Thursday, December 29, 2011

23 weeks!

THIS is what I keep getting.  Grrrr.
It has taken me a bit to post an update about sweet Baby Jack because one, we have been quite the busy bees...and two, I have been trying to work out issues with Facebook for the past several days and it's incredibly frustrating to say the least.  I have been a Facebook user for almost 7-8 years now (however long it's been around) and suddenly, it is not letting me update my statuses from my iPhone or computer, post pics from my computer, post on someone's wall from my computer, OR post links to THIS BLOG from my phone or computer.  I have sent numerous emails and continue to get the same asinine responses that provide NO relief or answers to my questions.  Frustrated is actually NOT the word for me, I need something beyond it to describe how I'm feeling.  I know it sounds so incredibly silly because it is Facebook, just a silly social website that we as a society completely overindulge in and put too much emphasis upon...BUT you have to remember, I have been on since it was invented (back then, it was ONLY for college students and you had to be affiliated through a collegiate domain and email address) so I have years and years and years of stored (and maybe incriminating) photos of my friends and me acting a complete FOOL in college; documentation of experiences we shared through posts, pictures, and conversations; and just loads of memories on the one site...and when you need help and there is nowhere to go, well, I want to pull my hair out!  How does that affect THIS, the blog??  You not knowing we're here and have new things to share! Well, just please make it a daily or every other daily habit to check in with us!  FB is how I usually alert everyone to a blog post or update so if you enjoy reading us and are not a follower, just continue to check back...okay?!?  I feel like there is so much I'd like to keep everyone updated on, yet FB is putting a HUGE damper on my plans!  GRRRRRRRRRrrrrrr baby...very, very GRRRRRRR!!!  Sorry to unload, but I am way over it.  It seems like such a simple fix, but of course, it's with EVERYTHING with me.

Anyway, onto something that is NOT frustrating and is so, so, sooooo important: my precious (and oh so active) little man, doing somersaults inside me!  We've had a busy week and Jack seems to be privy to that knowledge.  I woke up Christmas morning to him kicking me was like he went with Santa to houses and helped him eat all the cookies, goodies, and him a sugar (and active) rush!  Such a cool feeling, I enjoyed every single one of those 23798.41 kicks!  They made me so giggly and excited and set the tone for Christmas morning!  If he is this excited inside me...imagine how excited he'll be outside of me!  Oh my goodness, I just cannot wait!  

As I mentioned in the previous post, he got LOTS of fun stuff from Santa and his grandparents and aunts, and also got many delicious goodies fed to him.  He did not have one single problem with anything I ate...hopefully this means, he will not be picky like I was when I was little...or like his Daddy is still very much to this day, and much to my frustration.  It does encourage me to be incredibly creative, however, with food preparation as I have to reconvene OR "sneak" in stuff he "doesn't like" and just not ahhh hemmm...tell him about it!  Oops, did I just share that out loud?  I won't be telling him what those things are, though, he can just keep on eating them!
OOOOOPS...Forgot to take a 23 bump pic this week, so this pic will have to suffice

How far along:
 23 weeks, 3 days

Size of our little Jackrabbit:  a papaya...again!  OR a LARGE Mango!
Maternity clothes: Again, I wore normal clothes all week...BUT I'm having to get pretty creative with my outfits.  I cannot wear skirts because they do not lay right, nor look right over my tummy...and I don't really wear too many pants as it is, so the dresses that do still fit, I have to get crafty with sweaters and tights or stretchy pants underneath.  It's no biggie, but I am getting sad about all the dresses that are not currently fitting!  As we were reorganizing, I can across pictures where I was much, much skinnier than I am now.  I was sad at first, but I now realize I am going to use them as my drive to get back where I once was!  Here are some of my motivational pics I'm going to post around my house to keep me driven towards my weight loss goal after Jack baby arrives!  
yes, the two-piece prom dress is oh-so-classy (hey, that was the style of short dresses are now!), and yes, it WAS 10+ years ago, BUT this is still an inspiration for me to work towards a body I once had
this was just on our only about 4 years ago!
Sleep: Sleeping is not going so great for me these past several days.  I guess I have jinxed myself after talking about how well it's gone because since Christmas Eve Eve, I have had LOTS of trouble falling asleep and then once I get to sleep, I wake up alot.  I am also moving and tossing and turning a lot as well, which I was not doing AT ALL before.  Now, I'll wake up on my back...ahhhh!!!  Number one position a preggo should not fall asleep on because it can be bad for the baby.  Since it takes a while to go to sleep, I have been waking up around 11ish this past week which is dangerous considering I have to get back on the work sleep schedule.  Maybe I'm just too rested and sleep will come easier when I'm back in school and have it to wear me out?

