Thursday, June 28, 2007

June 2007

One year ago today, we brought a two-day-old, 7 lb, 10 oz baby girl home from the hospital.

What a difference 365 days makes! It seemed like we had been waiting for her for so long--not just the eight days she was overdue. June 26 last year started with a scheduled sonogram at the hospital to monitor my fluid levels and the baby's growth From that, it was determined that was I to be induced and that a baby would be here that day. My mom was there with us and we quickly went to unload the suitcase that we had (thankfully) packed and made our way to the hospital room, after calling everyone else in our family to tell them to circle the date on their calendars--we'd have a baby today!

Being induced is surreal in that you arrive in the labor and delivery room feeling great. After a few IV's, you're "in labor" but don't feel anything yet for quite some time. We actually enjoyed those few hours--chatting, watching television, and doing what we could to prepare for the next few hours. Then, of course, the pain came, and then the epidural, and eventually the final stages of labor.

The last part was hard on all of us, especially because our yet-to-arrive baby insisted on being born with her hand up by her head. We had originally planned on an unmedicated birth but we're thankful that our midwife had encouraged an epidural for this situation. (That intervention is already written into this baby's birth plan!) But, at 9:27 pm, we were holding our child. The midwife immediately handed us to her and then prompted us to investigate and tell the world "A GIRL!". We had settled on the name Amalia June several months before but hadn't really shared it so many people were surprised.

After a few days at the hospital and several visitors, our little girl was ready to get the rest of her life started. We took her home and feasted on a "Thanksgiving Dinner" that Jonathan had requested that my mom prepare to celebrate. One of my favorite memories of that day is Mali sleeping in the bassinet next to the table with Jonathan quietly moving her closer and closer to him throughout the whole meal.

Fast-forward one year--tonight she feasted with us on pasta, meatballs, and fresh zucchini. Our meal was MUCH louder and messier than last year and the clean-up took almost as long as the eating part. I doubt any of that will change in the near future. What will this next year bring?

Vacation Pictures

Click here for more glimpses of our fun!

She's ONE!

And all vactioned-out.

More Florida stories and pictures to follow.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I hope Florida is this much fun!

Off to visit the great-grandparents for a few days! Lots of swimming and spoiling to follow.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Third trimester update

Can you believe we're already well into the third trimester? 28 weeks and counting! Mom and baby are doing well, as are Dad and Big Sister. I just had the gestational diabetes screen this week and we're awaiting the results, but there doesn't appear to be any need for concern. However, this pregnancy has caused some inconveniences, but thankfully nothing else. So far, we have had four sonograms and are already scheduled for our fifth. Here's the run-down:

Sonogram #1--Establishing an exact due date of September 7th. (The first pregnancy test I took was negative, on New Year's Eve of all times. However, I most certainly was pregnant as my round belly indicated several weeks later. Lesson learned: always take two pregnancy tests to verify a result).

Sonogram #2--A routine 18-week scan. At this point, the OB (who consults with our midwives) noted that the placenta was slightly low, possibly indicating a chance for placenta previa. The idea of bed-rest or a C-section later on was not pleasing to any of us. How exactly would you handle bed-rest with a toddler to care for?

Sonogram #3--All is well with the placenta, however, the baby is smaller than expected, in the 27th percentile. This doesn't worry us (neither of us has been contacted recently by the Guinness Book of World Records for setting any record of height or weight), but the OB asks us to come back again in a few weeks "just to monitor".

Sonogram #4--Overall growth is okay, except now only the baby's head appears to be on the small side. The OB noted that although I also have small-sized head for my body frame, Jonathan, most certainly does not. (We found this HILARIOUS for an OB to observe!) So, we're scheduled to come back in a few weeks to make sure that his/her head is growing at a decent rate. Everything else looks beautiful.

So, other than paying for parking each time and constantly reminding the technicians not to dare spoil the surprise of the baby's gender for us, we're grateful that we've got to glimpse at our baby so often. Last time they even gave us a 4-D image of the baby's face and he/she looks strikingly like Mali. Chubby cheeks and a radiant smile. Less than three months until we can see that face up close! (The below picture doesn't do it justice)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More expanding...

Sadly, we're finally outgrowing our much-used and much-loved 1996 Pontiac Sunfire. Somehow, we just don't think it's fit for two cars seats, plus all of the extra gear that comes with kids. So we've begun "THE SEARCH".

At one point we were considering:
1) A larger sedan
2) A station wagon
3) A minivan
4) A SUV

Obviously, that opens the discussion quite a bit. However, after test-driving a Nissan Maxima and a Honda CRV, we've decided that passenger space is critical, especially at the rate at which we're having children. It was hard to close the door without hitting a car seat in the CRV! And since we love being a one-car family, being able to fit everyone in plus a friend or two is pretty important. Other than passenger space, our other deciding factors are:

1) Safety
2) Price--isn't the best invention ever?
3) Reliability
3) Coolness (we hope that goes without saying)

Factors that aren't as important to us are:
1) Age/mileage of the car--assuming the other criteria are met.
2) Gas mileage (believe it or not, we don't drive that much right now, with Jonathan taking the bus to work and Southwest Airlines providing our travel arrangements to Michigan. We actually might be able to get a good deal with everyone trading in their SUV's right now)
3) Japanese vs. American--we've driven both and really believe the difference in quality is marginal.

Next on the list to test-drive are a Honda Odyssey, a Toyota Sienna, a Ford Windstar and possibly a Ford Explorer. Any recommendations? And anybody want to buy a REALLY COOL Pontiac Sunfire?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Happy Annivesary Mom & Dad

Thirty-one years ago today, Sandra Koch and Gregg Shunkwiler became husband and wife. Today they're the parents of two daughters, in-laws to one son-in-law, and grandparents of two babies, one of whom is still in utero, but spoiled by them nonetheless. Our favorite wedding day story for Kaethe's parents is how they didn't follow the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding, but rather had lunch together and enjoyed leftover sloppy joes instead! The wedding--and marriage--went on to be a success. And they still enjoy dining together, although ever since Jonathan came around, there are significantly less leftovers, especially when sloppy joes are served.

Thanks for your wonderful example of marriage Mom & Dad! We love you!