Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The Year in Photos

2009 was a really great year for us. And it's been such fun sharing many of our favorite moments with all of you! To close out the year, we've decided to do a "year in review" -- one photo from every month, to showcase some of the highlights of the past year. Enjoy!


We bought our new camera! And had tons of fun fooling around with it!

Perhaps my favorite course from the Titanic dinner: merlot sorbet with frozen sugared grapes.

A wonderful trip out to Albuquerque to visit Erik and Erin, and meeting baby Luke for the first time!

Gathering together for the Easter sunrise service.

My kid brother Eric's graduation from UNC-CH!

Announcing our pregnancy! (The photo was actually taken in May, but we didn't go public with it until June, so I think this counts as a June milestone...)

The River Arno as it flows through Florence, as seen on our amazing Mediterranean cruise babymoon.

Our favorite shot from Diana and Brian's wedding -- one of the many weddings we were privileged to attend this year.

Me and Casadi trying to get a pregnant ladies photo on the PEF beach retreat. :)

Fun times with dear friends at our YAC/small group Halloween party!

"Birdie on a Perch" at the PEF hoedown (which I'm just realizing I never blogged about... whoops!).

With the amazing hostesses of my baby shower -- one of innumerable moments this year where we realized again what wonderful friends we have.


This is necessarily just a tiny sampling of the many good times we had with friends and family over the last year. I mean, this whole blog is itself just a small window into how blessed and full our lives are! We're so thankful for all of you, and we're looking forward to sharing a new year with you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bump Watch: 36 Weeks

Thirty-six weeks -- where on earth has the time gone? This third trimester has really been flying by so far... I hear, though, that the last few weeks of pregnancy tend to drag along, especially if you end up being overdue, so I suppose I have that to look forward to... Right now, though, we're both marveling at the fact that we're less than a month away from our due date!

I'm certainly looking forward to the end of this pregnancy -- primarily because I can't wait to meet our little boy, of course! But also because, um, my maternity clothes are really starting to be too tight... The amazing maternity pants I raved about in the early weeks of my second trimester? Yeah, the elastic panels on pretty much all of them are now cutting into my poor belly. The only pants that really work for me these days are my baggy sweatpants and a pair of black maternity yoga pants. I think the yoga pants will just barely fly in my office, but probably not so much the sweatpants... Good thing I'm on vacation this week!

So here's the 36-week bump watch photo!

And here's what has to say about Eggi's development this week --
Your baby is gaining about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. He's shedding most of the downy hair that covered his body, as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that protected his skin during his nine-month amniotic bath. Next week, your baby will be considered full-term. Most likely he's in a head-down position, but if he isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version, where she'll try to turn your baby by manipulating him from the outside of your belly.
Judging from our 36-week appointment yesterday, Eggi is indeed head down -- woohoo! I had my first progress check at this appointment, where the OB does a quick internal pelvic exam to determine various pre-labor criteria. As of yesterday, I'm 1-2 cm dilated and 50% effaced, and the baby's head is at -2 station! You can click on this link for a more technical explanation (if you're cool with reading about cervixes and such), but basically, I need to be 10 cm and 100% effaced in order to start pushing, and the stations indicate the relative position of the baby's head along the birth canal, going from -5 to +5 (which is when the baby's head will start crowning).

The numbers from my progress check yesterday don't really mean anything in terms of when I'll go into labor -- I can walk around for weeks like this, or things could very suddenly start to progress at a much faster rate. But it's still exciting to see that my body is doing what it's supposed to be doing in preparation for labor. The more I learn about pregnancy and childbirth, the more in awe I am of how truly fearfully and wonderfully we are made!

So excited to be nearing the finish line!!


Don't forget to enter our baby pool! See this post for some helpful details; click here to enter a guess, or use the badge in the right sidebar!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Enter our baby pool!

It's December 28, which means we are now less than a month away from the due date!!

To celebrate, we're creating an online baby pool, and we're inviting all of you to enter your guesses! You can get to the pool by clicking on the badge in the right sidebar, or by going to this link:

There, you can enter your best guesses as to Eggi's gender, birthdate, time of birth, weight and length. The person with the closest guess, as determined by ExpectNet's points system, will win a small prize!

