Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Karate Kid, Part III

Timothy woke up yesterday morning with quite the stomach bug and I spent a good 40 minutes cleaning up several quarts of grown man vomit (A little baby barf will be cake. Bring it on...). As a result, he was unable to experience the Kung Fu fighting that was going on in my tum yesterday. However, Alex continued to kick up a storm today, and this time, Timothy was able to get in on the action. Little man seems to prefer one particular spot on my left side, so after I got home from work I had Timothy check it out to see if he could feel anything. There were many times that I could feel him moving inside, but Timothy was unable to feel it on the outside. Finally, Alex laid one good 'un in that exact spot, and Timothy lit up with excitement. "Was that him?!" He exclaimed. "Yup, it was," I answered. It was a really neat moment that we got to share with each other, so I felt compelled to share it with all of you.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Karate Kid, Part II

I was at work today, concentrating really hard on trying to look busy, when little Alex decided it was about time for a vigorous Tae Bo session. Upon discovering that the inside of my belly is a perfect substitute for a kicking bag (he's already a resourceful lad at -4 months), he began to repeatedly strike the same spot on the left side of my abdomen. After one-two-three swift blows, I reached my hand down to see if I could actually feel the movement through all my flesh and flab. Lo and behold! I could! Of course, as soon as he realized that I had put my hand there, he became frustrated that I had disrupted his steady rhythm and immediately ceased his workout.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Motherly Duties

Soooo... that whole "wait until we have a budget" thing lasted all of 18 hours. I had to run some errands Saturday morning, including shopping for someone else's baby shower, so I was forceably surrounded by vast amounts of baby-related paraphernalia. This caused a sudden attack of conscience. I panicked, thinking, "Poor little Alex will be cold and naked if I don't provide for him an adequate wardrobe of comfortable (yet stylish) clothing." The deep sense of guilt and anxiety that enveloped my body led me to the best solution that this mom-to-be could devise - I must go shopping, for the health, safety, and general well-being of my unborn child.

Thus began my shopping spree. I hit Target (pun not intended), made a quick stop at Babies 'N' Beyond, then headed for Gymboree, where I had a 20% off coupon that made that stop all the more fulfilling. I've posted some images depicting the fruits of my first baby shopping extravaganza.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

Well Baby Evans fans, today was the day!! Our screening ultrasound took place at 10:30 this morning, so after drinking about a quart and a half of water in forty minutes, I headed to the clinic - Timothy and full bladder in tow.

I had my blood pressure taken (it was good) and stepped on the scale (not so good). It indicated that I had gained 6 pounds since my last visit; however, Mari assured me that women often tend to overweigh by 1-2 pounds on these screening visits due to the excess consumption of water needed to provide a successful ultrasound. That made me feel a little better. (I know, I know, gaining weight is good, it's for the baby, etc., etc. I'm pretty sure, however, that the baby doesn't benefit from the extra fat being stored in my thighs.)

Finally, Mari pulled out the bottle of goop, plunged the ultrasound gadget onto my abdomen and up popped 2B onto the screen. "It" was very active, moving almost constantly as we watched. We saw its big 'ole head, two little arms, two little feet, big round belly, bulging eyeballs, lots of toes and fingers, beating heart, belly and bladder. However, no obvious "parts" yet to be seen.

Mari pointed out that "its" legs were crossed, making it difficult to see what was going on in between them, to which I replied, "Our baby must be modest," to which the baby replied, "Wanna bet?" and spread its little legs, to which Mari replied, "Nope, HE'S not modest!!"

So there ya have it folks!! IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!

And they shall call him Alexander. Alexander Lloyd Evans to be exact (Alex to his homies.)

Alexander: Greek origin, meaning "defender of men"
Lloyd: An Evans family heirloom (Papaw Evans' first name, Bill's middle name, Tim's middle name, and now Alex's middle name). It is of Welsh origin, meaning "grey". And if you have seen any of the Evans men - their heads full of shiny silver hair, in particular - you would know that we've made the right choice for Alex, who is likely to inherit this distinguished trait.
Evans: We liked Alexander Lloyd Hornsnoggle, but decided to stick with tradition.

Anyway, we left the clinic with various souvenirs, including a pile of ultrasound pics and a DVD. I've posted some of the pics below, including what I hope will be some helpful orientation markers for the ultrasound-deciphering impaired.

