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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordful Wednesday

"Hey, kids, guess where Mommy is going tonight?"

Faces turn in my direction. "Where?"

"Out to dinner! Alone."

Their reaction?

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Me? I'm counting down the hours! I don't get to go out alone very often!

P.S. I had a great time meeting my sister for dinner. We were actually able to have a conversation without being interrupted by our kids! I can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baby Steps

Over the past few years, we have dealt with some big issues with Lexie.

Shortly after Lexie turned 1, she stopped eating almost everything. Up until that point, she was an amazing eater, much like her brother. She was breastfed, and ate everything we offered to her. At 14 months old, her eating habits drastically changed, and she was eventually diagnosed with a pediatric feeding disorder.

At 22 months old, in the midst of the eating drama, she began to have diarrhea several times a day, every day. She was so healthy, so this was a mystery to us and the doctors. We spent the next 9 months seeing multiple doctors, eliminating foods from her diet, and having blood work done. Other than her picky eating, she was extremely healthy, and had only been sick once or twice with a minor cold. This was a very scary time period for us. She was tested for cystic fibrosis, and we were sent to an oncologist because her Neutrophils were so low. After months of worrying about a child that seemed so healthy despite the diarrhea, a repeat allergy test showed that she was allergic to eggs. Once we completely eliminated eggs from her diet, the diarrhea stopped.

Over the past year and a half we have struggled with her eating. We have tried all the tips the nutritionists have given us, with no luck. At her 3 year checkup, the pediatrician gave her a year to improve before she would need to start feeding therapy. We were really starting to worry as she approached her 4th birthday, because she showed no improvement.

Until recently! First, we were able to reintroduce eggs into her diet. After several weeks of trying, it appears that she has no reaction to the eggs. Only an allergy test will confirm it, but her doctor was fairly certain that she would outgrow the allergy, and it seems that she has! This is great news, because eggs were one of the few foods that she would eat!

On top of that, she has tried two new foods in the past 3 weeks. This is a huge deal for her! Three weeks ago she tried some rigatoni. Since then, she has asked several times for pasta with a bit of tomato sauce on it! Tonight, we nonchalantly asked her if she would like a fish stick, just as we always do. She accepted and took a bite...which led to her eating 3 fish sticks!

I was thinking that the rigatoni incident was an isolated one, but it seems like she's finally more willing to try other foods. Her diet is still pathetic. She doesn't eat meat, and she has not had a single fruit or vegetable since she was 14 months old. However, any improvement at this point is a big deal!

Lexie has been getting routine blood work done since she was 22 months. Her neutrophils and iron continue to stay low, and she has several deficiencies, probably due to her poor eating. She's due for another round of blood work in a few months, and I'm really hoping that these levels have gone up!

Lexie looks like a perfectly healthy little girl, and has an incredibly strong immune system, but to us, the past few years have been a struggle. We are so proud of how far Lexie has come in just the past month!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

21 Weeks

DATE: March 28, 2011

How far along:
21 weeks!

Total Weight Gained:
All loss so far.

How big is baby? Nugget weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is 10 1/2 inches long.

How baby is growing: Nugget's fluttering movements have turned into full-fledged kicks and nudges (a few weeks ago). His/Her eyebrows and lids are present now. babycenter.com

Maternity Clothes: My regular clothes are still loose.

Sleep: I've had a few bouts of insomnia, but for the most part, I'm sleeping well!

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
Finding out that my thyroid is completely normal, feeling Nugget flip around and kick, and buying an activity gym for my little baby!

Movement
: The kicks are getting much stronger and more frequent. Nugget is a busy, strong baby!

Food Cravings: None, but when I do eat, I want anything sweet!

Food Aversions:
My list of food aversions is constantly growing. Added to the list this week: peach yogurt and swiss cheese.

