Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby Proofing

I know what you must  be thinking, we have PLENTY of time for that.  It's true, the baby is in my womb and still a long way away from crawling.  But these things must be considered.

I got to thinking about this because of our impending visit from the cutest kids ever and their parents.  I have been worrying about a variety of things, starting with the fact that our house, while I love it, is not very kid-friendly.  Ian, the youngest of my nephews, just started walking, and Andrea says he is a walking/running machine!  So, I've been trying to figure out how to rid our house of all dangerous corners and obstacles.  Case in point: the coffee table will be moved into a closet at least until Sunday, and we've moved anything breakable to where it can't be reached by a one-year-old.

We also do not have fun toys and kid things like they have at their house.  It's okay, because they're only coming for a weekend visit, and they normally bring a bag full of fun stuff anyway,  but I like to spoil them.  Today we went on a grocery store and Target run to get tons of stuff to make them happy.  My favorite purchases were the Disney Princess and Toy Story-themed dishes we got...SO cute!  I hope they like them.

Anyway, all of this has me thinking that we have a LOT to learn about kids!  I have been reading up, of course (Dan has too!  Maybe I'll do a book review for a later blog post), and trying to prepare as much as possible, but Mom always told me you'll never really be ready.  Lots of random thoughts and nerves in general this evening while we wait for their arrival, but I am SO EXCITED for the weekend, and can't wait to see Chris, Andrea, Ryan, Erica and Ian!

I shall leave you with one more example of why they are the cutest: Andrea told me that earlier today, Erica asked her when she could have a sleepover at Dan and Sarah's.  Andrea told her that she could have one tonight, and Erica's reply was, "No a sleepover means Mommy and Daddy don't stay."  Seriously, I could eat them with a spoon!

Sarah

Best. Friends. EVER.

I seriously have the best friends in the whole world.  They have all been so excited for us when we've told them our news, and I am so grateful for their friendship, love and support.  It is enough to bring me to tears just thinking about it (although I will say, it's easier than normal to bring me to tears these days...I know that's hard to imagine). 

Anyway, the specific girlfriends I shall rave about today are my co-worker besties: Andrea, Carrie, Nicole and Stephanie.  Three of the four of us are pregnant right now, and we have all been so excited for each other.  These girls seriously make my days so much better, and I'm so grateful to have them in my life.  I am also grateful for the awesome and extremely thoughtful (and generous!) gift they gave me yesterday!

I was brought up to cherish  music, and I have a real love for it.  My Mom started singing to me when I was in her womb, and as a result all three of her girls share her love of music.  There is nothing that compares to hearing Mom and her sisters sing four-part harmony - it will give you chills.  With that said, I know I want Baby Geronimo, boy or girl, to share my love of music.  Enter this awesome contraption:

I know, it's totally silly-looking, but it's seriously awesome.  It is a speaker that you wear around your belly - it has an extender so it will expand while you turn into a whale with your growing belly!  You can plug your iPod right into it, and no matter how loud you turn the sound up, it will always play at the optimal sound to not hurt your baby's ears.  I would not say it is the most stylish baby item, but it seriously is the coolest contraption ever.

I originally read about it on Project Baby Blog - actually, I guess the way it actually happened is that Steph found it on Project Baby Blog and sent it to me, before she knew I was pregnant, because she was considering getting one for herself.  Anyway I've been toying with the idea of getting one, but I have plenty of time because I read that the baby couldn't really hear it until around 16 weeks anyway, and I'm only 12 now.  So imagine my surprise when MY GIRLFRIENDS BOUGHT ME ONE AS A BABY GIFT AND GAVE IT TO ME YESTERDAY!  I am BEYOND excited and can't wait for the next four weeks to pass so I can try it out.

Steph told me that she e-mailed Dan and told him to act like it was the dumbest thing he'd ever seen if I talked to him about it.  He followed her instructions exactly.  In fact, I am pretty sure his exact response when I sent him the link was, "Just turn the radio up.  Or maybe even stand closer to the speakers.  OR...sing."  He didn't even budge when I tried to guilt him with, "BUT I HAVEN'T EVEN BOUGHT ANYTHING FOR THE BABY YET!" 

So, I am so excited to use this, and will report back at a later date on how it goes.  I can't wait to make a baby playlist - I've got some good ideas in mind.  It says you can even record bed time stories and play those on there, which is an excellent idea.  This is going to be so much fun!

To my girlfriends: thank you so much for the wonderful gift and for being the best friends a girl could ask for.  I love you all!

Dan's brother and his wife, Chris and Andrea and the cutest kids ever (as previously seen here) are coming to visit us this weekend, and we're so excited.  More to come later on their visit.

Happy Friday everyone!

Sarah

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Belly Book

I have been trying to think of creative ways to document my pregnancy so that in the coming years when I look back on it, I will remember all of the details - the good, the bad, the boring, the fun - every bit of it.  This is such a special and important time in Dan and I's lives and we have cherished every moment, so I want to be able to remember everything.  And who knows, it's possible that at some point Baby B might be curious about when I was pregnant with him/her.  I have been keeping track of said details in two ways: this blog and my belly book.

Blogging is an excellent way to communicate with lots of people and keep family and friends up-to-date on the pregnancy, doctor appointments, what's going on in our lives, etc.  I am so glad that I created it, because it's been therapeutic in a way, and I know that in the future I'll appreciate that I took the time to put it together.  The book is more personal...something for Dan and I and Baby Geronimo, and it's something that I can physically keep and look at for years to come.  Not that I won't be able to look at the blog, but you know what I mean.

