Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nora Kay Love ~ 30 Weeks

And just like that...we're basically in the final countdown.  I can't believe that we're less than 10 weeks away from meeting our new baby girl.  With my delivery history, my OB has agreed that if Nora doesn't arrive on her own before December 6th, we will be scheduling a c-section for the week immediately following.  YIKES...10 weeks, here we go! 
How far along:  30 WEEKS!!!
How big is baby: 2.75 lb
Wanted to be just like mommy again!
 Gender: My sweet baby girl, Nora Kay! We've certainly given her some big shoes to fill with being named after my Grandma Kay.

Weight gain/loss: I'm completely resigned to the fact that I'm at almost the exact same place I was with Elyse and that's ok.  I had big goals of not gaining as much this time around...and that just didn't happen.  But hey, it came off the first time...and I'll work my butt off to get it off this time too. I've also made the decision to pretty much completely stop Zumba in favor of nightly family walks.  I just don't feel like I am able to work hard enough at Zumba to make the time worth it...and my Braxton hicks contractions go crazy when I'm there.  So...I'm going to enjoy the rest of my nights at home with my sweet family. 

Sleep: As long as I stay asleep, sleep is fabulous.  However, if I wake up to use the bathroom (which obviously is at least once a night) or if Elyse wakes up and needs to potty (which has been her recent routine)...then I'm awake for at least 45 minutes before falling back asleep.  It could definitely be worth, so I'm not complaining. 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I'm not sure it's really from pregnancy, but all the Fall goodies are starting to call my name.  I'm ready to dive head first into baking all sorts of pumpkin & apple goodness...but I'm trying to refrain since I certainly don't need to be the only one eating the entire batch!  And one thing that I've kept forgetting to mention is that for FOREVER I have hated tomatoes.  Tomato based sauces and ketchup are fine...but raw tomatoes or tomatoes cooked in any dish have been repulsive. However, since pregnancy...I've been adding tomatoes to my sandwiches, taco salads, etc. and also been perfectly fine with leaving them in other dishes.  I truly hope I keep this as I know tomatoes are a great thing to eat.  I'm still not into eating them just plain by themselves...but who knows, maybe that's next! 

Movement: She definitely likes to move it, move it!  She's super active early in the morning, late at night, and then if I'm awake at all during the middle of the night she likes to have a little dance party then as well.  I honestly cannot tell at all which way she is positioned.  At some times it feels like she has to just be kicking the heck out of my bladder...but I'm also wondering if she's not sideways in there sometimes because all of her movement seems to be centered across my belly.  Who knows...I guess we'll find out soon enough! 

What I'm loving: All of the nursery progress!  My bedding/curtains will be complete in the next few weeks, we've got Nora's closet all set up and all of Elyse's newborn-3 month clothes have been washed and put away waiting for a new owner.  We also got notice that our new chairs are ready and those are going to be picked up next week.  Now I just need to start nailing down some of the decorating details. 

Symptoms: Growing belly.  Braxton Hicks.  Lower leg cramps.  Heartburn.  Bathroom visits.  The fun and increasingly uncomfortable symptoms have started to settle in.  I asked Hubby for permission to complain a bit on Sunday afternoon, but that was mainly after I overdid myself in doing several loads of newborn-sized laundry!  I know she certainly needs to stay put for several more weeks...but I'm definitely gonna be done with these symptoms by the time she arrives!
Absolutely in LOVE with this picture...love her standing on her tip-toes to give Nora Kay a kiss!
What I'm looking forward to:  We have our "last" monthly appointment this week and then we do 2-week appointments for a month, followed by our weekly appointments!  I can't believe we're already to this point.  Hubby is working on redesigning Elyse's nursery and then we'll be able to move a few more things around.  I'm really just ready to get Nora's nursery all set and ready...Elyse LOVES to play in there, so I can see us spending lots of time in there when it's all finished!
Best moment of the week: Good quality time with my family is just overtaking almost anything at this point.  We have a busy, but also pretty relaxed fall schedule planned so I'm looking forward to having lots of fun times with Elyse & Hubby, just the three of us for these last few weeks. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Fest @ the Farm

