Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Stage

Although quite a few items were scratched off of our massive "TO DO BEFORE BABY" list this weekend, I spent a good portion of it complaining, pouting, and - yes - crying.  I think I have entered two distinct phases of pregnancy at precisely the same time: The nesting/everything-has-to-be-and-look-perfect-when-baby-arrives stage and the whiny/miserable/my-feet-look-like-marshmallows-I-can't-bend-over-I'm-tired-after-vacuuming-one-room-and-I-sweat-profusely stage.  Let me tell you... These two stages DO NOT coincide well.

With less than seven weeks until my due date, I can't afford to NOT be productive right now.  In a lot of ways, we could be ready for a baby if we had to..  We have the crib, pack-n-play, and changing table set up.  We have some diapers on hand.  We have clean burp clothes and newborn clothes.  But on the other, there is still sooo much to do.   On top of that, I'm hyper-sensitive about every single little black mark on the wall, dust bunny on the bookshelf, or out of place paintbrush in the basement.  Any one of those single things might throw me into a panic attack at any given point... I'm not lying (ask Jeff, bless his heart). I know our sweet little guy isn't going to care one.single.bit if I have a kitchen cabinet cleaned out for his feeding gear, or if the basement is clutter-free; but, still, there is something about me right now that just CAN NOT let those things go.  (Moms, tell me this is normal!)

Then, there's the uncomfortable, eight-months pregnant side of me.  This side of me cannot be productive to save my life.  Physically, I HAVE TO take a break every hour or so, and I just don't have much "get up and go" the rest of the time.  What used to take me six hours, now takes me four days.  This is the truth.  And, mentally, don't even get me started.  I cannot focus on ANYTHING.  Even centering a photo in a photo album has proven to be a near impossible task these days.

To be vulnerable for a second, I'm kind-of a weepy mess.  I need a cleaning lady, errand-runner, chef, and masseuse - pronto!  I am SO excited for our little boy to arrive... And, I want him to grow in my belly for as long as he needs to be perfectly healthy and strong (trust me, I need the extra time)... But, at least once a day I wish I could fast forward the clock to about mid-July and everything be done - including labor - so I could just snuggle my baby in a nice, clean, perfectly organized house.  Am I crazy?

In the meantime, I am clinging to the fact that I only have two more weeks of school.  I know things will be easier when I am home full-time and don't feel the pressure to squish everything into the weekends.  And, I am SOOOOO thankful for my amazing husband.  Seriously, even despite starting a brand new job, I have never seen him more productive and energized around the house - not to mention his INCREDIBLE patience with me and this weird place I'm in.  Ya'll pray for him.

Just a little vent today.  Life is still good.  I'm happy, and thankful... But tired. 

Have a nice four day week!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Still Alive

Happy Memorial Day!

I'm just checking in to say I'm still alive.  :)  

It's been a busy weekend at the Chapman home.  In VERY exciting news, we had a brand new washer and dryer delivered to our house Thursday afternoon courtesy of Poppy... So, I've officially washed everything in the house!  Jeff has been a rock star and completed approximately 200 projects on our list.  Meanwhile, I wander around complaining about sore feet... It has taken me ALL weekend just to clean the house!  BUT, Baby Chapman's nursery - and the rest of our house - is slowly but surely coming together... I can't wait to do a reveal for you in the next few weeks. 

In the midst of productivity, we've also squeezed in an awesome wedding Saturday night for our friends Megan & Matthew, and a cookout at Jeff's parents' last night.  It feels like summer around here!!

Hope you have all had a great weekend... I'll be back with some "content" soon.  (I hope.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Know You are an English Teacher When...

...You use full punctuation and capitalization rules in text messages.

...You cringe every time the news anchor says "At this point, no one knows where he is at."

...You use semicolons in regular, everyday writing.

...You actually worry when you use 'me' correctly in a sentence, because so many people think 'I' is always correct.

...Whenever you tell someone your profession, they immediately begin discussing their current reading list with you --- at a party, a restaurant, the doctor's office --- and assume that you have read every book known to man.

...Beginning in May, you can calculate exactly how many school days are left in the year at any given point... And, that is the full extent of your math skills.

2 weeks from today = SUMMER break!

