Ultrasound and all is well.

Well, as predicted by grandma, little Ace "aced" his biophysical profile today.  He practiced his breathing, opened and closed his hands, he moved his body, arms and legs, and had plenty of amniotic fluid. 
He's measuring a 7 pounds 4 ounces and it about the cutest little blob you could imagine. 

I go in for my blood pressure check tomorrow.  Depending on how that goes I may or may not get an induction date set - now that we know he's big and healthy and ready to go.

I think he's going to look a little like his dad.  What do you think?
That's his hand over his face. 
Oh, and that's the placenta - not his chin.  :)
Don't you just want to squeeze him?


Documenting the pregnancy...


Mother Name: Amanda
Age: 25
Birthday: October 1st
Height: 5'6
Father Name: Geoff
Age: 25 (although he'll be 26 by the time baby comes)
Birthday: October 31st
Height: 5'11


Is this your first pregnancy?: Yes.  Yes it is. 
When did you find out you were pregnant?: Saturday, March 12, 2011
How did you find out you were pregnant?: I realized I was almost a week late on my period, so I took a test. 
Boy, was I surprised.
What kind of pregnancy test did you take?: Now that, I don't know.  I ended up taking a couple different kinds.  The first one I took (about 6am) was just one I happened to have in the bathroom.  The others we picked up at Walmart.
How many?: Three.  The one at 6am.  Then we went out and bought some more.  I took another that afternoon and another Sunday morning. 
What were your first symptoms?: Not too much.  Kind of just period-like symptoms: breast tenderness, mild cramping.
Who did you tell first?: The hub, of course.  He was wondering what the heck I was doing waking him up at 6am on a Saturday morning. 
Who was with you when you found out?:  I really wasn't expecting the test to be positive, so I took the first test by myself. 
Was baby planned?: Yes and no.  We weren't trying to stop any pregnancy, but we also weren't counting days or anything like that.  But, we were definitely ready for whenever it happened,
When was baby conceived?: Well, I don't know the exact moment.  Haha.  But some time in mid-February. 
How far were you when you found out?: 4 weeks, 5 days - almost 5 weeks.


Due date: 11/14/11
Did you want to know the sex?: No doubt about it.
Do you know the sex?: Yes, I do.
If so, boy or girl? Boy!
Any names?: Nothing official yet.  But, we do have a few favorites. 
Any ultrasounds?:To date I've had 2 ultrasounds (with another scheduled tomorrow). The first was at my first appointment at 11 weeks. And then again at 18. Pictures below.  
11 weeks
18 weeks
Have you heard the heartbeat?: Many a time.  His heart rate has hung out around 145-155 throughout the pregnancy.  There's very little I like more than listening to his heart pump along.
Who do you think baby will look like?
My money is betting that he'll look like his dad.  But, we'll have to wait and see.
Will baby have any siblings?: Eventually, I'm sure.  But, for now, we're just focusing on the one. 
When did you first feel the baby move? I first felt movement at about 15 weeks.  I'd actually been feeling it for a week or so before that, but didn't really realize what it was. 
When did you start to show?: Oh, that's a good question.  I felt like I was showing around 15 or 18 weeks, but most people would have probably just thought I was packing on the pounds.  I wouldn't say I looked noticeably pregnant until about 20 or 22 weeks. 
25 weeks
How long could you wear your regular clothes? Honestly, not all that long.  By 12-14 weeks or so I was in maternity pants exclusively - my hips seem to have taken the brunt of my pregnancy weight, oddly enough.  I was able to wear my normal shirts for a long time.  Close to 28 or 29 weeks. 
Are you excited?: There aren't words!