Symptoms: Heartburn hasn't been as bad, thank goodness!  I have been using everyone's suggestions, so thank you, thank you, thank you!  I take Zantac more often AND drink some milk before bed which really seems to be helping!  So now, my only symptom is the sleeping symptoms and some difficulty with my changing posture as I have been having pains in my lower back due the shift in excess weight all around my middle.

Mood: Christmas put me in a better mood, so that's good!  I was a bit moody yesterday after cleaning all day...I told B, I felt it was punishment for me to clean all I earned it for being off from work. 

Best moment this week: Jack's Daddy FINALLY getting to feel him kick!  It was absolutely the most wonderful moment!  B was rubbing my belly and talking to Jack and all of a sudden, Jack gave him a HUGE jab!  The look on Brad's face was absolutely PRECIOUS, while his excitement: PRICELESS!!!  He was just so, so, sooooo excited and called his parents immediately to share the good news!  I was relieved because I was so ready for him to feel what I've been excitedly experiencing for the past 2 weeks now.  He felt him again last night...I think I wore Jack out yesterday with being busy cleaning and running errands all day so I wasn't feeling him much.  Brad was having his usual nightly "tummy time" and Jack again kicked for Daddy!

ALSO, Jack's Nanny (my mom) felt him too!  She was doing the same as Brad...rubbing my belly and talking to him and he kicked her too.  She was so excited and I was too that others are getting to feel him in there!  

Movement: He's been kicking so, so, sooooooo much and I am LOVING it!  From the excitement on Christmas, to me just talking to him and him responding, I am just overwhelmed with happiness about his movements!  I talk to him every morning and always get responsive movements.  I love it!

Food cravings/aversions: Sweets, sweets, sweets, and other delicious treats, treats, treats!  Christmas has done this little buddy and his momma reaaaaaaally good!  There's not too much I don't want to eat...not really having ANY aversions to anything...which can be bad!  Tonight, I'm going to Cheddar's with my team teaches and I could not be more excited about the "World Class Chicken Sandwich" which is probably the best ever!  I literally consumer every. last. bite. of it!  I love Cheddar's!

What I miss/What I am looking forward to: I am looking forward to visiting with B's AMAZING family  this weekend for our 3rd annual hosting of the Thomas/ Morel clan for New Year's.  What started as a convenience after a massive knee surgery, is now a tradition that we look forward to every year!  I can't wait to have fun and hang out with Baby Jack's Mamaw, Papaw, Aunt Sis, Uncle Joe, and Cousings Spence-a-roo and JilliBean!
I'm also looking forward to seeing Jack ONE WEEK FROM TODAY for our 24 week checkup!
Also, my birthday is one week from tomorrow (January 6th) and I am receiving the best and most special, belated gift ever!
I AM missing the beverages of New Year's Eve, but I get to celebrate New Year's with the promise of a new precious angel and THAT alone, makes my year...hell, it makes the rest of my life!  What a tremendous gift to be sent to us for 2012!  I am just so overwhelmed with love, excitement, and hope for our little guy! 

Milestones:  Our skinny guy should be weighing more than a pound now and we'll be seeing exactly how much he does weigh at our appointment on the 5th.  He's about 8.5 inches long which is the size of a standard letter...HA!  My special delivery!  His beautiful face is basically all formed now, but what's missing is baby fat that will pile under his skin eventually.  Until those fat deposits are made, his tender little skin is still very transparent, which means a close look would allow us to see through him to all the organs, bone, and blood vessels.  Fortunately, that see-through look won't last too much longer.  Babies at Jack's stage, should gain about 6 ounces a week, with much of that gain coming from fat, in addition to growing organs, bones, and muscle.  His respiratory system is also growing rapidly as lungs are developing in preparation for breathing and moving amniotic fluid in and out of those growing lungs.  

And guess what?  My little rocker in there is hearing all kinds of sounds on his stereo-system: air exhaling from my lungs, gastric gurgles produced by my stomach and intestines, my voice and his Daddy's voice, and even very loud sounds such as honking horns, barking dogs, or a wailing fire-truck (which we had two days ago in our neighborhood...eek!).  

Belly button in or out: in still, but's becoming more and more flat which means it will pop out eventually.  Crazy!  B and I were talking about what a weird thing a belly button is!  HA!

Have a tremendous weekend and New Year's celebration!  Be sure to continue checking back with us on updates about our little guy and preparations for him!  I should have a post about our Christmas and New Year's celebration with B's side of the family on Sunday!  Happy 2012!
We are thankful for each of you in our lives!

Love always,
Brad, Abby, and Baby Jack

Some of my other "skinnyspirational photos"

Maybe I should rethink second trips through the food lineups?!?

our Christmas and Winter Break

Sorry I've been so tardy for this blogging party here lately,'s been a busy past week and a half! As a teacher, I seriously get the best vacations and time off...EVER.  It really is so incredible having these breaks and days where I can unwind...especially being almost 6 months preggo!

We had such a GREAT Christmas!  I waited and waited to post because we have not had Christmas with B's side of the family yet, but I figured that writing about both in one post could get a bit lengthy.  The week before Christmas completely flew by!  I cannot believe how fast it went...well, in all seriousness how fast the entire break went!  One more official day...booooooo.

Last Monday, the 4th grade team of teachers had to be up at school and then B. Bear took off Tuesday to use the last of his vacation for 2011.  I used that day to catch up and finalize on all of our shopping as I hate to admit this, but I had not gotten one. single. thing.  Ahhhh!!!  It was tremendous though, because I found some amazing deals and was able to absolutely LOAD up on stuff for B's stocking (we do stocking for each other instead of wrapping gifts).  
Brad Thomas seriously racked up... 
10 ties (great sale at Macy's on ties),
2 Ralph Lauren button down dress shirts,
1 Nike/UK polo for gamedays at work, 10 pairs of boxers,
Clinque Skincare for Men (face wash and aftershave),
men's body wash from Bath & Body Works (smells AMAZING),
1 microwaveable plate for cooking bacon in microwave as B loves to do,
a "Butterboy" corn butterer thingy,
corn dishes for putting corn on the cob in and keeping it in its butter pool - rather than on your plate,
a Tervis tumbler with matching lid that said "Best Dad Ever",
3 long sleeve Ralph Lauren Polo t-shirts,
a package of white t-shirt undershirts, socks,
a digital coin counter for all of his loose change at the end of the day,
1 pair of Under Armour sweatpants,
1 pair of Adidas sweatpants,
1 pair of Under Armour shorts,
1 North Face pullover,
house shoes, and
PJ pants from American Eagle.  

See what I mean?  R.A.C.K.E.D. UP!  I was so excited though because B hasn't gotten too many new clothes over the past couple of years, yet works to make sure I get everything I want.  I figured it's time for HIM to get spoiled and I loved every single minute of it!  

We followed many traditions of the Banker Christmas this year: 
we had Italian on Christmas Eve after going to church together, 
we played games every spare minute we had, 
we spent the night at my parents' to wake up and see our Santa stuff and open presents, 
we had a HUGE breakfast, homemade by Suz (my mom), 
and had Christmas dinner with my parents on Christmas day at their house.  
It was fantastic spending some quality time with my family!  B also spoiled my with almost everything I put on my list!  I had a tough time putting together a list for him when he asked because there isn't too much I need or want...I have everything I need and want growing inside my belly!  Jack even got some stuff too!  My most favorite things he got was the "rocking lamb" (not horse) from my's oh so, so, soooooo very cute, AND the cow butt outfit he got from his Aunt is seriously precious!
Also, my parents got us an INCREDIBLE gift: a custom made, special order glider for Jackrabbit's room.  They completely splurged and we are so grateful...Jack really is getting the best of the best and we are just so excited!  We cannot believe they got us (and Jack) that!

our last Christmas as a family of only 2!  Can't wait for new traditions and excitement  Christmas 2012!

