Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baby Movement.

I've started to see our baby's movement from the outside of my belly in the past week or so, but every time I tell John to look our sweet little baby decides to stop moving. But not this morning! As we were getting ready to head out on a day trip, I sat down just in time for John to see baby Turek kick me. So sweet! I love all these firsts and do not want to forget any of these moments. It's exciting to think of all the many more to come!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

23 Weeks.

I finally look completely pregnant, and I even managed to find a couple of new shirts for my ever growing bump. I also managed to break the tie in the back of the shirt I am wearing here and thus looked rather frumpy the rest of the day, but at least I didn't have to worry about my belly hanging out the bottom. ;) Have I mentioned that I can't wait to wear maxi dresses and sandals? Hurry up warm weather!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dusseldorf Game.

So this particular game, was a BIG game. In my opinion, should be big time, but for the team coaches and management it seemed as if this sole game would determine whether or not the team would stay in first division for next year.

Even though they had two games before this particular match up, all focus was put on the game against Dusseldorf. The team was sent to some sort of camp the week before, we had a pre-game dinner the night before the game, they had a breakfast the day of the game... clearly this was a must win.

In fact, the club even bussed in 1500 fans to cheer on the team, which I will admit made for a pretty fun atmosphere. Here they are starting to trickle in.

The daughter of one of John's teammates was also ready for the fun to begin. Isn't she adorable?

I am pretty sure I was nervous before the game even started. With all this pressure what would happen if they didn't turn out victorious?

Well, let's just say the game was pretty intense. We ended up winning by two points, in the last seconds of the game. In fact, the opposing team had possession of the ball with about seven or eight seconds left on the clock. Luckily, they didn't get a shot off in time and Phoenix Hagen WON! The fans went crazy.

You'd think we'd just won a championship. Crowds of people chanting and waiting for the players to board the buses with them. I, on the other hand, stayed safely inside the confines of the player's bus. Riding home with a bunch of wild and probably drunk fans just did not sound too appealing.

John went to see the dermatologist a couple days later and he said, "You saved our town for next year." Apparently the entire city was counting on Dusseldorf not winning any games. Well, unfortunately the plan backfired. Dusseldorf DID win their game this past weekend. So now Phoenix Hagen is at the bottom of the pack once again, which means if they don't win another game they will be back in second division next year.

I will exercise restraint and not say anything else on this matter since this is a public blog. But, I will assume that most of you are thinking similar thoughts to mine. ;) Back to square one it is...

Saturday, March 27, 2010


This winter was definitely a long one. On most of the cold, snowy days you could find me laying on the couch or hunched over the toilet. Some days even meant shedding a few tears over not being able to keep nutrients down. Of course there were tears of joy too, when I would pull out that sweet ultrasound picture from our little one at nine weeks... that served as a reminder that the sickness was only a sign of a healthy pregnancy. But with every hard season, whether it is thanks to the yearly calendar or to life in general, comes sunshine on the other side.

Thankfully we are now in that season. The sun is shining, the days are getting warmer and longer. Flowers are blooming, buds are starting to form on the trees, and I feel one hundred percent better. In just five and half weeks we will be back in our home, sitting on our deck watching the birds and squirrels in our backyard. I will be eating all the food I've been craving... including Colby Jack cheese on Triscuits and raspberry lemonade.

For now we are enjoying all the little things. This season is perhaps always one of my favorites, with all things seeming to come to life. The brown grass turns green, baby animals are born, and as Easter approaches we are reminded of the new life we have in Christ. And this year life is also forming fast inside of my womb. Each day brings me one step closer to meeting the son that God has given me, and that has a way of making even mundane daily tasks seem more pleasant.

My friend's post inspired this mid-morning treat: Nutella filled crepes with berries on top. (Of course it also resulted in a loss of power for a couple of hours, but thankfully my little treat was already cooked before that happened. Note to self: when building a house never install plug-ins right before the stove top... it only makes it easier for cords to find their way to hot surfaces.)

I love the bright colors of Spring! Turquoise is one of my favorites this year, and it will also be part of the color scheme of our little boy's nursery at home. As for me, I am growing just as fast as the weeds that are probably popping up in my Stateside garden.

