Isle of Palms

Kaelyn and I went on our 2nd beach vacation of the year to the Isle of Palms, SC. Since we’d already been on vacation once Matt couldn’t join us again for this one. ๐Ÿ™ We missed him lots but we had tons of fun! We went with Matt’s parents, aunt/uncle, and cousins. There were 14 of us in all including 3 baby girls and 2 preschoolers. The house was always hopping to say the least.

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It was almost impossible for the entire group to do anything all at once since there was almost always someone napping or eating at any given time. We spent most of our days in the swimming pool at the house. We went to the beach a couple of times, took some long walks, rode bikes, and enjoyed some good seafood. Kaelyn especially enjoyed riding in the wagon and the golf cart.

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We also went into downtown Charleston one day to do a little sightseeing. This was quite and interesting day. I won’t go into all the details, but due to the insensitivity of the carriage ride company and through a series of events Kaelyn ended up with sunscreen all in her eyes which resulted in about an hour of screaming thus cutting our day in Charleston short. Poor girl couldn’t even open her eyes because it hurt so bad, but she still really wanted to eat her cheese doodles…

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Another fun day was when Kaelyn ate her first lollipop. Not just any lollipop, but one of those GIANT kind. I originally intended for her just to suck on the outside of it, but soon discovered the red lollipop juice was seeping through the plastic wrapper. So I went ahead and took the wrapper off and…well…see for yourself….

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She was on a sugar high for like three days following this. I think this might of been her first AND last lollipop. ๐Ÿ™‚ It sure was fun watching her enjoy it though, and, yes, I managed to wash it completely out of her clothes!

Pappap stayed behind at the house to watch over the sleeping babies while the rest of us enjoyed watching the 4th of July fireworks on the beach. All in all it was a really fun trip and a great chance for Kaelyn to spend time with some of her extended family.

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In other news…

  • She crawls “regular” style now and is cruising on all the furniture
  • She plays peek-a-book all by herself (hoping to get a video of this soon)
  • She can climb all the way up the stairs
  • She has 6 teeth with a couple more on the way

And lots and lots of pictures…

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When The Stars Align

Saturday morning we woke up and realized we had nothing at all scheduled for the entire day – a small miracle these days. As “Family Fun Coordinator” Matt put me up to the task of coming up with something fun for our free day. I checked the weather forecast and saw the second miracle of the day – a high of 77 degrees in the middle of June in North Carolina. Soooo, we took Kaelyn on her first trip to the ZOO! We had been planning to go sometime this summer, and this seemed like just the perfect time to take the trip.

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Let Me See the Elephant Daddy!

We arrived about 10:30 and stayed until around 4:00. We walked LOTS and Kaelyn loved it all. She especially loved the small animals that moved around a lot, such as the meerkats. She also liked the exhibits where you could see what was happening underwater, such as the fish and sea lions. The pictures from our fun day are all here. We have some videos uploaded here.

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Kaelyn Laughing at the Meerkats

A couple of other updates. Oh my goodness – Kaelyn LOVES lasagna. I swear she can eat an entire adult sized portion. She also really loves cheese and anything that taste like cheese, has cheese in it, smells like cheese, etc.

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Kaelyn’s 1st Spaghetti – Another Favorite

She is pulling up and cruising around on everything these days. Miss Busybody is always getting into something so I am keeping very busy. It’s fun though to see her gain more independence and watch how she uses her new found freedoms to explore new things. She especially loves standing at her bookshelf and throwing all the books in the floor.

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Checking Out the Coffee Table

In the past two weeks both of Kaelyn’s grandmas have gotten to visit and also my little cousin Daisy. Kaelyn had so much fun spending time with all of them. We stayed very busy but we loved every minute!

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Going Swimming with Isabel and Emma

Kaelyn Updates

Seems this has been an exciting week for Kaelyn (and us). Here’s a list of new things she’s started doing recently…

  • SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! – I didn’t want to get my hopes up right away, but after the most difficult week of my life of CIO (crying it out, for all the non-parents out there) Kaelyn is finally sleeping through the night. For the past five nights she has slept from 7:30 – 6:30. I’ve had my first full nights of sleep in over a year!! (Over a year because the last few months of pregnancy I was up every two hours going to the bathroom.) REJOICE!
  • Claps her hands – so cute when she gets excited.
  • Gives high-fives – she thinks this is particularly funny.
  • Clicks her tongue.
  • Pulling up on things more and more – which lead us to install our top-of-the-stairs baby gate and put baby-proofing stuff on our kitchen cabinets.

We’ve put up a few new pics and videos.

