Monday, January 31, 2011

38 Weeks...

Well, I've made it another week, reaching the 38 week mark! I'm feeling pretty tired as of late and have had some major queasiness set in. Needless to say, I am good and ready for Cooper to make his debut!

Onto the update from BabyCenter.com-
"Your baby has really plumped up. He weighs about 6.8 pounds and he's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). He has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold his hand for the first time! His organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb. Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If he's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If he's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time he's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after he's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)"

We have our doctor's appointment on Wednesday afternoon where the doctor is going to set an induction date. Seeing as he already weighs at least 8 pounds (much more than this weeks update states), I definitely see why the doctors want to get him out of here!

I am so ready to hold his tiny little hand and gaze into his precious little eyes. Come on our Cooper! Mommy, Daddy, and many others sure are ready to meet you!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Tole...

Today is my mother-in-law, Donna's birthday!

She's quite a special women, equally important to both Rich and I. I'm one of the lucky ladies that doesn't have to deal with their much dreaded mother-in-law. As a matter of fact, she's the exact opposite of that, she's pretty awesome!

Tole, as we like to call her, is always there with a listening ear, a helping hand, and joins right in with the never ending jokes that always seem to occupy our time together.

Happy Birthday Tole! I look forward to spending many more birthdays together. My wish for you is that this upcoming year be the best one yet!

We love you tons! Now, go celebrate with a schmoke and a pancake!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's Official- Cooper has Godparents...

We had dinner with our dear friends Keith and Kelly Trace a few weeks ago to discuss a very important matter. You may remember them from here. They are newlyweds and Rich and I were fortunate enough to play a role in their wedding day. I like to think that we also play a role in their married life, supporting and listening to their newlywed adventures.

Both Rich and I have known Kelly since we were very young and we have grown closer as the years have gone by. In the past couple of years, we've also had the privilege of becoming good friends with her now hubby Keith. We've shared many laughs, inside jokes (who doesn't love Miley Cyrus, I mean really!), political debates, and our fair share of vino. They are truly an incredible couple.

We share a lot of the same beliefs and values and it is for this reason that we asked them to be Cooper's Godparents. We were so excited when they agreed and there is no doubt in my mind that they will be an amazing Christian influence in his life. They will help guide him through the highs and the lows, the easy and sometimes not so easy times. It's comforting to know that he will have a second set of adults that he can turn to if he's ever in need of guidance or just a listening ear.

I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you Keith and Kelly! We are so excited that you will be embarking on this great adventure with us.

Plus, with Rich and I as his parents and you and Keith as his Godparents, he's bound to be a devout Gator fan! Who knows... perhaps the next Tim Tebow?!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Nine Months of Pregnancy- Month 8...

I'm a bit delayed in posting this update. You should know that as always, Mom was as prompt as can be, delivering this to me on January 14th. Life has gotten pretty busy and I am quite certain that it won't be slowing down anytime soon!

We're nearing the end of the, "The Nine Months of Pregnancy, brought to you by Mom!" It's been such a special experience all along the way, especially because she made it that way. I highly doubt that we'll make it to month nine so this very well may be it! Cooper will be here any day now and I couldn't be more excited about that. But until then, keep on baking Coop! I know you'll come when you're good and ready!

This month, Mom helped me get a head start on capturing all of the sweet, and I am sure sometimes not so sweet, moments that will be happening very soon...





I do plan on treasuring every minute, strike that, every second with him.

Thanks again so much Mom! I am crossing my fingers and saying a prayer that I make Cooper feel as important and loved as you make me feel on a daily basis. I love you so very much and can't wait to see you in action as Mimi!

Monday, January 24, 2011

37 Weeks...

It's Monday yet again and we wrapped up another fabulous weekend. Most of our time was spent working on the nursery and I loved every second of it. It's so neat to watch a project that Rich and I both have poured our heart into start to come together. It is everything that I had imagined in my mind and I simply love it! I catch myself wandering into the room and sitting in the rocker for no particular reason. Gizmo has already called his spot right next to me and jumps up into my lap and cuddles back into position every time. Needless to say, I am pretty grateful.

Onto the update from BabyCenter.com-
"Your baby is now considered "full term," even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you're planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there's a medical reason to intervene earlier.)

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz."

We have our weekly doctor's appointment on Wednesday to see how things are progressing. I have a feeling that there might be more of an update than last week, as I am starting to feel different. Different in the sense that I am dreadfully uncomfortable, peeing every 20 minutes (day and night), and cleaning the strangest things (blinds, baseboards, fans, you name it). We have an ultrasound with our appointment. The doctors want to measure Cooper and possibly talk about inducing me if I don't go into labor. They're concerned about his size being too big and my ability to give birth to him. We shall see!

I hope that you all have a splendid week!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Showered, with Lots of Love...