Oh how I love Europe in the Spring. Sidewalk cafes are filled with people lingering and laughing over lattes, beers, and wines. As for John, he makes little dogs look even cuter. (No, this dog is not ours, we ran into some friends downtown!)

Eggplant spread anyone? Anything with roasted onions, red peppers and garlic just has to be good.

Iced tea served over a glass of ice= springtime happiness.

And now I'm off to make baked chicken, scalloped potatoes and fresh green beans for lunch. All because my grandma was making ham and scalloped potatoes when I called her yesterday, and it sounded oh. so. good. See a trend in my cooking inspirations?

Here's to hoping that your Saturday is filled with much inspiration as well... and that you would see God's beauty and creativity in all that surrounds you. *Cheers!* (Insert clinking of iced tea and raspberry lemonade filled glasses here.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Harlem Globetrotters.

The Harlem Globetrotters were in town so we had the chance to check out the hype. I, for one, was not that impressed. It was more fun for me to watch the kids' reactions around me than to watch the actual show. Some day our little boy will appreciate such entertainment and that will make it all the more fun. In fact, when the song "Put your hands up in the air" came on, little baby Turek started kicking away. Coincidence? More than likely, but pretty cute nonetheless.

Clearly I was more impressed with Globie than I was with the actual Globetrotters. ;)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cute "Daddy" moment.

I asked John last night what he was most excited for about having a boy. His response?

"To teach him how to be a man."

22 Weeks.

And I'm starting to run out of clothes that fit. ;) My latest shopping efforts have been fruitless, but I must find something soon as my growing "bump" is making everything too short!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We're having a...

Even the sun knew it was a big day for us and decided to make its presence known after three days of hiding. I fought off a headache the entire twenty-five minute trip to Dortmund and kept praying that God would help me to dismiss my expectations of a "perfect" day. Thankfully food, water and fresh air seemed to eventually help my head return to a normal state of being and before we knew it we were tracking down our parking spot to head to the "Praxis fur Pranatalmedizin" at the hospital.

We arrived half an hour early for our appointment as John was just too anxious to walk around the city center any longer. By the time we waited for our turn to check in it was already 12:30, the time of our appointment, but we had to wait another entire HOUR to see the doctor. Let me tell you, those sixty minutes seemed like sixty days. John was signing some song about, "Please hurry up, I want to see my son or daughter." Don't ask me what tune it was to, he was making up the whole thing as he went along. I was actually a little relieved when he fell asleep in the waiting room chair, hoping it would make the time go by faster for him so I didn't have to watch him bite his nails and fidget any longer.

FINALLY the nurse came into the waiting room and said, "Frau Turek." We practically jumped out of our seats and ran to the ultrasound room. Patient we were not, my heart was racing much faster than it should have been.

John sat next to me and held my hand as we saw images of our little boy or girl pop up on the plasma screen in front of us. Immediately my eyes went down to "that region" to see if I saw anything. The suspense was killing me.

Then the kind, older woman doctor asked if we knew what we were having. I said, "No." Then as she rephrased her question a bit, I realized she was trying to ask me if we WANTED to know what we were having.

"Yes, we want to know what we are having," I nodded.

She zoomed in and said, "Do you see that?" To be honest, the angle was a little awkward and I couldn't tell if I was looking at boy or girl parts. At that point, I'm pretty sure I was probably holding my breath... waiting, wanting to know if our little one was our son or our daughter.

"It looks like you are having a BOY, I'm 96% sure."

I turned to John with a huge smile on my face. Everything seemed so surreal. I was looking at our little son on the screen and then looking to his dad, knowing that if our boy grows to be half the man his father is I will be so incredibly blessed. John had a huge smile on his face as his eyes met mine; we squeezed hands and then looked back up to the screen... to see our SON.

The rest of the ultrasound went very well. Baby Turek is on track in the weight department, and above average in height. His heart beat was very strong, and the doctor said the nutrients from my placenta looked great, "couldn't look better."

