Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ultrasounds...and more ultrasounds....

I was always a little jealous of those pregnant moms that got an ultrasound every month. Shoot...I was jealous of the people that got more than one big ultrasound. When I was pregnant with Avery, I wanted to know what we were having, so when the ultrasound tech, told us nonchalantly that she was only 60% sure it was a girl...I was like "seriously?" I really wanted another ultrasound so that we could be more sure of the sex. The tech was also really disinterested in our questions, and seemed annoyed by us.

Here's the little peanut...full body shot.
So, given that I had a disappointing experience with my first ultrasound, you would think that I would be excited to have more and more ultrasounds this time around...NOPE! You see, we don't want to know the sex! And, luckily, our ultrasound tech (shout out to Krista) was very thorough, and explained everything during my 19 week...so there should be no reason to have another ultrasound.

Here's a picture of the little guy/girl saying hello.

Let's start at the beginning of the ultrasound journey...
Ultrasound #1 (9 weeks)- I have an internal ultrasound, but the Dr. can't find the baby.
Ultrasound #2 (same appointment...9 weeks)- Second internal ultrasound...no baby.
Ultrasound #3 (same appointment...9 weeks)- External (thank God) ultrasound..hello baby.
Ultrasound #4 (19 weeks)- The BIG ultrasound...I was excited to get a good look at the baby, and really learn about what everything means. Krista was really nice and answered all of our questions. Avery was there, and was involved and excited to see the "baby movie". BUT, apparently, they aren't able to get a clear picture of everything, so I am scheduled to get another ultrasound with a higher ultrasound machine.
Ultrasound #5 (20.5 weeks)- Ultrasound at Blodgett Hospital...this time, we take Cal, who tells us that he is bored with the "baby movie". Once again, they can't see aspects of the heart and spine, so I am scheduled for ANOTHER ultrasound..this time a level 2 ultrasound at a Maternal and Fetal Ultrasound specialist.
Ultrasound #6 (22 weeks)- At the specialist...the tech was pretty unsettling this time. I went into the appointment pretty sure that everything was OK, but we just needed a better look. The tech on the other hand had a tone that made me a little nervous. Then...at the end, she says "well, we your cervix seemed a little long, so we may need to have you back to do another internal ultrasound". THEN, we meet with the Dr., who tells me that while they were able to see just about everything else, there is still one portion of the baby's heart that isn't visible due to my c-scar. So, depending on OB/GYN's suggestion, we might need ANOTHER ultrasound. ARGHH!

And...the profile shot

OK...let me explain why this is frustration....in list form...
1.) We don't want to know the sex, so each and every additional ultrasound is another temptation!
2.) Internal ultrasounds are NOT comfortable. For those of you that have not had the wonderful experience of an internal (or vaginal) ultrasound...let me explain. It involves a wand-type instrument and a condom...do I need to explain more? It's a similar process to the conception, but with a lot less um...ahh...um...pleasure?
3.) The external ultrasounds don't come without their own discomforts. First of all, about 2 hours before the appointment, I have to start drinking...and drinking...and drinking, at least 32 oz. Now, this may not seem like a lot to a non-pregnant person, but my bladder is already constricted, and adding an extra 32 oz is not comfortable. THEN, I have to hold it for an hour. By the time I get to the Dr. office, I am ready to burst, only to have a camera pressed directly onto my bladder with a warm gel...it's painful, and potentially embarrassing.

So, the news that I might need another internal AND external ultrasound is not something that I am looking forward to. I mean, I love to see the baby, and it's sweet that they are in there kicking around, and saying hello. BUT, I really don't want another camera in me or on me until the baby is here!

I guess that this is a perfect example of "be careful what you ask for".

The peanut's little feet

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Quotables

Out of the mouths of babes...

Me: You can't play in the crib, because that's where the baby is going to sleep when it is born.
Cal: Where will the other baby sleep?
Me: Avery? She will sleep in her big girl bed.
Cal: No, where will the other baby sleep?
Me: The new baby will sleep in the crib.
Cal: You need 2 cribs for the 2 babies in your belly.
Me: OH NO...only ONE baby is in my belly.
Cal: Then why is your belly so big?

