Monday, February 27, 2012

31 week photos and a special congrats!

For starters, Meg and I would just like to congratulate our friends Kathleen and Julie on the birth of their daughter, Adalyn (soon to be one of Avery's best friends!) She's absolutely adorable! We're very happy to report that everyone is doing well!

I think Meg is officially freaked out though! She is 32 weeks this Wednesday and is getting bigger by the minute. She's sleeping more comfortably now that she's changed rooms at work (she's no longer chasing 1-2 year olds around all day. Instead she's playing with the babies!) BUT...the impending delivery is causing her some angst.

Avery is fantastic. She hiccups regularly, which is oddly amusing. On one hand we feel bad and wish we could make them stop, but on the other hand, we can't help, but think that they are the cutest thing in the world (added bonus, they help develop her lungs!)

We're reading Dr. Seuss books all week in honor of his birthday (last night we read Green Eggs and Ham). Meg swears that Avery loves when I read because she starts moving right away. Apparently she also likes when I sing (I was jamming out to some Sandy and Danny Grease action last night)...mom says that Avery was just moving to cover her ears!

lol, probably makes more sense...mom always said that she encouraged me to play the saxophone because I couldn't sing and play at the same time!

Anyhow, here are Meg's 31 week photos:























Avery is the weight of 4 navel oranges (about 3.3 lbs)

Bonus picture: Meg's "To do list"...Reason 1,579,900,831 why I love her!!!!



Sunday, February 26, 2012

ER visit delays Nursery Furniture (mural pictures)

I started putting together Avery's dresser/changing table this past Wednesday, but an unexpected trip to the ER set the completion date back a bit...

On Thursday I ate half an english muffin covered with peanut butter and a box of raisins for breakfast. Shortly after, my throat started to get scratchy and it became increasingly harder to breathe. A coworker bought me some benadryl, but it didn't stop the reaction. I had to use my epipen. Another coworker drove me to the hospital and sat with me while I waited for Meg. 

My blood pressure was 158/100...gotta love epinephrine! I had to sit in the regular waiting room for almost an hour before developing hives. It was at that point that they took me back to a room. I was checked out by the doctor, given an IV, and administered more benadryl and some pepcid. After several hours lying next to some screaming crazy old lady, I was itching to get home (literally!) 

In her defense, she did provide some comedic relief to the situation. But yea, I don't really know what happened...Raisins have natural sulfites in them and I had been eating a lot of them recently (in addition to other foods that aren't organic and contain sulfites) but that never caused anaphylaxis...just more of an eczema issue. I've had problems with food mold before, but the english muffin was frozen and the peanut butter was new. Who knows? I made an appointment with my allergist, but I'm pretty sure I brought it on myself. 

Needless to say, it was a low key weekend. I think I successfully slept most of it away. The important thing is that all is well now and that Meg and Avery handled the situation well (this was the second time Meg had to visit me in the hospital during this pregnancy!).

Aunt Trish even drove up to finish the mural and to keep us company on Saturday. Meg was busy washing Avery's blankets, onesies, bibs, and other things we've collected thus far (thank you Ryleigh!) 

Here is a picture of the dresser that I finally finished:





















And here is the last part of the mural: We absolutely love it! (I'll have to get a closer picture so that you can see the little red lady bug and sleeping monkey's face!)







































The nursery is really coming together. Grandmama is busy working on Avery's quilt and curtains as we speak!

Monday, February 20, 2012

30 weeks/OB appointment

Meg and I woke up early today to head to our OB appointment. Meg has gained 2 lbs since her last appointment (two weeks ago). Apparently at this point, you should be gaining between a half a pound to a pound each week, so she's right on target. Her blood pressure was great (low as usual) and Avery's heartbeat was in the 130s.

We met the 6th doctor in the practice (we've now officially seen them all) He was fantastic! After measuring Meg's belly, he looked at me and asked if I wanted to feel the baby's head. I was a little caught off guard, but jumped at the opportunity. He pushed on Meg's belly and had me put my fingers in place of his. He had me push down lightly (so I could feel Meg's belly) He then pushed my fingers down harder until I could feel her little head. Don't worry! I won't be trying that again on my own. It was kind of creepy!

He then took his hands and cupped them around Meg's belly (picture trying to touch your pointer finger to the other pointer finger and your thumb to thumb so that it makes a circle around the baby). He had us observe how his right hand was almost perfectly vertical and his left hand was slightly curved (like a C). Apparently, Avery's back was pressed up against his right hand (making it flat) and her legs (think fetal position) were pressed up against his left hand (making a c shape)

From this little experiment he was able to tell us that Avery is in the perfect position (her head is down). Pretty cool, right?

The doctor mentioned that the leap year is throwing off our due date. The computer says April 25th, but the calendar wheel says April 26th. He said, "It's not really a big deal. She'll come when she wants to come."

We have two more 2 week appointments and then we start going every week. It's crazy how close we are getting!

Here are Meg's 30 week photos (though we are closer to 31 weeks than 30) Avery weighs as much as a head of cabbage...3 lbs!


