The Nursery

Finally finished hanging artwork and putting bits and pieces away in the nursery this weekend and wanted to share photos with you!
You can see I didn't go the super girlie pink explosion route, but you probably could have guessed that it wouldn't be my style :) Instead we kept the gray walls we painted when we moved in and embraced an aqua, yellow, and peach combination to compliment them.

I made the curtains (that are entirely non-functional but just for decoration hah), the bedskirt, and the pillow covers from fabric I ordered online. The small dresser under the window holds extra cloth diaper inserts, sleeper onesies, and her crib sheets and mattress pads. The big dresser on the right holds all her bibs/towels/washclothes, pacifiers and breastfeeding supplies, carriers/wraps and stroller/car gear, and the bottom drawer is full of all her soft blankets.

The rug is from Ikea, and you can see part of the futon cover in this photo, too (I totally forgot to take a picture of that wall). It's a navy blue, which is a lot more functional than the white one we had on there before.

The poster on the left is a periodic table of 'Heavy Metal' and on the left, from the top down I framed some paint-chip art (free!), some prints of watercolor birds I found online, and a place-holder for where we will fram either her announcement or a photo from the newborn session we're going to do.

The changing table - diapers, diapers, diapers. The colorful row on the left are all the cloth diaper covers we have, and the stacks next to them in the bins are the inserts. The rest of the bins hold the disposables we'll be using at the beginning while she is still too small for cloth and while we're still getting the hang of things. The trash can is our diaper pail and you can also see the packed diaper bag hanging on the side. The turquoise thing on the top is her changing pad. I love it because it's a big piece of squishy molded foam, so no extra laundry to do if she pees while changing her diaper, just wipe down the changing pad and we're good to go.

Yes, we kep the Minor Threat poster... it matched, and this girl will be cool and have good taste in music :)
We also have her big white piggy bank, some toys, a design-snob-in-training colors book by Pantone, and a frame made by my Aunt Cy that holds a little print from Winnie the Pooh with the quote
"If ever there is a tomorrow where we are not together... there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you."

I made this one, too. With a quote from my favorite Beatles song, some acrylic paint and letter stickers. I love how simple it is and it turned out better than I thought it would really. Plus it's more artwork that was like $6 to make.

This is the little bookcase to the right of the futon. It holds toys at the bottom (the bins are FULL!), her stacks of books, an air purifier, and photos of both Collin and myself when we were littles. I also have a dim lampshade clamped to it for nighttime feedings. Our friend Craig bought us the fluffy lamb rocker and it is incredibly cute. She won't ride it for a while but I couldn't resist keeping it in her room.

And we come to the closet. This is half the closet really, on the right we have our own things - a filing cabinet with all our paperwork and home-stuff we need to keep (and keep organized) topped by a TV with a VCR and DVD player attached that should help us stay sane if we're up all night with her in here. We also keep the second space-heater, our winter coats, Collin's guitars and skateboards in the back.
Her side has so many clothes hanging I can barely fit another tiny outfit in there! The organizer on the left holds all her little leggings, pants, and bloomers and the one on the right holds skirts, hats and hair accessories, and socks and mittens. The laundry basket is below and I'm sure it will fill up quickly once she arrives. Up above we have a couple big boxes of diaper storage, the swing (still in a box for now), a bouncer seat, the bumbo chair, and crib accessories she won't use for a while (bumper, and teething rail covers).

What you don't see is the shoe organizer hung on the back of the door that holds all her baby shampoo, medicine, and supplies like that, and the under-the-crib storage we use to hold the guest bedding for the futon. It's a compact little space for a tiny person who seems to need so much! But I can find everything and hopefully will still be able to in my sleep-deprived state. I am certain though that most of this will get rearranged once she is here and we are actually using the space for her. I'll have to update down the road and tell you what has changed and what I thought I needed that I totally didn't :)


37 weeks

And here I am at 37 weeks, in the final stretch of this pregnancy and I keep wondering... where did this time go? Did I appreciate all of this enough? Did I take enough photos? Am I spending enough time with Collin, with Early? Am I hanging out with friends enough? Are we going out enough while we still can - just the two of us?

