Back at home

November 28, 2007

We had such a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving. We all packed up and went to West Virginia, where we stayed in a cottage at the Greenbrier. We ate a lot of food, walked around the grounds, toured a giant old Cold War bunker (from 1962-1992 it was prepared to shelter both houses of Congress in case of a nuclear attack!) and had lots of fun with the children. Oh, and Patrick and I discovered a love of checkers, which I let him win once or twice.

I got a miserable cold while we were there, so I didn’t take a whole lot of photos. We did get some nice shots of ourselves and the extended family for Christmas cards, though!

This weekend we’ll be decking the halls for Christmas. (Every other house on our street is already lit up like the Eiffel Tower!)


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2007

We are off to spend a few days with my parents, my sister and her family. I spent all day making pies, which I guess I will have to share with them …

We’re going to New York for Christmas this year! I hope that Champ will be kicking good and hard by then, so that Patrick’s parents can “feel” their grandbaby.

In the meantime, Mike and Mary (Michele too!), here’s a little gift for you. (It takes a minute to load, but it’s worth it!)

12-Week Ultrasound

November 14, 2007

Today was our 12 week ultrasound! The purpose of this scan was to measure the size of the nuchal translucency, a clear part of the back of the baby’s neck. A measurement of 2.5 mm or more may indicate Down syndrome or other complications. Champ’s was well within the normal range at 1.6 mm. Whew!

As soon as the ultrasound tech pushed the wand into my belly, Champ appeared on the screen and threw his (her?) arms and legs up in surprise. The tech moved the wand around a bit, trying to get the right angle to see what she needed to see. During all this, Champ is squirming and waving like crazy.

At one point, he (she?) lifted one hand up to the brow in a little “salute.” I asked if we could get a shot of that, but as the tech went for the button that little arm went right back down. Too bad — it was incredibly cute!

I’m amazed at how much movement is going on in there that I can’t even feel yet. Go baby go!

OK, I think I figured it out!

November 12, 2007

Go here to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. (Press play when the page opens.)

It’s not a thump-thump-thump like you’d expect — more of a whoosha-whoosha-whoosha.

You can hear me and the doctor giggling at the end!

Checkup Number Two

November 12, 2007

Today was the second appointment for Champ and me. It was brief … the doctor listened for a heartbeat, answered a few questions and then we were done.

I remembered this time to bring my voice recorder so that I could get a recording of the heartbeat. I’ll figure out how to post that later.


This week, the baby is about the size of a peach.


In the meantime, here’s the hospital where Champ will most likely be born. Their OB brochure shows what the birthing suites look like. We’ll be touring the place one of these days … I’m eager to see if it looks as nice in person!

On Wednesday we’ll be having our second ultrasound. Champ should be looking a little more like a person and a little less like E.T. this time around.

Even better weekend!

November 11, 2007

I spent my Veteran’s Day weekend with my favorite veteran!

Patrick signed up several weeks ago to run a 5K in Staunton on Saturday. The race wasn’t until 2 in the afternoon, but we left early because he said we were stopping on the way … for a surprise.

It turned out to be the Virginia Safari Park, one of those places where you can drive around and the animals come right up to your window to eat!

It. Was. Awesome.

The first animals we saw were an aggressive gang of llamas, but then there were camels and ostriches and sweet, timid little deer. There were zebras, great big bison, swamp water buffaloes and emus. We got to meet all of them up close and personal (one sneezed/spat on Patrick) and then walk through the petting zoo area where we saw kangaroos, giraffes, lemurs, goats and piggies. We will definitely be going back there with children some time …

Then off to Staunton, where Patrick finished the 5K in less than half the time it took me. Showoff.

By the time we got back home we were starving, so we picked up some Chinese take-out and settled in with Lola (who was fascinated by all the different animal smells on us).

This morning we woke up with an urge to go see a movie. We decided on Bee Movie, which is every bit as cute as it looks!

Then we went to St. Mary’s hospital for a Birthing Expo, where they had lots of vendors explaining why you simply must have their prenatal massage gel or babyproofing products or postpartum Pilates classes. We also sat through a class on the phases of labor, which didn’t give us any new information but was still kind of fun. (They showed a video at the end, but it wasn’t the gory kind. Maybe next time!)

Tomorrow, I have my 12-week checkup at the doctor’s office, and then another ultrasound on Wednesday!


November 4, 2007

Yesterday morning we got up and took Lola to the dog park. She loves running around with the other dogs, and we love bringing her home tired.

She really wanted to catch that brown and white dog.


A moment to rest with Daddy and a new friend.


This was about an hour after we got home.


Then we went mattress shopping to replace the saggy, squeaky, lumpy thing we currently sleep on. We found a perfect, firm-but-not-hard mattress for about half of what we would have paid at the first place we looked. It will be delivered (for free!) in two weeks. Yay!

After that, we had a lovely dinner at Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro. The Ohlers (famous for hosting the Best Wedding Ever, our reason for going to Vermont earlier this year) had surprised us with a gift certificate, so we chowed down on yummy food and big fat slices of cheesecake. We also had fun eavesdropping on the high school kids next to us, who were all decked out for Homecoming and acting very endearingly dorky.

Today, Patrick went out to do boy things and I stayed here to putter around the house. At one point, Lola was barking up a storm in the backyard. That’s not such a surprise — one of her favorite pastimes is sitting at the bottom of the walnut tree and yelling up at the squirrels.

But when I peeked out the bathroom window at her, she was looking down into the mulch and barking. I figured a wiggly earthworm had caught her eye, and I went out to shut her up. As soon as I got close, I heard this squeaky little scream from under her paw.

A moooooole!

“Please, can I eat it?”


The poor mole was unhurt but scared out of his wits. I kept trying to flip it over with a stick and photograph its creepy little feet and nose. But every time it started to flip over, it would scream.

After deciding I was too chicken to kill or remove it, I held Lola off until it had safely burrowed out of site. It’s probably munching away on my tulip bulbs right now, but what’re you gonna do.