Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nursery Time

Here are some photos of the nursery:
Crib and changing table. 
Closet wall with decorations from my Dallas shower.
The play zone.
The glider that will rock our baby to sleep,
provide a comfy feeding area, and be a place for story time. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Grillin' Like A Villain

Part of our back patio are includes an "outdoor kitchen". Basically it's just a grill and countertop bar area. We've scoured the Great State of Texas to find the perfect grill for us, and I think we found it.

The Texas Two-Step is half infrared and half traditional. Our version operates on LP, and both burners use the same amount of energy. The ceramic burner gets super hot, up to 1600°F in fact, so you can sear the meat to keep the juices in and then cook evenly. Allegedly all the high-end steak houses have this technology, and as of today, so do we. It arrived and will be installed during the construction process late next week. Updated photos of the concrete patio to come shortly.

Location:Crabapple Dr,Wylie,United States

5th Year Anniversary

Yesterday was our 5th year wedding anniversary. We spent the night with a gondola ride in the canals of Las Colinas (suburb of Dallas) and then dinner at Al Biernats (a famous steakhouse in Dallas). I thought I would share just a little of Tyler's letter to me that made me cry like a baby.

It only seems like yesterday ....
Its been an amazing 5 years and what makes me the happiest is that it has just begun.

All I could keep saying through my tears was "It has just begun!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Push It

Our conversations even surround other pregnant people and stories now. Over a breakfast snack session at Waffle House on our day off, for baby reasons albeit, my scattered and covered hashbrowns needed some salt and pepper, which prompted a conversation about Salt N Peppa that led to this rendition of "Push It." Enjoy. Also of note, the staff was adamant that if we had the baby in Waffle House that I be on Friday, when they are all off.

Location:Waffle House in Plano, TX

Monday, July 18, 2011

A mobile for Max

I couldn't seem to make up my mind when it came to a mobile for the nursery. The nursery doesn't really have a theme so it wasn't the easiest decision. After hours of searching online, I finally saw a really cute pinwheel mobile on Etsy and was inspired to make it myself. Here are some photos of the finished product:

Making the mobile was quite simple once you gather all the supplies at your local craft store. In all honesty, the hardest part was picking out the paper. I went with the black and white theme since all the books say that babies can't resist being mesmerized by the contrasting colors. And if I am going to go through all the trouble of making a mobile then Max better be mesmerized. ;)

First, you cut the scrapbook paper into 6x6 squares. The one and only Martha Stewart makes this awesome paper cutter that makes your life ten times easier if you are willing to shell out the $20.

Then you take every other corner and put a tiny hole in it, along with a hole in the middle.You connect the holes with a brad and push it in the middle.

Then you have your finished product. A pinwheel.

The last stage is to attach the pinwheels to the wire mobile with monofilament. My husband hooked me up with a c-stand that is used for lights on the film set. This allowed me to sit and view my project while I worked. Thanks babe!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let the Countdown begin

We are officially 31 days out from Max's due date. One month and counting. I can't believe we are in the final stretch.

Is the bag packed? No. Has the car seat been installed? No, but we did finally order it. Have we had our childbirth classes? No, but those are scheduled for next week. Do we have a pediatrician yet? No, but on the to-do list.

Other than those few minor items, I think we are ready. :)

Tyler has finally had some off days so we have luckily been able to catch up on a lot of open items. The glider was delivered yesterday. The wall art has been hung in the nursery. The pack n' play / bassinet has been assembled. And Lucy has had quality time with her favorite person (her daddy).

Right now nothing is on the calendar until his arrival so I can rest my swollen feet and prepare for the biggest adventure of our lives.

Oh, we had our doctor visit yesterday. Everything is on schedule. And starting next week we will see the doctor every Wednesday. Just another reminder that we are in the final weeks and Max's arrival will be here before we know it.

~ Courtney

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Besides the whole baby thing, we've also decided to build a back patio area that isn't a 10x10 slab.  It's so damn hot here that our outdoor area is nearly unusable in the 30+ consecutive days of 100°F+ temps here in Texas.  It was a big decision, and low and behold, it'll be a big patio.  It'll be partly covered and partly open.  It'll certainly be enough area to do whatever social consumption activities we care to.  I'm also on board to make sure we have a good grilling area.  After scouring the Metroplex for contractors, I found two companies that will take care of the different parts.  One will do just the stamped concrete and one will do the grill and shingled arbor covering.

Phase I - prepping the ground
With Courtney and I often disagreeing on the most basic design and decor options, I was very surprised (and also not surprised at all) with our ideas.  We decided to just draw out what we wanted and then meet somewhere in the middle.  Turns out we weren't far off at all.  After I e-mailed her my first draft, she called immediately and said that her's was basically the exact same thing.  Great minds do think alike after all I suppose.  With our designs in hand, we broke ground on the project on Thursday, July 7th.  The crews began with prepping the ground and outlining the forms.

