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Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 2 Month 6! 24 weeks and 2 days



I can't believe how big my belly is!! I can't imagine how much bigger it's going to grow!! AJ took the photo this morning because yesterday evening we were really busy- I just woke up thus the bed head and puffy eyes. Tired mama! :) We toured Sutter Davis Birth Center yesterday evening and then AJ took me to dinner and out for a strawberry milkshake- and it wasn't even date night, that's tonight. My husband takes such good care of me he's the greatest! I am very excited about having the baby at Sutter Davis hospital. Once born, the baby is placed directly on the mother, they are major advocates of "skin to skin" contact for a minimum of 30 minutes up to 2 hours after birth. It helps the baby to form an immediate bond with the mother. They even do this with C-section delivery! The baby is never taken from the delivery room for bathing or check-up, that is all done right there in the room with mom and dad (assuming a healthy baby of course). I also like that they encourage natural birth without intervention, all of the typical pain management options are available, but they aren't going to try to force or encourage me to use them. I think it's the right place for us and I can't wait to have this baby!!!
Babycenter.com says he has gained 4 ounces since last week and that my uterus is the size of a soccer ball!!!??! Wow that's amazing! This is a photo of a 24 week fetus in the womb. It's so incredible that's what Bowman looks like inside me!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baby Gifts!

Our thoughtful friends and family members have sent us such sweet gifts and passed along some great books! A hand-knit blue blankey, adorable argyle socks, PeePee TeePee's (an apparent must-have for baby boy's, we never would have known!), Mommy and Daddy Hug books, Sleepy-time Lamb, baby rugby shirts, and some awesome informational books; ALL of these adorable baby things have been given to us. Thank you so much!




While I'm at it, I couldn't resist sharing this picture of AJ when he was a little boy. I LOVE it! It makes me giggle and smile ear to ear each time I see it. Oh, and that's BigBird atop that hat- in case you were wondering ;)


Monday, March 22, 2010

Dear Baby Bowman

Your mother has been thinking a lot about what will happen when it's time for you to be born. I have felt a lot of fear and panic about what will happen and how. I struggle with the fact that ultimately I have no control over unforeseen circumstances. After lots of worry, research, tears, discussions with your dear father, more research, and lots of books I think I have finally found the answer.

You see, I have been in an emotional predicament based on size for the most part. It boils down to one great big question: Are you going to be too big to fit?

Along with that question comes the fact that ultimately, the doctors can't ever know for sure the size of the baby right before birth. I hear all the time of a baby that's thought to be a 10-pound whopper prior to birth, turning out to be 6 or 7 pounds and also vice-versa. There really is just no way to know.

I have to take into account the fact that both your father and I were very large at birth born to very petite mothers. I was 10-pounds 23-inches and your father was the same!! The chances of you being a a big boy yourself are fairly high to say the least.

Your mother has found new strength and determination to do everything within my power to bring you into this world naturally. (I would call it the way God intended, but we won't know the way God intended until you are actually born- however you end up arriving will be exactly the way God intended! :) Your parents are going to be as educated and well informed and choose the birthing method we feel will give us the best chance for achieving a natural birth. The most effective thing we can do as your parents is to make sure our preparation and actions are in alignment with our "dream scenario" best possible birth experience.

I am so amazed by how strong my love and care for you is. I have always mused on the way I would want to give birth, tossing possibilities around like tossing baby names around- with nonchalance. My attitude for the most part was "bring on the pain medicine" and "just knock me out completely and wake me up when it's over" seriously. It's all so different now that it's actually real, no longer hypothetical. You are actually here, inside me and someday soon I will be holding you in my arms, and this is all such a miracle. My body is growing and nurturing you and it knows what to do. The reality of it changes all perspective I thought I had. I am willing to do whatever it takes to do what's best for you, and ultimately I think what is best for you will also be best for me. This is our journey together and I want it to be wonderful.

We are going to tour Sutter Davis Family Birthing Center , (in Davis, CA about 20 minutes away) this Thursday evening. It is one of the most advanced in the country. This hospital is 1 of 60 in the country with the esteemed Baby-Friendly Hospital designation. The Birth Center offers many alternative birthing and labor amenities such as water birthing, active birthing and a staff of Doulas and Midwives as well as OB's. This would mean switching from our current OB, Dr. Burman, whom we love but I think Sutter Davis will provide the environment most conducive to achieving the birth we want.

