Friday, July 30, 2010

Pregnancy Update: 32 weeks

Here I am at 32 weeks ... moving right along. August is either going to go by really slow or really fast. I'm guessing the latter. (On a side note: I know the lighting is horrible in this picture but I made Will take it late one night when I was about to download all the pictures from my camera.)

I have come to notice that many other people who blog during their pregnancies fill out this little update, so instead of rambling about how hot, tired and hungry I am, I will record my thoughts in a more organized manner.

How Far Along: 32 (almost 33) weeks
Total Weight Gain: 30 pounds
Maternity Clothes: Umm ... yeah. I have actually purchased larger tops than what I started out in.
Best Moment this week: Feeling lots of hiccups the past few weeks. I can tell exactly where the baby's head is and let's just say it's down low. One night, Will put his hand on my tummy and felt it too. We thought it was hilarious!
Gender: Boy!
Movement: Lots. Baby Luke is very active! Especially at night when I am trying to sleep. I am ready for this baby to drop because he is starting to crowd my lungs with all that moving around!
Food Craving: cereal ... sugary sweet (like Froot Loops and Captain Crunch), watermelon (I cannot get enough of this stuff) and salad ... a good salad from a restaurant (not one I make at home).
What I miss: being able to eat anything without feeling like I am having a massive heart attack from the heartburn; running.
Sleep: If I get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, I am satisfied. There have been many nights with only 3-5 hours sleep. Naps are my friend, but few and far between unfortunately.
What I am looking forward to: drinking coffee without feeling guilty and drinking a glass of wine (can you tell the end is near)
Belly Button: Stretched to the limit. It never popped out in my previous pregnancies, but I am getting there on this one.
Stretch Marks: I already had them on my belly and hips from an overweight childhood. No new ones from any of my pregnancies, which is nice I guess. After this pregnancy, I am definitely going to try some of that stretch mark cream that is supposed to reduce visibility.
Symptoms: heartburn, breathlessness, insomnia (but not much swelling, which is good considering all the heat I am having to endure this summer).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reading List for 2010 ... in Progress

So now that this year is more than halfway over, I thought I would post my reading list for the year (so far).

In no particular order ...

(1) Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This book is great. It will make you examine your walk with God. It calls us to truly give up our plans/goals/dreams in life to pursue God by serving others. You cannot read this book without experiencing a great change.

(2) Firefly Lane by Kristen Hannah. Several people recommended this book to me. I really liked it. It recorded a friendship between two girls that started in Jr. High and lasted a lifetime. It reminded me of some of my own friendships at different points throughout the story. I have already received two other books by Hannah via paperbackswap and can't wait to read more of her works.

(3) The Girls from Ames by Jeffry Zaslow. This book was like a documentary about 11 girls from Ames, Iowa who were best friends (and a clique) in high school and still remain friends today (20+ years later), despite the fact that they are now spread all over the country. I found it a little unbelievable that 11 girls would have such a tight-knit group and remain close over so many years, but this book is based on a true story ... I liked reading the chapters about each individual girl and how they intertwined with some of the other girls in the group. However, I did not really care for the male author's research and commentary about "female friendships" and the insights he had regarding same. Maybe its because I'm a female and I get this.

(4) Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. This book was a little slow going at first, but it ended up being a great story. I love historical fiction and this book was set in the 1940's during WWII when many Japanese-Americans were herded into internment camps. I feel like this little bit of our great country's history is often over-looked in the average high school history class and most of the girls in my book club group did not know a whole lot about it. I highly recommend this book!

(5) The Guersney Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society by Shaffner and Barrows. This book was another great work of historical fiction set during WWII (in Europe). It is not the typical concentration camp harrowing story that you typically associate with WWII novels, but a rather uplifting story of a group of Guersney islanders who were living under Nazi occupation. While there are certainly sad parts of the story, I love how this group of very different people draw together over books (whether it be poetry or cookbooks) to help them survive the tough times in which they found themselves.

(6) I Will Carry You by Angie Smith. Anyone who likes to read blogs has probably run across Angie Smith's blog before. She is such a moving writer, who can bring you to tears and uplift your soul in the same sentence. Even though I had read the story of Angie's Audrey on her blog, the book offers a more detailed version of that story along with biblical truths the guided Angie and her husband Todd through the journey of loving and losing their precious daughter shortly after her birth. Keep the tissue box nearby.

(7) Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore. This book was a nice and quick read. A good vacation read as I would call it. The story had some unexpected twists and turns and was intriguing enough that I read the entire book in two days (and I wasn't even on vacation). It is about a girl growing up in small town, Georgia who dreams of being anywhere but that small town ... you can probably figure out the rest.

