December 31, 2009

30 Weeks

What's Happening with Joycelen?

  • Joycelen is about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds.
  • A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger.
  • Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen;

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 21 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes
  • Best moment this week: Hearing her heartbeat at the doctor's appointment. She kept kicking the doppler.
  • Food cravings: Pecan Pie
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Stretch Marks? Still none.
  • What I miss: Being able to do things without someone saying "Should you be doing that?" Just this week I have had 4 people stop me at the gym to tell me I shouldn't be working out...

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • This is Daddy's week to open the office -- so he is extremely tired. Getting up at 4:30 is not much fun, Mama keeps telling him that it is practice for Joycelen's arrival.

December 30, 2009

Making Room for Baby

Now that the holidays are behind us and just 9 weeks remain in our pregnancy, M and I have turned our focus to preparing our home for Joycelen's arrival. The major decisions regarding her nursery theme - furniture, decor, and design - have all been decided for sometime. We are now entering the implementation stage.

Her bedding is called Mod Butterfly. The pattern was chose by M, after we looked at more than 100 other bedding selections. He felt that it was a nice mixture of "girly colors" and "feminine details" without being too fussy/ girly-girly. I should note here that my only requirement for her nursery theme was that it was not wall to wall pink or overly girly - this bedding met my criteria and made M happy, which is a win/win.

Our plan is to paint the top half of her walls in a mint green color, have a white chair rail in the middle, and the bottom half will be chocolate brown. We have chose some colors that we like and are going to test them out on the walls over the weekend. If we are happy with our selections, painting will began next week. But there is going to be a lot more activity happening in our house. Here is a tentative timeline:

Wednesday, December 30 @ 12:00 p.m. - Meet with the flooring contractor to finalize design choices for wood floors that will be installed in living room and Joycelen's nursery

Friday, January 1 - Re purpose home office to Joycelen's nursery. This means moving the treadmill to our exercise room, the desk to the living room, cleaning out the office closet - ridding it of unnecessary items and finding new homes for the remainder. And we also have to pack away our Christmas decorations!

Saturday, January 2 - Start our baby registry. Pick up sample paint colors, test them on walls, make final paint selections.

Wednesday, January 6 - Painting starts

Monday, January 18 - Flooring is installed

Friday, January 22 - Saturday, January 23 - Set up Joycelen's crib, dresser, and rocker. Aunt Jessica will be coming over to add the additional design elements.

That's just what we know is going to happen. Somewhere in there we have to have 2 baby showers - one with our church and one with my mother's family. It is going to be a busy month, but I hope to have everything set to go by the 1st of February, so that I can really "relax" the last few weeks of my pregnancy.

December 28, 2009

29 Weeks

* This post is about a week behind. With all the activity surrounding Christmas, it never got posted.

What's Happening with Joycelen?

  • Joycelen now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel.
  • Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain.

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 20 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes
  • Best moment this week: Watching Joycelen kick for over half an hour - my tummy was rolling into very weird shapes.
  • Food cravings: Pecan Pie
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Stretch Marks? Still none.
  • What I miss: Being allowed to lie on my back while exercising. Now that the doctor does not want me to lie flat on my back - I am finding that there are numerous exercises I can

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy is still busy with the school he is building. He is also starting to gear up for the start of blueberry season - meeting with Papa and Uncle Jason to plan what work will get done each week.

Christmas Recap

The 2009 Christmas season was the busiest that I have had in several years. Between work related activities, church activities, and family time - I feel as though I was always doing something. However, at the end of it all - I felt blessed to be able to experience all that I did. So here is a recap of the Christmas Season.

12/8/2009 - Our hospital hosts "Santa's Secret Workshop". Children from our community gather in our hospital cafeteria to make crafts, eat gingerbread cookies, and visit with Santa. I must admit I felt a bit silly wear elf ears but the smiles on the children's faces made it all the worthwhile.

12/10/2009 - Annual Hospital Employee Christmas Party - The food was divine, desserts were delish, but the highlight was watching my co-workers sing karaoke and for a few hours leave behind the stress of our demanding jobs.

12/12/2009 - Lacey's Holiday Dance Recital - Watching 3, 4, and 5 year olds "dance" is a sure fire bet for fits of laughter and more cuteness than should be allowed.

12/15/2009 - Hospital Director's Christmas Party - Steaks, bingo, door prizes - I won the 26' LCD t.v.

12/17/2009 - Lacey and London's School Christmas Program - Lacey and London were "sheep" in the play. Lacey sang her songs beautifully, London was too busy hamming it up to really sing.

12/20/2009 - Children's Drama @ Church - Lacey, London, Trevor and Trenton were all a part of the play and did a wonderful job.

