Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's all coming together.

Over the weekend I ventured to the Kate Spade outlet to see what they had in terms of baby bags.  My mom gives me a hard time because I am willing to spend more on the baby bag than the crib...which may be true, but let me explain. 

First, I love Kate Spade; her designs are so classy and clean.  The Kate Spade bag I bought back when I was working for Steve and being paid in handbags, is by far the best purse I have ever owned.  The other thing is that since I will be carrying a diaper bag, I won't also be carrying a handbag, which means I need a nice diaper bag.  Get it?  Good.

At the end of last week I received an email from Kate Spade herself saying that she views me as part of her friends and family and wanted to give me a 30% discount to use over the weekend because she loves me so much.  She is so sweet.  Then, when I got there the sales girl said they were offering 30% off some items and double 30% off another part of the store.  With my 30% gift from Kate, that means triple 30% off! 

My heart started to race, my hands got clammy, and I started to go nuts.  But, I put things back and I ended up with a diaper bag, a handbag, a pair of sunglasses and a makeup case.  Here's the best part....all 4 of those items together cost less than the handbag would have been regularly priced....and it was the most expensive item. 
Diaper Bag

   handbag at triple 30% off!

Look how cute it is!

Steve said this bag is too feminine and requested a camouflage backpack for the times he will be alone and out with the baby.  Being the good wifey I am, I found one and here is his diaper bag.

I have also completed the nursery for the time being.  The tree came in on Saturday and I finally got Steve to help me hang it last night.  My original plan was to have my brother-in-law paint a tree so we could customize it, but when Steve heard that you can buy a decal that will just peel off the wall, he wanted nothing to do with painting. 

I am pretty happy with how it turned out but it took a hour and a half to hang and I wish we could have worked the tree around the furniture, but instead we have to work the furniture around the tree (I had to move the crib over because of a low-hanging'll see in the pictures).  It came in about 17 pieces and needed to be peeled and put together one by one.  Also, the dimensions weren't listed anywhere on the paperwork, so about 20 minutes were spent trying to see how it would fit.  I figure by the time we are ready to take the tree down, we would be ready to get rid of the blue walls anyway...but oh well...what's done is done. 

I'm very glad we went with the brown because you can hardly see the white birds against the light walls.

All I know is that with the stress of putting up that tree, baby Callaway's first words better be, "thank you for my beautiful tree; it really ties the room together," or he will be going to bed with no dinner. 

"Unrealistic expectations party of one, your table is now available."

Gotta run, time to eat.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In memory of Laura

Went to the doctor today and she told me she is proud of me for keeping my weight gain under control (I gained 2 more pounds putting me at a total of 14 lbs in 25 weeks).  Pat myself on the back!  Everything is going really well and she is very happy with how it all is going.  Once again, as soon as he heard/felt the heart monitor, the little nugget started kicking the machine.  He's a piece of work.

This past week, as I have been prepping the baby's room and planning to bring new life into the world, I have been experiencing the other side of the spectrum which is the loss of life.  All in one week, two of my friend's moms and a friend of mine from college have passed.  Not that any one loss is more significant than another, but with the natural order of things, you expect your parents to go before you; you do not expect to lose your child.

As a freshman at UF, I joined Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, and Laura became one of my brothers.  A letter showed up in my dorm mailbox inviting me to come to an informative meeting about the fraternity and my first reaction was confusion; um...I'm a girl and frats are for boys.  I called my dad and asked if I had missed something and if UF did things a little different. He informed me that yes, UF does do it different...they do it better...and that some of the colleges within the university have co-ed fraternities.  I decided I would walk by the meeting to see if there were any girls present, and if there weren't, I would just keep walking. 

I walked to the auditorium in one of the science buildings and there were 4 girls standing at the doors handing out papers, relieved, I walked in and little did I know I was about to join an organization that would completely change my college career for the better as well as give me some of my closest life-long friends. 

My third year in the fraternity, a girl with curly hair, a bubbly personality, and one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen in my life showed up for rush.  Without hesitation, she was voted in and became a very important and impactful brother. 

