Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Full Term!!!

Woohoo!  The milestones of pregnancy are so much more exciting in the last month!  Today we are considered full term...so if Baby Hales decides to make his or her debut any day now, the doctors/midwives would just let it happen.

Today we had our appointment with a new midwife who does deliveries, Patricia.  She was really funny and nice and I secretly hope she will be at the hospital with me.  My weight and blood pressure were normal today (thankfully for those of you that know what happened to me last week :) ).  Cervical checks weekly are optional so I thought, why not see how things are going at this point.  Tricia asked if I had been having any contractions...I'm still not sure about this as it feels more like cramping to me.  I was measuring small again today - 35 cm, but within normal limits.

She poked around my belly to try to determine the exact position of the baby (I am REALLY ticklish.)  She was poking quite a bit more than normal and then gave this perplexed face and goes, "Well, I'm sure your baby has a head, I just can't find it!"  "It must be way down in there."  So I guess the baby isn't JUST head down, he/she is WAY down - which might explain the 3-4 weeks of significant pubic bone pressure I've been experiencing.  The only thing that worried me a little during the appointment was she had a hard time hearing the heartbeat, then asked me if it was normally low.  I told her no one has really told me a number, they just keep telling me it's perfect!  But she said it's normally between 110 and 160 and our baby's was 115 and it went up to 130 when she poked at him/her (which I warned her baby does not like.) I'll try to keep the details to a minimum regarding the cervical check, but basically I'm very slightly dilated and 50% effaced and the baby's head isn't quite lining up right yet.  I'm so excited.  I'm not sure that this necessarily signifies any expected D-day for the little one, but it's a little more exciting to know a little bit more.  She is the first midwife to tell me to actually do a kick count.  I've been sorta keeping track but maybe I'll try to be more concrete about it now - starting tonight.

Oh, also, Tricia is an Ohio State fan and said they she sometimes brings OSU booties for her moms that are fans and for the Michigan fans, just to piss them off! :)  I told her about our family tradition of Hang on Sloopy at weddings.  I think she likes me!

Here are a few of my favorite maternity photos from our shoot with Rachel Naft!

P.S. I've decided I'd rather be dealing with a crying baby than all my whiney patients, so please come quickly Baby.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Head down

I won't be posting much most likely in the next few days but for now...

36 week check up went well.  Measuring on track this time.  Baby Hales is definitely head down.  Got our crib and dresser.  Not putting the crib together until we move probably, but the dresser looks nice.  Can't wait to put the baby stuff in it.

Missing the rest of my family this Christmas but looking forward to spending the weekend with my wonderful husband, our baby, my awesome sister and my favorite nephew, Samson as well as my in-laws.  Happy Holidays to everyone.  I hope you all get some quality time with the people you love the most.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

1 month to go!

This is going to be REALLY short and sweet because...well, frankly...I'm too tired to blog!  Work has been so busy and crazy, but thank God that they are starting to stop giving me new evaluations (seeing as these patients will just have to see someone else anyways in a short while.)  And one of our therapists is going to the Philippines for 2.5 weeks beginning Wed. so I'm going to be seeing quite a few of her patients, as well as all of my own.  Dreading the next 3 weeks, but at least we are SO close to getting our fourth quarter bonus!

Baby class last Monday was all about breastfeeding.  I was initially looking forward to getting off of the birthing/labor topics, but I think I was pretty irritable that day, because I couldn't WAIT to get out of there!  I am of the opinion that the saying "There is no such thing as a stupid question" is stupid because there ARE stupid questions, and one of the couples seemed to be asking a lot of them.  I also think, I've been doing a good amount of reading on my own so I don't feel like I'm learning much new stuff, but it's nice to be there to learn with Justin.  Tomorrow is our last class and it's all about caring for baby when they arrive, hopefully that will be more interesting!

We had pregnancy/maternity photos done tonight with our wedding photographer, Rachel Naft.  I told her we just love her and I refer EVERYONE to her.  She's so easy to be around and I can't wait to see how the photos turn out.

Tuesday is our 36 week doctor/midwife appointment so I'll be getting the Strep B test.  Other than that, nothing exciting except starting to think about things we NEED before the baby may come and considering packing hospital bags (I really just want to pack all the baby things in my new Coach baby bag!)

Until next time...

Friday, December 10, 2010

34 week Doctor Appt.

It's actually 34 weeks and 3 days... but who's counting?  At our baby/birthing class this week, the nurse instructor was running through a list of names of the midwives from our practice that actually do deliveries at the hospital.  Funny, we/I haven't seen ANY of those midwives!  The practice encourages you to see everyone since you never know who will be there when you deliver, which I totally get, but seriously?  I think we can be pretty sure we won't be seeing any of the midwives that don't even do deliveries at the hospital!

So today, we saw yet another midwife, but this one actually does "a lot of deliveries."  She was very nice just like everyone else at our practice.  The nurse I think may have been new as well because I walked into the bathroom and stepped onto the scale without her even saying anything.  Then she said, "You know the drill, huh? Weight, pee..."  I laughed and said, "Yeah, 34 weeks later!"  :)  We then went into the room and finished the rest of the typical nurse-related activities.  This nurse seemed younger and more thorough than most of the other ones though.  She asked if we had any questions/needed anything and informed me that the next visit I would be getting a Strep B test.

Then the midwife came in, and also joked with us a bit.  She got out the doppler and checked the heartbeat.  Then she poked and prodded my belly to get the baby to move and then checked the heartbeat again.  She said it was supposed to go up after the baby moves, which it did, and like those before her said it was "perfect."  Then she measured my belly.  She said it was 32 cm, which is a pretty normal for 34 weeks.  I said no one ever told me what the measurement was and I was curious because I feel like I'm smaller than other women as far along as me.  She said that was because I was tall and long waisted (which I figured), and then said probably in the next few weeks, I would still measure small and the practitioner would probably recommend an ultrasound to check the growth of the baby and the US would say the baby was in the 90th percentile.  She sounded like this happened a lot! :)

Anyways, all in all yet another uneventful appointment - except that I got to meet one of the midwives who may be with me in the delivery room!  I also made all of our remaining appointments and I realized next week is my last week without an appointment with a doctor before I deliver...scary.  New belly photos for Justin's co-workers (and anyone else who has been wondering what's taking so long!)

Partner yoga post coming up! :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Taking a break!

So I've been getting a little bit of nausea this week, which is semi frustrating in my third trimester.  Last night I could hardly sleep and still felt pretty crappy this morning.  I think I am so stressed out about preparing for baby and buying Christmas gifts for family while at the same time trying to make sure we save money and have enough to buy the things we need but don't yet have for baby...it's all overwhelming.

Not to mention I don't exactly have an physically easy job, or emotionally for that matter.  I'm a bit tired of hearing my "lovingly whiney" patients, as I call them, complain to me about their pain and their problems.  I know it's my job and I signed up for it and 95% of the time I love it, I just want to vent!

So anyways, today I took a day off.  The list of reasons not to was much longer, but the one reason to take a break was much more important that the many other reasons not to.  I feel SO much better.  I was able to just sleep and rest and also got a few baby things done:

  • Called to schedule a "prenatal" visit with a potential pediatrician's office

  • Called to schedule a hospital tour of the "maternity ward" as I called it and laughed at myself on the phone with the receptionist (I guess I couldn't think of the word UNIT)

  • Researched some more daycare options

  • Researched potential apartment options

  • Registered our Britax car seat and stroller (some of the car seats were recently recalled due to a "brittle chest clip" but turns out the green color was a good choice because our model # wasn't recalled)

  • Researched some invitation wording options for bridal shower/bachelorette party

Did I mention I rested?  I think I just really needed a day to rest, relax and get a few small things done to take some stress out of my life.

I am trying to get Justin to blog about partner prenatal yoga last weekend.  We'll see if he does it, if not I'll try to fill you in!  It was so much fun! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

27th Birthday Gift: QT with my sister

We went to see Michael Buble.

This is us waiting before the show started.  The couple behind us was obnoxiously funny.  The guy was so impressed with my self photo taking camera with a front screen (hilarious picture of guy being amazing to come...)  Megan bought the tickets as a birthday gift for me and something we could do together before my life changes completely.

After going on and on about my camera, the guy behind us started talking to the couple next to me about the guys smart phone and the front facing camera with a flash.  Being the smarta*s I am, I turned around and said, "You came here to check out all the new technology not for the show, didn't you?"  His wife/gf/whatever started cracking up and he goes, "Yep exactly, I'm outta here in 10 minutes.  I couldn't care less about Michael Buble!"  We all laughed.  Here are some photos from our seats (not zoomed).

The opening act was a group of 7 guys, called Naturally 7.  They are a group that does what is called "vocal play."  They basically make the sounds of the instruments with their voices.  The guy who was the bass was amazing!  (And of course the skinniest guy in the group.)  I highly recommend checking them out on iTunes.  Then we waited about 15 minutes for Michael Buble to come on.

