Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LO and the Author's Tea

Today was a special day for LO! She was selected by her Kindergarten class and teachers to attend her school's February Author's Tea. The Author's Tea is essentially a monthly gathering of selected students who read something they've written to the audience of other students and their parents. It's a special honor and we were overjoyed to attend this morning to see LO in her 30 seconds of glory! :)


Way to go, LO! We're so proud of you!! We loved your Valentine's Day story!

Monday, February 25, 2013


OhMyGoodness I can hardly breathe! OhMyGoodness!!!

I just got my weekly Monday morning call from the furniture company. I was fully expecting (hoping/praying) for the typical "everything's on schedule... it'll be here by March 15th" phone call, but NO! Not today, my friends!

The new furniture for LO's new room is--get this!--HERE!!!!! It's here in town at the warehouse just waiting for us to either pick it up or arrange delivery! It's here! It's here! It's here!

Can you tell I'm excited?!?!?!?!

Seriously, I had to apologize to poor Eli (the furniture guy) for the excessive bawling and crying that immediately commenced when he informed me our furniture is H-E-R-E! I blamed my 30-week-pregnant hormones but I know it's so much more than that.


Now we just have to figure out WHEN we'll be able to ship LO off for a little weekend of fun with a grandparent or friend or what-have-you so we can have the time we need to get it all done while she's out of the house. I'm beyond thrilled!!! But the timing is still kind of "ugh" because I work this weekend and have other activities already scheduled for the next two weekends after that. But regardless, we WILL find the time and her room WILL get done ASAP!!! I'm so stinkin' excited!!!!!


P.S. Thanks to all of you for your patience with my obnoxious self over the past 2 months... so many posts about furniture delays and room decor. Surely half of you stopped reading this ol' blog by now! But there should only be one more post on this particular subject... the BEFORE & AFTER pics!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

LO's New Room: An Update

UPDATES: I forgot to mention the walls in LO's room will be painted a VERY pale pink (think the complete opposite of Pepto-Bismol) and we're doing beadboard with chair rail on the wall behind the headboard of her bed as an accent wall. I might paint the beadboard a VERY pale lavender and leave the chair rail white, but probably won't make that call until we start putting the room together. :)

Also, for the accents, I forgot to mention I bought oversized wooden initials for LO (about 2 feet tall) that I painted glossy white to hang on one of her walls. I'll probably incorporate some pink ribbon somehow with the letters, just to add to the "girliness" of her room.

So no news is good news, right? It's been a while since I've shared any update at all out here, but it's been even longer than that since I've discussed LO's new room! The good news is I have the furniture store we ordered her furniture from calling the manufacturer that is making the furniture every Monday to ensure everything is still on schedule, then the furniture store calls me to confirm. So far, for the past 3 weeks anyway, it's been on schedule. That means it should be here no later than March 15th. You know, like 6 weeks before THE BABY is due to arrive. ((sigh))

It's okay though because I've been finding ways to keep myself busy and less antsy during this time. Enter a TON of little artsy/sewing projects for her new room. I got to thinking about it and, really, the only "big" plan for her room was new furniture, lighting and paint. None of these things will really turn her room into the "horsey room" she's been asking for, so it was time to put my Martha Stewart skills to work and see what I could come up with. Let's see...

Lest anyone forget, this is the coveted furniture I'm waiting ever-so-patiently to receive ("Madison" by Legacy Classic Kids). We were told 3-6 weeks back when we ordered it IN DECEMBER, but were then told 12-14 weeks when the furniture company ordered it and found that the bed was still in production. Grrrr... She's a beaut, though, and hopefully worth the wait! We've looked into Every. Single. Other. Option. Under. The. Sun. and I never found anything that I loved even half as much as this furniture, so we really had (have) no choice but to wait.

Full Panel Bed:

Double Dresser with Arched Mirror:

And as another refresher, this is the Brigette Ruffle Quilt and Lucy Ringmaster Sheeting (both from Pottery Barn Kids) that I selected. Please note the cute gold star accent pillow... I really liked the idea of the accent pillow but the gold color and star theme had no place in her new room. More on that in a bit.

