Category Archive: video blog

A week of firsts

Even though it seems that every one of the blog posts recently have been about “Sirena’s first [insert something cool here]”, we had one full week of pretty exciting “firsts” that deserves its own post…

First trip to the zoo

I’m sure the words “Oakland” and “Zoo” together don’t conjure up visions of really cool animals but, surprisingly, the Oakland Zoo is quite the zoo!  We met up with my co-worker Debra and her 18 month old son Cruz for a visit to the park and we’re so glad we went!

Getting ready for her first safari

The gang ready to see some animals!

Sirena and Cruz, the little buddies

Happy mama, daddy and baby

Kevin, Debra and the kiddos walking through the park

We saw so many cool animals!  Like a mama and baby giraffe…

Me and my baby with the mama and baby giraffes in the background (awww…)

And a lion!  Apparently this guy never comes out into the open and we happened to be there in the 2 minutes he left his little enclosure…lucky us!

That zebra musta been real scared

Pumba was there

And so was this handsome fella

And this crazy monkey who was putting on a good show for us

We visited the fruit bat enclosure and got up-close-and-personal with some kinda cute/kinda creepy creatures.

Sirena wasn’t too impressed with the bats as you can see here

After all of the animals it was time for a break!

Is he not the cutest thing ever?

A tired and very full baby getting burped by daddy

Family photo outside of the flamingo enclosure

The Oakland Zoo is a gem in the middle of this big city and we would highly recommend it!

First college campus tour

We took Sirena on her very first college campus tour at UC Berkeley (it’s never too early to start, right??)  I have been wanting to go for a long walk on Cal’s campus since before my maternity leave started and I was so glad we finally did it.  Too bad the weather wasn’t spectacular that particular day but that didn’t keep us from having a good time.

It was chilly that day so we put on her going-home-from-the-hospital beanie and it made her look like a brand-speankin’-new baby again

Lola didn’t have to wear any sort of hat with that gorgeous fur coat of hers

Lola going for a stroll with good ol’ “Pappy” (Kevin and I are weird, what can we say?)

This face can only mean one thing…dirty diaper!

And what better place to change a dirty diaper?  On the bench in front of some old building on the campus, of course!

I couldn’t resist taking this picture, it looks like the Invisible Baby or something (I know, I’m a dork)

One of my favorite things about this campus is The Campanile

Sirena with The Campanile in the background (if she ends up going to Cal I think it would be awesome to take a similar picture of her standing in this spot on her first day there. Gah, I’m such a mom.)

First concert

We made it back to Stern Grove for one of the free summer concerts and once again it did not disappoint!  Jess and I went to a Stern Grove concert my first weekend living in San Francisco in 2009 (see post here) and Kevin, Lola and I went with some friends last year (see post here) and I had been looking forward to taking Sirena to see the band Ozomatli before she was born. We met up with Jessie who snagged a great spot right in front and hung out with some of her friends that afternoon.

As new parents we naively brought S to the concert without having thought through how to protect her tiny little ears and we were prepared to sit away from Jess and her group to keep S far from the speakers but luckily the Red Cross booth had ear plugs that we could use and they seemed to do the trick!

Happy baby getting ready for the concert to start!

Ma and Pa enjoying a baby-free moment while Aunt Jessie was dancing with S

Mama dancing with Sirena

Here are two short videos of Sirena dancing with me and dancing with Aunt Jessie (notice how deep asleep she is in both videos even with all the ruckus going on)!

Sirena’s first dip in the pool

My mom and Steve came up for a few days so that my mom could attend the Brave New Voices international spoken word competition that was being hosted here in the Bay Area (she works with a group of youth from Long Beach that were competing this year) and so they decided to make a trip out of it and come spend some time with us too.  The competition was amazing (I attended one of the day’s events) and although the LB team didn’t win it was so inspiring being there and hearing their amazing work.

Here are some photos from their visit, including Sirena’s first time in a swimming pool!

We went to a car show in Danville where Steve’s nephew’s car was being shown and Sirena seemed to enjoy herself almost as much as her Daddy did!

Sirena’s first car show

Hot rods make her happy, apparently!

We then went to dinner at a yummy Italian restaurant…

Ma & Pa

Sirena with Steve

No meal is complete without a chocolate-dipped cone from Foster’s Freeze!

And now for the photos you’ve all been waiting for…when we found out that the pool at my mom’s hotel was heated we immediately went out to Babies R Us for some swimming diapers, strapped on her first bathing suit, and got the cameras ready!

Diaper duty before hitting the waves (the smallest waterproof diapers were for 16-26 pound babies and she was only around 12 pounds at the time so we just had to fold them over quite a bit and pray that there weren’t any accidents in the pool [luckily there weren’t!)

“Hey Daddy!”

Can’t forget the baby sunscreen!  Getting a massage from Mom.

Suited up and ready to go!

I think she was a little nervous, just judging by this photo, haha.

Here we go!

My mom took a video of her first dip in the pool, check it out here!

She was totally at home in the water and we see swimming lessons in her future!  She’s our little fish and we loooove how much she enjoyed herself in the pool.  Here are more photos of the lady being passed around…

She is learning to love the prickly kisses from Dad

Getting so much love from her Aunt Jessie!

Flying high with Mama

That’s quite a view!

Love this girl

The happy little family

Group photo

Swimming with Nani

She was in the pool for at least an hour (maybe more?) and she eventually passed out in her Nani’s arms…

After getting dried off and into some warm clothes she sat around with her Aunt Jessie soaking in the last rays of sunshine of the weekend…

Sirena’s first trip to Long Beach

Since before Sirena was born we were planning on making a trip down south when she was one month old so that she could meet family and close friends and so that we could have a nice little vacation while we were both off of work.  We were playing it by ear up until the week before we left just in case it didn’t work out (either because I hadn’t recovered fully or if she wasn’t able to travel) and we were so happy that it worked out just as we had hoped!

Traveling with an infant was…different.  Our car was packed to the brim with mostly stuff for Sirena and Lola barely fit in the backseat with her!  Usually when we drive down to LB we can make it down in 6 hours but with having to stop to feed her or change her diaper it took us 8 hours total, which actually isn’t terrible but it was definitely a lot longer than we’re used to.  Breastfeeding her in the backseat in parking lots was a different experience but luckily we made it work and the little girl didn’t starve.  🙂

We got to see the majority of our family in Southern California and some close friends but weren’t able to see everyone we had hoped to see but hopefully within the next couple of visits she’ll be able to meet everyone!  Here are the highlights of our trip…

Meeting family

One person I was extremely excited to meet Sirena was my Aunt Tina and she just fell in love with her.  🙂

Meeting for the first time!

