Here we are at almost 20 weeks (19 weeks, 4 days)!! The little guy is kicking around like crazy now. It seems he gets stronger every day. Our 20 week appointment is on Wednesday and I'm anxious to see what my belly measures in at! Some things are starting to get a little bit more difficult to do, reaching down for things and sitting comfortably are quickly becoming more of a pain but other than that I feel amazing. Now, if I could only find some cute maternity clothes!!
I'm not sure that anyone else will appreciate this as much as I do. Funny story, when I was about ten my sister, Michelle, triple-dog dared me to do the exact same thing as the young man in the above story, and all because of that damn movie. Needless to say I was so freaked out when my tongue actually stuck to the street sign that I just tore it off. I later found out that a little warm water would have cured by predicament. 'Til this day there is still a piece of my tongue on the street sign that marks my parents corner. Let this be a lesson learned, trip-dog dares are incredibly dangerous!!
*Crazy little coincidence that the above story hails from Hammond, IN, which just so happens to be where I was born and lived for the first few years of my life.*
18 weeks is here, and so is our fifth month! I'm not nearly as big as I expected to be. I think it's possible that I had built it up in my head that I was going to put on all of this weight, and I'm actually below the curve with weight gain at this point. I'm really good about eating fresh fruits and veggies. In fact, I prefer them. I bought my first "pregnancy food" just two days ago, needed chocolate ice cream in the fridge for some reason. Had a few spoonfuls and I was finished with it.
The only side effect of this pregnancy that I just can't get used to is the dizziness. Any time I go to stand the room starts spinning. I've had to be very careful to stand and sit-up at the pace of a snail. I'm also to the point where I absolutely cannot be on my back at all. Pregnant women aren't supposed to sleep on their backs because the weight of the baby/uterus applies pressure to major arteries that run down your spine and quickly lowers your blood pressure. My doctor told me a minute or two to stretch (which I love doing) would be just fine. I just can't do it. The dizzy spells are quite annoying. The little aches are a piece of cake compared to my inconsistent equilibrium! What a pain. Our next appointment is on the 28th. We'll see if this little guy and I are going to slip into a growth spurt sometime soon.
As week 17 arrived I started feeling little flutters in my belly. I think I mentioned before that our last ultrasound confirmed that what I was feeling was in fact little Michael. They've become consistently harder in the last week or so and I'm noticing it particularly in one spot (lower right quadrant). I wouldn't say I'm feeling kicking necessarily, just some movement. I'm looking forward to that first POW he delivers to me! Oh, how I can't wait!!
As I had posted previously, Dennis' club volleyball team participated in a tournament last weekend. Some last minute details were changed. We were unable to get into the tournament in Dewitt, so instead traveled to Sterling, IL to partake in a day of volleyball festivities. We did start our travels on Friday night, and shacked up with Danielle to cut our drive in half for Sunday. We had a blast with DL. We had dinner at this pub called Kelley's in Davenport and then headed to the District for Dennis' favorite daiquiri at The Daiquiri Factory!! It's amazing how much fun they pack into a 16 oz. frothy beverage. It was a great night of catching up and relaxing with Danielle. We were up at 5:30 to make our way to Sterling. Dennis' assistant wasn't able to make it to the tournament, so I offered up my services considering I spent many of my teen days on a volleyball court and traveling from one tournament to another with my two club teams. The day got off to a rough start considering we were tossed into the tourney literally the day before. But, the day quickly became hours upon hours of volleyball fun. Our girls improved game to game and ended up heading to the championship match where they fell to the Bettendorf Black 13 team. So, in the first tournament of the year we took 2nd and walked out of there with a piece of hardware!! Many of the parents took pics, I will do my best to get one up on here when I get my hands on one or two. We have a couple weeks of practice to get ready for our next tournament. We host the Rocket Blast on the 25th, where teams will travel to Iowa City from all over the midwest to compete. Should be a good time. If you wanna see some good volleyball we have plenty of room for visitors!! Go RoCkEtS!!
