Monthly Archives: March 2012

A baby story: Week 29

Week 29: Baby’s the size of a butternut squash!

Lots of baby news this week (seems like it’s been that way for a few weeks now…we’re definitely on the home stretch!)

We had a few special visitors in town–Brianne and Brian drove up on Friday afternoon and spent a couple of nights with us.  The majority of the time was spent getting some good quality time in with each other at our place but we also did a few fun outings including: seeing “The Hunger Games” (so good!), getting Indian pizza for dinner in the city at Zante’s, enjoying some Salvadorean pan dulce (sweet bread) at Rico Pan (a bakery we used to frequent in our old ‘hood in the city), a quick hike in Piedmont Park followed by awesome sandwiches for lunch at Ike’s Lair (the East Bay’s version of Ike’s Place which was featured on that show “Man vs. Food”).  Can you tell we like to eat?  🙂

We didn’t let the rainy weather get in our way of enjoying the weekend!

B & B at Piedmont Park (check out Lola’s photo bomb, haha!)

After B & B went on their merry way back down to Long Beach, Kevin and I trekked across the bridge once more to visit with my dad who was in town.  We were only able to spend a short amount of time with him but it was really good seeing him and I know he was excited to see the belly that is home to his first grandchild!

This week I also had my appointment with the dietitian due to my having developed glucose intolerance.  I’ve know for a couple of weeks now and had already adjusted my diet (no more cookies/cake/ice cream for me, boo!)  One thing I didn’t realize was that my diagnosis has nothing to do with what I’ve been eating this whole pregnancy, it’s just that some women’s bodies don’t process insulin properly once all of the pregnancy hormones are added into the equation.  So it was definitely a minor relief knowing that it wasn’t something I did to cause it.  I also brought a list of some of the common foods I eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks and she was pretty pleased with my diet which made me happy.  I have to actually up the fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil) and just monitor the carbs I eat throughout the day and make sure that I eat every three hours to stabilize my blood sugar.  But overall it was a good appointment and luckily I don’t have to make too many adjustments to what I was already doing these past two weeks.

We also took a huge step and interviewed and hired a doula!  She and I have been speaking over the phone and via email the past few weeks and we finally had a chance to sit down and meet with her at our apartment.  She was very easy to talk to and we both felt very comfortable in her presence.  She has a lot of great experience (having even been present at 6 births at the Kaiser Oakland facility we’re going to have Sirena at which I think is a big plus) and she is going to be a really great addition to our little birth team.  We’ll have three visits with her before the baby arrives, then she’ll stay with us throughout the labor and up to a couple of hours after she’s born, and then she’ll meet with us twice postpartum.  I wrote a little more about the reasons we want to have a doula present at our birth on this post if you’re interested in checking that out.

This week I’ve started keeping track of Sirena’s movements on a kick count chart (kinda like this one).  It’s suggested that moms do this in the third trimester to monitor the baby’s movements and just make sure that they don’t decrease at all.  I have to count to 10 kicks/movements within an hour and so far she always gets to her 10 kicks within 25-30 minutes…this girl likes to move!

And lastly, although zero progress has been made on the nursery (due to the leak that we are continuing to battle with, we’re going on 10 weeks now!!), I am happy to say that one of the crafty projects I’ve had my mind on for a while was finally tackled and accomplished.  I wanted to do some hand-lettering and write out the literal translation of her name (Beautiful mermaid of the Edmonds Sea) and here’s the final product:

Framed art for Sirena along with the newest teddy bear that Brianne got her!

Belly shots!

I noticed I wore this same outfit in my Week 20 belly shots, check out how much the belly’s grown since then (she’s grown from a banana to a butternut squash since then…and it shows)!

My little furry girl wanting to get in on some of the belly shot action again this week!

Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: Back down to 7 pounds…we’ll see what the doc says tomorrow!
  • Fun baby developments this week: She’s around 15 inches long and weighs around 2.5 pounds (and she’s going to triple in weight before birth!)  And she is hopefully beginning to settle into the proper birthing position (head down, facing my back).
  • How I’m feeling this week: The back pain is still going strong and by the end of the night I’m pretty uncomfortable.  I’m hoping to schedule a prenatal massage in the coming weeks which may help ease some of the pain but in the meantime I’m still working on moving around as much as possible (and not being sedentary all day) and doing some easy back exercises.  I also started to feel a bruise-like pain at the top of my rib cage on the left side and after doing a little research I think it’s due to my rib cage expanding!  A lot of pregnant women have written about a similar pain on different online forums and I’m going to talk to my doctor at our appointment tomorrow just to make sure it’s nothing more serious than that.
  • Number of days until our babymoon: One!  Kevin and I are so looking forward to a weekend getaway to a little town in Sonoma County where we’ll be staying in a bed and breakfast and just enjoying each other’s company for three uninterrupted days.  ::sigh:: I can’t wait!

