Monday, September 27, 2010

Slow and steady wins the race...

So here we are. 37 weeks 3 days. And while I'm still physically feeling SO much better than I expected to feel 2 1/2 weeks away from my due date, there are days when I feel like things (namely me) are in s-l-o-w motion. And you know what I've decided? That slowing down the pace is not a bad thing, and I'd better enjoy it while I can, because once Henry gets here it will be full steam ahead!

Things went well at our doctor's visit last week. Henry is still measuring right on track, heart rate in the 140s and my blood pressure was great. Still no swelling and still no stretch marks (thank you, body, you're making me very happy on these points). Weight gain is still around 18#, although that seems impossible because my stomach is definitely growing like crazy! The only things I can really complain about are some serious bouts with restless legs and the occasional achey back. Not too shabby. Here's this weeks picture- taken a couple of hours before the Colt's victory over the Broncos.

We are so anxious to meet our son, but at the same time, just trying to soak up these last couple of weeks of it being just the two of us. Well, okay, just the 7 of us if you count the furry house residents. Ridiculous.

So much slower pace around here, but we still managed to fit a bit of fun into our schedule. Last week Will and I set up our cameras to try and capture night pictures of the Harvest Moon. Mostly we proved to ourselves that we know very very little about night photography- but it was fun.

Over the weekend we made our way down to Columbia to the Southern Fried Festival and to soak in a little music by the "Wannabeatles". The band made a lovely backdrop for strolling around the square downtown. There were definitely some interesting fried foods up for grabs. And can you believe that this pregnant lady went to a festival totally dedicated to fried food, but did not eat ONE single fried thing? BUT- I did get that ever elusive snow cone!! Finally!

It was a lovely night spent in a leisurely fashion at my old stomping ground. And to make things even better, the weather has finally cooled off to "tolerable" on the thermometer! It's so nice to be able to breathe again!

Saturday afternoon brought the official end of tomato season at our house. Combine the fact that the plants were looking less than stellar with the fact that somebody is probably doing some serious nesting and it became clear that the time had come to clear the garden. It's always a little sad, but it has to be done. It won't be long before it will be time to start the seeds for next year's garden.

Thanks for checking in on us and our little "seed". It's almost time for harvest!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Downhill Slide...

So we're on the downhill slide- or at least that's what my doctor said this week at our 36 week visit. As of today Henry and I are 36 weeks and 2 days into our pregnancy. Things are still going well. Henry is measuring perfectly, heart rate is perfect, and mom is up 18 pounds. I'm still feeling good for the most part, just MUCH more tired these days. At 8pm last night I was eyeballing the bed longingly. And by 8:15 I was in it- on a Saturday night!!

It seems so hard to believe that this time next month, in addition to bathing/feeding/loving our furry kids, we'll also be bathing/feeding/loving our first non-furry kid! In 5 days Henry will be considered FULL TERM! That basically means (in my mind) that he could make his appearance just any day now! Our bag is (mostly) packed and carseats are installed. Most of my immediate family (mom, dad, brother, SIL, niece & nephew) are all out of town this week on vacation. Will is going out of town for a day or two on Thursday. Hmmmm....hopefully Henry & I can stay out of trouble! Henry is up to a whopping 6.5 pounds this week! Our little chunk has reached a size comparable to a


We've managed to sort, wash, hang, and assemble all of Henry's baby paraphernalia. Layla snuck in while we were sorting and tried on some of Henry's clothes, but got caught in the act. Silly dog...

Will and I also made a few special additions to Henry's nursery. My mom contributed the first item. This alphabet chart was made for me by my great-grandmother when I was a baby and my mom held onto it for all these years (and that was a lot of years ago, trust me). The entire thing is handmade, including the hand sewn items in each little pocket- each one representing a different letter of the alphabet.

Will also picked up a couple of nostalgic items for Henry's room. Will says that he had toys like these when he was a little boy (and that was REALLY a lot of years ago).

The weather today is still HOT! Low 90s. Still, Will managed to drag me up to "our tree" to take our summer photo of it- because we definitely are in danger of having put it off too long (due to my rapidly increasing girth and the fact that fall is just around the corner). The tree is just down the street from our house, up on a hill, and hopefully will never become the victim of demolishment for the sake of construction. But you never know. I've already taken the winter and spring photos of the crooked tree.

