Monday, December 06, 2010

Introducing the Fabulous Miss Katie

We are ecstatic to announce the arrival of Kathryn Genevieve.  She's a soft, cuddly, sweet Sagittarius and has her mama's chin dimple!  She arrived at Seton Hospital in Austin, Texas on November 29, 2010 at 2:01 p.m. and weighed 7 lbs, 9 oz. More photos and stories to come, but please help us welcome baby girl to the family!!

Love, Mer

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Camera

So Santa came early this year and brought me a new SLR camera before baby girl arrives... yay!!! Honestly, I wasn't expecting this - it was a big surprise from my sweet hubby, so I'm really excited.  Here are a few test shots... I read the manual last night and it was pretty darn confusing.  I think I'm going to have to learn through experimentation.  So here goes!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a lovely holiday with your family, friends, and neighbors.  Our holiday will be a quiet one, in preparation/ anticipation of baby girl - we plan to watch football, head out to eat as a family, and spoil Patrick for his last few days as an only child!  The parentals will arrive from Houston on Sunday for the induction on Monday, so we're going to have a big, nice dinner together on Sunday to celebrate Thanksgiving. Mom's bringing all the fixins, minus the sweet potato souffle, which I will put together.  It's just not a holiday without Weezie's sweet potato souffle!!  :)

We have much to be thankful for this year - healthy children, a warm home, good jobs, a great marriage, and wonderful family and friends.  Though it'll be a quiet holiday for us, we won't forget to take time and give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Love, Mer

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Santa

I can't believe it's already time to write another letter to Santa - where did 2010 go?!!  Well, I must say... Santa was generous to me all year this year, so I am very grateful.  I got the car I wanted, filled the house with pretty furniture, and got to travel a bit, as well.  So this year, my list is pretty sparse.  I think that at the top of the list is a wish for a very healthy and SLEEPY baby that loves cuddling and hates crying.

So without further adieu, here is my 2010 Christmas list:

1. Clothes that make me feel fashionable and skinny
2. Makeup that makes me feel pretty... and skinny
3. Super fast SLR camera that helps me take gorgeous pictures of my family (and makes me look skinny)
4. Membership to the Wall Street Journal wine club.  :)

That's about it!  See any themes?

Thanks, Santa!!  Love, Mer

Sunday, November 21, 2010


So while Patrick's down for his morning nap (well, his only nap... but he seems to want to take them in the mornings on weekends), I thought I'd take a few minutes to start decorating for Christmas.  It feels strange doing it this early, since I usually wait until after Thanksgiving!  However, given all the excitement this year, I have decided that the Austin faction of the Halls needs to pretend like Thanksgiving doesn't exist this year, and focus on making Christmas extra special instead.  (I have no energy to cook, host, or travel at 39 weeks pregnant, which I will be on Thursday!)

I've been looking at holiday catalogs all week and have been stealing ideas for decorating the mantle, table, tree, and front patio.  I'm even having thoughts of baking Christmas cookies... and I don't usually do that until like 2 or 3 days before Christmas.  Could it be nesting?  Perhaps. OH and I have a question for my readers - I have an 8 ft front door, so the regular wreath hooks for 7 foot doors are too short... it makes the wreath hang at the wrong height.  I've been looking for special hooks to accommodate a tall door, but can't find them.  A) Have any of you seen those? B) Are there other ways to hang a wreath from the top of the door that don't involve those hooks?  Like ribbons?  HELP please!

Speaking of nesting, I think we're ready for baby girl to arrive - sheesh, we should be... we've been expecting her for weeks.  My very good friend, Shannon, reminded me today that one is *supposed* to be pregnant at 38 weeks along - LOL, touche! - but there are just so many factors that indicated that this one was coming early.  First, due to all the cervical cancer surgeries in 2008, I have half a cervix left, which is why Patrick came so early - what was left finally gave out.  And my doctor has been definitively telling me the entire pregnancy that this baby would come around the same time or earlier than P due to my cervical insufficiency.  And then when I started having contractions and was hospitalized at 33 weeks?  We thought FOR SURE she'd be here around 36 weeks!  Alas, this one has a mind of her own already... and that's cool with me.  I'm just ready for these contractions and early labor symptoms to end... it's been a LONG 6 weeks and I'm ready to meet this baby girl!  I'm just hoping and praying that induction goes as planned next Monday...

