Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A little excited and a little nervous

When we were at our friend's wedding this past weekend, everyone was asking about Lo.  Loyal and I began to tell them a little bit about his personality.  We were telling them how independent he is and how he wants to do everything himself.  He's not one to accept help, that's for sure.  He doesn't like to snuggle at all, to the point where he will move your hand if you put your arm around him.  He wants everything on his terms, clearly.  He is such a boy.  I sat there laughing about his silly characteristics while resting my arms on my belly and that's when it hit me.  I had completely forgot about how Lo was when I was pregnant with him.  These strong characteristics were already there!  I remembered that if I EVER rested anything on my stomach he would promptly kick me off of it.  And he'd kick hard too!  He was very "you're in my space/too close/hands off!"  It's just so crazy to think about now.  It really stopped me in my tracks at the wedding and almost made me cry to think back to those distant memories.  Once I started thinking about this, I realized that this new babe never kicks me when I touch my belly.  Maybe he will be a little sweeter and will actually let me snuggle with him.  I can't wait to see what his personality will be like.  So far, nothing really stands out but then again, nothing did with Lo at the time.  I guess this is just something that all comes together at some point.  We'll have to wait and see!

Speaking of waiting, I opened one of my pregnancy apps the other day.  I hardly ever look at those things but a notification popped up so I clicked on it.  The first thing I saw was that I had just over 12 weeks left!  OMG where has time gone???  I couldn't believe it.  It also started saying things like "as your second trimester comes to a close..."  Coming to a close?!  As in, I'm almost in my last trimester? Needless to say, I am a little panicky about it.  I don't feel ready and I need more time.  I feel even less ready than I did last time!  As much as I am so excited to meet this little babe, I'm kind of nervous to have 2 kids.  Things are getting easier and easier with Lo but when we do have those tough days, I couldn't even imagine adding a newborn to the mix.  It's scary stuff, you know?  I'm sure I will figure it all out, as most do.  Just a little nerve racking to think about.
Linking up with Ashley and Jess for It's the Little Things
      
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Our weekend

We left New Orleans Thursday morning to head back to Atlanta for a friend's wedding Friday night.  After exhausting ourselves with the move, we were more than ready for a night out.  We decided a while back to leave Lo with my parents so that we didn't have to chase him around all night and end up leaving early.  I am so happy we made that decision because we were in dire need of a "parent's night out."  It was nice to get dressed up, put some heels on and feel pretty for once considering that doesn't happen anywhere near as often as it used to.  Also, I must add that Loyal looked pretty handsome himself!  The wedding was absolutely beautiful and the bride was stunning.  The reception was incredibly beautiful.  The landscape was so perfect and elegant.
(Get ready for picture overload, sorry!)

^^A little blurry, but such a good one!^^
 I mean, what a dream right??!!!!
Such an amazing couple and a great wedding.  Their little girl was so adorable and I kept telling Loyal throughout the night that it made me wish that Lo could have been there for our wedding.  We had a great night out and it was so good to hang out with friends that we hadn't seen in so long.  

We ended up staying way past our normal bedtime and definitely paid for it the next day.  We were so lazy all day on Saturday.  I didn't get out of my pajamas until we decided to go out to eat only because neither of us felt like cooking or going to the store.  We ate pizza at a park near our house.  There was some sort of event going on at the park and it was packed with kids.  After dinner we got some frozen yogurt and walked around for a bit.  We have always kept Lo in his stroller but now that he is walking, we let him get out a play.  He loved it so much!  He could not stop smiling and it was the cutest thing we've ever seen.  He's always so fascinated with other kids and I think he was just over the moon to finally feel like he was one of them.  He just walked and walked and walked.  He would stop and stare at other kids that were playing.  He would squeal with excitement every time a dog passed but would cry if they got too close.  It was a really great night for such impromptu plans.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

New Orleans

After a quick trip to New Orleans, we are already back in Atlanta for a couple of weeks.  We had a lot of prior engagements set but wanted to go ahead and get our stuff moved down.  The past few days have been a whirlwind.  We haven't had a break since Saturday and I think we are all ready for some down time at this point.  I wanted to share a little bit about our trip.

