MD3 is now officially a GIRL!

And she's a happy baby already! We could see her smile and she had her mouth open and moving! It was the cutest thing ever. We've got a future comedienne in here. Telling jokes and making herself laugh...she takes after me already!

MD guessed GIRL from the beginning, so I must give credit where credit is due. And the 12 other of you who said GIRL, you can now have the satisfaction of knowing you were right. Thanks for playing!

My Dad said, "Oh great, another shopping partner for you and your mom!" In honor of that, I must now go and do some online shopping for fun, girly pink stuff!

Thank you all for being excited! Even those of you who don't know me. How cool to have such nice people to share in this special time!



Polls are now closed.

It appears as though the majority of you - 17 to be exact - believe that our baby is a BOY.

13 of you said GIRL.

That's 30 total votes! Wow, thank you!

WE WILL KNOW TOMORROW (squeal!) and I shall report the outcome and let you know which batch of voters was correct.

I'm so excited I can barely stand it!


17 weeks.

Here is the only photo that's been taken of my belly so far. Taken two weeks ago, I'll be 19 weeks on Friday. I'm mad at me. I simply must do this more often. Because 20 weeks from now, 20 years from now, it will be too late. I can't have that.

I've never shown this much skin on the Internet. My head is cut off to protect the innocent.

P.S. Guess whose husband showed them how to get photos off the camera and onto the computer? There will be no stopping me now!

P.P.S. There is only 16 hours left to vote on what you think the sex of the baby is. Does the belly give any indication?


Baby Poll.

What do you think our baby is? Please provide your guess to the right.

The ultrasound appointment is scheduled for next Friday at 10! I shall reveal the results shortly thereafter.

(This is exciting!)


It's been recommended that I start posting pregnancy information. And I think that's a darn good idea. I'm mad at myself for not taking a picture of my belly yet, so in the interim, I shall use this sweet photo.

Here's where I'm at:
  • As of today, Wednesday, July 15, I am 17.5 weeks pregnant. I will be 18 weeks on Friday.
  • I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and so far I have gained 11 pounds.
  • The baby's heartbeat was going at 156 beats per minute (Yes, I am aware of the old wives' tale on heart rate.)
  • We can find out the sex next week! That was a huge deal for me yesterday.
  • The doctor I was seeing moved to another state. May have to get a boy doctor. Still debating that one. Luckily the nurse practioner I've seen for years (she was in the delivery room when I was born!) is still there.
  • My clothes are just now getting to the point of not fitting, yet I'm still trying to squeeze into them for as long as I can. Shirts are really gapping at the bust and I'm just doing my best to not provide a free show at work. I haven't buttoned my pants in about two weeks. I have been wearing maternity jeans, which I love! That full panel thing is tres comfy! All pants should be like that.
  • I'm trying to walk on the treadmill a couple times a week and lift 5-pound weights.
  • I'm not craving any weird things, but I'm still eating the heck out of fruit - you name it, cherries, grapes, apples, kiwi, bananas - all of it.
  • Still drinking lots of orange juice.
  • I haven't felt any flutters yet, but I'm eagerly anticipating that moment.
  • I'm no longer tired all the time. Except for when it's really hot outside.
  • I'm ready to start buying stuff! We already have a swing and a pack 'n play that we got from a friend of my Mom's. Which we've had since Week 10.
  • My place of business has a child care center and we got word yesterday that we are off the waiting list and are in for Spring '10! The child care center was one of the first places that I called when I found out I was pregnant. The place fills up fast. Like, a year in advance! It'll be nice to have the baby right here. I can see the building from my window.

Um, I think that's about it for now.


Ciao, bellas!

Our trip to Italy has been booked, the plane tickets have been purchased, and I've been working on my Italian, as the title of this post clearly indicates!

I still can't believe we're going. And that we're going so soon! Normally people plan these trips months, even years, in advance. Not my family, we leave next month! I won't say exactly when, because you know the Internets, there are probably people stalking our compound as I type. You can't trust people you follow on Twitter these days :) It's just a joke, I fully trust all 27 of my followers, you seem like good people.

The part I'm most looking forward to is our time in Venice. Riding a gondola in Venice was on my list of things to do before I pass. And that sounds a lot more appealing and practical than jumping out of an airplane, which is also on my list. I just hope the two won't go hand in hand.

