Saturday, December 29, 2007

two out of five

This was Christmas number two - Christmas Eve at my parents' house. Church service was over by 8:30. Gift opening ended promptly at midnight. Good times.

Here's "doodle-bug" enjoying a Christmas candle.

She's also a really enthusiastic singer.

Here she is enjoying mom and dad's new surround sound system.

...she's such a good helper!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Rock Star

BONO was here! On Friday afternoon (around 3:00) we were asked to attend a meeting. Bobby Shriver was there, the CEO of Viacom, a bunch of people from the Gates Foundation, the new CEO of (RED)...we had no idea they were all coming! Our team was in the front row (sweaty and mad because we just set up all 150 chairs) and we thought we were attending a boring marketing presentation. Suddenly, Bobby Shriver was at the microphone, thanking us for our hard work on (RED) when he said, "And now - here's my good friend, Bono!" ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? Bono walked out, wearing all black except for his signature sunglasses. He began singing "I'm dreaming of a RED Christmas..." (Irish accent and all) and then proceeded to thank us for our efforts with (RED) and how he's visited Africa and seen the effects of the two pills that can be purchased with the money raised from (RED) and the Global Fund. We are all doing our part to save the sick children in Africa and he just wanted to say "Thanks". It was un-real. UN - REAL!!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

blood and guts

Blood test this morning. Yuck. I THINK I handled it like a champ. Not sure. I mean...maybe there are rewards for stuff like this, I don't know. There should be. Doctor's office called at 2:00 and said my pregnancy hormone level was down to 8. This is good news. We're on our way! Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the occassional beer and all of the exercises/activities my books told me to avoid while pregnant (you know...skydiving, basketball, ice hockey, bungie jumping...anything that could cause trauma to my abdomen. That, and I let Ryan punch me in the gut AS HARD AS HE CAN sometimes. You know...stuff I'll miss.)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

cold tuesday afternoon

This is my niece, Delaney. She's fantastic and she makes us all smile. She makes a little "surprise" noise every time she recognizes something. (we - as a family - apparently make that noise a lot?) Today, she is thrilled at the sight of candles. (my sister's power went out and the entire house is being lit "the old fashioned way"...caveman bonfire in the living room.)

As for me, I am at work today - along with 12 other people?? Ryan and I watched the news last night and laughed at the schools that closed due to (what ended up being) lots of rain. Nothing is frozen and nothing is dangerous - except bears. Bears are still dangerous.

It's not a big thing, but I am getting a blood test this Thursday. (it's sort of a big deal to me since I have tiny, rolly, pain in the @ss veins and usually end up crying and curling my toes a lot - not in a good way - but not in the grand scheme of things, it's not big.) This is to make sure my hcG levels are back down to zero (the pregnancy hormone should be completely gone). I still have to endure a whole cycle before we can try again, but the plan is to get another ultrasound and an I.U.I. (ultrasound tells us when I'm ovulating, I.U.I. actually gets me pregnant...well, Ryan has something to do with it, but the procedure helps). All of this will probably take place in January.

That's it for baby news. Until then, I'm going to post more photos and "day in the life" stuff regarding me and Ryan (and our progress with the home remodeling we've been doing...because that stuff is exciting...and distracting...and necessary. Seriously...we still have "pheasant" wallpaper in the bathroom.)

Take care and stay warm! (only 2 weeks until Christmas!)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

There's no easy way to do this

Ryan and I are very sad to report that we lost the baby. Yesterday (after attending a baby shower - of all things) I walked back to my desk and began to feel a lot of cramping. I called the doctor (and Ryan) and they brought me in for an immediate ultrasound. The nurse was really sweet - she's actually a family friend. But she cautioned us that I was only five weeks along and there wouldn't be much to see at this point. But we sat there in the dark (hoping to see something on the screen) and the room got really quiet. She gave a very long sigh and her voice changed.

"I'm just not seeing what I need to see..." and "I'm so sorry" are sort of still ringing in my ears. We couldn't find the yolk sac and determined that my body was already removing what was left of the baby. They drew some blood (a whole other horrible experience...basically, I could never be a heroine addict) to see what my hcG levels were. When they get back down to zero, we can start trying again.

We are sad and we are doing our best to deal, but we are not discouraged. We realize that this is pretty common and we are not the only people who have ever been through it. We have so much support around us (and can I just take this time to say Thank you SO much for all of the "Congratulations" and "We are so happy for you" that everybody sent on Tuesday. Just MINUTES after I posted the blog, we were flooded with love and support - so thank you for that). But as strong as I pretend to be, I know I'm going to need a couple of days off to be sad and let this thing happen to my body. It's not that we don't want to hear from you - it's just hard to talk about right now.

SO thanks again and hopefully (always good to be hopeful) we will be back up soon with some good news.

Lots of Love,
Ryan and Ashley

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

If Halle Berry can do it, so can we...

Ryan and I have chosen not to find out the sex of the baby. It was a decision we made long before we got pregnant - mostly because I want that moment where Ryan gets to shout, "IT'S A BOY!" (or whatever) to a waiting room full of people, but also because we want the surprise. And I'm sure we each have our secret preferences (girl) but it truly doesn't matter to me (girl, girl, girl). As long as the baby is healthy with a normal-sized head (and great hair...let her have great hair!).

So in the hours between "sleepy" and "dead asleep" I've been researching gender neutral nursery themes. (And I don't mean "theme" in the "everything matches from the curtains to the lampshade to the bedding" kind of way...) But I enjoy retro patterns (think wooden toys, "Dick and Jane" books, and polka dots). Here's some stuff from Cath Kidston's website that made me happy: