Category Archive: pregnancy

Dear Sirena…

A lot of people say that girls end up with life partners that are like their fathers.  If that’s the case for you, you’d be one lucky chickadee.  Just in the past week your Daddy has done and said some really cute, sweet things that I don’t want to be lost forever in my subconscious so I thought I’d start off my series of “Dear Sirena…” posts with one dedicated to the special relationship I know you and your Daddy are going to have.

  • He already donned you with your first nickname, Sireenie
  • He told you (via my belly) that he’s “ready to meet you anytime you decide to show up!”
  • He cracked me up to the point of tears when he carried your crib mattress on top of his head (no hands) up the hill to our apartment, through the front lobby door, up and around the staircase, and down the hall to our apartment front door.  You should have seen him walking so slowly and methodically in an attempt to keep the mattress from falling…and surprisingly, he succeeded in his strange and hilarious effort!
  • He dedicated Stevie Wonder’s song You are the Sunshine of my Life to both of us

We already love you more than words can express and can’t wait to meet you,


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 36

Week 36:  Baby’s the size of a crenshaw melon!

Here’s a picture of what a crenshaw melon looks like because, if you’re like me, you probably have no idea!

We are officially in our ninth month of pregnancy!  And it’s been another very busy week here in pre-baby land.  It is crazy to think that within the next 4 weeks or so Kevin and I are going to be parents.  Just let that one sink in for a minute…

Our weekend was filled to the brim with baby-related things:

  • Meet the Labor & Delivery team: We went to meet a panel of resident doctors, labor & delivery nurses, an anesthesiologist, a perinatoligist, a lactation consultant, and a pediatrician to get a better idea of what to expect on the big day and afterwards.  We left the meeting feeling reassured that Kaiser Oakland is the right facility for us and that they are overall pretty progressive and practice what they preach.  We asked two questions that were important to us but we weren’t sure how it would fly at this facility and were very happy with their responses:
    • I asked about the benefits of allowing the umbilical cord to finish pulsating before clamping and cutting it and the perinatologist was in favor of it and said that it could only benefit the baby (it’s only delaying the clamping/cutting of the cord a few minutes and she can still be placed on my abdomen or at least held by Kevin for skin-to-skin contact before the cord is cut and then she is placed on my chest)
    • Kevin asked what the chances were that the father would be able to “catch” the baby and one of the resident doctors said, “Well, I had one yesterday!” which was so good to hear!  So if Kevin decides that this is something he wants to do then at least we have the support of the hospital to do so.
  • Newborn care class:  The class was pretty basic (diapers, what signs to look for for healthy or sick babies, dos and don’ts, etc.) but it was fun and entertaining nevertheless.  What I liked the most about it was that all of the dads in the room were the first to grab the baby doll we were to work with to change the diaper and clothe them and then when the instructor told us that for the rest of the 2 hour class the babies could not be put down but instead had to be held, it turned out to be all of the dads who picked up the babies and held them.  So cute!  Kevin didn’t look too bad holding that little plastic baby either.  🙂
  • Meeting with our doula:  Kevin and I along with my sister Jessie met with our doula on Saturday morning at our apartment.  We had a nice little breakfast together and talked about the roles everyone will play during labor.  At the end she gave each of us a large sheet of paper and a set of pastel chalk and told us to draw what we think Sirena is doing in utero.  We were given around 10 minutes to create our drawings and come up with a title.  Here’s what we came up with (I saved the best for last)!

Here’s my drawing, titled Loving her Little World.  I had a dream years ago (when we were still living in Long Beach) that I was pregnant and my uterus came out and it was a glowing, deep blue color with a little baby girl inside who smiled at me–this dream was my inspiration for the glowing blue uterus that Sirena’s been living inside of the past nine months.  I pictured her enjoying nature with her best friend Lola.  The doula said to think of a message for her and “Welcome!” was the first thing I thought of since there are so many people that can’t wait to welcome her into this world.

