Tuesday, May 31, 2011

20 weeks (half way!)

20 weeks

I really, really can't believe that this pregnancy is half way over! In the beginning, I felt like the days were dragging by. Now, I just want things to slow down a little bit because when I think about all the things I'd like to happen between now and the little one's arrival, I start to get the shakes.

Also, how do you take care of a baby anyway? Yikes. Just keeping it real.

So what's going on with our boy? There's not much to report except that he's the size of a banana and he's learning how to swallow. And he moves a lot, especially when I first start a meal and when I start to settle down for the evening. I think that might be my most favorite thing right now. A few times this week, I've actually felt him from the outside of my belly, which made me smile. I tried to get Andrew to feel, but he can't tell the difference between a muscle twitch and baby kicks. Hopefully, in a few weeks it'll be easier for him to notice.

In other baby news, we're working hard to get the nursery cleaned out. What is now the office will become the guest bedroom and what's now the guest bedroom will become the nursery. So we have a lot to do to get all of that ready, but it's fun. I like to stand in that room and think about our boy being in there in a few months.

It's so crazy and surreal, but it's happy. So happy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

a weekend in nc: one wedding and some skydiving

I've had pictures ready to share of last weekend's adventures for a few days, but all the baby stuff distracted me a bit. Who can blame me?

So. Last weekend, we headed back to NC where I got to be part of my sweet, sweet friend's wedding. Kristi Lee, known as KL, is one of the dearest friends that I have. I could go on and on about how much I love her, but you'll just have to take my word for it: she's great.

Seeing her get married would have been worth the trip alone, but an added bonus was seeing all of our besties from UNC. We're all scattered these days and between jobs, med school, law school, etc. we hardly see each other. Our table was like a great big class reunion with lots of catching up and lots of laughing.


And they had a photo booth, which was a huge hit. Don't ask me what's going on with Andrew's eyebrows, because neither of us can explain...

Photo Booth pic from KL Wedding

Then, before we left town on Sunday, we got to see my dad do this:

I did not take this picture, but his personal photographer for the event did. Pretty cool, huh?

We all chipped in this past Christmas and got my dad a gift certificate to go skydiving, something he's talked about doing for years. I had no idea how much I would enjoy watching the whole process, but it was so.much.fun.


So much fun, in fact, that I want to go myself. But only when I'm not with child. Of course.


As my mom and I were walking up to my dad after he landed, I told her that he would probably want to jump again. And again and again and again. No more than three seconds later, we heard my dad: "I'm doing that again!"


So priceless.

Weddings and skydiving. That's not how you spend your weekends?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

oh boy

Picnik collage

1. Gingham Romper from Carter's 2. Bumble Bee Sleeper from Children's Place 3. UNC Overalls from Baby Fans 4. Brown Crocheted Booties from Etsy

It's a boy!

We had the ultrasound yesterday morning and we are so, so thrilled. I don't think either of us were really hoping for one or the other, but now we keep saying how perfect this feels. It's like it's what we didn't know we wanted. We would probably feel the same way if it was a girl, but who knows. One thing's for sure, we can officially say that the Castrodale name lives on!

The whole experience was really unbelievable. I didn't realize how much they would be able to see on the ultrasound. The ultrasound tech measured him and checked to make sure that all of his major organs were there and functioning properly. She made sure that he doesn't have a cleft lip or a club foot. And then she checked his "area" and confirmed that he is, indeed, a boy.

Yes, little boy, I sure did just put a picture of your goods on the interwebs for all to see. But I'm your mom and I do what I want.

When she got to this part, she asked if we knew what it was. Andrew said, "Is it a boy?" and when she nodded her head with a smile, he just squeezed my hand and said "wow" about five times in a row. In that one moment, I felt more like a mom, more like this baby thing is really happening, than I have the whole time I've been pregnant. There was so much joy.

From what she could see, he looks good and healthy. He's measuring a little above average in weight and femur length and will likely be a good-sized baby. Shocking, right? His parents are 5'10 and 6'3 and the rest of his family are giants (except for a few anomalies and the shorties who married into the family...love you, Mir!)

He was actually sleeping when she started the ultrasound and she had to poke at my stomach to wake him up and get him to move around. So crazy. Then when we were wrapping up, we saw him yawn. I died. All I could see was this black and white fuzziness and the shape of his lips (which are kind of big, thanks to his dad) but I fell completely in love with that boy. Our boy. Our son.


We can't wait to meet you, little guy.

Monday, May 23, 2011

19 weeks

19 weeks

There we are at 19 weeks! We were fresh off I-95 from a trip to NC, feeling like you do when you've been in the car for 5 hours. But the bump is cute, eh?

