Monday, February 28, 2011

18 weeks!

Total weight gain: 172. 2 lbs. SO it begins
Maternity clothes? Basically. But the pants I'm wearing today are still regular!
Sleep: Has been great! Except for my dreaded Sunday nights
Best moment this week: Seeing our precious little girl on the ultra sound.
Gender: Girl. 95% sure.
Craving: None really
Movement: Lots of tickles.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Nothing.
What I am looking forward to: Next Monday for our Anatomy scan
Milestones: Maybe picking a name? And starting to design the nursery.

Here is our bedding!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Dearest Daughter,

It feels so surreal to say that--to know who you are and give you an identity. Although, I firmly believe that your gender does not detirmine your identity, nor will it. But I do enjoy using the proper pronouns for you now.

Our little girl. That's who you are.

Yesterday, I talked Daddy (with the help of some friends and our assistant principal) to going to a little elective ultrasound place. It was only $35 dollars for 10 minutes and a gender scan. Absolutely worth it, and he finally agreed. From the moment we first saw you on the big screen, we were in love. You smiled nearly the entire time. It was as though you knew we were watching. You would fall asleep and wake back up pretty quickly. The juice I drank seemed to have no impact. But when you would move? WOW would you move. They had trouble keeping up with you once you got going! You may be a thumb sucker--your little hand was up by your face for a good portion of the time, and as I look at your picture from our 12 week ultrasound taped to my computer, you are in the same position. Your face has seemed to balance out a little bit of Daddy's nose, but you still look a lot like him already.

And your legs. Your long legs. They gave us the most trouble, and I think you knew it. You were sitting indian style, with your little heels and feet tucked into you and your knees sitting straight up. Daddy and I got a kick out of it, but it blocked getting a really good shot of your "parts." We tried everything! We shook you, I stood up, I went to the bathroom and came back again. But you just wouldn't stretch those long legs out. I hope you are not running out of room already!

A hilarious side note is after the appointment, Mommy and Daddy went to dinner at Red Robin. As we sat down in the booth, I told your Daddy to stand back up and look at how I naturally sat down. I was sitting indian style. We laughed so hard and he said, "That's how we should have known it was Momma's girl!"

Anyway, back to the joy. We got to spend nearly 30 minutes watching you, because there was a new ultrasound tech on her externship who needed to practice. We certainly didn't mind the extra time! You flipped over quite a few times, but those legs still never moved. It was wonderful, and Daddy and I were beaming ear-to-ear when it was finally over.

LPG, we are so happy and blessed to have you. While Mommy doesn't consider herself completely girlie, I know that daddy and I will be able to take good care of you. We will teach you to be strong and proud, and to stand up for yourself. We will teach you to love sports, and music, and appreciate natural beauty. And we will have tea parties and play dress-up should you so desire it. We promise to be the best parents to you, and love you with every fiber of our beings. Because we already do. We love you, dearest little girl.

Here are a slew of pictures from the day:

The 3d picture we bought for 5 dollars extra--you can see your huge smile!

Your perfect profile

Laying on your back

And then you would quickly roll over and stick your butt in the air.

We love you, little girl.
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

17 weeks!

Total weight gain: Currently at 170. So maybe a lb
Maternity clothes? Pretty much all the time now, but they are still pretty big.
Sleep: Has been great!
Best moment this week: Spending time with our friends, who have a little girl due on March 14th!
Gender: No feeling whatsoever. BUT WE WILL KNOW TODAY!!!
Craving: Sour cream!!!
Movement: I feel it all the time now. It tickles.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Nothing.
What I am looking forward to: OMG TODAY TODAY TODAY When we find out gender!!!
Milestones: Feeling movement all the time! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Week 16 letter

Dearest LPG,

Hello there my avocado-sized angel. Did you know that I felt you this week? I know that you're in there, moving and kicking around. I can't wait until I can feel you more regularly. Your daddy is excited that you are able to hear us, and is taking the opportunity to talk to you all the time. He talks, he says goodnight, he kisses you good morning--it's all very sweet. Your crazy parents love you so much already. And soon, we will know if you're a little boy or a little girl, and we can work on your name. But please know, LPG, that who or whatever you are, we will love you truly and deeply. Nothing on this earth could ever change that.

This week, I wanted to talk to you about a topic that's very important to your daddy and me. It will seem kind of silly, and maybe even boring, but it is how mommy and daddy met, and how we make our living. That topic is Education.

There will be times in your life, LPG, where you may hate school. The work, the headaches, the waking up early--it all becomes quite overwhelming. But education, learning and knowledge is so powerful in our world. Whatever you decide to be when you grow up, you will need a solid foundation. Both your daddy and I grew up with an intense thirst for knowledge. We hope to instill that in you, because learning can be magical. There is so much out in the world today for you to grasp onto.

