~92~ Christmas Recap & 24 weeks

Merry Christmas!!
I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as we did.  Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without a little crafting and baking involved.  Per usual, I made frosted sugar cookies to bring to school and to our Christmas celebrations.  Each year, I feel like I refine my technique and make better and better looking cookies.  Here's what the last 2 years looked like

and now, this year's

In addition to cookies, I also made a gift box of blank, any occasion cards, which were specifically requested.  I decided to create 5 different designs and make 4 of each.  I also wanted to make sure I had a variety of styles and color designs. 

Finally, I wanted to include a box to house all of the cards and envelopes together.  I have made card boxes before, but they were stand up boxes, and for this project, I wanted a more traditionally looking box.  I contemplated finding and buying one, but then ultimately decided to try making one.  I had some sturdy black card stock left over from my cousin's wedding invitations, so I used that for the base and then covered it with some pretty paper that I had received from my secret santa at school.  The final touch was adding adhesive velcro so that the box could be held shut and easily opened. 

I also just got done making some thank you cards for our family and friends who spoiled us this year. 

Our Christmas celebrations officially started on the Tuesday before when we drove up to Minneapolis to celebrate with my side of the family.  As usual, on Christmas Eve, I made Swedish meatballs - a much anticipated staple in our evening feast.  Unfortunately, much of my family was battle illness, and my nephew was unable to join us.  Thankfully, with the technology of Skype, we were still able to "see" and wish each other a Merry Christmas.  

The best part of that night was a surprise Jake had been keeping from me.  Traditionally, we spend Christmas Eve with my side in Minneapolis, and then hurry home early Christmas Day to be with Jake's side of the family.  However, this year, Jake arranged for us to stay at my parents for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that I could see my aunt, uncle, and cousin who were coming Christmas afternoon, and live in Baltimore.  

I've always been particularly close to them, and what made this year even more special was the announcement that my cousin is expecting a baby in June!  I was incredibly touched by Jake's gift to me!  It was so special getting to see and share in the excitement with my cousin, especially since we realized it would most likely be over a year until we'd get to see each other again-due to busy schedules and both of us having newborns.  

The day after Christmas brought another fun-filled day with family as we traveled back to Iowa to be with Jake's side of the family.  We ate lots of delicious food, opened presents, and played a couple of games. 

I don't know what Jake or I did this year, that got us on the nice list, but we were beyond spoiled this year-by our families, and each other!  
Here are some of the highlights: 

A new bathmat for our master bathroom from my grandma.  We finished it off by getting a plush grey rug and a new scale.

Lots of crafting gear, including a crafter's encyclopedia, chalkboard craft paper, "The First Few Years" cricut cartridge, and a new embossing folder for my cuttlebug.  Side note: the Anna Griffin embossing folders are awesome! 
 Most of her designs are A7 (5x7) sized, which have been hard for me to find.  In addition, they tend to have more modern designs and include not only an A7 folder, but a border as well. 

Even with our limited amount of time, and time tight schedule, I always make time to see my BFF, Lauren.  She was able to come over for about an hour on Christmas Eve, when we caught up on our lives, and chatted about the Serial podcast, and exchanged gifts.  One of the items she gave me is this beautiful trivet that she got from the Korean Heritage House in St. Paul, MN, which is run by our dance instructor from Korean Culture Camp days.  I absolutely love it!

From my parents, I got a new computer bag that I desperately wanted.  The one I currently had was worn and starting to fall apart.  It was also very "college-student-esque" in style and I wanted something that looked more grown up and professional.  

It's a beautiful black quilted bag with lots of pockets, including one specifically for my laptop.  One of the first things I did when we got home was transfer everything from the old bag to my new one.  

Aside from my unexpected surprise, my favorite gifts were necklaces.  One was from Santa and features a beautiful pearl sitting underneath an iridescent bead.  The other is from Jake and features the Korean Hangul lettering for mom, or "Umma".  For many years, I had a similar necklace that I bought at KCC and said, "peace", which I sadly lost during one of our trips to Vegas.  the best part of the necklace is the adjustable chain that Jake bought from our favorite jeweler.  The chain easily adjusts to a longer or shorter chain and has a cute, tiny heart on the end.

Of course, Jake and I weren't the only ones who were spoiled this Christmas.  Baby H got quite a lot as well.  My aunt and uncle gave him an Iowa State knit blanket and hat, which goes perfectly the ISU onesies Jake got from his secret santa at work.  Baby H also got a bunch of books from my brother and sister-in-law which were some of my nephew's favorites.  Jake's uncle, got him a Walking Dead onesie, and lastly, Santa got him some adorable knit booties. 

Christmas Eve also marked my 24th week of pregnancy.  This week is significant, as it is the first milestone of viability.  This means that if I were to go into labor early, and Baby H were born, his chance of survival would be more than 50%.  While this provides a sense of relief and comfort, we certainly hope that he keeps baking for at least 13 more weeks. 

My brother, SIL, and nephew hadn't seen me in over 7 weeks, so my bump was one of the first things they noticed.  Even compared to 4 weeks ago at Thanksgiving, there was a noticeable difference for my parents and grandma. 