Did you have morning sickness?: Not really.  A little bit of nausea here and there, but never a visit to the porcelain throne.
Do you have any cravings?: Not a ton.  Chocolate milk has probably been my biggest craving.  That and cup o' noodles/top ramen/mac and cheese.  The saltier, the better for me. 
Do you have any mood swings?: Oh, sure.  Nothing too bad, I don't think.  But I have had a few outbursts.  I remember one morning I was getting ready for work and I had to do in-house training that day - so I needed to dress business casual.  I couldn't find my maternity slacks to save my life...I'm pretty sure I threw a temper tantrum that morning.  :)
Are you a high risk pregnancy?: I haven't been.  Everything has gone just about as smoothly as one could ask for until my blood pressure started to rise last week.  Now I've been diagnosed with PIH (pregnancy induced hypertension) and I'm on bed rest to keep my BP down. 
Any complications?: Just the PIH explained above.
Formula or breastfeeding?: I will be breastfeeding.
Have you bought anything for baby yet?: What haven't I bought for baby.  He's pretty much ready to go.  Crib, changing table, bouncer, rocker, clothes, diapers, wipes, baby monitor, blankets...
Who will help with baby after their born?:  Geoff will get a week off from work and Mama G will come out for a couple weeks. 
What is your favorite thing about being pregnant?:  Bonding with my little man.  Feeling him move and wiggle and grow.  It's really about the coolest experience a girl could ask for.
What is the worst thing about being pregnant?:  Um.  Probably just the general difficulty getting around.  It takes far too long to peel myself out of bed or the couch to use the restroom, let alone just rolling over during the night.
What's one thing do you miss doing since being pregnant?:  Just one?  Haha.  I miss diet soda probably the most. 
Any days you wish you weren't pregnant?: Nope.  Not every day has been a dream, but I wouldn't trade any of the experiences. 
Are you ready for baby?:  I am ready!
How many kids do you want?: It's a little soon to be asking me this question.  Right now, I'm just going to get a handle on the one.  But, probably 2-4.
Do you talk to your baby?: I sure do. 
Do you still feel attractive?: Most days.  It really helps if I take the time to put on makeup.  There's nothing attractive about the way I have to heft myself around, but once I'm up, I think I'm still pretty cute.  The hub seems to think so, too.
Have you had your baby shower yet?: Yes.  I blogged about it.
How far along are you now?: 37 weeks, 2 days



Well, I'm still in bed.  Resting.   

At least I'm at home in my own bed.  Although with all the Dr appointments I've got going on this week, I'm not sure how big a perk that is.  Haha.  I've already been twice this week and have two more appointments before the weekend.  At least they are keeping an eye on me, right?

Monday my blood pressure was up.  Higher than Friday.  This was not ideal.  They sent me home to rest again for another day before I had my regularly scheduled appointment with the doc today. 

Today, my BP was down a bit.  It was still in the "red" zone, but my diastolic was down closer to 90 than 100 (for those of you who have any idea what that means), so that was good.  So, the goal is to keep little man inside me for about another week and then we'll talk about inducing.  That will put me at 38 weeks and put him in a really good window for delivery. 

We've got an ultrasound scheduled for Thursday to make sure that little Ace is doing as well as his heart rate would indicate.  Then I go back in Friday for another BP check.  Then Monday again. 

I'm trying to keep myself as productive as possible - working on some work projects from home while I'm resting.  It's a little hard because my head aches SO MUCH (which is due to the high blood pressure), but it's nice to have something to keep me busy and distracted. 

Keep sending positive thoughts and prayers our way.  I'll keep you, dear blog readers, apprised of what happens from here.  And, hopefully, I'll have a picture of the boy to share after the ultrasound on Thursday. 

P.S. Have you weighed in on his name yet?  See the panel to the right.

P.P.S. Here are some pics taken of me on Friday - 36 weeks 5 days pregnant.


Rest? What's that?

So, at my regular Dr. appt on Wednesday, my blood pressure had been up a bit.  Thursday I wasn't feeling well - headache, exhausted (I went to bed at 8:30pm, pretty unusual for me, even at 36 weeks pregnant), so Friday during my lunch break I stopped at Geoff's pharmacy and took my blood pressure.  It was 144/97.  Not so great.  So, I called the hospital and asked if they wanted me to come in so they could take it with their cuff.  They got, essentially, the same reading.

They then whisked me off to the birthing center (in a wheelchair...across the hall) to hook the baby up to a monitor and run some labs.  The good news: the baby looked perfect and the labs came back clean, so no preeclampsia diagnosis   The bad news: none of that explains the high BP.  So, I've been put on bed rest for the weekend and I go back Monday morning to get my BP checked again.

On Monday, I'll be 37 weeks - so if I'm going to have any BP problems, this is a pretty okay time to get them, since I'm considered full term and there's no concern if I needed to be induced or if I went into labor now.

My problem?  This bed rest concept.  I was just joking with my mom that my typical idea of a day of rest means doing laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning.  This weekend I was planning to get my hospital bag packed for L&D, as well.  As it turns out, that is not what falls into the list of acceptable activities while you are on bed rest.  Hence the unusual Saturday afternoon blog post.

I sent the hub to the grocery store over an hour ago - I'm not sure why he's not back yet.  Lol.  I guess we're all a little out of our norms.  Wish me luck and keep little Ace in your thoughts and prayers!


Vehicular Slaughter

So, Geoff and I embarked on the adventure of buying [yet another] car recently.  Thanks to a slew of unfortunate happenstances, we found ourselves in need of a cheap, winter car.  So, we started watching Craigslist for a suitable contender.  Craigslist is a scary place to look for cars in our price range, but we eventually found a winner. 

