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Dear Little One

Dear Little One,

I'd call you by your name, but right now I don't know what that is, so Little One will have to do.  (I might have written Dear Baby, but your uncle Anthony hates it when people say 'baby' instead of 'the baby', so Little One it is.  Just a random fact that you might be interested in learning someday!)

Exactly one month from today is your due date; I don't know when exactly we will get to meet you, but I wanted to mark this moment with a letter to you, so you can someday get a little glimpse of your mom (and dad) before you were here.

I've known you were coming since March, but it blows me away to think of all the things I don't know about you.  I don't know your name, your birthday, your gender or who you look like.  I will know these things soon enough, but for now you are a mystery.  The very best type of mystery, but a mystery all the same.
Your dad and I do have some guesses about these things.

Even though you are due on November 29th, we have a feeling you might end up a December baby (though your grandpa Dale is really hoping you two share a birthday).

We both think you are a boy, but we're putting off knowing for sure until we meet you.  No matter what you end up being, in our eyes you will be perfect.  (In case you're wondering, your great-grandma Ronsberg is convinced you're a girl and the rest of my side agrees with her.  Your dad's side mostly thinks you're a boy!  Nicholas isn't sure either way, but according to him your name will be Cousin Yo-Yo.  Nolan sides with great-grandma on you being a girl and he loves you to the end of the earth and back again - whenever I see him he runs up, gives you kisses, rubs and says "there's a baby in there!"  Nicholas loves you just as much, and keeps asking when I'll let you out so you all can play.  I can't wait for the days when all of you get to play together; if I snap a million pictures, please just know it's because you're all precious to me and I want to remember every moment I get with you.)

Another thing your dad and I know?  We know that no matter when you're born, what your name is or who you look most like, you are the most incredible blessing in our lives.  Along with knowing that, there are several things we wish for you.

- We wish for you you a happy life.  A life that has more happiness than sadness and more joy than sorrow.  We hope you learn to find the good things that can come from every bad, and we hope you are able to keep joy with you even when it is difficult to do so.  We hope you can laugh at yourself and love yourself, find amusement in small things and never be too 'mature' to find humor in everyday life.

- We wish for you a life of passion.  Your dad and I each love different things, but it's not so much what you love that is important as why and how you love those things.  Your dad is passionate about farming, John Deere, Pepsi and working hard.  I am passionate about travel, reading, health & fitness and crafting.  Maybe you'll share some of these passions, and maybe you won't.  We hope you find healthy, fulfilling and energizing passions.  When you do (as I'm sure you will), your dad and I intend to be your biggest cheerleaders.

- We wish for you a sense of adventure, a good work ethic and a whole lot of determination.  There is always something new to be learned, explored or created.  We hope you have a lifetime of learning ahead of you and that you don't take for granted the opportunities you have in front of you.  If you want to do something, I have faith that you can accomplish it.  But, as an early warning, know that it might take a leap of faith, a lot of hard work and a bit of stubbornness.  Your grandpa Arv always told us kids that he'd go a mile to help us reach our goals if we're willing to go an inch.  We had to go that inch before he'd go the mile, though.  To this I say: ditto.

- We wish for you a heart of faith and a love for God.  You are a blessing to us and so many others; we hope you will know how blessed you are to be a child of such a loving and incredible God.  When you have problems, joys, anger or peace, share them with Him - He is your absolute best friend and won't let you down (we also wish you patience, as He might not deliver in a way you want or expect.)

I could go on for a year and a half about all the things we wish for you, but seeing as how you're due in just a month, I don't really have that much time to spare).  Your dad and I absolutely cannot wait to meet you and spend a lifetime getting to know you, help you and love you.

Forever and always,

We love you!


Week 35 Bump Update

Here we are at week 35 in this pregnancy - it's starting to get down to the wire!  At only 5 weeks left until my due date, I look around at all the work we have left to do and I wonder how it will ever get done.  Then I remind myself that all the work will never be done - there will always be more I'd like to do and that's life!  For now, I can rest easy knowing that if this little one decided to make an early entrance, he or she would have a house to come home to, the love of their family, clothing, diapers and two parents who will be there to take care of him or her.  And really, what else does a little one need?

Week 35 Baby Bump

This past week has been so much fun and also very busy!  On Saturday I woke up at my parents', met a friend for coffee (though if I'm being honest, neither of us actually had coffee.  I had hot apple cider, he had tea.  But saying coffee is much easier than explaining it.  Which I guess I just did anyway.  Oh well!)  When I got back to my parents' it was time for my second baby shower!

