Thursday, May 30, 2013

30 Weeks: Another word from the Husband

30 Weeks 30 Weeks 30 WEEKSSSSSSSS! How is this even possible? It seems like we were just at our very first ultrasound getting a glimpse our itty bitty baby that looked at the time to be a circus peanut {seriously}, I blinked my eyes, and now I have approximately 10 weeks to prepare for our lives to be completely changed forever! I think the words to describe how I {we} feel right now are excited, nervous, anxious, scared, emotional, happy... a whole bundle of feelings pretty much! Can all of you believe that Bennett and I are going to be PARENTS??????? Watch out world! I keep envisioning what it will be like when we are a little family of 3. I love thinking about us cuddling up on the couch with sweet little Caroline in our arms. I especially love thinking about dressing her up in the dozens and dozens of outfits that she has in her closet. The girl already has almost more clothes than me- lucky little lady! Caroline Anne Smith, you're mommy and daddy cannot WAIT to meet your precious little face and love you forever and ever!
{Apparently my hair has decided to turn red? Pregnancy Hormones? Blonde sneaking through? Both?Time to get an appointment!}

Hello all you faithful readers, this is the husband speaking, as I have been summoned by her heiness to fill in this week. Now, I know most of you out there are women and rightfully so because after all you share a common bond and that bond being the ability, anatomically speaking, to have a baby... but hang with me as much of the following will be from a male perspective. As a guy, I think of the important we have diapers? Check. Clothes? (far too many actually) Check. A bed for her to sleep in? Check. Lauren however, now she is the decorater extraordinare, and let me tell you we have done some decorating. We have the prettiest sheets, the nicest window accents and a brand new Pinterest inspired project hanging bedside the bed on the wall. At first, I really thought most of this was a shade over the top (after all she has no idea whats on her window)...but then it hit me, this phenomena that all parents share in.....wanting the best for their kid. Whatever your place in life, whatever your occupation, when your first baby comes along you just can't help but want to spoil it. Now, I find myself wanting more stuff for her room, more clothes in the closet, and as she grows older, more opportunities than even the immense amount that I had as a kid. I am 100% positive that this will only get more intense once I am holding the little one in my arms. One thing I have to say, pregnancy has given me a new respect for my wife. It doesn't seem that hard from the know, its all celebratory and cute when you first find out and begin to imagine what your first child will be like. However, as the months pass (and they go by quickly) things get pretty hard. She gets a big belly that makes it tough to tie her shoes, she falls asleep at 8 30 AND she gains baby weight (which even when you try to explain that it's BABY weight, it never seems to make her feel much better). You hear more than once, "I can't wait to get back in shape" or "Are you sure I don't look fat?" and all the while you think she's as pretty as she's ever been.  One of my favorite authors once said, "Marriage comes with a mop and a bucket" and I never understood that until now. It becomes your duty as a man to be a servant leader, someone not afraid to do the "womanly" stuff like clean the dishes and make dinner. In fact, as a Christian man, that's exactly what God calls us to and the funny part is, you actually find a lot of joy in these things. I have given so many back rubs so far in this pregnancy that I could win a very large amount of arcade tickets playing that "how strong is your grip game." In fact, when I shake hands with people now, I sometimes wonder if they think I chop lumber for a living! So, here we are. 10 weeks to go. I have learned a lot so far, but I know it's just the tip of the iceburg. The real learning curve will be upon her arrival....and I can't wait!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

