Monday, January 31, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 28 Weeks

So this weekend, my Sister (who is an amazing photographer - here is her business Reflections by Amanda Rooney) did a maternity photo shoot with Brant and I. I really wanted to post a few more pictures for you, but Sister says I can't until she has them all edited! But today, she posted this picture on her site for the I Heart Faces weekly contest. The only requirement- a HUMAN face - so how perfect is this little human's face?

As of today, I am 28 weeks along - Officially in my third trimester! It is crazy to think that I am 2/3rd through my pregnancy. It has gone by so quickly.

Here is what is going on with Baby Girl.

Size of the baby: She is 2 1/4 lbs and almost 15" long - about the size of a Chinese cabbage.
Total weight loss/gain: 24 lbs - although my scale only says about 20! The dr. is now monitoring my weight closely only because I didn't gain anything the first 4 months!
Maternity clothes: Just tops. Most of my pants still fit with the help of the belly band.
Gender: It's a Girl! Emmalee Caroline Williams
Movement: Feeling it all the time and loving it. She gave Brant a good kick a few weeks ago - it was his first real time to feel her. Now he feels her quite a bit. She is still very calm, but has more power to her punch!
Sleep: I'm sleeping pretty well - no complaints here!
What I miss: Being about to move around freely - I can't bend down very well, I seem to literally roll myself out of bed, and I can't clean my house very well b/c it hurts my back!
Cravings: Not really craving anything.
Symptoms: a BIG belly
Fun Facts: Emmalee is growing beautiful, long eyelashes and her eyesight is developing.

Well this weekend we went to visit my mom's family in Shreveport, which is where we took the maternity pictures. Downtown Shreveport has some GREAT old buildings and structures. I can't wait to see how some of these pictures turned out! We came home Saturday night, went to church yesterday, then came home and cleaned house. It was such a gorgeous day that I went out into the garage and finished painting, destressing and putting the crystal knobs on EmC's dresser. Then I started painting the crosses for a project I am doing in her room. Well lets just say that bending over for 2 hours painting crosses is NOT good for a pregnant woman's back! Today I am feeling the pain. But, I am happy to say that her room is coming almost quite nicely and I can't wait to show you pictures of the finished product!!!!

Well, as most of you in the nation are probably preparing for, we are in for some nasty cold weather the next few days. Stay safe...and WARM!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Adoption Storeis

Adoption - it was a word that became regularly spoken in our home not too long ago. After struggling for almost 2 years to have a baby, Brant and I began to wonder if the Lord had chosen adoption as our path to become parent.

I think that adoption stories are some of the most encouraging, inspiring and amazing stories. It still amazes me how God prepares the hearts of adoptive parents.

If you have an adoption story, I hope that you will share, or have shared, it on Kelly's Korner blog today. It all about adoption. Post your story on your blog, then link it back to Kelly's. Regardless if you have a story to share or not, I hope that you will read the stories that have already been posted today. I promise you that they will bless your heart in ways you never fathomed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Working 9 to 5...

I can't believe than in about 3 months, I will be a mother. It's the job I've always wanted and always dreamed of. I will be completely responsible for the health and well-being of a precious baby girl - all of her care rests on me, and her daddy!

But just like 65% of mothers today, I will work outside the home. I would love to be at home all day with Emmalee Caroline, but it put a huge financial burden on Brant and I, and I truly love my job. So I am now in the position of doing one of the hardest things I've ever done - I'm searching for the "perfect" person to care for my child.

Here are my "desires" for a caregiver.
- I desire someone who has a certified center in their home.
- I desire someone not more than 10-15 minutes from either mine or Brant's office.
- I desire someone who absolutely loves and adores children, especially babies.
- I desire great references.

But that's it - that's all I want and all I can think of.

So this is my plea to working mothers, and fathers: What kinds of questions do you ask a caregiver? What things should I look for in touring different homes or places? How many children is too many children? Let me know your thoughts on this one. As a first-time mommy, I need all the advice I can get!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Easter - UPDATED

So Ms. Emmalee Caroline's due date is Monday, April 25th. I'm not going to lie - I hope she is here approximately 2 weeks before that. My reason - I WANT TO DRESS HER UP FOR EASTER! I just can't wait to put a sweet little dress on her with a little sweater and bow (or hat) in her hair...I want it so badly I can just taste it!

