Yearly Archives: 2014

Dear Sirena… (2.5 year old update!)

Dear Sirena,

It’s been 6 months that you’ve been a full-fledged 2 year old and it has gotten so so so much more fun with each passing day. Here are some snippets about life with you in this moment:

  • The Peacekeeper: At our Parent/Teacher conference at preschool we were told by your teacher that you like to help keep the peace at school. When kids try to take a toy from you or from another kid, you tell them no, that they need to wait until you’re done. This is exactly what I’ve tried to teach you by example! When other kids try to take a toy from you I’ll model that exact same thing saying, “No, so-and-so, Sirena is playing with that. 5 more minutes and she can share with you if she wants to,” and I am so beyond proud that you are standing up for yourself (and others!), sticking to your guns, and doing the right thing.
  • The Negotiator: I am big on giving you countdowns to use the potty, to finish playing, for dinner time, etc. so that you are aware of my expectations and there are (hopefully) no tantrums (or minor ones if so!)  I usually start with 5 or 10 minutes and try my best to keep tabs on the time that passes to give you incremental warnings until it’s time to do XYZ (although I’ve been told that sometimes my 10 minutes in reality are 15+ minutes. What can I say, I get distracted too sometimes, haha!) You’ve begun giving me your own countdowns for different activities, telling me, “2 more minutes, ok Mommy?” sometimes without me even prompting you!
  • The Big Girl: It’s been 3 weeks now that you are officially diaper-free during the day and I could not be more proud. Like I mentioned in one of the pregnancy posts it was a random day that I came in after nap time and you were stark naked and hadn’t peed in bed. I asked if you needed to go potty, you said yes, and the rest is history! Of course we’ve had our share of accidents but you are getting better and better about telling us when you gotta go. Many times at home we’ll hear you getting the potty ready yourself and you’ll be sitting on it doing your thing by the time we get to you! You like your privacy (who doesn’t when it comes to potty time?) and occasionally you’ll tell us, “Leave me. I go ‘self” (translation: Leave me alone, I go by myself).
  • The Clown: Your sense of humor is becoming more and more distinct and you are quite the character. You like to make us laugh and you love it when we make you laugh too. You find it hilarious to say, “Hi Lola” to me or Daddy or Auntie Jessie. You seem to be taking after Mama in the potty-humor department which we find hilarious at home and, ahem, blush-inducing out in public. We’re working on when it’s an appropriate time to talk about poop, pee, farts, etc. 😉
  • The Parrot: Like all kids your age, you soak new vocabulary up like a sponge and repeat things that me and your Daddy say…sometimes regretfully! It’s fun to hear you say things like, “Wow” or “Aw man!” or “Are you okay?” or “You’re welcome” or any number of small phrases that you pick up.  And I guess I say, “Oh Jesus” a lot because I was having trouble with our gate and you immediately said, “Jesus,” lol! Better watch what I say more…
  • The Performer: You love to show us your new tricks and talents, calling out, “Look a’me!” (translation: Look at me!) A few weeks ago your Auntie Jessie, Uncle Derdo, Auntie Laura, Daddy, and Mommy were all hanging out in the living room and you hammed it up all night! It was the first time I really saw you putting on a show for a group and it was such a delight. You’d come out, stand in front of the fireplace, and sing (at the top of your lungs) as many songs as you could think of. Here are my favorite renditions of yours:
    • Itsy Bitsy Spider: “Itsy bitsy ‘pider, come out in the waaater…”
    • ABC’s: “A, B, C, D, H, I, J, K, LMNOP, Q, R, Esss, TUandV, W, X, Y, and Z. Now I know my ABC’s, next time won’t you sing wid me?” You know the whole alphabet but recently you’ve been skipping right past “E, F, G.”
    • Twinkle, Twinkle: “Twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are. Up, up, up, up, up, up high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are.”
    • Row, Row, Row your Boat: “Row, row, row your boat, gently in the boat. Mini, mini, mini, mini. Gently in the boat.”
    • Holiday favorites:
    • Jingle Bells: “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. What fun it is ride in horse sleigh. HEY!”
    • Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet: “Trick or treat, ‘pell my feet. Ginnee someping good to eat. [Inaudible…don’t…inaudible…care]. I’ll pull down your u-n-d-e-r-w-e-a-r [super exaggerated].”
  • The Mama-in-Training: You still love all things baby doll. Honey and Nine are your babies of choice and you take such good care of them (never mind the way you grab them by the throat or head sometimes, haha!) You’ve moved from only changing your baby’s diapers on a daily basis to now putting them to bed. You’ll lay a blankie out flat on the floor (justright), put down a little pillow, lay the baby down, and cover the baby from head to toe (we’ll need to talk about how that can’t happen with your baby sister!) You then go around your room getting things ready, turning the starry night light on, turning the nursery rhyme music on, turning your Ok-to-Wake alarm clock on, turning out the overhead light, closing your bedroom door, and then going around the house and closing every other door for some reason, haha.
  • The Big Sister: It’s becoming more and more real to you that Mama’s growing a little baby in her belly (you like to tell me, “Baby get bigger!” when you see my belly some days) and you are just the sweetest future big sister. You love to say hi to the baby, kiss my belly, and talk to her. Warms my heart to no end.

