Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend Recap

What a wonderfully busy weekend we Lowes had!  I feel like I got so much checked off my to do list and still was able to relax and enjoy time with my family.  For starters, Friday afternoon, Cash's vet called to let me know that his lump was cancer free!  Such a huge relief for us.  It was a regressing histiocytoma, which Landry had as a puppy.  There were some mast cells around it, but he said that's not uncommon with that type of lump.  We are going to keep getting every little bump aspirated, but we were so relieved that this one, which was particularly ugly, was benign.  And his stitches can come out this week.  All great news!  Then, Friday night after work I got a pedicure.  Having your feet rubbed this late in the pregnancy game is a Godsend!!  I told them I planned to see them one more time before I have this little sweetie, so here's hoping we make it to 39 weeks.

We had a storm blow through around 2AM on Saturday morning, so I slept like a baby.  Then we got up around 9AM, had bacon, eggs, and my fantastic homemade drop biscuits.  We tried to walk the pups next, but it started raining pretty hard, so we only got to do a very short loop.  We did spend some time that morning clearing out Riley's room, packing her diaper bag, making the hospital packing list, and boiling bottles and passies.

Then we headed in to town.  Alli has majorly outgrown her first pair of riding boots - they were a size 13 and now she's a 3!  Bless her heart, no wonder she fought me every time we put them on.  So we headed to one of my favorite stores in Fayetteville called Everything Horse and Hound to get new boots.  We of course walked out with new gloves, new socks, and some little pony socks for Riley.  You just can't stop me in a horse store.

Then I went in for a hair appointment - I got my last full foil before this little lady makes her big debut.  So hard to believe that the next time I go in, I'll have a bambino in tow!!  I also snagged some cute hair ties and two new summer Piko tops.  I am still obsessed with these - how convenient is it that they are in style and still fit pregnant ladies?  Screw you, peplum tops.  I love my Pikos.

After a little dinner, this mama was worn out and hit the hay early.  Ryan and Alli watched a movie and popped some popcorn, I think.  I was seriously snoozing by 7PM.

Today we walked the pups, and then Alli had a horse show.  She got two firsts and two seconds - very exciting.  She's not always too keen on the thirds and fourths.  She rode really well, and we are so very very proud of her.  We also got to see a little girl she used to go to Montessori School with who just started riding a few months ago - so fun!

Afterwards, we got our planting on here at the house (finally).  I'm a mid-to-late April planter, because you just never know when you're going to get that last frost.  I was a little lost at first trying to plant for this house.  In our last house, I had been doing it for five years, so I had a good idea of what plants went where.  This one was a whole new experience for me!

I did decide not to tear up any beds.  Our builder planted them, and he did pretty well, but I definitely have some changes I'd like to make.  However, with a bambino on the way, I decided to leave well enough alone.  We did purchase a green Japanese maple that they are going to plant in front of our house in two weeks.  It's going to go right in front of our front office window, so it'll provide some shade and privacy.  We are so excited!

So anyway, I got all of the pots done, and I think they look great.  We did African daisies, a tomato plant, a strawberry plant, and petunias in the back.  I like to have a few fruit/veggie producing plants, as Alli really seems to enjoy them.  Thanks to the Gosselin family for the strawberry plant!

And then vincas, vinca vines, dracaena, a penta, more petunias, and a geranium in the front.  I hear the humming birds really love the pentas, and I've seen myself that they love petunias.  I am itching for a birdbath or feeder, but I think that will have to come after we get the tree planted.

Then I painted yogurt on the terra cotta pot with the pentas in it, hoping to get a really nice patina on it in the next few weeks.  So now I am kicked back on our pretty shaded patio admiring our handiwork and trying to find the motivation to go cook.  Hope everyone's weekend was as fun as ours, and that you were all blessed with a gorgeous day like our Sunday has been!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Riley's Room Reveal!

Well, we just recently celebrated being 35 weeks pregnant (like Thursday), and so I am really feeling like the crunch is on!  We are so hopeful that Miss Riley will wait until the end of May (or very early June) to make her big debut, but we all know babies don't really worry too much about plans (although my babies should at least be more aware of them than most, given that I am such a planner).

So anyway, I told Ryan this morning it was time to get the basket o' stuff cleared out (it's our last little holdout from the shower, full of bottles and passies and other random knickknacks that don't really have a place until there's a baby around).  I was ready to get everything as cleared out as possible so that I can officially debut her room and call it done.

Don't worry, I had to move the swing, bouncy seat, floor play mat, and exersaucer around while I took pictures.  One day they will go in her closet - probably the same day that the carseat, extra base, and stroller leave her closet and find their way into the car.  But I refuse to put the seats in until we are full term, so in the closet they hide until the princess arrives.  Also, for the bazillionth time, I had to pick up all of her toys and put them back in her bench.  Let's just say big sister is really enjoying a real live nursery set up with brand new toys to practice playing mommy on.

