PREGNANCY | 38 Weeks

Friday, August 28, 2015

7 days. Literally I will meet my baby in 168 hours, or less. We have been counting down the weeks so long and it feels so good to be counting down by days. I find myself begging him to come out because I am just so anxious to hold him and nurse him and know what he looks like. I am anxious for the sleepless nights and to watch McKinlee hold him and kiss his cheeks. I know the words "be gentle" and "use your inside voice" will become very frequent in our house, but I honestly cannot wait. I can't wait to be a family of four, and say "the kids" and plan sibling outfits for holidays, I have never been more scared and excited at the same time, in my entire life.

One thing I am most excited about is seeing Justin with him. My favorite picture of Justin ever, was the day McKinlee was born and he walked her out, so proud, to our family and friends and he's just staring at her in complete love, he just fell in love right then. I am so excited to see how he is with his son, who he'll teach to hunt, four-wheel, throw a ball, bale hay and most importantly be someone who treats women with respect. I can't wait for that. He told me a few days ago, "I feel like I am going to cry this time." I know I'll just be a puddle watching my family grow and I love that he is so sweet and sentimental when it comes to his people.

Something so special about our sweet Carter is that he is not only named after his great-mema, Paulette, but he is a next generation Bolinger. We are excited to help carry on the family name and I am so thankful my children are part of such loving families on both our sides.

One thing I am most nervous about is McKinlee. She's our girl, our best girl, and she'll tell you that 100x over. If Justin asks her "who's my best girl?" she'll reply excitedly, "me and mama!" He does such a great job to provide for us and make his family his number one priority and I am so thankful for him each day. I want to make a great effort to make sure she still feels like our number one girl even after Carter comes. Three years of her being our only concern, I want to make sure she doesn't feel like she's being shipped off or put aside. I know it will just be trial-and-error and kind of a learn at our own pace thing and figure out what works best for us, but it's still just as scary going into parenthood a second time, as it was the first.

So if he doesn't make an early arrival, my last day of work will be Wednesday, I will pick my mama up from the airport on Thursday morning, we'll go for a pre-op appointment, lunch and a pedicure. Relax that evening at home, and by relax, I probably mean, take everything out of the bags, just to repack it and then stay up all night wondering how the next day is gonna go. Then we will arrive at the hospital around 8am and he will be born later that morning. 

We will give everyone a heads up when visitors are welcome after we see how the day progresses and have our time together as a family of four. Thanks for all the support and well wishes during the last nine months, we are so thankful for all the love that has been shown to us and our sweet family.

Justin has been waiting every day for weeks for me to send a text that says:

Hang in there babe, not too much longer!

How Far along | 38 weeks
Size of baby | Too big to be in my belly anymore....

Gender | BOY

Maternity clothes | I am wearing yoga pants at work today - I facetimed McKinlee and Justin this morning and that was terrible. The front camera does no favors.

Movement | He moves a lot at certain times of the day but he is running out of room.
Sleep | My body is definitely preparing me to have a newborn, up all the time - I sleep sitting up at this point.

Cravings | Ice cold water, and anything I think will induce labor.

Best moment of the week | I had 11 contractions in an hour last week and was sent to the ER to be monitored. Turned out to be high blood pressure, so they monitored me and then sent me home to rest and drink lots of water. So that was a bummer, because we got really excited! We've made it this long that I am just hoping he holds out for my mom to get here Thursday and then he can come anytime!

DIY | Carter's Nursery Tour

Saturday, August 22, 2015

so ready to walk by his room and peak in at him laying in his bed. gallery wall pictures from Hobby Lobby - the antique mirror was gold when it was in McKinlee's room, we painted it gray to match his decor. DIY feather mobile - embroidery hoop with feathers!

this frame is from Goodwill and I just added some string and clips - and I love how simple it looks! 

Mimi found this lamp that matches perfect at Hobby Lobby!

DIY pallet wood arrows - I used the this tutorial and Justin and his Dad executed it for me!

bags are packed and big sister has almost mastered the diaper change!

PREGNANCY | 37 Weeks

Friday, August 21, 2015

How Far along | 37 weeks
Size of baby | As long as a stalk of swiss chard{6.25lbs,19 inches}

Gender | BOY

Maternity clothes | If you see me in public don't judge, leggings have officially come pants at this point. My feet are swollen, so pretty much berkinstocks and these croc-like sandals are all I can wear. #thestruggle

Movement | He moves a lot at certain times of the day but he is running out of room.
Sleep | My body is definitely preparing me to have a newborn, up all the time.

