Thursday, October 31, 2013


It's hard to believe that Halloween is here. 

We've been having a lot of Halloween fun over the last few weeks. First up, my, what else, race car driver duo want to wish you the Happiest of Halloweens:

So crazy to see how much they've grown from last year's festivities:

AKA the last time my hub will every agree to a family costume. 

And some of the ways we've been celebrating the Boo-rific holiday:

We got into the Halloween spirit by visiting Fort Mill's Fall Frolic, complete with corn mazes, games, hayrides, food, and a pumpkin patch.

We got "Boo'd" and then "Boo'd" back two of our neighbors with treat-filled buckets. 

We enjoyed many festive treats, including yummy pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies (Stop what you're doing. By the mix from Target, and enjoy! You'll thank me immediately!!), caramel apples, and Halloween-shaped lunches.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at our neighborhood's Halloween Hoe Down party, which included a costume parade, lots of delish chili and sides, and plenty of fun games for the kiddos. 

Raleigh and I joined Banks for his school's Halloween party, which was a blast!

We went on our neighborhood's "Creepy Crawl" to check out all the amazing Halloween decor. 

And this evening, we'll be carving our pumpkin before heading to the annual "Halloweenies" party down the street and then hitting up houses for lots of trick-or-treating. 

Whew! And with that, Happy Halloween! I hope you receive more treats than tricks!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wee One Wednesday: 13 Weeks (Hello 2nd Tri!)

Hip, Hip, Hooray!!! As of this week, I am officially in my second trimester with sweet Baby Lu. Although I am still having a couple lingering first trimester symptoms, things are definitely on the upswing. 

Size of Baby: Our baby is now almost 3 inches long, the size of a pea pod. 

Maternity Clothes: I am still using the ol' rubberband trick most days but have also started wearing maternity yoga pants whenever possible while I am in the in-between stage of too big for my regular clothes but too small for my maternity clothes. Hoping I'll make the full transition over the next couple of weeks. Maternity clothes are sooooo comfy!

Symptoms: My skin is finally improving! My exhaustion is improving! My nausea is improving! So, all in all, improvements happenin' 'round this belly.

Gender: I think girl. But. I am wavering more this week than last. Who knows. Maybe we will have another precious baby boy. :)

Movement: No detectable movement yet from baby. As far as my own movement, I am continuing with my walking routine, managing to get out 5 or 6 days a week on average, often at 6:00 am. These early morning walks are starting to get a leeeeeetle chilly.

Sleep: Better. I still wake once at night, usually eat a middle-of-the-night snack, empty my bladder, and hit the sack again, usually to wake up for the day around 5:00 am-ish. 

What I Miss: Being able to watch college football with a beer in my hand. But. No longer caffeine!! Because I am now allowing myself one cup of coffee on the days I am particularly dragging. Yippee!

Cravings: Anything salty. Not so much sweet-unless we're talking Halloween candy. Then, all bets are off.

The Belly:

Here's to smooth sailing through 2nd tri!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Banksisms, Part 10

I love using this blog as a keepsake, in part as a way to make sure I remember all the wonderfully funny things that come out of my babes' mouths. So. Here it is. The latest round of Banksisms:

Daddy: "Banks, you're one of a kind." 
Banks: "Don't call me that, please."
Because clearly it's an insult??

Daddy: "You have to behave on the golf course today, okay buddy?"
Banks: "Okay, daddy, but if a bee's following me, I'll need to yell out for you."
Golf Course: Beware of Bees.

Banks: "Mommy, how do you call a firefighter?"
Momma: "You call 9-1-1."
Banks, shouting: "9-1-1!!!"
Ha! So literal.

Banks: "How old are you?
Momma: "32."
Banks: "When will I be 32?"
Momma: "In 28 years."
Banks: "How many days is that?"
Momma: "I don't even know, buddy. A lot."
Banks: "A whole tank full of days?"
Momma: "Yes. A whole tank full of days."
Love his measurement system.

(While watching a model walk down the runway on Project Runway):
Banks: "Is that her Halloween costume?" 
One person's fashion do is another's fashion don't.

