Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Weekend in Pictures

Ducks were fed at the hospital pond.

A birthday cake was made to celebrate a grandmother's birthday,

and we gobbled it up.

A baby was born,

and a little boy became a big brother.

A warm welcome to our niece Calla Dawsey!  We love you and are so glad that you're here. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

20 Weeks

This is the end of my 20th week being pregnant, and I can hardly believe that I'm at the 1/2 way point!  In an effort to remember all of the little details of this pregnancy, I've created the list below:

20 Things to Celebrate 20 Weeks of Pregnancy

1. Bo and I found out that I was pregnant on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 and had our first appointment to confirm the pregnancy the following Wednesday, October 28th. 
2. When I was 5 1/2 weeks pregnant, I passed out while shopping at TJ Maxx!  Fortunately, a kind woman and her daughter caught me on the way down and stayed with me until the Fire Department and Paramedics arrived (!). Bo and I hadn't told anyone that I was pregnant, so a group of strangers were the first people we shared the news with.  One of the paramedics was a real funny guy - when Bo came to pick me up, he said, "You know, Steve is a really nice name" - thanks for the suggestion, Steve. 
3. At 6 weeks, we had our first ultrasound and heard the heartbeat (113 bpm).  Our due date was confirmed for July 4, 2010. 
4. Bo and I told our parents the news at 8 weeks along - right around Thanksgiving.  
5. 10 week u/s on December 7th, 2009 and heart rate was 170 bpm.  Our doctor's office records our u/s on DVDs so we're able to share them with our families.  
6. Our two selected names for the baby are: 
Robert McCord Redmond (McCord is my mom's maiden name and Robert was my "adopted" grandfather) 
Eliza Perrin Redmond (Perrin was Bo's mom's middle name and comes from her paternal side - Eliza is just a name we like)
The baby - boy or girl - will be called McCord or Perrin.  For now, we're calling the baby Pumpkin.
7. On December 7th I had an out-of-body experience.  I came home for lunch and saw a 4 foot tall stork hanging out in our neighborhood near the creek.  I've never before seen a bird like this in Rock Hill.  He gawked at me as I drove past him - then spread his wings and disappeared!  I think he was a good omen, "Baby on the way!  Special Delivery in July!"

8.  After I found out I was pregnant, this fortune was in my Chinese cookie: A new relationship is about to blossom.  You will be blessed.
9. At 16 weeks, the doppler showed that the heart rate was 140 bpm.  Here I am at 4 months.  The baby's about the size of an orange.

10.  At 17 weeks, Bo sent me and Pumpkin roses at work.  It was a complete and total surprise.

11. During the last day of my 18th week, I felt Pumpkin kick for the first time.  It was 7:12 a.m. and I was driving back from Commerce, GA after spending the weekend with Bo.  I left early to make it back in time for church.  Since it was so early, there was no one on the interstate, and I was enjoying some quiet time.  Suddenly, I felt an undeniable kick.  I pushed on my belly, and then there was another!  We did this little game for a couple of times, and I enjoyed bonding in this way for the first time.  Feeling the baby kick is one of my favorite parts about being pregnant. 
12. Bo felt Pumpkin kick for the first time last week!
13. I spent the first trimester eating lots of bagels.
14. My mom came up for the anatomy ultrasound at 19 weeks since Bo was out of town.  We were so relieved that the baby got a healthy report (heart rate 138 bpm).  We told the u/s tech that we didn't want to know the sex of the baby, so she had us look away for a portion of the u/s.  That took major self-control.  I did peek to make sure my mom was closing her eyes, but I didn't peek at the baby!
15. Not sure if I'm nesting already or if I'm just feeling the need to create more room in our house, but I've been obsessing about cleaning out closets lately.  One more to closet to purge, and then I can relax!
16.  Making things for the nursery has brought me great satisfaction.  Bo and I are already enjoying spending time in that room.  Here's a picture of the window treatment in progress. 

17.  I read that the baby can hear your voice and external stimuli at 20 weeks.  I checked out a bunch of children's books at the library this week so Bo and I can read to my belly.  We've also been listening to lots of classical music.
18. At 20 weeks, I took an unexpected trip to the hospital for fluids after a 24-hour stomach bug.  This was our first time inside CMC-Pineville where we'll deliver.  We loved the nurses.  Everyone was so nice.  I especially delighted in seeing a volunteer sitting at the nurses station knitting a little baby cap.  So sweet!  The nurse told us they have special 4th of July ones for the summer babies!

19. I thought I could slide by without looking too pregnant by wearing a jacket - until this weekend.  I met a friend for lunch in Charlotte and asked the host of the restaurant if she had arrived yet and he said, "Oh, you confused me.  I thought you were with the large baby shower since your pregnant!"  Secret's out!
20. I have been really fortunate for the first half of this pregnancy with minimal morning sickness, a great appetite and a decent amount of energy.  Bo and I pray every day for a healthy full term baby!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Back of Bo's Head

Bo and I got married on October 15, 2005.  We had a beautiful rehearsal dinner the evening before our wedding.  My in-laws created a memorable and meaningful night, and Bo and I will always remember the overwhelming support and encouragement we felt from our families and close friends who celebrated with us.   

