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!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

27 Weeks

This past weekend was a really fun weekend!  My Mom came up to stay with us on Friday and Saturday night.

Friday night: We ate dinner at Portillos (and of course we got our favorite Portillos Chopped Salads - yum!) and then purchased Audrey's crib bedding and the inspiration for all the nursery decorations.  Isn't the bedding beautiful?!  I've had my eye on this bedding even before we knew we were having a girl.  I really love all the different colors in it.  And, believe it or not, it looks even better in person.
Then we stopped by JoAnn Fabrics to pick out fabric for curtains my Mom is going to make for the nursery.  We pulled a few different fabrics and brought samples home to decide what we wanted.  I'm really excited about the fabrics we chose.  I called and talked to Mom yesterday and she has already started on the curtains.  Can't wait to see them!
Saturday: We started off with breakfast (of course!), then onto JoAnn Fabrics to purchase the fabric and then on to Buy Buy Baby to purchase the crib and dresser (a very generous gift from Grandma and Grandpa Patton).  Thankfully, big Carl (Grandpa Larson) was in town and he was nice enough to help us transport the furniture from Buy Buy Baby to our house.  Unfortunately, both the dresser and the crib did not all fit in his truck so he had to take 2 trips.  What troopers!  And Mom and I had it rough... we waited in the gliders, "testing" them out, until they returned for the 2nd load.  I fell in love with one of the upholstered gliders, and am now set on upholstered vs. standard wood frame glider.  It really was a long day, and Mom and I both were exhausted by the end!  We ended the night watching the first few episodes of Friday Night Lights Season 1 on DVD.
Sunday: Mom left right after breakfast and Carl and I (mainly Carl) put together the crib.  Now we just have to move out the full mattress and bedding that our guests have used.  It's air mattresses from now on for our guests.  Here are the pics of the furniture.  I'm in love with it!
 Chief really likes the crib, too :)

How far along:  27 weeks and 3 days
Size of baby:  She is the size of a head of cauliflower.  She weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches in length.
Total weight gain:  22 pounds
Maternity clothes:  On Saturday, Mom went with me to Destination Maternity in Orland Park to shop for some maternity clothes.  Destination Maternity has both A Pea in the Pod and Motherhood Maternity brand clothes.  This was the 2nd time I had been in the store, and just like the 1st time I stayed in the back shopping the Motherhood Maternity brand.  A Pea in the Pod is much too expensive for me!  I found 3 dresses I like and 2 shirts.  And I purchased some maternity Spanx.  I love them!  They have a panel for the belly, so they're tight everywhere except my "baby bump".  I'm excited about my purchases!
Gender:  Still a girl!  This answer shouldn't change for the remaining 13 weeks.  :)
Movement:  She's still moving a lot.  When Mom and I were relaxing in the gliders at Buy Buy Baby, she must have been doing a flip or something because we could both see the left side of my belly moving like crazy.  I love feeling her, and she is an active little girl!
Sleep:  I've been sleeping really well lately.  I never thought I'd say it, but I'm officially used to sleeping on my side and find it pretty comfortable.  Don't get me wrong, I will probably switch back to sleeping on my stomach after pregnancy, but for now I am content on my side.
What I miss:  I really don't have any complaints this week.
Symptoms:  I didn't have heartburn all weekend or Monday and Tuesday of this week, but today I've had heartburn all day.  And it's weird, after I eat I get a tingling sensation right underneath my left rib cage.  Maybe this is indigestion or something related to heartburn too?  Friday night was the first time I ever felt it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

26 Weeks

So here I am 26 weeks along...
I realized I hadn't taken a pic since week 20, so I was due.  I just got back from yoga and asked Carl to take this pic as soon as I walked in the door... my only request was that he didn't get my face.  :)  

This past week, I've been really self-conscious.  A guy at work last week told me I "looked HUGE".  Thanks.  I blame it on the dress I was wearing.  We just laughed about it... he's definitely not the most tactful person, so it was almost expected.  Right after he said it, he back-tracked and said that I didn't look pregnant from my calves down.  Seriously he said that.  Thanks, dude.  At least I didn't have cankles that day, so that's good.  And then another coworker chimed in saying I've still got a long way to go and she didn't know where I was going to put the rest of the weight I had left to gain.  How can I not be self-conscious after that, right?  People just say the darnedest things to pregnant people!  I think I've gained 4 pounds over the past 2 weeks, so I really do need to start watching it so I don't "over-indulge".  I've really been trying to eat low-sodium and healthy, getting my fruits and vegetables.  I guess that's all I can control, right?  But, don't get me wrong, I allow myself to "cheat" quite often... much more often than before pregnancy.  You saw the blog post about the dessert table at the Engagement Party, right?  

I also missed 2 weeks of yoga, so I just wasn't feeling as strong and healthy.  I came back on Saturday morning and really noticed a difference in my overall mobility.  And tonight, I was back at my regular Tuesday-night class at the Community Wellness Center, and had some difficulty during the breathing exercises, forward folds, and balance poses.  I just modify a bit and do as much as I can.  I still get a really good workout, so I feel good about that.  Carl and I have been walking Chief as much as we can.  My favorite thing is to wake up early on a weekend and go for a long walk before it gets hot out.  It's been really hot lately.  In fact, this week is supposed to be in the 100's.  But so far I've been able to keep my swelling down and stay in the A/C as much as I can.   

Here is my "real" update:

How Far Along: 26 weeks and 2 days
Size of Baby:  She is almost 2 pounds now!  She's really growing and putting on baby fat.  She is now about 14 inches from head to heel, the size of an English hothouse cucumber.   
Total Weight Gain:  21.3 pounds
Maternity Clothes:  Almost all the clothes I wear are maternity clothes.  However, it's really strange that in my pic above, I'm not wearing any maternity clothes.  It's a regular tank top and t-shirt and regular yoga pants that I've had for about 8 years.  I find that I can't wear many regular shirts anymore just because they're not long enough.  And I'm thinking about retiring the dress I was wearing that instigated the "you're HUGE" comment. 
Gender:  GIRL!  And we are 100% sure about this now after having the 3D ultrasound this past weekend.
Movement:  I've noticed that she is really active on the weekends, and then she takes some time to rest on Monday and I don't feel her as much.  By today, Tuesday, she's really active again.  The ultrasound tech this weekend informed me that I have an anterior placenta, which means that I don't feel as much as if I didn't.  That seems crazy to me because I really do feel her a lot... and sometimes it's hard kicks!  I think that she's had hiccups often this week.  I'll feel a "bump" from the inside very regularly for a couple minutes at a time, as opposed to an irregular hard kick.  
Sleep:  Carl's been waking up really early for work (today, he was out the door by 5am!), and I woke up early yesterday to take Chief for a walk with him before he left for work.  This morning was just too early...I slept in instead.  But I hope to make that a regular thing where Carl and I walk Chief together before work.  We'll see.  I'm definitely becoming more of a morning person.  This past weekend, we were able to get a lot of sleep, which was awesome!  I even took a 2 hour nap on Saturday afternoon.  There's nothing better!
What I miss:  Having a "figure" and feeling cute.  Don't get me wrong, I think it is incredible what the human body is capable of.  I am in awe of all the changes that are happening to my body.  But I really am motivated to work really hard after Audrey is born to get in shape and feel fit and healthy.
Cravings:  I still love my fruit!  I have a home-made fruit and yogurt parfait for breakfast on the weekdays.  Yummo!  I've also been craving ice cream again, but instead of having ice cream every night I picked up some Frosted Flakes and I have a bowl of cereal.  That usually suffices.  I love Frosted Flakes!  And sadly, there's probably the same amount of sugar as in a bowl of ice cream.  It feels healthier though.  
Symptoms:  Heartburn heartburn heartburn!  It's worse on the weekdays for some reason.  Usually starts mid-morning, subsides a little when I eat lunch, then really gets bad in the afternoon.  I think I've gotten a bit used to it, though...as much as you can get used to heartburn.  I feel it most right in my throat... it's such a strong burn that it almost feels "cool" at some times.  I feel like I need to burp or thorow-up at some times just to relieve it.  Also, I've felt my belly get tight a little bit over the past week.  I don't know if this is Braxton Hicks?  It will get tight in my lower belly only, then at another time, it will get tight in my upper belly on just one side.  It's not regular and not intense, which is good.  I haven't been alarmed.  I probably will mention it to the doc next time I visit in 2 weeks.

That recaps my week 25 and gives a little insight as to how I'm feeling at week 26.  I'm excited that this weekend my Mom is coming up to visit.  We are going shopping for nursery furniture!  We are going to purchase the crib, dresser, and bedding this weekend.  We're also going to look for fabric for curtains so my Mom can start sewing.  My Mom is so talented and it's so nice that she is going to help with the nursery decor!  Hopefully we'll have a successful weekend!  I think we will. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

3D Ultrasound

Yesterday, we went to The Belly Factory in Frankfort for a 3D Ultrasound.  In general, before it was our baby of course, 3D ultrasounds kinda freaked me out.  It's just kinda weird seeing the baby in the womb in so much detail.  But they say everything is different when it's your own child and sure enough, Carl and I decided we wanted to get this done to get a sneak peak at our little baby girl.

