Saturday, March 29, 2014

Week 32 or "The Sweetest Thing"

 First, you'll have to forgive me: solemnity isn't exactly my thing. I'm usually the bad kid, making a smart ass joke under my breath during the meeting.
This is what happens when I try to be serious.
And I'm the first to point out a spelling error, especially in a big, permanent mural at a Christian college :)

But there is one thing I'm pretty serious about – my wonderful husband. :)
This is the face of a man who is serious about marching band.
I met Russell at the most romantic of venues: The Szechuan Garden chinese restaurant on Chapman Highway. It was an inservice day before the school year began. He was student teaching with our band department. I don't remember much about that meeting, except that South Knox chinese is no bueno.

When I first thought to myself “Huh. This guy is kind of cool” was in the band room at school. We were all eating lunch and Russell commented that he loved to bake. Now, my dad was the chef in our family growing up, so this comment made my ears perk up a little. Also, I love baked goods, naturally.
I love you, pastries.
As I got to know Russell, I realized just how much he had in common with my dad. They're both serious when it's important but also know how to have fun. They both cook. They're both musicians. And as I was raised by one of the finest men on the planet, seeing these qualities in Russell made me pretty curious about him.

Long story short, we started dating the following New Year's Eve, through a chance meeting at a local bar where we were seeing the same band play. A couple drinks, a couple bluegrass songs, and we were inseperable. We dated for a year and a half before getting engaged during a trivia game at Mellow Mushroom.

Beer taps: the perfect background for your proposal picture

A year later, under a big, beautiful tree in the country, we were married. This June will mark 4 years of what I can honestly call wedded bliss.

Russell isn't just a nice guy. He's the nicest. He is honest, to a fault. Once, his car got broken into during a very unfortunate 2 day lapse in our insurance. I basically begged him to tell the insurance adjustor it happened before our coverage ran out, but he wouldn't do it. Another time, a furniture store undercharged us by a few hundred dollars for our, already very expensive, couch. I was like, “Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me”. Russell turned around, walked back in the store, and told the clerk what had happened. He didn't want someone to lose their job over a mistake. Like I said, he's irritatingly honest. :)

He's an incredibly hard worker, especially as a teacher. When something goes wrong at school, he hems and haws all evening. He goes in early, every day, to give extra help to his middle schoolers. He would never miss a high school football game or a band competition, even though he doesn't receive a stipend for either. He even took a class last summer on drill writing and then wrote his own band's drill. He didn't ask for a dime for it, telling me “It will save our program a lot of money if we don't have to pay someone else to do this.”

On the roof, workin' hard.
He's easy going and low drama. I've never heard him raise his voice in anger. We've had about 3 “fights”, the longest lasting maybe half an hour. He “handles” me -all my super fun, controlling, crazy, emotional tendencies – with care. This is cliché, but he actually makes me a better person. I think he's hilarious. I genuinely love spending time with him and miss him when we're apart.

He is my greatest gift and I am totally undeserving.

The other day, Russell turned to me in the car and asked me if I thought he'd be a good father. I could barely get the right words out fast enough. I don't think he'll be a good father. I know he'll be a great father. I know this because I have a great father, so I know what one looks like and he's it.

And lastly, I know that some of my former students and church kids read this blog, so I want to take the opportunity to say this to you, girls especially: I met Russell when I was 27, which is basically the age you are deemed a crazy old maid in the south. Oh, and I had 2 cats, so that didn't help. Before him, I had a handful of serious relationships, but none of them panned out. I remember telling God, many, many times, that I was ready to meet my husband. Begging Him to go ahead and send the guy. I felt like I'd waited forever and I couldn't do it anymore. I wondered if God really knew how much I wanted to be married, or if this whole “May He grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans” line was full of crap. :)

Russell is 4 years younger than me. If I'd met him when I was, say, 22, he would have been 18. I probably won't have given him a second look.

If I'd met him when I was 25, he would have just turned 21. A 21 year old frat boy. Not what I thought I wanted in a husband.

In the end, God knew exactly when we should meet. He was always in charge. And honestly, knowing now how wonderful it is to be married to the right man, I would have waited until I was 77. The right guy (or girl) is out there and, dang it, they are SO worth waiting for. So, be patient and don't settle. It's all gonna work out. :)
Also, he's an award winning wing chef. And very excited about it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Warning: any baby posts might involve some unappetizing talk including, but not limited to: my lady parts, peeing, and the word “fetus”. Proceed with caution.

Pretty sure that's how the fancy bloggers announce when a project is over: they have THE BIG REVEAL!!! And since, like, 11 people read my blog ('Sup mom!), I consider myself fancy now.

If you'll remember, last time we spoke about the nursery, it was basically 4 painted walls and a re-finished floor. We were waiting on the crib to arrive, searching for a dresser, and having a glider refinished.

Well, all of those things have happened and now Baby McCurdy officially has the nicest room in the house. Here is the “final” result:

My parents bought the crib for us. It's a Jenny Lind crib, from I love it so much :) Originally, I wanted to paint it some crazy color, but when it arrived, the white was so pretty with our newly painted white trim, and I just couldn't do it. The blanket in the picture was made by my super talented Aunt Cindy and I made the bedskirt out of a vintage sheet.

Mom and I took a day trip to IKEA in Atlanta to pick up the Expedit bookcase. I was a little worried it would look too modern in our old house, but in the end its functionality won me over. Russell put it together and anchored it to the wall so our Hulk-Baby can't tip it over. He also ventured in the south Knoxville Walmart to get those bins on the bottom row, which won him BIG points from me. Peeking out of the bottom right corner is this lil lady: 

My friend Jen MADE this amazing stuffed Aardvark! I have the most talented friends. She even has a tutu and is 100000000% cuter than any stuffed Aardvark found on the interwebs.

The dresser came from one of my favorite local antique stores: Nostalgia. I'd actually seen it a few weeks prior, but it was part of a set and out of my price range. On a whim, I stopped in again and ran into the owner of the booth. Turns out, she had bought it for her granddaughters nursery only to find out her grand “daughter” was going to be a boy! So, she stuck it in her booth. I rubbed my belly a lot and looked tired and she sweetly let me buy just this piece! Here's a (crappy) before picture:

We painted the dresser “Ballet Slipper Pink”. It is the only pink furniture in my house and it kinda freaked me out for a minute. I'm just not a very girly-girl and this seemed like the epitome of girly. But once it was done and in the room, I LOVE IT :) We also replaced the french provincial drawer pulls with some shiny brass library card catalog pulls.

And lastly, the glider and ottoman were a thrift store find 2 full years before we even attempted to get pregnant. What can I say, I see a deal, I take advantage. They were $30, which is a total steal. They were also the color of Barney the dinosaur. Here's the before:
Complete with stains.
After much hemming and hawing, I decided to have them recovered in a bright apple green with piping made from our curtain fabric. The upholstery was done by Knox Upholstery, whom I highly recommend – quick turnover, fair pricing, and fabulous work! The side table was a Craigslist find which Russell drove all the way to Morristown to pick up.

And here are just a couple more gratuitous nursery shots

You will never guess what's in this drawer.

A roaring fire, PSYCH! It's a felt board :) The artwork above the fireplace came from a yard sale
Walmart owl lamp, sprayed blue

Soooo many little girl clothes

So, the nursery is officially done! All it needs is a baby!


Baby is the size of a(n): head of cabbage. This stat gets worse and worse every week.

How I'm feeling: Pretty good. Decorating the nursery is definitely a perk of pregnancy :)

How much weight have I gained: 30 pounds. Remind me why I put this stat on here?

Cravings: I'm on a real citrus kick lately – especially Lemon Oreos. Oh, sweet Jesus. If you haven't tried them yet, stop reading. Get up. Get your keys. Go to Target. They are AMAZING.

