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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Summary...Thanksgiving and the Holidays begin

Kim and I love the holidays and we got off to a good start with a 5 day "weekend" for Thanksgiving. Wednesday was decoration day...Meaning the pregnant wife couldn't lift a thing or tote anything down the steps. Mind you, I wouldn't have let her but I gave her some props because I didn't realize how much she helps me tote stuff around here until she can't. But the tree is up, the outside is lit up, and the rest of the house decorations are up as well. Thursday was spent eating with family, Friday we shopped and Saturday/Sunday we chilled here at home. Baby girl seems to be trucking right along because every night after dinner, she lets Kim know that she approves of the meal. Between 6pm and 9pm she practices tumbling inside Kimmy's belly and apparently the kicks are getting more intense because Kim jumps higher now.

I've been back in the nursery putting up the chair rail and we've backed off of the judges panel look just because of the size of the room. It just seems like it could get a bit busy in there. I've also emptied the closet so I can put up new shelving and take better advantage of the nook in the back. Pretty soon we'll be painting and ready for carpet after that!

Focusing a little more on the baby....We keep getting asked about names and we're sort of torn between two and can't make up our minds. I asked Kim if she wanted me to see what everyone thought using one of the little polls on the blog but she declined. Seems a little too democratic for such a personal decision. We have, however, polled friends and family and we've gotten mixed results when we've mentioned the names we're leaning toward. Some folks like both, some like one strongly over the other...some folks tend to forget that we're talking about our daughter and sort of snarl and voice purely negative opinions (if you're one of those people, we're potentially talking about my kid's name for Pete's sake. Be nice.) In the end we're just praying that we give this little girl the right name so that she isn't ashamed of who she is and is empowered with a sense of confidence. Maybe that's alot to ask of a name but hey...we're just trying to do the best we can. It's so much easier to name a dog. You sit back and say...MILO! And Milo sticks. But Milo could have some potential pitfalls in middle school and on job interviews. Oh well, we love you all and hope you have a great week. Just think, No more Saxby and Jim Martin ads after Tuesday!!!!

Oh, not that every article is comment worthy but we appreciate and look for comments all the time. For those of you that have left them...Thanks! For those that haven't...please take the time if you read or see something comment worthy. We really appreciate the feedback.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Weeks 21, 22, and 23

We're a little behind on the baby updates so we're going to lump three weeks into one post. Rather than is the straight skinny from the pros:

Week 21-
Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she's practicing martial arts as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you're having a girl, her vagina has begun to form as well.

Week 22-
At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

Week 23-
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of our family and friends, Happy Thanksgiving! Kim and I are so very blessed to know and love each of you and we're excited to introduce our little girl to you in the spring. This is a difficult time for many but we can all find fact many, many things to be thankful for. It's always easier to complain about the lack of perfection in our lives than it is to be thankful for the smallest blessings. As all of you spend time with your loved ones today, just take time to thank God for the very opportunity to enjoy this day. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

On the move!

Tonight was a first for me....I saw her move!

I really thought that would freak me out a little but baby girl has just been kicking the heck out of Kimmy tonight. It's so amazing to see our little one bumping around inside of her. I under estimated the wow factor on this one. Kim has been feeling her alot lately but she seems to like salad and baked potato.....or she's ticked about it, one of the two.

Simple pleasures of an ecstatic Mom and Dad.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Summary...Birthday party for Mary and Thanksgiving week!

Thanksgiving Week!! It's here and the holidays are officially upon us. We love this time of year and more so than ever before, we need the distraction from economic gloom and doom. Kim and I are dedicated to making this Thanksgiving and Christmas about our families and being thankful for what we have. It's also noteworthy that this is our last holiday season by ourselves. That's sort of sad from a selfish point of view but Kim and I are so very excited about every Christmas from now on having a baby girl grow into a little girl and a woman with her own family eventually. Everything appears to be fine with baby girl right now because she's moving more and more and the baby bump is starting to show {grin} even more! Well, on to the run down....

We hung with family a good bit this weekend starting off with Uncle Lance and Aunt Celeste for chow on Friday night. Then we went to the 'Hoon (Calhoun) Saturday afternoon for my Great Aunt Mary's birthday party. Mary is Papa's sister and she hasn't been in the best of health lately. She has Alzheimer's to the point that she might know the most familiar faces one minute and not the next. It's so sad to see her like that but so many people turned out for her birthday party and it was good to see alot of family.

