Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nicolette's Final Beautiful Shower

We were fortunate to have one last final and beautiful baby shower last weekend!  I cannot believe how incredibly blessed we are to have such amazing and generous friends and family.  This particular shower was hosted by my college roommate Laura and she totally outdid herself!  Every little detail was absolutely precious and so well thought out.  Here are a few pics from the special day (ok more than a "few") :) 
Welcome to Nicolette's Baby Shower!!!!

With my roomie, BFF and shower hostess extraordinaire, Laura

Yummies by Laura!

Beautiful Hydrangeas from Laura's Garden!

Mmmmmm - cake pops and French Macaroons (French Macaroons are my FAVORITE!!!!)

 Me with my mama! 

 Cute little bath mitt (and big old belly)

 With the Baker girls

 With some of my Alpha Phi sisters

 With Lady Di (as I call her)

 With Jen (who is carrying Nicolette's future boyfriend, Tristan - but come on - you can hardly see any bump on her little belly...she's due in Oct)

 With one of the best friends ever...Janie

 Baby love!

 Nicolette's sweet baby book - a gift from her Grandma and Grandpa

 Daddy's Little Girl Picture frame

 Every girl needs a Juicy Couture Track Suit, right?  

 Sweet little tutu

 Pack & Play - HOORAY! (Janie and I had quite the adventure putting this together later that night)

Another sweet little tutu.  The little princess will be all stocked up in ballerina appropriate attire!



What are NOT pictured are the 3 18-gallon tubs FULL of baby girl clothes (size Newborn through 18 months) that Auntie Janie brought to us from Raleigh!  HOLY MOLY does our little princess have a TON of clothes now!!!!! 

11 days until the due date!  I'm ready and not ready at the same time...The Italian is going to install the car seat this weekend and I'm saying that I'm going to pack my hospital bag (but I've said that every week for the last two months so we'll see how that goes :).  We're definitely ready to meet sweet Nicolette but it's also nice to know that she's safe and cozy inside my tummy right now!  Trying not to think too much about "labor" and am sick of hearing horror stories about how hard it is and how much it hurts.  Focusing on positive affirmations and the knowledge that God designed women's bodies to do this and that it can't be THAT bad or else everyone would stop at one child...right?  So even though it is going to be difficult, long, painful and exhausting every second of it will be worth it!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HDBD - 38 weeks

Here we are at 38 weeks!  Only 1 week, 6 days until "D Day".  We have another check up tomorrow so we'll see if I'm still at 1cm or if any further progress has been made.  The official Due Date is July 11th which really doesn't mean anything.  Dr. B says to think of it as a due "month" not a due "date - so anywhere from 2 weeks before (yikes! TODAY) to 2 weeks after July 11th is when we should expect the princess to arrive. 

I'm still feeling well but am definitely more tired than I was last week.  I was literally happy, bubbly and full of energy on Saturday (for my last beautiful shower which I'll post about this week) and then woke up Sunday to feel as though a giant vacuum had sucked every bit of energy out of my body.  I don't feel "bad", still no swelling, no major discomfort, still wearing heels (with no visible waddle yet :))etc. just TIRED.  I've also had some mild/moderate cramping since Monday but I guess that's normal at this point too.    

Nicolette was very quiet and STILL last night and this morning which freaked me out so I called the doctor's office (as instructed...promise I'm not one of those worry warts who calls the doctor with every little thing.  But at my last few appointments they did encourage me to call anytime I noticed a difference in fetal movement).  Anyway, the nurse encouraged me to drink a caffeinated beverage and sit very still and count fetal movements - hoping for 10 movements within 2 hours.  So I brewed my first cup of caffeinated Green Tea in over a year and propped myself up on my bed with my laptop as I was working from home today (thank goodness).  She is slower than usual but sure enough she did perk up a little bit and I had at least 10 movements within 1 hour so feel much more comfortable.  I guess she's getting tired now too...and the nurse said she's probably running out of space as well. :)  Further proof that she is not going to be a permanent resident in my big ol' belly and will be making her grand entrance sooner rather than later!   

