And Then There Were Four

We're creating this blog because it's the cool thing to do when people are having a baby. Just kidding, really we already have a hard enough time keeping up with everyone we want to, and our lives are about to get even more wonderfully busy. We can't wait - and we want you guys to be able to share in it too, so we both plan on reporting on it. Read at your own risk, and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Benjamin Kenneth Roelofs!!

Hi everyone's sad that I haven't posted anything since September. The last post talks about assembling nursery furniture......and now we actually have someone using that furniture but better late than never! On October 30th we welcomed Benjamin Kenneth Roelofs into our lives and hearts! Life will never be the same...and that is a really really good thing. I'll backtrack a bit and fill you in on the goings on over the past few weeks.

Benjamin put up quite the battle to stay in utero. He fought and fought until the very last minute when he was literally evicted. I started having contractions in the beginning of October. We took a trip to labor and delivery just to be told to go home and wait for the real thing to begin. But since I work in DC and that's almost an hour drive each way, I was home bound for several weeks before his due date. I didn't want to get to work, have my water break and then have to find a way to get to Baltimore. Luckily I have a job that is very accommodating and let me work from home the last few weeks. There were many times where contractions would start, go strong for a few hours and then just quit....very frustrating to wait and wait and wait. I never thought I'd sit around my house and want to be in the greatest pain of my life but that's what it boiled down to. I walked 5-6 miles a day, ate spicy food and did just about everything in my power to get things going. I learned a lot about patience and waiting on the Lord. His timing is always perfect....and in this instance it definitely was.
October 22 came and went. After having that date circled on the calendar for 9 long months it was really hard to have it come and go and still have no baby. My OB set the date for induction a week later on the 29th so at least we knew he was coming out at some point in time! On the 29th we went into the hospital at 6:30 p.m. for an overnight induction. They start at night hoping you can get some sleep during the early part and then be laboring during the day instead of the night. We arrived at labor and delivery only to be told that the floor was full and there were no empty beds! They asked us to come back in the morning but after a bit of pleading they sent us out for dinner and told us to come back in a few hours to see if anything opened up. By 8:30ish there was a bed available and we got ourselves all checked in. They started induction meds around 9:30 and by 10 I was having tons of many that they had to change medications and slow things down a bit.

At 10 the next morning after contracting every few minutes for 12 hours straight and only being 3 cm, I gave in and went for the epidural. I had kind of hoped to go natural but had heard not so great things about induction so was open to drugs if need be. After 12 hours it was time.... too bad they missed. Either the anesthesiologist missed or I moved the catheter out of position...but either way it did very little to help with the pain. I kept wondering....why do people love these things so much when they don't really help? Is it normal to still be able to move my legs and feet? Water broke at 1 and contractions really got bad. Had it not been for Brian, my mom and the nurses I definitely don't think I would have made it. Without their encouraging words and support I would have just given up...not that that was an option but still...not fun. Around 4 the nurses figured I had enough and called anesthesia back to re-evaluate. After a few tests and attempts to stop the pain the realized what was going on and pulled the first epidural and put in another. Good thing I'm not too freaked out about took 4 tries to get the IV in and 2 to get the epidural. The second one kicked in right away and brought instant relief. The doctor came in to check again about 5 minutes later and said "woah....there's the head." It took 12 hours to get to 3 cm but only 3 to get the remaining 7. So I basically got the epidural just in time to start pushing. After 2+ hours of pushing I admit I was really glad I did have it but still....ironic.

At 7:30 we welcomed Benajmin into the world. He was a little stunned when he came out and wasn't breathing right away so they whisked him away to get him going. It was hard to not be able to hold him and even worse to not hear him crying. By then there were half a dozen people in the room running around tending to him working to get him breathing on his own. Poor Brian was torn between wanting to be next to me to reassure me that things were going to be ok and wanting to be over near him actually making sure this was the case. But they got him breathing and brought him over to us and he was PERFECT. Yes I know I'm biased....but he really is perfect. Even now at home, he is the perfect baby. For the most part he sleeps, eats constantly and is very healthy. He's 6.5 oz up from birth weight already and doing well. He's happy and almost never cries. He weighed 7 pounds and was 21 inches long.

We're settling into life at home and life together. Praise God for this wonderful blessing and miracle! To echo a friend...there is no experience like creating and bringing a child into the world with the person you love and being able to see traces of both of you in their face. I marvel at God's amazing work in little Benjamin! Thank you to everyone who has called, brought food, sent gifts and prayed for us. We really appreciate everything!

