Thursday, April 16, 2015

Derby "I do!"

Last weekend we celebrated a very special "bride -to- be". But before I go into shower details I have to explain how I know this wild woman. Jenny and I met the day we moved into the dorms freshmen year. Lets just say it wasn't love at first sight.... I don't think she really wanted to be friend with us (my high school BF and college roommate Patti), and we kinda didn't want to be friends with her either. True story!
As I'm typing this I am cracking up because despite our first impressions of each other (Colleyville snob, big ol' roll bangs, frosty white lipstick.....ok, that was all of us) there is not one college memory without her. We all became best friends after one night on 6th Street and here we are nearly 15 years later celebrating her upcoming wedding....

To say this crew has been through a lot together is an understatement. College friends our so special because they really become your family when you are away from home for the first time.

We love you Jen 00! 
That is a double zero because girl had custom plates on her red two door Explorer and she will never live that nickname down...holla!

Okay! Shower details. I have to give a huge props to my best girl Tavia who hosted the shower at her beautiful new house one week after they moved in....yes one week. The thought of that stresses me out but she somehow pulled it off and it looked amazing. Oh yeah, she cooked all the food as well. Over achiever making us all look bad. Like any good hostess we were emailed with several "to-do's" before the big day. We all came together with our best skill sets....crafting, cooking, drink mixing to shower Jenny with love.

**I really wanted to document every last detail because Jen's mom was not able to make the shower. She was in Dallas and unable to make the trip. We are all wishing Ms. Marsha a speedy recovery and can't wait to celebrate with everyone in a couple of week. Marsha, I know you of all people would have loved seeing all of the details that went into the day. Lots of love! We will see you soon!

The theme was Kentucky Derby. All of the beautiful ladies wore their best derby hat which was so cute and fun but incredibly hard to hug people! We were all laughing because when you are wearing a hat and a dress you seem to act a little more proper than normal. Most of us!


So pretty!

Ok, what made this shower special....
The food! Gorgeous and delicious! All traditional Derby cuisine...again, thanks to Tavia!
Flowers everywhere! Tiny gold horses! Moss letters and horse shoes! Custom college education really paying off here! Yummy drinks!!! Printed photos of the bride and groom all over the house! OMG and a beautiful bride! I was cussing her tiny waste. The only human who could fit into that outfit (I can't wait until she gets pregnant!)



....these two!
Hey little bride!

Could these girls be any more beautiful?!?!?!

Best friends for almost 15 years!

J + J

Everything was just perfect. Again, thank you to all of the hostesses and everyone who came to the shower to celebrate Jen. Just a few more days until she says "I Do". 

Happy Derby Bridal Shower!

Terrible TWO!

Terrible two? No way. Two is greater than one...and also tiring!

The transition from one to two has been easier than expected. I think we are just way more relaxed this go around. It helps that the Ridgelet is a GREAT baby! And very tolerant of his very active brother. Don't get me wrong we have had a few up all nights and staring at each other with complete desperation. All with the understanding that this is a scenerio we created for ourselves. Some....errrr most....mornings the inside of my eyelids feel like sand paper! I think the big difference this time is we know there is an end to the exhaustion....sort of......there is an end right?

Ok, the non glamorous stuff first...
- The last eight weeks have been filled with LOTS of diapers! Two kids in diapers is no joke! If/and/or when we have another baby Raleigh MUST be potty trained!
- I am usually covered in spit up. Sometimes every artcile of clothing at once...yes down to my undies have been soaked by this kid. Why are my kids pukers?
- Sometimes it's pee....luckily baby pee just stinks a little.
- Breastfeeding is a full time job. Baby #2 has been easier but the constant eating/drinking/what time is it? Is freaking exhausting y'all!....crap where is my water bottle?
- When I am not feeding, wiping, playing, chasing a child, I am folding laundry. This is a chore I actually freakishly enjoy. It's like when you have no control in your life you can at least have clean clothes. Mr. R loves when I am on maternity leave because his clothes are washed and folded at all times...put away is a different story :)
- My pre baby body is NOT back...where did you go 2012? Maybe because I haven't legitamtly excercised in well...a year??? Judge away...I've been pregnant or nursing for like....EVER! It is on my to do list along with eat that plate of brownies.
- Daytime TV is trash! With that said I am kind of enjoying it!