Cravings | Rootbeer, ice cold water, just really thirsty all the time.

Best moment of the week | I got his baby book in and started working on it - the only thing left to get is a nursing cover, which I may try to just find a poncho tutorial and call it good. I am so anxious for him to get here! I had an appointment on Wednesday, his heartbeat was 134, I am "closed up", which was not what I wanted to hear and 50% effaced. I still think he is going to come earlier than September 4 but who knows, he may prove us wrong! I will try to get pictures of his nursery up this weekend!

We can't wait to meet you sweet boy, so come anytime!

LET'S PARTY | Bailey's Bridal Shower

Monday, August 17, 2015

Loved getting to celebrate my best friend since childhood becoming a BRIDE.

Gracie had the perfect vision for a girly modern theme and we executed it perfectly if I may say so myself. The mimosa bar is straight outta Pinterest and all of the cute little finger foods. I love anything DIY so I loved being able to make the "Taking on Toland" banner and the custom "T" cupcake toppers!

Find the recipes at the bottom of the page!

The Bridal Party
Morgan, Presley, Gracie, Bailey, Kelsey, Rayna, Me{minus Carter}

We did lots of traditional "shower foods" such as the hummus and spinach dip, meat tray, vegetables with dip and little smokies in BBQ sauce. We live in the south so of course sweet tea and unsweet tea. We did raspberry lemonade punch as well as the mimosa bar. 

Bailey LOVES Macaroni + Cheese so Gracie found this "Macaroni+Cheese cup" recipe and they were a hit and delicious, I made cucumber sandwiches also a crowd favorite and then of course delicious cupcakes for desert!

Mac + Cheese Muffins

Ingredients |

2 C Uncooked elbow macaroni
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1 C Milk
1 1/2 C Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 C Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions |

Preheat oven to 350 + spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray

Bring lightly salted water to a boil, add the macaroni + cook for 8 minutes

Remove from heat, drain, and return to pan

Stir in butter, cheeses, egg and milk

Spoon into prepared muffin tin + bake 30 minutes

Let stand for for about 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin

Serve warm | 12 Servings

Cucumber Sandwiches

Ingredients |

2 Medium sized cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
8oz Cream cheese
1/2 C Mayonnaise
2 French baguettes {I've found the ones at Sam's Club work best}
1 Pkg Zesty italian dry seasoning {Good Seasons brand is my favorite}

Directions |

Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise and dry seasoning together in a bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Thinly slice bread

Thinly slice cucumbers using a mandolin slicer works best

Prepare the sandwiches about 30 minutes before party time to ensure NO SOGGY BREAD

Serves approximately 25 guests

LET'S PARTY | Summer BBQ Baby Shower

Monday, August 10, 2015

A big shout out to Justin's mom for carefully planning each detail of the shower! It was truly a great celebration and I loved it so much! So thankful for her and Steve always being supportive of us and letting us know how proud they are of the people we've become and the life we've made for ourselves and our children! We love you guys!

Our sweet girl had so much fun at "Carter's Party" - she's going to be the best Big Sister!

Cupcakes - Harp's Food Store

DIY cupcake toppers | washi tape

 Cucumber sandwiches, pasta salad and fresh fruit were a hit!

Sweet Tea + Fresh Squeezed Lemonade - Chickfila

Angela found this cute vintage crate at an antique shop in East Arkansas and it fit the theme perfect!

We did a drop-in shower and thought it would be nice to not have a designated time to open gifts and more time to actually hang out with friends and family - so we sent this tag with the invite and I love how it turned out and everyone else seemed too as well! They still got a chance to see all the gifts without having to wait around for them to be opened.

Angela incorporated tons of little ideas that I loved - like having the guest book as an actual book that we can read to him later on!

Writing your address on an envelope when you arrived to save me a little time when writing "Thank you" notes!

She put this sheet of "baby facts" on the tables for guests to read through - they were actually very interesting and we got lots of compliments on the creativity!

Big sister kept trying to steal cupcakes!

Aunt Katie brought her a "big Sister" gift - Giant Frozen coloring book! She loves it!

and of course what's a party without a photobooth!

Sweet girls!

To thank our guests for coming, Justin's aunt Robyn threw these favors together and I loved them so much!

We are so thankful and blessed that our sweet boy is already so loved!
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