Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Woes of a Working Mom

  First of all, I'll start by saying that I am extremely grateful to have a job to help ends meet when so many others do not have this luxury.  However, it's SO hard to keep this perspective when looking down at my 8 week old baby knowing that I have to leave him and go back to work tomorrow.  It's rather gut wrenching.  Maybe some don't feel that way and crave adult interaction during the day... that's cool... but that's not me.  I know that staying home is just as exhausting because you're basically at the baby's beck and call but you get that time... that time that passes SO quickly and you can't ever get back.  Maybe it will get easier?
   I know it's not even remotely feasible for me to stay at home right now... trust me... no matter how many times I write the numbers, they don't change.  It's certainly not because we live some lavish lifestyle or drive new cars or have a big house.  Our debt is not made up of a lot of stuff.  We rent a 2 bedroom condo. We have a small car payment because my husband got a job (that we are very thankful for) 30 something miles away and it made sense for us to get a car that was good on gas rather than him drive his truck.  I had surgery to help me lose weight and give me a healthier life.  We were forced to pay the IRS a chunk of money with the sell of our house.  I have student loans (who doesn't?).  We now have a ton of medical bills from my high-risk pregnancy and Maddox's birth.  Darren even works a part time second job (from home a couple nights a week) to help make ends meet and I would desperately like to figure out a way that he could quit without putting us in a worse situation so we could enjoy those evenings as a family.
   I'm trying to tell myself to give it a year and then re-evaluate things.  In the grand scheme of things, one year is nothing.  But add a baby to that and I think about all the things I will miss out on.  We are very thankful that Darren's mom is keeping Maddox and for the amount we would pay a very inexpensive daycare (do those even exist??).  But the selfish mommy side of me says no one but myself is good enough to take care of him and it's not fair that I don't get to spend those extra 8 hours a day with him. I try to remind myself that I get every evening, every overnight feeding, every weekend, etc.... but gosh... it sure doesn't make it any easier.  It also makes me feel extremely guilty to consider adding any time for just me in there.  Like moms don't feel 100% more guilty for things after having a child already.  I know I do it to myself but I'm not sure how to deal with it all.  Darren jokes and says "maybe you need to go talk to somebody".  Well this is my form of doing that... regardless if anyone responds.
   On top of not wanting to go back to work is the dilemma of how does one juggle everything else in life?  How am I supposed to work 8 hours, spend quality time with my husband and son, keep the house clean, laundry done, eat healthy, exercise (what?!), and maybe get a decent night sleep before waking up to do it all over again?  I've read articles and blogs and forum posts about other mothers returning to work and this is the kind of stuff I found... "You get creative with your time"... what does that even mean? I don't have the energy to get creative.  "You set your priorities"... that's all you've got for me?  I suppose if I had done that many years ago, I may not be in this mess now.  "You play the hand you've been dealt"... so basically that just says you deal with it and move on.  "You make sacrifices"... yeh, no kidding.  Ugh.
   I feel pretty certain that I will need to stay away from Facebook starting tomorrow.  Maybe now will be a good time to just go ahead and take a little break from the social media world.  I would say a good 90-95% of my friends are stay at home moms.  I really need to build some new friendships with people who work outside of their home and have positive attitudes about it.  Those people exist right?  And how do I add that to my ever growing list of things to do? lol
  So here's to a good vent session and encouragement to make a long goal list for 2015.  If I figure out how to turn working into a positive thing... I'll pass along the info.  Until then, I will just continue to pray that God shows me the silver lining to it all.

Ciao!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Maddox (One Month)

   I told myself I was going to write down (or blog) things monthly that I want to remember (mostly about Maddox) but I haven't gotten there yet.  I wrote 2 posts about life in general and never posted them and now they don't even make sense to post lol Hate it when that happens!  So here is my attempt at trying to remember things in the first month (now that he's 7 weeks)...