Second time seeing each other

Meeting her grand uncle Joey (and rockin’ the no-pants look)

Seeing her Uncle Derek again

With her Nani

Hanging out with Nani and Auntie Tina

Three generations

The whole gang (minus Steve who was taking the photo!)

She also got to meet the rest of the Edmonds family…

With her big cousin Katelyn!

Auntie Judith was head over heels in love with the little lady

Aunt Sarah was so in love too!

Sirena got a double whammy when she met Uncle Thomas and her cousin Sophie

Kisses from Sophie

And Sirena experienced her first play date while in Long Beach with Kim’s daughter Amelia and Shani’s daughter Sadie…

Kevin and the Mommy group!

Sirena with her Auntie Kim

Dance party with Amelia!

Sirena meeting Sadie for the first time

Tummy time with Sadie (it’s amazing how much stronger Sadie is and only three months older than Sirena)

Meeting friends and exploring Mom & Dad’s hometown

Our close friends Brianne and Brian were so excited to meet Sirena…

Their first meeting!

Whatchu lookin’ at?

Playing tennis the morning of July 4th

Brianne, Brian and Brian’s sister Lisa just staring at the baby

Kevin and his floating baby (and Lola too!)

We had a little gathering in San Pedro so that some of my close family friends could come and meet our little munchkin…

Diane is like a second mom to me and it was so great having her meet Sirena!

Dave, Diane’s husband–he’s known my mom since she was 15 years old

Meeting Don and Rosemary

It was also a time to celebrate the birthdays of my mom, Don and Rosemary!

And lastly, it happened to be our six year wedding anniversary–it was hard to believe that six years prior we were in the same city getting married and we only dreamed of starting a family together.  Now six years later we were able to celebrate with our little lady!

Sirena and Mama, mirror images of each other

Random photos from our trip…

My mom’s boyfriend Steve recently purchased a ’51 Chevy and he said that we could take it out for a spin which Kevin was beyond happy to take him up on!

Lookin’ good!

Checking out his lovely backseat passenger 😉

The gang

The boys

It was SO hot and humid compared to the Bay Area and Sirena had a hard time adjusting (she even developed a small heat rash, poor thing) so she spent a lot of time lounging in nothing but a diaper!

Trying to adjust to all that darn sunshine!

With Mama at Brianne’s bridal shower

The four of us (with Lola) spent some time at a park in Pasadena on the way to dinner at Sarah’s house and here are some photos from our afternoon there…

Flying high with the help of Dad

Baby photo shoot

She’s such a little stinker

Kisses from Dad

Getting lots of love from Mama

Those feet love the feeling of grass

::Yawn:: Tired little baby

We also spent a lot of time just hanging out at Kevin’s parent’s house where we were staying while in town.  Their backyard garden was a lot of fun to hang out in and Sirena enjoyed looking at the flowers and the vegetable garden so much…

Taking in the sights of the garden with Mama

Nothing like a nap in the great outdoors!

Saying bye to our family and friends this trip was by far the hardest in the three years we’ve lived in the Bay Area…things sure do change when a baby enters your life.  We had a really great time even though it went by way too quickly and we didn’t get to see nearly enough people!  Until next time…

Life with Sirena: Weeks 3 and 4

Things seemed to change dramatically after the first two weeks but thinking back on it now I think it had less to do with Sirena and more to do with me and Kevin just getting the hang of things!  Quite a few people reached out to me after reading my last post about my experience with the “baby blues” and I appreciate it so much.  Although it was hard to write and even harder to post for everyone to read, it felt really good to be so honest about it and to receive such positive feedback from moms and future mamas alike.

I wanted to share with all those future mamas out there that one of the things that helped me the most was reading the book The Happiest Baby on the Block. Although the book focuses mostly on how to calm a fussy baby and how to help relax and put a baby to sleep, what I found most helpful was reading about a newborn’s development.  I had heard before that the first three months of life are considered the “fourth trimester” but I never understood exactly what that meant and the author, Dr. Karp, explained it extremely well (and much better than I’m about to do, I guarantee that)…he says that babies younger than three months old can still be considered fetuses because they have not finished developing and still need 24/7 attention.  They were so used to living in the womb where their every need was met on demand (eating, warmth, movement, being held tightly) and after birth they’re still in need of those things all the time.  Reading this helped me understand a lot about her and her needs and it helped me to understand why my sole job right now is to take care of her.  This understanding has helped me immensely!

In other news, we had her first appointment with the pediatrician on June 18 and she weighed in at a whoppin’ 8 lbs, 14 oz and measured the same as she did at birth at 19.5 inches.  The doctor said that everything looks good and that we’ve got a healthy baby on our hands!

We continued to keep ourselves mighty busy the last half of her first month including a visit from her Grandma Dorothy and celebrating Kevin’s first Father’s Day!  Pictures of our adventures…

A hike at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in Oakland

First time baby-wearing for me and I loved it!

Sirena’s first-ever visit to San Francisco!

Me and the little Bay Area native looking out on the bay

A not-so-happy bather

Preparing for a dip in the bathtub

Not digging this experience in the least

“Quit taking pictures and dry me off NOW!”

Tummy time!

Tummy time is a really important part of a newborn’s development to help them strengthen their neck muscles and practice keeping their heads up. She likes it for a couple of minutes but then won’t hesitate to let us know that she is very unhappy and wants to get off her tummy as soon as possible!

A hike in Glen Canyon in San Francisco (Mom and Dad’s old stompin’ grounds!)

After the hike we spent some time sitting in the grass and taking in the sunshine…

What day at the park would be complete without a showing of Kevin and Lola’s tricks?

Some more random photos from these two weeks…

A naked, sleeping baby…could life get any better than this?

Hanging out at Auntie Jessie’s apartment

Getting to know her cousin Mars

Me and my girls

Kevin and his lounging “beach bum”

Sirena and Mama

Grandma Dorothy’s visit

Grandma Dorothy came up to visit for a few days to spend some more time with her fourth grandchild (oh yeah, and us too 😉 ).

We spent one day at the Berkeley Rose Garden and Codornices Park across the street (the last time we went to these two places was back in 2010 when Kevin’s brother Thomas came to visit, see post at this link).

Notice Lola’s photo bomb? Haha, that girl is such a ham.

We also spent an afternoon at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland to hang out and play frisbee with Lola…

Ready for some sunshine!

Me and Dorothy chatting while Sirena napped the afternoon away

This girl makes sleeping look so good…

Big foot!

Kevin’s first Father’s Day was spent at the botanic gardens at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley at Kevin’s request.  We packed a picnic lunch and enjoyed the beautiful gardens together.

Chow time!

