Baby product help - from you!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I really have no idea what sort of baby gear I'll need come November. 

So at the urging of a couple blog friends, I'm turning to you guys :)

Maybe you have written/bookmarked posts on this topic. Maybe you are a mama and have an opinion. Maybe you're an aunt or close to kids. No matter what, I want any advice you have to give!

I will say that I am sort of old-fashioned when it comes to babies. I feel like they didn't have a fraction of the gadgets back when I was a kid that they have today, and I turned out just fine. However, I am also going to be a working mama, so I do need some of those conveniences. 

So what do I need to be sure to buy/register for? What are the things you would say not to waste money on.

You can leave comments here, or email me at michellefelter{at}

Thanks friends!!!  And happy weekend :)


Thursday randoms

I can't believe it's already Thursday! This week sure has flown by!

- I'm only "working" half a day today. At noon, I have a Chamber lunch, where I'll graduate from our Leadership course. Another plaque to hang in my office :) Then, I have an hour drive to the main campus for an orientation. Fun, fun.

- This work week actually hasn't been too busy, as I was getting settled on Monday and then the person I'm working most closely with is on a work trip. So it's nice getting acclimated slowly instead of having a million and one tasks to bust my butt on.

- We get to hear Baby R again next week! I'm kinda sad that we don't get any more ultrasounds, but I also know there is NO WAY that I could go without finding out the sex. It's so tough!

- Speaking of Baby R, the two lovely ladies who will be throwing my shower are already pestering me to come up with my registry. I feel like I've been so busy, plus we just did our wedding registry a little over a month ago so I don't want to look like I'm begging for gifts. And a little confession - I have no idea what I need or what I'm doing. I keep trying to freak out J with all the baby stuff and I can't, which freaks me out even more. Aren't the men the ones who are unsure? Seriously, I don't know how to swaddle, I stink at burping, I don't really want to breastfeed other than the fact I know it's best for the baby, and more. We're at the point now where Baby R could be home in three months, and I haven't even cleaned out the nursery yet!

- OK, I just worked myself up to a small panic attack.

- We've been having variations of meatballs (left over from our reception) all week for dinner. I'm about sick of the things and will probably end up freezing them soon.

- I'm really loving this season of Big Brother. I'm pretty sure Dom will go home tonight and most excited to see who ends up winning HOH. I think it will be some type of an endurance competition, designed for a smaller person to win.

- The water at my new office is nasty. So I've been bringing in big 32 ounce bottles. And wearing out a path to the bathroom. Thank goodness it's only 20 or so steps away.

- I'm itching to legally change my name. But I haven't received the certified copy of the marriage license yet. Grrrrr.

- My wedding band is a loaner for now :( Our jeweler didn't have the time to finish the one I want, so he let me use my No. 2 band, which was already made. I have to take back my engagement ring for a couple weeks so he can make sure they match up perfectly, but I'm just not ready to do that yet. If I loved my engagement ring before, I don't know what to say about it now. A band gives it even more sparkle and prominence. I sometimes get lost in the sparkles and beauty :)

- We should FINALLY receive our flood insurance check today, after we signed the estimate more than two months ago. So this weekend may include some basement work for J, while I work on cleaning the upstairs and doing laundry.

- I'm trying to be patient in waiting for the rest of my wedding pictures, but it's hard. Hopefully they'll come in the next couple of days.

But for now, here's another sneak peek :)


What I'm Loving

Real quick, today I am very heavy-hearted as it marks the three years since a great friend and former coworker went to Heaven. He was only 38 when he died suddenly of an acute heart attack, and he and his wife have two small children. Please keep them in your prayers today.

Now, on to linking up with Jamie for What I'm Loving Wednesday :) Despite being sad, there is a lot I am loving on this HOT July day.

{1} I'm LOVING my new job, especially having my own office. 

{2} I'm LOVING the mini fridge I ordered last night to keep in my office. Goodbye, fast food and vending machines!

