Visit from Grandma-to-be…

I think I can confidently say we are ready for baby! My mom visited this weekend and we checked off almost everything I felt we had left! After picking her up Thursday afternoon we jetted over the pick up our rocker. A picture will be posted once Anthony assembles it 🙂 After dinner on Thursday night tackled a craft for baby’s room. I found the idea on Pinterest and thought it was a craft we could handle. I had saved this idea months ago so I knew I needed to save all the cards from the baby showers. I think you would at least need 15 cards if not more because some, although cute, don’t translate well once you cut out a heart shape. See the finished project below!

picture of cards

Michaels was running 50% off all frames so in total this probably cost $20 and adds a personal touch to the room. I LOVE how it turned out! I also loved the Pinterest idea of using a tiered fruit bowl for baby diaper-changing essentials on the changing table. I think this will be a great alternative to shelves! I’ve stocked it with a few wash clothes, pacifiers, lots of newborn diapers and wipes.

diaper holder

On Friday morning my mom and I took the pup for a walk then had breakfast with Anthony. He then had to leave for his last Rock N Roll expo that he’ll be working this year. We then headed out to Buy Buy Baby, TJ Maxx and Carter’s. We took inventory of what we really needed and headed out armed with a list. After a few returns we first picked up a few remaining baby clothes. I realized we have lots of onsies without legs and/or feet so we picked up two pairs of pants and two footed onsies. Next, we printed off our registry from Buy Buy Baby and got the last few things I knew we HAD to have. First our baby carrier! After a lot of research, the ERGO baby carrier won out. I’ve had friends rave about it and it will fit both Anthony and I. We got the optional baby insert as well because I’ve heard you can get some great household tasks down by wearing baby! It’s necessary to help give support when baby is unable to hold his or her head up.

We also got baby hangers, the pack n play sheets and waterproof liners. We were pooped after all that shopping so we headed home to put our feet up before baby class! My mom and dad took Lamaze classes 29 years ago so it was fun for my mom to see how things have changed. She felt there were actually a lot of similarities and we both had fun.

Saturday morning we headed to water aerobics! I’ve never participated in a true water aerobics class and the fact that it was at the outside pool made it even more fun! The class was called 20/20/20 so it combined three-20 minute sets of different types of water aerobics. We got our heart rates up for an hour and even caught a few rays before it got too hot out.

35 weeks at water aerobics

35 weeks at water aerobics

And of course a belly shot….that belt didn’t fit very well with my basketball sized tummy!

water aerobics

On tap for Saturday was a trip to Target. We had a few Target gift cards left so we decided to use it towards our swing. We have plenty of size 1 and 2 diapers but had yet to pick up true newborn size diapers. I had been warned to buy the bare minimum because baby can outgrow them in about two weeks so we got one large box to start. I stocked the changing table in baby’s room as well as a basket downstairs near the pack n play. After Target my mom and I assembled the swing and pack n play and after rearranging the furniture a bit here’s the new space…
family room

The little basket on the floor I have stocked with wipes, diapers, a few blankets, wash clothes and pacifiers. We also lined the pack n play with the waterproof liner and sheets. If baby were to come today we’d be ready!

We polished off Saturday with a bit of shopping in Cameron Village before a great dinner at 518 West. Yum! I dropped my mom off at the airport this morning and could officially say “Next time I see you we’ll have a new addition to the family!”


6 weeks out…

I always felt that when my pregnancy app told me we were 6 weeks out from the due date I’d feel we are in the final stretch. Well Friday marked that point and I feel we are getting closer! I had another great appointment Friday as well. BP and everything still looking great. Baby is head down although could still do some flip flopping so if he or she were to flip back to feet down there’s still plenty of time to get back to head down.

I had some fun homework from baby class last week and had to do belly mapping. Basically taking a few minutes when baby is particularly active to try and figure out where all the parts are. It was fun trying to figure out what shape baby was in.

I think the recent on set of some nerve pain coincided with baby flipping head down, and probably the back of baby’s head is now pressing on that nerve over my tailbone because ouch, things have gotten painful! It’s so isolated on my right side that I could probably hop on my left foot and feel nothing but there’s been a few days that every step with my right foot causes a bit of pain. I talked to my dr. about it and she said that’s very common in these last weeks as my hips are changing a lot and my ligaments are loosening up for birth. We’ll give it until my next appointment and then I could go see a chiropractor if I want. We’re getting so close though that I might just suck it up. I do miss going for walks with Dixie, Anthony and my friends though.

Thankfully swimming is my go to more and more and doesn’t seem to aggravate it. We’ve also learned some nice stretches and positions in class that take a lot of pressure off. Particularly a deep squat (Basically I’m just sitting in a squat) which lets my tummy hang between my legs and also sitting on a big exercise ball. I’m heading to target today to get one of our own. It’s offers a lot of cushion which relieves some of the aches and we can also use it during labor to relieve pressure and get baby to drop down.

