Saturday, July 11, 2009

Knoxville Family Shower

They say you can't pick your family, but I'm here to tell you that you can. You absolutely can pick your family, and boy have I picked the cream of the crop. Chris and I drove down from our nation's capitol to Knoxville in late June for my baby shower. This shower was given by 3 of the most amazing, generous, fantastic mothers I have the privilege of knowing. They are such close friends of my mom that I call them Aunt Kitty, Aunt Clyda and Aunt Becky and if I have my way so will Carragan.

A bright Sunday afternoon brought us to the home of my Aunt Kitty who had placed a wonderful and scrumptious display of food on her dining room table- a food table fit for a queen! There were fruit skewers, a wonderful chicken and rice casserole- need to get the recipe for that one, bread and so many yummies I can't even name them all. My three wonderful hostesses had it all together and thought of everything, it was an elegant shower thrown by some of my very favorite people. It was a wonderful day- I was able to see people that I haven't seen in quite a while and get to spend some time with each one of them. That's really what meant so much to me- was the ability to spend time with my family in such a wonderful, beautiful setting.

I hope you enjoy some of the pictures that Chris took, yes Chris. He was in attendance. I think it was a nice time for him to see those family members too. I'd also like to say thank you to Carla (Chris' mom) for making the trek out to Knoxville for my baby shower. Without further ado. . ..

Monday, July 6, 2009

32 Week Picture

Since I couldn't upload this to the Summer Vacay post, I thought I'd create another one specifically to upload it. So without further ado . . ..

Our Summer Vacay

Every year Chris and I try and take a summer vacation. We started off by travelling to Jamaica for our honeymoon and since then we've been very lucky to be able to travel to St. Lucia, the US Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and Mexico. Well this year because we are expecting a precious bundle of joy (and the swine flue outbreak), we decided to stick close to home. This year we went to Virgina Beach. I was 32 pregnant weeks at the time, so I've included my 32 week picture in with our vacation pictures as well.

The mini vacation was awesome. Our vacations are always a time for Chris and I to be able to reconnect and spend some quality time with one another. Our lives are so busy with work and the baby coming that this vacation was a special one. It was the last vacation we will go on as a twosome before baby makes 3.

We got to VA beach on Friday and stayed until Sunday afternoon. We rode a surrey bike along the boardwalk, ate several nice dinners, played in the ocean and sunned by the pool. All in all, it was a nice mini vacation and a way to get away from the beltway here in DC. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

DC Baby Shower

Three of my most creative, lovely and best friends a girl could ever ask for threw me a baby shower here in the nation's capitol. The theme of the shower was a candy or sweet theme. It was so pretty. I had personalized pink and green napkins that said Baby Carragan, it doesn't get any sweeter- a play off of my blog, I had the best dessert in the world with Oreo balls- thanks Julie for introducing me to those, now I'll never get them off my hips, and all of this was complete in the most beautiful setting- my friend, Jessie's house. Patra, Julie and Jessie really outdid themselves with my shower. The food was amazing, the drinks to die for, and the setting was a day of girlie fun. There were pink drinks (awesome punches), hashbrown casserole, pecan encrusted chicken, salad, brushetta and so many other yummies, I couldn't even name them all. And to add to the fabulousness of it all- guests were able to leave with gift bags that they could fill to their hearts (or stomachs) content with all sorts of CANDY and really what girl doesn't want a bag full of candy? Thank you Julie Shutley, Jessie Juarez and Patra Stephan (soon to be Wroten) for making me feel very special and for such a lovely shower day. You really outdid yourselves and I am eternally grateful for all you have done for me.

Friday, June 12, 2009

People say the darndest things.

So Chris and I travelled to Blacksburg, VA. I was roughly 32-33 weeks pregnant. Anyway, we were at the mall and I was showing my mom my hands and telling her that it really bothered me that I couldn't wear my wedding rings anymore. In fact, we were shopping for shoes since the ones I currently owned didn't fit on my fat feet anymore due to the excessive swelling my new shape has taken on. This woman approached me and asked if I was okay, to which I replied, yes I am, thank you for asking. She then repeated the question and asked if I was sure I was okay. To which, I replied again, yes I am okay thank you for asking. I thought briefly to myself it was a little weird that some stranger would randomly ask if you were okay, but brushed it off to nice, country, Southern people.
Then the lady asked how far along I was. I said I was about 32 weeks and had approximately another 2 months left. And NO JOKE, this woman blurted out "And you're already that big." To which, my sassy mouth replied "yep and I've still got 2 more months to grow."
Which brings to me to the question- what is it about pregnancy that people (who don't know you, know of you, know your name, or anything about you) think that they can say something about your appearance. While there is a baby growing in there, you are still commenting on someones weight. They wouldn't do that if someone were overweight, why do they think they have the permission to do that if someone is pregnant? What is it about pregnancy that makes people think it's such a public thing, when it fact, it's a very intimate, private thing?
It never ceases to amaze me what comes out of people's mouth. It's like the person who comes up and touches your belly. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't mind if people touch my belly as long as I at least know your name, otherwise, it's still my body, it's still my tummy. . . and apparently it's my big tummy. I truly have no problem with belly touching. In fact, it's really nice when people are able to actually feel Carragan moving, but someone I don't know from Adam's house cat coming up and touching my belly- well that's where I draw the line. I've often been temped to tell the belly touching person (who I don't know) "if you touch my belly, you'll be pulling back a stump." But that seems overly excessive and really rude, so I plaster a smile on my face and pray to the Lord that He gives me patience for these people who just want to be involved and probably don't realize that it does bother some people. And frankly, those are the people who are most likely going to give up their seat on the metro for you, or give up that nice bench when you are just about out of wind from walking so much. Perhaps, I should be a little more tolerant of the belly touchers, but the weight commenters, I just cannot get used to. Whatever happened to the old adage, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?


