Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bump Watch: 31 Weeks

Thirty-one weeks! Only nine weeks left until the estimated due date -- we're down to single digits!

This week's bump watch is going to be on the shorter side, as we've got lots of Thanksgiving prep going on here (more posts to come on that, I'm sure)... So let's dive into the bump watch photo!

And here's this week's blurb from BabyCenter.com --
This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.
And it's true -- Eggi's really been kicking up a storm these last few days! And his movements have developed beyond the occasional kick or punch. Lately, it's felt like he's stretching, deliberately pushing out with his arms in an attempt to expand his living space... It's a lot of fun attributing intentionality to his movements. :)

And one last bit of housekeeping -- we've updated our blog header! In honor of reaching our one-year blogiversary, and to get even further use out of our beautiful maternity photos, we decided to update our look a little. Fun times with photoshop and some of our favorite pictures!

Watch out -- once Eggi's born, I'll probably get all ambitious with the regular photo-taking and blog header updating... Um, in all the free time I'll have as the mother of a newborn...

But for now, enjoy the new header! And let us know what you think!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Maternity photos with Angel!

Saturday morning, we had our maternity photo shoot with Angel Bee Photography! Angel, a friend of ours from church, recently launched her photography business -- she shot photos of Carrie and Matt's wedding back in August, and we loved the end results there. So we were really excited to have her do our maternity photos!

OK, OK, so *I* was super excited... David was more patiently tolerant. :) I've been trying not to get swept up by every pregnancy fad out there these days (hello, designer maternity hospital gowns -- because every woman needs to spend $50 or more on a piece of clothing that will get ruined by the messiness of labor and delivery)... But photography is obviously very important to both of us. And I really wanted to get some classy, artistic, beautiful shots commemorating this first pregnancy.

And we're both really glad we did it! Angel did a beautiful job. We're using three of the shots on our Christmas card this year, so I don't want to reveal those photos just yet, but here are a few of our other favorites!

Angel, we had such a blast with you! Thank you for capturing these moments so beautifully!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lending a Helping Hand

I was at the grocery store the other day, getting a start on Thanksgiving shopping. We're hosting David's family, plus a number of PEFers who are staying around over the break -- it's going to be so much fun! :) But since we live in a third-floor walk-up, we figured it would be easiest to get our Thanksgiving groceries in stages.

So there I was in Wegmans, picking out a turkey and getting all the non-perishable items for the big dinner. I was flying solo this trip, since David was tied up with work -- I figured I could handle this trip on my own, since it wasn't all that much to pick up, and I could get David to bring the groceries up when I got back.

I got to the checkout line, and put everything on the conveyor belt. Just another trip to the grocery store, waiting in line... My mind was occupied with schedules and plans for Thanksgiving prep. When I finally got to the head of the line, I figured I'd exchange the normal pleasantries with the cashier and then head off on my merry way.

Instead, the cashier turned to me, looked at my belly, and asked if she could page a Helping Hands assistant to help me carry my things out to my car.

I was taken aback. A Helping Hands assistant? For me? Just because I'm pregnant?

I tried to demur, but she insisted that she would feel a lot better if she could get someone to help me out. She was very kind and solicitous, not making my pregnancy out to be a disability, but just trying to make sure I'd be okay. It was a little embarrassing -- I'm not used to being asked if I needed assistance. And I didn't really need the help; I had, after all, gotten everything into my cart, so surely I could get it all out as well.

But mostly, I was touched. It was nice to see that society in general, and Wegmans in particular, values pregnancy and wants to provide support to pregnant women and their unborn babies. And it was also exciting -- I'm clearly visibly pregnant enough for strangers to offer assistance, rather than worry that they're about to insult a woman who just happens to carry extra weight around her midsection. :)

So I just wanted to give a brief shout-out to Wegmans, in thanks for this service. The solicitude of a perfect stranger for me and my baby really made my day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bump Watch: 30 Weeks

Thirty weeks! Three quarters of the way through this pregnancy! (Assuming, of course, that Eggi decides to come on time...)

This week's milestone is a kind of sad one, and one that you might be able to spot upon close examination of the bump watch photo above.

Did you notice it? Can you tell what's different about me this week? (Besides, of course, the obvious ever-growing baby bump...)

Here's a hint:

That's right, my hands and feet have started swelling a little this week -- and it's gotten to the point where I can no longer comfortably wear my wedding rings. :( Last Wednesday, at my 29-week appointment, the doctor asked if I had experienced any swelling yet. I blithely told him no. He then proceeded to warn us that if I started having any swelling in my hands, I should take off any rings immediately (and put them in a safe place -- he told us a story about a patient who called him asking if she had by chance told him where she put her wedding ring after she took it off on his advice!).