The wonderful great stuff about having two babies....
- Oh my gosh y'all, the love is real! How is it possible to love these babies so much! I mean, unexplainable LOVE! Ridge is the best baby! I think I have bonded with him a little sooner than I did with Raleigh. Did that happen with anyone else's second child? I don't know why but this kid stole my heart right away. He is just a little nugget....uuuuhhh, just the best boy!
- Our house feels full to me. Which I love! Full in a good way. Plenty of room for one more Scott!
- Ridge is a great eater...obvioulsy! A good sleeper...most nights! Very tolerant of big brother....except for the WWE wrestling moves. He's just a wonderful baby.
- Raleigh is a 20 month old mess but he is at his peak cuteness! He is talking so much and cracking us up constantly. He calls Ridge "Bubba". This is something he came up with himself and it is so stinkin' precious!
- We are out of the house a lot more than I was with Rals. Probably because I am so much more relaxed about EVERYTHING. Ridge went to the zoo at two weeks and a family vactaion to Broken Bow at three weeks. Raleigh didn't see the light of day until he was two months old.... I was losing my mind!

I feel like there is so much more to share but I have to chug a glass of water and eat some peanut butter....out of the jar!

2 weeks
2 weeks

3 weeks....we can't figure if he's cute yet????

Baby love!
Raleigh 20 months!
6 weeks and smiling!!

Here are the most recent pics of my tiniest boy!

Ridge at 8 weeks...yes in the same outfit from 6 weeks...ooops!

My cup runneth over! Happy mama!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Baby Story...

I remember spending a large part of my middle school summers watch TLC's A Baby Story. Anyone else? I was so facinated by that show and I'm not sure if it is even still on the air. So folks, this is our story. Role the intro song..... the second delivery was NOTHING like the first.

My birth plan for baby #2 was the following....Stop at Chick-fil-a on the way to the hospital and take a good long nap before the pushing started. Oh wait, I really wanted to make it through the weekend so I could go to the Oak Cliff Mardi Gras parade which was 4pm Sunday...yes, that was apart of my birth plan.

And I made it to that parade! I ate gumbo, I danced, I jumped up and down like an idiot for plastic beads! I made it home around 6pm, fed the boy and the daddy some dinner, watched Downton Abbey and then it happened. This crampy gassy feeling. I did the only rational thing and 40 week pregnant woman would do.....I headed to Tom Thumb at 9pm to buy really rational items like vinegar, milk, apple sauce, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Febreeze. Really. All those items I had to have before bringing home baby. At this point I didn't think I was in labor I just felt incredibly uncomfortable. I caught myself doing deep breathing in the check out line. I should have known something was up when everyone in the store looked at me with great concern on their face.

Home by 9:30 I took a shower, shaved my legs, (I had washed my hair the day before lesson learned from baby #1) and headed to bed. About 11:45 I woke up to a very intense very long very painful contraction. Now I know what a contraction feels like....and that S*** hurt! For those of you who haven't experienced a contraction it feels like the worst gas bubble of your life with no relief. Or someone sawing you in half with a hot butter knife.....joking, not joking.

I looked at the clock and closed my eyes hoping to make it through until morning. After two more contractions I realized I wasn't going back to sleep. Mainly because I was hitting and screaming into the pillow a slew of profanities. I drug myself out of bed and decided if this was actually it, I might as well put on some make-up and really start timing these God awful contractions. At 1am I called my mom who didn't seem super concerned but I continued to pack my bag, pay a few bills, blew out my hair and at 1:30 called my sister to take me to the hospital. I wanted Scott to be home if/when Raleigh woke up. This was never apart of any plan but at 1:30am it made a lot of sense to me.

Of course Scott woke up as I was shuffling around the house. At this point I announce that I was NEVER doing this again. And I meant it. Down in my bones I meant it! This was it for us. Two was plenty!

Sue picked me up at 1:45am.....cold, pouring rain, we hit every f-ing light on the short trip to the hospital But man it felt like a lifetime. I was so uncomfortable I was biting the seat belt. I wobbled up to the desk and this is when I find it so awkward...

What can we help you with? It's 2am and raining outside, I am obviously extremly pregnant, what do you think woman!!!!!

....uuuummmm, I'm having a baby?

Yes, answered in the form of a question because I didn't really know if I was in labor or not. The nurses were not buying it. Maybe it was the blown out hair and full make-up that was throwing them off. Maybe it was the lesbian couple (Me and Sue) that threw them for a loop. PS we cleared that up really quick! So I was put in a room, undressed, onto the bed to be checked....