Here are some photos I was able to snap of you in some of your day-to-day activities recently:

2.5 collage 12.5 collage 2

2.5 collage 3

My little mermaid, you make me so proud to call you my daughter. I love all of your talents, your charm, your cuddly nature, your pure sweetness, and your good heart.



A baby story [Part II]: Weeks 20 + 21

Week 20: Baby’s the size of a banana

We’re officially at the half-way mark!  What an exciting time.  And an even more exciting time because this week we had our big anatomical ultrasound and found out that we’re having…drumroll please…another girl!!!  The ultrasound (u/s) tech lubed my belly up and basically as soon as she put the machine on my belly she asked us, “Are you interested in knowing the baby’s sex?”  This was vastly different from our big ultrasound with Sirena when we almost left the office unsure as to whether she was really a she or not.  So this little lady was rearin’ and ready (no pun intended, lol) for us to know right away!

wk20 ultrasound 1Pretty lil’ profile. She was gulping away in there, over and over again, it was so cute to see!

wk20 ultrasound 2The u/s tech called this one “Hang Ten” (Can you see the bottoms of her little feet?? Looks like the Hang Ten logo.)

wk20 ultrasound 3

The obligatory (somewhat creepy but really cool nonetheless) 3D photo!

As soon as the tech told us that it was a girl I began to cry.  I would’ve loved to have a boy of course but the thought of Sirena having a sister…man, I broke down with tears of happiness.  My sister Jessie and I are super close and there is nothing in the world that could replace our relationship and what impact she’s had on my life and I hope that Sirena and this little chica can be just as close and me and Jessie.  🙂  And Kevin is thrilled to be able to continue to say “his girls” about me, Sirena, Lola, and now this little lady.  If we adopt another dog, we better make it a boy dog to balance the hormones in this house, haha!  And like I mentioned in my last post, Kevin and I aren’t sure if we’re going to continue to expand our family after this baby or not so who knows, maybe a little boy is in our future after all…

In true Lisa fashion we announced the baby’s sex at the Thanksgiving get-togethers for both of our families and caught them both on video.  Here is a link to a fun video of both announcements!

Another major milestone occurred this week: Kevin felt the baby kick for the first time!  We were lying in bed on a rare morning when Sirena didn’t wake us up first and as I felt the baby jiggling around I put Kevin’s hand on my belly and I was so happy that she gave an extra strong jab right then and there and he was able to feel it!  I told Sirena that she could try to feel it which she has now attempted on a number of occasions but she’s too spazzy and won’t keep still long enough to really feel it yet.  🙂

Lastly, this week baby girl #2 got her first gift from Aunt Juju and cousin Katelyn!

IMG_3538I can’t wait to see that diaper booty in those fox pants!

Belly shot!

No photo this week, oops!

Week 21: Baby’s the length of a carrot

With all of the excitement of last week, this week really threw us for a loop with a real scare that almost sent me to the ER.  I am not the kind of person to go to urgent care/ER for any little thing (to be honest, I’ve never even been!) so when I thought I might be losing the baby and was advised by the on-call midwife to either go to the birth center or to ER right away, I was freaking out.  Luckily it happened on a day that I was working from home, Kevin was off of work, and Sirena was at school so we were able to get to the birth center right away without any issues.  And I am so happy and grateful to report that everything is 100% okay with the baby and with me and it was something completely unrelated to the pregnancy (and not a serious health issue I might add).

Those couple of hours before we really knew what was going on were terrifying.  I kept talking to the little lady, telling her that we would get through this together and that she had to be a fighter.  I kept feeling her move throughout the whole ordeal which I was hoping was a really good sign that things were going to be okay.  I hope to goodness that there are no more scares like this and that everything is as smooth sailing as they have been so far.  Man, being a mom and a woman is tough work, physically and emotionally!

The best part of this week has been how much more active she’s been lately.  I actually was able to see my belly shake from the outside which means she’s getting stronger!  Soon I’ll post a video of the belly shakes like I did during Sirena’s pregnancy.  Such a strange but cool experience!  Feeling the baby kick is by far my most favorite experience of both pregnancies.  <3

Belly shot!

wk21Baby girl is gettin’ serious in there!

Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: 0 pounds–I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight again which is so strange but is actually exactly how it was when I was pregnant with Sirena so I guess I’m not too surprised. It’s just so strange because my belly is significantly bigger this time around and one of the pregnancy websites I follow said for this week that “you should have gained around 10 pounds by now”…um, okay!
  • “Fun” physical things that have resurfaced: Middle-of-the-night leg cramps and good ol’ heartburn! The heartburn I experienced with Sirena was intense and I was hoping I might not experience it with this pregnancy but darnit, every day the past week I’ve felt the sensation. It’s not terrible yet but I’m going to start watching what/when I eat and buy a bottle of Tums now to be ready!
  • Fun baby developments: Baby girl is around 10.5 inches long and weighs 3/4 of a pound. She’s got working taste buds (I better start craving all that exotic food I craved when I was pregnant with Sirena so this baby’s as much of a foodie as her big sister!) and she’s already got around 6 million eggs in her womb (crazy!)
  • Days until our next prenatal appointment: 9!

A baby story [Part II]: Weeks 18 + 19

Week 18: Baby’s the size of a Bell pepper

This little baby is an active little monkey already–I feel it kick and bounce around all day long and nothing could make me happier.  It’s most active right after lunch and a few hours after dinner when I sit down to read a book or watch a show.

Not too much going on this week with the baby other than that a sad day I knew was coming has arrived–I can no longer sleep on my stomach!  Most nights that’s how I have to fall asleep and during those sleepless moments in the middle of the night usually turning onto my stomach does the trick to get me to finally fall back asleep.  I tried to do that this week and was so uncomfortable there was no way I could stay that way more than 2 minutes.  Boo!  I busted out the ridiculously large maternity pillow that I used when I was pregnant with Sirena and have been reacquainting myself with it (that thing takes some getting used to to figure out exactly the best positions to put it in for the most comfort! But boy when I figure it out, it’s a godsend.)

My back has been feeling a lot better this week, probably because I’ve been taking it more easy on myself and have been asking Kevin to pick Sirena up or carry her whenever he’s around.  I went on a mostly uphill walk with some mama friends at the end of this week and the whole night my back was really sore.  It’s so frustrating to not be able to be as active as I used to be (especially given how active I was when I was pregnant with Sirena).  Three years older and caring for a toddler really changes the game!

Belly shot!


Week 19: Baby’s the size of a mango

Not much going on this week in the baby department other than that it’s more and more obvious that the little bugger is really growing and kicking a ton!  We are so anxious to find out the sex of the baby TOMORROW and we’ve got two fun plans up our sleeves to announce it to our families at our respective Thanksgiving get-togethers.  Just you wait, Delmar and Edmonds families…you’re in for a treat.  A lot of people have asked if we care what the sex is and I am being 1,000% honest here–we will be thrilled with either a girl or a boy.  A few people have made mention of how great it would be to have one of each and my reply to them has been that Kevin and I think we might like 3 kids so we may not be done after #2 (whether or not that is by blood or through adoption, that’s also still to be determined) and also in my family, I’m the second girl and I sure wasn’t a disappointment so I wouldn’t be disappointed in the slightest with another girl.  And if you know us and our parenting styles, very little will be different in the way we raise this child if it’s a boy.  There’s nothing (other than teaching him how to pee standing up, basically) we can do with a boy child that we can’t already do with Sirena, and vice versa.  We want to raise our kids, no matter their sex, with equal amounts of affection, rough-housing, and encouragement to be strong, smart, playful, and compassionate.

In other news we’ve entered a new frontier with big sister Sirena–she officially kicked the diaper habit this week, all on her own!  She had been rebelling against any and all mention of the potty for a couple of months now and I was getting really frustrated and disheartened by the whole process.  One day I came into her room after her nap and she was buck-naked from waist down and hadn’t peed in the bed.  I asked her if she needed to use the potty and she said yes and successfully peed in the potty.  The rest of that day she was in her chonies.  The following day was a school day and her teachers kept her in underwear all day (except for nap time) and she had zero accidents the whole day.  Since then we’ve only had her wear diapers during nap time and bed time and on a couple of occasions on longer car rides or outings.  We’ve successfully gone to a party, to the grocery store, to a restaurant, and to her grandparents’ and Nani’s houses without wearing diapers and she’s kept it up with only a couple of minor accidents.  We are so so so so proud of her and I know that this is finally it!  A few times throughout the day she’ll tell us, “I’m a big girl now” and it makes me smile and fills me with so much pride.

Belly shot!


Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far:  1.5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments: Baby is around 6 inches long and weighs 8.5 ounces and is busy rolling, kicking, punching, hiccuping, swallowing, and dancing around in its private jacuzzi.

A couple of updates to the blog: I’ve added a page for all of Sirena’s Monthly Photos (from 1 to 24 months) and I’ve updated the Pregnancy Posts page to include weekly photos of both pregnancies–side by side, which is fun to compare.  Check ’em out at the top of our site! And we’ve fixed an issue with our comments so feel free to comment away!

A baby story [Part II]: Weeks 16 + 17

Week 16: Baby’s the size of an avocado

We’re in ‘cado territory right now (that’s what Sirena calls an avocado, and she referred to the baby as “baby ‘cado” this week) and some pretty major developments happened this week, namely…I felt the baby move!  Just like with Sirena’s pregnancy, the first time I felt the little pop-pop-pop action in my lower abdomen was at work after lunch (I guess this baby will be a foodie just like Big Sis!)  I wasn’t sure I was really feeling the baby move or not but the same sensation has been felt throughout the week, mostly when I’m sitting (so my pants are pressing against my abdomen and the little nugget is pushing against it) or when I’m relaxing and laying down in bed.  This is just about 2 weeks earlier than when I felt Sirena move which I hear is pretty typical for a 2nd pregnancy.  Such an exciting time!

This week we celebrated Halloween which was so much fun.  Big sister Sirena dressed as Mickey Mouse and had a blast trick-or-treating.  Holidays are so much fun with her at this age, she seems to really understand a lot about what is going on!  We kept imagining Halloween next year when we’ll have a 6 month old and a 3.5 year old…wow!  Ideas for a fun family costume welcome (extra points if Lola’s included!)

Belly shot!


Week 17: Baby’s the size of an onion

This week started out with both good and bad things.  The good was our prenatal appointment on 11/6 when we met with midwife Allison and everything was looking “perfect” which we couldn’t be happier about!  And the whooshwhooshwhoosh of the heartbeat might be the sweetest sound in the world, I can’t get enough of hearing it.  We also got news that our first trimester genetics screening came back looking great which is a big relief.  So far baby is doing great!  So the bad thing is my lower back pain which has progressively gotten worse.  Kevin, Sirena and I did some yard work one day and I had to stop in the middle because I could sense that I had been pushing myself too hard.  Throughout the night and when I got up the next morning the pain was pretty intense.  The midwife suggested I go see a chiropractor (I’m going to try going to yoga with my sister once a week first) and to of course take it easy on myself and not push myself so hard.  At the moment this is so frustrating because anyone who knows me knows I always have to keep busy so it’s going to be a major adjustment in my way of thinking and going about my day to day activities.

This week I got the opportunity to go on a girls’ weekend with some of the Edmonds girls (Dorothy, Judith, and Sarah) to support my niece Katelyn in her band competition in Las Vegas.  We had a nice low-key weekend filled with catching up, eating yummy food, and enjoying each other’s company.  Sirena enjoyed wearing out spending time with Nani, Bopa, TT, and Jessie all weekend which was a special treat for everyone involved.  🙂

Sirena took the baby belly love to the next level by putting her stuffed animal “Georgie Bear” inside her shirt and rubbing her belly and singing “Rock-a-bye Baby” to her belly.  Adorable!  She finished by having the baby “be born” and pulling it out from the bottom of her shirt.  If only it were that easy, Sirena…

I think she’s mimicking me and my belly photos, holy cow!

Belly shot!


Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: 0 pounds
  • Fun baby developments: Baby’s measuring around 5 inches long and around 5.5 ounces.  It can sense light (even though its eyelids are still fused shut) and it can now probably hear our voices!
  • Days until our BIG ultrasound (where we’ll hopefully find out the sex!): 15 days (day before Thanksgiving!)
  • Days until Thanksgiving: 16 days! That’s when we’re going to announce to the families what the sex is (as long as it lets us see between its legs, haha!)

A baby story [Part II]: Weeks 14 + 15

So this time around I’ve decided to post bi-weekly instead of weekly. Now that we’re not preparing for our very first baby and now that I know a lot about what’s going on and what to expect (and with my life with a toddler and crazy schedule) it just feels better doing it bi-weekly. But the belly photos will still be weekly to compare week to week when all’s said and done (one of my favorite things to look back on with Sirena’s pregnancy!)

Week 14: Baby’s the size of a lemon

The start of the second trimester came with a whole lot more energy and I’ve only had to take a nap every third day or so instead of every day. 😉 And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect because this was the wildest week I’ve had in a long time. I’m producing my mom’s play “Shadows” and I was working like crazy editing her 100 page script, preparing for our first rehearsal with the directors and cast, preparing for and moving out temporarily while our house was tented (termites, oy!), and going on a 3-day work trip to Sacramento (this all within a 6 day span!)

