Sunday, November 28, 2010

Unanswered Prayers

If I could be on the other end of my prayers, I would probably roll my eyes. There were a few years in my life that a handful of prayers were on shuffle. There were answers that I wanted, and I was impatient and sick of dating.

There are a few memories throughout my single life that stand out to me, some of which were more painful to go through than I thought. I remember begging to know that I would have a chance to be a wife and mother. I remember going to each sibling, cousin, roommate, co-worker, and friends' weddings. I remember feeling excited for each one of them. I also remember the ride home and laying in bed each night after a bridal shower or wedding. I remember feeling like it was never going to be my turn. I remember feeling as if all of my prayers went unanswered.

All I wanted was to see a little flash of my future. I wanted to see a ring on my finger and a crib in my future bedroom.

Last week Sean and I were able to celebrate 365 days of being married. I was driving home and emotion flooded over me when I looked down and saw my wedding ring resting on my swelling belly. I realized that my prayers didn't go unanswered, they were answered in a way that I couldn't have dreamed up on my own.

This past year Sean and I have done a LOT of growing in areas such as communication, patience, understanding, humility, compromise, financial planning, and unconditional love. I have also learned that I love having him next to me in bed, the grocery store, at church, in the car, in the kitchen, here, there, and everywhere. When I was single I couldn't have imagined, or prayed for, a more perfect fit.

I am one lucky girl. I love my husband, he loves me, and together we love this growing baby.
26 weeks- working at a military event

27 weeks

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 25 (and other random fun)

Week 25 has come, and so have some very entertaining moments. Who thought you really could get 'pregnancy brain'? I sure didn't. I have been humbled.......over and over.

Moment #1- I was rushing to work and was late, as usual. I pulled up to an intersection that I stop at daily. I sat there waiting for a green light, and while doing so decided to play around with the radio. It must have been a minute and a half that went by while I was station hopping. I received a very nice Pittsburgh honk from the car that had just pulled up behind me. I looked up and realized that I had been sitting at a STOP SIGN for that minute and a half, waiting for it to turn green.

Moment #2- Sean and I had some tapioca pudding sitting in our cupboard for about a year. We decided that we should make some. I read the directions and proceeded to start adding the ingredients to the pot. Sean caught me right after I had dumped the entire tapioca box into the pan. He looked at me with a puzzled look, and then asked if he could read the directions. (at this point he had no idea that I'd sat at a stop sign waiting for it to turn green) He looked up from the box and started laughing. I was puzzled. He then pointed out that I was only supposed to add 3 tablespoons of tapioca to make the eight servings we were trying to make. He had to help me quadruple the other ingredients. Yes, I stood there in shame stirring tapioca for 32+ for half an hour. It was while I was stirring the pudding that I admitted to my other ditsy act. He and I laughed pretty hard. I ended up standing over a large pot of tapioca with tears streaming down my cheeks and the hiccups from laughing so hard at what I had shamefully done.

Moment #3- Sean had an early meeting on a Saturday, so I decided to make him some German pancakes. I kept checking on them and they weren't rising. I kept cooking them longer, cause Sean told me that in order for them to rise they need to be fully cooked. I realized that they had been in for quite some time and hadn't risen. I took them out right as Sean was getting home. He stood in the doorway and laughed when he saw my look of disappointment at the ugly German pancakes. He first asked if I followed the directions carefully. I told him I read them thoroughly, and then we went through the ingredients together. I again, very shamefully, didn't follow the directions as I thought I had. I completely forgot the milk. We sat down and ate our chewy flour-egg-cinnamon/nutmeg-butter pancakes and again did some laughing.

I am now banned from cooking until I can think clearly again.