So back to my many projects that have been occupying my time while I impatiently wait for her new furniture to arrive.

((My apologies for the horrible photos. The lighting was bad and I'm way too lazy to run these through Photoshop. Not that y'all aren't worth the effort, 'cause you are. But you know. Pregnant = Lazy.))

I hand-painted this little coat rack and wooden accent pieces, then put it all together for her to have a place to hang her hoodies, purses, what-have-you. On the wall above the hooks will be a white shadowbox containing her precious Teddy, the lovey she used to have when she was a baby. I don't have that project complete yet, so no pics. ;) And yes, "S" stands for "LO."

One of her walls will sport this simple artwork I created with Photoshop from some basic clip art. I love that the frames are repurposed from her old nursery when she was a baby. They used to be pink but I painted them a gloss white instead. Love how cute and simple these turned out. They'll add a nice touch of "horsey" to her new room. ;)

This is the curtain rod that will go with her new curtains... once I make them. UGH. I tried SO HARD to find light lavender blackout curtains to NO AVAIL. So I ended up buying plain curtains that will require me to sew in blackout liner to them. It's gonna take some time and effort, but seems I don't have much else but time on my hands these days while I wait for the furniture. :)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this huge 2 ft. by 3 ft. poster board print I made to hang on the wall over her bed. I think it's gonna look great!

So while we ordered the "big stuff" from the furniture store, we nabbed a night stand from my good friends at Amazon. I replaced the drawer pulls with hand-painted horseshoe pulls instead. I love how cute this looks!

See the cuteness?? On a side note... should horseshoes be pointing up or down? I so don't know.

This is a little iron star that I painted a gloss white to hang over her doorway. Please pardon the photo on our gym floor... just wanted to be sure it stood out.

Again with the gym flooring... Anywho, this is a little metal guy that will hang over her closet door. I also painted it a gloss white.

If you follow me on Twitter/IG, you would've seen this lovely little runner I made for her dresser. I got to thinking that the white dresser is a LOT of white, and it'd need a nice splash of color. I love how it turned out!

Here's a little accent tray I hand-painted and stenciled to keep on her new dresser, too. I figure it can hold jewelry, hair bows, hair clips, etc.

I couldn't not pick up this resin cowgirl boot from Hobby Lobby, especially since it was 50% off! I haven't decided for sure yet, but this will either be a bank, a vase with some faux flowers, or whatever else my imagination can come up with. I also picked up a few accent candles in pink and lavender for her dresser and/or nightstand.

Remember that gold star accent pillow I mentioned above from PBK? Ya, so I loved the idea of an accent pillow but didn't have any place for a gold star in my girl's new horsey room. SO... I purchased a similar-sized pillow form and sewed a pillowcase--complete with a zipper on the side! My first zipper and it was way easier than I had expected. I knew I wanted something "horsey" on it, so I ordered this $10 sequin appliqué from some website, and it shipped from Hong Kong! Took about a month to get here but it was worth it. I personally think it's a bit flashy/ghetto, but honestly I think it's gonna be one of LO's favorite things about her new room! I wasn't sure how to attack an appliqué, so I used fabric glue (which worked wonderfully, I might add) and followed it up with stitching around the edges with transparent thread. It worked out perfectly and is very secure. I love it!   

So the only real "project" left for LO's room (that I can actually do before the furniture arrives), is to purchase this super simple bookcase from Home Depot and jazz it up a bit. I purchased beadboard paper that will go on the back wall of the bookcase that I *might* paint purple, and I'm also planning to add decorative moulding around the top and bottom of the bookcase. It's gonna be super cute!

Of course, I should also mention I ordered the new 5-light chandelier for her room from eBay. Check it!

I plan to add these cute little shades, too.

So there you have it. A little inventory of the fun little art projects I've been staying busy with while waiting for LO's furniture to arrive. I'm super excited about her new room! I'm more excited about putting her new room together than getting the baby's nursery done -- isn't that crazy?! I guess I know the baby will bunk in our room 'til he's a few months old, so there's no major rush. That's what I keep telling myself anyway, even though I really wish I could be washing his clothes, blankets, etc. and putting them away into his dresser that is currently in use in LO's room. ARGH for my lack of patience sometimes!!! Haha!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It's a Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine's Day!