Needless to say I am glad that week is over and that I survived somehow! The only major pregnancy development this week has been some intense lower back pain. I never experienced sciatica or really much back pain with Sirena’s pregnancy but I remember when she was a newborn I was lying flat on my back in my sister’s living room and I got a sharp and intense pain in my lower back on the left side which happened off and on over the past 2 years. The past couple of weeks, though, it has been really frequent and really intense. The pain is sharp and in my lower back but it doesn’t shoot down my leg like sciatica does. There have been a few times that I can’t put a lot of weight on my left leg or I have to modify the way I get up from sitting or laying down. Definitely something to talk to at my next prenatal appointment.

Belly shot!

My little shadow Lola at it again! And can you tell I’ve been out of practice with these timed self portraits? I need to work on better lighting, haha!

Week 15: Baby’s the size of an apple

Complete opposite of the previous week came a huge breath of fresh air with a much-anticipated family vacation! The trip coincided with my birthday which was an extra special treat. We went to Palm Springs with my mom and Steve and had an absolute blast. This was the first real vacation we’ve taken as a family since Sirena was 6 months old when we went to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, and it’s safe to say that this girl likes to vacation! The weather was still gloriously hot even in late October and we enjoyed an early morning hike, a trip to The Living Desert zoo, and lots and lots of pool time.

The only major pregnancy development this week is dizziness! I never experienced this before and thought it was just random but when I’d get dizzy at least once a day for a week I started to worry. I went to trusty Google and it seems that dizziness during pregnancy is common and is usually related to changing hormones, faster blood flow to baby, and slower blood flow to the mama. There was one day when I just could not shake the dizzy feeling off and I began to get a bit worried but since then it’s been okay. Just another interesting way to prove that no two pregnancies are alike!

Sirena saying hi to the baby belly

Belly shot!

No photo this week, oops!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: 0 pounds
  • Food cravings/aversions: The meat cravings have definitely calmed down but they’re still there for sure. The only other out of the ordinary food I’ve been interested in is cold cereal for breakfast which is generally not something I go to. No major aversions at all right now.
  • Fun baby developments: Baby measures around 4 inches long and weighs a whopping 2.5 ounces and it’s probably sucking its thumb and wriggling its little toes all while bouncing around like crazy even though I can’t yet feel it.
  • How many years Kevin and I have been together as of this post: THIRTEEN YEARS! We celebrated our 13th anniversary on 10/27. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been together almost half of our lives (we were just a couple of fresh-outta-high-school-nerdy-18-year-olds when we started dating in 2001) but it just keeps getting better.  Here’s to another Lucky 13 years together, Kevin (aka Daddy)!

Halloween 2014

Sirena’s third Halloween was a total blast! She rocked her Mickey Mouse costume and enjoyed all of the fun festivities leading up to the big day including decorating our house, carving pumpkins, pumpkin patches (two!), a train ride, and of course, trick-or-treating with her neighborhood buddies.


Our first Halloween at our home. Sirena and Kevin helped decorate!


Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch

We spent a morning at the Tanaka Farms pumpkin patch in Irvine with Sirena’s buddy Amelia and her family.


My little fox on the hay ride to the pumpkins


Amelia’s family on the hay ride






Pumpkin picker in training


Waving hi to the creepy scarecrow



I thought this shaved ice might save me from an I’m-hotter-than-hell-and-it’s-way-past-my-naptime meltdown but instead it was probably the worst idea because she had the worst meltdown in the history of Sirena’s existence on the way to the car after eating this with me! At least I enjoyed my share, haha.

Irvine Park pumpkin patch

We spent a fun morning at the Irvine Park pumpkin patch with Alden and his mom Christine.





We took a ride on the train which was a lot of fun…





Strongest 2 year old in the world!


Buddies waiting for the train to pass

Pumpkin carving

Just in the nick of time we bought some pumpkins to carve before the big day. Grandma and Grandpa came over to help!












Showing off her costume out front of our house



Practicing trick-or-treating with Grandpa (Grandma, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Clay, and Daddy were part of her entourage that night)






Aunt Kathy and Uncle Clay volunteered to hold down the fort to pass out candy while we were out trick-or-treating

We had a drive-by visit with Auntie TT, Nani, and Bopa…



The Rancho Rascals…





A baby story…part two!

It’s hard to believe that just about 3 years ago I was sitting here at my desk (albeit it was November in Oakland and not September in Long Beach) writing out the words “A baby story” for the first time on the blog (check out the post here!)  And now here we go again!

