Tuesday, December 29, 2009

32 1/2 weeks

I have been awful about documenting belly pictures. I'm thrilled to death about being 32 weeks pregnant. And really didn't expect to make it this far. And I love it! The baby movement is so strong that it wakes me up at night. And it's exciting to think about how much bigger this baby is already compared to Rhiannon's birth size. So, I love my pregnant belly. Just not the rest of me that is expanding in the process. Sometimes I wonder where the baby is, my belly or my butt since it seems to be a race to see which can expand faster. I think my butt is winning. Yeah.

Anyways, here are some pictures taken tonight.

And of Daddy (who keeps losing weight by the way. . . how does that happen?)

The pregnancy is still progressing well. I see the doctor weekly now and at each visit a vaginal ultrasound is performed to measure the length of my cervix and check the cerclage. My cervix has not shortened anymore since the cerclage which is great news. At 29.5 weeks (Rhiannon as born at 29.4) I had a doctor's appointment and they did a full ultrasound to measure the baby. At that time the baby was already weighing 3 lbs 5 oz. Rhiannon was 3 lbs 3 oz. Typically babies at 29 weeks are around 2 1/2 lbs so it looks like this baby will be big. Rhiannon was too thankfully. If this baby goes to term, I might not be so happy about it's big size! But it's to be expected. Russ was almost 10 lbs and I was 9 lbs 4 oz. The baby looked wonderful. However, it still covers it's face. He/she is a bashful thing.

I'm almost completely losing my mind but time seems to be going by quickly. Russ keeps reminding me to enjoy being pregnant, so I'm working on that. Rhiannon is entertaining so that's a plus. She has become much more independent and is quite the helper. She often stops playing and says "I need to go check on Mommy." She makes sure that my water jug is full and with me at all times. Although she drinks most of it. She's a joy and I'm thankful with all this time I get to spend with her in these last weeks of being an only child.

Rhiannon received a doctor's kit from Dr Amanda for Christmas so she also spends a lot of time giving me medical exams. She listens to my heart, checks my temperature and blood pressure, gives me shots and looks in my ears. Then she tells me I did a good job and she puts a sticker on me. So apparently I'm a good patient.

Here she is with her new stethoscope.

I have a nurse that comes to our house every week week to give me my progesterone shot. Thankfully I only have 4 more left. Rhiannon holds my hands during the shot and she enjoys hearing the baby's heart beat with the doppler.
So here's to 7 1/2 more weeks! Thank you all for your prayers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Cookies

It's a tradition in my Mama's kitchen that we make cookies for Christmas. This is one of my favorite traditions but last year I missed out while at work but Rhiannon was there to help. The year before, Lawson was the helper. This year, however, Rhiannon and I both were there to help. After the year we have had with my Mama's health and my pregnancy, it was such a blessing to sit in my Mama's kitchen and enjoy the smells of my childhood home mixed with the wonderful smell of cookies and hear the sweet sounds of Christmas music and my little girl singing with her Mama and grandmother. So many times that day I just sat there and smiled because of how insanely happy I was at that very moment.

Rhiannon received this cute little apron from Aunt Linda for Christmas so she helped Momess make the cookie dough and cut the cookies. I documented the process with video and pictures from my chair.

After the cookies were baked, Rhiannon and I decorated them with sprinkles. Rhiannon calls them "sparkles" and she spent most of the time eating the "sparkles" instead of putting them on the cookies. And there is not telling how many cookies she snagged and started eating before I could grab them from her. We had so much fun.

Merry Christmas to all of you and your families. I hope you enjoy every second of this wonderful season.

A visit with Santa

Last year my sister and I took our girls to see Santa together and had the cutest pictures made of the two of them. We decided to try it again this year. It was no simple feat. I wanted to go so my mother and Russ came with me. One to push the wheelchair and one to chase our two year old. We visited the Picture People again because they have Santa there from 3 - 8 Monday - Thursday for pictures. This works out well for us because we can get pictures made of the girls alone, together and with Santa.