Sirena napped in her stroller while we had our picnic lunch

Then it was time for our hike…

Kevin and Dorothy

The gardens had TONS of stairs so Kevin and I had to carry the stroller quite a bit, haha.  And we quickly realized that we definitely need an off-road stroller (which we’ve since gotten, hallelujah!)

Beautiful trees in the garden

Diaper duty for Kevin on Father’s Day!

Happy girl with a clean booty

Papahood sure looks good on Kevin, wouldn’t you say?

I have to admit, saying the words “Happy Father’s Day” to Kevin for the first time that day was the sweetest thing!

And some final random photos from Grandma’s visit…

The three of us hanging out in her room on the glider

Kisses for my Buddha baby and her giving me a goofy grin right back!

It’s so apparent that Grandma has so much love for this little lady (wearing her “Grandma gives the best hugs” onesie for the occasion!)

And finally some short videos of Sirena in action to close this post out!

Sirena making some funny faces at me here

Getting kisses from Lola during a car ride here

Me trying to wake The Grump up here

Sirena’s first two weeks

Sirena’s first days of life

A few hours after Sirena was born, we made the trip upstairs to the Family Recovery Room to spend the next two nights getting to know our baby and preparing to go home as new parents.  Over the course of the next 48 hours we spent a lot of time visiting with the family that was in town, trying to get as much sleep as possible which proved to be almost impossible with the constant feeding, changing of diapers (which Kevin did completely while in the hospital, I didn’t have to change a diaper until we got home!), and the constant interruption by nurses and doctors coming in to check in on us, and just being in complete and total awe of the little lady we had created.

My first experience in a wheelchair and I couldn’t have asked for a better chair mate!

Skin-to-skin with mama

Hanging out with mom and dad (and Uncle Derek who came for a surprise visit!)


Sirena was surrounded by lots of loving family members who couldn’t wait to get their paws on her–she was rarely laying down in the bassinet but instead almost always in someone’s arms!

Proud first-time grandma

Kevin and his mom (I love this picture!)

Such a happy Grandpa!

Enjoying time with Grandpa George and showing off those expressive little hands

Getting the special treatment by Aunt Jessie

Uncle Derek made a surprise visit to the hospital on the afternoon of the day she was born–someone knocked on the door and, thinking it was another nurse checking in on us, I told them to “come in” and I was speechless when I saw Derek walk in the door!  Turns out he happened to have an ultimate frisbee tournament in Santa Cruz that weekend so made the drive up to visit with us for a couple of hours before going back.  It was so wonderful having him there to meet his first niece!

The Delmars

The Edmonds

Sirena actually had to have a minor medical procedure done while still at the hospital–I was experiencing a lot of pain while breastfeeding and the nurses who observed me just said that Sirena had a strong latch but that eventually it’d get better.  When I began bleeding and the pain, in fact, did not stop we asked to meet with a Lactation Consultant to see if she could help.  She first observed Sirena nurse and then took a look inside her mouth and said that she believed her frenulum (the membrane that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth) was shorter than usual which did not allow her to breastfeed very efficiently.  She told us about the simple procedure of cutting the frenulum and after we said it would interest us she had the attending pediatrician come to our room to check her out.  The doctor agreed that cutting the frenulum would be beneficial and gave us the consent forms for the procedure.  It was surreal having to read through medical paperwork and sign off on something for another human and not myself.  Once the paperwork was signed and the doctor was getting ready I was overcome with some pretty intense emotions–whenever I had heard moms say that they couldn’t stand seeing their child get a shot I really couldn’t understand why something like that could be so dramatic, and yet here I was with a one day old baby who was going to get a very minor medical procedure done and I was overcome with sadness and I began to cry.  I felt so bad for this little person and I couldn’t help feeling guilty, questioning our decision to do this if it was only for a selfish reason (so that I wouldn’t be in pain while breastfeeding).  I couldn’t stand to watch the 2-second procedure and felt awful when I heard her little cry after it was done.  Luckily her cries only lasted for 30 seconds and she barely bled at all but it was the first time I truly understood those other moms and the overwhelming feelings of wanting to protect my baby from any little harm.

The hospital commissioned a photography company to drop by to meet with the new families to take baby’s first photos–although we didn’t order any from the company we did take advantage of the trance-like state the photographer put Sirena in so that I could snap a few posed newborn photos of our own!

Our itty bitty model

Sirena’s first glamor shot

Daddy and Sirena

Our last night at the hospital we got the extra special treatment with a meal fit for a royal family.  Kevin and I had placed our order the previous day so were looking forward to the dinner but when another huge tray showed up covered with five servings of desserts and Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider we were blown away–they not only prepared dessert for Kevin and me but for my mom, her boyfriend Steve, and my sister Jessie who happened to be visiting during that time as well!

The feast (with the guest of honor)!

And here’s a short video of the three of us hanging out in the hospital together

Life with a newborn

Bringing Sirena home

On Monday morning after meeting with countless medical professionals and attending the hospital discharge class it was finally time to go home.  I hadn’t set foot outside of the recovery room for 48 hours so it was strange not only to be going home with a new sidekick but also just to be outside of those four walls in general!  The weather had changed dramatically that day–it had rained early that morning and it was so windy, it reminded us of some tropical location.  She couldn’t have asked for more dramatic coming-home weather!

Proud new daddy

Soothing herself on mom’s finger for her first ever car ride…she was a total champ!

We were both excited and anxious about Sirena’s and Lola’s first encounter.  Lola had been without mom and dad for three days so we decided to leave Sirena out in the hallway with my mom while Kevin and I went into the apartment to greet our overly-excited pup.  It was so apparent she missed us a ton while we were gone and it was so great getting to see her again!  After a few minutes it was time for the long-awaited first meeting: here’s a short video of the two of them being introduced! Lola was extremely curious about the new little person (if she even recognized that Sirena was a little human) and just wanted to sniffsniffsniff her.  We had to tell her to “leave it” when she started getting a little too carried away with wanting to give her kisses but overall Lola did great at their first meeting!

Her first week

Sirena’s first week at home was a whirlwind.  Kevin and I were busy trying to figure out this whole newborn thing and getting used to our new sleep schedule.  We had the company of my mom and Steve for a couple of days at home which was nice to have some companionship and some extra hands to hold her while we tried to get things taken care of.

The only thing we had to do that week was go to our first doctor’s appointment with a Lactation Consultant on the day after we got home from the hospital.  The LC we met with was fantastic and gave me a lot of support and an extra boost of confidence.  Sirena at first weighed in at 7 lbs, 7 oz and after nursing her for 20 minutes she was weighed again and gained almost an entire ounce!  The LC scheduled us for another appointment the following week and said that it was her hope that Sirena gain at least 4 oz within the week.

Here are some snapshots from her first week at home:

Three generations

So itty bitty in her car seat!