Kevin and I have been looking forward to growing our family ever since Sirena was a little over a year old.  The journey has had its ups and downs–mostly only close family and friends know this…in October of last year I had a miscarriage.  We were 9 weeks along and I was, in a word, devastated.  It took months for me to recover emotionally from the loss and, to be honest, true healing came about after the due date passed and then when this pregnancy was confirmed.  It’s still a very real part of my life experience and I’ll never forget what the experience was like or how it impacted me.  I’m just so thrilled to be here at this moment writing about this new part of our journey which is now full throttle into making us a family of 5 (yes, Lola is still a big part of our family! That hasn’t changed a bit.)

4 weeks (baby’s the size of a poppy seed)

I’m starting the story one week earlier this time around, for a special reason.  At this point there was no way to tell if I was pregnant, it was still a bit too early to take a pregnancy test, but the hope was very much there in the back of my mind.  I was standing and putting my shoes on for work and Sirena asked if she could help me.  As she was helping me she looked up at me and said, “Mommy baby belly?”  I was in complete shock and had to sit down.  I said, “What, Sirena?” and she leaned her head on my belly and said, “Baby belly.”  I was pretty overwhelmed with what was actually happening and to this day I tell people that Sirena called this pregnancy before anyone else did.  🙂

Another fun tidbit is that I ran a 10k race that week!  I ran almost the entire way (and when I say run, I really mean jog…) and was so proud of myself for the weeks of training leading up to the race and for the time I clocked in.  It’s fun to look back and think that the little poppy seed of a baby was with me the whole way to the finish line.

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

After a long day of work on Aug 11 I came home to Kevin, Sirena, and Lola and was anxious to take a pregnancy test to confirm what I hoped was a pregnancy…and it was!  The months of hoping and waiting and disappointment were finally behind us.  I was overcome almost immediately with an intense fear that the pregnancy might end the same way my last pregnancy ended.  Kevin was the most amazing support through these few weeks of fear and I’m so grateful that things have been going as well as they could be.  We called Kevin’s parents and my mom and Steve right away to share the good news.

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

A few days before our first prenatal appointment, Sirena threw me for a loop.  She likes to kiss my belly and say hi to the baby and one night as she was saying good night to the baby she asked me, “Two babies?”  In utter disbelief I said, “No, no. Only one baby in mommy’s belly,” and she responded saying, “No, two babies.”  Oh, man…

One other fun Sirena-related thing that happened was we were taking a walk around our neighborhood and I asked Sirena what she thought we should name the baby.  She said, without hesitation, “Cody.”  I’m not even sure if she knows a Cody, not sure where she came up with that!  Too funny.

Our prenatal appointment had finally arrived on Sept 4!  We are going with a local birth center and our first appointment was with midwife Allison (our appointments will rotate between their multiple midwives so that we can become familiar with each of them as we won’t know who will be present for the birth).  She was very attentive and caring, just the way it should be in this line of work.  She told us that at this early stage we may or may not be able to see anything on an ultrasound and she asked if we wanted to try it out or wait.  We were hopeful because it was at 8 weeks when we saw Sirena for the first time on an ultrasound and so we told her we’d like to try.  I reached out for Kevin’s hand and we braced ourselves as the midwife took a look-see.  As soon as she said, “There! Do you see the little heart flickering?” I lost it.  I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude and joy and I couldn’t keep it together–I squeezed Kevin’s hand so tight and was sobbing there on the examination table.  Allison and Kevin continued looking around and I tried to as well through tear-filled eyes but it was hard to focus on anything other than pure relief.  It was incredible how much weight had been lifted from my shoulders after that appointment.

Our little blob…and there’s only one!

And here’s a link to a cute video of Sirena seeing the ultrasound photos

10 weeks (baby’s the size of a kumquat)

We had our second prenatal appointment on Sept 15 and this time Sirena came along with us!  This appointment was also with midwife Allison and it was longer than the first–talking about my family medical history, about my pregnancy with Sirena, Sirena’s birth, my recovery from the birth, etc. and talking about what would happen in the coming months and finally during labor and the birth itself.

Feeding her baby Honey some apples

Playing trains under the chairs with Daddy in the waiting room

What doctor’s visit is complete without playing with medical gloves?

The best part of the appointment is that we got to hear the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the heartbeat and confirmed that everything is still going well.  Sirena gasped when she heard the noise and she agreed with us that it sounded like a little helicopter in my belly.