Banks: "Mommy, can I watch Sponge Bob?"
Momma: "No. I don't like Sponge Bob."
Banks: "Can I watch it when I'm 20? And can I stay up as late as I want and watch any shows I want with you and Daddy?"
Momma: "Absolutely."
I would be SO happy if he still wants to hang out with ol' Mom and Dad when he's 20.

(After seeing an overly tanned woman on tv):
Banks: "Her face looks like a carrot."
I can't disagree. 

Man, I love my funny little fella. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Coffee Date Friday: A Fireside Chat

Hey there, friend! I'm so glad you could join me for a little coffee on this atypically cold Fall morning here in the great state of South Carolina (via link up with Rags to Stitches). Given the chilly temps this morning, were you to join me at my home for coffee, I would invite you to pull up a pillow as we sat fireside and enjoyed a little Starbucks (yes, mine is still decaf) after a quick coffee run. 

First, I would want to hear about your life. What's new? What's old? What's on your mind? What are your plans for the weekend? I would want to hear all things YOU as we began our coffee date. I would then share the following about me:

...That today, I am 13 weeks pregnant! Just a couple more days and I am officially into my second trimester, which means I'll be officially 1/3 of the way through with this pregnancy. Wow!! I'm definitely looking forward to the bright spot that is second trimester: More energy, more bump than bloat, more nesting, even more excitement on Banks' and Raleigh's faces as they see my tummy grow, grow, grow. 

...That, as we have done for the last several years, we (as in, my hub's side of the family) are working together to raise money in an amazing man's honor, his late grandfather, who was not only a man of great faith and tradition, but a loving, giving, shining example of what a great patriarch should be. He has been truly missed since his passing, but we believe that raising money in his honor each year, and using it to provide Thanksgiving families for 80+ families in Aiken, South Carolina, is a beautiful way to commemorate him. We would so appreciate you taking a moment to consider donating. No donation is too small! 

...That Halloween is in full effect in our neighborhood! People go ALL OUT for Halloween here. We have our neighborhood Halloween party tomorrow, which includes a costume parade, chili contest, music, games, face-painting, and, of course, candy! Yippee! Next week, we'll head out on our neighborhood's "creepy crawl," which entails riding around via tractor-pulled-hayride to take in all the amazing decorations around the 'hood. And then, on Halloween, we'll go to a "Halloweenies" party at our neighbor's house, which involves hot dog eating and beer drinking before all of the neighborhood kids head out for a little trick-or-treating. Whew! It should be a blast!!

...That, aside from our neighborhood Halloween party on Saturday and some family photos we're having taken on Sunday, this weekend will be a much needed relaxed one, filled with football watching and a few home projects. 

...That it's good we're resting up this weekend because next weekend is my best friend, my baby sister's, wedding weekend. Yahoo!!!!! We've been waiting for this day, when she'll marry her high school sweetheart and love of her life, for a long time and cannot wait for all the family fun and festivities. 

...That we found out about a month ago that my other best friend (my middle sister), her hub (who happens to be my hub's lifelong best friend), and my niece are moving to Georgia. While they are currently a short 90-minute drive away, their move will make it a 5+ hour road trip. Although we will miss them terribly, we are so excited for the opportunity that has presented itself for them, are thrilled for the adventures that lie ahead, and know they are making the right decision. This will just mean another excuse for more frequent trips back to Georgia!

...That Banks had his 4-year appointment yesterday. He is now 43.5 inches tall (97th percentile), weighs  42.2 pounds (89th percentile), and was a trooper when getting his three shots and finger prick. I'm so glad my hub accompanied us to the visit because I suddenly and totally unexpectedly became tearful when they were doing his shots and he was crying in pain. :( Luckily, I'm guessing the post-check-up trip to the toy store to spend his birthday money helped with his super fast recovery. And he was so excited to spend his birthday money to pick out, what else, some new race cars as well as his first Spiderman action figure and a lion (random selection, right?!).

Pre-shot smiles

Decisions, decisions at the toy store

...That I attended the most FUN neighborhood party earlier this week, called "My Favorite Things." It was a women's only party that required all 30 of us to each bring five of the same item, each costing $5 or less. By the end of the party, we each left with five different items that other guests brought as their favorite things. It was a blast!!

