Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy 7 month birthday, Zwerg!

I am seven months old!
Unbelievably, the tiny Zwerg is seven months old today!  It's hard to imagine that it's November, and we are on the downhill slope to her one year celebration.  She is so much fun!  I don't know where I would be without her.  She is the best little human, and she makes our family so much better.

She loves to sit up and stand.  Her favorite toys are a bucket with plastic shapes that she can dump out and stacking cups.  She loves to play peek-a-boo, and get tickled.  She high fives and gives slobbery, slimy kisses.  She loves fruit and most vegetables, although we are still working on the green veggies.  She is a great little traveler and still loves to people watch.  She giggles, but still does her fake laugh when she hears other people laughing.  Here is a video of her watching J and E's dogs play fetch.  She thought it was a riot.

We had so much fun visiting Uncle John and Aunt Elizabeth in Baltimore.  We got to hang out, see some great spots, eat some fun food, and play with their doggies, Iris and Pete.  We even got to visit with Great Uncle Chris, and of course, I don't have any pictures of that.  Here are some photos from the weekend, though.  It was so great to see them.  And we are so excited that they will be in KC to visit for Thanksgiving!

Hanging out with Uncle J, Pete and Iris
At the amazing Peabody Library
Enjoying some quiet time at the library

Chatting with J and E


We are enjoying our time in Atlanta.  One of D's coworker's, David, had some room dividers at his home, and is letting us borrow them while we are here.  We made Layla her own little 'room' and it has really helped with sleeping and nap times.  Here she is with David's daughter having tons of fun.

Today we are heading to IKEA.  D needs to purchase a lot of stuff for the office here, and we are taking a truck.  It's the little things that are exciting.  :)  Tomorrow we are headed north to Stone Mountain, and a small German village named Helen.  It's supposed to be beautiful this time of year.  Mountains, trees, (I am going to sneak in some shopping, of course) German food, and CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES.  I can't wait! It really is gorgeous here with all of the fall colors and leaves changing.  We are only three hours south of my old stomping grounds in Pigeon Forge and Dollywood.  I am not sure we will get there this time, but I might need to add it to the schedule in December.  Theme parks at Christmastime are some of my favorite things.

Only one more week, and then we will be home!  And then it's Thanksgiving, just two weeks at home, and we will be back here, then off to Germany!  It really is flying by.  Before I know it, it will be 2013 with Layla's first birthday around the corner.  I am sure I will be crazy with party prep by then!

Here is the happy seven month old today!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And we're off!

Today it begins.  Layla and I are off to Baltimore to hang with our favorite East Coasters, Uncle J and Aunt E.  Fortunately, they made it through the craziness of Sandy with minimal problems, and even though BWI was closed for the last two days they are open today!  So we are on our way.

I thought road tripping with a 5 month old was ridiculous.  Flying with an almost 7 month old is proving to be even more so.  Toys, high chair, jumpy thing, food, diapers, blah blah blah and all for two and half weeks. I keep taking stuff out of the suitcase and putting it back in. It's quite the game of Tetris.  I just hope I win.

Even though it seems like insanity right now, I am so excited to be going.  Last time we went to Baltimore she was only three and a half months old.  She was just starting to sit up, and pay attention to things.  Now she is so fun and active, and a big ball of busy.  She gives high fives now!  And she thinks she is a RIOT when she does.  She is going to LOVE playing with J and E, and their doggies. I am sure it will be hilarious.  Be prepared for a stupid amount of pictures.

So we are off to the land of crab cakes, and my brother's fabulous cooking.  I was informed that tonight's dinner is clam chowder and cheddar biscuits.  I love that guy.  After a wonderful weekend with them, we will head to Atlanta to be with D for two weeks before heading back home.  I am sad to miss the start of the holiday season at home, and to postpone decorating for awhile.  But I am looking forward to the beautiful fall weather in the south.

Here is the tiny traveler! (genuine Parisian beret courtesy of Kate)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dancing Queen

Layla dances now.  It's HILARIOUS.  If you wiggle your head and dance around, she will do it back to you.  Often, she does it while she is eating.  The whole time she is sitting at the table she is squirming and wagging her head.  It's hard not to laugh the whole time, and try to get her to sit still.  One of my brothers used to hum while he ate.  It was  family joke that we knew the food was good if he was humming.  I guess with Layla it will be if she is dancing.  I am going to try to catch this on video.  She has a sixth sense and knows when I get the phone or camera out, and she instantly stops.

She is really getting in to eating solid food though.  She loves sweet potatoes and mangoes.  Every time I try to give her green beans she stares at me, then sticks her tongue out till the food falls off.  Too funny.  She is judging me for her food choices already.  :)  We make sure she sits and eats with us at each meal so she gets the idea.  However, she stares at our food and then at hers like 'What is this weird stuff I am eating? How come your stuff smells so good?'

I am so excited that next week L and I are going to visit my brother and sister-in-law.  Last time we were there, she was just starting to kind of sit up and pay attention to things.  Now she will really love seeing their dogs, and playing with J and E.  I can't wait for it!

Yesterday, while shopping for a friend's baby shower, I came across this tiny bit of joy. I couldn't pass it up! Layla now has her first recliner.  It kills me, it's so freaking cute.  I sat her in it but she was cranky.  Today I will try again.  She will love it!

The Zwerg is awake so it's time for breakfast.  Here is a pic to go!  Carrot beard!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Six months and beyond

5 months
I am sucking at blogging these days.  I had committed to myself that I would keep up, and at least blog once a month for those following us from afar and so I remember when everything happens.  When I made that commitment, I did not have a child.  With fresh eyes seeing the world from less sleep and 20 minutes here and there of time to use both hands, I am trying again. It's important to me. So this will be long as I try to catch up.  Sorry.

For her five month birthday, Layla spent it in her car seat for eight hours on the way to Chicago.  D had a big convention for work, and I decided to tag along.  For a number of reasons, mainly to be with him.  And because I love Chicago. Who doesn't?  I was unprepared for that week and had some unrealistic expectations.  D was working 12-14 hour days, and Layla and I were left to our a hotel room.  She had a rough time sleeping which meant so did we.  D was up at the crack of dawn, and not back till it was time for a super late dinner.  It's one thing to have those days at home.  It's another to have them in a confined space with no helpers around.  I quickly (once again) appreciated my stock of family and friends here who help to keep me sane.  Then I got sick.  A nice bout of dehydration caused by yours truly.  Then D got sick with a fabulous head cold thanks to his insane week.  Then Layla got it.  By Friday, I was convinced we needed to spend an extra night in Chicago just so everyone could recover.  However, D woke up ready to go, and we powered home.  I was grateful to be home.