I'm so glad we went.  It was such a cool experience!  I was on my last day of my 25th week (basically 26 weeks) and we were able to see a lot of detail already!  She has a cute little profile and a little button nose.  What a doll already.  Of course I would be biased, though, right?  :)  She was really active for us, too, which was really exciting to watch.  The ultrasound tech told me that I have an anterior placenta meaning the placenta is between the outside of my belly and Audrey, so I don't feel as much movement as if the placenta were positioned somewhere else.  To me that's crazy because I still feel her a lot!  During the ultrasound, Audrey was moving all around and smiling and opening her mouth and sucking her thumb.  She would bring her arm up to her mouth and suck her thumb, then she would bring her arm down and rest her hand under her chin.  And her facial expressions - so funny!  She was even opening and closing her eyes, which was really cool.  She's only been able to do that for the past couple weeks I think.  Carl said, "I know we're naming her Audrey, but we better not be raising an actress!"  The ultrasound tech even said, "Man, she is an expressive baby!"  And we also got to confirm that she is in fact a girl.  If there was any doubt before, there is absolutely no doubt now!

Here are the pics of our little Audrey:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week 24 Update

How far along:  Well, today I'm 25 weeks, but this is going to be my recap of last week, Week 24.
Size of baby:  Last week, she was the length of an ear of corn... about 13 inches.  She's pretty long now, and in the weeks ahead she will fill out and build some baby fat.
Total Weight Gain:  I had my 24-week checkup on Tuesday, 7/5, and I have gained a total of 17 pounds.  I'm averaging about 1 lb per week.
Maternity Clothes:  Yes!
Gender:  GIRL!
Movement:  She's really been moving a lot this week.  I feel her a lot when I'm driving in the car, in the afternoon, and at night.  Usually I have to be sitting down or laying down and I really feel her.  Up until this week, Carl has been the only person to feel her kick.  But on Friday night, Ashley and my Mom got to feel her kicked.  She kicked Ashley's hand pretty hard.  It was pretty exciting!  Yesterday after dinner, Ashley had her hand on my stomach and would tap my stomach and 5 seconds later Audrey would kick.  This happened a few times right in a row.  Audrey was playing a game with us.  :)  My Dad tried to feel her this morning, but I think she was tired from all the excitement from the luau yesterday.  Next time!  Cynda also felt her kick and so did Katie Korte.  Puh-retty crazy!
Sleep:  I've been waking up early in the morning, even on the weekends.  And this past week, I had quite a bit to do to get the house ready for the party, so I was up kinda late at night.  We were up late last night and of course I wake up about 6:00am, but I was at least able to sleep on and off until about 9am... until it was time to clean up.  But we were exhausted today, so Carl and I took a couple hour nap.  Naps are so underrated!
What I miss:  Lately, I've been craving sushi, but I'll have to wait to have that for awhile.  And yesterday at the party, I was craving some mango vodka.  But of course, I've been a good girl and just drank water and juice.
Cravings:  I've noticed that I've had more of a sweet tooth than a salt-tooth, as I normally had before pregnancy.
Symptoms:  It was really hot again this week.  The doctor reminded me to be very careful with the heat - I've just been avoiding it.  Even for the party yesterday, I didn't hang out outside until after 7pm.  I just don't want to be all swollen and dehydrated!  Tuesday night, I had a really bad headache.  Usually, I think I'm just dehydrated when I have a bad headache, but I drank even more water than normal on Tuesday.  Weird.  I skipped yoga and just laid on the couch hoping it would get better.  When I woke up on Wednesday, I still had the headache, but it went away Wednesday morning after I got to work.  Also, I had my doctor give me a breast exam.  I feel like not only have they gotten bigger, the "composition" of them have changed.  And I thought I felt something weird over the past couple weeks. But she reassured me that my breasts are healthy.  That set my mind at ease!
Best Moment This Week:  It's always really fun going to the doctor these days.  My weight was good, my blood pressure was 110/70 which was good, and my pee-test was good.  It is always great to hear that I'm healthy and the baby's healthy.  She even said that my uterus is measuring exactly where it should be.  Everything is going very smoothly!  And I look forward to the doctor's appointments because I got to hear Audrey's heartbeat again.  She found her heartbeat right away!  At my 20-week appointment, it took her a good 20-30 seconds to find the heartbeat, but Audrey was really showing herself this week.  She didn't tell me exactly how fast the heartbeat was, but it sounded good and strong and that's all I care about.  Also, it was a lot of fun to have my family and friends around this weekend for the party.  That was a big highlight of this week, too!

Let's Luau! Katie & Frank's Engagement Party

Yesterday, we hosted a luau-themed Engagement Party for Katie Korte and Frank Baio.  It was a lot of fun! My Mom and sister, Ashley, put a lot of work into the party.  They should be party-planners!  Just look at the pics!  Carl & I and Cynda & Andy Marr hosted this party at our house.  We had about 40 people attend in total, and I think everyone had a great time.  We had a lot of fun with this theme!  

My Mom is so great at party decorations.  She is so talented!  We had everyone come through the front-door (instead of the garage) and this is what they saw when they entered the house:  
The lanterns really added a lot of color and were just really cool!  This is the dessert table.  We had coconut macaroons, sugar cookies, pina colada cupcakes, mini cherry cheesecakes, and Oreo truffles.  My sis, Ashley made the majority of the desserts, including decorating the sugar cookies.  They look professionally done!

Here are a couple close-ups of the desserts.  They were all gone by morning!  YUM!

Here is the happy couple... the future-Bride and Groom, Katie and Frank.  We dressed them up in coconut bras and grass skirts and of course leis.  We had leis for all of the guests as they walked in.  Katie and Frank were super-fun in their "costumes".  
Speaking of their outfits... I didn't get a picture of it, unfortunately, but my Dad and Frank were wearing the same Hawaiian shirt.  So funny!

This is a pic of the food table:
We served shredded BBQ chicken sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw, chips, fruit, and vegetables.  The food was a big hit!  

And isn't this a cool focal point behind the table?
 The sign says What a Great Catch! and that, along with pics of Katie and Frank, are hooked to the fishing net with fishing hooks.  The large picture of them by the waterfall is a pic they took the day they got engaged at Starved Rock State Park.  It's a special place for them, and is where their Wedding Ceremony will take place on June 8, 2012.  

I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked.  I wish I would have gotten a pic of the backyard with our new tent and light-up lanterns and tiki torches.  Most people hung out outside all night.  Carl set up the stereo system so that his luau themed playlist played inside and outside.  Also, we had tables and chairs set up in the garage where a lot of people ate dinner.  All the coolers with drinks were out there too.  We had a lot of beer, pop, and water in the garage; and we had N.A. fruit punch and OJ/Pineapple juice inside.  Of course we had some hard alcohol (different kinds of vodka and rum) for the non-pregnant people who wanted a "real" drink.  We were pregnant-people friendly this party since both Cynda and I are expecting!  My Mom also made a banner that hung on the garage that said Congratulations, Katie and Frank!  Let's Luau!  And we had an Aloha! welcome sign on the front door and tiki torches that lined the walk.  It was a great way to welcome the guests, and I'm disappointed I didn't get a picture of all of that!  

I also wish I would have gotten a pic of Cynda and me together in our luau dresses.  Cynda is a little over 17 weeks along, and I was at the very end of week 24.  I'm bad about taking "bump" pictures.  :)

It was really great to be able to host this party for such good friends.  Frank is one of Carl's best friends from childhood.  They grew up together and have been friends for over 20 years!  And Katie is one of my best friends.  We grew up together in Forsyth, IL, and have been good friends ever since High School - almost 15 years!  It's pretty cool that our good friends have found happiness with each other.  We're really happy for them and know that they are going to have a great year planning their wedding and an even better married life together!

Note:  Notice our new floors in the pics!  Carl worked really hard to get the house in good shape before this party.  We had carpet in the living area that really needed to be replaced, and I told Katie and Frank as soon as they got engaged in March that we were going to throw this party for them but that our floors had to be done first!  So Carl and Nick (Frank's twin brother) installed the hardwood (in the family and "dining" rooms) and ceramic tile (in the kitchen, foyer, and downstairs bath) about a month ago.  They replaced everything downstairs - the carpet and the pergo/laminate flooring.  Our house and garage was a disaster for awhile, but Carl pulled it all together and it looked great!  I'm really thankful for Carl's hardwork to get everything ready.  The floors, the cleanup, re-nailing the trim and adding quarter-round...house projects have really taken up all of his weekends lately.  We were glad to have the party to motivate us to get everything done, and now it's time for Carl to have his weekends back.  Time for him to relax!  Only a few more projects before Baby Larson comes in October.  :)