12 weeks (baby’s the size of a plum)

I had been very excited and very anxious leading up to Oct 2 which was the day of our nuchal translucency ultrasound.  This ultrasound is done voluntarily around 12-13 weeks and is done in conjunction with a couple of blood tests which make up a prenatal genetics screening.  We went through the screening with Sirena and we wanted to do it again with this baby.  I feel like I was a ton more anxious this time around and I’m not really sure why.  I guess I was so afraid that they’d find something wrong or they wouldn’t find a baby at all and I had a lot of anxiety the week or so leading up to the appointment so I was so glad when the day had finally come.  And I’m so grateful to report that the little baby looks good and healthy!

It’s amazing what technology is able to show us today.  We were able to see the flitter, flutter of the heartbeat, both hands and feet, the cute little belly, the beautiful profile, the two hemispheres of the baby’s brain, and even the blood flowing from the umbilical cord…incredible!

Why hello there!

The little baby was bouncing around all over the place in there, it was so heartwarming to witness especially because I can’t feel the little bugger yet (I first felt Sirena at 18 weeks and I’ve heard [and I’m hoping] that it will be earlier with the second pregnancy).

Kevin and I were a bit disappointed by the ultrasound tech we were scheduled with.  With Sirena’s pregnancy it was at this nuchal translucency ultrasound that the u/s tech provided us, with 95% certainty, that Sirena was a girl and she provided us a really amazing 4D view (photo here).  The u/s tech told us that she didn’t like to make a guess without 100% certainty and she said that although they have the 4D technology she thought fetuses this age were too bony and didn’t look very cute.  Phooey.  Here’s hoping we have a fantastic u/s experience at our big appointment around 20 weeks.

Here’s a link to another cute video of Sirena and Lola checking out the u/s photo

13 weeks (baby’s the size of a peach)

Which brings us to the 13th week which is the very end of the first trimester.  Our close friends and family already knew the news for weeks and we had begun slowly telling other people in our lives about the good news but nothing is really official until it’s posted on Facebook, am I right?  Last time we used Lola to make the announcement (photo here) and this time we knew we had to include both girls in the announcement.

Batgirl and Wonder Dog to the rescue! You can rest assured that lots and lots (and LOTS) of treats (both kid and dog treats) were used in the making of this photo.

Other pregnancy updates:

  • How I’m physically feeling…: The first trimester is now behind me and goodness does it feel good to be on the other side.  The extreme exhaustion was fully present now like it was with my first pregnancy but this time around I had a 2 year old to entertain and run after which took it to a whole ‘nother level.  Just about every day I had to take a nap so the days I was with Sirena full-time I took advantage of her 2 hour nap mid-day and passed out.  Something else different this time around is a slight bought of insomnia.  I have to get up to pee once a night with this growing uterus but there are nights that I lay wide awake for an hour or two and cannot fall back asleep.  This sure helps with the first trimester exhaustion, I’m sure.  With Sirena’s pregnancy I didn’t get morning sickness at all and with this pregnancy I was again so fortunate to not experience it at all!  I did feel pretty nauseous for a few weeks in the beginning but that hasn’t been the case for a couple of weeks and I really do consider myself so lucky, knowing what some pregnant moms have to deal with.
  • How I’m emotionally feeling…:  I have been really emotional these past 13 weeks but things are starting to chill out some in the hormone department, especially knowing that so far everything is looking a-okay with the baby.  Just like last time my patience was wearing really thin the first trimester but I think things are finally starting to go back to normal.  One day in particular Sirena refused to nap (she’s only done that a handful of times) and it was so f’n hot and I was so exhausted I thought I was going to lose it!  But that was really the worst of it.
  • Total weight gained:  0 pounds so far (it wasn’t until 19 weeks that I saw the scale go up with Sirena’s pregnancy but I highly doubt it’ll be the same way this time!)
  • Food aversions: In the beginning I had crazy aversions to the same thing I hated during Sirena’s pregnancy which was mushy/savory sweet potato or pumpkin (sweet potato enchiladas, for example). I also naively tried to ferment some vegetables at home when I was maybe 6 or 7 weeks along for the health benefits and lord almighty, the sight of those carrots sitting in brine on my counter made me want to puke.  Even typing this out now at 13 weeks makes me feel sick.  Blech.
  • Food cravings: I’m a pescatarian (have been since 2010) and I never once craved meat when I was pregnant with Sirena…but this time around there were a few weeks that I really craved meat (and the thought of some seafood made me feel gross)!  It felt very strange to have those feelings again after so many years of not thinking twice about eating meat again.  The cravings have died down the past week or so so we’ll see if that changes again or not.
  • Next prenatal appointment: Nov 6th!

My graduation

In 2010 I started on a very part-time basis my Masters degree program through the university I work for, taking one class per term.  When I started the program I thought that perhaps one day when I finished and attended my commencement ceremony I might have a child to share the celebration with and lo and behold the day arrived and Sirena was able to be there with me along with the rest of my family. She was a huge inspiration to me in the last year of the program to finish the degree and it meant the world to me that she was there to see her Mama walk across the stage and get handed her diploma.