Stamped concrete design.  The left section is
ground level and the circled section is a step up.
After collaborating with the arbor designer, I went to my trusty ol' Photoshop and set up some basic maps of how everything will look so that there is little-to-no confusion on what the layout will look like.  I'm able to be home for this part, and the sub- sub- foreman already had some questions about our flags that we had originally put out.  I sent him to the drawings and then he "got it."  It's amazing what a little communication can accomplish.

With the rebar in place and everything seemingly in place, we're just waiting on the electricians to arrive on Monday to rout some power to the area.  It'll be a pretty simple job, but I'm not about to pull a Ben Franklin and just jump right into it.  I'll leave it to the pros on this one.  More to come...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Task du'jour

Not Max (above)
The decoration for Maximus' room began in Courtney's our minds long ago.  She's We've had a pretty good idea of what she we want for some time now.  And then we found these cool stick-on alphabet letters.  Sure it's a chore, but isn't it one of few chores that might actually pay dividends?  It's only available in English at the moment, so Latin will have to wait another year or two while I learn it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tips for how to survive the summer while preggers:

The first thing out of people's mouth when they see my massive belly is not "Congrats!", "When are you due?", or "Is it a boy or a girl?" The first statement 98% of the time is "Oh sweetie, pregnant in the summer ... that is rough." Then normal questions follow. The summers in Texas can be very brutal for everyone let alone a woman carrying 30+ extra pounds and double the blood flowing through her body (which is what the books say causes all the extra heat).

Other than lots of water and air conditioning at all times, I recommend the following for anyone else who is pregnant in the summer:

1.) Yogurt shops - The ultimate snack to cool you down in the hot summer would be ice cream or a popsicle however I challenge you to try one of the many yogurt shops that have popped up around your community. Yogurt has half the calories of ice cream, boosts the immune system, reduces the risk of high blood pressure, and is a tasty source of calcium and vitamins. All pregnant ladies can agree that you need to get your calcium and vitamins in a low caloric way. Another positive is that your immune system actually lowers while pregnant so a boost may keep you from getting that common cold. So next time you are hot and could use some extra vitamins/minerals for your little one, stop by your yogurt shop. The challenge would be to top it off with more healthy items instead of all the sprinkles, sugary cereal, and chocolate. I stopped yesterday at Yumilicious while I was out running errands and my car temp read 103. It is definitely what I needed. A nice cool place to prop my feet up while I enjoyed a cold treat!
Above is half avocado and coconut tart yogurt loaded with fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, golden kiwi, blueberries, and orange bursts) and nuts (sliced almonds and chopped walnuts). Don't knock the avocado tart unless you have tried it. According to the salesperson, it is their number one seller. I was sold!

2.) Fun iced beverages - Summer is a time for fun beverages like margaritas, mojitos, and beers with lime. Since I cannot partake in my traditional festive drinks, I have been challenging the bartenders of Dallas to make me something fruity, over ice, and non-alcoholic. Nothing helps the summer heat like a nice cold beverage and the company of good friends. I even have such great friends that they make non-alcoholic versions of mojitos for me so I don't feel left out. *Shout to Ryan Schweizer - you're the best* When at home, I usually just have sparkling water with lime because I am not a bartender (I leave the drink making to the professionals). Just because you are pregnant does not mean that you have to miss out on summer traditions. I would recommend staying clear of the traditional non-alcoholic summer beverage of lemonade unless you are the blessed pregnant woman who does not suffer from heartburn.
This was one of my absolute favorites. I should have known The Porch would not disappoint. They make an amazing blueberry basil martini that is a perfect summer treat, but that will have to wait until next summer.

3.) Pedicures - Everyone knows a pregnant lady can't see her toes over her massive belly but as every pregnant lady knows it is your toes that you stare at when your feet are propped up on a pillow. This is probably because your feet and toes are swollen and look unrecognizable, or maybe you just stare because you haven't seen them. Anywho, you need pretty toes to look at ... so treat yourself to a pedicure. The massage chair and feet scrub will help take away any stress that you may have over the arrival of that baby that is squirming in your belly. Plus, I have been given "extra treatment" just because of my massive belly and the fact that it is 100+ degrees outside. Who doesn't love an extra few minutes of a foot massage?! And today they let me sit in the massage chair to let my nails dry. They said, "extra 10 min for you in chair."
3.) Cool refreshing baths - I am a shower girl myself until I was welcomed to the world of Lush. Lush makes all natural bath supplies that are just plain FUN! They have all kinds of bath bombs that take your ordinary bath to a really cool experience. My favorite bomb is called the Dragon's Egg aka the magical fireworks extravaganza! It is a sherbet explosion that fizzes and crackles and changes your water color with swirls of pink and orange. But even though Dragon's Egg is my favorite, I still love all the other bombs as well. I can honestly say I have not been disappointed with any of them. Below is the Big Blue which was exactly what I needed after I came home from a long workday tired and sticky from standing at the train platform.

Hope you try all of these tips next weekend!