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No Rest in this Nest

Let the nesting continue.  Now that my carpet shampooing extravaganza is complete and I'm just waiting on the nursery glider and bookshelves to arrive before I do anything else in there I had to look for some extra "projects" to tackle this week. 

I nested my husband's drawers (thank you Pinterest for the drawer organizing tips)
I nested our garage with our Sho-Vac (seriously getting crazy now - who vacuums a garage when they're 9 months, that's who)

I even "nested" Chance.  Our dog-child has more fur than I could ever shed off of him.  Funny if you look closely you can almost see his outline where he was laying down while I shedded him. 

We had our 37 week check up today and still looking good.  I have dilated 1 cm, am 50% effaced, lost 1 lb and baby girl's heart rate has started to slow down from her usual 150-160 down to 125.  All signs that delivery is in fact on it's way and baby girl is starting to relax and rest in preparation for her grand entrance!  Now I can apparently stay in this "state" for 2-3 weeks or more with little to no further progression so it's not like I'm delivering tonight or anything (at least I hope not).  I'd REALLY appreciate it if this little bun could stay put until we AT LEAST hit 39 weeks.  The March of Dimes states that at 35 weeks the size of the baby's brain is only 2/3's of what it will be at 39-40 we've still got lots of brain growing to do over these next couple of weeks.  The Italian tried to hide it but I could tell he was a little nervous when I called to tell him that I had dilated 1cm.  He quietly asked if my delivery date was being moved up.  I told him no that we still have a ways to go, but we are starting to make SOME progress so it's just proof that this pregnancy will not last forever despite my recent fears about it.  I've just felt so "normal" that I couldn't believe that she could actually be born in the next few weeks.   

I've said it before but I really am going to TRY to slow down and chill out on the nesting over the next couple of weeks.  I know it's important to get some rest because we'll be expending a LOT of energy come labor day. 

Saying lots of prayers for HEALTHY development for little Nicolette - we're really excited about meeting you sweet girl!!!!     

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We're "full term"! HDBD - 37 weeks

It's hard to believe but we're considered "full term" today!  That means that if little Nicolette arrived today she would no longer be considered a preemie and would most likely be able to eat and drink on her own!  Now we still don't want her to come JUST YET - she's still practicing breathing, swallowing and all that good stuff so I'm quite content to wait until she's totally ready!

I'm still feeling good - although the little stinker is getting stronger and stronger...she kicked me (or punched me, can't tell which) so hard today that I literally yelled when it happened.  Luckily I was working from home today so I didn't scare the beegezus out of my coworkers or a client.  She still likes to scooch her little tooshie (which is getting bigger and bigger by the way) right up into my ribs.  It hurts like the dickens but that means she's still head down so I'll take it.

We had our tour of the Maternity Center on Monday and it was awesome.  We're blessed to be delivering at a beautiful hospital and all of the labor and delivery nurses that we met were so nice and friendly.  We got to stop by the nursery and see the nurses bathing a couple of babies.  I started crying (one of the many times that I cried throughout the tour).  We'll opt for baby baths IN our room...I don't want them taking her away any more than they absolutely have to.  Sweet little thing has been a part of me for 9 months and I don't want to scurry her away with a stranger just a few hours after she gets here.  We'll opt to have her room in with us as well so I think the only thing she'll have to go to the nursery for is for the pediatric examinations.  They like to do those in the nursery because the lighting is better for the doctors to be able to check her color, etc.

When we were on the way out the nurse stopped by the nursery again and there was a new baby getting ready for a bath.  The Italian could not believe how "big" the baby was so we asked and found out that the little bugger was 7lbs 14 oz. (less than either The Italian or I weighed when we were born :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Project Nursery - The Baby Suite

This week was a long one - my last 6 day work week before the princess arrives!  So with only one day off this week I really wanted to make the best use of my one day off to get as much done in the nursery as possible!  While we're not "finished" - we're getting there!

