Let’s Roll Out!

Yes, that title is a reference to the ultimate hero…Mr. Optimus Prime.

Guess who can roll over?! It’s been a busy couple of days.  When I picked Gray up from school on Friday, the teacher said, “I’ll be surprised if he’s not rolling over by next Tuesday.” Well, I guess he took that as a challenge because he started rolling over on Saturday and has now mastered the skill. As soon as we put him down, he rolls over.  We even had to put a bumper in the crib just so that he doesn’t get those chubby little legs stuck in the slats.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

A year ago, we were just finding out that this bundle of joy was on his way.  The last 16 weeks have flown by and he has brightened up our lives in more ways than we could’ve ever imagined.  He has just started laughing and can now roll over on his side.  I have a feeling that we’re going to very busy when he learns to crawl.  Baby chasing is going to have to make up for the fact that we have no time to go to the gym these days!

Hope you get to spend the day with someone you love.  And if you’re too far away, just remember the words of Fievel Mousekewitz…

Somewhere out there,
Beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me,
And loving me tonight.

Somewhere out there,
Someone’s saying a prayer,
That we’ll find one another,
In that big somewhere out there.

And even though I know how very far apart we are,
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star,
And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby,
It helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky!

The Chalkboard Project

I’m not very good at keeping a journal, so I needed a way to keep track of all the milestones and fun events in Gray’s life.  After seeing this project on Pinterest, I just modified it a little and made it work for our budget…cheap!  I purchased a piece of bead board from Lowe’s for under $10 and painted the back of it with some chalkboard paint I had at home.

You can tell by the pictures that we have played around with the best time of day to get the best light for these pics.  I’ve found that the mornings work best for not creating shadows.  We lay the chalkboard on the ground and change the words and date.  Then, we lay Gray on the board while one of us gets on a stool at the bottom of the board.

He is getting used to looking at the camera by now!  It will be interesting to see how the pictures change once he learns how to roll over and crawl.

Who’s the boss?

Like I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I like to try to control my life through organization and lists.  Having a baby was unnerving because I couldn’t plan going into labor.  Then, my doctor gave me the option of a scheduled induction.  Yes!  I could add that to my list and plan accordingly.

  • Finish laundry – Check
  • Pack hospital bags – Check
  • Take dogs to vet – Check
  • Have a baby on October 24 – Hmm…
A wise woman (Karen Vance) kept telling me that I was going to have to learn that I can’t control everything.  And, I learned that lesson on the evening of October 22.  At about 10:15 PM, Grayson decided that he was ready to begin his journey into this world…just 33 hours before his item would have been checked off of my list.
As Carey and I were getting into bed, I told him that my contractions were getting longer and closer together.  I didn’t want to go to the hospital yet because they weren’t 5 minutes apart.  He convinced me to just go to the hospital just to check everything out.
I changed back out of my pajamas, we grabbed the bags, and headed to St. Francis. They sent me to a room when I got there and called the doctor on call to get his approval to admit me.  I was still convinced that they were going to send me home.  My contractions were still about 10 minutes apart and I was only dilated to a 3.  Within a couple of hours, my contractions were 2 minutes apart, I was dilated to a 6, and I was begging for an epidural.  At this point, I still hadn’t been officially admitted to the hospital!
The nurse came back quickly with my hospital tags and paged the anesthesiologist. At 4:00 AM, I got the epidural (thank goodness for that!) and it was smooth sailing for much of the morning.  Then, Gray decided to stop turning and we had to do some creative positioning to get him to turn.  At about 2:30 PM, he was finally ready to make his debut and at 3:45 on October 23, he was born.  Carey and I are already deeply in love.  Here are a few photos of all the people he got to meet in his first few days of life…

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I think that he is laughing about the whole thing in this picture.  He knows that I’m going to have to get over my control issues!

Room for Baby

This is our Vintage Travel Nursery. After looking through different designs on baby websites for hours on end and not finding anything I liked, I finally decided that we weren’t going to be able to use something out of a bag/box. The search for our “theme” ended when we stumbled upon the fabric you’ll see on the chair later. This baby room will be able to grow as he grows, making it easier to transition into a big kid room and then into a room for a young adult. Okay. I’m going to cry just thinking about it. Let’s just take a look at the baby room…


This nursery was definitely a labor of love for many people. Carey built the dresser from an old door and scraps of wood. Building furniture is his new hobby, and I must say that he is really good at it. The top lifts up to store treasures and we found the heavy hardware at Vandykes Restorers.


The chair belonged to my mom when she was a teenager. She spent countless hours reading in it and had it recovered for her grandson. I made the “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” map after purchasing a map on Amazon.com for 70¢. It is just attached to a cork board with spray adhesive. He already has a few pins in his map of world travels (even though he won’t be able to remember those trips)!