So in my desire to have her here before Easter, I need to actually be prepared for the event, namely, I need this baby to have an Easter dress! So today during my lunch break, I might have done a bit of online browsing. And found these sweet little outfits. The problem is, the one that I like the most (the first one), the smallest size is 3-6 months. I need it in newborn or 0-3! But nonetheless, here are my findings!

I found these first two on Amazon. I think I might get her the second dress for the summer just because it is so adorable. Our church has baby dedication on Mother's Day, so this might just be her dedication dress.

UPDATE: Both pictures are linked to Amanzon, but you can also search "Bonnie Baby" on and you will find a TON of precious, precious outfits and dresses! I think I might go crazy!!!

On Saturday evening, we had dinner with our friends the Butlers and the Lawrences. The Butlers are expecting their first bundle of joy March 28th. I have a feeling Little Miss Emmalee Caroline and Little Miss Baylor Madelon are going to be great friends. Well I got to peek into Baylor's closet and I felt like a horrible mom. I think Em only have about 7-8 outfits...Baylor has a closet FULL! Granted, Leslie didn't go buy all of them - a dear friend of hers has a toddler and she was born in the all of the clothes were perfect for Baylor. But still, I realized how little of a wardrobe my baby has, and that is just unacceptable.

So, while I was Easter dress shopping, I did a little "regular" shopping as well. I went to Etsy and found this!!!!! Ya'll, I just couldn't resist!! Her daddy is going to kiss my feet when he sees her new dress!!!!!

Ok, now you can't tell Brant because it's a secret that she is getting it. If you know my husband at all, then you know he loves John Deer. He is a turf manager and rides John Deer tractors all day long - he absolutely loves them. So for his baby girl to have a John Deer dress is going to rock his world. I guarantee that if the two of them have a daddy/daughter date, he will make sure she wears this.

UPDATE: I also found matching shoes for the John Deer dress!!!!!

Well I hope each of you had a great weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's in a Name?

Today Kelly's Korner is sponsoring the second Show Us Your Singles. Although I don't have a single to "show" you, I did just want to tell you a little more about Caroline, of the sweetest ladies you'll ever meet (and one that Kelly already told you about).

During my years at Dallas Baptist University, I knew "Caroline in Texas" and we actually had several classes together. I knew Caroline to be this fun, outgoing young lady who always had a smile on her face and wore the cutest outfits! It actually wasn't until I found her on the "blogsphere" that I truly got to know her heart.

Now, to tell you more about Caroline, I'm actually going to tell you about my own daughter (well, unborn daughter), Emmalee Caroline.

Emmalee's name came to be because my husband loved the name "Emily" and I loved the name "Caroline". I decided to spell Emily a bit differently, and when it came down to it, Emmalee Caroline had her name. Although I love the name Caroline, there was much more to why I chose that as my daughter's middle name (although it would have been her first name if I had it my way...but the hubs had to have some say - she is his daughter too).

At the beginning of my pregnancy, I wondered what kind of life I would want for my child. The kind of life I would want for them is simple - a life filled with the King! If there is anything I could hope for my daughter, it would be that she would one day fall so in love her Savior that a passion and desire for Him consume her life. I pray that she knows the sacrifice that He made for her, and that she is a daughter of the Most High King; that she is compassionate and loves others more than herself; that she has a hunger for the unsaved and a yearning to save them; that she will want Him more than anything else on this earth; and of course that she would overflow with southern hospitality and charm!

It was that night, as I thought about what I wanted for my child, that I knew that if she was a girl, her middle name would be Caroline. You see, I know a woman whose life it exactly what I wish for my child - the blog world knows her as Caroline in Texas. If you want to know Caroline, then know that she is exactly the woman I pray my daughter will become. She is a woman of grace, passion, amazing artistic abilities, but most of all, a child of the King. It has been such a blessing to get to know her more over these past several years, and I pray that my Emmalee will one day meet the woman who gave her the name, Emmalee Caroline.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Praying for Growth

Today, Brant and I had another sonogram of Ms. Emmalee Caroline. Originally they were fearful that I might have placenta previa, but thankfully, the placenta has moved up its position and is no longer a concern.