A baby story: Week 28

Week 28: Baby’s the size of a Chinese cabbage!

“The size of a Chinese cabbage”??  So random…but not as random as the rutabaga that another one of those pregnancy sites says she’s as big as.  Here’s a picture of a Chinese cabbage if you’re like me and have no real clue as to how big that is…

The most fun and exciting thing we’ve done this week was the Labor & Delivery Tour at the Kaiser hospital in Oakland where we’re going to meet Sirena in just a little over two month’s time!  The tour was pretty surreal to me until we set foot into an actual delivery room…just imaging myself with Kevin and the doula/nurse/doctor there, going through all the excitement and intensity that I’m sure labor/delivery is going to be made it that much more real to me.  After having our questions answered and speaking with the tour guide (who actually taught our Early Pregnancy Class way back in October and had been a doula for many years), we are that much more confident in our decision to have Sirena in Oakland instead of trying to go to another Kaiser hospital in the Bay Area.

Luckily I was allowed to take some photos during the tour so you can pretend you were right there with us!

The hospital’s main lobby

Labor & Delivery/NICU (all on the same floor so if any serious problems were to come up she wouldn’t have to be taken too far, and of course Kevin would go right along with her).

The secured entrance/exit for the Labor & Delivery ward.  We learned that all babies have bracelets that will sound an alarm if they get too close to the door and it will immediately lock-down the entire floor and the elevators–apparently other hospitals have had issues with missing babies?!  Crazy.  Luckily Kaiser Oakland has zero history of this.

One example of the adorable mural art throughout the L & D ward–all these cute little babies popping out of flowers, so cute!

One L & D room where the magic happens!  This is actually the smallest of all of their L & D rooms.

The newborn tray all set up with an itty bitty diaper and an itty bitty hat…I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this!

We learned that it is standard protocol for the baby to be placed immediately on the mom’s chest for mom/baby bonding and I was so happy to hear that.  We also learned that Kaiser expects parents to submit a birth plan (something we were already planning on doing, we were surprised that all parents were expected to do this) and it was confirmed that the docs at Kaiser Oakland stick to the birth plan as closely as possible (something we had heard and it was great to hear another confirmation of this).  It was also confirmed that, as long as Sirena doesn’t have any major health issues, she will never leave our room.  We’ll stay in the L & D room for a couple of hours after she’s born and then move on to the postpartum room for 24-48 hours for a natural birth and up to 4 days for a c-section.

The postpartum room.  Although all have two beds the tour guide says that it is extremely rare for there to be two patients sharing a room so it will most likely be private for us.  And again, Sirena will not leave our side.

The breezeway outside of the postpartum rooms to enjoy some sunshine during our stay.

The view of the Oakland hills outside of the breezeway window…not a bad view I’d say!

The white board where the nurses will keep track of our progress before sending us on our merry way home with our little bundle of joy.

Going on this tour was very exciting for us and I still can’t believe that in around 2.5 months we’re going to be parents!!

Belly shots!

She’s grown quite a bit this week!

Oh yeah, did you notice my haircut?

Thought I’d give a view of the basketball I’ve been growing these past 7 months…

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 8.5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs about 2.5 pounds and is around 14 inches long, her lungs are mature enough that she’d probably survive outside the womb if she was born now (let’s just hope she sits tight for the next 8-12 weeks though!), and she’s plumping up a bit, getting just a wee bit closer to that chubby little baby we’re so excited to meet.
  • How I’m physically feeling:  The back pain has taken it up a notch this week and I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to stand or sit for long periods of time and even have a hard time getting up and out of chairs.  I’m really trying to focus on my deep-breathing and back exercises to make the pain more manageable.
  • Number of days until Brianne & Brian come up for a visit: Two! Those two knuckleheads will be coming up for a quick weekend trip before the little miss arrives and we can’t wait!

A baby story: Week 27

Week 27: Baby’s the size of a cauliflower!

I still can’t believe it’s possible that there’s something the size of a freakin’ cauliflower in my belly…so crazy.