He was, simply put, totally AWESOME!  He was funny and sounded awesome, and his band was fantastic.  It was just all around such a great time...even though my ankles and shins swelled up like balloons during the 3 hours of sitting/standing.  I loved every second of it, and got emotional a few times thinking about how scared I am of my life completely changing, but I think I'm ready.  Or maybe I'm not quite yet but I have at least another month or so to come to terms with the whole idea of being a mom.  Thanks, Meg, for a really great birthday gift and for making me feel special for my birthday.

Here are a couple more photos from the show of Michael.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby turning?

So I've been pretty darn uncomfortable since this past Sunday.  I think eating a large amount of salty foods over Thanksgiving holiday made my feet and hands swell a little bit because I had a hard time wearing both my engagement ring and wedding band.  It seems to be a lot better now and they are fitting just fine.

Back to my extreme discomfort.  I really don't even know how to describe it.  It isn't the same as Braxton Hicks because the "tight" sensation doesn't go away for any period like it would with contractions.  It almost feels like I'm being punished for having a relatively small belly because it feels like the baby wants more room than is available and he/she is lying entirely against the front of my belly.  I'm hoping this new discomfort is just because the baby is trying to flip to be head down - that would eliminate a lot of my worry about that.  If that is what is going on I hope it doesn't feel this uncomfortable for 7 more weeks.

Heading to flood Baby's ears with the sweet serenade of Michael Buble with Aunt Megan tonight, I'll try to blog a little more often!  Until next time, not much new to report! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sounds weird, eh?

Melissa's birthday was yesterday. We had baby class (quite the present, I know).  She also had to work on her birthday - I must have done something wrong in telling her to go in yesterday. It was a long day for her but I know that she's looking forward to the long weekend. I'm not one for sappy stuff, especially on birthday's but this one is special. She's going to be a mom (and me a dad). Last birthday as a non-parent...


Melissa - I love you. We have been through a lot the last few months and I know that the next few will be even more exciting and probably even more rewarding. I want you to know that you are an amazing woman and I'm so proud that I can call you my wife. Keep on "cruisin" (who was she kidding?) and the baby will be here before we know it. Happy Birthday beautiful. I love you.

32 week check-up

Justin and I went to the usual OB office visit today: check-in, check weight, pee in a cup, get blood pressure, wait for doctor or midwife, measure belly, listen to heartbeat, ask questions...every time...  Justin hasn't been to the OB with me in quite some time and after the appointment he says, "So is that pretty standard for your visits?"  Haha, um yeah pretty much exactly every time.

Great things from this visit:

  • I haven't gained that much weight since my last visit (which I think it awesome, especially because they aren't saying there is anything wrong with the growth of the baby or anything like that)

  • The doctor we saw today was very nice, just like everyone at this office (Justin is taking credit for finding us a great OB-GYN office)

  • She eased some labor fears by repeating multiple times how "nice and tall" we are and how she thinks I will do "just fine"

  • She also eased my fears about the baby being breach because of my poorly positioned sacrum.  She told me not to worry about anything until 36 weeks- so we have another month.

  • She (along with pretty much every other person we've seen) mentioned that the baby's heartbeat is 130-140 bpm - "Perfect"

I can't believe we only have 8 weeks left.  If you haven't put your vote in on the pool, see my previous post, or the link on the right side of the page!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope everyone spends some time letting the important people in their lives know how thankful they are to have them!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Baby Pool!!

So excited I think I found a really neat, free online baby pool!  I've been wanting to do this for a while so I'm pretty pumped.  You can take a guess at a bunch of things in the pool and the website will use a point system to calculate a winner.  Maybe Justin and I can come up with something really cool and exciting to send to the winner!  Make sure to enter your email address if you want a day of birth announcement since it seems that using the pool will be an easy way to send out a mass email about Baby Hales!

List of guess-able things:

  • Birthday

  • Birth time

  • Gender

  • Length

  • Weight

  • Hair Color

  • Eye Color

  • First Name

  • Middle Name

  • Comments

I left the names in there, not because I want you to guess what you think we will name them (although that's how you get points) I've liked hearing other people's name suggestions because sometimes it can give us good ideas!  I will also post new belly photos from the front and side tonight so those of you that want to see all angles to guess gender can do that! So have at it!  I'm excited to see everyone's guesses!


In other news:

I am seriously having a rough week at work, and next week, although shorter is looking even rougher.  I'm also becoming increasingly uncomfortable this week.  Not just like "big" uncomfortable, like cramping and unable to bend over without gasping for breath uncomfortable.  I was so excited for yoga yesterday, but even that didn't help too much this week.  I couldn't do some of the poses due to the aforementioned discomfort, and my self diagnosed subluxing knee, subluxed so it is really hurting today.  I hope it's just the week.  Looking forward to a relaxing weekend and some time with friends and family Saturday night at a "Pigger!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birthing classes!

So this will probably be a quick post but we attended our first birthing class on Monday.  Justin said he is more excited afterwards, whereas the more I learn and see the more nervous I become...so hopefully he will be calm, cool and collected and pull through for me!  The instructor asked us to introduce ourselves and, among other things, say what we had least expected about this pregnancy.  I quickly came up with my response: the "pregnancy brain."  I mean seriously, I spent all afternoon on Sunday with my husband who I have known and been with for 6 years, and I didn't even notice he shaved his beard!  I'm embarrassed to admit it since I pretty much observe people for a living, but I'm sorry Justin!

My highlight from the class:

While watching the first of I'm sure many "birthing videos," which was relatively PG, there was some cheesy music and narration playing in the background.  I really can't even describe it, but the reason it was a highlight for me was because it made me realize that although Justin and I are VERY VERY different, there are some things that are so similar and always make me smile.  Such as Monday night, while watching this video, about 5 minutes in, all I could think was "man this is pretty cheesy with the music and the narrator."  The moment I'm thinking this, Justin squeezes my  hand to get my attention.  I turn to him and he whispers to me, "Is it just me or is this a little cheesy?"  Haha, exactly what I was thinking!  I love you!  More to come tomorrow maybe- including new photos!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Official Due Date....ONLY 1!

I had my 30 week doctor's appointment yesterday.  I saw a new nurse midwife who I haven't seen before.  She was really nice.  When she came in and sat down, she said "So, 30 weeks and 3 days?"  I was like, wait what?  Because you see, according to the doctor's until yesterday, I was under the assumption they were still using the January 24th due date and I would have been 29 weeks and 4 days yesterday.  So I said, "Oh, you guys changed the due date?"  She said maybe the previous midwife I had seen had done it since I wasn't really sure at all about the first day of my last period.  This seems like a stupid thing to be excited about but I'm thrilled I can stop saying "Depends on who you ask," when people ask me when I am due.  I'm officially only due on the 18th of January!

The midwife also told me the first thing that might not be a perfect easy pregnancy this week.  My iron levels are borderline low so I'm supposed to add more to my diet.  She said I can get it by eating things like spinach, beans, and ... liver.  I said, "So all the delicious things!" :)  She said she cringed every time she said it!  Anyways, looks like more steaks for me!  She also told me that I should get a flu shot and that we most likely will not get another ultrasound unless they need to see something (position) or if I go past my due date - to check everything out.

Also this week, we got our new stroller!  They said it would take 2 weeks to ship but that turned into 2 days!  So I went into nesting/cleaning mode on Thursday night.  I put together the swing, bouncer and stroller.  I pushed the stroller around our kitchen island (the only place where there is ANY room) and said, "Justin, how do I look?"  He told me I looked pregnant!

Hopefully today, I'll make some thank you cards for my generous friends and family and/or actually make my honeymoon scrapbook!  Here is a picture of some of our organized baby things in the den/nursery!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby Shower Weekend

My older sister, Megan, hosted my baby shower this weekend.  She is so creative and crafty that my younger sister, Lauren, and I are almost dreading planning her bridal shower - we have so much to live up to.  I should have taken more pictures of the awesome decor!

Lauren and one of my aunts (MEM) were flying down from Milwaukee to spend the weekend with us, my in-laws were driving up from VA Beach and quite a few of my friends in the area were coming to celebrate with us.  My mom also wasn't supposed to be able to come, but she flew down to surprise me - it meant a whole lot to me since she had to miss my bridal shower due to work.  Honestly, I felt so overwhelmed and loved it was so wonderful!  Just a simple little gathering of some family and friends talking about babies.  Baby Hales is lucky to have so many people who already love him/her and that love his/her mom and dad.  I'm a little less stressed now that we have some of the bigger things that we really need.  Here are some pictures from the weekend.  Thank you to my family and friends that could come, I wish I could explain to you how much it means to me!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Shape!!

So you know how the other day I decided no more bare belly photos since I felt like my belly was funny shaped?  Well, today when I looked in the mirror before I got in the shower, I noticed something...my belly looks like it changed shape!  I went into work and told my boss Kate my thoughts from the morning, she said "Yeah...maybe."  But she also tells me EVERY SINGLE MONDAY that I grew a lot since the last time she saw me (read: over the weekend).  When she goes to see her family in Australia for 2 weeks, she's going to be shocked when she gets back!

