Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nyla's Bow Holder

My mom and I ventured out this past weekend to her church's annual Spring craft's fair.
They had some really great stuff, especially sweet little hair bows! I've always seen the bows around at the crafts fair but never had reason to stop and really see what was out there.
Now that I know we're having a girl, we of course had to look at all the hair bows that people were selling. I think there were at least 4 vendors selling bows. So much fun!

Well, I think between the two of us we bought about 15 bows. Haha!
But baby girl has no bows and this girl had some GREAT prices! She had small bows for $1 each and she had buy 2, get one free! You can't beat that.

Well I've been wanting to make a crafty project for Nyla's room for quite some time now and this gave me the perfect reason too. I needed somewhere to put her hair bows.

After we left the crafts fair we headed over to Big Lots just to see what they had, (I love me some Big Lots)! I found a small 11 x 14 pre-stretched canvas for $3. Can't beat that! I wanted to paint something cute on it and glue some ribbon to it and create my own hair bow holder. And so my craft began!

I forgot to take a picture of the blank canvas, but I think we all know what a white canvas looks like. :)

I had all the paints I needed for the project so it didn't cost me anything in paint expenses.
I started by painting the background Turquoise, (I used acrylic paint for this entire project).
Then I painted different colored polka dots; 2 different pinks, purple, gold, pumpkin orange, lime green and a light blue. I let that dry completely and then had to decide of what I wanted to do for her letter or letters.
I was debating between her full name, a monogram of her name and just the first letter of her name. I obvious chose to do just the first letter. I asked Hubby what color I should do the letter in. Black, chocolate brown or white? He liked white and I agreed. I think the darker colors would've been too harsh for the baby room.
The letter is free handed, but I think it turned out pretty well.
After the paint dried completely I attached the ribbon with a glue gun on the back. I had leftover ribbon from some other project from way back when and cut the strips evenly. I had just enough of each, made it even better!
I had a bright pink with small white polka dots and a white with multi-colored polka dots. The paint did end up matching the ribbon pretty well, which made the project turn out even better!

And that is how I made my own hair bow holder, for $3!

I did find one at the crafts fair for about $12 and it was very cute. It had a wooden letter which cute polka dots painted on and 2 ribbon strands attached to it. I have a feeling we'll need more than 2 ribbon strands, that's why I did 5. But I wasn't about to pay $12 for something I could make to my liking and since I love crafting, this was great!

Monday, March 29, 2010

24 weeks and the dreaded sugar test!

Today I am 24 weeks and baby girl is growing like a weed!

We went the doctor today for a routine check-up as well as my sugar test to see if I had Gestational Diabetes. We also did another ultrasound because baby girl didn't cooperate last time, she refused to let us see her heart, but we got a great shot of her spine!

Well, good news I passed the sugar test. I don't have to go back for the 3 hour test to determine if I have Gestational Diabetes. Thank goodness! I was fretting the whole time. I was hungry and I knew the 3 hour test would be a nightmare for me!

We did get another ultrasound of Nyla, which is always a blessing. I love seeing our precious baby! Last time we went to get the ultrasound the technician saw everything but her heart and they need to see her heart. Her back was facing out last time, well it was the same this time. She is stubborn! She better not be like that when she is coming out. Momma will not be much fun!!!

The technician was able to get 2 of the 5 pictures she needed of the heart and said all those 2 looked great, but they have to have all 5 pictures. I go back in 4 weeks for a routine check-up and do another ultrasound. Hopefully she'll cooperate then. Maybe I'll drink some orange juice. I hear that helps get them going!

We did get another sweet picture of Nyla. She is holding her little hand up near her head and it looks like she is sucking her little thumb. So cute! I cannot wait to meet our sweet girl!

She is growing and getting big. When we went at 20 weeks, she was 13 ounces. Today they measured her and she is 1 pound and 10 ounces. That is a little big for her age, but the doctor didn't say anything about it and didn't seem concerned. I was 9 pounds and 13 ounces when I was born and Daniel was 8 pounds and 9 ounces when he was born, so... we're bound to have a little chunky baby! And that's okay, as long as she is healthy!

That is the update for the time being. Please continue to pray everything goes great, as it has.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baby Update: 23 Weeks

I apologize for the lack of activity around here on the blog. Truth be told, Ginny and I have been simply drawn to this healthcare debate on C-SPAN the NCAA tournament Thursday through Sunday. Nyla's bracket is looking good so far, with three of her four Final Four teams still alive. And depending on what happens, she will win the little pool I run every year. But enough about how I devised a formula so she would have UK winning Nyla's basketball-picking prowess, Ginny is 23 weeks pregnant. What is going on with my little girl is week?