We also had some variations on traditions this year too:
I woke up to some serious, serious kicks from Baby was amazing!  It honestly was like he knew it was Christmas and was so. so. sooooooo... excited!  He was absolutely kicking up a storm in there, it made me so giggly!
we had dinner on Christmas Eve Eve at my Aunt Kathy's house with my mom's side of the family (she has 3 sisters, but 1 was in SC with her kids and grandkids). 
I made the Christmas Eve dinner which was homemade lasagna.  That happened by accident as I made it for B last Thursday and we had so much leftover that I told mom we could have it instead of her whipping up an entire other batch!  
B did not have to work Christmas Eve or Christmas day and the branch was closed on Monday though...weird! 
Shawn spent the night at his dad's instead of with us on Christmas Eve and Dad went and picked him up at 7a.m. Christmas day and then took him back after dinner.  It was really strange not having him there through all the festivities.
When we were up at 7:30 with Shawn to see his Santa gifts, we had my brother on Skype sitting in the living room so he could be a part of our traditions.  He lives in China and this is his first Christmas in a foreign country.  It was nice having him "there" with us for our usual Christmas morning, but was definitely a creative twist on traditions in the Banker household.  B and I left not too long after an ahhh hemmm...interesting?  Christmas dinner.  Not the food per say, but the events...and I'll leave it at that.  I really had a terrific time with mi madre, mi padre, B, and Priss!!  
some of Jack's stuff - disregard B back there playing with his new digital coin counter

Jack's stocking my mom got for him and the lamb rocker

excuse my extreme foulness 

NEW TRADITION ALERT: this is my dad Skyping with my big bub

the truck B and I got Shawnee

Shawnee going through his Santa gifts

He got a Nintendo 3DS from Santa and well, we barely got to visit with him the rest of the day, he was so enamored with it!

Since B had Monday off, we deemed that day, "Project Day".  I hate to admit this, but we barely have ANYTHING prepared in our house for the arrival of our sweet little man and now, I am feeling the crunch on time!  We have less than 4 months remaining and there is just so much to do!  We first started with our pantry in the kitchen.  I know it sounds weird, but it needed some serious organization...especially since we need to make room for Baby's Jack's foodie goodies!  We have wire racks in our pantry and in our bathroom closets and well, those are simply NOT IDEAL for storage!  Thus, we purchased shelf liners and got to work rearranging.  Here is the end result!  It's amazing how much food went to waste because it expired or got "lost" in there!  
look at all that space we have for Jackbaby's food!

B says we now look like poor college kids with no food!  This thing was STUFFED full before we ditched all the stuff we haven't used!

Next, it was onto the bathroom closets.  Instead of putting shelf liners in my bathroom closet, we bought baskets and I organized everything.  I am one of those idiots who has like every. single. scent. from Bath&Body Works and Victoria's Secret...AND cannot decide on just ONE perfume...I have like 8 perfumes to match my moods or look.  Yes, I am a freak.  Thus, I organized all of that stuff, while cleaning out mostly empty bottles that I was clinging to the remnants of too.  
scents and hair necessities in bottom basket, lotions and bath goodies in  middle basket, and medicines and first aid supplies, in the top basket.  The green bag is my makeup travel case when I go has all these pockets to make my supplies compartmentalized and organized which I love because good makeup is my biggest indulgence and a non-negotiable!  When we're not traveling, I had it organized into drawers in our bathroom.  

Next, B uses the closet in the office as his closet because yes, I have taken up every square inch of the massive walk-in in our master bath.  The office is becoming Jack's nursery, so B has to move his clothes out of there.  That seems easy except for there is no space in our master closet because I am a clothes-aholic, AND I use our guest bedroom closet for my Winter and Fall clothes.  Again, I am a freak.  Thus, I had to go through THAT closet and weed out clothes I do not wear or do not see myself wearing and ended up with a GIANT bag for Cathryn and a GIANT bag for Goodwill.  B is now safe and secure in the guest bedroom closet!  Let me tell you what, this was NO. EASY. TASK. to get all of this rearranging done!  He and I were both EXHAUSTED at the end of the day, but more organized to say the we are one step closer to being prepared for our little guy!  
I need more baby-size hangars, but this is all we have in Jack's closet used to be FILLED with all of his Daddy's clothes and such

B's clothes added to my fall and winter clothes collection in the guest bedroom.  It extends MUCH farther to the left and  to the right.