Other updates:

-I LOVE the new group of doctors that we are with. I was very impressed after the first visit!
-I have very vivid and bizarre dreams (the baby kicking so hard he kicked right through my stomach and the doctors told me that his little foot would have to remain outside of my stomach for the duration of the pregnancy)
-I cry in the grocery store lines as I read about missing children.
-I recently joined netflix and am happily watching Lost to distract me from wanting to distract Sean from his studying.
-My legs and feet hurt from working on hard wood floors all day, and I am wearing flats each day.
-I only have 24 more days as an employee!!!!
-I have to hand Sean the money when we step into Babies R US or any other baby store.
-I am terribly anxious about my next doctors visit because I have to have my blood drawn.
-I am amazed at how perfectly our bodies work and how perfectly this little body is developing inside of me.

Sean's updates:
-He is spending his days looking into mouths. He enjoys looking into them all: old, young, clean, dirty, empty, smelly, discolored and diseased.
-He is spending his evenings studying for his boards and final exams.
-He is appreciating netflix more and more, as his wife is silent these days and he can finally study in peace.
-He is doing some more cooking, since his wife is banished from the kitchen, and is loving creating meals with whatever ingredients we have lying around.
-He is craving a good hike into the mountains (not the Pittsburgh hills), and is counting down the days until he can see a mountain again.
-He thinks it's fun going to Babies R Us and guessing how old the babies are that are all over the store.
-He enjoys being woken up in the middle of the night by his wife's tossing and turning or by the little punches he can feel when her stomach is against his back or side.
-He is super patient and understanding.
-He can't wait to be a dad!

I was a black widow and Sean was a soccer player for Halloween this year. (wishing I stuffed my tights with black toilet paper)
Dr. Nelson assured me that, through her loops, I still had all of my teeth
Carving pumpkins with our Pittsburgh family-- Batemans and Nelsons.
Finished products

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to make our BIG decision in 2011

Sean and I in his module, mid September

This year we have some significant changes coming our way. They are very exciting changes, but come with a LARGE decision.

Change #1- Bringing home baby boy. Our house is very small, so the decisions kind of make themselves. We can't buy many of the traditional newborn items because of the lack of space we get to enjoy. It's a relief that we have to just accept driving our two-door car, sleeping in one room, and not decorating a nursery. I am grateful that we will just enjoy the simplicity of bringing him home to what we do have. Three or so months after he comes, I may be singing a different tune. Three or so months after he comes brings our big decision, more space, and hopefully more of an income.

Change #2- The BIG decision of 2011 is........where in the heck are we going to live? Sean's choice is New Zealand (for a couple of years). Rachel's choice is anywhere closer to family (preferably no further east than Austin, TX). Now, I am trying desperately to swallow my fears of living all the way down in N.Z. with a newborn. I am trying to be open-minded, but keep running into the padlock that keeps my mind as narrow as can be. I know that I can entertain myself and a little one, but am also very aware that it will be me and an adorable little boy, exploring the country, most of the time because work will be demanding Sean's time and attention. This, and the fact that we would be taking a cut financially, keeps my fears in the forefront of my mind. I need to think of the adventures, memories, scenery, and wonderful experience it will be if that is the final decision. Sean has been in contact with an LDS dentist down in N.Z. and gets excited with the thought of the whole thing. My excitement may be a little more forced, but I realize that it is becoming more appealing.

How do you make the decision? We have a paper that is on our fridge with several factors that play into the decision. We wrote down the most important things to consider when making this decision.

FACTORS: temple distance, airport distance, state taxes (income and property), average temperature, average listing price for a house, potential income for the first year, activities available in the area, how much a plane ticket is to visit both Seattle and Salt Lake, how far from a church we would be, school district, and median income.

There are several areas in the states that are appealing. We like the idea of somewhere in Texas, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and northern California. Outside of the states we obviously like N.Z., but we also like British Columbia. Yeah, we are in T-R-O-U-B-L-E! That's why we are hoping that we can narrow it down soon. It is comforting to know that we are both staying pretty open-minded about a location in the states. We realize that it isn't going to be permanent. We would like to be somewhere for a couple of years to get experience before we make the permanent decision. With that being said, Alaska is also appealing.