Adoption Phone Conference

I had a phone conference with our lawyer, Tiffany Palmer, yesterday. She's absolutely fantastic. She explained all of the components necessary for completing Avery's adoption and some additional estate planning matters.

While we live in Bucks County, PA, we are planning to give birth in New Jersey. "Why?" you may ask. It's simple, really. Aside from the fact that we want to deliver in a brand new, state of the art, hospital with the highest ranked NICU, an adoption in our county would require a series of three home studies and an additional $2,000. If we cross the river, New Jersey recognizes our marriage certificate (from Massachusetts) and therefore does not require a home study. They treat it the same as a step parent adoption. I would be the sole petitioner and Meg would just need to sign off saying that she agrees to the adoption. Oh, and get this...Both Meg's name and my name will appear on Avery's birth certificate. Pretty smart, right?

All we need to do is supply a copy of our marriage certificate (already done), get fingerprinted, complete a child abuse background check and a criminal background check, and supply affidavits from the doctor who performed the IUI and from the California Cryobank (to certify that we used an anonymous donor and that no rights have to be relinquished) Oh, and pay A LOT of money ($2,200 flat fee plus $350 filing costs).

As far as the estate planning goes, Ms. Palmer encouraged us to obtain a Medical Power of Attorney (so that I can make medical decisions for Meg) and a Will (Meg will nominate me as Avery's guardian) Both of these documents cost extra, but will protect our family should something happen before the adoption is finalized.

We're going to do the will and power of attorney immediately, but we have 90 days from the day Avery is born to file the adoption papers in New Jersey. (After that, we would have to file in Bucks County)

One more thing...she told me about the adoption tax credit. Provided we file the adoption before the year 2013 (which we will), it is 100% refundable!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

29 week photos

Avery is the size of a butternut squash! 2.5 lbs!!! What a little porker!













Day 12, Day 13, and Valentine's Day

Mom just informed me that I haven't posted any updates about my Valentine's Day celebration, SO...

I'm writing to tell you that Meg and I had a fantastic weekend. We bought Avery a few outfits at the Carters outlet. I finally found the bows I had been looking for (thank you Children's Place!) We ate lunch at this amazing organic pizza restaurant (check out www.jasonsorganicpizza.com) Best of all, we relaxed! (Nothing beats a king size bed!)





















I zoomed in on our towel pet. We couldn't decide what it was supposed to be (apparently the Hilton isn't as good as the people who fold towels on cruise ships) Anyhow, I said bunny. Meg said elephant. What do you think?





















Day 12 was a bag of pretzel goldfish and a note that said, "Before our mini vacation is "o-fish-ally" over,  we still have one thing left to do...order room service!" (Day 12 was breakfast in bed.) I ordered a western omelette. Meg ordered scrambled eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns. Sadly, Meg didn't like hers. She opted for a bowl of Frosted Flakes instead...go figure!

















Yesterday was Day 13. I  sent a dozen chocolate covered strawberries to Meg's work. Attached, was a note that said,"I love you berry much. Happy Day 13!" (sorry no pictures...I'm deathly allergic to strawberries!)

FINALLY...Day 14...I sent a dozen sweetheart roses (pink, red, and white), a teddy bear, and a red vase to Meg's work. I also sent a basket of Mrs. Field's snacks (mini muffins, brownies, and cookies) to the girls at her work. They've been faithfully following the 14 Days of Valentine's Day, so I thought it was only fair to incorporate them on the last day! (Happy Valentine's Day ACW!)

For dinner I made garlic bread and cooked Meg heart shaped raviolis.































What a great Valentine's Day celebration!















Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine's Day surprises!

Sorry, I'm a little behind...yesterday was Day 10. Meg's surprise was a mini rose plant and a note saying, "Day after day, minute after minute, my love for you continues to grow."






















Today is Day 11. I could barely sleep because I was so excited! (I suck at keeping surprises from Meg, so this one was extremely difficult for me...)

I found a Valentine's Day fortune cookie box. I bought a heart shaped puzzle, colored it and wrote a "fortune" on it (more like a message, but whatever!)



































I paired the puzzle and fortune cookie box with a note saying, "I am "fortune"ate to have you in my life."

















Meg was so excited to put the puzzle together this morning:





















When she finished the puzzle she asked if I would tell her where we were going. I told her that we are taking a mini vacation...we're heading to a hotel near the Jersey Shore. We're going to hit the premium outlets on the way down and then relax before our dinner reservation. We're both so excited!!!

Meg decided to give me my Valentine's Day gifts this morning...(she couldn't wait!!!)
















A picture frame/dry erase board stating why she loves me...so cute! (I'm actually mad that I didn't think of it!!!) We're going to take turns writing on it!

Inside the yellow bag was a "3" charm and a necklace. I used to have one in college and have wanted one ever since Meg got pregnant...Why you ask???

It was my basketball number, so naturally it's my favorite number. It's also a prime number (I love Math!) It took us 3 times to get pregnant with Avery and it symbolizes Meg, Avery, and I.

