Sunday, December 29, 2013

Baby West says, Go Dawgs! (12 Weeks)

The whole pregnancy thing from my (Cary's) perspective:
I remember very early on, I was sitting on the couch and Kelly brings me an EPT.  I'm thinking, sure they have commercials about those, but are they really accurate?  Personally, I put little stock in it.  It wasn't until I saw the ultrasound that it was real.

My role?  Support and Logistics.  When Kelly has cravings, I go to the grocery store, coupons in tow, and support the craving.  I even bought tart yogurt from a  frozen yogurt place, filling up a container until they were out of that flavor.  From a logistics side, our health insurance is from my employer, and I have read just about everything our insurance has on prenatal care, pregnancy, birth, and postnatal care.  I should know from working in healthcare, but I soon realized that though most services received are dictated by insurance, the doctor's office is unaware of who gets what services.

It is definitely an exciting time, preparing our home, our budget, and our hearts.  Speaking of budgets, Kelly sent me an article from Southern Savers about the best deals on diapers and what is considered a good per diaper price based on size.  As with other products, I've taken this somewhat as a challenge to find the best deals...more to come on that later.

**Just FYI, these posts are not "real time" and may be a few weeks behind. We plan to catch up soon.**

Saturday, December 21, 2013


By this point, the baby is about the size of a grape.

We had our first doctor's appointment (I was actually 9 weeks, 5 days at the appointment, but who's counting).  I made this appointment as soon as I had a positive ept, meaning almost a month prior.  When I called, the receptionist told me I would have to wait until I was 8 weeks and then due to appointment availability, I was going to be 9 weeks.  Maybe it's just me, but that's a LONG wait for a first time mom to wait!  Then, on the morning of the appointment, I get a phone call that my MD had been called into emergency surgery, and they needed to re-schedule.  Now I completely understand that when I am that pregnant woman with an emergency c-section, I will want my MD there as soon as possible, but the thought of delaying an appointment this important caused some serious stress.  Not to mention Cary and I had taken the day off from work!  Luckily, I got in the next Monday morning.
Cary had the day off for Veteran's Day so he was able to come, too.  As soon as I checked in, the receptionist asked if this was a prenatal visit, and I said "Um, yes."  Yep, I am pregnant, and this is really happening.  They took my weight and BP, and I peed in a cup for their pregnancy test (which I assume was positive, they never said :)
More waiting and then they took me back to see the MD.  She went over the do's and don't's of pregnancy, answered my questions, and then performed a pelvic exam and pap smear. She then told me that I'd be having an ultrasound next. I was instantly excited.  From reading and talking to friends, I thought that I might have to re-schedule for another time to have an ultrasound.  We went right into the ultrasound tech's office and got to see our baby!
Now, I should warn you this may be TMI....
I was warned by a friend who found out she was pregnant around the same time I did....the first ultrasound is trans-vaginal, not through the abdomen.  (The baby is too small to be seen through the abdomen at this point.)
The ultrasound makes it real.  I don't care how many pregnancy tests you take, the fact that you've missed periods, or have morning sickness.  Seeing your baby on an ultrasound makes it REAL!  I remember asking the tech as soon as we got in her office if we were gonna get pictures (you know me and pictures!).  I held Cary's hand throughout and still remember his smile at seeing his first child for the first time.

That little baby is 2.88 cm! About an inch long!
And my favorite part:  As soon as the ultrasound tech found the sac, the baby was moving around like crazy!  We could clearly see arms and legs moving in every direction.  The next miracle was the heart beat.  We saw the little chambers of the heart pulsating, and I remember asking the heart rate and Cary answered (you know he's a numbers guy). It was in the 160's...which is normal but studies say cannot predict gender :)  He/she stopped moving and the tech joked that he/she went to sleep.  She was able to take measurements and told us everything looked good. She also checked to make sure there was only one sac ;)
And no, we do not know the gender.  From what I have read, you cannot determine gender until 15 weeks at the earliest and usually 16 to18 weeks to be sure.
They later took a bunch of blood for testing and another urine sample.  The whole process probably took about 2 hours.  The best part, by far, is seeing the baby.  It will be several weeks (20!) before I get another ultrasound, so I will just have to be patient!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Big Announcement

No, our big announcement is not that we are actually posting on this blog again...although, it could be.  It has been months since this site has seen anything new, sorry!  No, we have much more exciting news:

We're expecting!  

Personally, I've known I was pregnant since late September/early October.  I took a pregnancy test about a week and a half before my missed period.  I bought one of the cheap ones from the dollar store because I didn't really think I would get a positive, and I didn't want to waste an expensive test. (In case you've never priced a pregnancy test: The nice ones like "ept" or "First Response" are about $10 each, but the dollar store ones are, yep, a dollar!)

So as soon I got home from work, I took the test and waited.  A few minutes later a very faint pink line appeared in the window.  I was instantly mad.  I thought, well what does that mean?  It didn't look like the example on the box.  Am I pregnant or not?!?  I took a couple deep breaths and did the next sensible thing....googled it!  According to Google, a line, no matter how faint, is a line....a positive test.  In more googling, I found out that I should have taken the test first thing in the morning, when hormone levels are highest.  Google also recommended waiting 3 days and taking another test, at which time the line should be darker.  I felt much better and wondered what people did before Goggle?  Old wives tales I guess.  Google also will tell you the sensitivity and specificity of pregnancy tests, which is very interesting, but I won't bore you with all that.

