Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gwen's photo shoot

16 weeks!


and I feel very certain that I felt the baby move yesterday! I've been thinking I felt movement for a little while now, but didn't feel like I was 100% sure. I was preparing a delightful salad when I felt some bumping around on the right side. :) YAY!! Hopefully there will be lots more wiggles coming up in the next 5 months! I want this little one to move and NEVER rest!

Also, I finally put up a pregnancy ticker.. I was being kind of superstitious about it.. not sure why, but there it is now! :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We were in Myrtle Beach for the 6 month anniversary of Dresden. I keep trying to figure out the best way to say that.. the way that sounds right.. maybe that's it? I've been feeling the need to write about this, if for nothing more than my own history.
Anyway, we picked up his ashes from the funeral home on September 13th, it was a hard day.. also the day of his memorial service. When we went to pick up the ashes, Shaun mentioned to the worker that they must be used to this kind of thing, as we were struggling to keep composure long enough to get in and out with our son. The woman had tears well up in her eyes, and said.. no, not this.. that is about the time I lost it, and we had to get home. We had the urns shipped next day, because we wanted everything together for the memorial. What a horrible thing for parents to have to do.. pick out what kind of places to put their child's 'cremains' (a word I absolutely HATE! Id much rather say ashes or even remains.. but cremains just sounds disgusting to me) into. We decided to get some different urns, and settled on a small one to have out in our family room as well as one for our parents and pendants for Shaun and I. My pendant has not left my neck since September 13th... only for showers.. I wear it when I sleep, workout, grocery shop... there was one time a week or two after Dresden was born that I forgot to put it back on after my shower, and I quickly turned around and came home to get it (I was barely to the end of our street when I remembered). So, anyhow... back to the point.. you were beginning to think that there wasn't one? haha yes, the point - 6 months, Myrtle Beach - we went to brookgreen gardens that day, to the zoo there. I took a shower in the morning and when we got to the gardens I felt for my necklace and it wasn't there! I felt horrible, on that DAY of all days, how could I forget? It still bothers me, even now, weeks later. I kept thinking what if the maid screws with it? (that of course was the only day that we didn't leave the 'privacy' sign on the door because we needed towels! ) I don't know what the point of this is.. I guess it's just to acknowledge how much comforting it is to have part of Dresden with me all the time. I don't know how much time needs to pass before I don't feel like I should be wearing Dresden's pendant all the time. Maybe I'll always wear it, maybe it will be put away at some point and brought out for holidays, birthdays, family portraits. I really don't know.. but for now, I have some peace in at least knowing that part of him is with me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A week in pictures.. or a few days anyway :)

Gwen and Shaun play pirates! I was lucky enough to be attacked as well, when I stole Gwen's sword, she seemed shocked that I'd know how! She knew I was the pirate mother.. but I guess she just figured I wouldn't be able to handle a sword made from foam! Oh, notice that Gwen had to go and put on her pirate garb in order to have a proper pirate fight! haha

Gwen the gardener.. she truly loves planting things!! It's so sweet! She told me she was having so much fun planting things with me in the WILD! hahaa

ONE good thing about having a swamp in the back yard!
Notice the wetness on her knees.. hmmm
Excited because she got her knees wet in the water!

First time in the mud hole of the season!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

15 Weeks!

Why does 15 weeks SOUND like a long time.. but 26 weeks, doesn't? hmmm Is that how it is for everyone else, or just me? haha Yep, so I'm 15 weeks.. as in any normal 15 week pregnancy, nothing really big to report (2nd trimester is always boring, right??). I'm feeling a bit drained today.. I puked a few days ago to my surprise! But otherwise, I feel completely normal! I just started working out at the rec center again after 2.5 weeks off.. Myrtle Beach and me being sick the week after getting home with that crazy tonsil thing helped with that break.. so I guess that's why I might be tired too. It's hard to go slow enough to keep my heart rate in the 'safe' 140 zone.. I'm going to have to ask the doctor if going a little higher is safe? I have felt some possible movement.. but I'm still not ready to actually call it yet. I am paying close attention though, so hopefully soon I will feel this little bugger wiggling around for sure! :) I felt Gwen at 18 weeks and Dresden at 16 weeks.. soo should be soon!!


