Monday, December 28, 2009

My oh my!!! December has FLOWN BY!

Wow! I can't believe it's been a month since I've last posted about Ava! Time flies when you're having fun!
Dear Ava-
I’ve been putting you in “jail” lately. Each time you get a little bored, or fussy, I put your on your tummy for “Tummy Time”... this is to help you strengthen your neck muscles. I say to you, “Alrighty Ava, you did the crime.... now you do the time!” To me, it’s really funny... thinking of putting such a sweet little thing in “jail”.
You actually enjoy tummy time though. And boy, have you gotten good at it. I’ll lay you on the floor and you’ll manage to look all the way up at the TV, above the mantle.I love you so much that it really does make my heart ache. The love makes all the fussy feedings & late nite waking so worth it. You’ll just smile that smile, bat those beautiful eyes and I’m wrapped around your finger! You are so BEAUTIFUL. Your little face is perfection. When I give you your baths, you splash around now... And you’re grabbing things like crazy! You grab my shirts, toys, rattles, etc.... You also swat at your bottle, which makes me think you’re trying to hold it all by yourself.
You do such sweet whimpers in your sleep... I ask you “What’s wrong sweet girl? Did someone steal your milk?” ... and then you’ll whimper some more.It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I almost want to wake you up because I don’t want you to be sad for one second. You sound like a little kitty kat, meowing.... hence your new nickname, Kitty Kat.
You were baptized on December 13th. It just so happens that it was the same day that you turned 100 days old. Ironic! All of your Grandparents came into town... and from far away! Grandma Carol & Grandpa Bill came in on the train from Michigan; Grandma Judie & Grandpa Paul took the train in from Kansas City; and Papa Jim & Nana Norma came in on the train from Quincy. Seems as though the trains got a lot of business from our family! I made a lot of food/ snacks for everyone to snack on before the Baptism, as well as after.
Your Baptism started at 1:30 at St. Josaphat (the same church your Daddy & I were married at in September 2006). The service lasted about an hour (there was another baby girl being baptized, named Molly). It was a lovely ceremony... the priest (Father Mike) invited all of the family up to the font to witness the baptism... Most churches make you stay in your seats. Needless to say, it was a very personal baptism that all of your Grandparents (as well as Aunt Steph and my friend Jill) got to witness. You got many bibles as gifts from the family... you also got a lovely bracelet from your parents and Aunt Steph, as well as $300 to your college fund from your Godparents, Nana Norma & Papa Jim.
That night, we treated everyone to dinner at Capital Grille (the restaurant your Dad & I ate at the night before you were born). It was delicious! I had crab legs and your Dad had swordfish.
The next day, I met up with Nana Norma, Papa Jim and Aunt Steph at Macy’s... we waited in line so you could see Santa for about 40 minutes... However, we didn’t see an end in sight, so we left. You also laughed for the first time, a few weeks ago, while I was giving you your bath! It was the cutest giggle ever!! I tried getting you to laugh again today, but was only successful once. I hope you’ll begin to laugh a lot more often... it is toooo cute! You’re grabbing things like crazy! Your hand-eye coordination has improved dramatically over the last week or so,too. It’s incredible, to watch you develop these skills... You reach for things and hold on so tightly! You caress my hand while I feed you your bottle.... it’s like your patting me. Then you’ll take both of your little hands and put them on either side of your bottle, trying to hold it on your own. It’s too precious.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ava can speak!!!!!

I knew she was smart, but HOLY COW!! This kid is a child prodigy!!! She must take from my side of the family (wink, wink!). I took this video on Thanksgiving Eve which is the same day (4 years ago) that Ken and I got engaged. You be the judge, but I think it sounds like she's saying "Mommmm" over and over!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Ava had two Halloween parties to attend!! Not bad for a Baby's First Halloween, eh?! One was at Ken's Oak Brook office and the other was a Baby Shower in Naperville. We dressed her as a Missouri Cheerleader for Ken's work party and as a baby elephant for Maggie's Shower. Mom came in for the weekend which made it extra special. It was also nice to have an extra set of hands to handle the little one! :)
Ava's been doing GREAT! She smiles all the time now... My favorite part of the day is going into her room in the morning. When I peer over her crib, she sees me and smiles the biggest smile... it melts my heart. Her little eyes sparkle, too.... it's enough to make me want to crawl in there with her!
I attended her 2 month Dr appointment today. She now weighs 11 pounds & 8 ounces, measuring 22 inches long. She has nearly doubled her birth weight... which I cannot believe! She's growing so fast. I want it to slow down. She had to get vaccinations today, too; they gave her 2 shots in EACH thigh. I thought I was going to die of guilt. She cried so hard and so loud... I don't ever want to hear that again... poor little thing. Apparently they want to repeat these vaccines at 4 months... well guess who won't be attending that one!! ME! Ken can endure the next one!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ava's first date!