I have also found the birthing method your daddy and I are going to learn in the next few months, taught by a very experienced and accredited instructor who we may also hire to be our/your Birth Doula. More about that later.

Your mother is feeling more hopeful and excited than ever about your arrival! Keep kicking little man!! I love you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Belly Musings

I am so amused with this belly- I find it fascinating and amazing, at times it can be miserable but that seems to pass quickly. I was in the restroom at my office and I just had to take a picture of it- I swear it changes each day! today it looks like a football in there!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

23 Week BB Belly



I had to take these myself because my weekly "photographer" is in Vegas this weekend ;) (read entry below). Kind of awkward but you get the picture...it's getting bigger!! I can't believe how big it is! I'm working on putting a pic from each week into one posting that I can update each week but it's tricky to figure out. It's crazy to start at week 11 with the first pic taken and go through them up to the most recent. My how things change :)
All signs indicate Baby Bowman is growing healthy and strong. BabyCenter.com says he weighs just over 1 pound and is almost 1-foot long! He's been moving SO much the past few days :) I love it! Today was the first day I really watched the clock each time I felt him start moving, he seems to prefer a quarter past the hour- I swear he was right on the dot with movement!

My Daaaling Husband

It's been a whirlwind of a week for my darling dear.

Monday he round-tripped it to Irvine and back to Sac.

Tuesday morning he left at 6am for a meeting in San Francisco, and that afternoon from San Francisco, he flew to New Mexico for a Wednesday meeting and made an important presentation.

Finally after all that he reached his reward...Vegas Baby!!

He flew from New Mexico to LV this morning where he will spend the next 3 days in his version of "man heaven"- also known as the start of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Extravaganza!!! (I mistakenly referred to it as NAACP, and Fabulous Four, the first year we were married. Oopsy :) He and his best friends are meeting there for a long weekend where they will be glued to the approximate 25-zillion TV's in the sports book at Mandalay.

And what about me? Well I am so happy for him because I know how much he LOVES this tournament, especially the first weekend. I figure he'd be glued to the tournament if he were here, so as far as I'm concerned why not Vegas?!

Have a great time baby, you SOOOOO deserve it! (and I SO deserve you to bring me a present from your trip! teehehee, no seriously :)

He texted me this pic just a bit ago. If that's not one happy man then I don't know...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Details of a Diaper Bag

Just because I am becoming a mother does not mean I should be forced to abandon my personal taste and style. There will certainly be countless sacrifices and adjustments that come along with the new job description- but that doesn't mean I should have to sacrifice everything including my own special spin on things as I employ now. When/where possible I want to keep in accordance with the way I do things now, pre-motherhood. Which brings me to the topic of Diaper Bags.

If I'm going to have to lug around a diaper bag 24/7 filled with accouterments and necessities for Mr. Prince Charming, said bag must of course serve many appropriate functions.
  • It must have plenty of room because from what I can see, Prince Charming will require an entourage of essentials accompanying him wherever he/we may go in anticipation of his every need-
  • Durability is a must as spills and messes of all sorts are bound to occur-
  • Exterior pockets or pouches are essential to catch anything handy or needed at my fingertips-
  • And lastly Prince charming's mother stipulates this bag must have a zipper top to keep all of God knows what I will be carrying around, nicely concealed from the rest of the world.
Now that I got function out of the way, on to form. Just as any other bag I purchase that will be a staple in my wardrobe, such as this new "Baby Bag" will be, it simply has to have a touch of fabulous to it. With all of this in mind I knew just what to do.
I didn't have to look very far before finding the perfect bag for Prince Charming and his mother. I knew that ol'faithful yet always fabulous, Mr. Louis Vuitton would have just what I needed! and Voila!
The Totally GM:
Big and roomy? Check!
Durable? Double Check!
Exterior Pockets? Two of them!
Zippered closure? You Betcha!

