Sunday, January 27, 2013

Third Trimester!!

We've of course been so grateful to God all along for the blessing of this healthy pregnancy, but today we're extra excited and thankful to begin the third trimester!  It's hard to believe we'll get to meet our little girl in just 12 weeks or so!  According to our last ultrasound, she's about 2.5 pounds and 14 inches long.  I can tell she's growing by how far she can reach across my abdomen now! I'll get a solid punch-kick combo on my left and right sides simultaneously sometimes. She can't quite reach up to my rib cage yet, but I can tell she's working on it.  She probably thinks it's a jungle gym. :)
She'll add more height during the next few weeks, but mostly she'll be gaining that cute baby fat.  We're praying for a nice, chubby, full-term baby!  Our ultrasounds have shown that she has one dilated kidney, but otherwise she looks very healthy, and we're asking God to heal her kidney before she's even born.  They can't tell what's causing it to be dilated, so she'll most likely be seen by a pediatric urologist very shortly after birth.  We'd appreciate your prayers for her healing. 
I've continued to feel really well, although bending over to tie my shoes and getting up from our couch are becoming monumental tasks!  I'm definitely going to buy a non-slip mat for our tub as soon as possible since I'm a little worried about losing the battle with my shifting center of gravity.  Other than just feeling more awkward, I've thankfully had very few of the typical pregnancy complaints.  I have started to occasionally wake up around 3 a.m., unable to go back to sleep for a few hours - I hear that can become more common during the third trimester. My first line of defense for discomfort or sleeplessness at night is to support my body with yet another extra pillow, so poor Dan is probably going to be pushed to the floor by my mountain of pillows before our due date comes around. :)  But I've been exercising with our recumbent bike, elliptical machine, and prenatal yoga videos, and I really think it helps to keep me feeling good during the days and sleeping well at night. 
Within the next few weeks, we'll start taking childbirth classes - that should be an adventure.  I've been reading the Labor and Delivery chapter in "What to Expect When You're Expecting," to mentally prepare myself for the topics they'll cover.  In the midst of the exhausting and gory details, they have tips for the coach/spouse that make me laugh out loud.  I'm not sure if they meant those sections to be comic relief, but I find all the caveats hilarious.  There's a list of about two dozen ways Dan can help as a coach during labor, and they all say something like "Remind her to use her breathing techniques, unless she finds it annoying." "Rub her back or hold her hand, unless she tells you to stop touching her." I wonder if they'll have me act like a wounded and angry wild animal during childbirth class so Dan will be ready. I'll keep you posted. :)
Here's a picture of baby girl and I at 28 weeks!  I'm expecting to grow a ton during the last 12!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Birthday Celebration and Pregnancy Buddy

Dan sure knows how to treat a lady on her birthday!  He took me out the night before for an early celebration dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, and since my birthday was on a Friday, he surprised me with gorgeous roses and a special breakfast before I went to work.  It was so sweet that he adjusted his work schedule that morning just to make me feel special and loved.

That tall glass of healthy water is hiding a decidedly unhealthy, but amazing slice of Hershey Bar Cheesecake

One of the best ways to start my birthday!

We grabbed breakfast at The Broken Yolk before I went to work.  It's our favorite local breakfast place,  just a few blocks from our house.

Baby girl and I after a big French Toast breakfast. :)  My coworkers treated me to lunch that day, so Dan and I stayed home with a movie and a light dinner that night. I had to draw the line at three restaurant meals in a row, since I don't want this baby to weigh 12 pounds at birth!

That weekend, we did some registry list shopping at Babies R Us for a few things I wanted him to help me choose.  We got to park in the stork parking (it's the small things). :)

My friend, Lisa, has been my designated pregnancy buddy since we're due the same week in April. It's her first child, also, and she's having a boy.  It's so fun to have someone to talk to who's going through the same stages as me!  She was really sick during her first 20 weeks, though, and I felt very grateful (yet guilty) to have such a relatively easy pregnancy compared to her.  Thankfully, she's feeling much better now!  I went to her baby shower this weekend, and we took a couple of "belly photos" together.

Lisa's due April 26th and I'm due April 21st. I'm sure it'll be a toss up at the end to see who actually gives birth first, though!