Hang in there teachers... We're almost there!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Truth about Gestational Diabetes

I realize that probably 95% of you really don't care that much about Gestational Diabetes.  BUT, I figure somewhere along the way there will be another 5% that encounter it somehow in their lives, and I hope to speak some truth about it based on my own experiences.  (Disclaimer: I realize that my experience will be different from others; I'm not saying everyone's will look like this.  Also, this will probably be another long post, so feel free to skip around - or skip it all together - if you are in the 95%.)

First, if you want a little background, click here.

Ok, here goes...

It has been exactly two weeks since I attended my diabetes education class, received my meter, and started watching my diet/ pricking my finger four times a day for a blood glucose readings. My feelings and emotions have been ALL over the spectrum in those 14 days.  When I have a really good day with low numbers and can easily stick to my "diet," I feel positive about the changes I am making, confident about the health of my baby, and sometimes even a little excited to see "how good" I can do on my next reading.  Then, there are other days where I feel like I'm doing everything right, and I still get numbers higher than I'd like (the goal for me is stay below 95 in the morning - before eating anything; and below 120 two hours after every meal).  On these days, I am frustrated, anxious, and disappointed.  Still, there are other days, when my self-control is weak and I eat three cookies or a slice of cake only to see the numbers (not surprisingly) sky rocket.  I feel the worst after those kinds of days.  I am angry at myself for not doing better for my little boy, and I am angry at God/my body/my doctor/whoever for making me get GD and stick to any kind of eating plan.  I HATE that I can't have a donut in the teacher's lounge, eat icecream whenever I want, or cheetos with my lunch - Afterall, I'm pregnant.  I should be able to eat whatever I want. 

So that's the basic roller coaster this has been so far... Along with it, here are a few of the pros and cons I've discovered in my journey so far:


- The diet really isn't that bad.  I CAN still eat carbs.  In fact, I can eat kind-of a lot of carbs (30 for breakfast and three snacks, 45 - 60 for lunch and dinner).  I am NOT on the Atkins Diet, thank goodness!

- Every time I eat a healthy meal or forgo dessert, I feel better about myself and know that I am already caring selflessly for my little boy. This is the best feeling.

- Weight.  As you know, I've gained a good bit of weight throughout this pregnancy so far.  In fact, up to this point, I had gained about a pound a week consistently.  Well, at today's appointment I had gained only 1/2 a pound in the last TWO weeks.  This is a small victory, but it was good news to me!

- I truly believe that I am developing and changing some eating habits that I NEEDED to adjust anyway in my life - diabetes or not.  In the last two weeks, I have exercised more, drank more water, and practiced more self-control with my eating than I probably ever have in my life.  (This is a little sad to be honest.)  I also have become genuinely more educated about the eating choices I make every day - some times I am amazed to think of what I would be eating if I wasn't paying such careful attention.


- I just want to eat icecream, cookies, cake, bagels, thick bread, etc. etc. etc.  (And sometimes, truth be told, I feel like I deserve it because I'm eight months pregnant.)

- The eating plan that I am following (which is basically just sticking to the specific number of carbs I am allowed per meal/snack & obeying a few other "rules) requires A LOT of planning.  It takes me twice (maybe three) times as long to pack my "lunch" in the morning, because I have to count carbs, write everything down, and pack all my snacks for the day too.  Sometimes dinner is even harder, especially when I am busy.  I can't just run in a sandwich shop or pick up something quick - I need to either make something healthy at home or take the time before hand to research online nutritional facts at restaurants etc. 

- The plan really doesn't allow for spontaneity AT ALL.  When it is Teacher Appreciation Week and there are chocolate desserts EVERYWHERE in the teacher's lounge, I can't just decide to forgo my regularly scheduled snack for a piece of oreo pie.  Likewise, I can't munch endlessly on chips and salsa with friends (and you KNOW how much I love chips and salsa) or randomly decide that I am more in the mood for a chicken sandwich than a salad at lunch time.  I hate this.  (As a side note: I am learning that drinking water and exercising will make up for a lot of "cheats."  This is a good lesson because it gives me some freedom; but it is dangerous too.)

