Friday, October 30, 2009

Dear Bo, Just hold your horses, young man...

30 weeks

What a fun weekend we had! Aggie victory at Jones Stadium! Daddy got free tickets so we went to the game with hopes of not looking so bad we had to leave before halftime (I really
wanted to see the band). I was able to see the band!
And...we were able to enjoy a win! We haven't had a victory there since 1993, so it was LONG overdue.

We picked up lots of goodies for you over the weekend! Mimi finished some swaddling blankets, the blankie and pillows for your nursery, and Aunt Jen put your name and initials on them. So cute!
Uncle Bud finished the new piece for your nursery! It's a toy box at the bottom and bookshelf at the top! I couldn't love it more!
Your great Aunt Terri made you tons of blankets and burp cloths.
And Aunt Lori scored you some serious loot from a friend who was getting rid of her baby gear.

While the rest of us were enjoying getting things ready for were plotting an early escape. Not cool, son. Believe me, I, of all people, appreciate a person who is eager to get out there and get things started. You get an A+ for initiative.'re just gonna have to hold your horses! You worried Momma and Daddy (ahem--we've not finished the book on how to take care of you, little mister), the shots they had to give me were yucky, and hospital stays are just no fun. So..."you-stay-in-my-womb-and-don't-come-out-until-I-tell-you-young-man!" There...your first scolding. When they were monitoring you, they told us you were 3 pounds 11 ounces, and your heart rate was between 152-158bpm.

Keep growing!

Here's what you were up to this week:

Your eyes are becoming more mature, and now you can tell the difference between light and dark. Babies at 30 weeks can even follow a light source with their eyes. Once you are born, you will spend a great deal of time with your eyes closed. This is completely normal. Newborns only have the ability to focus on objects a few inches from their faces. While “normal” adult vision is 20/20, a newborn’s vision is 20/400.

You are about 15.15 inches long (CHL) and weigh about 3 pounds.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That you would not come early!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Dear Bo, We had our first party...

29 weeks

Little one, we had our first party for you! We got together with our Oklahoma friends and family, and it was a wonderful time. I hadn't seen my law school girlfriends since graduation so getting together with them was a real treat. We also saw several friends from church and other friends and family in the area. We played games which was a hoot.
We smelled baby food and had to guess what each was (Daddy got zero correct). We both dread when you'll eat that stuff. It really stinks, little man. Daddy got swaddled by the winner of the baby food game. Then we split into teams and raced to see who could change diapers the fastest. I got swaddled by the team captain of the winning team.
We got lots of neat stuff: your pack n play, high chair, mobile, a camo bag with your name on it, and lots of other neat goodies from our registry. Christine was too thoughtful and even brought a bag of goodies just for Momma!
I have had terrible heartburn, but it's all better now that the Dr. put me on Prilosec. I have a painful catch in my back, up by my shoulder blade, but other than that, all is going really well.

You got some goodies in the mail from your Brown cousins: a sailboat for your room, some bath toys, and a little Aggie outfit (we hope the Aggies will be better in football by the time you get there, little buddy. They got really embarrassed this weekend):
Daddy's and my anniversary was Wednesday. Nine years. It hardly seems possible that we met twelve years ago and have been married nine years. To tell you the truth, when we got married, I thought we'd have our family finished by the time we reached our ninth anniversary, but we ended up taking a different path. I think there are trade offs to starting your family early vs. starting your family later. I know either way would have ended up great, but I'm glad it has worked out as it has. I'm glad Daddy got to work for a big construction company and move around with them. I'm glad I got to work for a couple of years before going to law school; it definitely gave me a little perspective. I'm glad Daddy supported my decision to go to law school (not to mention supported us financially while I was in school). I'm glad we've traveled and seen lots of places together. I'm glad we had time to work through those early years of marriage that were harder than either of us expected. I'm glad we've got to enjoy the "comfortable" years where our relationship has come more easily. I'm glad we really hashed and rehashed whether we wanted to start a family...that we struggled with it...that our luxury was that we were fortunate enough to really love our life with just the two of us. When we decided to try and start a family, we resolved to try for a couple of years, then if it didn't happen, march forward through life as two and continue to spoil our nieces and nephews like crazy. You see, little man, we didn't need you to complete us. We didn't need you to fix us or make us happy. We were full and complete before we ever started trying to bring you into this world. But...we did want you. We want to share our life with you. We're a pretty good team, and we want to parent you together. We know you'll be just one more dimension to a really satisfying life.

