July 29, 2009

The first kick!

Hey little guy!

The day you turned 18 weeks old in my tummy, I felt you move for the first time! It was this past Monday night, and Daddy and I were laying in bed. Daddy was talking to you, and he bounced his hand on my tummy to see if you would give us a response. You sure did! I could tell right away it was you, with a very determined, purposeful kick inside me. Mommy laughed and cried, Daddy laughed and smiled and we hugged and thought about all the movements you will be able to accomplish in your lifetime. I also thought about how in a couple months, that little flutter of a kick will be much stronger - enough to wake me up at night!

You are about 5 inches long right now, and you weigh about 5 ounces. You've recently begun to pick up on sounds outside the womb. We are getting a device that will project sounds into your little home so that your brain, memory and senses will be stimulated while you spend the last few months inside me. Baby Boy, you even have your very own set of toe and fingerprints now :) You are truly one of a kind, and we love you very much!

Here is a picture of what Mommy is looking like these days ...

California Dreamin'

Over the July 4th holiday, we took a wonderful trip to (sort of) sunny California. It turns out, there is a thing called "June Gloom" that no one seems to mention til you get there, but it involves mostly cloudy, cold, dreary weather along the coast during June and the first part of July. Once you go inland a little bit, it clears up. Apparently it has to do with the cold Pacific air meeting up with the hot inland air. Despite this, we had an AMAZING trip and created a lot of great memories of quality time with the fam.

My mom and I flew into San Jose, where we rented a convertible and took the quick trip south to beautiful Carmel Valley, CA. Aunt Sandy, Uncle Chris and my cousin Kyle live there, and I had never had the chance to visit their hometown before. They were wonderful tour guides and hosts (thanks guys!) It is gorgeous there ... we visited Monterrey Bay, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Big Sur, and more. Some of my favorite experiences were seeing seals and otters in Monterrey Bay, eating Clam Chowder on Fisherman's Wharf, visiting Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch in Carmel, taking the 17-mile drive through Pebble Beach and seeing the golf course there, and the yummy fireside dinner we had at the local Fish House in Carmel Valley.

Can you spot the seals all lined up in the middle of this ^ picture?! They look like rocks!

After Carmel, we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur (breathtaking!) to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. A very cool experience all around.

As my mom and I were driving from San Simeon down to LA, we realized we were going to drive RIGHT BY Michale Jackson's Neverland Ranch - 5 days after his surprising death. So, we googled the exact location and plugged it into the GPS ... sure enough, it would be about 10 minutes off the highway as we passed through Los Olivos, CA. So, being spontaneous and curious voyeurs on vacation, we naturally took the detour :) Wow - totally worth it. The small farm road was packed with satelite trucks broadcasting around the world, reporters were primping and finding their best angles for the camera, and many fans (or just curious observers of pop culture, like us). We saw the front gates of the ranch and the large memorial with flowers, notes, posters, etc that had been created. It was a *unique* experience, and I'm glad we were able to see that, especially at such a memorable time.

We got to LA around sunset, and heading right to our hotel on the beach in Santa Monica - we were staying one night at the newly renovated ShangriLa Hotel - it was gorgeous, and the people couldn't have been nicer. Totally different than my other experiences in LA. After a yummy steak dinner down the street at BOA, we settled in for the night. The next day, we had a goal of seeing all the typical LA things - Rodeo Drive, the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Hills, a couple famous peoples' houses, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame ... turns out, there was a bus tour that went to exactly the places we wanted to go! It was perfect ... navigating to all the "must see" spots around LA without having to find our own way and read about the stuff in guide books.

Then we drove down to San Diego to meet up with Jeff, my Dad, Uncle Randy, Colin and Patrick. The rest of the weekend, we explored around San Diego and Camp Pendleton and spent some good quality time as a family all together. We had fun dinners out, went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park (like an African Safari in SoCal), and saw the Cobras Colin flies up close and personal. Man, those are some mean machines!

This may be the last time we all get to be together before Colin deploys for Afghanistan in October, so it was a really special visit I will always cherish.

July 13, 2009

Bah Dee Ah ...

This weekend, we went to a GREAT concert ... Earth, Wind & Fire AND Chicago. It was so fun! They played together and separately. We were very impressed with their talent, especially Earth, Wind & Fire - they seemed to still be at the top of their game, even though they are celebrating their 40th anniversary as a band. They still have 3 original members, including Phillip Bailey, the guy with the incredible, unique voice, and they were all SO good. We had a blast singing along to songs like September, Sing a Song, Let's Groove Tonight, 25 or 6 to 4, Make Me Smile, Saturday in the Park, and many more :)

To Our Baby Boy

Precious Baby Boy,

Daddy and Mommy have been given the most wonderful gift to have you as our son. We already love you and are so proud of you as you grow healthy and strong. You are getting bigger everyday, and at 4 months along, you are about 4 inches tall. On Friday, when we saw for the first time the very good evidence that you are a BOY, we also got to see your strong heartbeat, your sweet profile, your arms and legs and fingers and toes. You are getting so active inside Mommy's belly, and we got to see one of the cutest things ... you began sucking on your thumb (see picture below)! You moved your head and your hand around until your thumb found your mouth. Mommy and Daddy laughed with joy at your sweet little movements. We can't wait to meet you in 5 months!

Life is a great adventure, and we are so excited to share it with you, son!

All our love,

July 9, 2009

Pink or Blue?

Jeff and I are on the brink of a big surprise tomorrow! Will it be pink or blue for our little Baby L? Tomorrow, we are going back to the ultrasound doc to find out whether we are having a girl or boy. We are soooo excited :) We can imagine so many wonderful things that will be in store for our baby, whether it's a boy or girl. Of course, our primary concern is having a healthy, happy baby and we don't have a preference either way. I am just really looking forward to setting up the nursery and getting some real shopping started - ha! There are so many cute clothes - for boys and girls - and I am excited to know which to be buying for.

For some reason, from the beginning, we have both thought "it" was a girl. But over the last couple months, I have been liking meat even more than usual - especially bacon ... yum ;) - and that makes me think possibly boy because my mom was a vegetarian for like 10 years until she was pregnant with my younger brother Colin. He made her eat a hamburger, and she has never looked back!

Either way, tomorrow the big question of boy or girl will be answered!

Here are some baby bump shots. I have to say, I am surprised at how long it takes to really get a baby bump. I'm 15 weeks, and even though my clothes definitely let me know I'm bigger in the waist, I think I have been looking more like I ate a big dinner rather than looking pregnant. Apparently that's normal, and the real bump action will be coming soon enough. (I know in a few months I will be wishing for these days again!)