Thursday, October 31, 2013

Maternity Pictures {34 weeks, 4 days}

As promised, here are the rest of the maternity pictures that Matt took. I have always enjoyed looking at maternity pictures from others but I was kinda iffy about having my own done. Matt thought it would be fun to experiment especially since he is a photographer by trade and has not taken maternity pictures before. This was new territory for him and good experience. We had fun. Many thanks to Grandmom for being Matt's trusty assistant and for taking the pictures of Matt and me together. I can't believe these were taken almost 4 weeks ago and we are just under 2 weeks until Baby's DUE DATE!! Anyway, enough chat, enjoy the pictures! 

Technically, 34 weeks, 4 days but I was rounding up :)


Love this Lady! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 October??

Y'all, The Christmas Season has officially started at the Morgan household! It's kinda funny really because growing up, my Mom always decorated either on the night of Thanksgiving or the next day and that's how I'd always done it myself. Our first married Christmas, we decorated the day before Thanksgiving because we had just moved into our apartment in Spartanburg and it was just good timing. 

Well, last year we moved into a new place at the beginning of October and we had to put several things into storage. We had two options, put all of the Christmas items into storage across town and have to go back and get them closer to Christmas OR go ahead and decorate in October. We chose the latter.

This year, we are due to have a Baby in 2 weeks and I just couldn't think about trying to decorate with a newborn etc. So, we put up our tree again in October. I'm actually really excited to have it up because we are having lots of house guests around baby's arrival and it will be there and done. For now, it sits in the corner unlit because I'm not quite ready to turn on the tree just yet! 

Along with the tree going up, we also finished our Christmas shopping. It may sound like a big feat but we literally made a list back in the summer and had ordered most gifts online or had them made. Not to mention that we purchased only a few gifts, I think 10 in total. So, don't go thinking I'm super woman because trust me, that's not true!! :) It does feel good to have Christmas gifts taken care of so that when family is in town and Baby arrives, we can just enjoy the holiday season! 

We didn't put out all of the other Christmas decorations yet. The rest of the house is decorated for Fall. May look a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies live here! :)

We have less than two weeks until DUE DATE!. GiGi (My Mom) arrives November 4th and stays through the 18th. Hopefully Baby decides to come while she is here! PawPaw (My Dad) arrives the 18th and will stay close to a week. Then, Matt is off for a full 9 days and his parents will be here that whole time, November 23rd-December 1st. So, as long as baby comes close to on time, he or she should get to meet all Grandparents within the first few weeks of life! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

38 weeks {A Pregnancy Update}

**We are two weeks away from Baby Morgan's official Due Date! I cannot believe we are so close! :)

**We have had a good couple of weeks. At my 36 week, 2 day appointment, the doctor said everything still looks good. Baby was head down at that appointment and we are hoping it stays that way. I did get the results of my Group B strep test which was positive. No biggie there except I'll have to have an IV antibiotic before delivery. Doctor said it should inhibit my desire for natural labor since each dose only takes about 15 minutes to go in and I should likely only need two doses. It does mean that I'll need to be at the hospital in time for those antibiotics to be placed. 

**I've had a little bit of swelling but nothing consistent. I've been wearing my tennis shoes when I go do PRN work and then my flip flops the rest of the time. On Sunday, October 20th, I tried to put on my dress shoes for church and to my shock and surprise, they didn't fit! I honestly couldn't believe it! Despite it being 50 degrees that morning, I ended up wearing flip flops to church! HA!

**I got hit on in Wal-Mart one morning when I went in to buy hairspray. I used to love Wal-Mart and then I stopped shopping there because I got tired of there just being one register open every time I went. I hopped in there the other day because I was at Home Depot (right next door) and needed a few things. The shopping experience was fine until I got to the register and some middle-aged dorky guy buying hot wheels hit on me. UGH! I'm sure it's because I don't have my rings on and therefore, don't appear to be married but come on, I am CLEARLY pregnant!! 

**I've spent of time trying to get over this crazy cold. I felt better after a few days but the runny nose and fluid in my ears persisted. For several days, I felt like my head was in a bucket. It was awful annoying!

