Sunday, March 11, 2012

Marching Right Along

I feel like the year is going by too quickly and already I'm becoming an absent-minded blogger! Here is what we have been up to lately:

Jon is busy busy busy with school. He is one of the two executive editors this year for Sac State's literary journal and did the entire layout which has kept him very occupied. (It looks AMAZING!) Luckily it was sent off to print this week! I'm so proud of him for being so involved and that graduation is coming up in just 2 months. It really feels like we were just at BYU working on his bachelor's and now he is finishing grad school! I am thankful for the college years we have had to spend together and also glad to put them behind us :)

Margo has been her silly self as usual. I just love this dog!


She regularly plays with her toys (like her sock monkey below) rolls in blankets we leave on the floor and snuggles with us when we take naps. I am so thankful for her awesome attitude and keeping us laughing everyday :)


I am doing great! School has been awesome and I recently got an A on my midterm. Every time I take a new class I feel like I've found a new possible career path. I love learning new things and finding loves for things that I never knew existed before. Psychology has been totally fascinating and I definitely want to continue to study it after this. I probably wouldn't major in it, but the sections we have gone over so far in this general principles class are totally rad. I'm so glad to be able to go to school and have awesome teachers too. Deciding to go to Sierra when I started school again was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love that Jon supports my education too! I obviously really need it...


Aside from school and work, we have also somehow found time to keep up with friends and family! This weekend we celebrated our niece's 5th birthday at Chuck E Cheese. Jon and I actually had a great time! I don't even remember the last time I was at Chuck E Cheese, and even though I couldn't eat the pizza and was too big for the maze / playplace of awesome, we had a fatty bucket of tokens all to ourselves for playing games and earning tickets. Let me tell you; I totally kick butt at skeeball and shooting hoops. Jon won at the basketball game 4 out of 5 times, but that last time I left him in the dust! I was very proud of myself. We also played operation, racing games, water gun games, air hockey and a team shooting pirate game with ghosts and zombie skeletons. It was pretty legit. Between the two of us we probably won a couple hundred tickets. They all went to the birthday girl of course who ended up with a grand total of 1,600! Turning 5 is the best.


Jon has also been playing indoor soccer every week on a league with friends in the ward, and we recently hosted a break-the-fast which was St. Patrick's day themed. We love irish food! We are also taking a religion class through our church institute this semester and - oh yeah - moving. When do we have the time to sleep? Good question.

In other news we had our 20 week ultrasound this week. (milestone!) the baby weighs 11 oz (as demonstrated by the bag of water below). We are not finding out the gender, but the ultrasound was still amazing! It was my favorite part of this pregnancy so far.


The baby looks awesome and we got a lot of good pictures. We saw the different parts of the brain, the heart, the stomach, and the baby was sretching out their legs and arms as well as moving their mouth and we even got to see the eyes! It was very cool. I don't think I ever realized just how detailed ultrasounds are. Jon says the baby has my lips :) We also had an amazing tech, so that was a great blessing. She was super fun and very informative. I am so grateful for good accessible healthcare!

And just for all of you baby bump picture fanatics out there (and those friends who don't get to see me very often) here we are at 20 weeks:


Thanks for keeping up with the Alston's! Next stop: St. Patrick's day :)


Sunday, March 4, 2012

FACTS

Now that the news is out, I thought I would take this opportunity to share some facts surrounding Baby Alston and the upcoming excitement :)

Like, Fact 1) I promise not to turn this blog into baby-talk 24/7. I am taking advantage of this post now to spew baby news and then it's back to our regularly scheduled programming. YES the baby is going to be a huge part of our lives (forever...) but we are also US and it all started with me and Jon, so you will still see posts about the fun things we do and general updates - not just baby bump pictures. Sorry for all of you that are baby bump picture hungry!

Which brings me to Fact 2) I will NOT be posting sonograms on either FB or this blog. Ever. I assure you that the baby has a head, arms, legs, heartbeat and moves around regularly. Ultrasound pics will be for family :) I will also not post gross facts about what the baby is doing or use terms like "meconium" or "swallowing amniotic fluid" if I can help it. And there will be no creepy cartoon pictures of the dinosaur baby with the umbilical cord. I think all that stuff is fascinating - for me and Jon. Not everyone wants to see it, and if you've had a baby before then you already know how it goes :) Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Fact 3) I started feeling the baby move a couple days ago. It didn't feel creepy like I thought it might, and it didn't feel like butterflies either. I actually thought it felt more like a muscle spasm, but less annoying. Now that I know what I'm waiting for, I can feel it more often! The baby especially moves when I'm just sitting very still or laying down for bed at night. The baby also likes it when I eat haha.