I did a lot of research on the belly book before I was ever even pregnant, because I have several girlfriends that are also pregnant and these guys make great gifts.  You can buy them anywhere - in fact, I have seen several great reviews for The Belly Book: A Nine-Month Journal for You and Your Growing Belly, which you can buy at tons of stores - Wal Mart, Amazon, even Overstock.  While I like the look of the book and think it has some good pages for journaling, I normally tend to like items that are a little more unique and personal.

Enter Etsy.  I seriously cannot get enough of this site.  It is full of ideas and beautiful hand-made items, really anything you can imagine.  My sister-in-law, Meredith, originally turned me onto it when I was planning my wedding, and I haven't looked back since!  I have bought several books from ednamae's Etsy shop (both for myself and for other girlfriends), and have been in love with each and every one I've ordered!  Her Etsy site is a little tricky - for a while  thought she no longer sold the belly book and only sold baby books - but then I stumbled across her website here and finally found the belly book again.  They sell for $45 (worth every penny!), and you can customize the cover and colors.  For an additional charge, you can also customize the front.  They are SO cute, too!  Another place that I've ordered from is BunToBabyBoth of these options are super cute and customizable, and cost around the same price. They have pages to document your doctor visits, ultrasounds, calendars, trimesters, cravings, movement, sleep...pretty much anything you can imagine!

Do yourselves a favor Moms and friends of expectant Moms, and buy one of these journals!  I cannot say enough how much I love mine, and the girlfriends who I've bought them for have also sung their praises.  You won't be disappointed! 

Happy Journaling!

Sarah

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Front Porch Update

As a follow-up to my nesting post, I thought I'd show you some of the progress we made over the weekend!  Although I didn't get everything on my weekend "to do" list accomplished, I got all except the organizing of the closet done.  If I'm honest, I knew I wouldn't get to that one...I hate doing clean-outs, especially closet ones, and I normally procrastinate until I can't handle it anymore and then go on a massive throwing away binge. 

So, if you remember, we finally were able to agree on some front porch furniture, and it didn't end up in a knock-down-drag-out with each of us wanting to commit homicide on the other for liking hideous things and I couldn't be more happy with the way it turned out!  I documented the process to share.  Dan was mildly annoyed.  Probably more than mildly annoyed, really, but I wasn't going to let him bring me and my picture-taking down!  Pretty sure he's over my blogging already.  Anyway, here goes.

The "before."  The salesman assured us that everything was SO easy to assemble.  He lied, especially about the swing.  He also did not tell us that they wrapped everything tighter than I wrapped my china when we moved.  SERIOUS pain to get all of the parts out of the boxes.  Also, I'm sure you can tell by the murderous expression on his face, but Dan is really excited to be putting together said rockers and swing in the 100-degree heat, rain, and HUMIDITY on Sunday afternoon:


Layla was really excited to help...


Until she got bored.


An action shot: 


I feel like I should brag on my husband a little bit here, because that swing ended up being a HUGE pain to hang.  Dan bought the hooks that the salesman told us to buy at Lowes, and they didn't work.  He went back to Lowes three different times and returned cursing me for demanding a swing with things that didn't work.  FINALLY, he hung the swing and came inside to get me.  The conversation that ensued went as follows:

Dan:  Your stupid swing is up.
Sarah: OH MY GOSH IT LOOKS SO GREAT!  Thank you so much, I am so excited. 
Dan: (Shrugs his shoulders, like, whatevs it was no biggie)
Sarah: But, um, is it crooked?

In hindsight, not the best moment to bring up the crookedness, but really I'm pretty sure no one will ever notice.  The swing is perfect, and the chairs look great, too.

Here's the finished product:


I couldn't get close enough or at a good enough angle where you could actually see what they look like.  Don't worry, for your viewing pleasure, I give you more photos:

Left side of the porch (if you're facing the house)
Right side of the porch (if you're facing the house)
When Dan was done, we both tested out the swing and then the rockers for a few minutes (as long as we could stand it in the heat), and Layla came and laid at our feet when we were rocking.  Were it not 100 degrees outside, it would have been perfect...exactly how I envisioned it.

It all looks awesome, right?!  Kudos to Prince Danny for all of his hard work.  Now all I need are some outdoor pillows and some plants!  For pillows, I had something like this in mind.  That one's sold out, and was too expensive anyway, but I want something really colorful that will bring in the red from the door.  I'll keep searching - I haven't looked much thus far because I wans't sure we'd really ever get the rockers/swing.  As for plants...I have no idea.  I kill everything I touch!  I am thinking of hanging ferns, but I want to put a plant or two by the door as well.  Any ideas of things that survive in the shade?  HELP ME!

Sarah




11-week Update

I have seen this “update” format on several baby-related blogs that I follow, so I decided I’d try it out and see how I like it!  I stole this particular format from my bestie.  I will also admit publicly that I never thought I’d put “weight gain” on the list, because before I was pregnant I always wondered who really cared about how much weight I’ve gained.  PLUS, what if I gain a lot of weight really quickly and graduate to whale size before I’m even halfway through?!  Who wants the whole world to know that, how embarrassing.  Anyway, apparently people do care, because that’s the first thing a lot of you have asked when we told you our news.  So, here goes!

Size of Geronimo: A large lime.  According to my "what to expect" weekly update, he/she is growing hair follicles, fingernails, and ovaries (if she's a girl).  He/she also has hands and feet with individual fingers and toes, ears, open nasal passages on the tip of his/her nose, and a tongue and palate in his/her mouth!  Oh, and visible nipples.  I feel weird writing "nipples" and "baby" in the same paragraph.

Weight Gain So Far: Nothing yet, at least not as of last Friday.

