’s Pregnancy Craving

Nutella + Granny Smith Apples = Amazing
I have no idea if this will taste good to normal not pregnant people, but it was life changing for me. Did I dip the apple slice straight in to the jar? Of course. Don’t judge me.
What is your favorite not quite normal snack?
What was your weirdest pregnancy craving?

Pregnancy Limbo – 16 weeks and counting

Pregnancy Limbo feels like this.
I am living in pregnancy limbo, that stage in between looking like a normal person and actually looking pregnant. Even though I haven’t gained much weight, I feel like everything is becoming rounded, much like my friend the manatee in the photo above. My bump is starting to show, but mostly I just feel large. I’m sure strangers wonder if it is a beer belly or a baby belly. My pre-pregnancy pants don’t fit even with a band or the hair band trick. My friend Crystal taught me the hair band trick, and it saved my waist for weeks. You just put a pony tail holder through your button hole and around the button. Genius. I bought 2 Bella Bands at Target and barely used them because the hair band worked so well.

I finally gave in and bought maternity clothes, and they are such a relief. I bought them on the larger side so they will fit later on, and they are so deliciously comfy right now. So far Kohls and Target have been good to me, but I’d love to hear your go-to places for affordable maternity clothes. Bring on the stretchy pants!
I reached 16 weeks/4 months on Saturday, and had my monthly check up today. Everything went well and looks great. It is so fun to hear the heartbeat of my little Bun and know that he or she is cooking perfectly. We can’t wait to see Bun at our next appointment. By the way, we have decided not to find out the gender of our baby before the birth. I’ll share more about that decision later.

Young Life Ministry and Wrestling with Life Change

Lately my life has been consumed with work and pregnancy and moving, with little time for breathing or anything else. I wanted to show you a glimpse of the job that I love but that really runs my life. I work for Young Life, and am the area director (in charge person) for a small area in the middle of Dallas. Jed volunteers with the high school ministry and we have a lot of fun doing ministry together. Pictured above are our high school friends at Young Life club, which happens every Monday night. We have a great group of kids that come, and we are always meeting new kids. The ministry is fun, heartbreaking, amazing, exhausting, and an incredible thing to be a part of. I love seeing the volunteers I work with build relationships with kids and share the Gospel with them through those friendships. I didn’t realize how difficult the job I’ve loved for 10 years would be become while pregnant. My first trimester was really hard, not as hard as others I’m sure, but difficult all the same. I am so thankful for the child growing in my body and the ministry that the Lord has called me to, but the combination of the 2 has been life changing.
WyldLife is the middle school portion of the ministry, and that club meets every 3 weeks on Friday nights. It is wild and high energy and perfect for middle schoolers. The photo above is from the WyldLife Bus Tour this year. Bus Tour was a rude awakening for me. It is an all night middle school adventure that takes bus loads of us all over Dallas to a Mavs game, and many other events. It goes from 6 pm to 6 am, and ours happened to take place on the night of the time change. Yikes. I really thought I could make it through the event even though I was about 11 weeks pregnant and sick 24/7. I had Jed on call in case I needed to be rescued. I thought I might make it to 2 am. Nope. I made it to 11 pm, barely. I spent the whole 4th quarter in the bathroom vomiting. Good times. I thought I could tough it out, but the baby said, “No way, Mama.” The trickiest part of the whole night is getting our group (50 kids) from one of the American Airlines Center to the other through the massive crowd, down to the court to shoot free throws, and then out to the bus. I forced myself to make it through that part, and then had Jed pick me up at our next stop. Thankfully I had awesome volunteer leaders with me to take over. It was really hard for me to realize that I couldn’t do everything I used to do. I know my life will change a million times more once the baby arrives, but it has already changed more than I ever imagined.
YoungLives is for pregnant and parenting teen girls. These are some of our lovely girls and their babies. We pair them with mentors who hang out with them and walk through life with them. It is a new and growing part of Young Life worldwide, as we figure out how to reach out to parenting teens. Over the last year this special ministry has grown really close to my heart. I don’t know if the Lord is working me because of the way my life is changing. I know He is changing my heart as He changes my body and makes me ready for motherhood. I am wrestling with how to balance my job and my family. I’ll be thinking and praying about this a lot over the next few months. I hope that the Lord will give me a clear picture of what He wants me to do. If that means working full time and figuring out day care, or working part time, or staying home full time, I hope that He gives me clarity and peace about it.

How did you decide to keep working or stay at home? If you don’t have kids, what do you think you will do when the time comes and why?

Moving While Pregnant

You might think that moving while pregnant would be a terrible ordeal. Turns out it isn’t so bad. I’ve felt so crummy the last few weeks that I really escaped all manual labor involved in the move and mostly just directed traffic. Jed did all the work and was such a trooper. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband. Some of his Young Life guys came to help him, and they knocked it out. We are officially in our new house (YAY!) even though we had to pay rent on the old one for an extra 2 weeks (BOO!). Thanks jerkface landlady.

This has been the most drawn out move I’ve ever experienced. We moved .9 miles away from our old house, and our new (awesome) landlord let us move in for 3 weeks that weren’t paying rent. How generous is that?! I think the time frame made us a little lazy and disorganized, but we still made it happen. There are a few things left at the old house, but all the big stuff is here. Most of my clothes are still in the old closet, but they don’t exactly fit right now so it doesn’t really matter. I guess the good thing about paying rent through the end of the month is that we have a long time to clean up so we can hopefully get our deposit back. Oh, the joys of renting!
Our living room is set up for the most part, so I have a place to sit/blog, and we are slowly working through the rest of it. My goal tomorrow is to get my craft table set up. I haven’t been able to make anything for over a month, and I have so many ideas in my head. I’m so ready to have a space to create that doesn’t make my living room look like a hoarder house. We now have have a great back bedroom that will double as a guest room and baby’s room. The guest room part is all set up, and I can’t wait to get the baby’s room set up. I don’t really have anything yet, just a few cloth diapers and a bouncer I’ve won through other blogs. I’m sure I will start buying/making things soon. I have to get that craft table set up…
I was thinking about how many times I’ve moved over the years, and am a little shocked by the numbers. I moved once as a child, but since age 18 I have moved 14 times, 3 times since I married Jed (2.7 years ago). Yikes. That is out of control. Hopefully we can stay settled here for a while.
How many times have you moved over the years?