Since I was thinking about heartrates I looked it up..
in case anyone else is interested. It says that a pregnant woman's heart rate automatically increases by about 15BPM.. I knew it increased, but didn't realize it was by so much! I think my HR was 81 at the docs last week.. and when I just used my doppler to get it it was going between 73-80 so that makes sense why 140 on the elliptical doesn't feel like I should be at 140 - that's because really I'd probably only be at 125! Interesting, eh!? hmmm I don't know what i'll do with that information.. probably still keep it around 140, since I'm obviously more paranoid this time around.

Anyway, have a nice day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


2 years ago my grandpa died.. I never called him grandpa, he was my papa. He was the only man who was part of my life for the whole thing. I was his "shannon banana" and he sang my song every time I entered a room - Shannon banana and I come to say, banana's are ripening in a special way shaaaaaaaaaannnoooon! Until Gwen was born, then usually he sang her song first.. she was the little banana.. he had names for pretty much all of us. Nearly 30 grandchildren and we were all special to him.. and the great grandchildren were just as special. He did "the cow" for all the kids... man, did he love doing the cow, and the kids usually loved it just as much!! Just yesterday as we were passing 'cemetary road' as I call it, Gwen said, "I"m going to do a cow for papa - MOOOOO and then a little cow moooo" I was so crushed when he died, knowing that Gwen only got to know him for a year.. and that he loved her so much, and loved seeing me be a mother to her, I also just loved watching them interact together. Last year I wrote in Dresden's journal how sad I was that he and any other children who pass through my womb would never know papa, it actually made me wish I'd started having children a whole lot sooner... but of course, we never know what the future holds, do we? I realize how lucky I am to have such loving family and beautiful memories of spending time with ma and papa. They really did make us all feel special in our own way... I mean, I'd have to say that I am a favorite - I lived with them as a baby for a while (with my mom too), took countless trips up north sitting on ma's lap in the front seat, sleeping in bed with them in the middle with the grandkid pillow... but what's so awesome is that if you talk to almost any of my cousins, they'd say the same thing.. that THEY were the favorite! ;) (but I know it was me!) When Dresden died, we put some of his ashes at papa's grave.. I knew he would have wanted us to. I knew that if papa's soul was out there anywhere, that he was crying right along with us. I miss you papa. 2 years has gone by and it has gotten easier, but the void you left will always remain. Lucky for me.. I believe in reincarnation.. so who really knows when I'll see you again? I think I will!
In loving memory
William Adkins

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So, the top ultrasound picture..the really cool one.. is NOT even our baby!! They gave me someone elses picture!! I took the pics to show my mom and sister, and Ruthie says.. hey, why isn't that your name? I said, Oh.. they don't put my name, because it's for a study and it's confidential... I thought maybe the doctors name?? But a closer look and yep, it's someones name.. and the time the ultrasound was done was 2 hours before mine! haha I feel bad for that lady though, missing such a cool shot of her babe. Oh well.. then after really looking at it the baby looks older than ours too.. this was probably the typical 18 week ultrasound! HA! AND THAT is why our baby rooms in with us and NEVER leaves our sight while in the hospital! hahaha ;)

So, I had an OB appt yesterday. My 2nd trimester ultrasound is scheduled for april 17th.. it will take place at the same place as the study visits. The doctor also wants me to have a consultation with the maternal fetal medicine folks to go over "timing of deliver and plans for antenatal testing" It's actually kind of cool that I'm doing this study.. since the perinatal assessment center is where I'll have to go weekly at the end for non stress tests and stuff. The end.. the end makes me so excited!! CAN it just be september yet?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

14 weeks with pictures!!!

I'm feeling pretty great! I've got a nesting bug, which is awesome! I am trying to get as much done as possible in case it goes away quickly. We got to see the baby today at the study appt! It's always a treat. Shaun was going to join us, but got caught up at work and didn't make it. :( He was bummed.. but at least they were NOT able to tell us if the babe is a boy or girl yet... since Shaun would have really been crushed if he wasn't there for that... but I knew that if the information was available, I would have never said NO! HAHA Here are a couple pictures of our baby.. who actually LOOKS like a baby! Gwen said "he's sooo cute" while watching the ultrasound screen.. so COOL!! Oh, another thing.. going by ovulation I am 14 weeks today.. baby was measuring 14 weeks 1 day!! Cool, eh??

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We're back from Myrtle Beach!