Cravings: I don’t really crave any one thing consistently, except for ice cream – I could eat it for every meal and still want more.  Case in point: at the grocery store, I've been buying those little tiny Ben & Jerry's ice creams instead of just getting the big one.  One day, Dan caught me, and informed me that it is  much more cost-effective to buy the normal-sized icea creams.  At this point, I politely informed him that I am not convinced that if I open a normal-sized one, I won't consume it all in one sitting.  Seriously.  It's better for everyone this way.

Aversions: Nothing really, but I keep telling Dan that I have an aversion to house work and laundry.  And cooking.  He is not amused.

Symptoms: Still really tired.  Over the weekend, I slept for 12 hours on Friday night and took a 3-hour nap on Saturday and was still exhausted.  Also, I still can’t get rid of that nauseated feeling.  It is at least not every day anymore, but some days I literally feel like I could yarf on my shoes at any moment.  I hear that once you reach the second trimester, you feel like a new person, so hopefully that’s the case for me in about a week!  I shouldn’t complain, I’ve been very lucky.  Oh, and the constipation (sorry if that’s TMI)...don’t even get me started.

What I Miss: Wine and Diet Coke!  The doctor said that once I’m clear of the first trimester it’s fine to have the occasional glass of wine (the brain develops in the first trimester, and we don’t want to kill any brain cells), so I’m looking forward to that.  Actually what he said was, “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with an occasional glass, especially if you’re high strung and think it will help you relax.”  Um, we’ve met.  High strung does not even begin to describe me.  Sigh!

Things I am Thankful For: My wonderful husband who has been very supportive and has been spoiling me a lot (soooooo sappy!).  He brought me Scrabble and Oreos all in one week...he sure does know how to melt my heart, ha!  Also thankful for family and friends and the outpouring of love, support and prayers we’ve gotten.  And also, this is a really important one...the belly band.  I am VERY thankful to be able to wear my pants unbuttoned at all times and for that to be A-OK.  J

Signs of a Bump: There is for sure some pooch action going on.  I wasn’t sure if maybe I was just really bloated, because I know several girls who are farther along than I am that still aren’t really showing much, but everyone’s different I guess.  I am at that kind of awkward phase where it just looks like I ate too much and have a food baby, so I’ve been wearing lots of flowy shirts and dresses.

Next Doctor Appointment: August 5!  I'm excited about this one, because it will be a big one: my first trimester screening.  I’ll get an ultrasound (yay!) as well as lots of tests done (i.e. downs, etc.).  I’ll report back on that at a later date!

I think that’s all for today!  I composed this post last night but forgot to post it, so who knows, maybe I’ll go crazy with two posts today.  I know you’re all waiting with baited breath...

Sarah

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pregnancy Nutrition

It is overwhelming to even think about all of the nutrients you are supposed to make sure you eat every day when you're pregnant.  There are tons.  After much research on the internet and in my books, as well as from the information my doctor gave me, I have come up with a comprehensive list of what I should be eating each day:
  • Dairy Products - Calcium: 4-5 servings
  • Meat and Alternates - Protein: 3-4 servings
  • Vitamin A Fruits & Veggies: 1 serving
  • Vitamin C Fruits & Veggies: 1 serving
  • Other Fruits & Veggies: 2 servings
  • Grains, Breads & Cereals - Carbohydrates: 4-6 servings
  • Fats, Oils & Sweets: use sparingly
Of course you're only supposed to have fats, oils & sweets sparingly, since that's normally all I want to eat. 

In addition to those listed above, I am supposed to drink 8-10 cups of fluid each day, and 6 are supposed to be water.  Then there are prenatal vitamins to be taken daily, and let's not even get started on what I'm not supposed to eat/drink.  It's enough to make you crazy just trying to keep track of it all!

Out of all of the above listed requirements, the two I'm having the hardest time meeting are the dairy and carbohydrates categories.  I'm not really a dairy person, and I'm not sure why.  I don't hate yogurt, and I like cheese, but I do not typically drink milk.  I know it's terrible and I should drink it, but I really just never have - until I got pregnant.  I now try to drink a glass each day (normally with dinner).  I struggle with carbs only because it's the total opposite of how I normally think.  You know, "carbs are bad, eat them sparingly or else you will have a large ass."  It's also hard to wrap my head around the fact that I'm supposed to eat all of this each day and still only consume roughly 300 extra calories.  Oy!

Anyway, figuring out what to eat has been my biggest challenge to date particularly since all I want to eat is ice cream.  I've found that I do a lot better if I go ahead and make menus for myself and grocery shop at the beginning of the week.  I am a planner, and I've found that this makes it much easier to make sure I'm getting all of the nutrients that Baby Geronimo needs each day.  I've decided to post occasionally on things that I've found that are particularly healthy and packed with nutrients and that are also delicious.

I am normally running late in the mornings, partly because it takes me a long time to get ready, but mostly because I hit the snooze button a lot (at least I did until it broke this week, which is beyond annoying).  This means I am normally grabbing something quick on my way out the door for breakfast and eating it in the car on the way to work.  Lately, my breakfast of choice has been a glass of orange juice (with extra calcium, of course - calcium and Vitamin C all in one serving!), yogurt (1 cup = 1 serving) and granola (typically somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 cup).  This breakfast is quick and easy, and satisfies several nutrition requirements.  Although I have been trying to make myself eat the greek yogurt that is so much better for you, I do not love it, so I've been sticking with Dannon Light & Fit vanilla.  It is higher in sugar than I would like, but until I can bring myself to choke down some Chobani, it will do.

