Tuesday, June 28, 2011

20 Weeks = Halfway

20 Weeks (3 days)

Baby Size: Our little guy is the size of a cantalope from head to rump:)

Total Weight Gain: +1 lb - at last appointment I had lost a pound from previous appointment but am still up 1 lb. Need to gain 4-5 lbs by my 24 week check up.

Maternity Clothes: Not yet! However, there are some pants that no longer button. I would say I can wear about half of them and the other ones I use the hair tie trick with.

Sleep: Still sleeping amazing! Best sleep I've ever gotten.

Exercise: 5 Days a Week - Walking approximately 15 miles a week, squats, light dumbbells and Yoga.

Best Moments: Watching Nick's face and reaction when we found out we were having a boy....one of the neatest moments of my life.

Worst Moments: Boating with my friends from college and having to put a swim suit on!

Food Cravings: Loving Salty and Spicy...but no strong cravings yet.

What I Miss: Summer Cocktails

Looking forward to: Buying little boy things and FOURTH OF JULY weekend:)

Symptoms: Fatique & headaches...but nothing too terrible at all.

Also here are some pictures from this past weekend. On Friday I drove to Waukon, IA to visit some friends from College. Saturday we rented a Pontoon Boat, played Sand Volleyball, ate lunch on a deck, and jammed to some SERIOUS 90's tunes. Baby Larson made his swim suit debut :) The rest of them camped that night but I headed back to celebrate our friend Clint's DIRTY 30! We made shirts and everything!! Sunday is Nick and I's day and one of my favorites of the week. We laid out, did some yardwork (well he did while I watched Twilight and napped:)), got groceries and DQ and rented a movie. Great way to end the weekend. So thankful for the people in my life. It's so important to spend the most time on the people and relationships that mean something to you. I feel incredibly lucky and make sure to not take any of it for granted. Looking forward to the long weekend ahead and the 4th of July which is one of my favorite Holidays of the year!

20 weeks...babies first time on a boat

UIU peacocks :)

Group Shot on the boat

Carlyn, Tara and I on the boat
UIU ladies

Nick and I at Clint's 30th Bday Shin Dig

The Boys - Hubby, Birthday Boy and Dad

Group Shot

Clint and I

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


BOY!!! A very healthy and active little boy who has already stolen our hearts. I was a nervous wreck the whole time worrying that everything was where it was supposed to be and the little one was healthy. Everything is perfect and he's just handsome as ever. Seeing Nick's face is something I will never forget. I have never seen him more proud and excited. We definitely got even closer in those few moments. Baby's heart rate was 160 bpm. I haven't gained any weight which is a little worrysome. The doctor said that I need to gain 4-5 lbs by my next appointment but that the baby is measuring completely healthy and normal so it must just be taking all my nutrients. I work out but mostly light jogs or walking and eat everything in sight! She said if I gain a pound a week from here on out I will be up 20 lbs by the time the baby comes which is good. I am on an EATING MISSION STARTING NOW! I don't care if I gain 60 lbs as long as this little boy is healthy. So without further adieu here is our little boy (I love the one of his little feet):

Here's also a few videos of the little guy moving around:

Lasty we announced the gender to our families a little different. We didn't want to make it a big thing but decided to have them over for pizza and then share the news. I filled a big box with blue balloons and weighted one of them down with one that says "IT'S A BOY". My nephew Brayden made it known to me he wanted a boy cousin or twins (thank God just one in there). So I let him open the box for the balloons to fly out and reveal what Nick and I are having. Really neat moment to share with our family. The other half of the family who resides in Lousiana, Davenport and Florida are going to get this video so it was like they were with us too. Short and sweet but another very neat moment. Nick couldn't be there because of work :( Here is the video:

And here is a very proud Daddy to be after he got off work...