Here’s Jessie’s drawing, she said it was a lot more esoteric and symbolic than mine and Kevin’s.  I can’t remember all of the details of her drawing so I’ll need to ask her when she’s back in town!  🙂

And here’s Kevin’s drawing, titled The Amazing Sirena.  He said that she is in utero playing jump rope with her umbilical cord and has a swing set in the background.  The circle on the left is the moon which symbolizes him and the shape on the right is the heart and sun which symbolizes me because I am her lifeline right now.  The conversation bubbles with the music notes coming from us symbolize when we talk to her but because she doesn’t understand us quite yet he says that it just sounds like music to her.  And the conversation bubble coming from outside on the left that says “Woof!” is, of course, her big sister Lola.  I honestly wasn’t sure if Kevin would enjoy the art activity with our doula (wasn’t sure if it would be a little too “out there” for him) but he seemed to enjoy it a lot.  Seeing his picture and hearing his description made me fall in love with that guy ten times over.  And, of course, I cried a bit when he was talking about it.  🙂

Tomorrow (Friday) we’ll be at 37 weeks and with that came a whole lot of comments this week about just how close we are to meeting her.  I had three people remind me that now that we’re at 37 weeks and Sirena is considered full-term, she could “come at any minute”!  Although I really really can’t wait to meet her, I would really really love it if she would continue cookin’ for just a wee bit longer…there’s still so much to do!  I started to get a little stressed out thinking that maybe we wouldn’t even have this weekend to prepare for her arrival but in the end I decided to just trust her—to trust that she is going to come at the right time.  We decided to get the most important to-dos taken care of this weekend (baby clothes and bedding laundry, buying her crib mattress, signing up for a cloth diaper delivery service [more on that later]) and just take things one at a time and make the most of our alone time.

After sharing my worries with a co-worker she told me to “enjoy the anticipation”…what perfect words to live by right now.  Once she’s here, she’s here and there’s no turning back!  🙂  So I am doing my best to enjoy these last few days/weeks that we’ve got to be in complete awe and wonder at what our life is about to become.

Belly shots!

It’s pretty apparent, she ain’t messing around any more!

I really wonder how many more of these weekly belly shots we’ve got left!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: 13.5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs around 6 pounds and measures around 20 inches, her skin is smoothing out, her gums are rigid, and her kidneys and liver are in working order.
  • Number of weekends we’re hoping to enjoy, just the two of us (ahem, three of us with Lola), before the little miss arrives: Three.  Fingers crossed, people!
  • What I’m most looking forward to when the baby’s born: Other than seeing and holding our sweet little girl?  I can’t wait to (not necessarily in this order)…
    • Sleep on my stomach
    • Eat a big ol’ brownie sundae
    • Drink a beer
    • Eat sushi
    • Go for a run

A baby story: Week 35

Week 35: Baby’s the size of a coconut!

The weeks seem to be zooooming by now that we’re getting so much closer to the due date!  A LOT has taken place in the last week and it feels good to be getting so many things done in the baby department. But before I get to that I just need to shout at the top of my lungs that I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH STUDENT TEACHING!  Friday was my last day with those 7th grade knuckleheads and although it’s completely bittersweet since I enjoyed my time with them so much, it is such a major relief to be done and only have to work full-time for the next few weeks.  😉  I want to write a post reflecting on my experience once my credential course and my CA state assessment are done (should be all finished up with everything next week) so I’ll leave it at that for now.

This week Kevin and I did some major work on the baby’s room and it’s coming together quite nicely!  The fire was under our rears because our Bay Area shower was being hosted at our apartment so we worked from early morning hours both Saturday and Sunday to get the room and the entire apartment in tip-top shape.  We’ve still got some work to do on the baby’s room but we are almost done!  Here are some sneak peek photos of our progress so far:

Mars relaxing in the glider we got from Craig’s List!  We’re going to dye the fabric a dark brown but this is what we’ve got for now.

Here is a little something I made for her–a picture of our very first ultrasound at 8 weeks (seems like a lifetime ago!) with the words “Love at first sight” written on the bottom.

The top of her dresser/changing table with another plant, her mermaid candle holder from my mom, an art print of a bear + constellation, a little mermaid finger puppet from Jenny and Neil, her first spoon with a little mermaid on it, and last but certainly not least–a framed picture of her big sister Lola!

We went to IKEA and purchased two bookshelves to begin her little library.  Here are some shots of some of the shelves:

The top of the bookshelf with some flowers, her cute little Vans shoes (courtesy of Kim and baby Amelia!), her Ariel doll (one of four Disney dolls my Aunt Tina got us for our shower last week!), and a mirror I purchased years ago at an antique store

So many good books!!

