Friday, May 29, 2009

I failed to mention...

...that we're thinking the middle name will be Lynn. Lynn is my middle name and my dad's, so we kind of wanted to carry it on.

You have to be careful when choosing a middle name for a child whose last name ends in a vowel. We were thinking about a middle name that begins with an "R" at some point, but that would not have made a good monogram, no matter what order you put the middle and last initials.

Hold the lettuce

At long last, Baby Akridge is “Salad” no more. Her mama and daddy have settled on a name, and that name is…drumroll please…Bailey.

“Bailey” has been on the list pretty much from the beginning. It’s my mom’s maiden name -- and, strangely enough, Gunter’s Granny Akridge also had a grandmother with the last name Bailey (but maybe that doesn't make the gene pool too shallow).

“Bailey” really grew on us because it’s simple yet pretty, not too hard to spell or pronounce, and, possibly most important, the thicker your Southern drawl, the better it sounds. Go ahead and try it. You'll see.

So there you have it. Our girl has a name. As of last weekend, she also has a painted room, a dresser and a crib, thanks to her daddy. I’ll have to get some before and after shots to show you soon.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Favorite Thing #597: Blistex

I've been addicted to this stuff since I got braces in the 7th grade. My lips won't settle for just ANY chapstick -- it must be Medicated Blistex. I started out with the pink and teal kinds, and I have just discovered the mint variety in the last couple of years.
Perhaps this explains my disdain for lipstick.

At least, Blistex is one of my favorite things until I leave it in the car on an Alabama summer day and find it melted later.

I'm still using this tube, anyway. It simply can't go to waste!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Daughter's Worth -- worth a look

If you're looking for a good book to use for girls' Bible study or Sunday school, I have a recommendation -- "A Daughter's Worth" by Ava Sturgeon.

I wasn't so sure about it at first because I was afraid the whole study would be on the same subject -- that we're valuable to God. That's not a bad subject, but 12 weeks of it could get more than a little redundant. When I saw the table of contents, I was pleasantly surprised, but not as much as when I began to go through the study on my own.

I found that, though the lessons were short, simple and easy to understand, they were still thought-provoking and challenging. This study could work for groups of girls who had known the Bible/been believers for a long time or for brand new Christians/younger girls. Or, in our case, 7th-12th grade girls, a mother of four teacher in her 20s and one 20-something sit-in (me).

The only thing I thought was lacking in "A Daughter's Worth" were suggestions for group activities or illustrations to make the lesson more interactive and interesting. However, I guess the book makes up for it in that it's really geared toward discussion.

We're on our last week in the book, so now we're looking for other ideas for Sunday school. If you have any resources or ideas, please feel free to share!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I think I can, I think I can...

I thought for a second this morning that I was developing a new hobby. A local produce stand delivers vegetables to the place I work, and I went out to buy some cucumbers and strawberries. (There is nothing like a fresh cucumber in the summer – nothing!) They were $1 per pound or $10 per box. I was only after a few, unless of course I wanted 75 percent of the box to go bad before we could eat them.

One of my co-workers suggested I buy a whole box and can them. What a novel idea! I love homemade preserves, jellies, pickles and salsa. And my family has frozen homegrown vegetables for years.

When I got back to my desk, I Googled “how to can pickles” or something like that, and I quickly realized there’s a lot more involved than I thought. Maybe it’s a good idea that I don’t buy a whole box of cucumbers just yet. Maybe I could pick up canning when we are able to devote some time to having a garden again.

Do any of you can your own whatever? Do you have one of the canning pots, etc.? Does it end up being more expensive to can your own than to buy it from a shelf?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Catching up...

My first Mother’s Day was wonderful.

I didn’t think I should be celebrated on Mother’s Day because I haven’t been through any of the hard stuff yet – giving birth, actually raising a child, etc. I have it so easy now. All I do is go about my business and carry the baby around. I have given up a few favorites temporarily, like sweet tea and Diet Coke, but that’s no big deal.

I spent Mother’s Day first with Gunter’s mom and grandmother at church, and then I spent the afternoon with my mom and Dear Grandmother…along with the rest of the Bailey side of the family. My surprise that morning was a card from the baby and a book from the daddy – “Baby Boot Camp.” Yes! Just what I need!

Last Saturday, I had my first baby shower in Prattville! I was so excited, you would have thought I had won a trip to the Bahamas. I got some great stuff to get us ready for Baby. The women on Gunter’s Galimore side of the family threw the shower and invited my college roommates and some other friends who live in the Montgomery/Prattville area. Wow, so many important days of my life have been spent in a town that I never really called “home,” but is home to people I love.