The answer is really that I don't know. But I am starting to feel ready. Collin is so excited - and he's ready. I'm getting there more each day, and those days are speeding right along.

Physically I am only a little uncomfortable and I think that is a big contributor to why, at this point, I could just stay pregnant a while longer. I am going to miss this belly. Feeling her wiggle and kick (even when it's straight into my ribs!). The reassurance that she is safe in there. Protected.
I am waiting for that time when I'm so big, when she is so out of room that I can't imagine waiting another day for her to arrive that I can feel like really wishing for her to be born. Otherwise part of me thinks - don't wish this away, love this for as long as you have this with you. It will be some time before you'll get to feel it again (knock on wood) so just enjoy, and the next pregnancy may be completely different. Marvel at the hiccups, at the pokes you see from the outside. Love living in this shape that makes you feel so incredibly strong. So beautiful.

One day soon I know I will grow impatient. I will want to meet her so, so badly. I'm excited to get there, too. But right now with three weeks until my official due date and with the ability for her to safely arrive any day - I'm just trying to take each one more slowly. Trying not to speed through the rest of this time I have with just her and me, with just me and Collin.

And - for documentations sake - here are some serious belly shots!


35 weeks

Yesterday Collin and I woke up before dawn so that we could venture out to one of our favorite spots outside town for maternity photos with our good friend Chris.

The early rising was so, so worth it and we were able to get the most glorious light.

Here are a few of our favorites.

I am so grateful to have a talented friend we could call on to help us document this time in our lives so beautifully. 


30 weeks

That means 10 weeks to go!
Or... more like 8-12.

I can't stress enough how much I am not exaggerating when I say that it feels like just the other day I was only 10 weeks pregnant and thinking to myself, 'I have so much time left...' and Collin was seeing her on an ultrasound for the first time, looking like a gummybear, waving at us with little tiny flipper hands. I was just really starting to tell our family and friends and everything was finally sinking in.

Now it feels like time is on fastforward. Especially because I now see my midwife every two weeks!

This little girl is supposedly about 3 lbs now and as big as a head of cabbage which seems HUGE to me. I'm hoping she's only about 3 lbs (I am measuring right on target for 30 weeks) because I found out not long ago that I was 9 lb 7 oz when I was born. Good God my poor mother. I hope I am spared that same fate.
It was really funny when at the baby shower this last weekend we were passing around gifts and Erin commented on the tiny baby hats saying, 'can you believe their head is ever that little?' and all I could say was 'It better be that small!'.

Speaking of which, that baby shower was incredible. And to see my ladies, Anna and Ashley, and your moms and Sonja, and Piper was just awesome. It made me miss the two who couldn't be there, Rachel and Kara, even more but to have some of my own people there at the party made it that much more special to me. Sometimes it feels like my family/friends can get a little steamrolled by Collin's gigantic clan but not this weekend with all of you there.

Somehow we managed to fit the mountain of gifts (that was taller than Collin's sister Meggan - no really it was) into our car and add more to it with a stop at Ikea in Tampa on the way home. This weekend and the rest of September are for getting that nursery all set up and cute. We've been doing all this cleaning and sorting and moving of stuff out of the house up until this point and I can't wait to do the fun stuff like finally assemble the crib (there will be a CRIB in my HOUSE that a BABY will sleep in?!) and sew curtains from the fabric I picked out. I am excited to frame the artwork that will hang on the wall, paint something pretty, and make the mobile that she will look at when she is falling asleep. Expect some photos of the nursery progress soon - the long weekend coming up is our jumping off point and I have a big list of plans - how much we will actually get accomplished I don't know but I am dreaming big and hoping to get a lot done.

The sooner we finish the 'work' the sooner we get to just hang out with each other and enjoy these last weeks of being a family of two... plus the four-legged babies. We have plans to spend most of October just taking it easy, going on dates, and doing whatever we want.

Oh and Go Gators! Football season starts this Saturday and I'm excited for this little girl to go to her first game haha!