We got the truck unloaded pretty quickly on Sunday thanks to all the help we had.  We were able to turn the truck back in that evening which was nice to not have to worry about it in the morning.  Sunday night we were so exhausted from the move that we all crashed pretty hard.  Loyal and I slept like rocks and I don't even think it was because of our new mattress.  We woke up Monday morning with an empty fridge so we went to Ihop for a quick breakfast before diving in to unpacking a million boxes.  Our stuff had been in storage for the past 2 years so it was quite interesting to see what we came across.  A lot of stuff was "oh, remember this?!  Can't wait to use this again!" and other things were promptly put in the Goodwill pile.  Between numerous moves in the past and sorting out a few things before this move, we weren't left with much.  I feel like our style and design taste has changed significantly and now that we are home owners, we kinda wanted to start over.  We basically kept the necessities which ended up being our couch, kitchen table and dishes.  All of which we plan on replacing eventually.  At the beginning of this year, we bought our first king sized bed which was super exciting.  This thing is heaven to sleep on!  Especially when you are dead tired at the end of the day.  Although, it barely made it through the staircase opening.  And even with 3 men, I mean barely.

Tuesday we decided to finally get dressed and venture out to breakfast.  We discovered one of our favorite places in New Orleans on a visit a while back.  District Donuts is on Magazine Street and they have some pretty incredible donuts, I must say.  We follow their instagram and discuss their daily donuts at least once or twice a day.  Boy were we excited to finally go!
Loyal got the Rootbeer Float donut and I got the French Toast one.
THEY. WERE. INCREDIBLE.
This place is going to be dangerous once we are there full time.

Before we went down, I had it in my mind that I wanted to get Lo's room painted before we left.  I quickly realized that that may have been a little ambitious.  I redirected my focus to just getting everything unpacked and put away, which ended up being much more reasonable.  I would say that I accomplished that and I'm pretty proud of it.  We left with only a few boxes left to unpack and they are things that can wait.  Like winter clothes and a few kitchen boxes that are waiting on the dishwasher to get fixed.  I can't tell you how many things I washed by hand until I finally threw in the towel.  I did, however, make it to the paint store to get a head start on selecting colors.  We basically have to paint every single surface of our house so it was a little overwhelming.  I think I have the nursery paints picked out.  At least one of them is a definite.

Wednesday was our last day in New Orleans and I think it was my favorite.  We had a lot of loose ends to tie up at the house before we left so we stayed home most of the day.  It ended up being a gloomy and rainy day.  Something about listening to the rain while I cleaned the house made it feel so different than the days prior.  Maybe it was the rain.  Maybe it was that things were finally set up and put away.  We put the kitchen table together that night and had our first home cooked meal.  Our bedroom had somewhat come together and felt more like a bedroom rather than a mattress in the middle of the room.  Wednesday was a really good day and just like that, it felt like home.  It was a little weird knowing that we were leaving in the morning.  As much as I was so ready to get the 7 hour drive behind us, take a good shower and relax a little, I was sad to leave.  It's hard to get a small taste of a new life that you realize you like so much, just to leave it so quickly.  I know these next couple of weeks will fly by and I honestly can't wait to get back down to New Orleans.  Especially now that we can finally start painting nursery's!

Here are a couple pictures from our trip
This was a random street on our way home from breakfast.  The trees here make me want to get out of the car and walk around.  So much charm to this city.
My little unpacking helper!
     So we got one dresser put together.  It took us a loooong time to put all these pieces where they go.  Got to love Ikea!
Daddy was showing Lo his new backyard.  And also helping him through the grass as he was learning how to walk in shoes on this trip.  I love to spy on them while they are bonding. 
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We made it!

After a very long drive on Sunday, we finally made it to New Orleans.  Our alarms went off at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and we were out of the house by 5.  Between the moving truck averaging about 65 mph, driving through rain most of the way, doggie breaks, baby breaks and stops to eat, the drive took absolutely forever.  The weather cleared up for the last part of the trip so we were able to make up for a little bit of the time lost.  But of course, as soon as we pulled up to the house it started pouring again.  We had a bunch of helpers there to unload which made things sooo much easier.  We were so thankful to have them there especially since me and Loyal loaded the truck all by ourselves the day before.  In the pouring rain too.  We just couldn't catch a break with the weather this past weekend.  So anyway, Sunday made for a really long day and we were so exhausted by the end of it.
  
The first thing I did when we got here was set up Lo's crib so that he had a somewhat familiar place to sleep that first night.  Loyal and I basically just threw our mattress down on the floor and slept in our clothes because we were too tired to do anything by the end of the day.  Since Sunday, we have been working non-stop to get things unpacked and put away.  I really don't want to have to do much unpacking when we come back.  Most of our stuff has been in our storage unit for the past 2 years so I've been busy scrubbing everything.  And if the timing wasn't any more perfect, our dishwasher isn't working so at this point, my hands are in dire need of a good manicure.

The picture above is the street that we live on.  How beautiful are those trees?!  I love them so much.  They always remind me of the first time we came to look at this house.  It just felt right from the second we turned on the street.  I took this picture this morning when we ventured out for the first time.  We went to one of our favorite little breakfast spots.  It was really nice to take a break from unpacking and see a little bit of our new city.  It was pretty exciting to drive around and see a lot of our favorite places from when we would come to visit.  It's such a surreal feeling to know that we will live here and be able to go to them any time we want.  There are so many new places we want to go too.  We definitely won't be getting bored here any time soon, that's for sure!

