Saturday, August 31, 2013

COLORS, Colors, colors!

When I first received the selection spreadsheet from the builder, I was quite overwhelmed with all the selections AJ and I would have to make, but it seems like we are closer and closer to being done.  We feel like we have made some great choices, and it appears everything is meshing well together.  And no, that's not garnet shake, it's barn red.

These next few weeks should really be telling of our decisions and whether we made the right one or not.

We recently chose the the exterior paint color, the finishes on the beams, columns, wood paneling, bead board, ceiling, trim, interior doors, and wall color.  Picking some of the colors required buying numerous samples, staining wood samples, and running back to the store for more colors.

We're really excited with the exterior paint color since the painters have begun the work outside, and it makes a tremendous difference to the overall appearance of the house.  The color really helps the house come alive.

I believe the only exterior color left to choose is the front door.  However, the front door needs to coordinate well with the floor, ceiling, and columns inside.  So we have a lot to consider.

Here's a look at our vaulted ceiling with only a few of the beams installed.  The beams were installed because they penetrate the drywall, the others are going to be sanded and stained prior to installation.  The next picture is the bead board ceiling in the kitchen and breakfast rooms.

The office will have a ceiling like the kitchen and an accent wall like the vaulted ceiling.  The dining room is a hitchcock ceiling, and the foyer is like the kitchen, only vaulted.

So here you see the bead board choices (top left), the accent wall choice (top right), the paint colors (bottom left), and the door stain choices (bottom right).  Not pictured is the vaulted living room and the beams/columns color.  We'll show you those choices as the house progresses. :)  For now, you'll have to guess what we chose.  :)  You know how some people have opinions on baby names when you're set on it, and then they make you feel bad for your choice?!  Well, if you don't, there are people like that, so we'll let the house come together and share it.  You can always share your thoughts and maybe we might consider changing out minds.

The front and back porch will also have stained concrete.  The porches were placed this past Thursday, but it will be stained near the end of the job since a lot of foot traffic is still expected.  Staining it at the end of the job will allow it to go undamaged, at least until we become the official homeowners.  We are really excited with the concrete and how it really adds character to the house.

I can't remember if I shared tile samples or not, but soon the tile work will begin - we've heard right behind the interior painting.

We chose a dark tile for the shower (top left) and paired it with a lighter tile for the master bathroom floor (top right).

The other rooms will go with a more solid, lighter tile.  Some of the rooms are smaller spaces without windows, so we couldn't have a lot of dark colors without worrying about adding lights or something to help the room out.  So the guest bath, laundry, boy's bath, and the sun room will have something like the bottom left tile.

I think from an interior standpoint, we need to choose the hardwood floor color and the carpet for the boys' room.  The timing to be done with most of the major selections is perfect since I am near my due date and will have limited time to run around town looking at different things.

We're really looking forward to all the exciting changes! So stay tuned and find out what we selected. :)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week 36

I am trying to think of ideas for the 100% loaded picture...and it's now less than 4 weeks today! Like whoa, where did time go?

The nursery appears ready, everything I think I need from the attic has been pulled, and my mom sterilized all the pump and bottle parts.  I have stuff set aside for the hospital bag; I won't be washing a Clemson blanket at 2am while fighting contractions this time!  Ready...I think.

Football starts back, and I realized I have nothing to wear for the game!  Yes, I will be watching the games at home, but trying to fit into my jersey wasn't comfortable.  It fits, but it's not something I want to sit around for  3+ hours wearing.

How far along: 36 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?:
According to the APP, I'm Expecting: Started the Week 36 as the size of a Coconut
and is about to be a Celery Bunch.

Weight gain?:
1 this week, 32 total

Stretch marks?: Still lucky - none so far

Sleep has not been great this week.  One thing I did not experience with Aidan is waking up to go pee in the middle of the night, though I am drinking a lot of water right before bed, and it's only one time.  In addition, my hips and lower back ache, so getting comfortable is not easy.  I almost lay on my stomach, using a pillow to prop me up some, but side lying is not comfortable.

Best moment?:  So many great moments this week!  My niece, Rosalind Elise, was born on my Pepaw's 81st Birthday.  Aidan met his cousin for the first time, and I celebrated an old friend's birthday before he moved away (retiring).  In addition, Owen received a wonderful gift from some very special friends this week!  Oh, and I also had an hour long prenatal massage, it was heaven and alleviated a lot of the hip and back pain.

