Saturday, September 28, 2013

pregnancy: week 22

 This is my "holy smokes, my baby is growing like a little weed!!" face:
 And here's my "Yay, maternity jeans arrived in the mail!" pose:
How about my "I bet my students won't recognize my hair but I'm wearing my new maternity cords" face:
22 weeks
0 tears cried!

3 days wearing skirts (now I have TWO pairs of pants I can wear to work! just one was getting old. fast.)
2 local pediatricians on my list to interview
1 ultrasound scheduled for next week. (Apparently after the last ultrasound, they requested a follow-up screen to check on the heart. Joel thinks the tech felt guilty we couldn't find out the sex so she ordered a follow-up. We'll see. I'm trying not to be nervous that something is legitimately wrong with the baby's heart.)
15+ kicks felt each day
2 pounds gained in just over a week!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Baby's first leggings

About a month ago Joel and I stopped in our local Carter's baby store. I was frazzled by the obvious split between boy clothes and girl clothes, and sorely disappointed with their tiny selection of somewhat gender-neutral stuff. Joel kept telling me he would support whatever I wanted to buy, but I didn't really want to buy anything. But I wanted something. I wanted to have a sweet little outfit to look at and touch, thinking about our little one all bundled up in it. We have gotten some really nice clothing as gifts, but I really relished the idea of having one little outfit WE had purchased for our baby. I left the store in a sour mood, disappointed and annoyed at myself.

Later that day, however, I got an email from Zulilly, offering me a coupon code celebrating one year since I signed up to get their daily deal offers. I found the most adorable leggings and purchase a long-sleeved yellow onesie to go along with them. The onesie arrived almost immediately, but I have been waiting over three weeks for the leggings...

Well, they arrived today and they are completely worth the wait!

I'm dying over here, imagining our kicking, squirming, long-legged child wiggling around in these leggings:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

nursery to-do

Welp, we have one last guest to host (hi, Mom!) before we turn our guest room into a nursery for Baby 'Berts! My friend Meg recently posted a tour of her son's nursery and I got all kinds of inspired! Check it out:
Last weekend Joel and his dad replaced the last two upstairs doors. Once those are stained and the molding has been put up, Joel will start tackling the huge task of painting the upstairs hallway which leads downstairs to our living and dining rooms. I think those things are on the to-do list before we actually set up the nursery, but I can start doing a few small things in the meantime.

Here's my current nursery to-do list:
1. Move the guest room furniture into the office (of course I won't actually be moving anything... ha!)
2. Choose fabric or curtains for the windows and the closet. I'm currently wondering if these shower curtains will fit; I think they'll be too wide.
3.  Pick good quality roll-up blinds that won't rip when we open/close them. Preferably black-out thickness.
4. Paint a few frames and lay out the gallery wall.
5. Decide on nursery furniture placement. This actually impacts the gallery wall, so maybe it should be #4.
6. Get the crib and set it up.
7. Install shelves for books at kid-height
8. Decide how best to keep the closet organized. It's a tall, narrow, shallow closet so we'll definitely need some props to help keep baby stuff tidy. 
9. Move stuff from bathroom cabinet into the new guest room closet; we'll most likely do our diaper changing set-up in the bathroom since we're using cloth and the toilet is right there.   


2 roll-up blinds
2 sets of window curtains
Closet curtain
Shoe hanger (IKEA)
IKEA ribba shelves(for books)
More baskets and closet storage containers

P.S. Isn't this nursery gorgeous, too? I'm drooling! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

pregnancy: week 21

Yesterday someone asked me how far along we were and I answered one week earlier than reality. Good thing Joel was there to correct me! Tomorrow we'll be at 22 weeks, so today marks the end of week 21. Holy smokes!
A dirty mirror disguises my nicely curled hair. But not my growing belly...