Here's what we know so far, to help you make an informed guess:
  • The estimated due date is January 25, 2010. Statistically speaking, most babies are born within two weeks before or after the due date; first babies tend to be overdue, but that's certainly not a hard and fast rule. I (a first baby) was born two days before my due date; David (a third baby) was born 16 days after his due date.
  • Not that this is at all relevant to the time our baby will be born, but just for fun -- I was born at 8:24am, and David was born at 2:31pm.
  • According to our 20-week ultrasound, Eggi is a boy. Gender determinations at that point in the pregnancy are usually pretty accurate, especially if they decide it's a boy, but there's always a little margin of error.
  • An average birthweight is 7 pounds, and an average length is 20 inches. I've been measuring right on track throughout this entire pregnancy, with no need for additional growth ultrasounds or other diagnostic tests. For what it's worth, I weighed 7 lbs., 6 oz. and was 21 inches long at birth; David weighed 8 lbs., 10 oz. and was 21 inches long.
Happy guessing!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Traditions Roundup: This Year's Ornament and Card

I have to confess: we didn't really go all out with the Christmas decorations this year. What with the normal busyness of the season, plus all manner of baby-related distractions, and wanting to really savor our downtime alone together, we didn't even pull our little Charlie Brown tree out from storage...

But! We did manage to stay on top of at least two of our family Christmas traditions. As I mentioned last year in this post, one of our favorite family traditions is to choose a special Christmas ornament to somehow commemorate the year. We've done this every year since we've been married, so this is our fourth annual ornament.

Joining our 2006 bride and groom, our 2007 NYU ball, and our 2008 FitzRandolph gates is this cute little guy:

A 2009 stork! The neck of the stork has "Parents to Be" written on it, and the little bundle is marked "2009" and bears the inscription "Tiny little package, Great big love." How cute is this? And, of course, totally appropriate for the year we first got pregnant -- a year where we eagerly anticipated meeting our little son and becoming parents.

The other family tradition we managed to keep up with was our Christmas card. Last year, due to circumstances (mostly) outside of our control, we ended up sending out simple photo cards rather than a family newsletter. This year, we decided to continue with the photo card idea, directing people here to this blog if they want a more comprehensive update on our lives. And we had the beautiful pictures that Angel Beeson took of us at our maternity shoot, which were perfect Christmas card material!

So without further ado, the 2009 Keddie family Christmas card:

Wishing all of you a very merry Christmas!
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
--John 1:14

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bump Watch: 35 Weeks

Welcome to the Christmas Eve edition of the Bump Watch! Because I'm getting to be pretty far along (and pretty uncomfortable in cars, never mind plane seats), we'd decided not to travel to see family for Christmas this year. Both sets of family will likely come up for visits after the baby's born, though, so we'll be seeing everyone pretty soon!

And it's really nice to have a Christmas alone together -- the first one we've ever had! And, let's face it, likely the last one we'll ever have... So we've been savoring this quiet time together!

Here's how the bump is looking this week:

I'm not sure how much of a visible difference there is between this week and last, but I can definitely feel a difference -- Eggi has started to really settle down into my pelvis, making it physically difficult for me to go from standing to sitting and vice versa.

I've also officially started waddling this week. I knew walking felt a little uncomfortable lately, but apparently, that discomfort has translated into the pregnant lady's crazy hip-swaying, bow-legged waddle action... David has taken to waddling in sympathy with me, which is actually really hilarious. I love how he knows exactly how to make me laugh, right when I need it!

Oh, and the other big milestone reached this week: the nesting impulse has definitely kicked in, with a vengeance. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the quilt is no longer just folded over the back of the crib in the picture above (and thereby presenting a suffocation risk to a baby sleeping in it) -- it's now hanging on the wall behind the crib. And I've washed all our baby clothes and blankets, and put away the gifts from the shower, and started organizing the nursery closet, and come up with an organizing principle for the bookcase and dresser... And I've taken over doing the laundry and running the dishwasher, which David has faithfully done for the last three and a half years.... And I'm having a blast with it all! (Nursery progress photos to come, hopefully sometime next week!)