Holding Rosalind just a few hours old!
Aidan met Rosalind at 5 days old

Great friend and coworker

Worst moment?:  Having to say good bye to my friends/coworkers.  I have known them for almost 10 years, and who knows what career path I would have chosen had it not been for them.  They knew me before I could have my first beer, before I was engaged/married/having kids, congratulated me on two different occasions for college degrees, and were there to celebrate my professional license.  We worked hard, been through some tough career choices, and enjoyed a round of golf and a swig of beer together.  I know we'll keep in touch, but it was so nice having them 20 minutes away to visit and catch up.  However, I know they're a phone call and email away, and I always cherish their advice and friendship.  Best of luck to both of them as one retires and the other heads home after 23 years on the road! 

Food cravings?: CHEEEEEEESEBURGERS!  I had Five Guys twice in one week, which is crazy rare for me to do.  However, my hemaglobin levels are still low, and I take plenty of iron supplements, so it doesn't hurt to consume more iron.  And if I'm going to splurge, I should go for a good cheeseburger, ya know?!

Symptoms?:  RLP, some morning sickness, acne, exhaustion, little swelling

I lifted weights twice this week.  No extracurricular walking, just the normal job walking.

Movement?: Owen seems to have dropped a little, which I suppose allows him to stretch those legs (or arms) a little more.  He had jabbed me in the ribs on multiple occasions causing me to say "ouch" aloud and having people look at me weird.

Belly button?:
100% outie.

What I miss?: Being able to easily pick stuff up off the floor.  Even at the gym when I have to bend over to pick up my keys as I move to the next exercise is burdensome.  Plus, Owen likes to remind me that I have a stomach in the way, so I can't bend over as far.

Labor signs?

TMI: With Owen sitting lower, the 'rhoids have turned from inconvenience to major pain or a better way to put it from raisins to grapes.  I upped my magnesium intake once more, but it doesn't seem to help that much, especially with the additional iron.  So I gave in, and on mornings I feel like it's been too many days in between BM's, I drink coffee to help things along.  I avoided caffeine for as long as possible, but I need some relief, and 'rhoids could cause permanent damage, so I gave up.  Coffee, hi, I missed you.

Also, I had the GBS swab this week at my OB appointment, and I don't remember it being quite so painful.  The doc said he really angered my cervix, and I had to wait around a while because it was bleeding more than normal.  Fun fun.

What I'm looking forward to?
We are celebrating Aidan's birthday as a family this weekend, so I will get to see my grandparents, siblings, and parents!  We're keeping things low key, and while we will miss celebrating with Aidan's friends, I am not up for planning a big party of having lots of kids to entertain. Could have something to do with my due date being about 2 weeks away when we celebrate.
Also, this coming weekend is a 4 day weekend!  Woohoo.
College football RETURNS! Clemson has a big game against's been ten years since they were in Death Valley.  I remember that game very well - it was the first game AJ and I ever attended together, but let's not talk about the score.

Bump Progression:
Week 33                  Week 34                 Week 35

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week 35

On Friday, I spent a lot of timing organizing the nursery and actually making sure we're ready in case Owen decides to come early.  Now that everything is ready, it means he will stay until his due date or later.  But at least he won't come early AND catch us offguard.  Hah, mom is ready baby boy.

How far along: 35 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?:
According to the APP, I'm Expecting: Started the Week 34 as the size of a Honey Dew
and is about to be a Coconut.

Weight gain?:
1 this week, 31 total

Stretch marks?: Still lucky - none so far

Sleep would be great...if it weren't for a toddler who wakes early!  Seriously though, the kid wakes up at 4 am or 5am, and sometimes he doesn't go back to sleep.  Otherwise, sleep is still good.

Best moment?:  Feeling I accomplished a lot with the nursery!  It is weird seeing the crib bed up so high, but I feel like we're ready now.  Diapers stuff, laundry folded, and the room is organized.

Worst moment?:  Our garage door breaking. :(  The spring snapped, and it's one of those repairs that you have to call the person with the appropriate tools to fix.  It was a quick fix, but not a cheap one.  However, I cannot stand having to unlock my front door to go in and out of the house.

Food cravings?: Shrimp and ice cream, though not together!

Symptoms?:  RLP, some morning sickness, acne

I walked 3+ miles this week and worked out three times. 

Movement?: Aidan finally had the patience to feel Owen move!  Though he was not excited like I was.  Silly boy, doesn't he know how cool it is to feel his baby brother move?!

Belly button?:
100% outie.

What I miss?: I miss not worrying about how much water I consumed.  I try to drink 120 ounces per day, but I have a hard time remembering how many bottles of water I drank or feel like I need to chug water if I am behind.

