Saturday, August 29, 2009

3 More...

So you may recall that hubs and I saw 3 Charleston properties last Saturday, only one of which was feasible for our time at MUSC. Of course you know by now that THE ONE we wanted got taken out from under us and we were back at square one.

This past week, I've been diligently searching for more properties and am happy to say we have 3 more rentals to see this week when we're in Charleston for my first MUSC appointment. Two of them have a GREAT location -- within TWO BLOCKS from MUSC. The unfortunate thing is that both of them are only 2 bedroom properties. This will result in us having to put LO in her pack n' play in our bedroom with us. This typically spells N-I-G-H-T-M-A-R-E when it comes to her sleeping schedule, which ultimately ends up impacting her attitude, which then snowballs into affecting mine and hubs' state of mind! This is NOT something we need to throw on top of what will already be an extremely trying time for us.

The third property is an actual house. Like, with a yard and everything. In a neighborhood. It's a bit out of our budget, even though the owners have come down significantly from their usual price because of our situation with Chase. The biggest drawback, though, is that it's located 10-15 minutes from MUSC.

It's such a delicate balance of trying to find a rental property that has 1) enough space for 4 adults and a 2-year-old, 2) comfortable and familiar enough that it doesn't wreak havoc on LO's daily routine, 3) is in close proximity to MUSC for our several trips to and from, and 4) fits somewhat comfortably into our budget. We know we're not gonna find a win-win property that meets all of our criteria, but it's tough deciding which one(s) to cave on and which one(s) to hold fast to.

I guess we'll have a better idea of things once we see the properties and figure out if/how we could potentially make them work. I'm just so "over" dealing with this part of things. I mean, I'm almost 31 weeks pregnant. There's already a huge cloud over this pregnancy because of Chase's diagnosis, which makes it somewhat difficult to truly celebrate and embrace this, most likely my last, pregnancy. And friends and family have very interestingly left me be for the most part, not inquiring about how I'm feeling or wanting to talk with me AT ALL about my pregnancy. And in a way I can understand that because people don't want to say the wrong thing or whatever. But on top of all that, I'm bearing the stress of finding the "perfect" temporary new home where we will reside during what will most certainly be THE HARDEST THING I'VE EVER FACED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!

I think it's time for another hour-long prenatal massage...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

30 1/2 Weeks!

Week and day: 30 weeks, 6 Days (so, ya, basically 31 weeks)

Belly Button in or out: Still in. :)

Wedding rings on or off: Still on! Woot!

Food cravings: Nothing specific.

Food aversions: None.

Nausea: None!

Energy level: Tired. A lot. Very often. Like, all the time. You get the idea.

Weight gain: Like 20 pounds. Argh. And my little guy is supposed to start gaining like 1/2 a pound a week! And I've still got 9 more weeks to go! Do that math! Yikes!!

Mood: Excited! I know God has a perfect plan for our son, and we are totally committed to Him and are trusting in Him every step of the way!

Maternity clothes: 24/7.

Size of baby: At our appointment last week, they told us he already weighs 3 pounds, 6 ounces! Woot! According to BabyCenter, he's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds. We've got an overachiever on our hands! This is especially good (concerning his weight) since we really want him to be as big as possible when he's born (although I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the "being born" part). His big sister was 8 lbs. 13 oz. at 40 weeks when she was born, so I'm guessing he'll be at least 8 lbs. when I'm induced at 39 weeks.

Baby's changes: His senses are fully developed, so he can taste, touch, hear, see, and smell everything that's going on around him. He continues to practice breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, which may mean he gets the hiccups more frequently now (this is definitely the case!).

Next appointment: We have an appointment at MUSC on Tuesday morning. We get to meet with the Pediatric Cardiology team at 8:00 AM, which will include an ultrasound/echocardiogram, then head over to "Prenatal Wellness" area (a.k.a. OB dept.) at 10:30 AM for another ultrasound and a meeting with an OB doctor. The following week, it's Dr. Greig (the fetal maternal specialist) and the week after that, it's Dr. Horne (the Pediatric Cardiologist) again. Not to mention another regular ol' OB appointment in 3 weeks. Whew!