With gorgeous weather this weekend and looking for a fun family activity, we decided to make a trip out to our beloved Farm Park (aka Elyse's version of Heaven) to check out their Fall Festival.  And let me just say...we will be going back.  Soon.  Elyse was in love at first pony sighting. 
This girl LOVES her some farm animals and as we parked and got out of the car, the first thing we all spotted were the pony rides.  With a fairly short line.  So off Momma went with Elyse to get in line and Daddy headed to get tickets.  We had a quick little chat about a helmet being a requirement, and after we both finally got on the same page, all she cared about was getting on that horse! 

The horse's name was Harry, and the one she got to ride was the biggest of them all. My precious baby girl looked so tiny, but man was she in love!  We've already made plans to visit my aunt's house tomorrow morning so she can ride some more horses. 

After the pony (more like horse) rides, we roamed around the rest of the farm area checking out the other animals...of course we couldn't miss the pigs or the cows. 

I was all excited about taking her to the pumpkin patch area to snap some good photos and she was having none of it.  I finally convinced her that we would go back to the cows after we picked out a pumpkin, but she still wasn't very cooperative with pumpkin patch pictures.  Oh well, she found a big one and two "baby" ones to take home and I still managed to snap a couple of pictures of her. 

And then of course it was back to the animals.  We stopped to check out some donkeys in another pen...and wouldn't you know it, there was NO LINE at the pony aka Horse rides again. 

And as luck would have it, Harry was available yet again for a rider.  This time I got to walk with her while Daddy took the pictures. 

We then made our way over to the bounce house and inflatable slide, and made one more trip to visit the cows until we had to call it a night because they were closing the Farm for the evening. 

But I can promise you...we will be back.  This girl loves the farm, and with the promise of pony rides, bouncy slides, cows, and baby pigs...I'm sure she'll be begging to make many more visits before the Fall Fest ends for the year.  Of course...who cares about the pumpkins or the hayrides?!?  Not my girl!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!

Lots of randomness for this week...but that's what you get when I'm almost 30 weeks pregnant! How is that even possible?!? 
Linking up with fellow-momma to be Karli over at September FARM...

 1.  Last year our church started what hopes to be an annual tradition of a Saturday night church service on a September weekend.  We have a BBQ competition, some fun music from our band and then our standard worship service...but outside.  It was a great time and Elyse apparently had her first date this year...
Oh yes, they are already betrothed.  We are all about arranged marriage in our family--especially when his momma is my best friend from childhood! 
2.  I left Hubby in charge of Elyse while I went to Zumba on Monday...they went to Lowe's to ride the racecar carts and came home with Pumpkin Minnie.  She's obviously very proud. 

3.  On Wednesday I had planned a little day-out with my mom & my mother-in-law along with Elyse & I for a quick trip down to Branson for some Fall closet updates for Elyse.  I would be extremely embarrassed if I showed you the amount of stuff we brought home, but let's just say that Elyse is pretty much set for Fall.  And Winter.  And maybe next winter since we bought 4T's.  Little girl is so tall that it doesn't make sense to buy her 3T's anymore...we skipped right over that size! 

After shopping we had lunch at a fabulous little cafe & bakery called Sugar Leaf and Elyse was in love with this big rocking chair.  We had a great day out and I hope to plan more in the future! 

4.  Nora's nursery is definitely coming along.  Walls are painted, crib has been assembled, and some of the details have been completed.  We have plans to work on closet organization for both girls this weekend and her rocker-recliner is also ready to be picked up!  Woohoo! 

 5.  I figured that the first official week of fall couldn't be complete without a homemade apple pie.  My grandma (my dad's mom) taught me to make apple pie YEARS ago.  I actually now use my mom's crust recipe, but I still use the filling mixture that my grandma and I perfected MANY years ago.  Oh and just a fun tidbit...I used to enter into our Apple Pie Baking Contest at our local fall festival when I was younger, and one year I even won $100!  Needless to say, this pie was delicious and our house smelled amazing. 