My Aunt Tina bought Sirena a cute little Minnie Mouse outfit and a ton of Disney dolls so we wanted to take advantage and take a cute photo reminiscent of E.T.:

Let’s play “Where’s Sirena?”

Napping with Dad (check out the arm positions for both of them…)

Kevin and I made sure to get out of the house as much as possible to enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine instead of being cooped up in the house all day long.  Our first excursion when she was five days old was to Piedmont Park for a nice walk with Lola–while pregnant with Sirena I would take Lola here just about once a week so it was crazy being there with a little baby in tow!

Kevin and his girls

Sleepy baby

Lola checking out the munchkin Dad was carrying around

Her second week

We kept ourselves pretty busy her second week with visitors (Carleigh, Terri & Scott, and Darinee & Harrison came by for visits), a doctor’s appointment, a postpartum doula appointment, and excursions around town.

The doctor’s appointment we had was with the same Lactation Consultant we had seen the week prior–the first thing she did was weigh Sirena and when she found out she weighed 8 lbs, 4 oz (up 13 oz from the week before) the LC said, “Good job, mama! That’s all I needed to know, you’re doing a great job and you can go home now!”  It seems that Sirena and I are a pretty good team when it comes to this breastfeeding business.  🙂

One of the days that week we took a nice long walk to the Lake Merritt farmer’s market.  Since dogs aren’t allowed in the market I sat in the shade with our girls while Kevin went around to get some food–there was a man with his one year old daughter who stopped by to see the little baby in the stroller, he asked me how old she was and when I told him 7 days old he said, “You gave birth a week ago?!”  😉

On the walk home we stopped by the lake to take some photos…

Lola checking in on her sister

Kevin and his three girls

And here are some random photos from the week…

Little Buddha baby (check out those legs!)

She’s such a GRUMP when she wakes up!  We love it.

A visit from Auntie Carleigh (who is expecting two boys in a few months, Sirena’s future buddies!)

At the Oakland Rose Garden

Trying out Dad’s shades

And a little bit about postpartum recovery

With all of the preparation I did for the birth itself I wasn’t quite prepared for the moments and the days after the birth.  Other than a co-worker telling me about her own experience the two days in the hospital after her daughter was born, no one really talked to me about the recovery so I thought I’d mention it briefly here.

Like I mentioned in my previous post with her birth story, the moment she was placed on my chest was incredible.  She was so warm and so big and so unbelievably cute and I just could not believe that she was real and that she actually came out of me.  I was very much focused on her little face and her huge presence but something else was demanding my focus: being stitched up by the doctor.  Turns out I had a second degree tear (which is pretty typical for a woman’s first vaginal delivery) and because I didn’t have an epidural, even though she applied a local anesthetic I was still very aware of the sensations of the stitching while it was happening.  It actually took around 30 minutes for the doctor to finish and it was a lot more painful and uncomfortable than I could have imagined.  Even though I was in quite a bit of pain, during this time I was very much focused on Sirena and I actually gave her the nickname “Honey bear” to comfort her when she would cry or whimper.  I had never thought of that nickname prior to this experience so I consider it extremely special for the two of us and I find myself calling her that now when she’s in the most distress.

Another thing I hadn’t really expected was when I went to use the restroom for the first time about an hour after she was born, Kevin accompanied me and when I got up I told him I was feeling dizzy and placed my arms around his neck and the next thing I knew I woke up on the bathroom floor with a nurse looking over me.  I had fainted because I had lost so much blood (not any more than expected for a vaginal birth but way more than I had ever lost before!) and thank goodness Kevin was there to help lay me on the floor so I didn’t hit my head.  From then on I had to wear a “Fall Risk” bracelet on my wrist and the nurses were extra cautious of me getting up for any reason.  I also had a hard time urinating and ended up having to get a catheter put in for an entire evening–the worst part about this was that the nurse couldn’t put it in so had to ask the head nurse to come in and help her and she also had a hard time putting it in so for about 30 minutes total I had two nurses pricking me in a very sensitive area which I had definitely not anticipated.  Once the catheter was in I felt a huge relief so it was definitely worth it but it was a very trying time while they were putting it in.

More than anything, what I had the hardest time with in terms of recovery was the fact that I was so extremely weak.  I had never even broken a bone before so being in a hospital and actually having to recover and needing nurses to take care of me was very difficult for me.  I couldn’t do a lot of things for myself and I had a hard time letting go and being okay with nurses helping me with some very personal and uncomfortable things like assisting me in the restroom, emptying the catheter, etc.  I now have so much more respect for nurses and all they have to do for their patients having been one myself!  The first two weeks at home were pretty rough with my recovery as well but each day I would feel more and more normal and now that we’re almost one month from her birthday I am feeling about 95% back to normal.

The “baby blues”

Yup, I experienced them.  I struggled with deciding whether or not to include anything about this on the blog but I decided to be honest and share my experience because it seems that it isn’t always talked about and I want other new moms who have experienced them or women who may experience them in the future know that they’re not alone.

The first two weeks were…rough.  Adjusting to life with a newborn was not easy in the slightest, just like everyone had said (but I didn’t truly understand until I was living it!)

Lack of sleep + constant discomfort/pain from recovery + feeding Sirena every 1-3 hours all day long + crazy postpartum hormones = a not-always-happy mama.  I had a hard time accepting the fact that the independence I had once enjoyed every day was now completely gone.  When Sirena was hungry (like I said, every 1-3 hours all day long), I was needed right this instant.  Sleep was constantly being interrupted by a need to breastfeed and/or change a diaper–she’d wake up 2-3 times during the night and be awake for at least one hour at a time.  Our daily schedule was completely flipped on its head and we weren’t getting out of the house and seeing the light of day until around 2pm each day.  My body was no longer my own (not just in terms of breastfeeding but with the recovery too) and I just didn’t feel normal anymore.

All of these things added up to make me feel, in a word, drained.  Even though I genuinely enjoyed so many moments with my new little family there were many moments when I felt inadequate for not knowing what to do at all times, I felt selfish for wanting more sleep and wanting to not breastfeed and wanting my old life back, and more than anything, I felt guilty for having these feelings.  I have wanted to be a mom for a long time–I am great with kids and had expected mamahood to be something I would be a natural at.  So when my first two weeks as a mom turned out to be extremely difficult, I began feeling like maybe I wasn’t cut out for being a mom after all and that was the worst feeling to have.