We had five days at home, and then D's parents got here!  For two weeks, Layla was spoiled like never before.  Well, so were we.  My MIL showed up ready to cook and clean, and Papa G worked in the yard and walked Layla probably three times a day.  It was so amazing to have them here.  They had only met Layla via Skype up till now, and they were so so happy to see her in person and get to hold her.  We had such a great time of meals, shopping, chatting, time with my family and our friends.  We specifically waited to do Layla's baptism until they were here, and I am so happy we did. It was so special for them to be here for it.  They went home much too soon.  Thank goodness we will see them in just nine weeks!
Wearing the family Christening gown - it's 60 years old
Singing with Papa

Wednesday Layla was six months old!  It has gone so fast.  I didn't believe it when everyone told us how fast it would go before she was born. Now it's just unbelievable.  I didn't do a good job of writing down her milestones, but I will try to remember them.  She has been sitting up unassisted for four weeks; ever since we got back from Chicago.  She has been standing with some help for about three weeks.  She stills hates being on her stomach so I have a feeling crawling will be skipped.  She is eating solid foods!  We started while D's parents were here.  She started with rice cereal, avocados and bananas.  None of these were a big hit.  We switched to oatmeal and she LOVES it. Now she has squash, peaches, apples, sweet potatoes and more.  I spent a couple hours the other day making food.  It was so easy and inexpensive.  I am excited to find more stuff for her to try.  She makes HILARIOUS faces.  Her first taste of rice cereal was fab.  She stared at us and then had a full body shiver.  She loves MumMums and teething biscuits.  Yesterday she tried a sippy cup with water.  She loved it but couldn't get over the distraction of a new cup.

6 months!
At her doctor's visit on Wednesday, she was 26.5 inches and 16 lbs 5 oz.  Her weight has dropped a little, but she GREW A TOOTH.  Her interest in food comes and goes depending on how her teeth are doing.  She is working on three it should be a fun month for us.  I suspected she was on the long side, and sure enough, she was.  We skipped right over six month onesies for the most part.  There are a couple that are super stretchy and I can make them fit.  But trying to yank them down to snap them was dumb.  Into the Too Small tub they went.  She also endured four shots while we were there.  I can't stand them. I really can't. I hate having to watch her little face while I hold her and she gets stabbed. And she had two extras this time: a flu shot and an MMR. It's early for both but with all the traveling we have coming up, and leaving the country it was the best choice.  She was a sad little elf after.

Bananas - yuck!
Upside to solid foods?  SLEEP.  Last night she slept for 6.5 hours, and I put her back down after she had a snack and she is still asleep.  It's been almost three hours this time.  I, of course, still wake up every two hours but I am getting better about that.  We are mastering nap time!  Up until now she was bad at it unless someone was holding her.  She would sleep for HOURS if someone held her.  If I laid her down, wide awake and angry about it.  But we did some crying (both of us) and we have it mostly figured out.  Thank the Lord.  Mommy needed some down time that didn't involve driving her around in her seat.

The downside?  Poop.  So much poop.  Oatmeal is probably the worst culprit.  But wow.  That kid can poop.  Enough said.

So here we are.  Six months in, and still going.  I love my kid.  LOVE MY KID. She is so unbelievably awesome.  She is so much of me and D, and still so much of herself.  She laughs and smiles, she loves when her Papa comes home, we sing and dance, and she already loves Christmas music.  Duh.  She is a busy little thing, but she is self contained.  She is content to sit and play.  Of course, as long as I am still in view.  We are working on some separation anxiety.  But she is so magical.  I am blessed to be able to stay home with her and watch her grow.  If I am honest, I don't love every second of it.  But I love all the other seconds, and I wouldn't change a thing.  She is our Zwerg, and she is the most.
My adorable child

Our next few months are insane.  We are home for a couple weeks, then D heads to ATL, a few days later L and I head to Baltimore, then we meet D in ATL and are there till the weekend before Thanksgiving.  We are home for 2.5 weeks and then it's back to ATL for a week, then on to Germany for almost three weeks.  We won't be home till after the New Year.  I am so excited for all of our trips. Even ATL.  We can do it, and it will be fun!  And of course, Layla's first Christmas.  I'm already preparing.

Here are some photos from the last few weeks!  And I vow, once again, to keep up with this blogging business.

Reading with Papa

Drinking the bath water

The original Grammatikii


Louisburg Cider Mill

Meeting a pumpkin for the first time

Watching football with Papa and Uncle

Making Maultaschen with Oma G

Oma G!

Pretty lady

Pretty Greeks

Oma and me
Oma G, Katsy and me

Oma and Grammie
The whole Grammatikii family

Friday, August 10, 2012

Four months, one day

I missed Layla's four month birthday!  Well, it was only yesterday.  And there was a lot of drool and crying and flailing and fever and an absent Papa and on and on and on.  Slimer (as she will be known as from now on) is getting teeth.  How do we know?  

A) Her drool factor has quadrupled.  
2) She chews on her hands as if I never feed her.
iii) My typically happy midget is a ball of fuss.
Z) I am now afraid of nursing as she occasionally chomps things which should not be chomped.

The really big reason is at her four month appointment the other day her doctor said, 'Yup, I feel bumps on her gums.'  Slightly annoying since I had been trying to feel them for awhile.  I will chalk it up to the fact that it's my first kid and I don't have a medical degree.  But whatever.  The rest of her appointment was a dream. She is 25 1/8 inches long...meaning we only fit in six month clothes now.  She weighed 14.4 lbs...meaning she could still fit in three month clothes if she wasn't so freaking long.  Her head is some other measurement I can't remember and it was a little on the big side but nothing weird.  She chatted with the doc the whole time, tried to steal and eat her stethoscope, rolled dangerously close to the edge of the table, and had to have more shots.  

Shots are a real test of a parent.  Last time, I didn't know what to expect and the nurse essentially strapped her to the table (I held her arms, she held her legs) and Layla lost her mind.  No wonder people are traumatized by this stuff.  This time I held her, and the nurse was able to just hold each leg as necessary.  It was a little bit better aside from the fact she was getting stabbed three times.  It took everything in me not to shove my hand in between her leg and the needle.  However, I don't need these vaccinations.  She does.  But her little face turned purple, and she tried to plank to get away.  She sticks out her bottom lip when she is scared, and cries HUGE crocodile tears.  What a distressing morning.  We lived through it...barely.

