Monthly Archives: December 2011

A baby story: Week 16

Week 16: Baby’s the size of an avocado!

Last week our little lady made it through week 16 while visiting family and friends in Long Beach!  I’ll put up another post specific to Christmas festivities later this week but other than the holidays we’ve been keeping ourselves pretty busy down south.  Things in the pregnancy department have been same ol’, same ol’.  It’s been interesting while down here with so many things to do and so many distractions, I haven’t thought too much about it and haven’t been stressing myself out about being in this limbo period.  Once a week when I receive some pregnancy updates in my e-mail inbox (the ones from The Bump, Baby Center, and Babble are my favorites) I check out the message boards and it’s nice to read about other women in the same boat as me.  I can’t wait to start to feel Sirena moving around in the belly–they say it will start to feel like fluttering butterflies or a swimming fish at first.  Can’t wait!

We made a pretty major purchase this week which we’ve had our eyes on for months now that will make a huge difference when the baby arrives…a new car!  We’re keeping our 4-door Honda Civic but we had to trade-in our 2-door Ford Focus (which we loved and were sad to say bye to) for something a little bigger to fit a car seat, Lola, and all the baby junk.  We’ve gone to a few car dealerships in the past four months up north but the selection of larger cars is pretty minimal since most folks up north drive smaller sedans.  We decided to check out a dealership near Kevin’s parent’s house (the same one we purchased our Ford Focus at) since they had 150+ SUV-type used cars on the lot.  Kevin’s mom Dorothy tagged along and after 4 hours of negotiating we have our hands on a cute little 2008 Ford Edge!

Our little lady will be riding in style!

Lola checking out her new ride

The biggest news on the pregnancy front this week was that we made the public announcement to someone very special about Sirena’s middle name (which previously was kept a secret from most folks).

We decided to honor my mom and name Sirena after her so her name will be Sirena Linda which, in Spanish, translates to “beautiful mermaid”.  I bought her a picture frame and put in a photo of Sirena’s ultrasound then wrote “Sirena Linda” on the bottom.  We gave it to my mom as a Christmas gift and videotaped the reaction…I knew she would be emotional but nothing could have prepared me for her reaction!  Here’s the link to the video on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

Belly shot!

It’s looking a lot like last week’s belly but I’m sure in the next month or so we’ll start to see some pretty major developments…

A baby story: Week 15

Week 15: Baby’s the size of an apple!

Things are slowly chugging along in the baby world over here.  It’s an interesting time, though, because I feel like I’m in somewhat of a limbo period.  It’s only been the past day or two that I’ve felt any sort of real bump developing and I can’t feel any movement of the wee one yet so I just feel like I’m waitingwaitingwaiting for something to happen.  But I hear that once the bump really starts growing it will all start to happen so quickly.

I’ve been making some strides on the nursery this week too which feels really great.  I’ve got a project I’m working on that will go up on the wall and I can’t wait to share it here for you to see!  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks.  And Kevin and I made our first baby purchase this week as well…a book for Sirena’s library!  We haven’t purchased any baby stuff yet but we felt we couldn’t pass up this one.  We’ve made a couple of trips to Babies ‘R Us to check out the overwhelming aisles and aisles of baby crap and we’ve been looking on Craigslist for some furniture as well since we don’t want to go completely broke once the little lady makes her appearance.  We’ve got lots of cleaning and organizing to do in the guest bedroom, though, before we really start turning it into a baby space, but I’m really looking forward to this project!

Belly shot

My sister is hanging out at my apartment tonight and it wasn’t until this evening that I really feel like I’ve got an actual baby bump (and not just a chubby Lisa bump) in progress.  When I push down gently on my lower abdomen there is a firmness just under the surface that is most definitely not abdominal muscles, haha.  Jessie felt it and she agrees that the tummy is making real progress!

This week I made my first maternity clothes purchase with some Old Navy maternity jeans, seen in the photos below.  Most of the time I’m fine with my DIY maternity jeans (my regular jeans with a little something added to it) but when I sit down for long periods of time it really bothers me so I’m looking forward to more comfort with these jeans.  And hopefully they’ll last throughout the pregnancy (fingers crossed!)

I think this is an actual baby bump, people!

