Monday, October 31, 2011

No! Please No!!!!

Okay, bear with me here. I know there are lots of scary things about being pregnant/delivering a baby/parenting an infant, such as:

  • Registering (I have no idea what half of this stuff is)
  • Stretch marks
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Heartburn, constipation, headaches, nausea...
  • Contractions
  • Pushing a baby out of my body
  • Not being able to push a baby out of my body and having it surgically removed
  • Recovering
  • Not sleeping
  • Paying for a baby
But can I tell you something? I am not boycotting a c-section, or the lack of sleep, or even the not so enjoyable symptoms I've had so far. You know what I would be willing to pay money to avoid more than anything else?

Chubby face.

I know, I know. This is totally shallow and if in return I get a healthy baby it's worth it (blah blah blah). But seriously, can't a lady not want to have her face look like a giant balloon animal? Is it too much to ask that if everything else on my body is changed forever that at least I don't have to look like I just got my wisdom teeth removed for the last few months of pregnancy?

I know this is unavoidable, and if it happens, it happens; I'll make due. But still, I'm allowed to not like it, right?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Baby Names...

In less than a week Garland and I will (hopefully) find out if we are having a boy or a girl! Since it will be an early ultrasound (14 wks), it will depend on if Baby A is being cooperative or not... But if any of you read my blog on secret baby names you know that baby names have been a big deal to me for a long time! One thing people don't usually realize when they talk to me about baby names is that because we tried for so long to have a baby we have also had our baby names picked out for a long time. So as soon as we got pregnant people would ask, "So, have you thought of any baby names?" And to their surprise we would tell them, yep, they're already chosen!
Which brings me to my next point, what are the names?! First of all, let me make this observation that people don't like to talk about a lot. It's okay if you don't love my baby names, if you loved them you would have used them. This is a simple idea that seems taboo to many people. Obviously, every person has a different style and taste in names and that's totally okay! However, I should mention that even if someone's baby name needs to grow on you, don't say it out loud, people! Polite discretion is ALWAYS required when it comes to a) baby names, b) wedding dresses, and c) that pesky 10 pounds you put on over Christmas.

So here they are in no certain order:
If it is a boy, we will name him Titus James
Titus: Of the Giants, defender
Titus was also a close companion to Paul, someone that Paul thought of like a beloved son.
James: To take the place of; to replace, to supersede
We chose this name because it is a family name passed down from Garland's dad's side (Garland's first name is James, did you know that?)

If it is a girl, we will name her Hadassah May (Haddie)
Hadassah: Hebrew name for Esther; it means Myrtle Tree and is a symbol for victory
If you have read the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers then you know how lovely the character of Hadassah is. She embodies the biblical ideal of having a gentle and quiet spirit and while I know she is fictional, I still feel as though she would be a great role model for our daughter. 
-Also, it's important to note that while her name would be Hadassah, we plan on calling her Haddie. I love this name!
May: Our due date is May 1st and I wanted a one syllable middle name after such a long first name. Plus Garland said he wanted a "southern belle" so I let him pick. He is so in love with the name Haddie May!

So there you have it! Titus James or Haddie May. What do you think it will be???

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Babymoon: a trip you take before you have a baby (duh).
We were planning to go back to our favorite all-inclusive resort in Cancun next May, but since baby Autry will arrive the month before we scratched that plan. Instead, we decided to take a trip this fall (while I can still travel) to a place we've talked about visiting for a long time... Boston! Turns out the Fosters wanted to visit the New England coast as well, so we combined our trips and went to Boston and then Kennebunkport, Maine, where we relaxed in the beautiful little seaside town for a couple days. Needless to say, my inability to participate in the pub activities and my absolute hatred for seafood was a slight damper for a trip to the Northeast, but I had a fabulous time nonetheless. Here are a few of my favorite memories!

