Archive for February, 2013

Pregnancy Update Week #22

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

 I missed a couple of weeks, but here is my update for Week #22!  Over halfway there!

How far along? I am 22 weeks today.

Total weight gain/loss? I haven’t actually been on the scale lately, but I would guess I have gained a total of 2-4 pounds.

Stretch marks? Still no stretch marks!

Best Moment this week? Wasn’t really this week, but definitely finding out the gender was a "best moment" since my last update.  We didn’t find out the gender with Mikayla, but chose to for several reasons this time.  The staff at the hostel are all very excited we are having a boy!  Their reactions have been priceless.

Movement? Baby K is moving like crazy.  Ben has been able to feel him on several occasions, but Mikayla has yet to feel him.  She is not very patient when waiting for his movement! 

Food Cravings:  For the first time in either of my pregnancies I have started craving sweet things.  With Mikayla I never did and up until this point I have only been wanting savory things.  This week though that has all changed!  I have eaten my fair share of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans and Sour Patch kids this week!  Bring on the Funfetti cake for my birthday!!

Gender? We found out on Valentine’s Day that we will be having a boy this time around!  He was definitely not shy in hiding his gender!

Ultrasound, Jana and Liv visit 075

Labor Signs?  So far so good, no labor signs!

Belly Button in or Out?  In.

What I miss.  I miss my energy.  I know they say you are supposed to have a lot more energy in your second trimester, but I am finding I tire out easier than normal.  For example, when Ben’s cousin was in town, we did some hiking and I was exhausted by the end of the day.

What I am looking forward to.  I am looking forward to starting to get together some baby items, so far we have nothing!  When we moved we got rid of all our baby stuff so we will be starting over from scratch.  I am also looking forward to finalizing a name, especially now that we know the gender.

Weekly wisdom:  Know when to push yourself and know when to say enough is enough and take a break.  It is better to sit out on something than to completely exhaust yourself.

Milestones:  I started wearing a few maternity things in the past week (Thanks Chel for letting me borrow them and thanks Jana for transporting them all the way to Africa!).  I can still wear some pre-pregnancy clothes, but for the most part pants are no longer fitting.

Ultrasound, Jana and Liv visit 229

Not quite a baby bump picture, but you can get the idea.  It is hard to remember to take those!!

BTW – At our last appointment we got the green light on a healthy pregnancy.  Everything looked great, baby is growing nicely and the doctor said he had no reservations about us delivering problem free in Swaziland!  So, assuming nothing changes in the next few months, we will be delivering in Swaziland and not South Africa!  This was a huge moment for us because we really wanted to be able to deliver in Swaziland.  Now if I can just get my mind wrapped around an epidural free delivery…

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Posted in Parenting |

30 Highlights from My 30 Years!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

In light of my 30th birthday, I thought I would follow the common trend of doing 30 _____ (you fill in the blank) for my 30th birthday!  I have seen people fill in the blank with blessings, moments, wishes, etc.  I am choosing highlights because they can be moments in time, special people, blessings or anything that I think of really!  All of these things have helped to shape me into the person I am today…hopefully I don’t forget anything!  And if I do, it isn’t on purpose just means my memory isn’t what it used to be.  I am 30 after all!  So here we go in no particular order.

