Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2.5 Weeks til d-day

2.5 weeks to go! Possibly less- at my last dr's appt last Thursday I was 2-3 cm dilated and 80% effaced (in case you don't know what that means, one needs to be 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced for a baby to come out. I will let you Google the specifics on that.) so for being a couple weeks away from my due date, my doctor says things are looking pretty good and there is a slim chance that she will come later than my due date and not to get my hopes up but there is a chance she may decide to come early! I get mixed reactions when I tell people this - most people are really excited but there are just enough people who say they heard the same thing and their baby was 4-5 days late that my hopes are really not to high. That is ok though because I'm actually not that sick of being pregnant where I just want her out yet. The only reason I want her out sooner is because I am so excited to meet her but I could keep doing this pregnancy thing for a few more weeks. Since she could come any time now, plus I haven't been the best at posting preggo pics, here is how big she has gotten since my last update:

She is getting cute isn't she?

I can't decide how pregnant I look. At this point, I don't really care but some days I feel like I look as pregnant as I am and other days I don't think I look as pregnant as I actually am. But then I wonder if I actually look more pregnant than I am but I am just in blissful denial about it. Like I said, I honestly don't care so any way is just fine with me. Just some thoughts from a rather pregnant girl.

So a fun baby story - The other night little Whale Baby decided to have her own little dance party and kicked for three straight hours. Not just butterfly flutters - I am talking good, solid, Fire Burning kicks and punches. After a while she was satisfied that my insides were bruised enough and settled down to less punching and more squirming and moving around. Nate was feeling her and all of a sudden exclaimed, "I just felt her arm!" I put my hand where his had been and sure enough, there was a little appendage that we can only guess was her arm. It was so cute and made her so much more real! It was by far one of my favorite things. Since then we have been able to feel other bits and pieces of her that we can only guess as to what they are (how the doctor always knows exactly where she is is beyond me) and I love every minute of it! My insides are quite sore though and I would be very interested to see if they are as black and blue as they feel but it is all worth it knowing that she is healthy and strong. Plus, all this kicking and moving makes me think that she is just excited to come out and hopefully that means she will try to wiggle her way out sooner and faster. We shall see.

I think that we have everything ready for her arrival. The only thing I really have left to do is pack my hospital bag. I have been putting it off because I know that as soon as I pack it, she is going to come. And I could still use a little bit of time to finish up some projects that I know will be difficult once she is actually here. But other than that, we are ready for her to come. So as soon as she decides to make her entrance into the world, we will let you know!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Only 2 Months Left!

On Monday, I was officially 2 months away from my due date! I am excited to say the least. She has been getting quite a bit bigger and I can feel her all the time now. She is an active little bugger. That should be fun when she comes out :) Things have been going great as far as the pregnancy, and there really isn't too much to report. I will say, it is getting progressively more and more difficult to roll over and get up and move in general. Considering she is only going to get exponentially bigger in the coming weeks I'm necessarily excited about what that is going to do to my mobility but I figure it is all worth it if it means having this new little baby in our family :) Speaking of her getting bigger, according to my Baby Bump App, she is about 3.3 lbs. Assuming she is going to be 7 lbs (the 3.3 is just an approximation anyway) that means she is going to gain just as much weight in the next 2 months as she has the last 5 months! That blows my mind.

Getting everything ready for her has also been going quite swimmingly. We have finally got all the furniture we need (except for a rocking chair that I still need to pick up from my boss) and that is a huge relief! I think we are basically done with all the big things and I think we are just on to the little things. Man, babies require a lot of stuff and that is coming from someone who has been getting the bare minimum! Here are some of our latest aquirements:

Target Bookcase: on sale for $15!

A woman at Nate's summer job gave us a bassinet, 

a changing table,

and a whole bag of clothes including these adorable pj's.

I am really excited about this bin - I saw a bunch of them in the Target $1 section and couldn't think of a single thing to put them in or where we would put them so I didn't get them. The next time I was at Target, I decided they were so cute I had to get some but they were all gone! Every time I have been to Target I look at the $1 section and cry a little bit because these were so cute. But then one day, Nate and I walked in and I saw just this one sitting there, on the shelf, calling my name. I was so excited! Isn't it so perfect?

