I am 20 weeks preggo…halfway!  Wow that kind of flew by!  I am understanding now why people always say the 2nd trimester is the best.  Here’s why I am enjoying it:

I actually look like I am pregnant now and not just a little thick around the middle.
Other than a few minor aches and pains I feel great!
Shopping for new clothes is always fun and dressing up the belly is no different.
Random strangers smile at me in public.
I get more and more people stopping to let me go in front of them, holding doors open for me and even stopping traffic to let me cross the street.
There seems to be a magical aura that surrounds a pregnant woman that makes the world take notice and become happier people.
My inie belly button is becoming an outie.
I am no longer Michelle, everyone now calls me ‘Mama’.
I love the stories I am hearing from other seasoned mama’s.
If I can put a smile on someones face by simply walking into the grocery store, then I consider it a good day!

I am in awe of this little miracle growing inside me, especially when he starts moving around, stretching, kicking and swimming in my belly. I never tire of feeling that, even in the early morning hours before the sun comes up.   I love that Justin loves my belly and the excitement I see in him when he feels him kick or we talk about our future with our little boy.

Our lives are pretty crazy right now, we are trying to get some projects done around the house before we can really start creating a nursery as well as working full time.  On the weekends and evenings, we are meeting with contractors, picking out carpet, redoing a bathroom, moving electrical and painting, on top of our social, athletic and other weekly commitments.   Once all that is done then we can get a crib and dresser and start decorating, oh JOY!  In the middle of all this madness, baby boy keeps kicking away and reminding me to pause, smile, enjoy this time and be thankful for all that we have and all that will come…God is good.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever ~1 Chronicles 16:34

And here’s my 20 week belly 🙂

Waiting for the call

Not only do I want to use this blog as a way to keep friends and family posted on what’s going on with us, but it is kind of going to be a journal for me.  Especially down the road when I start cataloging and documenting our baby’s life.  There are some things (details) that I don’t want to forget, so I plan to post them here from time to time.  One important day that I don’t want to forget was the day we found out we were pregnant, so here goes…

On the day of my pregnancy test my mom was in town.  First thing in the morning we went to my doctors office and they drew my blood.  We were chatting with the nurses and my mom had asked them when they thought they would call with the results.  The nurse said, we try to get all our phone calls done during the lunch hour and we usually call the pregnant ones first.  So with that all done, we went to the Corner Bakery for breakfast, then we did what girls do best, we went shopping!  We had a list of errands to run and places to shop at, one by one we checked them off the list.  I had my phone in my pocket on ring and vibrate and checked it every 5 minutes to make sure I didn’t miss a call.  Around lunchtime we were at DSW (my favorite shoe store), when we left we still had not heard anything.  We only had one place left to go…Babies R Us.  I had a baby shower to go to the following weekend and I was putting off getting the gift until I knew the results so I could either prepare myself to go in get a gift and leave OR my mom and I could look around at all the cute stuff.  We had not had lunch yet and by now it was about 1:30, so we decided to go to In and Out which was on the way to Babies R Us. Both of us kind of got quiet and I was mentally preparing myself for another negative result so I wouldn’t completely loose it when I got the call.  We sat outside and ate lunch. At this point Justin had started calling me and asking if I heard anything.  Finally after stalling long enough I said lets just go get this over with, so we go to Babies R Us.  I printed the registry from the kiosk and we wandered around while I looked at the registry to determine what I wanted to buy.  Once I figured it out, we had to walk across the store to the other side to get it and we ended up walking through all the baby furniture, cribs, dressers, rocking chairs, etc…I was literally smack dab in the middle of the store and my phone rang.  I honestly thought about not answering it, I held it staring at it for a few seconds before finally deciding to answer.  It was my favorite nurse and she said “Congratulations, you are pregnant!” I had to ask her to repeat herself to be sure I heard her right.  She assured me that my numbers came back well within the positive range and she wanted me to come back in two days for a repeat test to make sure the numbers were doubling.  After hanging up my mom and I hugged and we sat in the rocking chairs and cried for a few minutes.  I can only imagine what the sales man was thinking as he watched the whole scene.  Positive!! I am pregnant!  When I caught my breath I remembered why we were there and we set off to find the gift I was buying and my mom picked up a copy of ‘What to Expect When You are Expecting’.  As much as I wanted to linger around the store, I couldn’t wait to tell Justin and I didn’t want to tell him on the phone.  Luckily his office was about 10 minutes down the road, so we headed over there.  On the way, I am calling him to tell him that we are coming over so I can ‘show my mom his office’, he wasn’t picking up my calls.  We get there and all the doors into his office are locked and they change to codes often, so I had no idea what the new code was and couldn’t get in.  So I used the keypad outside the door to call into his office (also while I am simultaneously calling him on his cell phone) and he didn’t pick up, I called the admin desk and no one picked up.  I was getting frustrated and started knocking on the door, finally a lady opened it for me and I explained who I was and we set off to Justin’s office.  He was not there…no one was there.  I started thinking about it and realized it was a little after 3:00 on a Friday, which usually means happy hour.  So as we are pulling out of the parking lot Justin calls me, I explained that we were at his office and he confirmed my suspicions that he was at happy hour with the guys.  They knew that Justin was waiting for the results so they took him out for a drink to get his mind off of things.  I hung up without telling him because I really wanted to tell him in person.  He said he was on his way home, so we met him there. As I walked into the house I gave him a hug and told him we were pregnant!  He was thrilled!  It took some time to sink it and over the next few days I had to keep reminding myself that it was true.