I am finding that the grass is always greener. I think of all of those out there who are pretty much told where they will be working. With dentistry, you get to choose. I am bad at choosing, always have been. When I was little I would organize my Halloween candy and have the hardest time choosing which one to eat first, and that was candy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hump week

20 weeks down! I can't believe I am halfway through carrying this little guy. He moves often. I smile when I feel him kick, punch, roll, head-but(t) and do somersaults. I get the hiccups and burps all the time (yuck), and can't wait to feel his little body hiccup inside me. I am ALWAYS guaranteed a punch/kick when I lean up to the shampoo bowl to wash a client's head of hair. It is a pretty immediate, and always welcomed, response.

My 20 week appointment was great. As always, I was anxious to hear his little heartbeat. My midwife (hopefully we'll be with an OB next visit) told me she was a bit concerned with my weight gain, or lack thereof. I have gained five pounds- total. Food doesn't appeal to me like it used to, so I eat when I am hungry-- which I thought was often, but apparently I need to be shoving more food in. I don't crave sweets like I did five months ago, and instead will opt for anything with salt. Sometimes I think Sean should wear a salt lick around his neck. I am thirsty all the time-- no surprise, due to my increased sodium desire. I wake up often in the middle of the night; partly due to a squashed bladder and the other part due to an unquenched, never-ending thirst.

I have stopped worrying about the small things, because the doctor midwife was pleased with his measurements from the ultrasound. He is a good-sized baby (hopefully that doesn't mean a 10 pounder).

I have fallen in love with all things baby related. Baby clothes; I am grounded from shopping for them (unless they are on sale-- a really really good sale), until after the shower. The babies and small children toddling around at church make me anxious for all the fun stages ahead. Holding babies; although, at first I was worried that if I held other people's I wouldn't want to hold my own. Baby's/Children's books; my secret desire is to have a room with shelves and shelves of books-- the secret desire, attached to this one, is that the books will collect zero dust.

Sean has been preparing for this little guy in a different way. He has been busily working with the young men and swimming in tooth-filled requirements/tests at school. Congratulations to him for finishing and PASSING the first part, the drilling portion, of his LAST test. WOOHOO!!! Yay Dr. Sean!
Handsome 4th year
Needless to say we are super excited to become parents. Here is my 20 week belly shot. The black doesn't really show much, but what I think it shows is that I have evened out. For that, I am grateful.
What? I thought you had to dress up for hump day photos? No?

Last night I was able to attend a very fun and very creative girl's night. We all arrived dressed as witches and weren't disappointed with the company, food, decor, costumes, games, and hostesses. If only I was this creative.
Jamie, Natalie, me and Jessica

Yummy dinner

Game #1-- Mummy wrapping
Game #2 was Mafia- witch style. We were burnt at the stake.

Game #3-- Pumpkin bowling. I got a strike and won a prize- laxative pills. Thank you, Helena! You really shouldn't have.

Hello Martha Stuart Amber Warner. These were beautiful and delicious!
Our brew: Bat juice and Vampire Blood.

The dental wives witches: Alex, Amber, Jamie, me, Janel, Natalie, Lisa, Marie, Cybill, Tammy, Kaylene, Kimmi, Corrie, Helena, Jessica, and Kelly

The after party was just as good as the party. I love girl's nights. Thanks Amber and Helena!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Summer Trip #2-- Home Sweet Home

Way back in July, I was able to go home to Washington state. It was a fun and very packed trip. Each day consisted of several activities and plenty of time with family. Sean stayed back in Pittsburgh to take finals (boo) and was missed. I don't think I can ever spend ten days away from him again.

Sean and I decided that this would be a good time to announce to our families that we were expecting. We sent poems in the mail to family that wouldn't be able to receive a hand-delivered one. The poems read:

A baby goat is called a kid.
A baby deer is called a fawn.
A baby whale is called a calf.
A baby goose is called a gosling.
A baby bear is called a cub.
A baby kangaroo is called a joey.
A baby cat is called a kitten.
A baby dog is called a pup.
A baby pig is called a piglet.
On March 1st Sean and Rachel will
tell you what their Quiglet is called.

It was fun to finally let our secret out. I had been avoiding calling any family members or friends, cause I was worried I would have everything come rushing out of my mouth.

