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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I don't want to embarrass them, so I won't name names... but some really cool people who Carver is inheriting his middle name from got us the most kick-ass crib ever!!! My hot husband set it up last night.

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While I, so helpfully assisted by taking these:

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See the hormone line? Its been creeping up there for a week or two. Also, please note how my belly button is off-center, but still not an outie. I think, with only 6 weeks to go, I'll always be an innie.

Alright, now that I've already done 2 of my favorite things this morning (nap and blog), time for my third, clean!

Also, some amazingly sweet friends happen to be faithful blog readers. They read my blog about the difficulties of pregnancy and nail-clipping and bought me a pedicure! If I clean and pack for Tampa fast enough, I think I will go cash that in. Again with the name-naming, I don't want to embarass you, but you know who you are and I love you!

Fun With Mascots

Saturday we went to the Gator game. The weather was beautiful and of course, we kicked butt. So much so, that it was really more fun to be there to hang out with friends and enjoy the traditions from the 1st row than it was to actually watch the game. I guess that was the last game I will attend preggy for a while. We do have the SEC and hopefully the BCS championships to look forward to, but unless you want to give us tickets to the SEC championship, we won't be there. The BCS is January 8th! Sounds coincidentally close to somebody's due date! I don't know if you were aware of this, but I happen to be very good luck for the Gators. The day Ethan proposed we beat FSU. On my birthday (2 years in a row!), we won the basketball championship. I'm just saying, don't be surprised if Carver is born on January 8th, the day the Gators win the national football championship (again).

Natalie came with us to the game and it was some good, classic sister time. We made it our goal to get pictures with the mascots (The Citadel's mascot is a really cute bulldog). I guess it was our day.

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Here are a few other gems:

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After the game, Ethan and I decided to have a long-needed date. I have been freaking out (just a little) about the fact that it will never be just the two of us again (insert Will Smith song here). My favorite thing about our marriage is that we make such good best friends. When E and I first started hanging out, we said we would never date because we were too much like brother and sister. We had picnics every week together and called it platonic. Now we have the same tease each other, tell each other everything, play scrabble like old people and act stupid together friendship, we just call it marriage. Carver has already added so much excitement and depth to our relationship and I know he will only cause us to fall even more in love with each other, I'm just nervous about having less time together. I know its not an if, its a when, I just pray God gives us grace to balance our life.

Ok, now that I've made me cry, I was just trying to say we went to Macaroni Grill for dindin. We had such a wonderful time, mostly talking about McCarverton and how we would do anything for him. The two examples Ethan gave were sacrifice a limb and move to Alaska. I thought that was funny. It ended up taking a long time for our food to come out, which I didn't mind, but they gave us our meal for free! Mind you, we had run into a friend that morning at Mi Apa who sneakily paid for our breakfast! See, God's already giving us free dates together.

SKAL Night!

I feel like its been so long! Maybe that's because today feels like the weekend already. Anywho, to catch you up on my social life and last weekend, I will start this series of blogs with our Young Life ladies' night (to find out what SKAL stands for, you have to attend).

It was awesome. Current leaders got to meet our amazing group of leaders-in-training and we all got to bond and look cute and be funny together. Plus, now that we played the best friend game, we're all best friends. I really just could not be more excited about this group of college students that is about to be placed on Gainesville YL teams. They are super fun to be around, excited about life and about introducing high schoolers to Jesus Christ. As Ethan pointed out the other day, by the time they are our age, our son will be in 1st grade. Scary. Nonetheless, I know we have formed some lasting friendships and I can't wait to see the ladies grow over the next few years!

We had everyone dress up for a very fancy progressive dinner of MOES, Chick-Fil-A, then TCBY. Then we came back to my place to decorate socks for ROLLER SKATING! Woowoo! If I told you about the rest of our night, I'd have to kill you, so I better not. See for yourself:

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Last Thought (for now)

I guess I should have added "mess around online" to my list of things to-to because that seems to be my biggest time-slurper.

It was well worth it, though, cause look what I found! Beautiful! If you are Santa, please consider this my Christmas list.