Fact 4) Our baby was totally 100% planned! Everyone seemed surprised by this, but we just didn't broadcast that we were trying to have a baby, so I wanted to clear that up :) I always told Jon that people were going to think the baby was an accident because he was always so "anti-baby" but he would always say "That's fine, I'll tell people I lied because it was none of their business." haha. He is definitely nervous as anyone would be, but I promise you that this was a joint decision. We had actually been trying for almost a year, so although I was surprised when the test was finally positive, we were glad that it didn't take much longer. I feel SO blessed because I have had friends with many more challenges than us. No one really can explain how stressful and depressing it can be trying to have a baby...

Fact 5) I did not have ANY morning sickness at all. In fact, I didn't even take a pregnancy test until I was 16 weeks along. And at that time I thought I was more like 10 - 12 weeks. We went into the doctor for the first appt on Feb 24th and by ultrasound determined that the baby was actually 18 weeks! So I am almost halfway done. (What a blessing!)

Fact 6) Our 20 week ultrasound is on Tuesday March 6th and we will NOT be finding out the gender. We're going old-school and want it to be a surprise :) I think we're leaning towards the name "Margo Jr." for either a boy or girl.

Fact 7) Our due date right now is July 27th, although that may change by a couple of days once we have the 20 week ultrasound. I always said that I never wanted a Summer baby (because I get so much heat exhaustion anyway) so of course I should have known that it is exactly what I would get :) I really am excited because the baby's birthday will be close to mine, which is in August, and I LOVED Summer birthday parties as a kid! Plus, as a teacher Jon will most likely have Summers off, which means an awesome time for celebrating. It also will make it easier to decide when to start them in school. Good timing, baby. Good timing.

Fact 8) I know that this is something I don't really have control over, so I thought I would just throw it out there now and then I won't say another thing about it: I HATE the term "prego". It is one of my biggest biggest pet peeves. "Preggers" is up there too. It sets off something in my brain worse than nails on a chalkboard. That being said, I will not tear anyone's head off that says this to me in public, but just know I am cringing on the inside ;)

Fact 9) Margo has been fantastic so far! She regularly comes to sit or sleep on my belly now and Jon and I are pretty sure that she and the baby have telepathic conversations. I think she will be pretty jealous when the baby is here just because Margo is used to getting all of our attention. But I also think that she will be really protective and sweet. We have the best dog ever!

Fact 10) As of right now, I am NOT planning to go back to work after the baby is born - at least not as much as I have been. I have always wanted to be a SAHM, but now that I'm at a job I LOVE I just can't imagine leaving it altogether. I'm considering going back one or two days a week. My manager knows this and has been amazing :) I have the best job in the world. Of course when the baby comes I might be totally game-over and never want to work again, and she said that is totally fine. I'll keep you posted.

Fact 11) We will be moving. This month. It has been planned for a while that once our lease ended at this apartment in Orangevale we would be moving in with Jon's parents to save some money and catch up before we move to wherever Jon finds his career job. He also is graduating in May with his master's and we just didn't think it would be practical to stick ourselves in another lease when we can have more flexibility living in Loomis for a few months. If Jon finds a teaching job in the area then we will get an apartment or start looking for a house and stay around Placer/Sac counties. But otherwise it might be out of state and staying with his parents for now will be a better launch pad for us to make a possibly BIG move.

Fact 12) Our families have been so awesome in supporting us and being excited with us for this new baby! It has been an overwhelming last couple of weeks to find out that we're due at the end of July and we're catching up on doctor's appointments, lab work and physical exams. I am so grateful for awesome family who loves us and that will be able to support our baby too as we raise them in a gospel sharing home.

Fact 13) I have the bestest friends in the world! So far they have been more excited than I am! Between congratulations cards, scrapbook pages, maternity sewing patterns and baby blankets (more on that later) our little Baby Alston is already INCREDIBLY loved. I really appreciate all my friends for helping me feel motivated and creative.

Fact 14) Once the baby is here I really want to keep sharing our lives with you! BUT I am wary of baby pictures being posted online without a block. I know that when you are online at all (whether it be FB or email or blogging) you are taking a risk and having some of your personal info out there, but I have also tried to keep it limited; I don't add people I don't already know, I make our blog unsearchable, etc. However I am seriously considering making our blog private once the baby is born. I will keep you posted on if and when that will happen, but wanted to give you a heads up because I will need your email address to add you to the "approved reader's list" if you still want to have access. You won't need a google blogger account, I will just add your email to my list and it won't be shared with anyone else. This is still a few months away, so don't worry yet :) You can still stalk us freely for now.

Thank you for listening. I am glad to get that all out! Now back to regular posting :)

July, here we come!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

the journey

written and illustrated by steph
once there was a girl. she had long black hair and green eyes. she was looking for a best friend.


across town there was a boy. he had brown hair and wore chucks. he liked to play guitar.

the boy and girl ate tacos. he gave her his heart.


they were married in a castle on a hill.


they had many adventures.



the boy wrote books. the girl changed her hair.

 they even tamed a ferocious beast.

one day they decided that two and a half was not enough. 





so they will be welcoming a baby...



the end of this story, is only the beginning of another...