The Fabric’s Been Chosen…

Well, when I found out I was ‘expecting’ (still surreal to say that, btw), I immediately knew how I’d decorate the nursery. I also knew that I’d never find baby bedding that was ‘up to snuff’ or at least to what I envisioned. So, I enlisted my Mom’s friend, Kathy, who is a FABULOUS quilter. While I don’t fancy myself a quilt fan, Kathy’s designs and work have changed me over the years. I LOVE what she can do and how she does it and she just has a knack for putting together the right colors, fabrics, patterns, in the right way, and it always just comes together SO neat.

So, Kathy was enlisted as the custom-designer of the baby bedding!

Today, we headed to Mabalena’s  in Ortonville to scope out fabric. I walked in and was OVERWHELMED by the choices. Definitely was the right type of store to be in, but I had no CLUE what I was doing. Since I knew how I was decorating the nursery (who am I kidding, I’d known for years!), it was important to me that I choose the design and fabrics for the quilt before I found out the baby’s gender. It’s not important and I really want the room to FEEL like it’s a nice, comfortable room, designed for each of us (Jon, the mini Mason and myself) to feel at ease in. So, regardless of the baby’s gender, I have made the selections (with Kathy’s help and guidance) and could NOT be more thrilled with the selections we made.

The design and the fabrics are under wraps until later in the year, but let’s just say that I went in thinking nothing, and came away ecstatic with how this is all going to come together. I have such faith in Kathy’s ability, that I just know it’s going to be even better than I can expect right now.

AND, Kathy brought over a housewarming present, too! I’ll have to find a camera that has a charged battery and post a picture a little later, but it’s an awesome woven table runner with lots of neat colors, highlighted by the bright blue that I’m using as an accent throughout the house. Somehow, Kathy always knows just the thing for me!

Best part, my Mom purchased the fabric for the quilt and enough extra for the bumpers. Here’s the best part: well, not the BEST, but a good part. The price on the fabric was not cheap, but it was pretty comparable to what you’d pay in the baby store. Granted, that doesn’t take into account Kathy’s custom-designer fee (priceless, in my opinion), but the fabric wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Anyway, it was a fun day spent with Kathy and my Mom and we stopped and had lunch on the way home.

Now, my Mom and Kathy are up in Birch Run and have texted to report the dining table of my dreams is there, on-site. Have to go try to secure the table, if I can help it. Wouldn’t that just make my day!!


It’s a Boy – for Bob & Molly

Well, another one of my closest girlfriends here is pregnant. Actually, all of the girls I know seem to be pregnant, but it’s fun that my two closest friends in town are due June 27 and September 20, respectively.

Yesterday, Molly and Bob found out that they are having a BOY! I thought FOR SURE they were having a girl (no reasoning at all to this, just thought they were).

So, I feel like that could increase my chances of having a girl (that’s not even proper math, but whatever).

The Crib I Want (But Isn’t Available)

The crib I found and love is at JCPenney’s and is on sale for $349.99. That’s a deal in the world of baby cribs.

However, it’s not available at this time (it’s a closeout, it’ll never be available). I’m bummed.

If you find any cribs that look kind of like this, in black (not cherry) let me know. I want black and wide slats in a 4 or 3-in-1 style. Send any ideas my way!

Telling the Boss Lady

Well, the cat is officially out of the bag at work, folks!

That’s right, today I just blurted it out to my boss “I’m pregnant” (those words are getting easier to say, though I’m probably not going to have to say them all that much longer if my day-by-day growth continues at its current pace.

On my lunch break in the office now and just wanted to let anyone who cares/reads this to know that telling my boss, which I had geeked myself up for and was a bit scared of in general, went SO MUCH better than I ever could have anticipated. I feel like because it was a bit of a bombshell for her to hear, that her initial reaction was certainly how she really felt – excited and supportive!

For those who are bosses, know that this can be a huge point of concern for a woman. I thought we’d have some big conversation regarding how we would handle my absence, who would cover for me, thought I needed to have every duck in a row. And I’m sure some work places are like that. But not mine. I had a plan in mind, I have lists prepared, but I certainly didn’t have it all figured out (not that I ever do or will, but it’s a nice thought to have).

I just blurted it out to her…and she embraced it and was so excited for me/Jon/us. So, that’s over and moving on. Now I feel like I can tell anyone and everyone and not worry about it.

However, I’m still not on the wanting the facebook-world to know. I think maybe I’ll just keep waiting until knowing whether it’s a boy or girl and then make some announcement. Besides, all the people who I want to know and are important to me know already anyway.