Time In a Bottle

I hate that commercial! You know the one I'm talking about? Its for Zyrtec and the lady starts off by saying "You know that song, 'Time in a Bottle?'" No. No, I don't. I know 'Genie in a Bottle' and I could even do a cool little dance to it that we made up in 8th grade. Anyhow, I think its a stupid saying, and the commercial is even worse. I was looking for it on You Tube in case you haven't seen it, but I couldn't find it. That's even better, because now you don't have to watch it. I found this funny kid's parody of it instead.

I get where the concept comes from, though. I never seem to have enough time to do all the stuff I want to do. I know, I know, I could stop blogging and start doing, but this is one of the things I want to do. These are all the other things I want to do in the next hour and a half before I have to leave for work: make banana bread, fold the laundry, clean the house, make more necklaces, have quiet time with God, pay bills.

I think all this is why I have grown to love the mornings so much. I haven't always (ever, really) been a morning person. Just ask my parents or my college roommates. However, it is so nice to have a reason to get up on a morning I might otherwise sleep in. Its like a head-start. For example, this morning after I dropped Ethan off at work at 8:00, I went to Starbucks, got a hot chai (for free!) to warm me up (it was 25 degrees in Gainesville last night!) and sat and wrote my grocery list. Chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight. All this happened when I could have just been drooling in bed, suffering from leg cramps.

I think it might be from watching too many episodes of Mr. Rodgers growing up (Mom didn't believe in cable, which I am thankful for), but I just love sitting around, enjoying watching the world function, seeing police officers and business men and people listening to iPods read newspapers and drink their coffee. The one weird part of my scene at Starbucks was the couple listening to iPods. They had a stick of lady's deodorant just sitting out on the table along with their steamy cups. Hmm. Besides that, the rest of my morning was very Mr. Rodgers. At Publix, the only other customer was a man in a tie who bought $40 worth of food to give to a local charity. That's a lot of food when most of it is boxes of mac & cheese for fifty cents. To top it all off, I even had a conversation with the man who collects quarters out of the laundry machine. This was exciting, because for a couple weeks now I had a theory that they collected the quarters on Wednesdays. My quarters always make such a lonely sound when I drop them in, and finally my theory was confirmed! I think the guy thought I was a little weird.

This is all to say two things. One, I love the mornings because everything seems so calm and friendly, especially running errands. Two, I feel like there is no limit on what I can accomplish when I have the whole day ahead of me.

The funniest part of my priority sorting is things that should be on the "have to" list end up on the "get around to it when you can list." These things usually include eating and showering and usually get replaced by watering the house plants, window-shopping for my dream living room on IKEA, or alphabetizing our DVD collection. I can't decide if that makes me sound more like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets or Phoebe from Friends. Unfortunately, its already 11:00, so I better go pick two things off my list.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shop's Open!!!

Yay! After days of neglecting my blog to sew necklaces, take pictures of them and post them on Etsy, I'm in business! I have been wearing a few of them out and about and have received lots of comments. They are way cuter in person, so hopefully I can sell some that way. I am going to try and set up a link right here -->

I cannot let you leave without telling you about the name suggestions I got from a kid today. This is the girl who told me she would love to be my daughter. I used to think of her as a handful, but she has been growing on me a lot. Just to remind you a little bit about her, she has bouncy blond curls and a slight speech impediment. This is what she said:
"So...Mrs. Valerie, what are you going to name your baby again?"
"Well, how about something different, like Bryan... or Max? Or maybe something French sounding like... (she pauses to think really hard) Freddy?"
Only it sounds like "Fweddy."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

3rd Wear's A Charm

If you don't remember my other 2 red dress adventures, click here to read the blog.

Last Saturday was my 3rd and favorite occasion in this dress. One of the best friends anyone could ask for, Melissa and her mom threw me a baby shower in Tampa. It was so much fun! A lot of my friends from high school were there. These aren't normal high school friends. Most of us have been friends since middle school (some, elementary) and have remained very close ever since. I always laugh when I think about what an odd group we are. If we all met for the first time now, I don't know that any lasting friendships would be formed. However, because of our experiences together and how well we know each other, these strong friendships have become irreplaceable. The funny thing is all of our moms are friends too. This might be part of the glue that holds us together. So with all the friends, moms and family present, we did some baby-food guessing, some belly-feeling and a lot of oohing at cute boy clothes. Here are some shots from the weekend:

High School Pals

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Me & Melissa

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Lots of gifts!

