Sunday, June 28, 2009

Baby Matthew

Me @ almost 20 weeks. 20 more to go!

Friday we went to get an ultrasound of our baby to take measurements of all sorts of things and determine the sex. We had a full room. Holly (my sister), Mary (Matt's sister), Grace (Matt's mom), Matt and I all got up when they called my name to come back. I was happy to have all of them there. At my last appointment, the doctor said that the tech would not be able to tell us the sex of the baby due to a federal law. I was so upset about this, so I was just hoping we either got a really nice tech or it was so blatantly obvious, we would go away with no doubt. Both happened. It wasn't until the very end, after all measurements were taken that we got the view we had been waiting for. I was nervous we wouldn't be able to tell the sex of the baby because baby was keeping his legs tight together. The tech adjusted my bed so my head was below my feet so that hopefully the baby would move up and she could get a good shot of the tailbone and the sex of the baby. Finally, the baby moved up. The tech froze the shot and told us she wasn't allowed to "confirm" anything, but put her fingers up on the screen and said "these are the baby's legs." Sure enough there was something protruding in between and we all knew we had a Matthew Kenneth Steen IVth in there! We are so happy and excited to bring a little baby boy into our family. I don't know if I've ever seen Matt grin so big! We had such a fun time observing the baby. Here is some of what we saw:
Matthew practicing his yoga moves - stretching his leg out above his head

Showing his feet
great profile shot
This picture looks a little scary, but we caught Matthew in the middle of a big yawn!
Matt & me in front of the hospital after we heard the news
After leaving the hospital, we went to lunch to get cheesesteaks. Then, we went to Target and Kohl's to shop for our baby boy. Mary and Holly spoiled us! Thank you - we can't wait to try out all the new duds!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Washington DC with the Proulx boys

We went with the three older boys to DC with their dad and Uncle Bennie. We started at Arlington Cemetery and from there bought tickets to take a tour bus around the rest of the city. This was great as we knew the boys would never have the energy to walk all around DC and we didn't have the energy to carry them :)
Jordan, Joshie, and Jadon waiting to go check out the cemetery.
The changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The guard coming up to inspect the other guard's gun. This was the highlight of the trip for me, to see this up close and witness the detail involved.
They boys in their matching outfits.
Matt and me on our throne! This is the front of the ampitheater that is connected to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The president gives an address here every Memorial Day.
A funeral procession.
Jadon - looking like Abraham Lincoln with the other boys as his arm rests :)
Matt in front of the Lincoln Monument.
The Washington Monument.

The Proulxs visit PA!

Matt's sister, Jackie, and her family came out recently for their family vacation. We were so excited to see them and share some fun outings!

Mary, Jackie, and I went with Jadon and Jordan to the Strasburg Rail Road to ride the coal-burning steam train. The Strasburg Rail Road was founded in 1832. In 1861, President Lincoln stopped at Leaman Place on his way to Lancaster for his Inaugural tour. In preparation for the big event, the Strasburg line purchased a passenger car to transport people to and from Leamn place for the President's 5 minute visit. Today, the Rail Road is strictly a tourist attraction. It runs for 4 1/2 miles or about 45 minutes round trip. The scenery from the train is beautiful. It runs past many Amish farms.
Jackie with Jadon and Jordan, boarding the train.
We were sitting in the front and whenever the train would blow it's horn, it was quite loud!
Waiting for the locomotive to turn around and hook on the back of the train to bring us back to the station.
Some of the scenery - two Amish men working in the fields.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More Costa Rica pics