The really special thing about that weekend was Sunday was Mothers Day. My mom was still in town and we all went to church.  At the end of the service the all the kids came in with roses and handed them out to all the mom’s.  Not everyone at church knew that we were pregnant yet, but one couple who did had their little boy give me a rose, it was a touching moment!  Justin also gave me a really sweet Mother’s Day card.  I was still in that surreal mode where I couldn’t believe I was actually celebrating Mother’s Day in a different way.  It was such a special, emotional weekend and I am so glad my mom was there to share it with us.


Follow up & my little kicker

We had our follow up appointment with my OB yesterday and overall everything looks great!  My blood pressure and weight gain is good.  Baby’s heartbeat is still strong.  The only thing we need to check on later is my placenta.  Right now my placenta is low in my uterus (it typically is at the top), most of the time as the baby grows the placenta can migrate further up.  So that  means I get another ultrasound around 28 weeks (yay, more pictures of baby!) to check and see where my placenta is.  If it moves up, great!  If it doesn’t move or continues to go further down, then it could cover the cervix which means the baby will not be able to get into the birth canal for delivery, which means a C-Section will be scheduled.  The baby is perfectly fine and healthy and my doctor is not concerned at all. He said only about 4% of women who have a low lying placenta end up having complete blockage of the cervix, most of them end up “fixing themselves”.  So I’m not worried, I would prefer not to have a C-Section…but of course if I need to then we will.

On another note, I’ve started feeling the baby move! A few weeks ago I felt something several times, but was not sure if it was the baby or not.  While we were in Oregon I was feeling the same sensation, only stronger and more often so I knew it was him, and have been feeling him more and more since then. Last night while I was eating tangerines in bed (my latest food obsession) I started feeling him move around again so I put my hand on my belly and was so excited that I could feel him from the outside, so I quickly grabbed Justin’s hand and he gave Justin a good kick!  Guess he likes tangerines!

I really don’t like posts without pictures so I am leaving you with a (dark & blurry) picture of Justin’s soccer game last night.  I have yet to master the art of shooting sports.  Now that I am thinking about it….I’m convinced that’s why baby was kicking up a storm last night, he wants to come out and play with daddy!  So I guess my little kicker is going to upgrade me from a soccer wife to a soccer mom 🙂

Drum roll please……

We just got back from visiting my parents in Oregon and had a great time!  I’ll post pictures and more info on our trip later.  Right now, we have some exciting news to share.  The day before we left we had an ultrasound to determine the gender so we could surprise our parents.  The results………………………………..

…………………it’s a BOY!!! Here’s proof 🙂

Yes, I know my son is going to hate me one day for posting this, but then one day he will, hopefully, understand.  We are thrilled!  I will be even more outnumbered in our house with 3 males (dogs count too), and Justin is excited to have a buddy to do boy type things with.