So, without further ado, I present to you - Riley's room!

This is probably my favorite section.  The chair is huge and super comfy - I can just see us snuggling in it.  I had the pink chevron pillow made, and then custom matched the wall color to it.  The pillow has her little name on it!  The quilt over the chair was made by my very talented aunt - isn't is beautiful?  And as you well know, I snagged the dresser from an antique store in Prairie Grove right out from under some other pregnant mamas for a mere $195.  I had the horse print made at an Etsy shop - as usual, she's going to have to be able to talk and tell me she doesn't like horses before I'll back off on that!  I also threw the teal lamp in there to break up the pink and grey, and to pay a little homage to Alli's teal room.

How obsessed am I with this crib?  We got this and the chair at The Baby's Room in Rogers.  It's so sturdy and beautiful, and it actually converts to a toddler and a full sized bed.  How handy is that?  After a lot of stressing about bedding, I walked into Kids Furniture in Little Rock and found this perfect set that had no bumper pads - finally!  I did not want to pay for bumper pads that we won't use (and you shouldn't use them either.  Did you know they are actually illegal in some states??  No pretty bed is worth the risk!!).  The basket next to the crib is from the shower, and there are some gorgeous blankets wrapped up in it.  I made the letters over her bed with scrapbook paper, plain letters, and Mod Podge from Hobby Lobby - click here for more on that.

I think this little nook is fun too - we got the bench, drawers, and pillows from Target.  I had the frames and spray painted them gray last weekend.  They are blank right now, but soon they are going to be filled with pictures - I can't wait!

I had these curtains made at an Etsy shop as well - Etsy is the decorating mama's friend!  Anything you can possibly imagine can be customized there.  It's awesome!  Alli, Ryan, and I painted the abstract art on the wall - more Alli than anyone, but we all took a swipe with the brush.  I had to really do some convincing to keep her from painting Ninja Turtles, so the next day I headed back to Hob Lob for canvasses for her room that most definitely now have Ninja Turtles all over them.

So there you have it, a little room reveal and as thorough a source list as I could muster on this rainy Saturday.  If there are any questions about which Etsy shop I used or where I got anything that I didn't cover, please ask!  I'm off to make a hospital packing list and Ryan's boiling bottle parts.  Happy Saturday!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pregnancy Update - 34 Weeks

How far along: 34 weeks

Size of baby: According to The Bump, Miss Riley is the size of a butternut squash, weighing 4.2 to 5.8 pounds and measuring 17.2 to 18.7 inches long.

Maternity clothes: Do you see the picture above?  Next question.

Gender: A precious little girl named Riley Rachelle.

Movement:  Still a wiggle worm!  She and Alli played a game the other night where she would stick her foot out and Alli pressed it back in.  Alli could not stop giggling.

Sleep: Sleep has been okay.  I have a sinus infection, so this stuffy nose is not helping.

Symptoms: Lower back pain and huge swollen feet and ankles at the end of the day.  I mean seriously,  I look like I am walking on stumps some days.

What I miss: Wine, coffee, not being stared at when I climb to the top of Razorback Stadium.

Cravings: Sweets.  This week it's brownies.  One day, I'll tell her I didn't lick the brownie bowl when I was pregnant with her, and she'll know just how much I really love her.

Food aversions: Nada.

Best moment this week: Always getting a good checkup at the doctor.  Alli and Riley interacting.  The massage I got a week ago - my first ever!  And getting her room almost done, thanks to some major deliveries.

What I am looking forward to: Wrapping the room up this weekend, and making our final preparations for her.  She's almost here!!!!!  I cannot wait to kiss and hold her!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Quick Updates