So, it's at this point I start counting the number of cars we've owned in our relatively short marriage and we are averaging nearly 2 a year.  Yikes! So, here's the rundown:

1994 Ford Probe - Maroon/Red Coupe
Where/Why:  The Probe was given to me as a Christmas present after I graduated High School.  I actually left the Probe at home my freshman year of college and brought it out the next year.  I will still driving it a couple years later when Geoff and I got engaged and married, making it one of our first two cars.  The Probe wasn't full of get-up-and-go, but it usually got you where you needed to go.
Why we moved on: One sad day in early 2008, Geoff and I (and Rubio) were heading to the Salt Lake airport to pick up my brother.  As we headed over the point of the mountain...the car 'popped.'  A moment later flames burst out (briefly) of each side of the hood and the engine came to an abrupt stop.  The Probe threw a rod on the freeway and never drove again. 

1986 Honda Prelude - Black/Rust Coupe (note, this is NOT an actual picture of our sad, leprosy-ridden car)
Where/Why:  When Geoff got home from his mission in early 2007, he knew he needed a car to get him to and from work.  He knew he needed a car even more when he realized he needed to drive the 40 minute drive to see me every day.  So, he bought the Prelude from his dear friend Scott.  He paid $50.  We easily got $50 worth out of the Prelude.
Why we moved on: The Prelude was never in "tip top" shape.  It went through oil like I go through Diet Mountain Dew (when I'm not pregnant).  When you drove it, enough fumes came through the vents to convince you that you might, indeed suffocate.  However, the car just seemed to keep going and going.  Ultimately, it became entirely too unreliable and Geoff would have to push start the car to get it anywhere.  In early 2009, it was time to take her to the junk yard.  Fun Trivia Moment: We took the Prelude and Probe to the junk yard on the same day. 

1999 Volkswagen Passat - Black Sedan
Where/Why: When the Probe gave up on us early 2008, we needed to replace it.  Fast and cheap.  So, we started searching Craiglist for a good used car.  We always appreciated the Germans, so when we found a '99 Passat with relatively low miles for a price well below "market value," we jumped on it. 
Why we moved on: In January of 2010 (January seems to be a bad month for us and cars), shortly after we arrived in Fargo, I was off to pick up a pizza for Geoff and I.  On the way, the car shut off.  Turns out the timing belt had broken on me as I was driving down the street.  The car wasn't worth the cost to fix the timing belt, so we sent her off to the junkyard.  It was a bittersweet day - the Passat was a really great car. 

2002 Mercedes Benz C230K - Maroon/Red Coupe
Where/Why:  When we decided to retire the Prelude, we needed to get a second car to partner with the Passat.  We looked long and hard for another P car, since the Parkers had owned the Probe, the Prelude and the Passat.  We narrowly missed out on a Mazda Protege - but eventually gave up the dream of an all P car existence.  We found the Mercedes - with very low miles for it's age and decided to get it.
Why we moved on: Just a few months back in June of 2011, we sold the Merc to a new family.  We didn't need two coupes hanging around with a baby on the way and had a decent amount of equity in the Merc.  The check engine light came on as we were selling it (big bummer), but we eventually found a blessing buyer who wanted it as-is (for a price reduction).  We lost our equity on it because of that, but still manage to sell it.  A win-win, I'd say. 

1993 Nissan 300ZX - Maroon/Red Coupe
Where/Why: The Nissan came into our lives in July of 2011.  After the Passat became immobile in January of 2011, Geoff and I became a 1 car carpooling family until the summer.  This gave Geoff plenty of time to research cars and find the one he "needed."  This came in the form of an oldie, but a goodie.  With extremely low miles and a moderate price tag, I had to consent.  The Nissan may not start with a P, but it's got all the important Ps: Power, Power, and Power.   With twin turbos and the most comfortable leather seats you'll ever sit in, this car has made Geoff a happy man.
Why we moved on: We haven't yet.  Geoff will be driving the Nissan until the snows come and then we'll put it in storage for the winter.  Geoff will likely put it up for sale in the spring - as it's not really baby friendly. 

2011 Kia Optima - Black Sedan
Where/Why: So, when Geoff bought the Nissan, we made a deal that, come winter, we'd garage that car (to preserve it's value and keep Geoff alive - since it's really not a winter-friendly car).  We planned to buy a junker.  Buying a junker is A LOT harder than it sounds.  So, we started thinking about buying a "real" car - especially since we'd sell the Merc when the spring rolled around.  We drove about every new car you can think of in this price range.  The Kia won.  We love this car. 
Why we moved on: We haven't.  We have had the Kia for almost a year now, and are still very pleased with our decision.  There's a couple years left on the lease, so we'll be happy for at least another 2!