(In the car)
Avery: I need a snack.
Me: You can have a snack at home...what would you like?
Avery: I have cookies.
Me: OK, you can have 2 cookies when we get home.
Avery: Don't you let Santa eat my cookies.
Me: What?
Avery: Please don't let Santa eat my cookies.
Me: OK... promise that Santa won't eat your cookies until Christmas.
Avery: OK...good. Santa eats all the cookies.
(who knew that Santa was such a bad guy?)

(After making a lunch of leftover pizza, pears and carrots)
Cal: This is a great lunch.
Avery: Gweat Wunch
Cal: Michele, you are a great shep.
Avery: Gweat shep.
Me: Do you mean chef?
Avery/Cal: Yes, shep.
Me: Can you say ch-e-FFF?
Cal: You're a good cooker.

Avery: I watch a moo-eee.
Me: OK Avery, what movie would you like to see?
Avery: I watch the "moo-it, moo-it moo-ee"
Me: We watched Madagascar yesterday.
Avery: But, I need to moo-it moo-it (picture Avery shaking her butt while saying this)
Me: Well, I can't deny a girl the chance to move it.

Me: Cal and Avery, we are going to see the butterflies, so you have to be very careful.
Cal: Why?
Me: Because butterflies are very delicate, and we don't want to hurt them.
Cal: What's delicate?
Me: It means that you have to be gentle and careful so that you don't break it.
Cal: Ohhh...like glass or chalk or firetrucks.

(At the ultrasound)
Cal: Why are you putting that jelly on her belly?
Ultrasound tech: Because it helps take a better picture.
Me: Cal, if you watch careful, he will use this camera and we get to see a movie of the baby.
....after a few minutes....
Cal: I'm bored of this baby movie.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pregnant List

I realized that I haven't really done a blog on being pregnant, other than the original post...and food posts. So, here is the pregnant post...in list form.

1.) We decided NOT to find out what we are having. It's been tempting to break down and know, but I keep thinking of the day when the baby is here, and how exciting it will be to have a surprise.

2.) Speaking of dates...we are scheduled for a July 27 due date. We'll know the exact time at my next appointment. We are going on vacation in Elk Rapids from July 11-July 18, so I'll have just enough time to come home and obsess about having the baby 9 days later.
***Added news...we are scheduled for a 7:30am surgery. This means that I need to be to the hospital by 5:30, which means that I need to wake up at 4am. So much for my good night's sleep before I'm a mama of 2.

3.) This baby is a mover and a shaker. I can feel him/her dancing in there just about everyday. The movements aren't big enough for Avery or Chris to feel yet, but it could be any day now. He/She has a unique ability of kicking me DIRECTLY in the bladder at least 75% of the time. We even saw the baby kick my bladder during the last ultrasound.

4.) I'm getting HUGE! It's getting more and more difficult to attempt to sleep. The pillow configuration is interesting, and doesn't always stay in place. It's especially tough when Avery steals a pillow to sleep on.

5.) As tough as it has been to NOT find out the sex of the baby, it's only getting tougher. I thought "hmm...I just need to get through this 20 week ultrasound"...then, I find out I need another ultrasound, because the baby isn't being cooperative. THEN, I find out that I need another more advanced ultrasound because the baby didn't let either tech see it's heart or spine. STINKER! So, now I've had to fight off the temptation, not one, but THREE times.

6.) Probably the most exciting news is that we've narrowed down the names! Here are our choices...so far:
Girl: Adeline or Lillian
Boy: Carter or Everett

I'll post some ultrasound pictures, and if I'm brave, I might post a belly pic too...we'll see how my confidence is that day.

...and one non-pregnancy related note. Does anyone else think that Dora's map is extremely annoying. I think that map is a know-it-all, and really gets under my skin. It really bugs me when he says "do you know the way to blueberry hill? Well, I know the way to blueberry hill." Shut it map!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Smack it up, Crack it, Rub it down...oh no....