So I came home and told Justin I think my belly changed.  I stood up and put one hand above and one hand below my belly and prepared to tell him what I thought, and he goes, "it looks lower."  AH- that's exactly what I was going to say!  I feel like the shape when from long, tall and flat to shorter and rounder!  I can't believe it wasn't just in my head!  Justin even noticed it. :)  We decided that maybe the baby has flipped to be head down and that's why the shape is a little different.  Anyways, nothing else exciting to report! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend 2010

On Friday after work, Aunt Meg and I drove 3.5 hours up to State College, PA to seen soon-to-be Uncle Paul and the Indiana Hoosiers play Penn State.  The ride was actually pretty fun.  The GPS was pretty much dying to take us down all these back roads so we were hardly on any highways, which was ok because it was light out and had nice views.  We drove through a bunch of little towns and finally arrived at State College.  It was fun to be sitting in the stands and watching volleyball again for me, unfortunately Indiana didn't play too well and Penn State was sort of unimpressive to me.  But after the game, we got to say hi to Nancy, the assistant coach who knows both Megan and I (she was my coach when I went to Holland to play for a week.)  We only got to say hi to Paul for about 2 minutes since he lost his bag and was frantically running around.  So after a 3.5 hour drive up, a 1.5-2 hour game and 15 minutes of "catching up," we took the 3 hour drive on (on all the highways) which was also fun because we talked the whole way!  I'll try to upload some of the fall-ish photos I took on our ride up.

Yesterday, Justin and I just hung out with Megan and Samson for most of the day and then came home to get ready to get dinner at Red Robin (I've been craving a burger SO badly) and then head out to see a friend's band play in Fairfax.  It was relatively uneventful but the burger was delicious!  Here we are in our costumes- simple, cheap and homemade, and I posted a new belly photo.

P.S. I am no longer going to post un-clothed belly photos as I think my bump is slightly oddly shaped.  Maybe the maternity photos will be an exception.

Happy almost November! (Oh Aunt Meg got me an early birthday gift- tickets for us to see Michael Buble in concert - SOOOOO excited to see a great singer and have a sister's night out.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hellllooooooo Third Trimester!

Holy crap, I can't believe we are more than 2/3 of the way to having a baby.  I had my doctor's appointment on Tuesday.  I think I'm going to go back to my strategy of not paying attention to the weight each time I go in because it's really scary, I'm afraid I'll never be my normal size again.  I also had my glucose tolerance test which involves drinking a really sugary orange drink, waiting an hour and getting blood drawn.  I'm a little afraid I have developed gestational diabetes due to the amount of sweets I've been eating.  But then again, I've ALWAYS been a sweet tooth.  We'll see, if anything is abnormal I have to do a 3 hour test.  Other than that, I now I have to see the doctor every two weeks instead of every four.

For the most part, I'm still feeling pretty good.  Today, there were FOURTEEN mamas in prenatal yoga!  When I started going it was like 3 or 4 per class, so this is so exciting!  The other mamas probably think I talk way too much but oh well.  I'm definitely growing outward rapidly (photo update soon) and I thought it would be fun if I made a list of things I've noticed are much more difficult or becoming more difficult as my belly gets in the way...even things you don't really think about.

1. Putting on socks and shoes (of any kind besides flip flops): I usually just stand and lift one foot- this is no longer working due to balance issues and my ever-expanding belly.  I know have to literally sit and cross my legs, which is still semi difficult.

2. "Squeeze by" in crowds or around people: I used to be able to just easily scoot by people, now I forget that I'm a little wider than normal and my belly tends to rub against people.  ***This is also becoming an issues when doing hands on work with my patients.

3. Painting my toenails, shaving my legs, any grooming activity where I need to bend over- even washing my feet.  This seems obvious, and it is, but it's just becoming more real and I forget I can't do it as easily.

4. Breathing.  Yes, I get short of breath so easily it's almost embarrassing.  I literally become out of breath demonstrating the few exercises I still can to my patients- although they still think it's amazing I can still show them side planks with one hand on the BOSU ball.

5. Driving.  It's becoming increasingly uncomfortable to drive (or even be driven) anywhere.  Going over bumps I feel like I have to tighten my abs to hold my belly in place.

6. Sneezing/Coughing- trying to keep up with those Kegel exercises.

That's all my pregnant brain can come up with now.  I'm so excited for my little homemade maternity Halloween Costume...I'll post pictures later!  Happy Halloween and end of October to everyone!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


So I know it has been a while since I posted.  I'm pretty convinced most of the people who read this blog were getting slightly bored with my postings anyways!:)  So since our anniversary weekend, here's what's been going on:


Travelled to VA Beach to see the Hales/Soetaerts.  Spending time with family is always nice, especially since we won't really get to do much of that over the holidays, which as you all know is making me mildly depressed.  This was a pretty short and relaxing weekend (minus the 5 hour drive down - 3 hour drive back - I hate DC traffic) and Justin and I (mainly I) got a new digital SLR camera from Grandma and Grandpa Hales as an early Christmas gift!

Needless to say, I spent the majority of the Saturday, studying the directions and hints and tricks.  (And yes "studying" is the correct word to use if you know me at all!)

We left early on Sunday so I could get back for yoga class - which is still such a nice workout for me and I love going and chatting with the other soon-to-be Mommies and Sarah.

Another week of work.  Well actually only four days for me because I had Friday off.

Well, not "off" exactly since I had a continuing education course all this weekend - 8-5 on Friday and Saturday and 8-1 today in Sterling, VA.  Getting there on Friday morning was a large pain in my you-know-what, but overall it was a great review course and we learned some really cool new things to help diagnose patients with ankle/foot problems and help treat them with orthotics.  I can now cast for orthotics and order them for patients who may really need them which is kinda cool.

Despite being a great course, I know have a full week of work ahead of me (and a Doctor's appointment on Tuesday) so I'm really dreading this.

I have just about reached the last trimester now (so this is probably my last second trimester post!) and the severe fatigue I was feeling in my first trimester is slowly creeping back up on me, which is a main reason I haven't posted in a while.  Justin and I are trying to figure out some little details to prepare for our little one's arrival, including deciding between hiring a doula and just taking birthing/baby classes through our doctor's office.  I'm really looking forward to this week of work being over, and travelling to see soon-to-be Uncle Paul play at Penn State next weekend with Aunt Megan.  And a big night out on Saturday with our friends for the yearly Brion's Grill showing of the Fred Chao Band for Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween - I (or we if I can get Justin to dress up) need costume ideas for pregnant ladies (or couples)- my pregnancy prevents a large amount of brainstorming so any help would be appreciated!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grandma's Birthday

Today is my mom's birthday. I know how old she is but I don't think she'd want me to put that out there. She is young at heart and I think that's all that matters :).


When I think about my time growing up I didn't treat her nearly as good as I should have. My mom had it tough because my dad was gone a lot. I said and did some (or a lot) of things that I shouldn't have. I'm sure that my childhood wasn't much different than a lot of kids in that respect. My mom deserved better. It's waaaaaaaaaaay after the fact, but I'm sorry for the gray hair, stress, and heartburn I probably caused you when I was growing up.  I can see her reading this and going, "Yeah, Justin, that's right. But your time will come."  Then she'll start laughing that laugh.


I got her a present, but it's on backorder. It'll be here in January. She has no clue what it is. Happy Birthday Mom. I love you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Paper Anniversary :)

Yesterday was our very first anniversary (of being married).  On Friday, we will have been together 6 years (since our first date, when Justin cooked me shrimp for dinner)!  Everyone says that the first year of marriage is the hardest, but I actually found this to be one of our easiest years together, despite the shock of starting our family a little earlier than we planned.  Here's a little recap of our weekend.


We had lunch like we usually do, but this time it was with a friend of ours, Tamara.  After lunch, I went to Buy Buy Baby because I'd been thinking that we may want to register for a stroller that can convert to a double since I'd like to have at least 2 kids and I'd like them close together.  While I was there, there was a couple doing basically the same thing I was doing so we got to chatting.  When Justin got home, I really wanted him to come with me to look so we could make an educated decision.  (I think we are going to end up trying to get the Britax B-Ready stroller which is compatible with the car seats we registered for.)  Then we got Arby's for dinner...romantic, I know! :)


We relaxed all morning, watching football and such.  Then we decided we were going to get ready and head to the GMU women's volleyball game since they were playing UNC Wilmington where a friend of ours coaches.  It was fun to see some volleyball again.  We then headed to our big event of the weekend, OVO, the Cirque du Soleil show at National Harbor.  It. Was. Awesome.  I highly recommend that everyone see it, but don't splurge on the close up seats.  We sat in the last row and it was perfect!  After the show, we drove out to one of our good friend's house for a party to hang out with his new girlfriend.  It was pretty fun- wishing I could drink but alas...  All-in-all it was a relaxing and fun day...but we went to bed REALLY late.