- I can't eat fruit until after noon, and I really miss my morning banana.  (This is one of those weird rules.  Apparently, women with GD have a hard time processing sugars from fruit early in the morning. ??)

- I'm really not supposed to eat "sweets" EVER.  Even if they fit into my carb count.  I wish I could say I had done perfectly with this, but I have not.

- Sometimes I do everything right and still have a high reading; or everything wrong and turn out ok.

- I have to prick my finger four times a day.

- Despite constant little kicks and wiggles, I still worry about my baby a lot. When this is all said and done, I just want to know that I've done everything I possibly can for him to be healthy and happy.  I am so envious of my friends that have already had their babies.

Ok, that about sums things up so far... I do want to report that my doctor said that I am doing very well.  He has no extra concerns about me at this point.  I will just keep doing what I'm doing and try to reduce the number of "mistakes."  I WILL make it eight more weeks. :)  Thanks for your support and for taking the time to read all of this if you've made it this far.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Bachelorette

Tell me you were expecting this... You didn't really think I got all pregnant and mature, did you?  I HAVE to watch this show now... It will keep me girly - which is very important to me now that I am going to be the mother of a boy.

So...tonight was the premier of The Bachelorette.  I wasn't sure I was even going to watch because I didn't really like Ashley H. on The Bachelor.  BUT... my curiosity got the best of me, and I'm glad I did.

First of all, how cute does she look?  I love to see what those producers and stylists do when they get their hands on these girls.  She definitely made me want to cut blunt bangs (and maybe wear zebra print and pink high heels); but, don't worry, I'm going to resist that urge.  I need NOTHING to make my face look any chubbier than it already is. I am, however,  a bit confused about some of her outfit choices in the opening videos (are belly shirts in again?). 

Anyway, the first episode did not disappoint.  Thank goodness we had a guy in a mask and a drunk - what would this show be without some true characters?  Overall, this looks like it will be a pretty good season.  (P.S. My mom reminded me tonight that I will probably watch the finale of this season WITH my little guy... So wild!)

A few thoughts...

- Calling the guys mom on the cell phone was RIDICULOUS.  So lame, and so "planned."

- I think West is a little too much... I'm sorry for his loss, truly.  But, we've been there, done that (Emily).  Am I awful and heartless?

- That butcher TOTALLY creeps me out!

- I still think Ashley has a bit too much energy/enthusiasm.  I hope I can make it a whole season.

And my Top Three Predictions:

Ryan P. - I called him before the "First Impression Rose."  How can you not like a stud in the Solar Panel business?  Really.

William - What can I say, I have a thing for Cell Phone Salesmen! (Plus, I liked his scene with the umbrella.)

and JP - just because I think he's really cute

What do you think?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

32 Weeks

Well... Here we are at 32 weeks pregnant!

I'm pretty much officially huge.  BUT, at least I can now say I'm "eight months pregnant."  People expect you to be pretty big by then.  They also pick things up for you and move out of the way when you pass them in the hall.  I cannot fit in a desk at school anymore, and restaurant booths are getting pretty tight.  See for yourself...

Check these out for comparison:

Whoa baby!  (Literally)  This really puts things into perspective for me.  I'm really afraid to see what I will look like in eight more weeks. :)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 32 weeks

Size of Baby: Almost four pounds (according to my scale, he should be at least twenty pounds by now); and the size of a jicama. (Who even knows what that is?)
Maternity Clothes: Of course.

Gender: Mama's Boy!

Movement: Still moving lots!  I love it!  At our last appointment he was laying across my belly (transverse), but there is still plenty of time for him to get "in position," so I'm not too worried.

Sleep: I had a few nights of "insomnia" last week; but mostly just because my mind was racing with things I need to do.  Otherwise, still just fine.

What I miss: My ankles and cute shoes.

Cravings: Not as bad recently.  I've noticed, however, that I get full much easier (with less food), but am hungry every two hours or so.  Also, I've been really into bagels lately - especially blueberry.  (Don't worry I can eat them on my glucose plan - everything in moderation.)

Symptoms: Everything about me is HUGE.  I have a little heartburn here and there.  And, I believe the nesting has begun... Although, I still get tired and lazy - will this go away too?

Words of Wisdom: Keep your feet up!

