Monday, March 26, 2012

Busy Weekend

Saturday was a big day for the Riggs kids.  In the morning Jim and Brennan went to their bi-weekly Lowe's workshop, in the early afternoon we had Brennan's birthday party, and at dinnertime we went to a potluck and Eggstravaganza with our church.

I don't have any photos of Brennan hammering nails with Daddy at Lowe's because I am never invited to this exclusive boys' event, but I do have a few pics of Brennan's bowling party.  There were 17 kids there, and everyone seemed to have a really great time.

I made Brennan's bowling shirt to match his invitations and favors.  I thought everything came out really cute.

Our annual egg hunt with our church was almost canceled due to rain, but we just pushed the time back, grabbed some rubber boots, and ended up having a lot of fun.

Cora was a pro at grabbing eggs.  She just kept shaking the eggs and saying, "There's candy in there!  There's candy in there!"

Brennan didn't get quite as many eggs as Cora, but that's because he wanted to get as many blue eggs as he could find.  (Blue is his favorite color.)  I told my neighbor Leslie about this, and she said, "That's so Brennan."  :-)

It was hard enough to get pictures of two kiddos hunting for eggs this year, but soon I am going to have to figure out how to get shots of three!  Just crazy.

This week is Brennan's actual birthday, and I'm also helping to throw a baby shower for my sweet friend, Kelly.  As soon as we get through the weekend, I'll be ready for baby boy to make his appearance.  He currently has his head on some kind of nerve that runs down my back and into my right leg, and I'm ready to reclaim my body.  15 days and counting...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

36 Weeks

How far along: 36 Weeks

How I feel:  I feel done.  I'm super emotional and hormonal, my feet hurt so much I can hardly walk, I run out of energy an hour or two into the day, and some days I can hardly face the morning.  I look like a beached whale, and when I smile my eyes get lost in my enormous cheeks.  Yep, I'm just done.

Maternity clothes: The few (?) items that still fit are holding on for this final 20ish days.  I will not be sorry to bid them farewell forever.

Sleep:  Besides waking every three hours to go to the bathroom, the sleep I do get is pretty decent.  I'm so exhausted I find a position and don't move until I have to get up and go.  I have had some pretty crazy dreams, though!

Best moment this month: There have been a lot!  My dinner party, getting our van, finishing the nursery, and Brennan's upcoming birthday are some of the best.

Movement: He is starting to run out of space, and his squirms make my stomach look like I am housing an alien.

Food cravings: In the past few months I have been to Wild Ginger twice and had their Teriyaki chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries, and Asian slaw.  It all tasted so good to me I feel like I could eat that one meal three times a week.  I also want to try their Mongolian Beef.  (Anyone want to go to Wild Ginger?!)  I am also still on a major chocolate kick and would drink a Starbucks Mocha every day if I could afford it.

Labor Signs: I have several friends that have told me I look like I have dropped in the past week (friends that know how I looked before and know that I already carry low), but I am not so sure it isn't just that I'm getting bigger.  I have also had some preterm contractions at night that have motivated me to get packing this weekend.

Belly button in or out?  I am not sure it could stick out any more.

What I miss: I miss the same things I missed before.  Mostly I miss snuggling with Jim, wearing cute clothes, and taking hot baths.  I also miss having the energy to stand up for even five minutes.

What I am NOT looking forward to:  I am not looking forward to breastfeeding.  I know some women just love it, but I don't.  I do it because I love my kids, and I am fully committed to it, but I feel like I could have the same connection with my babies over a bottle.  (Just being honest.)  I'm also not looking forward to my surgery recovery or being dependent on others to drive me places.  Oh, and I'm not looking forward to extreme sleep deprivation.  (Yeah, there are a lot of things about the early weeks with a newborn that I don't really love, but it all pays off with the first real smile.)

What I am looking forward to:  I am so looking forward to seeing my little boy's face, holding him close, and calling him by name (out loud).  :-)  I also can't wait for my kids to all meet each other.  I'm looking forward to making sweet memories together as a family and watching each child's unique personality develop.