Boy vs. Girl :)

Some lovely ladies who used to attend a home Bible study with me. Left to right: Judy, Holly, Lisa, and me. It was great to catch up with them!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas & New Year's Eve

Happy New Year! It's amazing that it's already 2013, but we're of course so excited about the addition coming to our family in a few short months!  One of my cousins asked me if I was ready for the baby to be here already, and I said "No! I still have four more months!"  I probably need much more time than that to feel ready to be a mom, but I'll take what I can get. :)

We had a great time visiting both our families during Christmas week, starting in Fort Worth, TX where my parents and older brother Paul live.  My younger brother, Steve, was able to fly out for Christmas, too, and we loved spending the time together.  We even had a white Christmas, which was a fun surprise!  We stayed at my parents' house and enjoyed nice laid-back days for the most part.  We all needed the down time, especially Paul, who has continued to struggle with pain because of the tumor in his spine.  He normally has less pain when he can lie on his back most of the day, but on the days when he was feeling more energetic, we all went out to dinner and played games around the kitchen table.  He's receiving radiation treatments for his spinal tumor, and is taking chemotherapy pills to treat the cancer that more recently appeared in his brain. Despite the medications and pain, he's maintained his sweet and steady disposition.  He's such an amazing guy!

We met my mom's side of the family the Sunday before Christmas at a Mexican food restaurant.  It was great to see everyone who could make it!  We also loved meeting my cousin Emily's brand-new baby boy, Beckett, for the first time. Our family is growing by leaps and bounds with new spouses and children, and needless to say, my parents are beyond excited that they'll be grandparents soon. My mom included an introduction to my belly ("and this is my granddaughter") to the neighbors and church friends that Dan and I met. :)

Our picture at the extended family get-together: Dan, me, Mom, Paul, Dad, and Steve

Tim, Aunt Jane, and Tricia
(We missed seeing my cousin Kyle and Tricia's husband and three kids that night!)

Russell, Brad, Remy holding Tucker, Uncle Brian, Aunt Margaret, Kolby holding Beckett, and Emily

From TX, we flew straight to Williamsburg, VA to visit Dan's family for the remainder of Christmas week.  Our holiday was extra exciting because Dan's sister Robin got married on December 29th!  There were lots of last-minute tasks to accomplish, and half the family was battling colds or the flu (thankfully not the bride!), but we all pitched in and it was an absolutely beautiful wedding day. Robin looked gorgeous and she and her husband, Rob, had planned a ceremony that gave all glory to God.  It was a very full and fun visit, made even better by all the relatives and friends who traveled to Williamsburg to celebrate with Robin.
The rare (and slightly blurry) family photo: Dan, me, Dad J, Robin, Rob, Mom J, Tim, Dawn holding our youngest nephew Josiah, and our older nephews in front: Nathan, Aaron, and Benjamin

Dan, Tim, and their cousin Jon were part of the wedding band during the ceremony. They did a great job!

Our friends from Denver, Mike and Kate and their kids Charlotte and Cameron even made it to the ceremony!  They were visiting Mike's family in the area and took the opportunity to see Robin, Dan, and I.

The three of us all dressed up :)

Robin and Rob's reception was lots of fun with a live band, games, and dancing. The bride and groom looked very happy and in love!

The Father/Daughter dance

The Mother/Son dance

Instead of having their guests throw rice or rose petals, Robin and Rob had the awesome idea of launching lanterns as their send-off. They looked like large paper bags with a thin wire ring around the opening and a cardboard square in the center that you lit.  The heat from the fire lifted the lantern into the air and it flew away into the sky like a balloon.  Once you got past the logistics of lighting a bio-degradable lantern and flipping it over without burning the whole thing up, the effect was magical!

Watching Tim as he prepares to launch his lantern

The idea was inspired by the Disney movie "Tangled," which you should see if you haven't already.

A lovely send-off for the bride and groom!

We arrived back in San Diego at 10:00 pm on Sunday night, and the next morning we drove to Disneyland to celebrate New Year's Eve!  By the time we arrived at the park at noon, it was more crowded than we'd ever seen it before.  We managed to ride three rides and watch two shows during the afternoon, but by evening time, you could hardly walk anywhere because of the crowds. So we decided to find a good viewing spot on Main Street and wait for the fireworks.  They had an 8:30 pm holiday-themed fireworks show with "snow" falling down on the crowd at the end.  Then from 9:00-midnight, they played dance music and created a party atmosphere as they counted down to 2013.  At midnight, they had another huge fireworks show to ring in the New Year.  I'm glad we went, but I don't think we'd do it again.  On the plus side, Disneyland is a fun place to be, even if you don't get to ride a lot of rides.  They have great atmosphere, music, and live entertainment to enjoy - including all the Disney traffic-directors who were dancing in the middle of the street, having a good time.  Also, it's family-friendly, so we weren't surrounded by obnoxiously drunk or scantily-dressed people all night.  On the down side, it was so crowded that night it wasn't worth trying to walk anywhere in the park after a while.  I hate crowds, and I felt terrible for the parents with strollers and their small children who were trying to stick it out until midnight. 

In front of the castle with 5 hours to go until 2013!

Our view before the fireworks started
Happy New Year!