Don't forget to click on the picture to make them bigger - if you desire! :)
The view from our balcony was so beautiful! We saw dolphins from here every day of our visit. A totally unexpected treat. Gwen loved to sit on the balcony and get her picture taken.
Gwen and I climbed the giant sand dune (or hill, that someone made) hehe We celebrated at the top! Hoooray!
Shaun and Gwen played with lots of sand..Gwen even made sure to smuggle lots back home in her sand toy tote! Too bad we didn't have room to take enough to fill the sandbox.
Gwen with our hotel in the background. Our room was on the 5th floor of the shorter tower. A really nice place to stay!
I believe this was Gwen's favorite part of the trip. We went to broadway at the beach, and she got to ride rides! Shaun can't wait to take her to Cedar Point!!
I was nervous about this ride.. she had a BLAST though!
She still talks about the airplane ride.

We went to the biggest candy shop, it was a beautiful place.. esp. for our little sweets lover! I think the sucker is still floating around here somewhere, still as big as it is in this picture too!
Gwen checking out the statue dude at Brookgreen gardens. I really liked this statue.. he kind of reminds me of papa! :)
Gwen and momma trying to beat the waves.. we usually failed. (notice the wet pant legs..)
Gwen loved filling the watering can and watering the sand.
I love this picture of her and the tree.. she HAD to wear the converse, and she has bandages on both knees from a fall the day before.. rough and tough girl, in a pretty dress.
Gwen and I enjoying the tree!
Gwen at Brookgreen gardens.. what a beautiful day we had there. We actually spent 2 days there, since the tickets were good for a week. The first day we only saw the zoo, the 2nd day we saw the gardens. Such a peaceful place.
Entering the children's area of the gardens. Very magical.. I told Gwen to look out for fairies - but she didn't believe me! UH!
Gwen would say that she's posing like a scarecrow.
Our view from the balcony on Wednesday morning! The day we went Dolphin watching.. I was worried that the trip would be cancelled. Luckily the fog cleared up and we had a great time on the boat! I wasn't at all worried that we'd be lost at sea in shark infested waters clinging to whatever remained of the little boat we were in... sometimes my imagination runs wild! Don't tell anyone! ;) hehee
Happy family waiting for the boat ride to begin!!
Shaun was the dolphin photographer! Loo at that! So cool, who doesn't LOVE dolphins!?! We even got to see a mother and baby dolphin swimming together... missed the photo op of the baby though. Yay! Dolphins!!
This was the momma dolphin.. her baby came up just after her. Shaun missed the baby by such a small time frame.. but it's still an awesome shot!!
Gwen was getting cranky on the ride back, it was the boat's first trip out for the year, so they hadn't stocked the snack's yet.. so a nice lady on board gave her some crackers. She was overjoyed!
Thursday we went to Huntington beach state park. Captain Gwennie did great for her first time driving a ship! It was pretty cold this day.. 60 (which of course isn't cold) but the wind was brutal!! We didn't get to enjoy the park as much as we'd like because it was so chilly. We only spent a few minutes on the beach, but it was stunning! Nothing but soft sand and dunes.. loggerhead sea turtles use this area for nesting. We found out they nest between April and October.. perhaps the next animal we will hope to see in the wild!
ALLIGATOR!! We got to see them in the wild!! I can't believe they were hanging out when it was so cold.. but there they were, a bunch of the too!
Shaun and Gwen pose with Mr. Gator.
We intended to spend the evening on the beach.. but it was seriously COLD! So Gwen went swimming in the ridiculously warm bathwater pool! She got really comfortable in the water too.. when she did swimming lessons 2 months ago, she hated going on her back.. now look at that!!
A view of our room, from the door to the balcony... Gwen's head is poking out at the end. We're packing up and preparing to leave. :(
We used a cart for our many pounds of luggage! :)
We had a seriously wonderful time!! It was one of the most peaceful relaxing vacations ever! How can you NOT relax when you can listen to the ocean all day long? I'm already thinking about when we can go back... and I usually like to try new places before returning to one.. but it was just so nice there. The hotel was really cheap (50 bucks a night!), perfect location and you could do a million things if you wanted or NOT! We often chose not.. :) We walked down the beach every morning and evening, looking for shells and shark teeth! (We even found ONE!) There are lots of 'shark tooth hunters' (retirees with sticks that have spoons taped to the end of them that look and collect shark teeth - they taught us how to look for them and it was really addicting!) Gwen spent most of the trip wanting to 'go home' but now she wants to go back to Myrtle Beach! Ah, 3 year olds.. Well, there you have it.. and now I'm ready for bed!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

