Wednesday, February 29, 2012


How Far Along: 15 weeks!

Total Weight Gain: 6 pounds....even though I have an inking that I have probably gained a few more pounds...will find out at doctor's next week! 

Maternity Clothes: I am loving leggings and comfortable pants better than my regular blue jeans. They're way more comfortable! As for shirts; I am still able to fit in my regular ones even though it may not last for too long yet, and I do wear some maternity tops. It all depends on my mood on that day. 

Stretch Marks: None as I can see. Palmer's Coca Butter is still doing its trick. 

Sleep: Better now that I have a body pillow to prop my body with. My hips still hurt if I sleep in one position for too long so I have to flip over on my other side quite often during the night. I am able to sleep a few more hours before having to get up to pee. 

Best Moments Of The Week: Feeling Baby Russ! It feels like fluttering/popcorn popping against my belly. It is very sporadic and only happens when I eat an orange or drink an orange juice! It is a pretty neat feeling. Getting Baby Russ's crib! Finding neat things that I can add to my baby shower list for Baby Russ like Baby Bullet, to name one! 

Miss Anything: Being able to sleep on one side all night without feeling stiff or sore. Wearing blue jeans comfortably. Being able to sneeze without my stomach muscles feeling like I've done 1,000 sit-ups. 

Movements: Yep! Little popcorn fluttering sensation...I've felt it twice so far! Can't wait for Baby Russ to become stronger so I can feel Baby Russ more often!

Food Craving: Oranges and celery sticks, but especially orange juice. Yum Yum. 

Anything Making You Queasy: Nothing! 

Have You Started To Show Yet: I do have a belly on me now! But I don't think people can tell that I am pregnant unless I tell them because I've been wearing sweatshirts lately due to the cold weather we've been having this week!

Gender Prediction: Some people are rooting for Team Pink. Some people are rooting for Team Blue. Finally, time is counting down until we can officially say who Baby Russ is! 

Belly Button In Or Out: Still in. 

Wedding Ring On Or Off: Still on no problem.

Mood: Happy aside from being mad about the plumbing situation that left me without a working toilet in our home for a whole day! That was not easy for this poor pregnant lady to handle with. Fortunately, I survived with help of few trips to Kwik Trip, and got our toilet in a working order by the end of the day. Then I was back to being happy again!

Looking Forward To: Week 16! Hard to believe that I'm getting farther along in this pregnancy already! Doctor appointment next week--I'll get to feel Baby Russ's heartbeats again! Then scheduling for our third ultrasound appointment! Can't wait for that! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Week 14 Bump

How Far Along: 14 weeks!

Total Weight Gain: 6 lbs, but I feel like I've gained a bit more. I'll find out in two weeks at the doctor's. 

Maternity Clothes: Mixed, still. I am starting to prefer comfortable pants like sweatpants, yoga pants, loose pants or a great maternity pants over blue jeans. I'm already starting to run out the buttons on the pregnancy belt for the regular blue jeans...even so, it is starting to feel tight on me. Grow, Baby, grow!

Stretch Marks: None. I've been using Coca Palmer's lotion most of the time and gaining weight slowly. Let's hope this keeps up, and I'll end up with no stretch marks, but we will see!

Sleep: So-so this week. My hip has been hurting a lot more and I feel stiff when I sleep in one position for too long. I don't get up to go to bathroom as much as I did in the first trimester, but weird dreams are still waking me up at random hours then I have to pee and stretch my sore hips. I think it's time for me to get a body pillow.

Best Moment Of This Week: Getting bedroom nursery set in the mail! It was exciting to get the packages. I wanted to open them up and assembly them, but I knew that I needed to wait. After all, that's Stu's job not mine (he said that not me). He promised that we will set up the nursery in late spring. 

Miss Anything: Normal sleep. Coffee. Fitting into my blue jeans rather comfortably. Not having achy hips. 

Movements: All is quiet inside besides from my stomach growling when I am hungry. 

Food Craving: Celery sticks with peanut butter, oranges, and strawberries this week. I can't seem to get enough of them. Yum. 

