Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

I have so many posts to get on here it's quite ridiculous. Alena's first gymnastics competition, my birthday, 26 week belly bump, and SNOW... oh my!

This was a good Christmas. Great presents, great food, and a great big mess! We let the kids open their stockings and presents from each other on Christmas Eve. We had taken them to the .99 store with a couple dollars in hand to pick something out for each other. Alena chose a pack of airplanes and a bag of plastic rats (why?) for Christian. And he chose a kitchen set and candy bar for her.

Christmas morning, we opened gifts first and then made breakfast. I didn't realize until after all the gifts were opened and they were being played with that we bought mostly battery-less gifts. There were several puzzles, books, games, and other toys that required imagination to play with them. Gabe and I of course didn't mind the break on our ears either. ;)

gifts from grandmama
gift from grandma and grandpa
another cute grandparent gift

OK, I have to explain Gabe's gift a little. Last year, he didn't give me ANY clues or hints as to what he wanted. I just kept getting an "I don't know.". Very frustrating for me and I had no idea what to get him either. He ended up with some odd gifts so we learned our lesson this year. He gave me multiple options for gifts and I picked the one I knew he would love. The new water proof, shock proof, and freeze proof camera from Nikon. This will be perfect for his upcoming business trip to Hawaii next month (poor him, right?).

Alena finally got her dollhouse after two years of begging for one. And what a dollhouse it is!

Hot Wheels Trick Tracks were very popular with the kids.
 No pictures of my gifts! :( Gabe got me a beautiful mother's necklace with a heart spelling out Mom and a charm for each child with an A and C and their birthstone on each one. And soon there will be another charm to add! Also, I got the latest John Grisham book to add to my collection. He is my favorite author and I have every book he's published.

I did not, unfortunately, take pictures of the food and it's sad really because it was SO good. We had honey spiraled ham, homemade mashed potatoes, cheesy cauliflower and broccoli, gluten free stuffing (may do a recipe post on this), rolls, and gluten free pumpkin pie. We cooked literally all day then stuffed ourselves to the gills and then some. Christian has requested ham leftovers EVERY single day since Christmas and we have finally eaten it all!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

24 Week Belly Bump

Where has the time gone?! Christmas is over and it's been so busy around here that I forgot to post my 24 week belly!

Woo! Look at that belly! I just absolutely LOVE it! Is it weird to say how cute and lovely it looks when I'm talking about myself? Oh well. Pregnancy is the only time I feel completely comfortable and confident about my body and actually love to see it and show it off.

How far along - 24 weeks

 Weight gain - 7 lbs! I seem to be gaining one pound every two weeks.

Morning sickness/nausea - Not at all.

Movement -  Much stronger now. Sometimes I wonder what body part is poking into my side doing circles, kicks, and punches. My hands are almost always on my stomach and that's not exaggerating at all. Gabe asks me if I'm doing that for good luck because I do it so often. I just love feeling the roundness of my tummy and can't get enough of it!

Contractions - I have Braxton Hicks every once in a while. They don't feel great but I must say, I actually enjoy them. :) Weird, yes, I know. But they are helping to prepare me for labor and that kind of excites me. (We'll see if I'm saying this when I'm actually closer to my due date and these contractions are coming much more frequently) But for now, I'll enjoy them.

Pain -  My hip and back pain stay at bay most of the time. I've been seeing a chiropractor regularly and that has helped a ton. Usually by the time the pain comes back, it's time to see the chiropractor again so it doesn't stay for long.

Sleep - I sleep through the night no problem. Thank the lord!

Stretchmarks - Nope.

Maternity clothes - All maternity bottoms and mostly maternity shirts. My regular t-shirts are starting to be too small and so are all but one of my sweatshirts which is awful because I live in sweaters and sweatshirts in winter!

Food cravings/aversions -  When I'm hungry I crave anything and everything. Otherwise, it's usually something different. Just depends on my mood.

Eating/drinking -  I can out-eat Gabe! I don't know how but I can just keep packing it away but then half an hour later, I feel like my stomach is stretched to the max!

Boy or Girl - We're not finding out but are guessing girl.