The rest of the day and all of yesterday, she was just an angry little elf.  I don't blame her.  Her gums hurt, her legs hurt from the shots, she had a fever, and she can't eat ice cream to fix any of it.  Devastating. We laid low, snuggled a lot, took naps (which never happens unless she is sick), and basically had a day of misery. She perked up around dinner time when we went to visit family and meet some new people.  D got home, and met us there and she was very excited to see her Papa after a week. 

Unfortunately, we are in a 'Mama only' phase.  D can't do much.  He can change her or play with her but that's about it.  Comforting her while she is angry or feeding her or getting her to sleep...all me.  Same goes for my parents.  She loves them.  But she knows now when I leave the room, and she is NOT pleased.  In all honesty, to some extent I love it.  She is my little Zwerg (German for dwarf), and I love that she knows me and wants me.  At the other end of the spectrum, it's exhausting.  D had been gone all week so there wasn't even hope of him helping, and now that he is back it's still the same.  His feelings are hurt which is understandable.  But she is four months old, and I am with her 24/7.  It happens.  He knows that.  Doesn't mean it doesn't make him sad.  Although last night, he was able to give her a bottle as long as I sat right next to them and she could see me.  She will get over it.  Sooner than later, I hope.

Milestones!  She can sit up with just a little support.  We have a Bumbo-like thing and she loves to sit by herself, without anyone holding her or propped up on the couch so she can watch Olympics.  She rolls from her back to her tummy about 90%.  She has a pesky arm in the way, and she can't quite figure out what to do with it.  She finally will be on her tummy without exploding. It only lasts a few minutes, but it's better than nothing at all.  She grabs stuff and eats it.  She laughs.  It's the FUNNIEST sound.  It's essentially a hacking cough.  The first few times she did it, I thought something was wrong. Nope...she is laughing.  And she thinks she is HILARIOUS when she does it.  Freaking precious.  When she wants something she flaps her arms really hard.  It takes some time to figure out what it is, but it's communication nonetheless.  She loves to Skype with her Oma and Opa Grammatikos.  She just stares at the iPad, and talks to them and rolls around. She is learning to give kisses which basically just means it's an open mouth slime fest, but it's cute.  My favorite?  She loves my hair.  LOVES IT.  When we are at home all day, I have it up.  She yanks it and it gets in the way so it's just easier.  But whenever it is down she STARES, and starts flapping her arms.  So at night her bedtime treat is that she gets to play with it.  She doesn't pull it then. She just holds it, and looks at it, and pets it.  And then she does her cough/laugh and flaps her arms.

Once again, there are a ton of photos still on the camera.  Or maybe they are on my laptop but I don't know where.  D and I will find them this weekend, and get some up here.  For now, here is the Kleine Zwerg.

Happy happy four months to my Slimer!  You are the best thing in the world, and we love you so much!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where did July go?

July is almost over.  I am not sure what happened to this month other than we have been BUSY!  It was fabtabulous month of so many fun things.  Let me see if I can recap without forgetting things.  Uh...right.

D and my bff, Court, threw me an amazing surprise weekend of fun!  Turning 30 kind of came and went in June without much fanfare but with a promise of joy to come.  I was a little disappointed but was assured there would be chaos.  The second weekend in July finally came, and I was being Sherlock and trying to figure out what was going on.  Friday night I was told there was a 'dinner.'  I just assumed it was the usual Friday night family event and didn't think much about it.  Until we went south instead of north, and ended up at Oklahoma Joe's for BBQ instead of the usual Mexican fare.  While standing in line, who comes strolling across the parking lot?  Megs!  My longtime bff (there are a few of those, don't get lost) who lives in Denver.  Tricky lying liars! I had no idea she was going to be there!  I yelled and cried, and then introduced her to my kid which was awesome.  Also, another friend from Denver, Paul, lied about coming in to see his parents.  He showed up for dinner and hanging.  All LIARS.  So much, beers, chilling.  Saturday morning there was brunch and Megs was there waiting for us.  I was chatting with her when I was surprised by my friend from STL, Jeni the French Pea!  (Or just Pea.) Totally caught me off guard by first hiding behind a bush and then a car.  Tricksy foreign vegetable.  Too much goodness.  We sat and I was staring at my two friends who had surprised when ANOTHER Denverite (Denverarian?) plopped down next to me!  Kacee and her BF, Chris (who I had been dying to meet) were there too!  AND THEN her mom and step dad (long time friends of my grandparents and all Walkers) showed up!  Too much joy at one table.  I was blown away!  We had a blast at brunch (which Court and D disappeared from), and then went back to my place and there was a party going on!  Well, party prep.  And lots of pictures from my first 30 years.  Pictures I had hoped were long lost in the depths of some sea.  I think Pea put it politely..."You grew into your looks." :)  Anyway, big party, lots of people, lots of laughing, lots of margaritas.  Lots and lots of good times.  Sunday was more visiting with out of town guests, shopping, and napping.  It was a glorious weekend of celebrating.

The next weekend we went to Baltimore to visit my brother, John, and sister-in-law, Elizabeth.  It was my big birthday present from D and I was super excited.  They hadn't met Layla yet, and we had no plans for the weekend besides hanging out, eating crab cakes, and playing with Layla. She did GREAT on the flights.  She couldn't have cared less about taking off and landing.  In fact, I didn't even feed her during any of them.  Her ears never seemed to bother her, and she either slept or talked to the folks around us.  It was a BIG relief, and makes us feel a lot better about traveling to ATL and Germany later this year.  Baltimore was wonderful.  John cooked, we watched Downton Abbey, hung out with my Uncle Chris, and generally did nothing.  It was the perfect vacation.  J and E had a great time with Layla, and she enjoyed showing off her skills...talking, yelling, holding things.  You know, entertainment.  She even had her inaugural trip to IKEA. I am not sure she was aware of this milestone though!  It was the best weekend, and we were so sad to leave on Sunday.