This was the last time I saw Laura.  We randomly bumped into her outside of the
Landing at Florida/Georgia weekend.  Laura is in the white shirt.
I don't want to embellish our relationship or make it sound like we were best friends; we weren't.  I was 3 years older and as she was getting revved up in Phi Sig, I was getting closer to graduation and winding down.  Laura was the person though who could liven up any party, always made you laugh, and you wouldn't hesitate to do anything for; because she would be the first person to help you if you needed something. 

After graduation, we only kept in touch via Facebook (which is the extent of 60-70% of our friends lists....let's be honest) and about a year ago she started posting that she was not feeling well and the doctors weren't sure what it was.  She kept us posted as she went through a slew of tests and guesses as to what was wrong and then before long, traveled to the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville, FL.  The next thing I knew, she was going through chemo and announced that she was going to need a bone marrow transplant. 

Obviously, I am not including many details and would probably butcher the timeline if I tried, so if you would like to read more about her story, you can go here:

The thing about Laura is that through all of the confusion, poking, prodding, chemo, bad news, etc, she never lost her positive attitude, sense of humor, fighting spirit, and that famous smile.  She eventually found a match and went through the bone marrow transplant only for her body to begin fighting it.  She had blood and platelet transfusions at least weekly which was keeping her alive, along with a lot of meds, and was forced to stay at the Mayo clinic because she couldn't keep enough fluids in her. 

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, her parents posted in her Caring Bridge journal that she hadn't spoken in about 4 days and had been unconscious for most of it and so they were planning to place her in hospice care; which we all know means the end is near.  How is it that in a year this beautiful, vibrant, fun-loving girl could go from training for half marathons to hospice care? 

Her parents were told there was not a bed for her that day, then at 9:00pm a bed opened but they decided to wait until morning to move her.  Miraculously, she woke up the next morning and was talking to her parents, husband and brother.  No one wanted to get their hopes up too high, but where was this surge of energy coming from?

Within the next few days, her husband called her parents to come to Mayo because Laura wanted to share her wishes with her family.  She had decided it was time, in her words, for her to "peace out" and wanted to admit herself into hospice knowing that "being alive" and "living" are 2 different things.  Laura held on for about 1 more week which allowed her to spend lots of time with her family and even for her to entertain some friends who came in from out of town, what a blessing, and then passed away last Tuesday at 8:30am. 

I am not sure of much of anything in life, but what I am positive of is this: there is a God, He has a plan for us, and we have no idea what it is.  To lose someone after only 27 years on this planet seems senseless, unfair, and is a HUGE test of faith; but faith we must have.  Laura and I were certainly not close enough to ever discuss her faith or lack thereof, so as the end became inevitable, I began making the sales pitch of my life.  I told God Laura would, if nothing else, make heaven a lot more fun and brighten up the place with her smile.  :)

So, as we all do after someone dies, I have been asking myself what I can do to honor Laura.  These are the things I have come up with:
1.  Be grateful for every day I have.
2.  Never take tomorrow for granted.
3.  Smile.  A lot!
4.  Donate blood on a regular basis (that is what kept her alive after all).
5.  Sign up to be a bone marrow donor. 
6.  Make more of an effort to stay in touch with people.

I am a work in progress and strive to do better with each of these everyday.  I don't think I can give blood while pregnant, so that will have to wait, but I have already requested a kit to be sent to my house to submit my DNA for the bone marrow donor list. 

Friends, if you would do me a favor and help me honor Laura by doing at least one of the things on my list, I will love you forever.  Go to and sign up to be a bone marrow donor.  It is free (although they will accept your money if you want to donate) and painless to get on the list.  It is painful to donate if you are matched with someone, but I think it is well worth the pain to potentially save a life. 

I wish peace, comfort, and eventual understanding to the families and friends of the 3 lovely women who left us last week, and am ready to start celebrating new life as about 5 of my friends are due in the next few months.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We're back on track baby!