This first one is a pretty good shot of his face. He's still quite "alien-like" from what I can tell.

This one was a great example of the leg-crossing referred to earlier. Here he has his legs crossed at the ankle, so you get a pretty clear view of the bottom of his left foot, with all his little piggies in line.

And here it is - the "potty-shot" as Mari likes to call it. Right after my comment about him being "modest" my little exhibitionist-in-training flung his legs wide open to reveal his boy parts to the world. This view is as if you are looking from below, or as if Alex is standing on his head and you see bum first, head second.

We also purchased a short DVD that is pretty amazing. Although many of the shots seem to resemble a scene from a creepy horror flick (it's not that bad Joy, you've gotta watch it), it is much easier to decipher than these still images. In the video, you can clearly see his head and face with his little hands under his chin. You can see him open and close his mouth several times (I think he is singing or reciting poetry - what else does he do for entertainment in there?). You can see his belly, his heart, his spine - it's pretty dang cool.

If you'd like to check it out (and you would like to, trust me), Timothy has posted it on a YouTube page that can be accessed by clicking here [or if you want the higher quality version you can download it here, but beware - it is a big file].

So that's it! Time to think boy!! I wanted to head straight to the mall after the appointment to start shopping, but my accountant suggested I develop a budget first so that "Alex's new wardrobe" fund didn't impede on our "rent, food, and car payment" funds. I guess he has a point...

A Day in the Life: February 22, 2007

This is a picture of me the day before we (hopefully) find out whether our baby is a he or she, a son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter, niece or nephew. Please tune in tomorrow afternoon to find out!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Karate Kid

I have been feeling weird sensations for quite some time now that I was attributing to baby 2B, like large schools of small fish flopping around in my belly. But I had yet to have the infamous "AHA" moment that all my post-preggo friends had prepared me for - the moment I would know for absolute sure that the baby was moving around in there. However, a couple of days ago I was walking down the hall and suddenly felt like someone had landed a good, swift kick to my gut - from the inside, that is.

"AHA!" I said.

And thus concludes the description of my "AHA" moment.

Aidan's Arrival

You may remember my preggo-shout out to Amy Sutherlin back in January, when I mentioned that she was having to take it easy and remain on bed rest until Aidan was born in March. While bed rest is still necessary, it's not for the same reasons!

Aidan Mackenzie Sutherlin was born on February 17, measuring in at a whopping 5 lbs. 15 ozs. and 19 inches long. We hear that baby and mommy are doing well and getting some much needed r&r.
Congratulations Amy and Matt!! He is precious!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Should Our Powers Unite...

Now that Timothy and I have revisited our own childhood years, we thought it would be fun to find out what our baby really might look like if we were to combine the features that we're likely to pass on.

As such, we recently sent in $200 to www.morphbaby.com, a service that takes the prominent features of each parent and morphs them into a single image of a child.

According to MorphBaby, if we were to have a male child, there is a 99% chance he would grow up to look like this (scroll down):

I think he gets his hair from Timothy. And probably my lips.

Of course, if we have a baby girl, the genes will be assigned differently. The resulting child, per the experts at MorphBaby, will eventually look something like this (scroll down):

This time, the hair is more likely to be my contribution. The "pecs" however, I cannot take credit for.

Of course, these predictions are based solely on appearance, not taking into account intelligence levels or personality traits (obviously). According to a quiz from www.babybrain.com, if Timothy and I were to combine the powers of our intellect, the resulting child would likely bear the intelligence levels of someone like (scroll down):

Actually, the technicians at BabyBrain were unable to complete an accurate assessment. Apparently when their computer attempts to calculate intelligence levels that are too high, the system shuts down and has to be reconfigured.

A personality test, however, did produce some interesting results. The folks at www.prenatalpersonalities.com have informed us that, based on the varied personality traits of Timothy and I, our baby will possess select characteristics from each of the following (scroll down):

The humor of Chris Rock
"You supposed to take care of yo' kids. Whatchoo want, a cookie?"

The household sensibilities of Martha Stewart. Pre-prison, of course.

The fashion sense of infamously wacky, yet incredibly successful designer Betsey Johnson (we share a love for bright colors and animal prints).

It's The Godfather. What more do I have to say...

