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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Week 29 and updates.

Lots to talk about this week!  I don’t even know where to begin.

Let’s talk about the baby first!

Here’s where we are this week:

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.


Images and content courtesy of

How far along: 29 weeks

Total weight gain: +23.5 total.  This is +0 from last week.  No weight gain is surprising, but my appetite has tapered off a bit since my stomach is running out of room in there, so I guess this is why.  I’m still well within the normal range.

Sleep habits: Other than the frequent bathroom breaks, sleep has been going very well.  I still end up on my back and struggle to breathe when I do, but otherwise things are great in this area.  It’s a bit harder to shift around or get up quickly since my center of gravity has changed. 

Maternity clothes: I recently found a maternity band in my drawer.  I have no idea where it came from because I didn’t wear it the last time.  I can wear it under regular shirts, and it looks like a second shirt and provides coverage for my belly.  I’ve been wearing the crap out of this garment, so it’s allowed me to bring back some of my pre-maternity shirts.  While they fit tightly, they still aren’t obscene and showing any skin.  It’s like I have a whole new wardrobe.  This is a good thing since it’s been extremely hot here lately, and most of my maternity clothes (other than shorts and tanks from my first pregnancy) are winter.  It’s not quite shorts/tank weather right now, so I’m in that awful in-between phase. 

Best moment of the week:  My best friends came to visit me (more on that later in this post).  I also had a cervical length and growth ultra-sound today, and everything was A-Ok with both.  Baby J is growing right on track (my Dr. was a bit concerned he was behind based on my measurements), and my cervix is still fully in tact (I had lots of pressure and cramping last week, and she wanted to make sure everything was still good).   

Food cravings: I’m back on a tuna fish kick again.  Of course I can only eat it in limited amounts, so this is a bad craving to have.  I think I over-indulged in king cake way too much this past week, so that craving is gone now. 

Symptoms: I’ve been having lower back cramping that comes and goes randomly.  It’s identical to menstrual cramping.  There’s also lots of pressure down below.  The culprit – J has already positioned himself head down.  He seems impatient like his big sister was. 

Movement:  His movement is a lot more forceful and obvious on the outside.  Sometime he kicks/punches so hard that I’m sure someone saw it from far away.  It’s crazy!  I think he’s slowly running out of room in there, so it’s not as frequent, but he can still be stirred easily just if I drink water or even talk.  He likes to position his butt on the right side of my belly.  Even if I put my hand on it, he doesn’t move it.  Lazy kid!  He hiccups quite frequently.  It’s the weirdest sensation, and it lasts for at least 10 minutes every time. 

The nursery:  My wonderful friends flew/drove in to help me with this nursery this weekend!  While we had a little too much fun in NOLA the night before and didn’t get as much done as we’d hoped, we did finish up the stripes and curtains! 

Allison is starting to paint the stripes!

Beth is getting in on some action!

It was a joint effort – Dusty helped, too!

Here’s a little sneak peak of the finished product (more pictures to come later once I have more things in place):

Kent was a sewing fool!  She made a gorgeous set of curtains for J’s room! 

Here’s another sampling of what’s in store for the nursery:


1. Old lamp I found in my house.  I spray painted the base with Valspar Aqua.  I love the way it turned out!

2/3.  I found some inspiration artwork on Etsy and DIY.  The frames are old black frames that I found around my house and just spray painted with the same aqua paint I used for the lamp.

4. The chevron fabric for J’s curtains

5. His bedding

6. Adorable birds that I had made from The Fish Box on Etsy.  I’m going to make a bird mobile to hang above his changing table.
Here’s a closer look:
7. Fabric palette for pillows and the changing pad. 

Joe spent the day working on assembling the crib.  Now I just need to hang the curtains, get a dresser and start putting up all of the odds and ends.  Lots left to do, but we’re slowly getting there! 

New stolen idea of the week:
I want to hang these in the corner near his crib.  I still need the stars and some other colors (probably orange).

I got the inspiration here:

What I’m looking forward to:  Finishing up the nursery.

What I miss
: Not much right now.

Next appointment:

Since I had bad cramping and pressure last week, my OB requested that I have an ultra-sound to check my cervical length. I had pre-term labor with Anna and had time-table contractions at 35 weeks, so we’re being overly cautious at this point to avoid that again. When I went in for my Gestational Diabetes test last Thursday, she set me up for an appointment on Wednesday, January 25 to have the cervical check as well as a growth ultra-sound for baby J. He measured a 1 1/2 cm. behind the last two appointments. While that’s not too significant, my Dr. wanted to be check on things just to make sure J is growing as he should be.

Admittedly, I was super excited to see J again and totally relieved when everything checked out A-OK. He’s measuring right on track or ahead in some areas (his head was a few days bigger than some other body parts).  My cervical length checked out fine, too.  My fluids are where they need to be.  All in all, it was a great visit.  J is head down and in position!