Catching up on Layla's life...she talks all the time. Mostly at 6AM when she has a lot to say and needs to say it loudly.  It's hard to stay mad because it's just too cute.  She is almost rolling over but can't quite figure out how to move her arm out of the way so she can make that final turn.  She still hates tummy time though, so that will be a sad day when she discovers that the result of rolling over will land her on her belly.  She sits up like a champ as long as someone is holding her or she is hanging out in her seat.  She is still learning the finer points of balance.  And if she really is my could take some time.  We had a trip to the doc last week, and discovered she has eczema.  It's clearing up quickly but we have to be more careful with the stuff we use for her.  She has her four month appointment in a couple of weeks, but while we were there last week she weighed 13.5 lbs and was just shy of 25 inches long.  This could be why most of the 3 month clothes (which go to 24 inches) don't fit her.  She is her father's daughter.

August will be interesting as D has two trips to ATL scheduled.  We will make it.  If nothing else, I am grateful for the family and friends close by to help out.  In September we head to Chicago.  There is a large label expo that D's company shows at every year.  We are going along, and will have a great week of visiting with some coworkers of D's and folks we don't get to see often. 

Somewhere D has downloaded a ton of pictures of all of the happenings, but I can't figure out where he put them.  When I do, I will be sure to add them here.  For is the kleine Schokolade.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Staying alive, staying alive...

11 weeks have come and gone.  It's really hard to believe.  Sometimes it seemed like it was dragging by and we would never make it. Looking back on it now, it seems like it flew by!  I have been trying to figure out a way to keep up with my blogging for a number of reasons, but mostly I want to keep stories and memories for me, D and Layla.  I know I can't possibly remember them all so writing them will help.  We also have a lot of followers across the big waters (HI!) and I know how much they enjoy reading about and seeing pics of Layla.  I have been slacking, but now that we are starting to get a handle on things I am excited to get going again.

So a little recap of her first 11 weeks.  She got her first disease (Hand, Foot and Mouth), she grew 4.5 inches, gained 6 pounds, learned to smile and ALMOST laugh, she talks all the time, she knows her Mommy and Papa, she is starting to like bath time, and she is pretty much the best thing EVER.  She LOVES to listen to her Papa speak German to her, and she tries to talk back.  Oh, and she sticks her tongue out.  Hilarious.  So far her favorite bedtime songs come from Ray Lamontagne (but then again, that's all I sing to her). She is starting to figure out how to use her hands, although mostly she just likes to eat them.  She eats like a Grammatikos.  At 4-5 ounces per feeding I am barely keeping up with her.  I had three shelves in the freezer PACKED with extra milk, and we are down to five bottles left.  I panicked and bought a can of formula just in case.  Little oinker.  She hates tummy time, but is way ahead in holding her head up and sitting up like a big girl.  She loves to watch soccer with Papa unless he yells too loud.  And her favorite toys are her crinkly cow and her guitars.  Obviously.

We are figuring out this staying at home thing...slowly making progress on sleeping at night and figuring out a routine. Last night she slept for eight hours.  I thought five hours was good.  I thought six hours was GREAT.  Eight hours is glorious.  Simply glorious.  She hates napping (although she is right now), and loves to watch everything all time.  Heaven forbid, she might miss something.  Nights were rough for a long time.  She was eating so often, I was only getting four hours or less a night broken up in weird chunks.  I hope that's behind us, for the most part.  I am not getting my hopes up just yet.

This is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever done. I have to say I have surprised myself.  I more patient than I thought I would be.  I know myself when I am tired, and I am NOT a treat.  But sleep deprived is a whole new level, and it certainly isn't pretty.  Since D has to get up and go to work I can't bring myself to wake him up for help during the night.  Somehow he manages to sleep through all of it. It's hard not to be resentful when I can hear him snoring through the night while I can barely keep my eyes open and try not to launch the little one out the window.  You really learn a lot about yourself when it's 3am and you haven't slept in who knows how long.  There is a lot of crying.  A LOT of crying.  I am SO grateful for friends who constantly offer support and encouragement.  Knowing everyone else has been in the EXACT same place somehow really helps.  You feel like less of a failing mommy and more like a human being.  You learn a lot about your spouse.  It's no lie when people say, "If you can make it through the first three months of having a kid, you will be ok."  We have had some tough, frustrating times.  But we have made it a point to talk about all of it, reassure each other that we can do it together, and always give each other a break.  Grace is our biggest friend right now.  One of our catch phrases has been, "Good thing she is so cute."  She always manages to give you a drooly smile just when you are ready to lose your mind.

There are some days I am counting the seconds until D gets home.  When Layla and I have both had enough of each other, and we need a fresh face.  That being said, I am still endlessly grateful for the chance to be home.  With the twelfth week around the corner, I cannot imagine having to go back to work.  (Side note: To all you working moms, my hat is off to you. I am giving you a long, loud slow clap. Keep on keeping on.)

I love watching D be a papa.  He LOVES his little girl.  It probably helps that she looks exactly like him.  :) Our bedtime routine includes him feeding her her nighttime bottle.  They lay in bed, watch TV, and stare at each other.  It's pretty freaking precious.  We Skype with his parents a lot so they can see her.  He loves to show off his little one.

D left for ATL this morning.  The travel moratorium has been lifted, so he is back to traveling there about once a month.  I was really nervous yesterday thinking about single parenting for the next week.  But I am LUCKY.  We have family and friends so close.  We will stay busy, and I can get help if I need it.  Once again, grateful for the assistance I know many don't have.

So there we are...we are alive and kicking. I am excited for the next few months as she starts sitting up on her own more, and really starting to play with her toys.  I have already started doing a few signs while we change diapers or eat.  We will just keep adding more and more so she can get the hang of it.  My German is certainly getting better as I make sure I use the English AND German words for things as much as possible.  I can't wait for her to start will be entertaining.

Here she is - taking a rare nap.  I will take advantage of this and go to Target...because Target helps everything.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Layla's Arrival

She is here! Well, she has been here for a week which seems crazy. I feel like we were just packing up to head to the hospital.  Here is the low down.

Sunday night we headed to the hospital.  I was scheduled to start inducing at 8pm.  I was not super crazy about this.  D and I had talked a lot about it, and we had discussed a lot with my doctor. I really wanted her to come on her own, and was trying to stay positive about the induction.  (I also couldn't eat after 4pm on Sunday.  WHAT!)  We started the first round of medicine and my contractions started less than 15 minutes later.  The nurse said a lot of times your body isn't producing enough prostaglandins to get things going, and this medicine will help. Sure enough, it did!  I was excited, hoping that this would get the ball rolling.  Unfortunately, less than an hour later, Layla's heart rate kept dropping.  We had to stop the medicine, and keep an eye on her.  Fortunately, she chilled out after AND my contractions continued. It was almost midnight on Sunday, so we opted for sleep and starting Pitocin Monday morning.