I hope you find a partner to walk through life with and that you find her sooner rather than later. I was just 19, and Daddy was 20 when we met. I'm glad we met early enough to avoid a lot of stupid decisions with other people before we were together. I think we're better for having grown into adults together.

Most of all, I hope you always know that we love each other. I hope we can model a good marriage for you so that you can enjoy healthy relationships in your life. I hope we treat each other with respect so that you see how to be respectful in relationships. And I really hope you know that while we will love you like crazy, we loved each other first. Of all the things we want to give you in life, one of the most important things is a Momma and Daddy with a healthy marriage.

I can't believe that next Friday we'll be 3/4 of the way there...30 weeks! Keep growing!

This is what you were up to this week:

You are rapidly growing at this point. You are continuing to gain weight, and your head is also growing. This is due to the rapid brain development that began in week 28. Muscles and lungs are also continuing to develop and mature.

You now measure over 14 ½ inches and weigh 2 ¾ pounds.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That the third trimester continues to go well. That somewhere out there your wife is a part of a healthy, happy family and being loved on and prayed over like crazy.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dear The One, Happy Anniversary...

Nine years. How is that possible? Wasn't it not too long ago that I saw you at Camp of the Hills carrying a cooler, in that white ATM shirt? Of course, looking back, quite a lot has happened...

1997. I come back to A&M, swearing off guys so that I can figure out just who I am without one. I meet you. You're hot, but I launch a defensive because I know hot guys are full of themselves and do not treat girls well. You ask me to "walk around the lake" (very lame), and I am so excited because...have I mentioned you're hot? We stay up all night talking by the dock. Half of the night we sit on the most uncomfortable boat trailer ever, but neither of us will move because we don't want that night to end. I laugh more from August 1997-December 1997 than I have laughed in most of my 19 years. You absolutely crack me up and to my surprise, are not full of yourself at all.

1998. We continue to date and only date each other, but I insist we don't "define ourselves". This makes me think I'm still honoring my promise to "swear off guys". I am not kidding anyone. I am head over heels in love with you. I go home for the summer while you stay in College Station. We email and talk on the phone constantly. We are "lovesick". The Ags enjoy a successful football season, and we enjoy the games together. We go to the Big 12 championship game in St. Louis and have a ball (and the Ags win!).

1999. We spend New Year's Eve in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl. We're still in love, but time and routine are settling in. I spend the summer in Europe and in Dallas interning for John Deere. You stay in College Station at summer school. We drift apart a bit, but we still work. The initial "lovesickness" has worn off. I have a hard conversation with you which I'm sure will end in rejection, and your only response is, "You've been through a lot. You are not your mistakes. Where do you want to eat?" I learn what real grace means (and just how important food is to you!). We decide we're a good team long term, and you propose by the Century Tree on campus on Nov. 30, 1999. I graduate in December.

2000. I work in Lafayette, Louisiana, for John Deere Company while you finish school. I travel a lot with work, and you enjoy your last semesters at school with friends. This is a good year. You graduate in August and start working for Bechtel. We have wedding showers and parties all summer and then marry October 21, 2000. We honeymoon in Cozumel then settle down in Houston. I still travel a lot, and you rise early to work out, go to work in Baytown, and our paths cross in the evenings. We don't quite know how to be married yet, but we're excited to start our life together. I remember saying that I can't wait to "go home" for the holidays. And by "home", I mean my parents' home.

2001. This marriage thing is hard. I have expectations about you, me, and us that make things harder than they should be. We find a church. We make some friends there. We enjoy hanging out with Zeb and Shelly when they move to Houston. We make our first "big" purchases together--a washer and dryer, some furniture, and a TV. We go on our first vacation as a married couple to Lake Tahoe. We get pregnant unexpectedly and miscarry. We both get transfers to Oklahoma City and buy our first home. We live apart for several months while you start your job in Oklahoma, and I finish mine in Houston. September 11th happens. We make it through the first year.

2002. We get into a groove and settle into our house. We start making it into a home. We enjoy Phoenix, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon with Deere friends. I get accepted into law school, and you support my decision and support us financially when I start school that fall. I am stressed and semi-crazy, but you reassure me.