Lola’s always gotta make some sort of appearance in these photos, I swear!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: -3 lbs (I’m starting to get a little anxious and for the first time in my life I hope that the number on the scale starts to go up, never thought I’d ever think that!)
  • Number of hours spent on Pinterest, pinning nursery and baby ideas: Countless! That website is addicting but it fulfills my neurotic need for organizing all of the ideas I have for her and her room. If you have an account, follow me so we can share some pins!
  • Food aversions: Same ol’ cooked pumpkin/squash, not sure why but that’s the one thing that sounds so disgusting to me
  • Food cravings: Anything made with tomato sauce!
  • Long Beach-area restaurants I can’t wait to eat at during the holidays (countdown to trip=4 days!): Lucille’s BBQ and Lola’s Mexican food, our two favorite go-to spots when we’re back at home 🙂

A baby story: Week 14

Week 14 (baby’s the size of a lemon)

This week has been much less eventful in the baby department compared to last week .  I’m still feeling A-OK and it seems that my energy levels are finally starting to return to normal.  I continue to get some funny feelings/pains in my abdomen but it should be normal since things are stretching and growing so quickly.  So the only major developments we’ve made this week that I can update on have been in terms of planning for the little lady’s arrival…

As I’m sure you can tell by flipping through some of the blog posts, I am BIG on photos and capturing moments on film.  Up until now I have almost exclusively documented our life together in still photographs but we knew that this wouldn’t be enough when Sirena comes into our lives.  So, we made the big decision to purchase a new Canon video camera so that we can capture every yawn, every giggle, and every cryfest possible.  We’ve only played around with it a little bit but I’m excited to show off some videos in the coming weeks.  In related news, I’m determined to learn how to use our DSLR camera so that I can take much nicer looking photos of her.  I think I’ve got a good “eye” when it comes to photography, I just need to learn how to use the hardware.

The other development I’ve made is some serious brainstorming on how to decorate her nursery.  I feel so fortunate to have a second bedroom that we can use as her nursery (living in that tiny, 500 square foot apartment in SF really has us appreciating space) and I’m going to take full advantage of it!  The idea/theme I’m getting excited about is book- and story-related and I’ve got a few crafts lined up to make the room extra special.  I don’t want to say too much yet until things are a little more finalized but I can at least share with you one art print that I purchased a year ago that has been my major inspiration:

“Ocean Meets Sky” by artist Terry Fan, Purchased from Society6

Belly shot!

Just like the rest of this post, there doesn’t seem to be much development in the belly department either.  Although I’m anxious to have an actual belly bump I’m also trying to appreciate the time I have left where I can bend down easily and tie my shoes!

Don’t mind the furry tail in the lower, left corner

Other pregnancy updates

  • Overall I’m physically feeling…: Everything is good!  I’m trying to get more serious about keeping an exercise routine (mostly walking but also lifting weights at the gym) to stay fit and healthy during the entirety of the pregnancy (and to not lose too much momentum from my running days so that I can have a little easier time jumping back into it after she’s born).
  • Overall I’m emotionally feeling…: I had a pretty rough week both at work with a close co-worker/friend getting let go and in hearing some very sad news about a close family friend’s recent diagnosis with spinal cancer.  Focusing my energy on sending positive thoughts and prayers to both instead of focusing on the sad reality of it all.
  • Total weight gained: 0 lbs (same as last week)
  • Food aversions: Nothing new in this department
  • Food cravings: Nothing new in this department either!
  • Days until we get to see family/friends for the holidays: 11!
  • Number of Christmas presents purchased: Two (yikes!!)

Lola’s visit to the vet

Last week I noticed something just above Lola’s right eyebrow.  At first I thought it was sap or something sticky that got caught in her fur but I wasn’t sure if maybe it was an actual bump.  I asked Kevin to look at it and he confirmed it was some sort of bump.  A couple of days went by and the bump seemed to be growing pretty quickly!  We fussed around with it and it didn’t seem to hurt her at all so we weren’t sure what to make of it.

Kevin, being the good daddy that he is, took her into the vet last Tuesday to get it checked out.  The vet knew right away what it was…

IT WAS A TICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The nasty thing bit her on her eyebrow and was growing by the day.  I am grossed out just thinking about having touched it and messed around with it.  Yuck!!

They removed the damn thing and she’s got a little scar to show for it, hopefully the hair around it will grow out soon so it won’t be noticeable anymore.

