Friday, December 31, 2010

Baby Fever

I had my 18 week check up today! The baby's heartbeat was 160 and I have lost 20 lbs. Yay for the pregnancy diet! Now, for all you skinny minnies out there that gain weight when you're pregnant, there is nothing wrong with me. I just lose weight when I'm pregnant, then gain it all back when the baby is born. Go figure! It has to do with a disorder I have, but I won't go into all of that today.

The doctor wanted to wait two weeks instead of one to do the ultrasound. He said they could tell more things about the baby's heart at 20 weeks, so I'm cool with that. The anticipation of finally knowing what I'm having is starting to get to me! I cannot wait to know! I've been looking at old pictures of Phillip and Olivia when they were babies and I have major baby fever now.

All of Olivia's baby pictures were done on "real" film. We had a digital camera, but that was back when they were less than 1 megapixel, so the quality sucks. Phillip's are all digital however, so I thought it would be fun to put some of those on here. One of my favorite feelings in the world is the feeling you have when you first lay eyes on your child. It's a combination of recognition ("Oh, I know you, you're mine!") and overwhelming unconditional love. I didn't get to see Livi right after she was born, I was unconscious. But when I saw her, I was hooked! I got to see Phillip immediately. He sucked in some fluid, so he had to be deep suctioned, then they brought him right over, He opened his eyes for the first time and looked right into mine. I fell head over heels in love with that little redheaded boy! I can't wait to see this one!

I am going to cherish the next two weeks, the last two weeks of "the unknown". Then, as soon as I find out, I'm going to shop! Well, if it's a girl, I will. Boy stuff is boring and I have plenty of it. Here are a few pictures of cute baby Phillip.

WARNING: These will make you want to have another baby.

One week old
One week old with proud big sister
 Enjoying his first bath
In the hospital, looking for his mommy :)

Finally, I'm wondering how big this baby will be. Olivia was 21 1/2" long and 8 lbs 13.5 oz. She never lost weight and weighed 10 lbs 5 oz at her 2 week check up. Phillip was a little smaller, 7 lbs 13.5 oz and 20 inches long. He lost weight and at one week weighed 6 lbs 12 oz. He was a little over 3 weeks early, they estimate he would have weighed over 9 lbs if he was full term. I'm thinking #3 will be at least 9 lbs and 21 inches long, if I don't go early again. My kids are just big kids. Tall and skinny, that's the Bell kids. Wish that's how everyone described their mama :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kids need sleep, who knew?

UPDATE: I lost! Phillip woke up at 1 and stayed up until 5. I am so tired! We did figure out he is cutting his two year molars, so it's really not his fault. I'm still tired, though :)

So, my kids need structure. Probably all kids do, but I can only speak for mine. We have a pretty set routine when school is in. During Christmas and summer break, I tend to throw routine out the window. This is bad. I know this is bad. But, still I do it. Bedtime, who needs a bedtime, it's Christmas break!

Sleep, who needs sleep??

Well, Phillip needs a bedtime. Otherwise, he will get out of his routine and stay up until 2 a.m., several nights in a row. This is not good, not good at all. I am so tired, he is so tired, everyone is tired! So, I have worked and worked with him the last few days (why do I do this to myself, STAY ON ROUTINE), and he is back to his 8:30 bedtime. Whew!!

This has nothing to do with sleep, it's just cute!

In other news, we are celebrating Christmas with my dad's side of the family tomorrow night. We are going to Ryan's Steakhouse, which is okay, I guess. I'm not a buffet kind of girl (seriously, I know I look like I am, but I'm not), but I will enjoy seeing everyone. If you like Ryan's, I have a little tip for you. If you go to their website and sign up for their newsletter, you can get a coupon for buy one dinner buffet, get one free. I have found that most restaurants have something like that these days. I always check before I go, because I am CHEAP!

Finally, I am so happy that so many of my friends are stopping by my blog. I have over 200 page views in 4 days. YAY! I realized tonight that I had annonymous comments disabled, so I fixed that. In other words, you can stop by and say hello with no strings attached. So, go ahead and do that...mmmkay!

Love you all, see you soon!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boy or Girl...

Our "big" ultrasound was set for Jan 25. I am SO excited about seeing the little one. We have had three ultrasounds so far, but the baby was too small to tell anything.

Well, today we got GREAT news! The doctors' office called and said that they had made a mistake and we would get the ultrasound next week! Only one more week (give or take a day), and we will know PINK or BLUE.

Personally, I think pink. For some reason, this seems like a girl. I could be wrong. Half of me hopes I am wrong. I would love for Olivia to have a sister, but I would also love for Phillip to have a brother. This is the last Bell baby, so someone is going to miss out.

Now, before I get any comments about limiting the size of our family, there are two reasons this is the last Bell baby. First of all, this is my third C-section. Three is the recommended number. I'm sure plenty of women have had more, but I'm sticking with the recommendation Second, Mike will be 47 when this baby is born. That means he will be 65 when this baby graduates from high school. Probably time to stop :) I think that children are an amazing gift from God and would love to have a house full, but one of us got a late start! After struggling with infertility for years, we are feeling very blessed with the three we have.