Tanner is looking at Ava's Halloween card on the table...his Mom, Cecily, narrated this to me via email... I had to share!

'Wow, she's SO pretty- calling her NOW!'

"You know what? I need to get a better look at her.. too nervous to call"

"You sure are something special-- let's have a snack together"

"So, this is a date right?"

"Ava, you're so pretty"

"Seeing as this was a date, don't mind if I do! Don't tell your dad!'

Monday, October 26, 2009

Getting to know our little girl...

Baby Ava-

You’re definitely sleeping a lot these days!! In fact, this morning I changed and fed you at 6:30…. You did your exercises (kicks) in bed and then we snuggled back to sleep from 9-12! It was great!! I just love snuggling with you!!! You’re so sweet… And hearing your little breaths, it’s adorable. We had a great weekend… Your dad and I took you on quite a few adventures… Lalo’s (for Mexican food), our storage unit, costume store, J. Alexanders, Target, etc. We got so much accomplished!! And you were an angel! You’ve been smiling a lot lately. Your Dad and I try our best to try and coax smiles out of you all the time!

We also put you in your crib for the first time this past week. You slept soundly for an afternoon from about 2:00-6:00. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve tried to put you in there a few other times since then but you don’t seem to be as happy. You’ll act content for about 15 minutes, but then you start crying. So we keep you in our room for night time and in the living room for your daytime naps. When you’re not napping you love to snuggle and rock or lay in your Rainforest activity gym to kick and watch the flashing lights. You’ve been “talking” more too…. Mostly grunting…. But every now and then, you’ll goo-goo or coo. You have a lovely little voice.

I’ve been reading a book that is helping us get into a routine. So I’ve been giving you baths each night (rather than every other night) around 8:00. I’ll then feed you and rock you for a bit before attempting to put you in your crib. Everything works well until I put you in your crib. So your Dad or I usually let you fall asleep on our chest while we watch TV and then we put you to bed in the bassinet next to me in our room.

I ordered your Halloween costume today. I decided that you will make a very adorable elephant!! You will wear it to your Dad’s office Halloween party and for a Baby Shower on Saturday. Your Nana is coming in town on Thursday to visit and attend the shower with us. She can’t wait to see you. She says she can really start to see me in you now that you’re growing. She says how much we look alike… but I think you are far too pretty to be in my league.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dear Ava....

This is the story of the night you made your arrival...
I made reservations for “date night” for your Dad and I on September 3rd, 2009 (it was a Thursday… our usual date night) at Capital Grille in Chicago. I had been craving Capital Grille’s fried calamari for quite some time, and since I knew you would soon be joining us, these nights wouldn’t be so easy to pull off on such short notice!! With that said, I made reservations for 6:15 that night, for what I thought could be our last date night before you came (This pic is from that night).
Earlier that afternoon I treated myself to a prenatal massage (which I was doing weekly toward the end of the pregnancy). I also went shopping for a new dress to wear to dinner (so I’d look nice for your Daddy). Your Dad got home after work and we left for the restaurant. We ordered our usual favorites… calamari, wedge salad, steak, dessert. It was delicious. We spent about 2 hours there before leaving to go home. When we got home we stayed up awhile, watching TV and spending time with the dogs. We went to bed around 10:30. Your Dad was sleeping on the couch at this point because he was still recovering from surgery (and still snoring pretty loudly), while I slept in bed with the doggies.
I woke up that night at 1:30 for what I thought was just another trip to the bathroom. I didn’t feel right though; something was “off”. I felt crampy, very low in my belly. I went back to bed, paying attention to the cramping… trying to go back to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep. I kept noticing that the cramping was getting stronger. I lay in bed till around 2:15. At that point, I went out to the living room to tell your Dad that I wasn’t feeling very well. He looked at me with surprise, as if to say, “Oh my gosh! Is this it!?”. I reassured him I was fine and told him to take the bedroom… I’d stay up on the couch for awhile, until I was feeling better. So he took the dogs and went into the bedroom. I went on the computer at this point to a program called Contraction Master (it times your contractions). I hit the button each time I felt one of those cramps coming on… they were forming a pattern of just 1:45 seconds apart. At that point, I knew it was time to call the Doctor. She told me to come to the hospital, but not to rush. So I showered, woke your Dad (who quickly walked the dogs around the block since we didn’t know how long we’d be gone) and finished packing our hospital bags. As I was doing these things, the cramping got far more intense… I was hunched over in pain at this point as I completed packing.
When we had talked about your arrival in the past, we had talked about the route we would take to the hospital and how we would park in the parking garage across the street and then just walk over to the hospital. No way was that happening!!! The ride to the hospital didn’t take long… apparently traffic in Chicago is pretty light at 4:00 AM… not to mention, your Dad was driving like a speed demon because I was in so much pain! We pulled into the circle drive at the hospital and went directly to Triage. The pain at this point was unbearable. And it kept coming so fast!! I was checked in at 4:00AM and they examined me to be 2cm dilated. I was begging for pain medication but they were in no hurry to give it to me… I think they thought I was exaggerating about the pain. By the time they got my upstairs to Labor and Delivery, I had progressed way beyond the 2 cm and was nearly fully dilated to 10 cm by the time the epidural was administered. I was screaming so loud, praying for the pain to stop. They gave me an epidural, however it wasn’t working; I was numb in my legs and feet but nowhere else! The pain was excruciating!! I just remember my nurse, Shaunie, telling me to breathe… “You need to breathe for your baby. She needs the oxygen”. So I concentrated on breathing for you. Around 5:15 my OB/ GYN Dr Venkatachalam arrived and checked me. After she examined me, she looked up with a big smile and said, “Are you ready to have your baby?” I couldn’t believe it!! Just a few hours ago I was sound asleep with you in my belly! Less than 12 hours ago I was on a date with your Dad! How on earth could you be coming so quickly?!?
It took about 6 contractions of pushing and you arrived at 5:53 AM, on September 4, 2009! They immediately placed you on my chest… you were covered in goo! Your Dad cut the umbilical cord and then they took you over to be weighed/ measured/ cleaned. You weighed in at 6 lbs, 3 oz and were 18 ½ inches long... and you were the most amazing thing that your Dad and I had ever seen. All those months of hoping and praying... and there you were... PERFECT. So tiny, yet so strong and completely gorgeous. Our little angel, born into the world.... just us and our happy little family. Your Dad kept gloating, "She's perfect!! She's perfect!!!". When they gave you back to me, I put you right on my chest and you immediately calmed down. You must have known it was me.

You're now 30 days old. And I don't know where the time has gone. I suppose it's because of late night feedings, numerous diaper changes and major sleep deprivation that I can't recall. What I do know is that you are a tiny miracle and we are so blessed to have you. We learn more about one another everyday. And my heart grows more each day, too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One last hurrah!

Any day now and Ava will be here! I wake up every night, for yet another trip to the bathroom and I stop and ask myself... "Is this it? Am I awake because I'm in labor?". And sure enough, it ends up being just that... a bathroom break. I do realize, though, that with our due date just 1 week away, I just might wake up one of these nights and actually BE in labor. Pretty exciting... and unnerving!
Until that happens, we're trying to squeeze in as many activities in as possible. We attended what will be our last "Pre-Ava" Cubs Game this past Saturday. We also went to our last "Pre-Ava" concert... We saw Carrie Underwood at Ravinia last night (see pic above and below). I must admit, when I bought the tickets for her concert back in April, I never dreamed that I would actually be able to attend... I was sure I would either be a Mother by now, or at the very least, incapacitated! But no.... instead, we were singing and dancing on the lawn last night, having a great time! Part of me thought that all that noise and activity would coerce her to make a move.... but no. She's still holding down the fort. In fact, I think that she's grown quite fond of her little condo inside Mommy's belly. And I'm okay with her sticking around awhile longer... she'll come when she's ready.
However, in the event that she decides to overstay her welcome, our Dr has informed us that they will induce us on September 15. So there you have it! We will undoubtedly have a daughter (and be parents!!) within exactly 2 weeks. It's surreal, to say the very least. With the countdown in full effect, I've been trying to squeeze in small naps here and there, having been plenty forewarned by other new mothers about the soon-to-be sleep deprivation that I will no doubt encounter. I'm also tying up any and all last minute errands and loose ends to make sure I've got everything I need for when she does come. If there is anything I will need at that time, I'll just send the Go-Fer.... Ken. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stick a fork in her, SHE'S DONE!

Today marks a very important milestone for Baby Ava. She's 37 weeks gestation and is considered FULL TERM!! Woo Hoo!! I thought we'd never get to this point!
Ken went in yesterday for surgery to repair his deviated septum and to also have his Uvula removed. He's been recovering over the last 24 hours... I've been playing nurse (too bad they don't make those little nurse outfits in maternity sizes!). The surgery was necessary to put an end to his severe snoring (yes, it's that bad). And with Ava on the way, he needed to do something if we're going to remain married. I can't very well take Tylenol PM's and sleep with ear plugs when I need to be able to hear a newborn. So... the poor guy had to go under the knife for me. He's been a trooper though... eating plenty of soup, hot tea, applesauce and pudding. He's craving a cheeseburger but that's definitely a no-no. I told him I could throw one in a blender but he didn't like that idea very much.
I go to visit the Doctor tomorrow. During last weeks' visit, I had my first internal exam... where she discovered that I'm 50% effaced and 1/2 cm dilated. This probably means nothing actually... considering women walk around for weeks being 100% effaced and multiple cm dilated. But either way, we were thrilled to hear that she's making some progress. I've got my fingers crossed that she'll have even more tomorrow... but I'm not holding my breath. I still haven't "dropped" yet and they say that is necessary before you get close. So.... the waiting continues.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Can I just say that I LOVE being pregnant?!

I love being pregnant! Sure there are a few aches and pains... and I'm not a big fan of the weight gain either. Nor do I like that I can't go out for a night on the town and catch a good buzz with my favorite people...BUT there are so many things I love about it!
I love feeling her move at all hours of the day. I love knowing that I have life growing inside of me... something comprised of all the best parts of Ken and I. I love knowing that she is safe in my tummy and that I have the ability to give her all of the things she needs to continue to grow and develop. I love that Ken sees the beauty in this miracle too... I don't think he's ever looked at me the way he does now. So much love. This is going to be one lucky little girl, loved so much already... I don't know what we're going to do when she's finally in our arms!!
We have reached our 35 week milestone this week and I have to say... It is so surreal that she will be here in a month! I feel "ready"... but completely overwhelmed by the change that is about to take place. Just like my Mom continues to tell me, "Honey, none of us knew what we were doing... but we somehow figured it out. You'll be just fine". Hearing that certainly puts me at ease... makes me feel a little less pressure. I just have to keep telling myself that we're not going to be perfect. As long as we're giving it our best shot though, we should be just fine... and so should Baby Ava.
I am making weekly trips to our Dr now to check mine and Baby Ava's progress. Soon they'll be telling me how far dilated I am.... So crazy that we're near the end of this journey.
I still feel pretty good! It has gotten a little more difficult to get around due to my ever expanding tummy. My appetite has gotten a little more ferocious too... I seem to be hungry every few hours now. Before, I would just eat the regular 3 meals a day and be satisfied. Now I'm finding myself hungry at all hours of the day! Between meals, before bedtime & (oddly enough) when I wake up in the middle of the night for bathroom breaks-- I'm starving!! I've read that Baby Ava is growing around 6-8 ounces a week now so that could very well be the cause for all of the extra cravings.
Today I'm going to run more errands, all in preparation of her arrival. My first (and very important stop) is to get her carseat checked in the back of the Lexus (which I'll be driving once she's born... Ken's not thrilled to have the BMW now, but I'm sure he'll get over it!). We have our last shower tomorrow afternoon, hosted by my girlfriends Jill & Jenny. It's a BBQ at Jill's condo... Couples are invited so this will be the first baby shower that Ken will be involved in. I think I'm more excited than he is though... ;-)
Additional Professional Maternity Photos:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I may give birth to a burrito bowl

A question I'm commonly asked about is food cravings. I must say, I haven't had any out of the ordinary cravings. Mostly, I just crave a larger quantity of what I would normally eat.
With that said, I've always been a HUGE fan of mexican food. In fact, throughout this pregnancy, Ken and I will venture around Chicago on Friday nights, in search of a new mexican restaurant to try. So far, we've run into a couple great spots! Now, most guys would probably be bored of this little weekly adventure. But for Ken, it has its perks. Like for instance: when the waiter comes to take our drink order, Ken will order a pitcher of Top Shelf Margaritas. He drinks this pitcher. All. By. Himself. The part he likes even better is that he now has his very own chauffeur to drive him home... his sober, pregnant wife. I'm not complaining... I know I'll have the chance to pay back the favor. In fact, I'm already craving my first margarita... That is one drink I definitely miss.
I'm not always so fortunate to have a good looking lunch date though. When hunger hits during the weekday and I'm alone & craving some yummy mexican food, I usually hit up Chipotle for a Burrito Bowl. Last week I went there 3x for lunch. CRAZY. And the weird part is that I never get sick of it. I laugh sometimes because I think I may actually give birth to a little burrito.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Showered with some serious L-O-V-E!

My Mom, sister (Stephanie) and friend (Susanne) threw me a shower during the last weekend in June while we were home visiting everyone in Quincy. We initially planned the trip to pick up the baby furniture that my sister gave us. They planned the shower to fall on the same weekend due to the fact that we can't get back as often as we'd like.
Needless to say, I was completely blown away! I had been told by my Mom and Sister, about how they were always working on details... getting together and creating things for the shower. But I had NO IDEA what I was in for. They went above and bey0nd! It was the so thoughtful of them... each and every detail was thought out so thoroughly. The food was super yummy! And don't even get me started on the presents! It was like there was no end in sight to the generosity! We are so lucky to have all of the things from that shower and I can finally say that if Ava were to decide to enter the world tomorrow, we would have everything we need to take care of her. How lucky are we?!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Nursery: A work in progress!

Clearly we have a long way to go until Ava's room is ready. But I thought I'd show what we've gotten done so far.   Too bad, the pics make the wall color look like vomit.  It's actually a minty color....?

We picked up the furniture a few weeks ago and I've been slowly organizing putting things in their place. I am amazed at how quickly the clothes begin stacking up! We still have a long
way to go.... need to hang shelves, artwork and pictures on the walls.

We have our last shower in August. After that we'll buy the remaining items on the registry... and the room will definitely be on its way to being complete. I love everything in there thus far! Sometimes I go and stare at some of her tiny outfits... imagining the little arms and legs that will soon fill them out.

I'm 31 weeks now. Just 9 more weeks to go. I am hoping to go into labor closer to the 36/ 37 week mark, but we'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Willy has a girlfriend!

Of our two dogs, Biscuit & Willy... there's always been the good dog and the bad dog. Biscuit (the older one) is usually the well behaved pooch, reliable and trustworthy. Willy, on the other hand, has always been the mischevious one. As an example, he is 3 years old and we still can't leave our shoes on the floor, because they will, without a doubt, be devoured by the little man. Lately though, Willy has grown to be quite the lover! What started out as the evil doggie.. always finding trouble, eating everything in sight... he has grown into such a good boy... very sweet, over-affectionate and super snuggly. He even moans when you rub his ears or belly. And I mean LOUD moans. He makes a point to lay on my belly all the time now too, which leads me to believe that he suspects the upcoming arrival of little Ava. Ken and I both agree that Willy will be a very good brother to Baby Ava... looking after her and acting very protective. I have a feeling that in the future, when I can't find Willy, I'll find him in Ava's room, curled up by her crib... waiting patiently for her to wake up from her nap. I keep teasing the little bugger... "Willy's got a girlfiend! Willy's got a girlfriend!"... he just wags that tail (a dog's true way of smiling) and dances about. I think he'd even blush if he had it in him.
This is a pic of Willy, Ava & I... taken today (29 Weeks)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

28 Weeks: 12 more to go!

Today was my 28 Week Dr appointment and everything went great!  Blood pressure was perfect.  Ava's little heart did the usual "whoosh-whoosh-whoosh" at 150 BPM.  She even kicked twice while we listened to the heartbeat, scaring the Physicians Assistant. "Whoa!!  She's feisty!!" She said.  Takes after her Momma, if you ask me!  

I stepped on the much dreaded scale, only to find out that I've gained 14 lbs thus far... which was far better than I had anticipated.  The Doctor says healthy weight gain for pregnancy is considered to be between 25-35 lbs.  At the rate I'm going, I should hopefully end up around 25 lbs when all is said and done ("hopefully" being the key word!).  Never know though... my chocolate cravings have kicked into overdrive lately.  I just can't seem to stop eating Snickers!!  Good thing we buy the bite size ones!  If I was eating the full size ones, we'd have ourselves a problem!

Everything else is moving along just fine!  I still feel great!  I have noticed that it's harder to get up and around these days... I get winded going up and down the stairs (we live on the 3rd floor of a walk up).  It must be from carrying the extra weight.  It's also getting a little harder to get up from the floor or from out of bed (makes me laugh at the gimmick below... they actually make a rope for this very purpose).  Another new thing I've been experiencing is that I'm getting full from food, much faster.  I've read that this could be due to the fact that the baby is getting bigger (2.25 lbs this week!), causing everything to squish together, which in turn has made my stomach smaller.  This should be a good thing!!  Bummer is, I end up eating smaller meals, which means I'm hungry more often. Watch out Snickers bars... I've got my eye on you!  

We're off to Quincy next weekend to visit with family and to attend a shower, hosted by my Mom, Sister & friend Susanne.  I am so excited!!  We're also going to be loading up all of the goodies that my sister is "handing down" to us... We're getting everything from furniture to clothes to swings to bathtubs!!  You name it, she's giving it to us!  We're so thankful for her generosity because we're learning more each day, how expensive babies can be.  This is going to help us out tremendously, especially since I recently lost my job.  With all of the furniture finally in there, I can start organizing Baby Ava's room and getting everything ready for her big arrival.  I may have to pace myself though... I still have around 12 weeks until her expected due date.  Yikes!!  It'll be here before we know it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

99 and counting!!

