About Me

Hi! I'm Abby. My husband, Carl, and I are happily married since October 2007. Our little family of 2 (well, 3 if you count Chief, the dog) added one more in October 2011 when we welcomed Audrey Elizabeth, our first child into the world. Our life was forever changed. And to add to the joy and excitement, we added another daughter, Clara Marie, in May 2014. I wanted to create this blog originally to document all the milestones throughout my pregnancy with Audrey so we could remember that special time in our lives. And now I get to write all about Audrey and Clara and our life with these amazing "Larson Ladies", which is so much more fun!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Weeks 22 & 23

This post is a recap of last week, Week 22, plus an update on how I'm feeling in Week 23.  It's a combo!

How far along:  23 weeks and 4 days
Size of baby:  At 23 weeks, the baby is the size of a large mango (last week was a spaghetti squash!). She is a little over 11 inches now and weighs over 1 pound!
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  I think I'm up 16 pounds from pre-pregnancy.  I just keep on growing!  :)
Maternity Clothes:  I bought some new clothes from Target - a wrap dress, 2 black tank tops (just can't get enough!), and some undies.  I tried on the wrap dress this morning, and LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  I plan on wearing it to work and to a wedding we have at the end of July.  Love it!  It's really flattering and it's a nice fabric... and it was only $30.  Hooray!  I really am liking tighter clothes lately, as opposed to the big tented clothes.  I just look humongous in big loose clothes because of my large chest and belly.  The clothes that show off my figure a little more make me look a little smaller.
Gender:  She's a girl!  Our little Audrey :)
Movement:  It's been a monumental 2 weeks as far as movement.  I really started feeling her move on Father's Day, which was the start of my 22nd week.  And I told Carl that day that it would be soon that he should start feeling her kick because she really started kicking!  And sure enough, Carl got to feel her kick for the first time that very next night.  We were sitting on the couch watching TV and I thought I felt her.  I told him to put his hand on my belly and all of a sudden a big kick.  My eyes grew wide and I gasped, and when I looked over at Carl his eyes were huge too!  Really cool stuff!  And she's really been moving a lot ever since. I feel her everyday, sometimes during the day and a lot at night.  I feel like we went from 0-100 in no time at all.  Still in week 20 I was saying, "I think I'm feeling her move."  My doctor said one day there would be no mistaking it, and she was right!  I love feeling her kick and move all around!
Sleep:  I've been really tired this past week.  I don't know what it is, but just really tired.  Wanting to lay around all day and night and not wanting to get out of bed in the morning.  Last night, for instance, I went to bed around 9:30pm and didn't get up this morning until 6:35am.  Needless to say, I've been sleeping really well!
What I miss:  Nothing in particular
Cravings:  Today it was fried food and vegetables.  I even had 2 salads today!  And I've really been craving fruit for a long time now.  I love fresh fruit, but I am addicted to dried fruit right now.  I really love prunes... which is a good thing and sometimes a bad thing too.  :)  I have yogurt raisins for a snack in the afternoon, and I munch on dried apples or dried apricots when I need something small.  Either Audrey is really going to like fruit, or she's not going to like it at all!
Symptoms:  I've really had bad heart burn this week.  Today has been the worst!  Also, last week I really was suffering from swollen ankles and legs.  I bought a stool to elevate my feet when I'm at work and I think that's really been helping.  My ankles haven't been swollen at all this week!  Last week on Wednesday right before lunch, I started to get this sharp pain at the very top of my belly.  It started off small then really started to hurt.  I was at work and I had a call about 45 mins after it started.  I told myself that I would call the doctor if the pain hadn't subsided when I was off that phone call.  Good news is that it went away!  I was scared for awhile, but it must have just been bad gas or indigestion or something.  Thank goodness!  The pain lasted a little over an hour.  I felt the baby kicking afterward, so that set my mind at ease.
Best Moment This Week:  Has to be feeling the baby kicking.  That is awesome!  I can't even get enough of that.  Also, Carl's been working really hard on the house.  The downstairs floors are done and almost all the trim is back up.  That was a big milestone!  We love the floors!  Also we have gotten rid of all the extra furniture in the house that we wanted to get rid of.  Carl's friend from work, Joe, came over last night and took the bedroom furniture that used to be in our Master Bedroom and was just taking up space in the guest bedroom/nursery.  We had already sold the other bedroom set and gave away our old mattress.  Now the room is empty except for a mattress and it's ready for us to start filling it with furniture and baby stuff.  Exciting!  We are going to register this weekend and maybe we'll pick up a few things for the baby now.  :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Baby Gifts for Audrey

Baby gifts... already!  Can you tell Audrey is going to be one spoiled little girl?  How could she not, being the first child, grandchild, and niece/nephew on both sides?

We've already gotten a lot of cards and "Congratulations" from many of our family and friends.  That all means so much to us to see everyone's support.  Some family members have even offered to babysit already.  I think we'll take them up on that!  :)

On Easter, my Mom always gives us the nicest Easter baskets.  And this year, Carl and my basket was complete with diapers, a recordable story book (so my Mom & Dad can record their voices reading Audrey a story), and her first "mi-guitar".  (Pronounced "mi (with a soft i)-guitar".)  There's a joke in our family about calling guitars "mi-guitars".  One year for Christmas, Amber had to be 4 years old maybe, and all she wanted was a guitar.  But she didn't call it a guitar, it was a "mi-guitar".  So Audrey has her first "mi-guitar".  And of course, this makes Carl, the guitar player, happy!

Then once we found out that we were having a girl last week...

Mom and Dad Patton bought her some essentials for her first trip to Florida.  An Anna Maria Island shirt of course with jean shorts and a Nike hat, and a cute bikini with punk sunglasses.  Seriously the cutest things I have ever seen.  All we have to do is book our trip now!  ;)

And Amber made us this bottle to Congratulate us.  She gave it to us right before the Bandits game against the USSSA Pride on 6/18/11.  Bandits won, by the way!  So I took a picture in the stands while the game was going on.  The kisses say "It's a Girl!" and are in a real bottle that we can use later on.  What a cute idea! Amber and Ashley both are going to be the best aunts!

And just today, I bought some things that will stay at my parents' house down in Forsyth for when we come visit.  The VP of my department at work had a garage sale this weekend.  I stopped by last night to take pictures and discuss what we want/need with my Mom, then I went back this morning and picked up these items:
This swing goes both side-to-side and front-to-back.  

This is a bouncer that also vibrates.

I decided to get this walker at the last minute.  She sold me when she showed me how it collapses and can be transported a lot of different places.  I want to register for a collapsible walker after seeing this one!

Carl's parents have already gotten some things to keep at their house like a swing, high chair, and bassinet from Aunt Sharon and Uncle Dale.  

They Grandparents are set... at least for now.  I'm sure they will accumulate a lot more things, but it's good to get a start on some things so Carl and I don't have to cart everything to and from other people's houses.  We would definitely need a bigger car if we had to do that!

Now where are we going to store all this stuff???  :)

We shall call her Audrey

Carl and I decided on a name for our little baby girl!  I never thought we would make a final decision.  We've been pretty laid back about it with the attitude that "we'll decide when we need to decide."  In fact, I had several dreams early on about our nameless baby girl.  In one dream in particular, she was at least 2 years old, had blond curly hair and was running around and playing with other young kids in a house.  Someone asked what her name was and I said "We're still deciding."  But now that we know she's a girl, we were able to narrow down our girl choices.  We thought that we might keep all our choices as options, then decide when we got to the hospital and saw her.  But last week, we just made the final decision that one name is our favorite and will be perfect for our little girl.  We are going to name her...

Audrey Elizabeth Larson
Audrey comes from Old English origin and means noble strength.  My hope is that Audrey grows up to be a confident, strong young lady.  And of course she'll be cute too!  :)
Elizabeth is an important woman in the Bible.  She [and her husband Zacharias were] "righteous before God, walking in all commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (Luke 1:6).  She was the mother of John the Baptist and the cousin of Mary.  Elizabeth is very well-respected in Christianity, and it is my hope that Audrey Elizabeth will be well-respected and a person that people look up to throughout her life because of her good heart, grace, and compassion.  

And it just so happens that Audrey Elizabeth has a nice ring to it, so it's perfect for our first born girl!

I'm just realizing that her monogram spells out ALE.  That probably means that she'll grow up to be a good drinker.  Hopefully she's at least a responsible drinker.  I'm worrying already... Oh Lord!

Carl says good night to Audrey every night before bed, and we refer to her as Audrey often.  We have told our family and some friends as well, so word is getting out.  It's super exciting and now so much more real!

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's a GIRL!

We had our "Level 2 Ultrasound" on Wednesday at 21 weeks.  Probably the most exciting news of all was that the baby looks healthy.  The ultrasound tech said that the Doctors will of course analyze the measurements and pictures, but from her perspective the baby looks really good.  And then the next most exciting news... we're having a baby girl!  I had a feeling all along this pregnancy that she was a girl, and sure enough my mother's instincts were right...  Carl and I are both really excited!  It makes it more real now knowing that she's a girl and being able to call her "she" and "her".  I was thinking way into the future this week and got excited thinking about our baby girl's wedding one day and her having children.  I know it's a long ways off, but it makes me smile.  I can't wait to see if she'll grow up to be a girly-girl or a tom-boy... if she'll be tall or short... if she'll be interested in sports or music or both... it's going to be really incredible raising our little girl.  I love her and I'm proud of her already.  Ha!  :)

So right after we found out that we are having a girl, I called my immediate family.  I called my Mom first, and she screamed when I told her.  She's really excited to start buying stuff for her granddaughter.  In fact, talking to her today on the phone, she said she has some gifts for the baby that she's bringing up tomorrow when she and Dad come to visit and stay with us.  Then I called my Dad and told him... he had "Grandpa instincts" and knew it was going to be a girl.  Mom said Wednesday morning, the day we found out, he told my Mom that he just knew it was going to be a girl.  When I called my Dad, he was at work and he passed the phone to Linda Hopkins who was very congratulatory and excited for us.  It was good to talk to Linda!  Then I texted Amber and Ashley and called them to talk to them a little later in the evening.  Among the people I texted to share the news was my cousin, Keely, who is going to host a shower for me in Decatur.  I need to make a decision on a shower theme so she can start planning and get out invitations in about a month.  The shower in Decatur will be on August 27th (Saturday), so it's coming up!  As I was looking at themes, I think I've decided that I want to have a lot of pink at the shower.  Who knew??  This whole time so far, I always thought I liked neutrals most and would just want neutrals for most of the decor for everything, but now that we know we're having a girl, I really want to girl it up!  I think the nursery will still be mostly neutral with pops of girl colors/touches... but all pink for the shower.  My Mom and I are going to talk more about the shower this weekend.  Exciting!  I guess we have to register now...

This past week was Week 21, and I have been feeling pretty good.  When I was at the Doctor's office, I asked a nurse about my swollen ankles.  She said it was nothing to be too concerned about.  I just have to lower my sodium intake and up my water intake.  And I need to keep my feet elevated whenever I can.  That's not going to be easy at work, but hopefully I can sit in the recliner at home and take it easy.  Really, they were only swollen last week when it was 95, 96, & 97 degrees outside on 3 consecutive days.  And they're swollen today too, and it was about 82 degrees outside today.  I think I may see a pattern with my ankles swelling when I wear this 1 particular pair of flats.  They're really cute and I love wearing them, but my both times I've worn them lately, my feet have swollen.  Hmmm...  I'm just trying to drink a lot of water at work and here at home.  I'm drinking a glass while I write this blog actually.  I've also been trying to eat a lot of fiber hoping that helps me just not retain water or anything else.  ;)  I'm really feeling pregnant these days with a hard pregnant belly, and that's fun.

I've really been feeling her kick this week.  She's been moving all around, and now I can feel that it's her and not just gas or indigestion.  It's so cool feeling her moving.  Still a little unreal, but very cool!  I can't wait for Carl to be able to feel her kicking from outside my belly.  I know he can't wait either!  Right now, I feel her kicking (a little stronger than fluttering) on my right side, and now up high just under my ribcage, and then lower in my abdomen.  She's all over right now!

Well, we have a fun weekend ahead of us.  As I mentioned, my parents are coming up to visit tomorrow (Saturday) and stay with us.  Mom and I are going shopping and talking/planning some things we are working on (Luau Engagement Party for Katie Korte & Frank Baio; Baby Shower details & guest list; Baby Nursery).  Then we are going to Amber's softball game tomorrow night, so that should be a lot of fun!  The Bandits are playing the USSSA Pride.  They have an almost-all-Olympic lineup and it will be really cool to see all these women playing against each other.  I bet it will be packed, and that's really cool that all these little girls in the area can grow up watching strong women compete against each other at such a high level.  Just think, I can tell our baby girl that she was at these games with me watching her Aunt Amber play professional softball.  Amber told me this week that she won't charge me for lessons for Baby Girl Larson.  :)  And then Sunday is Father's Day.  We will probably hang out with my parents in the morning before they had back home, and then we are going over to Carl's parents house for lunch.  The weekends always go by way too fast.

I think that's about it for Week 21.  It was an exciting week!  

Here are 3 of the 12 (yes, 12!) ultrasound pics we got to keep:

Look at her little feet on the left.  Aren't they so darn cute?  They can tell now if she has 10 fingers and 10 toes.  Pretty incredible!  
She has a cute profile already!
I hesitate to post this one and Baby Girl Larson may kill me one day for sharing this "spread-eagle" ultrasound pic, but I just had to.  As you can tell, we got a pretty clear shot and definitely know she is a girl!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week 19 & 20

Well I'm officially over half-way through my pregnancy!  This post is my recap of last week, week 19, as well as an update on how I'm feeling in week 20.