{3} I am LOVING how we are very blessed with great friends and family who support us. If there was any doubt, last Saturday showed it, when several of my family stayed until the reception was over just to help me clean the reception hall, bag up food, etc. so we didn't have to pay the $200 cleaning fee. My aunt and uncle even followed us home with what didn't fit in the truck!

{4} I'm LOVING that a sweet friend happened to have a brand-new camera at her house that was a gift and gave it to me after hearing that mine was stolen. This is a huge blessing, as I didn't want to spend $100-$200 on a camera, especially with things being a bit tight right now with the wedding, changing jobs and the baby on the way.

{5} I'm LOVING our sweet baby, who is kicking up a storm these days!

{6} I'm LOVING all the fresh garden produce my mom is sending to me :) Between the pregnancy and wedding planning, I kind of let my garden get overrun by weeds, plus a lot of it burnt up, being in sand with lots of temperatures in the 90s. So it's nice to have those fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and okra and not have to buy them :)

{7} I'm LOVING the great news I got from one of my blog friends this morning!!!

{8} I'm LOVING my husband. How fun is it to say that?


Bumpdate: 23 weeks

I turn 23 weeks pregnant today! 17 (ish) to go!

Nothing big during week 22. I had some super cute pictures but they were on my camera which got STOLEN. I'm not bitter at all. And this week's pictures were taken on the iPhone so not the best. I'm getting a new camera this week though, so it will only be sucky this once. We also got the full-frontal shot this week.

No real cravings this week, other than sleep and rest. Ha! My feet have been swelling a bit over the past week and a half, which I blame on being a bit too active. But my email says this is normal, as I have increased blood flow. I think it catches up with me a bit too quickly. Lots of back aches/shooting pains too. Sometimes I have to get on to Tuff and tell him to move. Last night I planned to clean the kitchen, but little one had different plans so I ended up on the couch most of the night.

LOTS of movement. Still not visible from the outside, but I definitely feel Baby R moving for longer stretches of time, especially after I eat or when I am resting. By now, he/she should be awake 10-12 hours a day and settled into the sleep patterns he/she will follow once here.

We had our anatomy u/s two weeks ago, when we could have found out the sex. But we turned away. J now has a feeling it's a girl, but I'm still saying boy. Most other people we know are guessing boy as well.

During week 22, baby was the size of a papaya, measuring between 10,5 and 11.8 inches and weighing somewhere between 12.7 and 20.8 ounces. I'm thinking this baby must be on the high side of that, because Baby R measured about a pound at our appointment 2 weeks ago.

As for me, I think I've gained about 4 lbs in the past two weeks. Yikes. But I guess that's not bad for vacation/picking up food every night last week? In terms of maternity clothes, I'm still at an awkward stage. I feel like my regular clothes are practically too small, but maternity clothes kinda fall off of me. So it's a mix, although I foresee I will be exclusively in maternity pants pretty soon.

My emails warn that my belly will pop any day now, but we'll see. I'm hoping that doesn't happen.

We also found this ADORBS T-shirt for Tuff while in Gulf Shores. I may or may not have shreiked in the middle of the store. He got a sippy cup, too :)

Sorry, can't get it to rotate!!!
Hope you all have a happy Tuesday!



I'm Back!!!

We got back into town late Wednesday but were so busy with cleaning house and getting everything in order for the reception I didn't even log onto Blogger.

But we're hitched and happy! We had a beautiful ceremony and a great time!

I started my new job today so life is pretty busy, I just wanted to pop in and say hi to you all! I'm going to try and get caught up on your blogs, but no promises!!!

I'll leave you with this picture for now. And if you're really nosy and want to see more (I'm hoping to post later this week but we'll see) let me know and I'll send a link to the uploads on my facebook album :)


Guest post: Melissa Jo (and a doggie cake recipe!)

Hi friends!

Today we're en route to Gulf Shores, so my sweet friend Melissa wrote this guest post. We definitely bonded over our doggies so I think it's sweet that she wrote about this cake. I actually made Hank cupcakes last year that he LOVED so I'll have to try this soon :)

Hey everyone! Glad to be here at Snapshots today while Michelle is busy getting M-A-R-R-I-E-D! I'm so excited for you and your hubby!
Since Michelle and I have our love for our chocolate labs in common I thought for all the rest of the dog lovers out there I'd share a recipe for some homemade doggy birthday cake that my Reese LOVES. I'm sure Michelle's pup Hank would grub on them too!

