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Category Archives: Pregnancy

A Harvest / Lil’ Pumpkin Baby Shower

I meant to do my showers in order, starting with Joan’s Aunt Shower since that came first (and I can’t wait to tell you about it!), but I didn’t have all the pictures I needed so while I’m trying to get a few more, I’ll start off with this one.  And by the way, thanks so much for all the love and support you guys have shown me, not just yesterday, but over the course of the last five months.  It means so much to me and your comments really touch my heart.

My sisters threw a Lil’ Pumpkin baby shower for me last month!  It was a lot of fun and I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out!  All photos in this post are courtesy of Dolly Grace Photography and I mostly used her unedited photos here (she’s an old co-worker friend, and she graciously gave me all the photos she took, not just the best ones), but I’ll include some edited ones in here too so you can see how awesome your photos will be if you do a photo session with Ashley.  Thank you so much, Ashley, I’ll treasure these forever!

Of course I have to start off showing you the food table since, duh, this is a food blog.  :)  Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, White Cloud Cupcakes, Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Krispies Treats, Apple Cider & Cranberry Punch, Cream Cheese Mints (in fall colors), mixed nuts, Pumpkin Pretzels, a veggie tray with a small hollowed out pumpkin holding the dip (got the idea here), and two Pumpkin Cheese Balls (similar to this but I will be sharing the revised (and better, IMO) recipe next week, as well as the punch recipe.

This shows the veggie tray, but for some reason the top was on the pumpkin holding the dip.  Guess we hadn’t started plowing in yet.  Oh wait, I found one with it open after we’d definitely plowed in. :)


Photographers take such artistic photos!

There isn’t a close up of the mints, but they are in the divided leaf tray near the upper left corner, with nuts in the back and the mints in the front.  Very fall-ish. :)

Everyone loved the Pumpkin Pretzels!

Ashley snapped this photo looking toward the entrance to the building before all the guests arrived, and you can see each table has unique centerpieces.  The decorating was all Danielle’s work, supplied by things she had for sale in her shop.  She even ended up selling one of her glass pumpkins to one of the guests before we left! lol  Here’s the table you see people standing over in the back of the photo above:

On it was a “guess how many” game in the jar filled with a pumpkin seed snack mix, photo albums with pictures of Joshua’s nursery, our professional maternity photos, and my week-by-week pregnancy photos, and party favors.  Danielle made Pumpkin Cheesecake Lip Balms but I made the labels and put the wrong flavor on them.  Oops!

That’s Momma Donna (with Momma Phyllis, my MIL, in the corner) admiring her work on the nursery again. :)

Gift table…

And the diapers needed their own table! This is how we filled the crib with diapers in my last Thankful Thursday.  They were all gifts, and it was Lacey’s brilliant idea to do the diaper raffle.  I think it worked!


We started off with snacks.

There were some pretty cute guests in attendance…

Then had a lil’ pumpkin trivia (click here for the game and answers)…

You can see both my Momma’s in this one – Phyllis and Donna are sitting at the same table.  Unfortunately my own Mom couldn’t make it, but I’m blessed to have a lot of Moms so I still had two there. :)

Then it was time for gifts!

You could say I’m an “expressive” person. :)

Then something really awesome happened.  My aunt Margie…wait, let me introduce her properly:

She reminds me so much of Grandma Davis, who passed away ten years ago, and she actually brought me a gift from Grandma Davis. (!)  She included a note in her card:

Dear Veronica,

Grandma Davis gave me a steel box a few years before she died.  She said “When I’m gone, give these things to who they came from.”  I never opened the box till she passed.  I took it to the family gathering and some people took things, but most didn’t.  I’ve kept those things until the right time to give them and I feel this is the right time. Enjoy.

Love, Aunt Marjorie

I was already crying when I opened it up and found a coloring page I’d colored at her trailer and she’d kept since 1986, along with a lock of my baby hair (which she probably snipped without permission, lol).

I’ve talked about Grandma Davis in my Cinnamon Roll Pie Crust Cookies recipe post, and I miss her a lot even after a decade.  She was a wonderful, wise, God-fearing, and loving woman.  It was incredibly touching to realize she’d kept these things for so many years.  She had so many grand-children, great-grand children, and great-great grand children (she had eight kids, so now her descendants are pretty much minions), that it shows how much love she had in her heart to keep things from little ol’ me, and I bet she kept things from  most everyone in her life.  She lived alone and those things probably helped her feel like she always had her loved ones with her to a degree.

