Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is my favorite holiday because of all the traditions surrounding it. We've borrowed traditions from both of our families to make our Christmas uniquely ours and cannot wait to share them with our own family for many years to come. Here's some of our favorite Christmas traditions:
  • reading the Christmas story on Christmas morning (our newest tradition - can't wait for Dash to read it to Junior next year)
  • driving around with our two dogs on Christmas Eve to look at Christmas lights (with our little one next year)
  • Candlelight service
  • opening our stockings on Christmas Eve
  • eating breakfast casserole
  • finding a new ornament for each year

What is your favorite tradition?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year is filled with many great memories and blessings!

Monday, December 15, 2008

30 week belly

Along with my growing belly and new momma haircut, we finished up our hospital classes this past weekend. We now officially know how to swaddle, bathe, diaper and give birth. But I guess putting our knowledge into practice is a different story. And if you talk to Dash, make sure he is doing his daily homework as coach - daily massages for me! It's what the nurse ordered. Sorry, Dash.

Junior update

Dash and I had our last big ultrasound today to check on baby. It was amazing to see how much he had grown in the past 10 weeks since our last ultrasound at 20 weeks. So here are his stats (and some images):

  • All his blood flow looked great and his heart was perfect.
  • He never stopped moving and his heart rate was at the top of the normal range - just building his Dash-like muscles
  • The ultrasound was great - like watching a movie of him in motion. We saw him suck on his arm, rub his eyes, look around with wide eyes, grab his toes with his hand, stick out his tongue (numerous times) and take a few really big yawns
  • He has lots of hair! Our tech said they usually can see hair in the back of their heads, but we saw it on the top of his head too. Yes, he may lose some over the next 2 months. I was bald as a baby so I'm guessing that is the Connell side.
  • His bones and length measured right on track for how far along I am
  • However, his head and stomach are 2 weeks ahead still (same as they were at 20 weeks). She estimated he is about 4 pounds 11 ounces right now. Most babies at 30 weeks are between 3 1/2 - 4 pounds. His weight puts him in the 90th percentile. The tech kept calling him "fluffy" - I guess that is better than fat! :) They can be a little off with their weight predictions, but this is the same tech that was able to tell us he was a boy at just 14 weeks.
  • And apparently, he has large big toes - whatever that means! And a perfect ten toes and ten fingers.

Have a great week! Just ten days until Christmas (and 1 day until Dash's birthday!)!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

(more) first friends

Shae's cousin, Courtney, and her husband welcomed their first child, Nicholas (Nico) Edward, on December 3rd after some scares and an eventful day for baby and mom. We are so excited that Junior's newest cousin is doing well now and everyone is enjoying the beautiful baby. Our boys will be less than 3 months apart so we can't wait to watch them grow up together.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In-town Getaway

Since both sets of our parents live within 20 minutes of our home, we don't have an excuse for a road trip or getaway very often. With the joy of days off over Thanksgiving, Dash planned a fun day within Houston for just us too.

We started out with early service at church with all the gray-haired members. Our pastor even came up to us and asked, "Aren't you two in the wrong service?" Growing up at very traditional churches, Dash really appreciates hymns (when done right) so the service was a treat for him.

For brunch (or Shae's second breakfast), we ate at Fountain View Cafe near the Galleria area. It is a cute cafe that only locals seemed to know about - kind of Kerbey Lane Houston-style. It was delicious and we packed our stomachs for our next adventure.

The great thing about living so close to the 4th largest city in the nation is that there is no shortage of things to do... if you take advantage of them. We are excited to be able to take our son to the countless museums, attractions and... the Houston Zoo, which is where we ended up. After hours of walking around (my feet held up pretty well!), we went shopping and crossed a few Christmas presents off our list (don't worry - not at the zoo!)

Thank you, husband, for planning such a fun day for us!

Dash was exciting to see the zebras because it reminded him of his trip to Zambia

This monkey was hilarious and so playful. He kept trying to get big mama to come and play with him and his blanket. One time, he even grabbed her hand and tried to pull her! So cute and my favorite!

The dancing Asian elephant - he had some good tune in his head.

This okapi is pregnant. I had sympathy for her, especially when they told us that she will carry her baby for over 14 months and it would be born weighing over 100 pounds!

The grizzlies and my impression of them

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thank you Aunt Ruth and Aunt April!