The weekend before was a shower for Jake's side of the family; this shower was thrown by my sister and friend for our side of the family and elaborate circle of friends-turned-family.  It was great to be able to see people I haven't seen for several months (and, in some cases, even longer!).  The shower was fall-themed and it was adorable!  There were pumpkins, scarecrows, comfort foods of fall and even a hay bale :)  This baby, Jake and I were incredibly spoiled with all the gifts and love we were given and it was just an awesome day.  I got to round out the day by hanging out with the family for the rest of the evening, and on Sunday I made my way back home!

Monday afternoon was my next check-up at the ob and everything seems to be in order so that was great!  My blood pressure has been consistently low (not too low, though) throughout this pregnancy, but before each appointment I always get a bit of nervousness - will today be the day it shoots up??  So far I have been in the clear, though, so that's great!  I have one more appointment scheduled for two weeks after that appointment and then we move on to weekly appointments (crazy!!!)

The rest of the week was pretty low-key, but I was perfectly fine with that!  Jake and I did sneak out on Tuesday evening for a movie date to see The Equalizer with Denzel Washington.  It was a great movie - high suspense, action and a good storyline as well!  We ended up in a bit of a mini-debate over who we'd rather have backing us in a scary situation: Liam Neeson or Denzel.  I'm a HUGE fan of Liam Neeson's, so of course I went with him.  Jake chose Denzel - so between the two of them we should be covered in case anything crazy happens!

Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington

I'll be completely honest here and say that Wednesday and Thursday night saw me in bed by 8:45.  This is much earlier than I'm used to, but for whatever reason I was just so much more exhausted than I have been.  In a couple weeks my nights will be determined by an infant rather than myself, so I let myself enjoy the luxury of going to bed whenever I felt like it - and it was great!  I'm beyond excited to meet this little one, but I'm going to enjoy these last couple weeks I have without having an infant to take care of - because pretty soon that will be my number one focus!

I almost forgot to include my emotional meltdown of the week (yep, I'm a crier.  I have no shame in admitting it).  Before Jake left for work one day, he was watching the documentary Blackfish on Netflix.  Blackfish is about a whale named Tilikum who has killed 2 (or possibly 3) of its trainers.  The latest fatality was at Sea World, where Tilikum still performs.  The documentary explored the world of whales in captivity and the impact it has.  I only caught the tail end of the show, but Jake explained an earlier part of it to me: a man told a story about years ago, when people were first tracking and collecting whales to be put in captivity.  They came upon a pod of whales and got the smallest one separated from the rest of the group - this is the one they would be capturing.  While the smallest was being taken, the rest of the pod was stationed around, watching as one of their own were stolen (if there were a whale version of Liam Neeson, he'd be on the case - and the thieves would have some explaining to do!)  The thought of a whale family wanting to save their young and not being able to do so put me completely over the edge - one more time I found myself bawling over an animal!  First cows, then a mouse and now a whale - what'll be next?!

Here I am as of 35 weeks: I wonder if my belly profile will change much over the next month??

35 week baby bump

Until next time,


Week 34 Bump Update

34 weeks - 6 weeks until due date - this is nuts!  Each week seems to go more quickly than the last and I am sure I'll be completely blown away when it is actually time to meet the little Mr or Ms.  The other day I was talking to my mom and I essentially said that same thing - that I can't wait to meet the baby but that at the same time just the thought of meeting my child seems a million years away.  She responded by saying, "and once you've met them you won't be able to imagine life before they were here."  I can believe this is true but I can't wait to experience it for myself.  Not that I'm hoping for an early arrival - I'm hoping both baby and I stay healthy and he or she can keep cooking as long as needed!

34 week baby bump

While the baby has been hanging out creating little thunderstorms in my belly, I kept myself busy this past week.

On Saturday Jake's sisters threw a Harry Potter-themed baby shower it and was so much fun!  We are all big fans of Harry Potter so it was an absolutely perfect celebration!  The house was decorated with owls, Hogwarts insignias and the buffet was covered with Harry Potter-related goodies (including Butter Beer!)  I had a great time with his family and my mom and sister and the baby was absolutely spoiled!  Jake's grandma made a nursery rhymes quilt for the baby and I might have had a bit of a an emotional moment (tears, tears and a couple more tears!) but I'm just going to chalk it up to being pregnant.  I still have my baby blankets, and just to get such a beautiful blanket and know that our baby will have it for the rest of his or her life is incredible.  Like I said, this baby was absolutely spoiled!