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Ready for our Memorial Day cookout

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Just checking my email

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Swimming with Mommy

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Admiring Daddy’s handiwork on the baby gate

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Don’t mind me, I just want to read some books


Happy St. Patty’s Day

This blog really has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day, but I thought I’d send you a holiday greeting anyway. I did manage to dress both Kaelyn and myself in something green today. Speaking of green, we planted our first tree this past weekend. Well, it was actually about a week long process because Matt worked on digging the hole a little bit everyday last week. On Friday we went and purchased our tree (Red Sunset Maple) and on Saturday we got it in the ground. I am looking forward to watching it grow. We will take Kaelyn’s picture with the tree every year to see how they both grow together. All of the pictures are here.

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My parents put in a swimming pool at their house when I was in middle school. I was so hoping the diggers would find something buried in our backyard when they dug the hole – you know like buried treasure or dinosaur bones or something. I don’t know why I’ve always thought it would be so cool to find something like that. One of my favorite things growing up was to go on scavenger hunts around the house or yard following clues until I found some prize at the end. Sometimes I wonder things like “how many people in the history of the earth have stood on this exact spot that I’m standing?” Well, when Matt was digging our tree hole, he came across this:

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I have no idea what it is, but I love to imagine it was for something very interesting like old farm machinery or a Civil War weapon or something. Any idea what it might be? I know the land where our house is used to be tobacco fields, so maybe something related to that?

We posted new pictures of Kaelyn in the gallery. There are pics from Sophie’s birthday party and pictures from March.

Kaelyn does this really funny thing with her toys where she will put one in her mouth to chew and then just leave it there while she goes about playing with other toys. I call it her puppy dog look. Here’s an example of the puppy dog at bathtime…

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Two Months

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Our little love bug is now two months old and growing like a weed! It has been so much fun this past month watching her little personality really start to shine through. She loves to be talked to and sung to. She will just laugh and smile and “talk” along with you. I really think she is going to be a little social butterfly. She loves being around people, she always has to be doing something, and she loves to be outside. She also likes going places…I really think she knows when she goes in her car seat that we are going somewhere and she gets happy about that. ๐Ÿ™‚

This month Kaelyn and I started going to Gymboree classes and we are both really enjoying that. We get to play with other mommy and baby friends, learn new songs, etc. We also get together with some of our other mommy and baby friends every week for play dates and walks at the park. Kaelyn made her second road trip to SC this past month when my dad had a heart attack (thankfully he is going to make a full recovery!). My college roommates all came to NC for a little reunion and to visit Kaelyn. Kaelyn’s Nana and Papa Miller also got to make a trip down to NC a few weeks ago. Then of course there was the excitement of Matt’s injury. As you can see it’s been a busy second month for Kaelyn! We’ve also done a few projects around the house like planting new grass seed and painting our office.

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Kaelyn, Emma, Isabel, and Camden playing together

Kaelyn had her two month check-up today and had to get her first round of vaccinations. She did really well. She screamed really loud (she has some lungs) at the first shot and cried while she was getting them all (three), but once I was able to pick her up and hold her she calmed down pretty quickly. I felt so horrible though. ๐Ÿ™ She now weighs 11 pounds 14 ounces (75%), 24 inches long (90%), and her head is 15.25 inches (5%). Hehe, she’s long and skinny with a little head. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, the doctor said if her eyes were going to get dark that they would have changed by now so the doctor thinks she will keep her blue eyes! Tall with blue eyes? We must have some serious recessive genes. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are recent pictures in our photo gallery here. We’ve also uploaded a few videos on YouTube which you can see here.

One Month

Man oh man, I can’t believe our little girl is one month old already! It seemed like she would never arrive and now it’s already been a month. It actually kind of feels like it has been one giant day for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I must say that she gets cuter and cuter every single day.

She is a great baby. She sometimes has a little fussy time in the evenings, but I think all babies have that. She eats really well and is starting to get on some kind of a schedule (most days anyway). At night she will usually sleep about 2.5-3 hours between feedings and sometimes she will sleep for four hours.

She is definitely growing like a weed. She hasn’t been weighed since her 2 week appointment, and I wish I knew how much she has gained. Her next doctor appointment isn’t until two months. She is noticing things more and she hits at toys in front of her. She also is getting pretty good at holding her head up for a short while, and lately she has been trying to talk more and making lots of little cooing noises.

We’ve been trying to get out of the house at least once a day even if it’s just to take a walk or go to Target. It makes me feel a lot better to have some kind of goal for each day. We’ve been meeting up with lots of other little baby friends for trips to the mall or walks at the park. Kaelyn also made her first trip to church a couple of weeks ago…she pretty much slept right through it all.

Well, I better keep this short and sweet because our Sweet Baby K (as Matt likes to call her) is getting a little restless. I’ll leave you with some recent photos of her first road trip to Mooresville, NC and to Anderson, SC. (She got to meet lots of great-grandparents and even her great-great grandmother!)