Today marks 99 days left in our pregnancy!  
I realize that babies are sometimes late and on the flip-side, sometimes early-- however it feels as though I've reached a major milestone in my pregnancy.  It has already been a very long journey (finding out at exactly 4 weeks) to where we are now (week 26).  I continue to try and find things to occupy my time.. but so far, have been unsuccessful.  
The recent loss of my job doesn't help matters either... Where most people would welcome the free time, I constantly find myself with nothing to do.  I've been trying to keep busy by cooking & cleaning, running errands, getting things ready for Baby Ava, reading and lots of playing on the computer.  Ellen & The Baby Story (my two daytime shows) certainly help, too!  I welcome any & all suggestions for other things to do... and no, cleaning your house is not one of them! :)
Oh!! And I forgot to mention, I've been feeling Ava move like CRAZY!  The little rascal seems really active right about the time I choose to wind down... Ken and I can literally see her movements in my belly!  I first felt her move during week 21/22... and each week, her movements are bigger & stronger.  I just love it when she says "hello"!  In fact, yesterday I had a prenatal massage... the masseuse was laughing near the end (when I was on the back) because he could literally see her moving and poking!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Best Day

I bought a baby book for Ava when I first found out I was pregnant.  Every so often, I go and fill it out, writing details about my pregnancy.  It has sections where you can put pictures of the different months of pregnancy, the ultrasounds,  momentos, etc.  Well, when I was filling out the 5 month page yesterday, it asked me to describe my "Best Day".  I thought long and hard, trying to think of a day I could describe to Baby Ava.  Well, nothing came to mind. Sure, I've had good days. In fact, most days are good!  But nothing really stuck out as being my "best day".  So I closed the book and figured I'd just come back to it later.  
Well, today ended up being the "Best Day".  It didn't start out much different... I woke up around 6:15... fed the dogs and let them out.  Then I cooked Ken and I breakfast.  He left for work, so I picked up the house, watched a little TV and then ran some errands... nothing out of the ordinary. So what made it the best day?  Ken did.  He came home shortly after 5 with a dozen long stem roses... some of the most beautiful pink and red roses I've seen (and smelled!) in a long time.  We then went out on a date to one of my favorite places.  We finished up the evening with a long drive around the city... sun shining, windows down & 85 degrees.  
It was absolutely the Best Day :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

These are the kinds of showers I like!!

It's been a long standing joke within my family about how much I despise the process of getting ready... Starting with the shower, to the makeup, to the hair... the whole process just bores me and it takes so damn long.  I literally try to avoid the whole process as much as possible.  
Baby showers though.... I love!!  
I especially love baby showers when they're for my baby!  :)  Little Ava got showered with gifts at our first shower last Saturday.  Put on by my two friends, Cecily & Laura, it was a hit!  They had each of the girls, hard at work, designing tiny onesies for Ava... using plain white onesises and puffy paint.  We now have onesies that say "I got it from my Mama", "Sassy Pants", "Future Wine-O", etc.  We even have onesies with the Cubbies logo, Wonder Woman logo, and much more.  She is going to be one outspoken little girl when she comes out! 
I felt overwhelmed by the generosity of all the girls from work... especially considering I no longer work there (that's a whole different post that I've yet to write!).  I took home a hefty carload of things... everything from clothing, diapers, sheets, gear, bottles.. you name it, I got it!  It was also fun going back through all of the gifts with Ken, once we got home... explaining what each of the gadgets will do for Ava.  For now though, the items are in her closet, waiting until we get the furniture and other pieces so we can start organizing everything.  I'll admit... I keep sneaking in there though, to look at the little clothes and books, etc... so excited for everything to eventually have it's place.  In mid June, we will go to Quincy to get the baby furniture from my Sister.  She is giving us all of the items that she bought for Dulaney, but rarely used... I am so happy to have it!   We'll get her glider, crib, changing table... all white!
Below is a picture of the items we were given during the shower last Saturday.  Like I said.. The generosity was overwhelming!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nana is busy shopping

My sweet Mom sent me an email today, spilling the beans on some adorable gifts she's bought for Ava.  
She picked out a few things in Florida and then took them to this cute little shop (The Stitchery) to be embroidered. Apparently she designed them so well that the shop owner (that did the embroidery) has put them on her website.  
She was so excited that she sent me a pic of them.  Good thing I picked an easy name for her to spell! ;-)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Week 18- 21 Belly Pics

 Okay, you asked for it!!!  Here are some belly pics... from week 18, 19, 20 & 21. Now, before you go making fun of my stupid outfits and awful hair, keep in mind, we usually take these weekly pics around 6 AM, right after waking up.  And I'll be the first to admit, I am NO beauty queen before my morning coffee!   
We're having our first baby shower next weekend, hosted by my friend Cecily.  I can't wait!!  It will be so fun to start getting little gifts for Baby Ava! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ava's Debut

Presenting Ava Jean Gilbert!  
This is a video from our 20 week ultrasound.  If you ask me, she's laughing in this video!!  This means she takes after both her Mom & Dad!  
I still haven't felt her move (at least I don't think I have).  All the baby books say it happens between 16-22 weeks.  I will say this, it is very comforting seeing her on the ultrasound screen, kicking & moving.  It's also comforting that this belly of mine keeps growing and  growing and growing....   Any day now and I'll feel her right hook!  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's a GIRL!!

