Monday, November 26, 2007

It's a...


Gotcha, didn't I? For those of you wondering, Ryan and I have decided to not find out the baby's sex this time around. It gives us a little something to look forward to! It will be so fun hearing "It's a (fill in the blank)" in the delivery room on baby's birthday.

I had my nuchal translucency ultrasound this morning and I got my first look at our little bean! This ultrasound is used to detect any abnormalities in the baby such as Down's Syndrome. The doctors checked the bridge of the nose to make sure it was forming (and it is) and also looked at the thickness of the back of the baby's neck (it's nice and thin like it should be). The baby looks wonderful! Everything came back just as it should. Based on this test, the chances of having a baby with Down's Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormality is very slim.

This is a busy baby. Bean bounced around a lot and was constantly moving its arms and legs. It even looked as if it pushed off with its legs or jumped a couple of times. It's such a neat thing to see.

Interestingly, the baby's measurements are putting me at 13.5 weeks, not 12.5 weeks. Based on today's ultrasound, we're looking at a May 28th due date instead of June 3rd.

Here are some more of the little bean's first shots! Enjoy!

Giving us a thumbs up!!!!

Sticking out its tongue...

Crossing its arms...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I was holding out hope...

But Ryan is inactive this week against the Jaguars. He said he'd call if he wasn't dressing - it's about 45 minutes before kick off and I haven't heard from him yet. So even though he said this morning he was 90% sure he wasn't suiting up, there was still a chance. The Bills posted their inactives on their website, and Ryan's on the list, so he's a no-go this week.

I'm bummed for Ryan. He played in Jacksonville back in 2001, and there's always something to be said about getting on the field and playing a team that cut you before. But not today...

God must love me though. My pregnant behind is exhausted after a rough night with Will. I need a nap. If Ryan was dressed today, I wouldn't be able to take my eyes off the t.v. Now, if I dose off, I won't feel so bad...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This Christmas...

Ryan and I went to the movies last night and saw "This Christmas." This is a fun movie about love, hurt, celebration, pain, disappointment, laughter, hope. In the end, it's all about the importance of family.

I come from a very close family, most of whom are in Los Angeles. Holidays are always a big deal - everyone usually meets up at granny's or my mom's for dinner. And the get-togethers often times go into the wee hours of the night. I miss those times.

I called my mom in California after the movie to tell her how great it was. She told me she was making some food for my nephew Corey who I haven't talked to in a while. She passed the phone to him and we got to chit chat. Next, he passed the phone to his mom, my sister Andrea. After chatting with her a bit, she handed the phone to my other sister Kristi. As we wrapped up our conversation and we said our goodbyes, my eyes started tearing up. I miss my family. Being on the other side of the country definitely takes its toll. I'm a little homesick.

Enter another aspect of the NFL life that is really unique - we haven't spent the holidays with family since 2002. The NFL season coincides with Thanksgiving and Christmas. On these holidays, Ryan is either at practice most of the day or getting ready for a game unless the holidays happen to fall on a Tuesday (the guys' day off). The coaches do make some concessions - the guys usually get to go in a little later so that they can be home to open gifts with their kids. And practice and meetings usually run a little bit shorter. After practice, we usually end up at the homes of friends which is always fun. But there's something to be said about spending the holidays with family.

There are positives to our situation - we haven't had to contend with the travel nightmares posed by the holidays. But I'd sacrifice a headache if it meant being able to spend the holidays with family. I look forward to the day when that's a possibility again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We've got a heartbeat!!!

I had an appointment this morning and the nurse found the baby's heartbeat right away!!! The little one's heartbeat was beating at a strong 152 beats per minute!

It all seems real now. The first couple of months of pregnancy, you feel sick, tired, exhausted even. When you hear that heartbeat, all of a sudden, all of the misery seems worth it. We're having a baby! Woo!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It looks official!

Looks like Ryan is going to be on the list of inactives for tomorrow night's primetime nationally televised game against the Patriots. I know a bunch of you may wonder tomorrow night why you don't see #88 on the field - I wish I had an answer for you.

"Well, is he hurt." That's usually the question people ask when I tell them the news. Nope. Ryan's healthy. 100% ready to go. So healthy that he hasn't had to go in for treatment of any sort in a while.

The next comment - "Well, he played last week and he looked really good out there, especially when he went in at tight end." Yep, he sure did. After not getting a tight end rep in practice for over a year, Ryan went in for an injured Robert Royal and did a pretty good job.

The final question - "Well, what the heck is going on?" My guess is as good as anybody else's.

Ryan's a trooper though. He's a man of character who is trying to maintain his dignity through all of this. And he's doing a pretty darn good job. He's trying hard not to doubt his abilities, even though he's being told over and over again that he's just not good enough. Our saving grace is knowing that this is all part of God's plan. Knowing that He's in control, that all of this is happening for a reason, makes the pill a little easier to swallow.

I have to be honest with you - I enjoy the game of football a lot more when Ryan isn't playing. How terrible is that? But there's something to be said for knowing that when the clock reaches zero at the end of the 4th quarter, my hubby is going to walk out of the players' tunnel and we're not going to have to do our usual post-game injury inventory. I worry so much when he's out on that field. While I'd prefer it if he were playing, I'm totally at peace with the fact that my husband will be whole at the end of the day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth...

Just not right now!!!

I would love to sit here and write about how frustrating this football season has been. I'd love to tell you all the juicy details about the behind-the-scenes politics Ryan's dealing with right now. I wish I could tell you why Wednesdays are quickly becoming bad news days for us. I would give anything to tell you why this team is making me so sad. But I can't. Sorry. Not right now.

