Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pintastic Parenting!

Now that we know the gender of our little one (post coming soon!), we have gotten into full swing planning out a nursery and the joys of registering.

What a genious idea! Forget the ridiculously priced door stoppers I keep seeing in all the big baby stores!

I can't believe I haven't seen this idea before - how cute! 

Certainly not a part of this whole pregnancy process that I'm looking forward to - but I've heard that these really help with postpartum ahem, "issues".

I cannot get the beach off my mind! We won't be able to make it this year between the pregnancy and moving, but I'm already planning next summers trip with the little one! 

We're off to buy a maternity swim suit this weekend - if you have any tips on surviving a miserable, hot summer while pregnant, I'm all ears!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Snips & Snails or Sugar & Spice??

This weekend will be our gender reveal party! 
I really can't believe that we're finally far enough along in the pregnancy to know if the little minion is a boy or a girl! 

We had a little scare that we wouldn't be able to find out the sex before the party, our sonographer at the doctors office had a family emergency so all non-emergent sonograms have been cancelled.  Fortunately a place in town was able to fit us in this week and as long as the little one cooperates we'll leave with an envelope containing big news!!

Since there are a few more days until we know for sure - I'm still loving the wives tales for gender prediction!

What I think it is: GIRL

What John thinks it is: GIRL

The Chinese Gender Chart predicts: BOY

According to the Mayan's even/odd predictions: BOY

Carrying High/Low: I'm carrying high, indicating a GIRL

Heart Rate: 144, suggesting BOY

Math Test: Combining my age at conception, plus the number for the month the baby was conceived in - if the number is odd, it suggests girl, if it's even - boy. 
24 + 1 = 25 Odd, GIRL

Salty vs. Sweet: I still don't really like food, but I've heard that craving protein means boy and I will go out of my way to get a steak these days so I'm leaning towards BOY

Morning Sickness: Yes, a ton of morning  all day sickness, suggesting GIRL.

There are so many more - but these are my favorite.
I'm trying not to lean one way or another, boy/girl, so that I'm happy and open minded about whichever we are having. I always thought the common saying about "not caring, as long as it's healthy" was so lame and such a cop-out answer before being pregnant. Now I completely get it - either way I will be overjoyed and beyond blessed with a healthy, happy baby!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Proposal Story

 I'm an old married lady these days, with our first child on the way and all - but I thought I'd share how my dear husband popped the question!


John Proposed!!

(Tuesday, April 6, 2010)

John and I knew that we wanted to get married. We had talked about it many times but I wanted to let him propose when he was ready and in the way he wanted to. Minus my occasional peppering of questions about how much longer I would have to wait for the ring - I left him alone to do it in his own time (me being patient is quite an acomplishment!) 

Through our discussions, John had told me that the date he was going to ask was one of great importance to him. The day he proposed (April 6th 2010) was a complete surprise to me. I would have never guessed it would be in the middle of the week like that.

Monday night I had been up almost all night studying for my tests the next day; so when Tuesday came, I was already exhausted. After my first several classes of the day I got a call from John asking me to come over to his house, that he was sick and needed me to come check on him. I didn't have much time between my classes so I hurried off to see to him. When I got there we were sitting on the couch and it didn't take much sitting still for me to fall asleep. When I woke up (and realized I had slept through my class) I found a message from him but he was no where to be found.
The message started with a drawing of a ring and gave me clues as I read along as to what time and where I should be that evening. He ask me to meet him in "our park" at 11 that night (after we both had a chance to get off work). Our park has always been a special place to us. We frequently take walks there together, have had picnics there for some of our first dates. Any time I'm stressed and upset this is where we go together so I can unwind.

That night, I was fairly certain what was going to happen, hoping I wasn't wrong because I would look very silly if I had guessed incorrectly. I got all dressed up. I'm sure the people who saw us there thought we were crazy for what we were wearing. : ) I wore my white floor length formal. The same dress I was trying on when my friend first told me about John. Also the same dress I was wearing the first night I went over to his house for movies after a banquet. Wearing the dress just seemed fitting (plus I like to play dress up!).

As I drove to the park, I was a mess. I was already crying (tears of joy and excitement!) in anticipation of what was going to happen when I got to the park. I couldn't believe the night I had been waiting for was here!! As soon as I pulled up at the foot bridge he ask me to meet him on, I could see him there. Just seeing him there calmed me so much. Just like he always calms me. I met him on the bridge and he ask me to take a walk with him. (I'd like to note that I wasn't the only one who dressed up, he was wearing his suit!) We walked around the park twice while John talked to me about the things that make him so certain that I am the one. That we are ready to get married and are right for each other.