Papa Hall Version 2.0 with an exceptional smile.

Kimmy and Elizabeth

One of the big topics at the dinner was Kimmy and the baby. My family (by and large) probably thought that Kim and I were never having kids so we were sort of a novelty last night. Everyone was very complimentary of Kim's progress....meaning that she barely looks pregnant so that made Kim feel very good. Robbie (my little cousin) thinks that the Doctor is wrong and we're having a little boy. He told Kim and I that he was just sick to his stomach about us having a girl! That kid is a trip. Elizabeth (Robbie's big sis...obviously enough my first girly cousin) is very excited that we're having a girl so that she won't be the only one any more. And finally Grandmother Helen was just happy in general. I would probably draw up about being a Great Grand-anything but she's just tickled about it.

Grandmother Helen and my Great Aunt Essie

I caught Mom by surprise.

We tested names on everyone and we got 50/50 results. Nothing is overwhelming one way or the other so we're just using alternate names in reference to her around the house for a real world test. Just for shiggles I might poll everyone to see what the poll would say.

After that Soccer Ryan and Jenny (sorry Peggy...I didn't know if it's with an I or a Y) came down to spend some time with us. Ryan is jumping into the world of home ownership this week and closing on his first home Wednesday! Kim and I are very proud of him and this will be a good thing for him to break out on his own. Congratulations Ryan! We also need to throw out a semi-late Happy Birthday to Sandy (Kim's sis). She's probably like 50 something by now so Happy Birthday Sandy!

So Sunday was our typical chill day. Some Target Christmas shopping, Lowe's for some chair rail that I'll be installing in the baby's room, and a little yard work between football. We chatted with our neighbors while they were putting up Christmas lights outside so now I'm on fire for putting up decorations! This week will be a fun week because it's less work and more play and I know the Kim and I both need that right now. We'll post prior to the day but Happy Thanksgiving in advance to all of our friends and family. We love and appreciate all of you and just ask that you keep praying for Kim and our baby girl.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blog changes coming....

In the next day or so we'll be unveiling a new blog view courtesy the awesome ladies at Cutest Blog on the Block. I won't take credit for anything other than picking the background with Kim and then asking the ladies to help design something for me. I've bought a few programs to be able to design some stuff down the road but we wanted to give the blog a little better feel pretty quickly so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Summary....Furniture, nursery work, and baby bumps

It's been pretty busy for us since we finally determined that we're having a little girl on Tuesday. I traveled the last half of the week but Kim and I both have been on name patrol. I'd have to say that we had the names licked if we were having a boy. We were thinking Aaden Benjamin or Carter somethingerother....probably Benjamin there too. Aaden or Carter...two fine names for a fine little boy. Well....God gives you what you need in life and we're blessed to be having a little girl instead. But.....we don't have names narrowed down so nicely as we did for boys. We have some choices but we'll wait to announce options until we've had time to think on it for a while.

We did, however, go to the Baby Store and order our furniture on Saturday. We ordered the crib, dresser, and a night stand. The crib will convert to a toddler bed, a daybed, and then a single bed as well and we bought the railings for that too. The crib/bed should last little girl for a while so I'm pleased with our decision.

This isn't the bedding that we like but I'll show you that as well. Let me tell you, from a rookie perspective on baby having, picking out bedding is a pain. You can't pick the frufru bedding, you can't pick the HOT PINK bedding, you can't go too pastel, but you can't be too plain either.

So we ended up deciding on a bedding called A la Mode. It hits all the right colors not being too bold or too soft, but even better, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg like some that we looked at.

It's hard to be manly and shop for girly bedding.

After shopping for baby girl in the morning...we went shopping for baby girl's room in the afternoon. The nursery projects have begun and whether she knows it or not, she'll have crown molding in her room because Daddy spent Sunday afternoon putting it up. We opted for these pre-made inside and outside corners that give things a little flair and keep me from dorking up the installation and it was surprisingly easy.


That dumpy fan is coming down too. The room looks a little plain but you add a little molding and guess what.


I'm telling you, those little corner things are a life saver. It's hard to see here but they're about a size bigger than the normal crown and it will allow for some detail once it's finished. I didn't feel like coping corners today so I was real happy. The overall plan for the room will allow for new base mold, some wainescotting, new paint, and a closet refurb. On top of that, we plan to re-carpet the upstairs and tighten up the loose/squeaky subfloors. I'm doing most of this to hold down the cost except for the carpeting. Yeah! I love projects!! But this is ok since it's for baby girl.