Morning Sickness:
I still can't make it through my day without Zofran. I joke that Nugget is going to be born addicted to Zofran and the tylenol I have to take to combat the Zofran-induced headaches! That's the bad news. The good news? I'm not throwing up every meal anymore!

Gender:
We didn't find out! Our baby has been named since December, although according to Dylan, it will be Bruce Wayne or Peter Parker if it's a boy!

Symptoms:
Nausea morning to night, gagging, vomiting, headaches, breakouts, constipation, and round ligament pain. The braxton hicks contractions are getting more intense and frequent. That's normal for this point in my pregnancy, but the intensity of them worries me a bit.

Exercise: Getting moderate exercise 4-5 days a week on the treadmill. I keep up with it, because it makes me feel better, despite the all day sickness. I also have a bigger appetite on the days I get exercise.

What I miss:
Being nausea and headache free!

What I'm looking forward to:
Seeing my baby bump!

21 Week Picture:

I swear, there is a growing baby in there! Nugget actually moved up from laying against my cervix on Saturday morning, so I had a little bump, but apparently, he/she decided to move again!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Busy Much?

I'm beginning to think our weekends are entirely too busy!

On Friday night, the kids had fun dressing up while visiting my parents. I promised Dylan that he could watch a movie in bed. He didn't last very long!

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On Saturday, I had a baby sprinkle for a good friend of ours to attend! Lexie was so excited to be my date!

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Tracy has two boys, and is expecting her baby girl, Charlotte, next month. We can't wait to finally meet her!

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After the sprinkle, we picked up the boys, and went to my best friend's house for the evening. The kids had fun playing with their buddy, Tyler! Unfortunately, Brayden was tired and didn't really want to join in. All the playing wore the kids out. They both fell asleep on the drive home!

Today, after brunch, we visited Grant's family. We all enjoy our Sunday afternoons with his family! When we got home, a certain little boy did not want to clean his room. See? It's a rare sight, but he really does frown at times:

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While I was cooking, Grant and Lexie decided to rest on the couch and watch TV. I walked out to the living room to find this:

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This little lady ended up going to bed for the night at 6:00 PM! She was completely out!

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I think we need another day to recover from this weekend!

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Our Menu Plan for the week:

I'm not going to be doing much cooking this week, due to other dinner plans! It's kind of nice to get a break!

Monday: Dinner at a friend's house
Tuesday- Soup and Sandwiches
Wednesday-Dinner out with my sister (possibly switched with Tuesday)
Thursday-Italian Chicken, Parmesan Noodles, and Beans
Friday- Dinner at my parent's house
Saturday- It's my birthday! (Which I honestly forgot about!) Going out to dinner with Grant!
Sunday-Stuffed Peppers, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

Recipe of the Week:

Italian Chicken with Parmesan Noodles

Boneless Chicken Breasts
Italian Dressing
Pasta of your choice
Butter/Margarine
Parmesan Cheese

1. Place chicken breasts in a bowl of Italian dressing, and place in refrigerator. Marinate for at least 3 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Once heated, bake chicken breasts for 25 minutes. Turn chicken, and bake another 10-20 minutes.

3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare your pasta. Once drained, mix in butter and Parmesan cheese.

4. Remove chicken from oven, and lightly sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To Know or Not To Know

When people ask if I know what I'm having, and I tell them that it's a surprise, I get one of two responses: "How could you not find out?!? I could never do that! I'd need to prepare!" or "I think that's wonderful! It should be a surprise!"

There is no right or wrong way to do it. All it comes down to is personal preference!

Truthfully, when I got pregnant with Dylan, I was fully prepared to find out what I was having. Grant was the one who didn't want to know, and he quickly won me over. While I couldn't wait to find out if the baby was a boy or girl, I thought the surprise was exciting!

With Lexie, I wanted a girl so badly. I knew if I found out that I was having a boy at the ultrasound, there would be a flicker of disappointment, whereas I would be completely in love the moment I saw the baby in the delivery room. I had watched several friends experience that momentary disappointment after their ultrasounds, and I didn't want to feel that. Instead, I focused on how much I loved the baby growing inside of me, and by the time I went into labor, I knew it didn't matter one bit.

