28 December 2008

Christmas with the Clarks

What a fantastic Christmas weekend! The festivities started with spending Christmas Eve with my parents and my sister, Karen. We ate dinner together and opened too many presents. (Cheeto got more presents than anyone!) Then we went to the candlelight service at Chris' parents' church. Early Christmas morning, Chris and I exchanged our gifts. I was most excited about giving him an MP3 player, something he wanted but wasn't expecting. Here he is rocking to the music on his new player: I was completely shocked when I opened a special gift from Chris: a new camera! Recently I've been drooling over a camera that was a little too pricey for our price range, but Chris surprised me by using some of his basketball money to buy it for me (and Cheeto!). I've got about two months to learn all the bells and whistles before it will be time to take pictures of Cheeto. We spent Christmas day with my extended family. We had a great time together, especially playing Catchphrase. My grandma was very entertaining and witty during the game! Friday was Christmas with Chris' family. We watched a few movies (sort of a tradition for the Clarks) and ate a lot of food. Chris' parents surprised us by buying a crib for Cheeto. So Chris and his dad spent part of Saturday assembling the crib: After I wash the bedding, a gift courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Hromada, we'll be well on our way to setting up the nursery. Saturday night was Chris' only basketball game of the week. I wasn't planning on going. But since it was a good excuse to play with our new camera, I decided to go! I got some pretty good shots and had fun experimenting with the camera.

So that's how we spent our Christmas. We hope everyone else had a blessed Christmas with family and friends!

27 December 2008

Happy anniversary, Hubby!

Five years ago today, the man of my dreams proposed to me.

It all started with a poem on Christmas Eve that told me my gift would arrive later. I admit I was a little miffed that he couldn't buy my gift in time. :o) Over the next several days, I received more poems, all lovingly written by Chris.

It all culminated with a final poem, some heartfelt words and a lot of tears in the lobby of the jewelry store. You may not think that was a very romantic location, but I thought it was perfect. Chris insisted that he couldn't keep that ring in his pocket for very long. So he proposed as soon as he picked it up from the jeweler!

It's hard to believe how far we've come in five years, Chris. Our life couldn't be more perfect. And I can't believe we're waiting for our little one's arrival. Thank you for loving me and for choosing to spend your life with me. I love you!

25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just popping on to wish everyone a merry Christmas! God has already blessed us so much, but we feel extra blessed this year. We're already feeling the love for Cheeto and he/she isn't even here yet! We had one family celebration today, and there will be another one tomorrow. We'll post pictures and updates later this weekend. Enjoy this special time of year with your friends and family. Remember during your celebrations, the Cross is why the manger is so important!

18 December 2008

The week in review

We had a lot going on this week and not much of it was Christmas-related. Let's see if I can remember everything...

First, we said goodbye to the 1972 linoleum in the kitchen and laundry room. We replaced it with the same wood laminate that we installed in the dining room and entry way.

We also replaced the royal blue carpet in Cheeto's nursery with some more eye-appealing, kid-friendly carpet.

Next on our "to do" list is purchasing the nursery furniture. Then we can start getting organized and preparing the room for our little Cheeto.

This week, we also finished our childbirth classes. So I guess the medical community thinks we're ready to have a baby! Even though the classes made me more nervous and scared, we really did learn a lot and feel a little more prepared for this whole thing. I must say I'm glad that I wasn't too shocked or surprised during the classes. I know a lot about pregnancy and labor and delivery, thanks to my line of work. We'll just see how much that knowledge translates into action during the birth process!

And let me say right now how grateful I am to have such a loving, supportive and encouraging husband. I was appalled at the childish and immature comments coming from many of the fathers in our classes. I know that Chris will be a wonderful help to both me and the baby. I'm so glad we're doing all of this together!

And finally...tomorrow I will be 31 weeks. So here's my 30-week picture:

Cheeto is quickly outgrowing this tank top. I hope it will last just a few more weeks!

15 December 2008

30-week appointment

I had another uneventful appointment today. My blood pressure is great. I haven't gained any weight gain since my last appointment. Cheeto's heartbeat was at 140 bpm. And my glucose level from my gestational diabetes test was normal at 116. My doctor and I talked about potential interventions during labor and delivery. I just wanted to get her opinions on when she'd resort to some of these measures, including a C-section. I was very satisfied with her answers. She seems to be a pretty conservative practitioner, but I know she'll always keep my and Cheeto's health in mind. My next appointment (32 weeks) will be Jan. 2, and I'll see one of the other doctors in the practice. Until then, I'll keep continuing my quiet, boring pregnancy!

13 December 2008

Not your mother's cloth diapers

Sorry we've been MIA from the blog lately. Childbirth classes, Christmas preparations and basketball games have kept us from making blog entries lately. * * * * * We anticipate that we'll be pretty traditional and conservative parents. But we didn't really expect that we'd take a step back in time by considering cloth diapers for Cheeto. After hearing great experiences from some of my online friends, I did some investigating and made the suggestion to Chris. At first, it took a little convincing to get him on board. He was expecting the cumbersome diapers and safety pins our mothers used. But after the thorough in-home demo from Toasty Baby and hearing the many advantages of cloth diapering, he agreed to give it a try. He couldn't argue with these facts:
  • An estimated 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the United States.
  • A single disposable diaper may take 250 to 500 years to decompose.
  • Disposable diaper use contributes to 1 ton of garbage per baby in landfills.
  • Babies who are cloth diapered are potty trained on average in 24 months, versus 30 months for those who wear disposable diapers.
  • On average, disposable diapers cost about $2,200 for 30 months while using prefold diapers and covers costs $735 for 24 months.
Thanks to Toasty Baby for this data. So when Cheeto is about a week old, and after we get into a diapering routine, we're going to move to cloth diapers. We plan to use prefold diapers with covers, plus a few all-in-ones when we're out and about, away from home. One way we plan to make this new adventure a little easier is by using Toasty Baby's diaper service. Yes, it's very much like the diaper service my mother used when I was a baby. Each week, Toasty Baby will drop off 100 prefold diapers and pick up the dirty ones. No laundering involved for us! This helped Chris ultimately decide to go with cloth diapers. :o) So if you plan on babysitting Cheeto, expect to get a crash course in cloth diapering. Trust us...it's not as difficult as you might expect!

02 December 2008

28-week appointment

Today was a very uneventful 28-week appointment. My blood pressure and weight are still on track, and Cheeto's heartbeat is about 130 bpm. (Don't try to judge Cheeto's sex based on the heartbeat. It's not a very good indicator. :o) ) They also tested me for gestational diabetes. For this test, I drank an orange, surgary syrup then had my blood drawn an hour later. We don't expect anything to be wrong, but they'll let us know if there's a problem. Now our appointments are every two weeks. Yikes! Already? Then once I reach 36 weeks, our appointments will be weekly. I wonder if the third trimester will drag on like so many women say it does!

30 November 2008

Recap from the past few days

Believe it or not, we've had a very relaxing four-day weekend. On Wednesday night, we had our first childbirth class. It wasn't as scary as we thought, but I know we'll both learn a lot. Out of the eight couples in our class, we were the only ones expecting a surprise baby. We think it's neat that we're waiting to find out, so we thought a few more people would do that, too. I guess we're a novelty! We had a great Thanksgiving with our families. Chris loves having two big meals on one day! We spent Friday morning decorating our Christmas tree and setting out our other decorations.

Next year, three stockings will hang on our fireplace!

We spent Friday afternoon watching a few movies. It was a much-needed break from the busyness of life. Saturday morning, while Chris was mulching the last of the leaves in our yard, my mom, Karen and I added some items to Cheeto's baby registry. I'll make one more visit to the store with Chris' mom later this week. Then our registry will be complete. Yesterday we also chose the carpet for Cheeto's nursery. It should be installed by Christmas. Then we'll have to buy the furniture and set up the room! After that, there are only a few minor things left on our Cheeto to do list. Friday also started the final trimester. I can't believe I'm in the homestretch. That means Cheeto will be here in about three months. Wow!

25 November 2008

First session of night school

When I registered us for prenatal classes all the way back in September, Thanksgiving seemed so far away. But it's here already! We start our prenatal classes tomorrow night. First off is four nights of childbirth classes then one night each of breastfeeding and newborn care. Each little step we take is making things more real. I don't know who will be worse during our classes: me, being scared and emotional, or Chris, being nervous and giggly. He's already warned me that he may act like a seventh grade boy in health class. I asked him not to embarrass me since I work with our instructor every day. We'll check back in later this week and share how scared the classes made us! Since it's been awhile since I've posted a weekly belly picture, here is last week's shot (26 weeks). I'm quickly outgrowing my clothes, and I'm feeling bigger every day. But I wouldn't change anything. I'm loving being pregnant! And one more random thought...I want to publicly thank my wonderful hubby for making my birthday so special yesterday. Next year's birthday will be a little more complicated since we'll need to secure a babysitter!