Anything That Makes You Queasy: Nothing this  week. All is good. I have had a couple headaches, but that was from eating too much cheese in one day. 

Have You Started To Show Yet: I don't think it is obvious to people out in the world that I am pregnant under the layers of winter clothes. I look like a college kid with freshman 15 belly, but nothing that screams look at me, I am pregnant. But, Stu thinks that I am starting to get a belly. I sure do feel like I am hauling extra weight on my stomach! 

Gender Prediction: In about 6 weeks from now, we will see which team will win; Team pink or Team blue, and celebrate the baby's gender! 

Belly Button In Or Out: Please, it's in. 

Wedding Ring On Or Off: On. 

Mood: Pretty happy, and feeling good despite the aches and pains that I have. 

Looking Forward To: Being Week 15! 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Are You Doing With Your Hands?

Sign Language: How Does People React (to) That?? 
Last night, I was watching Mysterious Diagnosis on Discovery Fit and Health channel on TV, and the episode was centered on a little boy that ended up being diagnosed with Dwarfism. The kid made a comment how he was sick of people staring at him due to his short stature. It got me thinking....about my experiences, as well as my friends', with public's reaction to us signing. 


1) Wow! That is so beautiful with what you are doing with your hands. 
2) I know some signs. Let me try some with you. 
3) I wish I knew how to is so cool to see you signing.  
4) I used to know some, but I forgot how.  
5) I know some finger-spelling, but I may be slow.  
6) I'm sorry for not knowing sign language, but can we write so I can learn something about it?  
7) What is American Sign Language Interpreter and how does that work? It looks so cool.  
8) Your ears are broken, that's why you need to move your hands to talk, right?  From a little kid, how cute is that. 

This happens to my signing Deaf friends and me most of the time. People are inquisitive, kind, and eager to ask questions or try communicate with what they do know. I am often very receptive and open for anybody to come up to me and ask. After all, about 85% of the time, I am probably the first Deaf person that they have ever seen or met in person in their lives. Sometimes, timing is not always the best when a person approaches me and wants to show me what they know or ask questions, but I do accommodate and give them a few minutes of my time. 


1) What? Huh? Why are you moving your hands? What's wrong with you?  
2) I'm so sorry! Really, don't apologize for not knowing sign language or the fact that I am Deaf. 
3) Awkward silence after learning that I don't speak and only sign.  
4)  That is so weird.  
5) Acting all flustered when I approach them and inform them that I am Deaf.  
6) Stammering and acting lost even when I have an interpreter with me.  
7) Why can't you talk? OR why won't you talk? Is your tongue and throat in working order?  
8) Oh, okay.........? CAN. YOU. READ. MY. LIPS? 

This is not terribly bad, but more of an annoyance. Those people have good intention most of the time, but does not word their thoughts very well. It can get tiring for me especially on my bad days or when I am in a big rush to check out my items from a store, and I don't really want to explain or answer their questions. Really, don't apologize for my Deafness or for how you react to me being Deaf. It can be surprising especially if you have not met a Deaf person before, and it can be intimidating when there's lack of communication. Honestly, do not worry. We have it covered. We carry our little notebook with a pen with us. Some of us can talk pretty well. Some of us prefer not to speak so that's where our little notebook comes in. Just don't ask us to read your lips. You look a bit weird to us when you open your mouth and exaggerate letter movements. So, just follow our cues and you'll be golden. 


1) Staring. Staring. Staring. It makes me feel like I am a caged animal in the zoo. If you are not under age of 10, then please refrain yourself from staring or at least approach me and ask me something. 

2) Asking if I am mentally handicapped, or cognitive disabled. The last time I checked, my ears may be damaged, but I am not brain-damaged. Thank you very much. 

3) Mimicking, mocking, or making rude gestures. That makes you look stupid, trust me, and we go somewhere and laugh at you later. 

4) Refusing to accommodate my needs. Really? I've spent half of my time accommodating to your needs so why can't you do the same for me? 

5) You really need to learn how to speak or need hearing aids of some kind so you can be normal like us. Hmm.....I'm already normal. 

6) Laughing at Deaf people signing. Oh really, you're an adult and you laugh at me signing? Maybe I should start laughing at you and see how you feel about that? 