I got to spend more time with my mom on Sunday and that was awesome!  She, my dad and my grandma came down to deliver a chest freezer and to help me have a freezer-meal cooking day.  Jake and I had gone shopping on Saturday night for all the needed groceries, and let's just say I have never bought that much frozen chicken in my life!  We seriously spent ALL day Sunday on our feet and I was definitely sore by the end of it, but I was so glad to have thought ahead and make the meals.  Our freezer is now jam-packed with about 27 meals ready to thaw and throw in the oven or crock pot; I definitely think it will come in handy for after the baby comes home.  The trick will be to not start making them in the next six weeks out of laziness... wish me luck!

Monday was a bit nerve-racking for me; when I went home for lunch I was paying close attention to feel movements and I wasn't getting much.  I talked to Jake, and although he assured me everything was probably fine, he also said that I should call the OB just to calm myself down.  They told me to lie down, drink juice and call them back after a half hour or so - and not to go back to work until I did so.  That in and of itself was kind of scary!  Once the half hour was up, though, I still hadn't felt the baby move much and they had me go into the office to get a nonstress test done.  All they had to do was strap a monitor on my belly to monitor the baby's heartbeat and also one towards the top of my belly to monitor contractions.  Luckily, everything looked good and I was able to go home.  I think the little one knew I was getting nervous because everyday since my stomach has been rockin' and rollin!  I think after all that cooking on Sunday the baby just needed a bit of a break :) 

On Friday I headed up to my parents' house for the weekend of fun - starting with a dinner / play date with my mom, sister and grandma on Friday night.  I got a chicken stir-fry which was so tasty and then we saw Dirty Dancing at the Orpheum in Minneapolis.  It was a great girls' night - even if the play wasn't exactly the best thing I've ever seen.  There's something about Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle that just can't be replaced!  

The rest of the weekend was great as well, but that'll be updated with my next bump date next week!

For now, here I am at 34 weeks:

Besides my scare on Monday, everything has been going well.  One morning when getting ready for work, though, Jake asked me how I was doing and I broke down because I was just so tired.  He told me it's about time I introduce regular naps into my daily schedule so I've been doing my best to do that.  Some people love naps but I have just never been one who can handle napping.  Clearly this whole being pregnant thing has sapped my energy a bit, though, so I'm glad Jake gave me the push I needed to start taking them (there's just so many other things I could be doing a nap seemed like a waste of time before!)  I can definitely tell a difference between my moods on days when I nap vs. days when I skip the nap, though, so I think it's a good idea I keep up with them.  Heck, in a month or so this baby will dictate when I can sleep so I guess I might as well take advantage of the time I have now, right?

On that note - I think it's time for a nap :)

Here's a little comparison shot between 20 weeks ago and now.  That bump definitely has grown!


What I Read in September

Book Reviews

You'll soon see that September was not a very solid month of reading for me!  I'm not sure what happened, but the one book I did read just seemed to drag.  Luckily I'm already ahead of this pace for October!  Who knows what November and the following months will look like once this baby has arrived - but for now I'm glad I'm able to get a bit of reading in!

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti - Annie Vanderbilt

The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti Review

This is a book that had been sitting on my bookshelves for years - seriously, years.  My sister had passed it on to me, and between reading book club books, borrowing books from other people and buying new books it just never made its way to the top of the pile.  It finally did!!

I enjoyed the book, but I also didn't enjoy the book.  It was in the middle of love and dislike, but I have to say that the last 40 pages or so were my favorite.  (No, not because they signaled the book was over!)  The last pages wrapped everything up and I ended up liking the main character much more than I had throughout the book.

Lily is a widowed woman who was traveled to France by herself and is living in her deceased husband's family home (lovingly called La Pierre Rouge or 'The Red Stone').  She has secluded herself here to write her memoirs on her old Olivetti typewriter.  As she works through both the process of writing and of living, we learn her life story and meet the people who have shaped her into who she is today.

The story itself is a good one - if you're a fan of Under the Tuscan Sun, this story would likely be right up your alley as well.  The part that got difficult for me, though, was the writing.  It seemed like every sentenced was loaded with metaphors, similes, flowery language and this made what could have been a very enjoyable easy read into a much more time-intensive story to read.  Some degree of this writing can make for a lovely setting, but for my own taste it was used a bit too heavy-handedly in this book.  

I would rate this a 2.5 mainly because of the writing style.

Have you read it before?  What did you think?