I continued to have contractions all night, so when we started the Pitocin bright and early on Monday it just kicked them up.  Again, I was excited.  Everything seemed to be moving along swimmingly, and Layla seemed to be doing well. Around 9am when my doc checked me, I was not even a 2 yet.  We decided to break my water to help her move on down the road, and get ready to come on out.  Unfortunately, my water was full of meconium. It's not uncommon when babies are past their due date, but I had more in there than what was normal.  That meant she was stressed out, and not too happy.  Her heart rate, though, was doing well.  So we continued with the Pitocin, and my contractions were going strong.  I was so thankful for the wireless IV and monitors so I could make use of the shower and the tub.  They were huge helpers in getting through the contractions.  Interestingly enough, I did NOT want most of what I thought I would while the contractions were going.  I wanted almost NO noise, so no music.  And I was loud.  I thought I would be focusing on something, silently breathing, and counting.  Nope.  Not at all.  D, on the other hand, was magical.  Encouraging me, helping me, loving me.

Around noon, my doc checked again and I was at a 3.  Not tons of progress, but progress.  We kept going, and at 3pm she checked again.  I was still at a 3, and there was still a lot of meconium showing up.  I was getting discouraged and worried.  Discouraged that after contracting through the night and most of Monday I wouldn't have the energy to push when it was time.  I hadn't eaten in 24 hours, and I was exhausted.  Worried with the amount of goo that was there, and what that might mean. Meconium aspiration was turning into a big concern.  Meaning when she came out, and took her first big breath she would ingest all that bad stuff.  If it got into her lungs, it could mean a stay in the NICU and antibiotics for awhile.  I decided to go ahead and do an epidural in the hopes that if she finally started making her way out, I would be able to still push.

My doc checked again at 5pm, and I was still only at a 3.  The other bad news was that Layla wasn't going anywhere.  She hadn't dropped any further than she had been the last couple of weeks, and obviously had no plans to do so now.  My doc started discussing a C-section with us.  There was some reason that she wasn't making her way out the normal way.  (Side note - I love my doctor.  She was super supportive about my goal to give birth naturally.  She gave me tons of suggestions on classes, exercises, etc.  She knew how much I did NOT want to have a C-section.)  However, we were beyond what I wanted.  Layla was too stressed out by everything that was going on, as evidenced by all her poo showing up, and she wasn't going anywhere.  It was time to go get her.  I appreciated the long conversation my doctor had with us. How and why she had come to that conclusion,  that it wasn't something she jumped to just because, that the decision was obviously still mine, but that odds were unlikely she was going to come out any other way.  We could wait a few more hours to see if she made any progress, but after that it would be time to make a decision.  We felt it wasn't worth stressing her or me out anymore and she needed to get her as safely as possible.

So, we were off to the OR.  It was a little scary for a number of reasons.  A big one was that someone from the NICU had to be in with us to check her out after she showed up to make sure everything was ok. After our chat with my doc, it was about 5:15pm.  By 5:30 I was in the OR, ready to go.  Holy weird experience, Batman!  It's odd to understand what is happening to you, but not see it.  To feel everything like pressure and pulling, but to feel no pain.  The next thing I know they are telling us she is on her way out!  LONG SILENCE.  They were trying to make sure she didn't cry or breathe in too much so they could clean her airways first.  I am sure it was only 30 seconds or so, but it seemed like FOREVER.  Not only was she covered in meconium grossness, but the cord was wrapped around her neck three times.  My doc had said once you do a C-section like this, it becomes really obvious why it was necessary.  It seems like a dumb statement, but she wasn't going to anywhere wrapped up the way she was. The good news was that they were able to remove the cord, and get her cleaned off with no problems!

She was born at 5:54pm, 7 lbs 1oz and 19 inches long (so much smaller than we thought!). She was PERFECT!  D was right there with her. The German was so excited when they gave her weight and length in metric measurements.  He knew exactly what that meant!  She was screaming and yelling, and Papa D was capturing every moment on camera.  I was stitched up, and in recovery by 6:15 (It is CRAZY how fast it all was).  D went with her to the nursery, and was able to get her first bath on video. :)  I got her a few minutes later, and we got to hang out.  She was HUNGRY.  I was, too, after all that hard work.  Luckily, she was allowed to eat.  She got it right away, thank goodness!  We were able to head back to our room around 8:30pm and introduce her to my parents and oldest brother.  They knew she had been born, but D and I wanted to be together to share her name.  Layla had been at the top of our list for awhile.  (We did take our list with us, though, just in case she didn't look like a Layla!) Kathleen is my mom's name. Erika is D's mom's middle name.  Much crying by all.  Well, except Layla.  She was tired.

Did it all go down how I had hoped and planned it would?  Nope.  I still think it's funny that I thought everything would go as planned.  None of it really matters.  I feel like I got to experience labor which is what I wanted.  No part of me feels like I missed out on anything by getting an epidural or having a C-section.  The end goal was for her to get here safely.  And she did.  The end.

I have to give HUGE KUDOS to everyone at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.  D and I loved it there.  Every nurse, anesthesiologist, nurse's aid, doctor, whoever was amazing.  The nurses respected my choice to try to go natural and did their best to help me, they explained every situation, gave us whatever we asked for (including D), and worked hard to make sure our birth experience was great.  We were there for four nights so we ended up with a lot of nurses working with us, and every single one of them was wonderful.  I will be writing a letter or email or something to tell them so.  We were so impressed, and thankful that's where we got to deliver.

And of my fabulous husband.  While I may have been the one giving birth, this was a total team effort.  I couldn't ask for a better teammate.  He was everywhere all at once, making sure I had everything I wanted/needed, encouraging, loving, and helping anyway he could.  And he is the best papa.  Layla loves her some Papa D. she is!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Love Of A Father

Yesterday's memorial service for Matt was pretty much overwhelming.  Overwhelmingly full of love.  I have no idea how many people fit in the sanctuary of Heartland Community Church, but if I were to guess I would bet there was about a thousand people there.  If I am way off, ok.  It sure seemed like there were a thousand people there.  I knew that so many people were connected to the Nagel's in one way or another, but it was astonishing to watch that community show up in full force.  And I know there were a lot of people who couldn't be there.  It was oddly peaceful to be in a crowd that size, mostly because it felt like a giant family.  People who had been loving and supporting the Nagel's for so long, most of whom I did not know, and yet sitting with them all seemed normal.  Like a weird, giant group hug.