It's Jesus. What more do I have to say...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Before They Were Stars: Timothy Lloyd Evans

Name: Timothy Lloyd Evans
Born: July 20, 1979
Time: 3:14am
Where: Union Medical Center, El Dorado, AR

Weight: 9lbs. 1/2ozs.
Length: 22 inches
Hair: light brown
Eyes: dark blue

Ain't he precious. Even back then he was throwing gang signs...

News headlines: Heads Are Rolling, Mayor Kidnapped!

Political figures:
President - Jimmy Carter
Governor - Bill Clinton

Best Movies of the Year: Rocky II - The Main Event, Animal House, Meatballs
Popular TV Shows: Mork & Mindy, Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Taxi

He still makes this face when I ask him to fold laundry. Some things never change...

Raises head and holds it up: since birth
Smiles: 5 weeks
Sleeps all night: 8 weeks
Turns over: 2 months
Laughs: 2 months
Discovers hand and feet: 2 1/2 months
Recognizes mother and father: 3 months
Says "bye-bye": 4 months
Sits without support: 4 months
Imitates sound and motions: 6 months
Pulls self up: 7 1/2 months
Crawls: 8 months
Tee-tees in potty chair and flushes the commode: 8 months

Am I the only one that thinks that Timothy looks exactly the same now as he did then?

This is the aforementioned pic that bears an uncanny resemblance to the one of me in front of the toy buggy. Although I was a bit more of an exhibitionist than he was. Or maybe I'm the only one whose mother intentionally took hordes of naked baby pictures in order to prepare for my insolent teenage years (blackmail was my mother's ingenious way of dealing with my siblings and I when we would act out in high school - i.e. "talk back one more time and the whole senior class gets to see how cute your little tush was.")

Oh wait, I spoke too soon!! Looks like Vicki has got some ammo of her own!! Thank goodness I got my hands on it (pun not intended). Better not let Timothy get his hands on it (pun intended). When Leah got her hands on it (not going there), she adorned it with a post-it note that read, "He still does this!" Hey, she said it, not me.

According to his mother, Timothy was:

"...a beautiful baby who did not look like he weighed 9 pounds. He was a quiet baby with a beautiful complexion who enjoyed being outside and playing Peek-a-Boo. He was so sweet."

p.s. None of the information shared in either Before They Were Stars entries has been fabricated. With the exception of the obviously editorial commentary provided by this author, the subject matter contained within each installment was cited directly from the baby books of the respective parties as accurately documented by the mothers of the respective parties.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Before They Were Stars: Sarah Jane Boettcher

With all this talk about what our baby might be like, we thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane and discuss what Timothy and I were like when we were a bit younger. Knowing it might be difficult for some of you to imagine Timothy and I as anything other than the wise and mature adults that we are today, I have taken the liberty of including some visual aids to help you all understand where we are coming from.

Name: Sarah Jane Boettcher (little princess)
Born: Monday, September 24, 1979
Time: 8:27pm
Where: Proctor Hospital, Peoria, IL

Weight: 7lbs. 13ozs.
Length: 20 inches
Hair: dark brown (and lots of it, with cowlicks!)
Eyes: blue

Notice the "crib" - yes folks, that's a cardboard box that the hospital is sending the newborn baby home in. It's hard to complain about the quality of healthcare today when they used to send babies home in a container previously used to transport syringes or store produce in the hospital cafeteria.

Current events:

World - Iran Crisis
Local - Caterpillar strike
President - Jimmy Carter

Popular entertainers: Robin Williams, Billy Joel
Fashions & fads: straight leg jeans, punk rock, disco

BTW, isn't my mom gorgeous?! This is about two weeks after giving birth, mind you. I'm really praying that those genes have been passed on. Love the Farrah Fawcett 'do, mom!!

The one below is of my mom and her mom, whom I know as "Mommo". Although she died when I was only four, Mommo has left me with many great memories of our times together. In fact, I think she taught me my first swear word (I won't mention it here) which, needless to say, mom wasn't thrilled about. But if mom didn't mind, it wouldn't have been as fun to say!!

Kicks vigorously: since birth
Raises head and holds it up: 1 week
Smiles: 2 weeks
Discovers own voice, coos, and babbles: 3 weeks
Recognizes mother and father: 1 1/2 months
Discovers hand and feet: 3 months
Laughs: 3 months
Creeps: 3 1/2 months
Picks up and handles objects: 3 1/2 months
Sits without support: 5 1/2 months
Imitates sound and motions: 6 months
Pulls self up and stands alone: 6 1/2 months

I have heard that a baby usually loses its hair at some point, then it eventually grows back in. I don't guess I went through that phase, and if so, there aren't any pictures of it.