Above the dresser/changing table is the Stamp Mobile I put together after being inspired by another crafty person over on Pinterest. I grabbed some new and used stamps from Hobby Lobby, hot glued them to string, and hung them on a ring that I painted white. When the A/C comes on, this dances in the breeze, which is really fun to watch. I like to think that some of those stamps were used to send love notes across the world.


This is the Route 66 portion of the room. His book collection is growing but there is still lots of room for more! My mom and I dug through lots of antique blocks at Affair of the Heart to find his name. My mom also found the travel quilt at the Harvest Moon craft show a few weeks ago and it was a perfect addition. The poster is from the Tulsa Centennial Celebration in 2007 and Carey built and stained the frame.


When we moved in, this closet had only that top rod for clothes. For months, it was filled with boxes and stuff we didn’t know what to do with. Last weekend, we got to work and installed a hamper shelf, which will make for easier sorting of clothes. Plus, you can grab the baskets and go directly to the laundry room! Super convenient! This was another idea that I found over on Pinterest. Thanks to some good friends, Grayson already has more clothes than me and more shoes than his dad! Check out this post to see details about how we put together the closet.


This is the crib and art wall. My mom found that great stamp fabric at Interior Fabrics and had it dry mounted. Carey built the frame. A family friend made the blanket you see in the crib. It might be the softest blanket ever and will be great for snuggling on snow days. On the other side, I hung a poem written by Carey, a note my dad wrote to me years ago, and a picture of me with him in my belly. He is being watched over every day by people who love him.


A Baby Story

Since I am now officially considered “full term,” I thought it would be fun to go back and look at the timeline of this adventure.  With only 3 weeks (give or take) to go, we have gotten everything ready and are just waiting on the little man to make his big arrival.  It is scary and exciting at the same time.  For someone who thinks that life can be controlled through organization and lists, this is definitely a challenge for me.  Unfortunately, I can’t really plan for the whole birth thing! Goose-frah-bah is my new mantra when anxiety and stress take over my brain and/or body.  Name that movie!

Just for kicks, let’s start at the beginning.

September 2000 – My roommate is having a birthday party and we go out to meet friends at Chelino’s in Bricktown.  Her longtime friend, Susan, brings her boyfriend, Adam, who brings his best friend, Carey.  After everyone arrives, we go upstairs to eat.  Carey grabs the seat in front of me (literally – he stepped in front of my best friend to get the seat).  He makes fart jokes at dinner and I instantly start to become interested in his sense of humor. Little did he know that fart jokes around the dinner table were part of my childhood.  We spend the rest of the night hanging out and he asks me out on a date. A few days later, we go out on our first date to Pearl’s in Norman.  I don’t think there were any fart jokes at dinner that night, but he made me laugh.  I was hooked and we never looked back.

This is the spot where we ate dinner on the first night we met.

July 2001 – We had officially been together for about 10 months, and we knew that we wanted to spend our lives together.  I was getting ready to finish my degree at OU and was working at a childcare center in Norman.  During the summer, I ran the school age program and took the kids to the pool every Friday.  When I came back from the pool one day in July (wearing my tie-dyed Rib Crib shirt with no make-up and a ponytail) Carey was at the school.  My boss was standing outside the door with a camera, but I didn’t put the pieces together right away.  After asking Carey what he was doing at my job (because that is always a little uncomfortable when your boss is around), he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  The kids were all gathered in the doorway…a very “Meet the Parents” style moment…without the misspelled words.  I said yes and we got in his Cavalier (a.k.a. the Cavalac) and drove around in silence with big grins on our faces for a minute.  Looking back, I’m not sure why we did that.  I think we were just in shock!  I found out later that Carey had driven to Tulsa that morning to get my dad’s permission, so my parents were anxiously awaiting the call.

June 2002 – Our wedding was chosen to be on a show called Life’s Moments.  It was a show about life changing events in women’s lives.  Someone from the church we were getting married at gave them our name and we agreed to be filmed.  The crew actually came out to our house in Norman a few weeks before the wedding to get some “B-Role.” They filmed us playing with our dogs, making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and putting together the wedding favors.  At the time, my grandpa owned Bethany’s Gourmet Popcorn & Nuts, so we were giving all of the guests boxes of mixed nuts.  We got in trouble during the filming for making too many weird comments about “grandpa’s nuts.”  I guess they didn’t think that was appropriate for TV!  We were married at Asbury United Methodist Church on June 15, 2002.  I thought I’d be nervous that day, but I was actually pretty calm.  It was a small event with lots of friends and family.  The wedding aired on TV a few months later.  Carey and I watched in horror as we were preceded by a story of a woman fighting breast cancer.  Our PB&J wedding didn’t seem so important compared to hers, but it is something we’ll have to show our grandkids one day.

