Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Details

Natalie is supposed to be resting during "rest time." I don't make her nap, she usually has 4-5 books she can look through, and when she's done, she is to lay down quietly until I come get her. A few days ago, I hear a puppy barking (one of her stuffed animal toys) and know that she is playing and not resting. I was headed upstairs to get her anyway, and when I look in her room, she is laying down in bed quietly. (probably heard me coming) This is how our conversation went:

Monnie: Natalie, did you have fun playing with your puppy-dog during REST time?
Natalie: (looks up guiltily at me)
Monnie: You know you aren't supposed to play with your toys in bed.
Natalie: (offended) I didn't!!! ...I was OUT of bed.
Monnie: **laughing**

I love it!!

Projects

We have decided to take our house off the market when the listing expires. I don't want to be moving at this point, I want to be getting the nursery ready. That means moving Natalie into the 3rd bedroom, and then getting out all our baby stuff from storage, cleaned and put in the nursery. Major, messy, project.

We are also getting all of our stuff out of storage and put into our own basement. Since our basement tends to leak when it rains (the house is very old) we are getting pallets to put our stuff on, as well as a dehumidifier to cut down on the dampness. This is another big project. So as of now, my house has boxes all over the kitchen and dining room, waiting to go downstairs. I am just waiting for the phone to ring-someone wanting a showing of the house. HA!

I am also in the process of hunting down a gently used bedroom set for Natalie. There have been several offered on Craigslist that I really liked, but had sold before I even had a chance. Argh! Still hunting...

Natalie told us yesterday that she wants her new room painted. I asked her what color (mentally bracing myself for the answer) and she surprised me by saying blue! Alright! We can do blue. We picked up some paint samples today and she is anxious to show Daddy when he gets home from work.

My doctor's apt went well last week. My BP is excellent, and weight gain around +7lbs total. I saw the NP instead b/c my OB was out of town. She was very helpful in answering my long list of questions. I am still waiting to hear if I need to go back for the profile scans of baby, my OB will review them when he gets back.

Natalie got to feel our baby girl kicking several days ago. She thought that was pretty neat! Mike and I have already picked out baby's name...which was surprisingly easy! We won't be sharing that with anyone until she is born. (Just in case we change our minds...it's a little awkward to change a name when everyone knows it!)

Mike has an interview tomorrow for a big promotion at work, please say a prayer that all goes well.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pink stuff and other fun things

Things are going well here! An old friend sent me a box stuffed with summer pregnancy clothes, and I have been enjoying them SO MUCH! Thank you for my new wardrobe Kathleen!! I have already had to pack away my regular summer clothes. I spent one evening washing my maternity clothes (that have been in storage for more than 4 years) ironing, and hanging them up. Is it sad that while I was ironing, Natalie points to what I'm holding and asks, "what's that Monnie?" Uhm...so I don't iron much! I DO, however, run to the dryer when it's done to hang up clothes so I don't have to iron!! :)

Baby is doing great, Mike can feel her kicking almost every evening. Two nights ago I had my first braxton hicks contraction....which really worried me for a while because I didn't start those until I was 35 weeks with Natalie. So I brushed the dust off of my pregnancy book, cracked it open and read that it's normal to have them anytime after 20 weeks. Oh. Well then.

Natalie has been very interested in puzzles lately. She has always liked them, but is rapidly advancing to more difficult ones. I took this picture right after she finished her first 100 piece puzzle (thank you target $1 spot) She is SO proud and only needed very little guidance here and there:


We had some friends over for dinner Thursday evening. I have known Clay and Joanie since I was a little girl through my home church. They have been staying in our area after Clay had a bone-marrow transplant. Please keep him in your prayers, specifically that his counts will keep rising. They are both some of the sweetest people I know and are very dear to me.


I have been buying some baby items off of Craigslist. I wish I had been familiar with it when we were expecting Natalie!! Mike and I bought a glider/ottoman and the Cadillac of baby swings, saving over $400. Both were gently used, and in close-to-perfect condition!

I have also been doing a little shopping for baby now that we know to expect a GIRL! We didn't know with Natalie so I never got to buy the pink stuff before she was born. Many of her newborn clothes and blankets are white, yellow, and green. Those will get used again but it's nice to have some pink and purple thrown into the mix! Someone also needs to keep me away from the fabric store...

