Monday, July 23, 2012

Update: More gifts for Baby Ava!

I wanted to keep up with my Ava updates for family and friends (especially to say an extra special Thank You besides the 'Thank You' cards that I send...)

Shortly after Mark and I made our baby registry, we received a gift from our good friend, Billy Sandidge. Billy went to high school with me at St. Thomas Aquinas and is now a friend and co worker to Mark. Both me and Billy have favorite pictures of ourselves in sailor outfits as babies, so he sent a nautical baby dress that we had registered for! Ava will look precious in this dress. I can't wait. 

These are two more little outfits from Mark's mom, Debbie. :-)

These are 7 outfits (just the beginning from what I was told) from my dad and my step mother. 

During Ali & Lee Baker's wedding weekend in Chicago 2 weeks ago, Sarah Waldrup surprised me with a beautiful, handmade baby blanket. She chose a pink a mint green one to match her nursery. 
Thank You, Panda!

And here we have some not so glamorous gifts (BUT MUCH NEEDED ONES) from my mom - baby wipes! And LOTS of them - over 1,000 wipes! She is buying in bulk. So Ava will have a clean tush for a while... :) 

 And just today, I had a dentist appointment for a 6 month cleaning. I started going to Dr. Jeson when Mark and I got married. He and his family have been going to Dr. Jeson since they moved down to Florida when Mark was little. They are a small office off of Commercial Blvd. and Bayview Drive in Ft. Lauderdale. 
Dr. Jeson's wife even works in the office and bakes cookies on a daily basis for all of their patients! They are the kind of people that remember things you say and can't wait to hear how your school, wedding, job, or pregnancy is going. As soon as I walked in, they all ran up to see my belly. I feel like you just don't get that "small town" feel a lot anymore from your local businesses. When I finished up with my appointment, scheduled my next appointment (for a time in the afternoon that my mom could stay with Ava! - It was a surreal scheduling moment for me!)  they had a gift waiting for Mark and I. We got a very cute pop up card and a baby book and rattle set. So very thoughtful of them. 

So if you're looking for a great dentist and a friendly staff, Dr. Jeson, D.D.S. is wonderful. 

 If you decide to go to Dr. Jeson- tell them Mark and Christina McGuire sent you! :) 

 Thank you to all that have been sending gifts for our Ava. We are in the middle of moving right now and could not be more excited to start on her nursery! I will post pictures when it is complete. 

In Loving Memory of John Rocky Adams

I would just like to take a moment to reflect on a loss that came far too soon. Mark and I have been very sad since yesterday when we were told that our very close friend, Jacki Adams Roche, lost her father over the weekend. I will leave the details and beautiful words to describe this great man to his daughter.  Jacki also has a blog, and has written a beautiful  post about her father. Whether you had the honor of knowing Rocky or not, you can read about a great man and a daughter's love for her father in this post

This is my favorite memory of Rocky...He was walking Jacki down the aisle crying. Jacki was smiling (and even laughing a bit) because of her daddy's pride and pure joy in those special moments. 


Mark and I would just like to say again that we love you very much and will always be here for you and Jared in anything that you may need now and always. Your father was always so welcoming to us and always made us feel like we were a part of your beautiful family. Having the honor to first meet Rocky when we were in our first years of college, I could tell immediately that he was a very special person. His charisma and personality were one to strive to have. Those around him always felt included and welcome by his warmth and contagiously upbeat energy. Mark and I feel privileged to have known Rocky, and will be keeping you, Jared, and your families in our prayers. See you this weekend, friend. Love you very much. 

-Mark & Christina 

Rocky with Mark and the boys at Jared & Jacki's home for Memorial Day 2010

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Ava Looks Like at 24 Weeks!

Today we are at Week...
Just looking back and seeing how far we have come since Feb. 29th, 2012 when I learned that Mark and I were expecting! From the size of a poppy seed to now the size of a cantaloupe...
Ava is now a little over a pound and almost 1ft. long. Her brain is growing quickly now, she can hear me and outside noises, and her taste buds and lungs are continuously developing.

Ava at 9 weeks - Seeing her heartbeat!

Ava at 13 weeks - Seeing her jump around!
These photos below are not of Ava, but I looked up what a 24 week fetus looks like and here we are today: 

Crazy, huh? I can't believe she is that big right now! At this point, she could survive if heaven forbid she was born this early, but there would be a very high risk of complications and still chances of not surviving. It feels like yesterday that I was reading about how she was the size of a "poppy seed" or "apple seed" and now she is the size of a whooping "cantaloupe!"

Keep growing, little one! We have 16 weeks to go! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reflecting on Feeling Ava's Movements

As I mentioned before, I will be writing these "reflections" or moments that I want to remember in the future to share with Ava one day. Pregnancy is going by so quickly already, and I want to remember all of it. Plus, blogging is a much easier and cheaper way for me to capture all of this rather than me running to buy scrap booking supplies every other day... So here we are...
Tommy & Luke are the 1st to feel Ava!
I wanted to write a little something about how I have been feeling lately now that I am feeling Ava move all the time. About a week or two ago I started feeling questionable, light movements, and now her movements are without a doubt HER! Last Wednesday I was watching Tommy & Luke while my mother in law went to physical therapy for her recent knee surgery when Ava really started moving. I asked Tommy to come over and put his hand on my stomach where it seemed her hand was poking me... As we waited for another movement, I told Tommy that I wouldn't tell him when she moved so that I could see if he could really feel it on his own. Sure enough, a couple seconds later his EYES WIDENED and he started laughing exactly when I felt her poking me. We were both laughing and excited that other people could finally feel her! Right away, Luke ran over and said he wanted to see if he could feel Ava move. He placed his hand in the same spot and was also able to feel her. Both boys, Ava's uncles, were giggling and very excited that they were they were the first, besides myself, to feel her move!
The couple of pictures below are Tommy and Luke making origami animals (their new favorite thing.) They have started to make Ava a mobile for her crib. We chose some pretty colors for the paper, and they are now learning how to make them into different animals.
Origami lessons on YouTube
Luke - hard at work