24 November 2008

Picture for three

Our church (Mount Pleasant Christian Church) is turning 125 years old on Teresa and my anniversary, April 17, 2009. One of the things MPCC is doing for this celebration is creating a church pictorial directory. With 4,000 members, obviously this is a daunting task. However, a Web site has been set up to allow members to log on and schedule their appointments. Well, I just logged on and scheduled our time. I chose a time slot in March because that way Cheeto can be in the picture. This seemed neat and not a big deal until it came time to "select the number in your party." Picking "three" felt quite strange. Maybe it is the fact that I now have something on my Palm Pilot that includes Cheeto! It will be great to have a professional picture just a month after our little one arrives. But scheduling the appointment now kinda freaks me out! :)

19 November 2008

Hoosier daddy

In an effort to be sure Cheeto knows who to root for, we went to Bloomington last night to see IU take on IUPUI. And this was Teresa's first visit to the hallowed court at Assembly Hall. We had great seats, too. No sitting in the balcony last night!

It was a great game that went down to a last-second shot. We would have been glad to see Ron Hunter and his Jaguars win the game, but I was happy the Hoosiers pulled out a victory.

Besides watching my team live and in person, my favorite moment is the World's Greatest Timeout. During the second half under eight-minute timeout, the Hoosier nation pays homage to its roots by "worshipping" to the Indiana flags while the IU Pep Bands serenades them with the "William Tell Overture."

Hey look...those banners hang in our house, too!

And here's our usual self-portrait. We were laughing in this picture because it took several shots to get a good picture.

It was a great family outing, and we didn't have to pay for a ticket for Cheeto!

15 November 2008

The nursery: Phase 2

Today Grandma and Grandpa Clark helped us hang the wallpaper border in Cheeto's nursery. They made it seem very easy! And we finished the job in no time.

The green walls look a lot better now that they have something else on them. Next up is new carpet. The ugly royal blue in there now definitely doesn't go with the new color scheme!

After hanging the wallpaper, we took Mike and Connie out to lunch and saw the new James Bond movie. This was our birthday gift to him since he's such a big James Bond fan. At one point during the movie, Cheeto was especially excited and started kicking me quite hard. We can't decide if it's because Cheeto liked the movie or wanted to get out! But those were some pretty powerful kicks.

13 November 2008

That can't be right...

Today, my ticker on the left side of the page says "99 days to go." Seriously? I'm in double digits now? Don't get me wrong...I can't wait to meet Cheeto, but there's so much to do before February. Ninety-nine days just doesn't seem like enough time to prepare for the biggest change in our lives!

09 November 2008

The only bad thing about fall

As kids, most of us loved this time of year since it meant playing and jumping in huge piles of leaves. I have fond memories of this in my own childhood. But being a grown-up during fall means raking and bagging leaves instead of playing in them. That was Chris' mission today: Raking the yard. He spent a few hours outside after church and filled 20 bags with leaves. Seems like a lot, right? His job is done, right? Not quite. Those 20 bags were only about half of the back yard, never mind the front yard. By the time he was finished, he was frustrated and worn out. But after a hot lunch and some hot chocolate, now he's wrapped up in his IU blanket and sleeping in his recliner. All in a day's work. I just hope Chris doesn't regret buying this house with its huge mature trees!

08 November 2008

The nursery: Phase 1

Since Chris didn't have any basketball games today, Grandma and Grandpa Hromada and Aunt Karen helped us paint Cheeto's nursery. Karen made sure we knew whose room this will be: The green looks kind of bright in these pictures, but it's a little more subdued in person. We really like the color. It will look more like a baby's room once we add the furniture, bedding and other accessories! Phase 2 will be adding the wallpaper border to the top of the walls. We're hoping Grandma and Grandpa Clark will help with that. :o)

02 November 2008

A few random things...

