Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our Little Pumpkin

I really shouldn't say "little" because there's not much little about our Levi. He turned 4 months old mid-October and at that doctor's appointment, he came in as 17lb 3 oz (85%), 27.5 in long (98%), head circumference 17.25 cm (84%). He's rolling and reaching and grabbing and paying attention. Today Levi wanted to drink the water out of my cup. It was purified, so I figured it wouldn't hurt him. I saved a tiny bit at the end so he wouldn't spill it all and he put it straight to his mouth. I helped him tip it up and as soon as the cold water hit his mouth he made a hilarious mom this is gross face and promptly spit it out. He's funny.

Justin LOVES carving pumpkins. LOVES it. So every year we carve pumpkins together. Well, he carves and I struggle to do something decent. This year we got particularly big pumpkins because we had a fun idea. We could put Levi inside the pumpkin!!!

At first we didn't cut out leg holes, but Levi thought it was cool to stand inside...

Justin was SO excited to carve pumpkins!!

Levi was SO excited to wear a pumpkin!!

The first thing he did when he got inside the pumpkin was try to eat it... Thus the slobber down the front in the next several pictures :)

He was laughing at us a lot, but most of them turned out blurry b/c the shutter was open so long to get decent lighting... Here was the best laugh with the least blur. He's a really happy baby and loves to talk and laugh and sometimes sing. What did we do without him?!

Getting less entertained...

And finally had enough. Don't worry, we took him out quickly but had to snap a picture first. When he has something to say, he lets you have it!!!!! We sure love that little boy and had fun introducing him to the joy of carving pumpkins :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

A story worth waiting for...

WARNING: VERY LONG POST. I tried to omit all unimportant details, but it's a long story anyways...

Thursday June 7: Baby Boy is due!!!
We waited 40 long weeks for him to come, but he still wasn't ready to make an appearance. He seems to be doing fine at my doctor's appointment. So we schedule a BPP (biophysical profile) for Tuesday to make sure all is well.

That weekend we went to Scalini's - an Italian place outside Atlanta that claims their eggplant parmigian induces labor. Didn't do it for me. Also had spicy thai food on Monday. Still no baby. Tried walking, stretching, etc... and nada.

Tuesday June 12: Baby Boy's BPP
Baby Boy got an 8/8 on his BPP (SO PROUD). While doing the ultrasound the tech said that it looked like he was "sunny side up" - head down but facing the wrong way. We'd heard that can cause more "back labor" or make it more painful. Since all was well, the CNM let me decide if I wanted to induce him or let him come on his own. We decided to induce, so we scheduled to start the induction on Thursday night, June 14.

Thursday June 14: Begin Induction!
We had our "last supper" at Upscale Pizza - YUMMY VEGGIE PIZZA!!! The waiter was excited when we told him we were on our way RIGHT NOW to go have our baby. We check into the hospital at 7pm. About 9pm they checked me before starting the cervadil. I was 2cm, +2 station, 75% effaced. The cervadil was *supposed* to help my cervix mellow/ripen so that when we started pitocin in the morning things could progress quicker. Poor night of sleep - we were so excited to be meeting our son the next day!!!!

