Thursday, April 29, 2010


I am so excited to have reached another milestone. Today I am 35 weeks pregnant with 35 days to go. 35 DAYS TO GO! We're talking a little over a month. Holy crap! At this point I'm not nervous. Maybe that is because work has been keeping me busy and I haven't really had a chance to actually sit down and think about just how my life is going to change having a baby of my own. But the thought of seeing her little face and knowing that she is healthy makes me really excited.

I don't know if I had mentioned previously, but my plan is to work all the way up until I deliver. If I wanted to take off some time beforehand I'd have to use my vacation and sick time and I don't want to do that (unless the doctor takes me out early for some reason...then I can apply for short term disability). I will be taking 12 weeks of leave. The first part of the leave is my "maternity leave". My company offers 6 weeks leave for a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for a c-section. The maternity leave is covered by short term disability. The first week is unpaid and the rest is paid at 80% of my weekly salary. Not bad. So depending on my type of delivery, I will get paid 80% for 5-7 weeks. The additional 4-6 weeks (again, depending on my type of delivery) will be covered by the wonderful Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which allows a mother to take up to an additional 12 weeks of leave without fear of losing her job. FMLA is unpaid.

So after thinking about my maternity leave I started thinking about how our budget needs to change to accomodate my loss in wages (for the time while I'm on maternity leave) and the added expense of a newborn (diapers, wipes, clothes, etc.). I'm planning to breastfeed, which is probably one of the things that I am most terrified of, so I'm hoping I can keep the cost of formula out of our budget. Not only that, we also need to take into consideration the cost of putting Courtney in daycare once I return to work. Luckily I have a friend who has offered to watch her for me so I don't have to put her in a daycare center. I am thrilled with this since I like the idea that she will have the one on one attention, only be a few miles away, and can hopefully avoid all the germs that tend to go around at a center. We haven't talked price yet, but I plan to discuss that with her soon. I mean, she wont be starting daycare until around September. We have some time.

Remember the sneak peek I gave you earlier this week? The photos were taken by the wonderfully talented Jessica Peterson at One Tree Photography. Go to her website to check them out. She only posted 12 so far. In the next 2 weeks she'll have a gallery of 30 for me to choose from.

And to finish, a little about how Courtney is doing this week:
Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that she'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, she isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete — she'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

6 weeks to go!

Today I reached 34 weeks. That leaves me 6 weeks until my estimated due date and 3 weeks until I am considered "full term". Today I want to talk a little about my youngest niece Raegan. She was born on January 29, 2008 at 34 weeks gestation (right where I am now). My sisters water broke 6 weeks early and she had to be airlifted to Honolulu, Oahu from Maui due to the need for a NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) where pre-mature babies are taken after birth. My niece was born weighing 5 pounds 3.2oz and was 18.5 inches long. She stayed in the NICU for a total of 5 days (which is awesome) before they all flew home to Maui. When she was little we all called her "Pip" for pipsqueak because she was so little. Now she is a thriving two year old with the cutest curly blonde hair. Looking at pictures of Raegan when she was born really puts into perspective just how big Courtney is right now. For an "outside" baby she is still little, but when you think about her being somewhere around 18 inches long I wonder how she has any space.

And with that, here is a picture of Raegan a few days old. You can see her size by comparing her to my brother-in-laws hand:

And here she is at two years old:

So as for Courtney:
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her 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.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's in a name?

Lets talk a little about names today. Mike and I have been together for quite sometime and for many years we knew that when we had children, our #1 boy name would be Trevor. Ok now ladies, we still love this name so no stealing. ;-) Girls names on the other hand were not so easy. Mike is pretty traditional when it comes to names and most names I threw out there for girls he would shoot down. Examples: Peyton (his response: Peyton Manning), Reese (his response: you grew up with people pronouncing your last name as Reese and you hated it). You get the picture. We had two girls names that we both said we liked and that was Nicole and Courtney. I still love the name Nicole but am not a huge fan of the nickname Nikki and I just know that if we were to name the baby Nicole, she would be called Nikki and I wasn't Ok with that plus, I loved Courtney more. So we agreed that Courtney was her name. Now on to middle names. If we had that much trouble with a first name, how were we going to decide a middle name? I loved Elizabeth (and loved it for a first name too) but that is my niece Riley's middle name. We would have used Leigh, which is my sisters middle name, but she stole that one too for my niece Raegan.

