Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hair Bows or Bow Ties ???

So I began planning my Gender Reveal right after my friend Leslie had her party.  I knew school would be starting up and that my time to think about it would be limited.  So I found a super cute invitation online and had my brother recreate it for me.

I woke up the morning we were to find out and couldn't sleep, so I made a door hanger and some bunting to decorate the dining room with.

My mom helped with the flowers, the girl side of the buffet she used a planter sent to her when she was born by an aunt and uncle.  On the boy side she used my brother's pewter cup.

Because I didn't do a board for people to tally their thought of boy or girl, I found a cute little photo booth kit at WalMart, so I had people take pics in front of the backdrop using props for a boy or a girl.

I couldn't decide on food that was blue or pink, so I did girly dips and fruits and for the boyish fare we had barbeque sliders and pasta salad.

We used cupcakes to spread the news.  I put colored filling in the cupcakes and decorated the tops with question marks.

As the moment drew near people were really excited to find out.

My mom was super excited about it being a little girl.  And Ms. Bridget,  in the gray shirt with the blonde hair, pictured above, was equally excited.  

We were so thankful to have friends and family around us as we shared the news.  Both Cullen and I were super exhausted that night and I slept like a rock.  I went to bed dreaming of ruffles and ribbons and woke up the next morning with vision of chandeliers and china patterns.  Oh girl, this little baby doesn't have a chance to be anything but girly, her hair bow collection has already gotten a great start.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

School Gender Reveal

Okay, so I kept being a pregnant a HUGE secret from pretty much everyone I could, and I must say that I loved every minute of my secret keeping.  I just had this idea that it was a private thing and while I could not display it I wouldn't.  So of course my job is that I work with about 200 women on a daily basis, I have to dress up most of the time, and some of my day I spend making small talk and idle conversation.  When are people most likely to drop a secret...when they make small talk.  When is it hardest to not show... when you wear dress clothes.  And who are the most observant people you know...elementary school teachers.
So to bust the news to the staff...I decided I would make a game of it.  At faculty meeting one Wednesday, I decided to present to the staff for the first time since taking my new job.  
I stood before the staff talking about how we would spend the year looking at data and identifying trends.  I looked at a room full of weary teachers thinking oh Lord- one more thing we are going to have to do.  With the help of Ms. Babb, I rolled out my poster...saying that we would graph public opinion as the first data What would Baby Pollard Be? A Commodore Quarterback or a Commodore Cheerleader.  Then the day after finding out I made blueberry and strawberry muffins for the teachers just as  happy for participating.

To alert the office staff I used the cupcakes from the night before.  I let them dig in to find out what exactly we would be having.

Ms. Babb was ready and willing with her pink on for her little surprise.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's No Secret Anymore

Cullen and I are having a baby.  We found out in May and managed to keep it a pretty great secret until recently.  We went to the doctor in June and I was 8 weeks along.  We told his parents right around ten weeks, the day after Father's Day.  They were excited and a little shocked, but promised to help us keep our big secret.

Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along: 7-8 Weeks
Size of baby:  Really Small- Heart Beat at Dr. Young's office was 173 bpm
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 0

Maternity Clothes: NO Way
Gender: ???? 
Movement: None Yet

Sleep: I slept all the time at this point.  When I felt sick, I slept, when I sat still, I slept.  I would say I slept away the month of June and most of July.

What I miss: Energy, at this point in the pregnancy I was tired all of the time, and when I wasn't sleeping I was eating crackers to keep the sick feeling at bay...thank you Lord for me not actually getting sick.

Cravings: None, maybe peanut butter, but nothing major that I couldn't live without, and I did notice that a biscuit in the mornings did seem to help me get going and feel like I could make it through the day.

Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, and an overwhelming feeling of nausea twenty four hours a day.

Best Moment this month: Hearing Baby Pollard's heart beat.

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 12 Weeks

Size of baby:  Really Small- Heart Beat at Dr. Young's office was 163 bpm

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 0

Maternity Clothes: NO Way, still very grossed out at the idea of the big cotton panel with maternity pants.

Gender: ???? 

Movement: None

Sleep: Sleeping a lot still, but waking to use the restroom every night in the middle of the night.

What I miss: The want/will to get up and do anything.  I also had just started my new job and moved out of the dorm from summer school, so really I just wanted a break.

Cravings: No real cravings, but I did enjoy a nightly ice pop or two.

Symptoms: Thank the Lord for anti nausea medicine, because at this point I still could have a weak stomach.
Best Moment this month: Going to the doctor and not gaining any weight.

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 14-16 weeks

Size of baby:  Getting Bigger Heart Beat at Dr. Young's office was 153 bpm

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 3 lbs.

