Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week 28

Each week, Jill and I receive a newsletter email from WhatToExpect.com about the stages of pregnancy. Sometimes they're a little too informative to share with all of you, but I thought this one was a little less "revealing" and I really liked hearing how our baby girl is already about 16 inches in length.

By the way, we're heading down to Atlanta for some reasons I'd rather not share right now, but some of you family members may already know. For those who don't know, I may share the details at some point this week or next. Stay tuned...

Week 28: Dream, Dream, Dream

Are you dreaming about your baby? Your baby may be dreaming about you, too. Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs. By now, your baby, who weighs in at about two and a half pounds and stands — or rather lies — at almost 16 inches (measured head to toe) has added blinking to his or her growing bag of tricks. (Outside in the real world, blinking is necessary to help keep foreign objects out of the eyes.) Other impressive new talents being added to your baby's roster include coughing, more intense sucking, and, perhaps most important, better breathing.

The good news is that babies born this week, though premature, have an excellent prognosis because their lungs have reached the point (for the most part) of maturity — so you too can breathe a little easier now. Of course, it's still best if a baby doesn't check out of that uterine hotel just yet — there's still a lot of growing and maturing to do over the next 12 weeks.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Golf & Football

This Saturday is close to being officially over and what a long day it's been. We woke up early to the phone call of our A/C repair guy who was waiting outside our front door ready to fix the A/C unit coil that has been the root of all of our A/C issues since the first of July. Yes, I could spend 3-4 paragraphs explaining why it took over 2 months for the correct problem to be fixed, but honestly it doesn't matter at this point. Anyways, we now have A/C again for the first time in a full week. Lets hope the 5th time is the charm.

Thankfully, I had an excuse to escape this morning (sorry Jill) while the repair guy was here because John (Jill's 1st cousin) drove down from Louisville and we went out to play a little golf. He's in town mostly for a golf clinic course that he's taking with his boss on Sunday, but they wanted to do a little warm up before so we headed down to Smyrna. Now I haven't played in months, but somehow came out playing really well. I managed a few pars and even a birdie, so I was definitely pleased. Of course, the Auburn-Tennessee game was at 2:30pm, so I only played 9 holes and headed back home. Good thing, I usually play poorly on the back 9 anyways. Ha!

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Jill, Toby and I went over to Clint and Fernanda's for some grilling out and to watch the game...and I've got to say that the grilling out was by far more interesting than Auburn's 14 to 12 win. Sadly, Auburn's offense continues to struggle to find some form of consistency, but thankfully our defense continues to keep us in games and even scored the same amount of points (7) in this contest as our offense managed. I know, it's hard to complain when your team is winning and we are now 4-1, so I will just pray that our offense finds itself eventually. Also, after watching Alabama throttle "blacked-out" Georgia 41-30 in Athens tonight, I think that just shows how on any given Saturday a team can find a way to win (see Ole Miss' upset win over Florida today, too).

Oh, and tomorrow we'll be going to the Titans game thanks to some free tix that I got from vendor. This will be my first Titans game, and hopefully they'll beat up on the visiting Minnesota Vikings. I may blog that tomorrow. Right now, I'm ready to crash. Time to call it an evening. War Damn Eagle and goodnight!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Baby Barnes Has a Name

In case you were wondering what we were going to call our baby girl, the wait is over (we think, haha). It really took us a while because frankly, we were over-thinking the whole name game. Of course, that's incredibly easy to do since we're having to think of a name that will be our baby girl's for the rest of her life. Scary, right. I mean really, think of all those kids you knew who just didn't seem to fit their names. "Oh, he definitely looks more like a Chris than a Walter." And for me, it was important to find a less than common name mostly due to the fact that my name was Matt. Just to give an example of how popular that name was, when I was turning 12 I had invited 7 friends over to the house for my birthday. Of those 7 boys, 4 were named Matt including me. Sheesh!