I mentioned to Mike quite a few times that we could use Nicole as her middle name but he didn't want to "waste" the only two names we agree on in case we have another girl in the future. So we sat down and discussed Holland. For those of you that don't know, my dad's side of the family is from the Netherlands and we still have family over in Amsterdam. Mike and I had discussed using the name Holland as a first name for awhile (she'd be Holly for short) but I guess my tradiotional side came out in this discussion and I wasn't open enough to give her a name that people may or may not give the side eye to. You know, when you ask someone what their childs name is and your only response is "Cute" while your wondering why the hell they chose that but didn't have the guts to ask? I was afraid that is what Holland (as a first name would do). So after some discussion and not wanting to just pick a middle name from a list that had no meaning, we decided to use Holland as her middle name and we love it.

So a few weeks after learning that we were indeed having a little girl, we chose to name her Courtney Holland.

Monday, April 19, 2010


This was stolen from friend and fellow blogger Ashley at "Our Journey Begins, as The Kings....".

a. area code: 562 although I live in the 360. We just kept our cell phone numbers so we will remain 562.

b. bed size: Cal King. My favorite thing in the world. How people sleep in anything smaller I don't understand. I <3 my bed.

c. chore you hate: Folding laundry.

d. dog's name: Daisy

e. essential "start of the day" item: Breakfast (my favorite meal of the day). Today I had two bowls of Fruit Loops.

f. favorite color: Pink

g. gold or silver: White gold

h. height: 5'4"

i. instruments you play: None. I played a little violin in elementary school but I sucked. Lets hope Courtney gets her musical talent from her dad.

j. job: Procurement Analyst. Sounds fancy huh? It's not.

k. kids: One on the way!

l. living arrangements: 3 bedroom house with Mike, Daisy and Jenna.

m. mom's name: Real name is Gloria but she goes by Sue. I call her Mom. ;)

n. nickname: Steph but I was also Feffy when I was little since little kids had trouble saying my name. My oldest niece called me Snephny for awhile, but now I'm Auntie Steph.

o. overnight hospital stay: None yet. Have a feeling I'll have my first one in say 7-8 weeks or so.

p. pet peeve: The sound of nail clippers.

q. quote from movie: "Your mom goes to college." Please tell me everyone knows what this is from?

r. righty or lefty: righty

s. siblings: One older sister.

t. time you wake up: Sometime between 6 and 6:15am. Alarm goes off at 5:50am but I hit snooze about 2 times.

u. underwear: Yes.

v. vegetables you dislike: Green bell peppers.

w. ways or reasons you are late: traffic. I'm usually on time.

x. x-rays: teeth

y. yummy food you make: I'd like to say I'm good at Corned Beef and Cabbage.

z. zoo animals you like: Bears and giraffes

Thursday, April 15, 2010

33 weeks down!

I don't have much this week. My ankles are swelling worse and when I push into them you can see the indentation my finger leaves. It's pretty nasty. Mike's been gone this week so I sent him a picture on my phone of my ankle and he said "Of all the years we've been together (10) that has got to be the most disgusting thing you've ever sent me." LOL Before he had to get underway this week, we were going to bed and Courtney was moving around really good but it was dark. So I pulled out my book light and shined it on my stomach and Mike's response was "Oh my God." It looked like an alien in there or as my doctor says "a cat in a paper bag".

How Courtney is doing this week:
This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. She's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for her to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as her brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

She weighs as much as a pineapple (yumm...pineapple!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

More nursery pics!