So, I have a confession. I don't have back problems. I mean, they aren't chronic or anything, but I do get sore in the morning after sleeping funny all night. Being pregnant can be a delicate balancing act of pillows and physics in order to stay comfortable. I have to use what Chris calls a "husband barrier". There's the pillow between my knees, one under my belly and one to support my back, this is all in addition to the one under my head. With all of this, I still wake up sore from attempting to NOT sleep on my belly or my back. BUT, even with the pregnant sleep (or non-sleep), my back is OK...a little sore but not too bad.

However, this has not stopped me from taking advantage of my husband's awesome insurance which offers 38 chiropractic or massage therapy appointments a year. This works out to more than 1 appointment every other week, and at least one per week for the rest of my pregnancy...HELLO PEOPLE..why would I NOT take advantage of this? I had my first appointment last week, and I LOVED IT. I met Dr. Hartman, and thought..there is no way that this little guy is going to make this big girl crack, but he did. Just by watching me stand and bend over, and move my neck, he was able to see where I wasn't aligned. He had me lay down and manipulated my body into all sorts of different positions. At one point, while laying on my back, he took my leg and stretched it as far toward my chest as he could, and remarked "wow...you're pretty flexible". I replied "um..thank you"...this flexibility is what got me pregnant to begin with.

Then, he took me to this magic table and manipulated my body until it cracked in all the right places. I loved it. I even loved the whiplash move that cracked my neck. It felt like such a nice release. After being cracked and stretched, I got to get my massage. Now, I am not ashamed to say that the only reason that I originally went to the chiropractor was to get the massage. Shoot, if you have to crack all bones in my body, and it ends with a massage, I say do it. I would live in a full body cast if it means that I get a good rub down.

After all of the cracking, I moved into the dimly lit, soft music playing room. It was wonderful. My spine and muscles have been contorted, so it was nice to have a little quiet relaxing time. She did this one move where she applied pressure to the base of my neck, then released it, and it felt like I was floating for a minute. Needless to say....it was NICE!

So, after everything was said and done, I made my next appointment for today! (less than one week later!) This is definitely going to be a regular occurrence!

*Note...I had my appointment today, and it was also wonderful. Unfortunately, lifting a 2 year old sort of ruins a nice massage pretty quickly. BUT, the nice thing is that I only have to wait a week for another one!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Food...part 2.

So, yesterday, I blogged about some of my favorite foods. Now, here's the other side of the story. In light of a dinner debacle this evening, here is a list of the nastiest of the nasty in regards to food:

Johnsonville Beer Brat. It sounded good for dinner tonight, so I made them just like the package said. YUCK! The first bite was just wrong in so many ways. The texture and taste were too much. I choked it down, but couldn't even smell it for the rest of the night. Chris had to wash anything and everything that they touched, and we had to put it down the garbage disposal with a lemon chaser.

BBQ sauce. HOLY YUCKNESS, even the thought of it makes my mouth water in a bad way.

Warm Milk. I made the mistake of leaving my milk on the table for about 5 minutes, and it was a BAD idea. I took one sip, expecting nice cold milk, and was HORRIBLY disappointed.

Corned Beef. I thought I would be cute and make a fun Irish Meal that Chris had never tried. It was BAD NEWS. Avery loved the CB, but I couldn't even choke it down. I put the leftovers in the fridge, thinking that Chris might try it.... but I couldn't even handle the smell.

Well, that's the list. I'm sure I can add a few more things as this pregnancy progresses. Don't get my started on smells. I almost hopped out of the car the other day because I SWORE that I smelled raw meat at Burger King. Chris said that all he smelled was flame-broiled, but I know that I smelled the raw meat. It was almost too much to handle.