As we came back toward the bridge we had started from, there were some ducks at the edge of the water. Every time we go to the park, I run off after the ducks chasing them, looking like a complete fool I'm sure. Usually John just stands there and pretends to not know me; but this time he followed. When I chased the ducks off into the water he was there waiting for me. He told me that one of the things that he loves most about me is that I am myself around him. That I am willing to do things that could be considered foolish or silly because I am so comfortable with him.
At that point he got onto one knee and ask me to marry him. I was overwhelmed with happiness and got my "YES!" out to him. I didn't turn into a waterwork of tears, which was quite a suprise to me. I was calm, happy that my emotions didn't get the better of me so I have such a clear memory of the moment. Especially when he stood up to give me a hug and a kiss...and my engagement present!!

The ring he gave me as my engagement ring is the ring his father gave his mother. The day he chose to propose was the day that his father proposed to his mother. My engagement present is a second ring. It is the ring his great-grandfather gave his great-grandmother as an engagement ring when they moved to America from Germany and Poland. John's great-grandfather hammered out the ring setting himself!
We walked back to his car to get a blanket and spent the next while laying out watching the stars together. A perfect ending to a perfect night!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Count Down to Baby {15 Weeks}

I'm really behind on my bumpdate updates, but the first trimester really kicked my butt & I'm just now feeling like getting back to normal things.


Due Date:
October 22

How far along?:
We just completed our 15th week!

Weight Gain:
At this point I'm down 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.
My baby is the size of a:
Avocado! Roughly the size of an open hand.

Maternity Clothes:
Yes! I have a few pieces of maternity clothes and a few pieces of very stretchy regular clothes that I can keep wearing. I'm also in need of shopping for more maternity clothes.

Stretch Marks:
Yes. :( I have one. I've had it for a few weeks. It came out of no where. :(

Belly Button In or Out:

Wedding Ring on or off:

My nausea has gotten much better. I'm down to throwing up once a day, most days. I'm really exhausted all the time and having a lot of trouble sleeping. Headaches are honestly my biggest obstacle at this point.

Fruit! and snow cones!

Chinese food in particular but food in general is pretty revolting still.

I'm getting 8 1/2 or 9 hours a night and it's a must have to survive but it's very restless.

I am loving:
That I look pregnant! And planning our Gender Reveal Party!!

I miss:
I've never been a big drinker at all, but I would give a lot for a margarita or pina colada these days!

I am looking forward to:
Knowing if it's a girl or a boy!!

I'm freaking out about:
Not much right now, I'm pretty mellow at this point.

Best moment this week:
I *think* I felt a tiny bit of movement. It's the only thing I can imagine it was, but I haven't felt anything since.

Worst moment this week:
I'm still throwing up some, that's never fun.
I also had a fit of crying in front of my children's choir last Saturday - I could have lived without that.

I'm pretty moody. I generally can't find a middle ground, I go from happy to angry to so sad. I cry really easily. I think this is what I'm most surprised by in pregnancy so far.

Nothing major, another week down!

That maybe movement, but that's it.

It's a...:

I'm finally walking again!! The first time in a while!

Eh, Okay. Could be better - but it's hard when I find food so disgusting.

Goals for the upcoming week:
Get the last of the stuff for the gender reveal party

We'll start planning after we know if it's a boy or a girl!

Bump watch

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CF Awareness Month & Our Story

For as long as I can remember, my brother Robert has been sick. 

Throughout our childhood when he was fighting a "cold or allergies" worse than usual (because it was a continuous battle) or his "asthma" had flared up again our entire lives would stop to revolve around him.  My parents tried to maintain a regular schedule and routine for the family but when Robert was especially not feeling well, everything about his personality and demeanor changed. He wasn't the artistic little boy who loved sketching or working out puzzles anymore. He was a screaming, angry, heathen of a child. Despite talking to doctors and behaviorists, the only thing my parents could find to control these outbursts was keeping him medicated at the slightest sign that his "sinuses" were going to "act up" again.

As Robert got older his respiratory issues got worse. When he would have a bad case of "allergies" or a "cold" you could tell he didn't feel good by his physical appearance. His face would literally change, becoming very swollen across the cheek bones and around the eyes. 
Our pediatrician was doing his best to treat his "asthma" and get him relief, but as he entered his preteen years it was clearly not working anymore.