...at least all of these things were 50% off!

Yesterday morning Natalie was in our bed 15 minutes before the alarm went off because of some faint rumbling of thunder in the distance. I told her to hop on in bed with us but she had to lay still and be quiet. She did great...or so I thought, Mike later told me she was drawing on his back with her finger the entire time. LOL! Mike took our picture before we left for church and low-and-behold, Natalie is SMILING in this picture:

(Mom & Dad: just so you know, I wore a white summer sweater over the dress to church--no bare shoulders! :))

20 week tummy (not much different from last week):

I have my next doctor's apt in a couple days.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sister!

Natalie's reaction to the news that our baby is a girl:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Heart Mimic

During the ultrasound, Natalie shows us what the baby's heartbeat looks like. I lost count of how many times Mike and I watched this video tonight. Too cute and funny!!


Ultrasound results:

I was nervous about today, as I was nervous about Natalie's 20 week ultrasound. Yes, it's so neat to see your baby and I was very excited about that. However, the whole purpose of this test is to check for problems, or potential problems. I knew they could possibly tell us something devastating that would forever change our lives. That sounds dramatic, but it's very true. So many things can go wrong during fetal development, it's amazing there are so many healthy babies born each and every day. Each one is truly a miracle! I'm really not trying to sound so negative or pessimistic...but Mike and I have been served a big dose of harsh reality the past 2 years, and we know what unexpected bad news feels like. Nerves aside, I focused on how many people have been praying for this little one...and tried to think about anything other than this test to make the time pass by quickly. Mike wasn't nervous at all, but when he knows I am, he has his hand on me. On my shoulder, knee, hand, neck...it helps. He's the rock of our family...his touch keeps me grounded and relaxed.

We got started quickly and right away we saw a healthy 4-chamber heart!! YESS! As the technician was taking measurements, I would occasionally ask if everything was looking alright so far. She was very reassuring to this nervous monnie! Natalie even had many questions, mostly asking her to explain what was on the screen.

Here is a semi-decent profile picture. (I say semi because the radiologist won't think much of it, but I think it's beautiful!) For all of you non-ultrasound people out there. The baby is looking down, head on the right, and face buried in the placenta.


This sweet babe apparently uses the placenta as a body pillow which meant we never got a good facial profile picture.

In this pic, baby's head is on the right (facing us...see the skull bone?) and arm/elbow/hand are above the head Again, not very clear, as the image was taken through part of the placenta:


When we had first walked into the room, the lady asked if we wanted to know the gender. I said yes, and if it wasn't too inconvenient, to warn me before she was ready to announce it so I can get Natalie's reaction on video. (We had originally planned to have her put an obvious gender-picture in an envelope and open it over a special dinner tonight, but then we later thought this was a equally fine way to find out the gender)

So, as she was scanning the baby, she stopped and I immediately saw what she did. I said, "it's a G-I-R-L, isn't it!!!?!?!" She nodded yes, and I got the video camera out and told Natalie. Her reaction is adorable. If I can get it posted on here, I will do that soon!

Here is the evidence of our 2nd daughter:


We never did get to see a good facial profile, or top lip/nose picture. Which means I may have to go back in so the radiologist can see that. He/she left it up to my OB. I am going to request we leave it be. The main reason is because the ultrasound technician said she saw those specific parts of the baby briefly at the beginning of the scan when baby was moving her head around. She didn't take a picture of it right away, (thinking there would be a better shot later) but everything she saw looked just fine. Her answer is good enough for me. Secondly, even if there IS some concern, I highly doubt it's anything major enough to change the course of delivery or treatment afterward.

Mike and I are over-the-moon tonight with the happy news of a healthy baby. We couldn't ask for more. The fact that God is blessing us with another girl is just simply the icing on the cake. We both felt that either gender would be wonderful, but we (of course) have a special place in our hearts for little girls. I am so happy that Natalie will have a sister to grow up, and old with. Siblings are our longest relationships. As we were making phone calls this evening to grandparents, we had one comment that "well, if you want a boy, you'll just have to keep trying." Even-ing up the gender count in our household is the last thing on our minds--as we are no where NEAR done having children. I'm sure we'll have a boy, maybe two or more in the future. Maybe not. It doesn't matter a bit to either of us! Even if we have a household full of girls surrounding Daddy, we're both thrilled.