Photos from the commencement ceremony…











Words cannot describe how much my mom’s support means to me, especially when it comes to earning this degree. <3



My favorite photo of the day


Proud of my Masters’ hood! (Because when else am I ever going to get a chance to wear it?!)


Photos from the grad party my mom hosted for me…



My Aunt Kathy came up with a fun “What Would Lisa Do?” questionnaire that all of the guests tried to answer.



The winners (tied) for who knows me the best! 🙂



Part of the gang


The look on their faces says it all!


Love my siblings


My family <3


Proud of her Mama 🙂

Sirena’s 2nd birthday party!

We hosted Sirena’s second birthday party at our new home and invited her family and friends to celebrate her big day with us. Sirena’s a BIG fan of airplanes and so we thought it would be so much fun to have an airplane-themed birthday party. The party started off with a bang…literally…and Sirena had a major accident that landed us in Urgent Care just an hour into the party. Luckily she didn’t require stitches (but did get sent home with a giant bandage on her forehead!) and we’re so happy that her party guests stuck around so that the party girl could finish celebrating with everyone.





Paper airplanes galore!


Daddy made the cake and decorated it


Mommy made the cupcakes and Daddy, Bri and Brian decorated them. They turned out exactly like I had hoped!!

We did a fun photo booth for the kids at the party. Daddy, Mama, and Brian made this super cool cardboard airplane and Bri helped decorate the backdrop.






And the biggest kid of them all? Uncle Derek 😉

We played a round of “Pin the Propeller on the Airplane”…





And the adults got in on the party action as well with a paper airplane flying contest!




Singing her favorite song (“Happy Birthday”)!



I think she’s a fan!

Present time!


She LOVED her Mr. Potato Head doll


And can you tell she was ecstatic about her airplane book??


Sooo happy about her Richard Scarry book too!



Reading from her new Minnie Mouse coloring book


The party favors for the kids were these aviator caps. Uncle Derek is modeling one for us.





You know Lola had to get in on the action!


Captain Sirena at your service


Love my little family


Kisses for the birthday girl!

Sirena’s Monthly Photos: 2 Years Old!!

Dear Sirena,

It happened.  You’re TWO.  I can’t quite wrap my head around how that actually happened but somehow it did!  You partied hard (and I mean hard) at your big kid, airplane-themed birthday party–right in the middle of the party we had to rush you to Urgent Care because you were injured and might’ve had to get stitches (thank goodness you didn’t)!  You were such a tough cookie and so brave and you returned to your party and made the very best of it–you were laughing and dancing and goofing around as if nothing had even happened!  You were the perfect host for all of your little friends and what you enjoyed probably the most (after the rainbow cupcakes) was everyone singing your most favorite song to you, “Happy Birthday!”

Your actual birthday happened a week later because your Mama’s graduation was scheduled for the weekend of your birthday.  It meant the world to me that you, my precious little munchkin, were able to attend my graduation and cheer me on with the rest of our family.  Four years ago when I started my master’s degree program I thought it’d be neat to possibly have a child in attendance at my graduation some day and that dream finally became a reality.  You have been such a big inspiration in my finishing the program, so thank you, thank you, thank you for that.  Your birthday landed on a Monday, the day after graduation, and I decided to take the day off of work because I remembered how emotional I was on the day of your first birthday.  It was a pretty low-key day (including a little visit to the doctor’s office because of a nasty cough you had developed, oy!) and the whole day I was so grateful to be able to spend so much time with you, Daddy, and Lola, our little family.

Although we’ve gotten a taste of the terrible two’s already, I know there’s so much more to look forward to during this next year of your life–not only do we have two times the terror ahead 😉 , we’ve also got two times the silliness, two times the entertainment, two times the sweetness, two times the amazement, two times the love, and two times the joy ahead as well.

Sirena, your Daddy and I are so proud of you for being such an all-around amazing kid and it is a true privilege watching you grow and being the biggest influences in your life.  We are truly fortunate for each and every day that we are able to spend with you.  Happy birthday, my little love!



Monthly Photos

See past photos in her mini armchair here:

One Month ::  Two Months ::  Three Months

Four Months ::  Five Months ::  Six Months

Seven Months ::  Eight Months ::  Nine Months

Ten Months ::  Eleven Months ::  Twelve Months

Thirteen Months ::  Fourteen Months :: Fifteen Months

(No Sixteen Months!)  ::  Seventeen Months ::  Eighteen Months

Nineteen Months ::  Twenty Months ::  (No Twenty One Months!)

Twenty Two Months ::  Twenty Three Months