Monthly Archives: November 2011

Our forties photo shoot

A friend from high school who now owns her own (amazing) photography business advertised via Facebook about a contest to win a free photo shoot with her after looking over her updated website and sharing our thoughts. Somehow I actually won!! I was ecstatic. She was traveling to the Bay Area after Thanksgiving and had a small window of opportunity to squeeze us in so we took advantage and within a few weeks had planned for our 40s-inspired photo shoot. Dorothy and George were in town for the holiday so they tagged along. I bought a vintage dress on Etsy and bought a cute hat and shoes from a hat store and a thrift shop in Berkeley. We bought Kevin’s outfit both at thrift shops (pants, shirt, vest), the hat shop in Berkeley, and online (bow tie). My amazingly talented sister did my hair and makeup that day (thank goodness!) We met Lindsay on The Embarcadero at Levi’s Plaza.

Here are my favorite shots!

Kevin and Lisa-29

Kevin and Lisa-47

Kevin and Lisa-53

Kevin and Lisa-96

Kevin and Lisa-100

Kevin and Lisa-99

Kevin and Lisa-91

And a photo of the little guest of honor <3


Here’s a link to Lindsay’s blog post about our photo shoot

All photos taken by Lindsay Cahill Photography

Mom’s reaction to baby news

I finally uploaded the video and here’s the link!

ENJOY! (I know I do every time I watch it 🙂 )

A baby story

Now that the whole world knows our exciting news I thought I’d share a few behind-the-scenes updates on the pregnancy–how we found out, what we’ve been experiencing these past 11 weeks, etc., etc.

Kevin and I have been looking forward to being parents for a long time now but it wasn’t until this year that we began seriously trying to start a family.  When we were camping in Big Sur in late September I had an inkling that we might actually be pregnant.  We told Brianne and Brian and it was strange to have the words “we might be pregnant” come out of our mouths.

5 weeks (baby’s the size of an apple seed)

Early morning the first day we were back from our camping trip (Tuesday, Oct 4) I took a pregnancy test.  I had taken one before but seeing the two pink lines was a very surreal experience.  I remember staring at myself in the mirror for a minute or two, not quite able to believe what I was seeing.  I went in to wake Kevin and tell him the news and we were immediately so, so, so excited.  The first thing I did was look up our estimated due date and, based on the first day of my last period, we were looking at a baby being born around June 6, 2012!  A Gemini…yes!

At the time we were barely 5 weeks along so it was still super early to share the news with many people but you know we couldn’t keep it to ourselves completely!  We confirmed with B & B that we were, in fact, pregnant, and then told my sister Jessie and our good friends Carleigh & Scott as well.

7 weeks (baby’s the size of a blueberry)

On Wednesday, Oct 19 (just one day before my 28th birthday!) we had our first prenatal appointment.  We weren’t sure what to expect and were a little nervous going into it.  It was interesting being in the waiting room with all of these women (and some male partners too) at very different stages of the pregnancy–some women looked just like me and some had bellies that looked like they were about to pop!  The visit didn’t last more than 30 minutes, they just did a few blood/urine tests, we filled out a ton of paperwork, and then we scheduled our next three visits.

On Saturday, Oct 22 we went to our first pre-natal class that is offered through Kaiser.  We were in a room with about 12 other couples who were between 7 weeks and 12 weeks along.  We went around the room introducing ourselves, saying how far along we were, and saying how we felt.  The woman ahead of me had the same due date as us but she said it was a miracle that she was able to attend because she had been so so sick.  Then it was my turn and I said we had the same due date but so far I haven’t felt sick at all!  Almost all of the women said “just wait!” but so far (knock on wood!) I haven’t been sick at all.

That same day we had scheduled Skype dates with my mom and with Kevin’s parents to share the news.  It was getting too difficult keeping it to ourselves and we were so excited to share the news with our families!  We called my mom first because it is her first grandchild after all.  Her reaction was pure gold and I am SO happy we decided to capture it on video so we could watch it again and relive the moment.  I’ll have to post it at another time because we haven’t reformatted it yet.  But the anticipation will be well worth it!  🙂  I can at least fill you in on how we broke the news to her: Kevin and I decided to use the baby’s Western and Chinese zodiac signs as a hint since my mom’s really interested in astrology. We told her that Kevin was going to get a tattoo of a double-headed dragon tattoo to commemorate the “Gemini Dragon” (the baby will be a Gemini born in the year of the Dragon).  She wasn’t too interested in the tattoo part…but when I told her that it was going to commemorate the birth of her first grandchild…well…I won’t spoil it for you and just let you watch later!

