Wednesday, January 30, 2008

It's a girl!

Well, I was wrong!

Went to the ultrasound today and found out that we are expecting a little girl! She was really uncooperative and was butt-up the entire time. The tech was able to get good pictures of her body, though, and we looked at her little feet, kidneys, umbilical cord and other things. It was so cool! I asked her at the end if it would be possible to find out the sex, and she said the baby was also sitting with its legs crossed, but a few pokes later, she saw what she needed to see, I guess, and said it was definitely a girl!

So excited!

Of course, the important thing was that everything looked healthy -- we weren't able to see the heart because of the baby's position, and the tech said she would have liked to have a better picture of the spine.

During the follow-up appointment with the doctor, I learned that I was measuring big and that could mean a little bit of an early entrance for our baby girl, maybe a week... But, she said we'll just watch it in the next few months and see if anything changes.

I have two adorable pictures of our little girl, but I don't have a scanner and taking a picture of a picture doesn't seem to be working. I will scan it in tomorrow at work. For now, you'll just have to take my word for it -- she's adorable!

- Bethany :)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Two more days!!!

I know I sound like a broken record, but we are SO excited for the ultrasound on Wednesday. (The ultrasound is at 9:30 a.m. followed by a doctor's appointment at 10:30 p.m.)

Things did a get more complicated last week, though, when I found out that Ray can't make it to clinic with me. Turns out he has a conflict with a class for work and just can't get out of it. By the time I found out, I couldn't change the appointment without waiting another 3-4 weeks. And, well, I don't want to wait any longer than I have to (you can insert a whine here, if you want). So, I'm going alone. I do feel bad, considering that he hasn't missed any appointments yet, and now he'll miss the "biggee" -- but as he said yesterday, "There will be plenty of opportunities to see the baby once he or she comes out of you." (Thanks to Ray for the reminder about how this all ends, or begins, depending on your perspective...)

I decided to take Wednesday off of work. With the appointments in the morning and having to get the car fixed that afternoon (just getting a hose replaced, nothing big), I decided I could use a day off. Also Ray is a bit worried that I just might let any news that I learn Wednesday slip to someone other than him first, so he is also confiscating the cell phone Wednesday, at least until I meet him after the clinic appointment. So, he's going to make sure he's the second to know! I don't blame him.

Mostly, we're hoping, of course, that Baby is healthy and on track, etc. Of course, we want to find out the gender -- any guesses beforehand? Bethany thinks Baby is a boy. Ray still says girl.

Hard to believe that's it's just a few more days 'til we know for sure... The waiting reminds me of when I was really little and my two brothers shared a room. They slept in twin beds next to one another, but there was a table between them, so there was always enough space in the middle, on the floor, that I would camp out on the carpet -- we usually just did that for Christmas Eve and the nights before a trip.

This is like waiting for Christmas.
- Bethany :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lost Forty


Ray and I decided to enjoy the above-zero weather this weekend and spend Sunday afternoon snowshoeing around the Lost Forty, a 140-acre site in the Chippewa National Forest that has untouched red and white pine trees. In short, basically a surverying error in the 1800s marked the entire area as under water, so loggers never intruded on the area.

We learned several things during our two-hour adventure. First, my car gets stuck in snow quite easily -- and Bethany should never be in charge of steering it when trying to get it out. Secondly, we need to buy poles to accompany the snoeshoes. Badly.

We had a very nice time out on the trail. I, particularly, enjoyed watching Ray lose his balance, fall and slide down a very steep hill. Well, I at least thought it was funny until I had my own mishap on another hill about one-quarter mile later.

As the photo indicates, the trees were absolutely breathtaking. They were huge. A co-worker friend of Ray's said you could tie three of him side-by-by-side and the tree trunks would still be thicker -- he was right. These trees were huge. And, I, after many years of trying to tell the difference, finally learned the difference between a red and white pine.

It was a beautiful day to be outside and we didn't see anyone else while we were out hiking -- which was appreciated consideringn our frequent missteps and falls. Nothing bad, if anyone is wondering. We just lost out footing a few times.

We snowshoed about two miles maybe, and were outside for about two hours. We figured we could have actually hiked the trail in one-tenth the time, without snowshoes, but I don't think we would have had QUITE so much fun.

All in all, it was good day.

So, no baby news today. I'll probably post something new tomorrow - Monday - before the ultrasound on Wednesday.

