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Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Day (Mostly) in Pictures

 We kicked the morning off with a visit to the playground.
 It got chilly fast, so we didn't stay long.
 Making pancakes for brunch with Bampa!
 Football with Daddy!
 Working a puzzle with Uncle Larry--clearly a hilarious activity!
 Playing the Curious George match game with Nan.
 Playing cards (or napping) after dinner.
 What an excellent family picture!  This was only take #2!

The Belly Report: 1/3 Finished!

We are twelve weeks along!!!  I am starting my second trimester this week (the thirteenth week) :)  The baby is now the size of a lime--oh, how I wish I could have a margarita ;)

I'm feeling better in the sense that I have a bit more energy and my appetite is regulating a little...  Greasy food and my original stand-bys still sound the best most of the time.  My symptoms are staying the same mostly.  Heartburn is increasing a bit, and I noticed over the last week that my hips start to hurt if I sit in the same position for a long time.  My arms are also falling asleep during the night when I sleep on my side with my arm bent...  Weird!  I think the mantra of this pregnancy is definitely going to be how fast everything seems to be showing up this time around...

I have gone shopping ON Black Friday before, but never in true Black Friday fashion where I get up early and go when the stores open.  This year stores opened at 9pm and midnight, and that sounded WAY more appealing!  I'd rather stay up late than get up in the middle of the night.  I wanted to head to Kohl's to check out the maternity clothes.  Mom was more than happy to go with me, and Larry offered to be our chauffeur!  He was awesome!  I would highly recommend hiring him for your Black Friday outing next year :)  We had a really fun time, but the two stores we went into at the mall were plenty for us.  As I found out last time, maternity pants are amazingly comfortable--they are not failing to disappoint this time ;)

Our baby has reflexes now!  According to what I've read, if I poke my belly, the baby will squirm in return, but I won't be able to feel it.  Fun!  I CANNOT wait until I can feel him/her kick!!!  Our baby's face looks more like you would expect, and his/her eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his/her face.  Now our baby measures just over two inches long and weight half an ounce!  How can something this small make all of these changes?!?!?!

Last time we were pregnant we referred to the baby as Sam while it was in utero.  We like the name Sam a lot, but Sam Smith doesn't sound like our cup of tea.  We wanted to do something similar this time, so we will go with Sammy.  Still could be male or female, but it seemed weird to "re-use" the same nickname...  So, from now on the baby will be referred to as Sammy :)

Flashbacks: With a Lime, Please!
Prego Pants are Fantastic!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jackson's Big Boy Room!!!

Our transition to a Big Boy Bed began unexpectedly while we were on vacation at Virginia Beach when Jackson outgrew the Pack-n-Play.  I am SOOO glad I was "forced" into just diving in since I was a bit nervous about this transition.  Jackson still LOVED his crib, and that wasn't a problem.  But, if we wanted to continue our flexibility with travel and sleeping away from home, we needed to be able to have Jackson just sleep in a big bed.  He did AWESOME!  This made me very un-nervous about the actual transition at home!

We made our soft deadline Thanksgiving since we'd be spending that in Evanston at Mimi and Bampa's, and the Pack-n-Play wasn't an option anymore.  Josh decided to build Jackson's bed!!!  It turned out fabulously--Jackson LOVES his bed that Daddy built :D

After Josh finished building the bed, we painted it all white and I stenciled in the colored letters at the foot of the bed spelling out Jackson's name.
 I had plenty of extra decals from when we set up Jackson's room in May, so I just did a little adding and rearranging to complete the decorations.
Jackson feels so special that Daddy made him a super special bed--he LOVES his new room :)
The bed compliments Jackson's rocket ship bookcase quite well :)  I am SO happy with the final product--the room looks so different a good way!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Football, yummy food cooking and making the house smell good, and my two guys :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Talented, Talented Husband

 I am LOVING Josh's new hobby of woodworking!  It's not a brand new hobby: we designed and built our own wall-sized entertainment center when we moved into our house in Crystal Lake.  Right when we moved into our new house, Josh built himself a work bench to keep in the garage.  He has found lots of good ideas on this website: Ana White: Homemaker
 Josh built the Rocket Bookcase for Jackson's birthday!  Jackson LOVED his special present :)
 I got to help with the painting and lettering :)
As Josh and I were talking about setting up Jackson's Big Boy Room, we came across the plan for a Twin Farmhouse Bed!  Josh decided to tackle it, and he did an amazing job!  What a special piece of furniture :)
I can't wait to see what "we" build next ;)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Belly Report: Ultrasound #2!

Only one week until we head home to Evanston for FOUR weeks!!!  We are eleven weeks along and our baby is about the size of a fig: just over 1 1/2 inches long--still so tiny!  But this tiny person is BUSY--his/her hands will begin to open and close into fists soon, tiny tooth buds are forming under the gums, and some bones are starting to harden!  He/She already spends time kicking and stretching--I can't wait to feel all of that!