Nurse checking......Sweetie you're at an 8....where is your husband?!?!?!?

Holy moly! Sue's on the phone with my parents driving in from Glen Rose, and texting Scott. I'm still in a lot of pain and panicking that he was going to miss it. Also panicking that I wont be able to get my edipudral.

Dunnn- dunnn- DUUUUNNNNNN!

Because I am tired and I'm afraid I will never finish this dang blog post I will not give you the play by play of the next few hours. But everyone made it in plenty of time. I got my epidural. My nurses and doctor rocked. Lady and Sue were amazing. Scott pretty much kept everyone laughing. I pushed twice and we had a beautiful baby boy at 9:40am. Did I mention I pushed twice!

Happy Daddy!
I swear I'm covered in this picture!
Hi my name is Ridge!

We are so doing this again! That was too easy!

Welcome to the world Ridge Matthew. He is a sweetie! We are just over the moon for this little man. Role the credits and scroll the picture of the cute new born and the happy family.

Keeping it real y'all! 
The Ridgelette at 1 week.
Happy Baby #2!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Our Plan vs. Gods Plan

Remember when you had it all figured out? Your life plan after college. Married by 23. First baby by 26. Baby 2 and 3 to follow and be all wrapped up by 30. Travel the world, make lots of money, you know what every college kid dreams of. Well, as 23 came and went, and my plan evolved. Married at 23 turned to 29....thank GOD! Kids starting at 30 not finishing....thank GOD! Funny how my plan didn't really play out.....or has it ever really been my plan?

Disclaimer: There are curse words in this post. I only use them to really get my point across. Sorry if this is insulting to you. I also talk about menstruation...enjoy!

Most recently, my plan was to nurse Raleigh boy until he was a year old. That plan dried up around mid June. A few weeks before his birthday. It was a process I thought would be dramatic and heartbreaking for both of us but honestly I was ready and he was ready. I was working a summer school program and exhausted! I would look at my breast pump during my 30 minute lunch break and physically cringe. At eleven and a half months the boy wanted cow's milk from a sippy cup. Fine with me. I wanted to get rip roaring drunk and float the river! Done and done, with Fourth of July right around the corner I was ready to have my body back!! Or that was my plan at least. The beginning of July found me sprawled out on the side of a neighbors pool with a stomach bug. A bug that rocked me to the core. I could not eat, drink, get out of bed for what felt like three months. This parasite took me well below pre-pregnancy weight to 90 lbs. Yes NINETY!! Dig out the Reed Middle School cheer uniform, it would have fit!

This bug sent me onto an emotional roller coaster of stress, guilt, and fear. This is no ordinary stomach bug folks..................this is a baby bug:)

How the hell did this happen?!?!?

Yes friends, we are having another baby! My stomach bug was no bug at all. I am pregnant! And no it didn't take me 3 months to figure it out. It took me staring at my dinner plate and feeling ravenous and not being able to take one bit. I turned to Mr. R and said "Will you go get a pregnancy test? I mean, just go to the dollar store, there is no possible way I am pregnant. I'm still nursing and I haven't had a period but just in case....just so I can drink on the 4th, go get one. Like, right now." Blank stare from across the dining table. "I'm not going to buy you a pregnancy test from the dollar store."

After I took the test (and in disbelief took the second...I totally understand why they sell them in twos), And PS it did not take 3 minutes for that second line to appear. I kept looking at the box and actually shook the "pee stick" like a thermometer trying to re-set it! I came out of the bathroom in total shock. Happy tears mixed with scared tears. Raleigh boy was not even a year old. Our plan was to have our kids close but not this close! Our plan was to get pregnant in November so I could take full advantage of my maternity leave and summer break...not MAY??? Question mark there because we in fact had no clue when this child was conceived! Our plan was to have a few friends catch up with us in the baby department. Our plan was to vacation in England over Christmas break and party the night away in upcoming wedding parties. Our plan was was was...Never our plan at all!

God was laughing so hard when we were making all these "plans". Knee slapping, belly holding, can't catch your breath laughing.

So there you have it. Baby number two is on the way. It's been a weird couple of months. A lot of shock, I lot of feeling like crap, and a lot of this baby really going to happen moments. The last two weeks specifically have been emotional and all around unsettling. After a very routine 17 week check up everything seemed to be on track so I decided to tell my boss, Raleigh's teachers, and a few people from work. Mainly because I am showing!! I am always so timid to start telling people because anything can happen. Anything! At any moment this pregnancy could just poof, be gone.