When Robert was in 7th grade, he was having one of his "episodes". He was just so, so sick. An already skinny boy (at 5 foot 8 inches he only weighed 95 pounds!), he was visibly loosing weight. His face was distorted with sinus blockages and the cough that we'd all grown accustomed to because he's had it since he was an infant was growing more frequent and awful sounding.

He wasn't acting himself at all, but rather than the tantrums of his childhood; he was shutting off from everyone. He was in and out of the doctor on an almost weekly basis. New antibiotics or breathing treatments, my Dad was on the phone with the doctors office every. single. day.

At one point that spring it got so bad that Robert couldn't lay down to sleep at all. My Dad was staying up with him practically all night because his coughing had gotten so bad that he couldn't really sleep even if he could lay down. What little sleep he did get was upright in a recliner. My very frustrated father was explaining this to the doctor who was beyond sick of hearing from him so frequently. It was then that the pediatrician finally recognized how severe Roberts illness was.
We already had an appointment with a Childrens Pulmonologist (lung doctor) at Cooks Children in Fort Worth, but the earliest they could get us in was over two months away. Now that we had our doctor advocating for us, he got Roberts appointment moved up to the next week.

Just as luck would have it, in the short time between finally getting the doctor to understand how ill Robert was and finally making it to the pulmonologist; Robert was finally doing better! My parents joked that the doctor would probably not do anything because it looked like he had just had a bad cold and was finally turning the corner, but they kept the appointment anyway.

It was a routine appointment with tests and exams. Mom, Dad and Robert took their time coming home and enjoyed the afternoon in Fort Worth with Robert finally feeling better. The rest of us kiddos were hanging out with my Grandma, it was the first day of Spring Break. As they got back into town, the three of them were going to run home for something and come back and as a family we were going to go out for dinner at our favorite Tex Mex place.

Sitting at Grandma's house, I knew it was taking too long for them to get from our house back to hers. I thought it was odd, but then again - my family never runs on time.
When they got there, the atmosphere was immediately one of seriousness.

Robert went off to the play room to entertain himself and Mom and Dad sat down to talk to the rest of us. When they got home, there was a message on the answering machine from the Pulmonologist himself. He said that he needed to talk to them and that he would wait at the office for their call and gave them a back-door number to call in on after hours. In later days, Mom recalled that she knew something was seriously wrong; that they had finally found out what was wrong with her son if the doctor was waiting on them like this.

Robert has Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition affecting his pulmonary system and digestive systems in turn affecting his endocrine system. Being a genetic condition, he has had it since birth; but when he was born, it wasn't like today where the test is administered in the hospital before sending the infant home.  As bad as his respiratory problems were at the time, throughout his life he would have been considered a "healthy" CF patient (even without proper medical care). No one even thought to look for CF because if it isn't caught very early on in life, it usually isn't diagnosed.  Robert didn't display the normal symptoms. Other than his constant cough, his respiratory problems would wane with vigilant treatment from over-the-counter drugs. His primary constant symptom was the fact that his digestive system clearly didn't work the way yours and mine does (trust me, you don't want to know...).

The diagnosis came as a huge shock to my family.
When my parents were kids, children with CF didn't live to be teenagers.
Today we have treatments and amazing medical studies that are making great strides towards allowing those with CF to live a longer, fuller life. As of today, there is no cure. The average life span of a CF patient is now into their 30's or 40's depending on the severity of the case.

We are very fortunate that Robert responds very well to his CF treatments and is considered "healthy" for a CF diagnosis. Each day comes with lots of medications, treatments and challenges.
I love my brother dearly and while I'm heartbroken that he is sick, it is a huge relief to know what's wrong and what we can do about it.

I shared some of his story today because May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.
For us, knowing that Robert has CF answered so many unanswered questions.

He couldn't gain weight because he doesn't digest fat and proteins.
(This is also the source of the horrible digestion problems)
His awful "dandruff" during the summer isn't skin - it's flakes of salt (I'm sure he's thrilled I shared that!)

The behavior problems associated with him not feeling well was as a result of his brain not getting enough oxygen - it affected his entire personality and mood.
When he was admitted to the hospital the day after his doctors appointment for his first two week stay, he was at 60% lung function. After being put on the appropriate meds to assist in digestion, he gained over 10 pounds in a week and was over 100 pounds for the first time in his life!

CF isn't very common, and you may or may not know someone with it - but I hope that you learned a little something from our story.