7) Making fun of Deaf people. Rule of the thumb; only minority or disabled groups or CODA/SODA (Children of Deaf Adults, Siblings of Deaf Adults) can poke fun at themselves. Abled-people and the majority people should NOT make fun of them. It is in a poor taste. Just think of Black people and how they poke fun at themselves; it's okay but for white people to poke fun at them...not so okay. Same concept goes for hearing and Deaf folks. 

8) Asking inappropriate questions. Use your common sense. I have been asked some ridiculous questions such as, Does Deaf people have sex, to name one. Really. How does that question benefit you? You don't just go up to a person and ask that person, so why are you gay or oh why are you fat? Be respectful, please, and avoid from making assumptions or asking inappropriate questions just for shits and giggles. If it is a question you wouldn't ask your own peer then don't ask a Deaf person that. 

Thankfully, rude and stupid people does not appear out of blue very often. Many of us Deaf people have far more positive experiences interacting with hearing folks than bad. When a bad experience does occur, I tend to brush it off, and roll my eyes then move on because I know there are more good people than there are bad. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WEEK 13 Bump Watch

How Far Along: 13 Weeks! 

Total Weight Gain: 6 lbs even though I feel like I have gained a couple from eating Valentine's Day candies that Stu got for me! 

Maternity Clothes: I absolutely love the stretchy pants I got from Motherhood Maternity store. It's so comfortable! I wear it as much as I can! As for shirts; I still wear both regular and maternity shirts.

Stretch Marks: Thankfully none thus far! 

Sleep: Okay under the circumstance...I guess being pregnant means  not getting a full night of sleep anymore, but I'm not complaining. My energy during the day is definitely back! 

Best Moments Of This Week: Getting a phone call from my doctor's to let me know that our baby has passed all the screening tests that I had done last week, and knowing that we have a healthy baby just makes me so happy! Having no headaches at all...Yay! On top of all this, I'm finally in the second trimester, and it is quite exciting to be in the second "phase" of my pregnancy because it means all fun stuff will be feeling my baby kick and move inside! 

Miss Anything: Hot beef sticks. I really miss eating them with cheese curds. Having a glass of wine. Coffee. I would love a cup of coffee, but I can't even taste it for some reason. Having a normal nose. I get a bloody nose a lot now due to increased blood flow in my body, and dry condition from the winter air. Blah. 

Movements: I think I feel a bit of fluttering here and there where my baby is located at, but I can't really confirm if the movement really belongs to my baby or my body being kooky. 

Food Craving: Celery sticks topped with peanut butter. I can't seem to get enough of celery this week. And for some weird reason; I'm really craving for Sauerkraut...don't ask, I have no clue why.

Anything Making You Queasy: Nothing really. I just feel a bit "off" if I go too long without eating. So I eat every 2-3 hours and I'm golden.

Have You Started To Show Yet: I still say kind of. I have a curved belly now, but I don't think I look pregnant yet. Stu and I call it a vanishing bump because every morning, I look smaller but at end of the day, I look bigger. I can't wait to have a belly that stays (and pregnancy books say that it will happen around month 4-5). 

Gender Prediction: Stu and I know the baby's sex! We have known since last week from my last ultrasound appointment, but the specialist is only 80% sure. So we want to wait until my next ultrasound in April to confirm/determine the sex for sure before announcing! The majority thinks my baby is a girl, and a few still thinks my baby is a boy. We will see which group is correct in about 7 weeks from now. 

Belly Button IN or OUT: Innie.

Wedding Ring On or Off: On. 

Mood: Happy and feeling good for once since I've learned I am pregnant. 

Looking Forward To: Being week 14! 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, I love you.

It is one of my favorite holidays....Valentine's Day! I just happen to absolutely adore the good-feeling that comes with Valentine's Day. I especially even so adore Target during this time of the year because most of my favorite colors are out--red, pink, white, and all that cute shazz.  To celebrate this lovely holiday; I am going to share with you one of my favorite stories (and Stu's too, actually).....about how we met! 

