Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Grand Nursery Reveal!

Remember this used to be my office:


Then it was a Hot Mess:

Then after the junk was cleared, we had quite a time finding just the right shade of green:

Then I found THIS bedding at one of my discount stores for 90% off.  I got it in mint Green and white b.c at that time Fenners sex was undetermined!

Then my parents bought us some furniture and I found a super cheap rug. I was going for a modern meets southern traditional...so "transitional" room.

My mom and aunt worked hard on getting those curtains steamed, the sheers hung, changed out the blinds and hung the valance. I am torn about monogramming. I wanted to for months, but I am losing steam and will power in these last weeks.

If you look at pics above you can see that this wall has a wooden door on it. It was really messing up the floor plan so we covered that door with this fabric wall. It added some height and interest. Very fun.


Jen Ski Art from Kirklands and TJMAXX. The bear on the door was a custom commissioned piece a friend had made for us as a gift! We love it. A local artist painted it.
Some other cute touches: a toy box made to look like a block from a friend and the monogrammed Teddy Bear that I adore from Uncle Louie and Andrea.


It is now very soothing and neat and clean in there. I am so happy to have it finished and organized. HUGE weight off my shoulders. We've got some great ladies in my family! EFFICIENT too. They also got Erik some new plants for his garden and landscaping!  I was very sad to see them go today.

34 Week Update! My Baby is a Whopper!

My momma and auntee have been in town helping doing all of my work! Thank GOD!  They have been working so hard getting the nursery finished up! Shout out to my Nonie too who helped sew all the pretty panels you see behind me.  ( More about that later)

I was also pretty excited that they got to go with us to the Doctor today, for the big baby reveal. I have been sooooo curious about my dinosaur baby and how big he is. Erik almost had me convinced that it was all in my head, but the doctor confirmed all and more today.
We first went to get an ultrasound. Mom and Erik got to sit in there for that, and when I asked her how big he was, she said she was scared to tell me!
  I was measuring 39 weeks instead of 33/34. She said Fenn has a very large head and is 7lbs 5 oz.  ( I know all that jazz about how the measurements can be off etc but there is alot going on here than just an ultrasound like how gigantor I am, and genetics) anyway, after the ultrasound we met with my doc.
He said, basically in these situations with such a big baby and so much amnio fluid they check a few things, first being gestational diabetes. I passed that test, and was not even close to not passing.
  Second would be birth defects and he said he is 100% Ok so that is not it ( praise God), and next would just basically be his genetic makeup and that he is just a big baby in over 95th percentile for size. ( Erik was a BIG baby) and that he will start watching me closely to see how much bigger Fenn gets and he went on to talk about how to get him out of there, and why etc. He said he would NOT be taking him early b.c big babies have harder time breathing early or something like that.
So that leaves me with a few thoughts:
-  I still think I am further along that the doc thinks!
-  Dang! HE really does have to come out, and that's scary. None of the options for exit sound very pleasant for me. 
- Having a whopper baby does make me feel somewhat better about my massive weight gain. We are up to FORTY pounds now peeps. Thats ALOT! My legs are officially tree trunks. as you can totally see documented in these pics.


Now I realize that these pics are not flattering ( I am sure the grandparents are horrified that I have posted them) , and I look gargantuan, but honestly... I'm just keepin it real with ya'll, cause in real life I am very pregnant, HOT, tired, and could care less about how fat I am, or how uncute I look.
In real life, I go to the pool every chance I get so that I can cool down and float some of this heavy baby for a minute.
In real life, I am officially bigger than my hubby. I bet I weigh more than he does too!
In real life, I think my hump looks better tan than white, and since its 2010 and peeps don't hide pregnancy anymore its OK to wear a bikini. I know that offends some people, and I am sorry, but it is what it is.

The only baby changes I have had lately are he is awake more and staying up later at night. Have not felt all that great, because everything just makes me tired! The Nursery is finally complete and I will blog that soon! 

So all in all, the time is near and that is very exciting for me! I had never made a "birth plan" or given that any thought whatsoever, just for this reason. Things change, none of this is in my control, That's God's job and so I'm OK with however it goes.  Ya'll feel free to tell me your experience and tips and such. I enjoyed all the facebook comments I got! There are a
lot of big babies out there! dang!

PS . I purchased this thing at BBB and LOVE it. I can now have my plate and computer close to me without touching my big belly! Its so nice! It slides over couch or wherever I am and has adjustable heights and folds up for storage under the couch!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

He's a Great Bubs!

Sunday, My bubs was hard at work being a good husband! He put together the baby chair!

Then he put together the baby swing!
Then he did something REALLY sweet. He helped me paint my toenails, which I currently can not reach! It is about to kill me paying someone to paint them so often cause I generally do my own nails. Bubs helped me change them up and that was so sweet of him, and being the perfectionist that he is on projects, he did a fantastic job.

Now that is just some of his many talents and good husbandry skills. He is a great husband/daddy face and I am a lucky lady! Love you Bubs! Thanks for being you!
xoxox

Monday, June 28, 2010

Did you know Dogs can have a "Reverse Sneeze"?

I'm proud to report that Uncle Louie has joined the ranks of iphone users and recieved the new iphone 4 for his anniversary! He and Andrea came over the other night so that I could help him set it up and while they were here, he got to witness my boppie making her weird noise. She has done this off and on forever and I thought she had asthma or something. Turns out, Louie said its harmless and is called a "Reverse Sneeze" and had me you tube it. Below , for your viewing pleasure and self diagnosis is a Reverse Sneeze Video:


Fantastic New Recipe Alert!

Courtney Taylor sent me this recipe ages ago, and I was late trying t because of the lettuce. I don't like lettuce! But, lately I have not wanted to eat "hot" foods and this seemed light and didn't have to be warm when you eat it so we gave it a try and it was OUTSTANDING.



Pineapple Chicken Lettuce wraps

Ingredients

  1. 4-6 butter lettuce leaves
  2. 1 1/2 c cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  3. 3/4 c pineapple, chopped into ½” pieces
  4. 2 Serrano peppers, seeded, de-veined, and finely chopped
  5. Small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  6. 1/3 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  7. 1/4 c rice vinegar
  8. 1/4 c soy sauce
  9. 2 T honey

Directions

  1. Rinse the butter lettuce and pat dry. To prepare the dressing, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey together in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until completely combined and set aside. In a large bowl combine the shredded chicken, pineapple, serranos, onion, and cilantro. Add about 3/4 of the dressing and toss together well. Assemble your wraps by spooning a generous amount of the chicken & pineapple mixture. Drizzle the tops of each with a little more dressing, roll 'em up, and enjoy!
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Iphone 4: My Review


So we've had a few days with the iphone 4 and maybe you wanna hear what we are thinking. (If not, skip this post :)
A lot of people that were in line the other day, kept saying how stupid we were to wait in line for a phone. I said, speak for yourselves there. I am no dummy! I knew what it would be like, anticipated and planned for it, and had already seen the phone so i knew it was worth it ( for me personally). Iphones are a big deal in Grizaland and I am perfectly content that I spent 13 hours securing the fact that we would both have the same fun new toy!
That being said, I will give you all a small casual review and some links to great professional reviews if you are interested.