Here’s a picture of him from today:

He has the same exact profile as Anna!

The other images are freaky looking, so I won’t post them here. 

He was pretty active today – opening and closing his mouth, moving his arms/hands all around.  Oh, and he’s still a boy!

I’m still waiting on the results of my Gestational Diabetes test.  My next appointment is Friday, February 3.  I’m starting the every two weeks appointments now.  I can’t believe it’s already that time!


So, my friends Beth and Kent drove in this past Friday, January 20th to help out with the nursery.  Our plan was for them to arrive on Friday afternoon, head out to NOLA for the evening, paint/sew on Saturday, take it easy that night, and then head back to NOLA on Sunday for beignets and day time fun. 

Little did I know that they had something else in the works!

They both arrived around 4ish in the afternoon (give or take a few), and it was so awesome to see them again!  We sat and chatted for a bit and then headed out to NOLA (with Joe) to have some fun. 

We stopped off at Napoleon House for dinner.  It’s a quaint little place with delicious NOLA cuisine.  Right after we get our meals, I look to my right and see Allison and Dusty walk in!  I had ZERO clue they would be coming, so it was a total surprise.  An amazing surprise.  I sat there completely stunned, and it took me a good hour or two to finally realize that two more of my closest friends on the planet actually came in to see me!  ME!  I felt so special and blessed to have them there.  It was truly the best weekend a girl could ask for, and I thank Beth and Kent for arranging it all and keeping me totally in the dark about it – good job! 

Here’s video of the moment they arrived:

I’m also glad they came because now we have pictures of our weekend. 

Joe is an honorary member of our little group! 

Dusty is talking to baby J.

Then…as we’re sitting at Pat O’s, another SURPRISE.  My friend Aly (in the middle) comes up and joins our happy little group!  Again, TOTALLY surprised.

I’m so happy that we’re all together again! 

I wish I had a slice of that pizza right now!

There are many more pictures that shall remain private simply because what happens in NOLA stays in NOLA.  Of course I had a sober front row seat to everything since I didn’t drink a drop, but I’m not spilling any secrets! 

Saturday we had a late start based on the previous day’s festivities.  I posted the nursery pictures above since that’s what we spent most of the day doing – motivating ourselves to paint and relaxing around the house.

We went out that night to a delicious local restaurant that served creole cuisine.  It was a hit!

Here we are in front of the place (Joe was the photographer):

Once we got back home, they surprised me – YET AGAIN – with a baby shower for J. 

Adorable Saints hat from my friend Mandy.

Joe especially liked this one even though it was a Mustang.  He may have to suppress his Chevy obsession while his son wears this one. 

I got this Rock N Play Sleeper from the girls – little did I know how fantastic these things are.  They’re all the rave now!

It was such a fun little shower – I got lots of cute onesies and other baby items, diapers, etc. 

We left fairly early the next morning to go back to NOLA for the daytime fun.  Dusty and Alyson were leaving to go back home later in the afternoon, so we wanted to get an earlier start.

Here we are at Café Du Monde:

Here I am imitating Tyrone.

Crack is whack, yo.

My bump looks HUGE here!

After we dropped off Dusty at the airport.  Beth, Kent, and I went out to eat at my favorite Mexican restaurant in my college town.  It was so nice to have a relaxing meal without toddler interruption!  I am so thankful that my wonderful in-laws watched Anna this weekend so I could have some Natalie time with my favorite people on earth!

Once we got back home, Anna was there, and she had a blast playing with Beth, Allison, and Kent.

We spent the rest of the evening watching TV and relaxing and went to bed fairly early since Allison’s flight was super early, and Kent/Beth had a long drive ahead of them.  Plus, I had to work the next day. 

It was am amazing weekend full of fun, great food, and great friends.  It’s one of those memories that I’ll cherish forever and think about when I’m all old and decrepit.  There aren’t many friends like these girls, and I’m forever thankful that they’re a part of my life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 28.

After a Saints playoff loss, this past week wasn’t one I’d want to re-live, so I’ll just dive right in to the baby stuff.

Here’s where we are this week:

By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Images and content courtesy of

How far along: 28 weeks

Total weight gain: +23.5 total.  This is +1.5 from last week. 
1 lb. over the normal weight gain and 3 lbs. less than the maximum weight gain, so I’m doing great!

Sleep habits
: Sleep has been going well.  I have been having some issues when I wake up and am on my back, but there’s not much I can control about my positions throughout the night.  The hardest part of sleeping at this point is the frequent bathroom trips and my overall inability to get out of bed as quickly as I used to be able to (from the weight gain and heavy stomach). 

Maternity clothes: Still wearing them.  Today I’m wearing my pre-pregnancy pants, but they are fully unzipped.  I needed some black pants and didn’t have any options, so I went for it!  Thankfully, my long shirt hides everything, so it’s all good. 