First Month Appointment
Weight: 9lbs 15oz (75%) (gained 4lbs in a month....I cry if I do that lol although I really think those 4lbs came in a week... not a month... crazy)
Height: 20in (5%)
Head: 13in (50%) (I think that's what it was anyway... yikes)
Healthy baby.  Kid likes to eat.

~He likes to sleep propped up on the boppy
~He's hot natured but seems to sleep best when he's really warm (but then he wakes up all clammy so we are afraid of over-heating him)
~He does this thing when he wakes up where his arms go beside his head and he arches his back and moves his head back and forth with his lips puckered out as he stretches.
~I think he stayed curled up so much in the womb that he continued to keep his legs pulled up to him for several weeks.  Makes changing a diaper difficult.
~Speaking of diaper changes.... not a fan.
~He got diaper rash at about 3 weeks old or so and I'm not sure who it hurt worse to change him, us or him.  We could tell it hurt so bad by the way he cried.  We had to try to remind ourselves that it wasn't our fault. I know it won't be the last time but man.... diaper rash is straight from hell.
~Sleeps in the rock n'sleep beside me in our room.
~Naps on the couch in his boppy or on his belly (supervised of course).
~Has some tummy issues that cause inconsolable crying sometimes which is hard on all of us.
~Sleeps like daddy with his hands up beside his head.
~Sleeping for about 2-3 hours at night.
~Eats 2-3 ounces every 2-3 hours.
~Lets you know quickly if he is hungry or has a dirty diaper.
~Our first trip out together (the two of us that is) was to Walmart at 3 weeks old.  I felt very successful that day...I showered and everything lol
~Our first trip out as a family was to Concord Mills at 2.5 weeks.  We probably shouldn't have done it but I had cabin fever and Darren needed something for his rifle before hunting season started.  Of course we didn't realize there was a race of some sort that day so the mall was CRAZY!  Oh well... we survived.
~Gammy (my mom) and Nana (Darren's mom) have both come over several times so I could run errands or go to the doctor. A little "me" time was greatly appreciated.
~Darren and I had a nice date night out for his birthday at the Cajun Queen.

A couple things I've learned...
~I have to recognize my emotions while I'm holding him because he feeds off of them.  So if I'm getting frustrated from not being able to calm him, I have to get that in check and make my body chill out.  Weird how you can even do that.
~Speaking of emotions... When people talk about hormones and you've never experienced it, holy moly! I cried more in the first month than I have probably cried in 5 years combined.  Seriously.  I'm not really an emotional person (ok I WASN'T an emotional person lol) but pretty much anything would set it off.  I could be watching a movie and be it sad or sweet, here come the tears.  Or just looking at Maddox while he was sleeping and thinking that he wouldn't be that little for long.  I really couldn't even hum a whole song while rocking him without crying.  That's getting a little better but man... I still have a long way to go.
~I've become a somewhat light sleeper.
~Baby weight... still have about 12lbs hanging around but I'm surprisingly ok with it for now.
~One day at a time...don't wish it away by thinking "I can't wait until he does this or that".
~Mommy brain is a FOR REAL thing!

Warning...Picture over-load ;) 
   I'm really not sure what I would have done without an iphone.  Those first few weeks, who in the world wants to take the time to take REAL pictures and have to edit them?!

October 22, October 24, October 25

October 27 (both), October 29 (1 week)

October 30 (both), October 31

November 1, November 3, November 5 (2 weeks)

November 5, November 11, November 12

November 14 (both), November 17

November 17, November 18, November 19 (3 weeks)

Here are a few one month old pictures that I played around with :)





 
 
Stay tuned for his 2 month post very soon since this one was so late!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Maddox- Birth Story

   This is going to be super wordy (and some couple possibly consider it tmi) but I'm writing it for myself more than anything so if you want to read it, cool... if not... that's cool too :)