I’ve been asked if we’re still attending childbirth classes, and the answer is yes. I went to one last week that I didn’t blog about because, though it’s a natural thing, I don’t consider it G-rated, or at least it’s TMI. I told Gunter not to feel obligated to go to that one because he won't be able to contribute much anyway.

This week’s class, Baby Saver, was probably the most important and the least enjoyable, just because the subject matter made me nervous. Imagine that! (This was the first, however, during which they haven’t shown a birth video.) We talked about proper carseat installation, tips for making your home safe, safe eating, poison control and what to do when (not if) your baby chokes. We had a baby practice dummy and everything. Who knew that Werther’s Originals were the devil?

If nothing else, the class improved my prayer life on the way home.

In other news, I’m at 26 weeks, and apparently, I have entered the waddling phase. The ol’ belly is putting extra weight on my lower back and hips, which is I guess why I have a new strutting style, along with some achiness and loose joints. I have definitely grown in the past couple of weeks, and though the belly button has not quite popped out yet, it unnerves Gunter. He won’t touch it, and he freaks out when I touch it. I think men must have more sensitive belly buttons than women.

The baby is moving more often these days, and I’ve been able to see bumping around from the outside.

In the midst of utter swamped-ness, Gunter is making progress on the baby’s room. He’s actually in Dothan today picking up the crib and dresser. I can’t wait to see it put together, but I must remember, one step at a time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Favorite Thing #622: Low Country Boil

...and a house/yard full of folks. Neither Gunter nor I have a bit of Cajun ancestry (that I know of), but he sure can throw down some Low Country Boil, and I sure can eat it!

I mean, it's perfect! Everything goes in one pot, it's cooked outside, it's casual, and you just grab and eat. We've found that punch bowl cake (or other refrigerated desserts) goes well with the warm spiciness of Low Country Boil. All you need are some Christmas lights strung across the yard and some peppy music.

We had the youth seniors over Monday night for some of this stuff, and I think everybody had a good time. We say we're doing it for them, but it's really just an excuse to have this for supper.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Healthy as a horse

That's what the oncologist said about Gunter yesterday. Obviously, he was referring to one of those strong, prize-winning racehorses.

Gunter's scans were completely clear, and his bloodwork looked good, too. We got to see some of our friends at the Cancer Center, including the lab nurses who think Gunter is the funniest, most precious thing. They liked his goatee.

He'll have another routine CT scan either in August or September, depending on the baby's progress and depending on whether I'll let him get an hour and a half away from home so close to my due date.

Thank you for your prayers! We're so glad the news was good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

3-month checkup

I haven’t been able to do any blogging this week (writing or reading) because things have been a little hectic -- not for any bad reasons, just busy. But I wanted to ask you to say a prayer for Gunter. He had a CT scan yesterday, and we’ll see the oncologist for his 3-month checkup tomorrow afternoon. Pray that the scans will be clear and accurate, and that there won’t be a trace of cancer!

We sure do appreciate it!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sweet relief

Good news – I passed my test de sugar yesterday! It wasn’t as bad as everybody says it is. Chugging the sugar drink as fast as possible makes it easier to get down, and I was a big girl and didn’t cry when they pricked 4 of my fingers. I sat in the waiting room for about 3.5 hours, but I did get to read.

Gunter and I celebrated passing the test with a Wendy’s Frosty. After running errands, we got on some housework yesterday afternoon. Gunter hung (hanged, Mrs. Grammar Nazi?) curtains, lowered the water heater temperature, folded clothes and cleaned the kitchen. I got rid of the wall o’ clothes piled in our bedroom (the ones I can’t wear either because it’s too hot, I’m too with-child, or both), cooked spaghetti and washed clothes. Then, he made me sit down because my back hurt a little. I’m used to sitting at a desk all day…not so much moving.

Speaking of moving, if you’re looking to inherit any of our junk prized possessions, now is a good time to stop by the Christian mission, while Gunter is progressing on clearing out the baby’s room. Or, just make it easy on us – stop by the house and take whatever you want. Save us a trip and the decision of whether to keep stuff or not.

Yep, getting rid of stuff so we can get much more important stuff. I’ve been working on our registries a little along. See what you think. Suggestions? I doubt most of this stuff is necessary to raise a baby, but I wanted people to have a lot to choose from. Of course, I haven't put diapers or clothes on there because I figured people would just know I needed that sort of stuff.

Babies R Us



By the way, have you noticed that Walmart has deleted the hyphen from the company name? It used to be Wal-Mart. My boss, a self-proclaimed word nerd, pointed that out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cleansing breaths

Last night, Gunter and I attended our second childbirth class, "Breathing and Relaxation Techniques." Because you know, relaxation is important when you’re in the LEAST relaxing situation of your life, and breathing is important…well, all the time.

