Two weeks ago & One week from today

Two weeks ago I started my maternity leave and I’ve been so thankful for this time away from work, before the baby comes, to unwind, relax, and run errands.  So what have I been up to?

  • Naps.  They don’t happen every day (contrary to what Forest believes) but if I’m feeling a little sleepy in the afternoon there isn’t anything stopping me from a short nap.  I took more those first few days than I have recently but the option is always available.
  • Errands.  Mostly buying last-minutes items for the nursery.  I have a short list of items I want to buy to pack in our hospital bag as well.
  • Visiting.  My parents stayed with us last week!  They went to Virginia Beach for a wedding over the weekend and then spent the rest of the week with us.  Normally we only get to see visitors after work during the week but I got to spend all day with them for 4 days!  And I put them to work – they painted the nursery closet white for us, they painted the desk legs black (I’ve been wanting to paint them for months), they went grocery shopping with me, and they went to IKEA (their first time!) and other stores to get things for the nursery.  We got to use our new patio furniture while they were here one evening too!  I loved that time with them.
  • Doctor appointments.  Starting with week 36, I’ve had a regular doctor appointment every week.  Nothing too exciting to share with that.  But I’ve also had to go to labor and delivery at the hospital every Friday for a non-stress test (NST) to make sure the baby’s heartbeat increases when she moves.  Every week’s test has been smooth sailing.
  • Laundry.  I have been washing countless loads of baby clothes, burp cloths, blankets and bibs.  Forest has helped fold a couple loads and every time he is amazed at how small the clothes are!
  • Evening walks.  At least a couple times a week we take a family walk around the neighborhood after dinner.  This week Forest said they’ve been more of a stroll, not even close to a normal walking pace, but I still enjoy them.
  • Struggling with sleep.  Yeah… not everything has been wonderful.  I wake up multiple times to use the bathroom and oftentimes have trouble falling back to sleep because I can’t get comfortable.  Last night I actually had to move out to the couch so I could sleep in more of a sitting up/reclining position rather than laying on my side.  I think this has been my biggest (and hopefully only) complaint recently.
  • Preparing.  Packing a hospital bag, trying to figure out what I’ll wear after that baby is here (aka buying dresses and skirts so the summer heat will be a little bearable), reading a book to help cherish the first few months with a newborn, etc.
  • Praying.  We’ve been praying for a healthy baby and pregnancy since we found out we were pregnant and that hasn’t changed but I’ve added a few other prayers to my list as well.  Things like a healthy delivery, for the baby to flip (I’ll explain more later), for the Lord to prepare mine and Forest’s hearts to be parents, and for patience among many other things.

So I mentioned that we’ve been praying for the baby to flip.  She’s been a little bit stubborn since the beginning of the pregnancy.  At our first ultrasounds, she covered her head with her hands and feet so the technician and doctor couldn’t get all of the measurements they needed.  I had an ultrasound done at 34 weeks and the doctor said baby girl was measuring a little bit small but nothing to be concerned about.  He did recommend having a non-stress test done every week (I mentioned that above) and everything has been ok.  At my 36 week appointment, the doctor did an ultrasound to see if the baby was head down like she should be or breech.  Not surprisingly, she was breech and she has been since that appointment.  We currently have a c-section scheduled for Friday, June 5th.  In exactly 1 week we will be holding out baby girl for the first time.  Unless, of course, she manages to flip to a head down position and I go into labor naturally before that.  We’re praying that she flips but we know that what’s most important is for a healthy baby and mom.

That’s what I’ve been up to the last 2 weeks!  Nothing overwhelmingly exciting but extremely exciting at the same time.  We can’t believe we’ll be meeting our baby girl in a week’s time!

Until next time — Cindy

Maternity Pictures

Two weekends ago, Forest and I ventured out to take some maternity pictures.  I was surprised that we had SO much fun taking our own pictures.  It was easy enough to do with a tripod, wireless shutter release, and a few pages with pictures we used for posing guides.  Obviously the heat and humidity was the highest it had been all month but we toughed it out and had so many pictures after just a couple hours.  Here are a few of our favorites!

