Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Minute

It's time for another Monday Minute... yes, another Monday is here. But hey, December is right around the corner! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and are gearing up for Christmas in the spirit of the season!

(1) What's your favorite fast food establishment?
Hmm, that'd probably be Wendy's. Gross, I know. I like that it is cheap and the burgers actually taste like real meat. Other than that, Whataburger, just because of the breakfast taquitos! Can't beat them after a night out!

(2) What's your favorite sport to watch on TV?  
College football... most definitely. I will watch any team, it doesn't even have to be the Aggies! Although I would much rather watch them.. especially when they BTHO ranked teams (Who both still manage to make it to the Big 12 Championship game... don't get me started). I even like getting up early on Saturday mornings (hehe, 9am) to watch College Gameday! =)

(3) Do you like mushrooms and onions?  
I like mushrooms, not so much onions, and I only like mushrooms if they are cooked and in something. I won't just eat them to eat them. Onions can be cooked in foods and I won't mind, but they are definitely still not my favorite flavor!

(4) If you had to get a tattoo tomorrow, what would you get done?
Probably the world's smallest cross. I am not a fan of tattoos at all, so would not want something plastered on me!

(5) What are your thoughts on the female proposing marriage to the male?
Interesting! I don't think that it is bad or anything, I am just a traditionalist who likes the romantic idea of a man proposing. I did however say I love you first to Darren! So, that was non-traditionalist of me, right?! haha!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

23 Week Survey

Are you even surprised by this point that this weeks survey is late? ;-) So sorry... written as if it were Friday. And, I'll post a picture tomorrow, but our camera is broken so I have to borrow one at work tomorrow, hehe..

The 23 Week Survey

How far along?: 22 Weeks and 6 days!

Total weight gain: 15 pounds.. holy moly.

How big is baby?: 11 1/2 inches and over a pound! About the size of a large mango!

Maternity clothes?: Most defininitely!

Stretch marks?: Not yet! Crossing my fingers!

Sleep: Doing better! I stayed up until midnight on Thursday! WOW!

Best moment this week: Seeing all the family for Thanksgiving, and seeing little boy at our ultrasound!

Movement: Holy moly... I am definitely growing an athletic little boy! He kicks me all the time! If I lie still for more than 5 minutes he starts to kick up a storm, hehe!

Food cravings: Not really, surprisingly!

Gender: Love my baby boy!

Labor Signs: Negative!

Belly Button in or out?
: Barely an innie....

What I miss:
Gotta go with the back ache thing again... It's by far my worst pregnancy symptom. Oh, and also, being able to take meds. I had a horrible sore throat Friday and would have loved to take some meds to ward off a cold, hehe.

What I am looking forward to: We should get our bedding in this week! YAY! Time to start decorating the nursery!

Weekly Wisdom:
Plan your spending out so that you don't get overwhelmed. I've been thinking about all that I need to buy for the nursery and it freaked me out. Should have started shopping a long time ago!

Milestones: Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With his sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that he's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound you may be able to see him squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze him when he hears them outside the womb.  All of his internal systems are in place, even if they do need a little more time to mature. Speaking of routines, you'll notice that your little 1-pounder has settled into a pattern, whether he's more active when you're resting and quieter when you are out and about.

Fun(?) Facts:
- Hips: 35 1/2"
- Breasts: 36" and a little
- Waist at belly button: 36"
- Weight at start of pregnancy: 113.6
- Current weight: 129

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Count your blessings #4

Today I am most thankful for the ability to see almost all of my family on this Thanksgiving. We started out with a great dinner meal at my in-laws house with all of my siblings through my husband. Then we got in the jeep and headed to San Antonio for supper with my dad, Maggie, and her family. I missed my mom and brothers greatly, but still feel very blessed that we are able to travel to see both families.

And I'm thankful that the aggies are currently beating t.u.! Hehe...

Happy Thanksgiving! God bless!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Count Your Blessings #3

Today I am thankful that God has blessed me with carrying a child. Although he's not here yet, I still consider myself a mother and am so grateful for that. After a year of trying to get pregnant, it seemed like it was going to be a long road for us. We had never even thought about the what if's that might have come. Luckily God blessed us and has given us the miracle of life! We are taking care of baby boy as best we can and we cannot wait to meet him (this Spring.. he better not come out now!). I feel so blessed, especially after hearing about others struggles with infertility... makes mine seem pale in comparison.