(8) Feathers From My Nest by Beth Moore. I read this with my Wednesday night group of girls at church (we "hang out" while our kids are in choir). This book was just a collection of stories from Beth about bringing up her girls and then letting them go. I love Beth Moore as a writer and a speaker. She made me laugh and made me cry. She made me realize that my children are only young once and I need to cherish every moment of their little lives.

(9) Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark. I read this book while we were driving to Orlando last week and I cannot count the number of times of laughed out loud. Poor Will, who was stranded in the car seat next to me, had to listen to me read sections of the book to him that I thought were funny. Rivenbark is a southern humorist who shares her thoughts on child-rearing, marriage, celebrity and other such humorous topics. This was a fun easy read that is such to produce a few chuckles from anyone.

(10) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. I am almost finished with this book. I have stayed up way to late reading it the past few nights. I read a good chunk of it while we were driving home from Orlando. (I love reading in the car ... thanks to my sweet hubby for driving all the way home.) I like this book so much that I have already ordered the other two books in the series to read next. The characters in this book are great and Larsson does a good job of making them come alive on the page.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

10 years!

Will and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary earlier this month. Here is a picture from our wedding day. Ah ... we both look so young and in love. And look how thin my arms were!

Here we are 10 years later ... 2-1/2 kids, three residences and many jobs later ... older and wiser I think. We didn't do anything very spectacular to celebrate, but we did enjoy a nice, quiet, child-free dinner thanks to my parents. We spent most of the night talking about some of the fun things that have happened in the past 10 years and wondering what we did with all of our free time before we had children.

God did a lot of work to bring us together, but I don't have a shadow of a doubt that he is the perfect one for me. I don't know that I love him more after 10 years of marriage than I did on the day we married (because I loved him a WHOLE LOT then), but I certainly love and respect him in different ways after seeing him grow and mature into the husband and father that he is today. I am so thankful to be married to a man that has his priorities straight ... God first, me second and our family third.

Happy Anniversary Will.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My week at Saddle Ridge Ranch aka "VBS"

Last week, the kids and I headed to VBS. I helped my friend Jennie, who was teaching one of the 4-year-old classes. Claire got to be in my class, which was fun. Since I was working at VBS, David got to go too. (Normally, it's for children 4 and up.) I took oodles of pictures that are shown below.

It was a fun week, but I was pooped! And it only lasted from 9-12 every day. I seriously have never been so tired in my life. Who knew it would be so hard to keep up with 24 4-year-olds for 5 days (4 of which were the teacher's or helpers' kids).

We had the kids for about 30 minutes in the morning and then they went to recreation/snack/missions in another part of the church. Then they went to music in another place and then came back to the room for crafts and the bible story (for about an hour). Then it was time to go home. Whew! It makes me tired all over again just talking about it! Oh, and did I mention that Will was out of town all week and I worked 15 hours at the office too. Thankfully, my mom came and helped me out most of the week ... and I'm pretty sure that she was more tired than I was!

Note to self ... kids love to search for buried treasure in dry rice and grains. This was by far, the most popular activity!

Giddy up cowgirl Claire!

Note to self ... although very fun and entertaining for the kids, the rice/grain treasure hunt can get very messy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Office Assistant

David really likes to hang out under the desk in our home office. He got pretty comfy there the other day while I was trying to finish up some work on the computer. He has his two blankets (his "meeps") with him at all times and his favorite stuffed animal "ribbet".

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: July 26-August 1

We were in Orlando all last week, so it will be nice to get back to a more normal routine this week!

Monday: My mother-in-law is fixing dinner for us on this night, which is always a treat. She is keeping the kids all day while our regular sitter in on vacation.

Tuesday: Ham & cheese quiche, muffins or blueberry coffeecake, fruit

Wednesday: Rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls

Thursday: grilled pork chops, corn on the cob, lima beans, rolls

Friday: pizza out with our supper club group.

Saturday: Mango tilapia, rice pilaf, steamed broccoli

Sunday (lunch): leftover quiche, muffins/coffeecake and fruit

Sunday (dinner): grilled hamburgers, tater tots

Check out other menu plans here.

Fun in the Sun!

A few weekends ago, we got to hang out with our old group of friends at one of their parents' beautiful pool. We had such a fun day swimming and hanging out together (8 adults and 8 kids).

Ty, Buckley and Will in the pool with the kids.

David loves to go "up high".

Jessica and Baby S. This is the first time we've gotten to meet her and she will be one later this month!

The steps were a popular play area.

Marianne and Cooper ... the second youngest in the crowd.

Claire liked the giant turtle float.

Will and the kids.

Hunter and Spencer on the turtles.