We'll keep you posted with pictures!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Counting Down the Weeks

Hi everyone

Quick update on life at our house this past week.

The biggest development is that we not only have an almost finished bathroom but we got the carpets cleaned and have started assembling nursery furniture!! All the construction mess is out of the nursery and official set up has begun! So far we have the glider and a dresser set up and the crib and changing table in boxes waiting for assembly.

Before the carpet cleaning, we had to move everything out of the upstairs in preparation. Here is what our dining room looks like right looks like we're moving. Not moving....just hopefully purging stuff we don't need and organizing what we do.

When the nursery is finished we'll make sure and post lots of pictures. It's been a busy week for us. Work is busy, work at home is busy, we're just busy. Lots to do in the next few weeks! Brina and Brian crashed on the couch last night.

Finally.....a belly shot from week 35. Only 5 more to go! Right now I have little feet lodged under my ribcage making sure I know that he is still in there. Quite the experience. We'll keep you posted!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle (or Maryland)

Here is my attempt to be better about updating the blog....not a lot to report but I'll give you what we've got!

Labor Day weekend is living up to it's name and we are laboring away. Not laboring like dilating and birthing....but working like crazy! It's before 2:00 and I've managed to fit in half a day of work, 3 loads of laundry, a nice long walk, lunch and beginning stages of painting the new bathroom. We're hoping that the bathroom will be almost finished after this weekend! Brian is currently upstairs tiling away and when he's done it's time to paint! In the final stages!

Sleeplessness- nobody warned me that when you get to the final weeks of pregnancy, sleep is bordering on impossible. I guess maybe it's good preparation for what happens after baby is born but it's still kind of a bummer. I normally fall asleep upstairs in bed but wake up several times and move from the recliner, to bed, to my new favorite location; the love seat. Yes....there is a full size couch sitting 5 feet away but for some reason the love seat is the most comfortable to sleep in right now. Who knows.

Went to the doctor yesterday and actually saw the head of OB/GYN at Hopkins. Impressive guy....definitely knows what he's doing and actually had good bedside manners as well. I was slightly irritated because I had to sit in the exam room and wait for him for like 45 minutes but it all made sense when he walked in with med students trailing behind. I got a nice thorough exam and was checked from head to toe by people probably my age or even younger. Baby didn't like being poked and prodded by all the people and was kicking up a storm...they thought it was funny and amusing to have their hands kicked while pushing my stomach. If they were me and were getting swift shots to the ribs and bladder, they might have at least refrained from smiling and giggling. Anyway- doctor says everything looks great. No signs of pre-term labor. Baby isn't looking to make an early appearance any time in the near future.

We bought all the nursery furniture! Now it's sitting downstairs in boxes waiting to be assembled and put in the nursery. When the bathroom is done and we get the carpets cleaned (definitely going to need it after all the construction), we'll get to put it all together and baby will finally have a home!

No pictures in this post.....I'll post a few after the weekend of hopefully the finished bathroom and I'll throw in a 34 week preggo picture as well.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Overdue update - part 2

Since we got back from Denver, it's been a whirlwind of activity for both of us. We'll start with the home renovation project.....

We started the bathroom project back in June and possibly bit off more than we could chew. It's coming along and we're finally getting to the stages of having it look completed and not just a messy work zone. The tiling actually went in this evening so we have a floor! All we need to do is tile the walls around the tub, paint and install the appliances and fixtures. We've definitely made a lot of progress. This is a good thing considering the fact that the nursery is packed full of construction materials and we haven't even started setting up baby furniture.

Here is Brina, being a good construction dog.

Also here is a picture of what the floor looks like! Still messy and needs to be grouted and cleaned...but here's what it looks like!

Hopefully final pictures of the bathroom and nursery will be coming in the next few weeks!

Brian is busy in school. Brian is very busy in school. Any spare time is now dedicated to finishing the bathroom as well so life has been a bit crazy for him. It will definitely be a relief for him when he can focus more attention back in lab again.

