August 29, 2011

Hello, Third Trimester!

Last Wednesday I officially crossed over into the third trimester. That used to seem so far away. I remember a few months ago thinking about my to-do list and items that I could hold off on until late August or September. I feel like I blinked and here it is!

While mentally I don't feel like it's possible to be in the final stretch, physically I'm there. I'm already feeling so uncomfortable. Not sleeping through the night is one thing, and I almost feel like I'm fairly used to it. It's the exhaustion and soreness that are taking a toll on me now. After a long day at work or a packed day of getting things done around the house, I'm spent. It's hard for me because I've always been really active. Needing to rest after cleaning the kitchen makes me feel like such a wimp. Thankfully I have a husband who is sweet enough to remind me that a human being is growing inside of me. I just have to remember that my energy now needs to be split between the two of us!

We have finally started a few small projects in our nursery. I can't wait to get the furniture in there! I've been making a few updates on our registries and saw that our crib has been purchased. I also noticed that two of my "Must Have" items from this post have been purchased: the Itzbeen Timer and the Miracle Blanket. I can't wait to open those gifts and give whoever bought them a huge hug. I have the best friends and family! I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy my baby showers! Once the registry is complete, I'll stop peeking. I want a few surprises! 

Here's a sneak peek at the small things we've completed in the nursery:

I turned a Goodwill find into a little girl's desk lamp:



My curtains are finished! A special thanks to my good friend Allison for sewing them for me. I had every intention of sewing them myself, but let's just say that me and a sewing machine don't make the best of friends. Allison is amazingly talented. Not only did she finish my curtains, she made the most adorable little onesie for Crosbi. It's at the top of my list for her "going home" outfit. I absolutely love it!

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know there is a mobile from Etsy that I just love. I decided to try to make one myself, and got started this weekend. I should have it finished very soon.

Etsy mobile:

A peek at my version:

Other than feeling huge (do I really have 2.5 months to go?!) and a tad bit uncomfortable, I'm doing really well. Little girl is rolling around like a gymnast in my belly. Friends tell me that a lot of babies have personalities that are similar to their actions in the womb. If that's the case, Todd and I have a very active little girl on our hands! 

Twelve weeks and counting. I've got this! 

August 20, 2011

Mini Babymoon

Last weekend Todd and I made a little trip to St. Louis to watch a baseball game with his parents. Much to my surprise it became a mini babymoon of sorts and I'm so thankful we were able to fit in the special getaway as I wrap up my second trimester.

We met Todd's parents for lunch at an incredible Italian restaurant in The Hill, Zia's. After lunch we walked over to an adorable local bakery before making our way to an Italian grocery to buy the essentials (olive oil, pasta, tomato sauce, etc.).

After spending some time in The Hill, we made our way to the stadium. Sadly the Cardinals lost, but we had a great time at the game. Hot dogs and cotton candy were consumed, and Crosbi got two cute Cardinals onesies from Grandpa Tim!

The next morning we hit the coolest little diner in the historic Soulard district. The diner was voted the best in St. Louis and it definitely deserves the title. An obvious breakfast joint for the locals, the staff made us feel right at home. 

After breakfast we said goodbye to Todd's parents and enjoyed a little retail therapy. I'm realizing that having a girl is going to be dangerous for our bank account!

We wrapped up the evening at the Taylor Swift concert. Thanks to a good friend, we had incredible seats. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a bit of a Taylor fan anyway, but it really was one of the best live shows I have seen. The production was incredible. I would absolutely see it again!

This weekend I'm taking it easy at home. Todd is in Chicago with his closest friends on a guys' baseball trip, and I'm getting a few projects done for the nursery and fitting in some much needed time with my girlfriends. We officially enter the third trimester next week. I can't believe how fast time is flying by!

August 12, 2011

She Has A Name!

We haven't been too secretive with our little girl's name. Todd and I have been calling her by name for weeks, and we've gladly shared the name with anyone who asks, but we haven't officially announced it. Todd and I never really felt a reason to keep it secret. I did have hesitations in the beginning that if we shared the name and people didn't like it, that I would change my mind. But Todd and I have similar personalities when it comes to criticism - you tell us you don't like the name, it only makes us like it more. That's just how we roll I guess!

Contrary to popular belief, our daughter's name is not Alberta Pujols Stepp. I adore my husband, but even I had to draw the line on that one. She's destined to be a Cardinals fan, and I promised to buy her some St. Louis Cardinals onesies and t-shirts. He was good with that.

Alright, enough waiting. We are thrilled to announce that our daughter's name is...

Crosbi Adelle Stepp

Where did the name come from? Is the answer "I don't know" crazy? Because it's basically the truth. Todd and I had narrowed the name down to two names, Crosbi not being one of them. One night while talking to Todd's mom, she asked if we still liked the name Crosbi. I didn't know what she was talking about, but apparently a few years ago she asked me which baby names I liked and I told her I loved Crosbi for a girl. To this day I don't remember that conversation, and obviously never gave the name another thought, but as soon as I heard it again it felt right. I knew that was my little girl's name and I was so thankful Tracy remembered. 

What does Crosbi mean? Well, in all honesty I was set on the name before ever looking at the meaning. I know many people put a huge emphasis on the meaning of a name, as some believe it prophesies who their child will become. I don't completely agree with that line of thinking, but I was curious. I pulled out a baby name book and Crosbi (which comes from Crosby) means "By the Cross". The definition made me smile. I remember reading it, and praying that our daughter would always remember what was done for her at the cross and that as she lives her life, she would live in a way that would lead others to the cross. That has become my daily prayer for her.

So what about Adelle? Well, Todd and I both really like the singer Adele, but that's not where we got the name. Since I was little my dad always asked that if I had a little girl, that I would name her Ella after his favorite aunt. I never met his Aunt Ella, but her sister Ada, my grandmother was like a second mother to me. I wanted her name to be represented in some way. Trying to figure out how to combine the two, I just said the names together over and over until it clicked. Drop the "A" from both names, and you have Ad + Ell. Or Adelle. I love that these two special women will live on through our daughter's middle name.

So there you have it. We will welcome our little Crosbi Adelle to the world in November and we couldn't be more excited!

I'm ending my 26th week and for the most part I'm feeling good (except for those pesky leg cramps that still come and go.) I just can't believe I'll complete my second trimester this month. Crazy!

Those chubby cheeks keep expanding, but I'm becoming more okay with it. My friend Jenn (who is due four days before me) and I made a promise to each other that I would stop complaining about my face if she'll stop complaining about her thighs. Sounds like a good compromise!

August 8, 2011

A Minor Setback

No baby bump photos today. No photos at all, actually. Today I just want to get my thoughts out. I'll call it therapy.

This weekend was a rough one. I'm so hormonal and emotional that even thinking about it makes me cry, and the reality is that it wasn't all that bad. I absolutely don't want my blog to become a place where I complain, but I do want to be able to look back at the difficult moments and say, "I did that! I survived that!"

Saturday was almost perfect. Todd and I slept in and got a few things done around the house. My friend Bethany gave me two large bags full of little girl clothes that I went through and sorted by size. I was able to fit in a long nap and wrapped up the evening sharing an incredible summer meal with my closest friends. 

Things took a turn for the worse Sunday morning. I woke up screaming at 6:20am. I had one of the most severe cramps in my right leg that I have ever had. I was in so much pain that the details are still a little blurry, but Todd told me later in the day that I was screaming so loud he was sure I had woken the neighbors. Todd was finally able to stretch/massage my leg enough to make the pain go away. If that weren't bad enough, at 8:30am I woke up again. More pain. Left leg. This time I cried more than I screamed. I felt so helpless. I eventually cried myself back to sleep until I woke up about an hour later. When I got out of bed, I could barely walk. My legs were so sore that I couldn't put all my weight on them. 

Hoping that some breakfast would help, I made a bowl of cereal with extra bananas. They say potassium can help with leg cramps. Unfortunately heartburn and indigestion have decided to take a permanent home in my body, which meant my breakfast didn't stay down long. I walked out of the bathroom crying, having just gotten sick, walking on sore legs and sat on the couch by Todd. All I could get out was, "I don't know if I can do this." I was scared to go to sleep last night - worried that I would wake up to more pain. 

My husband is my hero. He massaged my legs throughout the day, loaded me up on Gatorade and encouraged me with his words and his amazing sense of humor. There is absolutely no way I could do this without him.

I'm feeling much better today. During moments like I had yesterday, the fear really starts to creep in. That's why I want to take just a quick minute to thank all of my friends and family who comment on this blog, call, text or e-mail me to tell me that Todd and I will be great parents. You have no idea what those words mean to me. During my hardest days those words carry me. I cherish them and read them or play them in my head over and over. They are gold to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Enough complaining. I did it. I survived another hard day. I'm stronger because of it and I'll do it again for my little girl. I'll do anything for her.

I promise my next post will be more exciting. Baby Stepp officially has a name. Stay tuned!

August 4, 2011

25 Weeks & A Reunion

Last weekend Todd and I drove to Missouri for my my ten year high school reunion. Seriously, where has the time gone? Ten years. I feel old. We had debated whether or not we would go, with the heat and me being nearly six months pregnant, but we decided we should go and I'm so glad we did.

It was really great to step back in time, but to also pick up right where we left off. I don't see my high school girlfriends much at all. Facebook has been a great way to keep in touch, but sadly I can say that periods of a couple years or more would go by without us seeing each other. Even with the distance apart, those girls are my sisters. They still know me as well as if I had never taken a step out of Ozark. 

The week I found out Todd and I were having a girl, I texted my friend Ashley. We hadn't spoken in a few months, but I wanted to fill her in on the news before we announced it publicly. I texted "It's A Girl!" Within minutes she called me back. The first words out of her mouth: "You wanted a boy, didn't you?" Although there was some truth in that, her comment made me laugh. We have known each other since we were five years old and although we had never talked about my preferences when it came to children, she just knew. She spent the rest of the conversation explaining that she initially felt the same way during her first pregnancy and couldn't be more thrilled that she had a little girl first and that I would feel the same way. I already do. I'm head over heels in love with our little girl, but it was so nice to hear her words of encouragement. Todd and I don't have any plans to move back to Missouri in the near future, but should we ever decide to go back, we know we have a group of friends that will warmly welcome us back into the family.

In other baby news, I have become very aware of my new pregnant body. I know that nobody wants to hear a woman complain about the weight she has put on while she's expecting, but lately I have wanted to wear a paper bag over my head when I leave the house. I think half of the nearly 20 pounds I have gained are in my cheeks. Need proof?

Me almost two years ago (September, 2009).
My cheeks were still round, but there was a little definition.

Here I am a couple of months ago at 15 weeks pregnant.

I noticed the biggest difference this past weekend. I barely recognize myself!

I realize weight gain is healthy during pregnancy and I'm sure my face will go back to normal - it's just hard looking at this new person in the mirror! However, I will say that I'm loving my new hair. I have never had thick hair before. I wish my new locks could stick around after the baby arrives, but I'll go back to stringy hair to have my old cheeks back! 

It will be completely worth it, I'm sure of it.

Little girl in my belly, I sure love you a lot to let you do this to me!