Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Post of 2009-- Wow!

I always get so sad on New Year's Eve. I don't know if it has more to do with the fear of the unknown, the letdowns of the past, or the memories of the year that were just too damn good to let go. Maybe it's all three. I just know that my nostalgia goes into overdrive on December 31, and I am usually a hot mess by the end of the night-- emotional and weepy. (( and this year at least I know it won't be alcohol induced! ))

Before I go any further, today, NINE years ago, Luke and I began dating officially! We call this one our High School Anniversary. Happy High School Anniversary, babe!

I can look at my life in segments (I think I have said this before). The time before our miscarriage in September of 2008, the time between September 2008-April 2009, and then the time from April 2009-now.

The time from September 2008-April 2009 can be compared to the feeling of nearly drowning, being sucked under, unable to catch your breath or signal to anyone for help. I spent a good part of those months mad, upset, jealous, and feeling sorry for myself. Two pivotal instances occurred during those months that helped to save us from "drowning." One- on the way back from Bloomington around Valentine's Day with Abe & E, they took the time to have a real conversation with us about our loss of the baby. They asked us how we were honestly doing, and we honestly weren't doing that well. We were able to vent emotions and feelings that we had been holding in for a while. I remember feeling a lot at that time that I couldn't really talk about the miscarriage-- that while people cared, they didn't want to hear about it. I felt like no one could understand. I thought maybe I was being dramatic and I should be over it by then. They helped us to know that they did care...and that they would always care....which was helpful and really instrumental to our healing. I know it helped Luke maybe more than me, because Luke was able to speak openly about this loss without feeling weird or too sensitive or uncomfortable. Luke admires his brothers so much, so I know what it meant for Abel to show such compassion.

That was a turning point for us-- we started looking forward more and looking back less. I set my sights on getting healthier, lost some weight that needed to be lost, and I chopped my hair off by Spring Break. I felt like a new woman!

By April, we were celebrating Luke's birthday, and we got an extra special present...this time from Luke's other brother Seth and his wife, Liz. After leaving our house after celebrating Luke's birthday, they doubled back around and asked us to be Solomon's godparents. Oh...what joy we felt in that moment! For them to trust us with such responsibility--I was just moved beyond measure. Solomon's birth, at first, was bittersweet for me. It represented everything I wasn't going to have (at that time), and I was riddled with guilt that I couldn't stop thinking about my own situation. Holding Solomon, and getting to know him, and loving him...I always felt a bond. When they asked us to be his godparents, it validated that bond for me and helped me to believe that we would someday have the joy of being parents ourselves. Little did we know... :-)

May was stressful in preparation for Luke's board exam, but it also meant the end of school, beginning of summer, and Kiawah was right around the corner. In June, we all headed to South Carolina and enjoyed a blissful week in the sun. It kicked off a great summer, which included my first real bridesmaid opportunity (as MOH in Al's wedding), my first (and last) mountain biking adventure, and lots of other fun memories-- which leads us up to...

THE BABY! I found out around July 12 or so...and waited to tell Luke until July 15-- coincidentally the same day he got his excellent board score. We celebrated a great score, a new baby, my birthday, and our 2 year wedding anniversary all in the same week. Now can you say, "Best week ever!"?

Ever since then, our lives have been taken over by preparing for baby! We have loved every minute of this pregnancy, and now it is 2/3 over! We have stayed busy by teaching, learning, studying, both attending and being attendants in the weddings of friends, watching some good football, taking a mini trip to West Baden and getting massages, staying active (or trying), and celebrating holidays with family and friends through parties and get-togethers.

2009 was a great mix of big events and small moments, all of which helped me (and us) to grow, change, regress, and adapt. 2010--- you have BIG shoes to fill!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Baby Quilt

I got a sewing machine for Christmas, and I decided on Monday afternoon that I wanted to do a baby quilt. I bought a book, tools, and great fabric, and I began working on it! A couple hours in, I was really on a roll, and I just couldn't stop!

By Tuesday evening, it was finished. It was really fun and rewarding to do something like that. I can't wait to see my little one playing on it! I tried to make it as gender neutral as possible.

It's not perfect, but it came from me, so I think it will be special for our baby!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

27 & 28 Weeks

I am behind on my posting, and everything feels pretty out of whack right now, but I didn't want to forget to update about the pregnancy! I am now in week 28, and feeling pretty darn good. I have been blessed to feel WONDERFUL this entire pregnancy. I know so many women have it much worse, so I am really counting my blessings. My only real complaint is sleep (can't find a comfortable position), and my right hip has been hurting since about October. It feels caught in that uncomfortable place right before it needs to pop, but it won't pop. It makes me walk like a grandma and doesn't allow me to get up off the floor very easily, but other than that, I am A-OK!

I go back to the doc in just a couple of weeks, and then after that, I am on 2 week appointments. Crazy! I still haven't heard back from my glucose test, but I am assuming (hopefully I don't look like an ass) that I am OK because I would think that they would have notified me by now if I needed to be retested. I will call after lunch and see.

Since all the "scrutiny" about my size (hahah...this is me, being dramatic), I have been watching pretty closely and according to MY scale, I haven't gained anything since my doc appointment a week ago. I am hoping that I am doing the right thing and not "packing it on" too heavily. I hate being concerned about weight when I am trying to grow an extra human inside my body...it's a lot to think about!

Anyway-- I am now officially in trimester 3! Luke has predicted that the baby will arrive in early March. I am still hoping for an on-due-date arrival. However, it's pretty awesome to think that really anywhere from about 9-12 weeks from now, we will have our child with us! We have a lot to do-- still a lot of living, learning, and growing to do...but we will get there.

27 Weeks

28 Weeks

Monday, December 28, 2009

Frustrated!

Why is it that when one thing goes wrong, a whole host of things go wrong?????? I am being dramatic here....these things that are "wrong" are minor in the grand scheme. I know that we have a lot of things going right for us, but for now I am allowed to be frustrated!

How to vent frustration without killing another human being....now that would be a great Dr. Phil segment. First the Colts ruin my night (and most of today if I am being honest), then our damn treadmill that we "had to have" from Craigslist is fritzed and we can't find anyone readily available to help us with it. We called Cybex and simply told us that they don't make that model anymore. Great. Cool. Do you have an old service manual you can mail out to us? Geez.

There's a few other issues, which of course boil down to money and never having enough of it. Luke's graduation cannot come soon enough! I am tired of being the breadwinner! TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY AND STRESS!

There's my rant, and hopefully it helped to save an innocent human being that might have incurred my wrath at the store, on the road, or anywhere else I might be.

Christmas Craziness Comes to an End

Luke and I had a great Christmas celebration. It lasted from Wednesday the 23rd to the 26th, and it was full of family, traveling, gifts, children, good food, and not a lot of sleep. I have been counting down to Christmas since early November, and it just a couple of days, it quickly came to an end. I think this is the first Christmas where I am not that sad, however. I know that a much better gift and celebration are in store in just about 12 weeks (or less!).

We have had the tradition to celebrate our own personal Christmas a couple days before. Luke had an exam on the 23rd in the morning, and then we spent the whole day together. We finished some last minute shopping, ate lunch, and opened our gifts together. We finished the evening with a great dinner at Ruby Tuesday's. I had ribs, and boy did I love them! Luke did really well for me this year. He got me a couple of hats that I asked for, some books, a necklace, and Wii Sports Resort! So fun! :-) I got him his coat back in November, plus some socks and boxers, fleece pants, and a CamelBak water backpack for when he runs or bikes.

We headed to Muncie after dinner to see my family because my brother and his girlfriend surprised my mom by coming in from Missouri. She didn't think they would be able to come until after Christmas, but they surprised her early. We all knew they were coming except her. It was hard to keep the secret, but fun to lie and get her all riled up! :-) We spent the evening playing the Wii, which ended up with me having a sore shoulder and arm for two days because of the sword fighting game.