At the beginning of this pregnancy, Grant and I both considered finding out. We eventually decided not to. Now that we have a boy and a girl, we're prepared for either sex!

While I don't have the experience of finding out the sex at the ultrasound, I can honestly say that finding out in the delivery room is a truly amazing surprise. The excitement of family and friends is contagious, and nothing has ever compared to the moment I first saw my children and heard the doctor announce what they were! I can't wait to experience that again!

There are two big myths about not finding out the sex of the baby:

1. You can't bond with the baby unless you know what it is.

This is absolutely not true! I have bonded with each of my babies while I was pregnant, and felt as if I'd known them forever the first time I held them. While I can't call the baby by it's name, I can give it a sweet nickname. Hence, the reason we still call Lexie by her nickname-Bean! I am still able to talk to the baby, rub my belly, and love the little person growing inside of me! I had an instant bond with Dylan and Lexie, and I'm expecting the same with my sweet little Nugget!

2. You can't prepare unless you know what you're having.

Once again, not true. There are certain things that can't be bought until the baby is born, and the final touches on the nursery will have to wait, but there are many other necessary items that can be bought.

For instance, some of the most necessary items that you will need immediately is diapers and wipes. When you don't know what you're having, you can accumulate quite a collection, instead of just buying clothes! I buy a package of diapers and wipes every time I go to the grocery store.

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There are many other basics that can be bought: shampoo, baby wash, lotion, diaper cream, infant medications, bottles, breast pumps, baby carriers, cribs, changing tables, and even baby gear!

I'm not a fan of buying a bunch of gender neutral clothing, but there are plenty of gender neutral items that can be bought. The neutral items tend to go better with home decor (highchairs, pack and plays), and as a big bonus, they can be used for babies of the opposite sex as well!

Luckily, I come from a big family, and they love to buy baby clothes after the babies are born! I only had a few gender neutral clothing items for Dylan. I didn't even have to shop right away for my babies after they were born. We got tons of gender specific clothes, blankets, and baby items from our generous family members and friends!

While I can see the appeal of having the nursery completely finished before the baby arrives, for us, it's not necessary. Our babies sleep in a bassinet next to our bed for the first 4 months. I have plenty of time to put on the crib bedding and add the boy/girl touches to their rooms!

Nugget is the baby I'm most prepared for! Thanks to Dylan and Lexie, I have tons of boy and girl clothing, gear, baby items, and even crib bedding. My mom is preparing to buy summer clothes for the baby after he/she is born, and we've been buying the baby items that we needed to replace or have already received some as gifts. As for the coming home outfit, we just pick out a cute boy outfit and a cute girl outfit, and then return the one that we don't use.

There are some gender-specific things that we will need to buy after the baby is born, but we prepared in advance by stashing away a chunk of money to spend on the those items! We'll get plenty of clothes to get us through summer, and then I can buy the clothes Nugget will need for Fall/Winter. We can't have fun shopping for gender-specific items while I'm pregnant, but we'll have a fun shopping spree after Nugget gets here!

I am a huge planner and big on organization, which is why many are surprised that we have never found out. However, I've found waiting and planning for the unexpected to be easy!

The buildup of anticipation throughout the pregnancy leads up to the sweetest, most exciting surprise! There aren't many surprises in life, but this one is worth waiting for!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Few Of My Favorite Things-Part 2

{1} A little girl dressed for Spring...and a thunderstorm!

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{2} Our new bedding that makes it oh so difficult to crawl out of bed in the morning. We're not the only ones who love it! The kids love the mountain of pillows!

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{3} New life emerging from the ground.

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{4} Our new kitchen table. It is getting more use than our old table, because the kids love to sit at it and snack or play!