1992 Volkswagen Passat - Red Sedan
Where/Why: So, winter is upon us, yet again, in Fargo.  For the Parkers this year, that means a baby AND snow.  That means the Nissan needs to get professionally garaged and we need a second car to get us to where we need to go.  So, we found this beauty on Craigslist and traded for a carton of cigarettes.  Just kidding - although we didn't spend much more.  It's got some rust and some dings.  The interior is in surprisingly good condition and, if it gets us around for the next 6 months, we'll be happy campers. 
Welcome to the family, Passat Number 2!

The rundown: 3 maroon/red coupes, 2 black sedans, 1 black coupe, 1 red sedan; 3 manual transmission, 4 automatic; 3 in the junk yard, 1 sold, 3 in our possession still;  Number of cars we've owned that Rubio has ridden in: 7; Number of cars we've had that Rom has ridden in: 5. 


What's in a Name?

When I was a senior in high school, I was a TA for an AP Art History class.  Toward the end of the year, the class got to go on a field trip to San Francisco to see the art at the Palace of Legion of Honor.  My mom came along as a chaperone and, if I'm being honest, the two of us spent the day having way too much fun and not nearly enough time chaperoning. 

On the bus ride back from the trip, we spent a good long while considering my future children's names.  I've still got the notebook outlining the selections for boys and girls.  I remember that day thinking to myself, I like so many boy names.  I better have a bunch of boys, because I don't like any girl names. 

Well, past-self, to you I say: HA.  It is NOT easy to name your boy.  A name is a BIG decision.  We are talking about a human being.  I'm determining the nicknames he'll have, the taunts that bullies may come up with, the name that future college and job recruiters will read and judge him on, whether he'll spend his life spelling his name for people instead of just telling them his name, or whether he'll be able to write his name at a young age or not (if it has hard letters in it).  This is a lot to consider. 

Is seems that every little boy I know who was born in the last 18 months has a name that starts with C or K, so we won't be going that direction. 

I, personally, have 6 [current] favorite names (notice the voting widget to your right?).  Geoff likes them all just fine.  He wishes that Xavier was on the list and that Jackson was spelled Jaxon...but these are two things I cannot allow (not for any GOOD reason, mind you.  I just don't care for them for my kid). 

So, anyway.  I started looking into the meanings of these names - and they nearly all are sub-par.  I mean, Amanda means "worthy of love."  Geoffrey means "God peace."  These are pretty alright meanings.  Can my little boys name really mean "Son of Jack?"  That's not even accurate. 

So here's the meanings of my top boy names.  If I choose one of the "lamer" meanings...maybe I'll just have to make up my own meaning for it. Ha!

Elijah - The Lord is my God; Jackson - Son of Jack; Jakob: Supplanter; Lincoln - From the Lake Settlement; Logan - From the Hollow; Lukas: From Lucania.  See?  Not all that impressive overall.  Probably because most of the names were originally surnames. 

Anyway, I like them all and I don't think we could go particularly wrong with any of them.  But...deciding is the worst


Home Stretch

Raise your hand if you can believe I've been pregnant for 35 weeks 2 days?  No?  Me, neither. 

I can't believe that, quite literally, any day my little boy could be on his way into the world.  He's weighing in at anywhere between 5 and 6 pounds this week.  I was born at 35 weeks.  My little boy is going to keep cooking for a least a few more weeks, I'm sure, but, he's almost full term and if I were to go into labor today, there would be very little cause for alarm. 

His room is ready.  It's my favorite room in the house.  I love to go sit in there and read or just look at all his wonderful things.  I need to wash all his adorable little clothes and sheets and blankets - a task for the weekend, get the car seat installed in the car, and purchase some receiving blankets (can you believe I don't have any?).  Beyond that [and him needing a name] I'm pretty much ready to bring this little guy home.

My office recently started a pool to guess his arrival date/time.  Any guesses out there in cyberspace?

Some nursery pics for your viewing pleasure:



Baby. Shower.

This past weekend I had a wonderful baby shower that was generously thrown for my by some friends in the ward.  Truthfully (and here's my 'poor pregnant me' moment), I had not expected to have one.  I'm not a terribly social person and although I have some awesome co-workers and church friends, I just didn't anticipate having a baby shower.  Then all in one day, three friends in the ward offered.  It was a wonderful treat. 