...That my hub was in town ALL WEEK this week and it was absolutely glorious not having him travel. I cannot remember the last time this happened, and I loved having his company in the mornings and evenings, his extra hands at the end of the day when I was dragging with first tri exhaustion, and the extra belly laughs that came from my kiddos as they soaked up extra Daddy time. Just awesome. 

...That we met with our new small group for the first time earlier this week and could not be more excited for all that lies ahead with our group: to grow our faith, to continue to get to know our new friends, for my hub and I to grow and flourish in our relationship, and to see the friendships develop between all of our little ones. An answered prayer for sure. 

And with that, now officially warmed by the fire, we would give our fond farewells and go about our weekend ways, but not before I wished you a Happy (early!) Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wee One Wednesday: 12 Weeks

My second Wee One Wednesday post! I have a feeling I'm not going to get tired of writing these. Not one bit: 

Size of Baby: Our sweet Baby Lu is just over 2 inches long, about the size of a lime. This is the first time in three weeks I have actually known what the fruit is without having to Google it. I met with my doctor for my 12 week appointment, and the baby had a strong heart beat of 172. 

Maternity Clothes: The rubberband trick is in full effect. And even then, I often have to just unbutton my pants because the tightness against my stomach starts to give me a stomach ache after just a little while. Again, this seems SO much sooner than it did with Banks and Raleigh, whose bumps weren't apparent until much, much later into my pregnancies. 

Symptoms: I was hoping for symptom relief this week but no dice. I am still really tired and still don't sleep through the night. My skin is still teenager-ish and I still get waves of nausea most days, with some days being much worse than others. Come on, second tri! I'm ready to feel like my old Momma self again. :)

Gender: Girl, Girl, girl, girl! At this point, I'll be shocked if Baby Lu is a boy. 

Movement: No movement that I can feel just yet, although he/she was wiggling like crazy during our last ultrasound. 

Sleep: Slightly improved-still waking every night but falling back to sleep more quickly and sneaking in naps whenever I can. I am asleep almost every night before 9:00 pm or 9:30 pm at the absolute latest. 

What I Miss: Sushi. I just reeeeeeeally want some delicious sushi. Not feeling like a fatty-gotta love this stage of pregnancy when you feel more chubby than pregnant. 

Cravings: Chinese food. Cheese dip. Anything salty. 

The Belly:

And by the next post? I'll be in my second trimester! Yahoo!!!! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

What I'm Loving Now

College football. Even when we lose get our tails whooped.

Anything and everything pumpkin.

Family bike rides.

Healthy baby heartbeats.

Crockpot season.


This girl and her inquisitive, talkative, curious, loving nature. 

Halloween costumes.

Opportunities to grow in my faith. 

The promise of the holiday season.

My nieces and nephews and how different they all are from one another.

The current season of Homeland. 

New nail polish. 

Receiving my first gift for Baby Lu.

This boy and his endless energy and passion for life. 

A clean house and folded laundry.

Family drives on a Sunday afternoon. 

Fall catalogues. 

My supportive and loving hub--he's one amazing Daddy.

Amazing opportunities for deserving people.

My friendships. 

Sunday family naps.

Tiny baby bumps. 

Life. In general. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Coffee Date Friday: Little White Lie Edition

Oh, friend, thank you for joining me for this week's Coffee Date Friday (via Rags to Stitches). I have a few confessions I need to get off my chest, and I hope you'll forgive me for my transgressions. So. Please sit back and take it all in as we sip on some warm, caffeinated beverages. 


That's my first lie. You see, friend, I have been faking all this caffeine drinking the last couple of months given my pregnant state. Although I truly value our friendship, I wasn't ready to let the (pregnant) cat out of the bag. So, all those Pumpkin Spice Lattes I mentioned? The Dunkin Donuts coffee? Well, it was all decaf. Seriously. And do you know how depressing it is to order a decaffeinated Starbucks PSL? No fun. Come on, second tri! I'm ready for caffeine to re-enter my life! Anywho. Sorry for Little White Lie #1. 