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{5} The iPod and accessories that Grant surprised me with a few weeks ago. He was, ahem, right. I do love it!

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{6} Getting fun free stuff in the mail! I got my Spring Cleaning product kit from Bzzagent, and I've been having so much fun trying out the products! I love the Pledge furniture spray for my new table, the smell of the Glade candle and plugin, and the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel! Have you tried any of those products?

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{7} The stack of Spring/Summer clothes that I bought for the kids. It means warm weather is on the way!!! Lexie's dresses, especially her Easter dress, are so adorable! They are just begging for 70+ degree weather so they can be worn! Also, they're begging to be putting away. Ahem. Which I should now do.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits and Well Check

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A certain little Bean had her 4 year well check today! String Bean is more like it. She's tall and skinny, just like her big brother! I don't worry about it anymore. It's obviously genetic!

She was such a big girl at her appointment! She has been leery about checkups since her diarrhea issue 2 years ago. I don't really blame her! She was poked and prodded so much. Even I'd be afraid of doctors after all that! She did great today, and cooperated perfectly through the weighing, measuring, eye exam, hearing exam, and physical. I can honestly say I was shocked and proud. She's usually such a drama queen!

Her sweet doctor (who reminds me of Mr. Rogers) gave her a clean bill of health and told her that she didn't need any shots, and she happily left the office with her paper gown and a sticker of her choice.

A few minutes later, she held my hand tight as I had my blood drawn. I love my support system!

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A few cute and funnies for the week:

{1} On the way home from the park yesterday, we had the car windows open. As we passed a farm, it suddenly got very stinky. Lexie waved her hand in front of her face and said, "Yuck!!! Now that is cow poop!!!"

{2} On that same drive, the wind began whipping her hair around, and she became very annoyed. She began yelling, "Sit, wind, SIT!!!"

{3} Dylan really wants another sister. Tonight I asked him why. He told me, "Because sisters are great and awesome and I love Lexie so much!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

20 Weeks!!!

I'm officially at the halfway point! Actually, I probably passed that point a week or two ago, which is why the panic is setting in. I just want to get everything done in case I get put on bed rest. With my history of preterm labor, I never know what's going to happen!

DATE:
March 21, 2011

How far along:
20 weeks

Total Weight Gained:
All loss so far.

How big is baby? Nugget weighs around 10 1/2 ounces, and measures 10 inches long. He/She is about the size of banana.

How baby is growing: Nugget is swallowing more and producing meconium. babycenter.com

Maternity Clothes: My regular clothes are still loose. Actually, my pants seem even looser! I'm not sure how that's possible, since my uterus is up to my belly button now!

Sleep: I'm still sleeping really well!

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
Feeling Nugget kick, even when I'm out and about!

Movement
: The kicks are getting much stronger and more frequent. Nugget is a busy, strong baby!

Food Cravings: None, but when I do eat, I want anything sweet!

Food Aversions:
My list of food aversions is constantly growing. This week it's macaroni and cheese (one of my favorites!) and cooked tomatoes!

Morning Sickness:
I'm still sick, but getting used to it. I do seem to be vomiting less, though, thank God!

Gender:
We didn't find out! We've had the names picked out since December.

Symptoms:
Nausea morning to night, gagging, vomiting, constant headaches, breakouts, constipation, and round ligament pain.

Exercise: Getting moderate exercise 4-5 days a week on the treadmill. I keep up with it, because it makes me feel better, despite the morning (all day!) sickness.

What I miss:
Being nausea and headache free!

What I'm looking forward to:
Seeing my baby bump!

20 Week Picture:

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Our day in pictures:

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung!

Happy Spring! The weather has been beautiful the past few days, and I don't want to see snow again until December!

We had a busy weekend, as usual. We actually managed to get a lot done! This is the point in my pregnancy where the panic sets in, and I start the nesting process. With my history of preterm labor, I never know what's going to happen or when/if I'll be put on bed rest. We have quite a few projects to complete before the baby gets here, and I'm in a hurry to get it all done before the contractions take over!