Labor signs?

TMI: The 'rhoids are a royal pain.  I'm not sure if Owen is starting to descend, but I can tell a difference with the hemorrhoids.  Swelling, too...

What I'm looking forward to?
We are patiently waiting on Rosalind to make her debut.  My sister was 40 weeks this past Wednesday, and is at the hospital since Sunday morning being induced.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.

I also have a prenatal massage planned for this Friday, and I am looking forward to it. 


Saturday, August 17, 2013

and then there was Just Bo

I don't want to rehash all the details that led to our decision because I'd rather forget the night I had to come to the understanding that two of my dogs put the safety of my boys in jeopardy.  I was mad at them that night and the following day.  Mad that they were emotionally hurting me by forcing me to make the decision, even Bo was upset and refused to go into the room where the incident played out.

You see, we had to make the decision to rehome our two dachshunds.  Our dachshunds that we have had for almost nine years.

I cried, and I cried, and I cried. I still cry.

Cuervo quickly found a home with one of the veterinarian's technician on Monday when AJ took her in for her yearly shots and antibiotics.  She is a real sweetheart and loves to give kisses.  We hear she's happy and loving her new friends, one being a Yorkie she shares a bed.

Cuervo is local, and we get pictures and texts.  We can also stop by and see her, though right now, I know I am not strong enough to go see her and not take her home.  We can't bring her home, and I know I'll cry.

Aidan still asks for CoCo, and it hurts to tell him that CoCo went Byebye. Aidan doesn't understand that two of his dogs are not coming back home, and each day, when he rides home, he'll only have Bo to greet him.

Dachshunds tend to grow attached to a particular person in the family.  SoCo chose me. Maybe it was the walks, the cuddling, the treats, or that I was always up first so we always spent quiet time together.  Who knows, but I think her fondness of me is what caused the tension and jealousy that led to her aggression towards others and Cuervo.  So it was harder to find a home for SoCo.  We knew
every day that SoCo was at the house was a risk we were taking in regards to Aidan's safety.  AJ networked with a lot of horse folks, and we had two potential homes, but neither worked out.  So we found a dachshund rescue that does not euthanize and strives to find homes for all of the dogs it takes in.
We took one last ride together this past Saturday up to York, SC. It wasn't an easy ride - it started with me crying in the driveway and waiting for my tears to dry up so I could drive safely.  It ended with me crying as the GPS told me my destination was on the left in a quarter mile.  When I stepped out of my vehicle, I was already crying.  I cried when all the dachshunds came running outside - so many dogs who need a home, and usually I'm the one giving a home, not the opposite.   I cried when Aidan said "Coco"because they looked like his dogs.  I cried when he kept repeating "puppy" which he had not used previously. 

SoCo as a puppy
Before I left the rescue, the owner hugged me twice...and I let her.  She could see how much I was hurting, but also how much I loved my dog.  I had to collect myself before I was able to drive off - thankfully I was headed to visit a friend nearby, which greatly lifted my spirit.  I don't know how else I would have managed the drive home.  I needed something to make me smile, and Aidan was feeding off my emotions.  I saw tears in his eyes, too.  Though he probably only understood that I was sad, which is why he was sad.

Cuervo as a puppy
One week has passed since Cuervo and SoCo have been gone from our house.  It was weird when I rolled out of bed Monday morning, and two dogs didn't follow me to the bathroom, wait to be told to go outside, and wagging their tails for breakfast.

It's odd for me to roll over in bed and not have to push SoCo out of my space.  And I'm sad when I pick Aidan up, and we go through all the names and talks about going home to see "Bobo" and "Coco" and "SoCo". 

When I read a custom book to Aidan that talks about who loves him, I cried when I flipped to the page to read about his doggies who love him.  When I read an alphabet book, and I came to "C", I cried because I always said "C" was for "CoCo".  When Aidan wants to play with the dog book or the "That's not my puppy" book, I have to remind myself to hold it together for him.

SoCo and Cuervo were like our first kids, and having to rehome them has not been easy.  They have been with us since Clemson, seen us graduate & get married, moved to Utah, return to SC, marked our first house, and have played many times on our land where our forever home is being built.  We designed our house with a sun room that was heated and cooled for SoCo and Cuervo.  Sure, Bo can use it, but he likes to be outside a lot more than inside.  I know it made me cry (yes, more tears...) when I went to the house to take pictures of the progress; the sun room was their room, just like Aidan and Owen have a room.  I'm sure when we move in, I'll be sad again. Surprise, surprise, writing this blog made me cry - in fact, I had to take numerous breaks, and I can't bear to proofread because that means reading all of this at once.