Best Moment(s) This Week:  Honestly, Jeff starting a new job and enjoying it so much has been the most wonderful thing ever for me.  It is so good to see God's faithfulness and his timing.  In baby-related moments, my incredible colleagues threw a shower for me this Friday after school.  It was SO nice, and we got some great gifts - including our pack-n-play, which was exciting.  Also, while out of town for a wedding this weekend, Jeff and I finally got to make our trip to Ikea and stock up on some "basics" for the nursery.  I am ALMOST done.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Favorite Main Course Recipe (& Giveaway Winner)

I should not be writing this post tonight.

a.) I have a REALLY busy weekend, so I should get some sleep.
b.) My feet literally look like they are about to pop wide open.  They need to be elevated and rested.
c.) I am going out of town tomorrow right after work (and a work baby shower), but I have not done laundry, packed, or cleaned my house (coming home to a clean house is important to me... or at least it used to be.)

BUT... I've been a slack blogger this week and writing sure beats any of the options under category 'c,' so... here I am.

First, I want to share my favorite main course recipe for Kelly's Korner "Show Us Your Life".  I just pulled out all of my recipe cards and read through them (it's amazing what a girl will do to procrastinate) to pick a favorite.  This may not be THE favorite, but it is one of them for sure... We call it "Party Chicken" because my mom used to always fix this when we were having company - i.e. "a party."  I know why now -- Because it is easy, inexpensive, and people like it.  If you've been to my house for dinner, chances are you've had this.  If you have company over for dinner - or just like to take leftovers for lunch (because this is excellent for that)... I highly recommend this recipe.

So, I bring you... PARTY CHICKEN

No, not this kind (although I'm sure it also would be a hit at a party)...
4 large chicken breasts
2 oz. can of chipped beef (can be substituted with bacon)
1 cup sour cream
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
black pepper to taste

(Preheat oven to 300 degrees.)

- Line the bottom of a casserole dish with dried beef or bacon.
- Place chicken on top of beef & sprinkle with pepper.
- Mix sour cream with soup and pour over chicken.
- Cover dish with foil.
- Bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours.

Totally wasn't lying when I said this was easy... The baking is the only time consuming part -- But, that just gives me time to run the vacuum, set the table, take a shower, and make the side dishes & dessert before the guests arrive.

I usually serve with asparagus or broccoli and rice.  Fruit or a salad tops off the meal.

*See another one of my favorite recipes (Chicken Enchiladas) here, and check out lots more at Kelly's blog.
I'm also happy to announce the winner of the Stella & Dot pearl drop earring give away!

Congratulations to Heather at Life As We Know It (super cute blog, by the way)!!

 Email me to claim your prize!

And to the rest of you, thanks for playing!  Don't forget to check out all the great styles at Stella & Dot.  

TGIF. Have a great weekend, I'll be back Monday!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stella & Dot Giveaway

Ok ladies... it's time for another awesome give away!

This time, my newest sponsor - Jennifer from Stella & Dot - is giving away a pair of these beautiful classic Pearl Drop Earrings.
Want to win?  It's easy.

*Mandatory Entry* Visit Jennifer's site here and leave a comment below telling me your favorite item.
Here's mine... Just in case you were wondering! Wouldn't one of these be sweet to wear for Baby C?
 *Bonus Entry* Like Jennifer's Facebook page or Twitter page (and leave a separate comment telling me what you did).

This contest will be open until Thursday @ 11:59PM, and I will announce the winner on Friday!  :)  

Good Luck!

A Big Day

Why was yesterday such a big day for us?

Not because it marked exactly two months until our due date...

Not because Prom is over, this is the last full week of school, and I'll be off for summer VERY soon...

Not even because we ate dinner at Olive Garden AND I kept my blood sugars in check...

(Although all of those things are special and exciting, of course.)

It was an especially happy day for us because...
Jeff started a new job!

I'm not going to share tons of details (1. because it is kind-of boring if you aren't into business and technology; and 2. because Jeff is a lot more private than me --- I had to remind him that if I didn't post, my blog readers might be worrying about us).  I will say this: the position is in ROANOKE, and it is really perfect for this stage of our lives.  It is a small family-friendly  company and , already, they have been so good to Jeff.  We are genuinely excited about not just having any new job, but this job in particular. 