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My aunt Mary made this beautiful blanket

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The sis

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Now sandwiched by Aunt Mary & Mom

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Beth Ann test-tasting

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Carver, Ethan and I received many wonderful gifts! I am blown away by how many people are excited about this baby and want to welcome him into the world with cute clothes, gear, furniture, toys, baby announcements and diapers. I loved all my gifts, but here are some of the more photogenic ones:

Ethan trying on the baby wrap like a Ninja

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And here's what his room looks like since we've come back to Gville and unpacked the lot:

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Here's our living room, currently. Ahh!!!

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We are trying to make space by getting rid of the bookshelf and entertainment center, so the floor has become temporary storage for books, picture frames, bull figurines, basketballs signed by Joakim Noah, harmonicas and anything else that you might want to display if you are us.

To update you on my life, my career and my thoughts, I am keeping my options open. I updated my profile on I figure it can't hurt. I am also leaving the craft path open. I am creating an etsy shop. I will let you know when my doors open...get excited!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cloth Diapers

First of all, I know I am becoming my dad when I add "ola" to the end of words. Like when I just called the pile of clothes on our bed "junkola."

Second of all, Andy's moving back!!!

Now, to the meat. Ethan and I are going to try cloth diapering. No commitments, but we're going to give it our best.

We considered using the compostable disposable kind that are still better for the environment because of how they are made. However, as our wise friend PJ pointed out, nothing breaks down in a plastic bag in a landfill, even a banana peel. So if we want to eliminate waste, we either have to buy an acre's worth of land for a giant compost pile or hang Carver out the window while he poops. Some people tell us babies will use about 10 diapers a day. After 10 days, that would be 100 diapers. Imagine what your back yard would look like after a month of diapers. This is the image that is encouraging me to try cloth.

Cloth diapers are making a comeback. So much so that there was even an article about it in Parenting magazine. They've come up with some pretty nifty ones. We are going to try bum genius. I don't know if this is the best brand, but its the brand we could register for at Target. Most Target stores don't carry them, but does. I'm not sure about all the details, but I'm trying to figure out how it will work so I can plan ahead a little. If you are interested in some fun facts, try this lady's website. She talks about some interesting things like how you shouldn't rinse your diapers in the toilet, use a wet pail or buy expensive detergent. If you want to read my husband's take on it, read his blog.

Like I said, we are just going to try. We may end up doing some combo of disposable and cloth, we may give up on cloth completely. We may do this for one kid, but not Carver's future brothers and sisters. Who knows? Also, I want to add that in no way do I judge anyone who uses disposable diapers. There are a lot of things we could change about our lives to help the environment and I just hope we all do what we can.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gators Bout To Beat Some Gamecocks

According to My Pregnancy Week by Week, Carver is now 4lbs and 19 inches! Way to go big guy.

Also, thanks to my graphically savvy husband, my Etsy page is well on its way. I just want to make one last project before I open up shop. More to come soon!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I officially have less than 2 months until my due date and I officially can't sleep. Poor Ethan is sick. Thankfully, he can sleep. He's lying in bed, grinding his teeth and mumbling. Not that he's the one keeping me up. Its my ideas. I always get ideas at night. I'm making lists of supplies to get at Michael's while Carver kicks Ethan in the back thanks to my strategic spoonery. I think I'll make you suffer along with me by sharing my ideas.

Craft ideas:
Felt advent calendar
Wooden names/signs
Fabric necklaces
Fleece-covered baby photo albums

Blog ideas:
Baby shower
Cloth diapers
Childbirth class

Christmas ideas:
Vera Bradley lunch bag (do I even need this if I'm not taking my lunch to work anymore?)
Cute warm shoes (so I don't have to wear socks with Crocs like I make fun of E for)

Baby ideas:

Can't wait to...
Make eye contact with him for the first time
Smell him after a bath
Take him on errands
Meet other moms out for lunch (does this really happen or am I just dreaming?)
Pick out his clothes
See what he looks like

Things I'll miss...
Road trips with Natalie, Dan and Tug
Having 2 free arms
Quiet nights with Ethan (do we even get those now?)