12/23/2009 - Youth Drama @ Church and Annual Gift Exchange

Christmas Eve - M went shopping with his brother early on in the day, which allowed me to sleep in - something that rarely happens anymore. I snuggled under the covers until nearly 10:30. After M and Jason finished up their shopping adventures, we all went to Jason and Lane's house to assemble a few toys. Over the course of the next four hours, we put together a Power Wheels Truck (for Trevor and Trenton), a Power Wheels Barbie (for Lacey), and a Disney Princess Scooter (for London). M and I then dropped the truck off at my parents and picked up last minute items for our Christmas Eve Chili Cooking/ Cookie Decorating party. From 5-7:00, M and I baked more than 4 dozens cookies, and cooked a huge pot of chili. Shortly thereafter, my dad, his parents, and Jason/Lane and the girls came over to our house. We ate chili, the girls decorated cookies for Santa, we made smores, and lounged around in our Christmas p.j.'s. M and I finally went to bed around midnight.

Christmas Morning - I woke up at 5:30 eager to begin the day (yes, I am still a kid at heart) but was gracious enough to let M sleep in till 7:30. After that, there was no more sleeping. M and I got up and spent the next half hour exchanging gifts. He is so cute as he had to shake each gift and attempt to guess what it was......I just tear into the paper and then shriek with delight. After our exchange, we went down to Lane and Jason's to watch the girls reactions to their presents from Santa. We then all had breakfast together. M and I had Christmas lunch with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, nephews and niece. The boys were thrilled with their powerwheels truck and wanted to drive it rather than open anymore gifts. We managed to get thru our gift exchange and then let the boys drive for about a half hour before enjoying lunch. After lunch, the boys went back outside and drove the truck until the battery died (roughly two hours). Following a snack of cookies, M and I went back to our house and worked out before heading to his parents for Christmas dinner. We dined on pasta, salad, and bread and then had a gift exchange. Once again, we found ourselves getting into bed near midnight - but the day had been filled with love and laughter, which makes for the best holiday.

Tell me readers, how was your Christmas?

December 24, 2009

Dear Joycelen

Dearest Joycelen,

It has been a few months since Mama has written you a letter. In fact, the last time I "penned" a letter to you, was in < href = " July . At that time, your Daddy and I referred to you as Peanut, since we didn't know if you were a boy or a girl -- and it also referred to you teeny tiny size. All that has changed now.

We have sinced discovered that you are indeed a baby girl.....our first daughter....and while you are still very small, teeny tiny is no longer an apt description of you. At our last ultrasound you were weighing 1.6 pounds -- and the doctor estimates you are over 2 pounds now.

You know that I talk to you throughout the day, telling you my hopes for you, my dreams. Every night, Daddy talks to you - encouraging to kick and move so that he can laugh at the weird shapes that Mama's tummy takes on. However, you show your independence and kick after he has stopped trying to intice you.

But today, as I listened to Christmas music -- my thoughts turned to another mother -- one who long ago waited on the birth of her son. The mother was Mary, her son was Jesus. I wonder how she found the strength to make the long journey from her home to Bethelem, while riding a donkey. Your own Mama grows irritable and tired if I have to ride in the truck/car for more than an hour. I think how she must of felt - delivering her child - in a dirty stable. I've seen the room where you will enter this world, I know your doctor very well, and each nurse who will care for you is a family friend..... and yet, the thought of your delivery still gives me a moment of fear and uncertainity. But most of all, I think of Mary and that she knew the great sacrifice her son would make. That she raised her child knowing her would die for her, and me, and even you Joycelen.

As your Mama, I want to protect you from every hurt and pain imaginable -- while you are in the womb and once you are in the world. Yet, I know I won't be able to accomplish my goal. You will experience bumps, bruises, scraped knees, and even a broken heart. And those thoughts make me hurt. I can not fathom the pain Mary must have felt knowing that he son would suffer and die -- and then to watch it and know that she played a role in his pain.

However, Mary was willing to sacrifice to be a part of God's plan -- and that is something that I can strive to do. And as you grow older, Joycelen, your Daddy and I will work to teach you of God's love, mercy, and His grace....and we will pray that you too will seek to serve him.



December 22, 2009

Christmas Meme

Christmas meme

Eggnog or hot chocolate? Hot chocolate.

Does Santa wrap the presents or leave them open under the tree? Wrapped.

Colored lights on a tree or white? White.

Do you hang mistletoe? No.

When do you put your decorations up? My tree goes up on Thanksgiving night and the rest of the decorations go up over that weekend. However, since we were traveling this year - everything went up early.

What is your favorite holiday dish? I love pecan pie or my MIL's pumpkin roll.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? We have a pre-lit tree with white lights. All of the ornaments are gold - except for a few that were given to us by family/friends.

Snow: love it or hate it? Love it!