Milestones: Yesterday I had to stop wearing my wedding band.  (I can't believe it fit this long!)  

Weekly Wisdom: One day at a time.  Just focus on one day at a time.

My c-section is scheduled for three weeks from yesterday, but I'm honestly hoping to go into labor a few days early.  This is officially my last monthly update.  It won't be long now (for you... for me it will be three of the longer weeks of my life.)  :-)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Baby Three's Room

It's done!!  Well... it's nearly done.  There are a few small details to take care of, but for the most part, the baby's room is ready for him to move in.  

You may remember when his room looked like this just several weeks ago:

Well, a little over a week ago I took Cora to a birthday party, and when I came home, I was surprised/delighted to find Jim and our friend John painting the nursery.  (Thanks again for pushing Jim, John!)

After that, it was just a matter of putting everything up, including the awesome paper lanterns I found for a steal online.

The black and white toile glider has been in each of my kids' nurseries since Brennan was born.  It was a gift from my in-laws, and I absolutely love it, but it was a challenge to incorporate in a brand-new way without feeling like I was repeating the other kids' rooms.  I had considered an orange and blue nursery, but I knew I couldn't pull it off with the black and white chair, so I went to another favorite combo: yellow and gray.

The bedding is the Harper elephant collection from Pottery Barn Kids.  I sold some things on Craigslist to buy the bumper and sheet, and my sister surprised me with a second sheet and the crib skirt as a baby gift.  It was the first time I haven't made my own baby bedding for the crib, and I was a little sad at first, but I simply didn't have time, and in the end it was very freeing.

Even though I didn't make the bedding, I did break out the sewing machine for a few projects.  I made the throw pillow for the chair and the curtain panels (lined with blackout fabric so the room is a perfect cave when the baby needs to sleep).  When he is awake or resting in my arms, this is what I see from his window (keep in mind it is dreary and raining today):

There is a stunning view of the sunset over the trees and hills every night.  It's the best view in the house.

Across the room from the chair, I have this fun wall to look at:

I just put different swatches of fabric into embroidery hoops and mixed in an inexpensive Target clock because I always like to know how long I've been nursing or sleeping in the chair.  ;-)  I still want to get yellow baskets or storage containers for board books to go on the bottom shelf of the bench, but yellow ones are hard to come by.  I'm hoping to make a trip to the Container Store soon, because I'm pretty sure they have exactly what I need.

This is the view from the hallway into the room.  It's what you see when you get to the top of the stairs.

The art that Hope gave me is a perfect fit above that table, don't you think?!  And the table will definitely look better with a picture of the baby in the frame.  :-)

This corner of the room still needs a little help:

The dresser needs a few pops of yellow, I think.  I also need a new lampshade for the floor lamp, as the one that was on there was black and pink to go with Cora's nursery.  Finally, I need to write something cute on the chalkboard elephant my friend Jen gave me.  (There are itty bitty, super subtle elephants on the crib sheet, making the elephant a perfect addition to the room.)

I am still thinking about adding a wall decal someplace that says, "You are my sunshine... You make me happy when skies are gray."  I had planned to do that before I saw the decal in Pottery Barn Kids simply because my mom used to sing that song to me as a child.  When I saw it in their catalog, I nearly wet my pants! (I should start working for PB!)

I had thought about putting those words in the frames above the bed, but now I'm second-guessing that decision.  I'm still a little up in the air about the frames, but I went ahead and put some fabric in there to keep from looking at the ugly brown background inside the frames.  (Now I need to straighten them out because the imperfection is driving me nuts.)  Maybe I'll do the decal above and below the frames?

So, the baby now has a room, and we have a vehicle in which to bring him home from the hospital.  He also has a ton of diapers and wipes to get started, thanks to the friends at my shower last weekend.