Two of the shelves with a Peter Pan pop-up book that mama and daddy bought for her months ago sitting atop a stack of children’s story/song records from the 60s we scored for cheap during our babymoon, and the second shelf has her Shel Silverstein book collection (we received Where the Sidewalk Ends from her Aunt Judith, A Light in the Attic from Jayme, and The Missing Piece Meets the Big O from Kim, Frank and Amelia) and two cute teddy bears (one from Steve and one from Brianne and Brian wearing a cute little hat from Lisa and Josh)!

She’s already got a shelf dedicated to her bilingual English/Spanish books!  I only told one person that I wanted to get some bilingual books but quite a few people thought of it on their own and I am so happy they did!  Kevin’s looking forward to practicing his Spanish with her too.

We had a great time at our Bay Area shower and we can’t thank Carleigh enough for throwing such a fun party for us!  We had around 17 people there total and Lola and Mars were the perfect hosts.  🙂  My mom and her boyfriend Steve crashed the party and surprised us that afternoon, here’s a link to a fun video she put together of their sneaky plan to surprise us. And here are some photos from the afternoon (courtesy of my mama):

One of the games Carleigh had the guests play, they had to create a baby out of Play-Doh and I chose the one that I liked the best! Some very interesting creations here…

The pink one on the bottom is the one I chose (Carleigh’s)!

Second and third place winners for the other shower game

Me and Kevin opening up some gifts. We were reading a super sweet poem written by our friends Terri and Scott that was inscribed in the inside cover of the book.

Some of the party guests + doggies

Family photo!

Tonight I was treated to an amazing prenatal massage and it was so appreciated.  Our doula is a massage therapist and I had been looking forward to this massage for weeks! This one was included in our package we got from her and my mama bought me a few more to take advantage of before and after the little miss arrives.  THANK YOU mama!  It was beyond relaxing and I feel like I’m on cloud nine right now.  🙂

And last but certainly not least today we had our 36 week prenatal appointment.  It was a little stressful because our OB/GYN’s office called me yesterday afternoon letting me know that she was cancelling all appointments for the rest of the week, including ours.  Kevin and I had been looking forward to seeing her one last time today and I was definitely upset by the news.  Luckily this morning I was called with some good news, that another OB/GYN had an opening to see us at 11:30 so we were able to have our appointment after all!  The doctor was able to confirm that Sirena’s head is down (woohoo!) and although the ultrasound was short and sweet, we were so happy to see her little arms and fingers and long legs stretching out.  The funniest thing was that the doctor could tell that her bladder was full, haha.  The picture we got wasn’t the best but I thought I’d put it here anyways just for posterity’s sake.  🙂  This is a picture of her pretty lil’ head:

The doctor said her head is nice ‘n round!

Belly shots!

She is definitely groooowing!

Can you tell how much more relaxed I am after my prenatal massage? Ahhh…

The best Lola photo bomb to date!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 13 pounds
  • Number of baby-related classes/appointments we have this weekend: Four! Friday we’re meeting with the Labor & Delivery team to ask questions and get a sneak-peek as to which resident doctor might deliver this little munchkin, Saturday we’ve got a Newborn Care Class at Kaiser and we’re meeting with our doula again, and Sunday I’m going to an event where mamas get together to share positive birth stories which I’m really looking forward to.
  • Fun baby developments this week: She measures around 20 inches now and weighs a little over 5 pounds.  At this point she probably won’t grow much longer so all of her attention will be focused on packing on the pounds! Her kidneys and her sense of hearing are fully developed and at this point all she’s got left to do is allow her lungs to mature.

A baby story: Week 34

Week 34: Baby’s as heavy as a cantaloupe!

This week has been super busy and exhausting but exciting and rewarding all at once.  Most notably, we made the trip down to Long Beach for our long-awaited baby shower hosted by the women of our family!

We left at 11:30pm on Thursday night after Kevin got off of work and arrived in Long Beach at 6:45am on Friday.  After catching up a bit with Dorothy and Sarah we took a 2-hour nap and, after a total of around 5 hours of sleep the entire night, we got our weekend started mid-morning on Friday.  A few months ago I decided to get my belly henna tattooed for our maternity photo shoot and our baby shower so we made our way over to the Long Beach Town Center to Ziba Beauty to get ‘er done.  It only took 30 minutes and cost $35 (I was expecting a lot more money and a lot more time!) and I was super happy with what the henna artist did.  She had actually never done a pregnant belly before and when Sirena kicked her the first time she asked me, “Are you okay?”  It was pretty funny.  🙂  But Sirena sure liked getting tattooed (a sign of what’s to come perhaps??) because she was kicking around a ton the whole time.