Lowlights of the week - I do get uncomfortable when sitting and trying to relax now. My torso is small so when I sit it gets smaller and more crowded. I haven't figured out how to sit comfortably without having to keep my back straight and torso as long as possible.

Highlights of the week - Just the overall appreciation I have for my body and the amazing transformation it goes through in order to grow another human being.

Anything to add - I still have pregnancy brain and seem to forget the silliest things. We *may* have almost decided on a name if this is a little girl! If this baby is a boy, heaven help us because we just cannot agree and decide on anything!

24 weeks
24 week belly button
I'm not sure where they went or even if I took them but there are no 23 week pics to be found. :(

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree

I think my favorite Christmas decoration would have to be the tree. There's just something about sitting in a dark room only lit by the glow of the tree's light...

I've been working at getting our tree "just right" for the past few years and every year I feel like I get closer but I'm never quite there. I'm always happy with the way it turns out but I can't quite put my finger on why it's not right yet.

My thinking is that the more unique ornaments we get, the better the tree looks. That might explain why I'm loving it more year after year; we keep adding our own special ornaments that bring up lots of good memories.

Every year we have pictures taken with Santa and I always stick a wallet size in a picture frame ornament. This is probably one of the only traditions I have been able to stick with when it comes to decorating the tree. I love seeing the pictures and how they've grown and the kids love finding them.
Walters estd. 2005
I have also started in recent years that whenever we go somewhere that is unique and most likely a "once in a lifetime" type of thing, I try to pick up an ornament. As seen in the picture above (the Amish country one) and in the pictures below.
I can't wait for the day where most of the ornaments on the tree are totally unique from each other. Where house guests and even ourselves can stand at the tree for a long time just looking at each ornament, reminiscing about all the memories we've shared and telling stories about each one.

What is your favorite part of your Christmas tree? Do you have certain color themes and certain ornaments that are always on the tree?

Monday, December 10, 2012

22 Week Belly Bump

22 weeks
Kisses for baby!
Posting this a week late but better late than never, right?

How far along - 22 weeks

 Weight gain - 6 lbs! I seem to gaining one pound every two weeks.

Morning sickness/nausea - Not at all.

Movement -  This little pickle is getting stronger and stronger. I've even had it up in my ribs which surprised me as I'm only five months. It's a stubborn little baby too. Every time I try to feel the movements on the outside with my hands, it stop moving!

Pain -  My hip and back pain got to the point where I had to get help. I went to the chiropractor and I swear, I have never heard so many pops coming from my back! I feel better now but will continue to go once a month until March where I will go once a week up until the baby comes.

Sleep - I sleep through the night no problem. Probably because I'm so tired by the time I go to bed! Sometimes I get up at night to pee, sometimes I don't. Also, I'll wake up to pain in my stomach and it's actually the baby pushing out so hard on my tummy that I can almost feel their whole body!

Stretchmarks - Nope.

Maternity clothes - All maternity bottoms and mostly maternity shirts. My regular t-shirts are starting to be too small!

Food cravings/aversions -  Lots of salads and things that involve cheese and milk. Weird because I am NOT a cheese lover. With Alena it was Taco Bell and with Christian, Big Macs.

Eating/drinking -  I can out-eat Gabe! I don't know how but I can just keep packing it away but then half an hour later, I feel like my stomach is stretched to the max!

Boy or Girl - We're not finding out but are guessing girl.

Lowlights of the week - back and hip pain

Highlights of the week - Feeling the baby's kicks grow stronger and more frequent!

Anything to add - Pregnancy brain is in FULL FORCE right now. I can't remember anything and can barely speak without sounding absolutely ridiculous! I'm starting to realize I've been pregnant longer than I have left and that makes me sad. :( I love being pregnant and wish it could last just a little longer!

21 weeks
22 Weeks

Friday, December 7, 2012

Piano Recital

So last weekend, Gabe, myself, and Alena had a piano recital along with all the other students our teacher has. We've been taking lessons since January and we LOVE our teacher.

Gabe and I each had a solo piece and then we played a duet (Carol of the Bells) together. Alena also had two songs. We had been told to have our songs memorized and we did, even Alena.

