Friday, November 26, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

Here's hoping you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We sure did. This year in particular I feel like I have so much to be thankful for. A wonderful husband who never stops thinking about taking care of our family; a bright and beautiful daughter who brings sunshine to my life; a wonderful home that is a joy to wake up in and will be a place to make lots of lasting memories; a sister and brother-in-law who are an endless support; a nephew who has re-taught me the meaning of happiness; so many friends to share good times and bad with; an amazing family, all be it far-flung; and of course our newest little joy on the way, who I can't wait to meet, and at one time thought I never would. I really do feel like all my dreams have come true.

This year Jen and Micah hosted the big dinner, their first ever. They have such a talent for hosting - if they're not careful this may become a tradition. Jennifer picked an amazing menu with a mix of favorite past recipes and new curiosities. Not one was a dud! Some of my new favorites were the butternut squash bread pudding, the roasted brussel sprouts, and the gingersnap cherry cheesecake - to die for!

Micah's sister Angela joined us, with her two cuties Morgan and Brady.

So did our friend Annemarie and her daughter Gracie

As well as Brian & Monica

...and Gavin, Andye & McKinna. (How did I not get a picture of Andye?)

There was good food...


Baby cuddling...

Smack talking...

and sinful indulgences enjoyed by all. What more could you ask for?

I tried to get a good shot of Roan in her holiday dress. She was so particular about the necklace and bracelet she wanted to wear, the side ponytail she had me fix, the whole look really. And then the little turkey wouldn't let me snap a decent picture.

These were about the best I could do.

Here she is with Morgan telling me, "I said NO PICTURES Mommy!!!"

Oh well. I can tell you, she in particular had a blast. I asked her what her favorite part of the night was and she said "Playing with my friends." I believe it too. Those kids had a ball. Here they are horsing around after getting all sugared up on chocolate pudding, spiced pumpkin cake and gingersnap cherry cheesecake.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

the name game

It's three weeks out, and we still don't have a name for this kiddo. Not for lack of trying. We started trying to land on a name as soon as we found out he's a boy. (We waited till the 20 week ultrasound to cut out 50% of the arguments.)

Arwen was pretty excited to learn that the baby is a boy. Right away he started throwing out name ideas. Here are some examples.


You may not be surprised to learn that none of these thrilled me. In my opinion, Roan's name ideas weren't much worse:


This morning I heard them discussing names for baby brother all snuggled up in bed in the morning sun. It was pretty cute. Names for Baby Brother is one of Roan's favorite topics of conversation. They threw out all sorts of possibilities.

Arwen: "What do you think of Gorilla as a boy's name?"
Roan: "No! That's a monkey! I don't like that name. Monte is my favorite name for Baby Brother."

I think what's made a final decision so hard for us is that while Arwen has a handful of names he really likes, I've had a hard time landing on any names I feel any more than lukewarm about. It's so different than with Roan. There really was just that one name, and we both loved it so much - it was easy. This has been really hard.

Arwen is attracted to names that convey strength. I have to admit, given how hard this baby can kick, strength does seem to be one of his defining characteristics. I just don't want to pigeon-hole him into some cliche of masculinity. I get the feeling this kid will be a mold-breaker, much like his daddy.

I think Arwen would say his top 2 names are currently:
Thoran - a derivative of "Theron", which is a family name on both sides, and it means Great Hunter
Blaize - this was a recent contribution from Mom & Ronnie. Arwen loves it.

At the moment I would have to say my favorite names would be:
Grayson - as in the Grayson Highlands, one very special place we spent time in on the Appalachian Trail, where wild ponies roam. It was quite magical. Whatever we name this kiddo, I'd like to take him and Roan camping there one spring to see the new foals wandering about with their mamas.
Paxton - derived from the Latin word for peace. That's because this little guy has brought me such a sense of well being and contentment throughout this pregnancy (minus the aches and pains). Arwen thinks this name sounds too preppy. As in "Paxton, please pass the bruchetta."

Wish us luck naming this little guy. I really hope we have a name for him by the time we head to the hospital!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

3 weeks + 2 days to go

Roan asked me to take her picture tonight. What a smile! She was all camera happy tonight, so all the photos except the one above are courtesy of Miss Roan.

I had my 36 week checkup today. They went ahead and did an ultrasound to take a peek at the baby, since they suspected he's big. Now why would they think that?!

The ultrasound confirmed what we all suspected: he's large and in charge! The first thing they looked at was his head. Arwen commented to the tech, "His head looks pretty big. Is it big?" She replied emphatically, "I would never tell a mom her baby has a big head!" To which I replied, "Oh don't worry. This is going to be a C-Section. You can't freak me out." Right about then I noticed in the corner of the screen a readout that said Head: 97.8 Percentile. Yup. Big.

He's measuring at about 7 1/2 pounds, but they say that could be plus or minus 1 pound. With 4 weeks left (if we were going to 40 weeks) he could gain another 2 pounds. But he's scheduled to come on Week 39. Paradoxically, the doctor explained to us later that because he's so big, it wouldn't be wise to take him any earlier. Apparently big babies' lungs mature more slowly than small babies. She said she'd be happy to work with me to keep me comfortable (ha ha) enough to make it to week 39.

We got to take a peek at his sweet little face, and lo and behold he has some seriously chubby cheeks! The prints they gave us aren't the greatest but I'll try to get one uploaded soon. Though you'd be wise not to hold your breath on that :)

I have to say, I'm feeling great about our decision to go for the C-Section. I'm not sure I'd be getting much sleep over it the next 3 weeks if I was looking ahead to a standard delivery.

Other than that I will admit I've been feeling a bit rough the past few days. Lots of panting, lots of feeling like my belly might just fall right off, and also lots of painful kicks from the little guy. Roan never kicked me like that. Sometimes she'd stretch in a weird position and stick out really far but I could usually coax her back. He, in contrast, sometimes goes on a tear where he kicks my guts mercilessly. Sometimes I'm doubled over in pain. The doc says there's not much she can do about that.

We are still on the hunt for names for the little guy. Hopefully we can land on one we both love soon.

Here are a few more photos from Roan's snapping tonight. She loves Daddy's bug collection.

She found a willing subject in Sasha

One more of me

And one of her daddy-o

Tomorrow Roan is off from school for the Thanksgiving holiday. We plan to hang out at Jen & Micah's and help with the prep work for our big Thanksgiving dinner. We will be thinking about all the family and friends far away. We love and miss you! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Week 35

It's been a while since I posted a belly photo. Here are two Arwen took this morning.

With the shirt down didn't seem to fully capture the eye-popping, gravity-defying spectacle that is my midsection, so we did a retake. This kid is like a torpedo shooting out of my belly.

And he's still just as active as can be. I tried to catch some video of his "sackful of cats" routine he likes to do in the evenings, but I've not been successful in catching him at his best. It's amazing how much he can move around in there still. They say babies slow down as they get more cramped, but he hasn't gotten the memo.