How Russell's doing: These last couple weeks have meant a lot of “assembly” tasks for Russell, which luckily he is very good at! I think it makes him feel more involved, which is sweet.
Look at that focus!
Putting together the crib

Tasks I've had to avoid because I'm pregnant: Well, spray painting the dresser was difficult. I wore a mask, but bending at the waist for a couple hours is not so easy. Also, all of this lovely furniture in the nursery had to be put there by a combination of sweet friends and neighbors :) Thank you!!!

Best part of being pregnant this week: Finally finding the right pieces for the nursery and getting them in place!

Worst part of being pregnant this week: Not being able to help lift things!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 28 or "The Crying Game"

Warning: any baby posts might involve some unappetizing talk including, but not limited to: my lady parts, peeing, and the word “fetus”. Proceed with caution.

One not-so-fun side effect of pregnancy is your hormones are completely out of whack. I am grumpy, like, 90% of the time. The other 10%, I'm crying. And not necessarily for normal reasons.

Things that have made me cry recently:
  1. The movie “My Girl”. Granted, this would make non-pregnant me cry too, but it turned pregnant-me into a sobbing, snotty disaster, for at least 45 minutes after it was over.

  2. Any episode of Sister Wives. I don't know why, but I am seriously concerned with those Wives!! I mean, Meri's about to be an empty nester and is Jenelle really getting enough help with those kids?? And Cody's hair. C'mon. IT'S ALL JUST VERY UPSETTING. 

  3. The other day, I saw a stuffed bunny on the interstate. Ruined me. Just thinking of it now, I could sob.

  4. Thinking about being pregnant for 12 more weeks.

  5. Thinking about having an infant in 12 more weeks.

  6. Let's not even speak of those Sarah-McLachlan-sad-one-eyed-dog-in-a-cage commercials. 

  7. The song “Happiness” from “You're a good man, Charlie Brown”. The pathetic / strange part is the lyric that makes me choke up: “Happiness is two kinds of ice cream”. I don't know why. Apparantly, more than 1 type of ice cream is just too much for me, metaphorically. In reality, 2 kinds of ice cream is still 1 kind away from a really killer sundae. 

  8. The furniture arrangement of our office, which I've decided I hate. So, I had Russell help me move it all. And I hated it even more, if possible. Cue crying. Also, re: “Russell's nomination for sainthood”, as he just made me go lie down while he moved all the furniture. Again. 

  9.  The song that plays while the credits roll at the end of Ghostbusters 2. You know the one: "Wellll, I guess. we're. gahh-na. have. to. take. con--trollll". I have no explanation for this, but it made me all teary. 

    10.  Walmart. Actually, my initial reaction to having to visit a Walmart is rage, followed shortly by hysterical crying.

Baby is the size of a(n): Eggplant. I'm wondering, why are all of these stats (which I get from an app) fruits or vegetables? Why doesn't it ever say “Baby is the size of a MacBook Pro” or “Baby is the size of your toaster”?

How I'm feeling: Excited, nervous, happy, sad, fat, lazy, over-whelmed, scatter-brained, jittery, and exhausted. All at the same time.

How much weight have I gained: 28 pounds. I finally asked my doctor if this was a bad thing, since most books I've read recommend gaining 15-25. Her exact words: “You're gaining a pound a week. If you end up gaining 40 pounds, I'm okay with it.” Excellent, as that's totally what I'm going to do. Hopefully no more than 40!


How Russell's doing: Oh, poor Russell and his crazy, crying wife. I think he's doing okay, he basically avoids me when I'm sobbing. :)

How the nursery is coming along: Nursery is going well! I ordered the fabric for the curtains and started working on them. It's going slowly, because I'm new to sewing. Also, my parents have offered to buy our crib, so check that off the list. Now, I need to get upholstery fabric for the glider, as well as locate a dresser to refinish. I swear, I'm stalking the Goodwills like a hungry lioness, but to no avail so far. (Update from THE FUTURE - remember, this blog is post-dated. In actual time, I have now found a dresser. I'm only telling you this because everyone I run into since the last post has tried to buy/give/find me a dresser, which I really appreciate, but we found one! Pictures soon!)

Tasks I've had to avoid because I'm pregnant: Running. Kung Fu. Weight lifting. Mixing toxic chemicals. Ice skating. High wire stunts.

