Monday, May 30, 2011

25 Weeks: Summer Kick-Off

"It's a cruel, cruel summer. Now you're gone." ~ Bananarama


Memorial Day weekend is generally known as the unofficial start of summer. But anyone who hails from the Bay Area knows that this is not necessarily the case. I believe the phrase "June gloom" originated here. But Saturday took T's b-day cake right from under his nose with grey skies and intermittent showers. We had planned a little BBQ with a few friends and I meant to take lots of outdoor photos, but of course we all ended up staying inside for most of the evening. Plus, I overdid it with trying to frantically get the house ready for guests and ended up traumatizing my back about an hour before everyone was set to arrive. Fortunately we still had a lovely time, and I believe the good company and a nice stretch of rain-free weather allowing us to get our grill on saved the day.


Better yet, we had sunshine and clear skies on Sunday. So, I got appropriately dressed in a comfy, summer-y outfit and had T snap some shots to document this 25th week of pregnancy. Glad we did because today is cloudy and chilly yet again. Ugh. I want to wear my maxi dresses and sandals already.

I <3 Instagram.


And Diptic, too!
Cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Tank: Old Navy Maternity
Shorts: Paper Denim & Cloth (old maternity jeans I cut into shorts -- so much better)
Sandals: Dolce Vita
Necklace: Jewel Mint

As far as baby girl goes, she's still kicking like crazy (especially after mama indulges in some chocolate). I feel like my belly has really grown in the last week or two. Many more comments from strangers, lots of stretching in the muscles (probably contributed to my back seizing up the other day). We're slowly getting her room cleared out, but we still haven't bought much for the room so I guess there's no rush until we have furniture that needs to be set up. Excited to see her via ultrasound on Thursday!


P.S. I'm having so much fun playing with iPhone photo apps -- Instagram and Diptic. If you're on Instagram, follow me @flyrish.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mooning Over a Babymoon

"Across the sand the warm air blows, from her eyes you know she was half a world away" ~ Esthero

Is it wrong to fantasize about a babymoon when you are already a parent? Oh, and for those of you who think I'm talking about naked baby bottoms, a babymoon is a getaway for parents-to-be. Preferably pampering, ultra-relaxing, and indulgent. You know, before the sleepless nights and all-consuming newborn phase hits when leaving the house to go to the grocery store seems like a spa visit. I think it's all of the summer getaway lookbooks I've been seeing from my favorite online boutiques. Like, yes, I'd want that bikini and floppy hat and maxi dress, but I have nowhere to wear it.


T and I never really took one when I was pregnant with Q. I'm not sure if I even knew what a babymoon was at that time. (Oh, those silly travel marketers and their made-up terms.) We went on our annual camping trip, but that doesn't count (even though it was lovely and with some of our favorite people). But this year we're not even able to go on our annual camping trip because a four hour car ride is too far to travel at 8 months pregnant. We have zero travel plans for the summer at this point.

Anyway, I'd like to do something special. Even just one night away. T and I could use a little R&R before we enter the world of two tykes. While in my wildest daydreams we'd jet off to Kauai or Mexico or Costa Rica, it will have to be somewhere closer (and less costly). And it's okay because we are crazy lucky to be living in the Bay Area with so many beautiful destinations just a short road trip away.


Some possibilities . . .
Costanoa
I have been to Costanoa once before with two of my besties and it was so much fun. It's essentially luxury camping (I refuse to use the word "glamping," travel marketers!) with comfy beds, real bathrooms, hot tubs, a cafe, etc. And only about an hour down the coast in a gorgeous setting, walking distance from the beach. I enjoy less glamorous camping, too, but this would be more my preggo belly's cup of chai.


Sonoma Mission Inn

The Sonoma Mission Inn is part of the Fairmont Hotels chain and is therefore quite luxurious. But we happen to have a little connection there, so it's possible that we could get a discount. Again, only an hour or so away and in beautiful wine country. No wine for me, but lots of great restaurants in the area and opportunities to stuff this ever-growing belly.