Why Michael Lincoln you may ask? Well, let me tell you...
Naming our little boy may have been the easiest task concerning this entire pregnancy! When Dennis and I began discussing names I simply asked him if he could name his son anything what would it be. He quickly replied with "Michael". The wonderful thing about this is that I have always said I will name my first son Michael. It just so happens that we wanted to name our first born after the men who have influenced our lives the most. Both Dennis' dad and my brother share the name Michael, and so he was named. Convenient and smooth!! Dennis has a wonderful relationship with his dad, one I'm sure he hopes to have with our son. Not to mention, Mike has been incredibly helpful in guiding Dennis in I in the many details involved with starting a family. We respect him immensely, and know more than anything that he will be a fantastic grandfather to our son.
On the other hand, I wanted to name our peanut after my brother for many, many reasons! Michael (my brother) has always been the man in my life. There I was the oldest of four girls when he came into the world, and I wanted nothing more than to be a big sister to a little guy. Michael and I have an incredible relationship, one I couldn't explain to you. What I can tell you is yes, my brother may only be 14, but he has been my best friend since he was born. He has taught me patience, understanding, and that perspective is the key to resolving situations. He is everything I would want in a son, eager and full of life. But, more importantly he respects women in such a way one cannot teach. It quickly became a part of who he was growing up in a house full of strong-willed women, and it will make him a better man. He is looking forward to becoming an uncle and having someone younger than him he can play ball with!!
When it came to giving our Michael a middle name I was quick to offer Lincoln. Dennis didn't object. Both Dennis and I are Republicans and proud of it. I wanted our son to have a strong name. One he would appreciate when he was old enough to understand why we went down the path we did when naming him. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president of this union, was a man who knocked down barriers and fought against what may have been popular at the time for what was right. I'm not going to give you a history lesson on Lincoln here, but I will tell you that what this man did for our country has you and I where we are today.
So, there you have it. Michael Lincoln. Not to mention, his initials will be MLB... is it baseball season yet?!
Dennis recently took up coaching girls' club volleyball. That's right, I said it. Thirteen year olds in fact, and they love him. I bring this up because his 13 Gold team has their first tournament this weekend in Dewitt, IA. I tagged along to practice last week and had the privilege of sitting among the moms who travel long distances just to make sure their daughters get in the two hour practice. While sitting with these proud women I heard nothing but praise for Dennis and how excited they are to see a coach with such enthusiasm. Now, I've played for a club coach or two in my day, I would have loved to have played for Dennis. He lights a fire under some of these girls you simply wouldn't see if they were being coached by someone else. I hope these girls catch his true love for the sport. If you want to keep tabs on how Den and the 13 Gold Rockets are doing you can take a peek at www.iowarockets.com.
A healthy, active baby boy!! There he was in all his glory!! Not shy to share with us what we should expect in June. On Friday we had our full anatomy ultrasound, which is typically done around week 20, but because I was having an issue they decided to go ahead and push it up a few weeks. Once I was in the clear our sonographer (chipper she was) made her way down the checklist with the baby. Heart... check. Brain... check. Limbs... check. And, so on and so forth. Everything right where it needs to be, and working just as it should. The heart rate was again in the 150s, and this little guy was moving around like Dennis does on the dance floor. When asked if we wanted to know the sex I answered with a high pitched "yes" and before you knew it there he was. I believe our sonographer's exact words were, "Well, he isn't a shy one is he?" He moved so quickly we weren't able to snap a picture to prove it to you, but I'm sure we'll get one here in a few weeks. We were given lots of pictures from this ultrasound, a bit picture happy was our "photographer". No complaints here!! We were able to see his face so clearly this week. I was eager to see where his little feet were because I'd been feeling some "fluttering" and wanted to make sure it wasn't my imagination. Sure enough, he was kicking me right where I had been experiencing this little tickle. What an overwhelming experience!! All I want to do is meet him now, but I think I'll let him "bake" a little longer! :)
(This was taken right before we took notice to his boy parts!)