50 is the number of days left until my due date. This pregnancy has flown by on one hand, but crawled and eked by on the other.

50 days- how on Earth did I get to only 50 days left? There's so much to do to get ready for a permanent addition to the family. Chris and I are getting our baby furniture in today and we are very excited about it. Carragan will have a bed to sleep in and an armoire in which to store her clothes. You can physically get ready for the baby to come. You can buy the furniture, get her room all set up, wash and hang up those little clothes, and get bouncers and swings ready and in place. But how ready are you really? Physically, you can check off that box, but what about mentally and emotionally?

Mentally, how do you prepare for a permanent family member? Emotionally, how do you prepare for the tremendous amount of love and devotion you are going to pour on this little person who has come into your life. One of my most favorite memories came after the birth of one of my best friends' daughter. Our very dear friends, Mike and Julie, were expecting their first baby. We did everything with Mike and Julie from dinner about 3 times a week to getting down and playing a massive amount of cards and board games. We were and are the very best of friends. And you get to know those friends on a certain level, but when I walked in that hospital room after Addison was born and saw the love and adoration in Julie's eyes for Addison, it really struck a chord with me. It was a different side of Julie and Mike than I had ever seen. But what an amazing memory it is.

So how do you prepare emotionally for a baby- unless you already have a child, you can't imagine how much love, adoration, pride and awe comes pouring out when that baby gets here, how you would willingly give your life to protect that of your child. Or that you would do everything in your power to give that baby everything within your means. Or drop down like an avenger if someone dares to hurt your baby.

And I'm sure parents take tons of time to simply stare at their baby knowing that's something you and your husband created and get to raise, shape and mold. Knowing that beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has given you the most perfect person in the world to raise and love.

So can you emotionally prepare for your baby's arrival- no. I don't think any first time parents know just how much your heart can stretch with love for your newborn child. Chris and I are getting more and more excited about Miss Carragan's impending arrival. We are trying to prepare physically for her arrival but knowing that her arrival could be 50 days away and knowing that she will be the most loved, cherished, and wanted baby. . . well it just doesn't get any better than that!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Birthing Classes

So last Tuesday night (and every Tuesday night for the next 5 weeks) Chris and I had our very first birthing class. We got to meet our teacher and meet other pregnant couples in the class. There's a feeling that goes along with meeting other pregnant women, like you have an automatic kinship with them. You are going through the very same things they are and usually at the same time. You scope out the room wondering if any of the other couples are like you and want to be your friend. It was such a surreal experience.

Last week our instructor talked about breathing and relaxation techniques, which was really nice of her, but totally and completely unnecessary- for me at least. Because you see, I'm getting drugs and lots of them. I have no need for breathing and relaxation techniques, because I won't be using them. I'll be using the tried and true method of the epidural or spinal block, or whatever stops the excruciating pain. In a recent conversation with my sister, she had the most intelligent way of putting natural childbirth. . . WHY? Why have a natural childbirth, you don't get any more points at the end of the birth than if you went with an epidural. This is not to say that a natural childbirth isn't an experience within itself, but for me and my labor, I prefer the epidural.

If I hadn't been firmly ensconced in the the epidural camp, that remark from my very knowledgeable sister would have put me in the will accept drugs camp. I feel no need to prove anything to anyone or be superwoman. While I have yet to give birth, I'm sure the pain experienced by the woman is much more intense than described in books or retold by those who have gone through the process. And let's face it, I don't tolerate pain well. The good Lord has seen fit that Western medicine and the epidural has been invented for people like me, who don't want to verbally abuse my husband, and every nurse and doctor entering any laboring woman's room.

Tomorrow's class is expected to be an extension of the breathing and relaxation techniques. I'll be there to listen and pay attention and maybe even participate, but when do we get to the class where they talk about the drugs to be offered? That's the one I'll be sure to pay extra close attention at. Until then, Chris and I will be making friends with the other pregnant couples, continuing to bond as a couple before baby makes 3, and enjoying these last few days of pregnancy. It really doesn't get any better than this.