Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

35 Weeks

5 weeks left to go! It’s nice to be at the point where I can count the remaining weeks on one hand!  Although 5 weeks seems like a long time away, I try to think back 5 weeks ago to 30 weeks, and that doesn’t seem like so long ago.  So, I know that these next 5 weeks are going to fly by!

Since we have made it to 35 weeks, if Michael chooses to come early, he will not have to be in the NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit).  After enduring these many weeks of pregnancy, I would hate to have to leave Michael at the hospital in the NICU after he’s born.  I want to bring him home with me—his mommy! J
On Monday night, Mom came over and helped me organize the nursery.  I had been looking in the room and was getting overwhelmed with where I was going to store all of Michael’s things!  So, my mom came over to help.  We organized the nursery and the hall bathroom.  My previously NYC themed bathroom has now been taken over by rubber duckies, hooded towels, and baby wash and I think it’s great!
I introduced all of Michael’s new toys and outfits to our curious pup so he wouldn’t feel left out. J He politely stands beside me and I’ll hold out each outfit or toy to him and he’ll give it a quick sniff of approval.  I thought it would be difficult to make him understand that the baby will have separate toys than he does, but he’s doing pretty well!  He doesn’t try to take the baby’s toys—although I’m sure when Michael is a toddler, I will find his and Akuna’s toys all mixed up together! J
On Wednesday night, my church family gave me a baby shower!  Everyone got a yarn necklace with a toy pacifier on it, and if you said the word baby then the person who heard you say it got to take your necklace.  The person with the most necklaces at the end of the night would win!  I totally lost that game.  It’s hard not to say baby when I’m continually thinking (or getting kicked by) my little one! J Then, we passed around a baby bottle filled with m&ms, and we had to guess how many were in the bottle.  I guessed 225 and there were 254 m&ms in the bottle, so I won and got to keep the bottle!  Next, we had to look at eight jars of baby food (sans labels) and try to guess what flavor each of them was.  We were not allowed to open the jars to taste or smell them—we had to guess the flavor solely on looking at the colors.  I got four out of eight correct because I mixed up carrots and sweet potatoes, and applesauce and pears.  At the end of the night, the labels were taped on appropriately, and I got to bring the jars home and stick them in our pantry for Michael to use several months down the road! J  We snacked on sausage balls, chips & dip, fresh fruit, pimiento cheese sandwich triangles, and pigs in a blanket.  The punch was one of my favorites—lime sherbet with 7-up.  Mrs. Kim made a fabulous cake, and I got to keep the rubber duckies for Michael to have for bath toys!

I opened presents after we finished eating.  Once again, I am a very blessed mom-to-be.  Baby stuff Is just too cute, and I got a lot of practical gifts as well.  It was a very nice shower and I am very thankful to have such a great church family.

When Aaron and I got home from that shower, I immediately got to work at putting away all of the new items.  I didn’t want to be overwhelmed again, and I didn’t want to mess up the organized nursery! J It felt great to get everything put away and ready for Michael.

I think our next organizing project will be our bedroom.  For the first few months, Michael will sleep in a cradle that Aaron’s great-grandfather made.  We already have an area set up beside the bed for the cradle to fit into.  I have moved a piece of wicker furniture from Michael’s nursery into my bedroom so I can store diapers, wipes, diaper-cream, etc for the mid-night diapers changes we will experience.  Aaron and I are going to organize and straighten up the rest of our room this weekend.  We know that life happens and laundry explodes, but we intend to start out with a clean room! J

Here are my belly pictures this week:

You can see the wicker shelf that houses diapers, wipes, diaper-cream, etc.

Michael's cradle will go about where I'm standing.

You can see my hospital-bag to the right of the shelf.  I am attempting to finish packing it today!

This Week:

-Most of Michael’s development from here on out will be packing on the baby pounds

-As Michael settles into the head-down position, his movements will become less jerky since he has less space to move around.

-Instead of kicks and punches, Michael is more likely to make his presence known by stretching, wiggling, and rolling.

-He is accumulating an extra layer of fat, and this will be seen by his cute little elbow dimples and knee dimples!

-Little Baby P.’s liver is now processing his waste products. 

-Little Michael weighs about 5 and a half pounds and is a little over 18 inches long, which is the size of a COSTCO sheetcake:
(Photo credit: theflyingpig.com)


My Craves:

-Melon & pineapple. (Watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, & pineapple spears were all on sale at Winn-Dixie.  I felt like I hit the jackpot!)

-Milk.  We were out of milk at our house for several days and I developed such a huge milk craving!  We have since restocked our fridge and I drank two glasses the next morning at breakfast!