SOOOO two days after I break the silence I get a call from the doctor's office saying they had my lab work back and to call them asap. I didn't really find this weird but looking back they usually leave a voice mail saying everything is ok. I called back and they put me on hold and then the phone with the doctor. The freaking DOCTOR!!!  I was so flustered when he got on the phone and said "Allison?" I answered "Yes, Ma'am". Something was wrong. To sum it up, a routine triple screen blood test came back wacky and he wanted to do another test the following day. In case you don't know....

Triple Screen Test:

The triple screen is measuring high and low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol. The results are combined with the mother’s age, weight, ethnicity and gestation of pregnancy in order to assess probabilities of potential genetic disorders.

High levels of AFP may suggest that the developing baby has a neural tube defect such as spina bifida or anencephaly. However, the most common reason for elevated AFP levels is inaccurate dating of the pregnancy.
Low levels of AFP and abnormal levels of hCG and estriol may indicate that the developing baby has Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) or or another type of chromosome abnormality.

That all makes sense right? I am sitting there on the phone listening but not listening. Trying to seem calm in front of a class of 9th graders...

This was me on the outside. Uh huh. Sure. Ok. Did you say (whispering) Downs? uh huh. Well definitely not an amnio. Ok. So what's a small percentage? Uh huh. (Fake smile to the class) Sure, tomorrow works. (Giving the finger to mouth "shhhh" sign to my students followed by a thumbs one is even looking at me). Two weeks for the results? Is that normal? Ok. Sure. Alrighty then. Bye.

This was me on the inside. WTF!?!?!?!
I'm panicking. I'm panicking. This is what a panic attack feels like. Or am I having a heart attack? Don't cry in front of these kids. Shit, I need to tell Scott. He's going to panic. Stay calm. Small chance. Downs? I got this. Internet....whoa, never mind. That percentage is not that small. I'm no math genius but I hate those odds! What is going on??? I'm too young for this shit! Oh wait, I'm not that young. Panic. Panic. Nervous swaying. Could everyone just be quiet for one second? Thank you! (fake smile). Don't throw up. Shit!

I was so dizzy, no other word to describe it, when I went back to the doctors office and I didn't even ask them any questions. I just gave the blood and left. It was like if I wasn't there, in the office, this wasn't happening. This is how I normally role with stressful situations. Avoidance! The following day after getting on the internet I fell into a puddle of tears on the couch. The I'm cool, I'm not stressed about abnormal chromosomes facade crumbled.

It took about 72 hours to finally exhale. There was nothing I did or didn't do to cause this, except get pregnant. There was nothing I could do to prevent it. All we could do was wait. And after the results were back start planning for whatever played out. I wasn't worried about Downs I was worried about loosing the baby all together. And the worst scenario of all....thank you internet...was to carry the baby to term, deliver, and live in a hospital for a year with an infant hooked up to machines. This scenario I'm sure happens everyday. It was a weird, emotionally complicated two weeks. My prayers were not to change anything, my prayers were for God to guide us down the right path. Whatever cards were dealt we would play.

After the results were back I called the doctor's office and without any change in the voice of the receptionist she read the results. Low risk. 1 in 10,000 chance of chromosome abnormality. I asked if there was a "no risk" box and she said no. Relief. News that should never be given over the phone by a receptionist but delivered on an over sized cookie cake by Santa himself! Oh relief...sort of.

I have said it once and I'll say it again. We are so unbelievably blessed. I know there are women out there who pray every moment of the day to feel morning sickness. And my heart breaks for them. This is a child we are/were not promised and we realize it now more than ever. Every pregnancy is a miracle! Every child born is a double miracle!

Thank you God for giving us this oppoturtunity to be parents again. This is the best, most rewarding job we have ever had. We will do everything in our power to show his baby that they are loved everyday. We will not let you down and we will not let this baby down. 

And now half way to the finish line we are finally settling in to the idea of a family of 4. I am finally feeling good enough to joke about feeling like dog crap for the past 15 weeks. So here we go.....