So what helped me snap out of this?  First of all, Kevin was amazing throughout this experience.  He allowed me to crycrycry it out, he was extremely supportive and was constantly telling me that I was, in fact, doing a good job and that it was okay and normal for me to feel the way I was feeling, and he would do his best to take her so that I could get a 2-3 hour nap in every day.  Getting out of the house at least once a day to enjoy the sunshine and some fresh air has done wonders as well–I can’t imagine what kind of a wreck I would have been if I was cooped up in our apartment every single day.  And lastly, I had to constantly remind myself even during the crying fits and the discomfort and the sleeplessness that I had wanted and dreamed about having Sirena for so many years and that I needed to appreciate the little life that I was fortunate enough to spend my days with, even during the rough patches.

Each day has honestly gotten better and better and even though we’re now approaching her one month birthday and I’m still exhausted, even though I still question whether or not I know what the heck I’m doing, and even though I still cry at the drop of a dime, I know that this is all temporary and that this will all be over before we know it so I strive to enjoy each and every moment I have with her as much as possible.

Our little burrito

A baby story: Week 38

Week 38: Baby’s the size of a pumpkin!

We’re officially in pumpkin-size territory…how is it possible that I’ve got a baby the size of a pumpkin in my belly?  Pretty crazy.

I’m happy to report that we got a lot more done on our baby to-do list and I’m feeling more and more ready for her imminent arrival.  The room is just about finished but not quite yet so I’ll have to post photos of the finished product in a separate post.

We were excited to receive our first cloth diaper delivery this week!  This is our pre-baby delivery and once she’s born they’ll start coming regularly on Monday mornings.  We’ve got her changing station and dresser all set up and ready for use!

Here it is! Diaper hamper on the left, clothes hamper on the right, doggy bin filled with wipes, diapers, diaper covers, etc. up top.  We still need to put up other frames on that small wall between the bookshelf and the dresser but those will be going up this weekend.

The adorable cloth diaper covers we can’t wait to wrap her little chubby booty in.  Those plastic things in the top left are the Snappis which hold the cloth diaper closed, then you put the diaper covers over them.

Filled to the brim with diapers!  80 newborn cloth diapers up top, newborn disposables on the bottom with a box of wipes.  After we get through these disposables that were given as gifts we think we’re going to order some compostable disposable diapers from the same diaper delivery service which we can actually throw in the same bag as the cloth ones and they’ll pick ’em up for us each week.

We finally got a frame and matting for the whale print I purchased a looong time ago (before we were even pregnant!) with the thought that it would go up in our baby’s room.  So excited that the time has finally come! The print is titled “Ocean Meets Sky” and it’s by artist Terry Fan, purchased on Society6.

We spent this holiday weekend outdoors and enjoying the sunshine to get as much adult pre-baby activities in before she arrives.  We went for a hike in one of our favorite parks, Joaquin Miller, in Oakland.  Kevin dusted off the ol’ DSLR camera and took it out for a spin, I’m guessing to get ready for his little lady’s arrival so he can take some good pictures of her?  Most of these were taken by him…

I LOVE this one, what a great shot, eh?

Big belly amongst the tall trees

The photographer and his sidekick

Lola enjoying the great outdoors!

Me and my favorite pup

And for your viewing pleasure, here’s a funny video of Kevin and Lola on the hike!

We also spent some time at Albany Bulb dog beach (we don’t think it’s an official dog beach but that’s all we ever see there…and I’m not sure anyone would be brave enough to go for a swim there anyways!)

Lola patiently waiting for Kevin to throw the ball.

Playing catch in the bay.  I just laid out on the beach and enjoyed watching these two play together.

Belly, meet the sea…

The soon-to-be parents!

Lastly we got to spend some quality time with our friends Kim, Frank and their 3 month old baby girl Amelia!

Happy mama Kimmy enjoying a beer while happy baby Amelia enjoys a milk-induced nap.

Today was our 39 week prenatal appointment and things are still looking good!  Nothing much to report other than the fact that we submitted our hospital pre-admission form so that they’re ready for our arrival in the next week or two!  We scheduled our 40 week appointment for next Friday, June 8 (her due date!)  The doctor and both of us wonder if we’ll make it to that date…  Today was also my last day of work for the next three months!  It was an extremely hectic week trying to tie up all loose ends but now that it’s all over and done with boy does it feel GOOD.

Lastly, this week has been somewhat of an emotional and physical roller coaster this week.  Sirena has most definitely dropped which makes sitting for too long pretty uncomfortable.  My co-worker told me that it looks like she’s sitting right in my lap and she really is!  I feel my belly resting on my thighs whenever I sit down and it’s pretty trippy.  I’ve also had to start putting a pillow under my belly when I’m sleeping just to keep it from feeling like it’s sinking and putting too much pressure on my back and it makes for much less comfort during the night.  I’m keeping up really well with walking at least 30-60 minutes a day and starting tomorrow (my first day off!) I’m hoping to keep it going (if not walking more) along with some (light) upper body weight-lifting and some floor exercises to strengthen and help relax my back.

In terms of the emotional roller coaster, it finally started to sink in that I am going to give birth.  I had kept myself so busy the past few months that I hadn’t really had time to think about it but this weekend it hit me head-on and I started to become afraid.  After sharing these fears with Kevin, my sister, and a couple of co-worker-mamas I have begun working on overcoming the fear and thinking of the experience only in a positive light.  Both Kevin and my sister Jessie said that they know it’s going to be an amazing experience regardless and I am thinking about it like that as well–that it’s going to be amazing, exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling on so many levels.  I’ve also been ravenously reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (almost done!) and I’m thoroughly enjoying reading all of the positive birth stories (almost all natural, unmedicated) which is such an inspiration for me.

Belly shots!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 14 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: She measures around 20 inches (or maybe a little more? Probably since me and Kevin are so tall) and weighs somewhere in the 7-8 pound range but who really knows until she’s born!
  • Number of days until our due date: Eight!

Poll time: When do YOU think she’s going to make her grand appearance??  Leave your feedback either in the comments here or on Facebook and we’ll see who gets the closest.  Feel free to guess date, time, weight and length too!  Our first due date was June 6 and then after our 20 week ultrasound it was moved to June 8. Guess wisely!  🙂

A baby story: Week 37

Week 37: Baby’s the size of four grapefruits!

We’re feeling fortunate that this little lady gave us one additional week to be together as a couple and get some major baby stuff done before her arrival.  Here’s hoping for at least two more…but at this point we’ll take every day we can get!  This weekend we accomplished a lot from our baby to-do list and I’m feeling a lot better about her any-minute-now arrival than I was last week.  There’s still a ton left to do, but some of the major things are checked off the list:

  • We bought her crib mattress (a gift from her Tío Derek!) and have the crib all put together.  She’ll be sleeping with us in our room in the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper we bought a few months ago but for naps, etc. she’ll be hanging out in her room so it’s good that it’s put together and ready to go.  Thank you, Derek!!

  • We did four loads of baby laundry: all of her 0-6 month clothes, her blankets, sheets, towels, burp cloths, receiving blankets, etc.
  • We also picked out her going home outfits!  We picked out three different sizes just in case she’s a little smaller or bigger than the average newborn and the funny thing is that all three outfits have elephants on them…totally not planned that way but it’s very apparent we love baby elephants??  We’ve also got some booties, a little hat, and a long-sleeved sleeper and blankie to keep her warm in case it’s cool out.

  • I’ve been reading a lot more to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for the birth experience.  I finished a great book called Painless Childbirth (don’t worry, it was not trying to say that childbirth is actually free of pain!) and I’m working on finishing (finally) Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth.  I have a ton of great notes that I’m going to put on index-sized cards to keep with me to read through as positive affirmations to mentally get me through the intensity that I know the experience is going to be.  My goal is to have a natural, unmedicated birth and I know that I am going to need to be in a very different, focused, positive mental state to be able to accomplish this goal of mine.
  • We also got a ton of work done on the main nursery decoration that will go above her crib–I’ve wanted to tackle this project since I picked up the book The Repurposed Library from our local mom-and-pop bookstore back in the fall and all we’ve got left to do is hang it!  Once this is put up and a few more things are put up on the walls the nursery will be complete and I’ll post a full reveal.  For now here’s a sneak peek photo of the book project:

  • We finally took some major steps in the diaper department and decided we are going to do a cloth diaper delivery service with Tiny Tots.  A co-worker recommended them and they have great reviews on Yelp so after taking their Diaper Service 101 class on Saturday we were sold.  They deliver a fresh bag of cloth diapers once a week and then collect the dirty bag the same day so it’s very convenient since we don’t have our own washer/dryer in our apartment to use (and we’re not sure we’d be up for washing out poopy diapers ourselves!)  We just throw the dirty cloth diaper in the hamper and place it out the night before for the delivery guy to pick it up.  Another couple who is expecting a baby soon in the same apartment complex as us just signed up as well so all of our neighbors will have to see not just one but two bags of dirty diapers out in the lobby once a week.  😉  There are lots of benefits to cloth diapering beyond the environmental impact (which I am a huge proponent of)–babies who use cloth diapers have much fewer occurrences of diaper rash because the diapers don’t have chemicals in them that dry them up even when they’re soaked with pee so the baby won’t be sitting in a soiled diaper as long and they say children who use cloth diapers potty train quicker so even though the cost per diaper is slightly higher we should significantly decrease the cost overall due to the decrease in the total number of diapers we use because she will (hopefully) potty train quicker than the typical baby.  We’re really excited to try this service out!

Today we had our 38 week prenatal appointment and everything is looking good!  My belly’s measuring a little ahead of schedule at 40 weeks but we honestly don’t know how accurate this type of measurement is since two weeks ago  I was measuring slightly behind schedule, so we just take it with a grain of salt.  The cool thing was that the doctor said she could again feel Sirena’s head facing down (yippee!) and asked Kevin if he wanted to feel it so she showed him how.  So cool!  From here on out we’ll be meeting with the doctor once a week to check in and see how things are going.  Hopefully we’ll make it to at least one more prenatal appointment next Thursday!

On Monday I was treated to another amazing prenatal massage with our doula and it was so needed and appreciated (thank you, Mama!!)  I actually snoozed a few times during the massage and it became very apparent just how tired I’ve been feeling in the third trimester.  Just about everyday I have to take a nap when I get home from work to keep me up and functioning through the evening hours.

Next Thursday is my last official day at work and starting Friday June 1 I’ll officially be on maternity leave!  I realized that since I was 15 years old I have not had more than one month break from work (I was unemployed for one month after college but that’s it!) so the three months off are going to be sooooo appreciated.  I was taking a look at my calendar and it is so dramatically different than the past four months of my life when I was student teaching/working/going to school.  It’s so hard to schedule things ahead of time when we don’t quite know when she’s going to arrive but it’s a really nice feeling overall to have such a cleared schedule.  Fingers crossed this little girl gives me at least a few days break before she graces us with her presence!

Belly shots!

This week she’s the size of four grapefruits…at 24 weeks she was the size of just one grapefruit.  Check out the major difference in my belly from week 24!

And here’s a good video of some crazy belly-shakin’ that took place this week. I swear the music was just coincidental, I was listening to the Smokey Robinson station on Pandora and there was a break when I first started shooting the video then when she really got going the music picked up the pace dramatically just in time.  If she’s anywhere near as active outside the belly as she is in utero, this girl is going to give us a run for our money, that’s for sure!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far:  14 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She is officially full-term!  Her most crucial functions are developed and now she’s just getting stronger and chubbier (just the way we like ’em!)  She probably weighs 6.5 pounds and still measures around 20 inches long.
  • Memorial Day weekend baby to-dos:
    • Install car seat
    • Finalize birth plan
    • Fill out all paperwork: state disability, hospital admittance forms, her birth certificate (!)
    • Finish packing our hospital bag
    • Finish putting up wall decorations in nursery
    • Give Lola a bath (she needs to be smelling pretty when she meets her new sister!)
    • Hang out with our friends Kim, Frank and their adorable baby girl Amelia!
    • Fingers crossed we also get to go for a swim and relax in the sunshine (ahhhh, that sounds so nice right now!)

A baby story: Week 26

Week 26: Baby’s the size of a head of lettuce!

It seems that time is starting to catch up with us–for the first few months time seemed to drag on with all of the worrying and unknowns about the first trimester especially but time is really starting to pick up the pace around here!  We’re 6.5 months along and the days seem to be going by just a wee bit quicker and our to do list seems to be getting longer by the hour.  Lots left to do and we’re just trying to tackle one thing at a time.

We had our prenatal appointment last Friday and my belly was measuring a bit ahead of schedule 27-28 weeks (we’re not sure how accurate the measurement was, but it was interesting nonetheless!)  I was also told that I’ve developed mild anemia so I need to add an iron supplement to my daily prenatal vitamin.  I also did the one hour glucose screening to see if I have developed gestational diabetes and the results came in slightly elevated so today I had to go in for the three hour glucose screening for a more definitive diagnosis.  This involved my fasting since 11:30pm the night before (I was instructed to eat a half sandwich and a glass of [almond] milk), going into the lab at 8am for a pre-test blood drawing, drinking a super sweet orange soda-type drink, then sitting in the lobby for three hours and getting my blood drawn on alternating arms three more times.  It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and I got a lot of reading done, but I was pretty darn hungry by the time 11am rolled around.  I should have results tomorrow and we’re hoping for the best!