Also? I have had to fake drink at all these Clemson tailgates I've been going to and all those family and friend gatherings that define our weekends. As in, my hub chugs a beer and then we secretly fill it with Gatorade. I also had to cancel on a Girls Night Out last month because I knew I wouldn't be able to get away with ordering virgin drinks. Little White Lie #2. 

Oh, and I mentioned many a coffee date ago that I was so, so excited to be playing co-ed kickball this Fall! And I did play! The first game! And then I found out I was pregnant. And didn't want to risk getting pelted in the uterus with a strongly-thrown kickball. So. I've been making excuses every week since then as to why I haven't been able to make the games. My hub, on the other hand, has been having a blast playing with our team. I'll be back on the kickball field, I'll tell you that!, although not until Fall 2014. Little White Lie #3. 

Finally, remember how I mentioned I was so, so excited to be filming as an extra on the best show ever, Homeland. I was! Actually, I still am, and it was over a week ago! But I also had my pants rubberbanded most of the day and was trying to suck in my baby bloat when walking in the background of a certain scene, so as not to let my little Baby Lu secret out just yet. Little White Lie #4. 

So. There they are. I am not someone I would classify as a liar. I am someone I would classify as an excellent secret keeper. So. Let's just call these little fibs part of my secrecy promotion plan and pretend it was all for a good cause, okay? Okay. 

Moving on. 

I would also share with you...

...That, my hub is headed to Clemson tomorrow to cheer on our Tigers via a neighborhood "party bus." No really. Fifteen of our neighbors/fellow Clemson fans rented a party bus to drive them to/from the game. Given my current pregnant state, my inability to partake in adult beverages, and the late game time, I opted out of going but will happily be cheering for the Tigers with all my might from the comforts of my yoga pants, Clemson tee, and couch. This game is HUGE for our Tigers. So. I am hoping, hoping, hoping, hoping we can pull out the victory. If nothing else, Death Valley will be rockin'. And so will a certain party bus. 

...That, while my hub is en route to the game, my kids and I will be en route to Winston-Salem to celebrate my beautiful niece's second birthday!! I cannot wait to see the birthday girl and celebrate her special, fun-filled day. There is almost nothing I love more than a little one's birthday party. :) 

...That I love doing holiday crafts with my duo, including our annual craft of painting pumpkins. 

...That I didn't do nearly as well in our neighborhood yard sale as I was hoping. It was not for lack of customers. Instead, it was the direct result of not having enough inventory and over-pricing. Lesson learned, which will be corrected in time for our Spring yard sale. Hey-at least I made enough to cover the costs of stocking stuffers and maybe a small gift or two. 

...That my Banks had his first field trip of the year earlier this week, and he, Raleigh, and I had a blast with his teachers and classmates--navigating corn and hay mazes, learning about animals and crops of the Greenway, visiting a pumpkin patch, and running wild. It was a blast. My favorite part? When he grabbed his best buddy from school by the hand, walked him over to me, and proudly introduced him. And also, watching Raleigh run after Banks and his friends, happily shouting, "Banks! Wait for me, Banks!" 

...That I got to enjoy two Momma Nights Out this week: one consisted of dinner with one of my best Fort Mill girlfriends and the other consisted of Bunco! STRIKE THAT. I was supposed to go to Bunco last night. But. By the time 7:00 pm rolled around, I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. Pregnancy insomnia strikes again. Luckily, I have another fun Momma's Night Out planned for next week. :) 

...That our new dining room table and master bedroom furniture arrived yesterday! Yahoo!!! I am so, so happy with how everything turned out. Just a few more steps to go and we'll be D.O.N.E. with this home decor. Until I begin to tackle the nursery...

All that being said, I would thank you for (hopefully!) forgiving me for my secret cover-ups. I would then dive into all things YOU before we chanted a resounding C-L-E-M-S-O-N and went about our merry ways. Happy Weekend! And GO TIGERS!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wee One Wednesday: First Trimester So Far

Well, as I proudly shared on Facebook and Instagram two days ago, we are expecting Baby Luton #3, aka Baby Lu!!! And we could not be more excited to be growing our family!!!

I did not do a good job of documenting my pregnancies with Banks and Raleigh. And thought maybe I should finally do it. So. Enter Wee One Wednesday. From now until the end of my pregnancy, I vow to do a weekly post updating all things Baby Lu.