First pregnancy vs. Second pregnancy
- Puking almost everyday until 15 weeks ish vs. Dry heaving and horrible food aversions until 18 weeks ish
- Horrible heartburn vs. No heartburn...yet
- Big boobs vs. NONE!! I'm too skinny and Raleigh sucked me dry....I miss you boobs!
- Emotional crazy woman vs. Emotional totally rational all the time woman
- M&Ms, fried eggs, cottage cheese vs. Spaghetti, gummy bears, mint chocolate chip ice cream, turkey sandwiches....and champagne...and donuts!
- Nervous about every pregnancy milestone vs. Really nervous about every pregnancy milestone
- Tummy really popped about 22 weeks vs. Tummy popped at 18 weeks
- Tired vs. Completely and utterly exhausted down to my toe nails
- Acne vs. No acne
- Nursery design planned vs. Nursery complete....we are moving Raleigh into a big boy room which I haven't started so new baby gets a hand me down room that is just a little bit worn.
- Had a dream about a sonogram and a scrotum:) vs. no baby dreams yet:(

And all the disgusting things that happen to your body while your pregnant happen again, but sooner, and grosser! The veins are bigger and bluer and everywhere! So glamorous! Well there you go world. Baby number 2 will hopefully hold out and make his or her appearance mid February. We are having another was too much fun the first time not to have another one!

Here is the one and only belly shot of this pregnancy. Raleigh seems pretty excited....or he has no clue! There are not enough filters in the world to hide to exhaustion on my face so here I am in all of my pregnant unfiltered glory!!!

20 weeks! Super awkward bump shot!
Happy Baby #2!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Call me Cruella...

Finally something to show besides that stinky baby boy;)

When we first painted the entire house almost two years ago I opted for simple in the hallway. It's a small cramped area and I wasn't quite sure how the space would evolve or if it would evolve at all. We removed the door frame and just framed out the door opening (pretty sure there wasn't even a door there...just hinges). We did our standard ceiling color SW White Duck on the walls mainly because we had with what you got people. I can't remember the original color but it was probably somewhere in the Easter egg family like the rest of the house. None the less we painted to clean up the joint. And then not a damn thing happened for two years. Well of course nothing in this hallway.

So now, two plus years, two dogs, and a baby later we are regretting removing the door. Wouldn't it be nice to shut off the bedrooms from the main living area, specifically the ice maker. Oh if we could go back. Well we actually have a master plan for the entire fridge to be moved another day and many dollars in the future so for now the hallway needs a little love. What we have...

A door that is opened or closed 50% of the time that separates the hallway from the front room. An opened doorway to the kitchen, usually barricaded with a wagon. Most recently trying to barricade the dogs and the baby. Attic fan timer, thermostat, alarm key pad, water heater closet, attic door in the ceiling, a very old ceiling light fixture, air conditioner vent, and an original telephone nook. All of this crap in one teeny tiny hallway!!

So ones first instinct is to paint light because the space is so small. But this is a very high traffic area and every little scuff shows against the light paint. I didn't want to go too dark because it is already so cave like. And then I found my inspiration. It's a little out there and I am not sure if I am even 100% sold on it but here we go. Spots. Not dots, not circles, straight up Cruella Deville spots.

I sent out some preliminary feelers to my people and got probably the greatest decorating advice of all time. "It's just paint". This very advice I have given on several occasions to different friends. I couldn't get it this pattern out of my head. Something about spots felt fun and flirty and glamorous. My life right? Total joke here. Black spots it is. Black?...ok they are Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black.

So the inspiration wallpaper was way out of my hallway budget price I even have a hallway budget? No. So I decided I could hand paint this pattern at a fraction of the cost. $6 total if we want to get specific. I just started making marks with my paint brush. Totally eye balled it.

I also replaced the ancient light fixture for $20. It's not my favorite but it is a huge improvement from the original!!!

I wanted to highlight the telephone nook and continue the "gallery space" feel with other framed pieces. I went ahead and kept the large green metal "A" and the shutter because I just love the color so much AND I have no other place for them.

I know it's out there but I really like it. It's a quick walk through and we are keeping it for now. I could never sleep in a room painted like this. It's just a small enough space to get the point across.

Warning! These photos were taken with my crappy phone....sorry.

*This post has been written for months but I hadn't found the perfect grouping for my original 1950's telephone nook. My awesome friend Katy, who has a love for the junk like me, found this little gem of a phone in Minneapolis....yes it crossed state lines for a whopping $8. Which reminds me I never paid her back.

$6 paint and an $8 vintage phone....everthing else I had around the house. I think I stayed on budget:)

Now that we are back to school and on a normal routine my goal is to post at least once a month. We will see how that pans out.  I hope everyone had a wonderful start of school!