Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And the ultrasound says…

Today was the day.  The continuation of the level 2 anatomy scan.  It started just like all of the others…

Appointment at 7:30am?  Check.  Signed in?  Check.  Co-pay?  Check.  Weight?  Check.  Blood Pressure?  Check.  Urine sample?  Check.  All systems go!  Turn on the ultrasound machine!  Warm up the belly goo!  Dim the lights!  Wait a minute – quick potty break…

Dim the lights again!  Select the correct magic wand and here we go…

Let’s start measuring.  Good sized head.  Nice arms.  Long legs.  Strong heartbeat and all four ventricles look good.  Spine looks good.  Everything in the abdomen looks good.  Everything looks great!

So lets get a look at those “private parts”.

Now – here’s the part where you need to remember that we began this scan back on July 8th.  If you don’t remember how “modest” our baby was, you may want to read that post again…

And here we go.  There’s the torso.  A little lower.  There’s the legs.  Oops!  That’s a little too low.  Back up a little bit.  HEY!  Why is that little section blacked out!!!!

Well – it turns out that ultrasound machines have significant difficulty “seeing” through a belly button.  And our baby had positioned the “private parts” right behind momma’s bellybutton.

Never fear.  Our sonographer was not going to be foiled a second time!  She poked.  She prodded.  She moved this way.  She moved that way.  She had momma roll over.  At last!  There it is!  Congratulations!

To the untrained eye, it looked like white blobs surrounded by other white blobs.  We couldn’t even tell that we were looking at baby parts – much less baby “private parts”.  But our sonographer assured us that she was a highly trained professional and that this was indeed proof that we are going to have…..







Because of the crazy looking picture (trust us – it looked like a bunch of static), we don’t have a picture showing the sex.  But we do have this one for you to look at!  If you look, the baby’s head is on the right side of the picture, laying on his back and looking towards the top of the picture.  And if you look close, you can see the ear, eye, nose, and mouth.  If you are really good, you can make out the chest and spinal cord.  And if you are training for an ultrasound job, you can probably make out much more than that!


Ultrasound 07-29-09-1

Howdy everybody!

So enjoy the picture!  It will probably be the last one we get for several weeks.  The pregnancy is so stellar that the next several doctors visits will just be “question and answer” sessions.  But we’ll keep you informed about everything we find out!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Kitchen Update

It is officially the end of the fourth day of the “kitchen floor redo”.  The two guys Mitch and Zak have been doing a stellar job.  Here’s the grueling detailed breakdown…

Wednesday, they came and started taking out the old tile.  Just like we already knew – the tile had not been installed correctly.  It appears that the mortar had not been mixed correctly and did not have enough water.  So instead of the tile sitting down in the mortar and the mortar holding the tile to the floor – the tile just sat on top of the mortar and never adhered.

To make matters worse, the detra mat had not been installed correctly either.  Of course, that means that it all had to come out too.  And just to add that extra measure of difficulty, everything had to be cut around the cabinets because the cabinets were sitting on top of the tile.  A real bummer.  But Mitch and Zak had no trouble and got it all done in a day.

Thursday, all of the new subfloor was delivered (using the more traditional “backer board” instead of the detra this time…) and Mitch and Zak got it all cut and installed (using mortar to hold it to the original plywood subfloor and about 1000 screws just to make sure it stays put). 

Friday, the first half of the tile was put down.  They couldn’t do the entire floor because they didn’t want to work themselves into a corner and have to spend the night.  Although when I offered some beer, they briefly considered it.  So the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher were moved out of the way and the kitchen portion of the floor was put down.

Today, the refrigerator and stove were moved back into place and the remaining tile was put down.

All that is left is to put down the grout (should get done tomorrow) and then I get to re-install all of the trim work.  Of course, I haven’t even bought the trim yet so that’s going to cause a small delay!  But I should be able to pick it up this week and get it painted and have it all ready to install this weekend.  If everything goes well, it’ll be completely finished by the end of the weekend!

DSC_0057 The new tile with the stove and refrigerator back in place!

Grout and dishwasher – kickplates and refrigerator panel – baseboard and quarter round – then it’s done!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


So.  What do you do when your kitchen is all torn up.  The floor is only half put down.  The dishwasher is in the bedroom.  There is an inch of tile dust in every nook and cranny in the entire house.  And you are already depressed because this is the second time in three months that you’ve had to do this.

What do you do?