This week I’ve been working with my new student teaching placement in a 7th grade history class and so far, so good!  I think I’m getting to the point in the pregnancy where I’m getting antsy–I can’t wait to get all of the 100s of things on our to-do list checked off and I can’t wait to meet the little miss that has completely preoccupied my thoughts for the past 7 months–so on my second day in the 7th grade class I found myself counting down to the end (May 10th).  The minute I realized what I was doing I knew that it wasn’t a good sign for the next two months in the classroom!  So I had to change my thinking and I’ve been working on enjoying each and every day I’m in this new placement instead of just counting down to the end.  Today I ran the entire 2.5 hour period and it went pretty well–I made a few kids laugh and no one got hurt so I’d say it was a pretty successful day!

I received some not-so-exciting news from the doctor’s office this week: the results of my 3 hour glucose screening came in and although I do not have gestational diabetes I do have glucose intolerance which is a precursor to gestational diabetes.  As a result I have to set up an appointment with a dietician and monitor my sugar intake and my exercise for the duration of the pregnancy.  At first I was pretty bummed about it–I thought I was eating really healthy and exercising a moderate amount but now that I’ve had a few days to digest this news I’m seeing it in a more positive light.  This is a way for me to be more conscious of the decisions I make that directly impact Sirena and her well-being and for that reason I’m totally on-board!  🙂

Yesterday Kevin and I attended Kaiser’s Late Pregnancy Class in Richmond and we learned a ton!  Being in that class reinforced how much I don’t know about childbirth and I am excited to learn a ton more about the process so that I’m as informed and as prepared as possible when the day comes.

We’ve got the hospital tour scheduled for this Saturday morning and we are really looking forward to that!

Last but not least we made another great purchase from Craigslist this week: an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper!  I’ve done a lot of research on what the best sleeping arrangement is for newborns and what we feel the most comfortable with is co-sleeping for the first few months or so.  It’s important to not confuse co-sleeping with bed-sharing because they’re completely different: co-sleeping is when baby has her own sleeping area but is next to mom during the night.  Here is a great site that addresses the benefits of co-sleeping and here’s the model that we got (used, so we saved a ton of money!)  The best part about it is that it converts to a playard once we’re past the 5 months that she co-sleeps with us so we can utilize the purchase for a much longer time.

Belly shots!

Lola’s booty made an appearance this week…

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 7 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: She weighs about 2 pounds and is around 14.5 inches long, she’s beginning to show brain activity, she’ll take her first peek around this week while her blinking reflex begins, and she probably recognizes my voice!
  • Pregnancy book I’m reading this week: The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, RN
  • (Dis)comforts of pregnancy: My lower back has been hurting pretty consistently towards the end of each day so I’ve been focusing on taking more breaks from the computer, walking more, and doing some easy back exercises.  And the heartburn has hit me with a vengeance this week and I am afraid I’m becoming addicted to TUMS!  Man, it sure is painful.  But if the old wives are right and it means she’ll have a full head of hair then I’m all for sucking it up and dealing with it.  😉
  • Exciting date night in the near-ish future we’ve got planned: The weekend of Kevin’s birthday (in early September) we’ll be enjoying a night on the town to hear Dave Matthews Band in concert!!  We went to their concert way back in 2004 and we rarely go see live music so we are beyond excited for this.  We’re taking volunteers to watch Sirena that night!  😉
  • Days until we’re in the third trimester: One!  Tomorrow marks the start of Week 28 and we’ll officially be in the third trimester…I still cannot believe it.

City life + swingin’ in the trees

This past weekend Kevin, Lola and I had a completely free schedule so we took full advantage of it.  We drove into the city on Saturday to enjoy what we thought was going to be a super sunny, warm day…

View of the Ferry Building from the Bay Bridge…it was such a clear day, you rarely see this view with such clarity going over the bridge!

Lola anxious to get to our destination

View of the Ferry Building from Embarcadero

Our first destination was North Beach–I still have a SF library card (shh, don’t tell them we moved to Oakland) and so I reserved some pregnancy/childbirth books to pick up at the North Beach branch since it’s so close to work and they were ready for pick up so we figured we’d stop there first to check ’em out.  Then we decided to take full advantage of our location to enjoy some yummy Italian food for lunch.

Kevin enjoying some major sunshine at Caffe Delucchi

Some graffiti art around North Beach

We then decided to treat Lola to a visit to our old stomping grounds…Golden Gate Park!  To our surprise, though, by the time we got to that part of the city the weather had completely changed.  It went from sunny and warm to cold, foggy, and rainy!  Even though we lived in the city for 2 years and experienced this on a number of occasions we still couldn’t get over the fact that a 15 minute drive could get us to what seemed like a completely different part of the country.  We tried to make the best of it though to get Lola some much-needed and well-deserved exercise!