Finally, here's the weekly blurb from --
Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.
I think that's holding true for us -- Eggi hasn't been doing too many sweeping rolls lately. But he's certainly still asserting himself and kicking merrily away in there! It's also really exciting that most of his basic development is complete. We're still not quite full term yet (we reach that milestone at 37 weeks -- just a week and a half away!!), and we really want him to stay inside and keep developing in utero for the full 40 weeks, but it's so encouraging to know we've gotten this far!

Coming up next week: the beginning of once-weekly OB appointments and exams to see whether dilation and effacement have begun!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

PEF staff Christmas party!

Last Saturday, the day of the huge snowstorm up and down the East Coast (and, incidentally, the day that our childbirth bootcamp class was canceled due to the weather...), we had the annual PEF staff Christmas party. A fun tradition was made even more exciting by the crazy weather, and the ever-present possibility of being snowed in or getting our cars stuck out on the road... :)

This year, we all got together at Chris and Danielle's for appetizers and Christmas carols, and gift-giving to the little kids. Then it was off to Shanghai Park for a dinner that wasn't cooked by anyone on PEF staff... :) And finally, we ended up at Bill and Debbie's for the annual gift exchange. (And this year, Greg and I, the two staff spouses, were included in the exchange!)

The kids all had a ton of fun...

...and by "kids," I mean big and small kids. :)

The Sallades are such gracious hosts...

...if only we could just get them to come out of their shells a little... :) By the way, how cute is it that little Laura caught the spirit of the silly family photo??

All joking aside, it really was such a fun evening. The staff are among our closest friends here in Princeton, and it's always such a treat to be able to just hang out with these dear ones in a relaxed setting. And there are some seriously talented gift-givers among them -- Aime, I'm looking right at you! I was so touched by the gift of all the tools I'll need to make our own baby food -- it's the perfect combination of so many of my current interests. Don't you just love gifts that show that the gift-giver cares enough to really know what will bring a smile to your face?

So here are a few of our favorite photos from the party -- the PEF staff are a good-looking bunch, if I do say so myself! :)

Greg, looking very professorial with the Boyces' books

Bill reading to us from "Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Holidays"

Me looking very pregnant and blocking poor David from view

Aime and Greg -- so cute!!

Debbie opening her gift from John

Bill and his three lovely daughters

We had such a wonderful time, blizzard notwithstanding! We love you, PEF staff!

For the full set of photos from the PEF staff Christmas party, check out this SmugMug gallery.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Bump Watch: 34 Weeks

This week, Eggi has continued his regimen of asserting his strength and independence in the womb -- no matter how nicely or how sternly I ask, he continues to wallop me in the bladder and the ribs just as he pleases... We're going to have to work on obedience once he's outside in the real world. :)

So here's me at 34 weeks, 3 days!

My "huge" maternity shirts and pants are now starting to fit me just right... And I hear that the last month of pregnancy is when the baby really puts on weight... Here's hoping my clothes stay comfy throughout the home stretch!

And here's what has to say about this week:
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. His fat layers — which he'll need to regulate his body temperature once he's born — are filling him out, making him rounder. His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.
Oh man -- now the weekly updates are starting to include reassurances about how the baby will be just fine if born right now... I suppose that's comforting, but we really hope Eggi will stay inside and keep developing for the full five and a half weeks left until his due date!

Speaking of delivery, though -- we've got our all-day childbirth boot camp tomorrow (assuming the major snow storms that are forecast for this weekend don't result in cancellations). I guess this is where we'll learn all about labor and delivery, which is both an exciting and a really really scary prospect... We're really chugging along on all the pre-delivery checklists now!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Vespers 2009

And to top off our very busy weekend, Sunday evening was the annual interfellowship Vespers service. This service is always such a beautiful time of music, readings, and refocusing on the message of the Gospel -- and this year was no exception.

This was the first time in seven or eight years that I wasn't in the choir... I'm afraid being almost eight months pregnant means that my lung capacity is greatly reduced. And I'm sure there was no way I would have been able to sustain the high A in Handel's "And the glory of the Lord"... I really missed singing with the choir this year, but it also meant that for the first time in years, I was able to just sit back and soak in the music and the rest of the service. And wow, is it ever beautiful!

I love the opening call to worship solo, "Joy Has Dawned" --
Joy has dawned upon the world
Promised from creation
God's salvation now unfurled
Hope for every nation

Not with fanfares from above
Not with scenes of glory
But a humble gift of love
Jesus born of Mary

Sounds of wonder fill the sky
With the songs of angels
As the mighty Prince of Life
Shelters in a stable

Hands that set each star in place
Shaped the earth in darkness
Cling now to a mother's breast
Vuln'rable and helpless

Shepherds bow before the Lamb
Gazing at the glory
Gifts of men from distant lands
Prophesy the story

Gold, a King is born today
Incense, God is with us
Myrrh, His death will make a way
And by His blood He'll win us
It's really something to hear Margaret Byron's beautiful and powerful voice calling us all to worship and setting the tone for the evening... What a joyful celebration of the birth of our Savior!

And, of course, not being in the choir meant that this year, I actually got to photograph the service!

Jamie rehearsing the choir before the service started

Natalie and Rachel on violin

Some of the crowd milling before the service started

Margaret singing the call to worship

Rob playing French horn -- even though he graduated 8.5 years ago,
he still comes down for the Vespers service when he can!

Andrew and Ana, two of the readers

Matt, one of the grad student readers

Steve, singing "Joseph's Song" -- this piece makes me cry every year
(and even more so this year, now that I'm pregnant!)

Blake Altman, giving the homily

Rob and Pastor Matt

I really love the Christmas Vespers service -- so steeped in tradition, so aesthetically beautiful, and so effective in refocusing my heart on the message of the Gospel.
Oh what a precious promise,
Oh what a gift of love;
The waiting now is over and
The time has finally come
For the God who made this world
To roll back the curtain
And unveil His passion for the heart of man.
Oh what a precious promise,
Lying in a manger in Bethlehem.
For the full set of Vespers photos, check out this SmugMug gallery.

And a shower for Eggi!

Last weekend really was a weekend full of baby fun... :) Sunday afternoon was my baby shower!

I can't even begin to express how incredibly loved and blessed I felt at the shower. It was so wonderful to be able to spend time with so many of the women I love, and to see how excited they all are for our little baby boy. And the shower itself was exactly the right balance of fun activities, time to catch up with people, and just basking in the support and encouragement of all of these amazing women...

So first off, I have to thank my lovely hostesses:

Carrie, Emily, Hilary and Heidi were amazing! See the buttons on my dress? One says "Mommy to Be," and the other says "Baby Eggi" -- Hilary custom-modified the second one just for Eggi. :) And the bowl of blue and white M&Ms on the coffee table? They were printed with customized messages:

"Welcome Eggi" and "Keddie Cub." I think Emily was the one who came up with this idea?

The girls came up with such fun, low-key activities for the shower. Instead of having scheduled games, they set up two different stations and encouraged the guests to go to each station at some point during the shower. And each station provided opportunities to create such cute and lasting items for me and for the baby:

Onesie and sock decorating!

Scrapbooking, where each guest was asked to get a photo with me and to write a little note to go with it

And the food! There were so many wonderful treats, and a tea and hot chocolate station:

The most moving "programmed" part of the shower for me, though, was the time of prayer for me, David and our little boy. So many lifted up our growing family to the Lord, and prayed with us that our children would all grow to know and love Him. It was such a sweet affirmation of the support of our various communities, and so encouraging to know that our little boy is being prayed for even now before his birth.

And, of course, it was wonderful to see so many dear friends and family. We actually had a pretty respectable turnout on the family side -- David's mom, of course, was staying with us this weekend, but we also had David's Aunt Linda and cousins Morgan and Adrienne, and my cousin Hannah. (And note the buttons: David's mom had a "future Grandma," and Aunt Linda had a "future Great-Aunt"!)

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

And here are a few more of my favorite photos from the shower -- many of them were taken by Lucy Jameson, who is not only a dear friend, but is also half of a husband-wife photography extravaganza. :) I promised to link to the Jamesons' photography business if I used these photos, so please do note the photo credit links!

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

Photo credit: Lucy Jameson

What a wonderful day! We're so touched by the generosity of our friends and family -- and so moved to see how so many are walking alongside us as we prepare for parenthood. You guys are all so wonderful, and we're so thankful for each and every one of you!

For the full sets of photos from the baby shower, check out these two SmugMug galleries: our photos, Lucy's photos.