-S’mores.  I made s’more brownies the other night in order to alleviate two cravings—the craving to eat a s’more and the craving to bake something. 

-Ice cold water. A wonderful remedy for swollen ankles and feet.

Thanks for taking the time to catch up on our pregnancy happenings of the week!  Sorry the blog was delayed—this Mom-to-be is increasingly tired these days! J It’s not to much longer now until I’ll get to meet my sweet little boy and share pictured with you!  Until then, pictures of my belly will have to suffice. J  Love, Reba

Saturday, July 21, 2012

34 Weeks

We have reached 34 weeks!  Only 6 weeks left to go!  J  That’s about a month and a half before we get to meet little Michael! 

Sorry for the blog delay…. We had a very busy day yesterday and today.  Today was Baby Shower Day! J My mother-in-law, and one of my best friends, were the hostesses for this beach themed shower.  It was so much fun and I wanted to wait until the shower was over so that I could post pictures here for everyone to see. 

We had a really great time.  We played “Price is Right: Baby Edition” where we had several baby items, and everyone had to guess the cost (without going over).  My mom surprised herself by winning. J  Next, we played “Toilet Paper Tummy” where everyone had to unroll as much toilet paper that they thought it would take to go all the way around my tummy.   My Nana, who sews marvelously, won that game. J  We had a snack break filled with great food!  We had fruit skewers, pigs-in-a-blanket, funfetti cake batter dip with chocolate animal crackers and Vanilla wafers, brownie peanut-butter bites, and a veggie tray with dip.  Drink options included sweet tea, lemonade, and “ducky-bath punch.”  J  Angela (Aaron’s aunt) made a marvelous “beach themed” cake.  It was so cute, and sooo delicious.  After the snack break, I opened presents.  I am a very blessed mother-to-be.  All of the gifts were thoughtful and each one of the guests holds a special place in my heart.  After the gift time, we drew a name for our diaper raffle.  My Aunt Robyn won! J  The diaper raffle gift included items from Bath & Body Works that we hand-selected and put together in gift-basket form.  Next, everyone participated in the “Baby Quiz” of 5 multiple-choice questions and one bonus question.  It was fun to see the written-in suggestions from some of the guests! J  The winner of the Baby Quiz was Aaron’s cousin Nadine!   We passed out favors to all the guests which included either “brown sugar body scrub” or “lemon-sugar hand scrub.” 

I hope to put up pictures of the decorations around my mother-in-law’s home (where the shower was held.)  I’m sure someone was on top of their game and snapped a few photos.  I wish that I had been more savvy in that department today.  But, here is a picture of the cake and the punch. 

The rubber duckies in the punch were a little weighed down by their stylin' mohawk hair-dos.

And here's my belly picture this week:

After the shower, our car was stuffed full of goodies and I am quite impressed with the capacity of baby-shower items that our car can hold!  The vehicle was filled with numerous baby shower goods, some left-over shower snacks, a dog, a husband, and a very rotund mom-to-be.  Oh yeah, and a partridge in a pear tree.

So, as you can tell, we are pretty tuckered out!  Even this little guy:

He got to spend the night at “Grandma and Grandpa’s” house last night and I picked him up after the shower.  He is always a tired puppy after visiting Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Bryan, and Dixie (his favorite doggie friend). J
We had a doctor’s appointment this past week.  It wasn’t an ultrasound visit, but the doctor could feel where Michael was in the womb and said that he is growing perfectly!  I don’t think Michael has turned to be head-down yet.  In 2 weeks when I go back to the doctor, I will get a pelvic exam and the doctor will be able to tell at that point whether Michael has turned yet or not.  Starting from my doctor visit in 2 weeks, I will begin going to the doctor each week until delivery! I can’t believe we are already at this point in the pregnancy!  This pregnancy has almost been like a giant snowball—it seemed to take a long time to get to the super fun stuff in pregnancy like getting the gender-revealing ultrasound, feeling Michael moving around, and having baby showers.  But now, it seems like we’re moving at light-speed and rolling ever faster toward the due date!  I couldn’t be happier!  I’m ready to meet my little man. 
This past week, I got to go with Mom, Dad, Bryan, and Nana to the Millbrook Theatre to see “State Fair”—one of my favorite musicals.  My coworker friend choreographed this production and she did a fantastic job!  Michael was having a ball and dancing inside my tummy nearly the whole time—he knows good music when he hears it! J
Now that we have accumulated quite a bit of baby stuff, the trick will be finding some place to store it all!  Yes, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to organize, clean, and store items.  That means, nesting is on the horizon!  I consider myself to be in “pre-nesting” stage.  This is where I know all the things I’d like to clean and organize--  I just don’t have the energy to do any of it.  L  Hopefully, this needed energy will come when the real nesting stage begins!
This Week:
-Michael is coated with a cream-cheese like substance called “vernix” to keep his baby-skin from pruning in the amniotic fluid.  Before he’s born, this creamy substance should mostly be off of him, except in hard-to-reach places like his underarms or behind his ears.  That’s ok… he’s gonna get a bath after birth so he can be all squeaky clean and have that good baby smell. J
-The furry substance, called lanugo, that covered Little Baby P.’s body to help him stay warm is now nearly gone.  His little body continues to grow and accumulate fat in order to stay warm.
-His immune system is developing, and he’s not as reliant on the antibodies received through the placenta.  Already he’s branching out and doing some things on his own without the help of me, his mother!
-Little Michael weighs about 5 pounds and is roughly 17 and a half inches long, which is roughly the size of an American Girl doll:

