Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Birthday Kind of Day

Yesterday was The Husband's birthday.  
We had breakfast together (as we've been doing most mornings since he's been interning at the school).  We spent time together, and then we got ready for work. I completely enjoy going to work with him and seeing him throughout the day.  It's so nice to eat lunch together occasionally and smile or hug one another as we pass in the hallway. He's doing such a fantastic job up there, and I'm so proud to see him work and work and work and never complain that he's doing all that work and not getting paid, haha.  His servant's heart is growing by leaps and bounds.  
The sun, though you can't really tell in this picture, looked particularly interesting as we drove. 
We got to work and did our separate things, him working on computer-related and auction-related (THE GALA/AUCTION IS TONIGHT!!) things with our IT gal, me working in the office.  
(This is apparently the face I'm going to get when he'd rather be doing something else....but I don't mind, haha)
He can smile pleasantly! Love him! 
(Side note--our child has no chance of having straight hair *sad face*)
While at work, I received an email (an hour after it was sent) regarding the upcoming Gala that's held each year as our school's ONLY fundraising event.  It's how our school funds scholarships, the workings of the school, teacher bonuses (sometimes...I don't know if that applies this year), and many other things.  The email said that a family who had purchased a table at the event and had received a hotel room for the night decided that they didn't need the hotel room after all.  The email went on to say that the first teacher to respond would get to have the room for free!  I, jokingly, told The Husband he should go ask for it.  WHOOSH! Away he raced down the hall.  In minutes, he was back in my doorway with a pleased grin on his face.  WE get to enjoy the free hotel room after the Gala!  What a blessing! :) So I'll be packing a few items (pajamas, toiletries, body pillow haha, etc.) to take along with us as we head that way this evening.  I hope to take plenty of pictures of people and items and post them with the Pregnancy Highlights post on Monday.  
After work, we ran some errands, did a little window shopping, and headed over to Gringo's to meet his family for his birthday dinner.  It was yummy, and for lunch today, I will be enjoying the rest of my tasty meal.  
Here we all are (minus one). Don't we all look full and satisfied?  
After dinner, we walked down the sidewalk and into Rao's (a neat little bakery and gelato shop).  I had my regular Stracciatella gelato, but brought most of it home to enjoy later.  I was still SO stuffed from dinner.   
We spent some time at his parent's house, playing with a very sweet, very gentle puppy The Husband rescued on Thursday and that his parents are caring for until they can find it a home.  If we had an actual house, you know with an actual backyard, and The Husband had a really wonderful-paying job, I'd say we'd take her.  Oh, the "if only's," right?? 
I DON'T normally like dogs.  I do, however, like their male dog (who is the calmest, friendliest dog I've EVER met), and I really like the sweet new one living there now.  I hope she finds a wonderful home.  

My darling...who almost never reads these posts...,
I wish you a new year of blessings.  I pray for you daily, and I am so proud of the man you are and the role you are filling.  You are a dedicated, hard-working, loving, funny, affectionate, goofy-as-all-get-out husband who is going to be a wonderful and gentle daddy in a little over five months.  
Thank you for allowing God to work in you daily; I love you more than I can put into words.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

18 Weeks

Sunday (yesterday), after a morning of wonderful worship and a much-needed, God-inspired sermon and then a lunch of champions at Taco Bell (where I had the most delicious berry pomegranate slushy-drink), The Husband and I went to the park near our home.  It was a GORGEOUS day, and I had some leftover bread to feed the ducks, geese, fish, and turtles that inhabit the ponds/creeks there.  It was very hot (90°-ish), but it was so nice to spend time together out there admiring God's creation.  The main area of the park was incredibly crowded due to the bazillion soccer games that appeared to be happening all at the same time, so we opted to head over to a smaller pond that was more secluded.  There were lots of turtles and minnows to enjoy the bread we shared with them, but no ducks or geese.
 I asked The Husband to take a picture of us because the button was on "his" side.  These are what transpired. :)
 The only one that actually caught both of us smiling and looking at the camera . :)
Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  18 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 5.5 inches long and the size of a sweet potato.

Total weight gain/loss: Oh readers.  For some reason, I was getting concerned that I wasn't gaining what I was told I was supposed to be gaining each week.  So, I went and bought some breakfast shakes to go along with my bagel and cream cheese in the mornings.  Well, I fixed the "weight gain" issue.  I gained *at least* two pounds this week.  I'm up 7 pounds this pregnancy.  