More than anything, we thank God. We have said several prayers of thanksgiving together since the ultrasound for the news of our healthy girl. I have also been thinking over and over in my head "Thank you God. Thank you, thank you, thank you..." ...and then come the waterworks. Relief, elation, exhaustion, and thanksgiving.

We have never doubted God's greatness and goodness throughout ANY of this journey. We have never felt angry. At times I have felt timid to blog about the pain we've experienced but did it anyway. Why? Because I knew God would bless us again somehow, and I wanted to share our story with others to show God's love. To prove God's love and Will for our lives. And when He did bless us again, I could say, "See what He has done?! See how GOOD & GREAT He is?!" Even when we were hurting, we praise God (not just tonight) because we never doubt FOR A SECOND, how much He loves us.

20 more weeks until we get to hold our latest blessing. We'll see what God's plan is with adoption as well. Classes start next month!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Natalie smiles for the camera

...kind of. I think Nani surprised her! Either way, I love this picture of the three of us! This was taken the evening before Mike's birthday:

1st Tummy Picture

Here is the first picture...this was taken after a close friend of mine told me I was slacking with the pregnancy pictures this time around. (well, until this past week I just looked really bloated) Contrary to what my doctor told me, I did not start showing any earlier with this baby, than I did with Natalie.

19wks, 2days:

Haircuts all around!

Saturday afternoon, I decided to give Natalie her first official hair cut. I have trimmed her hair before, but never cut any amount of length off that I could save for her keepsake box. I explained it would still be to her shoulders, and she was fine with that.

Before:


After:


She's holding up the hair I cut:


Ta Da!


Later that night, I also cut Mike's hair instead of letting him just shave it off with the buzz-cutters as usual. It's not perfect (my first attempt at cutting his hair) but it still looks really good!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sarah's helpers

This is probably one of my favorite pictures of Mike and Natalie. The obvious reason of Natalie being so darn cute and imitating/helping Daddy. The second reason is because it is so sexy to see a man vacuuming. Seriously. My husband is vacuuming the carpet and I didn't even ask him to. I repeat: I didn't ask him!! He just did it because he knew I planned on it that day, and didn't want me to have to do it. That's just incredibly considerate. (and yes, I know he'll roll his eyes when he reads this post!)


This picture is even more funny to me because we have synchronized vacuuming going on. Not to mention, poor Cole looking very nervous and is about to dash away from these horrid machines that torture him.

19 weeks!

Baby is kicking and rolling around a lot! Mike got to feel him/her kick several times this past week. Two nights ago, baby started kicking hard at 2am, so I woke Mike, grabbed his hand and put it to my tummy and asked, "do you feel that!?" He waited a couple seconds and said, "uhhmmmhuuhhh." I have yet to ask him if he remembers this.

I am feeling great, one of those lucky women who enjoy pregnancy...even the first trimester when I'm not nodding off. :) The emotions are in now full swing and I cry very easily. This started up last week when Mike and I had a disagreement about something and I just started sobbing. Not the sweet little watery-eyes cry, this was overwhelming choked up, red-nosed, hiccuping, tears-running-everywhere, ugly-looking cry! I looked up at Mike, and he had that classic guy panic/bewildered look on his face, of: OhcrapImadehercrywhatdoIdotomakeitstop!? LOL...well, we survived only for me to cry many more times this past week. Yesterday Natalie was playing a video game with Mike, and she walked up to him casually and pat his back, then put her arm around his neck and head against his for a side-hug. Hello tears! It was so sweet, and just an everyday example of her expressing how much she loves her Daddy! So yes, I don't even watch TV...the commercials are too much! :)

So other than the tears, occasional crippling lower back pain, (if you see me hobbling around, think nothing of it) and lightheaded-ness when I stand up too quickly, things are going well! I am SUPER proud of the fact that I am almost half-way through this pregnancy, and still haven't hit my starting weight for my pregnancy with Natalie. I am power-walking that track at the "Y" like nobody's business. Soon to be power-waddling... I think I have gained 5 or 6 pounds so far. We'll see what the doctor's scale says...