Hmmm, I think I might have just figured out a way to deter my appetite. If I continue to blog about all of this nastiness, I might never eat again.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


For those of you that know me, you know a few things:

1.) I love to eat (and it shows). I mean, I really enjoy eating a good meal.
2.) I love to try new foods, and I LOVE new recipes that I make up.
3.) I can pore over menus and recipes and other food related items.
4.) I watch Food TV all the time. Food Network, Top Chef and the new Chopping Block are some of my favorites (although I have been known to threaten to punch Sandra Lee in the neck).

So, it is no surprise that my love for food is only intensified with my pregnancy. While I've stated before that I don't really have cravings, I could eat some of the same things on mass quantities and for days on end. Here are my favorites this time around:

Orange Juice. I could drink my weight in OJ. We don't usually keep it in the house, and I purposely haven't bought any for the house because I would drink it straight from the bottle until it was gone. I'm pretty sure that much acid wouldn't help out my heartburn.

Potato Chips. I love chips and dip, BUT it has to be certain dip. The dip MUST be french onion, made specifically with sour cream. Don't try to pass off that sweet tasting stuff, or you might end up with it back. As for chips, any chips will do, but I prefer to stick close to my roots. Detroit's Better Maid chips are the best chips out there. I can eat an entire bag of BBQ chips all by myself. They still do the great BBQ, as opposed to that crazy mesquite BBQ nonsense.

Mexican Food. I ate Mexican Food (Taco Bell, Homemade and On The Border) for four days in a row...sometimes lunch AND dinner. The four day bender didn't deter me from my favorite food. Burritos and tacos and empanadas...OH MY!

Roasted Potatoes. I've made them three times this past week (both russet and sweet), and could eat and eat and eat them! Just a little olive oil, salt and pepper and extra crispy in the oven...LOVE IT!

Breakfast. One Egg, over medium. One slice of wheat toast. One pancake with maple syrup. 1/2 order of hashbrowns. 2 slices of bacon....please.

Whopper Jr. with cheese.
(please do not look at the nutrition information) I craved McDonald's Cheeseburgers with Avery, but this time, I love me a Whopper Jr. with cheese. So good...thank you flame broiled goodness!

Speaking of fast food....
McDonald's Sweet Tea is SOOOO good..but it has more than my daily intake of sugar AND caffeine.

Tomatoes. I can eat them like apples. Nuff' said.

Looking at that list, it's amazing that I've only gained 2 pounds so far.

So, those have been my favorites so far. Don't get me started on how excited I am for the great fresh fruits and veggies that summer will bring. I can live off of fresh corn, tomatoes and watermelon!

Speaking of fresh fruits and veggies...we decided to join a farming co-op this summer. We'll get our veggies from a local farm, and live off of organic, seasonal goodness this summer. We're hoping that it will encourage us to eat better, try new things, and eat at home more. I'll let you know how it works out. I'm really looking forward to working with the Swiss Chard....who knows what fun new recipes I'll find! We've also joined some of our neighbors to have hydroponic lettuce delivered once a week. I'm really excited to get our first delivery next week...it will be yummy salads all around! Food...food...food...and more food on the way. It's a pregnant woman's dram come true.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I've started to notice a lot of little and some big differences between my first and current pregnancies. It's sort of amazing how different it feels to have already "done" this once before, but to know that this is going to be the last time that I will ever have these experiences and be pregnant. It's surreal.
Here are some things that I've noticed...

Obsession. I can honestly say that I was a little obsessed with pregnancy when I was pregnant with Avery. I read about it everyday, thought about it every minute and talked about it whenever I could. I attributed every feeling and experience to the pregnancy. I'm sure that I was a little annoying to the people around me...but I couldn't help it. Pregnancy (and still is) such an amazing thing. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Now, this pregnancy feels so different. I don't have the time or energy to obsess. If I obsess too much, then I am taking time and energy away from Avery...which isn't fair. When I was pregnant before, everything other than the pregnancy seemed so much more insignificant, but now...I know that Avery brought so much significance to my life, that I know our new baby will only add to that meaning.