Granola can be so expensive, which is silly because it's so easy to make on your own.  My sister-in-law, Meredith, turned me onto this recipe (recipe and all photos in this post courtesy of Chow) and I absolutely love it!  So easy, delicious and nutritious.  I hope you'll enjoy it as well!

INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together three cups of old-fashioned rolled oats, three tablespoons brown sugar, a quarter teaspoon kosher salt, and a half teaspoon cinnamon. 
  2. In another bowl, stir together one-third cup honey, a quarter cup canola oil, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Dump this over the oat mixture and combine thoroughly. Get your hands in it to mix everything well, and to coat the oats evenly with the honey mixture. Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a baking sheet and place on the center rack of the heated oven. Bake, stirring after 15 minutes, until the granola is a very light golden brown. It should take 20 to 30 minutes. If you like your granola crunchier with a toastier flavor, bake it a little longer, keeping a close eye on it—if it gets dark it will taste burnt.
  4. Cool the granola completely, stirring it around so it doesn’t stick together. (It hardens as it cools.)
  5.  Once the granola’s cool, get creative: Now is the time to stir in all your extras like dried fruit, raw or toasted nuts and seeds, toasted coconut, etc. Store in an airtight container (this is very important—the granola goes stale easily) and eat within two weeks.
Some notes from the pros (Meredith & Mikey):
  • She and her husband like to grate a huge clove (is that what you call it?) of ginger (they said fist-size, normally) into their granola (they leave out the cinnamon).  They grate it into the brown sugar mixture, and when adding ginger, they only use half of the oil that the recipe calls for.  I have not yet tried this - I followed the recipe exactly when I made it - but I have eaten it when they've made it and it does not disappoint.
  • When baking the granola, be sure your pan is foiled and well-greased.  It's a good idea to cover your pan in tin-foil and then grease it up well with cooking spray for easier clean-up.
  • Their two favorite ingredients to add are sliced (shaved) almonds and raisins.  You have to be careful with dried fruit and extra ingredients because a lot of them have a ton of sugar in them.
  • They've found that it's better to bake the granola for 12-15 minutes three times instead of two, but to watch it closely on the 3rd time so it doesn't burn.  They suggested to let it dry for half an hour so that if it's not crispy enough you can put it back in the oven without burning it in the process.  This step really depends on your oven, because in mine it only took two rounds of 12 minutes.
I hope you'll try this recipe and that you'll enjoy it as much as we do!  Happy cooking!

Sarah

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nesting!

These days, I feel like I am a nesting machine.  There is so much that we want to do around the house, and now that Baby Baum is on his or her way we have even more to do to get ready!  My weekend "to do" as of this morning was:
  • Go to Michael's to look at picture frames for my as of yet non-existent gallery wall, because I have some awesome coupons
  • Go to Old Navy to use our Groupons, which are about to expire
  • Go to the Flea Market at the N.C. State Fairgrounds to see if we can find any rocking chairs we like
  • Go through my closet and do yet another much needed clean-out to make room for maternity clothes
  • Run various not-so-fun errands, like the book store and grocery store, before going out of town for work for the week
I know the list does not look like a lot, but y'all, it is SO HOT outside that all I want to do is lay around in my air conditioned house, so if we could have gotten through even half of this list I would have been happy.  Luckily, the hubby was on board with the to-do list for the first time ever, and with some prodding we ventured out for the  morning!  I am happy to report that we accomplished the first 3 items on our list today.

I cannot believe that we have been in this house for 5 months and I do not have a single picture hanging.  Not a single one!  We have just been so busy with both work and play, and our weekends always seem to fill up and go by quickly, so I haven't gotten around to it. We decided a while back that a gallery wall in our house would be awesome.  My original idea was to do all of the same size frames (I like the symmetry of it) as such:

Photo Courtesy of High-Heeled Foot In The Door Blog

Anyone who knows my husband, however, knows that he always has his own ideas, which are 100% of the time different than what I had in mind (hence we will not be discussing baby names for a LONG while):

Photo Courtesy The Nester
As in all things marriage-related, we ended up compromising: we got different sized frames, but the frames are all the same (i.e. all thick black frames).  Some of the matting is black and some is white.  And on top of it, we scored a GREAT deal on said frames at Michaels - all frames were 40% off PLUS I had a coupon for 25% off our full purchase of sale and regular priced items.  Wahoo!  I also have a coupon for 50% off the entire site at Snapfish, so I will be filling said frames soon.  I can't wait to see how this wall turns out.  Updates to come later!

We also found our dream rocking chairs (thanks Baums & Eakers!) and swing at the fair ground flea market, and guess what, they were on super sale!  We got two black rocking chairs and a matching swing from the Savannah Collection by New River Furniture.  A co-worker suggested that we go see Leonard at The North Carolina Hammock Company, and we are SO glad we did!  He was very friendly and helpful, was having a huge sale, and gave us a GREAT deal.  He's got a shop at the Fair Grounds, as well as a warehouse in Chapel Hill, so go see him if you're in the market for beautiful, high-quality outdoor furniture!  Here's what we scored (but in black, not stained as shown):


Savannah Rocking Chair

Savannah Porch Swing

And here's Dan pricing the chairs and swing on his phone in preparation for negotiations testing out the goods:

And finally, here is what the beautiful new haven on my front porch will look like:

Photo Courtesey Scotland Antique Blog
A girl can dream, right?  If I could only talk my husband into porch fans...it's already wired and everything!  Shouldn't be too hard, unless you've met him you wouldn't think.  :-)  Stay tuned for photos of the real deal.

Here's to knocking out the remaining two items on my list tomorrow, because now it's naptime.  Happy Weekend!