Little Nyla weighs approximately one pound and measures almost a foot in length, or about half the size of Olympic female gymnasts. Ok, I made that last part up, but she is looking more and more human - though she still had red skin and is wrinkled.

Her kicks have definitely gotten stronger according to Ginny, and I can vouch for that, since I have felt kick a few times. That definitely is pretty cool, but I kinda hope she gets out of this soccer phase. I don't have anything against soccer, but I prefer indoor sports - except for golf. Now if she's doing TaeBo in there, that's ok. The more self-defense she learns, the saner I'll be in 15 years more fit she will be. And that part is actually true. The kicking is merely Nyla discovering her muscles and giving them a test drive.

Her hearing is also improving, meaning she can recognize her Momma's voice. And if Daddy would read to her and talk to her - Nyla, not Momma - then she will quickly recognize my voice after she enters the world. That is what I plan on doing. Talking to her. Reading to her. Telling her that the triangle-in-2 is a junk defense.

Ginny is still doing great and starting to show now. I joked with her tonight that she was starting to waddle, and she immediately had the idea to watch Happy Feet. Go figure!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fire "The Laser"

If you've been reading my other blog over the years, first off, let me thank you for not stopping when I wasn't posting following me. And for those of you who haven't been reading, go bookmark it now. I'll wait....

If you happened to read this post in 2007, you know that completing the wedding registry was one of the best parts of the engagement, besides the counseling sessions. Friday night, we braved the wild drivers of the Wolfchase Area to stop in at Babies -R-Us to register for all of Nyla's Wii games, Playstation 3, and video iPod necessary items like diapers, bottles, and butt paste. (No, that should not be marked out.) I'm not a big fan of shopping, but that changes when I take hold of the glorious scanner gun. Yes, I realize it is a portable bar code scanner. But the scanner gun is more than that. It is power. In my hands I have the ability to force people to get me Nyla whatever I want. It is like a real-life Jedi mind trick. [These are the diapers you're looking for.] If Nyla needs bottles, scan. If she has to have a stroller, yep. If she has to have a Twilight poster, the power of the scanner gun wielder gets to say "no." (And I did.) We spent a good hour and a half probably walking up and down aisles, scanning and hearing that familiar tune of "beep." My scanner gun skills started off rusty, but soon I was scanning at approximately a 91.53% success rate, and that was because Ginny didn't hold the items right I just missed.

I also learned something. Babies today have so much more stuff than when I was a baby. While looking through the strollers, I fully expected to find some with an HDTV TV built-in as we made our way toward the more expensive ones. I figured car seats would be self-warming. And a wipe warmer? Seriously? Ok, that's actually one item I would consider buying for me if I had a taxpayer funded government stimulus some extra money lying around. Hey, if people will buy it, I will scan it.

I think Ginny said she is going to register at Target for some more items. I'm ok with that. I really found Babies/Toys-R-Us lacking in 60" HDTVs, a junior girl golf set, baseball bats for when she starts dating and digital video cameras. More scanner gun goodness to come!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Interview with a Baby

Not long ago I was privileged to be able to get an inside look at what Nyla was thinking. Well, with the gender reveal party out of the way, I figured it was about time for another look into the mind of a baby in the womb - this time in the form of a sit-down interview. My little girl was so excited to have someone to talk to, and I was happy to make her happy.