This week we made some pretty major progress in terms of planning for the birth itself.  Something I’ve wanted since before we were pregnant was to hire a doula and I’m so happy that it’s looking like this will become a reality for me.  What is a doula, you ask?  (I gotta be honest, before a friend was pregnant a couple of years ago I had never heard of such a thing myself…)  So a doula isn’t a doctor or a midwife but instead you could say she is a birth coach.  She will meet with us three times prior to the birth, she will be on call two weeks prior and two weeks after our due date so that she can be present for our labor and birth along with a couple of hours after Sirena’s born, and then she will meet with us at least once in our first week or so of new parenthood to check in on us and help with breastfeeding as well.  The most important part of this for us is her presence during the labor/birth for a few reasons:

  • Being that we live so close to the hospital (8 minute drive) I’d like to labor at home as long as possible so it’ll be great having someone knowledgeable about the process and being able to advise us when exactly to go to the hospital.
  • The hospital we’re delivering at is a teaching facility so we won’t know who the intern doctor that will deliver our baby is until the day of, so having one person who is a “constant” throughout this process will be really great.
  • She will be a great support for Kevin during this process–she can monitor things and let him know when he can go take a break so that he’s not pressured to be by my side every single moment and will have the opportunity to relax a bit (as much as possible during the birth of his first child, of course).
  • She will use massage techniques to make things as comfortable as possible for me during the labor.
  • She will help us come up with a birth plan prior to our due date and support me to stick with it as much as possible.  My hope is to have a non-medicated, natural birth and having someone who will be our liaison with the doctors (“translating” what they’re telling us, reminding me/us what our birth plan is, being a sort of buffer so that I/we don’t feel pressured to do anything we don’t necessarily want to do at that moment) will be so so important for me.
  • Having someone there to tell me that I can do this will help so much during what I know will be such an intense experience.

The biggest concern for us when it comes to hiring a doula is the cost because our insurance does not cover this service.  Because of this we are looking for doulas that offer their services at a low-cost (meaning they are not as experienced as the more expensive ones).  So far we’ve spoken to three and I’m hoping to have met with a couple in person and have made our decision in the next week or so.  There is a ton of information online about doulas if you are interested in reading up on the topic!  Here’s a great website to start with.

And for your viewing pleasure…

Here’s a 10 second video of some serious jello/bounce house action in my belly (and here’s another quick video of Lola interrupting my videotaping, love that girl).

Belly shots!

Feeling like I’ve got a lot more belly to carry around this week

No Lola photo bombs this week!  Here’s what she was doing instead (sleepy head).

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: Same as last week, 5 pounds
  • Number of stores we visited this weekend to start our registries: Two! Although it was a lot of fun it was super exhausting too but we’re excited to have at least gotten started on this major to-do list item. We’re still working on tweaking the lists by asking the opinions of some of our new mama friends so we’ll be better in the know about what’s really necessary (and what’s just fluff).
  • Classes/appointments coming up this week: We’re going to a Late Pregnancy class offered through our health care provider as well as attending a tour of the hospital we’ll be delivering at. Looking forward to it!

A baby story: Week 24

Week 24: Baby’s the size of a grapefruit!

We’re at the six month mark!  And me and Sirena have kept ourselves mighty busy this week.  I’m in my second-to-last week of student teaching at my first placement (6th grade Ancient World History) and I’ve been in charge of the class just about every day–it’s been a lot of fun albeit pretty stressful with having to plan instruction for three weeks total (we’re on Ancient India).  Also teaching related: this past weekend I went to an amazing conference on “Critical Thinking for Teachers” hosted by The Foundation for Critical Thinking and I learned so, so much.  I was so appreciative of the opportunity given me by the university I work for to participate in this conference on their dime and not only do I now have a ton of good stuff to use in the classroom, I also have a great starting point to work on my own thinking since I (along with many others) have a ton of work to do!  🙂

At the conference I had another “first” in this pregnancy–I had a random stranger ask me if I was expecting.  This is the first time that someone I didn’t know noticed the bulging belly and thought it was appropriate to ask if I was pregnant (definitely a touchy subject for some because I know that some women have been asked if they’re expecting when they’re not…oy!).  And over the weekend we had another “first”–Sirena got her first piece of mail!  It was a book mailed to her directly and the funny thing is, we’re not really sure who it’s from!  So if it was from you, come out of the dark so we can thank you properly.  🙂

She still kicks me all day long (I don’t think I will ever get tired of feeling her kick me!) and I got a good video of her squirming around in there.  I know some people find pregnant bellies weird (I’m kind of one of those) but now that it’s happening to me I’m so intrigued by it all that I can’t help but share the quirkiness with family/friends here.

Here’s a link to a 20-second YouTube video of our little grapefruit alien making herself comfortable.  There are two good shakes of the belly on this video.

Belly shots!

She seems to have gone through a pretty big growth spurt this week as the belly is making some major progress!  When I’m walking around I definitely feel more weight in the front and sometimes have to walk holding the bottom part of my stomach because it seems so heavy.  I can only imagine what it will feel like at 39 weeks like our good friend Kim (and Frank) are at right now!!

Lola ran up to me as I was taking these shots on a self-timer and dropped her ball at my feet then sat down and looked up at me.  That girl pretends to not be photogenic but, as each week’s post proves, she sure is a ham!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: Not sure! Of course the bathroom scale we’ve had since we got married 5.5 years ago decided to go kaput this week so I’m not sure how much we’re weighing at this week.  Until next week…
  • Updates on the baby’s room: It’s still slowly coming along.  Remember the leak we had in the second bedroom a few weeks ago from the big rains we had?  Yeah, well, it’s still not fixed.  The maintenance guy has returned this week and hopefully (fingers crossed!) it will all be taken care of by this weekend.  We did make a big baby purchase a few weeks ago, though, that I can’t wait to unveil when we can actually put it in the baby room: a beautiful dresser/changing table!  And hopefully we’ll have a crib by the end of the weekend as well (thank goodness for craigslist!)
  • The (dis)comforts of pregnancy: The past few weeks I’ve been woken up every other night with some pretty massive leg cramps–not only the typical charlie horse but simultaneously I get a cramp in my calf, in my shin, and in my toes…!  I also seem to still have an actual belly button but each week it gets more and more shallow.  Me and Kevin still can’t imagine what it’s going to be like without an actual belly button when the belly gets big enough!  Here’s hoping I don’t get an outie.  :-/

Holiday visit to Long Beach 2011

Kevin, Lola and I were lucky enough to spend 9 full days in Long Beach visiting with family and friends over the holidays.  Here’s a recap of our visit!

Christmas Eve with the Delmars

We spent Christmas Eve with my family this year so that Christmas Day wouldn’t be so stressful going back and forth between the two families and I think it worked out great!

Jess and Kevin trying to get Mars and Lola acquainted. I’m sure they’ll be best buds before you know it!