We even got to see our baby boy in 4D! Little Turek is kind of a little stinker though, he kept moving his arms in front of his face. Or, he would fold his legs up and over almost as if he were ready to go into a backward sumersault. This made it difficult to get a image to convert to 4D to see his face. But, after multiple (probably at least seven!) attempts the doctor's patience resulted in this precious image:

He is just so cute I don't know what to do with myself. I know, I am completely biased since I am his mom and he is my son. Technology is simply amazing though. Seeing his little features so clearly just makes me want to hold him and kiss those sweet little cheeks of his.

We also got to see him laughing (according to the doctor at least!) and smiling. I hope that means he will be a happy baby. ;) He also yawned for us allowing us to see that his palate had developed well. His heart looked great and blood was pumping in and out just as it should. The spine looked normal. And his feet looked, "very good." That had to make me laugh, but I think she just meant good sized. At the end John asked, "So you're 96% sure it's a boy?"

The doctor's response, "Well, I would say 100%, but I never want to say 100%"

Thank you for sharing in our joy. John is already talking about taking our son to basketball practice with him, and I am wondering how I am going to resist watching him sleep if he looks anything at all like his father. :)

Big Day!

Sorry for the lack of updates, we've been hosting guests from the States. But...

Today is the big day! We are off to Dortmund to have lunch and will then head to the hospital for our big ultrasound! I can't wait to see our little one.

Let's hope that Baby Turek cooperates! And, that we can finally stop staying "him or her." ;)

Friday, March 19, 2010


Being married to a professional basketball player means that March Madness is a rather big deal. Brackets abound and the television in tuned into CBS for coverage of the games. I can't escape it, so I have learned to embrace it. One thing that helps... filling out a bracket. It makes the games a bit more exciting when you have someone you are rooting for.

Low and behold... after day one guess whose bracket is not only top in the "Turek family" bracket but is also in the top 97 percentile in the entire USA?

Yep. Yours truly. Who would have thought? Sure, it is only day one, but I'll take what I can get in John's ultra competitive family!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Locked out.

Right after I published my previous post, I decided to throw in another load of laundry before hopping in the shower to clean it. Great idea, right? In theory, yes. In execution, not so much.

Doing laundry here requires that I go down the pink stairs outside our apartment to a little closet where our washing machine and dryer now reside. I *almost* always grab my keys... just in case the door would close. But to it has never closed on its own. Until today that is, one of the few times I didn't grab the keys. Unfortunately, I failed to factor the open apartment windows into the equation.

There I was switching the clean, wet clothes from the washing machine to the dryer when BAM, I heard the door slam shut. I didn't have a clue what time it was, how long John had been gone, or how much longer it would be until his return. So, I did what any normal person would do... walked down to the get the mail, used water from the dryer to clean the closet windows, read (ha, more like looked at) the newspaper, tried to position myself in the sunlight... you know, the usual. When I got cold, thanks to the shorts I was wearing, I squeezed into the closet for a minute in hopes of warming up.

Finally I decided enough was enough, I would see if it was any warmer outside. To my surprise it was. So I propped the door open and hoped it would stay that way since our only front door key was also locked now in the apartment. Let's just say I was quite a sight. Shorts with white legs exposed, a tight white shirt with a protruding belly and a purple Nike sports bra peering through didn't exactly help the no shower situation. Luckily I had thrown on a lightweight purple hoodie that I somehow managed to zip up to hide what was underneath. Off I went. I caught my reflection in a window and just giggled.

Another moment of luck came when I headed back up to the apartment just to make sure no one had removed my wooden door stop. Right as I approached a lady was coming out and removing the stop in the process! I think I startled her, as I frantically ran in before the door shut. Either that or it was the fact I was wearing shorts, in March, when Europeans generally don't wear shorts. period.

By the time John got back I happened to be holding the door open with one foot in an attempt to get some more fresh air and sunlight. I saw the Mercedes plastered in Phoenix Hagen logos turn down the mountain and busted out in uncontrollable laughter. He looked at me like, "what in the world is my pregnant wife doing now?" I couldn't control myself though. The situation was entirely too hilarious. Of course he first words were, "You locked yourself out, didn't you?"

Oh John, you know me all too well. Who would have thought that a simple household task such as doing laundry could nearly make me cry from laughing so hard?

Cute "Daddy" moment.