2003. We don't know it yet, but this will be a fun, whirlwind year. We go on a cruise and have a grand time in March. You get transferred to New Jersey shortly after. We live apart while I finish up my first year of law school. I join you over the summer, and we trapse across the Northeast together. We have a ball! We nap in Central Park, have cheesesteaks in Philly, see Boston, go to Niagra Falls, walk the boardwalk at Atlantic City, and see countless other things together. It's a once in a lifetime summer, and we live every minute of it. We talk about having a baby. We decide to wait. I remember saying after the holidays that I can't wait to "get home". By "home", I mean our home now.

2004. You're at a new company in Edmond, OK. We're trying to figure out where we want to move. We know we want to be in Texas, and we know we're done with metro areas. We pursue Abilene and Amarillo. I get a clerkship in Amarillo. We live apart that summer while I clerk. We are excited about the possibility of moving, and I am really ready to be done with school. We go to San Diego with my parents, and I see California for the first time. We look forward to 2005 with anticipation.
2005. I graduate from law school. We move to Amarillo. I live in Lubbock and take the bar exam prep course, Barbri, while you start your new job in Amarillo. You are good at what you do and never have trouble finding work when we move. I admire that. After the bar exam, we unwind in Los Cabos, Mexico, to celebrate the end of law school, the end of the bar exam, and to celebrate our fifth anniversary early. I start work. It's overwhelming, and I get stressed and semi-crazy again. Just like law school, you reassure me. We celebrate five years together. We survive a year of many changes.
2006. It's a tough year. Stress from work, uncertainty about a family; it's overwhelming. I don't do well with the adjustment to law firm life. You find hobbies to keep yourself occupied while I work. We grow apart a bit, but work on reconnecting. We learn a lot this year-- a lot about commitment and staying power, a lot about ourselves, each other, and a lot about where we came from. You hold on and don't let go. I'm so grateful for that.

2007. This is a good year with a sad ending. We ease into a comfortable relationship, having learned a lot about ourselves and each other over the last year. You turn 30. We go to Europe in the fall to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We have a wonderful time. Your uncle passes away while we're in Europe. It's a shock and heartbreaking. The end of the year is a sad, hard, and confusing time. We hold on tight to each other.
2008. This is another great year. We continue to enjoy a comfortable relationship. I turn 30, and Mom and I take a fun trip to NYC. We start running, which is a fun (though challenging) way to spend time together. We run our first 5k, 10k, and half marathon together. We run the DRC Half in November and the White Rock Half in December. We go to Chicago together for the first time and love it! We go to South Dakota and see Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and lots of other neat stuff with my parents. It's gorgeous. We contemplate starting a family next year.
2009. We start off the year by running the Houston Half (3 halves in 3 months!). We start trying to have a family. We have an incredible vacation in Kauai. We find out we're pregnant. Things start off rocky with the pregnancy, and we wonder if we'll stay pregnant. We learn we're really going to have a baby and share the news. We pray together and read to Baby together. We find out we'll have a son. We talk about how our life will change and enjoy these "last months", just the two of us. We enjoy a trip to Colorado together. We talk about what kind of parents we want to be. We wonder who Bo will become. We celebrate 9 years.
It's been harder than I thought it would be, but it's made my life better than I ever thought it could be. There have been days I've wondered about that promise of unconditional love we made, and even more days when I could not believe you were making good on that promise. In so many ways, you're everything I'm not...which is why it's fun to walk through life with you and experience it through your eyes. I know I wouldn't see the potential in other people or experiences if you didn't point it out. And it's so nice to ride the coattails of your optimism. I really can't wait to parent Bo together. If you parent with the loyalty and devotion you bring to our marriage, Bo is sure to be a lucky boy.

Happy 9th Anniversary.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Dear Bo, The nursery is really shaping up...

28 weeks

(Belly pics from the end of the second trimester are here.)

Little man, we have had a week! Mimi came, and we worked like mad women on your nursery. We made curtains, a bedskirt, wall letters, and canvases. Mimi is making you some blankets, too. It all turned out so well!

Mimi brought you some love gifts Aunt Amber made you:
We saw you on Monday at the sonogram. One of your kidneys is measuring completely normal, and the fluid level in the other kidney improved! Yay--we're moving in the right direction now. You look like you have chubby cheeks, and we can't wait to see you in person! You didn't have very much hair. Your heartbeat was 165bpm, and you weighed 2 pounds 6 ounces. We also had a doctor's appointment this week. Your heart rate was 152mph.