Friday June 15: Induction, day 2
I was allowed to shower and eat breakfast. At 9am they took our the cervadil and I was at 3cm, +2 station, 80% effaced. They started my IV b/c I was positive for GBS and at 10:14 started antibiotics and pitocin. I tried bouncing on the labor ball, we watched tv, talked a lot. My family came to visit. They would up the pitocin every 30-60 minutes. I was nervous because I'd heard from a lot of people how intense your contraction are when you're on pitocin. I definitely did NOT have that experience - I was even able to nap! At almost 6pm they checked me and I was 3cm, +2, 80% effaced. That's right - ZERO PROGRESS. I was so disappointed. They decided my uterus was over-saturated with pitocin, so they shut it off and did an IV flush. I was trying to stay happy and light-hearted about all of this, but I was supposed to have my son by now. We weren't supposed to still be in this room! SO many people I know got pitocin and blup - baby came out about 8 hours later! My nurse that night, Dena, was SO sweet - we LOVED her! Since I wasn't having the baby any time soon, I was allowed to eat dinner. Yay hospital food! It actually wasn't that bad. I finally called my friend Amy and had a little cry-fest. She'd had a similar experience with pitocin and understood. Then talked to my cousin, Lindsey, who was a LD nurse and also understood. I just felt like things were going nowhere (which was true), and was so disappointed because I'd been SO hopeful. :(  It did help when it sunk in that no matter how, we would eventually be having this baby and I just needed to keep my chin up. That night they did a Cook's Catheter - VERY cool. I slept GREAT and felt at peace and knew that we would be meeting our son the very next day!!!!

Saturday June 16: Induction, day 3
In the morning my catheter just popped out! Super exciting because that meant I must've dilated to somewhere around a 4/5. They actually didn't check me, but after breakfast started the IV again, with antibiotics and pitocin to follow. Same thing as Friday - I felt very little effect from the pitocin! No pain, no progress. It was especially difficult to hear the cries of brand-new babies coming from the rooms beside me. Don't get me wrong - at first it was sweet: "Ohhhh, they just had a baby! A brand new baby!!! How sweet!" and then it progressively became funny or ironic, "oh my gosh - another family had a new baby. That's two before I've even had mine!" and then it was very heart-breaking to hear new families replace the old ones and hear another baby be born in that same room a few hours later. It felt like everyone in the world was welcoming their baby and I was stuck sitting here, listening to their happiness. I knew I couldn't do anything to change things, so I was tried to think happy, relaxing, encouraging thoughts that would help this baby finally come.

About 3pm baby kicked mid-contraction, I felt a pop, and my water had broken! That was REALLY exciting! It was finally happening! Even better - it happened on its own! Maybe my body was finally getting the message and was ready to have this baby! We texted family with the news and asked for their best guessed on when this kid would make his appearance. I think the earliest guesses were for 7pm, the latest for 9 or 10pm. We were really hoping it'd happen sooner than that, but as long as he came safely, that's all that really mattered! They also checked me at this point: 6cm, 100% effaced, still +2. Yay for change!!! At that point the CNM said she hoped we'd have this baby sometime by 10pm!

I had large contractions every 2 min or so. There wasn't much down time in between, and they were really intense. I figured that if I wanted enough energy when the time came to push, I needed to go with an epidural. So I did (hindsight: VERY glad I made that decision). 5pm: got epidural and went on oxygen. No pain, which was great, but I had to keep going back on/off the oxygen because Baby Boy didn't love the contractions without the extra help. At almost 8pm they turned the pitocin off so me/baby could rest. I was having irregular contractions that had a big peak, and halfway down would have another big peak, med peak, and small peak. So basically baby couldn't rest in between. At 8:34 they turned th epitocin back on, but restarted at the lowest levels :( Since it now looked like it might be awhile, we napped for a bit to try and get ready for the road ahead.

*When the nurses changed shifts at 7pm, I GOT THE SAME NURSE DENA!!* Yay!

They checked me again at 11:03pm and I was at a 7 1/2. :( They told me to let them know when I felt pressure, but otherwise they'd let me rest and labor on my own.

Sunday June 17: Induction, day 4
At midnight I didn't have that urge, but I felt incredible pressure on my lower back (read: pain). And this was with an epidural! Though I was pushing my "extra dose" button every 10-15 min, I couldn't get rid of the pain. At 1am they checked me and I was at 10cm (YAY), 100%, +1 station. His station was actually still really high - that's a LOT of pushing for me. So they said they'd let him labor down with my contractions so my body could do more of the work and I could save my energy. Still on oxygen most of the time.