What I've been up to: Still desperately trying to locate a furnished rental property while we're in Charleston for Chase's birth, surgery and recovery. It's turning out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be! I mean, really, it's off-season, people. These property owners should be jumping at the chance to have 2-3 months of rent pouring in during the off-season! Ugh. Apparently that isn't the case. We see 2 properties on Monday so I'm hopeful one of them will work out. The only downside is that they're both 2BR rentals, and we really need a 3BR. But we'll have to make it work -- whatever we can find!

So here's my 30 1/2 (almost 31) week pic! Yes, I'm a HOUSE! ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


  • We hit the 30 week mark on Sunday, and I have yet to write a post and share a picture. In fact, I never even got around to posting my 28 week pic. Things have been SO busy lately I can barely think straight. I hardly have time to do anything. I certainly don't have time to write this post, but I'm doing it anyway 'cause I need to vent about stuff.
  • Heartburn. Zantac. Did you know the correlation between the two? I didn't until yesterday. I've been chomping down 4-6 Tums every day for the past few months and they do little to nothing to stop or prevent my heartburn. So I saw a commercial for Zantac and picked some up last night. HEAVEN! I'm just so irritated I never thought to try it until now.
  • So the Charleston rental property that hubs and I were about 99% sure we wanted for Chase's birth and surgery? I got a call yesterday from the property manager that the owner decided to rent it out to someone else. Now we're back to square one and have to try to find another place. I contacted 40+ properties with the first go 'round and we ended up with 3 potential properties, the one we wanted of course is now unavailable. So I have no idea how many more I'll have to go through to get another short list of possibilities. I continue to remind myself that God will provide and He already knows where we're supposed to be.
  • Have you ever seen Cake Boss on TLC? It's a fabulous show that I can't get enough of -- probably because its focus is on CAKE. But it's interesting to watch Buddy, the bakery owner, who works with his sisters, brothers-in-law and other family members at his bakery. They have this connection as a family that I truly envy. Granted, they're Italians, so I'm pretty sure they've been raised for generations to have a significant commitment to family. But it's amazing to watch them interact with each other. I totally wish my family cared for each other to this degree. It's inspiring.
  • I had an OB appointment this morning. It was awful. Apparently the A/C broke yesterday and, although they said it had been repaired, it was so incredibly HOT in there! And to make matters worse, I was stuck in the tiny room waiting on the doctor for over 20 minutes. It literally ended up being over an hour to check my weight and blood pressure, and have a doc come in to ask if I had any questions. Argh!
  • I spent almost $60 on haircare products from Aveda the other day. Seriously, a small bottle of shampoo, a small bottle of conditioner and a hair gel of sorts. Imagine my complete and udder disappointment that NONE of these products work well on my hair. I'd be better off leaving the hair gel stuff off with as much frizz and craziness that resulted. And even using a different gel after using the shampoo and conditioner, my hair still goes all whack. Seroiusly. What a waste.
  • Another random product vent? Lancome. Now don't get me wrong, I've been a dedicated fan and lover of all things Lancome for a good 10 years or so. My problem? I went to Macy's the other day to purchase more foundation. Imagine my surprise that the durn stuff is ringing up at $40 a bottle!? That's right! A ONE OUNCE bottle! Insane. And I went ahead and asked about a new moisturizer. What was I thinking? The lady recommended one and I asked how much it was -- she said $35. Whew. A bit steep, but doable. It was only after they rang it up and gave me the total that I did some quick math -- I inquired about the moisturizer and they informed me it was $43!! For a 1.7 ounce bottle! Sheesh! Almost $90 later, I have some new foundation and moisturizer. I'm so ready to head back Target and try a variety of other product lines... Revlon, Cover Girl, Maybelline, etc. Surely there has to be a similar product out there that won't set me back quite so much. Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Property Search

Whew! What a long day! Would you believe I was up at 6:15 AM on a Saturday!? Me, either! But alas, it's true. Hubs, LO and I packed up and headed out at 7AM this morning for a quick drive down to Charleston (about 6-1/2 hours round trip) to check out a few potential rental properties for Chase's birth and first surgery. We only had 3 potential properties to see, so it didn't take too much time. We rated the properties based on 3 requirements: Proximity to MUSC, Cost, and Safety (neighborhood, etc.).