Thursday was Christmas Eve. It was low-key. Luke and I went to a couple of stores and killed time until we all went to Mass. We ate some good food, watched the traditional Simpsons Christmas and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (like we have EVERY year since I can remember-- still on VHS with original early 90's commercials), and then we all sat down like a nice little family and watched The Hangover! Not exactly your typical family movie. I warned my mom and dad that it was pretty lewd and crude...and I think after the first 50 F-bombs they got used to it and thought it was funny. This has become somewhat of a new tradition, because we watched Step Brothers last year.

Friday was Christmas...and we all, including our baby, were treated very well by Santa. I am overwhelmed at how much "Santa" is able to do for us...we are very lucky. Just a few of our favorite surprises were a GPS, our baby's travel system, the baby's swing, the car seat, and tons of other fun baby stuff.

After my family's Christmas was over, we headed to New Albany to see Luke's huge family for Christmas. There were probably 50 people at his grandma's tiny house on Christmas night, but it was fun and I can't wait to add our little Max or Noelle to the mix next year!

The day after Christmas, we spent it with Seth and Liz and the boys. I love our nephews! They are the cutest! We had so much fun seeing them and their excitement for Christmas. The girls split from the boys, and we did some shopping, eating, and then joined back up with the men for Avatar 3D. I can't believe I went and saw it, but I actually liked it. So there, Luke. You win.

The boys and girls split again and hung out at two different houses. All the aunts and female cousins played games and ate some food while the men and boys played poker. It was awesome to hang out with so many people and laugh so much.

We headed back on Sunday, leaving 45 degree, sunny weather in New Albany and returning to snowy, cold Indy weather. We put away all our gifts and cleaned our house...everything looks great! Mom and Dad brought our big gifts that wouldn't fit in the car down and watched the UNFORTUNATE Colts game with us. I am still reeling at how you can have a chance at history and go undefeated, but yet you think playing it safe and pulling star players out in the 3rd quarter is a good idea. Why are they so worried about injuries? These men are huge. They are strong. They are smart. I don't get it.

Anyway-- that was our Christmas in a nutshell! I hope everyone's was full of love and laughter....and the spirit of Christmas lasts the whole year through!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Glucose Test

Well, I had my infamous glucose test today. My mom was able to go with me to check out the hospital and see the beautiful Community North facilities.

I was handed a fruit punch flavored "drink" that was just kinda like thicker Kool-Aid, but I had to chug it in 5 minutes. I didn't really feel yucky until about a 1/2 hour later. I had to wait an hour to have my blood drawn, so in that time, I was able to go to my regular OB appointment, then go back down to get my blood drawn.

My mom got to meet my doctor, and she also got to hear the heartbeat, which was going strong at about 150 beats per minute. Though my belly is measuring right at 27 weeks like it is supposed to, the doc made a comment about my weight gain...that I am on the above normal range. Boo. This makes me sad and self-conscious. According to their scales, I am up 25 lbs. However, I weighed in 8lbs heavier at my appointment than what I did this morning on my scale at home. Who knows. I just hate all the judgments about pregnancy weight gain. Everyone thinks you're either too big or too small...compared to how they were when they were pregnant or compared to some chart. It sucks. Gone are the days of pregnant women being able to pretty much eat what they want (within reason). I know it is for the health of the baby, but I also know that an ice cream sundae every now and then isn't going to hurt anyone. Besides, that's calcium, right?

I won't know my results about my sugar test until at least Wednesday, maybe next Monday because of the holiday. If I fail this test, I will have to go back to have a 2nd one to determine if I have gestational diabetes. Fingers crossed!

Good news is my blood pressure was great. 116/60. We're quickly moving along to 28 weeks! :-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

I feel like I have been playing catch-up a lot here lately...with my sleep...with my Facebook & Blogging (oh-so-important)...with my work at home...etc. It's been a busy week, between getting everything ready at school for Christmas break, going to my staff Christmas party, the Royerton Christmas Program, and then having Luke's family Christmas all weekend, I feel like I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off! I am soooo exhausted, but I know that I will have 2 weeks off to catch up my sleep.

We had a great weekend with Luke's family. Because our family is so big and busy, we must do our Christmas not on actual Christmas Day. We hung out, laughed a lot, ate a TON of food, played with our beautiful nephews, built a HUGE snowman, saw Blindside (me) and Avatar (Luke), got some great gifts, and caught up with all the family news. Luke's youngest sister CeCe is heading to Argentina for a whole year on January 4th, so we enjoyed spending time with her. It's insane to think that our child will be 9 months old when she comes home and meets him/her for the first time. It makes me sad, but I know she is doing what she wants to do, and she will have a great experience.

In other news, I hit the 27 week milestone, meaning this is my last official week in the 2nd trimester. I am excited and nervous to begin my 3rd trimester. I can't believe I have been pregnant over 6 months already. The time is flying, and we are getting so close to meeting our precious baby girl or baby boy. I have had 3 girl dreams and Luke has had 2 girl dreams. We joke that if it is a boy, Baby Max is going to come out with his middle finger up because we have said GIRL for so long and called the baby Noelle a lot. I apologize in advance, Son. I just have a really strong feeling.

Speaking of strong feeling, the baby has been a lot more active, kicking and punching harder each day. I can even see my belly move at times, and other people have been able to get a feel for the action (not my mom, however, who hasn't been able to time it just right).

Well, I think that is about it. I am going to rest up for a couple days before the real Christmas madness begins. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I will have my glucose test to see if I am gestational diabetic. Wednesday I finally get my ugly wart removed that I have had on my hand for almost a year. SICK!

Hope everyone is doing well!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

a story for believing (revised by luke)

well, (luke posting here)... for those faithful readers out there.....the previous story is a little more involved, so i'll clarify and reaffirm....both the story and God's awesomeness. after i ran out of gas i started walking/running toward 116th street with a gas can in one hand and clenching $1.80 cents in the other (all i had in the car). remember, no wallet. i rushed out of the house to get ashley her books and completely spaced it. i only had just over a mile to go and i figured i could get there in less than ten minutes. after a few minutes, though, out of nowhere, a car comes screeching to a halt about fifty yards ahead of me and the passenger door flies opens...when i get there, the lady driving says "been there, done that, hop in!"....a cute blonde haired blue eyed girl in the back seat gave me a big grin. so i hopped in the car, and at this point thought to myself ...thank you God! the lady dropped me off at the exit and i walked the rest of the way to the gas station. after filling my can with $1.80 worth of gas i walked inside and asked the manager if anyone could take me back to my car. he said no. discouraged and helpless, i thought that my best chance would be a good samaritan stranger in the store. so, i stood outside the door and tried politely (and realizing how awkward i must have looked) asking the customers leaving if they happened to be going north on I-69....and i got lucky on my fourth try! a gentleman was headed to fort wayne and he kindly offered to drop me off on the way. once he dropped me off at my car and i put the gas in i actually thought that i might have time to get home, get cleaned up, and make it to work by 8. YES! ..and again....thank you God!! i turned the key and......a few sputters, then nothing. i turned the key again. nothing. instantly, every bit of thanks i had just given to God went out the window, along with a string of horrible obscenities (please forgive me..).......so, after a few minutes of silence, i collected myself and resolved to start all over and try it again. i started walking, realizing there was no point in wasting my breath on running. once again, a good samaritan had come to my aid. only this time, the person who graciously stopped to pick me up was driving a giant semi. SWEET! i had never been in a semi before! when i opened the door and climbed the 8 feet into the cab a scruffy looking man said with a southern drawl, "well i'm headed to alabama, but i reckon you just need to get to a gas station!" what a nice and generous guy..... and again, for the third time now i thought to myself...thank you God!! so i get dropped off..again...at the exit and walk to the same gas station. this time though, i brought my checkbook which i had found in the console of my car thinking, do gas stations still take checks???...i gave it a try anyway and paid for two more cans of gas, in addition to the one i already had. surely three cans would be enough. only now, i had to get another ride to my car....and i was certainly sure my luck had run out. as i paced back and forth inside the gas station thinking of who to call (with their phone of course as mine was lifeless)...i happened to see a gray tundra drive by through the window. i guess it took a few minutes to register....but finally i realized that it was probably abel driving by to his work just up the road.....YES! so i called abe and pleaded that he skip work to take me to my car....only to hear that he actually had about twenty minutes to kill since he was early for work......what perfect timing!!! so to make what started as a horrible morning bitter sweet, abe came to my rescue and took me to my car.......(and as a last crazy coincidence that i have to add.....my dad happened to drive by at the EXACT time abe and i were pulling up to behind my car on his way to his office downtown.....who would have imagined we'd all be within 25 feet of each other for a split second this morning??..... we called him and and filled him in on the story, to which he said "luke, you dingbat!"). yes, i am a dingbat, but a damn lucky (and blessed) one, at that! .....SO, amidst this crazy and hectic start to an otherwise routine December day, there was obviously, to me, a guardian angel at work (or perhaps more than one), and for this i am truly truly blessed....and reminded of how goodwill toward others can go a tremendously long way. and although i'll probably never again meet the lady with the child, the guy going to fort wayne, or the rig driver from alabama, i'll never forget how their act of kindness affected me in a profound way today. their good service was much more than just helping me get some gas in my car. it was a great lesson to me, and i hope to all of you who read this, too, of how we are all called to love others....unconditionally.