Maternity clothes:   Dresses for work; though I do wear pre-pregnancy shirts and pre-pregnancy jeans on Fridays, but the button is, of course, unbuttoned.  Shorts and shirts for home and errands. I have worn a few of the maternity shirts the bestie loaned me (like the one in the picture below!).  So comfy :)  And, I broke out the BeBand she gave me for the first time this week. Perfect for hiding the unbuttoned top of my jeans :)

Gender:  It's getting close!! Our doctor said she could tell the gender on the last ultrasound, but we've waited this long to find out.  What's a few more weeks? :) 

Movement:  I haven't felt any movement yet.

Sleep:  I'm sleeping well.  Once I fall asleep, I'm asleep until my bladder wakes me up.
*Update*
 Well, I wrote that, and then, Saturday night, and miserably, last night I slept so poorly.  I think I'll break out the melatonin tonight because, honestly, my body and mind are so exhausted that I can't imagine another night like those. 

What I miss: My moments of non-back pain.

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes.  

Symptoms:  I've had some nausea early in the mornings before breakfast, but I'm completely fine once I get those first few sips of breakfast shake and first few bites of bagel and cream cheese in me.  Also, my back has been hurting more and more.  Muscle spasms in the middle section of my back (on the right side always) have been breaking out throughout the week, and my only relief is to lie down.  I've tried stretching (forwards, backwards, side to side), rolling my shoulders, hot baths, Tylenol, sitting, standing.  Lying down seems to be the only thing that calms the spasms for any length of time.  

Exercise:  I made it to the gym twice.  The doctor said not to do anything strenuous, so I stayed home for the beginning part of the week.  I made myself go on Friday since my back was hurting so badly.  I figured stretching and light weights could only help.  They did for a while, thankfully. 

Best moment this week:  Seeing the Little One via ultrasound at our un-scheduled appointment.  The Husband and I were both in awe as we watched him/her wave arms and kick legs.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's in a name?

*Sigh*
This has been a rough day.
TMI alert.  If you don't do squeamish, you should probably skip this section or not read this post at all

So, last night I had some bleeding.  Not a lot, but enough to bother me.  I had had some spotting early on in the pregnancy which, since it was early on, worried me considerably.  But.  Everything was fine.

Then last night happened, many weeks after the original spotting, and I was concerned.
This morning, after making it through the morning sickness stage without vomiting once, I became increasingly sick to my stomach until finally I had to make a run for the bathroom.  Miraculously, I made it to the toilet in time and vomited up whatever was in my stomach.  The nausea went away, but I worried.  And worried.  And cried.  And woke The Husband.  We decided it was best that I call the doctor.

So, I did.  And, amazingly they worked me in pretty quickly.  We didn't have to wait in the waiting room long before being called back.  The nurse found the heartbeat (150 bpm) and left to talk to the doctor.   We waited a bit longer before being called to the ultrasound room.  And, then we got to see the baby.

Nine weeks after catching a glimpse of our wee one, we got to see his/her sweet little head and torso and arms and legs again.  We watched as the tiny arms and legs moved and the sweet mouth opened and closed.  It was beautiful.  The doctor was great.  She was very thorough, and we talked a while.  The baby appears to be healthy, and we are sooo thankful.  The doctor thinks I may have an extra piece of placenta hanging about in there (actually, to be more specific, it's pretty close to the cervical opening).   This could cause the bleeding if irritated.  I go back to the doctor in a few weeks for my actual ultrasound and scans and am looking forward to seeing the baby again.  We're very thankful that this day turned out so much better than it started, and we haven't stopped praising Him.

In other news, we are in need of name suggestions.  We do already have a favorite name picked out if it's a girl, but we're a little lost on boy names.  We have one or two that we "like," but I'm not sure if either is THE one if this baby is a boy.   Names that I throw out, he nixes, and many names he's thrown out, I veto.  Agh!  It was incredibly easy to choose a girl name.  Why is it so dang hard to pick a boy name?? We've had lots of suggestions, but we're not set on anything.

I believe that choosing a name is one of the most important decisions we can make as parents.  We are choosing a name that this child will be known by for the rest of his/her life.  I do, however, find comfort in the fact that God knows our names before we are born (Isaiah 49:1 and Jeremiah 1:5), so He knows what we will call the Little One.  Eventually, we'll know the right name in our hearts.  In the meantime, however, we'll keep searching.  If you, dear readers, have some name suggestions that you'd like to throw out there, then by all means, throw away.  Well, don't do that.  You could just type them in the "comments" section below...Ahem.