29 Weeks: Who will Caroline look like?

29 Weeks today! I cannot believe I am almost to the "thirties"..... when we first found out I was pregnant, this all seemed so far away. Now here it is just about to slap us right in the face! 11 Weeks until Caroline arrives, 11 weeks until our us 2 becomes we 3, 11 weeks until we are PARENTS. Isn't it funny how life goes? If you would have asked me this time last year what we would be doing right now- I can 100% guarantee that the absolute last thing I would have said would be "getting ready for our baby girl to arrive!". Now though, I cannot imagine doing anything but just that! We are having so much fun preparing for our pretty little princess. Her little nursery is coming along quite nicely. The first "project" is now hung on the wall {of course it was Pinterest inspired- see photo at the end of blog!}. My plan is to have everything 100% finished by 34 weeks {really I'd like to have it done by 32, but I think 34 is more realistic}. This is for a couple of different reasons, but mainly because I have nightmares that she decides to make her debut into this world early and we haven't finished everything on my "list" yet. Over my dead body will that happen! I always like to be prepared early anyway, makes life easier! So, stay tuned for a complete nursery blog in the coming weeks! It's going to be the most precious little room.
As I'm sure everyone now knows from the fact that I have posted the pictures all over Facebook and Instagram- our 4D ultrasond was last Friday. It. Was. Awesome. Seriously, if you're pregnant, or think you may ever be pregnant - plan on having one of those done. Totally worth the little bit that it costs. I wish I could go right now and have another one {and am pretty sure I'd be able to talk Bennett into going again... planning on it}.It was so neat to get to have a peak into her little world in there. I heard to be sure to drink or eat something that you know normally makes them active, so we got a coffee from Starbucks about 40 minutes before. At first, sweet little girl was a bit stubborn and kept her little hands right on her face the whole time! Then once the hands finally moved elsewhere, she just stuck her face right smack dab into the placenta!! It's like she was hiding her little face from us and I'll tell you this- if that's a sign that she might be shy then I immediately have to question who her real mother and father are. Obviously joking but I mean have you met me and Bennett?! Definitely not shy! Finally, she decided that she wanted to be playful and oh my goodness my heart just melts thinking about it! She sucked on her little fingers, opened and closed her eyes, SMILED, all kinds of fun little stuff. Luckily, we have the entire session on DVD that they made for us so we get to watch it over and over. It goes without saying that we were already head over heels in love with Caroline before the 4D but man oh man I think we both have reached a whole new level since then! If I have flipped through all the pictures once then I've flipped through them 100 times. Same with Bennett. We can't get enough! Also, I think I have finally come to the conclusion that Caroline is going to be her Daddy's little mini-me. I know we cannot 100% tell but you gotta check out her ultrasound pics and then compare them to both mine and Bennett's baby/small child pics below. It looks to me like Caroline is an exact replica of the one of Bennett passed out in the high chair! Regardless of who she ends up looking like, I know one thing is for sure- she gets those chubby cheeks honest. Look at all the chubby cheek-ness going on in our baby pics!!               
Here's my first little DIY project for her room! We bought a white scatter frame, used a foam board to create backing, added some quilters batting, covered with fabric, and finished with a wooden "C" that I painted pink!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

28 Weeks: Caroline is GROWING

28 weeks today means that in a short 12 {give or take} weeks we will have a precious little baby daughter.... OH MY GOSHHHHHHHHH. I still can hardly believe that this is really happening. Well, until I look down and see that either I am really in fact pregnant {very pregnant}, or I stole a basketball and stuck it in my shirt. You'd think that having a big ole pregnant belly would make it hit home that you are actually really going to have a baby, become a mommy, etc- but I feel like I won't be able to fully wrap my head around that until she is actually here. I know I've said it before but I'll say it again, I just cannot believe that WE are having a BABY. I can feel the full on preparation mode totally setting in. Two nights ago- I sat on the computer in the bed for a solid hour and a half before falling asleep, looking up all sorts of things pertaining to her arrival. More specifically, the delivery.... Can you say NERVOUS. I know that the whole grueling delivery part will all be worth it once sweet Caroline is here, but I'd be lying if I said that I am not slap PETRIFIED of that whole process. Yikes.
{Baby girl growing ALOT lately!}
As we enter the 3rd trimester, full speed ahead, things are getting more and more exciting around the Smith home! Tonight, we have our first class at the hospital which is pretty much just a welcome session, tour, etc.... I never knew it was possible to be excited about touring a hospital but I am SO excited! Next week we'll go to the class that I'm honestly the most nervous about... Breastfeeding. Yikes. Talk about another issue I am slap petrified of. I am determined to breastfeed because of the benefits for Caroline, but I can't say that I'm not scared to death of the sensitivity.... cracking..... Ok I think I've said enough..... On a better note- the fun doesn't stop there, tomorrow we have our 4D ultrasound! I literally feel like a little girl the night before Christmas, absolutey giddy over the fact that tomorrow we get to see our perfect baby girl {Lord willing she cooperates and gives us lots of good looks at her pretty little face}. That means next week's blog will be extra special- complete with plenty of 4D pics. Hopefully she'll be in the same playful mood tomorrow that she has been in he pastt few days. I cannot even explain the movement that has been going on inside this tummy. Today I was sitting in a meeting for work when I literally jumped in my seat after she gave me one big swift kick in the ribs. Also, the past couple of nights I have been awaken by what I'm assuming is her little late night dance party. I'm sure once she enters the world, those will turn into late night feeding parties. Bring it on baby girl, bring it on!
{Was so happy to have Mom up to Greenville for Mothers Day this past weekend!}