Grandma June :)
There isn't a word in the English language that describes what I feel and how thankful I am for this little boy. I can't wait to meet him.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

27 Tid Bits & 19 Weeks Update

Today marks my 19th week of pregnancy and just 1 week shy of the half way point! I can't believe it. All of these pregnancy hormones have me more sappy than usual (for those of you who know me, commercials, posters, stories, even Disney Movies pretty much anything, bring the water works). Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about what got me here. All the people and parts of my life that went this way or that way that led to this moment right now. So,I decided to make a list of 27 defining moments, dates, or just random things about me and my life that make me me....that brought me to right now....
1. August 12, 2005 - Most pinacle moment in my life thus far - complete path changer.
My Sisters Olivia and Ashley
2. I have 2 sisters - Ashley (25) and Olivia (10)  3. My nephew Brayden makes me belly laugh more than most adults.
4. I think having your heart broken at least once is devastatingly painful, completely unforgettable, and absolutely neccessary.

UNI - 2004/2005 Season
5. My parents were divorced in 1992 when I was 8 years old and are both remarried. 6. Receiving a scholarship to play basketball at UNI and the experiences and places those 3 years took me will forever be some of my most favorite times. They were also underappreciated until they were over.  7. I love Chinese Food (YUMMM...craving this big time right now)    
8. In high school I was a swimmer, played basketball, ran track, was in show choir and on the dance team.   9. 3 of my greatest losses = Grandpa Faas, Grandpa Vanover and my Uncle Ray. 10. I absolutely love to sing and dance. Just in the last 4 years have I been comfortable enough to start singing in front of people by getting involved in musical theatre and hitting up those karaoke joints!  

Follies 2008 singing "Fame"

Follies 2008= Singing "Fame"
11. Basketball - Consumed most of my childhood, introduced me to some of my greatest friends, paid for my education, took me to places I never would have gone without it, fulfilled my competitive nature, broke my heart, and rewarded me tremendously. Greatest game in the world.
12.  I became a UIU Peacock in 2005 - played basketball, met some of my life long friends, and met my now husband. PROUD to be a Peacock:)  13. I broke my right foot during practice in 2006 and had to redshirt what should have been my senior year.
2006 vs Iowa State
14. January 3, 2007 - Had a 2 hour conversation with my then friend Nicholas William Larson at a party and we've been together ever since. Had #1 and #13 not happened...there never would have been a Nick and Amanda Larson 4 years later.

Nick and I - Winter 2007

15. I'm an incredibly energetic, up beat and happy gal (ALMOST all of the time)
16. I pray everyday and am a follower of Christ.
17. On January 9th, 2010, on my 26th birthday, Nick proposed.
18. November 6, 2010 - I married the most wondeful, honest man who taught me how to trust (and save money haha)

Wedding Day - 11/06/10
19. I think forgiveness, whether that be for yourself or for others, is the only way to move forward. 20.  August 6, 2007 - I got my first grown up job at United Fire Group ( I am still with this company 4 years later and it has brought me so many amazing opportunities. Especially in April when I received a promotion and am loving it.21. My friendships are super important to me. Any and every moment that I met each of my friends over the last 22 years....Erskine, McKinley, Washington, UNI, Upper Iowa, United Fire Group, on a roadtrip in Oklahoma City, Davenport, Cedar Rapids.....wherever we met or parted, I'm thankful for all of you. You all make me better.
22. 3841 Vine Avenue -the Address to the House that Built Me.  23. 393 Noehren Hall -   Freshman year room assignment and dorm where I was put with my teammate who became my best friend Morgan Nelson (now DeVries) :) We had Josh Hartnet posters all over our walls and would pretend to be sleeping when unwanted boys would knock on our door!   24. March 5, 2011 - Nick and I  find out WE'RE PREGNANT after work with my wine glass in hand.
Morgan and I tailgating 2005

We're definitely PREGNANT
25. Nick and I together have seen probably 50 different country concerts (I do like other music but these are the BEST concerts).
26. I hate the word moist (sick, I don't even like typing it.)
27. This hasn't happened yet but on or about November 12, 2011 my life will change forever when we welcome our little one to the world. I hope and pray that I am a good Mom who teaches him/her to be a good person, have a big heart, keep family important, and to love God.

SO there's my sappy pants blog. I promise I won't throw my pregnancy hormones on you every chance I get. I just have really been thinking about these big moments or times in my life and how crazy it all is. You never think that when these things are happening they are getting you to the place God had in mind the whole time. I could have probably come up with 100 more....but I figured 27 was fitting since that's how many years I've been around. :)
19 Weeks

Baby Size: The little chalupa is the size of a mango and is still being measured from head to rump. Soon the measurements will be head to toe!!