It's spring cleaning day over here in Hagen. All our windows are open, the music was blaring and the sun is shining. Life is good. I am a hot mess though; no shower yet as I am about to hop in and clean the tub in the process. I just threw on the first outfit I put my hands on and laced up my tennis shoes in an attempt to appease my back.

As John and I sat down on the sectional to take a lunch break earlier I noticed a cute grin break out across John's face.

Me: "What?"

John: "I like it when you wear tight shirts."

Me: (Trying not to laugh!) "Why?"

John: "Because I can see baby better."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why are girl clothes positively adorable?

I really, honestly don't care if we're having a boy or a girl. But as John pointed out last night, I do keep calling the baby a "he." I'm not sure why... maybe it is just because I know that John wants a boy. Or perhaps it is because we saw "parts" at 14 weeks and they just didn't appear to be a girls'. ;) Medically speaking though, 14 weeks is still too early to determine gender.

ANYWAY.... all that just to say when I see images like this it kind of, sort of makes me want a girl. If not this time around... then next time or the time after. It made me smile last night when John cuddled up next to me as we were getting ready for bed and said, "I would be really excited to have a girl too."

This image just kills me. How adorable.

(Rickshaw Design)

And how cute is this spring-time skirt?

(Chatti Patti)

Or the new and totally resonable line at Target from Liberty of London. The clothes are adorable, but of course only girl stuff is available.

What about this cute and trendy romper from Baby Gap?

I can't wait to find out if we're having a boy or a girl so I can start shopping and continue dreaming. Will I be making "vroom, vroom" noises while playing with cars or having tea parties and painting nails? Will I be leaning toward a shabby chic designed nursery for a girl or bit more modern scheme for a boy? Stay tuned... hopefully we will know in one week. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

My new favorite thing...

is EBATES! I just purchased some California Baby products in anticipation of our little one's arrival. (I am trying to get all my online purchases done before I get home, so that I have plenty of time to work on home and yard related tasks when I get home. And of course, to allow more time to spend with family and friends barbequing!)

So imagine my surprise when I just got Free Shipping, $10 off a $50 purchase, and will get an additional 6% back through Ebates (via a check in May) all just by signing up for this sweet little program. (For those who want a total, I saved $12.53 off already good prices at plus got free shipping and didn't have to pay tax since there isn't a brick & mortar store in Iowa.)

Now you can too! If you haven't heard of it before... check it out. I will for sure be starting all my online purchases through ebates from now on. You can still combine discounts, free shipping, etc. I'll keep you posted on more bargains I find.

Here is a referral link if you love deals as much as I do:

Sign up today!

You'll even get a $5 signing bonus!

Just a few online sites I already shop at that are included in ebates: Overstock, Target, Walmart, Kohl's,, Gap, Old Navy, Children's Place, Sephora, Hotwire, Itunes, Bath & Body Works, Best Buy... and the list goes on. This will really come in useful at Christmas time when I do most of our shopping online!

21 Weeks.

I'll just say it... I feel huge. I know, I know... everyone keeps telling me how tiny I am. But I don't FEEL tiny. I feel more like a hippo with bird legs and T. Rex arms. My fear of being stuck in that "is she fat (more like does she have a beer belly) or pregnant" stage was confirmed by two different sources Saturday night at John's game.

The first being with a news reporter whom interviewed me before the game. Perhaps she wasn't really listening to my responses, as it was loud and she was probably thinking of the next question to ask. But I clearly stated that John and I were thrilled to be parents come July. Afterward she was asking me some off-camera questions and I explained how sick I had been in the previous months with my pregnancy. A slight look of shock registered across her face as her eyes quickly dropped to my ever expanding belly and she said, "Oh, now I see."

The second being a visitor of a teammate. She asked if we had any children to which I responded, "We are expecting a baby in July." Her response: "Oh, I didn't even notice!"

Okay... not that I expect everyone to walk around looking at my belly. That is not the point at all. My only point is that I am not quite in that "oh, she is pregnant" stage. I am sure I will be, within a matter of weeks and then I will keep growing and growing until I feel like Violet from Willy Wonka (you know, the one who swallowed the chewing gum.)