I received this e-mail from babyzone and thought it was cute. 8 Things to be thankful for during pregnancy:
1. A supportive partner (check! My husband is AMAZING)
2. Naps (half check! I do get to lay down on my lunch break which is nice, but all too short!)
3. Your body pillow (half check! I like mine ok, but I still need to get used to using it instead of getting to roll around as much as I'd like, hehe)
4. The second trimester (check! It has been awesome!!!! It truly is the golden trimester!)
5. A whole new outlook (check! I now feel more blessed than I ever could have imagined, and it has definitely brought my husband and I even closer... if that was possible! Plus, who knew that they could love someone so much when they weren't even out of the tummy yet! lol)
6. The first ultrasound (check! Ours was amazing and I will never forget it. I will also never forget the feeling when we heard his heartbeat for the first time, when we saw him move on the ultrasound, or when we found out that we were having a boy!)
7. The beauty of a big belly (half check! It's getting bigger and it is definitely so fun to finally look pregnant, not fat! haha, but I can't wait to grow even more!)
8. Be thankful - but a little sad - that it doesn't last forever (not a check yet! I love being pregnant so far! Now, I did luck out and was only sick for about 2 weeks, and even then it was nothing I couldn't handle. I've been pretty blessed to not have any other major pregnancy symptoms, so, yes, I'm sad it doesn't last forever, but will be so glad when I am holding my baby boy!!!!)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Count Your Blessings #2

Today I am oh so thankful for my wonderful family. Not only do I have two loving and amazing parents, but I also have the best in-laws ever. I love that I have such a special relationship with all of the parents in my life. Included in the family, I am thankful for my all of my siblings, whether blood or marriage, especially my two younger brothers. Even though we may have fought all of the time when we were little, they finally grew up and love their big sis, and I love being their big sis! I just wish they lived closer! I also have been blessed with great grandparents and grandparents-in-law. Family is so important to me and I feel very grateful to have such an amazing family.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Count Your Blessings #1

It's Thanksgiving week! What better time to really reflect on what we're thankful for?! I saw this on another blog, where every day this week they will write about something they are thankful for, essentially counting their blessings. So, I'm going to do just that!

Today I am thankful for my amazing husband. He has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Without him I would definitely not be where I am today, nor the person I am. It's amazing to me how we can see God's plan, and that we were definitely put on this earth for each other. He is my best friend, my soul mate, and I love him more and more each day. I know he will be an amazing father - he already is! He takes great care of me and baby boy! He has one of the most caring souls that I know. Besides his knuckle cracking, hehe, there is not anything about him that I don't like! Maybe I'm biased, but he is the best husband in the entire world, and I am so blessed to be his wife and the mother of his child (and hopefully children).

Friday, November 19, 2010

22 Weeks

The 22 Week Survey

How far along?: 21 weeks and 6 days! Time is flying by!

Total weight gain: We're up to about 13 pounds! And now I should gain about a pound a week!

How big is baby?: At our anatomy ultrasound he was 14 ounces! Almost a whole pound! Already up to 11 1/2" and I swear over half of that is legs!

Maternity clothes?: Loving all of my stuff from Cristina, haha. =) T-shirts now are also almost not fitting. They're getting too short!

Stretch marks?: I keep checking, but haven't found any yet!

Sleep: Would be a lot better if there wasn't an oil rig outside our window! Ok, so I'm being dramatic. It's a good 3/4 mile away, but it feels like it is right outside! I have to run the humidifier to have white noise that drowns out all of their racket!

Best moment this week: Darren got to feel little boy kick! It was amazing! Most kicks are not that strong but for some reason he wanted his daddy to know that he was in there and doing great!

Movement: I love his kicks... I am starting to know his routine. For instance, he wakes up around 9am and 9pm, and has some movement in between. He loves when I am laying still, he goes crazy with the kicks! Like right now for instance! Thud... thud... thud!

Food cravings: I ate two plates full of my stacked enchilladas the other night... they were soooo goood! ;-)

Gender: He's definitely a boy!! No doubt about it!

Labor Signs: Negative!

Belly Button in or out?
: Borderline flat... haha.

What I miss:
Relaxing. It seems like we never have any free time. We're always on the go. Never home on weekends.... I'm ready to just sleep in and chill out! My house is a wreck but there's no time to clean! And it's going to get worse when baby boy makes his arrival, haha!

What I am looking forward to: CHRISTMAS! ;-)

Weekly Wisdom:
Last week I talked about how google was awesome... now I am going to say to NOT over-google yourself. After finding out about my placenta condition I seriously googled myself into a frenzy... and that only led to worrying which is totally uncalled for. So, don't overgoogle! Trust your medical professionals, because they're most likely not  going to lie to you (especially when it's your family like ours is)!

Milestones: Baby can hear now: the gurgle of your digestion, the muffled, watery sound of your voice, and your strong and reassuring heartbeat that has been his constant companion. There are teeth buds under his gums, and hair sprouting on his head. His tiny fingers are strong enough to grip things now, and fetuses at this age are often spotted holding the umbilical cord. Though he practices breathing movements all the time now, his lungs aren't mature enough to breathe on their own. The complicated brain-to-eye wiring that will allow the baby to see is working like crazy this week, though it may be more than a month before his fused eyelids open. - babycenter   - - In other news, my doctor told me I don't have to try to gain anymore weight.. just gain naturally! Woo hoo! Getting fatter!

