On our way to 40 weeks….

Our 39 week appointment started out with our doctor saying, ‘Well don’t get discouraged if you see your due date or a few days past it.” Well we weren’t exactly holding our breath but I guess we needed to hear it. There’s been some minor progress in terms of dilation and effacement so Dr. said that it looks like those contractions I’ve been having have been doing their job.

Everything else was fine as usual so on to our 40 wk. appointment this Friday (which is our due date!) unless baby decides to make his or her grand entrance. So to pass the time I baked another loaf of banana bread, this time with a super ripe banana and cinnamon apple sauce. I also had some great workouts including a two mile swim and a few walks over 3 miles. Work and grad school keep me busy too so there’s not too much down time.

Saturday our friends Roger and Holly came over with their new baby Roger (3 weeks) and 2 year old Taylor. The dads watched football and Holly and I walked to the nature park with the two kiddos. Anthony did get a diaper tutorial too which was cute!

Oh and I can’t forget my Saturday night crafts 🙂 Nothing too involved but I painted a paper mache pumpkin and strung up some cute acorn bells.

crafts

We also put out some mums and a pumpkin on our front porch!

P1000164

P1000162P1000166P1000168Woah belly! 🙂

So we’re just staying busy around here. I’m trying to stay a few days ahead in school work and thankfully my groups are very understanding that I will be unavailable for a few days. I’ve also compiled my list of work “go to’s” for while I’m out.

This week we’re treating ourselves to a good house cleaning. Maybe a scrubbed house from top to bottom with encourage baby to come! I found a highly rated cleaning service and they’ll come tomorrow morning to give us a good fall cleaning.

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What’s in our hospital bag?

Have I mentioned that we’re ready for baby? 🙂 Last weekend I set out to pack our hospital bag. I got some great advice from friends and I Googled “what to pack” as well so I think I’ve got everything covered. I’ve been told you don’t walk out there looking anything less than six months pregnant so I pretty much stuck to comfortable things I’ve worn during pregnancy.

1. Two pairs of lounge/yoga pants, two comfy tops and a maternity sweatshirt

2. Two nursing tanks

3. My favorite slippers

4. Change of clothes for Anthony (spare T-shirt and shorts and a some sort of button down shirt so he can enjoy skin to skin time with baby too)

5. Toiletries so that maybe I can look halfway decent walking out of there or for a few photos…or at least brush my teeth 🙂

6. Baby gear- Two outfit options, socks and hats and two blankets

7. Goody bag for Anthony (I don’t think he reads this very often so I’ll go ahead and post this). I got him a few treats and a GQ magazine to read as there may be some down time. Also, I ordered some little iron-on Clemson paws. If they get here in time I’m going to iron one on a onsie and put that in his surprise bag.

paw patch

8. Chapstick-I’ve heard from a few people that lips cant get chapped from all the huffing and puffing!

9. Snacks (granola bars, an empty water bottle or two) and I hope to stash a few pieces of fruit as we head out the door

10. Real camera

11. Phone chargers

Car seat

I got the car seat installed today too! Anthony took my car Monday to get it super, duper cleaned/scrubbed/de-haired/vacuumed and we were going to go on Tuesday to install it but wouldn’t ya know the car seat guy at the hospital doesn’t work Tuesdays. I didn’t want to put it off anymore so I went over there today. My jeep actually has special hooks meant for car seats so we don’t even have to mess with the seat belt. I also picked up the second base for Anthony’s car so that we have one in both cars.

I’ve gotten asked over the past few days if I’ve been having contractions. Although I can’t say definitely, there seems to be some sporadic mild cramps every now and then. That could continue for weeks so I’m not over thinking it but I’m making sure to take notice. At some point those “sporadic” cramps may not get so sporadic! Anthony is doing his last few nights away although not too far and checks in a lot. His phone is always on and he made me promise to call him even if I have a half an inkling something is happening and he will hop in the car and head home. He’d much rather it be a false alarm and drive home then the alternative 🙂

38 week appointment is Friday. Until then I’ll just keep swimming and walking and resting and eating and trying to sleep!

Anniversary weekend

Anthony and I celebrated four years of marriage last week! To celebrate we had our 36 week appointment. All is well as usual and now we go every week! Baby is beginning to drop but I didn’t want to know if there was any dilation yet. I can wait a couple weeks before getting my hopes up that we’re truly getting close.  Anthony also celebrated by assembling the bouncer and our rocker. Next post will be the revealing of our completed nursery.

36 weeks

36 weeks

Saturday was one of Dixie’s my favorite days of the year. After I got a great swim in Anthony and I took Dixie to the Dog Days of Summer at the Finley YMCA. This was our 3rd year attending the event and it’s always so fun. For a $15 donation to the We Build People campaign she got to swim her brains out in the pool. The pool closed last weekend so it was time for the dogs to have fun. She swam out and back, over and over to get a ball that Anthony and I would through in the pool. We went right at 10am when the pool opened as the “small” dogs were supposed to swim 10-12 while the larger dogs had free reign 12-2. Even though she was on the larger end of the small dogs, her shy demeanor allows her to have more carefree fun with the smaller dogs. She’s totally uninterested in the other pups and has her eye on the prize: the ball.

I posted a fun video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hguVFhlPFm4

Anthony also pumped up my birthing ball. It’s actually just an exercise ball but it’s VERY comfortable to sit on and I plan to use it during labor as well. It takes a lot of weight off my back and hips and allows my tummy to hang down some. They have them at the hospital as well so we’ll be able to take advantage of it there too.

With puppy never far away!

With puppy never far away!

With doctors approval I was able to join Anthony at a night away in Charlotte. Anthony surprised me and splurged for a room at the Ritz-Carlton! We knew it would be our last night away before baby arrives and we had a chance to celebrate our anniversary. While Anthony worked a quick store event I power walked through down town then took full advantage of the nicest hotel gym I have, and probably ever will, come across. There were about six different exercise rooms including a yoga and cycling studio! Tummy 1, medicine ball 0.

Ritz workout room

We also took full advantage of the other amenities and wore the robes and slippers, used every fancy soap they had, lounged in the oversized bed with high end pillows and munched on chewy oatmeal cookies. We also enjoyed a DELICIOUS dinner at The Capital Grill. I had a citrus glazed salmon with green beans and Anthony had a steak fit for a king. We had great conversation and are ready for things to change in a few weeks.

Tomorrow I have my 37 week appointment as well as our last baby class. One couple in our class welcomed their baby boy on Tuesday! This was also Anthony’s last week of far-off travel and from now on will be doing shorter and closer trips. This weekend we’re going to pick up a rug for the “baby corner” in our family room and we’ll get our car seat installed on Monday.

Overall I’m feeling well.  I’ve had a few “off” days here or there and they are mostly tied to a poor nights sleep. Between getting up multiple times for bathroom trips and trying to get comfortable before and after I get up it can make for a restless sleep sometimes. I’m still swimming 3-4 days a week for about an hour. I do flip turns about half the time and I find that actually a pull bouy is more helpful then fins. I’m back to power walking and cover about three miles, two days a week. I take one full day off a week and one other day I take a slower/easier walk. Not many changes besides my growing tummy but my feet have been swelling some.  Dr. said at this point it’s to be expected and it’s nothing to worry about.

Next update will be all about baby’s room!

 

 

 

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.
ErgoClassicBlackandTan

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!”

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!

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!