Last Monday, during our 2o week ultrasound, we found out we are carrying a baby girl!!   Here is a picture of her inside my growing belly... Ava Jean Gilbert, in all of her glory!!  
When the ultrasound technician began looking around, I noticed on her bottom that there wasn't that "little something extra" between her tiny little legs... she confirmed it when she said, "It's a GIRL"!  I immediately started crying, finally having found out what I've been taking care of for the last few months.  All of the wonder and curiosity, finally disappeared and I was able to grasp the idea of having a sweet little girl for our first child.  
We were a bit concerned on the day of the ultrasound when they told us they had found a calcification on her heart... they immediately sent us to NW to see a high risk specialist.  After probing for hours upon hours and getting all the glimpses of baby Ava that they needed, it turned out to be nothing, which brought us great relief... and finally allowed us to celebrate the miracle of our baby girl. 
At first, I think Ken was a wee bit disappointed.  He had hoped for a little boy, thinking the transition to fatherhood might be easier with a mini Ken running around.  I've been surprised though... Ken has grown quite smitten with the idea of having a daughter.... Always kissing and rubbing my growing belly, talking to her and telling her he loves her :)  
We spent the rest of the week visiting my Mom and Stepdad at their home in Florida.  We had a great time, spending most of the time in the pool, soaking up the sun that we've missed during our never ending Chicago winters.   I even celebrated the news of Baby Ava & our mini-vacation with a few white wine spritzers!  Boy, have I missed those :)
 Next up, we attend our 24 week appointment where I'll be tested for gestational diabetes.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The waiting game

We're 18 weeks today!  Just 12 more days and we get to find out the sex of our little nugget (or "Sweet Potato" this week, according to  The majority of the people weighing in are voting "GIRL"... with just a few (including Ken) voting "BOY".   People keep asking what I think it is... and I haven't a clue.  So, to help pass the time I've begun registering... Which by no means, is an easy thing to do considering I don't have the slightest clue of what I need.  I mean, do you know how many types of bottles there are?!?!  And don't get me started on strollers!  Thank goodness I have girlfriends that I can go to for advice about this stuff.  They've helped me tremendously... telling me what I won't be able to live without and what is a waste of money.  So as of now, I'm registered at Pottery Barn Kids, Babies R' Us, Target, Nini & Loli and  It's fun to play with on nights when the boredom kicks in... I add stuff, delete stuff, research... it really does help to kill time :)
We're also waiting for another milestone to occur... we're waiting for Baby G to make it's first move.  All the books and baby websites say that we should feel it "flutter" sometime between 16 and 22 weeks.  Nothing yet.  Sometimes when we're watching TV or when I'm reading, I'll sit real still... hold my breath and see if I can feel it.  Still nothing.  We're incredibly excited for that to happen!  It will be really special to start feeling Baby G move around.... a feeling of reassurance too.  All this time, I just get to hope that all is progressing as expected, until I am lucky enough to hear that heartbeat.  Once I feel it move, I'll know the little bugger is in there, hanging out in it's mini baby condo, doing aerobics and all kinds of other mischief.  Either way, it will be nice to know that all the sacrifice (thus far) has been for a reason... for that tiny little baby that is made up of Ken and I.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Dessert of the Gods

It's strange how I've become such a sweets junkie.  I never craved them much until this little tapeworm came into our lives.
Well, this afternoon I was thinking of what I could bake and I came up with this concoction.... White Funfetti Cake, Chocolate Funfetti Icing, & Moosetracks Ice Cream.  
Oh. My. God. 
It was well worth the 3000 calories.  And yes, I did have two servings.  I do believe I may need those elastic pants tomorrow.  
It's funny how much I'm eating these days... well not funny at all actually, more like pathetic. It's all I seem to do anymore.  If I'm not eating, I'm cooking something to eat or shopping for something to cook and then eat.  Sometimes when I'm bored, I even go as far as going online to look at menus for places for us to try out.  It's like I'm obsessed.  I'll be excited to find out the sex of our little nugget so I can FINALLY have something to start focusing on... other than food :)  I can begin working on the nursery, registry, etc.  We'll be 16 weeks this week... 4 more weeks to find out the sex!  Which means at least 4 more Sundays of dessert creations!~