Two of Junior's wonderful aunts - Ruth and April - gave us a shower this past weekend. It was perfect, with delicious cupcakes and plenty of friends and family. They found this great dessert boutique in Katy called Ooh La La where they hosted the shower. If you are ever in the area and have a sweet tooth, check out the Bunny Boo cupcake - carrot cake with cream cheese icing! Thank you so much Ruth and April for your generosity towards us in what we know is a very busy time for you!
Handmade Quilt from Granny Connell - her 12th to make for her great-grandchildren!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our blog was tagged so here is 7 facts about us. Enjoy and maybe you will learn something about us!

1. We play the lotto every once in awhile with a dream of opening a Rudy's BBQ in Houston (and maybe some other plans too)
2. We are pretty sure our opposite skills would help us win the Amazing Race.
3. We both grew up going to T Bar M Camp as campers and met there as counselors in college.
4. We both play tennis... though one is slightly better (can you say State Champ, Nationals Champ, and Aggie tennis player? I like to brag on my hubby.)
5. We have two dogs, Maddy and Cooper. Maddy is a beautiful bird dog mix that I got when we were just dating and I lived by myself... from a Wal-Mart parking lot of all places. We got Cooper, our active chocolate lab after we were married for a few months.
6. We enjoy our wine and spent part of our honeymoon in the California Wine Country.
7. This spring we will celebrate our 3rd anniversary and also welcome our baby boy into our world.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nursery sneak peek

We've made a lot of progress on our nursery but are still missing a few important things. Here's a sneak peek into what's done so far...

Monday, November 24, 2008

We've been tagged...

We've been tagged by Kendall (my best friend growing up from Georgetown) and her husband Justin. They are on an incredible journey to adopt their first child from Ethiopia - check out their blog!

Seven random factoids about us coming soon...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Work in progress

Thank you Mike and Evan for helping us work on our nursery this past weekend. And for teaching Dash a little about power tools! Thanks Amy and Teresa for sharing your husbands with us too! Just a little painting to go and we should be pretty close to finished with our little guy's nursery.

Here's some proof that Dash used the saw at least once! I did hear he got pretty good with the nail gun.

We made it!

Thank you to Dash's parents for joining us (and thousands more) on the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes this past weekend. I made it! Well, the shorter route anyways. It is still hard for us to grasp that next year we will be pushing a stroller at the walk.

Dash's parents

Halfway through, with a "what was I thinking doing this 6 months pregnant" look on my face

Yes, I am embarrassed to admit to I broke down and visiting these. Don't worry, I used Purell as soon as we got to the car.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And the best for last...

As perfect evidence that men will always be boys... enjoy this picture of my husband attempting to go down the fireman pole at the farm. Let's just say the Connells aren't know for having small 'hips' and he definitely got stuck.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Farm Fun

Our Young Marrieds class made a road trip out to Dewberry Farm a couple weekends ago. Boy, I have never seen such 'big kids' have so much fun! And to think we only got in trouble by the sheriff once. They had everything from a crazy corn maze, swings, hay rides to a pumpkin patch. Dash and I are excited to take our son back next year (or two!).

Fall Fest 2008

This is my second year to lead our ER (Events and Retreats) Team for the Sr. High at our church. We are in charge of all the booths for our annual Fall Fest - and this is not an easy task. Luckily, I have some talented helpers! We had 1,300 - 1,500 people come out - and MANY were from the community, so it was a great outreach event for our church. As a bonus, our church reached it's goal of paying off it's building loan by our 35th anniversary, this past Sunday! Check out the job well done by the ER Team at Cypress Bible Church:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fightin' Texas Aggie football

Our Aggies did put up a good fight against the Tech Red Raiders last weekend. It was a blast to be able to go to an Aggie football game, especially since it might be a few years until I make it again. Here are some photos from the game (from row 19!) to make some of you jealous! Thank you Sterling and Katie for tagging along with me!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Join Team Connell

You can join us in walking to find a cure for diabetes here! Also, you can make donations to JDRF through the same link. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's that time again!

You are invited to join us for the 2008 Walk to Cure Diabetes! Join Team Connell -
2008 Walk to Cure Diabetes - 5K
November 8th
8:30 a.m.
Reliant Park - Houston

This will be our third consecutive year to participate and are excited to continue the tradition!
Look for a link soon to join Team Connell. We will also be setting up a donation page if you can't make it, but would still like to contribute towards finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes, which Dash has now had for over 10 years. Your prayers are always appreciated too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Junior Update

We are right on track - actually, speeding towards our due date. Junior is anywhere from one to two weeks ahead of schedule for his growth (depending on which part) so we might have a big baby on our hands (I hear this runs in both of our families) or else a Valentine's Day surprise if he comes early. And good news, I don't have to return all the baby boy clothes or the nursery fabric!