     When I was 37 weeks, Maddox was still transverse in my belly until that Thursday when I had an ultrasound and it showed that he had turned head down.  I had been scheduled to go in the following Monday for a c-section but since he turned, they changed it to an induction.  So I went in Monday evening to get started with the induction process.  Which by the way, NO one told me what that process even involved.  You’d think they could at least walk you through what they are going to do.  My sister in law emailed me the process she went through but that’s all I knew of it.  Anyway…. the maternity ward was SUPER busy so we spent the night in the observation room.  Several times we heard someone screaming…. so that was fun.  Nothing like hearing someone scream in pain to make you look forward to what is to come.  Tuesday morning, we were moved into a labor and delivery room and I got started on Pitocin.  They cranked it up through the day to the highest dose and that evening, they went ahead and broke my water.  I was only 2.5ish cm at that time and they thought it was worth trying to get things going.  Contractions got quite uncomfortable but when they told me I was only 3cm, I opted for just some "regular" pain meds rather than an epidural.  The pain meds (as do most) knocked me out.  They also caused Maddox’s heartrate to drop.  They came in the room and stopped the Pitocin and had me move to my side which hurt extremely bad.  Then moved me to my other side which hurt just as bad.  I had still made no further progress.  So they stopped everything for the night.  The next morning, they gave me the choice to either start the Pitocin back or to go ahead and schedule a c-section for that morning.  I kind of already knew that I’d probably end up with a c-section regardless so I opted to go ahead and schedule it rather than to put myself in an emergency situation.  Also since they had already broken my water, I only had until 6pm that evening to have him before they would take him anyway because of the risk of infection.  I really wished I had just stuck with the original plan of having the c-section on Monday.


    So I walked back to the OR.  I think the thing I feared the most was the spinal block.  It was difficult getting that because they want you to tell them if what you are feeling is more to the left or the right or the middle while you’re sitting there freezing and scared out of your mind.  He had to do mine twice.  Then they laid me down and did some testing to make sure I was really numb like I was supposed to be.  They started it by using this cold cloth and saying “is it colder here or here?” kind of like at the eye doctor when they say “is this more clear or is this one?” when really they look the same.  But considering what they were about to do to me, I didn't feel bad telling him I couldn't tell.  Then the doctor pinched me a few times and I told them that it felt like I was being pinched.  The anesthesiologist was like “the doctor is squeezing your skin with metal tweezers, if you felt what she was really doing, you’d be coming out of your skin…I think you’re good” hah.  How was I supposed to know?  The nurse anesthetist was really nice and I told her I just needed her to keep having a conversation with me so I wouldn’t think about everything they were doing and I could get through the intense pressure and pulling they were doing.  No one can really describe to you how it feels to have a c-section.  Once they made sure I was nice and numb, they brought Darren in the room.  I know he was a nervous wreck but he hid it well as he always does.

    They pushed and pulled and felt like they were rearranging my insides and then I heard Maddox cry and they said "here’s your baby" and held him over the curtain.  It was pretty intense.  The emotions are kinda crazy.  Then they gave me morphine as they were putting me back together.  By that time, I could focus on what they were doing with Maddox and they bundled him up and handed him to Darren so he could bring him over to me.  He was so tiny.  5lb 15oz and 19.25in long.  It seemed like it took forever but it really was all super fast.  It was all still so surreal that we now had a baby and he was all ours.

 

     I was wheeled into recovery where I should have only stayed for an hour or so before I was taken to my room but my blood pressure was crazy high so I ended up staying there for a good 4 or 5 hours to get it under control.  They said they could give me stronger meds faster if I stayed there.  I didn’t argue obviously.  I was basically at stroke level (up to 220/120).  Stroke level high blood pressure and then they hand you your itty bitty baby.  Not sure if that’s the best solution when you don’t know what you’re doing.  Plus they were giving me pain meds too and I’m super sensitive to pain meds.  They put me in a different world.  Darren was there with me but left a couple of times, one to go talk to everyone in the waiting room and then to go with Maddox to the nursery where they gave him a shot and warmed him up a little to bring his temp up.
 
    Also, starting in the OR and continuing for hours afterward, they have to “rub your belly” which really means they are going to dig into your stomach to get your uterus to shrink down to avoid hemorrhaging.  That was the most horrible feeling.  It hurt worse than any contractions or the whole c-section itself.  They continue to do it in recovery every 15 minutes or so and then every hour and then every couple of hours.  It’s basically a form of torture in my book.  I mean… I understand it’s necessary but wow.
  
      Due to my blood pressure, I had to do my recovery in the high risk area (hello medical bills!).  There, we had my nurse, a tech, Maddox’s nurse, and visits from my doctors and his.  So we got lots of rest… yeh right!  They had me on percocet for most of the time I was there until I realized that it would cause me to involuntarily shake at random times.  It was kind of weird.  So I asked to be put on something different.  They then put me on hydrocodone.  Hydrocodone puts me into a different world (hence the drugged look in the picture above loll).  Definitely not something I should be on and be responsible for caring for a newborn.  They sent me home with a prescription of it and after the first night, Darren kindly asked me if there was any way I could do without it.  So I stopped taking that and just relied on Tylonel for pain.
 
   
   A few days after we were home I started noticing that my incision was really uneven and more painful on my left side.  Given that I’ve never had a c-section, I figured maybe I was just going through the healing process.  I decided to go ahead and see the doctor anyway.  The doctor thought maybe I had a hematoma but they did some stuff to it where they sprayed this really cold saline stuff into it.  Nothing bad came out so they didn’t run a culture.  I went home  thinking that maybe it was just something that would take some time to go away and had an antibiotic to take “just in case”.  I then started having really bad pains on my right side and went back that same week.  It’s always encouraging when your doctor doesn’t know what is causing the pain and “maybe it’s connected to the infection on the left side”.  The doctor went  ahead and did the saline thing again and that time, it was infected so they ran a culture.  They wanted to set me up to get a wound vac but they couldn’t find a company that was able to do it so they  told me to go to the ER the next morning and get  it packed.  We went to the ER the next morning and thankfully we were there less than an hour.  They showed Darren how to pack the wound which I’m really glad I didn’t have to see.  Knowing what they were doing with the stringy stuff was enough to make me queasy if I thought about it.  It’s not so much the packing part that gets to me...it’s the pulling the stuff out that grosses me out.  Thankfully Darren is intrigued by medical stuff and he’s a really great nurse.  So for over a week, he changed my gauze twice a day and my packing every couple of days.  I told him he should have been a nurse.  Oh...so I had been on the antibiotic for like 4 days or so (4x a day) and I got a call that my infection was actually resistant to the antibiotic i was taking so I had to start over with a new one.  Fun times.
   
    One big thing that I want to remember for the next baby (if there is one) is that I need to write down things that I want other people to remember to do for me because I will be too caught up (or drugged).  For example, other than the pics that my mom took with her phone (the ones above and maybe a couple more) and just a couple in the OR, we have no pics from the hospital because I was completely out of it.  So next time... we have to remember to do that!  The only pics we have of Maddox in the hospital is the first one Darren took in the OR and then the one I took of him in his going home outfit.  That's it :(. Can't go back now...

   Oh yeh... one thing no one bothers telling a first time mom is that C-section babies tend to still have amniotic fluid in their lungs (I'm sure other babies probably to but more so C-section babies because they are squeezed when coming out) so it's possible that in the middle of the night (or whenever), in your drugged state, you could be awakened by strange noises and something hitting you (oh yes, it came out with a force evidently) and you realize that your baby in the box beside you has stuff coming out of his mouth and nose. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING?! lol Of course this happened to me and I sat straight up using my freshly cut ab muscles (ouch!) and yelled for Darren to call the nurse.  I mean seriously...they could have warned me or something.  That's one of the scariest things... The nurse (who obviously has to stay calm about stuff) came in and just acted like it was no big deal and suctioned his mouth and nose.  Sheesh...

    So in a nutshell, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I'm probably leaving something out but I think I did pretty good to remember that considering they were giving me good drugs around the clock lol.
 