Bad analogies aside, it truly is amazing what a woman's body goes through to bring a new life into this world. Every time the baby kicks I want to stop everything and just enjoy the moment. Sure, I feel huge at times but I must embrace it because I certainly won't feel smaller any time soon. I've always thought that pregnant women were absolutely beautiful, and I still do. After all, carrying a child is a miracle; it only seems right that the beauty of God's creation radiates through to the outside as well.

Edit: Leave it to my 14 year old nephew to bring a little perspective. He wanted to see me on the webcam since it's been a while, and his response was "Wow, she is really showing!" Too cute. Maybe it was just the outfit I was wearing in this picture that made it less obvious. ;)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


A few from this past week...


- Hitting the half way mark! Only twenty more weeks until we are able to hold our little one.
- Our baby's movements and kicks as they progressively get stronger.
- John getting home after his two and half day basketball camp. I was like a little school girl, giddy with excitement, waiting for his return.
- John telling me and writing to me that he missed me and "baby."
- Dinner at Vapiano with the girls. Delicious food and great company.
- The yummy salad that John got me for dinner last night. The chicken and rice I made didn't sound so appealing, so he kindly got take out for me instead. Such a sweet guy!
- Finishing two books: Kite Runner and Belly Laughs.

- Another one of "those mornings." After a not-so-great nights' sleep (rib pain, nightmares, having to go to the bathroom) I woke up not feeling so hot. I should have known what was coming, but wasn't quite prepared. After throwing up the first time and shedding some tears, I decided I would start my day over and take a nice warm bath. Little did I know I would soon be hunched over the side of the bathtub while trying to throw up in the toilet. In hindsight, it is pretty funny... at the time, not so much!
- Not seeing the sun!
- My ribs stretching causing me much pain. I didn't think it happened this early, but apparently I was wrong.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stroller Shopping.

Who thought finding the "perfect" stroller would be such a difficult task? Of course, if were were residing in the States permanently our decision probably wouldn't be so hard. But, factor in cobblestone streets, third floor apartments sans elevators, and small trunk space and suddenly the options don't seem so vast.

In my research I decided that perhaps it would be best to purchase a single stroller that converts to a double. Enter the Phil & Ted's sport. I do realize that most in my position probably wouldn't be considering a second child already, but I am... so why not factor that into our decision? This stroller allows you to push one child OR two children. Only taking one out for an errand? Simply take the seat off the back.

John and I took a trip to Dortmund to two different baby stores which supposedly sold this brand. The "doubles" kit is currently free with the purchase of a stroller, and if we liked this stroller I didn't want to miss out on the sale. This was our first stop:

Apparently Baby Markt's website had not been updated, as they didn't carry Phil & Ted's. Although they did have a Britax with a similar concept.

Off to store number two. We arrived, looked over all the strollers and once again didn't see the Phil and Ted's. When we tried to ask a saleslady we were informed (mainly through non-verbal communication) that is was a catalog only purchase. BUMMER. So, our shopping day wasn't much of a success... except I finally found maternity jeans at H&M. I still don't "need" them, but they sure are comfortable!

Now it is back to square one. At this point we are leaning toward my first instinct. The Baby Jogger City Mini. It isn't as durable as many on the market, but the light weight and ease of folding are incredibly appealing. I can't imagine carrying a baby and a heavy stroller up three (or more!) flights of stairs.

So the search continues. If any moms out there have a stroller that they love PLEASE be sure to post it in the comment section! I would love any and all advice. Or, did you buy one that you thought you would like only to find out later there were different features you would prefer? (We don't want to buy two different strollers, heavier and umbrella type, as we already have enough to lug back and forth overseas.) What else should we consider?

20 Weeks.

It's half time! According to our doctor, our little one is approximately one pound. Every week is a cause for celebration, but the half way mark is especially exciting. I can't believe how fast the time is going. I find myself wishing that it would slow down as I can't imagine how fast the time will go once he or she has entered the world. That tiny, itty bitty newborn stage will definitely pass by too quickly.

"Enjoying the Small Things"

If you haven't yet read this blog, you must. Drop whatever you are doing and go there. Right now. I first stumbled across Kelle's blog through a message board several months ago. I was immediately drawn to her story. Her blog address has already changed and she now has visitors from around the world, but her writing still remains poignant, honest, and beautiful. Before she came out and said that she hoped to write a book, I just knew she would. Her talent is too inspiring to be wasted. She is soon to be featured on CNN and is gaining other media attention as well.