Week 33 Bump Update

I may sound like a broken record, but I can't believe another week has already passed!  I can still remember hitting week 20 so clearly - to now be 13 weeks past that is incredible!  To be perfectly honest, though, I don't feel much closer to baby coming than I did at week 20.  I'm not the most patient person around, I admit it :)  

33 week baby bump

Logically I know that the next few weeks will fly by so I'm just focusing on enjoying this time left in being pregnant.  Every kick feels like a tiny miracle happening inside me and although Jake and I want to have more kids, nothing is guaranteed so I'm going to let myself enjoy this time while still looking forward to meeting our little one!

This past week was great in so many ways!  My stomach seemed to have a mini Tasmanian Devil inside it most days - I could seriously just look at any given time and see baby rolling, punching and squirming around.  Some of these movements are starting to bring some minor twinges of pain, which I'm not the world's biggest fan of, but I'll just call them the beginning of preparation for labor and delivery - that will definitely be much more painful!  The reward at the end will definitely be worth all the pain though :) 

Jake and I finally go the nursery put back in order!  The walls are painted, the outlet covers have been re-attached, the closet organizer is back up and the furniture has moved out of the middle of the room.  Baby's clothes are hanging in the closest right now and I love taking any excuse I can find to take a peek in the room - it's finally starting to feel like a baby's room!  There is definitely still laundry to be done, things to be put away and things to be purchased, but for now we're trucking right along and I love it!

Another thing that's trucking right along?  My baby bump!

Here I am as of 33 weeks!

week 33 baby bump

Some other updates from the week:

- I had my next ob appointment on Monday and everything looked great!  Baby's heartbeat was going strong - just another 2 weeks until my next appointment!
- I scheduled maternity photos for Jake and I and we took those this week.  I got a couple sneak peek pictures and I love them!  I can't wait to get the entire disc so I can see all the pictures!  Jake and I are both pretty bad about remembering to take any pictures together at all, so I wanted to make sure we documented this phase of our lives and marriage - and we definitely did that!  In a couple months our family pictures will be growing in size and cuteness factor, but for now it's great to have some that are just the two of us (with a rounded belly showing what's to come!)

My week 34 check in will have many more exciting things to share - I can't wait!!


32 Week Bumpdate!

Just eight weeks left until baby’s due date – I can hardly believe it!  Jake and I have talked about baby being born a couple times lately and we both have the feeling that we will be celebrating a December birthday.  With my due date being November 29th this definitely isn’t outside the realm of possibility – but time alone will tell! 
32 Week Baby Bump

On Saturday we attended an all-day Labor and Delivery / hospital tour at the hospital where I will be delivering and it was definitely informative.  We hadn’t even really thought about going to one, but after some rave reviews (and a bit of persuasion) from our friends who have been there, done that at the hospital we decided to sign up for one.  I’m definitely glad we did that!  Both Jake and I feel more comfortable going into the home stretch of this pregnancy and getting prepped for labor and delivery.  I’m beyond excited to meet the newest member of our family and I know that the next couple months will absolutely FLY by!
More painting progress was made on the nursery but it’s still not completed.  Seeing progress in there makes me smile, even if it is just a little at a time.  If all goes according to plan we still have quite a bit of time before the nursery will have an inhabitant so I’m not stressing about it at this point.  Jake will get it done – he always does!
Anywho – here I am as of 32 weeks!
32 week baby bump

To be quite honest, I’m a bit bored with the category listing that I have been doing throughout pregnancy.  So I’m doing to change it up a bit for the last weeks!
-          Baby has been practicing kung-fu and it still makes me smile!  I’m pretty sure I will miss this after baby gets here – but of course I’ll be happy to have little one in my arms J

-          I’ve had some twinges of pain on either side of my stomach which I definitely haven’t enjoyed. These mainly come if I’m rolling over in sleep and then wake me up; my ob said they are simply round ligament pains and something to try to get used to for the next few weeks.

-          Jake and I have talked about what to bring to the hospital and are getting that list together now so we have less to worry about later.  Top of my list?  My iPod.  The birthing suites have an iPod hookup and if there is one thing that can help me calm down, it’s music.  I’ll be putting that to the ultimate test soon!

-          In the labor & delivery class the instructor emphasized that the main goal is to find something besides pain to focus on during contractions.  I wonder if it would be helpful or just strange to play a disc of Harry Potter being read aloud?  I have them all on my iPod and could see it being something relaxing to concentrate on – so we might be trying that out!

-          For the last 15 years or so my sister and I have dreamt about seeing Garth Brooks in concert.  Well it’s finally happening!  He’ll be in Minnesota during the middle of November and we have tickets to the November 6th show.  I’ve been giving baby mini pep talks to stay in until at least after the show.  The concert is 23 days before my due date so I think I should be good – fingers crossed! 
Just a few days until 33 weeks – this is getting crazy close!!