Once we get the rocking chair and the room put together in a somewhat more respectable looking manner I will post pictures of the whole room! We have been really lucky and a lot of our stuff has been given to us. In total we have only spent $140 on all baby stuff and that includes the three months of diapers (which are expensive, even if you do get them on sale!) Good thing it takes about 9 months for a baby, that has given me all the time I need to get things at a reasonable price. It has also given me plenty of time to read lots of books on birth, child care and other things that come along with a new baby. So many books! So much reading!!

And here is a blurry, not so very good picture of me and little whale baby. I'll try to get a better one but I figured this was better than nothing. 

What I am looking forward to the most is seeing what our little girl looks like and what her personality is like. I am just so excited to meet her!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Few More Reasons My Husband is Amazing

Nate started working at Ernst & Young!!! He accepted the job offer with them last October but his start date wasn't until this month so it has felt like an eternity waiting for him to start! But he loves it and already has made some new friends there and we are both just so excited for him to be working at a job that isn't just a resume filler but an actual career!

Speaking of how awesome my husband is, let me take a second to brag about how he has officially finished the CPA! That is right, you may now call him Nathaniel T. Coughran, CPA. My smarty pants of a husband completed all four tests and passed them all the first time around - a feat only about 15% of all people taking the test accomplish. I am seriously so proud of him and all the hard work and time that he put into studying for it. Even though it meant having a less than desirable summer, he is now done and gets to spend all of his evenings with me and soon little Whale Baby!

I love my husband so much!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Happy 1st Anniversary to Us!

That is right, it has already been a year! Yesterday we celebrated our 1st Anniversary! It was absolutely perfect in every way. We celebrated the entire weekend and made it an Anniversary Weekend! On Friday we went and saw a movie in the park (The Lorax. Funny but a bit too hippie/granola/earthy for our liking) then on Saturday we got to spend the entire day together (the first one in months!) running errands and crossing things off our to do list. Then for lunch we had a picnic where Nate proposed and it was so fun visiting that spot and reliving that fun memory. That evening we worked at the temple which is always a amazing. Afterwards we got sushi which was fabulous!!! (Don't worry, I made sure to only eat the cooked kind. But mark my words - the first thing I am doing when she comes out is eating every kind of raw sushi known to man asap.)

On Sunday we exchanged presents which was lots of fun and then went for a nice walk and played games all evening with each other. It was an absolutely lovely weekend. The best part was all the time that I got to spend with my favorite person in the whole world. He is such a sweetheart to me and I love him so much!

Marrying him was the best idea I ever had.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Tragic Tale of Our Car

A few months ago our car was making a rattling noise on the front passenger side and it got so bad we finally decided to have it looked at. They said it was the driver's side tie ride and proceeded to fix it. As we were driving off, it still made the noise but the mechanic assured us that it was just the ball bearings or something and that it was fine. The noise got progressively worse so a few days later we took it back and after taking a look, the guy said it was actually our struts on the passenger's side and that they needed to be replaced eventually but weren't a safety issue. Considering we had just dropped a few hundred for the other part (which was a safety issue) and not wanting to drop a few more hundred on something that wasn't urgent we decided to wait it out. The noise continued to get worse and every time we went over 45 mph I felt like we were going to die but the mechanic continued to reassure us that all was well.

Well, as many Mass residents know and I'm sure love, each year you have to take your car in for inspection. Being the dutiful/ticket fearing citizen that I am, I took our car in and within a minute the guy came out, looked at me like I was an idiot and asked, "Have you not been hearing that loud, awful popping noise every time you turn?" I told him that yes, in fact I did but we had already had it looked at and the mechanic said it was fine. He then proceeded to tell me that it was in fact, not fine and that it was a serious safety issue and that if I didn't get the passenger side tie rod fixed then one day I could be turning, the car would break and I would lose control and crash and die. Great.

