Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the letter b

Another week has passed... 30 weeks 3 days today, which means only 67 days to go! Yikes. Being pregnant over the holidays means that time flies twice as fast I think.

We had Christmas with Joey's family on Sunday, and we'll head west to Sidney to see my family later this week. I'm having a hard time remembering all that's happened in the last 7 days... apparently nothing much exciting! It's just been cooooooold! I think we're finally going to have a high in the 20s today! Hooray!

Zoe and Jack aren't loving the cold cold weather, and seem to be a little sick. We finally felt sorry for them last night after they looked so cold and miserable on the floor, and brought them out each an old blanket, and they burrowed in and were sound asleep. Yes, we are pathetic, but they both have such sad dog eyes sometimes...



::

I had my 30 week (gasp!) doctor visit yesterday and all is well. Here's the longer version for those who care.
I saw the PA this time (my OB is still on maternity leave, so I'm rotating through the other dr.'s/PAs). She asked if we were traveling over the holidays and because we are, and because I'm 30 (gulp) weeks along, she copied the first two pages of my chart so I have something to take with me, just in case. This is nice because I love numbers and I can see my progress over these last 30 weeks. And I can see that my OB has HORRIBLE handwriting. :)

My blood pressure was normal, but higher for me - 124/78, it's usually about 110/65. I measured at 30 cm, right on track. No edema, she said I must be doing a good job staying away from holiday treats - HA! Apparently I just process salt well, because it's certainly still being consumed! I'm up about 14 lbs so far, so hopefully it's all baby! :) This 14 lb weight gain is pretty impressive to me, I figured I'd be at like 34 by now! :)
Next visit is Jan 7th. They're coming fast now! Eeee!

::

We neglected to send Christmas cards this year due to all the extra busy-ness, but we do want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Stay warm and safe.

Monday, December 15, 2008

29 weeks, 2 days

That pesky Father Time is still hard at it, it seems, and we're another week closer to delivery day. All is still well with us! We had a productive weekend and got the nursery painted (*finally*), and the crib put together (pics posted below). Everything is falling into place it seems. Just a few odds and ends are needed to tie everything together, but I'll wait until it's finally finished to post more pictures.


Baby boy doesn't seem to kick as much anymore - he's turned those into full body movements. He's a roly poly in there and likes to freak out at about 3 am. He of course stops immediately when Joey tries to feel his movement, and then Joey looks at me like it's all in my head. :)

Not much else is new. Winter arrived yesterday - after a high of 58 on Saturday, we were at 4 most of the day yesterday, with a windchill of -15ish below zero. Today I think we're supposed to hit 9, but we're currently at -1 with a windchill of -25. Brrr. I love winter, but can't I have a bit of snow?? Tomorrow I think, maybe.

Hope all is well with you. Here are a few development notes:

Your baby is growing rapidly now. This week he weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is getting bigger to accommodate his growing brain — which is busy developing billions of neurons. Every day, about 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in your baby's skeleton, which is now hardening. With this rapid growth, it's no surprise that your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during this trimester.

Friday, December 12, 2008

sneak peek #2

Making progress. The red paint is quickly becoming the bane of my existence... 2 coats down, at least 2 to go I'd say. We'll get there...


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

nursery sneak peek

We have one color up... what do you think? :o)


Monday, December 8, 2008

hello third trimester

Time is flying by as always, and we're now a few days into the third trimester. Officially 28 weeks and 2 days are in the books, and only 11 weeks 5 days to go... It doesn't help our cause that right now is the Most Wonderful Busy Time of the Year. That's not entirely accurate, it is my favorite time of the year, but wowza it flys by! I decided over the weekend that part of my not-really-feeling-full-of-Christmas-cheer is because I need it to snow. We have yet to have a really real snowstorm yet (I consider this to be at least 3 inches that sticks for at least 24 hours). So it just feels like we're perpetually stuck in Autumn (which we are still), but Christmas isn't in Autumn, thus my issue. I have issues with weather, apparently. I think I should have been a meteorologist, you know, to study meteors and stuff...

Anyway...

Twenty-eight weeks and all is well. Cletus is a virtual soccer star. I can now feel random parts of him as he dances across my belly. It's usually his little melon head or his butt. And if I push (gently) on his head, I can feel his feet on the opposite side. He doesn't so much like this apparently, because he kicks me. But it makes me laugh.

Two more weeks until our next appointment: December 22nd. That one will probably be just me again - Joey gets some teeth pulled that morning (I think his wisdom teeth but who knows...) so he'll probably be a little laid up for that one. Speaking of Joey, everyone is always asking he or I how his back is after the giant back pain incident of 2008. He's doing MUCH much better, thanks for asking. He's still going to the chiropractor 3-4 times per week, but we think he should have those visits wrapped up very soon.