Everyone that sees this picture says, "Gee, you're gonna have a (insert euphemism for "fat" here) baby." Vicki liked this one in particular because the pose is very similar to one of Timothy in a wagon that you'll see later on.

p.s. my daddy built the "toy buggy" you see in the background. I am currently commissioning him ( he will be paid in hugs and thank you's) to build some custom furniture for 2B...

Notice the completely exposed electrical socket - sans any fancy socket hole plugger-upper device - within arms reach of 9 month old baby. Somehow I managed to survive childhood without being electrocuted, suffering any broken bones, needing stitches, or baby CPR. Go figure...

I did, however, spend much of my babyhood with a runny, snotty nose. Constant colds seemed to be my only ailment. Nonetheless, I was described by my mother as:

"The best baby in the world! Loves fruit, people, pianos, and green veggies. Very outgoing and jolly. The nurses love her hair!"

That's about the extent of Sarah's story. Stay tuned for the next installment of Before They Were Stars featuring Timothy Lloyd Evans.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Our CG Family

We hosted Community Group at our house tonight, so I wanted to share this pic of the girls. This pic is especially pertinent to this "baby blog" because each of the girls in our group is either with child or...well...with child.

Pictured (left to right): Joy and Oliver Primm, Emily Carpenter (and Quinn), me (and baby Evans 2B), Robin Most (who just found out she's having a girl, to be named McKenzie), and Kara and Hudson Reeves. Unfortunately Ashley Pointer and little Noah were feeling under the weather, so they are not pictured here. Maybe next time!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Five Months: Not a Beer Gut

Twenty down, twenty to go!! I am officially halfway through this pregnancy, and so far it has been fairly uneventful. I guess as far as pregnancies go, that is a good thing. Hopefully the remaining five months will go just as smoothly, and I will be able to look back at this whole experience with fondness and joy...

I think I have completely lost perspective on what my belly looked like before, because I am having great difficulty determining whether I am big or small, growing or shrinking, fatter or more pregnant... I seem to be fitting into my maternity clothes a little better, so that should be an indication. I don't have complete faith in the accuracy of my $19.99 digital scale from Target, so I do not feel comfortable disclosing my weight gain up to this point. But suffice it to say that I am confident that I have made up for the one pound discrepancy from my last doctor's appointment (and some). I did measure my waist, which is now 34.5 inches, up 2.5 inches since last month. So I guess I'm growing.

But fatter or more pregnant is still up for debate... Still don't have the "hard belly" thing yet. Yup, still kinda doughy. It's bigger and rounder than it was before, but doesn't really look like a pregnant belly to me. But as evidenced by my ultrasounds, the growing thing inside me is definitely the source of my bigness. Check out the difference between ultrasound 1 (from December 28) and ultrasound 2 (from January 26):

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Pig Sooieeee!

We had a great time this past weekend. Bill, Vicki, and Leah (and Cinder and Elle Mae) came up, along with 22 (you heard me, twenty-two) other people from El Dorado, to attend the Hogs v. Kentucky Wildcats basketball game at U of A. We started the day with some provisions from Rick's Bakery, where I proceed to eat for two (or three). A sausage roll, cake donut, and lemon-filled pastry later, we headed to the arena. We cheered as hard as we could, and somehow still lost the game. However, the redeeming factor was that The Razorback Shop had 25% off of all Hogs apparel, so I scored a long red hoodie that actually fit over my gut and Vicki found some cute Razorback onesies for 2B, aka future Hogs fan.

After the game, we all headed to Red Robin to harass the harried servers for a bit before heading to the Northwest Arkansas mall. The experience was very reminiscent of a junior high field trip, as 28 of us attempted to make our respective stops without losing anyone in the process (we tried the buddy system, but all the hand-holding was drawing odd looks). The previous events of the days had me exhausted. How exhausted was I? I was too tired to shop. Okay, I did get some pants from the Hog Shop and Vicki bought me some things from Motherhood Maternity. But for the most part, I just sat on a bench outside of the stores waiting for everyone else to get done. Needless to say, I was ready to get home and pass out.