Finally, I have spent the last couple of days cleaning our house from floor to ceiling since we have the Thomases and the Morels coming in this weekend, and running some errands.  I may or may not have also hit up the semi-annual sale at B&B Works to load up on wallflowers for my house.  And yes, I made out like a bandit from there...I got 24 (you read correctly, TWENTY-FOUR) Wallflowers, and some lotions and such for $40!!!  Crazy huh?!?  In all fairness, I did had two $10 off coupons it really was a $60 total, but I ended up only spending $40.  I am pumped and my house smells delicious!  Next up, Victoria's Secret semi-annual...I look forward to it every year, twice a year...ya feel me, ladies?!?  

We did have some excitement on Tuesday, however.  My parents called Tuesday morning, asking if I'd like to go see a movie with them.  Of course, I happily obliged because it was a great distraction from house cleaning...I am a tremendous procrastinator, mind you...and well, it was additional time to spend with my fabulous parentals.  We went to see, "The Descendants" and it was good.  Good, not great, though.  I do not feel that it lived up to all the hype, but I did still think it was good.  We also went to see it at the Kentucky theater downtown and I had never been there, so that was an experience too.  Afterwards, we went by the store to look at my fabric swatch for the glider and match it up to paint samples that B and I have collected for Jack's room.  On our way home from there, we were stopped at a light and out of nowhere, a HUGE thud.  Someone rear-ended us.  I happened to be sitting in the back and the impact caused by head to whip forward and then back rather forcefully.  Immediately, I was freaked out and started crying.  A LOT.  Thankfully, I was with my parents, and my mom jumped out of the car and into the backseat to comfort me without even a flinch.  Also, no one was hurt, nor was my parents' car which is amazing in itself.  The truck that hit them had damage, but not their car...outstanding!  After I calmed down, I simply had a headache, but that is a small price to pay for our safety!  Thank goodness for guardian angels with us and wrapping their arms around my stomach and Sweet Baby Jack!  I was in an accident last February and the injuries were farrrrrrr worse than this.  

I hope you had a terrific Christmas and time off from work.  Tomorrow, B's side of the family comes in for our annual week after Christmas Christmas and New Year's celebration.  It is always a great time!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

22 Week Update!!

Christmas Break is FINALLY here for me!  I NEVER thought this time would arrive, but it has...and I am so thrilled to rest and relax with just myself and our sweet little man...who coincidentally, has been very active lately!  He's a growing, growing, growing baby boy and B and I are literally counting down the days until we get to see or hear him again at our next appointment (2 weeks from Thursday...January 5th!).  

How far along: 22 weeks

Size of our little Jackrabbit:  a papaya!
Maternity clothes: I wore normal clothes all week!  However, I am still feeling like quite the heifer.  

Sleep: Sleeping very, very well!  Really, I have had zero issues with this (knock on wood, but yes, it's true!).  I keep waiting on the bottom to drop out on this, but as of now, I'm enjoying my worry-free sleep sessions and moving on with my days!

Symptoms: just will NOT quit...and it's TERRIBLE!  It usually comes on in the afternoons and evenings and then when I wake up, it's MUCH better.  B says I should be taking Zantac everyday instead of just sporadically when I feel the burn, but I am apprehensive about taking ANYTHING except my Prenatal vitamin.  I just don't want anything disrupting or hurting our sweet baby in here!

Mood: I've definitely been more moody here recently.  I just feel that people and things are 'irking' me more than usual.  I really HATE to admit this because I do not want to seem ungrateful for this amazingly precious gift that we've been given...but gahhhh, these hormones are raging at times!  Thus, I'm terrible sorry if I've thrown a hateful comment your way...or just been a Negative Nancy.  Please know, it is not my intention! 

In the beginning weeks, I could be on my hands and knees puking, but was still happy as a clam.  Now, I struggle to not go off at times on people.  I haven't though...well, except for a few choice peeps...but in all fairness, hormones/ pregnant or not, most had it coming and if they didn't, I was apologizing within seconds.  Anyway, like I've said over the past couple of posts, we have so much going on in our work life and have been put through so, so, sooooo much over the past couple of weeks, that I think I'm simply crumbling under the pressure...which is why I was sooooo looking forward to this break starting; it's literally been like a wave of fresh air and I feel like I can breathe again!  New beginnings are headed our way and I feel so blessed to have the 2 amazing women I do as my teammates.  We have persevered through this situation and have come out better and stronger..even if we've been working ourselves to the bone!