The tip top of the dome of the Conservatory of Flowers

Thar she blows!  Not too shabby of a background for our rendezvous in the park.

Lola’s newest obsession?  Frisbee!  We love the Kong frisbee, it is the absolute best for a sharp-toothed dog like Lola.

Kevin getting a good throw in

Lola being a good girl and bringing it back to us (about 85% of the time, anyways!)

The next day we made a trip to Albany Hill Park to do some exploring on this hill that we had seen numerous times driving around North Berkeley/Albany/El Cerrito/Richmond…it was about time we made a trip up the hill and we are so glad we did!

Be-a-u-tiful eucalyptus trees!

The view from the east side of the hill (I forgot to take a picture of the view of the bay from the other side of the hill)

To our delight, we found a tree swing just hanging out and begging for Kevin to give it a whirl!  He spent a good 15 minutes swinging on that thing and Lola’s reaction to him swinging was so perfect, I caught a couple of hilarious videos for your viewing pleasure!

Kevin up among the trees (and Lola below, freaking out)

Lola attempting to bite Kevin’s ankle upon landing, hahah.

Kevin about to give me a good whack in the face (and Lola trailing behind)…I love this photo.

Lola about to get smacked in the face by Kevin’s big ol’ feet!  I’m surprised she didn’t get hit the whole time they did this.

And here are the videos! Here’s the first time Kevin attempted the tree swing and Lola’s initial reaction to all the action. Here’s another video of Kevin dodging Lola’s attempts to bring him down from the rope swing.  And here’s a quick video of Lola versus the rope swing.

The result of Lola’s battle with the rope swing?…

…one very sleepy pup.

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 25

Week 25: Baby’s the size of an eggplant!

This week has been extremely eventful when it comes to babies…Sirena had two future playmates born this week!

Our close friends Kim and Frank welcomed Amelia Belle into the world on Feb 23.  Kim is my first close friend that has had a baby and the birth of Amelia has really made this whole pregnancy thing so much more real for me.  When Kim announced on Facebook (where else??) that she was checking into the hospital, I was just blown away and was so anxious to know what was going on and how mama/baby were doing.  Then when I saw the first photo of Amelia I just couldn’t stop staring at her itty bitty face.  I cannot wait to meet that little (and when I say little, I mean little…she was 6 pounds!) bundle of joy who I am sure will become one of Sirena’s close friends.  Kim wrote me something really sweet and touching, she said, “I can’t WAIT for you to feel what I’m feeling now…my heart is full.”  Believe me, mama Kimmy, I can’t wait either!  🙂

And Kevin’s family friends, Shani and Loren, welcomed their baby girl Sadie into the world on Feb 28…can’t wait to meet that little cutie as well!

This is my last week student teaching with the 6th graders and although it’s bittersweet, I’m definitely looking forward to getting started on and finishing my second placement!  Luckily I have a few day’s break in between this placement and my second but next Thursday I’ll be joining a 7th grade history class at the same school site (so at least I can go check in on my 6th grade knuckleheads over the course of the rest of the semester!)

Some pretty major news for our household came about this week (and no, I’m not referring to the noisy/inconsiderate upstairs neighbors moving out, although that’s a pretty major event in and of itself)…Kevin was offered a permanent position at his work!  He along with a group of guys that was hired around the same time as him have been temporary status and he is finally getting what he deserves with better pay and benefits.  He was the first of all of the temp workers to be approached to be hired permanently and I could not be more proud of him!

My sister Jessie is also experiencing some pretty major life-changing things right now…she’s starting a month-long yoga teacher training in Colorado and will be there for the entire month of March!  I’m going to miss her a ton but I’m so happy and excited for her.  Plus she’s going to be staying with us in April so I’m sure we will more than make up for lost time!

And last but not least…Kevin and I scheduled a babymoon for the end of March!  Our last trip away (other than to Long Beach) was one year ago when we went to Monterey for a night (and before that it was in 2008 when we went to Australia!) and I am so looking forward to getting out of town and spending some time with my future baby daddy before the baby arrives.  We’re going to a cute bed and breakfast up near the Russian River in Sonoma County and I cannot wait!!

Belly shots!