This may be one of the last ones bare-belly... we'll see!

I still think I look bigger in person, haha!

Christmas Cards and more!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is right around the corner! If you're like me, the Christmas season does not start until Advent is here, so I will be anxiously waiting November 28th! Then I can put up all of our Christmas decorations! In the Farrington household growing up, we would always put the tree up together on Christmas Eve. It was torture having to wait that long, but looking back on it, it really was a great tradition. However, I love Christmas stuff WAY too much. It just makes you feel so good! =)

This year I knew that I wanted to do some photo cards, since our family is growing (not to mention my belly!). So, I decided to look in to some through shutterfly, my staple photo ordering site. I've also made a few photo books from their site in the past, so I know they have high quality stuff. I went to the site and picked out a few cards that I liked, then ordered a few for a "test run", I liked to call it. The cards turned out great, and even Darren said he liked them! Now to take our official Christmas picture of our growing family so that we can order our cards! I usually send out cards, and try to get them out mid-December, but sometimes it is just so hard to find time! I figured if I ordered them early enough then I wouldn't have an excuse. I love all of the great Christmas photo cards that they have to offer. It was hard to choose, and you'll have to wait and see what we picked! Ordering the cards to me is easier than handwriting cards, even though traditional is nice. But, definitely I know you all are dying to see my big belly on your fridge for the next month, right?! ;-) Might have to order some other great items, like a desk calendar for my office, while I'm at it!

So, here's the best part... if you liked my snazzy Shutterfly review, then you can do the same and get 50 free Christmas cards to send out! That's practically $100 in your pocket! Just follow the instructions like I did, and they send you an offer code: Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow à 

Thanks to Shutterfly for our awesome Christmas cards.. and Merry Christmas (early) to everyone! =)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Random Tidbits

Big news.... Darren felt Baby Boy kick for the first time last night! It was AWESOME! Most kicks that I get are relatively small and just feel like a little thump, so I told Darren that he'd not be able to feel them for a while more. Well, he likes to place his hand on my belly when we're laying down at night just in case, and our baby decided it was time to show Daddy he was really in there! He kicked so hard! It was actually kind of funny! Then he squirmed around a bunch which we could feel also! Darren was so excited, it was so neat! Our baby definitely loves when I'm laying down, or well, maybe that is just when I can notice the movement more. It's so fun to finally feel him all of the time!

I have been having a hard time not "googling" myself into a frenzy. After hearing our diagnosis, I can't help but want to learn everything that I can. However, the internet is probably not the place to try to learn things. You hear the worst of the worst, I swear! I did however find a lady who is a few weeks ahead of me on babycenter's message boards who also was recently diagnosed with circumvallate placenta. She too says that her doctors tell her not to worry, but she's just trying to find information. So, it's kind of neat to have someone going through it at the same time as I am. We said we'd share any information that we found out! One lady on the boards had it and her baby stopped growing at 35 weeks and she was induced at 39 weeks. Her baby was 4 pounds, but healthy! Not a couple months after her baby was finally up to it's appropriate weight! So, not too bad! Just a scrawny baby! ;-) My main concerns are premature birth, our baby having to be in the NICU, or having to have an emergency c-section. I know God will take care of us.... it's just hard not to worry sometimes!

I promise I'll take a new picture soon and do my weekly survey. Last night I looked in the mirror and couldn't believe how huge I looked, haha. My doctor told me that I don't need to try to gain any more weight, just gain naturally and eat right. =) hehe.. Just want baby boy to be as fat as possible! And mommy doesn't mind being fat either for a while!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Anatomy Ultrasound

Monday we went in to Midland for our big 20 week (I was 21 weeks) anatomy ultrasound with Dr. Blanco. It's amazing to me the technology difference between my doctor in Big Spring and this doctor's offices. We had to wait for quite a while before our ultrasound, naturally, and I told Andrea (my mommy-in-law got to come!!!) that it was because I pissed off the receptionist since I didn't have my insurance card. Haha! The ultrasound tech was really friendly and did a great job. She found that Baby Boy was right on track, and only measured one day late. So, we're still expecting an end of March due date! After all of the measurements were taken, Dr. Blanco came in to talk to us and take another look. He got some great images of little boy giving us the "Gig 'Em" sign, and he made sure to get a good image that he was indeed still a boy. ;-) Aka, still a turtle!

One thing they did find that I was not expecting was that apparently I have a circumvallate placenta. This is where the placenta is not formed properly. Carylon described it to me as the placenta implanted extra deep so the sides folded up. The problem with this is that baby boy might not get all of the nutrients from my placenta that he needs. For example, he might only get 80% instead of 100%. The main risk is decreased growth, so I will be monitored more closely than most women would. Also, there is a chance that I could develop a placenta abruption, where the placenta detaches, thus cutting off oxygen and blood flow to the baby. In that case I would need an emergency delivery. However, this does not have to occur just because I have the circumvallate placenta, but it is a possibility. I have to make sure that if I ever have any bleeding that I get to a hospital right away so that they can check me out. The good news is that my doctor, Carylon, and Dr. Blanco are not very worried about it. They know that they will monitor me and baby to the best of their abilities. I will have the extra ultrasounds to monitor baby's growth.