This past Sunday a beautiful baby shower was thrown in our honor. It was a wonderful day to say the very least. Here's a glimpse of our special day...

Here's a view of the vibrant table scape. Mason jar mugs with daisies popping out were the centerpieces. The "feet" and "baby" popping out were edible chocolate. Bright blue glass ware tied everything together and I loved the adorable cookie favors with Cooper's initials- C.A.H.

We dined on a traditional Sunday brunch consisting of scrumptious quiche, breakfast casserole, maple soaked bacon, fresh fruit, croissants, assorted danish, and a delicious cake from Sprinkles. If you've never had a cake from Sprinkles, you are missing out on one of life's greatest treasures! Not only are they breathtakingly beautiful but they are beyond delicious! This cake was a yellow cake with fresh raspberry swirl iced with butter cream. My mouth is now watering (luckily for me, we still have some leftover in the fridge)!

Like most baby showers, there were silly games. There was one where different types of candy bars were crushed into diapers, mimicking a poopy diaper. Guests guessed which was what by giving the "dirty diaper" a good whiff! Then there was the traditional yarn around the belly game to see which guest could guess how big my baby bump was. Needless to say, that game made me feel like a whale but all in good fun!

I was surrounded by family and friends and was truly overwhelmed by all the love. We had a great time and like always, it's nice to gather with a group of women that I admire so much. Thank you all for coming and making it such a special day for Rich, Cooper, and I. We are so grateful for each and every one of you!

There were a few little ones in attendance, a glimpse of things to come! Mason, Kylie, Elle, and Noah certainly brought a smile to my face. I am sure that Cooper will be good friends with all of them. There's no doubt that there are many play dates in our future, for both the Moms and kids alike!

We were showered with wonderful gifts that will help us take care of and be the best possible parents to our little one. There was so much thought put into so many of the gifts. It was remarkable really!

Check out this adorable bookcase that my sister got us. She had the great idea of asking all of the guests to bring a book for Cooper. I added them to the bookcase as I opened the gifts. Our little man has his own library and he isn't even here yet. I can't wait to sit in the rocker and read these books to him.

This beautiful shower would not have been possible without my big sister Alisa. She planned such a beautiful day with the help of my Mom Terri, my mother-in-law Donna, and my best friend Kelly. I can't even begin to tell you each how thankful I am. I was truly blown away by all of the little details that went into the shower but most of all, all of the love. There is no doubt that Cooper is such a loved little boy.

After most of the guests had left, Rich came home from a morning away at work. I was pretty excited to show him all of the goodies but most of all, the car seat. You see, I've had this reoccurring nightmare that I went into labor and gave birth to Cooper only to find out that I wasn't allowed to bring him home from the hospital because we didn't have a car seat. I can now rest easy knowing that we won't have that problem! There's no doubt in my mind that Rich is going to be an amazing father. I can't wait to see him in action!

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you that were able to attend and especially to those of you that put together such an amazing day! I will never forget what a special experience this has been and will be eternally grateful for each and every one of you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Way Back When-esday- Hold onto your hats, Meagan has entered the world...

With Cooper's impending arrival in the very near future, I thought that it would be fun to devote this weeks "Way Back When-esday" to the birth of none other than little ol' me!

Strange that I don't have a picture of me and the woman who had just arduously given birth. How and the heck did that happen? I guess everyone was just so taken back by my cuteness that Mom fell to the wayside! I'm kidding of course. Thanks Mom for going through the joys of pregnancy, labor, and delivery to bring me into this world!

Here I am with my Dad. I get a kick out of how young he looks. He reminds me so much of my little brother Kenny in this picture. If I didn't know better (seeing as he was not even conceived yet), it could be Kenny behind that surgical mask.

Here I am with my big sister Alisa. At this point, she clearly had no idea what the future held in store for her seeing as she was all smiles! I love her, "I'm the big sister" shirt. She took that title and ran with it, bossing me around for years and teaching me all of life's greatest lessons. Memories that I wouldn't trade for the world.

I can't wait to see what our sweet Cooper Allen looks like. I am sure that he will be one handsome little fella. Regardless, one thing is for certain, we will love him more than anything in this world.

Now son, would you like to come out now and join us?

Play along with Cheryl at Twinfatuation... it's so much fun to reminisce!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

36 Weeks...

This weekend was beyond exciting! We had our baby shower on Sunday and it was amazing! I'll be devoting a separate post to the shower but in the meantime, we've reached the 36 week mark! I know that it sounds repetitive but really, this pregnancy has flown by. I feel like it was just yesterday that I peed on a stick!

Onto the update from BabyCenter.com-
"Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. He's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected his skin during his nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of his first bowel movement. At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely he's in a head-down position. But if he isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating him from the outside of your belly."

All I can say is thank God Cooper is already head-down. The whole idea of coaxing the baby into moving into that position sounds quite painful! Like this whole pregnancy, he's making it easy on Momma!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flavorsome Friday- Nana Pudding...