On a different note, a woman I work with has an 18 year old daughter who was just diagnosed with leukemia. Hearing about all that she is going through made me realize how fortunate I’ve been to know so many who continue to battle cancer or live in remission — and how fortunate I’ve been to have had at all those whose battles weren’t won. Anyway, it was kind of cool because as Brenda was telling me about her daughter, she was describing her and said, ‘actually, she reminds me a lot of you: strong, independent, not girly’ and I really took that as a compliment. So, I’m glad that I was able to stand and listen to Brenda for awhile and let her talk…and to input some things here and there as I could.

If anyone knows of good support books I could send her way or any nice treats (for mom or daughter) let me know! I know my Aunt Lori uses a certain lotion to combat neuropathy and her gym/hot tub/lotion routine has worked for her. Anyone else have any suggestions for what might work?

Ok, it’s been an eventful day and I’m trying to wrap my head around all of it.

Oh, I also had a moment in the bathroom earlier…I realized that my stomach is not like it normally is, that I can’t ‘suck it in’ per se. I mean, I’m still in my good ol’ size 12’s, buttoned up and everything, but I just am noticing my body is different. It was sort of an epiphany I had, realizing that my body is, in fact, going to change. Not just a little bit either. So, that was an interesting thought to have in a bathroom stall, but there it was.

Think that’s all for now — more soon!

It’s a Date!

Ok folks, time to place your bets. At the last doctor’s appointment on Thursday, Dr. Neubeck found the baby’s heartbeat (how COOL was that to hear?!) and it was 136 bpm. As he mentioned, ‘they say 120-140 is a boy and 140-160 is a girl. It’s bullshit’

I really like our doctor! I was even thinking about that today — he just tells it like it is, doesn’t seem to get caught up in the latest fad or recommendations, has been delivering babies for SO LONG that it seems like he just is really laid back about the whole thing. Either way, I really like him.

Anyway, so, the baby’s heartbeat was 136. Super cool.

I told him that because I travel for work, etc., etc., that I needed to try to get the ultrasound scheduled so I could schedule my travel around my appointment. So, he wrote the order for the ultrasound (which will be at Hurley). It is June 2nd at 3:30 p.m. We will know on June 2 (my Grandma’s and my cousin Amy’s birthday) if it’s a boy or girl kind of baby!! I’m a little bit apprehensive and a lot bit excited!! My Dad and Grandma said at dinner the other night ‘why would you find out?!’. I say ‘why not?’. It’s not like it’s NOT going to be a surprise whether it’s June 2 or October 27 and it’s kind of a reward for making it halfway through…so, I’m taking all the rewards I can give myself (no beer, no wine, no cocktails, and being pregnant ALL SUMMER long at the lake or pool). I feel like being able to shop for things will make it all be more real and make things fly by even faster.

So, what’d you think it’ll be – a boy or a girl kind?

I Dreamed Our Baby…

Ok, you may be thinking ‘oh great, she dreamed about the baby’ but let me tell you, it was a nightmare that lasted ALL NIGHT last night.

I had talked to my girlfriend Andrea yesterday and she said that she dreamed I was having a girl, that it was very vivid and that her son (Drew’s coming June 27!) and my daughter were playing together. So, she’s on the girl bandwagon.

I had a dream a long while back that it was a girl, and I even dreamt her name, too. Not telling here though.

So, last night I had a dream. It was a girl and I dreamt her name, too…though this time was different from the last time. I got up and went to the bathroom (that happens twice each night, so nothing out of the ordinary since becoming pregnant) and came back to bed. Next thing I know, I am having this dream that we had a boy, who everyone believes to be advanced and a genius because he comes out of the womb talking. I think it’s weird and I also think it’s weird as I breastfeed him that he looks a little different but I love him and I am totally all about breastfeeding him and as I’m telling someone how much I am enjoying breastfeeding, he starts to bite me and then looks up, spits at me and goes all Stewie on me (you know, from Family Guy). So, now I’m scared of my baby. Crazy. He then goes on to sort of ‘rise up’ or something. I can’t even tell you…and he proceeds to say how he was sent by the devil to conquer the world!


So, he then flies off into space to attempt to conquer the world. However, it is at this moment that Angelina Jolie swoops in and super-sonic-speed races me to the ‘face off’ area before the baby (he doesn’t have a name in this nightmare) can get there. She then reverses time and sends us back to when the baby is born and somehow rids him of the devil and gives me a TOO CUTE blonde baby boy and my whole family is there oogling over him.

Angelina Jolie thus saved the day AND my chance at motherhood and I don’t end up being the mother to the boy sent by the devil to conquer the world.

(I mean, come on, do I have some SERIOUS underlying fears about becoming a Mom or what??)

Needless to say, I woke up with a fright at some point and asked Jon to hold me because I’d had a bad dream. I mentioned our baby, the devil and Angelina Jolie. He tuned me out after that I think…

It’s funny in the light of day, I know. But man, in the midst of the night in a nightmare that just won’t quit, that shit is SCARY!!

I’m hoping that I have another dream that may be more definitive in prediction of gender and perhaps bring us a sweet baby, not one sent by the devil. 🙂

The Kitchen: Before & After

The kitchen before we purchased.

Like most women I know, the kitchen tends to be my area. I haven’t had a great kitchen and people to cook for all at the same time in years — since I lived in Alma and we had standing Thursday night dinners. So, I LOVED the size and scope of the kitchen, the newly updated cupboards, the storage space, the ability to have people in the kitchen with you but not (in the breakfast dining space/whatever you want to call it).

Appreciate this fan and its age along with the brass handles on the cupboards, then say 'see ya'!

And, in the interest of full disclosure, I will say this. I was using some pears to decorate my apartment, I have a black sign that says, in white, ‘Fresh Pears’ or something like that. I have a SUPER COOL pear shaped cookie jar. I’ve really been on a pear kick.

However, what you can’t see from the photo above is that the wallpaper on the walls is COVERED in pears. In purple, green and who knows what other color. The border on the soffets were pears, too. In all, it was an over abundance of a rather tasty fruit and it HAD to go.

So, one day when Jon was down at the training center and I was at home, I decided that I’d start in on wallpaper removal. Keep in mind that we had discussed doing the office first (where I ironically sit now, staring at another wall of ugly wallpaper). However, the furniture in the way meant I couldn’t begin without someone to help me, so I went for it in the kitchen. See my earlier blog post about that…

Jon came home and while he did not IMMEDIATELY show his displeasure with my decision (that came sporadically over the next two weeks, when I didn’t even see it coming), I knew it was going to be a big project. But I couldn’t wait to get started and get it done.

So, though Jon is still putting the finishing touches with some touch up paint around the rooms, it is for the most part complete with new paint, new hardware, new ceiling fan and new light fixture above the dining ‘nook’ (really need to find a name to call that space).

Without further ado…

The nearing-completed kitchen with two coats of gray paint, new hardware and a new ceiling fan!!

So, you’ll notice the hardware on the drawers – that was purchased from — really cool pewter handles. The ceiling fan is a Harbor Breeze from Lowe’s. The paint took two coats of “Honest Abe” (not to mention the primer) and two coats of “Empire State” (Honest Abe is darker — live and learn, I needed to go another shade lighter on the ‘light gray’ choice…now I know).

Here’s a breakdown of what we spent:

40 Handles: $67.96 ($1.69 each) @

Ceiling Fan: $122.30 @ Lowe’s

8 Light-Track Light: $86.80 @ Lowe’s

3 Knobs for Pantry Doors: $10.59 @ Lowe’s ($3.59 each)

3 Gallons of Paint @ Menards: $69.90

Grand Total for Room-Specific Costs: $357.55

In addition, because we’re first-timers in this area, we had to invest in wall patch/spackling, brushes, paint trays, rollers, tape, sanding sponges, etc. This total came to : $186.29

All total, that’s $543.84 to get a room nearly COMPLETELY updated. As Jon just pointed out, we don’t yet have blinds…but I’m doing the entire front of the house at once with that and I’ll of course clue you in to how much money we save doing that one.

I feel pretty damn good about the fact that we spent just over $350.00 and got a brand-new feeling kitchen. Even Jon, an eternal pessimist I swear, says it wasn’t that bad. Two weeks of our time (and it’s not like we were rushing) and a few bucks and we’ve made this old house start to feel like our own.

Now, on to the next room!!

How Many Men Does it Take…

So, yesterday pretty much summed up the reasons I chose to move back to Clio and to live 9 houses from my parents, a half mile from Jon’s parents and across the street from his brother.

Not just the help in hanging the new light fixture in the dining area of the kitchen or the new ceiling fan in the kitchen proper…but the afterward, the friends stopping by, my brother helping out, the camraderie that went right along with it all. I really do mean that – this is one of the big reasons I wanted to live right where I am.