It was such a perfect very much what I have in my head of Matt.  (Side note:  I did NOT know Matt well.  I know Molly.  I know their story. I know their little one.  And I knew Matt through all of that.  So if this seems oddly peripheral, so be it.)  Anyway, it was joyful.  That might sound strange to some of you. But it was a celebration.  Matt really was 'that guy.'  He was happy, the REAL kind of happy.  He loved God, he loved his wife, and his daughter(s).  He loved the kids he worked with at the Hope Center.  And I am not sure there wasn't a time when I didn't see him with a huge smile on his face that was sincere.  Deeply sincere.  While I certainly don't think he was perfect or some kind of saint, he obviously loved his life and lived it to the fullest. The service reflected nothing but that happy, smiling guy.

A few people spoke, but the most amazing was Matt's dad. I have only met his parents once, briefly, at a fundraiser a friend and I did for Matt and Molly a couple of years ago.  Having not spent time with his dad, I was unsure what to expect from his speaking at his son's memorial service.  I can't imagine being in that position, and I was preparing for a heart wrenching outpouring of love.  I wasn't wrong.  It was a heart wrenching outpouring of love, but not the kind that one would expect.  His confidence in his son was solid.  SOLID.  Confidence in who he was, what he believed, and that he is now in heaven.  It wasn't a tooting of his own parenting horn as he readily admitted there were mistakes that had been made.  It was just an assurance that he had done his best, without regrets.  He had spent time with his sons, getting to know them for the people they were and were going to become, and respecting them for how they loved their own families.  He taught them that being a Christian isn't about a giant book of rules that dictates life.  It's about loving God with all your much so that you WANT to be better for Him.  His words weren't without tears or sadness.  The loss of someone so young is just too hard to understand.  As I wait for Gretel's arrival, it's unfathomable already that a parent would ever have to bury a child.  I also wasn't expecting him to address the question of 'why.'  That's a HUGE undertaking, and one that seems unanswerable.  To some degree, it is unanswerable.  Everyone says 'What kind of God would ALLOW this to happen?'  Well, it's a fallen world, folks.  If it were perfect, that question would be fair.  However, it's not.  And Mr. Nagel referenced a passage from Deuteronomy. I am paraphrasing here, but the essence is God will take care of the hidden things, and the things that are revealed are our business.  At first, I pretty much hated that.  Hidden things don't bring Molly's husband back.  Hidden things don't allow me to be in control.  But if I am going to believe in one part of the Bible, I have to believe in all of it.  I can't pick and choose the things I like, and leave the rest behind.  And really...God owes us nothing.  So who says we get to know everything?  Just because I am selfish, and I think I should doesn't mean that's how it will work.  It's what that whole faith thing is based on.

Back to Mr. Nagel...throughout his entire time speaking, he was peaceful.  He loved his son, he knew who Matt was, and the life he lived.  He wanted to share these things to help everyone who would listen.  While I certainly don't think that he was speaking those things directly to D and me, it sure felt like it.  As we wait for Gretel's arrival, we have constant conversations of who she will be.  An athlete? (If D has his way, of course.) An academic?  A band geek? Introvert, extrovert, the list goes on. In the end, we always know that whatever she is, we will love her.  And if she wants to do ballet, we will be the parents at the dance recitals doing the Arsenio with air horns.  Because that's how you support...with noise.  We will most certainly screw up, and make mistakes, and hopefully not scar her permanently, but I hope we can parent without regrets.  It was a moment for me, as I sat there with D's hand on Gretel.  He is so excited to be a daddy, and he is going to be amazing at it.  We listened to Matt's dad talk about his son, and how he was proud to be his father.  We were reminded that even in the midst of this chaos, the Father has His hand in all of it.

It was a bit surreal sitting there, it was so perfectly 'Nagel' that it was hard to understand that Matt wasn't sitting with Molly and Harper.  It was such an exact reflection of his life, it seemed impossible that he wasn't there with them and the rest of us.  It was, by no means, a time of closure.  It was a time of grieving for our friend who was lost, and his family who had lost him.  This tragedy will tear at their hearts for a long time.  It wasn't really a time of healing.  It was too soon, too fresh.  But it was freaking peaceful.  There is no other way to say it.  It was a joyful celebration of Matt, and a tearful goodbye as he is gone too soon.  And sitting in the midst of a huge group of people, coming together as one community to support this precious family was overwhelming.  I can only hope that Molly, Harper, and the rest of their family could feel it too.  Thousands are standing with them.  God is standing with them too, even though it might seem like He isn't.  I am still amazed at Molly.  She is somehow still pressing forward.  I pray that when she finally sits, and the devastation hits full force, she finds rest, that she finds a God and a community that love her, that she finds that Matt is still with her.

Like I said before, in the middle of this whole mess, there has been hope.  It's Good Friday which is more than ironic.  Yet, this weekend is the apex of Christianity.  Today is the dark day.  The day when it seemed all was lost.  We are left in disbelief and heartbreak at the loss of our Savior.  But hope is just around the corner.  We are not to live in darkness, but in light.  And the Light has not left us forever.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nothing to say

Nothing to say is an odd title for a blog since the whole purpose of a blog is to say something.  However, the 'nothing' part is so true.  The loss for words that would make any kind of impact is overwhelming.  I have spent the last 24 hours trying to imagine where Molly is.  To try to understand the hell she is going through, and how best to help her.  Sadly, there is nothing to do.  Nothing to fix.  Nothing to say that will make it all better.

D came home yesterday for the afternoon, and I could barely let him leave my sight. We didn't do anything except cry, and hug, and pray for our friends.  Reminding each other of the swiftness of life, and the need to appreciate each minute we have.  I quickly stopped trying to understand 'why' as that is just a futile process.  God's plan exists whether I know what it is or not.  I might hate it, think it's stupid, and question all that I believe.  Quite frankly, this is complete bullshit.  To ask one person, one family to endure this journey is unimaginable to me.  This seems like a sucker punch from nowhere, as if they hadn't already been knocked down enough.