Well, I'm exhausted and ready to go to sleep but I just wanted to give a quick little update since I haven't had much time to talk to family and friends.  I will post more pictures and updates later in the week!   
     
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Friday, July 18, 2014

25 Weeks

Yesterday I went in for my 25 week appointment.  This was just a regular check up where they don't really do anything other than listen to the heartbeat for 5 seconds or so.  The heartbeat sounded really good, according to the doctor.  Other than that, there really wasn't anything significant about this visit.  I go back in 3 weeks for my second glucose test, which I am praying that I pass.  When I failed it during my last pregnancy, they make you do this ridiculous diet that I just don't care to do this time.  Not to mention, sitting at the doctor's office for 3 hours to get my blood drawn 4 times, all on an empty stomach isn't really on my list of fun things to do while pregnant.  You can read more about that experience here.  Anyway, just hoping I pass it so I can skip all of that.

Weight gain:
So far I've gained 17 lbs.  5 since my past appointment.  At first I felt a little weird about gaining faster this time around but I have kinda let it go since then.  My goal is to be at or under the weight I was at when I delivered Lo which should be do-able.  I think I might actually weigh exactly what I did when I was pregnant with him at 25 weeks.

Cravings:
I get these really random cravings sometimes.  A couple weeks ago, I wanted a diet coke so bad.  I never really drink soft drinks and only drink caffeine free if I do.  I just couldn't stop thinking about it so eventually I drove all the way to Publix just to get one.  It really hit the spot that day.  I think sometimes I just get a little burnt out with all the water I drink.

I have craved sweets much more this pregnancy than last.  I try my hardest to not give in but occasionally I'll splurge a little, like last night. :)  I finally gave up on Starbucks to the point that I now turn it down if Loyal gets one.  Even a small is just so much sugar that it gives me a headache sometimes.  It's just not worth it at the moment.  I might change my mind though when Pumpkin Spice season rolls around!

Movement:
This baby is really starting to move!  He moves a lot when I lie in bed at night and first thing in the morning when I wake up.  I never feel him moving around in the middle of the night, even when I get up to go to the bathroom.  Hopefully that will be the case when he's born and I don't end up with a night owl.  Hopefully.  I feel him move now on opposite sides of my belly at the same time.  He must be stretching out when that happens.  Haven't felt any hiccups yet and I'm so curious to see if I've missed them when I do feel them again.

Pregnancy symptoms:
I haven't really had anything alarming or anything to complain about.  I sometimes have sharp pains in my lower stomach and I think I remember having that last time and reading that it was my uterus expanding.  My stomach is starting to get heavier and in return, getting out of bed is getting more difficult as well.  I am getting up to go to the bathroom about once a night and sometimes make it through without.  Unfortunately, I am really thirsty after dinner until I go to bed.  I just figure getting up to go to the bathroom is a sacrifice worth not going to bed dehydrated.  I am getting tired earlier in the evening but I think that might have more to do with how busy we've been with packing and running around lately.  Also, I'm pretty sure that my bellybutton is slowly entering the transition to an outie.  I didn't have one last time but I have heard a lot that it does the second.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.  Other than that, I'm sleeping good and feeling great.

Baby purchases:
So with the move approaching, we have been finalizing nursery plans.  We went down to Ikea to get the dresser that we will put in his room.  This is where his changing station will be.  I just love the 8-drawer Hemnes dresser for a nursery.  The four small drawers at the top are so perfect and convenient for diapers, wipes, etc.  We also purchased his crib (which is on back order), drapes, frames and narrowed down paint selections.  I'm getting so excited to see his nursery come to life.  I'll be sharing more about it in the next coming weeks.

So that's about it for the past 4 weeks.  We have a long weekend of packing the truck, driving and unpacking ahead of us.

Thanks to Faith from The Life of Faith for hosting this awesome link up!  Excited to meet some new blog moms!!
The Life Of Faith

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's finally happening!

I can not even believe that I am about to write this because it still doesn't seem real but, we are FINALLY moving!!!  These beautiful streets of New Orleans are about to be our new stomping grounds.

The past week and a half has been a whirlwind, to say the least.  Basically, Loyal got the news that the project he has been working on here in Atlanta has come to an end.  For those who don't know, or need a refresher, here you go.  Long story short, we left New Jersey in March of 2013.  We bought a house in New Orleans that same month.  We had always planned on having little Loyal in Atlanta and that's where my doctor was, so we decided that we would stay here with my parents from March until May and move down right after he was born.  Well, some time between March and May, Loyal got signed to a job here and because we are STILL HERE and now pregnant again, we never got around to moving.

