It's a … !

Baby's profile. Cute little nose. :-)
This morning Nate and I went for an anatomy scan. It was good to see Baby Jones again after so many weeks. The ultrasound tech asked right away if we wanted to know the sex and we said "Yes!" I don't get people who don't want to find out. I needed something to propel me through the second half of this pregnancy. It didn't take long at all. Maybe five seconds of moving the wand around and … oh, this baby's not shy at all! It's a BOY!

I was wrong, most of my friends/coworkers were wrong, and that dumb Chinese gender predictor chart was wrong. Nate was right, though. I think the idea of a girl scared him a little so he is very happy. He said, "I know things to teach a boy. I wouldn't know what to teach a little girl!"

I am happy too. We would have both been thrilled either way. It's neat now to think about Baby Jones and start planning things knowing he's a boy.

He was moving around a bit during the ultrasound with his hands near his face. At one point, his legs were stretched up over is body and his feet were like over his face! That did not look comfortable. Then he arched his back and stretched and yawned real big. Not gonna lie, babies look a little creepy on ultrasound. But it was so great to get some pictures and have Nate there too. The tech talked to her doctor and reported that everything looked good. I think the pregnancy has become more real for both of us now. It's fun sharing this news with friends and family.



We got our first taste of snow today in Nashville. Some heavy flurries and fat, wet flakes that lasted briefly on the grass until it melted, and then the snow turned to sleet as it got dark. I let Miles and Otis out for a couple minutes. The flakes sat on Miles' black coat. Otis was only interested in eating grass. They were distracted in this photo by the mailman driving by.

Tomorrow morning, Nate and I will find out if Baby Jones is a boy or girl. 20 weeks now … halfway! Most people are guessing girl. Nate says seeing the ultrasound will make it more real for him. He is kind of freaking out at how much my belly is stretching. "Honey, you're so pregnant!" he said.


that great city.

Nashville, that great city

Last night we took dinner to some friends who recently had their second baby. Kara and Matt are friends from church, and—small world—Kara is from Kansas! Grew up about an hour from me. Matt is from Chicago. We are glad to cheer for KU with them and share the same area code on our phone numbers. We figured they had enough casseroles for dinner so we picked up ribs from Corky's and some tasty sides. Nate and I drove to East Nashville and then headed home as the sun was setting (4:30 p.m. here). Made for a sweet view of downtown at Shelby and 1st Ave S. with the going-home traffic.

We also got a slab of Memphis dry ribs for ourselves. I was really hungry and probably ate them too fast but they were sooo good! Then I fell asleep and went to bed around 8. Then I woke up at 10:30 and felt nauseous. It felt weird, like I was burping the taste of ribs. Before long, I was puking those ribs in the bathroom. I haven't puked in awhile! And after 10 weeks of daily puking all kinds of foods, I will say that Memphis ribs are the worst to throw up. I think it's the spices. It took lots of teeth brushing and mouth washing to get rid of the taste. I'm thinking it was indigestion or something thanks to laying down right after I ate.

Here's a photo of Miles being scary. "Party in the bathroom" is a morning ritual in the Jones house. We don't have an exhaust fan in the bathroom so I leave the door partly open so it doesn't get real hot in there when I shower. I think they just try to get me to feed them in the morning, but I like to pretend they just like keeping me company. Otis sits in the wet shower when I'm done and Miles likes to stand on the sink … and sometimes lay in it and yawn like a crazy cat.

Baby Jones' anatomy scan is in one week! Nate is leaning toward boy, and I'm leaning toward girl. I've started talking about the baby saying things like "her" and "she" and it drives Nate crazy. Haha. Obviously we will be ecstatic no matter what.

Saturday, I am going to a Thanksgiving party with a group of friends from church. (Nate would go but he has to work…) I'm excited. I've decided that I especially love Thanksgiving food this year because being pregnant, it all sounds good and I can eat a lot of it. :) I think about food a lot lately. haha


18 weeks, going on 19.

18 weeks pregnant!
I'll be 19 weeks tomorrow. Here's a pic of the 18-week baby bump. Most of the time it's hard to tell I'm showing, especially if I'm sitting down but in the evenings I think food and general bloating makes me stick out a little more. Everyone who sees me is like, "You're not even showing!" But I Googled it and apparently lots of people barely show at 19 weeks and then one day you just "pop."

We are 11 days away from finding out if Baby Jones is a boy or a girl! I really have no idea, but I'm really excited to find out.