And so we came up with Abigail during one of Jill's craving dinners at Outback a few weeks ago. We weren't sure it was going to stick because we still had to determine a middle name and that could have changes everything. Jill wasn't thrilled it was in the Top 10 girl names of 2007, but we still liked it best. Thankfully, we didn't have to go back to the drawing board when Jill pitched the name "Jaclyn" as Abby's middle name. Of course, I've already worked on some nicknames for her including "Abby Jack." :-)

And since we're talking about our little one I just wanted to let everyone know that tonight was our first pregnancy education class. We got to learn a few things about the birthing process tonight and I'd be lying if I said that I was close to hurling at one point. Matt doesn't do graphic photos, illustrations and talk very well. And let me tell you, those photos of the baby "crowning" as well as the placenta were really gross. Oh well, I've got 12 weeks to get used to it before the big day. The class continues next week and continues for 3 more weeks so stay tuned.

Beyond that, I also wanted to post Jill's photo of her new haircut and soon-to-be donated hair. She'll be mailing the 10 inches that was trimmed off to Beautiful Lengths. She had grown her hair out ever since a donation to Locks of Love back in April 2006.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Duct Tape for Toby

And so some of you may know that Toby has this nasty "lick granule" on one of his hind legs, and any attempt to stop him from continuously irritating the area has not succeeded. And before you suggest Toby wearing one of those cones or wrapping his leg in a bandage, trust me when I say that we've practically tried everything. Despite a cone, he can lick the spot. Despite having a bandage on it, which is then soaked in some strong smelling substance such as Vicks, he manages to eat the bandage off. Well, it had been a nuisance only in the sense that he would make loud licking noises at night while we're trying to sleep, but never really got too gross. That is until recently when his nervous habit had created a really disgusting open wound that...well, leaves nasty spots every where he lays (sorry for the gross details). Anyways, I had enough late last night and tried to get creative with another option...DUCT TAPE! That's right, I took a wash cloth and then proceeded to secure it to his leg with duct tape. Unfortunately, this too was overcome by the Toby. Not sure what else to do other than place the lower half of his body into a burlap sack. Just kiddin!
The left photo is of Toby with an unsure look of what I just wrapped on his leg. On the right, that's him relaxing on my laptop bag after a long day.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last Day of Summer 2008


Whoa, this weekend has really flown by. We were able to get a brunch trip to Loveless Cafe and a little driving on the Natchez Trace Parkway today before Mom and Dad left early this afternoon heading back to Georgia. Not bad for the last day of summer, eh! Today's activities definitely helped me get over last night's tough Auburn loss to LSU. Wow, they sure know how to rip a Auburn fan's heart out...for the 2nd year in a row. And at this point, I would typically turn this particular blog into some kind of rant about why Auburn loss and what should've been done differently like many other fans do on Sundays...however, I will spare you because I've resigned myself to believing that my team is going to bounce back for next week's game against Tennessee.

And now on to random hilarious vids. With this being the last day of summer, shouldn't we all have been doing something like this...

...yes, I know not "everyone", but come on. How cool would a human slingshot be? Definitely has potential to make it into the X-Games. And with Autumn around the corner maybe pranksters should turn their attention to this idea first done by those crazy Germans...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Football, Parents & No A/C (again?)

It's Friday, and yes Janet we have been slackers this week with the blog. OHHHH, I just called out one of our readers!! Haha. No worries, the blog is back just in time for the weekend. My parents have bravely made the drive up to Nashville despite gas shortage fears looming in the Middle Tennessee area. According to the Tennessean, 85% of area gas stations are empty. Does this make sense to anyone else?

By the way, today was Talk Like a Pirate Day. In honor of that, I give you my joke of the day.

Q: Of all of the letters of the alphabet, what is a pirate's favorite letter?
A: That would be the letter "RRRrrrrr!!!"

Q: What would a pirate's keyboard look like?
A: See below


And just so you know, we're having issues with our A/C again. I came home after work this evening to the house being at 78-80 degree temps. I've turned off the A/C in hopes that the pipes may have frozen up, but I'm still a bit frustrated with this since we now have a brand new A/C unit, which was installed only a few weeks ago. Thank goodness we live in Middle Tennessee where nightly temps for this time of the year drop into the low 60's. Windows down tonight!

