Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thirty 7.6 - 7.12 AND Thirty One Weeks 7.13 - 7.19

This week's post is double the pleasure, double the fun!  I've been a week behind and it is time for me to catch up and do two weeks in one.  I could blame my falling behind on being busy but that is kind of hard to do when I've had a whole week off!  If I think I'm busy now than I'm in for a big wake up call here in two months!  However, I will say that the 3rd trimester re-entry of exhaustion/lack of comfort I've read about is starting to creep up on me!  Naps have become a commonplace in my life!

Okay, so whats been going on with the Stephens lately? On Thursday, July 6th we had our 2nd Perinatalogist visit.  The reason we continue to go to the perninatalogist is to check Eli's amniotic fluid and make sure he has enough in there to keep him comfortable and safe in the womb.  The fluid measured normal -- yay!  The Dr. also checked his right kidney (the one with the hydronephrosis) and it measured 12mm.  That is two mm higher than the previous month.  We asked if they could tell how much Eli weighed and by analyzing all of his measurements the Dr. told us he weighed 3lbs and 7oz which was a few weeks ahead of schedule!  He is going to be a big boy like his daddy!  :)

So precious! 

You can tell his eyes are open in this one!

This is definitely Mike's nose!

Mike - at bath time - 3mo.  So cute!  Can you see the resemblence?

Friday July 8th was my last day of summer school!  Yippee!  It felt so good to leave my room and turn in my keys-- knowing I will probably never teach summer school again!  Well, at least not until my kids are grown.  :)  Mike and I celebrated by a night out on the Plaza!  Thanking God for giving me this financial opportunity and thanking God that I still have a few weeks to relax and prepare for baby Eli before the real school year starts again -- which is August 10th for me!  That weekend Mike went golfing.  Surprise! Surprise!  We also spray painted our bedroom furniture (looks better than it did) and put some finishing touches on Eli's room!  It is almost finished and I can't wait to upload the pictures for you all to see!  It is definitely a sports themed room!  Poor guy is going to be a sports fan whether he likes it or not!

My first week of true freedom was fabulous!  I worked out each morning -- 30 minutes walking on the treadmill and then weightlifting either my arms or legs.  I haven't been working out regularly during my pregnancy but you gotta start somewhere, right?  (Hey, eight months is better than nine!)  On Friday, July 15th was we had our 1st bi-monthly appointment and get this -- I lost one pound in the last two weeks!  It must have been all the working out I was able to do that week!  I'm guessing that I will gain around 20lbs at the end of my pregnancy.  Immediately after my mom met us for our 3D ultrasound!  It was so amazing to see my son's precious face for the first time!  He is going to look just like his daddy! 

On Saturday, July 16th my mother and sister threw me a wonderful shower!  The food was tasty, the decor was beautiful and the games were fun!  Mike, Eli I are so blessed to have so many generous friends and family members!  My mother's two sisters and my great aunt (gma's sister) even made the 6.5 hour trip from the QC-- which means so much to me!   A BIG thank you to everyone who made my shower so special! (More pics to come!)

Mike made an appearance towards the end of the shower to say hi, thank you  and load up our cars with all the wonderful gifts!
Mike and I went to PF Changs on Monday to celebrate my 27th birthday since we would be flying out to New Orleans on my actual birthday (Wednesday).  He bought be the most beautiful necklace, bracelet, and earring set which portrays and mother and child in the form of a heart.  I love it!  How sweet!  The next night, we celebrated with my family at our house.  My parents brought all the food and my poor dad grilled out in the 103 degree weather!  It sure was good food and great to be with family on my birthday.

My dad said Eli was singing in my belly, "Happy Birthday Dear Mommy..."  :)  The framed picture is of my grandma and I.  This is my first birthday with out her and I miss her greatly.  I'm sure she was singing happy birthday to me in heaven, along with my other grandparents. 

My good looking family!

Mike giving me some birthday love.  :)

Baby Milestones these Weeks: Week 30 - As Eli's skin smoothes out, his brain just keeps getting more wrinkled. All those grooves and indentations increase surface area, meaning more room for that oh-so-essential brain tissue. He's also adding some brawn -- his grip is now strong enough to grasp a finger. Week 31 - Eli's going through major brain and nerve development these days. His irises now react to light, and all five senses are in working order. (He won't pick up anything from his nose until after birth, though -- smell is transferred through air, not amniotic fluid.)

Best Moment of the Week:  I can't decide between seeing Eli's features during our 3D ultrasound and the wonderful shower given to me by my mother and sister.  Both made my heart rejoice!

Obsessions this Week: Harry Potter.  I re-read the last portion of the last Harry Potter book and Mike and I went to the movie on Friday.  It was really good.  I'm so sad that my love affair with HP has finally come to a close.  I hope Eli finds books that captures his imagination like this series did for me.  Thank you J.K. Rowlings for some of the best hours of my life spent with my nose in your books!

Symptoms this Week: Bloody gums, continued heartburn (getting a little worse as time goes on), stuffy nose,  and shortened breath.