I called my parents and Jon’s mom who were at their own houses and said I’d ordered pizza and to come over. It was great – though we certainly need more chairs in the living room and more space for people to sit, in general, with the house in shambles due to the kitchen updates, it was perfect.

So, here’s a picture of five men – Tony, Rick (Jon’s brother), Trevor (my brother), big John and my Jon all working on the installation of the ceiling fan. I’m told I must have picked the hardest one in the store. Which is great, because it looks PERFECT in the kitchen. Just LOVE the update. That post is next!!!

Five men hang a ceiling fan - April 2011

Week 12, Day 4

Well, I slipped in another workout today! They aren’t as often as they ought to be, but at least that’s two days in a row. Gotta celebrate the small stuff, and I’m celebrating with grapes this evening.

I’m getting really, really sick of traveling. I’ve been in hotel rooms for six nights now but, good news, tonight is the last night until next week!! Woohoo! I somehow got my travel/work schedule mixed up, thought I was supposed to be at the University of Chicago NEXT Tuesday, found out via email confirmation follow up today that I’m supposed to be there TOMORROW, so I changed all my plans for this week (Indianapolis, etc.) at the last minute, and therefore I’m heading home after I’m done tomorrow night and going to work from home on Wednesday and Thursday, take the day off on Friday, and enjoy five days straight in my new house!

I’m still a little uncomfortable with what to share and what to share via the blog. I don’t want to sell anyone out. With that said, I just have to vent to cyberspace: Jon wants to buy a $4,000 lawnmower. I mean, what?! the?! hell!!! This all began with a phone call one day past our good-without-being-in-the -same-room threshold. Jon had gone lawnmower shopping with his Dad. Not sure where they went, exactly, but they went shopping. Great, I think, they’re spending time together. That’s so nice. Glad they’re doing that. Jon proceeds to tell me about how he doesn’t REALLY want to push-mow the lawn, as he’s been push mowing the lawn for the last several years. So, he mentions he thinks he wants a riding mower. Now, I understand. I mowed the lawn a lot growing up. But, our house sits on about less than 1/3 an acre (or something like that…it’s small). It backs up to the golf course. The driveway, the landscaping, the trees are large, there are lots of exposed roots and lots of stone work around ponds and other patios. So, a riding mower sounds like a bit of excess, but, ok. I can understand. I imagine a price tag slightly higher than what I’ve seen on the prices at Lowe’s and Menards. Jon mentions that either way, we’ll still need a push mower. He mentions that he’s considered a mower like the one my Dad has, a larger walk behind…so, I think…good…we’re making progress on a critical purchase for the year. Have to have one, right? So, good, Jon’s taken the initiative and just done some initial price shopping. Super!

And then, he drops the bomb. He wants to buy, get this, a ZERO TURN lawnmower. Verbatim, he says “It’s only $3,800.”


ONLY $3,800?? Do you know what I can get for $3,800?? The dining table, chairs, rugs, decor, TVs and paint for the house. I can outfit the entire nursery, the office and paint the entire house, drywall the basement, buy a push lawnmower (rated highly by Consumer Reports), get a FREE hedge trimmer, buy a power washer. Ok, and probably have some money leftover. But, there it is, on the table. A freaking $4,000 lawnmower!!!

That was Saturday. The conversation ended abruptly after that point.

Talked again yesterday. It went better, I guess. However…I’ve now begun thinking…I could buy a new lawnmower, at the current rate of $300 on sale at Sears, EVERY YEAR for 13 years and would spend the same amount as Jon wants to spend UP FRONT on a zero turn mower.

I get it. Boys like toys. They like things with motors and that have dangerous components to them. But, really, as first time homeowners, we’re contemplating a $4,000 lawnmower??

Ok, so that’s my venting.

Now, I feel great. Baby should be great, I assume. I’ll be for sure about that on Thursday after the doctor’s appointment. But, for the time being, the baby is – get this – the size of a peach! That’s so big! After being the size of a poppyseed a few short weeks ago, it’s now the size of a piece of fruit I picked up at the store yesterday. How, freaking, weird!