The world of knowledge led Mommy and Daddy to each other at the University of Michigan. Of course, we would love for you to be a baby Wolverine, it doesn't really matter to us if you wear the maize and blue or not. We just want you to always strive to learn, and fill yourself with the knowledge of the world. Mommy and Daddy love sharing our knowledge with teenagers on a daily basis. It is fulfilling and rewarding and occasionally frustrating. But we love our subjects. We will share them with you as you grow, and you will know more about English and Math than you will ever care to. :)

Another reason I wanted to share the message of the importance of knowledge is because of something we watched this week. A man-made computer competed, and won, on the Jeopardy quiz show. The knowledge of men has come together to create a machine capable of such great things. This computer could revolutionize medicine and a variety of other industries. And it was built during our time. I am so excited to see the advances and amazing things created during your lifespan. Maybe you will even be the one to create it. We will have to wait and see. But regardless, the thirst for knowledge leads to the creation of beautiful things. I can only hope we raise you to appreciate and value that as a neccesary part of life.

LPG, even if you end up hating school, we will still love you deeply. We simply want you to value the knowledge available to you. It can take you to amazing places. It has already taken Mommy and Daddy across the country to our wonderful lives. Wherever you go and whatever you do, be sure to LEARN as you do it.

We love you dearly, little avocado! I hope you enjoy the Wilson basketball game tonight. We are honoring Coach Ed's memory as his team begins their playoff competition, and we are happy that you will be with us.

Love and playoff victories,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

16 weeks!

Total weight gain: Started at 175. Scale this morning said 169. So really no gain still.
Maternity clothes? Not all the time yet, but still more regularly.
Sleep: I had a pretty nice week of sleep, save for Monday.
Best moment this week: My fabulous weekend with my husband, because basketball is done
Gender: No feeling whatsoever
Craving: Didn't really have anything strong
Movement: I thought so for one second at Chris's last bball game. We will see if it keeps up.
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Nothing.
What I am looking forward to: Meeting with our potential, and frontrunner, daycare on Wednesday!
Milestones: Chris finally thinks I look "a little bit bigger"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Week 14 and 15 letter

Hello my dearest little one. I am sorry that I failed to write you a letter last week. I would try and say I was very busy, but the truth is, I just wasn't quite sure what to say. My intention was to tell you about the way the world is today--the world that will become your home in a few short months. But that was difficult because sometimes, it is hard to see the true beauty in the world. The truth is, there are a lot of terrible things that happen in our world, and I wish so desperately that I could shelter you from them forever. I know I cannot, but I certainly am not prepared to share those things quite yet.

So I thought, instead, I would share with you a story of love. Pardon me for copying and pasting, but I feared that if I included just the link, it may disappear by the time I can print this out for you.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Wilson honors fallen coach's memory with big season
By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/07/2011 09:29:53 PM PST

There's an empty space on the Wilson High School girls basketball team's bench where longtime head coach Ed Bruyninckx used to sit.

His chair has a cover that reads "Coach Ed," and although nobody sits there anymore, everybody in the Wildcats' gym can still see him, like he always was, intently watching his girls play.

This year's team believes Bruyninckx, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack at his home in September, is still watching them and is very proud of what's taking place.

And why wouldn't he be?

The Wildcats are on a 15-game winning streak. They've already clinched the Hacienda League championship with two games to go, but are looking for perfection in league because that's what Coach Ed would have expected ... in addition to, of course, his girls having a good time.

"I think he's a part of every minute of it," Wildcats team captain Kaci Calton said. "He's always with us. We know he's looking over us and we want to do our best."

Bruyninckx, 57, had just finished his nightly workout on Sept. 26 when he died. That night, his longtime assistant coach Tracy Calton had the unenviable duty of relaying the tragic news to the players.

"Oh my gosh, that's something I wouldn't wish on anybody," said Tracy Calton, who is now Wilson's head coach after being Bruyninckx's assistant for the past 11 years. "It was very difficult. It was hard on all of them, regardless of how long they'd been at Wilson. He was just a great person, who treated everybody well."
Calton's two daughters, Kaci and Kelli, both play on the team. They took it especially hard, having known Bruyninckx their entire lives. The school brought in counselors, but the team refused to speak with them, instead preferring to speak with Calton.

After being given a week off, Wilson's players resumed practicing in early October, but not before Calton gave each player a letter he wrote. The letter told the team that Coach Bruyninckx was more excited about the upcoming season than any other Calton could remember, which made little sense at the time considering Wilson had graduated one of the area's best players in Naijah Calhoun and had no similar talent to replace her.

"I had to write them a letter because I'm such an emotional person that I couldn't get through talking to them about it," Calton said. "I had talked to Ed for quite a while about this team and he was excited about the new league and the great summer we had with the kids. This was probably the season he was looking forward to more than any in the time I've known him and that we've coached together."