Here's a picture of our table.  My in-laws, Dave and Frances, are to the right of me and apparently were the only ones who knew we were taking a picture.  My parents are on the left-hand side of the photo sitting next to Bo. 

Here's a picture of us with the groom's cake - a tribute to PC!  It was delicious but oh-so-difficult to cut.  Bo and I should have practiced this beforehand. 

One of my most vivid memories of the evening was listening to Meredith, Bo's sister, toast us.  Meredith and Bo are only 2 years apart and have always been close growing up.  However, being the Little Brother, Bo learned how to aggravate Meredith in only the way little brothers do.  Meredith stood up to deliver a loving and thoughtful toast (mind you, she's 9 months pregnant and was such a trooper through the whole wedding).  Bo and I were sitting at a round table next to Meredith's, but unfortunately, Bo's back was to her table.  For some reason, he chose not to turn around to watch her talk, but instead, kept his back to her as he listened.  Meredith did not appreciate this disrespect, so mid-sentence, Meredith decided to put an end to Bo's behavior, and stated over the mic in her best sisterly tone, "Bo, I'm talking to the back of your head!"  Ever-so-slowly, surely to aggrevate Meredith even further, Bo turned around to face her.  Gracefully Meredith finished her thoughts and we all toasted.  

There were two things at play here: (1) Bo's ability to perfectly play the little brother card and irritate his sister - even at his own rehearsal dinner (!) and (2) Meredith's ability to remind Bo that although he may be getting married, she's still the Big Sister and should still be respected.  You can imagine how all of us enjoyed this sibling play perfectly sandwiched in the middle of Meredith's toast. 

Well, this next picture is for Meredith - the clearest 3D picture we could manage at last week's appointment - 19 weeks.   From your experience, does this look like the back of Bo's head? 

Since Bo was out of town, my mom came up for the ultrasound, and we had such a great time listening to the heartbeat and watching the baby move.  These next few pictures are for the grandparents. 

I can hardly wait to see the baby's face and hope that he or she looks just like Bo!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Loved Like Crazy

Remember when you go into the world
to keep your eyes and ears wide open.
And be kind. Love one another.
Take care of each other. Tell the truth.
Always do your best.
Listen to the big people and the little people.
Explore new paths and have fun.
Know that you are loved like crazy.
Give thanks for all your blessings.
Above all else, love and you will do
wonderful things in this world.
- Rebecca Puig

I came across this passage almost a year ago and it especially resonated with me. I tucked it away, knowing that one day we'd have a little one to share these words with. What a simple, yet meaningful message for all of us to live our lives. When Bo and I first found out that I was pregnant, this was the first thing I wrote in the baby journal. To me it is more than a mantra for our child, but also a sort of prayer for us as parents to raise a child who is kind, caring, and driven to do right, who is curious about the world and the adventures that are in store.

The author of this passage, Rebecca Puig, is an amazing Georgia artist.  Many of her designs are created out of repurposed materials. You can visit her website, Sugarboo Designs, here.  Her home was also featured in the October 2009 issue of Southern Living.

Little Baby, already you are loved like crazy.  And every day that passes, we love you more and more.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sledding on Surrey

Saturday I woke up to find a yard full of snow. Bo's out of town on business, so I tried to capture a few shots of the wintry mix to share with him when he returns.

One thing I love about living on Surrey Lane is the birds-eye view we have of the neighborhood. The steep downward slope on Surrey makes for a perfect raceway for the neighborhood Rugrats on bicycle, scooter, golf cart, and sled. Growing up, my best friend and I had a favorite hill where we loved to ride our bikes. Feeling the wind against your face was the closest thing to sprouting wings and flying.

All children should feel such magical powers.

Since Bo and I've lived on Surrey, we've heard many a squeal of delight from kids racing down the hill. Unfortunately, we've also heard many a crash at the bottom. One time I had to rescue the 5 red-headed siblings who live around the corner. It seems the oldest brother thought he could tie his bike to the youngest brother's scooter and pull him all the way down Surrey. Bad idea. A couple of scrapes and a bum tire later, I loaded the two youngest Red Heads in my car with the scooter in the trunk and a bike in the backseat. Three older Red Heads trailed behind us on their bikes. I promised not to tell their mom. She surely would have killed them.

This weekend however, Surrey Lane provided wholesome, family fun. Per neighborhood tradition, children of all ages gather at the top of Surrey Lane when it snows. Here are a few early morning images I caught. The first is called a Double Decker - otherwise known as Bigbrotheronbottom, Littlebrotherontop. Notice the Mom of the Year - she stood out there all day and gave each snow bunny a proper push down Surrey Lane. She cheered, encouraged, and laughed in good company when they belly flopped in the grass. I bet she even made them chocolate chip cookies when they went home.

I fell in love with this little girl - you can tell she's prepared for the snow in her pink ski suit.

And then there's this endearing image:

So here I am, in the middle of the wintry mess, missing my husband, and hanging some Roman blinds in the soon-to-be-nursery (more on those later). As I look out of the window, I see this:

...families making memories on Surrey Lane.

The view from the nursery looks oh-so-hopeful.