I am falling so behind in my blog posting - I am never going to hit my 2 posts a week for the year goal unless I really turn it up!  We Lowes have been pretty busy getting ready for little Riley's arrival, attending soccer games and riding lessons for Alli, and just living!  Here's a few things we've been up to lately:
  • Razorback Red White Game - My daddy and my brother came up this Saturday to attend the annual Red White game for the Razorbacks.  This year was pretty highly anticipated since we have a brand new coach and a new offensive scheme.  We were running late getting there, so Ryan pulled right up to the stadium to let us out.  A police officer started telling him he couldn't do that and needed to move on until Big Mama got out of the car.  At that point, the police officer sheepishly told Ryan he was fine, and then he was overhead saying "What was I going to say when she got out of the car?"  Special treatment?  I'll take it.
  • Alli learned a life lesson - After the Red White game, we all went to eat and then I went to do a little nursery shopping while Ryan, Dad, and Alli went to the Razorback baseball game.  I went to bed before they got home, and the next morning, I asked Alli what her favorite part of the game was.  She didn't hesitate at all and announced, "Learning to spit sunflower seeds!"  Apparently her father and grandfather thought it was high time she learned how to properly eat sunflower seeds at a baseball game, and she caught on pretty well.  That's my little lady.
  • Cash had surgery - I noticed a small lump on Cash's neck right by his collar, and when we took him in to the vet, they aspirated it.  They said it looked okay (he gets blocked sebaceous glands regularly), but they decided to send it to a lab in Little Rock to test it.  The lab called back and thought we needed to have it removed - apparently they saw some cells that they didn't like.  I've been pretty shaken up by the whole deal, but we knew it was best to tackle it head on and get it taken care of.  He had surgery last Wednesday and was doing really well until Saturday when he scratched open the stitches.  Ryan took him back to the vet, where they stapled him, but ten minutes after being home, he opened them up again.  When Ryan took him back the next time, they said he had opened his inner and outer stitches and would need to go back under to get fixed up.  That was Saturday, and now we're at Tuesday.  He's been spending his days in the crate with a sock over his foot and his evenings with me following him around saying "Don't scratch!!"  It's looking pretty good, but we still have about ten days of this to go.  Worn.  Out.  Ryan tried to create a solution, but our active boxer just can't seem to keep a bandage on.  So say your prayers that the results of the removal are positive (the lump is down in Little Rock getting analyzed, and we should hear something any day now).  
  • Riley's room is coming together - Thanks to some major deliveries last week and huge strides in decorating, Riley's room is almost complete!  I should be able to share some pictures this weekend, but it's probably one of my favorite rooms I've ever done.  Seriously.
  • Alli finished her first soccer season - Last Friday, Alli wrapped up her last soccer game.  She's made dramatic improvements since the beginning of the season, and almost made a goal twice!  She's also turned into quite the goalie.  We're so proud of her and can't wait to see her continue to develop through camps and fall league.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Birthday Extravaganza and Baby Shower

I got so behind updating everyone on our March!  March is always one of my most favorite months, even though this year the weather didn't change over to 65 and sunny like it does sometimes.  Why do I love March?  Why the best non-Thanksgiving holiday of the year (my birthday) and the best party you'll never be invited to (Birthday Extravaganza).  And this March got even better when my sweet friends Kim and Kerri decided to throw me a baby shower!

I wasn't really expecting a baby shower because this is our second little sweetie, but Kim and Kerri were adamant that I should have one - it's been eight years afterall!  Most of Alli's old stuff is recalled by now.  I'm not kidding.  Drop side cribs are sooo out, kids.  Like illegal.  Who knew?  Me, after I went into a baby furniture store.  I burst into tears when we left and questioned all of my parenting skills.

But I digress.  Two of the hottest parties of the year were set to occur the same weekend!  I could barely contain my excitement!!  First, Birthday Extravaganza commenced Saturday night.  We started out with the crowning ceremony followed by the traditional dinner of chicken and dumplings, green beans, and rolls.  Nom nom.

Then we opened presents - I got some moolah, a scarf, a new painting, and some sah-weeeeeet Beats by Dre.  Hot pink of course.  How do parents just know?

Afterwards, we had our cake and ate it too.  Lindsey got a very pretty cake from Ricks, but nothing can beat my grandmother's chocolate sheath cake.  I mean seriously.  Yum.

The next day was shower day!!  I was too excited.  The shower was at Kim's beautiful new house, and so many of my great friends and family were there.  Alli insisted on going and opened the presents for me.  You should have seen the confusion when she opened the breast pump.  Nice.  That's a conversation I still owe her.

The Rachel sisters - I seriously love this picture.

Ryan, Alli, Riley and I are so happy and fortunate to be surrounded by so many loving and supportive people - thanks to everyone who came or sent gifts.  We are totally set up and completely "pinked" out.  You know that makes Mama happy.  And a very special thanks to Kim & Kerri for throwing the whole thing.  I wish we had gotten a picture together, but I don't think I would want to stand next to either of you teeny girls with this round belly and face!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pregnancy Update - 32 Weeks

How far along: 32 weeks

Size of baby: According to The Bump, Riley Roo is the size of a squash, weighing 2.5 to 3.8 pounds and measuring 15.2 to 16.7 inches long.

Maternity clothes: Same old same old.  Are we at the point yet where I can just admit to you I'm not going to buy any more maternity clothes?  Deal with the Pikos and the same five shirts over and over.

Gender: A precious little girl named Riley Rachelle.