 6.  And a bonus on the list because it's definitely worth mentioning...MOMMA GOT A NEW RIDE!!!  It's a 2013 Buick Enclave and I couldn't be happier!  We've been looking for awhile, but as of yesterday morning one of the local dealerships reduced the sales price pretty substantially so we jumped on it!  Hubby took care of all the paperwork over his lunch hour and Elyse & I met him after work to finish everything up.  Bye bye Jeep...hello Buick! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nora Kay Love ~ 29 Weeks

Well I had certainly planned to try and get something up last week for week 28, my official transition into the Final Trimester...it didn't happen.  And if you read my previous post...you'll see why.  So, let's just pretend this is week 28-29 all rolled into one...ok?
How far along:  29 Weeks
How big is baby:  Butternut Squash; 2.5 lbs

Gender: My sweet baby girl, Nora Kay! We've certainly given her some big shoes to fill with being named after my Grandma Kay. 

Weight gain/loss: Who knows.  Who cares.  The Braxton Hicks contractions seem to come on when I go to Zumba, so I think I may be resigned to simple family walks for the rest of my weeks.  And I'm ok with that.  It all came off before, and with some hard work it will come off again. 
Sleep: I'm still sleeping fairly well, but I am having to get up to use the bathroom a little more frequently.  Thankfully I'm still able to go back to sleep, but sometimes I toss and turn a bit. 

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I'm so thankful that I haven't had really any issues with this for either of my pregnancies.  However, I know that with Fall arriving and the holidays just around the corner I certainly won't mind eating my share of sweets & treats! 

Movement: Oh man, this girl moves!  Thankfully the bladder kicking has become a thing of the past, which I hope means she has gone head down for good.  She moves the most right before bed and right after I wake up in the morning. 

What I'm loving: The fact that our nursery is now painted (along with the girls' bathroom) and so the official decorating can begin.  The fall-like weather that has finally arrived so I can break out my leggings and maternity jeans without sweating to death.  Being nearly 30 weeks.  I know I'll be terrified as Nora's arrival date continues to get closer, but each day closer to her due date means she's also staying put and growing like she needs to. 

Symptoms: Well besides my growing body, the Braxton Hicks contractions seem to be here to stay.  I mainly get them after an active period or when I haven't been drinking enough water.  Last week with all the stress and car travel they were pretty intense for an evening, but thankfully I was able to drink several glasses of water and they calmed down.  I don't remember having those as much with Elyse so it's a new feeling for me.
What I'm looking forward to:  Making more progress in the nursery.  We have to swap the hutch/changing table in Elyse's room for the chest of drawers and we also need to reorganize both girls' closets.  This will be fun for me as it means more progress is being made!  I also have plans next week to go and figure out some of the other finer details of the nursery with my mom.  I'm loving how it looks so far! 
Best moment of the week: While the reason behind having the day off was less than wonderful, last Wednesday Hubby stayed home with us since we were originally scheduled to be in Kansas City anyway.  He got blinds hung in Nora's room and the playroom and he also got Nora's crib put together.  It looks fabulous and I can't wait to start adding all of the other little touches!

Monday, September 22, 2014

An Unexpected Miracle~ Kay Sonya Cook Herndon 1936-2014

The last 11 days since my last post certainly haven't looked much at all like how I thought they would.  On Friday morning, we said "see you later" to my Grandma Kay.  She walked through the gates of heaven last Monday evening at home, with my grandpa by her side, and I know that Jesus was quite pleased to see her.  In the way that she went home, we all truly experienced a miracle...as she was at home with the love of her life.  And while it certainly sucks that she's gone...I know that she no longer has any pain, but is hanging out with Jesus and playing her kazoo in heaven's symphony. 