Day 1, we went to this unbelievably beautiful park while on our way to the shopping district (helloooooo, H&M)
Day 2: We walked the Freedom Trail which took us to all the historic building and locations in downtown Boston. We started at the Old State House which was really beautiful. Right behind this building is where the Boston Massacre took place.
We went to the Old North Church (where the famous "One if by land, two if by sea" signal was sent) and it was beautiful! Each family had their own private pew box. Garland and I took a moment to soak it all in, of course.
 And Simon and Adriane decided to give the hymnal a once over
 Beautiful downtown skyline!
Garland was SO EXCITED to go to Fenway Park where the Boston Red Sox play. It was cold and cloudy and rainy, but what can I say, I like to make my man happy, so I went along :) 
Once we got to Maine, Adriane got straight to business! The seafood portion of the trip was lost on me as I absolutely hate seafood. Everyone else enjoyed it though! (I got chicken fingers...) 
It started to rain so I had to pull out my umbrella, but the pics actually turned out pretty cute with it in them! 
 Harbor in Ogunquit
Our B&B in Kennebunkport, Maine: The Maine Stay. This place was really incredible! The owners booked all our reservations and had an incredible breakfast in the morning. 
This is George Bush Sr.'s house in Kennebunkport! He was actually born and raised there and now has this home for his retirement. He and Barbara spend their summers there and they were in town while we were there! Too bad we didn't have a sighting :(
On the beach in Kennebunkport 
 Onto sunnier skies! By the time we were driving back to Boston the rain had cleared out and we took a beautiful hike up the beach in Ogunquit.
Last but not least, we had to stop and soak up some brain power at the Harvard campus. It really, truly is a beautiful campus and the neighborhood it is in, Cambridge, is a great place to hang out and eat!

The End!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Pregnancy Craving: A food that an expectant mother has a heightened sense of urgency to eat while pregnant; it can include but is not limited to: pickles wrapped in cheese, salsa spooned straight from the jar, steak fat, black olives on cheese cake, Cheese Whiz sandwiches, eggplant on pizza.

While I'm not craving anything as crazy as that (yes, those are real cravings by real pregnant women), I have definitely had a few items that I couldn't stop thinking about until I ate them. Here are things I have craved since I have been pregnant (but could also just be things I like to eat, no pregnancy craving necessary):

  • Sbarro pepperoni pizza
  • Macaroni and cheese with hot dog pieces (what the?)
  • Chips and Salsa (until I threw it up one night, then no more cravings for that)
  • Chocolate shakes
  • PB&J sandwhich
  • Anything with mustard
  • HUGE glasses of milk
I don't know if this is really Baby Autry or if I am just letting myself indulge in random cravings now that I'm pregnant, but either way it's been a strange few weeks. But not to worry, I am working very hard to balance these weird cravings with 3 servings of fruits and 3 servings of veggies a day! 

Evening Sickness

Well, to be truthful, it started as all day sickness. At about 5 weeks exactly I started feeling just a little nauseous from time to time. Then around 6 weeks it became an all day every day occurrence. I tried everything, eating crackers, constantly snacking, drinking sprite, eating non-greasy foods, but nothing was making me feel better.

UNTIL! My friend Adriane told me about an anti-nausea combination that her sister had used with great success. They call it the Unisom/B6 cocktail and it is incredible! Unisom is a pregnancy safe sleep aid (I double checked this with my doctor just to be sure) but it was originally created as an anti-nausea medicine (it makes you so sleepy they sell it as a sleep aid instead). I only take half of a Unisom at night because otherwise I'm a zombie all day, but even half a pill makes me feel tons better!

Which brings me to my evening sickness... I don't know if I really am only getting nauseous in the evenings or if that's just when my Unisom is wearing off (I presume the latter), but typically I feel fine all day until about 6-7pm. Then no matter what I eat or what I do I will feel sick until I go to bed. 

The good news/bad news is: Around 9 1/2 weeks my morning sickness started to subside a little (moved more into sometimes nausea and coupled with B6/Unisom doesn't bother me most days) BUT was replaced by daily headaches! UGH this was BY FAR the worst symptom so far. At least when I was nauseous I could still kind of participate in things, but when I have one of my headaches I can't talk to anyone, watch tv, have any lights on, go anywhere, etc. Luckily, at almost 13 weeks the headaches have started to subside as well.

But here's the thing, I really don't mind. I know that sounds crazy, but after trying for so long to have a baby I'm just happy to be having symptoms! Being nauseous has started to feel like second nature, like I have a disorder that just affects my eating. So I'm counting down the days until my second trimester and hoping I get my energy and appetite back by then!