Little River Inn

In this case, we'd be headed north up the coast to Mendocino to stay a night at the beyond charming Little River Inn. This spot used to be a favorite getaway for my parents. We'd all spend time in Mendocino as a family, wandering through town and perusing the quaint shops, but I don't recall staying at the Little River Inn myself. I would love to go with T and discover the kind of romance my parents once experienced there.


What do you think, dear readers? Would you go on a babymoon before your 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) child? Where would you go?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tweet Tweet, Baby

"All the little birdies on Jaybird Street love to hear the robin go tweet tweet tweet" ~ Michael Jackson

So, I've been obsessively collecting inspiration on Pinterest for baby girl's nursery. I'm leaning toward a sort of modern bird theme with a neutral background and splashes of bright color. Fitting for all this fluttering about baby girl has been doing. (Well, lately it's more like a large bird throwing itself from wall to wall in the cage that is my belly. She is feisty!) There are some adorable birdie decorations out there. And I like that it's not an overtly girly theme but I can drop elements of girl in here and there. (Perhaps a fairy or two?)

I definitely feel more excited about this nursery and I don't think the girl factor has much to do with it. When we were creating Q's nursery, it had to double as an office in our small condo. But now that we live in the house that we plan to be in for the foreseeable future, we can really make the room special. (In fact, Q's room is slowly but surely getting more fun as well.) Not sure if we will paint the room, but I definitely want some colorful wall art, perhaps a decal, and some fun details.


Here's a peek at what I've been pinning and pining over:


Babybedding.com
Rug via Zulily.com

RosenberryRooms.com
Canvas via TautCanvas.com; Decal via Etsy.com

Sunday, May 22, 2011

24 Weeks: Corny

"I keep running from tomorrow" ~ Mike Posner (Q's favorite song of late)

I am bad bad bad at these weekly pregnancy update posts. The past few weeks have flown by and I'm starting to feel a bit freaked at how little I have prepared for baby girl's arrival so far. But I am determined to get her room cleared out this week. Which is currently the guest room. Uncle G will take the queen bed, and I believe we can move at least one of the three bookshelves to the living room and possibly get rid of another. Her closet is completely full of my dresses and several storage bins, so that will present the bigger challenge. But I keep reminding myself that she will probably be in our room for the first couple of months anyway. Still, I'd like to have the majority of her space ready.

So, where we at with LL (Little Lady) on this 24th week?
If I only I had (or was) a photographer, then you would get better belly pics than this.

Current fruit/veggie size: An ear of corn

Cravings: Cinnamon-flavored cereal with lots of milk . . . and corn (kidding)

Aversions: The fact that when I get angry now, I cry. Ugh, such a wuss.

Symptoms: Round ligament stretching and some discomfort when walking for long periods of time,
but otherwise feeling grand

Movement: She's super wiggly and already keeping a schedule of dancey-dance time starting at around 9pm.

Other random updates:
I have yet to develop the linea negra I had when pregnant with Q, but I don't recall when that happened last time anyway. Is that a gender thing?
I'm taking this awesome weekly prenatal exercise class led by a physical therapist. My body feels lengthened and toned after every class and I sleep so well.
My dreams have been crazy intense but not very fun. Boo.

Looking forward to: Next ultrasound on June 2nd. I'm crossing my fingers that my placenta has moved far from the uterus -- it was either a marginal or partial previa last time. The ultrasound tech and my OB gave me different reports, but I'm not too worried. Plus, I can't wait to see my little love dove again!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Boom: How to Avoid Driving an Expectant Mother Batty

"Leave me alone, stop it, just stop doggin' me around"~ Michael Jackson

Either it's just that stage in my life or there's a certifiable baby boom going on. A close friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Sunday, another is due tomorrow, and I just read on Twitter that Melissa from Dear Baby had her precious son within the last 24 hours. I know a couple other people in real life who are pregnant and don't even get me started on all of the preggo bloggers I'm following. And if you all didn't know already, I am also experiencing the swell of the belly.