I still have one major dilemma...
Color: should I go with the original monogram (brown) or the damier azur (blue and white)? If it were available in the brown damier there wouldn't be a question but these are the two options the bag is made in...I don't know which to choose!!
As for anybody that thinks I'm just plain crazy... that's ok I don't mind, they probably thought that in the first place, and... they're probably right :D

Saturday, March 13, 2010

All in a name

While AJ is at the vet with Bernard for his first of 2 blood draws today- I am home enjoying a great cup of coffee on this sunny Saturday morning- upstairs, in bed, with the fresh air, blue sky and sun shining in through the open skylights and the birds chirping sweet little tunes......I digress...that was me enjoying and appreciating the moment. Sorry, any way back on track- I thought I'd write some thoughts about the process we went through in deciding on our son's name.

Put simply, selecting a name is a really big deal! We are deciding what another human being, your child, will be for the duration of their life (well in most cases :). Definitely not a task to be taken lightly.

We have always tossed names around here and there for fun, and rarely have we found names that we both like, boys names being especially rare. After all, our last name "Jack" understandably poses a few challenges and requires a bit of extra thought.

First off you have to take into account the fact that "Jack" is a single syllable and also is a first name, so we wanted to try to avoid a name that could easily be shortened into a single syllable. Lots of people end up exclusively going by the shortened version of their first name which is fine, but we just tried to avoid those options. There are so many simple first names that I love such as Max, Miles, Charles, and Henry but they just don't work.

Then we get to the first names that end up sounding like an adjective in front of the last name Jack. For example I LOVE the first name "Harrison", but unfortunately it's often shortened to "Harry" understandably so. Harrison, shortened to Harry and in other words "Harry Jack" just isn't quite what we're going for! ha! I also am fond of "Hunter", but "Hunter Jack" sounds like Farmer John- not gonna work either.

There's also an option people choose that I love; using the mothers maiden name as a child's first name, but "Cash Jack"? Ummmmm, nope. I don't really need to explain that one. My cousin Katie named her second son Cash, but their last name is McKay- what a great name, "Cash McKay"!

Also, as part of the process I just couldn't help taking into account the slim change this kid just might be interested in athletics, so of course its got to be a name that has a great ring to it in an athletic arena too :)

Names I like (that work with Jack):
Adrian
Mason
Miller
Brenner
Brendan
Bowman
Jaden
Julian
Jordan
Carmello, Keyshawn (hahaha just kiddin' about those last two)

Names my husband likes:
Bowman

Seriously- we're gonna be in big trouble if ever in life we end up having another son. I have no idea what we'll name him because as of now, there's only one name we both like.

So Bowman it is! Bowman is some what of a family name- about 3 years ago before all the ancestry buzz of today I discovered Ancestry.com and spent lots of time tracing our family trees. Bowman happens to by my Alabama paternal Grandmom Cash's Grandmothers last name. That's where I first encountered it. While we realize Bowman can, and probably will be nicknamed "Bo", which is a single syllable, which we were trying to avoid- for some reason it doesn't bother me in the least bit and I kinda think it has a nice ring to it :)

Bowman is a good strong name. A question I asked my self in considering each option is "can I picture a grown man with this name?" because there are some names out there that honestly are cute for little boys, but when picturing a grown man with the name it just sounds silly.

The middle name we chose is AJ's mother's maiden name- she passed away 6 years ago and also after his Grandmother, "Gommie" Joan, we lost 2.5 years ago. Gable. (We very strongly considered Robert, after AJ's father Robert "Bobby" Jack, but in realizing that on a twisted level we'd be naming our son Bo Bob Jack- we just had to go with Gable:)

Bowman Gable Jack is our son- and he's kicking me right now!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

22 Weeks!


Yesterday marked day #1 of 22 weeks! My baby boy belly is growing more and more. I get an email each week from babycenter.com that contains information about the baby and what's going on each week. He is about 11 inches and the size of a spaghetti squash. I LOVE spaghetti squash, in fact i'd love some right now. Did I mention my appetite? :o) I'm feeling pretty great, I can feel the area above my bellybutton starting to push out...wierd.




Home: A reflection of the soul. Nursery: A reflection of love.

First, it's important to understand a little background on the topic i'm about to get into.