Nervousness. I was extremely nervous during my pregnancy with Avery. I was constantly scared of what each "feeling" meant. Leg cramps?...oh no, something must be wrong with the baby. Back pain?...I hope this isn't back labor. Nausea? I hope I didn't eat too much Indian food and hurt the baby. I was a little anxious. Then, you add the fact that this was all brand new. I didn't know what to expect in regards to labor, or delivery, or anything else for that matter. It was all brand new. This time?....I feel a little more confident. I know more about what to expect. My nervousness doesn't have as much to do with the pregnancy as it does with bringing another baby home. I'm not as concerned with every ache and pain as I am with how Avery will adjust to being a big sister. I want her to be involved, but also to be important in her own right. I've realized that having a baby is soooo much more than being pregnant...and I'm a little nervous that I'm not prepared for two.

Certainty. There were so many things that I thought I was 100% certain about when I was pregnant with Avery. I knew that I wasn't going to have a C-Section...so I didn't even pay attention in birthing class to the C-section portion. I knew that I was going to breastfeed. Now, I look back, and I realize that there was so much that I didn't know. This time around, there are a lot of things that I plan on changing. I know that I will be having a scheduled C-Section. I know that I will be surprised when they tell us if it is a boy or girl. Now, I know that I will ask for more help in the hospital. I will meet with the lactation consultant right away, and I will allow the baby to sleep in the nursery at night. That's about all I know for sure.

In about 20 weeks, I'm going to be a mother of 2....two.....TWO kids! I'm certain that with Chris and Avery and the rest of our family that we will make it all work...no matter the lack of sleep, or the crazy hormones, or the uncertainty.

On a separate note...Avery has been so adorable in regards to the baby. She loves to read to the baby at night. All three of us snuggle into our bed, and Avery pulls up my shirt so she can be close to my belly. She leans in so she can talk into my belly button. Then, she'll say to the baby "hello lil' peanut...how are you today?" Then she follows up with a zerbert to my belly. After we read the stories, she'll lay her head back down on my belly and says goodnight to the baby. The other night, she said "hey lil' peanut, I know you love me, but I have to go nuh-night now. I love you." So freakin' sweet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Friday Quotables

Back by popular demand....Quotables by the kids.....(I really need to get better at writing down the funny stuff around here).

Cal: Avery, my house is cooler than your house, because it is a ROCK STAR house.
Avery: Well, my house is a PRINCESS house.
Cal: Well, my house is an ANIMAL house!
Avery: No, my house is Animal house!
Me: (under breath)...amen.

Avery: Mama mama, Cal needs you to wipe his butt.
Me: Ok, I'm coming.
Avery: Don't worry mama, I already wiped his butt.
Me: Whoa...ok, then let's go wash your hands!

(Cal walks into the bathroom while Chris is peeing)
Cal: Whoa Chris...you are STRONG!
( I think it made Chris's year!)

Me: Whoa...something is smelly in the car.
Avery: I tooted
Me: OK...what do you say?
Avery: Pee-U?
Me: What else do you say?
Avery: Yuck?
Me: What's the nice thing to say?
Avery: Ohhh...I saw 'scuse me.

Like always...I'm sure there are more, but I can't remember them off the top of my head...more later!

Monday, March 9, 2009

July 2

Music Playlist at MixPod.com

I know that our anniversary is months away, but with all of the wedding planning going on with Sean and Stephanie, I've done a lot of reminiscing about our wedding a few years ago.
(Let me put it in writing here, that this is going to be one BEAUTIFUL wedding....if you look past the big bridesmaid wearing magenta. I'm going to strap myself to my elliptical to get rid of this baby weight...and then some)

Chris and I dated for 2 years before getting engaged (I'll write about my engagement story in another post), but knew after only 2 months that we would end up married. Chris was exactly what I needed in my life but I didn't realize was missing, and when we finally started dating my life seemed to make more sense. He and I both were old enough to know ourselves pretty well. We had worked out a lot of our quirks with other relationships, and knew what things in our lives were negotiable, and what things were solid. We talked about politics, religion and our future...all on the first date. So, needless to say...I knew what I was getting into, and I liked it.

