Sunday, April 29, 2012

16 Weeks

I've passed the 16 weeks mark already but the picture is from this weekend, when I was still 16 weeks! This pregnancy is going by much quicker than with Grace! Perhaps that is because I''m chasing my one year old around the house now or because we have so many things happening with us, but either way, I'm grateful for a quick (so far) pregnancy!

I've been feeling pretty good since the first trimester ended a couple of weeks ago. My morning sickness and extreme fatigue ended but I have had two cases of stomach things. One lasted ten days long and ended in me being dehydrated and having lower abdominal cramping/contractions for 3 days. My Dr. got onto me for not calling or coming in sooner, but I really felt fine until the cramping started. The other was a wicked case of food poisoning but it was fast and furious and I survived.

I felt the baby kick for the first time on Saturday, April 21st, when I was 15 weeks and 6 days along- alot earlier than I expected. Another thing that I did not expect so early was my belly "popping," at 16 weeks and 3 days! I am really annoyed because I did not pop with Grace until nearly 20 weeks and then it was cute and ALL baby! This time it is not all baby. It's squishy and just not fun. I read that this is normal with 2nd pregnancies though, as the stomach muscles are looser and much more relaxed, but still. I would have liked going for a week or two more. I'm still in all of my normal clothes though and I haven't gained an ounce yet, so that's saying something.

My cravings change day to day. I was really into grilled cheese but the food poisoning kicked that right out of me. Cereal and milk are high on my list along with PB&J and fresh fruit!

I'm looking forward to this month- finding out the gender, feeling more consistent movement, and having Ian be able to feel the baby!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Parents' Visit

On January 23rd, 2012, my parents were able to come for their first visit overseas. This was the first time we have seen them since April 7th of 2010! This was also the first time for them to meet, hold, and love on their first grandbaby!

What a special day it was! We arrived at the airport early and waited in the international arrivals waiting area. Grace was tired, as it was 10 pm and we had been out of the house all day. Time after time, a group of travelers would come through the long hallway and we would scan through them, impatiently, looking for my Mom and Dad. Finally, we spotted them and I thought I would not be able to stay on my side of the gate much longer! We passed Grace to my mom as soon as possible and it was a really sweet moment.

 We spent the first seven days of their visit at our house and around our small village like town. Mom and Dad got to enjoy the simple moments of every day life: diaper changes, nap times, bottles, bathtimes, walks to the grocery store, preparing foods overseas, and games and movies.

We installed Grace's Christmas present, a swing, in a door frame inside, and enjoyed her laughing and being content in it.

We also took a trip to a local camel farm...

 And fort!

We saw an oasis in the middle of the desert and marveled at the centuries old "Thelij" system used to divert the scarce water to the land hat was being used to grow food.

We also visited a local park where a small cave is. The boys go o go "go-karting," which ended up being slow 4 wheelers!

The last three days of their visit, we went to the town where Grace was born to show them the hospital and a fort there,

before traveling to Abu Dhabi to see the Grand Mosque (and yes, it looks a little bit like Aggraba from Aladdin!) The women are asked to wear the Abaya (black covering dress,) and Shayla (hair covering,) while on the premises. It was hot and my mom and I were glad to be done wearing our get up!

Finally, on our last two days together, we took them to Dubai to see the many sights there! We took them to the Dubai Mall, the world's largest mall, and to At The Top, an elevator ride to (nearly) the top of the Burj Al Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! (Seen in the new Mission Impossible.)

We also took them to see Ski Dubai (the indoor ski park in a mall, to our favorite mall to do some shopping, and to a cultural fair! We drove around and showed them the Atlantis hotel, the Palm Frond Islands, and other notable sights in Dubai.

Mom and Dad, we loved having you visit us! We can't wait until the next time you visit and we are living in a nice, big city!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Grace's First Birthday Party!

Grace's first birthday party was a simple yet beautiful event. We held it at a local park, since our apartment is too tiny to comfortably hold more than 10 people or so.

I did a yellow and pink theme, with splashes of red, but had a hard time finding supplies in the light pink and yellow that I was looking for- party supplies are hard to come by here. It ended up looking a little more circus themed than I wanted, but I was determined to not compare this party with the magazine worthy ones I see online.

I made shirley temple cupcakes with a cherry buttercream frosting and displayed them on a homemade cake stand (gift boxes spray painted and decorated with a felt bunting.)

On the front of the table I had her month by month photo banner hung and our menu consisted of pulled barbque chicken sandwiches, fruit salad, potato salad, fresh veggies, pink rice krispy treats, and glass bottles of coke.

The day was really windy, which made it difficult to keep the table cloths, banner, and bunting all in place, not to mention my hair. But the wind took the edge off of the desert heat and everyone enjoyed themselves!

Our birthday present to Grace was an inflatable pool, so we brought it out to the park and put a couple of inches of water in it to use as a splash pool. The kids were allowed to reach in and play, but not get in, since it was too windy and cold! Another activity we had was a bean bag toss set. I used 10 formula cans, spray painted them in and out yellow or red, then used duct tape around the edge since it was a bit sharp. I had been hand sewing a set of bean bags but it was taking forever. My friend, A, offered to sew and fill them for me, and the whole set looks amazing!

Grace's smash cake was a success! She looked at it hesitantly for a moment, then dug right in! She ae only a fifth of the cake and then was in sugar overload!

The whole day was a success and we had a good time celebrating Grace's first year with us! The sun set and we headed home before Grace got to open her gifts, but our friends came to our house and opened them with us- Grace got some wonderful gifts from friends and family!