3am (two hours later): I was still in quite a bit of pain, so they decided to let me push and see what that did. They also asked me not to push my epidural button so I would have more sensitivity and push more effectively. Still on oxygen between pushes.

3:57 the baby's heart rate was dropping at the end of contractions, which is atypical and a sign of possible distress from the baby. The midwife wanted the doctor's second opinion and mentioned that if this didn't get better or the baby didn't come soon, they would discuss a C-section. Still on oxygen. The midwife put me on rest mode and said NO PUSHING.

*if you've ever been in labor and were pushing and they told you you couldn't, you understand the pain that I was in. And this was with an epidural. I'm talking severe, severe pain.*

4:55 they let me push to help with the pain. Still on oxygen. I'm feeling very overwhelmed but trying to remain calm and happy. I know Justin doesn't like to see me in pain. He and my mom are doing everything they can to help me focus and get through it. Very helpful :)

5:30 baby's heart rate is still dipping with pushes.

5:50am: Baby is still at a +1 station despite being 10cm, 100% effaced and laboring down/pushing for the past 6 hours. They called a C-section and started prepping me. Still no new epidural. Still lots of pain. They cut the pitocin, which meant I could also quit the oxygen.

6:30am: They're wheeling me to surgery, almost get out the door of my room when apparently someone just arrived who needs an emergency c-section. So they put me back in place and we just wait. Justin's there, as is mom, dad, Claire, and Grammy. We're just trying to stay positive. I keep telling myself, "it's okay, I'm just glad WE'RE not the emergency." - which is true, but it seems like this birth will literally NEVER happen. Never, ever, ever.

7:30am: Someone comes to tell me that other person is finishing up, we'll go back very soon.

7:38am: Another emergency c-section. My strength, hope, resolve failed on me 100%. I had nothing left to give and I just broke down. It was very sad. I was still in pain, and now was crumbled as well. At this point my parents and Justin are all very upset as well. I repeat, "It's okay. I'm just glad WE'RE not the emergency." But I am bawling. Poor Dena was supposed to be off but is staying with us to make sure I'm taken care of.

8:20am: They give me a new IV in my right hand because my other one (which was started now a full 48 hours ago) isn't working quite right anymore. The epidural guy comes in and asks how my old epidural is doing. He says I shouldn't be able to feel my legs. "Oh these legs?" as I lift them up. Uh-oh, he quickly gives me another one.

At 9:22am I am finally wheeled back into surgery. I was weepy and exhausted and tired of being in labor. Tender mercy that my friend Michelle's mom is my anesthesiologist in surgery! (Incidentally, Michelle gave birth to her triplets the next day - something that wasn't ancticipated as her mom and I talked during my surgery!).

9:47 baby is officially born. It took a lot to get him out of there. Several people were pulling/tugging/pushing to get him out. When they did get him out, we didn't get to see him right away like they do on A Baby Story. He also didn't cry right away. Finally we hear him cry a few minutes later and they invite Justin to go over and meet him. After they clean him up a bit, they wrap him up and bring him to me. I can't even hold him, but I got to kiss him and Michelle's mom took a picture. They took Levi and Justin out of the room while they finished me up. They wheeled me out to 1 hr in recovery and finally to a LD recovery room. Levi was a big boy at 9lb, 5 oz, 22in long, 15cm head. He literally would not fit out. We look at pictures now and you can totally see how squished his head was from trying. Bless his heart!

We realized Baby Boy did NOT look like a Mason OR a Logan. So we spent much of our awake time just looking at him and wondering what he looked like. Finally we settled on Levi Daniel Badger. Daniel is Justin's middle name, and Levi is a strong, cool, masculine name that felt and looked right.