Sunday morning was no less eventful. Seth Primm is a worship leader at our church and was nice enough to ask Timothy to join the praise team so his visiting friends and family could witness his debut vocal performance. We met for the 9:30 service, Timothy and Seth sang like angels, and the Eldo crew even got a shout-out from that morning's teaching pastor, who also happened to be a native El...do...radean?

We ended our little adventure with lunch at Cracker Barrel (and Mom, everything on my plate fit nicely into the "brown-beige" category. You'd've been so proud...) and everyone headed home.

After a much needed two hour nap, Timothy and I headed up to Lowell to watch the Superbowl with the Primms. We stuffed ourselves with yummy seven-layer dip (care of Joy) and good conversation (care of Seth, Joy, and Oliver). We even got to observe bath time (Oliver's bath time, if you were wondering) to try and pick up pointers for 2B's bath times to come. All around good time, as usual.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Curious Cravings

During the abhorred morning sickness phase of my first trimester, the #1 topic of conversation was whether I had any aversions to particular foods or smells. My typical answer was that everything smelled bad, and that I chose to eat foods based on whether I thought they might make me vomit (or make me want to). Furthermore, these perceptions were apt to change instantaneously, as something that might be completely edible one minute could immediately transform into the most repulsive offal I had ever laid eyes (or nose) on.


One evening I made Timothy take me to Red Robin because "the baby" [edit by Tim] wanted a California Chicken Burger. Things started out okay, but by the end of the meal, I never wanted to taste, smell, or see a California Chicken Burger ever again. Ever. To this day, the thought of a bacon-clad chicken breast smothered in mayo and guacamole makes me retch. Ugggh, the horror.

Now that morning sickness is in the distant past, the new question o' the day is, "So do you have any cravings?" I hate to disappoint, but I really don't think I've had what you'd consider to be an actual "craving". Sure, I want a pickle every now and then, but hey, I love pickles! I've always loved pickles! Does the fact that I want one now, while pregnant, suddenly make it a craving? I'm not convinced.

Nevermind the fact that one of my favorite pre-pregnancy pastimes was to rattle off a never-ending list of all the foods that sounded good to me at that very moment. That dialogue (okay, more like a soliloquy) would go something like this: "You know what I want right now? Pancakes... Ooh, or chicken fingers. With honey mustard. Or potato soup. Mmmm. Or spaghetti. Yeeeah, spaghetti. With meatballs. Nooo, barbecue ribs... And cole slaw. Or maybe..." This would continue indefinitely, or rather, until Timothy threatened dismemberment.

The closest thing to a craving that I would feel comfortable identifying is the recent preference for red meat as opposed to my pre-pregnancy predilection for poultry (how's that for alliteration?). My mom would say that the baby needs the iron from the meat and that is why my body is responding by craving a hamburger instead of a turkey burger. As usual, she's probably right...

And here's a little sumpin sumpin for you trivia lovers out there. I recently read about a medical condition called pica (pronounced pie-kuh), whereby a pregnant woman is driven to consume non-food substances that may be potentially harmful or even life-threatening. These unusual cravings extend from baking soda and clay to household goods like shoes and broomsticks. Allow me to share a brief excerpt from The Caveman's Pregnancy Companion: A Survival Guide for Expectant Fathers* by David Port and John Ralston:

"You hope what you witnessed was a hallucination. What you thought you saw defies logic: your woman stops in her tracks, glances this way and that, then furtively dips her hand into a ceramic planter, grabs a heaping helping of potted soil, shovels it into her mouth, chews, and swallows."

There is no empirical evidence thus far to indicate a specific cause for this weird behavior, but it has been connected to iron deficiency. In fact, this is the same condition that affects children who are compelled to eat "imaginary" mudpies or who can't keep the sand in the sandbox instead of their mouths.

So, based on that little tidbit, I don't think my "hamburger cravings" are anything to write home about. However, the first time that Timothy finds me on hands and knees in front of Murphy's dogfood bowl, I will be sure to let you know...

*This is a great book for expectant fathers that my mom gave to Timothy for Christmas. It takes a humorous approach to addressing the spousal relationship during pregnancy, providing "expert advice to guide the modern caveman through the prenatal wilderness". In fact, it may be more of a gift to the expecting mother than father, in that it covers such topics as :
  • all the key moments that partners are likely to face
  • never-fail massage techniques
  • simple workout routines the two spouses can pursue together
  • healthy recipes and cooking advice for dad 2B
It's a really great read for expecting parents and I highly recommend it.