 Viola!  Things are starting to come together

She's got one of the best views in the house!

 We love the monogrammed Bow Holder from Auntie Tara!  Such a special gift!

 Fit for a Princess - I've opted to go bumper-less due to all the controversy and possible suffocation hazards associated with crib bumpers.  

 Changing Table/Dresser - I need some shelves on the other side of the room for the ballerina that's currently residing on this table. 

 Photo collage and Mirror above the Princess's bed.

 Photo collage above the Changing Table - a couple of maternity photos as well as my favorite photo from our Gender Reveal by Kristin Vining along with some frames just waiting for pics of our pretty princess!

Now there's a whole other side of the room with absolutely NOTHING on it, no pictures, no furniture, NADA!  We ordered the glider and ottoman this weekend so that will go over there and I need to find some shelves to display all of her amazing books that she received at our last shower (along with mommy's porcelain ballerina that is currently living on the changing table).

In other news, today is Father's Day.  I gave the Italian a priceless entire day with no nagging, not even asking for help with anything around the house or in the nursery.  He was master of his own domain and free to do whatever he wanted without any comments (or facial expressions) from me!  :)  I made him breakfast this morning and gave him his real present...a bag full of "Daddy" books for him to read with Nicolette when she gets here.  It also included the "New Father's Survival Guide" which he started reading right away and decided that he needs to do a will and update his life insurance pronto :)  Then he went out to play some golf while I stayed home and continued to "nest".

I finally finished shampooing the carpets in our house.  Today was spent shampooing the formal living room and dining room and I managed to do the first 5 steps on our staircase but I didn't think it was safe to go any higher.  Then I cleaned and organized Nicolette's bathroom and put away all of her clothes that we have so far.  I also made a few more freezer meals so that we have a "stash" to grab after she arrives.  So far I've made 2 chicken casseroles, a lasagna and a huge batch of chili that I've divided up into 3 separate meals.  If anyone has any other good (and semi-healthy) make ahead freezer recipes to share please do so!!!

Next weekend I have our last baby shower thrown by my "roomie"'s been almost 10 years since we lived together, but she'll always be known as roomie.  Looking forward to some girlie time and feeling so blessed to be surrounded by so many generous and wonderful friends and family!

It's back to the grind tomorrow...Cheers to all!  Just a few more weeks!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HDBD - 36 weeks!

One week until we're full term - 4 weeks until the due date!  We had our 36 week check up and Strep Test today.  Baby Nicolette is being a good girl, head down just like she should be.  She hasn't dropped yet so there is a chance that she could flip around, but at every appointment and ultrasound so far she's been head down.  And I still feel that sweet little bootie of hers pushing up into my ribs every day so I'll look at that as a blessing and not the curse that it feels like :)  The doctor didn't say anything, but my gut is telling me that this little girl is going to take her sweet time getting here - I think she'll be late. 

Here's Hump Day Bump Day pic for week #36...weird - I almost think the bump looks smaller in this pic than it did last week - but promise it's bigger! 
While Nicolette tortured me for the first 16 weeks with chronic "morning sickness" - she's definitely making up for it by being a VERY good baby now.  So far I can still wear my wedding rings and my heels and my doctor called my ankles "tiny" at my appointment today (women who have been pregnant can totally understand how incredibly flattering that one little comment can be).  I'm still sleeping through the night...soundly and haven't had to ask hubby to turn the AC to a cooler temp.  And so far (knock on wood) I have no stretch marks (praying that we can make it through the next few weeks with that still being true)!!!!!  I figured by this point my ankles would be swollen the size of my thighs, my rings would be long gone, I'd be confined to (gasp) FLATS and that I'd be functioning on less than 2 hours of sleep a night.  So THANK YOU BABY for being so nice to me.  You have no idea how much mommy appreciates this!  