First, I want to publicly recognize my successful referee husband! He did such a great job running a sideline of the boys' state soccer finals last night. It was the best game he could hope for. (It took overtime and then seven PKs before a winner was determined.) And I could tell he was having a really good time!

Due to Chris' lightning speed running the sideline, here's the best picture I got all night:

On to the other excitement this week...When my Grandma Hromada passed away earlier this year, besides leaving behind many special memories, photos and mementos, she also generously left some money for my sister and me. Chris and I wanted to spend our portion on something special that will always remind us of Grandma. So we bought a new dining room set.

The set arrived this week, and I think Grandma would approve of it! The china cabinet is the new home for one of my favorite possessions: Grandma and Grandpa's wedding china that now is more than 65 years old. And the dining set also shares the same room as Grandma's piano, another item I'm proud to have.

Each time I walk by the table or see her china in the cabinet, I'll think of Grandma and her happy, smiling face.

31 October 2008

24-week appointment

Everything is perfect! Cheeto's heartbeat was about 140. And I'm doing fine with blood pressure and weight gain. I was getting nervous because I haven't felt Cheeto move very much. But the doctor said everything is fine. The flutters and kicks should get more frequent now. I had another milestone this week: Yesterday the cashier at the grocery store asked me when the baby is due. She is the first stranger to mention my pregnancy! I thanked her for noticing my big baby belly. :o)

29 October 2008

He's going back to state!

This week, Chris was "invited" to officiate at the soccer state finals! What an awesome reward for such a great officiating season.

The games take place this Saturday in downtown Indianapolis. Now we're just waiting to find out if he'll have a morning game or an evening game. Personally, I'm hoping for a morning game. I imagine it will be warmer in the morning than it was at night for last year's state game. But it doesn't really matter...Cheeto and I will be there to cheer on our favorite referee, no matter what!

24 October 2008

Cheeto, are you in there?

Yesterday, I occasionally felt what could only be described as spasm-like movements. I'm guessing it was Cheeto, but I'm not sure. I haven't felt much today. I'll just keep waiting for more definitive flutters from Cheeto!

20 October 2008

Chris is reffing semi-state again!

Today Chris got his semi-state assignment for girls soccer!

After working a regionals game at Avon on Wednesday, he'll have three semi-state games at Evansville Harrison on Saturday. And some more good news...one of the guys from his regular crew is the head referee at this semi-state site! (And I have a feeling some of the other crew members will be in Evansville to harass and heckle Chris and Jeff. If it wasn't so far away, I'd be there, too!)

Chris works with a great group of guys during the regular season and likes the postseason much better when he gets to work with them in the "big" games. This semi-state assignment means Chris has a pretty good chance of going to state again this year. Even though he technically didn't qualify for state last year, someone thought he was so good that he went anyway as an alternate...a very important role but one that kept him on the sidelines, handling substitutes coming in and out of the game. This year, he's hoping to go to state and be on the field.

I'm so proud of Chris! I know he's a top-notch referee, but I'm glad to see others (who have a little more weight in the officiating world than me!) recognizing him for his efforts, too.

Good luck on Saturday, Chris and Jeff! I know you'll have a great semi-state!

18 October 2008

Patiently waiting for baby kicks

For the past few weeks, I've been waiting to feel flutters and kicks from Cheeto. I know it's still a little early and definitely nothing to worry about. But I can't wait to feel the baby. Hopefully it will be any day now!

And for good measure, here is my 21-week belly picture.

11 October 2008

Made in Japan

All the way from Japan, Uncle Casey and Future Aunt Elvie sent a special gift to Cheeto: A blue turtle and a pink penguin. I guess Uncle Casey isn't particular about getting a niece or a nephew. Thanks for the thoughtful gifts!

06 October 2008

05 October 2008

Ahhhhh...home sweet home

The basement is done! It took a few weeks to hang all of the pictures, but we're finally done.

Now this is what our basement is supposed to look like.

See that empty space on the left side of this picture? Wouldn't that be the perfect place for a pop-a-shot? Chris thinks so!

I'm so glad I finally have a scrapbook room. I just need to organize all of my supplies!

My scrapbook room is the perfect place for my Lucy items. That way Chris doesn't have to look at them. :o)

Now we move on to our next project: the nursery.

Chris and his dad repaired the hole behind the door last week.

We'd better hurry up and choose paint colors so we can start on the fun stuff!