Saturday, March 14, 2009

St Patty's Day Weekend

It's St. Patrick's Day weekend and I'm feeling a little bummed out.  I would love to be out with all the crazies, doing "kegs and eggs" and watching the city workers dye the river green...  This is THE biggest party weekend in Chicago.  
In fact, when we went to breakfast this morning (at 8 AM), people were already congregated in large crowds, donned in green wigs & ridiculous outfits, making their way downtown to start  drinking.  In fact, most had already started... carrying Irish Coffees as they climbed the stairs to the El, with cases of beer in the other hand.  
I'm thinking that I'll try and plan better next time around, and try not be pregnant on St Patty's Day weekend!  For now though, we're enjoying the low-key weekend, snuggled up on the couch with the boys :)  
The pregnancy is going great!  We're in the middle of our 14th week now.  Just 6 more weeks and we can figure out whether to plan for football cleats or ballet shoes!  I'm feeling great... trying to keep busy to make the time pass faster (lord knows that patience isn't my strongest trait).  

Monday, March 2, 2009

Biscuit & Ken

Certain people, are just pet people.  You know, those people that have that special way with animals.  I'm sure you know what I mean.  Like how a person can make absolutely no effort toward an animal, yet the animal's instinct tells them that they have found a trustworthy friend; the dog will be quick to wag their tail and snuggle up to this newfound friend.
Ken and Biscuit are that way with one another.  
I was the one that drove the hour trip to the Kennel.  I was the one that looked into the sad eyes of Biscuit, and chose him over all of the other adorable, whining lab pups.  I was the one that brought him home for a nice warm bath.  I was the one that fed him his first homemade meal.  Within those first few hours, we had quite the little bond... That is, until Ken walked in the door.  Something about those two... they just clicked.  It's as if they're kindrid spirits, friends from a past life.  
Each night, Biscuit curls up next to Ken, usually laying his head across Ken's chest, while Ken sits effortlessly, focused on the TV... and not the dog.  Meanwhile, Willy and I sit on our end of the couch, snuggled with one another... feeling like the last two players left on the field after the captains have picked their teams.  Yep, that's me and Willy over there... looking upon Ken and B.  We're the odd men out in this house.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Womb with a View

So.  I'm pregnant.  11 weeks and 5 days to be exact.  We found out on NYE 2008.  I will be the first to tell you that we weren't one of the "Oopsy, I'm pregnant" couples... Nope.  It took us a grueling 17 months to get to where we are.  Well.. I take that back-- he didn't find it grueling ;-)  
Numerous doctor visits, many medications and prayers later... we were blessed with a positive blood test on NYE... which means I've known for nearly 8 weeks.  And let me tell you, they have been the LONGEST 8 weeks of my life.  All of a sudden, your life as you know it is completely different.  No drinking.  No going out with friends (because the temptation to drink is far too powerful).  No shopping-- what's the point of a cute new outfit if you can't wear it in 4 months?   I feel like the only thing I get to really look forward to is what I'm going to eat next.  I really shouldn't complain though. I'm one of the lucky ones that has experienced ZERO symptoms.  Yep.  Not one bit of morning sickness to complain about.   The only thing I gripe about is that I'm bored.  That's all Ken hears about... how bored I am.  I've read the baby books.  I've exhausted my Netflix subscription.  I've read books from my girlfriends (thanks Cecily).  I brush the dogs.  I do dishes.  I pace.  I clean for Christ's sake!  I AM SO BORED.  Again, not trying to complain.  I know that I've been blessed.  :)  I just need this pregnancy to speed up!!  I want to meet this lil love nugget so badly, that I feel it will never get here! 
We go to the Doctor on Wednesday for our 12 week check-up.  Provided everything goes okay, we'll open the flood gates and start telling people.  That's been the other hard part-- You're so excited about what is happening inside of you, yet you can't really talk about it.  You can only tell a select few people, for fear that the worst could happen.  So all day long, you're walking around with this major secret and you can't even talk about it.  And if you know, me... I can't really keep anything in.  When Wednesday hits, a huge weight will be lifted from my chest (no comments please!) :)  
I'll keep you posted on Wednesday's outcome.  Until then, I'll be reading magazines, drooling at Ken's cocktail, stuffing my face with Salt & Vinegar chips and thinking of my next blog post.  

I'm cashing in my Blogger V Card

So my dear friend Krista has turned me on to this whole blogging thing.  I must admit, it scares me because in no way do I think I'm remotely interesting enough that people would actually want to read my stories.  However, I get such a kick out of reading her posts (she's a hoot) that I thought I'd give it a shot. After all, it's a great way to keep up on what's going on in each other's lives... what's on our minds, etc.   I've embraced all of the other facets of technology, so why not have my own blog?  Here goes nothing!