Movement:  This girl is a mover!  She rolls around all the time, but she's especially active at night when I lay down for bed.  Sometimes she makes me jump - she's getting really strong!

Sleep: Sleep has been terrible lately.  I'm up and down all night, and I wake up every morning with a headache.

Symptoms: Headaches, back pain & swollen feet at the end of the day, overall tiredness.  I miss the blissful energy of the second trimester!  And waddling, I'm afraid.

What I miss: Still wine & coffee.  Red sauce.  Getting in and out of my car and my bed without looking awkward and making an awful face. 

Cravings: I pretty much think about a cookie dough concrete from Shake's 24 hours a day, but I only let myself get one once a week.  

Food aversions: Nothing.  I wish I had an aversion to cookies, cakes, and ice cream...

Best moment this week: Hearing that we are measuring right on track (if not just a little bigger) and hearing her little heart thump at 154 bpm.  Also, I really love her moving, even if it makes my stomach look like a scene from the movie Alien.  We got the carseat and stroller in this week, so that was a blast.  And I'll go back a few weeks and just let you know that I loved my baby shower!  I owe you a blog update on that soon.

What I am looking forward to: Getting her crib and chair in around the end of April so that I can call her room done!  Holding her sweet little self!!!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Emma and Easter

For Easter weekend, we Lowes headed down to the Rock town to celebrate Easter with the fam.  My aunt, uncle, cousin, cousin in law, and new baby cousin Emma Grace were all coming in town from Ruston, and I could not wait to get my hands on that sweet sweet sweet baby.

The problem was that I could barely get her away from Alli and Ryan!

And if it wasn't them, it was Mom, Daddy, Buddy or Nini.

I mean can't a broody pregnant lady catch a break?  In addition to fighting over who got to snuggle that little bundle of sweetness, we also found time to dye eggs.  Ryan and Aunt Noni tackled the tie dye eggs, and after a little practice, they turned out pretty cool.

The next morning, the Easter Bunny hid a whopping 45 eggs, but not before he left us presents.

We then went over to Nini's house for fried chicken, more egg hiding/hunting, and some more holding that sweet baby.  It was so wonderful to celebrate Easter with so much of our family!!  And thank goodness we finally got to meet Emma.  She's pretty much perfect, and she made us even more excited for our sweet Riley Rachelle to get here in May!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Night

If you've been around Alli at all over the past few months, you know just how much she loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  She comes by it naturally, after all.  Her parents are two of the biggest TMNT fans around.  She spends every night in her mama's old Ninja Turtle sleeping bag, sleeping on top of her covers, with her head on a Mikey pillow, usually wearing one of her four Ninja Turtle t-shirts.  It's pretty much an obsession.

So when we got tipped by my sister that there was going to be a TMNT promotion at our local minor league ballpark, we were in.  I bought tickets a few weeks ago, and we've had a lot of discussion in our house about how awesome it was going to be, what we were going to wear, and what the Turtles would look like.

We got to the ballpark early and let Alli bounce on the inflatables.  Alli and Ryan wore their TMNT shirts, and we spied lots of other kids (and a few adults) sporting Turtle gear.  Then, while we were waiting in line for some grub (funnel dog, anyone?), they announced that the Ninja Turtles were walking onto the field.  I bailed on Ryan, grabbed Alli's hand and ran to get a view.  Leo threw out the first pitch, and there was a lot of cheering.  Alli was beside herself.  The Turtles walked off the field, and I turned my attention back to my funnel dog.

We went to sit in our seats, eat, and watch the game - all the while keeping our eyes peeled for the Turtles.  Finally, after the 4th inning, I walked up to Guest Services to make sure the TMNT were actually going to come out for pictures.  They assured me they'd be out soon, but we had a very impatient fan on our hands - and Alli was getting antsy too!

I saw a lady in front of us grab her son and whisper "I heard the Turtles are about to come out!" so I alerted Alli and Ryan and made a beeline for where a crowd was already starting to gather.  Thanks to that lady, we were about fifth in line!  And let me tell you, that line formed quickly behind us and it got loooong.  Alli could barely stand it she was so excited.

When it was her turn, Alli went straight to Mikey.

 But we also got a shot with the whole gang too...

And then, with a little prodding (okay, none at all), Ryan took a picture of me and my original true love.

This is a picture 20 years in the making, people.  Take it in.

Afterwards, we took her over to the playground to play, and on our way out, we caught Sinker, one of the Naturals' mascots.  He was no Raph or Mikey, but he was cute too.

We went home with a very happy little lady to watch the new episode of TMNT, and she fell asleep the second time through on the couch.  I'd like to think TMNT night was a total success.  Turtle Power - Cowabunga dudes!!