That weekend we told the rest of our families–my dad, our siblings, etc.–and it was so great to be able to share our news with everyone finally!

8 weeks (baby’s the size of a raspberry)

Our first real appointment with my OB/GYN was on Friday, Oct 28 and we were lucky enough to get an ultrasound at that appointment as well.

I cannot truly describe the experience and what it meant to me.  So many people told me that it was such an emotional experience for them that I didn’t think it’d end up being that way for me.  Boy, was I wrong!  The minute I saw the little big-headed creature on the screen and realizing that it was inside of my body, I was in shock.  Then, we saw a flutter of a heartbeat.

I melted.

Our little alien

It truly was nothing short of amazing.

Some exciting news that came out of the ultrasound appointment: there was only one baby in there (hallelujah!) and our due date was spot on: June 6, 2012!

11 weeks (baby’s the size of a lime)

This brings us to the current week.  On Monday, Nov 14 we took a giant step and made the official announcement…via Facebook.  Nowadays it seems like nothing is truly official until it’s announced on Facebook and that’s what it definitely felt like this week.

I had this little plan in my head for weeks now and was so excited to finally unveil it.  I ordered a shirt for Lola and wanted her to have a big part in the announcement since people know how important she is to us.  I figured she could tell it so much better than Kevin or I could!

So I wrote a note saying, “Alright, Facebook, Lola has a really important announcement to make…!” and posted this photo of her:

It was pretty hilarious seeing the confusion from some people not sure if Lola was going to be a big sister to a dog or to a human.

59 “likes” and 102 comments later and I think saying a lot of people were excited about this news would be an understatement.  🙂

Other pregnancy updates

  • Overall I’m physically feeling…: Pretty good! The past few weeks I’ve been extremely tired but my energy is starting to return a bit this week. At least I don’t feel the need to take 3 naps a day.  So far no nausea/vomitting at all (knock on wood!!)
  • Overall I’m emotionally feeling…: Well, it depends on the day (or the hour).  Overall it’s been fine with only a few cryfests (usually only when I watch/read something about babies or something along those lines, then I’m a wreck).  Last week I started feeling pretty down, though, which was no fun.  Kevin being away from home at night finally started to affect me and I was getting a bit depressed about the situation.  This week I’m feeling better but I do notice that my patience is strained a bit, especially when it comes to the high school class I teach twice a week.  I lost my cool in class on Wednesday which was not fun and I hope to get through these last few weeks of the class without any more issues!
  • Total weight gained: -3.5 pounds (so far I’ve only lost a few pounds which is kind of strange but pretty typical too)
  • Food aversions: mushy sweet potato (blech!), green salsa
  • Food cravings: Vietnamese food (I ate it four times within the last week!), cold cereal (something I typically do not eat), hummus (mmm)
  • Next prenatal appointment: Wednesday, Nov 30 (with ultrasound!)
  • How far along I’ll be at Christmas: 16.5 weeks

A proud moment for doggy parents

We have been so spoiled this fall with warm weather and I could not be happier with all this sunshine we’ve been getting.  On Oct 23 we took the pup out to Point Isabel Regional Park in Richmond for some sunshine and, to our great surprise, an open water swim!

Carleigh and I had visited here once with the dogs since it’s a huge off-leash area that has some of the most amazing views.  The night we went the sun was just starting to set and it was incredible seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco city skyline with the sun setting.  Beautiful!  Since that visit I knew I had to bring Kevin here to check it out for himself.

We went down the rocks a bit to watch some of the dogs that were swimming out in the bay chasing tennis balls.  Whenever we’ve taken Lola out to swim before she would only go as far as she could touch the bottom, she was never comfortable actually swimming.  After a few minutes of watching a Labrador retrieve a tennis ball over and over again, Lola slowly started venturing out to the deeper water and eventually made it all the way out!  It was definitely one of our proudest dog parent moments.  🙂

At first she would only chase the dog and not even look at the ball.  But eventually when the other dogs left for home and we were standing there with a dripping wet tennis ball, Lola begged us to keep throwing the ball and the rest is history!

Here’s a video of Lola on one of her first attempts in the open water (and if you look closely you may see the Golden Gate Bridge and the SF city skyline in the background).

