24 Weeks

Sunday, December 30, 2012

This week brought lots of tears and uncertainty. The ultrasound and the MRI provided heartbreaking news about Baby V and we are awaiting an appointment to followup with the Children's Mercy Fetal Health Team. I will share more at another time but right now, this momma's heart is heavy.

Keep Baby V, her momma, and her daddy in your prayers.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas to you and yours! 
I hope this season finds you in a happy, healthy, and cozy place. 
God Bless! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

how far along:
22 Weeks

Nothing really. 
I get pretty tired when trying to get stuff done around the house but that is about it.

cravings/aversions :
Not much here either. My diet has pretty much stayed the same since before I was preggo.

movement :
Yes! I can totally feel her moving around in there. I really notice it at night when I am laying in bed. I can't wait until the hubs can feel her move!

Pretty good thanks to my Chubby Hubby. Totally worth the investment.

looking forward to :  
Christmas! All my siblings start to trickle home over the next week and I love it when we are all able to get together.

Still waiting on the results of the genetic testing. We should be getting the results soon. 

best moment this week :  
The ultrasound. Her little heart was beating away at 160 beats per minute and she is weighing in at 1 lb and 1 ounce. It was our most positive ultrasound to date! Good work baby v! 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
We had our 22 week follow-up ultrasound with the perinatologist today.

I always get nervous heading to appointments but today both the hubs and I left feeling really good! The ultrasound tech and the perinatologist were different from the last two times we were there so it was a new prespective on our baby girl and the report was good! There were no structural abnormalities in her brain (no hygroma and no variant) and her heart looks good too! She is right on track for her growth and development for 22 weeks gestation. It did appear that one kidney is larger than the other but the perinatologist said it would be something that we just keep an eye on. They tried multiple times to get a good image of her little face with the 3D machine but the little stinker kept her hands in front of her face the whole time! 

What a relief to hear something positive about our little one. 
It is always so neat just to sit back and watch her move...what a little miracle! 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Two pretty big things happened this week and I am so excited to share...

First, sleeping started to become a little bit more of a challenge so I was waking up a lot at night to reposition. Sleeping on my stomach is not an option anymore and all the books tell you sleeping on your back is not safe at this point so I found myself flipping from side to side all night. Lack of sleep for me, means lack of sleep for the hubs. So we made a trip to Babies-R-Us and made a little investment....

I call it my "Chubby Hubby" and it has proven to make sleep a little more peaceful in our home! It comes highly recommended from me!

The second big thing that happened this week...
I felt our baby girl moving! I think I have been feeling her for a couple of weeks but since I am a first time momma, I wasn't really sure what I was feeling. Well, the hubs was not home on Saturday so I was laying in bed and there was no denying that what I was feeling was our baby girl. It was the strangest yet most incredible thing that I have ever experienced. I texted the hubs to tell him and then I just layed there and experienced the moment. 
What an incredible feeling. What an amazing little miracle.

O Christmas Tree

This little momma has been so tired lately! 
Usually over Thanksgiving weekend, the hubs and I go to the Christmas tree farm, pick the perfect tree, cut it down, and then bring it home and make that baby look magical with decorations. Well, Thanksgiving weekend was busy for us! I was on call for work so I had to go in for a couple of hours and then between venue shopping and wedding dress shopping with Emily, Christmas shopping, and being in St. Joe for Thanksgiving day I was worn out and a tree just was not happening. We debated the idea of an artificial tree but something just didn't seem right about it for me. We always had a real tree growing up and next year when our baby girl is here, we want to carry on the tradition of going on a tree hunt with her so buying an artificial tree seemed a little silly to me. Being tired but yet not wanting to get an artificial tree led the hubs and I to a hardware store to get a tree. In 10 minutes, we were in and out and had a real tree tied to the top of my car. 

The hubs put the lights on the tree and I handled the ornaments. 

O pretty Christmas tree!

And just because I love it so much, here is a pic of our mantel.
 It is decorated the same as it was last year but I just really love it. 

Merry Christmas time to all!

20 Weeks

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Half way there!

On one hand it seems like the first 20 weeks flew by but on the other hand it seems like I have been pregnant for a year. Strange how that works, right? I have felt great through my whole pregnancy...no morning sickness, no nausea, no weird food cravings/aversions (expect one really weird week where I ate 3 fish sandwiches from McDonald's. I have not had McDonald's in years and I don't really like fish but apparently I needed 3 in one week).  My doctor did prescribe migraine medication to me as I had pretty intense headaches around 14 weeks but I think it was a combination of stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep. Overall, I can't complain about how I have felt!