They did, however, determine one other area of concern. Most babies have 3 blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Emmalee only has 2. We were told that most often, this would accompany a birth defect or problem; however, Emmalee is showing no signs of any birth defect. The doctor assured Brant and I that if there were a defect present, we would already see it on the sonogram - and her sonograms look great! The doctor is hoping that this is just an anatomical variant - basically, a freak thing, but that Emmalee will be fine. However, some studies show that a 2-vessel cord, without any other defect present, can affect the baby's growth. As of today, Emmalee is growing wonderfully - completely on target. However, knowing that the most crucial development is toward the end, they will be monitoring her growth very carefully from here on out. If at 36 weeks, she is low on the growth scale, they will induce labor at that time.

It's almost funny - I have been so worried throughout my pregnancy about something happening to her. I feel like I waited and prayed for so long, that this sweet baby girl is just too good to be true. Well today the Lord certainly reminded me that He is still in control and that just because she is in my womb, that does not mean she is mine yet...she is still, and will always be, His child.

So today, Brant and I, again, placed full trust in the Lord, knowing that He will knit her little body together exactly as it needs to be - after all, He is her creator. We pray that she continues to grow and develop, and, whether delivered pre-term or not, that she is a strong, healthy baby.

This is a close-up of our sweet baby girl's face this morning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thinking of Having Children

My dear friend Lindsay sent me this hilarious email today. I'm beginning to rethink having children...oh wait...I already got on that roller coaster!

11 Step Program for Those Thinking of Having Kids

Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2. Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel...
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds, with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly. (Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag, until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive)
Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out...
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. Wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hang out.
Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment. Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 7
Go to the local grocery store. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is an excellent choice). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys. Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 8
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine-month-old baby.

Lesson 9
Learn the names of every character from
Sesame Street , Barney, Disney, the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. I know, you're thinking "What's Noggin?" Exactly the point.

Lesson 10
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying 'mommy' repeatedly. (Important: no more than a four second delay between each 'mommy'; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 11
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt- sleeve, or elbow while playing the 'mommy' tape made from Lesson 10 above. You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

Friday, January 7, 2011

What do you do...

...on a sick day????

Well I did what any other expectant mother would do - I played with baby girl's growing wardrobe and matched it will all of her bows!!!!

Me and My Friends

I stayed home from work today to spend time with my new friends - and its not my idea of fun!

Today is day 3 in the cold world, and so far, has been the worst. My sweet husband was so worried yesterday when I told him I thought I might have fever - he insisted I go to the doctor. He still insisted after I explained to him that it was just a common cold and that the doctor wouldn't do much for it. So, we compromised and I promised him that I would call my doctor and at least let him know. So I talked to Lynn, my doctor's nurse, and she said that as long as my fever wasn't over 103 and I didn't have signs of an infection, that I, and Lil' Miss, should be fine.

The only good thing about being home today is a little, well a big, puppy who loves having him mama home with him. Since we came back from our Hawaiian vacation, he hasn't left our sides. My mom and dad were sweet enough to keep him for us so we didn't have to board him. But he still missed his mom and dad, and truth be told, we missed him too! He really has been our baby these past 3 years and we just adore him. We keep asking Dax if he is ready to be a big brother. I think he is really going to be great with Emmalee - he is so loving and caring with kids.

Well I hope none of you are under the weather with the nasty cold that is going around, and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend. I hear the weather here in Dallas is supposed to get kind of nasty on Sunday - super cold and rainy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Baby Bargains

Monday night Brant and I went to dinner at one of our favorite sushi spots in town. It happens to be right beside a Kirklands. When we were walking into the restaurant, I glanced in the Kirlkand's window and saw this great white mirror. All though dinner I kept thinking about how cute it would be in EmC's room. Her room is a shabby chic decor - nothing really "matches". She has a color scheme - but not really a room theme.

So after dinner, I asked Brant if I could run into Kirklands and take a look. I fell in love - and it was on sale for $59.99! But I didn't get it - remember, I just asked Brant if I could LOOK at it!

Well yesterday in my email, I received a Kirkland's $10 off coupon! So I just called the store to see if they had any left and they had the display, and one in a box! So last night after dinner, I begged Brant to go back to Kirklands, and of course he said "yes". He can't deny his daughter anything already! Look what is in baby girl's new room!

Well why we were there, I saw this precious little lamp. It was on clearance for $9.97, then 25% off it was only $7.50! It was just perfect for her room!!!! I loved how the color is worn around the edges - very shabby chic - don't you think???