Total Weight Gain: 2-3 lbs - will know officially at Tues. appointment

Maternity Clothes: Not yet but I'm sure they are coming. My pants seem to sit below where the belly is growing.

Sleep: I think I sleep better now than I ever have in my life and very DEEP!

Exercise: Great week of working out. Lot's of running, walking and weights. Have one more week of Prenatal Yoga which I will be signing up for again!

Best Moments: Watching my belly move when the baby kicks and feeling the flutters all day.

Worst Moments: Putting my bikini on and laying out on the deck - EEK!

Food Cravings: FRUIT and eggs and Hu Hot (Thanks Morgan:))

What I Miss: My abs.

Looking Forward to: Our appointment on Tuesday when we find out boy or girl!

Symptoms: Feeling great and having no symptoms other than hunger.

Also.... I updated my belly in the "Expanding Belly" Page...this is flying by! ONLY 3 DAYS  until we know if we're having a baby boy or a baby girl. I just want to start buying stuff finally! Either will be wonderful!! Our appointment is at 10:30 am on Tuesday but we are having family over Tuesday night to share the news in a special way. I will update Tuesday night with the news and video of our announcement to our family (which I will also be sending to Louisiana to the Larsons so it feels like they are with us too...we MISS THEM!)



Monday, June 13, 2011

Rolling With the Punches

I am having a really hard time believing we are half way through June already! Time goes faster and faster every year...and I hear once you have kids it speeds up even more :(

New look to the front of our home!
Yogi is in the window:)
 *We had a great weekend! I went to my friend Ashley's baby shower which had babies everywhere getting me more and more excited. Ashley only has 7 weeks left until her little girl is born...her pregnancy has flown by and I'm so excited for her and Andy! We also went to a music festival in our friend Clints home town and had a blast, and on Sunday grilled out at my Moms with my sister and nephew! We also painted our hideous front door and our address numbers on the house, hung the barn star, put in our solar lights, dug up this horrid rock/bush/mess that the previous owners created in our backyard, and did some cleaning:) Next up, kitchen floors, light fixtures, decorating the top of the cupboards and my photo wall! Getting this stuff done before that baby joins us if it's the last thing we do! Also....the Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA Champions which completed the weekend! The team with one All Star came out on top against a team with 3....I'd much rather be the 6th man for Dallas then Dwayne or Lebron today!

*So my workouts have changed as we've gone along as I knew they would. I just really am worried about the damage on my bladder so I'm always conscious of this and I can now immediatley feel that pressure when I run or bounce. This week I am doing:
My new favorite place
 Monday/Thursday/Sun -  3 days of walking and/or jogging 2-3 miles either on the trail or at the gym
Tuesday/Sat- 2 days of swimming
Wednesday-  Prenatal Yoga Class
Mon/Tues/Wed/Thur/Sun-  4 of those days/night I do my at home routine of stairs, squats, push ups and stretching. All I do is walk up and down my stairs 10 times, do one legged squats at 3 sets of 10 for each leg, pushups 3 sets of 10, and then I do 20 minutes of stretching. It's very minimal but I feel great afterwards like I got my body and my heart pumping without jolting my body around.
 I decided every week I will plan out what I'm going to do depending on how I'm feeling and what baby is telling me is ok for them. He/She is already running the show:)

Pregnant Together - 8 weeks apart:)
*I have been waiting patiently to make this special announcement! My best friend Morgan finally let the world in on her little secret that she too is expecting! We are only 8 weeks apart and this will be her and her husbands 2nd child :) I knew there was a strong possibility that we may be pregnant together because when Nick and I found out that we were expecting I knew they were trying for baby #2. I am so happy for her and selfishly excited for myself! Our little ones will either be BFF's and partners in crime or they will fall in love and get married!! Congratulations Morgan, Jay and soon to be big brother Carter!