Sarah

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hilarity

My Mom's side of the family (well most of them, anyway) lives in Asheboro, NC (home of the zoo!).  Over the weekend, the family met at my grandparents' house for a cookout to celebrate the July birthdays (My Mom, Dad, and Aunt Hopey).  We decided that this would be the perfect time to tell Mom's family about Baby Geronimo!

I brainstormed for weeks on a clever way to tell Granny and Papa the good news, but at the end of the day creativity was not on my side, so we decided to just show them our ultrasound pictures.  The following hilarity ensued:

Granny: Well what do we have here?  Did you get these from the zoo?
Sarah: Um.
Jeanne: It's a sonogram, Mom, it's a baby!
Granny: Oh, sorry, I don't have my glasses.

Hopefully this is not a sign of bad things to come, i.e. I surely hope there isn't a baby elephant residing in my uterus because trust I will NOT be pushing that out. 
!!!!!
In other news, I would like to wish my Daddy the happiest of birthdays today!  Daddy, I hope you've had the best birthday EVER!  We love you!

Sarah

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

IT'S A GIRL!

I realize that the title of this post will be confusing to those of you who know that I am only 10 weeks along and do not in fact know the sex of my baby.  I am referring to the baby of my bestie, who is also pregnant and due before we are on December 30, 2011.

Steph and I met a LONG time ago (12 years?  Maybe longer?) at choir camp (yes, you read that correctly).  Church choir camp, to be exact.  We were instantly friends and have never looked back. I am so lucky to call her my friend, and we are so lucky that our  husbands like each other, too:
Baum Wedding, May 16, 2009
Sometimes, like when we're out of town and leave them at home alone and they act like fools, we might wish that they didn't get along quite so well, but for the most part we feel lucky (really, now that I am thinking about it, it is the husbands that should be glad that we chose our mates well, because if they didn't like each other, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't really care).

Anyway, today Steph & Jon found out that their little bundle of joy is PINK!  We are so excited for them, and I can't wait to buy lots of cute little girl things for my future neice. 

Hadley Jo, you are so blessed to have the best Mom & Dad in the whole world.  You are already so loved, and we can't wait for you to make your appearance in December!  I promise to always buy you clothes when your Mom won't, especially if they are pink and sparkly.  Steph, I am so grateful that we are able to share this important journey in our lives together, and I can't wait for our babies to be besties, too (or better yet, husband and wife!)!  Also, you have to let Hadley wear these when I buy them, or else you will risk hurting the feelings of a pregnant woman, and I'm pretty sure you know better than to go there.  :-)  And Jon?  Sorry in advance, because you've already got "SUCKER" written across your forehead. 
Love you both!

Sarah

Best. Husband. Ever.

Written on July 18, 2011
Seriously.  Best husband E V E R.  Why, you ask? 
I know that I will now be judged on the fact that I am a complete and total nerd by my readers (all 2 of you), but I don’t care!  Any of you who have iPhones are probably already aware of this super cool app called “Words With Friends (from here on out referred to as “WWF” for short, because I'm into abbreviations).”  If you’re not, you should be.  You can play your friends in Scrabble!  Since I don’t have an iPhone, sometimes Dan lets me play him in WWF on his phone if we’re sitting at home.  We Baums are pretty competitive, so it often turns comical.  Anyway, last night, after a particularly intense game of WWF, I said, “You know what?  I can’t believe we don’t have Scrabble.  As many board games as we have, and as much as we love to play, we should get that the next time we’re at the store.”   Dan agreed. 
Fast forward to today, when I came home from work to find THIS LITTLE GEM ON THE COUNTER, JUST WAITING FOR ME!!!!!!!!  Words cannot express how excited I was.  It could ONLY have been better if Dan hadn’t been playing golf so we could have christened our new game. 

The ONLY negative to having my very own brand new real Scrabble game is that I will now have to purchase an awesome Dictionary to accompany it.  Anyone who knows my husband knows that he is a total cheater when it comes to board games, so you have to watch him like a hawk for made up words! 
Or maybe some of you, like my bestie, are thinking that I should just get a new phone so I can play WWF with people who don’t cheat?  Whatevs.
Back to dork-land, where I anxiously await my husband’s homecoming so I can challenge him to an exhilarating game of SCRABBLE!