The good thing about her lasting so long is that she's going to be a Sagittarius and not a Scorpio... whew - I was a little worried about that.  ;)  Some of my most favorite ladies are fellow Sagitarriuses (and I'm one too) so I'm hoping that baby girl and I will be close buddies.  I'm SO looking forward to getting to know my daughter!

In other news, today is Patrick's 22 month birthday.  He's growing and changing so much every day... He's very verbal these days and is learning more words, even though they're hard to understand.  He's quite the athlete and never ceases to amaze us with his physical strength and agility.  Think he might be a gymnast someday?

OK, rest time is over... time to get back to Christmas decorating.  I might need to make a little trip to Michael's and/ or Target today... I really need some garland, snowflake lights, and decorative stocking hangers STAT to complete my Crate and Barrell knockoff display (not the one above, but a different one).  LOL

Love, Mer

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baby Pool

Well folks... the time is drawing near!  Our little baby girl's due date is 12/3, and every doctor's appointment shows the same thing - 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced. It's becoming apparent that these contractions are empty threats and that baby has found a comfy little spot to stay for a while.  With that, doc and I have decided to induce at 39 weeks.  It's such a HUGE relief that we have a light at the end of the tunnel now - 13 more days. I can DO that!  Whew - I was beginning to think that we were going to be siamese twins in a few years that would have to be surgically separated! 

Meanwhile, do you think I'm going to make it that long?  I mean, after all, I've been having contractions for 4.5 weeks straight now!  But then again, if the contractions haven't caused my water to pop yet... do you think they ever will?? 

Let's create a baby pool.  When do you think she's going to arrive?  Today is 11/16 and induction day is 11/29 around 7:00 a.m.  The winner will receive a special prize that baby girl and I will pick out on a shopping excursion together, once she arrives.  :)

Please post your answer as a comment to this post.

Love, Mer

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Yep, Still Pregnant

As of yesterday, I was having contractions every 1-2 minutes!!  Today?  Nada.

PRAYING, PRAYING, PRAYING that my water breaks soon, soon, soon!!!

That's it. Love, Mer

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Still Pregnant

So tomorrow is 36 weeks and I'm still pregnant!  YAY!  I never, ever would have guessed that I would have held out this long, given that I was in the hospital trying to avert labor at 33 weeks.  Go figure!  This baby girl is going to be quite the princess, I can tell already...  ;)

Doc has been telling me that if/ when I make it to 36 weeks, I'll be off bedrest orders, so I asked her if I could go bungee jumping...  she didn't seem to get my sense of humor, but when I started laughing hysterically, she finally figured out that I was KIDDING.  (Do I seem *that* crazy?!)  I guess she feels that anytime after 36 weeks is fine for baby girl to arrive, so that makes me feel a lot less uneasy about the prospect of The Princess arriving soon... I'm finally more excited and less freaked out.  Yay!

I took off this week from work, thinking that I could get some rest before baby girl arrived, because I figured I was going to pop any second.  My appointment on Monday revealed that I'm now 2 cm dilated and 60% effaced (which means that I only have 40% of my cervix holding this baby in place); however, contractions have slowed down considerably and I'm beginning to think that maybe she'll go full term just to prove everyone wrong!  LOL

It's been an interesting week - Sheridan and P both had colds and pinkeye and stayed at home, so it's been quite a zoo around here.  Meanwhile, they both got back to school and work today.  My plan was to eat ice cream in my PJs while watching Lifetime all day, but it turns out that I have a problem sitting still.  Anyway, it's been nice to have some Mer Time before life really changes again.

I can't believe I'm going to have TWO CHILDREN SOON!!!!  Whoa.

Otherwise, I'm glad the elections are over.  We all saw the big Republican win coming, so no surprise there.  Since they seem to have all the answers... ahem... I look forward to their saving the world.  Go forth and deliver, elephants!  And could you please do so in the next 2 years?  Thanks.

OK, I'll keep everyone posted on baby news.  I'm a lot better about updating Facebook than I am this blog, but I'll do my best to keep my faithful Mer Show readers apprised of the latest baby goings on.  Thanks for reading!!!