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A Proper Introduction

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I can hardly believe that Kaelyn is already 2 weeks old as of today! Life with a newborn is incredibly wonderful and busy, which is the reason we haven’t had a chance to write a detailed post yet about the newest member of our family. Usually when she naps I try to do one of three things: 1) sleep 2) eat 3) shower. As you can see blogging just doesn’t get much priority over those three things. ๐Ÿ™‚

I guess I should start from the beginning and see how far I can get before our little princess wakes up from her nap…

I went into the hospital on Monday, August 27 for a scheduled induction since Kaelyn wasn’t in any rush to come out on her own. We got to the hospital at 7am that morning, and I was all hooked up to the pitocin and had gotten my water broken by 8am. My contractions started out easy, but it didn’t take long for them to pick up the pace. I was 2cm dilated when I first arrived at the hospital (I had been having some very mild contractions the day before).

When the doctor checked my progress again around 1:30ish, I had only dilated to 2.5cm!! I was not very happy about this news at all. My contractions were already pretty hard and coming about a minute apart, so at this point I asked for the epidural (or the “Happydural” as my doctor called it). By about 3:00 I had gotten the epidural and it had started working. (For anyone out there who may be wondering about the epidural for childbirth someday…it is awesome and I would highly recommend it. It didn’t hurt at all…I didn’t even notice when they were doing it because I so busy trying to breath through my contractions.) Within just about half an hour I had already dilated to 5cm. The nurse then turned up my pitocin since I couldn’t feel it at this point, and she said she’d just let me lay there and “go” for a while. She estimated I’d have the baby around 10pm that night. She just told me that if I felt the urge to go to the bathroom to let her know.

So I laid there for about another hour. I could still tell that I was having contractions, but it didn’t hurt at all. Hooray! Then all of a sudden I felt like I really needed to go to the bathroom. I told Matt I thought we should call the nurse. She came right away to check me. To everyone’s surprise, in just an hour I had dilated from 5cm all the way to 10cm. ๐Ÿ™‚ This was about 5:00pm and the nurses started setting up all the delivery equipment right away. I had a few “practice” pushes with the nurse before the doctor arrived. (Apparently the doctor had to come running to my room, hehe). The doctor arrived about 5:30, and after 15 minutes of pushing Kaelyn Rose was born at 5:45pm.

Matt and my mom were there in the room with me the whole time. My mom and I were sobbing at this point and even Matt had some tears in his eyes (Matt never cries). Kaelyn weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long, and was perfectly healthy. Like any proud daddy, Matt immediately started taking about a million pictures. We stayed in the delivery room for about another hour while I got stitched up (I had some tearing during the delivery), and Kaelyn got her bath. Finally my dad and brother got to come in the room and meet Kaelyn. They had been in the waiting room about to go crazy to come in and see her.

Kaelyn came out sucking her hands like crazy! The nurse said it was the strongest sucking reflex she had ever seen in a newborn. ๐Ÿ™‚ We stayed in the hospital the next two nights and came home on Wednesday. During our time in the hospital, Kaelyn passed all of her tests with flying colors. The nurse also told me that Kaelyn’s bilirubin score (the test for jaundice) was the lowest she had seen in over a year (low is good). ๐Ÿ™‚ Needless to say, I was a very happy momma to hear that my baby was so good and healthy.

By the way, there are lots of other TMI details I’m leaving out here (like how I leaked out amniotic fluid like someone opened up the Hoover Dam), so if any of you out there (most likely those of you who will soon be experiencing childbirth for the first time) who would like the complete details, just let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

My parents and brother were here for the delivery and for a few days afterwards. Matt’s family came over Labor Day weekend, and then my parents came back again for the whole week after that. Today has been my first day alone, but I think we’ve done great so far. Kaelyn had her two week doctor’s appointment this morning and then we even managed to stop by Target on the way home. When we left the hospital, Kaelyn’s weight had dropped to 6 pounds 11 ounces, but today she is a hefty 7 pounds 14 ounces! The doctor said she was doing great on her weight gain. She has also grown to 22 inches…3 inches in just 2 weeks…holy cow! Her head has also gotten about an inch bigger around. No wonder she seems to eat ALL the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

She is a great eater (as you can tell by her growth) and she is pretty good at sleeping too. We are still working on getting into a normal routine, but it seems to get better and better each night. Even though I’m not getting much sleep these days, the funny thing is that I don’t even care. When I look at her little face nothing else matters, and I could just stare at her nonstop all day. I LOVE being a mommy!!!