Epiphany this Week:  Eli is going to be a big boy!  Not only is he measuring a few weeks ahead of schedule -- he is filling up my belly quick!  I can feel almost every movement.  I can't imagine how my belly could stretch any further, but I know it will!  It is getting so big that I can barely sit without having to lean back in order to afford him some more room!

What I'm looking forward to most next week: Mike and I's trip to New Orleans!  We will be meeting up with two of my besties and their hubby's (or soon to be hubby's!).  It is a baby moon, pre-wedding celebration, and CPA celebration all in one!  God has given me some really amazing friends and Carrie and Katrina are definitely two of my best ones!  Can't wait to hang out with them!  :)

31 Week Belly Pics:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Twenty Nine Weeks: 6.29 - 7.5

If you didn't get a chance to read about week twenty eight scroll down!  And check out the countdown to right -- only 68 more days till Eli!  :)

Welcome July!  My favorite month of the year!  I like July because the temperature is almost always warm enough to go swimming and because it is my birthday month!  I was born on July 20, 1984 which means I'll be turning 27 here in a couple of weeks!  When I was a child I always thought I'd start having children around 22!  I sure was wrong!  And, I'm glad.  Not because there is anything wrong with having kids at age 22 but because I've really enjoyed my twenties with out the responsibilities I know will soon infiltrate my life.  I'm not sure if I'm ready for them now!  I keep thinking Am I really ready for this???

Yet another insanely busy week has plagued our household.  I say plagued because it is summer, I'm pregnant and I just want to relax!   I know I'm not even going to recognize what relaxation is starting in a couple of months so I want to enjoy all of the R&R I can get from now until then.  Unfortunately, our calendar fills up quick with projects, errands, and social engagements (I like those).  I did enjoy lots of time in my parents pool this week!  One day, my mom, sister and I took an evening dip in the pool and the water was surprisingly warm!  It was fun to (might I dare say it?) RELAX with them. 

My parents new pool!  It is so big!

On Thursday, Mike and I went to our monthly OB appointment.  My doctor was out of town so I saw another doctor.  I have gained exactly 10 lbs -- to the ounce -- since my first OB appointment.  My belly measured at 29 cm which is right on for where it should be.  And, my blood pressure has always been low.  So, overall I think we're pretty healthy!  :)  We have now graduated from the monthly appointment to the bi-monthly appointments.  Eli's arrival is getting closer and closer and we are SO excited to meet him!  :) 

Our Independence Day weekend was jam packed with fun!  Friday, Mike and I hosted a cook out for my family to celebrate the 4th and my brother-in-law, David's, birthday.  We then headed to our city's Fireworks at Legacy Park.  While we waited for the show to begin Mike and I played bags and even though I started ahead he beat me two games to one.  He is so athletic -- I hope Eli takes after him in this category. 

Mike grilling us some tasty burgers.

Okay, I look huge in this shot but I'm really not that big I swear! 

David blowing out his candles!  My mom made a tasty icecream cake!

My mom and dad, aren't they a good looking couple?

My mom loving on Eli!

Mike working his way to a bags win!

A shot Mike got of our awesome fireworks show here in LS.
 On Saturday, Mike and I...drum roll please...crossed off 'floating a lazy river' off my baby bucket list!  We went to Summit Waves for the afternoon and it was really fun.  I enjoyed watching Mike show all the little kiddies up on the diving board and we both had a blast flying down the water slides!  Love spending time with my husband.  That evening Mike had a bachelor party for his friend, Ryan.  They got a party bus and spent most of the evening (and early morning) at down town LS.  I picked him up at 2am and what was he doing?  Helping the bus driver clean the bus!  Yes, this is my husband.  He never ceases to amaze me -- his mother must have done something right because he is so courteous and respectful!  Thanks Mrs. Stephens for raising the best husband in the world!  Ryan and Amie's Wedding was Sunday and it was so gorgeous!  The weather was perfect and the bride was beautiful!  Mike was a groomsmen and looked especially hot in his tux! :) Best of all I got to sit with two moms who have had sons in the past couple of months and they gave me lots of helpful advice!

Photo booth pics of Mike and I from the wedding - how cool!

Baby Milestones this Week: Eli's energy is surging, thanks to white fat depositing beneath his skin. And since he's growing so fast (weight may triple by birth), things are getting kind of cramped in the womb. What all this means for me: more kicks and jabs to the ribs.
Best Moment of the Week:  I'd have to give this one to floating the lazy river with Mike.  We had so much fun laying on our double tube, chatting and enjoying the hot summer sun.  It was so hot that Mike made sure to manipulate our tube so that every fountain hit us perfectly!  Love my hubby!

Obsessions this Week: Golden Girls and Frazer.  Two of my absolute favorite shows.  The hallmark channel plays back-to-back of both of these everyday!  I'm glad to have some TV "friends" around to humor me while Mike is at work.

I may be a dork but these ladies crack me up!
Symptoms this Week:  I'm not sure if this is pregnancy related but I keep waking up with kinks in my neck!  So annoying!  I even bought a cervical pillow but it hasn't helped.  :(  Anyone else experience this in pregnancy?