I'm finishing up a summer class right now and continuing work at church. It will be a relief for me when this class is over and I can focus more attention on preparing for baby. We've been attending childbirth classes at Johns Hopkins (where we will deliver) and that has been really informative for both of us. We got a tour last week of the labor and delivery department and got to see the nursery with the cute tiny babies. That was definitely a highlight....knowing that we'll have one of those soon! I hit 32 weeks today which is a big and important landmark. If I go into labor now and deliver baby now, he'll be small but will be more or less fully developed. So now we just wait and see how long he decides to stay in there! Hopefully until the bathroom is done. I've started having lots of braxton hicks contractions. I'll take that as a good sign that my body is starting to prep for arrival day. Hard to believe we're getting this close! I don't have any up to date prego shots but this one is from 29 weeks so it'll give you an idea. Sorry I have such a sour look on my face in this picture. I'm bigger now...but not much. I'm waiting to "pop" but it hasn't happened quite yet. I was shopping in Old Navy in the maternity section the other day and the sales attendant walked up and said "excuse know you're in the maternity section right??" I just nodded my head yes, not sure how to respond. I guess it's better that than people thinking I'm 40 weeks when I still have 8 left to go.

So there's a brief update from the Roelofs household. We're heading to the beach this weekend with our Bible study for a retreat. We rented a beach house and we're getting our year going with some fun in the sun! Will continue to post as more starts to happen!

Overdue update- Part 1

Hi everyone

I know it's been ages since we last probably nobody is even bothering to read anymore...but here's to getting readers again before baby arrives!

First to fill you in on the goings on in the last few months. We took our second major vacation of the summer and went to Denver for a week in the beginning of August. We spent the majority of our time up in the mountains with the family. Having niece Makenna (2 1/2) and nephew Levi (5 months) around all the time was good practice and gave us a good idea of what is in store for us in the next few years! We relaxed, did some hiking, biking, saw a musical, Brian went fishing, played games and overall had an awesome time. Thanks to the Denver family for an awesome vacation!

Then we came down from the mountains in time for a weekend of showers and fun! Sister Emily, cousin Rachel and bff Lindsay threw a wonderful baby shower on Saturday. I was literally "showered" with amazing gifts, and wonderful words of wisdom about parenting and being a mother. Thank you so much guys for all the hard work! Thanks also to everyone who came for the wonderful gifts! I can't wait to start posting pictures on the blog of baby wearing all his cute new things! Then Sunday came and there was another shower from my Denver family! It was so wonderful to see everyone; even got to see Tazelaars who live in Arizona who we never get to see! I love getting together with everyone. It reminds me a lot of family get togethers up in the mountains when we were little kids. Again, we got lots of wonderful gifts that we can't wait to use! Brian and I each brought an extra suitcase along and we filled all 4 of them to the brim to get everything back to Maryland. Thank you so much everyone for everything! What a wonderful vacation!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Third Trimester- Baby Crash Testing Begins!

Hi all- I'm posting first then will hand the computer off to Brian to post as well.

We are officially in the 3rd trimester!!!! Time has gone sooo quickly and it's hard to believe we've come this far and have so little time left to get ready! In some ways I feel like we just found out I was pregnant. In others, I'm ready to be done and ready to meet baby _____. (insert boy name here)

I have been avoiding looking at baby stuff for the past few months partly out of fear and partly because we just didn't have time but I managed to go to Babies R Us the other day and at least start a registry. If registering for a wedding is stressful, registering for a baby is 100 times worse. Not only are you trying to pick out things that look nice, but you have to factor in safety, durability, etc. The list they give you of everything you'll need for a baby combined with the sheer volume of product available made for a short and stressful trip. I've since learned that registering online is the way to go. I have a few books (given to me by a friend from church) with Consumer Reports guides to baby stuff and all the products with the highest ratings and those have been really helpful. So we're more or less registered but still need to add a few more things.
Over to Brian for more from the Roelofs family.........
Hello All,

Since I'm not able to actively participate in the growing of the baby - let's face it... hunter-gathering to provide for the pregnant wife just isn't what it used to be, and in our current family situation I wouldn't even deserve the title of hunter-gatherer, I've decided to prepare for our baby in another manner - crash testing. We've got a perfectly suitable baby model in Brina as I don't think we'll still be using the basinet or the stroller when the baby is 55 pounds, so anything that can hold her should be a-okay for him. This idea led to the particularly perturbed and annoyed look on Brina's face last weekend when I managed to get her in position to test the basinet with her red bone (in case our baby has a toy in there with him).