I think I'll cut my losses.
Goodnight! (hopefully)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I'm on a little breakski from the research job. The people running the study in Tallahassee will take our results and analyze them and we'll go back to the schools twice before the year is over to do more testing. I'm pretty glad. I was ready for the change. Plus, now I get to spend the end of the semester (and work as I know it) at Idylwild, with the kids I love.

This week I was a substitute in both a 2nd and 3rd grade class. I think if I were to teach I would want to do one of these grades. The kids are so fun, can hold real conversations, and for the most part don't have too much attitude yet.

I decided to incorporate my mad Cha-Cha Slide skills into the classroom. When they get too noisy or I want to give instructions I say "Freeze! Everybody clap your hands..." If you've never heard this updated version of the electric slide, that's a line from the end of the song. Without any prompting whatsoever, every single one of the students in class knew exactly what I was singing, stopped what they were doing and clapped. I'm pretty sure they were amazed that their teacher knew that song. I wonder what would happen if I started singing Chris Brown. I would like to think I am the first genius to use this tool in the classroom, but I'm probably not, so Beth Ann and all my other teacher friends, feel free to use at your own discression. You might have some little girls get carried away singing and dancing to the line, "hands on your knees, hands on your knees."

I also love kids at this age because they still say some crazy stuff. One 3rd grade girl told me I was too young to be married. Then she asked me how old I actually was. When I told her I'm 24, she said "That's how old my mom is!" She's 8. And her mom is married.
Yesterday an old tutee of mine was in my 2nd grade class. She was so proud of herself that she knew all her spelling words. She showed me how she could even spell them outloud with her eyes closed! Hahaha.
Later she asked me how I "got that shirt on even though I'm going to have a baby?" I told her that they make special clothes for people that are going to have a baby. She does have a good point, though. Some of my maternity clothes are already getting too small. Sigh...

As this semester comes to an end, I'm wondering what my work life as a mom will look like (besides looking like a cute cloth diaper with not-so-cute poop in it). Should I try to make a little extra income while staying home with Carver? I could nanny other people's kids (probably kid, singularly) at our place. I could try and make/sell some kind of craft or service. FCRR said I could work as many or as few days with them as I want. This might work out if Ethan's office switches to 4 ten hour days like he thinks they will. I just don't want to pay for child care to make money to pay for child care. Nor do I want to leave my little one in day care.
And for the long term, should I focus on a career in teaching so I have the same schedule as my kids or take 1 year at Santa Fe CC and become an ultrasound tech?

If you have any words of wisdom or want to pay me for my many talents and skills, let me know.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

1 Vote for Pumpkin Pie

Ethan and I went to vote together before work. I felt so American standing in line with all kinds of people, us in our work clothes (E with an espresso in hand), students in their sweatpants, peeps in scrubs. For some reason the "S" line took forever, so I was late to work, but oh well, free Ben & Jerry's with my "I Voted" sticker later! Voting makes me feel so accomplished, but then I get sad thinking that just one vote from someone voting the other way (who probably doesn't care as much as I do) cancels mine out. I guess that's also American.

I'm about to scoot to my after school job, but I would love to share a few precious moments from this job with you:
Last Friday after sign language club all the kids and I had a dance party to whatever High School Musical song comes on after Breaking Free. I think this is my calling.
Yesterday this very energetic girl lisp-fully told me that she "would be so excited to be my daughter!" because I'm "having a baby!!!" Ok, that one doesn't really seem as cute or funny if you can't hear my impression, but for L.C. Leary, it was Emma.
Also yesterday one of the tiniest kindergartners ran up to tell me a story he had waited all weekend to share, "Mrs. Valerie, one time we got stuck in traffic!"
And finally, the very tiniest kindergartner came to keep me company during the final hour of free play. As we were hanging out I asked him when he turned 5. He simply said, "on my birthday."

Alright, I have to go find out what after school has in store for me today. I think I'm going to make a pumpkin pie tonight. Mmm.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fall Fun

The new to us stroller

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Ethan surprised me Wednesday night with a trip to the pumpkin patch!

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House of Kee gave us the idea to paint our pumpkins

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Young Life Hoe Down (E is dressed in character as he was entertainment for the night)

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The Allens

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