6 months

Wow, half a year gone. I've gotta say, it's getting to me, even more than normal. It's hard to grasp that the world goes on without your loved one, isn' t it? But it does.. days just keep going by. 6 months out, Dresden is still a constant thought in my mind. I've relived the whole Dresden experience hundreds of times, trying to make sense of what happened. Mostly I'm at peace with not knowing.. but it doesn't stop the wondering. Gwen names all of her babies "baby Dresden" and she thinks that baby Dresden is in my belly now, too.. it's hard to explain to her that it's not the same baby. I'm glad that he's remained a constant in our lives, even though he's not with us. He will stay this way, for all of our lives, all of our children will know their brother as well as we do. In the next couple of months, we'll be planting an apple tree in memory of Dresden. I'm still not sure where.. originally it was going to be toward the back of our yard. Now I think I'd like it closer to us, so maybe as part of the garden area? We'll see. We miss you and love you sweet boy!

written 3/2/09 and saved to post 3/9/09

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cinderella the fatty???????

Gwen just came to me needing 'HELP' She put snow white's dress on cinderella. Totally cute, right!? Well, the problem occured when she couldn't fasten the velcro, so I tried to assist.. but it would appear that cinderella's fat ass got in the way! Am I the only one who finds this extremely HILARIOUS!?!?! Probably, huh?? hehe

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


So, I was supposed to have an ultrasound at the Study appt today. I printed out some VERY detailed directions on how to get to where I needed to be ... because I KNEW that I could not remember how to get to the place I needed to be. Shaun's mom, Gwen and I followed the directions perfectly.. the sign on the door said, We've moved.. go here.. so we did, we tried calling the study people, nothing! U of M is a HUGE hospital, finally after 45 minutes of searching, we found someone who could help us, and get a hold of the study coordinator- who said, We'll have to reschedule, because there is no space in ultrasounds! WWWAHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!! I was already having a pretty edgy cranky day.. you know, when you just FEEL irritated, for no good reason!? Well, then I got my reason! I did still get free parking and the target card for coming out, so that was a plus.. but man, am I annoyed! SO, I did end up rescheduling for the 17th, and I will have someone meet me at the big bird and lead the way.. until they can give me some directions to the actual place I'm supposed to go! :( So, no pictures today. waaa!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I'm gonna go ahead and call this the last week of the 1st trimester!! YAAHOO! I keep inching closer and closer to that month of September and part of me wishes I could go to sleep and wake up when this baby is out of my uterus and into my arms! :) In the past week, I've begun to feel considerably better. I've been cleaning and organizing (like, the file cabinet!!) we've been working on the kitchen again (after a long break!) and though I still have a touch of exhaustion, I feel motivated to DO things. I still have a teensy touch of nausea, but haven't puked in over a week! I have a study appt tomorrow, so there will be another ultrasound. I'm asking myself if before ultrasound appts if it would be a good idea to use the doppler prior to leaving - just in case - I don't want any big shockers, ya know? I'm not sure if I'll do that or not. I'm really trying to NOT use the doppler very much, esp. because I'm getting so many ultrasounds. The other, more normal question on my mind regarding ultrasounds is.. what if I see the sex and Shaun's not there (with so many, it'd be hard for him to make them all!)!?! Not that I've ever actually noticed that on an ultrasound on my own! hahaha Shaun is the expert on baby body parts... I couldn't tell Dresden had boy parts til we did the 3D ultrasound and them BAM... look at that! :) I'm still feeling overall VERY positive about this pregnancy. Even though it's hard for me to say it out loud and to really believe it sometimes.. I actually KNOW that everything is going to be alright.. this baby is going to come home with us!


Oh yeah.. one more thing. I just rememered a dream that I had last night. Someone I know (but not super well) was touching my belly in my dream.. then she was like, Oh, maybe I shoudln't?? and I said.. Uhhh YES you should!! You never know when your last chance will be! So, people.. yes, feel free to touch - esp later, when there is actually something resembling a baby gut to touch!! Give the babe lots of love.. I've never been one of those pregnant types to HATE being touched... if someone wants to give my baby some attention, why would I hate that?!! ESP. NOW! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

beauty at Jungle Java?

I want to share something that happened to me at Jungle Java (indoor sliding place) the other day. I was climbing up to where the slide area was, preparing to slide down with Gwen.. a little girl came up to me. She was probably 2 years old, maybe a little younger. She put my necklace (with Dresden's ashes) gently in her hands, admired it for a few seconds and then put it to my lips to kiss. How's that for amazing!?! It sure brought a smile to my face. What a special little girl.