Can you ice skate? Yes, but not very well.

What is your favorite holiday dessert? All of them.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? My favorite holiday tradition is the one that M and I started last year. We invite our parents, siblings and nieces and nephews over to our house on Christmas Eve. We all wear our Christmas PJ's, make smores in the fireplace (or the microwave if it is too warm for a fire) and watch classic Christmas movies.

Candy canes: yum or yuck? Yum

Favorite Christmas show? Rudolph or Charlie Brown Christmas

December 17, 2009

28 Weeks

What's Happening with Joycelen?

  • She weighs two and a quarter pounds and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels.
  • She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through my womb.
  • She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 20 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes
  • Best moment this week: Winning a 26 LCD T.V. at the work Christmas party. Mama and Daddy were quite excited.
  • Food cravings: Nutella (a hazelnut spread) on anything
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Stretch Marks? Still none.
  • What I miss: Being able to wear my knee-high boots. They cause my feet to swell too much, and the heel is too high - so Dr. H says they are out to after Joycelen's arrival.
  • What I am looking forward to: Relaxing at home on Friday night and dancing at Zach's wedding on Saturday.

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy's school building project is in full swing - he is now spending 2 to 3 days a week on site. This means he often gets home after 7:00 p.m.

December 16, 2009

The Final Trimester

It's official -- Baby Joycelen and I have entered the final trimester. Assuming, my daughter decides to arrive on schedule, I will be holding her in my arms in a mere eleven and a half weeks. The previous sentence boggles my mind. It seems like only yesterday that M and I sat on our bathroom floor trying to comprehend that we were indeed pregnant. In the midst of my hysterics (which ranged from full on crying to gut busting laughter), I remember telling M " Our lives changed forever today." Those words still ring true.

From that digital read out on a pregnancy test, to the first time we saw our "Peanut" - time has raced ahead. At 8 weeks, M and I nervously waited for the technician to find that image of that teeny tiny heart beating. I remember thinking that the small black and white flutter was the most beautiful sight that I had ever laid eyes on.....and when at 16 weeks we heard her heartbeat, I thought that no sound was ever as moving. I even recorded it at 22 weeks, so that I could listen to it. Soon we discovered our "Peanut" was a baby girl....and we began referring to her by the name she'll be given at birth "Joycelen". And shortly thereafter, those first tiny flutters turned into full fledged punches and kicks........often taken me by surprise.

Now as her due date draws closer, M and I are amazed at how quickly time has flown and at how blessed we have been to have such an easy pregnancy up to this point. I have only battled morning sickness a handful of times, our quad screen came back normal, the glucose testing was perfect, and Dr. H says that Joycelen is growing right on schedule. Every night, we lie in bed - M lotioning my belly - and we talk to our daughter, telling her of our love for her, how excited we are to meet her, and laughing as she rolls around causing my tummy to look as though an alien resides in it.

Back in July, M and I had not planned on becoming parents and for those first few days we were shell-shocked. Now, we can not imagine being anything else. It feels as though Joycelen has been a part of lives forever -- and we can not wait for the next chapter of our story with her to begin.

December 10, 2009

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December 07, 2009

27 Weeks

What's Happening with Joycelen?

  • This week, she weighs almost 2 pounds.
  • She is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended.
  • She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers.
  • With more brain tissue developing, her baby's brain is very active now.
  • While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now.

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 20 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes
  • Best moment this week: Nana and Papa getting to watch Joycelen kick during our trip to Tampa.
  • Food cravings: Anything peanut butter or chocolate
  • Belly button in or out? In.
    Stretch Marks? Still none so far....I am going to thank the lots of water I've drank and all the lotion that M has rubbed on my belly.
  • What I miss: Being able to move freely - sometimes getting up takes more effort, rolling over can be a chore, and balance is no longer my strong point.
  • What I am looking forward to: Date night on Friday - M and I are going with a few friends to dinner and a movie.

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • M loves watching my belly change shapes as Joycelen moves around inside.

December 04, 2009

26 Weeks

What's Happening with Joycelen?

  • The network of nerves in her ears is better developed and more sensitive than before.
  • She's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of her lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air.
  • And she's continuing to put on baby fat. She now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches.

What's Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 20 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes
  • Best moment this week: Having a great report at the doctor's office. No risk for gestational diabetes.
  • Food cravings: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Stretch Marks? Daddy says that there are none as far as he can see.
  • What I miss: Being able to eat pizza without heartburn. So far it is the only food that leaves me miserable after eating it.
  • What I am looking forward to: Weekend trip to Tampa.

What's Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy did not get the Christmas lights hung last Friday as he had to replace the hot water heater at Meme's house. His plan is to hang them next week.
  • Daddy is spending lots of time on the job site in Folkston - he is building a new school.