So what's new this week?
  • The little one's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that he/she may be able to hear my voice, so maybe I should start imparting wisdom now :)
  • The tomato-sized bebe weighs about 8.5 oz and measures 6 inches, head to bottom
  • The arms and legs are proportional to each other and the rest of the body (always a good sign)
  • Hair is growing on that sweet little head (which I can't wait to sniff, by the way)
  • I think this is cool: there's a waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on the skin to keep the baby from pickling. No pruny kiddos for us!
As for the mama and the papa, we're settling in with a new routine this week. Andrew's been given a stash job until school starts in July, so he's gone during the day. We're mapping out a to-do list for evenings and weekends (which is growing by the minute) and trying to make the most of our time together this summer. There's a lot to be excited about!

Things I love: milk, the maternity shorts I just got in the mail, bacon, air conditioning, hush puppies and the fact that about 40 hours from now, we'll know whether we've got a boy or a girl cooking in there.
Things I don't love: eggs (although I think the gag-reflex is fading), the 95 degree weather, Rudy's bad breath and the fact that I can't have a glass of red wine. Or two.

Also, I can feel the baby moving all throughout the day and I love it. He/she apparently likes to party it up around 10pm. If this is a sign of things to come, we're in trouble.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

18 (almost 19) weeks

I'm not doing so well with sharing the updates on time. Somewhere between taking the picture and writing the post, I get distracted by food and walks around the neighborhood and my husband, who is gracing us with his presence again. I'll try to do better.


Here I am at 17 weeks (which I skipped altogether) and 18 weeks. The first one was taken when I was in Black Mountain for Mothers Day and the second was taken the day before my honey came home. Both were good days.

photo 2 photo 1

Let me tell you something. Between last Friday (the white shirt pic) and now, I feel as if I'm expanding by the minute. And I'm sure it's only going to get worse. All I know is that elastic is my friend. The end.

He/she is about the size of a bell pepper now (weighing in at around 7oz) and I'm feeling movement! That's been really incredible. I'm still feeling great - I'm getting less and less tired, although I still try to rest when I can. And the headaches aren't a problem anymore. I find that I get winded more easily, but I've started doing better about exercise just so that I'm building endurance/flexibility however I can.

My appetite? Unbelievable. So far, I've gained about 5 lbs. Last night, Andrew and I were eating dinner and we were talking about a friend of his who is pretty serious about a girl and is considering marriage. I told him that I'm a fan of marriage. His response?

"I like marriage, too. But I like it a lot better when my wife doesn't eat all of her food."

Poor guy. He's used to getting whatever I don't finish, but there hasn't been a lot of that these days. He was watching every bite thinking, maybe now she's done. Nope. Definitely not done. Ever.

And next week is the big appointment! It looks like you all are leaning more towards boy. I honestly don't have a clue, so I think I'll be surprised either way. Only one more week! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

50 years of good

This post isn't about the baby at 18 weeks or the weekend I just had with some of my favorite ladies in the family or the fact that my husband is (finally) home. All of that will come later - after I tell you that my mother is 50 today. And in my opinion, is pretty fabulous, too.

Don't mind our Charleston hair. Humidity wins every time, you know know what I mean?

I'm so, so thankful that she's mine. I told you that here. If you know her, you know how wonderful she is.

Ready to serve.
Ready to laugh.
So tender-hearted.
So great.

She's been amazing throughout this pregnancy. She's been quietly excited, in the way that makes her tear up when she thinks about the baby or being called Nana. She's offered the advice I want/need, not the kind that makes me feel inadequate. She's already thinking of ways to come to my rescue when the baby is born. And I'm already making sure that her room ready :)

I pray, pray, pray that if I have a daughter, we have the kind of relationship that I've had with her. It's been such a blessing, even on the days when I couldn't see through the mother-daughter yuck to see the good.

And my biggest prayer? That she feels loved, feels respected and sees herself the way we all do.

Happy Birthday, Mama. I love you to the moon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

how i became a mrs. (part 9)

I'm embarrassed by how long it's been. Forgive me, I've been in baby mode these days. Click here to catch up (start from the bottom!)

By the time Christmas of 2006 rolled around, just nine months after we started dating, we both knew that we wanted to seal the deal with a little bling. Or to be more mushy-gushy, we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Our parents had pretty much known from the beginning that our relationship was pretty serious, so I think they saw it coming. Our friends saw it too. And they were all so supportive.