At first I was totally freaked out. No one wants to ever hear that anything is wrong... especially not with you or your baby! But, after talking to Evan, Carylon, Dr. Byerly, and Dr. Blanco, I feel better. I know that I'll be in good hands, and God will take care of the rest! Google may be my enemy at times, but here are some things I found (note: these are from GOOGLE not from a doctor.... so I'm not even letting myself fully believe everything, just in case!):

I am 19 weeks pregnant and the doctor says that it looks like I have circumvallate placenta. She said it's important to continue to monitor the baby for proper growth and development via ultrasounds and should I start bleeding I need to go to the hospital immediately. As it was explained to me the placenta ends curve and curl inwards. The problem is if the placenta continues to develop in more and more curve and then separates from the uterus. That would mean the need for an emergency delivery of the baby so it becomes very critical the earlier this happens. I don't know the odds of the placenta separating, and nothing may happen at all, it's just important to make sure the baby is getting the nourishment it needs via the placenta and act immediately should any bleeding occur. The doctor said it's not common to see this and there is nothing I have done in the past or anything I can do to avoid problems with separation.
Circumvallate placenta is essentially a ring that can be viewed grossly forming around the placenta after it is delivered. It is caused when the chorionic plate or the fetal side of the placenta is smaller than the basal plate which is located on the maternal side. It is sometimes known to cause third trimester bleeding and may be associated with other things as well. Also as with any condition there are different degrees of severity. Therefore, it is best to follow closely with your individual physician and follow their advice closely. With the proper care you and your baby can be kept as healthy as possible.
A circumvallate placenta is a placenta that does not form properly. This placental abnormality occurs in less than two percent of pregnancies and it is not the fault of anything the mother does or does not do. It occurs because of variations in placental development that are beyond the control of the body that the fetus is gestating in. When a woman is diagnosed with a circumvallate placenta, it is important to receive adequate prenatal care because it increases the risks associated with the pregnancy. In pregnancies with a circumvallate placenta, the chorionic plate on the fetus' side of the placentastart to turn inward. This restricts the supply of nutrients to the growing fetus and can also increase the risk of a placental separation. Over time, a ring of raised tissue develops and the ends of the placenta start to turn inward. This restricts the supply of nutrients to the growing fetus and can also increase the risk of a placental separation. There are some serious risks associated with this complication of pregnancy. In the worst case scenario, circumvallate placenta can result in pregnancy loss. If the placenta separates and a woman is not given immediate medical treatment, the baby can die. In women who have not received adequate prenatal care where the condition goes undiagnosed, fetal deaths can also be caused by the nutrient restriction associated with this condition. More commonly, women with this condition will need to deliver by cesarean section and their babies may have a low birth weight. This condition can be diagnosed with a routine prenatal ultrasound. Physical abnormalities can be observed on the ultrasound examination in varying levels of detail, depending on the technology used for the exam. The doctor may note that the fetus is not growing as quickly as normal and this can also provide clues to the fact that there is an abnormality. For women with a circumvallate placenta, it is important to eat a healthy diet to ensure that as many nutrients as possible reach the baby, and to be alert to spotting, breakthrough bleeding, and uterine pains that might indicate complications with the placenta. Women can and do deliver healthy babies with a circumvallate placenta. The chances of a healthy birth increase with each week that the woman can successfully carry the pregnancy. An obstetrician may have specific advice for a patient including bed rest if it becomes necessary to help her carry the pregnancy to term. Women with this placental abnormality should also make sure that they discuss their birth plans carefully with their doctors.
All in all though, I trust my doctors, and I trust God, so I'm not going to dwell on the "what if's". That would make my life miserable! Instead, I will continue to pray for a healthy and happy baby, as I have done for the past 5 months, and will know that I'm in good hands! If you'd like, you can say some extra prayers for us, and know that they are appreciated, but would have been regardless of the findings! =)

Now for some pictures!!!

Yup, he's still a boy!

What a cutie!!!

Two little feet, and I think his legs were crossed!

Our gymnast.. all bunched up in there! Love the profile photo though!

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

Sunday, November 14, 2010

21 Weeks

I fail, I know... I don't even have a picture to upload this week. I meant to take one last night at the wedding shower, which technically I would have already been in to week 22, but it was close enough... and then I forgot. So, I apologize! I'll have LOTS of great pictures of baby boy tomorrow though because we go for our 3D Anatomy ultrasound! Hooray! =) Yet again, I'll pretend like I wrote this on Friday! ;-)

The 21 Week Survey

How far along?: 20 weeks and 6 days!