Had to wear the Bella Band over work pants on Saturday. It was just going to be TOO uncomfortable buttoning those dress jeans, so I opted for the not-buttoning. I was thinking today that it’s great that my pants still fit, albeit a little tighter. BUT, I did buy one size bigger in pants (as noted earlier) and I now understand why you DON’T do that. It’s because the legs and ass of the pants are just baggy and oversized and look ridiculous. So, you have to actually go with the pregnancy pants in your size. Maybe some people wouldn’t have this problem, but being on the bigger side of the normal size choices, I can assure you that this is the case. So, I’m going to head toward pregnancy pants in the near future.

Well, Molly and Bob find out in a week and a half if they’re having a boy or girl. That means, it’s only 5-7 weeks until we’ll find out. How perfect – can’t wait!

Ok, that’s enough for this update. It’s time for this girl to get some sleep so I’m not in a terribly tired state when I get home tomorrow night (yeah!).


Officially Beyond the First Trimester!

Alright, who’s ready to celebrate with a tall Mocha Light Frappucino from Starbucks?!

That’s right, folks. I’ve successfully completed the first trimester (officially, I suppose) of this, my first pregnancy. I say ‘I suppose’ because by my count, the first trimester ought to have ended last Wednesday, a full 9 days ago. By the doctor’s count, the trimester ended yesterday. Why I’m so insistent that the medical professional does not know how to count, I’m not sure. I really do have a lot of faith and confidence in Dr. Neubeck…but I also feel like I want to use my counting method, not the doctor’s. Not that I’m in a hurry to be through the pregnancy and that I don’t anticipate enjoying this time in my life…BUT…a glass of wine does sound pretty phenomenal.

So, the doctor has said that SOME caffeine won’t kill me. So, I’m celebrating today with a Mocha Light Frappucino because, well, why not. Here is is in all it’s delicious-ness glory:

My first trimester celebration 'cocktail'

The sciatic issue has resided a bit in the last two days, I have had more energy and felt more like myself than I have in months (go figure) and in general, I’m feeling really good. I went for a walk last night from the hotel around the little shopping area and picked up a few gifts (one for Aunt Jenny, who will officially be a NURSE on May 13 and we’re celebrating that accomplishment).
I also have really been feeling as though my hair is quite lackluster. So, two nights ago I did a deep treatment mask on my hair with a conditioning mask. Felt pretty good about what that did for my hair, so I moved on last night to an oil treatment that I bought on my walking trip through the parking lots. I’m liking how my hair is improving…I guess that glow of pregnancy is not translating to my hair.
I am feeling slightly better about my face and its acne issues. I mean, there are still some RIDICULOUS zits popping up here and there, but I purchased the Jergens “Healthy Glow” face moisturizer the other day to see if I could force some fake color into my cheeks and, wa-lah (is that how you even spell that??) I feel like I have a not-fake, sun-kissed look going on and I’m enjoying it. It seems that whatever that moisturizer is is doing good things to my skin because a lot of the little blemishes and imperfections have dissipated and I just have a few trouble spots, especially on my neck/chin area. So, I’m going to concentrate my moisturizing efforts on the neck and chin areas and see what happens. Why the heck not, so far I’ve met with success.
I’m a little bit bummed, because I bought a great Groupon the other day for three microdermabrasion treatments for $99 — but it turns out that most sites recommend NOT having those treatments while pregnant. I guess because your skin is so much more sensitive and it takes your body more time to heal, they don’t recommend it at all and it’s quite painful for some women. Now, some lucky friend of mine is going to end up with three free treatments. Unless I can get the clinic to extend my expiration because it expires RIGHT before I’ll deliver (that’s still a bizarre statement to make about myself) the baby (another weird thought).
Which brings me to the big thing…this whole baby thing is still very abstract to me. I mean, don’t get me wrong AT ALL. I have wanted a baby and to be a mom for more years than I can count. I’ve dreamed about this, wanted this, wished for this (when it was completely ill-advised and I literally lived below the poverty line on my income from some internship somewhere). BUT — now it’s here and the whole idea. That there’s a person inside of my body (odd), that that person is going to continue to grow and will eventually come out (can’t even wrap my head around the logistics of that) and then, I’ll be a MOM. It’s still quite abstract.
A friend from work keeps a blog and they just found out two days ago that they’re having a girl. I think that finding out the gender helps and I also think that feeling the baby move will make it more real. Right now, the only thing that’s changing is the slow tightening of my pants around my waistline and that’s not really that big a difference. I notice a difference in my body, but I don’t know that many others would.
Sooo…anyway, that’s today’s thought.
Need to get back to work after this brief distraction – oh, and of course, continue celebrating the fact that we’re a 1/3 of the way to meeting mini!