The basinet held up GREAT. Thus, one item has been cleared to go and the bedding is in the process of being cleaned (in case any mothers - grandmothers I guess - were upset about this practice). I hope Brina keeps being a good sport as we've got a stroller to test, two pack and plays and probably a crib coming soon too and I intend to fulfill my role as crash test coordinator.

I've spent all of my other time lately crawling around in the attic and pretending to be a handyman rebuilding our bathroom. We couldn't let well enough alone and just leave our bathroom expansion at just an expansion. We decided to gut the old portion and put in new tile, a new vanity, an exhaust fan and paint. So far, I've just demolished the old stuff and have just about finished the wiring of the exhaust fan and the light fixture in the expanded area, and put those two fixtures in. We've also got the drywall/greenboard to go up, so I hope to have that done by the end of this week - I'm going to post some pictures soon but I have none right now. If anyone feels like making a visit to do a little construction, we have an open invitation - I've got to get this done by October!

Well I hope you're all keeping well and that concludes my portion of the post. More to come on the crash testing and the bathroom building as it proceeds...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Update 2 of 2

Post #2!!

While I was away at Synod, Brian and friends from church started a home renovation project in our upstairs bathroom. For those of you who haven't seen our bathroom, it's barely big enough for Brian and I to stand in it together. So they knocked out a wall and we're expanding the bathroom to almost double the size. It'll be sooo nice to have some extra space! We took out a small section of the soon to be nursery, but there will still be plenty of room for baby. After the addition was built, we kind of decided "why not just re-do the entire bathroom??" So....all the tile came up, the drywall came out and we are in the middle of a complete bathroom renovation. Right now we currently have no sink, no toilet and no walls.
This past week we went on vacation with the Roelofs (Mom, Dad, Chris and Anne). We went down to the New Jersey shore to a beach town called Wildwood. We were in a beautiful house right on the boardwalk and less than a block from the beach. We were at the beach every single day and had plenty of downtime to relax, read and recover. We went to a wonderful nature preserve on Cape Ann and saw lots of interesting birds. We ate well (probably too well :) ), played lots of games and came back refreshed and ready for work again. It was great to hang out with everyone since we don't get to spend much time together. Thanks to Mom and Dad Roelofs for the much needed vacation! We had a great time!
We'll try and do a better job keeping the blog updated. Please pray for Brian, the other leader, Justin, and the 6 high schoolers who will be going to London, Ontario next week for our church's SERVE project. Pray for safe travels and a wonderful time of work and spiritual growth.
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Update 1 of 2

Hi everyone
Sorry it's been so long since our last post! We've been super busy lately with lots going on and just haven't had time to sit down and post. So....since we have a lot to fill you in on, here is post 1 of 2.

Right after our last post, my parents came to Maryland for a few days. Just like Lyle and Laurie (Brian's parents), they worked really hard getting things done in our house. I'm realizing that our parents have far more energy than either of us do. It's quite impressive. Thanks to both sets of parents for all the work!!
Taking a break from work to play some Wii. I'm going for the knock out against Mom in Wii boxing and Dad is looking on enjoying the show.Mom and Dad rocking out in Guitar Hero
Anyway, after working for a few days, we took off for the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We stayed in an awesome bed and breakfast, ate great food and had a fun time together.

We rented bikes and biked around the town of Rock Hall.

After my parents left, I had a few days to get to work before leaving for the Christian Reformed Church's annual meeting of Synod, held in Palos Heights, IL. For all of you in the CRC, look for my picture as the "youngest delgate" in the July issue of the Banner ( I also wrote an article with some thoughts about Synod that will be published in that issue. It was an amazing experience to attend and see the inner workings of the denomination. It made me realize how much I love this church and will hopefully serve it faithfully as long as I can. Some highlights- being seated on the floor of Synod and realizing how much of a "minority" I was: 25, asian, female and pregnant. I got to catch up with lots of friends and family both at Synod and on a short trip to Grand Rapids on our day off. It was definitely a nice to not catch the dreaded norovirus that plagued almost 70 of the 180 delegates. I don't know how I managed to stay healthy but counted my blessings. Would have been even better if I didn't get sick right when I got home......

Finally- I'll post a bit on Baby Boaz (as he's been so fondly named by our friends at church). He was in a strange position in the first sonogram so they didn't get to see everything they wanted to. We went back in again a week later to see if he would cooperate. They told us everything looks great and he looks healthy and is growing well!! What a blessing!