I was a transfer student to Ripon College during my sophomore year. I ended up in one of Stu's education classes. At that time, I was pretty much taking both psychology and education courses because I was curious about how education system worked and how it impacted students in general. I've always been interested in knowing how cogs and wheels worked in the system of education and how it eventually impacted Deaf students. 

I was sitting in front of the classroom when this guy walked in. I barely paid attention to him. After all, I was brand-new at this new school and I was nervous/shy about meeting new people. 

Stu walked in and he saw me. At the same time, he saw this woman sitting in front of the classroom, and he assumed the woman was our class professor. He quickly brushed himself up to look neat and nice because he thought that I was a pretty girl and he wanted to impress me. After all, first impressions meant everything, right? He was also feeling pretty good because he was working out, lifting weights, and starting as a linebacker on Ripon Hawks Football team. Stu smiled and said hello to me. Unbeknownst to him, I am Deaf. Of course, I did not hear him and did not reply. Stu brushed off that rejection as coolly as he could and thought to himself, What a snob (I cleaned up the language; he may have used the word that rhymed with witch). He went to sit in the back of classroom as far away from me as possible. 

Suddenly, he saw other woman walk into the classroom. This woman announced herself as a professor. Stu was confused....who was that lady sitting in front of the classroom? He glanced over to that woman and saw that woman moving her hands. The professor asked me to come up in the front of the classroom to introduce myself and explain how an interpreter worked. So I came to the front of the classroom and introduced myself. Stu claimed that at THIS VERY MOMENT, he knew he wanted to marry me because I had lighten up the room with my aura and smile, but he had to learn my language first. 

A few weeks passed without anything really happening. Then our professor asked us to split up in smaller groups to work on projects that reflected our majors. I looked around. I did not want to join the math group. I did not want to join English group even though I liked English. There was no art group. There was no creative writing group. The only group left was a sociology/history group, and I thought it was the best group out of all...besides, I had liked history. I had almost majored in history during my freshman year. Sure enough, I picked that group....and to my surprise, there was this guy named Stu in the group.

I was quiet for the most part during the discussion. When it came for us to brainstorm ideas and put them on our papers; I struggled because my interpreter kept getting lost in the translation and everybody were talking over each other. I was getting frustrated. Stu saw an opportunity to impress me. He took my paper and started writing down the information I needed to submit to our professor. I smiled at him and he smiled back at me. My interpreter giggled and signed, he's flirting with you!!!! I shot a glance at my interpreter--a look of Oh hush, don't make it obvious! My interpreter giggled once again and I blew air out of my mouth. 

Later that day, Katie, one of my close friends, came over to my dorm room, and I told her about Stu. Katie giggled and I asked her not to say anything to Stu. Katie promised.

Of course, Katie didn't keep to that promise.

Katie ended up slipping a piece of paper to Stu when Stu came up to Alpha Delta Pi table to purchase carnation flowers for a charity. Stu read the note and saw that I had liked him. It made Stu felt really good because he had a major crush on me from day one. After lunch was over, Stu approached Katie and asked her to tutor him in Sign Language, but told her NOT to say anything to me about the tutoring session. 

Stu and I continued to hang out for a few more weeks. We wrote back and forth on our little notebook (Yes, I still do have that notebook somewhere in one of my boxes). Katie gave me no indication that she was secretly tutoring Stu. I had absolutely no idea. One day, Stu asked me how to sign Hello Beautiful. I taught him. He ended up saying that to me all of the the hallway, in lunch, in our classroom, and every time when I visited him at Phi Delta Theta Floor in the dorm.

One night in October, Stu came to my room and wrote in that notebook of ours and told me to be nice to him because he wanted to try something. I was puzzled and said okay. He put down the notebook and lifted up his hands. He signed, Would you go to the formal dance with me? I said YES. 

And rest is the history...............Here we are 7 years later; married, and our little baby on the way. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

WEEK 12 Bump Watch

(Feel Free to click on photo to read words better)

How Far Along: 12 weeks!

Total Weight Gain: Unchanged at 6 lbs. I was told that I was progressing nicely. Some women gain a lot in first trimester while some others gain more in 2nd trimester, and my doctor thinks I am in the latter group!