Face and belly
Hand and backside
Profile view (legs up in the air)
Our little alien (as Dennis calls him) waving at us!!
It happens every December... I get overwhelmed with birthday plans, Christmas plans, New Year's plans and so on. This December was a bit different. I found myself overwhelmed with other circumstances and everything else just sort of took place around it. Where to start?
My 26th birthday landed every year as it does, the week before Christmas. The weather here was absolutely horrible. Ice, snow, more ice and -40 temps. The night of my birthday was just a casual Gus' night, with Karaoke and my favorite BLT! Dennis had asked me if it was okay if we celebrated my birthday the night after on the 19th. He wanted to make me dinner and stay in. I answered with an "Of course!" I don't even know if Dennis knows this but my favorite thing to do in the entire world is spend the night in with him. There are many reasons for it, but I often tell him that one thing I love most about him is that I know I will never be bored. I think he may be the only one who truly knows what that means. What a wonderful night it was!! It started with a trip to store to purchase the meal of my dreams. Live lobster, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet corn, bruschetta, caprese salad and bread and Italian butter! When we arrived back to Dennis' I walked into a perfectly set table, a room full of flowers and candles and jazz. It was perfect. We spent the next hour preparing dinner together (which is my second favorite thing to do with him) and dancing in the kitchen. Dennis was a little scared to dip our lobsters (which we named Bo Peep and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater) into the pot of doom, so I proudly took over. After our spectacular meal Dennis promptly brought out dessert, a tiny birthday cake with lit candles. I closed my eyes, made a wish and blew them out. What happened next may have been the most amazing four minutes of my life. Dennis then handed me a birthday card which ended with a "so...". Next thing I know he is in front of me on one knee asking me to marry him. I think this is where I tackled him! Literally! Lance Briggs doesn't have anything on me. I answered with an "ABSOLUTELY, YES!" He opened this small black box, and there was the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. I didn't cry in the moment, but I'm crying right now just thinking of it. Give me a second to grab a tissue.
We spent the next hour calling our family and friends and then headed to meet some friends downtown to share the news! Oh, what a night!
Myself and Dr. Kenneth Noisewater before he took a dip in the hot tub.
The next week was sort of a blur. Tuesday we took off for Chicago to celebrate Christmas and drove into what just may have been some of the most frightening weather I've ever traveled in. Let's just say BLIZZARD! I wasn't feeling so hot either. I actually vomited for the first time since week 8, and I quickly remembered why I wasn't a fan of the act! It was really lovely being back at the Breiers'. Dennis' parents took us all out to dinner at "The Flame", it happens to be Dennis' favorite place back home. His dad ordered up a bottle of champagne and toasted Dennis and I's engagement and our Baby B. Another wonderful night full of phenomenal food, laughter and fantastic company! Thanks, Mike and Jane, for EVERYTHING!
I woke up the next morning and drove to my grandma's house. Spent a few hours catching up before heading back to Darien. Christmas Eve was spent at Chris and Jane's house as it was the year before. Let me tell you... those people know how to throw a party! The food was crazy good, the laughing never let up and Laura shared her profound love for The Cappy! After the Breier Bonanza we headed back to Mike and Jane's to open a few gifts. As usual Jane, wait... I mean Santa brought the most comfortable pajamas and a little something special for Baby B. Dennis and I were each handed a box and told to open them at the same time. Dennis opened a Sox onsie and I a Cubbies onsie! They may just be the most adorable items of clothing I have ever seen in my life. Little does Dennis know I now simply place the onsie on my belly and quietly hum "Go Cubs Go" every morning before breakfast. What? I'm just simply trying to soothe the baby to sleep.
The Breier Kiddies
Christmas morning was an early one. More gifts (Jane and Mike you do too much!) and a plate of heaven prepared by Mike for Breakfast. Then it was back into the car for another two hours back to Cordova.