All of my hours (and I mean hours) of watching a Baby Story didn't quite prepare me for my own. In the end, while birth is certainly miraculous, my own experience was quite hell-ish. I told Justin at the time that if this is how birth goes for me, we might need to consider having less children. I'm not sure if I will stick to that. But I have already decided that if future children are looking to be equally as large or sunny-side-up, I will elect to do a scheduled c-section. That experience was too difficult to go through again. I would love to have a child the usual way. I always expected that my body was made for easy childbirths. Maybe it is but not for such a big kid? Who knows... What I do know is I have never been so grateful for modern technology. Otherwise Levi and I would very likely not be here. What a blessing to live in this day and age! What a blessing to even have a child, no matter what the birth process was like! I feel like the whole experience was humbling in an unexpected way and that sometimes, for me, there is a worse-than-worst-case scenario. Never have my expectations been so far off the mark.

The strange thing is, this birth was 4 1/2 months ago and already it has faded SO much. I don't remember that agony or heartache. I don't cry when I talk about it anymore (I did for a few months). I think that's how the Atonement and repentance work. We are healed, and that hurt doesn't hurt so much anymore.

And the best news? Justin, Levi and I get to be a family FOREVER because we were sealed together! What an enormous blessing!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Top 10 Ways You Know You Stink At Blogging...

10. Your friend says, "So, did you quit blogging?" No... But I can see why you might think that.

9. Your last post was over 6 months ago. 6 months and 7 days to be exact.

8. You were reading a friends blog who said how much she appreciated reading her fellow young mommy bloggers. My friend is currently mid-move with a newborn and a husband out of town on medical rotations. She was talking about how inspiring and uplifting she finds her friends blogs and basically said thank you for sharing. I feel the same way about reading other friends blogs and am not contributing to the upliftment. Let's fix that.

7. You took an awesome trip to Utah and haven't mentioned it. Back in April I went to Utah for a whole week! It was SO fun to see so many friends and family. I got to see Ashley and Brian and visit their darling apartment in Park City. Had delicious Mexican food at this fun place in downtown Park City. Bought them my favorite cherry cordial ice cream and then we visited for a long time after getting home. The next day I slept in and visited my Cappellucci cousins in Bountiful. Laurel and I went shopping for a cute maternity shirt and then we all had dinner and watched a movie/ate ice cream. Kathy got to feel baby boy hiccup and it was SO fun to visit with my cousins! Kathy and I got to go to the amazing Sunshine Cafe for breakfast, then I got to tag along with my cousin Chelsea to a 1-yr old's photo shoot. I've been wanting to get into photography myself - have always LOVED taking pictures - and she showed me the ropes and taught me alot about my camera, how to make cool backdrops, basics with photoshop etc... I went down to BYU to hug Kendall and see Kelsie's freshman dorm. Then I got to meet up with one of my freshmen roommates at Costa Vida - yum! I got to go visit Aubrey, Blair and Brittany and Aubrey and Blair's new house. My sister Katie and bff Renae joined us and we visited for a LONG time. Slumber party at Aubrey's house. Katie and I went to breakfast for all-you-can-eat French Toast and Kneaders. Wouldn't you know I locked the door I wasn't supposed to lock and we were locked out. Insert picture of pregnant woman and sister climbing over the back fence to try and find any window or door that would open. Ended up having to go to Aubrey's work for her extra key. See #6 below. Then cousins Chelsea and Ashlee threw me a baby shower that was TOO CUTE!!! It was airline themed (Justin works for Delta) and every last detail was meticulous in the airline references/color scheme. If anybody wants a cool party - contact Topsy Turvy!!! It was SO FUN to see so many friends and family! My first friend on this planet was there, Jessica Hill, and her mom. Our moms went to pregnancy class together :) There was also a great turnout from Justin's friends, who I now call my own. I'm only sad we can't be out there this Th for Whitney's wedding :( Then Katie and I slumber partied at Chelsea's house, woke up the next morning to some amazing chocolate chip scones, and headed back to the airport. It was an amazing trip that was jam-packed with my favorite Utah foods and favorite Utah people!!!