Since Alena was the youngest student and because we didn't want her getting too nervous, she went first. OMGoodness, I just could not have been prouder! I just couldn't believe that our five year old was up there BY HERSELF playing two songs from MEMORY! And she did great. She got a note wrong on Hark the Herold Angels Sing but redid it and kept going never missing a beat.

Here she is playing at home the day before the recital. I didn't want to film the recital because I wanted to be able to sit and watch. This is her second recital song, Hark the Herold Angels Sing.

And now I really have to brag. :) Remember, we had our songs memorized. Well, I thought everyone else would too. I mean, Alena's five and had her's memorized, Gabe and I were the oldest students so of course we had ours... But would you believe not a single other person (maybe one, I can't remember) played from memory?! Alena noticed that too and mentioned it to us. I think it increased her confidence to know that she was the youngest and did her songs without the music in front of her. But everyone did great considering this was everyone's first piano (and a few voice) recital.

Gabe and I being the oldest, were the last to play on the piano. So we had to sit there through twenty other performers and get more and more nervous.

I was so nervous playing my song that I could visibly see my hands shaking as I was playing. I don't know how I played the song without mistakes because during it I kept thinking "God, my hands are shaking! How can they be shaking so bad and I'm still hitting the right keys?". Haha! I think the fact that I have played that darn song over and over and over until I started to hate it actually helped me. I could sit and play it because it was so engrained into my brain.

Gabe played his right after me and also did very well. Then we had our duet. Oh boy... We were both shaking and Gabe missed some notes and we played that part three times before getting it. (side note: apparently we didn't make it obvious because we and the teacher got several good remarks about our duet. ) Anyway, we got through that and then I messed up on my favorite part of the song no less! We played through it and finished. Whew! What a load off our chest.

Our next recital is tentatively the first weekend in May. Hmm, the baby should be three weeks old then. We'll see how that goes. :) I thought it would be cool if I ended up playing my songs with a baby in its carrier strapped to my chest. How impressive would that be?!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Did It

Well, I did it. I've gone out on a limb and created my own Facebook page. :)

I've been flooding my own personal page for quite some time now with facts and articles about birth and breastfeeding. I feel like I might have lost some friends or have been "hidden" because of how often I post those things. And the sad thing is, I don't even post half of what I want!

I've called it The Biological Norm and it will pertain to natural birth and breastfeeding. I think birth and breastfeeding should happen the biologically normal way and not how society sees it as the norm.

If you feel like checking it out, here is the web address.

I'm so excited to have a place I can freely express my opinions with like minded individuals! If you agree with my views and click the "Like" button, Thank you and leave me a comment either on here or the FB page itself to let me know. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

20 Week Belly Bump

Well since I still haven't solved my photo storage problem that I wrote about here, you will just have this one picture of me for now. :( If I can figure out what the heck I'm doing, I'll post my 19 weeks photos.

UPDATE 12/6 - I figured out a solution to my photos. I have to upload them to my photobucket account first, then upload them ONE at a time to the blog. A pain in the butt but at least I can post photos again.

Ugh, talk about behind far behind! I'm actually now 21 weeks but due to the Thanksgiving holiday and being out of town, I've just really fallen behind. I was going to skip this post and just do a 22 week post, but if I let myself slack once, I'll likely do it again.

And how horrible that this milestone of a week (20 weeks) I didn't take any pictures besides this one!

How far along - 20 weeks

 Weight gain - 5 lbs!

Morning sickness/nausea - Not at all.

Movement - I get little kicks here and there! They are getting stronger which I love.

Pain - I get backaches here and there. Also, I think my hips have started to separate or stretch because I've started waddling at the end of the day. Also, there is pain all around my hips.

Sleep - Great! Sometimes I get up at night to pee, sometimes I don't. Also, I'll wake up to pain in my stomach and it's actually the baby pushing out so hard on my tummy that I can almost feel their whole body!

Stretchmarks - Nope.

Maternity clothes - I wear my maternity jeans every day and my long sleeve maternity shirts. Sometimes I'll wear a regular t-shirt or shirt as long as it is longer.

Food cravings/aversions -  SALADS! Caesar salad mainly. At least this time I crave healthy food. With Alena it was Taco Bell and with Christian, Big Macs.

Eating/drinking -  Not really a problem.

Boy or Girl - We're not finding out but are guessing girl.