I’m tempted to buy a few more shirts to carry me through, but I guess I’ll just work with what I have for now.

Best moment of the week:  My mom, sister, and Jackson came over this past Saturday to help me paint the nursery.  We didn’t get much done, but it was nice having them there. 

Food cravings: Right now I’m craving King Cake, but that’s not abnormal for me this time of year (Mardi Gras). 

Symptoms: Pretty bad cramping on my lower left side.  It was kind of miserable yesterday to the point where I almost drove myself to the hospital, but it has since subsided.  I definitely over-did it this past weekend painting the nursery and trying to get control over the massive amount of laundry that is always piled up.  I seriously need a maid. 

I’m also having lots of pressure, so I’m not sure if he’s dropped and locked into birthing position or if he’s just chilling out low.  The cramping and pressure yesterday had me convinced I was about to go into labor. 

Movement:  Most days he’s pretty active although I did have a worry moment this past weekend and “forced” myself to eat some cake to get him to move.  He moved immediately and then hiccupped for about 30 minutes.  His movements are much stronger now, and he’s started shifting inside to where it makes my entire belly move like a wave. 

The nursery:  I spent this past weekend painting the walls in preparation for my friends Beth & Kent to come in and help me stripe the main wall.  I really like the colors (click here for all of the nursery details) and hope that the stripes turn out like I’m imagining them!  

I also spray painted (in aqua) some old frames I found and added Joseph’s DIY art into them.  I really like how they turned out!  I took it a step further and spray painted an old lamp in the same color which will be used on his dresser/changing table (which I still have to buy).  I will probably paint the shade in stripes.  Still undecided about that. 

There’s still lots left to do, and hopefully we’ll be able to get it all done.  I also need to get back all of the stuff I loaned to my sister (PNP, swing) and all of my nephew’s clothes ‘cause my poor child will be naked if not! 

What I’m looking forward to:  Beth and Kent’s visit.  Finishing up the nursery.  4D u/s.

What I miss
: Not much right now.

Next appointment: I have an appointment on Thursday (the 19th) for my gestational diabetes testing.  Hopefully I pass with flying colors because I’m not exactly the world’s best when it comes to restricting myself. 

See ya next week!

84 days to go!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Week 27

Not much going on this past week, so I’ll just jump right to the baby stuff.

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

Images and content courtesy of

How far along: 27 weeks

Total weight gain: +22 total.  This is +3 from last week.  UGH! Based on the pregnancy weight gain calculator, I’m a little ahead of where I need to be. So, yeah, I need to slow my roll.  A delicious Southwestern Egg Roll from Chili’s.  Or a pork roll from Chinese House.  Or a Crescent Roll. 

Here’s to hoping I’ll even out next week.  That seems to be the trend with this pregnancy.  Where I’d gain only one 1 – 2 lbs./week with Anna consistently, this pregnancy I’ll gain 3, not gain, gain 3.  I guess it all evens out.  My body is going to do what it wants to do, but I don’t need to help it along by eating two servings of everything.  Or three.

Sleep habits: Sleep has been quite good this week, fortunately.  Other than Anna crashing my bed a few times, I’ve been sleeping soundly and falling back to sleep quickly after waking up.  The bad dreams have stopped, and while my dreams are still vivid and memorable, at least they’re not panic inducing anymore.  I can’t sleep on my back any longer.  I wake up in pretty bad pain, achy pain.  My stomach is certainly heavier now, and it’s quite apparent when I have to get up from a lying down position.  That’s no fun.

Maternity clothes: They still fit.  It’s a miracle.  My bump is a lot higher up now and more bump-like, so I’m kind of digging the tight shirts to showcase my belly.  Of course I always wear a sweater on top to hide my butt.  So, I guess that kind of negates the cute bump shirts. 

Best moment of the week:  The Saints win against the Lions this past Saturday was pretty wonderful. 

Food cravings: No true cravings or aversions this week.  I’m ravenous, but any food will do. 

Symptoms: Some minor cramping – especially on my left side.  My hormones seem to be more in check this week, thankfully. 
Movement:  He’s equally active and not active.  Some hours he’s moving non-stop, then he won’t move for another hour or so.  I get worried.  It’s like he senses it and gives me a huge stomp in the bladder.  Good times.  He alternates between sitting on my bladder all day or hanging out behind my belly button.  I can feel kicks and punches all over now which is pretty weird.  I can see all of them from the outside as well. His kicks were so hard the other night that he was making my phone (that was perched on my stomach) move and bounce.  Kind of weird and fascinating all at the same time.

The nursery:  I’m counting down the days ‘til two of my BFsF, Beth over at Unskinny Boppy and Kent, come on down to help me out with the nursery details.  They’re going to help me paint the wall stripes as well as sew the curtains (Kent sews), make some pillows and other odds and ends.  