The photo shoot went amazingly well. Getting a two year old and almost 4 year old to look at the camera took some work but we did it. That poor photoghrapher.

Lawson loved Santa. I think she loved him so much that he was running from her by the end of the session. Rhiannon wasn't so sure. She refused to sit in his lap but decided she would stand beside him. He asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she said "TOYS!!". Then immediately said "Bye Santa" which meant "Okay, you can go now." It was funny.

Notice in the picture how Santa is holding on to her.

Lawson is such a ham. Isn't she the cutest?
Here are pictures from last year.

And pictures from this year.

Lawson is holding onto Rhiannon here. Thanks Lawson!
Oh, and this is how I roll.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A quiet two year old

Another thing I have learned, it's a bad sign when my two year old is quiet.

One Saturday, Rhiannon was playing both in the living room and room. She's a very vocal two year old. She talks to us, herself, her dolls. . . or she sings.

When she's quiet, you should worry.

On this day, we walked back to her room and found this. . .
She had pulled every article of clothing out of every drawer in her dresser. And taken all of her dress up items out of the dress up basket.


She also has a little chalk board on the side of her kitchen set. I thought, what harm could she do with white chalk? Her furniture is already white right? I didn't think about the walls. . .

Uncle Timothy caught her in the corner of her room doodling on her walls with chalk. He called me in to show me.

Mommy: "Rhiannon, what it this?" In a stern voice as I am pointing to the chalk on the wall. Rhiannon: Looks at the wall, and then back at me, and says "A bunny." And smiles.

At that point, I just laughed.

Mommy loves hair photos

As your child grows up, I think you realize how big they are getting but for me, it isn't until I looked at pictures again from last Christmas that I realized how much my little Rhiannon has changed.

I took this picture before she left for a visit with Sweet Pea and YaYa because I loved the outift. The overalls were a gift from my friend Jessica last Christmas. They are from Pottery Barn Kids and are so soft and sweet. I loved them paired with the Converse sneakers.

I also took this one of her hair!

Rhiannon's hair is now so long that when it's wet it hits her lower back. It's so curly that you can't tell how long it truly is. The curls bring me to another interesting vent. I have straight hair. Well, not entirely straight. It's incredibly thick and when air dryed it has this very strange amazon like wave that would cause you to point and laugh at me if you saw it. But not these springy cute curls. I have no idea how to handle curls. Through trial and error, I have discovered that's it's best not to brush it. I comb it when it's wet and then let it air dry. To fix it, I will sometimes spray with water to refresh the curls. But most time, I just finger comb it and stick a bow in it (and then pray that she keeps the bow in). I have only cut it once, and that was to cut her bangs last Christmas. At this point, I'm scared to cut it because of the fear that I will cut off the curls and they won't come back!

I then found this picture from last Christmas and realize how much she truly has changed. My baby is growing up!


On December 12, the Crain family hit a major milestone. Russ graduated!

To explain a little more, Russ tried college after we graduated from high school 13 years ago but at that time, well, let's just say it wasn't a good fit. Which worked well for me because that brought him to live in Dahlonega after leaving UGA. I was in college at North Georgia in Dahlonega and it was then that we started dating. While I was in my senior year, Russ started attending classes again but then stopped when his dad had a stroke in late 2002. It wasn't until we decided to start a family that he made the decision to go back to school full time. That was a little over 3 years ago. So, after 13 years, Russ graduated from North Georgia College and State University with a bachelor's degree in Finance. I think I was the happiest person there! Although, Rhiannon looks pretty happy too.

And yes, I was able to attend graduation thankfully. When all this bedrest stuff began, it was my fear that I would not be able to go. And it was so important for me to be there to support him. Russ has had such a difficult last semester with me on bedrest, caring for Rhiannon, work, and a tough semester in school, but he has worked so hard. My youngest brother, Timothy, was also graduating with his Masters in Education in the same ceremony. After getting clearance from OB, I was allowed to go.