We arrived at Tom and Linda's around 10:30 and spent the next hour sharing the gift Mikey, Abby, Megan, Michelle and I had put together for our parents. It was incredible. The slideshow was better than the first. Dad shed some tears, and by some I mean he cried more than I have ever seen in my life and Linda kept giggling at her five crazy kids. Dad kept saying under his breathe "look at how grown up they all are." I think it may have been the best gift we have ever given them, and I know they were truly touched. It couldn't have gone over any better. Dennis and I then spent some time opening gifts. Santa was very, very good to us this year. I got lots of great kitchen ware, baby books and journals, and everything else in between. The rest of the day was spent eating, sleeping, relaxing and listening to Mikey talk smack to Dennis about his video game playing skills. I had to explain to Michael that Dennis' fingers were meant to play the piano, not hold on to some controller for hours on end. Needless to say Michael had his way with Dennis on the Playstation. It was an early night, and another early morning. Thanks to Mom and Dad for everything!!
Then we were off again! This time back to Darien to make it to the Ugly Christmas Sweater Bowling Extravaganza! An extravaganza it was. The pictures speak for themselves.
Yeah for ugly Christmas sweaters!
Dennis and his three best buddies from high school. (Chris Moss, Mark Koeneman and Christ Neiman)
Look at that form.
I think this was after I got him a beer :)
Saturday was a day for the Wojciks. We got back into the car, drove the hour to Schereville to help my Grams and Gramps celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary! Every single one of my family members on the Wojcik side was there, every one! That task is a difficult one. My aunts and uncles put on a great luncheon. Dennis and Johnny Walker spent some time together in the early afternoon and I had the opportunity to see some of my favorite cousins. Then it was back to Uncle Walt and Auntie Debbie Kane's for more food and a Wojcik family photo session. It had been a long week, I was exhausted and still had the headache that followed me to Darien on Tuesday I simply passed out on a couch in the living room and only woke up once in the middle of the night to find Dennis passed out on the floor next to me wedged between an air mattress and coffee table. Needless to say my family was introduced to Dennis' snoring and had a good laugh about it over breakfast.
Back in the car we went and headed back to Mike and Jane's for a Pirics' family Christmas! We watched the Bears blow their opportunity to make it into the playoffs (I'm not even going to comment on this situation until my bp returns to normal)... AGAIN! More presents followed (thank you Lally and Pirics' families for thinking of me) and another round of delicious food. Dennis and I then took off for Iowa, just another three and a half hours in the car. No big deal.
If it seems like a lot in writing... well, use your imagination! It was a wonderful week, but I was happy to be home!
I had our 16 week appointment just this last Tuesday. I had some concerns over our holiday travels that I shared with the doctor. She listened to the Baby's heart (which was at a steady 152 bpm) and poked around. Just a routine day at the office. Everything turned up just fine. I did have some bleeding a few days prior so she did request that we get an ultrasound to see what caused it and do the full anatomy work up on Friday instead of waiting until week 20. Dennis and I decided that we are going to find out the sex of the Baby, so expect to see the news up here soon! We are so anxious to see him/her. I'm incredibly overwhelmed with emotions about it. I want nothing more than to see a healthy baby! This second trimester is proving to be so much smoother than the first. I had been a little worried about staying on the weight gain track considering I had just spent the last seven days gorging myself. Surprisingly, I am right on track. Four pounds between our week 12 and 16 visit. Not too bad! I look like I gained 15 :)!
Last night was the finale to our week of craziness! We spent New Year's Eve at The Three Dudes' Bar, conveniently located in Dennis, Nate and Scott's basement. Lots of friends came over to help us ring in the new year. A good time was had by all (thank you liquor carousel)! Here's to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!! I know I've said it before, but we are so incredibly lucky to have each of you in our lives. Thank you for your love and support during the past few months. We know it may have been overwhelming, scary, exciting and all emotions that fall in between, but thank you for being there every step of the way with us. We are looking forward to meeting our little one and planning a wedding all here in the next year. Hello, 2009!!
Nate waiting for 2009.
The source of fun for the shindig!!
*I know this is awfully long, but there was a lot to share! Pictures from the weeks' festivities will be up soon.*