Although we have known our exciting news since August 23rd, we didn't want to shout it from the rooftops until we were a little later into the pregnancy. Well, as of two days ago, we've now had two ultrasounds and feel good about sharing our news. 

Clearly, I have a lot of catching up to do. So, this initial Wee One Wednesday post will be a littttttle long and will summarize my progress to date. I promise, in the remaining Wee One posts, I will just go week-by-week; so, they will be much, MUCH shorter than this novel of a post I've been writing the last couple of months. :) 

**WARNING** Bare belly pics follow. If you don't wanna see 'em, feel to scroll on down or close out your And I promise, these bare belly pics will not continue as I grow large and in-charage. I'll cover up my expanding midsection for my weekly photo session. But for now? When the belly is slow to grow, I'll show bare belly so I can document the slow progression of my wee one. 

So. Here we go!

WEEK 3 (the week we found out): 

I found out I was pregnant on a Friday afternoon. At least, I thought I saw that telltale second line on the pregnancy test. But I was only 9 days post ovulation, and I tested in the middle of the day, so it was quite a squinter. Actually, at first, the test looked stark white to me. But then, when I held it up to the light at just the right angle, I could see the faintest of lines, almost invisible to the naked eye. Still, though, I had doubts. So, I did what any Momma would do. I enjoyed one last beer (I had just stocked our adult beverage supply), crossed my fingers, and said some prayers that I would have a clearly visible line in the morning. My hub came home from a week-long work trip late that night, but I kept the news to myself, waiting 'til I was 100% sure the next morning. I awoke at 4:00 am, anxious to take another test. And so I did. By myself. And then said some prayers while I waited, alone in the still of the night, for the 3 minutes to pass. And then, I saw this:

Yippee!!!!!!!!! My heart was overwhelmed with love and gratitude and I immediately began praying to the good Lord, thanking Him for the miracle inside while also praying with all my might for the same miracle to occur for those close to me who were wishing and hoping and praying for the same news. I then *tried* to go back to sleep. I knew who I wanted to tell first. And as soon as she awoke, I scooped up my Raleigh and shared with her that she would be a big sister. You see, when I found out I was pregnant with her, Banks was the first person I told; so, I thought it only fair that she be the first to be let in on our little secret. I then made a video of her saying she was going to be a big sister and summoned my hub to watch the cute video Raleigh had made for him. Needless to say, he was ecstatic. 

Oh, and  we waited several weeks to tell Banks? Because, as any Momma of a preschooler knows, secrets are pretty much non-existant among that bunch. :) 

And now, the details for Week 3:

Size of Baby: An itty, bitty, teeny, tiny ball of cells.

Maternity Clothes: Not even close. 

Symptoms: My skin looks like a teenager. Actually, this was one of my initial symptoms, before I even took a pregnancy test, that clued me in that I may be expecting. 

Gender: I didn't have a strong gender feeling as soon as I saw that positive test, the way that I knew Raleigh was a girl (and later in my first pregnancy, knew that Banks was a boy). I do now. More on that later...

Movement: Nada.

Sleep: I didn't sleep well at all this first week. Mainly because I so wanted others that I care so deeply about to be pregnant, too. As a result, I woke up almost every night this week and remained awake for at least an hour, unable to turn off my racing thoughts. 

What I Miss: Caffeine. And alcohol. I am a stickler when it comes to completely abstaining from these two, much-loved items (well, only from caffeine during the first tri). But oh how I miss them!

Cravings: Nuttin'. 

The Belly: Oops! I was so excited I forgot to take a belly pic this week. Onto Week 4...

WEEK 4: 

Size of Baby: The baby is the size of a poppy seed, almost too small to envision!

Maternity Clothes: Nope.

Symptoms: My skin still looks like a teenager. Lovely.

Gender: Still wavering a little but starting to get a stronger feeling about whether our little one will turn out to be a he or a she. 

Movement: Zip.

Sleep: Better this week. Thank goodness!