Best moment this week: Did you know it's my Winter Break?!?  Bahahahahahaha!!!  Second, Beth and Kody came over last week for dinner and a movie, but on Saturday, she called and said she had something to bring to me.  I was like, "huh?!?  You're crazy!"  They showed up with THIS...
isn't she THE BEST?!?  Does she know me or what?!?  Precious!!!
Also, we are LOVING receiving your fabulous Christmas cards!!!  Thank you, everyone...they truly have me so excited to check the mail everyday!  Yesterday, we got 3 and I about peed my pants I was so excited!

And finally, we have one of the most amazing women working in our school cafeteria.  My teammate, Page, has her granddaughter in class.  Her granddaughter calls her, "Nanny" so we do too and we have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with her...she is the sweetest, most thoughtful...and FUN woman!  Anyway, the feeling seems to be reciprocated with us and yesterday, she brought us lunch up to school because she knew we'd be there working with our new teammate and preparing him for his first days when we return back to school in January.  Isn't that the sweetest?  She even left the mayonnaise off of anything and sent it in a separate storage container so I would't have to see it...and also sent Ale-8s.  Well, that is the key to my heart right there!  Bahahahahaha, but seriously, I was just so touched by her kindness, thoughtfulness, and willingness to be so generous with her love!  She is just the best and it made my entire week!

Movement: He's been kicking up a STORM this week and just talking about it brings me to tears.  I just feel so grateful and so blessed to have this sweet baby and I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting to have this special feeling between us that only a mother and child can experience and it's finally happening. This may sound corny, but it has just been so, so magical...what a precious blessing!  People keep telling me that it will wear on me and I'll start to get annoyed with it...but I just cannot see that happening.  I have waited a long, long time to feel these (he is behind my placenta, which acts as a pillow, so the doctor told me that it'd be much later for me to feel him) and I just love, love, loooooove his tiny jabs!!  Now, onto his Daddy feeling them....

Food cravings/aversions: I've been less nauseas this week, but there hasn't been too much I've been all.  I have still been wanting lunch meat and Jimmy John's

What I miss/What I am looking forward to: Christmas is THIS WEEK and I am so excited about time with mi familia!  I miss having Christmas as a little girl with my parents, and the innocence that coincided with a belief in Santa Claus, but now, as an adult...and as a soon to be mommy, I am thrilled to be starting traditions with my own little family and entwining them with the traditions of Christmases past.  Jack sure is one loved little boy!

Milestones:  At 10.5 to 11.8 inches, Jack can weigh almost a pound, or a little over by now!  Yay, for a growing boy!  He's got more developed eyes and lips and is looking more like a newborn now as well.  Jack is actually looking more like a small doll with his shape and size.  So precious!  His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and tiny tooth buds are developing beneath the gums.  His eyes have formed, but the irises still lack pigment,  Jack's also a tired little bear in there as he is sleeping 12-14 hours a day.  His skin is reddish in color because of the developing blood vessels underneath

Belly button in or out: in still, but getting very stretched!  I am having daily freak outs about all my scars stretching too.  With all the scars and the coinciding stretching of them, my stomach looks like a crazy battle took place there...apparently, it was...I mean, with all those surgeries, I guess it was a battle zone!  HA!

Have a tremendous week!
Thanks for reading...I love you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

21 weeks!

I don't know if you feel this way too, but I feel as if this week is drrraaagggggging by.  Maybe it's because we have two weeks off after this one and there is just. so. much. to. get. done.  Maybe it's because my workload has only escalated, not decreased before this break...or maybe it's because I simply want it to end and it just won't quit!  Ahhhh...3 more days, 3 more days...

How far along: 21 weeks
Size of our little Jackrabbit:  a banana!
Maternity clothes: some here, some there...some everywhere!  Today and yesterday I wore normal dresses.