Lowlights of the week - back and hip pain

Highlights of the week - Feeling the baby's kick grow stronger and more frequent!

Anything to add -Nope. I love pregnancy and love the way it makes me feel. :)

19 weeks

Friday, November 30, 2012


I'm trying to do a post for the blog and it is not letting me upload any more photos because I'm at my 1GB limit for Google. If I upgrade, it will be $2.49 a month.

Do I have to upgrade? Is there another way?

All my photos go to a Picasa Web Album for Google. Can I change that? If I delete photos from the Picasa album, they are then deleted from the blog!

Help a helpless/clueless blogger please! How do you upload your photos and where are they stored? I'm so confused!

Please and Thank you!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

At the Range

The other weekend, Gabe and I had one of his coworkers offer to take us to a shooting range. We've been talking about buying handguns for protection in the house (especially for me while Gabe is away on trips). We have been wanting to go for a long time and even though I've been putting it off for a while, I finally agreed to go.

We were using our friends' handguns, a Ruger SR40 and a baby Desert Eagle. I grew up around guns and would occasionally shoot them (mainly BB guns and 22s), but I had never shot a handgun. While in the Air Force, I only had the opportunity to shoot an M16 which I did shoot expert on (and was the ONLY girl in my flight to do so)! OK brag moment over...

We were shooting at a closer range, maybe 20 yards. My first shot didn't go off so well. I was not expecting the kick it gave me and I ended up screaming like a little girl at the surprise and completely missed the target. Hah! But by the end, I was more comfortable and figured out what I needed to be doing.

 I did figure out after this picture that I needed to change my stance.

Look at the baby bump!

My shot group is the one I pointed out. Not bad for a first time!

Gabe got a video of me shooting and happened to get one of my best shots! See picture above. That shot on the far right of that group is the one seen on the video.

Also, please excuse my husband's "amazing" video skills. Haha!

I had a lot more fun than I thought I would! Now, we just have to get some of our own and I can go practice more often. :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

18 Week Belly Bump

Sorry this post is so late. Gabe has been home off of work this past week so along with starting his online classes again, we've also just been spending more time together (meaning I just haven't gotten around to being on the computer). Almost to the halfway point! Now is where it gets exciting! Those first kicks are truly the best. 

17 weeks

How far along - 18 weeks

 Weight gain - 4 lbs! I really hope my weight gain (or lack thereof) is not an issue this pregnancy. The midwife doesn't seem too concerned as long as the baby is growing like it should.

Morning sickness/nausea - I pretty much don't ever get any.

Movement - I was getting really worried about not feeling the baby moving and just starting to think the worst when the day I turned 18 weeks, I felt a few kicks! Talk about relief! I must just be destined to feel my kids all at 18 weeks because that's the first time I felt Alena and Christian too.

Physical changes (that you can see from the outside) - This week, I've been starting the belly rubbing. To me, I feel bigger and rounder so I'm always touching my stomach. I absolutely love it!

Pain - Wouldn't you know it, the day Gabe returned from his last trip, my headaches went away! I wonder what that means. Either way, I'm just glad they're gone. I get back pains occasionally. I catch myself sleeping on my back all the time and it always hurts my back. I don't know how to avoid sleeping on my back when I don't even know I'm doing it.

Sleep - Getting much better! Now that Gabe has been home, I've been sleeping sooo much better! Also, this past week, I haven't been getting up to pee in the middle of the night.

Stretchmarks - Nope.

Maternity clothes - All in maternity bottoms and 50/50 on maternity shirts. The weather has cooled down enough for me to wear my long sleeve maternity shirts. I can also wear regular shirts as long as they are longer and my t-shirts fit too.

Food cravings/aversions -  I get cravings here and there. Sometimes I could be craving for something and two days later finally get it. By that time though, it's gone and now is disgusting to me!

Eating/drinking -  Not really a problem.

Boy or Girl - We're not finding out but we are guessing girl.

Lowlights of the week - back pain

Highlights of the week - Feeling tiny little kicks and hearing that reassuring heartbeat!

Anything to add - Nothing much. I'm just so excited for the next weeks because Christian really wants to feel the baby kick and soon he will!

17 weeks



18 weeks

18 weeks