May 2004 – Carey graduates from UCO and we move back to Tulsa.  I go to work for Miss Helen’s Preschool and Carey gets a teaching job at Cascia Hall.  We live in a 600 square foot apartment…with two German Shepherds…and a fat cat.  We have to drop our dogs off at my parents house every morning just so that they have some room to run.  It was rough!

Marley (a.k.a. Fat Cat, Chubs McPhearson, Sir Nicholas Lardbottom, Le Fief de la Grange)

March 2005 – We buy our first house in Midtown and decide that we never want to live in South Tulsa again.  There is a certain charm about Midtown that you can’t get in the burbs. Plus, we lived within walking distance of TU Campus and Merritt’s Bakery (not that we ever walked to get donuts…driving was just more convenient!). We loved to walk our dogs around campus as the sun was setting and the campus lights were turning on.  The view of the setting sun over downtown from the TU library is pretty serene.

Our First Home

August 2007 – We find out that Carey has testicular cancer.  After listening to the Lance Armstrong story one day, Carey decides to go in and get checked.  His doctor finds and abnormality and sends him to a Urologist.  The Urologist tells us that day that he does in fact have cancer but isn’t sure if it is benign, if it is malignant, or if it has spread.  Only blood tests could answer those questions.  That was a rough weekend of waiting.  My dad had passed away in December of 2005, so my mind immediately jumped to the worst possible scenario.  The next week, we found out that the cancer had not spread, but that he had to have surgery right away to make sure that it wouldn’t spread.  A few days later, he had the surgery and has been free and clear ever since.  So guys, if you’re reading, check yourself for cancer and see your doctor if you find anything weird!

My Mom & Dad

February 2010 – We never thought we wanted to have kids.  I don’t know if it because we both worked with kids or if it just wasn’t the right time, but we started to change our minds right around this time. We figured that we would experiment to see if it was even possible. We thought that the radiation treatments Carey had to go through might have ended our chances of making babies, but we were open to the idea of adoption if it didn’t work.

October 2010 – After my annual visit to the lady doctor, we found out that Carey wasn’t the problem in the baby-making department.  It was me!  I had cysts and endometriosis and was scheduled for surgery in November.  I then had to take hormone pills and shots to make everything work again.  Let me tell you, going to the lady doctor for fertility issues is SO much fun…and it is not pricey at all.  Kidding!  It sucks and it is expensive.  But, we didn’t have to go as far as many people do with IVF.

February 2011 – I took the fertility shots.  Sticking a needle in your own stomach is an interesting experience.  I usually look away when the doctor or nurse gives me a shot, but that isn’t possible when you’re acting as the doctor or nurse.  We followed the doctor’s instructions (no further details needed here) and I went back in for the pregnancy test about a week later.  The nurse called that night to tell us that it was positive and that I needed to come back the next day to confirm the results.  We were elated.  It is strange to be so excited about something that scares you so much.  I went back in for the confirmation test and patiently awaited the call, but it didn’t come.  At about 5:30 that night, my cell phone rang, and I heard Dr. Nilson’s voice on the other end.  He told me that the first test was a false positive.  We were not going to have a baby after all.  I didn’t know how to respond.  How can you mourn the loss of a child that wasn’t ever really there?  Is it even okay to do that?  I’m glad that was during the time that school was closed for the ice storm because I stayed in bed for a full day.  It still brings tears to my eyes today (maybe that is because my hormones are all out-of-whack right now).  The good news is that the false positive wasn’t a false positive at all.  We had just taken the test too early, which gave strange HCG readings.  About a week later, I took another test…just to make sure…and found out that we were in fact going to be parents.  Crazy!

Blizzard of 2011

March 2011 through Today – The last 9 months feels like it has flown by in the blink of an eye.  We moved into our new home on February 28 and have been working to get it ready for Grayson’s arrival ever since.  I can remember at the beginning how it felt like this process was going to take for-e-ver.  Now, I look at our baby countdown chart and can’t believe that it is just 3 weeks away.  The room is ready, the hospital bag is packed, the car-seat is installed.  Everything that I can check off of a list has been checked off…except for the one item that says Have a Baby.  I guess I’m going to have to give up on trying to control that scenario and just enjoy the adventure.

Even Marley is ready for Gray's arrival.

Class of 2011 (Childbirth Classes)

I am now entering the last stage of this journey…the third trimester!  Rumor is…things just get harder from here on out.  The last few weeks have been great.  I’ve been able to stay up past 9:00 and have even had enough energy to exercise.  Something tells me that this energy is going to be running out soon.  I guess I’ll just have to enjoy it while it lasts.