And if you think about it, say a little prayer for us this afternoon as we head to an appointment at my Perinatologist for a fetal echo on the baby. Chase's cardiologist will be there to review the echo and we're praying that everything looks perfect. You may recall my earlier post from our 19-week scan that showed a healthy, four-chamber heart. Today's fetal echo is just a more in-depth look at the baby's heart and another level of assurance that everything is okay. We appreciate all happy thoughts and prayers sent our way this afternoon.

UPDATE: We returned from our fetal echo this afternoon and Chase's cardiologist Dr. H confirmed our baby has a healthy, four-chamber heart! The appointment went very well! The baby measures 2 lb. 7 oz. and was very cooperative for us. We saw lots of great pics of his face, both in 2D and 3D! So cool!

We'll return in 4 weeks for another growth ultrasound. The doctor wants to watch my blood sugar weekly as well as the baby's growth. Even though I wasn't "officially" diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, it sounds like they're going to treat me as such (no surprise).

So for your viewing pleasure... here's a little profile pic of our guy! :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

GD Woes

Hmph. This post is quite a bit overdue. Honestly it's been about a month now that I've spent wrapping my mind around this unexpected pregnancy complication: Gestational Diabetes. It's required quite a monumental shift in my lifestyle that I guess I haven't really been ready to talk about until now. The timing is a bit weird as this is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week and I really should be devoting my blog to more posts about CHDs, but at the same time I like to use my blog as a journal of sorts so I can look back on this 2 years from now and remember the details of things long forgotten. So without further ado, here's my lil' rant.

I have a family history of diabetes. Of course this means I have an increased likelihood of getting diabetes myself later in life, but it wasn't something I ever focused on. I'm more of a "here and now" kind of girl versus a "what if-er."

About a year ago, my primary physician decided to put me on a medication called Metformin, an antidiabetic drug of sorts that was prescribed almost as if it was going to prevent me developing diabetes. My doctor never asked me to monitor my blood sugar; I was just taking this medication daily as if it was my "cure" to diabetes. So I have no clue what range my blood sugar was in before I started the medication nor while I was taking the medication.

During our first OB appointment back in October 2012, I mentioned I was taking this drug and was told to continue it throughout the pregnancy. About 19 weeks in, I questioned taking this medication again and was told by one of the OBs that they usually have patients discontinue taking it at 14 weeks. SERIOUSLY?! You can only imagine how much I DISLIKE taking prescription medications while pregnant since we have NO indication of what caused Chase's congenital heart defect. Unhappy was putting it lightly when I was told this.

At my next appointment, Dr. B decided he wanted me to discontinue the Metformin and start monitoring my blood sugar four times per day, then he would review the numbers at my next appointment 3 weeks later. I didn't love the idea of taking a med while pregnant but I also didn't love the idea of stopping one, either. Ultimately I decided to follow his orders and discontinued the Metformin on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. I then monitored my blood sugar 4x/day.

The first few days, I decided I didn't want to change my diet at all because I wanted to see if the Metformin was truly doing anything to help my blood sugar or not. So I continued to eat all the junk food and bad stuff I've essentially been eating my whole life. I made an effort to eat "better" while pregnant, but I totally sucked at it. The first few days off Metformin, my numbers were still within the range the doctor provided. WOOT! However, after about 3 or 4 days, I started seeing numbers that made me quite nervous. They were getting to be way higher than the safe range.

After about a week off the medication, I called my OB and he told me that, based on the numbers, he wanted to put me on a diabetic medication safe for use during pregnancy to treat Type 2 diabetes called Glyburide. I was completely and fully adamant that I would NOT take another prescription drug during my pregnancy unless absolutely necessary. Luckily, I had the option to try to control my blood sugar with diet.



A four-letter-word.

It wasn't my favorite solution, but as far as I was concerned, it was the ONLY solution. So I immediately, like as in ONE DAY, completely modified my diet. I would safely say I had been eating at least 4,000 to 5,000 calories per day (Can you imagine?! Hello, American obesity epidemic!). I immediately slashed that to 2,000 (or sometimes a bit less, depending). I learned which foods would keep my blood sugar within range, and which foods (almost ALL of them) would cause huge spikes that weren't safe for the baby. It was insane how drastic my diet changed overnight.