One of the best things about becoming parents has been seeing Matt become a daddy. I just want to tell the whole world what an amazing husband and father Matt has been these past two weeks. From the second Kaelyn was born I could tell that Matt was instantly in love with her, and she totally loves him too. Matt has been so wonderful at taking care of both of us! He even changed her first dirty diaper at the hospital. ๐Ÿ™‚

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So far Kaelyn has been to Target (twice), Old Navy, Subway, Blue Rain Cafe, and Belks. I’m getting her started on shopping early, hehe. She’s also been on a few walks around the neighborhood. I have been feeling much better this week and so I try to get out of the house a little bit every day for at least a walk or something. It feels great to be getting my body back and to be able to sleep on my stomach. ๐Ÿ™‚ I only need to lose about 7 more pounds to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (I gained about 30 pounds while I was pregnant) – hooray for breastfeeding and burning all those calories! ๐Ÿ™‚

I feel like there are so many things I could write about…like how adorable her little smile is, or how she poops nonstop all day long, but I should wrap this post up sometime. I’ll leave you with links to pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Our pictures of Kaelyn

Professional pictures of Kaelyn (6 days old)
(click on “Proofing” link at bottom of the page, the password is: Kaelyn) (these pictures are only available for another week or so)

The LA Times, Edition 7

The biggest thing that has been going on the past couple of weeks is Matt’s Mom (a.k.a. Nana) has been visiting us for about the past week. She came down to help us get everything ready for Kaelyn’s arrival. Nana has been cooking lots of meals to freeze and cleaning our house for us — what a blessing her help has been!! We were hoping maybe Kaelyn would arrive while her Nana was visiting, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. ๐Ÿ™

I had a doctor appointment today and he said I haven’t dilated at all yet. Stinky!! But the doctor did say that it doesn’t really mean anything and I could still go into labor at anytime. I guess there is just no way to know when the big day will be. He said everything looked great though, so I suppose Kaelyn is just nice and cozy in her little uterine home. ๐Ÿ™‚

Matt’s Aunt Jeannie, cousin Jacob and his wife Cody all came over to visit us on Saturday. Jacob and I had a little contest to see who is having the biggest baby. I dunno…it’s looks pretty close…who do you think will win? ๐Ÿ™‚

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I added a few new pictures in the gallery of Kaelyn’s nursery which is all ready to go, and also a new album of some belly shots. There’s also a little video here of Kaelyn’s room. We have everything ready to go whenever she is ready!!

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Oh, and here’s my newest cool trick…balancing a salt shaker on my belly…

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The “Miller Inn” was open for business again the past few days. We’ve been open a lot this summer, wahoo! This time our guest was our friend Ben from Illinois.

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We kept busy during Ben’s time here with stuff like frisbee golf, ultimate, tennis, swimming, playing games, going to the movies, grilling out, and eating out. Ben also got to play golf on three different courses around the Raleigh area. Matt and I aren’t golfers, but we have heard the golf around here is pretty good and Ben said it was true. Ben also lucked out with his rental cars (props to Avis Rental Car) and got upgraded to a sweet Mustang. See how fun NC is?? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Well, as of today I am 37 weeks which means I am officially considered full-term. So now I am ready for Kaelyn to come anytime she is ready. ๐Ÿ™‚ At my doctor’s appointment this week, he said that she is really, really low. I also have quite a few Braxton-Hicks contractions every day. Seems like my body is definitely warming up for the big event. As my sister-in-law Lisa put it, it means she is on her way!! The doctor seems to think my due date is still reliable. It’s definitely gotten harder to do a lot of things lately since Kaelyn dropped. The other day Matt had to tie my tennis shoes for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

I thought it might be fun to have a little pool to see who can guess Kaelyn’s birthday. So, leave your comments and guess the following things:
1) birthday
2) birth time
3) weight (Kaelyn’s, not mine!)
4) length
5) hair or no hair

The LA Times, Edition 5

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to update. Lots of things have happened in the past couple of weeks. First of all, congratulations to our friends Ariel and Dan on the birth of their little boy, Esher!

A couple of weekends ago we went to SC for our baby shower. It was so much fun! Special thanks to Aunt Connie, Aunt Shirley, Aunt Tamara, Lisa, and Kelly for throwing me the shower! ๐Ÿ™‚ We were really blessed and got most of the “big” items that we needed for Kaelyn. There are lots of pictures from the baby shower here.

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Matt’s parents even got to come down for the shower. Afterwards they came back to NC with us for a couple of days. We worked on putting together all the fun toys from the baby shower. It took almost a whole day just to hang up all of Kaelyn’s new clothes….

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So far, Matt’s favorites are the waterfall soother which he will turn on and stare at, and the jumparoo which he really wishes he could fit inside of. ๐Ÿ™‚ We wonder what Kaelyn’s favorite toys will be?

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We also got our new, super cool Mei Tai baby carrier from our friends Sharon and Joel yesterday. Here’s Matt trying out the carrier using my Cabbage Patch doll. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Matt’s brother, Eric, has been working in Greensboro, NC for a few days so he got to come over and visit us for the weekend. It was really great to see him…the last time we saw him was Thanksgiving! We didn’t take any pictures over the weekend, but we did a lot of fun things like played frisbee golf at a course in Chapel Hill, grilled out, and played games.