My Precious Reese

1 cup white or whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup honey

1 egg


Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

Mix together flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a ring mold sprayed with a nonstick spray for 40 minutes.

Frost this cake with low fat cottage cheese and decorate with carrot pieces. Store in refrigerator.

Doggy Birthday Cake


Today ..

This day I will marry my best friend.
The one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love.

I can't believe my wedding day is here! I've dreamt of this day for so long, that it's unbelievable. The past six weeks, since we finally set a date, have seriously flown by. 

J and I have been together so long, it's hard to think of many events in my life that don't involve him. I was in college (four hours away) when we met and we lasted through that, so I think that's a huge testament to our love and commitment to one another.

As we all know, no relationship is perfect. We'll always have disagreements and there will always be ups and downs. But we have weathered every storm that has been thrown our way, and become better people (and had a stronger relationship) because of it. I'm not afraid to tell him if I disagree, and he isn't afraid to stick up for his beliefs, either. I used to get jealous my man wasn't "on a leash" like their men. But I'm so glad he didn't and has a mind of his own. It challenges me. 

He's my rock and my everything. When I feel like giving up, he encourages me to keep pushing. This may is my biggest fan and he works to remind me of that constantly. He always reminds me to shoot for the stars. And he encourages me to be a better person. 

I love you baby, now and forever. Even though we've already bought a house together and practically lived as a married couple for a few years, I can't wait to enter into this next chapter of life. I know you'll be an awesome husband and, in just a few months, a great daddy. 

And yes, I'll still love you when you're 64 :)

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

oo oo oo oo oo oo oo oooo
You'll be older too, (ah ah ah ah ah)
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.

I could be handy mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view.
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, Wasting Away.

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?


And we're off!

We leave at 2 a.m. tomorrow for Gulf Shores.

Please pray we run on time (tight schedule to make sure we get to the courthouse on time!) and stay safe. And that baby doesn't make my back hurt too bad during the 10-hour drive. 

And I'd really like a beautiful sunset for my wedding, K? 

I have a couple of scheduled posts, but I'm not sure exactly when I'll be back here. But I promise an overload of pictures when I am. 

Loves to you all and thanks for all the well-wishes you've already sent :)


What I'm Loving

{1} I'm LOVING that we had a great dr. appt. yesterday. Baby R was covering his/her sweet little face at first, but then waved (which is when the tears began) and played with his toes, etc. We turned away during the part when she zoomed in on the private parts - so definitely not finding out! But he/she is PERFECT according my doctor and in the 50th percentile. 

He/she also flipped us off during the u/s. I've never been so proud! And the little face is so sweet and pretty, I could stare at it all day, even if Tuff looks kind of like a martian. Even though I'm still convinced it is a boy, I think that face is too pretty for a boy, ha!

I did find out that they didn't change my due date at the last u/s like I thought, so Tuesdays are now technically my change days. Before, I considered today 21 weeks five days, but according to the doctors office I am 21 weeks one day. No biggie as I don't want to be induced and this gives baby an extra four days to cook should he/she do it. And it puts the due date 2 days before Thanksgiving, so maybe I'll have a little turkey!

{2}I'm LOVING that we're leaving for Ala. in less than 48 hours. And will be married in THREE DAYS!!!

{3} I'm LOVING that all I have to do for this wedding is show up. Why doesn't everyone do it this way? 

{4} I'm LOVING how well my bouquets turned out! Since we are doing the reception here and I didn't want to pay inflated costs at the beach, I had silk flower arrangements done and think they are beautiful.

{5} I'm LOVING this season of Big Brother, after only two episodes! I LOVE Jeff and Jordan :) To me, summer hasn't really begun until Big Brother starts. I don't want to spoil it so I won't name names, but I'm not too happy about who had to leave the show for personal reasons. 