As friends continue to hit their due dates, I'm starting to realize just how lucky I was that Q arrived 9 days early. I hadn't yet become too impatient for his entrance into the world. I hadn't started feeling desperately uncomfortable. And more importantly, I didn't have to experience a ton of people texting me, calling me, emailing me, posting on my Facebook wall, or tweeting: "Is that baby here yet?? Any news?" I'm mentally preparing myself for this possibility when September is nigh.

I can only imagine how ridiculously annoying the constant harassment is. Well-meaning friends and relatives of expectant mothers, if you are feeling anxious for this new bundle to arrive and brighten up your world, please stop for two seconds to ponder how the mother who has carried this parasitic beast love child for 9 10 months must feel. I get it. You're excited! I'm excited, too! But I think it's wise to remind ourselves that there are better ways to show that we care.

Here are my tips on how to help maintain the sanity of a pregnant woman on the brink of her due date (and very likely on the brink of a breakdown).


1. Do not her ask the aforementioned questions regarding news of her going into labor or if the baby had arrived while you stepped away from your phone/computer for 9 seconds. Pretend you're living in the world of yesteryear (say, 15 years ago), when people would have to wait for days to hear about a new baby's arrival. And then be thankful that you will probably hear about the labor/birth of the baby within 24 hours of his/her arrival WITHOUT YOU EVEN HAVING HAD TO ASK.

2. Do send your well wishes and positive thoughts -- but sparingly. We appreciate all of the good energy and knowing that you're thinking about us, but we also don't want a ton of added pressure to get that baby out already.

3. Do not send a bunch of unsolicited advice at the last minute. This is tantamount to backseat driving when you have almost arrived at your destination. If you can believe it, we have been gathering advice for the duration of the pregnancy and longer. One or two tips might be okay, especially if it's a topic you have already discussed with the mama-to-be. Otherwise, you might just get kicked out of the car.

4. Do check what's left on the registry and send some essentials that could really help in the first weeks. Or better yet, go grocery shopping, make a dinner that can be frozen or easily stored for later use, and send it over.

5. Do not insist that she tell you when she's on her way to the hospital so that you can show up there, too. If she wants you there, she will let you know.

6. Do be patient and available for support if the mama needs you. Especially if you've already gone through this whole labor/delivery/newborn thing before. If she's feeling restless and wants to hang out, make her lunch or bring over a movie (ask first, don't just show up). But none of that creepily watching her for signs of going into labor.

Ultimately, take a cue from Michael Jackson and just leave her alone! You might even end up being one of the first people she texts when she's going into labor. (I feel so very honored, EJ!)

Mamas and lovely mamas-to-be, any other tips you would share? What do you wish friends and family had done for you in those last days of your pregnancy?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

All Aboard

"Back up the train (back up, train), turn it around (turn around), I've got to take my baby (got to take my baby), wherever I'm bound" ~ Al Green



Several weeks ago we took Q on the adorable steam engine train in Tilden Park. I don't know why it's taken me so long to post this video -- I guess other topics took precedence. Namely, baby girl gushing! Sometimes I feel like I post more about pregnancy (almost as a reminder to myself that I need to think about it and prepare), but truly my days are consumed with Q.

Anyway, I just loved sharing this train ride with him. He couldn't stop talking about the "choo choo" or "chooch" for the rest of the day. Here's a little piece of the action. (Pardon my allergy-ridden, disheveled appearance. I thought T was getting more Q than Mom in this video.)




Monday, May 09, 2011

Mother's Day: A Mixed Bag

"Place no one above you, you are appreciated" ~ Tupac (as inspired by the musical card I received from my in laws that actually played this song)

Ahh, Mother's Day. Is it a Hallmark holiday? Does it make those without mamas in their lives just feel crappier about their situation, much like single folks on Valentine's Day? And shouldn't we honor mothers every day anyway? But then again, don't mamas deserve a day in which we're treated extra special? When this seemingly thankless job turns into -- at least for one day -- a job full of loving gestures and heaps of gratefulness? These questions reflect this year's Mother's Day conundrum for me.