Maternity Clothes: Mixed in with some normal clothes and some maternity clothes. My regular shirts are getting snug though! 

Stretch Marks: Nope! 

Sleep: So-so. I don't get a full night of sleep due to my bladder. I don't nap as much as I used to either. My energy is returning. So there is some days of me feeling absolutely wiped out and some days I don't feel pregnant and always on go! 

Best Moments This Week: Feeling Baby Russ's heart on the Fetal Doppler. Baby Russ had a heart rate of 171! Then people had fun guessing the gender of our baby! The majority felt the baby was going to be a girl...and a few felt the baby was still a boy! Then I had a chance to see Baby Russ on an ultrasound again! It was so much fun seeing Baby Russ moving and playing peek-a-boo! The most awesome thing ever! 

Miss Anything: Having a headache-free week. 

Movement: Nothing major yet. The ultrasound specialist said that with an active baby I have, I may start feeling Baby Russ around Week 15 (First week of March). Can't wait!

Food Craving: I don't have major food craving this week. I was hungry for Brats and Sauerkraut so I had that for dinner almost every night this week! 

Anything Making You Queasy: My stupid headaches! Last night was an especially bad one so I ended up going to bed very early to sleep it off...and only to wake up with a headache the next morning. Boo.

Have you Started To Show Yet: Kind of! I have a belly now and if I wear a snug shirt then you can tell that there is a baby bump, but if I wear a loose shirt or sweater then you can't tell at all. 

Gender Prediction: The majority thinks I'm having a girl. There are a few that are pretty adamant that I'm having a boy. 

Belly Button IN or OUT: In. It hasn't popped out. It would be weird if that ever happened!

Wedding Ring On or Off: Still on. 

Mood: Very happy to see Baby Russ this week. :-) 

Looking Forward To: Being in 2nd trimester next week according to my pregnancy calendar! And Week 13! 


Monday, February 6, 2012

How Does Deaf People Learn To Read?

"How does Deaf People Learn (to) Read?"

SO...Here is my OVERDUE It is a DEAF thing post.....

The most common questions I get all of the time from Hearing people is: How did you learn to read if you were unable to hear as a child? I think it is actually a good question. Hearing kids learn to read by understanding the sound of each letter in a word then combining the letters to make a word. For Deaf way, this is going to work. We can't hear. BUT we can see. 

Hearing kids learn how to read pretty much all in the same way. 

Deaf kids don't.

Let me start telling you how I learned how to read. 

I was a very little girl, about 2 years old, when my aunt gave me a pink binder called Ashley's Signing book. It was to teach me to associate a picture to a sign then associate it to a word. I learned that a picture meant something and that something had a "word" for it. A picture of a grizzly bear meant B-E-A-R....bear! A picture of a ball meant B-A-L-L....a ball! Ever since that, I was hooked to reading and wanting to learn what a picture meant in a word. 

 In the animated pictures down below, you'll see actual pictures from my book: 

When I read, I see images instead of sounds, and it is almost as if a movie is unfolding in my head. This is why I have always loved reading since I was a little girl. Every time I read, I open an entire world of bringing my characters to life, and I love living with them in their world. I wish I can say the same for college textbooks, ha ha ha! Even so, I still do visualize what I read in the textbooks from school years. 

Now, is this true for ALL Deaf people? I asked my good friend, Sharon, about how she learned and associated words with reading. To my surprise, it is completely different from how I learned to read. 

She had explained that she was also visual like I was, however, she did not see images. She simply saw the outlines of the letters in a word then matched it to the printed word on the text. To her, it was how she learned, and associate words to reading. 

How curious! 

My other Deaf friend explained that he did not learn to "see" individual letters when he first learned to read. He clumped letters together to form words in his mind. If there was an individual letter then it was simply discarded. It had no meaning to him. But once there's a word then it made sense to him as what it meant. He did not see "imagery" like I did, but rather assorted texts and words floating in his mind waiting to be formed into a sentence. 

Was I the only one who saw images when I read?

So I asked yet other few Deaf folks. Most of them simply said that they see themselves "signing" words and sentences in their minds while reading. It was very much like how a hearing person "talks" and "hears the sounds" in his/her head while reading. Several did say that they saw "movie" or "pictures" while reading ... just like me. 