Later on while I was waiting for the henna to dry I took a quick video of her crazy kicks…this is one of the better videos I’ve taken so far showing just how active this little girl is…here’s the link!

That night Kevin went to hang out with Brian and I joined Kevin’s family to see my niece Katelyn in her acting debut…Alice in Wonderland at her school!  It was a joint high school/middle school production and it was so fun seeing Katelyn up on stage doing her thing.  We were so proud of her for auditioning, landing two parts, and spending all these months at rehearsals…I hope she continues to follow in her Aunt Lisa’s footsteps!  I absolutely loved being a part of theater productions growing up and in high school.

Katelyn’s the duck in this scene

She’s the two of hearts on the far left in this scene

So proud of the little actress!

We stayed with my mom that night so that Kevin’s family could prepare for the party early the next morning and after catching up with her and Steve we ended up getting to bed around midnight…just to wake up 5.5 hours later to get ready for our maternity photo shoot!  My friend Beka from Redlands is just starting her photography business (here’s her website, check her out if you’re in Southern California!) and she and her boyfriend/assistant Omar met us at 6:45am for our photo shoot on Cabrillo Beach.  My mom tagged along and was able to capture some behind-the-scenes shots.  I can’t wait to see how Beka’s photos turn out!

Beka and Omar hard at work!

I lovelovelove this one…can’t wait to see how it’ll look with Beka’s shots

Happy and exhausted after the shoot!

Beka and Omar after the session

Getting some well-deserved chow after the shoot

After breakfast with the gang in San Pedro, Beka and Omar went out to explore and I took a much-needed nap in preparation for the main event…our baby shower!  Kevin’s sisters Sarah and Judith and his mom Dorothy did an amazing job with the decorations and food and Kevin’s parents had spent months getting the house and garden ready for the festivities…I cannot quite express how appreciative I am of all that they did for us!

There were so many people that came out to shower this little mermaid-in-the-making with adorable clothes, incredible books for her library, and wonderful baby things.  And I think she really felt the love!

The early birds…the Edmonds gang and Emily

Derek, Dorothy, Judith and Kevin getting ready for the hordes of people to show up!

Meeting Amelia (Kim’s baby girl) for the first time!!

Mom and Derek

Diane and my Aunt Kathy

Derek, Aunt Tina, and Guy

So many babies at the party! The Millikan gang–Lara with Audrey, Brianne & Brian, and Lindsay with Rylan

Shani with Sadie and Kim with Amelia (these two are only about a week apart and the mamas shared the same due date!)

Alison, Heather and Beka

Seth, Steven and Omar…I’m sure they were trying to figure out what they were doing at a baby shower! Hahah.

With Claudia and Susan, friends from my time working at the Girl Scouts in OC!

With Lindsay and Jenny

Kim and Amelia!

The Redlands gang!

My favorite onesie handmade by Monique–we were in a sistahood together at Redlands called WRW

Kevin trying out the Ergo baby carrier that Derek got us…looking good! 🙂

We packed the car to the brim with all of the baby goodies and got home on Sunday evening.  It was pretty surreal on the way home, I kept thinking that the next time we’re in Long Beach we’ll have another little lady in tow (not just Lola)!  🙂

We had such a great time in Long Beach with all of the baby festivities.  I keep telling her that there are so many people that can’t wait to meet her and that she is one lucky little girl.

Belly shots!

Me and the zoo we’re currently living with! Lola and her cousin Mars playing nice while I take my weekly photo.

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 12 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: 34 weeks is a pretty big milestone for baby’s development–she’s around 18 inches long and weighs around 5 pounds, she keeps her eyes open most of the time while she’s awake and only shuts them when she’s sleeping, and she can now determine the difference between sweet and sour tastes in the amniotic fluid surrounding her.
  • Days until our 36 week ultrasound: Seven! We have our final ultrasound next Thursday morning to see if Sirena’s in the heads-down position and not breech (fingers crossed!) We can’t wait to see her one last time before the big day!  I’ll be sure to update the blog that night to post her photo. 🙂
  • Days until our Bay Area baby shower: Three! Our friend Carleigh (who is expecting a couple of bebes in the fall!) is throwing us a shower on Sunday for our small group of friends up here…can’t wait!