Sleep: Sleeping like a ROCK still!  Apparently, I've also been snore-talking...or whatever that means, it's according to B. Bear.  It was pretty comical him reenacting it.  I promptly apologized and resorting to was like a mix of the exorcist meets a bear.  Foul...cannot believe a lady such as myself would emit such snores in my sleep...bahaha!

Symptoms: Heartburn, heartburn, heartburn.  Like, bad.  Ugh.  I've also actually kind of gone back to my first trimester symptoms here in the past couple of days: nausea, no energy, and EXTREME tiredness.  Today, I wasn't sure if I could drive home.  My sinus symptoms have also hit an all-time low so far int his journey...they're pretty baaaad.  All worth it for our sweet, sweet Jackbaby though!  I'd do it all again a million times over just for my precious little man!

Mood: wasn't in the best mood at. all. today.  To be fair though, there is so much going on in my work life that if I was in a great mood, I think there'd be bats in my Belfry or something.  It's just a a whole lot and this momma is tired!

Best moment this week: Getting to see and interact with many fabulous faces in my life!  First, I got to catch up with Katie (old roomie and BFF from college - you may remember me posting about having to miss her wedding) and Beth (my BFF whose wedding I was in this summer).  I love, love, loooooove them both!
Also, as I mentioned previously, over the weekend, Mom and I went to the Holiday Bazaar at GSE and it was so wonderful getting to visit with so many people that mean so much to me.  It was also their first time meeting Baby Jack's bump!  
Also, Brandy, my friend from Garden Springs, came by school this past week during my planning to bring me SOOOOO many goodies for Jack!  That was absolutely INCREDIBLE of her and B and I are just overwhelmed by her sweet generosity and thoughtfulness!  She is so fabulous and I have been praising God every night for having someone so completely selfless in my life!  
And finally, I had TWO students come to school last week with presents specifically for my sweet son!  People are being so thoughtful to Baby Jack!

Movement: a few flutters here and there!  Yay!!!

Food cravings/aversions: I've been pretty nauseas this week so nothing has really tickled my fancy except for lunch meat!  I actually caved last night and had Jimmy John's.  So far, I seem to be doing fine, thank goodness!

What I miss/What I am looking forward to: a break from school...almost there...I think I can!  I think I can!  Silly sounding again, I was still missing some fun beverages this weekend at our staff Christmas party and going out with Page, Samantha, and Katie afterwards...4 more months til' momma gets a cocktail!

Milestones:  At 10.5 inches and about 12.2 ounces, he's big enough now that I should be feeling his movements, but I'm not too much yet :(  I know it's because of where he is in my tummy (behind the placenta) which acts as a pillow-like barrier, preventing me from feeling him a bunch just yet.  As his digestive system preps for the outside world, he's also manufacturing meconium -- the tarry black substance we'll find in his first dirty diaper (ew)!

Belly button in or out: in still, thank goodness...but my scars are stillllllll stretching.

Have a terrific rest of your week!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmases past, present, and future...

As Christmas approaches again, I have started thinking about how it will look from here on out.  This year, things will not change too much, but next year, there will be a drastic difference: OUR SON!  Sweet Baby Jack should be 8 months old (um, WOW!) next Christmas and the years from then on will be so much fun!
my Big Bub and me - Christmas 1988

I remember Christmas as a little was the. best. ever. and my opinion of it has only gotten greater throughout the years, so I began reflecting on the Christmas traditions that I hold so near and dear to my heart. 
Each year, we would always get our tree up relatively soon after Thanksgiving.  It was always a real tree and always smelled. so. good.  Many years, we'd go cut it down ourselves. My brother, my mom, my dad, (sometimes my sister) and I would bust out all the ornaments and have a blast getting them up on the tree...most to all had some kind of sentiment and it was always so magical (and incredibly humorous) reflecting on the ornaments with our family and the significance behind them.  Each one, each year, provided smiles and great stories to carry us through the magic of the holiday.  Finally, we would adorn the tree with candy canes and put decorations around the house. I would spend the next shortened weeks at school, feeling as if they were the longest days ever and just could. not. wait. for that burden to end so I could spend the days at home with my family, eagerly anticipating the sensation of the holiday that was sure to come.  