Everything else is fine with us. Jack and Zoe would like you to know that they're still very ornery and not so excited about their new little brother. They like to sniff the stroller and then stare at us with giant puppy-dog eyes until we reassure them that they don't have to leave, but they're going to have to make room for new stuff.

We had a pretty productive weekend, even managing to resume work on the nursery a bit. If all goes well, we'll HOPEFULLY have some updated pictures for you by the end of the week. Keep your fingers crossed.

And a few development notes:
By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open and close her eyes, which now sport lashes. This movement is more of a reflexive blink than a deliberate opening and closing, but it won't be long before she's batting those beauties at you.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree...

We finally found a little energy, paired it with a little holiday cheer, and managed to get our Christmas tree decorated last night! We didn't put ALL the crazy Christmas tree balls on, nor the tinsel in an attempt to make things easier when putting it all away in a month. Plus then I don't have to go scouring for tinsel in Zoe's mouth either (nice visual, eh?). Next step: wrapping the presents to put below it.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

27 weeks, 3 days

We're on the downhill slide now! Just a little over 12 weeks to go, and a LOT to be done in that amount of time! :) No nursery progress lately, we've been busy with life it seems. Thanksgiving was fantastic. We got some serious nephew-lovin' in as can been seen here:

Sweet Barrett was as cute as can be and I for one just wanted to gobble him up and smother him with kisses. Thankfully Mindy restrained me. :) We had a great time with the rest of my family as well! Joey got to catch up on some football and we ate our weight in turkey I'm quite sure. We helped Grandma Joy and Grandpa Lyle celebrate 50 great years of wedded bliss as well!

And now it's back to the grind for a few more weeks until Christmas break rolls around. I'm having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit this year for some reason. Usually you can find me listening to Christmas music by November 15th, and this year I feel more like the Grinch. I think getting ready for the baby is overwhelming me and I really need to take a step back and relax! Christmas is my favorite and it will be gone before I know it! Now if we can only get to the store to find the perfect Charlie Brown Christmas tree... Oh and it's supposed to be 56 here today so I think some serious light-laying-on-the-front-bushes (it's easier than hanging them :o) is in order.

I had a regular OB appointment yesterday. Unfortunately Joey was sick with an icky stomach bug and wasn't able to join me. I was the one who gave him the bug so I knew how he was feeling. Thankfully it was a quick and easy appointment. I passed my Glucose Tolerance Test (which checks me for Gestational Diabetes) but found out I'm anemic (the low end for hemoglobin should is 12 and I'm at 10.2). But the good news is, it's an easy fix with an iron supplement. I've been told I'm anemic before so this wasn't anything to shocking. Otherwise, baby boy had a heartbeat in the 140s and was squirming all over the place. And I've graduated to bi-weekly appointments (gasp!), so the end is nearing. My next one is December 22nd, and then every other week after that until the last month when I go every week.

So all is well and happy in baby-land. I'm going to roll myself around in magic Christmas dust and get myself in the holiday mood today. :)


This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

Monday, November 24, 2008

96 days to go!

Somehow our ticker over there dropped below 100 days to go late last week. I think the reality of the pregnancy is finally starting to sink in!

We've had a pretty productive week and I think that trend will continue until after the first of the year when hopefully we can catch our breath before Cletus makes his big debut. Joey's birthday last Tuesday was great! We ate our fair share of wings and celebrated with a few of his friends. I don't know if it's because his birthday is so late in the year or what, but inevitably we both start calling him a year older than he is about a week after his birthday. Maybe this year he can be 28 for the whole year before we move him to 29. :)

We finished up our last baby care class last week by learning infant CPR for the first hour (yikes, good to know but we pray we never have to use it!) and car seat safety for the last 90 minutes. Lots of fun facts about car seats that I'm sure you won't care about... :o)

Friday morning we were excited to learn that our sweet nephew Barrett all but fell into the world, after a very fast delivery. Can't wait to meet him later this week!

Friday night we were able to finish our Target registry. Thankfully it went much quicker than our wedding registering. Joey thought the wedding registry would be awesome because you get to use the little beeper. Once he realized everything was for the house, he didn't find it so interesting. :) I mean boys can only care so much about whisks and mixing bowls... :) Thankfully I put him in the baby toy aisle and told him to start beeping and away he went!


Saturday we ran to Omaha (ok, truthfully, we drove, we're not athletes...) and picked up our car seat and extra car seat base for the Expedition. It was nice to have that task marked off our list. We took the store demo out to my back seat to make sure it would fit and it BARELY fit in the middle of the backseat (which thankfully is the safest place anyway). It wouldn't fit on the driver or passenger side even if we wanted it there.


