Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well Traveled Baby

Tomorrow, Neal and I will be flying to Austin, TX to meet up with my parents and my brother and his girlfriend for a family friend’s wedding. I’m really excited because I’ve seen Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth, but have never been to Austin. It got me thinking about all the places that Baby Neal has been to, and he doesn’t even know it yet!

Neal and I love to see new places when we can, and we’ve traveled a lot in the last 5.5 months. So far Baby Neal has walked the streets of Atlanta, seen the bright lights of Las Vegas, obviously done the Nashville scene and will now add the great state of Texas to his travel resume. He’s one well-traveled baby!

Several people have suggested that I start a photo album for the baby, which I haven’t yet, but I’ve already thought of some good “chapters” for the book. I have photos of us in all the places we’ve traveled to since pregnant, a before (and soon to be after) photo of his nursery and baby Neal’s “first photo” (ultrasound.) I suppose I’ll start those dreaded baby belly progression photos too. (However, they will NOT be posted on Facebook, so don’t even ask!!)

In any case, send up prayers for our safe travels to Austin. Also, keep in mind my friend Andrew and his soon-to-be wife, Becky, as they start their married life together. It feels like yesterday that Neal and I said, “I Do” and I just love weddings because it reminds me of the day I married Neal and all the abundant blessings we’ve received since then.

Baby Neal is one lucky (and loved) baby!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Belly Rubbers

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read or been told…

“Get ready… Pregnant bellies are automatic hand magnets.”

Or as my friend Andrew put it, “Pregnant bellies are public domain. I’m sure you can read that in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” Well, I didn’t, and I’m finding this to be increasingly true.

I’ve never been a big touchy-feely person, so this concept is a little uncomfortable for me to say the least.  I’ve been able to conceal the baby belly for the most part, so no strangers have attempted to touch me yet, but people who know I’m pregnant have tried to. So not to make the situation more uncomfortable for me than it already is, I have kind of pulled away or jokingly requested that they not do that. And what do I find? Most people forget this request. It’s bad enough that I think people are constantly staring at my stomach and discussing its growth, now people are trying to rub it? Um, no thank you.

One of my friends said she’s going to get me a t-shirt that says, “Look But Don’t Touch” with an arrow pointing down. That’s genius, but no one likes a crabby pregnant woman, so the chances of me wearing that are slim to none.

I guess it comes with the territory of being a pregnant woman, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

This is the way I see it. Any reasonable adult would never rub someone’s stomach under normal conditions. Why is that when women are noticeably pregnant, all brains and couth go out the window? If it weren’t acceptable to touch my stomach 6 months ago, it certainly isn’t acceptable now. Unless I invite you to do so.

(Which probably wont happen either…)


Monday, March 21, 2011

Baby Neal [?] Harris V

Lord, I had no idea how much drama went into naming a child.

Neal and I had agreed on a boy and girl name, even before we found out we were expecting. It never crossed my mind that people would feel the need to give their unsolicited suggestion for a name or even have the audacity to voice their opinion on our stated choice. But it happens. So to spare any more drama and name suggestions, we’ve decided to share baby Neal’s middle name.


Neal Michael Harris V (the fifth)

My husband and I were really happy with our choice. We knew we wanted a saint’s name for baby Neal’s middle name, but along with a strong meaning, it had to sound right with his first name, too. Michael is not necessairily a family name for us, but it does have some special significance.  

The primary reason we chose Michael is because of St. Michael the Archangel 

In the Catholic faith, St. Michael is the patron saint of Police Officers. Neal has a St. Michael medallion that was given to him by his father with the police officers prayer engraved on the back and I’ve always admired it. So we felt that St. Michael, who was the leader of the good angels in the fight between and heaven and hell, would be an appropriate saint to watch over our first born child.

St. Michael Police Medallion
On a lighter note, Michael is also the name of some our favorite people.

For instance, my husband has always loved the great Michael Jackson. Neal has been perfecting his own moonwalk for years and even showed it off at our wedding.
The late great Michael Jackson

Neal's version of the Moonwalk at our wedding.

I, on the other hand, adore the loveable boss from NBC’s “The Office,” Michael Scott.
The loveable boss, Michael Scott from "The Oriface." (That's what he said.)

So yeah, silly as it may be, there’s a lot of special stuff behind the name Michael. But say what you will, we couldn’t think of a more perfect name!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shy Baby!

Some of you have asked why I haven't posted a new ultrasound picture of Baby Neal. I’m sorry to say that I don’t have any great ultrasound pics to share this time around. I was hoping the baby would take after me and be a camera ham, but he was a little on the shy side. He was lying on his tummy and we couldn’t get him to turn over to get a good picture of his face. With that being said we couldn’t get a good image of his heart either. So I’ll be going back in a few weeks for a follow up ultrasound to get a clear reading on his heart.

The good news, everything seems healthy for all intents and purposes. We did get to see his beating heart, but the ultrasound tech measured and took pictures of everything and it just wasn’t at the best angle. But I won’t be complaining, I could watch these ultrasounds every day!

Our next appointment is April 6th, so maybe then I’ll have a good picture to post of his face.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baby Boy Harris

A lot of you have asked questions about the name “Niblet.” Most of you say:
1 – WTF is a Niblet?
2 – Where did you come up with this name?

I couldn’t answer either question, to be honest. I just wanted something cute to call the baby besides the obvious “Peanut” or “Bean.” When I started looking at early pregnancy pictures, I saw one lil’ fetus and excitedly exclaimed, “Look at that lil’ Niblet!” And it just kind of stuck.