So right around the 4th, everything start to wind down and last week he was officially done.  It all happened so fast.  We made plans, tackled a few curve balls, rearranged plans, changed plans again and finally decided on moving this weekend.  Loyal could potentially be called to another job soon so we figured just getting the move out of the way would be the best option.  After this move, our calendars are slammed packed with doctors appointments, weddings, trips and who knows what else.

We decided a while back that regardless of what happened with work, we would have this baby in Atlanta.  We will be back and forth between here and New Orleans up until the month before my due date.  After the baby is born we will officially move to New Orleans where we will stay, hopefully for a while.

So anyway, I am beyond excited to finally move!  I know I say that we are "moving" but really we are just moving our stuff down on this trip since we will be back next week.  We want to get the furniture, boxes and big stuff out of the way and then we'll get the last odds and ends over the next couple of months.  We are so excited to get into our house and unpack our stuff that has been in storage for about 2 years now.  We have so much that we want to do to the house but honestly, we just can't wait to relax in our own space so we will probably hold off on the renovations for a bit.  I guess it's a good thing that we've had so much time because we've really been able to sleep on all of the design decisions and now feel really good with the conclusions that we've made.  The first thing we want to do are the bedrooms.  They don't need anything major, just some fresh paint and decorations so that should be easy enough.  I'll probably start with Lo's room first since that was my original plan.  Our bedroom and the nursery will follow.  This is just so surreal because I remember taking Lo in the nursery which was supposed to be his.  Now a year later, we are putting a new baby in that room and he's already in the "big boy room!"

I plan on posting a lot about our journey in New Orleans and I hope you all follow along!  I will post all of our home renovations, plans and progress pics here and also on instagram.  We will be exploring a "new" city, new to me at least, and I would love to share all of that too.  I am so sad to leave my friends and family so I hope this will help keep everyone in the loop with what's going on with the Hoover's!

Here is our House Tour and some ideas that we had last year.  As you can see, it needs some updating!       

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

J+B

Last night me sister and I went to the Jay Z and Beyonce concert.
IT. WAS. INCREDIBLE.
It was such a dream come true for us to see them perform together.  Such a good show in fact, that it made it a little easier to spend my first night away from Lo.  I left him and Loyal at about 3:30 to head down to my sisters.  I almost cried when I said bye to him.  It just felt like it was going to be so long before I saw him again.  It was also Loyal's first night alone with him.  I knew he would do great, and he did.  I don't know what it was but I couldn't help but feel so anxious the entire night.  Well, at least until the concert started.
Kelli and I had dinner before the show at this new place called bartaco.  It was really awesome!  They had such a cool patio, excellent food and ice cream cones for desert.  This is definitely somewhere you have to check out.
Here are a few pics from our night.
Here is a pic Loyal sent me of their first "boys night!"

Back in the day, my sister and I were big Destiny's Child fans.  We knew every word to every song.   We would record every appearance they did on Good Morning America, Oprah, etc. and watch them literally every day over and over again.

For my 21st birthday, a very long 9 years ago, Kelli surprised me with tickets to their farewell tour which just so happened to be filmed for their DVD.  Needless to say, they pulled out all the stops for that show and lucky for us, we can watch it again and again and again.  We left the show that night as forever fans.
  
Kelli and I quickly became DIE HARD Beyonce fans with the release of Crazy in Love, which also made us Jay Z fans, naturally.  We have been to Beyonce's shows throughout the years since Destiny's Child and they just get better and better.  She just brings so much energy when she performs.  I love it.

One thing on both of our bucket lists was to see Jay Z and Beyonce perform together.  When the rumors started swirling that they were going to tour together, my heart might have skipped a beat.  There was no way that either of us would miss this.  I was online the second that presale was available.
So last night, our dreams came true.
This is such a terrible picture.  Our seats were so far away and the lights made it impossible to get a good one.  We both decided to just put our phones away for the entire show and just enjoy it.  What an amazing show it was.  Definitely a night that was so special to me and Kel.  One that we will never forget.

     
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Family Dinner Part II

Last night we had our second family dinner.  And it was awesome!!  We did it at Carmen's this time since they just recently moved in to a new house.  Guys, it was beautiful!!!  We had so much fun getting together. Little Lo is now walking so we all watched him make lap after lap around the house.  We took turns chasing him up the stairs.  He chased the dogs and shared his toys and at one point, he joined the girls and all the pups in the pup bed on the floor!  It was quite entertaining.  We went with a good old BBQ theme this time and it didn't disappoint.  We did another family pic and nailed it yet again.

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