Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Anniversary

Our actual anniversary was on Saturday, June 21st and my dad and brother, Mike, were sweet enough to watch Claire for us. We went to a very early dinner to Carrabba's and then saw the Indiana Jones movie. The dinner was excellent and I don't know why we don't go there more often =) The movie was ok... not really my type of movie but it's one of those that you just have to see - kinda like Star Wars. Afterwards we shared a piece of Cheesecake Factory Key Lime cheesecake at Barnes and Nobles. It was a nice relaxing date to celebrate 5 wonderful years of marriage! Here are a couple pics. I'm already starting to show and this is my first prego picture! Hopefully you can tell even though the background is dark.




12 weeks and 5 days prego!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our second appointment!

Neil and I went to our second appointment and got to see the baby for about 20 minutes on the sonographer's screen! It was so wonderful to have that much time "together" and to see how much he/she has changed in only 4 weeks. The baby is now 5.3 cm (1.8 cm at 8 weeks) and the heart rate was 145 beats/minute. The baby was incredibly active and they kept having to chase it around to get a good look! We typically wouldn't have had a sonogram at 12 weeks but we were asked if we wanted to help one of the doctor's in the group who is trying to get certified to measure the nuchal translucency. She needed to measure 10 fetus' around 12 weeks and we were her 10th one.

To read more about the nuchal translucency here is a website I found along with a little excerpt:
http://www.baby2see.com/medical/nuchal_12weekscan.html

"The nuchal translucency (also spelled nucal translucency) is a collection of fluid beneath the fetal skin in the region of the fetal neck and this is present and seem in all fetuses in early pregnancy. The fluid collection is however increased in many fetuses with Down's syndrome and many other chromosomal abnormalities. It is called a 'translucency' because on ultrasound this appears as a black space beneath the fetal skin. It is this black space that you will see measured during the ultrasound scan."

We got a few more pictures and I'll post them once I get them scanned. I went back for my doctor's appointment in the afternoon with Dr. Gallagher and she said everything looked great! The best news was when she told me to schedule my next appointment 5 weeks from now so we can do another sono to find out the gender! I'll be 17 weeks and I was expecting to have to wait till 20 weeks so we are super excited! My next appointment is July 22nd so keep posted to find out if we will have a baby sister or baby brother for Claire. Today Claire told me she wanted a baby cat and that one was in my tummy. She also likes to pat her tummy and tell us she has a baby too - it's so cute! Praise God for a healthy report!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day Neil!!!



Oh what can I say about my WONDERFUL husband who is not only everything for me but the most amazing father? I just sit and watch Claire with him sometimes and can't help but feel the pride and love for him that's way beyond what I ever expected. He is so patient with her but there to discipline when she needs it. He can be Elmo all day and still put her to bed for me when I need a break. He lets me sleep in when I've been exhausted from pregnancy and NEVER makes me feel bad for it. He's just the best father I could ever ask for my children and I'm so excited to see how he'll be with two!!

From this expectant father...


to watching Claire's arrival and cutting the cord...


to watching her grow up so fast....



into such a loveable baby girl!! These past 2 years have flown by and I wouldn't want to do it with anyone else by my side!!



Can't wait to meet this little one in December!! A father of 2!!





We love you Daddy and thank God for you everyday!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Sea World with Abbey

Claire and I met Abbey and Kate at Sea World on Thursday and they had a great time!! They were so sweet talking to each other and holding hands around the park. It's always fun to see how they interact with each other and as soon as one loses sight of the other, it's "Where's Abbey?" "Where's Claire?" Shamu was definately their favorite but they enjoyed the dolphins, fish aquarium, sea lions and penguins too!

Here are some pics I took of Abbey and Claire sportin' her new LSU outfit that I got on our trip. GEAUX TIGERS! If you live in Sea World and haven't been out yet you gotta go! And if you have a pass let me know so we can meet you out there sometime soon!

The girls loving the fish!


Givin' hugs!


Watching the sea lions - Claire didn't want to see them from above!


I love this picture!! I wanted a good one of her outfit and bow =)


Holding hands in the penguin exibit and then outside to see SHAMU!



This video is so cute!! The girls were jumping together at the Shamu show because they were just too excited! After Shamu did ANYTHING Claire would look at me and say "again?" Too cute
video

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

5 year anniversary trip to New Orleans!


*** WARNING: this is a LONG post but I wanted to journal all my details so I know what happened when I look at this years down the road!!

*** All of our Baton Rouge and New Orleans pictures are posted on our family photo website if you're interested: http://www.neilkathrynclaire.shutterfly.com/action/

Neil and I had our first big trip by ourselves this past weekend and it was so much fun!! When we first got together, I was going to school in Baton Rouge so BR and New Orleans are both very important to us and we get pretty nostalgic about them. It's where Neil first told me he loved me, where we spent our first Valentine's Day together, where he proposed to me, where we got our first cat together, our first Mardi Gras experience together and many more wonderful memories!! It was the perfect place to be celebrating our 5 year anniversary this month! Time sure flies but we're enjoying every minute and so grateful for where we are in our lives right now.


So many people take trips to visit the sights and visit people and even though our main priority was to visit our good friends Beth and James, the trip was really about eating good food at all the places I remembered!! So we left SA on Friday and got to Houston for lunch at Raising Cane's - one of our favorite fast food places from Baton Rouge that I've actually posted about before. They only serve chicken fingers and they are the best you've ever had! We're anxiously waiting for them to make it to SA.