To those who are currently loving our dogs, we thank you.  We hope the first 9 years are adventurous as their next 9 years.  We hope that they learn to love you as much as they loved us, and we already know that Cuervo is loved like we loved her.  We hope to hear that SoCo finds her forever home, but for now, we know SoCo is being well cared for and loved at the Dachshund rescue in York - I stalk the facebook page for updates and the Owner gladly takes my phone call to let me know how SoCo is doing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 34

As I wrap up Week 34, it means I am embarking on the 35 weeks/35 days left to my due date!  Seriously, where has time gone?  I haven't worked on the nursery like I should, but I did find the rest of my cloth diaper inserts up in the attic, so I'm calling that progress.  Not having all the inserts meant I couldn't stuff any cloth diapers, even though I had most of the inserts...

How far along: 34 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?:
According to the APP, I'm Expecting: Started the Week 34 as the size of a Cantaloupe
and is about to be a Honey Dew.

Weight gain?:
1 this week, 30 total

Stretch marks?: Still lucky - none so far

I find myself waking up on my stomach and falling asleep is easier since the RLP isn't as severe.

Best moment?:  Spending time with a good friend and her daughter!  Aidan sure knows how to cheer me up, but he was a sweet heart giving lots of hugs and some kisses to his friend.  After a rough morning, talking with a friend and watching our kids interact was exactly what I needed!

Worst moment?:  Dropping off my dog of 9 years at a dachshund rescue. :(  It was a tough morning, but I know she's in a loving place who will help find her a good home without small kids.

Food cravings?: Ice cream, popcorn, shrimp

Symptoms?:  RLP, some morning sickness

I walked 3+ miles this week and worked out twice.  Still taking it easy

Movement?: Owen seems to move whenever I want to go to sleep or when I need to hold Aidan to put him to sleep.  Through out the day, he seems to roll and kick at least hourly.

Belly button?:
100% outie.

What I miss?: I miss getting through small spaces easily! 

Labor signs?

TMI: Iron causes darker stools which in turn causes darker skid marks, which I noticed are still there after washing.  Guess that means I get new underwear post pregnancy! 

What I'm looking forward to?
I am hoping to get the call this week that Rosalind, my niece, is making her debut.  My sister will be 40 weeks on Wednesday!  Can't wait!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Week 33

How far along: 33 weeks 6 days

How big is baby?:
According to the APP, I'm Expecting: Started the Week 33 as the size of a Pineapple
and is about to be a Cantelope.

Weight gain?:
0 this week, 29 total

Stretch marks?: None so far

Sleep has been better despite t
he RLP. It seems all the help with the pregnancy belt and spanx underwear has made sleeping easier.

Best moment?:  My boss organized a baby shower for me at work on Thursday.  I was very appreciative of my coworker's generosity.  They had cake and gifts...I probably turned as red as a stop sign when I walked into the conference room to see everyone was gathered to celebrate the coming of Owen.  Plus, there was cake, and you know a day is better when it includes cake.

We also tried to surprise my mom for her 50th birthday by gathering at my sister's house in Charleston, but mom asks too many questions and found out about the party a few days before.  Despite mom knowing, we still have a great time, and she enjoyed celebrating her birthday.

Worst moment?:  My two dogs who were in a fight last weekend are being rehomed.  One found a home with a vet technician on Monday, and the other is meeting her new family this week. :(  More on this later...

Food cravings?: Back to wanting seafood, lots of seafood, esp. shrimp

Symptoms?:  Round Ligament Pain, though it was more manageable this week with the OB's suggestions.  I would say the pain never exceed a 3, and the 3 was short lived.

I walked 2+ miles this week and worked out twice.  Taking it easy, listening to my body

Movement?: Owen moves often, and it feels like he's rolling around.  Since it seems to be lower, I haven't had to push a foot out of my ribcage like I did with Aidan.  I think I would rather have a foot in my ribs than RLP, but I don't have a choice in the matter

Belly button?:
100% outie.

What I miss?: I really would like a nice cold beer on the weekend, but hey, small sacrifice. 

Labor signs?

TMI: It seems that the magnesium, fiber, and water combination is starting to fail me again.  I'm not sure how much more magnesium I should take, so some mornings, I drink coffee because it seems to be my only relief.  While I try to avoid caffeine, having the help with the relief has been worth it.

What I'm looking forward to?
The arrival of my niece!  My sister is due August 14th, so I impatiently wait for the phone call.  Any day now, Rosalind.