This week was really busy!  We had our second doctor's appointment Wednesday morning, and we got to have another ultrasound!!!  Dr. Hibshman found the heartbeat easily, and when we looked at it on the screen it looked like two tiny hand clapping :)  Everything looked great during the visit, and I got a LOAD of blood drawn!  We met with the insurance coordinator and decided we would go ahead and have a scheduled C-section.  A vaginal birth is a possibility, but there is a long list of complications.  Obviously there are risks with any major surgery, but we would rather just start with that route rather than possibly go through a long labor ending in an emergency C-section--that just increases the risks.  As long as everything goes as planned, the planned surgery would be scheduled about a week before my estimated due date, so June 3rd would be that date!  SOOO exciting to think about :)

On Thursday I saw the eye doctor and the dentist and on Saturday we headed out of Dumfries at 4:20am Eastern time and arrived in Evanston just before 3:00pm Central time.  We had a really good drive: good weather, good travelers, and good traffic :)  Jackson was THRILLED to finally be in Evanston at Mimi and Bampa's house!!!

Flashback: How Big is a Fig?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Bear

I am a little behind this year on my Pumpkin Bear post, but here it is, better late than never!!!
 Josh bought Pumpkin Bear for Jackson while we were still in the hospital!  Here is their first meeting when Jackson was four days old!
 November 1, 2009: Jackson is just over one year old!
 November 1, 2010: Jackson is just over two years old!
November 18, 2011: Jackson is just over three years old!

And, some bonus silly pictures:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Meemaw Reunites with Pawpaw

Unfortunately, I don't have a very happy reason as to why I haven't posted in a while.  This past Sunday, Josh and I got text messages early in the morning letting us know that his grandma, Dottie/Meemaw, was in the ICU and didn't have much longer to live.  We were surprised by this news, and immediately started packing to leave for Covington.  We have amazing neighbors who took care of Paxton at the last minute allowing us to go dog-free.  We got to the hospital Sunday afternoon and got to peek in on Meemaw.  Apparently she had a stroke Saturday evening and had bleeding in her brain.  We knew she was on the verge of needing some more assistance in terms of her living situation, but we didn't expect anything like this at this point.  Josh stayed at the hospital with his aunts, uncles, and other family members and good friends.  Jackson and I headed to Meemaw's house to get settled in and have a nap.  We went back to the hospital after naptime to meet up with Josh and the rest of the family.  Some more family members had arrived, and we all headed out for dinner.  I know so many people that say the same thing, but it was really nice to get to visit with family members we don't see often, even though the circumstances weren't very happy.  We weren't really sure what the next steps were for Meemaw, but Josh, Uncle Larry, and Aunt Jeannie were going to meet with the social worker in the morning to discuss Hospice options.
I LOVE this picture of Meemaw and Pawpaw!  SO sweet!
The decision of what to do next was made about 2:30 Monday morning when Dottie (Meemaw) passed peacefully away.  Neither Josh nor I had really slept much, and then Larry called around 2 saying there was only an hour or so left.  Josh went right to the hospital and he, Larry, and Jeannie were all there when she passed.  Josh got back home around 4:30 and we just both stayed awake.  Jackson decided to join us an hour later, so it was an early start for us all...  Josh and Larry spent the morning running around making arrangements.  There was availability at the funeral home, church, and cemetery allowing us to have the visitation Tuesday evening and the funeral Wednesday afternoon.
Dottie and Jeannie
Ronnie (Josh's dad), Dottie, and Pawpaw

Josh, Dottie, Larry, and Jeannie

We used the time in between the events to visit with family members and friends of Meemaw.  She certainly was a well-loved woman both in the family and in her church :)  I know Josh and I have both found peace in the fact that she is now reunited with both Pawpaw and Josh's dad, Ronnie.  Josh and I also were able to start making some progress on the house. We got lots of sorting done and it looks like the plan is to place the house on the market this coming spring.