I don't know why I am always so surprised; but... God is SO good and, once again, has provided beyond our expectations. Our house is officially off the market and preparations for Baby C can really get underway now!  (Although Jeff will have a lot less time for nursery decor etc. I better step it up!)

And, just because I'm his wife, and I can do this, I have to say how proud I am of my husband.  He has been so diligent and faithful.  I TRULY believe that God had a plan for this season. of our lives. Jeff  being home has been SUCH a blessing to me during the difficult days of pregnancy, and we both have learned a lot about trusting each other and trusting the Lord.  I am glad that this chapter of our little lives is over; but, I think we will be better people and better parents because of it.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shanghai Knights (Prom 2011)

(Erika, don't worry... we are the Knights too; and our themes always have a corny play on the word!  This year, it also happened to be the name of a 2003 Jackie Chan movie.  Go figure!)

Well, Baby Chapman survived his first prom and, I am happy to report, he did NOT partake in ANY of the dirty dancing.  We're off to a good start in parenting!  He did do quite a few fist pumps to popular rap songs, however.  :)

Here are a few pictures of Prom 2011 for those of you interested...

My wonderful co-sponsor Kristin & I at the registration table... This is the only picture you will see of me from the night.  Especially next to all the cute teenagers in their beautiful tiny dresses; I felt a bit like a huge beast.
The whole room before the dance...
...And about one hour in.
Overall, the night was a success.  Even though I had to stay up until after 12:30 last night, I really enjoy doing this.  Party planning is definitely one of my hobbies; especially when it is on someone else's budget.

Jeff and I skipped church and are laying low today.  My body needs it.

Hope you have a nice Sunday!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Fun

This post isn't really all that fun.. But, it is a glimpse into my nutty, almost eight months pregnant, HOT.all.the.time mind these past few days.  (Plus, I feel bad about not posting for a couple of days because of Blogger's issues; and my weekend is going to be very busy.  Hope this will do!)

Here are some things that have brought a little joy into my life the last couple of days:

1. Now that I officially have the diabetes (that's what Jeff and I call it - pronounced dye-uh-bay-tays), taking my blood sugar has become a little game for me... I get sort-of excited when it is almost time to prick my finger and then anxiously await the five seconds before my little meter flashes my "score" for me.  So far, I'm playing quite well... But, I've got a few "top scores" (well, in this case low scores), I'm hoping to beat in the next few days!  This kind of amusement in my life is sort-of pathetic... But, it's a lot better than the pity party I was throwing myself Tuesday afternoon.
You can tell I'm new to this because I got this picture on the internet, and I'm fairly certain you'd be dead if you had a glucose reading of 5.8.  I don't even know what this number means.  Oh well... baby steps!
2. Speaking of parties, I'm planning a BIG one this weekend.  Yep. It is at one of the nicest hotels in Roanoke, I'm expecting about 350 guests, and the theme is Shanghai Nights - complete with paper lanterns galore!  I have a new dress that totally shows off my "baby bump" and I can't wait to see the DJ's "light show."  (What, high school prom doesn't count as a party?  Whatever...)  I'll post pictures on Monday and you'll see how just how truly cool it really is.
3. And, since I'm in a PARTY mood, I've been thinking today about the fact that my baby will have a SUMMER birthday.  Being a teacher, I've felt sort-of sorry for him because he will either be really old or really young in his grade (which do you think is better?) and no one will ever bring cupcakes to his whole class... BUT, today I realized that this means I'll always be off work for a little bit of time to plan an AWESOME birthday party for him.  I may or may not have already started planning for July 2012. (I'm sure this has nothing to do with the incredible parties Young House Love and Loves of Life have been throwing for their one-year-olds recently.)

From Chic & Cheap Nursery's "Striped Birthday Pool Party" post.  Total inspiration.
 Anyway, I'll stop now.  Happy Friday!  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Doggy Diary

Dear Diary,

Something weird is going on around here.  I don't know what it is yet; but, I have a feeling something big is about to happen.  First, I've been banished from the bed and made to sleep on a pad in the hallway like some kind of ANIMAL!  As if that wasn't bad enough, I also got a ridiculous new collar called the "Gentle Leader." Mom and Dad went to some silly class that told them they would need this to have better "control" of me on walks.  I can hardly walk ten minutes without needing a break; how much more control do they really need?  Speaking of that, they've been buying all sorts of things recently that mom says they "need."  Usually, Dad gets mad when Mom goes shopping like that; but he seems to be right in there with her!