Sleep in a little bit.  We then went to brunch at the Original Pancake House (a place we went in Milwaukee with my family and Paul got an 8 egg omelet.)  It was delicious.  We then drove out to Leesburg Outlets and walked around, then went to Outback for dinner.  Although all these events seem so not special and normal, we enjoyed just spending time together!


Grocery store to get some food and ingredients for our dinner together.  I got Justin a book and a cookbook (Top Chef) for our paper anniversary so he wanted to make some macaroni recipe and I've been wanting to bake something for while.  I made some S'mores bars.  We finally got to use our KitchenAid mixer.  We are going to attempt the top layer of our wedding cake later, Justin is the taste tester because we don't need me getting sick!

It was a great weekend spent with the best husband anyone could ask for.  I love you, Justin, and I can't wait to see what the next 57 years hold! (Today is my grandparents 58th wedding anniversary!!)

P.S. I think tomorrow starts my last trimester!!  See new belly photos!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fun with Family and Friends

I can't believe we are inching towards the third trimester.  It's extremely scary considering I have no idea where in our little apartment we are going to put anything.  But anyways...

Last weekend, when Meg's best friend Amanda was in town, they went to the Natural History Museum and said there was a new exhibit called "Origins" that talked about evolution and had some cool bones and how our species has evolved.  Naturally I wanted to go.  So yesterday, my husband, Baby and I hopped on the Metro (which I haven't been on in a while) and headed downtown despite the AIDS walk and rally going on in the city.  It's nearly impossible that all the roads in the city would be open on any given weekend, plus it was such a beautiful fall day!  The museum was fun and the exhibits were pretty cool, plus the whole day was FREE and I got to spend some time with my husband.

Last night, we went out in Arlington with some friends for a friend's 40th birthday party.  It was fun!  One friend hasn't seen us in a while and wasn't aware we were expecting so that was fun to let her in on the secret!  Lots of people touching my belly and a late night later, we were in bed.  I'm not going to lie, one of the things I miss about our pre-pregnancy life is going out and having a good time with our friends without feeling exhausted and boring.  Part of me feels like my youth is slipping away from me, but I'm so excited for the next step in our journey!

Enjoy some pictures from the past couple of weeks, and I've posted a new picture to the belly shots page.  Happy October to everyone, my favorite month of the year!!

Friday, October 1, 2010


So they say that when you are pregnant, the hormones kinda put your emotions all over the map: sad one minute, laughing hysterically the next.

Did anyone else watch Project Runway last night?  I was just watching it on my DVR and they all got really emotional about being able to see their moms.  Needless to say, I started to tear up because I really miss my mom (as well as the rest of my family).

Miss you and love you, Mom.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Pregnancy Symptom??

I'll get to my new pregnancy symptom in a minute, I just wanted to give you all a quick review of my week/weekend since I haven't written in a while.

Last Friday I had a 4-week doctor's appointment.  Went through the normal routine, pee, weight, BP, listen to the heartbeat, have the doctor tell me it's "perfect."  It was all good, and the newest doctor I have met was very nice and helpful in answering all of my questions.  The cramping I'm getting is pretty normal, but I should be aware if the cramping is in normal intervals and lasts for longer than an hour.  I also talked to her a little bit about birthing classes and wanting to have a natural childbirth.  She suggested hypnobirthing method, I'm still trying to talk to Justin about what we might want to do.  I guess I was more on top of these sorts of things than normal because the doctor kept saying, you don't usually have to worry about these things for a few more weeks.  At least I'm thinking about it.

Aunt Meg's best friend, Amanda was in town starting Saturday night so we've been doing a lot of things with them.  We met them for sushi on Saturday night (late dinner); I went to the American History Museum and dinner with them on Sunday; Justin and Megan played volleyball yesterday and then we got dinner at Sweetwater (best chicken fingers EVER!); and today they stopped by our place and we went to the Lost Dog Cafe.  It was really nice to see her and spend some time with them together, but I'm tired!!

Speaking of being tired, I'm already having a hard time sleeping with having to pee and trying to find a comfortable position, but for the past 4 nights in a row, I've been having nightmares.  I'm pretty sure this isn't a normal symptom of pregnancy.  Not only am I having nightmares, but they are TOTALLY random.  They have nothing to do with Baby, and rarely is there any friends or family in them.  And they have absolutely nothing to do with one another.  I'm not watching anything scary on TV and I haven't eaten anything funny.  It's so weird and if they don't stop soon, I'm totally going to be prepared for a baby because I haven't gotten much sleep at all.  If anyone has any great ideas on how to get these to stop, I'd really, really appreciate it!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I had a meltdown last night.  I'm starting to get seriously stressed about financial issues and overwhelmed with the thoughts of trying to make plans for another human being.  Justin seems so calm about everything, but I guess those are our roles:  me - the worrier, Justin - go with the flow.

The good news is I'm getting seriously excited to be a mom.  I'm scared, but mostly excited.  And, as of today, we had to put our ballroom dancing program on hold.  It hasn't been the same for us since we found out we were expanding our family and it's so expensive, we need to be saving that money for the future.  They were very understanding at Arthur Murray but Justin and I are just kinda sad about it and feel bad and like we are letting them down.

I guess step number one to becoming a parent has been checked off the list: Learn to make sacrifices for your children.  Thanks Mom and Dad for all the sacrifices I'm sure you made for us.  It's always meant a lot to me, but I guess it's beginning to hit home a little more now.  I love you.  (P.S. Dave and Jill, I'm guessing Justin feels the same way but I can't speak for him! ;)

I am feeling a lot better this week than last week, still a little sad and crabby but nothing like last week.  I'm not sure if I shared this story, but let me tell you a little about how my worst week of pregnancy ended last week:

We went up to Laurel to dog sit for Samson.  When we got there on Friday he was very excited to see us and seemed like he was almost yelling at us when we got there: "Where have you been?  Why did you leave me?  You better not go anywhere!  Where is my mom? Can we go for a walk?  I really have to pee?"  Well, I got ready to take him for his evening walk and Justin was going to take the car to get some food.  I think I did a pretty good job last week of trying hard to not act irritable around Justin, because he really didn't deserve it at all, but it all went down the tubes that fateful Friday night.

As we were leaving the house, I had Samson on his leash in my left hand, my left knee holding open the screen door and locking the door with my right hand.  Samson must have been trying to keep up with Justin who was heading to the car because he tugged me just the littlest bit, and I twisted just a smidge to the left.  Needless to say, this lead to my knee slipping from the door and the HEAVY door (which seems to be on super duper strong springy springs) slammed me directly in the forehead.

It hurt...bad!  I yelled ouch a few times and started to tear up.  I was trying to just compose myself and Justin goes, "What? What? What? What? What? What?"  Literally.  I'm not kidding.  Six times in like a ten second span.  I didn't even have time to answer if I wanted to.  I lost it and screamed at him that the effing door hit me in the face and can you just give me a minute to get myself together and stop asking me what?  (It was a lot stronger and harsher than that.)  I know he was just concerned but the 6 whats just pushed me over the edge.  I told him I was still standing and wasn't dying so if he could just give me a minute that would be great!  I'm glad that week is over.  Sorry, baby, I shouldn't have blown up at you.

I hope everyone's weeks are going well!! I'm trying to get Dad to write another blog...he wants to post a picture of his new beard so maybe look for that.  P.S. I don't really like kissing a bearded man.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

5 Months!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a week.  I was having a pretty difficult week emotionally.  There was really no reason for this at all, I was just really irritable.  Things started to look up after yoga last Thursday, then we went to stay in Laurel, MD to dog sit my nephew, Samson.  I had yoga again today and my back is feeling a little bit better so I think this week is definitely looking better than last.

While I was lying in bed with Samson yesterday, I started thinking about how quickly this whole pregnancy thing is going.  I'm trying to savor every moment, but the days seem to be flying by.  Yesterday was the 18th, which would make it exactly 5 months along.  I feel like I should be doing more nesting and planning for a baby but I'm not.  I find myself trying to plan for our first anniversary weekend coming up next month, which I think it ok.  I don't want to forget about our relationship just because we are starting a family.  We bought tickets to go see OVO, the cirque de soleil show at National Harbor on October 9th, which I'm pretty excited about.  And I think Justin is also excited because his co-worker told him what a great show it was, so great that she is going to see it again.  Then on Sunday, our actual anniversary, we are going to stroll around Annapolis, because that's what Justin wants to do.  Something for me (food and OVO) and something for him.  I can't wait to look back on our first, needless to say eventful, year together.  And I really can't wait until Monday October 11th, to lay in bed and watch movies all day with my husband.

I kinda lost track of my journal entries but here is the Month 5 journal:

1. You know you're still in mind, body and spirit, even though your body is doing a change-up.  Think of your fashion MO and how you can maintain your joy for color and style even with the bump.