Best part of being pregnant this week: Seeing the nursery come together and looking legitimately pregnant, even in my big winter coat. I get a lot of curious looks from little kids, which is too cute :)

Worst part of being pregnant this week: I had my gestational diabetes test this week, which I passed (failed? Not sure which ones the right answer here----I do NOT have GD) with flying colors. But to take it, I got to chug a little bottle of sugary orange syrup at 7:45 AM. Ewww.
Breakfast of champions.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 26, or “Symphysis Pubis Disorder? More like Symphysis.....stupid....disorder.... look, every title can't be a winner.”

Warning: any baby posts might involve some unappetizing talk including, but not limited to: my lady parts, peeing, and the word “fetus”. Proceed with caution.

So, I mentioned in the last post that I've been dealing with this fun little issue called “SPD” or “Symphysis Pubis Disorder”. Basically, around week 16, I started to have a constant pain in my right, well, groin, for lack of a better term. I tell everyone who asks that the pain is in my hip, but really, it's my groin. I just don't want to say groin. Or even type it anymore, ew.

I assumed it was just growing pains or round ligament pain. But, it didn't go away. Actually, it got worse. Walking became really painful, as did little things like climbing in and out of my car, rolling over in bed, and stairs.

I mentioned it to my doctor, who at first dismissed it as normal pregnancy pain, but (at my insistence) later diagnosed me with SPD. Basically, when you're pregnant, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which does just what it sounds like: helps your joints relax, in preparation for birthing something the size of a large fruit. The problem starts when your body produces too much relaxin, too soon, and your joints get a little too relaxed, which causes irritation.

Why doesn't this graphic have a left leg?

Unfortunately, my doc didn't really give me a lot of options for pain management. She told me to take Tylenol, lay on my right side (the side that hurts the most), don't move much, and basically wait it out, as it will (hopefully) resolve completely after the birth. I also invested in a belly band, which is basically a huge piece of elastic that helps hold my baby belly off of my pelvis. I honestly can't tell if it's helping or not- some days, I wear it, and the pain seems better. And some days, I wear it, and the pain is worse.

So, that's the story of my pubic bone. If you see me walking realllllly slow or grimacing on stairs, blame my pubis.


Baby is the size of a(n): Head of lettuce. I find this only slightly more bearable than the canteloupes of last week.

How I'm feeling: Overall, the 2nd trimester has been way easier than the first. I've gotten a lot of my energy back and don't have to go to bed at 4 pm anymore. Of course, the trade off is the SPD, plus all the other fun pregnancy joys, like backaches, constant urination, and swelling. I hear it gets better from here. NOT.

How much weight have I gained: 26 pounds. I gain about a pound a week, which is no problem 'cause I hear it all melts right off from breast feeding. HA.

Cravings: The Cheetos craving returned with a vengeance this week. Also, just salty snacks in general, which is probably not helping with the bloating.....

How Russell's doing: Doing well! This week, we went to a UT Basketball game with a friend from church and he got to fantasize about taking Baby Mc to sports games when she's older. I indulge this fantasy because I love him, but if she's anything like me, she will be totally disinterested in all sport. Point proven in that this game was my first UT Basketball game. Ever. I'm 33, have lived in Knoxville for 30 years, and went to UT for 5 of those.

How the nursery is coming along: The hunt is on for the perfect dresser. Perfect, to me, means cheap, but sturdy. (There's a yo mama joke there and I want credit for not saying it.) Here's my inspiration dresser:

Oh my stars, it's SO BEAUTIFUL. And so elusive! I can't find a dresser like this to save my life.
Well, that's not true – I've found a few of them, but they've all been around $600, which is sooooo not gonna happen. In my dresser fantasies, I find one that someone has put out for the trash despite its pristine condition and solid wood, dove-tailed construction. Sigh....

Tasks I've had to avoid because I'm pregnant: Because of the SPD, I really try to avoid the stairs when I'm home. So, texts like this happen: 

With all the demands, it's no wonder he needs a nap.