**I have been doing lots of exercises including squatting, pelvic tilts, etc but I haven't been doing a ton of focused walking. On days when I work PRN, I get lots of walking in but I haven't been doing much walking on other days. I decided to change that on the day I was 37 weeks. I went walking around the mall and I was getting passed up by the old folks! :)

**Appointment at 37 weeks, 2 days: We heard another strong heart rate at 143. The nurse practitioner checked my cervix for the first time. Boy, was that a blast! :) She said I'm not dilated but that the baby is still head down and that he/she is low which is a good thing. We discussed times when I may need to call the doctor and/or go to the hospital so that was reassuring. She was positive and said everything looked good. 

**Matt has a busy week coming up preparing for inventory at work and next Monday, my Mom comes to stay for 2 weeks, so we went out for 2 dates this weekend! Likely our last before baby! Friday, we went to dinner at Golden Corral of all places and then walked around a local state park. On Sunday, after church, we walked all over downtown Spartanburg and then had brunch at Delaney's. Matt had the Irish Omelet and I had Chicken and Waffles. YUM!!!

Here are a few pictures from this two week time frame:

Matt reading to the Baby and to our little furry friends. ;-)

We put up our Christmas tree!! 

Sweet cards from Family and friends

Clean baby clothes in the closet! EEK!

36 weeks, 2 days

Our first LSU baby item. It's a CUTE book!

36 weeks, 3 days; felt extra pregnant this day! 

37 weeks

37 weeks, 1 day

37 weeks, 2 days

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Man {The Soon-to-be Dad}

Y'all, my husband is awesome. I mean, if you read this blog at all, then you already know that BUT just to re-iterate, he rocks. Throughout my entire pregnancy, he has literally been amazing. Let me count the ways! (in no particular order and certainly not all inclusive)

--Helping me cook often; especially once he got his grill

--rubbing my feet almost every night and pretty much whenever I asked him to or didn't ask him to

--attending childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes, infant care class, and infant CPR class

--putting together the crib and all other items we've received that had to be assembled

--installing the car seat

--encouraging me in my desire for natural labor and delivery by helping me with breathing, relaxation and physical exercises

--letting me cry at times when who knows why in the world I was crying

--indulging in my cravings for ice cream, french fries, pizza etc with me

--joining me in celebrating and enjoying our last days as "2" before we become "3"

--working hard at his job and being confident in his position so that I could stop working full time and stay home with the baby once he/she arrives

--taking countless weekly pictures of me including maternity pictures

--reading to our baby almost every night

--driving to Greenville early in my pregnancy to purchase grapes for me just because they were on sale!

--dreaming with me about what our baby will be like, look like etc

--talking with me about how we will raise our children

--attending EVERY prenatal appointment with me!!

Dear Matt, 

I can't believe we began this pregnancy journey 8 1/2 months ago and that we are now so close to meeting our little one. You and I have made a good great team for the last 3 years and I am so excited that we are expanding our family and adding a little boy or little girl Morgan to the mix. We've dreamed about this since we first got married and now is the time. Will our little one look like you or me or the best combination of each of us? Will he or she be like me or you in personality or the best of each of us? One thing is for sure, we are about to find out! Our lives are about to change for the better and there is absolutely NO ONE else on this planet I would want to be on this journey with! 

I'll keep you!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Treat Boxes {Gifts for Hospital Staff}

When I first got pregnant and I was reading all sorts of things, I came across a blog where the girl talked about making treats for the hospital staff who assist during labor, delivery, recovery and post-partum stay. I LOVE to give gifts so I thought this was a great idea. Since I don't know when I will delivery, I wanted to have them made ahead of time and for them to be items that are non-perishable. 
I decided to make four boxes. Two boxes for Labor & Delivery and two boxes for postpartum. 

Box number one contains cheese/peanut butter crackers, granola bars and tootsie rolls. 

Box number two contains fruit snacks, caramel apple lollipops, twizzlers, jolly ranchers and bubble gum. 