This afternoon we packed up our camera gear and walked (well, I waddled) up the hill. Here's my summer shot of the tree:

Here's me trying not to fall over while taking said shot of the tree:

Will also got a really good photo of it!

We also received, this week, a disk containing all of the images from our photo shoot with Sarah Gilliam. She did such an amazing job and I can't wait to have some of these printed and get them on the walls! Here are a few shots from that day.

Our next photo shoot with Sarah will be for Henry's newborn photos- and that's just around the corner!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baby Shower? More like a downpour!

It has been another wonderful week at Casa Zuill/Bowden. We've been consistently reminded how lucky we are to have each other, as well as to have all of our wonderful family and friends.

Allow me to recap- at least the interesting bits.

On Friday afternoon Will and I headed to Readyville, Tennessee to meet up with our favorite photographer (and friend), Sarah B. Gilliam, for our maternity photo session. We met up at a most beautiful spot- the Readyville Mill, and managed to catch an hour of the most beautiful weather you could ask for, for photographs. The lighting was perfect. The photographer was amazing. And the belly was very very big. You can click HERE to view a sneak peek of photos from our session. We can't wait to see the rest!

Saturday was another day to look forward to. Some of our wonderful friends from the neighborhood organized a fantastic baby shower for us! We had an amazing turnout of friends and family. Jessica, Anne, & Lisa did SO much work to make sure everything was perfect, and it absolutely was. One of our favorite parts of the shower was the activity that Jess came up with for the guests. Instead of traditional shower games (which I begged not to have) the girls compiled a collection of blank white onesies & burp cloths, along with fabric markers, iron-ons & stencils. Each guest had the opportunity to create their own little masterpiece for baby Henry to wear/use after his arrival! Absolutely original Jess!! I loved this!!

We dined on delicious culinary fare- including the most divine cupcakes I have ever put into my mouth!

And young Henry was the recipient of another lovely diaper cake!

Everything was amazing- down to the smallest details.

Henry, Will & I got SO many amazing gifts! Too many to post pictures of all of them, so here is a sampling...

One of my oldest and most cherished friends, Mark, not only kept record of the gift giving at the shower...

but he also gave us a gift that I am so very excited to share with Henry in the future. This one definitely got the tears flowing from this Mama. Yes, I am hormonal, but Mark is unbelievably special, and the thought that he put into this gift would bring anyone to tears. Everything from the handmade card for Henry, to the little owl that Mark crafted himself to garnish Henry's gift, to the personalized Pirate storybook. Amazing.

So, thanks to our very generous friends & family, our dining room is currently housing a huge collection of baby items that will soon be sorted and assembled.

In fact, Will & I spent a chunk of time this afternoon doing exactly that. However putting this stuff together is definitely not child's play...

...and could possibly even lead to the baby's daddy sipping on one of these:

Thank you Will for all your hard work today!! Henry and I are incredibly lucky!!

So as of today, Henry & I are 35 weeks 2 days into this pregnancy. Only a little more than 4 1/2 weeks left until our due date! Inconceivable!! In 12 days Henry will be considered to be full term (once we hit 37 weeks). He now weighs approximately 6 pounds and is 18-20 inches long. He is still quite active in spite of the fact that his playground is probably getting a little more crowded as his size increases. I still love feeling him move around! So far I am still feeling better than I expected to feel at this point. Still no swelling, blood pressure still great, and weight gain holding steady at around 17 pounds. Hopefully the weight gain hasn't gone off the charts since the shower! :) Here's a picture that Will took of me this morning:

We are getting more anxious by the day to meet our baby boy, and I have no doubt that we will instantly fall in love the minute we meet him! It's getting so much closer!!

Thanks for checking in on us, and we'll have more updates soon!

***Thank you so much Will for taking all the wonderful photos at the baby shower! Although it pains me to admit it, your skills are surpassing mine at a mind blowing speed. Wonderful photos!***

Monday, September 6, 2010

Afternoon with the Cieteks

On Sunday afternoon, Will & I spent a couple of hours with our very good friends (and neighbors) Bob & Jess and their awesome daughter, Harper. We're glad to grab any opportunity to get more practice behind the camera, so the five of us set off for a stroll around the neighborhood. Their dog, Moss, even managed to sneak in for a few photos at the end. Good girl, Moss!

Thanks for letting us practice on you, guys! It was so much fun!