We want to say again that we are so very grateful for all of our friends and family who have been thinking of and praying for our baby girl. We are so blessed.

Here is to hoping that the next 20 weeks go a little smoother for our sweet baby girl!

Super Cheap Chalkboard!

Thursday, November 29, 2012
I had a few questions about the chalkboard that we are using 
for our weekly bump checks...

 I made it and you can too! It was super easy and cheap!

I picked up a frame at a thrift store ($3) and a can of chalkboard paint from Hobby Lobby (~$5).

I read a couple of tutorials about just using the glass as the chalkboard but that made me a little nervous so I took the glass out and replaced it was a scrap piece of wood from my grandpa's garage. I primed the frame and the board with a spray primer.

A couple of coats of chalkboard spray paint on the scrap wood and a couple of coats of regular black spray paint on the frame and it was finished. 

Total: $8! Happy Crafting! 


Thursday, November 22, 2012
Thank You! 

I am truly overwhelmed by all the kind words, notes of encouragement, and prayers lifted. The hubs, Baby V, and I are so very grateful for our family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

We Have Some Big News:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

We are expecting a baby girl in April! 
We are so excited to hold our precious little girl. We know she will be just perfect but the pregnancy has been anything but...lets start from the beginning...

 We were so excited (and a little surprised too!) to find out that we were pregnant! 
I had been really tired so while I was at work, my friend Casie encouraged me to take a pregnancy test. I tried to convince her that I was not pregnant but I took the test anyway.

The hubs patiently waited for the timer to go off so that we could look at the pregnancy test! 

 One positive test was not enough for me...four tests later, it was confirmed...we were having a baby! I was beside myself with excitement! I was a mommy!

We had our first appointment with our OB at 8 weeks and everything looked perfect! We told our family our exciting news over Labor Day Weekend. To say they were excited would be an understatement! My mom was squealing, my grandma started crying, and the hub's momma was is disbelief! Our baby was instantly loved!

At 12 weeks, we went back to our OB for our next checkup. Our OB was attempting to find the baby's heart tones with the Doppler but the baby was not cooperating. To ease our anxiety, the OB decided that we would just get a quick ultrasound to make sure all was well. 

The ultrasound tech instantly found the heart tones and we heard our baby's little heart beating away at 164 beats per minute. We thought we were good to go, but the tech said she was going to get the OB. They both stared at the ultrasound monitor with concerned looks on their faces. Finally, the OB said that she found something that she thought was "concerning" so she wanted to send us to see a perinatologist. I bawled.  She made lots of calls and they were nice enough to get us in to see the perinatologist immediately. The perinatologist did another ultrasound and she told us that it appears that our baby has a cystic hygroma
We were overwhelmed, confused, sad, and scared. 

We met with a genetics counselor and she explained what a hygroma was and what it could possibly mean for our baby. We faced the potential of a miscarriage, chromosome abnormality, genetic mutation, or heart defect. We had a chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to look at the baby's chromosomes to see what we were facing. 

48 hours later, the genetics counselor called us and told us that the baby's chromosomes were normal and that we were having a girl. Normal chromosomes meant that the hygroma was not a result of a chromosome abnormality like Down's Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, or Trisomy 18. We learned that just because her chromosome were all normal didn't rule out the possibility of a heart defect or a genetic mutation. We also learned that the risk for miscarriage is very high in babies with a hygroma. We were given all our options but we were so confused.  The unknown is so overwhelming. 

The next ultrasound was scheduled at 18 weeks so for the next 6 weeks we tried our best to keep going. There were lots of tears and sleepless nights. As a pediatric nurse you see and know too much to stay sane when you find out that something could be wrong with your child.

We had our followup appointment with the perinatologist on Thursday (11.15.12).  The plan was to look at the hygroma (to determine if it was getting bigger or smaller and if any hydrops had developed) and to look at the structure of the heart. The tech measured every single thing on our baby girl. The ultrasound lasted an hour and a half!  I laid there for an hour and a half watching her click and zoom on the ultrasound while simply nodding at the machine. When she finished she said, "it looks like the hygroma has resolved and the baby's heart looks structurally normal."  I waited for the "but" and sure enough that was the next thing that came out of her mouth, "but there are few things that I think are concerning so I need to get the perinatologist." 