Thursday, May 9, 2013

27 Weeks: Don't You Ever Grow Up

27 Weeks today and I literally cannot believe another week has already come and gone.... at this rate, I feel like I'm going to blink a few times and she will be here! I am pretty sure that every single day she makes her presence more and more known.... the bump is growing at crazy fast rates lately. As a matter of fact, when I walked in the door from work just now, I caught Bennett kind of looking and smiling at my tummy- once I made eye contact with him he grinned bigger and said "Your bump is getting really big even just since yesterday!". Righto husband, righto. Some stranger so nicely told me today "Girl you look like you're 'bout ready to go any day now!".... My response "uhhhh I still have three months..." Speaking of that, THREE MONTHS from yesterday to be exact! That is, if little Caroline decides to come on her due date which lets be honest, that more than likely will not happen. I actually have this persistent feeling that she is going to come early.... that probably won't be right either though becuase I also had a very very strong feeling that she was a boy. Clearly I was wrong with that one!

By now I'm sure it's no secret to those that really know me {well, and those that don't} that Taylor Swift is totally my guilty pleasure. Can't help it, love her alot lot lot. That said, Bennett and I were in the car the other day listening to ole T Swift, when this song came on that I hadn't listened to in quite some time... definitely not since I have been pregnant. I remember one of the first times I heard this song actually was right after one of my best/longest/known her my whole life friends, Lindsey, gave birth to her sweet little daughter Brinley. This was, coincidentally, the same month that I moved to South Carolina right after graduation for my new "Big Girl Life". As I was driving around my new city I really listened to the words of this song. Suddenly, all by myself in the car, I looked in the mirror and realized I had little tears running down my face. Well, the same thing happened the other day when Bennett and I heard this song together in the car. Only this time, I wasn't the only one that I caught getting a little teary eyed. The song goes:

Your little hand's wrapped around my finger
And it's so quiet in the world tonight
Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light
To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret
I'd give all I have, honey
If you could stay like that
{OK so here obviously the tears came from thinking about sweet little baby girl- at first little Brinley and now my own little Caroline}
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, never grow up
{She is not even here and I already find myself just wanting to protect her from every little single thing ever. Starting to understand why my mom used to sit in my room at night when I was gone to college and just pray for me}
You're in the car on the way to the movies
And you're mortified your mom's dropping you off
At 14 there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older too
And don't lose the way that you dance around in your pj's getting ready for school
{First of all, she's nuts if she thinks I'm dropping her off at the movies when she is 14. Second of all, I feel like I should still be the one dancing in my pj's getting ready for school}
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
No one's ever burned you, nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to, just try to never grow up
{The last couple lines here- I will single handedly knock out anyone who ever hurts this little girl. I dread the day that she comes home crying over a boy that broke her heart. Or worse... Mean, two faced girls. Again, starting to understand all those feelings my Mom has had}
Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room.
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone
{I can still see my childhood room, complete with my beloved American Girl doll that I plan to have in Caroline's nursery. And who didn't love jumping on their Dad's leg when he got home from work? I get teary eyed picturing Caroline doing that to Bennett like we used to do with my Dad}
So here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder that I thought it would be
So I tuck myself in and turn my night light on
{Apartment? What? You mean she has to move out one day? She's not going to stay a perfect little baby girl in her perfect little princess room forever?!}
Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
I could still be little
Oh I don't wanna grow up, wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
Won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even though you want to, please try to never grow up
Oh, don't you ever grow up
Oh, never grow up, just never grow up
Bittersweet, huh? Sorry for the length of that, just felt like I should share. Can't wait to have this little precious girl here and get to watch her grow into a wonderful amazing little lady, instead of just day dream about it :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