We started taking our Lamaze classes at the hospital a few weeks ago. There’s only 4 weeks until my due date!!! I’m still feeling okay, but it is definitely getting harder to move around and do normal things like bend over or go up and down the stairs. Probably the worst thing is that it is really hard to get comfortable to go to sleep and I wake up to go to the bathroom every two hours. I guess I’m preparing myself for after Kaelyn is born. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are definitely fun things about being pregnant…like how everyone wants to help you by carrying your groceries, opening doors for you, etc. People also will just smile at you, talk friendly to you, and say how cute you are (especially when I’m at the gym). I’m enjoying it while it lasts, but at the same time I will also be happy to start getting my normal body back so I can do things like mop the kitchen without getting out of breath or sleep on my stomach. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve still been volunteering for the Red Cross, although I just have one more day scheduled and I will probably take a break for a while. So far I’ve volunteered over 61 hours since March. Pretty much all of our other free time is spent getting everything ready for Kaelyn like hanging curtains and getting our car seat inspection.

I don’t think I mentioned it earlier, but we have finally decided on a church home. We’ve been to the church, Crosspointe, probably 5 or 6 times now and we are really enjoying it. We are anxious to start meeting people and getting involved. The church is less than 10 minutes from our house which is really nice too.

I think that’s the majority of the latest news. There are a few new pics in the Watch My Belly Grow album…I don’t think I can stretch much farther, ack!

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We’ve had lots of fun with our friends over the past week. To start, we went to a Durham Bulls baseball game last week with three other couples. The Bulls lost 12-0, but it was fun to hang out…and it was even more exciting because it was $1 food night. ๐Ÿ™‚

On Saturday morning Matt went to “Daddy Boot Camp” at the hospital. Even though he had to get up early on a Saturday morning, I think he learned a few things and even had a good time. Our big labor and delivery classes start next week. Less than 7 weeks to go now!

On Saturday afternoon we drove to the Greensboro airport to pick up our friends Will and Valerie (aka Willerie) who flew in from Ohio. It was their annual Fourth of July visit to the South. That night we just hung out around the house and Willerie showered us with baby gifts for Kaelyn which included a beautiful handmade quilt by Valerie.

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Sunday we made a day trip down to Wrightsville Beach, NC. It is only about a 2.5 hour drive, but then it took us about another half hour to find a public parking place. One of the highlights of the day was seeing a billboard along I-40 with a picture that looked exactly like Valerie’s brother, Caleb. Even though it was a bit crowded, the weather at the beach was great and we enjoyed a few hours soaking up the rays. Of course I was again jealous of everyone laying on their stomachs, so Valerie and Matt dug me out a belly hole. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Monday Valerie and I did a little shopping, and then we all ventured to Raleigh for a game of Disc Golf, a trip to the Farmer’s Market, and dinner at Sweet Tomatoes (my new favorite restaurant). Tuesday we relaxed by the pool for most of the day, and then in the evening we went to the Carolina Railhawks vs. Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game. The game was fun, but not too exciting since the final score was 0-0. We did enjoy some hotdogs and nachos, and they even had some fireworks after the game.

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Wendesday morning we took in the sights at the Apex Old Fashioned Fourth of July which mostly consisted of about twenty million kids riding decorated bicycles, wagons, and scooters through downtown. There were also other activities such as duck pond games, inflatable bouncy thingys, firetrucks, hotdog stands, and karaoke. Afterwards we enjoyed some NC BBQ for lunch before heading back to the airport in Greensboro.

We had a great mini-vacation! Thanks for coming to visit us Willerie! ๐Ÿ™‚ All the pictures from the week are in our gallery.

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We finally got our new car, hooray! It has been SO nice to not have to coordinate our schedules this week. Whenever I feel like I can just get in the car and go to the gym or the pool or wherever it is I need to go. I would probably love any car at this point, but I must say that I am really enjoying the Rav4. It’s such a smooth ride and it’s nice to be higher off the ground (it’s much easier for me to get in and out of these days). Here are a few pics.

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We had a fun game night this weekend with the ladies from my Bible study and their hubbies. We introduced them to a nice, long game of Settlers of Catan. Rumor has it that at least one of them is already addicted to the game and has been playing online everyday. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Leigh Ann, Jen, Ariel
More pics here

I had another doctor appointment this week and found out that I have pregnancy-induced anemia which means I don’t have enough iron in my system. The doc assured me that it was common and nothing to be worried about, and I just have to take an extra iron supplement everyday. One symptom of anemia is fatigue. I had been feeling extra tired the past couple of weeks, but I just assumed I was tired since I’m pregnant and haven’t been sleeping very well. I’ve only been taking the extra iron for a couple of days, and I can already tell a difference in my energy level. Yay! Other than that, things are still going well. Less than 8 weeks to go!

On Sunday afternoon we were watching the US-Mexico soccer game and Matt was laying in the living room floor looking all comfortable. I wanted so badly to lay in the floor on my stomach and watch the game too…so here was Matt’s invention for me…

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I’ve been working at the Red Cross a lot more lately. All of the regulars are taking vacations now, so I’m filling in a lot of hours at the blood center. I was there for a little over 4 hours today and it was the most busy I’ve ever seen it. The blood supply in the area is low and Red Cross had made announcements on the radio, tv, and newspapers. On a normal Wednesday there are about 17 blood donors, but today there were 49! On top of that we had someone pass out today which hasn’t ever happened while I’ve been working before.