   To all my friends who texted me for updates...thank you. And sorry for not writing you back much at all.  They put my iv in my right hand and if you've ever tried to text with either an iv in your dominant hand or with your non-dominant hand, you know it's a pain and you'd just rather not :)  Feel free to text me now! lol

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Nursery... Just in time :)

I'm really excited to share these pictures.  I put a lot of thought into Maddox's nursery but I didn't want to share many things until I had it all put together.  I thought I would have a couple more weeks to finish it but I'm coming in with a day to spare :)  I'm sure that as I get pictures of him, that I will be adding some more frames to the walls but for right now, this is what I've got.  Obviously the teal frames (from Hobby Lobby) will hold a few of his newborn pictures that Kristen Hinson is doing so they are empty for now.

I tried really hard to keep this nursery simple but cozy as well as keep the costs down.  I really don't know how much we ended up spending on everything because we did it in bits and pieces since we found out we were having a boy.  That seemed to help a lot.  I'm actually not sure I want to add up how much it all costs because it adds up quickly. lol

So without further ado... welcome to Maddox's nursery :)


I picked out some fabric that I wanted to use.  Of course, it was a little pricey because I tend to have expensive taste so my mom and I figured out a way to just add pops of the fabric without having to get a ton of it.  My mom is amazing and made the window treatments (panels and black-out roman shades) and crib skirt for me.  She did a great job and I'm super thankful for it all.


This isn't the glider that I would have picked out but it will serve the purpose and we had enough gift cards to cover it... easy decision lol


I really love the color combo that we went with.  I'm not really into super babyish nurseries so I think this is a good compromise and can grow with him for a while.  I didn't feel like messing with my settings on these pictures so the random glow against the wall is a cute lamp from Ikea lol


I knew I didn't want a random mobile that I could buy at Target or whatnot so after lots of research, I found this.  And I LOVE it!!  It's one of the coolest things in the room and I love that I'll be able to use it later on when it's not a mobile.  I got it from Etsy from inthe2doghouse.  Rachel was really great to work with so if you are looking for something fun and unique for your nursery, playroom, kids' room, etc, go check out her shop.  She'll customize it to whatever you need.

 
This is the dresser that Darren and I both spent so much time refinishing.  It was my mom's when she was a kid and mine when I was a kid.  I know I've already put this on here but I'm really proud of how it turned out.


 
My husband is super awesome.  I showed him a picture of something that I wanted to buy for Maddox's wall and he says "why don't you let me give it a try first?"  Well, he certainly nailed it and I love the way it turned out and even more that he made it by hand just for Maddox.

 
Books are super important to me and I can only hope that I can instill that love in my children as well.  So I wanted a cute way to display some books but also be useful at the same time.  These are picture ledges from Ikea in case you were wondering ;)

 
The closet.  Clean and organized.  For now ;)

 
 
I got Darren to take a few pictures of me tonight to symbolize my last night before mommy-hood.  I'm being induced tomorrow evening so hopefully we will have a baby in our arms some time Tuesday morning.



 
The next time I post, it will be Maddox's birth story.  Hopefully it's not a dramatic one since I've already had a little bit of a dramatic ending to this pregnancy.  No more drama needed thank you very much!  Thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated :)


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hello September

I know it's been a while.  I haven't really had anything to post about so I just haven't lol. I don't want to post the nursery until it's finished... which it's getting there :). My mom is working on the curtains and crib skirt and I just ordered a really cool mobile.  Still need to get a glider but one step at a time.  All this baby stuff adds up in a hurry and we still have a bunch of big stuff that we need along with most of the small stuff.  Whew.  I'm trying not to make a list as I'd rather not overwhelm myself hah. The nursery should be finished in a few weeks once I get the mobile in which is going to be super cute :)

I keep telling myself I need to take some maternity pictures but then I think about the effort that would go into it and it never happens :). We have maternity pictures scheduled for the end of September.  By then, I'll be about 33 weeks.  The doctor changed my due date without telling me after my last ultrasound so I'm now due November 6....which I thought all along but what do I know.