Epiphany this Week: God choose me to be Eli's mom.  My sister and I watched the movie Letter's to God on Saturday night about a little boy who has cancer and writes to God about his experience.  During his journey he realizes that God chose him to have cancer to use as a tool to spread God's truth to others.  His mother struggles with anger towards God for allowing this to happen to her precious son but eventually she is strengthened by her son's amazing spirit and realizes God's presence in their life.  It is a very inspirational movie.  As a mother, I hope that I can always see how blessings can come from burdens.  I know there are no accidents when it comes to God and that he planned Mike and I to be Eli's earthly parents.  We have already dealt with some heartache because of Eli's kidney condition but God has been so good.  I also hope, maybe even through this blog, that I can help other mother-to-be's who know their children have hydronephrosis.

What I'm looking forward to most next week: Summer school finally coming to close!  After six weeks, I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ready to throw in the towel and have a true summer!  I must make the best of the four weeks I have left!

Week 29 Belly Pics:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Twenty Eight Weeks: 6.22 - 6.28

Twenty Eight Weeks - I can't believe it!  Time is flying!  This week turned out to be quite a fun and productive week! 

Mike and I had dinner on Friday night at our friends Lindsey and Andrew's house in LS.  Their grill was good to us!  We were thrilled that they graciously allowed us to bring our Sammie girl.  They are parents to two precious and very athletic dogs and we had fun playing keep away in their back yard with all three dogs.  Our poor Sammie girl couldn't handle the heat and ended up throwing up twice -- thankfully we were outside.  Sorry guys! 
Andrew giving treats to all three dogs -- they sure know what to do when food is around!  :)

On Sunday, Mike played a round of golf and afterward we went to our friends Mike and Amber's community pool for a dip to cool off.  The boys did laps while Amber and I had fun chatting on our noodles. :) 

Mike and I spent all day Saturday shopping and doing projects for Eli's room and our home.  I have to admit that I enjoy doing home projects with Mike IF they can be completed in one day and you can see how your hard work paid off.  :)  We are very excited about our "Family" wall for Eli's room.  We plan to put pictures of Mike's and my family in the frames.  This way our family -- whether near or far -- will always be smiling on Eli!  We also spray painted our lanterns and storm door and they look 100X better.  Spray paint is great!

We found the mats that match Eli's bedding at hobby lobby and then spray painted cheap frames white.  We found the letters at Michael's and painted them to match the matting.  Can't wait to get the pictures in them!

Baby Milestones this Week: Eli's lungs are mature enough that, if born right now, he has a pretty good chance of surviving (with help from medical technology). His skin is still pretty wrinkly (one byproduct of living in amniotic fluid) but will smoothen as fat continues to deposit.

Best Moment of the Week: 
On Monday, my mother and I visited my cousin Kurt and his wife Jessica in NKC.  They had invited us up to give us some of their son's toys, clothes, shoes and even a crib for my mom!  And, when I say some I mean ALOT!  I am once again completely floored by the generousity of our friends and family.  I don't think we will have to buy Eli any clothes during his second year of life thanks to Kurt, Jess, and Aiden!  Jessica also gave me a HUGE bag full of stylish maternity clothes that fit me perfectly!  I have had so much fun wearing my new maternity wardrobe this week!  Thanks so-so much guys!

Kurt, me and Jess -- Love them!

One huge bin full of 12 mo to 24 mo clothes, another huge bin full of blankets and other goodies, a big bag of toys, and the cutest diaper bag!
And, all these adorable shoes!  Can't wait to see Eli's feet in them!  Thanks for sharing Aiden!  XOXO

Obsessions this Week: Napping.  Aren't naps just heavenly?  I think they are even better when you are pregnant.  I'm not much of a napper but lately after summer school I've plopped down on the couch and Zzz'ed an hour or so with Sam.  Part of me feels guilty like I'm wasting my summer away but another part of me tells me, "It is okay -- you're pregnant!  You need the rest."  You can tell which part I've been listening to lately.  :)

Symptoms this Week: Is there such thing as pregnancy PMS?  Lately, I've been cranky.  I'm not sure exactly why but if I had to make a guess I'd say summer school is beginning to wear on me.  The first session went really fast but this second session is dragging and the students are, well, not the ones I'm used to.  I really hope 4 weeks off is enough to rejuvinate before the school year begins!

Epiphany this Week: Have you ever heard the statement Large and in Charge?  Yeah, well I fit the "large" part but I am no longer "in charge"!  It is difficult to get off the couch, it is difficult to shave in shower,  and it is even becoming difficult to tie my shoes!  I can't believe that Eli will double and maybe even triple in size in the next 12 weeks!  No stretch marks yet, my fingers may be crossed but I'm not counting on anything at this rate of growth!

What I'm looking forward to most next week: A little late to be writing about this since it already is next week!  However, Mike and I spent the week looking forward to our friends Ryan and Amie's Wedding which was on July 3rd.  Mike was a groomsmen and the wedding was absolutely gorgeous!  Congrats guys!  I'm kinda sad thinking that it was our last wedding as only the two of us.  Weddings are always so romantic for Mike and I and they help us remember the commitment we made to each other almost 4 years ago!

Week 28 Belly Pics: