Saturday, December 22, 2012

24 weeks and Merry Christmas!

Whew, what a busy time of year.  Between getting ready for all the Christmas festivities, parties, work, sick children, there doesn't seem to be many free moments to sit down and blog!  But, I have had a few requests for an updated bump photo so here it is.  I had Chris take this the other day right before I went to exercise (mostly walk/jogging these days).  Sorry about the poor picture quality, it was taken on my phone.

At 24 weeks I feel pretty good!  I don't have many complaints other than Tums have become my constant companion during the day.  Besides that, I am enjoying the second trimester.  I am not uncomfortable at all yet, in fact, I still sleep on my stomach (my doctor said to continue as long as I could stand it!).  I absolutely love feeling my sweet boy move around, which he does most of the day.  He doesn't just kick now, he squirms, wiggles, and sometimes completely flip-flops. I cannot wait to meet him but I think a part of me will miss the constant closeness I feel to him right now.
Yesterday I drank caffeine (other than a few sips) for the first time since finding out I was pregnant.  McDonalds has been advertising their holiday drinks so my sweet husband stopped to get me one.  He thought it was hot chocolate but it ended up being a mocha.  It was too good not to drink.  Baby boy either really liked it or was mad at me for waking him up because he went crazy! 
We are really looking forward to the holiday season but I can't help but think how much sweeter next Christmas will be when I will have my precious boy in my arms.  We are staying in town for the holidays but my parents will be coming to visit for 6 days and I cannot wait!  I cherish my time with them, especially around the holiday seasons.
I hope each of you have a joyful and blessed Christmas!  Take time, in all the busyness, to remember the true meaning and to celebrate the birth of Jesus first and foremost.
Merry Christmas from the Wrights family!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Baby bump...and other things

So, in the past few weeks my "bump" has started to pop out!  I think it helps that I actually have an appetite now.  It is so nice to be able to eat like a normal person!  Here's what I'm looking like these days at 21 weeks:

Chris and I finally agreed on a nursery theme.  We kind of went in circles about what we wanted.  I wanted very simple, Chris wanted trucks and tractors.  We settled on Dr Seuss, something we can both live with.  I actually have started to get really excited about it!  I haven't really done much but here are the wall hangings that the nursery will sort of be themed around:
Unfortunately, this is what the room that will be the nursery currently looks like:
After the holidays we will start turning this storage room/spare bed room/office into the nursery.  Hopefully it will actually be ready by April!

In other news, we had our second anatomy scan yesterday.  Baby boy will still super active but this time they were able to see what they needed to see and everything looks good!  He has grown 3 ounces in the past 2 weeks bringing his current weight to 12 ounces, 3/4 of a pound!  His kicks are so prominent these days and I feel him a lot.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of that feeling!

Have a great weekend everyone!  Only 26 days until Christmas!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Halfway there!

It's hard to believe that my pregnancy is already half done!  I feel like it was just yesterday that I received the phone call I will never forget telling me I was pregnant.  
Thankfully my sweet baby boy has been kinder to his momma the past few weeks.  I finally feel a little bit "normal".  I can eat without wondering if it will stay down or not.  I definitely have more energy even though I still have trouble staying up past 10pm.  I have started running again sone...mostly in intervals with uphill walking on the treadmill.  So, it seems like I might actually enjoy the rest of this trimester!
I can't say that I look pregnant at all yet...however, my belly is definitely growing.  I'm sort of in the "did that girl just eat a really big meal?" stage.  I look forward to actually looking pregnant at some point.  When that happens I'll post a belly picture :)
The absolute best thing that has happened in the past few weeks is that I have started to feel the baby kick!  At first, I wasn't really sure what I was feeling but it's definitely become more pronounced...a few times Chris has even been able to feel.  I could spend hours just sitting and waiting to feel my sweet boy move around.  He certainly has days where he is more active than others but from all that I've read, that's normal.  
We go back to the doctor on Thursday for our second anatomy scan.  I'm praying that our little boy cooperates and they can get all the pictures they need.  I'll be relieved when everything checks out normal!
Just 20 (or so) more weeks!  I cannot wait to hold my sweet baby for the first time!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's a...

For quite some time now, I've been convinced that our baby was a girl.  I'm not sure why...I guess I bought into the wives tales about the high heart rate and extreme nausea meaning girl.  Well, I found out today that I was wrong!  We went in for our anatomy scan and the woman asked us right off the bat if we wanted to know the sex.  We said yes and she said, well I already know.  It's a boy!  I guess "it" was the first thing she saw on the scan.  I was honestly pretty shocked and Chris was beyond ecstatic. Sweet baby boy was quite active the entire time.  Actually, it seemed like he never stopped moving.  She would be looking at something in the front and all of a sudden he would flip over and we would see his spine.  She was able to point out to us most everything- the stomach, bladder, heart, arms, legs, cerebellum, and of course, his "boy parts".  She also was able to tell us that he weighed 9 ounces, right where he should be for 18 weeks.  However, because baby boy was so active, she wasn't able to get all the pictures of the heart (even though we clearly saw it beating well!) and face that the doctors like to see.  So, we have to go back in 2 weeks for another anatomy scan.  They told us that this is absolutely nothing to worry's normal for this to happen.  I'm excited that we get to see baby again so soon and praying that everything checks out healthy and normal!
It's so much fun to finally call our baby a "he" and maybe even by name soon (but we're keeping that a surprise until April...sorry!).  After our visit we went and bought a few little outfits, of course one of them had little footballs on it.  I am looking forward to starting on the nursery.  Our crib was actually delivered today! I know it seems really early for that but my parents so generously offered to buy it for us, and it was very much on sale.  So, it will sit in the box in the basement for a few months but I'm excited that it's here!  I have diligently been doing my research on baby items and I think we'll start registering soon.  To any of my mom friends, I'd love some advice on things you think are absolutely necessary to have (besides the obvious of course)!
Here are a couple of pictures from our visit today of our sweet baby boy:
Sweet boy's foot
Profile view, look at his sweet little nose!
Definitely a boy!
I think he's saying "I'm #1!" 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The first of many...

I'm sure this will be the first of many pregnancy posts.  Let me start at the beginning...
I found out that I was pregnant on August 8th.  It didn't exactly happen in the "typical" way.  I actually never even took a pregnancy test!  Let me explain.  We had been trying to get pregnant for quite some time so my doctor finally referred me to a fertility specialist.   I was pretty anxious leading up to this appointment because I had Googled every possible thing that could have been wrong and what kind of treatments I might have to go through.  So, during the appointment the doctor and I talked for a while and then she did a routine ultrasound.  She finished the appointment by telling me that she just wanted to run some blood work and see if anything came back abnormal and oh, by the way, she was going to do an early pregnancy test just in case.  I honestly didn't think anything of it.  Well, imagine my surprise (and overwhelming joy) when I got a call later that afternoon from the nurse telling me...I was already pregnant!  All I can say is that the Lord is faithful because, although it may not have happened in my timing, I had prayed that I could get pregnant without any fertility treatments.
Now, at 17 weeks pregnant, I can honestly say that the past 3 months have been some of the most joyful and the most difficult of my life. I think I had a very idealistic view of pregnancy....I didn't think about the hard part.  Like...

1) Nausea.  I'll start with the obvious.  There have been very few days since I was about 8 weeks pregnant that I haven't seen a meal or two come back up, or at least felt like it was going to happen.  For this reason, I have yet to gain even a pound.  Never in my life before have I wanted to gain weight but I am excited to hopefully soon have a "baby bump"!  Anyways, knock on wood, I have had two good days in a row without feeling too sick so maybe it's finally subsiding!
2) Fatigue.  Like, feeling like I was hit by a truck fatigue.  It was honestly hard to make it through some days without thinking I was going to fall asleep at the wheel on my way home from work.  This, thankfully, is gone and I finally have some energy back.
3) Major changes to my exercise routine.  This has been one of the hardest things for me to deal with.  The two aforementioned effects of pregnancy have made it really hard for me to keep running.  I have always had this unrealistic thought that I would keep running right up until the day I gave birth.  Yea right.  So, I have resorted to walking and doing the elliptical at the gym.  I still try to exercise at least 5 days a week and, for the most part, have been successful in doing that.  If the nausea really has subsided (I hope!!) I may try running again a few days a week...just a few miles.
4) Crazy emotions.  Let's be honest, I'm an extremely emotional person anyways.  But, the hormones have made me even more so.  I seem to cry at the drop of a hat.  My poor husband having to deal with me...

There are so many other ways that my life has been affected by pregnancy but let me please say this...I am NOT complaining about any of it!  I feel so blessed already to be this child's mother and the physical symptoms are a very very small price to pay.  I am so anxious to go back to the doctor in a week and a half and hear the sweet little heartbeat again!     Oh yea...and find out whether it's a boy or a girl!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

a busy week...

Last week was a busy week traveling from NC to Boston/Maine, back to NC, and then to Florida. From Friday to Friday I only spent one night in my own bed.  I took 6 different plane rides (oh, the next time I'm pregnant, someone please remind me that it's not a good idea to fly when you're experiencing nausea already...the outcome is not good...but I'll leave it at that).  But, all this jet-setting was worth it.  I was able to see one of my dearest friends get married, my dear cousin get married, and also had a successful work trip to Orlando.
I arrived in Boston on Friday afternoon, a little later than expected due to a delayed flight.  But, I was welcome to the airport by the precious face of my niece Ava:
So, the first wedding was last Saturday evening.  It was a beautiful wedding in Beverly, MA.  Mallory has been a close friend of mine since my family moved to MA in 1999.  Mallory was a bridesmaid in my wedding but her bridal party consisted completely of family members (cousins, sister-in-laws) and that made it really special.  My dad officiated which, of course, made it even more special ;)  Mallory looked beautiful.  The reception was at a country club in Georgetown.  I have to say, it was one of the most memorable receptions I have even been to.  About halfway through the reception, the fire alarm started blaring.  We were all instructed to evacuate the building.  We found out later that a decorative pumpkin with a candle inside had caught on fire.  But, thanks to the fine work of the firefighters, we were able to re-enter the building about 15 minutes later.  The rest of the reception was wonderful, including the pumpkin cake!  It was certainly a night that will not soon be forgotten by any of the guests!
Mallory dancing with her father, Dave
here comes the firetrucks!
The beautiful bride and I

The second wedding was Sunday afternoon at Point Lookout in Northpoint, Maine.  My cousin and her now husband could not have asked for a more perfect day for a fall, outdoor wedding.  The temperature was in the high 60s with the sun shining.  It was definitely one of the prettiest wedding venues I have even been to.  It was a wonderful day of watching my cousin get married and visiting with lots of family that I don't get to see too often.  
dancing with my dad at the reception
The picture quality isn't great but it's the only picture I took with the beautiful bride!

my cousin Max and niece Ava
I made the wedding cake for my cousin in my mom's kitchen without any of my usual wasn't my finest work but I was pleased with the outcome!

the gorgeous view from the wedding venue
I think this is how we all felt by the end of the evening!

I flew back to NC on Tuesday and spent the evening with my husband but had to head out again Wednesday morning for a work trip to Orlando.  We had quite the time actually getting to Orlando after a long delay in our first flight from Greensboro to Charlotte caused us to miss our second flight from Charlotte to Orlando.  Needless to say, we spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how we would get to Orlando before Thursday (we were initially told there were no flights available).  We ended up switching airlines, flying standby to Atlanta, and then (after missing 2 more standby flights) finally catching a 4:50pm flight to Orlando (our original flight was 1pm).    But, we made it.  After a long but productive day and a half of training sessions, we made it back to Greensboro with no problem.   I'm not sure I have even been so thankful to sleep in my own bed!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A common little miracle...

One of my favorite old country songs calls having a baby a "common little miracle".  I couldn't agree more.  Well, Chris and I are thrilled to announce that God has blessed us with our own little miracle who will be arriving in April!  Finally, something truly "blog-worthy" to post about!