Week 35-36 has brought on a severe case of NESTING.  Hubby made the mistake of reminding me that we have a Carpet Shampooer machine thingy, so I started upstairs with the nursery (shampooed that 3 times), then the two rooms upstairs (shampooed those twice), then our loft/bonus room area (shampooed that 3 times).  I asked him to bring the machine downstairs yesterday so that I could start in our room and I shampooed the carpets in our master bath and closet 3 times (twice last night and got up SUPER early this morning to hit it one more time).  Plan to work on the Master Bedroom tonight and tomorrow night and then probably work on our living room and dining room Friday and Saturday after work.  The Italian thinks I'm insane...I kind of agree, but I just will not feel right unless it is DONE.

Hubby is nesting a little bit too...on the way home from a business trip last week he stopped at a rug store because he just felt that our family room rug was too old and dirty for our new little one, so he bought an enormous Jute rug to replace it.  We both loved it until the first night we realized that our cat-child Sasha may think that we just bought her the world's largest scratching mat!  She picked at it two or three times, but we gave her a couple of quick "NO's" and she walked right over to her scratching post and did her thing there instead...she hasn't picked at the rug once since then.  Such a good kitty-child.     

We also made some serious progress in the nursery this weekend.  I took pictures with my fancy camera and now can't find the stinking USB cord to download them.  Promise that I'll get the pictures up as soon as I can - we're REALLY happy with how it's turning out!!!!!  It is so sweet and soft and pretty :)  The Italian put together the crib and dresser and helped hang the drapes, valance and some of the wall hangings this weekend.  He calls it the "princess room".  There are no princess-y things in there, it just is really, really for OUR princess.

So this is my last 6 day work week at work this week - praise Jesus!  I do plan to keep working right up until we go to the hospital, but no more 6 day weeks after this.  Giving tours at work is getting more and more difficult.  I'm finding that walking brings on more Braxton Hicks contractions which are NOT painful AT ALL - however they do take my breath away and literally make me winded which is kind of awkward when you're walking around our enormous hotel with a bride and her fiance and/or parents.  Luckily my teammates have offered to step up and take some of my sites for me over this last month.  I have several scheduled for Saturday that I'll have to take myself but we'll get through it.  Walking around this place is pretty much all of the exercise that I'm getting these days...well that and the insane carpet shampooing marathon.  The carpet shampooing jump starts the BH contractions too, but at least that's at home and not with strangers.

I'm really excited about The Italian's first Father's Day this weekend - he'll be enjoying watching the US Open no doubt and he gets a special present from Nicolette and Mommy...will post pics next week.

Feeling blessed to be exactly where we are right now.  It's only a matter of time now!!!!!  6 days until we're considered FULL TERM and only 27 until the official "due date"!      

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

HDBD - 35/35

35/35 - today we are 35 weeks pregnant with 35 days to go until D-Day!!!!

That means that after today we only have 4 weeks and 6 days!  It hardly seems possible!  And we really only have 1 week and 6 days until we are classified as "full term"  WHAT THE HECK?????

Well Nicolette is definitely GROWING...and RAPIDLY!    Below is a picture of the bump at 35 weeks (now) and below that is the bump at 33 weeks (2 short weeks ago)!  WOWZERS!  

(the says that by this point, the uterus is 1,000 times it's normal size!  yikes! I still have my doubts as to if, how and when that will go back to "normal size")
35 weeks

33 weeks

I don't know how she's growing so much - she's decided to put me on an all watermelon and cucumber's all I want to eat - but I could probably eat a 10 pound watermelon in 1-2 days if I'd let myself.  Who knew that a baby can survive and THRIVE on cucumbers with hummus or ranch dip (that I make with greek yogurt instead of sour cream) and watermelon?

I can still manage to keep myself from waddling most of the time and still sport my 4" heels at work so we're feeling G-O-O-D!  I almost hate to mention it, but I really do feel great.  I'm still sleeping through the night and sleeping WELL and I haven't seen any swelling (YET).  I attribute the lack of swelling to the cucumber and watermelon diet that Nicolette has put us on...was reading and learned that those are both foods that help reduce/eliminate swelling.   Thanks Nicolette!  So happy that she likes eating healthy stuff instead of pizza, chips. brownies and all the stuff that I expected that I would be craving! 

