Thursday, September 30, 2010

Contractions

Elliot hasn't been listening. I've been telling him he needs to stay in there for at least six more weeks, but it seems like I'm having an awful lot of contractions these days. Almost every time I change positions, my belly hardens up for at least thirty seconds. They're probably hopefully just Braxton Hicks but... with all this talk about preterm labor lately, it has me a little worried.
I told my OB about it last week, and he said to keep a close eye on them. If I have contractions ten minutes apart for an hour or more, I should call him and get my butt into L&D immediately.
He also decided that it was time to cut off all my exercise priviledges- I'm not even allowed to WALK anymore, other than the minimal walking required of day to day life (to the bathroom, fridge, etc).
But at least it's not bed rest. Yet. (We'll be talking about THAT at my maternal/fetal medicine appointment in GR next week)
Elliot: Calm down, little man! It's not time yet!

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mommy's Here

"I accept Time absolutely.
It alone is without flaw,
It alone rounds and completes all,
That mystic baffling wonder."
[Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass]

Praying for Elliot

Dear Elliot,
Time is passing so quickly.
It feels like just yesterday that I was jumping up and down, waving the positive pregnancy test in the air like my own victory flag. I remember rubbing my belly and silently promising to protect you from any harm. But God had his own plans. My heart still breaks whenever I think back to that horrible day, when the doctor said, "There's a problem with the baby."
You will be here before I know it. I can't wait to meet you, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure if I am ready yet. But ready or not, every day brings me one step closer to your birth, and the beginning of our journey.
There's just one thing you need to know:
Mommy's here.
And I'm not going anywhere.
Love,
Mommy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

26 weeks

25 weeks

"The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take two to three days."


How far along? 26 weeks
Baby’s Size: About 14" long (the length of an english cucumber) and a pound and two-thirds.
Total Weight Gain: I haven't actually weighed myself this week, but I'm going to guess 19 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: Exclusively!
Gender: Boy! :)
Movement: Holy COW. Not only do I feel kicks and punches, but my whole belly contorts when he changes position. He has been a wild man in there lately... particularly at night.
Sleep: Better this week.
Symptoms: Swollen, painful lower back and ankles. Contractions every day.
Best Moments this week: Yesterday, when I was holding a brand new babe (one week old!) Elliot got jealous and started kicking her butt (literally). He was kicking hard enough for her to feel it and squirm. :)
Food Aversions: None really.
Food Cravings: COOKIES! Uh oh.
What I miss: Being able to shave my legs without contorting into a very comical (and uncomfortable) position.
What I am Looking forward to: Next week, along with my regular ultrasound, I'm also meeting the pediatric surgeon and the neonatal team.
Milestones: Hmmmmm. Getting closer to the third trimester!



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Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh no, it's FALL already?!

Well, let me start off this post with some lovely fall pictures.
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Now, if you are expecting me to go on and on about how much I love fall... you're on the wrong blog. I hate fall. Absolutely LOATHE it.
Let me give you some reasons why:
  • You know all those pretty colors that everyone oohs and ahhs about? To me, red and orange and yellow and brown leaves are not pretty. I see them for exactly what they are- dead. What's to love about a season where everything around you is DYING?
  • My favorite thing about nature is the color GREEN: Green grass, green leaves, green trees. Fall zaps all the "green" out of everything :(
  • Fall in northern Michigan is like a fleeting, pretty moment before winter... when everything will be buried under snow... for over six months.
  • Raking the yard is always a losing battle. I don't know about you, but after I've been working all day, I like to feel a sense of accomplishment. And, when a gust of wind scatters 1,000 leaves all over your freshly raked yard... that's just not cool.
  • My nose and knuckles are always chapped in fall. Ouch.
  • Fall = the season of runny noses and colds.
  • I just DON'T like it!
... but, at least I can get some pretty pictures.

It took me far longer to type out that list than it would for you to click below and vote for me... ;) Vote For Us @ topbabyblogs.com!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Award numero dos!