I didn’t figure this class would impart information as important as some of the others (e.g., "Baby Saver"), but we went anyway because the more I know, the better.

In this case, however, I'm thinking what I don’t know won’t hurt me.

I say that because this particular class seemed designed more for those brave women choosing natural child BIRTH (imagine me saying it just like Bill Cosby), which according to Cosby himself, is a lot like pulling your bottom lip over your head. We even watched a video of natural child BIRTH, and it was delightful, let me tell you.

The point that I became really convinced that UN-natural child BIRTH was the way to go was when the nurse told us that nausea and v***ting (I can’t bring myself to post the v-word on my blog) were common during labor – 8 out of 10! In light of my phobia, I decided that if I stood a better chance avoiding that with drugs, then bring on the drugs! Maybe I can sleep through that part. Judging by the natural child BIRTH video, however, Gunter’s chances of nausea and v***ting are pretty high. Good thing we saved a couple of those fast-working chemo tablets…

We learned how to breathe and hopefully distract attention away from contractions, etc. (By the way, does anybody really do the breathing like they say, or is that just on TV?) Also helpful was instruction on the best way to sit to keep your feet from falling asleep and details on the stages of labor (got a little woozy again, but not as bad as last time).

All in all, I’m glad we went. If I get just one relaxation shoulder massage during labor, it will have been worth it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

When life hands you lemons

In my opinion, when life hands you lemons, squeeze them into a cold glass of sweet tea. Leave the lemonade-making to Country Time or Koolaid.

"Life" didn't hand me lemons, but Heather from "Now I Am a Grownup" did hand me a lemonade stand. How sweet (pun intended). Thank you, Heather, especially now that I've noticed that this lemonade stand comes complete with hotdogs!

So now I'm passing the award along to someone who shows a great attitude not only on her blog but also in real life, April at "The Reeds."

April stays away from the c-word on this particular blog, so I don't want to share too much of her business, but she made a statement to me at the very beginning of Gunter's chemo that changed my perspective forever about cancer and whatever other obstacle someone happens to be facing. She said, though maybe not verbatim, "Don't let cancer get in the way of your life." Treat it and deal with it, but don't let it steal your joy or suck the life out of you.

Brings to mind two verses:

"Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth." Colossians 3:2

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Philippians 4:8

Seems to me that April, her husband and happy new baby boy do a great job at living life to the fullest. She's a walking, talking, laughing lemonade stand.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What a day!

I'm trying to remember another time when somebody's told me I was too sweet and had the numbers to prove it. Nope, nothing is coming to mind.

But according to advanced medical technology, I am sweeter than the average expecting mom. At least, that's what I derived when I failed my glucose test yesterday. Maybe "failed" is too harsh of a word. The cutoff is 140 (whatever that means), and my number was 140. Could it have been the bowl(s) of cereal I ate around 11 or 11:30 the night before? The doctor said no, but the nurse advised me not to eat anything after 8 p.m. the next time. The rules need to be more specific. They said nothing after midnight, so I thought 11:30 would be fine!

I was quite shocked, considering I've had problems with low blood sugar in the past.

So I go back next week for the 3-hour test. If I fail it, we might still be able to regulate my blood sugar with diet instead of insulin. I had never noticed before yesterday, but being diabetic makes eating out really hard! Bread, pasta and potatoes are everywhere! And what about fruit, with all those natural sugars? I'm not sure what my diet would consist of if I could have no bread or fruit.

In good news, the doctor said my hippopotamus feet slight swelling was normal.

The afternoon was a little more successful. We finally picked out a crib! Munire was one brand we had heard/read great things about, but I had sort of written it off as being way more expensive than others under consideration. But yesterday, they had this set on sale at Our New Baby, and it turned out to be cheaper than some of the others.

We got the crib and the combo dresser (not the hutch on top), a mattress and the conversion kit. Hopefully, this furniture will last until she leaves for college -- with more scholarship money than she knows what to do with, of course. I have a feeling we're going to need more pieces for storage, but we'll just solve that problem by not letting her have a lot of clothes. Ha.

Since I wasn't getting back to work in time to do anything productive at this point, we drove north a ways to visit our friends Adam and Anna and their new baby. I actually held him without much fuss, and he was only a little bit miserable. I was afraid I was emitting so much heat that I was burning him through his blankets. There's just something about a hospital room that raises my temperature to little above comfortable.

Oh, well. Better get used to it, huh?