Here are the things we'd discussed:
  • We wouldn't get married until I had graduated
  • I wanted to enjoy the engagement with my friends (i.e. preferably not during the summer, when everyone was scattered)
  • I had no, no, no preference on the ring, nor did I want to be involved in picking it out
And so there we were. I wasn't one of those omg-put-a-ring-on-my-finger girls. I wasn't impatient. I didn't care how it happened. I just wanted to marry that boy. Andrew was on a ring hunt - that I knew - but I didn't know anything else.

Except that he is a quality freak. So I knew that he was considering Tiffany rings among his options. Now listen, I don't know why I feel the need to justify that, but I do...

We are not brand name snobs. Me especially. You could hand me a cubic zirconia from Walmart and I would ooh and aah over it like it was the most beautiful ring ever. I was looking forward to the engagement part, not the ring part. And that is the honest-to-goodness (I'm not just trying to make myself look good) truth. And Andrew will spend whatever it takes to get something that is high-quality. And so after extensive (read: obsessive) research, he included Tiffany on his short list.

Fast forward to February. Andrew told me that he wanted me to join him on a certain Saturday for a trip to Tiffany. And that as a salesy push, they were going to serve us breakfast. Page? She went into I-don't-know-the-plan mode.

Why do I need to go with you?
But I don't want to pick out the ring.
I don't even want to look at rings.
What are we doing there?
Why are they serving us breakfast?
How do you eat breakfast at a jewelry store?
Why do I need to go with you?
Andrew, God bless his soul, just told me to trust him.

And I did! You guys. I was so stinkin' naive. Anyone reading this would totally know what's about to happen. But I was clueless. The thought never entered my mind. I still think the Lord did it that way for my enjoyment. He's good like that.

So we head to Tiffany bright and early on Saturday. They lead us to a private room, with a table set for two. Roses. Danishes. Fine china. Andrew was freaking out because he'd asked for subtle. I was still completely clueless.

The whole time we were eating, I wouldn't speak above a whisper. I felt so weird and uncomfortable. I didn't want to break their china. I didn't know why they were serving us this strange, fancy breakfast. I knew we were on camera and I didn't want to do anything wrong. We were at Tiffany after all. I didn't even know if I was dressed appropriately for the occasion.

Andrew and Paige's engagement (12)

After a while, Andrew started to get to work.

"So, you don't want to pick out the ring?"
"You don't want to know anything about it?"
He smiles, reaches down and places a blue ring box on the table.
"Will this one do?"
Crickets. Gaping mouth.
"It's a ring, Page. Open it. Will you marry me?"

I snapped back to reality and shakily opened the box. I put the amazingly beautiful ring on my finger and still couldn't say a word. His response? "Can I at least get a hug?"

He's a man of few words, that one. I didn't need the mushy-gushy. He'd told me a million times exactly how he felt about me. That, I never doubted.


I was still regaining consciousness when he told me to open the door. And on the other side stood my four best friends, which honestly made the whole engagement perfect. He knew how important it was to enjoy that moment with them and he delivered. Love.

Andrew and Paige's engagement (3)

After a lot of phone calls and news that we'd be meeting our family for dinner (orchestrated by Andrew, since our parents hadn't met yet) and driving around Chapel Hill to share the news with anyone who would listen, I sat and stared at my ring for hours.


Not really, but I didn't really know how to end that sentence.

But I was really, really excited. And so giddy. And happy. And giddy. It was a perfect day and such a sweet way to be betrothed. We ended it with a fabulous dinner at Top of the Hill, where our families met and I got to show off/gush about my ring. Like I said, perfect.

And we lived happily ever after....

12-20-2007 11;51;06 PM


A few random things that I should mention:
  • One day before we were engaged, Andrew asked me to show him one ring that I loved. He promised not to let it influence his decision. He had also already picked out a ring. Risky, eh? And guess which one I picked? The exact.same.one that he did. Great minds, I know.
  • The morning of the engagement, I had a wardrobe crisis. So I borrowed a shirt from my roommate without asking. She was out of town and it was early - I didn't have time to ask! That roommate? She was there when I came out of the breakfast room. Surprise! I'm engaged! And I'm wearing your shirt!
  • Apparently, the sales clerk paged "The Castrodale Party" (aka the BFFs, who were supposed to be hiding in another room of the store) as Andrew and I were walking up. Andrew heard it, but I sure didn't. Close call.
And PS, don't worry. I'll be back with a wedding post :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

pink or blue?