We also asked the tech to check one more time to make sure it was a boy. She did check and very kindly labeled this picture so everyone can clearly see that yes....he is a boy. Brian and I kind of laugh because when she pointed out his "boyness" we thought it was his leg....oops. We are happy to report that all is going well. He kicks like a champ and is growing every single day. He is growing...and that of course means I am too! Here is my 23 week shot. Over half way there!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's a .........BOY

Hi everyone
Quick post letting you all know that we're having a boy!!! We went to the doctor this morning for a checkup and also for the 20 week ultrasound. Everything looks great so far and the tech was sure it was a boy! They didn't get views of everything they wanted to see because the boy was up against his back and they couldn't get him to move so we're going back next week for another ultrasound. It was amazing to see HIM moving around and see how much he's grown since we last saw him! We'll let you give your opinion when we post the ultrasound pics later this week but we both think he has my nose :)

So now we need help from you all with coming up with boy names! I was convinced it was a girl....and we had several good ideas for girl names but nothing for a boy. So leave suggestions if you have any!

More to come later from the Roelofs family (Brian, Katie, Brina, Boy)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Hi all-

Giving you an update on baby's "first memorial day weekend." We've had a really busy last few weeks and a super busy weekend but we're finally getting around to posting!

We are slowly starting to accumulate stuff for baby. Last week I received an AMAZING present from one of my best friends, Kim. She got me into long distance running and has always been a great source of encouragement. This is the BOB Ironman jogger she got me!! The picture doesn't do this thing is amazing. I am so tempted to put a 15 pound weight in it, or put Brina in it and go for a run because I want to try it out!

Brian's parents were in town over Memorial Day weekend. I feel guilty because their "vacation" turned into a weekend of working around the clock doing home improvements in our house. They arrived on Saturday afternoon while I was at work and by the time I got home they were already busy working in the garden and painting our guest room and nursery! Here are some "before" and "after" pictures of the new nursery! The "before" shot is the room with primer and tape. And the "after" shot is the final product! Baby has a room! By the way....the room was not painted blue because we know baby is a boy....we chose a very light blue thinking it would work well for a boy or girl depending on how we decorate!

We also got lots of other work done around the house, like fixing an outlet, fixing our awful squeaky door, yard work, etc. Thanks to Mom and Dad Roelofs for all their help!

Baby kind of ran his/her first race this weekend as well! 2 years ago, Lyle, Brian and I ran a Memorial Day 5k and Lyle and I decided to do it again this year. 2 years I ago I won my age group in this race.....definitely did not happen this year being 4 months pregnant!! But it was still fun to run in a race again. Being pregnant is lots of fun...but I'm looking forward to running like a real person again.

That's about all from us for now. We're back into a busy work week and looking forward to the Ritsema parents coming next week! We also find out if baby is a boy or girl on Monday so we'll be sure to post then! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Hi everyone!
We figured we owe you all some pictures since we haven't posted any for a while. We just don't have that much to photograph right now....that will change soon.
A brief update. We had yet another battle; us vs. house. This time we came out on top....slightly exhausted and worse for the wear but on top nonetheless. I started a load of laundry (1st of 5....don't know how we'll survive when we're washing things for a baby too), and went downstairs to change out my first load and stepped into the huge puddle that was our laundry room floor. Our theory is that when the sump pump stopped working and the basement flooded a few weeks back, it clogged the pipe leading out of the washing machine. So...all the water that went into the machine had nowhere to go and ended up pouring out on to the floor and all the loads of laundry waiting to be done. Brian got home later and we tried using the drain snake. We were snaking the drain, and Brian was laying on the wet floor with his head next to the pipe when all of a sudden a huge nasty clump of something fell out of the pipe. Then dirty water came flowing out on to the floor centimeters from Brian's face. Needless to say, the drain and pipe were clear- YAY- but the clean up of the laundry room wasn't quite as fun. But everything is in working order now and all my laundry got done.

We got a new car! Brian's Jetta kind of works....but won't start if it's raining, can't accelerate fast enough to get on the highway and has 2 windows that won't roll up. So we figured...time for a new car. We brought home the newest addition to our family on Tuesday morning. We're quite proud.

No pregnancy news. We'll find out June 1st if baby is a boy or a girl. Sometimes I think I feel him/her moving around, but it might just be my imagination. The doctors said women normally feel the baby between 16-20 weeks and I'm officially 17 weeks tomorrow so we'll see! Here is my 17 week pregnant shots!