So Russ spoke to the school and had them reserve a seat for me on the floor so that I would not have to climb bleachers (climbing stairs right now is a no-no). They were only able to reserve 3 and I figured that me Rhiannon and my brother Stephen could sit there together that way the parents could sit together and I had Stephen's help with Rhiannon.

The morning of graduation. . .

Russ had a late night with early celebrations so Stephen and I were caring for Rhiannon that morning while the graduate slept in. Rhiannon woke up at 5:30am and that was how the day started. Later on that morning, after Russ had showered, I went to get in the shower and while it was warming up, our water went out. Comletely. In the entire neighborhood. Stephen and I had not showered yet and were supposed to be leaving in an hour and a half. So, we grabbed Rhiannon and drove to my parents house. In a mad rush, we got ready and were on our way to graduation. Stephen entered the gym first and found our seats. They were easy to get to and had "Reserved Crain" taped on the backs of them. Stephen goes to sit down and this lady tells him that she has those seats saved. He tells her that they are reserved for his family and sits down. She starts fussing at him and that's when I sat down. She then starts fussing at me. I explain to her that my husband is graduating at that I had been on bedrest for 10 weeks. Because of my condition, my husband had the school reserve these seats for me. I'm not sure if she didn't believe me or if she was just psycho (I'm leaning towards the latter). She then said something about taking care of it and walked off. She came back and pointed her finger in Stephen's face and told him that he was a liar! She said she spoke to the Dean and there were no reserved seats. At this point, I'm thinking that maybe she's blind. Can she not see the signs on the chairs? Did she think that we put those signs there? At this point, the Howard tempers of me and Stephen (with a few pregnant hormones as kindling) are flaring so we are both telling this lady off. I truly can't remember ever being that mad. I chose to walk off to see a sorority sister of mine and cool off. And the lady followed me!!! I was really looking for people to take her off in the white jacket. Or me one.

But, Russ and Timothy graduated! Whew. After my camera was dropped and broken in the lobby after the ceremony, I was ready for this day to be over!

But I couldn't be more happy for my hard working husband. I'm so proud of him!

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's Christmas

I have to brag on Russ. Bless his heart, he has carried quite a burden these last few weeks. He is working full time, finishing is final semester in college, taking care of the house, and me and Rhiannon. I think he has lost as much weight as I have gained. But he has kept such a hopeful spirit and is still such a positive influence. I felt like God wouldn't have given us this challenge if we weren't strong enough to handle it and Russ certainly is. He's just amazing.

Yesterday morning, he returned home from class and decided since it was his day off that he wanted to put up Chrismtas decorations. Usually, we put our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving but he wanted to go ahead and do it so that I could enjoy it. So, he hauled all our Christmas decor down from the attic and put up all of it by himself. I layed on the couch and put hooks on ornaments. It looks amazing! Mimi and Papa brought Rhiannon home that afternoon and the look on her face was so sweet. She kept saying "Oh, the tree is so pretty!". And Jingle Bells is her new favorite song.

So, the Crain home is ready for Christmas all thanks to my sweet Russ. Thanks Baby!

27 weeks

Today I am 27 weeks! This is an exciting week for us. I was 27 1/2 weeks when I started having issues with my pregnancy with Rhiannon -- at 27 1/2 weeks, I was 100% effaced. But, at my OB visit last week, my cervix was still looking good at 2.8 and the cerclage was working beautifully. Dr Harrison said that the next 6 - 8 weeks are crucial since this was the point that my cervix started giving way with Rhiannon and we would really like to make it to 34 weeks. That's our goal since most babies do not need the NICU at that point. The babies heartrate was at 150. Right at the mid-range to guess sex but Dr Harrison thought it was probably higher than usual since the baby was very active during the exam. He/she kept kicking the dopler away when he was trying to listen to the heart.

Another reason why we're excited this week is because we are halfway mark. I will have been on bedrest for just over 9 weeks and will have just over 9 weeks to go to get to 37 weeks (a full term baby).

Reason #3, the doctor said I could go see a movie! So, Russ and I have a date night tomorrow night. I can't begin to explain how excited I am!!!