I was raised by two loving and wonderful parents who happen to be an Architect (father) and a commercial Designer (mother), both extremely talented and sucessful- I was the kid drawing architectural floorplans at age 7. Seriously. Needless to say this stuff rubbed off just a little and is kinda sorta in my blood. Why didn't I become and Architect? I guess we'll never know but it probably would have been a good idea :)

My surroundings have always been an important part of my life. I have come to recognize that my surroundings are truly an expression of who I am on the inside- a reflection of who I am that in turn feeds my soul and gives me back the love and care that I put out.

Our home is a place we love, that contains our love for one another and a place that we very much enjoy spending time. The space is comfortable, vivid, refreshing, relaxed, and well-intended; reflective of our energy and who we are. There is thought and sentiment behind most every item in our home, each piece of furniture carefully selected over time, original artworks we have collected over time. The home, like life, is a constantly evolving collection of experiences and emotions we choose to surround ourselves with.

The house was originally built in the 1920's, it's a Craftsman style 2-story bungalow. Just shy of 2000sf, it's much much smaller than homes we've owned in the past, but I think its safe to say we love it the most. As I firmly believe your personality should dictate your surroundings- it took thought and planning in order to inject our modern and vibrant personalities into this old home containing much of the original craftsman detail worthy of appreciation. I wasn't working for a while so I really had fun with it, and over the past 2.5 years it has become a perfect meld; you can't really tell where the 1920's detail stops and our modern taste starts, it's just us :)

So when it came time to plan a nursery for our baby I already knew what I had in mind (I should mention well before I knew the sex), - calm, clean and serene; well restrained with intentional touches of vibrance and excitement. I really am not interested in anything overly frilly (whatever the boy version of frilly is), juvenile or childish, or exceedingly gender-driven. I want a space that, upon entrance evokes a soothing exhale and inspires the desire to sit and stay a while with it's precious occupant.

It has already been lots of fun planning the concept and energy of the space and finding the contents accordingly. I will be sharing tid-bits, inspirations and ideas as we go along :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dear Baby B

I feel you moving. The past few days you have been so active in there! I wonder what you feel and hear. I lay in bed and watch my tummy jump as you kick and poke around. You started with the tiniest flutter and now you are so strong yet soft in comparison to what you will be in the weeks to come. I felt you for the very first time during our 15th week, while I was talking on the phone to your grandparents in Alaska, it was a special moment I'll remember always.
Today your daddy took me to the doctor for our regular check-up and we heard your precious heartbeat. All is healthy and good. After the appointment your daddy took me to get frozen yogurt- your father is a wonderful man.
We love you so.

Big Bernard Jack

4 weeks ago we took our boys to the vet for a check up. I requested a full blood panel to be run on Bernie because he's 6 years old and super healthy- a blood panel on a healthy mid-aged dog is a great thing to have because it will serve as a benchmark in the future when they get sick, it makes it easier to identify problems by comparing the sick dogs blood panel to the healthy panel.

A few days later I got a call from our Veterinarian telling me that all 3 of Bernie's liver enzymes were elevated. She said we should wait 4 weeks and re-test, because sometimes they rise and drop. Well 4-weeks was Saturday and we got the not so good news that they are still high. I think we're in good shape, again, because this is a dog that appears to be completely healthy and his normal adorable self, so I think it means whatever the problem is- we will catch it early. I am taking him in to see the Radiologist this morning for abdominal ultrasounds. Hopefully the Radiologist will find something conclusive and we can move forward.

In the meantime I have done some research and am starting him on Milk Thistle supplement which I have read can be very helpful in treating conditions associated with the liver.

Saturday was kind of tough, we cried a lot because Bernard is our original baby- he is a gift in our life, a precious soul and we love him so much. It's heartbreaking to fathom something serious could be wrong. But we have our faith that all will be ok!!




Monday, March 8, 2010

A Sunny Sunday and Jacks vs. Strollers Round 2!




Yesterday was a lovely sunny Sunday here in Sacramento! We had a great morning with a walk to our neighborhood Starbucks on J Street, with our sweet doggies (they prefer ice water and whip-cream lattes:) We made our game plan for the day and headed back home to get things going.

We charged our batteries with a lovely lunch on the patio at Riverside Bistro; good food and good conversation it's hard to go wrong.