Bruyninckx obviously knew something most others didn't, but it wasn't apparent right away. Wilson started out 3-6, but hasn't lost since. What's more, the Wildcats are doing it without any player averaging double figures in points.

But given all that the Wildcats have been through, they know how to play as a team because they've grieved as a team.

Junior guard Jaimie Hou leads Wilson with 9.7 points per game. Four other girls average between four and nine points.

"We just want to do everything for Ed," Hou said. "We knew how excited he was for this season. It's very special to us because this is like accomplishing something for Ed. We worked really hard to get to where we are and we just want to make him proud.

"He would be really proud of us right now and would want us to keep working and trying to improve."

At 18-6 overall and 10-0 in league, the Wildcats have games this week against Pomona and San Dimas standing between themselves and a perfect league season. After that, they'll turn their attention toward the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

Commemorating Bruyninckx's death, some of Wilson's league opponents have worn wristbands that read, "In Loving Memory of Coach Ed." The Wildcats and their coaches do the same.

The grieving process is ongoing at Wilson, where Bruyninckx also served as softball coach for the past six seasons. For now, the memory of a coach loved by so many rests in the hands of the basketball team that still misses him greatly.

"It's kind of like something's missing when I look over at the bench during games," Hou said. "I can't let if affect me, but there's still quite a bid of sadness. We're still missing him. We're missing his encouragement and his entertainment."

Following Wilson's league title-clinching victory over Baldwin Park on Friday, Calton wrote his team another letter. This one detailed what the team had been through and what it had accomplished since the previous letter.

It closed by simply stating, "I know Ed is proud, smiling, and happy for each of you. Some day, in some way, he will thank you for realizing his goals for this season."

This is Coach Ed's Chair, and your daddy. At the game they were so excited to play.
The reason I share this with you, dearest LPG, is because Coach Ed has touched the lives of both of your parents. He will undoubtedly shape yours as we chase Daddy's big dreams together. You see, a few years ago, your daddy had the unfortunate pleasure of coaching with a very negative man. Without going into too many details, he nearly killed Daddy's spirit and love of coaching. It caused your Daddy to be passed over for a position he thought he deserved, furthering the questions he had about his future in the career. But Coach Ed saved us from all of that.

He offered your daddy a position coaching girls--something he thought he would never want to do. Before too long, he felt at home with his girls, and in Coach Ed's program. It revitalized his love of coaching, and reignited his dream of being a varsity coach. After a solid year of working together, Coach Ed agreed to be a reference for Daddy as he applied for head coaching positions.

LPG, I cannot lie. There was a lot of heartbreak on our journey to Daddy's current job. He applied, interviewed, and nearly secured multiple positions, but none worked out. Until one day in July. Your daddy interviewed for a school he was sure wouldn't pick him--it is big and well known. But within hours, the school called and said that Daddy was their man. He would be coaching their Girls Varsity Program. LPG, short of finding out about you, and our wedding day, that moment was one of the greatest of our lives. Your Daddy's dreams began to come true. And we owe that, in part, to Coach Ed. He gave his recommendation, and he is a well-known and respected coach. He encouraged Daddy to chase his dreams, even though he hated to lose him from his own program. He even made sure to sign up in the same fall league as Daddy, so that their teams could go head-to-head.

It is with the heaviest heart that we played that game, however, because Coach Ed passed away before the game came to be. He is desperately missed. I know that many times throughout the season, when Daddy was feeling the struggles of his first year as a head coach, he wished he could call Coach Ed. He wished he could talk to him, and get his confidence and hear his reassuring words. But even though he isn't physically here, Coach Ed has impacted our lives so greatly. We are so very thankful for his life. His legacy will live on, both in his girls, and wherever your daddy's career goes. Because no matter where he goes, Daddy will always give credit to Coach Ed for repositioning him on his path of destiny.

LPG, Coach Ed is an example of the beauty that exists in our world today. The pure goodness and love shared by regular people. I hope that no matter what darkness you see in our world, you can cling to that example, and know that such purity can still be found. We know that Coach Ed is among those who are watching over you, and will be celebrating joyfully when you are born.

We love you, dearest.
Love, Mommy

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

15 weeks!

Total weight gain: Still at about 170, so still a 5 lb loss.
Maternity clothes? Not exclusively, but they are being worn. I got 2 pairs of jeans from Ebay that I can't wait to wear. Shirts still look a little large on me.
Sleep: Could be better.
Best moment this week: 3 Hours until I meet with our OB for the first time.
Gender: Don't tell my husband, but feeling girl this week.
Craving: Lemon!! It's not as intense as the mustard/vinegar, but oh so tasty.
Movement: No. Hopefully soon though!
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Nada
What I am looking forward to: Appointment today, and less than a month until the big u/s!
Milestones: Does a gigantic Migraine count as a milestone? :P