What a nice surprise!!!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

29 week OB appointment and Day 9

Today Meg and I went to the OB and saw another new doctor. She was great! She went over the results from Meg's glucose test (they were normal) and told us that Meg is not anemic (we weren't surprised to hear that!).

In terms of the leg cramps, she assured us that they are normal and suggested Meg eat more potassium (bananas and orange juice). Little does she know that Meg does both of those things every day!

Avery is doing well...healthy and growing. Her heartbeat was in the 130's.

Our next appointment is February 20th.

Now, onto Day 9!

Day 9 consisted of a black and white picture of Megan and I (from her graduation party), a chocolate candy bar (which looked like a dollar bill) that said "you're one in a billion" AND a note that said, "Pictures may be worth 1,000 words, but our love is priceless."

















Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It looks like an alien

Today marks 29 weeks (we'll take pictures this weekend). Meg has gained a total of 16 lbs. Her belly button is getting huge!

She's feeling great minus some aches and pains at night, but she's definitely been more emotional recently. On a positive note, her appetite is starting to pick up (finally!)

The coolest thing happened tonight...we had just finished eating dinner when all of the sudden Meg shrieked, "Jen, come over here." I looked at Meg's belly and I could see Avery moving from side to side. It was so weird! I think my exact words were, "it looks like an alien!" lol, not my finest moment!

Good thing, I bought Meg and Avery a new book! It's called Spoon and it's absolutely adorable! We're going to sit in the nursery and read it tonight.

If you've been following my 14 days of Valentine's Day, Day 8 was a custom Valentine's Day word search created by yours truly and a note stating, "You don't have to search anymore. I'll ALWAYS be your valentine."

Here are the pictures from this morning:

















Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 7

Despite my little boo boo, Day 7 seemed to be Meg's favorite gift (so far).

Day 7 featured a 3 frame picture frame and 3 maps...map 1- where we met (Arcadia University), map 2- the address of our first apartment (where we got engaged), map 3-where we were married (Provincetown, MA).

The note attached to the frame said, "Wherever life takes us, I want to spend it with you!"

















In case you were wondering what mistake I made, I accidentally wrote the wrong year for when we met...I was so preoccupied with getting the day correct that I wrote 2007 instead of 2003! Whoops!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 6

I know you're anxious to hear about Day 6, but I think it's pertinent to tell you that I talked to the lawyer today. I scheduled a phone conference for next Wednesday...time to get this adoption thing started!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Meg never heard anything back from the doc regarding her glucose test. I guess that means everything came back fine. We'll know more when we go to our OB appointment this Thursday.

Ok, now for the fun stuff...

Day 6: Six packs of bubblegum with a message stating, "Meg, you're amazing! Day after day you somehow manage to "blow" me away!"


Sunday, February 5, 2012

28 week photos, Day 5, Philadelphia car show pictures

At 28 weeks Avery weighs roughly 2.25 lbs and is the size of a Chinese cabbage. 





















Today is Day 5...here are the goodies I left for Meg: Gummy bears, Sourpatch kids, starbursts, Hot Tamales, and Chewy Granola bars
















The note read: "Almost 5 years later and you're still the one I "chews" to spend my life with!"















Meg and I spent the day with her parents at the Philadelphia Auto Show. Here are a few pictures...






































Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nursery

Meg informed me this morning that after this weekend we only have 11 weekends (give or take) to do whatever we want. With 81 days left, I think it's safe to say that Avery is truly becoming a reality.

Today was a productive day. We put together the glider and then the crib. Surprisingly, I didn't have to take anything back to the store. Nor did I have to go back and redo something (this often happens when I build things, lol) I have to give Graco a shoutout for that one. While the directions looked like hieroglyphics, the labels were undoubtedly clear!

There is one more part to the story, but it's kind of embarrassing. I think I better preface it by saying, "Don't laugh."

Seriously. Don't laugh.

So here we are. Everything is a lot easier than expected. The glider is finished and the crib is halfway there. I'm bending down trying to screw in the bottom leg when all of the sudden I lose my balance. Not wanting to fall on the springbase and break the brand new crib, I extended my arm to brace myself. Long story short, I ended up falling on the base AND hurting myself.

What does my wife say??? "I wish I got that on camera...I don't even know what just happened."

To give her credit, she didn't laugh and she did ask if I was okay. Like I said, it was embarrassing.

Ok, now that I got that off my chest, here are the pictures of the nursery so far...

BEFORE

















AFTER

































Day 4

A Box of thin mints, tic tacs, mentos, and lifesaver mints...

"We are mint to be together!"
















Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 3

Day 3...three Burts Bees chapsticks and a note that read, "Read my lips. I'm yours!"

















Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 2

With Meg's recent cereal addiction, I knew today's gift would go over well.

Day 2 consisted of a Valentine's Day bowl and a box of Lucky Charms. The message stated, "I'm so "lucky" to have you as my wife (and valentine)"


















In other news, the crib and mattress came yesterday. The glider is expected to arrive tomorrow. I can't wait to build them all this weekend!