We got our car seat this weekend - HOORAY!  And I got some bottles at my shower this weekend, so we really have everything that we NEED to have when we bring her home.  Still lots of odds and ends to take care of but we have plenty of time for that.  I'm officially banned from buying anymore clothes (self imposed restriction).  

Starting next week we see the doctor every week.  We have our hospital tour and a meeting with another pediatrician in the coming week(s).  I have yet to pack my hospital bags - if anyone has any tips as to what to pack, please send them my way!  Want to be as efficient as possible but still have the things that I'll want to have around me in the hospital.  

Saying prayers every night that this little bun stays put and cooks a while longer so that she's nice and strong when she arrives!  Thank you Jesus for bringing us this far!!!!! :)    

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Nicolette's Baby Shower ~ The TopCat edition

Sunday was a special day indeed!  We were showered with love by the "Pride of the Carolinas" - my Carolina Panther Top Cat Alumni sisters.   We had the BEST time and the ladies who planned the shower really outdid themselves!  We were at Vivace in Charlotte, NC and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  The weather was amazing and all of the little details were so sweet, so girlie and so very "me".  We felt so blessed and loved!  I wish that ALL of the ladies that I cheered with over my 6 years would have been able to make it, but that would have been one crazy big shower!  I just wish we had more occasions to force us all to get together more often.

I hope to have more "detail photos" to share later, but here are a few photos of some of our stunning guests.

 The greatest party planners ever!  Amy, Brooke, Tiffany, Tara and Erin - my excellent Shower Hostesses

 My 2006 Sassy Silver Sisters - Sparkle & Shine ladies - we're just missing Miss Foxy Roxy :(

 with Miss Vicki Wong (now Mrs. Victoria Wong Allen) 

 Some of us "Old School" TopCats - Jenny, Mama Platt (who drove all the way from Greensboro even though she's due with a baby boy ANY DAY) and me

 with Miss Brooke - who just had a precious baby girl 4 months ago!

 with Tara, Erin, Brooke and Erin's sweet 3 week old baby Patrick (i.e. Nicolette's future boyfriend)
Tara just had a baby 3 months ago, Erin 3 weeks ago and Brooke 4 months ago...I need these ladies' secrets to looking so fab after baby!!!  Seriously!

Hands down the most beautiful group of shower guests ever (both inside AND out)!  So thankful that little Nicolette has all of these amazing "Aunties" to look up to!

Daddy (aka "The Italian) had a busy weekend as well!  The nursery is coming right along - crown moulding is painted, closet is painted, and the chandelier is up!!!!!  I shampooed the carpet tonight and we'll probably hang the drapes and start moving the furniture in this weekend!!!  HOORAY!  I'll share pics when we get to a picture worthy point...right now it just looks like a gray box with a really pretty chandelier :)  

We had a 35 week check up today and all was well until I let the doctor know that I had noticed a decrease in Nicolette's activity over the past 24 hours.  Boy, they do NOT mess around when you mention that.  She told me that she wanted me to stay and have an NST - I did not know what an NST was so was starting to freak myself out and they block out the wireless back in the dr.'s office areas so I couldn't look it up.  After an hour wait I was in a room with a nurse with two monitors strapped to my belly (which is apparently all an NST is = Non Stress Test).  Wouldn't you know it that as SOON as she turned the monitors on our little Sleeping Beauty was suddenly wide awake and ready to put on a show for us!  Little drama queen - I think she just wanted some extra attention today.  She even had the hiccups for about 15 minutes so it was interesting to hear that.  After an hour of monitoring her heart rate and movements they determined that all is definitely well and our little princess must have just been extra sleepy (or mommy has just been a little too active).  She's been a jumping bean for the rest of the day so that makes me feel good...although she is starting to get into some REALLY interesting and UNCOMFORTABLE positions.  But I'll take it, happily - just to know that she's ok!

Tomorrow is hump day bump day!  :)