That being said, start at this blog entry. And be sure to grab some Kleenex, you'll need them.

Week in Review.

As I sit here in my kitchen on this gloomy Thursday morning, the dishwasher is purring (rather loudly), the clothes in the washing machine still have at least another hour and a half before they are finished, and I have decided it is time to play catch up with my posts. I haven't even taken a shower for the day, but John is gone until tomorrow morning so I have zero responsibilities. A shower will come eventually, who says you have to take one first thing in the morning anyway?

Last night most of the women of the team met up for dinner at Vapiano. If you haven't been to one before, you are certainly missing out. The restaurant chain started in Germany but has expanded across the world including several larger cities in the States. I fully expect to see more of them in the coming years. Freshly cooked food in a trendy environment and usually complete with lounges to sit and enjoy conversation with your drinks... what more could you ask for? Reasonable prices? Check!

My belly is expanding oh so quickly. In fact, it is poking out from the bottom of my shirt right now. I have a hard time imagining how huge I will be in another 20 weeks. Baby's movements and kicks are getting stronger and stronger, and I am loving every second of it. My ribs must be expanding, because the pain often sends me into the bathtub in an attempt to get the muscles to relax. But, I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I am beyond thankful that I am able to carry this child that God has blessed me with.

John discovered the other day that he can pretty much end any sentence with "baby" or "mommy" and it will elicit an "awwww" from me. I think he may decide to use this new discovery to his advantage. But, how can I resist with all the sweet things he has been saying lately? I keep reminding myself to soak it all in, this will be the last time that I experience a first pregnancy.

But shouldn't every single day be special? After all, we only have one chance at each day. Whether it is special because of something we do, or something we learn... we should seize every moment God grants us. Here are some of our moments from this past week.

John was thrilled when we made pumpkin bread. I think he is secretly enjoying learning to do more in the kitchen. And, it is a fun way to spend time together.

Snow! After a week of temperatures in the 50's snow hit Hagen once again. As I sat at the kitchen table the next morning, wanting to complain about the return of the cold weather, I looked out the window and saw this. It reminded me to see the beauty in all that surrounds us.

Starbucks! On Sunday John's team headed to Frankfurt for a road game. I was so excited because it meant a chance to catch up with some friends in the area. They picked me up from the arena and we headed to a local Starbucks. My first caffeinated Caramel Macchiato since I found out I was pregnant. (For the record, I tried a "Koffein-frei" one last time and it was horrible, so I decided to splurge on one shot of espresso this time around!) It's the little things in life...

But more important than the little things, are the relationships we build along the way. Horrible picture, I know. Eta is the one ready to give birth any week now, but judging my size of my face you'd think it was me who was further along. Two friends, both pregnant and enjoying our time together while exchanging pregnancy stories and baby product finds. Poor Bryan, Eta's husband... I don't think he knew what he was getting himself... or how many trips we would have to make to the bathroom.

Therapy time for John. Maybe not the most enjoyable of times, but he got a coffee out of the deal. Who can complain about that? And I got Chinese food that night, so I wasn't complaining either.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Home games.

I look forward to going to John's games, especially home ones. I enjoy seeing familiar, watching John in his element while using his God given talents, and the buzzing of adults and children alike. Here are a few pics from Phoenix Hagen's last home game.

Walking into John's game... the gym is in an industrial area of Hagen. Not your typical gym, but they made it to meet the requirements to play in first division.

While it may seat enough people, the lack of elevation between rows makes seeing the game rather difficult. This is my view. First class seats, huh? So much for wives getting any special treatment...

The fan shooting a free throw for a thousand euros at half time was wearing John's jersey. Number 44, John Turek. The first time he has been number 44 since his college days at Nebraska!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Expecting the Unexpected.

In my 25 (almost 26) years of life, I still haven't fully learned the concept of expecting the unexpected. The planner in me wants everything to turn out a certain way. I set expectations in my mind and then disappointment often creeps in when those expectations aren't met. Today was one of those days.