So of course we took it back to the mechanic and pointed out the life threatening passenger side tie rod. The mechanic was aghast at how they could have possibly missed that and said they would get right on it and it would take 2-3 hours and we should be good to go. Nate had taken the car in at 7:00 am so that it could be done early enough to get on with our day. Unfortunately, the place was a little way from our house so he had to catch a bus to come back home, which only ran every hour and half. So even though they hadn't called us after 3 hours, he decided to head back so that he was at least there when they got it done and we wouldn't have to wait a crazy long time for the bus. When he got there, they said they had run into some problems and it would be a little longer. Not wanted to take the bus back just to turn around and come home, he decided to wait it out. Well, a few problems and hours later... the car was done. That is right - what was supposed to be a 2-3 hour job turned into an 11 hour job. He dropped it off at 7:00 and left there at 6:00. To top it off, as they were giving the car back they mentioned that they had accidentally messed up our front axle but that they would fix it for free, we just needed to bring it back in after they ordered the part. Nate told them that I would bring it in on Tuesday morning at 9:00 and the manager promised they would have it all ready and it should only take an hour.

If only that were the end of the story. Flash forward to Tuesday. I bring in the car as arranged at 9:00 am. I give the mechanic my keys and sit down with one of my many pregnancy books. About 20 minutes later, the mechanic comes in and informs me that they just ordered the part and it will take about an hour to get in and then another hour and half to install it. Annoyed that the part wasn't there but not wanting to be that annoying customer, I said ok and figured 2-2.5 hours wasn't bad and could have been worse. Three hours later, I hadn't heard anything from them so I went to the front and asked them how much longer they expected it to be. The guy went to go check and a few minutes later I saw our car being pulled into the garage. That is right, they hadn't even started working on it. I was ticked but figured oh well, at least the part is here and it will just be about an hour. Twenty minutes later the mechanic came out and told me that they had ordered the wrong part and it would be another 3-4 hours before it would be done. According to him, most cars are automatic so they got a part for an automatic and were surprised to find out that ours is actually a standard. Wow, right? I was more than frustrated at this point and extremely hungry and faced with the same bus dilemma Nate had found himself in the previous Saturday. Deciding it wasn't worth it to go home, I walked to the nearest McDonald's and plopped myself down for some quality time with a couple McChickens, a Rolo McFlurry and the rest of my birthing book.

(Just a thought on McDonald's - I would say that the Rolo McFlurry is easily the best idea they ever had. Shortly followed by their free wireless internet and the dollar menu.)

They hadn't called me but from previous experience I figured my presence my be a vital part of them actually accomplishing anything so after the expected "4 hours" I went ahead and went back in to get an ETA. They said the part was there and they just had to finish installing it. An hour later they came back and said the part was in, they were just waiting for some fluid to come it to finish it off and once that was there then I would be good to go. Why they didn't get the fluid earlier, I don't know but really at this point I just wanted my car back. 45 minutes later, they handed me the keys with a big smile and said I was good to go and apologized for the long wait. I was so mad, I hardly knew what to say so I just said "Not a problem" and walked out. But once I got to my car, I decided there was no way that I was just leaving without them knowing exactly how ridiculous they were being so I went back in and told them that I was very dissatisfied with the service that I had just received and that I wanted some kind of refund to compensate me for the last 10 hours I had been there. They started giving me some bologna about how they hadn't even charged me for the service or the parts that they had done that day (I didn't know at the time it was their fault or else they would have gotten a mouthful from me for that one) and blah blah blah and they couldn't do anything and I would need to talk to their manager and wouldn't you know it, he just left and I would need to call him the next day. I asked if they could call him right now and they said no, but he would be more than happy to talk to me the next day. Sick of the whole thing, I left and was just glad to be home.