At last week's doctor's appointment, I had gained 2 lbs in the last 2 weeks.  We're back baby!  Maybe little Mr. Callaway had just grown a lot the previous 2 weeks which led to the weight gain. 

I have gained another pound since last Tuesday, so my plan is back in action.  Luckily, all of this nesting has worked as some exercise for me.  100 trips up and down the stairs every day, shopping, painting, and putting together furniture gets a girl's heart rate up.

Monday was my official 24 week mark and here is our progress:

I hope these next 16 weeks go quickly.  I'm ready to have my body back.  All of this kicking, cramping, peeing, shortness of breath, etc is a bit overrated.

It seems that as soon as he stops kicking me and finally falls back to sleep, Steve shakes my stomach or does something to wake him up.  What is he thinking?!?!?!?  This had better not be a sign of things to come or he will end up in time out more than our son will.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tweet Tweet

I am in serious nesting mode.  This last week I have been blessed with a sudden burst of energy, so I dusted off the 'ole tool belt and am taking FULL advantage of it setting up the baby's room.  On Wednesday, I put together the crib (it was comical watching me carry each piece up the stairs one by one because the box was too heavy to carry by myself).  On Thursday, I bought a bookshelf, rug, baskets, paint and crib mattress, then put the bookshelf together.  Yesterday, I taped the baseboards, crown molding, door frames, etc and then painted all of the trim in the room.  Today, I rolled the walls, put the furniture back in it's place, and planned what else I need to buy.

My original plan for today was that Steve would help me paint, but that was just silly I guess.  Instead, Steve watched football all day while I painted.  In all fairness, I did have him run to Home Depot to buy another gallon of paint before the first game started this he contributed. 

When he got back from Home Depot, I was feeling light headed because I hadn't eaten yet and had painted 3/4 of the room, so he made me a sandwich.  As he closed the door behind him after bringing me the sandwich, he said these encouraging, thoughtful and loving words: "Don't come out till you're done."  Be still my heart.

He also came in later to inspect my work and give me pointers of how I could be doing things different/better, to which I just smiled, said thank you and then waited for him to get OUT of the room.  He said every family needed a hard worker and he was glad that person in this family was me.  I told him to keep bringing home the bacon and cooking it up and I have no problem doing things like this.  We don't have gender roles in this house in case you couldn't tell. 

So here is the room so far:
Steve chose the wall color.  I was torn between blue and green but he liked the blue.  I really like it, especially when the sunlight is coming into the room.  To the right of the crib, under the window, I will put the glider/chair with a bright colored pillow as soon as I find one I like.  The rug is from Target and is a really soft shag rug.  I just want to roll around on it.

I figure the TV will come in handy during midnight feedings.  Tomorrow I will go pick up one more basket to put on the bottom middle shelf and then the other 5 shelves can house all of the books I plan to buy.  My son will be a learn-ed boy.

This wall will be the home to the dresser and changing table.  My original plan was to buy a long dresser and just use the top as a changing table, but I can't find a long one I like, and this crib has a matching tall dresser and changing table.  I will probably just buy those because they aren't expensive and we can invest in nicer furniture for him when he gets a little older.  We are now kicking ourselves though (well, at least I am) because I wish I had ordered those items during the Columbus Day sale when I bought the crib.  I'm going to hold off on buying them in hopes that there will be a good door buster sale or another special of some kind.  Also on this wall, probably in between the dresser and table, I am going to put this wall decal:
Pinned Image
I ordered it in brown with white birds and will put 3 shelves on the 3 branches.

I know I want to buy a big mirror to go somewhere (maybe over the crib) and so I don't know what else I will need for the walls.  So that it's not completely monochromatic, I think I will also incorporate a bright color.  The orange in the picture above looks really cute, and we all know how beautifully Orange and Blue go together...

Steve left to go fishing with his uncle and he asked what I was going to do without him.  Of course, I am going to do what I always do when he isn't home; eat junk food, watch TV, read, and go to bed early.  So, I am eating Taco Bell and watching the Gator game.  It's my turn for football!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maybe I just need to stay out of stores...