(Photo credit: verbicidemagazine.com)

My Craves:
-watermelon.  Oh boy. I could eat this at every meal.
-Melons, peaches, cherries…. Fresh fruit in general.  Ah, the benefits of being pregnant in the summertime!  So much good produce to choose from!
-Ice cream. Womp womp.  Yes, I am officially in the “ice cream craving mode.”  I try to limit myself… or to attempt to get my calcium intake from other sources, but I keep coming back to the ice cream craving.  This might be a downside of being pregnant in the summer—it’s hot and ice cream just does a fantastic job of helping me cool down.  J

Thank-you for taking time to catch up on the goings-on we’ve had this week.  Keep us in your prayers as we progress through these last few weeks!  Until next week!  Love, Reba

Saturday, July 14, 2012

33 Weeks

Week 33 and happy as can be!  Only 7 weeks left to go!  Yes, you read that right, only 7 weeks left! Can you believe it!?!? We are getting very excited here in the Petersen house!

Here’s my “self portrait.”

Well, I officially have the “waddle.”  Whether it be caused by my attempts to gain walking momentum in the morning after laying down for the night, or how Little Michael chooses to position himself in the womb during the afternoon, or from my stiffness at the end of the day, I definitely have a waddle going on.  However, I choose to think of it as the “swagger in my stagger.”  Every time I waddle, I think “Hey, this is because I’ve got a cute little baby inside!” and I’m totally ok with it.  Waddling means the end is in sight and Little Michael will soon be arriving! J

One day during this past work week on my way out to my car, I stopped to talk to two of my favorite coworkers.  One of them wants to be surprised by the baby’s gender, so he wants to know very little information during this pregnancy.  When the other coworker said “He’ll be happy for you no matter what, right?” the first coworker said “I’ll be happy if she has a girl.  But if she has a boy, I’ll be disappointed.  She has a lot of brothers, so she’ll be more suited to a girl.  She needs a daughter.”  The other coworker and I shared a knowing look and we both started laughing.  I guess he’ll be pretty disappointed, won’t he? J  Although I do have two brothers, (which doesn’t sound like too many to me), the truth is, Aaron and I were both secretly hoping for a little boy.  A little boy will be the perfect addition to our house of….boys!  With Aaron, Akuna (boy dog) and Little Michael, our happy home will be filled with the sounds of xbox, RC car racing, dome hockey, horse-play wrestling, sports, etc.  I’m sure after an afternoon in the backyard, I will have two little boys who will both need baths—Akuna and Michael!  I am looking forward to my days as a mom to a little cute boy—no matter how grubby his little hands and feet will be!  I will consider it pure joy.  And who knows?  Maybe our next little one will be a girl who I can introduce to my Barbie collection and pick out ballerina shoes for.  But, for now, Aaron and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have a little boy on the way! J
Little Michael is showing us each day that he is working hard at getting ready to turn to be “face down” in the womb. Most days, his head is on the left side of my belly and his little feet move back and forth, back and forth on the right side of my belly.  He slides his feet all over this side of my tummy.  Sometimes his feet get pretty far up the side of my tummy and I cheer him on “Come on Michael, that’s the right direction!”  But alas, his feet slide back down to the lower end of my tummy.  That’s ok, though.  I know that he’ll turn when he’s ready.  J
The other day when Aaron and I were at the grocery store, he stuck a box of IBC root-beer in our cart.  When I looked at it, then up at him with a smile, he said “It’s for you.  You’re craving it.”  J  I sure married a great guy, didn’t I?  J  There’s not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for my sweet husband.  Michael is getting one great dad!
This Week:
-Michael’s respiratory system is nearly mature!
-He can tell the difference between night and day. This means that his pupils will constrict and dilate in response to light. 
-The bones in Michael’s skull are soft and not yet fused together.  This allows the bones to overlap as he makes his way down the birth canal in several weeks.
-Little Baby P. can continue to gain around half a pound a week until birth.  This means he can still gain around 3 and a half pounds. Wow!
-Little Michael weighs about 4 and a half pounds this week (which is about as much as a grown up duck) and he’s about 17 and a half inches long, which is roughly the length of…. A ukulele!