Sunday we sucked up leaves with Joey's fancy new leaf blower/vacuum. We made 12 bags of leaves, but that was only the front yard... and there's still over half the leaves left to fall off the tree. If you've never been to our house to see our gigantic 50 year old oak tree, let me humor you:


And all those leaves have to end up somewhere, preferably the lawn:

So that was pretty much the weekend. Exciting as ever, huh? Another busy week on tap this week. And another OB appointment next Monday to check up on our bean. Cletus is a roly poly in there. I can't quite differentiate his head from a foot or his butt or an arm right now, but he and I are going to have a talk about waking me up at 5 in the morning for his early morning exercises. I wouldn't trade it though. :)
And some development notes:

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel.

Friday, November 21, 2008

our nephew's big debut

Joey and I are finally an uncle and aunt. Mindy's sweet Barrett was born just about 2 hours ago. 

We're so excited, we'll get to meet him on Tuesday hopefully. :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

weekend ketchup

Monday again? I could have handled a few more weekends like this past one. Nice and relaxing! Joey and I slept more than was entirely necessary, but it's safe to say that we aren't yawning today! :)

No nephew yet... he's still hanging out in Mindy's belly. Finding it awfully cozy apparently. Tomorrow is Joey's birthday, maybe he's just waiting to make his debut then.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Joey. We're celebrating Joey's 28 great years tomorrow night with some wings and beer. Well beer for him, wings for me. :)

We did make a bit of nursery progress this weekend, despite our copious amounts of sleep. We managed to get the ceiling painted (white) and the ceiling fan up. Everyone always raises an eyebrow when we talk about painting the ceilings in our house. I can assure you if they were already white, we would not be painting them. Unfortunately, the people who lived in our house before us loved this awful shade of coffee-creamer taupe and painted all the ceilings and all the trim in this shade. Plus we think they smoked in the house, and that probably contributed to it's brownness. Either way, it constantly looked dirty, so white it now is. And the room is much brighter because of it!

The evidence of our progress, Joey with the roller:

And the finished product, though it's incredibly hard to see the ceiling or much of the fan, I can assure you it looks way better:

And lastly, I managed to get a quick "belly shot" of the growing soccer star in my belly. I realize I look like I'm 10 feet tall, but I'll try to take a better one next time around...


Finally, a few development notes for this week:
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

24 weeks, 5 days

Wow I'm wayyy behind with this week's post! :) You can chalk that one up to my need to sleep for 11 hours a night. Although in all fairness, Joey was dragging me to bed at 8:45 last night. 8:45! We're so old and boring now. ;)

We've had a busy week (or 10 days since my last post). We got Renee married and she and Nate are currently basking in the sun in Jamaica while I'm sitting here in cold Nebraska being jealous... A couple pictures for the curious:


Joey and I looking totally confused about the camera:
















Renee and I following suit with a fabulous deer in the headlights look:




















Last Thursday was our first baby care class at St. Eli.zabeth's (even though we're delivering at Bryan... don't ask, it stresses Joey out :o). It was alright. Joey learned how to swaddle our plastic doll baby and we gave him a sponge bath. Joey learned that babies don't actually breathe anything until they're born (other than practicing with amniotic fluid), and I learned all about what happens in the first 2 hours after baby comes. We also got to see infant massage in practice on a real (adorable!) baby. It was pretty cool, Joey and I talked about taking Cletus after he joins us. Tonight is the second class (of 3) - a pediatrician is coming to answer questions and I don't know what else we're talking about. Should be enthralling.


No nephew for us just yet. My sister is still getting that baby good and cute before he joins us. She does have an appointment today though, so we have our fingers crossed. And it's a full moon, so she says today is the day. Apparently babies fall from the sky on full moons. Or something. I happened to look and see that full moons around my due date are on February 9 or March 11. So it's a good thing babies are born on non-full moon eves. I'll take one of those please. And I feel like rubbing in again that I know the naaaaaaameeeeeee, neener, neener, neener. :)


No nursery progress this week. Still recovering from the wedding. I'd like to go get the new ceiling fan this weekend so I can get it put up before I'm not able to get on a chair anymore. (Yes I, me, Alison is going to put the ceiling fan up, but not without the help of my trusty sidekick Joey. :o) So far we've put up 3 ceiling fans together, and they're all still spinning and hanging from the ceiling...)


Hus.ker game this weekend. Things are looking up, at least we're bowl eligible. Hopefully we'll get a fun one, so I can dream of warmer places while I sit in frigid Nebraska (noticing a trend here?).


And lastly, a few development notes. Have a great week!


At this point, your baby is growing steadily, with about a quarter of a pound of new weight and still approximately a foot long. Sure they're not so chubby yet, but just wait that'll come. Their lungs are also getting more prepared for the outside world. 



Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

doctor, doctor

Be sure to check out yesterday's post for an update on the nursery and baby development. This one is all about yesterday's routine doctor visit. Oh, and Joey and I reminding you to GO VOTE!

Short version: all is well, totally, totally well and good.