The one other thing that came out of this whole ordeal was that we learned she’s about 8 pounds overweight!  Poor little thing.  Kevin called it the week before, actually.  He told me he thought she didn’t look as defined as she used to in her mid-section.  Now she’s on a diet, only getting one scoop of food for breakfast and one for dinner instead of the 2 cups we’d give her at each meal.  Every night I feel so terrible because she licks her bowl after the food is all gone, just begging for more food.  It breaks my heart!  But the vet says that soon enough she’ll get used to it and slim down.  Our goal is to get her back down to 50 pounds even.

Here’s a cute photo of our little patient for your viewing pleasure:

Our forties photo shoot

As most of you know, Kevin and I went back in time for a forties-themed photo shoot the weekend after Thanksgiving.  A little background on how this came to be: Lindsey, a friend from high school, is now a professional photographer and I’ve followed her blog for a while now.  Some time last year she had a little contest that if you commented on the blog you would be entered to win a free photo shoot…and I randomly won!  I never win anything so I was surprised beyond belief.  Soon after winning the contest she moved back down to Southern California and I was afraid we may never get to have our photo shoot.  In early October, Lindsey e-mailed me letting me know that she’d be in the Bay Area for a few other photo shoots and luckily we were able to schedule a session!  I thought it would be so fun to do a forties-themed photo shoot (instead of us dressed in matching cardigans, haha) and we spent a good month or so researching outfits and putting things together piece by piece either through online stores or local thrift shops.  We were pretty happy with the final result.

And of course I enlisted the help of my amazing sister to do my makeup and hair (because goodness knows what I would’ve turned out to look like if she hadn’t been there to make me over!)  I can’t thank that girl enough for making me look damn good.  🙂

Sisters all done up!

We were pressed for time and were extremely nervous leaving our apartment with only 30 minutes to get to our destination in the city.  Without traffic, we could be there in 20 minutes.  But it was a Saturday afternoon and traffic can be INSANE getting across the bridge at that time.  We got so lucky and arrived to meet Lindsey only a few minutes late.

Our adorable chauffeur

My hope was to take some fun photos on Embarcadero near some of the piers, I thought it would look very timely for our 40s shoot.  But I didn’t realize that at 4pm (my favorite time of day to take photos in the soft sunlight), all of the tall buildings downtown would cast shadows along the piers.  Boo!  But Lindsey made it work and had us take our photos in Levi’s Plaza Park, a great little garden area (Kevin and I took Lola to this park once and had a great time).

We had Coit Tower looming overhead as we readied ourselves for an hour session in the cold (I hope my goosebumps don’t show in the photos! Hahah).

Dorothy and George came along for the ride (or was it for Zante’s Indian pizza we promised them that evening…hmmm?) and Dorothy snapped some good shots over Lindsey’s shoulder…

Leaning in for a smooch!

We had a bit of an audience throughout the shoot as well

I was afraid Kevin might drop me, haha! Luckily, we both survived.

We had SUCH an amazing experience and cannot thank Lindsey enough for her generosity.  I am beyond excited to see the final photos once she’s finished processing/editing them (fingers crossed it’ll be before Christmas!)  If you’re in Southern California and want some amazing family photos, maternity photos, baby photos, wedding photos, or even a fun boudoir session, all you need to do is spend five minutes perusing her portfolio on her website to see her work speak for itself.  We highly recommend her!  🙂

Fall visitors & a mostly vegan Thanksgiving

A pre-Thanksgiving visit

We were privileged with a visit from my lovable, adorable, stinker-of-a-brother Derek the week before Thanksgiving.  We spent a lot of time together, just hanging out and eating our way through Oakland and San Francisco.  🙂

We made a couple of visits to Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland, a cute ice cream parlor, for some delectable ice cream.

We also discovered this awesome ale house in Oakland called Cato’s that Derek likes to describe as a “classy dive bar”. Even though I couldn’t partake in the beer (boo!) the food more than made up for it.

And we spent an evening at Jessie’s pad eating some amazing food and a game night.

Thanksgiving weekend

Unfortunately he couldn’t stay for Thanksgiving, but fortunately for us we had another couple of visitors right on his heels: Kevin’s parents, Dorothy and George.  Dorothy flew up a few days ahead of George to spend some time together (and to prepare for the big feast that we were going to make and eat later that week) and it was nice having her around!