  1. Birth of Mikayla – On April 28, 2009, our lives changed forever with the birth of our first daughter.  Words can not describe this highlight in my mind! Mikayla 053
  2. Pregnancy of Baby Kickert #2 – And once again our lives would change when we found out we were pregnant with Baby #2.  A baby boy is sure to be a highlight of my next 30 years!
  3. Marriage to my high school sweetheart – On October 2, 2004 I married the man of my dreams, my high school sweetheart. The wedding itself was wonderful, but the highlight comes in growing together and becoming a family over the last 8.5 years!  Kickert_0166
  4. Moving into my first apartment – The summer before I got married I moved into Royal Arms Apartments, and lived on my very own for the first time in my life!  It was a learning experience and took some adjusting, but I made it through!
  5. Moving into my first house – In August of 2005, Ben and I bought our first house.  It was the home we welcomed Mikayla into, the home we got our first dog and rabbit, and the home that holds so many "first" memories in.
  6. Moving to Swaziland – This was a big step for us as a family, but one that I do not regret or would not change.  We have loved our lives in Swaziland for the last 1.5 years and look forward to what the future holds for us here. Letter D and Nisela 112
  7. Birth of my nieces and nephews – I remember anxiously awaiting the call from my sister telling me she was in labor for the birth of my two nephews and nieces.  I treasure all the "highlights" we have had in their short years of life.
  8. Birth of my goddaughter, Molly – We were honored when our good friends asked us to be the godparents of their first born and have enjoyed watching Molly grow up in the last three years!  I am pretty sure I cried when I got the message from Dave saying she was born on Christmas Eve! Somerset 159
  9. Wonderful friends in our community in BG – We lived in BG for many years and over that time period developed many different friendships.  Some friends we still remain in contact with and some we have lost touch with over the years, but regardless of our friend status today they all fall into my highlights for the last 30 years. Pre-Christmas and Garth 036
  10. Teaching kindergarten and developing a friendship with Lara – The years I spent teaching with Lara were some of my favorite highlights.  We did so many fun things (both in and out of school) that it is too hard to highlight them all.  But some of my favorites are planning graduation ceremonies and coming up with unique things for our kids to do, the year of the rainy field trips (seriously we could not catch a break), dancing and making a fool of ourselves during indoor recesses, Dr. Seuss fun, all the random parties we through to celebrate our kids achievements, and so many more!  Miss those days! St. Louis, end of year, wedding 236
  11. Eating ice cream from the gallon (on multiple occasions) with some high quality girls in college (and even once afterwards) – Oh and watching my friends make fools of themselves by running up and down the hallway with icing on their faces just to make us all smile, or The Crocodile Hunter who was a permanent fixture in our dorm room! I could almost expand this highlight to living in the dorms for three years, so many great moments during that time! Altmaier visit and Labor Day 055
  12. Camping trips with friends  – We did not do this nearly enough when we lived in the states, but those few trips we did take our some of my favorites! Reid, BG2 169
  13. Family time – Both immediate and extended…fishing trips at the farms, making yellow cake with chocolate icing with my Granny Carew, summer trips to NC to visit my grandparents, family vacations to Gatlinburg, and so much more.  Each of my family members are special to me. eScan0005
  14. Tree pictures – This is an Adkins family tradition that I have continued on with my family.  Just ask Ben, every time we o someplace new I am scouting out trees to take the perfect picture in!  I still remember climbing up in the trees in my grandparents yard as a kid to snap a picture. eScan0020
  15. Homeschooling Mikayla – Since I am not currently teaching I have been able to get my teaching fix from homeschooling Mikayla.  Although she is only three, I have enjoyed creating activities that will cater to her developmental level.
  16. Family Vacation to Colorado – The fall before we moved to Swaziland, we took a family trip to Colorado.  It is one of my favorite family memories to date!  Moab 046
  17. Grandparents and Great Grandparents – I not only have the privilege of meeting all my grandparents and great grandparents, but also got to spend quality time with them.  That is a highlight that not many people can say they have.  eScan0002
  18. Reading – My first memories of reading come from my first grade reading groups!  I have gone through spurts in the last 30 years when I would and wouldn’t read, but some of my highlights come from reading.  I can still recall climbing up in the front tree of my childhood home to read a good book!
  19. Road trip to Maine in College – I have always wanted to vacation to Maine, so my freshman year four of us decided to take a long weekend and do just that.  We pretty much spent the whole time driving, but were able to see a few sights and of course eat some yummy lobster too!  It was a classic college trip! Scan0037
  20. Summer abroad with Amy in Guatemala – We learned so much about each other and life all in six weeks while living and working abroad in Guatemala.  The relationships we made that summer have impacted many lives over the years!  So thankful for that wonderful trip.
  21. Basketball – Whether it be watching or playing, I love the sport!  I played from the time I was little bitty all through college (if you can count intramural ball as playing still).  So many great highlights from those times.
  22. Kaleidoscope – Many fun and enlightening projects took place with these kids.  I learned so much from them and with them!  Two highlights from this program would have to be the preparation for the MLK marches and Stop the Traffic event.
  23. Making hair clips – This obsessions started after Mikayla was born, but has been a lot of fun!
  24. Playing Disc Golf – Need I say more?  This sport is wonderful and relaxing and can be played anywhere, even in the bush of Africa!  This has been a fun hobby for us to participate in as a family.
  25. Cooking –  I think I have always loved to cook, but mostly I love to bake!  Honing my skills over the years has been wonderful, fun and challenging all at the same time.  I even took a cake decorating class one year and a semester of a cooking class in college.
  26. Education – I started my education in preschool and continued it on, formally, through my second masters.  I wouldn’t trade my educational experiences for anything!
  27. Internet – Let’s be honest, this has changed all of our lives!  I still remember setting up my first email account.
  28. Church youth group – These were some of the most formidable years of my life and I am still close friends with many of the folks I met.  Good times, great memories.
  29. Traveling – I have mentioned several specific trips in my highlights, but in general being able to travel to various places both within the US and abroad have been great moments of my 30 years!
  30. My first class – I have loved all my classes, but my first class holds a special place in my heart.  I became a real teacher that year and the challenging kids in that class helped to shape me as an educator.  I have loved watching them grow and change over the years! 100_2715