23 Weeks

I have stopped being able to take photos outside thanks to the swarms of blood-sucking mosquitoes who have descended on my yard. It's dissapointing mostly because there is nothing but terrible lighting in my house and no where to take (what I think) are even half way decent photos.
I am still going to take them though. Even if I don't like them as much as I think I would if I were outside like the first few.

So yes, 23 week belly.

Physically, I'm still feeling pretty good even though a lot of the time I already feel huge and I know I will get SO MUCH BIGGER. I've noticed that I walk a little differently now and basic tasks have to be done differently too. Things like bending over to pick something off the floor, getting up off the couch, rolling over at night in bed, carrying things... you know, living in general :)
I bought a watermelon at the grocery store for the 4th of July and couldn't help but feel like I looked hillarious! I literally laughed at myself there in the produce section trying to pick up this giant fruit and get it in my cart. All I could think was that it felt like the same size as my now very round middle.
Sleeping has become my biggest challenge right now and it's only because I can't ever seem to get comfortable. I have stolen all but one pillow on our bed for my propping-up purposes and usually need one wedged behind my back, a second partly between my knees and partly under my belly for support, and a third and fourth behind my head.
I am the pillow queen.
(it still doesn't keep me from waking up with a little bit of a sore back and sides depending on which way I have been sleeping)

Emotionally, I am also pretty level. I feel like there is so much to do to prepare but that we still have a lot of time, even though that time will go by just as fast as these first months have. I signed us up for birthing classes, a newborn care class, a breastfeeding class, and a carseat safety class. The childbirth classes start on Collin's birthday (sorries to him) and I think it all will start to get a lot more real at that point. In a good way.
I also have done NOTHING for a nursery and that room is still full of my craft junk and Collin's music gear. We need to rent a storage space and I'm trying to reach this balance between getting it early enough to have time to move things out and get the space ready but not so early that we're paying that money for months we don't need to be. My goal for this is to have stuff cleared out and a clean, mostly empty room for after the shower at the end of August when we will most certainly be bringing in a tidal wave of baby-stuff.

I am also fully ready for myself to have at least one large-scale freak out session where I feel completely unprepared to bring a whole LIFE into this world.

That's how I find most things to go lately. Trying to balance. With timing (like the nursery prep), health (like staying active and doing my workout DVD's but being aware that my body is generally always sore somewhere), and making decisions on baby gear. I have literally gone back-and-forth between two carseats for MONTHS now. Months. Do we go with the lighter weight, lighter color, less expensive model that only seats a kid up to 22 lbs and has straps you need to adjust from the back which is potentially annoying? Or do we go with the (very slightly) heavier, darker color (may be hotter in FL), more expensive model that seats a kid up to 30 lbs and has front-adjust straps?? I get into this spiral of product reviews and message board advice on whether the strap adjustment matters that much, and then I think about the color and whether it makes that much of a difference because, hey, Florida is just freaking hot no matter what you do. Now that baby shower invitations will be going out this week I feel even more of a necessity to just decide these things and stop waffling back and forth between two choices. Thankfully Collin humors me and talks through these things with the pro's and con's because he'll use all this gear as much as I will but I can't help but think he (and his go-with-the-flow personality) honestly assumes either one will be as good as the other, and that it really doesn't matter all that much. Just pick one, and move on to the next thing we need to think about.
So we went with the front-adjust straps.


baby girl

Finally was able to get a few moments at work to scan some of the stills from our 20 week ultrasound!

This little lady is starting to look pretty cute!

It is seriously so amazing what ultrasounds can see. Every bit of her measured on target and Collin and I were able to watch them look at each chamber of her heart, the length of her bones (little arms and legs and even each toe while she crossed her legs at the ankles - just chillin'), and even her facial features. It was incredible. We were given a DVD of the session but it's playable, not a file so I don't know how to upload it here... not like my last try worked anyway.
At the gender peek we did we also got a DVD, this time of files so if I can work it out on my mac I'm going to make a movie and I'll upload that one. I don't think the images are as good, but it's her in there wiggling around so I love them.