On the last full day of our trip we were driving from the coast to San Jose in order to be closer to the airport because we had an early flight the next day. On the way there we were detained by the Costa Rican police! We were driving down the road and a police officer stepped out in the road well ahead of our car. Not as sophisticated as chasing you with their car, and much more dangerous, but it did the trick. So the officer comes up to my window and starts telling me I was going really fast. He informs me that the speeding limit was 60 km and I was driving 100 km! Suddenly, I totally forgot ALL my spanish and was unable to communicate with him at all. He told me, while I feigned ignorance, that I'd have to pay a fine of 50 dollars if I paid it right then, and 70 dollars if I waited to pay at the car rental facility. I act like I have no idea what he's saying, so finally he asks if I have any money. In one of my pockets I had a few 20's, and in the other I had a few Costa Rican bills, which were worth next to nothing. I pulled out a few of the Costa Rican bills. He asked if Robyn had any dinero. I answered him in horrible, broken gringo spanish that she had "no dinero!" So, the policeman took the few thousand Costa Rican colones and said it was a "propina," or tip. And we were on our way! Fun times.

On our last full day in Costa Rica we went to do a canopy tour, which is when you go to the very top of a hill in a rain forest and take a series of zip lines all the way back down to the ground. Robyn wasn't able to go because of her delicate condition, but I was and it was a lot of fun. The zip lines went from one tree to another, and each tree was fitted with a platform. The zip lines and platforms were at least 10 stories above the ground.

Friday, June 5, 2009

New York City

A few days after getting home from Costa Rica, Matt had a hearing in New York City. We took an Amtrak train from Lancaster to Penn Station. Matt treated me to see Marry Poppins on broadway. We had 8th row tickets, center stage. This is my favorite scene - "Step in Time."

The week we arrived, the city started an experiment to create a pedestrian zone by closing down Broadway street between 47th and 42nd. It was quite interesting - lawn chairs all over the road.

Matt standing in front of Times Square

Yeah for pregnant ladies!

Look what we found on a recent trip to our Giant grocery store! Matt was very excited to park here even though I stayed in the car. Our ultrasound is scheduled for June 26th - 3 weeks from today. We can't wait!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Costa Rica!

As a dual anniversary/birthday gift to my beloved companion this year, I took her to beautiful and exotic Costa Rica. Costa Rica is one of the top trendy vacation spots nowadays. That I chose to whisk Robyn away to such a wonderful place proves two things: that the Steens are really hip, and Robyn has the best husband in the world. Before we delve into the pics and such, I'd like to share a little vignete involving my mom that factors into our vacation. I decided on Costa Rica a few months ago because I knew that Robyn wanted to go there, but I wanted to keep it a surprise as long as possible. I only told my sisters and a few other people safely removed from Robyn. A few weeks ago we were at my mom's house when my mom blurts out: "So Robyn, I hear you're going to Costa Rica!" Robyn's eyes get really big for a moment and I look over at her and say "surprise!" Mom was mortified, but it was funny. On to the pics!

A scary one lane bridge on the way to the beach. Whichever lane made it onto the bridge first had the right of way while the other lane sat there and waited. We rented a car so we were able to go wherever we wanted.

Rows and rows of pointless palm trees.

This is the beach we went to, Manuel Antonio, about an hour away from our hotel. The beach right by our hotel was gross. The water looked like coffee with a lot of coffee mate in it.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park has a very large portion of rain forest. If you go in the morning it's teeming with filthy, disease infested, yet beautiful monkeys. We got there at the right time as they were all over the place and got pretty close to the pedestrian path. They were jumping from tree top to tree top. One even had a little one clinging to its back. If humans did that it'd be endangerment of a child. Fortunately for the monkey, it's not bound by the same stringent standards, but even if it were, they'd probably let it slide since it's Costa Rica.

Robyn next to the biggest bamboo tree you've ever seen.

After walking in the humid rainforest and gawking at monkeys, it was time to head to the beach, which is just outside of the rainforest trail. I wanted to get on these rocks, but thought better of it after realizing the waves probably would've dashed me against the rocks and killed me and I was the only one authorized to drive our rental car in Costa Rica.

A snobby-looking iguana. There were a couple running around on the beach. Robyn told me it got within a few feet of my head when I was dozing on my beach towel.

Robyn will post more tomorrow. I've got to get to bed. I have an early flight to Portland, Maine tomorrow morning.