Kind of showing.....not really...but kind of!

I'm definitely starting to need maternity clothes!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Ramblings

Hi again everyone
Every night I get home and consider posting about my day but really nothing seems that thrilling when I actually sit down to write. But I'll give in tonight and give you an update on the last few days in the Roelofs house.

First of all- sorry for such a downer of a post last week. We did have a rough few weeks but I realize my post was somewhat depressing. I went to a homeless shelter and served breakfast the next morning with some people from church and instantly felt guilty about complaining about my life. I complained about my leaking roof....but I have a roof over my head. I complained about our car....but we have the resources to actually go get another. Really....I have nothing to complain about at all. Stepping outside the comfort of my wonderful life into the reality of the world around me really gave me some perspective. My goal for the next few weeks comes from Philippians be content in all circumstances.

It's been a busy week thus far. Brian is out of town in West Virginia on a retreat with his department at Hopkins. He had to present a poster and said it went really well. So Brin Dog and I are holding down the fort here in Maryland until he returns tomorrow. I spent the whole weekend and early this week getting ready for a huge presentation in my Greek exegesis class. This is my final capstone project for my year of Greek class and I chose to wrestle with the extremely difficult passage 1 Timothy 2:11-15 which deals extensively with women in church office. This is probably the one passage that directly speaks against women in office and even after extensive research, I'm not sure I can disagree with it. Granted it doesn't take into context the rest of the Biblical story, but this passage is pretty direct and it's been really eye opening to see that. So it will be interesting to continue my research.

No new news on Baby R. Still in there....still baking. I'm almost to week 16 and according to the pregnancy books, I should start feeling baby move soon. Sometimes I think I can feel him/her moving around, but it might just be me really wanting to feel it and imagining it. We'll go in for another ultrasound in 4 weeks and we'll be able to tell you all if it's a boy or girl. About 70% of the pants in my closet no longer fit....and I'll give in to maternity clothes sooner or later.

Well that's about it for now. Time for bed! We'll post more when interesting stuff happens! Hope you are all having a great week so far!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Eventful week

Hi everyone has been a very eventful week for many different reasons. To best explain, I'll revert back to dinner time as a child where we told our "happy" and "sad" of the day.

Happy- it's beautiful in Maryland right now. It's a bit hot (in the 90's) but everything is green and blooming and just beautiful. Praise God for the beauty of his creation. Thank God for allergy medication!

Not so happy- we have had a series of unfortunate events in the past 10 days which has created a bit of chaos around our household. For some all happened on the 2 days it was pouring rain and I was craving an everything bagel. On the first day, it had been raining pretty hard for a day straight. I went out to get the craved bagel and proceeded to drop my phone in a puddle of water. phone. I sat through a 3 hour long elders meeting at church and headed home to what I thought was a quiet night sleep with Brian and Brina. I arrived home to find Brian in the basement with the shop vac cleaning up the flood he found a few hours earlier. Apparently, the box of wrapping paper fell on the sump pump and blocked it and with all the rain we had, it flooded part of the basement. Luckily, nothing was ruined that we know of...just very wet. A few days later it poured again and I was working from home when I heard water dripping upstairs in our bedroom. There were a few drops coming in the bedroom but I could hear a pretty steady leak in the chimney. If we hadn't just spent $4000 on a new roof in August, this wouldn't have bothered me as much as it did. I cleaned up the upstairs and put a bucket down and went to the basement to see if there was any water collecting from the chimney leaking. There was a puddle that I was in the process of cleaning up when the dog started throwing up upstairs. By the time I arrived upstairs, she had chosen several locations around the house to be sick. I called Brian, he came home and settled everyone down. Dog was ok...water was at least being collected in a bucket. I got a phone call a few hours later...the car died. Brian's 97 Jetta which already needed a new clutch and new tires died and pretty much is DNR at this point in time. SO- if anyone is looking to get rid of a car, let us know!!

That was the not so good part of our last few days. On a brighter note, we went to the doctor today for our second visit (now almost 15 weeks!). We heard baby's heartbeat which was going really fast! It registered about 150 bpm which is about double the average adult but is totally normal for an unborn baby. The nurse joked around that an old wives tale says that if the baby's heart rate is 135-145 it's a boy and 145-155 it's a girl. She told us in her opinion, we have a 50% chance of having a girl. The doctor came in and said everything looks great except one thing. My drug test somehow came back positive.....strange considering I've never taken drugs in my whole life and haven't taken anything stronger than a tylenol since October. So she carefully questioned me to make sure I'm not on drugs and sent me back for another test. She said she wants to make sure the last one was a false positive or else they'll have to detox baby when he/she comes out!!! So crazy!!! So hopefully no more false positives.