We have considered several names. We are 92% positive that our girl name is Sophia Elizabeth, possibly calling her Sophie Beth. We are 50% positive that our boy will be Matthew Corwin or Andrew Corwin. I should say now that I hate, hate, hate the name Corwin, but Mike loves it!!

So, Sophie Beth or Matt or Drew or another name, will be loved and cherished. Can't wait to see the little thing next week!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An import from the old blog

This is a post I wrote on my old blog and I wanted to move it here. It's the story of me and Mike. Mostly, I'm posting it here because it makes me smile. Love that man!!

All Because Two People Fell in Love

Originally posted: June 18, 2009

Thirteen years ago tomorrow, I went on my last first date :) It was an unlikely pairing, an eighteen year old girl, a thirty two year old man. Some would say it was scandelous. But, I knew, before we ever went on that date, that this was the ONE.

Let's start in April 1996. On April 2, when I was all of 18 years and 15 days old, and still in high school, I met two men who would both change my life. One for the better, one for much worse. I was introduced to these men by my friend and boss, Randy. We were leaving work one night and he said, "Hey, I met these guys last night, you should meet them, they're great." So, we poked our heads into a partially constructed restaurant next to the store we worked at and said hi. The two men were Mike (future husband) and Chris (future nightmare). Well, we started talking to them and I stayed and talked for over 2 hours. Mike was hilarious. Chris was, well, he was hot. Mike was good looking, but seemed very OLD to me. Chris was 26 and looked all of 20. When it was time for me to go, I told them I would see them again, I was sure.

Fast forward to the next night. My BF Chanda and I, along with her little sister, stopped by my place of employment to pick up something I left earlier. I saw Chris and Mike leaving, so I pulled up and said hello. They said that they were headed to Los Portales (a local Mexican eatery), would we like to go. Well, of course, we did. So, we had a great time talking to these guys and when we left, we all agreed that Chris was really into me.

Sometime during the next week, Chris asked me out. Thus began a three week relationship that had A LOT of drama, some of the worst decisions I have ever made, and a broken heart. The broken heart was due to the bad decisions, not the idiot. Anyway, that relationship was over quickly, and while it was, by far, the worst of my life, I got something priceless out of it. My friendship with Mike. Though Chris and I were over, Mike and I had become fast friends, bonding over our superiority complexes and other things we had in common.

Well, over the next couple of months, the friendship grew. We saw each other daily and had a great time when we were together. I was falling, and fast. In my mind, I kept telling myself that this would never work. We were 14 years apart, he just thought of me as a little sister, etc. Well, on June 16, I called him and bit the bullet. I told him that I was romantically interested in him and would like to go out sometime. I was met with *SILENCE*. Then, he regained his composure and said that he would love to, how about lunch that Wednesday, his day off.

Well, I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep the next three nights, I had never been so excited. My friends thought I was nuts. Here I had fallen head over heels for this OLD guy, who was cute and funny, but OLD. Anyway, he picked me up for lunch on Wednesday and we headed for the Garden Plaza Hotel. SCANDELOUS! Kidding, kidding, we ate at the restaurant there. One of my good friends worked there and I wanted a witness to the date. You know, to tell us if we looked cute together, if we had chemistry, etc.

Well, we talked comfortably throughout the meal. Of course, we were great friends already, so the conversation flowed easily. Towards the end of the meal, I casually placed my hand towards the center of the table. He, just as casually, placed his close to mine, and within seconds, our fingertips touched. I am not exageratting here, I felt a spark. I had never felt like I did the moment we touched. My whole arm was warm. We left soon after that and he put his arm around me on the way to the truck. My knees went weak. That had never happened. Even though I was only 18, I had dated quite a bit. This weak knees thing was very new. All the way back to my job, we held hands. He had a stick shift and shifted with his left hand :)

Once we got to work, I shyly sat on my side of the truck as we parked. He turned off the engine and turned towards me. We locked eyes for a few seconds and then he said "Come here you". In one swift move, he pulled me towards him and kissed me. The earth stood still. I saw fireworks, wedding bells, baby blankets, and rocking chairs all at the same time. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was kissing my husband. After a few minutes of kissing, I had to tear myself away and head back to work. I floated through the rest of the afternoon. Sometime around 3 p.m., he called me babbling about picnics and walks on the beach. Basically, he was telling me he was smitten. I agreed and told him I could not wait to see him again. I promised to call him that night.

That night, when I called him, he sounded different. Using a very well rehearsed speech, he told me that he understood that I was very young and that I had a life to live. He totally understood if I wanted to date other people and live a little. He would wait for me and would not be dating. He was ready to commit to me, but expected nothing in return. I listened to his speech and then told him that I had no intention of ever seeing anyone else. He was the one for me.

Less than two weeks later, he showed up at my job, told me to sit down, and then told me that he was head over heels, without a doubt, in love with me.

Two weeks after that, all hell broke loose when my parents discovered that the guy I was dating was 32.