Meemaw and Jackson
This was quite a challenging time for our little family within the larger Smith clan.  Josh rose to the challenge for sure.  He was quite amazing to watch.  He was the perfect mix of strength, compassion, help, love, and concern.  He filled the roles of grandson, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, father, husband, and friend.  He jumped right in and helped make decisions and just got a lot of things done!  I struggled as I tried to completely support him while also taking care of Jackson.  I know that was important since the happier he was the more productive Josh and I could be, BUT I couldn't help but feel I wasn't doing enough.  I think we did ok, in the end :)
Dottie and some members of her church family (Peggy Yancey is in the pink shirt in the middle of the back row and Ed is right next to her)
The Yancey family was indispensable during our time in Covington.  Joe's mom, dad, grandma, and sister and her family live in Covington.  Joe was away for work, but Susie and Rachel came right down to support us.  Susie kept Jackson a couple of different times and shuttled him around--so helpful!  Joe's sister, Erin, kept Rachel and Jackson (along with her own son, Brayden) the night of the visitation.  Having Susie at the visitation was really nice.  It was wonderful having one of my best friends right there as a friendly face to focus on.  I know Jackson had a much better time playing with his friends at his "jammy party" than he would have at the funeral home.  On Wednesday, Jackson played at Joe's mom and dad's house and then napped while the rest of us were at the funeral.  Again, so helpful to have him otherwise occupied and on a "normal" schedule!
A few years ago, Larry and Murph took Dottie and Goldie on a resort vacation!  They had a great time--good memories!
The service at the church was really very nice.  The pastor is a very nice man, and he had lots of nice things to say about Dottie.  Josh, Josh's cousin, Danny, and a couple of ladies from Dottie's Sunday School class spoke and told some funny stories.  It was a gorgeous fall day, so our time at the cemetery was quite pleasant.  The flowers sent in memory of Dottie were all beautiful! After the cemetery we went back to the church where there was a yummy meal served for family and friends.  It was nice to have that chance to chat and visit with each other. 

We stuck around Covington most of Thursday before having an early dinner at our favorite non-Lou-Malnati's pizza spot.  Jackson was a trooper while Josh and I were busy with "business" things--it really was a blessing that he had a few opportunities to play with friends.  Things certainly will be different now that Meemaw is no longer with us, but we all know that she is more comfortable and in a happy place :)

The pictures in this post are from the amazing photo montage Josh created in memory of Dottie.  He created an amazing photo montage that played at the visitation and after the church service.  He found quite the collection of photos and got it all together in a very short amount of time!
The Benson Sisters: Lil, Dottie, Bettie, and Patti
A more updated picture of the four sisters :)

The Belly Report: Ten Weeks!

On Sunday we celebrated reaching double digits with this pregnancy--ten weeks!!!  The past week was a rough one since it's the week that Dottie/Meemaw passed away :(  We had planned on telling Josh's family soon, but this was clearly a good time to announce a little distraction.  The news spread pretty quickly, and that was a little weird having some people we didn't know or barely knew find out before good friends at home.  I CANNOT wait to get home to tell the rest of our good friends and family!!!

Jackson is absolutely A.DOR.ABLE about the baby in Mommy's tummy :)  Most chances he gets he points to my belly and asks, "Mommy, baby still in your belly?"  We have talked about how the baby isn't coming out yet because it needs to grow and get healthy before it can come out.  Periodically he says, "Baby will walk?  Baby will talk?  I remind him that the baby won't be able to walk or talk right away.  We talk about the things that would be nice and gentle.  Every few days Jackson's answer as to whether he wants a baby sister or a baby brother changes...maybe that's good since we can't really do anything about it now!  He is going to be SUCH a good big brother!!!

On a brighter note, we had an excellent doctor appointment today!!!  Dr. Hibshman did another ultrasound (YAY!) and we saw a bigger blob--the heartbeat was easier for me to see this time.  It looked like tiny hand clapping really fast :)  We also made sure there was just one heartbeat...  LOL  I feel like everything is going faster and happening sooner this time around--I just started panicking that there were twins in there!!!  I only gained two pounds which bodes well for heading to Chicago to kick off the holiday season...  HA!

Our baby is the size of a kumquat now!  He/She is about an inch long and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce--how can something THIS small make me feel SO different???  CRAZY!  This tiny thing is busy too: this is the beginning of the fetal period when tissues and organs grow quickly and mature.  The kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver are starting to function already!  If we could see that closely, we could see finger and toe nails and peach fuzz growing on his/her skin.  His/Her limbs can bend and the outline of the spine is visible.  For some reason all of the development milestones are more amazing to me this time...

Flashback: Double Digits!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tour of 1200 Davis St.!

I could not WAIT to get a tour of the new location for Roycemore!!!  My dad has been CRAZY busy pulling together all of the details, overseeing the construction progress, and planning the logistics for the big move over Winter Break!  We got to tour the building before Thanksgiving, but I couldn't post this picture (which I LOVE) since I look pregnant already!  So, here is the report and a couple of pictures!  I would be so excited if I was a teacher at Roycemore--these classrooms look AMAZING!  They are all big, have excellent storage cabinets and counters, and they all have a painted accent wall!  "Huge project" doesn't even really begin to cover this transition, but it is going to be SO worth it!  There will be tons more parking complete with underground parking garage!!!  The garage will also include the car line for the Early Childhood Programs--parents will love that convenience.  Basically, the school is going to show SO well: elevator access, brand new bathrooms and locker rooms, floor to ceiling windows in the majority of rooms, gorgeous science labs, more "stylish" cafeteria space, and just more space for everything!  I am SO excited for this next step for Roycemore :)
Josh, Jackson, Uncle Larry, and Dad in the BRAND NEW REGULATION SIZE GYM!!!  This is HUGE!