After the gifts, it was time to bid my homies adieu.

Caught Lacey in a photo, despite her best efforts to  hide from the camera!

And there were more tender moments…

Momma Donna talking to Joshua. :)

Laughs with Al, my FIL.

While this shower was so wonderful with such special moments, I was able to enjoy my next shower even more because I didn’t have to do a thing except open gifts.  And my family-in-law did such a creative and wonderful job with everything, I just can’t wait to share it with you.  Tune in tomorrow for shower #3.


36 weeks: full term and looking it

You’re considered full term at 36 weeks, and I’m both facing challenges (like relearning how to walk and even roll over in bed), and relishing the advantages (Joshua’s fighting chances if he comes early are quite good now).

I was so worried early on that we were going to lose this precious gift before we ever got to meet him (infertility does that to you – it’s so hard to believe you’ve finally gotten your dream come true that you keep expecting it to be snatched away), so every week that has gone by has lessened that worry by degrees.  My faith kept me steady and the whole time I’ve felt to my core that Joshua was fine (except for brief scares, of course), and we had the prayers of many to help us through this journey, and that helped with my peace of mind as well.  But I think having waited so long for him, I’ll never take his life for granted and unfortunately, I will probably never stop worrying.  SIDS terrifies me and I’ll probably not sleep for the first year of his life because I’ll be watching over him as he sleeps.  Sort of kidding. :)

I’m a mixture of emotions over the upcoming birth, and most people want to know if I’m excited.  I may be strange, but I’m not really excited.  Sure, I’m looking forward to meeting this boy, and being a real Mom with a baby outside my womb, but I’m more scared than excited.  Scared of delivering him, and scared to have an actual baby that cries and relies on me to sustain his life.  Scared of how different our life will be after I’ve had so many years to get used to it the way it is.  I’ve been “just” a wife for so long that I’m scared of being a Mom.  It’s probably telling of something about me and my past, but I can already feel the judgement from other parents on my own parenting skills and I know that every time I’m with him around other parents, I’m going to be hyper aware of their critical eyes upon me and I’m going to feel like a failure.

I’m also anxious to get everything done we need to before he comes.  Honestly, if he came now, we’d be OK.  BUT! I really want to have time to white glove the entire house, to organize all the diapers by size as we put them away in the basement to store them, to hang all the pictures waiting to be hung, to clean the sawdust off of his baby bouncer seat thing (long story), install his car seat and get it checked at the hospital to make sure it’s installed properly, to buy all the things on our registry we still need, and it may be selfish but I’d like to celebrate one last holiday (Thanksgiving) without a baby.  Oh yeah, and I really would love to see Catching Fire first, too. lol

Finally remembered to get a pic of Den in his shirt with his certificate! He’s all ready to be a Dad now. :)

In any case, when he comes isn’t up to me.  It’s up to my doctor, and ultimately up to God.  Starting tomorrow, I’ll be getting biophysical profiles done on Joshua (like a sonogram but faster) every week to make sure he isn’t getting too big.  If he does, hello inducement!  Because of all the things I want to get done and not wanting an epidural if I can help it, I really do not want to be induced (it makes the pain worse, or so I hear), but of course I’ll do what’s best for both of us.  It wouldn’t be good for either of us to try to deliver him at 13 pounds. Pretty sure induced labor without an epidural would be better than a broken hip (and definitely better than a broken baby!).  And even though Lacey (my youngest sister) gave birth to an almost ten pound baby without any trouble, I’m not going to fight my doctor if he thinks it’s what’s best.

There would be some nice things about delivering early.  I really am looking forward to being able to lay on my back again.  I’m really looking forward to the first time I can do it, when I have my new baby in my arms and we can just lay back together in the hospital bed.  That will be bliss.  Also, I’d love to be able to walk pain-free, and to trade in the blobs at the end of my legs for real ankles and feet again.  My cankles are out of control!

You’ve heard of puffer fish? Well these are puffer feet.

As you can tell, I’ve given up trying to give myself another pedicure, though my toenail polish is falling off slowly but surely.  And the blue dot between my feet is a piece of confetti that made its way all the way from my Abilene baby shower to our home a week later. I vacuumed and the dot showed up out of nowhere, probably because we’ve been putting all our shower gifts away.  It must have made it’s way here in a bag.

Speaking of baby showers, I just had my final one and I’m going to post all three of them (starting off with a bonus shower to make four, yes four!) this week.  Come back tomorrow to hear about Joan’s Aunt Shower.  It’s a really neat idea you might want to do for a friend (or hint to your own friends to throw you one) in the future!