6. You got maternity pictures taken by the amazing Chelsea Peterson and haven't mentioned it. Chelsea is my cousin and offered to take maternity pictures for me. They turned out WONDERFULLY and I want to be as good as Chelsea is at photography when I grow up. She has such an eye for it and is definitely making a name for herself. Super proud to be related to her!!!

5. You had three baby showers and haven't mentioned them. I mentioned the Utah shower in #7. Then my best friend of over two decades, Ashley Jones (Moote) threw me a shower with her mama in GA. It was a darling Winnie the Pooh theme complete with honeycomb to put on rolls. SO fun to feel loved and showered with gifts. We received so many gifts, we are still so grateful. Then my math department at work threw me a school shower. Again, enormous generosity!! We received the changing table, crip, and play pen we registered for and still had $ leftover to furnish the baby's room. What a blessing!!!

4. Since your last post you found and closed on a home. Back in Jan when we realized how much our rent was going up, we knew we should probably find somewhere else to live so that half Justin's income wasn't housing. After a long time looking, we found one! It was a HUD home (foreclosure) and the process was SO FRUSTRATING for several reasons. I promise that soon we'll do a post just on the house with before/after pictures and more details on buying a home. Long story short, we are homeowners! We were able to do a 15-yr loan and we are SO proud that we can say that!!!

3. Since your last post you decided on a name for your baby that was NOT either of the two names discussed in said post. So this darling little baby came out and did not look like a Mason or a Logan. So we went back to the drawing board and between the two of us came up with Levi Daniel. Definitely fits him. And I feel like it's a good, sturdy, cool name. It did take the whole first day though, so we just called him Little Man and Buddy and Son and stuff until we officially decided on Levi.

2. A baby? Oh yeah, you had a baby. Man, that's a story on its own and one that deserves a decent telling. Long story short, Levi was a week late. We went into the hospital on Thursday night 6/14 to start the induction process. Everyone told me things would be so smooth and that pitocin would just work so great. Levi was born Sunday morning 6/17. I feel cool b/c my cousin Lindsey (L/D nurse) said that my story is the second worse she's ever heard. Are you intruiged? Good. I'll tell you soon.

1. You actually have fun stories of parenthood thus far but haven't shared any of them. And your baby is 3 months old. Levi is just darling and precious and cute. He's a big boy, but his growth seems to be more in the length than the weight. He just started rolling over from stomach to back last week. He's blowing bubbles and actually laughing. He has one big dimple and I think I see another small one. He gives big open-mouthed smiles where you can see his cute little gums. His newborn hair is almost all gone - except for the part that looks like a mullet - and his new soft infant hair is white blonde. It feels like a beanie baby. Levi will sing at you sometimes when you sing to him. He'll take a bottle but doesn't like straight formula. He used to poop or pee on you EVERY SINGLE DIAPER CHANGE. Luckily he grew out of that. He LOVES baths. He pooped all over Justin at his first doctor's appt. Then he did it again 3 days later at his weight check. It was the same nurse and she actually remembered him from 3 days prior. Levi loves music and it can calm him when he's fussy. He loves to be thrown into the air. Sleeping between all his feedings at night - goes to bed by 8pm. His longest stretch on record is 11 1/2 hours. Only happened once. But he'll go about 8 hrs every night and then 3 or 4 hour chunks until about 7:30/8am when he's awake for good. His napping schedule changes daily, it feels, but he takes one long nap each day. What a joy and blessing and delight!

I will try to never have the need to write a top ten list like this again. Hopefully I'll post again soon with pictures and details for all of the above. Yay life!!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Badger Update

Thank you all for taking the time to vote for baby's name. Unfortunately mom and dad are still split down the middle, so it will be interesting to see how the name game plays out. Hopefully baby boy look a LOT like Mason so daddy will just forget he ever liked the name Logan ;)

I think I'm starting to realize that life will NEVER slow down. The "slow" weeks fill up just as much as the ones that you knew were going to be busy.