So, Saturday was the day.  We had a brunch-time baby shower with mini-cinnamon rolls, muffins, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, egg/sausage bake and cheesy hash browns.  All the food was delicious (and so appropriate for me - since breakfast food is my favorite).  We played a few games, talked about babies, opened presents and had an all around great time (these are just the pics from my phone - hopefully I'll have more to share later from the photographer of the day).  You can't tell in my picture below, but the water bottles have shower-themed labels on them with elephants and giraffes.  So cute.
By the time I left, there was no room left in my trunk!  Baby boy is already so loved and spoiled.  I'm so glad to have such wonderful people in our lives - especially with family so far away (although the big, striped blue and the smaller brown and green polka dotted bags in my trunk did make their way from Mama G and Auntie Amanda in California). 
Thanks to everyone who helped make my day special and who loves my little boy.  Geoff and I are so excited for him to make his debut into this world. 


Did Anyone Else Hear That?

So, Geoff and I are at our Lamaze Childbirth Education Class.  We are discussing infant care - you know the part that comes after the baby is born and the hospital lets you go home with a 2-day old human being

So, we are talking about all the responsibilities of being a parent.  Our teacher (a nurse named Amy - or possibly Aimee, something I wondered about throughout most of the 4 3-hour sessions) is discussing the importance of teaching our kids to be active early in life. 

She is saying, "Obesity rates are getting so high in children as they become more sediment..."

She keeps talking [about sediment children]...but at this point I am no longer listening as my gaze has shot over to my husband and my eyebrows have nearly jumped off my face as our gaze meets and we both try to prevent ourselves from bursting out into laughter. 

I'm looking around the room to see if others have caught this hilarity - but I see no indications.  Either everyone is better at pretending or no one else caught that children are becoming SEDIMENT at an alarming rate. 

Note: For those of you who may be reading my blog wondering what I'm talking about - the correct word choice here would have been sedentary. Sediment = "the matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid."

So, here I am, sitting in class now pondering which one is more important to me - 1) that my child is physically active and maintains a healthy body weight? or 2) that my child has a working knowledge of the English language and can tell me difference between sediment and sedentary?

I guess we're going to have to shoot for both with lil' Ace.


Spoiled Rotten

Well, my birthday turned out to be a fantastic day.  Geoff and I started out the day "early" and went out for breakfast at Denny's (you get a free Grand Slam on your birthday!).  Geoff enjoyed a bacon avocado breakfast burrito and I had a grand slam with scrambled eggs (6 weeks 'til I can have over-medium again!), turkey bacon, hash browns, and pancakes. 

While there, Geoff surprised me with my first gift of the day.  A beautiful ring.  I recently lost (and then found) my class ring I wear on my right hand.  It was a very sad day for me when I lost the ring, because I pretty much haven't taken it off since the day I got in back in 2004.  So, to replace it, Geoff got me this beautiful ring.  Neither the class ring nor the new ring fit my pregnant sausage fingers, so once the baby is born, I'll have the most beautiful hands around. 

We then hurried home to catch the first session of General Conference.  What a treat to have conference on my birthday.  Really.  Before the session started, I opened up a Victoria's Secret box I had received the day before from my mom (and dad).  Inside was a super soft, full length lavender robe.  It's going to be perfect for all those late night feedings and early morning feedings and mid-day feedings.  Haha  Between sessions I made lunch and started baking my cake (chocolate cake with raspberry filling and marshmallow fondant).  Geoff also surprised me with another gift - an apple peeler/corer.  Needless to say, we had apples with lunch!  I also checked the mail to find birthday cards from my sister-in-law and mom (complete with a Tuesday Morning gift card!)

After the second session, Geoff presented me with my third and final present of the day - a refinished dresser.  Since we got married we have not had a dresser in our bedroom.  We've always made do with cheap plastic drawers hidden in the closet.  So, from a practical standpoint I'm thrilled to have a dresser!  From a design standpoint, I'm SO excited about how he refinished it.  It's perfect.  He had been secretly working down in the basement for days - and I had no idea what he was doing down there.  I couldn't have been more surprised or excited.  Sorry that the pic is in the basement, but we're still toying with the furniture arrangement in our room, so I'll give a more "official" picture later. 

Monday I got another gift in the mail from the parents - a fantastic set of eye shadows, blushes and lipstick from Sephora.  I've already tried a few of the colors and can't believe how fun it is to have so many options when I'm getting ready!

My mother-in-law called to tell me I should be getting something else soon, too.  So, I'm STILL in the process of being spoiled. 

Thanks to everyone who made my day wonderful.  I'm sorry to those of you whose phone calls I missed - but know that you made my day even better. 

On to the next birthday on the list...just 4 short weeks 'til Geoff turns 26!