The first property was a 2BR/2BA condo in Mt. Pleasant -- the "least expensive" of our options. Unfortunately, it's a good 15 minute drive to MUSC and truly didn't have the space we need. This was one of the first properties we considered several months ago before we decided a 3BR property is basically a must-have.

The next property was a 61-foot yacht. Yes, you read that right. A yacht in the Charleston City Marina. It was a beautiful "boat" and was our mid-priced option. Unfortunately, it was about 100 yards from the parking lot, down the docks to the slip where the yacht resided. I couldn't imagine carrying a load of suitcases or groceries that far while also trying to prevent LO from jumping/falling into the water. Hubs and I didn't have a real "warm and fuzzy" about it from the beginning, simply because of our concerns with being on the water. The worst part of not falling in love with this option is the fact that MUSC is a mere block or two from the marina.

The final property was a 3BR/2.5BA apartment on the 4th (top) floor of a historic building right in downtown. Before going to see the properties, we already had this one at the top of our list. It's about 5 blocks from MUSC, has the space we need, and although it's the priciest of our options, we felt this one is probably "the one" for us. The building overlooks a lovely lake with a walking track around it. There's a small city park about a 2 minute walk away. It includes 2 off-street parking spaces and overall, it really felt like we could make it work. The building is secure, so hubs definitely likes that. It does have an elevator so the fact that it's on the 4th floor isn't too big a deal. There's lots of space for LO to hang out in and not feel cramped. Unless we happen to come across some other option, we're pretty sure this is where we'll end up.

LO was quite a trooper today considering we had her locked down into her car seat for 6-1/2 hours. But we were able to break up the day a bit by visiting the park to play on the swings and to enjoy the picnic lunch we brought along with us. Typical Charleston, though -- it was about 95 degrees out but felt like a zillion degrees, even in the shade. Thankfully there was an occasional breeze.

All in all I'd say it was a very successful day. I was quite disappointed that our new GPS was unable to find a Dairy Queen along our route, so instead of the delectable Blizzard I was craving, I ended up with a Sonic Blast instead. It was no surprise that they totally didn't mix it well, didn't put in hardly any candy and it was a total disappointment. But hey, I can look at the bright side: I haven't had any heartburn today! The first day in months! Woot!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I am Addicted... Little Debbie Star Crunch cookies.

They are chewy cookies topped with caramel and crisp rice then covered in a layer of fudge. How can you go wrong with that? Seriously. Take another look...

Mmmmm! I've just about finished up a box of 12 in just over 2 days. I've obviously been utilizing some level of self-control because I'm pretty sure I could clear out an entire box in one sitting if I gave myself the chance.

But then what would I eat once they're gone?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Day of Bullet Points

  • I'm tired. Really tired. And I think it may have something to do with hubs kicking me repeatedly throughout the night. He was dreaming, apparently, that someone stole our car. Not sure why kicking was his first instinct. I woke him up once but he doesn't even remember. So I'm tired. And it's not even noon yet.
  • LO is hilarious. She keeps calling me "mom" instead of mommy. And the same for "dad." It's quite funny to hear a 2-year-old say, "I want juice please, mom."
  • Our list of potential properties to stay at for Chase's birth/surgery has dwindled down to TWO. And one of them is a BOAT! Okay, it's actually a yacht, but regardless, it's on water and hubs and I don't have a warm n' fuzzy about it. So I guess our potential property list is really down to ONE. I'm hoping and praying this is the one God has in mind for us. Otherwise, I don't know what we'll do. There are only so many 3 bedroom properties within a 5-10 minute drive to MUSC within our budget, so we're anxious to see how things look after we see the properties this weekend.
  • I feel huge. I'll be 30 weeks on Sunday and I feel gargantuan. There's still 2 months more to go.
  • Heartburn? It's ridiculous. I never had it until I was pregnant with LO. It was occasional but not a big deal. This time around, however, it is CONSTANT! Everything I eat AND drink cause it. I'm so over heartburn.
  • Work got CRAZY this week. I supposedly work part-time, but due to the deadlines that were thrown on me 2 days ago, I now officially have about 5 business days to accomplish what should take me a little over 2 weeks. Guess I'm going full-time for a bit to get it all done. I hate that LO suffers, though. We can't go to the pool, the park, or anywhere else fun. I'm stuck at home with my laptop on my lap while she's stuck watching TV/DVDs all day long. I hate it!!!
  • Relating to the previous bullet point, have you ever seen "Yo Gabba Gabba?" My daughter loves the show and quite frankly, it really weirds me out. I'm certain it's causing some kind of long-term scarring effect on her that we won't realize for several years, but she seems to enjoy it regardless. The worst part for me? Seeing Jack Black in an orange leotard...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Channeling My Creative Side

As I mentioned earlier, I had the distinct honor and privilege of throwing a baby shower for my dear friend H. In doing so, I also created a few handmade gifts that I'm, quite frankly, very proud of! I'm not the most artistic, artsy-type person, so this was a tad bit of a stretch for me. But boy was I pleased with the results!

My first task was what I referred to as "Project Onesie." My lovely sister-in-law over at With This Ring Weddings and With This Nest sent me a link to the how-to instructions located on a Cookie magazine blog. These were fun to do and super simple to create! The options are endless, as you can probably tell from the instructions. They used animal shapes in the instructions, which I felt were too "boy-ish" so I opted for some other shapes to make them more girl-friendly. Here are a few shots of my tiny masterpieces:

This one's my favorite:
Both Mommy and Daddy are Clemson alumni, so this one was a must-have!

My other project was a wall print for the baby's nursery. I found a seller on Etsy that makes the prints -- you just have to purchase the mat and frame. Unfortunately, the "final project" I received from the seller did not meet my expectations, so, naturally, I recreated the print myself. You wouldn't know this, but the background of the print matches the bedding H selected for the baby's nursery. And in case it isn't obvious, the baby's name starts with -- you guessed it! -- the letter "A." I absolutely love how this turned out!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

28 Weeks!

Week and day: 28 weeks

Belly Button in or out: Still in. :)

Wedding rings on or off: Still on! Woot!

Food cravings: None specific. Still loving chocolate milk and sweet tea. Don't mind the BBQ chicken and also enjoying burgers from Wendy's. Mmmm!

Food aversions: None, other than the foods/beverages that seem to cause heartburn. Ugh.

Nausea: None!

Energy level: Same ol', same ol'. Nothing new to report here.

Weight gain: About 18 pounds. Argh.

Mood: Excited! I know God has a perfect plan for our son, and we are totally committed to Him and are trusting in Him every step of the way!

Maternity clothes: 24/7.

Size of baby: He weighs about 2-1/4 pounds and almost 15 inches long!

Baby's changes: He can blink his eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through the womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Next appointment:This Wednesday for our regular OB appointment. This one includes the Glucose screening test (yuck!). August 18th is our next appointment with the fetal-maternal medicine specialist, Dr. Greig. We'll also have an appointment at MUSC on September 1st.

What I've been up to:Looking forward to throwing my dear friend's baby shower on Tuesday night. I've spent some time preparing for that. Also looking forward to a family gathering in Cincinnati with hubs' family. It'll be fun to all be together! We also have a property-scouting trip to Charleston planned for later this month. That's what I've been spending most of my time on these past few weeks -- trying to line up temporary housing while we're in Charleston for Chase's birth and surgery.