Wishing everyone a good week!
- Bethany :)

A snow day


It is remarkably more difficult to get posed correctly for a timed camera shot when you are wearing snowshoes. Believe it or not, this was the sixth shot I tried -- and the best of the bunch. But, it's proof that we're using - and enjoying - our snowshoes!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Little butterflies

It finally happened! We felt the baby for the first time last night.

I came home late from work (council meeting) and sat down on the couch and soon felt these strange little feelings in my lower tummy. I put my feet up and sure enough, s/he was just flip-flopping and somersaulting away. She kept it up for about 30-40 minutes or so. Then, s/he took a little break and started up again for another 15 minutes. It was amazing.

Of course, I knew that Ray would think I was nuts, so I told him to feel and while I don't think he could feel quite everything like I could, he could tell something was different. It was surreal, that's for sure.

S/he started doing her acrobatics in the middle of one of our favorite shows ("Boston Legal"), so that was kind of funny.

But, it was certainly one of the most amazing things ever!
- Bethany :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Reflections

I'm either getting bored or getting a bit more used to this blogging thing. Either way, here's another update for anyone interested. No topic in particular, just some overall thoughts that keep running through my mind (maybe if I post them, I'll be able to get them out of my head).

I sometimes can't believe how much things can change so quickly. It was just about one year ago that Ray and I started taking up "winter hiking" as we were going stir crazy in the apartment. Little did I know at the time that it wasn't the apartment, but the Twin Cities that was driving us nutty. It wasn't too long after January that things got, well, interesting, for me at work and we began to look at other options. There was a time a few years back that Ray and I set a long-term goal to retire, or somehow eventually end up in Ely, Minn., and while I haven't really asked him, I know that he is loving Bemidji and those plans are probably on hold for the time being.

Ray and I are both blessed to have caring parents. Ray's parents have come up and visited a few times earlier this year -- and my parents made a repeat visit this past weekend. Talk about an ability to pick them! We woke up Saturday to - 20-something degrees and Sunday was just a few degrees warmer. Welcome to Brrrrmidji, I guess. Snowshoeing was out, but we had a blast going to the local shops (we found the nicest little bakery) and went bowling. OK, if you hadn't heard, the highlight of the afternoon was when Ray, who hadn't closed out a frame all game, bowled a turkey in the 10th frame (three consecutive strikes) -- it was hilarious. Too bad for him it didn't carry over to the second game... We had a great time, and time went too quickly, as usual. Just two more weeks until we visit the Cities (Ray is so looking forward to making that drive again).

On the baby front, this second trimester thing is interesting, to say the least. I really kind of forget that I'm pregnant sometimes. Not really, but I don't "feel" pregnant. I'm not sick, not anymore tired than usual. Then, I look in the mirror or Ray sees me from the side and you remember, "Oh yeah, that's why I feel fat." (Speaking of which, I tried to have Ray take a "belly shot" yesterday, but I couldn't bring myself to post it. Maybe later this week...) Granted, it's not like I was ever a supermodel or anything, but it's emotionally very difficult to outgrow your pants, especially after you've recently lost a pretty good amount of weight. But I digress.

On the plus side, I have a happier husband since I started cooking on a regular basis. I know, who'd have thunk? I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. But I do like having "real" food on the weekends, and Ray is even starting to experiment with leftovers at work (how the boy got through life without having to eat any leftovers is beyond me -- I swear, he would be content with having just corn dogs and french fries for lunch the rest of his life, if I would let him). Finding foods we agree on is difficult. Very difficult.

We have made some progress on the nursery front, although not in the actual space of the nursery if that makes sense. Basically, we've talked about wanting to do a northwoods theme, with the animals that you might see in the Minnesota wilderness, but this weekend we actually bought some stuff (thanks also to Grandma and Grandpa!) But, we got three little pillows with a baby wolf, moose and turtle). My aunt is also making an accompanying quilt featuring baby animals, including deer, bears and foxes. So cute! Now, we just have to actually do something with the second bedroom, as in move out the old and get going on the walls.

In other news:

-- The husband would be upset if I didn't say that he thoroughly enjoyed the Giants-Packers game last night. Now, he's just hoping Brett Favre will (finally) retire, but who knows. Either way, the football season has taken a little bit of a nicer turn for Ray.