Mostly I'm just excited to see the baby again since I really haven't since 8 weeks, and at my check-up last month I heard the heart beat and have wanted to listen every day since then. Nate's grandma emailed us to say she's planning on crocheting a little baby blanket. How sweet. :) We've got a crocheted blanket in the attic that Nate's great-grandma Elsa made him. My Grandma Richwine made us (my family: siblings and me) lots of afghans too.

Last Saturday, I went to Target to try to find maternity jeans. Because the rubberband around the button isn't real comfortable anymore. I saw Old Navy had some on their website, but I didn't feel like going to the mall. Anyway, Target had nothing. Their maternity clothes were basically mixed in with plus-sized women's clothes. I bought a belly band, thinking it looked like a good idea. It is not. I am returning it. 1) It's super uncomfortable. 2) It's not super cheap. ($17) 3) Whenever you sit down, it bunches up, so when you stand, you have to re-adjust. Also anytime you have to go to the bathroom, you have to move it out of the way and then re-adjust. Super annoying. Fortunately I kept the receipt and all the packaging, so I'm returning it.

Now accepting advice on how to find/buy maternity pants. Sweatpants are great for home, but I need jeans for work and being in public in general.


back in the kitchen.

I made dinner last night, which is kind of a big deal. The whole time I had morning/all-day sickness, all I wanted to do when I got home from work was get into bed. So we ordered out a lot. Nate said he'd do the dishes if I took care of dinner last night, and I thought about what I could pick up but yesterday I also happened to pay our Visa bill which includes a seminary/conference class for Nate + conference fee for me to go with Nate + 12 months of insurance on two cars so I was not in the mood to spend money.

We had everything at home to make chicken pot pie, so that's what I made. I stopped on the way home for milk and green bean casserole fixings because that sounded really good too. It was good, and I was so full. Green bean casserole is making me excited for Thanksgiving. Grow, baby, grow!

I think I have been feeling Baby Jones move lately. At least something is going on in there. At 18 weeks, Baby Jones is the size of a mango. Two weeks from today we do an anatomy scan. I was watching 18-week ultrasounds of other people's babies on YouTube because I was curious what a baby looks like at this point. It is crazy how they move around so much on these videos! I am excited to find out the sex so we can decide on a name.

Last Friday night, we went on a double date with our friends, the Newlands. Baja Burrito for dinner and then to 100 Oaks theater to see Captain Phillips. It was a great movie! I liked it way better than Gravity, and not just because Gravity made me motion sick. It's based on a true story and at the end, even though it's a good ending, everyone left the theater silent. I was thinking, Navy SEALs can really do that? They are the real deal.



Otis, swaddled

Praise the Lord, the morning sickness seems to be a thing of the past. I haven't puked in six days which is a record. But what seems to be normal for the second trimester is this nearly insatiable hunger! I'll eat and feel full—a bagel for breakfast, for example—and then an hour or two later feel like I am starving! So several small meals throughout the day works best, though it feels like I am constantly eating. I complained to Nate and he said he'd trade places with me. (Sure, now that I'm not standing over the toilet every morning.) I read that Baby Jones only needs me to eat an extra 300 calories a day, which isn't hard. Fortunately I have some room to catch up on weight gain after a rough start.

I mentioned in my last post that I am loving Starbucks' "Everything with Cheese" bagels (and plenty of cream cheese). Now that the weather has turned cold, I am also loving their hot chocolate. But Nate doesn't work a lot of early mornings, and if I'm not getting his discount or my drink for free, it gets expensive. I Googled and found a recipe for a copycat Sbux hot chocolate online and tried it out this morning. It took less than three minutes to make, and it satisfies that sweet craving on a cold morning.

Starbucks Hot Chocolate at home
2 T. sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. water
1.5 c. milk
1/4 t. vanilla extract

Put the sugar, cocoa powder, and water in a 16 oz. cup. You don't need to stir it, I think. I tried and it really didn't mix cold. Just stuck to the spoon. Microwave it for 30 seconds and stir to form a chocolate syrup. Then add the milk. I have a ceramic travel mug from Sbux so I just filled the rest with milk. Microwave it for 90 seconds. Add vanilla and stir. Then you could top it with whipped cream. I didn't have any, but I wish I had. It was very good! Very similar taste to what you get at the store. (And so easy.)


on food cravings and being sick.

It seems pretty stereotypical that pregnant women have cravings. It's true. Only my cravings aren't for weird things or things I've never liked to eat before. What has surprised me most is my food aversions. Foods I used to love, that I don't even want to look at now. With "morning" sickness (aka all-day/every-waking-hour sickness), I discovered that being hungry made me feel a hundred times worse. So no matter how bad I felt, I had to try to eat something. The first couple of weeks, I lost six pounds which felt terrible so if anything sounded good, I ate as much as I could.