Working in the canteen can be interesting. Today I met a lady who has 9 children ages 7-19 and none of them are multiples…I can’t even imagine! I also met a lady and her son who were giving blood because their husband/father is having surgery tomorrow. He has been sick for a long time and it was touching to hear what all they’ve been through. In just one of his surgeries a few years ago he needed 120 units of blood! Even though I can’t give blood right now I’m glad I can help some small way. If any of you out there are able, I encourage you to donate blood…it really does save people’s lives! You can contact your local Red Cross to find out where there is a donation center near you.

Another exciting thing this week is that my gym finally finished building their new facility and started having their group fitness classes. Already this week I’ve done BodyAttack (a hi-low type cardio class), Yoga, and Pilates. It’s fun and frustrating at the same time. I’m excited to be back in group fitness classes, but there are so many things I can’t do these days. For example, in most classes the teacher gives you options such as (easy) march in place, (medium) jog in place, or (hard) high knees run. Typically I’m always going hard and sweating it out, but now I’m the just the one over there marching my little heart out. Yoga and Pilates were especially hard since I’m not allowed to lay flat on my back and I obviously can’t lay on my stomach. But I just try to modify what I can’t do and enjoy the things I can do. It’s also kinda fun because all the people always comment how cute it is to have a pregnant lady working out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of working out, time to get ready for my next aerobics class. Have a great week!

The LA (Leigh Ann) Times, Edition 1

One cool thing about being pregnant is that you learn all about the amazing things your body is designed for. Like lately I’ve been learning all about breastfeeding. I won’t go into all the details here, but it really is pretty cool. I’ve been reading a breastfeeding book and last week I took a breastfeeding class at the hospital. Today I was going to make breastfeeding bracelets with my new pregnant friend, Ariel. Unfortunately, we ran into trouble finding the beads we needed, so we’re going to have to try again another time.

Sometimes though your body does un-cool amazing things, such as waking you up screaming at 3:00 in the morning with leg cramps. What’s even more amazing is that your husband can sleep right through this event even though you jump out of bed and hop around the room making all kinds of noises. ๐Ÿ™‚

In other pregnancy news I am now 30 weeks along. Thirty seems a little scary to me because it seems so much closer to the big 4-0. That means only 10 weeks until my due date!! I had another doctor’s appointment last week that went well. The doctor said during the hot summer months I should be drinking a gallon of water a day…no wonder I have to pee every 20 minutes! I’ve been doing pretty good with my water drinking so far, but I really have to make an effort to make sure I drink that much.

We bought a new bookshelf for the nursery recently. You can see pictures here. We’ve also started taking our classes at the hospital. I remember when I signed up for the classes it seemed like such a long time away. I’m sure the next 10 weeks are just going to fly by. (gasp)

Other things happening lately…Mom and Dad came to visit for the weekend, I taught another Red Cross class, we played Putt-Putt with some other pregnant friends. I also started a Beth Moore Bible study last week with 2 other girls. We’re doing the Daniel study. So far it’s been great!

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Me (due 8/21) and Jenny (due 8/20) at Frankie’s Fun Park

The next week is shaping up to be exciting. On Friday we celebrate our 5-year wedding anniversary! It’s been an amazing 5 years. It just seems like yesterday when we were planning our wedding. Here’s a flashback picture of us when we first start dating back in January 1999:

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I don’t think we’ve changed that much. ๐Ÿ™‚

We also found out that we are scheduled to (finally) get our new car next week – a Toyota Rav4. We bought it back in March, but we had to order it from the factory (in Japan) because of an option we wanted. I’m going to feel like a free woman to have a car during the day! Being a one-car family wasn’t a big deal when we lived in Champaign, but it’s much more difficult here in NC. Things are much more spread out and there’s not really any public transportation to speak of. It’s getting here just in time for my birthday – hooray!!

Here’s a few more new pics that I put up in the gallery…

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Memorial Day Cookout

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Me at 28 weeks

***And here’s an exciting new feature of www.mattandleighann.com – Watch My Belly Grow! These are weekly profile pictures we’ve been taking of my ever expanding stomach.***

Warning: Long Post

Wow, lots of stuff has happened since I wrote a couple of weeks ago. I’ll just put this in bullet points so it (hopefully) doesn’t get too overwhelming…

