75% cooked

I have this strange tendency to put everything into a percentage scale that easily converts. I think it stems from my strong desire to perform highly in school and paying such close attention to grades. Here are a couple of examples:
  • If I have run .85 of a mile, that converts to a "B" which would not be happy with, so it's motivation to continue running. 
  • My baby is currently 3/4, or 75%, cooked. I'd like her to at least be in the 90% range before she enters this world. There's even the possibility for bonus points here, friends.

How far along: 30 weeks, 10 to go
Size of baby: Approx 15.7 inches and 3 pounds
Gender: A girl! Carson Ruby Huddleston
Maternity clothes: Mostly maternity pants or tights. I can switch between non-maternity tops sometimes.
Weight gain: 11.5 pounds
Movement: She has an interesting sleep/wake cycle. She is still most active in the afternoon and the other day was moving so much it made me nauseous. I think it's neat to feel what I think is either her head or rump from the outside of my belly.
Sleep: Still going pretty well. I added an additional pillow to the mix, so now I have one at my head, one under my belly and one behind my back. This helps keep me from rolling flat on my back to sleep.
Symptoms: Still just general tiredness. I do notice my ankles swell by the end of the night, especially if I've had salty foods during the day.
Best moment this week: Sean put together her crib and I think it's really fun to walk past her room and imagine her being here soon. It's kind of surreal to us still at this point!


29 weeks

How far along: 29 weeks, 11ish to go
Size of baby: Approx 15 inches and 2.5 pounds
Gender: A girl! Carson Ruby Huddleston
Maternity clothes: Mostly maternity clothes now.
Weight gain: 11 pounds -- I did have ice cream for dinner twice this week. Don't judge....ok, judge a little, but I'll stop that habit ASAP. :)
Movement: More rolling, less jabs.
Sleep: Still going pretty well. A pillow under my belly and behind my back helps, but I do change positions frequently.
Symptoms: General tiredness, rapidly growing belly. Sean took me shopping for new makeup this weekend to deal with my uneven skin tone issues. The other night I had some light cramping -- could have been braxton hicks or maybe just a tired, heavy belly? I have no idea what BH feel like, so not sure.
Best moment this week: Due to her change in movements, it's a little more difficult for Sean to feel her move. She had hiccups really early this morning, so I woke Sean up so he could feel. Pretty cute. We did also order her crib and glider, too.


Love was made for me and you

I just really love Valentine's Day. I like it for a lot of reasons, most of which relate to the more 'cutesy' side of the holiday. Sure, I like the little goodies and thoughtful gestures, though to be totally honest my husband does a really great job of this year-round. A lot of people get hung up on the idea of comparing valentines to one another (I guess girls get caught up in comparing a lot of things, really) to see whose significant other is more thoughtful or romantic, but I just love the idea that God created spouses for one another and rejoice that each of us are unique and best fit for our own specific husband/wife.
Sean has been my Valentine for 10 years now! This year he recreated parts of his very first Valentines gift to me, picked up my favorite flowers (tulips) and baked a cookie cake. He writes the most thoughtful letters to me, which I cherish more than anything.
 Sean knows my love languages and speaks them often and I'm incredibly thankful to see my friends' husbands do the same for them. One of the things that I get really excited about are healthy marriages and seeing that acted out in real life. I would love for Sean and I to get involved with teaching pre-marital classes someday and I really want to do a better job supporting my friends' marriages. That was a goal of mine last year and I think I was better at it than before, but still have a lot of room for improvement. I'm thinking things like offering free babysitting, sending gift cards for a date night, writing an encouraging note when I see a kind act toward their spouse, etc. 

So anyways...the candy, sweet notes and nice dinners are all great fun, but the real challenge is making your significant other feel special and loved the other 364 days of the year. It's a challenge I'm willing to accept!


Two down, one to go: third trimester

How far along: 28 weeks, start of the third trimester!
Size of baby: Approx 14.8 inches and 2.25 pounds
Gender: A girl! Carson Ruby Huddleston
Maternity clothes: Mostly maternity clothes now. Some spandex pants and oversized non-maternity shirts work. I ordered my first Piko top today, which I'm excited to add to the mix.
Weight gain: 10.5 pounds -- double digits, people. All of the yummy valentine treats probably have something to do with recent weight gain...
Movement: I noticed her hiccups for the first time this week -- just tiny little twinges all in a row that are pretty darn cute. Pretty regular movement now throughout the day, though she is still most active in the afternoon.
Sleep: Still going pretty well. A pillow under my belly helps, but I do change positions frequently.
Symptoms: General tiredness, rapidly growing belly. I also cried when Mizzou lost a basketball game last week, so apparently my hormones are a little wacky, too. :)
Best moment this week: We had a checkup this week and heard Carson's heartbeat again. Generally speaking, we are thankful for an unremarkable and healthy pregnancy so far.


Dear Carson

Lord willing, your daddy and I will meet you in just 12 short weeks. That brings about a rush of emotions that span a wide range from crushing fear to extreme excitement. Fear that I will mess up (news flash, Nicole...that's for sure going to happen), fear in the unknown, fear that I'm not well equipped to become a mom. Excited to see you for the first time, excited to hear your sweet baby coos and catch a glimpse of your precious smile for the first time, excited to see your dad become the outstanding father I know he will be.

There's a lot I don't know about becoming a mom -- I haven't picked up a single parenting book during this pregnancy and outside of typical babysitting have little to no experience with a newborn baby. What I do know, though, is that your dad and I will try our best, love you fervently and by God's grace alone will navigate the path of parenthood. We will commit to praying for you and your future consistently, we will attempt to lead by example and place inspiring and encouraging people in your life. Your dad and I will love each other deeply and keep our marriage a top priority, honoring one another as best we can even when we're running low on sleep or energy. We will do all that we can to keep you safe, healthy and happy -- though I'm certain you will feel otherwise as you grow older.

There are a lot of people who love you already, Carson, and who will be an integral network of friends and family supporting and encouraging our family along the way. I can't hardly wait to introduce you to the people who have shaped me into the woman I am today, knowing they will also help shape you into a wonderful young woman, too.

Thanks for taking it easy on me so far during this pregnancy and I encourage you to continue that pattern upon entering this world. I love you very much, sweet little girl, and am looking forward to the day I get to hold you in my arms.



27 weeks and growing

Here's the 27 week bumpdate.
How far along: 27 weeks 
Size of baby: Approx 14 inches and 2 pounds
Gender: A girl! Carson Ruby Huddleston
Maternity clothes: Mostly maternity clothes now. The borrowed maternity clothes have been so awesome!
Weight gain: 8.5 pounds
Movement: As she grows her movements get more exciting to me. She seems to be most active between 2-4pm and when I lay down at night.
Sleep: Doing well in this arena this week -- I think my back is starting to ache a little more frequently, but I usually don't have any problem falling asleep.
Symptoms: General tiredness, skin blemishes. In my weekly e-mail update it said symptoms could be things like more rapid weight gain, leaky boobs, sore back, etc. I was wondering why pregnancy symptoms can't be things that would be awesome, like whiter teeth or more toned muscles? :)
Best moment this week: Last week I was very anxious, but have been very intentional about praying through that and focusing less on the 'stuff' associated with bringing a baby into this world and more focused on each day at a time -- I can tell a difference this week and am thankful for that. I also had a great maternity leave discussion with my boss, which was wonderful.