Total weight gain: Still hovering around 10 pounds, might be 11 now!

How big is baby?: About 3/4 of a pound and 10 1/2 inches! About the size of a carrot!

Maternity clothes?: Love them, hehe, except still getting used to the bella-bands and maternity pants. I just think I have really dry and itchy skin!

Stretch marks?: No but I'm getting scared!

Sleep: Still can't get my back to stop hurting, but it is definitely better now with my maternity pillow. Other than that I have been sleeping through the night no problem!

Best moment this week: Feeling baby boy kick for the first time! It was so neat! I of course googled it to make sure that it what it was supposed to feel like, haha!

Movement: Felt his first kicks after lunch on November 12th! It was so cool!

Food cravings: My white chocolate oreo cookies.... they're heavenly! I've already managed to polish off two boxes... but hey, Darren helped!

Gender: We'll be double checking at our anatomy appointment, hehe, but doctors said that they were almost 100% it was a boy!

Labor Signs: Negative!

Belly Button in or out?
: Barely an innie!

What I miss:
Fitting in to regular clothes... even t-shirts are starting to get too tight. And all of my winter clothes are not going to fit, so it's so good that Cristina lent me some great clothes!

What I am looking forward to: Our anatomy appointment!!!!!!!!!!!

Weekly Wisdom:
Google is awesome and should be everyone's home page! ;-) I google everything relating to pregnancy, motherhood, etc...

Milestones: Baby boy is finally starting to get some meat on those bones! Fat that is! From babycenter: You may soon feel like he's practicing martial arts as his initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to his activity as you get to know him better. In other developments, your baby's eyebrows and lids are present now! From babyzone: A lot is going on for Baby this week. Fat, for one thing. The little guy is finally putting on some chub, a process that will continue for the rest of gestation. With fat underneath it, his skin no longer looks so translucent. His fingernails cover the nail beds completely (and may even need cutting when he's born!) and his eyelids and eyebrows are fully formed. But it's his brain development that's really taking off: This week, the sensory neurons (the nerves that communicate the sense of touch) are starting to connect to the brain, so the baby is beginning to feel touch. Touch is one of the most important senses at birth and the sensory neurons will continue to hook up to the brain for the rest of the pregnancy. Researchers believe that those nonstop kicks and all that squirming help to program the brain.

Friday, November 12, 2010

If you waited to have kids til you had money...

... You'd never have them! That was the words of wisdom that my mom gave me when I vented my recent frustrating revelations to her. Makes sense but doesn't solve my worrisome mind. First off, I realized that I have totally dropped the ball on this pregnancy. I have no plan for after the baby is born. We didn't plan ahead of time that we would need supplemental income, which I supposed would come in the form of short-term disability insurance... which, by the way, Texas does not require, therefor if you don't buy it yourself ahead of time, you don't get any. I guess I didn't think in my head that maternity leave would be unpaid. I don't know why, but it never crossed my mind. Strike one for the first time mom. My husband and I both have decent paying jobs, live well within our means, and treat ourselves when we deem necessary, but other than that really do try to keep our savings account where it needs to be, and we definitely plan ahead for major expenses. So, before we started trying to get pregnant we took out an indemnity policy for me to supplement our crappy health insurance. We've been paying on it for well over a year now, of course, and have not used a penny of it... making it seem like wasted money to me, but I know in the end it will help. However, the thought never crossed my mind, like I said, that we would need to get short-term disability insurance. Crap. Now I'm paranoid about taking my maternity leave. How long can I afford to take off? Should I try to keep working somehow since we live so close and it's a family business? How much can my body handle?

This brings me to worrying revelation number two. When I go back to work, who's going to take care of our baby?! We live in the middle of nowhere. I'm serious. Our town's population is about 300 on a good day. We play 6-man football because we could probably only barely make an 11-man team. So, needless to say, there is no day-care. There is a small one, but of course, it's full! Why wouldn't they be? There are plenty of other mom's in GC that have the same needs that I do. The nearest town is 30min one way, so that's not an option. Especially not on our budgets. So then.. what? Do I try to find someone to do in-home care? And even then, who? Plus, how do we even afford to pay someone after we already lost out on my income for at least 6 weeks probably?

Revelation number three... I suck at this preparing for a baby thing. I'm so worried right now and I don't like to be. It makes me regret our anniversary trip, even though I still stand behind the fact that we needed to do that for ourselves. Then, Christmas is around the corner... and yes, you don't HAVE to buy people presents, but come on.... plus, we have a big family... lots of gifts. To make matters worse there are still so many things for the babies room that we need, besides things we register for. Thank goodness I have a crib and can borrow a bassinet.

How do first time parents cope? How do you keep from going crazy? How do you afford a baby?!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Our Baby-Moon!