For my birthday, my dear, sweet, generous and thoughtful mom sent me a big box of maternity clothes knowing that the thought of going maternity shopping made me want to cry and yet I couldn't fit into anything I currently had in my wardrobe.  She did an amazing job too.  My mom is normally nervous about buying me clothes because I tend to not like much of what she picked, but in this case, I liked almost everything.  When I tried everything on however, several things needed to be exchanged for larger sizes.  I DO appreciate my mom thinking I am still a small though. 

Since we already had errands to run today: breakfast, Babies R Us (we went to a different and smaller store today and were the only shoppers in there.  It was organized, clean and the people were helpful....I will never go to the other location again!), church (only it was POURING and for fear of melting, Steve said we could just pray today and be grateful for all God has given us and stay out of the rain....sissy),  and the mall to look for my birthday present (yep, that's birthday was last Tuesday and we are just now looking for which item he will have to order...might get that gift before my next birthday...maybe), I decided to take the clothes that needed to be exchanged and we could swing through Macy's.

Here is how that went:
We found a few of the items in the right sizes and then found some other items to take the place of the ones we couldn't find.  Then we went to the register.  I told the lady (we'll call her Flo) that I needed to exchange this group of items for the other group.  I even had the receipt.  Flo then asked me if I had the Macy's card it was purchased with.  I told her no, that my mom in Ohio had purchased them as a gift.

Flo then proceeded to tell me that she could return the items on to my mom's card and then I would have to pay for the new items.  Whhhaaaattttt?  Walk me through this again Flo.  You mean to tell me that I can not exchange a gift even with the receipt.  Flo said no, that I would need the Macy's card.  I explained once again that the card is in Ohio and that these items were a gift and I just wanted to exchange the stuff.  Apparently this transaction was WAY too much for Flo to comprehend because she thought I wanted to return items to my mom's card and then use my mom's card to buy new items.  She kept pointing to the receipt with her obnoxiously bright orange fake fingernails as though that was going to help us understand. 

After going through the logistics several times, my hormones kicked in and I started to get loud...real loud (I love that I can blame bad behavior on "pregnancy hormones").  Steve was trying to calmly explain this transaction one more time while I am standing behind him yelling, "SO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT ANYONE WHO RECEIVES A GIFT PURCHASED BY A MACY'S CARD IS S.O.L. IF THEY DON'T LIKE WHAT WAS GIVEN TO THEM OR IT DOESN'T FIT???????  WHEN YOU GIVE A GIFT, IF THE RECIPIENT DOESN'T LIKE IT, YOU DON'T GET THE MONEY BACK!" 
A very kind woman who was shopping nearby and heard my rage and came over to offer some help.  She told Flo that she should issue me a store gift card if they wouldn't give me cash back and then I could purchase the new items with that money.  Now Flo's head was about to explode due to her lack of understanding and I wondered how Flo got herself this job at Macy's in the first place. 


Finally Flo picked up the phone and called for backup.  She let us know the manager was on the way.  Steve was still trying to explain this to Flo while I was now pacing in the aisle saying, "STEVE THIS IS OBVIOUSLY TOO COMPLEX OF A TRANSACTION FOR HER TO UNDERSTAND, ALTHOUGH I'M SURE 1000 EXCHANGES ARE DONE A DAY, LET'S JUST WAIT FOR THE MANAGER WHO MIGHT POSSIBLY BE ABLE TO FACILITATE THIS SIMPLE REQUEST!" 

About that time another employee, who was probably wishing she could disappear to avoid my wrath, walked by and Flo asked her for advice (We will call her My Angel of Mercy...Angel for short).  Angel told Flo that all she had to do was return the items, scan the new items and issue a gift card if there is a remaining balance.  At this, Flo walked into the fitting room behind her and didn't come out again until we were walking off.  Good Flo!  Go hide and think about what you've done!