Bedtime has approached, so I'll leave you with a verse I've kept near to me lately.

"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27

The Lord is good, and His mercy endures forever.

Monday, March 19, 2012

17 Weeks

Warning:  This post contains an abundance of pictures.  Just fyi.

Hi again!  Spring Break was wonderful and relaxing and busy.  It went by so quickly.  The beginning of the week was very productive, and we accomplished a great deal around here.  Thursday, we drove to my parents' house to spend a few days with them.  My mom's birthday was Saturday, so we thought it would be nice to be there on her special day.  While down,  I got a much-needed hair cut.
Look at all the hair Angie cut off!  I took this in the restroom at the shop right after she cut it, so it's not washed or fixed, but I love it!  
Friday afternoon, we went to a festival that's held in my hometown every year during Spring Break.  We went with my best friend and her girls and had a fabulous time!  Here's a picture of the two of us and her newest little one.  Isn't she a doll?! Don't mind my no-makeup look.  I have not been in the mood to wear much more than mascara lately.  
And just for grins and giggles, here are the two of us, oh, 8 or so years ago when her twins were several months older than that wee one above is now. We were at the lake that weekend, so please forgive the "no-makeup-and-obviously-no-fixing-of-the-hair" looks we've got going on. And, please, someone explain to me how I could be at the lake all weekend and still come away as white as ever!  And, haha, my hair is about the same length then as it is now! 
Time has flown by.  We've been friends since sixth grade (I tried DESPERATELY to find a picture of the two of us from that year but couldn't find a one on my computer--darn!  That was a sarcastic "darn" if you didn't realize that because, well, our middle school years were not kind to us, and we are both very very happy to be long past them), and we know just about everything about each other.  Love that girl!!
Yesterday, Sunday, after our second church service (have I mentioned I belong to the most friendly, outgoing church and have a fabulous church family?), we had a church-wide picnic.
Here I am with my mother-in-law.
 Here's The Husband and me (he made that awful face because I took his AWFUL (see below) hat off his head for the picture)
 Below are the sequence of events it took to get a decent picture of the three of us (The Husband, me, and our friend, Hank)
1.  Trying to take off THAT hat
 2. Two out of three were ready
 3.  Now he's just being mean
 4.  We have a winner!
 Here's Bethany, one of the loveliest (both inside and out) girls I know.  
All right, enough with the pictures. :)
Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  17 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 5 inches long and the size of a turnip (or the length of my hand).

Total weight gain/loss: I *think* I'm up another half pound or so, but when I weighed myself a few nights ago, it was after eating horribly (i.e. ridiculous amounts of fried food) at the festival in my hometown.  So, I guess I'll go ahead and say, in all, I've gained 5 pounds.

Maternity clothes:   Dresses and comfy shirts/shorts/capris.  Ahem, I had to get new undergarments this week because of some upper back pain the, ahem, smaller undergarments were causing.  I have worn a few maternity tops my bestie gave me, and they are super comfortable!   

Gender:  Our ultrasound that will reveal the baby's gender will take place in less than three weeks!  It's getting soooo close.  We are waiting, oh-so-patiently, for our Gender Reveal Party that will take place the following week. :)

Movement:  I thought maybe I felt something mid-week, but I haven't had any reoccurrence, so I'm pretty sure that wasn't the baby I felt.  :(

Sleep:  I'm sleeping fine (when I'm asleep and not heading toward the bathroom for my once or twice nightly trip).  I still wake to find myself lying on my back occasionally, but I mostly sleep on my sides now that I have the wonderful body pillow.  Even The Husband likes it!  He's tried to steal it several times in his sleep, hehe. :)

What I miss:  Sleeping on my back; wearing jeans.

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes.  

Symptoms:  Hmmm, mid- to upper-back pain and crazy bouts of hunger.  

Exercise:   I made it to the gym three times at the beginning of the week before we went to see my parents, so I feel pretty good about that.  We also walked a lot at the festival, so I didn't feel too lazy while on our mini vacation. :)

Best moment this week:  Hmmm, there were a couple!  I really, really enjoyed spending time with my parents, my sister and her family, my aunt and the cousins, and Kelli and the girls this week.  Those visits seem to fly by because there are so many people to see in such a short amount of time--and so many people I wish I could see!  I love summer vacations when we can go for a week and time doesn't seem to disappear quite so quickly.  Have a great week!