I promised last week that I would get back on the baking bandwagon and share a new and exciting recipe with you.

I failed miserably.

I promise this week I will do better. But in the meantime, last night Rich and I put together this little treat to satisfy our sweet tooth.



Nothing fancy but it did the trick! I also like to think that it wasn't all that bad for us since I used sugar free vanilla pudding made with 1% milk and there was fruit in it. Let's just ignore the cookies and whipped cream!

I hope that you all have a great three day weekend. With an extra day, who wouldn't enjoy it right? I am beyond excited for this weekend because Sunday is our baby shower! I can't wait to gather with family and friends to celebrate the anticipated arrival of Cooper Allen. Oh joy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Transition...

There are some major life changes going on all around us here in the Halquist house as we prep for the arrival of baby Cooper. Life as we know it will soon be over and a new and exiting phase will begin. Albeit, all the changes are for the better but all the same, it is going to take some getting used to.

Today was the first day of transitioning into my new work schedule. In preparation for when Cooper joins us I have started working half days, coming into work at noon. When he finally arrives, I will start my new job as a stay at home Mom. I know that I am going to miss my office job a lot. We have so much fun and it's so rewarding to help people obtain their dream of becoming a homeowner. Luckily, because it's a family business, I will still get to hear all about it and I'll still be able to refer family and friends to the best mortgage shop in Central Florida since Donna and Rich will be holding down the fort. There's no one better at what they do than these two!

Being a stay at home Mom is something that I've always wanted out of life so I'm immensely grateful that Rich has stepped up to make that happen. As silly as it sounds, there is nothing that I want more than to be the best possible mother to my children. Some people refer to it as their calling. I feel that this is mine. I know that these are the days that we will never get back and I want to soak up every minute of it. I know the adventures that Cooper and I will take on during the days will be endless and I'm eager to see what is in store!

With that being said, it is crazy how much you can get done around the house in the mornings with just a few extra hours. I managed to play outside with Gizmo, have some breakfast, make and sip a cup of coffee, unload and reload the dishwasher, do a load of laundry, straighten the kitchen, shower, and get ready for work. While it sounds like all mundane tasks, I am so happy that it's all done. These are all things that I won't have to worry about when I get home this evening.

What I didn't mention is that the load of laundry that I did was Cooper's crib sheets. We bought the mattress earlier this week so I was able to make his bed and it is too cute! His nursery is really coming together and I get more excited about it everyday. When I arrived at the office, UPS had delivered these...

I absolutely cannot wait to put them on the walls! It's really going to help pull everything together. Who would have thought a delivery of wall decals would make me so happy?

Life is getting better everyday. I am not sure what I did to deserve so much.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Way Back When-esday- Sibling Love...

Siblings are the best. Plain and simple.

For this edition of "Way Back When-esday," we're looking back to 2003 when my siblings and I traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for an all-star cheerleading competition. I was a senior in high school at the time and look every bit of it with those darn braces!

The trip was a blast! We swept the competition, winning all levels that our gym was entered in. That certainly helped make the trip a successful one!

I miss the old cheerleading days. The friendships, the intensity, the drive to succeed, and most of all, the shape that it kept my rear in!

I definitely need a daughter in my future. Preferably one that would like to cheer. Hey God, can you please make that happen? Thanks!

Play along with Cheryl at Twinfatuation, it's so much fun to reminisce!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom...

Today is my Mom's birthday. I'll try my best to get through this post without becoming to much of a sap but that is no easy feat these days. I like to blame the pregnancy hormones.

I can't even begin to express what it was like growing up with a Mom like mine. She was, and continues to be, the most loving, nurturing, and encouraging Mom that a kid could hope for. She coached my cheerleading teams, cheered me and my team on at softball games, laughed and cried with me over silly boy troubles, and was front and center, beaming from ear to ear, at my chorus concerts. Amazingly, she was just as attentive to my older sisters and younger brother. I really don't know how she did it. How she juggled us all, making us feel just as special as the other couldn't have been easy. She always knew what to say at just the right time, even when it wasn't what I wanted to hear.

She's so fondly referred to as "Mrs. Terri" by so many of my friends because when I was a little girl, she opened a pre-school so that she could stay home with my siblings and I. She became like a second mother to so many, a blessing that many of them still talk about today. I honestly don't think that she even realizes what kind of impact she had on so many of us.

While she was all of those things, she was also quick to remind me as a child that she was my Mother, not my friend. She always said that there would be a time later in life when we could be friends, a statement that I never quite understood until adulthood. Now more than ever, now that I am about to become a mother myself, I get precisely what she meant. I can now say that she is my very best friend and I wouldn't change the progression of our relationship for the world.

Happy Birthday Momma! I love you so very much. Thank you for simply being you. I couldn't have asked for more!