My 28-week pic will be coming soon! :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Showers of Joy

I'm so stinkin' excited to be throwing a baby shower for my dear friend H who happens to be due almost 1 month exactly before me. She's having a girl, which is perfect since she and her husband already have a 2-1/2 year old son. I had the joy of throwing her a baby shower for her first child, and now I'm looking forward to next Tuesday when I will throw her a shower for her new baby girl!

Now, for those of you who know me, I'm not the most "artsy" or "crafty" person. Somehow that gene missed me entirely. But occasionally I get inspired to do something fun that's outside of my skill zone. I figured what better time to create something by hand that has some level of sentimental value than for one of my best friend's baby shower?

I'm sure you're all waiting anxiously for me to share more information about said crafts, photos, finished products, etc., but unfortunately, I can't do so until after the shower! Ack! I know... patience isn't my forte, either! But I promise it'll be worth it!

Here's a tiny glimpse of one project, which I won't specify in any more detail than to provide a link to the Etsy seller, STELLAandHODGE, who assisted me with executing the project. She was THE NICEST person ever and was completely and totally helpful, always responding to my messages quickly and efficiently. I highly recommend this Etsy seller to anyone interested in any of the items she has available!

The other handmade project I've been working on was suggested to me by my dear sister-in-law, the creator of the blogs With This Ring Weddings and With This Nest (both definitely worth reading!). She shared a link with me that I shall covet forever! Have you heard of Cookie Magazine? I hadn't either. Apparently they have a pretty awesome Nesting blog that is definitely worth checking out!

Please be sure that I will be posting photos of my completed projects after H's shower on Tuesday. And I'll also share links to the projects, including step-by-step instructions (a must-have for non-crafty folks such as myself) once I'm able to do so without ruining the surprise for the second-time Mommy to Be!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Checking In!

Hello, all! Just a quick post to let you know that I haven't forgotten about my dear blog and it's few readers! Honestly there hasn't been anything that exciting to post about lately. LO's party has come and gone, so we're back to our regular scheduled programming these days. I AM looking forward to throwing a dear friend of mine a baby shower next week, so that is taking up a bit of my time. The rest of my days recently have been spent trying to find temporary housing in Charleston while we're there for Chase's birth and the first of his heart surgeries. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a furnished 3 bedroom property within a 5 minute drive of MUSC? It's ridiculous. And it's got me slightly stressed out! We're heading down in a few weeks to see the few properties I have found, but I'm not sure any of them will work for us. I know God has a plan and knows exactly where He wants us to be -- it's just a matter of us doing the legwork to contact properties, figure out monthly rent/utilities, location, etc. and then go and SEE each of these properties until God leads us where He wants us to be. It's quite overwhelming but in a way I'm glad I have this little "project" to keep me busy so I don't dwell too much on the fact that my precious baby boy will be here in just over 2 months and once he's here, I have NO CONTROL over his health and well-being. Luckily God is in control and He has a perfect plan for our sweet Chase!

I am working on another post to share information and details about another sweet boy who is currently at MUSC recovering from his first surgery. His family has been through a lot and they are in desperate need of our prayers. More on that to come soon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Party Like It's 2009!

Well, I finally got my act together and am posting some pictures from LO's 2nd birthday party! She had a wonderful time celebrating with her family and friends! Overall I think it was a wonderful success! It was definitely more "laid-back" than her first birthday and I don't think I went quite as overboard as I did last year. The birthday girl had a great day and that's all that matters!


Birthday pancakes in the shape of a "2" -- Good Morning and Happy Birthday, LO!

A big stash of gifts! Woot!

Gotta have a pic of the food, right? These are the sliders we made, complete with Elmo skewers!

Crusin' in her Cozy Coupe!

The cake! It came out AWESOME! And it was very tasty!

The birthday princess enjoying her cake! Yummy!

Opening presents! Fun!

A new bike from Gramma and Pa Pa! Yay!!

Ringing the doorbell on her very own cottage! LO loved it!

Having a heart-to-heart with Gramma!

Pa Pa and LO playing with 3-D chalk!

Love those 3-D glasses!

Somebody loves her daddy!