Lola’s that speck in the center of the photo

Kevin getting ready to throw the ball

Kevin tried to take a photo of her shaking her coat out on the shore:

As soon as we got home Kevin plopped that sandy, damp girl in the bathtub for a desperately needed bath:

Even though bath time is not Lola’s favorite, I’m sure she thought it was a good price to pay for the open water swim she got that day.

My 28th birthday

My birthday landed on a Thursday this year so I went to work like any ol’ day but came home to this wonderful little surprise…

Walking in the door I was greeted with a “Happy Birthday” banner

Then a batch of balloons, streamers, and a giant gift box.  What did I do to deserve such an amazing guy?!

What was in that giant box, you ask?  A sewing machine!  I’ve been wanting to learn to sew for years now and I am so excited to get started on these projects that I’ve been waiting to do forever now.

That night Jessie took me out to Yoshi’s in Oakland for some sushi and live music.  Yoshi’s is a pretty famous jazz club with locations in both Oakland and San Francisco and I’ve been wanting to go there for a while now.  The night we went, though, was a rare night of bluegrass music and not jazz but I was happy as a clam nevertheless!

A friend she met through her last job at the wine bar in Los Gatos happened to have three tickets to see his friend play the night of my birthday so she generously asked if I could tag along and alas, I ended up getting a fun night out on the town for my birthday!  Sure beat the alternative of me and Lola watching tv that night.  😉

The group was fantastic.  His friend (the blond on the left in the following photos) is now a featured musician at the club and will be performing with select musicians throughout the year.  For her debut she chose two women to perform bluegrass music with.  So the three of them aren’t really a band, this was the first time they ever played together, but boy were they amazing.  They played such a great mix of folk, bluegrass, and blues.

Here’s a video of the group performing one of their crazy-fast fiddle songs.

Jessie always has this amazing way of celebrating me for my birthday.  Last year she took me out to try escargot and then treated me to the Bridge School Benefit concert to see Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, and Elton John, amongst others.  I sure got lucky in the sister department too!

The big plan for my birthday was to celebrate on Saturday night (so that Kevin could join in on the fun and not be at work) for some dinner and live music at Pena Pachamama in North Beach.  Pena Pachamama is a small, hole-in-the-wall Bolivian restaurant and music venue that serves mostly raw, organic food and has live music every weekend.  We reserved a table for 5 (me, Kevin, Jessie, Carleigh, and Scott) and spent a few hours there soaking in the amazing food and amazing sounds.

The girls! Me, Jess and Carleigh

Halfway through the show a few traditional Bolivian dancers came out to strut their stuff.

It didn’t take long for Carleigh and Scott to take over the dance floor!

Then me and Jess braved the floor as well…

Once the table full of intoxicated girls took over the dance floor we knew it was our cue to leave, so we danced our way out of the restaurant and onto the streets of North Beach.

Me and Kev outside of the restaurant

I had SUCH a good time with my dearest family and friends and could not have asked for a better birthday weekend.  And I couldn’t end this post without saying that the evening ended with me yelling out the car window to a trolley-full of tourists “It’s my birthday!” (after which said trolley-full of tourists yelled out “Happy Birthday!”) and then I yelled out “Occupy the trolley!” (and no, I was not one of those intoxicated girls I mentioned earlier, I was just on a high from good food, good music, and great company!).

Pre-Halloween pumpkin party

My sister Jessie, Kevin and I hosted a small Pre-Halloween pumpkin-themed party in mid-October.  The plan?  Make/bring food that centered around the glorious pumpkin.  And boy did we have some good food!

The menu:

Appetizers: pumpkin hummus, sliced apples and ginger snaps with pumpkin pie dip, medjool dates with chopped walnuts and dark chocolate

Dinner: vegan pumpkin pistachio pasta, vegan pumpkin pizza, vegan smoky braised Mexican pumpkin over brown rice

Dessert: pumpkin bread, vegan pumpkin brownies (this recipe is AMAZING!!)

The spread!

The pups working hard to look cute in hopes of some snacks

Couple of beggars

We had a yummy time eating our way through the pumpkin food and boy were we stuffed at the end.  Lola was wiped out as well…

The tired little hostess

For the party Kevin and I got some decorative mini pumpkins to put on the table and Lola could not let them alone.  So the next day I decided to let her check one out and she was in heaven…

Chewing the stem: her favorite part

Mouth full of pumpkin