The manager showed up as Angel was completing our transaction and asked what was going on.  We explained it to her and she had this look of, "Why am I here for this remedial task?"  I then suggested that Flo go through a training course on returns/exchanges/gift cards/common sense, to which the manager agreed. 

Flo, this is going to be a very long life for you if this is how things continue to go. 

Oh, and PS...It's not Halloween yet.  Lose the BRIGHT orange fingernails.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'm never leaving the house on a Saturday again.

Today I ventured to Babies R Us to add some final things to my registry (like sheets and things that you need to feel first) and to look at cribs, dressers and gliders.  What in the world have I gotten myself into???

The place was PACKED.  I was initially shocked by the very full parking lot and quickly regretted my decision to plan this outing on a Saturday.  (Note to self: Babies R Us is a Monday-Friday establishment from now on.)

The other part of the outing that stressed me out was the complete disorganization of the store.  Maybe it's like your first time to a new grocery store where nothing is where you think it should be, but I spent 90% of my time roaming around by myself like a little girl who lost her mom.  What I would have paid to have had my mom or a good friend with me who is in possession of a fully functioning brain...this pregnancy brain thing is killing me.  It also didn't help that I hadn't eaten anything yet and so my body was screaming for nourishment. 

I printed my registry when I got there, so I could look at and feel the items I had chosen, and immediately felt inadequate.  Some of the registries people were carrying around were over 10 pages long.  Mine was only 3 1/2.  My kid is neglected already!  A decision has been made in this house though that we will not resign ourselves to living in a toy store just because we have kid; besides, what kid needs that many toys and gadgets anyway?  I registered for the items my mommy friends said I absolutely CANNOT live without, and am leaving it at that.  Besides, I don't want to be greedy and have a 50 page registry. 

Then they handed me the scanner.  I registered for both my wedding and baby online and had never felt the power of the scanner before.  This thing makes registering much too easy.  Now I see how those lists get so long.  Impulsive buyer's dream!  You see something you even halfway like, scan the sucker and hope someone will buy it for you.  After a few minutes, the blood returned to my head, I found the delete button and undid some of my scanning.  Here was my thought: sure this is cute but I don't really want it and if someone got me this over something I really wanted I would have to come buy the item I really wanted on my own which would in turn just cost me money and then I would be stuck with this item I didn't really want and would feel a pang of regret and guilt every time I saw it because I would know I didn't really want it and someone wasted their money on it.  Did I mention I hadn't eaten yet?

The scanner gets you things like this:

After roaming around for a little bit, hungry, lost, and wanting my mommy, I turned in the scanner before tears started to form (although I'm sure I wouldn't be the first pregnant person to curl up in the fetal position and cry in Babies R Us because she was lost, confused, and overwhelmed) and decided I will drag Steve back tomorrow so I can feel safe and he can make all of the decisions.  Guess I will have to make another exception to my Monday-Friday rule. 

So my mommy friends who haven't given me their input already, here is my registry....did I forget anything that you really couldn't live without?  A follow-up question: is there anything I registered for that you think is a great big waste?  I'm not posting my registry because I am fishing for gifts....however, if you would like to make a donation to my child's life, I won't turn anything away.  hehe   It's under my name: Kristi Callaway, Houston, TX

A friend is giving me her changing pad and 2 covers for it so I didn't forget those, and another is selling me her breast pump, so I didn't forget that either. 

My other dilemma is that I want people to feel free to give me LOTS and LOTS of diapers, but my shower is going to be in Florida and I live in Texas.  Does anyone know of a way people could give me a Pampers gift card (do they sell those?  They aren't on the website) or diapers of any sort without having to buy me just a Babies R Us gift card?  I would hate to have to go all the way over there when I need diapers.  All of my other gifts will be shipped here, so I will have to be sure to tip my UPS man.

Now I am watching the Gator game and I may still end up in the fetal position crying if things continue to go this way.  Come on boys, I don't necessarily expect a win since our 3rd string quarterback is starting and this is his first time even playing in a college football game, but let's score at least a couple times just for good measure. 

Go Gators!