All of the newsletters from baby sites that they send now-a-days all tell you that you should take a baby-moon.... aka a mini-vacation for just you and your partner before the baby is born and your lives change forever (as if they haven't already!). At first I thought the idea was a little silly... but then after thinking about it, I decided it was a great idea and a perfect excuse to spend some quality time together! Darren and I have now been married for over three years, and as I said before, the last vacation we took by ourselves was our honeymoon. We never got to go on a trip after our one year wedding anniversary like a lot of couples do. So, I told him - we're going! I picked the location, Cloudcroft, based on the fact that it was within 6 hours driving distance, relatively cheap lodging, we had never been there, and it was in the mountains! It turned out to be the perfect little get-away.

We left Friday around 2pm from Garden City and were in Cloudcroft by 8 New Mexico time. We checked in to our room and then headed out to eat. We ate at a little cafe/bar in downtown that was ok.... supposed to be better judging from the internet reviews but our food mostly sucked. haha. It was still fun to be out in downtown, per say. After dinner we stopped by a convenience store so I could buy really expensive hot chocolate packets, haha, and then we went back to our room and enjoyed the evening!

Our room location at The Lodge, separate from the main hotel.
Saturday we got up bright and early (since it felt an hour later to us, hehe) and headed out to breakfast. We ate at another local place that was ok.... nothing great. After breakfast we headed back to the downtown area and did a little shopping. We found a coffee place that we should have been going to all along while there! It was great! After shopping in downtown we went to our hotel to check out the gift shop there... only because they give you a coupon at check-in. We found a cute little shirt for baby boy, and while checking out we began to talk to the lady running the store. She was so excited for us that we were expecting and kept telling us that we were the cutest couple. She then told us we had to have another present for our baby, so told us to pick out a onesie. Darren and I kept thinking we didn't want to pay for anything else, but ok! We found one we liked and then she told us we had to have this door knob thing that says something about being new parents so don't disturb us. She then gave both to us as a gift!!! We couldn't believe that a complete stranger had just given us over $20 in baby gifts! She wrote down her address for us so that we can send her a baby announcement when little boy makes his entrance!

At an overlook point on the way to the observatories

After shopping we headed out south of town to the National Solar Observatory and the Apace Point Observatory. Both had giant telescopes which of course excites Darren. At the solar observatory we actually got to go in where they were working and see them seriously watching the sun.... waiting for something to happen. It was pitch black in the room so that the reflector dealies would work. It was pretty cool to see science under way!
Really big telescope, and half of it is underground!
Darren loveeeesss the telescopes!

After our science-outing we headed out to find a place called Bluff Springs Falls. I had read about it online but forgot to print out the deal that told you how to get there exactly. We followed a road which turned in to a dirt road and I nearly made Darren turn around. There were all of these signs saying private property and I thought for sure some Mountain Man was going to come out and shoot us, lol. After about 5 miles of off-roading in the jeep we finally came up to the falls. They were GORGEOUS. It was just a small spring fed waterfall, but it was still so nice outside and fun to hike around out there.

At the bottom of the falls
We hiked up the hill to the top of the falls as well, super pretty!

We spent a good amount of time just enjoying nature out here before heading back to our hotel. We got there in time to watch the first quarter of the Aggie game before having to head to dinner. It was pretty funny to see us in our hotel room hovering around the laptop and cheering as the Aggies BTHO ou! We wanted to leave our room early to make it back to main lodge in time to watch the sunset from the tower. It was really pretty!

Before dinner in the hotel tower
We had reservations at the fancy hotel restaurant for 7:30 but since we were there early we just sat around in the bar watching the Tech game and checking the Aggie game. Our meal was amazing and well worth waiting around. You could either order off of the menu or do the "Chateaubriand" which was a 6 course meal that you really didn't choose much from. It was still amazing! We had smoked salmon for our appetizer, then soup, salad, our palette cleanser of sorbet, and then our main entree was a table side prepared beef tenderloin which was DELICIOUS! You got to pick your desert too which was awesome, so I had tiramisu and Darren had chocolate cake. We were there eating for over 2 hours, hehe... it was wonderful to eat great food and sit and relax!

After our anniversary dinner

Sunday we got up and had breakfast at our new favorite coffee shop. Much better than anything else we'd had in town thus far! We decided to drive down the road to Alamogordo and stop at an old apple barn store on the way. The drive was really pretty! You seriously go down the whole mountain. Cloudcroft is at 9000 something feet and Alamogordo is at 3000 something.

At a lookout point on the way to Alamogordo

In Alamogordo we didn't have enough time to go see White Sands, so we decided to go to the National Space Museum... yes, another Science place for Darren! But, I like that kind of stuff too! They had all kids of cool rockets there and space memorabilia. It was right up Darren's alley for sure! ;-) After the space museum we drove back up the mountain to Cloudcroft, had lunch at a great little pizza place, and then started back on our way to Texas! It was such a great and relaxing weekend, and we certainly feel so blessed that we were able to do it. Even though we probably should have saved the money, it was nice to do something for ourselves...a rare occurrence! We know we'll always treasure this babymoon!!