I immediately started crying. 
The perinatologist came in an did his own ultrasound while mumbling to the machine. I heard him drop a couple of terms. I could not keep quiet any longer so I started the string of questions. He said that he was concerned about a possible Dandy Walker Variant on her cerebellum. Again, as a peds nurse when I hear Dandy Walker I immediately get an image in my head of a patient that I once took care of. He assured us that she does not have Dandy Walker Syndrome but could potentially have a variant. He said that he can't confirm that it is there because at some angles it looks normal. I asked what a variant would mean and he said worst case would be slight development and motor function delay but that sometimes a variant doesn't even present with symptoms.

The other thing that he mentioned was that she has a bilateral cleft lip. Twelve weeks ago if you would have told me my baby would have a bilateral cleft lip, I probably would have been crushed but given what could have been with her, I will take a cleft lip. It is something that is surgically repaired and she will be set. That, I can handle. 

Because of the possible variant and the history of the hygroma, I will have an MRI at 24 weeks to better visualize her brain. We will also have an ECHO at 24 weeks to confirm that she does not have any minor heart defects. Unfortunately we can't rule out any genetic mutations yet but they don't have any reason to believe at this point that there is a mutation. 

I am sure that I will never stop worrying until I can see her for myself but the baby girl got her first outfit this week, we finally started the name conversation, and I looked into starting her registry. It is time to prepare!

I am going to be a momma to a very precious baby girl.
She is so very loved (yet grounded for all the stress that she has caused this far). 

Date Night

Sunday, November 4, 2012
The hubs and I had a really fun date night last night! We went to Lawrence to see Matt and Kim at Liberty Hall but  also managed to squeeze in a trip through the KU campus, burgers and wings at Jefferson's, a stroll down Mass Street, and of course a slice of pizza from The Wheel!  Totes love my hubby!

A Weekend of Celebrating

Sunday, October 28, 2012
Emily flew home for a visit this weekend. Little did she know, it was no ordinary visit. My little Emmy got engaged this weekend. She is all grown up and she is going to be a bride! Lucky for her, I have a Pinterest wedding board and I have been pinning away ideas for my sisters to use. 

Chad proposed in Parkville where they had their first date...precious. 
After, they came back to my house where friends and family were waiting to celebrate. 

The celebrating continued on Saturday when we traveled to Columbia to tailgate for the MU Homecoming Game.

What a fun weekend! 
Congrats to Emily and Chad...now on to wedding planning!

Free Fall Decorating

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
My grandma was cleaning up her garden and she had a box full of dried gourds that she was going to trash. They were looking pretty bad but I thought that they had potential.

I scrubbed the dirt off and used some leftover spray paint/acrylic paint to give them new life. 

I was pretty impressed with how well they turned out. They are so fun and festive! 

Yay for free fall decorating! Happy crafting! 

San Fran

Monday, October 15, 2012
Remember when Emily moved out?  It was a very sad day. 
We miss seeing her sweet face every day and hearing her run up the stairs like my mom. My siblings will know exactly what I am talking about! 

This past weekend, I flew to San Fran to see Emily. I had a great time catching up with her, seeing her new place, and exploring the city. 

Rumor has it that Emily will be moving home sooner rather than later. 
I sure hope so! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Rememeber when I introduced you to my sister Abby?

I finally made the trip to Maryville to see her room all put together! 
She worked hard all summer to re-purpose used furniture to make her room extra special this year and it totally paid off! Abby lives with 5 other girls in a old house and she did an awesome job making her maybe 12x12 foot room extra special. 

Abby re-purposed the loft from her dorm room by giving it a fresh coat of white paint and cutting the legs shorter to accommodate the lower ceilings. Under her bed is the armoire that she painted this summer and fabric attached to a curtain rod hides her hanging clothes (she does not have a closet). The rolling chair originally belonged to our other sister Emily and Ab just recovered the cushion to match her room! 
Of course the best part...the embroidery hoops with the coordinating fabrics...so cute!

I am so impressed!  Way to go Sassy!

A Few Snips Shy of a Pixie

Please allow me to take a moment to tell you all a sad tale...

Over the weekend, I was getting ready to go to a tailgate party with my hubs and some of his friends. I took a shower and blow dried my hair as usual and then went to straighten my hair like I do everyday. I picked up my first section of hair, placed the Chi right up to my scalp, and as I clamped down, my hair started smoking. 
I pulled my Chi away and a section of my hair came with it. 