One evening that week we drove up to Richmond to visit Point Isabel (where Lola experienced her first open water swim!) so Lola could stretch her legs and so that we could watch the sunset over the SF city skyline.

We were so happy when George arrived from his long drive up from Long Beach and it was doubly nice that Kevin got four days off for the weekend as well!  We spent one of those evenings revisiting Fenton’s Creamery for some ice cream sundae goodness (or, in Kevin’s case, pie).

My idea of heaven (and don’t think for a minute that I didn’t scoop up some of that hot fudge from the plate)

George taking a good, long look at his and Dorothy’s chosen treat

Me, Kevin and George ready to dig in!

This was our third Thanksgiving spent up in the Bay Area (the first was spent with the Julian clan and last year’s was spent with Jessie in San Jose) and it was great having the Edmonds family in town to celebrate.  Dorothy and I got a lot of the work done the day before but we still got an early start on Thanksgiving day to make sure we were ready in time for our other guests (Jessie, Carleigh and Scott) to arrive.  Since Jess and I are vegetarian and Carleigh is vegan we decided to make it a mostly veg-friendly meal.  There were only two things that the vegan of our group couldn’t indulge in: the turkey (obviously) and my Aunt Tina’s infamous corn (made with lots of cream cheese and butter).  But other than that, all of the sides (including one of the pumpkin pies!) were made with no animal products whatsoever!

Kevin and George spent some time working on Kevin’s bike so that they could go mountain biking together later that weekend.

And Dorothy put the finishing touches on the dead bird…I mean, the turkey.

The group arrived and were ready to chow down!

The group minus George

The group minus me

Overall I think it was a pretty successful Thanksgiving meal, especially given that we were cooking for seven in the teeniest kitchen ever!

We had a really busy Friday, starting off with a long hike through Joaquin Miller park (a place Kevin and I have frequented many a time and were excited to share with his parents).

Dad, son and grandpup

Can you spot Kevin and Lola?

K + Lola braving the log

Beautiful trails!

Surprisingly beautiful mushrooms on a log

K + me

George + Dorothy

We rushed home so that we could meet with up our favorite friends from Irvine, Alison and Seth!  We hung out at our apartment for a bit (or until Seth’s stomach yelled at us to leave, haha) and then took them to one of our favorite Mexican places, Taqueria Monte Cristo in Berkeley.  It was SO nice seeing them, even if only for a couple of hours!

The Redlands gang (minus Seth!)

That night we were off again…to the Christmas tree lighting in Union Square!  Kevin and I had gone in 2009 with the Julians and we knew his parents would enjoy it as well.  I think once every two years is about as much crazy Christmas crowds I can handle.  😉

Macy’s all decorated for the holidays

George + us

Dorothy + us

Dorothy + me

It was surprisingly not as cold as it was two years prior but it still warranted my winter fuzzy hat.

This kid had it made: a helmet with straws feeding into two Starbucks’ hot cocoas! Hahahah!

The main event!

Kevin and George ended the weekend off right by spending a morning mountain biking in Joaquin Miller park with Lola.  I was a bit nervous about Lola going out with them but apparently she kept up pretty good!  Kevin hadn’t gone riding in a looooong time and I’m hoping it becomes more of a habit for him (hint, hint!)  🙂

We had a great 10 days full of visitors and we couldn’t have asked for better people to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with!  And now we’re sooo looking forward to Christmas…only 15 more days until we drive down to LB for a week full of family, friends, and food!

A baby story: Week 13

Week 13 (baby’s the size of a peach)

Now that we’re officially into the second trimester I’d like to post once a week with an update about me, the baby, and our little growing family.  This 13th week started off better than I could have imagined: two ultrasounds AND we found out the baby’s gender!!  But you’re going to have to be patient before finding out (or just scroll down, haha).

Yesterday we spent the better half of our day in the doctor’s office for two appointments.  Our first appointment was the basic prenatal checkup.  The doctor attempted to listen to the baby’s heartbeat using a doppler machine but the little bugger was hiding so she had to get the ultrasound (u/s) machine out.  She moved the machine around my abdomen a bit and for a minute or two we didn’t see anything.  She asked us how far along we were at our last u/s and I was getting a little worried because we weren’t seeing anything.  Then, after pushing down pretty rough on my lower right side…we saw a little fish swimming around!  The little thing was moving around so quickly and we could barely get a look at it…but it was there, and alive!  🙂

In the afternoon we had a second appointment but this time it with the genetics department for a nuchal translucency u/s (to test for genetic disorders like Down Syndrome which, we were told at the end, we have very little chance of).  The u/s tech was amazing: she was so sweet and kept saying how “cute” our little baby was and talking to it like it was right there in the room with us.