Finally, I give you some football talk. Tomorrow is a big day for my Auburn Tigers as they take on division rival, LSU. Those Tigers are defending national champions and come in ready to battle my Tigers in a Saturday night showdown at Jordan-Hare. I think that alone is a big positive since Auburn is notorious for playing big in night home games. Also I must mention since my dad is here that Georgia is traveling out west to Tempe to play Arizona State. Both big games will be on tomorrow night. And all the football craziness begins with ESPN's College Gameday in Auburn tomorrow morning. Awesome!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Photos from Melina's 1st Birthday Party

Alright, it's been over a week since we got back from our long weekend trip to Tampa. You've already seen some of my photos that I took during Christina & Eric's wedding, and now I give you some of the photos I took during Melina's 1st Birthday Party. Enjoy!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Alright, I'm slowly getting over the gut-wrenching Auburn win from last night (yes, a win can be gut-wrenching, just read my previous post). Thankfully, the Titans have showed up today against Cincinnati and are leading the game so far 17-7. A solid Titans win will help me forget that debacle in Starkville.

Of course, while my mind was trying to ascertain the results of the latest Auburn Tiger football game, I forgot to change the channel over to NBC to watch the season opener for Saturday Night Live. All I can say is that Tina Fey nailed her imitation of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In Case You're Wondering...

I'm sick. Sick as an ugly, flea-bitten dawg. A bit embarrassed, too. Why? Well, I just wasted 3 hours of my life watching my beloved Auburn Tigers football team beat Mississippi State. Score = 3 to 2. Yep, the #9 ranked team in the nation just beat a lowly MSU by 1 point to win the "holy crap that was a bad game" award. Technically, Auburn gets the "W" for the win in their first SEC game, but most Auburn fans tonight would tell you that it was the most painful win ever experienced. No, I'm not exaggerating. Auburn's last win of similar margins was a painful 3-0 win over Miami back in 1974. Whew, glad I wasn't around to see that one. All I can say is that my Auburn fanhood has took an embarrassing blow with this game. A win is a win, but this was more about surviving instead of winning.

(Photo/Grant Gannon)

Supposedly, Auburn installed a new offensive system known as the "spread offense", which has been used by high-scoring schools such as West Virginia, Florida and Missouri. The objective is to be a fast-paced offense that puts up tons of points and wears out opposing defenses. Apparently, Auburn installed the Chinese-generic brand version and it showed in the most pathetic display of Auburn offense since...since...heck, I have no idea. Can you tell this is bothering me? I'm just thankful we have a great defense to make up for our lackluster offense. Part of me wants to vent more, but this is a family blog. Well, I'm going to go cry myself to sleep now...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday Late Night

I really need to work on getting into bed earlier than these midnight hours, but editing photos seems to take a little more time than I realize. With that said, I have at least finished processing all of the photos from Christina & Eric's wedding this past Saturday. I just wasn't that inspired for some reason to snap away during the event, but somehow managed to process over 200 photos. Um, yeah even I think that's way too much for being so uninspired. I did get a few good shots, but really enjoyed the candid photos I was able to take such as the one below. That's my brother-in-law giving some great "Qwez-dom" to the camera for the newlyweds.