I freaked...almost broke down in tears...then panicked.
What hairs didn't get singed off were burnt to a crisp on the left side of my head.
It was fried, crispy, frizzy, and totally untamable.

Luckily I had an appointment with my bff in the hair stylist world, Clover, scheduled for today. I had texted Clover to give her an advanced warning but she was a little overwhelmed when I showed up. She consulted another stylist and together they went after my hair.  Apparently if you burn your hair all you can do is cut it becasue no amount of conditioning or hot oil treatments (which we tried) can reverse the damage. 
In the end, I ended up with what I think is my shortest haircut ever. 
It is going to take some getting used to but sweet Clover gave it her best shot. 

It is just a few snips shy of being a pixie cut.

Labor Day Weekend - 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
For Labor Day my family went to the Lake of the Ozarks for the weekend. 
It also happened to be my oldest brother, Shawn's, 30th birthday!

The weekend was filled with lots of food, games, swimming,
 jet skiing, and general togetherness.

For the love of greenbeans...

Friday, August 17, 2012
Last weekend the hubs and I went to my grandparents to do some picking and canning! My grandparents have a massive sized garden. They grow corn, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, peanuts, and okra. They eat some fresh, give some away, and then they can the rest for winter.

I always try to make a point to go help over the summer because my grandparents are always so generous and give us lots of their produce. 
Not to mention, when we go, I get meals like this...

Why yes, that is chicken-fried-chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh corn, and fried okra. When I go to grandma's house, calories go out the window!

Ok, back to the canning. 
We spent Saturday morning picking...we got up super early to beat the heat and I am not a morning person hence the lack of pics of me.  I promise I did help!
Once it was all picked, it was time for some shucking, cutting the corn off the cob, and snapping the tips off the greenbeans. 

We left the corn with my aunt who was going to freeze it all and we got to work on the greenbeans. And by "we" I mean my grandparents and I...the hubs decided he needed to take a 3 hour nap in the middle of canning!

So fun! In total we canned 28 quarts of green beans and cut enough corn off the cob to make 16 bags full. My grandma's record for one day is 90 quarts of greenbeans! 
Seriously, my grandparents are amazing and so are those greenbeans!

My hubs has said a few times that he thinks he could be a farmer. I am not so sure...case-in-point...here he is doing an impression of the donkey. Quite the little farmer!

Laney Goes to College

Thursday, August 16, 2012
My baby of babiest sisters left for college yesterday. It seems pretty impossible that she is even old enough to drive let alone be heading to her freshman year of college! She chose to go to MU and yesterday was the big move in day! She was totally ready and I am so excited for her! Little Laney is so smart and grounded. She has the most passionate attitude and she is honestly a joy to be around. 

I am so excited to see what the next few years bring for her 
and I look forward to many trips to Columbia to visit! 

P.S...my parents have experienced this day 7 times! 
Can you even imagine? Erica was just 7 when our oldest brother left for college!

Natalie's Nursery

Sunday, August 5, 2012
Meet my friend Liz and her precious daughter Natalie...

Liz and her hubby recently moved and baby Natalie needed her room decorated!

Liz was in love with this Pottery Barn nursery
She loved the tissue paper flowers and lanterns in the corner.

It didn't seem to hard so we gave it a shot!
We originally planned to make our own flowers out of tissue paper but when we went to Party City, we found lanterns,  flowers, and fans. It actually turned out to be cheaper just to buy them over making them...cheaper and less time consuming...sold!

Liz spent around $25 for all the supplies and this is what we came up with...

Some of the fans didn't make it through the first night so Liz had to do a little rearranging. This is her updated masterpiece...

So fun! So cute! So bright!

Happy Crafting! 
Friday, August 3, 2012
I love fried okra...like really love it! 
I don't eat it very often because I am sure that it is not good for me. 
I recently saw this pic on Pinterest...

It was like angels were singing when I saw the pic...totally delish!
I clicked on the link and was intrigued when I saw that it was baked and not fried!

I followed the recipe (except I left out the Cajun seasoning) and gave baked okra a try!

Toss the okra in a zip-lock baggie and pour the corn meal over the top.

Give yourself a little arm workout when you shake it up and coat the okra.

Dump it into a strainer so that the extra corn meal is removed. 

Place on a baking sheet, spray with canola, and bake! 


I was pretty crispy and yummy! 
I don't know that I'd say it was as good as fried okra but I totally felt better about eating it! 


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