In the first few weeks of being nauseated and puking all the time, it was blueberry Eggo waffles with peanut butter. That has passed and I haven't felt like eating them anymore.

Some other fleeting cravings: potato chips, Cheetos, and barbecue ribs. (Not together.) A couple weeks ago, I couldn't drink enough milk. It sounded so good. Maybe I was calcium deficient. (I'm taking B6 and a prenatal vitamin.) I also stopped drinking skim and upped to 2% since I needed to gain weight.

Fortunately I've had a prescription for Zofran which is supposed to help with the nausea. It seemed mostly to stop the puking, but wasn't much help with nausea. Last week felt like a miracle in that I felt more good than bad. Then both days this weekend, I didn't feel awesome. But I've felt good enough to do laundry which is an improvement because our house was seriously turning into a disaster zone for awhile.

As long as the sick days are fewer and farther between, that's encouraging. Being sick was seriously wearing me down. I know most pregnant women get sick, but I feel like I was maybe slightly more sick than average. I was throwing up often. I felt nauseous for ten straight weeks with no break. Sometimes Nate would bring home something for dinner and I'd burst into tears because I felt so sick. It was rough.

Nate's been really good at taking care of me. When he's at work, I'm not great at taking care of myself. It's hard to get off the couch and make myself something to eat. My doctor had given me a goal weight gain of 2 pounds in 2 weeks. I have to give Nate a lot of the credit for the fact I gained 5 pounds in 2 weeks. I'm still only 2 pounds over pre-pregnancy weight. Typically you gain 25–35 pounds when pregnant, but I'm sure I'll catch up now that sickness is subsiding.

Food aversions: anything sugary. Nate bought Oreos, and I could typically finish off a pack in a week. They lasted weeks around our house. I haven't touched them. I haven't eaten ice cream except the occasional Klondike bar when I feel up to it. The weeks I was trying to gain two pounds, I had a milkshake one afternoon and felt so sick afterward.

Currently I am loving everything bagels from Starbucks. Not the same as Thomas everything bagels from the store because Starbucks' bagels are everything bagels with cheese. Add some cream cheese, and I am loving breakfast. Also hot chocolate from Starbucks but I am slow getting ready in the mornings so I don't often have time to swing by the store and pick some up. Nate brought me home a sleeve of recently expired everything bagels from Sbux so I have those whenever I want. :)

I'm 17 weeks now. (Due date: April 12, based on the calendar. Though based on the first sonogram measurements, they said maybe April 19, but I hear it's normal to be a week off.) So Baby Jones is the size of a sweet potato!


family photo.

Family photo! We took several photos with the camera on a timer on the tripod, but we surprisingly liked this one the best. Most natural. Unfortunately it cut off Nate's head but Miles and Otis were not super cooperative with the whole "family photo" idea and did not last long. Plus Nate had pulled an all-nighter the night before to do homework and had literally not slept in 48 hours. So this is what we get. :)

Let's review: Me (Alyssa), Nate['s beard], Miles (black cat), Otis, and Baby Jones!
Baby Jones is coming April 2014!

We are very excited. I'm 17 weeks tomorrow, and until this point I've been extremely sick with morning (read: all-day) sickness. It seems to have subsided this week and based on my doctor's visit yesterday, I've gained 5 pounds! Still just 2 pounds over pre-pregnancy weight, but I'm sure now that the nausea and puking is going away, gaining will be easier.

My shirt, by the way, is homemade. Inspired by Pinterest.  Similar shirts are selling on Etsy for $15–$30, but I stopped by Michael's on Monday. T-shirts were on sale for $3 each, and with the fabric paint and paintbrush, I created my own shirt for less than $10.

Here's the little bean's first ultrasound, around 8 weeks. I guess the head is toward the left and in the top center is a little arm bud sticking up. Baby's grown a lot since then—from the size of a raspberry at about 0.04 ounces and just over a half-inch to a whopping onion at 5 inches and nearly 6 ounces. I'm getting a legit baby bump. Haven't bought any maternity clothes yet, but I'm keeping my jeans comfortable by looping a rubberband around the button.

Now that our happy news is public knowledge, I'll try to update regularly. We're scheduled for an anatomy scan on Nov. 26 (Week 20, banana sized) and will find out if Baby Jones is a boy or girl. Any guesses?
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