It's hard not to go to the horrible dark side of this thing.  As much as I would like to be a nasty pessimist, I can't.  There has been hope here.  The amount of response to this tragedy is astounding.  As I scrolled through my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I couldn't go but even every other post without seeing a post about Matt.  People who knew and loved him, and those who had never met him but had heard his story.  People who will never know each other, but somehow are connected through this.  And I am extremely grateful to my community of, friends, church, random acquaintances...people who know, love and support me, and barely know Matt, Molly and Harper.  The texts, emails, phone calls, responses to posts, etc have been unending.  And this has nothing to do with me.  But know that all of that love is going straight to the Nagel's. Thousands of people are standing with them, and I know that has to be felt.  

While I certainly don't speak for Molly, Harper or the rest of their family, I will for myself.  Thank you for your caring hearts and words.  I know they have to be heard over the resounding silence that is being felt right now.  Please, please keep it up.  These coming days, weeks, months, etc. are going to be devastatingly challenging to say the least.  Your love and support will go so far.

I pretty much hate all things cliche (this happened for a reason, blah blah) but I do love music. This has just been what I have needed the last couple of days.  Listen or don't.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Nagel's

This is not about me or Gretel.  She isn't here yet.

This is about my friends Matt, Molly and Harper Nagel. Over the past 3 years they have been through some horrendous shit.  Sorry, there just isn't a better word.  Last year it all culminated with losing their adoption battle for their daughter, and having to give her up after loving her for two and a half years.

Yesterday, Matt suffered a massive stroke at the age of 35.  His condition isn't great.  More info can be found at his Caring Bridge link below.  Please, please pray for them.  In whatever capacity that might be.  It's hard to understand 'why' this morning, I got to wake up next to my husband, and feel him pat our unborn daughter and enjoy our quiet time this morning.  But Molly hasn't slept.  I doubt she has eaten much or left her husbands side while he lays in the hospital or spent time with Harper during all of this.  I spent time this morning trying to understand.  In the end, I can't.  And I can't question where is God in all of this.  He is there, with Matt, with Molly, with Harper, with the doctors and nurses, and everyone who will be around them in the coming days, weeks and months.  If I was supposed to understand it, I would.  I don't, and so I will just have faith that somewhere in there God is present.  I don't know how, after all of this, Molly is still breathing but she is.  God love her...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Every week...

That's right.  We go to the doctor every week now!  Just got back from our appointment this week, and our doc informed us that we are now at that stage.  It's crazy to think we are there already!  We are all happy and healthy though.  Well, I would be happier if Princess Long Legs would remove her giant hoof from my ribs, but other than that we are peachy.  Her heartbeat is right on target, and my blood pressure is literally perfect.  So let's hope we keep that up!

We have made some great progress on her room.  This will be the last sneak peek before it's all done. I say that like it's some big surprise, but really I am just trying to be suspenseful for myself and give us a deadline of some sort!  We need to get one more piece of furniture, and we are waiting for our uber glider and ottoman to be shipped.  Then I can FINALLY wash everything, and get it all put away.  

This last weekend we took a childbirth prep class at the hospital.  It was SO educational.  While I had the gist of the whole situation, it was really nice to have everything broken down step by step with pictures, videos, and lists.  Lists make EVERYTHING better.  Really understanding the stages of labor and what to expect will help both D and me when the show gets going.  We even got to tour the hospital, and I loved it.  I am very excited to be delivering there.

We also got to watch a birth video with a natural birth experience. I was supremely grateful for that. Since I was the only one in the class who was aiming for a non-medicated birth I just assumed we would be seeing videos for them.  However, it was good to see someone actually go through the whole experience minus meds, and to see what she did, what worked for her, what didn't, etc.  It was also amazing to see her husband by her side, aiding, supporting, and encouraging the whole way through.  It was obviously such a time of connection for them, and strengthening for their relationship.  Both D and I are excited for that experience too.  It's going to hurt, and I am preparing for that.  But having him there, doing what we are practicing now, and just being supportive will be huge.  I need him there to advocate for me when I can't do it for myself, to make me stick with it when I want to give up, and to see our daughter scream her head off for the first time.  

We have a lot of stuff coming up in the next few weeks.  I am finished with work in eight days (WHOA), we have a breastfeeding class, obviously more check in's with the doc, meeting our pediatrician, meeting the Maternity Care lady at the hospital and fill out things, a marriage counseling session, and a natural birth strategies class.  It's going to be a busy few weeks, but I am happy to have things to do.  I feel like this last month or so is going to DRAG.  

Hopefully, at next week's appointment, we will get an idea of how big the little monster is.  Any guesses??

Monday, February 13, 2012

33 weeks!

Today, I am officially in the 8th month of pregnancy.  I can't believe we are so far along already!  Here we are...

It really just seems to keep flying by.  I only have 15 days of work left, and 49 until Gretel's supposed arrival.  Although, as you can see by the wall in the picture, we are making fabulous progress on her nursery!  Everything is painted, and this weekend my brother and D got the carpet almost completely done.  Casey tried to help, but really she just wanted to lay in the sun.  She is doing a good job of holding the carpet pad in place.
But the final product looks great!  We could not have gotten more lucky with the paint colors and the carpet colors.  We kind of picked stuff from memory hoping it would all work out, and it looks awesome!  
D has to head back to ATL tomorrow, but next weekend they will finish getting all the trim in and then it's time for FURNITURE!  I have been waiting and waiting so that I can finally wash all of her things and get them put away and organized.  Baby steps (no pun intended) but we are getting there!

As I said, D heads back to ATL this week, but fortunately this should be his last trip before Gretel gets here.  I am happy to have him home for awhile so we can try to get more prepared for this insanity.  And tonight we start BABY CLASSES.  Newborn Care is an educational class about feeding, sleeping, CPR, and all things baby that we don't know.  This coming Saturday we have an all day childbirth class.  You know, where we learn all the GOOD stuff.  I am sure it will be quite educational.  We have one more class in the middle of March...Natural Childbirth Strategies.  Lots of education on exercises, birth plans, etc and how to try to have a non-medicated birth.  It's my goal, so I want to learn what I can before she gets here!I started some exercises this week, and already they are helping some of the back discomfort.  So here's hoping that keeps up!

We had a doctor's appointment last week.  Gretel's heartbeat was loud and strong, and my blood pressure is right where it should be.  We go back again next Wednesday, so be on the look out for another update!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2 months to go!