September will be a fun but busy month.  I have 3 baby showers (which I am SO grateful for and looking forward to!).  I really don't like being center of attention but baby showers are always fun :). The one weekend I don't have a baby shower, my nephew will have his 3rd birthday party.  Needless to say, we didn't do anything over labor day weekend.  Although, I would have been much happier doing nothing at the beach.  Oh well.

I just finished reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover.  Great book!  I really want to pay off our debt but since we have a little one on the way, Dave suggests not necessarily working on Baby Step 2 (debt snowball) but throwing whatever extra money there is each month into savings (aka not much) and then once the baby is here and everyone is safe and sound, take that money and throw it toward debt.  So... that's the plan.

Baby update... it's super weird to watch my stomach move on the outside from Maddox squirming about within.  Weird.... but cool all at the same time of course.  It's hard to believe that he's about 17 inches long now.  Sometimes I can definitely tell depending on what position he's in.  Sometimes I picture him fluffing up my intestines as a pillow or sometimes when he rolls, it feels like what I imagine the wall of a pool feels like when a swimmer is flipping to go back the other way and then kicks off the side lol it's comical.... but sometimes doesn't feel all that great lol. I can't complain though.

**So I wrote all of that last night before going to bed.  Then I woke up around 1am with super sharp pains in my upper right side that was right under my ribs and radiated toward my back and made it hard for me to take a deep breath.  My first thought was maybe Maddox was in a bad position and kicking his feet toward my lungs.  So I got up and ate a protein bar and a little bit of peanut butter in efforts to get him to move.  The pain didn't go away.  I was then thinking gallbladder. .I hung in there for almost 3 hours when I finally gave in and made Darren take me to the ER. I'm stubborn and it takes a lot to get me to go to the ER. So we arrived at the ER behind some lady that was super annoying.  The person at the front desk clearly didn't enjoy her job and stupid me didn't mention the fact that I was pregnant.  So we sat and waited for about 30 minutes before going back and when the lady asked what was wrong, I explained to her and then said "I don't have an appendix and I'm about 30 weeks pregnant".  "Oh... you're pregnant? We have to send you to maternity."  Well alright then, glad we waited for nothing.  Anyway, when all was said and done, they think that my diaphragm is expanding which can cause sharp shooting pains going around your side and maybe Maddox was really pushing against it and my lungs and making me really sore. My labs all came back fine... no organ issues.  So basically it was a very expensive trip to find out nothing was really wrong.  But I'm very thankful it was nothing serious so we'll just deal with the bills when they come in. Fun fun!

Well... that was probably a lot of useless info and not as fun when there aren't any pictures but it's all I've got.

*Ciao*

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Nursery Happenings...

We finally started to make a little headway on the nursery.  It's starting to actually look like a nursery rather than just a random room.  My mom helped me paint the walls.  We did 3 walls a light gray and one wall white which I later did gray stripes on.  We got a crib.  After 2 failed attempts at Craigslist, we opted to just order one.  We were looking for black and unless we wanted to pay a ridiculous amount at the baby stores, we had to order one online.  Here's a couple pictures of all of that...
 

 
 
  We got the dresser from my parents that my mom had when she was a kid and I also used when I was a kid.  It's gone through 4 different paint colors in the past 50 something years.  So Darren spent hours and hours stripping all the paint off and sanding it.  Then I primed it and painted it black and got some more modern-ish handles.  I think the transformation is awesome and I love it.  It will serve as good storage as well as the changing table.  Here are before and after pictures of all the hard work... We didn't actually get a proper before picture so these are during the stripping and then the drawers are after the paint was stripped off.
 


This dresser has been antique white, olive green (blame the 60s), canary yellow, and back to white...

 
 
 
and Ta-da... doesn't it look so much better?? I'm quite proud of the outcome and I'm hoping it will be in the family for several more generations.  They just don't make furniture like this anymore.
 
