Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Almost 20 weeks!

In ways, it feels like this pregnancy is going very quickly, and in others - it seems like December is still a very long way off! :) Now that I am in the second trimester, I am loving every second of being pregnant - well, almost every second anyways. I am almost halfway, and every day I grow more and more in awe of this gift.

We had our extended sonogram last week, and it was such a blast to see our little one move around, count all the fingers and toes, and make sure that everything is going well. I confirmed with the sonographer that there is no evidence of gastroschisis, omphalocele, neural tube defects or cardiac defects. She looked at me like I was kinda crazy until I told her that I'm just a paranoid NICU nurse :)

Doing a headstand! Sweet little face :)

I am feeling him or her move around on an almost hourly basis, which is SO fun!
I'm gonna try to have Danny take some belly pictures soon, I'll get them up as soon as I can.
Now...for you other mommies out there. I am getting ready to register, and wanted to enlist your help. What things did you have that you could not have lived without? What things did you think you would need, but never use? Let me know specific brands even :) And one specific product question - I'm trying to decide between the Graco Quattro Stroller, the Graco Metrolite, and the Chicco travel system - does anybody have experience with any of them? Or either brand in general? Thanks so much!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

One of my favorite holidays

I've decided that next only to Christmas, July 4th is my favorite holiday of the year! Not just the actual day, but the days surrounding it as well. You see, we have great traditions in my family surrounding this holiday. In Western Maryland, there is a huge battlefield called Antietam. Every year, they open this up to the public for a FREE Salute to Independence celebration. It is usually attended by close to 35,000 people, and it is a blast!

We go up in the morning to set up a tarp with our name on it, and leave a car close to the entrance. We spend a few hours playing in the pool at my parents, and depending on how hot it is, go back up around 3 or 4 o'clock. We take chairs, card games, dinner, and have a big picnic on our blankets. At 7 o'clock, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra begins their concert, which consists of all patriotic music, and is the same fantastic performance every year! One of my favorite moments is when they play the Armed Forces Salute, which includes the theme song for each branch of our military, and ask members of each branch to stand when their song is played. They play the Air Force song, and my daddy stands up, and it's one of the proudest moments for me. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. :) You see, growing up in a military family, I am a sucker for patriotic things. I love the music, the red white and blue clothes (yes, possibly even including my underwear for the day) and the feeling of family tradition and fun. I feel like a little kid sometimes, and think that some years, I might enjoy it more than most of them do! The last song (1812 Overture) is accompanied at the end by the cannons going off, and kicks off the beginning of one of the most amazing fireworks shows I've ever seen.

The whole day is a lot of work, a lot of walking, we get home late and sit in a lot of traffic on the way out - but it is without a doubt one of my favorite days of the year. This year was a little different, with less people there, we bought dinner instead of packed it, and it rained on us - a lot, but it was still the wonderful day that I look forward to every year.

I know it is way after the 4th now, but I wanted to share with you this joy of mine.

What is your favorite holiday of the year?