DCG: Ok, Nyla, let's get the big question out of the way now. The one on every one's mind. Are you in favor of expanding the NCAA tournament?
NVG: Absolutely not. Don't mess with a good thing. Keep it on CBS, too. And you know what, why not have the local CBS stations put more games on their other digital channels? Give the fans what they want!
DCG: (Wiping a tear from my eye.) I have never been prouder. Second question, I have not told you what to say, correct?
NVG: I am my own perrrrrrson.
DCG: You clearly take after your mother. Moving right along, describe your first 5 months of existence?
NVG: Dark, wet, and warm.
DCG: Any highlights so far?
NVG: That time you read Psalm 100 to me.
DCG: That's so sweet, but you're too young to butter me up. Let's just move on to the next question. Your thoughts on global warming?
NVG: Huh?
DCG: Exactly!
NVG: No, really, what did you say? I couldn't hear you.
DCG: I said what do you think of global warming?
NVG: I'm not here to talk about the past.
DCG: Since when did you hear Mark McGwire?
NVG: Who?
DCG: Never mind. Generational gap. How about a little word association? I'll say a word or phrase, and you give me the first thing that comes to mind.
NVG: Let's do it!
DCG: Power Grid.
NVG: I will dominate.
DCG: That's debatable. Anyway, Obama.
NVG: Nebraska city?
DCG: (Laughing) Brilliant!
NVG: Daddy!
DCG: Thanks, sweetie.
NVG: New car!
DCG: Um... no, not right now.
NVG: Cell phone?
DCG: Word association is over.
NVG: Can I have a pony?
DCG: No.
NVG: Do you know John Wall?
DCG: No.
NVG: Patrick Patterson?
DCG: No. Why?
NVG: You talk about them a lot.
DCG: They play for Kentucky. You remember, Kentucky, right?
NVG: Nope. You don't talk about them enough.
DCG: Is that sarcasm in your voice?
NVG: Prollies.
DCG: You and your mother...
NVG: Mommy! Daddy is talking about you...
DCG: Aaannnd that's all the time we have for today. Nyla, thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I look forward to our next conversation. And I'm looking forward to getting to hold you in another four months or so.
NVG: Me too, Daddy.

As you see, well, like father, like daughter.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby TV

Four months from now, I will be on the doorstep of fatherhood - if not already there with our little bundle of joy. That thought is finally starting to sink in, that I am going to be raising a little person. Nervous? Yes. Excited? Oh yes!

One of the things I have given a little bit of thought is the question of TV. How much should she watch? What should she watch? (I realize this blog has started off on a more serious note, but I promise you it will get sillier the further down you read.) Let's face it. There's not a lot on TV that I would consider good family television - many shows consist of liars, cheaters, and criminals. But enough about CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN primetime television. What is my little girl going to watch? What can I watch with her that will be entertaining and educational?

Thankfully, I've had plenty of time to watch and review said shows. 26 years in fact. From my own childhood shows to those my cousins would watch, I have seen a number of programs. So I thought I would give a list of my top five favorite childhood/educational shows.

Now before I get to my list, I have to say that I excluded most cartoons, because, well, I don't really know any value a small child can take away from "Rugrats" (Nyla will probably be able to escape from her playpen on her own) or "Doug" (as awesome as that cartoon was) or "Looney Tunes" (I'd prefer for Nyla to keep away from anvils and cliffs). The shows have to have some form of educational value. Let's begin with some honorable mentions:

--Sesame Street: Blasphemy, I know. I like the silly songs and skits that teach letters and numbers. "Here is Your Life" with Guy Smiley is awesome. And Kermit on location for fairy tales is hilarious. But I don't recall being all that into the lives of the Sesame Street residents.

--Muppet Babies: Unfortunately, the lack of education (not to mention the mystery of who "Nanny" is) makes this honorable mention. This was still one of my favorite shows to watch.

--Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?: A great game show for kids? Check. Learning about geography? Check. Yes, I am a nerd. And yes, I would have thoroughly dominated on this show.

Now on to the top five childhood edutainment (educational + entertainment) shows in my not-so-humble opinion:

#5 - Reading Rainbow: "Butterfly in the sky..." I can sing this song almost verbatim still. Who didn't like Geordi La Forge LeVar Burton showing us the world that books and a little imagination can reveal? Some of my favorite "episodes" include the pizza-making day and sports show, but you don't have to take my word for it.

#4 - The Backyardigans: I've only in the past year come to find this show, thanks to babysitting for the little man "F". Five little friends use their imagination outside in their communal backyard. The results? Tales of knighthood, racing around the world, and, my personal favorite, adopting a dinosaur puppy. The songs and dances during the show are funny and get the kid dancing, and the dialogue is that great humor parents will find hilarious, while the kids are just watching the story unfold. Oh yeah, Pablo is my favorite character. (Picture above in the middle.)

#3 - Arthur: Another show with excellent lessons for the kids as well as clever dialogue that adults laugh at. Yes, the kids may never get out of the 3rd grade, and Baby Kate hasn't walked yet despite being around for years, but the show still teaches excellent lessons about friendship, responsibility, and being good people. Hey, what a wonderful kind of day!

