Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Winter "Beach" Wedding

It's been a while since we've done anything mildly interesting, so I figure attending a winter "beach" wedding is worth mentioning.

Originally, Alex was going to be a groomsman in this wedding, but a potential conflict came up a few months ago, and he decided to respectfully bow out rather than leave someone hanging at the last minute.  Instead, we thought we'd make it into a bit of a "babymoon," but then after our exhaustingly long drive the day before, we didn't have much energy to put into dragging this trip out.  It was, however, nice to do something different, and having an excuse to get dolled up didn't hurt either.  ;)

The wedding party was pretty average sized (7 attendants total), but the chapel they chose was WAY too small for the 325 guests that attended.  (We barely managed to grab the very last two seats in the room!)  Additionally, the reception was held in the bride's backyard, so an announcement was made after the ceremony that people needed to leave their cars there and take trolley shuttles to the reception due to lack of parking (way to prepare people...).  Let's just say fearing porta potty lines, lack of seating, and the possibility of running out of food made this 31 week pregnant lady pretty nervous to say the least!

However, I was pleasantly surprised to find huge enclosed tents with adequate seating, a hot chocolate bar (yay, something for me while Alex enjoyed the beer), no lack of food, and "high end" porta potties (with lines to wait in the 40 degree cold, which I still think is pretty tacky, but whatever). We enjoyed the opportunity to have a night out, just the two of us.  And, you can't really argue with a nice dinner and decent entertainment, can you?  It's too bad we didn't know anyone to hang out with and make a party out of it, though.

Purple Sweet Potato Butter?
That will be interesting!
We peeled out pretty early (around 8:30 p.m.) and returned to the motel to enjoy television in bed, which is always a real treat for us.  Alex watched football, I perused the internet on my phone, letting ourselves start to catch up on some much-needed rest. The next morning, we took a minute to visit the beach, since we were on an island after all.  Of course, 35 degrees is way too cold to spend any real enjoyable time out there, so we snapped a few pictures and then went on our way!

Baby's first trip to the beach! 
On our way to Mass, we killed time by stopping at a few grocery stores in hopes of finding some jar roux to use in making gumbo for his parents, but no luck.  People had no idea what roux was, so despite the stores selling plenty of Zatarain's and Tony Chachere's brand products, roux was not one of those.  The gumbo will have to wait!

And finally, we enjoyed Mass before heading out of town, and then stopped to have Bojangles (!!!) for lunch on our way back to Alex's dad's house.  I have to say, one of my favorite parts of traveling is attending Mass at churches across the country.  We always keep a copy of the bulletin and add it to our collection to a scrapbook of sorts.  It's cool to look back on all the places we visit over the years.

What about you - do you have any interesting travel traditions as it relates to visiting churches on your trip?


Monday, December 28, 2015

Ready to Open Our Gift! (Bumpdate, 32 Weeks)

Bump Update - 12/28/15 

12/19/15 - 31w1d
All dolled up for a winter beach wedding! 
How far along? 32 weeks.

Total weight gain:  Not sure, to be honest.  We were out of town last week, so I didn't get to check a scale as I normally would.  I have an appointment today (12/28), which means we'll see if any holiday laziness/overeating plays into it this time around.  As of two weeks ago, I was up about 6 pounds from my first appointment (highest weight) or 12 from where I dropped (lowest weight).  

Maternity clothes? Other than elastic-waisted bottoms (think sweatpants/shorts/capris), it's all maternity.  I'm still wearing some regular shirts.  But shout to the heavens - I scored two pair of maternity jeans from Motherhood for $30 total!!  I also got some comfy 3/4 length shirts on buy-one-get-one-free.  Yay!

Stretch marks? Who knows, who cares.

Sleep: Some days are better than others.  Sleeping in hotels and guest rooms doesn't make for much pleasantry.  I'm certainly ready to be done with the 2 week trip and back in the safety/comfort of our home.  

Best moment this week:  Again, being off of work for the holiday - yeah!!!  We're in NC for 10 days, then almost a week visiting my parents in south Louisiana before heading back to Funroe and back to work on the 4th of January.  So far, I've read almost two novels, watched two movies, done some work "homework," and walked for an hour on two separate occasions.  