Come to think of it, Dad's been acting strange all around really.  A few weeks ago, he started doing all kinds of work around the house.  I thought we were more the napping-type family!?! One of his biggest projects has been painting and cleaning out the extra bedroom upstairs.  For a while, I thought they were making it for me --- after all, it is FILLED with wonderful looking stuffed chew toys --- but I'm not even allowed IN without permission.  I'm sleeping in the hallway for goodness sake! 

Mom is even worse.  For starters, she's really packed on the pounds.  Dad has no problem telling me when my hips look a little big... But, all he tells her is that she "looks beautiful."  (Sometimes they can be sooo embarrassing.) He is probably just being nice because she seems to be a little emotional these days.  One day she cried because Taco Bell didn't give them enough mild sauce. See what I mean?

On top of all this, I feel like everyone is being awfully sentimental around me.  They keep saying things like "She's not going to know what hit her!" (Who's hitting who?!?)  And, "How do you think she'll handle all the changes?"  Then, this Sunday, Mom said, "Addy, you'll always be our girl; but, you aren't going to be our baby for much longer.  We're going to have a new baby that you will have to watch over and take care of!" 

What in the world does this mean?

In the meantime, I can tell you, it's odd around here.  I still get enough attention; but I'm worried about this "big change."  (Honestly, I thought being kicked out of the bedroom was enough.) What could it be?


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

30 Week Update

Promise I'll write something non-pregnancy related soon... But not today!
Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 30 Weeks (+ a few days)

Size of Baby:Approximately 16 inches & 3 pounds; the size of a head of cabbage.
Seriously, am I even going to have eyes at full term?  I've never really realized how puffy my face is until I look at pictures!
Maternity Clothes: Oh yes... EXCEPT, the shirt above is regular Gap.  It will probably never be the same! (I also wore yoga pants to work yesterday... They were brand new from Target so - hopefully - looked kind of like dress capris.  They were a dream.  I have 20 more days of school left; and I fully intend to wear them at least 15 more times.)

Gender: My little man.

Movement: All.the.time.  I love his little punches and jabs.  In fact, he's kicking at my computer as I type right now - future blogger?

Sleep: Still OK for the most part.  I am thankful for that, as I've talked to lots of pregnant women recently who can't get ANY sleep.

What I miss:  Carbs.  (Mommy loves you A LOT, Baby Chapman!)

Cravings: Carbs and sweets.  Of course.  *I have a gestational diabetes education class today at 2.  Look for a little update later on.

Symptoms: My feet and ankles are very swollen by afternoon.  Recently, I discovered that I can no longer squeeze them into my tennis shoes; so, I have to wear Keen sandals to go for a walk etc.  I also had my first major leg cramp one night last week - not fun.  And, I've noticed that I am hot ALL the time! My pregnancy magazines say these are all normal.

Words of Wisdom:  Every pregnancy is different.  As much as I LOVE talking to women who have been through or are going through pregnancy, it is important to remind myself of this and not play the "comparison game."

Best Moment(s) This Week:  We had our first birthing class on Thursday night.  It wasn't that incredible; but, it did sort-of mark a milestone to me... We are CLOSE now.  Also, just thinking about all the fun things we will get to do with our little guy NEXT spring.  I can't wait!

What I'm Looking Forward To:  This week we are meeting with someone about childcare AND meeting with a possible pediatrician.  I like that my schedule is full these days with "things to do right before the baby is born."

And last, I have another little birth announcement for you.  Remember our friends Daniel and Katie from Daddy Boot Camp?  Well, they had their little boy on Wednesday, April 27th.  They didn't know the gender or announce any name options until after the birth... So, we were all going crazy with anticipation.