Monday, October 13, 2008

21 weeks

Here's a picture of my baby basketball at 21 weeks.
This weekend was full for both of us. Dash had a pro-am tournament for his work, which he placed second in with his partner. We also got to spend time with our friend, Matt Bain, who Shae grew up with in Georgetown and Dash played tennis with at A&M. Matt always cracks us up and we all got to experience the wonders of Captain Tom's Seafood and Oyster Bar together. We will be back post pregnancy for some of their oysters!
Sunday I got to celebrate our niece's 3rd birthday. Abby is a child after my own heart - with a love for all things girly and pink. It was fun to spend time with Dash's family. Just wish I had a sweet tooth with this pregnancy so I could have enjoyed the cake!
On Saturday, I also got to visit my Grandpa in the hospital. He is supposed to come home today after being admitted last Thursday, but please pray for his continued recovery and for his wife to be able to provide the support he needs physically and emotionally. He is such a big man - standing at 6' 4", so to see him stuck in a hospital bed was not fun. So glad he might be coming home today though.
We have our '20 week' ultrasound on Wednesday, though I will almost be 22 weeks then. Stay tuned for a full report and hopefully some great shots of Junior! I'm a little anxious about it after having a dream last night that the doctor said "both babies are looking great." Hmmm...
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, October 10, 2008

firsts this week

Dash and I both got to experience some firsts with Junior this week:
Dash was able to feel our son moving around! I, on the other hand, had an unexplainable crying episode at work. How is that fair? But, I am blaming it on the baby hormones for sure.

Friday, October 3, 2008

first friends

This past month has brought the birth of Junior's first friends.

My friend, Merideth, welcomed her third baby boy yesterday - Ryan Kade. Our friends from T Bar M and our old supper club group, Susan and Lee, had their first child, William this past month as well.

Congratulations on your new bundles of joy!

More friends are on the way, so hopefully we can get some play dates lined up in the future!

Rockin' and a Rollin'

This week marks the half way mark on our road to parenthood. I'm feeling lots of baby movements now and he sure does get excited after I eat a good meal. Hopefully it is not too long before Junior lets his daddy feel him moving. He is the size of a cantaloupe now so he is getting big!
Our nursery is coming together great. We will be painting in the next few weeks and putting the crib together. The hutch and combo dresser we got look wonderful. Sewing Junior's bedding will start soon too. And our boy officially has more clothes than Dash and I put together - thanks to his wonderful aunts!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Junior Update

Things looked great yesterday. Our boy is about the size of your palm now and is looking more like a newborn each time we get a glimpse of him. All his tests and my tests have come back perfect. Our next appointment will be in a month at 22 weeks and Junior will get a very thorough check-over. Also, we get to find our if HE is a boy or girl. This made me laugh when my doctor said this ... but we'll make sure nothing has changed. Almost half way there!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

We survived Hurricane Ike with relatively no damage. However, the storm was just the beginning of the story for many Houstonians. Our home was without power for 60 hours but luckily Dash's parents never lost electricity. We spent two nights there and came home to a fridge and freezer of bad food. Conquering the grocery store took some creativity with shelves empty of many staples. Dash has been back at work since Tuesday. Since many schools are out and the weather is great, he is in high demand. My office is still without power but a huge generator arrived today to power our entire building, so off to work I go tomorrow afternoon or Friday. We are very thankful that we were only inconvenienced by Ike and nothing else and that all of our friends and family are okay as well.

Here are some photos taken close to our home:

After we returned home, our dogs were exhausted from their evacuation trip. They slept all day (in A/C!).

I am supposed to have a doctor's appointment to check on Junior's progress tomorrow. I'll post an update if I am able to go, but an answering service is picking up at the doctor's so it is looking unlikely.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Boy or girl?

Just 3 days left until we find out if Junior is a boy or girl! Well, as long as baby cooperates and uncrosses its legs. Don't worry - I'm drinking my sugary juice and getting some donuts to do my part!

So, what is your guess? Boy or girl? Don't you want to be able to say "I told you so" ?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Growing baby

Here's some photos from Junior's latest photo session this morning!

Baby Connell at 13 1/2 weeks. His/her head is on the left and you can make out the nose and mouth really well here. Plus, its little hand is up towards the face. Shy one!

Close-up of Junior's profile. His/her hand is going towards its mouth.

Our little one was squirming away like crazy at first (guess it liked what we had for breakfast this morning). And then after the ultrasound tech finished its measurements and was going to look for any boy parts (or lack of), Junior fell asleep sitting on its feet with his/her legs crossed! Almost cause for its first spanking! But we are going back for just a quick look next Monday and as long as Junior cooperates, we might know if we are having a Dash Jr. or Shae Jr.! That makes my week!