Trying to stay looking and feeling pretty has been quite the challenge for me.  I have had the most success at Gap Maternity.  Normally, I hate the Gap - boring colors, nothing special, but I actually like that about their maternity because I can still wear all my cute cardigans (old and new) over them with some fun jewelry or, my favorite accessory, scarves!  I'm pretty pumped about the fall weather so I can get back to all my sweaters (or at least the ones that might still work for me.)

2. Take a picture of yourself in your best pregnant fashion and post it here.

To be continued later when I actually take some pictures in my pregnant fashion!  I have an outfit planned for a friend's birthday party in a few weeks.  I'll try to be better about posting pictures!

3. Hey, what was that?  Record the kicks of your baby- where, when, how hard?

I think I've sort of already covered this but the very first "swirling" motions I felt were around 18 weeks in the morning before getting ready to go to work.  I started feeling some more clear kicks, especially the night of our half-way ultrasound, at the end of August (19.5 weeks).  The exciting thing for me this weekend was I started to feel a lot more like the baby is flipping and turning rather than just kicking.  I love noting all the new sensations I feel, sometimes it makes me laugh.

4. What baby names do you like today?

I learned my lesson about this about a month or so ago, I'm no longer asking anyone's opinion but my husband and our closest family, because, no offense, but I don't really care what anyone else thinks about names I like for OUR child. :)  We are going to try to pick out about 2 or 3 boys and girls names because we both feel like we can't rightly name someone before we meet them!

5. What suggested baby name have you heard?

My boss, Kate, throws out the most odd names- Hortense, Horatio are her favorites.  A patient gave me Sloan the other day, but I'm not a fan...I kinda sounds like a Husky's name to me.  Other than that, most of the time, people oddly suggest their own names!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Holy cow am I crabby.  I really can't help it, I just feel bad about myself.  So first I'm going to vent, and then I'm going to make a list of the things that make me feel happy.


My back is absolutely killing me.  As many of you may know, I hurt my back my freshman year of college lifting heavy weights and ever since then (about 8 years ago) I've been battling a condition that really sucks with therapy, doctors, chiropractors, shots, etc.  I knew it was going to be bad when I got pregnant but it feels like it did the day I did it, and it hasn't felt this bad since then.  Sarah, God bless her, tries really hard in every yoga class to help me out but it seems I'm just going to have to deal with it.

I feel so unattractive it's not even funny.  Whoever says I have a "pregnancy glow" is lying.  I feel like crap, and I feel like I look like crap, all the time, no matter what.  The only thing I can try to do to solve this is go shopping (which is something I really shouldn't be doing but it makes me feel better...usually.)  But now, it doesn't help, because I can't find anything I like and I end up buying jewelry or socks because it's the only thing that fits.

The smallest things are significantly irritating me, and therefore, I have begun to dread going to work because there are just a couple of patients that I just can't deal with for an hour at a time.  For the large majority, my patients are wonderful and usually make me feel better, but those couple can really ruin your day.

I'm constantly hungry, but never really feel like eating anything in particular.  Come on pregnancy cravings, where are you?

Did I mention my back is killing me and making me want to cry?????

Things that make me happy:

Prenatal yoga: specifically the prenatal yoga music mix we listen to that is full of songs about empowerment.  My favorite is Wade Morissette (brother of Alanis) "Strong as Diamonds"

Walking around

My husband cleaning the apartment while I shop (even if then I come home to a whole load of crap to dispose of or put away)

Ice cream

Fall weather (this really should be higher up on the list)

My sisters and mom (and really my whole family - seeing my dad this weekend, even if only for lunch, was wonderful)

Friends and strangers telling me I look great even if I don't feel like it

My baby kicking me




It seems that there are certainly a lot more positives than negatives, I just needed my blog as an outlet to vent and remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life.  I'm posting lyrics to my favorite prenatal yoga song and I'm walking to Baskin Robins to get myself ice cream later, even if my husband sits on his butt watching football and I have to go alone.

Strong as Diamonds
(© 2006 w.morissette)

Om Vajra Kaya Namaha

To be as strong as diamonds

To be as strong as the wind

Take my hand and jump

Take my hand and leap

Take my hand and fly high

Take my hand and go now

Time is on my side

My own heart I abide

Sanskrit translation: To be as strong as diamonds

"Sometimes we must access our pure strength to overcome and triumph."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dad's first post...

So I'm going to be a dad. Lot's of things have been going through my mind recently: names, finances, sleep (anyone who knows me knows how much I love to sleep and how lazy I can be - not anymore!), and most importantly the health of the two most important people in my life - my wife and my baby.

Names - we kinda have a name picked out if it's a boy. For some reason we haven't really spent much time on girl's names. I'm beginning to think we shouldn't have to name this child until we know what he or she is like. If you give it a name that doesn't match their personality, how is it going to navigate through life?

Finances - I'm in this kind of stuff for my profession, and I know what to tell people to do, but it's hard to take that advice and apply it to yourself. From diapers to daycare, this baby is going to have to have things to live and it's up to us to support it. I'm excited to have a kid of my own, but the thought of someone being 100% reliable on me to survive is life altering.

Sleep - I love to sleep. On the couch, on the floor, and if I'm bored, sleep is something that I enjoy. Probably slept a little bit too much in college, but that's for another time... I hope that I can get enough sleep to function and not be a cranky slob at work and at home. I also hope that my baby loves to sleep as much as I do so we can nap when I'm not at work.

Health - Nothing is more important to me than the health of my baby and my wife. So far so good. A lot of people have asked me what I want to have, and I always reply "10 fingers and 10 toes". Gender doesn't matter, neither does size, hair color, eye color or when it comes. Just healthy - that's it.

I am excited to see what the next few months will bring. I am excited to see what Melissa and I have created. Most of all, I'm excited to be a parent.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend- Milwaukee, WI

So we head out to Milwaukee to visit my the Markowski side of my family for labor day weekend/our last weekend of traveling until we have a baby probably!

Our flight out was on Thursday night.  For the most part, the flight was ok except for two things: 1.) on the take-off, the pilot decided he wanted to see how quickly he could get back to level after making a sharp right-handed turn causing my stomach to fly into my throat and 2.) the pilot informed us we would be landing shortly and there were thunderstorms in the area (read felt like we were flying into a black hole and holy rocking the boat on the landing and me seriously thinking we were going to die.)  But we got there, and Aunt Lauren and cousin Layla picked us up, we watched some t.v. and went to bed.

The rest of the weekend is a blur of family fun time and some moderate amounts of chaos, which is expected with a big family.  I was really glad I got to see my parents at least for a few hours.  Here are some highlights of our trip:
  • Real Chili
  • Catchphrase
  • Lawn golf and bocci ball
  • Pictionary
  • Grammy's delicious desserts including apple cake, jimmy cake and eclair torts
  • Cheese curds
  • Mini Golf and batting cages
  • Testing out Justin's new camcorder
  • Trying to get everyone to feel the baby move (even though Mom didn't get to feel it :( ) and Uncle Brendan saying "That's it???" upon feeling the kicking
  • Spending time with my awesome family, no matter how little time

Despite a Hokie disappointing loss on Labor Day, I had a great weekend.  And I'm not even mad that I'm exhausted.  I got pretty emotional at the airport because I'm really upset about probably not seeing much of my family this upcoming holiday season (which is the main reason I love the holidays.)  Here are some photos from our weekend get-a-way.  Also, check out the belly shots because I'm pretty sure I am growing a lot now, my boss even said I looked much bigger today at work than last week.

P.S. Grammy Markowski is 100% sure it's a boy, and my mom is keeping her opinion a big secret:)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Today is 20 weeks (if you are going by the ultrasound people - which I am)!!  I can't believe I'm halfway there!

You already read about our big halfway ultrasound on Friday, but we also did a lot more over our weekend.  On Friday after my appointments, I drove up to Laurel, MD while Justin finished up work before driving up with Uncle Paul (Meg's fiance).  We were staying with them Friday night because Justin and Paul were playing in a volleyball tournament on Saturday with a friend, James, in Frederick, MD.  On Saturday, Meg and I watched a movie in the morning and then met with Miranda (James' wife) and there two cute little ones, Charlotte and Susannah.  The tournament seemed to be a pretty good time, at least to the guys.  We just sat and chatted before one of the girls had a little meltdown - it was nap time.  So we went back to Miranda and James' place and chatted some more, while the boys drank all day and we waited patiently to eat.  All in all, it was a fun day.

We stayed kinda late and ended up staying at Megan and Paul's again on Saturday night, but I begged Justin to leave a little earlier on Saturday because I was getting a serious nesting instinct.  We ended up moving the love seat out of the den/nursery so there is room for a crib maybe!!  We also cleaned out some junk from the den, cleaned out old clothes from under the bed and the closet and I hung a bunch of items to clear up some space.  I felt so accomplished and it made me so excited to have some resemblance of a nursery-type room or at least have some more space for baby items.  I can't wait to meet this little one!!