Well, holy crap.  We are down to only two months until Gretel's guesstimated arrival!  I can't believe it. I feel like I was just in my first trimester, feeling nauseous, and thinking it would never end.  But here we are...31 weeks in, and the end is in sight!

Our neighbors had their little girl last week, and she was about 3 weeks early.  This sent D and I in a bit of a tailspin...we are NOT ready for her to be here yet!  We did finally make some progress on the nursery. It's empty, and I think we figured out our paint colors.  This week/weekend we will be painting.  The carpet is also in, so we just need to go pick it up.  Our house is COVERED in baby paraphernalia.  I mean, COVERED.  The front room is somewhat organized in bins, but the coffee table has disappeared.  So has the dining room table. And it's a good thing we don't have guests anytime soon since you can't even get to the bed in the guest room.  YIKES.  I am excited to keep moving forward so that we can get everything set up and put away.

Last weekend, our fab church folks threw us a couples shower.  It was so much fun!  The theme was Got Milk? accompanied with all desserts and of course, milk.  There were even CINNABONS.  It was such a happy day.  We played Battle of the Sexes - Baby Knowledge.  The girls kicked butt.  There was a diapering contest.  Once again, the girls won.  The best game was between three of the guys.  They had about 1/3 of a bottle of beer in a baby bottle, and it was a race to see who could drink it the fastest.  Of course, the German won.  :)
Gretel also received some more fabulous gifts.  This girl will be ready for ANYTHING.  She has more crap than D and I combined.  Hopefully, we can find places for all of it.  Here are a couple of my favorites.  Her first guitar!!  Another couple at church has this for their son, and it's so stinking cool.  M knew how much I would like it, and she found one for us too.  I am so excited!
She also got her first swimsuit.  Thanks to previous gifts, she has sandals and sunglasses to go with it.  Now we just need to find a pool!  I also hope she is a little chunky...because who doesn't love a chunky baby in a swimsuit?
Next week we head back to the doctor for another check in.  Everything is going great, and it doesn't look like she will make an early appearance.  At least not yet!  I also think I found a pediatrician that is super close to us.  So, I need to start filling out forms! 22 days left of work...I can't believe how quickly it has gone by.  Hopefully, they will hire my replacement soon and I can get cracking on training whoever it is.  I am getting a little stressed about cramming it all in this last month, but I am sure it will work itself out.  Regardless, Gretel will be here soon!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Showered with Love...and all things giraffe

Last Saturday was the FAB shower that my aunt, cousin, and two friends threw for Gretel and me.  Let me explain it's awesomeness.  

A) It was Christmas themed.  I really don't need to say anything more here.  Trees were everywhere.  Lights and snowman centerpieces.  Magic.
B) My peeps.  My family came out in full force. I love them.  They are always there for everything, no matter what.  My friends were icing on the cake.  And they laughed a lot.  I like them.
C)  FOOD.  If you know my family, you know we know food.  They were ON it last week.  Chicken salad thingies, breakfast cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, lemon gooey cake (my fav).  It was a never ending table of joy.  And while I couldn't enjoy them, Bloody Mary's and mimosas.  Love it.
D) Activities, not games.  I really dislike baby shower games.  I love activities.  We got to decorate sugar cookies (more Christmas), and everyone got to decorate their own onesie.  I have done this for so  many friends, and it's so great to see everyone's creative side come out.  I was so so excited that Gretel has something from everyone that was there that she can wear.  And throw up on.

We got so many wonderful and helpful gifts.  I am so thankful for this shower.  We literally had nothing beforehand, just a few stuffed animals and clothes.  Now when this kid shows up, we can probably survive.  Um...and my mom, the mom of all moms, made Gretel a little blanket/quilt.  One side is made up of pieces of a blanket that I had when I was little, and the other side is covered in giraffes.  It's perfect.  I know she worked hard on it, and I KNOW Gretel will treasure it. I do.  I cried about it.  There, I said it.  I need to get a picture of it so I can post it here.

I was so overwhelmed by everything we received.  This little giraffe will lack for nothing.  We are so blessed to have all of these people in our lives.  (Even those who put K-State things on onesies.  I will make sure there is extra poop for those.)  When D and I finally unloaded everything and got it into the house, we literally lost our front room.  We need a bigger house.  Or this kid needs less stuff.  Or both.  Whatever.  I feel like we are starting to finally make progress, and we might actually be ALMOST ready for this kid to show up in a few months.  This weekend we are furniture shopping. Currently, she would have to sleep in a drawer.  Or in her kick butt swing.  I am excited to keep moving forward, and get our little house ready for this big change.

We head to the doctor next Wednesday for our next check up.  We just keep getting closer and closer to April!  I can't believe we only have 10 weeks left...

PS...this.  Just this.  So much of this.  Don't Carpe Diem  I was really struggling this week with feeling the need to explain my choices and my decisions for how to have/raise this kid.  I am horrible at taking things personally.  In reality, D and I will make our decisions as best we can with the limited knowledge we have, and just try to keep educating ourselves.  Whether it's feeding, schools, languages, church, sleep schedules, or C-sections we will do our best for US.  And while I am happy to share our plans and explain those choices, I really don't need approval of them.  You can save your judgement.  I am grateful to have people in my life to remind me of this.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Her father's daughter

Today was our 3D sonogram, glucose test, and 28 week check up. I have been dreading the glucose test mainly because the nasty drink has been sitting in our fridge for a month so every time I open the door, there it is. However, it wasn't AS bad as I was expecting. Think super syrupy sugary Kool-Aid. I lived, and even though I had a different nurse take my blood this time, she did a good job. Only one poke. Let's hope we can continue that trend. I should hear back from the doc in a couple of days, but there is no reason to think we will have any problems.

Our doc says everything is looking good. Heartbeat is right where it should be, my blood pressure was perfect, and even though I have gained weight after our fabulous holiday time I am still down 7 lbs from when I started. So...everything is great!

However...she is her father's daughter. When it came time for the 3D sonogram, she was tapped out! She would not be bother to move, and she had one hand in front of her face the whole time. Then she had a foot up there, like she was sucking on her toes. No matter how much we poked and prodded, she would not budge. She stuck her tongue out a few times, and I think she might have given us the finger at least once. Needless to say, she gets that stubborn side from her dad. :) We did get a few decent profiles. Here is a good one!

And now we go to the doctor every two weeks. I can't believe we are to that point already!

This weekend is my first shower, and I am so excited. I know it will be tons of fun, and I can't wait to have so many people back together again!