(Update from last post.)  All clear on the gestational diabetes front!  Alex had just returned from Hawaii and really couldn't get away from work, so my mom came with me.  I didn't chug the beverage this time, and thank goodness, I didn't get sick either.  When the nurse called with results, she said, "You're not diabetic so eat whatever you want!"  Sa-weet!

(Bonus question.)  Worst moment last week:  Our 13-14 hour drive to NC turned into a 16 hour trip whenever Atlanta traffic slowed us down for what felt like foreverrrr.  Thankfully, we had a friend of Alex's with us to help drive, but those last 7 hours almost ruined all of us.  The car was silent (save 13 hours of Y2K Country and 3 hours of FoxNews Radio) and everyone was kind of on edge by the end of it.  Plus, I started having lots of discomfort and BHicks, which made me kind of nervous.  I'm hoping it's a little less stressful on the return trip.  

Miss anything?  I'm ready to have my body back!  I don't mean my body shape...I mean I am ready to not share the space anymore, haha.  Baby is super active and it's only getting more uncomfortable, of course.  

Food cravings: Nope.  I've given up on this.

Anything making you queasy or sick?  Here and there, some third trimester nausea has surfaced.  Like the first trimester, it seems to occur mainly in the morning and tends to subside with food.  

Gender: In private, Alex and I have pretty much given up on referring to it as a girl.  "He, him," and our boy name has stuck pretty well.  If this baby turns out to be a girl, we're going to be pretty dang surprised!  Side note:  If you want in on our baby pool, comment below and I'll send you the link to add your "hunches."  Winner will receive a $25 gift card!! 

Labor signs:  That car ride at Week 31 seems to have sent us into a tailspin of becoming more obviously pregnant than ever before.  If I was unsure of Braxton Hicks before, that's not the case these days.  Being so far away makes me more anxious about them, and I think I'll feel a lot better once we get back from the trip.    

Symptoms: Still no need for kick counts - this kid doesn't stop!  But really though, I feel like my belly became huge overnight.  It will be interesting to see what my family thinks since I just saw them three weeks ago.  

Belly button in or out? Flat with a tiny raised portion that can be seen if you look closely.  

Wedding rings on or off:  On.  I hope it stays that way.

Happy or moody most of the time:  My patience for people is null and I'm okay with that.  :)

Looking forward to:  As if I haven't said it enough already...getting back to our house after 2 weeks on the road!! 

Hows Dad doing? "Dad is good.  Traveling for the holidays helps, but it will be slightly nerve racking knowing we won't be in Monroe for a while until after the 33 week mark."   

12/23/15 - 31w5d
I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas holiday! Merry Christmas to you and yours!


You might also enjoy:
A First (Bumpdate, 16 Weeks)
Halfway, Baby (Bumpdate, 20 Weeks)
It's Getting Real (Bumpdate, 24+ Weeks)
Hello, 3rd Trimester!  (Bumpdate, 28+ Weeks)
Ready to Open Our Gift! (Bumpdate, 32 Weeks)
Is it Time Yet?  (Bumpdate, 36+ Weeks)

P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's Never Too Late for Gifting Your Love

If it weren't for Stephanie, it seems this blog would be dead these days...and she's the one on maternity leave!  I'm a few days late sharing this here, but it is Christmas Eve and if you're still looking to score a last minute gift for your significant other, she's your girl.  Head over to visit her at Captive the Heart.  This week, Stephanie asked some of her married friends to share gift ideas for your love.  ...And why stop with one gift when you could share 26?  (That's my mantra anyway!)

Check back regularly to visit with Stephanie, as she will be sharing more from "Brides Who've Been There" during this Wedding Q & A series!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tradition, Shmadition

I know, the content around here has been rather lackluster lately.  So go ahead and ditch me for greener pastures today... head over to visit Stephanie at Captive the Heart.  She's on maternity leave following the birth of her beautiful daughter Lily Grace, and asked some of her married friends to share ways they stretched the wedding budget.  ...While there, you might just learn a little about designing a wedding without flowers (what? no way?! yes, way.).