Well that is that, 30 highlights from the last 30 years!  Hope the next thirty are just as fun!

Disclaimer – I realize that most of these highlights took place in college and beyond, but that is where the best of my memory lies!

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Posted in Life |

This Week’s Happenings (February)

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I know it is more than a week, but I realized last night that I hadn’t done an update for the last month.  We have been busy with work and visitors for the last month.  Here are a couple of highlights.

  1. I turned 30!
  2. We had our first Swaziland visitors.  Ben’s cousin, Jana, and her friend, Liv, came to visit.  During their visit we did a lot of the "touristy" things.  Like visiting Kruger Game park for the day, hiking/driving around Blyde River Canyon, hiking Execution Rock in Swaziland and hitting up all the "handicraft shops" in Swaziland.  We had a busy two weekends with them, but it was great to host our first visitors.  Mikayla really enjoyed the visited and ate up all the attention they gave her. execution Rock 167
  3.  I got bit by something in between my toes and ended up limping around for about a week.  I am much better now, but had to sit out some of our activities with Jana and Liv.
  4. On Valentine’s Day not only did we eat at McDonalds for dinner, but we also found out that we would be having a baby boy in July.  We all thought it was a girl, so it was a little of a shock.  Mikayla was disappointed at first because she thought it was a girl and had a name all picked out (Chrysanthemum), but has since embraced the idea of having a baby brother.  We are now in full debate as to what the name should be.  Ben and I just can’t seem to agree! Ultrasound, Jana and Liv visit 091
  5. Our house got struck by lightening and messed up our TV and satellite.  Not a huge deal, but something noteworthy.  In the meantime, Ben has set up the projector to project on our wall so we can watch movies from the computer. 
  6. Speaking of movies, Mikayla finally saved up enough money to buy Brave.  She had been saving for several months (earning coins by doing chores, eating at the table, etc.).  We had a Brave debut with Joe and some other volunteers while we ate burgers one afternoon.  She was so cute and excited about the whole thing.  She has now decided she wants to earn coins to buy Toy Story 2.  Wonder how long it will take her to earn it this time?
  7. I have been exchanging pregnancy notes with my dear friend Catherine who found out she was expecting too!  When I was pregnant with Mikayla she found out at the end of my pregnancy that she was pregnant (although I didn’t find out until after Mikayla was born).  It is fun to share pregnancies with close friends both times around! 

We have a busy March ahead and I don’t expect to blog much in the next bit.  Ben leaves for Ethiopia for a week on Saturday and then when he gets back (the following Saturday) we have a day before we go pick up his parents for their visit.  They will be here until the end of March, so we once again have a lot of traveling scheduled and down time at home.  Should be another fun, busy month!