Longer-albeit-still-short version: They weighed me. I've gained 9 lbs since my first visit. The doctor calls this "excellent" which made me breathe a sigh of relief - I was worried I hadn't gained enough yet, since I'd read that average is 10 lbs by 20 weeks, so I'm a tiny bit behind. But I've gained 4 in the last month alone, so things should only go up from here.

I got a fancy pants "diaper bag" from En.famil and some weird organizer thing from Sim.ilac. Joey has claimed the diaper bag already, which is fine with me because it's kind of ugly. Boys are easy to please I guess.

I got a glass (hello breakable!) bottle of "flat cola" flavored glucose-y stuff for my Glucose Tolerance Test which I'll have at the next appointment. I need to drink it within 10 minutes, 1 hour before my appointment. Must remember this, writing it down.

My blood pressure: 104/62, "perfect".

My regular OB is having a baby very soon, so I'm making appointments with the 3 other OBs in the practice until she returns. So today was new OB #1. She was ok... very fast though, I felt rushed. So far my regular OB is still my favorite.

She measured my belly, measuring right on track at 23 cm. And Cletus was wiggling away from the Doppler as always, but she caught up and found a heartbeat in the 150s, also great.

I have my flu shot within the next week, hopefully next Tuesday so I don't have to do it before THE wedding this weekend, thankfully Joey's company provides free flu shots for employees and their spouses.

Hope you have a great week. And go vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

23 weeks, 2 days

Well, we're making nursery progress at least. I was able to get the hello-yellow closet painted this weekend, and the closet organizer installed. Check it out:

Post paint, pre-shelves:

















After the shelves, looking really boring:

















And after some cute Cletus-stuff added in:

















Yay for progress! But I'm sure you have more exciting things to do than stare at a closet in my house. :o) Next up: a new ceiling fan and paint on the walls. Not for a few weeks though, we have way to much going on right now! Mindy's still letting that baby of hers bake for a few more days, we'll see if we have a nephew before Thanksgiving. I don't know, I'm thinking he might be coming sooner than we think! Joey has offered to sell his name to anyone who wants to know it, but you'll have to talk to him about that. :o) And no, Cletus' real name isn't on the auction block.

We've had a fairly low-key last week, nothing much to report. Joey's on call this week for work, so he's occupying himself with even more housework during the days. Somehow I managed to find a guy that likes to clean. Lucky me! :)

We have my best friend Renee's wedding this weekend, so I'm just tying up a few last minute things for that. Namely figuring out how to not look like a giant eggplant in my dress. (It's seriously adorable, but me and Cletus both in it aren't exactly "cute" :o).

We have our monthly appointment with the baby doctor today. Hopefully it's another boring appointment!

A few development notes:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

Your baby has now developed the ability to swallow and their little pink taste buds are developed, although they won't really need them till they're born. What's more, you may have noticed that they're really starting to react to sounds from the outside world.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

22 weeks, 3 days

Halfway through week 22 and all is well! A few highlights of our last 7 days:
  • Joey's back/hips are MUCH much better now that he's going to the chiropractor. He can already feel a difference in how he sits and stands, so hopefully he'll keep moving down the
    great path he's on.
  • Little-to-no progress has been made on the nursery since I posted those pictures 10 days ago. The hello-yellow closet is ready to be painted, it just needs someone (namely, me!) to throw the paint on the walls. Soon and very soon, I promise.
  • I got to go to the Nebraska game last Saturday! It was awesome. Well we played like we were in Junior High most of the game, but hey at least we won...
  • The fence in our backyard blew down, while Joey was in Minnesota for work, which made this pregnant lady not so excited. The dogs were chomping at the bit to RUN and they couldn't be outside off their leashes... Thankfully Joey's dad is a rockstar fence-fixer and had us back with a vertical fence in no time. Whew!

That's pretty much been our non-exciting week. I wish I had more fascinating things to tell you. :) Next week should be a little more fun-filled: we have another doctor's appointment on Monday, Thursday we start our 3 week "Baby Care" class, and then we'll head home for Renee's wedding! Oh, so exciting for you I'm sure. :)

Last but not least, baby developments for the week:

Your baby is nearly an entire foot long and weighs almost an entire pound! What's more they've started to produce their own hormones as their little pancreas continues to steadily develop.

and

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

21 weeks, 3 days

Where is time flying to? I know I say every week how fast it's going, but now I'm over the halfway mark, and things are going to get even busier for a while.

All is well with us for the most part! Joey aggravated his back and hips and has been in pretty bad pain for about a week now. He was able to get to the chiropractor at the end of last week and the news wasn't good - his back is about 6 inches out of alignment, his neck and hips are also out of whack, and his pelvis is an inch higher on one side than the other, which makes walking understandably painful. So, he's undergoing some intensive therapy with the chiropractor in the coming weeks. He's already feeling a million times better, but we have a ways to go. They think it could have been caused at birth, and then just got worse over the years. Thankfully it looks like they'll be able to correct the problems without surgery. Whew! If you could keep him in your prayers, I'm sure he'd appreciate it. :)

Joey and I are waiting welcome our sweet nephew into the world. Mindy thinks he'll continue to bake for a few more weeks before joining us though. Maybe even on Joey's birthday (November 18)?? Mom is convinced he'll be here in December, but we'll see! :)


That should pretty much catch you up for now! I hear it's supposed to SNOW this week! I love snow, but isn't it a bit early? It was just 2 years ago this weekend that we had our wedding reception (outdoors!) on a beautiful, warm, fall Nebraska night.