I purchased the boxes at Target for 98 cents and then I added a little personal touch to the top! :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tailgating Favorites

Two Saturdays ago, I decided that I really wanted to have some tailgate food. Matt worked until 4:00 and the LSU game started at 3:30 so it was the perfect day for it. I planned ahead of time and bought all of my ingredients which was a good thing because I woke up Saturday morning with a cold and feeling pretty puny. Since most of the items I picked were easy to make, I went ahead with my plans and it turned out great. I made Sausage Balls, Ham & Cheese Hawaiian Sandwiches, Charleston Cheese Dip and Corn Dip. 
The only pictures I have are iPhone pictures so they will have to do but I wanted to share the recipes anyway. :)

Sausage Balls: 
You need: 
1 lb sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
1/2 shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
3 cups baking mix (I used the brand from Aldi and it turned out just fine)
Water, as needed. 

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. If it is too dry, add a little water at a time to help combine. Form into balls. Place on baking sheet or on cooling rack placed on top of baking sheet (to reduce the greasiness) and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. YUM!!! 

Trisha Yearwood's Charleston Cheese Dip:
You need: 
1/2 cup of mayo
1- 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese (I only had mild cheddar so I used that)
1/2 cup of grated Monterey Jack Cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped (I forgot these when I shopped so I left them out but I think it would have been better with them added)
Dash of cayenne pepper
8-12 ritz crackers, crushed
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used real bacon but I think you could also use real bacon bits too) 
Something to eat the dip with; (I read anything from corn chips to ritz crackers but we ended up going with just plain pita chips and tortilla chips and both were good.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix mayo, all cheeses, green onions and cayenne pepper. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. 
Top mixture with crackers and bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through. 
Top with bacon and heat for 1-2 more minutes. 
Serve hot for best flavor! 

Ham and Cheese Hawaiian Sandwiches
You need: 
1 package of King's Hawaiian Rolls
1/2 to 1 pound of ham thin sliced (Depends on how much meat you like on sandwiches)
Sliced swiss cheese (approximately 10-12 slices; I bought block cheese and sliced myself)
1 stick of butter
1 squirt of mustard
2 teaspoons of dried onions or you can sub with a little onion powder (I've even left this out before and they are still good!)
2 teaspoons of poppy seeds

Melt butter over medium heat and stir in mustard, onion, and poppy seeds; set aside
Slice hawaiian rolls. I always leave in one big sheet and slice all the way through. 
Baste inside bottom of rolls with butter and then layer ham and cheese. Use remaining butter to baste the inside top of rolls and then put sandwiches together. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes. This time depends on your oven as well as on how crispy you want bread and how melted you want cheese! These are soooo yummy!! 

Corn Dip
You need: 
2 cans of corn
8 ounces of sour cream (don't use light)
1/2 cup to 1 cup of mayo (eyeball this depending on how cream you want your dip; I vary mine each time)
1 can of diced green chiles
Tony's to season

Mix all ingredients and chill. Serve with chip of your choice. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Christmas Candle {A Book Review}

I recently received the book The Christmas Candle by Max Lucado to review from BookSneeze. I have always loved Max Lucado's writing style but at times in my life it was almost too inspirational, if that even makes sense. Nonetheless, when I saw this book for review, I was drawn to it.

I review for BookSneeze®

The book is a small hardback that is just 190 pages so I'm guessing if it were a regular size book, it would be about 50 pages. All that to say, it's a quick read and a delightful one at that. I read the book in one sitting of approximately 1 hour.

The book discusses an English town back in the 1800's that was blessed every 25 years with an angel's appearance to a candle maker. The angel would bless one candle each visit and that candle would hold within itself a miracle for the person who received it. During the book, the candlemaker and his wife are concerned because they believe this will be the last year the tradition will be carried on since they have no family to continue it. A disaster happens in the book and the candle maker and his wife must decide what to do.

 It is a true story of God's faithfulness and after I read it, I was truly inspired. It would be a great book to read with teenage children and maybe even those slightly younger during the Christmas season. I am looking forward to passing the book along to my husband and to my Mom to read.