Monday we have our last appointment of the calendar year.  Our 1st appointment in January will include my glucose challenge test (hopefully I'll pass with flying colors!), and then our appointments will be scheduled every 2 weeks, as I'll move into the 3rd trimester!


~91~ 6 months

I am now in my 6th month of pregnancy and things are ticking right along.
It dawned on me the other day that in just a few weeks, I'll be able to say, "we're having a baby THIS year!".  It's still a bit surreal.  For the most part, I feel ready.  Here's what we've checked off so far:  
The nursery.
 Daycare is lined up.  
We've registered for baby things.
We've registered for birthing classes . 

Then I'll have those 'oh my gosh' moments and completely doubt myself.
Things we still need to do in the next couple of months:
Line up insurance for baby. 
Pick out a pediatrician. 
Decide on a baby savings/investment plan.
Make a list of names we like.
Discuss a 'birth plan'. 
Get a long-term sub for me and start writing sub plans. 

When I focus on the first list, I feel much more at ease.  When I think about the second list, I can feel my heart beat a little faster.  At this point, we're still far enough away from baby day (as I call it) that I haven't felt too much burning pressure to get the rest of the items checked off of the list, but I know that #1 and #2 are top priority at this point.  In fact after the holidays, those will be the first things to get moved to the done list. 

Aside from that, things are great!  I had a bit of a tough weekend last weekend, but things have much improved.  Here's the run-down:

How far along: 23 weeks
Baby's size: A grapefruit (10.5-11.8in, 12.7-20.8oz)
Symptoms: Lots of muscle strain and pain.  Hearty appetite.
Cravings: Call me a kid, but Mac N' Cheese.  Mmmm..., Clementines, and granola with raspberries.
Best Moment: Seeing friends and family over the weekend.  I also made some yummy Christmas sugar cookies. :)
Worst Moment: Having leg pain so bad that it kept me up at night.  Thankfully lots of tylenol, warm baths, and compression socks helped clear that up.  
Movement: Lots.  Still pretty low.  It's mostly at night or early in the morning.  From what I've ready, he now has regular sleep patterns/cycles, and since I'm up and moving during the day, that when I'd guess he's sleeping. 
Maternity Clothes: Same as last week -  I'm still in the awkward stage.   My regular pants are way too tight, but are manageable with the belly band.  Maternity pants are still way too big.  They don't really have a waist, so they are constantly falling off my hips.  They also don't have belt loops.  If it weren't for the full panel, I'd have a plumber's butt every time I wear them.  Leggings and maxi skirts are awesome. 


~90~ Weeks 21 and 22

Today's a double feature since I didn't get around to posting for week 21.  It feels like I just finished cleaning up from Thanksgiving-there's no way it's already been 2 weeks!

21 Weeks
This week was particularly fun because it's when I told my students that we're expecting a baby boy!  I decided it would be fun to play hangman last Friday and they took turns guessing letters to spell out the phrase, "Mrs. H. is going to have a baby boy in April!"  The rule before we started was that they weren't allowed to blurt out the sentence before all of the letters were in place, even if they knew what it said.  This is what made it especially fun.  Many students were able to figure it out once the B and Y were in place, but there was always 1 or 2 in the group who just hadn't put 2 and 2 together.  The excitement they had waiting to blurt it out was priceless.  I wish I would have video taped it.  They were all very excited.  Some were in disbelief.  Many are already giving me lots of name ideas.  
2 other teachers in my morning building are also pregnant and also due in April, so there is definitely a baby boom around here!

Here's how I felt that week:
Baby's Size: Pomegranate (10.5in, 12.7oz)
Symptoms: Increased appetite for sure.  I am definitely eating more than I did before.  Baby's growing a lot more each day now, so this is to be expected.  
Best Moment: Telling my students at school
Worst Moment: Bad headaches every day for over a week
Movement: I feel him everyday.  Usually in the morning, and around lunch time.  He typically kicks pretty low in my abdomen just under my pant line, so it can be a bit weird feeling since they're already tight to begin with.  At night, I feel kicks higher up around my belly button. 
Maternity Clothes: My grandma so kindly hemmed a pair of dress pants for me over Thanksgiving. I also ordered another 2 pairs in the same style, but different colors.  I had bought some cute cords with my other dress pants, but they were too tight.  Who's bright idea was it to make "slim fit" pants for a pregnant woman?  I'm still in the awkward stage though.  My regular pants are way too tight, but are manageable with the belly band.  Maternity pants are still way too big.  They don't really have a waist, so they are constantly falling off my hips.  They also don't have belt loops.  If it weren't for the full panel, I'd have a plumber's butt every time I wear them.  Leggings and maxi skirts are awesome. 
Weight Gain: I'm weighing in just under 3 LBs higher than my pre-pregnancy weight.  Thanks to Advocare, I was able to really get my health and weight under control before getting pregnant.  Even at 5 months pregnant, I'm still 8 LBs lighter than I was 3 winters ago, not pregnant. 