The last few months have been no different. At school I've been doing an after-school program called "Second Chance" for those students who failed first semester. It's a 6 week program, 4 days each week, and we breeze through all the material from first semester and students can test out by getting a 70% on each unit or on a comprehensive final exam. It's a good way for kids who failed b/c they were plain old lazy to be able to pass. But those who failed because they didn't understand it the first time - much harder for them. And frustrating for me. So, that added 90+ minutes to every school day for me. It ended last week and I have thoroughly enjoyed not having that extra obligation after school. Yay!!!

Since November (?) Justin's been doing double-duty at work. He started his new job as an FSM (operational manager for in-flight services at Delta) in October, but then his old corporate communications job had a huge influx of stuff they needed to do and they desperately needed his help. So, he's been working Tues- Thurs at the GO doing corporate communications and then weekends (usually Fri-Sat) back at the domestic base in ATL as an FSM. He's said that he loves his new job as an FSM, and that it's actually been neat to split time. Good change of pace. This month is the last month he'll be splitting time, because he'll be doing flight attendant training (needed for FSMs) starting mid-April. The fun part about that is the classes are supposedly 10 hrs a day, 6 days a week for 10 weeks. His class is scheduled to end June 5. Baby is due June 7. So we pray daily for a healthy full-term baby!!

In other news, Justin was accepted into a mentoring program that Delta does. They had hundreds of applicants and chose 50 to be in the program this year. That's a very cool opportunity that Justin is also enjoying! (If I said anything incorrectly, I'll make sure Justin fixes it soon, I promise).

For Valentine's Day Justin gave me some BEAUTIFUL flowers, took me to a yummy thai restaurant, and gave me a Kindle Touch! The best part: he WON it in a raffle at his gym. Who actually wins stuff in raffles? We can now say that we do!! Then for an early anniversary present he gave me a beautiful, amazing, expensive DSLR camera!!!! We knew we wanted one before baby boy arrived, and we've been saving and talking about one for a long time now. Once I stay home with baby boy I'd love to get more into photography stuff to compliment the video stuff we already do. "Step one: camera" is now checked off the list!

Pregnancy is going well. Baby boy is getting bigger and stronger - he loves flips and swirls and does not like when we poke his cute little butt or foot when he puts them too close to my belly where we can feel him so well. He is very easy to feel when he's moving, and it's entertaining to watch parts of my belly jump or move of their own accord. It's very entertaining to watch and sometimes it almost tickles.

I'm just starting to get uncomfortable - really hot at night (and during 5th period), thirsty, swelling in hands/feet, decrease in sleeping comfort, etc... Belly button is out. We just passed 28 weeks and uterus is measuring 28 cm right on target. Yay! We start going to appointments every 2 weeks now instead of 4. I can't believe we have less than 12 weeks until d-day. Where is the time going?!? Looking at upcoming stuff, I am confident these next 12 weeks will fly by faster than the last. Augh!?!?

We're moving out of our apartment April 3. We have a long saga of house hunting drama. We're still in the middle of a bunch of question marks, so I think I'll save the story for next time when hopefully there's more definite stuff to tell you. But we'll be moving all our stuff into a storage shed and living with my parents for the next few months until we move into the house (or possibly apartment). Fingers crossed we pack everything in an orderly manner so that it's easy to move-in wherever we end up. And that we do so in 2 weeks.

Katie was home this weekend and it was SO good to see her. We felt good that a family member actually had a good experience using one of our buddy passes. It was an action-packed week and unfortunately I think she has all the pictures. I know some are already up on facebook - see them and like them!!

Coming up: Claire's 17th birthday, Hunger Games Premiere (with Justin, Mom, Claire, and some of Claw's homies), filming track events, baby showers for friends, and finishing off our math stuff before Spring Break. Wahoo!!

Posts to look for: San Francisco update (including our "best photo of the trip" competition; Housing update.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What should my name be?