But it would all be worth it if it kept my baby safe. Obviously! And I knew that after 3 weeks of monitoring, I would take the standard glucose tolerance test given to all pregnant women around 28 weeks with the hope that somehow I would pass the test and could discontinue all the finger poking and massive diet changes. It was my glimmer of hope.

Fast-forward 3 weeks into all of these changes, the DAY BEFORE my scheduled glucose tolerance test. I get a call from my OB's office informing me that they are NOT going to give me the glucose test, but that I do need to have some blood drawn before my 9:30 AM appointment.

I couldn't believe it.

It was my one shot!

It was my glimmer of hope that the major lifestyle changes wouldn't be forced to continue!

Basically the thought process was that they had already seen my blood sugar spikes since discontinuing the Metformin and it didn't make sense to them to give me a bunch of sugar when they were already pretty sure how my body would respond.

I was devastated. That doesn't even begin to describe it. I felt like I had lost the game without ever leaving the bench. I wasn't even given a chance. My body had failed me yet again and there was nothing in my power to fix it.

It was like when LO was a baby and I couldn't keep up my milk supply to provide for her and had to supplement with formula WAY earlier than I had hoped and anticipated.

It was like when we found out about Chase's heart diagnosis when I felt like my body had let me and my son down in a major way.

And now it's my body failing yet another child by causing this complication.

I'm a failure.

As a person. And as a mother.

No one understood what I was feeling. Most people were "excited" for me because I wouldn't have to drink that nasty orange-flavored drink. It was as if no one realized just how critical that test was... how it was supposed to be my saving grace that prevented me from having to keep up this radical change in lifestyle.

I had a dark few days where I felt so totally alone... even poor hubs couldn't figure out the "right" thing to say to help me feel better. He didn't quite "get it" either.

What all this meant was that I didn't get a chance to pass that glucose tolerance test. Instead, I get to continue checking my blood sugar 4x/day for the next 3 months. I get to continue eating about 1,800 calories a day for the next 3 months. I get to continue avoiding ALL of my favorite foods for the next 3 months.

Don't get me wrong: keeping my little guy safe and healthy is Priority #1 for me and I'll do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in my power to be sure he has the best environment possible in which to grow and develop. But I can't hardly put into words the PRESSURE this has put on me. Each and every decision about every meal and every snack... everything has to be carefully and methodically selected to ensure I'm not going to harm my baby.

This is a BIG deal. At least it is to me.

So there you have it. My Gestational Diabetes rant. I fully realize this probably just sounded like a lot of complaining to most people, and I'll admit -- there were a lot of "woe is me" undertones in this post. But when it comes to being pregnant and doing the best for my children, EVERYTHING IS A BIG DEAL.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week!

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week is February 7th through 14th. Won't you help raise awareness? Check out the two startling statistics below that I'm guessing most folks weren't aware of:
 Congenital heart defects are America’s #1 birth defect. Nearly one of every 100 babies is born with a CHD. Congenital heart defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths.
 In the U.S., twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined.
Did you have any idea? Pretty astounding, right? Please help spread the word about congenital heart defects!

Stay tuned for more CHD Awareness posts throughout this week! And can I just say THANK YOU to the amazing family, friends, church family, heart moms and online friends I haven't even met who have followed our journey with Chase's special heart and have supported us and prayed for us throughout the past several years. I'm very blessed by your love and support!

This is the face of CHDs. My son is 1 in 100.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month

Welcome to February... also known as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness month! I'll be sharing several posts over the next 28 days regarding CHDs so please stay tuned!

Today I'm wearing RED for my favorite CHD warrior, my sweet 3-year-old son, Chase! If you don't know his heart story, check out my letter to new heart moms as it shares a little glimpse at how our world was turned upside-down when our unborn son was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a rare congenital heart defect that is fatal without surgical intervention. He is our Rock Star and inspiration... a living, breathing miracle and blessing!!!