And thanks to friends and family, I now have 5 different baby books to read. I am going to be a mommy genius by the end of these! :) 

These are some pictures of Ava growing. This is me at 23 weeks and will be 24 weeks tomorrow, Wednesday, July 17th 2012. These photos below are from this past weekend in Chicago. I flew up with Mark on Thursday morning for my best friend's wedding.  I will be creating a whole other blog post about her amazing wedding just as soon as her professional photos are done. 
Heading out for a night in the city with Sarah

Meeting up with Aldo for lunch!
Catching up with Megan <3 in the bridal suite the morning of the wedding. She was amazed because this was the first time she had seen me in person with a baby bump!

Sarah feels Ava! 

 As we were all in the bridal suite getting our hair & make up done, we were eating breakfast and watching Craig Watson and his extraordinary photography team catch every single moment. Just as Sarah Waldrup and I are sitting on the couch, Ava starts kicking! I quickly grabbed Sarah's hand and placed it on the spot. (We had already had a few failed attempts of Sarah being able to feel her.) Somehow Craig Watson must have seen this or heard us because he quickly ran over and started taking photos of Sarah's  amazement to feeling Ava move. It was a moment that I will never forget with my best friend. I cannot wait to see Craig's photos of that moment!
A picture taken by a friend during Alexandra & Lee's wedding ceremony in St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Such a beautiful day. More photos to come soon...

Mark feels Ava!

The morning after the wedding, we headed to Midway airport to wait for our delayed flight back to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. After we ate lunch at Harry Caray's in the airport, we took some seats at our terminal and started talking to this really nice older couple from Key Largo, FL. We mostly talked about boating since they had a full time captain and traveled all over on their yacht and fishing boat (must be nice!). They also talked about their memories of raising their children and how many great things that Mark and I had up ahead. We talked to them for about an hour when Ava started jabbing my with what I am guessing was a her hand. I asked them to excuse my interrupting them, but that I wanted Mark to put his hand on my belly. Up until this point, Ava would always stop moving when Mark would go to feel her move... So right then and there and gives Mark two little jabs! Mark's eyes lit up and he started laughing as he said, "I just felt her!!!... and she did it again!!!" I was SO happy that he   finally got to experience that. 

So here we are today and Ava has been moving around this morning as I was waking up, while I was eating breakfast, and also started moving around when I was typing this up. Now that I know she can hear me and other outside noise, I catch myself talking to her when she starts to move around. :) I know she doesn't know what it is that I am saying, but I want her to hear and get to know my voice. She definitely knows Cooper by now (as he barks like crazy when he hears Mark's car when he gets home from work.) 

I will say that this has been the most incredible two weeks so far. Feeling your baby's movements for the first time is the most amazing and indescribable feeling. I have been so calm, stress free, and relaxed these days. So far, Ava has been really good to me. No sickness, no big time weight gain or crazy cravings, etc. I am only 24 weeks along though - so stay tuned... things may change :-/ 

As of now, I am loving feeling her move around and I literally smile ear to ear when she is doing it. Being pregnant with her has made me the calmest and most relaxed that I think I have ever been in my life. It is one thing to watch your belly grow and know that something amazing is happening inside of you, but it is another to actually FEEL your baby moving around inside of you! It makes it all very real and special. Imagining that there is this tiny little girl in there that is half of me and half of Mark is mind blowing to me. What is she going to be like? Look like? Act like? ...A mini "Christina/Mark" ...crazy!

 I look forward to her getting even bigger and making stronger movements for us. 

I love you so much already, Ava Loren. Your daddy is very happy that he finally got to feel you move on Sunday! Daddy calls home and asks how you are and kisses my belly all the time. We can't wait to meet you! Enjoy the next 16 weeks alone in there, because come November you will be getting a ton of attention! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The 4th of July

I hope that everyone had a great Fourth of July
Mark and I spent the 4th with his parents and little brothers at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club in Ft. Lauderdale during the earlier afternoon and then with some friends at one of their new homes in Parkland after that. I made Mark promise the day before to take me to the beach later that night after we hung out with everyone... The BIG beach fireworks are my favorite part. :) So at the end of the night, we made our way to Atlantic Blvd. and A1A in Pompano Beach to watch the beach fireworks with some cookie dough ice cream in hand. A perfect summer night. 
  I wasn't really taking a lot of pictures yesterday, but here are a few that I did take...

Tommy WON!

the guys blowing things up
Mark making an odd face...

I'm lucky that  Mark has patience for all of my picture taking :) 

Mark and the guys...their wives and I spent time by the pool and on the back porch. I  didn't get any photos of this unfortunately. 

Stealing my ice cream that he bought for Ava.

Hope you all had a great 4th of July with friends and family :)