Here's precious Slaton August:

Don't you just love him?  He and Baby C will definitely have some adventures together!  Congrats Daniel & Katie!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Some Thoughts on Mothering

As you might have imagined, yesterday was a pretty sentimental day for me... People kept asking me all day if I "felt like" a mom.  I did, a little bit; but, mostly... I just felt really grateful for my mom, Jeff's mom, and this little baby that God has given me.  Mother's Day definitely has a different meaning in this season of my life.

Anyway, be warned ahead of time that this is a long post.  I want to get these thoughts down now, so that I can look back on them when my baby is a middle-schooler and be reminded.  This post is probably more for me than anyone else; but, maybe it will speak to the hearts of some of you mamas out there too.

Here goes:

One of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately is motherhood as a process of letting go.  I remember a year or so ago - when my heart was desiring a baby but the timing didn't feel quite right - realizing that pregnancy was all about giving up control and trusting the Lord's timing for us.  Then,  once I found out that I actually was going to have a baby, I immediately started worrying about all the hundreds of things that could go wrong.  I was a nervous wreck the entire first trimester; and now, as I get closer to the end of this journey, I find myself worrying about him coming too early, complications with labor, or even just that I won't have done everything on "my list" to prepare. It seems that at least once a day I have to pray for PEACE and remind myself that this baby is a gift to me and that God is in charge of everything about him.  He really isn't MINE the way I sometimes think he is.  The entire process of motherhood will be about giving up control and allowing my baby boy to grow into God's will for him...  That excites me, but it also scares me.  (Giving up control isn't easy for anyone; but, especially when you are as Type A as me.)

Think about this:  Right now, my baby is entirely dependent on me.  I know every single move he makes.  And, when he is born, he will continue to count on me for ALL of his basic needs.  I will be able to give him things that no one else in the world can.  I will know his every cry, giggle, or facial expression.  I dream about that stage... Later, I will make all kinds of decisions for my little guy.  He will trust me (and his dad) to always do what is best for him.  And, in a lot of ways, we will have control over his life.  

BUT... With each year that passes, he will need us less and less.  He will be embarrassed of us and refuse a hug before getting on the school bus.  On a larger scale, he will make his own decisions about his priorities in life, what girls he dates, who his friends are, and... more importantly, what he believes about God and life in general.  I will always be his mom, but I won't always have control. 

This is the way God designed it.  In fact, being able to "let go" will actually make me a better mother and him a better man.  But, oh how I ache sometimes when I think about it...

Yesterday at church, our pastor mentioned Jesus' mother Mary.  What must it have been like to see a baby Jesus take his first steps or a little boy Jesus go to school for the first time, all the while, knowing his time here was temporary and out of your control 100%.  Talk about the ultimate example of knowing your child is not your own and having to give him up!  I thought about Mary all day yesterday; and how, in a lot of ways, that is the role God calls each of us to in motherhood.  Not ambivalence or disinterestedness, but of freely trusting God's plan for my little one over my own.  

That starts today.  And, it will continue for probably the next forty or so years.  Wow.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mom & My Sister

Happy Birthday to my amazing, crazy, hilarious, beautiful sister!!!
Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful, generous, fun, adorable mom!!!

The three of us celebrating Kathryn's birthday at dinner Friday night.

I am so blessed to have two best friends to share my life with and celebrate today!  It is hard to imagine what this day will be like next year... Maybe all I'll ask for is a morning to sleep in and coffee in bed.  We'll see.

But today, I will honor the mother who taught me everything I know about motherhood - love, sacrifice, and patience.  And, the sister who taught me all the things no one else ever would!  I love you both so much & am SO thankful to have you both as such a major part of my life. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do without you!

Happy Mother's Day also to my wonderful mother-in-law.  This year, especially, I am thinking a lot about being the mother to a boy.  Thank you for raising my husband and making him the man he is today.  I am so grateful for all the years of sacrifice and love you poured into him.  And, mostly, I'm grateful that you have been willing to share him with me these last ten years! I realize that having a mother-in-law you love is NOT a guarantee, so I thank God all the time for one as great as you.  Thanks for being, not just my mother-in-law, but my friend.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gestational Diabetes

Hello. My name is Elizabeth, and I have Gestational Diabetes.