Four more days until our big ultrasound! :)

4th of July

Mike, Natalie, and I celebrated the 4th on the 3rd! We went downtown, endured the "concert" until the fireworks started. The view, as always, is so beautiful!


Mike and I with our bright blue-eyed girl:


Natalie spent most of the concert snacking, playing with the small toys we brought along, and tackling Daddy:


...and would scream when he'd tickle her back!


Watching the end of the concert:


Beautiful!


This is how Natalie watched the entire fireworks show. She later told us that she didn't like the big ones because she thought they would fall on us.


Mike worked a double shift on that Sunday (so someone else could go out on the 4th) and was only home for a few hours to sleep before he worked the next day. So instead of sitting at home alone, Natalie and I went to church, came back to feed Cole, then hit the road! This is shortly after we arrived at MawMaw and PawPaw's house:


I was invited to a party, but Natalie wanted to stay with MawMaw and PawPaw that evening, so Mom took her to watch the fireworks from a distance (they even stayed in the car) while I caught up with friends I haven't seen in a long time! It was so nice to visit, I was wishing Mike could have been with me.

Throughout the weekend, we would keep finding Natalie in PawPaw's arms. She was definitely his girl this time!


She found him playing solitaire on the computer and insisted she get to play. I don't think Dad had much of a choice...so he showed her how:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Mike!

Yesterday, my husband turned 29! We had a great/busy day together! After we had breakfast...err, Mike and Natalie had breakfast, I-couldn't-seem-to-get-out-of-bed-because-I-was-up-6-times-to-go-potty-last-night-because-I-have-a-baby-that-uses-my-bladder-as-a-trampoline-even-while-I-am-trying-to-sleep-but-I-am-so stinkin'-happy-about-being-pregnant-I-am-smiling-at-4:45-in-the-morning-while-I-stagger-to-the-bathroom-in-my-sleepy-haze!!

SO! Once we ALL were up and had breakfast, we went fishing at the nearby lake. We had ZERO luck! Even the Mickey Mouse fishing pole wasn't working it's charm with the fish. Natalie was very disgruntled (she's used to pulling them in with EVERY cast at my family farm) but we will have to try again soon because they will be re-stocking that lake in the near future!

We came home and let Mike open his presents from us. He was very happy to get the Wii remote charging station (as am I...I'm tired of buying AA batteries!) :)



He also received a book, t-shirts, a few other small things, and a box of THE BEST steaks and burgers from the KC steak company delivered on dry ice (from my parents). Not to mention the birthday cash from his parents and grandparents!

Natalie napped, and around 4, Kim (a social worker) stopped by to start the home-study for part of the adoption process. She was fascinated with our story of why we decided to adopt, and then to stick with that decision even when I'm pregnant now. I explained that we felt led to the decision of adopting through the miscarriages, and even though we're pregnant with a healthy baby now, we felt God led us to the place where we are at, and He'll see us through. We feel it's meant to be-and part of God's plan for our lives...and if it's not (and we're wrong) then it won't happen anyway. We're completely walking in blind faith here, and learning about adoption as we go.

She then shared her story of how her (and her husband) adopted years ago. She had 3 children, and then found out a lump in her neck was cancerous, which meant no more children for her, even though they wanted more. So they adopted. If she kept having biological children, they probably would not have adopted. I love stories of how God's plan directs us in our lives! So encouraging and uplifting!

The visit with Kim was fantastic and she let us know immediately that we passed our home assessment. She had no recommendations for us other than to get a bigger fire extinguisher. We will not be working with her anymore (she just does the initial home evaluations) and I will miss her.

To keep the celebration for Mike's birthday rolling, we went out to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, and then bowling. Where our 4-year-old daughter proceeded to whoop us and gloated about it!! She bowled a 122! (I think Mike and I were just points behind her, but she wouldn't let us forget that she WON!) LOL, we enjoyed watching her. We had ice cream on the way home and Natalie crashed right after we put her in bed.

Happy birthday Michael! You are the rock of our family and we love you!!