We are off to Milwaukee to spend some quality time with the Markowski half of my family this weekend, so I'm praying hurricane Earl doesn't interrupt our travel plans.  Can't wait to see everyone!!  Hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

20 Week Ultrasound!

So on Friday, we had our 18-20 week ultrasound as well as my monthly doctor's appointment.

The ultrasound was so exciting!  I could tell Justin was excited by the constant ooh-ing and aah-ing he was doing while the technician told us everything we could see.  Going into this US, I was really excited but also really nervous that something was going to be wrong; maybe it was because of the more frequent cramping feelings I've been having.  So, we go in and the tech asked us if we wanted to find out the sex.  We told her no, and joked about finding out and then keeping it a secret from all our family and friends!  She showed us everything, from the chambers in the heart, all the arm and leg bones, the kidneys, hands, feet and even the portal vein (which takes blood to the liver).  I was amazed at how much you could see.  Our little one, as in our first ultrasound, wasn't too cooperative, and wasn't moving all that much during the test.  He/she had his/her legs crossed the whole time and a hand in front of his/her face.  We got a few 3D images of Baby's face (which Justin says looks like an alien but he/she just hasn't gotten all the baby fat yet- that's at the end.)  When it came time to look for the sex, the technician warned us and then turned the screen a little bit away.

Turns out, baby was really shy (hand in front of the face) and didn't even want to show the tech his/her privates!  Good baby...  Anyways, so sorry for all you friends and family who have been bugging us about our decision not to find out...seems we wouldn't have found out anyways!  So the tech tells me to wipe myself up and get our things together.  Then about 5 minutes later, she came back with an older (obviously supervisor) type lady.  In my head I'm thinking, "Oh no, something is wrong.  I knew it."  But I didn't say anything because Justin seemed to be ok with it.  The supervisor lady said they needed some more/better pictures of Baby's heart.  She also tried to see the sex, but no such luck.  They didn't tell us anything was wrong, but later the next day, Justin mentioned it really freaked him out too, so now I'm a little paranoid that something was wrong.  But one of our mom friends (thanks Miranda) assured me they would have told me right then and there.

If I wasn't already worried enough, I then proceeded onto the doctors appointment alone.  Normally, these appointments seem useless to me.  I go in, the nurse takes my weight, blood pressure and I pee in a cup.  Then about 5 minutes (no more) later the doctor or midwife comes in and asks me if I have any questions and listens to the baby's heartbeat.  Well all the normal nurse-ly things took place, but then I waited 45-50 minutes sitting in the room for the doctor!  I was freaking out.  I was sure that the US people had faxed over a quick report and he was reading it and preparing to tell me some bad news.  He finally came it and listened to the heartbeat, measure my belly and checked my ankles for swelling.  He never mentioned anything might be wrong, so I'm a little relieved, but at the same time still kinda worried and weirded out about the odd sequence of events on Friday.

For now, I guess it's ok and I'll try to stop worrying.  Here of some pictures of our cutie!

He/she has my nose we decided, and Justin and Aunt Meg were able to feel the baby moving (finally) on Friday night!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meet me at the fair...with my sweetheart(s)

On Saturday, Justin had to work a table at the Arlington County Fair for a couple hours.  He told me I could come over and meet him if I wanted.  At first, all I thought was "no way."  But then I looked online and it looked like it could be fun: games, rides, jewelry stands, pig races, and most importantly, funnel cakes!!  So he came home and then we went back.

We walked around the indoor stands first, before we went outside where he played some games and we (he) ate some food, and I ate a funnel cake.  All in all, not too exciting but a nice way to get out of the house.  The biggest shocker of the day for me was at the beginning, as we were walking around the indoor displays.

I have recently discover the ElliptiGo (an elliptical bike) and as we were walking, we thought we saw some of them.  So we hustled over to see if it really was it and if we could test them out (should have known the Arlington County Fair would NEVER have ElliptiGos).  Well, needless to say, they were some sore of adult standing tricycles: 3 wheels, foot plates and handles.  The lady proceeded to tell us how they operated- you had to turn the handle bars using you arms side to side to get it to move forward (doesn't sound like much fun to me but whatever.)  Justin said "So it's basically all arms?" And she responded that it took a lot of trunk motion as well.  She then asked Justin if he wanted to try it out.  As he hesitated, she added, "But I don't recommend your pregnant wife try them out.  How far along are you?"  I was so flustered that she blatantly was talking about my belly without me telling her (and I don't think I'm THAT big) that I hesitated before I responded with "About 18 weeks."  Thinking back, I sorta wish I had told her that I wasn't pregnant and seen what her response was then.

Guess I'll be getting these types of comments more often now.  On a totally separate note, I TOTALLY have pregnancy moods swings but I'm trying to keep them to myself and not act on them.  I think I'm doing a decent job, but it's rough.

Here's a photo of the bike on my wish list! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010


So, I have spent about 2/3 of my weekend trying to finalize our registries.  You know, when you get married you think that is a little overwhelming because you aren't really sure what you need versus what you want, etc.  But really, you have no idea until you get pregnant.

I mean, there is SO MUCH baby crap.  Now, not finding out the sex limits the clothing registry, etc, but we aren't changing our minds! :)  But, I'm pretty proud of myself after this weekend of going over a very (really too) long list of things that Buy Buy Baby (the Bed Bath & Beyond of baby stuff) says that you should register for, which if you have gotten married, you know this list is of about 300% of the stuff you actually need.  I talked to my sister-in-law who has a 2 1/2 year old and my friend that had a baby last weekend, and eventually my mom a little bit and I think they are pretty good.  Not perfect and I'm sure I forgot some stuff but I'll worry about it later.  Target, Buy Buy Baby and Land of Nod, thank you for filling my weekend with strollers and bouncers and bassinets, oh my!

Then, today, we spent the afternoon with our good friends Erin and Tony, who had little Jack last weekend, the day before Justin's birthday.  He's adorable and perfect and teeny tiny and so quiet!  We love you Burba's!  And now I can't wait until January.  Plus, I'm so excited to have a great friend who can give me some heads-up advice a little in advance after experiencing it all.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Prenatal Yoga #2

I was at yoga class today, knowing our awesome instructor Padma is in Costa Rica for 2 weeks and that we would be having substitutes on Thursdays and Sundays.  Well, as you all know, I LOVE LOVE LOVE prenatal yoga.  I think my favorite parts of it are that it isn't yoga-ish and we work hard.  Not that we didn't work hard today, but I really miss Padma.

Seeing as she is a friend of mine, she has read my blog before so I don't want her to think that this wasn't a great instructor.  So, Padma, Jessie was great.  I still got a pretty good workout and got to relax and de-stress, but it wasn't quite as up my alley as Padma's classes are.  We did a lot of the named yoga poses, which is what I didn't really want when I started.  My 2 favorites parts about Padma's class are the ninja roll at the end and when we sing to our bellies.  And we didn't get to do either.  The ninja roll is this thing where we lay our our backs with our feet up the wall because it increases the blood flow to Baby.  It feels awesome! And it sounds totally cheesy, but I love the singing to our babies about being happy and healthy.  I always leave feeling great!

I left feeling almost as great today, just not quite the same.  One of the other girls that has been in class with me a lot walked out with me and said, "Well, that was different."  I laughed and said I missed the ninja roll.  She said she was thinking that same thing and she thought about going into it on her own at the end, but she thought that might be rude! :)  I love the girls in class too.  I'm going to probably go on Sunday and maybe next Thursday again.  Like I said, not bad, just not Padma.

On another note, my boss says I'm really beginning to pop so I'll post a new belly shot soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I think I may have felt our little soybean doing some somersaults today!!  I can't really be sure because it was very faint and, seeing as this is my first time, I'm not really sure what I'm going to feel.  It sorta felt like a swirling sensation in my belly this a.m. when I woke up.  The main thing that makes me think he/she may be moving is that this "swirling" feels different from all the indigestion and gas I've been feeling.  I'm so excited.

I'm also a little nervous because everyone always talks about kicking, and for anyone that has read the Twilight books, all I can think about is Bella's vampire baby kicking her and breaking her ribs and causing her all this pain.  Obviously, I know that Baby Hales won't be breaking my ribs but I hope it becomes more obvious than the swirling.  But for now, I LOVE the swirls:).

P.S. I figured out a way that I can sleep with significantly less indigestion.  I've been stacking pillows up like a bolster behind my back so I'm reclined instead of lying flat which I normally prefer.  I'm basically in a much better and significantly less irritable mood today than I was yesterday, and I can't wait for pre-natal yoga this week.  Although, I'll be missing our normal teacher, Sarah Lynn.

Happy 18 weeks today (according to the ultrasound people!)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!

Not my Daddy, we've already been over that one.

To the best husband in the world:

I hope you had a great birthday today, despite the long hours on the road this weekend.  I love you more every day and couldn't ask for a more helpful, thoughtful, caring and loving husband.  There really aren't words.  I can't wait to embark on this new journey in our lives together.  I couldn't have picked a better partner.  I can only hope I make you as happy as you make me.