Love, Mer

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This Dog Needs to Get A Job

Seriously, it's the least he could do... 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Patrick's Halloween Party at School

So getting this kiddo to sit or stand still for a photo these days is like herding cats... but I got some cute shots of him dressed up this morning for his school's Halloween party.  He's SUPER TODDLER!!  I mean, Spiderman.  :)

Quick update on P:

1. He's about 27.5 pounds now - 50% in weight, 30% in height.
2. He transitioned from his crib to his big boy toddler bed like a CHAMP.  It took about 2 weeks to learn not to fall out of bed, but he's doing great now.
3. His entire row of teeth have grown in on the bottom and he's got three new teeth coming in on top - only one space left!
4. He LOVES trucks and tractors, which is probably a result of all the construction going on in our neighborhood. "Gack" is truck and "gaar" is car.  :)
5. His daddy is his favorite person on the planet and he wants to be just like him - he imitates him every chance he gets and rather spend time with him than anyone else.  I'm done being offended and am just glad that P has such a *wonderful* father in his life.
6. No, he hasn't had his first haircut yet.  His hair is so pretty, curly, and sweet, and I just can't bring myself to cut it!!!  Soon, though... soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Well shoot, it's been an exciting few weeks!  Baby girl has been trying to make an early break for it, so things have been rather crazy around here...  Let's start from the beginning.

I showed up to my 33 week appointment 2 Fridays ago, just for a checkup, and it turned out that I was 1 cm dilated.  Given that the last time I had a baby, I went from 0 to 10 in about 2 hours, and was holding Patrick 2 hours after that, we TOTALLY PANICKED.  Yep, the doctor too...  She put me on a monitor to test for contractions, and sure enough, I was having them!

Doc sent me right across the street to the hospital and checked me into Labor and Delivery.  OMG!  So this particular weekend, some friends of mine were supposed to host a baby shower for me.  With that, my parents were literally on their way from Houston at that time, as was my aunt from the Dallas area, and one of my BFFs from high school was heading in the next day.  So at least I had some backup on the way to help with Patrick, and thank goodness I left the house ready for visitors that morning (about 90% ready anyway), because I spent the next 2 days in the hospital fighting off contractions.  At one point, I was having them every 7 minutes!!  Yikes!

Eventually, though, we scared off the regular contractions, and checked my cervix - no more dilation.  So they let me go home, only if I promised to relax and work from bedrest from that point on.  Ummmmm, bedrest?  With a full time (crazy) job and a (crazy) toddler?  And a husband and (crazy) dog?  I was thinking that they were freaking crazy for letting me leave that hospital bed, but of course I wasn't going to SAY that... Shhhhhhhhhhhh, don't tell anyone I just admitted that!

Meanwhile, it's a week and a half later and baby girl is still baking up nicely.  Oh yes, I'm still having crazy contractions, but not regularly and they don't seem to be getting any more intense.  Doc checked me out yesterday and said everything looks good, so I'm just going to keep trying to keep off my feet as much as possible, drink tons of water, eat like a maniac, and concentrate hard on not going into labor (mind over matter!). 

Now, we expected some early arrival drama, given that Patrick showed up at 36.5 weeks (and because I'm a drama queen, natch), but sheesh - this has been even more than I was expecting.  Looks like baby girl is a chip off the ole block!  Patrick is CERTAINLY Sheridan's baby - they are BFFs, so it seems like this one definitely is going to be *my* baby. 

That shower never materialized - my girlfriends had to postpone it, but I've had so many lovely people send pressies, drop by for visits, and send their love.  I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life; it's really inspired me to think about becoming a better friend to the people I care about and spend my days with.  With so much going on, it's easy to get wrapped up in myself and my family, but as soon as I can get back on my feet, I want to do something nice for my loved ones and friends.  Need to start thinking about that...

Cross your fingers that the baby stays put, and I'll continue to keep my legs crossed!  ;)

Love, Mer

p.s.  Per my last post, I did decide to pack my hospital bag.  A) It came in handy! B) Do you think I jinxed myself?


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Childbirth - EEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!