There's an unspoken rule that NFL wives have to remain quiet - we dare not say anything that might reveal what life in the NFL is really like. There is a reason for this - the NFL is a small world, and it's amazing how quickly a little gossip can spread. So for now, I'll just keep these things to myself.

I'll continue to be grateful for the opportunities that present themselves now. I'll try not to spend too much time thinking about what tomorrow may hold. I most certainly will do my best to stop getting my hopes up, because disappointment is starting to take its toll.

But I do promise that some day, I'm going to write a juicy fictional book based on fact about what life in professional sports is like. I'll share the tears, joy, pain, triumphs, etc. that my life has involved the past several years. It's been an incredible ride, one that most certainly isn't over yet - there are definitely more curves, loops, drops and curly cues coming our way. So stay tuned!!! Things are going to get interesting over the next couple of weeks...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

When strawberries attack...

Will loves these freeze-dried strawberries called Crunchies. It's the only way we can get him to eat any sort of fruit. Well, I guess the last bag we gave him had gotten a little crunchy and smashed itself. Here's what resulted...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A night of celebration...

Last night we attended the Hunter's Hope Ball. It was an incredible evening. I just love getting all dressed up - I spend so much time in jeans and a sweatshirt chasing Will around that it's fun to get all dolled up and glamorous.

Hunter's Hope was founded in 1997 by NFL Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bill Jim Kelly and his wife Jill. Their son Hunter was born with Krabbe's Disease. The disease claimed little Hunter's life back in 2005, but his legacy lives on through his parents' work with the foundation. They have raised millions of dollars to aid in the research and eradication of the disease, and they've also worked with state and federal government agencies to advocate for infant screening for diseases like Krabbe's. If you'd like more info, check out

The night wasn't without a little bit of drama though. I'm a sucker for a silent auction, and there was some awesome stuff up for grabs last night. I came across this kick butt scrapbooking stuff. I love scrapbooking - it's definitely my hobby. And for anyone who does it, you know how expensive it it! There were three baskets full of all kinds of stuff - albums, paper, computer software. So I decided that this was the item I'd be going home with.

With ten minutes left to go in the bidding process, I decided to go up and stake my claim. I noticed someone had outbid me. Not a problem - I just increased my bid and waited right next to the sheet. My competition surfaced, and I told her in my most friendly happy voice that I really wanted the item and that I was going to outbid her. She gave me a dirty look and walked away. I watched her though - she didn't go to far. Sure enough, with ten seconds left in the bidding, she makes a beeline for the bid sheet. When she moved, I moved. She scrambled as she tried to find a pen, and by the time she started writing, I'd already grabbed another pen and upped my bid. THREE, TWO, ONE! Time ran out, and as she tried to write herself in, the attendant came and grabbed the bid sheet (thank goodness I'd seen him a couple minutes earlier and pleaded with him to pick up that sheet first).

My competitive nature kicked in and I came away victorious. Of course, there's a woman somewhere in Buffalo really mad at me right now, but I suggest she work on her silent auction beat down skills!

I did get outbid on an awesome Brett Favre helmet - I only lost by $25!!! Hey, you can't win them all.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Another Buffalo Winter...

It had become my obsession - especially with the way this football season is turning out for Ryan. When I started stressing out, I'd focus on going home. This coming March will mark the two year anniversary of the "flood" that destroyed our home. But knowing we were going back to Texas in a couple of months was so comforting - it was nice to have something to look forward to. I thought about finally enjoying the warmth of a Dallas winter and I'd get excited about decorating the house. I've thought about the first meal I'd cook in my new kitchen, or the first movie we'd watch as a family in our media room. I'd even started making plans for barbecues and baby showers with friends. Well, my homecoming isn't going to happen just yet - we've decided to stay in Buffalo.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been working on figuring out the best way to transition Will into the special education system back home. After a couple of phone calls, I quickly realized how incredibly fortunate we've been here in Buffalo. Will is in a class with only four other students. He receives individualized speech therapy, occupational therapy, and soon, music therapy. He's thrived at his school. And most notable - it's all been free. FREE!!!! Long story short, our school district in Texas does not provide anything comparable to the services Will is currently receiving. In order for us ensure that he was getting the services he needs, we'd have to pay out of pocket for either a private school or private therapy.

The other day, I freaked out when I found a private school for children with learning disabilities - the tuition for the full day program is $10,000 a year. For a four-year-old!!!! Unreal. After hearing from friends with preschool age kids though, I realized that that wasn't a ridiculous amount to pay for preschool. But as I was doing more and more research on different schools in the Dallas-area, things became more and more depressing. A school that provides ABA services (ABA is a teaching method for children with autism) can run around $48,000 per year!!! I almost started crying. Who can afford that?

That's when the idea popped into my mind - let's stay in Buffalo and let Will finish out the school year here. I immediately shot the idea down as being ludicrous, but the more and more I thought about it, the more it made sense. In the grand scheme of things, I can sacrifice six more months in Buffalo for the sake of my kid. After discussing it with Ryan, we decided it was the right thing to do. Ryan will head home to Texas after the football season to get the house situated. He'll unpack furniture and boxes. He'll make our house a home again. It will be all ready for us to visit when Will has his spring break! Ryan will probably go back and forth between Texas and Buffalo during the offseason until we realize what team he'll end up with. And that's fine. The thought of having to pay a mortgage and two rents for a couple of months stresses me out a bit. But that's okay.

This means we'll also have the baby here in Buffalo. Honestly, it's probably for the best. We have an incredible support network here of friends, babysitters, etc. who will be able to help out when the baby is born. We'll plan on heading home mid-to-late June.

As much as this wasn't my original plan, it is now THE plan. When we agreed to this last night, it was as if an amazing burden had been lifted. I slept better last night than I have in a really long time.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The "S" Word...

It's coming - our first snow will be here tomorrow. Joy.