After lunch (drum roll please) we decided to go for round #2: The Jack's vs. Strollers. Thus far the score was Strollers-1 Jack's-0. After our experience on Saturday, a little more research was done and this time we both felt pretty good about going back for more. We had a goal: B.O.B. Revolution vs. Bugaboo Chameleon and to also learn a thing or two about the collapsible umbrella type.

Well...lets just say that after yesterday I have pulled myself from the ranks. I've dropped out of the stroller derby. There are just too many...everything! Too many features, extras and must-haves. I just cant hold my footing in this arena so I throw in my towel and pass the baton.

My husband on the other hand plows forward with confidence and appears to be holding his own. He will be making this and probably many other decisions about what is purchased for this baby. My new official and self-appointed title is Executive of the Color Selection Committee and Design Review Board- because in reality that's all I really care about. He is so great with this type of thing, he'll make sure this stroller has all the bells a whistles we need- and it will be one that I like and whatever color I want. So in the end I think the Jack's will prevail thanks to our wise team captain AJ!

After stroller challenge round #2 we went home to relax outside on the porch and had a nice evening at home reading and watching the Oscars red carpet action- sans stroller drama!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Treasured Moments


We took Bernie to the vet yesterday and of course we didn't dare leave lil'Murphy behind. He got so excited when I got his sling bag out- he jumped right in and curled up for the adventure to the vet. Such a sweet precious little guy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A baby planner anyone???

There are planners for major life events; professionals-experts in the industry- that individuals may hire to assist in navigating and decision making and detail handeling for these events. A wedding planner for example, guides a couple through the process of planning a wedding, they have experience and are knowledgable on all aspects of the event, streamlining the process so that said couple is able to easily make decisions based on their preferences, A wedding planner knows about things an innocent engaged couple didn't know they'd need!

What i'm getting at here is WHY aren't there baby planners???

All of the "stuff" that two expectant parents must purchase and acquire in preparation for their new baby- who is getting closer and closer to arrival each day- is thoroughly overwhelming!! I for one would be all for hiring an expert in the field to help us do all that we need in preparation for our son. It would be frusteration saved and money well spent!

We spent a hour at a locally owned baby and toddler store- (I dont dare to set foot in a Baby-Mart-World-Land-R'us type store just yet for fear of a full blown anxiety attack or worse:) We thought we'd learn a thing or 2 about strollers and maybe narrow it down to a stroller we like. huh! a novice idea that was!! We worked with a very helpful sales staff member who walked us through all the different makes and models and sizes and functions of ALL the strollers. Well, by the first 60 seconds into "Stroller Introduction 101" we both looked at eachother and realized we dont even know when people actually use strollers! Other than for a neighborhood walk to Starbucks on Saturday and Sunday morning...? The staff member posed to us a perfectly reasonable question "So what will you be using the stroller for?" We looked at eachother and said "Uhhhhh to stroll? To push around the baby? To go for a walk?" A second later another stroller function donned on AJ and he declared "Going to restaurants!" I agreed wholeheartedly- "Good one babe!" and then I blurted out "I dont even know when people actually use strollers." I suppose the easy and obvious anwer is everything- yet hard to imagine integrated into the context of our life at present. Oh the joys.

We decided to go back for round 2 tomorrow- I for another look at the B.O.B. Revolution!, Stokke Xplory and Bugaboo Cameleon- yeah, I dont really know what any of that means... and maybe we'll venture into the car seat section!

All I can say is thank the Lord that AJ doesn't panic. He's so calm and collected and I bet he'll have it all figured out by tomorrow night im sure! He's definitely driving this bus!

Friday, March 5, 2010

21 Weeks and a day...


Yesterday was the first day of my 21st week of pregnancy! Every Thursday is a special day because I get to start a new official week- just a fun little event I look forward to. Back on the 14th week Thursday, AJ made me pose (reluctantly) for a belly picture, then he did it again (despite my resistance) the 15th week. By the 16th week I was on board and he's taken a pic each Thursday evening since. Yesterday he took the 21st week pics.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Joining the fun!

I've decided it's time for the Jacks to join in the blogging fun! This is my/our first official blog, ever! With baby Jack on the way, life is just far too exciting not to share with the people we love :) So here we go...