Saturday, November 29, 2008

Parks Jackson Andrews

Jackson here - The big day finally arrived! Our baby Parks is here and he is perfect. Mallory and Parks are doing great. She went into labor Thursday night around 10PM, and Parks was born 26 hours at 11:44PM on November 28th. Mal was AWESOME. She got all the way to 10cm and pushed for an hour and a half with no meds; however, after that hour and a half Parks hadn’t moved at all. That’s when our doctor and Mallory agreed it was time for plan B. Mallory received a pitocan driop and an epidural at 10PM, allowing her to sleep and rest for an hour and a half, while at the same time giving her stronger contractions to help push Parks down. At 11:30PM she started to push again and then Parks was born at 11:44PM!! Parks was 7 pounds 14 ounces and 20.5’’ long. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. He and Mallory are both resting and recovering well. Enjoy the pics of our first 24 hours with Parks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

No Baby Yet...

But I'll let you all know as soon as I have news!

If I get any bigger I think I'm going to pop!

Not so pregnant from behind...


Friday, November 21, 2008

39 Weeks....

and feeling large and in charge! I am officially "over" being pregnant. I have been pretty upbeat this whole time and have found it easy to have a positive attitude about everything but now, at 39 weeks, I am ready to have this baby!

Please excuse my sans make-up face...I thought I would be authentic with you all. It's all I can manage these days...

Cool Stuff

Now that I pretty much just sit at home waiting to go into labor...I have some free time on my hands. I try to occupy myself and in the process I have discovered some really cool things that I wanted to share with the blogosphere!

The first one is a website called etsy. Some of you may have already known about this, but it is a site for people to sell hand-made stuff. They have some really really cool things on the site. A lot of them are very "anthropologie-esque" (like the store). They also have tons of cool wall decals and wall decor. If you are looking for a Christmas gift or something cool for your house, you should check it out. The prices are pretty reasonable too. This picture is a wall decal that I thought was cute.

Also, I found a great idea for an inexpensive Christmas gift! If you live in might be getting one of these from me...sorry for spoiling the suprise. Whole Foods has made a list of all of these fun little recipes that you can make and put in a glass mason jar and has already made cute printable recipe tags explaining how to make the recipe. Go here for a list of what you can make. Also, it's completely free to print out the cute tags! So all you need are the ingredients and some cute festive ribbon and voila, you have a little Christmas gift! I think I'm going to do the Cinnamon Pancake recipe. I thought this was a chic, homemade gift....I mean, anything with "Whole Foods" on it has to be chic, right?

Ok, that's it. I have another appt with Wolanski on Monday if I don't go into labor by then (which I am PRAYING I can pray too please!). I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 17, 2008

2 Years Ago Today....

We got engaged! November 17, 2006. I love him so much. Here are some of our engagement pictures we had done on the lawn at UVA.

Guest Post: Save Money by Complaining!

Y' blog has arrived! I am honored to post my first guest blog entry. Please enjoy this article written by Betty Mills, human resource extraordinaire and money-saving guru!


My idea for saving money approaches the subject from the back side. Rather than collect coupons, which I never seem to be organized enough to pull off, I have had success complaining about things that don’t work. Websites have made this easy. In the olden days we had to take pen in hand and write a letter to complain. Now it’s so easy and it only takes a minute or so. I’ll give you two recent examples that I encountered personally:
I am a fan and avid consumer of Lean Cuisine brand frozen lunches, although you certainly couldn’t tell it by looking at me. A couple of months ago, on the recommendation of my sister, who is apparently taste bud challenged, I purchased a “Smart Ones” frozen dinner. Take it from me, you’ve never had such horrible meat loaf. In the past I would have written this off as a bad experience, but instead I sat down in front of the computer and emailed Smart Ones to complain. I didn’t get ugly, just stated that I was disappointed with the taste and threw it away without finishing it. A week later I received a nice note of apology and four coupons for free dinners. Theoretically these would be worthless, I know, but I’m holding out hope that their stuffed peppers are better!
Then, a week or so ago, I noticed that some uninvited guests had moved into my pantry. Living on a farm, you get used to this cold-weather ritual: all the little critters that normally live in the fields move into the house at the first sign of cold weather. So I trekked off to Walmart for mouse traps. The only kind they carried were made by Victor, a very old manufacturer of mouse traps, but they were a new model that uses fake bait instead of the time-tested piece of cheese we all know and love. So I bought four of them, assuming that Victor Mouse Trap Company knows more than I do about mice. No so. After three days I had not caught one mouse. So I emailed Victor and told them of my bad experience. The next morning I had an email from them stating that they were sending me four new mouse traps of the old kind that actually work. Voila – in two days I was a mouse-killing machine.
My recommendation is to save coupons, take advantage of sales and on-line specials, and do all those other wise things to save money. But don’t forget to complain when you’re unhappy with a product. Most companies are anxious for your goodwill and satisfaction and will do what it takes to make you happy.

38.5 Week Doctor's Appointment!

I've made some progress!

I'm now 2cm dilated, 70% effaced and Parks is still at 0 station. He is currently positioned exactly right for a smooth delivery! I am so excited. Dr. W says he anticipates I will have a very normal, smooth labor and birth with Parks' size and position. PTL!'s just a matter of when Parks wants to come! We're ready for him!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Great Success!

This week's grocery trip to Giant was a success! This is my second time shopping at Giant and I can't say enough good things about it.