{6} I'm LOVING that I get to take a full week off between jobs. I need to be refreshed so I can hit the ground running.

{7} I'm LOVING that I finally have everything I need for our reception, I just need to figure out the floor plan and put the centerpieces together. 

{8} I'm LOVING my soon-to-be husband and sweet baby daddy

With cleaning out my desk, packing, etc. this may be the last you hear from me in a week, other than a few scheduled posts. Catch up with you soon!


So I've been keeping a secret...

I know ... what else could possibly be going on right now? Between getting married this weekend and expecting a baby in November, is there anything else that even measures up?

Thursday is my last day at my job. 

Wow, right? I'm still sort of in shock about all of the life changes going on here lately. But everything is falling into place so well!

I'm going to try and explain the whole story, but it needs some background and backing up several months:

— I work for a newspaper as a reporter/photographer. That I've mentioned before. 

— About a year ago, a major landowner in our community donated about 40 ACRES of land to a nearby community college in order to build a campus in our town. 

— I'm the one who covered this announcement and following announcements. 

Basically, the college was very impressed with how I reported on their news. I didn't really know it, but since I wrote that first article, the president has apparently had me in the back of his head for a future position. I later found out that, at all of the events he later attended where I was working, they were silently watching to see if I would be a good fit for a job with the college. 

In January, I was approached about taking on a part-time writing job with the college. We had a few talks but nothing really developed. In March, they opened it up to advertise and had me send in an application, etc. 

I didn't hear anything, but that was OK. I would have had to do quite a bit of driving and the pay really wouldn't have been worth the gas it took me to get there. Plus, that's when we just found out about Baby R and although the money would be nice, I did not have the energy to work another 20 hours a week, I felt.

Fast forward to May. I hear they are considering me again, but not for the writing job. Instead, they want me to do a lot of the marketing for their fundraising campaign to build the campus. The landowner who donated the acreage, as well as a board member had highly recommended me for the position. 

My jaw kind of dropped. While I can talk about anything, I'd never done a lot of fundraising — other than selling raffle tickets and such while in school. But there is a company that does most of that for us. My job is to sell the college and make people want to donate to this venture. 

Luckily both men who recommended me for the job know my current bosses, so they approached them first. And my bosses were totally behind me, wanting me to take on this new job so long as it was something I wanted to do. 

I met with the president about a week later. Everything sounded so perfect! I was worried about being pregnant (no big deal!) and missing six weeks of an 18-month campaign. I didn't know if they would be as flexible about me needing to be off with a sick baby as my current job. But they said all the right things and I was pumped!

For a week, we did some emailing regarding salary. Then nothing. As president of the college, I knew he had a few other responsibilities — and they were in the middle of their budget. But going over a week without any contact made me a bit nervous and I began wondering if they changed their minds. 

Two weeks ago, they called and we decided on a number. In addition to making about an extra paycheck a month, all my insurance (a much better plan than I have currently) is 100 percent paid for! I also get 21 paid holidays a year (eight days for Christmas alone) and several other benefits. This really is a dream job. 

I begin July 25. I'm taking next week off between jobs and then intend to seriously hit the ground running. 

Better yet, I'm still going to be part-time at the newspaper, and they will keep me on their insurance until my new plan becomes effective. So that's some extra income, plus I'm not totally closing that door. 

Although the main campus is an hour away, I'll only have to go there a couple times a month for meetings. Other than that, I'm in an office just a block from my current workplace and out traveling. 

I also get MY OWN OFFICE! I'm very excited. That's why I dug out the diploma. I also have plans to buy a mini fridge. 

I think that should cover it all. Right now, I feel very blessed for ALL of the changes in my life. Marriage, a new job and a baby. Wow. Sometimes I feel a little stressed, but then I smile and tell myself to breathe, that I can do it AND I will kick butt in the process!


Monday tidbits

— In FIVE DAYS I will be a married woman. Wow. I can't believe it. Time sure does fly!

