Friday, February 29, 2008

We're Having a Leaping Gemini Rat

Happy Leap Year Day, everyone! For those of you who don't know the history and math behind calculating leap year, it goes something like this... The reason we have a leap year is to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Each year, the calendar year lags by about 6 hours, so every 4 years one day is added to the calendar to catch us up. A leap year is any year evenly divisible by 4, except for century years, which need to be divisible by 400.

Thinking about the leap year holiday, my mind wandered to all of the Zodiac symbols that will be bestowed upon our baby being born this year. Like me, s/he will be born in a leap year, in the month of June, and will likely be a Gemini. If Little Hittle ends up being a girl, Brian sure will have his hands full with the two of us! Being a dual sign, Gemini's have a mix of personalities, but are generally known to be talkers, extroverts, adaptable and mutable, active, restless if things move too slowly, and able to see both sides of an issue (due to our mix of yin and yang). (Sources: Wikipedia & Astrologycom).

As for the Chinese Zodiac, our little one is going to be a Rat. Not a glamorous title, but hey, even rodents need to be loved. The Rat is the first sign of the Chinese Zodiac, and as a result, Rats are born leaders, pioneers and conquerors. Some adjectives that describe Rats include: charming, passionate, honest, charismatic, hardworking, intelligent, adaptable, meticulous, ambitious, controlling, strong-willed, etc. That kind of sounds like they type of kid Brian and I would have! This 2008 Year of the Rat is marked to be a year of rapid change, where we (both personally and as a planet) are productive and learn to save energy and resources. Without Rat years, which are often characterized by brilliant, life-changing innovations, changes in government, etc., it is believed the world would become complacent. (Sources: Wikipedia & Yahoo). One reassuring and cool fact is that a Rat is most compatible with a Dragon, an Ox, or a Monkey... I'm a Dragon, Brian's an Ox, and Sera's a Monkey!

Read about your own western and Chinese astrological signs here: Wikipedia.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Our Fur Child

As I was heading upstairs to brush my teeth this morning, I found our fur child, Serafina, sunning herself on the stair landing. Here are some pics!

For those of you who haven't met Sera, all I can say is that I hope you get to some time. She's the sweetest, most wonderful dog. She's a very important part of our family and we love her very much. She's a 3.5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback and her favorite pastimes include sunning herself and laying by the fire. While ridgebacks were bred in Africa to hunt lions, they are also known to be "couch potatoes" - a trait Sera certainly lives up to. She even likes to sleep in on the weekends with us (although I'm not sure Little Hittle will let us continue that tradition)!

Before we had a dog, we would have sworn that we would never let a dog sleep in our bed. Then, we got Sera and we couldn't resist "the look". So, we now keep her off all furniture except for our bed at night. We've got a huge Eastern King-sized bed and she has her own spot (yes, complete with a pillow and blanket) in the middle of the foot of the bed. The other morning, Brian and I were talking about Sera and the baby and how we envision the first fews weeks at home. It is our plan to put Little Hittle in a SnuggleNest in between us at the head of the bed for the first few weeks during the night. Then, Little Hittle will permanently move into the nursery. Thinking about what Sera would think of having Little Hittle join us for awhile, Brian leaned over to her and whispered, "Don't worry, Sera. Little Hittle will eventually have to sleep in the nursery, but you'll get to stay here with us in our bed!"

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Same Jeans, Different Belly - 21 weeks

Believe it or not, I can still wear those same jeans from 3 1/2 months ago - albeit a bit differently! I still haven't made the transition to maternity clothes yet, but I decided that it would be fun to do a belly comparison as these jeans won't probably last too much longer. The picture on the left is from when I was 7 weeks along, and the right-hand picture is from today at 21 weeks. Same bathroom, same jeans, but a bigger belly! I've gained about 10 pounds so far and my belly is measuring at about 30" around. While I'm feeling big already, people keep telling me I'm going to get so much bigger!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Half-way Point! 20 wks 2 days

We’ve reached another milestone – the half-way point! As of this past Saturday, we were officially 20 weeks along! Little Hittle is doing great and we had our 20 week doctor’s appointment today to confirm it. No…we’re not finding out the gender until the birth, so feel free to vote for what you think Little Hittle is (see right column of blog). We did, however, get to confirm that Little Hittle has 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 arms, 2 legs, a strong heart, etc. The average size for a baby at this stage is about half its birth length and a weight in the range of 10-16 oz. So, Little Hittle is somewhere around 10 inches long (wow!) and weighed in at a healthy 14 oz. Brian also got to see our baby pretending to be a boxer at the beginning of the ultrasound… I must have been too busy talking to the doctor because I didn’t notice, but Brian saw our baby boxer punching out its fists one after another!

Now, you might be wondering about the significance of the submarine pictures posted above. Well, as our extended Navy family will understand, making the “Half-way Point” is symbolically a big deal. When our husbands would go away on a 6-month deployment, once you reached the half-way point, you knew that you had more days behind you than in front of you until the day you would be together again. It is often celebrated on the submarines too…when the boat first sets out to sea, each wife is allowed to give a gift for their husband (that has to fit in a shoebox). The boxes are then stored away until the half-way point when the guys on the boat have a party and get to open their gift boxes. It’s a fun Navy tradition. Anyway, I kind of feel like our baby is a bit like a little submarine… s/he is literally under water on an extended 9-month deployment and is awaiting his/her homecoming! And now, since we’ve reached the half-way point, we have fewer days in front of us than behind us until we get to meet our baby – yay!

I threw in the second picture just for fun. It was taken 9 years ago when Brian was on his first 6-month deployment with the USS Louisville. It’s of Brian (sporting a goatee for the first time) in the submarine’s wardroom with a plant. He and his buddies nurtured that plant throughout the entire deployment… they figured that if that plant could survive 6 months without any sunlight, then they could too! Yes, the plant, and the boys, all made it home safely. Thank goodness.