I'm pretty sure he jinxed me. [Ed. note: David wants me to make it clear that we don't actually believe in jinxing.] On Thursday night, when I took my socks off, there was a distinct line where my socks had ended, above which my legs were puffy. Then on Saturday night, it was a little painful to take off my rings at night. Sunday morning at church, I realized that my watch was tighter than I usually like it to be. And finally, Sunday night, after a painful struggle with my rings, I had to conclude that it would be better to keep them off than to have them cut off my sausage fingers down the road...

I'm still wearing them, though, on a chain around my neck. Like so!

After having worn them every day for three and a half years, I can't imagine not having my wedding rings on me in some way... But I suppose this is just one of those pregnancy rites of passage. Something to do with generating and circulating enough blood and fluids for two...

In other news, Eggi continues to grow stronger every day! Here's the weekly blurb from BabyCenter.com on his development this week --
Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and he weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will decrease as he gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. His eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day. When he does open them, he'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means he can only make out objects a few inches from his face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)
Well. "Normal" adult vision is 20/20. Mine averages around 20/300, and I think David's visual acuity is somewhere in that neighborhood as well... So we can totally relate to how strange and blurry the world looks to newborns!

Can't wait to meet our cute little bleary-eyed cabbage!

Monday, November 16, 2009

One-year blogiversary!

The Keddiebears blog is one year old today! (And, incidentally, yesterday's post was our 100th post!)

We've averaged about two posts per week this year, which is actually better than I'd anticipated... And it's been so much fun sharing our lives with our friends near and far. According to Google Analytics, we get visitors from all six continents! That's more a testimony to how far-flung our friends are (hello, family, study abroad students, missionaries, State Department employees, and other international friends!) -- most of you guys are referred to our blog via Facebook links or Google searches for our names. Though lately, we've had a couple search hits for baby-related items... I knew doing a weekly chronology of the baby bump would be a good and useful service! :)

To celebrate our one-year blogiversary, I'm announcing another "delurking day." Come out of the woodworks and leave us a comment! Click on "Post a Comment" below -- you don't need a Google account to do so; just click the radio button for "Name/URL" and put your name in the box that pops up.

It's been so fun having you all along for the ride thus far -- thanks for reading our ramblings and sharing in all our momentous milestones over this last year!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Westerly baby shower!

Yesterday, Westerly Road Church held a baby shower honoring me, Casadi Schroeder, and Liz Cleere. I didn't really know what to expect from a Westerly shower, never having been to one before -- I was mostly just glad that Casadi would also be there, so I would know at least one other person there! I didn't know whether I would know many of the women there, or how the shower would be run, but I figured it would be a good way to meet women in the church outside my normal circles (i.e., small groups and YAC). I'm philosophically committed to having YAC be an entry point for young adults into the other circles of community in the church, so I've got to be willing to put myself out there, right?

But wow, did the shower bless my socks off. I wasn't prepared for the amount of love that these women would shower on someone that many of them didn't even know. I don't mean through the giving of gifts (though we got so many useful, adorable, sweet, treasured items!) -- but in being there at the shower (or expressing sincere regret for not being able to come), and praying over the three of us pregnant women, and including us in a series of Westerly baby traditions. Two of the women have made blankets for every baby born in the church over the last few decades -- how sweet to be included in the long line of women blessed by the work of their hands!

I feel so blessed to be a part of such an encouraging, enfolding church community. I realized yesterday in a new way how many people are walking alongside us as we prepare for this first baby... And we're really looking forward to getting to know Westerly's families even better as we branch out into the children's ministry arms of the church!

I didn't take any photos of the shower itself -- felt kind of awkward about busting out the camera when I was one of the women sitting front and center the whole time! But I've asked for copies of photos, and I'll post some of them here when I get them!

I did, however, take some pictures of all the gifts we were given yesterday. Pretty much all of them are from experienced mothers -- so I'm pretty sure that all of them will be very useful. And I know that all of them are completely adorable!

[Click to enlarge]

Hand-knit blanket made by Jo Peterson; hand-sewn fleece blanket made by Helen Trimble

We knew already how much we love and appreciate our church -- but that was reinforced in a whole new way yesterday. Thank you all so much for blessing us and our little baby boy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

PEF Missions Conference 2009

PEF's annual missions conference was this weekend -- what a wonderful time of reflecting on how God sends out His people to bring His good news to the world! The theme this year was the Student Volunteer Movement, a missions-minded movement that actually had its genesis at Princeton in 1886. Our keynote speaker this year, Jon Hinkson '85, gave a series of talks and reflections detailing the history of the movement and exhorting students to answer the call to go out into the world, making disciples of all nations.

The watchword of the movement was "The Evangelization of the World in this Generation." As Jon noted, this was an incredibly audacious aspiration -- but one that inspired thousands of students to be zealous in going out into the world and sharing the gospel. One of the goals of the movement was to harness the natural energy and zeal of college students (both men and women!), and channeling that into Kingdom work, specifically out on the foreign missions field. And we at PEF certainly know the energy that college students have, and the zeal with which they approach everything in their lives -- our prayer is that they would strive zealously to do the Lord's work, and have hearts open to His calling, wherever that may be.

Jon Hinkson during his keynote address

In between the two keynote sessions, we had dinner discussions led by different types of missionaries, all with connections to Princeton and PEF.

Jon leading a table on ministering and witnessing to intellectuals

Woody Lewis '69 led a table on long-term missions
(he and his wife are missionaries to France)

Kay Boyer led a table on ministering to international students in a college town

Curt '04 and Christina Saxton led a table on ministry in the inner city

Erik and Andrea Granstedt (grad students in one of our small groups!) led a table on
short-term missions trips (having spent several months in Japan
with YWAM between undergrad and grad)

And I have to post this adorable photo of Elijah, Curt and Christina's 8-month-old son -- such a happy little guy!

A huge thanks to the PEF missions team -- you put together a great conference this year! And please be praying for our students, that they will prayerfully respond to the testimonies shared this weekend, and respond to the call to evangelize the world, starting here in Princeton but also radiating out, in this generation.

For the full set of photos from the missions conference, check out this SmugMug gallery.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bump Watch: 29 Weeks

Twenty-nine weeks -- can you believe it's our last week in the twenties? This pregnancy has really been flying by! And I'm slowly getting to the point where opinion is nearly universal that I do, in fact, actually look pregnant... :)

The 29-week bump watch photo was taken on Monday night, on the day when we actually hit 29 weeks -- we're going to try to take the photos on Monday nights from here on out. (Which should be easier anyways, since we don't have small groups or other evening commitments on Mondays.)

I had my regular OB checkup this week -- starting now, our appointments will be every two weeks. We're also getting to meet other doctors in the practice; ideally, we'll have met with everyone before I go into labor, so we'll at least sort of know the OB on call who ends up delivering this baby. This was the second OB other than "my" OB-GYN that we've met, and so far, we really like them all!

Oh, and I also passed my glucose screening test. No gestational diabetes here! But the doctor did recommend that I start watching my sugar intake -- not because my numbers were borderline, but because he makes that recommendation to all third-trimester pregnant women. Which makes sense. But the timing is unfortunate -- cut back on sweets right as the holidays come around! Oh, the sacrifices I make for my child...

And here's the weekly blurb from BabyCenter.com --
Your baby is growing rapidly now. This week he weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is getting bigger to accommodate his growing brain — which is busy developing billions of neurons. Every day, about 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in your baby's skeleton, which is now hardening. With this rapid growth, it's no surprise that your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during this trimester.
It's hard to believe that there's a 15-inch long baby in my womb -- why, that's larger than the diagonal on my work laptop!! At the same time, though, I've been getting more and more used to all the activity going on in there -- he definitely likes to make his presence known! And it's cute how he seems to respond to David's voice, thumping away more vigorously at night when David gets excited about something and speaks a little louder or more quickly. Like father, like son -- I so can't wait to see how these two interact with each other!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grandparent love!

Eggi will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family. So the future grandparents are just about as excited about this baby as we are. :) And they're already starting to spoil him -- which, of course, is their prerogative as grandparents! My parents bought us our crib and mattress, which we set up in time for their visit a couple weeks ago.

And David's parents bought us our stroller!

As of about a month ago, we had narrowed down our stroller picks to two possible contenders -- the Maclaren Quest and the Baby Jogger City Classic. We knew we wanted something relatively lightweight, but we wanted to avoid having multiple strollers for different purposes, so we definitely wanted something rugged enough to handle broken sidewalks and the dirt trail along the canal, for outdoor use. After reading a ton of reviews and soliciting recommendations from our new parent friends, we finally settled on the Baby Jogger. And look how cute it is! And how cute I look with it!

It's got an easy one-hand folding system, to be easily tucked away in the trunk of our car. And it's got real tires and a decent shock-absorbing system, so it can handle the things we'll be putting it through. And we can get a carseat adapter for it, so we can use this stroller from the very beginning (since newborn babies need more support and snuggliness than most strollers provide -- and yes, "snuggliness" is the technical term. :))
Oh, and it helps that Baby Jogger strollers haven't just undergone a massive recall, unlike Maclaren. Twelve reports of child fingertip amputations as a result of faulty hinges? That may be a statistically small incidence, but wow, what a horrific injury to suffer... Consider this a Keddiebears public service announcement -- if you own a Maclaren stroller, call or check the website to see about getting your free hinge covers!
We're so thankful for the generosity of our parents. Instead of the rickety cribs and strollers of our own childhoods, our son has solid, fancy, and very attractive gear! This baby still has another two and a half months (hopefully) before he makes his grand debut, and he's already been so blessed by his grandparents!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bump Watch: 28 Weeks

Twenty-eight weeks, and we're still merrily humming along. :) Even though I'm now into the third trimester, I still feel like I'm in the "honeymoon phase" of pregnancy -- none of the first trimester nausea, and I'm not quite huge enough yet to feel uncomfortable. I know that won't last forever, so we're determined to enjoy being in the pregnancy sweet spot for now!

And here's me at 28 weeks, 2 days --

Aww, look, my shirt matches our crib bedding! :)

In terms of pregnancy milestones, this week I had my glucose tolerance test, the initial screen for gestational diabetes. I had to go into the lab, drink a super syrupy sweet orange drink, wait an hour, and then have my blood drawn. Not so much fun, but definitely a necessary part of the whole pregnancy thing... I haven't heard yet whether I passed or not, but I'm hoping that no news is good news!

At least I'm getting used to the whole needles and blood drawing thing. I also got my H1N1 vaccination this week (taking one of the last available appointments in my area for the entire month), and I was all, needles totally don't bother me anymore... I guess that's a good thing? Because I hear there are needles and IVs and stuff involved in the pain meds you get for labor and delivery?

Anyways... Here's the weekly update on Eggi's growth from BabyCenter.com --
By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. He can blink his eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.
Eyelashes! And blinking! And neuron development! And baby fat to develop cute wee chubby cheeks!

Meanwhile, David has been spending his free time pondering the various theories and ideologies that are supposed to help you get your baby sleep through the night... It's funny to see how our natural tendencies to research things have been channeled into baby prep. :) Not that we have much hope of actually being prepared for how our lives will be turned upside down with Eggi's arrival... But one can always dream, right?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween Party!

For Halloween last weekend, we threw our first party in our new place! We invited our small groups, and had an open invitation to our church's young adult ministry -- we ended up having about twenty people all told, in varying degrees of costumed festivity. :)

It's so fun hosting our small group friends. Everyone always brings a ton of food, and even though I tell myself it'll be different this time, I always end up making too much myself, and we have tons of leftovers afterwards... But it's all good, because the leftovers got to make guest appearances at a birthday party on Sunday, on the PEF fall break service trip this week, and at small group on Wednesday... It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Funny story about Halloween candy... Apparently, if you wait until Halloween itself, and you go to Sam's Club to buy your candy, the only option you'll have left is the giant candy bar fundraising pack. You know, the kind that band kids would walk around with in order to raise money for new uniforms every year? So this year, we were the awesome apartment giving out full-size candy bars (and real ones, too, no off-brand weird stuff for us, no sir!. Or at least, we would have been, if we didn't live in an apartment complex where you have to be buzzed in to enter the front door... Sadly, no children knocked on our door on Saturday.

But at least we had a great group of friends to hang out with!

Me and Eggi's first Halloween costume; Tae and Jeff looking cute, as always!

John as Luther, ready to nail the 95 theses to the Wittenberg church doors

Granstedts and Lieus (and our massive bowl of ridiculously large candy bars)

Some of the food (two other countertops of drinks and snacks!)

Pumpkin carving on our porch!
(This was Andrew's first jack-o-lantern!)

Lis, Milla and Krista -- Krista was amazingly fast at pumpkin carving!

Carrie and Matt as Ms. Frizz and Bill Nye the Science Guy
(Matt had just passed his generals -- so they baked a pumpkin pie from scratch to celebrate!
And by "from scratch," I mean "roasted the pumpkin, and grated cinnamon sticks"...)

Guys vs. girls Taboo!

Andrew is super competitive...

...and so is Matt, in his own way...

We had so much fun having all of you over for the holiday festivities! Both YAC and our small groups are really thriving this year, and we really loved having everyone over. Looking forward to more fun times with this awesome group of friends!

For the full set of Halloween photos, check out this SmugMug gallery.