The next day, Nate called up the manager and was informed that he would be in later around 11:30. He called back at noon and was told that the manager didn't come in on Wednesdays. Ya, ridiculousness all around, I agree. Nate was so ticked off at them he said I would have to call them or we wouldn't get anything so the next day I called and after being put on hold for 10 minutes, I finally got the manager. Just as I started to tell him my frustration, he interrupted me and said there were a bunch of people in front of him and he needed to switch phones! Another 7 minutes later, he finally got on. Lucky for him. I thought he had snubbed me and I was about to hang up and call the store owner (though at this point I don't know if that would have done anything.) I explained the situation and he gave me some excuses about how it wasn't their fault, the parts guy gave them the wrong part, he had order the part personally, our car is just extra weird, etc. etc. etc. I told him I understand but I still thought it was completely ridiculous that not only did they not catch the initial problem, but had to have us point it out but then two times in a row it took them 8-10 hours to do a job that we were told should have been 1-3 hours. He said he understood and wanted to know what I wanted done about it. I thought, are you serious? Isn't this the part where you say "I am so sorry, here is your money back or a lifetime supply of free service for ever and while I am at I am going to make a fool of myself in the public square or anything to make you happy and retain you as a customer"? But I guess my standards of courteous customer service too high. By the end of the conversation he agreed to give me three free oil changes which he said should get me through the next year or so. Better than nothing, right? Except for the part where I never want to go back to that place again.

Thinking that we have finally seen the last of this place, I took our car to get reinspected. Part of me was hoping that we would fail so I could back and yell at those guys some more. To my surprise, we passed. As the inspector was handing me my keys, he asked who we had fix our car. I told him it was NTB and he just said a small, oh. Thinking that didn't sound good, I asked him why he wanted to know. He said that they had only need to replace the mounts for the struts and they had replaced the whole thing. Not only that, but they hadn't even put in our tie rod correctly. But he felt so bad for me that he went ahead and passed me anyway. Needless to say, I was furious. So now we are in the fun process of trying to get that fun mess taken care of but of course, we can't get anyone to return our calls.

So the moral of the story is: NTB sucks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fun Times with the Coughrans

This past summer has gone by so fast! In between all of Nate's studying, we have managed to enjoy our summer. Here are just a few of the things we have been up to:

We went to the beach for a ward activity day. That was a blast and the beach was absolutely beautiful! I love New England beaches, they are so unique and beautiful (other than Revere. But that one is just gross.)

We also had my little brother McKay come out for a long weekend and hang out with us. He mostly wanted to just hang out with us so we spent the weekend playing games and going school shopping (he was really excited to find out that Massachusetts doesn't charge tax on clothes.) A local t-shirt shop was having a huge sale and was selling plain t-shirts for $1.67 each and so he got about 18 of them and we spent the weekend designing graphics to print on them when he got home. It was really fun just hanging out with him and spending time with him since we don't get to see each other all that often.

We also got new phones! And they are smartphones! And I love mine so much. We were originally going to both get iPhones but then I decided that I really didn't need one, especially for an extra $150 so I decided that I was going to get a Droid before we even walked into the store. Nate still wanted an iPhone until he saw me playing with my Droid and then he started messing with it and after quite a while of going back and forth, he decided that he liked the Droid more and now we are both proud owners of Droids :) And we couldn't be happier! These things are so cool. I now understand why people say they could never go back after having a smartphone. My life is a million times more organized that it was before. It is great.

Side note:  We have been having a Harry Potter marathon lately and it has been so much fun! Nate hasn't seen all of them and I haven't seen them in a long time and it is really funny going back and watching them all again. Harry is so adorable in the first 2-3 movies but then he gets rather sickly looking. What a shame. At least Neville gets better looking.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Baby Things

Here is that promised post about the recent baby things we have acquired. Impressed that I have posted twice in 24 hours? I sure am. 

Also, Whale Baby has a name! We have decided that her name is going to be*:

Gwyneth Jane Coughran

Gwyneth is Welch, meaning "Happiness" and Jane is Hebrew, meaning "God is Gracious" and is a way to praise God. I love both of those meanings plus I just think it is such a pretty name!

*(unless we discover or think of something else that we like more from now until she is born.)

Back to the baby items that we have gotten. Here are some of my favorites:

These are two of my favorite clothes that she has. I really hope she doesn't grow up with a complex because we called her Whale Baby. (Also, these are the only clothing items she has with whales on them. I promise her whole wardrobe isn't just whales. Talk about a complex.)

These are Nate's old stuffed animals we brought back from Denver. The whale was a present from my sister- & brother-in-law. So cute, right?