I love you, forever.  1437

Your doting wife, Melissa

P.S. I can't wait to use your new camcorder on our little addition!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pepto Bismol?

This morning, when I work up with the most horrendous indigestion and cramping pain, so bad that I thought I was going to have to go to the doctor instead of to work today, I couldn't help but think of those catchy pepto bismol ads on t.v.  It may just be me, but it sounds like medicine directed towards pregnant ladies to me: "Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach..."

I can honestly say I can count the number of times in my life I have had heartburn on one hand, and all those times have been in the past week and a half.  And with the unbelievable indigestion I'm experiencing at 17 weeks, I can't imagine what it's going to be like at 37-39 weeks.  I've been looking at what I've been eating too and it doesn't seem to be anything that I think would cause this sensation.  (I mean, we did have chili this weekend because I was craving it, but really, it's been 5 days...)

And the cramping, I know some of it is normal but it begs the question...how much is normal?  And when the heck do I start worrying?

Sorry, I needed to vent, but generally I'm actually feeling pretty awesome!  Maybe I have Sarah and prenatal yoga to thank! :)

Happy Hump Day!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom/Grandma!

Today is my wonderful mother's birthday!!  I won't tell you how old she is but she looks about 36.  I was going to send her a dozen cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, but I figured she wouldn't really appreciate them much since she would be eating them all herself!  I'll think of something good.

One of mom's friends said to me that "if I'm anything like my mom, I'm going to be a great mother."  I couldn't agree with her more.  She and Dad must have done something right because they raised 4 great kids (if I do say so myself) who all get along great and who couldn't say nicer things about their awesome parents.  Thanks for all the support and advice, Mom!  And like I already told you, I can only hope to be half the mom that you are!  I love you and miss you everyday!

Oh...Did I mention I have the cutest most fashionable mom ever?  I think she probably got that from her mom:) (my Nanny who all my friends just LOVE!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Month 4 Journal

I guess it's been a while since I wrote a post, but I've been feeling more energetic so I've been doing a little more I guess!  Yesterday we had lunch and hung out with our friends Erin and Tony who are about to have their first little one.  It was great to just sit on a patio and chat with friends!  Then we went to try to attempt registering at Buy Buy Baby (the baby Bed Bath and Beyond).  Well, THAT was overwhelming.  No one tells you it's less fun than you think it's going to be!  Anyways, at least we got to check out a million kinds of strollers!

Here are the month 4 journal questions and answers (or at least to the best of my ability!)

1.) Make a list of your favorite calming music.

I really thought we had been over this already and I said Justin doesn't exactly listen to "calming" music.  I don't have a specific list of songs but I really enjoy Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra type music if I'm in the mood to calm down!  Can't beat the classics.

2.) Describe your man's response to the upcoming addition to your lives. Denial? Gadgetitis? Absolute love and support?

I think it's been a little of everything.  He's definitely been unbelievably supportive, even during the times when I was really fatigued and lazy (lazy probably isn't a good word when you can't muster the energy to stand up.)  He's also been a little bit extra protective of me.  He's gotten a little bit of gadgetitis, considering he wanted a nice camcorder for his birthday, so he can "get all of the upcoming events" on tape.  The camcorder is on its way!

3.) What baby products are you most excited about purchasing?

I actually think we have sort of decided on strollers and a car seat which I'm kinda excited about, but like any fashion forward girl, I'm excited about the clothes!

4.) How are you decorating your nursery?

What nursery?  Did I mention we live in a one bedroom/den apartment?  Yeah, we do.  We don't really have a nursery, and I think I'm going to recruit Aunt Meg to decorate because honestly, like I told Justin at Buy Buy Baby yesterday, can't someone else just do all this other crap for me?  I'll worry about the birthing process, someone else worry about everything else!

Sorry it's been awhile with the posts!  Look for another family birthday tomorrow!!  And soon, it's Daddy-to-be's birthday!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Um...could I BE anymore tired?  I really don't think so.  I've been pretty lucky with the whole morning sickness and cramping symptoms of early pregnancy, but the fatigue, I think, has hit me about 5 times as hard as others (now I'm assuming here as I can't really speak for other, but...)  My legs were literally shaking at yoga class because of fatigue/weakness.

I wake up every morning feeling like I've sleep for about 14 hours (which I clearly haven't, at least not without getting up to go to the bathroom at least 3 times) but that even though I feel like that, I ALWAYS feel like I could sleep for another 14 straight without even the bat of an eyelash.  I actually have been afraid quite a few times at work standing over a patient, that I would fall asleep standing up and proceed to fall on top of my patients on the table.  It's ridiculous.  People keep telling me it's going to get better but seriously, WHEN?!?!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Prenatal Yoga

So, I have tried yoga ONCE in my whole life.  I HATED it.  I have always been very athletic and yoga was SO boring to me.  I hardly felt like it was a workout at all.  BUT...I figured prenatal yoga could be really good, especially when I'm huge and can barely move at all! :)

Well, there is a yoga studio literally about a block from our apartment that a friend of Justin's, Sean, goes to.  He is friends with the owner and instructor, Padma.  Justin and I have been to the DC Improv with Sean and Padma (who's name is Sarah.)  I decided to ask both Sean and Sarah what they thought because I was a little nervous to start for 2 reasons: 1. I don't do yoga so I don't really know what I'm doing and 2. I'm not really THAT pregnant yet.  But Sarah said it's her favorite class to teach and she really makes you sweat in the prenatal class and all of her classes.  So I went last night, with an open mind and heart.  And it was AWESOME!  I liked Sarah a lot before but she even made me like yoga!  Plus is was so awesome to be in a small intimate group of ladies who are going through the same thing as you.  Plus, the class was hard!  I'm a little sore today.  But I'm so excited to grow with all these women and learn from Padma!

Today, I had a doctor's appointment (this time with the actual doctor, not one of the midwives.)  I was without my better half, and I had tried to prepare some good questions since I've felt silly since I didn't have any at the last two appointments.  The doctor said I could keep playing volleyball just to be careful about diving (duh, I'm already doing that) and I can have SUSHI in moderation!  He is my savior for telling me that.  He also listened to the heartbeat again, said it was strong and perfect!  Then told me I was "an easy appointment," which is a good thing!  Yay for a health happy baby...which Gloria, the lady who gives a great scalp massage while washing your hair at the salon, thinks is a girl since I haven't felt any kicking yet.  She's so cute, so I believe her!

Here's a photo of my new haircut taken on the front facing camera of my new iPhone 4!  Nina misses you Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Familial Birthdays!

Not sure if you have noticed this, but I tend to write posts on any day of the week but Monday or Wednesday.  You see, I work for 10 hours (on my feet at a physically demanding job) until 7pm on Monday and Wednesday, and therefore do not ever feel like doing anything when I get home.  Maybe that will change soon, but back to the point of this post.

I realized a made a post for my amazing father's birthday and I forgot Aunt Meg!!  This is very belated, but I couldn't ask for a better older sister!! Honestly, I got lucky, because I'm pretty sure most of her friends would also say that they couldn't ask for a better person to have as a friend and I feel the same way...except I'm extra lucky because we are related!  I just know our little one will love his/her Aunt Meg just as much as my little nephew, Samson, loves his Aunt Melissa!

Sorry it's late, I love you Meg! Happy Belated Birthday!!

Month 3 Journal

I don't really like the 3rd month journal questions but I'll do the best that I can, and maybe add some new things I've been thinking about recently!:)

1.) What's the silliest pregnancy advice that has come your way?

One of our patient's at work who is pregnant with her second told me to tell Justin that "I'm closed.  Like the Sahara Desert."  Probably TMI Mrs. Patient-Lady.  But honestly, I appreciate most of the advice, especially from fellow moms and moms-to-be out there.  Some stuff may go in one ear and out the other but for the most part, I like opinions! :)

2.) Your version of your pregnancy story. (A.K.A. my fairytale birthing experience.)

I think this is a little silly, and I'm really not that creative.  I'm also trying to be really open about everything coming my way in January but I'll do my best to come up with a short story:)  After sleep a full night's sleep before or on our due date, I calmly wake up at 9:00 having to go to the bathroom.  We soon figure out my water broke and I'm having contractions.  It's conveniently right around our due date since my whole family has come to visit from Illinois!:)  The labor is too quick for me to even decide if I want an epidural (which is the scariest part of the whole situation for me) and after some nice easy pushing, out pops our wonderful little...BOY! (Or GIRL!! Just kidding I'd be happy with either!)  People are taking the first photos and I'm looking amazingly glowing and beautiful and not sweaty and gross at all.

Yeah I know, wishful thinking, but like I said, I'm not expecting the worst but I'm not expecting the best either.  Plus, I figure the pain is probably well worth it in the end!

3.) Take time to write out all your good advice.

Like I said I appreciate any and all advice, suggestions on registry items etc I can get.  I can't specifically say any specific advice (besides what I already mentioned about my mom) but feel free to leave a comment!:)

4.) What did your "Hot Mom-to-be" intuition tell you today?