Here's a few development notes:

Guess what? Your baby has finally broken the one-pound mark. How heavy is that? Hold a one-pound box of sugar in your hand the next time you're in the grocery story (and expect people to ask you why you're grinning from ear to ear). Is the box eight inches long? That's about the length your baby is too!

This week, your sweetie is making more sense of the world as he or she develops the sense of touch. In fact, your little one's grip is quite developed by now — and since there's nothing else to grab in utero, he or she may sometimes hold on tight to that umbilical cord (don't worry — it's tough enough to handle it). The sense of sight is also getting more developed. Your fetus can now perceive light and dark much better than before (even with those fused eyelids). But remember — unless you're shining a flashlight over your belly (which you can do, by the way), it'll be mostly dark for your baby inside that cozy womb of yours.

Moving up from the eyes, the eyelashes and eyebrows are well formed now — and even more hair is sprouting atop that cute little head. You'd be quite surprised, though, if you could see your little one up close and in color. Hair at this stage has no pigment, so it's bright white.

love,
alison and joey

Monday, October 13, 2008

in the books

Cletus is 20 weeks and 2 days "old" and half of this pregnancy is in the books! That seems crazy to both Joey and me. We're filling our days planning for my best friend Renee's wedding on November 8th, Mindy's baby coming sometime around November 16th, and my Grandma Joy and Grandpa Lyle's 50th wedding anniversary the weekend after Thanksgiving! Not to mention spending all of our spare time planning for Cletus' arrival.

Tomorrow, the 14th, is our 2 year anniversary! I'm shocked that it's only been two years, to be completely honest. It's hard to imagine "life pre-Joey". Although I'm sure there's times that Joey wishes he could have some silence like his life probably was "pre-Alison". :o) To celebrate the day, we both took tomorrow off work and are heading to Omaha to do some shopping for all-things-baby. Neither of us are big Omaha fans, Lincoln is about as big-city as we can muster, but we're excited to get out of town for a day. On the agenda: picking out a crib, a car seat, a stroller, etc. etc. etc. And lots of anniversary-food - I've been promised breakfast from Panera Bread and supper at P.F. Chang's. All the food a pregnant girl can handle. :o)

Thank you again for your love and prayers these first 20 weeks, we're hoping the next 20 go as smoothly.

I'll leave you with some last notes on Cletus' 20th week and a few pictures of what we were up to 2 years ago...:
Your baby is now about 10.5 inches long from head to foot and their little limbs and head have finally reached their relative birth proportions, although they've still got loads of growing to do. On average, you should've gained about 10 lbs by now, although that's just an average so, don't be too devastated if you're over or under slightly.

And...

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system.





























Monday, October 6, 2008

19 weeks, 2 days!

I can't believe we're almost to 20 weeks - the first half of this pregnancy is almost in the books! I looked at my calendar today and realized it was OCTOBER! OCTOBER! It seems like it was last week when we were finding out that Cletus had come to be - and that was June! Time flies, and it only seems to get faster! :)

What's new for us:
  • We've wrapped our minds around having a SON! We're feeling very blessed and super excited each day that gets us closer to meeting him. I will say that "growing a baby" is the most surreal thing ever - I mean it's a little shocking to know that I'm growing a person! With toes! And arms! And a heart! I don't even know how that's possible.

  • Baby wiggles! I started to feel Cletus moving around in there about a week ago. The ultrasound confirmed that his feet were directly below where I was feeling. Now the wiggles are moving around, so I'm guessing he's busy in there. Joey's excited to be able to feel these kicks in a few weeks.

  • Heartburn! Yikes. Whoever decided pickle juice shall calm heartburn is a saint.

  • Consuming copius amounts of pickles and their juice. See the point above.

  • A name picked out! As of tonight, Cletus has a really real name. And again for those of you concerned, Cletus isn't going to be a real name for this kid after his born, I promise. It's just Cletus for now - Cletus the Fetus in fact. :o)

    We're still not telling the really official name, you'll have to wait until delivery day for that. But I will say we're very excited about it, he has 2 middle names (just like his dad and uncles), and there's a little bit of alison's family in his name as well. In what combination, you'll just have to wait and see!

  • Nursery colors decided! After much deliberation and my resentment of anything pastel with animals, construction equipment, or cars, we've finally settled on something pretty non-traditional as far as nursery colors/themes go.