On our way home.. New Mexico gave us a nice parting gift!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

20 Week Survey

Ok, so this is a little late, and the last one was late.... I'm getting behind! Time needs to sloooow down! We're going to pretend as if it was written on Friday again, hehe...

The 20 Week Survey

How far along?: 19 weeks and 6 days!

Total weight gain: 10 pounds! Yahoooooo!!!!!! Who else is ever excited about gaining that much weight?!

How big is baby?: 6 1/2" head to rump and about 10 inches from head to heel! Baby boy weighs around 10 1/2 ounces! About the size of a yummy banana!

Maternity clothes?: Most definitely! Although I do mostly wear my own jeans with my rubberband, because my dry winter skin and those bellabands do not mix well... so itchy!

Stretch marks?: Hmm... nope!

Sleep: So much better lately! I've been going to bed around 11 at the latest and sleeping solid until 7.

Best moment this week: Leaving for our baby-moon with baby boy along for the ride! ;-)

Movement: Still feeling little graze by's, but no kicks yet!

Food cravings: Not so much this week. I just eat... a lot.

Gender: As far as we know he's still a cute little baby boy! hehe

Labor Signs: Negative!

Belly Button in or out?
: Whew... you can barely get a finger in there anymore! ;-) Lovely picture, isn't it?

What I miss:
Nada!!!!! =)

What I am looking forward to: Our anatomy appointment is right around the corner!!!

Weekly Wisdom:
Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things! ;-) If the house is a wreck, who cares! Life is still good!

Milestones: HELLO HALFWAY MARK!!!!! It's all on the downhill count from here! For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.) He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery). ~Stolen from!

After our wonderful anniversary meal - this was technically the end of week 20!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Minute

Another Monday is here... yes, already! Time is going so fast... but that's ok, because it means Christmas is right around the corner, and Baby boy will be here in less than 20 weeks! EEK!!!! Ok, here's the link for Cristina's blog, go and answer your own and link up!

(1) What's for dinner tonight?
Haven't thought that far ahead, but I've been craving some of my chicken enchiladas... but I need sour cream, so it's all dependent upon if I can find some to "borrow" or not. Living in the boonies does have it's downfalls!
(2) Have you ever been stung by a bee or a wasp?
Oh yes. I live in the boonies, remember? Two of the worst times: One was at Andrea & Scotty's house... it was in my bed, the little booger! And the second... Cristina & Evan's wedding. Lol. We were outside and I sat on a chair, when I moved the pillow the bee stung my finger. It was so bad that we had to leave the wedding early, which made me even more upset than having the bee sting me!

(3) What time do you go to sleep every evening?
Usually we lay down around 9:45, 10ish, and I try to be asleep before 11 every night. Hey, it's hard to grow a baby! (This includes weekends, haha!)
(4) What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
From the store, EASY... Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream. It can't be beat. My whole family loves it. From a chain... Chocolate Fudge from Baskin Robbins, or Cookie Dough with Carmel Sauce from Marble Slab. Yumm...
(5) If you could have one power, what would it be?
Hmmmm.... I'll do two answers. One the "aww, how philanthropic of you" and the other a little selfish. So, first, I would cure cancer! Oh yeah! I know that God has a plan for everything, and that we shouldn't meddle in his plans, but there are just too many people who have cancer and toooo many people who I know have it. Secondly, I would like to be able to snap my fingers and be in another place. Not another time, just another place. Like, I could go have dinner with my mom after work, and then still be home before bedtime. That would be AWESOME.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Three Years

Yesterday my amazing husband and I celebrated our three year wedding anniversary! It's crazy to think that it's already been three years! We have been so blessed in our relationship. It's amazing to me that I could fall more in love with him each day. I know, sappy... but it's true! Here's just a re-cap on our anniversary's thus far.

Our first wedding anniversary - the Paper anniversary. This year was not as great. Darren had to be in California for an Irrigation show, and I was stuck in Lubbock with a fractured pelvis. Needless to say we didn't get to do very much. We had a nice dinner at home and just enjoyed each other's company. Darren gave me a book by my favorite author and hand wrote me the most amazing letter ever. It was so sweet. I made Darren a canvas with different trinkets from our wedding, including paper from the luminaries and some scrapbook paper. (Not as sweet as his!)

Our second wedding anniversary - the Cotton anniversary. This anniversary was hard for us because we were frustrated that we were not expecting yet. I had bought Darren a t-shirt that said "First time Daddy" and some other presents. I was hoping that surely I'd be able to give him the t-shirt then, but alas, God had other plans! So, he still got to open the t-shirt but it stayed in our dresser for a really long time after that! Darren got me a beautiful shirt and jewelry to match! We again had a great meal at home and celebrated our love.