(Photo credit: blogspot.com)

My Craves:
-BJPF.  What’s this, you ask?  Why, it’s Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream! J Chocolate ice cream, gooey marshmallow swirls, caramel swirls and fudge fish.  This has totally been my favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor since I was in 8th grade.  It’s especially yummy in these hot summer days. Fortunately, it only comes in a pint.  So, I pace myself and make it last for a few days.  I’m pretty sure Michael likes it too.  J
-Brownies.  Hmm, I’m sensing a chocolate pattern going on here. 
-Dried fruit—mainly, apricots.  Yes, I finally got some!  They were a tasty snack.
-Tomatoes.  I’m totally looking forward to going to the local produce stand/store near our home and stocking up on some beautiful tomatoes. 
-Cherries!  Mom had some wonderful cherries that I got to enjoy when I spent several days at her house last week while Aaron was on vacation. 

Please feel free to join me in our countdown!   We know that August will be here before we know it!  One of my friends gave birth to an adorable baby boy last week, which made me even more excited to see my cute little one at the end of August! J Thank-you for keeping up with us on our journey thus far!  Until next week,  lots of love and air conditioning!  Love, Reba

Friday, July 6, 2012

32 Weeks

Yay yay yay! We are at 32 weeks andI couldn't be happier!

We are on the 8 week countdown.  :)  So, in addition to Michael's birth at that time, we also have something else to look forward to.  In 8 weeks, summer will be almost over and we here in the South will get a break from this high heat!  Now that's something to cheer about.  Come on.... I don't hear you.  :)

Well, folks, this week marked my "necklace" week.  Yes, my fingers became too puffed for my wedding rings :( My rings are now hanging on a necklace Aaron bought me for our first Valentine's Day after we got married.  Aaron and I have a rule where the only person to remove his wedding ring is me, and the only person to remove my rings is him.  So, this past week, he took off the rings from my finger and I strung them on the necklace.  Might as well keep them close to my heart if they can't be on my finger.  I look forward to the day when I can slide them back on my finger!  Of course, that means Michael will be here by then, so it's 2 exciting things to look forward to. :)

Today I had my 32 week appointment.  My mom was able to come with me since my hubby is vacationing in Washington state in order to participate in a wedding tomorrow.  (And if you're reading this, my lucky one, I'm totally jealous of the 70 degree weather you're enjoying).  :)   

Today I had the strep B test.  I totally wasn't looking forward to this test, but fortunately it didn't take too long.  I also had blood drawn today to check my thyroid levels.  The doctor said my levels have looked great throughout the pregnancy, so if everything looks fine after this blood drawing, then I wouldn't have to have blood drawn again til after the baby is born!  Now that's music to my ears!

Michael's heart rate went up from 137 to 140 while the Doppler was on my tummy.  The doctor is pleased that he is an active baby.  My tummy was measured again today and the doctor said my tummy is measuring right at 32 weeks along.  He said that the countdown is about to begin and I said "Oh, I've  been on a countdown for a few weeks now" (and by a few weeks, I mean 32). :)

This Week:
-Michael will be turning to be head-down in the womb anytime from this point forward.  
-Michael spends his days blinking, grabbing, looking around, making faces, practicing his breathing skills, and listening to the things going on around him.
-Little Baby P. might have a full head of hair by now, or he might be a baldy.  (I’m betting on the second one).  :) 
-Baby weighs around 4 pounds and is roughly 17 inches long, which is the size of an acorn squash

(Photo credit: foodsubs.com)

My Craves:
-water water water
-Ice cream (My mom helped me identify that maybe my body is craving calcium rather than just ice cream.  So I try to have some glasses of milk instead of chowing down on bowl after bowl of ice cream, which is what I'd rather be doing). :)
-Peanut butter  (Maybe a protein craving?  So I've been trying to eat almonds to get my protein from other sources and give Michael a break from my peanut butter snacks) :)

Thank-you for reading the post this week!  Please continue to pray for a safe pregnancy and for a healthy baby boy who is continuing to grow! :)  Stay air conditioned.  :)    Love, Reba

And Mom, if you're reading this tonight during your work assignment, I'm praying for you and I know God will get you through. :)  Phil 4:6-8   Phil 4:13   Love, Reba