Well as soon as her room is closer to being finished I promise to have pictures for you! I really think it is going to be precious!!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pregnancy Update - 24 Weeks

WOW - 24 Weeks. If you do the division, then I'm already 6 months pregnant! Its still so surreal! She is growing so much and I am beginning to learn her schedule...and some tricks. For example - I've learned how to rock her to sleep when she thinks that it would be fun to start kicking around and doing somersaults right after mama eats lunch! It may be fun for her, but not for mom!

Mornings are her sleepy time, but she is pretty crazy in the afternoons. Evenings she begins to relax, and starts to wind down right about the time I got to bed. I'd certainly be one happy mama if this schedule continues after she is born!

Here are the 24 week facts about Lil' Miss!

Size of the baby: She is a foot in length (about the length of an ear of corn) and weights about 1 1/4 lbs
Total weight loss/gain: 11 lbs
Maternity clothes: Just tops. Most of my pants still fit with the help of the belly band.
Gender: It's a Girl! Emmalee Caroline Williams
Movement: Feeling it all the time and loving it..unless I've just had something to eat!
Sleep: I'm sleeping well, but I'm waking up with some leg and arm numbness that isn't very fun.
What I miss: Not much yet!
Cravings: Not really craving anything in particular these days, but I detest bbq right now...which is sad for a Texas girl!
Symptoms: a big belly
Fun Facts: Emmalee can feel my movements - which is why I can now rock her to sleep; she is getting taste buds, and she can get the hickups!

I feel like I haven't really posted much lately, unless its about Emmalee. I always knew my life would be turned upside down by a baby, but I didn't realize how upside down it would get. I can tell you that I love being pregnant (so far) and I love feeling her movements.

Her room is coming along more and more each day! I love decorating for her, and of course love shopping for her too! Hopefully I will have pictures soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review - The Shack

A few weeks ago I read "The Shack' by William P. Young with my book club. Before I read the boo, I had heard a lot of different things - some people liked it, other didn't. Personally, I thought it was a great book.

The basic story line goes something like this:
Mack takes his three children on a camping trip, but his youngest daughter is kidnapped, and believed to have been murdered in a desolate shack. The killer is never found. Years later, Mack received a mysterious note to go to the shack - possibly to meet God. Over a life-changing weekend, Mack learns who God really is and learns to finally let go of the guilt he felt of his daughter's death.

There are a few controversial things about this book. Many people have felt that God being portrayed by a large african american woman is one of them. I have to admit that when I first read about this in the book, I was taken aback as well, but as "God" explains his revelation to Mack, I realized one thing - we cannot put God in a box. Just as the book states, we often think of God as this old, white robed and white bearded man - maybe something like Gandolph in Lord of the Rings - but the fact is that He is nothing like that at all! He is EVERYTHING! He is a nurturing mother to those who need love; he is an adoring father to those who need his compassion; he is a shepherd to those who need his guidance - he is our everything!

Although there are a few things I didn't care for about this book, it certainly had me thinking. I would definitely recommend this to a believer who is strongly rooted in their faith. However, because of some of the questionable "religious" material, I would not recommend this book to a non-believer or a person who is struggling with their faith.

If you have already read "The Shack", what were your thoughts?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Great Grabbie Changes

Ya'll, I have been SOOO busy today!

I am working on some new changes for Great Grabbie Designs - I've got some new products, new designers and just an all-around new look coming!

Hopefully, everything will be up and running by the end of the week, so keep watch for the all new Great Grabbie Designs!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy 2011 from the Williams!

There are so many things that I am looking forward to in the new year! On the top of my list is, of course, thie birth of our first child! And although I am beyond thrilled for this new year, let me be honest - I am also scared to death!

All of my life, all I have ever wanted to be is a good wife and mother. And now, as I stare motherhood in the face, I am a bit scared. Will I be good enough, will I know how to comfort her when she cries, will she know my voice? I think about these things all day long.

So my new years resolution for 2011 is quite a simple one:
To simply love this sweet baby girl with all of my heart and be the best mom I can be!
I must always remember that the Lord would not bless us with her sweet little life unless He knew we were ready to be her mom and dad.

I hope that all of you have wonderful new years and the Williams are wishing you all the best in 2011!