One of our projects is to redecorate our bedroom, and get all the clutter out to make room for Nugget. Our babies sleep in our room at night for the first 4 months, and there is no room on my side of the bed for the bassinet. My photo albums and Grant's CD's have taken over!

On Saturday afternoon, we decided to do some shopping. I really needed to start buying some Spring/Summer clothes for the kids, and we desperately needed a bedroom makeover. We have had the same bedding for about 8 years. Buying bedding for a king size bed is definitely expensive, and we could never decide what we wanted. We had plenty of luck this time, and left the store with new bedding, curtains, curtain rods, and lots of adorable dresses for Lexie, including a beautiful Easter dress!

The kids were so well behaved during the process, that we decided to treat them to dinner and ice cream at McDonald's. They both declared that it was the best day ever!

Once home, we went to work on our bedroom. Even though we need to finish clearing the clutter and paint the walls, the new curtains and bedding transformed the room! After we finished up, we had some friends over for the evening.

Our bed is so cozy now, and the new curtains do a great job at keeping the sun out of our room in the morning, so we both slept great last night!

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Today, we visited Grant's family for a few hours. The kids always look forward to our visit with MawNaw, PapPap, and Nannie!

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They had fun wrestling with MawNaw!

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As usual, they didn't want to leave!

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Our evening flew by after we got home. Weekends need to be one day longer!!!

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Our Menu Plan for the week:

Monday: Salisbury Steaks, Mashed Potatoes with gravy, Broccoli
Tuesday: Chicken Fried Rice
Wednesday: Tacos and Beans
Thursday: Soup and Sandwiches
Friday: Dinner with family
Saturday: Spaghetti, Green Beans, and Garlic Bread
Sunday: Steaks, Roasted Potatoes, Broccoli

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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We had a great day! The weather was gorgeous. 60+ degrees and sunny! Spring is on the way! Dylan and Lexie were really into St. Patrick's Day this year. I tried to explain about their Irish heritage (all from their daddy), but they were more into the fun aspect of the day!

We started out our day with a breakfast of green pancakes. Even my picky eater joined in, although hers had to be a bit more brown!

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The kids put on their green clothes, and began hugging and dancing around the living room! Talk about cuteness overload!

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When Dylan got home from school, we went to their favorite park. They were so happy to get outside after weeks of being cooped up indoors!

After we got home from the park, the kids and I had a nice, sunlit dinner. I was planning on serving Lucky Charms with green jello for dessert, but Dylan wanted something better. (Really? Take the offer, kid! Lucky Charms for dinner never happens!) He chowed down on rice, popcorn shrimp, and green milk, while Lexie ate the Lucky Charms. The kids and I made the green jello/cool whip dessert this morning, and it was a hit with Dylan, but not with Lexie. She took one bite, and pushed it away. At least she tried!

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Shortly after dinner, I found my wee Irish lass passed out on the couch. The day was too much fun for her!

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Even though Dylan didn't trap a leprechaun this year, he did have some luck. He got to feel Nugget kick for the first time, and the smile on his face when it happened melted my heart! He kissed my belly, and said, "I love Nugget SO MUCH!"

While I'd love to share a picture of Grant with his Irish lad and lass, I can't. He's currently celebrating his Irish heritage with his brother! And, well, the lass is in bed!

From my family to yours, Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Baby In Action

It absolutely amazes me how far ultrasounds have come in a few short years.

When I was pregnant with Dylan, all I took home from my ultrasound was a few black and white pictures. Two years later, we were able to see Lexie in 3D.

Fast forward 4 1/2 years...in addition to over 10 regular ultrasound pictures and a few 3D pictures, we left with a DVD of our baby in action!

The kids really enjoyed seeing little Nugget move around in my belly, and we're excited to share it with our family!