#2 - Square One TV: I will readily admit to my complete and total math nerd-ness, but I really do not care. This show was awesome! Created in the late 80s to help America's perceived "math crisis," Square One had many short features throughout the show relating to math - MathMan, Dirk Niblick of the Math Brigade, and many more. What stands out the most for me, however, is MathNet - the Dragnet spoof with George Frankly and Kate Monday then Pat Tuesday (in later seasons). Each episode through the week would build the story, culminating with the conclusion on Friday. Square One was 30 minutes well-spent, and maybe I can find these somewhere on DVD.

#1 - Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: I confess that during high school, if I was home sick, I would somehow find myself watching this show. Even in college, if I was home, there was a chance I would be watching this show. Not only did you travel to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, you got to see how crayons, rocking horses, and tricycles were manufactured - plus many more. I was partial to Daniel Striped Tiger, because a) he was a tiger; and b) we had similar personalities. I was so fond of the show that my mom actually got me a book of Mr. Rogers' quotes for my birthday... only a few years ago. If I had one show and one show only that Nyla could watch, it would be this one. Mr. Rogers was everybody's neighbor, and the world was a better place for it.

What TV shows did you watch as a child? What TV shows did you want to watch but weren't allowed?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Oh, The Sacrifices of a Father

I have been thinking that once little Nyla enters this world in all of her cuteness and crying, I will have to make some sacrifices for some things to continue as they had prior to this. Observe the following examples:

*Ginny and her dad have been coaching little kid basketball for the past two years. I would imagine they will do that again for the upcoming season. I would always attend practice to help with fast break drills - I called it exercise but really was looking for proof that I can thoroughly dominate 2nd and 3rd graders. When December practices and games begin this year, I will dutifully stay home with Nyla. Never fear, however, for I will still get my basketball fix on. I will have a clipboard diagramming the intricacies of the 2-3 match-up zone, 1-3-1 zone, and the ever-popular 2-2-1 half court trap to the future All-American Kentucky Lady Wildcat. We will also watch game tape courtesy of this great time-waster at work and watch every Duke loss in the NCAA tournament since 2000. My only concerns are that she doesn't try to eat the clipboard marker and/or beat me in a game of "wet diaper" HORSE.

*Ginny is a puppet master... oh wait, that's not what I meant. But she is heading up/overseeing a new puppet ministry at our church. So for those Sundays in the first two or three months after Nyla is born when Ginny has to be at church, I again will humbly resign myself to staying home with my little girl. Again, I want you all to know that I will be ok. Nyla and I will get our church fix by making fun of and watching Joel Osteen.

*Then there is of course the inevitable Saturday when Ginny has to run errands around the town. What will she do? Leave knowing her loving Hubby will take good care of her daughter as both Hubby and daughter nap on the couch while watching golf. Because if the whole basketball thing doesn't work out, then perhaps a golf scholarship will.

I'm fully aware that this will cut into my social life and cramp my style, but, oh, the sacrifices a father will make... =)


Thursday, March 4, 2010

We're having a.....

We are proud to announce that our little baby is a GIRL!
We are so excited! (We would've been happy with a boy, of course, but it's exciting to finally know).
(Daniel: As I predicted the entire pregnancy.)

The Doctor said everything looked great and baby is looking wonderful. She is growing and is perfectly healthy. Her heart rate was 155 bpm and she weighs 13 oz. I can't believe she's almost a pound! Crazy!

Please continue to pray that the baby continues to grow and be a sweet girl to her mama.
She has started to kick quite a lot, thankfully she's still too small that she doesn't hurt. Her little kicks just feel like bubbles popping, which is quite funny, and ticklish at times! But I know soon I'll be able to feel them more and they'll get harder. I just pray they don't hurt too bad.

Everything is still on track and my due date is still July 19, 2010.
20 weeks down and 20 weeks to go (approximately)!

Monday, March 1, 2010

An exciting day!

Today is the day we find out if we're having a boy or a girl!
I can't believe the day is finally here.
It seems like we've been waiting for weeks and weeks for this day to get here.
And now it's finally here.

We're praying for a healthy baby and hoping everything looks good with the ultrasound and we have a good checkup.

Tomorrow is our "Gender Reveal Party" for some family and friends. We aren't telling anyone today what we're having, they have to wait. :)

And to all you other family out there, be on the lookout for a card in the mail with what we're having! It's so exciting!

Come back Thursday for all the details from the reveal party. It'll be a blast!