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

Baby J Maternity Pics

EEK!  I just love them so much!  I don’t know how I’m supposed to pick which ones to print!

Until next time — Cindy

*All images are original to A View from the Shore

Nursery Progress

Remember this post about our plans for the nursery?  And then remember how I haven’t posted any progress updates?  Well the wait is over!!

We started with a [mostly] blank slate:

March 2015 empty nursery

March 2015 empty nursery

And this was our inspiration (Image via):

And this is where were are now!

2015_05_03 pics + bump (1)

baby j nursery

baby j nursery

baby j nursery

baby j nursery

baby j nursery

baby j nursery

baby j nursery

2015_04_24 nursery decor (14)

2015_04_24 nursery decor (3)

The crib will go on the wall with the Peyton banner.  Forest’s dad is building the crib so it’ll get here when they come out.  The only ‘large’ item we still want to purchase is a small side table for next to the glider.  I still want to add several small details (book ledges, additional picture frames for maternity & newborn pictures, clock, etc.).  And we still have a few essentials to buy (humidifier, waterproof mattress cover, etc.).  But for the most part we’re done!  Next on my list is to pack my hospital bag so we’ll be ready for our baby girl when she decides she’s ready for the world.

Until next time — Cindy

Pregnancy Update!

So my last pregnancy update was at 28 weeks and I just entered 35 weeks!  And I actually don’t feel like I have much of an update.  It seems like the weeks are taking longer now though.  I guess I’m just getting more excited for a few things:  1. Maternity leave that starts in a little over 1 week and 2.  Meeting our baby!

The biggest update since my last post is that the sweetest friend threw a surprise baby shower for me!  The set up:  We have a girl’s night one Friday a month so I assumed I was going to the regularly planned girl’s night.  Especially since the Facebook group we’re all a member of said that girl’s night would be April 17th.  Needless to say, when I walked into a house FULL of ladies that I know and love, I was speechless.  And then I blushed.  A lot.  And the room was really hot for a while.  I’m not used to being the center of attention for anything but this was just the best surprise.  Forest was actually in on the surprise!  He’s so good at keeping secrets like this (i.e. I didn’t know Mark was proposing to Katie when they came to visit a couple years ago)!  I was so incredibly blessed by all of the ladies that came!  The dinner was delicious, the giant carrot cake cupcakes were beyond amazing, and the ladies themselves are so loved!  Everyone that came brought their favorite children’s book and signed the inside which is perfect because we were already planning to put book shelves in the nursery.  Now we have beautiful books to fill them!

Forest and I finally purchased a glider for the nursery and the stroller we want.  We had to order them online over the weekend but we had a 10% off coupon and got free shipping!  We also installed the car seat in the Traverse (who we affectionately named Fred.  The Traverse is Fred, not the car seat).  We were told that the local fire department will check that it’s installed correctly so we’ll probably stop by at some point in the next few weeks.

The nursery is coming together!  We have the area rug and dresser and Forest put all of the stuffed animals on a shelf we have on one wall.  I hung some picture frames and decorations over the weekend.  I still want to get some more decorative things and we still need a small table for next to the glider but it’s getting there!  We have so many clothes, blankets and burp cloths to wash but I’m looking forward to it so I can put everything in the dresser drawers and closet.  I want to post progress pictures soon!

I had an ultrasound last week to check our baby girl’s growth and afterwards the Dr. told us the gender hasn’t changed.  Which is good news and really ironic news because just that morning I was thinking “What would happen if they got the gender wrong and our baby is a boy but we have everything for a girl?!”  I guess I don’t have to worry about that now!

Sleep has been terrible again lately and I’ve had a few eh/blah days recently but I really can’t complain about much else which I am so, so thankful for.  We went on a walk around the neighborhood Sunday night and I was walking faster than Indie.  She must not be a fan of the heat because she was s.l.o.w. but I really like our family walks.