Then we were on the road with torrential rain and all. We got to the LSU campus just before sunset to see how different the campus has changed in such a short time. They now have beautiful apartments in place of my old dorm - Graham - the oldest dorm on campus. Also known as "Ghetto Graham" but it was home to me for 2 years and I was a little sad to see it torn down. After finding a cute LSU outfit for Claire, we were off to another on of my favorite places to eat in BR - Chimes! It's a bar with great food right on the corner of campus and everyone loves it. While Marie and I were freshman without cars, I remember many Friday or Sat. nights when we'd get dressed up and walk to Chimes to "go out" before we rented a movie to watch back in our dorm room. We were wild and crazy cats!!



We finally arrived in New Orleans that night and visited with Beth and James till we passed out from all our travels. Saturday it was up a lot later than usual (8:00) to get a start on our French Quarter visit. We started at our favorite place in New Orleans for breakfast: Cafe Du Monde. We enjoyed beignets and Cafe Au Lait while listening to a trumpet play Neil's favorite hymn, The Old Rugged-Cross.



Then it was off to walk the streets on the quarter and do some window shopping. We went to the market where we found a cute bracelet for Claire with her name on it. We also found a really unique Christmas Ornament at a store I'd never been to next to the market. We liked the store a lot because it wasn't the touristy places with the t-shirts, magnets and snow globes but one full of pottery and original art. Then we went down to the cathedral and Jackson Square to catch a narrated carriage ride that was the best I'd ever had!

We watched this artist while we waited for our carriage to fill up. Neil didn't notice the "no photos" sign until after he took the picture. Oops!



Us on the carriage ride - I really love this picture! We look so in love - even after 5 years of marriage!




After our carriage ride it was off to lunch at The Market Cafe with Beth. This was the first restaurant Neil and I ate at together in New Orleans when we had only been dating about 6 weeks. We shared a yummy muffelatta and had a chance to catch up with Beth. James drove to meet us too but he got stuck in a traffic jam so we were done eating by the time he drove by to get his food to go.



Saturday night we just hung out! Beth and I went to another one of my favorite places, CC's Coffee and lost track of time. When James called to check on us it had already been about 2 1/2 hours since we left the house! It was great to relax and just talk while enjoying my favorite drink, an Irish Cream Mocha. Now I really wish they would make their way to Texas because they would kick Starbuck's butt in the coffee house business.



Sunday Neil and I slept in till 9:30 a.m.!!! It is the longest both of us has slept in for a REALLY long time!! It felt great but we were supposed to be out the door by 10 so it was a quick get ready. We got to Copeland's, another LA favorite of mine, for brunch and I got my favorite appetizer in the world: spinach artichoke dip with fried bow-tie pasta. It is SO YUMMY!! Not really a brunch food item but Beth reminded me that I can have whatever I want and the whole reason to go there was for that dish! It was so good and well worth it.

Before we left town on Sunday the four of us went to an IMAX film about Katrina and the diminishing wetlands. This was taken by the aquarium on the Mississippi River.



We left shortly to drive back to Houston to break up our long drive. It was a wonderful trip and even with gas at $3.85 it was worth it!! Not sure when we'll get back there again but a great way to celebrate our anniversary.

Now many of you are wondering "Where was Claire while you were off in Sin City?" and she was in good hands my parents on Friday and Saturday and Neil's parent's house on Sunday and Monday morning. She had a blast but was glad to see me when I walked in to pick her up. She loved her bracelet and broke her snow globe on the tile floor 2 minutes after I gave it to her! She's still adjusting from spoiled-grandparents time and can't wait for us to leave her again. Honestly, it was very hard for us to leave her. It was actually harder than we thought it was going to be. We were both teary leaving her behind and called about 6 times a day on Fri. and Sat. We know we needed the time away as a couple but it makes you realize just how much you love being a mommy and a daddy too. She even looked different when I picked her up and was saying things I've never heard her say before. Oh I'm so glad to be back with her!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

What a fun and crazy weekend!!

Well, we made it through the crazy weekend! We were at Crystal & Richard's rehearsal & dinner Friday night, woke up to a beautiful Sat. morning so we went for a walk, got to my mom's place at 10 a.m. so she could do my hair, drove to the church at noon and left after all the festivities around 5:20, off to another wedding in Castroville and hit the pillow around 11 p.m.! Sunday it was off to church, a nice nap and then off to my end of the year recital for my voice students till about 6:30 p.m. It was so busy but fun and well worth my middle toe being numb because of my cute new shoes =)

These events are always nice reunions for our friends. Unfortunately, we don't all get together very often unless it's a big planned event. There were a number of us who were unable to be here this weekend because of distance and new babies so I wanted to post a slide show of the pictures I got. I have more on my mom's camera and Kate has some from the actual rehearsal but I was too excited to get something posted! I'll add those to my shutterfly account once I get them. The shutterfly address is at the top of my blog page if you'd like to see the pictures in that format. I was actually disappointed with the quality of my pictures. Not too sure why a lot of them turned out fuzzy but I turned a couple into black and white and it seemed to help a bit! Enjoy!

Click to play Crystal & Richard
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I also got some great pics from the evening wedding for my awesome Northside family. It was for Emily McNabb which is the daughter of the wonderful couple that hosted our young married life group before we multiplied! It was BEAUTIFUL and the food was awesome!! Here are some pics from that as well.

Click to play A better slideshow of wedding pics
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Now I need to go veg out!! Let me know if you want any of the pictures sent to you separately so you can print them yourself. I'd be happy to do it for you!