    We picked daredevil and jamaica bay colors from Behr for the walls (yes I know it's a dining room, but the nursery has a chair rail and I needed to duplicate it):















    And then we found the DwellStudio Circles collection and fell in love with it!



















    So that should keep us busy for the next few months!

That's about all that's new with us for now. Thanks for all your love and prayers, we appreciate them!

alison and joey

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

it's a...


MONKEY!!!
















Just kidding......

IT'S













A













BOY!!!

I was sooooooooo wrong, but most of you were right on! :)


All is well and healthy and measuring right on target, and we're so beyond thrilled. I'll have another update soon. Thanks for all your love!

Here's a few pictures from the ultrasound:






































Sunday, September 28, 2008

18 weeks, 1 day

Holy moly, 18 weeks?!? Where is time going? I can't believe we're nearing the halfway point to meeting Cletus!

Things are still going well, I'm feeling fine. I have a bit of pretend-heartburn every now and then, but nothing major. I say pretend because I don't think it's really full-blown heartburn but it is slightly uncomfortable. Nothing that a few pickles won't fix. Ohhh, the pickles. :) I haven't had too many weird cravings or food requests so far, but I'm definitely getting my fair share of pickle spears in. I told Joey that Cletus is going to come out looking like either a pickle or a Runza. He just shook his head at me.

I got Joey this book (which seems totally silly yet full of good info) and they have a place where they send you to their website for a 40 second clip of a crying baby that you can play to desensitize your pet to crying. We played it for Jack and Zoe last week and they were less than impressed. Zoe barely managed to raise an eyebrow while Jack seemed to be checking out the noise, but he wasn't too concerned. We'll see if this is any indicator of what they do with a real screaming baby stealing all of their attention...

We've spent the last few days working on our master list of baby gear we need prior to Cletus' arrival. I think I've officially looked at every crib sold in the U.S. now, and have a short list of those I like. :) We're trying to keep an open mind and stay light-hearted with all the stuff we need. It can certainly be overwhelming if we let it.

3 days until we (hopefully) find out Cletus' sex! We cannot wait. I'm going to get him or her hopped up on sugar prior to the appointment to ensue he or she isn't snoozing or stubborn during the ultrasound. :) I will update as soon as I can after the appointment, so be sure to check in! And don't forget to vote on the poll over on the left!

Lastly, a few notes on development this week:
Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

17 weeks, 3 days

We rang in 17 weeks last Saturday with one of my best friends, Moriah's, wedding! It was a beautiful day and I was so lucky to be a part of it! :)

Nothing much new baby-wise this week. My belly is definitely getting rounder by the day it seems. 8 days until we find out if we're buying pink or blue! We have a spreadsheet started with all the baby gear we're going to need, but we're still at the beginning with trying to figure out which one of 50 different choices we want. There's a car seat in every color of the rainbow, I swear. :)

Lots of people have been asking about baby showers before Cletus makes his or her debut. I feel very fortunate that so many people want to help, when showers seem to be the furthest thing from my mind right now. For now I am deferring to my friends Moriah and Molly who want to have one in Lincoln, and my friend Renee and sister Mindy who want to have one at home in Sidney-ish. I'm in no hurry, so we'll probably plan for the end of this year/beginning of 2009. And thanks to everyone who has asked about having one, we feel truly blessed to have the greatest family and friends.

A few notes on Cletus' development:
As your baby is in the middle of an impressive growth spurt it should come as not surprise to hear that they've already added nearly another inch to their length and over an ounce and a half to their weight (they're around 5 ounces and 5 inches). You're definitely feeling the growth as your belly expands enough to make you feel a bit off balance now and again.

I'll try to update at 18 weeks this weekend, have a great day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

quick update

Sorry to leave you hanging for over a week! I tried to start a post earlier this week, but was feeling completely uninspired.

Things are still going well, same old news. :) (Not a bad thing at all!)

Two weeks from today we find out Cletus' gender. Don't forget to vote on the poll on the left sidebar.

This Saturday will mark 17 weeks. Holy moly that seems like a long ways. It's going so fast though. :)

We have the wedding of one of my best friends, Moriah, this weekend - what an exciting way to mark 17 weeks. I'll try to get some pictures, this blog could use a few.

That's all. Boring I know. All is well, I will try to update with something better soon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

15 weeks!

We hit the 15 week milestone on Saturday. That was the highlight of the day since the Huskers didn't look too hot. But another tick in the W column is all that matters at the end of the day, right? :) Otherwise this weekend we checked a few fascinating tasks off our to-do list, such as steam cleaning our cars' upholstery and doing laundry. Needless to say, we took it easy.

Here's a few development notes:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam.

and

Your four-inch wonder-baby is coming along quite nicely and this week, you might-- just might experience a little fluttering here or there as they boogie around in your belly, but don't hold your breath, it can take up to 17 weeks before you get to feel the kicks. As for you, well, watch out for the nosebleeds and stuffy nose.