A Story for Believing

In all the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, coupled with the chaos of the Christmas season, it is so easy to become down and discouraged, focusing on the negative and throwing ourselves a pity party. I am guilty of it, too. As much as I look forward to Christmas, I sometimes feel discouraged this time of year. The weather is crappy, the skies darken quickly in the evening, and I typically find myself a little more tense than usual. There's so much to get done both at school and at home. We have Christmas presents to buy with little money to do it. We have a zillion Christmas celebrations to get to and not enough time to fit them all in. What typically gets lost in the translation is our faith, which should very much be the focal point of this entire season. Our Christianity, spirituality, faithfulness to God, and gestures of love and kindness to all should really be highlighted right now -- not all the other "stuff."

Easier said than done, I know. Luke and I barely have time to "squeeze" church in these days, as bad as that sounds, and when we are there, we are usually making mental lists of all the other things that need to get done before the weekend is over. We aren't thinking about how thankful we are for each other or our families. We aren't thinking about the true meaning of Christmas, which is celebrating the birth of Christ and the miracle that was. We aren't renewing or refreshing our faith for the new year. We are simply showing up, sitting down, then getting up and leaving at the end of the service. Both of us have commented lately that we don't feel we have devoted a whole lot of time and energy to our faith, which is something we both truly value.

It seems that each time I start to question my faith, something happens to wake me up and snap me right out of it. Each time I think, "I can handle this on my own," I am reminded of the strength and support I receive from God.

Something that happened this morning reminds me that God is always there. We should thank Him daily for the gifts He has given us (one especially that is kicking the stuffing out of my belly right now-- what joy!) and for the protection He provides.

Luke and I have had a string of chaotic mornings here lately. Yesterday, we both woke up at 6:18 a.m., a problem when you have to be on the road by 6:30 and you haven't showered yet. I put my hair in a pony tail and managed to make it to school on time. I felt rushed all day and off my "game" a little, but I survived. This morning, we woke up on time, but I left the house in a hurry again, not eating breakfast, packing lunch, and leaving my teacher bag with two manuals and graded papers in my living room. I needed this bag today, so I frantically called Luke and complained. Being the wonderful person he is, he jumped in his car, drove to Noblesville and met me to give me my bag. We quickly exchanged the bag and hopped back in our cars. He mouthed to me that his phone was dead. I didn't think anything else of it.

I managed to make it to school only 5 minutes late, unaware that my sweet and generous husband who had just dropped everything he was doing to bring me my bag was having a bit of bad luck himself. Elizabeth emailed me at school to say that Abel texted her and said that Luke had a morning from Hell. I told her that unless something else had happened, I didn't think it was that bad, especially for him. I started to worry that he was in an accident and didn't have his phone to tell me.

She continued to say that Abel explained that Luke had actually run out of gas near 116th Street in Fishers going back home, and he was walking with gas cans along the road. He had no wallet and his phone was dead. Abel, by the grace of God, happened to be early to work in Fishers, so he saw him walking and was able to help!

Abel was early because he was taking Elizabeth to school because she had a bad morning yesterday, which included her car needing repaired.

All of these chaotic moments that caused so much frustration and worry added up to putting Abel in the right place at the right time to help Luke. I am just blown away at the timing of this all, and I know it was not an accident.

I am thankful for my husband who helped me. I am so thankful that Abel was there today to help Luke. I am so thankful to God for allowing it all to happen.

There's never been a more perfect time to thank God for all that's good right now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

26 Weeks!


How far along? 26 weeks

Total weight gain: Little over 20 lbs.

Sleep: I am sleeping OK. I still hate sleeping on my side, and I switch from left to right a lot. I fall asleep and wake up to the feeling of the baby thumping around and moving, which is AWESOME.

Best moment this week: I have seen the baby move through my clothes a few times this week, which makes me laugh!

Movement: Feeling it definitely every day, a few times a day. Some movements are really strong. It's crazy!

Gender: My gut says girl. Luke has had two dreams this week, girls both times!

Labor Signs: Definitely not.

Belly Button in or out? Definitely getting pushed to the surface. Not out yet, though.

Cravings: It's hard. I have had HORRIBLE heart burn the past couple days, so I am not craving anything. OK I take that back, I want cereal right now.

What I miss: The choice to lose weight if I want. I have wanted to "start a diet" several times this week but realized that it will have to wait. I also really miss being able to eat a meal and not have heart burn for hours after.

What I am looking forward to: Reaching that 30 week mark...mentally I will feel like if the baby comes any time after that point, it will be little and need some help, but it will have a great chance of survival. But I don't want to rush it. This pregnancy is really going quickly!

Hustle and Bustle

This weekend was wildly productive for our little family on Haddington. I had a lot of overhanging, nagging projects and tasks needing to get done, so I decided to really try and tackle a lot of them this weekend. I would say that I had several successes! I even managed to squeeze in some fun with a dinner at Olive Garden on Friday night with Candace, Alicia, Allison, and Megan and a Christmas Party at Chris & Megan's. We also went to church, ate at Greek's on 116th which tasted just like the Greek's at Ball State, and watched the Colts win their 13th game! :-)

Missions Accomplished...
1. Replace master bathroom faucet & cabinet handles- this has been bothering me since we moved in. It was an ugly faucet with wooden handles. It didn't match anything. Finally its ugly looks matched its functionality because it kept clogging, getting water-spotty, and it malfunctioned enough to make Luke agree with getting a new one. We headed over to Home Depot, picked out a nice "bronze finish" faucet and some matching cabinet handles. After several hours of installation, Luke realized the faucet we purchased was faulty (the cold water had a leak), so he disconnected it all, returned it, got another one, and within an hour it was up and running with no problems. It looks great!

