Monday, December 19, 2011

Our ultrasound!

 a side profile of the baby (face on right) with his/her hand in the air
another side profile picture, this time hand up by baby's face

We were excited today to have the chance to see our little one 
again!  The ultrasound tech said that we have "a mover" since 
the little one kept changing positions and moving his/her 
hands and feet. 
Kim still can't feel the baby moving much but has felt a few 
"flutters" here and there.
The baby (who weighs 10 oz.) is measuring 19 weeks, 3 days, 
which just means that he or she is a few days bigger than 
what would be expected. 
The doctor is still saying the baby's due date is around 
May 14 or 15.
The baby's heartbeat was 136, and the tech was able to 
capture some really cute ultrasound "pictures," especially 
some profile shots. She had to move really fast to capture 
the pictures when the baby was in the right position.
As many of you know, this 19/20 week ultrasound is known 
as the anatomy check, and we were grateful to hear that 
all of baby's body parts were present and looked normal. 
The tech WAS able to find out the baby's gender but she 
didn't tell us or write it in our chart since that's what 
we requested. :) 
Thank you for your continued prayers for this little one's 
healthy growth and development. 
Please praise our God along with us for His handiwork!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

 Ian was very excited to help set up the Christmas tree!

 After the lights were up, Ian was also very excited to help unpack the ornament boxes ...
 ... and find just the right spot for each ornament!

 This is the first year we've done Advent boxes (with little treats inside) for Ian. One of Ian's favorite treats so far was getting to watch "The Grinch that Stole Christmas" on TV while eating popcorn.
 We took time last week to cut Ian's hair using the new hair-cutting "cape" that Grandma and Grandpa gave him for Christmas. Ian seemed very relieved to not be as itchy, and Kim was very grateful that Ian didn't have to keep stopping to look down and wipe hair pieces off of his arms and legs. :)
 On Saturday, we went to John Wesley United Methodist Church's "Walk-Through Bethlehem." We had gone last year and enjoyed it, so we decided we needed to go again! Ian liked it last year, and LOVED it this year. I think it just might become a family tradition. One highlight (that will certainly make our northern friends chuckle) was seeing (fake) snow (that had been brought in). Ian loved picking it up, throwing it,
 and, of course, eating it.
 The church had many "stations" where kids could experience the different sights and sounds of Bethlehem. Ian touche a goat and sheep,
 tried to grind grain,
 and sampled some bread.
 He loved seeing 7-week-old "baby Jesus"

 Ian made a few crafts, like this beeswax candle. (He also made a coin, a coin bag, and a clay candle holder.)
 It was fun to press olives and sample olive oil ...
 ... as well as "go shopping" for lentils and beans at the market.
 The wisemen stopped for a quick picture.
 Another highlight for Ian was riding the camel -- first with Daddy,
 then with Momma, too!
He also got to ride a donkey all by himself.

While Momma and Daddy took turns waiting in the ride-an-animal line, the other parent watched Ian play on the church's fun playground.

The last station was "the inn" where we got some lemonade and a snack. What a fun morning!
 We're thankful that our pregnancy continues to progress well. At our doctor's appointment on Dec. 1, the doctor immediately found baby's heartbeat using the Doppler device. We'll go back in for our "big" ultrasound on Dec. 19, when Kim is right at 19 weeks along. We don't plan to find out this baby's gender either since we so much enjoyed being surprised with Ian.
 Ian absolutely loved looking at the fetal models Matt brought home from school (which Matt had used while teaching biology). Ian attached himself to the 32-week-old fetal model and took "her" everywhere. It was endearing to see him rock the baby, "tickle" and cuddle her, and sleep right beside her. It was a little scary, however, to hear him ask if he could put the baby inside the dryer! Turns out he has a few things to learn before being a big brother. Ha ha!

 For a long time, Ian has been intrigued by his Play-doh scissors. He was thrilled to learn a few weeks ago that his Play-doh scissors could cut paper, too. A few days ago, I finally decided to let him experiment with "real" (kid) scissors. He made the fringes for these fun Christmas thank-you notes and absolutely loved it!

The next day, while I was cutting coupons, I asked if he'd like to "help." Boy, was he excited about that! :)

 Daddy and Ian made a caboose from a Lowe's Build and Grow workshop kit. (The Lowe's room was too full to do it there, but we happily brought it home.) Over the next few weeks, Daddy and Ian will go to Lowe's to make a coal car and then an engine. How exciting!

On Sunday, Kim and her friend Aliceson hosted a table for our church's Advent by Candlelight. Neither of us had ever been before, but we were excited to give it a try. 

 Thanks to Aliceson's creativity, our table turned out very nicely. :)
It was such a blessing to have a "girls' night out" with great friends -- Julie, Martha, (Kim), Tanya, Jenn, Aliceson, Carole, and Kati.