"Be nice to your husband.  You got really lucky with this one so PLEASE, ignore the hormonal issues and BE NICE TO YOUR HUSBAND!!"

5.) Record your most wicked and wild food craving.

Honestly, I don't feel like this is a pregnancy craving as much as an every day craving, but like a typical pregnant lady, I sure do love my pickles.  About 2 weeks ago, I also got a huge craving for crab/lobster bisque soup.  And about a week before that I really wanted some donuts (long johns for anyone who knows what those are- not my husband or future brother-in-law).  I mentioned this to my patient at the time, and, just to prove to you how AWESOME my patients are, she left her appointment for that day and came back 15 minutes later with donuts for me!!  Including a cinnamon-sugar one AND a long john!!

6.) Craziest things that make you cry?  That make you happy?

Not too sure about these things yet.  But I'll keep it in the back of my mind and update you as soon as I know! :)

And seriously, any suggestions on registry places would be so helpful!  There are too many options and too many options for strollers and car seats and everything!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ultrasound #1

So Justin and I went today for our Nuchal Translucency test.  It is a combination of ultrasound looking at specific characteristics and measurements as well as a blood test to pre-screen for the risks of Down Syndrome.  Our doctor's office recommends the test to everyone, although I am naturally at a lower risk due to age, etc.  Well I was pretty excited but also unsure of what was going to happen.  The test has to be done between 11 weeks 3 days and 13 weeks 6 days gestation.  So we are nearing the end of the window...or so we thought.

I was instructed to drink 32 ounces of water an hour before the exam without "releasing" as the office person told me on the phone.  Um...this would be difficult for most people, I can't believe many pregnant ladies find this easy to accomplish.  My appointment was at 1, and I promptly went to the restroom at noon and then drank 32 ounces of water on my way to the testing clinic.  When we got there, we went back with the ultrasound technician and I told her I didn't have to pee but I had drunk the required allotment of water on my way.  She told me she couldn't see anything because my bladder wasn't full so we were to wait in the waiting room for about 15 more minutes.  5-10 minutes later, I really started to have to go.  The same technician called us back about 15-20 minutes later, when I was 110% sure my bladder was full.  She did all the tests, measured the space behind the neck, measured the nose, etc...and kept telling us our little one wasn't cooperating.  Great...we have a trouble-maker on our hands.

The whole situation was kinda fun and entertaining because the tech was young and when she was taking the "rump-to-crown" measurement, it was showing that we were at least a week further along than we thought...which would make the test invalid.  She stepped out to find out what she should do.  When she came back, she said she was told to "fake it."  We laughed and she tried to get a shorter measurement so it would say were weren't as far along as we are.  So turns out, I am actually more like 14 weeks and 4 days along...and here is the debut photo of "Baby Markowski-Hales" :)

P.S. The ultrasound tech and we got pretty close in the long time we were there trying to figure out what to do about the test and we asked her if she had any kids and when she got married.  She had been married for a year in August.  She also mentioned they were "trying" right now.  I nicely told her that maybe they should stop trying...that seemed to work for us! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Month 2 Journal

Because I missed a few days due to my trip to La Jolla, CA, I'm going to post two posts today.  Plus, tomorrow is beginning of my second trimester so I thought I should post another journal post!

Here are the questions from Chapter 2 of my book:

This chapter was about healthy eating and how your baby takes in everything around you, including sounds.

1. What healthy foods did you eat today?

M: Well, it's not even lunch time yet, so I haven't eaten much but cereal today.  However, on my road trip this weekend, we ate quite a bit at this little coffee shop that had some breakfast and lunch sandwiches, so I ate quite a bit of avocado.  And I think my new favorite type of frozen blended drink is Acai berry.  I had three from the coffee shop and they were delicious!

J: Not that it matters, but I thought it would be fun to still have Justin answer the questions!:)  He ate strawberries, eggs and milk this morning.

2. List the songs that you use to bring you back to earth.

M: I love everything Michael Buble, particularly Save the Last Dance, Crazy Love, and Hold On.  I also love Sara Bareilles, particularly Many the Miles and Maroon 5, especially Infatuation. Justin and I also like to listen to Brian Regan stand-up.

J: Most of the music Justin listens to doesn't calm him down, and I can vouch for that...it's angry music.  We'll have to change that soon.  He says he likes The Dismemberment Plan, The City.

3. What's your baby's womb nickname?

We both agreed on "our little soy bean" because we love edamame, especially from our favorite sushi place!

4. What are your favorite feel-good movies?

M: I love any and all romantic comedies.  Some of my favorites are The Wedding Date, 27 Dresses, Fever Pitch, The Proposal and Made of Honor.  I also LOVE musicals and sports movies, especially Singing in the Rain, Mamma Mia (despite really bad singing) and Miracle (which is probably one of my favorite movies of all time.  If you know me at all, I could list hundreds of thousands of movies I love!

J: Justin loves Top Gun, Super Troopers, and The Sandlot.


Babies and Toddlers and Airplanes...Oh My!

Have you noticed how many kids are on airplanes?  Man, my two flights back from San Diego yesterday were probably about 50% kids under the age of 5.

I was in San Diego for my former teammate and college roommates wedding with some other former teammates, one of whom is also pregnant.  She's a little further along than me and was able to give me some advice, however her pregnancy has also been much rougher than mine so far.  It was nice to find out that she was on my flight to and from Milwaukee to San Diego though!

Back to the kids on the flights.  At first, on my flight back home from Milwaukee, it was late and I was a little hormonal and irritated and there were two boys probably around the age of 3 or 4 sitting in the row in front of me (from different families mind you).  They were SO hyper and talkative and loud the whole flight.  It wasn't terrible, but I was just tired of flying.  Then, as we were de-planing, one of those little boys was with his older sister (probably about 5) and his mom.  He followed me the whole way out of the airport, chatting with me about the cuts on his thumbs and running after me to keep up.  He was really cute.  His mom finally had to say, "Jack, you have to stay with me now." as they reached the baggage claim area.  I turned around and said and waved "Bye" to him.  Despite my slight irritation on the plane, I'm excited to have a child.  They are just so entertaining!:)

Here's an awesome picture of the clouds out the window of my plane at sunset. (And a picture of some of my very favorite Hokies:)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So I guess I haven't had too many cravings.  I have always loved pickles and like a stereotypical pregnant woman, I love pickles just as much pregnant!  But today, I got a whiff of crab or lobster bisque soup at work and just had to have some!

Don't ask me where that whiff came from, but Justin and I had a date night at McCormick and Schmick's.  I had a giant bowl of lobster bisque and Justin was very pleased with his dinner!  Plus, they had key lime pie for dessert...my favorite!

P.S. Check out my 12 week belly shot added at the request of my big sister, Aunt Meg.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Month 1 Journal

The book I'm reading, Hot Mom to Be Handbook, has a short series of questions to help you keep a journal of your pregnancy after each chapter, i.e. each month.  I thought this blog would be a fun way for me/us to let you in on how we are feeling and how things are going.  So here are the questions from Chapter 1, and answers from both of us (if I can get Justin to share!)

1. What were your first words or thoughts when you found out you were pregnant? And be honest!

M: Well I think we've actually gone over this, but my first thought was "Holy crap!"

J: Justin says his first thought/word was "Ummmm..."  Descriptive, I know.

2. What are you most excited about? What do you fear the most?

M: I think I'm most excited to embark on this new journey with Justin.  Plus I can't wait to actually live all those motor milestones that we learned about in school! :)  And I know that we won't be perfect parents but I'm just afraid I'm not ready yet and I won't know what to do.

J: He is most excited about watching he/she grow up.  He is most scared about having somebody be 100% reliant on him for everything. And he hopes they like his cooking!:)

3. What was the funniest thing that someone said or did when you told them about "the bun"?

M: This is actually completely crazy but the funniest thing that has happened so far was when I was telling my Nanny that she was going to be a great grandma.  We were at lunch in between bridal dress shopping appointments and the crazy outgoing waitress had just brought us our food.  She was peppering Megan's friend Amanda's salad and when I THOUGHT she had left, I began to tell my grandma.  Nanny was pretty surprised and she let a small gasp out, but from behind me as the words are coming out of my mouth, I hear the waitress go, "OH MY GOD...OH MY GOD!"  It's not as funny in writing but we couldn't stop laughing about it.  If Aunt Lauren can send me the video and I can somehow post it to the blog, I'll try that!

J: He says it has been funny how many people don't believe us when we tell them we are expecting.  We also laughed when his best friend Andrew said, "Yaayyy....right?"

4. Once you're pregnant, you notice every baby in the world.  How many babies did you see today?

M: Seeing as I've been sitting on the couch watching movies all day today, I've seen none (not even in the movies).  But I have to admit I've noticed more of those little suckers recently:)

J: He says he heard one crying at the Farmer's Market across the street today.