26 Weeks: Learning about Sweet Caroline

This is the last week until THRID TRIMESTER. Wait, what?!?! That seems almost impossible. Sometimes I feel like just yesterday I was taking that little "tinkle stick" pregnancy test to Bennett for what would be the surprise of his life.... and now we are just one trimester away from meeting this sweet little baby girl! If these next 14 weeks go by as fast as the first 26, she will be here in no time! Things have gotten super exciting around the Smith home over the past week. Caroline's room now has more in it than just an entire closet of clothes.... FURNITURE!!! We currently have a dresser/changing table and her precious little crib in there. (Side note, I ended up totally surprising myself. Since the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted this beautiful white iron crib and nothing would change my mind. But last week, oh boy we found one that I just fell in love with even more!) Let me tell you what, talk about this getting real. Last night we went to buy a mattress for the crib, and when Bennett was putting it in the crib when we got home I got all teary eyed. I just still cannot believe we are going to be parents! Once the nursery is complete, I'll post some pics. Don't want to put any up until you can really get the full effect. (see sneak peak pic at bottom) On that note though- does anyone have any suggestions of where to get a great glider? I'm really loving the upholstered once from Pottery Barn Kids, but not really loving the $1,000+ price tag. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Even though she is still growing inside of me, I feel like we are already learning quite a few things about Miss Caroline Anne Smith.
  • She is an early bird like her momma. For the past couple weeks, no less than one minute after I would open my eyes, she would start her little morning time womb play sessions (when previously I wouldn't feel her until later in the morning). Kicking and wiggling all around! This week though, like clockwork about 10 minutes before my alarm goes off, I am awaken by some pretty powerful punches in there. What an absolutely wonderful happy way to start my day! Bennett is especially excited about the fact that pretty soon, he'll have two "up and at em" chipper as can be morning bird girls on his hands.
  • She really really REALLY likes music. At first I though this was just coincidental. I would be in the car driving (which is what I do 75% of the time it seems) and she'd start moving occasionally when I turned up music. But now, I am convinced that she just really really does like it. No joke it's become quite the pattern. She seems most drawn to: Taylor Swift (like mother like daughter haha), Madonna (no clue where that came from), the Praise & Worship leaders at church (good girl!), and her Daddy (no surprise here I am sure that Bennett likes to make up songs and sing them to Caroline. Sweetest thing ever. I just hope she comes out with a voice like his and not mine)
  • She is a good luck charm. Ok seriously on this one. Our little family has received some awesome blessings recently and we could not be more thankful! Bennett was able to secure a position with a company that quite frankly was way out of reach for someone with his experience (not that he doesn't have experience or isn't cut out for the job, I think he's the smartest guy around, but we've only been out of college going on a few years). This was something that he obviously pursued and really really wanted, but quite frankly just kind of fell in our laps. Then, just last week, I received a promotion that much like Bennett's new position, seemed to sort of fall in my lap. I definitely had worked my tushy off for it over the past 2.5 years, but did not at all see it coming. Again here like the music thing, call in coincidence, but I like to think that sweet Caroline is Mommy and Daddy's little good luck charm. :)
{Don't you just LOVE the canopy?!?!?!}