Her bedding is Pottery Barn Kids in Penelope!

Her changing table/dresser and her crib are both from Wal-Mart. They are the BabyMod Cadence Collection in cherry. It is manufactured by Million Dollar Baby and is the exact same set as the Davinci Kalani collection sold at Target and Babies R Us for more $$$.

Inside her top drawer!

The glider is Shermag and was a gift to us from Mike's parents. It is so comfortable. The blanket over the chair was handmade by my moms friend Cheryl. It matches her bedding and I love it! The mirror we got from Home Depot. The blank wall is awaiting pictures to be hung.

This is one side of her closet. The sign above was a gift from our good friends Jenni and Matt. Hanging on the door is my diaper bag (Mike's is the backpack up in the closet) and my nursing cover.

The other side of her closet.

Her storage cubes and floating shelf holding frames and her first Disney bear!

The other floating shelf for now holds my first Willow Tree figurine. It's called "Our Gift".

That's about it. Hope you like it.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nursery sneak peek and 32 week belly!

We aren't done yet, so you get one side of the room. One of the sucky things about renting is not being able to paint so we had to work with just plain white walls.

We framed pictures of Jenna and Daisy when they were babies. You can also see her hairbow holder I ordered off of Etsy.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

32 Weeks!

How far along? 32 weeks!
Weight gain/loss? Ok...I'm not going to lie. As of today's appointment I'm up 30 pounds. :::sheds a tear::: I'm still in the recommended 25-35 pound range but what are the chances I only gain 5 pounds in the next 8 weeks?
Maternity Clothes? Yes. I love my t-shirts from Target.
Sleep?'s OK.
Best Moment This Week: Her coming home outfits (yes, that is plural. I couldn't decide)came in the mail along with her "My first Fourth" outfit and bib.
Movement? These days it feels like she streches out an arm or leg and then as she pushes, she runs it down my side. It hurts but she is just reminding me she is doing well in there.
Food cravings: Chocolate and Diet Coke.
Belly button? Flat. Mike thinks it will pop out. I'm not sure.
What I miss: My husband. He's only been home a total of about 10 days in the last 8 weeks.
What I am looking forward to? I have a surprise I'll post in a few weeks. Only a few people know what it is and I'm not telling. :)
Wisdom of the week: None. Have any for me?
Milestones: I now see the doctor twice a month and am 8 weeks away from my due date.

This week Courtney weighs as much as a large jicama at almost 3.75 pounds. She is also about 16 inches long.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

31 weeks down...9 to go!

Seriously? 9 weeks left? I'm getting quite excited about this. I had my 30 week appointment on Monday and Dr. Bush said that I'm doing great. He said I am measuring right on and that the baby sounds great! I noticed in the last week that my feet and ankles have started swelling so I mentioned it to him. He said he isn't worried and for me to cut back on salty foods, drink lots of clear liquids and keep my feet up as much as I can. I also loved the fact that when talking about the baby moving he said "It's funny to watch lean girls like you with a baby because when they move it looks like someone threw a cat in a paper bag. Your whole belly just starts moving." I could just kiss him for saying I was a "lean girl". The scale in his office would beg to differ and I'm pretty sure it lets out a moan when I step on it.

We had a wonderful time visiting friends and family in California last week even though it went by way too fast. I had my Pain Management and Special Circumstances class at the hospital on Tuesday and it actually scared the crap out of me. They went over epidurals, IVs, episiotomies, the vaccuum, forceps, we watched an animation of a c-section and learned all the advantages and disadvantages to all the different interventions. It can really freak you out. Especially when they tell you the use of forceps can cause temporary facial paralysis of the baby. OMG! There are just some things I'd rather not know.

How Courtney is growing this week:
This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. She weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. She can turn her head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin. She's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

She weighs as much a 4 navel oranges:

And for fun, a picture of my swollen feet and ankles from my shower on Saturday: