Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have been able to enjoy the day with loved ones and that you received all of the presents you were hoping for. Among other great gifts, Brian got me a beautiful watch I've been wanting!

Brian and I have had a wonderful time celebrating over the last few days. This past weekend, we went to a fun Christmas party, spent some quality time by the fire during a beautiful snow storm, and had a yummy dinner with friends where we got to ask them all sorts of parenting questions like: Huggies vs. Pampers, Avent vs. Dr. Brown's, etc!

We spent yesterday with Brian's family: his parents, his sister Annie, and her boyfriend Sean and his sons. We went to a great Christmas theater show, and then headed out to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner before attending evening church services. Today, we piled all of our gifts and Sera in the car and headed over to Brian's parents' house for a relaxing day of unwrapping, eating a ton, calling family, and playing games. For the BGAG crowd out there, I have a new game you should check out called "Last Word". It's great for a big group of people and it's lots of fun!

p.s. I hope all of you received our annual Hittle Holiday Letter via email (sent today). If you didn't get it, let me know and I'll send it your way.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things..."

We all know some of Fraulein Maria's favorite things in The Sound of Music. Now, I want to know some of your favorite things! I would love to know what you would recommend to first-time parents as your top 5 favorite must-haves either during pregnancy or for a new baby. I'm looking for your thoughts on both standard items as well as things that maybe I won't think of on my own, but we shouldn't be without. Feel free to email me or to leave your answers in the comments section of this post. To leave a comment, click on the word "Comments" at the end of this post, and the link will take you to the page where you can type in your recommendations. Thanks so much for your help!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Season in Full Bloom

This weekend has been a lot of fun. Having both been traveling for work, having the opportunity to spend some quality time together has been wonderful. We kicked it off with my work's holiday party (see picture above) which was great, like always. We surprised a few of my work friends with our baby news and one friend said that they knew - they could just tell from a look on my face after a meeting a week or two ago!

We then spent yesterday doing some Christmas shopping while it snowed and then later curled up by the fire and put up the Christmas tree while we listened to Christmas carols. We then ended the evening by seeing the movie I Am Legend at our local movie theater. I have been craving movie popcorn and enjoyed it to the fullest! The movie was intense and at times scary, but well done...we really enjoyed it. Today, we've been watching football and relaxing, and tonight we're finishing our great weekend with a party over at Brian's parents' house!

Why does time seem to move slower for children?

I recently read an article that I thought I was really interesting. Have you ever wondered why time seemed to move so much slower when you were a child, but seems to speed up as you grow older? Well, there is a proven scientific reason for this phenomenon. When you’re a child, you lay down rich memories for all of your new experiences; when you’re older, you’ve seen it all before, so you lay down fewer memories. And, the more memory you have of an event, the longer you believe it took. Therefore, when a child looks back at the end of a summer, it seems to have lasted forever, while adults think it zoomed by. Isn’t that fascinating?

Similarly, this phenomenon is related to the apparent slowing of time during emergencies. Previously, some thought that the warping of time during emergencies was because a person’s brain sped up from adrenaline when in danger. Studies have proven otherwise. In fact, the warping of time is simply your memory playing tricks on you. When you’re in danger, an area of the brain called the amygdala (which I think sounds like the name of a Star Wars character) becomes more active. When it does so, it lays down an extra set of memories that go along with those normally taken care of by other parts of the brain. Thus, scary events are associated with richer and denser memories that then are perceived as having taken longer.

Info from an article in LiveScience; to read the entire article, click here.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

First Trimester Completed!

Little Hittle has graduated yet again - we have completed the first trimester! It's such a good feeling to have reached the 12 week milestone. I'm still feeling good and am excited that the holidays are coming up. The picture above shows the approximate size and stage of Little Hittle today, which is such a dramatic change since only 2 weeks ago. Little Hittle is roughly 2.5 inches long and supposedly weighs about 1/2 ounce. Believe it or not, Little Hittle's brain now has the same structure that it will have at birth, just at a smaller size!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ultrasound - 11 wks 2 days

This week I got to have another ultrasound to check in on Little Hittle. Isn't s/he cute?! The appointment went great. Little Hittle is growing right on schedule... measuring exactly 50mm (or 2 inches) from crown to rump and sporting a solid heart rate of 156 bpm. I also got to hear the heart beat for the first time, which was really exciting. At first I thought some semi-trucks must be driving by the office because the sound was so loud... then I realized it was Little Hittle's heart beat coming in loud and clear and in stereo! We were also able to see both arms, both legs, some fingers, the face, etc. The baby wriggled around a bit during the ultrasound, pushing off my uterus with its feet. The doctor said Little Hittle's a feisty one!

As the ultrasound picture above shows, Little Hittle was also busy sucking its thumb. The thumb would go in, then come out, over and over. According to Brian's mom, Brian sucked his thumb a ton in utero. I have also been craving vanilla ice cream (with chocolate sauce). While I love ice cream, I really don't like vanilla ice cream much at all - but, Brian does. I think we've got a baby-sized Brian in there... our little tyke seems to be taking after him already!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Our Embryo Graduated!

I'm 10 weeks along today, and according to my pregnancy books, that means that our little embryo has officially graduated to a fetus! The picture above is a fairly good representation of the approximate size and shape of Little Hittle is at this point. It should be measuring a little over 1" from crown to rump, and should be weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of .04-.11 ounces (1-3 grams). To put that in perspective, that means that our baby can still easily be held inside a tablespooon! Little Hittle's individual fingers and toes should be visible now and its limbs should be capable of purposeful movement. It's just amazing to think about what is possible at such a small scale... we have our very own nano-baby!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Brian and I are celebrating with my mom at her place on the beach. We took Little Hittle for its first walk along the beach and found a few cute shells that we're keeping as keepsakes. We're also relaxing and watching the Macy's parade and football.

You might be wondering if this current belly photo is the first evidence of a baby bump or the result of too much Thanksgiving dinner...well, since this photo was taken before we ate, it must be the beginning of my baby belly! I'm 9 weeks 5 days today and supposedly my uterus is the size of a tennis ball or small grapefruit, and I guess that's got to go somewhere. It's been just this week that I've noticed a little bit of a bump, although I haven't gained any weight yet and you can't tell when I'm wearing normal clothes. I guess the weight is moving to my belly from other areas (hopefully my thighs)!

Monday, November 5, 2007

No Belly Yet! - 7 wks 2 days

Here I am giving my first "belly shot" at 7 weeks 2 days. I hope that this isn't the last time I have a flat tummy! So far I've been feeling really good - pretty normal, actually. If I didn't know otherwise, I'd be positive that I wasn't pregnant.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Ultrasound - 6 wks 6 days

Here are Little Hittle's first ultrasound photos, taken at 6 weeks 6 days. (You can click on the image to see it enlarged). I was so anxious and excited to see the baby's heart beat. There it was! Little Hittle's heart rate was 124 bpm, which is great for this point in gestation. And, our little peanut measured in at a tiny 6.5 mm. What a sweet day it is.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Welcome to Little Hittle!

Welcome to our Little Hittle website! Brian and I are so excited to announce that we are expecting an addition to the Hittle family! Our official due date is June 21, 2008.

More to come over the next several months. Stay tuned!