10 Week Update

Written on July 17, 2011
It has been a long while since I blogged – I’ve made a mental goal to get better at it.  I am hoping that once I actually get the blog up and running I will write more.  For now, writing in Word documents is kind of boring.  Plus, I keep worrying that our blog will be the most boring ever since there are not a lot of pictures so far.  Note to self: look on Amazon for a cord that connects camera to computer so as to avoid having the most boring blog in the history of the world.
Baby B and I are doing just fine.  As I write this, a few days late, our little Geronimo is the size of a prune.  It’s hard to believe how quickly he/she is growing!  I read that he/she is developing bones and teeth this week, and that the stomach and kidneys are kicking into gear.  Also, if Dan is right and really only sent “boy swimmers,” his little boy parts will start making testosterone this week.  How manly.
We had another appointment at the doctor this week, which turned out to be the most pointless appointment ever.  It was partly because all of my files were in the process of being shipped from my doctor in Charlotte to my doctor in Raleigh since the last time I went, and also partly because my new doctor’s office hadn’t gotten a chance to thoroughly look through them yet.  Dan went with me, mainly because we weren’t sure what they would be doing this appointment and he didn’t want to miss the chance to see an ultrasound if we were having one.  We met with the nurse practitioner, who told me I’d be getting a pap smear (sorry to all of my boy readers!) to do several tests, one of which was a blood test for HIV.  Before you all judge me, please know that I am not promiscuous – these tests are required by the state of North Carolina.  Don’t believe me?  Check it.
Anyway, the problem with this is that I had already had this series of tests at my very first appointment in Charlotte.  I told the nurse practitioner that I didn't mind doing them again, but that I was 99% sure I'd already had these tests done.  Sure enough, after examination of my files, she believed me.  Point for Sarah.  Stay away from the lady parts today.
All of that business aside, she gave us some information and answered some questions we had.  My sister-in-law recommended to me when we first found out we were pregnant to keep a notebook with me and write down any questions I had to make doctor’s visits easier.  Best recommendation ever.  I didn’t do it before my first appointment, and as a result afterwards I thought of about 5 things I meant to ask the doctor and forgot.
We finally were taken to an exam room where she got out the Doppler to try to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I was excited, because it’s been a few weeks since we’ve gotten to hear it!  She rubbed that wand all over my belly for what seemed like 20 minutes (I’m quite sure it was no more than 10…maybe even 5, just seemed longer), and couldn’t find the heartbeat.  I was beyond disappointed, since we’d been able to hear it twice before already, and she assured us there was nothing wrong – it was still a little early to hear.  Just then, literally the second before she was about to give up, she found it!  I, of course, cried – I can’t help it!  Gets me every time.  Baby’s heartbeat is strong and healthy, and Mom and Dad were ecstatic to get to hear it. 
Our next appointment is August 5, and it is a big one because they will do a first trimester screening, which is basically a series of a LOT of tests which I'm pretty sure was designed just to make me miserable.  More on that later!
Sarah

Busy!

Written on June 30, 2011
It has been another busy week in the Baum household!  Then again, all weeks seem to be busy when you could easily sleep 24 hours/day!  I was in Charlotte last week for work (And our first doctor appointment!  You can read about it here), and Dan and I had a nice relaxing weekend together, which was a nice change of pace!  Friday night we ordered dinner in and then went to see Bridesmaids, which is hilarious – I would highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it.  Saturday we took it pretty easy, and on Saturday night we met Ryan and Erin for dinner and then went to the North Carolina Museum of Art to watch Harry Potter 7 Part 1 on the big screen outside.  I have been wanting to see a movie in the park for a long time, and it did not disappoint (However, it would have been a LOT better if Dan had let me take a picnic like I wanted to.  Maybe next time.).
On Sunday, I hit the road and headed to Greenville, SC.  My brother-in-law Chris and his wife Andrea have the three cutest kids on the entire planet: Ryan, Erica and Ian.  I am not lying when I say they're the cutest, EVER.  See for yourself:

 Anyway, my brother-in-law, Chris went to Italy for the week for work, so I went to stay with Andrea and help out with the kiddies for a few days.  I had an absolute blast with them.  We went to the pool and the kids museum, I took the older two to see Cars 2 (which by the way is SO cute, contrary to reports I'd heard stating otherwise), and there was lots of play time.  So much fun!  I stayed with them until Wednesday morning, when I head to head back to Raleigh for my second doctor’s appointment.
I was nervous about this visit for a couple of reasons.  The first is that I went to a new doctor.  I’ve gone to the same doctor my entire life, but unfortunately, he’s in Charlotte and it made more sense to find one here.  He referred me to someone he went to school with, which is where Dan and I went on Wednesday, and we really liked the practice – everyone was very friendly and helpful.  The second reason I was nervous is because of Baby Baum’s heartbeat being so low last week, which was the reason for our follow-up this week.  The good news out of all of that is that we got to see (and hear!) Geronimo again!  It was just as miraculous as the first time.  I wish I could see/hear him/her every day!  The heartbeat was 140 this week (up from 60 last week), which is completely normal.  They told us to expect it to be 160 or more the next time we have an ultrasound.  We’re lucky we’ve gotten to hear the heartbeat already, as I’ve learned that they usually don’t do that until the 12 week check-up.  Also, the baby looked more like a peanut than a blob this time around, and was much bigger than last week – it’s amazing how quickly they grow:

The ultrasound technician told us that he/she is the size of a grain of rice this week.  Pretty incredible!  My blood pressure was a little high, but I’m sure it’s just because I was nervous.  Other than that, Mommy and Baby are healthy and happy!  We got a ton of information that we need to go through, and our next appointment is set for July 14th, so we’ll report back!
I feel very blessed to report that my pregnancy is going well and I feel great!  I have lots of girlfriends who were not so lucky, so I know that I am fortunate.  I have experienced some nausea and headaches, and I am of course tired all the time, but it’s not debilitating, which I’m happy about.  My focus has now shifted to making sure I’m eating what I’m supposed to and still trying to exercise even when I’m so exhausted I can barely move.  I am pretty sure the ice cream craving I’ve been having will not be helpful in not gaining extra weight.  I’ve been trying to resist the craving but so far it’s not going well, probably due to the fact that there is a Cookout AND a Baskin Robbins practically in our front yard.  Lord help my poor husband! 
Love to all, and many thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers!
Sarah