Hmmm, we seem to be on a roll lately. Another award- that makes two in less than two weeks :)

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Amy from A Good Life gave me the "versatile blogger" award. Woot! Thanks Amy!! (BTW: if you haven't already, you should definitely go check out her blog. She's hilarious!) I actually received this a few days ago... but I'm just now getting around to accepting it.

The Rules:
  • thank and link back to the person nice enough to give you the award {check}
  • share seven things about yourself {check}
  • pass the award along to fifteen other bloggers who you think are fabulous {um... how about 7?}
  • contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award {check}

Seven things I bet you didn't know about me:
1. I was once addicted to white eyeshadow. In 6th grade. Shocking, I know.
2. I have lived in eight different states.
3. How's this for a strange coincidence: My mother gave birth to me one month after she turned 22 (in Nov), while my father was overseas, in Sicily. It looks like I will be giving birth to my son one month after I turn 22 (in Dec), while my husband is overseas, in South Korea. I swear I did not plan this!
4. I was a vegetarian for most of my adolescent life, yet I now regularly eat all kinds of meat... except pork.
5. My husband and I are HUGE animal lovers... and we've had ALL kinds of pets. But, to be honest, I think our favorites were our three fancy rats, Benjamin, Darwin, and Gus. They were the best pets ever.
6. My husband and I dated throughout all of highschool, but went seperate ways for about two years while I was living the college life and he was in Iraq. We started talking again once he got back into the states, and decided to get married even though we hadn't even seen eachother in over a year. Last summer, I flew out to Colorado to see him, and we were married one week later. It's all pretty crazy when I look back at it- but it was the best decision I ever made. I love my life and wouldn't take back a single second.
7. I'm a pretty hardcore Red Sox fan. :)

Seven other bloggers whose blogs I love (and read daily!)
1. Samantha- And Baby WILL Make 3!
2. Laura- Army Wife Life
3. Kaleigh- Our Little Lifesicle
4. Sara- Everything Will Turn Out Alright.
5. Joy- Joy's Laughter
6. Amber- Lullaby and Goodnight
7. Trina- Look at the Birds

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Etsy love

What better way to spend a lazy Saturday than browsing Etsy?
Here are some of my newest Etsy finds:

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The apple tree's wishes little hoot by Fong's Studio

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Michael Miller Groovy Guitars burp cloths & blanket by monkEtoes

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Numbered elephants wooden toy by linenkids

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Turquoise Ooga Booga diaper cover by Fluffy's Diapers

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Orange dots adjustable baby bib by MEG Baby Boutique

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Chocolate & lime whimzy burpcloth set by MEG Baby Boutique

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Monster mash dinosaur bomber fleece hat by Tie Dye Diva Designs

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Flower damask lovebird print by Fancy Prints

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Custom letter baby nursery print by Fancy Prints



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Friday, September 24, 2010

Rain, rain, go away...

Sorry I've been MIA lately.
The weather has been TERRIBLE (cold and rainy) and I've been sick.
To make matters worse, my husband has been really down lately. He hates being in Korea without me, and every time I talk to him, he's in a bad mood. Cheering him up is impossible. I just wish there was something more that I could do! I feel so helpless. Usually I look forward to talking to him everyday... but now everytime we say "goodbye," his mood has worn off on me and brought me down a little, too.
I am so thankful for this little boy. I had an OB appointment yesterday, and things went really well. I'm measuring right where I should be, and my OB still thinks my weight is perfect, even though I feel like I've gained way more than everyone else in my birth club. Elliot's hearbeat was a little irregular (but still in the 140s). The OB chalked it up to him being so active or hiccups. It worried me a little, though.
I just keep praying that things will continue to go smoothly. And I'm very much looking forward to finally being reunited with my husband and meeting my son.
I could use some cheering up!

We're slipping a little- my fault for not posting! Care to vote? :)
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Great Giveaway!

You should DEFINITELY go enter The Cloth Diaper Blog's HUGE giveaway.

The Prizes:
$500 gift certificate to Diaper Junction!
1st prize – 12 pack Fuzzi Bunz One size diapers in your choice of colors
2nd prize – GroVia “Half Time” Package in your choice of colors.
3rd prize – 6 pack bumGenius! 4.0 One size pocket diapers in choice of colors.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

25 weeks

25 weeks- weight of a Rutabaga
"Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but he's beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll start to look more and more like a newborn. He's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture."