I'm not sure if I would do a park birthday party again, as it was alot of work loading, transporting, unloading, and setting all of that food and decorations up! our hope is that our next home will have a little more space for entertaining, both inside and out!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Second Time Around

First of all, thank you to everyone for your Congratulations and words of encouragement in regards to my pregnancy announcement! I couldn't wait to 'go public' with our announcement but I wanted to wait until the second trimester and then it took awhile to get the word out to our friends and family!

So here's the story on Baby Galloway #2....

Around the time Grace turned four months old, I started missing being pregnant and having a newborn. Ian and I were realistic though, for our situation, and decided to wait until the timeline would line up so that the baby wouldn't be born until after we were done with language school and moved to Abu Dhabi. My cycle hadn't even started back so I was content to enjoy this season of our lives.

When Grace was eight months old, my cycle was normal, I was almost done nursing, and we were ready to start trying. Keeping in mind that it took nearly 13 months of trying (with a couple of months off in the middle,) in order to conceive Grace, we began what we thought would be at least a six month process.

My parents visited at the end of that first month, and on the last day of their visit, I realized I was "late," but only by 2 or 3 days. Ian ran out to the pharmacy and bought two tests and we went to sleep in our hotel thinking that my cycle would start that night and we wouldn't need the tests.

The next morning, February 1st, I woke up and slipped into the hotel bathroom. My mind flashed back to the dozen tests I had taken with Grace, the stress, and the months of disappointment at negative results. I didn't think anything of that morning. I took the test and before I could sit it on the counter next to me, my eyes glanced at the positive result.

I sat there for a minute...shocked. Then I wandered out into our hotel room with a goofy grin on my face. Ian and Grace were snuggling in bed and Grace was doing something cute. Ian looked up, thinking my smile was for Grace, and began telling me what she was doing. I went back and forth between the bathroom and our bedroom in shock, trying to find the words to tell Ian. Finally I slipped into bed beside Ian and Grace and just told him, "Well, we're pregnant!"

Ian wasn't surprised at all (how, I have no idea!) but I was! We spent the morning with my parents at our favorite mall, had lunch at Chili's, and tried to find the perfect moment to tell them. The trouble was, my mom was having stomach issues and kept having to run off to the bathroom, right as I was about to announce the big news! Finally, after doing some shopping for Ian in a Men's Express, we stood in the hallway of the mall deciding where to go next. Figuring this was as good a time as any, I told my parents that we had some news. "I'm pregnant!" They were overjoyed and beyond surprised! It was so special being able to tell them in person! We had told all of our friends and family over Skype with Grace, so this was such a great opportunity and was totally in God's timing!

A week or so later we told Ian's parents on skype. They weren't surprised at all- they had a feeling about it (really? because someone should have let me in on this "feeling" thing, because I had no clue!) I was able to tell my sister and best friends over skype within the next month or so. I told my closest friend here, A, about it on my birthday, February 16th. I was sick with a stomach bug and was feeling just awful. I told her how I wasn't feeling good and she asked if I could be pregnant. Not wanting to lie, I told it "it's possible!" She wanted to immediately go buy a test but I told her that wasn't necessary, because I was pregnant! Her response was alot of hugs, smiles, and yelling "Shut Up!"

I'm fifteen week pregnant now and feeling good! The first trimester was much more difficult than in my pregnancy with Grace. I was nauseous all of the time, had heartburn, and was so exhausted! I didn't have any morning sickness with Grace, but this baby is very different! I found myself craving everything I could not get over here....bacon, bar-b-que, girl scout cookies, dirt cake, and salsa. I even cried over cookies once, when our friends had shared some thin mints with us, because all I wanted to do was eat the entire package! haha.

My doctor was SHOCKED when I walked through the doors to see him at 12 weeks. He had seen on his schedule that I had an appointment, but just figured that I was sick. He had just gotten my file open on his desk when I walked into the room and he turned to look at me with saucer eyes and an open mouth.

I know, I know. My baby wasn't even a year old and I was there for my THREE MONTH appointment. Walking the halls of the hospital was a surreal feeling- I mean, I was just there a year earlier doing the same things for Grace! 

I'm much more relaxed about this pregnancy and have realistic expectations about what I can accomplish. I'll be happy if I am able to get a belly shot and short update once a month. I am not reading the pregnancy books religiously and I'm not worrying about every little bump or strange feeling.

Grace has no idea. And she probably will barely notice a difference when the new baby comes, as she will barely be 18 months old. I'm sure her life will look different, but luckily, with them being so close together, our prayer is that they will be able to be each other's buddy.

We'll find out the gender the last week of May (I don't like this kind of surprise! Why not find out?!) but will probably be going with a gender neutral nursery, so that we can use it again. We'll have to have a second crib as I don't want Grace out of her crib at only 18 months. I already have a color palette and theme picked out and I can't wait to see my thoughts become a reality! We'll decide on a name after we find out the gender, because, honestly, we don't like wasting the energy on agreeing on two names when we only need one!

We're so excited about this little one and can't wait to meet him/her in early October!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Counting Down

It's no secret that we have a lot of big changes in our lives coming up. I have a perpetual countdown calendar going in my head for about 10 major events, some of which are...

58 days until...
We finish language school!

60 days until...

We can begin moving into our new home in Abu Dhabi!

90 days until....

I finish my summer term of part time language learning and am officially done with 2 years of concentrated Arabic language learning!

91 days until...
We say goodbye, leave this home behind, and move completely to Abu Dhabi!

173 days until...
We welcome our newest addition!

Baby Galloway #2 is expected around October 7th, 2012!
We couldn't be more excited for this little blessing!