When the days finally arrived, we'd head to church and then have my grandparents and other family nearby over for a Christmas Eve dinner where we had something Italian like spaghetti, manicotti, ziti, lasagna, etc... (not sure why, as we are not Italian, but it's still a tradition and I STILL. LOVE. IT!).  Next, we'd drive around town and everywhere else, scoping out all of the Christmas lights, enjoying the good, the bad, and the ugly and come home and set out cookies and an Ale-8 for Santa to enjoy.  My brother and I would be so excited that I'd always sleep in his room.  Finally, we'd wake up Christmas morning and mom and dad would make us wait at the top of the stairs so they could get their cameras ready for us to run down them towards our gifts set up around the tree.  No matter how old, we ALWAYS had stocking stuffed with goodies, gifts set up (not wrapped, of course) from Santa, AND then we'd have family gift time where'd we'd open our mound of gifts from mom and dad and then the other members of our immediate family.  After enjoying our gifts, followed by a delicious homemade breakfast, we'd shower and head over to my Nana and Pop's where my 3 aunts were there with their families.  We'd open family gifts and then have a FANTASTIC lunch, visiting and loving every moment with each other, followed by games with the family through the night.  Typically, the fun wouldn't stop as we'd head to a movie or have a sleepover with all my cousins back at our house.

Bottom line, every year, it was A BLAST!  While several things have changed through the years (my high school years, we had to leave either Christmas afternoon, or the day after on a flight to Dallas for my cheerleading national championships, so that really put a hinder on things), one thing has NEVER changed: spending time with family, and I want Jack to have the same love and excitement for this magical holiday as I carry close with me throughout all my years.  People have changed, passed away, grown up, or simply moved on with the changing times of their personal families, but my parents and their children have tried to continue on with our own traditions.  We still have blessings.  We still have our faith, hope, love, joy, church, and the celebration of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  We still have Santa gifts and Mom and Dad gifts.  We still have stockings...we still have the food...and we still have each other.  The togetherness will never cease, the sensation of the holiday will always be more than apparent, and thus, Jack will be blessed with the love and adoration conducive to a magical Christmas, rich with these traditions, year after year, after year, after year.  He is a lucky boy, and I am a lucky momma who is the daughter of two parents that have worked their entire lives to surround their children with love, support, adoration, and rich holiday traditions.  I can't wait to continue these traditions that I hold so near and dear to my heart with my own little family, and have my son experience it all too!  What an exciting journey this will be!

Here are many Christmas memories through the years...some were old, some were new, and some were downright different...but here they are - all them, even the good, the bad, and the ugly styles!

us running down the stairs...yes, they made us stand in order from youngest to oldest; love where my parents' heads were!
speaking of heads, check out my sister's...bahahaha!!!

When my brother was gone to college, it was just Cathryn, and my mom & dad and me doing the tree decorating

My first year, Jack won't be too much younger than this!

Christmas 1999 (my sophomore year of high school) - cheerleading nationals in Dallas, TX

our LAST Christmas we had to spend in Dallas, TX - my senior year!

Christmas last year!  We woke up to all. this. snow!  Do you remember?!?

a somewhat newbie to the Banker family Christmases...Shawnee!  He was here putting out reindeer food for Santa and  his merry reindeer!  I remember always leaving cookies and an Ale-8 for Santa each year and was so excited to see them gone Christmas morning!

MY momma!  Gah, I love her :)

Christmas 1987

Christmas 1989 - this was the year we spent it at the Chalet in West Virginia and got almost FOUR FEET of snow!

Christmas 1986 at my Nana's :)

Christmas 2009 - had to have extensive knee surgery the last day of school before break so this is how my Christmas looked THAT year

Shawnee putting on a costume parade in the days before Christmas to cheer up an incapacitated Aunt B
Christmas gift exchange with my hometown girlfriends

CHRISTMAS PRESENT AND FUTURE: the Morels (B's sister and her fam) and the Thomases (B's parents) come in and stay at OUR house right before New Year's for our Thomas Family Christmas celebration and we end up spending New Year's Eve with them too!  It started because of the Christmas with my knee surgery, but here we are planning it again,  for our 3 Christmas in a row!

Wonder how these pictures will look 20 years from now when we add to them with our new addition and he adds some of his own?!?  Wow!!  It's mesmerizing to think about, but I love it and can't wait to see how our future and traditions within, pan out!
and HEEERRRE's the UGLY!  Sweaters, that is.
the Thomas family!