2. Get a new bath mat for our bathroom and trim the door so that said bath mat will fit without getting folded over on itself every time the door opens and closes. When Luke so handily installed the tile in our master bathroom last spring, it caused the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor to get smaller, and absolutely NO bath mat could fit under it. As soon as you opened or closed the door, the bath mat would fold over on itself and cause all kinds of frustration in our house. It was cumbersome and annoying! So, I found a mat that had some kind of gripper so it would stay flat on the floor, and Luke took the door off and trimmed off some of the bottom to make it fit. FINALLY!

3. Get taller trash can. Sounds dumb...and it is. Our kitchen trash can was like a foot tall. That holds about 1 hour's worth of kitchen trash. I found a nice, slim can that is double the height and even has one of those foot pedals that raises the lid without touching it. Our last one didn't even have a lid. Big upgrade, and it has already relieved so much tension in our house. Who knew that $17 would completely change our moods!

4. Pick up other odds and ends to make life easier. I got this nifty sink organizer that fits on the inside of our cabinet under our sink, and it holds the grody scrub brush and dish soap. No more clutter on the sink or stinky scrubber! I also got an over the cabinet towel bar for our kitchen so that we can stop throwing kitchen towels on our counters. I got a lamp for my dresser so that I can put my make up on over my dresser and not over the sink (which will keep our sink from getting gunky and gross). I finally found a solution for my tangled mess of necklaces! ICE CUBE TRAYS! I am using ice cube trays to separate my necklaces, and the ice cube trays are concealed in a nice basket on my dresser. I am very happy with all of these solutions, and it makes a remarkable difference in our home.

5. Wrap Christmas gifts. Every gift I have purchased is wrapped under the tree! I only have a couple more gifts to buy, and then I am done done done! Yay for having some money again (who am I kidding? I have a baby on the way! No more money for the rest of my life!).

6. Finish Christmas cards. I decided to hand make all of our cards this year. This sounded like a great idea when I started this last weekend, but it became pretty tiresome by the end. I finally finished them and am ready to address and mail them this week.

7. Start and finish gifts for my teaching colleagues. We do gifts for those of us who teach in my hallway. I never know what to do, but baked items and sweets are always a good idea. I made some sugar cookies and some other goodies and put them together tonight. The gifts are ready to be delivered tomorrow. One less thing to worry about in this last week before break!

8. Pick up Wii Fit Plus. I just heard about this today, and I had to run out and get it. It was only $20, and it has so many more fun, new games on it! Luke and I rolled laughing doing some of them (rhythm parade is HILARIOUS!). I am excited to play these new games and enjoy my Wii Fit as if it was brand new! Gotta love the Wii! I am hoping to get Wii Sports Resort, too, to complete the Wii upgrades!

I think that is it....though it feels like we did so much more! I can't wait to finish this last week of school and celebrate Christmas with Luke's family next weekend. The Holidays can be stressful and crazy, but it is all a whole bunch of fun and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Party!

It's always a blessing to have friends and family in your home around the holidays. On Saturday, I was able to host 8 of my closest friends for a get-together that involved a cookie and gift exchange, lots of food, wine for the non-pregos, and great laughs.

I have been friends with most of these girls since elementary, several were in my wedding. I am proud of our efforts to maintain our bond, even though we have all changed, moved, some have married, some have children...we are different, but we still find a way to keep it all together.

I love these girls (and all my friends-- I hope you know this!)

(pictures later-- the site is acting up)

25 Weeks!

The weeks seem to be ticking away faster than I can keep up! I lost track for a few minutes this week, thinking I was 24 weeks along, but then I realized I am 25, soon to be 26! I stalk a lot of blogs. Admit it...you do, too! But I remember reading the announcements of so many women's pregnancies, and before you know it, they have pictures posted of their babies after they have been born. The time goes really quickly once you get out of the first trimester, in my opinion. That was the worst time...not because of sickness for me thank goodness, but because I wasn't showing yet...I just looked chubby...and I couldn't feel the baby move...and March seemed like light years away. Now we are almost 1/2 way through December, and we are making great progress toward the March 23rd finish line!

This week began with great news about the blood pressure/proteinuria testing. I was worried sick that I had preeclampsia. All I saw was bed rest and premature delivery in my future. I am very relieved to not have to worry about that right now. I am still committed to making some dietary changes. I have already changed what I eat in the mornings to a healthy English muffin, egg, and turkey sausage sandwich. Luke makes them for us each day, and we both love them. I have stopped bringing soup for lunch. As much as this kills me, especially on these cold (BITTERLY COLD) days, I know that it is packed with sodium and I need to stay away from it. These small changes will add up to making the baby and me much healthier in the end.

In other baby news, I am feeling this little one move more and more each day. I fantasize and day dream constantly about who this baby is, what he/she looks like. I can't wait until I can lay on the couch with a baby on my chest. It's going to be so awesome!

Luke and I are looking into daycare options for next school year, and I am weighing the options of coming back to school for 2 weeks in May, or staying out through the summer. Any thoughts?
I think that is about it! I will just leave you with this picture of my belly!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dr. Update

My blood pressure check today went fine. My BP was good (I was told it was over 140/80 at my last appointment, thus the cause for concern), and no protein in my urine. All is well, and no preeclampsia for me! This baby is cooking for the next 14 1/2 weeks!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Denial is....a river in Egypt?

Denial is...embarassing.

Denial is...self-destructive.

Denial is...dangerous.

As I have been faced with various health "scares" and concerns lately (high blood pressure, glucose test coming up, protein in my urine), I have been looking at exactly what I am putting in my body on a regular basis and simply analyzing it and its "nutritional value."

To say my eyes have been opened is an understatement.

At first glance, my daily eating doesn't look that bad. It's not like I eat a Big Mac every day and drown my food in shortening and grease. I really do try to do the right thing! However, take a look at this! I only looked at calories and sodium (for the blood pressure issue).

Breakfast: Calories Sodium
2 whole wheat Eggo waffles 140 410 mg
2 light sausage links 100 450 mg
1 squirt of sugar free syrup 30 110 mg

Lunch:
Healthy Choice soup 90 480 mg
Peanut butter/jelly sandwich 410 410 mg
Sugar free chocolate pudding 60 180 mg
Grapes 50 0 mg
Couple handfuls of chips or crackers 300 360 mg
Usually a cookie or something like that 300 220 mg

Snack:
Chips and salsa 470 830 mg


Dinner (this is the WORST meal of the day for me...can never decide what I want...usually don't make good choices):
Let's just say we eat frozen pizza 600 1000 mg

Dessert (I don't always eat dessert):
Ice cream 150 60 mg
2700 4510 mg (OUCH)
Suggested guidelines for sodium intake is 1500 mg per day. I am about 3000 mg over that, and that is on a day that I am not snacking in between meals or grabbing handfuls of chips/crackers as I am grading papers or doing stuff around the house (OK, who am I kidding...when I am sitting on the couch).

I am disappointed in myself, but I am happy that I have faced the truth. It's sad to me to think how I have subjected my unborn child to this crap I have been feeding myself, but I truly was in denial.

Now I know.
Now the pressure is on to do something about it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's always something...

Just when I thought I was feeling better and everything was cool with Baby E 'n Me...I got a voicemail from my doc's office yesterday saying nothing but, "Call us when you get this." Hello, future healthcare professionals, please do not leave a cryptic message like that on a slightly (or not so slightly) neurotic pregnant lady's voicemail. I would at least like to know what it is about before I call.

Anyway, I called after school, and I got some news that my blood pressure was elevated Monday (which I thought was the case, given they took it twice, and the second time the nurse said-- "Oh that looks better) and I had protein in my urine. Sounds yummy, huh?

The issue is that these are symptoms of preeclampsia, a condition that can cause complications with the pregnancy. I could have a mild case, severe case, or none at all, but I have to go back in next week for another blood pressure reading and urinalysis.