You've been waiting for this haven't you?  In a way, I have been too... I told you last week that my sugar count at my one-hour glucose test was very high.  Then, after the three hour test last week, I was actually kind-of hopeful because the lab took TWO days to call me back, and I thought "no news is good news." Not so my friends. As it turns out, my body hates sugar a lot more than my mouth and brain do, and it is having a lot of trouble processing it during this pregnancy.  Therefore, I am officially a diabetic - at least for now.

At first I wasn't going to share this because I am ashamed/embarrassed.  Selfishly, I throw pity parties for myself a good bit over the fact that my pregnancy is not "cute" or "glamorous" or even particularly easy., and I at least want the strangers reading my blog to think it has been... BUT, ultimately, I decided that I want to be honest about every step of this journey, because it might speak to some of you who have had or will have similar experiences in pregnancy one day.  

So, the low down:

My mom went with me for my three-hour test on Wednesday morning, which was really nice (her being there, not the test itself).  I had to have blood drawn four times total (my arms look like I'm a major drug user), drink the most disgusting fruit punch of my life, and sit in a waiting room for three hours; but, at least we got to catch up and read People Magazine together. 

According to my lab work, my sugar levels were still pretty high (I exceeded the "recommended" # on all three tests); so, I will have to attend a diabetes education class next week and then go on a very strict low-carb diet for the last ten weeks of my pregnancy. I will also have to prick my own finger and check my blood sugar levels four times a day. I'm not as upset about this as I thought I would be. It seems that the risks for the baby are relatively low as long as I manage what I eat and, exercise regularly.  And, let's be honest, I could definitely use a "reality check" in that area sometimes.

I'm sure it will be frustrating not being able to eat all the cake and cookies my heart desires (isn't that what pregnancy is all about?!?), but I would do ANYTHING for my little man.  Plus, I've actually read stories of women who lost weight during their third trimester.  (A girl can hope, right?)

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me! I am confident that God knows what he's doing!

Here's a little video done by the American Diabetes Association that explains everything in more detail. 

Feel free to leave a comment or email if you have any questions.  I'm a pretty open book. 
P.S.  Murphy's Law: Literally seconds after I got the call from my doctor's office saying I had failed the test, I walked into the teacher's lounge to find that they were celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week with a CHOCOLATE FEST  (literally, that's what they called it).  Love my life.  Then, today was my favorite festival in Roanoke - the Strawberry Festival - with giant, delicious strawberry shortcakes.  (I ate one.  We'll call it my "last hurrah"!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

May Sponsors

Don't worry!! I'm just fine!

Sorry I've been such a TERRIBLE blogger this week.  No good excuse, just life.  I'm on the final countdown to the end of the school year now, so figuring out maternity leave and wrapping things up is keeping me busy.  Also, I had my three-hour glucose test this week (my laptop battery died 20 minutes in), and Jeff and I had our first "Birthing Class" last night.  (More on all that later.)

For today... I'd like to introduce and THANK my May blog sponsors!!

If you are anything like me, May brings LOTS of reasons to buy gifts - weddings, graduations, birthdays, Mother's Day, etc. etc.  It seems like I am getting some kind of announcement or invitation every other day recently...

Luckily, my two May sponsors have JUST the thing for all these special occasions.
Check out Stella Jewelry for awesome hand-made items to fit any style or event. You can visit her shop online here. OR, if you live in the Roanoke area and have procrastinated on finding the perfect gift for mom, their line is also available at Plantagenet Rose on 419 up from Finks.  :) There are TONS of looks to choose from for excellent prices!  Plus, use coupon code EMYSELFANDI or mention my blog for 15% off!

And, new to the sidebar this month, I'd like to welcome Stella & Dot Jewelry.  Have you guys seen this stuff?  Sooo cute!  Here's a message from them about their awesome products:

"Wearing Stella & Dot doesn’t just look good, it feels good. Your shopping for Stella & Dot style delivers on our mission of giving every woman the means to style her own life. Opening up your homes to our Trunk Shows and joining together to shop with your girlfriends has created over 13,000 jobs for women across North America."

Visit Jennifer's shop here and stay tuned for a giveaway later this month!!

*Email me if you are interested in becoming a sponsor of E, Myself, and I (and, currently, my baby's room).  It's real easy! :)

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