Other than the house/car drama, things have been going really well. I'm feeling great and have even been running pretty regularly. I'm going quite a bit slower than normal and definitely not as far, but still finding time and energy to do what I love to do.

Thanks for checking in! Let us know if you're getting rid of a car!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Strange Start to the Day.....

Woke up this morning....hungry.....very hungry.

Went down to the kitchen and immediately everything looked good. I thought to myself (and actually said outloud to Brina) "Eating for two!"

So....."breakfast" consisted of oatmeal, a banana, ramen noodles in a cup and gatorade.

Perfect combination for a rainy monday morning :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Update From the Mom-to-be!

Hi everyone

I figured it was my turn to post and fill everyone in on life as a pregnant lady!  Needless to say, life has changed much in the last few months, and it will only continue to change for years to come!

     The pregnancy has been going really well so far.  I was sick for the first 4-6 weeks but then it miraculously disap
peared.  I know a lot of women have it worse than me, but those 4-6 weeks were definitely long enough!  I was in the middle of a 10 credit semester at Reformed Theological Seminary but ended up dropping 2 classes a few weeks after we found out.  A combination of work, school, morning/evening sickness was too much!  I'm feeling great now other than being tired.  I feel like I can sleep 10 hours a night and still need a nap in the middle of the day.  Brian often comes home to find me looking like this.....

but he looks like this.......

I'm now a little over 13 weeks and will go back into the doctor again next week.  We really like our doctor and we're grateful for wonderful healthcare!  I'll deliver right in the Johns Hopkins Hospital!  We'll be right across the street from Brian's lab so I'm teasing him that if I'm in labor too long, he can walk across the street and work for a few hours and come back for the good stuff :)  I doubt he'll take me up on that.

Last week I went to Denver to see my family, especially my new nephew Levi who was born on March 2!  My sister has a 2 year old, Makenna, as well so I got a true taste of what motherhood entails.  Holding the baby definitely made me look forward to having my own.....the diapers did not.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Word of the Day

Hello Everyone,

        Sorry it's been so long since we last posted. It's kind of hard to follow up your first sonogram image.... Nothing just seems cool enough. Also, I don't have any new pictures to offer - though that's not to say that there haven't been photo worthy moments in the last few weeks. I'll recap a few of them:
1. Brina also does not like the new high-pressure water-powered dandelion remover I have. If the vacuum cleaner was a war, this is Armageddon. She's usually panting by the end of a 25 minute session of me pulling dandelions. Like with vacuuming, she slows the process down a lot. She also usually ends up soaking wet, which means our house stinks for a few hours....
2. The leaf blower/vacuum I got for Christmas from my parents also torments her. The noise seems to really bother her, and if she happens to run in front of the path of the leaf blowing, she gets very agitated... it's quite funny but at the same time somewhat sobering. I can't imagine how she must be attempting to comprehend the machines we use to do things around the house and yard - poor creature.
3. Our old friends the Bosscher's and the DeVries's were in town! Both on the same weekend too - it was pretty awesome. First we got to go to Navy Yard and have an incredible prime rib dinner with Admiral and Mrs. Debbink (Alicia's parents), Nate and Alicia, her brother/three friends and some family friends on Saturday night. I haven't ever eaten that many ribs - it was somewhat embarassing. Then, on Sunday night, the DeVries's stayed at our house before catching an early Monday morning flight out of BWI. And really importantly - Brina did incredibly well with Corrie! The DeVries's have a 9-10 month old  baby girl and she loved Brina. Brina just wanted to pad over to Corrie and lick her hands and face - it was incredibly cute. This bodes well for 6 months and 9 days from now we think...
4. Last, but not least, Easter dinner this last Sunday. We gathered with fellow young adults from our church at the home of Jon and Amy Vander Vliet and feasted on ham and crab cakes (Maryland style Easter) as well as a slew of other excellent food. I didn't even need a dinner later, other than a bowl of ice cream. 

And finally, you're probably wondering why I titled this post Word of the Day. Well, not to lock myself in to having to come up with a new word every now and then, I wanted to report on a good one that came up today. Not surprisingly, Katie and I were discussing Brina. We were talking about how Katie was not a dog person until we got Brina, but has become a Brina-person. She claims not to be a dog person still, but absolutely loves Brina. So, I asked her if she was "mondogamous", or roughly translated from Latin - "one dog love" - and it turns out that seems to fit her feelings pretty well. So, while I guess I would be pandogamous, Katie is definitely mondogamous, and will remain loyal to Brina for all of time.

This ends the most recent ramblings of Brian, and hopefully you've enjoyed reading. Katie promises to post pictures of her recent trip to Denver and our new nephew Levi tomorrow. We also plan to provide more updates on the baby every time something cool happens. Right now, there's not a lot other than arguing over names.... If you've got any good suggestions let us know. We may end up posting a vote here and letting you guys decide!

***humorous side note - while typing the above mondogamous passage, I have constantly been typing Brian instead of Brina due to the natural reaction of my fingers. It actually fits quite well, except for the "Katie was not a dog person, until we got Brian" part...***

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baby Roelofs!

Can you believe it??? First sonogram pictures yesterday at the Dr.'s appointment! As you can clearly see above, it looks like everything is okay, and there's only one in there! We both had gut feelings that we had twins on the way for some reason (which would've been awesome :-)), but that is not the case. That's probably good since we were having a hard enough time settling on one name - let alone two. When the doctor held the imager still, you could clearly see the baby moving around in there - we've got an active one. It was just great, at once exciting, chilling and humbling.... It's a bit hard to believe we're responsible for such an amazing thing with God's grace. I guess it does not really hit home until your face-to-face with your child-to-be like this. He/She was already 3.4 cm long, estimated due date is October 22nd. If he/she gets my height and Katie's shot we may have the next Candace Parker/Michael Jordan :-). Just kidding of course, but it's just awe inspiring to think about the limitless possibilities of the future for this child...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Epic Battles...

Hello again All,

Thought I'd take the chance to report on an epic battle waged in our living room this evening. Our fierce, loyal labrador attempted to fight off the noisy, invading vacuum cleaner. Initially, the combat was quite comical, though Brina's persistence and ardor made it rather encumbering after some time (my initial plan was not to spend 30 minutes vacuuming the room). Here are some attempts at continuous action shots from above with our new camera as I swept the vacuum cleaner around the room. Unfortunately, I haven't figure out how to simultaneously decrease the exposure time (hence the blurriness) while turning off the flash (necessary to avoid it recharging for a second and catch the speed of the encounter).

Peaceful Brina moments before the invasion began

Initial incursion into the living room space...

First strike by the dog as the vacuum cleaner head advances!

And Brina sinks her teeth into the gray plastic!

But the wily vacuum cleaner proves too slippery and escapes Brina's grasp.

Brina's bold first move pays off here as the both sides retreat to recover from the initial sortee....

Repeat the above sequence of events about 30 times and you get the picture.... Sorry we posted that, but it was just too amusing not to. We promise more real content will be on the way eventually. Our first major doctor's appointments are tomorrow, so there should be a lot to talk about tomorrow! Hope you all have a good night, and look forward to hearing from you eventually....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Inaugural Post!

Hello All!

After working on setting up this blasted blog for quite some time, the moment has come for the inaugural posts! It's a weird feeling, but I'm definitely going to go ahead with it after all the time it took to get to this point. To start off, I think a few pictures are in order so that those of you who may not have seen any of us for some time (or Brina at all) can get a refresher.

Katie and Brian in Nassau on their first vacation together since their honeymoon...

Brina catching a few rays and eating a frisbee in our backyard...

So, that is us and hopefully next week we'll have a sonogram image of the next little Roelofs we can post as well...
Villanova just knocked off Pitt in an instant classic - go Wildcats! I forgot to include them in the things I love from Philly. I grew up five minutes from their campus, so they're the big-time college team I latched on to, even though I've never even been to one of their games - pretty bad I know, but it's better than a lot of the Dukies/Tar Heels/Yankees/Red Sox fans out there anyway....
Well I think I'm going to make this a wrap on the first post - I was at a conference in Whistler Canada (pictures of that will follow) all of this last week and I'm still kind of recovering from that. Luckily Katie jump-started the recovery process by having fresh chocolate chip cookies ready for me when I got home at 10:45 PM last night! What a great wife.

Goodbye all and thanks for reading!