— I had a minor freak out this weekend when my mom told me she couldn't find my birth certificate. She still has my 30-year-old brother's but apparently, not mine. Although I was sure I didn't have it, I looked in the two places it might be and it wasn't there either. Luckily I called Ala. this morning and I don't need it for the marriage license. Whew. 

— I have another big announcement coming tomorrow :) 2011 is definitely a year of change for me. Any guesses? 

— If you want to guest blog while I am away, let me know TODAY please. 

— How can I keep up with your blogs on my iPhone? Is there an app for that? 

— Every night this weekend is already planned out. 

— Have I mentioned how I recently fell in love with sweet potato fries? While at Sam's over the weekend, I spotted a HUGE bag and squealed. In the middle of the store. Best eight bucks I've ever spent. For the first time, I stole fries from J's plate :)

— The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning house, doing laundry and checking on our friends pool while he was out of town. 

— We measured my biggest point on my belly over the weekend and it was 37. Freak out! But then we measured Jim's waist and it was 38 (true waist, not wear he wears his pants.) So I felt a little better, since I think he is super skinny. 

— We go to the baby doctor tomorrow! I'm excited to see my little peanut again and *hoping* (for his safety) that it is the last time we see him before he comes back. And we're still holding strong on not finding out the sex :)

— I'm trying to decide what to buy Baby from Gulf Shores. He has a onesie from Branson, so I'm leaning towards maybe a bib? Or perhaps a bigger shirt to wear when he gets older and will wear it more than once, ha!

— Back to work, break time is over and I have a million and a half things to do today. 


Bumpdate: 21 weeks

Today, I turn 21 weeks preggo. I have an ultrasound next Tuesday where they will look at my measurements again to see if my due date needs to be changed and if I am further/not as far along as they guessed at first. 

During Week 20, Baby R was the size of a cantaloupe. Crown to rump, he measures 6.5 inches, but this week, they start giving the total head to heel length as baby begins stretching out more. That measurement is 10 inches - about the length of a banana. 

He has been swallowing, and his taste buds now work. Studies say that after birth, babies respond best to tastes they've already had, so I'm trying to eat lots of good-for-me foods. 

Watermelon, cantaloupe, veggies, cucumber salad, hamburgers, hot dogs and steak are still pretty high on my list. I had sweet potato fries last week and loved them too. But I'm beginning to get a taste back for most foods that turned me off for a while. 

Only up 1 lb. from my pre-preggo weight. But looking at pictures and in the mirror, I'm not sure how that's possible!

Still in mostly regular clothes, but I bust out the mat pants every now and then. 

I had J take the pictures last night and thought the white/gray combo washed me out and made me look bigger so I shot the iPhone one this morning (sorry it's out of focus.) That's when I realized that I am getting big, as even black doesn't slim it down anymore. But I'm cool with that. 

No other updates I can think of. 

You probably won't get one of these next week, as I will be on my way to Ala. But I'll recap both weeks on the 22nd. And anything big we learn at my dr. appointment next Wednesday.


Can you do me a favor?

I know this is short notice, but ...

Next week and the following one will be CRAZY! So Im not sure how much time I'll have to post. 

Any of you interested in guest posting? You can share a recipe (I know some of you have recipe blogs) talk about your pets, your hobbies, whatever. 

Please let me know by Monday at the latest. Thanks!


What I'm Loving

Happy Wednesday friends! I'm linking up again with Jamie again for What I'm Loving Wednesday :)

{1} I'm LOVING all these beautiful nights. Last night after dinner, we just relaxed on the back porch and picked out music for the wedding reception.

{2} I'm LOVING that, four years after graduation, I've finally gotten my diploma framed :) My school colors were black and gold, so I really tried to incorporate that. And please excuse the crappy photo.

{3} I'm LOVING that Big Brother starts up again on Thursday :) And that we have DVR to catch any episodes we miss. 