Monday, October 10, 2011

WWMD? (What Would Mother Do)

A lot of people ask "how did Mother react when she found out you were pregnant?" (Mother is Garland's mom, that's what both of the boys call her) The reason people ask is because mother has been begging us to have babies for a LONG time. So long in fact, that the first time I met his mother we all went out to dinner and she asked what I had eaten that day, stating, "We gotta have a healthy momma for my grandbabies!"
Yes. That happened.

Anyway, so knowing that this reaction could be pretty stellar, we made sure to video tape it. Here's the setup: I was 5 weeks pregnant and so we wrapped up a poppy seed in a bag and wrapped that in a box (note that the first thing she says in the video is, "no announcement?" she is always hoping we are going to tell her we're pregnant, little did she know it was real this time!). When she opened it she was obviously confused, she had no idea what it was. At this point, you'll hear Garland say, "that's a poppy seed, it's the size of your grandchild." Commence the squealing. Also, don't miss the high five between Mother and Garland's step-dad, classic. (P.S. Garland's brother is filming and turns the camera sideways at around 1 minute, so you may want to turn it off at that point, but don't worry, all the good stuff happens before that)

Okay, so round 2. We drove up to Missouri that weekend to tell my mom (we used the same seed in the bag trick) and while I knew she would be excited, I did not realize she would be THIS excited! Oh my, words cannot express how happy this video makes me! (note: mom hugs everyone in the room with the same level of excitement, including Ashley's random friend Holly and my Uncle, who is somewhat hard of hearing so I'm not even sure if he knew what was going on).

Hope you enjoyed being a part of the family festivities!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Faithful and Sovereign God

14 months of perseverance 
+26 doctors visits
+9 rounds of medicine
+420 days of prayer
+10 (non-consecutive) hours of tears
+49 pregnancy tests
+One faithful and sovereign God

We are so blessed, humbled, surprised, overwhelmed, and absolutely excited to announce that God has answered our prayers and our little one is due on May 1st! I am 11 weeks pregnant and counting :)

I am so thankful for all of you who have traveled with us on this journey of faith and I am praying for my sweet friends who are still on their journey. I know that regardless of medicine, doctors, and methods to get pregnant there is only one reason we are able to have a baby, and that is because our sweet Savior is blessing us with one. I opened up about our Struggle to get pregnant on a Monday and I felt such a weight lifted off that I had finally been transparent with the world about my weakness. So it should not have been a surprise that five days later on Saturday, we found out we were pregnant. As soon as I saw the perfect little smiley face that meant positive, I knew the Lord was smiling because his timing was so ironic (but not accidental).

Psalm 30:11-12
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Decorations

Caution: Photo heavy blog entry
Happy fall, y'all! So this year I really wanted to clean out all the clutter in our house and to do that meant getting rid of a lot of my beloved seasonal decorations (sigh). My backup plan, however, was to create a decoration that could be changed seasonally while still being one set of decorations for all the holidays. I'd been saving all of these wine bottles for about a year trying to decide what craft to make with them and finally I landed on the tried and true... spraypaint them and slap them on the mantle! Here is the finished product:

Step 1: Gotta get the labels off. I really hate this part of any project so I let them soak overnight in a bubble bath.
 Step 2: Peel off labels. This was much easier with some bottles than others. I used a combination of steel wool, razor blade, and the classic woman's fingernail maneuver. 
 Step 3: Choose your paint! This was the hardest part for me. My fireplace is white and the mirror that sits on it is gray, but I already have a lot of color in the room via couch/curtains/pillows, so I went to my garage and looked through my leftover cans. The chalkboard spray paint appealed to me because of it's seasonal versatility, so chalkboard it is!
 Step 4: paint those bad boys! Make sure you double check that there are no glass spots left and it's completely covered. Also, I am super impatient so I sprayed fast and ended up with a few drip marks. If you go slower this won't happen!
 Step 5: Get a good friend and write all over the bottles! Our goal is to let students come over and write messages on the bottles when they visit.
(yes, I wrote this, and yes, I have the handwriting of a six year old. it's not my fault, I'm left handed. So what, who cares?!) 
 Step 6: Find your filler! I chose fall colors (hence the seasonal decor theme) and also colors that matched my living room.

 Step 7: Arrange fillers into your jars and place them on the mantle. I hoisted a couple of bottles onto old books to give some height to different areas.

The end!