My boss was getting rid of a bunch of toys and I snagged these as soon as I saw them. Heck, I still love trains!

I got these at a yardsale. The lady just gave them to me for free. 

These are books that I got at my baby shower and also from Nate's childhood. Whale Baby better love books!

This is another collection from my boss. Seriously, wooden blocks are the best!

This is the diaper bag that I got. I am thinking about adding some fabric to spruce it up but other than that, I love it! I spent the whole week watching my sister-in-law carry a very similar one and soon saw the brilliance in the smaller, one strapped backpack. I have been using it for my everyday use lately and this thing is fantastic. I figure if I need a bigger one later I can always upgrade. $12 on Amazon. 

Now this is my pride and joy right here. A few weeks ago I bought a pack and play at a yard sale for $2. It was the most hideous grey I had ever seen and slightly dirty but I figured for $2 I could just make a cute cover for it and call it good. But the more I looked into it, the more I realized that would be pretty expensive plus once I opened it up, the thing was dirtier than I had imagined. So after unsuccessfully (and understandably) trying to it pawn it off on some other pregnant friends, we decided to take it to the thrift store. It took us a few weeks but I have never been so glad to procrastinate! We pulled up to the thrift store and the first thing I saw outside was this stroller. It is in perfect condition and was only $20! The only thing was I couldn't tell if it would work with an infant car seat so I asked the lady if she could hold it while I ran home and Googled it. Much to my excitement, not only did I find out it does indeed hold an infant car seat, but it is also normally $140! My excitement was added upon when I remembered I had a 20% coupon to this thrift store that I had just gotten the other day. That's right, I used a coupon at a thrift store. And got a $140 stroller for $16. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family Reunion and a Surprise!

Note: This is a long one but I promise it will be worth it if you stick it out to the end....

The past few weeks have been flying by! Summer always whizzes by after the 4th of July which on one hand is really sad, because I love summer but on the other hand totally awesome because once summer is over we will have a baby! (Ok, not right after summer, but close enough.)

Anyway, we were able to check off one of our summer activities last week. We spent the week in Colorado with Nate's family at a family reunion. It was "just" his parents, siblings and their kids but with seven siblings, seven significant others and 11.67 grandkids it was quite a full house! We stayed in a giant cabin/house/lodge in the mountains of Winter Park. It had about 9 bedrooms and a giant living room that was great for games and activities. It was a pretty busy week so here is a pictural representation of all the fun that we had:

We went on a hike around the cabin we were staying in. Clearly at a young, old and pregnant skill level. 

And then a night of Minute to Win It

And a day at the Winter Park Resort

This was the Alpine Slide. Despite multiple assurances that I could handle it, I decided it was probably in the best interest of my child to avoid said slide. Especially after what happened to my bro-in-law:

I did however do the maze. Which was mostly Nate pulling me through the whole thing. But we did it in just 7 minutes which was crazy, dizzying fast!

This beauty was a giant ball that two people were strapped into and then spun around in for 30-60 seconds. That's Nate in the background. I totally would have done this if I weren't pregnant.

We rode the gondola up to the top of the mountain and this was our view.

Then they threw me a baby shower! It was so cute!

My cute nieces!... who are only a few years younger than me...

Fabulous gluten-free cupcakes. Thanks Lalana!

Guess the Type of Baby Food Game. FYI - turkey and gravy is the nastiest thing to ever have entered my mouth. Do not feed it to your child.

Guess the Mashed Up Candy Bar in the Diaper... pretty gross actually.

My niece drew this for me. Isn't it fabulous!?

Thanks so much everyone for putting this on! It was so nice and so much fun!

We also celebrated all of the summer(ish) birthdays while we were all together.

And of course, we had Family Olympics. Thanks to Steve and Lalana for the awesome shirts!

Events included Speed Skating [running around a track without lifting your feet] won by this guy!


Shot put. (Which I must say, I did fairly well at considering I am 6 months pregnant.) But I had to post this picture because it was so awesome.

Tae Kwon Do

And Synchronized Swimming

Nate also made a little friend. Who is pretty much the cutest 2 year old I have ever met.

