Wednesday, February 26, 2014

25 Weeks

This week I'm 25 weeks pregnant.

This pregnancy has been such a different experience from my last. The morning sickness wasn't quite as bad as itself, but it was so much harder because I couldn't stop chasing a two-year-old just because I'd thrown up all morning. 

I crave bagels, not pizza; San Peligrino soda instead of 7Up. But I still can't get enough chocolate milk.

My nesting instincts have kicked in much earlier, and it seems like every week I have a new project for the house (poor Fabio!).

I don't think about or obsess over the fact that I'm pregnant nearly as often, but when I do think about it my anticipation and love for this little guy is much more intense.

He's measuring in the 70th percentile, so I'm not even as terrified of delivery this time around. In fact, I'm just more excited and less terrified in general. I think more about the coos, tiny toes, and snuggles than anything else--and I feel more confident that everything will be just wonderful.

Fabio felt him kick a couple weeks ago, and so the baby is starting to become real for him now--which means he is getting really excited for someone who cuddles all the time without protest.

One of my favorite things this time around is how aware the baby is of his big brother. He is more responsive to Jon's voice than to any other. Whenever J's in a silly mood, yelling and laughing and singing, the baby will get more and more excited--kicking faster and faster. When Jonathan wakes up in the morning and starts talking, the baby immediately starts his wiggles. When he has a tantrum, the baby tenses up. And when J lays down on my belly the squished little guy will push against him with both legs or both arms. I can't help but laugh and think, "And so it begins..."

And oh, is Jonathan is excited for this baby! He loves to tell people what you can do with a baby:

"You can cuddle the baby."
"Babies need bottles. You can hold his bottle."
"You can tickle the baby's tummy."
"Babies like foot-rubs."
"You can give the baby your finger, or let him honk your nose."

The other day we bought some clothes for the New Guy, and Jonathan quickly told the cashier, "Be careful. Those are for our baby. He's my brodder."

Sometimes Jon gets really quiet for a bit, then points at my belly, and then asks me something like, "The baby has a fire truck?" I explain that the baby doesn't have any toys in my tummy, and that it's his job to teach the baby about fun toys when he comes. Then Jonathan will nod and say, "Baby needs a fire truck. He use mine."

And every night when Jonathan prays, the first thing he says is, "Hea'nly Fadder, thank you for my brodder."

There's no question--this little baby boy is very loved. We can't wait to meet him.

See you in 15, little one!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Last Wednesday we made cookies with pink M&Ms for our neighborhood friends. Jonathan helped by pouring in the "trick or treats" (a job which he waited very patiently for) and by making valentines to go with them. He made a few extras for his sports coach, grandparents, and nursery leader, of course!

Trying to explain Valentines in the way a two-year-old could understand, I told him it was a special time when we do something nice for people we love. After I finished explaining, he asked, "We do somefing nice for Daddy?" I eagerly agreed that that was a great idea, and asked what he wanted to do for Daddy for Valentine's.

"Hmmm.... Shubbel the snow."

It had snowed almost two inches that morning, and Fabio had to hurry to an early work meeting before he could get to it. (He usually keeps our driveway perfectly cleared.)

I had by doubts about how long this Valentine's gesture would last, but we donned our gear and went outside. (J will not, under any circumstances, wear snow pants. So we bought him fleece-lined jeans to wear when he's in the snow. He also refuses "mibbens" and would rather his hands just get cold, even if he declares they are "icebergs" when he comes inside. I've yet to find a compromise for that one.)

Coats and lined jeans on, J picked up his tiny red shovel and went to work.

He worked. And worked. And worked.

Eventually realizing his little thrift-store shovel wasn't exactly getting the job done, he asked for the "bulldozer shubbel." So I pulled Fabio's shovel out of the garage and helped Jonathan guide it as he pushed the snow to the side of the driveway. Every now and then I'd ask him if he was ready to go inside to warm up, or if it was time to take a break.

His response: "No. I not done yet."

He worked until our entire driveway was clear. I didn't get a picture of the finished product, because it took him until after dark. Of course, it wasn't the cleanest clearing the driveway's ever had, but I really believe it was the most perfect--it certainly involved the hardest work and the purest motivation.

Fabio came through the door very excited and wondering who had done something so special (I called him in advance so he knew to make a big deal out of it)... to which Jonathan ran up to his dad, gave him a hug, and said softly, "Happy Bahwentimes!"

We were so touched by such a sweet and genuine gesture of love, service, and sacrifice. This year I thought I'd teach Jonathan about Valentine's Day by making cookies and coloring hearts, but then he showed me by example what a "special time when we do something nice for people we love" really could be.

Possibly the best part? It snowed two more inches that night (because we live in Wisconsin), and J was out the next morning with Fabio, shovel in hand, saying, "Daddy, I can help you!"

May everyone be so loved. Happy Bahwentimes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I took a class.

Call it cabin fever, or mommy fever, or a 20-week-pregnant panic about having better pictures of this newborn than we managed of the last... whatever it was, I took a photography class. I wasn't prepared to commit to enrolling somewhere and becoming a "degree-seeking" student by any means, but had been meaning to learn how to use our "fancy camera" as we call it in our house for a while. So when Madison College offered a portrait class under their continuing education program for two Thursday nights and $23--it was meant to be.

About 50% of the class was far beyond my level of understanding, and there was a range of students in the class from decades of professional photography experience to "I got this point-and-shoot for Christmas." But sitting in the middle there, I think I learned a lot. It was fun to step outside myself and my little world for a minute to do something different.

This is just my teacher for an in class activity--
I was just really happy with how it turned out!

And then I got to do my homework with "moderately willing" (in one of their words--I'll let you guess which) subjects. 

The assignment was for window-lit portraits, 
which is why they are all by windows.

They are nothing special, but a big improvement for me--especially since I shot these in manual mode! It was a personal triumph to take pictures I was happy with on something other than "auto."

It was good for Jon and Fabio to have some "guy time," good for me to miss them, and good for baby-in-que to have a mom who can take a picture. Just good for everyone all around.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I hope they call me on a mission...

The LDS church has a children's song about looking forward to serving a mission, as many members of the church choose to do in their early 20's. 

Fabio and I both served full-time missions for our church before we were married (Fabio for 2 years, me for 18 months), so missionary service is a big part of our family. We love to sing this song with Jonathan while we get him ready for church.

We already know he's going to be an awesome missionary if that's what he chooses!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The little things

Who is this little boy playing the guitar on my hearth and what has he done with my baby?