What I Miss: Caffeine. And alcohol. I will say, I have enjoyed a few (decaf) Pumpkin Spice Lattes and they have been DELICIOUS. And I managed to fake drinking at our first Clemson game, when we were tailgating all day, as well as on several occasions over the last two weeks when we've been around family and friends. If only they knew there was actually Gatorade in that beer can I'd been carrying around and chugging. 

Cravings: Guacamole! I made a yummy lunch of avocado, diced tomatoes, and Laughing Cow French Onion cheese on a pita. Hit the spot!

The Belly:
WEEK 5: 

Size of Baby: The baby is the size of a sesame seed.

Maternity Clothes: Still rockin' my regular clothes. 

Symptoms: My skin continues to look like a teenager. I feel a little more tired--I took naps a couple days this week while my babes were napping. I also get a little winded at times, but I am continuing my almost-daily walks and leg/arm workouts to try and stay active and healthy through my pregnancy. I have also noticed my heart beat is much more rapid at times, no doubt because of the significant increase in blood supply that accomplanies pregnancy. Otherwise, feeling well so far!

Gender: Both my hub and I think it's a BOY!! 

Movement: No ma'am.

Sleep: Not too shabby. I awoke a couple nights this week to use the restroom, but otherwise, I am sleeping well at night and sneaking in a nap or two during the week, too. 

What I Miss: Caffeine. And alcohol. And deli meat. 

Cravings: Keep the guacamole away! So funny that I was craving it last week. The thought of it this week makes my stomach turn. 

The Belly:

Size of Baby: The baby is 1/4 inch long, about the size of a lentil (Not gonna lie. I have no idea what a lentil is.)

Maternity Clothes: Nope! And hoping to get some wear out of these really cute, mustard yellow skinny jeans I bought earlier this summer to wear for Fall. So far, no rubberband trick needed yet. 

Symptoms: Tiiiiiired. I've been trying to sneak in cat naps this week but it's been hard because I've been running around like a mad woman trying to get things ready for my sister's bridal shower. I still have yucky skin and some slight nausea but nothing to write home about. I am STARVING. Seriously, I feel so hungry every few hours, no matter how much I've eaten just a couple hours before. And don't worry, I am totally indulging by eating any and everything in sight. :) Also, very vivid dreams. 

Gender: Well, I think we've decided on full names for both a boy and a girl already! We both still think it's a boy, although I do have girl thoughts creep in at times. And I had a very vivid dream it was a girl. Only 33 more weeks 'til we'll know. :)

Movement: Not a thing. 

Sleep: Bleh. I've been waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble falling back to sleep. Looks like pregnancy insomnia strikes again.

What I Miss: Caffeine. And alcohol. Just assume I'll say that every week, although I fully intend to resume caffeine consumption once I hit second tri. Come on second tri!

Cravings: A plain, McDonald's cheeseburger. HAD to be McDonald's but I did not indulge this craving. Salsa. Sushi--oh, I miss sushi! Chinese food-yum!

The Belly:

Size of Baby: Our little bundle of joy has doubled in size this week and is now roughly 1/2 inch long, the size of a large blueberry. 

Maternity Clothes: None here. Although my shorts are feeling a little snugger in the belly region some days.

Symptoms: Nausea. Oh, such bad nausea this week. It left me bedridden one day over the weekend because I felt just terrible. Imagine a horrible hangover. Every day. Without having had a drop to drink the night before. Yuck. And also? T-I-R-E-D. And the continuation of skin like a teenager. A little bloating. Oh, first tri. 

Gender: Despite my strong boy feeling a couple weeks ago, now I'm thinking girl. So much for Momma intuition. Honestly though? I think maybe this is because I really want Raleigh to have a sister. And also honestly? I am in love with the name we've chosen for a little girl. So there's that. 

Movement: Zero.

Sleep: Pregnancy insomnia just won't quit. Bleh. I am SO tired.  

What I Miss: Sushi. So much. And actually, unlike previous weeks, the thought of alcohol makes me want to vomit. 

Cravings: Dips-salsa, queso. Split pea with ham and bacon soup-YUM! Cold seafood alfredo. Shirley Temples (i.e., Sprite with cherry juice). Southern fixins' a la mac and cheese, fried okra, and green beans. 

The Belly:

WEEK (8) 9:

Size of Baby: This week was HUGE for us because we had our first OB/GYN appointment and ultrasound. Yippee!! Anyone who's ever been pregnant knows it feels like a lifetime while you are waiting for that first appointment, to see the flicker of that precious little heartbeat. Well, our little one measured at 9 weeks exactly, instead of 8 weeks, 2 days, as I was expecting; so, I just have to skip over the Week 8 post entirely! This puts the due date at May 2nd, although we will be having a late April baby since I will be having a repeat C-section. Raleigh came with my hub and me to our first appointment (Banks was in school), and we told Banks on his birthday that he's going to be a big brother again. He said he wants another sister. :) 

Our sweet little one had a strong heart rate of 182. And our baby is now roughly one inch long, about the size of a grape.

Maternity Clothes: Still wearing my regular ol' clothes, although some of my shorts continue to feel a little snug some days. 

Symptoms: Tired (still). Nauseous (still). Starving multiple times a day, no matter how much I eat (still). And a fun new symptom: joint pain?! What the?! My right knee and shoulder, my left elbow and hip. Ooooookay.

Gender: I felt so strongly the baby was a boy just a few weeks ago and now I definitely think girl. So. Who knows!

Movement: Zip.

Sleep: Dear pregnancy insomnia, please go away and take these dark circles under my eyes with you. Ugh. The good news, though, is that my doctor suggested I take Tylenol PM for a few nights in order to finally get a full night's rest. I did, and it was glorious! The bad news, it made me feel loopy and light-headed the next day. So long, Tylenol PM. So long, sleep.

What I Miss: Sleep. Caffeine. Energy. 

Cravings: Carrots and hummus-yum, yum, yum! Pumpkin ice cream. Anything salty!

The Belly:
WEEK 10:

Size of Baby: The baby is now a little over an inch long, about the size of a kumquat (again, I have absolutely no idea what that is. I had to Google it.)

This was also the week I filmed as an extra for "Homeland"; so, if I actually end up making a small cameo in the episode, and don't end up on the cutting room floor, know that Baby Lu was also making his/her television debut. :)

Maternity Clothes: Still no, although I do have to un-button my pants by the end of some days.

Symptoms:  Still tired. I just cannot wait to have my energy back. I'm not nearly as nauseas as I was a couple weeks ago, which is definitely good news, although I do still get waves of nausea at times. I can feel things slowly growing and stretching, but I think it'll be awhile before I have an actual "bump."

Gender: I think girl. My hub thinks boy. We shall see...

Movement: Zilch.

Sleep: Bleh. I still wake up every single night and lie awake, tossing aimlessly while my thoughts race. Luckily, I have mostly been able to go back to sleep after an hour instead of two. 

What I Miss: Pumpkin-flavored beer. It would just taste so good on a cool Saturday with college football playing non-stop. 

Cravings: Cheese. Rice with vegetables. Cheez-Its. Sweets. An extra dirty martini-that sounds sooooo good right about now. 

The Belly:
WEEK 11: 

Size of Baby: The baby is now approximately 1.5 inches long, about the size of a fig. We had our second ultrasound this week. My hub, Raleigh, and I all went while Banks was in school (although I definitely want Banks to come to our big anatomy scan when the baby looks more like a baby [even though we won't be finding out the sex. He LOVES looking at pictures of our baby]). Anywho. Our sweet baby was moving all over the place and had a heart rate of 175! 

Maternity Clothes: Nope. But. I did have to pull out the rubberband trick for the first time. And I have a hint of a baby bump some days. Actually, one of my girlfriends told me that even if I hadn't already told her I was pregnant, she would be able to tell after seeing me this weekend. This is MUCH sooner showing that I did with Banks and Raleigh, whose bumps weren't noticeable until halfway through my second trimester. Yikes! Some days the bump is bigger than others, leading me to believe it's more bloat than bump. 

Symptoms:  Still crappy skin. Still waves of nausea. Still tired. I actually just woke up from a glorious, 1.5 hour nap. Hip pain (luckily the rest of my joint pain I mentioned in previous weeks is finally gone). 

Gender: Now, I waiver. Still have a stronger girl feeling, but I can also imagine myself snuggling a newborn boy. 

Movement: Not yet. 

Sleep: I have fallen asleep before 9:00 pm several nights over the last few days. Great! But then I wake up at 4:30 am for the day. Boo! 

What I Miss: Sushi. Seasonal beers. Interestingly, a glass of wine sounds so gross these days. 

Cravings: Soup. Chocolate-covered gummy bears. Baked Doritos. Cereal. Ramen noodles. Such a random combination, I know.

The Belly:

And there you have it! I'll be 12 weeks in two days and will post the next update in one week. Yahoo! Just 28 weeks to go!!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Coffee Date Friday: Yard Sale Edition

Hey y'all! Thanks so much for stopping by for a little coffee to kickstart the weekend (via link up with Rags to Stitches). I don't know about you, but I'm ready for some coffee and convo; so, off we go!

Were we to meet for some warm coffee on this cool morning, I would invite you to join me on my screened in porch, pull up a chair, wrap yourself in a quilt, and dive in to all things YOU. 

Next, I would share that...

...Tomorrow is our neighborhood yard sale, and we are participating for the first time. My goal is to make enough money to cover some of our Christmas shopping for this year. Fingers crossed! And if you're local to Fort Mill or Charlotte, come on by! I'll have some furniture,  rugs, clothing, house goods, toys, and various odds and ends ready to sell, starting at 7:30 am sharp! 

...My beautiful niece, Cameron, turned 2 yesterday. Say wha?!? I still remember talking to my sister, Whitney, on the phone as we anxiously awaited the news of my sister, Jessie's, first baby's arrival and whether that baby was a he or a she. Well, that baby turned out to be a she, Cameron Kate, and she has grown into this beautiful, smart, spunky, fun-loving, sunglass-wearing, elephant-toting little girl. I can't wait to celebrate her birthday next weekend!

...Despite the hot temperatures last week, Fall has now officially arrived in South Carolina and seems here to stay.

...Most of our new Master bedroom furniture arrives next week and I'm so excited! However. I'm still looking for a new rug as well as a bench to put at the end of our bed. Please let me know if you have a go-to places to shop for these types of things, friend!

...I took Banks to be fitted for his first ever tuxedo yesterday, as he'll be rockin' the ring bearer role when my baby sister gets married in just 23 days. Oh.My.Word. Y'all. Little boys in tuxedos? It's just too, too much.

...We fulfilled our monthly, nursery-volunteering gig this past Sunday and it was SO much better (and easier!) than the first time. Maybe that's because my hub and I had 17 one- to two-year olds the first time and just 5 six- to 12-month olds (with another, seasoned volunteer working alongside us) this go-round. Not one tear was shed, and every single child was adorable and an absolute angel the entire service. Praise the Lord!

...I met with our new small group leader earlier this week, and my hub and I are so excited to get started in less than two weeks!

...Oh, and the cliffhanger I mentioned last week? Well, it turned out to be this incredibly awesome, won't-soon-forget-it kind of deal. You've probably heard me mention a time or two or twenty-two just how much I love the show "Homeland." You've heard me urging you to watch because the script is suspensefully amazing, the casting is outstanding, and the acting is phenomenal. So. Imagine my completely over-the-top excitement when I was contacted about being an extra for an episode that will air later this season. Ahhh!!!!! It all started a couple months ago when I found out the show is filmed in Charlotte, just over 20 minutes from my house. I submitted to be an extra but never heard back. Fast forward to late last week, when I was contacted and asked if I'd be available to come in this past Tuesday to film as one of the extras. Ahhh!!!! Cue celebratory dance and frantic search to find an all-day babysitter. Success! So. On Tuesday, I spent 12 hours filming and waiting and filming and waiting. It was awesome!! No spoilers will be given BUT look for me later this season (Episode 11, I believe). Honestly, I don't even care if I can be seen on the episode. It was just such an awesome experience to be a part of something I truly enjoy and work alongside people whose talents I so respect. Ahhh!!!! 

And with that, I would give you a warm hug before going to greet my little ones as they awoke. I would wish you a wonderful weekend and make plans to meet up again next week, same time, same place. See you then!