This is what I’ve done thus far:
1) I purchased his bedding – woot!  I got this entire bedding set – crib skirt, bumper, two sheets, pillow, comforter – for $45.  It’s in mint condition. 


2.  I purchased the fabric for the curtains, pillows, and changing pad cover that Kent will be sewing.

Curtain fabric:
I decided on an orange chevron fabric for the curtains.  I wanted to break out of the monochromatic color scheme of the bedding and add pops of colors with accents and other details.  After lamenting over different choices, I finally decided on this fabric:

Joe says it looks like the Whattaburger design.  While I agree, I think he fails to see how fantastic it will look in the final design.  Patience, dear grasshopper. 

This is what they will look like hanging (the image above is a truer example of the real color, these look a bit darker):
Image courtesy of Castle Creek Designs

Pillow fabrics:


Fabrics below are from
Hopefully we’ll have a little fabric left over to make an orange chevron pillow as well.

Changing pad cover (minky fabrics):

3) The artwork
This has kind of been a tricky spot this past week.  I kind of/sort of started the whole decoration process without any input from Joe.  I figure, eh, decorating is more my domain than his, so it’ll be OK.  Wrong!  He wants to put all of his Coca Cola collection in the room as well as bright car posters and things that just won’t go.  I figure when baby J is older and we decorate his toddler room, we can bring all of that out, but for now I’d like his nursery to look like a nursery and not a Coca Cola/Dale Earnhardt museum. 

So, to compromise, I nixed the bird/owl theme and decided to introduce a vintage/retro/modern (contradiction, right?) theme to make Joe happy while still maintaining the overall concept. 

My friend Allison is going to create three canvases that will go behind his bed – one will have a vintage Chevy Camaro (Joe’s favorite car), the other will be an old Chevy truck, and the middle canvas will just be the letter J.

Here’s an example of the look we’re going for that will be used on the canvases using the colors of the nursery:

Image is from N. Eve Designs on Etsy

Here’s some artwork that I DIY after finding a design I loved on Etsy.  

I will have it framed and matted like above using some frames that I had left over from when the room was a guest room.  Total cost = $0!

Since the frames are black, I will probably spray paint them all aqua.

I love the alphabet concept, so I’ll be adding in some alphabet artwork as well. 

Here’s my DIY version:

Again, this will be framed and matted in an aqua frame.

I also love the artwork below and will try to DIY it myself and add to some shelving or the dresser/tables in his room:

Image is from Trendy Peas

Image is from Trendy Peas

Image is from Sycamore Street Press on Etsy

I guess the two basic concepts of the room at this point are vintage cars and the alphabet.  My friend Allison came through once again and found an adorable set of letters that she was able to DIY/mimic in papers that match the nursery colors.  Here’s what she’s done so far:

Inspiration photo:
Image is from

Here’s her DIY version:
I love, love, love them!

Other to-dos:

1) Create a bird mobile like this inspiration photo:

Image from Design, dining, and diapers

Since I can’t sew worth crap, I found a seller on Etsy who made me 6 birds (in colors that match the nursery) for $15!

Check out The Fish Box

Now all I need is the wreath and hanging string.  This mobile will go above J’s changing table. 

Still to do…
1) Pick out paint colors.  I’m still undecided, but I think I’m leaning towards a mid-level beige/brown color and off-white/cream stripe.  The stripes will be on one wall only – the wall behind his crib.  The other three walls (small walls) will be painted in the beige/brown color.  Since we have a lot of patterns and things going on, I think a room full of stripes will be overwhelming. 

Still not sure if I’ll do a wide stripe like this:
Image courtesy of 

Or a narrow stripe like this:

 Image courtesy of Nursery Notations

My plan this weekend is to paint the base coat on the walls so it will be ready to go when we want to do the stripes once Beth and Kent get here.  Slowly but surely!
What I’m looking forward to:  Beth and Kent’s visit.  Finishing up the nursery.  4D u/s.

What I miss
: Same as last week – I miss the ability to get things done without having to wait on other people to help me (ahem, Joe bringing stuff to the attic). 

Next appointment: My last appointment was January 5th, but they moved it to the 6th because my OB had an emergency delivery.  The baby’s h/b was 140.  When she measured my belly, she said I was a little behind – I was measuring 25 cm. at 26w3d, but she said as long as we’re not 2 cm different, we’re still in a good zone.  Of course I worried and Googled since I never had this problem with Anna, and it seems like this is fairly common.  He could’ve just been in a weird position at that moment which may have skewed the measurements. 

I have to go back in two weeks on January 19th for the gestational diabetes test.  They like to take it right at 28 weeks there.  I have to force myself to eat two Snickers bars for a few days prior.  What a sacrifice! 

See ya next week!

91 days to go.  Eeek!

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