(This is a recording of the DVD, because I didn't want to share all my personal information that's on the top of the screen.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits and Menu Plan

Tuesday Tidbits is my way of remembering all the cute and funny things my kids say and do!

Today is short and sweet:

*The other day, Lexie told me, "I need lip balm on my butt!" This shouldn't surprise me, since she smears it all over her face!

*Grant called Lexie "dude" while he was talking to her. Dylan put his hands up on his hips, and said, "She's not a dude!!! She's a lady!!! "

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I forgot to post my menu plan on Sunday. Better late than never!

Monday: Baked chicken legs, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Stuffing, and Corn
Tuesday: Steak (for the boys), Macaroni and Cheese, and Stewed Tomatoes
Wednesday: Rigatoni, Salad, and Rolls
Thursday: Soup and sandwiches, Green Jello
Friday: Dinner at my parent's house
Saturday: Sweet and Sour Chicken over Rice
Sunday: Chicken Paprikash, Dumplings, and Broccoli

Recipe of the Week: Chicken Paprikash

This is my mom's recipe. She doesn't use exact measurements, and neither do I. ;)

2-4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
Chicken Broth
Sour Cream
Paprika

1. Cook chicken breasts until they are completely cooked through.
2. Add in chicken broth, sour cream, and paprika.
3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Serve over homemade dumplings.

The dumplings are so easy to make! Mix enough flour and water until it forms a paste. Mix in 1 egg. Drop the mixture by the spoonful into a pot of boiling water. When they float to the top of the pot, they are done!

Monday, March 14, 2011

19 Weeks and Ultrasound

Meet Nugget!

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We were so excited to see our baby this morning! Nugget is healthy and growing well, measuring right in the normal 19 week range. Our sweet little baby is so active! Nugget did not stop moving throughout the entire ultrasound. Nugget's mouth was constantly opening and closing, almost as if he/she was talking, and Nugget kept putting the fingers in the mouth, sucking the thumb, grabbing the nose, and grabbing the feet. It was so cute!

It's a good thing we didn't want to find out, because the ultrasound tech had a difficult time telling what the baby was! After looking several times (our heads were turned), she said she had an idea of what it was, but wasn't certain. The heartbeat was 158 today.

It was so wonderful to see our baby. I am so in love with him/her, and the pregnancy finally seems real! I'm so relieved that I'm growing a happy, healthy, active baby!

3D ultrasound of face:

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Profile with mouth open:

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Profile and hand:

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Side view:

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DATE:
March 14, 2011

How far along:
19 weeks

Total Weight Gained:
All loss so far.

How big is baby? Nugget is 6 inches from crown to rump and weighs 8 1/2 ounces! He/She is about the size of a large heirloom tomato.

How baby is growing: Nugget's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that he/she may be able to hear my voice now. The hair on his/her scalp is sprouting. babycenter.com

Maternity Clothes: My regular clothes are still loose.

Sleep: I'm still sleeping really well!

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
Seeing Nugget move around at the ultrasound, and feeling those first kicks! I'm in love!

Movement
: On Friday, Grant and I both felt the first kicks from the outside! It was such an amazing feeling! Today, we saw that Nugget likes to brace his/her feet against my uterus, and then push off.

Food Cravings: None, but when I do eat, I prefer sweets.

Food Aversions:
I'm still just eating because I have to! Everything still seems so gross to me.

Morning Sickness:
I still have hyperemesis. It was bad with Dylan and Lexie, but this time is definitely worse!

Gender:
We didn't find out! We've had the names picked out since December.

Symptoms:
Nausea morning to night, gagging, vomiting, constant headaches, and round ligament pain.

Exercise: I took another break last week due to the stomach virus, but started back up today. The doctor allowed me to continue for now, but said no more running!

What I miss:
Feeling completely normal!

What I'm looking forward to:
Feeling those kicks get stronger.

19 Week Picture:

Still not much of a bump, but definitely getting bigger!

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