One of my favorite parts of this Christmas has been hearing Ian sing Christmas songs. In this video, he sings the "Christmas bells" song that Grandma taught him while she was visiting. He knows at least seven or eight other carols, too -- some of them, he surprised us and knows multiple verses of! We'll see if we can get some of those on video, too. For now, enjoy this one carol, courtesy of Ian. :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

 We were thrilled to have out-of-town family come see us for Thanksgiving! Uncle Jon and Aunt Chelsea arrived first. Ian warmed up to them right away and was thrilled to have two more "playmates" in the house!
 He loved having Jon and Chelsea read him stories before nap- or bedtime.
  Uncle Jon and Aunt Chelsea gave Ian an early Christmas present ... his very own, kid-sized tennis racquet! Uncle Jon (who teaches tennis lessons in Lincoln, NE) gave Ian his first tennis lesson on Sunday afternoon! Here's a part of Ian's forehand instruction ...

 What a patient teacher ... and a very excited student!

 Uncle Jon gives Ian a high five before Aunt Chelsea takes a turn playing tennis with Ian.

 Turns out playing tennis in the house with a balloon can be fun, too! :)
 On Monday, we went to Meyer Park -- one of Ian's favorite parks in the area.

  On Monday night, Jon, Chelsea, Matt, Kim, and Ian went mini-golfing together -- Ian's first attempt at mini-golfing! He loved it and got so excited when his ball went into the hole.

 The hardest part for Ian was waiting his turn. So, he made his own fun by finding rocks to sit on,
 getting an up-close look at the scenery, or moving ahead to a different hole.
 The hole that involved the golf balls floating down the water was Ian's favorite hole by far!
 What a fun evening!
 On Tuesday, Jon, Chelsea, Kim, and Ian went to one of Ian's all-time favorite spots in our area ... the Woodlands Children's Museum. Ian had been telling Jon and Chelsea that his favorite part of the museum was "the wheels" (the cogs seen above). It's funny how his "favorite" part is always changing!
 As usual, though, he also enjoyed time in the rubber mulch,

the water table, 
 and the sand table.
 Uncle Jon helped Ian with the parachute
 and with using the microscope, too.

On Tuesday night at dinner, Ian was holding his hands up on either side of his head, imitating a picture he had seen in the Baby Bible. Kim mentioned that, when Ian held his hands up like that he looked like a pastor giving a blessing. So, Uncle Jon decided to teach Ian how to make the sign of the cross and say "God bless you." It was hilarious! We were laughing so much that Ian kept doing it over and over and over the whole time we had company. :)

Uncle Jon and Ian started a "pickle game" while they were together.

On Tuesday night, Grandpa and Grandma arrived! Ian warmed up to them immediately and was thrilled to now have two MORE "playmates" to play with and show his toys to!
 Ian enjoyed having Grandma read him books at nap- and bedtime, too!

On Wednesday night, Chelsea and Kim made calzones. Yum! While Chelsea was living with us, Chelsea had helped Kim make calzones for small group. So, Chelsea knew JUST how to help ... and this second time around, making the dough and calzones seemed much quicker and easier!

Ian and Grandma took care of making the Snicker/apple salad for the meal!

After dinner, we celebrated an early family Christmas. Ian was SUPER excited to open gifts!

 Here's a cute monkey hat he got from Grandpa and Grandma.
 Here, Grandpa is helping him put together a neat construction vehicle puzzle.
 Grandma helped Ian unwrap some of the big gifts.

We had fun playing a modified version of the Candyland game that Uncle Andy and Aunt Beth sent down. (Thanks, guys, for the game as well as for the fun stickers and neat socks!)

Uncle Jon and Aunt Chelsea gave Ian a fun hidden-pictures-in-Bible-stories book ... complete with a magnifying glass!

We were so happy to have everyone together for Thanksgiving dinner! We missed having friends Eric, Carrie, and Melissa with us, though, since Melissa didn't feel well. Carrie still sent over some yummy turkey cupcakes and delicious caramel apple pie!

Ian helped Daddy "carve" the rest of the turkey.

The rest of our whole-family time was spent ...

reading books,


going on walks,

singing songs,

laughing at Ian's antics,

 and, of course, lots of game-playing.


Matt's parents also graciously took our whole family out to dinner on Friday night. We went to Gringo's, a yummy Tex-Mex restaurant with FREE ice cream at the end of the meal!

Jon and Chelsea had to head back home early Saturday morning, but Grandpa, Grandma, Matt, Kim, and Ian went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science to see the Butterfly exhibit. Matt had been there before, but this was everyone else's first time.

 Ian enjoyed watching the butterflies from a distance, but he got a little nervous when it seemed like the butterflies might land on him.

 Grandma, Grandpa, Matt, and Ian challenged each other to a bug-trivia game show after our time at the butterfly exhibit.
Grandma taught Ian a little more about bugs.
Before we left the museum, Ian had a great time at the "pollinating exhibit" where he had to match up the block shapes (square, star, circle, and triangle) with the corresponding flower center.
When we got home, Grandma and Kim started a fun Christmas project ... making our own rag wreaths with Christmas fabric.

Here's the work-in-progress ...
Thanks for the great time, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Jon, and Aunt Chelsea. We have lots of great memories of our time together and can't wait to see you again soon. We love you lots!