It was amazing seeing how much growth the baby had done in the five weeks since our last u/s.  The baby has grown from 0.6 centimeters to a whopping 3 inches…from the size of a raspberry to the size of a peach!  It’s still hard to believe that one day not too far in the future the baby will be the size of a watermelon…while in my stomach!  Let’s just take it one little piece of produce at a time, shall we?

We saw the baby’s heart…and spine…and kidneys…and two legs/two arms (and little fingers and toes!)…and umbilical cord…and even the brain and skull!

Profile shot

The head (the big round thing on the right) and arms

The face (the doc called this one “Skeletor”)…kinda creepy! It’s because the skull hasn’t formed completely yet.

And then to our surprise she gave us a 3D view of inside my belly to get a better look at our little bugger…it was INCREDIBLE the kind of detail we were able to see so early on in the pregnancy!

Sucking on it’s thumb (maybe)

And the very best news of the day…she asked us if we wanted to know what the gender was.  And we did (of course).  So she said, with 85% certainty she believes we’re having a…girl!

Our photogenic little model…or hula dancer…or electric slider (a few things we heard after posting this photo on Facebook, haha!)

That last photo is my favorite of all.  At first when the doc turned on the 3D, our little girl had her back towards us so she said “Cough, mama” and I coughed and the baby moved around a bit!  But she only moved enough to see the other side of her pretty little backside so the doc had me cough three other times and finally we got a view of her pretty little face.

Belly shot!

Ask and ye shall receive.  Just this week I’ve had to add a little something to my jeans so that I can still wear them comfortably.  I’m nowhere near buying maternity pants (or at least I hope not) but I definitely can’t go around in my jeans buttoned up like normal.  I think to most people I just look a bit chubby.  😉

Here are a few belly shots (and you can see big sister Lola just had to take part in the photo shoot too):

Belly shot!

She’s in there somewhere!

Admiring my little girl’s first photos

So what names do we have picked out?

This is one of the first questions I get asked after people find out I’m pregnant and especially now that we know it’s a girl I can only anticipate to be asked this even more.  We’ve had a girl’s name for a looooong time (I’ve been thinking about it since I was in college, no joke!) and so we’re happy to announce that in June 2012 we’ll be the proud parents of…Sirena!  In Spanish, Sirena means “mermaid” and it will be pronounced like the more commonly spelled “Serena” (or when she’s in trouble I’ll pronounce it in Spanish, heheh).  The middle name’s a secret for now, though.

Other pregnancy updates

  • Overall I’m physically feeling…: Still good!  The afternoon exhaustion hasn’t really worn off and each day I crave a nap like nobody’s business.  I’m hopeful my energy will be restored in the next few weeks.  The only negative side effects I’ve experienced so far is breaking out like a teenager (cute) and not being regular (if ya know what I mean).
  • Overall I’m emotionally feeling…: Much better than the last few weeks in terms of my patience but I’m not counting on that for the entirety of the pregnancy.  I’ve burst into tears a few times lately which generally just feels like a good release that’s over pretty quickly.  And lastly I’ve been sick the past three days (congested head, sore throat, runny nose) but luckily it hasn’t gotten so bad that I’ve had to take any medicine (since so many are off-limits during pregnancy).
  • Total weight gained: 0 lbs (this morning when I weighed myself I am exactly where I was before I got pregnant…I’m sure it can only be up from here!)
  • Food aversions: pumpkin/sweet potato/squash cooked in a meal (like enchiladas, stew, etc.)…blech!!  But I’m totally cool with pumpkin pie (go figure).
  • Food cravings: Mexican pan dulce, specifically ojo del toro (sweet bread with cherry spread and coconut…the best I’ve found is from Casa Latina Bakery in Berkeley. YUM!!  Who wants to bring me some??)
  • Next prenatal appointment: Wednesday, Jan 4
  • Fun baby developments this week: She’s got fingerprints and 2 million eggs in her ovaries already!  An even crazier thought is that part of my future grandchildren are inside of me right now.  The human body is incredible.