Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hello again!

Well, Janie just got back last week from another trip home to the States for a relaxing beach vacation with the Carcello family! The annual trip to Kiawah Island, South Carolina was great fun, though I was a little disappointed that bike riding was a no-go for me this year. The doctor was a little concerned with the possibility of balance issues and me falling off, even from a beach cruiser. But overall, the beach was awesome! It was so nice to be on a U.S. beach again, where you have more than a foot between you and the next person, with tons of sand to play in, and no worries about seeing more skin than you really wanted to!

After the beach, it was back to Knoxville for a few days before I came home again. The Carcello's got a new puppy (a yellow labrador) that they named "Pearl." She's super sweet and smart, and already was doing really well with potty training before I left. She seemed so big to me though, after having Trajan who was eleven pounds at his four-month checkup! She was seventeen pounds when they got her at ten weeks!

Also while I was home, Mom was super awesome and planned a surprise baby shower for me! She had gotten all of our registry info from Neal without my knowing, and had managed to keep it all a secret! Later, everyone started telling stories of the time they "almost" let the cat out of the bag! Of course, we joke that I'm the most oblivious person around, so it probably wasn't all that difficult, but it was super sweet, and I loved it! The best part was that she made sure to invite several family members and girlfriends that I was sure I wouldn't have time to even call, much less visit with while I was home, so that was awesome! It was so great to see everyone, and I felt so blessed to have such great friends and family! And we all had tons of fun looking at the little baby clothes and toys and bedding! It's becoming more and more of a reality!

I've been back home for just over a week now, and am getting back into the swing of things. Jet lag wasn't quite as horrible this time, so that's good. Neal was promoted at work, so now he has a regular Monday through Friday schedule, and gets home most days at a reasonable hour. This has done wonders in regards to eating dinner at a normal time, and being able to spend some time together before going to bed each night. It also means that he now gets holidays off, and we have better planning ability if we want to go somewhere for fun. It's been a bit rough the first week while he's getting things settled in the new position, but this week is looking a little better, and hopefully he'll get it running smoothly. In the meantime, everyone I talk to is so glad he's in the new position, knowing that means they'll get taken care of as well, and that the department will run as efficiently as possible. Luckily, his troops love him, which makes his job so much easier!

The pregnancy is going well! No problems, nothing big to report, other than the fact that we have a very active baby coming soon! Sarah got to be the first one to feel it kick, which she is extremely proud of! Karen and Mom got to feel it immediately after her. Neal finally got to feel it the night I got back home, and several times since. It also has become more and more sensitive to outside noises now. It's kicked in response to Trajan's barking a few times before, but now it really gets moving at night when Neal and Trajan like to play. Also, last night, Neal was teasing and raspberrying my belly and it would kick in response each time.

It definitely has its favorite positions, as I always tend to get kicked in the same places, especially the sides. Most of the time, I carry it relatively low, but at night, it likes to curl up behind my belly button to sleep. And every time I readjust in the night, I feel it doing the same. It also likes to kick me first thing in the morning when Neal's getting up and ready, and I'm trying to get just a few more minutes of sleep. I used to be able to sleep in after he left for work, but now I wake up so hungry, it's hard to do.

We had another checkup last week, and all is going well and on the mark. We heard the heartbeat again, and got my belly and weight measured. The doctors say everything looks great, and I'm feeling awesome! These are apparently the "easy" appointments, with not much to do other than measure our progress and stay updated. In July, I will have to do the glucose screening test that checks for gestational diabetes, and then just a regular checkup again.

We are trying hard to keep up with the garden! The weeds went crazy while I was gone, and I'm doing a little bit each day to try and get them back under control. We also already have some zucchini babies growing, as well as a few cherry tomatoes. The basil and bell pepper plants are growing tall and strong, as are the rest of the tomatoes. We have some pea and bean seeds that we're putting out this weekend, and that should just about do it. I may pick up some more herbs here and there, but I think we'll have enough to keep up with in what we've got for now. I'll post pictures after we clean up a bit more this weekend.

And now, for some pictures:

Janie on the boardwalk at Kiawah Island on our last day there (Sarah took this picture!) ...

Karen and Sarah and their newest family member ...

Neal, on a recent golfing day we took with Steve and Mikelauren ...

On the putting green ...

The biggest zucchini I've ever seen (it came from a friend's garden, not ours) ...

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