Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Adventures of Flat Henry

So, I'm sure at least some of you have heard the story of "Flat Stanley". For those of you who are unfamiliar, here's a little info about Flat Stanley.

This week at our house we have had a new addition to our family- "Flat Henry". Flat Henry couldn't have showed up at a better time. Will has been anxious to take a "baby basics" class and has shown concern over his future performance in the baby skills department. Having Flat Henry here has given Will LOTS of opportunities to practice his parenting skills.

For example, here's an idea of how Will & Flat Henry's day was today.

This morning Will loaded Flat Henry up in our jogging stroller to take a little walk around the neighborhood. Will was very excited to get to use the stroller, but unfortunately got a little over-excited and had an "incident".

Thankfully Flat Henry didn't seem seriously injured, but Will decided that it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to drive Henry over to be checked out at the doctor's office, so he gently placed Henry into his newly-installed carseat, and took so much caution in securing him safely inside.

Later, after a clean bill of health was given, we were back at home. Will let Flat Henry try out the new high chair and fed him.

Of course, Flat Henry's dinner led to Flat Henry's dirty diaper.

The dirty diaper was apparently so bad that Will decided to give Flat Henry his first bath.

All this was eventually followed up with a sweet bedtime story.

But Flat Henry had trouble going to sleep without his favorite Dalek snuggled right beside him.

**Please do not report this blog post to Child Protective Services. We promise this was all done completely in fun. No Flat Henrys were harmed in the process of creating this blog post**

Look at the belly on that one!

It's been another great week at the Zuill/Bowden home. The weather has been so much more tolerable this week. You can actually breathe now and don't immediately feel energy-zapped the moment you step outside. Very nice. Equally as nice is the fact that my tomatoes are really stepped up their production line.

We picked this huge 'Mule Team' tomato this week.

As of today, Henry, Will, & I are 33 weeks and 2 days into our pregnancy. That means only 6 weeks and 5 days until our supposed due date. WHAT?? How have we possibly gotten this close to meeting our boy so quickly? This pregnancy has really flown by!

Over the last couple of weeks my belly has really had a growth spurt, or at least it certainly feels that way. And Henry has really been making his presence known this week. If I'm not sitting up straight enough, I get quickly reminded by Henry's little foot pushing into my ribcage. He manages to make my entire stomach look like something from a Sigourney Weaver movie. He got his first case of the hiccups yesterday. So strange!

Here's a picture Will took of me yesterday.

This week Henry is weighing in at almost 5 pounds and is 20 inches long! This week his size was compared to the size of a


I'm still feeling relatively great! A little more tired and definitely feeling the effects of Henry's head on my bladder, but otherwise good. Will is always amazing at home, but over the last few weeks I've really really appreciated all the things he does on a regular basis around this joint. What a guy!

This week was a big week for Henry's nursery. This week his dresser, chair/ottoman, and bookshelf arrived! This is GOOD news to a nesting Mama. With some help from my brother and dad (aka my delivery guys) we got all the furniture in Henry's room and eventually satisfactorily arranged. Now the only thing left to do is get artwork on the walls!

Also, Henry would like to announce that he is now ready for football season to commence. What a smart boy!

Baby Brit's First Baby Shower...

It is one of the most special things in the world when family & friends go out of their way to give you a truly memorable occasion. My sister-in-law (and wonderful friend) Robyn, and my equally as wonderful friend, Sara, did just that. Yesterday Will, Henry & I attended our very first baby shower hosted by these two awesome women. Sara, her sister Rebecca, and mother Jonette traveled from Memphis for the occasion, packing boxes of party dishes and supplies. What a group!

Several friends & family from Pulaski attended the shower, along with friends from Columbia and family from Murfreesboro. The food and the decor were perfect and we got so many beautiful gifts for Henry. My mom & dad got this beautiful high chair for our boy. Can't wait to use it!

Our friend Merry, as part of her gift to Henry, gave us this disgustingly cute hooded towel. Love it!

No shower would be complete in our family without a diaper cake! Henry received two of these beautiful ones from his Aunt Ro! How am I going to ever force myself to deconstruct this? So awesome!

Here are a few other photos from the baby shower. And thank you so much to Robyn & Sara for all of the work you did to make this such a special day for Will, myself, and Henry!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Things are getting ripe...

And when I say "things" I'm referring to two different items commonly seen around our house.