A baby story: Week 33

Week 33: Baby’s the size of a honeydew melon!

Things are starting to heat up a little bit around here and I’m not just talking about the weather!  It seems that my body temperature has skyrocketed this week and I find myself getting really hot very quickly…something that is so not typical for me (I’m usually freezing).  We’ve been keeping the window open in our bedroom and I haven’t even been using a blanket at night which, again, is really unheard of.  But I guess having to maintain the temperature of two humans is cause for anyone’s temperature to rise.

This week was a bit of an extension of last week in terms of my mental/emotional/physical limits being tested with my student teaching + work + school schedule.  I also learned an extremely important lesson in an awful way this week–back-up all computer docs in multiple places–I left my flash drive at the school site I’m student teaching at and it’s nowhere to be found.  All of the work I had been preparing for my last two weeks for both student teaching and for school was on there and I was, in a word, devastated.  After a meltdown yesterday I sucked it up and am figuring out how to get these two weeks done and under my belt in the least stressful way possible.  Thank goodness I genuinely enjoy the time I spend in the classroom with those 7th graders, it makes it that much more worthwhile for me!

Today was our 34 week prenatal appointment (if you haven’t noticed, I always post these at the completion of the week I’m talking about, so although this post is for Week 33, I’m 34 weeks now) and things are still looking good!  Her heartbeat is juuuust fine (and cute!), my belly’s measuring 35 weeks (just a wee bit ahead of schedule), my doctor was happy to see some good weight gain since our last appointment, and she thinks Sirena’s in the heads-down position which is fantastic news!  We’ll have more of a confirmation of her positioning in there at our 36 week appointment in two weeks where we’ll get to see the little munchkin one last time via ultrasound…can’t wait!

We’ve made some good progress on the baby’s room this week–namely, we don’t have the crib and the changing table in our living room anymore, hallelujah!  They finally fixed the leak in our second bedroom (yeah, the one that started on Jan 21) and so things are slowly-but-surely coming together…

The dresser/changing table we scored from craigslist with a few items up top

The crib we got from craigslist as well! No mattress to speak of yet and there’s a bunch of junk stored underneath for the next couple of weeks so I only wanted to take a close-up photo of it.  This knitted blanket was given to us by a co-worker, I love the colors!

The crib’s only occupants so far…her stuffed friends collection!  Seahorse from work, 60s-era elephant pillow from antique store, super soft bear on left from Brianne, super cute bear in center from my mom’s boyfriend Steve, and stuffed pup from work…sitting all comfy on the crocheted blanket from Sirena’s late great-grandma Margie.

The baby room’s latest occupant…my sister’s cat Mars!

And last but not least, we have been looking forward to this upcoming weekend for months now…the wonderful ladies in our family are throwing us a baby shower at Kevin’s parent’s house in Long Beach and we are so looking forward to spending time with family and friends and celebrating the bigger-than-life personality that is going to be joining us soon!  In addition to the shower this weekend we are also going to have a maternity photo session with our good friend Beka who went to Redlands with us–I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Belly shots!

After seeing these photos it became apparent that I am missing out on some serious sleep!  😉

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far:  12 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs around 4.5 pounds and measures approximately 17 inches, she’s keeping her eyes open while awake, and her bones are hardening.
  • Number of days until Long Beach: One!  We’ll be arriving early morning on Friday and staying through Sunday midday…can’t wait!

A baby story: Week 32

Week 32: Baby’s the size of a jicama!

Okay, what the heck does a jicama look like, anyways?  Here’s a photo of one if you’re like me and have no clue.  I swear, some weeks these “How big is your baby?” posts on different pregnancy websites are so random.

We’ve hit a major milestone this week…we’re at the 8 month mark!  Only 1.5-2 more months to go!

This week the belly has been growing quite a bit–each day it seems to get bigger and heavier.  More and more when I walk for long distances I feel I need to put my hand underneath my belly to hold it up a bit.  I also have slowed waaay down with my walking speed.  I’m a pretty fast walker (living in SF and riding the bus and BART will do that to you!) and so I’ve had to remind myself to slow it down because when I don’t, I feel a tightness in my lower abdomen that does the job of reminding me to slow it down.