  • I hung out with a new friend that I met from the TriangleMommies group that I joined. We just had lunch and had girl-talk while her 18-month old daughter was taking her afternoon nap. She is originally from Greenville, SC so we had a lot in common and it was fun to talk. We are supposed to be hanging out by the pool together later this week too.
  • We got to see SpiderMan3 at the movie theater (for free!). Several of our friends joined us as well and we even got a chance to have dinner with Naomi before the movie. I thought the movie was good, definitely not great, but worth seeing for sure.
  • I met with a pediatrician who we decided to select to be Kaelyn’s doctor. The office is really close to our house and they got excellent reviews both on the TriangleMommies forum as well on the internal Cisco email lists. That’s another thing marked off my to-do list. Hooray!
  • The big event that happened was our trip to Illinois for Matt’s UIUC graduation. This was his PhD hooding ceremony and we didn’t want to miss this special occasion! We drove from NC to Ohio and met up with the Millers, and then we all drove together from Ohio to Illinois. Will was also graduating, so Will, Valerie, and Michelle joined in on our Ohio to Illinois caravan. ๐Ÿ™‚ We arrived late on Friday night and went straight to bed. On Saturday morning Sharon and I went to the MBA graduation to see our old co-workers and MBA friends. That afternoon Valerie’s parents graciously hosted a cookout bash at their house to celebrate for Matt and Will. Lots of our friends were able to come and it was SO good to see everyone!! ๐Ÿ™‚


    Matt and Will Sharon, Ben, LA girls everyone

    Later that night we hung out at Ben’s new apartment for a little while. BTW, here’s a good tip to know…if you ever want to get some Papa Murphy’s pizza and you don’t care what kind of toppings you get, you should go there about 5 minutes after they close. We went to get pizza at 9:05 not realizing they closed at 9:00 (what kind of pizza places closes at 9:00 on a Saturday night anyway?!). Well Ben walks in and they are cleaning up everything, but the guy says they have a couple of pizzas left in the back if we want them. We agree and end up with two large pizzas with several toppings each for a grand total of $6!

    Sunday morning we met with Matt’s advisor and about 10 of his lab mates at a Chinese restaurant. The food was very yummy! After that we had to head over to Assembly Hall so Matt could get lined up for the graduation ceremony. He looked so sharp in his fancy robe and hood!

    Matt Matt and Leigh Ann

    Jawed Karim, a UIUC alum and one of the founders of YouTube was the commencement speaker. The best part of his speech was when he talked about his favorite YouTube video – the dancing Matt guy. He showed a small clip from the video and then he had the dancing Matt guy give a special address to the UIUC graduates via video. He told all of the graduates to stand up and dance! It was very cute to see all of the graduates dancing around. Here is a video I took, although it’s kind of hard to tell what is going on since it was so dark and everyone was cheering.

    Finally Matt got his name called and walked across the stage to be hooded by his advisor. Here is a video of his graduation. You have to follow him closely because the graduates all kind of bunch up on the side of the stage when they are getting their hoods put on.

    Sunday night we headed back to Ohio and then on Monday we drove back to NC. We managed to get stuck in an hour and half traffic jam on our way home to NC. Apparently a transfer truck had overturned and spilled sheet rock across all of the lanes on our side of the road. It had just happened before we got there so we had to wait for all the tow trucks and bulldozers to get there and clear the road off. At least it was a beautiful day, so we just got out and walked around our car and stretched our legs a little. And the really good thing was that we had just stopped at a rest area about 20 minutes before that. Whew! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also over the weekend it was my brother’s, Jared, 21st birthday! ๐Ÿ™‚ And of course it was also Mother’s Day weekend. It was a lot of fun, but it went by so fast.

    You can see all of the pictures from the weekend here.

  • Last week I went to dinner one night with 3 other pregnant women from the TriangleMommies group. It was fun to sit around and chat about all things pregnancy related. I also had lunch one day with our realtor and it was nice to catch up with her. BTW, she is an excellent realtor so if anyone ever needs a realtor in this part of NC we’d definitely recommend her!
  • Last Saturday Matt and I went strawberry picking at a nearby farm. It was the first time we’d ever been and it was so much fun! The weather was perfect and the strawberries were amazing. It’s awesome too because they only cost $1.10 per pound which is much cheaper than the grocery store! I’ll definitely have to take Kaelyn there someday. There were lots of little kids and they all looked like they were having such a good time. We miss the apple orchard that we frequented in Champaign, so I’ll have to look for one of those around this area for this fall.
  • Also on Saturday we got a new pet fish! We went to PetSmart (by the way, the PetSmart CEO is a UIUC alum and received an honorary degree at the graduation ceremony) and it took me quite a while to decide on which fish to get. I think that I think about it too hard. Of course I want a pretty fish, but I try to look for one who looks like he needs me or wants to go home with me, haha. This particular fish just kept staring at me when I walked by so he was the one. ๐Ÿ™‚ Although, we still have not decided on a name for him yet. You’d think we’d be experts at picking out names by now, but we can’t even come up with a good fish name. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday of this week. Everything seems to be going just fine. Now I have to start going to the doctor every 2 weeks! Kaelyn is moving more and more and kicking hard. I think she must have her daddy’s legs! Matt likes to just look at my belly and watch it pop out as she kicks around. She usually gets especially active around 10:00 every night when I usually lay down for bed. I think she has a 10:00 kickboxing class or something, hehe. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • On Monday night Jared and two of his friends were driving through on their way home from Boston, so they stopped here about 2:30 in the morning to spend the night. We hung out by the pool for a few hours yesterday and then they headed on to SC. It was fun to get to hang out with Jared for an afternoon!
  • Matt’s grandma had to go to the hospital for a few days last weekend. She was having problems with her back. I think she will be okay, but she just has to stop doing so much and take it easy because her bones are very fragile. It’s hard for her to sit still though…especially when she has company over and she wants to cook, clean, etc. She also has a twin sister that she takes care of a lot, so she will have to cut back on some of that.