Maternity Clothes: Still No, but I'm ever thankful for the over sized style popular in most boutiques.  It has helped me keep my secret a bit longer.  My pants still fit just like always.
Gender: ???? So ready to know if Baby Pollard is a boy or girl.

Movement: None Yet

Sleep: Sleep is what I survive on.  I go to bed at 8:30 and wake up about 5 every morning.  Still waking once a night to make a bathroom trip, but I have no problem going back to sleep.

What I miss: Eating an entire meal.  I pretty much ate half of anything ordered out to eat.  The smell of my food is fine, but everyone's food at other tables, just left me with no real appetite.

Cravings: I am thirsty all of the time.  I miss as many diet cokes as my heart desires, but have enjoyed drinking more juices and lots of water.

Symptoms: My symptoms have subsided and my energy is back.  Thank the Lord.  I have begun thinking about deep cleaning my house and little steps to prepare for Baby Pollard.

Best Moment this month: Feeling like myself again.

We went back to the doctor on week 18 to see what we were having.

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 18 weeks

Size of baby:  Baby was the size of a small mango

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 3 lbs. and holding

Maternity Clothes: Still No, but I'm ever thankful for the over sized style popular in most boutiques.  It has helped me keep my secret a bit longer.  My pants still fit just like always.
Gender: To my surprise it was a  girl.

Movement: Yes, finally, at the beginning of week 17 I began to feel small movements, that unlike the books did not feel like butterflies or bubbles, no they felt like thumps.  Not too long after that Cullen could feel them slightly as well.

Sleep: My sleep has gotten off lately.  I still go to bed early between 8-9 but now I wake at 2 and then lay in bed until 3 before getting up to sew or load the dishwasher.

What I miss: Drinking Diet Coke until my heart is content, eating sweet...I'm just not into really sweet stuff right now.

Cravings: I have lived on soup for a while, and just this week I fell in love with the grilled chicken salad from Rib Cage. Yes, I ordered them back to back days.

Symptoms: I have had some round ligament pains but no back pains or aches.  The stomach is growing, but I still feel very good about my weight.

Best Moment this month: Finding out we are having a GIRL.

Ripley, Tennesse

Natalie has been my friend since freshman year of college.  She started working at Chaney's Pharmacy about a month before me and that first year of work our paths didn't cross much at all, but by that summer we would leave on small shopping trips and any other escape from Chaney's we would make.  My favorite memories of us working at Chaney's together were once a month Elizabeth Arden inventory Sundays.  Somehow after six months of working at Chaney's I became the make up girl and it fell my duty to make sure we always had what our Elizabeth Arden customers needed.  On inventory Sundays Natalie and I would sit down behind the make up counter with snacks and a notebook and begin the task of getting it all together.  I am sure now that we laughed and snacked more than we actually worked, but it became tradition and something we could look forward to.  Natalie, two years older than me was from Ripley, Tennessee and like most small town girls was proud of the Ripley Tigers and like me loved to tell about people from home and stories from high school.
The years have brought us pretty far from Sunday afternoon socials behind the make up counter.  We later roomed together and each of us moved from weekend work to better hours and more responsibility, but the stories shared have cemented our friendship.  I will never eat a Skor bar with a Diet Coke that I don't think of those times.

This past weekend I made my first trip to Ripley, Tennessee and I put faces with names and loved EVERY minute of it.  It was nothing for Natalie to run home in college and make the three hour trip like it was a trip to the grocery store. Saturday we celebrated Natalie's engagement to Bo at the Ripley Country Club.

As Joanne, Lauren and I pulled up I began looking in the parking lot for familiar faces.  As we were introduced I scanned the crowd for people I recognized from old pictures but most importantly we celebrated our friends.

 Natalie's sweet mom, who I call Mary Jill, is so precious.  
 Some of the girls Natalie went to high school with.
 Mr. Billy Chipman, I have met his son and he was just as much a cut up as Mr. Billy was.  It was funny as he was explaining that Natalie grew up right next to them, I could finish his sentence about how they spent every major holiday together as neighbors.
 Natalie's sister, Catherine is engaged to Alex, and they are so PRECIOUS together.

 And here is the sweet groom.  
When I say that Natalie and I have been friends through several boyfriends through the years, know that I can recount many midnight conversations, rationalizations, and pizza therapy sessions.  Natalie was the friend that let me know we would stop being friends if I continued to like one particular college guy, and I think because I knew she was serious and I valued her friendship that threat is what brought me back to sanity and eventually on the road to meeting Cullen.  Luckily I never had to threaten Natalie she made a great choice when she chose Bo.  The Ripley girl has always told me to be good to Cullen because I'll never find anyone other than him that would put up with me, well, after getting to know Bo a bit better, I told her- she better keep him, because she and I are in the same boat.