Our third wedding anniversary - the Leather anniversary. This was yesterday! Woo hoo! We knew that we weren't going to really get to celebrate this night, but we knew we had our weekend get-away planned... our little baby-moon! We had our CYO kiddos over for a pizza social, and had fun hanging out and talking with them. After they left we had sparkling grape juice in our toasting flutes from our wedding and cookies, hehe. We were glad to spend this year with our pets and our still cookin' baby boy! ;-)

Each year I save the wine bottle from our anniversary celebration. I also have the one from our wedding night and our engagement night. I write on the bottles their significance so we'll remember. This year Darren said we definitely had to save our grape juice bottle (which looks like a champagne bottle anyway) so that we'd always know that this year was the year we finally had a baby on the way! It was pretty awesome I must admit. I am one blessed woman - great husband, great family, great friends, great faith, and a baby on the way!

"Jesus said: “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”" ~ Matthew 19: 3-6

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

19 Week Survey

So, I know this is late, so we'll pretend like I did it on Friday like I was supposed to!

The 19 Week Survey

How far along?: 18 weeks 6 days!

Total weight gain: 9 pounds!

How big is baby?: Over 6 inches crown to rump, and almost 9 ounces! Growing like a weed!

Maternity clothes?: Yuppers... I bought 2 new pairs of maternity pants because the rubberband thing is starting to get old and annoying, haha.

Stretch marks?: Nope!

Sleep: Still can't get enough... and I have a feeling it'll be this way for the next 20 years! ;-) My maternity pillow helps but still doesn't get the job done. I like to move around a lot in my sleep and that big bulky thing doesn't allow that!

Best moment this week: Finding the CUTEST little aviator outfits at Macy's, and restraining ourselves to only buying two instead of all 5. ;-)

Movement: Darren and I tried really hard Saturday night while I was laying down and I might have felt something! It's just so hard to tell!

Food cravings: Still pickles.... yum. Ate almost a whole plate of them at our bbq dinner Saturday night, haha.

Gender: The most precious baby boy you'll ever see! ;-)

Labor Signs: Negative!

Belly Button in or out?
: Flattening out every day... sad! haha!

What I miss:
Activities that could put you in peril... i.e. horseback riding, skiing, etc. But hey, it's worth it!

What I am looking forward to: Our anniversary is soon!!!!! Glad to be spending it with my awesome husband and our bun in the oven!

Weekly Wisdom:
Cherish each and every moment.... feel blessed no matter what!

Milestones: Motor neurons are still developing in the brain allowing more controlled and conscious movement... so those kicks will be intentional! Hair on the scalp is starting to sprout, hehe... little chia-pet! Arms and legs are finally in proportion to the rest of baby boy's body! A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on his skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

Whoa, my face looks so fat in this one! See next one, it's an illusion I promise!

Aren't my clothes cute? Thanks, Cristina!

Fun(?) Facts:
- Hips: I think it was 34"... have to double check.
- Waist at belly button: 35"
- Shirt size: Depends.. some medium's now!
- Weight at start of pregnancy: 113.6
- Current weight: 122!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Minute

First off, I realize that I have not done my survey for Week 19..... You see, although I don't believe in excuses, here are some! 1. We had a busy week... CCD, CYO, work stuff, you name it. 2. We had a small tragedy in the Hillger household. We lost our kitten Shiner to a tire. I won't go in to details because I'll probably cry. So, I spent all day Thursday crying and not doing my survey. 3. Friday we left for San Antonio for a much needed weekend after the incident Thursday and spent the whole time enjoying seeing my dad and Maggie... so no time for survey there. It'll get done, possibly tonight...

Ok, so here's today's Monday Minute from Cristina! You can now click the picture below to go to her blog to link up your own answers! Hooray!
What did you dress up as your first Halloween?
I remember when I was 2 or 3 I dressed up as Minnie Mouse - aka, my mom put me in a Minnie Mouse costume because she thought it would be cute, and it was! However, I remember (don't know how) this teenage kid dressed as a cat chased me all night and terrorized me. Poor baby me! haha

What has been your favorite Halloween costume of all time?
Either my mermaid costume that my mom made me (looked like a mermaid!) or my Cinderella/Princess/Whatever costume when I was 5. Also handmade, and super cute. I should try to find pictures!

Do you believe in ghosts?
Hmm... well, sorta. I believe that there definitely are people stuck in an in-between because us Catholics believe in purgatory, however, whether they are here hanging around I don't know. I've never thought I saw one or anything like that.

What's your favorite holiday of the year?
Who doesn't love Christmas? Seriously... I love the smells, the decorations, the family time, Church, the movies, the music, the lights, hot chocolate, fires, snow, and of course presents are nice! I just love the way the house looks when decorated for Christmas... makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

What's your favorite fall dessert? 
I make an awesome turtle pumpkin pie.... I hate traditional pumpkin pie, but this is heaven... and it's probably reallllly bad for you, haha. Kraft's Turtle Pumpkin Pie