Well, I think that covers the highlights of the past couple of weeks! I’m impressed if you made it all the way to the bottom of this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. Special shout-out to Gwenna, Michelle, and Jay for my new maternity clothes, and to Sharon for my Korean gifts. Thanks for spoiling me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tea Garden

This was a very fun and productive weekend. My parents came up on Friday night and stayed until Sunday morning. On Saturday morning we decided on what color paint to use for Kaelyn’s room. There are so many paint choices that it is quite overwhelming.

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We finally chose “Tea Garden” green by Kilz which is actually Wal-Mart paint. Kilz has good reviews from Consumer Reports, and it ended up working very well, and it is very reasonably priced (about $19 a gallon).

We also went to Home Depot and picked out the crown molding for the room. I got to cut the pieces down to the right length in the store. My mom took a funny video of the pregnant lady sawing away in the store, but I’m not sure yet how to transfer the video off of my cell phone.

Before we started working, we stopped to have a yummy breakfast at Biscuitville. We’ve been wanting to try this place out for a while and they lived up to their name…very yummy biscuits. Plus they had other good breakfast food like grits, although my dad said their coffee wasn’t very good.

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After we gathered all of our supplies and had our energy food, we worked the rest of the day painting the molding and the nursery and hanging the molding. While those things were drying we also did some other quick touch-up projects in other rooms in the house. We finished up around 6:00 or 7:00 that evening and then sat down to relax with some yummy dinner and to watch The Queen. All of our work turned out great and we were very pleased with our color choice. Now we just have to add the finishing touches like hanging things on the wall.

I also got my first ever Mother’s Day present this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ My parents gave me the “Cherish” Willow Tree figurine. I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚

You can see all of the pictures from this weekend in our gallery.

The Circle of Life

This past weekend we went to SC to surprise my Mom for her 50th birthday. The party turned out great and I think Mom was really shocked. ๐Ÿ™‚ Mom and Dad had been vacationing in Savannah, GA all week and when they returned home on Saturday evening, everyone was waiting at their house for the big surprise.

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The theme of the party was “Welcome to the 50’s” complete with a poodle skirt birthday cake and our very own barbershop quartet! Here are a few pictures of Mom’s entrance and the barbershop singing “Happy Birthday”.

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Mom racked up on cool birthday presents…and surprisingly they were all “real” presents and no gag gifts. I guess we all welcomed her to the 50’s gently. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mom wasn’t the only one who racked up though…our baby girl also received all kinds of new cute things from her Momsie (that’s what we are going to call my mom) and her Popie (haven’t decided yet what we are calling my dad), and also some gifts from her great-grandmother Buchanan and her Uncle Jared. Mostly she got all kinds of adorable pink clothes, 2 pairs of shoes (her first shoes!), a hat, a cute little lamb (for Easter), a bunny Easter basket, and 2 blankets. She’s not even here yet and she got more Easter presents than me or Matt! ๐Ÿ™‚ She also got her first concert t-shirt…The Decemberists. This group is one of Jared’s favorites and he already had a t-shirt from a concert he went to a while back. He went to another of their concerts on Friday night in Atlanta, and he bought baby girl a t-shirt to match his. I think Uncle Jared is trying to teach her all about music since he knows that neither Matt or me have any musical talent. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Following a great weekend, we arrived back in NC to a freezing cold house. Our heat had been off since our temps have been in the 70’s and 80’s last week, but then over the weekend it got below freezing at night. We knew it was supposed to get cold, but we didn’t even think about turning our heat back on. When we walked in I noticed water all in the floor in front of our refrigerator. Matt pulled the fridge out and worked on that for a while. We’re still not sure what caused the water to leak, but it appears to be fixed now. But the worst part of all was that our poor fish Bubbles sadly passed away. He was pretty old anyway, but we think he probably died from getting too cold and now we just feel horrible. I hope that’s not an indication of our parenting skills! I guess we learned a good rule of home ownership from this experience – to check the weather forecast before going out of town and adjusting your thermostat accordingly.

R.I.P. Bubbles

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Our New House

I added another picture of our new house to our gallery. It’s the outside picture so now you can actually tell what it looks like. ๐Ÿ™‚

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