Photo credit:  Katie Hoffpauir Photography
Check back regularly to visit with Stephanie, as she will be sharing more from "Brides Who've Been There" during this Wedding Q & A series!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Long Way There

In a play off of the lyrics from a song by one of my daddy's favorite bands (Take the Long Way Home, Supertramp), this post is brought to you by my lovely husband, Alex.  He recently returned from a work trip to Hawaii, in which I asked him to compile a list of tips or suggestions for surviving long plane rides.  With lots of folks heading out on long trips to visit family for the holidays, I thought this might be something worth sharing (that, and my internet time has been consumed by baby registry research/Christmas-Anniversary shopping, so I needed something to fill the space here!).  And without further ado, read on!

5 Ways to Entertain Yourself … On a 12-hour Plane Ride
When on a chartered flight from Monroe to San Francisco to Honolulu, you have to find ways to pass the time as total flying time is about 10-10.5 hours and then add in another 1.5 hours of a layover to refuel.
What is one to do on a flight of that length?  Below are the things that I did to help pass the time.
1 – Listen to music.
I got a bunch of new CDs for my birthday which was just about 10 days earlier, so I loaded them all up on my phone and jammed out. Everything from Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisley to American Authors and Imagine Dragons. Listening to all of that got me about 2.5 hours or so, so that was a tremendous help.

2 – Read a book.
I had been working on a book for most of the football season but I finally got around to finishing The Closer by Mariano Rivera. Not a NY Yankee fan by any stretch of the imagination, but he was one of the greatest pitchers ever and a class act of a guy. It is a great book, definitely worth the read. Anyway, finishing out about the last third of the book or so got me on the ground in San Fran. So leg one of the trip was in the books.

3 – See what others are doing / stand up.
Some of the athletic training staff that I was seated near used Snapchat to play hangman, it was rather entertaining to watch. Also, don’t sit the entire time, you have to get up and move around – pending no turbulence obviously.

During our layover, we were able to get off the plane and stretch our legs on the jetway, just to give us a break. After refueling and putting meals on the plane we headed off for Honolulu.

4 – Eat.
After take off and once the seat belt sign went off, I grabbed my food box which was nothing more than a ham sandwich, chips and an apple. Regardless it was much needed and combined with my snack bag that I had brought on the plane, I was all set for leg two of the trip.

5 – Movies.
Thanks to a Google Play card from my wife for my birthday, I rented some movies to watch on my tablet to help pass the time. I watched The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (a comedy) and Southpaw (action/drama). The first was funny, to me at least, and I had meant to watch it several years ago, but just now got around to it. The second movie was great, if you haven’t seen Southpaw then you need to do so ASAP! It has some rather sad and dark parts, but it is a great movie.

Watching two movies (I watched Horrible Bosses on the return trip) and talking to those around me took most of the trip to Hawaii; so there you have it, what do to on a plane for 10-12 hours.
I hope this helps to jump start ideas entertainment on any upcoming flights you have! 

Notes from the wife: 
A few weeks before Alex's trip, I came across this post that included some great ideas for getting him set up for the long flights.  Wet wipes, medication, neck pillow (yes, the one they mentioned) and snacks...I made sure Alex had everything he might possibly need to stay comfortable on the trip.  I also started a (private) Pinterest board for travel ideas, so be sure to let me know if you'd like to see it.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hello, 3rd Trimester! (Bumpdate, 28+ Weeks)

Bump Update - 12/03/15 

12/03/15 - 28w6d ... 38 degrees outside, brr!
It seems I finally have an obviously noticeable bump!
How far along? 28 weeks (Technically, 28w6d by the time this is getting posted.)

Total weight gain:  Things in this department are yo-yo'ing like you wouldn't believe!!  I went up 11 pounds (so maybe 4 pounds up from pre-pregnancy?) in 4 weeks following the doctor's instructions to gain weight, and then lost two in the two weeks that followed before my next appointment.  Now we're starting 2 week appointments, so I'm hoping maybe that will help me keep things more in check?  This whole situation is really strange, I think.  

Maternity clothes? Since I inherited some clothes from a friend last month, I haven't even tried to wear anything other than maternity bottoms.  Also, I discovered "skinny" pants don't look as awful as I thought they did.  But...I still need to find a pair of jeans that really fit me.  I've made do with others' jeans but they are either way baggy or too tight in the band, so it's not really working out too well for those.  Now that the temperatures are (mostly - I've worn shorts the past two days) cool enough to wear pants, I really need to find some that will work through the winter. 