I made the incredibly difficult decision to write and also read something at the funeral on Friday morning, and really there's no better way to sum up my grandma.  So...here it is...

Grandma, Granny, Gran, Town Grandma, Kay Sonya…all things that I have called this lady in the past.  As her only granddaughter, our relationship was deeper than it might be for some grandmother/granddaughter pairs.  She was my friend, my prayer warrior, and my encourager.  

For Christmas 1999 when I was a sophomore in high school, I gave my grandmother a journal-type book that was meant to be completed and serve as a memoir of sorts.  I of course completely forgot about this book…but grandma didn’t.  Because in 2005, as I was graduating college, I received the book back…fully complete.  It’s full of memories and anecdotes and favorite Bible verses…but one of the headings was entitled…”You are only a failure if…”  And these are the words she wrote.   

You are only a failure if…you have never shared your life with anyone-and have no one to share your life with.  Whether it’s your family or a friend who just needs to know they are important to you.   

As we are all gathered here today, I think we can certainly say that Kay Sonya did not fail in this life.  If sharing your life with others is a mark of success or failure, I can only say that she set the bar at the highest point imaginable. She most certainly shared her life with us and being her granddaughter, I had the incredible privilege of sharing my life with her for nearly 32 years.  We shared life in ways that are too numerous to mention and the memories of our times together are as fresh in my mind as if most of them happened yesterday.

From the older memories of the novels she would write in each birthday card and the roast, mashed potatoes, and cooked carrots she would fix many Sundays because it was my favorite meal…to the much more recent memories of her playing her red French horn kazoo at our wedding and how Nick #2 and I caused her to break into tears & shakes as we revealed that Baby Girl Layman #2 was going to be named Nora Kay.  Of course maybe what I remember most about that moment is that Kay Sonya was rendered speechless, as we all know that didn’t happen very often; which is something she so wonderfully has passed along to my mother & me. 

My grandma shared her faith with us.  As a beautiful illustration of Jesus, she shared her home, her love, her encouragement, and maybe most importantly…her prayers with nearly everyone in this room.  I remember her telling me after Nick & I were engaged, that she had been praying for him.  Not him specifically, but the person that I would marry.  This blew me away…that someone would pray for something that technically didn’t exist yet.  But for many of you, Kay Sonya may have had an even bigger impact on your life than you even know as prayers were sent up on your behalf without your knowledge. 

My grandma shared her strength with us.  Encouragement was embedded in her soul and regardless of her circumstances or the circumstances of others, she was always lifting others up and encouraging them to be a better person or to achieve all they had dreamed of.  She was a woman of great strength, who fought through many incredible battles until our Heavenly Father gave her permission not to fight anymore. 

My grandma shared God’s love with us.  In the same journal she wrote…”I think that real success means being at peace with yourself and the security of knowing that you have shared God’s love with others.”  I am fairly confident that not one of you ever encountered Kay Sonya and didn’t walk away feeling as if you had been touched by God’s love.  And in many cases it may have been a more tangible feeling as you were left with remnants of her current perfume scent or red lipstick stained cheeks. 

My grandma shared her humility with us.  She was so many things in this life…daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, Sunday School teacher, school aide, kazoo player, artist…however, I honestly believe that she did none of those things for her own glory.  She wanted each and every one of us to know Jesus and for Him to be glorified in everything she did.

And so, in Gran’s words…I pray that you all share your life with others.  Share your life that is only the way it is because of Jesus and his everlasting love for you.  Share your life that is certainly not perfect, Grandma’s wasn’t either, but IS a perfect reflection of God’s powerful mercy and grace.  Share your life the way Kay Sonya did…and as she wrote in her own words…you will certainly not be considered a failure.    
And as a tribute to her love of playing kazoos at any and every occasion, a kazoo choir of sorts was formed for her graveside service with nearly 100 people joining us in Victory in Jesus on kazoo.  It was a precious moment, and one that I know had Kay Sonya looking down on with a huge smile on her face.