The Highlights (for me):
    • This is the best phone they have made since the original. There were alot of changes, and really nice ones. 
    • The biggest and best changes IMO are the beautiful screen display, and the new camera quality/functions.
    • the ability to video chat. This is a cool feature, not sure how often I will actually use it but I like the option!
    The Camera:
    Now some dummy on Yahoo wrote a really uneducated article about the camera. He had not even seen the phone yet but was explaining why the camera was bunk.  You just have to remember that the bigger the megapixel does not always equal the better the photo quality.
    you can CLICK HERE for a detailed and professional camera review. It comes with photo and video comparisons. Or you can look below at the difference in photos from the 3gs camera to the new iphone 4 camera. Sorry I was too tired to get creative so its just a lame shot I took while laying in bed!
    The Screen:
    I am sure you have already heard about the screen quality and all the fancy terminology and science behind it. I will just say this, I have never been one to notice such things, HD TV means nothing to me, but this screen is beautiful and crisp, especially when reading text. I cant believe I am even saying that! Below is a screen shot of the 3Gs vs iphone4:




    I read somewhere that 77% of people who bought the new iphone the other day were upgrading. If that is something you are considering then check out the chart below to compare the 3Gs and Iphone 4:









    I cant really speak to the battery life part yet. In my experience, all iphones have relatively low battery life since you are doing so much more with them, than your average phone. I also think they start out with a strong battery and over time, it gets weaker and weaker so say this time next year it wont be holding that "7 hour" (talk time) battery life . Thank goodness for Mophie.
    I also cant talk about the " Bumper" case that apple put out this year as they were all sold out. I notice on ebay people are scalping them! Crazyness. I have heard a lot of rumours about how the bumpers help with reception. I guess we shall see about that. I ordered some from apple.com during the pre-sale but they are late arriving....
    Did anyone else upgrade? Have any comments or thoughts?

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    33 Week Update!

    Screenshot of my ipregnancy app showing my progress for today (it spells "Fenn" wrong). I love Wednesdays now just because I know that completes another week! Hooray for that!
    Next Tuesday I will get an ultrasound to see just how big my little dinosaur is in there, b.c he feels gargantuan.
    • I have just recently reached the point where I am big enough it causes a stir when I go out in public. Everyone asking a lot of questions about how far I am, what is it, etc. Kind of intriguing. People show a lot of sympathy for me over this heat, and I have realized that older ladies especially are real sympathetic which I appreciate. 
    • I have always been cold natured, and didn't think this heat would hurt me like everyone assured me it would. Well they were RIGHT. It makes me SO hot that I cant cool down for like 8 hours after going outside. I cant sleep with covers ( when I am actually sleeping) I do not want to eat anything hot, even the idea of it is disturbing.
    • I cant really walk normal anymore. Very much a waddle and the bottom of my belly touches the top of my legs when I sit, which is So weird!  I noticed at the grocery store yesterday an older gentlemen walking ahead of me and we were going the same speed, with the same limp.
    • My legs hurt where they connect to my torso. Unsure about why, maybe my top half got too heavy for them to carry, or maybe my hips and all that are spreading out. Either way, quite uncomfortable, and kind of sends shocking pains when i stand up after sitting for a while.
    • My dude still moves ALL the time. He enjoys a good sleep midday , but early in the morning when I first wake up and from about 8-10 pm he is partying in there. I never get tired of watching that because it is so surreal. Erik however, is probably a little over  me telling him to look or feel. 

    I think that is all the changes to report. That and I have probably doubled my weight since last update. ha Oh well. Honestly, I don't even care anymore. I will deal with that after the fact.  All in all, as much as I complain ( and I do, because pregnancy is hard yo) but I have had it much easier than some peeps and I am thankful for that. I am also amazed that it's almost time to be done! Amazed and Thankful.
    I firmly believe, despite what anyone tries to tell me, that he will be here between July 21- August 5th.  My doctor laughs at me and says that is wishful thinking, but i'm serious. He is out of room in there and has been trying to punch his way out for weeks!  Plus I had a dream about it. Remember how I was convinced he was a BOY, well its like that. We shall see who is right when its all said and done! ha
    Hope you are all following me on twitter b.c if I can physically handle it I will be twittering updates from the delivery room! ha

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    The Iphone 4 Launch and Sweet Victory!!

    If you follow me on twitter, or know me at all, then you know the last 2 days have been iphone obsessed. I was able to get in a preorder for one that was delivered via Fed-Ex  yesterday and held out on pre-order #2 hoping to get a white one on launch day for myself. No dice. White ones are delayed till likely August and I cant wait that long! So to the line I went! I arrived at 6:25 am and was there until 7:30 pm.. that's right! 13 HOURS of waiting.

    Since this wasn't my first Rodeo, I came prepared. I dressed comfortably, brought a tailgate chair and a backpack full of snacks, water and reading material. That lasted me for about 6 hours. Same with my iphone battery life! Luckily, CB and Jasmine loved me enough to come and give me a potty break and snack and drink and company.  I also made lots of friends in line :

    We had a chef, a car salesman, a counselor, a doctor, a song writer etc. It was a fun bunch. I had one guy who arrived very foul and complained and coughed on me (without ever covering his $%#@ mouth) for about 2 hours before he bailed. I was glad to see him go! Then I had one guy, who was stupid brave enough to try and cut line on me. I gave him one polite warning and then told him he needed to back on up and get in his designated spot, stat. He did work my nerves though, always trying to creep up in any open 12 " he could find.
    Who DOES that?
    But after sweating in line for 12 hours I finally made it to the gates ( swole up like a balloon), just in time for them to announce only 13 more phones left! When I finally got in I got the last 32Gig and was thrilled! I also received many high-fives and kudos for the intense dedication of being 8.25 months pregnant and in line all day
     and once inside, I was buying my bubs iphone right next to Titan's player Courtland Finnegan. He was SUPER nice and we got out pic together! He was excited about the baby bump too.  I saw him in line 2 years ago as well.  He was my 2nd person to see in line again this year. ( I also saw the guy with the crazy toe nails from the 3G launch in line again this year).
    So Fenn was a trooper today, and also did a great bit of showing out while in line. He had a fantastic first lesson in obsession perseverance from his Momma.
    I came straight home afterward and took a COLD shower since I was sticky with sweat and am managed to stay awake long enough to get this blog out!
    Tomorrow comes the review with pics and all!
    Good Day!

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Iphone App Review: Ebay Selling

    I just recently came across this app in the app store and found it to be totally useful. Have you ever been out somewhere and found some item you thought would bring a great profit on ebay? Well in about 5 secs you can check ebay for the sell history on said object and make an educated decision on buying it. Some of you may or may not know that I broke up with ebay over a year ago, and selling our current Iphone 3gs' on there now is my first ebay action in ages. This app has helped me keep an eye on those auctions as well. It's a free download so if you are an ebayer, get on it!
     



    Feel free to watch the auctions and see how it goes. Turns out we needed to sell both of them to pay for the new Iphone4 because we didnt get the early upgrade on both phones :(

    Wishful Wednesdays: I wish I Hadn't Lost....

    Joining Kelsey from The Seattle Smith's blog to participate in Wishful Wednesdays:


    'I wish' .... I hadn't lost ______!!
    I wish I had not lost PICTURES! I have had a few electronic malfunctions in my life that led to losing important pictures, in particular when E and I first started dating back in 2004 we took a fun road trip to Savannah, GA, Tampa, FL, and Yulee , FL and some other small towns along the way. We saw Pearl Jam and Death Cab for Cutie in Kissimmee Fl and went to the Tampa Aquarium and messed up our pictures from that trip. I cant even remember how... but I really wish I had those back! 
    From then on, we take computer and camera on all trips and each day, we transfer the pictures from that day onto the computer and usually Picasa too, that way if something gets deleted or stolen, the pictures will remain. 
    This same thing happened again last year on my 30th Birthday trip to Vegas and the only reason we have any pictures at all from that trip was because I had uploaded some to picasa from the hotel .(thank goodness!)
    So what do you guys wish you had now and never lost? Link up over at Seattle Smiths if you wanna play along!

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Cloth Diapering : Take One

    We bought out first Cloth Diaper system today! The "Flip" is what I am gonna try out first. I bought some reusable inserts and some disposable inserts (The throw away inserts are biodegradable and you can put them in your compost, throw them away or flush them) in the event of traveling or something like that. They have fantastic reviews!
    I know some people are sneering at the mere mention of me cloth diapering, but you know.... to each his own. I have given it a good deal of thought and feel like I can handle it, and the benefits and money saved will make it worth it. So it is not as much about tree hugging ( for me) as it is for economical and baby health reasons ( fewer troubles with diaper rash, and quicker to potty train).
    If you are interested in reading on the subject I found this post over at Me as a Mommy called " The Pampers Drama" very entertaining and thought provoking...

    I want my bubbies to install one of those sprayers in the toilet for me too. He kind of laughs when this subject comes up but I think he will be down with it, esp when I explain the numbers to him. (That link is to the install instructions)

    Click HERE if you wanna use the diaper calculator to tell you how much you are spending on either the cloth or the disposable diapers. Below is a rough estimate of savings from cloth diapering:
    You will save $343.27 in 6 months.
    You will save $572.12 in 10 months.
    You will save $686.55 in 1 year.
    You will save $1029.82 in 1 1/2 years.

    and I've got some buddies that do it and tell me its a breeze ( Sarah S. Beth H. )


    So Ya'll holla back in a few months and I will tell you if I'm eatin it or if we really stuck with it!

    Sunday, June 20, 2010

    Happy Father's Day

    Happy Father's Day everyone! This being my bubs FIRST fathers day ( or sort of) Ralpy, Floppy and I all went in together to get him a special gift, that I thought he would LOVE and really enjoy, however, after seeing this video and his reaction I am thinking he would have been more excited about a shovel. hmmph.



    Happy Father's Day 2010 from Laura Graham on Vimeo.
    He listens to music every single second he is awake and not at work, so I thought this was like a super idea! dang! 

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Cool DIY Beach Towels

     
    You may or may not remember me posting about these towels from Lillian Vernon $30 back in 2007. I ordered one for each family member before our annual Cabo trip and had them monogrammed with our nicknames. Well 2 problems with that now: 
    one is they are very thin,too short and skinny for most chairs, 
    and the other is that back in '07 Erik called me "Princess" which is what my towel says! 
    Kind of embarrassing now to get out of the pool big as a whale and go back to a chair calling me Princess. ha 
    But there is alot to be said for a towel that hangs over the back of the chair and stays put rather than trying to hang a towel over the back etc.
    This year I have been lusting after these towels I saw in the Pottery Barn Outdoors Magazine ($55)



    and then yesterday I decided to attempt sewing my own version. My issue with sewing, besides the fact that I can absolutely not make straight edges of any kind, is that I take such long breaks in between sewing that I forgot how to adjust my tension knobs and what not.
    Anyways, I spent about $10 on some soft fleece type fabric at JoAnne's ( I had a 40% off coupon) and I used one of my old vintage sheets ( that I obsessively collect) to make it reversible. Not bad for a first draft. I should have been more generous with the fabric as you will see in the pictures. I also should have used some of that fabric fuser stuff.
    My towel model Ralpy. Anytime I spread fabric out, he thinks its for him.
    The Sheet Side:
    Up close of print:
     The slip cover to go over the back:
     And then, when I put this pics up to blog about I realized how sloppy this looked, and thought I have to do better. so Here is try #2.  I bought 2 regular beach towels ( from target) instead of fabric ($12) and took literally 5 minutes to make. Now if ONLY I could monogram!
    Isn't that better? I made this one for a friend! I think Striped beach towels are THE best. But they are super hard to find! Ya'll seen any cute striped towels anywhere this year? My neighbor got a super cute Peace Sign Beach towel at Sam's Club!