As many of you are aware, for some time Erin and I have been debating on what to name our son. June is quickly approaching and we are still in limbo. We have narrowed the options down to either Logan or Mason. Justin prefers Logan and Erin prefers Mason. We like them both, but are still not really leaning one way or another so we thought we would open it up to all of you to cast your votes and see what you think. Please take the poll and let us know.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Halfway there!

Happy 20 weeks to us! This was a fun week for us and I wanted to share along the way instead of playing catch-up in 3 months time :) And this update is complete with a picture!

Pregnancy Highlights:
How far along? 20 weeks

Weight Gain: 10 pounds* - adjusted after Friday's doctor's visit (including ONLY 4 pounds over Christmas/New Year's!! My mom's jaw dropped when I told her and she said "but I saw how much you ate!" - yay!!!)

Maternity Clothes: Yes, especially pants!!!! (Shirts and skirts are still too big)

Gender: Boy :)

Movement: Finally started this week!! I was sitting in Sunday School and felt a rumbly in my tumbly that I knew was NOT gas and it was really cool. Since then I've felt baby boy some every day. He's even been felt by Justin, my mom, and Aunt Claire. This is the coolest thing ever and brings a smile to my face every time. I want to shout at my classes "HEY! My baby is moving!" every time he moves or kicks during class but think they'd get tired of that pretty quick...

Sleep: Sleep is still okay as long as I don't get too hot... Thank goodness for fans and a husband who likes them as much as I do. Trying to stop sleeping on my back - is it really that bad for me/baby? :(

Symptoms: None really, just an amazingly working nose!

What I miss: being less emotional? Tears come far too easy over everything.

Cravings: Not as much lately, but for a while there I loved citrus (grapefruit and cuties = heaven) and good ol' hamburgers. Salty things are yummy too. I have not enjoyed sweets as much - they just don't sound appetizing.

Best moment this week: Feeling baby move!

What I am looking forward to: Official 20-week ultrasound tomorrow followed by doctor's appointment. Really excited to see baby again and compare his growth to a month ago. Excited to have the day off with Justin and to do baby stuff!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

December 2011

I can't believe December came and went. It was busy and loaded with lots of friends, family, and fun!

I was blessed to see each of my besties over the break, and had only planned on one! Amy showed up at our house to play games and visit in PTC and I was shocked - such a pleasant suprise! When Justin and I flew out to Utah, he had to work the whole day and did so from the SLC base in the airport. So I had arranged with Ashley to spend a few hours together. She pulled up to get me and who was in her car - AMY! Poor thing was stuck trying to make it home to HI for Christmas after her quick GA visit. So we got a quick picture and then left Amy to make her way home. (which, apparently, took another 36+ hours and a purchased plane ticket, poor thing). Then Renae (no pic) was at the ATL airport to pick up her sister Jocelyn & Garrett when we got back from ID. So I got to spend 5 min with her until Joc came along. Yay!

We went to lunch at CPK (yum!), watched the new Mission Impossible movie, did some Christmas shopping, and then I got to spend a little time with my cousin Ashlee, who I haven't seen in almost 3 years!?! I can't believe how big her kids are getting, time just flies too fast.

Then we flew up to Pocatello, ID for our Christmas vacation. We went bowling and Reese loved getting help from her aunts and uncles.

Sam learned that honking noses can be fun, although I'm sure Josh disagrees.

We went to the church on Christmas Eve and played kickball, then realized we'd lost Reese and Sam! Oh where could they be?!?

Blair showed off his double dutch skills...

We played lots of Minute to Win it games and enjoyed the family fueding.

On Christmas Day we sang in Grandma's ward as a family, came home to Huevos Rancheros for lunch, then opened Christmas presents and spent the rest of the day visiting and playing with each other.