Baby Wrights on 9/6/12 at 8 weeks- Arriving around April 12, 2013!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cake catch up- September

I've had 2 busy weekends in a row of cake/cupcake making for a variety of occasions- a 1st birthday, a baby shower, a gender reveal party, and a combined family birthday party for a 26, 24, and 2 year old.  Here are the cakes!

Guest cake for the 1st birthday party. Cake was french vanilla with vanilla buttercream.

Smash cake for the birthday boy.

Dark chocolate fudge cake with vanilla buttercream for Alexandra's baby shower!  I can't wait to meet baby Gaskins.

Gender reveal party cake for twins.  Top tier was strawberry cake for the GIRL and the bottom was classic white cake colored blue for the BOY!

These carrot cupcakes topped with either pecans or mini chocolate chips were part of a 4 dozen cupcake order.  The rest were either classic white or dark chocolate fudge.

3 special cupcakes for the birthday folks. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A day to ourselves...

So it's not often that Chris and I (like all parents) get a day to ourselves.  But, we have some wonderful friends who were willing to keep the boys all day yesterday and even overnight!  So, Chris and I took full advantage of the day and went hiking at one of our favorite spots, Stone Mountain.  If you have never been there, you need to go.  The main trail is a 4.5 mile loop that takes you past a beautiful waterfall.  We took our time and enjoyed the views, something we don't always do when we hike.  We had a wonderful time!
Last night, we actually were able to go on a date!  We went to Vincenzo's, an Italian restaurant that we hadn't tried before, which ended up being really good!  It was nice to have "adult" conversation and not worry about children causing a ruckus in the restaurant!
We had a really great day.  I look forward to another "date day" in the not too far away the future!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cake Catch up- August

I haven't posted about any cakes lately so here's what I've done lately: a bridal shower cake, a baby shower cake, and a first birthday cake and matching smash cake.  Here they are!

Classic white cake with chocolate buttercream and a fondant "wedding dress"

Classic white cake with vanilla buttercream and fondant decorations

Strawberry cakes with chocolate buttercream and fondant bows and gift tag

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Nonni

On August 11th my dear Nonni passed away.  As much as this was "expected" (can it ever really be?), it was still extremely difficult for our family.  My Nonni was such a special part of us.  She was loved by everyone she met.  She loved to laugh, loved to make others laugh.  Most importantly, she wasn't afraid to laugh at herself.  She was fighter, she was so tenacious.  My grandfather passed away 22 years ago and she learned to be strong and independent.  She opened up her own bridal shop, The Wedding Belle, which she owned and operated for many years.  When she retired from that she started doing guided lighthouse tours all over the state of Maine.  She also was a talented jewelery maker.  And, as if that all isn't enough, she is an author!  She wrote a children's book called "Ida's New Home" and was in the process of writing a second book.   Did I mention that she was a wonderful singer?  I know that she is singing with the angels right now.  Knowing Nonni, she's probably the angel choir director!

As my family gathered over the past few days, it was so great to be able to remember Nonni and reminisce about all of our wonderful memories with her.  She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister, and friend.  My brother, cousins, and I all spent a lot time at Nonni's house when we were little and have the same favorite memory.  Our evening tradition was to eat Breyers coffee ice cream and white cheddar Smartfood popcorn while we watched "I Love Lucy" or the Red Sox games.  So, on Friday night, after the funeral, what else did we eat but Breyers coffee ice cream and white cheddar Smartfood popcorn.  It was only fitting.  I know Nonni was smiling down on that :)

We will all miss Nonni so very much.  There will be a void in our family forever.  She taught us all many things, especially to be strong.  She loved the Lord first and she loved her family fiercely.  She was never afraid to speak her mind even when it may not have been the popular opinion.  Nonni brought so much joy into a room.  One of my fondest recent memories of Nonni, before her health started to decline, is her dancing at my wedding.  She looked like the belle of the ball in her blue sparkly gown.  That is how I will forever remember her.  I love you Nonni.  Enjoy your mansion in Heaven, I'll meet you there someday.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

one year ago today...