    Thursday Night Recipe: Cilantro Chicken Salad

    I scored this recipe off a new blog I found on Mary Alice's blog called Skinny Tastes. She does a lot of WW recipes. I love everything about cilantro and lime!  It was very good, and very light. I used Veganaise instead of Mayo and the lime juice cuts that nicely. This is great for a light lunch on these SUPER hot days, instead of a dinner item (IMO).
    I served with fresh slices of tomatoes and a side salad. We got some new salad dressing at Publix this week ( pictured below). If you like the Ginger dressing in Japanese Steakhouses then you will love this dressing. It was fabulous!






    Embedded Recipe Image (Unsupported on IE 7 and earlier)
    Cilantro Chicken Salad

    Ingredients

    1. 7 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded or diced
    2. 2 tbsp light mayonnaise
    3. 1 small scallion, chopped
    4. 2 tsp lime juice
    5. 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
    6. salt and pepper
    7. pinch garlic powder
    8. pinch of cumin
    9. pinch of chile powder
    10. fat free chicken broth

    Directions

    1. Combine chicken, mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and chile powder. Add a little chicken broth if chicken seams too dry, 1 tbsp at a time.
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    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    So I Ain't Lurvin This!


    Thanks to this link, from CT, I recently learned that Dooney & Bourke makes Ipad cases! My inner 8th grader loves D&B and I especially love their Cabriolet Collection!  Good price point too!  I would totally choose that navy and red combo, and perhaps even have it monogrammed.

    Matt Stillwell now in iTunes and on CMT!

    I am happy to report one of my musical friends from the AU days ( Brett Smith, formerly of JiveTrain) is part of the Matt Stillwell band here in Nashville and they now have itunes albums and videos on CMT! Super fun.







    So ya'll support our friends and local musicians by making a purchase in Itunes and spreading the word!
    Congrats Brett and the gang!

    New Recipe Week!

    I am desperate for some new things to cook around here, so I am forcing myself to flip through magazines and find some stuff to try and to try and be open minded about it. I got this recipe from ShopSmart Magazine. It was good. I served it with lima beans and couscous. I think next time I make this I will use more Salt, or some sort of spice, and add garlic.






    Balsamic Chicken in Tomato and Mushroom Sauce

    Ingredients

    1. 4 boneless Chicken Breast Halves
    2. 1/2 tsp each of Salt & Pepper
    3. 3 Tablespoon of Virgin Olive Oil
    4. 1 Medium Onion Sliced
    5. 1/2 lb of quartered mushrooms
    6. 1 can of diced tomatoes
    7. 2 Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar
    8. 1/4 cup siced fresh basil

    Directions

    1. 1. sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. In a LARGE skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add chicken. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. ( about 5 mins)
    2. Remove chicken from skillet and add sliced onion, mushrooms, and olive oil. Cook until onions are soft.
    3. Stir in diced tomatoes, undrained, and the vinegar. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to the skillet, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes of until chicken is cooked.
    4. Remove chicken to a platter stir basil into sauce and pour over chicken.
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    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Husbands and Things of That Nature...........

    Upon first glance at this pic, What do you see? If you are a husband/dude you probably notice that yummy sweet water pale ale:
    If you are a wife, you probably notice that someone, put an empty picture of lemonade back into the fridgerator! And what no one can see,  is the also empty pitcher of Crystal Light I had already removed. Now isn't that an interesting thing to do,.. put empty containers back in the fridge.
    and while I wont claim that this always amuses me, I will say it is one of those marital battles or issues I don't even waste my breathe on. It runs in the family b.c back in our communal living days, I know a one RSG II that did the same thing. Right Bro!?
    And then, While I am contemplating blogging about this habit of the bubs, he walks in the room and shows me THIS:
    He's been practicing his swaddle technique ( that we learned from a DVD) on Flossie Bossy, you can tell she is totally in to it!
    So all in all I guess you could say the man keeps it interesting around here.

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