I think I may have felt an inkling of a baby flutter this morning. It was just a millisecond of movement. It could have just been my tummy gurgling too. I've got my senses on high alert now though. :o)

Speaking of tummies, I'm definitely feeling rounder all of a sudden. Thankfully I've only gained 1-2 lbs so far (I know it's ok to gain weight, I'm well aware. It's just that usually I tend to do things all-out - so it's a miracle I haven't already gained 20 lbs...). I'm still wearing my regular clothes thanks to the use of this modern miracle. It's been a lifesaver!

FAQ of the week: Do you guys have names in mind? What are they?
Yes, we sure do have some names in mind, and no you can't know what they are. You might be one of the lucky ones who we told our initial favorites to, but don't put money on those names, they're bound to change. We're going to hold out this one last secret from everyone until delivery day. We will tell you that he or she will have 2 middle names, so you can wrap your mind around that for now. Joey and his brothers have 2 middle names, and we thought it was a good tradition to continue. We'll definitely tell you if Cletus is a he or a she - only 3 weeks and 2 days until we know that for sure!

Have a great week!

alison and joey

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

14 weeks = Second Trimester

I'm a few days late. Since the doctor moved my due date officially to February 28th, I hit my "new week" on Saturdays instead of Mondays. Better late than never though, right?

First, the development notes this week:
Welcome to the second trimester! This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb. Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb. In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces.

I feel like a broken record, but not much else is happening outside my belly. We're going to finish getting the nursery cleared out in the next month or so, then we can think about paint colors and crib options. I'm still feeling fine, though I've been getting a few intermittent headaches. They're annoying more than anything.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

Friday, August 29, 2008

can you hear it?

We had our 2nd doctor appointment yesterday, at 13 weeks, 3 days. Thankfully, all is well! It was a short and sweet appointment. Our doctor, Dr. C, (who ROCKS, by the way) officially set our due date as February 28th. Not that that is too set in stone, since Cletus will come when he or she is good and ready.

We got to hear the heartbeat, which was fantastic! It was lub-dubbing away at 160 beats per minute, keeping consistent with the 158 we saw at the ultrasound. There's some old medical myths that a heart rate above 140 bpm means it's a girl, and below 140 points to a boy. There's been several studies (based on my Googling) that have shot this down, but it seems to hold true for my friends who found out. Mindy said Asher's heart rate is usually in the 120s, so maybe it will hold true for us. I don't care, I'm happy with a football player or a cheerleader. :o)

Speaking of gender, we'll find that out on October 1st. Yay! I put a little poll over there <- on the left where you can vote for whether you think Cletus is a he or a she! :)

Otherwise, all is well, still. Dr. C says that Mindy and I have good genes when it comes to pregnancy. We've both been blessed with not being sick, and really having no symptoms to speak of. So thanks mom, we owe ya one. ;)

::

Do you have your Husker red on today?? I'm so excited for football! We even watched 2 boring college games last night just because it was "real" football for the first time in 8 months! Hallelujah!

Have a great weekend, and Go Big Red!

Monday, August 25, 2008

lucky 13

Cletus is 13 weeks today! A few development notes:
  • Wowee! You've nearly made it through the first trimester! There are a lot of things going on this week! All twenty teeth have formed and are waiting (teething is yet to come!). Your baby is nearly three inches long from crown to rump (CR) and has already developed their own unique set of finger prints. As for you, you should be proud you've made it through the first trimester. You've probably started to notice that it's really getting time to do some maternity clothes shopping eh?

Not much new this week for us. I'm still feeling fine; I feel like a broken record.

A few weeks ago I mentioned we were thisclose to getting daycare figured out, and now I can tell you we have it all squared away! We're both really excited. Cletus will be going to play at Mrs. A's daycare while mom and dad are at work. Mrs. A actually watched Joey and his 2 brothers when they were babies, so we trust her completely. It's so great that Cletus can be at a family friend's home during the day, and Joey and I will be completely stress-free knowing that she (or he!) is in great care. Cletus will start there in early June (or so) once my 12 (fabulous) weeks of maternity leave are over.

That's pretty much the only baby thing we have done so far. We have pondered over a few cribs, and checked out some paint colors, but all is on hold until the magical appointment when we can find out Cletus' gender. Hopefully 8 weeks from now, or so.

We have our second appointment on Thursday of this week. It should be a pretty short appointment as we chose not to do the quad screening (no they don't screen for 4 babies, just for 4 genetic diseases, it took me a minute to figure it out. :o).

5 days until Husker football!! Husker Nation is abuzz with anticipation. We'll be glued to the tv at 6:05 on Saturday.

Have a great week!

Monday, August 18, 2008

12 weeks!

The last week of the first trimester is underway! I know some people are eager for the arrival of the second trimester because it means some symptoms will go away, but hopefully I won't notice the transition. I've been pretty blessed by how great I've been feeling. Still a few weird queasies every now and then, but all in all I can't complain.