Finally, reason #4. . . it't Thanksgiving. Probably my favorite holiday! Every year, my mother's family, the Saxtons, come over to my mother's house for lunch. I have 10 cousins and they come with their significant others and children and my my aunts and uncles. It's so much fun! This year, my mother has had some health problems and was just released from the hospital last week. So, my aunt Beverly is having Thanksgiving at her house this year. And the doctor said I could go! On the following Sunday, we will go to Russ' parents house for Thanksgiving feast #2.

Here are some pictures of me at 26 weeks. I'm hesitant to post because pregnant appetite + bedrest has created one big Mama. We won't even discuss numbers but it's not pretty. I may need a moo moo dress by the time this pregnancy is over. But, I felt like I should document some pictures since I posted pictures of me pregnant with Rhiannon at 26 weeks.

Happy Thansgiving to everyone. I'm thankful for this pregnancy, my wonderful husband, my fiesty little Rhiannon, our family, and each and every one of you. We wish you health and happiness.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Here is a picture of Rhiannon's first Halloween. Due to RSV season, we did not leave the house. Rhiannon was 3 months old here (adjusted age 3 weeks!). It's hard to remember her that tiny. Check out how excited Russ and I look!

And a couple of pictures of Raggedy Rhiannon from Halloween last year. . .

And finally, Halloween this year. What a cute little Ladybug!

The make-up didn't stay on long. The weather was horrible on Halloween and the rain quickly made it run so we wiped it off for trick-or-treating. I loved the tennis shoes with the costume.

And from the back!

Rhiannon went trick-or-treating a few different times over the weekend. On Friday, Mimi and Papa took her to Dr Amanda's office for candy. She spent Saturday morning with Papa Sweet Pea and Ya-Ya and visited with Angela's parents, Pete and Linda, and cousins Devon and Sawyer. And then Hallow's Eve, she went trick-or-treating with Daddy, Momess, Aunt Katie and cousin Lawson. I rode along in the car and video taped from my reclined seat through the window of the car.

Rhiannon LOVED her costume. We tried it on her the week before Halloween, and she cried when we took it off. It's all she talked about all week leading up to Halloween. And of course, she cried the night we took it off. She was so much fun!! She was able to see family and received way too much candy. My job in the car was to ration the candy to give to her. It went well. One for Rhiannon, two for Mommy. Repeat. I'm shocked we have any left. . .

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Fun

So even though Mommy is stuck in bed, Rhiannon has been a busy girl this fall. It's the time of year for fall festivals! My favorite! The first one on the list if Mule Camp Market in downtown Gainesville. Rhiannon attended with her Mimi and Papa this year. Sadly, I wasn't able to go but I did send Russ to get funnel cakes later on in the weekend. Here are some pictures of Rhiannon at the petting zoo set up at the festival. She didn't quite understand why she couldn't brush the turkey.

This is what she wanted to wear. . .

Later on that weekend, she went to Burt's Pumpkin Farm with Papa Sweet Pea and YaYa (my dad and stepmother). Her cousin Sawyer went too. They picked out pumpkins and road the hayride. Rhiannon is still talking about it.

This weekend of fun with grandparents ended up stretching through the entire next week because on that Sunday Russ was diagnosed with swine flu. He went to his parents house to stay for the week and Rhiannon went to my mother's house. Since I'm pregnant and Rhiannon was premature, we were extra cautious. Luckily, neither she nor I got sick. It was a very lonely week for me though. The whole family is back now and Rhiannon and I have appointments to get vaccines next week.

Progress report on Baby #2: I'm 24 weeks today. At my appointment this week, there has been no change which is good news. I've been on bedrest now for 4 weeks. Only 13 more to go! Thanks for your prayers. This is one lively baby. I'm not sure if it's really more active than Rhiannon was or if I can feel it more since all I do is lay around. Either way, there are nights when it's hard to sleep because Jelly Bean is kicking so hard. You can even see my stomach move with his kicks!

Happy Halloween to all of you. I'll post pictures of Rhiannon this weekend.