I feel SO much calmer, and now I can start focusing on all of the little things.  It's time to start organizing random closets, washing bottles and pacifiers, and totally driving my family nuts.  Bring on the nesting!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Soccer Mom

One of the most stressful things about getting pregnant last fall was trying to figure out how we were going to get a dependable car that would transport a family of five.  Neither of us had cars that could fit three car seats.  We don't do debt and didn't have much cash to put into a new van or SUV because of all of our medical bills last year with Cora, so I prayed and trusted that if God believed we deserved this baby on His special timing, He could handle the details.

Well, He certainly handled this one.  A humongous tax return and a great trade-in price on my Honda Civic (plus a little help from an acquaintance who is a dealer) got us this fabulous minivan: A 2005 Nissan Quest with a clean record and good mileage.  At first I just kind of liked it, but each day that I drive it, I grow to love it more.  It is comfortable, handles great, and has such awesome features for our family!  It doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles, but after the car I was driving before (no light in the trunk and manual windows), it feels like a luxury car.  Being able to open the doors or trunk with the click of a button is something I've quickly grown accustomed to!

Plus, it's not ugly.  I think it looks pretty cool, actually.  Definitely a plus.  :-)

Now this is my life, complete with the giant playset in the back yard:

I wouldn't have it any other way.

The van came just in time for Brennan to start soccer in a few weeks, so I guess I am officially a soccer mom now.  At least I don't have to be a really lame one.

In other news, the nursery is nearly done.  Here is a peek at the bedding:

More nursery photos to come next week.  I hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baby Shower / Dinner Party

I believe that God gives us different friends at different seasons in life for different reasons.  Some friends help you to laugh at yourself, others walk a few steps ahead of you in marriage or parenting, and still others are great shopping buddies.  In my experience, it is rare to find a friend who knows you intimately, cares deeply about your feelings, your family, and your dreams, and is there for you to celebrate victories, grieve losses, and bring meals when you're sick.  These friends anticipate your needs, work hard to make you smile, and call to check up on you when they sense something is off.  Usually they share your world view and values and help to encourage you to seek God daily.  These friends are priceless treasures.

This past Saturday night, some of my treasured friends helped to throw me a baby shower / celebration.  It was a night I won't ever forget.  It was an intimate dinner party for about ten people (mostly my church community group), and the point was not to shower the baby with gifts as much as to celebrate our new little blessing and pray for him and our family.  It was one of those events that could have been just be dinner and gifts, but it was so much more.

My dear friends Hope and Kylie worked really hard to make the night special, meaningful, and memorable for me.  Hope used photocopies of my nursery fabrics and some of my childhood photos to make an awesome decoration for the kitchen island (the nursery is yellow, gray, black and white).  She also planned a craft that was really fun.  We used photocopied fabrics from my nursery to make scrabble tile necklaces with scripture references on the back.  Later, the scripture on the back of each necklace was prayed over the baby by the person who had chosen it.

When I told Hope, "You didn't have to do all of this!  I'm just honored that people would gather to celebrate our baby!" her response was, "I know, but this seems to be your love language and how you love others best, so we wanted to make you feel loved, too."  So, so thoughtful.

My favorite part of the night besides praying for the baby was when Hope showed this video, which was a surprise to me:

What a keepsake!  The video so perfectly captures my kids at this stage in their lives as they prepare for their baby brother, and I am so thankful that I will always have this to show to our youngest and to remind me of how excited Brennan and Cora were to love on him.

The food on Saturday was amazingly good, and my friend Emily made a divine strawberry cake (one of my favorites!) that was possibly the most delicious cake I've ever had in my life.  I could have eaten half of it by myself.  (For real.)

I got lots of great diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and pajamas for the baby, and I am so thankful for how much money this will save us in the upcoming months!  My most meaningful gift was from Hope.  It was three of the scripture verses we prayed for the baby, written out on vellum and framed with some of my nursery fabric behind it.  It is beautiful on many levels, and it will look perfect in the baby's room.

I am incredibly grateful for the friends God has given me at each stage in my life.  It is good to know that our kids will have other adults to look up to and learn from, and Jim and I will have lots of emotional support and extra hands when we need them.  I am so blessed.  Each day we are a step closer to being ready to meet this little guy!

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