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!