The first thing is our tomatoes.

I'm so glad the tomatoes are finally doing their thing. They've done exactly what my Brit predicted and are all ripening at one time. The sad thing is, after months and months of pouring blood, sweat, and tears into these plants (remember, I've been growing from seeds since March), now the big moment has arrived, my counters are full of ripe heirloom tomatoes, and I just kind of look at them and think "Eh, not really in the mood." WHAT??? I am the girl who, in years past, has eaten SO many tomatoes in one day that I get sores in my mouth, and now I just look at them and shrug?? This is by FAR the weirdest thing that pregnancy has done to my body.

OK, so the 2nd thing really getting ripe at our house:

Oh my gosh!! Last weekend, for whatever reason, we didn't take our "weekly" belly shot out on the porch, so I'm sure that's part of the explanation, but I LOOK HUGE as compared to the previous picture! Baby Henry is really going through a growth spurt. Weight gain is still holding steady at 16 +/- pounds, so not so bad on that front, but this belly is ridiculous! I have to admit though that I'm kind of fond of my overly large midsection. In the picture above I am 32 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Less than 8 weeks to go!! Henry is obviously getting so much stronger. Last night Will was even shocked when he felt (and saw) the entire right side of my abdomen shift about two inches in one direction. This week Henry weighs in at about 4 1/2 pounds and is about the size of

a honeydew melon!

Our appointment at the OB's office went well last week. Henry was measuring perfectly. The only complaint that I had was that I had noticed some irregular heart beats at home. The next day when I got to work I used my stethoscope to listen to my heart, and have to admit I was pretty shocked to hear a heart murmur! This was something new! I remembered from school that irregular heart beats and murmurs are not uncommon during pregnancy because of the 40% increase in blood volume in the body, so I really wasn't overly concerned- especially since I haven't had any other symptoms like dizziness, swelling, or shortness of breath. However, I learned that you don't "casually" mention such findings to your favorite Brit, and then to your favorite Canadian physician, and expect to escape a trip to the hospital. So my friend Dr. B ordered an outpatient echocardiogram "just to be on the safe side" and I'm happy to report that all is well.

So other than the snafu with the heart murmur the pregnancy is still progressing along nicely. I can tell I'm having more fatigue lately, but other than that, things are dandy.

Saturday morning we took the pups (Layla & Preston) for a doggie photo shoot with my favorite photographer Sarah B. Gilliam. The dogs did surprisingly well (other than just a little bicycle chasing) and I can't wait to see the pictures! Obviously, they will be posted here as soon as I get them.

Later that day Will & I went down the street to the house of our good friends Bob & Jess. Their adorable daughter, Harper, just turned one and Saturday was the day of the big party.

Will & I were asked if we would be in charge of taking photos, and we gladly agreed. I learned quickly that day that I have a LOT of work to do on taking photos inside. Photography is SO much harder without the advantage of natural light, especially when a huge storm is brewing outside and bringing tons of clouds! We managed to get some 'okay' pictures. The best photos came from the photo booth that we had set up at the party. Jess made the cutest canvas backdrop and we brought a box of fun accessories. I think all the adults had a blast! Here are a couple of shots of Will and me in the photo booth.

I just got a phone call that the rest of Henry's nursery furniture will be arriving tomorrow, so we should have more nursery pictures to post soon!! How exciting! Things are really moving along!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

31 weeks and counting~

As of today Henry and I are 31 weeks and 3 days along in the pregnancy. It amazes me how fast time is flying by. I imagine that it's only going to seem to go faster and faster once Henry actually makes his arrival. Only about 8 1/2 weeks to go! I'm still feeling surprisingly good in spite of the weather. No swelling, weight gain slow & steady (up 16.5 pounds now), and sleeping like a log. My dreams have been a bit weirder than usual lately, but I actually quite enjoy that :)

Henry doesn't have a new picture of the week this week because according to my sources, Henry has developed from a 3+ pound head of lettuce to a larger 4 pound head of lettuce. He should gain about 1/2 pound a week from now until 2 weeks before his delivery. Whew!

