Sunday, November 26, 2006

Grizzly Adams Comes to Chapel Hill!

Several weeks ago, Keith decided he was ready for a change. So, he did what most rational men do when this urge hits them...he grew a beard. I must say, I like the look...he's sort of a cross between Grizzly Adams and an Eddie Bauer catalog model. He's received positive feedback from people about the facial hair, and I think he intends to keep it for a while. Now, when I see pictures of him clean shaven, it seems strange! See what you think about his new look...

I am thank for...

I am thank for April, our daughter to be, and a nice home to create fond memories of both loves of my life. I am thankful for gainful employment, good health, and a community of friends. Overall, life has treated me very well and hopefully will offer me many more years to be thankful.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What Makes April Thankful?

This time of year especially, I tend to make a mental list of the things that make me most thankful. Here's my list, in no particular order (okay, except for #1)...

1) A loving, supportive husband who puts up with my pregnancy-induced craziness and makes me laugh every day
2) A home that we love, and can stay in for a long time to raise our family
3) A good job, willing to consider my part-time return to work after maternity leave
4) A pregnancy that finally went our way, and has been fairly uneventful so far
5) A great family, even though they are scattered all over the country and we don't see them as much as we would like
6) Two fat cats, who are a big part of our family
7) A network of long-time friends, who lift me up when I need it most
8) Good health, my own and Keith's

What makes you thankful this year??

Thanksgiving Recovery

Happy Thanksgiving to all! We had family here for the Dad, his friend, and my bro, Josh. They arrived Tuesday night, slightly frazzled after a 13 hour drive, and left at the butt-crack of dawn today. We always have a list of home improvement projects for when my Dad (a retired construction worker) comes to visit. This year, we chopped down a tree in the back yard, after a few precarious moments when we wondered if it would fall into the yard, or onto our roof. Luckily, Dad's part-time job in retirement is tree trimming, so he knew what to do to make if fall in our favor! Keith and Dad also installed an attic fan, fixed our mailbox, cleaned gutters, and went shopping for a new electric drill. I cooked a 14 lb fresh turkey with all the trimmings on Thursday, with plenty of help in the kitchen (what a relief!!). We've got plenty of leftovers for the weekend, and I'm sure I'll be freezing some turkey for later use in casseroles. On Friday morning, Keith, Josh and I did a little Black Friday shopping at Kohl' know me, can't pass up those kind of bargains! We all went out last night to see the new Bond movie (okay, Josh opted to see the Santa Clause 3) and came home to play some Pegs & Jokers. If you've not heard of that game before, it's very fun to play with a crowd of people. Unfortunately, after everyone left, I realized I had taken NO photos of their visit. Pregnancy has officially turned my mind to mush!

For the rest of the weekend, Keith and I are cleaning up the house a bit and then will probably get started on transforming the guest room into the nursery. There's lots of work to do there, but we're excited to finally be able to make Babygirl's room come to life!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Childbirth Class Adventures

This weekend was our Childbirth Preparation class. We did the weekend crash course, which took place on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. There were about 10 couples in the class, all of whom were having their first babies. The instructor was a labor & delivery nurse named Ho-Yu, who is originally from Hong Kong. She's been doing this forever and a day, and had lots of good advice! The first day, we watched birthing videos (and some poor dad-to-be passed out cold!), learned massage techniques, relaxation, breathing, and different positions to help with painful contractions. Day 2 consisted of learning what goes on once you arrive at the birthing center, how to push effectively (THAT was an interesting moment!), practicing breathing/positions, learning pain medicine options, and watching a video about C-sections. Keith did a great job, and I think was able to see that his role during delivery will be much more than just a passive observer. We both got teary-eyed watching the birth video, and he's looking forward to being the masseuse, cheerleader, cord-cutter, and general all-around right hand man. I, on the other hand, am now officially nervous about delivery-time. I hadn't thought much about it until now, and am suddenly filled with doubts about my ability to handle labor. I'm no wimpy wimp, but I've also never been physically tested like this before. All I know is, Keith had better bring his pompoms, because I'm gonna need a really good cheerleader!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our New Blog!

Keith and I have been talking for some time about starting a to document our lives in North Carolina (thus the "changing compass" portion of the blog name!), as well as our family happenings. With a first baby on the way soon, we figured our lives were evolving pretty rapidly, and we'd have plenty of things to share with everyone. Rather than doing generic mass emails, a blog seemed like a more personal option.

So, in the future, look for Stouder updates, baby pics, funny stories, and random commentary on life's events. Once the baby arrives, we plan to have a photo gallery, so you can download whatever pics you like best. If we get REALLY techno-savvy we could even put video clips online for you to enjoy! (This whole blogging idea is really stretching my techno-world, but Keith assures me it's easy.) We're excited to start our blog, and hope you will check back often to see what's new!