And we got to play lots of Monopoly Deal.

And shoot things. (But no animals. Only cans) and mice.

And the best part was everyone was there for the family picture!

Needless to say, it was a fun week!

And as for baby updates, we are feeling ready more than ever for her to get here! Especially in terms of baby stuff. We decided that if she were to come tomorrow, we wouldn't be ready but if she were to come next week, we could be ready by then. Which is saying something considering 1) the amount of things one requires for a baby and 2) the inexpensive route we are trying to take in acquiring such things. This post is already very picture heavy so I will save pictures of our recent yard sale/thrift store finds for my next post.

But of course, an extremely flattering picture of me and my tummy:

(Is this a good enough side shot for you, Madison?)

And of course the moment you have all been waiting for... what is Whale Baby's name??? We have decided that her name is going to be*:

Gwyneth Jane Coughran

Gwyneth is Welch, meaning "Happiness" and Jane is Hebrew, meaning "God is Gracious" and is a way to praise God. I love both of those meanings plus I just think it is such a pretty name!

*(unless we discover or think of something else that we like more from now until she is born.)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

I love the 4th of July. Absolutely love it. What other time do you camp out in the hot, blazing summer sun all day and then get to watch the most awe-inspiring and spectacular show of the year? Seriously, I love it. And that is just the celebration. I love the fact that what we are celebrating is the independence of our country. America is freaking awesome. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

This year we decided we wanted a good spot so we headed down to the Charles at 1:00 and picked the perfect spot, spread out our blankets and got comfortable. We spent the extremely hot afternoon playing games and eating lots, and lots of snack food (fortunately we borrowed a a canopy from my boss which was a life saver and made the day very pleasant.) Once the son went down it started to cool off a tidbit so that was really nice (and by a tidbit I mean it was 75° at 10:00 pm). Then about a half hour before the show was about to start, it started to thunder and lightening. The guy on the speaker told everyone to clear out and find shelter and would you believe it, but people actually listened to him! Our neighbors who had been there all day packed up everything and ran off - only to have their spot quickly snatched by those who had stayed. I didn't really mind since we were smart enough to tough it out (though some people in our group were terrified we were going to get struck by lightening - we made them stay :)) but then as they came back, people tried to squeeze more people in than were there before which was major annoying considering they were seriously encroaching upon our long claimed turf. But then the fireworks started and we couldn't care less about the people around us. The show was phenomenal and even after 23 years worth of 4th of July's, I am still mesmerized by how awesome fireworks are. Who ever thought of celebrating our independence with fireworks was a true genius. It was also really fun watching the fireworks considering about a minute after they started, it started pouring rain. It was coming down only like it can in the East. It stopped just a minute or two before the fireworks ended, allowing us to walk to our car without getting any wetter (not that it was possible - we were pretty drenched). Perfect way to celebrate the day and I loved every minute of it!

(Notice the awesome view in the background. That was our backdrop to the firework show.)

And for those of you who don't really care what Nate and I do but are much more interested in Whale Baby... here is an update on her:

I think that Whale Baby is going to be something of a diva. It's just this feeling I have and talking to other women with children, they said they could all kind of sense what their kids were like while they were pregnant with them and so I may not actually be crazy. But I just have this feeling that she is going to be something of an attention lover. I noticed that anytime I make a comment about how sometimes I forget that I am pregnant, I get a nice, hearty kick. She also apparently loves music. I like to listen to the radio in the car and when certain songs come on, she starts moving and shaking and kicking. So far her favorites are Starships, I'm Glad You Came and Party Rock Anthem. Nate suggested I start listening to classical music. 

Speaking of diva... Whale Baby's first MySpace shot.

And here is a normal one. 23 weeks down, 17 to go!

As for a name, we are definitely favoring one of our choices over the other but have decided not to say anything until we know for sure. So until then, I am just going to keep throwing these little teaser updates out there for you to enjoy. 

Also, these are the flowers Nate got me this week, just because. That is my favorite reason.

Notice we have our first pet (bottom flower, on the right.) We named her Lily.

Don't I have the best husband ever? Seriously. And so handsome too!