You load up the family, hitch up the camper, and hit the road!  There is no better way to get away from your kitchen problems than to load up your fully functional “portable” kitchen for a weekend getaway.

We had a great time.  We walked the dogs all over the campground.  We road our bikes around the loop.  We sat around the campfire and sang songs.  We slept in.  We even enjoyed the few hours of rain this morning.

So we are relaxed and recharged.  And if everything goes according to plan, the tile will be done on Wednesday and all of the trim work will be finished by the weekend.  Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kitchen Remodel Part 2

Many of you are completely unaware of this next topic.  It is certainly a bit of a “sore spot” and we don’t talk about it much.  But now it’s time to let everyone know…

You see – we had a bit of difficulty with our new kitchen.  The cabinets are still beautiful, the appliances are still shiny and new, the layout is perfect (how did we live with the old kitchen for so long?).  It’s all still beautiful!  Except…

We started this whole kitchen remodel earlier than we originally anticipated.  The tile in the old kitchen was starting to crack pretty bad (which is why we didn’t buy “cheap” tile for the new kitchen) and we knew we were going to have to do something quickly.  And instead of replacing the floor and then turning around in a year or two and replacing it again when we remodel – we decided to do it all at once.

So the whole premise behind remodeling the kitchen is that the old tile was cracking and starting to come up.

Imagine our disappointment when our BRAND NEW tile was already coming loose!  AAARRRGH!!!

The folks at Exact Tile in Knoxville have been wonderful!  If you remember – that’s who we purchased the tile from, but we had our GC lay the tile instead of having Zak and Marnie at Exact Tile do it.  Lesson learned!  If you want tile – let the tile people do the installation!  And if you live in Knoxville, I highly recommend Exact Tile – Marnie, Zak, and Jenny are absolutely great!

So the work began today.  Our brand new tile (only been on the floor for around 4 months) is being ripped up as I type this.  They are about 3/4 of the way finished, and they were able to lift up about 6 tiles in whole pieces (just to let you know how well they were attached).

It will ~hopefully~ only take a few days to get it all done.  Better to do it now than wait until the baby arrives…



Part 2 – The Saga Continues.  And Izzy’s exact thought is…

Didn’t we just finish all of this?”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another good visit to the doctor

This morning was the regularly scheduled visit to the doctor and once again, there is nothing but good news to report!  It has been a surprisingly easy pregnancy so far (quick – find a piece of wood and knock on it!!!).  Not only has it surprised us, but all of the OB doctors (we’ve seen three so far – our “regular” one and two specialists), they have all been just as surprised as we have been. 

So today was a normal “poke and prod” visit with our regular OB.  She poked.  She prodded.  She got out her handy dandy baby heartbeat detector.  Everything is growing at the right rate and the baby’s heartbeat was a strong 160 beats per minute. 

And the little bugger was active this morning too.  The doctor had to keep moving the “magic wand” of the heart beat monitor around because the baby kept moving out from underneath it!  Too bad there was no ultrasound today – it would have been great to see the baby being so active. 

The doctor went over some recent test results with us.  They’ve done several tests now for downs syndrome, spinal bifida, and other genetic abnormalities.  All of the results were astounding!  The chances for Downs Syndrome, Trisomy-13 and Trisomy-18 have all improved.  If you remember, the odds were 1 in 1501 for Downs and better than 1 in 2000 for –13 and –18.  The odds are now 1 in 74,000 for Downs and better than 1 in 200,000 for –13 and –18.  And there have been no signs of spinal bifida or chest cavity problems.  Woo hoo!

Our next ultrasound is scheduled for the 29th.  Hopefully the baby will be just as active.  And hopefully it won’t be “upside down and backwards” so we can get a peek at the private parts!  Of course, the real reason for the ultrasound is to finish the level 2 anatomy scan (that baby better be more cooperative or it’s getting a whippin’!!!).  We’ll be sure to keep you all posted!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Family visits!

We love it when family comes to visit us!  If there is any advantage of all in living so far away from our families – it’s that it becomes an extra special event when we get to see them.

This weekend we got an extra special treat when the “Patricks” came for a visit!  Anthony, Jessica, and Diane brought down Darlene’s mom from Stanton Kentucky!  They all stayed the weekend and we had a marvelous time!

The highlight of the trip was the Wii tournament!  Everybody got in on the action.  It turns out the Anthony’s little sister Jessica is quite a boxer!  She beat up her big brother on more than one occasion…

Diana put the whipping on both of her kids and her sister during some bowling matches.  Turns out that she is the bowling master.