I think the highlight of Justin's trip is always how much time he gets to spend with Reese and Sam. We had a WONDERFUL trip and played our guts out, staying up way past our bedtime and I think we went home more tired than we came. It was so fun to visit and catch up and spend time with the Badger Clan. SO glad I ended up with such amazing people as in-laws. I count myself really really lucky!

We returned to GA two days after Christmas. Justin had to go back to work :( But about 90 min after our plane touched down I was on the road with Scott and Kelley headed to Hilton Head to join the rest of my family. We got a few days at the beach and then a few more together at home. It was fun to be all together for the first time since our cruise last year (although we were a lot less tan!). There was (strip) beach 4-square - ask Claire, pool volleyball, board games and movies galor (including one of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - life changingly horrible). Pictures are on facebook so go check them out there (didn't use my camera).

One of the highlights of our Christmas was getting to have a really early ultrasound (Christmas present to ourselves). It was only $50 at our doctors office, and WELL worth it! It was amazing to see our little baby move around so much. He had the hiccups and we got to watch them. Then he rolled over and crossed his legs and all kind of stuff. Claire loves this one b/c he's making The Claw for her.

Look at his brain! And his spine! What a smart, handsome young man already! And his tiny little nose. Awwwww.

Wait... his? Yep, it's a boy! This is a picture from below him - he's kind of sitting on his legs and there in the middle is are his boy parts.

This one's even easier to see his boy part. I was only 15 1/2 weeks when we went in for the ultra-sound, so he was still small enough to stretch out.

This is Justin's favorite - he'd rolled over and looked really comfy and cozy. Justin says he likes it b/c he can imagine a little baby curled up on his shoulder with his little bottom just needing to be patted and his legs tucked up underneath him. For sweetness!

We have our 20-week ultrasound next week, so we should have more pictures. That will be exactly one month after the pictures posted here. I'm interested to see if we'll be able to notice any changes or if our untrained eyes will think he looks the same. I'm most excited to just see him again and get a sneak peek at what's going on in there.

The ultrasound tech said that my placenta is actually on the front, which is no problem but means I won't be able to feel movements until later than most.

Went in for my 18-wk check-up this week and am thrilled that I only gained 4 pounds since my 14-wk check-up. That INCLUDES all the Christmas eating I did (which was a lot). That's 11 pounds total and I am so happy about it! At the check-up the CNM said she was impressed with my abs (well, thank you) and that it'll make labor easier. Justin and I laughed when I got home b/c we both know I haven't exactly been working out for the last long time, including pre-pregnancy.

No real morning sickness. During the first trimester I did have a sensitive gag reflex, especially when I looked at something slimey (used tupperware was the worst) - I had to stop taking leftover for lunch because getting the tupperware home was gag fest. But the hyper-sensitivity has greatly diminished since getting into second trimester.

Cravings: nothing really strong. I have particularly enjoyed/wanted to eat hamburgers and citrus. Definitely more so than normal, but not in a "it's midnight and I need THAT right this instant" kind of way. I do get hungry more often, and when I'm hungry it feels "emergency feed me now" - I eat 3 meals plus two medium snacks every day and that still means that I feel kind of hungry when I go to bed.

Baby bump is definitely there and noticeable. It's nice to finally have maternity clothes to wear, although the shirts are still too big. Maternity pants are my saving grace, however. A huge thank you to my cousin Lindsey and coworker Ashley. Thanks to them I have a mostly stocked maternity wardrobe. I literally only need a few skirts to wear to church/work and I'm completely done. THANK YOU!

Most fun thing: this week I rolled over onto my stomach on my bed and felt kind of uncomfortable. Then I realized it was b/c I didn't fit the way I usually do. Then I realized IT'S MY BABY! I'm thrilled to say that the top of my uterus is now almost to my belly button and you can totally feel it. Grow baby grow!

Lots to look forward to in Jan: 20-wk ultrasound, Britney's wedding, 3-day weekend (although Justin works Sun/Mon but at least he doesn't go in until later = sleeping in and big breakfasts!). Yay!