Saturday, February 28, 2009

Finally baby Howard's first great photo!!

On February 25th, Mr. Howard and I went to get our fourth ultrasound done. I need to post the ultrasound photo we got to take when Baby Howard was 8 weeks - to show you the difference. But we are on our way to babysit Sophia. I will post tomorrow along with some more belly photos!

Grandma and Grandpa Howard, we sent you a photo to put in your frame on Thursday. It should be there by Monday (if it didn't arrive today). Love you!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A little bit of a scare

This morning I woke up, got ready for work, packed my lunch, and ate breakfast when all of a sudden I experienced a piercing, stabbing pain in my lower left abdomen. Initially I decided I'd head into work and do lesson plans, while calling Kaiser to find out when I could go to the doctor. But after about 15 minutes of increasingly painful stabbing I decided I needed to call an advice nurse. The first time I really started to panic is when I told my symptoms to the appointment center. After getting out, "I'm pregnant and experiencing cramping in my abdomen," she frantically interupted me to tell me she was pushing me through to the top of the list to speak with an advice nurse immediately. The second time I really started to panic is when the advice nurse told me that after speaking to my doctor, they wanted me to talk to labor and delivery. Being only 20 weeks pregnant and on the phone with labor and delivery is an experience I'd like to avoid altogether.

They scheduled me an appointment for an hour and a half later and immediately did an ultrasound to see the baby. Baby Howard was fine (which I knew, because even through the searing pain I could still feel him/her moving around like crazy), the placenta was fine, I didn't have a cyst (or any mass, for that mater) on my ovaries, and everything looked fine. I had already self-diagnosed my condition and was convinced it was a cyst. It was 100% consistent with the symptoms I experience everytime I get an ovarian cyst - searing pain, concentrated in one side, that worsens with an empty bladder. What I didn't take into consideration was that my ovaries are no longer in my lower abdomen (haha!). They are above my belly button - Slight problem for my self diagnosis.

The doctor sent me home with instructions: if the pain worsened or continued to be crippling for intervals of 15 minutes, I was to go to the Emergency Room. On the way home, Mr. Howard and I stopped at target to pick up a flash drive. I went over to the baby books and looked up five months to see what it said. And sure enough right at Week 20 in What to Expect When You're Expecting, it said that as your ligaments stretch, some women experience a dull, cramping, or searing pain that can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. Mine subsided at about the 3 hour mark and after a 2 hour nap with Mr. Howard, I woke up with no pain.

Better safe than sorry!

Snow in Lincoln

After our day in the snow, Mr. Howard decided that it would be fun to bring snow back in his truck for the neighborhood children to play in. The boys got shovels from a city maintenance worker and began loading the snow up!
When we got back and told the neighbors about it, they told us the kids had never seen snow. What a treat!

The boys being silly (below):
At home - Snow in Lincoln (below):
Taking Harley in the snow for the first time (below):
Jake in the snow for the first time (below):
The neighbors playing in the snow for the first time (below):

A Snow Day

While Casey was here, we decided to go to Tahoe for the day. The boys spent a good amount of their time in the snow engaging in a snowball fight and we all enjoyed a yummy meal at a beachside grill.

The Beginning of the Fight (below):
Retaliation (below):
Beautiful Beach (below):
Casey (below):
The boys in the snow (below):

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day at Babies"r"us

Mr. Howard and I spent the day today at babiesrus registering and were thoroughly overwhelmed. Starting with the first item on the list (bottles) seemed to take us fifteen minutes. We discussed all the things we never had talked about before: do we want glass bottles or plastic? Do we want a sterilizer and therefore a bottle and sterilizer kit? Do we want a bottle warmer (if so, you need different bottles)? Do we want colic preventing bottles? Do we want the bottles that have the curved nipple? Seriously, I consider myself a baby/toddler expert (having worked as a nanny for several years and worked at a pre-school) and I felt like I had never seen a baby before in my life. We spent over 3 hours roaming the store, adding things to our list (Mr. Howard armed with a scan gun), debating our future child's every need. When did things also get so expensive? Bottles are no longer just bottles, they are the keys to colic prevention. Strollers are no longer strollers, they are 12 piece systems that you sign over your life to own. :-) Alright, I'm being slightly dramatic, but seriously!

Allison and Jack have weighed in and given us some guidance on the stroller/car seat debate. So has Michelle. Any other moms out there, we need help! Do we get the infant stroller/car seat combo (which also converts to a toddler stroller) and then have to later buy a toddler car seat and even later a booster seat? Or do we buy the strollers that don't come with the infant carrier and a car seat that goes from infant to toddler in one? The other thing I need help with is cloth diapers. I'm about 99% sure I'm going to use them, does anyone have any experience in this arena?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Alright, Alright...I concede!

Everyone kept telling me that once you feel the baby kicking, it will keep you up at night, or irititate you from time to time (because it either hurts momentarily, squashes some vital organ, or just keeps you from sleeping) and I thought..."ha! You do NOT know me!" I have been waiting for this my whole life. Everyday for the last 10 years I have woken up praying that someday I would be able to experience motherhood. Even people who saw me in the throws of morning sickness will tell you that when asked, "how do you feel?" my answer was always, "sick, but I'm NOT complaining!" :-)

Alright...alright...ladies. I hear you. While nothing has changed: I still am so blessed to feel a kick and will not take one tiny second of that for granted, I have to admit it has kept me up at night - which I would not call iritating, just...a little pesky. I value my sleep and even more than that I NEED my sleep and while waking up to a little kick in the belly is such an amazing experience, I wish my little one would kick while I'm up all day working!!!