Stretch marks? Still not paying attention to this.

Sleep: Leg/hip pains have gotten better since the doctor suggested using a pillow in between my legs (duhh - why didn't I think of that?).  I'm getting up to pee every 1.5-2 hours, and sometimes it's hard to fall back asleep following one of those visits but I'm doing okay for the most part here. 

Best moment this week:  Being off of work for the holiday - yeah!!!  However, I didn't take off as long as I usually would because Alex was working and then left for Hawaii.  My mom and Nanna are here now, so I'm not alone thank goodness!

(Bonus question.)  Worst moment last week:  I almost passed out during my glucose screening, found out I failed it and have to go back for the 3-hour test this week.  For a while, I have noticed a low sugar tolerance so I am quite apprehensive about this follow up.  It's not so much getting a GD diagnosis as it is knowing how miserable I feel during those sugar crashes.  It's really kind of scary to have everything around you go dark and not be able to do anything about it.  :(

Miss anything? A couple of times recently I have thought, "oo, a glass of wine (or beer) would be nice." And thennnnnnnn I realize that's not an option. Shucks!  ...I'm also missing out on that trip to Hawaii because things were too risky to do that kind of traveling.  

Food cravings: I don't think this is at all pregnancy-related but I really want some Domino's pizza!!  My plan was to treat myself for lunch on Thanksgiving, but both Domino's and Pizza Hut were closed so I nixed the idea and pulled some vegetable beef soup out of the freezer instead.  At this rate, I'll probably be banned from pizza following my sugar test, so I could be waiting a while to satisfy that craving. 

Anything making you queasy or sick?  Nah... nothing out of the ordinary (still some smells of meat cooking but we have learned to cope).

Gender: God only knows!  Alex sent me photos of some super adorable little Hawaiian dresses that made my heart melt, but we just can't buy anything like that right now!

Labor signs: No, but the doctor did start talking about delivery at my 28 week appointment.  We had to sign consents for hospital-related things, and we have to make a decision about which hospital we will deliver at before our next appointment.   

Symptoms: Little one is kicking like CRAZY!!  I'm supposed to start kick counts this week but I don't think that will be a problem at least until things get a little less spacious inside, heh.  

Belly button in or out? Pretty flat...don't think an outie is in my future, though. 

Wedding rings on or off:  On.  

Happy or moody most of the time:  Maybe a little better than last time, but I have been super frustrated with customer service at several retail establishments and I definitely let them hear about it!  Do what you're supposed to do and we won't have a problem, people! 

Looking forward to:  Starting to look forward to our Christmas travels, especially since I convinced Alex to let us piggy back his friend's December beach wedding and turn it into a little babymoon.  It looks like we will be needing to travel a day earlier than originally planned, so hopefully we will extend the weekend and do something fun while we're there! 

Hows Dad doing? Dad is in Hawaii (at the time this was written), is there really anything else to say?  Hahah.  In all seriousness, usually I ask his opinion on this question but since he's away I'll go ahead and share my interpretations instead.  He's definitely getting excited...seeing babies and baby items make his heart melt, and occasionally that "oh man this is getting real" fear creeps in as well.  

Nov. 8 - 25w2d
Nov. 12 - 25w6d
So there we have it!  We'll reach our next milestone (32 weeks) on Christmas Day, so here's to hoping we have good news and happy things to report then.

You might also enjoy:
A First (Bumpdate, 16 Weeks)
Halfway, Baby (Bumpdate, 20 Weeks)
It's Getting Real (Bumpdate, 24+ Weeks)
Hello, 3rd Trimester!  (Bumpdate, 28+ Weeks)
Ready to Open Our Gift! (Bumpdate, 32 Weeks)
Is it Time Yet?  (Bumpdate, 36+ Weeks)

P.S.  I know for some this type of post can be uncomfortable, difficult, or just plain painful.  Please know that we recognize this and pray for those of you who may struggle with infertility (any variation thereof) and/or infant loss.  Our hearts go out to families affected by these struggles each and every day.