Monday, March 12, 2012

16 Weeks--aka 4 Months!!

Saturday, my amazingly-handy father-in-law came over to help install a ceiling fan (with lights).  The nursery ceiling has NEVER had a fan or light.  Isn't that weird?  Did you ever live somewhere that one or more of the rooms didn't have at least a light in the ceiling?  The switch on the wall was connected to the outlet closest to it.  So strange!

Anyway, he and The Husband worked for hours climbing in and out of the attic (via a very small opening in our closet and a precarious-looking ladder) to move wiring and do all the things that are involved when a fan/light is installed for the very first time.  Hence, the reason I don't have any pictures of the actual guys doing the labor :(
Anyway, the end product looks GREAT! Thanks, boys!!  I can't wait to get even more accomplished in there.
Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  16 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 4-5 inches long and the size of an avocado.

Total weight gain/loss: Since I've been sick for over a week, I guess my appetite wasn't what it should have been.  I think I actually lost at least a pound during that time but gained back half a pound in time for my obgyn appointment on Thursday.  So, in all, since finding out I was pregnant at 4 1/2 weeks, I've gained 4 pounds. 

Maternity clothes:   I wear any dresses and loose-fitting skirts/tops in my closet.  I loved wearing jeans until the end of this week.  I do not enjoy leaving the top button undone (though I know it's completely acceptable when I'm wearing a long top). My friend Kelli gave me a belly band, but I haven't broken down and worn it yet.  Maybe this coming week :). 

Gender:  We have a feeling (although it could just be a preference, haha), but we don't know the sex of the baby yet.  We can't wait for our Gender Reveal party which will be happening soon!!!

Movement:  I haven't felt any movement yet, but I'm told I could start feeling flutters any day now!

Sleep:  My friend Amy *the one who let me borrow her body pillow* found out THE night after she gave it to me that she's expecting! She said I can borrow it for however long since she's behind me by several months.  I thought that was lovely of her. :)  So, that being said,  the body pillow has become my new best friend.  My back (and tailbone) send their thanks!

What I miss:  Sleeping on my back; wearing jeans.

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes.  

Symptoms:    I'm hungry.  Often.  Here's a picture of a DELICIOUS bagel I had at work on Friday.


Here's another shot just so you can see the yummy-ness that was this bagel.
Just looking at it makes me want another one.  Yes, I used three small containers of cream cheese on two halves of a bagel.  And, yes, if I had had four small containers, I would have used the fourth, as well.  I think I'm going to be picking up bagels and cream cheese at the grocery store this week.  That's healthy, right?

Exercise:  :(  I've been sick since last Friday with bronchitis and either a bad cold or severe allergies.  The gym was not on my list of to-do's.  Well, actually it was, but I think it would have been unwise of me (and unkind of me) to try jogging on the elliptical while knowing that any second I could begin having a coughing fit and *generously* share my germs with those around me.  But, this coming week is Spring Break, baby, and I'll be raring to head down the road to the gym as often as I can.  

Best moment this week:  We heard The Little One's heartbeat on Thursday at my appointment!  It was 151 bpm this time (compared with 165 bpm at 12 weeks).  The tech said it sounded great!  I googled fetal heart rates to see what they "predict," and everything I read said that the theory of using the heart rate to predict gender doesn't prove accurate.  Bummer! Oh, well, it's still fun to guess!

Here are two shots of the belly this week.  You know, because I didn't post one last week and all.  
  
 And also, I just wanted a shot focused on the belly and one not to compare. :)
By the way, it was VERY rainy and chilly Sunday morning before church.  My choice of attire was one of cuteness and comfort and not one of practicality.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dreams

I have these dreams of motherhood.
No really.
Almost nightly, I've been having very vivid, very real dreams about raising our baby.  Cuddling, cloth-diapering, nursing, consoling.  These have been some of the neatest dreams I have ever had.  I think that's the case mostly because those are some of the dreams that I hope to make a reality in a little over five months' time.
I can't begin to describe my giddiness over the prospect of cloth diapering!  Of nursing this baby.  Of co-sleeping.  Of baby-wearing (not the latest fashion trend of wearing-your-child-as-an-accessory; the carrying of one's child out of comfort, convenience, and closeness). Of cuddling and soothing and rocking and loving.  I look at the rocking chair that's been in our room for months, and I imagine the moments that will be spent in it.  I pass by the nursery on my way to the kitchen or on my way to our bedroom, and I think to myself, "Soon.  Soon there will be a sweet little one in this room.  Crying, cooing, sleeping."  I can't wait!!