My tummy is getting a teeny bit rounder (as if it started off flat - ha! :o) and a bit harder. It's nice to have something tangible to measure this pregnancy against, since I've really had such a lack of symptoms elsewhere.

Here's this week's notes on Cletus' development:
Your little one is around two whole inches long and their head is starting to lift a bit as their neck straightens. What's more they're practicing breathing using amniotic fluid and they've developed their sucking reflexes. As for you, your pregnancy is now becoming a fact which others can observe without you telling them that no, you're not just putting on a bit of weight.

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

If you look at the floating baby over there <-, he's looking decidedly less alien-like, and more human-like all the time!
In other baby news... the hospital where I'll deliver just opened up a brand new "Family Birthplace" last weekend. It's really fantastic, from everything I've seen. The rooms look like hotel rooms! It'll give me something to look forward to, when I'm in vast amounts of pain, right? :) Here's a link to their website, and if you click "View the Video" you can get a quick sneak peek.

What we've been up to lately:

  • Joey and I were on vacation last week - though we didn't go anywhere, we just had a bit of a "staycation". We DID get a ton of house projects done - we took out the carpet in the living room (anyone want to come refinish the hardwood floor in there?); took 2 pickup loads of river rock to the dump (because the previous owners thought it would be neat in the backyard, it wasn't); planted some perennials in the backyard, and put up a big wire fence around them to keep the 2 canine offenders away from them - so far it's working but it looks a bit like someone or something is buried there, with the fence and the flowers and everything...; moved the office out of the office so that it can start to become a nursery, first it's going to serve as a guest room until we can get the bed downstairs. Whew!
  • We've managed to watch more Olympics coverage than is entirely necessary. Go USA!
  • We've hopefully (keep your fingers crossed) lined up daycare for the little bean. Yes we're that anal retentive.

That's all for now, have a great week!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

cletus?

Someone sent me to this fun website: makemebabies.com. It allows you to upload pictures of the mom and dad and then combines their features to show you what your baby could look like. I was skeptical, but thought I'd play along. This is what it gave us:


I think we could definitely claim her as ours. :) Joey says she has "weird things" in her hair. I explained the braids and said if we have a girl, he better get used to them. He has a bit to learn... :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

11 weeks

Happy 11 weeks, Cletus! A bit of info on development this week:

Your baby, just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden. She's already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won't feel your baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.

::

A bit on what we've been up to...
  • Joey and I are both on vacation this week. We're not going anywhere this time, just hanging around the house for a "stay-cation". :o) We have some yard work to do and maybe a few house projects that I can add to the honey-do list.
  • We're VERY excited for Husker football to begin - 18 days and 22 hours to go!
  • Are you watching the Olympics?? I'm hooked as usual. Joey watches with me when pre-season football isn't on (which is a rarity the last few days).

::

Hope you're doing well! We're just counting down until our next appointment on the 28th. I'm still feeling pretty well, knock on wood.

Monday, August 4, 2008

happy 10 weeks!

Cletus is officially 10 weeks today! You can take a peek over there on the left to see what he or she might look like about now. Looking less alien-like and more baby-like every day! :)

Baby development:
Though he's barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.If you could take a peek inside your womb, you'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.In other developments: Your baby's limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, your baby will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches.

Today's FAQ:
Will you and Joey find out the baby's gender?
Heck yes we'll find out!! Those of you who know me should know I'm wayyyyy too much of a planner not to find out. No yellow or green nursery for us! It's going to be blue or pink... or maybe orange? (I'm completely convinced Cletus is a she, I will be shocked (and equally overjoyed) if it's a boy). Joey's a little apprehensive of having a girl - he did agree not to send it back if it was a girl though, progress at least! So those of you with girls (other than my parents, you don't count!) should leave Joey a note and tell him why a girl wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Leave us a comment if you're reading, we're excited that you found us! :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

welcome!

Hey! Glad you found us! We've set this blog up so our family and friends (that's you!) can keep up with our adventures. First a brief update on what we've been up to:
  • You know by now we're expecting our first baby! If you didn't, SURPRISE! Cletus (the code name for the baby, for now - don't worry we're NOT really naming him or her Cletus) is due March 2, 2009. So far everything has been pretty great - just a few queasies here and there and I've been pretty tired. My mom reminds me "you haven't seen anything yet" to keep me in check. :o) Oh, and I have a sense of smell to rival a drug-sniffing dog... that's been interesting.
  • Joey is finished with school, as of today!! Tada!! He's finally a college graduate, and we're both so very excited that he's done.
  • We're loving our first house - there's always a home improvement project on the horizon it seems. Next up: the nursery.
That about catches you up with everything new for now. Add this site as a favorite, we'll have updates often!

Lots of love!
alison and joey