-- I had just finally fallen asleep last night when every smoke alarm in the house went off. Still don't know what caused it. Malfunction, I suppose. By the time Ray got to his feet, the alarms were silent again. Whatever. So, I spent the next 30 minutes tossing and turning. That was fun. I think if there is one thing I miss most about being not pregnant, it was the ability to fall asleep immediately when my head hit the pillow. I don't like waiting to fall asleep. All you're doing is wasting time during which you could be sleeping. (Ooh, but I have found that Breath Rights are a godsend for wives whose husbands keep them awake at night.)

-- Ultrasound reminder: We got in next Wednesday, Jan. 30. We really hope it is a "productive" appointment, but as long as everybody still is healthy, we'll be happy.

Thanks for reading, as always.
- Bethany :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This is us...


OK, first time picture post, let's see how this goes...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Name Debate

I've been pregnant for 16, almost 17, weeks now yet we've been having this argument for eight years. I don't mind sharing the names that we've chosen -- they're the names we've agreed upon. I know some people don't share the names because they don't like getting feedback from friends or relatives, or they're afraid that someone might (insert scream here) "steal" their precious name. That's just not us.

But, before I tell you the names, let me explain the history of the Great Name Debate.

For the handful of you who may not know this, Ray (Raymond) is named after his father, Ray (Raymond) -- although they do have different middle names. From the moment I met Ray eight years ago he has never hidden the fact that he wanted to name his son Raymond as well. Have I resisted this? Yes. It's not because I don't like his name, I do, but it just creates a few complications, in my own opinion.

But, eight years ago, the idea of kids was never really on our minds, so we just ignored the topic. Fast-forward a few years and Ray and I decide to buy a kitten. I name the kitten Orion after one of my nicknames for Ray. Here, I thought that might settle the debate once and for all. But, Ray of course thought (rightfully so, in retrospect) that there was a difference between a cat and a son. (In case you are wondering, the cat was eventually "inherited" by Ray's parents.)

So the debate continued. Ray swears that I have promised him more than once that he could name his son Raymond. And, since he actually has me saying this on tape (long story involving a new mini cassette recorder that I got for work and a tape I made him for one of his long football bus trips), I can't really deny this.

Meanwhile, I told him that I wanted to name my daughter after my grandmothers. He thought this was sweet and all until he realized that my maternal grandmother's name was made infamous by a band called The Kinks.

So, we were at a stalemate.

A while back, I can't remember when, but I wasn't yet pregnant, I offered this deal: He can name his son Raymond, but he would be called by his middle name (yet to be decided at that point) if I could name my daughter after my grandmothers. We agreed. (We probably even "pinky" swore as that was our thing back then.)

Once I got pregnant, things escalated a bit. And, I knew that we had to agree on names before the ultrasound. (If it is revealed to be a boy, I knew that Ray would say, "Well I would have let you name the girl (after your grandmother), so you have to let me name him Raymond." If it is a girl, I knew he would just dig his heels in on the girl's name.)

But, we finally agreed this week on the names, as originally proposed.

Boy: Raymond Robert Wesley (we would call him Robert or Robbie)
Girl: Lola Elizabeth Wesley

I love the name Robert, so I really do love the name choices. Ray likes Lola because it means so much to me. So, really, even though we've gone around and around on this, these are the names that we really love.

Of course, we could always change our minds later, as that does tend to happens from time to time with us.

Stay tuned.
- Bethany :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

An unexciting update...

How's that for a catchy headline? :) What can I say; I just wrote four stories in the last 90 minutes and I'm tired of being creative! But, I have about 15 minutes before I head to a council meeting, so I figured I would try to add something to my blog (no pictures again, the camera somehow ended up in Raymond's work buddy's truck for the weekend, so we'll try again this week -- if I get my camera back!).

No baby news, really. I keep HOPING that I'll feel some movement, but what's that old saying? A watched pot never boils? (Or, in our house, a pot of water that Bethany puts on the stove doesn't boil -- this stems from a pot of potatoes that never boiled because I put the pot on the wrong burner, but that's another story from the Cooking with Bethany series, for another blog.)

So, we're now in week 17 (meaning, for those who have asked, I am finished with 16 weeks and now just starting week 17 -- they switch on Sundays). Just 3.5 weeks until the ultrasound. About 3.5 months until we get motivated on the nursery... OK, hopefully not, but that project is not moving forward in leaps and bounds, to say the lease.

We, at least, got the whole house clean this weekend (Raymond had to give up previous video game time to do so, but it was much appreciated). So, now the next project will be the extra room and finding room to store all the stuff stuffed under the bed that we need to get rid of... Sigh. It's all very overwhelming.

But, my closet had to be rearranged this week this week to make room for baby stuff, which was completely exciting! I got ride of some old clothes and found that I needed about a foot of hanging space to hang some really cute little outfits and accessories. I also have a growing pile of baby books and other fun items.

Myself, I haven't been able to actually buy anything. Maybe after the ultrasound, when I see the little guy/gal on screen.

Speaking of which, Ray already is questioning my parental decision-making skills. OK, so we REALLY want to be able to tell the baby's gender at the ultrasound. Well, I read online that the best way to make sure that happens is to make sure that the baby is active and moving around, allowing for different views of his/her body. So, there were moms-to-be who said they made sure this happened by drinking a little caffeine and having some sugar before the appointment. Sounds good to me! But, while Ray certainly wants to know the gender also, he doesn't necessarily agree with the method.

One of these days I'll post about the Great Name Debate, as I call it. But, since new developments happen daily, I don't want to get into it until I have a handle on what Ray wants to do. But, as a slight hint, the names will be decided upon before the ultrasound.

Have a good week!
- Bethany :)

Monday, January 7, 2008

'Pop' goes the weasel...

I suppose it was inevitable. I sort of "popped" this weekend. It was so funny. For the last few weeks, I've had this little bump, only really visible to Ray and me. Friday night, Ray and and I were relaxing at home, playing video games and watching TV. He ended the night like every one, just kissing my belly, saying goodnight and telling him/her about his mommy and daddy. Then came Saturday. I woke up and lounged on the couch for a little bit before going to take a bath. And, oh my gosh. It was like the belly doubled in size overnight. Seriously. Even Ray was gaping at me a bit. If was pretty strange, but necessary I suppose.

Besides that, not much new on the baby front. We got a big chunk of cleaning done this weekend at home - yea! Was so weird to (finally) put Christmas things away and thinking that next year we're going to need another stocking.

Ray thinks I'm crazy (a common thought lately), but I could have sworn I felt the baby move Friday. S/he probably found the season three finale of "Lost" to be as exciting as I did... But, really, I felt something! OK, probably not, but it was excited to think about it soon. I read that you usually feel movement between weeks 18-20 and I'm in week 16 now... Not too long! :)

I finally feel like "me" again -- which is greatly appreciated. OK, the smell of guacamole is still impossible to stomach, but other than that, I'm doing well. I had energy all weekend and an appetite, so that was good. (I made dinner for Ray all by myself on Saturday -- and not frozen pizza. I made Italian sausage with peppers, onions and potatoes. Don't laugh. It was a big deal in our house, seriously, especially since it was edible!)

I am kind of bummed today, but mainly due to a lack of math skills. I thought our ultrasound, scheduled for Jan. 30, was three weeks from Wednesday and it's really four. Stupid months with five weeks in the time. Screws me up. Oh well, either way, it's coming soon! Ray is convinced the baby is a girl, but everyone else seems to think boy. Hopefully, we'll be able to find out soon.

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

We heard our baby for the first time today.

We had an appointment this morning and the doctor was able to locate the baby and we could (finally) hear his/her heartbeat. First, she pointed out my heartbeat (a louder, slower beat) and a few moments later found the baby’s (a much quicker, softer thump-thump-thump sound). It was pretty cool, I must say.

Ray has quite a few new nicknames for me, one of which is Chicken Little – I guess he thinks I always think the worst is going to happen or is happening. So, in true Chicken Little spirit, I was a bit nervous at the onset of the appointment as it took her a few moments to find the baby's heartbeat. She said I had gotten bigger, and I looked good so she wasn’t overly concerned, but I kind of think that even the doctor seemed a bit relieved after hearing the heartbeat (Ray would disagree with this assessment).

Either way, it was a quite comforting - and amazing - sound!

The entire appointment lasted about 10-15 minutes and concluded with me inquiring as to my weight situation. After a glance at my chart, the doctor told me I had actually lost 2 pounds since my last visit one month ago (oops). She gave me some pointers about gaining calories (drinking pop!) and said the main thing was to keep the prenatal vitamins down, even if I am feeling nauseas.

We are scheduled for an ultrasound and a third appointment on Jan. 30. With luck, we might be able to find out the sex of the baby that day – keep your fingers crossed that s/he doesn’t keep his/her legs crossed!!!

Thanks for checking on us,
Bethany :)