Monday, January 10, 2011

35 Weeks & a Very Special Birthday...

We had a great weekend filled with lots of relaxation and birthday celebration. Rich and his Dad also worked on the nursery a lot and things are starting to come together. I can't wait for it to be finished so that I can share the before and after pictures with you. I am just so excited and it will be such a glorious day when we bring Cooper home and show him his new pad! We've worked so hard on it so I am sure that he'll love it.

On to the update from BabyCenter.com-
"Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight."

While the update says that he will be moving less, I have to disagree. He's quite the active little boy. A glimpse of things to come I am sure. Nothing new to report as his grand entrance into the world draws nearer!

As I mentioned before, there was a lot of celebrating this weekend and that is because today is my husband Rich's 27th birthday! I took him to The Melting Pot on Saturday night to begin the celebration and as you can see below, age is clearly just a number because he's one big kid!

Happy Birthday Rich! Thanks for truly being my better half. I'm not sure what I would do without you by my side. One things for sure, it would be a lot less amusing! I simply cannot wait to see what year 27 holds in store for you. I am sure that it will be nothing short of amazing! I love you Snake!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flavorsome Friday- Splits at The Kup...

Now that the holidays are over and we are settling back into our routine, I promise that I'll be back sharing new recipes next Friday. However, in the interest of full disclosure, you should know that just because I haven't been baking doesn't mean that yummy-ness is not being consumed.

For example, look at this...

My Mom and Dad were having dinner one night at The Koffee Kup when the waitress walked by their table with one of these in her hand. This sparked the idea of Banana Split Night at The Kup. We had a great time scarfing down these over sized shareable delights!

This was the aftermath (from just half of the table)...

We're so lucky to have each and every one of these people in our life and I can't help but think that Cooper is also one lucky kid. I can't wait for him to join us during these off the wall, totally our family, you want to order how many banana splits?, kind of nights.

Now, when is Pie Night at The Kup scheduled for?!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year...

I know that we're already 6 days into the New Year but I wanted to share a glimpse of our New Year's Eve. We had our family Christmas get together on New Year's instead of around Christmas so that the most amount of family could make it. With holiday traveling, this was the earliest that we could make it happen. I didn't do such a great job getting pictures of everyone because I somehow missed out on Aunt Sherri and Austin. On a side note, there were a few people that couldn't make it due to work. You should know that you were missed!

We did a "White Elephant" gift exchange with a $10 limit. That makes shopping a little difficult but fun none the least. I ended up with a gigantic container or Reece's Cups after Dad stole them from Tyler and I stole them from Dad. They were a hot commodity and have now found a good home in my refrigerator. They really do make for the perfect late night snack when my sweet tooth kicks into high gear! Rich ended up with an iTunes gift card. His initial gift, see below, was also quite the hot commodity!

We hung out...

Took a much needed family photo since Heather was here...

and rang in 2011 surrounded by family!

While 2010 was pretty fantastic, I am looking forward to 2011 topping it!

Bring. It. On.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Way Back When-esday- Rich's 1st Birthday...

For those of you who don't know, birthdays are a pretty big deal here in the Halquist House. January in particular is filled with all kinds of birthday celebrations. Rich, my Mom, my brother in law Scott, his Mom, and myself will all be turning a year older this month. This coming Monday is my wonderful husband Rich's birthday. He will be turning a whopping 27! I think that he is having a hard time coming to grips with that number. The way that I see it, a year older is better than the alternative!

For this edition of "Way Back When-esday," we're taking a peek at Rich's very first birthday. Here he is exploring his cake...

I think that he liked it! What an adorable little grin he has and I love those little teeth that are peeking out...

While his taste buds have matured a bit, he still loves his cake all the same! Honestly, I think that Rich gets more excited about his birthday than anyone else I know. He still grins from ear to ear, just like above!

I'll post more from his birthday celebration next week but as an early wish, Happy Birthday Richey! I love you so very much.

Play along with Cheryl at Twinfatuation... it's so much fun to reminisce!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

34 Weeks...

First and foremost, Happy New Year! I took a short break to soak in every minute that I could with family and friends during the holidays. My sister's family left on Saturday night and Rich's brother's family head out tomorrow. We're back to work today so our routine will hopefully follow. I am certainly ready for some routine again!

Onto the update from BabyCenter.com-
"Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. His fat layers — which will help regulate his body temperature once he's born — are filling him out, making him rounder. His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies."

I had a doctor's appointment this morning and all is well with baby. His heart rate was between 140 and 146 and he gave Judy a nice kick while she was listening. I found out that I am anemic but that's nothing that a better diet and iron supplements can't fix. I will start the supplements this afternoon so hopefully that will help me get to feeling a little better. Less nausea and dizziness is always a good thing.

Time is ticking away! He'll be here so soon... Yippee!!