And we all took turns at golf, baseball, tennis – even some carnival games.  It was a great time!  and Jessica had the extra pleasure of keeping BOTH of the dogs entertained.  It was quite a site watching both of the dogs fight for her attention!


DSC_0263 Diane is the bowling queen!



“Momma said knock you out!”  Anthony and Jessica put up their dukes!



Jessica had a great time with the dogs!



Sisterly love!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The big day!

So – today was the big day. The “Level 2 anatomy sonogram”.

We woke up early and made it to the doctors appointment by 7:30. Signed in. Paid the co-pay. Blood pressure? Check. Pulse? Check. All systems go.

Off to the ultrasound room. Dim the lights (is that a good idea this early?). Fire up the machine. Spread the goop on the belly. Plop on the wand. The screen instantly changes to an image of a baby's butt.

Now – breech babies are not uncommon. And they are certainly nothing to worry about at 18 weeks. The baby will flip around (this is actually the first ultrasound where the baby was breech). The only issue was trying to get all of the images necessary for the anatomy sonogram when the baby is upside down and backwards!

They measured the arms. They measured the legs. They measured crown to rump. They measured the circumference of the head. They measured the heart beat. They measured the cervix. They looked at the spine. They looked at the heart. They looked at the kidneys. They looked at the stomach. They looked at the umbilical cord. They looked at the placenta. And the news was……….

Everything is completely normal! Based on some of the measurements, the due date might shift a week (one doctor still has it as December 6th while the other doctor has it as December 13th).

But because the baby was upside down and backwards, we couldn’t get a peak at the “private parts”. So it’s still a surprise! We go back on July 29th so they can complete the anatomy scan – they couldn’t “see” everything today because of the babies position. We are hoping that the baby is more cooperative (or “less modest” at least)!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Big day tomorrow….

Tomorrow is a big day.  It’s the “Level 2 anatomy scan ultrasound”.  One one hand, it’s pretty exciting.  On the other hand, it’s a little scary…

This particular ultrasound is done between the 18th and 22nd week.  The ultrasound tech will take a close look at the baby, counting fingers and toes, arms and legs, eyes, nose, and mouth.  She’ll take a peak at the bladder, kidneys, stomach, brain, spine, and all four chambers of the heart.  She’ll take the usual crown to rump measurement and heart beat measurement, but will add the new “head circumference” measurement.  She’ll look at the amniotic fluid levels and placenta location.

Of course, that’s all interesting.  But it’s a little scary too.  After all, the real reason they are looking at all of these things is to see if there are any problems!  Things have gone exceptionally so far so no problems are expected – but there is always that little worry…

And the exciting part?  Well – while they are taking a peak at the baby, they are going to glance at the “private parts”.  So – before lunch tomorrow, we should know if it’s a boy or a girl!  Sty tuned for more…

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

You’ve gotta love it when the 4th of July equals a three day weekend.  That’s three days to say “Happy Birthday America”!!!  And here’s our plan for the weekend…

Today was a little bit of playing with the dogs, long motorcycle rides to nowhere, naps in the recliner, and a baseball game.

The weather has been great, so the dogs have enjoyed being outside and wrestling around.  They had to make a quick trip to the vet (just a quick checkup) but not even that could dampen their spirits.  Then there was the long motorcycle ride.  East Tennessee has some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere and there really is nothing like hopping on the bike (motor or pedal – either on works!) and finding a winding road to ride on.  And the day was followed up by watching the Tennessee Smokies play some baseball.  The home plate umpire made some really bad calls right at the end of the game.  That brought manager Ryne Sandburg (yep – that Ryne Sandburg – the famous Cubs 2nd baseman) off the bench to have a polite discussion.  At least it appeared cordial.  The next thing you know, the umpire is tossing the Sandburg from the game and the Ryno puts on the best Billy Martin impersonation that I’ve ever seen.  Eventually, Sandburg walked off, but not before kicking a lot of dirt on home plate.  Billy himself would have been proud!  I personally believe that the umpire could have probably learned a thing or two from the hall of famer!  We won 5 to 3 and there was a nice fireworks show after the game.

Tomorrow is more Americana.  Bratwurst on the grill, some ice cold beer, some blackberry lemonade, home made apple pie, and some home made ice cream.  Out on the deck and enjoying this wonderful weather.  And we’ll finish it off by watching the Nascar drivers race under the lights at Daytona.

God I love this country!