I’m still eating cereal as my evening snack.  I noticed last night that my feet are starting to swell and they were all day at work even though I tried keeping them propped up under my desk.  I’ll just have to make sure I wear my most comfortable shoes from now on.  Maternity leave starts next week!  I’m taking as much time off as I’m allowed so I can rest, get things ready, and stock up on sleep (if only that were possible!).

Pictures?  Yep!  Check out my growing bump!

28-34 weeks

Until next time — Cindy

How We Shared the Pregnancy News

As we’re nearing the end of this pregnancy (hello 32 weeks!), I realized I never shared about how we told our families.  This is a little wordy but it’s such a good story!

We announced our pregnancy to our families with a BIG surprise.  I was expected to arrive at the Indianapolis airport the evening of Nov 2 to spend time with my mom and dad that week.  My mom had a chemo treatment on Nov 3 and I was going to help out a bit/visit until Nov 6.

Forest and I already knew we were (I was?) pregnant and we had an early ultrasound done at 7 weeks.  We had been trying to find the perfect way to announce to our parents, siblings, and grandparents that we were pregnant (sending something in the mail, just blurting it out during a Google+ chat, we didn’t know) but Forest kept finding videos of couples surprising their families in person and he decided then and there that we had to do it in person.

I made each of us a t-shirt with iron-on letters.  Mine said “The Bump” on my belly with a heart around it.  And Forest’s said “The Man Behind the Bump” across his chest.

So on Nov 1 (after chatting with my parents a few days before and sending them “flight info”), Forest and I packed up the car with a bag each, a case of water, and the pup for a 12 hour drive to Indiana.  We pulled into my parent’s neighborhood and drove by their house to see if anyone was home.  Both cars were there and the living room light was on – good signs.  We did a loop around the neighborhood and parked just down the street from their house.  We were both so stinkin’ nervous!   We hopped out, put the leash on Indie, and made our way (very creeper/stalker like) up to the door and knocked.  My mom answered the door with a puzzled look on her face and then gave us both the biggest hugs asking “What are you two doing here?!”  After she was done hugging, she stepped back and I asked her if she liked my shirt.  She read it, then looked and Forest and read his shirt, then read mine one more time for good measure and squealed with excitement!  Dad was in the backyard with a bonfire going so mom called him in because “someone knocked on the door.”  He came in, headed for the door and found us standing in the living room sporting our shirts.  He gave a quiet little “oh no” and we each got big hugs.  Nailed it!  After answering their questions (how do you feel, when are you due, how long have you known) and them meeting Indie, we headed to Forest’s parent’s house.

We pulled onto their street, saw both of their vehicles and another van parked outside.  The barn/shed lights were on too so we were worried that Forest’s dad was working in there.  We parked down the street, both nervous as ever again, hopped out of the car, sneaked by the barn and tried to go in the back door because Forest said “It’ll be unlocked and we can just walk right in.”  It wasn’t unlocked.  So we knocked and Forest’s mom answered the door with a look of shock on her face and arms open wide for hugs.  Forest stepped back and asked “We wanted you to see the shirts we made” and after reading Forest’s shirt, then mine, and Forest’s again she yelled “You’re pregnant?!?!” and we got more hugs.  We walked into the house where Forest’s dad read our shirts and then threatened that he would hurt us if we were joking.  After we assured him we weren’t, we both got big hugs.  Nailed it again!

Forest couldn’t wait another second to tell Robbie (best friend/practically brother, neighbor) so Forest’s dad called Robbie to have him help move something in the house.  When Robbie walked in the house Forest and  I were standing there with our shirts and after a moment of reading our shirts we both got hugs.  Yay!

We surprised Forest’s sister Amanda the next morning after church.  She walked into their parent’s house to – you can probably guess this – us standing there in our shirts!

We went to my brother and his girlfriend’s house after that to surprise them with our shirts and they were both shocked too.  I think they both said “nu-uh” when they read our shirts.  hehe.  Chansler’s going to a have a cousin 13 months younger than him!

We surprised our grandparents by showing up at their houses proudly wearing our shirts!  Forest’s grandpa didn’t quite understand so we had to explain but he chuckled after he understood.  And my grandma read each of our shirts 3 times before she rubbed my belly and asked if this meant I was pregnant.

Forest and Indie left the next morning for a 12 hour drive back to New Jersey but he agrees that the shortest trip in the world was totally worth seeing the looks on our families faces.

Until next time — Cindy

Thoughts on Thursday

Just some thoughts on this Thursday for you:

-I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday during my lunch and a guy (I would guess 18, maybe 20 years old) held the door open for me.  It’s not something I experience every day (yes, Forest does open the door for me but I feel like a younger gentleman opening the door is a rare occurrence) and I thought it was exceptionally sweet.

-I just ordered a new book (this one) so I can officially learn to use Lightroom.  I’ve been making due with the short tutorials I’ve watched but I’m excited to get more comfortable using it.

-I’ve been taking so many pictures this week.  I feel like every time I turn around I see something that needs photographed.  It’s probably the warmer weather that’s allowing us to venture outside that has me excited to pick up my camera everyday.

-The weather is supposed to be beautiful today so I’m hoping we can take a family walk after dinner tonight.

-It’s April.  Holy cow.

-I’ve noticed that my feet are swelling in the evenings.  I know I’m pregnant but it’s not like I’m on my feet all day.  I guess it just comes with the 30-weeks-pregnant territory.

-Forest is getting closer to the end of his school semester.  His class ends April 17th and he’s [impatiently] counting down the days!

-We finally got our bums in gear with the shelves in the kitchen.  Forest was a mad-man over the weekend (his last completely free weekend until his class is done) and checked off several to-do items for the kitchen shelves.  He spray painted the hardware we’re using and just yesterday finished staining the wood.  I’m so excited to post about them once they’re up!

-The dresser we ordered for the nursery arrived Tuesday and we assembled it that night.  We measured to make sure it would fit in the room, and it does, but it seems to take up a lot of real estate.  I guess we didn’t realize how small the room actually was until we started filling it.  Everything will fit just fine.  It’ll just be cozy.

-And I want to paint the knobs to the dresser drawers.

-We met our friends’ baby over the weekend: Andrew “Drew” David.  What a sweetie-pie!  He spit-up on Forest a couple times but he’ll have to get used to that anyway.

-I’ve gone through our vacation pictures but I haven’t edited them yet.  I’m looking forward to doing that so I can get a post up soon.

-Speaking of posts, I posted about my lovely baby shower from the beginning of the month.  You can read it here.

-My go-to outfit when I get home from work is any pair of yoga pants + old navy tank top + comfortable hoodie. It’s the best.

-I wish my go-to outfit was acceptable to wear to work….

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Until next time — Cindy

A Baby Shower

A couple weekends ago Forest, Indie and I made the road-trip to Indiana, a pit-stop on our week-long vacation.  We left on a Saturday morning, made a couple more stops that usual for the bathroom, and arrived that evening.  The point of our pit-stop was two-fold: a baby shower and a puppy-sitter for Indie while we were gone a whole week.

I don’t think I have enough words to say how thankful I am for so many beautiful women in my life that willingly spoil our growing family.  My mom, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law hosted a baby shower and they pulled out all the stops!  Adorable decorations, really fun games (I still don’t know if it’s good or bad that I completely overestimated the price of practical baby items), and absolutely delicious food (so much fruit!!).  Life-long family friends, Grandma (my grandma was stranded in the snow in Arkansas), aunts, cousins, childhood friends, newer friends, and the best college friends were all in attendance and I only regret that I didn’t get to talk to everyone longer!

Thank you all so very much for your gifts and cards, but more importantly, thank you for your love, prayers, and endless support as we prepare to welcome our baby girl in a few short months!

Picture time?  I agree!  There are a lot so if you need to take a break, I won’t blame you.

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

IN baby shower

And a special thank you to Ashley for being the photographer for the day!

Until next time — Cindy