Baby Progress: Week 14

How far along? 14 weeks and officially in 2nd trimester!

Total weight gain/loss: Up 3.5 pounds

Maternity clothes? Um, I went on a bit of a maternity shopping spree in the last week. I bought a pair of jeans, leggings, workout pants, 4 dresses (although I’ll probably return some), and 1 shirt. My current jeans aren’t the most comfortable in the world, but I’ll admit that I did wear the maternity jeans this week just to try them out. And hey, they were $90 so I’m getting my money out of them!

Stretch marks? No new ones.

Symptoms: Tiredness, which I’m sick of. Where are you 2nd trimester energy boost??? More acne. My forehead looks like a case of the chicken pox.

Sleep: Fine, except when I am wiggling around to get comfortable and then realize right before I fall back asleep that I’m lying on my back. Sigh.

Best moment this week:
Hm, nothing really? All of the excitement is over for now, haha.

Worst moment of the week: Getting pissy about things and taking full advantage of my stress ball.

Have you told family and friends: Yes, mostly. Not all coworkers know yet. It’s kind of awkward to just tell people “oh by the way, I’m pregnant?”.

Miss Anything? That mid-afternoon coffee perk up. Mmm.

Movement: Nope

Food cravings: Do thin mints count? :)

Anything making you queasy or sick:

Have you started to show yet: I’m starting to have a real mini bump, but it only really shows up late in the day. I wake up every morning looking normal-ish.

Gender: Girl

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out?

Wedding rings on or off?

Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy

Looking forward to: Getting started on the nursery!

Baby Progress: 1st Trimester

Now that the news is “public”, I thought I’d do one of those pregnancy journals. They’re weekly (which I hope isn’t too annoying for those of you who don’t care…), but I thought I’d sum up 1st trimester into a single post instead of rehashing the last 13-ish weeks (some of these responses will be a bit longer than normal since I’m making up for several weeks here). I’m also taking weekly “belly” photos, even though I don’t have much of a baby belly yet. Hopefully I’ll look back on some of these things and laugh at myself in 6 months :)

How far along? 14 weeks, but this recap will be from weeks 4 to 13. I’ll start with my week 14 recap on Monday.

Total weight gain/loss: So far I’ve gained about 3 pounds. My OB recommended gaining 25 to 35 pounds total for my BMI. I’m trying not to be a head case about the weight gain part of pregnancy, but I know it’s going to be hard. I am scared to death of being one of those people who gets hugely pregnant, so I am hoping to only gain 25-30 pounds. The less I put on, the easier it will be to come off, right?

Maternity clothes? I haven’t needed any maternity clothes yet, but have started using the hairband-around-the-top-button trick in the past week just to be more comfortable. I have been checking out the clearance racks at Target and Baby Gap for maternity clothes but haven’t stumbled upon anything besides a 70% off BeBand. Even the XS stuff at Target and Gap Maternity looks huge to me right now.

Stretch marks? No, but I already had existing ones ones on my thighs. I’m doomed, right?

Symptoms:  My symptoms have ranged quite a bit from early pregnancy to now. Very early on I was tired, had really sensitive teeth (who knew that was an early pregnancy symptom??), was getting out of breath quickly, had hormonal acne, and of course smelling ALL THE THINGS. My nausea was the worst starting around week 7 and 8 and then got better week by week. I never threw up or gagged, but driving in stop and go traffic was HELL (well, more so than it already is in Atlanta). The tiredness has come back in the last couple of weeks, so I’m hoping that will get better soon too. Maybe TMI, but my boobs have been constantly sore the entire time and my nose is non-stop runny. Hoping that goes away soon.

Sleep: Early on I didn’t sleep very well, mainly because of anxiety. I’m sleeping better now, but getting up regularly 1x per night to pee. Last night I slept for 9 hours straight and I’m still so sleepy today.

Best moment this week(s):
The last few weeks have been fun as we’ve had 2 ultrasounds and have told friends and family.
During the last ultrasound, she was moving around a ton so that was really cool to see.

Worst moment of the week(s): Over this time I think the nausea was the worst, even though I don’t think I had it that bad. I remember a few days of just sitting at work with my head on my desk. It was more like that hungover feeling like I really WANTED to throw up, because then at least I knew I’d feel better for a period of time.

Have you told family and friends: Yes, we went “Facebook public” last week :)

Miss Anything?
Just coffee lately. I’ve been drinking some caffeine (beyond my 1 daily coffee) in the form of Coke Zero more recently just to stay awake past 9pm. Clothes shopping is really boring now too since most maternity stuff is online only (not like I need any yet).

Movement: Nope

Food cravings: Not really. I guess if I had to pick it’d be breakfast foods. Eggs, french toast, bacon, bagels with cream cheese, and French Toast Crunch cereal :)

Anything making you queasy or sick:
Nothing now. Driving in traffic is fine for the time being.

Have you started to show yet: No, I just kind of look like I ate an entire box of Girl Scout cookies.