My mom got me a maternity tank top that says "Kicking 24-7" and now I need to find one that says, "I only kick while my mommy is trying to sleep!" NOT that I'm complaining!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I felt the baby move!!!

I'm almost 19 weeks pregnant and I have been so sad that I haven't felt my little one move yet. Every night I wait and wait, hoping for a little movement. This morning at 3:30am I finally experienced it!!! It felt like a little pop on the very very bottom of my belly on the right hand side and then I could feel something go across the belly towards the left (like our little one was moving or rolling in there). I can't wait for Mr. Howard to be able to feel it with me!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Closet Makeover

We thought the perfect way to spend a Saturday was to do stuff for the baby. So after a trip to Lowes, we decided on the perfect closet organizer for Baby Howard. We assembled it ourselves and installed it all in less than a day. The photo to the right is the before and obviously the photo below is the after! Please take note of all the baby gifts filling the closet that we have received. We have such wonderful friends and family!! We actually bought another rod that matches the shorter rod on the right but haven't installed it yet. I just couldn't wait to upload photos!! And yes we still haven't found closet doors.

The Best Valentine's Day Ever

Valentine's Day 2009 began with a surprise bouquet of a dozen red roses hand delivered to my classroom on Friday!! The kids were soo cute wanting to know who had given me the flowers. Of course I made a point to tell the boys to take note. :-) Then we celebrated our last Valentine's Day without a babysitter by going to Ruth's Chris for dinner on Friday night. We dined on shrimp cocktail, beer (for Mr. Howard), shirley temples (for me), steak, lobster tail, baked potato, and banana pie! It was absolutely the most perfect, delicious dinner!!!

The next morning we got up early to make a really yummy breakfast and while I was waiting for Mr. Howard to wake up, he walked out with a handful of singing balloons, a bouquet of a dozen gorgeous red roses, and chocolate candy gallore. I couldn't have been more shocked!!! It was by far the most amazing Valentine's Day Weekend Ever!!! What a lucky girl I am!!

Can you believe I'm over 18 weeks pregnant?!?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My first moment of crazy

Up until this point I have avoided most stereotypical pregnancy behavior. Well, I hate to be cliche, but I finally had my T.V. Pregnancy moment this weekend (you know...the way they represent pregnant women on television shows).

On Monday, I was taking a break from painting when all of a sudden I was starving...not just, "gosh I'm hungry. I really should eat something." Oh no! It was a "If I DO NOT EAT something in the next 25 seconds I think I might die" kind of hunger. So, there I was, standing in front of the refrigerator stuffing pepperoni into my face, while simultaneously looking for ice cream in the freezer. If I had had pickles, I swear to you I would have devoured the pickle jar and then moved straight on to the pint of Cake Batter ice cream I had bought earlier at the store. Never before have I had such a moment. I didn't even really associate it with pregnancy, until I was relaying the message to my friend Diana and she pointed out that I sound like all the other crazy pregnant women wanting pickles and ice cream!

Now the pregnancy book explanation for this kind of behavior is that my body was clearly lacking sodium (hence the pickle craving) and sugar (hence the ice cream craving), but any pregnant woman's husband will tell you that it has nothing to do with that. It's simply that we've lost our minds.

Living Room At Last

Mr. Howard and I agree on a lot when it comes to decorating the house. Well, I mainly just agree with most of what he says to avoid a battle. :-) But when it came time to pick out a color for our living room to replace the horrendous red (that was badly painted with splotches all over the wall) and gold windowsills (see photo), we could not agree. We could not agree so much, in fact, that we ended up painting it TWICE. Oh yes, you heard correctly: we painted the living room one color and then a second color. It took all of Sunday and every evening since for us to paint it (shhh don't tell the pregnancy police that I was painting). But finally we have a color we agree on and MUCH, MUCH more of a living room that fits us!

Below: Our red walls and GOLD windowsills:
Below: A better look at the wall
Below: A Close up of the gold paint
Below: As Promised - A picture of my gorgeous husband:
Below: Try #1 - This paint color only lasted for about an hour. See the test of a new color on the right:
Below: TaDa!!! A beautiful brown wall with WHITE windowsills:

Apple Hill

Mr. Howard had the entire weekend off and in order to celebrate, we drove up to Apple Hill. Yes, I'm sure you Northern California folk are asking yourselves, "Why on earth did they go to Apple Hill in the winter? Don't they know there are no apple orchards open?" So to answer your questions, we went to Apple Hill for apple pie and yes we knew that most of the orchards would be closed. We had actually never been before and wanted to take a little preview trip before we bring a little one up there with us next fall. Anyone who knows me even a little bit will not be surprised to find out that I am the eternal planner. In fact, we previewed a firework show this past Fourth of July simply because we (let's be honest, I) wanted to know if it would be a good show to bring a future little one to (and if you do the math, which I'm sure you all are doing - it's true: we were not even pregnant at the time).

Don't you love the picture of the Apple Hill sign? My lovely husband dodged traffic and ran across the street to appease his pregnant hormonal wife who ABSOLUTELY COULD NOT leave without at least one picture! :-)

Below is a picture of the delicious pie we brought back.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

17 Weeks

I realize that we have definitely not taken enough photos of Mr. Howard through all of this. So, I fully intend to take loads of photos of him this weekend to show you that he is still here, that he hasn't in fact left me after my hormonal rages, and that he is planning on sticking around. Here are two pictures of me at 17 weeks. The first shows how well I can hide it still (am I just completely kidding myself?) and the second shows what truly is lurking under my vests and sweaters!

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