35 weeks: gittin ‘r done

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*Last reminder! Today’s the final day that the sign-up is open for the Postcard Project Cookie Swap.  I’ve been in contact with Cookies For Kids Cancer and found out that Glad will again be matching $1 per cookie we swap, so it’s an added bonus to be able to raise money for kids’ cancer simply by swapping cookies!  Last year we raised over $3500 and I’d love to beat that this year.  Click here for all the details about the swap.

I had my second…well sort of my third (more on that later)…baby shower yesterday!  This one was in Abilene, thrown by Den’s cousins, Andrea, Jessica, and Katerina (with help from their sister, Tessa, from afar – she’s in SE Asia on a mission trip!).  Andrea was the ring leader and you are just going to die when you see the creativity and work she put into it!  I will be blogging my showers soon, but here’s a photo of the beautiful Andrea with her adorable youngest daughter, Reagan.  Joshua will be just a little less than a year younger when he’s born, and it’s so nice that he will have some kiddos his age to play with during the holidays when we visit. :)

We got so much stuff that we really needed, and I feel blessed all over again to have married Dennis because not only did I get him, the best husband of all time according to me, but I got his incredible family too.  I can’t say they’re the best family of all time without betraying my own…but yes I can because they are.  LOL! They are just wonderful!  So loving and generous.  With one shower left to go, I think we now have all the big things covered (well, except for the pricy cloth diapers I want, but we can buy those with help from gift cards we’ve received, and using the 10% coupon Target sent us) and only need some little things before his arrival.  That is a good feeling!

Today I’m going to the social security office to finally, finally, get my last name changed on my social security card.  Yeah, it’s been thirteen years since our wedding and I never did that, even though I’ve gone by Miller and had my name as Miller on my driver’s license since 2000.  I thought I better get it done just to make sure it creates no problems when we turn in Joshua’s birth certificate info and my social security number doesn’t match my name. LOL!  It will be a big relief to finally have that done.  I can be the worst procrastinator.

We have our “Happiest Baby on the Block” class tomorrow evening.  Things are all coming together.  Which is good, because time is running out!   Five weeks or less, people!

34 weeks: not that I’m counting

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Sorry I’m a day late on my update! I think I’m actually going to switch to posting them on Tuesdays because Sundays have become impossible to get pictures done.  I’m so tired, I go to sleep after church, then I have flat hair and puffy eyes.  Dennis is working an earlier shift again so he can take pics after he gets off on Monday (my other day off), though there’s barely any daylight left.  I’ll take low-light grainy photos over ones like this. LOL!

As my belly grows ever bigger, people are anxious to know when Joshua is coming.  Last Wednesday my answer was “6 1/2 weeks.  Not that I’m counting.” :)

I’ve gotten the “gathering nuts for winter” cheeks that Moms get in their last trimester, and it’s not like my cheeks needed any filling in. I already had that look, and now my double chin can not be hidden.  It’s taken on a life of its own and introduces itself before the rest of my face has a chance to.  You can’t tell much of a difference in these photos since Dennis is kind and takes them at an angle that minimizes it, but believe me it’s now an entity in itself! lol

Also, for the last week or so my inner thighs feel like I’m doing 36,000 squeezes with a thigh master every day.  I’m not sure if it’s really sore muscles or my pelvis is all out of whack–all I know is I now look and feel like a cripple every time I get up and try to walk.  As we went through Walmart last night, I told Dennis I need to track down a used wheelchair so he can push me through stores.  ;) During our nightly walk with Jessie, I had to sit down twice, which I’ve never had to do before.  I jokingly told Dennis to just leave me and bring the car back to pick me up, but I thought several times I really wouldn’t make it home.  But I know it’s good for me so I’m trying to keep going.  It just seems like soon it may be impossible.

Everything seems so hard now.  I really wish I had someone to help me put on my socks when I get ready for work.

Last week I didn’t get enough sleep because I was doing so much to prepare for my baby shower every night after work (I know, I brought it on myself by getting involved when I didn’t have to. My sisters were throwing it and my take-charge older sister complex kicked into high gear.).  I had to use three coats of concealer on my under eye circles for my shower, and of course when I finally laid down to sleep Saturday night, I couldn’t. Kill me now!  Thankfully, last night I slept well, so I think it was just the excitement of the day and I couldn’t unwind.  I didn’t take any photos of the shower myself, so I will share some as soon as I get them from the photographer, a girl I used to work with.  It was wonderful, and it deserves a post all to itself.  My sisters and I make a great team, if I do say so myself. :)

I got this dress at Target when I was barely showing because it was on clearance from last winter’s leftovers.  I love it and am so glad it’s cold enough to wear it now. It also works great with my witch hat and cape – easy Halloween costume. :)

For that last photo, I put my cape and hat on Dennis so they wouldn’t get dirty, then told him I had to take a photo.