All of the responses I have gotten makes me wonder if it had to do with left/right brain hemispheres. For those who are more "logical", they seem to see letters, and words to be completed while for those who operates with "artistic" brain side seem to rely more on imagery and signing while reading. 

In an ideal world, Deaf people should learn their language first (American Sign Language or any form of Sign Language) to help them associate their language with English.  It is proven by people like us. We all have a common ground; We know ASL first before learning English. It has definitely given us boost in understanding English. 
Actually, it depends, Mr. Dinosaur. *winks* 

Having said all this, it is pretty obvious that Deaf people can read with help from their dedicated parents, well-founded education system with great educators, and inner will to accomplish/survive in the hearing world. Unfortunately, it is not very common that you'll find well-read Deaf people due to faulty education system, burned-out teachers, lack of communication between parents and the Deaf child,  and lack of inner motivation due to learned helplessness among Deaf students. It is sad to say that many Deaf adults read at 4th grade level or below, and cannot understand  English very well. None of this is their fault. It isn't an ideal world that we are living in. 

On the flip side of the've may notice a "FAD" with teaching BABY SIGNS to hearing babies, and how it may impact their speech development. The truth is...Baby signs are very beneficial to the hearing babies especially when they are not talking yet. Are you teaching them a complex language of American Sign Language from baby signs? No. You're teaching them basic and simplistic signs such as milk, water, tired, sad, happy, and etc. So, this doesn't interfere with their speech development at all. Just think about bilingual families. Babies in those families learn Spanish and English and turn out just fine. Same with baby signs and teaching them to talk. :-) But that's just my two-cents. 

Anyway, that's how I learned to read despite my being unable to hear.  It is pretty much self-evident that Deaf people can do anything but hear. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Russ Bump Watch Commences!

(Feel free to click on photo to enlarge it to read the words better)

How Far Along: 11 weeks! 

Total Weight Gain: steady at 6 pounds. 

Have you Told Your Family/Friends: You bet! It's official now! 

Maternity Clothes: Yep, especially the yoga pants. Love 'em. If I have to wear blue jeans then I'm sporting pregnancy belt. I'm not quite ready for maternity blue jeans yet.....too stubborn for that! 

Stretch Marks: None! *Fingers crossed* I lather the crap out of Palmer's Coca butter on my belly and hips. So hopefully, it'll keep the stretchies at the bay! 

Sleep: Could be better, but I'm not complaining with all the naps I've been taking lately. Even if I cut down on water before bed; I still get up at random hours to pee and wake up from strange dreams! 

Best Moment This Week: Breaking the news about Baby Russ on my birthday! Getting my energy back...slowly and surely. And I can kind of say BYE BYE to morning sickness. 

Miss Anything: Eating anything without getting a heartburn! Seriously. 

Movement: I keep thinking I feel fluttering but it's probably gas. Bummer. 

Food Craving: Hard boiled eggs, avocados, and fruit smoothies. And ...yeah MEAT. I think I'm becoming into a cave woman--gimme meat!

Anything Making You Queasy/Sick: Prenatal vitamin--it keeps on triggering my headaches. Boo. Being tired triggers my headaches. Being too dehydrated...headaches. Being too hungry...headaches. See the pattern here? Otherwise, morning sickness queasiness is going away!

Have You Started To Show Yet: I have a small bump. My stomach is no longer flat. It's not very noticeable enough for everybody to say PREGNANT LADY OVER HERE.

Gender Prediction: A BOY!

Belly Button IN or OUT: INNIE.

Wedding Ring On or Off: Definitely on. If I don't drink enough water then it's hard to get my ring off. 

Mood: HAPPY! 

Looking Forward To: Being WEEK 12! Feeling Baby Russ's heartbeat on the doppler machine at my doctor's appointment next week!

For those who would love to check out earlier belly weekly pictures; it is from my other blog called Expecting Baby Russ. This blog is more baby-oriented and frequently updated. I don't want to convert this blog into just a baby-obessed blog and would like to keep this blog balanced with baby update, Deaf Thing posts, dog updates, and Life babbles. So feel free to check out the links down below and visit that blog if you wish! 


Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I am pregnant!!

This came to us as a big surprise. It was quite unexpected yet expected.....yes, that was a total paradox, but that was the only way I can describe it. I was feeling SUPER TIRED. All I wanted to do was sleep. It was getting harder to get up with Stu early in the mornings. I often waved him away and signed incoherently that I wanted to sleep in a bit more. Me being a huge coffee lover, I suddenly noticed that I was unable to taste anything from my coffee cup. It tasted bland no matter how strong I brewed my coffee. The creamer made it somehow worse...tasteless, bland, and terrible. Then nausea hit. It was a queasy sensation that crept up on me. The multiple symptoms began to appear as the weeks progressed.

On December 10th, I confided to a friend, who have been knocked up twice, about all of my symptoms. She laughed and said, o yea, you are pregnant!

No, I can't be pregnant, I replied.

But that instilled some doubt in my head.

So I ran to Walgreen's. Grabbed the first pink package I saw and ran out of the store..well, after paying for it, of course!

Sure enough, there was a faint second line! I was not satisfied with that. On the next day, I took other test. Positive. Later that day; positive. The third day; positive and positive. A week later, it was still a positive.  Hell, I probably had cleared the entire pregnancy test on Walgreen's shelf.

I ended up with the total of not 3, not 6, not 8, but 10 positive tests when it was all said and done by the time we saw the doctor! Here's a photographic evidence....I spared you of all 10 test sticks though......

 Okay, now it was a good time to let my hubs know.......

December 11th: Stu was in a great mood. He went to Packers game. They won. He had a great dinner with his friends. Stu said that it was the best Sunday he have had in a long while. I thought to myself...well, the best is yet to come! He came home and saw a chalkboard on the wall: MERRY CHRISTMAS DAD.

The board was located above Layla's dog food bowl. Stu turned to me and said: thanks, Layla, while thinking the chalkboard was a gift in itself. I insisted that he should take a closer look. He did. Saw nothing. Looked at me in confusion. M'kay....he was not getting it. I pointed at a positive test stick. He looked at it.....looked at it...looked at it for what it felt like an eternity. I pointed at a bag which had additional 3 tests. He took each out.....his legs grew knobbly, and he fell down to the floor. Yep, he fainted...for a moment. Fortunately,  Stu did come around and was absolutely thrilled!

The next day, I called the doctor and set an appointment for January 11th. Man, the wait really sucked! That was how I ended up with 6 more tests...just to make sure I was still pregnant because it still felt unreal to us. 

On Christmas Day, we really wanted to inform our families even though I hadn't had my pregnancy confirmed by my doctor. Stu thought it was going to be a really cool Christmas gift...and we may not have that chance to announce about our little Russ's arrival on this special day in the future. So....we told our immediate families about our newest arrival on the way, and everybody were beyond excited for us. It was really adorable how my parents reacted since they were going to be first time grandparents!

 My mom flipped out, screamed, cried, and clutched the doll against her chest. Yes, we gave a baby doll to my mom as a present. Then we went to my dad's and broke the news to him. It was funny because I had to repeat myself several times that he was going to be a grandpa. For some strangest reason; he thought we were talking about having him to go to my grandpa's house. Then it hit him that he was going to be a grandpa!

Stu called his parents and notified them. They were more laid-back compared to our parents. For them, our kid was going to be their grandchild number 4! Nonetheless, they were really excited for us. We had a good laugh about this because a bit more than 6 months ago, on our wedding day, our nephew, Griffin, had said that he wanted a cousin! Stu told him that he wasn't going to have a cousin that soon....and how wrong Stu was! 

After a long wait; on January 11, Stu and I went to the doctor's to confirm my pregnancy, and sure enough, we got to see our little Russ! Our little baby's heart was fluttering like a butterfly and moving around on the ultrasound screen. I was told that I was right on the target ... 8 weeks 2 days! 

It turned out that our little Russ is due on AUGUST 20, 2012! 

Boy, 2012 is going to be a really fun year for us! 

Stick around and find out more soon,