The wee one has made her presence very well known this week–her kicks and somersaults have turned to full on jabs and I like to think of them as her way of reminding me that she’s in there!  There are times, when I’m sitting down mostly, that her moves are a bit unsettling and I have to adjust myself or stretch out my upper body to give her more room in there.  She’ll also stick out some part of her body (I’m assuming her little behind) and just leave it jutting out and I rub my belly in that spot and she keeps it right there so I like to think that she enjoys her little daily booty massages.  Like mother, like daughter?  Hahah.

Here are a couple of videos of her seriously shaking my belly around–video one (only 3 seconds long–I started taping in the middle of a big one!) and video two (that’s my sis Jessie laughing in the background). She’s most active mid-morning (when I’m student teaching, maybe she likes the presence of crazy, hormonal, pre-teens as much as I do?) and after 8pm.

I kind of hit my mental limit this past week with work and school–I’m feeling more and more exhausted as the days go by and this schedule of mine is hard to keep up this late in the pregnancy.  But I just keep telling myself that I only have three more weeks left of student teaching + working full-time after this week and then it’ll all be downhill from there!  The to-do list we’ve got for baby-related things grows by the day and doesn’t seem to shrink at all but I’m hopeful that once May 10 passes (my last day with the 7th graders) I’ll be able to tackle more of those baby to-do’s.

Lastly, we had our first prenatal meeting with our doula, Lauraina, this week.  She helped us go through our birth plan and we’ve got a pretty good foundation.  And she also did some neat exercises with me to help mentally and emotionally prepare for contractions.  She set a timer for one minute and had us sit there, just to see how long a minute is (which is how long most contractions are).  Then she set the timer again for one minute and told me to focus on and be conscious of my breathing.  The third time she set the timer she had me hold a handful of ice in one hand for the entire minute–afterwards she asked me how the experience was and what I thought about during that time and I told her it was definitely uncomfortable but I decided to start counting down from 30 seconds at some point during the minute and that countdown helped me focus away from the discomfort.  The fourth time she set the timer she had me hold a handful of ice in my other hand and I did the same thing except this time I went a little longer and started my mental countdown at 20 seconds.  She suggests I do this regularly to make it second nature to me to know just how long a minute is and to learn to focus my attention on other things instead of the discomfort/pain.  We’re working on scheduling our second prenatal meeting for May where my sister Jessie will join us–she’s going to be present for the birth as well so it’ll be good for all four of us to meet and talk about the big day!  We’re also working on scheduling my prenatal massage (ahhhhh) which I cannot wait for.

Belly shots!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far:  9.5 pounds (finally seeing some action on the scale!)
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs around 4 pounds and measures around 16 inches long and she’s now got fingernails, toenails and real hair!
  • Number of baby showers we’ve got the next three weekends:  Three!  My boss is throwing me a small one on Saturday, the following weekend we’re going to Long Beach for a shower the wonderful ladies in our family are throwing us, and the following weekend our good friend Carleigh (who is also expecting!) is throwing us a small one with the friends we’ve got up here.  So much love for this baby girl!
  • Number of days until our next prenatal appointment:  Six!  I’ll most likely write the next blog post that night so we’ll hopefully have some fun things to share from that appointment.

A baby story: Week 31

Week 31: Baby’s the size of a pineapple!

This week I’ve been feeling a lot more, well, pregnant.  It’s amazing how it kind of just happened–the belly seems to be a ton heavier and every time I see my reflection in a window or mirror I pass by I am astonished to see how big I’m getting.  But the crazy thing is…I’ve got a ton more growing to do in the next 6-9 weeks!

Not too much has been going on this week other than the first Childbirth Prep class we attended over the weekend at Kaiser.  Four hours of being educated on the birth process didn’t go by fast, to say the least, but it was super informative and it is definitely making us a lot more excited for the big day!  We focused a lot on natural techniques for pain management and the videos we watched were all of natural, unmedicated births which were inspiring to see.  All of the mamas in attendance also got lucky with the hands-on massage techniques practiced by our partners…Kevin was a natural and I know that he will be so great when the time comes for him to put his new skills to use!  🙂

Although Kevin learned a lot from the class, I think the four hour long class took its toll around hour two and he resorted to doodling in the book…see below:

“Don’t look down!”

Okay this is just…freaky.

Belly shots!

Here’s a photo of me at 18 weeks wearing the same shirt but it sure don’t look the same as this week!

Gotta show off my basketball of a daughter…

Lola was anxious to get in on the photo action again this week!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far:  8 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs around 3.5 pounds, measures around 16 inches long, and all five of her senses have fully developed!
  • Number of classes we have this week:  Two!  Tomorrow we’re going to the Breastfeeding class and Saturday is day two of the Childbirth Prep class.

A baby story: Week 30

Week 30: Baby’s the length of a cucumber!

We’ve kept ourselves mighty busy this week, most notably with our babymoon to Sonoma County over the weekend!  But baby’s been making a point of not letting us get too distracted and has made her presence known very well.  In addition to being woken up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and to stretch out my legs due to crazy muscle cramps, I found myself woken up on Monday night by what I believe was my first case of Braxton Hicks contractions!  It felt a lot like menstrual cramps which I’ve been told is common and once I changed positions it stopped so I’m fairly certain that’s what I was experiencing.  It gets me excited thinking about how my body is beginning to prepare for the big day!

She’s also been making her presence known quite well with the frequent case of hiccups she’s been getting!  It’s just a slight movement I feel every few seconds that continues for a couple of minutes so I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s doing in there.  Kevin was actually able to feel the hiccups which was really cool.  And I think she’s gotten herself into the correct position (head down at least) because when she’s got the hiccups I feel the movements in my lower right abdomen.

We had our prenatal appointment last Thursday and things are looking just fine.  We heard her heartbeat again and this time it sounded something like a tiny dog barking!  I guess she’s going to take after her big sister Lola after all, hahah.  I asked our OB/GYN about the rib pain I mentioned in last week’s blog post and she said that it shouldn’t be anything to concern myself about but then over the weekend it started to feel a little worse.  I called the appointment center to make an appointment later this week but the nurse on-call advised that I see a doctor right away and I was seen that afternoon instead (Tuesday).  The doctor is fairly certain it’s not actually my ribs (good news) but he’s not sure what the issue is, although he thinks it might be an inflamed muscle.  He called the perinatologist on duty who advised that I take Motrin (ibuprofen) every 8 hours for two days to see if the pain/inflammation goes away.  And if that doesn’t work then he advised that I go in for x-rays (to rule out a fractured rib which he really doesn’t think it is anyways).  I was in the office when the doctor I was seeing was on the phone with the perinatologist and the doctor had said twice, “Are you sure?  She’s pretty far along and I normally don’t advise ibuprofen/x-rays at this stage,” so when he got off the phone and advised that I do those two things I was hesitant and he definitely noticed that so said that it’s ultimately my decision and to do what I feel most comfortable with.  I talked with Kevin about it that night and after doing some research on the potential harm that can come from a mom taking ibuprofen during the third trimester, I decided to stick it out for a little longer to see if it clears up on its own.  The pain is only bad when I take a deep breath, cough/sneeze, or when I lay on it funny so it doesn’t interfere with the majority of my day, luckily.

In non-baby-related news…we’ve got two new roommates for the month of April!  My sis Jessie is back from her yoga teacher training in Colorado and she and her little boy (Mars, my nephew the kitty!) are staying with us for the month.  Mars and Lola have been doing really well together and we’re pretty confident that they’ll be best of friends by the time they leave.  Also, this week the school I’m student teaching at is on spring break so I’ve gotten a nice little break from my crazy teaching/work schedule.  I’m trying to use this time wisely, though, to plan ahead as much as possible because starting next week and for the next 5 weeks I’ll be taking on a lot more responsibility for the class.  May 10 is my last day with the 7th graders and I’ll be officially done with student teaching at that point…I’m so close!  And lastly, last Friday (March 30) marked my one year anniversary of being pescatarian (think vegetarian that eats seafood)!

Belly shots!

No Lola photo bomb this week!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 7.5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: She’s almost 16.5 inches long and weighs around 3 pounds, her skin is getting smoother and her brain is getting more wrinkly by developing more brain tissue and taking on new functions like temperature regulation, and she’s now strong enough to grasp a finger.
  • Pregnancy books we’re reading this week: I’m reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Kevin’s reading The Birth Partner Handbook
  • Number of days until our first Childbirth Preparation class: One! The next two Saturdays will be spent learning as much as we possibly can about what is going to become the most eventful day of our lives!  🙂

Babymoon in Sonoma

The long-awaited weekend get-away for our babymoon finally arrived!  We left mid-day on Friday and took a nice 1.5 hour drive to Sonoma County for a much needed break and time alone together.  This will most likely be the last time in a long time before we’re able to get away from things for a while so we wanted to take advantage of the alone time as much as possible while we have it!