If diagnosed with preeclampsia, I could be placed on bed rest, blood pressure medication (though not likely), mandated to eat a strict low-sodium diet ( = Hell on Earth for me!), and/or the baby could be delivered earlier than expected. I really hope that this was just a fluke, but I am trying to prepare for the worst here.

I am here to do one thing-- grow and deliver a healthy baby, so whatever helps me to do that, no matter how frustrating, annoying, or inconveniencing it is, I must comply!

I will give an update on this situation next week when I know more. Positive thoughts/encouragement are appreciated!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's a boy?

This child apparently wants two things. 1) To make sure Mommy can't possibly forget she's pregnant and 2) For Mommy and Daddy not to have a CLUE about its sex.

I was pretty convinced I was having a girl until the baby decided to cause some trouble yesterday...and no daughter of mine would ever be a trouble-maker!

In all seriousness, I thought yesterday this baby might go ahead and make its entrance into the world. It began with my drive to school, and I got a really bad pain in my right hip. I thought I was sitting funny or just sitting too much, so I tried not to give it thought. When I walked into school, the pain was more intense. Maybe I pinched a nerve?

I have a lot of very motherly, knowledgeable women who work with me at school, and they were naming off probable causes all morning. Regardless, I wasn't feeling well, and it was getting progressively worse throughout the day.

At about 10:30 a.m., the cold sweats came. I felt nauseous. I could not sit. I could not stand. All I could do to ease the pain was sway back and forth. Sweat was pouring off of me, and I knew something was wrong. My principal and school nurse insisted I go home.

I quickly scrounged together some activities for the kids to do without me, and I got the heck out of there. I needed gas, so I stopped at the gas station by my school. Somehow, I ended up putting the wrong kind of gas in my car because I was so delirious and not thinking clearly. Thankfully, it was not diesel! I just ended up paying a $1 more a gallon for premium gas until I realized it and stopped the sale.

I made my way down the road and called my doctor for the third time. I had left two messages on the nurse line, but they hadn't gotten back to me. When I called the third time, I pressed 0, which was if you need "immediate assistance." I was feeling terrible cramps, and the pain had spread to my back. It was at this point that I really thought I was going to have the baby that day, and I got really scared.

The doctor's office told me to come in at 2:00, which was a miracle. My wonderful husband had yet to return any of my 10 phone calls and text messages, and all I could think about was me having our 24 week old baby and him not being there. My mind was going to some interesting places on this hour long drive!

I made it to the doc, and they checked all my vitals. My blood pressure was high initially, but they took it again and it was better. They listened to the baby (sounded good), measured my stomach (I was told I was measuring perfectly!), and did a test for preterm labor. They couldn't find anything "wrong," which was great news, and I was told to go home and not to do anything but rest and drink water.

I fell asleep, and when I woke up Luke was home, clueless as to what was going on. He had left his phone at home, so he had no idea what had been happening. I filled him in, and he felt awful for not having his phone with him. We talked that from here on out, the phone must be with him at all times!

Later that night, my doctor called (I had seen a nurse practitioner during the day, not my doctor) me and wanted to know how I was doing. Given my last negative experience with my doctor (feeling rushed and not important), I thought it was a nice gesture to call me off hours and want to know how I was doing. She insisted I take one, maybe two days off work, to which I laughed (and disobeyed...I went to school today). She wanted me to call if things got worse, and she wanted me to call today to give her an update on my condition regardless. I was very happy with her phone call and thought that was a nice gesture.

So...long story concluded, I am feeling a lot better today. No pain. No cramps. I think the baby was just growing and stretching and moving my organs around even more. I told Luke that I envisioned my belly doubling in size over night with the amount of stretching that was going on. Luckily, I wasn't twice as big, but I do feel bigger by the day.

So, if I am having a boy, he better rid himself of his trouble-making tendencies before he's born, or a lifetime of groundings are in his future!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

24 Weeks = 6 Months?


The whole pregnancy week counting thing is confusing. Everyone thinks you're pregnant for 9 months, but you are pregnant for 40 weeks (if you go to term). 40 weeks converts to about 10 months, right? This is because you are actually "pregnant" before you even get pregnant....which goes into health talk and gross things that make me uncomfortable to discuss even on a blog-- anyway...needless to say it sounds cooler to say I am SIX MONTHS PREGNANT, but in actuality I am only about 5 1/2. Regardless, the baby has made some super cool milestones in this 24th week of gestation no matter how you slice it.

Beginning with Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving, the baby was moving around a LOT, and Luke got to actually feel it for the first time. Since then, the baby is more and more active, and I actually wake up each morning to the feeling of it squirming around in there. It's fun to know when the baby is awake and then to picture the sweet baby sleeping, too. Apparently, it has developed its REM sleep cycle, which Luke informed me that means the baby can dream, too. I wonder what fetuses dream about?

I have a healthy, festive bump in my belly, which is really fun to dress these days (I say that 1/2 with sarcasm). My biggest complaint is with PANTS! I hate pants! I hate wearing jeans, even maternity ones. I hate wearing dress pants. I just want to be in sweatpants all day long, and it isn't fair that I work in a profession where you have to be "dressed up" every day. I know, Boo Hoo, Ashley...the majority of the world works in such professions, too. I just think the world would be a happier place if we were all allowed to work in sweat pants, don't you?! I was totally "that girl" today in church and wore spandex-ish workout pants. I don't care. God is just happy I am there. He doesn't care what I am wearing. I was comfortable, which means I was able to focus more on the message the priest was delivering and less about how to unzip my pants without scaring the small children around us.

I just signed up for our childbirth classes, which will begin January 4th! They are going to be on Monday nights for four weeks. I am really excited!

Well, it's Sunday, which means I need to watch the Colts attempt to stay undefeated! Til next time...!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday!

Luke and I had a great Thanksgiving with my mom and dad. We ate and then lounged for the rest of the day. It was pretty relaxing.

Mom and I decided to go do some Black Friday Shopping. We really hadn't ever done it before. We had nothing we wanted to be up at 4 a.m. for, but we were out at the mall by 8:30. It was crowded, but nothing compared to the Target parking lot. WOW. With that crowd I would have thought they were giving away free Peyton Mannings. We decided not to even attempt Target.

We hit up Bath and Body Works (which had great sales and coupons) and though the line looked long, we probably only waited 15-20 minutes there. We went to Victoria's Secret, which wasn't bad at all. We also went to Old Navy. We got some GREAT deals there. Old Navy gets the big award of the day for best deals and assortment of sizes, colors, and styles. It wasn't too picked over, the employees were helpful, and you can't beat the prices.

While we were in line, we heard someone say that the line to check out at Kohl's was 2 1/2 hours. There was nothing we really needed there, so we decided this would be our last stop.

The biggest excitement for us came when the power went out! We were standing in Old Navy among hundreds of customers, and the store went dark. The entire mall lost its power. We laughed at first because we thought it was funny. Then the lights just flickered and didn't stay on, so then we started to get a little worried that we did all this shopping for nothing. Within a few minutes, the lights came back on and all was well.

However, when we left and went to find a place to eat for lunch on McGalliard (because there are hardly any restaurants NOT on McGalliard), we noticed all the stoplights were out, and all the restaurants and businesses off the road were dark and had no cars in the lots. Obviously, McGalliard was experiencing a huge power outage during lunchtime of Black Friday. I felt bad for the businesses and restaurants that probably lost of a lot money and potential business.

We ended up going to Scotty's in the village (along with everyone else in Muncie!), but we didn't have to wait too long, and we had some great food! All in all, we were out for about 4 hours, including lunch, and we walked away with some great deals and gifts.

After Luke and I got back to Indy, I had the urge to go back out and do more. I went to the Hamilton Town Center, going back to Bath and Body and Old Navy. Again, the stores seemed like they had PLENTY of merchandise even at 6 p.m. It was kind of nice-- not as crowded, but still all the great deals! I had to go to Target after, and that was just fine, too.