{4} I'm LOVING that I get some time with my hairdresser today. Can't wait to go blonder --- my roots are really nasty thanks to all these prenatal vitamins :)

{5} There is so much more I'm loving right now, but I need to head out the door, so I'll just leave you with this picture of me and my man - whom I am LOVING more than anything :)


Tuesday tidbits

— Sometimes I think a three day weekend is worse than a regular one, especially with a holiday. We stuffed ourselves pretty much every day (I'm just glad that, for me, it included a lot of fruit and veggies!) and were constantly on the go. But that's a good thing. I'll tackle the messy house tonight.

— We went swimming at a friend's house Friday afternoon. They were both at work for a bit, so we got to enjoy having the pool to ourselves. We love their kiddos, but it's nice to have the quiet time. And convinced us we need to save for a pool of our own. 

— Saturday we had lots of errands to run and spent most of the afternoon in Cape. We also went out for dinner to Tractors, this amazing grill in Jackson. I really wanted the twice-baked potatoes but am extra sensitive to chives and they couldn't make without, so I had sweet potato fries. Delish! In fact, I bought sweet potatoes the next day so I can try to recreate at home :)

After dinner, we were so stuffed we took a short walk in the downtown area and I snapped this picture. 

— I'm really not a fan of maternity clothes, especially with the big panel, but have realized with my growing bump, I need to buy some items that will fit a bit better. We lucked out at Kohls, however, and when combining sale with a 30 percent off coupon, I got a pair of work pants, blue jean capris, shorts, two cardis and a dress for 70 bucks. I also got $10 in Kohl's cash, so I was very excited :)

— We had TWO barbecues on Sunday. Baby R was happy to get hamburgers, hot dogs, lemonade and fresh sweetcorn. I had J snap this picture of Tuff and I before we left. 

Growing, huh? We also got to tell our neighbors about the new addition!
And please excuse the bruises below my knee. That's what happens when you run into a ball hitch on a truck, ha!

— Yesterday we ran a bunch of errands together and then went to eat yummy food at a nearby picnic. I had a plate full of tomatoes. Yum. 

— We only have one weekend until the wedding. EEEK!

— Stamps STILL aren't in. Hoping they are in the mailbox today. 

— I've had a lot of wedding freak outs today (hair lady can't come anymore, trying to figure out vehicles ...) but I think it's all working out. I just need to remember this is MY wedding and it's not my job to work around everyone's schedules and make them all happy. 

Happy week, friends!


Camera strap giveaway!

My blog friend Brooke is hosting a giveaway for two camera straps!

Isn't this cute? Go HERE to enter — it ends at 8 p.m. tonight!

Bumpdate: 20 weeks

Hi guys! Today I am 20 weeks pregnant with Baby Tuff :) Most pregnancies are 40 weeks, which means he is halfway to being here :)

I'm definitely feeling bigger this week. Still in regular clothes, but I have been wearing the bella band to give a little more room in some of my tighter pants. And limited on what shirts don't look hoochie mama like. 

Still craving hamburgers and hot dogs. And lots of fruit and lemonade this week, which is causing me to question my confidence that this is a boy. 

According to my weekly email, during week 19, Baby R was the size of a mango. No real changes for him other than that he's still growing, and is now about 6 inches and 8.5 ounces. 

The email also warned of leg cramps, and what do you know, I woke up with a horrible Charlie horse on Sunday night. Luckily that was the only one.

I've been feeling lots of movement this week! Last night I thought I felt it on the outside as well so I had J put his hand on my stomach. He didn''t feel the first couple so I stopped asking, but then after what I thought was a big one, J looked my way with big, surprised eyes. 

Now on to weird highlights that probably don't mean much to you, but they do to me:

— Last Friday I had a HORRIBLE day and cried at least three times. Hello, hormones! 

— Also on Friday, we decided to order in lunch at work. I'd never ordered from this place, but a baked potato sounded really good so I got one of those, and then added in a burger to round out the meal. Well, the food got here and THEY FORGOT MY BAKED POTATO! My coworkers realized this before I did and a few of them donated a portion of their potato so I could have one, since that's what I was really craving. So sweet. 

— This morning, I forgot to put on makeup. I wasn't even running behind, just forgot. Whoops.