 Week 21
15 minutes sobbing into Joel's shirt after a stressful day at school and a long drive home
2 crazy intense middle-of-the-night leg cramps!
1 steady strong heartbeat (does a fast heartbeat mean it's a boy? someone told me that this week...)
20 minutes with the midwife who said to eat even more protein!
1 copy of "The Birth Book" delivered from Amazon. Spoiler alert: so far it's amazing!
2 pairs of Gap maternity pants ordered
4 conversations with 5th grade students about the reality of our shy, modest baby. They too are dying to know whether it'll be a miss or mister!
7 pounds gained total since becoming pregnant (NOT just this month!)
8+ little kicks and flutters felt per day

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The honor of pregnancy and birth

I'm so overwhelmed by the huge-ness of carrying and birthing a baby right now.

As I have mentioned before, the past two weeks brought three new babies into the world, all of whom were born to my dear sweet friends. Two friends have already shared their scary, bloody, miraculous, perfect, amazing stories with me. Meg wrote about hers on her blog and my roommate told me hers over the phone on Sunday. I cried at both. Mostly because it's just so darn beautiful to consider the God of the universe creating our bodies to do such precious work.

I went to a midwife appointment today and started reading The Birth Book in the waiting room. This is on my list to purchase from Amazon sometime soon; getting to read a few pages in the meantime made me even more excited and honored to be able to grow and then deliver the baby we've been given. Sometimes Joel thanks me for carrying our baby; I can't take a single bit of credit here...what a total privilege.

It's my prayer to safely bring our shy little one into the world next year. I hope I get the chance to experience the raw hormones and emotions and the rush of birthing without medication, but regardless of how things go down in that sense, I'm so so pumped to meet this kid who's wriggling and kicking around almost constantly now. And I'm so glad to have my handsome husband holding my hand for this entire ride.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pregnancy: week 20

20 weeks
2 new future friends born (for baby Berts to play with someday!)
0 mental breakdowns on the drive home from work
3 big kicks felt by the future daddio (finally!!)
1 crock pot of chili consumed
2 new doors installed upstairs by one grandpa to be
1 sweet morning greeting: "Good morning, Mrs. Alberts. Good morning, baby!"

It still blows my mind how my belly seems to change from day to day, sometimes even minute to minute. This week we got a lot of attention from students not in my class; my students are all down with everything and aren't easily surprised because they see the bump so often. Other students, however, were super curious and somehow seemed shocked that I could be pregnant without them knowing!

I can't believe how awesome it was for Joel to feel the baby kicking. He's put his hand on my belly before, but couldn't ever feel any movement. Last night while we were laying in bed he tried again and was like, "Wait, was that it?!" And it was! :)

Also in recent news- today I chatted with my college roommate (hi, Roommate!) who told me all about the beautiful birth of her new son, Judah!!!! I may or may not have cried a few small tears of joy and excitement. He looks perfect and I can't wait to meet him and hug her in just under a month. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

our first BIG baby purchase

I've been scoping out ERGO carriers for at least a year. This one is probably my favorite overall, and I had it on our Amazon registry for a while. I love looking at pictures of parents wearing Ergos online & I even had Joel analyze all the color choices with me last month ;)

In the past couple months, I've decided to start scoping out Craigslist regularly... partly because I was having a dilemma about which high chair was best and I figured if I could find a high-end chair on Craigslist, I might not have to register for any (or make an actual decision about which one was absolutely the best!). Anyway, I stumbled across a brand-new Ergo carrier that somebody was selling for 100 bucks because they'd gotten two as gifts and only needed one. 100 dollars is only about 15 bucks less than you can pay for it new online, but this was still in the box and had never been used.
When I asked Joel about the idea of buying it from the lady on Craigslist, he said, "See if she'll give it to you for $85." So I did. And she agreed.

One Friday morning I drove downtown with 85 bucks in my pocket. We met at a really cool coffee shop (... don't worry, multiple people knew where I was going and it was a very public/safe spot!) and the seller gave me the box while I handed her the cash. She was wearing her little guy in an identical Ergo and said she absolutely LOVES it.

As I sat in my car, I opened the box to look at the carrier and got a few tiny tears in my eyes and a sweet ache in my heart. I imagined carrying Baby 'Berts in there, all over the neighborhood and town and state and country.  I pictured Joel wearing the baby on special adventures and hikes and to Detroit Tigers games.

This first big purchase feels like a huge deal. 