My feet and body held up remarkable well. I wasn't tired, and I stayed up until midnight for the first time in a long time. Woohoo! I can't wait until I have a little one to buy for NEXT Black Friday! :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

23 Weeks!

I only have a few weeks left in the second trimester, which is unbelievable. It was nearly 20 weeks ago when I found out we were having a baby. The baby will be here in only 17 short weeks (and yes, I have heard that the weeks only feel longer from here)! I can't wait to see this little one's face, to know if he is a he or she is a she, to meet the little person who has now learned how to kick me hard enough to wake me up!

I found this on another blog, and I thought it would be a fun way to update. I need to do something to keep me distracted and from wanting to buy every cute baby thing I see!

How far along? 23.5 weeks

Total weight gain: It's hard to tell. I think 17 lbs.

Sleep: I am still learning how to master sleeping on my side. I LOVE sleeping on my belly, and I just can't do that! Recently, I have been pleasantly woken up by the feeling of little feet and hands kicking and punching me in the middle of the night!

Best moment this week: Luke got to feel the baby kick from the outside. This was a momentous thing! It was a great Thanksgiving Eve gift!

Movement: I am feeling it a lot more, and I think I am realizing when the baby is awake and when he/she is asleep.

Gender: Still thinking girl...

Labor Signs: I sure hope not! Though I know of a lady who just delivered twins at 24 weeks. They were under 2 lbs each. They are OK for now, but I can't imagine delivering this early.

Belly Button in or out? Getting close to being just even with my belly...not in or out. But still in at this point.

Cravings: I am not craving sweet stuff as much. I just want salt and LOTS of water. I drink well over 100 oz a day.

What I miss: I miss going out for drinks with friends, or drinking at social events. I don't know why I miss this. It sounds like I am an alcoholic, which I am not. I just really enjoyed social drinking, and now I have been pregnant for 3 weddings, 1 Homecoming, 2 Halloween parties, 1 birthday party, and I am getting ready to be pregnant for a whole bevy of Holiday festivities, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and St. Patty's Day. :-) I know my trade-off is so much better than a little buzz from a drink, but sometimes you just want to partake like the big kids!

What I am looking forward to: Feeling more movement and other people being able to feel the baby from the outside.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's a girl!

OK, so I am saying it is. I have no proof. I only have circumstantial evidence that points to me carrying a baby girl.

1) I crave nothing but foods that are bad for me. If I was carrying a boy, he would no-doubt be like Luke, and he would be craving hummus and salad.

2) The baby barely moves. She (I will just say it) moves enough for me to know she's OK, but not enough for being 23 weeks (in my opinion). I think she is a big lazy girl like her mom!

3) I am getting uglier, and I have heard that girls steal your beauty. :-)

So...despite all that....I still can't wait to meet HER (and if she's a he, I will love him so very much, too!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Steps Forward...

...three steps back.

Do you ever really feel like you are making progress, and then you do something/say something to send you back a ways? That's me....a lot. It takes some balls to own up to this, and that is also part of my maturation process. Admitting when I screwed up.

Luke and I have some heated conversations at times, and they usually always center around one topic. Not revealing what this topic is, I can tell you that is something we will probably always disagree about. I can't get him to see my way, and he can't get me to understand his. This is a major flaw within us both...difference is, he doesn't have a blog to confess his wrong-doings to.

Anyway-- I wish I could see myself getting angry and just walk away. But I always want to hang in there for the fight. I want to let me voice be heard, my point to be taken. I want to win the argument. I want to be told, "You're right."

This never happens. Luke is as stubborn as me. I never get what I want out of this, but I continue to try anyway.

Why can't I just drop it?

Blah.

I still have my adult training wheels on.

On the flip side, I had a great night last night with a group of girlfriends. I am thankful for them in my life!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ahhhhhh!

I seriously canNOT wait for our little one to get here! These next 17 weeks better go by quickly!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Milestones

I have hit a lot of milestones here lately.

I have gained a new perspective thanks to advice I have been receiving from someone who really knows what she's talking about.

I am learning ways to cope and manage my stress so that it cannot penetrate my daily life.

I am accepting that I am not perfect. I am me. I will live my life in truth.

My faith, which I was beginning to think was fading away, has made itself an ever-present force lately-- and I have proof of its power.

I installed a digital converter box and antenna to an old TV all by myself.

I let Luke make pork tenderloin for dinner, and it was really good.

I have been growing a baby for 22 weeks now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

21 Weeks and...


...I threw up for the first time during this pregnancy!

I don't know the exact reason, but I know that I took my prenatal vitamins, DHA supplement, and my Tamiflu this morning, which I usually don't do because I typically take them at night (but I forgot last night when I got in at 2:30 a.m. from Kelley's wedding in Chicago!). Almost within minutes, I started feeling really yucky.

Luke was going to take me out in the car and maybe get some food or some fresh air, and the motion sent me over the edge and I demanded he turn the car around and take me back to the house. I ran (yes, I ran!) to the bathroom and thankfully made the toilet as I "tossed my cookies" for the first time in 21 weeks.

I cried because, of course, I HATE getting sick. It is just the worst feeling ever...and then my hormones took over and I cried more because all I wanted to do was do what's right for the baby (by taking the vitamins)...but then I got over it, ate some crackers, and I am fine.

I am sooooo thankful I haven't had to deal with morning sickness or nausea. SO thankful!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trip to ER

It sounds worse than what it was, but I found myself in the Community North ER on my Friday night last night. After feeling lethargic and sweaty and achy all day at school, I got home and felt worse. I had a sore neck, sore throat, swollen glands in my neck, and the worst headache I have had in a while. Luke's little warning light went off and said we should go to an urgent care facility.

We went to MedCheck by our hospital and they got a few vitals on me and then decided that I should go to the ER. With the stiffness in my neck, they were wanting to rule out meningitis. Of course, the lovely H1N1 is also going around, so that was a concern as well.

We headed to the ER thinking that we would have a 3 hour wait at 9:00 on a Friday night. There were several people in there waiting already, but we managed to see the triage nurse really quickly. Being pregnant, they made me wear a pretty fancy mask over my face :-), which I think made them move a little faster.

I was put in a room and seen by a doctor in a matter of minutes. The doctor came in and quickly ruled out meningitis, but he said that they are no longer testing for the flu because of the inaccuracy of the tests (apparently only a 40% accuracy rate?). Since I had some flu symptoms, they decided to treat me as if I had H1N1 and prescribe Tamiflu. Luke and I were both happy with this, as Luke has told me that not very many people with H1N1 were even being treated with Tamiflu in the hospital, that they were just told to drink Gatorade and rest.

The doctor did say that I needed to lay low, stay down, and rest. HA! He also said that if I had a fever, I shouldn't go back to school until I was fever free for 24 hours. This put me into worry mode because I have a sorority sister/friend's wedding in Chicago today, and not only could I not stand the thought of missing it, we also had a hotel reservation and other friends riding with us to consider. We thought about it and decided that we shouldn't stay the night in Chicago, and we should go for the wedding and as long as we can make it to the reception and then head back that night. This way I could sleep in my own bed and sleep in on Sunday without worrying that we had to get up early and head home. We were able to cancel the reservation with no penalty (thank GOODNESS!), and we will still be able to see beautiful Kelley get married (double thank GOODNESS!).

I am more exhausted than I have ever been. I have been falling asleep before 9 on most nights (except Thursday for Grey's!), but when I wake up in the morning, I still feel like a walking zombie. Pregnancy combined with illness is not a good mix...and I just need the time to be able to recover. Hmm...maybe next weekend?