And last but certainly not least...Nana and PawPaw finally make the blog tonight. (I'm giving serious consideration to requesting an exchange of PawPaw for something our little one. We'll play that one by ear.) Nana, Pawpaw, and Aunt Celeste came down for some fajita eating and general catching up. I think the lake house may be closed for the winter so we're liable to see a little more of Nan and Chuck on the weekends now which will be nice. Uncle Lance was out getting bad guys or at least acting like it, so he didn't get to chow down with us but we didn't need instructions. We ate big, talked baby talk, I gave Chuck and Nan some older chairs that came with the house....thanks Scott and Shelly but they can use them more than I...and just smoked it over. Both Nan and Celeste noted that the baby bump is more noticeable so we decided to offer up the first baby bump photo tonight. Kim isn't always open to showing know, skin is the devil. So is fooseball. (Don't worry if that went past you....)

So here she is. Baby bump photo number one at week 21.

I think she looks beautiful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's official........

We have been blessed with a little.........


This photo is aiming at what isn't there...our little girl was being modest.

The poll pretty much predicted it....Daddy's Little girl won out at 70% of the vote.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weeks 19 and 20! We're halfway there.

I had somebody ask me the other day if I posted these updates from my personal knowledge of what was happening to Kim and our baby....Uh, no. I'm pretty much ignorant to all of this stuff and every week its just as new to me as it is to you. But here is what the experts say is happening to Kimmy and baby......

Week 19 - Your baby's sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don't be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large heirloom tomato. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

Week 20 - Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)

He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

Sunday Summary...Flag football and naming baby!

What in the world was I thinking?

I'm 34 years old and not in necessarily in shape (albeit a blossoming cyclist) and I've signed up for a Flag Football league that starts December 6th. That being said, we had a little practice this weekend and I'm just a tad sore. As big as I am, I feel like I'm still able to do things that most wouldn't expect me to do, but man am I sore the next day. Holy smokes I hurt. I would rather ride any day of the week than run around chasing a football but it'll have to help my weight loss efforts and its too late because I've already paid to play.

After playing football for two hours Saturday, Kim and I decided it worthwhile to chill the rest of the day. My Mom and Dad (Future Grandparents) came down to do some shopping and they came by afterwards so we attempted to eat at Roadhouse Grill but the wait time was astronomical. When they don't tell you how long its going to take...that's a bad sign. We ended up eating at Taco Mac, came home, and then fell asleep within 30 minutes of getting home. Sunday started with my weary bones creaking from acting like I'm 12 but we got rolling and bought some wreaths for the upcoming holiday season to hang from the windows. We have some wreaths currently but they really stink.

I didn't take alot of pics to post but there wasn't much happening this weekend either. (Other than the Future GPs stopping in.) It's so nice to have a slow paced weekend again but the holidays are coming fast and the nursery project starts in some form next weekend. We find out Tuesday morning what we're having and Kim and I are so excited. We've got some names picked but I think we really need to know exactly what we're having so we can focus clearly. I just hope and pray that everything is ok. We're both so nervous but I think excitement is taking over at this point. For whatever reason, this will make the whole thing more real. Kim showing is making it real but finally being able to give our little one a name in the coming weeks is exciting. It appears that most are thinking baby girl based on the poll but I probably should have posted it sooner to get a better pool of voters. Eh well.

Keep the prayers coming and vote while you still can on our poll. We love all of you and thank you for all the prayers that have already been prayed. God has blessed us and we're just along for the ride.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Boy OR Girl? Kim and I go to the specialist next Tuesday (November 11th) primarily because I was born with a cleft palate and the OB-GYN just wants to take an advanced look at what's going on with little bit. I'll save you the details of what a cleft palate is and why we're checking for it but the nice side effect of getting to take a look at our baby is that we'll finally know what we're having!

No more ambiguous baby references like Little One or Little Bit or Peanut or Elmo.....we'll finally be able to say HE or SHE and eventually a decided name of course. Believe it or not....we have some keepers. So, since we have a week I thought I would develop some polling data. All you have to do is go to the right and check Boy or can even track the poll and see where things stand so far. No long lines, no photo ID...nothing. Kimmy and I have this early voting thing down to a science but the poll will close November 11th at 8pm and by that time word will probably have made it around.

Thanks for voting!! We don't have any stickers that say "I Voted for Baby Hall" but we hope that won't deter you.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Summary - Halloween, Football, and more...

Kim and I love the fall and one of our newest fall rituals is to sit around our little fireplace on Halloween night to hand out candy. Lance and Celeste have attended the inaugural candy giving and now the 2nd Annual version....and man were we expecting a crowd since Halloween was on a Friday night. Encouraged by that fact, I felt like Kim was half out of her mind with the lack of candy the we had on Wednesday so she bought more while I was out of town. We got stuff for Smores, got logs on the fire, and settled in for some serious candy giving.....Yeah, we have a ton of candy left over. Halloween was a stinking bust. Probably 40 kids max. That might sound like a lot but neighbors assure me that in the years prior to the last two, you could hardly see the streets and homes resorted to handing out random items from the house because everyone run out of candy. Oh sure...we had a great time hanging by the fireplace. We had Mellow Mushroom pizza, smores, candy out the wa-wa, and the homecoming game for the Etowah Eagles could be heard pretty easily so we jammed out to the band most of the night.....but the stinking kids must have been at the game or so paralyzed by the economy that they stayed in (that was our neighbor's take.)

So toasty!

So Saturday was UGA and Florida going at it in Jacksonville. We lined up a sweet little party with Scott/Michelle/Addison, Daniel/Cathy/Emma, Scott's neighbor Mike, Ben/Sara, Shwan/Kelly, Lance/Celeste, and later in the day Ryan/Jenny stopped in....tons of folks....TONS of food....good friends and good weather......all this would have to equal a happy ending to this perfect fall Saturday. Mmmm mmmm. The dawgs got punished. Sad performance indeed. I mean I went all out with the tent, Scott brought brats and chicken, we had burgers, more snacky food than you could even touch. Cathy's gooey cheese caky thing was fan-freaking-tastic, and Shwan got all home town on us with Pumpkin pie and strawberry shortcake goodness. Ben and Sara appealed to my inner-mexican with a not quite seven layer dip but all of this friendship and fellowship....made for a pitiful game. We should just get together again and not center it around a UGA game. I didn't keep the camera close when everyone was here so all I got was a lousy picture of the tent on the deck. That was the only Bulldog thing that went even half way right.

Toward the end of the night, Addison decided to befriend Uncle Adam and at the same time nark out in my arms. What a sweetie. This is good practice for our little one.

Notice all the candy on the top of the fridge.....nice call Adam.

So then today, Kim and Michelle went shopping a some for preggy clothes and I stayed close rest up and watch even more football. The house was/is relatively spotless after our prep for the party yesterday so I didn't have to do a thing. I did find where the boys had made a GIGANTIC mess from the trash overflow....

This was after I raked up 90% of it.

After I cleaned that up, I rode my bike on the Tour de TowneLake which is a 7.2 mile circle around the house and it has been a goal of mine to break 30 minutes. It sounds easy right? Believe me, its a tough task to do this and Justin and I have been riding for weeks trying to break this time. Well, I had to take the pic because no one would believe me since I was by myself and no one will believe that the Cycle computer rolls off another 8 seconds but it does after you stop....either way, I present to you photo evidence of less than 30 minutes:

I touched the driveway at 29:50

That's my biiike. (ala Forrest Gump)

So at the end of the day, this blog has more to do with our journey towards being parents than anything. All of this stuff is cool and having parties and watching football is fun, riding the bike to lose weight has a purpose, but Kim and I are unbelievably excited about our little one and every day I understand more and more what parents go through because I'm there now. Seeing little Addison trust you when you hold her. Seeing Daniel's daughter, Emma, tell you with excitement about finding something as simple as a shiny rock but to might as well be a chunk of gold. We're ready now. I'm ready now. Kim feels Little bit move every now and again and that just blows my mind. Our little one is growing inside of her...that just doesn't compute for some reason. On the 11th of this month we'll find out what we're having and I'm excited but I'm worried too. The only view we have of little bit is one that essentially looks like a bean. Are the arms and legs there? Did my medicine effect anything? 10 fingers and toes? Is our baby ok? So many unknowns. I've never been forced to accept God...neither has Kim....but how could you possibly not believe in something far greater than you when this miracle is happening to us? Pray for us both. Pray for our unborn baby. Boy or girl....God already knows. HE already knows the trials and tribulations that this little one will face. HE already knows the triumphs and the victories....I just pray that Kim and I will be good parents and do all that we can to guide our little one in this world. The worries have just started....and we just want to know that everything is going to be fine.