We have this awesome nature park in our neighborhood that Dixie loves! I can let her off leash and she just sprints through the woods at full speed. It’s kind of fun to see her leaping over trees and through the creek. It’s a great way for me to take her for some exercise but keep the walking to a minimum. I swear she can tell I can’t keep up because she comes back more often than a few months ago to “check in” with me.

Dixie on the trail

I also hung some pictures this week and got the mattress together. We still haven’t picked up the chair because we need a friend to go with us to load it into the car and the store isn’t all the close. Here’s a quick picture of the nursery now….
baby room update

We also had a meeting with our real estate agent this week and she had fantastic news to share about what we could list and sell our house for. An almost identical house to ours sold in 24 days this summer! We’ve got a small to-do list that we need to take care of over the next few months and we think it would make sense to list our house in December. Around the same time we’ll need to get up to MI to find our new house! Thankfully we don’t have too much to do to get our house ready to list (Anthony’s good at staying on top of house related issues) and I think the new roof, counter tops, garage door and landscaping will pay off! First up before then though-Baby!

Oh and happy birthday to soon-to-be Grandpa Carr 🙂

Raleigh Shower Weekend

This past weekend was full of love from our closest friends. From near and far they came to support Baby Hall, Anthony and I. It was so much fun to have them all together and we realized just how blessed we are to have them in our life. Our friends from DC arrived late Friday night and so Saturday the girls headed out for shopping while the boys watched sports before the 4pm party.

Our great friends Randy and Lisa hosted the “Baby Party” as Lisa dubbed it (it was NOT a shower 🙂 ) and co-hosting were our good friends Holly and Roger who are due three weeks before Anthony and I. Let me start with the adorable cake!! Notice Dixie (and her mint blankie) and the Clemson onsie! It was even more delicious that it was cute!

Raleigh Cake

Anthony cutting the cake

Anthony and I at Raleigh shower

The food was delicious! Randy is an expert on the grill so he did up some steak and chicken plus made a baby stroller out of a watermelon which was then filled with fruit!

The party had all of our best friends mingling, laughing and telling stories. We got some great baby goodies as well and we left feeling so, so blessed.

Baby pictures of Anthony and I!

Baby pictures of Anthony and I!

The running Lisa's and I

The running Lisa’s and I

College Roomies!

College Roomies!

We all slept in this morning and while the boys brunched the girls and I went for a walk. Since baby is head down now there’s new pressure and an ache that has developed in my lower right back. From what we’ve learned in our class I think it’s the back of baby’s head that’s causing the pain. Thankfully we have only 4-8 weeks left! Although swimming certainly helps some.

Also, at our second baby class Friday night we learned all about the stages of birth. It was VERY informative and even had Anthony asking questions. I especially enjoyed learning the different positions we can try during labor to ease the pain and help get baby to drop down. Our teacher placed these position “pages” around the room and we got to practice each of them which involved each other, a chair or a birthing ball. I think we could use an exercise ball instead of a birthing ball so I’m thinking about borrowing one from a friend because that might have been my favorite way to sit. We ended the class with a relaxation exercise that Anthony and I both really enjoyed!

From here on out my work travel is over so let the nesting begin 🙂 I’m on the last round of baby laundry and Anthony and I can now start organizing all the baby stuff! 33.5 weeks today!

Seattle Bound!

I am currently 30,000 feet up in the air en route to Seattle!

Where our dinner reservations are tomorrow!

Where our dinner reservations are tomorrow!

I spent the first two days paddling my rental car to and from the Dearborn office as I stayed at my parents house the last few days. In case you haven’t watched the news Detroit got hammered by so much rain yesterday it caused huge problems. Cars and trucks were stuck and floating around the freeways. It took me 1.5 hours to drive what normally takes 33 minutes!

Enough about my work travel, I know you’d rather hear about how Anthony put on a “pregnancy belly” at our first Lamaze class. It wasn’t a realistic looking belly like you see in the movies (apparently those cost $600!!) but our teacher did have a back pack that she filled with socks. The socks had different labels (blood, baby, placenta, etc.) and were the average weight us pregnant ladies were carrying. Anthony and one other dad had the guts to try it on and we had them do totally normal tasks that are now hard, i.e. tying our shoes. All of us moms had a good laugh!

There are five couples and all of us are giving birth in different hospitals or settings. For example, one will be giving birth at home in a tub and another the Chapel Hill Birthing Center which is the big, “all natural” center around here. Interestingly, I learned they will not let you give birth there if you go into labor before 37 weeks though. (Too much risk I guess) We’re all due within a month of each other and we are second in line after the couple due Sept. 17th. Only seven weeks until our due date come this Friday!