Anyway-- I am going to just fine, and we dopplered the baby last night because he/she is not moving hard enough to let me feel it (boo!), so I was worried and I wanted to hear for myself that he/she is OK. We got the heartbeat at around 145 bpm, so from our perspective, the baby is just fine, too.

In similar thoughts, I think it is LAUGHABLE that the health departments can administer huge, massive H1N1 vaccinations in malls, but yet not give supplies to enough OB offices to vaccinate their pregnant women, who are in the highest risk category. I called four different places, including my own doctor's office, someone else's doctor's office, and both the Marion Co. and Delaware Co. health departments, and I was told my doctor didn't have it yet, that the other doctor had it but couldn't give it to me since I am not their patient, Marion Co. didn't answer, and Delaware Co. is doing a "clinic" at the fairgrounds on Tuesday. I can call for an appointment Monday. Looks like this is my best bet. Again...laughable.

But hey, if we can't laugh, we'll cry, right?!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

1/2 Way There!


I am 20 weeks this week! This means that I am halfway through the pregnancy. I am not wishing it away though. I know I miss this when it is over. I have been told that by every new mommy. They love their babies, but they miss their bellies (well, their pregnant bellies...I know I will continue to have a belly for a little while after, but it's not the same :-).

Not much to add. There's some stress at school which has caused me to question everything. Ev-er-y-thing. It's a lot of pressure to be a soon-to-mommy, bread-winner, med school wife. I just want to do the right thing for everyone.

I am trying to rely on faith and the encouraging words of others as I prepare to make some tough decisions in the months ahead. This is only the beginning, I know, of the tough decisions...and I know that through it all I must keep my priorities in line and listen to those who have my best interest at heart.

Ambiguously vague enough for ya?

Anyway-- take care, whoever you are, wherever you are.

P.S. Happy Halloween from Juno and Paulie Bleeker.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Striping (not stripping)

Last weekend, I was begging Luke for a "project." He has been busy planning and making a baby bassinet. We have already painted the baby's room, and without knowing the sex, I can't do too much else creative. I am wanting to do some art for the walls, but I don't know what yet. So...I started Googling nurseries and I found a lot of pictures of stripes.

I decided stripes would be my project. Luke agreed, and we went to Lowe's last Saturday and picked out three colors of paint. I loved the names. Gingerbread (an orange color), Harvest Earth, and (my favorite!) December Starlight. We already had the green background, so that makes four gender neutral colors that fit well with both of the nursery bedding sets we have.

I began taping the stripes around 10 a.m. It wasn't until after midnight when we finally could call it quits, and we still one more color to paint! It was a long and tedious job. I wanted to be really exact with the stripes...I didn't want crooked lines or sloppy paint, so I was really careful. I enjoyed doing something so time-consuming for the baby, though.

The next morning, I painted the brown color...and then waited for it to dry. We literally held our breath for 10 minutes while we peeled off the tape. I was scared that it would look awful and we would have to redo the whole thing!

But, to our surprise, it looks AMAZING! The pictures don't even do it justice. I just love it. It is modern and fun and not too crazy but definitely unique. I am very excited to get it all put together with artwork, accessories, and other fun items.

Take a look!

Taping the stripes for the first color
December Starlight
Adding the Gingerbread (we put sparkle dust in the orange, so it looks extra special)
Harvest Earth
Finished product!

Friday, October 30, 2009

19 Weeks (a little late)


I am almost 20 weeks now, but I haven't had time due to my rigorous sleep schedule to post anything about the 19 week achievement of our baby. I usually fall asleep in the 8 o'clock hour now, which is depressing and fun all at the same time! My only real, true pregnancy symptom has been FATIGUE! I am so tired all of the time, it is INSANE! I can be awake and talking one minute, and then asleep the next! Oh well, I have been advised by other new moms to sleep now while I can!

This has been a fun week because I have felt the baby move a few times. Especially after our ultrasound, I started feeling it more and more. It feels like it is tap dancing in there. I think I have felt it once at least every day since Tuesday this week. I look forward to next week when I think I will feel it even more!

I had a great dinner with my high school friends this week at Cheesecake Factory. Two of them are mommies now, and it is fun to hear advice and stories from them. I have been friends with these girls since elementary/middle/high school, so it is fun to now have an adult friendship (who are we kidding...we laughed and joked and said inappropriate things just like kids)!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Perfection!

Luke and I had our "big" ultrasound today. I had a lot of reservations and anxiety going into this appointment. Of course I was so excited to see our baby, even though we decided not to know the sex until the baby is born. I just couldn't wait to see the baby as a real baby, instead of as an ambiguous blob like the two other ultrasounds before. However, I was plagued with nerves because I was afraid that we would see something we weren't prepared to see-- a missing limb, an underdeveloped heart or brain, a siamese twin!? These "irrational" fears kept me awake from 1:19 a.m. to 4:14 a.m. this morning, which isn't good on my already sleep-deprived body. Oh well. Thankfully, I had a field trip today to keep my mind occupied before this highly-anticipated event took place.

Our technician was great. She knew exactly what she was doing, and she was so reassuring the entire time that our baby was healthy and right where he/she needed to be. The baby measured right at 19 weeks, 2 days, which is what I thought I was. The heartbeat was 143 beats per minute, which was strong and loud.

The best part was seeing this baby move like CRAZY. It did flips. It did flops. It turned its back to us. It put its tiny butt up in the air. It played with its foot. It covered its eyes. It yawned. It was so adorable.

One notable feature on this baby was the length of its limbs. The legs seemed abnormally long for a fetus, and the hands/feet/fingers seemed really long as well. The technician even said that the baby has "daddy's hands."

Luke and I both have a hunch on what sex this baby is. We can't wait to find out if we are right. March will be here so quickly, and I know that we need to take our time and savor these beautiful moments. We feel like super heroes today, and we are so thankful our prayers for a healthy baby have been heard. We will keep praying, as we know that this little one has 20 more weeks to grow and develop, and it most certainly can't stop now!
Profile, baby's leg up
Another profile
Front of the face-- kind of scary!
Another profile shot
Just the lower leg and foot
Video of the baby wiggling around a little

Video of the baby yawning. It might be easier to keep it on pause and just drag the bar left to right slowly to see the yawn.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What a GOOD Day!

Today has been stellar! I woke up early on my fall break (my 1 day off- blah) to catch up on my DVR. Love DVR. I LOVE IT! Ate breakfast, got ready, then went to my doctor appointment. Even though the doctor was 30 minutes behind, I had a great appointment. Hearing the heartbeat never gets old! Today it was in the 150s-160s.

I went to Castleton and did some shopping. :-) I went to my hair appointment only to find out my stylist is pregnant and due one day before me! So weird and fun! We talked the whole time about pregnancy and babies. I can't wait to go back for my next appointment and hear about her progress.

Now I am back at the house and ready to go on a cleaning spree to surprise Luke when he gets home. I also want to plan a great dinner for tonight. I am feeling very domestic-- I should go with this feeling!

Let's talk about all the things I am loving right now.
1. Fruit snacks, gummy bears, gummy fish, gummy dinosaurs, fruit juice...anything fruity. I even like real fruit, too.
2. DVR. If you don't have it, you don't know what you are missing and how it can change your life!
3. Any jewelry with rhinestone bows. In the past week, I have bought a sparkly bow pin for my coat or sweaters, sparkly bow earrings, and a sparkly bow necklace. I am loving bows!
4. Maybelline Lash Stiletto mascara. Try it. You won't regret it!
5. Fall scents at Bath & Body Works.

I hope you have a list of things you are loving, too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flu Season Strikes Room 118!