*Only a week from tomorrow until we know boy or girl. This last weekend I looked at paint samples and have a pretty good idea the direction we'll go either way for their room. We have started talking about names more but decided not to get to much into the conversation until we know if we need boy names or girl names. I just can hardly stand the wait! I did have my first actual labor dream, which was also my first boy dream. However I still am clueless as to what I think we are having. I just want a healthy baby:) Nick says his gut says boy but he would love a little girl just as much. My gut says "I'm hungry" and is telling me nothing about our babies gender!

*We also had a cool moment this weekend. I have been feeling the baby flutter around in there for a week or two now. But this weekend I looked down and one side of my stomach was flat and the other had a tiny bulge. So I got to show Nick that the baby was favoring the right side of my belly. It was neat to get to show him something because so far with me barely showing and it being too early to feel outside kicks, he hasn't really got to experience anything yet. Today I sat and watched my stomach move for about 20 minutes....I just smile and wonder whether it's their foot or hand or if they are doing back flips in there:) I bought a few summer dresses this weekend that will come in handy as the belly grows. I am currently still in my regular prepregnany clothes but I have a feeling in the weeks ahead my bella band will be needed! I can't wait to watch my belly grow:)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

RANDOM Wednesday

Thought that I would share some random thoughts and photos running through my overthinking scatter brain.

 For starters....WOWZA is it HOT! Good golly this past week has taken your breath away when you step outside!! And I swear when you're pregnant it always feels about 5-10 degrees warmer. I'm all about summer and I'm all about being outdoors, but my couch and the A/C seem to be winning this battle. YAAA for it cooling off the next couple days.

My precious dog Yogi finally got his hair cut this week. I had let it go entirely too long and I'm confident he had several pounds of fur! I always picture him looking like Gizmo from the Gremlins movie when he's super hairy..although now looking at it, Gizmos hair isn't really all that long. But I think he's adorable so I'm just going with it.  I also cannot believe how different Yogi looks from when he was a puppy! Doesn't even look like the same dog! When I bought him he was a more like a ginger...apparently he is sneaking into my salon and getting highlights when I do because now he is a blonde. Anyway, he's a much happier puppy with the hair short!

Yogi as a Puppy

Yogi now - 2 1/2
Yogi now - 2 1/2

I've nicknamed my belly "Houdini". Sometimes it's out and proud and sometimes it's gone completely. No exaggerations it can go from the picture I posted in my most recent blog, to almost nothing. Mornings and afternoons is usually when it pulls a Houdini. Evenings and nights it seems to want to come out a little more. I can always tell a little bit because it's my body. It doesn't bother me anymore because I know it's there and  at 17 1/2 weeks it doesn't neccessarily have to be out just yet. For this being our first baby, and my height etc, anywhere from 20-24 weeks is when I think I will have an obvious belly bump and it will be out morning, noon and night!

Current HORRENDOUS orange door

Barn Star for front of House

Nick and I cannot stop buying stuff for our house or doing things to improve our house. I suppose it's the nesting in us. I posted last week about our patio furniture...well apparently that opened a whole can of worms! Nick is working on our yard non stop and I will have to give him a shout out as it looks fantastic! Aside from the patio furniture, yard work and planting flowers everything else was kind of on the "To Do"/"House Projects" list (which is on the fridge..I'm a list maker!) Last night I talked my Mom into going to Menards with me to get some paint for the front door...it's currently orange and looks like a popsicle and I hate it. I want to paint it Cranberry so I can put up the barn star I got. Anyway....several hours later and a bonus trip to Target - I arrived home with 8 solar lights for the front walkway, 2 light fixtures to replace current ones, 2 citronella candles for the patio, a floor sampling for what I hope to do to our floor very soon, a Welcome mat for the front door, and a patio lounge chair. Nick works until 11 pm so I left a note on the door from the garage into the house with all my purchases as well as a "See Deck" for the last purchase. He had been wanting the lounge chair so I put a "Happy Early Fathers Day" sign on it. He was a happy camper! Since the outside is done, next project is the Kitchen!! Floors, 2 new light fixtures, and knobs/handles on all the cabinets and drawers. I cannot WAIT to start on the babies room once we know what we're having.

SPEAKING of not knowing. The countdown is now down to 13 days!! Will we be team pink or team blue!??! Although the anticipation is killing me I must admit it's going by pretty fast!! I can't wait to know:)

  Well that's it for my randomness today:) I added a Boy/Girl poll on the right panel! Make your guess...I truely don't have a clue:) Hope everyone is having a good week!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Welcome Bumpie Larson!

First and foremost I have to announce that the Baby Larson Bump has arrived!! The other day I was making dinner and looked down and it was just there:) I actually FEEL pregnant now. It's definitely more prominent in the evening/night then any other time of the day but I just love that our baby is growing. I updated the growing belly pics but here is another one:

17 weeks
Nick and I are pretty excited and I think it makes it a little more "real" for him. I also felt the first few flutters this past week which was also very exciting. I can't even describe what it feels like when this happens. I smile and then immediately cry. It's a miracle having a baby grow inside of you.

Every weekend we are trying to get something done around the house. Lately we've really been working on the outside getting a  lot of yard work done and planting flowers etc. Nick has done a great job getting our yard in shape. I'm so thankful he likes doing that stuff and knows what he's doing because I'm pretty sure if I was in charge we would have a brown yard! We have been talking about getting patio furniture since we moved in. We didn't get around to it last summer which was our first summer in our home. We saw a good deal at Target so decided to just go ahead and get it over with. Of course we decided to do this on a 90 degree day and put it together on our patio. I certainly needed my patience cap! It's no secret that when Nick and I have to put together anything (entertainment centers, beds, kitchen tables etc) we tend to get a TAD frustrated :)

Work in progress
Nick hard at work
  He has about as much patience as my pinky finger and he knows it. We did get this project done in record time and were very happy with the results. Just one more project to check off!! Only have to get the kitchen floors done, light fixtures, new chair for living room, baby room completed, handles on the cabinets, work on the basement and painting a few rooms left!! HAHA..and all before baby officially joins the family. I have confidence we can get it all done! Saturday night we got to enjoy our new patio furniture after grilling out. Our friend Clint came over and we determined that the patio is going to be seeing a lot of us this summer. There's just something about sitting outside, drinking a beer (not me of course:(), and grilling out!

Other than that, we spent some time at my Dad's "Barage", cleaned the house, got some fantastic breakfast at "Rileys", and I ran/walked the trail yesterday but it was ENTIRELY too hot and my body was telling me never again in that heat!! I also had a headache about 80% of the weekend:( I just can't seem to get rid of them! Tonight Nick and I are going to walk, get some DQ and rent a movie. Pretty good weekend! 16 days until we join Team Pink or Team Blue!! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Major Decision as a Parent...CHECK!

Memorial weekend went great! Lot's of time with family and friends, bonfires, movies, more nesting, yardwork & flower planting, workouts, and even caught some rays on our deck so that I don't look like Casper! Since Nick works 2-11 pm now, it was so nice to get 3 whole days with him. Grandpa Jack and Grandma Dolly came to stay with us Saturday and we went to my dads "Bar-age" and sat around the bonfire and did some karaoke which was a blast. I also got to see a little bit of my friend Erin who was here from Minnesota! We had some good times with the fake mustaches my Step Mom purchased:) Sunday we got to spend some time with our friends Blake and Brooke who built an amazing fire pit in their backyard. We hadn't seen them in a while so it was nice to spend some time with them. Nick and Blake played bags using the backyard spotlight and Brooke and I made smores!! I love Memorial Day, I feel so lucky to be an American and am so thankful to everyone who has ever fought, fights, or will fight for us.

Saturday Nick and I went and worked out together at the MAC. Recently I have been really nervous about running because of all the stories I've heard about the damage it can do to your bladder and joints. So as of late I've stuck to fast paced walking at high inclines, biking, weights, yoga etc. Saturday I decided I was going to try running again and I'm so glad I did. I walked 4 minutes and then ran 4 minutes for 35 minutes. When I walked I walked at a very high incline and when I ran, I only ran at 6.0 mph. I think I'm going to keep this up until I feel uncomfortable. I also have really enjoyed walking the Boyson Road Trail. I walk to Thomas Park and back and according to my Mother it's about 2.3 miles. I hope to do this until the end of my pregnancy:)

Every morning I wake up and feel my tummy hoping I feel the sudden "pop" that everyone is talking about, and so far every morning is a disappointment. I definitely look bloated but I'd say it's more of a pudge look than a bump! Nick thinks I'm crazy and my Mom laughs every time I stand up and say "See, there's a bump there right?" I'm trying to be patient but I can't help but worry that I have a malnourished child. BRING ON THE ICE CREAM and COOKIES:) The doctor says I have nothing to worry about but I will feel much better when I have something there that proves there's a little person in there. I'm 16 1/2 weeks so there's still time. I can't help but be envious of all the beautiful mommies to be with cute little bumps!! SO I'm currently on bump watch patrol. I cannot wait until I can upload a TRUE bump picture! Currently, it appears I have eaten one too many twinkies! However, this weekend I am uploading more pictures regardless...but hoping a little something pops out in the next few days!

Yesterday I met with the first (and last) in home daycare provider that I stumbled upon randomly on craigslist. The prices seemed too good to be true and I was a little leery as usually if it seems too good to be true...it is! I took my Mom along as she and I walked the trail just before and Nick couldn't come because of work. Plus I figured she has much more experience in this department! We sat down and talked to her for about a half hour. She has 2 children of her own and one on the way in July. She currently watches an 8 week old baby and will have two more school aged children starting this month. Her home was clean and organized, she was personable and I loved how she interacted with her own children. She's strong in her faith, and said there were not any sex offenders within a 10 miles radius (which is good to know considering I live a mile away!!). She also has unbelievable prices and does not charge more for infants. She only charges you when your child is there. So if the baby is sick or I'm sick and we don't take him/her, we don't pay. She has a sign in and out sheet to keep track of time and gives you a statement every week with the hours she watched your child and what you owe. You can pay weekly, bi weekly or monthly. She is just incredibly accomodating and you can tell she understands the stress of finding someone to care for your children and how much it can cost. I hear people pay as much as $175 a week for daycare. She decided to do this because she couldn't find anyone to accomodate her two children at an affordable price. She is a certified provider and also CPR certified.  She also can care for your children 1st, 2nd or 3rd shifts Monday through Friday!

1. Only 2 minutes from Nick and I's home (BONUS #1)
2. Great neighborhood (BONUS #2)
3. Clean environment (BONUS #3)
4. Price (BONUS #4)
5. Only Pay when your child is there (BONUS #5)
6. Friendly Christian Woman who I feel I can trust (BONUS #6)

There are probably several other Bonuses but those are the ones that stuck out. My Mom also approved which I suppose should be the biggest Bonus of all. I felt really good when I left there. Having been raised in an in home daycare, I felt really strongly about going that route. I like knowing who's going to be watching my baby every day. There's also no deposit or any hidden fees. She was very genuine and I've already given her the green light as far as caring for our baby come January when I go back to work. I of course waited to talk with Nick about it and he approved as well. It feels so good to have this taken care of. Yes, it's super early but I couldn't pass this up. It wasn't too good to be true it really was just THAT good. And we have officially made our first big parenting decision (big sighs)...confident this is at least one decision we didn't mess up:)

Still counting down the days (and writing out each day on my calendar) to our Ultrasound/Gender appointment. Only 20 more days! It's so exciting thinking about it, just as I'm sure it is for those that wait until the due date. Either way I think that it's an exciting surprise. Funny how time goes so fast but when you're waiting for a date 20 days away, it slows way down. My headaches have actually gotten worse. I suppose I shouldn't complain since I managed to avoid morning sickness for the most part. Not the most pleasant feeling but there's not much I can do about it so I just take them as they come. I think Nick is OVER the headaches:) Can't say I'm too much fun to be around when I have one. We continue to nest and clean and work on the yard. This weekend we are finally getting patio furniture which we've talked about for a year now. Next is getting the floors done! Started looking for new cars this week. Found a couple we like but trying to be patient to get the best bang for our buck. Looking around here and in Davenport and comparing prices. We love the Ford Edges, Chevy Equinoxes and Saturn Vues at the moment. Looking for a small to mid sized SUV with FOUR doors...as my 2 door Cobalt will not do the job with a baby to get in and out of the car.
Overall, pretty productive week :) 16 weeks 4 days and counting. So thankful.