But I think the coolest part of this whole trip is that, for the first time in their lives, both of my parents have to get a passport. This will be the first trip out of the country for both of them. Something about that brings a tear to my eye. And makes me smile.

Here's our itinerary, it's an 8-day trip that is chock full of fun:

Day 1 – See the glories of Ancient Rome. Welcome to Rome, where your family begins this most excellent of Tauck Italy tours; a drive through the heart of the city reveals relics of Imperial Rome, once capital of the ancient world. Walk through one of the Colosseum's 80 entrances to step back in time on a guided tour of what might be the world's most famous arena, and pose for pictures with Roman Centurions (count on it.) ; and explore the temples and basilicas of the Roman Forum, nerve center of the ancient empire. Join us for a welcome dinner tonight at your hotel.

Day 2 – Rome at leisure and a private after-hours Vatican tour. Most of the day is yours to explore more of Rome's iconic sights on your own, from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain; be sure to make a wish there to ensure your return to the "Eternal City." Later, Tauck's family journey through Italy tours one of the world's most famous houses of worship, magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica. This evening, join us for a Tauck Exclusive – a privately guided after-hours tour of the Vatican Museums (no way!), full of fascinating history and artistic masterpieces. View Michelangelo’s famous ceiling in the Sistine Chapel (sounds incredible!) – which the artist originally resisted doing because he considered himself a sculptor, not a painter – without the usual crowds (my dad will LOVE this part)!

Day 3 – Through Orvieto's tunnels and Tuscany's hills to Florence. Discoveries abound on this most delightful of Italy tours today as your family sets off through rural Umbria and Tuscany. The first stop on your travels is walled Orvieto, perched on a volcanic plateau; a guided tour takes you under its cobblestone streets to explore the town's honeycombed medieval tunnels, and caves dating back to the time of the ancient Etruscans. Then it's on to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance, where you'll check out Michelangelo's famed statue of David (I'll take pics for you ladies out there) and other great works at the Galleria dell'Accademia, the oldest art school in the world.

Day 4 – The Leaning Tower and pizza-making in Pisa. An excursion from Florence takes you to Pisa for a look at this maritime city's great medieval buildings – including a glimpse of the remarkable Leaning Tower and more of Pisa's "field of miracles" – followed by a tasty lunchtime pizza-making demonstration (um, fun!). Return to Florence for an evening as you please.

Day 5 – Florentine treasures at the Uffizi Gallery. More great Renaissance art awaits in Florence today. A local art historian shares insights about the Renaissance and prepares you for a visit to the Uffizi Gallery, the world's oldest art gallery, where you'll see masterpieces galore – including Michelangelo’s painting of The Holy Family and Botticelli's The Birth of Venus (I may have to work on being more "arty" before this day). The rest of the day is free for your family to explore more of Florence as you wish.

Day 6 – Travel to Venice aboard the high-speed Eurostar. A first-class rail journey aboard the high-speed Eurostar takes your family to Venice, a city of islands where the roads are paved with water, and a treasured memory of many Italy tours. Ride a private boat to the city's heart for lunch along the Grand Canal, followed by a walking tour of massive St. Mark’s Square, and a visit to the Doges’ Palace; learn why a small bridge high above a canal is called the Bridge of Sighs. Later, a musician serenades your family as you ride in a gondola (squee!), traveling through the canals as the Venetians have done for centuries!

Day 7 – Experience Venice your wayIf there is any city in Europe that is perfect for just wandering, seeing and experiencing, it is Venice. Follow the small, cobbled streets and alleyways to see where they lead; visit a museum, sample some gelato (I MUST have) (served warmer and creamier than traditional ice cream), or just feed the pigeons (this is doubtful, we didn't go to Italy to feed pigeons. Hello, shopping time!) in Saint Mark’s Square. Tonight, please join us for a farewell reception and dinner, as this most memorable of family Italy tours draws to a spectacular close.

Day 8 – Homeward boundTour ends: Venice. Fly home anytime. If you did throw that coin into Trevi Fountain, legend has it that you will return to L’Italia Bella again someday!

I'd love to hear from anyone who has been. I love travel tips and suggestions.

(Damn, I'm gettin' good.)