Week 22
Nothing too eventful going on this week. We've finalized Christmas present plans, which feels good.  Not all of them have been bought/ordered, but we at least know what we're getting everyone. We're now down to 12 days.  Ahh!  Only 6 more days of teaching.  It'll be nice to have a few days to mellow out and get stuff ready for the Christmas bustle. 

Not a whole lot is new from last week, but here's the rundown: 
How Far Along: 22 weeks, 1 day
Baby's Size: Papaya (around 11.5in, 13-20oz)
Symptoms: Lower back pain, dry sinuses/throat
Best Moment: Getting a new tub pillow for baths from my secret santa :)  I've never been a big bath person, but they've been great for getting some relaxation in and soaking away some of the aches and pains. 
Worst Moment: Nothing really
Movement: Lots.  In fact, he's kicking right now!  His kicks have gotten strong enough that I can see them from the outside.  I tried recording them last night, but they're hard to see on video. 
Maternity Clothes: Here and there, but mostly I'm still in my regular clothes. 
Weight Gain: I haven't weighed myself in almost a week.  My guess is that I'm up about 3 to 3.5lbs. 


~89~ Happy Halfway!

When I was on swim team in HS, we'd often cheer each other on during a particularly long practice or set by saying, "Happy Halfway".  I'm very excited to say that we've hit the halfway mark in my pregnancy.  We celebrated this milestone by getting to see baby again!

We are very pleased to report that Baby H was perfectly healthy!  Everything is forming and functioning exactly as it should be.  We couldn't be happier with this news!

On top of finding out that we had a healthy baby growing right on track, we also found out the sex of Baby H!  Prior to the appointment, I had a little feeling that it was going to be a girl, but I had also had a dream that it was boy, so I wasn't too sure which one it was going to be.  However, as soon as the ultrasound technician moved the wand over the area, I instantly knew.  

We are thrilled to announce that in April, 2015, we will be meeting our baby....


In addition hearing that we have a healthy baby boy, we were pleasantly surprised by 3D and 4D images.  In the past, I've always thought that 3D images look kind of creepy, (and I still stand by that), but the 4D ones are incredible! The detail was amazing and it took my breath away to get a glimpse of what our little boy is starting to look like.  I can't wait until we get to see it in person!

After our ultrasound, Jake and I returned the girl clothes we had bought the weekend prior during an Old Navy sale.  We had wanted to take advantage of the deals, so we bought for both boy and girl, and decided to return what we didn't need.  We also stopped at JoAnn Fabrics to get some fabric for a curtain over the closet and a crib rail cover I wanted to make.  My parents graciously bought us the crib that we wanted, which arrived and was assembled on Tuesday.  I love, love, love it!  The white really pops against the teal wall.  

I'm a pretty novice seamstress, but I know enough of the basics that I felt comfortable sewing a basic curtain and attempting to create a crib rail cover that I had seen when shopping at Suite Dreams a few weekends prior.  While it's not exactly professional quality-I'm pretty darn proud of myself for being able to do as well as I did, and at a fraction of the cost. 

We announced the sex of Baby H to our families on Thanksgiving after dinner, using a carrot cake that I had baked the night before and filled with blue frosting.  The suspense was pretty much killing my mom and she kept trying to trick me into slipping, but I was too smart for that ;)

Many people thought that we were having a girl, so they were very surprised, and excited to find out that we're having a boy.  Shortly after, we went public in Facebook.  

Since I'm not friends with all of my coworkers on Facebook, I made 60 cupcakes on Sunday night to bring to school.  Each one was filled with blue frosting with blue and pink swirled frosting on top.  I placed them in the teacher's lounge along with a sign that said, "Boy or Girl? What will Baby H be? Take a bite, and you will see!"

Last, but not least, here's the run down for this week

How far along: 20 weeks, 5 days
Baby's Size: Banana (6.5 inches, 10.2oz)
Symptoms: Still having some hip and round ligament pain.  I've also been getting headaches almost everyday.  I'm thinking it's partially attributed to not drinking enough water.  I still stand by my opinion that tylenol is the worst drug ever made. 
Weight Gain: Up 2.5 lbs.  
Best Moment: Finding out that baby is healthy and perfectly formed and a BOY! And, telling our families.  And, getting the nursery mostly finished. 
Worst Moment: The recurring headaches that I've been getting for about a week now. 
Maternity Clothes: I'm still in the in-between stage.  Maternity pants are roomier, but they are still too big and I am constantly having to pull them up.  I have definitely fallen victim of the saggy butt syndrome.  Also, 2 out of 3 of the pants that I ordered were "slim" cut-so of course they didn't fit my chunky thighs.  Those are going back and I ordered some other, normal cut ones. 
Movement: All-the-time.  I mostly feel HIM at meal-times.  His kicks are finally strong enough that Jake was able to feel them from the outside!
Appointments: Next appointment is after Christmas.  From here on out, they will be routine checks. Starting in January-we'll switch to every-other week instead of every 4 weeks!

I probably won't do a 21 week update since I'm posting days away from it now. 
Until then, 

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