These couples were all friend with us long before we had kids. We all had our first kids together within 6 months of each other. (Claire was the youngest of the group and the only girl.) Our second children were spaced out a little more and we're the only ones (so far) expecting our third.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Green Thumb

My mom has quite the green thumb. I did not inherit this gene from her.

(If that is even something you can inherit. I did inherit her sewing gene and my sister inherited her decorating gene.)

She has beautiful flower beds all around her house. (See below.)

Love the pink hydrangeas. They are my favorite!

David loves to pick "fwowas".

Her two "helpers". Apparently they were sweeping the sidewalk?

Let me repeat ... I do not have a green thumb. So why does my kids' preschool program keep sending plants home for me to try and keep alive?

The white pot is from Claire ... a caterpillar painted with her fingerprints. The terracotta pot is from David. It was a Mother's Day gift.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Look Who's Driving?

We got this car for the kids last Christmas. (We got it free through a rewards program with Will's work.) Up until now, Claire has always been the driver and David the passenger. Not any more ... David finally managed to get behind the wheel. Unlike his sister, he is still a pretty cautious driver.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sweet Summer Corn

Meme came to stay with us a few nights this week since Will was out of town. The kids enjoyed having her there and I appreciated all of her help!

I had some fresh corn in the fridge that needed to be shucked, so Meme put Claire to work! Claire had a fun time. She even ate a little bit of the corn (after I cut it off the cob).

So cute! Meme asked her what the silks were called and she said "hair". Well, it does look like hair, but that doesn't sound too appetizing! Good thing we pull them off.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's in a Name?

We have finally decided on a name for the new baby.

Luke Taylor

"Luke" just because we liked it and thought it went well with Claire and David. We also liked that it was a biblical name. "Taylor" because we wanted to use a family name and that is my very favorite Meme's maiden name. We decided on Luke a while ago, but just couldn't commit to a middle name.

Since I did not blog when I had my other two children, I thought I would share the meaning behind their names too.

Anna Claire. We call her Claire, of course, which fits her perfect. I have wanted to name my daughter this as long as I can remember. "Anna" is a biblical character (a prophetess who never left the temple and worshipped God day and night) and my mom is "Ann". "Claire" is my middle name, which was taken from "Clara", a close family friend when I was born.

William David. You know him as David. "William" is after my husband Will, who was named after a great-grandfather on his dad's side, William Dozier Locke. "David" because we just really liked that name and the we liked that it was a biblical name as well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Grandparent Visits

The kids have gotten to spend some quality time with their grandparents this summer.

I remember going to my Meme and PawPaw's house growing up and spending weeks at a time with them. (It seemed like weeks to me ... it was probably just a few nights.) I got to play dress-up with my mom's old clothes, pick fruit and vegetables out of their garden, play in my Meme's flour drawer, ride the tractor and eat lots of ice cream. They had an awesome garden and lots of great home cooked veggies in the summer. (Think fried everything.) I remember eating tons of strawberries straight from the garden. (My PawPaw had a big bucket of fishing worms out in his shed that scared me just a little bit.)

My kids have a little different experience as their grandparents both live in town and not in "the country" like my grandparents did. But, they still have fun ... just different fun. And they still eat a lot of treats and come home tired and dirty just like I did.

Back in June, my parents got to keep all four grandkids overnight when my sister and her hubby had a wine tasting at their house to celebrate their 8th anniversary. Here are all 4 playing in the "kids' room". (On a side note, I'm not real sure why my mom still has a Christmas tree up in there.) The kids love to jump on that bed that is built into the floor.

The big kids slept in the bonus room on the pull-out couch. (David still sleeps in the crib at their house ... for a few more months at least.)

These two were still awake when Will and I got there around 10pm. (On another side note, that is my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag that Claire is sleeping in. My parents really do save everything!)

These two princesses in their princess pjs.

Mickey waffles are the best. We bought this waffle iron as a gift for my mom the summer before my senior year of high school ... 16 year ago.

David loved the Mickey waffles the best!

Mini bunk-bed. I'm pretty sure that this is not what Meme intended this piece of furniture to be used for.

The next weekend in June, Will's parents came up to visit on a Friday night and brought Breanna and Davis (our niece and nephew) with them. They stayed in a fancy hotel and after dinner, the kids (including David) got to swim at the hotel pool with RiRi and DiDi. (Will and I ran a whole bunch of errands while the kids were swimming.)

Claire got to spend the night at the hotel with her cousins and they got up to swim some more after breakfast and before check-out the next morning. (This is what kind of picture I get when I send my hubby with the camera.)

Claire and David are thankful for all the fun times they get to have with their grandparents and cousins. We are thankful for the free childcare!