How far along:  20 weeks and 2 days
Size of baby:  As of Sunday, the baby was as long as a banana and still growing!  Length is 6 1/2 inches from head to bottom and 10 inches from head to heel.  Can you believe it?!  My belly really is showing that the baby is getting bigger!
Total Weight Gain/Loss:  I just had my 20-week checkup at the doctor last night and I am 12.7 lbs up from my first doctor's appointment at week 6, and 14.2 lbs up from pre-pregnancy.  I feel like I REALLY look pregnant now.  Just very full and round and I have a big belly.  I'm already about 1/2 way to the max weight I should gain, and I feel like I'm really going to start gaining fast now.  Oh man!
Maternity Clothes:  I have of course still been wearing my borrowed maternity clothes, and I went shopping for my own maternity clothes last night!  It was the first time I had been in a dressing room since I've had this changing body.  It was really weird.  I found some stuff I liked, and am probably most excited about the 2 pairs of yoga/exercise pants.  I told Carl that I will probably be living in these pants during my maternity leave.  :)  I ended up getting a few shirts, 2 pairs of yoga/exercise pants, 2 cami's, and some undies.  I was excited to have some new stuff.  I really am in search of a great black wrap dress that I can wear to work.  I've found a couple, but they're much more expensive than I want to spend.  Eesh.  I feel like I should be wearing black everyday to "slim" me down, but I really love the summer wardrobe colors this year!
Gender:  I really have no clue.  We find out a week from tomorrow!  I can't believe it's almost here.  :)
Movement:  I've been feeling more "twitches" this week, all throughout the day and sometimes at night.  It's pretty cool.  It's not the biggest, most noticeable movements, but it's something and that's really amazing.
Sleep:  We've been trying to sleep with the windows open and the fan going as much as we can.  It's so comfortable!  But unfortunately it's been REALLY hot (like 96 degrees today!), so we haven't done it as much as we would like.  I used to not like having the fan on while we slept, but I really would prefer that it be on now. Overall, I've been sleeping really well.  Not as much as I would like... but that's not due to the baby.
What I miss:  I've really wanted Diet Coke/Pepsi this week.  I've been occasionally drinking a regular Coke, but I just want to chug a big glass of Diet Coke.  Yum!
Cravings:  I guess I would say ice cream.  But I really haven't had too many cravings where I've had to have something.  Last week we had Chinese when I really didn't feel like it a couple weeks before.  It keeps changing and changing.
Symptoms:  Today, I had heartburn again.  :(  I get it only occasionally, and usually right before dinner.  I've been thinking, "Well, maybe I just need to eat something."  Hence the weight gain explained above.  :)  And I feel like my ankles are swollen today.  Today, I feel like I'm 38 weeks pregnant.  I have a long way to go yet. Oh brother. I'm trying to walk as much as I can and I'm still doing yoga 2-3 times a week.  Just trying to stay active and eat pretty healthy.  Overall, I feel very good and healthy.
Best Moment This Week:  We finally got the floors installed in the first floor this weekend!  Hooray!  Carl and his friend Nick completing laying the tile in the kitchen, bathroom, and foyer on Saturday.  Then they laid the hardwood on Sunday.  What a long weekend for them!  It looks really really really good!  Now Carl just needs to grout the tile, which he is going to do this weekend.  Hooray!  Hooray!  Can you tell I'm excited to have that done?!  And also my Dad and Ashley came up and stayed this weekend for Amber's opening home game for the Chicago Bandits. They were patient with our house renovations and we had a great time!  I even got to meet one of the women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Here is a pic of us:

Her name is Terry Uselmann (maiden name McKinley).  She said not to look up her stats, but I had to at least Google her.  Ha!  She was funny and really full of life!  My sisters and I really loved the movie A League of Their Own.  We watched it over and over and over again as kids (along with Mighty Ducks and Top Gun).  We were all softball players... what do you expect?  It was really neat to hear Terry's experience in the league.  She joined when she was 21 years old in 1949 and played for the Muskegon Lassies.  She talked about being "called up", like there was a minor league as well.  And she said that it felt like all they did was travel on the bus and play, travel and play.  It was neat to meet her!  
Best Husband Quote of the Week:  Carl's been really stressed out about our house being a disaster and all torn apart.  He likes things in order, and he's been losing sleep about getting the floors and all the DIY house projects done.  It will be over soon, and it will all be worth it!  Then we can just lay around and relax, right?

20-Week Baby Bump
That's more than a "bump".  I've really got a pregnant baby belly now!