Gender: It’s a girl! Because we did genetic screening, we were able to find out the sex pretty early. It’s kind of crazy and everyone is surprised (and of course I have to explain the genetic screening thing) when I tell them we already know. Both David and I from the beginning thought it would be a girl.

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out?
In. It’s weird to think that my belly button may be “out” one day.

Wedding rings on or off?

Happy or Moody most of the time:
Happy, but I’ve had my share of road rage and inexplicable crying moments.

Looking forward to: 2nd trimester! Or, more accurately, the lack of 1st trimester symptoms (I’m looking at you, fatigue)!

Carpet Options

Getting started on our 1st big project of 2015! After looking through many, many samples of carpet styles and colors at Home Depot and Lowe’s, we came home with 2 options/patterns. Ultimately we wanted to find a happy medium between what I like (some type of pattern that wasn’t too busy) and what David likes (softness and comfort are his priority of course).

Both HD and Lowe’s charge a small “deposit” ($20-25) for people to rent out the carpet swatches, and then you just return them when you’re ready to make your decision and you get a refund on the original amount. Here’s what we picked up:

We narrowed it down to the Lowe’s option after seeing a few bad reviews of the Home Depot carpet and a few positive ones for the Lowe’s carpet. Next step was picking a color. I really thought this particular sample had several potential color options, so that was a welcome surprise. I put that sample down in several rooms in both natural light and artificial light to make sure I still thought I was picking the right option (I guess similar to what you’d do for a paint swatch). I narrowed it down to these 2 colors.

Ultimately we decided on…well let’s keep it a surprise actually. It’s dark enough to hide dirt (our existing master bedroom carpet is almost white and it’s awful!) but not too dark. We are also going with the upgraded padding for more cushy-ness :)

Next up is measuring and finally installation. I can’t wait to see it all installed and finished since this is something we’ve wanted to do since buying our house almost 4 years ago!

2014 Plans vs. Reality and 2015 Home Goals

Looking back on my 2014 home goals, I’d say I did OK last year. Husband’s office didn’t get painted, and we didn’t get new countertops, so those will go on the list for 2015.

Also on the list for 2015 will be new carpet. Luckily most of the 1st level is hardwoods, so it will only be replaced in the master bedroom, the stairway, the 2 upstairs bedrooms, and the office. I think the carpet on the upper level has never been replaced and is original to the house…yikes! Here’s what I’m thinking for style and color:




We put off new counters to 2015 and we’ll be using our tax refund dollars to pay to make it a little less painful for the wallet. We have quite a bit of counter area, and I’d also like to go ahead and replace the gas cooktop, the faucet, and put in an undermount sink. We’re thinking granite, and possibly quartz (depending on price) in a dark gray or black color. Some inspiration from Pinterest:

(no source, random Pinterest find described as “Steel Gray”)

(source; this one is actually soapstone, but I like the look)


Finally I’d love to do something with our backyard, but I don’t think it will be in the cards for this year. We’d love to do landscaping and a fence for the dog, but there are drainage and erosion issues since we live near the bottom of the hill, so we have rivers that form in our backyard after every heavy rain. In the mean time, I may just try to plant a few hostas and do some cheap small upgrades like putting in a small walkway.

Happy 2015!

Finishing up some rooms around the house

In the last few months I feel like more rooms are getting to a “finished” state. I’m sure things will continually evolve, but the spaces in the basement finally look, um, lived in? After some insane number of gallons of paint, the basement is completely painted and more pieces have been hung on the walls.



And now:

The new paint color is a pretty subtle difference, but warms things up a tiny bit over the old color which was practically white. The new color is Benjamin Moore Tapestry Beige above the chair rail and Eddie Bauer Limestone below the chair rail (same color that we used in my office and our master bedroom).

New mini-bar station next to the pool table (also a pretty decent representation of the paint colors):

The gym also got a coat of paint with a stripe (same colors as the rest of the basement), and now has an IKEA Kallax storage system to hold jump ropes and smaller hand weights.


And now:

And finally, I repainted the half bath with Benjamin Moore’s color of the year, Guilford Green (the walls and baseboards were still pretty beat up from the floor refinishing and I ran out of/didn’t have the original paint color. It’s pretty neon in a space with only artificial light, so I really wouldn’t recommend it in those conditions. Still getting used to this color in here.



And now:

Wow you really can’t tell the difference in color between the before and after, but I promise in person it is more distinct. Photographing without natural light is NOT my strength.

Now I’m off to prepare for a crazy week of Christmas activities (hosting my family and my husband’s family for 2 separate Christmases, plus some house guests, and a poker get together…)! Wish me luck!

Christmas Tour

Apparently I’ve been slacking a bit in updating the ole blog (Hi Rachel!!!), so here’s a few photos of some of the Christmas decor around the house. Enjoy!

The dining room is still slowly coming along, but we’ve recently added 2 captain chairs (the custom camel-back dining chairs in protege driftwood from Home Decorators) and the Lyon Round etagere from the Ballard Design Outlet.