We learned a few stretches and positions we may find comfortable over the next few weeks and played a few games to learn baby and birth related things. The games were especially helpful. For one game the teacher put three different sticky notes on the wall: “In active Labor”, “In Pre Labor” and “Call Doctor”. Each couple was given a few scenarios and we had to place them where we thought appropriate. For example, one of our cards read, “Water breaks, is clear and relatively odorless.” Although some were obvious it led to good questions like, “Ok, so you’re in active labor but do you also have to call your doctor?”.

The other game was similar but involved scenarios that we had to say were “good reasons to induce” or not. This class promotes going naturally and at a minimum will prepare us so that we hopefully won’t have to be induced, or are knowledgeable about when being induced is a good idea. We talked about allowing labor to start naturally as women’s bodies have been doing since the beginning of time. Did you know the highest days for induction are three days before major holidays?! That’s not a coincidence! I wrote down some good questions to ask my OB after this game like, “How long will they let me go?”. Most places won’t let you go past 42 weeks but it’s good to ask before you get to that point. The average birth date for first time moms is 41 weeks and 3 days! That’s well past the 40 week mark and I have no problem waiting if it means I can avoid induction. Also, 50% of people that are induced end of having a C-section!

The teacher said at the very beginning that this class is often times more for the Dads than the Mom’s. It’s true though because every mom to be there had been reading books and not a single dad had 🙂 I don’t think it was as terrible as Anthony thought it would be and the teacher keeps it light hearted and funny. Round two this Friday!

A big week!

I finally can share some fun news that will be taking us back to Michigan! This week I accepted an offer to be the Amazon account representative! It was effective immediately but there will be lots of overlap between by NC/SC territory responsibilities and my new responsibilities. I let my retailers know this week that it was a pleasure working with them for the past seven years and the sales trainee that has been traveling with me will be their point of contact going forward. For a few days, before telling my retailers, I was a little overwhelmed because I was already getting a lot of emails that involve tasks in my new role but still emails from all of my NC and SC retailers. It was nice to pass the torch so that I could focus on learning what my new role will entail.

In my new role I will be responsible for managing Amazon’s business and also my support team in Carhartt that keeps such a large retailer moving forward. There’s a lot to learn and I’m learning from the best because my new manager has been their account representative since we opened them about 2.5 years ago. He knows full well how steep the learning curve is and so far has been a great coach with an incredible amount of knowledge.

Next week will be my last week of travel. I am headed to Michigan for two days to see new products then will fly with the team to Seattle where I will present the line to Amazon. I’m jumping right in and already excited about my new role. Part of the role does require me to be in the Dearborn, MI office roughly 50% of my time. Some weeks it may be more or less and otherwise I will still get to work from home. We had some flexibility on the move so we have agreed that by April 1st it can be expected that I will be available to be in the Dearborn office. Anthony and I area excited about this next step although it will be bittersweet to leave our friends and family here in NC.

We’ve set up a meeting with our real estate agent to talk about the next steps in terms of selling out house, etc. Knowing we’ll have a newborn in a couple months we want to start taking care of any maintanence that she may recommend (minor painting, etc.) that may help us sell the house. We’ll get some direction as to when we should list the house, etc. Then comes the other side of finding a house in MI but thankfully we’ve got an idea already of the areas we want to buy.

I’ll leave you with some 32 week pictures! My appointment went great yesterday and as always everything is “normal”. I forgot to ask but I’m pretty sure baby is now head down as I’ve felt kicking up towards my ribs! I will have two more appointments two weeks apart then I will start going every week.

32 weeksfromside

32 weeksfromfront

We started our baby classes last night so in the next post I’ll share some things we learned!

A fun Asheville weekend!

Anthony and I headed to Asheville Friday afternoon for what was a fun baby shower weekend with the Hall family. On Saturday after a trip the park with the kids we got cleaned up for the 1pm shower. We enjoyed a great cookout with my in laws with great eats. Enjoy some pictures!

Diaper Cake and matching (delicious) cake!

Diaper Cake and matching (delicious) cake!

Cake close up-how cute is that zebra?!

Cake close up-how cute is that zebra?!


My beautiful sister-in laws and niece

My beautiful sister-in laws and niece

Dad to be and I with our baby goodies

Dad to be and I with our baby goodies

And then this happened…..Nap and quilt

Our niece Lauren is an expert sewer and has been attending sewing camp for years now. We were blown away by this quilt she made for baby Hall! And I just had to test it out and in fact it does induce napping 🙂

Later that evening a few of us headed into Asheville for a bit of shopping at Mast General Store and dinner at Anthony’s favorite pizza joint, Barley’s. If you’ve never been to Mast General it’s a must-do if you visit any little town in Western NC as there are multiple locations. Old school toys, great clothes and shoes and of course the old school candy section!

Outside Barley's after a great dinner with friends and family!

Outside Barley’s after a great dinner with friends and family!

We headed home today to get ready for another busy week. It’s my last week of presentations and my boss will be traveling with Rebecca and I to get to know her a bit better. I’ve got my 32 week appointment Friday so I’ll have another update at week’s end along with maybe some exciting job updates that have been in the works!