Fast forward 2 years and 8 months to our wedding day...the most important day of my life. I loved my wedding. We tried to get a lot of people involved, while also attempting to make it classy and comfortable. We wanted it to be "us", and something that showed our how much we loved each other. The days leading up to our wedding day were hectic, and a little overwhelming, but also completely wonderful. Back then, I was looking forward to the most important day of my life. But, I can honestly say that I didn't exactly know why it was going to be so important until a couple of years later.

Now, after traveling with Chris, and having a baby with him, and buying a house, and making friends, and losing friends, and through family issues and scares, and all of the other ups and downs of marriage, I've realized WHY July 2 is the most important date to us. July 2, 2005 was the beginning. It was the beginning of Avery (who is our heart), and the new baby on the way. Without July 2, there this world would be missing one spunky, fiesty, smart and beautiful little girl. Without July 2, we wouldn't be in a house we love, with neighbors that we adore. Without July 2, there wouldn't be great get-togethers with inlaws, or fun times with our collective friends. Without July 2, there wouldn't be us fighting for the covers at night or cold feet in the morning. Without July 2, there wouldn't be long discussions about our future, or our finances, or how we are going to raise our kids. Without July 2, "us" as we know it would not exist.

I loved my wedding, but I've loved my life since my wedding even more. July 2 is just one day, but it is the most defining day of our lives.

Chris wrote me a song and had our friend Justin Avery surprise me by singing it at our wedding. The words speak exactly to the way I view our marriage. I look forward to holding hands when we are 60, and stealing little kisses when we are 70, and stealing covers when we are 80. I really look forward to growing old with him and spending a lot more July 2 together.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sean and Stephanie sitting in a tree...

Well folks, it finally happened...my little brother is engaged! Our family couldn't be happier. We all absolutely LOVE Stephanie.

Chris, Avery and I were in Romulus for the weekend, because we were planning to surprise Sean for his birthday (which is March 6), party on Sunday. There was a lot of deception involved to keep up our ruse, and I'm not proud to say that I had to tell more than one lie. My mom took Chris and Avery and I to Disney on Ice on Saturday night (which was also the night of Sean and Steph's anniversary dinner). So, we thought maybe we'll get a call with some exciting news while we're watching Tinkerbell! Sure enough, we go the call. I cried...I mean cried hard when I heard the story. I can tell that they are completely thrilled, and we are all excited. They are a true love story.

I will leave the details of the proposal up to Sean and Stephanie to share, but I will say that I was shocked, stunned and overall very proud of the sweet romantic side that Sean showed. He is a true gentleman, and a very sweet (now) fiancee.

Here are a few things about Sean and Steph as a couple.
1.) They truly compliment each other. Sean is laid back, and Stephanie can get a little more anxious...they have both met in the middle and are better versions of themselves.
2.) They seem to get each other...quirks and all. They fully support each others' habits, addictions (HOLY STARBUCKS), and all around lifestyle.
3.) They have already become a part of each others' families. Steph's family loves Sean, and as I already said...we adore Steph. Don't get me started on their love for their nieces and nephews. I'm not sure, but Uncle Sean may be up there with Franma as Avery's favorite person. Steph's nephew and niece are also completely sweet and love their Tee-Tee.
4.) They are so completely and obviously in love. I've never seen Sean so attentive, loving and smitten with anything or anyone. They are always holding hands, gazing at each other and poking fun. They spend a lot of time laughing, and I can tell that they are happier when they are together than they have ever been apart.
5.) They foster each other's independence, and strive to be better. I'm amazed by the change that I've seen in my brother. I've always thought that he's great, but I definitely love him as a friend now too.

We also had a surprise party for Sean on Sunday (which was totally overshadowed by their big news!). It was nice to have both families together only one day after he "popped the question". We were all able to compare stories and ideas and see the ring in person!

See their happy faces? Check out the ring....brother did good!

And, while we're at it....won't these two be absolutely adorable as Flower Girl and Ring Bearer? (The little boy is Stephanie's nephew, Evan).