How far along? 25 weeks
Baby’s Size: 13 1/2" long and weighing as much as a rutabaga- a pound and a half.
Total Weight Gain: 18(ish) pounds.
Maternity Clothes: Of course. Maternity leggings paired with boots are perfect for this cold weather.
Gender: Team blue!
Movement: Future gymnast? Or (more likely, considering my family) marathon runner? I have no idea- but he sure is active!
Sleep: Not so good this week :( Everyone in my house is sick, other than me, and now I'm getting a sore throat... so that isn't really helping.
Symptoms: Holy BACKPAIN! My lower back has been killing me. Any suggestions for ways to get a little relief?
Best Moments this week: One of my brothers, Matthew, has been eagerly trying to feel Elliot kick for weeks now. But for whatever reason, he would always stop kicking as soon as Matthew tried to feel! Well, this week he finally got to feel some (HARD) kicks- the look on his face was priceless :)
Food Aversions: I don't know if this counts, because I don't even like it normally, but my dad was portioning out raw pork loin to freeze and... *shudder* It was just about the grossest thing I've ever seen OR smelled.
Food Cravings: I've been craving unhealthy foods lately- mainly, pizza and doritos. I know what you're thinking: "Doritos?! Really?!" but seriously I can't get enough of them lately. Don't worry though- I've been avoiding the snack pantry.
What I miss: MY HUSBAND. A LOTTT! I've been telling Elliot about his daddy a lot lately. I think it makes me feel better to talk about him sometimes, and Elliot seems to enjoy hearing my voice.
What I am Looking forward to: I have another OB appointment this week- which means hearing Elliot's heartbeat again: always music to my ears.
Milestones: Nothing too special. Although I AM pretty curious about my son's hair color- will he get Mommy's red hair?

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Touchy Subject

For those of you who have (or are expecting) little boys, what is your view on circumcision?
My husband and I are considering leaving our son intact.
Here are some interesting sources I've found:
Circumcision Resource Center
Kids Health: Circumcision
Peaceful Parenting: Circumcision Sources
Mothers Against Circumcision
CIRP: Circumcision Information and Resource Pages


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Friday, September 17, 2010

We received an award!

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Elle from This is Mommyhood was kind enough to give me an award.

The Rules:
1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.

Skye's the Limit
Sippy Cups & Cloth Bums
Little one, I Know You Grow
Letters to Little
Little Angel Watching Over
Hancock Heir
Becoming a Family of Three
A Home for the Hendersons
Oh Mommy Me
The Littlest Puddin
Silver Spoon, Paper Plates
Raising Reese
Once Upon a Baby

Okay. I think that's all the blogs I've discovered recently. Of course, there are plenty of other people I'd LOVE to give this award to, but... it doesn't quite count when I've been following for MONTHS now, does it? :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The cloth diaper dilemma

I've been doing a lot of cloth diaper research lately.
There are SO many options out there, and I just want to make the right choice for my baby and my lifestyle.
Originally, I planned on using pockets (BumGenius or Fuzzibunz) but I have since changed my mind. I'm moving more in the direction of using Cloth-eez prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers and covers.
Why? Well, they're simple to use, cheaper, they wash and dry quickly and easily, less bulky, and (from what I've read) they leak less. I love that you can simply wipe the cover clean and reuse it for multiple diaper changes. This cuts back on expense (less covers to buy) and laundry (less to wash). You can fit more into a diaper bag, as well.
The brands I plan to try:
Flip
Thirsties Duo Wrap
Bummis Super Brite
I'm having a hard time deciding between the three. I plan to try them all, but I'm a pretty "all or nothing" type of girl. I'd really like to have one big stash of ONE type of diaper.
What kind of cloth diapers do you prefer?


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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gowns?