The weather had been pretty wet the whole week leading up to this weekend and as each day passed the chance of rain in Guerneville (the little town we stayed in) got more and more definite so we prepared ourselves for a rainy weekend.

Heavy clouds on the drive up north

Lots and lots of snoozing cows!

We stayed at a cute little bed and breakfast called Cottages on River Road and had a little studio to spend the weekend in.

The row of cottages surrounded by giant trees

The community fire pit in which they had s’mores every night (except the two nights we were there, of course, due to the weather)

Beautiful gardens

Cute little welcome sign

Adorable resident kitty, Frank

Friday afternoon we relaxed in our studio and then ventured out to the “downtown” area to walk around and get some dinner.

Church & Main Streets just up the block from the Russian River

The river!  Not looking so pretty this time of year but we can imagine how gorgeous it’d be during the summer months.

Obligatory couples shot, proof that we spent the weekend together!

Dinner was pretty damn disappointing, unfortunately.  We found the reviews for Koala’s Fine Food to be intriguing (a burger and sushi joint that had good reviews? We’re all about that!) but the place was, well, just disappointing.  I would definitely not recommend eating there and we were bummed that our first meal was such a disappointment.  I guess after being so spoiled with amazing food in Oakland and San Francisco we were overdue for a sad meal out.  C’est la vie! We then went walking up and down the main drag and ended up at Main Street Station for a beer (for Kevin), a little dessert to share, and some live jazz music to listen to while we digested our funky dinner.

In the middle of the night the rain started pouring pretty hard and all throughout the morning on Saturday it was coming down pretty steadily.  We had breakfast at the River Inn Grill and luckily Guerneville redeemed itself in regards to food.  😉  After a couple of hours back at the hotel we ventured out to Healdsburg for some wine country sight-seeing.  We went to Healdsburg almost exactly two years ago with our friends Mika, Matt, Terri, and Scott for the Wine Road wine barrel tasting weekend and it was nice to be back!

A lone, rundown farmhouse on the way to Healdsburg

Downtown Healdsburg’s Raven Theater…wish we could’ve seen “To Kill a Mockingbird”!

The rain started coming down really hard while we were out and about.  Check out Kevin’s awesome umbrella (not sure if you can tell but there are little cartoon cats all around the edges, haha).

The one store we spent the most time in was an antique shop where we scored a stack of 60s records–both to begin Sirena’s collection (we’ve got a nice set of Disney records such as Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and the Beanstalk) along with a few that I hope to use one day in my 8th grade US History classroom.

Check out this funny horse, you’re supposed to strap it on your leg and allow your kid to ride on your leg, hahah.

A random 1950s City of Long Beach pendant!

We were tempted by the amazing smells coming out of the Bear Republic Brewery so we had a yummy lunch there then decided to ditch Healdsburg and take the long way back to Guerneville–driving down unmarked, winding roads to see where it would lead us!

The sun peaking through the clouds

Beautiful farm land

We visited the Hop Kiln winery (the same one we visited in 2010) but this time it wasn’t for wine tasting…it was to use their facilities (hey, I’m pregnant and I gotta go every 22 minutes 😉 ).

Do you see the mini Hop Kiln on the lake??

My gorgeous baby-daddy-to-be

Beautiful tree + sky

Saturday night was pretty calm, even for me and Kevin’s standards!  I took a nap (third trimester=exhaustion again!) and then we went out for a super late dinner at…I’m kind of embarrassed to say…Safeway!  Hahhaha.  By the time I woke up and we started talking about dinner most of the food joints were already closed in town so our only option was Safeway.  Oh the memories Kevin and I create together! 😉

Sunday morning we ate some continental breakfast at the bed and breakfast and then took our sweet time moseying on home by taking a drive down Highway 1.  We’ve seen a lot of the California coast but never that far north so it was a special treat.

The amazing California coast!

Me and my Kevi

Kevin exploring a cliff looking out onto the mighty Pacific

Belly shot + the ocean!

We had a glorious weekend away together and although it was bittersweet knowing that we wouldn’t have another weekend away just the two of us for a while, we know that as each day passes we’re getting that much closer to meeting our little lady!