Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Recap

It's hard to believe a week of visiting with family and friends in Ohio has already come and gone! As we look forward to celebrating New Year's here in Maryland, I thought a Christmas recap is in order before we officially leave behind 2008.

As always, there was plenty of food, fun and festivities to be had throughout the Christmas week. My mom, sisters and I spent a whole day baking cookies (though I have no photos to prove it), and we all pitched in to prepare Christmas Eve dinner before changing into our Christmas pajamas for our yearly photo opp.

Here's a picture of my parents' beautiful Christmas tree and all the presents that we awoke to on Christmas morning.

After opening presents at my parents' house and attending Mass on Christmas morning, Jeremy and I headed over to his parents' house for yet another dose of presents (and a lunch of Dad M's delicious Wedding Soup).

And our day didn't end there! We stopped at three other places to visit extended relatives, and let me tell you, this pregnant lady was TIRED by the end of the day! It's hard to imagine that next year we'll have a baby in tow with whom we can share all the excitement.

In spite of all the holiday parties, a baby shower was thrown by Grandma A and Grandma M in honor of Baby M's impending arrival. A recap and photos to come soon! In the meantime, we hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Season's Greetings

As we prepare to spend Christmas with our families, the Moorhead clan wishes everyone a peaceful and restful holiday season. We look forward to the coming of the new year and all the excitement that it brings, especially with Baby M's arrival less than two months away!

Merry Christmas and Lots of Luck and Love in the New Year!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Take a Look, It's in a Book

Here's what's cookin' with Baby M in this 31st week:

(Jeremy was the art director for this photo!)

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.

It's amazing how accurate some of these weekly descriptions can be! Baby M is definitely moving alot these days and contributing to some restless nights. It's just too hard to sleep when your stomach is rolling and rippling all night long. Jeremy and I have been having fun playing games with Baby M at night, as we watch my stomach move in reaction to Jeremy's voice and/or tapping on my stomach.

However, during those sleepless nights I have plenty of books at my bedside to keep me entertained. Between school and preparing for Baby M, our house is littered with books, magazines and various other sources of information. Let's just say researching has become quite an addiction. Whether we're planning a vacation, making a major purchase or just going out to see a movie, I have my mom to thank for my obsession with researching EVERYTHING beforehand.

Last weekend, we took our one-day marathon childbirth class at the hospital where Baby M is scheduled to make his/her grande appearance. There were four other couples in the class, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and was jam-packed with overwhelming yet very helpful information. Now I have even more handouts, fliers and pamphlets to keep me busy for the next two months!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

We're moving right along through the end of my 29th week! Here's a little bit about what's going on with Baby M this week:

Your baby now 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 growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

However, it looks like Baby M is requiring so much iron these days that he/she is taking all of mine! The good news is that I passed my glucose screening test, but the blood test showed that I've got a bout of anemia. It's pretty common to develop anemia at this point in pregnancy, so now all I have to do is take an additional vitamin and start eating steak and spinach like it's going out of style. If only cookies had iron in them, this wouldn't be an issue.

Last night I took a night off from all the writing and research I've been doing for school, and Jer and I put up our Christmas tree. I've been feeling a little out of sync with the holidays this season (which is highly unusual for me), but now that our tree is up, I can't help but get excited!

As I awoke today with a bit of a Christmas buzz, I thought about everything that our Christmas tree represents to me. Adorned with a mix of ornaments from my childhood and ones that Jeremy and I have purchased throughout our 10 years together, it in many ways represents Christmases past, present and future.

Growing up, my parents had a way of making Christmas a magical time for me and my sisters. Our house was (and still is) always decorated from top to bottom with endless Christmas decorations, and each one of us girls would put up a small Christmas tree of our own in our bedrooms. At night we would spend time driving around in the family van looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas songs, and every year we would make our annual trip to Kraynak's, where we could walk through the display of animated Christmas scenes and pick out our very own Christmas ornament. In addition to the baking, the traditional Italian fish dinner on Christmas Eve, the magic and mystery of Sam the Elf, and the awesome sight of our Christmas tree gleaming bright behind a mound of wrapped gifts on Christmas morning, there is the sense of warmth, love and family that always surrounded us kids each and every year.

This year, as I pull out many of those very same Christmas decorations that I remember as a kid, I can't help but look forward to all the Christmases to come. Next year at this time, we'll have our very own family to build memories with and to carry on the traditions of the past. And Baby M will have a very Merry Christmas, indeed!