I just talked to the head nurse practioner on the NICU staff. She informed me that the best clothes to bring would be sleep gowns, preferably ones with snaps on the shoulders, so that all the various cords, tubes, and lines can go in/out easily. She also said to come armed with MANY- bright green spitup and a malfunctioning digestive tract leads to multiple outfit changes a day.
Does anyone know of anywhere I can find more sleep gowns? The NICU is already going to seem so sterile that I'd like to make his area as cozy as possible... with bright blankets, fun sleep gowns, toys, pictures, etc.
I found a few gowns that I love, below, at BabiesRUs, and I've found a few others but... really, I'm not having much luck.

Kalencom gownKalencom gownOrigins Organic gownOrgins Organic Gown

As always, votes are appreciated. What better way to raise awareness for such a rare condition as gastroschisis?
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

24 weeks! Hello, Viability!

24 weeks- length of an ear of corn
"Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon."

How far along? 24 weeks- if Elliot were to be born this week, with signifigant medical assistance, there is a good chance that he would survive.
Baby’s Size: About a foot long, the length of an ear of corn.
Total Weight Gain: 18 pounds.
Maternity Clothes: Ohhh yes. It's been cold here, so I've been wearing all my new fall/winter maternity tops.
Gender: It's a BOY!! :)
Movement: My little man has been dancing away in there!
Sleep: Another decent sleep week- I'm only waking up once a night lately. Spooning a body pillow has really helped.
Symptoms: I've been extra sleepy lately- but I think that's partially due to this dreary weather.
Best Moments this week: Having another ultrasound, finding out we're having a boy, telling my husband (he was SO happy!) and settling on his name- Elliot Reid.
Food Aversions: Nothing new.
Food Cravings: Anything sweet.
What I miss: I'm not really missing much of ANYTHING this week. I'm just so happy to be carrying this little boy. I love that I can provide everything that he needs right now.
What I am Looking forward to: Some of my cloth diapers arrived in the mail a couple days ago. Is it strange that I can't WAIT to try them out? hah.
Milestones: Our baby is now viable. Hopefully he'll stay in there until December, though!
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We're slowly creeping up the lists. If you vote for me, let me know, and I'll be sure to vote for you, today, too! :)
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Monday, September 13, 2010

faith, hope, & love

I've been trying to focus on enjoying every single moment of this pregnancy. The love I have for my unborn son is indescribable. I never knew I could love somebody I've never met this much.
Secretly, I've been hoping that Elliot will be inspired by the love I have for him- that it will fuel him to get bigger and stronger. He has a long road ahead of him.
According to my high risk OB, the average gastroschisis baby is in the NICU for 2-3 months. I already know that those will probably be the hardest months of my life. I've been researching, reading others' stories, trying to prepare myself. But really, what parent is ever ready to see their newborn son in so much pain, hooked up to so many machines and wires?
When I start to feel overwhelmed by worry and doubt, I turn to comforting bible verses, like the ones below. Ultimately, Elliot's life is in God's hands. I trust him.
All I can do now is have faith, hope, and love.

"For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is open to everyone who knocks." (Luke 11:10)

"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 2911)

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30)

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So this is love.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

best news ever!

My husband's commander gave him permission to stay the WHOLE TIME Elliot is in the NICU! We've both been operating under the assumption that he would have to head back to Korea about two weeks after he was born, so this is such great news. It will be so much better having my husband by my side during such a rough time.
Things really seem to be looking up for my little family of three.
Hopefully, this little boy will cooperate and wait until Aaron gets here, on December 14th, to make his grand entrance. I'll be 37 weeks then.

Click click click? :)
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Can I have your attention, please?

It's time for the big announcement. :)
We're having... a BOY!!
I was finally able to tell my husband the news this morning! The first thing he said was, "I knew it!" We are both so incredibly excited.
Everything seems so much more real now that I know I have a son. It's wonderful!
We decided on his name almost immediately:
Our little man's name is Elliot Reid

Thumb sucker!
Elliot sucking his thumb.

It's a boy!
Yup, definitely A BOY! (The large mass/cloud next to his left thigh is the exposed bowel from his gastroschisis.)

