One may say that our BabyMoon was taken in March of 2010 when we went to Italy. And I would whole-heartedly agree! That's why we decided to stay near home and take it easier for when we were actually pregnant. . .

Another milestone under our belts (and my expanded waistline). Our BabyMoon is complete, we are facing the end of our spring break and the home stretch of the school year (as well as the last stretches of my stomach's skin).

We started our first official day off with a Baby Birthing Class...You might have seen this on my instagram:

We then hit the road to the Quad Cities to help Gerard's mom, Cheryl, move into her new home. It was a huge decision to leave the home Gerard grew up in, but this new location is awesome and is perfect for her needs and when grandkids come to visit. I got my Nesting on just a bit helping her unpack and place things which makes the organizational Crazy Woman in me sing. We also got some fun hang-out time with Gerard's Aunt Geralyn who is a "Let's Get This Done" Woman. 

While we didn't get everything completely unpacked for Cheryl, we got main furniture placed, kitchen set up, guest rooms and the master bedroom all decked out and ready for anyone who may come to visit. All bathrooms are ready as well! Mission Accomplished.

I'm still kicking myself for this (almost as often as Choo Choo kicks me) but I didn't get a picture with Kim and her little girl, Bethany, that we ate lunch with on one of our QC days. Drat! It might've been the most nutritious meal of our trip: tuna salad sandwiches, fruit salad (blueberries, strawberries, regular and black raspberries), leafy greens and for dessert: cake mix cookies. SO GOOD!! So, thank you Kim and so sorry we didn't get a picture!!! :(

While we were in the QC, Gerard's step-sister, Paige, delivered their second child. So, after lunch at Panera with Gerard's Dad, we all headed over to the hospital to meet our St. Patrick's Day niece, Lydia.

 From there, we hit the road to visit a dear college friend, Libby, and her growing family. But first, this is what we had to drive through: blowing snow = pretty but dangerous....

But this is the house that greeted us. Libby and her family live in the basement of this gorgeous home that constantly had my jaw on the floor.

At first, I thought the visit might be disastrous as Ella's barking made both of Libby's young daughters wail/cry/scream out of fear. Eventually, we talked them down by explaining it was how Ella talked to them and their dog Bella. Both girls definitely had no trouble warming up to Gerard, though. He's quite the charmer.

Libby is due 6 weeks after we are so we had to show the Bump comparison. Libby is at 23 weeks with Baby #3 and I'm at 29 weeks with Baby #1:

 After spending most of the day with her and the girls, we headed to New Providence where we stayed on the family farm with my Aunt Alice and Uncle Paul. We visited, had dinner, got Ella a hair cut courtesy of my cousin Judy and her expert trimmers, played cribbage and had an outstanding breakfast the next morning as well. No matter where we live or stay, New Providence always has a change of pace for us and reminds us to slow down and soak in some relaxation. When we went to take a picture of them, Alice exclaimed that she didn't have any make-up on, so we went for a more candid-from-the-back photo. Uncle Paul turns 90 this May and I'm so thankful that long life (and happy marriages) run in my family.

 From there, we rounded out our trek across Iowa with lunch at Hickory Park in Ames.

So, where do we stand with Baby Choo Choo now? We are registered, we've taken two classes with a third in a few days. Tour of the Maternity Center scheduled and projects lined up for the nursery will be finished with the help of Dave and his closet system know-how skills. We had the infamous glucola appointment today and haven't heard results back yet, but the drink gave Choo Choo hiccups, slightly hindering our ability to find her heartbeat-despite her ornery-ness we were still able to get a recording of it. :) 

In Summary:

Worst-

*pretty painful muscle stretching making it very difficult to walk for the past several weeks. For whatever reason, the past couple days have lightened up tremendously, for which I am very thankful. 

Best-

*trips-to Utah to see

my family

and our BabyMoon. Choo Choo travels really well!!

*finishing being "trained" at the gym-set loose and confidently on my own!!

*receiving gifts in the mail. With the exception of receiving a Bridal Shower gift for a certain Carrie Smith in Florida, those boxes haven't disappointed us!!

Answered Prayers-

*aside from the smooth travels, we've also made it through the most grueling part of our school year. Let me break it down for you by the numbers Jan. 5-Mar. 10:

-Hosted Large Group Band Contest 

(17 concert bands and 10 jazz bands came through our doors in an 8-hr day)

-Accompanied students at Solo Contest for 6 hours on the piano (65 entries in total)

-Solo Contest (Vocal) 60 entries total

-2 Friday-Saturday weekends of Upwards Team Photos 

(added up to 35 hours of shooting and editing)

-5 Show Choir Competitions 

(three 1st place finishes and two 2nd place finishes with a Best Vocals and a Best Soloist award)

-2 home Show Choir performances

-Show Choir Awards Banquet

-3 Concerts: Choir & Band "Pops Concerts & 7th/8th Gr. Band Concert

I think I need a nap just typing it out.....:)

Funnies-

*the morning after Show Choir's last performance, Gerard was so ramped up that he paced between the bathroom and our bedroom. I asked what was wrong and he couldn't remember if he'd showered the night before or not. I kindly let him know that he did, so he proceeded to get ready for school sans shower. Poor guy!

*Gerard's sense of smell has heightened right along with mine. One morning, he could've sworn that Ella's breath smelled like "If China Dragon made chicken nuggets"....(our favorite Chinese restaurant)

*We've both developed cat-like reflexes which will probably be to our advantage at some point.

*I'm not above using the Men's restroom in the office at school if the Women's is in use. Don't get between me and a toilet or food or water!

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