I think I waited 2 days and took another test, in the morning.  A couple minutes later, I had a bright pink line!  Pregnant.  And this was still about a week before my missed period.  I debated whether to tell Cary, after all, this was really early and anything could happen.  I kept it to myself all day, but by the evening I had to tell him.  On the way home from our small group Bible study, I told Cary I had taken a pregnancy test, but quickly explained it was a cheap one so who knows if it is accurate (trying to down play it all).  Well!?  He wanted to know if it was positive.  Yep, it was positive!

I'll let him tell you about his feelings after finding out he might be a Dad, but as for me, I was excited and nervous and expectant, all at once.  I waited one week and took an "ept" brand test.  Again, it was positive, so I felt for sure that this was happening.  I gave the test and a Georgia G onesie to Cary as a "surprise" we're pregnant gift (I had told him I bought him something he might need for Gameday).  Although he already knew, it was confirmation to me to miss my period and have another (more expensive) positive test. 


By the way, that onesie is size 3-6 months...the approximate age of our baby at the beginning of next football season! Crazy!

Friday, March 29, 2013


Over the past few weeks, Kelly and I have discussed how we plan to garden this year with the addition of our new dogs.  We adopted them last July and were able to harvest a good bit before they thought plants were chew toys and produce was for playing keep-away.

Last year, we tried our hand at gardening both at the community gardens and in the back yard.

Several people at work have been talking about building raised garden beds, and Kelly and I agreed this would solve the problem of the puppies and still being able to harvest in the back yard.  I read online including a how-to guide from one of Kelly's favorite bloggers, The Pioneer Woman.  I also read from Organic Gardening their how to build a raised garden bed.

After deciding where and how to build, I purchased (6) 2x10s 8 feet in length.  I cut 2 of the 8 foot pieces in half using a hand saw and then moved the wood to the back yard.

I used both 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 inch screws in no real order to secure the two layers.

The bed measures 8 feet by 4 feet and 20 inches tall.

After the bed was complete, I went to Bricko Farms, a local organic store and got a truckload of garden mix soil.

Prior to planting, I decided to map out where everything would go.  The garden will include red potatoes, bell and jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and okra.  Most of the plants started as seeds in styrofoam cups and were then transplanted to the garden.

As you can tell, it is jam-packed.  Here's the raised bed with potatoes (covered with dirt to create a mound around each and to protect from our last frost), tomatoes, and jalapenos:

 One of the tomato plants with marigolds surrounding it...supposed to keep the bugs away.

The fencing was added to keep the dogs out.  It took them about 5 minutes to jump into the garden bed, so while we hoped the raised bed would keep away temptation, the fence was necessary after all. 

 Watering the jalapenos

Lastly, we will add the bell and red peppers as well as the okra. Here's hoping for a great garden.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ready for their close-up

Recent photos of the pups...

 Focusing on a toy, I'm sure

Morgan, cutting his eyes at me


Wednesday, February 13, 2013 me find one!

I am really into the new trend of decorating with large scale maps!  I love the vintage, monochromatic maps. My pinterest boards are full of them.  The only problem?  I can't actually find any to put in my home!  I really want one of the Savannah River, but at this point, I am willing to take just about anything remotely related to Georgia!  Any ideas?  Help!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Another year older

Cary and I spent this past weekend in Athens, GA celebrating my birthday.  We went to our favorite restaurants, Porterhouse and Last Resort, but the real treat was stopping at Marti's at Midday and going by Gigi's Cupcakes on the way out of town today.  

 Chicken salad sandwich at Marti's

 Yummy cupcakes...I'm just now trying the text feature of Photoshop.  Any tips?  Obviously I need some advice on making it look a little better. 

Thanks to my wonderful husband who made the trip so fun!  Also, thanks to my parents for taking care of the puppies while we were away.  I also enjoyed all the cards, gifts, texts and FB messages!  It has truly been a happy birthday!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tobacco Baskets

I realized that I never posted the finished product of the Tobacco Baskets!  My mom was able to find 4 of these beauties (in this post I explained how she found 2 and we needed 2 more)!  I cleaned them up by giving them a good scrub and sprayed them down with water to get rid of a few decades of dirt and dust.  I then stained them with a polyurethane-stain combo from Minwax to make the wood look new again. Just FYI, they are approximately 4 feet by 4 feet and weigh about 15 pounds a piece.

Here's a before photo, with no stain:
 And here they are in place:
One is from Virginia and two are from North Carolina while the other one is not marked.  I think they turned out pretty good.  It was a much easier way to fill up that amount of wall space than with artwork or photos or something.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy 2013 everyone!  We wish you many blessings in this coming year.  Cary and I are excited about what God has planned for us in this new year, too!
It is hard to believe this little blog, which started because of our wedding planning, now has over 9,300 page views.  No, it isn't a lot compared to some of those professional bloggers, but we still think it is fun.  We plan to continue blogging and sharing and hope to receive more feedback from ya'll along the way!

We played host to not only my family's Christmas, but Cary's immediate family as well.  Wanted to share some photos from Christmas celebrations:
The tree was placed in the dining room this year.  The table was lined with globes from Dad and the credenza featured a nativity from Cary's mom.  
  We decided to make salt dough ornaments and get the pups paw prints.  We got Morgan's ornament on the first try...Madison's required a little more work!  Imagine that!

 The West Family
We were blessed to spend the holidays with family!  Make 2013 great!