We are really looking forward to our first shower this weekend. We get to celebrate you with our family and friends from Oklahoma.
Here's what you were up to this week:

Your brain is really beginning to develop into a more complex organ. Up until this point, your brain has been relatively smooth, but beginning this weekyour brain will develop grooves and indentions along its surface. The amount of brain tissue also begins to increase during the 28th week.

The development of hair also continues. Eyebrows and eyelashes are visible, while the hair on your head grows even longer. You are also starting to look a little rounder as the fat storage under the skin continues to develop.

You are about 14 ¼ inches long and weigh in at 2 ½ pounds.

These were my prayers for you this week:

Big ol' happy prayers that your kidney measurements were good and big ol' happy prayers that we didn't get the flu.



Friday, October 9, 2009

Dear Bo, It's been a project kind of week...

27 weeks

We had a fun weekend with friends. We girls pampered ourselves and belatedly celebrated Christine's 30th. Then we all went to a wedding out by the canyon.
I got bit by the project bug this week. Mimi's coming to help with your room so I got busy firming up ideas for burlap curtains, canvases for the wall, and letters for the wall. I'm not a crafty person, but I'm a thrifty person so I decided we could make all of these things ourselves. Daddy wielded the exacto knife and cut stencils for me to do this project on canvases. Then he wielded the knife again to cut out letters from scrapbook paper to make letters like these. I love how the letters turned out:
Getting bit by the project bug is a lot better than getting bit by the bug Daddy got bit by...the flu. Yuck! I've sprayed Lysol like crazy, am staying away from him, and praying we don't get the flu, too!

Mimi's coming today to work on the curtains and see you on Monday at our sonogram. Keep growing! And...please let us see your face on Monday!

This is what you were up to this week:

Around week 11 your eye lids became fused, but around the 27th to 28th week babies can open and close their eyes. You have also developed a regular wake and sleep cycle. You may be experiencing hiccups now as your lungs continue to mature.

You are now 13 ¾ inches long and weigh 2¼ pounds.

These were my prayers for you this week:

That your kidney measurements are good on Monday, that we don't get the flu, that you make a good decision when you choose a wife.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Dear Bo, Good-bye second trimester...

26 weeks

The second trimester is behind us! Two to go!

We did Race for the Cure on Saturday. Daddy ran in the competitive run for 2 special people who have battled cancer then did the walk with me. It was a gorgeous day to be outside. I went shopping for goodies to assemble the hostess gifts for your shower after the race.
Little buddy, more adorable stuff came your way! Your Aunt Szalan and Zanowiak grandparents got us some Aggie will be duded up for awhile.
Sweet Trudy sent you a darling blanket and burp cloths.
And finally your chest of drawers with fresh paint and new drawer pulls and your paci clips:
We had yet another doctor's appointment this week. All was well. Your heart rate was 152 bpm, and you were moving around a lot. We'll see you next on October 12th when they check your kidneys again. Mimi will get to see you, too. I wonder how much you'll have changed from the last sonogram?

Wanted to make some notes about the second trimester so I don't forget:
  • Felt great--loved having my energy back.
  • I netted zero pounds of weight gain the first trimester, but the second trimester hasn't been so kind. I'm still within the guidelines, but the hunger monster has been visiting me. I haven't been as consistent as I hoped with an exercise program, but I've tried to stay active. Along with walking on the treadmill and meeting girlfriends to walk, I hiked and walked Race for the Cure during the second trimester.
  • We still take turns reading to you at night, and we're almost through with the Children's Storybook Bible.
  • We refer to you as "Baby Bo, little buddy, and our little nugget".
This is what you were up to this week:

The development that is occurring at this stage may seem small and insignificant, but it is very important as you begin to prepare for your entry into the world. The nerves in the ears are developing and allowing you to respond more consistently to the sounds that you hear. You are continuing to swallow amniotic fluid which is causing your lungs to develop.

You are approximately 13.38 inches long and weigh 2 pounds.
These were my prayers for you this week:

That the third trimester goes as well as the second. That your kidney fluid levels stay in check, and that my body continues to accomodate you. That we teach you to be a good steward of your time, talents, and monetary blessings.