One year ago today, on my lunch break, I received a phone call that turned my little 2 person family's whole life upset down.  There were twin little boys who needed a home.  And they needed a home right then.  Not the next day, not a week from then...that day.  So, after a quick call to my husband and a small panic attack we were on our way to DSS to become foster parents for the first time.   I remember thinking the whole way there, "what are we doing??" and "I'm so not ready for this..."

We were led into a small room where I'll never forget the moment I saw these two little boys, sound asleep with their heads on the table and clearly exhausted.  One was in clothes far too small and the other was clothed only in a bathing suit and flip flops that DSS had given to him.  One of them had obviously wet his pants.  Poor things.  We led them to our car and buckled them in and didn't hear a single word of protest, not a single cry, not a single question of "where are we going?" As much as my life was about to change, so was theirs.

The ride home was sort of surreal.  They boys were quite...obviously confused.  My mind was racing in 100 different directions.  The boys came with nothing and we had nothing for kids at home.  Obviously, a trip to Walmart was in order.  But, since we had no idea how long they would be with us, do we buy them just a few items?  Or, do we plan for an extended stay?  What size do they wear?  Are they going to be picky about clothes?  Are they potty trained?  What do they like to eat? This instant parenthood was no joke.  There is no learning curve.  We were thrown headfirst into it with no experience whatsoever. 

I remember that they didn't talk much at first.  Not that we could understand them anyways, their speech was so incredibly delayed.  However, the words we could understand from them made me sick to my stomach.  These kids didn't know their colors, animals, animal sounds...but they sure did know their 4 letter words.  I remember in those first few months gently reminding people that these are not actually my kids...honestly I was embarrassed by their language and behavior.  But, I quickly learned that there are always going to be people who judge you, not matter what the situation and honestly that's ok.  I have much better things to think about than who is going to think what of me.  And I'm very happy to report that the boys are different kids now.  Their behavior (while by no means perfect) is so much better and they are learning new things every single day.

But anyways, like I have said before in my blog, the first months were tough.  They were exhausting, heartbreaking, and honestly overwhelming for me.  I cannot even begin to describe the challenges we have faced but I can tell you that God is so faithful.  He has seen us through every hard time and all the tears that have been shed- by both us and the boys.

One year later I can assure you that we have fallen in love with two little boys.  No matter how long they are with us, we will be thankful for the time we have had with them.  They have come such a long way behaviorally, socially, academically, and in other ways I can't even begin to articulate.  And at night, when they say their prayers, I am reminded that no matter where or with who they grow up, they have been introduced to Jesus.  And I pray that's a relationship that never ends!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sex, Marriage, & Fairytales || Spoken Word

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  I couldn't help but sharing.  It's so true!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cars birthday party

If I ever quit my job as an exercise physiologist, I might just take up party planning. I had so much fun putting the boys cars birthday party together!  However, the party itself was...organized chaos.   There were kids running everywhere, in and out of the house.  I had one activity lasted about 5 minutes before kids lost interest and went back to running wild. I was exhausted by the time everyone left. But, I think (or hope) the boys and everyone else had fun!  I really hope that the boys will remember this party for a very long time!  While I can't post any pictures of the stars of the party, here are some of the decorations and cake.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Maine 2012

Last week was the third summer vacation that Chris and I have spent in Maine together but it's the first year we were accompanied by kids!  We were a little bit nervous about driving 17 hours with two 4 year olds in back but the trip was actually surprising uneventful!  The boys were great...of course, they had a few melt downs and temper tantrums but what kid wouldn't?  
We had a great week.  We did all the usual things- ran in the crisp cool morning air, walked the Breakwater, hiked Maidens cliff, hung out at the beach, searched for sea creatures, had a lobster bake and whoopie pie birthday cake, ate ice cream at Dormans and scones at Rock City Cafe, and most importantly, spent lots and lots of time with family!
Like always, it was so hard to come back.  You would think that each year it would be a little easier to say goodbye after family vacations but actually the opposite is happening.  I think I realize a little more every year that no matter how long I live in the south, I will always treasure my northern roots and have a very special place in my heart for New England.  Only 51 more weeks until we go back, right?
Her are some pictures of our trip.  We took about 185 pictures but unfortunately I can't post most of them as they were of the boys.  But, here are a few kid-free pictures!