For the table, I added a really simple candle holder from IKEA, some ribbon, votives, and silver bells. I hung more of the silver bells from the light fixture with red curling ribbon. While I really like the look of a “set” table with all of the placemats, chargers, dinnerware, runners, etc. I think this is fine for now. Maybe I’ll pick up some of that stuff in an after-Christmas sale and have it ready for next year.

The staircase gets garland, lights, and some accent bows. As simple as this looks, this always seems to take forever to make it look exactly right.

The  mantle is mostly the same from previous years, but I added the “Merry Christmas” bunting from Target this year.

Less than 2 weeks until Christmas! Are you ready???

San Francisco

Last weekend we made kind of a whirlwind trip to San Francisco. We left early Friday morning and got back late, LATE Monday night (technically, Tuesday morning…at 2AM). We originally had plans last year to do a Seattle to San Francisco road trip, but that plan was put on hold when we went to Alaska instead. When we got an invite in the mail for a Santa Clara wedding, we figured it was the perfect opportunity to check out San Francisco since we didn’t get a chance last year.

We arrived in San Francisco just after noon on Friday, hopped in our rental car, and went straight to In-N-Out burger. I’m not sure I get the hype, but it was fine (except for the french fries…WTF). After that, we drove through downtown San Francisco, across the golden gate bridge, headed towards Muir Woods. We spent a few hours walking around the park. It was pretty breathtaking.

The next morning we woke up early and went back into the city for our Alcatraz tour. We hung out near the pier for a little bit, eating breakfast at a nearby cafe and watching Georgia Tech football on ESPN (noon eastern kickoff = 9AM pacific…not something I could get used to!). Then we hopped on the boat and headed over to the island.

We did the audio tour, which I thought was just ok, but David liked. After the tour, we walked around fisherman’s wharf a bit (of course stopping to see the sea lions).

We also walked to Lombard Street nearby (the famous crooked-est street) and Ghiradelli Square. Then we hopped back into the rental car and drove over to Crissy Park. It was a pretty overcast day (although not that foggy, strangely) so my photos of the golden gate bridge are just “eh”.

For our final day, we stayed in the Santa Clara area and had brunch (a very SF-ish thing to do, right?) and had a blast at the wedding. It was not a typical “American” wedding, so that was interesting and fun.

Our flight the next day got delayed by several hours, so we spent a lot of time at the SFO airport…*yawn*. We landed back in Atlanta around 1am, picked up our bags, and took our inaugural Uber ride home…with the world’s most talkative Uber driver. I think it took me a full week to catch back up on sleep after a jam-packed weekend, but it was definitely fun. Hopefully we can return to California and San Francisco in the future!

Kaitlyn’s “Newborn” Photos

Well because of so much business this summer, it took 6 weeks for me to be able to capture Kaitlyn’s “newborn” photos. All of the research I did said it was best to take them in the first week, but it just didn’t happen. I think they still turned out…okay. Yes I am super critical of myself and look at certain ones and still think “yep, that looks like someone’s first attempt at taking newborn photos”…which is true and everything, but yeah, it was a learning experience. The whole session took about 3 hours, including setup, rearranging furniture, and patiently waiting for her to fall asleep! I went and ransacked Target beforehand to pick up a beanbag, some blankets, hats, and other props. I also got trash bags (to place between blankets in case of an accident), disposable wipes, and chip bag clips (to clip the blankets to the back of chairs).

We set up in Kaitlyn’s nursery, near the window. The lighting conditions weren’t perfect, and I wasn’t sure how to fix it, but I made do. You can see that some of the lighting is kind of direct/harsh, but at the same time I had my ISO set to 1000 so that I could keep my shutter speed above 1/50 or so. I’m sure I could have spent more time rearranging furniture and trying to find the best light, but I made it work and just lowered contrast and increased shadows in post processing. I also used the CoffeShop Baby PowderRoom Photoshop action to get rid of redness and smooth out some baby acne. I typically very rarely do any post processing in Photoshop (unless it’s using content-aware fill….love that!), and just stick with Lightroom, so that was also a re-learning process.

OK, let’s finally get to some of my favorite photos. First I took some “awake” photos. This was also a decent time to capture some detail photos, as long as she wasn’t being too squirmy.

This one is cute, but the coloring in it drives me nuts and I am having a hard time getting it right!

So  that’s it! Those were some of my favorites, and there weren’t too many more that were “publish quality”. So yeah, lots of work! I’ll go back to photographing things that don’t pose as well as a bowl full of jell-o now…

Summer Business…Busy-ness

Just checking in over here — more summer busy-ness (or business?) has kept me from blogging.

We attended a beautiful, beautiful wedding in Newport, RI. Somehow I kept it together to serve my bridesmaid duties even though I was fighting a serious cold the entire week beforehand.

And then of course, ice bucket challenges…

And most recently, my first “newborn” photo shoot. Of course with my dearest niece, Miss Kaitlyn. I have a bunch of photos to share so I’ll have to make  a separate post.

While I’m enjoying the remaining days of summer, I am seriously ready to wear my boots and sweaters. I’m done with you 95 degree weather, and 80% humidity!