Three years after that he proposed to me in a candlelit room, choking back tears, making my dreams come true.

A few months later, we were married.

A few months later, we welcomed with much joy and tears our first baby.

Eight years after that we welcomed our second baby.

Today, 13 years after our first date, I still see fireworks, wedding bells, baby blankets, and rocking chairs when we kiss. I look across the dinner table and see the man I fell in love with. The man who cried when he proposed, makes me laugh every single day, and makes all my dreams come true. Whether he is rocking our babies or mowing the grass, I fall in love with him more every day.

Even though our relationship seemed unlikely and certaintly doomed, I can say with all seriousness, that our marriage is incredible. Mike is truly my best friend and we enjoy each other so much. Here's to many more years!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

So this is Christmas

Wow, we had quite an eye opening Christmas. A few months ago, our church started a program called Kidz Konnection. It was partly my idea. I say that with complete humility, because the part that was my idea was based in sheer desperation. What we were doing for our children's program was not working and we decided to try something new. We decided that Tuesday nights would be the night for the program. From 7-8:15 p.m., children ages 3-12 come and have dinner, a Bible lesson, craft, and game time. We divide them into 4 age groups and rotate them to each activity. That way, we only have to have one person prepared to teach the lesson, etc. It is a wonderful system and we have AMAZING volunteers!! We have about 30 children from the housing projects that come every week and we have fallen in love with them.

For Christmas,  I wanted to give the "Community Children" a nice dinner and gifts, something that their entire family could come to. So, I solicited volunteers to purchase gifts and cook food and we had a wonderful time. We had 70 people attend and we were able to give AMAZING gifts to 37 children.

This was the tree with all of the gifts for the kids

Fast forward one week to our Christmas. We are not rich people. We both work for a living and we work hard. We are very proud of our ability to provide for our children and give them what they desire. But this year...after seeing what some kids experience felt excessive. I really didn't even spend that much. Well, I did, but not as much as I have other years.

The loot from Mom & Dad

My children are the only grandchildren on both sides of the family and the only great grandchildren to one set of my grandparents. Everyone LOVES buying for them, and who can blame them? We have a very generous family. The kids received a trampoline and swingset from Mike's wonderful parents, Nanna and Grandpa Roger, and about two dozen toys just from extended family. YIKES :) All day Christmas, I just had this nagging feeling that they had so much and other we know, were having such a lousy day. I guess this past year has really changed me. I don't want to punish my kids for having enough, but I want to give them balance. That's something we are really going to work on this year. And, we are going to keep helping these "Community Kids", showing them the love of Jesus and giving them our unconditional love.

But, somehow, it just doesn't feel like enough. I feel like we are raising our children to be so materialistic. People often joke that they hope the kids have good jobs when they are older or marry well, since they have been so spoiled. I used to laugh and honestly, feel a little proud. It made me happy that my kids always dressed well and have fun toys. Now, I wonder if we have set them up for a life of misery, constantly wanting something else. This year we are really going to work with the kids, with good deeds and giving to the less fortunate. Hopefully, we can counterbalance some of the damage we've done, without punishing them for having a good family.

Well, how's that for a heavy second blog post :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hello World!

My name is Andrea and I'm a blogaholic. Seriously, I read dozens of blogs every day. I love getting glimpses into others' lives. I had made several "bloggy" friends. However, my attempts at blogging have sucked.

I don't know why. Well, I kind of do. I always feel like I need "something" to write about. No one wants to read about my everyday life. Except...that's what I love to read about. Most of the blogs I read are mommies, writing about potty training, temper tantrums, and smocked dresses. So, I'm going to try again.

I have started over with a fresh blog, so that I can open it up to everyone. I wrote some opinions on my old blog that I don't want to share with all my current friends. Not that they were wrong, just opinionated :) So, here's to a fresh start!

Finally, a little about me. I am a 32, almost 33 year old wife and mother. My husband and I have been married almost 11 years, together almost 15! We have (almost) three children. "Sassy" is a 10 year old girl, "Sweet Pea" is 2 year old boy, and Baby B is 17 weeks in utero. He/she is due May 31.

I work for my parents, take my kids to work with me (except Sassy, she's in 5th grade), and I am very active in my church. I don't homeschool, I don't cook all organic, and sometimes I let my kids watch TV just so they will be quiet for a little while. I am not crunchy or green, just a surburban mom. I do love my kids with all my heart, I am a BIG fan of attachment parenting, and have been known to wind up with one or two of them in my bed in the middle of the night...just because they know they can.

I am hopelessly in love with my husband. He works VERY hard as a general manager at a popular children's restaurant (you know the one). He is truly my best friend, we often stay up too late laughing and talking and cannot accomplish a single "date night" where we don't talk about the kids, even though the experts say that we should. We like to escape for long weekends now and then to the Smokey Mountains and we Tivo a lot of TV shows and watch them after the kids go to bed, while eating yummy snacks. We are obviously chubby.

That's us in a nutshell. I will be back, posting our everyday nonsense on a regular basis. I will, I will, I will!!