Tootsies!
One of his teensy little feet :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An update :)

My appointment today at the office of Maternal-Fetal Medicine was wonderful. Watching your own child play with his/her toes and suck his/her thumb in utero is... utterly amazing. And so are the words "perfectly healthy" and "thriving".
Peanut's heartbeat was 143. Perfect. He/she more than DOUBLED in size and weight since last time, which is great. However, Peanut is currently at the 15th percentile for his/her gestational age. But other than being tiny, and of course the gastroschisis (which he/she seems to be completely oblvious about), THE BABY IS PERFECT!
I know the gender!
And I honestly wasn't expecting to be able to find out, since they couldn't tell at my last two ultrasounds. When I heard those three words, "It's a _____", I was ecstatic. Over the moon. Suddenly, I have this all new connection to my child. I can soon call him/her by a REAL NAME, not just Peanut.
But I'm waiting for my husband to call me (the time difference from the US to South Korea is really strange), so I can't post it until tomorrow.
So for now, what are your guesses? BOY or GIRL?



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Ultrasound today!!

Today is my second appointment in Grand Rapids. I will be meeting with my team of specialists again, and having another level II/3D ultrasound.
I CANNOT WAIT to see Peanut again! :)
And I'm hoping to have a few questions answered.
You'll get a full update later.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The best thing since sliced cheese!

I've been looking for the perfect baby bedding since before I even knew I was pregnant. No kidding. There are tons of different options out there- but most of them are too "cutesy" and "baby-ish" for me. So when I first discovered DwellStudio, I was in love. I was not, however, in love with their prices.
If you have modern, expensive tastes (like I do)- I found something that you should definitely check out.
Dwell Studio for Target
It's called DwellStudio for Target. The very same designer that I fell in love with makes a line just for Target- and the bedding is JUST as cute, but 1/4 the price.
I actually found bedding in the Target line that I liked more than at Dwell Studio's main website! In fact, I went ahead and purchased the "Hippo" bedding set (pictured above) and matching accessories on the spot.
Here are two other designs that I liked. Click on the pictures to see the whole collection.
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Thanks to Joy from Joy's Laughter for suggesting it! :)

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

23 weeks

23 weeks- mango
"Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb."

How far along? 23 weeks
Baby’s Size: 11" in length and weighing over a pound (as much as a large mango)
Total Weight Gain: I'll find out at my appointment Thursday.
Maternity Clothes: Absolutely! I ordered a bunch of new maternity tops and leggings for fall, in fact.
Gender: MIGHT be able to find out on Thursday- but since this little one has already managed to evade us at two other ultrasounds, I'm trying not to get my hopes up TOO high.
Movement: This baby is a night owl. He/she takes after mommy!
Sleep: Actually, a little better this week.
Symptoms: Nothing new to report, other than a rapidly dissapearing belly button.
Best Moments this week: I was able to talk to my husband online for several hours this week. It was wonderful!
Food Aversions: Ham Steak *shudder*
Food Cravings: Macaroni and Cheese
What I miss: Being able to easily paint my toenails. I'm in desperate need of a pedicure.
What I am Looking forward to: The day after tomorrow, I have another appointment with my specialists, and another Level II/3D ultrasound. I can't WAIT to see Peanut again!!
Milestones: Officially in the sixth month of this pregnancy now. Time's flying by!

We're #73 now! :) And on the third page.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

A letter to Peanut

Dear Peanut,
My favorite part of each day is laying in bed, with my eyes closed and a hand on my stomach, feeling you move. Last night, you kicked like crazy. I love how you dance the nights away, and how you're so blissfully unaware of your condition.
Keep dancing and growing, little one!
Love,
Mommy

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

DSLR suggestions?

I need a new camera. Badly.
I'd really like to get a DSLR, but there are SO MANY out there...
it's just overwhelming.
Any suggestions?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Improvising at it's best.

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We're spending the day at the beautiful city of Traverse City, Michigan today- and unfortunately, it's cold and rainy. Even worse- my new maternity clothes haven't showed up in the mail yet. Left with no other choice, I improvised. I combined a pair of leggings, a blue sundress, and a white cardigan- and NONE of these are maternity.
The bump is getting pretty big, these days!