Throughout the trip I was nauseous and terrified that my body would miscarry. Each day was full of fun, but despite the fun, I was an emotional wreck. I am looking forward to another trip, in the future, where I will be normal. A big thank you to family who'll put up with you despite the emotional circumstances.

Here is what we did.
My grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Each of their seven children were able to make it for the occasion, and even put the whole thing together. Every time I would tell my clients, in Pittsburgh, that I was going to my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary they were shocked that they were still married.Way to beat the odds grandma and grandpa!
Along with their seven children, came the grandchildren... 27 of the 28 are here in the picture (even though two were on missions, their life size cardboard bodies made it in the picture).

                                              My sisters and me 
James, Megan, Koby, Ethan, Micah and Eve (brother-in-law, sister, nephew, nephew, brother, and sister-in-law)
The next day you could find the whole gang donned in the same burgundy family shirt at the church property. We spent our Saturday eating great food, playing lots of games, and hanging out down at the river. My dad orchestrated this event, and did a wonderful job. We ate leftovers for a week (combine that with nauseous feelings and I didn't want to even look at the food).
Emily disappeared
A large herd of burgundy gathered around the little herd of burgundy and watched as they dug in the hay for treasures
The next day we went camping on the Washington coast-- without our burgundy shirts.
 I enjoyed complaining about how cold I was while everyone else enjoyed skim boarding, surfing, boogy-boarding, and playing in the water.
When the sun came out, we were in heaven!
Megan kept Ethan, Koby, and Ryder entertained while Shannon chased Eli
Emily kept me entertained
There is one rule you must follow when surfing in Washington-- Wear wet suits. Brrr!
After returning from camping, the next day we went crabbing. The water was so calm off of Camano. As we waited for crab to wander into our pots, we fished.
Grandpa and Ryder
And the crab came! We met our limit after three hours and headed home to have a seafood feast.
Going home never gets old!
These are the precautions you have to take if you want a successful garden back home.
These four legged friends will come snack whenever they want, so if you want growth-- build a fence.

 Overall, the trip was wonderful! The last couple of days were spent at my cousin's wedding and a local fair-- the nephews loved the animals and tractors. I loved the ice cream-- no surprise there. I can't wait to go home again!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

18 weeks

This week was a HUGE one! Not only did we find out that we are having a BOY, but we toured Pittsburgh, Boston, and Maine. Each of the places we spent time in, were beautiful, but I still can't help the fact that I love the west. I hope to be narrowing the geographical gap between us and our families in just seven and a half short months.

Here is what Sean, my belly, my red hat and me did this week:
                      Went kayaking with Kat and Luke on the Pittsburgh rivers,
                     posed in front of the fountain where Sean's proposal took place,
                     tried to keep up with Kat and Luke, but gave up and took pictures,
                                     caught this handsome guy in action,
                                    checked out the Mr. Rogers memorial,
                   slowly walked behind these two so that Kat and I could have girl talk,
                      were posers, again, with John Harvard on Harvard campus,
                                            visited Faneuil Hall,
                     salivated over my pregnancy craving-- Natalie was full of support,
                               had umbrella malfunctions outside Quincy Market,
                                            tried to avoid all the puddles,
talked teeth and practice-related issues, with the president of Massachusetts Dental Society, at the dental conference in Rockland, Maine,
          stayed at the beautiful Glen Cove Inn with the Drapers, Richins, and Nelsons,
                                           wandered out on the pier,
     quickly took some pictures so that we could rush down to Fenway Park in Boston,
found out the only one in the group that likes the taste of yellow Sprees is Sean (he inherited 50% of the box),
made it to the Red Sox/Yankees game,
enjoyed the 99 year old park while listening to a yankee's fan punch a red sox fan (both women) behind us,
                         Found sisters who were cheering on opposing teams,
got to visit the family that I was a nanny for, see how big they are, and slide down the fire pole,
                                  enjoyed being in the Danziger home again,
                         and added to our little guy's growing sports wardrobe.