27 Weeks

Carey and I are now graduates of Childbirth and Breastfeeding class.  While we did learn a lot, these classes were a little traumatic.  Here are a few of the reasons why…

  • Videos – On the first night of class, our instructor (who had 5 kids without epidurals), showed us a video of the birth process.  There are just some things that should remain a mystery.  I didn’t go to med school to become a doctor for a reason, and I was reminded of it that evening.  The digital images were helpful to understand the process, but the 1980s, all-natural, nude birth clips were completely unnecessary.
  • Pain Tolerance Test – On the second night of class, we had to test our pain tolerance with our new breathing skills (formerly known as Lamaze).  Our instructor had us put our hands in buckets of ice to see if we could manage the pain.  Now, let me tell you that I have to run my hands under warm water for at least a minute after cutting chicken that isn’t completely thawed.  I am a big weenie when it comes to cold hands.  So…this exercise was particularly painful to me.  The goal was to last through 30 seconds of “contractions,” using your breathing techniques to focus on something other than the pain.  Guess how long I lasted?  3 SECONDS!  No joke.  I’m hoping that having a baby is nothing like sticking your hand in a bucket of ice.
  • Foam Boobies – Yes, I said foam boobies.  During Breastfeeding class, the instructor passed around foam boobies for everyone to check out different kinds of nipples. This is probably not so strange when you’re in a room full of women, but add guys to the mix, and you have another story.  As the boobies rounded the corner to our row, my anxiety level rose.  You see, Carey likes to make me laugh.  And he is usually successful.  So, I was fearing one of those moments of laughter when you’re not supposed to be laughing.  You know…like in church or a funeral.  Awkward.  I passed the boobies off to my husband and continued to pay attention to the lesson. I looked over a few minutes later to see that he had used the elastic bands on the back to attach them to his hands and he was studying them.  I got very good at quietly jabbing him with my elbows over the course of our classes.
To ease the trauma of the classes, we made it routine to go to Braum’s for a mix after each Tuesday night class.  I don’t know about you, but ice cream always makes me feel better.
On the last day of class, we went in to Dr. N for our 27 week appointment.  He didn’t get any good ultrasound pics that day (Gray must have been squirming from all that sugary glucose drink).  But, Carey did get a great video of that sweet heartbeat. You can even hear me talking about childbirth class in the video. I think I was asking about pros and cons of epidurals.

Baby, Love is a Battlefield

Today marks 23 weeks, and my belly is looking bigger and rounder by the minute. If you can’t tell, the pic on the right is Baby Gray’s little profile (turn your head sideways if you can’t see it). I still have a hard time making things out on the ultrasound photos.

23 Weeks

It actually looks like he has a little smile on his face in the picture. He’s probably still happy from hearing his new favorite song…”Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar (we were watching the Cee Lo and Vicci Martinez version on The Voice). By the way, Mr. Javier Colon is great and I hope he won (haven’t watched the final episode on Hulu yet).

Anyway, when Cee Lo and Vicci started singing their rendition of Love is Battlefield, Gray started kicking harder than he has ever kicked. We are going to go ahead and assume that meant he liked it…because who doesn’t like Pat Benatar? I dare you to not dance and sing along to her classics.

Our baby check up for 23 weeks was good. It is amazing to see how much growth can happen over a short, 4-week period and we hate that we have to wait another 4 weeks just to see him again. Maybe I’ll just start playing classic 80s songs so that I get to feel those kicks more often. It is really time for us to start working on the nursery so that he doesn’t have to sleep in his stroller. We’ll post pics when finished!

I Get My Kicks…

So we are going to have a baby!  Initially, he went by the name Blizzy B, in part because we found out he was on his way in the middle of blizzard (and also after the SNL character, just because it was funny).  His name is actually Grayson, and I think the little Blizzy is going to be a dancer because he seems to be tap-dancing around in my belly all the time.   The first time I felt his little feet, I was sitting on the couch in Arizona with Kara.  I had just eaten some Honey Nut Cheerios (yum) and felt that little bump I’ve grown used to over the past two weeks.  After coming home and telling Carey, we tried to get him to show his daddy his new skills, but he would get shy every time.  Last Saturday, after waiting way too long to eat, BB was awake and kicking away.  I think he was cranky from not eating…sorry, little man!  Carey put his hand on my belly and BB kicked him as hard as he could (I imagine).  “Get me some food!”  It is pretty exciting to experience all of this for the first time.

21 Weeks

We are halfway through this adventure, and we seem to have more and more questions every day.  At the top of the list-o-questions is “Should we use cloth diapers?”  Thanks to John and Sherry over at Young House Love, we’ve been able to get some great information about the world of cloth diapering.  Still, it is scary to think of spending that much money on something when you might end up hating it.  The bottom line for Baby Gray’s bottom line is going to be our bottom line (money).  We could save thousands of dollars over the next few years by going green and using cloth diapers.  That is pretty enticing.  Not to mention, we’ll be doing the planet a favor by not adding more diapers to the landfills.  That is the bonus.

So, friends and family…if you happen to look at our registry, cloth diapers are not a mistake.  We really are going to give this our best shot!