We had a non-traditional Chinese buffet for dinner that filled us up just right and a delicious assortment of See’s candies and brownies for dessert.  Some photos from our evening…

Jess and Auntie Tina

Jess, Auntie Tina, and Uncle Joey

Me and Tina

Most of the group: Jess, Tina, Steve and his daughter Lacey and his grandson Christian, Uncle Joey, and Derek

Santas Jessie and Derek

Derek and his new ukulele

One of the highlights of the night was when the Delmar kids presented my mom with the gift of a song.  Every year she tells us that all she wants from us is a song, no gifts, so this year we took her up on it.  We decided to sing the theme song of the old cartoon “David the Gnome” that used to show on Nickelodeon and that we used to love as kids.  After a couple days of rehearsing we were ready for our big debut!  Here’s the link to the video of us singing on YouTube!

Christmas Day with the Edmonds

We woke up bright and early to accompany Thomas for a drive up the 91 freeway to pick up our adorable niece Sophie to spend Christmas Day with the family!

The little lady ready to celebrate with the Edmonds!

She loved taking photos with my camera, here’s a self-portrait and a photo of her dad Thomas in the rear view mirror (can you see her?)

Goofy picture of me, thanks to Sophie the photographer

Silly photo!

Say “Cheese!”

After making it home it was all fun and games until the feast was ready.  Lola sure got a workout with Sophie and Katelyn around…

Sophie with Aunt Sarah and Rob

Me and my adopted kiddos, Joshua and Katelyn

We spent a good hour or so opening tons of gifts…

Kevin with his gift card to Best Buy…such a creative way to give a gift card (from our brother-in-law Luke)!

A few last photos outside before Sophie had to go back home…

Me ‘n Sarah with Sophie and Lola

Sophie showing off her Cinderella toy

Last goofy photo of the day!

Hike in Whittier Hills

Brianne, Brian, Brian’s sister Lisa, Kevin, Lola and I went on a nice long hike in the Whittier Hills the day after Christmas to burn off some of that holiday feasting we all took part of.

B & B overlooking the amazing skyline with Palos Verdes at one end (and Catalina even further off, out of frame) and downtown LA at the other end

Big hills and winding trails made for a very fun (and tiring) hike

A beautiful Buddhist temple in the Rose Hills Memorial Park

A quick little detour we took to visit a huge water tower…

…covered in graffiti.

The “slide” Kevin and Brian took down the hill (just kidding)

More fun with the Delmar family

On Tuesday night we made it to our annual Chinese massage with my mom, this time accompanied with Jessie, Derek, and my mom’s boyfriend Steve too.  I didn’t get the full treatment this time around, though, because of the little bebe in utero but the masseuse did a mighty fine job of working out the kinks in my shoulders, arms, legs, and feet.  Kevin got beyond the full treatment from a little lady who was working on him (NOT what you’re thinking…he was in the massage bed right beside mine of course).  Here’s what I’m talking about…

Linda (yes, her name was Linda) walking all over Kevin

Then we went across the parking lot to chow down on some Vietnamese food (which, unfortunately, was not as good as we had had in years past.  I ordered a crab soup and the pieces of meat were anything but crab and Kevin actually got food poisoning from it!  Blech.)

On Wednesday I spent the entire day with my mom and Jessie.  We spent the morning in LA exploring Grand Central Market–a really neat, open market with tons of food stalls.

Jess enjoying the market!

A really neat chalk drawing at MF Gourmet (where I had lunch)

Can you tell we’re related??

That night we met up with Derek, Steve and his grandson Christian at At Last Cafe in Long Beach for some grub.

The Delmar kids: Derek’s beer, Jessie’s wine, and my lemonade (can’t wait to partake in some yummy, non-pregnant drinks in the near-ish future)

Christian goofing off (encouraged by Jessie and Derek, of course)

Me, Derek, and mama (notice Christian’s photo bomb? Haha!)

Piggy back ride!

After dinner we dropped Derek off at his new place and took a quick tour through the house.  We then took a gander at his motorcycle (he’s had it for a while but I had yet to see it for myself)…

Jess, Derek, and Vanna White checking out the bike

My mom: “Jesus, I have a big head” (hahaha!)

Fast-forward a few days…we met up with my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Clay (my dad’s sister) on Saturday morning for a nice visit.  We always enjoy spending time with them and we were so happy we were able to squeeze in a quick visit with them.  We talked lots about teaching (since they’re both teachers) and also about family history (since Kevin’s really interested in genealogy and my Aunt Kathy is a wealth of information).  Afterwards we met up with my mom, Tina, Steve, and Derek for lunch down the street.

Kev, mama, Tina and me

Miniature golfing date with Joshua and Katelyn

Part of our Christmas gift for our nephew and niece was to take them out for a morning of getting their butts whooped in miniature golf (or at least that’s what I told them in the beginning).  We used to spend a lot of time with those knuckleheads but since we moved up to the Bay Area we don’t get to spend as much one-on-one time with them as before and I miss ’em a bunch so it was a great opportunity to spend some time with them during our visit.

Mini golf courses crack me up

The creepiest metal monkey you will ever see

Pancho’s Fish Tacos, anyone?

Joshua taking his turn, Kevin looking dapper

My beautiful niece…she’s getting so big!

Nerding it up…me and Katelyn pretending to look out at the pirate using our golf clubs (although it looks more like Katelyn is playing the flute, but I’ll forgive her this time)

Working on my form

Me taking an awesome shot

Kevin and Joshua were obviously impressed by Katelyn’s amazing form

Our group’s rainbow assortment of golf balls

Proof that Joshua’s butt didn’t get whooped too bad (at least by me, anyways). Katelyn, on the other hand…

I love that these three always go along with my crazy suggestions

After a round of golf we met up with almost the rest of the Edmonds family at Lucille’s for a lunchtime feast at one of me and Kevin’s favorite places.  Dorothy, George, Judith and Luke met us to enjoy each other’s company at the end of our week’s visit.

Ringing in the new year

We spent a fairly quiet evening at Kevin’s parent’s house with the folks and our good friend Alison as well.  We enjoyed some dinner then got started on some board games that kept us entertained (and awake!) until midnight.  On the game menu for the evening: Bananagrams and Sequence.

About as exciting as our evening got!

Lola, reluctantly waking up for the countdown

Clinking our glasses of Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider as the clock hit midnight (photo taken by Alison)

After a delicious breakfast of homemade waffles and pancakes (care of George), we packed up the car and made our way up Interstate 5 back home to Oakland.  Lola sure seemed to enjoy her new ride…

Snoozing all the way back home

Kevin, Lola and I are very excited to begin a new year and we know that 2012 will bring some very exciting changes our way.  Can’t wait to celebrate Christmas/New Year’s at the end of this year with the newest addition to our family!