 
Next up is the curtains and crib skirt.  Thanks to my very talented mother who professionally makes window treatments for designers and such, I just have to buy the fabric and I'll have custom treatments and bedding.  The problem with that is, I'm kind of a snob lol so I found some fabric that I really like but it was pretty pricey so we went to look for some fabric at a huge fabric store in the area.  I just couldn't find anything that compared to the one fabric I found.  So we are going to take some Ikea panels that I have and replace the bottom third of the panels with this fabric I have picked out.  The fabric will also be used for the bed skirt.  The black out roman shades will just be white with 2 stripes of the color from the fabric.  Here's an example...  I have 3 frames the color of the ones you see in the picture.  I'm going with the geometric fabric and foregoing the striped fabric to save money.  Then we have the grommet panels already.  I think it will look really nice when it's all together.
 
 
  I still have quite a bit to do but it's getting there.  I'm sure my sweet lil' Maddox will never care a thing about his nursery but considering that I'll probably be spending quite a bit of time in there, I thought it would be worth it to find it nice and cozy :)
 
'Til next time!  I really do need to do some pictures... and other than being tired, pregnancy is going pretty well thankfully.  I have my dreaded glucose test on Friday... fun fun.  I'm going to call this week and see if there is any alternative for me since I've had surgery and can't drink all they require you too in such a short amount of time.  We'll see :)
 
Ciao!

 



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just Another Baby Update...

   So it's been a while.  I'm really not good at this blog thing evidently.  But figured I'd make a post about things that are going on and baby progress.  First of all, the baby finally has a name.  At first, we were going to go with Benjamin Clay but it just wasn't clicking at all with me.  So within a day, we went a completely different direction and I love what we came up with.  So without further ado... meet....
Maddox Josiah
 
   Isn't he precious? :). I had to go in for a repeat ultrasound last week because they couldn't see some things they needed to in the other one I had due to the way he was sitting.  It's crazy how different they look between 18 weeks and 23 weeks.  He actually looks like a baby rather than a little alien creature lol. I'm finally feeling him kicking and moving around.  My placenta is in the front apparently so that's why I'm just now feeling him.  It's not really consistent... just enough for me to know it's him.  Darren felt him for the first time the other night... but just once because Maddox stopped moving when he put his hand on my belly... go figure right?  I also saw my belly twitch tonight which was kind of funny.
 
  In other news, we got the nursery painted last weekend.  I just have to paint the stripes on the wall where the crib will be.  We finally ordered a crib.  After a couple failed Craigslist attempts, we just decided to go ahead and order a new one.  Darren is almost finished stripping and sanding the dresser/changing table so we'll be able to paint it soon.  He's also going to try his hand at a wooden monogram for the wall.  His cardboard draft looks pretty good so I have faith in him :). Mom and I went and looked at fabric last week.  We didn't have much luck.  We are going to go to her friend's workroom and look at her fabric swatches and hopefully just find some we can order.  She's going to alter Ikea panels that I bought a while back, make some black out roman shades, as well as the crib skirt.  We are going with a light gray, aqua, and yellow color scheme with black furniture.  It's all coming together. :). I've kind of been dragging my toes with it for some reason.
 
  Anyway.  I know I need to do some pictures.  I kind of still feel like I'm in the "is she pregnant or just really chubby?" phase so pictures aren't exactly my idea of a good time :). Speaking of pictures though... I've thought about getting back into the photography world.  We sent our equipment off to Canon to be serviced and fix a focus issue we were having.... $1,000 later, I guess I need to make sure it's all good lol It's still sitting in the box they shipped it back in.  That will definitely all change when I have my own little subject that I can use whenever I want and I don't have to set up times or ask permission of anyone.  That's why photographers have kids right?  lol j/k!
 
  Well... that's all I've got for now :). 24 weeks this week.  Uncomfortable but dealing with it.
 
Ciao!