Wise Words of Qwez
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Anyways, only a few made the cut to my Flickr site, which are those scrolling below. All others will make their way onto Jill's Snapfish so we can email them out to everyone. Of course, Melina's birthday party Sunday had me more motivated to shoot, so I will now get back to processing the 300+ photos I took there. At least the weekend will give me some more time to work on those. Haha! Goodnight.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hello Monday...wait, it's officially Tuesday

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

We're back in Nashville from our long weekend in Tampa...and I'm blogging @ 12:15am? Um, that's the night owl in me trying to stretch as much out of this long day as possible. With that said, I'm actually headed up stairs to grab some "shut-eye" with the wifey, but wanted to do a quick blog just so I can have a starting point to work with tomorrow. Check back in for the finished blog if you wish. :-)


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Update from Tampa

Run to Grandma
Originally uploaded by crashmattb

Well, we made it into Tampa last night just fine and have already jumped head first into the weekend's activities. This morning I had my bacon, egg & cheese on Cuban bread (awesome, thanks Anita) and then proceeded to scarf down a grouper sandwich (also, on Cuban bread) less than 2 hours later after traveling with Jill's grandparents to a small little Cubano Market/Grille in West Tampa. Definitely a good sandwich, and the crab empanada was not too shabby, either. I also got to spend a little time at Mikey & Marisa's before heading back to the house to get ready for the wedding rehearsal. The photo above is one of the few I snapped of Melina while hanging out there.

Anyways, we made it down to Brandon for the rehearsal, and then enjoyed the rehearsal dinner later on @ Buca di Beppo. I ate way too much, but it just meant that I was sticking with the mantra I adopted earlier in the day by stuffing myself with the Cuban bread-based sandwiches. Good times at the restaurant, and the drive back wasn't as bad as it has been most times (little traffic @ 10pm). Now I'm about to call it an evening. Tomorrow is the wedding (precluded by the Auburn-Southern Miss football game). Sunday is Melina's birthday party. Plenty still to do this weekend, so I may update on Sunday...then again, maybe not until Monday. Later...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Short Week Ahead

The extended Labor Day weekend is coming to a close about as quick as it started, but I think it was overall a productive weekend...

First, let me just say that the "nesting stage" for Jill is now fully active. About Wed or Thurs of last week, Jill got off work early and got motivated to clean up the garage. I figured she would've done a little cleaning, but I really had no idea. She knocked it out, and we actually have a garage to walk around in now thanks to Jill's hard work. That leads us to my weekend projects. On Friday night I got to hang shelves in both the laundry room and our bathroom in order to make use of some unused spaces. This allowed us to clear out some space in the closets of the spare bedrooms, as well as move Jill's many shoe boxes out of the bedroom. I haven't felt like doing a whole lot of work to our townhome, but this work was worth the added space, especially since it's so limited. It makes us feel better, too, because we're getting better at that "pack-rat" status since the little one is on her way. We're both sure she'll have plenty more to add to our collection of things in the coming months and years, so might as well do it now. And an afternoon trip to Goodwill cleared some more space today, although I'm sure we'll be heading back in a few weeks to drop off more as the purge process continues. Anyways, I managed to do a little work yesterday by adding more shelves in our guest bedroom, and then added roll-up blinds to my list of accomplishments tonight. All in all, a productive weekend. Just pray for me that my nesting wife doesn't add more to the "to-do" list. :-)

(AP Photo/Todd J. Van Emst)

Beyond working on home improvement projects, I actually managed to work in some football this weekend also. And let me just say how much I've truly missed college football..."I've truly missed college football." I got a few early games in such as Florida-Hawaii and VT-ECU, but of course the Auburn game was my main focus on Saturday night. Since it was PPV, we met up with Mark & Samantha at Sportsman's Grille to watch the Tigers beat up on Louisiana-Monroe. I could go into a long analysis of the game here, especially how disappointed I was in the new spread offense's lack of productivity, but I will spare you because Auburn won easily with a 34-0 win. Not much fun critiquing an easy win, so I will just save those for the big-time SEC games instead. And regardless of my criticism, I still think Auburn is a very good team with tons of potential for the remaining 11 games. Hopefully, this should be a fun season to be an Auburn Tiger.

And so that concludes our Labor Day weekend. We now roll right into a very short week due to our upcoming trip down to Tampa. On Thursday evening we'll be heading south for Christina & Eric's wedding, and all the festivities that will surround it. We'll probably blog more about the upcoming weekend as it inches close so stay tuned. Have a great week, everyone!