Take 1 (without Lola)

Take 2 (with Lola, yawning)

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: 5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: All five senses are now fully developed.  She may start sucking her thumb in utero around this time…how cute! And she most likely has a distinct sleeping and waking schedule (she is most definitely up and at ’em between 7-10 pm).
  • (Dis)comforts of pregnancy: The past few weeks I’ve been experiencing some back pain that includes a pinched-nerve-feeling in my upper back (most likely from the hours of sitting at the computer for work and school) and also includes some lower back pain that travels down my rear (cute).  I’m trying to focus on taking more walking breaks during the day and doing some exercises to relieve the pain and to keep it from becoming a major issue.
  • Number of classes/appointments we scheduled this week: Seven! This includes Kaiser’s Childbirth Preparation classes (two class meetings), a hospital tour, a Labor and Delivery Team visit, a Late Pregnancy class, plus a Breastfeeding class and a Newborn Care class…phew!
  • Number of days until our next prenatal appointment: One! We have our next appointment tomorrow afternoon.
  • Number of weeks left in the second trimester: Two!  The third trimester starts at 28 weeks…not too far off!

Winter weekends

We’ve been trying to maintain the “adventures” part of the blog’s name as much as possible, I’ve just been slacking on updating about it here.  Here are some fun things we did in February…

I joined Carleigh and Scott for an evening of live theater at Albany High School (just north of Berkeley) to see “The Drowsy Chaperone”, a musical comedy.  Carleigh and I were both active in theater when we were in high school and it was fun being a community member out supporting a local high school’s musical.  It sure brought back a lot of memories for us!

The lobby of the theater

The gorgeously decorated theater

Me being a dork in front of a King Kong mural inside the theater

My theater mates!

The very cute theater (soooo much smaller than our high school’s!)

The finale!

On a bright and sunny weekend Kevin, Lola and I took a long walk through our neighborhood to do some exploring.  It ended up being a 3 mile walk round trip and our final destination was the Oakland Municipal Rose Garden which all you horticulturalists out there probably already know that it wasn’t in bloom this time of year but it still made for a nice walk through the grounds.  We want to return after Mother’s Day which is when they say the roses really start popping.

One of the many neighborhood staircases we climbed to get to the park

Just about the only rose petals we saw that day

The grounds include a beautiful pool and lots of trails

Here’s a shot of the beautiful Lake Merritt which we live just a couple of blocks away from

I honestly cannot get over how gorgeous this lake is and how lucky we are to live so close to it!

See the little gnome?  These little guys have been popping up around the neighborhood for the past few months…they’re hand-painted and nailed to the bottom of telephone poles.  I don’t know who’s behind all of this nonsense but I sure am a fan!

On Superbowl Sunday, my favorite holiday of the year (can you sense the sarcasm of my typing voice here?), we made the trek across the bridge to our old stomping grounds: San Francisco!  It’s amazing how little we get out to the city now that we live in Oakland (only 20 minutes drive from SF with no traffic, though, so really not too far at all).  I’m there too often for work so when it comes to the weekend it’s the last place I want to drive to, unfortunately.  But this particular Sunday we had an excuse…a Superbowl party hosted by our friend Darinee!  We arrived pretty early so decided to spend some time reading and relaxing at Alta Plaza Park in Pacific Heights.

Cherry blossoms in full bloom!  So, so pretty.

We saw this mirror in the park that was installed by The SF Mirrors Project (a really cool public art project, check out the website for more info) and Kevin wanted to take a picture of me in front of it (with a wee little baby bump!)

Views from the top of the park…

And last but not least, this past weekend we spent a glorious Sunday morning hiking in Tilden Park in Berkeley with our friends Terri and Scott and their pups Madeira and Ihna.  The only other time we had been to Tilden was our first weekend in the East Bay for 4th of July weekend when we went swimming in Lake Anza with Carleigh and Scott so we were overdue for a trip back there!

The windy drive to Inspiration Point where we were meeting the gang…Lola enjoying the ride sniffing out the window!

The group making our way up…

…and up and up…

To be rewarded with a beautiful 360 view of the SF Bay and surrounding areas!

We took a little break at the top of the peak to let the dogs rest (oh who am I kidding…it was to let the humans rest!)

Madeira, Terri, Ihna and Lola

Doggies and humans

Kevin getting smothered with Ihna kisses (I swear those two were married in a past life)

Teri and Scott keeping me entertained!

The whole gang!

Lola’s obligatory leaping shot

Madeira looking all majestic at the top of the peak

Lola, looking like she’s in on some inside joke (photo courtesy of Scott)

For some reason I thought these towers looked really neat on the way back down the hill…don’t ask.