John and I slept in this morning after a late night of playing cards with some friends. We woke up to have some breakfast before he headed off to practice. While Saturdays are usually game days, this week Phoenix Hagen plays on Sunday. Off he went to practice while I stayed here and made some tea, had my quiet time and then decided that a warm bath and a novel were calling my name. In my mind, it was to be the perfect and relaxing afternoon.

As I was sitting in the tub, the phone rang. Not once, not twice, but finally three times. I pulled myself out of the tub, dripping water all over the tiled bathroom floor and into the living room to reach the phone before the caller hung up once again. It was "John's cell" calling. I knew it must be something important, he usually isn't so persistent.

"Suzanne, could you fill up the bathtub with cold water? I sprained my ankle during practice."

I don't remember exactly how I responded. But, I do remember saying I was in the bathtub and I just dripped water all over the floor to get to the phone. Probably not the loving response he was expecting.

"Well, I'll be there in five minutes," was his response.

I got back into the tub and actually debated for a minute whether to start draining the water or let him wait for a few minutes. And then I was convicted of my selfishness. How could I even contemplate such a thing? I pulled the plug out with my toes and watched the water drain as I wondered what type of mood John would be in when he got home.

I had a choice. I could have followed through with my selfishness, but in hindsight it would have just caused further frustration for John. When I saw him limping up the stairs I was all the more thankful that the Holy Spirit was quick to point out my sin. As I prepared his lunch while he soaked his foot, I became even more disappointed that I hadn't immediately been gracious enough to display sympathy when he first called.

John returned from treatment to find me propped up on the couch with tears streaming down my face. A combination of my selfishness, pregnancy hormones, a character in my novel dying, missing my family who are all gathering to celebrate my grandmother's birthday today, and thinking of the impending funeral for John's aunt was apparently too much for me to handle. Combine that with the realization that I hadn't felt the baby move today and I was a mess.

He sat down on the black leather sectional and I asked for his forgiveness. He graciously accepted it as we talked about how my response to his phone call had made us both feel. And then, all of a sudden... I felt the baby kick! It must have been an answer to a quick prayer I had said earlier. John quickly placed his hand on my belly, like he has done for the past week or so, hoping to feel the action as well. And then...

HE FELT THE BABY MOVE! It was the first time he was able to feel from the outside. My heart filled with joy as a smile quickly crept across his face. I explained once again that I hadn't felt the baby move all day. His response was, "He was just waiting for daddy to get home." And then Baby Turek kicked twice more for daddy to feel.

It was as if God was reminding me that sure, sometimes the unexpected brings inconvenience, sadness or sorrow. But often times, the unexpected moments are the absolute best moments of them all.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little Baby Turek...

Does NOT like to cooperate! The little guy or gal had his or her legs crossed once again! I told John that our little one kind of looks like him when he is sleeping, with his legs all folded up. Maybe my uterus needs to hurry up and grow so our longer-than-average child can actually stretch his or her legs out. ;) (I know... there is actually plenty of room, the position is probably just soothing for our little one.)

(Okay, I am going to refer to our child as a "he" the rest of this post because it's just easier that way, and I refuse to call our baby an "it.")

Baby Turek was busy sucking his thumb on and off, and proceeded to put one hand behind his head and rest it there. He kicked a bit and then decided enough was enough and flipped over so we could only see his backside. I can't wait to hold him, and to see how many of the characteristics he is portraying in the womb will play out in the "real world."

So... now we're back to the waiting game. We have what I am assuming would be a level two ultrasound back in the States in a few weeks. We will go back to Dortmund for the specialized ultrasound center for the appointment. I am actually kind of glad that we have to wait a bit longer. I think it will be more exciting to find out when we're looking at a clearer picture on a large plasma flat screen. John, on the other hand, was completely disappointed. He couldn't sleep last night he was so excited. He really wants to know if he is having a son or a daughter!

As far as the mom goes, I have finally gained weight! I think the nurse thought I was a little weird when I let out a little shout and threw my hands half way up in the air. Then again, she probably doesn't see too many patients excited to gain weight. But, I am finally up five pounds from my pre-throwing up weight and I thought is was a cause for a little celebration.

The doctor saw my weight and said, "You've been eating more."