Love his “why do you torture me?” face! He’s such a good sport.  He has to be with a wife like me!  :)

33 weeks: I never get sick

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I was just telling a friend last week that I rarely get sick…then I got sick.  Happens every time!  Mr. Snotty Pants sat next to me at work during the last two hours on Wednesday, blowing his nose the whole time (seriously, he hardly typed at all because he was blowing his nose so often!), and I stubbornly refused to move because I was comfortable and there were only two hours left.  (You choose your own seat where I work, and there are hundreds to choose from, so I was a little miffed he didn’t choose a seat that didn’t have anyone else around…there were plenty.)  But *cringe* I hated hearing that constant blowing into Kleenex’s.  And I felt feverish by the time I left work.

I worked Thursday and I thought I was fine, but woke up Friday feeling feverish again, and with a sore throat and my entire body hurt.  Especially my hips – it was hard to walk.  I called in sick, and didn’t work Saturday either, feeling even weaker and more feverish.  (I don’t know if I had a fever because my thermometer kept saying my temp was only 97 degrees…I think it may be broken).  I didn’t go to church on Sunday and I didn’t want to get out of my PJ’s for my weekly pictures so I apologize for being in them again – I just didn’t feel good enough to try to put on a pretty face for you this week – lol.

I have a lot to do this week in preparation for my baby shower (I know I’m weird, but I couldn’t help getting involved! Control freak, much?) so I’m praying I feel great when I wake up on Monday (I’m writing this Sunday).  I don’t have any more days I can spare to do nothing!

I may be down with the sickness, but my belly button sure is perky! lol

Oh and I have a Daddy update for you – Dennis did Via Christi’s Boot Camp for New Dads. I didn’t get a pic of him with his certificate yet so I’ll share that next week.  I’m so glad he did that – I know it will help him a lot! Three veteran Dads who’ve done the class and now have their babies come to the class with them in tow so the soon-to-be Dads can ask questions and observe how to handle a baby, while the pros teach them how to diffuse stress, help mom, form a family bond, survive a crying baby, etc.  We are both doing the Happiest Baby on the Block class in November to learn how to calm a crying baby.

33 weeks down, 7 to go.

Shrunken brain syndrome

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Today is Thursday, and I did do a Thankful Thursday, but accidentally posted it yesterday! Shrunken brain syndrome, I tell you. Anyway, if you missed it, I do hope you’ll check it out – it’s got our professional maternity photos in it and I’m in love with them. Thank you again, Stephanie!

Click the photo to open the blog in a new tab.

I also posted a recipe for a wonderful Smoky Red Lentil Chili, which was the only blog that was supposed to post yesterday, and it might have gone overlooked b/c of the double posting. So if you missed that one, I hope you’ll check it out too (click the photo). I’ll try to get my blog and my brain sorted out – lol.

Have a wonderful and very thankful Thursday!

Love, V

After hearing about all the dumb stuff I did yesterday, including posting my blog on the wrong day, a co-worker gave me these to smarten me up. :)

Thankful Thursday #117: professional maternity photos

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Update: It’s the shrunken brain, I tell you. I thought I scheduled this for Thursday and woke up to discover two blogs posted today.  Since there are already comments, I’m leaving it up. Be sure to check out the Smoky Red Lentil Chili as well. :)

You remember, Stephanie, right? The one that helped us with the nursery and bought  me this maternity outfit, as well as newborn baby clothes? Oh yeah, and she also won a gift set from Swanson Vitamins (love their products!) for me by entering a contest they had on their Facebook page.  Well guess what else she did?  She bought us a photo session with Jaclyn Marie Photography! I know, my head kind of exploded too.  Even experiencing this overload of generosity, it’s still hard to believe there are actually people like Stephanie living in the real world.

I was so thankful for this because it’s something I really wanted to do, but we are saving for the future and our one splurge ended up being the 3D sonogram.  Jaclyn did a beautiful job and I couldn’t be happier with the photos.  I’ll shut up now and just let you enjoy a few of my favorites.  OK, so I could only omit like five of the photos – I love them all so much!

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