I was not looking forward to the holiday this year. Last year I was fine. And the year before was my first so that was kind of exciting. Even though I had lost my own mom a mere 3 months before. But for some reason, this year the thought of Mother's Day made me want to curl up in bed with a steady supply of chocolate and escapist movies. Perhaps it's because I'm pregnant and emotions are always so close to the bubbling over point. Perhaps it's because a third Mother's Day without my mom was just too much to bear. Maybe I was simply tired.

Me & Mamasay, Kauai 2007


Still, I knew that I couldn't stay in bed all day. No matter what my excuses were. Pregnant and tired. Grieving for my mom. Because I certainly had reason to celebrate and be with family. My beautiful Q and this baby girl in my belly allow me the privilege of claiming this day. I am so fortunate. And even though I can't be with my mom, I can honor my mother in law who gave life to my amazing T and who dotes endlessly upon my Q. I knew that I was being selfish to want to hide out. I don't want to dwell on what I'm lacking on Mother's Day. No matter how tempting.

So, after T whisked Q away in the morning to allow me to sleep in a bit, he made a delicious pancake breakfast. We then got ready to visit my mom at the cemetery and pay a quick visit to my dad (who gave me chocolate -- wheee!). Then upon returning home, we all napped. Heaven! Later we headed to T's brother's house for a BBQ where we could bestow gifts upon Q's "Nan" and stuff ourselves with assorted grilled goodies, salads, and pie. Q and T also gave me a gorgeous potted orchid and a gift certificate for a mani/pedi at my favorite spot. Oh yes, I was able to find the joy in the day.

Even though spending the day with my mom would have been ideal, I still felt the gift of her love. Of her legacy that I hope to continue on as I grow into my motherhood. She gave me the most exquisite example of mothering. Of graciousness, generosity, humor, and love. And that alone should compel me to celebrate Mother's Day every year. Sure, some years will be harder than others. I accept that. But I will try to honor her every Mother's Day by reveling in what I am so blessed to have -- a fabulous family. Past, present, and future. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Bloggers for Birth Kits: A Mother's Day Miracle Made Simple

"Mother, mother, there's too many of you crying." ~ Marvin Gaye

As I sit here at about 22 weeks pregnant and worrying about a possible partial placenta previa, I have to remind myself of how fortunate I am to live in a country where, if anything were to go wrong, I would likely be in good hands with the advanced healthcare we are privy to in the US. Not every pregnant woman is so lucky.

One of my great bloggy friends, Adriel from the Mommyhood Memos, works with a wonderful organization that provides healthcare, doctors, midwives, health education, and related services to the developing nation of Papua New Guinea. She is using her beautiful blogging voice to gather fellow mom bloggers to assist in spreading the word about the needs of the women in Papua New Guinea. Essentially, they are short on birth kits and could use our help. Women are dying of birth-related complications that are entirely preventable. As Adriel points out, "Because in rural Papua New Guinea... 1 in 7 women die in childbirth and that rate is simply unacceptable."

And it's so easy for us to help. Please check out her post for information on how to make a birth kit yourself to send or on how to donate to this very worthy cause. A mere $10 can provide 5 mothers (and babies) with clean birth kits. I just donated and it was incredibly simple. You can also donate in honor of your own mama -- just put Bloggers for Birth Kits and the name of your mom in the comments box when donating. I can't think of a much better way to honor mothers around the world this Mother's Day. I know my mom would be down for the cause.

Be sure to visit the Mommyhood Memos for lots more info and updates on Bloggers for Birth Kits!
 

The Mommyhood Memos Bloggers for Birth Kits

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Spectacular Santa Barbara

"There's a light that shines in your face sometimes that takes my feelings and wraps them around your knees." ~ Bill Withers

We just returned from a lovely long weekend in Santa Barbara. The weather was perfect and it made me so nostalgic for my college days. I feel incredibly lucky that my in laws have a place there that we can stay in pretty much any time we want to. Here's a photo diary of what we did.