Piece of My Heart*

Written on June 20, 2011
Today, we went to see the doctor for the very first time to confirm our pregnancy.  I have been so excited about this appointment that I have not slept in three days.  I have also been a little nervous.  When you are still so early in your pregnancy and you can’t really see or feel anything from the baby, it’s easy to worry about whether everything’s okay.
We decided to confirm my pregnancy with Dr. Lucas in Charlotte.  I was in Charlotte for work anyway, and he’s been my doctor since I was approximately 13.  I L-O-V-E  Dr. Lucas, so I really wanted to at least get to see him for our first appointment (if you are in Charlotte, and need a doctor for all things lady parts, GO SEE HIM!  He is nothing short of fantastic, and you can find him here).  Dan was able to move some things around in his schedule and be there for the appointment, too, which I was extra happy about.  I knew we’d both have lots of questions, and I knew from my sister-in-law that the first appointment would be full of a lot of information, so it was really nice that we could both be there for it.
Due to the unpredictability of my cycle, I had a general idea of when we conceived but wasn’t 100% sure.  If we had gone by the first day of my last period, which is how your due date is typically determined, I would be 11 weeks along.  I was pretty sure that was inaccurate.  I did not learn until we got to the doctor that my doctor typically does not do ultrasounds at your confirmation appointment – ultrasounds are typically scheduled separately.  Because my cycle is so irregular, we had to wait a little while, but they were able to work us in for an ultrasound.  I was perfectly fine with this – in fact, I’d been crossing my fingers and secretly hoping that they’d have to do this, because I REALLY wanted to see our baby. 
The ultrasound technician was so nice and informative, and showed us all kinds of pictures of Herschel/Geronimo/Voldemort.  He/she really just looks like a little blob at this point, but I was happy to get to see him/her nonetheless: 

We also had the single most incredible experience of our whole life: we got to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to read that I cried.  Our ultrasound technician told us that it was truly a miracle that we came the day we did, because the baby’s heart had literally JUST begun to beat, and had we come any sooner we wouldn’t have been able to hear it.   She let us listen a few more times to tide us over to our next appointment.  We were floating in the clouds.  The heartbeat sounded a little slow to her, but she assured us that we had nothing to worry about and attributed it to the fact that it just started beating.  To be safe, she told us to schedule another ultrasound in two weeks just to double check and make sure everything was okay.  Fine by me, I’ll see our baby as many times as you’ll let me!
We determined that I’m actually only 6 weeks along, which is 1 week earlier than I calculated.  Our official due date is now February 13 (Syd’s birthday!), and I am happy to report that all is well with Mommy and baby.  Now, if Mommy could stop eating her way through an entire continent, it would be a miracle.  At the rate I’m going, I’m going to have to start buying maternity clothes sooner than anticipated!
More updates to come soon!
Sarah
*Afterthought: I'm not sure why my first few blog thoughts were all named after songs?! 

Start Spreading the News!!!

Written on June 19, 2011
It was a busy and exciting weekend for us!  We shared our good news with our immediate families and could not be more thrilled with their reactions.
The Eakers never got a copy of our wedding album, so I had been meaning for some time to create one for them.  Using the handy features on the Snapfish site, I created an album full of wedding photos, and on the very last page put a picture of our positive pregnancy test with “Baby Baum, Arriving February 2012” written underneath.  I did a similar book for the Baums, but instead of wedding photos I used photos of our nephews and niece in a “Grandchildren” album.
We were trying to figure out how we could get our families all together to tell them, but we couldn’t figure out how to make it work, and the timing seemed bad – plus we didn’t want them to suspect anything!  I had the books shipped to Raleigh, so all week I was absolutely DYING for Dan to get to Charlotte so that I could see the books (and in the meantime still drinking fake vodka cranberries and forcing myself not to go to bed at 7:30 p.m. so that no one would suspect anything).  My time finally came when he arrived earlier than expected on Friday afternoon.
The books turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself.  When Dan arrived, my parents were at the store – which was perfect, really, because I got to look at the books and devise a plan.  They were gone for what seemed like FOREVER, but finally they returned home and I ran downstairs with their book in the box it came in…only to discover that my Dad had chosen this exact moment to begin yardwork.  Seriously, Dad?  I busied myself with other things to try to pass the time, and Mom told me that their besties Jeff & Denise and their son Ryan were coming over for dinner.  FINALLY, Dad is done piddling in the yard.  He comes inside, and I race upstairs to get their book, so excited that I can barely stand it, only to hear a horn honking and discover upon my return downstairs that the besties had arrived.  Plan B: I will try to stay awake until after everyone leaves, and we’ll tell my parents then.
We had a great dinner and a lot of fun, but I could not wait for the house to clear out so that we could tell my parents (sorry Niecey!).  Finally everyone left and it was my time to shine.  My parents further hindered the plan because they refused to sit beside each other, and I couldn’t figure out how to make them do so without being weird and in turn making them suspicious.  So, Mom looked at the book first.  She is flipping through, oohing and aahing, so excited about her beautiful new wedding photos.  I know the exact moment she reaches the last page, because her eyes get huge and fill up with tears and she looks straight at me.  Not wanting to spoil the surprise for Dad, she composes herself the best she can and hands him the book saying, “Look honey, at the gorgeous book Sarah gave us!”  Dad, in typical fashion, begins to flip through at a snail’s pace.  He is oblivious, and wants to stop on every page and reminisce about how much fun we had.  For the first time ever, I don’t want to talk about the wedding.  Finally, Mom gets impatient, walks up to him, and flips through the pages REALLY quickly saying, “Oh yes, this is gorgeous, oh wow what a neat gift.”  When she gets to the last page, she stops.  Daddy cried, Mom cried, Syd cried, and of course I cried, too, as it takes practically nothing to provoke tears from me these days.  My favorite part was when Daddy gave Dan a hug and said, “This will be the best time of your whole life.”  Insert more tears here.  Katy and Josh arrived home a little later, and they were very excited, too, but we didn’t get any tears out of them.  We spent the rest of the evening lecturing them on why they couldn’t tell the whole world Tracy.  J
Fast forward to Saturday evening.  Bill and Susan were coming into town to get ready for Father’s Day, which we planned to spend with the Baums.  We invited them over for drinks, and made my family clear out of the house (Mom later told me that they were sitting out at the pool trying to figure out if they could tell when we shared our news based on reactions – she said she knew the minute it happened!).  We gave them their book almost immediately, because I was yet again so excited, like a kid at Christmas!   They were so appreciative of their book, and we flipped through it slowly and talked about how beyond cute Ryan, Erica and Ian are.  When she finally got to the last page, there was a LOT of squealing and hugging.  They agreed that they were all shocked – Susan admitted that she thought we might be trying, but she was not anticipating our announcement in the least.  It was a wonderful surprise for all.
Chris and Andrea already knew our secret.  When we found out I was pregnant, they were the first people we called and swore to secrecy.  I had a lot of questions for Andrea, and I know it was nice for Dan to have someone to talk to as well.  They have been so supportive and excited for us, and I don’t really know what we would have done without them for the past several weeks!
Finally, Father’s Day arrived.  Mere and Mikey had been in Greenville, SC visiting the sweet babies for the weekend, and we were all meeting at Bill’s apartment for Father’s Day brunch.  Susan put the book that we made her on the table, and poured me an orange juice on ice so it would look like I was drinking a mimosa.  I wasn’t sure how long it would be before Meredith noticed the book, but thankfully she noticed and started flipping through it immediately.  She got to the last page, and was confused – she admitted later that since the photos were all of Chris and Andrea’s kids, she thought it might have been a photo of an old pregnancy test of Andrea’s, until she looked at the date and realized it was us.  She was so surprised and excited for us, but Mikey hadn’t yet seen the book, so much like my Mom, she was trying not to ruin the surprise.  She handed the book to Mikey, who started flipping through and asking, “Am I supposed to be looking for something?  Have I missed it?”  I assured him he’d know when he saw it.  I think his reaction when he finally got to the last page was one of my favorites.  He was utterly shocked, and just looked at us and kept saying, “No. Way!!!”
It was a wonderful weekend spent with family.  Everyone is so excited to meet this baby, and we are thrilled that we got to surprise our families with the news.    I really wasn’t sure I’d be able to pull off the surprise, or keep the secret from my Mom for a whole week, but we couldn’t have planned it any better.  The general consensus was that everyone likes “Geronimo” better than “Herschel,” so Gernonimo stuck.  Lord willing, everyone will forget that name by the time the baby is born so it won’t stick permanently.  Although Katy has insisted that similarly to the Harry Potter series, we aren’t allowed to talk about the baby in front of others (she keeps saying, “it which must not be spoken of”) so we should call him/her Voldemort.  Y’all KNOW I love Harry Potter but even I draw the line at that. 
More to come tomorrow on our first visit to the doctor!
Sarah

Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies...

Written on June 15, 2010
I would like to start off this post by declaring myself to be possibly the worst liar in the history of lying.  I cannot believe, with all of the lies we’ve been telling (Sorry, friends!) that no one has figured out our secret.
It all started last week, when we had plans to meet some friends for drinks.  I worried about it all day (Me?  Worry? Never.) and finally came up with a plan.  Dan needed to get there before me (not normally a problem, as I am ALWAYS late) and order me a cranberry and water with lime in a big girl glass, in the hopes that it would look like a cranberry vodka.  I think it must have worked, because no one asked any questions.
Fast forward a few days to the weekend.  Dan was out of town on a friend’s bachelor party, and I was going to be in Charlotte for the next two weeks for work, so I decided to just head to my parents house a few days early and get some relaxing pool time in.  My Dad started calling me as soon as I was off work Friday night saying that he couldn’t wait to have a beverage by the pool Saturday afternoon when I got there.  I concocted some story about how I was on a new diet that my trainer wrote for me and I wasn’t supposed to drink, but that vodka (read: water) cranberries didn’t have many calories so I could have a few of those.  I have now been in Charlotte for a few days and am very clearly not on a diet, as I have been eating everything I can get my hands on.  Hopefully they haven’t noticed. J
We are going to spend Father’s Day with the Baums in Charlotte, so Dan is planning to come to Charlotte as soon as Session adjourns Saturday morning Friday (I am still crossing my fingers for an early adjournment because I want him to come sooner!).  We originally decided to wait until after our first doctor’s appointment to tell our families, but after a LOT of work I FINALLY convinced Dan that we should tell them this weekend, even though our appointment with the doctor isn’t until Monday morning.  I know he’ll want to be present to tell both sets of parents, and we know we’ll see his family for the 4th of July, but we’re not sure when we’ll see my parents again and I just can’t stand it any longer.  More to come on how we decided to tell our parents and their reactions! 
By my calculation (and the help of quite a few handy “due date calculators” – thanks, Andrea!), I am almost 7 weeks at this point.  We’ll see if I’m right on Monday when we see the doctor!  I am so excited for this appointment to confirm the pregnancy, and have been hoping and praying that they do an ultrasound so we can see our little guy or girl.  I read today that the baby is the size of a sweet pea!  It’s hard to believe how fast they grow.  A woman’s body is truly incredible!  I feel great – only a little bit of nausea so far (knock on wood that it stays that way!).  The only real changes I’ve noticed are that I’m exhausted all of the time, I use the bathroom A LOT, and I feel like I eat the equivalent of a house daily.  I will say that I’ve been missing caffeine.  A lot.  And wine.  Also a lot (sooooo thirsty).  Shocking, I know. 
I’m counting down the minutes until Dan arrives and we can tell our parents!  Until next time…
Sarah

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