19 weeks

And officially, it's a


We were blown away! I kept asking the ultrasound tech "Are you sure? You're sure, right?" and repeating "I can't believe it. This is crazy!".
So count me in as being one of the many women for whom every single old-wives-tales about gender prediction were flat out wrong. I think though because everyone else is guessing boy, they'll be even more surprised that this little squibee (our nickname we've been using) is, in fact, a she.

So the suspense is over. It is going to be SO HARD to keep this in until Father's Day. Especially considering we're about to spend 5 days 24/7 with Collin's parents before we plan to surprise them. Refraining from pronouns now that we have one to use is going to be the biggest challenge.

We brainstormed about names all weekend, found a few that we both love and will probably keep thinking about them obsessively until she arrives.

Our official anatomy scan still isn't until the morning of the 21st so I'll be back that day with some ultrasound photos (maybe a video? we get a DVD to take home!) and a full 100% confirmation on the fact that this really is a little girl, something I am still wrapping my head around... and something that is now slightly more terrifying for Collin :)


18 Weeks

Went to SRQ for the weekend to attend a PV graduation (SO LONG - you know Rae), the graduation party the day before, and fun family stuff like manicure/pedicures with Meggan and Erin, lunch with the girls and Granny Carol, and a sunset view on Siesta Key. The wind was blowing and of course every photo was blurry but here I am at 18 weeks.

I don't feel as big as I look in this picture... I think it was partly the dress and partly the wind! Either way, everyone had a lot of fun guessing what this baby might be at the party. Somehow we only have two votes for girl?! Seems like everyone thinks that it will be (or wants it to be) a boy. We shall see! My appointment is set for 6/21 so we'll know soon enough!

Feeling good lately - I have started sleeping with so many pillows to keep the aches away. And my feet get sore (and just a little swollen, I think only I can tell) when I stand around for too long like I did at the party mingling with everyone. Dressing myself is becoming a challenge. I'm still rocking the same pants with my hair-tie button closure and belly bands to hide it all but I broke down and ordered a couple shirts, skirts, and a pair of shorts online today. It's getting hot out and jeans just will not be an option too much longer here in 95 degree weather.
I'm really looking forward to a summer vacation over in Scotland where it will be COLD!


14 weeks

And it starts, the bump looks a little less like it's full of burritos and more like there's a baby in there!


The Announcement

Made it public today on Facebook. Strange when that has become the 'official' announcement in so many ways.

"The reading list for my group project with Collin - due November 5th!"

We've gotten so many congratulations so far! Thanks again to all our friends and family who have been so kind as to keep the news off the internet until we were ready to announce it ourselves. Now you can go wild!
But really, we can't be more excited and it is amazing to see how many others are excited for us too.


Keepin' Up

So I've finally gotten around to filling in some of those pages up in the header! After, well,  a year! Go me!
But really, go check out the 'HITCHED' page.
It's finally all pretty with photos and a recap of our wedding day.

I loved going through the pictures again and remembering the little things.


here we are / where we've been

Many months after my last post on this neglected blog, we're back with some big updates.

In July we traveled to Sarasota for the 4th and to say 'Happy Birthday' to our friend Kevin!

The next weekend, Lindsey went back to Venice to celebrate the summer birthdays with her lifelong friends and see Kara off as she made her way to Portland, Oregon.

In August, we both turned 26 and celebrated low-key style at home in Gainesville with an outdoor concert at the Bo Diddley Downtown Plaza and dinner at The Lunchbox with friends.
Then, Lindsey flew up to Tennessee to visit her parents at the cabin for a long weekend while Collin worked the start-of-the-semester rush at UF.

September came and Lindsey got a promotion! From Microbiologist to Quality Assurance Supervisor; from the laboratory to an office of her own.
It also marked the beginning of Florida Gators Football here in Gainesville and we had fun hosting Collins parents for one of the first games. While Craig and Collin cheered them on in person, Erin and I had a leisurely lunch at the Wine and Cheese Gallery downtown and then strolled the antique shops in historic Micanopy for the afternoon.