So, I'm sure you caught the co-sleeping line.
Yes, I'm very interested and have done much research on the benefits (and the risks) of co-sleeping.   This article, in particular, was very informative.
I know that it can be done safely, and although it's not for everyone, I would like to try it.  For me, the benefits outweigh the risks, as long as I follow the general rules (for starters, I don't plan on drinking alcoholic beverages, and then crawling into bed next to my newborn).  Sleeping near my newborn will give me peace of mind that I wouldn't have if he/she were sleeping in another room.  As the articles state, I will be aware of his/her breathing more so than I would be if I were listening to a monitor.  Also, nursing my newborn will be easier when he/she is within arm's reach for each feeding.
But, I know there are a few risks that do apply.  One of which is having the baby sleep with you on a less-than-firm mattress.  Ours is less-than-firm.  So, I started investigating "side cars" or "co-sleeping bassinets."  Here's a co-sleeper that I'm interested in since there's not a lot of extra floor space (at least on my side of the bed) in our bedroom.  I like that it's completely portable (from one room to the next, from our home to a hotel room, etc.), that it can be used as a changing table, and that it has storage.

I'm also sure that you caught the cloth diapering line.
I have wanted to cloth diaper for years.  Literally.  Before we got married, while we were still in the very early stages of dating, I told The (now) Husband that I really wanted to cloth diaper any children I might have.  I think he looked at me in bewilderment.  After much discussion, I think he's finally come around to the idea.  I don't know that he adores the idea like I do (and he's certainly not giddy about it), but he understands the benefits.  We really like the fact that it's healthier (for baby and for our bank account).  We like that it's very doable.  I realize that we won't always be able to cloth diaper our child/children.  Occasionally, we will have to supplement disposables.  But for the most part, cloth diapering is the way we intend to go.  A few websites I found informative were this one, this one, that one, and the "plus, they're just TOOOO cute" one over yonder.  Because cloth diapering can be expensive at the beginning (but so worth it money-wise over the long haul), the majority of the items we've registered for (so far) have to do with that.




So, those are a few of my dreams.
Have any of you cloth diapered or co-slept with your kiddos?
Success stories?  Funny anecdotes?  Failures that you'd like to get off your chest, so that, you know, I don't make the same mistakes?
I'd love to hear your thoughts...even if you want to try to convince me to go a different route. :)
So go ahead.
Share!

Monday, March 5, 2012

15 Weeks


Pregnancy Highlights:

How far along:  15 weeks and 1 day today

Size of baby:  The Little One is 4.5 inches long and the size of a naval orange.

Total weight gain/loss: I've gained another half a pound this week. In all, since finding out I was pregnant at 4 1/2 weeks, I've gained 4 pounds. 

Maternity clothes:   Dresses and jeans are still my main choices of attire, but the jeans are getting tighter.  Friday, I had to bite the bullet and unbutton the top button, replacing it with a rubber band. :( Thank the good Lord, spring/summer is almost here! Comfy shorts/sundresses, here I come!

Gender:  We have a feeling (although it could just be a preference, haha), but we don't know the sex of the baby yet.  We can't wait for our Gender Reveal party next month when The Husband and I find out right alongside our family members and friends! More on the G.R. party soon.

Movement:  I haven't felt any movement yet.

Sleep:  My friend (and parent of one of my pre-k students) Amy brought me a body pillow to try out!  Wasn't that kind of her?!  

What I miss:  Sleeping on my back.

Cravings:  Chocolate shakes.  

Symptoms:  I've been slightly nauseated right when I wake up in the mornings, but I'm fine once I get something in my stomach (and in the Little One's stomach).  

Exercise:  *Sigh*  Once this week.  Once.  We had something going EVERY evening this week except Thursday.  Come on, Spring Break!

Best moment this week:  Making it to the gym once? Haha, this week was a blur, a good blur for the most part.  I did get to help lead in worship last Sunday, and that was an amazing experience.  I can't wait to see/feel if the Little One reacts when I sing and when I'm joining my voice with the lovely choir people I meet with every week.

*I'm going to be honest here:  The weekend was rough.  So, no picture this week unless I take one after work today.  Sorry!*