The day after we got back from Oregon, I had fetal anatomy ultrasound, this was a 30 minute ultrasound and was very thorough.  I had to drink 32 oz of water an hour before and hold it.  Really, what are they thinking when they tell a pregnant woman that they have to hold it!  Anyway, the ultrasound tech couldn’t really tell us anything since she was just a tech and her job is to get the pictures.  They will then be read/interpreted by an MD and sent to my OB’s office.  We have our follow up visit with my OB on Monday so I will know more then and will post an update next week.  She was able to tell us that all 4 heart chambers were developed and functioning, the spine looks good and she pointed out all the different body parts.  At the end of the ultrasound baby boy started sucking his thumb, so cute!  And I would like to note that it was not just any thumb, it was his left thumb.  Here’s to betting he’s going to be a lefty like his mama!

Now I am going to start shopping!  Can’t wait!

Those kind of friends

You know those kind of people who are always fun to be around.  Who are always happy to see you and greet you with a hug and a smile.  They are real and honest and you feel like you can be your true self around them.  You know you can always count on them to listen, to be there for you and support you.  Everybody needs some of these kind of friends, in fact, I think everybody should strive to BE this kind of friend.

We are lucky to have some of these friends, and one couple is the Hardy’s.  Jason and Angelina have been a big part of our lives and we love spending time with them. They have a passion for people and truly have a gift of reaching out to others and being that kind of friend.  Jason is the pastor of our church and Angelina uses her beautiful talent with the piano as a piano teacher.  They have two adorable little boys, Caleb and Jayden.  For the last year and a half we’ve spent our Wednesday nights at their house with 2 other couples doing a ‘Wine Study, Bible Tasting‘. Yes, you heard (read) that right.  The first hour, we spend enjoying some wine (now water for me) and appetizers while talking about our week, what’s going on in our lives, sharing any God moments that happened, discussing the latest news, politics, movies, books and just laughing and enjoying each others company.  Then we bring out dessert, get cozy on the couch and start our bible study.  I love that during our conversations we really open up with each other and share our dreams, our struggles, our achievements and frustrations.  Real friends know that life is full of peaks and valleys and they don’t expect you to be perfect or your house to be spotless.  They don’t care about designer clothes or what cars you drive, they care about you and want to celebrate the highs in life with you and hold you up during the low times.  We have some fun times with them outside of Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights and we are so thankful that God placed Jason and Angelina in our lives and we know that it will be a lifetime bond.

Angelina asked me if I would take some updated family photos.  I love doing family photos, especially with fun people. We decided to go to the Midland Railroad which has a great rustic backdrop with a big barn, old trains, bridges and railroad tracks.  Here are a few of my favorites from that day.

I tend to love the natural pictures that are not so posed…this one shows the boys personalities.  I know Caleb was eying the trains across the way and planning our next spot to take pictures, he would make a great assistant.  And Jayden’s spontaneous, goofy antics kept us laughing.
Seriously how could you not giggle when this is his version of “say cheese

Thank you Jason and Angelina for being those special kind of friends.
And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. ~ Luke 6:31

Peaches, and kale, and squash, oh my!

So a while back I decided to join a CSA (community supported agriculture).  We were getting tired of the standard veggies with dinner, and wanted to broaden our options.  Joining a CSA was a great way to force myself to look up new recipes and figure out how to cook all these different kinds of vegetables.  How a CSA works is you sign up to get a box either every week or every other week, it is filled with organic produce from local farms, so you never know what you are going to get, it is whatever is freshly picked from the fields. The one we joined is Be Wise Ranch.

It was winter when we first started so we were getting lots of dark greens like, bok choy, mustard greens, kale, mizuna, collard greens, chard, and a wide variety of lettuce. Some of it we loved…others were okay.  Now that it’s summer, we are getting more fruits and summer veggies which I love!  Here’s a picture of what was in the box I picked up last week.
Plums, tangerines, spring mix, eggplant, artichokes, grapes, cucumber, kale, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, peaches & squash.

It’s a pretty good deal for $30!  It helps reduce my grocery shopping as well. I usually have chicken, salmon or beef in my freezer so I just make sure I have some whole grain pasta, wild rice or the fixings for a salad handy and voila…there’s dinner!  The peaches, tangerines & grapes are perfect for snacks during the day. Plus it supports the local farms, it’s fresh, it’s organic and dinner is now a little more interesting! For dinner last night we had Eggplant Parmesan & Kale chips, yum!