We celebrated our 3 year anniversary at the beginning of October. Time flies when you're having fun with someone you love. We went to dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants The Jones and had probably the best date ever (the food, atmosphere, music were all just perfect).
Later that month, we drove out to the gulf coast to check out the Cedar Key Seafood Festival. After walking around the booths of antiques and crafts we dug into clam fritters, chowder, and all the oysters we could eat.
This was a fun-packed month, as more friends from Sarasota came to visit the following weekend and we were able to see some of our favorite comedians from the show Trailer Park Boys live at the Phillips Center. What a juxtaposition hearing the crass Canadians in such a formal performing arts hall! Then came Halloween, The Fest, and Cindys yearly Halloween Potluck.

Soon enough, it was already November and time for the first craft show of the year. Lindsey kicked off the season with a sale at The Backyard between Boca Fiesta and Palomino Pool Hall during the annual Fall Arts Festival downtown. Full of friends and crafty locals, it was a great relaxed way to get back in the groove.
A few weeks later Thanksgiving was held at Uncle Bill's down in Land O'Lakes and the O'Brien/McLeod family was there in full force. As usual, delicious food and love to spare (and leftovers to enjoy oh yes). Lindsey made her much-requested Mushroom Stuffing and also brought along spinach dip and a cranberry pie.

The start of December meant Gainesville's annual GLAM craft fair and one of Lindsey's favorite shows. The following weekend we drove down to Sarasota for some quality family time and the last art event of the year, the Atomic Holiday Bazaar. What a weekend! Between Festivus, a family dinner at Carigulo's, Atomic, and a family Christmas celebration complete with Meggan and Ben all the way from Richmond we were pooped but very happy people.

After relaxing for a week or so we were off again to Tennesee for the Palmer holiday in the mountains. Early wanted to get in the front seat for about 8 of the 10 hour drive, but we made it and had plenty of time to really relax and unplug (thanks to the lack of internet and cell phone reception). We celebrated with Kat's family this year, too and the full house was a lot of fun. Many rounds of Yahtzee were played, Collin and Asa geeked out over soccer, and Lindsey read an entire book in three days.

After the drive home (why does it always take SO LONG to get through Georgia? Forever I love you Collin for driving us) we were happy to see the kitties and just do nothing. Rachel, Kara and Kara's boyfriend Diego stayed for a night and we did Gainesville right by indulging on as much sushi as possible at Dragonfly, following that up with a few drinks at Boca Fiesta.
To ring in the new year, Lindsey cooked up some super snacks and we watched movies and TV with Gabe and Jenn, getting home not long after midnight so we could sleep in as long as possible.

2012 - a year for adventure!
January was pretty quiet to both of our delight. Lindsey continued to work long weeks (and weekends) helping to move her laboratory to a new location. Now, her office has two windows :) and we both enjoyed the mild weather this winter only turning on the heat twice!

Soon enough it was February and time for Valentine's Day. Collin brought home flowers from Publix, our yearly tradition, and Lindsey cooked up one of his favorite meals for a night in at home. We traveled down to Sarasota for the weekend at the end of the month to visit with the family and celebrate our friends Zack and Nikki as they got married. It was a real Pine View reunion and so wonderful to see old friends and catch up on our now grown-up lives.

March means the blooming of Spring and new beginnings. We held our annual St. Patrick's Day party with friends and lots of food and drinks. That weekend we were also able to celebrate some big news and let everyone in on the secret we'd been keeping for a few weeks...
Lindsey is pregnant!
We found out at the beginning of the month but as is customary, wanted to wait it out just a little while before telling our people. We couldn't imagine holding this in until the second trimester as so many do, so we thought it was appropriate to add even more exitement to the holiday weekend. We're beyond thrilled to be starting on the path to parenthood... we said this year was for adventure, right?

The end of the month meant the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens Spring Festival - where Lindsey and her (also pregnant) friend Stacey walked through the flowers and picked up some gifts for our loved ones. Homemade treats for Early Girl and a beautiful surprise for Craig's birthday in April. That Monday marked 8 weeks for the little one and we were able to get a sweet photo of the tiny gummybear.

Now then, we're all caught up. Big news and little - month by month from then to now.