We managed to finish up, just this morning, painting the walls in Henry's room. I think we're both really pleased with the end result (but I am in no hurry to paint another ceiling). When you walk into the room it just seems to exude a happy vibe, and I think a room with that kind of vibe will be the perfect cocoon for our little man. We're still waiting on his dresser, bookshelf, and the chair/ottoman to arrive, but they should be here within the next week or so. My friend Brian made the drapes for Henry's room, and they are GORGEOUS! Really a centerpiece of the room. He came over today to take measurements so he can hem them, so it shouldn't be long before we get the finished product! I have enjoyed every minute of picking things out for Henry's nursery and it's so awesome to see it all starting to come together.

This afternoon Will and I went to Spring Hill to meet up with Robyn (my sister-in-law) and Ella Grace (my niece, who you might recall from previous blog entries) for a little photo shoot. We made our way down a couple of roads to find some shady spots to take photos of Ella Grace. Ella Grace was very specific about her requirements for shoot locations: #1 No sun in her eyes, #2 No tall grass. We managed to find a few spots that fit the bill, and between the two of us, Will & I got some shots we were pretty pleased with.

As hectic as it is to be the center of attention, Ella Grace still managed to find some time to work on her skills...

and to assist me with lens changes...

Thanks for checking in on us and more to come soon!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

We've got the blues.... Walls, that is...

We have had an absolutely jam packed but wonderful weekend at the Zuill/Bowden house.

Most of our activities have been inside due to the persistently blazing hot weather. I don't think I ever remember it being this hot. Of course, this is also the first summer I've ever been pregnant, so I'm sure that influences my opinion on the matter to some degree. I heard on the radio that the heat index one day got up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 46 degrees Celcius for our British family). Whew! Baby Henry & I just try to keep ourselves in an air conditioned environment between the hours of 10am and 7pm. That seems to be working.

As of today I am 30 weeks and 3 days pregnant. Just a little over 2 months until our boy arrives! I can't wait to see him but I think I really am going to miss being pregnant. However, I bet if you ask me again in about 8 weeks if I enjoy being pregnant the answer might be a bit different. I think that's the point when you start thinking "Just get him out!!", right? But for now, I'm enjoying every minute. I'm still sleeping well, no swelling, and love feeling Henry when he's getting his groove on inside my uterus. Here's a photo will took of Henry & me over the weekend.

This week Henry is approximately 18 inches long and just over 3 pounds. He is about the size of

a head of lettuce! He is staying very active. It really amazes me to sit and watch how much he is able to make my belly move! During this time, Henry's little brain is doing a lot of developing, so I'm really trying to make sure he gets enough protein and Omega 3's to help him along! This has been somewhat of a challenge because eating meat has not been at the top of my "to do" list during pregnancy.

On Saturday Will & I headed down to Sherwin Williams armed with a fistful of paint cards that were all possible options for the walls in Henry's room. Nursery walls are a hard decision. Solution? Sample size jars of paint!

We finally decided on the color 2nd from the top, so back to the paint store it was to pick up a couple of gallons. Then the real fun started! Will is admittedly not the best painter, so he was put on roller duty while I did the cutting in. Add some Beatles for background music and we were ready to go!

We decided to paint the first level of the tray ceiling orange, and you can see in the picture below where I started this task, but have not completed quite yet because ceiling painting is KILLER on a pregnant lady's neck. But totally will be worth it :)

We really had a good time working on the nursery. It is definitely the most worthwhile room I've ever painted. Will totally got into our project too, as evidenced by the following photo...

Outside of all the painting, we did manage to fit in time for a few other activities. On Sunday morning I was fortunate enough to accompany and asisst the lovely Sarah B Gilliam on a maternity shoot! The weather was lovely when we got there (around 7:30 am) and she managed to get the shoot done before anyone started melting. Here is a link to the photo shoot from that day.

Maternity Photo Shoot with Sarah B. Gilliam

Sarah is such a talented photographer. In a few weeks she'll be doing maternity photos of Will, Baby Henry, and me! Can't wait!

Despite the ridiculously hot weather, we did manage to fit in a nice walk around the neighborhood with the pups on Sunday morning.

I felt pretty photographically inspired after hanging with Sarah that morning for her photo shoot, so Mr. Preston got to be the lucky subject of a mini photo shoot. In case you can't tell from the photos, he was thrilled.

Tomato production is FINALLY starting to pick up in my little garden. I do think the heat has played a part in them taking so long to ripen, but that could just be me making excuses. I picked these lovely gems yesterday.


Hope you're staying cool & enjoying life as much as we are!