So if you'll remember back to my birth story with Patrick, you might recall that I was supposed to have a C section.  I was very comfortable with this idea, as it was planned, controlled, and would hopefully entail as little drama as possible.  Well THAT didn't happen.  It was dramatic, unexpected, surprising, and early!!  I showed up to the hospital in super active labor, at 5 cm dilated, and they made me push. 

I soooooooooo didn't read that chapter in the 15 baby books I read while pregnant with Patrick.  I was HAVING a C SECTION - it wasn't necessary!  I didn't talk to friends about giving birth, I didn't read about it, I didn't take classes... nothing.  And then out of nowhere, I had to do it.  2:00 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, 36.5 weeks along, totally unprepared. 

You'd think that after that experience, I'd be prepared to do it again (doc says I'm pushing again this time, since my cervix is proven to work the way it's supposed to during childbirth).  However, I am not.  I do remember that I had to push for 2 hours and had no idea what I was doing.  I was in a lot of pain afterward and feel like maybe if I had been prepared, it wouldn't have seemed so traumatic and hard.

So this time, dangit, I'm going to GET PREPARED!  I've been avoiding the topic for a while now, but since I'm going to be 31 weeks shortly, and baby girl might arrive anytime around 36 weeks, I really need to start preparing myself for this endeavor. This morning I pulled out two baby books from my shelf (from the last pregnancy) and am going to read those chapters on childbirth.

This thing is getting real.  I'm having another baby.  Another Hall baby.  Another Patrick.  OMG.  Am I sure I'm ready?  Well, ready or not, here she comes!  So I better prepare myself.  And the nursery. And my husband.  And our son!

And that does NOT include packing the hospital bag - last time I packed that bag early, Patrick arrived a few hours later.  I don't want to jinx us this time!  Maybe I'll make a list for Sheridan and say "if I go into labor, throw this stuff into the bag sitting on the dog crate and let's boogie".

Anyway, time to get to work. 

Love, Mer

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Random Thoughts

Well, we made it through the brutal Texas summer, and once again it's Fall.  I love this time of year!  Growing up, it meant going back to school, the beginning of intensive training for gymnastics since competitions began in January, homecoming dances.... and now it means cooler weather, busy time at work, FOOTBALL SEASON, and still feels like a fresh start. The Hall household is in full swing, getting prepared for baby numero dos - our baby girl.

Becoming a 2nd time mom is definitely less intimidating than the first time - I feel like I'm better prepared for what's about to come.  I'll know how to deal with the diaper blowouts, colic-y symptoms, lack of sleep, sleep training, when to feed what and when, etc. etc. etc.  but I'm still a little nervous about having 2 little ones in the house versus one.  I mean, P is a monster - like a crazy little pinball with endless energy and creativity - how are we going to be able to keep up with TWO?!  Well, it's a blessing, so I just need to keep on remembering that.  :)
I'm getting rounder, slower, and more tired and the doc says that we need to be prepared for baby girl to arrive around the same time that P did, if not before... so that really only gives us about 6 more weeks.  EEK!  We still haven't even started on baby girl's nursery (well, I do have the bedding), because we've been concentrating on P's big boy room.  So far, his is done - it's adorable and he likes it a lot - save a couple more things...  And he's still sleeping in the Pack N Play IN his new room - hasn't transferred to the big boy bed yet... we'll see how that goes!  Wish us luck.

Sheridan just got promoted at work - YAY!  He's been working hard to achieve this, so I'm really happy for him and know he's going to have his opportunity to really shine.  Congrats, babe - you deserve it!!  My job is hectic right now, so I'm looking forward to some "down time" (yeah right) during maternity leave...  Meanwhile, I'm working like crazy to get my reqs in good order, so that when I leave, my temp replacement will know which way is up.  :) 

We just celebrated our second wedding anniversary, so that was really exciting!  What an amazing 2 years it's been - we got married, moved to Austin, had Patrick, started new jobs, bought a house, I started at Dell on a perm basis, we made another baby, and now here we are about to complete our family!!  Whew - that's tiring just hearing about it.  I need a nap.

With that, I bid you adieu!  Until next time... Love, Mer

p.s.  Nursery and big boy room pictures soon to follow...

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Recent Trips

Highlights from my recent trips to San Diego, Northern California, and New York City.  Whew, no wonder I haven't had time to blog!!