This is what I bought for our groceries this week:

Total before deals and coupons: $135.15
Total after deals and coupons: $97.78
Total Savings: $35.86

I was soo excited! Lest you think I had $30 worth of coupons, let me tell you about the deals at Giant this week.

They had a deal going with Kraft products so if you buy 5 Kraft products, you automatically get $5 deducted from your total grocery bill. So I got Breakstone's sour cream, 2 philadelphia cream cheeses, and 2 cracker barrel cheese blocks. Then, they had a $5 off any $50 purchase coupon in their circular this week that I clipped and used. So that was $10 worth of Giant's special promos.

Then, the regular Giant savings with my Bonus Card totaled $21.71! That is a ton of money to save on groceries! I wasn't kidding when I said their deals were good.

Then, I saved $3.45 with my coupons. I am going to get a Sunday newspaper tomorrow for the coupons so that I can get the kinds of coupons that Giant will double. If my coupons were all from the newspaper instead of the internet, then Giant would have doubled them and I would have saved $6.90 in coupons!

What I've loved most about this "bargain shopping" so far is that it allows me to feel successful within our current budget. I hope that eventually I can decrease the amount of money we need in our grocery budget because I will get better at working the deals. But right now, it is so nice to feel like I can actually feed us good, healthy meals for a whole week...while also being able to buy things like ice cream and orange juice that used to be "luxuries"..haha! I feel like I can get so much more food now and keep us in the same budget which has been so enjoyable. We also have ended up eating out a lot less now that we have good, yummy meals to look forward to each night.

Here are the dinner meals I have planned for the week:

Roasted Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato Casserole and Biscuits

Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry with Veggies and Rice

Steak Fajitas

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Crescent Rolls

Pork Chops with Cherry Glaze, Green Bean Bundles and Crescent Rolls

Beef Chili with Biscuits

If you have any strategies for saving money on groceries or if you know of any great deals, please share them!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Guessing Game

At the request of my sister, Lindsey, I will be hosting a guessing game contest. Here's how it works: enter the day and time you think Parks will be born as your comment. The person who guesses the closest to his actual birthday will get a prize! (The prize is tbd, but guess anyway!)

Happy Guessing!

I Love Giant!

I am totally on a money-saving kick right now! Thanks to I have been totally inspired to stretch our dollars further. I never, ever thought I would be the type to enjoy clipping coupons and looking for "deals" at the grocery store but I'll tell you is addicting and FUN!

I've recently switched to Giant for my main grocery store. I used to shop at Harris Teeter and thought I was getting "good deals" with my VIC card....yeah right. That was a joke. I can't tell you how much just switching to Giant has helped our grocery budget. At Harris Teeter, I was having difficulty buying food for just 2 people for a whole week under $120. On my last trip to Giant, I spent $88 (after coupons) and had plenty of food to last us an entire 7 days and this included six legitimate dinner meals! I was so excited! I can't wait to go this week and see how well I can do.

My strategy so far has been to look at the weekly circular for Giant that comes out on Thursdays and see what is on sale. I try to find the best deals they are having and then find coupons to make them even better deals!

For example, this week at Giant, any Betty Crocker brownie or cake mix is on sale for $1. I have a manufacturer's coupon for .55 cents off when you buy 2. So, each brownie mix will only cost me about .75 cents. Now to a pro bargain shopper, this may not be a good deal, but I was the person who would pay almost $3 for a brownie mix at Harris Teeter and think it was a cheap purchase! So to go from $2.97 to .75 is major progress!

Another great deal I found was on Birds Eye Frozen Vegetables. They are on sale right now at Giant on a 5 for $4 deal. So, that puts them at .80 cents a piece. I have a coupon for $1.00 off when you buy three frozen vegetables, so my total price per box after sale and coupon is .47 cents!

So, after I look at the circular and match coupons, I plan my meals for the week around those good deals. I make a list of exactly what I need and shop off that list.

Kroger also has some really good deals so I think I am going to use both store's circulars and take the best from both stores. I plan on going grocery shopping either Sunday or Monday so I will report back and let you know about my supermarket steals!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Car Seat

I thought I would clarify what I meant by getting our carseat "installed" at the Fire Station since I got some comments about it. Fire Stations provide a free service where they install your carseat properly and show you how to make sure your carseat is safely installed. You set up an appointment and they spend about 20 minutes showing you all the things to check for to make sure your seat is safe. It was really helpful for us. Carseats are not that easy to install (at least for first timers) and it is definitely something that you want to make sure is done right! You certainly don't have to get your seat installed at the Fire Station but I would highly recommend it to any new parent.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

37.5 Weeks!

Two and half weeks to go! Yay! I had my 37 week appt on Friday and there wasn't much to report. I'm still 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. However, Parks has dropped even lower to 0 station which is good news! He is "fully engaged" as my doctor says which should make for a pretty smooth delivery. Please pray that I don't happen to go into labor Nov doctor will be out of town!

For the inquiring minds that want to know, I've gained a total of 19 pounds! Hopefully it will be easy to lose.

37.5 Weeks!

We got our carseat installed at the fire station on Friday which was really fun. I now have my little Peg Perego sitting in my backseat all ready to go! It's so fun to see it in the car. I also packed my hospital bag this weekend for myself and Parks. I think I'm packing a lot of stuff but I'd rather be over-prepared than under. Now I'm just doing some work from home, cleaning and organizing and trying to keep myself busy. I keep wondering what I"ll be doing when I go into labor and where Jackson will be.

I'll keep you posted, my next appt is Nov. 17th!