No, I didn’t name my baby after corn. On that note, please do not refer to my baby as something that can be eaten. Disturbing.

Now that we know “it” is a “he,” I guess its only right to tell you his true name. For now, I will share with you that his name is Neal. It was easy.
Neal (?) Harris V
(We’ll share the middle name in time.) My husband Neal is the fourth, and so it’s only right to name our first son Neal, as its tradition on his side. And because many of you will ask, yes, he will go by “Neal.”

When I first met my husband, I was confused as to how both he and his father went by the same name, but he always said there was an obvious difference in the tone of his mother’s voice, a difference that made it clear who she was calling for. (Although to this day she still calls my husband “Neal Joseph.”) J

I think it will take some getting used to calling my husband and my son the same name. Although truthfully, I rarely call Neal by his name – it’s always some variation like Nealy or a Southern take on his name, Nealy Jo. (He’s from New York originally, so I think its fitting to give him a good Southern sounding, double name.) And NO, you will never hear me use the phrase “Hubby” or whatever. But I guess this may be the time to start calling him “Dad” too.

We’ll let yall know the middle name when Neal and I can agree on when to release it. J


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pink or Blue?! I'll tell you!

Just when I start to get used to the sensations of hearing our baby’s heartbeat at each appointment, I’m hit with another amazing experience in my pregnancy. I’m still in awe, even as I write this.

Today, Neal and I found out just what lil’ Niblet is. Most of my blog readers are also friends with me on Facebook, so if you haven’t seen it already, know that Neal and I are proud parents to be of a beautiful, healthy baby BOY!!

We are so incredibly thrilled. I’ve been saying all along that it’s a boy. I couldn’t tell you why I thought that, but it was just a… feeling. And I was right! (Phew! Maybe I DO have some bit of maternal instinct after all!)

Up until the very minute before our ultrasound, I kept asking Neal for his prediction. He never changed his answer: “Healthy” he would say. But I saw the look on my husbands face today when the tech pointed out the unmistakable mark of manhood. He was so proud, so happy. When we had a moment to ourselves, we talked about the outcome and he shared with me that he didn’t want to jinx it, but secretly he wanted a boy. I knew either way Neal would be happy, but I also knew deep down that this man’s man should have a boy. And for that, I’m ecstatic.

Following our appointment, a round of phone calls and texts were made. As you can imagine, all the grandparents are just happy as can be. A grandson! The first born grandchild. This baby is already so loved, unlike anything I’ve ever loved before. I can’t tell you how incredibly lucky this baby will be to be surrounded by such loving family. It is a journey that I can’t wait to start!

Stay tuned – there’s more to come on my thoughts of being the mother of a son!


Friday, March 4, 2011


Oh by the way - we find out what we're having on WEDNESDAY!!!! Stay tuned for the results! :)


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

She asked for it....

Some of you may know that my mother also blogs. If you have time to read it, she’s really quite funny and you don’t have to even know her to enjoy and understand her blog.

Well… I take that back, I’m her daughter and there’s still things I don’t understand about the woman. For instance, why she would insight a pregnant woman with blogs that make said pregnant woman appear to be one step away from foaming at the mouth?

For instance, take a minute and read her blog from yesterday: 

She basically blogged about my FUPA, without using the term FUPA! Who does that? Does ANY woman want people to be staring at her belly all the time – fetus or no fetus? I didn’t think so. My biggest fear is that I’ll end up on a local news channel one day where they’re talking about the obesity epidemic. You know what I’m talking about – the unsuspecting shoppers who are just out doing their thing and the cameraman suspiciously focuses on the neck down, all while talking about the irresponsible eating habits of Americans.

Now my own mother has published a blog for the world to see talking about my lower stomach. We have many friends/acquaintances in common, it would not surprise me if the next time I see one of these people that they awkwardly gawk at my stomach because they know how I feel about it. All thanks to my mother and her funny lil’ comedy routine.

I suppose I need to remember that after all, one of her lifelong dreams is being answered – she will finally be a grandmother. Maybe I’ll it slide. This time. Maybe.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Secrets, Secrets are no fun

When I first found out I was pregnant, it was all I could to keep from telling someone. Anyone! Holding it in for months was brutal. My husband and I agreed not to tell anyone until we had our first doctors appointment, but deep down I had the mentality of a middle school girl screaming to tell this lil’ embryonic secret. I quickly learned that I’m not the only one who has felt that way.

Just after I announced our big news, I had several, like literally 4-5 friends message me privately and tell me THEY were expecting too! They were very early in the pregnancy and not quite ready to announce it to the (Facebook) world, but they were itching to tell someone.

Its like us breeding girls have to stick together, you know?

I’ve found that talking about my pregnancy joys and pains can be annoying to those who haven’t had children, and so having someone who understands what I’m going through has been a huge help. I have a few friends, some that I didn’t even know that well before this, which I email with weekly to talk about what we’re going through. Most of us are first time expecting moms, so we “get” each other. Some of these friends are a little further along than me and some are several weeks behind me in our pregnancies. So I have someone I can talk to about what to expect in the coming weeks and then I pass down my knowledge of what I know and what I’ve learned to some behind me. It just kind of happened that way, but it’s been a huge blessing, too.

To me, sharing this experience with these women is even better than some of the books people suggest to me. Anyways, a special thanks to some of my other momma’s to be. Yall know who you are. J