Ummm.... actually it's probably a combination of having more of an appetite and not throwing up as much.

Then she proceeds to tell me that she saw me eating cake in a bakery with John and "another tall man."

I suddenly felt like a bad mom feeding my child a pastry at such a young age. I couldn't tell if she was scolding me or just wanting to relay a story.

"No no, it's ok. You are small. You need weight."

Phew. Passed that test. At least I haven't won the "bad mom of the year" award quite yet.

Note to self: You just never know who is watching your reckless behavior. ;)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Boy or Girl?

Pink or Blue?

Son or Daughter?

Tomorrow is *hopefully* the big day that we'll find out! We have been waiting an entire month since our last appointment... and the countdown is finally almost to zero! Our little one decided to keep his or her legs crossed at the last appointment, so we're hoping and praying for better cooperation tomorrow morning. Let's just hope we can actually get some sleep tonight...

Baby Journal.

(Just in case you're new to my blog, I am going through and posting some of my personal "baby journal" entries. I remember this one like it was just yesterday!)


I went to the doctor's office today and... my test there came out positive as well! It was such a relief to have it confirmed and to know I go back on Tuesday for an actual appointment.

The visit was a little awkward, but it all worked out in the end. One nurse knew a little English and was sweet enough to try to help me. I asked if they did pre-natal visits and she looked unsure, so I pointed to (more like rubbed) my belly to try to get my message across (and pointed to an Anne Geddes poster!) I tried to explain that I had taken a test at home and it was positive, but I still don't know if she thought I needed a test or if I had taken a test. So, I may have peed in a cup for no reason. Oh well, it was still 15 euros well spent. I'm guessing it is just common practice to give the test to be sure, but who knows!

She took down all my essential information before administering the test. Then, afterward she called us both into the office and explained the test came back positive. I, of course, was grinning ear to ear. I didn't even look up to see John's reaction- probably not much of a chance since we already assumed we were. :)

She said, "This is a good thing, right?"

I said, "Yes, a very good thing."

And then she said, "Congratulations."

So, now it all seems a bit more real. That, combined with my morning sickness, affirms there is a precious little one growing fast inside of me. What an absolute miracle!

Monday, March 1, 2010

17 Weeks.

Yes, I know... my (not so) organized self is a little out of order here. I realized that there was a pretty dramatic difference between week 15 and week 18, so I went looking for an in-between photo and managed to find this one on John's computer. (Our camera batteries were out for a while, so we were making due with Photobooth hence the graininess of the photo below. We finally purchased a new battery charger, only to find out that most of our "rechargeable" batteries are no longer chargeable. Nice.)

Brevity of Life.

We had another reminder of the brevity of life yesterday. At 6:30 in the morning central time, a relative that isn't usually up at those hours started typing to us on Skype, and at the same time we also realized we had a message from John's dad.

As we listened to the message, both completely silent and looking into each other's eyes fearing that it may very well be bad news, we were shocked. John's aunt, Nancy Lee Schoening, passed away in her sleep early Sunday morning.

Naturally, dozens of questions crossed our minds. We had both been praying for her during her recent surgery, but had been notified that she was doing well and was recovering at home. Our emotions and thoughts quickly went from shock, to asking questions, to remembering the good times, to sorrow. John quickly recalled his first memory of Nancy; she took the kids to get Taco Bell and told them they could pick out whatever they wanted. John was not used to such luxuries, and I am sure he took full advantage! I can't help but to remember the multitude of times she made me feel part of the family. I always felt loved by her, and on a certain way I think we could connect since we were both in-laws and could relate to everything that entailed.

And of course, I shed tears for John's uncle, Terry. I generally have this intense need to empathize with people, not just sympathize for them. I put myself in their shoes and imagine what they are going through. And when I did that yesterday, I was completely devastated. Losing your mom and wife in a matter of three months, watching your world seem to crash down around you while you scramble to pick up the pieces.

John and I immediately grabbed hands and started praying, especially for his uncle, that the God of peace and comfort would grab hold of him. That he would by right there along side of him as he goes through the grieving process. And, that he is reminded of God's promises, that Nancy is no longer in pain and taking medications, but that she is in Heaven with her Father. When I think of those images, I am able to rejoice.