Monthly Archives: May 2012

A baby story: Week 38

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big belly amongst the tall trees

The photographer and his sidekick

Lola enjoying the great outdoors!

Me and my favorite pup

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

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

Lola patiently waiting for Kevin to throw the ball.

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

Belly, meet the sea…

The soon-to-be parents!

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

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

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

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

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

Belly shots!

Other pregnancy updates

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

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

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

Reflections on student teaching

It’s hard to believe that the 18 weeks of student teaching are actually over (as of May 10 to be exact!) because it seemed to consume my whole life while I was going through it.  Although it was the most challenging months of my life, juggling my 10+ hour days with working full-time, student teaching half-time, and being a student (not to mention all while pregnant!)…it was also extremely rewarding.

I worked with Mr. H’s class of 6th graders for the first half and Mr. R’s class of 7th graders for the second half.  Here are some highlights and some things I learned about myself as an educator:

  • I laughed a LOT with the students I was working with.  They are so entertaining in their creative ways of thinking about the world and they never ceased to crack me up.  My university mentor told me that I “smile a lot in class” which she says is great for building and maintaining a positive classroom environment but I honestly couldn’t see myself not smiling so much with their wonderful ways of looking at the world.
  • My experience with sixth graders is that they are sweet and still try to please the teacher.  My experience with seventh graders is that they think they know what’s going on, they aren’t afraid to question the teacher, and they engage in back-and-forth discussion with the teacher.  At least with these two groups of students I found that I enjoy working with seventh graders just a little more because they are just a bit more witty and I really enjoyed having that back-and-forth discussion with them.  They are a lot less inhibited, ask amazingly deep questions, and can engage in some higher order thinking than the sixth graders.
  • I learned that, although I’d be happy with just about any middle school history teaching position I was offered, I don’t think I want to teach eighth grade U.S. History as much any more–I realized how interested I am personally in the seventh grade curriculum (Medieval and Early Modern Times: the Roman Empire, Medieval China, Japan, Africa, Europe, Meso-American and Andean civilizations, the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason) and what an impact I can make on the understanding of and appreciation of these topics with my students as it seems to be the least focused on at least in my own personal experience in middle school.
  • I’m really good at pacing–I plan lectures, activities, etc. with just enough time to keep the students engaged but not let them get bored.
  • I was told by my university mentor, Mr. H, and Mr. R that I have an “incredible gift” of building rapport with students, something that they say is not easy to do.  I’ve always considered myself to be good with kids and although I had my share of challenges with classroom management, I do think that my ability to get to know the students on a one-on-one basis and connect to them in ways that not all adults are able to helped me manage the class a lot easier than if I hadn’t.
  • I realized that what I struggle with the most is:
  1. Planning ahead: I’d find myself working on lesson plans until the late hours of the night for the next day and although I know I had my crazy schedule to blame I do not want to be that teacher!  It always came together and I don’t think the students ever noticed but I definitely don’t want to spend my life doing that.
  2. Preparing for absences: If a student was absent and showed up the next day I always struggled with having materials and their missed assignments to get them up to speed–this is something I really need to come up with a good system for.
  3. Over-planning: This doesn’t seem like it could be too much of a problem (I mean, it’s better than not planning enough to fill a class period!) but if I can’t get to all of the activities/instruction I had planned for each day and have to push things back a day (which then can snowball) that doesn’t allow for me to accomplish all of the learning goals I had set up.
  • On my last day with the sixth graders, Mr. H made brownies for the class and had the students share reasons “Why Mrs. Delmar is going to be a good teacher”…their answers were awesome and my favorites were: “Because you make learning fun”, “Because you work really hard”, and, my favorite, “Because you like kids.”  The students made me a really sweet card too!
  • On my last day with the seventh graders, the students surprised me with cupcakes that they baked and decorated themselves and gave me a super sweet card as well thanking me for my time with them!
  • I was told on a number of occasions by different folks who came in to observe me teach that I am “a natural”–there are no words that made me feel more confident about my career choice than those.
  • Each day when I would leave at the lunch hour to go to work I did not want to leave.  Each day I would think about the day in the future that I wouldn’t have to and I’d have my own class, my own students, and my own ways of doing things and it would make me so happy.

I learned a lot about myself as an educator and more than anything it solidified for me that teaching middle school history is exactly where I am meant to be in life.  I’ll be filing for my California teaching credential this summer and my hope is to be teaching middle school history in the near future!

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!