Just wanted to report that yesterday, I had 9 students absent out of my 19 kids, and today I had 8 students absent. Crazy! This flu business is serious, apparently! I totally sanitized my classroom yesterday (the best I could), and I am trying my hardest not to catch what they are passing around. It is just so hard to stay healthy around germy kids!

My fall break is on Friday after my parent-teacher conferences on Thursday. I am pumped! I need a day off like nobody's business! I am also excited because I have a doctor's appointment on Friday. My ultrasound won't be until Tuesday, though. I can't WAIT!

I did this pregnancy exercise DVD tonight. It was REALLY hard. I thought it would be easy because it was for pregnant women with big bellies, but it made me sweat. We'll see how often I break that bad boy out and do it. At least for tonight, I feel accomplished.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Return of the Blogger

I do apologize to any loyal readers for my lack of posting here lately. And by loyal readers, I mean my parents... :-) My typical phrase is "things have been crazy!"

I am gearing up for a three day teaching week that will end with a day of parent-teacher conferences and a 1-day fall break for me. I am very much looking forward to my day off. I have a doctor's appointment in the morning, a hair appointment in the afternoon, and that is just about it! My weekend is wide open, and I am thrilled!

Luke and I had a really great weekend here recently. We spent Friday night with his mom, his mom's cousin Barry from California, and Abe & E. We ate at Five Guys, which totally lived up to the hype. I kind of wanted it again the next day for lunch. It was a pregnant lady's dream...burgers...and fries...yum. We had Coldstone after, and then came back to the house to watch some Brian Regan clips on youtube.

Saturday morning was Luke's big marathon! He successfully completed 26.2 miles on a chilly October morning. It was thrilling to watch him run and cross that finish line. I was so proud of him. He made it through with only a little pain in his knees. He is currently walking like an 85 year old man, but he should snap out of that soon. We had a great cheering section for him (thanks to Lisa, Barry, Abe, E, and my dad) complete with signs. What an accomplishment! He finished with an official time of 3 hours, 50 minutes, and 54 seconds, which was just under a 9 min. mile pace for 26.2 miles.
The rest of that day, we spent being lazy bums around the house. We had some delicious wings from Applebee's (baby craved them), and then we hung out with Chris & Megan and watched a movie. We really love having friends just 3 minutes down the road from us!

Sunday (today) has been marvelous. We got up, made biscuits and gravy, went to church, and ran about 1000 errands. I even did some "me" shopping, which is always fun and rare and full of guilt...but I decided I deserved it.

Dinner is about to be served...but I just wanted to briefly update and say that I am 18 weeks pregnant today! We go for our ultrasound in just over one week. I am DYING to see this baby-- and yes, we are still holding true to our word that we are not finding out the sex ahead of time. We are going to keep on guessing until March! :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Getaway

In August, Luke and I decided that we would need a little mini vacation this fall. With the excitement and nervousness of the baby coming, me starting back at school, and Luke well into his third year of med school (but, hello....I do see a light, a very faint one, at the end of the long tunnel!), we knew that we would need some time alone to decompress.

We made reservations at the West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick. It is very beautiful and has some awesome history. We arrived early Saturday afternoon, after we spent Friday night in Muncie at a Brian Regan show with all of Luke's family. He was super hilarious, and it really struck me that laughter is so therapeutic. I needed it really bad! I laughed so hard that my sides hurt, and I thought I might make myself go into labor.


Anyway -- we walked around West Baden in awe for a few hours, and then we went to dinner at their hotel restaurant, Sinclair's. WOW! It was great. Luke raved that it was the best salmon he had ever had. We got dessert, but we were too full to enjoy it at dinner so we took it back to our room for later.
After dinner, we tried our luck at the casino. I had never been before, and Luke had only been once. He was showing me the ropes of the slots, and at first we weren't winning anything and I didn't think it was that fun. THEN we won $40! I then got hooked, and we played some more until we won $50 more! We quit when we profited $60. We thought we were pretty smart for walking away with cash in our pockets.

We enjoyed our dessert back at the hotel while listening to a jazz musician. It was a great atmosphere, and we had a really special time.

Sunday morning, we got up, ate at an incredible breakfast buffet in the hotel, and then we went to our massage appointments! It was a couple massage, and we really enjoyed it! This was a full-on spa, complete with white robes and "tranquility rooms." It was a great experience, and we felt like movie stars by the end of it.

After our massages, we decided to head back to Indy. We had a beautiful drive home...watching the fall colors and discussing baby names the whole way home.

It was so wonderful to spend that quality time with Luke. He's the best (that's why I married him!).

Oh yeah, and I celebrated 17 weeks of pregnancy over the weekend, too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

16 Weeks


Well, on Sunday, I celebrated being 16 weeks pregnant. I would like to say the time is flying, but I sure don't think it is! I think not knowing the sex, and not finding out the sex, is making it seem longer. We have so much anticipation, guessing if our baby will be a boy or a girl. It's crazy how a baby who isn't even born yet can occupy so much of your thoughts.

I bought a baby name book, and I am focusing on boy names. I think I know my girl name, but as for boys, I am lost. I have made it through A, B, and C of the boys, and found 3 names I liked, two of which Luke poo-pooed, and the third is just OK. Hopefully the other 23 letters of the alphabet bring some good material.

Over the weekend, I also attended Ball State's homecoming. This was my third one after graduating in 2007. I was so happy to be there, despite the fact that I was pregnant and unable to partake in any adult beverages like my friends. I didn't miss it that much. However, when I left, I just felt so sad. I miss my college years dearly. It's not that I want to change my life now-- I just miss all the good times I had. If I could recreate my top 5 favorite moments, I think I would recreate these:

1. Getting engaged at IU
2. "That one night at the bars" that will live in infamy (and my friends know which night this was)
3. The time that Abel & Luke went to Italy, and Elizabeth and I hung out for like 2 solid weeks and ate McDonald's about 10 times.
4. AOII Rose Ball Senior Year
5. The day my roommates and I played in the rain.

I am SURE I could go on forever. How can you pick just 5 moments from 4 solid years? I don't know. I just miss it. I haven't missed it for a while, but homecoming brought it out of me.

Oh well-- here's to celebrating the old memories and creating new ones.
Not loving this picture of me, but Luke is cute

Laura, Jenn, me, Jess, and Allison

Jenn, Laura, me, Allison (Laura-- is that a Colts scarf???)

Monday, September 28, 2009

15 Weeks!


WooHOO! I am almost 4 months along! I am super happy with each passing week-- as I know that the baby is getting bigger and healthier. My mom reminded me that at around 26-27 weeks, the baby is considered viable, which is really not too far away and provides a bit of reassurance as I wait out these next few months. Someone tonight at Zumba told me that Easter was less than 6 months away, which means that the baby will be here by then! So exciting!

Not everything has been so exciting, however. Last week, the other lady at my school who is pregnant, Debbie, and I were talking about her maternity leave situation. She got some unexpected news about the perameters of her leave, and it made me really freak out about mine. I immediately called HR and set up an appointment to go in and discuss what my options will be in March. I go tomorrow, and I am relieved to just get all my ducks in a row and go from there. Certain aspects of being pregnant are just really stressful...and I can hear the choir now, saying, "Well, didn't you think of that before you decided to have a baby?" Yes...we thought about it. But like people always say, if you wait until you are 100% ready financially and logistically, you will wait forever. Luke and I will get through anything together with the support from those around us. I am not too worried.

My biggest worry for now is childcare. I am terrified of someone else watching our baby! Of course I will trust friends and family, but we don't have a lot of options in that department. I am weighing a lot of options right now, and ultimately I pray that we keep our family's needs in top priority. We will be guided to the right decision, and sacrifices will be made. I know there will soon be the first of many, many sacrifices we will make during our children's lives.

Well-- a pregnant lady has to eat! Have a great night!