P.S. I also put the baby's first toy, a silly stuffed turtle that we named Charlie, in the carrier to practice wearing it myself. And it fits!

image here.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

pregnancy: week 19

Week 19 was also our first week of school. I was pumped about my first day outfit so I asked Joel to take a few early morning photos... They were dark and blurry and my eyes looked tired. Ha.
The rest of these were taken on Friday afternoon using the self-timer with the camera propped up on my computer. Hello, my name is Kelly and I wear a lot of stripes.

Week 19
6+ hours spent commuting to/from Philadelphia
3 nights straight of junior high meetings
7 isolated incidents of feeling the baby move around!!
2 Cokes consumed
1 baby outfit purchased via Zulilly
4 days of cool, sunshine-y weather
2 times where I completely forgot I was pregnant till catching a glimpse of my bump in the mirror!!
10 days until our next prenatal appointment.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The journey to here

Around the time I lost my teaching job last June we had decided that the summer of 2012 was a great time to start a family. We were approaching our second anniversary and had grown a lot in marriage and life together. I think both Joel and I figured it could take a while to become pregnant, but we had very different definitions of what that meant. I imagined about 2-4 months and he expected a year or so. Turns out his expectations were much more realistic than mine.

Month after month was disappointing and scary and confusing to me... like, "Lord, we believe the desire to have children is from you. Why are you withholding this from us?," and "Is something wrong physically? Should I go to the doctor?"

Joel was unbelievably patient and supportive and godly. He was a great listener as I voiced my constant fears and doubts. He encouraged me to pray, talk to trusted friends, and ask my doctor her opinions. Of course, everyone said, "It can take a year," but I wouldn't listen. I wasn't convinced by anyone that this could be normal. I was daily crying out to the Lord and begging him to draw near. I blogged about some of the faith lessons I learned during the season of "No".

I was envious, I was stubborn, I was embarrassingly impatient. But God was so, so perfect.

The season of waiting felt so long and awful at the time. Not only were we outwardly waiting for a teaching job for me, we were (mostly) secretly longing to become parents. Looking back now, I am aware of two important things:

1. We didn't actually have to wait all that long. 10 months is nothing compared to those who are permanently infertile, who undergo special treatments in order to conceive, who are in the process of adopting, etc. My whining was foolish and very selfish.

2. The season of waiting was the time in my life where I called out to the Lord most desperately. My fear and confusion and self-pity could have overtaken my entire being. But the Lord was there, drawing me close, pointing out my tendency to control and my absolute need for him. I am a much better pregnant lady because of that season. I'll be a much better mom because of that season, too.

This blog post was written three days before we found out we were pregnant and I read it shortly after finding out. It's poignant and wise and sums up many of my thoughts.

Even though I had some initial fears about losing the baby early on, those 10 months of fully relying on God for comfort and peace have made me quite joyful in this pregnancy. I do NOT take the gift of growing a child for granted; I'm utterly grateful and humbled.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

hip hip hooray

Today when I met my students for the first time, I gave a two-slide introduction to myself. I showed a photo of Joel and also the baby's ultrasound picture.

And the class cheered!

I was so overjoyed at their excitement and genuine enthusiasm. What fun to be able to share this with them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

nursery daydreams

The guest room (soon to be nursery!!) is painted with my favorite color in our whole house. I love the way this room looks: sun from two windows at all times of the day; dark, clean-lined furniture; white bedding with handmade pillow covers; a decent-sized closet where I store all my gift wrapping stuff as well as games for visiting kids to play, etc.
BUT now that I've been brainstorming how to change it for our baby, I'm getting antsy to re-decorate! We'll be moving the guest bed and dresser to the next room and the office furniture will retire to the basement, which is newly painted and looks great.

I bought this gorgeous basket to hold some toys and stuffed animals on the nursery floor. I also found a beautiful off-white lamp on clearance at HomeGoods and plan to put it on top of the gray dresser I trash-picked and repainted last summer. The two middle shelves in the closet are starting to collect baby stuff we've received as gifts. It's driving me slightly crazy to have it all just hanging around in there...
In case you're interested, here's a link to my Pinterest board for nursery ideas. Other than a crib, we won't need to buy any new furniture... which means I can go nuts spending money on hand-made art, window coverings, and closet storage, right? ;)