Picnik collage

Some of you have already noticed, but I added a little poll over on the righthand side of the blog, for you to share your thoughts on whether the little one will be wearing pink (or purple) or blue (or green). You have about three weeks left to guess, so get to clickin'!
Those adorable hats are on Etsy, found here and here. If ever you should wonder what sorts of things I'm digging for the baby or might like for, say, my birthday (which is next month) you can check out my favorites on my Etsy page, here. Just sayin'...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

16 (and three-quarters) weeks!

The picture is up to date, but the post is not. Oh well.

Also? Holy dark circles, batman. Don't say you weren't warned. I work from home, my husband is gone and I only leave the house for errands and church. I just feel good about myself for showering.


Now for the stats (all via babycenter.com):
  • The little one is about the size of an avocado, weighing in at about 3.5oz
  • Apparently, he'll double in size over the few weeks. I plan on using that as an excuse for not doing the dishes, just so you know. Growing a human is taxing.
  • His legs are much more developed and his head is more upright.
  • His eyes have moved closer to the front of his head and his ears are close to their final position, too. Yay for not looking like a fish!
  • The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet.
  • He's started growing toenails. Cute little baby toenails!
  • And his insides are kicking into gear as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day. Good job, little.

As for me? I still feel pretty good. The headaches come and go, but that's honestly my biggest complaint. I take advantage of opportunities to rest, so I don't feel terribly tired all the time. And in general, I just feel good. My clothes are starting to become more and more uncomfortable. I have one pair of jeans that still fit and I pretty much wear them every day. If it's not stretchy or flowy, I won't put it on. Good motto, eh?

I went shopping on Friday night to try and remedy the wardrobe issue and ended up with several great tops that aren't maternity, but can house my growing belly. They'll also be good for the post-baby bump and then I can just wear them because they're cute. Score. I must confess that I did get one pair of maternity denim capri pants from Target (on clearance!) and I'm obsessed with the stretchy band. I may or may not wear them forever, pregnant or not.

Monday, May 2, 2011

my thoughts on that thing everyone is talking about

I was going to post a baby update, with my cute bump and stats on how the little one is as big as an avocado. But I think that will wait, because I have too many other thoughts and emotions swirling around to not get them out.

But at the same time, you think: should I talk about it? Osama Bin Laden has been declared dead and everyone is sharing their opinion. Making jokes and quoting bible verses about praying for your enemy. Does what I have to say even make sense?

Probably not, but getting it out of me could do some good, right?

I was watching the news last night when the story broke. First, there was buzz about the President making an impromptu statement. Then, buzz that Bin Laden was dead. An hour later, Obama came on to confirm what the world had been celebrating already. And I cried.

I was 15 years old when the 9/11 attacks happened. I was sitting in my biology class when the principal came in and whispered to our teacher to turn on the news. We watched it for the rest of the day and I just remember that it didn't make sense. I didn't understand what the World Trade Center was. I didn't understand why terrorists had intentionally flown into the buildings. I didn't understand what was happening. The adults in my life were sad and scared and somber, but I didn't get it. It didn't make sense to me.

But the thing that made me so emotional last night is the realization that all I remember about our country and our goverment is that we've been at war. For the last ten years, the images have become so commonplace. It's on the news every night because it's been our life for the last decade. And it's all I remember.

When Andrew and I went to NYC for Christmas this past year, we visited the 9/11 Tribute Center. It was one of the most incredible things I've experienced. I walked through the small building, looking at pictures and reading quotes and seeing pieces of the wreckage, with tears just pouring down, because for the first time in my life I was feeling what most adults felt on the day the attack happened. It made sense now. I realized how much we all lost that day.

I read an article this morning that the death of Bin Laden is a "psychological triumph" for Americans. His death doesn't mean that all of the troops can now rush home and we can declare this war over. It certainly doesn't make us any safer, does it? But I have to believe that with the justice that happened yesterday, things can maybe start to change for the better. Maybe? Hope?

So there's that.

And then the other thing that I'm feeling, is confusion over the celebration. I wouldn't consider myself a make-love-not-war kind of girl. I think war, unfortunately, is necessary at times. And (don't judge) but I also agree with what my dad says when he watches the movie Open Range: some people just need killin'. But I can't believe that God is delighting in the fact that he is now permanently separated from one of his children. I just can't think that he's cheering about that outcome. I heard someone say that the only difference between Paul and Bin Laden is the conversion. Truth, right?

And then bundled up in all of that are thoughts of this sweet child that I'm carrying. How do you protect them from the hatred out there, without shielding from the truth so much that they're naive? How do you teach them love, without misleading them to think that the world is good? Because it kind of isn't.

It's heavy stuff, people.

But that's where I'm at.
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